What do you do to a sleeping PC?

I’ve forgot to tell you this about my Encounters session last week. During the start of the session a couple of my players was busy with a Magic: The Gathering game, so they told me to go ahead and start without them. (Not a bright idea to do when there’s a boss fight looming.)

Since I started the session from an extended rest, I just said that there are two PC’s are oversleeping. Which as a response the same older player who said that Madusa can’t bounce their petrifying gaze off mirrors (Nice try, David) came out with a brilliant idea: “Break Out the Magic Markers!”

For the rest of the session, the two oversleepers had on black in specs, the word “Stupid” on their foreheads, and a big arrow pointing to their heads on their chests.

Which got me thinking: What else can we do to sleeping PCs brought on by either late Players, or those who needed to duck to the bathroom (I’ve done that at least twice this campaign, I’m ashamed to admit) in the middle of the session. Nothing too serious, I’m thinking Bam Margera “My friend’s a D*ck” prankery here.

I have a couple, but I’d like to open this discussion up to my G+ and Minds.com audience: Do you have any suggestions on how to prank wake-up a sleeping PC. The best ones will go into a d12 table which I’ll actually use, and post, in my own games.

The first one is what I call the “JigglypuffPUFF!” or the “Break Out the Magic Markers!” or the only part of the entire Pokemon franchise that I find actually funny. (IMHO, of course), where the PC wakes up with his face covered in black ink. I really should have Magic Markers available in the sundry items shops in my campaigns.

Another depends on the other player’s sensibilities, where the sleeping PC gets his clothing and armor striped. Said PC can continue the session in his or her undies, in the buff, or for added humiliation, cross-dressed. If the PC is female, it’s fetish outfit time! (I doubt you’d want to be late knowing that your poor character is going to dungeon delve dressed like a Playboy Bunny, unless you actually like that you pervert, heh heh heh)

And then there’s slipping a little local animal (provided that animal doesn’t have a poison or petrifying attack) into the offender’s sleeping bag, having the bard quietly walk up and blast out something form the First Four Black Sabbath albums (My personal favorite), dropping a lit firecracker next to his eardrum, and so on.

But what say you? Do you have a better idea than what I thought up? Let me know in the comments. The best ones will make my d12 Humiliation Wake Up table.

Dreams of the Red Wizards Recap, 2 Jul 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Bears, DMing at the seat of my pants, Constructive Critism

Good news: I managed to get a streaming session going. Bad News: Only 2 caracters showed up. A new regular who’s playing a Pandaren called Chou (using my own 5ed Custom race) and one of his friends who’s playing a goliath as a one shot. I didn’t want to play with just two people, but both me and the new regular just wanted to play, so I improvised a couple set up scenes to get Chou up with the other players. I had a perfect scene with the guards at the still-lockdown Daggerford, inspired by Christopher Titus:

Guard at Daggerford: “Step Through, Step Through, Step Through, HEY! You with the Goatee! I Don’t Like Your Look! Empty your pockets, take off your shoes, Panda you go ahead, YOU! {Puts on a rubber glove} I believe this search’s gonna be a bit more intensive…Hold on. {Picks up a 2-way radio.} Hello! Of course I let him through, he’s a Pandaren. Well, how would you know he’s not Chen Stormstout!?”

Yeah, how would he know Chou wasn’t a Stormstout. It ain’t like Faerun’s part of the Nexus, ain’t it? (Although I did create the Pandaren class as spiteful payback for Blizzard. Get my ass addicted to Heroes of the Storm, did they? Although I have to admit, this Friday I’m getting Charter Internet, and once I do I’m going to try to stream Heroes of the Storm for a regular streaming habit. I’m rambling here.)

I took the Pandaren and his one-time Goliath partner through a couple encounters, getting them to Level 2 in the process, and got him into a grand entrance with the rest of the team in time for a slobbernocker of an opening battle.

Not bad, and the two newest members of my playing audience liked what I was doing. And one of them even offered a bit of constructed criticism: While I was clearly stammering and stuttering in this session, they could tell that I was doing things more freely when I was just flying off the seat of my ass, and was a bit sketchier when I was referring to the module, reading parts of it when required. They suggested that I do more free-wheeling as a DM.

