6.30.2019

My 30 Day World - Who Is The Most Nefarious Villain In Your World?

I'm participating in the #My30DayWorld exercise partially because I want to see how fleshed out my world of Khardtha actually is, and also to see what I can add, prompted by questions I may or may not have already asked myself.

Day 3 - Who is the most nefarious villain in your world?

The short answer, and kind of a cop-out is "no one." Despite the number of years I have had material on Khardtha sitting in my notes, I've not actually developed it to the point where many would claim it is playable. Additionally, quite a few of my decisions when world building are player driven, and I've never been presented by a player with a "big bad."

This isn't to say there aren't villains in the world, I've just not delved into their stories much. If I had to choose, however, I'd say it would be a tie between Arvedas Dungan, a powerful magic user that threatened the peace and prosperity of a whole continent hundreds of years ago; or Karthōth, the God of the Dead in the Fartucian Pantheon, who had been a thorn in the side of the very first adventurers I ever ran in the setting.

Neither have much developed for them to make them the "most nefarious," but I would likely edge Arvedas just a touch higher in rank on this, due to how oppressive his regime was.

6.29.2019

Bleep Boop! Achievable!

Last night's session was a milestone for my group. Though we have completed a Pathfinder Adventure Path in the past (Wrath of the Righteous), this was the first one we completed with me in the DM's seat.

A few years back, I decided I would run the APs in order, starting with Rise of the Runelords. That one wrapped up in the fifth book, with the characters' lives ending in Runeforge, the magical research center created by the Runelords. Curse of the Crimson Throne came to its conclusion during play of the third book under Arkona Manor when the party fell to the claws of Sivit, the darksphinx. After that, the group (down a couple of players, I'll add) failed saves against Drow sleep poison and were quickly outmatched by Depora at the end of the first book, bringing our Second Darkness run to a close.

Then, we started Legacy of Fire. The opening felt weak, though the action and story were compelling enough to keep play going. There were times when the story fell flat, not supporting the overall narrative, and focus was lost a little. There were times I had to bolster or scale back the number of encounters to keep things exciting/stop the game from becoming a slog. Despite this, after 41 sessions since 2017, we completed the Adventure Path.

I only hope my players had fun through the campaign. Something about the end rang hollow to me, but I can't place it. It's not that they didn't have to fight for the win, it's not that I don't think they were rewarded with a bad campaign (or Dungeon Master!). I keep going back to the denouement. Legacy of Fire's epilogue isn't as satisfying to me as the three previous APs'.

We talked about it as a group after we finished, and everyone seemed ok with it. Sometimes it's a curse being the DM, when you read and know more about it all. It does feel good to not TPK in one of these and actually see it to the end, though Jhavhul did his best to try to change that.

The Council of Thieves is next in the series, but it's been requested that Forgotten Realms 2 be next. Looking forward to that!

3.03.2019

2018: A Year in Summary

Finally settled into a place where I can bring out my PC and kind of get back into the swing of things here. Though I don't promise a huge upswing in posting, I do think I will put more on here than the three or so posts that have been sprinkled in the last couple of years.

I'm kicking off this year the same way I've done the last few and letting everyone know what I've been up to as far as entertainment goes. As always, if there are any questions or comments about the content of these lists, let me know.

