Saturday, December 9, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland


I ran a 6-session mini-campaign using Evil Hat's Dresden Files Accelerated rules set on Roll20 and Discord earlier this spring/summer.

I set it in the 1940s, in Hollywood. Long time readers of the blog will note that there already was a "Hollywoodland" label. I finally got a game together, from the disparate elements banging about in my head.

And blood and gore and all manner of bad things happened.

As usual, I wrote up the sessions and shared them with my players.

I'll share them with you as well.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "The Mask of Ebban" Part the Second


Played March 2017



It was a brilliant plan, Mother, brilliant. Worthy of my genius.

And I would have succeeded if it wasn't for my useless minions and those meddlers and their dog!

No, Mother, I know it was a Rhy-fox, not a dog, but I'm being insulting here.

I bet they're laughing it up in some tavern somewhere, maybe near the Veran Swamp or some other hell-hole.

But that fox has got my hoofprints in him so he won't forget that any time soon.

/rages, venting frustration/

But it was so cliche! Defeated by fools and pets! And betrayed by my own followers' incompetence!

/rages even more/

The Mask! I lost the Mask. It was central to my plans. 

/calmly, dispassionately/ 

It is of no import. It was only a mask.

It was going so well, Mother! The plan was proceeding apace.

When I found the manor, I knew! I knew it would be mine and I would rule over everything! I felt it, in my bones, Mother!

This ruin was just a first step. But I had to look the part, didn't I? Look the part of a lordling. Latest fashions!

Then I'd take over the Pavin Weald. Then Aldis and Kern! That lich has nothing on me.

But again, Mother, that was the long-term plan. It's slightly disrupted but I will rise again!

I had already started, gathering minions. Those Sprites that followed me were useful but I needed more. And Clickclack building clockwork minions was pure genius. My genius, Mother, not Clickclack's, let's just be straight about that.

When those two fools came out of the forest, it was a gods-send! And when one touched the Mask, he was easily dominated. The other was of no import although my minions were fools to let him escape. I knew there would be trouble about that but I was busy with more important aspects of my plans.

He was found, obviously, by those meddlers and their dog. Yes, Mother, it's a Rhy-fox, I know. I'm still being insulting.

I heard them banging around in my manor. MY MANOR! Like the thieves they are. I gathered what minions I could in the short time and waited. They'd come to me.

Took them long enough, I was positively bored waiting. Yes, Mother, patience is a virtue.

They busted down my door. MY DOOR! Then stared in at me and the fool wearing the Mask, looking like idiots watching a show.

At first I only saw the Night Person warrior and the Human archer. 

No, Mother, I didn't mention the fool wearing the mask's name. It was Artie or something, it doesn't matter. Why bother to learn minions names? Oh, so many people and you're confused? OK, we'll call him Artie, OK? 

What was the Rhy-fox's name? Now you want all their names? Why all these questions? OK, OK, we'll name all of them. The Rhy-fox is Foxy, the archer is Manny and the warrior is .... Sheila.

/exasperation building/

Yes, the warrior is a woman. 

/exasperation is starting to show/

No, Mother, those aren't their real names. We weren't formally introduced. They mentioned them to each other, perhaps, but I was busy trying to dominate them.

Can I continue my story now that we have everyone named?

/exasperated sigh/

My minions attacked with gusto as I began a stately dance. Sheila started to dance with me. Fool, easy to dominate! And with Night People's dark history, she should have joined me right then.

They thought they would hold the doorway but we overwhelmed them!

We forced them into the hall, where Foxy attacked Artie, and Manny and Sheila battled my sprites.

Oh, you should have seen them, Mother. My sprites were mopping the floor with them, causing them to lose ground. It was murder most delicious!

We would have won!

And then that fox! That damnable fox! He attacked the Mask! 

In rapid succession, he tried to remove the Mask from Artie! Not once, but twice. The struggle was worthy of unruly children, slapping each other with their weak hands while screaming and bawling.

He tried once and almost succeeded. After that failure, he tried again and succeeded in knocking the Mask off and onto the floor. Artie collapsed. I really have to get better dupes. No quality there.

That's when they rallied, Manny and Sheila. One by one, my minions were going down. 

