Saturday, February 28, 2015

Zombies and Beastmen and Orcus, Oh my!

In a nutshell the Company of the Sage was in a bit of a tough spot. Beneath the disturbing red glow cast upon the snow by a magical gem atop an evil obelisk, zombies, like this description, began to pile up. Surrounded on three sides by undead, and the other by a cliff face, things were looking a bit bleak.
That's right, aside from our adventuring party, you are now among the few people to see Toilet Paper Mountain and live to tell the tale. It was a creative way to rapidly produce a prop just before play, and it set the tone perfectly - it reminded us we were in deep doo doo.

Sophia uncorked the Elven Snowflake artifact and used its power to blast the undead in a radius of 20 feet. Only a few fell, but it was obvious many more were weakened by the effect. The snowflake went dark and it would be of no more use in this battle. (rotten recharge rolls).
The enemy was closing in and despite trying our best to push forward, progress was too slow.
Worse yet, a giant zombie spider erupted from the blanket of white, immediately in our path. In short order it had grabbed Sophia and our wizard soon fell unconscious due to wounds. (Zero hit points) Torul rushed in to try and break the monster's deadly grip. Roysen prayed for healing and the wizard awakened and from her ring of spell storing released a healing spell Roysen had wisely cast into it earlier.

A hunting party of beastmen came screaming into the fray, shouting out "For Glory!" and fortunately for us began attacking the undead. Between their efforts and our own, a path was cleared and none-too-soon as three more giant undead arachnids arose just as the first one fell.
We noticed another wave of humanoid zombies coming behind the spiders and that is when the beastmen called the retreat and told us to run to their camp. We made it to their fortified encampment with undead hot on our heels. Safely inside we helped them rain down destruction on the enemy.

We helped heal their wounds along with our own and spoke with their leader. He explained that the strange obelisk and statue or Orcus thrust their way above ground, bringing the snows and undead with them, and that the undead never seem to run out.

A week ago? Yup, right about the time Set got poked in the eye. They really are taking deli-counter numbers to see who we have to deal with next.

Their owl faced leader told us there was a door at the base of obelisk with a puzzle lock and the beastmen had failed to figure it out before being driven away by more undead. If we could get in and try to solve the problem, they would be grateful.

The beastmen invited us to rest and prepare. During this time their chieftan taught Sophia three new spells - Fireball, Wall of Fire, and Ice Storm. (That's more like it!)

Rested and prepared, the party and the beastmen set out for the puzzle door. The beastmen would hold off the undead as long as possible while we tried to figure out the answer that would let us into the underground complex.
Anyone ever play the game Mastermind? Well, the puzzle lock consisted of 4 empty sockets and 6 gems of different colors that could be placed into them. The idea was to figure out the four correct gems and have them in the right order. Torul almost got it by accident on the first try simply by attempting to match the rainbow with existing colors. The group managed it in four rounds. (Yes, I still say rounds instead of turns.)
Inside was a rather deep chasm with a bridge and platform. Out in the abyss were four smaller platforms with mirrors on them oriented toward four small metal poles on the main platform. Two larger metal poles sat across from each other along the mid-line of the platform. (Of course it's a trap, you don't have to be Admiral Akbar to know that.)

Sure enough the whole thing powered up when Torul advanced across the center line. Some quick thinking and accurate attacks by the less dull-witted party members took out three of the four mirrors and the attack against Torul resulted in little more than a singe.
Moving forward, Torul discovered another puzzle lock door and an iron golem. Niiiiice. Just what we needed.

The battle with this metal monstrosity (CR 19 vs 7th level party) took time and almost resulted in some character deaths due to a mis-understood feature of the environment. Whenever it reaches a spot near the entrance, it teleports back to a spot in from of the interior puzzle door. Torul had lead it away and Mulva and Sophia went to try and work on the puzzle. He led it too far back and they got a rude surprise.

Then the plan changed. Roysen had determined that one section of bridge was weak and if we could get the thing on that spot and knock out the support . . . bye bye big metal badass.

The problem was, in trying to weaken the bridge further, Mulva and Sophia collapsed it too soon. That meant Torul would have to weather golem attacks until everyone else brought it down with ranged attacks and spells.

Going strictly into dodge defense, along with bolstering magic from Roysen, Torul's armor class reached an incredible 29. Even with a +13 to attack rolls, the golem managed to miss every attack.

