August 9

The One Ring: The Falrock

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map of the falrock
The Falrock

Yesterday was the second session of the new campaign. Drew the map above to go along with the adventure (based on the map on the Theft of the Moon adventure). Felt I needed a more visual map that my usual top-down standard map. Plus I needed to get better at drawing isometric maps, since it is an area I am not that skilled in.

The session was mostly skill- and role-playing based, no combat, despite that being a strong contender for the session. Instead, the players opted for a more stealthy approach and through a mixture of good planning and use of skills & traits, managed to successfully pull off their plan without being caught. Now the companions are heading back with the artefact, travelling through the night on a cold, wet autumn day, to put some distance between them and the thieves. We’ll see if they manage to get back safely next week.

I’m liking the system so far. Simple, easy to remember, didn’t really need to look anything up. Once the plan was made, the use of traits helped speed the action along, and I think everyone was getting into it, even if some of the characters didn’t actually do a lot. In fact, it was mostly the two hobbits doing all the work, and everyone watching to see what would happen if it all went wrong; which it didn’t.

If you’re interested in following along with the story, I’m using my Obsidian Portal site to its full advantage this time, and hoping to keep it updated and useful throughout the game.

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August 2

The One Ring: the Fellowship Begins

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Yesterday we started our new campaign, using The One Ring game, beginning with a fan-made introductory adventure, Theft of the MoonWe’ve got six players now, and spent the previous week’s session creating the characters.

For this (as yet unnamed) Fellowship, we have:

  • Alberic, a Woodman of Wilderland
  • Dafydd Ap Alfred, a Barding of Dale
  • Gilthannas, an Elf of Mirkwood
  • Vieg, a Dwarf of the Lonely Mountain
  • Popo and Wilibald Took, twin brothers, Hobbits of the Shire

I’ve started another Obsidian Portal site for the campaign, and that’s where I’ll be posting the adventure logs and keeping the campaign updated; not here, as that was just duplicating everything and I can then use this blog/site for other stuff. I’ll be posting ‘behind the scenes’ stuff here from the new campaign, thoughts and stuff on how it went, prep, new maps I’ll be drawing for the game, and whatever else takes my fancy. My own adventures for the game will also pop up here.

We’re using Roll20 as usual to play, all set up with excellent macros and APIs thanks to this guide (anyone interesting in a VTT game for this should check that guide out, it is excellent). It looks good so far, and everything seems to work OK, which is a bonus. I’ve spent a lot of time setting it all up, knowing that it will save me loads of time in the future when it comes to preparing for the next session.

Last night was a mostly role-play and skill test session, getting used to the new rules and a different way of playing than we’ve been used to. Seemed to go OK; there was laughter, role-playing, fun had by all. Next week should see some combat, so that we can get used to those rules too. That’s going to be different that we are used to as well, since it’s a different system and a different approach. Makes map drawing for it different too… how many times do I want to use the word different ?!

Anyway.

Last night was fun. I enjoyed running the game, even if it was a little bit awkward here and there as we got used to the rules and the new roles and characters. I’m excited again for running the game, which is refreshing. Helps that I’m going to be running mostly published stuff to start with, mixed in with some of my own, as that takes some of the pressure off, which makes it more fun to do the prep. Plus, I’m a couple of adventures a head, so I should have a good few weeks of play before I have to worry about getting anything else ready.

Hope this lasts a while and that people enjoy reading the play reports (as I know some people do), and I hope to that some good maps come out of this. There’s already a few that come to mind.

In Other News

My second Book of LairsUrban Encounters is basically finished. Just need to sort out one thing, check it looks OK, and then PDF it ready to share and publish. The third one I’ve already started doing some preliminary work on, to get it ready to start. That one is going to be dungeon themed, with a total of 24 dungeons (square, four entrances each) that can be randomly joined together. That’ll be more generic fantasy too, since I want it to appeal to a larger audience. Maybe the one after that will be something altogether different. We’ll have wait and see. Hopefully the dungeon one will kick off this month, but we’ll see how that goes.

Right, that’s it. I really should be working. Ta ta for now.

Simon.

