Monday, August 02, 2010

Thalia En Duath

This is the character I'll be playing at GenCon.  :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Honor of Lokipan

Monday, July 12, 2010


I have been a fan of Carl Sagan since I was in high school.  This is an utterly perfect example of why.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"awesome" is all that needs said.

I will own this game... even if I have to buy a new computer to play it.

Friday, June 04, 2010


Really great episode of PATV went up today.  I like when this sort of thing happens.. when DnD (and other table top games) is portrayed in a good light.  These kind of games have such a bad rap in the general public's eye... (not that I really care what the public thinks)... The Gamers:Dorkness Rising also did the same thing. Anyway... go watch PATV.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sums up my thoughts pretty well.

I am sick to death of stupid "Edition Wars" posts... but this post from Initiative or What  summed up my thoughts on it almost exactly.  Quote to be exact:

So here's my Dungeons & Dragons philosophy:  I role-play like it's 1st edition, built worlds like it's 2nd edition, manage my game table like it's 3rd edition, and I use the rules for the 4th edition.

Simple as that.  Just in case that's not clear, though, here's a more detailed explanation.

1) "Role-play like it's 1st Edition".  Everyone goes on and on about how the 1st edition and/or OD&D were the best for role-playing.  Gygaz & Arneson wrote such an encyclopedic and esoteric set of rules that there were plenty of gaps on how certain things had to be played out.  What are you left with doing?  Well, role-playing, of course.  It was the only real way to fill in the gaps.  So when you play 4th edition.  Role-play like your playing 1st edition.

2) "Build worlds like it's 2nd Edition".  The second edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons saw an explosion of different campaign settings and worlds.  Spelljammer, Dark Sun, & Planescape were just a few of the settings that expanded the AD&D universe.  When you're playing 4th edition, think back to those times and create your worlds like they did in the 2nd edition.  Expand your horizons and don't be afraid to break the mold.

3) "Manage your table like it's 3rd Edition."  For this argument, I'm including the 3.5 edition as well.  The 3rd edition of the game saw in increased emphasis on knowing what the battlefield looked like during an encounter.  The use of miniatures was encouraged, and factors such as line of sight, area of effect, and terrain considerations all became pretty important.  4th edition maintains a great deal of that emphasis.  Keep a good battle mat and some inexpensive counters or miniatures at the table and manage like you would in the 3rd edition.

4) "Use the rules for 4th edition".  The rules are tidy, easy to understand and (for the most part) fairly balanced.  While hard core early edition fans will probably out right reject this statement, it's my personal belief this is the tightest set of rules so far.  It makes DMing much easier than previous editions, and I don't waste a lot of my players time with complicated tables or maths.  They're my rules of choice.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Earthynn Adventure Log!

Our latest adventure log is finished!  It was a great session, lots of good role-playing in this one.  Also I got to finally reveal the arch villain!  :) We had one player missing (our rogue) but an often missing player was able to attend to fill the gap (warlord). I also uploaded the early work-in-progress version of our world map.  Which can be viewed here.

Adventure Log #5

Dragonborn Daring-Do

After arming the people of seaburgh and pointing them toward the future, Tannim set out to rejoin his compatriots. An encounter with a fly-by Vrock and a party of foul, relentless orcs did not slow his progress. Upon reaching the ruined city, the intrepid dragonborn descended into the depths of the ruined city. Following the trail of his companions he went ever further into the depths… The soggy form of a gnoll was discovered, branded with the symbol of Rothn and stabbed with the triple threat of a trident. Further along in the moist tunnels, the dragonborn discovered some foul fishmen…

While resting in the Duergar Theurge’s “lab” the party did some light reading… discovering some facts about Murasha’s underground denizens. On some secret pages, there was a log of people who had met with the Sewer Lord: The Emissary, Illusule, Gultreax, Gloombrood the Black, and others… (I’ll put the full list up later, my notes aren’t handy) just at the end of their rest, the Chime of Awakening awokened the party. A lone sahuagin crawled on his hands and knees in the gloomy hallway. The fishman was inscribing slimy runes on the hallway floor. The runes were trapped, alarms and acid tied into the ancient slimy symbols. The party easily supressed the foul fish magic. Older passageways were blocked by oceans so It was onto the former mud room, which appeared to be leaking…