Finally Torul sensed the golem was weaked enough and he delivered the final blow.

We left off with the party resting before attempting the door again.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Am I Missing Something?

Admittedly I have not read every bit of the 5th edition Player's Handbook in detail. So my question is, did I miss the section detailing the rules for characters to create scrolls and potions?

I also have not cracked open my Dungeon Master's Guide so it is likely -that- is where I would find the information.

Call me lazy, just don't call me late for dinner.

This came up Sunday while another player and I were car-pooling to CaptCorajus' game. We had been discussing the creation of a handful of scrolls by the party wizard and realized that neither of us had read the rules for doing such a thing.

Throughout the different editions of the game, creation of magic items by Player Characters has not always been a certainty. I don't recall the specifics of each edition, and at the moment am more interested in a nice long nap than digging out the rule books for umpteen versions to determine the specifics for comparison.

During the drive to the game we discussed the idea of having scrolls made to trade to other wizards in exchange for spells they know that the party wizard does not already have in her spell book, and for occasions when she is otherwise bereft of available spell slots due to having cast her allotment for the day.

It also occurred that with higher level spells she is not yet capable of casting, when she reaches the appropriate character level she could already have the information on hand and ready to copy into her spell book.

While the adventuring party in the Capt's campaign has accumulated a great deal of magical gear, I don't recall much in the way of scrolls and potions. That is somewhat odd compared to most of the earlier editions of the game and I'm not certain if that is intended in the 5th edition or a DM decision.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's In The Fine Print

The bell above the door rang as the motley looking assortment of dirt caked travelers stepped into the establishment. Filbert looked up and began his usual greeting "Welcome to Reepimov's Arcane". He was interrupted by Durneduhl holding his hairy dwarven fist right in front of Filbert's nose.

"It isn't working right."

Filbert paused only a second before finishing his greeting "Paraphernalia Emporium Magica. How can I assist you?"

"Birdun! The receipt!" the gruff dwarf snapped back over his shoulder.

Behind him and considerably higher, a harried gnome clambered about upon their pack-ogre's enormous frame. The pack-ogre leaned down slightly to facilitate the gnome passing down the tattered hand written receipt.

The ogre was covered with everything one could imagine to aid in hauling nearly anything, sacks, bags, pouches, pockets, saddlebags, backpacks, belts, sashes, bandoleers, coffers, crates, barrels, and even assorted sized chests. He made no sounds other than the noises caused by even his slightest movement.

The receipt Birdun handed down to Durneduhl, bore only one distinguishing mark, the faintly luminescent logo of the shop. "The ring, it isn't working as promised. Fix it." His eyes fixed on Filbert's narrow, almost rattish face.

The thin, hunched over man alternated his gaze between the ring, the receipt, and the obviously angry customer. "It says here it is a ring of Immunity to Diseases, what seems to be the issue?"

An uncomfortable moment passed when it almost appeared the dwarf was going to leap on and over the counter, his thick fingers tightening into a fist. "Scarlet Scale." The dwarf, dropped his pants before anyone could object.

It was there for everyone in the shop to see, the angry, scale-like red rash where the Neo-Otyugh had grappled the dwarf's thigh. "Well . . ." remarked Filbert, "That is indeed a disease." You were wearing the ring when you came into contact with the source?"

"Both times. Worked the first time. Worked for every disease on or under the mountains until last week." Durneduhl pulled the ring off and placed it on the counter. "Fix it."

The air whistled faintly as Filbert drew in a deep breath through his narrow nostrils. "Hmmmm . . . I need to know more about this matter. You said both times, did you mean the beast grabbed you twice?"

"Different beasts. About 6 months apart." piped Birdun from his hulking perch.

Filbert pursed his lips, paused, and asked another question. "Both were Neo-Otyugh?"

"First was an Otyugh, second a Neo."

At this, Filbert jotted a note on his parchment. "Certainly a more virulent strain of Scarlet Scale was involved."

Birdun chimed in again, clearly to speak on behalf of his now red-faced, and getting angrier, friend. "The ring, as promised and paid for, is clearly designated on the receipt as providing Immunity to Disease. Potency was never mentioned as a consideration." The gnome seemed pleased with his logic and continued. "Besides, it worked against this disease and all others until last week as far as can be determined."

