Monday, June 30, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 35

Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Vampire Hunter
Magnus the Pony

My companions
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer
Durak Braksson - Dwarf

Tegort - Ogre bodyguard
Sir Ortolf Eiche ("Ike") - Magister and Wizard Lord of the Azyr Wind
Abelhardt Mullberger - Journeyman Apprentice
Oswin Pellensteiner - Conscripted Boatman

(Previous update)

The barge was hastily rechristened "Bianca" after Ludovic's recent amore from Stimmigen. He, Tegort, Udrin, and Oswin were left to get the ship ready for sailing. Maximillian went after the absentminded wizards.

The tavern was on fire. The funeral pyre to burn dark elves and other chaos spawn had spread. It was heading from the pyre to the tavern, in the direction of Ike's room. Maximillian and Mullberger rushed to find the magister.

Ike was found and hurried out of harm's way. Passing back through the tavern gate, Maximillian found the priests of Morr milling about. His attempts to recruit them were in vain, and they begged off to further study the lead priest's dreams. However, a dwarf traveler chose that moment to round the corner and approach the group.

Maximillian cordially introduced himself and responded to the dwarf's desire for passage upriver. Maximillian was willing to offer a discount to the dwarf if he was an able boatsman (you can offer discounts when you're the Purser), but the dwarf had no experience in such matters. He did insist, however, that he was full able to pay fair passage price on the barge.

Maximillian properly introduced the dwarf, Durak Braksson, to Captain Ludovic and headed off to the galley to prepare for departure. He also hid the ship's alcohol supply, hoping to keep the sole skilled sailor sober for the duration of the trip.

Captain Ludovic charged Boatman Oswin to show his worth and get our ship moving up river. The process started haltingly and jerkingly, however, after a few rough hours, smoothed out nicely. Tegort settled mid-stern and took the rudder. Ludovic and Oswin took turns tacking the sail. We made modest progress before weighing anchor mid-river (the safest spot) for the night.

The night was quickly interrupted by wretched rat-men (I believe they are called Skaven) who had swam to the ship unnoticed and attacked the ogre. Why they focused on the ogre, nobody could tell, however, the swarm of rat-men overpowered the crew and capsized the ogre. During the battle, the vicious rats also cut the anchor line, and our ship spun out of control to the western bank of the Delb. Due to some mighty axe-wielding by the dwarf and Maximillian's sharp shooting, the ratmen were chased off.

We find ourselves beached on the western shore with a scratched up ogre and a half-conscious captain (the ratmen were mean to him also). We are without anchor and who-knows-what else after the brief attack. At least the Bianca is still seaworthy (or the proper word for rivers).

I am concerned at what tomorrow may bring.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Roundup 7

Now that summer break is here and my schedule is less hectic, I'd like to start a new weekly post...a round-up, if you will, of different interesting things I have read through the week. I hope you find these enjoyable...and helpful as well.


Chivalry - It Isn't Good Manners by Rick Stump (Article)

Chivalry vs courtesy vs stupidity. Your game may be more fun of you play appropriately.

Revised Magic Book Name Generator by David Brawley (Article)
Who doesn't like a good random name generator? This one is for that special tome you want to talk about or share with the players. Get your d30 dusted off!

Negadungeon by Jack Mack (Article)

I like the idea that there is a dungeon you know you don't want to enter. All the signs, hints, and rumors confirm you don't want to, but you must. Your honor/quest/race's survival depends on it.

I also like the, tangential, idea that there are things you can release during your adventures that are completely out of your control. You may open a chest and a trapped horror escapes, devastating the countryside. An honorable party would adventure to destroy it, if they can. What will your party do?

Good Isn't Stupid, or weak, or nice. by Rick Stump (Article)

Remember the roundup in which I stated my fondness for clerics? Here is a shining example of good ways to play paladins and other good-aligned characters.

The Town of Chalk Hill by Dyson Logos (Map)

I can see using this town in a (noncommercial) WarHammer game. I might call it a village...or maybe just a settlement. Either way, it needs a German name. I present Kreide Hugel!

Friday, June 27, 2014

PortCon: Star Wars RPG

The theme of PortCon Maine 2014 was "All the Cute." Because of this, my friend Ian ran a Star Wars game...with only Wookie, Ewok, and Squib characters. Our characters started out as slaves on a Trandoshan mining outpost, spending all of their day laboring. Things progressed from there:

My character was a female ewok named Teek. She was skilled with a blaster (once she got her hands on one), was small (but everyone else was slow), was a pilot, and was NOT the brightest bulb. The game had some mechanics for playing that out, but I decided to roleplay it.

When we freed ourselves from the oppressive lizards, we needed a way to get our control collars off. Teek's first thought was to shoot them off. When someone else found keys, she decided that might be a better way.

The party needed a route of escape. Teek thought the most clever way out was through the ore processing smelter. Nobody else was willing to brave the fiery inferno of the smelter. At least Teek had wanted to turn the flames off.

