Monday, August 25, 2014

D&D: The Outdoor Edition

Between battling mosquitoes, we were able to enjoy a game outdoors. 

I followed the map Sister Rebecca/Evil Wizard gave me to the mouth of a cave in the hills south and west of Skalafell.  The tunnel within forked, and I chose to pursue the one to the north. Rarely do I choose the South. 

As I approached a cavern, my torched flickered [which was supposed to be a terrible clue that something was amiss] I just assumed that a breeze swept through. I am still a newbie and all! Remembering my infravision, I opted to extinguish my torch and peer into the cavern in hopes of not drawing attention to myself. 

 A large cold glob stood in the center of the room. Lighting my torch I saw a grotesque tentacled monstrosity of a statue. I was frightened! I had hoped to quietly sneak by, but it was not to be - of course the living crystal statue animated and smashed at me with its massive tentacles. UGH! 

 I blocked and parried blow after blow before finally shattering the statue into hundreds of shards. I found the smashed crystal quite beautiful and stashed some of the shards in my backpack. I took some damage, but not much [we're using Solo Heroes, so damage at most is 2 points per hit, and quite often just 1 pt]. 

 I decided to return to the other fork and explore that direction, but found the path mysteriously blocked by a wall. I couldn't for the life of Fjörgyn figure out how the path became blocked. (It wasn't until after the game when John explained how the flickering of my torch could be related to such magic. I will never shrug off a flickering torch again) A search for secret doors revealed nothing, despite my elven prowess in such matters, so onward I went.

After trying to climb my way around the walls of a room and falling onto a great glowing sigil painted on its floor (which cost a point of INT), I made my way into a chamber wherein a large leather bound book, sealed with a clasp,  rested on a small plain stone dais. BINGO!

Taking no chances with my safety, but risking the book, I knocked it from its resting place. As the book skidded into the rough ground, this transgression triggered the rapid appearance of 3 skeleton warriors bent on making my life pretty miserable in a battle that did not go my way (I came close enough to death that I was fidgeting and getting worried).

Finally, in an act of desperation, bloodied and bruised, I grabbed the spellbook and, like a young Walter Payton (thanks John), blasted through their line and out the door into the hall opposite the way I came in. The skeletons did not pursue. I came to the precipice of a great chasm some 20' wide. 

Despair settled in for a moment before the light bulb went off and I noticed hand holds and a small ledge allowing me to cross the chasm ever so carefully. 

Ahead, I heard the distinct sound of loud voices and with torch extinguished I spied several humanoid shapes sitting about another cavern. 

With surprise on my side, I prepared my Charm Person spell. It was not until I uttered the necessary phrases that the goblins became aware of my presence and by then it was too late - all but one of them failed their save. The sole exception charged into melee (I won the initiative) but was cut down quickly and easily. As for the others, they could not understand why their brutish companion would attack their dear friend, the elf.

So happy were they to see their long lost bestie, they readily gave up information about the tunnel system. Realizing my health had been seriously compromised by the statue and the skeletons, I asked for directions to the closest entrance. As it turned out, the goblins had their own secret way in and out of the cave and happily showed me the way to the surface. Phew.

Sadly, obligations to their Boss prevented them from going with me back to town to continue our joyous gathering.

We ended the game there. Fjörgyn promptly locked up the GM before he could sick any other creatures on her. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fjörgyn gets stabby in Skalafell

I feel a bit cheap for copying so much from Tabletop Diversions. I would like to get these summaries out faster so that I can begin posting up to date games!

John thought that it may be easier for me to play a single character, in this case, Fjörgyn. Charlie Bucky was present as a side-kick, necessary from a survival point of view, but not from a learning of the game viewpoint. 

Enter Black Streams : Solo Heroes. This will make it far more likely that Fjörgyn can survive just fine on her own, with a few henchman hired here and there.

Fjörgyn and party made their way out of the dungeon and back to town, after our harrowing encounter with some fire beetles that left us pretty beat up. We heard horrible wailing and moans coming from the desecrated shrine of the Forgetful Bear, but we had other things to do. What a hero Fjörgyn is! 

