Friday, September 28, 2012

Roll For Initiative / The Evil GM contest

Yes, it's another contest and the prize is none other than a copy of the AD&D 1e reprints done by WOTC!

- First Edition Core Rules style only.
- A Halloween theme'd adventure.
- Minimum of 25 rooms with boxed text.
- Pictures optional.
- Full text of monsters.
- At least a hand drawn map, keyed with numbers.
- In word or PDF format

Due date:
Nov 1st, 2012 -- 11:59PM EST*

*Note: Contest subject to cancellation due to lack of entries. All entries become properity of RFI and WGP, LLC.

More details here.

EDIT: I think that for this contest, I will expand my Shrine of the Rodent God with a second level...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Submission to The Secret DM Gygax Contest

A slightly modified version of the "Shrine of the Rodent God", my OPDC 2009 entry, is my submission to The Secret DM's Gygax Contest. There's a chance of winning a complete set of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons® Reprints so, if you didn't entered the contest, wish me luck!

You can download it here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

LotFP - Thelian Islands Campaign wrap up

Well, I thought that after the end of the Caste Zagyg campaign, we'll still be playing this one but, since Joe's face to face campaign (which he's been running for about 15 months) has wrapped up, so has ours.

Although there were only a few sessions, it was a great time and, I make Joe's words mine, everyone enjoyed it, learned a lot and, most of all, had fun. I hope to game again with you guys soon. Joe, Chris, Frotz and Sarah you rock.

Game on!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Castle Zagyg - The End

"This Friday [September 21st], my Castle Zagyg crew finished up the dungeon I had been running every other Friday night, and all involved in the final ending were rewarded with a T-shirt that reads "I beat Castle Zagyg and all I got was this goddamned T-shirt" as a gift from Zagyg himself. It gives plus 1 to AC when worn under any armor, stacks with anything, and as befits a gift from Zagyg, the writing on the T-shirt glows through any armor and is clearly visible to all."

Thanks Joe!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Castle Zagyg - sessions 11 & 12

Sessions #11 (September 7th) and #12 (September 14th)

The various members of the adventurous party between the two sessions:

"Nathaniel" (human thief)*
Gogax (halfling thief)
Thidrek (sleestak)
Maragon (human fighter?)**
Norfolk (halfling thief)
Darf (dwarven fighter)
Nick the Pike (human fighter)
Hairy and Stinky (Darf's Bugbear henchmen)
Kellan (human illusionist)
Kip (human fighter, Kellan's follower)
Gimli of Geoff (dwarven fighter)
Morgan (human barbarian, Gimli's follower)***

* couldn't remember the chracter's name
** later chaged his name to Biff (Joe kept mingling between Maragon and Morgan)
*** later changed his name to Conan (Joe kept mingling between Morgan and Maragon)

Previously on Castle Zagyg (in Joe's words): 

"Your castle is getting flooded with refugees from both the elven forest and human cities and towns nearby. Apparently they have been invaded by dragon armies, and many people fled to the castle that was so powerful that apparently they withstood a dragon army assault lead by 6 dragons.

They also tell you that the dragon army is in the march this way again, but they're not worried since you all held them off last time with such ease. They have full faith in Gimli and his crew."

Into the Fortress

We took the same route than last time through the dungeons below until the dwarven chapel and then all the way up into a large dining room. There, ghosts wandered about and offered real food & drinks to the party. Most were wary about them until some dared to try it. Not all the effects were good, Conan got turned into a bumblebee, Gogax's skin turned green and Norfolk stank like fish and grew boar tusks.

Continuing exploring the level found that bandits have made their hideout here. We killed two dogs and a guard, and captured another guard that, tied and gagged, we used to open all doors. He was known as "The Gimp". More bandits were found and killed, until only the leader and his plump mistress remained.

We then found a large room full of piles of refuse, which we decided to search for hidden treasure. Kellan turned his Robe of Scintillating Colors mesmerizing the giant rats and black centipedes that moved to attack us as soon as be begun disturbing the piles. Once killed the vermin we continued searching and found invisible spriggans in the fireplace, which were also killed. Among other things we found  a magic pipe that could be the key to control the castle.

Paraphrasing Chris Hales post on G+ about the second session:

"On the second foray into the castle we found and killed:  some [more] spriggans, a ghost, a couple of skeletons and their skeletal children. Sadly we lost Conan (Gimli's barbarian follower) to the ghost, and a dozen goblins and a couple of War Dogs  due to various traps. Also one of the fighters, recruited among the refugees, lost all his hair due to a spriggan trick.

We found a lot of coin and several magic items: a trapped keg that releases poison gas, a ring of protection, a broom of flying that only works on the 3 levels of the fortress), an ever burning exquisite quality cigar, some "insanity apples" (save vs Poison or eater goes insane for 48 hours and then dies).

On the funny side, Nathaniel's thief decided to use one of the bathrooms we found. He triggered a poison gas trap that left him blinded for an hour. It might have been permanent but for the ready water-source he used to flush out his eyes. [Gimli fell into a double pit trap.]

