Total Reroll: Episode 30 – Rancid Fish Soup (S2)

Welcome to Season 2 of Total Reroll, our Dungeons and Dragons podcast! Adam has been playing some some good old fashioned D&D with some friends in London, except it isn’t old fashioned because it’s 5th edition. After finishing ‘Hoard of the Dragon Queen’, we’ve moved on with the same characters to ‘Rise of Tiamat’, the second part of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline. You can find a mega-post of all of the Season 1 content here.

The gang is on the Sea of Moving Ice to find Maccath the Red, a warlock who may know something about the drake’s horn, a powerful magical artifact that the dragon cult may use in their bid to raise the five headed dragon queen Tiamat. Red, Ravoprax, Eldo, Carnicula, Artin, Dariah and Nausicaa arrive at the iceberg Oyaviggaton, her last known location. Check out the highly detailed map of the iceberg!

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Download this episode (right click and save)

If you have any feedback email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk, tweet us @lost_lighthouse or get in touch via our Facebook! Subscribe to the podcast feed or on itunes, and feel free to share or retweet too! Fancy supporting Total Reroll and The Lost Lighthouse? Check out our completely optional, pay-what-you-want Paypal donation page!

Our intro and outro music is ‘Acid Splash’ by Rich Thomson, and our “adverts” are provided by Anthony Walsh.

Enjoy!

 

Total Reroll: Episode 29 – The Sea of Moving Ice (S2)

Welcome to Season 2 of Total Reroll, our Dungeons and Dragons podcast! Adam has been playing some some good old fashioned D&D with some friends in London, except it isn’t old fashioned because it’s 5th edition. After finishing ‘Hoard of the Dragon Queen’, we’ve moved on with the same characters to ‘Rise of Tiamat’, the second part of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline. You can find a mega-post of all of the Season 1 content here.

The gang is off on the open sea again, specifically the Sea of Moving Ice this time, to track down someone who might have information about the drake’s horn, a powerful artifact that the Cult of the Dragon may use in their nefarious plan to raise Tiamat and basically destroy the world. It’s cold. And icy. And full of monsters.


Download this episode (right click and save)

If you have any feedback email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk, tweet us @lost_lighthouse or get in touch via our Facebook! Subscribe to the podcast feed or on itunes, and feel free to share or retweet too! Fancy supporting Total Reroll and The Lost Lighthouse? Check out our completely optional, pay-what-you-want Paypal donation page!

Our intro and outro music is ‘Acid Splash’ by Rich Thomson, and our “adverts” are provided by Anthony Walsh.

Enjoy!

Total Reroll: Episode 28 – Council of Waterdeep (S2)

Welcome to Season 2 of Total Reroll, our Dungeons and Dragons podcast! Adam has been playing some some good old fashioned D&D with some friends in London, except it isn’t old fashioned because it’s 5th edition. After finishing ‘Hoard of the Dragon Queen’, we’ve moved on with the same characters to ‘Rise of Tiamat’, the second part of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline. You can find a mega-post of all of the Season 1 content here.

After defeating Sabal and the Night Pirates last week, the gang heads back to Waterdeep to convince a council to cooperate in facing the threat of the dragon cult and apocalypse by dragon fire. That’s right – it’s time for Diplomacy and Dragons. Or Dungeons and Diplomacy. Actually there won’t be any dungeons or dragons.


Download this episode (right click and save)

If you have any feedback email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk, tweet us @lost_lighthouse or get in touch via our Facebook! Subscribe to the podcast feed or on itunes, and feel free to share or retweet too! Fancy supporting Total Reroll and The Lost Lighthouse? Check out our completely optional, pay-what-you-want Paypal donation page!

Our sexy new music is ‘Acid Splash’ by Rich Thomson, and our “adverts” are provided by Anthony Walsh.

Enjoy!

So it’s All Come Down to This… Cave-ins and Betrayals

Adam has started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in London. Here is his account of their first epic journey.

So it’s all come down to this. With everyone fed and drinks poured, we got an early start on the last night of The Lost Mines of Fandango campaign. The group had no idea what to expect, with conversations with the DM hinting at various nefarious plans of his to ensure that not everyone would make it out alive. Perhaps even none of us. As always, it started back up at the inn.

Bubbles threw the customary herpes roll for the start of each game, to see if they had a flare up or not. A natural 20. With no sign for two sessions now, was the viral disease gone? Was it linked to Glass-staff, and now we had snuffed him out Bubbles was clear? Was this dice roll indicative of a successful night? Doubtful. That isn’t really how probability works.

With Gundrin safe, we learned more about Wave Echo Cave.  The Forge of Spells located there was created by wizards and dwarves, but they were later all killed by orcs. Those orcs in turn all died in a cave-in, so now all that resides in the caverns are the Black Spider and his minions, stirges and various members of the undead, such as ghouls, zombies and skeletons. Not to be deterred, we restocked (and got some new bling) and headed off.