July 23

Against the Giants: Homeward Bound

title for campaign
Against the Giants: The End

Our intrepid band of adventurers, escorting the failed expedition of scholars and their hired help, spend a week trekking through the jungle. It’s hot work, but uneventful. Nothing bothers them. Predators avoid such a large party; intelligent ones take one look at their armour and weapons and decide the risk is too great.

On the 5th of Fireseek, 595 CY at the start of the new year, they arrive at Port Sanguine, a small trading port catering to merchants and traders. They bid farewell to the scholars, and also to Eshan, who is happy to have made it back to some sort of civilisation after everyone else who escaped the Stockade perished. As for the Heroes, they spend a few days cleaning themselves up, booking passage on a ship to Keoland, and spending some downtime before they set sail.

On the morning of the 9th, they board the Fond Farewell, and set sail, homeward bound…

End of Campaign


And that’s it. After over 4 years and 214 sessions, the Against the Giants campaign comes to an end. Interest was starting to wane, the characters had reached a peak in most of their abilities, and everyone wanted to try something different. And to be honest, keeping it fresh and coming up with new ideas and adventures to keep everyone challenged was getting more and more difficult. I think it’s amazing that we got this far.

Next up, we start playing The One Ring, and see where that takes us. Stay tuned.

 

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July 12

Against the Giants: Session 214

The heroes regroup back at the ruined foundry, where Halmary unpacks mundane weapons and armour from his bag of holding and distributes them to the rescued explorers (a couple of scholars, a guide, and mercenaries). They are looking for a lost city, but after losing much of their equipment and several men, have decided to return to the port they came from so that they can resupply and hire more men. The heroes suggest that they all go together, but only after they’ve checked out the ruined temple Calibos was almost sacrificed in, and the shipwreck they passed while rescuing him. The explorers agree, and tag along.

They head to the temple, leaving Eshan to guard the explorers, while the rest levitate down and explore the catacombs below. The offerings left for the abomination are looted (coins, gems, various trade goods, some potions and possible magic items), then the catacombs raided: most caskets are already open and empty, but they find one sealed with the bones of a child inside with a crushed skull, and a horn carved with symbols of wind; Halmary pockets that. Two sarcophagi are looted of the diamonds resting in the skeleton’s eye socket, but there’s no danger and it is uneventful.

Back to the shipwreck, which seems to be an odd ship, buried nose-first in the earth, too big for the small river that runs by it. They explore the upper deck, finding little of interest (water-damaged charts, a journal, and a brass telescope), a stone chair with a skeleton of a hippo-man sat in it, with vines and yellow flowers sprouting from its ribcage. Sindi and Calibos descend into the hold, where ripped cargo webbing hides crates and other goods. Flowering vines curl around the interior, and as the two begin to fan out, and Halmary and the others get ready to join them, Sindi spots a zombie (also with vines and yellows flowers sprouting from its body) lurking behind a crate. It rears up to attack an unsuspecting Calibos, but is speared by Sindi and cut down.

Then things get interesting as one of the flowers sprays a cloud of pollen in the air, the spores entrancing Sindi but having no effect on Calibos. Sindi heads straight to the aft of the hold, where a think plant writhes and latches onto Sindi’s head with brain-sucking tendrils. Another zombie and a skeleton head into the hold, straight for Calibos. Ungrid, then Halmary, followed by Xellos after a few rounds, all come down to join them. Calibos charges past the flowery dead and goes straight for the plant, hacking it into pieces and freeing Sindi before any harm comes to her. Ungrid takes care of the other zombie, crushing it under his heel. Halmary tires and fails to turn them, since it appears that are not undead. He is about to use a ring of plant control, but Xellos cuts down the skeleton and then turns when he hears Eshan (on deck with the explorers) cry out as the hippo-man skeleton from above shambles down; this skeleton is smashed by Xellos’ axe.

They shred the plants, loot what little there is left in the hold, and retreat from the shipwreck. They discuss what to do next, and agree to head to the port in the morning. Halmary brings out a treasure map he found, and the explorers help him determine that there is a ruin of some sort a few days out from the port, and may provide a side-trek while they wait for a ship home to book passage on.

