Wednesday, July 13, 2011

August's Game Is Cancelled

Hey Everyone, GASP moved the date of their Games Day, so I won't be able to attend.  I am going to go to my family reunion instead... wish me luck.  hehe.

I will see everyone in Sept, possibly with some new players.

July 2011 Game Summary & YouTube Audio (Level 2 Bitches!)

Darves Hill Actual Play Audio Campaign Links:

Metham the Cleric, Mescillius the Fighter, Cyr the Thief, and Targ the Fighter braved the dungeon alone.  The rest of the party went back to town to rest (aka they weren’t there to play). 

They continued to clear out the few remaining rooms in the first level of Darves hill.  They found several empty abandoned rooms, and then heard the sound of Elvish words being spoken though they couldn’t understand what they were saying to each other.  As they approached the musical sounding voices, they realized that they were speaking in some sort of metered or poetical phrases.  Cyr peaked into the open door at the end of the hallway, and saw four dark skinned Elves with blond and white hair.  Was this some sort of poetry session, some evil ritual, or perhaps some worship service?

They attempted to move around the poets, but they heard a breathing sound on the way.  They approached quietly, but it seems that the light gave them away and it ran off.  When they entered the room in question they kicked a trip wire across the hallway and rocks fell on them from above.  In the room they heard someone banging metal on metal, and then they heard the sound of the 4 poets making their way to surround them, as well as someone else coming from the North!  They were being surrounded!  Then they heard the sounds of casting… 

After the brutal battle, the bleeding and splattered Drow corpses were lying all over the floor, and the bleeding adventurers pressed on into the dungeon.  They found some platinum pieces on the bodies, as well as a spell book and 5 scrolls.  They also found a circlet of silver that was around the Mage’s head.  They also snagged the 4 musical instruments that apparently the poets used from time to time. 

They wanted to open the trap door below the blood lake that was above them in the Temple on the surface of Darves Hill so that it would flood just about the entire level of the dungeon.  While looking at the trap door and the stairs leading up to it, they spotted a volcanic idol to Orcus the Demon Lord of the Undead…  Metham’s holy warhammer Death To Death was glowing, as it does normally when it is in the presence of Undead.  In a nearby room they saw another fresco painting where Lekorh the supposed ruler of Darves hill is pictured hugging some bleeding demon that was holding the head of a woman.  They also saw a glyph that was inscribed in the Mage’s spellbook.  Ssussu was the name associated with that demon in the book that inscribes itself with blood.  They also found a throne made out of bones, hair, and stitched skin. 

Metham took it upon himself with his holy warhammer to smash the volcanic idol of Orcus.  Black mist came out of the cracks, as well as hideous looking insects.  As the idol collapsed into shards, Metham ran back into a nearby room and hid from the mist and insects that was pouring out of it.  It seemed that Metham destroyed a great evil artifact and didn’t seem… to have any consequences for smashing it.

The group then tried to decide how much of the first level of the dungeon that they wanted to flood with the above blood lake’s liquid.  They decided to close off some of the doors so that they could still get up and down but to also have nearly all of the dungeon completely submerged under blood.  They were also trying to figure out how they could drain a lake full of blood from below… and not drown doing so.  They eventually decided to use Targ’s pick axe to punch several holes into the trap door from below so that it would drain slowly and they would asphyxiate on blood.

They looted the throne finding some coinage, and they felt like they avoided something nasty, thanks to Metham smashing Orcus’ idol in the face.  They also found a box of white dust that they could not identify.  They then smashed the bone throne.

ALL OF LEVEL ONE WAS COMPLETED!!!  So now they’ve cleared out all of the surface buildings on Darves hill and the level beneath it.

The group then double checked all the rooms quickly, and opened and closed doors as they thought necessary in final sweep of the dungeon.  They realized that they were going to drown the mushrooms, and possible the Nixie though they thought he might survive since he was a watery creature.  They put the holes in the door and began draining the lake of blood from the Temple above to flood most of the 1st level of the dungeon.

