D&D Recap, Dec 2-4, Part 1

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Multiple Parts, Chapter Recaps, Business Reports, Sex-Positive content, and a DM who’s perturbed by unspoken political shit on the media.

I shouldn’t have to remind you of the notice I’ve added on the left side of this web site, do I?

Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff to go through, so I had to split it into three installments. I pretty much had a full week Dungeon Mastering, which is good, because of what happened in San Bernardino (which was bad) and what counted as news in the aftermath (which was just as worse as it was expected. We’ll never have another September 12 where we more or less united as a nation anymore. First chance I see that D&D dark ride, I’m going in it.)

Item: Out of the Abyss, Encounters, Wednesday 2 DEC

Compared to the previous week, things were slow, with just four people. It’s expected, being in the holiday season, to have less people coming to the table over at Hero’s Hideout. Unfortunately, this is during a time where the store itself is having a hard time; the business needed to cut back with some of its inventory (canceling comic books unless the people order it, as well as pulling back available games. I don’t like where this is heading, especially with the possibility of the store closing and me needing to find a new space to set up a local public D&D night.

The party of four managed to get to Entemoch’s Boon, and found out that the basilisks were using that summoning circle as a nest. At least one of those eggs will be kept to hatch, I know it. Meanwhile, I had them meet Grazilaxx, the Society of Brilliance Mind Flayer member, after he had his midnight snack of dead insane drow. He told the party about what happened in the Neverlight Grove: The deep gnomes there managed to gather the supplies they need to ooze-proof the party’s weapons, but at dire cost: The spore malaise that came from the Demon Queen of Fungi, Zuggtmoy, enveloped this unfortunate party and infected them with her madness. They left the stocked up cart for a Shambling Mound to find, who would’ve destroyed it and its contents if the party didn’t arrive to pick it up.

At this point, I can begin the Battle of Blingdenstone at the next session, which will be the closing part of the first half of this campaign…provided that the story stays open for me to actually finish it.

Item: Dreams of the Red Wizards, Thursday 3 DEC

In both of my Roll20 campaigns, I’m running a party that’s in a state of flux; with the constant need for new characters to fill in the needed spots. (I tend to call a session off if I have three or less players. Note to self, make a special three-player event for when I only have my three Encounters mainstays, Bill, Rich, and John, with me.) I’ve kept an open call, and in some cases even a waiting list of new players, some of which join in to find out more about my style and then bowing out for one reason or another. Not that I mind, though; I’m still looking for a steady group to have a running stream anyway. That will still take me a year or two to get. I just hope that this vetting process (and the constant sense that I’m herding cats getting a party together) pass sooner rather than later.

This session ran as slow as my Encounters table, but in this case, it’s because they were in the last room of the Floshin Estate chapter and are en route to Firehammer’s Hold, which they’ll begin in the next session. They managed to defeat Shalendra Floshin, the elf that’s possessed by the demon Baazka, but not completely sever his hold on her. At this point, the party’s succubus ally Pancheska showed up with a cleaning crew of maids dressed like the anime He Is My Master. (I warned you about the Sex-Positive content didn’t I? And Pancheska would be more drawn toward those uniforms than Yoshitaka Nakabayashi will ever be. And yes, before you ask, she has already had orgies with them by now. Succubus, hello?) As her cleanup crew take care of the mess the party has made of the mansion—and insisting that they do not take the mansion for themselves—she discussed the inert, and naked, elf: Bazzka still has a connection to her and can still except control unless the connection is severed. This can be done in two ways at this time. One, take her to the House of the Morning in town for an exorcism. That would be a standard play, but even in her human guise, Pancheska doesn’t like being near that place much. She might not be “Evil” but that’s still a church, after all. And then there’s Option Two: Pencheska could transfer the connection from Bazzka to herself, using her nature as a demon herself. This will only make Shalendra remain a puppet, although to a different master, and might make her become a Succubus herself. How that would happen, of course, would be telling.

At this time, I get word that the party wants to take over the entire Sword Coast, City by City, starting with Daggerford if they could handle it. That gets me worried a bit, not because of the logistical nightmare it would take to usurp the whole Lord’s Alliance (who would team up and stomp my party flat, nonetheless, while Pancheska just laughs at the mortal’s folly. As she takes up control of the related business, of course) but also because I have plans for them. The second part of this campaign is Dead in Thay, which will end with a rather important decision for the party.