After resting over night, Charlie Bucky parted company for Hedeby and a life in the big kitty city. 

I dismissed Badir and Zelligant for the day. 

With the henchmen departed, I set off to pay old man Alfarinson another visit. Along the way, I kept my eyes peeled for an offering to present to the voodoo-witch doctor-hermit-type. I soon spotted an antler worthy of gifting the old man. 

I found Alferinson working near the side of his hut, drying a deer skin over a fire. Instead of gagging, I approached offered him the antler and after a brief exchange in which he began to get a bit salty with me, I  accused him of being one of the cultists and basically, the embodiment of evil. Do we see a pattern developing between Fjörgyn and anyone who dare speak to her in a less than enthusiastic manor? He told me to leave, but I refused. Nobody tells Fjörgyn what to do! With elven reflexes, I snatched the antler out of Alfarinson's hands and stabbed him.

Unfortunately, the furs and leather he wore absorbed much of the blow and I only managed a minor wound. This surprised me somehow, I had envisioned a swift kill there. Instead of dying, he was enraged. He reached down and grabbed a flaming log, and it was on!

To my surprise, the old man put up a tough fight - and it didn't help matters that part way through the battle, a divine light shone around him, which clearly rejuvenated him. Just as I finally managed to cut the old man down, I heard a shrill scream behind me and turned to catch a glimpse of a little girl running back towards the front of house. My first thought "Oh no! A witness!"

A moment later, the door slammed shut.

I decided to nose around the back of the hut. I found a dirty, thick glass window, and could only make out a door opposite on an interior wall. After covering the body with the deer skin, I first thought about trying to seal the girl inside, but, given that the door opened into the hut, that would prove difficult. As thunder and then rain moved in, I kicked the door down.

Finding nothing, I made my way to the opposite door. Kicking it open, I found myself in a small bedroom - the same room I had spied from outside. After lighting the lantern near the bed, I rifled through the suspicious lump of skins and furs on the bed, but found no one hiding there.  

My search was interrupted by the sounds of heavy clomping on the front porch, followed by a man's voice calling out "We know you're here Old Man!"

Fjörgyn resembled  a deer in headlights. I was truly taken by surprise and a bit frightened of what may come next. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mail call

           Ol' Tabletop supports my habits by sending wonderful packages.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fjörgyn's decent into madness...

When we left off, Fjörgyn and Charlie Bucky met up with Zelligant and Badir outside of The Queen's Cauldron. 

Having thought it over, I decided  that rather than leaving town, I would attempt to get some more information about the missing girl, Thorifinna, from the girl's father.
(After John explained to me what provisions I would need to adventure on. I decided that I wanted to gain XP and build up enough GP to carry me through that trek to Gorgoroth and into the dungeon beneath Trelleborg)
Thorifinna's father was nowhere to be found and did not answer when we knocked on the door of his cottage. We peacefully went on our merry way.

A brief discussion with one of the older farmers in the village gave some insight into the interesting connection of the villager slain by the ghoul and the missing girl's father (Bodvarr) - the slain villager (Gunnar) was having an affair with the girl's mother. This had me wondering, did Bodvarr have a pact with the ghoul? Is BODVARR the ghoul? Is it a coincidence? Bodvarr disappeared the day after Thorifinna. He was last seen at the tavern where his wife had come in to fetch him. Did they run away together? Perhaps his wife killed him and ran off with Thorifinna? I had so many ideas swimming in my head. 

As for Thorifinna, I've only heard that she is a good girl, 9 or 10 years of age, who does all of her chores in the forest.

Returning to the Shrine of the Forgetful Bear to ask Sister Rebecca some questions, I found the Sister uncooperative [this was determined by dice rolls]. When I offered her some gold to help grease the wheel a bit, Sister Rebecca responded with visible scorn [a terrible reaction roll brought this about] and told us to go find the girl, after which she closed the door on us. This ended up being a huge moment in Fjörgyn's development and my own as a role player. I felt furious that Sister Rebecca would refuse to answer questions that could actually HELP us to find her precious Thorifinna. I was doing her a solid by even looking for the girl! Oh, I was heated and I'm getting revved up just recalling those moments. Perhaps Fjörgyn the do-gooder would have just let it go or tried to see the situation from Sister Rebecca's standpoint? After being treated with less than open arms, something in Fjörgyn shifted.