As we approached the cave, King Roberto the Pirate King used the power of his eyepatch to summon a storm, raising his his sword as a mast to attract the lightning into the blade while yelling a vague attempt at the Unrelenting Force dragon shout from Skyrim. Barely hurting himself, he managed to trap the bolt into the longsword Talon, giving it +1 lightning damage for the rest of the day.

Thunder

Excitedly, the homeopathic cleric Samuel tried to replicate this. Every step was slightly off, starting with the fact that Samuel doesn’t have the same ability to summon lightning. He then raised his hatchet, rubbing it on his head to generate static electricity. Rather than imbuing his weapon with lightning, he slightly scalped himself and suffered minor damage before we even went into the cave. Finally, Tiny forgot to tie up his poorly named horse again (now with 3 names: Asymmetry/Raider/Rascal). He lost his horse in our 1st edition game for forgetting to tie it up, which he failed to learn a lesson from, but luckily since getting it in this game has not had it stolen or wander off. Yet.

We went in to the cave, finding one of Gundrin’s brothers dead. As is tradition, we looted the body but he didn’t have anything of use. So we stole his shoes. Dead men walk no trails. Or something. The only other thing in the cave was a hole and a rope down into the darkness. Tiny went down to look around quietly, but Samuel shouted down after him and two skeletons appeared. He managed to stay hidden, but Samuel dropped down after him and hurt himself. Deano followed, and he and Tiny quickly saw off the skeletons. King Roberto and Lordi dropped down too and hurt themselves a little, while Bubbles landed perfectly, “slut-dropping” to celebrate and/or taunt the others.

SD

We had two choices here, one corridor appeared to have acid damage down it but with no visible traps, so we concluded that there was likely some kind of acid spewing nasty awaiting us. The other direction did not have acid damage. We chose the path of least acidification, arriving in a large constructed cavern, littered with bones. Tiny and Bubbles investigated (with Tiny hearing a voice in his head say “You’re a cunt”), spying a group of ten stirges in ceiling. Lordi tried to sneak round the room, but made too much noise and got swarmed by half of them, the other half went onto Roberto. A swarm of the little buggers could be nasty, as they hit for much more damage than you’d expect for a weird mosquito/vampire bat/bird cross, but they also take little more than a backhand to kill, so the group made short work of them.

Lordi and Roberto did take a fair bit of damage, leaving the former fairly close to being knocked out, so we went up to a guard room for a quick rest. However, there was no such luck as nine skeletons rose up to meet us. Deano attacks with burning hands (which I always hear as if a stoner is chanting “burning maaaannn!”) charring several. Samuel then ran in, smashing one of the smoldering skeletons to pieces, which may have been his first ever kill. Throwing his extra attacks around like a big-shot, sure to not put himself in great danger later, King Roberto walked into the room confidently,  killing two and damaging another, while getting hit himself for a savage critical.

Skeletons

Much to everyone’s surprise (possibly because he is a cleric, and not a very good one) Samuel killed another two by dual wielding even though he has no proficiency for doing that, caving in their skulls. Roberto gave him a fist bump as congratulations and the DM gave him a disadvantage on the next roll. Worth it. Deano kills another. From the door, a heavily damaged Lordi attempted a cone of ice spell from the door on the last skeleton, already only crawling slowly along the ground towards the party. They missed, and the skeleton continued to inch towards the caster, before King Roberto just walked up to it and crushed its head under his foot.

After a rest, we walked through a cavern full of mushrooms and spores. Some erupted near King Roberto and the DM tried to make him roll for poisoning, forgetting that he, Deano, Tiny and Rick all found rings of resist poison in the wizards tower. The DM was unhappy about not getting to poison someone. This would not be the first time the DM would be irritated that his plans didn’t work out entirely. Before stashing some of these mushrooms, Deano used his resistance to openly eat one in front of Samuel, mocking him and his susceptibility to poison and hunger.

We arrived a hall with a starry ceiling. Feeling magic coming from two attached rooms, Samuel went straight into the first, as he couldn’t bothered to be helpful anymore. It was burnt out, and contains a wraith named Mormesk. He was once a wizard, and one of the founders of the Forge of Spells. We tried to get information and convince him to give us his treasure, but Samuel got bored and attacked. Predictably, Tiny sneaked in mid-combat,  stealing the treasure. After a quick fight, Samuel finished off the wraith. He was having a killer night.

The opposite room contained a brazier (we all laughed) of green flame – the Forge of Spells. A multi-eyed floating monster calling himself The Spectator (a relation of a Beholder) used a psychic voice, telling us that he watches the forge. Lordi, after being ignored a few times while yelling “ray of ice”, hit him with a ray of ice. Once again mid-combat, Tiny stole some shiny weapons from the sides of the room. The fight was looking to get pretty hairy, but Samuel in a stroke of genius used a Control Water spell to desiccate the monster’s multiple eyes, removing all of the fluid and blinding him. No longer able to fulfil his roll as a spectator, he disappeared. Suspecting that we were coming up to the end, we all used the forge, which temporarily granted +1 stats to all of our weapons.