But that’s still far ahead in the time stream. The next part of this recap will discuss the business side of the Fountainhead business in Dreams of the Red Wizards, as well as a listing of the haul they have in the Floshin Estate (which Pancheska replaced behind their backs… for reasons.) The recap will close with my Princes of the Apocalypse recap, with a magic item that I brought from my Cybering sessions.

Yes, I’ll be triggering some Modern Feminists with this recap. I advise you to read that notice again.

D&D recap: 25 Nov 15

Note:  Only Encounters this week due to Thanksgiving.

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Cultural Appropriation, DMs suffering from PTSD

I do not envy Steve Harvey. Not one Iota.

While I’m not a big fan of the newer versions of Family Feud. (To me, it ain’t Family Feud if the game board doesn’t rotate or flip mechanically. Rest in peace, Richard Dawson) I have to say that the most recent incarnation has its own twist: Game Show Network does not censor the players’ answers at all, and they focus on Steve Harvey’s reaction. More often than not it’s this expression above, of him looking like he’s constipated. And if you look at the above youtube video, you will not blame him.

That’s the same kind of expression I make every week at Encounters. No fail.

Here’s what happened last time (25 Nov): I whipped up a harder dungeon to take the party to Entemoch’s Boon, a Summoning Circle for Earth Elementals, they’re going to use in the upcoming Battle of Blingdenstone. In this dungeon, I had a locked gate to the circle that needed a key, a key that is in the stomach of one of the ten Rust Monsters in an adjacent chamber. (I borrowed the idea from DDO. It was made in some indigestible cheap plastic.)

One of the players had enough smarts to use the rust monsters to their advantage, and use bags of caltrops and ball bearings to lead some of the rust monsters to the gate to eat the lock. This guy then decided that spider climbing to the roof of the chamber. Where six giant spiders pop up to cocoon him.

However, that’s not the part that drove me into a combination of laughter and tears. Two of the party members were petting these Rust Monsters.   I’ll pause here to keep me from blue-screening. One of those was Kyle, the one who likes to caress basilisks. That’s all the foreshadowing you get this week.

The other one, Cakecore, was the one who triggered me so: He tried to stuff one of those rust monsters into a Heward’s Handy Haversack.

Cue five minutes of me laughing and crying at the same time. As a Dungeon Master, I didn’t even think that was possible. Of course there was that lizard section in my brain that was loving moments like this, and he got out to play. I had that Haversack get ripped during the process, creating a small black hole to the Astral Sea. I didn’t send anyone to get spaced, though I wanted to, but it did manage to blow the rust monsters out of harm’s way. And the party loses one Haversack.

But that doesn’t make my next session all that more appealing for my blood pressure. It has basilisks in it. The module officially calls for them. They even have basilisk eggs. Do you ever walk up to someone and you just flat out know what they’re going to do, because they have that look….you know that look….

Welcome to the 5th Circle of Hades, ladies and gentleman. My name is Dungeon Master.

 

D&D recap; week of Nov 15-21 2015

Otherwise known as the “I’m a slacker” post.

Been through one meeting with family and friends all over the weekend, and I knew that I let something slip…I don’t remember what it would be…oh right, the recap! I’m an idiot!

Item: Out of the Abyss, Encounters, 18 Nov 15

I managed to get the party to release Ogremoch’s Bane from the material world, after I have them defeat the animated drow statues. But then something happened that triggered one of my pet peeves.

Remember the Dragon’s Hatchery all the way back to Hoard of the Dragon Queen? I planned a whole month of two of content in that dungeon, while I was still using the shortened Encounters version of the module. The party blazed through that dungeon in two weeks. Why? They bought a copy of the module themselves and were reading along.

I don’t mind people jumping off the tracks, even though I don’t try to railroad (I prefer a network of Paths and Nodes myself) but if you’re going to be looky looing and buying the book yourself to read ahead, at least have the decency to not let me know.

Guess what someone did this week? In Blingdenstone Area 10, there’s a deep gnome named Sark Axebarrel, who would warn the party of the medusa that they encountered the week before, and would’ve given them a reward…had the party, or someone when the party split into three separate tracks (oi!) would’ve met him.

First thing in this session, someone went and paged back in the book and went, “Hey! There’s this guy who offered a 1,000 GP diamond if we return the head of the medusa to him!”