Cyr, Mescillius, Metham, and Targ then decided to rest up on the surface of Darves Hill for several days.  They also wanted to see how the draining of the blood lake was doing.  After the 2nd day of rest they noted that half of the blood lake had drained.  They also could see the female/monster creatures in the lake of blood, so they shot them from a distance with arrows.  They attempted to hide but the level of the blood was so low so they couldn’t get out of site.  The three disturbing creatures’ bodies then were floating in the liquid.  They could tell that the top of the creatures was a female torso, and the bottom was a mess of tentacles with a very large mouth filled with sharp teeth. 

They then descended into the depths of the dungeon once again.  The black and white face near the stairs down did not speak this time, but instead just peered at them.  The railing of the stairs looked like fists and arms, and Cyr found that it was trapped.  He learned that if anyone touched the handles a spell would go off.  The top of each step was stone, and the downward part or the front side of the step seemed to be made out of some sort of watery stairs. 


They encountered some Yellow Mold, and got rid of it by spilling oil and burning it away. 

In another room they found another way up to one of the buildings on the surface.  They are starting to figure out that there may be multiple ways down to the lower levels of the dungeon on the surface of Darves Hill because of its topography.  They found a way up to the surface from level 2 so that they don’t have to go through level 1 to get there.

They then found a set of ordinary cast iron stairs that lead further down to the 3rd level of the dungeon.  They heard some horrible moaning, and headed into the next room.  Inside the room after the door was pushed open with a 10’ pole, they saw some spectral dark shadowy shapes.  Their mouths were stretched down to their stomachs and wavering in the air.  Metham tried to turn them to no avail.  The Shadows then began to drift towards them.  Their fists passed right through them and seemed to reduce their strength as they did so. 

Metham made quick work of the Shadows with his holy warhammer.  In a pile of stuff in the room they found some strong healing potions, a small black cube, and also two swords.  One had a double blade that dealt out fire damage, and the bastard sword dealt out cold damage.   

They found an evil looking black ivory skull with a cloth bag in the inside of it.  Inside the pouch they found some more coins.

In another room they were attacked by ghouls, but once again they made quick work of them (because I rolled terribly hehe).

They avoided a death trap room that flooded, and went the safer way.  The next room contained a strong stench of sulfur.  They found a small blue skinned Imp that was a devil.  It began to talk to them and try to get them to make a deal.  It seemed to want them to be spellcasters, but they weren’t.  It then turned invisible.  “Do you want to make a deal?  Do you want to cast?  I can give you power… you just have to do things for me once and awhile.  I can give you information.”  He was flying around and talking to them.  “Don’t you want to see in the dark, that torch is bright?”  Metham said that he didn’t make deals with devils.  “I have served Clerics before… you know.  I can help heal you too.”

They didn’t deal with the devil, and then it attacked them.  In the fighting Cyr got hit in the back by friendly fire.  It then disappeared and said that it would see them later.

They retreated to the surface and healed up their loss of strength caused by the Shadows.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Book of Ebon Bindings (Tekumel - Empire of the Petal Throne) YouTube Reviews

The Book of Ebon Bindings Tekumel RPG Review Parts 1 & 2

If you are looking to pick up some Tekumel stuff I would suggest the following two sources.  I've met Andy at some local Western Pennsylvanian gaming conventions, and he's a really cool guy that actually met M. A. R. Barker way back when.

Earth Tekumel Transfer Service (Andy Lorince) & Tita's House of Games

My Empire of the Petal Throne Reviews (yeah... they look kind of lame...):

My Sword & Glory Reviews:

Once again, this is a RPG book, and it isn't real (it's just a game).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Honey Do List... aka June's Game Canceled

I have some projects to do around the house (drywall, insulation, attic flooring, and yard work) and since most of my players can't make it to the June's session I'll be doing that stuff instead.  We should be playing in July though, so look for another update then.

I hope to put together a review for The Book of Ebon Bindings (which I've been using to some extent in the Darves Hill campaign).  I'll link to the review once I get it finished.