So I grabbed the Mask, I was careful not to touch it lest I be the one dominated, and that's when that dog attacked me! Mother, keep up, I'm still being insulting.

/raging/

Me! It attacked ME!

/calmly, with dispassionate tone/

Retaining the Mask was more important than this and I can always get more followers, fools being what they are, so I ran.

No, Mother, it wasn't cowardice, it was tactically reviewing the circumstance and achieving a new perspective that required me to be elsewhere.

So I hoofed it.

And that Foxy and Manny followed after. I knew that running would leave at least one of the meddlers behind, if only to protect that unconscious fool Artie.

One of my sprites delayed Manny and I made it out the door, with Foxy right on my heels.

I thought I'd get away, but that dog (keep up, Mother) tripped me and the Mask tumbled from my hand.

It was a delaying action, I know. I should have just grabbed the Mask and ran but it started to insult me! ME! Getting insults from a talking dog!

That was beyond the pale, I tell you. And you know my temper!

I kicked it and it felt good. It tried to bite me, tearing my clothes even more. Those bites hurt!

Then Manny the archer showed up with his stupid bow and stupid arrows and he shot me! That hurt the worst! Worse than all the bites!

Yes, here's the arrow. Perhaps I'll have it gilded. Perhaps I'll find Manny and shove it up his .... what was that, Mother?

Oh, yes. How did I get away?

I bedazzled him with magic and kicked the dog to death then ran.

Yes, Mother. I left the Mask behind. What do you mean you liked the characters of the Rhy-fox and Manny and Sheila? What do you mean they sounded nice? They're MY ENEMIES, MOTHER!

I ran and then creeped back. Sheila and Manny were around Foxy, I think it was alive. When I last saw them, they were limping back to that watchtower, with Artie being supported by Sheila and Manny had Foxy around his shoulders. I couldn't tell if that damn Rhy-fox was dead. If so I hope that Manny turns him into a scarf or a coat (if he doesn't, I will)!

Losing the Mask is of no import. I have other plans. You know most of them because you tried to stop me, Mother. At least until I shoved a dagger in your heart. I know, I know, not the nicest thing to do but my temper.

I still love you Mother. You know that. 

Those fools will rue the day they fought me. Sheila, Manny, even Foxy if he's still alive. Rue, I say!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE Character Profile Ajax, the Rhy-Fox



Ajax the Rhy-Fox, small in stature, large in hunger, traveler of the width and breadth of Aldis, ready for adventure or a tale, bawdy or otherwise. Fond of cheesy biscuits, especially if they belong to someone else.

Ajax

Rhy-Fox
Expert
Level 1


HPSpeedDefenseArmorConviction
31121431

Attributes (Focuses) -- primary attributes are in bold
2Accuracy
3Communication (Deception)
0Constitution
4Dexterity
0Fighting
2Intelligence
4Perception (Psychic, Searching)
0Strength
0Willpower

Goals & Persona
CallingThe Exarch (Trickery or Uncovering the Same)
Destiny ("Virtue")Resourceful (King of Pentacles) 
Fate ("Vice")Sneaky (King of Pentacles)

Other Talents/Powers

  • Nightvision (Racial) Can see without a light source for 20 meters/yards
  • Weapon Training (Racial) Natural Weapons Group (bite 1d6+1)
  • Talent (Psychic) (Racial) (Novice); Arcanum: Psychic Contact, Psychic Shield, Second Sight
  • Pinpoint Attack (Class) Expert Power: Once per round, you can add 1d6 damage to a successful attack if your Dexterity is greater than that of the target of the attack.
  • Expert's Armor (Class) xpert Power: You are at home in Light Armor and considered trained in its use without the need of the Armor Training talent.
  • Talent (Intrigue) (Class) (Novice); You are a master of secrets. You know how to play the Game. Choose one of the following Communication focuses: Deception, Etiquette, or Romance. If you fail a Communication test with your chosen focus, you can reroll it, but you must keep the result of the second roll.


Relationships
Duty to the Aldis Sovereign (2)
Honor bound to my Rhy-fox grandfather, by ties of family, tradition and love (1)


EquipmentLight Armor (Armor 3)
Top Hat


TreasureRecovery Elixer (two draughts, one used by Ajax for 12 points recovery, 2d6+4 recovery in rest, 1d6+2 in combat)

Rubbing/drawing of the crest of the Manor from the bed of the master bedroom.