Crocodile Rock

The former “mud and water-trap” room was now flooded with water, and crocodiles. The vents were on full blast and the water rained down upon the room like a dark mirror of the storms raddling the city above. Even when flanked by enemies on both sides the sahuagin and their reptilian friends attacked with ferocity. The sahuagin priest attempted to bring to bear his horrible magics; however, the party smote him before the foul incantations could pass his scaly lips. The crocodile made their best attempts to feast on the party with their vice-like jaws. The reptiles were dispatched with ease.

This hyena is not laughing

The party ventured back to the old watchtowers and returned to the storm soaked surface. After traipsing about the ruins for a while in search of the Library, they stumbled upon an old fountain and the giant stone head of Rothn (the statue, not the god). A lone hyena sniffed about the fountain, minding his own business, just trying to make his way in this harsh world. The adventurers would have none of that this day. They brought about the poor defenseless hyena’s demise with casual ease. Approaching the scene they spied signs of gnoll-ish encampment surrounding the area. The party took what was of use and while searching the buildings discovered a gnoll, clutching something tightly, sitting next to a trash hole. Dyrge’s diplomacy burned like wildfire… but the stubborn and scared gnoll would not give up his Onyx Dog. The party wrestled with him and stole it away… but when they wrestled with their collective conscious… they lost. The wretched creature warned his pack would be returning, and would deal with them. The gnoll’s prize was eventually returned to him. They opted not to go in the hole and continued onward.

Silence in the Library

Proceeding onto the library, the stalwart explorers found the cathedral-like structure mostly intact. A large magically warded door blocked their path, so they went in the back way – except for Rothak, who went up on the roof to scout it the interior, and promptly fell to the rough streets below. The back room was eerily (and magically) silent, and a few kenku and a destrachan milled about, unaware of their impending doom. The party charged in and killed the beasts with relative impunity. Moving on into the main hall of the library they battled more kenku, and after some fabulous horn blowing, they battled the fearsome feminine forms of three furious harpies. Burning and Entrancing Songs filled the room as the harpies shrieked and sang their way into the fray. The lesser bird ladies lured and repulsed the party to and fro as the burning harpy belched blue flames; however, all was for naught. Their feathery female hides were destroyed beneath the party’s powerful blows.

Delving into the library’s depths the party discovered, oddly enough, books. A few tales penned by Barnaby Biggums, some works on selling fruit, some studies on arcana and religion, and a variety of others. The knowledge imparted by these books… may save the world one day. They also discovered the office of the Librarian, who turned out to be a devout follower of the Patheon of Four, and a devout “follower” of Shillatre the Multifaceted. By reading the kenku-feather bookmarked passages in the Librarian’s journal they also found out about a Tome owned by Shillatre. This tome seemed to create a magical connection between the two and could provide a means to enter Shillastre’s tower. The Librarian treasured it and kept it always in his possession. But the Tome was not to be found in the library.

The adventurers decided to search out the Librarian’s home, to the north of the city. As the rain continued to pour, they found his residence, routed through it, and found only more religious paraphernalia strewn about his simple home. Perhaps the Temple is the answer?

Pack Attack

The journey south toward the Temple was not without incident. A scouting pack of gnolls was almost upon them, so they fled to the confines of an old structure. The gnolls had their hyenas at the front and they quickly smelt out the smelly group of adventurers. Battle was joined. Marresk and Nowhere hurried out the back to try and flank the gnolls, while the others ventured out the front to engage the gnolls head on. The gnolls proved to be a challenge as their pack tactics worked to their advantage. Dyrge’s rousing voice and songs spurred the party to greatness as his curses demoralized their foes. Tannim’s fiery presence tuned their senses and tactics to a razor edge. Marresk took care of the archers, one bow at a time. Nowhere blasted the canine creatures to chaos and back. Rothak weathered the claws, teeth and weapons of the gnolls proudly. Bartok lurked in the shadows. In the end, the party stood tall and their enemies fell short. The Temple of the Four awaited.