Spectator

Finally, we headed up through the arch at the end of the hall, finding a large room lined with stone pillars and a giant dwarf statue at the end with huge emerald eyes. At the foot of the steps up to the statue was a campsite, where two bugbears and a dark elf got to their feet. The Black Spider and his cronies. Boss fight time.

Immediately four of us were webbed up by four giant spiders crawling down from the ceiling. We all struggled free, as the Black Spider disappeared. Once again Roberto’s resist poison ring came in useful, avoiding succumbing to a spider bite. He eventually took out the spider facing him and another, while Tiny and Bubbles brought down one each. We were all taking heavy damage, first from the spiders and then the bugbears. Samuel was hit badly, and tried to escape to the exit but was knocked out. Our first actual KO. And while nobody was looking, preoccupied with the battle at hand, clawed hands dragged his unconscious body away…

It looked like the battle may be turning in our favour. All throughout, the invisible Black Spider was using his telepathic powers to plant suggestions into the heads of various party members, to get them to turn on their companions, but we were lucky with out rolling so they were all shrugged off. With a well placed magic missile, Lordi managed to simultaneously knock out the Black Spider and kill the more wounded bugbear.

With only one enemy left, it looked like we had this in the bag. Suddenly an imp came down from the ceiling, appearing to be Scratch’s true form (Deano’s pet psychic rat), who started pulling at one of the eyes on the statue. All through the boss fight, and in fact the whole dungeon, Deano had been constantly messaging the DM. Secret plans had been afoot. He then used thunderwave on the whole room, damaging everyone and throwing Tiny to the side of the room. I flat out ask him if we need to get out, and he said it would probably be a good idea.

Not quick enough though. Scratch yelled ‘I did it!’ and yanked the eye free. The room started to shake, the pillars fell and the ceiling collapsed. Deano was already at the door, with Bubbles and Tiny nimbly making it through too. King Roberto stumbled but just got there in time (I fucked up the first roll, but used an inspiration point to re-roll and scraped by). Lordi though, failed the dexterity roll and was crushed to death instantly.

nothic

Once the dust was cleared, with the last bugbear, the Black Spider and our companion Lordi all dead from the cascade of rock, we found Samuel’s corpse horribly mutilated nearby with his heart removed. It turned out that Deano had been continuing his friendship with the Nothic, the beast he had been feeding dead and live bodies to back in Trent Reznor Manor, and had promised him plenty more bodies to feast on in Wave Echo Cave if he came along as insurance. When it turned out that most of the creatures in the cave were light on meat and heavy on bone, he offered a new deal – us.

He planned the cave-in using Scratch, but unfortunately for him far more of us survived than he had thought. So he played the innocent. And he played it well. The most infuriating thing about his betrayal and the nature of the RPG is that we knew full well that he had tried to stab us in the back. We knew he had been doing similar things all along, and that ultimately he could and would betray us. But our characters didn’t know. He never did anything so blatant, until this, that we could accuse him of. We never had a chance to catch him in the act. And even if we had, he was one of our strongest fighters. A confrontation may have left us more than just one man down. Well played you cunning bastard. If fewer of us had escaped the cave in, he almost certainly would have finished us off too.

So we had two characters die, Samuel and Lordi. But then out of nowhere, and possibly in his first selfless act of the game, Tiny announced that he had a scroll of revivify. Presumably taken from one of the many treasure chests he looted without telling us, he could revive one dead character. Despite having had an excellent night, Samuel was done. His player wanted to move on to a new character after this, and didn’t mind being the sacrifice. So Lordi was revived, and Samuel remained dead and horribly torn apart. What a guy.

Epitaph

Samuel the Cleric 2014-2015

And that was it for our first campaign in D&D. We had a deal with Gundrin for 10% each of the profits from the Forge of Spells, the kind of potential fake in-game money that a person can retire on. We all had a blast trying this out, as for almost all of us it was a first foray into pen and paper RPGs. Even those that were initially skeptical ended up loving it, and nearly all of us picked up the Player’s Handbook. In the end we all decided to start up some new characters for the next session, as these had all been presets with modified backgrounds. Now everyone has had a feel for the game, everything is going to get a bit more in depth and the stakes are likely to be higher, but everyone is in.

I may go back to my first character at some point, but for now this is King Roberto the Pirate King signing off.

Roberto

These D&D adventure write ups may continue in some form on the site as we make the games a little more regular with our new characters. I hope you’ve enjoyed these articles, please let us know any feedback you may have from them in the comments below!

Adam

 

So it’s All Come Down to This… Doppelgängers and Eviscerations

Adam has started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in London. Here is his account of their first epic journey.

This was the first night back since before Christmas, and we were all keen to finish off The Lost Mines of Fandango storyline, so the DM organised this and the next session close together. But as it had been such a long break, and everyone was due to go up to level 4, we had a very slow start to this first night as everyone sorted out their new stats and abilities.