A little pause here to talk to those who want to bring a critique to me: This guy did it over Skype in a conversational format, listening to me as I respond to his criticism and digesting it, (I told them about my need to plan ahead for my campaign sessions, which is my MO here) and keep things without any snark above some light humor. This is how you do it if you want to criticize me. I’ve been ‘criticized’ for over two decades online, at times to the point of fearing posting anything because of the constant drivel, and when I hit the ban hammer on someone trying to give me some “Constructive Criticism,” more often than not it’s because of the vitriol and denigration they include into it. When someone claim that someone “Just can’t accept criticism,” often times it’s not on what’s being said, but the method and tone used. There’s a line between Criticism and an outright Flame, and some people can’t tell the difference. You’ll probably find them in comment sections of various social media, anonymous Image Boards, Amazon and Goodreads reviews, and the like. They bewail the part about people wilting like too-fragile-to-live flowers at one little criticizing word, and weep over books they refuse to read, or artwork they refuse to see getting wall to wall positive reviews, and that the whole world is full of weak-spined and thin-skinned wimps who can’t take it without crying like autistic babies.   My personal favorite is TV Tropes locking their Chris-Chan page and people complaining that the site’s officially gone to Hell.  Unfortunately, they don’t want to see their own reflection in the mirror.

Back to my Roll20 table. I hope to get everyone in my table next week, I hope. Those who do Virtual Tables knows how much this is like hearding cats. (I call it, things I struggle through on the way to a Twitch Channel that pays.) When they do—I have to say ‘when’—I have a perfect restart of the Dreams of the Red Wizards campaigns and hopefully get back to regular streaming.

Especially when I get my Charter Internet. Need it for the speed.

Encounters Recap, 1 Jul 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, vomiting, DM trying to be a dick, DM failing to be a dick, possible replaying.

This week’s was a bit short, but it was supposed to be, it was a boss fight. This session, the party found Marios Urnrayle, the prophet of the Cult of Elemental Earth! And his five—count ‘em—Shadow Deamons. I had to put five in there, because of my party being so severely overpowered. My screwing with the party started early due to me making the bear and bullete keep their distance from the Screaming Statues room (B21 for those following at home with their ‘Princes of the Apocalypse’ modules; and you can get them from my Amazon A-store, accessible from that menu on the upper left.) and messing with Chase’s character’s danger sense.

Me: You sense light danger from the barracks to the south. (B18)
Chase: And up north? (B21)
Me: Roll a CON check to keep your lunch down.

I made him chuck in his mouth. He got a clue. The whole party got a clue.

If that didn’t tell the party that I’m meaning business, the four extra Shadow Deamons certainly did. I even put up a rule that Marios tries his petrifying gaze whenever someone rolls a 1. I also tried getting stuff under the radar: I thought about having reflective surfaces where he bounces his gaze around, but one of my older players remembered the old classic version of Clash of the Titans and knows that reflections doesn’t work that way (Unless they’re trying to bounce the gaze back at the medusa, of course.) So that didn’t work.

At least I get another crack at turning some of these characters into statues. I used the Earthen Defeat feature to get Marios outta there at the end and left a message in the mud he left behind: “This isn’t over, Assholes.”

Yeah, they’re going to meet him again, and he’ll be prepared.

But in the meantime, I have to set up another map for the party. They’ve finally reached the Fane of the Eye map, which means that I can set up a new map and set of encounters on the party. And I really have to make them uber difficult.

But in retrospect, if I haven’t told you about this earlier, I realized that Princes of the Apocalypse has quite a replay value. In my Encounters table, we might just be able to deal with one of the Princes. There’s four in total, which means that a DM can use this campaign multiple times to deal with the other Princes, and maybe even provide newer villians that will delve into the Temple of the Elements; and then there’s always the upcoming new campaign world I’ll be blogging about this coming week.

Encounters Recap, 24 Jun 15

Trigger Warning: Spoilers, DM being a dick, blogging in Minds.com

The online campaign still has some party members going in and out—if you’re interested in some online play, let me know—so the only action would be in the Encounters Table.

Going through two rooms in the Temple of Black Earth. One was a slow pitch encounter of just Duergar Dwarves that some in my table want more of, but I don’t have enough room for in the Instant Action grid.

But in a scene that can be filed into the “You can’t win everything department,” the next encounter had an Bulette in the bad guys…which the bulette that was one of party member’s sensed. Chase is his name, and we had this little gem of a discussion.