When coming upon a bathroom, Teek thought they should escape through the sewers. Neither the furry wookies nor the squibs, who taste by rubbing things on their fur, were up for that idea.

One of our ewok members went missing after a firefight with the Trandoshan. Teek just assumed the ewok was shot and was ready to leave the area without a search.

When nobody could find the other ewok, and someone asked if anyone knew where he might have gone, Teek suggested that sometimes the other ewok went down to the mines.

We thought our missing ewok friend might be hiding on a large (populated) ore transport ship. Nobody could figure out how to find a small ewok on a large ship. Teek suggested flooding the ship with poison gas to flush him out.

Somehow we escaped our slavers, and the Empire military who came to figure out what was going on in this mining colony. Teek helped blind the pursuers by flying straight at the sun so they couldn't see us.

Long live Teek!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

[A&A] New Race:Lirapto

Lirapto are a predatory species originating from a different world. They are extremely violent and self-interested. Lirapto reproduce asexually, and before coming to this planet a hundred years ago would leave their young to fend for themselves after only a few weeks.  Those that survive are tough and emotionally jaded. Even now, the young are still abandoned by individuals and cared for by the community as a whole. Their culture has no concept of pair bonding, sexual relationships, or marriage. Ideas like love and affection are weak and rarely expressed.

Lirapto society is completely hierarchical and merit-based. They are highly cognizant of any hierarchical difference between themselves and those around them. They will not even speak to certain individuals if the difference between their social status is large. Because their ways are so alien in general, Lirapto receive -3 to all reaction rolls.

The Lirapto believe that their monotheistic god Orlam has chosen certain individuals to be predestined for greatness. Evidence of this selection must be uncovered by examining the population for those showing signs of extraordinary ability. When a community reaches a certain size, it forms a Council of Peers that is charged with performing these examinations and marking certain individuals as having been chosen by Orlam. These individuals, referred to as The Elect, are then granted extraordinary social advantages over their fellow citizens. Others may take to a life of adventuring.

Nearly every Lirapto aspires to gain membership into this elite status and thus constantly strives to excel in dramatic and public ways. Due to their elite strivings, Lirapto start with 1 extra weapon proficiency.

Lirapto are aggressive by nature, preferring to hunt as a past-time even when it is not necessary to survive. Because they see in the infrared spectrum, Lirapto make excellent hunters at night and use this to their advantage. To reflect these hunting skills, Lirapto receive -5 to their Notice throw. Also, any Lirapto in the Ranger class will get a +1 bonus to their tracking roll. These skills are also reflected in their reflex save.

Aside from differences in sensory organs, Lirapto are strikingly similar to humans. They have roughly the same body proportions and similar internal biology.

Type: Civilized
Vision: Infravision
Hit Dice: d8

Blast: 13+
Death: 15+
Paralysis: 14+
Poisons: 14+
Reflex: 10+
Spells: 16+

(Text adapted from Ambition & Avarice creator Greg Christopher's sci-fi game Cascade Failure.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 34

Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Vampire Hunter
Magnus the Pony

My companions
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard (Player absent)
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer

Tegort - Ogre bodyguard
Sir Ortolf Eiche - Magister and Wizard Lord of the Azyr Wind
Abelhardt Mullberger - Journeyman Apprentice

(Previous update)

Brother Dieter went through his preparations (and a few drinks) but had no luck speaking to the dead dark elf. He retreated to an empty room in dismay. The other priests confided to Maximillian that there was the possibility Dieter may be delusional. When pressed, they backtracked, saying he may just be misinterpreting his dreams.

Later, Maximillian and Ludovic sat down with Dieter and talked him back into his faith. Because elves do not follow Morr, the Morrian should not have expected to be able to contact the dead elf. The priest brightened and went off to confer with the others.

The party spoke to the roadwardens and (for a small fee) came to the decision that the party now owned the boat and the goods the dead captain was taking upriver. Luckily, these goods involved gunpowder. Unluckily, the party did not have anyone who knew how to power this boat upriver.

There were a couple other boats coming down the river. One stopped and talked the captain into allowing us to hire a boatman (they don't need as many when travelling downriver as when traveling upriver). The boatman is called Pellensteiner, and it seems he's a raging drunk.

At some point, the Wizard Lord and/or the High Elf may come straighten everything out. Until then, Maximillian and Ludovic are working their hardest to keep moving in the right direction.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Roundup 6

Now that summer break is here and my schedule is less hectic, I'd like to start a new weekly post...a round-up, if you will, of different interesting things I have read through the week. I hope you find these enjoyable...and helpful as well.

I'm at PortConMaine 2014 this weekend, so this was assembled early. This week was a busy one, so I didn't get through much.


The Song of Middenheim by Marc Torley

If you've ever wanted to run a game in a city (which I have) but feel overwhelmed at all the prep work you'd have to do (which I am), this blog is for you. The only caveat is the posts are extremely long, though filled with value.

