Friday, May 22, 2020

Adventures in the Green, Book I: Characters - DRAFT B available for comment

So I have been writing up my version of OD&D (the 3 LBB plus Supplement 1), taking what is there, reorganizing and reworking the text to be better organized.  I've added a few bits I like from other systems, notably the Spell Repertoire system from Adventurer, Conqueror, King System, but noted what the original text said for purists.

I chose "Adventures in the Green" as the name for my rules.  Book I: Characters contains everything you need to make a character and I now have a complete Draft B of those rules I'm willing to share as a PDF.  I've been working on it the last month to get it into shape instead of typing up session notes to post here, so I thought y'all should see what I've been up to.  The link above will take you to Mediafire and let you download the PDF.  I'd love to hear back what you think of it so far.

There are a few oddities in it that come from the original texts that were surprising to me, like no where do the rules for thieves state that humans can be thieves, like the rules do for Fighters, Magic-Users, and Clerics.  I ran with that.  I also renamed hobbits/halflings as Tolk, as a nod to where they were sourced from without their name feeling intrusive.

The artwork is all placeholder right now.  I'll probably go with public domain woodcut artwork when I go to final layout, but I want to do some playtesting of the rules as they are right now to see if I need to re-write or tweak anything.  The pages are A5-sized as I like the booklet format for rules now days as they take less room at the table.

BookII: Creatures is in an early Draft B stage and I'd like to have it done by the end of June, but that timetable depends on how busy work is and how things are going with my mother [long story that I'm not going into now other than she is now living with me part time and my sister the other half].

In the meantime, I'll get back to posting session notes for the Shattered Star AP.

Later!




Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Currently (re)writing

Sorry for the delay in posts.  I'm currently focusing on Draft B of my version of the OD&D rules, Adventures in the Green.  

Draft A was taking what was in the original three rule books and reorganizing the text so that rules for various topics were together and not scattered around.  I've also brought in content from Strategic Review Vol. 1, No. 2, to clarify the combat rules and how magic spells are supposed to work (both surprisingly missing as explicit rules in the original publications).  This took some doing as OD&D was written as codified notes for someone who knew the entire system and not for easily learning the game.  As I worked on it I started to understand how things were actually organized and grouped.  I followed Greyharp's Single Volume Edition for initial organization and as a checklist to verify I incorporated everything.  I've also added some things from Supplement 1: Greyhawk.

Draft B is reorganizing some sections better now that I have sections labelled and can see everything that exists.  I'm also re-writing most of the text to be a bit more concise and clear.  Mr. Gygax could be flowery in his writing style and I'm aiming for something more direct and lean.  I'm about half way through Book 1: Characters, which includes everything you need to create a character and equip them.  I'll be posting it on DriveThruRPG when I'm done as Pay What You Want so folks can download it and try it out during the play-testing phase [and maybe send some pizza money my way].  This will provide easy distribution and give me an idea if there is interest in further development or not as I'll get reports on number of downloads.

Draft C will take feedback from the play-test campaign to tweak rules and clarify phrasing.  This is the where I'll also start finalizing layout and maybe commission some art for the cover.  Right now I plan on using public domain art for the interior to keep costs down.

That's it for now.  I just wanted to let y'all know what was going on and why session notes have been more sporadic than usual lately.  Stay healthy and safe!


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Ratpack – Session 20

[The Ratpack recover, do some shopping, and then resume their search for the second shard.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened March 30, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will contain a lot of spoilers.]


Player Characters
Face-to-Face
Marativy – female ratfolk 3rd level Ninja
Roscuro – male ratfolk 3rd level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 3rd level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Via Roll20
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 3rd level Summoner (Synthesist)
Winston – male 3rd level Gunslinger


Day 13
Evening
The Ratpack slept in the Tower Girls’ common room inside The Crow, the Irespan support pillar the Tower Girls used as their current hideout.  The Ratpack did this so they could keep an eye on the entrance to the sublevels.  Marativy spent part of the time gambling with some of the Tower Girls.  She cheated while playing and came out ahead 76 silver coin with the Tower Girls none-the-wiser.

Before going to sleep, Marativy concentrated on the metal shard in her possession.  Previously, doing so showed the location of the next shard as the entry room of The Crow.  Now it showed a different vision, one of a golden room with an altar.  This suggested that the doors blocking access to the lower levels also blocked viewing the current location of the next shard.  This indicated that the next shard was indeed down in the sub-levels, confirming the group’s suspicions as to its location.


