Friday, May 26, 2017

Dark Day in Felstad

On April 29th I attended my final game as part of the ongoing Maryland campaign I'd been playing in. The scenario was Run of the Rangifer scenario, combined with a custom Eric’s Rune Stones scenario.

Eric's scenario involved runestones represented by scrabble tiles. The tiles would be handed out facedown to the players, and placed on the table, like treasure, still facedown. The players would then try to collect the tiles, and at the end of the game would get Experience Points and Gold Coins for the number of tiles they collected. If your wizard could "decipher" the runes and make a word from the Scrabble tiles they retrieved, they would get extra EP and GC. Each tile was worth 5 EP and 10 GC, but if you could make a word from them you would then square the number of tiles you used in the word, and multiply that times the 5 EP or 10 GC. Each figure could carry 2 "runestones" unencumbered, but carrying 3 or 4 would count like a treasure. Four was the maximum a figure could carry, and for combining load purposes, all regular treasure was said to equal 3 runestones. Each player started the game with 5 tiles and one regular treasure to place on the table.

Quail's Report

"I have a war to stop... No. I have a war to end, to win. And he's keeping us here, looking for a weapon that will help, because he can't remember where it is. Or so he says. He's keeping something from me." The Warrior complains.

"An apprentice shouldn't talk about their master like that." Gnolly growls.

"I'm not his apprentice!"

Bouncing down the stairs the Doctor grins at both of them. "I've found something!"

"About time!"

"What are we waiting for? Daylight's burning."

The day was clear as the Doctors approached where they’d seen the Rangifiers in the ruins. Figuring that if anyone knew the secrets of Fellstand, they would Now if only they could find some way to talk to them…

Turn 1
An unnatural Darkness falls upon the city...

"Hey, who turned out the lights?" One of the players at the other end of the table dropped a Bottle of Darkness, reducing line of sight to a mere 12"!!

Doctor Ecclescake tries to mind control the closest Rangifier, but the creature’s alien mind resists.
Doctor Payne fails to Fleet Feet the Templar, while the thief charges forward and grabs a tile.

Turn 2
Dr. E fails to Mind Control the Rangifier, and moves forward to keep it from attacking anyone else. The Ranger charges in to protect the Doctor, and injures the Rangifier.
Dr. P again fails to Fleet Feet anyone.
From behind a ruin a Zombie Troll lumbers out, drawn toward the sounds of combat. The Rangifer hurts Dr. E.
Harad gets into combat with Lucy.
The Wraith Knight appears!

Turn 3
The Ranger attacks the Rangifier, trying again to protect Dr. E, but gets injured in the process. Dr. E knocks out the Rangifer.
Dr. P finally succeeds in Fleet Footing the Templar, who charges in and “kills” the illusionary Lucy.

The zombie troll charges Dr. E, and knocks him flat.

Princess rushes behind the temple to tie up some minions, but doesn't survive against the strange yellow things...

In the temple, the Rangifier and Wraith Knight fight, the knight killing the beast. It then charges down the stairs and slays Elfie! Lady Elf hides (for the rest of the game)

The Ranger shoots and kills Bob the Thug.

Turn 4
Dr. P uses his sonic screwdriver to Blind the Wraith Knight!
As the Templar begins his charge toward the blinded Wraith Knight he takes a bold and an arrow to the chast and falls bleeding into the snow. Harad grabs a treasure, and the Thief runs off the board. Dunadain grabs a token.

Turn 5
Dr. P Fleets Harad
The Wraith Knight shakes off the blindness. And 2 armored skeletons shamble toward the party.

Turn 6
Dr. P tries to Blind the Wraith Knight, fails, and runs.
Gnolly and the Wraith Knight flail ineffectively at each other. The Treasure Hunter takes down 1 of the skeletons, but is stabbed by the other, dropping. Dunadain runs off the board with the token.

Turn 7
Dr. P again tries to blind the Wraith Knight, gets the setting right, but the WK resists.

The treasure wasn’t nearly as bountiful as last excursion, with a mere 110 gold recovered. However the Grimoire of Brew Potion was a nice addition to the the TARDIS’ library!