Welcome to The Song of Middenheim, an online Guide to the City State of Middenheim in the Old World of the Warhammer universe.


PortCon Maine 2014 (Anime/Gaming Convention)

From what I can tell by looking at the schedule, I can play D&D most of the weekend and hit every edition besides 3rd (because the 3e time slots are too long).

Thursday: Basic D&D 5 - 9 PM
Friday: D&D 1e 9 - 1 PM
Friday: D&D 2e 5 - 9 PM
Saturday: D&D 4e 4 - 9 PM
Saturday: Star Wars 9 - Midnight
Sunday: D&D 5e 9 - 2 PM

Friday, June 20, 2014

WFRP Follow-up Advice

The other day I shared some advice I gave to someone asking me for advice on running Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Other people chimed in on Google+. I thought I'd share what they said:

Timothy Stone from Another Caffeinated Day:

I would add that going into WFRP 1E and 2E the social contract should be set out that your PC may go insane, be humiliated, maimed, or killed. And these thing tell the character's story and most certainly do not ruin the character....
All of this is a balancing act for the GM or the game can become a serial one-shot. Case in point: Morrslieb's Shadows has some great character development with the characters slowly going insane and touching the Aethyer on occasion. The goal nears and a great campaign can be told in the character stories at the end. Maybe grand failure will result, but maybe the world will be spared by the misfit collection of heroes.
Goals. WFRP shouldn't just be about barely skilled schulbs scratching through the veil between worlds and going insane. Play CoC for that.

I prefer helping the players develop the characters as the goal nears. And I like the mechanical friction*—my new favorite noun for "crunch"—of dice. Don't be afraid of the rolls or of failure (which we hear a lot about in our RPG circles). Just last night the dice failed *me and changed the story that developed at the "table."
Dennis Higgins from Gaming All Over the Place:

And maybe because I grew up with 1e, I'd also add in to not forget a healthy chunk of black/gallows humor. It really compliments the grimdark....

The biggest thing are the awful names. Bin Saladh-Bar? LOVE IT.
So I'd say have at least one NPC or location per game with a name that makes you chuckle. Inside jokes are always acceptable.
Rob S. from 6 Iron Spikes:

My advice would be :
Know the Old World. Get a feel for the place. Read a novel set in the world. I like the early Felix and Gotrek stuff but read Drachenfels recently and it was great too.
Know the WFRP tropes. Read some of the Black Library scenario contest winners. They are short, free and give you a great idea of what a warhammer adventure looks like. Take notes on the cool things as you go and steal them for your own game.
Get a feel for what a session is like. Listen to someone elses session to get a feel for how to run warhammer. Everyone runs it differently but you can steal some good ideas. I was inspired last year by this podcast
Dont be afraid to run a pre-written adventure. Many of them are classics for a reason. I recommend Shadows over Bogenhafen for beginners. Don't shy away from customising the adventure and making it your own.
And one final quote that I really liked, from Kevin Priest:

My advice for WFRP GMs is if the characters don't end up at least a little worse off by the end of the adventure than when they started, you're doing it wrong.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tips for Playing the Opposite Sex

Someone on Google+ mentioned that he doesn't really know how to roleplay a woman. He usually just sticks with describing her appearance, and then isn't sure how to proceed from there to differentiate his female character from his male characters.

I don't shy away from roleplaying female characters. In a list of past characters, 6/26 are female. That doesn't mean I played them well, but I at least tried my best.

The poster's final question was this:

What techniques can I employ to make female NPC's actually feel like real women without resorting to douchy sexist stereotypes? 
What really made the follow-up conversation interesting to me is that it wasn't a talk about male and female stereotypes or gender roles (topics I abhor). There were some handy tips for his question.

So I ask here, do you have any tips for this gamer?

Monday, June 16, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Maximillian Interlude 3

Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Vampire Hunter
Magnus the Pony

My companions
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer

Tegort - Ogre bodyguard
Sir Ortolf Eiche - Magister and Wizard Lord of the Azyr Wind
Abelhardt Mullberger - Journeyman Apprentice

Italics indicate prose by the GM:
(Previous update)

A quiet mood hangs over the tavern known as Delb's Ferry. Attacked by a Druchii in the late evening, the morning brings the survivor's task of cleaning up the mess.
A pyre is prepared for bodies of the Druchii and a mutant, while a cell of Morrian Dreamwalkers give last rites to the rest: a fallen Roadwarden, the inn keep, the inn's ferryman and guards and the party's brutally murdered river hires.
Suderberg is days away over land on the thinly patrolled River Delb wagon trail and the party contemplates their travel plans.
The kindling is dry, but the sodden bodies of the mutants and druchii suppress the attempts to light the pyre.

