Heretical Thoughts

So, the Dark Heresy (Warhammer 40k Roleplay) game is definitely a go for Mondays, and I've been putting some thought into it as I wait to receive the core book. Reading Eisenhorn has given me quite a few ideas, as well as fleshed out the setting alot for me, likely in ways that the game book won't.

I have set a rule that might not sit well with some of the gamers that want to come to the table, but since we're a group used to using minis for our games, and since the parent game is a miniatures game, I want everyone who is playing to have their own mini from the Warhammer line, preferably painted and assembled.

I know Taylor is rolling Tech-Priest, but I'm eager to see what combination of paths will hit the table when it comes game-time.

I've thought about my Inquisitor quite a lot, and I think I might make him a monodominant member of the Ordo Xenos or a puritan from the Ordo Malleus. The first option would give reason to include various members of the other star-faring races, but the second option, in my mind at least, would give the opportunity for a more investigative-oriented game. I know, also, that the Inquisition has the Ordo Hereticus, but I don't think I want to place the PCs in the Daemonhunters. I just feel that it's the more expected and 'flash-bang' style, whereas I want a slower-paced game that will give my players more shades of grey to work with, whereas, when a member of the Inquisition finds a daemon, they have to kill it and everyone associated with it.

I really know nothing of the star map in 40k, and barely anything about the worlds, but I'm hoping I can dig up more information on sectors, systems, and planets that might help me out a little. Making my own isn't out of the question, but I would like to be more informed on the structure of terraforming practices, etc. before I make a sector that makes no sense.

I've also been looking for rules on Grey Knights or Deathwatch to include as player options, so if anyone knows where to find that information, please let me know. Homebrew stuff is A-OK for me right now, since I'm going green into the system.

I'm also hoping Rogue Trader will be compatible with Dark Heresy, so that maybe the players can pick up new paths down the road.

Apologies to the Game Group

I'm truly sorry for not showing up yesterday for Vampire. I had a headache and lay down to ease it at around 2 and slept through til well after game time.
I hate letting people down, and I know I have the character sheets for that game, so I feel horrible about it all. The weight of my absence registered as soon as I came to fully.

Hopefully we can make up lost ground when the game resumes in the new year.

Eisenhorn Omnibus

I'm reading this and it's amazing. If any of you ever have the chance, check it out. It's set in the Warhammer 40k universe, and is centered around the title character, who is an Imperial Inquisitor.

I had never read any of Dan Abnett's work until David let me borrow this collection, but he balances his characters well and the narrative and dialogue are superb. After reading the introduction by the author, I had some doubts, as he mentioned the stories were written in 1st person. Though that's not a style I generally care for, I find myself getting swept up in the story and thoughts of the Inquisitor.

I'm about half-way through, but I still highly recommend this. It's a solid read, fast-paced and fun.

New Alternating Wednesday Game: Goblin Raid Party!

So, Taylor has decided to run a game every other Wednesday in which the party is comprised of nothing but Goblins. At the beginning of every session, each player will be handed a random gobbo (There is one made for every single class in D&D 3.x) and will run with it. If that greenskin dies, the player will be handed a new one and the game will continue with the dead pc removed from selection.

Wednesday was our first foray into the raiding profession and we had a blast. Tony led the charge into zany when he started up the session playing his Archivist (18 Int) as primarily Goblin, not so much smart. The rest of the group ran with it and before long, a couple of us were convinced that writing "dead" on our boars would make the enemy tribe think they weren't worth stealing because they were dead, of course...

We lost the Barbarian due to in-party fighting when he decided to kill the "zombie boars," but other than that, it was pretty much smooth sailing through the enemy tribe and into the "King's" chamber, where we convinced him to send his guards away with other goblins who had come to warn him, then we spun a lie about being a troupe of historians and kingmakers who needed to anoint him with oil and perform a ceremony in which we named his axe. This gave us a huge advantage as he had handed over his axe to David and poured Alchemist's Fire all over himself, giving us a goblin ablaze, which was fun to whack with sticks and such til it died.

After this, we discovered a door behind the king's throne which was locked. A search of his now extinguished body gave us a key, which we then used. The passage inside was a downward slope, slick with moisture, in which David and I jumped immediately. There, in a dank pool lay a kraken, which made short work of us and at which point Taylor called the game.

I think we all had a lot of fun in the game. It was fairly fast paced and zany. This was Taylor's first go at DMing, but he was quick on his feet when it came to unexpected stuff and didn't let the game drop. Maybe next time, most of us won't die.


Magic: The Gathering League Play

...and why it makes me tired of the game.

In November, Tony announced that we'd have the opportunity to participate in M:tG League Play, which would extend a full month and we'd be able to net promos and have a chance to net a deck case at the end of the timeframe. To all of us at the shop, this sounded like an awesome idea, so when we got the product in, we all devoured it, taking our Shards of Alara product and running full tilt trying to get as many tick marks as possible through playing matches.

After 10 marks, you have the ability to buy a new pack and add it to your current list to better refine your deck, so we were enhancing our deck building skills for those cards while playing in a fun format for us.

At the end of the month, though, we all loathed the thought of playing block tournaments, or doing anything, really, that had to do with Shards. Now December is here and we're doing League with Champions and Betrayers of Kamigawa and already some of us are tired of the sets. It's not that we don't like league, or even that we don't like the sets, it's just that when you do something every day, you sometimes get tired of it, and it's making Magic less appealing to some of the guys (including me) for the time being.

I'm thinking that after the Elder Dragon tournament, I'm not going to do much Magic playing beyond the upcoming Conflux release events and some League, just to build a card base for sets I might not have much of.

A Short Rant

You know, I've noticed a continuing trend that really brings up this wellspring of opinion and emotion whenever I see or hear it continue to worsen.

This "thing" is the elitism that seems to be gripping people by the crotch and leading them around within the hobby.

It's not like I lose sleep over it all, and it doesn't put me in a funk whenever I read or hear someone declaring the supremacy of mechanic v. mechanic, old school v. new school, et al., but it does disappoint me, I guess, that so many now...some, people who I valued the opinions of, championing that their way is the right way, when before, quite a few of these people were of the opinion that all games have the potential to be a good game, if you dig it.

I'm still of that opinion. I say that if you like it, then it's a good game. As gamers, I think we should all feel that way, at least a little. The game is what gives us our title, and we should at least accept the concepts behind that, rather that railing on something we don't really dig because it's "NOT" what you think it should be.

The "in" thing to do now is to bash D&D 3.x and 4E and Vampire/World of Darkness. Sure, those games might not be the D&D you played as a kid, and you might not like the dice pool system, but just because you feel that way, doesn't mean they're abominations to the hobby. To those who enjoy those systems, they present solid systems that facilitate the fun achieved around a game table with friends. I think, in spirit, that if a game can produce those results, then it's as good as it needs to be.

Everyone has preferences and opinions, but more and more, those opinions are coming down to hate, not just on the systems, but on the players who enjoy them, and I think that's when it has gone too far.

That's my opinion, and I know that not alot of people will read this, but you know? I don't really care. If anything, it will serve as a reminder to myself to not go down that road.

It's Tuesday...

And I'm iced in at the house. Last night, David, Taylor, and I were pretty much stuck at the shop and we goofed off all night and got pissed off at video games. This morning, we were able to each make it home safely and then when I went to go to the shop today, I couldn't leave because of the refrozen ice.
So, that knocked out one night of gaming. Hopefully the ice will clear off some tomorrow or Thursday so that the whole week isn't a bust.
I hope everyone out there is safe in whatever weather you happen to be in.


Piling it on...

So, I've just now added 4 more games to the list found here.

You may have noticed that one of the old games on the list is no longer there. Well, that's because I run it on Tuesdays now, and there's no reason to have it on a list of games I might run when I'm running it.

Dark Heresy might become a Monday night venture, if those who have already shown interest in it confirm that they would be able to make it. We'll see!

On an unrelated note... Josh D., since gas prices have dropped, maybe you can swing down our way sometime. *HINT HINT*

Vampire: The Masquerade - Revenge A Go Go!

Due to my eldest nephew's Christmas choir program, I wasn't able to participate in the full session of this one, but at the beginning, my new character came into the game in the morgue, executing Paul for killing my sire.

There, Heinrich and the others came upon me, at first thinking I was a hunter, but then being recognized as one of the kindred by a clanmate. After cross words were exchanged between me and the coterie and between some in the coterie with others in the coterie, and likely between individuals and themselves, knowing some of the characters in this game (I had to run after my introduction, so I'm a bit fuzzy on it all), everyone decided to leave the morgue.

This is when it was discovered that the coterie (or maybe even me?) was being tailed by a vampire adept in the skills of stealth, spoke only Spanish, and wore a ceramic mask. He called himself Santiago, according to Rene. Not sure on who he is, but he said he was there on business of the Prince, and I was able to convince the rest of the group that he was not to be trifled with if this were true.

That's pretty much all I know about the session, but I'll be there for the whole thing this week, and hopefully we can get back on the right track, which to my character means trying to win the Malkavian primogen spot that was left vacant with the death of my sire.

Cast of Characters
Ysodr Chulmayev, 8th Gen Malkavian - Me
Heinrich Himmler (Yes, that one.), 10th Gen Malkavian - David
Santiago, 8th Gen Caitiff - Taylor
Masamuri, 8th Gen Gangrel - Darrell
Mary, 13th Gen Toreador - Jon R.
Renesmee Cullen, 12th Gen Toreador - Racheal
Grizzz, 9th Gen Gangrel - George
Demetri, 11th Gen Tremere - Steve C.
Kara, 13th Gen Ventrue - Lauren
Joseph, 8th Gen Tremere - John C.