The Survivors! (Lady Elf not shown, as she was still hiding, forgotten by all)

Doctor Ecclescake survived with a minor bump on his head.
The Templar and Treasure Hunter make a full recovery, while Princess is badly wounded. Elfie and Harad didn’t survive their injuries.

And as this was my final game with the group before moving, the guys got me a going away present!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Inspirational Image: Demon Queen

Part of me looks at a picture like this and thinks "this is an ancient demon who is, quite frankly, bored with the whole "Queen of Darkness" shtick. Not that she's looking to be an angel or anything, but something different..."

The other part of my brain thinks, "No, she's perfectly content being a demon, powerful, beautiful, and terrifying. The whole redemptive story arc is for losers!"

By Chris Cold

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Tale of Two New Treks

A Tale of Two Treks
Star Trek Discovery’s first real trailer premiered Wednesday, and I watched it, repeatedly, with cautious optimism. There’s a lot going on, some things I don’t like, some things that I do. Keep in mind, this is based on the trailer alone, and I reserve the right to change my mind.

Initial Likes:
Diverse Cast: Just gonna get this out of the way, but the two lead characters are female? And neither of them is white? Plus the rest of the cast appears to be just as diverse? Excellent.
The Feel: While definitely taking ques from the JJ-Verse, this still, mostly, feels like Star Trek. Starfleet, Vulcans, Klingons, etc.
10 Years before Kirk: There’s a lot of potentially interesting storytelling to be done in this era. On the other hand, it also puts it about 15 years (give or take) after the split in the timelines between the Alpha universe and the JJ-Verse.
Klingons: Excellent. Classic villains of the era. And they aren’t the swarthy TOS Klingons either!
Uniforms: As much as I like the PJs in Space look, these look good.

Initial Dislikes:
My people were biologically determined for one purpose alone, to sense the coming of death. I sense I coming now.” There had better be a *really* good backstory for this…
The Ships: Granted, we haven’t gotten a good look at them yet, but my initial feel is unimpressed. Like many, I did not care for the teaser of the Discovery that was shown a while back, and was glad when the studio said that it wasn’t the final version, just a teaser…
Another Half Vulcan? Really? We’ve already had this story with Spock. Twice now.
Uniforms: I am a little sad that the Enterprise’s chevron seems to have been adopted fleet wide at this point.
Klingons: Crap, they’re the JJ-Verse Klingons. Please be more interesting than what we’ve seen, and please don’t dump on everything shown in TNG/DS9/Voy…
Lens Flairs

Classic Aliens: Let’s see some Andorians and Telerites! We got them in Enterprise, let’s see them here!
Stay Away from TOS: It’s a big universe. I don’t need to see young Spock, young Kirk, etc. Wait, Sarek and Harry Mudd are in it? Oh… well… Don’t screw it up?
Universe: Wait, which universe is this set in?

On the flip side of things, there’s Seth MacFarlane’s new show The Orville, which visually feels much closer to classic Trek than Discovery does, but... fails on so many other levels. And it isn’t because there can’t be humor in Star Trek. In fact some of the best moments in Trek are because of the humor! Hell, Galaxy Quest did an amazing job spoofing Star Trek, while at the same time managing to make one of the best Trek films ever made.

Yet this? In the trailer we get bathroom humor, sexist gender stereotyped humor that feels like it’s from the 80’s or 90’s… It just doesn’t come across as funny. Okay, the bit with the blob was cute, but is there going to be enough here to sustain a TV show? To make it a show worth watching? I have my doubts.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Inspirational Image: Sapphire Knight

When I first saw it I thought it might have been another set of 3D printed armor, but this is actually crafted from leather!

By Azmal

Saturday, May 13, 2017


Convention season is upon us!

For those in the greater Baltimore/DC metro area, next weekend (5/20) is Charm City Game Day. There are a whole host of RPGs to choose from, no matter what your preferences are. From D&D (4th & 5th) to Ghostbusters and Gamma World, Lady Blackbird, and Shadowrun, there's something to enjoy. There are still seats available, so get going and sign up for me, since I can't go...

