Thursday, May 28, 2015

#6MMRPC Goals for Round 2

One of the ways that I motivate myself is to give myself goals... That's part of the reason I joined the 6MMRPC! Not only does it give me the framework to set my goals into, it adds the accountability factor of publicly stating "this is what I'm going to do, and here's my progress so far." But the 6MMRPC doesn't actually set a specific goal. That's left to the individual participant to decide for themselves.

I said in my last 6MMRPC post that I hadn't decided what my goals/projects were going to be. I think I've settled on what I want to do... and it's not little. In fact it's the opposite of little...


Specifically 3 different dragons, presented here from smallest to largest:


Kaladrax & Hyrekia (not pictured)

Dragons Don't Share

Technically Kaladrax is bigger than Nathavarr, the dragon from Dragons Don't Share, but I'm counting the whole set as part of my goal, including the 5 adventurers and the castle ruins.

Why dragons? I've held off on painting them because "I'm not good enough to do the minis justice" for long enough. Seriously: Fuck That.

Is it going to be as technically good as any of these pictures? Probably not. But it'll be my work, and it's going to be fantastic!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

OD&D Actual Play: Goblins, Ogres, and a Dark Wizard!

Balticon this year offered me the chance to cross two things off of my to do list: meet Jensen in person, and play the Original D&D 3 little brown books (plus Greyhawk).

The cast of characters is as follows:

DM - Chort
Corporal Cosima the Russian (Fighter 2) - Jensen
Al Cohol the Unwise (Cleric 2) - Rodney
Indy the Sneaky (Thief 2) - Ethan
Alfonso the Mapper (Fighter 2) - David
Naric the 3rd (Cleric 2) Jason
“Tim” the Anesthesiologist (Wizard 2) - Patrick
Bull the Amazon (Fighter 2) - NPC

As members of the militia for the village of Eastmark, the PCs jumped into action when a large column of smoke could be seen from an outlying farm. By the time they arrived, the goblins who had attacked had already departed, taking with them a significant portion of the farm’s livestock, and the farmer’s 10 year old daughter!

Following the tracks of the goblins and livestock proved easy, and lead straight through the woods, and right into an ambush! The goblins were quickly overcome, though Indy took some damage that was quickly healed by Naric.

The trail continued on to the ruins of the old castle mound. Very little of the original castle remained, mostly some overgrown piles of stone. But about halfway up the mound the trail went into a rough opening underground. Next to the opening was a large fresh pile of guts. Apparently the livestock had balked at going into the ground, and were quickly slaughtered before being carried in.

Grabbing a large fallen branch the party entered the rough hole, coming shortly to a more worked section of tunnel and stair descending further into the ground. Following the blood smears, the party passed from the entrance room, down a corridor to another room. Feeling nervous the party took to spiking untaken doors. The noise was worth the sense of safety, however illusory it was. The next corridor had a pit trap, which was spring but didn’t manage to catch anyone. The party pulled the trap closed and spiked the mechanism, then carefully crossed one person at a time. The room at the end of this corridor was much larger and contained 2 ranks of goblins in front of some goblin chief with the little girl clutched in his olive-skinned claw.

Tim shocked the rest of the party by taking out both ranks of goblins with a few mumbled words! The lone standing goblin released the now sleeping girl and slammed through a side door. Al the Unwise chased after it, running down the dark stairs screaming something that sounded disturbingly like “"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"...

Unfortunately the goblin archers at the bottom of the stairs were unimpressed and started shooting arrows at Al. Turning tail, he ran back up the stairs, taking missile fire the whole way. The rest of the militia troop, in terror that the chief would rally more goblins (or worse) they slammed the door shut, and spiked it, counting Al a loss before the last arrow pierced his heart at the top of the stairs, pounding on the door for his life.

The guilt at having trapped their fellow militiaman in the dark with murderous goblins was eased by the slaughter of the 10 sleeping goblins, the looting of their corpses, and most importantly the recovery of the little girl!

Bull was tasked to take the girl back to the farm while the rest of the party explored a little more. These plans were quickly revised when Bull came running back into the room with a rattle of skeletons behind her. Naric held forth his silver amulet (a ball of yarn for the local feline deity) turning the skeletons. They ran from Naric, and the party followed through a door they’d previously spiked shut, and into a room with a collapsed stair that once went up. Also in the room was a rather large pile of bones. The skeletons were defeated, and the pile of bones smashed and searched. One skeleton tried to rise out of it, but was quickly pounded into dust. Beneath the bones was a small chest.

Indy tried his best, but the lock proved too much for him in the flickering torchlight. Grabbing the chest, and the girl, the party decided they’d explored enough, and headed for the surface… but didn’t escape before a green slime dropped on Alfonso’s head and back. Thankfully the helmet took the brunt of the attack, and a quick application of a torch to his cloak cleaned the slime off of him. Back on the surface, the girl was returned with great thanks, and the chest was opened revealing a gleaming pile of gold, a mithral dagger, and a flask with an unknown fluid...

Given the late hour at their return to the farm, the party crashed in the now empty barn. This proved a fortuitous choice, as the goblins mounted another attack on the farm! Once again, “Tim’s” arcane might dropped an impressive number of the foul humanoids, causing those still standing to flee for their lives! Helped in this was Indy’s sneaking in the woods and backstabbing one goblin to death with a single blow.

The rest of the night passed quietly, but in the morning the militia chief sent the party back into the dungeon after they returned to the village to find out why the goblins were suddenly much more active.