Gnomad and the Masters of the Multiverse! - The Old Switcheroo

This session was INSANE. After spending a much needed night just resting before setting on our course, we rose in the morning to find that our hatches have been sealed with a glue-like substance and the only way out other than that having a note on it that instructed us not to wake Iviss. I decided to sneak through the room so as not to wake him, but spotted his body laying next to the elemental engine of the Gnomad.

When I approached, I found that Iviss' throat had been cut and at that instant, multiple bombs of some sort exploded within the engine room. (As an aside, I still need to ask Paul how this happened, since he described the bombs as sonic in nature, and most of the ship is held in an antimagic zone for the crew's protection.)

The explosion shattered the gem housing our bound elemental and let it loose within the ship to rampage at will, dropping me quickly and almost making short work of some of my comrades in arms.

In the aftermath, Belaraphon called upon the help of 'Momo,' his intelligent sword, but the psionic intelligence dealt a cruel blow to our angel, trapping him in the body of a very old human and flying off in the everlasting body of the deva.

As we dealt with the choas of the ship's and angel's incapacitations, Chobham raised Iviss back to life, at which point Nelsie was blamed. The group then put the pieces together and realized that the mirror double of Nelsie must have made this guerilla attack on us. Iviss was sent off to find our fire elemental compatriot while we tried to decide the best way to rid our ship of a crafty water elemental, that we assumed to have gained access to the water pipes of the ship.

Who knows how things are going to go for us as we endeavor to complete the last leg of our quest.

Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 12 (Le Gasp! Name change!)

I haven't liked the "Bastions" title since I started using it and I was reading through some old posts the other day and remembered that I had posted this adventure path here, so I looked and got the old name...one I'm much happier with, even though changing the name of the campaign doesn't change anything else.
I'm weird like that.

Also, I'm going to skip ahead to the last session because it's fresher in my mind. I know alot of things have happened since I last posted on the game, but there's quite a bit of jumble in my head as to the timeline. Suffice it to say that the heroes have been heroes and some of them have died or otherwise changed. The roster at the end of the post should help a little with the understanding.

Our heroes decided to press on from Brindinford, leaving Baron Althom's employ to search out personal leads and to look for an overarching cause of the strange happenings of late. They chose to travel by boat to Lakeside, where they hoped to refresh supplies and find out a little more of their enemies through research and old fashioned detective work. They weren't expecting what they found...

Upon docking in the city, they were greeted by nothing but animals...cats, dogs, rats, and mice who were scurrying about looking for food as well as an abundant amount of birds. Nobody was working the docks and the ships moored there had no sailors. People simply weren't around.

Deciding to venture further into the city, the party found more of the same. Not a single human, elf, gnome, or dwarf anywhere in the city. Baskets were put down on the ground, tables were set, some logs and journals found were cut off mid-sentence. It was as if everyone left at once.

The whole population of Lakeside appeared to had walked out into the woods, suggested by a trail leading off from various spots in town that Talin picked up. Following the trail for about two hours, Mac stumbled upon (literally) a rotting arm that had been gnawed on by a smallish animal, likely a dog of some sort. This sent a wave of fear through the party, and some were wary of continuing the search while others protested that perhaps the arm was unrelated or someone who had been trampled in the chaos of almost 10,000 people leaving at one time.

Around this time, Allura decided to go back to the town while Murmur and Talin decided to move ahead of the group in the search. After a few more hours, their fears were realized when they came across a sea of decaying bodies in a large clearing. The whole of Lakeside's inhabitants dead, apparently from some form of poisoning, to the best estimation of those in the group with decent Heal rolls.

The PCs started to arrange the bodies for proper rites, but found the task daunting and didn't want to be caught out at dark with this amount of corpses, not knowing what curses may animate the dead when the sun fell. They hurried back to Lakeside and found the House Sivis office and sent out a call for help through the speakstone there, then made their way to the barracks and then the Church of the Host, where they holed up for the night, barring the doors and windows as best they could in case a zombie horde broke upon them.

The next morning, they were awoken by pounding on the front doors of the church, which they opened to find an old man dressed in the robes of office of a high priest demanding to know who they were and why there were there. The party's fears of undeath were somewhat realized when they noticed that he and everyone they could see from the door were transparent and wispy. After moments of delegation, they convinced the priest they had something to show him and prepared while he gathered other members of the town heirarchy, including Dragonmarked House representatives, and took them to the site of the bodies.

None of the dead took it well to peer upon their own bodies and those of their friends and loved ones, and so decided to end their unlives by wading into Lake Dark in search of the rumored portal to Dolurrh.

As we left off, almost half the town's population had wandered into the water as the PCs and horrified ghosts looked on, wailing that they were drowning and in disbelief at their current state. Help is supposed to arrive soon, and the party needs to decide how they will explain or rectify this situation.

Cast of Characters
Allura Fellhaven, Female Half-Fiend Psion(Telepath) 6 - Carl
Devin "Lucky" Nel, Male Cleric of the Host 5/Human Paragon 2 - Paul
Guy Veir "Mac" d'Cannith, Male Human Artificer 6 - Taylor
Kadav, Male Elan Psion(Telepath) 6 - Steve J.
Murmur (formerly "-"), Male Personality Warforged Paladin of the Silver Flame 5 - David
Soh, Changeling Fighter 4/Warshaper 2 - Josh
Talin Shiri, Female Elf Ranger 3/Warblade 2/Revenant Blade 1 - Chris
Vacht, Male Human Wizard(Evoker) 7 - Steve C.


Happy....so happy...

Yeah, I'm not dead yet, I've just been too lazy to update in a while. I'm gonna run through a short recap of what's been happening, but first, I'm going to explain why I've not been on posting as much.

A couple of my friends have caught the Warhammer bug, but they're running Warhammer 40k, and I'm doing fantasy, and I've made it a point to finish my Vampire Counts army before I even buy the Eldar codex. I've been painting and assembling quite a bit lately.

Also, I'm playing Magic pretty regularly, and preparing for an Elder Dragon Highlander tournament that's coming up on the 20th, so deck building has been taking alot of time that I could have spent on here. I plan to get back to posting after every game starting this week, though.

Now for recaps...

  • The Drow War - The party made it to the Ragged Man and got information on where the Starborn items are held and more information on their destinies. This game has been put on hiatus until after the holidays due to family commitments.
  • Bastions of the Broken Road - The group made their way out of the hold of Durgeddin and after relaxing for a while, found employ under the flamboyant Baron Althom, who they accompanied to the town of Brindinford. There, they encountered all manner of evils, from Khyberspawn to the alien beings of Xoriat and, through befriending a rogue band of shifters, were able to remain somewhat safe while rooting out evil. A few PCs found death while in the city.
  • Gnomad and the Masters of the Multiverse - After completing the locking of all the Inner planes, we went to Mechanus as the first stop of the Outer, where we have been for weeks, trying to figure out how to improve the Gnomad with a planar navigation system and trying to lock the plane. It's looking like Sigil will be our next destination, as we must go there to find a formula for the Modrons which holds the key for manipulation of the Hourglass on Mechanus. It's frustrating.
  • Vampire - The neonates have struggled to find more clues to the murders of the Nosferatu primogen and the Gangrel sheriff, but the only information that's turned up is that the Tremere are either responsible or are covering up something, and that there is a Sabbat influence in the city which may or may not be involved. We lost Doug's Gangrel in a raid on a location we knew to hold Sabbat, and Taylor's Brujah had his memory rewritten with Dominate, so that he thought he was Sabbat as well. This eventually led to his diablerization of my character followed by mayhem. He blew up an Elysium in the city and this week's game will have the aftermath of that incident.

That's the gist of things. With more detailed writeups coming, maybe everyone will be able to catch up fairly well. For now, however, I'm going to bed because I have to work a double tomorrow. YeY inventory!

btw, give yourself 2 cool points if you got the reference in the header.


The Gnomad and the Masters of the Multiverse!

Not an update here, the old "Arcane College" game (Because Paul never has named it, I've taken the liberty), in quite some time, but as of Wednesday night, we finally completed locking the Inner Planes by defeating the guardian of the Elemental Plane of Fire's hourglass....a colossal great wyrm red dragon!

It was almost two months in the making, so to speak, but we finally got to play the 25th level characters we made for the epic side quest that is the locking of the Plane of Fire. Sadly, it was a little anticlimactic...

We started off with our epics getting a ride to the volcano-lair of the dragon in the Gnomad then travelled up the side of the mountain where we spotted an entrance to the side that was guarded by two Initiates of Orcus who let us pass, without question, into a larger chamber that held an Infernal and 4 Balor, which we dispatched without too much effort (other than John C. dying) and then moved further, where we found a large settlement of kobolds within the mountain, some of which had obvious dragon blood in them. There, we made sacrifices to Tiamat by giving up an item of worth to us, after which we agreed to escort 4 of the kobolds to an altar area.

On the way there, we encountered a Paragon Steel Predator, which also killed John C., that was one of, if not the toughest things we faced, though getting past it simply took giving the creature enchanted items of metal to eat, which we did, then I Wished to duplicate Fabricate and created 250 cu. ft. of iron for it to gnaw on while we continued on to the altar room, in which an altar to Tiamat was present. Throughout the adventure, Carl's epic was frustrated because he was a Dragon Reborn Cleric of Bahamut who chafed under working with Tiamat followers and being around Tiamat icons. His discomfort became all of ours when the altar spit forth a Disjunction, which my character failed to counterspell and which stripped most of our magic items of power, causing Tony's character to give up the quest.

The rest of us decided to press further, encountering a huge lava pit containing a dragon of immense size, who reared up and shocked us when we saw that the thing had two heads! Alot of useless combat with the thing gave me time to cast my epic save or die spell three times, which is all it took for us to finish the thing off and then we made way with its loot and locked the hourglass, all of which the thing had inside of him.