The bad guy’s bulette Deadly Leaped into action, squishing, biting and almost killing the newly transformed rabbitkin.

Chase: Okay, folks, we know how many Hit Points they have, I have the stat block with here.

Me: Ahem… (I put down 135 next to the bad guy bulette’s Hit Points) …look at the stuff next to the hit points, in parenthesis, which are the hit dice.

Chase: Oh Shit! If he rolled for it and got max hit points . . . . you fucking asshole, David!

Folks, you should know me by now, if I were really an asshole. There’d be at least a TPK by now. Maybe two of them. I’m the kind of guy who equates cruelty as a DM (or a writer for that matter) with Game of Throne type shit. We’re talking PC’s stripped naked and doing the walk of shame for feeding a homeless person, followed by the execution of said character’s immediate family just for shits and giggles.

What I’m doing is cranking up the action, because my party’s pretty much overpowered for 5th Level charcters: I made a barbarian second class in Favored Soul—how I designate Chosen in my Forgotten Realms—and gave the party both a bear and a fucking bulette for companions. (And get this, people, the guy with the bear, wanted to have a bulette as a second companion. I had to put my foot down on that wish.) I’m definitely needed to ratchet up the difficulty of the encounters…and probably have places where the companions can’t follow them to, there’s at least two places in this particular map to throw that curve.

If there’s one thing I learned when doing this season of encounters, is that sometimes the game becomes a nuclear escalation game between the party and the DM, only you don’t know if the outcome’s going to be epic or a tragedy. I’m still hoping for Epic.

Yeah, that glass is always half full to me…or in other times…half drunk.

I close with a little announcement. I’ve been told by several online players that they’re very interested in the kind of campaign world I turned the Forgotten Realms into. For the uninitiated, I take the normal Forgotten Realms, and bring in the dawn age of invention into it. Using the Spellplague as an excuse, I had wizards turn into artifice to take up the slack left by the lack of normally-working magic. During this time, wizards in Faerun discovered the earliest inventions of the 1800s, such as a light bulb, steam power, radio, telegraph, railways, and the like. With the Sundering resetting magic back to its factory settings, so to speak, we now have a traditional fantasy world combined with the age of invention, which some players thought was really cool. (And a unique reinvention of Ebberon).

That got me an idea, and I want to use this to promote Minds.com. I want to set up a public discussion on the creation of my own campaign world, from its big picture topics, to setting and location design, and eventually to a couple campaigns to put into a printed publication. Of course, I’ll tell you of developments as I make them.

Encounters recap, 17 Jun 15

Trigger Warning: Spoilers, Bunny Bois, a slow week, and a new social media!

I have to say a slow week, because my Roll 20 crowd is still in a state of flux. I gained two players, lost 1, and then had one player have to cancel tonight because of a family emergency. So I called this week off and hope to try again next week: “Trials and Tribulations on the way to Twitch fame and fortune.”

Back at Encoutners. It seems that Kyle and his Wild Mage Smurf just couldn’t stop. It’s almost like his current need to use Smurf as a verb, adverb, and adjective every five seconds. He cast his Disguise Self into someone else to appear as a bunny. And he still did his max damage Firebolt ( I tempt fate again: 18d6! ) for another roll on that Wild Mage table. I tossed in another twist: Because of his use of Wild Magic, that disguise was actually a Polymorph: That guy isn’t disguised as a rabbit, he’s a rabbitfolk now until I say otherwise! (Why did he cheer?) I even printed out my Rabbitfolk wiki article to hand it to him next time.

2015-06-20 00_02_06-ApplicationWindow

They’ve started at the Shrine of Black Earth, and did two encounters, one of which ran into their first Burrowshark with his bulette. Yes, the Burrowshark had a name. And yes, they had their Death Note. Yes I’m allowing them to use it. (I made the ruleing that it cannot affect anyone outside of the game—especially me. I think I heard Venca go, “Oh, you wanna try to beat this one in a game of Twister eh, Ryuk? Go ahead.” –SNAP!– “OOOWWW!” Venca: “Yeah, he broke your fsking arm did he? Now you know why we D&D deities don’t mess with David Foxfire!”) And yes I have a mean surprise for them when they do use it: Since they’re in the Temple of the Elements, the Dark Powers will create an Elemental theme in their reprisal. That’s all I’ll say.

