D&D Recap, Week of 24-26 Feb 16

Item: Encounters (Out of the Abyss), Wednesday 24th

This session was filler; a visit with a traveling merchant (Note #1: RNG a merchant for each available campaign that’s capable. For now, that’s Out of the Abyss, Princes of the Apocalypse, and Curse of Strahd, since I’m already planning the start of this.) and some filler encounters up to the arrival at the Vast Oblivium. I gave them a heads-up that they will encounter a ‘Fucking Beholder,’ as I call them. Of course, I’ll be modifying the encounter to rank it up to the group’s XP level since it will be a major encounter after all.

The party also requested to know the whereabouts of a sword they showed in the copy of the module he bought…the #1 threat to my DMing career; second only to Bears. Good news, I’ll give him a chance to get that Dawnbringer. The Bad news is that he has to go through my custom Legendary Monster Team to get to it.

Alice and her Court is coming.

Ooooooh, some parts of me want that TPK.

Really, I really need my first TPK

Item: Princes of the Apocalypse, Thursday 25th

Video Export: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdRcjIHCSxcj1E88DBg_ola5EEKSm03p

I realized this need the moment I set up this encounter that lasted the whole session. This is where Alexis, the robot bunny girl, picked up a teleportation crystal at the same place as the exploding rune that turned him into that robot bunny girl. I punish such stupidity.

And punish them I did, with a Pit find with Max HP, 1 Legendary action which it can Spellcast, and three Potions of Supreme Healing (10d4+20) stored in its asshole! Keep in mind: Pit Fiends can cast fireball at-will, number one. Number two, Legendary Actions can be used as additional reactions.

I’ll admit to a dick move though. I allow Alexis to eldritch blast the potion before the pit fiend can drink it. Unfortunately, when Alexis rolled the Nat 20 he needed, the blast broke the potion just as it was over the pit fiend’s mouth, its contents falling into its mouth anyway!

I really wanted that TPK.

I managed to take down all but Alexis, the last survivor, who in her infinite wisdom to use cyphers in a combination. He managed to summon that Card of Balance like last week, and managed to attack the pit fiend with it.

The resulting Angel took her fallen companions and, thinking that they’re dead, spirited away with them in toe, leaving Alexis alone.

She stumbled out of Firehammer Hold in a stupor resembling those of war survivors, as Pancheska found her wandering mute to Daggerford, blue screens in her eyes. As the succubus took her in, I immediately moved ahead to Dead in Thay, where the party gets to retcon their characters for the new module.

Alexis will return, in a vie for redemption, over what happened to her, the other party members will be remaking their characters to suit this mission of heading to Thay to take the fight to them.

This is why, when someone asks you to save the world in Faerun, you say yes! You can deal with the payment later, but you say. YES! Winston said that for a reason!

Dead in Thay will begin in two weeks. I’ll be out of the town next Thursday.

Item: Princes of the Apocalypse, Friday 26th

Video Export: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdRcjIHCSxeuz37F2Mf-qB61VRkfZa9V

As Homer Simpson said, “I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals fuh-laming!”

That’s what I think of when I see Ardie Starflower, one of the three new players in my Friday table, all thanks to who is becoming my first major supporter of my stream, Spacehampzter Boo. He’s the one who does that Preaching Paladin, Ildar. Cue a lot of beaucoup bitching and a lot of hilarity which making this session the highlight of my week. (The Wizard and the Warlock that wounded out the other two new players provides their own laughs as well, as you can see in the playback.)

This is the part of the game that I just flat out love, where the players make me roll around behind the virtual DM’s screen laughing till I’m dizzy. I’d suggest this stream to those who just want to see a session of people just having fun with the game.

As far as the session goes, it was a slow one, enough for the new players to get used to the campaign. The Red Dragon told the party that they need to deal with the orb of dragonkind that the Cults of Elemental Evil has in their possession. It is currently held by Vanifer, who is in the Temple of the Elemental Fire (Eternal Flame). They come back with the destroyed orb of dragonkind, and they get the second key they need for the Water weapon.

I will need to scale up the encounters for the Scarlet Moon Hall and the Temple of the Eternal Flame maps, because I now have 7 players at Level 6, but it will mean their first foray into the main dungeon, the Temple of the Elements.

Next week will have the Beholder Encounter and the Lost Tomb of Kaheem modification, and then the above resetting for Friday. I have some time to deal with the multi-team (The party and three Virtual teams) for Dead in Thay and the making of the maps for Death House which will start the Curse of Strad Season.

Meanwhile, I’ve begun the second draft of LP01-01 Liberation from the Dragon Queen module. I finally got enough ink in my printer to print out the document so I can proofread it offline; I can proofread on the document in Word, but I find it easier for me to print it out and do it offline. Of course, this means for a more chaotic edits and the need for extra sheets for replacement passages, which I have an experimental process to control the mess. I’ll let you know more about it later.

