Monday, June 14, 2021

Session 8 octopus!

 When last we left our heroes they were at the tip of a peninsula in search of statues and gold! They left royan and ramses with boat and made there way up a giant rock face.  They quickly found large steps,  tripped a trip wire that sent a large boulder hurtling down upon them.  

They managed to get a bit hurt, but pressed on and found more steps.  This time they were cautious.   After some toiling they made it to the summit.   Where they found a large stone statue.  Instead of sneaking or using a ring of invisibility they just walked up to the monster , which then took a swing at them.  

They destroyed the gargoyle and found some treasure. The gods blessed the Cleric with a better mace.   Just when they thought they were in the clear they heard another stone winged creature on the way.

They quickly finished off the second gargoyle and went back towards the boat, searching the rest of the area. 

In the bushes they spot movement,  and approach. They meet a humanoid chimpanzee carrying a magical staff.  He's curious and oblivious of his surroundings. Always In search of parsley! He is from a small village, although he doesn't remember where!

The pcs decide to camp for the night and then navigate around the pensuila to a spot further north.

Late into the first day they are beset by tentacles from the deep.  A giant squid!

They managed to row to safety, and decide to stay close to the shore not venturing into deep water again.

They came for the night.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The story so far (Isle Of Dread Play Report Session 1 - 7)

What follows is my best effort at remembering what happened during the course of the adventures to and on the Isle of dread.  

I'm currently running the game with 2 of my coworkers, using the Basic Fantasy rules

Most of our sessions run about 2 hours, sometimes less.  It's typically weekly but it really depends on the week.  

Session 1: Leaving town 

  • The players are escorting a large merchant caravan from Northern karameikos to the city of Specularm.  During the night a rather large thunder storm rolls in, making travel difficult.  A wagon becomes up turned on a dangerous downhill section, slips in the mud and dumps its cargo upon the ground. 
  • Helping the merchant dry off his wares, the PCs stumble upon the map and letter detailing the isle of dread.
  • The caravan makes camp for the night, instead of pushing on to the city (which is very close by).  The next morning they are beset by Bandits on the road, but quickly deal with them. 
  • Into the city we go! The carvan (which is huge, there's lots of guards other than the players) makes its way to the merchant quarter near the docks.  They get paid by Reginald Blackwater (one of the higher ups in the merchants guild.....) and decide to go out and find a boat. 
  • They ask around a bit, and find a local tavern call the starboard seagull.  A few patrons are in the bar, an older man catches there eye and they chat him up.  His name is ramses and he's a former sailor (looking for adventure), he knows where they can purchase a boat.  
    • It is unlikely that they have enough funds....
  • The PCs ramble down the dock to a acquaintance of Ramses who owns a boat (can't remember his name, not important pc I guess.)  
  • The Cleric pleads with the boat seller in the name of his god Havlav to give them a deal on the boat.  He uses his powers of persuasion and religion (basically scares the crap out of him).  They wind up getting the boat for next to nothing, in return the seller has the praise and mark of Havlav (he was blessed sorta.) 
  • They decide to set off with Rameses as soon as possible, gathering no supplies whatsoever for the long journey to the isle. 
  • I should note that this boat is a little bigger than a dingy.  Any real storm would blow it to bits.
Session 2:  The open water 
  • I believe that the PCs had about 12 days worth of rations when they left Port.  I decided to push the journey so that they would be on the brink of starvation by the time they got there.  Unfortunately there is only so many encounters you can have on the open seas before it gets boring.  A day passes nothing, you eat.  Day five oh pirates! Anyways
  • A few days pass with not a lot happening.  On day 5 the ship is attacked by bull headed sharks, that start inflicting a LOT of damage on the hull. 
    • I made one of the players roll for the HP of the boat on a set of d100s.  48 HP. 
  • The players managed to kill the sharks, the boat takes pretty bad damage.  The thief sneak attacks the shark.  Which lead to this silliness.  Ramses stuffs the holes with shark guts.  
  • Less than 2 days to the island, rameses spots a ship on the horizon.  They decide to get closer.  They realize very quickly its flying a Jolly Roger.  They turn tail.  A chase ensues.
  • The wind is with them, and they outrun the bigger ship.  
  • They safely make it within the vicinity of the Island.  I give them the opportunity to navigate around the island.  They decide to head for the village. 
Session 3:  The Village 
  • The PCs finally arrive on the island and are met with stand off ish Natives (not exactly Indiana Jones).  After some fast talking they managed to get a cool welcome into the village.  
  • They are showed around, and meet Meeka a small girl guide who speaks well.  She gives them the basic tour.
  • ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.  A Large Elephant/Mammoth is attacking the wall.  The PCs help out the Natives and managed to kill the beast.  A feast is prepared and the PCs are welcome guests. 
  • During the feast 2 interesting things happen.  The PCs notice the zombie workers, and are told mysterious stories about them and the Gods.  They learn of the ancients who built the wall as well.  They also see off in the distance a bunch of bandaged beaten up warriors being ushered into a tent. 
  • The next morning the inquire about the warriors and are met by the tribal leader Kuna.  They find out that the warriors were attacked on their way back from another village (they were delivering trade goods). The PCs decide to set off to find the Lizardmen and bring them a quick death. 
  • Ramses stays behind to fix the boat. 
Session 4 Lizardmen PT 1 First we gotta find the place 
  • So random encounters are fun.  Must write table with other interesting things to see and do in hexes.  
  • Run into a weird tree plant that attacks them and tries to strangle them.  They manage to burn the crap out of it and run away.  
  • They find one lizardmen and start following him, he is quickly scared off by a giant rumbling coming from nearby.  One of the PCs is up a tree looking down at the surrondings.  He spies a GIANT WALKING LIVING STATUE made of Crytal.  They noped out of that. 
  • After a few hours of searching they find a cave that they believe must be the lizardmen.  Turns out its a dancing spider (from BX).  One of them ends up getting bit and starts dancing (thankfully they had a cure poison potion).  Cue Magic Dance