Another way I can crank things up for my players? Surprise them with a second bulette. I had the Burrowshark tell the shark he owned to burrow under the ground—in a dungeon no less—set up a second bulette that was wondering around to attack, making the party think that this second bulette was the first one, and then once bulette #2 was taken down, have bulette #1 appear right up from under the party! It was a riot, and judging by the “Wow!” factor of the people in the table, I should do that more.

And that wasn’t even the wild part. Someone got the idea of taking out the Burrowshark and then use Animal Handling to make that Bulette his companion! (Not the druid, he’s got that bear.) He needed to make a contested check to do it…and he passed. The party just wowed me right back.

Now my party is full of Level 4 characters who are a touch OP, with a bear and a fricking Land Shark about to wreak havoc in the Temple of the Elements. Hmmm, should I tell them about the big boss in this particular level…..naaaaah! I need to relieve some of these kids of their character sheets by now.

2015-06-20 01_28_09-DavidFoxfire _ MindsI leave with an announcement of my online social media presence.  This week witnessed the launch of what some would call “a true Facebook Killer”, Minds.com .  You’ve probably recieve word aobut Google Plus being a Loss Leader because of a lack of people willing to part with the Twitter and Tumblr, which has been corrupted by too much drama for most sane people to stay in there, and Facebook, which has become too overcommericalized, is a major privacy violation, and is more cluttered than my apartment.  (Is it possible for a web site to get its own episode on Hoarders?  It’s that fugly to use.)

Minds.com is open source, allows Encryption (!!!), is sponsored by Anonymous (Double !!!) and even rewards people for putting content in there.  Find a way for detect and downvote SJWs and their crap and it’ll be perfect!

I chose Google Plus for my Social Media of course because it lacks the emotional and poltical baggage of “The Big Three” Social Media.  Minds.com could easily replace it in the future with it’s privacy and ethics thrown in.  It’s probably only a question of when I make the full transition.

Online Campaign Recap, 15 Jun 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, need for a digest, toddler PCs and Twins played by co-DMs

I finally got some people together to continue Dreams of the Red Wizards and go through most of the basement level of Harpshield Castle, just in time for someone from my Encounters table to get on Skype (the program I use for chat while I’m using Roll20) and stated their need to join in. That made for a great cliffhanger where the Albino Orc shows up with the Delimbiyr Bloke, the Zombie of the sculptor that made a copy of that device…and what the hell, I’ll toss in the Zombie Hoard for good measure.

Meanwhile, one of my Skype friends I met from Roll20 has invited me to co-DM another campaign, and we will have a set of twin characters that we’ll swap into when we’re on the other side of the campaign. (One plays with the team while the other is behind the screen.) It’ll be a Moon Elf Fighter and Cleric duo where I’ll show more as I go along, and yes, before you ask, yes I’m going to stream it.

I haven’t been putting much recaps into my Play by Post campaigns. This is because RPoL doesn’t have a public viewing mode. Instead I intend to set up digests of the forums for the public to read. Right now I’m working on Chapter 1 of Masks and Mythos, which goes through the initial character meeting up with Natasha, the Ghaele Demigod. They’re currently in the start of the action, where they run into a Murder Mystery that they need to help Grand Inquisitor Florence solve. How does this relate to Natasha’s vision of an adventure park for Faerunians to practice in? Stay tuned.

Encounters Update: 10 May 15

Trigger Warning: Spoilers, Smurfs, Bears, DM being a d*ck, and Bill and Ted reference.

Yes, it’s about this time when I start cranking on some of the jerkdom as I crank up the difficulty. As the line says, “Give them the sun, make them fight for the Moon.” They’re at the part where they’re fighting for the moon.

This comes into play as I’ve get them to clear the B1 of the Sacred Stone Monastery, and further down into what I’m calling “The Temple of the Elements,” which is usually called “The Temple of Elemental Evil.” This is due of me not being focusing on the nine Alignments, I don’t call Elemental energies as Evil or Good; only the way it is used. In an Elemental Evil like adventure like Princes of the Apocalypse, there are Elemental brings that with to use the Elements for nihilistic goals, and thus provide the Evil in the campaign. I can see a faction like the Emerald Enclave or the Order of the Gauntlet send adventuring parties into this Temple dungeon regularly to ensure that these beings don’t make a resurgence. Also in the campaign, the main goal is to deal with just one of the four Elemental brings. That will give this module a lot of replayability as the other three Elementals need to be dealt with.