2018 Use of Time
Books
Starfinder Adventure Path 2: Dead Suns 2: Temple of the Twelve (Paizo)
Pathfinder Chronicles City of Strangers (Paizo)
Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game X-Men Roster Book (TSR)
Vampire: The Dark Ages Libellus Sanguinis - Masters of the State (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Inner Sea Bestiary (Paizo)
Pathfinder Adventure Path 20: Legacy of Fire 2: House of the Beast (Paizo)
Exalted 3rd Edition Jumpstart Module The Tomb of Dreams (White Wolf/Onyx Path)
Pathfinder Chronicles Guide to Absalom (Paizo)
White Night (Jim Butcher)
World of Darkness Combat (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Chronicles Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh (Paizo)
Pathfinder Horror Adventures (Paizo)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Lands of the Linnorm Kings (Paizo)
Scion 2nd Edition: Origin (Onyx Path)
Pathfinder Player Companion People of the North (Paizo)
Vampire: The Dark Ages Liege, Lord, and Lackey (White Wolf)
Starfinder Adventure Path 3: Dead Suns 3: Splintered Worlds (Paizo)
Pathfinder Chronicles Heart of the Jungle (Paizo)
Shadow of the Demon Lord Expert Module A Case of Consumption (Schwalb Entertainment)
Pathfinder Player's Companion Demon Hunter's Handbook (Paizo)
Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game (Sword & Sorcery)
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett)
3.x D&D Ravenloft Secrets of the Dread Realms (Sword & Sorcery)
Pathfinder Adventure Path 21: Legacy of Fire 3: The Jackal's Price (Paizo)
The Roadmap (Cameron L Morrisey)
5e D&D Princes of the Apocalypse (Wizards of the Coast)
Shadow of the Demon Lord Victims of the Demon Lord: For Gold and Glory (Schwalb Entertainment)
Shadow of the Demon Lord Core Rulebook (Schwalb Entertainment)
Scion 2nd Edition: Hero (Onyx Path)
Pathfinder Adventurer's Guide (Paizo)
Pathfinder Module The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (Paizo)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Occult Mysteries (Paizo)

Magazines
Dungeon 90
Dungeon 143

Movies
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2006)
Seventh Son (2014)
Divergent (2014)
Insurgent (2015)
Alien: Covenant (2017)
Midnight Chronicles (2009)
Black Panther (2018)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)
The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Deadpool 2 (2018)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Alex Cross (2012)
Out of Time (2003)
It (2017)
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Dracula Untold (2014)
The Snowman (2017)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
Near Dark (1987)
The Legend of Hercules (2014)
War (2007)
Sausage Party (2016)
Neighbors (2014)
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)
The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
Bird Box (2018)

TV
Major Crimes, Season 6
Brave Starr, Complete Series
The Alienist, Limited Series
Legion, Season 2
Night Gallery, Season 1
Castlevania, Season 1
Castlevania, Season 2
The Haunting of Hill House, Season 1
Black Mirror, Season 4
The Last Kingdom, Season 1
Godless, Season 1
NCIS, Season 8
NCIS, Season 9
The Final Table, Season 1
The Last Kingdom, Season 2
Black Mirror, Season 3
Longmire, Season 3
Criminal Minds, Season 6
Criminal Minds, Season 7
Criminal Minds, Season 8
The Last Kingdom, Season 3
Criminal Minds, Season 9
Criminal Minds, Season 10
NCIS, Season 10
NCIS, Season 11
Criminal Minds, Season 11
Longmire, Season 4
Longmire, Season 5

Tabletop Gaming*
Legacy of Fire AP (22 Sessions)
Dead Suns AP (6 Sessions)
(Taylor)Shadowrun (1 session)
Exalted 3e "The General Direction" (5 Sessions)
(Sam)5e Tal'Dorei Campaign (14 Sessions)
(Taylor)Numenera 1-Shot
3.x D&D "Kellan's Cellar" (14 Sessions)
(Jon G)3.x D&D "By Sword and Claw" (8 sessions)
(Taylor)Iron Gods AP (3 Sessions)
(David)Deathwatch (2 Sessions)
(Taylor)Strange Aeons AP (2 Sessions)
(Paul)Serpent's Skull AP (2 Sessions)
(Sam)5e Dragon Heist module (3 Sessions)
Into the Haunted Forest module 1-Shot
*Games with names other than mine in parenthesis denote who ran those campaigns.

3.21.2018

My 30 Day World - What Is The Name Of Your World? Why Is It Called This?

I'm participating in the #My30DayWorld exercise partially because I want to see how fleshed out my world of Khardtha actually is, and also the see what I can add, prompted by questions I may or may not have already asked myself.

Day 2 - What is the name of your world? Why is it called this?

The name of my world is Khardtha. Khard was the name of the being that created Khardtha with his magics, but it is unknown if he named his creation or if those who came after named the world after him.

3.20.2018

My 30 Day World - What Is The 30-Second Elevator Pitch For Your World?