A Babe, a Bird, and a Brain walk into a temple…

The huge open air temple loomed ahead. There were massive columns supporting a ceiling that arched over the broken remnants of four huge statues. With some careful scouting some Kenku were spied milling about inside. The party approached and dealt with the kenku. It was then that a section of the temple moved and a stairway was revealed. Three forms ascended. A familiar gnome rogue floated up the stairs, being carried by a hovering, beaked, tentacle-wielding brain, and lastly; a young half-elf woman. She wore a form-fitting midnight blue dress adorned with hand-sewn, shiny, silvery stars. Her blond hair was loosley tied back with purple ribbon, and she carried numerous packs, sachels and pouches stuffed with magical trinkets. Her elaborate dagger rested fitfully in its sheath. Her faintly glowing lavender eyes only added to her beauty. She focused them on the party as a smile spread across her lips. The mistress of the Kenku, the mysterious “She” they had been seeking for so long, was now before them. She greeted them warmly, only to be interrupted by the fiery furor of Tannim. Such despicable monstrosities would not be tolerated. Battle was the only language he chose to speak at this time. The woman and her companions fiercely fought the party, and the woman did her best to teleport her foes into the waiting grasp of the Grell while avoiding danger herself. Despite her curses, it was not long before the young lady stood alone, her foul and feathered friends dead. She did not seem worried, and was actually impressed. But a little sad for her Grell… he had been with her for a long time.

Second star on the right and straight on till insanity

Sally Starlyte introduced herself. Introductions were the first step in a civilized discourse after all. The conversation was informative, but straining on the party. She was rational, polite… but not quite sane. Tempers flared, passions inflamed, arguments argued. Tannim could not tolerate the corruption and Rothak could not tolerate her despoiling of the natural world. But before they attacked anew, they discovered some things. She had been using the kenku to spy on the area, but otherwise left them to their own devices. Sally had Shillastre’s Tome, and a way into the tower. Her power came from those who spoke to her. Walking out of the Temple she pointed to a single star, the voices came from “that one right there”. They appeared to be at an impass… some of the party thought she should be destroyed, other felt now was not the time. Those set on violence attacked the young woman, and she defended herself by tossing a dark green stone on the ground. The stone shattered in crack of thunder and two blue worms appeared, Gricks. Sally blasted forth some dazzling starlight that blinded her adversaries. During the time their allies were blind, Marresk, Nowhere and Dyrge managed to diffuse the situation. Sally agreed to stop sending kenku to Seaburgh (though she seemed to believe most has been destroyed already, the roost had been discovered) and called off her Gricks. She departed, her form cloaked in shadows as she scurried off. One more thing was left to puzzle out – the weird green stone she shattered on the ground was the same as the ones set into the Seaburgh Stone Amulets that the party were given many weeks ago by Clara Clove…

Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010


Monday, April 05, 2010

a class act

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Evelyn Evelyn

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

True Dungeon!

Can't wait for GenCon!  True Dungeon has never dissappointed!  It has been awesome every year!  :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh... the memories...

Friday, March 05, 2010

200th post!

So this is the big 2 0 0 and I am afraid I don't have much to post... but felt its been too long between real posts so obligation has dictated this meager attempt.  Work has been very busy the past month or so, and combine that with an incredibly awesome glut of good videogames recently...  not much free time.  I am way behind on getting models painted, and I have a very big adventure to write for later this month so the busy time will continue in and out of work.

Today is the two year anniversary of Gary Gygax's death.... hope everyone did something D&D-ish in his honor.

In case you haven't heard... A Game of Thrones... confirmed for a 10 episode run on HBO.  Should be on TV around this time next year.  Amazing news indeed.

I shall fill the rest of this post up with some lists..