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "The Mask of Ebban" Part the First



Played March 2017


The following was presented at and published in the 263rd Aldis Bardic Symposium.

Editor's Note: This rendition of "The Mask of Ebban" is the earliest known recitation of the tale, written verbatim by an unnamed Bard. His or her notebook was found in the ruins of a monster's lair just last year and it is unknown when it was recorded. However, it was included in the notebook with tales recorded in Lysana's Crossing, near the Great Veran Marsh, so perhaps it was told in a tavern or inn in that place.

This tale differs from later tellings (see Notes for Aldis Bardic Symposium #258 and #247) as being less embellished than previous. All, however, have the hallmark of a tall tale, from a well known tall tale teller. Unfortunately, the veracity of the claims made herein are still suspect, as the official record, written and signed by all the principle Sovereign's Finest involved in the situation, is either missing some of the salient points or completely contradict them. |1>

Take this, as with many tales and folklore, with a grain of salt.




You want a tale, you say? 

Well, draw three ales, bring over that platter of beef -- oh and grab those cheese biscuits, too -- and sit on down with my friends and me, because I have a tale for you! 

My diverse companions and I traveled to the Pavin Weald, to the Tanglewood, and encountered many horrific dangers and wondrous sights, we battled smokey enemies, danced with danger and recovered an 800 year old ladle!  |2>

No, no, don't take my word for it, my friends are right here. They can confirm everything (including the ladle). 

//turning to Tobin// This is Tobin Morid, a man from Rezea, an Archer without compare, my fellow cadet in the Sovereign's Finest. 

//turning to Nour// And our cadet trainer, Nour, a Night Person, fierce in both loyalty to Aldis and with a sword, a worthy teacher (and she's a fine dancer, too .... but I get ahead of myself). 

And I? Who am I? 

Ajax! A Rhy-fox of Aldis, short in stature, long of tail, perpetually hungry for cheese biscuits and with a nose for adventure; a finder of secrets, a teller of tales, a sharp player of the odds ( //shrugs// sure, a bit of a rogue, but a lovable one and an honest one...at least mostly honest). You can trust me //wink// when I tell you that this tale isn't longer than my own! 

Az mah ... //mouth full of cheese biscuit, swallows// ... as I was saying, we three were in the Pavin Weald, in the Tanglewood. We came to a guard tower along the Kern border, ready for action!  

But we found it deserted. Where were the guards? 

We heard a weak mind-call, seeking aid! But where? We knew not but we three stood together to find that hapless soul and save them! 

A sprite named Florin told us (for the price of one of Tobin's biscuits, not one of mine) that the three border patrol soldiers were not here. 

According to the sprite, a grumpy one came and went, leaving two others to guard here but they were gone, for several days. 

Florin promised to lead us to where they went. Into the Tanglewood go we! //stands on table, striking a heroic pose with tail waving high, while secretly scarfing a biscuit from Tobin's plate// 

We traveled through many tangles and brambles. Suddenly, before I could call "To Arms!", we were attacked by four foul, grey-black ichor-laden, corrupted wolves! 

The fight was fierce, I was beset by three of them while my friends bravely fought a single one! |3> (//soothing tone// No, no, dearest Nour and Tobin, don't fret, the story and memories of this trying time will soon pass). 

//acting out the battle with mugs of ale, forks and knives, and cheese biscuits as the corrupt wolves (eaten messily as they are defeated)// The three sorely wounded me and then two foolishly turned their backs on me to attack my friends, leaving their fellow to finish me off. It was a grim moment that could have gone badly for us but we rallied. It was a glorious fight, with Nour cutting swathes of black ichor from them, Tobin filling them with arrows and me biting them mightily, leading and aiding my friends although gravely wounded. 

Once we bested one, the rest fell one by one until the end came and Nour's sword finished the last. 

My boon companions rushed to my aid and rendered sweet succor to my wounds //hugs Nour and Tobin, one with each foreleg//. 

After ridding myself of the foul taste of corruption in my mouth from my bites on the foul corrupt beasts (allow me a respite to wash that taste away yet again with some ale and, perhaps, another biscuit), we examined the corpses. Normal wolves were turned into corrupt Creatures of Evil (TM)! What evil being could have done such a thing? |4>

Continuing on, we chanced upon one of the border guards, a Vata'an named Taleith, unconscious and very badly injured. 

