Monday, February 26, 2024

GaryCon XVI Schedule

I finally got my tickets for some games at GaryCon XVI. Not all the games I wanted (diamond, platinum and gold badges got to pick first) but alas.  

On Thursday I'll play "The Sample Dungeon" - Introduced by Dr. J. Eric Holmes in the Basic Edition of Dungeons and Dragons (1977) was the springboard to realms of imagination many of us were first introduced to with that blue book. Come drink from the cup of nostalgia and again venture into the ruined tower of Zenopus.

Nothing better that some old school game to start the convention.

For Friday I got tickets for "The Doom Beneath Welkwood Part One (Greyhawk)" - lways spring and the leaves never change color, corruption has crept in. A mysterious druid who lived in an immense grove of roanwood trees and guarded the forest has vanished. An adventure for 4th level (10,000 XP) characters. 

Being a Greyhawk fan since I started playing D&D back in 1988, I'm really looking forward to it. 

Saturday will be the main course! "Legends of Wargaming: Battle of Brown Hills" - This Chainmail fantasy scenario by Gary Gygax was first played by the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association and the Castle & Crusades Society in 1971. Session will be run at 330 Center St. in the same basement where Gary played it 50 years ago! Test your tactical skills in this exciting miniatures game at the roots of Dungeons & Dragons. 

This would be my first miniature game ever. It's a paid event ($50) but totally worth it to celebrate D&D's 50th Anniversary.

The final game on Sunday will be another miniatures game "Ford Over Troubled Waters" - Orcs/goblins hold Castle Ost! The Civilized Races hold Giant's Keep. Between them is lie the ruins of the old Fordhold, with a dragon living there! Who will take Fordhold? Who will defeat the dragon and claim its hoard? Take one of two sides and fight to the finish using Chaos Wars: a fun set of old school miniatures rules with lots of 25mm Ral Partha figures on the table! Prizes awarded to players!

It is run by Michael "Chgowiz" Shorten a long time online friend who I will finally meet in person at the convention. 

The schedule leaves plenty of room to play pickup games and meet new people and old friends I met at GenCon back in 2014. 

Monday, December 11, 2023


This weekend arrived a pretty cool haul. Just in time for Christmas.

I got the "Zogonia: Slice of Death" comic book (64 pages of strips collected from Dragon magazine) and the AD&D 2e Forgotten Realms "Menzoberranzan Boxed Set", used but in great shape and complete with booklets, maps and cards, both from eBay. Also the "BDKR1: The Unofficial Living Greyhawk Bandit Kingdoms Summary" from Amazon and, last but not least, the "Holmes & Clark" rules set by my friend Aron Clark from DriveThruRPG.

I am planning on using Menzoberranzan in my Greyhawk game, but still don't know how exactly. Maybe by making it a rival city of Erelhei-Cinlu, where the majority of the drow worship the Elder Elemental God instead of Lolth? Also I need to decide where to put it. Maybe beneath the Jotens Mts. near Sterich? That would be a good place if I want to run the city of Istvin trilogy in the future.

About the "Bandit Kingdoms Summary" I've read many good reviews as a "must have" source of documentation and inspiration for developing adventures in the area. Looking forward to pair it with Ravensrook: A Grimdark Urban Fantasy Setting running as the city of Rookroost.

Also thinking of using "Holmes & Clark" as the rule set for my next Greyhawk campaign set in the Lands of Cantona on the Wild Coast, initially though to be run under Labyrinth Lord. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Kothar's tower

I turned the photo of an old pigeon's tower from my neighborhood (now a public library) into the mage's tower for one of my players. I used Photopea online and a Wacom Intuos tablet.

It was an abandoned tower and, when Kothar the mage was given the rights over the lands around the village of Twilight Falls, he took residence there. He set up a lab and hired an alchemist. Right now he's having the top tier being built of wood, since the village is in the Gnarley Forest. It was too expensive to have it built of stone like the rest of the tower.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Virtual Greyhawk Con 4 report


This past weekend was Virtual Greyhawk Con 4 and I had the chance to play in a couple of games and also attend the "Ask the Experts" roundtable that closed the event.