Exiting the mountain made us cringe as off in the distance, we spotted a dragon flying toward the mountain off in the distance. Carl's character turned into a smaller dragon and gave us a ride to the Gnomad and we shifted out before the dragon got to us.

What does the future hold for us? I don't know quite yet, but it should be pretty freaking fun.

Eberron: Bastions of the Broken Road, pt 4

Tuesday's adventures continued as the group traversed further into Durgeddin the Black's old hold of Kundrukar, making this our second session in The Forge of Fury adventure.

The party moved upon a chamber that held 6 orcs and a multitude of trade goods that were obviously taken during raids of caravans. After slaying the brutes, they then moved on to another chamber wherein, sat upon his throne of discarded junk, was an Ogre who named himself as the Great Ulfe as he stood and roared a challenge, unleashing two wolves on the adventurers as he did so. Robert tried to move in, presumably to flank, but was tripped and then hacked by a hidden orc halberdier. The battle was short but very violent, culminating in the group having fell the wolves and two hidden orcs, as well as the ogre, and Robert dying to a spray of crystal shards conjured forth by Allura.

Ulfe's throne room held the treasure amassed by the bully-king and a prisoner, a changeling by the name of Soh who had taken the guise of a human man, who decided to join the group as they ventured further through the caverns, and who stayed to aid Devin in the funerary rites of Robert as they carried him back to the entryway to the hold.

In light of the death and needing some healing, the group chose to withdraw to a secure room and make camp to heal and regain their focus. Resolving to go further, the group first decided to make sure that there were no survivors of their last battle only to find that one of the orcs and both wolves' bodies weren't present, though the ogre's and another orc's throat was slit, which more than a few found unsettling, but didn't deter, as they pressed ever on, Ghyrsum and Devin being affected by a poison gas trap before entering a room with half a dozen more orcs, one of which, an old, battle-scarred orc calling himself Yarrack, negotiated safe passage through the caverns (by way of a payment of 500 gold) with the party, sold them a slave, a shifter calling himself Mohkan, and also sent a guide for them to make direct passage through the orc holdings.

The guide led the party to a locked door and said he would take them no farther, saying that blood bugs were on the other side and restating that their chief only promised safe passage through the orc-held caves.

The "blood bug" room and places further in led the PCs against a multitude of stirges and against a group of troglodytes and their pet brown bear. This battle, which saw the party slightly outmanned, due to stirges, trogs and the bear, also saw the death of the nameless Warforged Paladin that had been a part of the group as Vacht used his wand of Lightning Bolt and took down 4 party members, the bear, and a trog. Poor David.

After that battle, they found an elf that had been imprisoned by the trogs and passageways into a huge cavern that sparkled in the light of Eberron dragonshards all over the ceiling, which held gricks that the PCs quickly dispatched and a door on the far side.

Cast of Characters
Allura Fellhaven Kalashtar Psion(Telepath) 5 - Carl
Bellosh Feral Razorclaw Shifter Barbarian 3 - Tami
Devin "Lucky" Nel Human Cleric 5 of Olladra - Paul
Vacht Human Wizard 4 - Steve C.
Robert (R.I.P.) Human Rogue 3 - Chris S.
Bant Wildhunt Shifter Druid(Child of Winter) 3 - Jesse
Xen Human Monk 4 - Taylor
" "(R.I.P.) Warforged Paladin 3 of the Silver Flame - David
Soh Changeling Fighter 3 - Josh H.
Mohkan Shifter Soulknife 3 - John H.
Calcryx White Dragon Wyrmling - NPC
Meepo, Keeper of Dragons Kobold Dragon Shaman 3 - NPC
Fellim Human Marshal 3 - NPC
Ghyrsum Human Fighter 3 - NPC
Vey Human Sorceror 3 - NPC


My Tuesday Campaign, Sessions 2 and 3: The Sunless Citadel, pt 2 and The Forge of Fury, pt 1

I've gotten to run this campaign 3 of 5 weeks, and while I'm hoping the skip weeks don't contine (I work at the shop on that day, after all,) that's not made me mad or anything. I just have a blast with this game. The group has expanded to currently larger than Paul's Wednesday night game and even though it's a book campaign, it seems to flow well with the high numbers.

The party's further venturing led them deeper into the sunken ruins and natural caverns surrounding it, with quick thinking by Lucky leading them past tons of rooms and what would be armed resistance with a Bugbear guiding them the whole way. When you're able to convince the bad guys that you work for their boss, things just kinda work out like that.

Their guide led them into a grove of brittle looking bushes, what the PCs knew to be budding Twig Blights and to a shattered husk of a keep, in which a gigantic tree, resembling an oak and bearing ripe fruits resembling apples, grew in the pale light of phosphorescent fungus. There, they found the fate of two of the four adventurers that delved into the lightless passages, as Sharwyn, a local mage of small talent, and Sir Braford, a questing knight of the Silver Flame, stood before them, seemingly carved of wood and attacked alongside a man whose name they had learned from the goblins was Belak, a Child of Winter who was branded with a Mark of the Outcast, and his large praying mantis companion.

A fight ensued between the two groups, but went well for the adventurers, except for Steve, who couldn't hit a twig blight to save his life and was surrounded by them. The bugbear was put to sleep by Sharwyn, since his HD took up most of the spell and blocked it from affecting the PCs, who then charged in and took Sir Braford and the mantis out quickly, then Sharwyn and the twig blights in short order after. Belak, however, stepped into the great tree and disappeared.

After having gathered the effects of Braford and Sharwyn, the party ascended back up out of the sunken citadel, encountering their kobold and dragon companion bathed in illusory fire in a shrine dedicated to dragons, where the two reptilians rejoined the group, then moving further and finding many a charred gobbo corpse and the Thoqqua responsible. Lucky decided not to press his luck against the 5 fire beasts there, so they left out, slipping unnoticed through kobold territory and encountering a human adventurer named Robert, who they convinced to leave the place and travel with them, convincing him that there was nothing further to find in the deeps.

Having gone back to town and dealt with the Hucrele family, who originally set them on this quest, they were rewarded for the information and signet rings returned and then decided to pursue riches to the north, following the lead of the legend of Durgeddin the Black, said to be the greatest smith to have ever lived, and whose weapons are valued highest among all others. Having found a small stash of weapons with his mark in the citadel and making bank off them, Allura, who is also on the path of the fate of her father, decides to push north. The rest of the party agreed to this and Allura recruited 5 mercenaries (two of which are PCs) to accompany them on their quest.

Having travelled a few days north, they finally reached their destination...the Stone Tooth, a mountain where it is said that Durgeddin's last hold was. Outside, they encountered a scouting party and were able to eliminate that threat, then they were able to move unnoticed on the guard-orcs that were positioned at the door and killed them before any alarm could be raised. A short skirmish with two more groups of orcs just inside has been their only resistance as they have ventured deeper, and other than two human slaves, who were eventually released, the only signs of life inside the large compound.

Cast of Characters
Calcryx White Dragon Wyrmling - Racheal
Meepo, Keeper of Dragons Kobold Dragon Shaman 3 - Darrell
Allura Fellhaven Kalashtar Psion(Telepath) 3 - Carl
Devin "Lucky" Nel Human Cleric 4 of Olladra - Paul
Vacht Human Wizard 4 - Steve C.
Bellosh Feral Razorclaw Shifter Barbarian 3 - Tami
Bant Wildhunt Shifter Druid(Child of Winter) 3 - Jesse
Robert Human Rogue 3 - Chris S.
Xen Human Monk 3 - Taylor
" " Warforged Paladin 3 of the Silver Flame - David
Fellim Human Marshal 3 - NPC
Ghyrsum Human Fighter 3 - NPC
Vey Human Sorceror 3 - NPC


The Arcane College Update

A lot has happened since I last posted about this game, but we've still not dealt with all of the Inner Planes in our quest to "lock" them temporally from the machinations of Orcus, whom we found out is on his way to trying to take over the universe and remake it to suit him. He's weaseled deals with some planar beings and has almost guaranteed that the gods won't be involved, as far as we can tell.

Another guy named John has joined us, playing a Half-Gold Dragon/Half-Drow Wizard 4 (was 5, but he got Circle of Death'd on the Elemental Plane of Water. We've fought aspects of Orcus a few more times, and have been threatened with beings such as Concordant Killers and mirror doubles who have yet to strike. Of the Inner Planes, we only have Negative and Positive left, and I think that things are just going to get tougher.

Cast of Characters
Belaraphon Astral Deva 10 - Carl
Chobham Sohes (Human Cleric 11 of Nerull) - Tony
? (Human Fighter/Reaping Mauler) - Steve
Nelsie (Elf Rogue 5/Rogue) - John C
? (Half-Gold Dragon Drow Wizard 4) - John
Nastrond Esyllo (Sun Elf Beguiler 10) - Me

I'll be back to giving weekly updates starting next week, so look for those.

My Tuesday Campaign, Session 1: The Sunless Citadel, pt 1

So, I've ran this one once when we should have played it twice by now, but eh.
Back in 2001ish, I bought all the published adventures that WotC put out as the adventure path. I was stoked. I thought there would be plenty of opportunity to run them, and I was right, but 3.x came out at a time when I had become really comfortable with running my own homebrew stuff, so the adventures always turned into an "after this campaign..." project.
Fast forward all this time and I'm running them for only the 3rd time. First was solo with John Davis' Ogre Fighter Denain. He was already a Ftr5 when he started through the adventures, so, as you can guess, he amassed tons of xp and wealth, ending as a lv 23 (I think) Fighter. The second run was played "green," using the generic rules from 3.x UA. That game was a blast, and sadly ended in a TPK. There was also a 3rd go at them (which I don't count) when I had the original idea to run them as an Eberron campaign, but everyone was working on their backstory and chargen and never got around to playing.