Currently Reading:
Odd and the Frost Giants - by Neil Gaiman
Warmachine Prime MkII  - by Privateer Press

Recently Finished:
sadly...not much.

On Deck:
Princess of Landover - by Terry Brooks
D&D 4th Edition: Player's Handbook 3 - by WotC
Star Wars: Legacy - Dark Horse Comics

Currently Watching:
Legend of the Seeker: Season 2 - via Netflix on 360
Caprica -  via iTunes 
Robin Hood: Season 3 (BBC) - via DVD
Clone Wars: Season 2 - via iTunes
Spartacus - via Netflix on 360
Robot Chicken D&D vid-casts - via YouTube & WotC

Recently Finished:
Dollhouse: Season 2 - via iTunes

On Deck:
 Dr. Who: Season 5 - via ?

Currently Playing:
Dragon Age: Origins - 360
Street Fighter 4 - 360

Recently Finished:
Mass Effect 2 - 360
Bioshock 2 - 360

On Deck:
Final Fantasy 1 - iPod
Final Fantasy 2 - iPod
Final Fantasy 13 - 360
Bayonetta - 360 (Gamefly rental)

Currently Painting:
Pirates.. lots of em' - Warmachine
Shadowhorn Satyr - Hordes
Tharn Bloodweavers - Hordes

Recently finished:
.... nothing.  gah! nothing!

On Deck:
LOTS...Winterguard... more pirates... Retribution...

Currently Listening:
Inland Territory - Vienna Teng
This is the New Year - Ian Axel
Mass Effect/Mass Effect 2 OSTs - various
Against the Night - Jason Webley

On Deck:
Evelyn Evelyn - Evelyn Evelyn

well...  thats it for post 200...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

new challengers

Holy crap.. LOTS of new characters!  :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sequels... a bit of a video game ramble

Lets talk about sequels... video-game sequels are pretty commonplace, and for a good reason.  First, they are safe for developers.  These games cost untold amounts of dollars to produce, so they want to spend it on a game they know is going to sell.  Its less risky.  Its also less risky for the consumer, since they are more likely to drop $60 on a game they know they will like, than one that is alien to them.  The only disadvantage is that with developers focusing their attention on sequels... we get fewer original and new IP's. 

That said, I just finished one sequel, and I am in the middle of another.  I finished Mass Effect 2 over the weekend and it was a brilliant game.  Better than its predecessor, and better than most games I have played in a long time.  A truly fantastic game... immediately after finishing it, I "rolled up" a new character and started again.  My second play through didn't get far due to the arrival of Bioshock 2.  Now here's a game that didn't need a sequel, but got one anyway (the developers would have been stupid to not capitalize on the first one's success).  So far it is a great game, I am not sure how it stacks up to the original just yet (need to play it more) but it is enjoyable... same great atmosphere and gameplay, with a couple new twists.  The thing that bugged me about it was that it was so similar to the first game.  But after 5 hours or so in I realized that that was a good thing, and I liked it more for that reason.  It felt like a more "in-tune" continuation of the story.

I got to thinking... maybe this is the best way to go about sequels... for example, take Halo 1-3.  Same basic style, and gameplay, but different story and setting.. all of which were enjoyable and fun.  then you have Halo:ODST, easily the best of the bunch, but not a true sequel.. same style and gameplay, but very different setting and characters form the other 3 Halo games.  More like an "off-shoot" than a sequel.  and Take Bioware (my fav. game developer of all).. they had Star Wars:KOTOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2...  for all intents and purposes, they are all the same game.  Same style of play, same story progression structure, combat is tweaked with each one, but mostly they are the same game just in different settings with different characters and stories.  And they are all brilliant.  A lot of game are being sold as trilogies, Mass Effect among them, which is cool.  You know that you get three games to tell a story, and then, (like ODST and the up-coming Halo:Reach) you can get some off-shoots set in the same world.  This is the way to go.. and I look forward to Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2, and subsequent off-shoots in their respective universes. (I really want Mass Effect now)

and of course we have the king of all sequels...  Final Fantasy!   and lucky number 13 comes out in a few weeks!  woohoo! (already got mine pre-ordered at Amazon)

Friday, February 12, 2010


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Earthynn Adventure Log #3

We had our third Earthynn adventure a couple weekends ago.. it was a great time.  The adventure log for that adventure follows, after which my thoughts on the game.

