Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yawning Portal Drink Coaster

I came across this pic on the web for drink coasters with the Yawning Portal icon on them. The site was linked to Enworld  but I couldn't find where these were produced or if they could even be purchased anywhere. If anyone knows where to get  them please let me know. Id very much like them for my gaming group.

INTO THE WILDERLANDS- Adventures in Karameikos Session III

Since I have been very bad about posting the past few adventures I ran (and now because months later after the last time we played, I cant really recall the play by play events that took place as the group assaulted the Temple of Chaos ( at the Caves of Chaos). I'm just going to post the pics for any ones viewing pleasure.

Due to the inability of half of the players to commit to gaming right now, and the fact that I am once again moving out of state and will be unable to keep playing with this group;  I will no longer be posting any more adventure pics for this group. I had a good time running Dungeon Crawl Classics and enjoyed watching my players grind through the dungeon. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

INTO THE WILDERLANDS- Adventures in Karameikos Session I

Session I

The story begins with the group accompanying a caravan traveling south from the City of Selenica, through the Black Peak Mountains down into the northern wilderlands of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos. The Caravan Master, one Averos the Saddlemerchant hired on Garidy the mercenary as one of his caravan guards. Baltan the Halfling money lender had business southward and offered up his martial services as payment for travel with the caravan. Tanowar the Elf, somewhat bored of his past centuries spent in the depths of Alfeheim, served as horse tender for the caravan. Averos was heading south to Kelven with his fair daughter Melinda, barely 16, whom was to be married to a merchants son in that city as part of a trade alliance.

The story opens up as the caravan has come down out of the Black Peaks, and is but a mile or so from their destination: the Castellan's Keep, better known as the Keep on the Boarderlands. There the merchant hopes to resupply and perhaps unload some of his goods before carrying on to Kelven. It is mid afternoon, and as the caravan creaks along the muddy road through the thick forest, they are set upon by an Orc ambush. It is in the middle of this ambush we begin....

The Orcs set upon the caravan with surprise, rushing out of the cover of foliage and makeshift camouflage covers, and firing down upon them with nasty black shafted arrows from spots above. As the battle ensued, caravan guards rushed here and there to meet the oncoming Orc forces. The spooked mounts pulling free from the caravan train and charging off into the wilds. Averos was barking orders to this caravan and that, all the while aware of his daughters fearful cries from the rear waggon,

Baltran's pony was spooked by the attack and nearly bucked the halfling off. He managed to recover just in time as an Orc set upon him. Garidy, still upon his warhorse, charged upon one Orc and crushed it under his hooves. Garidy then charged his mount upon a short bluff to overtake an Orc bowman there. Tanowar, noticed that there seemed to be two different clans of Orcs attacking, noting the difference of skin color ( green vs grey) eyes and armor and adornment and weapons.
 While he was assessing all this, he was set upon by two Orcs and unable to get a spell off.

The battle continued with caravan guards and riders dropping here and there on the shaft of an arrow, the thrust of a spear or the head of an axe.

Garidy, now down off his horse to slay the Orc he had knocked down with his charge, was in the clear for Orcish archers that began to riddle him with arrows and he soon fell.

Baltan assisted by a caravan guard,  were being set upon by Hookhand,  an fierce some green Orc with  a nasty curved hook for a hand and a jagged sword in the other and two of the grey Orcs. Baltan took the nasty hook into his shoulder and was lurched about by the massive Orc to lay unconscious upon the ground.

Meanwhile Tanowar, seeing the situation as being most dire, sought to flee into the woods, but was quickly bludgeoned under the blow of a stone axe and fell unconscious.

 A few of the group gained consciousness as they were being tended by some remaining caravan members. The Orcs were gone, along with them they had taken the majority of the caravans goods, some of the guards and Averose's daughter, Melinda. Averose was alive badly injured, his ribs and leg having been crushed in the battle, was being tended by his scout Voraxal. Slowly the group gathered what mounts they could find and tethered them back to the wagons and carts and began a slow crawl back to the Keep. The last thing the PCs remember before falling unconscious again, was seeing the silhouette of the keep high upon the rock outcropping as they wound their way toward it.

The PCs awoke the next day, being attended by some priests in the Church of Law in the Keep. The Curate, Father Jorin brought them up to speed on the condition of their caravan crew and Averose. After a night of rest and magical healing, the group were summoned the next day by Voraxal the scout and taken to the tavern where Averose and some of his men were already very drunk and upset about the raid and the capture of his daughter. Averose, first angry with the PCs for allowing his daughter to be captured by the repulsive creatures, lapsed into a fit of cries and sobs and begged them to go back to rescue Melinda.
The group agreed to assist, and Voraxal offered to act as scout to track down the Orcs back to their lair.  They learned from the locals that the area the Orcs were hiding was well known and called the Caves of Chaos, a place of foreboding and evil. They also learned that the raids upon travelers and caravans had become more frequent and organized, which has the Castellan of the Keep, Lord Corbett, very concerned.

The group spent time resupplying at the local trader then set off. They were further assisted by two of the caravan guards Jeb and Bush who would serve as men at arms on the mission.

The group left the Keep the next day, all healed up by Father Jorin, and set off to back down the road to find the location of the caravan attack. About an hour later they found the site, still littered with caravan debris and bodies, now being picked clean by scavengers.  Tanowar summoned a viper with the thought of sniffing out Orc tracks but had no luck. Voraxal easily found them and the group made their way through the thick forest toward their quarry.

It took nearly an hour of hacking their way through the vegetation to finally come upon the deep wide rocky ravine where could be viewed about a dozen cave mouths starring down upon the party.  Voraxal determined that the Orks had dragged their spoils back to this area but had split up and one set of tracks led to one cave and the other to another. Tanowar reminded them that there were two groups of Orcs, so each cave probably served to lair each band of the creatures.