In the final room we cleared, Kellan used his Robe of Scintillating Colors to stun the remaining goblins and Nathaniel's thief. While they were incapacitated, the valuables they hoarded during the clearing of the level were taken from them and fairly distributed among the party."

Back from the castle, Conan was given a proper burial, burning him in a funeral pyre with all his possessions.

The end draws near

Before leaving for another foray into the fortress, the town blacksmith, also a dwarf, gave Gimli an armor made of red dragon scales. It gives the same protection as a platemal (+1) and provides extra protection against fire damage (+5 on saves).

Paraphrasing another Chris Hales post on G+:

"Castle Zagyg is wrapping up soon. The next session may be the last for that setting.

An army of Dragonmen [draconians] & Dragons is marching towards Castle Zagyg. It arrives in 30 hours, although the PCs do not know when they will arrive.

[Meanwhile] some additional Castle Zagyg defense/contingency plans [are being made].

We've already got the cave entrances closed off. Behind those entrances are passages filled with as many traps as the refugees have managed to construct in the week or so they've been down there working.

There are functioning defensive siege weapons on the walls, as well as a functioning ballista on one of the inner walls. Additionally there is a magically powered siege weapon in the inner courtyard capable of firing anything, smaller than 3 feet diameter, up to hundreds of yards over the walls. Each of these weapons have stores of ammo from previous preparations. 

Kellan has been cultivating 3 varieties of mushrooms at Castle Zagyg for quite a while, several caves, long cleared, are filled with the different types. Entry in to these caves, without proper preparations could be hazardous. Since we can, Kellan will send refugees outside the walls to scatter spores of two types of mushrooms every night we can after the refugees begin arriving. The hope is that these will germinate and create clouds of spores as they are trampled by the approaching army.

The varieties that will be spread were never given specific names by +Joe Dimech, but both were acquired in Castle Zagyg. The first, which I call the Sleep Shrooms, are yellow and upon ingestion of the flesh or inhalation of the spores cause "deep sleep for 7-12 hours". The second [type], which I call Pacification Mushrooms, maintain an aura of spores about themselves and upon inhalation of those spores calm the target to a non-violent state.

Additionally there are "Shrieker Mushrooms" which emit an amazingly loud shriek when a creature moves in to their range (I do not know what the range is). These can be spread as well, but I would suggest less liberally. They could act as alarms to warn us of approach from the forested areas or by invisible or stealthy enemies, like their scouts.

The Ghosts [from the Fortress, who] we were able to convince to join the defense of the castle, might make excellent assassins to dispatch enemies, should they succumb to the sleep/pacification spores.

Perhaps this is a minor point, but we should collect whatever gold/silver/cash we can from the refugees so we can afford to buy whatever magic items the Zagyg merchants have for sale. There are items they've had previously that I would have liked to have now, that we just couldn't afford. We should be able to send them to scavenge whatever money they can from the nearby town. Fighting the merchants seems a bad idea as they are very tough and numerous.

It isn't ideal, but the refugees can plan to escape through the Mars Gate if the Castle is lost. Castle Zagyg supposedly has various doors to other worlds, we've only found one, which leads to a John Carter of Mars-type world. Heavily barricading the cave entrance leading to this area should be a priority to avoid access to the gate from being lost.

We should talk to Cobbler Eggler, if only to make sure he gets out alive. Although he only makes shoes, we should check him to see if he has anything interesting for sale. 

We should talk to the Merchants every time we suspect they may have something for sale. Roll random items is fun, and often very helpful."

The defense plans look solid to Gimli and he wholly agrees on collecting whatever valuables the refugees have to buy from the Merchants and/or EGGler. Also, Kellan could make illusions of treasure around the statues in front of the chapel, so that any dragon approaching would be attacked by them.

Gimli will organize groups of refugees to make any repairs that the walls/ramparts/towers may need .

"That's it for now. This is going to be rough..."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

LotFP - Thelian Islands Campaign

On August 31th we gathered for our #6 LotFP game on G+ hangout.

Having one last day before the fleet that would raid Blood Island was prepared to sail, Antii decided to try his luck once again, this time in a fancy place. He spent plenty of silver on women, lodging, food and beer. He also told all his tales once again trying to impress the ladies. By the end of the night he not only managed to get laid, but the girl became his follower!

First, I named her Lutka which is the Finnish word for trollop (since that's what the NPC was), and then rolled pretty decent abilities (Cha 17, Con 14, Dex 11, Int 12, Str 7, Wis 12). I just couldn't resist placing the 17 on Charisma, and made her a redhead. So I guess now I have my own Flame Princess! ;)

The next day we started the 32-day sea trip to Blood Island. The first ten days passes uneventfully, until a giant squid crossed our path. A week later we encountered a merchant ship from our own clan, with whom we traded some goods and news. Three days later we got scared to death when a giant sea turtle rocked the ship! We were lucky it didn't continue to attack. Four days after that, we encountered more friendly creatures, half horse and half fish, that curiously stared at us. Hrok threw some apples at them, which they gladly ate. The next day hundreds of sea creatures, named locathah, mounted on giant eels passed us by, and then six days later, without encountering any other creatures, we arrived to the island.