Taking a different path in the dungeon the party found an ogre waiting for them. Quickly he was taken down by “Tim” and his wondrous sleep spell and promptly dispatched. The next room contained another ogre and the dark wizard Daedalus (Tim’s asshole college roommate), who charmed Tim, then ordered the ogre to attack! Tim, not wanting to die, cast sleep on the orge, while the wizard cast sleep on the party, causing everyone to fall unconscious to the floor. Several hours later, the party and the ogre returned to wakefulness and set upon one another again. The ogre was quickly killed, but the party realized that every coin, the mithril dagger, and the cleric’s holy symbol were all gone!

The party rushed from the dungeon, hoping to catch Daedalus’ trail, but even after getting the local woodsman to help, could find no trace of him. Returning to the dungeon they made their way back to the room where they encountered the first ogre, and discovered that there was someone behind the spiked door trying to chop their way through. They set up an ambush and once the goblins started to come through, hacked them down.

Unfortunately the goblins send 2 small groups of archers to flank them on either side, and the party decided to retreat through one of the smaller flanking groups, slaughtering them as they ran past.

Retiring to the village they re-equipped, getting Bull some better armor, and buying a bunch of oil. Corporal Cosima bought a chicken, Cluckles, and they recruited a new NPC to join them, Liam the Fair (Fighter 1) a stunningly handsome and dexterous (18 Charisma, 16 Dex) swashbuckler and story teller.

Returning once again to the dungeon, the party quickly encountered a small band of goblins, putting their oil to good use on the back half of the group. The front 4 goblins dropped their weapons, surrendering to Corporal Cosima (who spoke fluent goblin!) and negotiated away Cluckles the chicken for a meeting with the goblin chief. The goblin chief agreed to the meeting, and the party headed deeper into the dungeon, down past the 2nd level (full of undead apparently) to the 3rd level, where the chief and about 30 of the remaining goblins waited. A tense negotiation resulted in the goblins agreeing not to raid the surface if the party was willing to deal with the furry monsters (ratmen? bugbears?) that drove them out of their mushroom caves. As a show of good faith, the goblin chief gave Corporal Cosima an amulet that should allow the party free passage through the goblin held areas.

Thus ended our session!

And these were my notes and maps from the session:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Balticon 49

Balticon, for those not in the know, is a science fiction & fantasy literature convention held every year over Memorial day weekend in or around Baltimore. For the last... decade? its been held just north of the city in Hunt Valley. In addition to the literature topics (which range from panels to round tables to workshops for both readers, writers, and editors) there's a very full and impressive science programing track, costuming track, new media track (mostly podcasting), art, kids/teens, and a growing gaming presence.

This year started off a little rough with a new registration system that resulted in some significant confusion, long lines, waiting, and justified grumbling. It wasn't fun, but new rollouts never are.

If you've attended any of the Balticons at the Hunt Valley location, the carpet was... something to behold. In the last year they redecorated, and while it's much less seizure inducing, it lacks some of the charm (person) of the old rug. 

Once through Registration however things drastically improved! I arrived in time to attend opening ceremonies, and then heading over to the swing dance in the Garden Room.

After that I scoped out the art room, bit on a few items, and called it a night. 

Saturday started with a panel on Einstein's Dice and Schrodinger's Cat, a combination history and science lesson, then to the dealers room where I picked up Keith DeCandido's translation of the Klingon Art of War directly from the author. That's one of the really great things about going to a con like Balticon! He of course insulted my honor, and ruined my book by writing all over it. 

Then it was onto a discussion of multiple universes, a writing panel about creating suspense and keeping your reader's interest, and then onto Treading Lightly, Writing about problematic topics with another of my favorite Balticon authors Maria V Snyder.  

That's Maria on the far left.

After dinner I then attended a discussion on undead in film and literature, mostly focused on zombies. 

Being a literature convention, Balticon likes to support reading. Makes sense, right? In support of that they hold an auction every year to buy books for kids who don't have any. 

The idea that in 2015 there are kids in the world (let alone here the USA) that don't have any books is just a travesty. The books bought from the auction proceeds go to a local maryland middle school. I bid on a bunch of items, but only won 2. 

Sunday started with one of the panels I never miss, the annual Dinosaur Update with Dr. Thomas Holtz from the University of Maryland. It's so well attended that they had to move it into the main ballroom! 

Then it was back to back Doctor Who panels. The first one on the new Who, and the second on old Who for fans of the new Who.

Then it was 4 hours of Original D&D! More on this tomorrow...

Dinner with Jensen Toperzen followed, then onto Molding Small objects where I got to see up close how many of the marvelous bits and pieces that show up on the amazing costumes can be made. 

The last panel of the night was on Bars, Inns, and Taverns: Fiction and Reality where I learned that at some points in history a cat in a burlap sack being hit with a stick was considered a musical instrument that would be included in the live band playing in the tap room... 

This, of course, sent me to the bar where I spent several hours chatting with Barb Mabie and Jay McClain from the molding panel, Maria Snyder, and Jensen and her friend Lee. I really liked getting to talk to Maria about writing, even though she gave me homework... At least I've got a year to get it done! 

Monday of Balticon is always a little sad. So many people have either already left, or are packing up... 

But my morning started by going to the Messenger mission update, followed by a panel on Allergies on Alien Worlds (general conclusion is that allergies, viruses, and bacteria will probably be a little too alien to majorly impact us, but mold and fungus may be problem!). 

Then I attended a readers panel on sci-fi and fantasy mysteries. Heading the discussion was a baltimore city crime lab scientist & author, and a part time PI, author, and professor. Sadly, Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series didn't get a mention.  

As I was getting ready to head home I ran into Jensen again, and then with Huzma from G+!

Can't wait till next year!! I've already got my registration paid for!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sunday Inspirational Image: Day Late Edition

What's coming up this week:
Tuesday: Balticon Review
Wednesday: OD&D Actual Play Report from Balticon!
Thursday: Minis
Friday: Star Wars
Saturday: Terrain

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Huge Spider 5e

"That's a lot of webs..." Nimble said very quietly.