Moving ahead to now, the adventures are set in Eberron (with a few changes to flavor to match the setting) near the mountains in Karnnath. So far, the PCs have been sent to find out the fate of a group of adventurers that went to investigate what happened to the goblins with which they had been trading for vital curative magics.
Travelling to a crag that recently opened due to earthquake, they delved in to find a castle that had sunk into the earth (the Sunless Citadel!). Venturing further in, they made contact with a group of kobolds and were able to negotiate their way through the territory held by them to move on into the goblin-held warrens. At first, the kobolds, who know the larger races deal with the goblins, were apprehensive to let the big ones move through, since they war with the gobbos, but they sent Meepo, Keeper of Dragons along and tasked the group with finding the clan's dragon and bringing it back safely both as a sign of good faith and as payment for safe passage.
Having found the dragon and wiped out the goblin clan, they found a signet ring belonging to one of the previous adventurers that descended into the Citadel, which has led them to want to investigate further.
Meepo and the dragon, a white wyrmling named Calcryx, both wish not to rejoin the kobold clan, as though they both hold revered position within the clan, they are both virtual prisoners within their society, and have thus pledged themselves to joining the PCs.
Where it goes from here, you'll find out in a couple of weeks!

Cast of Characters
Calcryx White Dragon Wyrmling - Racheal
Meepo, Keeper of Dragons Kobold Dragon Shaman 3 - Darrell
Alerz Fellhaven* Kalashtar Psion(Psychokineticist?) 3 - Carl
Devin "Lucky" Nel Human Cleric 3 of Olladra - Paul
Vacht Human Wizard 3 - Steve
Bellosh Feral Shifter Barbarian 2 - Tami

*You may have noticed that Carl has given his characters in both my games the last name Fellhaven. The Drow War is not set in Eberron, nor are his Elf or Kalashtar related, but, he explained to me that they are the alternate universe versions of each other. I thought that was nifty and decided to share. Carry on.


What Vampire: The Requiem Clan Fits You?

Regal, commanding and aristocratic, the Ventrue are the harsh lords of the Danse Macabre. The Ventrue most often come from the closest the modern world comes to feudal nobility: the ranks of professionals, the cream of high society, the scions of old money or political dynasties. As new professions and new forms of power arise, the Ventrue bring them into the clan. Through whatever means necessary, the Ventrue rise to the top of the undead heap.

Click here to find out which one suits you!

Wow, Almost 3 Months...

Why, hello there...

Yeah, it's been way too long since I posted, but eh. There's been multiple reasons for that and they aren't important to this post, or any, for that matter.

There's been quite a bit of gaming since I last posted, save for a short lull in July for my game and August for Paul's.

The Drow War is still going strong in 4th Edition, though I must admit I'm having a kinda hard time working on encounters. The game either doesn't support high player numbers well, or I don't have a grasp of encounter building yet in the edition. Everything seems too easy. Despite this, we're almost done with the first book, and I'm thinking that things will just get tougher for me, not necessarily for the players. I don't want to drop the game, but I can honestly say I'm not "feeling it" right now. What that means for the game, I can't say. The Drow War WILL be finished, though.

On Tuesdays, Big Mike and I have started taking turns pulling DM duty as he tackles the WotC-published 4E adventures (Keep on the Shadowfell, etc.) in his campaign and I'm running the published 3E adventure path that WotC put out (The Sunless Citadel, etc.). Mine has yet to be played, but everyone now has characters, so we're good for Tuesday after next. In Mike's game, we all have a blast. Paul, Steve, and I are playing our characters as kinda "green" so we have alot of fun in the roleplay of it. I also can brag that my Warlock is the only character NOT to have been knocked to dying in the game. Carl will be joining us on Tuesdays now that his work schedule has changed, so that will give us some much needed help.

Paul's 3.5 game on Wednesdays is still going strong, and we've finally made it to 10th level. This is actually one of the best games I've ever played in. We always have so much fun and just last night, Carl, Steve, and Tony took out an Iron Golem while I was breaking into jewel cases around them. They didn't resent the fact once I split the loot evenly. We're back on the Elemental Plane of Earth after going to the Plane of Fire. Things are terribly amiss, as everyone in the city we had went to on the outskirts of the Great Dismal Delve had been slain. We resolved to press on to get to the bottom of things, though it looks like we're messing with more than just Orcus and some Void Mages, or whatever the hell they call themselves.

Thursday nights now are dedicated to Vampire (character creation still in the works.) Tony has been putting together a Chronicle, of which I have next to no details as of yet, for our undead to maneuver through. Racheal (Toreador 12th Gen), Steve (Tremere 11th Gen), Jon (Toreador 13th Gen), Lauren (Ventrue 13th Gen), and I (Ventrue 13th Gen) have all signed up for the game. So far, not sure who else will be in, but I can't wait. I've been wanting something other than D&D for a while, and I think this will really, really be awesome.

Chris Hedler has talked about doing a 2E Dark Sun game on Sunday evenings, and I've mentioned a late night 3.5 Ravenloft game at the Hedler's house. That should be pretty cool, methinks, if those get going.

I'm still craving some non-D&D rpg'n, and I can't seem to escape the funk I'm in about it. I don't want to drop any of the D&D games I have going, or any of the games I play in, but I think after the run of one of my games, I'll definitely be doing something different. Superheroes, or something. Tony's Vampire game will definitely help there, but yeah.

I'm back to semi-regular posting now! Gonna try to find a pattern I'm good with as far as posting goes, so maybe I'll step it up even more than March! That'd be crazy, right?


To Boldly Go Where Gnome Man Has Gone Before...

So...I've spoken at length in other posts about how amazingly awesome Paul's Wednesday night "The Arcane College" campaign is, and it just keeps getting better, in my opinion.

Since my last update, we've only moved on to one more plane...The Elemental Plane of Earth (this game is still 3.x)...and while that might make it seem like we've not made much progress, ALOT has happened in the sessions leading us to where we are.

Among those things has been discovering that Orcus has made some sort of deal with a high power that deals with godhood and noninterference in his quest to destroy the world and effectively remake it to his liking. The Caliph of the Plane of Air almost went along with it, but interference by a member of the royal line disrupted his dangerous course of action and gave us the edge.

With this victory, we were able to locate the hourglass and lock it on this plane, thus saving the plane and (hopefully) ensuring that we had started off on our mission with a solid pick-up. After departing there, we then traveled to the Elemental Plane of Earth and spent very high fees on gems to please a Xorn who we ended up acquiring the services of and who is currently leading us to the Great Dismal Delve.

It is our hope that we will come to face the Dao who hold dominion over the hourglass and we'll convince them easily of what we need and that it's for the best.

That's all for now. Sleepy.


The Drow War, Session 8

Yeah, I know. There's been quite a gap between now and the last time I had anything to say about The Drow War, but things happen and there have been a couple of skipped weeks, etc.

This week almost saw no play time, and only saw half the group show up.
Josh and Ricky Joe converted their characters to 4th while Tony and I helped/played Magic. I thought it would be a quicker process than it was, but only having 1 PHB at the table wasn't exactly a boon. (Tony sold out the first day.)

Josh made Veit a Dwarven Fighter and Ricky Joe converted Jaymes to a Human Paladin. Tony made a whole new character beforehand...an Eladrin Rogue, since his Monk currently isn't a feasible option.

Our heroes have found their way back to the grand city of Saragost after going to more outlying villages and they not only thwarted a bomb plot but they also stopped a group of Drow agents who had stolen keys that allow access to The Tower of Undying Light!

That was the only encounter we were able to pound through on Sunday, but it went seamless. Everyone seemed comfortable with the system, even Josh, who is a fairly new player. That was a huge relief to me. The only thing I wish were faster was character creation, though this was a first for the guys, so that's probably why.

I have to say...I'm torn on "Minions." While I think it's novel, it's kind of insulting to your players to have people whose only purpose is to redshirt. It might be better served in a super hero game. I threw 8 minions, a spellcaster, 2 beaters and a warlock at them and they barely scraped by. The level system of 4E is a much more accurate display of scale than CR is, and I appreciate that.

Another thing that bothers me is that there's no true conversion. Maybe doesn't bother me so much as sadden me. The guys have worked hard to earn every level they've gotten, and players like Tony and Paul (who had to give up their characters entirely, basically) are seemingly cheated. Both seem happy with what they made, though, so I hope we can just focus on the game and not the downfalls of the system.

Here's a reminder of the players/characters....and the new roster!
Old Crew
Jaymes (Starborn Human Fighter 5) - Ricky Joe
Micah Tasrofee (Starborn Human Monk 5) - Tony
Veit "Granetfist" Mead (Starborn Shield Dwarf Barbarian 2/Fighter 3) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Aasimar Cleric 4 of Old Heakun) - Paul
Therass (Starborn Catfolk Scout 2) - Josh D/Carl
Khaz (Starborn Dwarf Barbarian 4) - John
Alexi Fellhaven (Starborn Human Ranger 4) - Carl
Morrigan (Starborn Fire Genasi Warlock 2) - Steve

New Crew
Jaymes (Starborn Human Paladin 5) - Ricky Joe
Immeral Althaka (Starborn Eladrin Rogue 5) - Tony
Veit Granetfist (Starborn Dwarf Fighter 5) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Human Cleric 5 of Old Heakun) - Paul
Alexi Fellhaven (Starborn Elf Ranger 5) - Carl
Morrigan (Starborn Tiefling Warlock 5) - Steve

John has a busy summer due to his work, but will likely rejoin us soon enough. Josh D, you're always welcome to my game. I know with gas and such it's hard to manage, but the invite is still there!


Khardtha Kompendium, part 2.

