Friday, February 25, 2011

4 Characters in 5 minutes...Can your RPG do that?

1st level Heroes

Name: Gimble Foothill
Race: Halfling        Mvt: 25’
Class: Thief           Level: 1
Fighting:           4
Defense:            3
Skill:                  2
Resistance:        3
Toughness:       2
Special Ability: Kn: Street Smarts 2, Backstab, Thievery
Equipment: Short sword, throwing knives, thieves’ tools, cloak, leather armor, adventuring gear, backpack
Name: Tormok Hammer
Race: Dwarf             Mvt: 25’
Class: Fighter            Level: 1
Fighting:           3
Defense:            3
Skill:                  5
Resistance:        3
Toughness:       6
Special Ability: Kn: Martial 2; Kn: Stone Work 2; Darkvision; Weapon Skill (damage = 2 Wounds). Cleave Attack, Titanic Attack
Equipment: Warhammer, shield, chainmail, crossbow, 20 quarrels, supplies, backpack
Name: Tella Heroeshall
Race: Human            Mvt: 30’
Class: Cleric              Level: 1
Fighting:          4
Defense:           3
Skill:                 3
Resistance:       4
Toughness:      4
Special Ability: Kn: Religion 2; Kn: Healing 2, Cure Wounds, Bless, Smite Undead.
Equipment: Short sword, chainmail, shield, supplies, backpack, holy symbol
Name: Zortan Grame
Race: Human          Mvt: 30’
Class:  Magic-user   Level: 1
Fighting:           5
Defense:            5
Skill:                  4
Resistance:        4
Toughness:        4
Special Ability: Kn: Arcane 2, Dispel, Spells 
Equipment: Spellbook, satchel, staff, writing implements, scroll case, supplies, backpack

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rules Tweaks Part 3: Buffing the Thief

With all the attention I am paying to the other classes, I suppose it comes as no surprise that I have developed a tweak for the Thief.

In this case, I haven't added any new Special Abilities. Instead, I have buffed one.

As I was examining the classes for places for improvement, I decided that comparatively, they don't have much to look forward to at higher levels except an improved Skill Roll which, of course, helps them in their profession. I also decided that the Thief needed a bit more teeth when it comes to the Backstab Special Ability. So...I have decided on the following rules change:

Backstab: After making a Stealth Skill roll and a successful attack, the target of the backstab makes a Defense roll at a +2 penalty, and the thief scores 2 Damage rather than the normal 1. This damage increases by 1 at every level divisible by 4.

This change adds an additional +1 to the target's Defense and makes it improve by leveling. Before, it was a +1 penalty to the target's Defense and didn't improve. I think this version is much more exciting for the player.

As it stands, only the crossbow and the Thief's Backstab ability are the only abilities that lower the Defense of anyone or anything. Therein lies the lethality of the Thief, exploiting weaknesses in defenses and opponents.

Until next time, thank you for reading and good gaming. Go roll a fistful of dice!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rules Tweaks Pt. 2: Clerical Magic

This time around I am musing on clerical magic. As it stands now in the core rules, clerics have Bless, Cure Wounds, and Smite Undead. 

Smite Undead is extremely effective against undead, making the cleric a specialist in that way. Bless only affects one target at a time. Cure Wounds is an essential part of the system as it allows a Skill Roll to use during combat, but is essentially a free ability during the time between encounters. This "free healing" keeps the game going and eliminates the old, "we fight once and rest for 8 hours" syndrome that plagued our earlier gaming days with all incarnations of D&D through 3.X.

My initial design philosophy for the cleric class was to limit the abilities and make the magic-user the spell machine while the cleric would play a support role. My concern now is, though, that the cleric may not have enough abilities to make that support role worth it. Yes, when undead are the opponent, the cleric is the best bet. Smite Undead is devastating. However, I think that their role is vastly reduced against living opponents. Their Defense is high, and their Fighting is average, which helps, but is it enough?