"With some really thick strands." Allianora said equally as quietly.

"What are the chances it's all from just one spider?" Rathgar asked.

Feris tried to swallow before answering, his throat suddenly parched. "Not good. Not good at all."

"What are the chances that our horse is still alive?" Allianora asked, knowing the answer.

I needed a slightly bigger spider than the Giant Spider from the MM. This is what I came up with for last night's game.

Huge Spider
Huge Beast, neutral evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points  (8d12+16) Speed 40 ft. Climb 40 ft.

16 (+3)
18  (+4)
12 (+1)
4 (-3)
4 (-3)

Skills: Stealth +9
Senses Blindsight 10 ft., Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages -
Challenge 4 (1100XP)
Spider Climb: the spider can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, with needing to make an ability check.
Web Sense: While in contact with a web, the spider knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.
Web Walker: The spider ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.

Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 2d8+5 piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 3d8 poison damage on a failed save, half on a successful one. If the poison damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the target is stable but poisoned for 1 hour, even after regaining hit points, and is paralyzed while poisoned in this way.
Slam:  Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 2d8+5 bludgeoning damage, and the target must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, or be knocked prone.
Web (Recharge 5-6) Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 30/60ft., one creature. Hit: The target is restrained by the webbing. As an actiuon, the restrained target can make a DC 14 Strength check, bursting the webbing on a success. The webbing can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 10; hp 8; vulnerability to fire damage; immunity to bludgeoning, poison, piercing, and psychic damage).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Balticon upcoming!

Memorial Day weekend is approaching, and while most people think cookouts and beach days, for me it's all about Balticon, the local sci-fi & fantasy literature convention. But don't think it's limited to lit. There's plenty of programing devoted to all aspects of fandom, from New Media, to Costuming, Anime, Science, and even Gaming!

As usual, I'll be bringing my graph paper and working on maps, so expect to see those show up over the course of the weekend on G+, and then here on my blog.

If you're local, I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Whispers from the Well 5/9

Your weekly update of the goings on in Stonehell
As reported by the tavernkeepers of the Ogre Face Inn

Delving New Depths!

Jasper the Holy, Grunlik the stunty barbarian, Gideon the Sly, and Xerxes the master of the occult successfully (and profitably) made it deeper into the dungeon than any other in a long time! Upon their return they told of degenerate inmates, voices in the darkness, and broken statues as they explored the second level of the dungeon. They even returned one of those poor souls to the surface with them, and have placed him in the care of Dr. Sigmond Fraud, the local head shrink.

Whispers from the Well

A troupe of silent priests bearing symbols of the death god (some would say 'demon lord' but who's to judge?) recently ventured into Stonehell. No one knows who or what they seek. If it's death, they might have found it since they have not yet returned.

The Mad Man Curtis continues to claim that Stonehell stretches deeper than the 5th level, but clearly he needs to stay out of that rot-gut from the Shudder Mountains!

The Hobgoblins and the Bandits have been seen in talks in the Market. Dangerous tidings indeed...

Rumors that the Orcs have hired adventurers to help them defeat the goblins are unconfirmed, but they've been somewhat less aggressive, looking to talk rather than just charging into a fight.


The Ogre Face Inn is looking to restock its supply of goblin-moss. Can be obtained from either the Market or directly from the Howling Wolves Tribe. Up to 10gp per bundle.

A gold ring with a princess cut ruby may be found in the midden of the market. It's a long story... 500gp reward for it's return.

Maps for sale. Reasonable prices, trades accepted. Inquire with Buckman One-Eye.

Monday, May 18, 2015

2nd Annual #6MMRPC

Once again I'm participating in the 6 Month Mountain Reduction and Painting Challenge in an attempt to reduce the massive amounts of unpainted minis I've got kicking around.

Here are the rules as taken from The Spiderweb of History:

Alright everybody, it's time for the 2nd Annual 6 Month Mountain Reduction and Painting Challenge or 6MMRPC. We've changed up the time frame - it's going to run from June 1, 2015 thru November 30, 2015. This avoids Christmas. There have also been a few rules changes, and some exciting additions IN BOLD.

1. No purchasing of new miniatures, EXCEPT if you use a joker. You get three jokers to use on a figure purchase. Could be a blister pack, an ebay bundle, or a single can't splurge. The only exception to this rule is if you need bitz or A FIGURE (Singular) to complete a unit/warband etc. [Shouldn't be a problem! I have too many minis as it is!!]

1.1 - There is an opportunity to "earn" additional jokers. If you complete an entire project (whole unit/army/warband etc.) with pictures of starting, WIP, and completion, you earn yourself a Joker. [We'll see, but Jokers aren't something I need]

2. Gifts do not count against you. Holidays, birthdays etc. Also, if you're given gift cards by your hobby illiterate family or friends, you can without penalty use them on anything you want miniatures wise. [Unlikely to have any impact]

3. Paints, terrain (or materials), and other hobby supplies do not apply to the no purchasing rule. [Again, shouldn't be an issue]

4. At least one hobby related blog post and/or Instagram update a week. If you instagram, be sure to hashtag your pic with #6MMRPC [I'll try to do better this year!]

5. Zombtober will be part of the 6 month challenge so, Zombie related stuff during October is ENCOURAGED. Other theme suggestions are welcomed. [I've got plenty of Mantic and Reaper undead to get me through the month just fine...]

6. Anyone that wants to submit a before and after picture of a miniature that they are proud of completing during the course of the challenge to will be entered into the running for a gift certificate to a online wargaming store of their choice. Judging will be by an un-biased person. Amount on the gift certificate will be dictated by winners nationality but should work out to about $30 U.S. I (Spiderweb of History) will not be eligible to win. [Worth a shot. Just need to decide what it'll be...]