On Saturday I played on Mike "Von Molkew" Mossberger's game "Mystery in Midmeadow", where we were a party of high level characters (mine was Hurrick, a dwarf bounty hunter) at the service of King Lynwerd of Nyrond. Mysterious attacks on Pholtan guerrillas prompted the summon of our group to investigate the area of Crystal Springs. The hints dropped by the DM, both in the thorough pre-game information and during the game, pointed (the players, not the characters) to the mythical drow! 

We had a skirmish with the dark eleves, managed to take one down and were taking out his corpse as proof, when more came and drove us deeper into the caves. We hit a dead end and thought that was it, when we were rescued by strange beings known as rockseer elves, antagonistic to the drow.

They asked about us and the surface world, and asked our help to prevent the drow completing a ritual of opening a portal that could give access the the Plane of Fey/Fading Lands. After handwaving a couple of encounters (a cavern filled with plant and fungi, and another cavern with a dragon skeleton/spectral dragon) we reached the cavern where the ritual was taking place. There, along with the portal, the drow and their half-drow half-spider guards, was a waterfall running upwards! It was the magical origin of the Franz River. After defeating the drow the rockseer elves sealed the place, gave us a letter to take to King Lynwerd and a magical ruby.

The caves under Cristal Springs
It's a dead end!

Mike has a deep knowledge on the setting and rules, that he complemented with some beautiful maps on Owlbear Rodeo. I forgot to take some captures but you can see them here.

~ o ~

Later that day I played on Allan "grodog" Grohe's home game (runs every other Saturday) in which the party is currently at Dyvers, the City of Sails, where the group entrepreneurs are trying to sell the local temple of Nerull a pair of gems taken from a secluded and abandoned(?) temple of Nerull beneath Castle Greyhawk.  So far, so good...

~ o ~

The next day, on Sunday, I played on Allan's game "Halls of the Iron Golems". A strange magical helix has appeared over the Free City of Greyhawk, causing magic to act in chaotic and unpredictable ways. A group of high level adventurers (mine was Barilar Willowbeard, a half-elf druid) was gathered to solve the problem. They needed to delve into the 12th level of Castle Greyhawk, find Heward's Mystical Organ and play a certain tune. 

On our way we encountered a glassteel skeleton golem, that resonated when struck by melee weapons damaging the attackers, and a giant slug. After some twists and turns, but always proceeding in a north-northwest direction, a trapped stair threw the party into a slide that split us into two chambers: one filled with water and one with a yellow poisonous gas, both chambers with skeletons at the bottom that tried to keep us down. Quick thinking, the use of magic items, and even a roll on the potion miscibility table, helps us escape the trap.

Halls of the Iron Golems

We entered the level in the circular chamber on the low-right and proceeded on the highlighted path. The triangular chamber was where we fought the skeleton and the giant slug. After descending the spiral staircase we found a corridor and a trap door up at a dead-end. We emerged on the stairs to the left and ended in the hexagonal rooms after the split chamber. We needed to reach the circular concentrical place in the center of the map. An amphitheater maybe?

~ o ~

All in all, a fun weekend full of online gaming. Looking forward to next year's Virtual Greyhawk Con!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Back to F2F games

Yesterday I ran my first face-to-face game since the Covid-19 pandemic. One of my players, who lives in Mexico, is here in Uruguay for a month, so we're looking forward for more face-to-face games. The common feeling around the table, besides the joy of being gathered together, was "How much I missed rolling real dice!". We had one player remote on Meet on a laptop facing the map and miniatures.

The party (an 8th level Cavalier, a 9th level Magic-User, an 8th level Cleric of St. Cuthbert, a 9th level Thief-Acrobat and a 4th level Bard) is going through "G3 - Halls of the Fire Giant King". So far, they've managed to kill King Snurre, about 20 of his fire giants, as well as many of his hell hound pets. Out of spells and exhausted but alive, accompanied by a charmed gnoll, they've retired to a cave nearby to rest and recover. 

A certain dwarf that witnessed the carnage that party made, decided to grab his gear and treasure, and leave the Halls along with the gnolls. An angry and mourning Queen Frupy will certainly muster the remaining forces and lay some nasty surprises for the intruders...


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