The Morrians, having completed the last rites of the fallen seem to be equally frustrated by something. at the far side of the pyre. The Reverend Brother Dieter of Morr's Dreamwalkers in Middenland (as he took some length to explain after the dirty task of cleaning up had begun, but only after he assured Sir Eiche that he was indeed "first an ordained Priest of Morr, as are my companions, and a Dreamwalker by calling!").

The frustration seems to come from his initiates and they appear, animated, and suggesting something Dieter disagrees with, yet Dieter relents.

"Master Maximillian, may I have a word with you for a moment? My companions have suggested I discuss with you an opportunity, one not directly related to my aforementioned dreams of a halfling bearing a stake of power..., I'm sorry, it's just that we must return to the conversation of you joining us...but that is not my ask at the moment." Pausing to collect his thoughts.

"If I don't discuss this with you, and though you, maybe you may help me address the Magisters Eiche and Sol-Valdir, lest my companions broach the idea less...politically. And I must say, they have a good idea.

"So much is unknown about the dark elves and so far inside the Empire. If I had not witnessed it myself, would say that the witch was sent to assassinate the Celestial Wizards, instantly mutating as she did to strike him down.

"Do you know of the miracle of Ansprache von Morr
 (Speech of Morr)," asks the priest, looking down at Maximillan with the contemplative face of a grief counselor.

"Sounds familiar, but perhaps you should refresh my memory."

"Ansprache von Morr is a blessing of Morr that allows his servants to speak to those that have crossed over to Morr's embrace.

"The prayer is a long one, but with the proper components and the aid of my brother's prayers, I think Morr will allow us to speak to the vile witch before we destroy her body. We may also learn more about the death of your boat men.

"We just need the mirror in the snug and the one over the bar.

"Can you trust the groƟ Ohren Sol-Valdir? I fear if we ask Morr to speak to the dead witch we'll need to speak 'elf.'

"I think you will find Morr's blessings and the charge of the Dreamwalkers to your liking Master Maximilian."

"Wait...are you going to make a ghost?"

"Well, "a ghost" is a complicated matter of theology in the cult. Maybe we should discuss this with Udrin?

"Trust me though that Morr will take back what is his. He allows us only a brief visit.

"Ha! I just thought of what a powerful story Ludovic shall tell of the Dreamwalkers!" Dieter beams and pats Maximilian on the back, looking up and around for Udrin. 

"No, no. I'm the group's contact for questions regarding the undead. I was just verifying. Go right ahead. I'll stick around with my crossbow and my holy water...just in case."

Sometime during our talks: "A lot of rough stuff happens on the road, and sometimes my friends don't make it," Maximillian thinks of Willowwand's mutilated body. "I think, well, I should like to have a holy symbol of Morr with me. For when my friends don't make it and there is no priest around to send them on their way."

Dieter, the priest of Morr, sees Udrin and, practically pulling Maximilian along side, calls out.

Dieter turns for a moment to Maximilian and says, "Return to the pyre and have the witch's body set aside. We don't want it destroyed, yet. Wait for us though if the wardens give you trouble, but my companions will aid you."
Maximillian walks over to the roadwardens: "We're to spare her body from the flames until the priests can delve her mind for whatever information might remain." He starts checking over her armor/costume, trying to figure out how it works.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Roundup 5

Now that summer break is here and my schedule is less hectic, I'd like to start a new weekly post...a round-up, if you will, of different interesting things I have read through the week. I hope you find these enjoyable...and helpful as well.


Why Encumbrance Matters To Me by Rick Stump (Article)

Encumbrance adds another dimension to the game. It is wonderful for realism, verisimilitude, immersion, or whatever other buzzword you want to use. We all add realism to our fantasy games. I like using this.


PortCon Maine 2014 (Anime/Gaming Convention)

From what I can tell by looking at the schedule, I can play D&D most of the weekend and hit every edition besides 3rd (because the 3e time slots are too long). Huzzah!


Self Sufficient Contest by Random Wizard (PWYW)

Random Wizard's goal is to make the One Page Dungeon Contest self-sufficient. This means that, while prizes provided from the community are always welcome, the contest can afford its own prizes if necessary. I think this is an excellent goal. 

If I have seen this before, I completely forgot about it. The entire rules set of D&D 2e (including the Players Option books) is sitting on this website in its entirety just waiting for you to use it. Free!  I think everyone should have this bookmarked.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Advice

The other night, I was asked to give some advice to a new Warhammer GM. I'm not really good with general questions, but here's what I had to share:

Warhammer is grim and perilous. Kill people and destroy things. 

Don't be shy about killing PCs, if that's where the decisions and the dice roll lead you. Heck, there are Fate Points for them to use. What I really mean is kill NPCs. 

Do the PCs have family? Find a way to kill them (off camera, naturally). Better yet, find a way to kill them that gets the players involved with the current adventure (a mysterious group of mutants rolled through the land, killing everyone in their path...which happened to include the ratcatcher's parents who lived on a farm outside of town. Someone needs to hunt the pack down and destroy them or report back to the town council). Let the PCs make friends with the weaponsmith, the armorer, the innkeeper, whoever, and then kill them.  Make it bloody. Make it gruesome. Make the characters sad/mad/furious, depending on how attached they were.

