Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Adventures in Primeval Thule

Over the last month, I've delved into a new campaign setting that I vaguely heard about a few years ago: Primeval Thule from Sasquatch games. The setting is a low magic, savage setting.... if you've seen Conan the Barbarian (1981 version), Beastmaster, any Roger Corman fantasy romp... if you like Edgar Rice Burroughs, and H.P. Lovecraft, you get this setting. A successful Kickstarter to convert the setting to fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons was done in 2015.

Anyway, I had been running a Monday night game on Fantasy Grounds for Castles and Crusades, but some dissatisfaction on my part with certain participants brought that to an end. Interestingly, after talking to one of my players, he suggested physically getting together on Monday nights, and starting something new. I brought Primeval Thule to his attention, and he was immediately excited about it. We were able to recruit three more players, and voila, we had Sesson 0 Monday night, and the players all created their characters together.

It was fun using Fantasy Grounds on the big screen. Everyone got a laugh as they each, in turn, choose their character narratives. We ended up with a Barbarian named Malstrom.. a former Katagian Pit Fighter, A Warlock named Yara the Bearer of the Black Book, a Druid Beastfriend named Edo, And an escaped pleasure slave Rogue who calls herself Seven. Returning from Katagia, Malstrom and Edo were traveling together as Mal returned to his village of Kalvandahar after years of captivity in Katagia. They encountered Seven (On the run from slavers from Marg) and Yara on the same road fighting a group of Cultists of Set who had attacked them... after the merchant caravan they were traveling with was ravaged by Beastmen.

 It was a tough fight, as none of them had fought together before, but with great injury, managed to persevere. Fortunately, they were not that far from Mal's home village, and they made it there before nightfall. Mal's father, Thorgran, the village chieftan was none to pleased to see his errant son, as the boy had run off in search of adventure... with his younger brother. A brother that he ultimately ended up having to kill in the pits of Katagia!

Regardless, as was their custom, the injured strangers, asking for aid were given it. Thorgran told his son, that once he was healed, he was to leave Kalvandahar until he found a way to restore honor to his name. Until then, he would be named Kin-slayer! However, the characters learned from the other villagers as their wounds were tended to that the Cult of Set was a problem throughout the region, and that the cultist were kidnapping young women for some unknown purpose.

Malstrom vowed to regain his honor by destroying the Cult's temple, or die trying. Edo the druid, of course, felt that ridding the jungle of the cultists was a good plan and decided to join the barbarian on his quest. Yara, while not really enthusiastic about it, felt a slight obligation to help since the barbarian had saved his life. In addition, Cults of Set were known to gather ancient secrets of the arcane. Seven, also felt some obligation, since the barbarian had saved her life as well, and, Cults of Set were known to have treasure!

Thus, the four strangers were now enjoined as companions on adventure!

Unfortunately, the Cultists were experts at covering their tracks, and no one knew the temple's location except that due to the raids frequency, it must be located relatively close, but difficult to detect in the dense jungle region. The PC's knew that the Cultists had taken the horses from the ravaged caravan, and deduced that horse tracks would be more challenging to cover than a man's. Thus, after healing, they trekked back to the scene of their battle, and together Edo and Mal were able to pick up the cultist's trail.

It took them a full day, but by night fall, at the beginning of the new moon, they found what they were looking for. Off in the distance, by firelight, shadowy figures danced and chanted atop a massive stone ziggurat, as they performed some type of ritual. A woman's desperate screams rang out in the night, and the characters sprang into action.

With a quick, but rather stealthy storm to the top of the pyramid, the heroes came upon a vile scene. Cultists gathered around a stone alter, daggers in hand, and chained to the thing, a nubile young lass, surely about to meet a horrid and bloody end! The battle was joined, and now, with some idea of their abilities, they worked together to lay the evil Cultists to ruin.

They freed the captive girl Valesska, and learned she was from one of the nearby villages, and that others were being held in the temple. In addition, the stone stairs at the top of the ziggurat, clearly lead downwards into the heart of the temple, and surely more cultist and who knows what else lies within! To be continued next week!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dwarven Forge Kickstarter 5 Snakes and Jade (and corrections)

More beans have been spilled and a big reveal is coming later today.

First a correction, the blood red in the previous post was (to quote Darkest Dungeon's Wayne June) merely a trick of the light.

The design of the final segment of this kickstarter includes a massive amount of jade coloring and incredibly detailed sculpting of pieces.

