What's your current game doing?

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Lord Foul
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Lord Foul » Sat May 11, 2019 10:56 am

Lord Foul wrote:
Lord Foul wrote:I'm running the first off-world adventure for the recurring cast in my AD&D 1st Ed. campaign. It is a holy quest for the fabled Lonsdale Belt, an Asgardian artifact made by the dwarves of Nidavellir, stolen by a Type V Demoness and taken back to her stronghold on the 4th plane of Tarterus.

The party, led by a priest of Odin, have to travel across the Astral Plane to Tarterus, then find their way through the first three layers, going via portals between the levels, to the fourth plane, where the demon's fortress lies within the realm of Grolantor, god of the hill giants.

This adventure is quite a departure for the party, who are around 10th level. My rule tweaks for adventures on other planes have been quite a shock to the system, as I've changed things so that the PCs remain unchanged while everything around them changes. Basically, anything native to the outer planes has its hit dice and damage doubled. The effect is to make these powerful characters rather more nervous than they started out. Complacency is a dangerous thing in this setting!

They are currently 9 sessions in and are still on the first plane of Tarterus, having suffered an accidental petrification requiring them to do a deal with a local magical guild called The Cabal to perform a task in return for a cure. That task turned out to be dealing with a local protection racket run by a malebranche with a squad of barbed devil enforcers. They have just succeeded in defeating the devils following a climactic confrontation in the bad guys' base. I believe they have learned some valuable lessons about the scale of things in Tarterus, that should serve them well for the rest of the adventure.

Most awesome moment so far was last session, during the climax, when things were going decidedly badly for the party. The head priest let rip with his Sunray (1/day effect of a magic item) which damaged and blinded the malebranche and two of his remaining heavies (and blew up his imp familiar), but also produced enough natural sunlight to allow the party witch to cast her Laser Beam spell (only castable in natural sunlight), which did double damage on undead and fiends and in this case did 66 HP damage to the malebranche and was the turning point in the fight.

Time for an update. :think:

We're now 14 sessions in and the party has found and passed through a portal to the second plane of Tarterus, where they have to navigate across the plains of razor grass and through the acid jungle to find the next portal.

The last couple of sessions have been particularly interesting from a role-playing perspective, sparked off by an accident brought about by one player's inattention. Travelling across the plains, the party found themselves being tracked by a flock of demonic flightless birds (diakka). Attempts to avoid a confrontation failed and the birds began moving in to encircle the party, hooting and cawing ("mine, mine!") with fairly clear intent.

As the birds closed in, the ranger cast an Entangle spell and the hobbit thief went invisible. The hobbit then moved forward to get behind some of the birds ready for backstabbing. But of course he couldn't see the Entangle until he was in it, and he promptly failed his save and got all caught up in the grass. Then the witch cast a Fireball at one of the birds, forgetting that its blast radius was big enough to cover the area where the hobbit was entangled. Oops! :shock: The hobbit failed again (no dex due to entangle) and lost his magic gossamer armour, his ring of feather falling and his Heward's handy haversack (containing all his money and all the party's food stores). He was not happy! But at least the fire burned away the grass and freed him.

The battle was well and truly joined, and the witch received almost instant karma as one of the birds scored a double damage critical hit and took her down in a single blow. She wasn't quite dead, but then the hobbit bounced in with his boots of striding and springing and gave her a coup de grace as payback. :wtf:

The rest of the fight was brutal and over quite quickly, once the big hitters got going. But then it got really interesting, as the players began arguing over whether or not to raise the witch. They had the means to do so; the question was whether they should just let her die, as some mixture of punishment and prevention of future accidents. A lively debate ensued, with the hobbit (neutral) arguing strongly to let her rot, and some of the good characters arguing the other side. The most interesting part was that two of the good PCs voted to leave her dead. When they took a vote it was only the evil NPC barghest voting to save her that caused a split decision.

They still hadn't decided by the time I ended the session, and between sessions I sent round an email addressing the subject of Tarterus and how it messes with people through temptation to the dark path. I also alluded to the thorny subject of alignment as a timely reminder to the players that there are sometimes consequences for not behaving in an appropriate manner.