May 2011 Game Session Summary & YouTube Audio

YouTube Darves Hill Audio Recordings 

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Part 25

Part 26

Part 27

May 2011 Game Summary

Silverleaf the Elf noticed that the “spellbook” that he picked up from the room where the possessed Glassblower was changing.  Three sigils appeared in a flowing script-like design and were written in wet blood that doesn’t seem to dry, with a word associated with each symbol on the same page.  (These symbols and words were taken from the Tekumel Book of Ebon Bindings).

They heard the sound of a breathing face on the door.  The face was half white and half black.  Its eyes open when Grunka cracked it on the forehead.  The eyes seemed to concentrate on all of the faces of those in the group and it had a disturbing set of human eyes… 

The face on the wall started to speak:

“I lay the strictures of time and space upon you,
O Master of the ever-encroaching night!
I make these pages secure against the Unseen Coming Forth;
I lay the squares and draw the runes;
I surround myself with the incense and the blood,
With the stones and the instruments,
And with the sacrifices.
I encompass the guardianship:
O Whisperer, enter not!
O Wanderer of Tombs, seek me not!
O One of Spheres, call me not!
O Lord of the Unending Grey, your power touches me not.
I repeat the Names in peace; I say the Words with impunity.
None can come against me.
I shall not be borne forth from here!
I shall not be sent down into that land from whence none returns,
And where all mouths are choked with silence.”

They went into the next room, but when the door was opened the eyes took the opportunity to stare at each of their faces in turn.  They took the opportunity to check the maps they bought from Old Manx (so the players didn’t have to map parts of the dungeon).  They had plans to eventually drain the blood pool from above in the Temple on the top of the hill.  They really didn’t talk about the logistics of actually pulling that off, but continued on into the depths of the dungeon.

They heard a throaty voice in the darkness, followed by some flopping wet feet, and then a splash.  They smelled rotting wet vegetation, mud, and other unhealthy smells.  As they approached they found a slimy residue on the ground.  A large green and barbed slimy appendage flew through the opening of the door, and wrapped around Thimple the Halfling who in turned stabbed it with the Baenur sacrificial dagger.  Mescillius the Fighter attacked (and got a natural 20) with his great sword that doesn’t like snakes and other watery slimy things.  The sound of sizzling flesh was disgusting, and then it pulled the appendage back into the room.  Cyr shot an arrow which pinned another appendage of the creature down into the shore of the murky pool in the next room.

Targ waded into the pool and stabbed into the murky water blindly but missed.  The group grabbed the pinned appendage and started to tug on it while others started slicing the pinned flesh.  A mass of disgusting and writhing tendrils emerged from the pool, and it had a single large eye with a sharp beak in the center of its face.  Thimple the Halfling did a jumping dive with the Baenur sacrificial dagger, and stabbed the creature right in the eye…  It looked like a nightmare as the little evil bastard plunged into the milky eye that popped and leaked all over him.  The evil dagger killed the swampy horror.

They searched the room and pool and found a secret door covered with vegetation, and some skeletons in the pools.  In the victim’s backpack they found some rotten worthless scrolls, and some silver and an emerald.

There was some shenanigans between the various thieves in the group and they realized it was a good thing to have many eyes to find traps.  In the secret room they found a Gnome, who it seems once mined up on the surface with the other mumbling gnomes.  The Gnome was surprised to see them enter the room and seemed to be full of him self.  They saw a couple of other books on the shelf.  He didn’t seem very threatening, but he began to cast a spell.  They tried to jump over the desk to attack the Gnome, but everyone missed horribly.  Then Mescillius reached behind the desk and yanked him up into the air.  He held him up like a Gnome piñata while everyone beat him.

The Gnome’s eyes rolled back into his head, and everyone felt the power of a spell upon them.  They felt an evil wave that spread through the room.  Those that failed took damage that almost killed some of them.  They were thankful for the healing amulets.  They noticed the wounds of the Gnome had healed up.  The fighter then flung the Gnome onto the top of his desk, and he landed on the floor like a sack of evil potatoes.  Targ, another fighter then pinned him to the floor with a pickaxe.  Then everyone else took turns kicking the Gnome until the room looked like a bloody crime scene.  They found some silver, a jar of eyes, the books (which focused heavily on Necromancy and on Undead), and a nice dagger (possibly magical).  The words Eniga were on the dagger, which means, “Biter.”  The dagger looks like it is made of two different types of metal.

