For Halloween, I hosted a special event of "Expedition to Castle Ravenloft" at my home for 6 select gamers from my groups and family. Unfortunately, one of the players bailed at the last minute, but a party of 5 was sufficient to get going. There was a plethora of food and drink (no Pinatas). I tried out the prototype build of my new 'gaming extension table'. The party spent over 3 hours building characters. We used HeroLab for some and had to fight it a bit on the spell-less ranger build. The group consisted of:
Zephyr, a Kitsune Rogue / DruidSam the axebeakJ, a blind Oread Fighter / ClericKratos, a spell-less rangerLloyd, a wolfOrflex, a half-orc barbarian who flex into a rage anytime anyone messed with his juiceBerth, an Aasimar inquisitor
The gaming extension table was a small map-sized table about a foot off the regular table. We could put stuff underneath like laptops while using the tops for minis and rolling dice. It was just a bit too high, so the next…
Having been kicked out of the Blushing Mermaid, the group moved on to the Trades District to a place called the Bowels of the Earth, first briefly stopping by a temple to get Don's charisma damage healed. Yuri (Winter Wolf), Don the Magnifiscent (Human Bard), and Corrail (Half-elf Ranger) went off to visit Corrail's father. The animals were becoming more unsettled and there seemed to be signs that something strange was about to happen.
Felix (Half-elf rogue/druid), tiger (whose name I forget), Elrick (human alchemist-barbarian), Ally (gnome sorceress), and Zirul (Half-elf cleric) went on to the Bowels with Marlowe (their guide). Felix was happy to find a fellow shadowthief there, who directed him on how to get a backroom for the night. Therein, the party slept except for the alchemist who stayed up brewing potions.
Corrail found his father before reaching the flat. He seemed to be sneaking back in the direction of the tavern. Corrail followed him, catching him, while he …
This week I had the sad duty of eliminating the PC captain that was played by a player who left.
Captain Jacen approached Durgen aboard the Zelbinion, asking him to load the three kegs of black powder into the longboat along with all the riches gathered since the last trip over. Giffen appeared aboard a longboat headed to the Zelbinion. Climbing aboard, the crocodile man handed a note to the Captain. The Captain grimaced and even Sheen picked up on the problem. The crew of the Kyte was becoming unhinged. Durgen planned his solution -- a ritual to 'remove the curse'.
The Captain took the longboat back to the Kyte.
Cranax below convinced the Druid and Kyte to assist him. They were going to be coming into a segment of the sea within the next few minutes that would greatly accelerate growth of the plants, and Cranax wanted to get his specimens into the sides nets so they could grow.
Meanwhile Kroop below and Sheena above worked searching and opening rooms of the ship.
So the party left Daggerford, headed for Waterdeep, with covered wagon, horses, a tiger, a winter wolf, and a war camel. The entrance to Waterdeep was hustling and bustling. They were stopped only for a moment by an old elf warning of the end of the world or some such apocalypse.
The group split with the agreement to meet at the Blushing Mermaid at Sunset. Ally, the gnome, and Elrick, the alchemist-barbarian, headed directly to the Mermaid, getting a luxurious room to share. Ally got a bath while Elrick went to the public bathing pool.
Marlowe and Don "The Magnificent" went elsewhere together, with Marlowe agreeing to act as a guide for additional free-flowing coin. Don wanted first to change his appearance. The local aptohecary supplied a potion to darken his hair and grow a rich beard. It was a bit much, so the barber next door straightened it up for him. Talking to the barber, Don tired to track down a lead on his hidden Cthulian religion in Waterdeep. He got a l…
As dawn approached, there was a call out from the crow's nest of the Celestial Kyte. A dinghy carrying a passed out human girl, perhaps 16 years of age, in heavy armor came into sight. Sheena swam out to check on her and bring her aboard. Sandara, the ship healer, patched up her health from the wear of several days at sea. She awoke scared among the pirate crew, wanting for her shield and sword, and not wanting to share her story with a band of pirates, saviors or not. The crew noted a marking on her shield, giving away that she was mostly likely part of a merchant crew out of Waterdeep.
Fishguts appeared on deck, taking the captain aside, and letting him know that the crew was not liking the cursed ship (marked with large red X's), and wouldn't be going aboard unless thrown there. It was going to be up to the officers.
The magus studied the magical aura of the ship at a distance and the runes of the rails. The magic pervaded every bit of the ship, covering the deta…
Friday Night, the band got back together, and Felix, Corrail, Ally, Don the Magnificent Zirul (player absent) and the new human barbarian / alchemist Elrick got underway in the ruins below Secomber.
Elrick had taken refuge in a cave while running from the city guard. It just so happened to be the same caverns that the party was stuck in.
Elrick joined with the party just as they uncovered a Dream Spectre, which was quickly dispatched. A Cloud dragon then appeared, which Don was able to reach an understanding with. The party left the caves.
Above ground they emerged into a firefight between Ally's father and the Red Wizard. The party, all except for Felix, was caught by a huge, concentrated burst of entangle that trapped them. Felix chased the Red Wizard into the forest until he completely lost him, in fact, until he came across a large enchanted druid grove. Familiarity drew him in and the glowing spirit of his mother communed with him, telling him that the druids there wou…
Monday night was an exciting time for the former crew of the Bonny Kate. After the adventure with the Wyvern, the crew was greeted by a rather unhappy captain wondering why the cargo hadn't been relocated to the new ship. The first officer, still angry from the circumstances of the captain's overnight activities, provided little explanation, but Fishguts filled in the captain.
Sheena and Kyte paid a visit to the local tavern on hearsay of a newly docked crew of gnomes, halflings, and dwarves. After a round of drinks and a bit of wiley womanly ways, a dwarf, halfling, and gnome in charge of the crew were on their way to the new ship. One view of the newly painted Celestial Kyte and they were sold, perhaps with some persuasion from Kyte.
Kyte visited the magistrate, hoping to buy a trip to the private island, but instead got only a warning about a mad mage. Kyte, Captain, and Sheena made a trip to the private island, knocking on the door, which then exploded. A rather drun…
There have been lots of Kickstarters, articles, and books lately dealing with the generation of random dungeons. Over time I have found the fascination with random dungeons to be an affront to the very nature of an adventure. The point, after all, is to visit places that could exist in the fantasy worlds we play in. These stone underground structures require enormous resources to build and because of that, they simply must have purpose.
This purpose may have evolved over time. The dungeon form may have been modified to take on new purposes. There may even be elements of madness involved. Ultimately, though, the design of dungeons should be logical. The only exception is Undermountain. lol
I had a party go into a dungeon that was part of a great dwarven fortress a while back. The layout of the dungeon level was dictated by its original purpose -- an ore processing level attached to a mine. However, time had modified its connectivity due to deep earth tremors in the area (whic…