An eyebrow arched above the shopkeeper's twitchy left eye. "Do you have a copy of the warranty to hand?"

A low growl escaped Durneduhl's throat. "What does the warranty have to do with it?"

Birdun scrambled down one side of the pack-ogre, finally reaching deep within a narrow pocket and withdrawing a leather scroll tube. He opened it and dumped the still crisp warranty on the counter top.

"Like the day it was issued." whispered Filbert. He deftly unrolled the pristine document, donned a gold-rimmed monocle and proceeded to scan the prodigious amount of tiny text. After a minute or two of hemming and hawing he looked up, half-smiling. "Have you done something out of the ordinary recently? Something that you might call, life-altering?"

Durneduhl rattled off highlghts from their most recent adventures. "You mean like punting a devil in his coin purse? Or dousing a demon with blessed stain remover? What about marching through a sandstorm fighting locust and giant ticks?"

Filbert, shook his head. "I'm certain those were life-altering for your opponents, and enriching experiences for yourselves. What I mean is did something happen to you that changed how the world seems to work?"

The question seemed to be writhing beneath the dwarf's heavy brow as he pondered.

It was Birdun that quietly seemed to make a connection. "We did get flushed down a giant's loo, winding up in an unfamiliar place right before those adventures. Everything has been somewhat different from about that time."

Durneduhl looked upward at his smaller friend and companion atop the ogre. "The ring still worked until the Neo-Otyugh. I don't see what this has to do with the problem."

The turning of pages brought their attention back to the shopkeeper as he peered at even smaller writing near the bottom rear of the last page. Picking up a magnifying lens, he held it out allowing the dwarf to read where it was focused.

"This agreement becomes null and void should the possessor of the Ring of Immunity to Disease adventure under cosmic rules with a different meaning of Immunity, or experiences the whims and desires of a Grand Magistrate such as the Deity Maximus."

Before Filbert could pronounce the beginning syllable of "Well, there's your problem" the pack-ogre had thrown the reedy shop keep through the front window and into the muddy street beyond.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Well, That Was Exciting . . .

Between me being ill and the weather deciding the area needed a big dump of snow, the intended game on the weekend did not happen.

I suppose the snowfall should have been expected since it seems that we get at least one decent accumulation of snow every February, often around the second or third weekend. Hopefully this won't become a cycle of storms like Boston and the Northeast have been pummeled by recently.

At least the rain and warmer temps Sunday helped clear the roads. We even got to play in CaptCorajus' game Sunday afternoon. More on that later.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Prop Dusting - Giant Foam Dice

Some time ago I backed a number of Kickstarter projects including one for Giant Foam Dice.
Most of the dice are soft enough to hurl at the heads of trouble making players without causing any appreciable harm, however watch out for the 4 sided die, if you step on it with a bare foot or catch one with your eye, you will still painfully notice the points. The safest one to toss around if you absolutely must throw your dice, is a choice between the d6 and d20. The d6 has rounded corners, and the d20 is the softest.
For those of us whose vision is deteriorating with age, these are very welcome.

All of the dice roll well, with an expected bounce to them. I have used them during a couple of game sessions and made them available for use during my last game. Note: in my set, the d20 seems to slightly favor the number 17.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

50% off The Dice Are A Lie Mugs Today

If you are interested, there is a 50% off deal at the blog's Zazzle store for mugs.

Here is the link.

The discount code is SUNDAYDEAL74.

The discount is good until midnight New York time.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dwarven Forge Piece Idea

I've been puzzling over ways to make a certain room configuration using the Master Maze and Game Tiles recently, and have not found a satisfactory way to make the particular room layout happen with the pieces I currently possess.

Note, I said satisfactory. Take a look at this drawing and you can see what I mean.
The twenty by twenty room with a corner missing can be produced by using the triangular half square bits if you have enough, however if you were trying to make this design work you would need plenty of them to handle all of the spaces where that bit would be required.

A possible solution which would help with other design options as well, would be for DF to produce pieces that match the green hash-marked area in the drawing.

There might be other ways to achieve this goal, but I'm unable presently to think of a method using the Dwarven Forge collection I have on hand. Suggestions are welcome.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Really Useful Boxes

In the search for something to store my collection of Dwarven Forge, a member of the Dwarven Forge forums mentioned the 20 litre Really Useful box.  I currently have 10 of these and plan to at least double that number this spring.

