Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Move...

Hello, faithful readers. I know I haven't done much on this blog in a while. But that doesn't mean I haven't been haunting the Interwebs. I have moved my gaming posts over to my other blog.

I have been chronicling my D&D Next playtest sessions there in addition to my other gaming interests. After my Castles & Crusades campaign ended, I moved away from this blog's old school vibe.

So, if you are interested in what I have been doing or just simply like to read about games, head over to my other blog and spend some time.

Thanks to all who have supported this blog.

Have a good day gaming!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

D&D Next Campaign Journal: First Four Sessions

The past month, I have been running a D&D Next  campaign via Google+ Hangouts with a variety of friends. I am  thrilled with what I have seen out of the playtest rules so far and expect them to get even better as the process continues.

An important aspect of the rules is that it feels like D&D to me without many of the warts that plague all the other editions I have played (My D&D history thumbnail view: D&D Basic and Expert (Moldvay-style), AD&D 1st and 2nd editions, D&D 3.x, Castles and Crusades, D&D 4e, and back to C&C again), but the most important aspect of the rules is that they are FUN! I am really enjoying the options and simplicity of the rules and how they flow in play. I am DMing and playing Corso Shieldhill, halfling cleric of Arvoreen and have had no problem doing both. 

In this post I am publishing my campaign journal as a window into this incredibly fun experience. I hope you enjoy the story as much as we enjoyed creating it. 

D&D Next Playtest Campaign Journal:
Reclaiming Blingdenstone
A Society for the Advancement of the Adventuring Arts Campaign
A Forgotten Realms Adventure


Roster: I'alia: Elven Warlock
            Merlock: Human Fighter/Bounty Hunter
            Mordane: Human Cleric of Lathander

Newly recruited into SofAAA, the companions are sent into the Underdark to aid the svirfneblin reclaim their lost city: Blingdenstone. After a long and uneventful journey through the dark wilds of the Underdark, the party along with their deep gnome guide arrive in the deep gnome city. They made their way through the defensive maze and emerged into the city. The svirfneblin occupied portions of the city are lighted by violet gems embedded in the ceilings. Their first stop is a small trinket shop run by and aged and wizened svirfneblin woman. The weary adventurers humored her and bought a few trinkets. Then they made their way to the city's government center.

There in a squat building, they met Burrow Warden Kargien Dissengulp. He welcomed the SofAAA members and thanked them for coming to help in the deep gnome's recovery efforts. He also asked the party to find the lost crown of the former--and most recent--king of Blingdenstone: King Schnicktick. The adventurers sensed Kargien wanted the crown more for selfish ambition than any other reason. He also offered a bounty on the scalps of the orcs plaguing his people: 10 gp for each scalp, and 250 gp for the leader's scalp.

The adventurers continued their exploration of the city. In one chamber where weary deep gnome guards stood sentry, an group of orcs attacked. The party quickly dispatched the savage creatures but realized how dangerous the city really is.

From there, the group met Jalless the de facto healer of the city. Her infrimary was filled with wounded deep gnomes. It was here that the adventurers first met the gnome sentries, Diss and Gulp. She gladly accepted the party's offer to help her tend to the wounded gnomes, felled by orc attacks and kobold traps. When Jalless discovered that the party was seeking the crown of the former king, she implored them not to give it to Kargien as she does not believe he is worthy to wear it.

From there, the adventurers made their way to the far eastern side of the city. There they found a deep gnome who talked the adventurers into undertaking a mission to the trade city of Mantol-Derith to buy weapons for the deep gnomes to better fight the orcs and buy, therefore free, any deep gnome slaves on sale there. The drow have made it impossible for the deep gnomes to trade anywhere in the Underdark. The party agreed and made the long journey to the city. There they encountered drow, half orc, duergar, illithid, and beholder merchants and secured the needed goods and one deep gnome slave. In the goods the party brought back, was a scrap of a journal. On one side of the page was a journal entry and the other side, in another hand, was a cryptic poem.

Upon the adventurers' return to Blingdenstone, the deep gnomes are ecstatic and enervated by the success of the party's trade mission. The slave they freed was Jalless' beloved, and the pair had a heart-warming reunion.


Roster: I'alia: Elven Warlock
            Merlock: Human Fighter/Bounty Hunter
            Mordane: Human Cleric of Lathander

After a brief rest from their journey to Mantol-Derith, the adventurers began their quest to rid Blingdenstone of the orc threat. In the course of searching for the savage raiders, the adventurers stumbled upon the city's cold forges. The party found the forge rooms occupied by a humanoid race able to meld with stone and calling themselves pechs.

