Wednesday, June 28, 2017

OSR Encounter Contest winner

I have just finished listening to the last episode (#13) of the Hobbs & Friends of the OSR podcast. Yes, right out of the oven exclusively for Patreon supporters. In there, my friend and Metal Gods colleague, +Jason Hobbs announced I am the winner of the 'OSR Encounter Conterst' he co-organized with Sean and Brett from Gaming and BS RPG Podcast

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seraphim Caligari

+Adam Muszkiewicz set up a new game on Tuesdays, 'Murder Gangs of Ur-Hadad, games of skulduggery and filth on the streets of Ur-Hadad', using the Blades in the Dark set of rules with his own characteristic approach.

The crew is a [Cult] -- the Last Adherents of the Sensate -- devoted to an alluring but sinister demon (the Sensate) that occasionally manifests itself in the real world. They are assisted by a gang of Elite Adepts, cultists of a scholarly and scientific (occult?) bent. The cult operates out of a perfumerie and aromatics shop (secretly an alchemical shop) in a middle-class neighborhood in Ur-Hadad, where they operate a workshop as well as a secret ritual sanctum. 

The cult operates in territory that belongs to the Swaggernauts, but their strongest relationship is with the Bloody Successors, who helped the cult set up their shop (and attendant workshop and sanctum) after the cult's shipments of telepaphrodisiacs were interrupted by adventurers. In the process, the cult ended up attracting some followers away from the Cult of the Gloaming Deeps. Due to their connections with the Swaggernauts, the pawns of the Faceless Vizier openly distrust the cult.

Seraphim Caligari grew in the pirate city of Port Scourge where his family ran an apothecary shop. It was there he met a woman named Caixalla when she entered the business seeking certain off-the-list substance. Seraphim discovered she was in fact "as much a prophet as a purveyor of fleshly delights" in the words of his elders, but sought to learn about the occult from her anyway. She refused at first, but Seraphim took the risk and played the blackmail card. After an attempt on the life of a notorious pirate captain took place, and the victim showed the unique effects of the drug used, Seraphim knew who was behind the attack. She then agreed but made an obscure augury about Seraphim’s future in Ur-Hadad. Years passed and he became in charge of the family business. During that time he learned all he could from Caixalla, until she uttered a bleak prophecy about an impending doom on Port Scourge. Scared by her prediction Seraphim he closed the shop and took a ship out of Port Scourge to never return. Once in Ur-Hadad he and others founded the Last Adherents of the Sensate cult, became acquainted with certain figures (Bloody Successors) and managed to open a perfumes and aromatics shop...

Monday, May 29, 2017

My son's first D&D game

My first adventure
Last weekend Ivan, my 6 years old son, asked me if he could play with me what I had played the previous weekend with his cousin Mat. "I want to explore a labyrinth too!" he said. Of course I obliged and brought out the 1983 D&D Players Manual to run the solo adventure. I printed a character sheet for him and then he rolled some 3d6 for the stats. He added the numbers (with little a help) and wrote down the results. Since he wanted a miniature, I took out a box with some 3.x era plastic ones and he spend some time choosing one. He finally selected an orc raider. "Now you have to give it a name and write it down on the character sheet. What's his name?" I asked him. "It's Monster, his name is Monster." he said. OK, it was character after all.

Monster

I let him choose a d20 and a d6 from the die coffer and let him know one was to roll attacks and the other to roll for damage. "How many lives does Monster has?" he asked. "Well, he has only one." I replied. "Only one!?" he complained and looked a bit dismayed. "But he has 8 hit points!" I added quickly and that seemed to be alright for him so we carried on. 


Dungeon entrance
Monster was ready to investigate a labyrinth that was near the town where he lived. I showed him the Elmore drawing of the entrance. "This is the way of the dungeon. Do you dare to explore it?" I asked him in a theatrical voice. "YES!" he said excitedly.

I described him the room with the statue and three exits, and then gave him three choices (listen carefully, explore the room or go through one of the exits). He decided to go down one of the exits...and found two goblins! Combat unfolded with various hits and misses, near tears when Monster got hit and loud cheers when Monster hit the goblins, until he decided to flee back to town. "Because his health bar was too low." he explained. 

Monster didn't find any treasure on his first foray into the dungeon, but he was alive to go adventuring another day! 
Drawing my first dungeon!
After that he decided that he wanted to run and adventure for me. So, while he drew his dungeon and chose miniatures to populate it, I rolled my character. Then I chose a miniature, named it Marshal and was ready to play. The first room of his labyrinth also had a statue in the center and several exits. I stopped to listen and he told me I could hear a conversation in hushed tones. When I decided to investigate, two statues (that weren't there in the initial room description!) lowered their swords blocking the passage, and a couple of orcs appeared and attacked! I was lucky to defeat both of them. I asked him if they had any treasure on them but there was none, so I took their weapons and went back to town to heal and sell the loot. 