Irritated by the rebuff, and possessing a new, general dislike of Sister Rebecca, I produced the still beating human heart I had recovered from the ghoul's tomb and placed it on the steps of the shrine as a warning to Sister Rebecca that I mean business. She should rethink her saltiness toward me.

To everyone's surprise, the sky quickly filled with clouds, rain poured down, lightning cracked and the thunder sounded much like the roar of a bear. 

The carving of a bear's head above the shrine's entrance exploded into dust as a thick blackness oozed out of the heart, up the stairs and under the door.

We stood in awe for a brief moment before wisely trudging off in the downpour to the dungeon.

(Kudos to John for creating this scene. It was so intense and awesome in the game)

I am going to add the next session below. I'm trying to get caught up with my D&D posts so that I can be current and also focus on some solo games.

After resting for a bit, we re-lit our torches, and I lead them back up the steps into the store room to root about the items there. I was hoping to find some treasure in the chests. With Charlie Bucky and Badir watching the exits, Zelligant and I fussed about with the chests.

Out in the darkness of the hallway to the north, Badir caught sight of glowing orbs moving towards them and coming in fast. 

The chests abandoned, Charlie Bucky and I rushed to the door to see four giant fire beetles closing in on them. I named them the Fab Four.

I unleashed an arrow but it did little good and soon the battle was joined.

The gods (the dice gods, that is) were kind to Zelligant and Badir, but both Charlie Bucky and I took significant damage before the surviving beetles were driven off.

Licking our wounds, literally perhaps in Charlie Bucky's case, we returned to the potential treasures where our luck went from bad to worse.

     My feline inspiration for Charlie Bucky. She's fierce huh?

Unable to open a locked box, I instructed Badir to use his club to smash it.

Although successful, he triggered a gas trap inside, which quickly filled the room with its haze. With some relief, here, finally, was a moment of luck for us: only Badir slumped to the ground unconscious.(if you call that luck) This was my first experience with any sort of gas trap. It didn't occur to me at first that it may be a sleeping gas. I thought Badir was done for.

I decided to let him rest there while we scooped out the silver and gold inside the box.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fjörgyn's Third Dungeons and Dragons Adventure

In early April, we played another game via chat. 

When we last left off, Fjörgyn stood admiring the wretched, now slain, bat beast. 

Remembering the sinking feeling I experienced after the adventure where I heartlessly (well, not ENTIRELY heartless as I still had the beating human heart in my backpack *evil laugh*) left poor Grungo in that tomb with the slain ghoul, I decided I needed to do right by Thora. With Zelligant's help, I carried Thora's lifeless body to the Shrine of the Forgetful Bear. I hoped that Sister Rebecca would perform the burial rites. Sister Rebecca tended to Thora and offered me healing which I declined. I really don't know why I declined the offer, but I assume Fjörgyn has some trust issues. I mean, how many times did Zelligant change his name?!

I left the Shrine of the Forgetful Bear to head to the Queen's Cauldron to scout hirelings and socialize with the locals.

Enthusiasm was not in the air as I searched the bar for potential help. I could make out some whispers about Grungo and Thora's fate on our little adventures. Finally. a shady character emerged with his face covered mostly by a mask. I was half terrified, half excited to have him on my side when he offered to come along.

In addition, Charlie Bucky, (inspired by my own feline friend) a halfling sized cat [a nekomata? We're just using halfling stats but she gets 2 claws and a bite per round. Giving me two PCs to increase my chances of survival and to reduce reliance on too many hirelings] in plate mail with sharpened steel sheaths for her claws and a short bow caught up with me and was more than happy to go along with whatever adventure I had planned.