Day 14
Morning
The Ratpack went back into Magnimar to purchase some supplies and meet with Frederick.  But first, all members of the Ratpack returned to their homes to get cleaned up and put on fresh clothes.  [Frederick’s business was in the wealthy part of town and the Ratpack had been dungeon crawling and fighting, so were not very presentable.  Roscuro did not want to endanger their relationship with Frederick by embarrassing him in front of his clients or damaging his reputation.]

The Ratpack reassembled at the Blue Rodent in Underbridge and then walked to Frederick’s shop in the Naos district.  Frederick was chatting with a client in his shop, a dwarf, but he greeted the Ratpack and asked them to wait.  Marativy recognized the dwarf as a fence in town.  After a short time, Frederick wrapped up business with the dwarf and he and the Ratpack got to business.

Roscuro showed Frederick the silver sphinx statue.  Frederick was quite pleased with it and offered a good price.  Then Roscuro pulled out the journal pages in Azlant and Frederick’s jaw hit the floor.  Roscuro explained that Mend was used to rescue the pages, which is why there are only scraps and not full pages.  Frederick nodded and then gathered himself.  After some additional questions [including where all this Thassilonian stuff was coming from], Frederick and the Ratpack agreed on a price for the statue and journal pages.  They also confirmed the amount Frederick paid for the amphora, the coins in it, and the statue of the rune giant they delivered previously.  Receipts were exchanged so the Ratpack could prove the prices they were getting to their silent partners [the Tower Girls].

[The players took this time to do a general accounting of the various treasures they had sold and what amount of gold the party had in its account.  They also calculated how much they owed the Tower Girls for their cut of the sales and what everyone's current share of the loot was.  We allocated one share to the group fund in case any raise dead spells became necessary.  This all could have happened in-game during the Ratpack's downtime but had never been done due to real time constraints.  Once that was all done, play resumed.]

Roscuro asked Frederick if there was a shop where the Ratpack could purchase wands.  Frederick directed them to a shop named The Brown Scepter.  The Ratpack said their farewells and went over to the Brown Scepter where they bough a wand of Cure Light Wounds [fully charged] and a wand of Lightning Bolt [only 10 charges].  To pay for the wands, the Ratpack offered the Ring of Ferocious Action.  While the members of the Ratpack are fairly competent in many activities, barter negotiations is not one of them.  To seal the deal, the Ratpack agreed to pay an additional 400 gold coins to make the trade.

[Every member of the group has average to terrible Charisma scores and I rolled poorly.  On top of which, the GM was originally treating the exchange like we were selling the ring and then buying the wands with the proceeds instead of making an even swap.  We didn’t realize this until later in the session when he suddenly told us the Cure Light Wounds wand only had 28 charges.  To say we were upset is an understatement.  We did eventually work it out.]

Noon
After the shopping, the Ratpack returned to The Crow to continue searching for the second shard.  After making their way through the Tower Girls’ lair in the upper four floors, they descended into the sub-levels.  On the way through sub-level 2, they made a quick stop at the healing basin and filled up their waterskins with water from the basin [reminder: the water provides a Cure Light Wounds and a Lesser Restoration once per day].  At the door to the octagon room on sub-level 3, they paused to prepare to fight the abyssal larva on the other side.  Zitch cast Protective Luck on Roscuro, Marativy, and Templeton.

Due to Zitch’s need to cackle to maintain the Protective Luck effect, the Ratpack gave up the element of surprise.  When they opened the door to the octagon room, the larva spewed its maggot breath weapon over the entire group.  Roscuro and Winston failed their saves and were sickened by it.  Despite this, the Ratpack advanced and attacked the larva.  Zitch got in the killing blow with the Lightning Bolt wand at the end of the second round.

The party healed up from the fight, using the Cure Light Wounds wand [this is when the discrepancy in the number of charges came up].  Then the group searched the room, including Zitch casting Detect Magic.  The Alaznist statue in the center of the octagon room was not magical, but the ranseur it held was.  It was also made of cold iron.  To release it from the statue required breaking the statue’s hand, which damaged the statues re-sale value, but magic weapons were in short supply.  Despite not being familiar with it, Roscuro ended up with the ranseur as he currently had no way to bypass the DR of the minor demons/devils the group was facing on this level.

