Monday, March 30, 2015

April Blogging 2015

I had it in mind to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. I always have it in mind to take part in the challenge, all year long. But again the time has come, and I'm far from prepared.  Either I'll throw up a tiny nugget each day, or, more likely, I'll be more silent than usual this next month.
Real life is catching up with me, and my fantasy life needs to take a backseat. Hopefully I'll be back with session write-ups (I have two that need to be done) and game introspection before anyone even misses me.

Friday, March 27, 2015

WFRP Battle for the Empire Scenario

It's war time and Karl Franz dies. The elector counts choose a completely inadequate emperor, hoping to be able to mold him to their will.

However, the dwarves (of all people) don't think the human newly elected to the position has what it takes to beat the concerted attacks of chaos. The puppet emperor keeps issuing orders that gets dwarf troops killed.

The dwarves seize control of the human government in order to assure their own survival. They proceed to (very ably) control the empire's armies, turning the tide against the armies of chaos.

The humans and the dwarves end up in a civil war in the midst of all the (literal) chaos.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

[D&D 2e] Eveningstar Campaign 28

My Character
Gairloch Ironheart - Svirfneblin Priest of Grumbar

Jemmabink - Gnome fighter

(Patchy previous notes)

Gairloch Ironheart, svirfneblin, Loyal Architrave of Grumbar, recent conqueror of the sunlight, and survivor of the Haunted Halls, and knower of nothing regarding forests, was cordially asked to help with the Eveningstar Harvest Festival tree-chopping contest. He was to aid the butcher, Ebbard Highsong.

The competitions were going well. Gairloch used his blessings from Grumbar to dig holes for posts so the locals could chop them down. There was also an incident where a person's axe bounced off the tree and into the competitor's leg. Gairloch had to pray to Grumbar to heal the wound.

And, at one point, Gairloch could have sworn he saw Jemmabink zip by, riding a giant wolf, sitting behind a lady in full armor.

Early in the afternoon, all hell broke loose. Clouds rolled over the town unnaturally fast. The sky darkened. The ground rumbled. Gigantic heads appeared in the distance. Trouble was coming to Eveningstar, so Gairloch summoned an earth elemental.

Lord Tessaril appeared with Jemmabink and a lot of other people he had never met, including some of her Purple Dragon soldiers. She led a charge toward two giants, three trolls, and ten bugbears that were coming across a nearby field.

Melee was entered in a jumbled confusion. Nobody seemed to need Grumbar's aid at the beginning, so Gairloch took up his maul and followed his earth elemental through the charge. There was blood, ringing of weapons on armor, shouts of pain, explosions of magic, and arrows appearing on giants seemingly out of nowhere. The enemy charge was met, halted, and destroyed. The townsfolk at this battle site were winded, yet barely wounded.

The group returned from the outer field to the town proper and found the Temple of the Morning billowing smoke. The church of Illmater was on fire.

The party spoke to the head priest, Charys Bond, and found out that the focus of the attack had been on the church. Twenty two priests had been killed by giants, trolls, bugbears, death dogs, vampires, and a powerful sorcerer. Eventually the attackers were repelled, but not before leaving a wreck of a church behind. The head priest was able to resurrect and raise a few of his dead, but many priest did not arise from the attack.

The only clue behind the attack was a Zhentarim symbol left behind. Lord Tessaril and King Azoun were sure to have tasks for our group in the coming days.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Remembering Undermountain

Once in my heyday of gaming, we had a group of 12+ players and decided to split into two groups to head into Undermountain. We had two GMs running from two tables on other sides of the same large room (we played after hours in a game shop).

Each group started at a different entrance to Undermountain. The GMs would take time outs when necessary to consult with each other, and they had time from week to week to meet and talk. They didn't have to consult on much for the first month or so of gaming, as each group was going its own way.

I had a pretty cool thief character who drank from a well and became "indifferent to clothing." I also had a neat little trap-finder device that would bounce around the halls ahead of me trying to spring traps. The device eventually bounced through an invisible portal, and I, unable to curb my curiosity, followed after...never to return to Undermountain.

