Monday, December 28, 2009

Dragon Army 11 A Time of Dwarves

After their hasty retreat to Candololian the party decided to explore the cards and mirrors more. Using the card from the dragon they land in the back alley of a strange and mysterious City travelling out of the alley they arrive at a street selling various strange arcane items. Asking about the dragon they are pointed towards a palace at the center. Asking about where they can sell magical wares they are pointed towards several shops. A bit further conversation leads to a dwarf capable of reforging the dwarf's heirloom axe into a +2 weapon (remind me never to pass out heirloom weapons again). It was a masterwork weapon which was pretty good for first level.Unfortunately by 6th it was significantly underpowered, but there was no way my dwarf was giving it up. After all as the dwarf said "It's an heirloom, all I have left of the Hold I was born in before the evil army burned it to the ground. The evil army army will pay dearly for that!!! Wrooo!!! Wroo!! Booyaah!!" It takes about 10 minutes to get him to stop frothing at the mouth after that (perhaps I will pass an heirloom weapon again, so much role playing for so little). They then decided that they would explore the underground passage reachable from "The Mountain Man". The dwarf voted for underground passages and no one was going to argue with him.

P.S. They spent alot less time shopping in the City (It's Brigadoon but don't tell the players that the'll run away screaming) than I thought they would perhaps running the campaign cash poor has its advantages
P.P.S No map for Brigadoon yet. She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed suggested a maze of streets that rearrange themselves every time they visit. I just may go with that.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Boxing Day

Well I didn't get the merry Christmas or Happy Festivus messages up so will have to go with Happy Boxing day. Spent the holidays in J.Rients country. Unfortunately the only decent Internet connection is back at the Hotel, so didn't spend much time surfing the blogs. Bought the game stores out of modules I should of put on my Christmas list but didn't. Most of my relatives couldn't find a game store with GPS. However I am still working on corrupting my nephew. Went to see Avatar with my nephew, and one of his other uncles (My Brother-in-laws brother, no clue what the official designation for such a relative is). Sappy plot but "Last Shadow" is definitely showing up in my campaign. "Unobtainium" is real my colleagues use all the time in their conceptual designs, it is very useful for solar sails, space elevators, hydrogen storage and perpetual motion machines. I, myself, prefer the much stronger "phoneybaloneyium". Did get a copy of "Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara" (my relatives are pretty good at bookstores). Maps, Cities, and Dinosaurs; what else could anyone ask for? Yes I am a Dinoholic. Many new beasts will be showing up in the Valley of Ferns. Picked up "Imaginary Realism" by the Dinoptopia author. Unfortunately he very old school which resulted in a lot of that's the way we did it art class from She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed. I don't have time for art which involves practice and hard work. Well back to my quest for "The Lazy Artist's Guide to Creating Masterpieces Without Effort or Hand-to-Eye Coordination." Later Alligator!

P.S. A more campaign oriented post next time.
P.P.S. Any suggestions for sucking a reluctant nephew into the blogosphere?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dragon Armies 10 Tomb of the Dragon Lords part 2