I didn’t put in a Trigger warning, because that’s one of the few things that would’ve triggered me.

I currently have them searching for Entemoch’s Boon, and I’m going to have to make it a wee bit harder to make them responsible for this crime. I scrambled a bit in donjon.sh to generate a quick layout for a dungeon where the Earth Elemental summoning circle is located, and there’s definitely going to have to deal with the party in Neverlight Grove…I’ll be working all night tomorrow on this one.

Item: Dreams of the Red Wizards, 19 Nov 15

I managed to get some extra players in the game, and enough players arrived so I can continue in this campaign. They managed to work their way almost to the end of the Floshin Estate where they have to deal with the possessed member of their clan. I had to stop them from forging any deeds to wrest the mansion from the Floshin’s. (They want them to deal with the evils in their home, not take their home away from them.) I managed to throw in document protection schemes in official Faerunian documents that resemble checks and bills. Next time you have a check or a crisp new $20 in your hand, look it over, you’ll find a lot of anti-counterfeiting stuff in there.

Of course, the PCs continue to be stupid and see how far they can push the boundaries with me. Even though I do have some standards. (No, you cannot forge a document to show that you now own someone else’s mansion. Besides, you have 4 locations in two different cities already. Go find another abandoned shack to renovate.) I do let the dragonborn piss in fountains. But that only means that I get to summon water grues, and later on, a water elemental, to drown, strangle, and knock him out like a pinata. They finally got the hint.

This is Thanksgiving week, so I won’t have a Dreams of the Red Wizards table this week. But there might—if I can get a new player in—have a Princes of the Apocalypse session, which will make its way to a place where I bring back an item from my Author Avatar and Mind Control Roleplaying Days. Here’s a hint: Aline Rabbit.

Baldur’s Gate Investigations announced.

Let me put this out on record at the start. If you’re looking for my best effort with this project, just keep on looking. I’m learning how to program a Role Playing Game, something I always wanted to make since I was a kid, with RPG Maker MV, the program I bought so I can start off from its launch. I’m learning how to code, especially with the Gordian Knot that is Object Oriented Computing. I’m even learning how to do Digital Inking on Draw Plus for some good amount of the graphics there, especially the bust picutres.

This is not going to be a AAA-level quality game here. I doubt it’ll even be worthy for Steam.

As they say, your first novel, artwork, RPG Maker project, or anything else, is going to suck. Suck. Major. Balls.

You can understand why I’m using my first Encounters campaign I D.M.ed for my first RPG Maker Project. I wanted to remake Murder in Baldur’s Gate into something I find more agreeable, and to start bringing you, the online followers, up to speed on what’s going on in my offline Forgotten Realms campaigns. I’ll also use this game as a sort of experiment lab for future games, where I add some parts (either here or in other D&D-themed projects) which will be used for any commercial projects, if I actually start with one.

And of course, it must be said that this project is a pure fan-work. I’m doing this for the learning experience and as a derivative work, and it will be free for all to play. That way, it’ll fall into Fair Use Laws of the United States of America. I’m just doing this for the learning, for the love of D&D, and for the shits and giggles.

You might not see a lot of progress here on this blog, but I have opened up a discussion over at a RPG Maker MV forum I’m a part of. You’ll see a lot of progress there.

D&D recap, Week of 8-14 Nov, 2015

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Drow Medusas, Fresh Blood on tables, and the first invocation of the Dark Powers!!

You have to excuse me this week; between the bruhaha at Missou (which in my lived experiences proves that the ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’ rule must apply in a liberal arts college, and what happened in Paris, I had to go into my own personal ‘safe space’ for most of this week. Of course, my ‘safe space’ consist of OneNote, Roll20, RPG Maker MV, and a bunch of long naps. I do allow the press to look over my shoulder, however, to see what I’m doing. Unless I’m napping.

Both tables this week had some new players, especially in Princes of the Apocalypse, where the players insure that this table’s going to be…interesting.

Item: Out of the Abyss, Encounters, 11 Nov

They’ve starting the preparations of the Battle of Blingdenstone and this time, they’re not allowed to split the party, they pick one of the three paths, two of which go side by side, and the Deep Gnomes and Wererats take the other two. The party chose to deal with Entemoch’s Boon, the Wererats went with cleansing the Steadfast Stone (as thanks for the Deep Gnomes for allowing them to stay) and a party of Deep Gnomes headed to Neverlight Grove to ooze-proof their weapons.