Then one night the two groups just happened to meet in the same room. It was bound to happen, right? There was no way for the GMs to prepare for what would happen because they didn't know. Well, players being players, we started off mouthing off to each other and then got in a huge PvP battle.

I really think the co-GM thing was cool, with two parties starting at two different entrances and working at their own paces. It seems like something everyone should get to experience at least once.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mini Review: The Manor Issue 5

The Manor is a labor of love OSR 'zine put out by Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor.


Great! I really like the first one. I have never heard of an elf-troll cross before, but I love it and can't wait to use it.


These potions are very imaginative. Maybe overpowered,  But they set the mind to thinking...

Tavern Names

I love this table. I need to keep this handy from now on.


This is a great addition to something we do indeed take for granted. Excellent idea. I can already imagine a few add-ons to the doors listed. (The necromantic door really needs an add-on to attract and house incorporeal undead.)

Random City Encounters

Also good for the imagination. I really like one called Child Killer. It would make a good scenario going on in the background of an adventure.

The art is also very good in this issue. I applaud Jay Penn and Jeff Freels.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

[D&D 2e] Eveningstar Campaign 25 - 27

Gairloch - Svirfneblin Priest of Grumbar

My Companions
Kerun - Half Elf Berserker turned Paladain
Gemmabink - Gnome Fighter
Leonardo - Human Summoner

Session 25 (06/09/2008)

Found a small tunnel. Crawled through and found chest with gold, silver, and pink pearls.

Found a giant skeleton with a magic spear. "Shimmering" and magic boots of the North.

Rested in the Haunted Halls again.

Next day found a midden with a lock lurker and potions.

Session 26 (06/23/2008)

Kerun decided he was checking for traps and opening doors. Silly half elf.

Found a small chest in a room, surrounded by bones. Kerun opened it. He was hit with a fire blast.

Maiior helped save Kerun, who was in flames. Gairloch repaired Kerun's broken arm and cured Maiior's wounds.  The chest had 4 golden rings with tiny emeralds, and two large canvas sacks full of gold.

Found a treasure room where time slows. Found a magic mouth telling us the way is blocked.

Had to cure a disease on Leonardo.

Seems we finished the Haunted Halls.

Session 27 (06/30/2008)

Josiah left for Suzail.  Durthal went to the temple because he was still unwell.  Maiior was unsure where life was going to take her from here.

Serene was at Adolin and Gendreau's looking for...something. Maiior decided to stay with the couple.

Twelve dwarves went to Shadowglen to help rebuild. (Not sure where they came from...)

Maiior traveled with 6 men from Eveningstar to Shadowglen as well.

Thus ends our Eveningstar Adventures...for now.

Monday, March 16, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 5

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary (Absent)
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

Van Duster - Human Mercenary of Tankred's gang, with tracking skills

(Previous notes)

Van Duster, having lost track of our quarry, rediscovered the trail in time for night to fall.  Vaervenshyael attempted to aid Van with her excellent night vision, but his instructions were so inadequate that she had no hope of finding the trail in the dark. On top of all this, the rains to came to wash away any hope the party had of actually finding the fugitives. However, in the distance, we saw the lights of a settlement. It was too far off to reach in the dark, but we had a direction to head toward in the morning.

We sent the doctor ahead to the settlement alone to speak for us, so as to not intimidate the residents. It didn't work. The guards knew of the group and told him to invite his friends in to visit. We were welcomed in and given food for breakfast.  The settlement was called Lauterberg, and it was a cattle market in a lush grassland.

We started to again let the doctor speak for us, but he wasn't able to keep his story straight. Tankred and Wilhelm interrupted with conflicting information as well. All this led to the perception that we weren't being honest with our hosts (which was completely true). In the end we caused quite a commotion and riled up the settlement.

The leaders of Lauterberg ended up seeking out the people we were hunting and keeping them for their own frontier justice. We were not able to get what we wanted out of the men. However, on the way to their doom, one of the men told us to "look for Heinrich's stone." This was a particular boon, as we had just lied about these men and got them into deadly trouble with the settlement.