Well after two diversionary posts I am back to the main story. When last we left our intrepid adventurers they were standing on a rock bridge in a subterranean cavern. I originally had some ideas about an encounter involving giant bats and people getting knocked off, but we were running late so it got deleted. On either side the cavern drops a 100' to a shallow subterranean pool with no apparent exits. However the hole in the center of the bridge leads to a hidden ledge with a passage leading back under the stone bridge. A 100' along this passage ended in a double iron door of dwarven smithwork covered in runes with a Celtic knotwork dragon on each leaf of the door. The door leaves swing open easily to a light touch. They enter a round chamber with a single door leading off to the side (Battle mat for both this cave and the next shown above, artwork by She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed [unfortunately it was a rush job and not as nice as the previous battle mat]). Again the door is iron with a knotwork dragon, but this dragon wears a crown. This door leads to a large cavern with two stone pillars and a raised stone platform on the far side. On the floor lining the walls of the chamber are six black cauldrons worked with knotwork motifs and handles in the shape of dragon heads. A the iron door is opened a shower of sparks shoot out from the dragons crown lighting a fire in each of the cauldrons. On the stone platform is a two step wooden platform. On the wooden platform sits a wooden throne decorated in (you guessed it) Celtic knotwork dragons. On the throne sits a skeletal form of a robed figure with a golden crown on its head, a golden scepter in his right hand, a golden orb in his left hand, and two gold rings on his fingers. To the left of the throne sits another skeleton on a wooden camp stool dressed in brown wool robes with a dagger made of a 24" long tooth thrust in his belt. A small pouch hangs off his belt as well. To right of the throne sitting on the steps is a skeleton dressed in motley (jester's clothes) with a fools cap on his head, in his right hand is a jester's stick, in his left hand a rubber ball, on his fingers are tied two pieces of string. Further to the right is a large free standing floor mirror covered in black cloth. The party uncovers the mirror at which point the iron double doors in the first chamber slam shut. The party finds the Harrow card The Beating tucked in the mirrors frame. The they hold the card to the mirror and it begins to glow a sickly greenish blue. A bolt of greenish blue energy shoots of the mirror zigzags off every single party member and flies through the single door with the crowned dragon into the antechamber, at which point the single door slams shut. The monk runs over, reopens the door and is confronted by nine adventurers looking identical to the party except for the green glowing eyes, and the gnome who has been replaced by a lizardman. It's roll for initiative time! After soundly trashing their unfriendly counterparts (The party's elven wizard managed to roll high on initiative and get the opening fireball off first), the party investigates the three skeletal figures further and discovers in addition to the merchants belt pouch filled with gold coins, the crowned skeleton has a belt pouch full of gems, and the jester a belt pouch full of rocks and pine cones. Being uncertain what to take they take everything off the three skeletons (Of course nobody bothers to check the cauldrons. If they had wiped the tarnish off of the cauldrons they would have discovered they were pure silver). They retrace their steps to the entrance to the tomb. When they exit the tomb through the rows of pillars in the lake a bolt lighting flashes from the pillars striking the monk who is carrying loot from the jester and the hobbit who is carrying loot from the crowned skeleton. The loot from the king is transformed into a black sword, a black crown, a black orb, a pouch of rocks and pine cones and two pieces of string. The loot from the jester transforms into a golden sword, a golden crown. a golden orb, a pouch of gems, and two golden rings. The old man waits on the far shore to greet them. When they step out from the lake, he asks them for the dagger make from the tooth and they give to him. He then tells them the tale of the six dragon lords, one for each color dragon. He explains when the other five decided to seize control of the world from the elder races (dwarves and elves) how he argued against that course of action. However, the other dragon lords knocked his tooth out and used a magic spell they linked to it to prevent him from interfering with their plans. He points out that now he has the tooth he will be able to unravel this spell. When asked about the other items from the tomb, he explains they will help the party with its struggle against the other dragon lords. When asked about the black sword and crown he suggest caution since they are aligned with evil (they are now stone shaped into the rock in an undisclosed location in the cliffs south of Candololian). He suggests if they have need of him again to contact him to visit him in his city using the Harrow card they just acquired, when the look at the card they notice it has changed into The Keep. He then changes back into his yellow dragon (i. e. gold dragon) form and flies away, mentioning in an oh by the way fashion that the other dragon lords surely have wards around this place and will be on their way to investigate. A brief sound of leathery wings flapping in the distance is more than enough to send the party scrambling back to the obsidian cliffs and through the portal back to Candololian.