About Legendary Actions

I need to give everyone playing a bit of a heads-up about this rules tweek, effective since Encounters:  If a creature has Legendary Actions, be aware that they can use these actions as a Reaction–even after they used their once/turn Reaction–and even Ready a Legendary Action in between player’s actions.  I feel the need to make the Legendary Encounters a bit tougher, and the best way to do that is to make the Legendary Actions happen a bit more unexpectedly.

The Story of Count Strahd, Foxfire Editon

I’ve earlier seen the stream of the Daytona 500, and I have to say that I had my cardio for the day.  That was the closest win I’ve ever seen, just about a pencil’s length.  I had to lie down for an hour or two after seeing it.  Whoa!

Two Afterthoughts though:  One, I was really expecting ‘the Big One’ all throughout the last 30 laps or so, and Two…..why?  Oh WHY?  Did they allow that Tire Dipping @$$hole Jeff Gordon commentating?!?!?!  He can’t even announce a race without cheating!  That mike on his head ain’t even black, for Christ’s Sakes!

But anyway, I should really tell you this tale.  You might know of the famous ‘Tome of Strahd‘ story that is famous in Ravenloft.  However, in the version I’m writing, which I’ll be putting into the Death House adventure this coming March, it’s going to be a little different.

Here’s the in-campaign world version of Count Strahd von Zarovich’s origin story, as told by none other than Madam Eva:

D&D_Ravenloft_GooglePlus-Header

“Count Strahd von Zarovich wasn’t always a vampire, just as he wasn’t always the evil boogyman that your parents warned you about to keep you from misbehaving. He was at first a Noble Knight, on par with the late Duke Adrian. He founded his kingdom with a firm but velvet hand, striking down evil wherever he found it until he founded his own land, Barovia, a prosperous barony under the sun. The people respected him, but due to his actions, he was also feared and age has weakened him from his prime.

Hoping to establish a future for his land, he called on his younger brother, Sergei von Zarovich, to come and provide a transition to where he will rule after his death. Sergei brought with him his beloved, Tatyana, whom Strahd thought was the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. What he lacked in age and strength, he made up for in gentlemanly grace and a romantic soul that just drew the pair to his mansion. Did they make a trio? Who knows.

But that time was cut short with an ambush of an enemy Strahd thought was long defeated, killing Sergei and kidnapping Tatyana to be sacrificed for their dark gods. Strahd was, understandingly so, distraught, and in his despair and desire for vengeance cried out to anyone who can hear him.

And someone answered. A being of noble darkness, with pale white skin and eyes as black as midnight. He offered a pact with the old Strahd, an offer of power and of eternal live, so that he can rescue his beloved Tatyana. There was a price to be paid, of course, a price of blood, and that the darkness that enveloped this being, this…Sorin…will envelop the count as well. Even with the risks, Strahd agreed to the pact, sealing it in blood.

It would be the last sunset in Barovia, for as Strahd sealed his pack, turning him into a being we know as a vampire, the first vampire, the Mists of Ravenloft enveloped the barony, spiriting it away from where lands it came from.

By the time Tatyana’s captors realized what was going on, it was too late, they couldn’t ran away from where Strahd found them, because the mists sent them back to where they began. In time, they were all empty husks, for Strahd hunted them down and sucked them all dry.

Tatyana was safe, but if Strahd had any hopes that the fair maiden could be his, and that maybe an immortal vampire could be in place of his late brother, it was cruelly dashed. Tatyana was horrified with what Strahd has become, even though it was made to save her life. She fled from Strahd, and ran into the mists, never to be seen again.

Strahd knew that a price had to be paid, but he didn’t expect it to be so dire. His heart broken and his soul as much a blackened husk as his victims, he fled to his Castle Ravenloft and sealed the doors behind him.

And so began the legend of the Dread Vampire. The many stories of adventurers he had as playthings, the women he wooed into his embrace and experience his…kiss, the cautionary tales of darkness claiming people and souls, and of this mist carrying those who do Evil away into realms that they can never hope to escape from. If they were all written in these books, there will be no room in the Upper City for people.

Now then, children. You might pray to your gods to keep the Mists of Ravenloft away from you, and hope that your good and pure heart can be a bulwark against the darkness. But I need to tell you this as a precaution. The Mists have their own way, and their own reasons. Nobody knows what makes the Mists take someone and spirit you away. But we do know one thing about the Mists: Your Patriars and Duke has found the Mist’s presence in the Sunset Mountains, and inside the area of the mists is a village and a castle. Also, as I have arrived in this city, I have heard that the Mists has claimed a house in the Lower City as well, an old haunted house in the Bloombridge District.

The Mists of Ravenloft have come to Faerun.”

 

Princes of the Apocalypse: 19 Feb 16

Item: Corrections in the previous post.

