Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Rescue Ziggy Stardust from the Spiders on Mars

One-shot campaign: Rescue Ziggy Stardust from the Spiders on Mars.

Your goal: use the power of music and psychedelic drugs to get to Mars and rescue Ziggy Stardust, who is being held captive by (or perhaps just having tea with?) some spiders. 

Character creation will require a name, a musical instrument with a power chosen from a list, and mandatory portrait/scribble.

Example: Britt Bombshell, wielding a Keytar of Inner Strength, would be portrayed as a glittery onezie dwarfed by a frightening spray of 80's hair.

The characters are alone in a room containing an assortment of commonplace objects. All objects have a high chance of being made out of moonbeams and/or drugs. A high enough (har harr) concentration of the right combination of drugs will send our heroes to Mars! Use of the instruments will augment the effects (in good ways or bad? That depends on the roll).

Possible drug effects include: 
  • Blinding glitter
  • Everything is cats
  • NEON
  • Light refraction
  • Muppet infestation
  • Pretty much everything that happens in Nethack if you drink a potion of hallucination.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Holy Play Report, Batman

This is the third session of Bonehenge of the West, so I am two play reports behind, but goddamn, today's game was extra insane.

LOOT: none
KILLS: 6 death clerics and 1 acolyte of Morgan
Total XP: 2250 (450/each)


Our heros are planning to go get this dragon egg, right, cause a dragon swooped in out of nowhere and demanded they find it (in return for A Favor, which is a pretty nice prize when it comes from a fire-breathing dragon the size of a small hill). They seem to remember they were going to get info on where the egg might be from the loafing vagabonds near Amy's Pond in Morgansport, the main setting town so far. Why, you may ask? None of us remember. But they want to check out the scene anyway.

The druid Belanus has noticed the large white monolith sticking out in the middle of said pond, and wishes to investigate. He takes off his robe and leaps in. Turns out...pond is mildly acidic. And by "mildly" I mean lasting burning sensation. The loafing vagabonds laugh their asses off; of course the pond is acid. Everyone knows that. What, the monolith? It's covered in weird old writing. Go ask the monks at the Temple of Morgan, they know old languages and shit, right? 

I believe this is where they remembered they wanted to go find the Lair of the Ghoul Kings, as the druid is under geis to kill said ghoul kings. But the haunted forest containing said lair is far, and the Temple of Morgan is near, soooo....side trip. An excited librarian-monk brings an old book out. "It is written in the Book of Ages in the Temple of Morgan: "Hesoevereth joins the Five Lorestones together in a circle on Sacred Ground and stands in the middle shall call the Goddess of Death to be granted Power Beyond Imagining."

 A death priest is rumored to have crossed the pond, "protected by his faith," to read the inscription on the "Lorestone" in the acid pond and bring the knowledge back to the temple. The Lorestone says: "Seek the second pillar to grant your wish/Find water where time swims instead of fish." The party gets a carbon copy of all this and makes their way to the temple exit. On the way, they see a bunch of preparation for something going on and ask an acolyte what is going on. The priests of Morgan are preparing for the Festival of Death, a yearly celebration that culminates in a sacrifice. This year, there is rumored to be a "special symbol of life" to be sacrificed. 

...the thief, Gavin, was lounging outside during all this and decided to try picking some pockets. A really, stupendously bad roll causes him to fail to pick the pocket of...The Sheriff. "Oh hey, Sheriff Ellimere. Didn't recognize you there!" Yeah, well, Ellimere had been looking for Gavin, on account of that time him, Belanus and Djahgo robbed (and noogied) a death priest for funsies. Gavin is led off in handcuffs to the county jail.

So the party thinks they know where the dragon egg is, and one of them is now in jail. Screw the Ghoul Kings, this is distracting.

Gavin fails to pick his way out of a big ol' padlock. Sheriff Ellimere goes all Javert and refuses to post bail for this horrible criminal, who shall await a fair trial in the morning. The party decides to try and send someone in to get the keys once Ellimere is asleep in the other room. Our tiny werelizard Gummi (seriously, he turns into a little gecko during the full moon) is sent to retrieve keys. Problem is, tiny lizards have trouble understanding elaborately explained plans; he goes after a moth. Whoops. Party waits until morning.

Gavin is actually held to trial, with a sentence of 10 years in prison hanging over his head. The bard Gummi speaks in his defense, and argues against a large stern troll lawyer. (Party falls in love with this random NPC for no particular reason.) Some good rolls are made! A good case is argued! Gavin goes freeeeeeee

Right, the egg. So Steve the Bard, who knows dragonsbrail, decides to go carve "Egg is in temple" into the mountain above town (which is a convenient hike away) in the hopes that a dragon will notice this and come to help with the whole captured egg situation. This becomes a more plausible plan when Steve notices some existing dragonsbrail carved into the rock at the peak that says "Keep Out." Skirting the caves, he carves his message into the rock and leaves.