Dave and Gary

***RANT WARNING***
I have been reading the debate on Dragons Foot about who wrote which parts of the Original D&D Blackmoor supplement. Although I find the debate mostly trivial and still consider Blackmoor one of the worst supplements written, in my discussion with She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed she highlighted an interesting statement which I made. She suggested posting it on my blog for posterity before I forgot. I of course said "your wish is my command" hence this post. I dearly love Dave Arnesons work (As I have stated First Fantasy Campaign is one of my favorite supplements). However, on reviewing his work over the years (Blackmoor, First Fantasy Campaign, Adventures in High Fantasy that strange and unplayable role playing game written for lawsuit purposes) I think it took the organizational skills of a Gary Gygax to make the game a success. Not Gygax's writing style (thesaurus shotgun, as I like to call it), but his ability to put things in charts and tables and organize those charts and tables into a coherent flow so that one has a game instead of just random noise. Personally I think the current editions could do with a lot less purple prose and lot more charts and tables (unfortunately as long as game companies pay writers by the word there will be lots of purple prose). There, I have said my piece, please respond and comment.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In too deep on Cadwallon

OK short post tonight, because I am just back from DMing the shop gamers through Waterdeep 1-5 Lost in the Fog (one of the better living forgotten realms). I was thinking about last night which I stayed up way too late searching the french language blogs for an English translation of Secrets of Cadwallon Two, when I didn't even like Cadwallon and Secrets of Cadwallon that much to begin with (As usual for Rackham the artwork in is glorious, however the rules are obtuse, pretentous and overly artifical; I mean who wants to have to pick what kind of mood the are in just to figure out if you hit the monster or not). There is an english Rackham board with a Cadwallon section here and a link to the artist who drew the Rackham City Tiles here (Warning this site is in French). If you look at the pictures labelled "plateux de jeu" you can see some of the tiles, but not the cavern ones I was talking about in yesterdays post. Well it's past my bedtime again, so see you next time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dragon Army 9 Tomb of the Dragon Lords

OK so back to our story. The party having rescued Candololian from the Mists and picking up a new toy to teleport them across the world, are accosted by a strange old man. After assembling the entire party in the brown hills (and several checks to make yes the portals do work both ways), they inquire what the old man has in mind. He explains that not far from here is the ancient tomb of the Dragon Lords which contains an ancient dragon tooth which he is need of. Unfortunately the magic wards surrounding the tomb prevent him from retrieving it himself, but it should not affect a party of unknown adventurers. He will grant them whatever else they can find in the tomb as long as they return the tooth to him. Smelling an obvious plot hook (I try to make them obvious so the players don't miss them). He also warns them in an oh by way fashion that much of whats in the tomb is not as it appears. Arriving at large tumulus in the center of a shallow lake (illustrated once again with a picture from Mysteries of the Himalayas) they spot a path lined with columns leading to the side of the tumulus. The old man whispers a secret word (open turmeric perhaps) and an archway appears in the side of the tumulus. At this point the old man informs them he can go no further, wishes them well, and reminds them of their promise to bring him the tooth. They enter through the archway into a set of stairs leading down. The stairs end in a landing with a hall leading to the right down the hall in the alcove is a giant statue with the palms of its hands upraised (I used Cartophile #7 from Skeleton Key for this level). Continuing down the passage they enter a large chamber near an oval pool. Half oval risers lead up from the pool to a giant statue identical to the first but with a large stone sword laying on the upraised palms. Quickly figuring things out they transfer the stone sword to the statue in the alcove (they may have had to fight some undead as well my notes don't show it though). A loud click is heard and the bottom of the oval pool falls away to reveal a shaft leading down. Dropping down on a rope they descend into a subterranean cavern of flow stone. This portion of the dungeon was drawn by She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed after staring lovingly at the underground caverns in the Rackham Reversible Gaming Tiles (another out-of-print item for you to lust after). Here is the battle mat. More next time!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Empire of the Petal Throne

Rather than writing a new blog I am afraid I got sucked down the rabbit hole of a thread on the Dragonsfoot forum. However I'll republish my post on Empire of The Petal Throne here:

Empire of the Petal Throne is one of my favorite "Old School" games. Couldn't swing the $25 for the boxed set in 1975 so I bought $10 rules alone. It's very close to Original D&D but the skills are a definite difference. I liked that the rules are more clearly written than Original D&D with fewer holes. Unfortunately the successor incarnations of the rules have been less successful (or well written). Swords and Glory volume 2 is worth picking up. Unfortunately the most recent incarnation Tekumal was a pale shadow of the original. Tita's House of Games has most of the rules sets and supplements available still. In addition to throwing both the Hlyss and Ssu into my D&D games, I have run several short term campaigns in Tekumal. For a culture as strange and complex as Tekumal the barbarian fresh of the boat start seems to be the best way to go. As always I run the world as my own and don't worry about the canonical setting as given in the supplements. Due to an interesting quirk in the encounter tables most parties started the game wandering the wilderness and only entered the dungeons when they where higher level (the exact opposite of the way we played Original D&D). Little play hint: Don't tell the priests of Thumis you worship no gods, they will know you for the Ksarul worshiping bastard you are.

P.S. I liked the Man of Gold[Novel by M.A.R. Barker EPT author] once I got through the linguistic fluff in the first chapter

Arduin, Bloody Arduin

Overall
I really wanted to like Arduin having invested 80 bucks and firmly believing that people learn from their mistakes. However Arduin is a baroque, complex, half complete edifice. Its sits like some ruined catherdral to an unknown saint. If you have a fondness for the orginal Arduin Grimoire rules, it is better organized than the orginal nine volume set. However be warned it contains no monsters, no magic items and little campaign setting (buy the World of Khaas for campaign setting). Buy this book if you want to be inspired by strange spells of wonder. Buy this book to raid for unique and novel concepts you would have not come up with on your own. Do not buy this book for clear consice game mechanics, or simple games that are easy to understand

And now to the contents

Introduction
It’s not bad explanation of the book contents. I like the little inset legends (but then you can tell from all the parenthesis in my blog I am just an aside kind of guy [She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed says when I reach the second tier I am over the limit]). I skipped the long winded history of the World of Arduin, it’s a good read but I’ve seen it before. The character creation section is clear and makes it look easy
Chapter 1 Character stats
Arduin has eleven rolled stats:
Adroitness
Reflexes
Strength
Size
Mass
Constitution
Wits
Reason
Essence
Ego
Charisma
What to roll is different for each race which is given in chapter three
Arduin has eight calculated stats
Coordination
Count Factor
Mental Acuity
Body
Aptitude
Leadership
Perception
Hit points

There is also Dodge, Movement, Saves, Defenses, Resists, a Recovery rate and a Healing rate. Whew that’s a lot of math! Considering the stats are randomly rolled I think that averaging them to calculate the values you’ll be using in play is a good idea, but eleven stats is kind of a lot.

Chapter 2 Races
More races than you can shake a stick at including my favorites Deodanth, Praint and Throon (just perfect for wielding my infamous three handed swords). I have yet to determine the difference between Hobbits and Kobbits but I am sure a sharp blow to the knee cap in some dark alleyway will begin my instruction in the finer points. Every race gets to select from a Chinese menu of optional bonuses. If that’s not enough there’s a hundred (just right for rolling a d100 to decide) general bonuses in the back.

Chapter 3 Cultures
Various regions of the world of Khass with various options I’ll try to pursue this in depth later but it’s a lot like other campaign guides

Chapter 4 Professions & Paths
Character classes new ones include Courtesan, Medicine Man, Rune Weaver, Sage, Techno, Trader, Rune Singer, and Star Powered Mage

Chapter 5 Skills
Skills are checked on a d100 and range from 0 to 150. Races learn skills at an average rate of about 7 skill points per experience point 1. However some races are as low as 1 skill point per experience point, so if you want to be a skill monkey choose your race wisely. Most skills are the same old same old, although many have special tricks available as you advance. Skills a little less ordinary include Beast ken, Business, Ceremony, Channel, Entreaty, Gnosis, Lorica, Noetics, and Underworld. One bit of interest are the several martial and caster skills which although similar are based on different stats.