We rendered aid and he told us his tale. 

His fellow guard and lover, Dartiz, and he often wandered to an old ruined manor nearby. They knew they should maintain eternal vigilance here on the border but boredom and a desire for adventure prompted them to range farther afield than normal. 

On their most recent visit to the manor, Dartiz picked up a strange mask and attacked! Taleith barely escaped and collapsed on the way to get help from their senior border guard Braxton. 

Thank the gods we found him! That mask must have possessed Dartiz! Oh, woe, this tale is sad and terrifying! 

We escorted Taleith a short way back to where we fought the corrupted wolves and asked him about them but his knowledge was scant. He did not encounter them before but there must be a connection to Dartiz and the mask. 

I searched my lore for anything about this area and remembered that a Sorcerer named Ebban lived in the Tanglewood during the Kingdom of Thorns. Perhaps the border guards had found his manor? |5>

Florin the sprite promised to help Taleith back to the guard tower and they departed. Ah, boon companions depart from our sides too often! 

Before he left, Taleith told us to tell Dartiz "The Stars will Wait until He is Free". 

We travelled on, cutting our way through the Tanglewood, climbing a hill where we found ourselves in a circle of standing stones.... but not alone. 

//turns to a young listener, with care and concern// Do you like to dance, lad? Well, there is evil in the world that can corrupt even dancing! And therein continues the tale. 

Within the stone circle was a Fae Reveler, alternating crying and laughing, cloaked in darkness. It was a very eerie scene! 

I stepped forward, with my companions ready behind. 

She looked at us and began to dance, trying to entice us into her hypnotic steps. Tobin and I resisted but Nour was fell afoul of this enchantment and began dancing (and fine dancing she did!). |6> |7>

Realizing that the Fae was corrupted and enspelled herself, we sought to subdue her but were forced to fight for our very lives, amidst a wild dance and lighting shooting from her chest! 

I aided both Tobin and Nour to defeat her and as she fell, her cloak of darkness dispersed into nothingness, as did her body. Mourning her tragic corruption and death, we strove on and found ourselves at the ruined manor. 

The manor stood dark, with a stables to one side. We sneakily //cough// er, ah, boldly approached, and entered a hole in one wall. 

There we found ourselves in a strange laboratory, with a desk that contained a board with sprite wings pinned to it and weird mechanical sprite wings on the desk. We bravely searched the room and found an elixir of healing, as well as parts of an ancient journal. 

My kind friends insisted that I partake in the elixir, to heal my grievous injuries sustained at the claws of the corrupted wolves and from the lightning of the corrupted Fae. I demurred but they insisted further and so I drank the mint-flavored liquid, leading to cool healing. 

Feeling much better, I joined the others to read the journal. We surmised it was written by Ebban 800 years ago and in it he explains that "the only way to be uncorruptable is to be fully corrupt" and that he can wear a mask of corruption and take it off and not be corrupted. Shocking! |8>

We continued to search the manor, finding more parts of the journal, where it read that Ebban had a corpse of a Darkfiend that he was going to experiment on. |8>

We found the main hall, the library, Ebban's master bedroom and servants' quarters and the kitchen, where, yes, //nodding sagely// we found an 800 year old ladle! 

We also found a crest, carved into the master bedpost, faded and worn, but we made a copy. |9>

Finally, we reached a door that was closed, locked with an arcane lock! Listening carefully at the door, we heard nothing. Surely, this was the place we needed to be! But how to get through? Tobin looked at the lock and doubted he could pick it, it being magical and all. 

But the door was old, as old and weak as all the other wood in this ruined place. I pointed out a section of stone railing in the great hall that could be used as a battering ram and Nour and Tobin fetched it. 

What terrors lay behind that door? What EVIL (TM) would we three mighty heroes face? Would Nour have another opportunity to dance? As Nour and Tobin swung the stone railing towards the door .... 

What? Ah, yes. It is late and we are tired from traveling. 