Meanwhile, Gummi goes back to the temple to try and charm some information out of one of the death priests. He sees some acolytes, some middle management, and one figure in a large black reaper-hood with a scythe. He manages to successfully charm the reaper - who turns out to be Grimgnaw, High Death Priest of Morgan. Grimgnaw confirms that the sacrifice is the dragon's egg and describes its location in the temple. Gummi turns tail and runs - charm wears off Grimgnaw just as Gummi crosses the doorway. He hears, "Get him! Get the lizard beastman!"

Gummi hides in an alley successfully, then waits until nightfall to transform to his adorable tiny lizard form under the full moon. He does so and successfully escapes. Unfortunately, he had to leave his clothing and all his gear behind in the alley, which is TOTALLY gone when the other party members go looking for it. Gavin steals Gummi some women's clothing from a room in the inn; Gummi is poor but fabulous.

The party goes for a walk around the temple perimeter, comparing exits to the info described on location of the egg. They break the lock on a back door and enter. Here starts a fucking badass run down a series of corridors, intimidation of acolytes, and showdowns with scimitar-wielding priests. Fiona the berzerker goes into an impressive rage and (along with her giant cat mount) starts dealing out some serious damage. A trapped door takes out an already-injured Belanus with an ice spike to the heart - my first PC kill! - and the party is seriously demoralized (noooooooooo). But they have made it to the final room, holding a large chest (presumably containing a dragon egg - it's the right size for it!) guarded by 4 death priests. 

Steve kneels down to pray to Logan, the father of the dead demi-god Belanus, hoping Logan will resurrect his fallen son, while the others trade blows with the priests. Logan makes a dramatic entrance, goes all "KHAAAAAAAAAN," throws some high damage lighting bolts at the death priests in spite, and picks up Belanus. The both of them disappear. Logan (and my god-tables) work in mysterious ways, it seems; the party is informed that Belanus has ascended from demi-god to Minor God, and can be prayed to himself for aid in the future.

The last of the death priests is taken out, but the party is very damaged by this point. (Having your healer die is inconvenient.) They grab the chest and flee with all their might before any other priests can show up. Here ends our session.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Upstanding Citizens Guild

So here's the deal. 

Through separate events in both Game of the East and Game of the West*, a thieves' society sprang into life at the speed of DM-prov - purely because it needed to. That's exactly the phrase I'm looking for - "sprang into life" - as it feels less like it's coming out of my head and more like it's coming out of the world itself, as the World demanded it. This society did not exist before the first session; this society did not have motives until the second. The aim of today's post is to truly type it into full being. (And perhaps encourage my players to read my blog, which is meant to tell you about Daga without letting any spoilers through.)

The Upstanding Citizens Guild

The Upstanding Citizens are a fully licensed and operational guild. Their officially stated guild activities are "socializing, wealth management, and espionage." They lack a known guild hall, but as no members have ever complained on this point, it is merely considered an eccentricity. The UCG holds a number of very popular balls in the Capital of Carrigtrean each year. The guild claims no religious affiliation, but its members have been known to serve as agents for Logan on more than one occasion. 

The UCG openly welcomes all races and professions. Accordingly, many of its members are Beastmen, who often lack other working opportunities in urban areas. Their leader is known solely as Brook. A common way of asking whether a given person has membership in the UCG is to ask if they "have heard the babbling brook." This is merely a formality, of course, as the guild has a number of true passwords and signs that are closely guarded and changed each moon-turn. 

*I have been running multiple sessions of Bonehenge, and without the help of Evernote, I would be positively schizophrenic now. 
Game of the East: Online game with my friends back on the east coast.
Game of the West: In-person home game with my friends here on the west coast.
Ad Hoc: Random sessions open to the G+ community.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gaming blog, I has it! Also, Santicore.

I suppose I've gotten to that point in DMing where I need a gaming blog. Nothing to do but accept it and start posting my ideas here when I get the urge to create involved Evernote entries regarding torques at 3 AM.

Let me start by posting my Bonehenge Player's Guide. It is a serious work in progress, but the Players appear to be using it successfully to create characters in my Labyrinth Lord based tabletop game.


I received a lovely and well-thought out Were-Man Race Description in response to my extremely vague request born of frustration that I couldn't come up with feats or abilities that I actually liked and found playable on my own. My Beastman class exists, you see, but my nebulous "you can transform sometimes starting at level 3"rule was a sort of note to myself to get my act together by the time someone hit level 3.

Good stuff, though incorporating it into my class has created a sort of existential crisis over the entire idea of feats and abilities, how I want to do them for all of my mostly-homebrewed races and classes, and whether I've made some of them far too powerful compared to others. That probably deserves a post of its own later.

MEANWHILE, the request *I* received for "a scene of hierogamy" was, in my opinion, an invitation to create slapstick in table form.