Those NPCs you don't kill...well...some of those friends the party has made are obviously going to turn out to be cultists, right? And that is going to come up at the most inopportune time for the party. A time like when the herbalist is watching the party's back, only to allow chaos to sneak up on the party. Or the apothecary supposedly is supplying them with healing potions, only to find out he's getting them addicted to a drug or poisoning them or slipping powdered warpstone into the mix. You should definitely try to work in a long-standing friend or acquaintance who suddenly turns out to be a cultist who betrays them. Just don't use it too often.

Destroy houses, inns, towns, forests. The more attached the players are, the more time you spent on something so the players think it is really important...those are the things to destroy. Let them know the world is seriously dangerous and nothing is sacred.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Character Profiles: Vaervenshyael

Vaervenshyael is an elf who has a lot of talent with a sword and a bad outlook on the world. She is tired of evil, injustice, and prejudice. She doesn't wait for established law to stick up for her or what she believe in. She would rather rely on the justice of her blade.

Age: 69  Weight: 155 Height: 5'9" Sex: F Hair: Dark Brown Eyes: Grey/Blue Level: 1
Alignment: G/CG Description: Earring Star Sign: The Dancer

Below are stats for WFRP 1e, WFRP 2e, and D&D 2e S&P.

Attributed to Howard Lyon

WFRP 1e Protagonist

M 4 WS 50 BS 32 S 4 T 3 W 4 I 61 A 2 Dex 41 Ld 37 Int 49 Cl 49 WP 42 Fel 47
IP 0 FP 1

Skills: Dance, Disarm, Dodge Blow, Excellent Vision, Night Vision, Ride Horse, Street Fighting, Strike Mighty Blow, Strike to Injure, Strike to Stun

Hand Weapons: Sword, Knife

Missile Weapons: None

Armor: Mail shirt, Shield

Trappings: Hooded cloak, boots, sling bag

Languages: Old Worlder, Eltharin

Other: Horse - Cysgodlleyad

WFRP 2e Protagonist

WS 38% BS 34% S 32% T 31% Ag 46% Int 28% WP 31% Fel 32%

A 2 W 9 SB 3 TB 3 M 5 Mag 0 IP 0 FP 2

Skills: Common Knowledge - Elves, Dodge Blow, Gossip, Intimidate, Ride, Speak - Eltharin and Reikspiel

Talents: Coolheaded, Disarm, Excellent Vision, Night Vision, Specialist Weapon - Longbow, Street Fighting, Strike Mighty Blow, Strike to Injure, Strike to Stun, Suave

Weapons: Sword, Dagger

Armor: Mail Shirt, Shield

Trappings: Common clothes, worn boots, tattered cloak, sling bag

Other: Horse - Cysgodlleyad

D&D 2e S&P Swashbuckler

Str 16 Stamina 17 Muscle 15
Dex 17  Aim 16 Balance 18
Con 8 Health 8 Fitness 8
Int 15 Knowledge 14 Reason 16
Wis 12 Intuition 12 Willpower 12
Cha 16 Leadership 14 Appearance 18

Weapon: Long Sword  (+3/+2  3/2) THAC0: 17
Weapon: Dagger (+2/+2  3/2) THAC0: 18

Armor: Studded Leather (AC: 3 [Kit, Balance bonuses])

Optional (Skills & Powers)
Racial Abilities: Sword bonus, Dagger bonus, Infravision, Less Sleep, Resistance, Bow bonus
Traits: Ambidextrous, Glibness
Disadvantages: Bad tempered
Class Abilities: Multiple specialization
Kit abilities: AC bonus when studded armor or less (+2), Reaction roll bonus when dealing with the opposite sex (+2)
Non-weapon Proficiencies: Blind fighting, dancing, etiquette, language - elven, language - common, riding - land based
Weapon Proficiencies:  Long sword, dagger
Weapon Specialization: Long sword
Weapon of Choice: Long sword

HP: 10

Monday, June 9, 2014

[D&D 2e] Ruins of Adventure 2:11

Bo - Dwarf Rogue (Artificer)

My Companions
Donovan - Half-Elf Bard/Mage
Lyra - Half-Elf Bard/Psionicist
Yamtwit - Goblin Merchant Priest
Frantiska - Elf Mage/Paladin
Hrud - Human Barbarian
Winona - Human Priest of Tyr
Teldicia - Tiefling Mage (NPC)
Brother Rant - Human Priest of Tyr (NPC)
Sister Rye - Halfling Priest of Tyr (NPC)

From Bo's Journal
My personal quest to recover old engineering plans lost in the human city of Phlan was slowly progressing. On the way from Shadowdale I found a suit of magical, padded armor. Unfortunately, the armor gets in the way when I'm trying to work on projects. I have it stored in my backpack to sell or trade.