The weekend after is Balticon! And for once, they've got their schedule online early, with an app!! Crazy... I'm not sure what I'll be going to yet, but I'll be there!

And if you've never been to a Con, I'd like to direct you to Speculative Chic: Convention Life: Con Prep, Con Crud, Con Drop. It's a great read about how to prep for a con, how to survive a con with nearly your full health, and how to recover after the adventure.

Recover from a con? I know, sounds crazy, why would you need to recover from a weekend of fun? Well, because it's stressful, even when it's fun.
So go read and then get ready for some fun!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Stonehell: Blindly Wandering

Session 34(b) was played on 4/28

Eiric, wizard 3 (Kat)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 2 (Henchman)
- torch bearers (A A Ron, JJ Swats)
- men at arms (C, D)
- Namish (dog)
Matthias, Dwarf 4 (Julia)
- men at arms (M&M, Nnnn)
- Herrick (dog)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 1, Prisoner)

Stayed in town
Bisimwa, Human Fighter 1 (Jordan)
Sarin the Ugly, Human Fighter 1 (Josh)
Menchi, Human Cleric 1 (Laural)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric (Matt)
Leroy, human fighter 3 (Mike)
Unnamed, Elf 1 (Nicole)
Karlaih, Human Thief 5 (Mollie)
Tink, a pretentious Elf (but I repeat myself) and former barkeep (Hanna)
Shelly, a vegetarian recovering alcoholic halfling Thief 3 (Nadia)
Frank, halfling 1 (Emily)
Yaqen, elf 1 (Shaun)

After nearly a week of rest and recovery the party is ready to head back into Stonehell! Matthias hires two men at arms (M&M and Nnnnn) and buys a wardog Herrick.

Returning to the baboon’s room, they double check it for anything they missed the first time, but find nothing… not even the bodies. Further along the hall they avoid the broken spear trap, though it looks like the kobolds haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet. The next door open into a room covered in patches of grey mold. Being careful not to disturb the mold, the party moves to the door at the far end of the room. Matthias opens the door, and there’s a bright flash of light! With a critical fumble on his saving throw, he’s blind! Beyond the mold room is an old kitchen, and then a wash room. The only thing of value found is an old corpse of a priest.

Back into the hall, they pause at the old pharmacy, then check out the short hallway that has “Secret Room” written in chalk at the end of it. Matthias, still blind, decides to go at the wall with his pickaxe when yet again no door is found. This draws the attention of a hobgoblin scouting party that just watches from the shadows. After a solid 10 minutes the party stops Matthias, and they move on, yet again failing to find the secret room.

Moving on, they pass through some previously explored rooms, fill in some hallway on the maps they’d missed before, find a pile of shoes and boots, all in perfect condition, but only the left of the pair. They head back to fill in more of the map, and catch sight of the hobgoblins lurking behind them. No one seems to want to fight or talk.

Passing by an old store room, the party heads into the Reptile House and turn north. Thre first chamber is hexagonal with a 4 headed snake statue on it. The pedestal the statue rests on has 2 holes on it about an inch in diameter. Carefully avoiding the statute, the party continues along the hall, finding a pair of old bed chambers. The second chamber had the bloated body of a hobgoblin on the bed being eaten by a pair of giant flies.

Matthias charges in blindly swinging with his battle axe, cleaving one in half. The other lands on his back and bites him, but it is smashed moments later. Searching the hobgoblin they find a pair of gems. Deciding they’ve had enough, the party heads back to the stairs and up to the Antechamber, passing some Ghost Beggars and then a troop of kobolds on their way out.

Back in town, Eiric pays 400gp and turns over the holy symbol from the dead priest to cure Matthias’ blindness.

Gains: 3gp, 2 gems (25 & 50gp value)
Kills: 2 giant flies
Losses: 400gp for healing

Per the book, the blindness was only supposed to last 2d6 rounds, but a critical fumble, followed by 2 more failed saving throws, and I decided the spell had been boosted by the Nixthisis.