Earthynn Adventure Log #3

A few do-in's a-spirin'...

Spending a couple of days in town, the party of adventurers did some sleuthing about Seaburgh following up on some rumors...

It turns out the woods to the east of Seaburgh have been lacking in game lately.  There were signs of other creatures hunting in the woods and it was found out that some primitive humanoids were out and about in the woods... hunting carelessly.  An arrow belonging to these hunters was found, a bit primitive in design, but still effective.  A couple of men who worked down in the shipyards had gone missing.  Word was that they simply vanished; unusual for these men who were often reliable laborers.  Food and offerings had been stolen from the temple and Delvessa, the clergywoman, was a bit disturbed by it.  Upon investigating, sharp golaith eyes discovered the traces of a black feather in the temple, signs of some old feathered friends. The gnome prisoner (Flenn) drew much talk in Seaburgh, and Constable Walt had a tough time figuring out what to do with a "real" criminal.  Meanwhile, during this time, Nowhere was sitting and chatting with Loni, the oldest citizen of Seaburgh, an ancient half-elf man who in his youth, actually lived in the great port of Murasha, before its downfall...

And then the always troubling news of the price of honey skyrocketing... as there was still no sign of any bees...

Early morning temple troubles

It was decided that the feathery thief who was harassing the temple needed to be dealt with, so the party spent the evening staking out the temple, waiting for any signs of the foul bird. The morning came, as did the mayor, Clara Clove, and Delvessa, on their way to morning devotions.  The sunrise also brought out a Kenku Assassin stalking his prey.  The assassin struck out from his hiding place and shot the mayor with his poisoned bow - and the party sprang into action!  The kenku proved more wily than the rest of his kin, and danced among the adventures with ease, even getting to strike down the clergywoman as well.  His pets soon appeared to lend him aid, two triangle-mouthed, reptilian dimensional marauders. Despite being stabbed, bitten, and having reality warped around them, the party was victorious.  The kenku assassin lay bleeding, but alive.  The mayor and clergywoman were healed and revived by the stalwart bard.  Reviving and questioning the defeated killer crow, the party discovered his plan. The Kenku assassin was chosen to be a distraction, to keep the party's attention directed on him while his "flock" did their work. 

It was a jailbreak! The Kenku flock had sprung into the constable's office, and broke the gnome out of his cell while the explorers were busy in the center of town.  Jann, the guard on duty, informed the party that the birds were not rescuing the gnome from his imprisonment, but kid-napping him. The dead kenku lying in the cell was evidence to the gnome's reluctance to be "freed" by the dirty humanoid birds.

There were tracks and signs of the "flock" leaving town with their prisoner... 

Taxation without representation

Tracking the kenku through the forest the adventurer's discovered crossing tracks of humanoids, and their awareness thusly became heightened.  That evening as they camped they were approached by a trio of Orcish hunters.  But these were no mere hunters... they were also fearsome tax collectors.  They belonged to a tribe that served King Drooj, the Ogre they had encountered previously.  Their tribe would soon be arriving in force, and cementing Drooj's power over the land.  Insults were exchanged, but the orcs demanded their taxes.   The party deployed deceptions to confuse the orcs and sow doubt in their hearts.  They told them a tale of serving Drooj, and that they were currently on a secret mission for him.  Orcish minds were wavering...  The orcs then told their own tale, one of a mighty bear with feathers that had killed several of their party.  If these warriors would aid them in killing this beast, they would waive their taxes...for now.  The party agreed, but insisted it wait until after they completed their mission.  Orcish minds reluctantly agreed.