The other day at the shop, Carl and I were discussing my upcoming 4E campaign and he asked how many dead characters I had. I thought it was odd that he brought that up, but he then mentioned it being a neat twist if, for 'elite' baddies, I used fallen characters. I thought this was an awesome idea. I keep the characters of people who die in games I play in as an odd quirk. I think it ties into my real fascination with death or something.

Anyway, the idea is good, and it would make my job a little easier to just flip through my folders and find a character at random to convert and then field against the PCs. The only question left, however, would be why these individuals would resemble old PCs (and NPCs) so closely, with the same mannerisms, etc.

This is what I came up with:
Having been created by a mortal, the world of Khardtha had no true ties to a divine power of creation. Even now, with the increased power of the gods, forming something so powerful as a soul is a task that requires a significant amount of power. Thus, instead of starting anew, the deities have channeled souls from other realities and reuse them, reincarnating the beings they once were and then reshaping the soul into other beings after it has passed again and come fully under their dominion, with no ties to their previous existances.

Not that this will ever become common knowledge, but it works for me, and it justifies something I'll be doing...or not doing, depending on where the game goes. And yes, I DO understand that I don't have to justify everything I do. Some things just 'happen,' but I think that's a unique twist and shows that the gods and Khard himself aren't the all-powerful beings that other campaign settings have.

I have some thoughts on Giants and Titans as well as Fey all coming up! Stay tuned! Same Bud Time! Same Bud Channel! (I hate being called Bud, but yeah...it works)


Keep on the Shadowfell

So, I ran a demo of Keep on the Shadowfell, the 4E adventure, on Wednesday instead of Paul running his game and then continued it again on Sunday. The party didn't make it far, but we decided that we're definitely digging 4E for what it is. Some have even said it's their favorite D&D system, and I would probably agree except that the numbers-heavy elements of d20/3.x make customization and design so easy.
Everything can be broken down and reconstructed in whatever way needed in 3.x. I don't know if 4E will be the same as far as design goes, but the playability and ease on the DM is good, and it's FUN. That's what makes a system for me. Fun is always #1 priority.
So fun, in fact, that I think I'm gonna convert the Drow War to 4E. The system would work really well, too, because each Drow War book is 10 levels, and 4e has the 10 level tiers.
We'll see how it goes. I'm liking what I see so far.


Microlite20 in the WoD

Josh D and I have lately been talking about his like (love?) of Microlite20 and how he's converting all his stuff to it. He shot me his pdf file for the thing and has linked me to more stuff and I admit that I dig it, though most of my rpg energy goes into rules heavy systems like D&D 3.x/d20/OGL games or White Wolf products.

When he first showed it to me, I originally thought of it as a way to revive a mini-campaign I used to run with my pals called "Some Teenagers Go Camping" in which a group of teenagers would go camping and (usually) all die while trying to survive zombies, a vampire, or some other gruesome horror movie creep(s). Since it's a series of one-shots, I thought it would be a great way to slap something together that's quick and would play to a level that even someone who isn't an RPGer could handle.

Thinking further on it, especially in the aftermath of my "I need undead, damnit!" thing not too long ago, which also happened to coincide with me going over the games I would like to run, I thought it would be a great avenue for bringing a World of Darkness, specifically Vampire, game to my pals, who seem hell-bent on NOT learning any other systems ever. Since it would play light, I think it would be a good way to get them interested in the story elements and then, perhaps, the true play elements of the original system.

Even if they didn't fall for this, I could see an ongoing M20 campaign with WoD conversions going on for a good long while, but a conversation with Josh earlier today made me question the longterm steadfastedness of M20 and light systems, in general.

Since the whole point behind 'lite' games are to NOT have a multitude of rules or stats slowing down the game, and those that are developed streamlined to a point of superquick playability, the game might putter out when it comes down to it, simply because of the amount of work the GM would have to pour into each session to have enough material to fill the session.

I'm an exacting person. I, at the very least, have outlines ready when I DM my games and though I'm comfortable with winging it during my games, it's not my "style," as it were. I've GM'd Vampire games, though, and I always improvise those, so maybe the system I'd be trying to emulate would help in that respect. I know what I'm doing there, so I could run it like a Vampire game, whereas if I was leaning toward running a lite D&D, I think the game would crash on me because I just simply wouldn't have the time to prepare my games.

I dunno. I'm extremely tired as I write this, so forgive the rambling. I just dislike the thought of a game that would end up like a runaway train simply because there's not a crunchy "filling" to uphold it in the end. Like I said, running a Storyteller system game would lessen that burden, but I wouldn't be using Storyteller and I'd like dice rolling at the table so that the players can not only feel they're doing something, but also to get them interested in the World of Darkness as a game on its own.

This is a bad way to pull that off, I think...trying to drum up interest in one system by using another system to introduce it...lol. I just thought of how silly that seems...but who knows. I can pull off some crazy shit. I think it has a chance...especially since over half the guys normally at my table ONLY know D&D as far as RPGs are concerned.


Khardtha Kompendium, part 1.

As I've mentioned before, I'm dusting off my old homebrew and breathing new life into it in preparation for 4th Edition. It's the goal to make it my (and possibly my group's?) "default" for any non-published campaign setting games. I will, however, likely pick up Forgotten Realms (though I don't like most of the changes) and Eberron (though I've really failed as far as that setting goes in 3.5).

The reason I'm posting now is that on my way home from work, I was thinking about FR and its supposed jump many years into the future and how I am going to handle the changes made to the magic system, etc., without totally retconning the whole thing, then it hit me....

In Khardtha's past, there was a great war between the schools of magic because they had just developed and the specialists in those schools wished theirs to be the "true heir" of magic. Before that, there was no such thing as a school of magic, and the ways of casting were vastly different. Problem solved...4E takes place in the past, when the world was still a wilder place and before all the events that led the gods to reconfiguring some of reality in the aftermath of calamaties.

In this way, there's no reason to explain WHY anything is how it is as opposed to how it was. There is no was, and what there IS is how it's always been. In the future, though....man, that'll just all be different and crazy.

Other things of note:

  • Goblins have horns.
  • Elves and Eladrin will have varying characteristics of fey creatures. One tribe might all share the horns and goat legs traits of a satyr while the next might have woody textured skin and vines for hair like a dryad.
  • Bryss Tahl (what will become Dungan), the large ruined city of the old campaign is now a vibrant place. The brightest of the "points of light" in the campaign. Arvedas Dungan isn't even heard of yet.
  • Long ago, the tendrils of the Abyss locked its hooks into the world, and with that came influence from its denizens. The madness of the demons brought about grasping power among men, elves, etc. Those falling prey to the depravity and rapaciousness of the demons spawned a new race called the Tieflings, who were steeped in chaos and evil. This tip of the natural balance in the world spurred something that has never happened before....the very planet itself, or some deeply hidden being within it (possibly a titan?), known in children's stories and legends as "The Great Dragon," spawned a race meant to bring about balance once more. Thus were the Dragonborn created. This explains away the two 'new' base races.
  • Warlocks gain their power from willing possession. They, with almost no exception, are covered in runic tattoos that help to bind their chosen power source within them, be it fey, demon, angel, etc.. Thinking about a type of "break" in which the Warlock might lose control once bloodied and the creature that fuels the eldritch power within takes over.
  • Wizards are generally mistrusted outside of larger cities. The folk of the outlying villages see too many horrors to trust anything that they blame for having created it. Clerics, on the other hand, are always welcomed...though sometimes the villagers might not know that the Cleric could be the one leading the undead harrying their village. Anyone who can heal is a good person, right?
More later. Alot of stuff is coming to me and I wanna hammer it out at least a little before I post it.


Bald Man Games

I'd like to think I owe Tony an apology.
Before on this very blog, I said that I didn't know how the merge between the Game Shop and Bald Man would go. I didn't give Tony the fair shake he deserved because I didn't see what that would be like before I made my assessment. Needless to say, I was very wrong and that pleases me greatly.
Bald Man Games is in full swing with product from both shops and Tony is likely the friendliest and most business savvy game shop owner I have encountered to date in this area. He plays all the games presented to him and actually enjoys the hobby and is friends with many of his customers.
It's a great place. It gets my money. I can only hope it will stay open for good.

And Now This Special Update of Gaming '08

It's been a bit since I've done any gaming synopses, so I thought I would swing short recaps of every game along with some thoughts on stuff to come.

Carl's Tuesday Game - Zombie A Go Go (3.5 D&D)
Not much has happened it this one except a couple of zombie battles. All of the zombies so far have been fast ones, and one was a freakin BISON! It nearly killed us, but we scraped through.

Paul's Wednesday Game - The Arcane College (3.5 D&D)
Time jumping has ceased. We're in a race FOR time and all of reality/ies against Orcus, who has started to unravel time in the ultimate act of spreading entropy. The Material Plane is almost lost. Our hopping weakened the timestream enough for the demon prince to almost entirely destroy it.
The Time Lords are the only ones holding it together, but they can't do that forever. We've been tasked to travel the planes to stop Orcus before he destroys everything. Our first stop, and where we currently are, is the Elemental Plane of Air. We're trying to get our bearings and figure out exactly where we need to go.

John's Thursday Game - Dragon Loins Inn (Forgotten Realms 3.5 D&D)
As it stands, we're racing toward Waterdeep to prevent the assassination of an "elf bitch." Evidence has led us to believe that she's a Harper agent and is being targeted by the Zhentarim. Certain parties wish to stop our interference and many other obstacles have slowed us down greatly in the pursuit of our goals.

My Sunday Game - The Drow War (3.5 D&D)
The party finally made it to Saragost and is now warning outlying villages. The army of Duergar and their mysterious masters draw ever closer to Saragost and the Battle of Hoxley Field is nigh!

So...that's it. The rest of the nights are pretty much all Magic: The Gathering, which I've been getting back into...because money sinks are fun, right? =/
Anyway, there's a pattern in all those games that I'd like to shake up: It's ALL freakin D&D! I'm thinking of throwing together a Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game campaign or even Vampire or Werewolf. Just something to break up the monotony.
I also have to work more on my freakin' 4E game. So much gaming, not enough time!