The pechs told the adventurers of the Raging Spirit in the Wounded Cavern. The adventurers' interest was piqued, but they wanted to stay focused on their current mission of stopping the orc raiders. They bid the pechs adieu and made their way further north. They encountered Diss and Gulp. The soldiers guided the adventurers to where the most recent orc incursion was. The party went on from there. Into the dark caverns where the svirfneblin ceiling lights do not shed their light. Under the light of the cleric's divine power, the members of the Society for the Advancement of the Adventuring Arts encountered many orcs patrolling these dark and damp halls. One group they found in an abandoned temple to a deep gnome goddess. The orcs were chipping ruby shards from a shattered altar when the adventurers attacked. The orcs through their rage put up a stiff resistance, but in the end were no match for the combined might of the adventurers.

Not far from that temple chamber, the party stumbled upon the orc base of operations. They found the biggest group of orcs thus far. a titanic battle ensued. The orc leader appeared shortly after the battle began, accompanied by his orog lieutenant. The adventurers took down the raging orcs, and even managed to defeat the orog champion, and just as they were about to fell the orc leader, he gained the upper hand. As Merlock was falling to the cold hard stone of the Underdark floor, he saw two squat figures bound over him, duergar weapons in hand and battle cry upon their lips: "For Blingdenstone!" Diss and Gulp had arrived to save the day (and the adventurers).


Roster: I'alia: Elven Warlock
           Sharlo Orcbane: Elven wizard
           Corso Shieldhall: Lightfoot halfling cleric of Arvoreen

The party awoke in Jalless' infirmary. There they were informed that they had been unconscious for three days. They had indeed been saved by Diss and Gulp and a group of svirfneblin soldiers who, with their shiny new duergar blades were able to drive the orc leader away and drag the heroes back to Blingdenstone.

After recuperating a bit more, the adventurers felt strong enough to continue their work aiding the svirfneblin in the reclaiming of their once proud city. Merlock and Mordane decided they wanted to stay and continue to help Jalless in the infirmary, especially now that her lover had returned. She was grateful for some time off to spend with him as they had been separated for over twenty years.

The trustees in charge of watching over the group sent to Blingdenstone saw this through their crystal balls and decided to teleport two new recruits to the gnome city to aid I'alia in continuing their quest to help the deep gnomes. The elven wizard, Sharlo and the halfling priest, Corso were sent immediately. They appeared before the other adventurers and explained their sudden arrival.  They wanted to make sure the orcs had been permanently run out of Blingdenstone and made their way back to the orc base. It was unoccupied, but they found a few items. One of which was a scrap of the same journal as the piece found on their trip to Manto-Derith. From there, I'alia and the pair decided to continue their quest to find the crown of King Schnicktick. They made their way to the House Center, the site of the forces of Blingdenstone during the drow invasion over 100 years ago. It is here that King Schnicktick's body rests. However, the party was told by more than one deep gnome that the House Center was haunted. A ghost story wasn't enough to keep the brave heroes from finding the truth and the crown of Blingdenstone.

A stone building, once the center of government in Blingdenstone, greeted the party as they entered the massive chamber. They found two entrances and were heading toward one when undead orc zombies shuffled out of the building to attack the adventurers. The party made quick work of the undead and entered the House Center. Inside they found and overcame fire beetles, pit traps, giant centipedes, and more zombies. They also found another scrap of the journal on a svirfneblin corpse.

After an extensive search of the House Center, they found site of King Schnicktick's last stand. His corpse was being used as a footstool for the current king of Blingdenstone, a drow wight. He was flanked by a group of skeletons and zombies, ready to do his bidding. After the adventurers refused to bow before the 'King of Blingdenstone,' he sent his undead to remove the disrespectful offenders. The adventurers defended themselves and the wight threw himself into the battle. After a pitched battle, the holy power of Arvoreen through his disciple, Corso and the combined magical might of the wizard and warlock proved to be too much for the 'King of Blingdenstone.' His evil tortured soul was released to the Demonweb Pits. The adventureres took the crown from atop Schnicktick's brow, a healing draught from around his neck, and a holy symbol of Sunnis from him as well. They paused to catch their breaths in the empty and sad throne room of Blingdenstone.