That, and there’s also the upcoming Rise of Tiamat to deal with.

2015-06-14 01_45_28-ApplicationWindowIn the previous post, I gave you a report on one of the PCs (played by Kyle, who is also in my Dreams of the Red Wizards campaign) being turned into an honest-to-god Smurf, complete with blue skin, and all white outfits…and the compulsion to dance whenever Fibbler (Spoony Bard PC of one of my older players) plays with his fiddle.

I even made him a card that describes his doubled curse. Yes, he needs to have Remove Curse cast on him…twice.   He gets the “Your Skin Turns Blue” again, he shrinks down to three inches tall and you need a Wish to undo it.

That’s not all of what I do.

In one of the rooms in the floor, I put in a whole lot of mushrooms. Magic mushrooms? Perhaps, Perhaps. However, I added a part that the Drow-turned-Smurf is overcome with the desire to stay in the room and call it home. Cue some comical scenes where the other party members hogtie the blue boy and eventually spit out a Lesser Restoration to counter that effect.

By now this guy, is starting to hate me.

I love my job.

But that’s not the part that raised my ire.

This is.

DeathNoteTheMusicalSomeone, brought a Death Note in my table! Not just that, the party actually used that to predict the death of a named character.

That, sadly, means that they can use the Death Note in the campaign. I have to put my foot down and claim that it can’t be used IRL. And claim that it’s because I beaten Death in a particularly nasty game of Twister. I’ll let you figure out the reference.

Of course, if they use it, it’s going to have dire circumstances, so they have better be careful using it. It could be another reason why someone will have to make another character.

2015-06-14 03_11_04-Statblock exampleLast but not least, I have the druid back at the table, and so I included a bear companion (They keep chanting “Needs Moar Bear!”) for the kid, and as I’ve mentioned earlier, I added a little cutscene of said bear waltzing into the Monastery, and in an opportune moment in a combat, I have that bugger chase some extra human shields into the party’s way. Much to the crowd’s delight.

I also included a printout of the specialty created Monster Manual entry for the bear in question. After an extensive search for a decent stat block creator that at least looks close enough to the published books, I chose a new Statblock markup that is found in github. It requires Chrome for it to work right, which is its sole down side, but it’s a small sacrifice for a decent finished graphic to use in my plans and future modules. I hope they work on this some more and employ a better entry interface for this, because this is the closest to the Monster Manual stat block, and by far the easiest for me to read.

Uncovered Arcana for June 15: Variant Rules

Before I begin with this, there is something I forgot to tell you from last week’s Encounters session: In the group, we have a Drow Wild Mage (Sorcerer) who by now … well … he’s no longer a drow.

For those who seen the Wild Magic table in the Player’s Handbook, one of those Wild Magic effects is that your character’s skin turns into a vibrant shade of blue. This character rolled that result earlier in the campaign, so his colors are now blue skin with white hair.

If you can guess by the title image, you can see where this is going:

Last week, he did the Wild Magic table and….he rolled this same result again. This time, I didn’t just make his skin blue. I shrunk him down, turned his clothes solid white and turned his face into a cupie doll.

Yes, ladies and germs, We have a wild mage smurf in my encounter party.

Lolth is very, very, pissed off at me right now. But who cares, that eight-legged bitch sics SWAT teams at #Gamergate supporters, so I’m getting her back.

What’s worse, this is a doubling of a curse, so the remove curse ritual has to be performed twice, and I’ll make no guarantee that it’ll completely succeed. Heh heh heh.

Making a special rule for this character is really going to be a treat for me. Which leads me to this month’s Unearthed Arcana at Wizards.

I’m glad that Wizards is considering the incorporation of Home Rules in 5th Edition, which will help keep the game adaptable for player and DM’s tastes. I do have my own House Rules, some already canonized into the publications (Such as the Spell Point Variant which is available for both characters and spellcasting NPCs. A single number is easier to track, and I have made the proper reference to the original material when I have to copy WOTC’s books.) while others I borrowed from other games, the most borrowed being Fatecore, with the use of a node map instead of a grid, adding Fate Points features to my Action Point mechanic, and most recently including Fudge Dice into the mix (Protip: You can go cheap by using store-bought dice from where you get your playing cards; 1 and 2s are minuses, and 5 and 6s are pluses. Behind the DM screen nobody would care what they look like.) I also include an injury mechanic with a special d12 just for that purpose, and in later sessions, I’ll be bringing back critical and fumble tables as well, which I omitted in my Princes of the Apocalypse table because of the sheer number of players involved.