For those looking for additional info about this madness, please check out -

6 Month Mountain Reduction and Painting Challenge Master List


The 6MMRPC Facebook Group

I haven't yet decided what I want to set as my challenge for this next 6 months. Knowing myself, I need to figure out what it'll be, then chop it in half. Then, maybe I might get it done.

I already know that I'll be using a joker on the Bones III kickstarter. Kind of the anti #6MMRPC, but what are you going to do?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Time Taker

"I know this mark..." Rathgar said with astonishment.

Feris turned away from the pile of scrolls "Mark?"

"It's a makers mark on the blade. Jie Chue, the master forger. This is an amazing find. Each of his blades was unique, and all are magical."

Allianora stood away from the candles she'd lit to purify the old tomb. "Looks a little dingy for a magic sword."

"It is over a millennia old... " Rathgar ran his finger over the edge "and battle ready still, in spite of a bit of tarnishing"

"Any idea what it actually does?" Nimble asked as he scooped the jewelry from the long dead bodies.

Rathgar shrugged, then swung the blade at one of the recently re-dead ghouls. The blade passed through the dead flesh easily. In it's wake, the flesh around the cut turned to dust and fell away from the body.

Time Taker
This ancient +3 longsword is a potent weapon that steals time from it's victim. For every point of damage, the victim ages a year. A successful Saving Throw vs. Paralysis will negate the aging effect.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Expedition to the Borderlands: Session 4: Kobolds!

Session 4, May 2, 2015

The party consists of:
Melvin the Magnificient (male wizard) David
Dalip (male elf) David
Spider (male thief) Justin
Raph (male fighter) Justin

These four manage to hire a somewhat reluctant farmhand by the name of Oliver as well who joins them to improve his lot in life.

The heroes decide to not dare the Cave of Confusion and instead head into the woods to the west trying to locate the kobolds rumored to lair there for some "easy money" as it were. Luckily they don't have to wait for long, they "surprise" a group of kobolds bickering in a tiny clearing (over someone else's old campfire, a fact which may or may not be important for another session). Between many swords and one of Melvin's infamous sleep spells, the kobolds really don't have a chance. So the party ends up with five kobold captives, one of which is wounded.

Running into communication problems once again, they then decide to arrange the ropes that hold the kobolds in such a way as to allow the wounded one to flee. They continue through the woods and for a while the kobold seems too scared to run off. Eventually, however, he does disappear from sight. And since he's still bleeding, he's relatively easy to trail and leads the party to a small ravine.

Spider does some initial scouting and locates a cave mouth hidden behind a strangely arranged copse. The party ties the remaining kobolds to a tree 60 feet from the entrance and then descends into the darkness. After about 25 feet, Raph promptly encounters one of the classic denizens of early 1980s dungeons: The pit trap. "Argh!" and down he goes as a bunch of kobolds jump around a corner and barrage the intrepid group with javelins. Spider tries to shoot the kobolds with his crossbow as Oliver helps Raph out of the pit and Melvin is trying to illuminate the scene with his lantern. The next round has everyone clash in melee but then Melvin hears feeping noises from the other side of the corridor and decides that this has to end quickly: The second sleep spell of the day! All six kobolds fall either under blades or from the sleep spell and the party quickly gathers up the javelins. Instead of investigating the noise that startled Melvin, however, they decide to go the other way, heading further east.

Raph and Spider now use javelins to carefully probe ahead, weary of another pit trap. As the party approaches another T-intersection, their paranoia of another trap is sadly disappointed as nothing dangerous whatsoever appears. They head further east and detect kobold voices far ahead, many of them. Melvin guesses around 20. Yikes! They shut off their lantern and have Dalip inch closer to take a look with his Elven eyes. Sure enough, there seems to be a large cavern with many, many shapes moving about. Time to be wise and turn the other way: back to the intersection to go north instead.

Much to the party's chagrin they come to yet another "dangerous" t-intersection after about 30 feet. But once again there doesn't seem to be a trap anywhere. To the west they can see a sturdy wooden door reinforced with iron bands set into a mortared wall, a strange sight indeed in a mine-like dungeon. Not wanting to make a lot of noise they decide to skip the door and once again head east.

As Spider peeks around the next corner, he's confronted with an arrow speeding towards his face. Luckily the kobold sniper didn't do so well with his attack! Spider thinks he has seen a total of three rather large kobolds in the next room, and the party decides to wait for those guys to rush in. Which doesn't happen, the kobolds apparently being keenly aware of their advantage. After about half a minute of quiet, the party decides to attack so they jump around the corner and throw javelins or run at the kobolds with swords as the case may be. The fight ends quickly, lucky rolls be praised, but one kobold gets away and flees to the north, slamming another sturdy iron-bound door behind him. Our heroes quickly loot the two big kobolds and collect two bows, 40 arrows, and two relatively shiny axes. Oliver finally has some real weapons!

Not wanting to attack a room full of kobolds already prepared for them, the party decides to backtrack to the other door. After a failed attempt by Dalip, Raph smashes in the door just fine, making a lot of noise in the process. Total sadface however because the treasure-hunters have stumbled into the kobold's larder, not a copper piece around. Just pickled meat, healthy-looking veggies, and partially eaten (demi-)human remains (maybe a delicacy?).

A brief discussion ensues enumerating their options. The decision surprises everybody: Attack that room the big kobold fled into, the one they didn't want to attack before. Reasons? Who knows!

On their way back, however, they get ambushed again at the exact same spot as before, the kobold who ran away earlier having taken up his sniping position again. Apparently someone gave him a good talking-to and got his morale back up? He doesn't last too long, but at least he's teaching the party another valuable lesson about life in the deeps: Spider passes out after being hit by one of his arrows, brought to 2 hit points. :/ The party, always caring deeply for their mortally wounded companions, stashes him comfortably in a corner of the guard room before heading north. (Reminder: I still have to roll for the mortal wound here!)