Chapter 6 is missing. Perhaps it contains some deep secrets only revealed in full moonlight. Perhaps it is bad editing.

Chapter 7 Equipment
Stuff to buy. Except for some weird race weapons and armor nothing much to see.

Chapter 8 Faith and Religion
Faith points are apparently accumulated like experience and expended to cast spells. Dogma is a big stick to make you roll on the transgressing table as well as the crisis of faith table. A list of Gods of the Arduin World each with their own dogmas and spell lists. Nobody is spectacularly different from the standard fare.

Chapter 9 Combat
Wow nine chapters in and finally a combat system. Initiave is determined by CF. Those with high CF get extra actions up to 6 for the highest. Note to players pump your CF up or you’ll be dead before you can do anything. If your CF drops to zero all you can do is try and boost it back up. Every one gets one quick action (I’m not sure when because that is not explained. Hopefully it interrupts the attack you’re trying to dodge, block, or parry). Combat is resolved by a d100 roll. Roll the dice add your bonuses, check it against the opponents defense; if it’s higher you hit. Roll your damage dice (usually based on weapon type with stat adds). Subtract your opponent’s damage resist (usually from armor) and voila he loses that many hit points. Grappling is a d100 athletics against defense and can pin, restrain, or slam. Many other combat maneuvers mostly the same old same old, but wield creature as a weapon is kind of cute.

Chapter 10 Adventuring
This chapter is a giant hodgepodge of stuff; including wealth checks, experience, lifting and throwing, overland travel and lighting. This is followed by a collection of martial arts feats which is the longest part of the chapter (perhaps this is the lost chapter 6 it sure as heck didn’t belong here and one had more than enough martial arts in both the professions and skills chapters).

Chapter 12 Social Dimensions
Ah hah the weird martial arts stuff is actually chapter 11 (it’s just not labeled that). Here we get lifestyle, social motifs, contacts and connections. The contacts and connections actually look interesting sort of like a long term diplomacy check

Chapter 13 design and manufacture
Making stuff. Way too short and badly explained

Chapter 14 Schematics
The stuff to make. Laid out like some giant spell book, but probably too techno to make into my fantasy campaign setting

Chapter 15 herbs
Magical herbs! what else!?

Chapter 16 Alchemy recipes
For those who prefer brewing their gizmos rather than manufacturing them

Chapter 17 Spirits and Animate powers
For calling on the forces of nature. Short and confusing

Chapter 18 fetishes
For those who prefer spirit powering their gizmos rather than brewing them

Chapter 19 magik and pychic
Well the fighters got their bonus background chapter in 11 so here’s a pile of extra magic feats and backgrounds for mages.

Chapter 20 Runes
Perhaps it isn’t really just for magicing gizmos instead of spirit powering them. The things runes do seem slight different. I’ll have to pursue this chapter more to know for sure

Chapter 21 Rituals
For those who like their magic slow.

Chapter 22 Spells
The list up to level 20. Each with its own little paragraph of obtuse text arranged neither by level or alphabetically for maximum game slowness and rules lawyering (brings back memories of the old days especially the house rule banning rules discussions after midnight).