After their adventure in the tower, King Roberto the Pirate King, Rick, Deano and Tiny all headed back to town to regroup with the others. Along the way Rick wandered off on his own somewhere, our first absentee, and unfortunately he would not return for the finale either. Back in Phandalin, we filled the others in on where we had been, why Tiny now had lizard-like eyes and was crackling, and asked why they didn’t seem to have really wondered where we had been for several days. After a successful herpes roll for Bubbles, avoiding a flare up, we headed to the shops to grab some new gear. Our second missing player for this session was Samuel, as he was bedridden upstairs in the pub with gastroenteritis, shitting all over the room and himself.

After nearly being killed in one hit by Venomfang the dragon last time, King Roberto was in the market to improve his armour class and attack power. Following pre-game discussion with Lordi, he convinced them that the +1 longsword ‘Talon’ would be put to much better use in the hands of a primarily melee character like him, instead of a wizard who should be hanging back and actually casting spells for once. They begrudgingly acquiesced, giving Talon over on loan (there was a signed contract and everything). The magic longsword provided +1 to attack rolls and damage upon hitting.

The group headed to the nearby smith to buy some better gear too, while Tiny was outside using his considerably higher wealth and other treasure to acquire a horse for some reason. He named it Asymmetry. Inside the shop, a combination of charm and threats were deployed to make a deal for better armour for those who could use it and some rumours. The smith’s cousin went missing under Trent Reznor manor,  but we didn’t care because we’ve already been there. The Black Spider (whom many of the group didn’t understand is likely not a huge spider, rather someone using a pseudonym) had Gundrin, the man who hired us for our original wagon trail right at the start of the quest, and has taken over Wave Echo Cave, where the Forge of Spells is located. All very ominous sounding.

After gearing up we headed to Cragmaw Castle. At the south entrance, Deano conversed with his psychic rat Scratch (which we don’t know about in-game, but the fact that he continues not to tell us about him makes me trust him less) and told us to head to the north where there was a broken wall. Heading through the hole, Lordi rushed through into the first room, finding nothing. Clumsily bursting through the next door,  Lordi stumbled upon a meeting between a huge old bugbear and a female drow (a dark elf), with a spider patch on her cloak. The bugbear, King Groll, was also guarded by the wolf Snarl. We could see Gundrin tied up in the corner, in a bit of a bad way.

wolf

We started to persuade them we were sent by Glass-staff (whom we previously murdered fairly terribly), continuing our attempt to use the red cloaks we stole to disguise ourselves as redbrands. The drow, named Verith, wanted to take Gundrin to Wave Echo Cave. It turned out that Cragmaw castle was full of hobgoblins and goblins, an owlbear and a grick, whatever that is. For some reason, Lordi snuck into the corner and turned Gundrin invisible. Verith asked what the hell we were doing, and not seeing a way of talking our way out of it, King Roberto the Pirate King attempted to stab his longsword into her neck, missing completely.

Tiny snuck round and hacked at the bugbears legs, while King Roberto stabbed him in the neck. Verith grabbed Gundrin and held a knife to his throat, but Deano used shocking grasp on her, stunning her and causing her appearance to flicker, revealing herself to be a shapeshifting Doppelgänger. Snarl the wolf attacked King Roberto, somehow biting through his new armour and doing some fairly nasty damage. He responded by snapping the wolf’s neck with his shield. Grim. Deano, having bound his two handed sword to himself magically, faked out the bugbear, making him look the wrong way before disappearing the sword and teleporting it back into his hands on the other side, hacking at him. He called this an alley-oop.

alley oop

The grick crashed through the door, joining the party. It sounds like some sort of hentai nightmare, a long snake like creature with a beak mouth surrounded by tentacles. Tiny attempted to throw alchemists fire at it, but missed. In fact, we were all missing a lot and this battle was dragging along. The bugbear, now heavily wounded but still not dead due to some terrible dice rolling from everyone, still managed to take off half of Deano’s HP in one hit. He was finally taken down by a combination of an arrow from Bubbles and being run through by Deano.

grick

King Roberto beheaded the Doppelgänger, and luckily the Grick missed the whole party multiple times, and after a few good spells from Lordi it was finished off by Bubbles. Before we rested, King Roberto the Pirate King hit level 5, ahead of everyone else on account of him not missing a session.

Did I sing the Final Fantasy level up music? You bet I did.

In addition to another HP boost, at level 5 fighters get an extra attack every combat turn, which I was looking forward to abusing. With two basic attacks, plus the action surge ability and second wind I could attack 3 times in a row and heal myself, though the latter two abilities can only be used once per fight before needing a rest to recover them.

After we rested, a goblin came to the door to ask if everything was OK. Roberto and Deano, separately, attempted to fake the dead King Groll’s voice. We pulled him into the room, threatening him and convinced him to tell us where the treasure in the castle was. We woke Gundrin up, who told us the location of Wave Echo Cave. He said if we helped him take it over, clearing out the Black Spider, we would get a cut of 10% each from the profits that the use of the Forge of Spells would provide, as an ongoing business venture. We agreed, and set to leaving the castle. King Roberto, turning back into the room with the nonchalance of someone who has forgotten his keys, stabbed the goblin in the throat before joining his companions.