Finding nothing else of value in the room, the Ratpack took the eastern door [as opposed to the southern or western doors].  Beyond was a short hallway to a room.  As the group approached the room they heard some noise, which Zitch identified as the sounds of a couple nupperibos, the least kind of devils.  [Zitch was on point whenever he made a Knowledge: Planes skill check that night.]

After a whispered discussion to put together a battle plan, the Ratpack quietly approached the room, stopping at the entrance.  Zitch cast Lightning Bolt from the wand and killed one of the devils.  Winston shot the other with standard shot, but it bounced off the nupperibo’s DR.  The remaining nupperibo charged the group of ratfolk and engaged in melee.  In the quick fight, all the ratfolk missed in their attacks except Winston, who got one shot in but failed to kill the nupperibo.  In the end, the nupperibo accidentally killed itself when it fumbled an attack and took its own last remaining hit point with its spear.  After the battle, the Ratpack collected the spear and named it “Demonkiller”.  [Because “Self-own” was too anachronistic.]

A search of the room turned up nothing.  The only exit was a set of stairs down to a lower part of this level.  The Ratpack paused here.

End of Session


Rat Whispers
[Who ever named the nupperibo – I hate them.  It is entirely too long and complicated a name for such a minor creature and having to type it multiple times was aggravating.]

[The place we stopped the session was due to it getting late and the next day being a workday for some of us.  Due to family drama around my mom’s memory loss issues, the game for April 6 was cancelled as I had to drive to Austin and back.  The game for April 13 was all done via Roll20.  More about Roll20 in that set of session notes.]


Ratpack
Session 01

Session 10
Session 11
Session 12
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17
Session 18
Session 19


Session 21 [Not Written Yet]


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ratpack – Session 19

[The Ratpack continues to explore Sublevel 2 and collects from the Mite King.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened March 23, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will contain a lot of spoilers.]


Player Characters
Marativy – female ratfolk 3rd level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 3rd level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 3rd level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 3rd level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Winston – male 3rd level Gunslinger


Day 13
Afternoon
Having discovered a room with 6 animated and hostile skeletons, the Ratpack took position just inside the room to keep the skeletons from flanking the entire group.  The fight was notable for two things.  First, Winston misfired with his musket on his first shot, but luckily it did not explode.  He quickly cleared the misfire and proceeded to shoot and shatter skeletons.  The other incident was Marativy fumbling and nicking Templeton with her wakizashi.  Luckily, it was not coated with spider venom at the time.

After the fight, the ratfolk searched the room and the crates in it.  The crates held the remains of 7000 year old foodstuffs and nothing else.  The room had one regular door out, to the east [as opposed to the secret door the group had arrived through], and it was investigated for traps.  When none were found, it was opened.  Beyond was a corridor to another chamber.  There were two doors on this corridor, one on the north wall, one on the south wall.  Before leaving this room, Marativy and Templeton drank some of the water from the healing basin.  Marativy was healed up completely [she took some minor damage from the skeletons], but Templeton’s eidolon was not healed at all.  [The eidolon’s hit points count as temporary hit points, which are not healed by standard curative magics.  Templeton does have a spell specifically for healing his eidolon, but the number of spells he can cast right now is limited.]

Leaving the storage room, the Ratpack stopped to check the doors along the corridor.  Both turned out to be pantries, long abandoned.  A search of each turned up nothing of value.  The chamber at the end of the corridor turned out to be an abandoned kitchen.  Zitch cast Detect Magic and nothing glowed.  Out of a sense of thoroughness [and the knowledge that not all treasure is magical] the Ratpack started searching the kitchen, starting with the first fire pit.  While the group was inside the fire pit searching, Winston, Templeton, and Marativy heard a great deal of skittering from inside the other fire pit.  Winston went to check the other fire pit and while standing in front of it, a large swarm of centipedes flowed out of it and over him, biting him repeatedly!

Zitch quickly stepped out of the first fire pit and cast burning hands on part of the centipede swarm, burning a swath of centipedes but failing to disperse it.  The centipedes flowed forward, biting Winston [again], Marativy, and Templeton.  Winston backed out of the swarm and shot at it to no effect.  Roscuro and Marativy fled out into different parts of the room, putting space between themselves and the swarm.  Roscuro also prepared a flask of oil.  Templeton ran the length of the kitchen to an unexplored passage north.