Have no fears, my friends, //gobbles up the last of the cheese biscuits// we will finish the tale tomorrow.... The Tale of Ajax, Tobin and Nour, against The Mask of Ebban! |10>




Flagnotes:

|1> The current whereabout of Tobin, Ajax and Nour are unknown.
|2> The "Ladle of Ebban" is displayed in the Aldis Royal Museum, second floor, West Hall, with the descriptive label "The Ladle of Ebban, over 800 years old, recovered by Cadet Sovereign's Finest Ajax and select companions. It's powers are unknown." The ladle appears slightly bent, like it was used to hit someone over the head. How this item managed to have a place in the museum is unknown but given the actions of Ajax, nothing surprises.
|3> A blatant falsehood, according to the official report. In later iterations, the number of corrupt wolves increase to 6 then 13, with Ajax reputedly fighting most of them, single-handedly. The truth was that Ajax was soundly beaten and only the stalwart actions of Tobin and Nour prevented his death that day.
|4> Several adepts have expressed bafflement at what spell was used to corrupt these wolves and the Fae Reveler later encountered. Perhaps that spell was lost after the fall of the Kingdom of Thorns, only to appear centuries later in this tale. If it is again loosed upon the world, then dire times indeed face Aldis.
|5> More information has been gathered about the Sorcerer Ebban. See The Kingdom of Thorns and Prominent Sorcerers by Adriá Stormfollower. Tobin is credited as a reliable and profuse source of information on Ebban in the text and there is, not unsurprisingly, no mention of Ajax.
|6> No record nor witnesses have verified that Nour is a fine dancer. Attempts to ascertain this information has led to several broken legs on the part of the knowledge seekers.
|7> This typcorruption induced upon this Fae Reveler is a first, according to many sages familiar with the Fae.
|8> The Journal of Ebban are part of the Royal Archives and currently are unavailable for study.
|9> The rubbing and line drawing of the Crest of Ebban, incorporating a flying Wyvern clutching a figure, is displayed in the Aldis Royal Museum, in the Kingdom of Thorns Annex.
|10> Aldis Country Folklore and Myths by Vicenç the Sage perhaps mentions the Sorcerer Ebban and the Mask of Ebban in the Tale of the Wandering Fisherman. In the story, a lone fisherman, wandering the Tanglewood, comes to a beautiful, yet otherworldly, manor, where he meets a Sorcerer of great power who wears a mask to hide his face. The fisherman stays with him, speaking long into the night. In the morning, the fisherman discovers he had spent the evening enspelled, fooled by an illusion, when in fact he was in a ruined great house, speaking to a corpse. He fled in terror and told his tale far and wide before dying several years later in a common bar brawl. His body disappeared before he could be buried, presumably taken by the Sorcerer's corpse he spent the evening with. The story ends with the fisherman and the Sorcerer chatting amiably, one corpse to another, in a ruined manor house.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE RPG



I had the opportunity to play Green Ronin's Blue Rose: The AGE RPG of Romantic Fantasy a few months ago, as a player, mind you.

The group was made up with:

  • The Game Master (played by R)
  • Ajax, the Rhy-fox (played by me)
  • Tobin, a Rezean Expert (played by DA)
  • Nour, a Night Person Warrior (NPC)


This actually lead to a new Blue Rose AGE campaign that I'm currently in, as Ajax, with R and a bunch of new people.

But I'm ahead of myself.

Following are two sessions of Blue Rose AGE: The Mask of Ebban!

****** Spoilers ******

The following posts may have spoilers to the adventure presented in the Blue Rose AGE core rulebook. You are warned.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Actual Play: Heroes of the Ashford Valley Orin's Second Post

Ashford Valley Actual Play notes from March 2013:


Wherein Orin speaks of his further adventures.
On the road again.
Before entering the Deep Forest, we decide to stop by the Laughing Unicorn tavern, a well fortified establishment popular among the travelers of Deep Forest road. We sit for a bit to eat, chatting with the barkeep, Omar the younger. Omar tells us that the coward, Curran the bandit chief, just won’t leave well enough alone and has been stringing up travelers along the road as some sort of revenge for the deaths of his crew. I was perfectly willing to let the scumbag go, but it looks like we must finish him off before anyone else gets hurt. I wonder if there is a bounty on him and his remaining crew?
As we finish our meal, I notice a group of dwarves at a secluded table towards the back. Not one to pass up an opportunity to drink with some countrymen, I make my way over. But as I approach, I get an unsettling feeling about this bunch and notice their rather unusual dress…these dwarves are not from around here… or anywhere else I am familiar with. I decide to change my course and make for the crapper, which was probably a good idea anyway.
On my way back, I overhear one of them mumbling “that’s him” in a dialect I haven’t heard before. This can’t be good. As soon as I get a distance away from them, they all make a break for the back door. This is definitely not good.
I ask Omar about the dwarves and it seems they had been staying at the inn for some time, doing a whole lot of nothing. As we head out, hoping to get in our cart and go, we are told that our cart is waiting for us at the front gate, wheel repaired. The cart was no where to be seen. We rushed out the gate to find no sign of the cart, but off to the side, we spot the 5 dwarves just standing there.
I stomped over to the one who seemed to be the leader of the gang and demanded to know what in all the hells was going on! Instead, they started questioning me about some events 25 years prior. It seems they were under the impression that I was involved in some mess involving a burned and looted caravan, and the abduction of 3 three babies! I insisted I had no bloody clue what they were yammering about…but then it hit me. Not only did I have no memory of these events, I could not remember anything from that time…not a single thing.
Once it was discovered I was not useful, they seemed to have had enough of our conversation and suddenly blinked out of existence right before my eyes. They must have been in haste, for one of them left behind something on the bench they had been sitting on… a finely crafted ancient pipe on top of a scrap of parchment. Upon examining the parchment, it read “the stone of remembering” written in an ancient dwarven hand. This just keeps getting better and better.
Back to the task at hand, we decided to use our precious flying potion in an attempt to catch up to the stolen cart. We were successful, discovering a young lad feverishly pushing the poor donkey as fast as it could go. I managed to board the cart and knocked the thief cold. When he came to, he explained that his girl had been taken by ogres and that he was in pursuit. Well, we couldn’t just abandon the kid, Martin, and his love, Frea, so we decided to proceed to where he presumed to ogres to be.
Sure enough, we found ogre tracks and followed them to a cave and who did we see just standing in front of the cave? Frea… seemingly unharmed and in no hurry to escape. There was also the alluring smell of freshly baked pie in the air! Could this trip get any more bizarre? The ogre’s themselves (brothers it seems) then emerged from the cave, clearly not comfortable with our presence. Quinn chose diplomacy over aggression and discovered that the ogres had taken the wench for her pies and meant her no harm whatsoever, but were also not willing to give up their prize. After much discussion, an agreement was reached that if regular payments of pie was provided, as well as some ale to wash them down, that they would not longer disturb the travelers of the Deep Forest Road. While it seemed absurd to me to reward these ogres for NOT menacing innocent travelers, everyone else involved seemed to think that this was a perfectly reasonable arrangement. Whatever. So the bargain was struck and we returned the happy couple to the Laughing Unicorn.
We decided to spend the night at the inn, choosing to stay in the same rooms as the dwarves, hoping to discover any clues they might have left behind. All I found was a small pouch of tobacco. Curious, I proceeded to try out my new found pipe. As the smoke entered my mouth, my consciousness was transported to what seemed like a cave, hearing several dwarvens speaking in an ancient dialect, which I could not understand. Throwing caution to the wind, I tried using some standard tobacco. Again, my mind was transported to another place, getting the feeling like I was trapped underground! Quinn cast a cantrip to discover if the pipes had magical properties and sure enough, both the pipe and the pouch of tobacco had a magical aura!
In the morning we proceeded to complete our quest to accompany Dunny to his home. As we left the tavern, I spotted one of the dwarves by the bench where we had encountered them previously, seemingly searching for something and then blinked out of sight. We proceed to Dunny’s home, where we bargained for a few potions as payment, 2 doses of Flame Arrow and 2 of Haste.
Upon leaving, we saw posted along the road a reward poster, claiming 500 gold for the head or capture of that bastard, Curran. It then occurred to me to check up on uncle Linder. Fortunately, all was well and the small community seemed to be thriving! I told him of the dwarves we had encountered and showed him the pipe. His reaction was that of alarm, telling us of a long lost tribe of outcast dwarves, known as the Charcoal Kings, thus named for their ability to transform themselves into coal dust and then transport themselves over great distances. He then dug up an old book describing the exact pipe and Linder warned me that the pipe was not to be taken lightly and that no good could come of its possession. He then suggested we check in with Sir Hoel of tradetown, who might have more insight about these Charcoal Kings.
We decided to spend the night at Linder manor and proceed out in the morning.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Actual Play: Heroes of the Ashford Valley Orin's Post

