Saturday, April 30, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 12

The characters have defeated the ghouls and the crawler in the sleeping quarters.  Despite being a little tired, the party continues after a short rest feeling the importance weighing in on them. Jarren realises that in order to pass from one room to the other the characters must trigger the visions in a specific order.

Jarren mentions this to the group that the other door should open fairly easily.  The party moves back into the hallway and try the other door. 

The other door opens at Fargrims touch and the characters move into the room.  Inside the room, it is dark and Jarren moves his light into the room.  In the middle of the room sits an altar dedicated to Moradin.  The southest corner of the room bears rubble on the floor, indications that Actherimos is a real threat to the mission. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: The Unsuspecting Mage

The Unsuspecting Mage is the first installment of seven book series entitled the Morcyth Saga. 

Actually choosing the book was the hardest part of this novel.  Going through my free Kobo ereader selections, I decided to at least download this to my cell phone.  Two books later, and bored I decided to pick it up and take a go at it.  Suprisingly, the book proved to be pleasantly distracting.  It was refreshing and not too heavy, something I would read in the car on a trip to somewhere.

The Look

I found the cover to be less than impressive.  A boy walking in the forest towards a blue thing. I know that there is a lot of fantasy art out there and maybe the intention was to be a little different than a regular fantasy book.  Unfortunately, it came nowhere near to grabbing my attention on the bookshelf.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Character's Character - Magnum Opus & Bam Bam

Magnum: I, Magnum Opus, dish out the hurt!
Bam: Um... Me crush.

DM: In the distance you spot a cave entrance. You can see a faint light flickering inside.  Bam Bam, you catch a whiff of something foul in the air.  Like a combination of rotting food and dirty socks - it's definitely goblins.
Bam: Me smell goblin. Me like crush goblin.
Magnum: I, Magnum Opus, wish to approach the cave.
Bam: Um... Ya, me like crush goblin.  Me need new socks too.
Magnum: ... (looks quizzically at Bam Bam)
DM: OK, you both start walking towards the cave.  The odor becomes stronger; Magnum you notice it now too.  Magnum, you think you see movement inside the cave!
Magnum: I stop.
Bam: I charge!
DM: Initiative, please!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 11

Belgos, Keira, Jarren, Valenae, and Fargrim searched the antechamber for clues as to what lies ahead.  The characters go through the decrepit remains of the Duergar and find nothing of interest.

The characters arrived at the monestary last session based on the information provided by Faldyra.  This information talked about the Arrow of Time

Opening the doors the party pass from the antechamber into a long corridor that is dark and foreboding.  Several doorless alcoves lead to other rooms.  As the characters step into the corridor, a pulse of magic washes over the hallway.

The hallway has changed.  What was once dark and dingy, was now well maintained and well lit.  An illusory group of aventurers stumble into the corridor, among them is Salazar Vladistone. One of them, an eladrin warrior shakes his head as the party catches their breath. He says: "We should not have been surprised that the duergar brought dangerous help. Let us recover ourselves, then proceed with caution.". The vision fades and the hallway is once again dark and dreary.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Punitivations: A Cure for Very Naughty Players.

According to the Alton Vocabulary:

Punitivation(Pu-ni-ti-va-tion) is a form of player punitive measures to motivate players to perform at the game table in order to hasten or quicken their turn in the spotlight.

I think every gaming group at one time or another have problems with their players.  Sometimes I wish I could wring their necks and throw them out on the streets.  I am not that type of person.  

I have on occasion, imposed a few motivational punishments (punitivations) in order to try to speed up combat. Here are a few of them that are not too harsh on the players and will perk them up to be ready to act in the following round.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quick Turn: The Feat Every Player Should Have

Nothing breaks up a night of gaming more than players taking forever to take a turn in combat.  You lose your groove for the evening, especially if combat is dragging on.

"Um? Let me see. Yeah I know. Just a second...(or 20)."

These are just a few of the words that I hear around the table lately and it really is starting to get on my nerves.  On Tuesday last week, we ended up being short two players and the three of us decided to play a pickup game with new level 5 characters.  We rolled them up and started playing at about 8:45pm.  Within two and a half hours, we had almost finished 2 encounters, and a giant skill challenge full of good old roleplaying.  How awesome was that?!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 10

Since we played on Thursday due to a rescheduling, I am posting the update today on Saturday due to previous engagements that needed my immediate attention. This week only 4 players showed and had to adjust the encounter accordingly.  We had the thief Keira, the cleric Valenae, the wizard Jarren, and the ranger Belgos.