Between a rock-inducing chicken and a soft-place

The group then departed and arrived at the edge of the ruins of Murasha.  The Kenku tracks had led them to the ruins of a broken gate with two crumbling watchtowers formerly connected by an archway and portcullis. The south tower was almost entirely gone, the northern one only missing its top, though still in bad shape.  The rogue-ish halfling of the party did some sleuthing, and scaled the remnant of the old city wall.  He peered over and into the top of the aforementioned tower to see what lurked within...  a variable number of kenku, some bird cages, and a large blue-ish bird creature.  A way into this tower was needed since the door below on street level had been sealed up.

The party decided to investigate the south tower, and within its ruined shell and ruble strewn interior they located a poorly concealed trapdoor leading down.  Upon entering the tunnel below they discovered it split in two directions.  One led into an underground complex (possibly the ancient sewers of Murasha) and the other ran into a chamber below the north tower.  The way in they had been seeking it seemed... They ventured into the chamber beneath the kenku's tower and investigated the trapdoor that loomed down at them from the ceiling, the only way upwards.  It appeared to be oddly hinged...  Travel down the other direction of the tunnel proved even more odd, as the tunnel was soon found to be filled with a giant cube of acidic gel.  A gant cube of acidic gel, that was hungry.  The gelatinous cube proved to be a formidable foe, engulfing its adversaries readily... its acidic gooyness clinging to their stalwart armors.  The battle with the cube (and the dwarf bards string of mind crushing curses) alerted the kenku above, who chose to drop one of their caged pets down through the door to do their dirty work.  The rickety wooden cage smashed on the floor and a reptilian-chicken creature, half-starved and angry, faced off against the party.  The mighty druid held the bird off, resisting its petrificating beak, while the rest of the party finished with the gelatinous cube. The unethical treatment the kenku had thrust upon this death chicken was not enough for the party to take pity on the cockatrice... and they smote it with their mighty blades.

The party then fled down the other passage, and took time within the ancient sewer tunnels to rest.. before they returned to take on the flock of Kenku.

The Tower of Death

First thing they noticed upon returning to the trapdoor... was that it was truly a trapped door.  The evil birds had placed a large stone atop it, primed to crush the unwary who opened the door from below.  The dungeoneering party's strength and ingenuity bypassed the trap, and the party climbed into the ancient watchtower.  Floor one held some storage crates, discarded clothing, old food... and stairs leading up to a sleeping chamber.  This floor held some straw mats, lots of feathers and kenku droppings, and two sleeping kenku.  The rogue and druid crept silently up the stairs.  Silent as mice, preparing to dispatch their foes quietly the two moved into position over their victims, at which point, the rogue tripped.  The kenku awoke and battle ensued, but the party defeated the birds quickly.  Searching about they discovered some coin, and some magic odds and ends including a stone tile with a "magic mouth" upon it.

Again the rogue ventured fourth to peer ahead, climbing the next set of stairs.  This being the top floor, the old crumbling walls opened to the dark morning sky and the ever present rains of Murasha.  The halflings keen eyes deciphered a kenku Wing Mage milling about, and many other Kenku.. a couple cages held large birds of prey, and a large foul blue-feathered vulture-creature slumped in the center of the room.  The rogue returned and reported his sightings and a devious plan was formulated by the adventurers.  The tower was then promptly filled with traps.  All manner of painful contraptions were carefully conjured including trip wires, broken glass strewn on stairs, piles of flammable materials stashed in secret places.  Then the party took cover on the bottom floor to wait for the flock.  Rags on the upper floor were lit aflame and the resultant smoke lofted up drawing the unwary crow creatures downward... to their demise.  By the time the first and last waves of Kenku reached the bottom of the tower they were battered and bloodied (literally) by the party's traps and were easily dispatched.  Time passed, a waiting game was played. 

It was then, the party decided they would need to make the next move.  The flock's ranks were thinned, it was time to clear the crown of this foul tower.

If this ritual is a rockin'...