More on all that junk later.


I'm Bringing Undead Back From The....well, not dead. I want them to be undead still and...

First off, I owe my one reader a huge apology because I said I was back on track, then BOOM bombshell dropped on me and I just haven't had the will to post anything. Sorry. I hope everyone understands that personal shit > gaming.

But yeah, tonight I have been thinking about my games. Most notably, my 4th Edition game that is undoubtedly forthcoming, along with all those that have come before and I realized something.... I let undead fade away from my games. Why? I have no clue, because when I first got into the hobby, I ran a bit undead heavy. Zombies, skeletons, vampires, you name it, I used it. I even made up some of my own and I still think they're the most kickass monsters ever.

Hell, I even used to play Vampire Counts as my Warhammer Fantasy Battles army and I got into Vampire: The Masquerade because of my like of the creatures of the night, so why, in my most recent gaming endeavors, do I seem to shy away? It bugs me. It shouldn't, but it does.

What am I doing to correct it? Well, nothing at the moment, but they will be featured in my games prominently again, because they make for compelling villains, even when it's just a smash and move on encounter. In my experience, nothing makes a character stop and think more than encountering the walking dead, because you have to take into account the fact that 1) there could be more, 2) whoever animated them could be around, and 3) something very fucking bad is going down or has went down in this area.

Suspense created by even the foreshadowing of undeath can sometimes be very tangible. I think it feeds off the base fears of death we have and to think of not only something dead, but something dead that wants to make you dead...well, that's just some trippy shit. So...they're coming back in full swing. With the new zombie types and fast zombies in 4th, I think that everyone will have a blast with it.

Also, thinking about giving my goblins in Khardtha horns. Why? Because the Boggarts of Magic: The Gathering's Lorwyn/Shadowmoor have them and they look pretty keen. The elves have horns, too...things to think on!


Gaming Philosophy

I wonder, sometimes, what people who just run across this here gameblog think about what I say. The synopses I post aren't really the focus of this, but I love sharing the fun I have. No, what I mean are my rants on function and form of games and setting.
While it's true that the blog swings almost entirely in the direction of 3.5 D&D, that's simply because it's what games I'm in on. I've had experience with plenty of other rpg systems, and game types, in general.
The reason this came to me is because I read various other gaming blogs and message boards and I contribute my opinion often enough on some of those, but when it comes down to it, I don't know if I'm like any other gamers who tend to slap their opinions out there. Sure, I can go with games as art, gaming theory, or any other topic handed to me, but at the core of it all, I know I really just don't care enough about all that.
I'm a gamer who loves games and loves to game. Hand me any game and I'll give it a try or seven. I just love the hobby, and I feel at ease when gaming. I don't have to care about how I'm so much better a gamer because I'm playing X rather than Y or because I understand the multitudes of theory about playing, game mastering, strategy, or more esoteric topics. I'm with my pals and we're having a blast.
Is there really any more to say other than "If you're having fun, that's what counts?"
It's not that I'm calling anyone out on their opinions, this is definitely just a rant. When the philosophy behind the game style becomes more important than the actual game, that's when I pack it in and find a greener game table.
I think I'm done...there's just so much one person can read like that in a few days.

The Arcane College, or Seasons in the Abyss (Part 5)

Finally, I'm back on track with posting!
I'll start updating this when it needs to be now, which isn't days after games happen...which brings up the fact that The Drow War is skipped. I wasn't feeling good at all last Sunday, so I stayed home. It happens, though I feel bad when it does.
Also, I was thinking as I was writing a title for this post. What is the name of this campaign? I've never thought to ask Paul if he had a name in mind for it, and I call it the Arcane College, because that's where it all started, but it's definitely NOT where it is or is going.
Read on for details!

There's SO much that goes on in these games of Paul's. For one, we play two nights a week.Wednesday and Thursday are both devoted to the game, though this Thursday is our last, as John has decided to run a game. With all the bouncing in time and such, it gets confusing and hard to relate the story here on the pages of the blog. Part of the reason this week is so hard to tell is because we did an amazing amount of things. The group is finally getting used to each other's play styles and the game and things just clicked really well for us the past two nights.

To make the story somewhat short, we continued to bounce through time some, learning some interesting facts and then discovering, to our dismay, that we're the reason that the curse fell into place and thus are/were the reason that Orcus was able to dominate the world in a far future that we travelled to.
We were able to save Dessa, the dwarf queen who is trapped in the great oak mentioned before, by performing clever time hops and travelling to when she sacrificed her soul to Orcus to save her love, Grontor Gorun, who we were trying to prevent being cursed. Turns out, when we jumped to an earlier time, Dessa was able to glean that we were trying to save Grontor and, in turn (before the curse ever took place), offered herself to the demon prince, thus causing the chain of events that triggered the curse!
Alas, we were too late. Orcus had taken her soul, but chose to barter it for the large hourglass filled with time sand. After some discussion, we handed the hourglass over and he (we think) kept his end of the deal. We knew that the trade aided him greatly in his attempts to bring about the end of times and promote the decay of the universe.
Leaving there, another jump in time led us to a somewhat familiar place...the decayed ruins of the Arcane College. This time, we were outside of it, though. Venturing in, we found the body of Pick, a mischevious halfling whom we've dealt with for a while and who randomly jumps times due to sheer luck.He will be missed.
On leaving the ruins, we decided to investigate a pulsing light that we had seen in the distance before that was still going. Upon reaching the source, we saw a terrifying sight...Orcus pounding on a small orb containing Dessa and a wooden facsimile of her, yet trapped in an orb himself, that was seemingly formed from the concerted efforts of many large figures each holding a large hourglass like the one we traded Orcus and with their eyes closed in concentration.
Having been able to pierce a temporal bubble in the far future, I quickly devised a plan in which the others would stay with me and walk in while touching me. It worked and we found ourselves face to face with 7 Karrnathi goblins and an Aspect of Orcus! (CR 9, Minis Handbook)
Through quick action and smart spellcasting, the skeletons were dispatched fairly quickly, leaving the big boss himself for us to contend with...which we kinda did. Isak dropped soon to the magic of the Ruby Rod and then Orcus began systematically killing us, his awesome might coming to full bear against us. When it came down to the ropes, Chobrim and Nelsie were the only two left, almost everyone dead. With last ditch efforts and the luck of the dice on their side, they were finally able to wear him down til Chobrim struck the demon down with a mighty blow!
Afterward, the beings holding the outer sphere up let it down and began to explain that we didn't defeat Orcus, but just a particle of his essence, or an Aspect. Those there, whom we later learned were Time Lords, was able to resurrect those of us who chose to come back. Paul was nice and gave us the option of new character creation.
We gained many a boon from the Lords, not to mention furter guidance on the items we had as well as having some age taken off our character and some of our magic items recharged.

Where the game takes us next, I have no clue, but I do know that wherever it takes us, we're as ready as we ever will be. The party dynamic is becoming better and better and those whose game this is a first are obviously improving (except for one, whom I plan to speak about soon.)


The Arcane College: Part 4 - Curiouser and Curiouser

So...things just get so weird from week to week.
While the party moved on from the tree to find food and the comfort of a room, I stayed behind at the tree and began to meditate on what has happened and what path to take next, when above me, I heard a voice. There was Pick, a halfling we had met in the future, though my character was at first oblivious to that fact (I've begun to roleplay that the different people and places are somewhat static to my character, with all the jumps taking a toll on him mentally.) After having spoken to Pick, and him having given me a small charm in the form of a necklace, I realized, with the help of Ferrell, what year it was and directed him to The Dragon's Cauldron, where I have a contact in a guild I joined.

After venturing into town and learning of a gathering of the council to discuss with us our progress and their concerns about the caves/mines, we all decided to retire and rest so that we could have a good start. Meeting with the council was just as boring as it sounds when Chobrim and I began to argue and everything around us halted but we were able to move freely. A small figure was spotted fleeing the building so we gave chase, pursuing what we saw to be a small creature seemingly made entirely of sand, and could corrode things with a touch. On his trail was a gnome, who could also function normally, and who told us some of the timeslips we were experiencing and directed us in the direction of some items fueled by Time Sand (which the creature seen earlier was constructed of) with which to aid us (the first of which being the amulet I was given by Pick.) He then went on to explain that he is a watcher, and that his job is to correct the timestream so that rifts and anomalies don't appear and threaten the very future, itself.

Armed with the information given us, we immediately made haste to the south where a temple dedicated to time and temporal research is. There, we acquired our second item, a bracer which my character put on and used, subsequently aging myself 100 years, though stopping time for a minute around me. Armed with a dangerous item and an aged elf, we travelled back to whence we came and then made our way to a different town down the road, where sat a museum with what could possibly be another time-related tool. Various shenanigans there, and the expenditure of EVERY coin in my possession netted us a set of dice (a prize I did as a job for the guild) and another use of my bracer netted me 100 more years and an hourglass full of Time Sand, which happened to be attached to a water clock.

Having stolen the hourglass, we made haste to leave the town, and did so on foot, encountering a band of orcs, whom we dispatched, then moved on to our original departure point. There, we called a meeting among ourselves, revealing the steal, and decided that we needed to go to the Temporal temple place again for analysis of our things and what we could do with them. We called forth the head of the temple and as he went to whisk us there, something went wrong. We wound up where we were going, just not when. Research notes put us hundreds of years into the future, where we encountered another Time Sand homunculus, and searching for its owner, found....Pick! In possession of a Watcher's Orb.