I had to make some corrections to the previous recap of Dreams of the Red Wizards, thanks to Zikuan, the player on the table that is playing Axel. (Yes the bunnygirl bot cleric)

Item: Death House update

I managed to write all of the twists I wanted to make in the Curse of Strahd launch events, and even took in some suggestions from Lex Starwalker to ensure that I do not have a surprise TPK during the event. Starting this week, you’ll be seeing some of my tweaks to this coming season, which will have their effects, not just in my customized Realms, but in the more canonized Living Parnast as well.

Item: Princes of the Apocalypse

Trigger Warning: Voice Chat Harassment

URL of Youtube Export: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdRcjIHCSxcpR116VraLAM2BYaoRz8rU (Please let me know if I need to improve the audio more. I’ll be too busy preparing the next week’s sessions and sprucing up LP01-01, thank you in advance.)

Just when I thought that the adventure has been slowed down somewhat.

I did a slight retcon and said that the party managed to get to Beliard to get the greater restoration to poor Nightblade’s catnip addition. Once that chore was over, they party then returned to the water dungeon, otherwise known as ‘The Scene of the Crime,’ to get that water weapon.

I had it so that the weapon is protected by a pair of locks, each needing a key that’s on opposite ends of the dungeon. The got the first one that was guarded by a sleeping, then turned, beholder zombie with little to no problem.

Then they tried to cross the map to the opposite end.

In the middle of the map they encountered some Green Hags that attempted to use their baleful glare to kill some frightened player (they almost succeeded)

Then the druid thought he’d wild shape into a Giant Elk.

That was when someone who I’ll keep nameless decided to play this video. Over and over and over again.

Cue the second derailment in a row. We were all falling out of our chairs laughing. Some even called this session even better than the last one, where drugs were involved.

(Personal Note: In between belly juggling laughs, I was thinking to myself that this is what I was needed and missing in my previous attempts to get a presence in the tubes. If you’ve seen me for a long time, you’ll know how poorly I fared when making web comics. I wanted to get a response that will get me laughing like what I’m doing, and keep encouraging me to continue. I didn’t get that from deviantART, to say the least. I’m getting that in Roll20, Twitch, and hopefully feedback from Google+ on my D&D projects. This is why I made the switch in my plans for my life.)

I closed the session on a cliffhanger. The second guardian of the key was a Red Dragon. Young Red Dragon, because I didn’t want a TPK right away. At first he didn’t want to parlay, especially with that preaching Paladin of Lathander. But a successful CHA check later, and the Dragon agreed to a game of chance for the key.

Isn’t that a good cliffhanger or what? I really need to think about what to throw at the shlebs. Especially the one who was blowing Elk Calls for about an hour during this session.

Dreams of the Red Wizards Recap; 18 Feb 16

Before I get to the recap, some update notes:

Item: The Curse of Strahd Launch Event.

Thanks to Dragon+, I was able to download the Launch Event PDF, Death House, which I’ll be running in Hero’s Hideout, and possibly later on in Roll20. I’m happy to report that I’ve already added my embellishment to the module. Granted, I haven’t changed the main part of the module itself, but I did change the location of the Death House, using my concept I mentioned earlier about bringing Ravenloft to you, and not you to Ravenloft. I’ll show some of my changes for the Curse of Strahd season later on in my blog, but I can tell you right now that there’s a haunted house in Baldur’s Gate (Mandorcai’s Mansion, by name) that’s really going to get a solid trashing. Both by the Mists of Ravenloft and by moi.

Item: Video Export Kaizen

It’s come to my attention that the player’s voices are a bit too quiet for the videos, which is what one of those players have told me. While I couldn’t do anything for this post’s stream, I did make a bit of a correction, by adjusting the chat volume on Teamspeak. Hopefully this fixes the problem for tomorrow’s post. Special thanks to Spacehampzter for pointing this out to me, and I hope that he will continue to find things that needs fixing, because even though I keep an eye out everywhere myself…I’m just one man.

Item: Dreams of the Red Wizards

Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdRcjIHCSxfzpMohAba3htiQlZB69GGk

How do you get a bunch of adventurers who don’t claim to be heroes to go do something heroic?

That’s the question I had to ask myself in the middle of this session.

By now the area between Daggerford and Waterdeep is going to hell. This will especially be apparent when they come to the end of the session. By now, the Thayans have opened a link from Thay’s Doomvault—an installation of great necromantic power in the Magocracial country—to the Firehammer Hold in the Sword Coast, and the Red Wizards are beginning to spread their undead to bring Faerun down to chaos, using their necromantic magic that uses the worst parts of both the classic magical source and stupid zombies and the virus-type spread and fast zombies.