Finally, the ominous door! Strangely enough it's open and from what they can see in the dim light of their lantern (or with Dalip's infravision when they extinguish the lantern temporarily) it's deserted. Not a kobold soul in sight! The party inches towards the door carefully and Raph slowly makes his way in, followed by everybody else. They find a whole lot of trash, a large bed with curtains drawn all around it, and an alcove in the opposite wall across which an old blanket has been stretched curtain-style. Raph inches towards the bed, and Dalip decides to take a shot (literally) at the blanket. CRITICAL HIT! After a loud, deep roar a HUGE kobold jumps through the blanket and rushes Dalip with an equally huge axe.

At the same time Raph pulls back the curtain around the bed only to be jumped by five (!) kobold wives with tiny little kobold daggers. Both Dalip and Raph are lucky again, only Raph gets hit by a single dagger for almost no damage whatsoever. Dalip lands a lucky blow on the kobold chieftain who immediately decides to parley, offering the chest in the corner of the room as the price for his life. The party accepts the bargain until they realize that the chest is mostly full of copper pieces while the chieftain is hiding something large and glinting under his chainmail armor. Not wanting to be tricked out of that well-deserved wealth, they attack once more, killing the chieftain and four of his wives. One, however, makes it out of the room and down the corridor, screaming for her life.

Finally something worthwhile to pick off of a dead monster: The gold chain the kobold chieftain was wearing has a huge gem attached to it, and everybody is very excited about their (most likely) improved financial situation. Now they just have to make it out of the dungeon alive, which could prove challenging if the kobold wife made it back to the large group of kobolds near the entrance. So everybody tries to sneak out very quietly indeed.

As they get to the t-intersection turning south, the adventurers hear a big commotion. They shut down their lantern to take advantage of Dalip's infravision again. Much to everybody's surprise, the kobolds seem to be fleeing. Apparently their morale broke after hearing that their chieftain is dead and all they want to do is get away! The party waits things out and after the last kobold has run past their position they slowly sneak further south. Crickets. They sneak to the east where they discovered the large cavern earlier. Still crickets. They toss the place, now abandoned and empty. Still nothing. Oh wait, they find a curiously wrapped package that contains a dark red silk gown, something the kobolds apparently took off of an unlucky merchant at some point. Otherwise: Crickets.

It slowly dawns on Melvin and his stalwart band (including Oliver who's dragging a passed-out Spider along) that they might actually have won big here: More treasure than ever before and an entire tribe of "dangerous" humanoids vanquished? Vana should bless a poet with a tale like that!

Nothing is between them and the exit, literally nothing. But yet, there is still the room on the other side of the pit trap, the room that Melvin heard noises out of during the initial kobold ambush. Should they leave, richer and presumably safe? Or should they investigate yet another dangerous part of the dungeon?

The party enters a smelly chamber full of trash and refuse, probably kobold excrement as well. There are various heaps of "stuff" around the room, especially around the outer walls, that do not at all seem inviting. Still, the group makes their way to the center of the chamber to get a good look around when...

A loud shriek out of the northeastern corner of the room sets off a strange commotion: The heaps of "stuff" start to tremble and all around the player characters giant rats work their way up out of the goop. As Melvin turns his lantern to the northeast, a giant rat-like monstrosity, standing upright and holding a sword, let's out another blood-curdling shriek. The giant rats set upon the party as they try to beat a hasty retreat. Melvin and Raph get gnawed on briefly but the "rat king" doesn't press his advantage and let's the party get away.


The journey back to The Keep is uneventful. Bringing the head of the kobold chieftain with them the Captain of the Guard praises Melvin and his compatriots for their accomplishment. He even helps them obtain a Potion of Healing for Spider from the Curate running the keep's chapel. Selling the kobold chieftain's gold chain to the traveling Jewel Merchant nets them 800 gp, and they make another 50 gp from the dress they found which fits the Jewel Merchant's wife perfectly. Melvin immediately sets up a headquarters in one of the apartments that's available for rent.

And scene! :-)

Session report written by Peter the DM.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Wayedge 5e magic sword

Jie Chue, master forger of the ancient empire, long ago crafted a small blade for a patron who's name has passed into the sands of history. Tales of the blade, however, have turned up from time to time. An elven assassin once used Wayedge to slay a noble baron, which spurred the baron's daughter to take up his sword while his son took up the crown. It is also told that Wayedge brought low the Goblin King of Thunder Rift in the hands of a courageous halfling.

It is not known where Wayedge currently rests, but it never stays out of bardic tales for long.

Weapon (short sword), very rare (requires attunement)

Wayedge is a single edged shortsword with a gently curved blade. It's hilt is a flowing brass knot-work design that begins at the cross-guard and finished at the pommel. It is preternaturally sharp and polished without ever needing to be tended. Wayedge is a +1 shortsword with two unusual enchantments. The first allows it to be thrown as a dagger, instantly returning to the thrower's hand at the end of the round it was thrown. The second manifests itself rarely; only when it has been thrown as a dagger and the player rolls a natural 20 on their attack. When this happens the character who threw Wayedge will be instantly teleported next to the target and able to make a bonus attack on anyone within range with advantage.

This is an update of the first magic item I ever put up on the blog, and my second ever post. Now the 5e version can join the Rules Cyclopedia & 4e versions I came up with over 5 and a half years ago...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Reaper's Bones III Kickstarter

Reaper is going to do it again... Bones III...

While this, in and of itself is exciting news that made my wallet cry out in pain, the real teaser isn't just that Reaper is doing another Bones kickstarter... it's one of the models that they've shown off that is all but guaranteed to be one of the big add ons like Cthulhu and Kaladrax from the first one, Mashaff, Dragons Don't Share, and Khanjira the World Breaker from Bones 2.