The party climbed up to the top, avoiding/disarming their own traps and Bartok scouted ahead.  He climbed the stairs stealthily, and ran right into the stealthed kenku who was keeping watch for them...both were oblivious and nearly ran into each other.  The battle began.  Two kenku Wing Mages were up top, one off the side of the tower on a fragment of the old wall.  His attention was not focused on the battle, but intent on his arcane ritual, a ritual in progress.  The other Wing Mage used his Force magic to throw the party back down the stairs.  Kenku minions closed in, and one ran to free the Blood Hawks they had imprisoned releasing the raptors into the fray.  The large demonic creature, a Vrock, crouched uncomfortably and scowled at all around him.  The mighty warden charged in with the Vrock and the despicable  demon proved a formidable foe.  The hawk's fly by attacks tore at the enemies of their masters while the kenku closed in for the kill...  But the party was wily.  They discovered the kenku conducting the ritual, they spied the arcane runes carved into the walls of the tower, observed the Vrock's foul temperament,  and putting the pieces together, they began to decipher the nature of the events at hand. The Vrock was being summoned and imprisoned by the ritual; held against his will. Nowhere's arcane knowledge allowed him to assert his will into the ritual, and force its outcome...  Dyrge also discovered the walls holding the symbols were weakened by age and weather.. and could be broken, thus breaking the ritual circle.  The bloodied party chose to alter the ritual to free the Vrock...and succeeded.  The foul demon screeched a mighty scream at the sky, all his hatred for the world let loose, thus stunning all in their tracks. It then proceeded to reap vengeance on the kenku who held him there, eating him wholly.  The birds, humanoid or otherwise, were dispatched, and the Vrock flew off into the sky over the ruins... a demon let loose in the world of men.

The Owlbear Necessities

Recovered from their turmoil in the tower, the adventurers had a deal to uphold.  They met the orcs outside the cave of the Owlbear and prepared for battle.  The orcs stood their distance and prepared to provide archery support.  The land was wooded, and congested making movement tight and difficult.  This was a mighty foe, and they party closed in on the cave.  They lured out the owlbear with music... and before he was barely out of the cave, he was beset upon by the party.  Orcish arrows rained down, and the feathery bear was flanked and attacked on all fronts.  They hindered the beast greatly in the early moments of the fight and put a great deal of wounds upon its foul hide; although, once the owlbear was free it ripped the goliath in half.  Claw. Claw. Action Point. Bite.  The warden fell...  the party surged onwards and the rousing words of the bard returned the goliath to the battle.  The fight was hard.. but in the end, the bird-beast fell.  They earned a bit of treasure and a bit of respect from some orcs... a job well done.  King Drooj will be proud.

Questions remain unanswered... the gnome was not found, the magic mouth has not yet spoken its message, and an audience with King Drooj awaits.

So, I thought the adventure went really well.  There were a couple parts that I was worried about when I wrote them... the Vrock mainly.  Vrocks are like level 13 or something, and I was putting a level 2 party up against it.  Now, it was not meant to be a direct fight... the Vrock was positioned more as an obstacle and a skill challenge during the combat encounter, not a direct adversary.  But of course, our warden decided to charge right into melee with it first turn... *sigh*  It all worked out though.  I was using the "stop the ritual" challenge, but modified greatly... first I built three levels of complexity into the challenge (each requiring more successes than the last) and gave the party the choice of how they proceeded with it.  Once they deciphered the ritual, they could either break the rune circle and simply stop the ritual (breaking or pushing over the walls - easy, 4 successes), or break the entrapment part of the ritual thus releasing the Vrock (medium difficulty, 6 successes), or the final choice (and most difficult, 8 successes) was to reverse the summoning aspect of the ritual and banish the Vrock from the world.  And this was all happening during the combat encounter.  The best part... none of it was done in a crunchy rule-wise way.. it all flowed perfectly by description and roleplaying.  The players never knew how many successes I was counting... and they were fully involved in the ritual.  One player even spent his action point to make a skill check in the middle of the battle.

The Owlbear encounter was just there for fun... and again was a much higher level monster than the party (level 8 elite).. but I gave them orcish archery for extra damage, and they had plenty of time to prepare, they knew exactly what was coming.  It was a great battle, and really highlighted the teamwork of the party.