I am not quite ready to grant clerics "spells." I want them to feel distinctly different than magic-users. The solution I am going to try is to provide two more special abilities at later levels:

Ward: At 3rd level, a cleric gains the ability to grant immunity to a specific type of damage for 3 rounds. The cleric must make a Skill Roll and touch the recipient.  Types include but are not limited to the following energies: fire, cold, electricity, force, kinetic, negative, positive; and the following substances acid, poison.The recipient may be protected by more than one Ward at a time but each Ward must provide protection from a different type of damage. Granting Ward, counts as an action. 

To grant a cleric some type of ability to bring the wrath of his or her deity down upon his or her enemies, I am going to try adding the following ability:

Smite EnemyAt 5th level, a cleric gains the ability to call down the power of her god to damage enemies. As an action and upon making a successful Skill Roll, the cleric calls down divine energy to smite enemies in a 10' radius up to 30' away. Each enemy in the radius is allowed a Resistance Roll to avoid 3 points of damage. 

Hopefully, I will have a chance to playtest these additions soon.

Until next time, grab a fistful of dice and slay some evil!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rules Tweaks Part 1: Refining Multiple Attacks

Now that I have several playtests under my belt, I am making tweaks to the system.

First up: Multiple melee attacks...

In my most recent session, I allowed 2 weapon fighting with only a +1 main hand / +1 off hand Fighting Attribute penalty instead of the normal +1 main hand / +2 off hand penalty given as an example in the rulebook.

I really liked how the +1 / +1 felt for Fighters and Thieves based on the concept of their class training and the inherent agility required to meet the demands of each of those classes.

The Monk, of course, already has an additional attack at 3rd level at no penalty. So, for Monks I think it should stay at the standard +1 / +2 penalty until 3rd level.

I think, also, it would make sense to keep the penalty at +1 / +2 for Clerics and Magic-users as their class training requires a bit more concentration in other areas besides combat. It would be up to the Realm Master whether a Cleric devoted to any of the war gods should only incur the +1 / +1 penalty. I don't think that would be unreasonable.

Next up: Multiple ranged attacks...

For Ga'Oin Shaftshooter (Elf Fighter, wielding a long bow as his weapon of choice), I allowed multiple arrow firing at a +1 first attack / +1 second attack Fighting Attribute penalty per round. I thought it did not overbalance the character in the slightest.

I realized that the fighter as it is written is slanted toward melee: Although Weapon Skill and Titanic Attack apply to both melee and ranged combat, Cleave Attack is only usable in melee. Providing a multiple shot option doesn't deprive the ranged-minded Fighter of anything.

I am going to write it into the Fighter Special Ability section like this:

Rapid Fire: A Fighter wielding a long or short bow may make an additional attack in a round with that particular weapon at a +1 penalty to both attacks. This option may also apply to hurled weapons such as daggers or hand axes at the Realm Master's discretion. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 2 Con't: The magehammer's Irregular Gamers Play Dungeon Realm

Gather 'round good listeners to hear a tale of adventure and heroes, of magic and mayhem, and good and evil.

Sir Ian Graybeard of Kordanathal had recently retired from his life as a scholar and teacher at the famous Tellestrand University to pursue a life of adventure. He and his protege, an elf named Ga'Oin Shaftshooter had plans to roam the continent in search of treasure and powerful magic. At a tavern in the heart of Kordanathal, a dwarf tried to lift their purses. That dwarf was named Melf (no relation) Amazing who was traveling with his bondsman--another dwarf and cleric of Tormok, dwarven god of war--Dimbledorf Shieldhammer.

Dimbledorf apologized for his charge, and the group settled down for an ale. While nursing their beverages and exchanging tales, the group was approached by a student from Tellestrand University. The student informed Sir Ian that a former colleague, one Scholar Jenkiss, had a business proposition for him. The four recent friends agreed to go together to hear the Scholar's offer in the morning and parted ways for the night.