Along the way, they encountered someone that might pose a bit of a problem: No, it’s not that they ran across the Mind Flayer who was full, but what he warned them about:

“Oh, lightbringers! Don’t worry about me. I’ve already eaten. A archmage that succumbed to madness by the demons. Never tasted a brain that was so delish. I am Grazilaxx of the Society of Brilliance; a group of like-minded Underdark Denizens who were studying what is coming on among this region, and I have to tell you, these times are very interesting. Fun too, if you’re someone like me. Ever tried the brain of a minor demon. I’d suggest you don’t; it fried one of my kind from the inside out.”

“If you’re heading to Neverlight Grove, it’s in this direction,” He points ahead. “I didn’t encounter anything on the way here, but as you can expect, there’s no guarantees. However, I do know that there are demonic activity going on there. It seems that the Demon Queen of Fungi, Zuggtmoy, is in the vincinity. I would suggest that you do your business and bail before your minds are reduced to mere delicacies. Not that I would’ve minded, of course.”

There might be some problems for the Deep Gnomes over there. Do you think that Grazilaxx would warn the other about what might befall the Deep Gnomes? Will Blightenstone be heard about this. Will the party have to stage a rescue? Depends on what I plan for the next two days.

Item: Princes of the Apocalypse: Second Strike, 13 Nov

Thank God I was able to get a party in this day. It must really suck to be a Muslim in France at that day.

This session has a bunch of new players which I broke in easy with a series of roadside encounters, and already I could tell that this campaign’s really going to kick up some notches. One new character was a Half-Orc who was prepositioning every lady of ill repute in the village. (I have to invoke the Carousing Table on this one) and…<gasp>…a dwarf.

A Dwarf who looked at a passing band of dwarves who just wanted to mine in peace away from the Cults of Elemental Evil—a group I had just for forshadowing purposes—and called them all women for retreating.

I could just hear those Little People go, “Oi! Dungeon Master! Yeah, you, David Foxfire, you waste of a beard! We all of the sudden like seeing ye scramble over your screen turning this encou…oh, yer set up a combat table already?….Ye’er no fun. Roll for Initative, ye buggards.”

You can tell how triggered I’ve gotten this week (Missou and Paris) when the monsters I throw at unsuspecting players get snippy. Why, oh Gods, can’t I just summon Tiamat and sic her on all these ISIS bastards? It’ll make for much better snuff porn.

But having the party Dwarf arguing with the NPC Dwarfs to the point of fisticuffs wasn’t the best part. Remember that Half-Orc? He joined in with the Dwarf…and called the others who didn’t join in, because they had no skin in the battle, cowards.

Yeah, I know it’s good Role Playing, and I know good Role Playing is not always sunshine and lollypops. (This is Dungeons & Dragons, not a Liberal Arts College!) But all of the sudden, the encounter went into PVP mode! With a DM who didn’t know if he could laugh or cry, with an inner child going, “THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME!!”

In the end, the Half-Orc K.O.ed one of the PCs. So I had to do it:

Me: “Dark Powers has been trigger, the sky darkens and the surrounding area starts to fill with a mist. Necromancer, what happens?”

(And yes, the person knocked down was a Necromancer. I had to nerf his body guard for him to summon it to once per session, but in this special case…)

Necromancer: “I rise from the dead as a 20th Level Caster for 1 Round.”

Half-Orc: “Hey, what the fuck?! that’s OP..”

Me: “I allow it.” <Insert Shit-Eating Grin here>

Yeah, I’d allow it in this case. Any other situation where he falls, I would’ve ruled it that his deity, a benevolent deity of death—they are out there and they deserve our love—would’ve told him, “Hey, it’s not your time yet, but you got a bit unlucky there. Go enjoy your nap.” But no, someone was roleplaying stupidity and invoked the Dark Powers for the first time in my career. That mechanic against evil roleplaying is there for a reason.

But all in all, everybody enjoyed the Roleplaying and understood what was going on (Overpowered moments notwithstanding). And I didn’t have to do much outside of making sure that arguments on the table doesn’t come to blows over the table. That’s part of the DM’s Job Description after all.