Zitch ran to catch up with Templeton at the northern hallway.  The centipedes flowed at and over Winston and Roscuro, biting fiercely.  Winston pulled a torch out of Roscuro’s handy haversack and moved away from the centipede swarm.  Roscuro scrambled up onto a wall oven away from the swarm and them flung the oil at the swarm, coating a swath of it with the oil.  Marativy fled the kitchen, to Roscuro’s encouragement, down the corridor the Ratpack had entered through.  Templeton grabbed Zitch by the scruff of his neck and fled blindly up the north passage, away from the centipedes.

The centipede swarm flowed up the wall and over the oven and Roscuro, biting Roscuro nearly to unconsciousness [had 2 hit points left].  Winston lit the torch he had and waited for Roscuro to get clear.  Roscuro made an acrobatic leap, springing from the wall and landing on his feet mid-way across the kitchen.  Winston threw the lit torch at the mass of centipedes, some of which burst into flames…but not enough to stop the swarm.  Roscuro finished his diving escape by fleeing down the hallway to the storage room.  Marativy continued fleeing that way, making it to the secret passage, while Templeton [carrying Zitch] took a left at an intersection and ended up back in the grotto.

The centipede swarm, still burning, flowed off the wall and over Winston, biting him mercilessly.  Winston fled down the corridor to the storeroom.  Roscuro slowed just long enough to ready another vial of oil but realized that Winston would never be clear of the swarm long enough to not get hit with the oil and burn to death.  Even worse, Winston would not clear the secret door in the storeroom before the centipede swarm arrived and made closing the door pointless.  Roscuro had a bad moment where he thought he was going to be forced into closing the secret door right in Winston’s face, trapping Winston with the centipede swarm and a sure and painful death.

Then Roscuro had an inspiration.

Roscuro delayed just long enough for Winston to pass Roscuro and make it to the space in front of the open secret door.  Roscuro then charged Winston, bullrushing Winston through the secret door while yelling at Marativy to close the secret door behind him.  As Roscuro and Winston tumbled through the secret door, Marativy leapt over them to the secret door and slammed it shut!  The close-fit nature of the secret door was tight enough to keep the centipedes out, but they could be heard skittering all over the storage room. [Whew!]

The Ratpack met back up in the grotto.  They decided to go to the basin room for some healing.  Once there, they all drank from the basin, discovering that it only provided healing once [per day as we later discovered].  Zitch cast a healing hex on Winston, then Cure Serious Wounds on the very bloody Roscuro.  [This brought Roscuro above “bloodied” but only just.]  Zitch then cast Cure Light Wounds on Winston, which steadied him significantly.

While they rested, the Ratpack discussed their options.  The unexplored areas of this level were either covered with webs or centipedes.  Templeton and Zitch were pretty much out of spells and the only healing left were some potions.  There was also a set of stairs in the barracks that lead down.  The group eventually decided to explore the stairs down until they ran into resistance of some sort and then leave.

The Ratpack went back west to the barracks and then south, down the stairs.  The stairs descended deep enough that it was clear they led to another sublevel.  The stairs ended at a shut door.  After checking for traps, the door was opened.

Beyond the door was an octagon-shaped room with a statue of Alaznist in the center.  Lounging against the feet of the statue was a puffy and bloated human-sized whitish-yellow maggot with purplish veins pulsating under its fleshy form.  Zitch immediately identified it as an abyssal larva with a maggot breath attack and resistant to acid, fire, and cold.  None of the ratfolk were feeling up to a fight with it and so the door was immediately closed and Roscuro spiked it shut.

The Ratpack started the long march back up to the Tower Girls.  Roscuro suggested they grab the head of one of the sinspawn they had killed and tell the Mite King that the sinspawn had killed Creepylegs, but they had, as requested, “made it pay.”  The others liked this idea, so they made a detour to chop the head off one of the sinspawn corpses on sublevel 2 before going back to the Mite King on sublevel 1.

When the ratfolk presented themselves to the Mite King, the Mite King failed to recognize them at all.  The Mite King started calling for his guards and threw rocks at Roscuro.  Roscuro, tired and wounded, considered this a fatal breach of contract.  He deflected the things the Mite King threw at him, walked up to the Mite King, and punched the Mite King dead with a single blow.  [I rolled a crit on the attack and then maximum damage.]  Roscuro claimed the King’s crown, the other half of the Bracers of Armor, and put it in the loot sack.  The rest of the Ratpack did a quick search of the room, claiming a small silver statue of a sphinx.

The group then returned to the Tower Girls’ common room to rest.