In the office of Scholar Jenkiss, the group found that the Scholar wanted to hire them for guard duty for a trip to a dormant dungeon portal outside of the mining town of Silverburg. They agreed and the next day were on the road to the mining town in the foothills of the Silver Mountains.

Jenkiss' young niece was accompanying her uncle to the portal to act as his assistant. She and Jenkiss traveled in a coach while his guard rode protection on the front and back of the transport.

Seven days into the journey, the group was ambushed by a group of gnolls. The hyena-headed humanoids killed the horses and pinned the party down by the coach with archers on a nearby rise.

Ga'Oin returned fire while the dwarves jumped into the fray. Graybeard took cover immediately in a copse of trees and began to hurl spells at their attackers. His spells took on many creative forms from burning them with fire blasts to choking the creatures on a magical, milky white substance. One of the gnoll archers escaped but the rest paid for their violence with their lives.

Sir Ian conjured pink unicorns to continue to pull the coach, and the Company of Graybeard continued on its way.

Two days out of Silverburg, two massive ogres stepped out into the road and pointed out Dimbledorf. They call him 'Kernsey' and wanted their money that they claimed he stole from them. Obviously, this was a case of mistaken identity and combat ensued.

The heroes managed to take the brutes down while avoiding the clumsy swings of their massive clubs. One near miss at Ga'Oin actually damaged the top of the coach, but other than that, the party escaped any real harm.

Once in Silverburg, the Company relaxed in the Silver Inn run by a jolly old elf named Rotundalas. After an uneventful night and at dawn, the heroes follow Jenkiss and Trella to the dormant portal. As Jenkiss is studying the glyphs and writing on the portal's arch, it suddenly activates. A large, hairy arm grabs Trella and pulls her into the dungeon while four bugbears emerge to cover this abduction. The Company of Graybeard leapt into action.

Jenkiss was smashed to the ground by a bugbear's shield. Melf sneaked in to deal some damage. Graybeard let fly more destructive (and disgusting) spells, Shaftshooter shot some shafts. Dimbledorf crushed some bugbear skull. In the end, some wounded, all tired, they see to Jenkiss.

Graybeard immediately decides to go into the dungeon for some reconnaissance while Dimbledorf calls upon the power of his god to heal the wounds of his companions. Down in the dungeon, Graybeard discovers a chamber at the bottom of a stone stairway guarded by goblins. He waits for the rest of the group, and they charge into the goblin guard room.

After easily dispatching the small humanoids, the group decides on going through the eastern most of two doors. An old dusty chamber awaits behind a locked door (opened by Graybeard's magic after Melf failed to pick the ancient lock). Dimbledorf (or was it Melf) made his way into the room and was accosted by a large spider falling from the ceiling onto his head. The arachnid did its best to subdue its food. Its intended meal and its friends, however, ended the poor spider's life. Seeing all of the dust on the floor and knowing that Trella didn't come this way, the Company decided to turn back and go through the west most door in the goblin guard chamber. Soon they found a room filled with hobgoblin mercenaries.

These militant and organized humanoids formed up ranks and aimed to keep the heroes from advancing any further through the labyrinth. These well-organized foes gave the Company a bit of trouble, but once again the excellent team work and combination of axe, hammer, shaft, and spell defeated the determined guardians. The Company of Graybeard continued after a short respite and blessings from Tormok.

The next room they stumbled into was a nightmarish chamber of death. In the chamber lit by a hellish red glow that seemed to be everywhere, three bugbear toughs stood in front of a bloody stone altar while behind the altar was a demonspawn woman, by her own admission an acolyte of Orcus. Trella sobbed behind a portcullis off to the demonspawn priestess's left. Apparently, the girl was to be a sacrifice to the evil demon god.

After a polite offer for the Company to leave was declined, the priestess sent her bugbear followers to slay the interlopers. She summoned fire to toast the heroes. The battle for Trella was on.