Slowly and quietly, the group headed to the room the now very dead goblin had pointed out as the treasure room, stealthily skirting past the dining hall where the sounds of goblins eating could be heard. Lordi crashed straight through the door, only to be smacked to the floor by an angry owlbear. In fact if we hadn’t rested they would have been knocked unconscious at least. I think the DM was planning on this being a much longer fight, but King Roberto strode into the room, full of the bravado that a level up provides, scoring a critical hit by ramming a javelin up the owlbear’s throat, and a second critical hit hacking into his neck with his sword. The now heavily damaged owlbear did unleash a multi attack on King Roberto, but his health was now so high that it didn’t really worry him. Bubbles then also scored a critical, burying an arrow into the owlbear’s head and finishing him off.

This room was largely bereft of treasure, so any remorse for killing the goblin that King Roberto didn’t feel would have been misplaced as he had lied to us. Looking at our maps however, we saw a room of interest that may contain something of value. Heading to it, we saw steps and two separate entrances covered with a curtain. Very quietly (possibly too quietly for two fighters in splint heavy armour), King Roberto and Deano sneaked up to the curtains, surveying the room. It contained an altar, with three robed goblins praying before it. In perfect synchronisation, with the same dice rolls, the pair of fighters crept up the steps to the altar and beheaded two of the goblins at the same time. They threatened the last, who revealed it was an altar to the goblin god Maglubiyet, whom they had sacrificed humans to. In fact we saw some hand crafted statues of various birds in the corner that could well have belonged to such a sacrifice.

We asked “What would happen if we sacrificed a goblin to your god?”

He looked at his dead friends and said “They’re dead, it has to be a live sacrifice…”

“You’re alive”

And so we took the golden knife and eviscerated him, disemboweling and sacrificing him to his own god. Neither of us was entirely sure why we did it, but were in total agreement that we should. We felt a chill, but no goblin god appeared to enact revenge (I think mainly because we caught the DM off guard). Taking all of the blood stained gold implements, and the bird statues, we then sneaked out of the castle. The rest of the group looking increasingly uncomfortable being around Deano and Roberto right now. With Gundrin rescued, we headed back to town to rest up before heading to Wave Echo Cave.

Adam

 

Check out the finale here!

 

So it’s All Come Down to This… Black Holes and Bear Traps

Adam has started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in London. Here is his account of their first epic journey.

Waking up the next morning, and heading outside to relieve himself in the street like the Pirate King he is, King Roberto the Pirate King (last time I’ll do that, probably) looked up and saw a familiar figure above him in the sky. Venomfang the dragon swooped down and grabbed him, speeding off with Roberto in his clutches. That’s right, this time it was Samuel, Lordi and Bubbles that were absent from the session, and were left asleep in the pub (possibly where they were in reality too). Thus far only two participants of this D&D adventure have made it to every session – me and the DM. It speaks volumes about my social availability in the evenings. I don’t have a lot going on.

After a long flight, Roberto was dumped on top of a tall Wizards Tower where he found the missing Deano, Rick and Tiny. It turned out they had been up on this tower for several days, having failed to pry open a magically sealed trap door leading downwards. Venomfang wants us to travel to the bottom level of the tower, which oddly is only accessible from the hatch on the top, and retrieve a chest for him. Tiny persists in asking fairly stupid questions, trying his patience, but he does tell us that the chest contains a magic chain, which he wants to give to a Bronze dragon (apparently his love interest for hot dragon-on-dragon romance).  He is very clear, with the threat of imminent violence, that we do not touch the chain.

I mean, obviously we were going to touch the chain.

Indy

The dragon opened the trap door for us, so we all drop down on each other intentionally, causing slight damage to ourselves. The room contains another trap door, also sealed, and a pedestal with a leather pouch on it. There are spikes on the ceiling, presumably attached to a mechanism on the pedestal, so we spend far too long trying to Raiders of the Lost Ark the bag. Finally, we set the trap off, and the spikes come down but stop. Apparently just a warning not to continue, even though the door magically opens. We continue

The stairs turn into a slide on the way down, so we all slightly damage each other again tumbling down. We find a circular room filled with water, with an island in the middle of the room and a flaming torch. In the water these was a skeleton holding an ornate sword, which Deano dove in to grab, and his hand stuck to the sword. It wouldn’t budge, so he started to drown. Rick tried to pass air into his lungs, but just ended up awkwardly kissing him. Roberto dunked the torch into the water, thinking it was magic or something (secretly hoping it was gasoline and he could “accidentally” get rid of Deano, whom he doesn’t trust at all) but that was a bust, and Tiny also tried to be helpful by bringing a flask full of air to Deano, but his small limbs meant he swam too slowly and Deano eventually manages to shift the sword and swim up by himself, with a nifty looking new two handed sword.