End of Session


Rat Whispers
[The fight with the centipede swarm was scary for us.  We had only one area of effect spell and due to the way the initiative order fell, we were never able to douse the swarm safely with flaming oil but the one time.  Also, it was immune or resistant to the attacks of our big hitters and we couldn’t get far enough away from it to avoid getting bit every round.  As we were fleeing, I realized Winston was going to be five feet short of the secret door.  I pointed this out to the group and asked for suggestions before I caused another player’s character to die.  One of the other players suggested I delay in the initiative order to let Winston get into position and then bullrush him.  Luckily I rolled well enough so Roscuro was able to push Winston through the door and still make it through himself before Marativy slammed the door shut.]


Ratpack
Session 01

Session 10
Session 11
Session 12
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17
Session 18


Session 20

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Ratpack – Session 18

[The Ratpack starts the hunt for Creepylegs.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened March 16, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will contain a lot of spoilers.]


Player Characters
Marativy – female ratfolk 3rd level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 3rd level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 3rd level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 3rd level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Winston – male 3rd level Gunslinger


Day 13
Morning
After spending the night sleeping in the Tower Girls’ common room [so they could keep an eye on the over-sized siccarite doors to the lower levels], the Ratpack was somewhat refreshed and Marativy and Winston had new insights [both finally leveled].  The ratfolk discussed their plans over a small breakfast and then headed down into the sub-levels.

After walking down to the first sub-level and through mite territory, the Ratpack took the stairs down to the second sub-level, looking for “Creepylegs,” the pet of the Mite King.  The stairs ended at the corner of two corridors.  The corridor south led to thick webs, while the corridor west had webs that gradually thinned out.  Not wanting to accidentally kill the Mite King’s pet spider by burning out the webs, the group decided to explore west first.

The west passage led to a 30x30 ft room with a passage out in the center of each wall.  There were also 4 dog-sized spiders that were hostile.  Despite Zitch casting Mage Armor on him, Roscuro was the only ratfolk bitten by the spiders during the fight.  Once the spiders were dead, Zitch cast his healing hex on Roscuro.  Winston harvested 4 doses of spider poison for Marativy’s use.  Marativy was able to identify the spiders as giant crab spiders, which were different from the spiders the mites had on the previous level.

The Ratpack searched the room and found nothing of value or interest in the room.  Looking down the other three hallways, they discovered that they were cell blocks for some sort of prison.  The north and west passages had 5 cells each while the south passage had 6.  Using that as a differentiation, the Ratpack searched the south passage first.

The Ratpack searched the hallway for traps first, discovering none, but finding the third cell occupied by what Marativy identified as a sinspawn.  Marativy shared what she knew about them.  The Ratpack guessed it had been trapped here for 7000 or so years and was clearly mad.  They decided to put the creature out of its misery.  It took three shots from Winston’s musket, made through the observation window in the stout door to kill it.  After killing the sinspawn, the Ratpack searched the hallway for secret doors.  Finding none, they searched the individual cells and find nothing.

The Ratpack searched the north passage next.  After spending over an hour searching the hallway and the cells, they found a single magic ring.  Zitch was able to identify it as a Ring of Ferocious Action, which protects against being sickened or staggered.  All agreed that Roscuro, who has been sickened most often, should wear it.

The Ratpack next searched the passage to the west.  This passage was longer than the other two and opened into a room at the far end.  The group searched the hallway and the cells before going further, but found nothing of value or interest.  The room at the end was also empty, but had a passage exiting to the south.  That passage had stairs down to a lower, larger chamber that was divided by iron bars into cells with a passage between them.  One of those cells contained another still active sinspawn!  The Ratpack had Winston shoot it through the bars to put it out of its misery.

Searching the large chamber, the Ratpack found aged and broken ancient torture devices.  To search the cells they had to break the bars as the doors were rusted solid.  In the north cell the group found a mouldering book.  Zitch cast Mending on the book and was able to save portions of the book.  The writing on the scraps was in Azlanti, which should fetch a good price with Frederick.  The rescued scraps were carefully packed away.