The bugbears were fierce and took a great toll on the heroes. The evil priestess was even more formidable. Most of Graybeard's spells rolled off of her, protected as she was by her demonic blood. A few of his spells managed to make it through her defenses. He learned that she was particularly vulnerable to water-based spells. The final one, a spell Graybeard named Golden Showers, penetrated her resistance and seared her flesh. She was defeated, but her bugbear zealots continued their onslaught. By this time Dimbledorf was down, felled by the brutes. Melf was working on freeing Trella. As the last two bugbears converged on Graybeard and Ga'Oin, Ga'Oin and the wizard came up with a desperate plan. Ga'Oin unleashed his shaft at the advancing bugbears and then did a sliding retreat toward his friend. Using the tip of an arrow to lift the robe of Graybeard, allowed the wizard to unleash an unmentionable spell he had developed that splashed the advancing foes and damaged them beyond repair. The bugbears fell. The battle was won.

The Company of Graybeard carried their wounded and escorted the sobbing Trella back out of the dungeon. Jenkiss was relieved and happy to find that his niece had not been seriously harmed. He also had a few healing potions back at the Silver Inn. They made their way back and revived poor Dimbledorf who was thankful and healed their wounds with the power of Tormok.

The Company relished being alive after such a harrowing delve into an unexpected adventure. They formed the bond that battle brothers do after fighting side by side and made a vow to travel together through the troubled lands of Kedrathas, rooting out evil and its minions wherever it may be found. They would make the world a better place and make their way into the annals of history. The name of the Company of Graybeard would go down in history, or they would die trying.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Adventures of the magehammer's Irregular Gamers

Day 1:

This past weekend the magehammer's Irregular Gamers got together for a weekend of gaming fun. The roll call for this event was:


After fussing around with the fun that is Rock Band, we descended to the comforting embrace of StormBringer's basement to play the first game of the weekend: a rousing game of Risk--Nuclear War version.

IMStuds was doomed from the start while StormBringer and KarmaSeeker seemed poised to take things. KarmaSeeker overextended himself and left himself vulnerable to the crushing and opportunistic armies of Yours Truly, magehammer. I managed to steal Australia away from him and hunker down until I was squashed...but not before I caused StormBringer some consternation through the mechanism of a forgotten and lone freedom fighter who had won an uprising in Argentina.

Nuclear wastelands littered the world brought about by the folly of man, and a champion arose, striding the world like a Colossus, Beowulf swooped out of the Americas to crush StormBringer's reeling forces. Beowulf was triumphant.

Day 2:

The next day after a run by StormBringer and Beowulf and a scrumptious breakfast of frozen waffles and out-of-date syrup, we once again delved into the basement for a game of Adventure Realm.

Download the Mission Briefing:  HERE

The team sent on the above mission was as follows:

Willard C. Meilander PhD. Professor of every discipline (and inexplicably, immortal).
Guillermo, Mayan culture specialist
Hans Gruber, Ex-Patriot German Soldier Spy
Ax Drummond, U.S. Army demolitions and small arms fire specialist.

The team made it to a secret Spanish air base near the Temple with no complications. They were greeted by the base commander, Colonel Sandinista who introduced them to their guide, Tikal.

Tikal and Guillermo discussed the family heirloom jade, feathered serpent medallion that Guillermo wore; a pendant that had been in his family for generations. Tikal was a bit worried about the Chupacabra that was said to haunt the jungles in this area. The team took note of his fear and pledged to be extra careful in the jungle on their way to the Temple.

After the first 3 days of the trek to the Temple, they were attacked at a stream by the lizard-like, canine-headed, blood sucker that is El Chupacabra! The battle was furious, and in the end, a Meilander bullet to the head, but not after the Soldier muscle did their thing. Tikal was frozen with fear. And Guillermo couldn't find anything in his notebook about El Chupacabra.