The boxes are sturdy, and they stack very well. They are also a great size for Master Maze and Game Tiles pieces.

One of the boxes currently holds some of the material that will be used in the upcoming game. This was gathered together for the first session back in October when I traveled to run the game.

 The box above contains game books, dice, pencils, paper, props, 1 Catacombs set and 1 Catacombs 2 set, and some custom pieces, all with plenty more room.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Prop Dusting - a hint of things to come

Over time I have been collecting props and other items for use in the game and along with the Dwarven Forge terrain. Now that the table is here, these things will be brought out for play and will be displayed here as well.

The items today are just a hint of things to come . . .

The boat, sea-serpent parts, and the water tile are just a few of the things purchased from Yan Solo. Yan Solo can be located with a Google search and has a personal store and also lists things on Ebay.

The water tile is 25.5" by just over 19.5"

The materials used to create the water effect are fragile. In the picture above it is complete, however in the time it took for me to put it back in its protective sleeve, the corner chipped exposing the white backing. The water tile is expensive for what it is made of, thus this is the only water tile I will buy. Yan Solo's other items appear somewhat hardier, though they too should be treated carefully.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Federation Commander Campaign Rules Addendum

Back in August and September of 2011 I posted about a set of campaign rules for doing battles between empires without needing a static 2-d map, thus allowing everyone to compete with any empires they choose.

I had planned to expand upon those rules and over time made a few notes. Just yesterday I found part of the expansion. Here it is below: (you will need to read the previous rules to understand these)

At the start of the campaign players may determine that one border system is in a hazard zone. A d6 is rolled to determine the nature of the problem. This information is known to everyone so there is no risk of an invader being surprised.

If a player chooses to risk having a border system in a hazard zone the commerce value of that system is increased as follows:

nebula- this system is inhabited normally
passive +1
active +2

asteroid zones - this system is inhabited normally
2 panels +1
4 panels +2
6 panels +3

combined nebula with asteroids
from +2 to +5 based on how it is combined

pulsar - the only inhabitants are workers mining resources.
+ 4

black hole - the only inhabitants of this system are workers mining resources. at some random time in the future it may send out a call for emergency evacuation that requires a number of workers to be transported off system before it falls into the black hole.
+ 5

On a roll of 6 the player can choose the hazard.

For hazards with options, roll to see which level of hazard exists.

During exploration if a system is discovered there is a chance it may also have a hazard. Roll a d6 and on a 6 a hazard is indicated. Determine the type by the same method as above.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Monster - Graven Tongue

"Three miles deep, by seventeen northeast, by two miles west. That's where Tharsella said we would find her alleged oracle." Fiddry remarked.

"This cavern alone could be a mile or more across, and a hundred feet floor to ceiling. It could be anywhere in here Fiddry." Loren remarked, peering as far into the darkness as her vision would permit.

Murnon moved ahead, trying to portray confidence while shuddering slightly beneath his heavy armor. "Hope we find this thing and get what we want soon. I feel mighty uncomfortable, like something is watching."

That's when Rejjet screamed and their gnome guide Underfoot fell unconscious.

A great, moist thing, dark and warty brushed among the group physically, and something worse. Their minds reeled as if assaulted by the unknowable intruding on each person's sense of being.

Fiddry couldn't move as if frozen, paralyzed in his tracks. "RUN!" his mind yelled, nearly drowned out by the babbling cascading within his head in eons of lost languages. Ideas, flashed in warped, unreal imagery, through Loren's eyes. She cried tears of blood and covered them with her hands as if pleading for the agony of sight to end. And end it did as her vision left her. Murnon, writhing about upon the floor of the cavern was screaming about the worms he felt sure were devouring him from within.

It seemed like hours before their nausea passed, and they could make even the slightest sense of what had transpired. All felt as if some part of their essence had been taken from them or violated horribly. None of them dared speak of the things lingering in their minds. It would be a week before they began to guess at what the oracle meant, and longer before they gained an inkling about their role in the prophesy.

New Monster: The Graven Tongue
The Graven Tongue is thought to be an ancient flesh construct left behind by foul beings beyond understanding, though it may in truth really be a tasting organ protruding into this reality from a being beyond the world.