The bluderbuss project literally blew up in my face, scorching my hair and beard. I have decided to leave that project until I can research more about gunsmithing. It was only a distraction, anyway, and will not impede my quest. My schematic is rolled up in the scroll tube to examine lat a later date to see exactly what went wrong.

For now, I have joined up with a curious group heading to Melvaunt. They graciously rescued me from some overzealous orcs at a time when I had reached the limit of my stamina and was seeking a safe place to rest.

The group is on a trip to the city of deliver a young human to her family there. On the way, they are looking to sell some antiquities they discovered in an old tower. Nothing there looks to be of dwarf make, which is fortunate since I have no money to pay them for their wares. 

Life about camp seems to run smoothly without my help, so I will sit back and await any future encounters which may benefit from my expertise. In the meanwhile, they have a large quantity of a unique cheese they are all too willing to share. It would go well with a pint of Crypt Thing's special brew back in Shadowdale.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekly Roundup 4

Now that summer break is here and my schedule is less hectic, I'd like to start a new weekly post...a round-up, if you will, of different interesting things I have read through the week. I hope you find these enjoyable...and helpful as well.


Happy 2nd BANCE-iversary to Flip the Table! We're kicking off our 3rd year with one of the biggest IPs in the world of gaming as we take on Pokemon...but not the good kind like you it enough to take down Team Rocket in the end, or will you be left crying like a kid with a prematurely unplugged link cable? Plus, in the Battle of Wits, the panel struggles to name a single Pokemon correctly.

When the World Was Young by Kenton Kilgore (Article)

His memories of D&D sound fun, indeed. And he says it helped him craft a novel. I like these kind of stories. Includes insights on how to craft a story to an audience, how to create interesting (non-player) characters, how to invent and describe interesting settings, and how to enliven tropes.

Shadowrun, Shared Campaigns and a New Seattle Scream by Sean Holland (Article)

This guy has a long standing Shadowrun game, and he is starting a shared campaign. And he posts new D&D magic items on Tuesdays!

...And Miniature Figures by James Maliszewski (Article)

It would still be several more months before I opened up that Basic Set Mom had bought for Dad and a few weeks more after that before my friends and I actually began playing D&D in earnest. The moment I first perused the blue rulebook contained within that box, I was reminded of the articles my father had shared with me and the photographs that accompanied them. That’s because that rulebook carried the unwieldy subtitle “Rules for Fantastic Medieval Role Playing Adventure Game Campaigns Playable with Paper and Pencil and Miniature Figures.”
The Great Blog Roll Call 2014 by Charles Akins (Article)

The great blog roll call is expanded and updated. There are around 350 tabletop RPG blogs on this list. Everyone should be able to find a blog or two in the niche of their interest.

(I would list my blog under A, but that's just my opinion.)

Misunderstood and Improperly Played - the Cleric by Rick Stump (Article)

I have always been a fan of clerics. I have played many clerics and had a blast. This article goes a little long, but gives some good ideas on playing the class.

Friday, June 6, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 33

Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Vampire Hunter
Magnus the Pony

My companions
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer

Tegort - Ogre bodyguard
Sir Ortolf Eiche - Magister and Wizard Lord of the Azyr Wind
Abelhardt Mullberger - Journeyman Apprentice

Maximillian used all of his bravado to insist that the roadwardens allow him to kill the creature in the pit:

"I am an agent of Sigmar, trained by the witch hunter Wolfgang Ostman. Allow me to cleanse the creature's soul and have my bodyguard dispatch it." The roadwardens stifled a laugh and insisted on taking care of the creature themselves once the storm let up.  Maximillian threatened to not lend a hand if the creature escaped before then.

In the opposite corner of the inn, the Morrians had caught Ludovic's attention, asking him about the determined halfling. The leader, Brother Dieter, required an introduction.  It seems he belonged to a cult of Dreamwalkers and had visions of a halfling in a place like this who would kill many vampires with blessed stakes.

Maximillian did the only reasonable thing and asked Brother Dieter to bless his stakes.

Eiche let out a scream, muttering frantic ravings about everyone in the room dying and the room being filled with blood. Mullberger did his best to calm the magister down. 

Outside, from the direction of the stables, Tegort let out a battle roar.

The priests of Morr cast a spell to protect the room from unwanted intruders.

Maximillian rushed to the door, unwilling to leave his bodyguard to unknown danger.

Outside were elf crossbowmen shooting at Tegort and the inn guards. An evil looking female elf in a very uncomfortable looking outfit peered into the inn and cast a spell. Maximillian started loosing sling stones at the three elves surrounding Tegort.

The ogre soon dispatched the elves, and Maximillian focused on the female. He slung a stone that must have fractured her leg, yet she ignored him in favor of what she saw through the doorway. In a battle frenzy, spells were cast, Tegort smashed through elf crossbowmen and, Udrin and Ludovic appeared at Maximillian's side. The attacking elves, most of the roadwardens, and the innkeeper were dead.