Through next trap door we found the room full of bear traps. The floor was completely covered, so we tapped one with a sword to set it off, and as it snapped closed a black hole appeared, summoning a large black bear. As we fought it, more black holes were triggered, bringing in more bears. Peering through one of the singularities before it closed, we saw a lush valley full of calm looking bears. There were now three in the room with us, none of whom appreciated being ripped from the Valley of the Bears, and one of whom was severely injured from our attacks and the two traps attached to his legs.

Slowly we created a path to the next room, first by setting off a trap on purpose, pushing the dying bear through the maw straight away, the black hole closing afterwards without dragging another through. Then we got the idea to use the traps on the bears to send them back to their home. We didn’t want to leave the bears stranded, so in a misguided attempt at setting them free we tried clamping the traps on the bears, opening the vortex directly on them and sending them back to the rolling fields full of their friends. Possibly bleeding to death.

DwarfThe next room was divided by a deep trench across the middle of the room, several feet wide. At the bottom were deadly spikes, and we also discovered that there was a barely visible glass wall on the other side (by Rick jumping in to it and nearly falling to his death). Throwing rocks at the glass revealed that it didn’t go all the way to the ceiling, so we attempted a midget toss using Tiny, tying the rope round him and launching him over the wall. He smashed in to the glass, shattering it, and as he picked the glass out of his face, we all jumped over through the gap he created.

At last, we found the chest we were searching for. Ignoring the dragon’s threats, we opened it and Tiny touched the glowing chain inside. He was enveloped in energy, and was suddenly and permanently bestowed with Gold dragon powers, including the ability to breath fire. His appearance was altered too, with his hair turned to gold and crackling energy surrounding him, turning him into the least subtle thief of all time and resulting in him looking a lot like this…

Trunks

The chain was left grey and depleted. We would have to lie to Venomfang, and try and convince him that we found it like that. We drag the chest all the way to the roof, leaving Tiny down one level, due to his new glowing presence. Disappointed, the dragon nonetheless believed us when we say we didn’t use it, but King Roberto decided to mock him anyway, muttering under his breath. Venomfang casually, yet swiftly, stabbed Roberto with a single claw and nearly one-shotted him on the spot.

Apologising and bleeding profusely, we gave him the chain and he gave us back our ropes so we could join them together and climb down from the tower. As we made our way back to our compatriots, King Roberto mused on what he had learned that day. Mainly, that Level 4 players can’t take a dragon, and as such should probably avoid antagonising them.

Adam

 

Check out part 7 here!

So it’s All Come Down to This… Zombies and Herpes Arrows

Adam has started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in London. Here is his account of their first epic journey.

We returned straight back into the fray outside the cave at Wyvern Tor, with a group of orcs rushing towards the entrance to fight us. The ogre Gog was at the forefront, but as he reached us the dragon Venomfang made his reappearance. He swooped down, grabbing Rick and Deano in each of his claws, picking up Tiny by his pack hanging from his teeth (guess which three party members were away for this session?), and flew off with them, cackling. At the sight of the dragon, the ogre turned tail and ran for the nearby hills. This still left 4 orcs and their huge leader Brugor to attack our now depleted party of four.

D&D5

Bubbles quickly dispatched one with a herpes arrow to the face. I should explain. Part of Bubbles’ backstory is that they probably/definitely have herpes. At the start of every session, a dice roll is required to see if there is a particularly bad flare-up that day. The dice roll was poor this time, but Bubbles coated an arrow with the herpes to make it… poisonous? More powerful? Disgusting?

Disgusting.

So this poor orc died, from a combination of herpes and an arrow to the face. King Roberto took out another, ramming a javelin up under its chin not unlike what happens to Timothy Dalton in Hot Fuzz, but driving it home through the brainpan instead. The orc leader Brugor was gradually hacked down by the group, leaving two left who immediately surrendered. They were questioned about the location of Cragmoor Castle, but unhappy with the answers from the first now defenceless orc, Roberto slit his throat. The other, very panicked now, gives us gold and a magic coin.

This session, the DM brought in magic items (most of which he bought real-world versions of, from Claire’s Accessories, and which had to be brought along to each session if the holder wanted to use its effects). Lordy yelled ‘MINE!’ straight away, as they did most of the subsequent magic items, which isn’t really how teamwork functions. The orc told us the wizard Cost, the necromancer who sent us to kill all the orcs, was their friend. After letting him go, we set to cutting off all the ears of the dead orcs, and Brugor’s entire head as proof of a job well done. As is tradition, we looted the bodies, where we found a lovely note from one of their kids . Apparently orcs have blue highlighters.