I'm participating in the #My30DayWorld exercise partially because I want to see how fleshed out my world of Khardtha actually is, and also to see what I can add, prompted by questions I may or may not have already asked myself.

Day 1 - What is the 30-second elevator pitch for your world?

Khardtha was founded with magic, yet has forgotten its roots. It is a world branded by war, but not shaped by it. Exploration and discovery are in a Golden Age as people search out clues to the past. Enterprising warlords take and rename lands, or, if using powerful enough magic, raise their own territories from the sea. It is a land where the ever-shifting pantheons of gods walk, and a land where the lowliest peasant can aspire to godhood.

Khardtha is a world both old and new, ever in flux, and ever ready for adventure!

1.30.2018

2017: A Year in Summary

Wow, nothing since July of last year, and coming back out my lowest posting year since I started this thing 11 years ago. This doesn't mean I've fallen out of the hobby. Far from it, in fact, I've just not had an opportunity to post, since a lot of my things have been sitting in storage for a long time (including my PC) in preparation for an eventual move. I have a ton of aborted posts in my drafts, actually. Some of it Actual Play, some just discussion topics.

To kick the year off, I've decided to repeat what I did in 2015 and 2017, and give you a glimpse of how I spent the previous year interacting with nerd stuff and entertainment of various kinds. I understand that what I do with my free time probably isn't entertaining to most of you, but you never know if you'll find a book, movie, tv show, or gaming product that you might be unfamiliar with and may want to check out.

Feel free to ask questions about, comment on, or make fun of anything on the list!


2017 Use of Time
Books
Ruins of the Dragon Lord: Tales of Mount Moru (Judges Guild)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Lost Treasures (Paizo)
d20 Modern d20 Past (Wizards of the Coast)
3.x D&D Eberron City of Stormreach (Wizards of the Coast)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Rule of Fear (Paizo)
Expert D&D module X1: The Isle of Dread (TSR)
Vampire: The Dark Ages The Transylvania Chronicles I: Dark Tides Rising (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Tombs of Golarion (Paizo)
Pathfinder Companion Second Darkness Player's Guide (Paizo)
Pathfinder Adventure Path 14: Second Darkness 2: Children of the Void (Paizo)
Pathfinder Villain Codex (Paizo)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Misfit Monsters Redeemed (Paizo)
3.x D&D Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (Wizards of the Coast)
Big Eyes, Small Mouth Second Edition Core Rulebook (Guardians of Order)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Osirion, Legacy of Pharoahs (Paizo)
AD&D 2nd Edition The Complete Psionics Handbook (TSR)
Vampire: The Masquerade Clanbook: Malkavian (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Inner Sea Magic (Paizo)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Artifacts & Legends (Paizo)
Pathfinder Adventure Path 15: Second Darkness 3: The Armageddon Echo (Paizo)
3.x D&D Eberron Dragons of Eberron (Wizards of the Coast)
Kinsmen of the Grail (Dorothy James Roberts)
Pathfinder Chronicles NPC Guide (Paizo)
Werewolf: The Apocalypse Player's Guide (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Chronicles Classic Monsters Revisited (Paizo)
Street Fighter: The RPG The Perfect Warrior (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Player Companion People of the Stars (Paizo)
Pathfinder Player Companion Faiths of Balance (Paizo)
Vampire: The Dark Ages Clanbook: Cappadocian (White Wolf)
AD&D 2nd Edition Ruins of Myth Drannor Boxed Set: Myth Drannor Adventures (TSR)
Pathfinder Companion Qadira, Gateway to the East (Paizo)
3.x D&D Planar Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)
Pathfinder Companion Gnomes of Golarion (Paizo)
Pathfinder Player Companion Champions of Corruption (Paizo)
Vampire: The Dark Ages Book of Storyteller Secrets (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Adventure Path 16: Second Darkness 4: Endless Night (Paizo)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Rival Guide (Paizo)
3.x D&D Races of the Dragon (Wizards of the Coast)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Undead Revisited (Paizo)
Yeager (Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos)
3.x D&D Hero Builder's Guidebook (Wizards of the Coast)
HackMaster 4th Edition GameMaster's Guide (Kenzer & Co.)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Inner Sea NPC Codex (Paizo)
Pathfinder Chronicles Faction Guide (Paizo)
Demon: The Fallen Core Rulebook (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Monster Codex (Paizo)
The Domain of Midnight Falls (F. Williams)
Starfinder Adventure Path 1: Dead Suns 1: Incident at Absalom Station (Paizo)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Dragons Unleashed (Paizo)
3.x D&D Drow of the Underdark (Wizards of the Coast)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Mythic Realms (Paizo)
Pathfinder Adventure Path 17: Second Darkness 5: A Memory of Darkness (Paizo)
AD&D 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms Elves of Evermeet (TSR)
Nordic Runes (Paul Rhys Mountfort)
Pathfinder Chronicles Dragons Revisited (Paizo)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Chronicle of the Righteous (Paizo)
Vampire: The Masquerade Guide to the Camarilla (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Companion Legacy of Fire Player's Guide (Paizo)
AD&D 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms Ruins of Undermountain II Boxed Set: The Adventures (TSR)
Pathfinder GameMastery Module Crypt of the Everflame (Paizo)
3.x D&D Sandstorm (Wizards of the Coast)
Pathfinder Adventure Path 18: Second Darkness 6: Descent into Midnight (Paizo)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting Irrisen, Land of Eternal Winter (Paizo)
Pathfinder Book of the Damned (Paizo)
Vampire: The Dark Ages Constantinople by Night (White Wolf)
Pathfinder Adventure Path 19: Legacy of Fire 1: Howl of the Carrion King (Paizo)