I want to have the campaign transition to Dead in Thay where the party heads over to defeat the Red Wizards, hopefully once and for all. I gave them multiple examples of how the zombies will spread all over the world if they don’t do something about it. I even had Syranna show up in this session and told them that they need to head to the Doomvault, take out a lich, and have a big reward of being a part of a land of great leaning and power…

…and all they say is “What’s in it for us?” Some of them even say that they’ll just move away when the zombies come, and you know how far south that turns out.

You can hear me groaning over the playlist.

In the end, I had Syranna give them anti-undead weapons and 1000 Plat to give them enough incentive.

That was enough for them to at the very least drag them into the latter parts of this campaign.

The party returned to Firehammer Hold and made it to the trap in Room 18 (Deep Duerra Cave). I had the trap replaced with something that looks innocuous, but is a whole lot sinister. Our bunny girl cleric, Axel, PTSD running through her circuitry, decided to touch it, with the intention of using it for some purpose or another.

The crystal teleports her to Room 25, alone, where she saw this:

This room has a corner fireplace that has a mantle adorned with a carving of a sword surrounded by two spiraling flames, actual flames that twist and bend in an unknowable pattern, over which a broken crossbow bolt that has been painted in blood that is still dripping down into the reddish fire. In the southeastern part of the room sit a large bed and a chest. A tall cabinet and an orante desk with a high-backed chair stand near the north wall. All of the furniture looks warped and transformed to resemble an abomination of flesh and bone. Many metal instruments and glass containers are thrown everywhere, including a burner, spoons, bottles, flasks, and alembics. In the northeastern corner, still bound by shackles, is Jekk.

Or rather, half of Jekk, from the waist up. His guts are hanging off of his cavity where he was sliced in two.

That’s what you would’ve seen, of course, if it weren’t for the Pit Fiend standing in front of you, with a shit-eating grin, saying, “I just knew you’d come.”

What happened next would be the most awesome play that I had to wave off:

With the use of Lucky and an Action Point, she was able to throw the Card of Balance (one of the Cyphers that I gave them) at the Pit Fiend.

The fiend would’ve turned into an Angel, a polar flip on their alignment: Just like the card said.

Then Axel did the similar attack…with a clone cypher, making two such angels.

That would’ve been the most awesome maneuver I have ever seen, something that would really make me stop the session so I can think up something to work from this…..

….then someone else claimed that they had the Cyphers in question, not Axel.

There was an argument, and I made my own DM’s call in the best way I know how: A coin flip.

….which fell against Axel.

Ever seen a big game-changing touchdown play get called back because someone Held? It was like that.

Needless to say, the Pit Fiend wasn’t happy with the retcon, and proceeded to pummel the poor little bunny into oblivion. She was sent flying into a hallway while the other party touched the teleportation stone to join in what will probably be their eventual ass-whooping.

But I’ve seen parties take out Kaiju in little more than one round, so I’m not counting the TPK until I succeed.

But man, if that coin would’ve fell the other way….talk about your ‘what could have been.’ It’s those times that I really appreciate being a DM. (It certainly not trying to poke at my players to get a move on, is it?)

Encounters Recap: 17 Feb 16

Before I started the session, I got a talk with the people running the Heroes Hideout store, and they told me about the Launch Campaign for Curse of Strahd, Death House, which will be launched in March. I intend to pause ‘Out of the Abyss’ for the ‘Death House’ campaign, since it’s a much shorter adventure, and then go back to ‘Out of the Abyss’ until I reach the end of that campaign, and then move on to ‘Curse of Strahd.’

After I told everyone about that, I moved on to today’s session.

The party breezed through the Purple Worm Hatchery and got their needed Egg. They found a way out a bit quicker than I thought, so I had the Formorian Guardian show up before they get outside. During the encounter, I had the Formorian summon the Purple Worm, although in hindsight, I should’ve summoned two of them, because the party nearly one-rounded that kaiju (In D&D, a Kaiju is any creature that is bigger than what a 4-inch token can fill.) In the heat of the moment, I just threw in the giant spiders to make the encounter last.

Note to self: Get a bigger grid to play in. I think I got one donated to me from the players. A folded playmat originally made for Pathfinder

Note #2: Get a new plexiglass cover for that folded playmat.

When the smoke is cleared I found a place for Hanne Hallen to be all big and blustery, but the party quickly found her as the frightened little waif who suddenly found herself all alone in the Underdark, weighing her options between returning to Menzoberanzan by herself or fleeing to the surface (to a drow, both options suck balls.) But the party had a drow in them, who was all but willing to care for the waif for the time being.

This will prove promising for the future campaigns, but at the end of the session, I was able to address one of my annoying gaps missing in 5th Edition.

dms guild logoFifth Edition does have Magic Items, but it doesn’t have a good market ability for them, nor do they have any instructions in how to make them outside of the general instructions listed in the Downtime Section of the rules. Not unlike Pathfinder, where they have recipes on how to build them, such as supplies, what kind of spells, asking prices for the magic items, and so on.