The tongue is a flesh construct 135 feet long and varies in thickness from 1 foot at the tip to 90 feet at the base with tendrils like veins stretching further from the base and into the cavern ceiling.  It has a mottled coloration including tones of purple, black, ochre, blood red, and flesh, with indecipherable runes carved into the slimy surface. A spell that allows understanding some of the runes will cause those reading them to suffer additional damage (half with save) and a level of fatigue.

The Graven Tongue hangs down from ceiling, reaching out to "taste" creatures passing within its sensory range, detecting them by their life or mental essence. Anyone touched directly by the appendage suffers a level of fatigue in addition to the other affects. In the process of tasting creatures, they are slammed with incredible volumes of information, most of which they cannot possibly comprehend initially, but gradually some information may become clear enough to be acted upon, rightly or wrongly.

Encountering the Graven Tongue causes a one time amount of physical damage appropriate for a moderate challenge to the party.  Creatures are also afflicted with at least one condition determined randomly. For one hour after encountering the Graven Tongue, all creatures have the poisoned condition.

Random Condition Table (roll a D20)

1 - Blinded
2 - Charmed (DM should determine the meaning of this for their plot)
3 - Deafened
4 - Frightened
5 - Grappled (the tongue spends a round enjoying some flavor, creature suffers extra damage)
6 - Incapacitated
7 - Invisible - (creature is straddling the line between worlds for one round)
8 - Paralyzed
9 - Petrified (creature is merged with the nature of another plane, turned to an element or combination useful for the plot)
10 - Poisoned
11 - Prone
12 - Restrained (the beyond holds fast to the creature, as if studying it, for one round)
13 - Stunned
14 - Unconscious
15 - Roll twice combining conditions if possible
16 - Roll twice combining conditions if possible
17 - Roll until determining a condition, creature takes extra 2d6 mental damage
18 - Roll until determining a condition, creature takes extra 2d8 mental damage
19 - Roll until determining two conditions, combining them if possible, and creature takes extra 2d4 mental damage
20 - Roll three times for conditions, combine them if possible, conditions persist until magically cured (restoration?)

The Graven Tongue does not engage in actual combat. If damaged by attacks causing a total of 25 points, it withdraws from the world on the following round.

Monday, February 16, 2015

I Feel Funky

In the Sunday game run by CaptCorajus we completed the adventure against the slimy cult of Juiblex. Of course Torul ended up completely covered in the stuff, how else would you expect things to finish?

When last we left off, the Big Bad Evil Guy (BBEG) and a handful of evil acolytes had come down a rope ladder and were blocking the party's way when we returned to cross the streams, I mean mix the slimes at the altar. See that green shield and sword drawn on the map between us and them? That was the spell Guardian of Faith. It does damage when you enter the 10' area surrounding it. That never seems to dissuade an angry half-orc. See the four acolytes surrounding the Evil High Priest (EHP)? Can you say cannon fodder? I thought you could.
Torul rushed past the Guardian of Faith and took 10 points of damage, but managed to get to the forward acolytes and immediately slay one. Roysen cast silence on Torul's shield so that he could cut off as much spell activity as possible from the enemies.

Another acolyte stepped in to take the first one's place and the EHP BBEG was able to get off a class ability engulfing the rest of the party in some sort of darkness in which they were also taking damage from unseen horrors. He then backed away and had one of his not-too-bright minions stand in front of him.

As the battle wore on it was becoming obvious that unless the party did something quickly, Torul was likely toast, soon to be followed by the others.
Mulva stepped out of the dark cloud and fired a crossbow bolt slaying the newest volunteer thus letting Torul to pursue the BBEG. She then confronted an acolyte who fled back up the rope ladder, wetting himself on the way, though already dripping with ooze who would know.

Sophia, our wizard, soon joined the fight and her barrage of the best combat spell in 5e failed when it reached the EHP (Brooch of Shielding).