They decided to climb the ravine and explore the nearer cave first. At the entrance, Balton lit a torch and held it forward while Garidy moved inside.  To the rear of the cave they viewed a wall covered in the heads and skulls of humans, elves, dwarves and humanoids.   A passage shooting off to his left and right.  As Garidy began to move into this passage, he was nearly felled, as spears rained upon him from the darkness of the right passage and Grey Orcs charged upon him.

A battle quickly ensued and Baltran jumped in  with swords in each hand but was quickly knocked unconscious. Tanowar stepped in and was backed up by Jeb and Bush with spears while Garidy cleaved through one with his sword sending the second one stumbling back down the passage. Garidy grabbed the haflings body and tossed it out  of the cave mouth to Voraxal to help meanwhile alerting the group that his Elf ears had detected the sound of more Orcs coming.  The group readied themselves for the attack, as 5 more Orcs set upon them. This time Tanowar was ready with spell and took the creatures out with a Color Spray spell, knocking them unconscious.

The group quickly slew the unconscious Orcs and retreated back out the cave mouth to regroup.  As Balton was getting back on his feat from the healing salve Voraxal had applied to his wounds, Tanowar  jumped back into the corridor to asses the bodies for goodies. But his Elven hearing once again picked up the sound of oncoming Orcs and he called back to the group to be ready as he fled the cave mouth once again. Baltran was ready with a flask of oil and torch to smash upon the opening to keep the Orcs at bay.

The Orcs stopped  before the opening to the cave and their leader threw the group a bag of gold and said something in Orcish, gesturing for them to leave.  Unsure why the Orcs would bargain at this point to save their lives, the group decided it was very injured, so they took the  gold and returned to the Keep.

Back to the keep the injured party went. They sought healing from Father Jorin once again, and bought some healing salves from the trader  as well.  They reported what had happened to Averose, and began to ask about if there were anyone of the healing arts who could accompany them on their mission.  A jovial man named Tovak stepped forward, claiming to be a priest of Law, and vented his hatred of the Caves and of the evil that was at work there and offered his assistance. He also had with him two acolytes in robes, sworn to  vows of silence.  The group decided they needed a healer and more combat power and willingly took up the priests offer to aid them. They agreed to meet outside the gatehouse early morning ready to go. 

They sought council with Father Jorin once again and found it uncanny that he hadn't met Tovak yet, both being priests of Law, but Jorin explained there were different sects and they had no connection to one another. Priests often came into the walls of the Keep. The group decided to be cautious just the same, but as they really needed the healing and additional manpower, had no reason to not have the priest along. The PCs then  found lodging at the Inn and bedded down for the evening. 

Thus ended the first session.

INTO THE WILDERLANDS- Adventures in Karameikos Intro


Well I finally got a group together where I moved to that's becoming a bit more regular.  I wanted to really try out the DCC ( Dungeon Crawl Classics) because for me if felt like B/X on steroids. I felt DCC would appeal enough to the players who were used to the older versions of D&D and those that liked later versions with lots of character options.  And since I'm running  B/X in the Northern Reaches campaign with my online group, I really wanted to do something different with this group.

Though getting through all the combat, critical hit, fumble and spell tables is still a bit cumbersome at, I think the group is settling into it nicely. I'm finding  the rules creates some pretty cool play as far as combat and spell outcome.  I ran the group through some modules in the Norther Reaches Campaign, which were mostly dungeon crawl stuff. This was a good way to get us used to playing the rules, adopting stuff that we wanted, and altering stuff that didn't work for us.

After a few months of playing and about a  half dozen sessions, we all agreed to continue playing DCC  but with more role playing and a story arch.  I had always wanted to run Nights Dark Terror all the way through and felt this was a perfect mini campaign for us to play in for a while that didn't require a huge  and long term commitment. It also left a lot for me to expand upon and Ive created a while back story that fits well with the whole Law vs Chaos dynamics of DCC magic.

So we made new characters starting at 2nd level and I decided to run an intro module to get the party together and on the track to the mini campaign. Since, I LOVE running the Keep on the Boarderlands as a good intro, I decided to use that for a session or two to get the group some cohesion, some treasure and some magic items until its time to move onto Nights Dark Terror.

The group presently consists of three players (with another hoping to join in soon).  The party consists of:

Garidy the Fighter, mercenary caravan guard

Baltan the Halfling, former moneylender from Darokin

Tanowar the Elf, Alfeheim animal trainer, horse tenderer

Thursday, January 10, 2013

FINALLY ARRIVED!!! Dwarven Forge Catacomb Set

My Dwarven Forge Catacombs sets (I ordered 3) finally arrived. I was hoping to get them for myself by Xmas but there was a delay in the shipping so was bummed out not to have presents to myself under the tree. I was excited today to find them on my doorstep and quickly set to opening them and unwrapping and setting them up.

The design is pretty cool and as usual the craftsmanship is the quality you expect from Dwarven Forge. The set features a series of burial chamber pieces complete with skeletons laid out on stone slabs in the walls, skulls piled up in corners, skull adorned pillars and archways.   I especially liked the abilities to add curved and strait walls onto existing floor tiles, a detail not found in other sets.

The standout feature of this set is that it also come with light up flaming corner pieces that are switched on from underneath each piece.  These will be a very cool addition to some of the other light up pieces Ive purchased on EBay through various vendors.  The only thing I wish was that there were fewer light up pieces and more corner pieces, as I see the regular corners pieces much more useful in the long run.

All that said, I'm happy to start constructing catacomb dungeon sets and  have been holding off on running my new gaming group through the Barrowmaze in anticipation of being able to use the pieces for this adventure which are perfect for that dungeon.