Something that people writing for the DM’s Guild should consider, no?

I’ve already found a good source for someone that was needed at this time: A Traveling Vendor, in this case, a half-orc named Andinas who happened to be crossing the party’s path with goods for sell and trade. The DM’s Guild has a recent document named “Spoils and Rewards Volume 1” by Chas Williams, which has some instructions on how to make an Item Shop, or in this case, a Merchant Cart. I still had to do some Random Number Generations and still have to guestimate asking prices (and make a little spreadsheet for some quick napkin math) but I was able to get a good merchant going. Had to. Someone was asking for one to show up somewhere, and there wasn’t much of a town around.

Note to self #3: Always have an item shop NPC on hand, just for situations like this.

Meanwhile, in Living Parnast, I managed to get the first draft of the module LP01-01 (Liberation from the Dragon Queen) written down. There’s a needed pause for me to find the funds to print out the document so I can proofread it. (That Paypal Tip Jar’s there for a reason folks) I’m already thinking up the follow-up module (LP01-02 Rebuilding Parnast) where I include a Kingmaker-style village building system on top of the “Honobono D&D 5E” mechanics that will eventually become part of Æthercoil.

Yes, it’s a Japanese word: ‘Honobono’ means ‘Heartwarming’ and there’s a new genre of RPG with a Honobono theme. Think of an RPG made by Studio Ghibli, and you pretty much have games like Ryuutama, Mitchtim, The Whispering Road, and many other RPGs that are more suitable for children to play. I’ll be gearing both Living Parnast and Æthercoil to, although having D&D 5E as the basic system, to include an “Honobono Mode” that will be more family and children friendly. Of course, it’s optional, so parties who just want more standard fare with more encounters can have that, although I have to make clear that Living Parnast won’t be focusing on purely dungeon crawling and combat. You’re working with a NPC who just became a Lord and is tasked with a small kingdom to build into a strong ally, a Lord who would’ve been Tony Stark if he wasn’t a chronic stutterer. During the campaign, the team and their patron will be assisting each other, and keeping this synergy is important for the campaign’s progression; it’ll be the main hook of this whole series.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress, as well as a campaign guide for the series (It’s going to be needed.)

Week of 7-13 Feb 16, part 3

Item: Princes of the Apocalypse, 12 Feb 16

Video Export: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdRcjIHCSxeR6pKmTJvFEUMmFR9lWYSG

Trigger Warning: For some people, this is the best D&D session ever!

I say this because some people think it’s because of some prime action, or a major plot point, or a beginning or conclusion of an epic storyline. Apparently, there’s a part of me who thinks that a D&D session isn’t good unless I’m hiding behind the dungeon master’s screen laughing and crying at the same time, feeling the insanity of my players like Steve Harvey’s Family Feud. This has got to rank up here with the infamous ‘-cupine’ incident.

It started innocent enough, though. The party progressed toward the third elemental weapon.

I should’ve seen that I’m going to have quite a time when the RNG gave me a dragon encounter, and not just any dragon encounter.

Remember that young green dragon who got blown into the Dessarin Valley? From Dreams of the Red Wizards?

Guess what the Princes of the Apocalypse party met.

Fortunately, the dragon was in no mood to attack. He was too woozy and disoriented to fight. The party decided to make friends with the wyrm, offering it a small allotment of coin and even sending a healing spell that way.

At this point, I have to put up one of my hidden rules in campaign design: No Two Dragons are alike.   Just because they’re a chromatic doesn’t mean that they are cookie cutter identical in temperament and personality. Some Chromatics are good, and some Metallics will end up evil. With this dragon, he just wanted to set up a simple hoard and live somewhat unmolested by adventurers. He’d might go as far as to say, “Listen, if I hand you a weapon from my horde, would you’d just leave?”

I don’t know if he’d do that, but he will remember the party’s good deed, and will return the favor in a future session. Oh, and by the way, and there’s always an ‘oh by the way,’ that qualified as a non-violent resolution: The XP for that encounter got doubled. I reward those who think outside of the “Open Door, Kill Feeb, Take Treasure, Lather, Rinse, Repeat,” mentality.

It’s part of how I design the Living Parnast series.

The campaign went on toward Beliard and a nearby marina where I had some boats ready for the party; the wizard who made the Stone to Flesh spell offered the party the boats and a Stone to Flesh scroll for their troubles.

I didn’t see the danger sign when they arrived into the dungeon where the water weapon is located. I did see the sign that said that the weapon is behind two locks, and the party has to find two keys to unlock it.

Then the party walked into an Earth Elemental, just minding its own business.

The new lady in the game (and yes, there are women on the internet and they play games that I DM in—Fuck You, Anita!) cast Plant Growth on it.