As for the variants in this Unearthed Arcana? I’d say that the first one of letting the players roll for the monsters would be a good idea to keep people from looking out the window. Vitality, however, would be a bit too mechanical as opposed to my Injury Dice. But customized Alignments, that has some possibilities, because even with the return of the dual axis old-school alignment array, I find the traditional D&D alignments to be somewhat abstract and not as realistic for some areas. I’ve seen cases, even in real life, where someone in one alignment warps around into an opposing side, like in the classic “He Who Fights Monsters” scenario.

What I’d like to see, and what I’ll probably do in my own homemade campaigns, is to incorporate something from the other WOTC franchise: MTG’s Color Wheel.

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Mark Rosewater once made a series of articles describing the flavor of each of these colors: Green, White, Blue, Black, and Red. I refer back to these five articles from time to time when I ponder where some of my characters stand in its many combinations. (25 in all, including “Guilds”, “Shards”, and “Clans”) I find it a lot more variable and accommodating to the majority of my characters and NPCs which makes the lure to include the Color Wheel into a D&D setting very alluring. And besides, it’s easier then incorporating the cards into the game, which every time I consider it leads to an awful mess.

Also to be spoken is that you can get White and LG villains as well as Black and CE heroes eventually in any campaign world. Like I said, “He Who Fights Monsters.”

Encounters Recap; Dated 3 JUN 2015

Trigger Warning: Spoilers, Fast Zombies, Extended Rest in a prison cell, and an exclusive cutscene.

There wasn’t any Thursday online group because someone fell ill, so it’s just my Encounters table here.

The heroes recovered from their impromptu Umbra Hulk encounter to find themselves in a lair above a trap door that has clearly seen a lot of use, judging from all the organic debris scattered about. I made the west door rusted shut—by now I’m not making things that easy; that door leads straight to the Temple of Black Earth—so the party headed over to the east door.

A door that someone Leroy Jenkined through.

Right into a crypt full of zombies.

My custom made fast zombies.

Needless to say, that little bugger booked it back to the party, with eight zombies running right on his heels. Laughter and Initiative rolls ensued.

They progressed through the main entry room with three Orogs and an Ogre, and found a pair of keys (I guess the monks believed in always having a spare key available, I know I do.) One of which opened the prison cells, whom they said that someone from the delegation (the same group that was lost in the outskirts of Beliard) is somewhere on the floor and needs rescuing. Once they led the party members out, the party in their infinite wisdom, decided that sleeping in the cells was a good idea.

I thought about Jurth meeting them when they woke up would be a good idea, but then I thought, it’s about 15 minutes left in the campaign, let’s have Quarbo and his friends deal with them. I would’ve put down the hurt with shatter if the party haven’t saved.

But in afterthought, I realized that I really wanted to clear the Sacred Stone Monastery of Cultists and monks because I want to use it for something else. In this encounter, I introduced in name, if not in person, a hero Lich named Renwick Caradoon. He’s a rare case that he hadn’t acquired lichhood not from necrotic magic, but from a mistaken potion from his brother. “We had a collective whoops together,” he had written in a book that he posted in his eventual tomb.”

He takes a role in this cutscene which I haven’t included because the Druid wasn’t there:


 

The monastery was quiet for the bear. Too quiet.

He could hear the commotion that was battle and he felt a tad disappointed in not being in it.

Then his senses perked up, he felt a connection with one of that party strengthen. The druid that befriended him. He knew that the Druid would need his help, his protection, and his company.

But as he bounded around the monastery, he couldn’t find a way in. All of the doors were closed shut, and even with his strength, he couldn’t crash one in.

But as he rounded a corner for the last time, wondering about giving up, he noticed a door being open for him. He went through.

The bear entered the older part of the monastery, detailed very different from the rest of the building. However, the bear didn’t notice anything except the effervescent scent of undeath. The lower part of a tower is fitted out as a laboratory, with work tables covered in alchemical apparatuses and shelves full of strange curios and dusty clay jars. The windows are bricked up, and cobwebs hand thick in the ceiling corners. The only light comes from glowing crystals placed on the walls and floating about in random locations.