Ashford Valley Actual Play notes from February 2013:


Wherein Orin speaks of his adventures in Sooton.
Murder. Nasty business, though I must admit my curiosity is peaked. Seems a local wine merchant, Crabbe, and his wife were hacked to death in their home… presumably at the hands of several men with swords. My curiosity went through the roof as we discovered that Crabbe was 1 of 3-5 apprentices under a Mr. Alden, whom had mysteriously died under very similar circumstances 15 years prior. Something stinks in Sooton and its not just the glowing fish.
But its the local boy’s problem now, being we had to head out of town, pulling muscle duty for Dunny, the halfling who had helped us identify the potions we had grabbed from the caves. As were about to head out, we were left with a crudely scrawled message saying what we believe was “Leave town or else” though it could also have said “Leaftown of Elves”…but that have made less sense. I was perfectly happy leaving the murder to the local guard until I saw that note. A deal’s a deal, so off we go, but it was a tough call.
On the road, we passed a group of horsemen flying past us toward Sooton, bearing the unmistakable goat crest of Cliffton. Looks like we got out of town just in time.
We also passed one of Jim’s former acquaintances, a bizarre women in the company of an unknown drunk. From the look she was giving Jim, there was no love lost between the two. I didn’t ask and I hope that is the last we see her, though I have a feeling we will not be so fortunate.
Speaking of ill fortune, just as we seemed to be making progress, Dunny’s cart lost a wheel, grinding the journey to an abrupt stop. It now became disturbingly apparent the danger we were all in, given the volatile nature of the cart’s contents. We (and by that I mean mostly me) managed to drag the cart off the road to an abandoned farm. As we attempted to make repairs, we were visited by some mysterious creatures, who kept their distance just on the edge of the Deep Woods. During the night, we had an encounter with a pack of wolves that may or may not have been the same creatures we heard before. We managed to fend them off, but by then, I had had about enough with this little venture.
This was way more then we had signed up for, so I expressed my displeasure to Dunny, who agreed to cough up a little extra coin to make up the difference. This may have strained relations with the odd little man, but what good is a potion if we get blown to bits before we get a chance to use it? Anyway… we are back on our way in the morning…lets hope the rest of our journey runs a little smoother, but somehow I think we are going to be earning every copper and then some before this deal is done. We did, after all, hear rumors of ogres causing problems in the Deep Woods, though to be honest, a face to face with a couple ogres sits a little easier than riding on that rickety old powder keg… Good Times.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Actual Play: Heroes of the Ashford Valley Character Profile Giles Corey

Elf seeking adventure!
Description:
Giles Corey (NPC)
Elf, Level 1, HP 20
Reputation +1 (Ashford Town)
STR 16 (+ 3)
DEX 8 (- 1)
MIND 16 (+ 3)
Initiative d20-1
Melee d20 + 5
Missile d20 +1
Magic d20 +5
AC 12 (Leather +2, Buckler +1, DEX -1)
Damage + 1
60’ Infravision
Detect Hidden Doors 1-2/d6
Skills:
Physical 2
Subterfuge 1
Knowledge 2
Communication 1
Spells: POW 16
Level 1 (4)
Magic Missile (Cost 3)
Sleep (Cost 3, DC 14)
Cure Light Wounds (familiar spell, Cost 2)
True Strike (Cost 3)
Leather Armor
Helmet
Buckler
Dagger (1d4+4)
Longsword (1d8+4)
Trident (1d6+4)
Longbow (1d8+1)
40 arrows in quiver
Dungeoneering Equipment [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Actual Play: Heroes of the Ashford Valley Session 4

Ashford Valley Actual Play notes from December 2012:


IN WHICH: A party of adventurers face a night attack and mysterious voices on the cliff-top, a merchant is encountered and a second descent into the cave leads to a monstrous encounter!