Charlie Bucky
In the morning, Charlie Bucky and I met the staff outside the Cauldron and discussed the plan for the day - I announced that I wanted to leave for Gorgoroth (that was way more surprising than the warrior cat creature). I felt quite certain that, having slain the strange beast, the missing girl would be able to escape the perils of the underground lair and return home and if not, she was probably already dead. (I roll my eyes at this logic now)

Fjörgyn is nothing if not a realist!

[here the session ended as John was not prepared for a hex crawl. he explained the need to equip for the travel and the dangers that might pose, so that I could make informed decisions about what to bring. Since then, after further discussions about the nature of the game, I have decided that I should explore the dungeon a little more before moving on to the next town of Hael.]

                                          Important study material

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fjörgyn's Second Adventure

On March 28th, John ran another session of D&D b/x for me via chat. This was only my second time playing. I wasn't sure how it would all translate only using chat, but he made it super easy and fun.

                   My view 

 Fjörgyn's goal is to make it to Gorgoroth and adventure in the dungeon beneath Trelleborg. How could I not be excited to adventure in a place with such an awesome name?

I spent the evening celebrating with the villagers at the tavern, who had given me the nick-name of "Ghoul-slayer". I feel quite proud to accept my new title. Little did I know, this title could possibly come back to haunt me in later adventures (stay tuned). As I enjoyed breakfast at the Queen's Cauldron, an errand boy interrupted my meal with a request from Sister Rebecca to visit with her at the shrine of the Forgetful Bear to discuss a matter of some importance. 

I accepted the offer.

Sister Rebecca revealed her suspicions about a plot involving cultists spotted by Old Man Alfarinson, the released ghoul I had slain, and a girl who went missing just yesterday. I decided to look into it, saying "Of course I will. Robed men chanting around a fire will always intrigue me!" I'm not sure if I want to join them or fight them.

Before continuing further, I re-hired Zelligant, who required armor and a weapon before agreeing, but that was with the additional stipulation that he would join in combat. I was happy to make this deal with him. So far, he has been a reliable comrade. He also suggested his cousin Thora, the one eyed jester, (a handsome woman according to John) as a suitable hire, allegedly handy with a weapon.

We made our way to the dilapidated, incense smoke filled shack of the odd-ball Old Man Alfarinson (something of a witch doctor mountain man hermit type) to get directions to the abandoned shrine where he had seen the cultists. 

Photos snagged from John's blog

We got the directions we came for, and forgoing further questioning, perhaps due to the incense haze, we got straight to it. 

Located among ancient burial mounds, the shrine was largely overgrown, although the vines did not cover the floor and, in fact, bore evidence of having been cut back. The secret door down was thus easily found, and after some discussion over who would go in first, Fjörgyn led the way down into the darkness. I'm actually surprised that I decided to lead the way. How naive!

The steps led down into a room, populated by one ugly mother of a beast - a beaked bat face furry ant-like thorax, human fore-limbs and giant bat-wings. Thora, who had moved up to fight alongside me was rewarded for her efforts by having a major artery severed by the crushing beak of the night beast. Poor, poor handsome Thora. [She had all of 2 HP. A sneeze would have killed her.]

Zelligant seemed to grow a pair and joined the fray, but I managed to kill the foul beast before he had to demonstrate any possible ineptness despite taking damage for nearly half my hit points,

We ended the session there, as I had to work in the morning. Stupid real life.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fjörgyn's first adventure in Dungeons and Dragons

This is the write up for my first ever Dungeons and Dragons experience using Moldvay Basic. On March 22nd, I played a single character named Fjörgyn. Much of this is copied from the Dungeon Master's notes as he is brilliant when it comes to keeping records.

Fjörgyn (E:1) I ventured out of Hedeby on my way to Gorgoroth and the dungeon beneath Trelleborg. In the town of Skalafell, I caught wind of a story of a mysterious death, the victim found dragged to a set of steps leading down into the earth in a hillside nearby. Thinking there might be some treasure within, I opted to explore. I had no clue what to expect and assumed I would encounter some danger within.

I hired two locals, Grungo, the lovable lumberjack, and Zelligant the dutiful tailor.