Item: In this coming week

I haven’t been posting here because I’ve been playing with RPG Maker MV, and I wish to post an introduction to my first D&D themed project here. These are, of course, non-commercial projects designed to a) give me a venue to learn RPG Maker and experiment on, and b) to fill online players up on what happened in my Encounter Campaigns. The first one is based in Baldur’s Gate and combines Murder in Baldur’s Gate, Legends of Baldur’s Gate, and in a twist I didn’t count on until the brain cells connected while I was designing it, Ace Attorney.

So this becomes a bit of a To-Do List for this week:

  1. Introduce Baldur’s Gate Investigations on the Web Site. (Already have a Page ready for it, with my first forays into digital inking. Don’t expect the Mona Fucking Lisa at this point)
  2. Plan my three campaigns.
  3. Set up various micro delves that can plug into all three campaigns, such as a crime scene hunt, several treasure caches, a spare Dungeon Delve, and so on.
  4. Write the next post on Æthercoil, and refer it to an RPG Maker MV forum, because someone was interested in it.

I just hope that I can get my sleep schedule to agree with me now. At 45, your internal clocks like to troll you.

D&D recaps, week of Nov 1-7

Another week, another lost battle with my current nemesis, scheduling. But at least I get stuff done. Eventually.

Item: Out of the Abyss, Encounters, 4 Nov

This was a session, I have to tell you all, I have been dreading. A three-way split of the party. At least they had the decency of giving me a proper head’s up and told me at the end of the previous session (21 Oct) which ways they’re going to go. One, the Wererats; Two, the Ghosts; and Three, the Crazy Deep Gnome that is with all those Oozes. All. Those oozes. We’re talking dozens. Of Black puddings, gray oozes and ochre jellies. Each. And just to piss people off, I thrown in a handful of Gelatinous Cubes to spice things up.

Did the two that picked ‘Crazy Deep Gnome’ wanted to Leeroy Jenkins it? No, I didn’t think so.

While one of the ghosts gave the players an additional adventuring hook in the Whorlsome Tunnels, I’ll save that for when they come down here later. But now, everyone’s now focused on The Battle of Bridgestone, which will start this coming session, Nov 11. Which will be a major load off of my mind.

In retrospect, I’m glad to hear that I did a good job dealing with the three-way party split, migraines notwithstanding. I took care of the three tracks one by one, and to keep the other players on the table by using copied pages of the Deep Gnome page from the Monster Manual when their turn wasn’t up. If I had more time, I would’ve just have the players in each track sit down and have the others be in the Audience, but for my Encounters Table, it worked well within the constraints.

I just hope I don’t have to do that again this year. Oi! Where’s my headache pillz?

Item: The Online Halloween One-Shot, 5 Nov

Since I had two people from my Friday table bail on me—I decided to have all of the available players on Thursday for the week-delayed Zombie one shot. It was the same one as last week (28 Oct) where they fought a lich that was constantly raising zombies in a cemetery.

This time, I had more than 90 minutes to play with. With more time, I could cut loose, and boy, did I ever cut loose. I have to admit by now that I was getting back at my players for the crap they gave me, especially those who min-max and flavor text their PCs to my—and the other player’s—lament. 1d8+1d4 zombies per round? Done. Fireballs at 9th Spell Slot Level? Done.  Using Spell Points so I can use more than one 9th Level spell slot? Done. Power Word Fucking Kill cast after Round 1? Done! Using a rod pulled out of my ass to tripe the range of a Disintergrate? Done! Re-raising all the zombies again for one last push at the end? Fucking Done!

I think I had suppressed some anger over the past months. Or maybe I just wanted to blow off some steam over the past year. Needless to say, I had fun this session. It’s not something I want to do all the time, but it was fun.

Halloween Special Recap

No Trigger Warnings this time.  Not much happened.

There was a lot of people out of town this past week, so much so that the online sessions for this week were shelved.  (Such is the trials and tribulations of an online DM.)  But I managed to try out my Halloween One-Shot on the Encounters team.

As a recap.  I have a party of Level 6 characters go up against a Lich that is constantly rising up zombies in a cemetary.  If someone is killed, he rises up as a zombie and will attack the remaining survivors.  Those who do survive by slaying the lich recieve an XP award for their main campaign.

In this case, it would be the “Out of the Abyss” campagin.

The one-shot proved very enjoyable, even though I had to truncate it because of time.  They said that they would’ve enjoyed it more if the zombie hoard was bigger, something that I want to show in the (would’ve been the next day, but it’s now going to be on Anonymous Day, that is, Nov 5) Dreams of the Red Wizards table.