While others tried to piece together what happened and cleaned up the mess, Maximillian grabbed a crossbow from a fallen elf and headed toward the oubliette. Tegort followed.

The creature inside was howling and shaking at the bars of his prison. Maximillian gave him one chance to calm down and leave the gate alone. The creature ignored his warning, so the halfling shot him with bolts until he moved no more.

In the aftermath it was found that the female who left the room to Eiche had headed down to our barge to kill our captain and his crew. Udrin's books had been pawed through, but apparently the woman did not find what she wanted. The party was left stranded at an inn with no innkeeper and a boat with no captain or crew.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

[WFRP 2e] Maximillian Interlude 2

Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Vampire Hunter
Magnus the Pony

My companions
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer

Tegort - Ogre bodyguard
Sir Ortolf Eiche - Magister and Wizard Lord of the Azyr Wind
Abelhardt Mullberger - Journeyman Apprentice

Italics indicate prose by the GM:

(Previous update)

To call the craft a barge would be both dishonest to anyone that saw it and an insult to the captain, the barge owner and your host. With an 80ft keel, the single masted craft is almost a floating inn. A decent kitchen that seems to have been sized for a Halfling and quarters for everyone to pair, save Tegort. But even Tegort, in his last adventure with you is afforded cover from rain and sun by the canvased deck.

Maximilian spends the day cooking/prepping another meal for the crew (and Tegort). A meal is never passed without a bellow and a compliment from Tegort on deck as he checks his girth (aided by Udrin's plate barely eaten). Tegort loosens a knot (in a strap passing for a belt) and exclaims, "If only there was a barrel of ale to sun with Herr Morningglory!"

The day draws to a close and a cool breeze presses the Kristena forward, welcomely forward, to the confluence of the River Delb and Tablec. Just north of this meeting is Delb's Ferry.

Talk of Delb's Ferry is excited as the wind will bring you early, maybe before sunset. The ferry inn is a well known and fortified respite on the River Delb from the Howling Hills. A waypoint to and from Suderberg and points north.

The afternoon wanes and Delb's Ferry appears off the starboard bow as the clouds, long pregnant with water, burst with rain. The sky darkened by the clouds and rain add to the welcoming warmth of the inn at the end of the pier.

Everyone is soon soaked running for the inn.

Maximillian is happy to be somewhere that has their own chef. He wants to check the place out, and assumes Ludovic might want to join him. "This will be a good night for Ludovic to practice with that mandolin! These people need to hear a story or two about heroes."

Each of you are quickly soaked by the heavy rain dashing toward the Delb's Ferry heavy timber walls. A lantern waves over the wall and a shout can be heard over the din of the rain. The late afternoon has quickly darkened by the clouds and is briefly lit by lightning and then immediate thunder.

The eight-foot high gate swings wide to let you in and you are visually inspected by the heavyset guards and receive a grunt and a nod to continue. Ahead three men hold a lantern over a pit in the courtyard . They are laughing as one relieves himself over the pit:

"Me hopes it doesn't drown!" 
"Ha! I think it likes tak'n a bath"

As you approach the front door, boots, robes, cloaks, and leggings, soaked and now splashed with mud from the dash, the three men fall silent, looking each of you over.

Maximillian tips his hood, "Gentlemen."

Inside he removes his soaked cloak. "Rooms, sir, and accommodations for an ogre."

As Maximilian dashes in, Udrin and Ludovich pass by the men as they turn to the sounds of splashing behind them. Tegort's heavy footfalls are punctuated by splashes. He ignores the guards, each looking up at him, and equally pays little attention to the three ruffs over oubliette and moves to the front door and stands under the eve.

Behind Tegort, Sir Eiche and Mullberger dash toward the door.

Inside a large fire burns in the hearth, warming each of you as enter. There are nine others in the bar room. Four men sit together at a table near the fire. A woman stands over them putting cups on the table with a loaf of bread.

The innkeeper and a barback stand behind the bar. A solitary woman sits at the bar and stands as all of you finally enter. Rain and mud form puddles at your feet. A single man in riding boots sits at a table where tankards for three others sit with scraps of a meal on plates. He watches all of you.

"Ah... Ogre? Here... ah... yes, the stables. Few horses through here. The stables will have to do. They don't eat horses do they?"

He barely has a moment to wait for your answer before Mullberger interrupts. "No, they don't eat horses, woodsman. My master requires accommodations, as we all do. However, I must ask that the best and first be provided to Sir Ortolf Eiche, Magister and Wizard Lord of the Azyr Wind, Professor of Antiquities of the Celestial College, First Adviser to Baron Valken of Reikland."

Sir Eiche is looking about the room, surveying each of the occupants briefly.

"We have no... more... rooms to let...m'lord. The road wardens outside took the last."