There were two passages out of the large chamber.  One was a hallway east that was accessible, the other a passage south on the other side of a barred area.  Not wanting to break those bars yet, the group went east.  That passage led to a circular room with a shallow basin in the center, filled with water.  The water was six inches deep and the basin had a mosaic of a swirling vortex at the bottom.  The basin radiated a faint conjuration magic when checked.  Testing the water, it was found to have a restorative effect.  Winston drank some of the water and recovered from the lingering effects of a spider bite from the previous day [it restored CON damage].  Roscuro drank the water and his remaining wounds were healed and the debilitating effects of spider poison in him was cured [Cure Light Wounds plus Lesser Restoration].  A search of the room turned up nothing but the basin of water.  Zitch and Marativy filled their waterskins with water from the basin and it retained its faint magical aura.

The only exit from the basin room was a passage south, which the Ratpack followed.  It turned a corner to head east again, and opened into a 20x20 ft. empty room with two passages out, one south and one east.  The Ratpack noticed that the spider webs resumed here and followed both passages.  Further, these webs seemed fresher than those previously discovered.  A search of the room turned up no secret doors.  Not yet ready to burn the webs, the group backtracked to the cages room.

In the cages room, the group broke into the barred area.  The lock here was still pickable and Marativy picked it, but the door was rusted in place.  The are beyond was searched and turned up nothing of interest.  The Ratpack took the passage south out of this area.  At an alcove the passage turned and angled south by south west before opening to a long rectangular room with passages out to the south and the east.  Based on the decayed bunks in the room, the group suspected this was once a barracks.

A search of the barracks turned up nothing useful.  The passage south was a stairwell to yet another sub-level [Sub-level 3 for those keeping track at home].  The east passage went 30 ft and opened to another chamber.  The Ratpack went east, not ready to start another sub-level while this one was not yet fully explored.

The passage opened to a damp grotto.  On a low pedestal was a mold-covered statue of Alaznist.  A quick Detect Magic from Zitch determined that the statue was not magical…but something on the ceiling was!  Looking up, the ratfolk discovered an eight-legged beast with a pouch attached to one of its legs – Creepylegs, the Mite King’s pet!  Creepylegs was actually a cave fisher, not a spider, and it attacked the group immediately.

The fight with the cave fisher was short but brutal.  The cave fisher used its filament to grapple Winston, prepatory to hauling him up to it.  Templeton distracted it by climbing the wall and ceiling up to it.  The cave fisher bit Templeton who then clawed and bit at the cave fisher.  Unfortunately, Templeton’s second claw attack went wide and he lost his grip on the ceiling.  In a last ditch lunge, Templeton ferociously bit the cave fisher and held on for dear life, dangling from it by his teeth!

[Templeton rolled a 1 for the second claw attack but rolled a crit for the following bite attack and this is how the Other GM interpreted the results.]

Winston, grappled by the filament but still able to shoot, did so, killing Creepylegs…who dropped to the floor below along with Templeton.  Templeton landed awkwardly and then had Creepylegs land on top of him, which significantly damaged his eidolon [reminder: Templeton is a Synthesist Summoner and merges with his eidolon when it is summoned, appearing as a ghostly Foo Dog, and the eidolon takes damage first].

With Creepylegs dead, the ratfolk searched the pouch on one of his legs.  It contained a Bracer of Armor that matched the one the Mite King used as a crown, 12 assorted rocks, and 23 assorted teeth.  The teeth and rocks were clearly worthless.  Roscuro frowned at this, suspecting that two of these worthless rocks were the “diamonds” the Mite King would try to reward them with.  The pouch was detached from the dead creature’s leg and tucked into the loot bag.  They would deal with the Mite King later.

The Ratpack searched the grotto for anything else of interest and discovered a secret door in the wall roughly behind the statue.  Behind that door was a narrow [for humans but not ratfolk] passage that wound roughly to the southeast until it ended.  A quick search turned up a second secret door, which was opened.  Beyond was a room with ancient crates and 6 animated skeletons!

End of Session


Rat Whispers
[Sorry for the slight delay in getting this post out.  Family issues reared up and I wasn’t able to get this done Monday night nor did we play.]

[I hope everyone is well and not too stir-crazy right now.  As a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, I’ve been enjoying most of the stay at home stuff.  I’m lucky enough to have a job that lets me work from home and I had a home office already set up before the shelter in place orders went into effect.  Templeton’s player works for a hospital as IT, so he’s had to attend via Roll20.  Laptop hardware has improved so much that the built-in microphone and speakers work fine and he can hear the rest of us.  The rest have been sheltered in place with family and the only place they go is my house for the game.  This has kept our potential for exposure to near zero but allowed some level of social interaction to stave off isolation and cabin fever.  My other gaming groups are not as lucky, so haven’t been meeting.]