Chapter 23 Mental Powers
Like the spells only it’s mental

Chapter 24 Prayers
Spells for Clerics

Chapter 25 GM Assistance
Here’s the place for the stuff they forgot to mention earlier like moving, climbing, swimming, starting age, language, knowledge, handling time between adventures, generating NPC (perhaps the one thing that belonged in this chapter rather than something earlier) and critical hit tables. Not content with critical hits for combat they have added them for skill checks, power checks, as well as fumble tables as well

Bottom Line:
Some great ideas However: Too many stats. Information too dispersed around the book. Too many different ways of doing about the same thing

Imagination 5 stars
Organization 2 stars
Art work 3 stars (4 if you are an affectionato of black and white ink work)
Playability 3 stars (some sections seem quite useable)

Overall 3 stars

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Older blog posts updated

Being new to blogging I am not sure about the proper morays and protocols for updating older posts. However, since this blog also documents my campaign I feel the need to keep the campaign posts accurate and have figured how to post the campaign maps to the blog (also blogger makes re-editing pages easy). Therefore, I have revised Dragon Army 1 and Dragon Army 3 with new campaign maps, and fixed up the rumor list in Dragon Army 2 to be more flashy and easier to read. I have made several other tweaks throughout the posts to satisfy the whims and dictates of She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed, but if you understood what I said the first time (never mind the spelling and grammar) I wouldn't bother going back to read it again.

Dragon Army 8 Rough Night in Candololian

Most of the party is asleep while the Monk keeps watch by using the throne of Candololian to scrye. Observing the room with the two portals the Monk sees a strange grey four foot long dragon (its a portal drake from the forgotten realms underdark setting) emerge from the lower portal. It sniffs the air as if looking for something winks an eye and disappears. The Monk searches frantically for where it went. A blood curling scream from the bedchamber soon reveals its location. After a desperate melee which wakes the entire party up to rush to the aid of a frantic Magic User, the fell beast is put down. But how did it get in? The sole clue is that the cover has come off the mirror in the antechamber. Whats this wedged in the frame of the mirror? Four cards from a Harrow desk (pazio 2nd adventure path prop) The Big Sky, The Tangled Briar, The Mountain Man, and the Devils Lantern. Touching the mirror reveals the surface to soft and liquid. After sticking the hand and pulling it out a few times one brave soul sticks his head through and notices he is in a pitch black cavern. He hears the sound of dripping water far off, and picks the dang musty smell of wet rock. He looks around his head and notices it is sticking out of a glowing portal similar to the two down in the dungeon. Perhaps the portals are worth investigating further. The party descents to the portal chamber and are promptly jumped by White Spawn who spring from the upper portal, The 12 hordlings go down quickly, the 6 hunters last only a little bit longer, but the chain wielding berserker gives then a decent fight. After the "funny looking lizardmen" are defeated one of the adventures pokes his head through the lower portal and sees rolling hills of reddish clay (Illustrated with a picture from Mysteries of the Himalayas which I had picked up for 5 bucks at Half Price Books) he looks around and sees his head sticking out of the side of a small cliff of obsidian glass. Another adventurer sticks his head through the upper portal and sees a gravel streambed at his feet and above his head Aquamarine light filtering through a ceiling of ice. He notices his head is sticking out from a floor mirror similar to the one in the elven tree house. After the magic user complains about not having enough sleep to get spells back yet. The party returns to the tree house for some more shuteye. Morning finally comes after another tense moment while the ranger uses the throne to scrye another White Swarm patrol which searches the forest in vain (not noticing the secret doors in the trees) and returns back through the portal to their glacial layer. Being severely warned he more sense than to wake the spellcasters yet again. OK time to see what the cards do. Perhaps something to do with the mirror? Holding the Tangled Briar to the mirror switches its destination to a steaming tangled jungle swamp. Holding the Mountain Man to the mirror returns in to the dark cavern it was at originally, risking a light reveals this to be a 30' wide tunnel of natural stone, a rangers practiced eye on the floor reveals a trail worn smooth by the passage of many generations of feet. Holding the Big Sky to the mirror reveals the same red clay hills as the lower portal in the dungeon, in fact there is a small obsidian cliff with a stream of water flowing out from it ab out 100' away. No one feels like using The Demons Lantern. Feeling bold with the mirror tuned to the Big Sky the ranger steps through. He is just about to push back through a liquidy feeling portion of the obsidian cliff when he hears a shrill whistle and a shout of "Hey you". Looking behind he sees a small wizened old man in a sheepskin cloak clutching a gnarled staff. The man beckons the ranger to come towards him and says "Come, Come your already terribly late".