The bear sniffed very cautiously at the ancient figure leaning back in his chair. He was taking a break from his tomes and notes with a Sudoku puzzle. He looks up at the bear, and although it was a face that is several centuries older than a human being should look like, there was no malice in this being’s ancient eyes. Just an acknowledgement of the bear’s existence.

“Your friends might need your help,” he said to the bear, who merely huffed. The bear looked around and found a staircase leading down.

“Yes, they’re down there.” The Lich said, as he pulled out something from a desk to his side, a glowing golden amulet. He got up and handed it to the bear. “Take this to them, it’ll come in handy.”

The bear thought about it for a moment. He sniffed at the amulet, and noticed that it wasn’t like the lich itself. Maybe the lich is powerful enough not to need it. He didn’t think about why such a being would just hand him something, but he did take the amulet in his mouth and bounded down the stairs.

The Lich just returned to his chair and continued his Sudoku puzzle.

Dreams of the Red Wizards recap 28 May 15

Trigger Warning: Spoilers, technical stuff, cannabis, prostitutes, Pixies in the Skies with Diamonds, players and Dungeon Masters just having fun and not giving a shit, Charging Lasers and Shooting Whoops

I managed to get the streaming part in a decent setting. Roll20 on Firefox with Skype without my webcamera works great. Not perfect, but useable. I’ll file this under Kaisen, a Japanese term meaning “to keep improving over time,” and I’ll keep working on improving this part. I’ve played with Spartan (now called Edge), the new Microsoft browser for Win10, and I hope that Roll20 will work as well with this browser as it does in Twitch.

Of course, in the future, there might need a computer that will get me a better stream, since people say that my new machine is just powerful enough to do the job but just barely, but that’s going to be further down the timestream. Needless to say that the “Affiliates” tab on the main menu to this site is there for a reason.

Back to the gameplay. I managed to have four regulars, which is much appreciated in an D&D environment infamous for people to rage-quit without announcing it, which I’ve learned very quickly is part of being in Roll20. Nice to know that the regulars—one of which came from my Encounters page; Kyle, this bud’s for you. And yes, it’s Faerun weed…I doubt you’d get a buzz off it though—and they’re very encouraging. They like what they’re seeing from me and want me to keep going, and when there’s something that needs fixing, they just say it without any snark or ridicule. That’s what gets me out of bed and going to work, whatever it is I need to do or what others want me to do.

During the session, I managed to guide the party through most of the rumor gathering scene and eventually into their first delve, in Harpshield Castle. I think they had the most fun in the Lady Luck Tavern, where the players gleefuly drew over it. While I had to keep them from writing balls and penises all over creation like most teenaged kids usually do, I couldn’t help but laugh at them doing SHOOP DA WHOOP all over the screen (I wish I had a screen cap for that) posting the Question Marks I forgot to put over NPCs who had rumors to say—Note to self, include that!—and watching the pixie get so stoned off acid spray-spiked beer that he saw colors and hear smells. We were all laughing out loud. This pixie then proceeded to prank PC and NPC alike with his ventriloquism and Invisibility for some DM-encouraged mischief.

And then they discovered Natyssa, the requisite Whore with a Heart of Goldtm, who some of the party hit on, including the Dwarf. If anyone has been in this module, you could possibly expect what would happen if they did. Stay tuned, it’s all I can say.

After much deliberation, juvenile antics, a half-orc trying on a Disney Princess dress (!!!) and more spiked booze, the party decided to first deal with the Orc incursion in the region, and that takes them to Harpshield. Knowing about the gricks festering the place, the succeeded (with a Nat 20) to convince the Orcs that they’re there to exterminate the gricks from the place. So the orcs merely laughed when the Ake, the half-orc crossdresser opened the first door he saw and realized that he opened the latrine, sans toilet. With two diseased gricks who popped out and attack.

They’re in an extended rest (the Orcs will leave them alone if they are left alone themselves) so I can do two things: Refine the maps in the Castle and streamline the storyline. With Roll20, I can easily expand the map to fit the grid, and it’ll be my first dabbling into dynamic lighting; something I’ve been told to put in there. At first I balked at that because I wanted to emulate my Real Life table, which isn’t very capable for dynamic lighting, but since it’s been requested a lot for me, I’ll be putting it in my Harpshield 2F map.

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