Grungo bought the farm about 2/3s of the way down the stairs into the dungeon, when a shrieker started, well, shrieking which drew a giant crab spider to the scene. After failing to sink its mandibles into my plate mail, it turned on my unarmored hirelings and Grungo's leg was severed, cutting an artery. His death was swift. That poor, lovable lumberjack should have stayed in the tavern safe and sound.

The spider died moments later; Fjörgyn had her first kill - an adventurer was born! My adrenaline was flowing... my D&D love affair was blossoming. 

A magic mouth on a statue told me to leave but I paid it no mind and the dark warning etched on the wall behind it was treated as so much spooky bravado.
( Knowing what I know now, I would have explored this further )

Still, as I explored, I carefully spiked doors open to make a fast escape possible.  ( This is one thing I often fail to remember now that I have been diligent about in past adventures ) When I came across a magic pool, I wisely avoided drinking from its tantalizing Caribbean-blue water. ( I wouldn't say so much that I was "wise", the thought just hadn't crossed my mind. That being said, I'd still be too afraid of drinking anything I find near giant crab spiders or strange magic mouths ) Lady Luck was in my favor as I crossed a trapped threshold and neither Zelligant or I triggered the spiked/crushing ceiling trap. Whew!

A rickety bridge across a vast chasm caused some hesitation, but onward I pressed, and found the bridge was, in fact, quite capable of sustaining me and my porter/torch bearer. At the end of the bridge were the ornately carved stone doors of a burial vault.

Heavy though they were, I was able to open them, and we slipped into the chamber of red painted walls. A mural of a bearded man summoning the elements adorned the wall behind a large marble sarcophagus, which was surrounded by glyphs and runes on the floor and covered with painted sigils. 

It seemed the inhabitant of said sarcophagus was in no mood to be disturbed, and while I explored the room, the ghoul set upon me. EEP!

As an elf, the ghoul's paralyais inducing attacks were of no concern for Fjörgyn, but Zelligant pretty much peed his pants and tried to run. Unfortunately for him, the heavy door, which had closed behind them ( forgot that dang spike! ) slowed his egress.

By the time he got the door open, I had slaughtered the ghoul handily, suffering only a minor wound in the process. I severed the head with a mighty stroke of my sword, sending black dust spurting from it, a plume of powdered ancient blood. Beautiful!

The head was stuffed into my pack as proof of my accomplishment and several chests around the room were my reward. What I would do with this head? Who knows?

In one of the chests, I found a still beating human heart. Unsure of its value or meaning, I tossed it into my backpack, along with the head, just in case it had any value. The others contained gems and jewlery - enough to live comfortably for a time, or perhaps, purchase a horse to ride to Gorgoroth.

On our way out of the tomb, we encountered a gnome, one Rupert Winklebottom heading down the steps, but I warned him it was dangerous. He thanked me and out he went and on his way. 


the map courtesy of John

I enjoyed this so much and could not wait to slay some more creatures!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Trollszine Issue #2 Dark Rising Solo RPG

This is a summary of my first solo RPG. 

 I recently began playing old school Dungeons and Dragons with the boyfriend. I developed an RPG itch soon after. He plays solo games, and sent me his copy of Tunnels and Trolls. Now, when I'm in the mood to play, I won't have to rely on our schedules syncing up to play together. 

 I downloaded TrollsZine 2 and embarked on the Dark Rising solo adventure. This was recommended for at least a level 2 character. I predicted that it would be a short one with my Level 1 warrior. 

It went something like this...

 The villagers of Saxon are concerned by strange lights, seen hovering in the night sky, above the ruins of the old Saxon manor. Alfrún has been called upon to investigate. The search will only be successful after dark. A farm hand escorts me to where the ruined building lies. Eager to get out of there, the farm hand offers his lantern and enough food to last one day. A steep, heavily wooded climb awaits. I begin to hack a path through the undergrowth and start climbing.

 I noticed a small clearing in the wooded area to my right after a short walk up the steep incline. I chose to ignore it and carry on along the path.