I can't wait for more of the plot to unfold... I have big plans for what happens within the ruined city of Murasha...  we are also committed to playing bi-monthly now which means we will get much more play-time than before.  Also, coming soon, much more of the world shall be fleshed out.. and if I have time.. I will even get my map done.  :)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I am already behind on my games... still in the middle of Dragon Age, fully entrenched in Mass Effect 2... but I cannot wait for this!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

new gamer movie

Trailer for The Dungeon Masters from Dungeon Masters Movie on Vimeo.

Looks fairly cool. But The Gamers and The Gamers:Dorkness Rising will always be my favorite gamer movies :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

life recap - 2010

Well, lets see. The holiday's were the usual hectic mess they are apt to be. Had a good time going home to see my family. I got a GPS for my car, so no more getting lost for me... and this past Thursday I took a little bit of xmas money and my Christmas bonus from work and bought a nifty new TV. I picked up a 37" Vizio LCD 1080p HDTV. It is glorious. All my 360 games look so much better... and even Netflix has some streaming in HD and the Zune marketplace on Xbox Liove has HD video for download. I don't have cable, but its still so worth it. I got it for a really great price too. New Years was kind of boring.. it always puts me into a funk... but hopefully this TV will shake me out of it.

I have been greatly enjoying the swan song that is Dollhouse. There are only a few episodes left, and they are really going out with a bang! Its a great story of technology bringing about the apocalypse. (and it has two very beautiful actresses... Eliza Dushku and Dichen Lachman) Clone Wars took a holiday break, but new episodes of Season 2 are coming out now, and it continues to be a really enjoyable and well written show. Seriously, some of the best Star Wars in years is found in Clone Wars. Dollhouse will end just in time for Caprica to begin... a fair trade I think... though I still miss Battlestar Galactica. Other than that, my TV time is made up of Mythbusters and Legend of the Seeker. Doctor Who, which has become one of the best shows ever... just began its big change. The fabulous David Tennant ended his run at playing the Doctor... and this spring Season 5 starts with the new Doctor. David Tennant was so great in the role, I will miss him. But change is part of the show, and has been since the old days. I will give this new guy a fair chance. :)

I watch all of these shows on my computer, on DVD, or on my Xbox. Who needs cable when you have the internet?

The games of 2010 are about to hit... (well, actually most were delayed). I stopped playing Dragon Age a few weeks ago when I decided to buy this TV. Now that I have it, I'm about to jump back in. My goal is to finish it up before Mass Effect 2 hits later this month. I also just completed the Ghostbusters game.. which was fantastic! It stars all the original actors and it was written by them too. Very fun and really funny. Well worth the $20 I paid for it. (horray for GameFly!) Halo:ODST is also really great (now that I have a 360 capable of playing it) and is the best of the series by far. Afte Mass Effect.. the wait for Bioshock 2, Final Fantasy 13 and Super Street Fighter 4 begins... They announced some new info about Street Fighter.. there are new ultra combos for all the charatcers.. the big news? Chun Li's giant Kikosho (fireball) is back!

Coming up this weekend we have our first Pathfinder game of 2010. My cleric begins his levels of Rogue form here on out. Its a multi-class combo I have never played, so I am looking forward to see how it goes. The following weekend is our first 4th Ed game of the year. I still have some work to do on the adventure... they will be rooting out the last of the Kenku from their roost... I have been slowly expanding on my campaign world through Obsidian Portal (great site!). We will be playing this campaign (Earthynn) bi-monthly from here on out, though with less players than usual. It was becoming too difficult to get everyone together... so now we schedule the game with four of us who can reliably make it, and the other players can either show up, or not.

Work has been a bit hectic lately.. my boss purchased a new store, so has divided his time between the two... and one of our regular long time employees has left. So that leaves... me. (and the new guy) But it has not been as bad as I anticipated... and things are starting to settle into place. I guess its good for things to get shaken up once in a while.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010