They clearly took the hint, as in the last session they quickly agreed a compromise whereby they would raise the witch and Quest her not to harm the party again, the hobbit agreed not to murder her in cold blood for breaking his stuff, and both of the good characters who had lapsed were conspicuously on their best behaviour. At least now they know what is at stake here, and they gave me such a perfect example to use as an illustration of the Tarterus temptation effect. I love my players! :D

We're finished until next year now, and I left them, having met up with a troop of Armanites (demonic centaurs), with their first view of the acid jungle and the twisted, vine-covered tower of The Apothecary of Sin, mad scientist and dealer in potions, balms and oil of acid resistance. ;)

Time for another update. :D

Only two sessions have been played since the last update, during which our intrepid heroes visited The Apothecary of Sin (an insane arcanodaemon), enjoyed a grand feast much like the one in Temple of Doom, went fishing in an extradimensional pool (where they caught an extradimensional fish - larger on the inside), negotiated the purchase of a bulk supply of oil of acid resistance and a considerable number of other potions, spent a peaceful night resting and left to begin the next stage of their journey, through the acid jungle to the second portal.

Everything appears to be going perfectly...

...which of course ought to be ringing huge warning bells. :twisted:

In fact, things are going just about as badly as they could. Unbeknownst to the party, their witch has been replaced with a simulacrum. The real witch, a grey elf, is currently hanging suspended from a framework in the laboratory, in temporal stasis, with tubes taking a very slow drip feed of top quality elf blood for the making of potions of longevity (one of the most valuable potions in the universe).

They had opportunities to discover and foil the plot. The hobbit thief wanted to go on a night-time sneak, but found he was being followed by the party's barghest guide, apparently at the instruction of the cleric leader of the party. Lots of trust going on in this group. Anyway, that was enough to put the thief off his escapade, which might have discovered what the Apothecary was up to. The witch herself, while in her "private audience to discuss and trade potion recipes", had one round to do something when the Apothecary began casting a spell at her. There were a few things she might have done to foil the attempt, mostly by drawing the attention of the rest of the party, but she chose not to do any of them and missed her chance. No save against temporal stasis.

Now the party is one day into the jungle, and the player of the witch is doing a fine job of playing the simulacrum, using the witch's low-level spells and items to keep up the masquerade. It is only a matter of time before they figure it out. The witch's pseudo-dragon familiar is under psionic hypnosis to believe the fake is the real witch, but the post-hypnotic suggestion has a 5% cumulative chance per day of wearing off. Also, they are only a day and a half away from the second portal, which is currently home to a rakshasa with a bunch of bar-lgura demons and giant spiders. The rakshasa's illusions will almost certainly prompt the cleric to cast true seeing... and the jig will be up.

I am so looking forward to the sheer horror when they realise they have lost the witch and now have to go back through the acid jungle to the tower of the hideously powerful wizard-demon, to attempt a rescue. :D

I feel so evil. :twisted:
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Knaight
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Knaight » Mon May 13, 2019 6:56 am

The last session I ran was basically the platonic ideal of pyrrhic victories. The secret police of the campaign enemy had all their identities and locations blown to the public, which in one fell swoop broke one of the two remaining pillars of their power base. This came at the cost of a scorched earth tactic that involved deliberately bricking a planet sized supercomputer, and every PC but one getting captured and imprisoned - on the basis of them getting killed instead.

Next session should be interesting.
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby John » Wed May 22, 2019 9:42 am

The Strahd fan club won its first meaningful victory by recovering the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind from the wights of the crossroads cemetary and delivering it to Father Donavich (none of them are clerics or paladins and they therefore cannot use it, but he can). This is the first genuine fast one they've pulled on the Count since they got shipwrecked here and the start of their attempt to flip the script.

I'm running the Fanes of Barovia variant to even out the things they can do to make Strahd more possible to kill. Three fanes to restore and three artifacts to recover. They've now got an artifact and therefore one of the six Mega Man bosses if you will. Of course they can storm the castle whenever they want but they're too crafty to do it while there are still guns on mantles they haven't picked up yet.

