After many, many torches, our bold party managed to wind their way successfully through the Grinding Gear. I wanted to thank Carl for introducing us to that and I believe he was going to write up a review of it for a future blog entry. Very fun.
I also wanted to remind everyone to write up a journal entry on how your character viewed their time spent in Andronia and Akbar's Dungeon. The evening ended in quite an epic battle. Despite the Barnowl falling at the hands of Varda, the evil cleric, the party has much to rejoice.
Lastly, we need to think about when we can play again. I'm hoping we can squeeze a session in before most of you have to get back to teaching. We can have that discussion over at the campaign's home on Epic Words. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.
I'm really looking forward to Jay's birthday and finishing up The Grinding Gear this weekend. In case you hadn't heard, Carl is putting his campaign on hiatus for a while after Saturday. I ran a mini campaign for Carl and Matt H. this summer when they came down for a Yankees game and it worked so well, I asked if they minded if we open it up for everyone. If there is time after The Grinding Gear--assuming we survive to escape!--we will actually start up my campaign currently titled The Dungeons of Akban.
I'm currently writing up a summary of what Carl and Matt's characters accomplished and you'll all join in when they return to town. I'm trying something different though to support the campaign. I'm keeping all of the material for the sessions, including the summary of events up till now, over at Epic Words. It will allow us to keep track of all kinds of information in a central location. The first thing everyone will want to do is create an account there and search campaigns for "Dungeons of Akban." Join it using the password "Andronia." If you want to create a character before Saturday, you can put all his/her information there and even create a journal entry telling us your backstory. The site will allow us to keep a record of all the loot as well as a place you can always see your experience points. I'll post summaries of the adventures there as well as any files that might be relevant like maps. The interesting thing will be seeing everyone's journal entries describing the adventure from your character's point of view. If you have any questions, just let me know. I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I will. Take care.
When: Sat. 12/18
Where: Jay's Place
Start Time: 4PM or ?????
As many of us discussed this past weekend, we appear to be set to play our next game on Sat. 12/18. In honor of Jay's birthday, Barb as graciously agreed to allow us to start at 4PM or even earlier if possible.
To help get a proper head count, could everyone respond in the comments thread to confirm attendance and let us all know just how early you could join us (e.g., before 4PM)? We can then make an informed decision about exactly when to get the game rolling.
Thanks for a very entertaining evening, everyone. It had been too long!
Just a reminder that after our long hiatus, we are set to play our next session this Saturday night. I hope you all are still able to make it! The Grinding Gear, Witchspire Hill, Leng's Tower??? So many choices...
See you Saturday!
When: Saturday, Oct. 9
Location: post festum's house.
Our last session began with our intrepid adventurers descending once again into the gloomy depths of the dungeon below Witchspyre Hill. The group journeyed for about an hour through corridors and passageways that had they had previously explored, intent on visiting a previously unknown section of the underworld. Along the way, they stopped to make a rubbing impression of a mysterious copper disk that they had previously found that was covered with strange and unrecognizable magic runes. The party's magic users, Imgmar and Abu, thought that Bytor of Null's Harbor might be interested in trading the information for knowledge that he claimed to have regarding a possible clue to the dungeons strange origin.
Shortly after this, the party was attacked by a band of roving lizardmen. After besting the reptilian humanoids in combat, the group pressed forward and made the acquaintance of a strange individual, a filthy long haired human who emerged from behind a secret door and claimed that he was willing to trade goods and supplies for gold. Puzzled by this strange encounter, the party attempted to gather information from him. His answers to their questioning proved to be evasive. Who was this strange individual exactly? How did he come to be in the dungeon? These questions remained unanswered and the party decided to return to Null's harbor to trade their information with Bytor and hire an additional hireling. On their way out of the dungeon, they were beset by a group of strange froglike humanoids. The fight went well, though one of the mysterious creatures did manage to escape.
Back in town, Abu hastened to Bytor's shop and discovered that the mage was in fact very interested in the rubbing, though he claimed not know or understand its meaning. In exchange, he produced a very old tome that had been in his collection for some years. The book was entitled "Tales and Legends of the Old Empire" by Thentis the Sad - written in 603 (more than four hundred years earlier). It contained a collection of legends of the old empire that had existed in what is today Thrang over a millennium earlier. Bytor drew Abu's attention to the third chapter entitle "The Mysterious Dissappearance of the Tower of the Four Faces" It purported to be a retelling of a scroll dating from 1000 years earlier, now lost, that contained a story by someone named Skelos of an incident that took place some fifty years earlier in a coastal province of the empire. A tower with four screaming faces inhabited by Zorander, a powerful wizard stood once stood on a high hill by the western sea. A crude map included indicated that this spot was in all likelihood what is today Witchspyre hill. One day, according to Skelos's account, the tower and its foundations just mysteriously vanished into thin air. (Note: these events, if true, would have taken place 1,498 years earlier). Written in the margin by a hand other tahn the author's was the word "Malfarazzaar?" Bytor claimed that it seems likely that the tower of the faces may in fact be the same tower that appeared atop the Witchspyre just months earlier. When asked what the word "Malfarazzaar" might mean, Bytor claimed that he had no idea, nor did he know what later owner of the book may have authored this marginal gloss on the text. His own magical inquiries had only revealed that the word was a proper noun, but beyond that he had never been able to learn any more. He recommended that they seek out the advice of Sul-tas the sage, a learned man who lives on Boar's Head Isle in the Drakenspree Tarn and who specializes in ancient and obscure languages and history. When Abu asked him why he had never sought the advice of this sage, the mage claimed that he had never deemed the matter to be of much importance, or at least he never had until the tower mysteriously appeared recently. Bytor claimed that his business interests in town prevented him from making the journey to see Sul-tas himself at this time, but that he would be happy to share in any costs if Abu and his companions wanted to travel and ask him themselves.