After gathering their wits and breath, they continued on their trek. Eleven days later, they arrived at the Temple only to find that the Nazis had beaten them to it. Four SS Troopers and a rather large Sergeant were standing guard outside the steps to the ziggurat among some wooden barrels. In addition, the corpses of natives and Nazis lay strewn about the area as well. Their zeppelin was tethered to a tree a couple hundred meters away.

The team decided upon sending Hans to capture one of them for intelligence-gathering purposes while Meilander was to create a diversion. Ax would stay back and protect Guillermo. Tikal waited well away from the danger.

Dr. Meilander's diversion was to mimic perfectly the call of El Chupacabra. The Sergeant sent two of his men to check into the sound while Hans grabbed a third when they were distracted and dragged the Nazi into the jungle, rendering the soldier unconscious with a sleeper hold. The fourth trooper faded into the jungle of his own volition. The team code named him Canteen Boy.

The Sergeant realized something was up and found two of his men gone. He ordered the remaining two to open fire. They fired blindly at Meilander's position. They missed. Ax rushed forward and Meilander brought the Sergeant into his sights. Ax lobbed a grenade at the soldiers, Meilander let loose with his WWI Pattern 14. One shot! One kill! All three Nazis bit the dust.

Guillermo noticed that the native guardians of this Temple whose bodies lay dead around them bore the markings of a guardian sect of Mayans who were thought to have faded into history along with the ruins they were set to guard. More mysteriously, he found that each of the guardians also wore a medallion exactly like his...

Hans revived and questioned his prisoner. He discovered there were more inside the Temple. Two more Sergeants, three Stormtroopers, and their leader: Markus Von Richtenstein. The Nazi revealed that they were sent to bring back water from a fountain that would make those who drank it impervious to harm and granting them great strength in battle (with regards to Dave Blewer). Hans also spied a special pin on the soldier's uniform marking him as a member Der Suchende, the Nazi counterpart to F(u)BARR. Der Suchende recruited only the toughest and smartest soldiers for their ranks.

Meilander became increasingly intrigued with the Nazis' zeppelin. He realized the pilot was still in it and saw said pilot's silhouette in the under cabin. He brought his rifle to bear, he knew it was going to be a tough shot. He squeezed the trigger, and the pilot's silhouette slumped forward; it was a titanic shot.

The team also heard the cry of El Chupacabra that was not Meilander. There was more than one! As the team discussed their strategy for entering the Temple, Meilander spied an El Chupacabra climbing the chain tether up to the zeppelin. Meilander took a few shots at it, but it managed to make its way into the cabin. Soon after, the zeppelin began to descend rapidly nose first.

The team decided upon a plan and made their way up to the ziggurat. Guillermo read the pictograms at the entrance to the Temple. They told of a great war chieftain who was buried here with his battle power. Meilander concurred and said that he had been to a dinner party here once (a comment his team deigned to ignore). They made their way into the maze that protected the inner sanctum from intrusion. Guillermo consulted his notebook and found no path through the maze. Hans was the pathfinder, and he easily guided the team through the maze while marking their path should they need to make a hasty exit.

Upon reaching the steps that lead into the inner sanctum of the Temple, they heard a voice barking orders and discovered the Nazis were in the Fountain Room. The leader, who they correctly assumed was Von Richtenstein, was standing over the pool next to a statue of a feathered serpent that held a curious, glowing blue stone in its mouth. The serpent looked strangely like the medallion that Guillermo wore about his neck. He checked his notebook and could find no record of the serpent there.

As the team decided upon a course of action, Von Richtenstein injected water from the Fountain directly into his veins. When the team decided to make their move, they found that Von Richtenstein had transformed into a hulking monster of a man. Meilander took a shot. The bullet hit the monster's forehead, dead center and fell harmlessly to the ground. Then what used to be Von Richtenstein began to walk slowly toward his enemies. His men opened fire on the team and took cover behind pillars and walls.