As we ended the session, magical identification had uncovered nothing about the orb, and we had pretty much decided to activate it blindly. All the while, some of us were using those old dice we got at the museum to pass the time with a game, oblivious to the fact that we were gambling with more than just the 1 gp wager, as we have in our possession Olidammara's Dice.


The Drow War, Session 4

Having set out from Lichgate, our heroes pressed forward to Lower Scumsgrove and actually attracted the attention of Vanson Braddock, the sadistic leader of the city's defense forces/guard. Using his resources to put some pressure on the PCs, he was shocked when the party presented him with the news of the massing forces and presented evidence to him. He immediately led them to the Merchant's Guildhouse, where the true power of the city lay, and they sat their plans into motion, giving the characters a slight reward and sending them on their way before too much meddling could take place.
Continuing their travels, the PCs then pressed into a forest, following the road that cut a small path through. After a few hours of riding through the woods, a sharp howl, which one of their number identified as a challenge call. A ways back on the road stood a worg. Again it bayed, which prompted one of the PCs to address the thing, after which it warned that it sought an enemy and they should not interfere.
Shortly after, an answer call was heard and out of the underbrush sprung a wolf, snarling at the larger dog and immediately moving to close the distance. Having agreed to remain out of the conflict, the group watched as the wolf picked it apart slowly, but not without plenty help otherwise. When all was said and done, Ya-ro moved over and healed the wolf, after which it trotted down the road, where they came across it and its owner, an Elven Druid named Jass. She was accepting of the PC's story, adding that it would explain the reason for other creatures to have been driven up from the caves dotting the forest.
The group decided to check some of these caves for themselves to see if any signs of the invading force coming up was present. Moving into the first one, they encountered a group of Grimlocks that gave them a short fight, then they moved on to investigate deeper, travelling for what turned out to be hours into the cave and not finding anything before turning back. Having decided they had spent too much time inspecting the caves, they set out for the next leg of their trek to Saragost....
...which brought them to Hockton Barrow, or on their way, at least, when they spotted a small wagon being attacked by an Ogre and a handful of goblins, which they dispatched after a fierce battle and then escorted the driver to the city with his cargo of arrowheads. In the town, annual games were being held in which many different events, ranging from drinking contests to wrestling, with the festivities culminating in an archery contest that draws competitors from all over the island of Chillhame.
Good times were had by all, except Ya-ro, who felt that the games were petty and a waste of precious time, and many of the others participated in various events. This brought us to the archery contest, in which an unknown elf dominated the competition, then, once having accepted his prize...a magical longbow, snapped it over his knee, called it shit and walked away. The PCs reacted somewhat violently and nonsportsmanlike toward him, which prompted me to call a "time-out" in the game because some of the guys have played this first leg of the adventure before and know what/who he is.
At any rate, the town was warned and the group headed out, finally, for Saragost, where they met a captain of the watch outside the gates calling himself Severin, who explained that the council had already heard of the PCs from various refugees and that he was sent to escort them to them right away upon arrival. Following him, the companions were led to a side gate to avoid the bustle of the front gates, where many refugees were still camped, awaiting their turn to move into the city.
Once there, they were led down narrow corridors of back alleys and side streets, when suddenly wagons moved to block the way and Captain Severin wheeled his horse to face the PCs. Archers were spotted in the windows of nearby buildings and initiative was rolled. After a hard minute of fighting, the baddies were dispatched and the city guard could be heard coming to the scene, possibly being tipped off by a local. The group made no effort to conceal the truth of how Severin died and didn't resist when taken to the jail, which they were subsequently released from and ushered to the council chambers.
There, under the effects of a Discern Lies, the heroes plead their case and were released from the shackles of guilt upon satisfactory account of what had transpired. After some discussion, the council urged the PCs to continue their good work and ride out to warn a few more of the larger villages on the island, then let them go on their way. When the game was called, all but a few were taking their dinner at The Grand Baronial Hotel.

The cast expanded last week!
Jaymes (Starborn Human Fighter 2) - Ricky Joe
Micah Tasrofee (Starborn Human Monk 2) - Tony
Veit "Granetfist" Mead (Starborn Shield Dwarf Barbarian 2) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Aasimar Cleric 2 of Old Heakun) - Paul
Therass (Starborn Catfolk Scout 2) - Josh D/Carl
Khaz (Starborn Dwarf Barbarian 2) - John
Morrigan (Starborn Fire Genasi Warlock 2) - Steve

By the by, I do realize that I've not been on the blog as much as I had in the past. I'm going to try to knock out the Arcane College game post and another Khardtha post, then the next installment of The Drow War (from later today) tonight. Then I should be caught up.
Coming Soon: Forgotten Realm rants and more Khardtha as well as odds and ends everywhere (that include undead!)


The Arcane College: Installment 3 - Who, Exactly, Is Cursed?

Last week, I played both Wednesday and Thursday, and alot of crazy things happened.
Henry has officially left us now, and we might actually be taking more people on, since those games are open. We had 8 or 9 PCs last week as it is.

After a short trek away from the Hill Giant's place, we then started climbing into the hills, heading toward the keep of the "king" whom we believe to be cursed. On the way, we encountered some eagles of the giant variety who had taken to inhabiting the bluff along the road, as well as a Elven Druid who had taken this territory and the eagles under his care. He helped us gain an audience with the King (whose name escapes me, though he's some dwarf) on neutral ground where we tries to warn him of a curse and he and his advisors dismissed the notions and put up his guard, then ended our audience with him, bidding us good day.
While this may have seemed like a pointless encounter, don't think we didn't try. Good roleplay carried it, and ultimately, we ended up insulting him (and all dwarves) with a few statements that, if taken a certain way, could be considered veiled threats.
With that behind us, we ventured back to the Druid's (can't recall his name, either) home, a secluded barely accessible through a narrow pass in the hills, and talked with him at great length, finally convincing him of our plight and gaining an ally in our mission. Since we had nothing on us, he aided us with money to buy simple gear and convinced the eagles to give us passage to a town further away so that we could resupply without harassment.
While there and plying my trade, I was caught by a member of a local guild of property reassignment experts, known as the Fire Dragons, who operate out of safehouses in businesses with the word "Dragon" in the name. There, I gained a magic marking resembling a dragon rampant on my arm by an elderly elf who was able to discern that I wasn't from this time. All very interesting stuff. I was so enmeshed in that, that I'm not entirely sure what the other guys were doing. Heh.
Back to the eagles that evening, we flew back and discussed things with the Druid again and decided to rest before heading to a mine/cave complex that we were familiar with in the past which we thought might hold the key to whatever the curse was. Once morning came and we went to the caves, a small deal of exploring brought us to a large chamber with a huge staircase carved up and a set of double doors. Jeremy's Samurai (name not remembered) moved to open the doors and inside we saw a small creature with scaled hide and curving horns (a quasit,) which smiled then said "My master has been expecting you, but not now."
This triggered another temporal shift, which landed me in the arms of a lady familiar to the group as she grabbed me and whisked me into a dance with "Come, let us celebrate the birth!" A quick sweep of the area led us to believe we had went back 500 years in the past again and were witnessing festivities surrounding the birth of the Dwarven "king" who is cursed in the future. Once this realization hit, we all made haste to collect our old gear (leaving me with 2 of many things, since I have little magical junk in comparison with some in the party.) While at the inn we were transported from, another PC "poofed in," as we have begun calling it...and elf and cousin of my character (name not remembered.) My character was not impressed, since my family thinks of me as a good person, and now a member would be around to witness my true ways.
In any case, I simply avoided him by pursuing my own ends, looking for alchemical substances that might aid me in my travels and making contact with, to my surprise, the beginnings of the Fire Dragons, including a young elf who I recognized as the older woman in the future. Coming away with a "job" and some more information on this group, I made my way back to the others and we began preparing to move for the caves.
With another night's rest, we made our way there and to the doors of before, which were harder to open this time. Once we accomplished this, we set up a tight formation to move forward and be prepared for anything. Nelsie placed a piton at the door to ensure it stayed open, but that didn't work well. It seemed to be kicked out of place, as it skittered close to us and we could hear the doors shutting further back.
Undaunted, we continued forward til we came to a circular room with an enormous oil-filled brazier, unlit. Since I was point, I went back and conferred with the party. No other exits existed, so I told them that lighting it probably was our only way out. The party bought it and we spread out in the room and the elf who is my cousin lit the brazier...then poofed out, as we do when a player has to leave. The loss of a PC seemed to do nothing but hurt us, as when the flames began to grow, the visage of a great, scaled, goat headed creature rose out of them . A few attacks to it revealed it was an illusion, and it began to speak to us with something along the lines of "Why do you dare come here and disturb the workings of Orcus?" To which, without skipping a beat, my character shot back, verbatim: "To send you back where you came from, demon!"
The other guys didn't seem entertained with that, but hey...I'm straight up Neutral and I had some Good in me itching to come out. Sadly, that led to some Karrnathi Skeletons showing up and laying the smack down on us. We were insanely ill equipped to be fighting skeletons or demons, for that matter, but we fought valiantly on, taking out only 3 of the 9ish there and losing some of our own. Steve's fighter began to get scared and bargain with the image of Orcus, who then accepted the deal and handed him a facsimile of the Wand of Orcus with which he began to go around attempting to steal souls and then Choldram did the Dance of Ruin...and Tony rolled 20s on both die.
As we died (not much survives 40 points of damage after 11 rounds of combat,) we were given the chance to appeal to our deities (or whoever would listen,) and ultimately something happened that saved all of us. I like to think it was my superbly worded supplication to Erevan Ilesere that saved our lives. Even Steve's character appeared with us when we all shifted out of the fight, albeit knocked out from the Dance. Choldram made his way over and slew the fighter with a spell, which none of us moved to stop.