Session 5 Lizard Men PT 2 They find the lair and destroy it 
  • Scrounging around and searching they finally with a bunch of dumb luck find the lair. 
  • Typical dungeon crawl I guess:  They find some prisoners and they become hirelings.  They find a statue of a Hawk that looks like it was made by someone else (the ancients?), they kill a bunch of lizardmen.  There's an altar they find with what appears to be the lizardmens god (I stole this idea from a game I ran of KOTB read here).   Which was COMEDY GOLD! 
  • They also find a head dress and a map.  It points to the east a peninsula with the caption "stone creatures carry lots of gold"
  • They bring the prisoners and loot back to the Village after a few days on the road.  The thief levels up.  Rameses is working on building a small hut near the village. 

Session 6 On the hunt for gargoyles found skeletons 
  • The PCS decide to take the boat and head off towards the peninsula in search of the stone creatures and the their gold.  On the way they skirt the coast line.  It quickly becomes nightfall so they decide to make camp on the west shore of the isle. 
  • IN the middle of the night they are attacked by a bunch of skeletons.  2 of the 3 hirelings fall.  Rameses is with them and he stands tall.  
  • They find a encampment nearby, with a few interesting objects including the following journal. 

It has been a month since we set foot on this god forsaken island.  The food is slowly starting to run out, the crew is starting to get ansy.  We set sail months ago for the Thaneegioth Archipelago, and were blown off course during a big storm.  We hit a reef and swam to the nearest island.  We sought shelter along the shore, but had a run in with some spear wielding apeman!  We managed to fight them off and get into some small canoes.  We made land fall that night to the west of the small island.  Our food supplies are dwindling…..  Of late my dreams have been dark, with a squid like face staring at me from out of the abyss.  I fear we will die here. 

Session 7 Beached ship and a pearl. 
  • They wake up and journey to the penisula, and discover a boat on a sand bar.  After a bit of back and forth, the thief swims up to investigate.  He finds trade goods in the boat that are worth a LOT of money if they can bring it back to the village.  They find a letter of intent from the merchants guild in Specularm (basically the terms of the profits from the expedition).  The one remaining hireling notices a pearl under the water.  The thief dives for it, and recovers it.  And not a moment too soon! A giant sea snake is following them.  It does however decide to leave the PCs be.   

If you read thru all this, Havlav Bless You! 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

This should be fun!

The kick in the butt I needed to blow away the lockdown blues!  I've got 4 rooms already.  Gawd I love collabs. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

On enjoying the campaign - let it go

Part of me thinks I should put a link to "let it go" here.  That's the silly music guy.

Anyways it's likely in your head.

I just finished up an incredible session of dungeon delving on the isle.   For once I'm not thinking about the next adventure I want to run, or the next rule set I want to try.  I'm just happy to be thinking about the current campaign setting, the players, what might happen next. 

There is a lot to explore on the isle, a lot I've  already thought of, a lot already written.  The place is huge! Every hex the players walk thru, there's new possibilities for adventure.  Not to mention the previous threads they are following up on.