Hopefully things will get better.

In the meantime, I get to work some more on my MV project, which I’ll tell you more about later.  There was some more background on Æthercoil and some preparation on next week’s Encounter’s Session (They split the party on me!  ARRRRRGH!).

Looks like I have to take advantage of a Virtual NANOWRIMO.  I used to do National Novel Writing Month when I had novel ideas to bang out.  I found out that I can do 50,000 words in 30 days, and usually more.  I want to do that again once I have some time free.  Maybe I’ll do it anyway with the Æthercoil campaign setting instead.

This week in D&D, ending 24 Oct 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Sudden yet Inevitable Betrayals, roboticization, the start of a third campaign, heroic sociopaths, three recaps in one post, and Wil Wheaton’s curse!

That’s right, this is going to be some wall of text. And you can thank someone dying for that.

Granted, it was a relative of one of my aunt’s, God rest his soul, and I didn’t attend the funeral and all, too far removed from the family tree, but he did leave behind a metric bleepton of computer and tablets. Much more than my aunt would ever deal with.

You can probably guess who gets all the spare electronic equipment dumped on in situations like this?

Needless to say that I’m now a proud owner of a second Lenovo tablet—will make an excellent alarm clock—an Amazon Kindle—I always wanted one of those—and a New-Used Asus K501 laptop that, although having seen better days with three keys missing, is still quite functional and, after taking most of the weekend to do the upgrade to Windows 10 (Protip: Let Windows 7-slash-8 finish their own updates before making the switch) I managed to have it set up to my likings. This laptop will make an excellent E-DM’s screen, which will really improve my Encounter’s game. It’ll be introduced in the Halloween One Shot.

More on the One Shot later on this week, but for now, let’s make the recaps:

Wednesday: Out of the Abyss

The party have finally made it to Blingdenstone, but not before having the drow pursuers from Velkynvelve catch up with them. How in the hell did they head the party off in the pass after a bona fide Arch Demon, the Black Lake, and a Mantol-Derith that’s foreshadowed with the madness of possibly another Arch Demon, I have no idea. They’re drow, they know the Underdark far better than I can possibly be.

What? You think I’m a micromanaging Dungeon Master? Gods Forbid! I’ll find my brain out of my skull by my nightstand next to my ‘new’ Lenovo Tablet Alarm Clock puffing on a vaper and calling me an asshole!

And I’m enough of an Asshole DM already.

I had Asha (the junior priestess) stab Ilvara (her superior) in the back with a dagger laced with a poison that not only killed her instantly, but formed spiders to come out of her mouth en masse a la Halloween III, or a much earlier scene when I was still a player in Encounters, during the Drow campaign, where one drow just froze in place and was choking on a thousand spiders. Seemed a fitting end of someone who fell out of Lolth’s favor.

One of the party members managed to take that dagger and, after I given him a description of the poison, proceeded to attack with it.

I didn’t tell him about the security system in it that gave him a bit of the poison as well, heh heh heh.

While the party was dealing with him rolling Death Saving Throws all of the sudden, and those tiny spiders swarming over the place and cocooning everything in sight, Asha escaped with Jorlan (the maimed and therefore ditched male drow) before the deep gnomes (I’ve yet to pronounce svirfneblin right) of Whiteshell Mine found the party. Having seen that the drow was fighting them, they let them into the city. However, they have so many problems in town that they bared the door. I have it that, if the party helps them with their problems, alleviating the stretched out gnomepower in town, they’ll open the gate and bring them to the surface, which will lead into a brand new village near Mithril Hall.

There’s just one problem, which I’m grateful for a week’s skip. The party decided to split up and form teams to deal with three problems at once:

  • Billy and Charley will try to work some deal with the local wererats that have made a burrow in town before the deep gnomes reclaim it.
  • John and Rich will deal with the ghosts in town.
  • Bill and Aidan will investigate a deep gnome who has gone insane by the northeast part of town.

…..I have my work cut out for me.

What a perfect time for both Sword Coast Legends and RPG Maker MV to be released in this very same week. Now you know what I was doing when I was getting my laptop up to speed.

When I wasn’t on Roll20, that is.