Magazines
Dungeon 96/Polyhedron 155
Dragon 343
Dragon 350
Dragon 351
Dungeon 128

Movies
The Book of Life (2014)
Reclaim (2014)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Gone Girl (2014)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)
Brave (2012)
Prometheus (2012)
Logan (2017)
22 Jump Street (2014)
Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse (2015)
Faster (2010)
The Barrens (2012)
Split (2016)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Interstellar (2014)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
John Wick (2014)
Battleship (2012)
Chronicle (2012)
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
The Last Witch Hunter (2016)
The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
Annabelle (2014)
Wrath (2011)
Project Almanac (2015)
Central Intelligence (2016)
The Accountant (2016)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Spy (2015)
Wonder Woman (2016)
Assassin's Creed (2016)
Witchcraft (1964)
Why Him? (2016)
Grabbers (2012)
Vampires: Los Muertos (2002)
Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)
The Sandman (2017)
I, Frankenstein (2014)
Neverknock (2017)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2016)
Get Out (2017)
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Red River (1948)
Goosebumps (2015)
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2 (2017)
Warcraft (2016)

TV
Salem, Season 3
Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, Season 6
Legion, Season 1
Major Crimes, Season 5
Game of Thrones, Season 7
American Horror Story: Cult (Season 7)
Gotham, Season 1

Video Games
Final Fantasy XV

Tabletop Gaming*
Vampire: The Masquerade "Easy Street" (3 sessions)
Curse of the Crimson Throne AP (11 sessions)
Pathfinder Homebrew (Jacob, 1 session)
5e D&D Curse of Strahd (Jon R, 1 session)
Pathfinder Castle Whiterock (Taylor, 5 sessions)
Tomb of the Iron Medusa (Taylor, 1 session)
Wrath of the Righteous AP (Sam, 10 sessions)
Star Wars Force and Destiny (Taylor, 8 sessions)
Second Darkness AP (6 sessions)
Crypt of the Everflame (1 session)
Dead Suns AP (8 sessions)
Hunter: The Vigil (1 session)
Legacy of Fire AP (6 sessions)
Shadowrun 4th Edition (Taylor, 4 sessions)
The Harrowing (Taylor, 1 session)
Exalted "The General Direction" (1 session)
*Games with names other than mine in parenthesis denote who ran those campaigns.

This was in my drafts for a long while, as you can tell by the timestamp. As it stands, only the Legacy of Fire, Dead Suns, and Exalted games are still running from those listed above. Shadowrun was our last game to come to an end, and I currently switch out my Legacy of Fire every other week with Sam's Tal'Dorei 5e D&D game.