Ratpack
Session 01

Session 10
Session 11
Session 12
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17


Session 19 [Not Written Yet]


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Ratpack – Session 17

[The Ratpack decides “it was a boring conversation anyway”.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened March 9, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will contain a lot of spoilers.]


Player Characters
Marativy – female ratfolk 2nd level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 3rd level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 3rd level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 3rd level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Winston – male 2nd level Gunslinger


Day 12
Late afternoon
Having reached a verbal dead end while negotiating with the increasingly aggravating mites, Winston shot one of them with his musket, exploding the mite.  [He rolled a crit, confirmed it, and then rolled maximum damage for a total of 40 points of damage to something that only had 4.]  This started a full on fight between the Ratpack and the [now] 8 mites and their 4 giant spider pets.

During the combat, Marativy was bitten by a spider and poisoned by its venom and lost 2 points of Strength.  The rest of the Ratpack took minor wounds but the combination of Protective Luck from Zitch and Roscuro and Templeton using their Bodyguard skills [from the feat each took at 3rd level] meant the mites and spiders missed more than they hit.

After the combat the chamber was searched and nothing of value was discovered.  Winston was able to extract three doses of spider venom from the spider corpses for Marativy to use at her discretion.  41 Tiny darts were also recovered.  Marativy drank the group’s last Potion of Lesser Restoration to recover the Strength lost from the spider bite.  Templeton also cast Lesser Rejuvenate Eidolon to heal up the damage his eidolon took in the fight.

The ratfolk took the western passage out of the room and found a set of stairs down to another sub-surface level.  How deep does this dungeon go?  Rather than start exploring another dungeon level, the Ratpack decided to try attacking the Large spider beyond the secret passage [see Session 16].  Templeton had an idea to save the ratfolk – he would summon fire elementals and send them in to fight the spider first.  By the time the spider dealt with them, it would be much wounded and the ratfolk could follow up and kill it.  [Narrator: It did not work out this way.]

When the ratfolk arrived at the widened part of the hallway where the secret passage was, Templeton dismissed his eidolon and summoned two fire elementals.  While Templeton was doing this, Roscuro opened the first secret door and went down the 20-foot passage so he could open the second secret door for the fire elementals.  Zitch put Protective luck on them and Templeton ordered them down the passage to attack the Large spider.

[NOTE: we messed up here – Summoners can summon multiple elementals as a class power but can only have one active at a time.  We missed that limitation until most of the way through the fight.  The Other GM let it ride rather than rewind the fight, mostly because it made little difference - small elementals are really weak.]

Roscuro opened the second secret door and let the fire elementals into the next room.  The Large spider was on the wall above the secret door and attacked immediately, taking out one of the elementals in a single blow.  Roscuro called back to Templeton and told him to start summoning more fire elementals quickly.  As the fight progressed, first Roscuro and then Marativy and Winston stepped into the room and started fighting the Large spider directly, flanked by mostly ineffective fire elementals.  The spider hit hard and by the end of the fight Roscuro was down to 2 hit points and Templeton had sent and lost 6 fire elementals.  [The monster took over 50 points of damage to kill and we still haven’t properly identified it.]

Zitch cast Cure Moderate Wounds on Roscuro which barely got him unbloodied [definition: at half hit points, a convention borrowed from D&D 4E].  Winston poisoned himself trying to extract the poison glands from the thing and drank one of the anti-toxin potions the group had to avoid the effects.  Meanwhile, the rest of the group searched the area.  They discovered two secret doors: one in the immediate area that connected to the giant ant nest and another at the top of the stairs up that connected to the crypt room.

Somewhat bloodied by the fight, the Ratpack took the stairs down the spider thing was guarding.  These steps went down to a lower chamber with pillars and two alcoves.  In one was a silver statue of a sphinx, in the other was the Mite King, sitting on a throne made from an upside down ogre skull.  The Mite King asked if the Ratpack were the adventurers he had sent for.  Roscuro immediately said “yes”.  The Mite King was pleased and explained that he needed help finding his favorite spider, which had a pouch on its leg, offering a diamond as big as his fist in payment.  [This would not be a very large diamond.]