Roster: I'alia: Elven Warlock
           Sharlo Orcbane: Elven wizard
           Corso Shieldhall: Lightfoot halfling cleric of Arvoreen

After defeating the wight claiming to be the rightful king of Blingdenstone and reclaiming the crown of Schnicktick, the adventurers took a brief rest then made their way out of the House Center. When they emerged, the orc leader and six remaining orcs ambushed them. This time, the party defeated the leader with only one orc making his way back into the Underdark. It seems Blingdenstone is now fully purged of the orcish threat.

From there, the party returned to the infirmary to inform Jalless and Merlock and Mordane of their success in recovering the crown. Jalless once again pled with the adventurers not to turn the crown over to Kargien. They assured they would not--at least not yet. They wanted to take some more time to see if they could find a true heir among the remaining deep gnomes. Merlock and Mordane decided to stay and help Jalless even though the number of wounded was way less than before the orcs had been vanquished.

On their way to see Kargien to report their progress so far, they reentered the trinket store run by Henkala Shadowsong whom they met upon first entering Blingdenstone. When asked about heirs to the Schnicktick's crown, she mentions that Gurmadden's family is said to stretch back to the early days of Blingdenstone. She has heard rumor that he may be a lost cousin or some such of Schnicktick.

She has also had heard tale of the adventurers' deeds and aid to Blingdenstone, she felt she could trust the heroes. She asked the adventurers to rid the city of the evil elemental spirit known as Ogremach's Bane. Henkala knows the pechs can help them with the Bane as they are very in tune with the stone and with elementals. She implores the adventurers to ask the pechs for aid. Destroying or banishing the Ogremach's Bane would go a long way to returning Blingdenstone to its former glory.

The adventurers agreed and made for the forges immediately. On their way they discovered the Singing Stones, a tavern and meeting place for the weary gnome soldiers. The proprietor, Gurmadden, is eager to have the adventurers purge Blingdenstone of the kobolds and also to enter the Wormwrithings to find singing stones to replace the ones the drow smashed when they invaded. Gurmadden feels that if the singing stones were replaced, they could raise the morale of the deep gnomes and bring back a sense of wonder sorely lacking in the city.

The adventurers are not impressed with Gurmadden as a possible heir to the crown, and they feel that their mission to purge Ogremach's Bane is currently more important than replacing the Singing Stones. They plan on taking care of the kobold threats after.

They continue on their way to the forges to parlay with the pechs. After a lengthy negotiation, the pechs agree to help the party heal the Wounded Cavern but in return, they want a meeting with Kargien about a peaceful coexistence. The svirfneblin see the pechs as a pest who constantly closes their caverns, not having the patience for the pechs' claims they are healing the stone.

When the adventurers try to lead the pechs into Blingdenstone proper, the sentries refuse them entry. The party relents and decides to send I'alia to Kargien to tell him of the pechs' request for parlay and Sharlo and Corso escort the pechs back to the forges.

After a brief lunch with Kargien, I'alia convinces him to accompany her to the pechs, so they can talk. He is intrested in getting rid of the Bane, but is reluctant to allow the pechs into his city.

Kargien negotiates with the pechs and agrees to allow them to live in the caverns where the forges currently are in return for their help in purging the Bane. However, he still refuses them entry into Blingdenstone proper. They must circumnavigate the city to get to the Wounded Cavern.

The pechs agree. The party escorts them to where the Bane holds sway.  Before they made their way into the Wounded Cavern, one of the pechs detected the Sunnis holy symbol in I'alia's pouch. Gallus, the leader of the pechs, told the adventurers the holy symbol could be an effective weapon vs. the evil spirit. He also had mentioned that the Ogremach's Bane could only be harmed by magic. The pechs then formed a protective circle around the party, and they all advanced into the chamber where the Ogremach's Bane resided. Elementals surged toward them but swiftly turned and fled the power of the pechs. The Bane itself formed into a cloud of stone, rock, and debris and addressed the party. The adventurers weren't in the mood for much discussion and waded into battle. The pechs' circle protected them and the adventurers began to sling spells into the  cloud. The Bane tried in vain to harm them...until Corso flung himself into the cloud, wielding the Sunnis holy symbol. Corso got pummeled and cut but did significant damage carrying the holy symbol into the heart of the Bane. In the end, the Bane was destroyed, its cloud falling to the chamber floor. In the remains, the adventurers found some gems and a tattered piece of Evarell's Journal. After the defeat of the Bane, the adventurers escorted the pechs back to their chambers and are on their way to report to Henkala and Kargien.