Producing Catnip. And Marijuana. And Poppies. And Mushrooms. And I think someone was making LSD in the corner just for kicks.

Note that one of the members of the party is a catfolk during this.

Also, I haven’t even touched the part about the two druid characters wanting to get it on every five minutes!

The video speaks for itself. I couldn’t Dungeon Master for thirty whole minutes because I was too busy laughing. I was on the floor laughing. I was laughing like someone who has completely lost all sense of reason, the kind of laugh that makes people want to call ‘those nice men in those clean white coats’ to take me away, but I was having the best laugh I had in months.

It was hilarious, and offensive, and funny, and irrelevant, and a riot, and righteous, and good. That is what this game means to me, that I don’t have to even stay on any track and still claim to have a good time.

I might never be admitted into any D&D Hall of Fame as a Dungeon Master, I might not even make a living off of it. I might be content to just break even with Living Parnast, but it’s a thing I enjoy doing, which makes it—and scenes like this—all worthwhile.

The number one rule of being a DM is that, above all, make sure that the players are having a good time. It’s different in each group I’m in, and it will be more apparent now that I’m saving the streams on YouTube. If the party isn’t having fun and having a good time with their three hours and change they’re giving here, what’s the point?

It sure beats whipping each other into a political fevered frenzy over some candidate they’ve been told that their existence is intolerable to them personally, right?

Cthulhu 2016

 

Week of 7-13 Feb 16, part 2

Item: Youtube Stream Saves

It took me a long way to get to this point, longer than I care to think about, but I’m now going to save my streams—an important suggestion—to from twitch to YouTube. You’re now able to see previous streams, and I added YouTube to the main directory.

The reason why it took this long for me to do this are twofold. At first, I thought that twitch saves about two weeks’ worth of streams already. They do so, but not publicly. They must’ve known that I’d be screwing up on the streaming. The second part is that I’ve been screwing up on streaming. It took me a while for me to get the streaming set-up right. I had major problems with OBS because I lack the power in a single machine to do everything. However, I still have an older machine (a five-year-old dual core) and a notebook that doubles as my computer screen, which I inherited last year.

I now have all three machines sending to Infiniscene. My main machine (the AMD A8 with a dual screen) is sending the Roll20 table and my voice over a web cam. My tablet is doing the Teamspeak work, sending audio from the other players, and my dual core is doing the controls and monitoring the Twitch Chat. Using these three machines with the Charter internet, (I’m still jazzed about how fast I was able to download Japan’s Sasuke (The original Ninja Warrior) 2015 at a rate of 1 Meg a second; that video was 6 Gigs large!) I’m finally able to create a stream that’s good enough for me to actually save for the web. I’ll be doing so starting this week.

As you would expect, and I expected this as well, that my forway into live streaming my D&D is going to be sketchy at first. I just didn’t count on it being that sketchy. There was some days that I just didn’t have the capacity for it. However, I was able to kaizen (another word from Japan, it means ‘constant improvement,’) it out to this point. Some might dislike me using the word as a verb, but in my (autistic, remember?) mind, that’s what I’ve been doing. In artwork, in my DMing, in my stream; granted, some days are better than others, last Thursday being one of the better ones, but I’m happy that I’m actually progressing forward, and look forward to more.

Item: Dreams of the Red Wizards, dated 11 Feb 16

Video: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdRcjIHCSxcqDx_kjfBUllhMiIwpOk3w

Two points of interest here up ahead. With an additional trigger warning for today and tomorrow: Drug use.

In my version of the Forgotten Realms. In fact, I’m calling it for every realm I use or make: Cannabis is legal! Legal and readably used. It’s used in making rope, weaving textiles, making paper, producing medicine, and a cornucopia of other uses, on top of people smoking it and getting stoned. Deal. With. It.

The second points of interest concerned an early encounter for my Thursday group. You can tell that either I’m getting serious or you’ve finally pissed off Random Number Jesus when I start tossing dragons your way. It started with a Young Green Dragon, who was told by the Cult of the Dragon—about time they start returning to the scene—that attacking the party would be a good idea to increase his own hoard. The party tried to reason to him, more like hiring him of course, but then I had this dragon bring his bigger Adult Green Dragon brother. Who wasn’t putting up with the party’s shit.

Before the party managed to kill their first dragon—I was still holding back—I had the bigger dragon poison breath the whole party. (Yes, I still wanted my TPK) The breath was so big that it sent the younger dragon flying toward the Dessarin Valley.

Insert a “To Be Continued at Princes of the Apocalypse” sign here.

On to the Firehammer Hold. Who is now taken over completely by the Thayans. Undead lie everywhere, led by some demonic forces in the lower levels, and a DM that is tossing encounter after encounter at the vic…ahem…the party. During one encounter, however, something cool happened, and you can see it in the video now: Bram (a ranger) took out one wright (at least I remember it being a wright, correct me if I’m wrong) and then rolled a Nat 20 for the next attack. I said that Bram bounced that first arrow off the intended wright as it was falling and struck the one behind it; a bank shot. The thing I allow when the rolls are just right.