Jim Baggins, Quinn Quimby, Orin Copperhead and Giles Corey set up camp on the cliff-top and set watches, which Jim and Giles promptly sleep through – resulting in a close moment when eight undead skeletons attack the camp!
After a quick fight, the enemy is defeated and the party tracks the skeletons back to a one-way door that Orin guesses leads to the dungeon below.
At that point, the party notices the same voice coming from the birds and wild animals about the hill, all telling the party to flee before they are killed.
For three days, they wait for the water to recede from the cave openings so they look to the road and spot a merchant caravan traveling on it. Once off the hill, they find that the merchant is Mikan Roddin, a human merchant from Tradetown that has dealt with Orin in the past. They hail him and his caravan and talk for a bit – none of the guards are happy stopping so near to “The Haunted Hill” and little is gained in information about it but one of the ancient swords is sold for a good sum to Mikan.
Returning to the cliff-top, they see that the water has receded enough to spot the caves again and Jim speculated that this could be a defense mechanism for those who used the caves in centuries past – anyone on the hill causes the water to rise in a matter of hours, closing off the caves, while no one on the hill leaves the caves open.
Quickly, the party descends again into the cave, bypass the two pits on the stairs and encounter another set of the degenerate humans, this time an elite force in ancient armor and those strange eye-slit-less helmets. They defeat the subhumans and note that the armor is protected by the primitive fetishes. They discover that the statue again has been beheaded and their former prisoner is nailed to the wall, most likely as a punishment for failure to defend the last time the party was here.
Searching around for the statue’s head reveals it in the junk room and they recover it without taking too many wounds and replace it on the statue, where it again knits the stone together.
Proceeding down the last 20’ long side tunnel, they find themselves in a 20’ by 50’ room with a sarcophagus. Searching through the coffin, they find another valuable gem, a pair to the one they found before.
Finding a stone slab blocking their way, they moved it and followed the passage 20’ deeper into the dungeon, into a room 30’ by 40’, with two doors, one sealed and barred, the other opening into a short hallway with two doors, ending in a T. Looking in the two doors, they found some bare rooms but heard a beast coming from the T.
They quickly retreated to the larger room and an owl-bear burst upon them there. It was a long fight but they managed to bring the beast down, stabbing it to death as it’s roars echoed through the halls, waking who knows what other horrors that the brave adventurers will soon face.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Actual Play: Heroes of the Ashford Valley Character Profile Orin Copperhead

An Irritable Dwarf
Description:
Orin Copperhead, Dwarf
Level 2
Alignment – Light
Strength – 18 ( +4 )
Dexterity – 12 ( +1 )
Mind – 10 ( 0 )
AC 17
Hit Points – 27
Power Points - n/a
Initiative – d20 +1
Melee attack bonus +6
Missile attack bonus +2
Magic attack bonus +2
Fortitude + 7
Reflex + 1
Will + 0
Hometown – TradeTown
Languages – Common, Dwarf
Reputation – +2 in the town of Ashford (temp)
SKILLS
Physical +4
Subterfuge +2
Knowledge +2
Communication +2
CANTRIPS
Adrenaline
Untie
Spark
Enhance Vision
Unlock/lock
- N/A
EQUIPMENT
Chainmail and Gauntlets
Shield, Lt. Wooden
Dwarven Battle Axe (1d10)
Crossbow, Lt. (1d8)
Dagger (1d4)
Bugbear Longsword (1d8+1)
Dungeoneering Equipment
Bio:
A miner by trade and heritage, Orin worked out of Tradetown, but given his budding talent with an ax, he was often chosen to accompany shipments to and from Ashford.
Orin Copperhead is a volcano of a dwarf in that he grumbles a lot, has head like a rock, and when his face starts turning red, its time to run.
One notable exception to his gruff demeanor is at the tavern. Get a few drinks in him and a rowdy pub song will not be far behind, often accompanied by his bullhorn flute. This gift for music is a well known family trait. Whether it be a lively tune pouring out of a tavern, a somber dirge sung at a funeral, or a classic ditty sung around a campfire anywhere in the Ashford Valley, chances are it was originally penned by a Copperhead.
His uncle, Linder, works a mine located within the northernmost part of the Deep Forest. Orin was recently reunited with Linder after the mythical stag, Yarkand, lead him and his party to the old dwarven manor his uncle had been renovating.