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On way back during the night, Bubbles stole Lordy’s lucky coin. Lots of hassle ensued, and probable meta gaming that probably should have been punished. Back at the Owls Nest, we found Glass-Staff inside the tent talking with Cost, who tried to silently indicate to us to come back later. Bubbles and Glass-Staff recognise each other an have an awkward moment (as Glass-Staff was the one who gave Bubbles herpes) but before any further discussion Lordy attacked for what were very good reasons I’m sure. Cost joined our side in the fight, using a ring to summon a poisonous snake. Trying to take Glass-Staff out non-lethally so we could question him, King Roberto hit him with the bag of ears. Then cut off his right arm. And left leg.

Cost’s snake bit him, the poison from which quickly killed him. Samuel picked up Glass-Staff’s glass staff, and we found a strange bracelet on him, which Lordy took. Cost then attacked us too, after we ask him why he was dealing with our enemy. We defeated his summoned snake, took the snake ring and killed Cost. Then the horde (is eleven a horde?) of zombies attacked through the tent, but it turned out the bracelet could control the zombies. So that’s what we did.

Heading back to Phandolin to rest up, followed by our retinue of zombies, we crossed paths with two Paladins, Goodwin and Tuck, on horseback. Rewarding us for killing both Cost and Glass-Staff, they were however very aggressively opposed to our plan of having our zombie slaves wait outside the peaceful town while we rested at the inn. We agree to give them the bracelet to destroy, which they did, in exchange for some magic shackles and a fucking magic eyepatch, taken from the Pirate King Saltwater Perkins. King Roberto immediately put on the eyepatch, without waiting for the explanation of its powers. The eyepatch bored out his left eye,  but granted him the ability to summon a storm and use lightning powers once a day. Also +1 charisma! So henceforth his new name would be King Roberto the Pirate King.

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On our way back the sky darkened, and Venomfang circled above us, dropping Tiny’s thieves toolkit and before flying off towards Thundertree laughing. King Roberto the Pirate King started to formulate a plan to liberate (or pillage the already dead bodies of) his companions up at the deserted town, and fight the dragon with his nifty new storm powers.

Near Phandolin, we briefly headed into the woods to slaughter some cultists who had just murdered a group of villagers and were about to sacrifice a boy. Back in town, we turned the boy over to guards. The boy, impressed by King Roberto the Pirate King’s eyepatch, gave him a jar with a tarantula inside for helping him. He was unsure of what to do with it, but as tarantulas are delicious it could prove a useful snack later. For helping with the cultists, the guard set us up with free rooms at the inn. However, as soon as they enter, Elsa the barmaid can’t resist the draw of the eyepatch, wordlessly leading King Roberto the Pirate King off to the best room in the house.

Thus endeth the session. Come back next week for ‘Blackholes and Bear Traps’!

Adam

 

Check out part 6 here!

So it’s All Come Down to This… Owlbears and Dragons

Adam has started playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in London. Here is his account of their first epic journey.

At the start of our fourth session, we all hit Level 3 and were able to pick what sub-classes we wanted to go with. For fighters we were given the option of two martial archetypes: Champion or Eldritch Knight. Deano went with Eldritch Knight, which allowed him to pick a couple of basic spells. As there are two fighters in our group, and picking the same thing would be boring, I went with the Champion martial archetype, granting me improved critical hits – now a natural roll of 19 or 20 will score a critical hit in combat, and that improves even more in higher levels. King Roberto has been practicing his stabbing, and it has paid off!  As rogues, Bubbles chose the Assassin subclass, and Tiny chose to go with thief (because he is a thieving thief), Paladin Rick went down the Path of Devotion (which sounds like a euphemism), and Lordi and Samuel arrived late so we didn’t bother picking their subclasses until next time.

Back in the pub, after a full night of rest, we set about finding some more information about where to go next. King Roberto “questioned” a man that was very similar but not at all the same guy he threatened to stab back in the first session. Regardless, threats worked again. We got leads on nearby Thundertree where Mt. Hootenanny recent erupted and zombies killed the townsfolk, Old Owl Well, Cragmoor Castle where Glass-Staff apparently fled to (and someone wanted us to take care of him and clear the castle), and Coney Island. The problem with writing down joke names for everything is that you rarely remember the proper names later on. Nor do you care. We also spoke to a Sister Gabriel, who wanted us to head to Coney Island to look for the spellbook of Mr Bojangles. There we would find the Banshee Agatha. Banshees sound like fun, so we headed that way.

On the way we were attacked by an Owlbear (Half owl, half bear, all Owlbear). After we dispatched it, with King Roberto finishing it off by ramming a javelin through it’s throat (fast becoming his go-to move – ranged stabbing), we discovered it had been magically shacked. Animal cruelty, so mutilating it was a kindness. Sort of. Propping it up as some sort of meat puppet to ward off attackers while we slept is probably a bit more difficult to justify.

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We then wasted ages trying to sort out a problem Lordi had developed during the end of the last dungeon, which I forgot to mention. They drank a potion that granted them invisibility, but simultaneously caused all the hair on their body to grow rapidly resulting in a Cousin Itt look (that no one could actually see). Everyone took it in turns at this point (about a full in-game day after the problem arose, not really a priority) to permanently remove the hair, most of which resulted in damage to Lordi. After a lot of pissing around, a dragon suddenly appeared above us. As a mighty level 3 Champion, Roberto started to ponder the implications of attempting to stab the dragon, but thought better of it. For now. The dragon, named Venomfang, did not attack but did mock the goody-two-shoes-paladin-in-training Rick. He departed, indicating that it wasn’t the last we would see of him.