How big? Based on these pics, bigger than anything else they've done...

Yup, that's a 5 headed dragon that looks a lot like a Tiamat to me.

And here's one of Julie (the sculptor) holding it.

It may not dwarf Kaladrax, but it's definitely looking bigger.

And when? June 8th... so we've got about a month of anticipation before it begins, and then another month for the kickstarter to run, and then about a year or so till it shows up. I think it's gonna be worth the wait. And that wait might just be long enough to put a dent into my current Bones collection.

If you're interested in seeing some of the other figures that might show up, check out this link.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

*Sniff Sniff* It Wasn’t Me! 5e WNW

Session 12 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 4/3

The party consisted of the following:
Veidt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 4 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 4 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 4 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 4 (Erik)
Riia, Human Ranger 4 (Hanna)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 4 (Nadia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 4 (Allison)

The shock of realizing they’re in another time was sinking in, and the party decide to find out as much as possible about what they missed. They ask the Alabaster Lady to give some more details about the age of Chaos. Apparently, after they opened the door that was sealing it in that temple, the chaos demon emerged out of the pit of Hell they’d seen. This demon possessed a powerful mortal paladin, and Blightfang and him reigned terror across the land along with his demon followers. Only 75 years ago, the brother of the possessed mortal fought him at the top of a blown off mountain and defeated the Chaos at the expense of both their lives. At least, that’s what the stories say.

They thank her for the information, then remember something. “When is the next full moon, by the way?”. Thanks to rolling a 1, it happens to be tonight. “.....Ah.” She suggests finding a place to hole up during the next three nights. They find an abandoned cellar and buy some manacles to use for 3 nights. The first night before they know they’ll change or not, they strip down to the underclothes and put their weapons and gear away from reach, just in case. Bach strips to his underwear as well to show his comradery. All is calm when the moonlight shines in through the small cellar windows. Then the 3 members feel it. It starts with intense cramps which spread through to their entire body as they half transform. Them fighting it throughout the whole night prevents them from losing themselves, but the stress takes it’s toll. When the moonlight fades and morning finally comes, they slump down and pass out from exhaustion.

During the three days of actual day time, Veidt works on his magic and pokes around to see what’s new in the world of magic in general. Nessendra does some research on the Chaos and looks for a map of the Black Mire. Kethra upgrades her thigh bone weapon by adding a silver inlay of Athina’s symbol and other metal for the studs. Bach pesters the halfling for more fights, which won't be happening again until next week, so he spends time in commune with his deity instead. Riia researches the world and what has changed and/or happened in the last 200 years. Guy swindles a bunch of merchants with his disguise hat and spell and makes a nice chunk o’ gold. Totally legalish, but extremely tricksy. Poor Anya just hangs around like a complete emo, severely depressed now that she knows for sure that she was infected by the wererat.

After the three stressful nights, our party takes themselves a ferry across the river to the boardwalk. New to them, but not so new to the world of 200 years after theirs, the boardwalk is 20 feet high and made of half trees that have been cut lengthwise and tied together. Everyone tosses their ropes and climb their way up. Even though it’s over 100 years old, the boardwalk is still strong. Runes carved into the wood have prevented most of the rot, even in this swamp land. Bach starts off, adventure in his eyes and a little confused as to why he doesn’t seem to be traveling as quickly as he’d like. Somehow he doesn’t realize that Kethra has tied a leash on him.

They head out. Every 6 miles there’s an intersection, at which they take the most northwest path each time. At the fourth intersection however, bad luck finds them. They notice a horrible stench creeping up around them. They stop and look around, when troglodytes climb up and onto the boardwalk from the sides. Six of them! Their stench bad enough to gag. The party manages to kill two, but six more climb up! Bach does an Agonizing Blast but fails so terribly, it just circles around his head, a danger to all who come near, friend and foe alike. He yells to stay back, then rams his head at the closest troglodyte. It does all of one point of damage, after which he decides to stick to his other spells. Riia and Anya use their archer’s marks and deal some real damage. Veidt magics up a web that catches some of the stinking lizards crawling up, slowing them down. Nessendra is kept busy throwing out healing spells as fast as she can, the monsters hitting three times with every turn for every one of them! If it makes the hit that is. Kethra is squishing the ones in front of her with her thigh club. And Guy is doing a mediocre job of it all, completely missing his target half the time. Then another four jump up! The party is getting a bit overwhelmed with two or even three troglodytes to each person. Everyone’s hurting. Guy uses his color spray to blind the three fighting Anya and Kethra. He manages to blind two of the three, but gets Anya too! One of the blind dudes somehow finds Anya, climbs on her face, and bites out her jugular! Anya is down! Luckily, the one which attacked next only grazed her, even though it was the one that wasn’t blinded. Did it lose interest? Did it put on a blindfold to empathize with the blinded ones? Did Dee Em’s dice just use up it’s roll power with the blind jugular attack? Who knows, but Anya lucked out; only getting one failed death save instead of the three she could have. Kethra and Guy gang up on the three to avenge Anya. It’s then that Nessendra pulls out her big gun and does a mass heal to the party! Anya lives again! They then all kick the crap out of the remaining stinkers, cheering at their victory.

Are we there yet? What will the party find when they get to Anera? What kind of mystical things could be holding him there? Will they be able to save him? We’ll find out in the next season of~ Weird New World~~~~!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

May the Fourth Be With You!

If you're a fan of Star Wars (and why wouldn't you be?) you're living in a golden age of gaming. Between the RPG, Imperial Assault, Armada, and X-Wing games, you can play just about any scale or type of game you want.

However, I'm a big fan of the old d6 game from West End Games. Even for that old game, from a more civilized age, there are a number of new resources available to plunder for your games.