They then successfully evaded an enormous pack of (partially dire-)wolves on the road to Vallaki with a well executed retreat, letting the fighter get bitten to an inch (all rolls open, of course) of his life to buy time for the druid to throw up a fog cloud and pass without trace, allowing them to melt into the woods. I think they could have won the fight but I don't fault them for retreating, the Barovian wilderness has terrors that a handful of level 4 adventurers cannot defeat.

As the game ended, they reached Vallaki with Ismark and Ireena safely in tow. Preparations for the Festival of the Burning Sun are underway, and an old friend presumed dead from their wrecked ship is waiting for them in the stocks, having spoken a few too many of the unspoken truths about the baron and his party planning.

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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby [red] » Wed May 22, 2019 12:33 pm

Go West Session 2: Puttering Around Rivervalle

[red] wrote:Here is the party: The Knucklediggers
- Mortikai, A Human Bard Cardshark (custom subclass), a former sharpshooter / performer with a now-shaky hand
- Bernard, the Kobold Paladin Bounty Hunter (custom subclass) who has limited deputy authority
- Bochart, An Elf Rogue, played very ranger-eque (but no magic), that was previously a tracker
- Ovin, A Dwarf Fighter, the Muscle (custom subclass) that has been kicked out of his clan
- Alvis, A Human Fighter Battlemaster, who dropped out of college before joining the military


Almost a bottle episode. The decided to hold onto the Heisen Sphere that they recovered. In the previous session, a box of Heisen Spheres was stolen. They decided not to turn it over to the authorities (who asked for any physical evidence) and pocketed it for now. They do not know what it is or what it does.

The party made it in town and cashed in on some bounties (after everyone leveled up to 2 from last session). They also grabbed a new bounty off the shelf: Drakes Eatin Cattle, 75 gp per head for each Drake. In this world, a drake is a small dragon. They were told they got some funky breath that hurts folks before getting eatted [sic].

They found out that Red Cap bandits have been stealing equipment on the road coming into town - including a still used for alchemy, that could be used to brew potions -- including a Water Breathing Potion that they recovered from the bandits.

The PCs are now exploring a mine nearby that is being used as a base of operations.

Open Plot-Lines:

Go West, Young Man
- Two years ago, the 34th Regiment, known as the Knucklediggers, heroically died while standing against the army of Brigadier Brock Isaac Beniton of the DuCiel. Only a handful escaped (the PCs), and were considered dishonorable for abandoning the fight.

Would You Do It For Randolph Scott?
- The PC's mentor, Sheriff Randolph Scott, is hunting the Red Caps. He will leave a note for the PCs if he heads out of town on a lead.
- A group of Red Caps robbed a train, stealing a crate of Heisen Spheres.
- The PCs have found a local base of operations in an abandoned and partially flooded mine near Rivervalle.

Like a House of Cards
- The Heisen Spheres were stolen out of a crate marked 'Steele and Smyth Trading Co.', which one of the PCs recognizes as having an office on the second floor of the Tavern 'House of Cards' where the PCs rent a room.
- The manager of that Steele and Smyth Trading Co. office (William Schelley) plays cards regularly against one of the PCs (Mortikai).

Blue Shadows on the Trail
- 11 Heisen Spheres were stolen off a train by the Red Caps.
- The PCs have 1 Heisen Sphere in their possession. They have decided to hold onto it rather than give it over to the authorities as evidence.
--- < :facepalm: > ---

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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby JediSoth » Thu May 23, 2019 10:00 am

We finally resumed out Tomb of Annihilation game (on hold since my wife got sick in September, got diagnosed with cancer, got treated for cancer, and went into remission). We spent two sessions doing an abbreviated, fast-forward catch up, then they entered the final dungeon, the Tomb of the Nine Gods.

So, now we see how they do with no way out except through (or death). They picked up a new party member last session (new player joined), so that should make things slightly easier.
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby [red] » Thu May 23, 2019 1:34 pm

JediSoth wrote:We finally resumed out Tomb of Annihilation game (on hold since my wife got sick in September, got diagnosed with cancer, got treated for cancer, and went into remission). We spent two sessions doing an abbreviated, fast-forward catch up, then they entered the final dungeon, the Tomb of the Nine Gods.