A fierce fire fight broke out as Von Richtenstein advanced. Guillermo searched his notebook feverishly for any reference to this Fountain he could. Finally, he found a brief account from a Victorian British explorer who hypothesized that the water in the Fountain was empowered by the "The Stone That Fell From The Sky" as the Mayans called it. Ax lobbed a grenade at the monster. It caused him to briefly stop, but didn't even come close to hurting him. That did buy Meilander enough time to fire at the blue stone. Meilander changed targets, taking the opportunity to remove a Nazi Stormtrooper's head with a sniper's bullet, then as Von Richtenstein was about to continue his advance, Meilander squeezed off another shot, taking out the crystal completely. It shattered. The water in the Fountain bubbled and steamed away into nothing, and the monster that had been Von Richtenstein began to pour steam from out of his eyes, nose, and mouth. He melted from the inside out into a steaming pile of liquid and skin scraps.

The Der Suchende Stormtroopers didn't give up without a fight, but the skilled and mighty members of F(u)BARR defeated the evil treasure seekers and won the day. Unfortunately, the team realized that whatever power the stone granted was lost with its destruction. No water remained in the basin either. The team consoled themselves by realizing that they had kept a potent weapon out of the hands of a madman.

After making their way out of the Temple and a quick reconnaissance of the downed zeppelin that only yielded the discovery of the remains of Canteen Boy, the team made their way back to the air base and then to the United States of America, unsung heroes who knew that any respite they may have waiting for them in their own country would be short lived as the threats to the nation's security--both mundane and arcane--were steadily increasing. They knew soon they would be back out in the world in the ruins of the ancient world trying to save the freedom of the modern one. Such is the task of F(u)BAARR. One they embrace with courage, intelligence, and unceasing tenacity.

Stay tuned! In my next post I will chronicle the exploits of magehammer's Irregular Gamers as they play a game of Dungeon Realm and discover the secrets of The Dungeon on the Borderlands.

The Starshield Gaming Society Plays...

(October 11th, 2010)

Being down two players, we decided to take a break from our regularly scheduled game, and instead, my group was gracious enough to playtest my homebrew fantasy RPG, Dungeon Realm. 

The adventurers were hired by a dying old man to deliver his death donation to the temple of his goddess in the Dungeons. They defeated those who were bent on stealing the donation and the guardians of the Dungeons to fulfill the old man's request. The heroes were successful and returned with the man's death key. He paid them, thanked them, and faded from sight. Who was the old man? Where did he fade to? Maybe those answers will become apparent in the coming days...only the gods know.

Overall, I felt my system worked very well and played smoothly. The feedback the Starshielders gave me was invaluable. Thanks, guys. I will keep tweaking it. Hope we can play it again someday.

(October 25th, 2010)
Another night of my homebrew old school, fantasy RPG, Dungeon RealmFive intrepid adventurers provided protection for a Tellestrand University professor and his niece. They were travelling to the Borderlands from Kordanathal to study an inactive Dungeon Portal. After two encounters on the road, they arrived in Silverburg and the hospitality of Rotundalas,  the elven innkeeper and his wife, Trendalin. The next day brought them to the Portal. Scholar Jenkiss began studying the inactive Portal in earnest. Hours later, it activated, a hairy arm grabbed Trella, Jenkiss' niece, and four bugbears emerged to bar any rescue attempt. 

The heroes jumped into action. After defeating the bugbears, they went into the Dungeons to rescue Trella. 

They mowed through some goblin guards, defeated a squad of hobgoblins,

and entered a dark temple to Orcus. The demonspawn cleric and her bugbear bodyguards kidnapped Trella to sacrifice her to their demon god. The heroes leaped into action. They fought valiantly, slaying the cleric and preventing Orcus's plan. However, they were defeated in the end by the bugbears, martyrs to be honored and remembered...