A solitary woman stands at the bar, pushing a plate and a tankard away. "They can have my room. I ride for Altdorf tonight. Ready the ferryman keeper, I'll fetch my horse." Coins are pressed to the bar and pushed toward the barback.

The woman stands and passes by Maximilian. Maximilian gets an unwelcome feeling from her and steps away from her to be certain as not to be in her way.

"There... is one room m'lord. I'll have it freshened immediately."

Maximillian is taken aback, "I don't recall 'best and first' rooms going to Ike as part of the deal."
Maximillian eyes the lady as she leaves the room, always wary of people who would ride alone at night.

Mullberger turns to Maximilian and offers a perfunctory apology then simply states, "Sir Eiche is your sponsor and your elder, allow him this luxury."

The woman exits the barroom without a further word and into the rain pulling a hood over her head.

The four men, dressed in pitch black robes, jerkins and boots, having been served by the maid, survey each of you. One finally calls to Ludovic.

"Hymnody! Do you play that mandolin? Sing us a song of the undead being reclaimed by Morr. For a shilling of course." The speaker slams a shilling on the table.

Udrin whispers to anyone paying attention, "Morrians."

Outside cat calls can be heard over the din of the rain on the roof and through the still cracked door. The lone rider in boots stands, disgust on his face as much as frustration, walks over to the door, hesitates on his exit, looking up at the unseen Tegort still under the eave and out of the rain. He exits quickly after assessing no immediate danger.

Ludovic replies, "Alas friends... I'm out of strings to play you a song tonight, but I'll gladly tell you a tale! But not about Morr tonight. Tonight is a night to warm yourselves with tales of glory!' Ludovic then proceeds to make something up about the Tibalt, Paragon of Paravon, Hero of Helmgart, who along with his trusty sidekick Mordrin slayed 3 dragons and was personally thanked by the Emperor.

During Ludovic's tale, the four road wardens, sodden to varied degrees, re-enter, tracking in mud and water. Maximilian, bringing Tegort a stein of ale and salted ham hock, allows them to pass at the door, but overhears the road warden sergeant say, "...foolish girl. She saw the creature in the pit. There are certain to be more in the woods this night!"

At the table, the sergeant quiets them to hear the tale of Tibalt.

The Morrians seem quite entertained by the tale of Tibalt as well as the bar maid.

Maximillian gets Tegort's attention and whispers, "Keep an ear out in case I need you." He then slips out the front door to check out what was in the pit. He almost checked it out on the way in but was turned off by urinating humans.

The rain continues unabated.

Outside, Maximilian pulls his tattered cloak over his head and heads to the oubliette. Max is taken aback by what he sees in the fading evening light (darkened by the clouds and blurred by the rain). A tentacle uncurls from the steel bars that serve as the roof. A regular hand grips the bar next to the rain slick and shiny appendage. In the blackness of the pit muddy rain water pours and a splash follows the hand and tentacle releasing the bars.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weekly Roundup 3

Now that summer break is here and my schedule is less hectic, I'd like to start a new weekly post...a round-up, if you will, of different interesting things I have read through the week. I hope you find these enjoyable...and helpful as well.


What Makes a Great Title for an Adventure? by Carl Bussler (Article)

Great adventures contain devious villains, wondrous locations, horrific monsters and of course, a memorable title. But what makes a great title?
Megadungeon Practices by John Arendt (Article)

This article is an interesting read in-and-of itself, which discussion of topics like Use a Stocking Algorithm, Gold as Experience, and Pacing Advancement. However, some of the topic summaries lead to other, longer blog posts (Deeper Levels = Greater Danger, Progressive Elaboration, and Flow of Information [an article that I was going to link in this review before he included it in the larger Practices write-up]). I really should have posted this yesterday so you could take time to browse the multiple articles. I hope you get some time to check it out.

The Play's the Thing, Part I at No Ordinary Obsession (Article)

What interested me about this article was choosing an actor to represent your character...just enough to keep your character original until you can mold their personality within the game. Similarly, I've taken to starting with already established character art. Then I know what the character looks like, and I don't have to wish I had the skill to draw a representation of my character (See my latest character, Bo).


Patreon, Sales & Free Maps for EVERYONE! by Dyson Logos (Article)

How awesome would it be to use Dyson's maps for that adventure you always wanted to publish or the book you wanted to write?

From now on, whenever a map I release raises $300, I will release that map completely free of all licensing restrictions except for attribution. Unlike my current gentleman’s license, this would include commercial use – so these maps would become part of a portfolio of free works that anyone could use when writing adventures or RPGs or even when someone needs a city map for a novel or something like that.


PortCon Maine 2014 (Anime/Gaming Convention)

It doesn't look like I'll be running anything (again) this year, unless we grab a table and start a pickup game...which I'm usually up for.  Here's a list of scheduled events. Also, they just released the schedule on EventBrite. I'm going to have to check out what's being offered so I can be ready to play!