Roysen kicked in the healing juice to keep Torul and the others on their feet.
 The BBEG was still proving resilient and resourceful, dropping another black cloud of unseen nasty on top of Torul, obscuring them both from the rest of the party. Despite taking a beating, Torul hung with the EHP hoping to tamp down spell casting and prevent the gooey jerk from getting to his altar of slime. Meanwhile Sophia cast web through the dark cloud of slimy misery, relying on memory of the hallway to pin it right on the BBEG (Morbion) and Torul. She ended up using inspiration to make it work. While Web normally doesn't require an attack roll to place it, Capt Corajus ruled (fairly I feel) to have her roll to place it with the amount missed from a taget DC affecting the distance off point and it would be a random direction. She initially rolled a 1 and the inspiration die fixed the problem.
Note the effort CaptCorajus put forth to make the evil slime altar/pool look presentable for company. He even got out the good candelabras.
Needless to say any time you think you have the BBEG cornered and nearly beat, they always have a trick up their sleeve. This one whipped out a lair power on our party and called forth from the pool/altar a slimy turd of enormous size to come save his wretched backside.
It didn't save him. He got cut all up and then finished off by Roysen with a cantrip. How embarrassing.
The party then did away with the giant sludgy brute and the looting commenced.

The party went on to find the missing 11 townsfolk and aid from a save place in the dungeon, managed to save them all. They even went exploring the rest of the dungeon, found the runaway acolyte (killed him when he refused to surrender). Discovered treasure that included a precious Elven Snowflake (minor? artifact) and the destroyed the rest of the slimy influence using the flake's power. Ta-Da!

Getting the people back to town, the party was praised, asked to become residents (they really need new DNA badly) since we would be able to protect them and all of their guards are dead. Instead the party opted to convert coins to gems, a mule, winter gear, a strong mule, and two kegs of ale.

Heading north they got into a very snowy area and eventually found a huge statue of Orcus amid some tall spires (obelisks?) with a magical crystal atop one, glowing a menacing red.  Of course the party would try to bypass as best they could based on the terrain impediments. That meant being with our backs to a tall cliff about a quarter mile from the statue, still within the glow's effective range.

We left off when undead all around, and under the party, started to rise and approach.

I think the evil immortals must have taken deli-counter numbers to see who faces us next. Set - CHECK! Juiblex - CHECK! Orcus - yup, sheesh! If they ever get back to the surface world, the only people that will believe their tales are the ones pissed off about being defeated!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lost Baronies Campaign Map and Adventures

Back when the Lost Baronies campaign was under way, I had the bright idea that I could provide a rough starter map of the island, and let the players fill it in as we played. That idea was inspired by the West Marches campaign another DM successfully executed.

I wanted to give the map a different look than hex paper or graph paper so I bought a roll of that inexpensive brown wrapping paper commonly used for shipping packages. Then I drew in a few landmarks and obvious features, leaving everything else blank. Part of the plan was to have various players drawing the map creating a mix of styles.

The players liked what I had drawn, but the campaign didn't last long enough for the mapping idea to blossom. Below are some pictures of what exists, drawn by me:

 The island boundary is very lightly drawn on the map to make it easy to shift the outline should players need to do so when adding to the map. The only places it needed to stay put were at Restenford, and Loreltarma, the major port towns.
 Restenford and Farmin are the locations for the old TSR published adventures L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, and L2 The Assassins Knot, by Len Lakofka. My players successfully avoided all but one of the published dungeons and wilderness encounters while in these areas.
 Kroten and the surrounding towns are all from another in the L series of published adventures. The party had gotten into Grest and were about to get themselves caught up in a puzzle dungeon that could become a death trap if they gave up too soon. Fortunately the players that were active at the time were resourceful and methodical so the danger would be somewhat mitigated.
 The Kenall Keep on this section of the map is none other than The Keep on the Borderlands, aka the Caves of Chaos. Wolford is the town over by that weird looking mountain on the map, which as it happens, is Skull Mountain (published by Faster Monkey Games).
 I threw a bunch of mountains along part of the northern edge of the island just because.
Loreltarma (the correct name for the city, which is misspelled Lo Reltarma on the Greyhawk maps).

The published adventure material that was available for the player characters to interact with is quite large. It included the following list and more: The Secret of Bone Hill, The Assassins Knot, Priestly Secrets, Devilspawn, The Keep on the Borderlands, Skull Mountain, Stone Hell, Dwellers of the Forbidden City, The Wandering Trees, and assorted smaller vignettes. Since most of it with certain obvious exceptions, has not been played by the current group, I can still use all or parts in whatever I run next.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Computer Game for 5th Edition D&D - Sword Coast Legends

A new D&D computer game has been announced and is available for pre-order. Here is a link to the info. Sword Coast Legends (horrible name) looks like it will play similar to the Baldur's Gate, and Never Winter Nights games.