I will be posting more entries every so often to keep you all posted on the exploits of the members of the Society for the Advancement of the Adventuring Arts. Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Heroes of Larm Delve Into the Dark Beneath

 Back in Dolmvay, the Heroes are resting at the Weary Wanderer Inn. The next morning, a messenger summons the Heroes to a small village in a nearby forest. A woman is waiting for them there in a shrine on the outskirts of the village. She introduces herself as Windameer Brightblade, paladin of Palan, god of goodness and light.

She informs them she has heard of their exploits and would like to hire them to retrieve certain magical disks lost in a raid by lizard-like humanoids. She offers the PCs a mission in return for 1500 gp and membership in the Order of the Invincible Sun for those who apply.

She informs them that a ranger known as Old Wolf will lead them to the location of the attack.

She also provides them with an enchanted sword of the sun +2/+3 vs. undead. It may only be wielded  by someone of a good alignment. If the wielder commits evil or betrays the trust of the Order, it will return to Windameer.

Thus the Heroes of Larm entered the Dark Beneath. There in the dark embrace of the subterranean world below the planet, the Heroes found themselves in a wondrous but dangerous place. 

It was here that poor Meriaboc became a meal by misunderstanding. Lavender Thyme was struck down by arcane lightning, and the entire fellowship is now allied with he-who-ate-Meriaboc. What a sad, strange twist of events for the Heroes.

Currently, they find themselves infiltrating a duergar stronghold. Will they find the Disks of the Invincible Sun? Or will more of their number die in the pursuit of this most noble quest? Only time and the gods will tell.

In the meantime...
In our most recent session, we gave the new D&D Next playtest rules a run. Stay tuned for a more detailed report on that experience in an upcoming post. I may wait a bit until we manage to play another round of playtesting before posting, but one never knows...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Heroes of Larm Prevail!

The Heroes of Larm have emerged from the mysterious and dangerous Dungeon of Crisigrin triumphant. Marda has atoned for her sins by retrieving her ancestral warhammer from the clutches of the thoroughly evil Aria Stadt, daughter and bodyguard of the mad mage, Philgo Stadt. Marda's link with her deity has been restored and as a result, so have her paladin powers. 
Marda Dragonhammer
Over the course of countless days, the heroic band of adventurers slogged through the treacherous labyrinth in the pursuit of their quest. In the course of their dark journey, the companions encountered clever puzzles, devious traps, undead guardians, and bands of humanoids populating the former residence of the most enigmatic mage. Images of their struggles are provided below. 

In the end, the companions found the evil pair on the final and deepest level of Crisigrin's domicile. In the end, Aria was defeated but Philgo escaped. Here ends another chapter in the saga of the Heroes of Larm. Now, onto more adventures as the band continues to seek out evil in the world and protect those who cannot protect themselves. 

Into the realms of adventure!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Heroes of Larm Journey Into Darkness

Over the past several months, the Heroes of Larm have undertaken a quest to regain what Marda Dragonhammer lost in their struggle against the despicable Society of the Golden Axe. They have traveled to the Ruins of Crisigrin in the wilds outside of Dolmvay in search of a woman and her wizard escort; a woman who has taken Marta's ancestral weapon and with it, Marda's mojo.

Since last we left our heroes, they have encountered more orcs, goblins, magic, traps, a labyrinth, a ghost naga, a gelatinous cube, and many other horrors. They have also learned a little about the wizard who created this dungeon of doom: He was clearly powerful and insane.

Then there was Clem's brief tenure as the goblin god of the hunt...a truly memorable experience at the gaming table...

No sign of the woman they pursue or of Marda's hammer. The Heroes of Larm have just found the entrance to the second level of the mad wizard's home...

Below are some images from their adventures in the former home of Crisigrin...

Rats and Spiders!

  More orcs!
 Leave the devil alone!
 I hope that really is a fountain!

 The dead walk again.
Follow that ghost naga!
That's made of water, that is.
 Are those potions in the floor or are you just happy to see me?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On the Path to Redemption...

After a long hiatus, the Starshield Gaming Society returned to RPGs. We finally were able to continue my Heroes of Larm campaign. 

The story picked up immediately following the Heroes' defeat of the Dolmvay cell of the Society of the Golden Axe. Lord Reztnem agrees to provide the Heroes with a guide to the Ruins of Crisigrin where Marda's ancestral hammer and destiny lie...

Weezoh also took some pictures which are featured below. 

Thanks for reading, good readers. In two weeks, Marda's quest continues...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Versus the Society of the Golden Axe

Marda ends the genocidal maniac's life, losing the favor of her god until she atone for her actions by retrieving her family Warhammer. Into darkness go the Heroes of Larm...