So, now we see how they do with no way out except through (or death). They picked up a new party member last session (new player joined), so that should make things slightly easier.


Congrats on your wife's health. Good luck on the Tomb of Annihilation!
--- < :facepalm: > ---

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Glenn
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby Glenn » Thu May 23, 2019 4:25 pm

We're got about two sessions left to finish Lost Mine of Phandelver. Everyone is having a great time. The only problem now is what to do next. They all want to keep going with their characters and I'd like to run another module. But the big 15 level campaign books don't seem that appealing. I like that we got this finished in a dozen weekly games.

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clintmemo
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby clintmemo » Fri May 24, 2019 9:59 am

clintmemo wrote:
clintmemo wrote:
clintmemo wrote:Last week ended with them stumbling into the lair of the pack of werewolves that are after their revenge. It's being led by the cleric (6th level). The pack also has a wizard (5th level) and a thief (5th level) and then 10 regular werewolves.
Each player (6th level) also has an NPC (4th level) that they control, plus one (4th level) that I control so this battle is going to be 9 on 13.

I like more plot and intrigue as does the newest player in our group (even more than me), but one of the long time players has expressed a desire for some good old fashion dungeon crawl / tactical combat (and I suspect the other two feel the same way).
Well, here you go, guys. :D


One of the players did something tactically clever and uncharacteristically unselfish which turned the tables on the villains. What should have been a deadly encounter was only difficult.


After that, they could not decide on which way chose between two plot threads. So, I arbitrarily decided that the NPC's would split off and follow clue A - what they thought was a vague clue about the meta plot which - while the PC's would follow the lead to find there arch-nemesis.

The NPC's found a couple of big clues - though they don't know what one of them is yet.
Next week, we pick up where the players went. They are expecting to either find their nemesis or yet another trap set by her, but they are wrong. They are going to find the place where she tried to hold up but was scared off by something bigger and meaner than her. Too bad for her that she had to leave a bunch of stuff behind for the PC's to find.

When these two groups get back together, we need to have a session of "clue round up" because there are lots of things that they have forgotten or are remembering incorrectly. I need to put all the things the PC's know in front of them. I think once I do that, they will know what is going on with the meta-plot.



Near the end of last week's game, they found the items left behind by their nemesis. Among those items was a journal with 40+entries, a few of which had big clues. The party got together with the NPC's from the previous session and they shared information, then used speak with dead to talk to the person the NPC's were talking to, who was about to give them another clue when she was murdered in front of them. That led them to finding another clue. That must have crossed some kind of clue threshhold, because suddenly all the pieces started to fall into place for them and they now have a good idea of what is going on.

It was like watching a group of people spend hours trying to put together a puzzle without knowing what the picture was and making little progress. And then someone exclaimed "Hey! It's an elephant!" and other people said "You're right! Here's it's trunk!" and "Yes! Here is it's tail!" and then 5 minutes later they have the whole puzzle assembled.

And now the elephant is going to stomp on them! :twisted:



Armed with all their clues, the party decided to go straight to the end of the plot - this resulted in an epic 3 sided battle that started halfway into the session three weeks ago, and stretched across the entire next session and most of the way through this week's session - probably 5 hours in total real time.
The PC's won. Several characters had to be brought back from zero hit points during that battle. The two major villains ere both killed. The PC's revivified one person from the opposing third side. Three minor villains escaped. One major NPC was killed (but raised later) and two more were saved.
Next week will be the final game of this story arc, where the PC's finally confront their longtime foil.
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby [red] » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:13 am

Go West Session 3: Flooded Mines Part I

[red] wrote:Here is the party: The Knucklediggers
- Mortikai, A Human Bard Cardshark (custom subclass), a former sharpshooter / performer with a now-shaky hand
- Bernard, the Kobold Paladin Bounty Hunter (custom subclass) who has limited deputy authority
- Bochart, An Elf Rogue, played very ranger-eque (but no magic), that was previously a tracker
- Ovin, A Dwarf Fighter, the Muscle (custom subclass) that has been kicked out of his clan
- "Smokes" Alvis, A Human Fighter Battlemaster, who dropped out of college before joining the military