Thursday: Dreams of the Red Wizards

This week also marks my use of Teamspeak for the voice chat needs. I got me a very cheap and local TS3 server of 25 users for $2 a month. It’s money well spent, if I say so, and after a couple tweaks to the microphone (people said that I was kinda loud on the mike, although the mike I use is the one on the webcam. Maybe I’m just naturally loud so that I can hear my own voice; an autism thing, I guess. Let me know if other auties have this problem of needing to speak up so they’ll know what they’re saying) Teamspeak was ready for prime time.

Where the insanity on the table skipped several levels.

They are still in the Floshin Estate, and they found their way to the Great Stairwell (Area 15, for those following along in their scenario books, I know who you are, you naughty spawn; I can smell your stinking evil from my monitor) the party encountered two animated armor attacking them.

At that point, the Tiefling Warlock of Cthulhu said something that would even make the Great Old Once do a “What the Flying Fuck?”: He asked if he could get inside it.

Half of me was headdesking in abrupt laughter. But the other half, the insane half, heard great Cthulhu’s voice: “Punish that Fucker!”

Punish him I did. I merged that Tiefling into the armor, or rather, the armor did to him what the Borg Queen does to whatever SIMP she could get her hands on. (And then for an encore, she did Captain Picard, and oh did she do him.)

Now I have on my table a Warforged (although I would say Robotic) Tiefling Warlock of Cthulhu who’s arms can form whip-like tentacles, his horns channel the eldritch power, and an undeniable programming to bring Cthulhu into the Realms with little other room for individual thought. He’s basically playing a Robian.

And if he even mutters out “Hedgehog: Priority One” just once, I might have to kill him!

This, of course, is added to the search for Shalendra Floshin, who’d diary tells of her downfall in typical apocalyptic log fashion. It was something that, in afterthought, I would’ve delved into more if time allowed.

Friday: Princes of the Apocalypse: Second Strike

After some weeks of delay, I finally got Princes of the Apocalypse: Second Strike started. Of course, this session ended up as being session 0.5. The party needed to make their finishing touches to their characters, something I wanted to help them out at the start anyway, but I managed to get the campaign started by taking the party to a Red Larch now run by archmage Meriele Ambercrown, a Transmutation Wizard coming of her own with a very unique way of administering justice to those who very much deserve it (like the cultist who killed her mentor, and some choice members of the Believers from last time): Cast Hold Person on the convicted, dress or undress them into anything that comes to mind, pose them in public, and then cast Flesh to Stone so they become a marble statue. The priest Larrakh, who was the ousted cultist who killed Meriele’s mentor? He’s not a bird bath pissing out a fountain in perpetuity in the center of town. You don’t want to know what happened to the others.

This actually jells well with one of the party members, which I might be NPCing because of his player going into Boot Camp: An heroic Necromancer who turns the bad guys he finds who very much deserve it into his undead minions, and he’s in the service of an archangel who wishes to upsurp Nerull in the pantheon. (The Correct Deity is put in that message, thank you 🙂 )

But as the party heads off to their first encounter, which I wanted to finish the session on, I think I went and done something stupid. I said over the table that, if I ever played with Wil Wheaton, I’d find loaded dice to give to him, in an attempt to circumvent the curse he has when it comes to dice rolling. Well! Mr, Murphy was pretty much offended at what I said, because during that encounter, only about 3 of the dice rolls I made were over 12. And the Necromancer’s cantrip only did 1 point of damage to a victim. Twice. That’ll tell me to shut up.

Planning the Halloween Session

Sometime this week, I’ll be setting up the Halloween one shot that deals with a Lich and a Zombie Hoard. When I do, I’ll probably stream it so that you can see me plan. It’ll also be the session where I introduce the use of my new laptop as the DM’s screen. Stay Tuned.

Dreams of the Red Wizards recap; 15 OCT 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Tentacles, me using word to improve on my horrible stuttering. Pencheska being Pencheska, Having my patience with Skype running it’s end.

Note:  Judging by the graphic on the top, you can probably guess that this entry might be graphic.  Just saying.

This session begins with the party finishing up Phylund Lodge and heading out to their next objective. Oh, and the sphere they found, I turned it into an actual Pokeball:

Capture Sphere (Wondrous Item, Requires Attunement)

Make a Thrown Improv Weapon attack against DC. On a hit, the sphere attempts to capture the target. Target must make a DC 15 STR/DEX check to avoid capture. Upon Capture, the target has three changes to make a DC 15 check using any attribute to escape, or else be trapped there until released. The target doesn’t need to breathe, eat, drink, or sleep while inside the Sphere.