What we were also able to learn was all about the Robber Baron's cruelty, how he tortures those he is displeased with, and get that one clue of what to look for next. Those are good points to keep in mind as we plod ahead.

Lauterberg's fear of the Robber Baron is so great that Vaervenshyael offered them the friendship and possible protection of Padua-upon-Avon on her way out of the gate.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Inspiration: Tzeentch

Friday, March 13, 2015

Jumping the Gender Divide

(Inspired by episode 21 of the podcast Gaming and BS.)

I'd say around 20% of my characters are female. I'm that guy who plays female characters, and I have always been that guy. For me, roleplaying is about exploring a character concept. I'm not a fighter, so I will explore that concept via a character. I'm not an elf, so I'll explore that through a character.

Similarly, I occasionally  want to explore how these race/class combos work via a female character. How did the concept differ, when all was said and done, from my male character of that race/class?

I'm currently playing a female elf protagonist in a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game. So far, not much is different than if I had played the character as a male, but I can see it slowly changing. It just adds another level of challenge and exploration to an already amazing game.

For those of us out there really trying to get into new and thought-provoking roles, jumping the gender divide at some point seems all but required.

If you have a thought about men playing women and women playing me in RGPs, feel free to share it here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

D&D Eveningstar Campaign 21 - 24

Gairloch - Svirfneblin Priest of Grumbar

My Companions
Kerun - Half Elf Berserker turned Paladain
Gemmabink - Gnome Fighter
Leonardo - Human Summoner

Session 21 (04/14/2008)

(My part of the session was spent making the new character while the others continued adventuring in the Haunted Halls.)

Session 22 (05/05/2008)

The new gnome meets up with the party, and is welcomed right in since he searched for the famous Gemmabink.

We visited Durthal, who needed a Dispel Fatigue spell.

Gairloch summoned an Earth Elemental to work on Josiah's home. He then used his stonemasonry skill to work on the door.

The party had supper at Lord Tessaril's.

Session 23 (05/12/2008)

Speak with the Dead: Petrall killed his cousin for the family inheritance and headed to the Haunted Halls.

Augury: directed us to the straight passage in the Halls.

Gairloch cured wounds, found traps (and disarmed them with his maul), and unlocked doors (with the maul). He was a nice addition to the party.

Session 24 (06/02/2008)

Found Palantharr's Rare Tome and a Libram of Silver Magic.

Gairloch cured more wounds, repaired injuries many times this day. The party is a very violent one.

Spent the night in the Haunted Halls.

Found scroll of Locate Object. Detected Magic. Found a woman in stasis and a sword to be highly magical.

Knocked down stasis walls around woman, Maiior. Detected magic boots and bracers on her.

Found the light, stone Warhammer Gairloch now carries.

Fought a mummy. Had to Cure Disease on Gemmabink and Kerun.

Monday, March 9, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps Interlude 4.5

(Interludes are a place for me to note everything that happened in play-by-post between Hangout sessions.)

Note: I have renumbered the interludes to correspond to their "between sessions" status.

My character
Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary Leader
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer
Doctor Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Barber-Surgeon, ex-Student
Van Duster - Human Mercenary NPC with Tracking skills

(Previously in the adventure)

The barren scrublands west of Padua

GM: On horseback, the heroes follow the trail of two contract thieves headed north into the lands of the Robber King, Sulzer.

V: "It's good to get away from the prince and his master of the pony. I'm not convinced they really know what they are doing here."

Doc: "You did not see what I saw! They can speak to the dead through their freshly-spilled blood! If only I could find the link, all the Morrian said in response is that it was his 'faith' that gave him the power, but i'm sure there is more to it than that. This would be the work of a lifetime, a chance to prove my hypothesis! There is much work to be done..."

It is at this point that the good Doctor began to fall into self-directed mumbling, and they heard the words "soul," "blood," and "Morr," and they weren't sure but they thought they heard the words "expendable," and "bodies." Possibly in that order.