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Arriving at Coney Island, Lordi ignored the rest of the group and tried to confront the Banshee (while Tiny sneaked in to steal something), going about as well as you would expect. Failing to brashly convince Agatha to give up Mr. Bojangles’ book, Lordi was ignored by the Banshee who haughtily told us that the necromancer Seeroff had the book. Giving no more help, the Banshee left. With nothing else to do there, and no more leads, the party headed out of Coney Island and up a worn path.

We came to Old Owl Well, where we saw a large tent and a ruined tower nearby, found to be full of zombies. An aura of dark magic indicated that a necromancer was inside the tent, so Deano attempted to fake Venomfang’s voice to scare him. It failed, as Deano doesn’t actually sound like a dragon, but the necromancer did not attack anyway. We ask about Cragmoor Castle, and he agreed to tell us if we head to the nearby Wyvern Tor (not a name that filled me with anything other than dread) to murder a group of orcs with extreme prejudice, bringing back their ears as proof. Not opposed to wholesale murder for a man who desecrates and summons the dead, we headed off.

A guard outside the cave where the orcs are holed up was quickly and silently dispatched with an arrow to the face by Bubbles, very much taking to that new role of Assassin. Then we set to preparing to fight numerous orcs (and a troll apparently). As we did this Lordi, for reasons totally unknown to everyone, fluttered in some sort of weird love note to the orc leader into the cave, alerting them to our presence. Rick and Deano attempted once again to throw the rope of light between them, to cover the entrance of the cave so we could pick the orcs off. It fails, again, as Ser “Dropper” Deano fumbled the catch, again. The orcs were seconds from the entrance, troll in the lead…

… and we had to call it a night. It was a week night, and everyone had to get back across London to their various homes, very much restricted by the fact that main form of public transport in the capital of this country stops at around midnight. Big ol’ rumble as soon as we start next time!

Adam

 

Check out part 5 here!

The Lost Lighthouse First Thoughts Review: Through The Breach RPG

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Gary checks out Wyrds first pen and paper RPG

After almost a years extra wait, my Through The Breech (TTB) Kickstarter has arrived! Now I’m not going to go on a rant about Wyrd not delivering on time etc etc because of one simple thing, they communicated! Because of the tardiness backers also got a free Arcane fate deck and a Lilith crew. Thank you very much!

In this article I will make reference to the fictional world and the actual miniature game ‘Malifaux’. If you are unaware of this amazing game and story then it’s probably worth check out Ben’s article here before continuing with this one.

I’m a massive fan of pen and paper RPGs, and when I found out that Wyrd were releasing one for Malifaux I got very excited! I was even more excited when I learnt that Mack Martin was the lead designer.

For me the two most important elements to a great RPG are mechanics and character creation. The mechanics should be smooth but not so simple that it’s not worth going through the motions, and they should never NEVER stop the story from being the star role. Character creation should be fun and get you excited about playing him/her. It’s should be clear as it’s normally new players doing it and should explain, in-game, what the stats and skills you’re choosing relate to.

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The Cross Road Tarot helps build your character

So, does Wyrds new baby cut the mustard? Well, in my humble opinion, yes but with a few caveats. Character creation is very close to being perfect but it slips up on some very basic things. To me, it’s written as if you already know how to do it and the steps are just a simple summary of what you need to do. A little more detail here is sorely needed. In the pursuits section, your started talent isn’t even labeled as such. Basic stuff like this can be confusing to a new player.

Mechanics in mind, to put it very simply, if you know how to play Malifaux you can learn this very quickly. Which is fantastic! It’s exactly as any Malifaux fan would want it. They do add some extra actions to make ‘dramatic time’ more interesting. The other thing you need to know is you use cards from a communal ‘fate deck’, rather than dice like most RPGs. At times though, constant flipping of cards slows down the story and at other points the cards seem a bit shoehorned in. But these are very rare occasions, and I think the design team have done a great job. I think it must have been difficult to build the mechanics around the cards but it’s turned out very nicely indeed. Personally, I’d still rather roll some dice, but I do love dice.

Should you buy into this system? If you love Malifaux and want to get into pen and paper RPGs then this is a perfect gateway game but hopefully Wyrd will release some sort of ‘helper’ PDF for character creation. If you are already into pen and paper RPGs, don’t over look this one as it has some cool new takes on the genre. If you’re not at all into Malifaux then maybe give it miss but if there’s even a hint of steam punk love in your pneumatic bones then give it a go!

On friday we shall be releasing a mini-cast where ‘The Tabletop Project’s own Jan Proudley creates his character with Gary.

Love to your mothers

Gary.