The one drawback in my opinion is the need to be logged into Steam to play the game. While that isn't even close to a deal breaker, I love the Left 4 Dead stuff and it requires the same, I do find the "must be logged in" requirement for games an appalling trend.

The game allows 1 to 4 players, and there is also a Dungeon Master mode so someone can run adventures in the game. My group has a history of messing with the NWN games this way periodically and in all likelihood we might end up doing the same with this game as well.

Oh, and I bet Magic Missile will be the best combat spell in the computer game too!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Getting Hammered part 7

Dan of Hammered Game Tables is quite the passionate person when it comes to the tables he sells and the satisfaction of his customers. In fact during the course of working on my table the matter of getting the right hardware to match my vision was becoming a tiny bit of an adventure.

One week day I was sitting down to lunch in a Mexican restaurant with two of my co-workers and my phone rang. It was Dan. I was used to Dan staying in touch during the process, but rarely had he called this early in the day, and calls were usually preceded by an email in advance so the call time could be coordinated.

I had yet to order, which was fine since I really had no clue what I wanted to eat. I took the call and on the other end was a very excited Dan. He had gone to an antique shop earlier and lucked into the perfect set of drawer pulls. As my co-workers ordered lunch, I listened to Dan describing what he had been doing and how cool he thought everything was turning out. Between bits of the tale I managed to place my lunch order.

Dan went on to describe six hefty antique cast iron drawer pulls and a smaller one that would be perfect for the lift on the table top. He continued describing that he had picked up some copper leafing, had applied it to a pull, and it was the reddish copper I had been seeking. Needless to say, I was quite happy about this discovery.
 Getting to that selection of copper - I had sent Dan a series of pictures that included both finished copper items, and different types of copper ore.

 Needless to say, I like copper, and I knew it would look great against the darker stain I had picked out.

But what about the rest of the table? Take a look at the pictures below and you'll see the Phoenix at various stages of production.

The experience of having a table custom built for my hobby has been a great adventure. If I were fortunate enough to have the space and money to burn, I have a couple of other ideas for tables. Since I am unlikely to ever reach that point here are those ideas in case anyone out there gets the chance to buy a table of their own.

Mind Flayers and Drow - Purple stain with burned in images of those creatures and other underdark denizens. The under-lip lighting might work best in blue to give a cold visual. Black hardware.

Cthulhu - Green stain with burned in images of various mythos creatures and of H.P. Lovecraft himself. Painted on the top of the table a large Elder Sign, painted at points around the lip of the table or on other accessories, the Yellow Sign. (A case can be made for flipping the choice of where the Elder and Yellow Signs get painted). Purple hardware. The under-lip lighting could be done in a number of colors depending on the visuals you were after. One possibility would be UV in the event that you had very tiny runes painted in a reactive color along the top of the higher strip of cladding.

Eladrin or High Elves - A pale grey stain. Bright silver hardware. White under-lip lighting. Elven runes and leaf patterns lightly painted on with bright silver.

Well, there we are, something wicked cool, revealed.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Getting Hammered part 6

Dan Fisher of Hammered Game Tables is a huge fan of Dwarven Forge terrain, as am I, and made the decision to have every bit of space inside his own table and any table he sold, to be fully usable for terrain in the scale of one inch to five feet. The inside of the Phoenix works out to 2.5 scale acres of space. That area can be filled with an enormous amount of Dwarven Forge terrain.
Until you are actually looking into one of these tables it is hard to understand just what that means.
 Let's not get stuck thinking two dimensional, you can also go vertical.

What you see above is not stable since I grabbed a few pieces to quickly illustrate the depths to which adventurers can sink, er, I mean the incredible opportunity for fantastic dungeon builds on more than one level.

The time is fast approaching when the gaming group will get together for their first session at the new Phoenix and I will attempt to build out the entire dungeon their characters are exploring. Knowing the size of that dungeon, I can tell you it will not come close to filling the belly of this beast.

This was just a brief look at what can be done with the table. Stay tuned because more will be coming as I break out the Dwarven Forge pieces and prepare for the adventure to continue on February 21st.

Next up . . . some highlights from the building process and a short story of just how excited Dan can get when working on tables.