7.01.2017

Leaving Whiterock to be Wrathfully Righteous

Upon further investigation into the happenings on the level of the dungeon we were on in Castle Whiterock, Taylor found out we were not, in fact, on a level where we would be thrown into an underground arena that is mentioned in the adventure, so he decided to call the game, citing that the orcs that captured us would just feed us to, well, themselves.

Though the campaign was fun, and I felt like it was gaining momentum as we delved deeper, the call made sense, and opened up a slot for the next game in our rotation (we're usually two or three games out in planning, though we drop random stuff in time to time), meaning that Sam would be picking up her Wrath of the Righteous adventure path for Pathfinder!

We last played this campaign in July of last year, and had attained 13th level and 5th Mythic Rank. Going back through my archives, I was surprised to see I never posted about this campaign, but the past couple of years have not given me many opportunities to do so, and the sessions are so rich with content that I don't feel I would do them justice. Here's my attempt to pick it up, at any rate, and we begin in the Midnight Isles, realm of the Demon Lord Nocticula...


After a reunion between Triel and Iridai, upon invitation we made our way to the Vault of Graves for an audience with Nocticula. However, befitting her fiendish nature, the demon queen set the shades of her lessers on us in the antechamber, stalling our advance just a short time before we were able to vanquish three and Triel took control of the fourth.
The Demon Queen, Resplendent

As we entered the main area, we saw shelves rising 50 feet or so, filled to the brim with scrolls and tomes. This scriptorium was guarded by two fly-headed demons, who we vanquished and then made our way past to Nocticula's chambers, where we were greeted by the sight of her reclining on a bench. I must admit, I have never looked upon the visage of one who rules what is basically a divine realm with my own eyes. Though I, myself, and Triel are both of divine providence, I must admit to being stunned and speechless when my eyes fell upon this dread queen. I noticed some of my companions were similarly dumbfounded, which makes me wonder if it was a spell of some sort or perhaps the fact that we met in her domain which added to the effect. We may never know unless we meet her again.

The conversation with Nocticula was tense. I remained silent, mostly due to my hatred for her kind, but also because she offered us what we wanted directly, and I felt no need to interject. She also granted us a "boon" in the form of a warrior that Iridai seemingly knew, but we turned down her other gifts, knowing that they would be tainted somehow by her demonic influence.

Despite the dangerous prospect of trusting someone of her persuasion, Nocticula agreed to withdrawing from a business operation with the demon lords Deskari and Baphomet, and also told us of a mining operation that the two were allowed to run on one of her islands, which we whisked away magically to when our audience was finished. Triel and myself teleporting there, with Druss leading the other two through a portal the fiend had offered to facilitate our travel. Though I could find no deception in her eyes or voice about this portal, I couldn't bring myself to jump at the gifts of one from the Abyss.

Arriving at the Isle under circling flocks of vrocks was unnerving, but we all converged in time to see a shape rushing at us from the sky, a celestial body defiled with beheading, with its skin flensed from its body. This Heavenly corpse rushed at us, but Triel's magic seized control of it and forced it under her will. I secretly wished for her to have blasted it to ash to rid reality of this atrocity, but it is small relief to know that under this control, at least this holy being's body will die in just cause and in battle against those who would commit this type of atrocity.

Our ventures took us further upstream, where we encountered more undead abominations. These, the wailing spirits of the cursed fallen, led by a powerful knight of the grave. Though they proved slightly troublesome, we eventually won out and claimed the barge they had been guarding.

I shall return with words on this soon...


Cast of Characters
Hal' bin (Human Cleric 8 of Iomedae/Exalted 5|Mythic Heirophant 6) - Me
Triel (Drow Wizard 13|Mythic Archmage 6) - Taylor
Druss (Dwarf Barbarian 13|Mythic Guardian 6) - David
Iridai (Nagaji Sorcerer 9/Dragon Disciple 4|Mythic Archmage 6) -  Jon
Tusk (Half-Orc Barbarian 13|Mythic Champion 6) - G2

Edit: I had typoed "orcs" in the first paragraph to "orcas". Funny, that.