A TPK, but in a two and a half hour session, six combats and loads of fun. I call that a successful night of gaming. Most importantly, I had a blast!

Thanks, Starshielders! 

(November 15th, 2010)

Tonight the players took on the role of a band of Delvers who had been together for the last five years. A call from the town they helped in their very first mission sends them back down memory lane to the logging town of Pelion. There they discover a band of kobolds has taken to disrupting trade near the town. Not to mention there have been reports of livestock and people going missing. 

The Delvers soon discover the dragon behind the kobolds and his ogre and fire giant bodyguards. After a fierce struggle, they managed to defeat the dragon-- barely--and return order to the surrounding lands: All is peaceful in Pelion.
I felt tonight went really well. The Starshielders played five 5th levl pre-gens, all with at least 1 magic item. 

I have decided to improve a Cleric's Cure Wounds ability by level. We playtested improving spell damage through adding a CM penalty, and I am going to nerf the damage advancement on the fighter's and monk's special abilities. Overall, I am lovin' the feel of the game and am truly having a blast. 

(November 22nd, 2010)

Tonight we began an official Dungeon Realm campaign. All players created a character of their own. 

The heroes were brought to Tellestrand University through an unexplainable urgency. They soon discovered that all of them have a birthmark that resembles the holy symbol of Mistra, Goddess of the Dungeons. 

After a strange wind sends them an advertisement from a Scholar Jenkiss, a member of the Tellestrand University faculty, they meet with the man. After a tale of despair and heartbreak about his lost niece, he sends the heroes to Silverburg to enter a Dungeon Portal there and to solve the mystery of what happened to his missing niece, Trella.

The party made their long trek to the mining town near the Silver Mountains. The day after their arrival, they plunged into the Portal where Trella was abducted and made their way into the darkness.

Goblin zombies, a Giant spider, a magical sword, some skeletons, hobgoblin zombies, and very little treasure finds the heroes continuing into the Dungeons to find the lost niece of Scholar Jenkiss. Next week, the quest continues...

(November 29th, 2010)

The quest for Trella continues...

The Company of the Mark made their way deeper into the Dungeons on the trail of the missing Trella. They fought their way through bugbear zombies, a demonspawn zombie that retained its fire-making abilities, some ju ju zombies with nasty crossbows, and a few pits...and a well. They encountered a massive stone golem guardian that was guarding a door. It wanted a passphrase that was not yet apparent to the Company. 

They also found the lairs of some troglodytes and kobolds. The Company's magic-users informed the rest of the group that Trella was still alive somewhere in this labyrinth, and the kobolds put a name to the man who holds her captive: Veegor Moritz. The kobolds point the Delvers in the right direction. Next week the Company makes its way toward this mysterious Moritz in hopes of finding Trella before it is too late. 

(January 31st, 2011)

After many months and a gaggle of boardgames, we finally ended my Dungeon Realm module, Return to the Dungeon on the Borderlands. 

The Company of the Mark continued down the long hallway to the room filled with undead. The wizard's spells and the cleric's smite brought the foul abominations down. They proceeded into the next room where a foul necromancer informed him that he was married to Trella, and that they should leave. 

The Company, of course, did nothing of the sort and attacked the necromancer and his undead minions. Two juju zombies acted as his honor guard and their crossbows and his wand, kept the heroes fighting the skeletons and zombies. The fighter, Motter, went down under the repeated blows of the undead, but he bought enough time for the others to destroy the enemies and fell the necromancer. His juju zombies did not go down easy, but eventually, the combined might of the heroes brought them down. 

They found poor Trella bound in a secret room off of the necromancer's laboratory. They healed her physical wounds but could do nothing about her mental anguish. They looted the lab and left the Dungeon behind, arriving in Silverburg, they plan on giving the girl some time to rest before making the trip back to Kordanathal to reunite her with her worried uncle. 

Where the Company of the Mark will go from there is anyone's guess, but wherever it may be, adventure and danger is sure to be found...