Camp is struck and everyone settles in for a night in the jungle.

End of Session

Kills: 2 Yellow Musk Zombies, 2 Yellow Musk Skeletons, 1 Yellow Musk Creeper.

July 10

Against the Giants: Session 213

With the loss of his most powerful weapons and armour, Ungrid levitates into the air out of reach of the metal-eating beasts.

Meanwhile, the battle continues around him, while the lizardman carrying Calibos runs off into the jungle.

Halmary takes out the lizardfolk shaman with a hefty whack to the head, then backs off as more rust monsters come towards him. He finds himself cornered and the king of the rust monsters looms over him; but before it has a chance to do anything, Xellos fires off a ray of paralysis, freezing the big beast in place. Halmary tries to escape the smaller monsters by climbing on the king’s back, but something about its hide doesn’t like metal either, and Halmary’s armour starts to rust; he jumps off before it is damaged, but is then trapped against the wall by three of the rust monsters are eagerly try to eat his plate armour.

Xellos joins Sindi and Ungrid in the air as he too downs a potion and levitates up. Eshan, down below, finds himself losing weapons quickly as a rust monster takes a shine to him and he is soon defenceless. Those explorers inside manage to break out, and join the fight outside, but they too are missing their weapons and armour and starts grabbing the stone and wooden implements from the dead lizardfolk.

Speaking of the lizardfolk, those left, fanatically fighting on despite their losses, savagely tear into the explorers, killing a couple before Xellos (by magic missile) and Ungrid (with a dagger, after dropping back down to the ground) end their lives. The final champion almost survives as a prisoner, after Xellos commands him to freeze, but Ungrid just slits his throat.

That leaves just the rust monsters. Sindi lobs down the grenade from a while back, creating a devastating explosion that blasts half-a-dozen of the monsters to pieces; Xellos takes a couple more out with a lightning bolt, freeing Halmary and allowing him too withdraw. Sindi kills another with a well-placed arrow, and the last two scurry off, finally driven away. Halmary then goes back in and bludgeons the rust monster king to death with his staff.

While Halmary deals with the king, and Ungrid gathers the surviving explorers and Eshan together outside the foundry, Sindi and Xellos hurry after Calibos. They quickly find a trail and hack their way through the jungle, passing a ship wrecked on the bank of a small river (but Xellos’ sword of locate person doesn’t detect Calibos, so they leave it alone for now) and soon coming across all of Calibo’s items, including his clothes, thrown on the ground. They make a note of where to find it, and hurry on. Before too long they come to a clearing, where a ruined temple stands. From inside they hear chanting.

map of ruined temple

Sindi and Xellos approach, both invisible, and Xellos’ sword detects Calibos inside and down. The temple has a pit inside, and the lizardman that carted away their friend is kneeling down, praying, chanting, intent on whatever is in the pit. Sindi tries to barge the chanting lizardman into the pit, but slips on some leaves and instead collides with a pillar. The lizardman spins round, spots the now visible explorer and claws her across the chest. Xellos comes up behind him, and decapitates the lizardman.

Below, the pit has two arches leading off. A trail of slime leads into one. They both levitate down and follow the slime into a cavern, where they spot an abomination of undulating flesh wrapped around a naked Calibos, many mouths latched on and beginning to tear at his flesh. Quickly hasted, Sindi and Xellos charge in, stabbing and hacking away at the creature, killing it and saving Calibos from being eaten. They leave the cave and lots of loot for now, grabbing Calibos and make their way back to the foundry, collecting Calibos’ belongings on the way back.

When everyone is back together, they introduce themselves to the explorers they rescued; an expedition looking for a lost city, and who know think it better to return to port to resupply and hire new men, having lost much on their journey so far. The heroes then open up their bags if holding and bring out various magic weapons and armour to replace the ones they lost, rearming and quickly back to their unstoppable selves.

End of Session

Kills: 1 lizardfolk shaman, 1 lizardfolk champion, 2 lizardfolk warriors, 1 rust monster king, 10 rust monsters, 1 abomination.

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