Playing 2 hours a week really makes the whole thing spread out.  I'm honestly really good with it.  Just ride it out.  

While I do miss playing irl.   I like our when it works for everyone,  Monday night games.

It's just enough bandwidth for me, leaving room for other things.


I restarted my podcast, and did one episode.  I have realized in the last few months that I may have run out of ideas to talk about.  Partially because I'm not following the scene , and partially because im not seeking it out.  I may scrap it.

The blog will remain, but it will countine to be what it has become.  Rambly,  less focused, and infrequent. 

I guess I'm just happy playing games, and not talking about them as much nowadays.  Not sure if this is me, an over polarization of content,  the pandemic? Whatever the case, im having fun.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Another page from the notebook

This is a slow burn, but I'm enjoying it.  I've started a few spots, a hex page detailing tidbits from the main map.  Now I've got this village drawn.  Sorta.  On the page next to it will be a couple of shops and npcs likely.  I'm still working on the white wyrm dungeon.  Although I'm not quite happy with the map just yet.  

The nice thing about this as I stated before is I can jump from thing to thing.  Later today I'm getting my first vaccine shot, so there's a good chance I'll be working on this.  

In other news:  The isle of dread game that I've been running is going quite well!  We have had a few missed sessions due to things cropping up.  However we are moving to Monday nights, which should make it easier for everyone. 

The old school game I'm playing in with Matt is a lot of fun!  Last week I split the party and there is a very good chance I'll die next game (which I'm fine with as you know). 

I guess that's about it for me today.  I'm going to play some guitar, change the pedals on my bike and maybe do a bit of raking in the front yard, now that the snow is finally gone.  

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Started a new notenook

Along time ago, I was complaining to Matt that I never complete anything. He made me a nice 6x9 booklet with graph and hex paper and lines.  It's basically 30 pages, which I'm going to attempt to complete.  Got pretty last tonight. What is fun, is I can jump from place to place.  Go from one idea to another.  It's a bit cramped with 6x9 but I'm having fun.

I may add the gygax challenge into this.  I grabbed a copy of Whitebox FMAG for some inspiration and the 1e DMG. 

This will be in my work backpack for those moments when I have some inpsiration.

Here's some silly photos.  It's nice to make mistakes and just move on. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Return to the isle

 I'm running isle of dread again.  I'm not thinking of other campaign ideas! I've done too much of that over the years (and lately).  We decided to ditch the 5e game as honestly it was making me anxious.  I was trying to write too much backstory and weave the plot.

I'd like to return to the nightwell barony, but old school.  That is another day though.

Things I've learned from attempting a 5e homebrew game and world.

1.  Don't

Okay that was harsh.  I'm obviously more comfy with an older game.

1.  Know all the rules backwards and forwards.

2.  Run a wotc campaign first before attempting a homebrew.  There's lot of tidbits that come up, lore,  game mechanics etc that are easier to deal with.  See 1.

Creating a less magical, only basic rules 5e game is extremely difficult. 

Even if you run a longer one shot, you will understand the play style a bit better.

Okay isle stuff....

I'm running basic fantasy and enjoying it.  Next game I may use ose or shanes home brew osr rules (you can backstab a shark with a bow in it).  I should write them down.

I have the basic intro sorta scripted,  in such that there are no events but * "If thens "  for some situations. Once they are settled on the island ,it's about exploration.

Mostly things like npcs rumours, some faction oppositions, threads. Enough to get them excited.

Another thing I did that I learned from another awesome gm, was pre rolling encounters. This allows me to add some detail, map out possible treasure or lairs, and stats.  Now what I'll do is roll if an encounter is present, if so move to one of them.

Here's an example. I rolled a giant elk, wolves, humans, and a giant snake.

First thing I thought was to combine the wolves and the elk.  Maybe the wolves are hunting it? Or eating it?

The humans could be other settlers, another tribe of islanders, pirates, maybe pirates who have been marooned? Oooh.

See the wheels turning.

The above humans could be cooking a giant snake over the fire, hunting the elk, getting eaten by the snake.

Another thing I wrote was some basic weather, and hazards like quicksand, rock slides, annoying insects, old skeletons,etc.

I am going to play up the ancient civilization on the mountain, as well I am going to pop the forbidden city into the southern part of the island.  Also possibly b4 lost pyramid somewhere. Another thing I considered was kotb, however it's abandoned and filled with monsters.

Of course someone is going to be hunting a giant ape.

This island is filled with possibilities. 

*If then, for anyone whose programmed basic.