There, we ended the session, with each of us still alive thinking greatly about the experience and what it means to our characters that we are still around somehow, after knowing our fates were sealed. For Nastrond (my Beguiler,) it begins a more devout path dedicated to spreading and enhancing the worship of Erevan, as I see him as the one that saved not only me, but all of my compatriots and to deserve such a boon, I must show the utmost devotion.

By the by, Nastrond has no clue that Orcus is a demon, but he does know the term "demon" refers to evil outsiders. I wasn't metagaming in that instance. Also, I think I might have forgotten some stuff or switched some events around as far as order goes. I should have posted right as it was fresh on my mind.


Mearls...converted to Dark Side?! Also, he reviewed a movie I have to see.

Just tonight, I started reading Mike Mearls' LiveJournal, which is something I have meant to do for a long time.
I'm really tired and I got to talky to my lady earlier, so I didn't make it far, but I wanted to hit on a couple of things I have come across.

The first, taken from his post on Feb 5, 2004:
"MMORPGs suck utterly, mightily, and endlessly, and I'm not sure how long it's going to be before somoene scraps the entire rotten foundation that EQ has built and replace it with something that's good."

Is it just interesting to me that someone who works on 4E would once have said this? It's not a very well hidden secret that many elements of 4E play come from MMORPGs as a whole, so what happened?
What went wrong here that someone with such a strong opinion would now try to make the game that he said this about: "The best game has to be D&D." (same article) would now try to make that "best game" into something that is rotten, and sucks utterly, mightily, and endlessly.
I guess dollars can erase one's opinions.
Yes, I do realize that was over 3 years ago, and that people and opinions change, but I also feel that if something isn't broken thematically, which D&D certainly IS NOT, then you don't try to make that theme something else.
I'm not bagging on Mearls here for working on the project, etc., and I still plan on checking out 4E, but I dunno. It seemed an odd contrast coming from one of the first posts I read of his.

Moving on from that, though...Mike also a day after his MMORPG comment seen above, mentioned a movie that is a definite must see for me, as I'm just a fan of horrid movies. B or otherwise.
I know a few other people who would like to get ahold of this one, too, so if you're out there reading, check this out!
I'll give the whole of the "review"ish bits so that you can see them in context.

"3. What was the last really awful movie you saw? How would you have made it better?

My roommate sat down to watch Battle Royale 2, an incredibly stupid movie about a revolution of incredibly stupid Japanese teenagers, who used the power of incredible stupidity to struggle against incredibly stupid adults. It featured such highlights as:

* Apparently, Afghanistan is the most beautiful place on earth. We should all look to it as an example of what society could be like.

* In the movie's final scene, the two main characters are outnumbered 100 to 1 and completely surrounded. They charge out from behind cover to die in a blaze of glory. Cut to a flash of light. Cut to a group of secondary characters who escape the final battle and now live in the utopia that is Afghanistan. Suddenly, a truck pulls up. It's the two main characters! Joy! How'd they survive? Who knows!

* In the future, the government will recruit random high school classes and throw them into combat with no training. Also, they will issue equipment at random. You might get bullets for your gun, or perhaps a toilet seat.

* If terrorists hide on an island, it's better to send waves of ill-trained high school students to fight them rather than bombing the crap out of them.

How would I improve this movie? That's an impossible task. This movie had no redeeming qualities. From the basic concept to the execution, it did nothing right. I would improve this movie by beating the director and writer to death."

Of course it's an impossible task. It's hard to upgrade awesome, after all.
Anyway, sounds like some serious crap. I HAVE to find this flick.
I can only hope others will join me in this pursuit of pure movie gold.


Khardthan Conundrum

So, it's 3:19am and I just woke up with a terrible feeling. I'm not even usually in bed by now, but my net's been being dumb lately and I wasn't able to get on, so I thought I would check it out. There's no way I can fall back to sleep immediately now, anyway.
Before I start in on anything dealing with the heading of this post, I just wanna say I'm sending out good vibes and hopes that everyone is ok right now. I'm a little shook up. Odd.

But yeah...Khardtha. My gaming "baby." The one thing I have designed fully on my own.

The one thing I have NO clue what to do with.

You see, Khardtha was my sandbox when I was DMing my high school pals on Monday nights so we had more to do than just watch wrestling on those nights. I was a new DM and they were new players and it always seemed like whatever we could think up was A-OK, and it was. The more fantastic and powerful, the better. The odder things seemed, the more they fit.
I've already addressed some things in the setting that I might fix or leave the same, but there is plenty more. Key among those things is that back then, I ran the world pretty crazily. Monsters could walk the streets of cities without drawing much more than a second look, magic was as commonplace as running water in our world, and high level characters were around ever corner.

These are problems I want to fix. I've matured and my games have, too. Monsters and "evil" humanoids, etc. shouldn't have a place in society, but I fully intend to have them just as populous in the world as they were before. Magic will now be a mysterious and powerful thing, as it should be...maybe even opening possible prejudices against spellcasters from time to time...and as I said in the earlier post, high level adventurers won't be as common.

I realize that it's my game world and my campaign, and I can do whatever the hell I want with it, but I have grown to want a grittier, more vivid feel to my games. It's like I decided to touch up and finish an old painting for a gallery display, and I've sat and looked at what I have, and on one hand, it's good work for the timeframe it was done in, and I can fully appreciate that, but I can't see what the final vision was either supposed to be or what I want it to be now, so I'm setting small goals and working toward them and seeing where that takes me. The only thing is, it's important enough to me to want outside critique, because, once complete, it will be the foundation of better gaming experiences on all sides of that hobby.

Something I have been debating is whether to start the campaign around a smaller village or the city of Dungan. Both have bennies and drawbacks, and I feel like I'm riding the fence too much. I bounced some of my concerns and thoughts about that off Josh D on Sunday, and I've still to come to any conclusions.

I just reread myself and realized I'm just rambling and not really addressing the problems, just going over some points, so I'll come back to this when I have a fresh mind. Dungan is something that I definitely will address in upcoming posts, as well as the core races and classes and where/how they fit into the game.

If anyone can put a spin on Warlocks (curse/hellfire hurlers) or Dragonborn (humanoid dragons) to help me find them a place in the world, I'd be glad to hear it.


The Drow War, Session 3

You may remember that last session, I called the game after calling for everyone to roll Spot checks as they exited the mines outside of Bronce. Jaymes was the only one to not notice the small group of men awaiting the PCs on their way out of the mines, who turned out to be the town bully, Jim Oakenbough, and his lackeys who had feared that the PCs might eventually put 2 and 2 together after retrieving the body of the tax collector they had murdered from the mines during the last session.

Talking ran short and led to a quick combat in which Jaymes managed to put down 3 of the 4 men with mighty blows from his large greatsword. I know it deals more damage, but it bothers me that he still prefers it over the magical blade that is the Sword of Starkweather John. Anyway, after the fight, the ruffians wounds were tended and the PCs lashed the unconscious men to a makeshift litter and hauled them toward the town, making a stop at Jim's windmill/house after becoming suspicious of what he was trying to uncover. There, after dispatching Jim's dogs and Jaymes taking a face full of nails from a trap, they found the tax collector's chest with the lock smashed off still loaded heavily with coin.

After this find, the party made haste to the village with the thugs and their plunder, proving the heinous crime that had been committed. They also went straight to the Headman and presented the letter to him that they had found in the mines giving proof to an invasion that seemingly looms ever nearer. Through harsh diplomacy, the PCs quickly convinced the townsfolk of Bronce to evacuate and head elsewhere, preferably Saragost, to avoid their deaths. They then immediately rode out to warn the towns along the way to Saragost, starting with Lichgate.

On the way there, they were waylaid by a pair of inept bandits that managed to lay Jaymes low, but were dispatched by the rest of the party. Amongst the loot to be had was a stuffed monkey. Neat-o! They also encountered a ghoul on the road, which managed to bite Jaymes before being dispatched before everyone even got to act.

Once in Lichgate, the PCs rested for a while then tried to find the best way to get to (what they found out was a very indecisive) council, which led them to seek out the leader of the guard, a halfling by the name of Apple. Riding out to a nearby farm, they found Apple conversing with the farmer and witnessed an ankheg burst through the ground and begin to move against the 2 locals. Having no part of this, the party moved forward, with Tony's brave monk leading the charge. A hard fought battle ensued, with heavy damage inflicted on the party and culminating in a fatal critical hit against the monk before the tide turned and the group, along with Apple, were able to dispatch the beast.

Warning Apple, she immediately took them to the council, who pressed and pressed for deliberation on the matter and patience while things were decided. The PCs, with the body of their dead companion in tow, decided that the bureaucracy (why does that look misspelled?) of the city was a waste of time and left the city of Lichgate and its people/council to their own devices, heading out as soon as their meeting with the council was done.

As the session was called, the group had just laid eyes on Lower Scumsgrove and were making their way there.

Dusty has dropped Sundays, but Josh D. has been showing up the past two weeks (sorry there wasn't a game last week!) and so makes for a good pinch player. Hopefully he will be able to show more. Also, Tony has joined us since he's there to run the shop, anyway, and I was surprised with news of Kenny possibly bowing out.
If it seems that Jaymes had the spotlight, far from it. The group did quite a bit, but those spots were specific highlights. I failed in the body of the description to mention the 3 criticals I got against Tony's monk, for instance.
I wish I could remember his old monk's name...he decided to play another monk, so I let him just erase the character sheet and make the changes.

The Cast:
Jaymes (Starborn Human Fighter 2) - Ricky Joe
? (Starborn Human Monk 1) - Tony (R.I.P.)
Veit "Granetfist" Mead (Starborn Shield Dwarf Barbarian 2) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Aasimar Cleric 2 of Old Heakun) - Paul
Therass (Starborn Catfolk Scout 2) - Josh D (Dusty's old character)

Josh D! If you read this...if you want a different character, just tell me what you want and I can toss one together for you if you'd like.