T: "They pay the bills, and for now that is good enough for me and mine. You'd be surprised how hard is is to find a minor noble that pays his bills."

V: "We will probably have to work extra hard to ensure they remain around to keep paying the bills. Unless we could find an elf willing to run the place."

T: "Never heard of a knife-ear running anything. Though I did see some kind of elf wizard once when I was a kid. Had these crazy body guards with these beautiful 2-handed swords. His guards all died in the war, though."

W: "I don't like the Master of the Pony, but I think the Princeps is doing a fine job! But imagine... A cannon made out of this Gromril metal. With the significant weight reduction I can make them portable! Imagine, a wagon with a canon sticking out the front, rolling towards the enemy and blasting them into pieces!

"Or perhaps... A cannon mounted to a Knight's shoulder!!!!" Wilhelm began sketching out a Bazooka. (It's probably a good thing that he has no idea how to smelt Gromril.)

Johann's excited murmurs began to calm down, though not before the words "Tomes" and "temple" and "library" were uttered. After his episode, he came to once more and latched on to Tankred's words.

Doc: "The Storm of Chaos. I remember that time. It was dark, and it seems that any meaningful scientific pursuit stopped after that war. Brilliance is now madness, curiosity dangerous, knowledge forbid-"

For those who looked, Johann had an uncharacteristically dark expression about him for a fleeting moment before he seemed to catch himself. His face and tone shifted sharply, and with his usual oddly charming smile he lightly asked, "Tell me, Wilhelm, how was your time at Altdorf? I find myself suddenly curious about your impressions of the great University."

The engineer did not respond, caught up as he was in the chase and his own musings.

GM: Van Duster's pace with his horse was erratic in the late afternoon autumn sun. He spent most of his time in the saddle staring down at the scrub-covered ground. His horse hopped and crab skipped as Van sought to follow the trail of the two thieves.

"Thieves" was a convenient label for the two vagrants that wandered into Padua-on-Avon and more recently made a hasty exit, yet leaving the body of a friend on the sawdust floors of an inn.

The last three hours raised the ire that the pursuit was falling far behind.  Though the general direction of the "thieves" was known, the trail threatened to grow cold as the shadows lengthened with each hour.

"I have them!" Van exclaimed, reining his horse to a halt and turning to the party and trotting to his position.

"Forgive me, it's tough in this sandy, dry soil to find the trail, but someone was bound to take a piss and try to cover it." Van pointsed to the caked soil near some scrub grass. "It's going to get cold tonight. They'll have to stop. If we're lucky they'll be dumb enough to light a fire and well spot it on the horizon. We should ride toward them though. I've got their trail, but I fear I've also given them another hour or two."

V: "You said we could catch them in a couple hours. Perhaps you humans enjoy larger couples than elves." The elf was hardly impressed at how long the "quick" pursuit was taking.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Inspiration: Crocodile Warrior

These savage creatures are quicker than they look and more likely to use their jaws to crush prey (that's you).

Friday, March 6, 2015

Renegade Princeps Introspection 2

From nearly the first night of play, the GM has introduced an artifact into my character's possession that changes her personality. I find that I'm having a hard time roleplaying it.

This is a new character to me, one I don't know very well. I am the type of player who learns about my character through play instead of having my entire personality set from the get-go. In this situation, before I can learn about her personality, it changed.

The artifact has my elf acting more superior than I would have otherwise played. It has me looking down at those around me and not trusting anyone. I'm sure the relationship with my party is degrading the more I rolelplay this.

How would my character have fit in without the artifact? Would she have been able to make friends and work successfully with the group? By the time I am out from under the influence of the artifact, will they even want me around any more?