The ghosts of Hammerfast dissipate with thanks on their lips.  The heroes would love to help the other people of the city, but they know that the best offence is a good defence. 

The heroes race to the Great Library and are quickly ushered to Faldyra by the choleric Head Librarian Alzar Scrollkeeper. Without raising her head to look at the party, Faldyra says:

"It appears that our friend Salazar is a hero."

Noting the shock on their faces, she does not pause for effect and begins to relate the information she has gathered in the past few hours.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Medieval Live Action Theatre: The Apprentice

Ever wondered what people do in Dungeons & Dragons to unwind after a long weekend of dungeon crawling.  Well ask no more!  Welcome to "The Apprentice", starring Fistandantilus as the head wizard.  Come to the High Tower of Palanthas where apprentices from all over the planes would be competing for a glorious position of studying under the Master Wizard.

I was reading the recent post from Dungeon's Master about social encounters and thought a little longer about it and came up with a new idea for those nights where you are missing a player or three. Instead of cancelling your evening for lack of players, you can use this idea to design an evening of skill challenges for your characters that are present. I will describe possible ways to have fun roleplaying this idea into your campaign.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Traps, Creatures, Adventures and Other Things I Cannot Publish

I have a conundrum.  I am ready to take another step towards improving and adding to the content of this site.  Unfortunately, I have neither the tools, nor the expertise to create the tools necessary to accomplish this task.  If anything, my work would be rudamentary at best.

The tasks I am talking about is, monster creation(not that big a deal with the old adventure tools), trap creation (I have never seen a template for this aspect of the game) and an adventure builder template(I am trying to create one, but if anyone has one to share, I am sure it would look much better and be easier to use).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 9

Two months have passed and the characters have spent this time licking their wounds from the defeat in Inverness. The Dwarven town of Hammerfast has taken them in and the characters are dreading the rumours circulating around town: "The Phantom Brigade is massing!!".

Salazar has been seen travelling throughout the Nentir vale, gathering ghosts to his cause.  Fortunately, the town has been able to evacuate many of their townsfolk ahead of the marching army.  You have seen fit to stay and face the challenge awaiting the necropolis.

The party has been doing many things in the last two months to help the town prepare for the onslaught: They've been helping bolster the defense, other helping Faldyra in researching the origins of Salazar Vladistone and the Phantom Brigade, others helping refugees settle inside the walls as well as relocating to other communities, and others helping the local militia try to find and learn about Salazars' next course of action.

After preparations are made, Salazar shortly thereafter appears amongst the ghosts approaching the walls just outside of Hammerfast.  The commander of the legion of ghosts takes up a position much closer to the wall than the rest of his army and speaks to the masses of the outpost:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Surgical Instruments: How Lucky Our Adventurers Are to Not Have to Use Them During Medieval Times!

Spending the day in the hospital today for a minor medical procedure gave me time to think about odd ideas pertaining to the gaming world.  The one I would like to write about are surgical instruments and how lucky the adventurers are to not have to go under the knife in medieval times.

Imagine if Dungeons & Dragons had a critical medical table and a PC had to go under the knife.  How horrible does that sound?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Character's Character - Basics

Ever since I was a teenager I have enjoyed creating characters. Sometimes just by drawing a picture, other times only by writing them up. It has only been for the last 8 years or so that I have had a stable group of people to role with so that I have actually been able to play my characters; before that it was just for fun. Now, it's serious! I know, I know... if you get too attached to your character it can be extremely difficult to accept the "Ultimate Sacrifice" should it fall upon you, but I believe that you are more likely to act in a self-preserving, and therefore, more honest way while in character if you have this attachment.

Over the next little while, I will share with you some of my most beloved characters. I will also pepper the dialogues with my drawings; some old, some new. But first, what is it to play, rather, to be a character? What does it mean to play a role? And how does your role fit in with the Party?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

All Fools' Day: A Rogue's Revelry

April Fools' Day, otherwise known as All Fools' Day has just passed and I thought...hmmm how would a rogue take advantage of this day to pull some pranks on his buddies.

This day actually was first recorded back in 1392 in the days of Chaucer.  Readers misunderstood and incorrectly translated "Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two." thinking it was the 32nd day of March, which in essence is April 1st.  In Chaucer's tale, the vain cock Chaunteleer is tricked by the fox.  The rest is history.