This new Dwarven Forge set is gorgeous. I'm anxious to see the details in the full release information later today.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dwarven Forge Kickstarter 5 Forsaken Temple (of Doom)

More previews from the Dungeon of Doom kickstarter. The awesome continues.

Blood red altar and steps, serpent pillars, the serpent floor design pieces speculated about in a much earlier post, additional decorative pieces, etc.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Dwarven Forge Kickstarter 5 - HOLY SNAKE SHIT

The Dungeon of Doom kickstarter is about half way through and already has eclipsed 1.6 million dollars on the way toward what could be well over 2 million by the end.

After looking carefully through the video of the kickstarter at the 3:38 mark you can see this amazing reveal of the heart and soul of this kickstarter: the real reason it is called the Dungeon of Doom; it may be inhabited by the bigger, badder brother of Conan's enemy Thulsa Doom.

Take a gander at these amazing pieces! The LED statue, the various wall pieces with intricate carvings, some with eyes, and the LED brazier with green flame. Wow!

At the time of writing this post, this has not been revealed in the kickstarter, but it isn't a secret since others have discovered it like I did by going through the video with frequent pauses to look for the cool pieces.

This truly is the dungeon of doom to your wallet; so much awesome stuff!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dwarven Forge Kickstarter 5 Dungeon of Doom confirmed launch date

In order to focus more attention on pushing out shipments of the previous Kickstarter rewards, DF have pushed back the launch date until June 17th.

It will be interesting to see how this progresses.

Monday, May 29, 2017

West Marches -session something or other

I've lost track of the session count.

A quick update, the party is engaging the bandit/cultists and their necromancer ally. It has been a series of skirmishes in which the party has come out ahead until now.

Having decided to recon the bandit lair, the party have circled around to the east and then south of the encampment. They party is presently split into three units. The main unit is comprised of four characters and one npc, the second unit is two characters and two npcs, and the third unit is one character who is in big trouble.

Unit 2 is being tracked by a force of bandits and a war dog, which they are leading into an ambush by the main unit. Anton, alone, decided to get up close to see what the encampment held. His plan backfired when he triggered a magic mouth spell alerting the camp to his presence. Things are getting interesting and will be more so when the ambush kicks off.

We left off on that cliff hanger.

Below is a rough approximation of the positions. Not to scale.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Do Dragons Shit in their Hoard? (Things you can't unthink)

I was recently treated to a surprise party and the cake was D&D themed. The main cake was a DM's Guide book upon which sat a dragon's hoard and a black dragon with eggs sleeping atop it. The hoard was created from chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. When removing the hoard of coins from beneath the dragon, some of them were coated with bits of the caramel icing from the book cake below, and this got me thinking.

In the real world (you know, the crutch for people that can't handle fantasy) hibernating creatures do indeed defecate and urinate during their long sleep. In fantasy, dragons are said to sleep sometimes for centuries between rampages. While it doesn't really matter for telling stories it might be fun for DM's that like to gross-out, inconvenience, or otherwise poke fun at the players and their characters, to add dragon feces to the list of things found in a hibernating dragon's hoard.

While nearly all fantasy stories completely ignore the unclean aspects of reality, unless we're talking about Game of Thrones, it might be fun to explore how much more difficult for our adventurers these things can make recovering treasure from lairs. Over the dragon's lifetime it has accumulated wealth during each rampage and then hibernated upon the pile creating strata of secreted waste that a geologist could use to determine the age of the beast and maybe when each rampage began and ended. The collection of filthy lucre would have things glued together, stuff that is a challenge to identify, and would add weight and bulk to what is collected.

"You're trying to pay for a room at my inn using shit caked money?! Bunch o' fuckin' murder hobos, get out of my tavern!"

Admittedly, walking around with packs full of loot reeking of dragon waste may keep some creatures away from the party, it is just as likely to draw others to camp. "Do you want assassin bugs? 'cause that's how you get assassin bugs." Imagine crossing through another dragon's territory leaving a trail of scent along the way. Will the offended dragon follow the scent trail to the party or back to the rest of the hoard? If to the hoard, will it be there should the party return for more treasure, or maybe to the town where they carried the loot? The odor of dragon waste might make for an interesting problem to overcome.

If any reader has done this or does do something like this please come and comment a brief bit about how the players reacted. Hopefully it's some funny shit.