But will I allow them to leave the dungeon at the end of the session and take an extended rest? Heh heh heh.

Meanwhile:

Merdoc’s [Virtual Team] has left Waterdeep on to Phylund Lodge to reestablish a farm which was destroyed. During this time, they just managed to make it halfway across, doing some random encounters that wouldn’t give them too much pause, and camped for the night, far enough from the corruption to have a safe night.

 

Week of 7-13 Feb 16, part 1

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, use of a random generator, chainmail body suits with tabbards, materialistic girls.

Item: Out of the Abyss, 10 Feb 16

Most of the major interaction stuff is out of the way, back to dungeon crawling!

The party has made it to the Wormwrithings to get some ingredients needed for Vizeran’s ritual to, at the very least, weaken the Demon Lords enough for the party to defeat them. (Good luck, right?) The Wormrithings was a mish much of Purple Worm tunnels that works like a hub to several other dungeons. So I had one made.

You’ve probably seen me to this before. I go to donjon to randomly generate a dungeon, and then fire up DrawPlus to simplify the generated map into a series of nodes and pathways. In some maps I remake I add doors and traps, but in here, I just have open round tunnels between everything. In the middle of this map, I put in the Troglodyte Lair, but they managed to evade it, so far. They made it to a point where I placed an arrow that leads to the Worm Nursery, which they’ll progress to next week.

randommap

dms guild logoItem: Living Parnast

The first module is about halfway written, although I’ll be working on illustrations and other fluff to add to it before I release it in the DM’s Guild. (Even though I’ll set it to ‘pay what you want,’ I’ll have it look like I earned some money.) I think I’d like to introduce you another NPC.

Some of my D&D buddies IRL remember Darcy Amberguil. She was a cleric in a 1st Edition game that proved very useful in healing and had dreams of having her own abby. I wanted to transfer her to my 5th Edition world, and while she might be older in my ‘standard’ gameplay world, she’s changed in Living Parnast. And I’m talking about more than having a human for Justin’s significant other (No Pandaren in Wizard’s cannon Forgotten Realms, which is what I’m placing this in.)

Remember Mai Valentine from Yugioh Duelist Kingdom? (That would be Season 1 in America, Season 2 for Japan? Do NOT ask me why or I’ll fsking Mind Crush you!) When she was introduced she was a duelist who used perfume as a cheating tactic and duels because she wants to go shopping with the winnings she’ll get.

Enter Living Parnast’s Darcy Amberguil.

DarcyShe’ll admit that her goal as an adventurer is the finer things in live. A pretty dress, some good wine, an occasional bubble bath. Maybe she’ll find that perfect gold chain or ear-rings. While her faith in Lathander is keeping her from being too materialistic, it remains part of her desire.

In fact, she’ll be purely materialistic if she hadn’t met Justin when he was a child.

When they found Justin in the start of his Living Parnast story, he was a lost and frightened boy at around age 10. He never talked about what brought him to the banks of the Delimbiyr River, but judging by his not speaking at all for the next two tendays it was assumed that it was pretty rough. (In fact, it’s the source of his stutter which plagues him to this day.) Darcy found him huddling in a bed and decided to curl up beside him. A typical anime trope of a child showing another child (git your mind outta the gutter!!) that he’s not going to be alone in the world, but that’s what happened.

Darcy and Justin became childhood friends ever since; soulmates, in fact; and some would claim that they’d be married one day. While Darcy still has the like for stuff, and relishes the thought of being Lady Darcy Ambergail, her feelings for Justin keeps her from leeching off of him. (Read: There’s a bit of a NAWALT in her, fellas.) She prefers to adventure, and do priestly duties, for coin. As long as she can spend some ‘me’ time in a warm bubble bath with rose pedals and candles and a bottle of elven wine, all is perfect and right in her world.

Oh, and if she could show off Justin’s latest masterpiece in a booth babe like get-up, all the better.

Finally, there’s the obvious. To some people these days, a full body suit of chain mail with a knight’s tabard is as pornographic as the Heavy Metal magazine! Sure, it’s two years old, but read this article and feel your ability to give a fuck short circuit! I mean, you’d expect this kind of shit with Episode VI.

D&D Recap, part 3

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, cussing, adding to the previous post, Bunny Girl Acolytes. Psychobreak reference. (Yeah, I know it’s called “The Evil Within” in the states, but after what localization is doing to games these days, I would rather go to play-asia.com and buy an ‘all regions’ uncensored version of the game. Cute ninjas in bikinis, motherfuckers!)