 Further along, I see an overgrown trail to my right that appears to lead directly up the spine of the hill. I try my luck pulling back undergrowth and reeds while making my way along the path. It's not long before I realize why this is the path less taken. I find myself wading through bog-land at a snails pace. After many minutes of struggle, I reach a small patch of solid earth.

 Make L2SR on LK - FAIL

 Several leeches have latched onto me and are greedily gorging on my flesh. Already worn from trudging through the bog, I cannot lose blood to these parasites. Ripping them off, I take 1D6 spite damage for the pain and blood loss.

 Shaking off the bog muck, I take stock of my new surroundings. Water cascades down the face of a rock to the north, and into a good sized pond. The water shimmers with gold as the last bit of daylight spangles its surface. The grass is a vibrant green. I suspect that this place is not visited often. Though I would love to rest here a bit and enjoy the scenery, I must move on.

 Just north of the clearing I notice another trail winding up and around the hill. This appears to offer a gentle and easy climb.

 I make my way along the path as it becomes much rockier. I notice that these are worn cobblestones that have been smoothed and polished to a fine finish. Within minutes I can see the ruins at the summit of the hill along the horizon. I pick up the pace.

 Ten minutes later I find myself at the remains of a great stone bridge that traverses a fast flowing stream. Heavy rubble from the bridge has settled on the bed of the stream, forming makeshift stepping-stones. Water crashes against the stones before lapping over the edge of a steep stone cliff in the hillside. So much for that gentle, easy climb! 

 I will have to hop across the stones to reach the other side and the summit.

 Make a L2SR on DEX - FAIL  (becoming very nervous now)

 Mustering all of my agility, I nimbly leap to the first stone with no difficulty, but as I lurch for the second, I misjudge the distance and land badly. I fight to keep my balance, but plunge into the icy water and I get carried down-stream and over the cliff edge at great speed.

 As I slam against the stony rock-face, I gash a deep cut into the flesh of my arm, taking 3 points of damage. Luckily however, my fall is broken by the plunge-pool at the base of the rock face and, bleeding profusely, I begin my rough swim to the shore.

 Just feet from the bank I feel a tug at my leg, as something wraps around my limb. This is soon followed by some sort of cord, snaking around my other leg. Trying to pull myself free, I turn to find that I am caught in the tentacles of a small but menacing looking squid that is slowly pulling me toward its beak-like maw.
 Drawing my gladius sword, I prepare to fight for my life.

 Squid: MR 30

(I began this battle a couple of times before figuring out how to properly utilize spite damage and special rules. I've been using the original Tunnels and Trolls rule book. Spite Damage was introduced in 5.5. With a lot of help from John, I finally got the rules down and gave it another go.) 

 Any damage that Alfrún inflicts is cut in half due to resistance of the water. This is where I really wish I had that level 2+ character! 

Round 1:
The squid is able to wrap another tentacle around me. I struggle to break free and strike with my sword. The squid made an awful shrieking sound and it's grip only got tighter. My armor protected me from any damage this time and the squid's MR scoffed at the 5 points of damage that I inflicted. 
All in all, no damage. 

Round 2:
This didn't go well at all even if I did roll 1 point of spite damage. The squid retaliated with the same. Pulling me toward his beak, he takes a giant chomp out of my left shoulder. I can barely lift my arm to swing at the wretched thing. The squid gets 4 points, plus 1 point of spite damage on me. Leaving me with 1 measly point to lose. 

Round 3:
Both a bit stunned and fumbling. We aren't able to inflict any significant damage on one another. Alfrún lives to see another fight! Barely. 

Round 4: 
Taking my sword in the non-dominant hand, barely holding onto my shield, I try to hack off the tentacle that is causing my leg to lose feeling. Inflicting 2 points of spite damage on the squid with 7 points added on, I thought maybe this wasn't going SO badly. Just then, I hear an awful snap followed by the worst pain I have known. The squid has snapped my leg in half. I fall into the water. The last thing I recall is a cloud of ink expanding around me. I am unable to catch my breath. Alfrún is left to rest with the fishies. 


I am hoping to play another solo this evening!