For an Action, the person attuned to it can shrink the ball, and whoever inside it to a five-inch-wide sphere, with a weight at five pounds. Another Action will return it to its original large beach ball size.

However, there are no other features that make it resemble a Pokeball, no matter what the party wishes it. Also, it was a vehicle for a new player to drop in.

On the way out, they ran into a couple orcs and a wereboar show up; an encounter I made just to mess with the party, and to give one of the warlocks a chance to try out a spell they’re itching to try out.

And immediately regretted it. Maybe.

Do you want to know what happens inside the pitch lack, whispering, and slurping field of a Hunger of Hadar spell? Go Google “Tentacle Porn.”

That’s what happened to that poor Wereboar. And one of the orcs got the squeeze so hard that his head popped off his shoulders.

It seems that Cthulhu doesn’t fuck around when he’s pissed off.

After that, they had a choice of what to do next. They decided to go to Firehammer Hold and along the way, check out the Floshin estate because they heard rumors of something nefarious going on there. But rather than verify things from Sir Darfin Floshin over at Daggerford, which was another option, they decided to just go to the estate which was closer to them than any other location.

That’s when I had Natyssa, appearing in her succubus form, to bring them up to speed. (Especially when I needed her to get in touch with them super quick because some wanted to burn the estate to the ground.) Natyssa warned the party not to do that, as well as telling them what she heard from her own contacts. This is where I started stuttering major in the stream, so I’m restating her line in text form here:

“I heard from Sir Darfin Floshin that one of her relatives, one Shalendre Floshin, is in contact with the Red Wizards.” Natyssa said. “I also have heard that she has been possessed by a demon named Baazka, which I hope that some of you found out about him by now.” She puts up a coy smile. “I have my own ways in getting these juicy tidbits. From what I hear, she’s helping the Red Wizards tamper with some of the wards in this estate, probably to have Baazka leave his place in the Abyss and enter this world via this location. Of course, you should stop them, I’ve seen how maddening demons can get, and it’ll be bad for us. It’ll be equally bad if something bad happens to the estate itself, so, please, don’t do anything to the building more than necessary.”

When one of the party asked Natyssa to help clean up after themselves, she nodded with a smile. “I think I have some who can help out on that.” Of course, she’s referring to some maidens that she enthralled into being her personal maids with black miniskirts, aprons, feather dusters and carte blanch to explore themselves with their “Mistress Pencheska,” but they can also clean.

What do you expect?   She might not be under any demand to corrupt souls for Asmodius, but she’s still a succubus. That Trigger Warning line on the top of all of my recaps are there for a fucking reason!

And although I didn’t count on it happening, the end of the session kinda went to crap again. It wasn’t the router this time, the new one I got now is aces. This time it’s Skype. Every time I try to get people together, Skype gets pissy. There’s always one user that can’t join in on any conversation unless he invites us all into their own chat room, one by one. And then there’s the possibility of someone always getting kicked out and the whole process has to start over again! So I’m going to switch to another chat program to do my online sessions. I’m thinking Teamspeak with a public server, soon to go private once I get some funding.

Out of the Abyss Recap, 14 OCT 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, foreshadowing, Twitchy High Elves, Players who want to go mad.

Honestly, some of the players on my table are fucking nuts!

This was the second half of the Darklake delve, which I take the party to, and then pass them through, the besieged village of Mantor-Derith. I won’t tell you all of the details, but I did let the party know that there is an evil black crystal that is driving everyone in there insane, including the guide that escorted them through a passage between two opened secret doors. (1c to 1a on the map, for the record.)

The guide was Sladis Vadir, the high elf who, in spite being a part of Emerald Enclave, had his sanity ground enough to thinking that killing and eating other humanoids would be a good idea. I had him running off screaming into the darkness when the party Restored him. Maybe it just alleviated it for a while, but then when they next see him…

Well, that would be telling. By the way, one of the party members wanted to keep the blood-soaked flint knife and handy haversack of severed limbs and eviscerated organs of gods know what. I just had to roll my eyes.

The next session would be a second part of travel on land, and I’ll have them go on their destination after the Halloween special event. Whatever or not they’re being pursued by the Drow from Velkynvelve remain to be seen.

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