The rest of the night passed without much incident, though several members of the party decided to enjoy some wenching in Sorrowside. This led to mixed results. Abu awoke the next morning only to find that in his drunken binge he had had an image of the tower of the faces tattooed on his back. Igmar also awoke with a new tattoo, a mysterious symbol on his wrist that he could not explain or understand. Wolfgar the cleric had had a less successful evening. Apparently, in a drunken revel he had managed to accidentally set fire to several fishermen's shanties by the harbors edge. Uncertain, if anyone knew that he was responsible for the accident, Wolfagar was understandably eager to leave town.
And so the party did, after hiring an additional hireling, one Zelig Croop, a heavy set, talkative individual whose breath reeked of garlic. On the journey back to Witchspyre Hill, Zelig privately told Wolfgar that he knew that he was responsible for the fire in Null's Harbor but that the town watch did not. He intimated that, as long as he was well taken care of by the party, he would make sure the town watch did not learn of this either.
The party arrived back atop the hill on May 22 only to find the remains of a recent campsite in the ground floor of the tower, a likely indication that another group of adventurers had recently preceded them into the dungeon. And that is where we left off. Thanks to all of you for a great night of gaming.
What can I say? I'm very happy to have made it to third level with my first s&w magic user and I wanted to pose a few questions to the group and the DM regarding including a few variations on just a couple ad&d spells that I want to submit for inclusion in the spell canon of this dm's game. I feel pretty confident that the selections I made wouldn't really risk unbalancing anything if interjected into the s&w core rules. Let me know what you think
Suggested ad&d First Level Magic-User Spell Additions
Enlarge/Reduce (p. 65 PHB)
Excerpt: This spell causes instant growth/reduction of a creature or object. Any creature grows/shrinks 20% per spell caster level (200% max). All objects grow/shrink 10% per level (100% max). Does not make weapons more powerful per se, but an enlarged table would be heavier and an enlarged door more resiliant to damage, etc. Unwilling creatures of this spell are given a saving throw to negate all effect.
Find Familiar (p. 66 PHB)
Excerpt: A familiar grants certain benefits to the magic user. However the magic user has no control over the type of creature it summons. And this summoning can only be done once per year. The familiar can converse and spy, etc. with the magic user who summons it.
When within 12ft of its master, the magic user adds the familiar's minimal hit dice (2-4) to his/her own. If the familiar dies double that number is permanently subtracted from the master.
1-4 Black Cat Excellent Night Vision and superior hearing
5-6 Crow Excellent Vision
7-8 Hawk Very superior distance vision
9-10 Screech Owl Night vision, visual ability, superior hearing
11-12 Toad Wide-angle vision
13-14 Weasel Superior hearing and very superior olfactory powers
15 Special Table
16-20 No Familiar Available within Spell Range
Push (p. 67 PHB)
Excerpt: When uttered, this spell allows the caster to cause an invisible force to strike against whatever object he or she is pointing at. The force of the push is not great, being 1 foot pound per level of the caster, but it can move small objects up to 1ft in any direction away from the caster, topple objects, or cause a creature to become unbalanced (loses its attack that round).
Suggested ad&d Second Level Magic-User Spell Additions
Ray of Enfeeblement (p. 71 PHB)
Excerpt: a magic user weakens an opponent by reducing their strength and ability to do hit point damage 25% or more (subtracting and addition 2% per level after 3rd). Duration: 1 round per caster level.
Current Top s&w Second level Magic User Spell Choices
So this is my list of suggested additions. For those of you willing to lend me your ideas, I'm also leaning toward selecting from the following 2nd level s&w spells. You can also quickly view all second level choices here if you want to make other suggestions.
"Common, standard hirelings are basically the usual craftsmen or laborers taken on by lower level player characters...In general the various occupations represented here are common to most settlements of village-size and above, although each and every village will not be likely to furnish each and every sort of common hireling." (ad&d "Dungeon Master's Guide", 1979) p. 28.
A careful (and at times even overly analytic) exploration of the traditions of "old school" fantasy roleplaying by two former d&d apostates who have recently returned to the game's roots. All advice and any suggestion is welcome.
Expect a particular focus on the retro-clone of OD&D, Swords & Wizardry as well as the occasional session recap from ongoing games. In our games we steal unabashedly from the great OD&D blogs linked to below.