First are the rules in their revised, expanded, and updated format - Star Wars REUP. Definitely worth snagging!

Wild Space Games Magazine Issue 1 and Issue 2 by Womp Rat Press is very much like the old Star Wars Journals.

Over on Google+ there's the Star Wars and Other D6 Games community.

The Rancor Pit has a number of utilities, ships, characters, etc. that are helpful for running games.

The D6 Holocron has even more stuff for your game.

And if you're looking for a Star Wars fix to tide you over till episode VII, might I suggest Star Wars Rebels?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Inspirational Image: May the Fourth Be With You

While I'm really more of a Trek guy, I am getting really excited about the new Star Wars movie. I think J.J. Abrams will do a better job with it than he did with Star Trek. And since tomorrow is 5/4, I figure I can devote this months Sunday Inspirational Image posts to all things Star Wars.

by chinko724

by Cristi-B

by jubjubjedi

by drawnblud

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Age of Ultron Review

I'll try to keep this spoiler free.

Black Widow seems to be whatever she needs to be. We get a bit of back story, but her personality, the way she interacts with others... I don't think she lets people in. Ever. But I think that works for her character. And there's some great interaction between her and Banner. Also, how tough must that scene with Banner when she's talking about her graduation ceremony have been given Scarlett's condition during filming?

Iron Man... is a man who has a vision, and it's a terrible one at that. That vision drives everything he does. And while he's a dick about it, he's the same Iron Man we've come to enjoy watching.

I'm really enjoying watching Captain America grow as a character. It's subtle, but it's there.

The Hulk is incredible. But really that's all Mark Ruffalo. He's seriously such a solid actor... and he brings such humanity to the monster. His story arc though AoU is clear, and well played, and makes perfect sense for the character.

The bit with Thor's hammer is funny, and it comes back swinging later in the movie. Thor himself gets some screen time, but from what I've been reading and hearing, a bunch got cut. Hopefully the DVD release will add it in. He does reveal some knowledge about the infinity stones that ties things together.

The Twins, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, really well done. She's creepy, he's kind of cocky. I feel like I can't talk too much about them without spoiling it.

Ultron is clearly a program of Tony Stark's creation, which is the only reason I think the quippy one-liners and flawed motivation work as well as they do. I think the mouth animation was unnecessary, but otherwise liked the look. And James Spader as a villain is just delightful.

Hawkeye I definitely can't talk much about. He had the one OMGWTFBBQ moment of the film for me. He also got a serious amount of screen time, and one of the best lines in the movie, “We’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense.”

And finally Paul Bettany's Vision. I'm actually not very familiar with Vision as a comic character, but Paul's Jarvis has been with us since the first Iron Man movie, and he's another one of the great actors to join the MCU.

In short? I thought it was solid, if not quite great, but definitely worth seeing, and maybe seeing again.

Friday, May 1, 2015

That Explains The Inflation! 5e WNW

Session 11 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 3/27

The party consisted of the following:
Veidt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 3 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 3 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 3 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 3 (Erik)
Riia, Human Ranger 3 (Hanna)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 3 (Nadia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 3 (Allison)

The party finally arrives within sight of town. There are four guards at the opening of a gateway, looking quite sullen. Bach lengthens his stride in excitement, leaving the others behind. The guards notice him with a start. Bach, a large dragonborn with a huge grin, coming at them fast? They scramble in fear, ready to slam the gates shut. Bach yells a friendly greeting, which gives the guards some pause. Riia runs up as well, saying that he’s with her, which further eases their fears. The rest of the gang catches up, and the guards welcome them to the town Provolone, and states that it’s a gold coin to enter. Each. While the other party members are taken aback by the price, Bach asks the guards why the look so sullen. They inform him that it’s because they’re missing the games inside. There are gladiator fights that day in the coliseum at the center of town. “Is there now...” Without a second thought, Bach flips them a gold coin and marches off towards the coliseum, Veidt throwing a tracker on him so not to lose him.

The others stay to ask a few more questions before entering. Who is the leader around here, for one, and where can they find this Alabaster Lady? As it turns out, there is no big cheese in the town of Provolone; it being a long time since they had a mayor, and the Alabaster Lady comes and goes as she pleases, but she might be around. Thanking them anyways, they give a gold coin each and try to catch up with Bach. On their way, they notice the town looks rather run down; pothole filled roads, and stores boarded up. They also notice a lot more tieflings than usually occupy a single area. They find Bach standing outside the coliseum talking with another entrance guard. Apparently, it’s another gold to get in to watch the games. Pffting, Bach asks where the champions go. It’s around the back and down some stairs, so Bach is off again. Veidt, Riia, and Guy follow him down, while Nessendra, Kethra, and Anya decide to have a look around instead.

The later run into a merchant selling delicious swamp rats on a stick, sprinkled with his special Old Swamp® seasoning. He tells them how the town stopped having enough legal citizens to actually vote for a mayor twenty-odd years ago, and that the Alabaster Lady and the Red Ladies are the only ones with some kind of influence around here. It turns out that the Alabaster Lady has lizard-men who run errands for her. If they find one, it should take them to her. The Red Ladies, they might not have much interest in; unless they are inclined in that way, of course.