I know I should focus on exploring this situation to the fullest, but I can't help but wonder what would have been.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Character Profiles: Gairloch Stats

Gairloch Ironheart's background was posted a few years ago. Here are his stats to go along with it:

Race: Svirfneblin Class: Specialty Priest of Grumbar (Earth)

Age: 76 Weight: 85 Height: 3'7" Sex: M Hair: Bald Eyes: Grey Level: 7

Str 15 Stamina 13 Muscle 17
Dex 10 Aim 10 Balance 10
Con 12 Health 14 Fitness 10
Int 10 Knowledge 12 Reason 8
Wis 18 Intuition 18 Willpower 18
Cha 9 Leadership 9 Appearance 9
Perception: 13
Luck: 1
Fate: 3

Weapon: Maul +2, Light stone warhammer

Armor: Full plate, Shield +2 (a scale of a black dragon), Helmet

Gear: 2 belt pouches, chalk, flint & steel, gem cutting implements (jewel hammer, chisel, polisher's rag), pitons (11), rope (50'), sacks (1 large, 1 small), small hammer, travel cloak, sturdy leather boots, earth-toned clothing.

Backpack: None?

Miscellaneous Items:  Stone covered ruby (his lucky/rubbing stone), Scarthuzolous' Scale (black dragon scale shield, -2 AC bonus, +4 to saving throws vs acid), maul +2 that allows Augury 3x per day, rock medallion holy symbol that allows 1 extra healing spell per level.

Wealth: 642 gold, 145 silver, 35 copper, 25 platinum

Optional(Skills and Powers)
Racial Abilities: Dart bonus, Freeze, Infravision, Melee combat defense bonus, Mining detection ability, stealth if not in metal armor, weapon specialization
Traits: Keen sense of smell
Disadvantages: Forbidden from air-based flying magic and effects
Class Abilities: Casting time reduction, Saving Throw Bonus, Summon 1 8-HD earth elemental 1/day for 1 hour, Wizard Earth School Spells.
Kit abilities: Mixed in above
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Gem cutting, Read/Write, Read Elemental Earth Spells, Religion, Sculpting, Singing, Stonemasonry, Languages: Common, Dark Elf, Earth Elemental, Gnome, Kua-toa, Svirfneblin, Undercommon.
Weapon Proficiencies: Maul, shield
Weapons Specialist: Maul
Weapon of Choice: Maul
Major Spell Spheres: Elemental Earth, Combat, Healing, Protection
Minor Spell Spheres: Divination, Elemental Fire, Elemental Water, Necromantic, Traveler, Wards

Monday, March 2, 2015

[WFRP 2e] Renegade Princeps 4

Vaervenshyael - Female Elf Protagonist

My companions
Tankred "Silver Bear" Tenneckermann - Human Mercenary
Wilhelm Hechland - Human Engineer
Johann Wilhelm Woeller - Human Barber Surgeon

Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Prince of Padua-on-Avon
Maximillian Morningglory - Halfling Witch Hunter and Master of the Horse

(Previous Notes)

The surgeon continued his poultice-aided healing of Vaervenshyael's critical wound. She was almost back to normal after two days. Only a bruise and some sore muscles remained.

The group was summoned by an agitated Maxmillian, asking after "the mute" taken in the party's last encounter. Apparently our encounter crossed some political line of diplomatic immunity, though the people we killed and captured had killed a man in the town bar.

Maximillian and the surgeon went to question the mute...with help from the priest of Morr, if that indicates how they questioned a guy with no tongue. The rest of us when to Tankred's forge so he could look at the blade further. (Maximillian had identified it as gromril, star metal.)

Examination at the forge failed, so we went to the only person left to consult: the Verenan priest. He still insisted the item was magical, but Vaervenshyael wasn't convinced. She spit out a tirade against all the uneducated inhabitants of the backward town. She instead decided to visit a suspected hedge-wizard north of town.

At this time one of Tankred men arrived stating the antiquity hunters had left the town, crossing the river Avon to the north. The party saddled their horses and chased after the men, heading in the direction Vaervenshyael herself wished to go.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Inspiration: Blacksmith

Every town needs one.

"It's going to be a week before I can get to your armor. Farmer Dan's horse broke a shoe, and Paul's plowshare broke..."