The Ratpack thought back to all the spiders they had just killed and did not recall any of them having a pouch on any of their legs.  The group talked with the Mite King, at first not certain they were not just going to kill him, but then hoping to get some information about what might be in the next level down.  After a bit of directed discussion, the Ratpack convinced the Mite King that someone from the lower level had kidnapped his pet spider.  The Mite King offered a second diamond for finding them and “making them pay.”  Roscuro decided he could work with that and agreed to the deal, shaking on it with the Mite King.  The Ratpack left the Mite King.

Rather than go investigate the next sub-level with minimal resources, the Ratpack went back up to the Tower Girls’ common room and arranged to sleep there for the night.  [It was late, and we needed to wrap up the game for the evening.]

End of Session


Rat Whispers
[I realized as I started writing this blog entry that I had not updated the “played on” date for the last couple of session notes, so I went back and fixed them.  My process is to open the previous blog entry, Save As under the new session number, delete the previous body text, and then update things that need to be updated.  This keeps the constant material consistent (like PC names and classes) from blog entry to blog entry.]

[We’ve been meeting face-to-face, but recently Templeton’s player needed to switch to remote play due to work (he works at a hospital).  We are using Roll20 for a virtual tabletop and Discord for audio.  The Other GM’s laptop has good audio and microphone, so he can hear us and we can hear him.  We may have to switch to all remote play if/when gatherings become forbidden entirely, so this has been a good testbed.]





Ratpack
Session 01

Session 10
Session 11
Session 12
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16


Session 18


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

10 Years of Bugbears for Breakfast

Ten years ago I posted my first real blog entry here on Bugbears for Breakfast.  It was a blurb for a new campaign I was prepping to run.  The campaign didn't last very long as the players decided they were not that into D&D 4E.  I can see their point, but I liked running 4E.  I still think it is a good fantasy RPG, it's just not D&D.

[The first actual post was mostly a placeholder/announcement post, stating the blog existed and why it has its name.  Not actual content, but it forced me to actually start writing and posting.]

After that I started documenting my next campaign, Southern Reaches, a Western Reaches-style game using the [at the time] new Pathfinder RPG.  That had staying power and started me on posting campaign journals for campaigns I was running or playing in.  I had a steady once-a-month group that meets one Saturday a month and eventually helped create a weekly group that still meets.

It took a while for me to learn to number session reports and add links to previous and following sessions.  When I first started blogging, the navigation tree over in the right margin was small and easy to navigate, so it never occurred to me that better organization would be necessary.  By November of 2010 I realized my error and started numbering session notes with the beginning of the Dyson's Delve campaign, which became The Aldelle Group.  I also started numbering my posts for Southern Reaches, but never went back to add the numbering to earlier posts.  I'll probably fix that when I compile the session notes for that campaign [now that I realize I started blogging it from the beginning].

In 2012 I wrote a sci-fi novel and posted status milestones for it.  I got ahead of myself and asked my readers for grammar fixes when I should have asked for content feedback.  I've tried to do re-writes since then, but never found the spark again.  It still lurks around in the back of my mind and wants more writing on it, but I haven't mentally got there yet.

I also planned to publish adventure locales and modules despite having little experience in book publishing.  In hindsight, I'm glad I delayed as publishing now is much easier and cheaper.  I set up an account at DriveThruRPG to publish the session notes from the Barrowmaze Using ACKS campaign, but ran into issues with getting permissions.  The PDFs are available for free from the sidebar of this blog as that is allowed, but I can't set them as PWYW, which was my plan.  Ah, well.  This year I'm going to publish sites from my Delvers Guild campaign as those are all my creations.  The NPCs and monsters are in HERO System, so I'll probably need to convert them to some version of D&D to make them more widely usable.  Still thinking over how I want to do that.

In 2013 I got back to posting session notes for games I was playing in or running or both [see the Pleiades Group Shadowrun campaign].  In 2016 I got laid off for the first time.  I limped along writing, but my heart wasn't in it, so in 2017 I wrote almost nothing I didn't have to.  In 2018 I got laid off a second time but decided that I wasn't going to let that stop me again.  Two years later, March has again rolled around, but instead of another layoff, we got a global pandemic.  This is slightly preferable, but only slightly.  I'm able to work from home.  In fact, as a contractor, it was expected that I would, so me going into the office regularly was considered a bit unusual.  Now I can't go in and wish I could as work has heavily filtered air and my allergies are killer this year.  Still happy to be employed, so I'll get over it.

I've also written some other stuff and posted it here.



So that's where I am now: still blogging session notes and employed at a job I like.  Hopefully the next 10 years will not be as bumpy as this 10 years has been.

Later!