Folks started out in a battle that they stumbled into last session, with a gang called the Red Caps. They killed all the gang members except one. After the application of a charm spell and saving him from drowning, they got him talking. They learned that the missing alchemy equipment wasn't there - it had been relocated to a town called Rincewind (that they previously heard has been harassed by the Red Cap Gang. According to their new friend, the Red Caps were using it to brew up Water Breathing Potions and stashing their loot into otherwise inaccessible areas of the Flooded Mines. There are also extremely large Angler Fish swimming in the mines, ready to snack on people taking a swim, and they saw one devour a hapless gang member that fell into the water.

They puttered around and learned the hard way that they reeeeealllly need to keep their own map, as they are discovering a lot of branching paths and vague ideas about where to go.

They took down two groups this session with relative ease, so I will likely have to up the difficulty slightly.

Open Plot-Lines:

Go West, Young Man
- Two years ago, the 34th Regiment, known as the Knucklediggers, heroically died while standing against the army of Brigadier Brock Isaac Beniton of the DuCiel. Only a handful escaped (the PCs), and were considered dishonorable for abandoning the fight.

Would You Do It For Randolph Scott?
- The PC's mentor, Sheriff Randolph Scott, is hunting the Red Caps. He will leave a note for the PCs if he heads out of town on a lead.
- A group of Red Caps robbed a train, stealing a crate of Heisen Spheres.
- The PCs have found a local base of operations in an abandoned and partially flooded mine near Rivervalle.
- The Red Caps have stolen alchemy equipment and are using it to brew Water Breathing Potions. They are stashing some of their loot in a Flooded Mine near Rivervalle.
- The Red Caps have a base of operations in Rincewind, where they are brewing up Water Breathing Potions.

Like a House of Cards
- The Heisen Spheres were stolen out of a crate marked 'Steele and Smyth Trading Co.', which one of the PCs recognizes as having an office on the second floor of the Tavern 'House of Cards' where the PCs rent a room.
- The manager of that Steele and Smyth Trading Co. office (William Schelley) plays cards regularly against one of the PCs (Mortikai).

Blue Shadows on the Trail
- 11 Heisen Spheres were stolen off a train by the Red Caps.
- The PCs have 1 Heisen Sphere in their possession. They have decided to hold onto it rather than give it over to the authorities as evidence.
--- < :facepalm: > ---

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clintmemo
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Re: What's your current game doing?

Postby clintmemo » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:41 pm

We started a new game last night with everyone making characters.

Here is mine:

The Rat Doctor? Sure, I heard of him. Everybody on the streets of Lith Grifter has heard of the Rat Doctor. He's this greasy little gnome that works for Amaranto 'The Razor' Bayly. The Razor has a gang of thugs that works Lith Grifter - extortion, loan sharking, that sort of thing. They work for The Crew. Anyway, if you get hurt or cut up and you don't want to go to the temples for healing because you are afraid they might give you over to the cops, you go see the Rat Doctor instead. The Razor keeps him on a tight leash, so to speak, so to see the Rat Doctor, you gotta pay The Razor, even if it means owing him a favor. Yeah, don't cross The Razor. He likes to use them on people that piss him off. I seen the Rat Doctor's arms. I'd say he been on the wrong end of them razors more than once.
Why do they call him the Rat Doctor? Well, he sort looks like a rat. Gnome's usually have wild hair and wear bright colors and their usually bouncing off the walls. Not this guy. He's quiet, wears his hair slicked back. Every time I seen him, he was wearing dark cloths and a white apron with little blood spots on it. And he has a pet rat that he takes with him and talks to. He's totally creepy. Also, I heard the other gnomes call him a rat because he treats anybody that pays, no matter who they are or how they got hurt - orcs, goblins, kobolds, humans...even elves.
Of course, the Razor gets all the money, so....
Or at least he did, I heard that Razor and his whole gang got killed the other day. He must have done something really bad, because The Crew came in and wiped them all out. I heard they hauled the Rat Doctor away with them. I wonder why?
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