Around back and down the stairs of the coliseum, the others find themselves in a locker room of sorts for the fighters of the games. They’re stopped by a contentious fighter and asked what they’re doing down there. Bach informs him that he himself is here to be the champion of the games. Everyone who hears laughs at the idea. Bach insists, so the other fighter leads him to the sign up desk where a halfling is sitting doing paperwork. The halfling scoffs at Bach’s confidence, but decides to line him up in the very next fight, a malicious grin spreading across his face. He then asks what Veidt and Riia are doing there. Veidt explains that he is Bach’s embalmer should he fail, and Riia says she’s his fight manager. Them being of Bach’s managerial team, they get to have box seats for his fight. In the meantime, Guy has lingered back in the changing room to try to get some information from a scarcely clad fighter, Beefcake McMan, and possibly some other things.
Horns sound, and an announcer yells out that Bach’s fight is about to begin! Our group outside hears it. They roll their eyes and decide to pay to watch; Nessendra grumbling that, knowing Bach, he’ll probably need a healer. Having been in a soft muddy swamp for so long, they opt not to pay extra for cushions. The three of them file in and find seats; Kethra with two swamp rats on a stick to snack on. “Mmm… spicy.”.

The horns blare again, and Bach steps out shining bright in his Armor of Agathys. The game is on. Two drakes are let out and approach Bach warily, but there’s hunger in their eyes. Bach kneels down quick, takes a pinch of sand, and blows it at the two of them! … An audience member dozes off in the stands. Bach’s sleep spell is a fail! Taking advantage of Bach’s momentary bafflement, the drake closest to him attacks with a vicious bite! Unlucky for it though, Bach’s armor deals damage right back at it! Not only that, Bach retaliates with a Hellish rebuke, killing it on the spot! One down, he turns his attention to the second drake. It dashes in with a bite, getting another automatic damage. Then Bach uses his Agonizing Blast, finishing it! Our group jumps up out of their seats cheering, so unexpectedly, for their squishy dragonborn. That is, until they realize they’re the only ones doing so. The rest of the crowd just sit there, unimpressed and disappointed by the too short of a fight (failed performance roll). Bach catched a bag full of silver, his reward, and marches back to the changing room, strutting his stuff.

Guy doesn’t get much information during Bach’s fight, being thoroughly distracted with other intentions, except for the whole Chaos and demons thing that only ending 75 years ago, and that there are stories and fear still going around about it. Oh, and that there’s a temple/dungeon near here or whatever. “Yeah yeah, so what are you doing later?”. Guy does mention that he saw a dragon named Blightfang down river, though. At the name, all blood drains from McMan’s face, and Guy quickly rescinds the statement to alleviate his obvious fears. How can he have fun later if McMan’s all terrified after all? Bach, passing by, hears them talking and says in his voluminous voice, “Did you say Blightfang? My BFF?” Bach then holds up a selfie of himself and Blightfang; him with an enormous grin with a thumbs up, and Blightfang staring at the camera with contempt. Guy can only drop his head in his hands. When he looks up to say Bach is only joking, he sees the entire cumulation of fighters have disappeared from the room. Cursing, he trudges out after Bach.

The party finds an overpriced inn with a bathing facility and they clean up, have dinner, and discuss their plan for the next day. They’re going to find the Alabaster Lady, see what up with that, and find some place to get their (whisper) wererat affliction *ahem* cured. Anya realizes that the only damage she ever took was that slight scratch during the wererat smothering, and it just wouldn’t be right if she turned into a wererat because of it! Maybe after they do all that, they’ll venture off to that temple/dungeon Guy heard about. They retire to their beds, and Guy leaves a potted flower on Riia’s doorstep, knowing how much she likes flowers and all things plant. He then goes off to the red ladies for a good night and some more info, but instead pays five gold for only one lay and an STD (failed constitution saving throw)… “What a rip off!”

The next morning, they are woken by Riia’s scream of rage as she destroys “an evil plant that was about to attack!”. They have some breakfast and go out to look for the Alabaster Lady when *smash!*, Riia walks out the door and right into one of the lizard men. She apologizes, but the lizard man only gestures silently for them to follow. He leads them back inside the coliseum where a little market of venders has sprung up. There at the end stands the Alabaster Lady. Beautiful, pale, and completely made of alabaster stone! She beckons to them, stating that she has been expecting them.
“Oh? What for?” She knows that they opened the gate for Chaos, allowing the demons to escape. She also knows that Blightfang is the one who heralded the age of Chaos so long ago. Asking her how it was ended back then, she tells them that a mortal was the one who finally ended the onslaught 75 years ago, but at the cost his life. The party finds this an appropriate time to inform her that Blightfang is back! They saw her down river just a few weeks ago! The Chaos blight has begun again!
She only shakes her head. “No.” she says regretfully. “Blightfang /was/ the herald of Chaos. The same Chaos you released 200 years ago.” The group exchange puzzled looks. “…..Wha? N-no. Two weeks ago. We saw her 2 /weeks/ ago. She’s /back/! The 200 year ago thing? Wasn’t us. We /just/ did that. If that’s what we did.” She shakes her head again, and gives them the current year. It’s 200 years later.

A moment passes, and it finally hits. “…..WHAT!?!?!?!?” Questions and worries fly out as they generally freak-out. How could this happen? Why? When?? Their families. Friends. Loved ones. Everyone, and everything they’ve ever known, aside from each other, is gone. Dead and gone forever.. It can’t be..
The Alabaster Lady waits patiently as their shock wears off. Suddenly, Riia straightens and exclaims, “That explains all the inflation!” With that the bereavement breaks, at least outwardly, and they pull themselves together for the next step. The Lady then goes on to ask for their help. Her husband, Anura, is trapped in the Black Mire swamp (where they’ve just come out of), only he’s northwest of here, and she asks for them to please rescue him. The party asks how the lady and her husband can still be alive after so long. It turns out that they indeed lived during the Chaos, but they were also locked into their current forms by it. The party then ask if she can cure the ones with the wererat ailment. She cannot, not being of that level of power, however her husband can. If they save him, he will surely cure them. Although, she can cure the one with STD’s. Yes, plural. She bopps Guy on the head and he’s clean!

There lives have changed drastically. What will the party do? They missed the age of Chaos. Transported to another time, what adventures await them now?