Soon I was ready for another delve into his dungeon. This time I found a room with a "yeti monkey and a dread guard guarding a big chest" that attacked immediately. I lost initiative and the monkey went first. He rolled a natural 20 and grabbed a d10+d4 for damage! 

He TPK'd me on his first game as a DM. I couldn't be more proud.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Playing D&D with my nephew

The first time I played D&D with my nephew Mat was more than a year ago. You can read about that here. After that, we played again on a couple more occasions but I forgot to blog about them and I don't remember when they were. Then we played again last weekend.

D&D next generetion
Let's do some recap...

Session I (14/11/15)

At the end of our first session his group, composed by a fighter, an archer and a magic-user, saved their village from the attack of a necromancer and his skeletal minions. It was a bitter victory because the magic-user died, so they were to go into a quest to revive him. 

Session II (??/??/??)

The session begun at a near town where the local cleric revived the magic-user, but in exchange asked the group to retrieve a holy relic from the ruins of a nearby abbey. The group searched the ruins and found a flight of stairs going down. Mat decided that the group would go downstairs to explore, so I took out a sewer's battle mat from Dragon magazine. Since I wanted to introduce the concept of resource management, I told Mat to write down that each of his guys carried three torches and, as he explored,  I would ask him to cross one out from time to time. He quickly realized he needed to leave some for the way back to the surface or be forced to navigate the place in total darkness.

WoG Cultists
The group set forward to explore a series of abandoned rooms, corridors and sewer tunnels. First they fought and killed a giant rat that thought they were an easy meal. Then some black tentacles with purple suckers emerged from the stagnant water and tried to grab them. Finally they found a couple of identically clad cultists. While one hold them off blocking the walkway, the other fell back to their lair. After defeating the first cultist, Mat came with the brilliant idea of having one of his guys to pose as the dead cultist! 

At that point I asked him to check his torches and he realized he had about half left. He had to decide to press forward or go back. After pondering the situation for a moment Mat decided to stay. The fake cultist moved to find the lair while the rest followed a bit far behind. He managed to trick the remaining cultist into opening the door and they stormed the place. With the last cultist defeated they searched the room and found, not after the thief narrowly avoided a poison needle trap, the relic along with some treasure. 

With that they made their way back to the surface with the risk of running out of light sources.

Session III (??/??/??)

Old School
I decided to start this session by rolling stats for the characters and make character sheets for them. I used the 1983 D&D Basic Rules and ran the adventure that comes in the Dungeon Masters rulebook. This was a huge step for Mat since we haven't used any sheet or stats for the party. We used just a d20 to roll the attacks and saves, and to roll damage a d4, d6 and d8  for the magic-user, thief, and fighter respectively. He was really excited about it, because the game took a whole new dimension for him.

I ran the adventure almost 'as is'. In the combat with the carrion crawler, the thief got paralyzed and Mat kept asking if he was dead, but I wouldn't tell until the end of the combat. After the thief recovered, the group went to check the entrance to the ruins and found it was guarded by some kobolds, which Mat renamed as 'dog-men'. The kobolds, sorry, dog-men, were defeated without much effort and their bodies looted. He's a quick learner.

The group then went to explore inside the castle ruins. I was glad to see that Mat remembered the light sources drill from previous sessions. While exploring a bedchamber some zombies emerged from the closet and the cleric attempted to turn them but failed. By that time he had to go so we left the battle for next time.

Session IV (20/05/17)


Braaains!
Last weekend we picked up where we left last time, so we just rolled initiative! The group didn't have much trouble getting past the zombies. After the combat Mat asked 'Where's the treasure?'. 'If there's any treasure, you have to find it.' I replied. 'This is not like a tablet or cell phone game where the gold coins are floating on mid-air.You have to search, you have to tell me you search, otherwise I'll assume you do nothing.' I added. He chew on my words for a bit before he decided to search the place where the zombies came from. He was delighted to found some treasure there (I didn't put it there, it was in the adventure).

After that they came to a room full of crates and boxes with a lonely large box in the center. Mat sent the thief to open the large crate, only to be surprised by another zombie! The cleric failed the turn check again, so the fighter closed in to end the threat.

Exploring further they encountered more dog-men (kobolds) and Mat wanted them to follow him. I secretly made a reaction roll (uncertain). 'They look hesitant. What do you do?' I asked him. 'The fighter will put down his sword and shield, and motion them to come closer.' he said. 'The  kobolds look at each other and slowly get near you.' I told him. Being an evil DM, I was planning to surprise the party (hey, the strongest member have put down his weapons!) when Mat said 'I give them some meat!' That did it. 'They eat the meat hungrily. You now have a group of five kobold following you!'. Looking forward to play again!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

OSR Encounter Contest - The curse of Vagrot the Blue

Today I sent my submission to the OSR Encounter Contest, 

"Since he settled, some time ago, in the ruins of an abandoned abbey atop a nearby forested hill, Vagrot the Ogre-Mage has extracted a weekly tribute from the village of Galdorum under the threat of razing the place to the ground. "

You can get the PDF here or in the Downloads section.

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