Item: Addendum for Dreams of the Red Wizards, 4 Feb

Meanwhile, while the party is about to sludge through unholy undead dwarven death, the players is going send some minor PCs to form a virtual team with former PCs. It’ll take 1000 Gold (taken from the business funds) to fund a team, lead by…Holy Fucking Shit…Merdoc, that glorious bastard. For those who are just following along, virtual teams are teams of NPCs (or in this case, former PCs, of which this particular table has a metric fuckton of.) that are having their own adventures alongside the players. This might come into play during Epics-style modules that are built for multiple tables at the same time.

In this case, Merdoc’s [Virtual] Team is heading back to Phylund Lodge to turn that into a replacement farm. They should meet with little resistance, emphasis on the word should. They will leave Waterdeep from the Fountain Inn at the start of the next session.

Item: Princes of the Apocalypse, 5 Feb

This session dealt with the Sky Castle, and of a random (read: Pulled out of my ass) elite mook I’d like to call “The Butcher”. You see, the random generator for the castle presented a room with a whole lot of skeletons hanging from the ceiling. Someone said that they wouldn’t want to see who might’ve been responsible for this.

Just as I have this running through my head.

And then they opened up the next door.

Guess what they discovered? J

I used the Gladiator NPC block to denote the Butcher, which they promptly dispatched. As they progressed through a corridor, they found a bunch of cages with future victims, which the party freed, a castle-bound stable for flying animals—how else is a homicidal psychopath going to get up here, how else did he find the place, and how else could he snatch unsuspecting people and bring them up here so he can…work…in privacy—and a landing strip on the castle.

The three ladies are grateful for their rescue, and they will remember the party in the future: Erimith, a female elf fighter who plays the lute. Atiel, a female elf druid who somehow couldn’t remember who she was before being found in the forest. And Gili, a female gnome fighter who was looking for her companion, a green fire drake known as Frinan, when she was captured.

On to the air weapon, which they found with relatively less resistance:

Skybolt

Weapon (Longbow), legendary (requires attunement by an Elf, ranger; or rogue)

A longbow created with yew wood and inscribed with a elvish script that glows when the string is pulled. The energies will create an arrow made of electricity if no arrow is notched.

You gain the following benefits while holding this magic weapon:

  • If you do not notch an arrow into the bow, it will create one. This has unlimited uses.
  • Any arrow notched into the bow will automatically add a +2 to attack and damage rolls with it.
  • When you roll a 20 on an attack roll with this weapon against a member of the Cult of the Howling Hatred, the creature hit must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or have the dealt damage (after bonuses and maxed dice rolls) doubled. If this damage reduces the HP to 0, the target is chunkied.

Sentience. Skybolt is a sentient, chaotic good weapon with an Intelligence of 12, a Wisdom of 13, and a Charisma of 10. It can see and hear out to 120 feet and has darkvision. It communicates by transmitting emotions to its wielder, although on rare occasions it uses a limited form of telepathy to bring to the wielder’s mind a couplet or stanza of ancient Dwarvish verse.

Personality: Skybolt is a lighthearted weapon, with a somewhat sunny disposition and a fondness for adventure. The wearer could sense its delight for exploring, hunting, and taking out the bad guys. It also longs to join with its brothers for the grand quest it longs for.

It was after they acquiring the second of the four weapons when they are visited by the Priestess of the Elemental Air, Savra! Looks like someone on the bad guys subscribe to the “Let the fools do the dirty work so we can steal the prize when they get out,” strategy. Unfortunately for her, the players proved too powerful for her to take on outside of her home base.

Or the player’s ingenuity. Remember that Bunny Ears from earlier. One of them decided to try to put it on the one remaining Hurricaine. With a successful DEX check, it was slipped on.

The Hurricaine stopped, blinked, fell on her knees, and claimed to be hungry. After scarfing down a ration, she decided to tell the party what she knows, and agreed to join Ildar, the evangelizing Paladin of Lathander, in his new temple…provided that she can incorporate a Bunny Suit into her vestments of course. Her name was Joyce, and she was an orphan who fell into the Cult of Howling Hatred because she had no other place to go.

She knows that Savra was once a Feathergale knight who somehow was drawn into the cult in private by Aerisi Kalinoth, the previous Prophetess of Elemental Air. When she perished at the end the previous attempt to corrupt the world (last year, game time. By the Encounters team real time.) it triggered a contingency plan that turned Savra into her successor, complete with turning her into a winged elf. She is consumed with a hatred for humanity for killing her mistress and vows revenge on all of creation.

Joyce also remembered that there is a secret passage to the Temple of Earth (or the Temple of the Black Earth in the modules) from the new dungeon built in the Sacred Stone Monastery. (It’s the dungeon that housed the earth weapon.) While she doesn’t know the details—it’s somewhere in that dungeon—she knows that it exists.

She might tell more info in later sessions, as the storyline dictates.