It's a rocky island spotted here and there with thick forests. There's a village and a dock, everything in ruins and no one to be seen. Kelbar, who leads the expedition and came to find his father's body and sword, says the villagers fled because the constant attacks of sea zombies and clawed men. We anchored the ship and went ashore in two boats. One group would go to explore a nearby quarry and we would go to the village. The ship would wait for us til the next day and then go back.

The village has a keep in the center and four large buildings around it, a couple of barracks, a warehouse and a common area, all in bad shape. Everything was surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped earth rampart, that ended in a pair of also ruined towers.. We explored one of the barracks and found nothing, so we moved to the other barrack and discovered a trap door under all the debris. Chain mail suits, swords and shields were hidden down there. We went back to the first one and looked in the same place, finding another trapdoor and a couple of kegs of lantern in the room below. We found nothing of value in the common area or the warehouse, so we moved to the towers. While approaching one of them, three sea zombies emerged from the sea and attacked us. We killed them but in the fight Kelbar fell. All the noise attracted four more that were inside one of the towers, so we fired some missiles at them and ran to the keep, where we climbed a ruined wall. From above we managed to kill them before they engaged into melee. In the keep we found a serviceable catapult that was loaded into the magic boat and folded again.

Then, we decided to find the other group that went to the quarry. A river and a densely forested area had to be crossed before reaching the place. We used the magic boat as a bridge to cross the stream and ventured into the woods. In a clear area we came across a couple of sheep, which we found odd. And we were right to suspect, because they turned into worgs and attacked! After killing the foul creatures we found some ruins; a set of five 12' tall marble statues with inscriptions in an ancient script of our language. We didn't know yet but they were of the Old Gods. Inspecting one of them (a screaming warrior with a sword) we found it descended into the ground and into a subterranean complex. Each statue lowered into a different 60'x60'  room and there were two other round rooms, one full of rooms for Hrok's delight and the other with 6 paintings different scenes about a column totem, a battle, a demon spitting lightning at the totem, war against the hobgoblins, some ships at sea, the totem in the hands of the hobgoblins and the Old Gods ooking at the ships. We decided to spend the night underground and make it to the coast at first light.

The next day we rushed through the woods and were surprised by three troblins. Hrok summoned a giant ice toad and we managed to kill two while one fell asleep, and we put the creatures to the flame. Annar fell but Signy managed to heal him enough to find our way back to the coast and to the ship. The other didn't showed on time so we left. Although Hrok asked not to mention the complex we found, Antii couldn't keep his mouth shut and bragged about how he made it with Lutka on every room!

Our journey back was no less exciting. On the second day we came by a horde of more that 100 koalinth (marine hobgoblins) but nothing happened. A couple of days later some friendly sea lions crossed our path and Hrok killed one of them, which the sailor found a bad omen. Almost a week after that we saw a carnivorous whale. We decided to go after it and kill it, and so we did. We cut and salted some of it and tied the rest to the rail. Unfortunately, the next day a dragon turtle attacked us and we only managed to escape by cutting the whale carcass loose. After that, several days later, we saw sea gargoyles and sahuagines who kept their distance. When we were about to reach our destination, we found some tritons on sea horses who left after Hrok threw some apples at them.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ambition and Avarice

Ambition & Avarice is Greg Christopher's latest creation and it's available for download at (click on the image to get it free!). After reading it, I made a short list of the things I liked and didn't liked, along with a couple of questions/observations and posted it on G+. I added Greg's answers to this post.

Liked: layout, art, rest dice, race advantages, classes (mundane, magical, expertise, identify), dungeon throws, character points, min. STR required for some armors, armor penalty to sneak, you dared with grapple rules, detailed hazards and survival, spell names.

Didn't like: civilized vs. uncivilized races, the "ignores the armor class bonus of any non-metal armor" in some swords*, lack of random encounter distance.

- Do you lose your attack when you're doing an aimed attack and your target dies?

GC: You would lose your attack with the aimed shot, yes.

- Did you considered using material components for spells?

GC: And I absolutely hate material spell components just because they are such a chore for the mage players. But that is personal preference, I can see the logic of having them.

*I would've liked it if blunt weapons also had similar traits (ie: maces & hammers against rigid metal armor).

GC: That is interesting to consider with the blunt weapons. I hadn't considered that before. Hrm.... 

Great job! :)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk

Wheee! I won The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk  from Purple Sorcerer Games (click on the image to get it from RPGnow) in Tenkar's Tavern "DCC RPG Corruption Contest" with this entry.

Thanks again to Erik for putting up another cool contest!

Once I have it and read it, I'm going to GM it in a Google+ Hangout. Yes, I know I said the same when I won Attack of the Frawgs, and still haven't GMed it. But I will, promise!