DM Tips
  • If your DM imagination ranges from sweltering jungles to glacial tundras its good to have magical transport available
  • Props are cool even if you don't use for what they were originally designed for
  • Bargain books of photos of strange and exotic locale are a good for inspiring the imagination
  • Little old men wandering the wilderness are seldom as vulnerable as the they appear

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dragon Army 7 Candololian Part 3

After pangs of conscience successfully dampen the lusts of greed, players decide to explore the visible door in the library. They open it and discover it leads to a tree limb, not very interesting until the keen eyed ranger spots a well worn train of elven leading out on to the limb. Traveling down the limb they discover the limb of an adjacent tree butting up against the current limb. Traveling up that limb to the trunk they find a secret door to the interior of the new tree. The door leads to an octagonal chamber with a table on one side and a mirror draped with a black cloth on the other side, One side of the octagon is an arch which leads to a circular balcony with two more arches. One arch leads to a bed room. The final arch leads to an alchemists lab. There is also a door on the balcony which leads to a 5' square chamber. Lowering a rope down the central shaft (players of the Elder Scrolls; Morrowwind will be quite familiar with the central shaft style of elven tree architecture) the party thief descends to a 30' by 30' chamber with a large throne carved out of the living wood sitting on a raised dais and two stair cases leading down. Following one of the staircases down the thief discovers that both staircases lead to a 30' x40' muster hall, A quick for secret doors reveals one that leads to the exterior of one of the 50' diameter trees at ground level. Once the thief returns the magic user uses a quick fly spell on the ranger and sends him up the shaft. 20' up is another balcony with three doors. One door leads to a bedchamber, another to a second library, and the third door to a small armoury with a gleaming set of golden chainmail, a golden shield and several masterwork weapons. 40' up the shaft ends in a 30' flat to flat octagonal chamber with a large double bed, two chests and another bookcase. Round portals of stained glass are set in the corners of the room. After the ranger returns he ferries the rest of the party down to inspect the throne. Sitting on the throne the sorcerer discovers something interesting: By focusing his thoughts he can use the throne to scrye areas within a 1/4 mile radius of the throne room. At point the party realizes that they have discovered enough bedchambers that the whole party can get some shut-eye. They promptly assign sentry duty to those nimble enough to use the rope to get up and down to the throne room, show the sentries how to use the throne to keep an eye out, and go to sleep. However, their rest does not go undisturbed. More next time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mysteries of Old

A little break from Candololian. She-Who-Must-be-Obayed has been surveying the blog with her stern eye and correcting my shortcommings. We have added a map of the coast from Reme to Winterhaven to the Dragon Armies 3 post. We'll be posting more soon. Pursuing reviews of Stonehell dungeon (the new "old school" megadungeon from three headed monster), led me to older reviews of the dissappointment that was Castle Zagzyg. It also remined me of one of my favorite supplements of a all time Judge Guild's First Fantasy Campaign by Dave Arneson(rest in peace). Dave had the sense not to try and rework an item from the times of myths and legends into something for modern tastes, but just presented it warts and all the way he wrote and used it. For a look under-the-hood kind of guy like me it suited me just fine. No I can't run it the way he wrote it, but I never run modules the way they are written anyhow. Another thing, the heart and sole he put into it were not edited away in to bland soleless pap with fancy artwork (see Expedition to Undermountain for that kind of trainwreck, although they did finally publish at least a bit of map for all the levels [20 good pages out of 220 total]). I am afraid given the high rate of mortality amongst the old stalwards First Fantasy Campaign may be one of the few glimpess of how the game was played when D&D first began ever to see print. Just get the stuff out there and it will live forever, sit back trying to catch the evermoving target of perfection and take it with you to the grave.
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