They also found an Undead Gnome locked in the desk, but he was tied up and gagged in the large drawer.  They killed the thing in the drawer, and then threw the desk into the pool with both dead Gnomes in the drawers.  They assumed that the Undead Gnome was an abducted Gnome Miner from the surface.

Grunka kicked open the door out of the back of the Gnome’s room and found an enormous room filled with hundreds of fungi, phosphorescent moss, and giant mushrooms (up to 14’ tall).  The room reeked like decaying matter.  There was lots of “Mungus.” hehe.  After they entered the room, they noticed that some of the mushrooms were swaying in various ways.

They came to an archway that had lots of bits of flesh hanging by strings (that turned out to be intestines).  It was dried flesh, but it looked about 2 weeks old.  There were other archways leaving the room, and all of them had hanging bits of flesh.  In the corner of the room they found a pile of flesh.  They knocked all of the flesh down from the arch.  They found a ring that was a piercing in the flesh.  It was a ring with a wavy bit of blue glass in the middle of it.  Quinn decided to pierce his nose with the ring.

In the hallway leading from the room they found that the floor was covered in ground up bone chunks.  Cyr impressed the other Thief because he was able to sneak down the hallway (even though he had Elven Boots on).  Cyr saw another one of the white and black faces that was breathing in and out.  Cyr got the feeling that the face was seeing more than just the physical.  It began to speak:

“Hail, Origob, Master of Silences, Lord of Irreality!
No more are you in this place, no more are you here!
Minions, servitors, adorers, all are gone and none remain!
All is done, all is as it should be! The Skein has unfolded.
The fabric of the worlds is as before; naught is altered.
All is as we have entreated you, all is as you decree!
A voyage in glory unto your homeland, Beyond the World, Realm of Sighs!
A far-travelling, O Lord, between the realms of being!
All hail, Lord Origob, all hail!” 

The Cleric realized that this name is the name of a powerful demon… and mentioning the name out loud is supposed to have dire consequences.  They started wondering why these faces were speaking of demons.
They found a poor tortured Fey creature of some kind that was hung up on the ceiling by a series of pulleys  and ropes.  It had many scars from where flesh was removed in the recent past.  They lowered the creature down to the ground.  His eyes opened, and they were entirely green.  They gave him water, and notices his tongue was removed, and he had shards of glass under his fingernails.  He indicated with eye blinks that the Gnome did this.  They removed the glass and healed him up some.  He seemed relieved that the Gnome was killed by the adventurers.  They assumed that he was some sort of Water Fey.  They noticed that he had a cut all the way around his neck…  He seemed to want to get around the adventurers, and they guessed he had to get to the pool. 

When the Nixie escaped the room, the head dislodged from the body, and black slimy wings emerged from his throat.  It started heading to the stairway down to the 2nd level of the dungeon.  The body of the Nixie however started moving…  and was headed toward the pool.  When its feet waded into the pool, it touched the hand of the adventurers and then dove into the pool.  They then dragged the monster and the desk out of the pool, so they wouldn’t foul the water for the Nixie.  The headless Nixie was swimming around in the pool and seemed to be happy.  They thought that since the creature grew its skin back that it could grow its head back as well.  Quinn realized that the ring piercing he has allows him to walk on water.

They dragged the carcasses of the Gnomes and the creature into the “Mungus” room, and the bodies were digested in a relatively quick time.  They also noticed that the mushrooms seem to be a food source for other inhabitants in the dungeon.

The next room they went into was carpeted with human skin, the walls were painted in blood, and the ceiling was covered in chunks of skin and hair.  When they stabbed the skin on the floor, it bled.  Stinky the Quasit demon started snorting up the blood on the skin.  Then the skin carpet attacked the little demon, and rolled up over it.  They caught the skin carpet, and tried to unroll it.  While they did this, the rest of the carpet attacked by trying to envelope them.  They managed to escape from the skin carpet after they burned and cut the skin.

They entered the room at the end of the hall, and saw a Kobold casting a spell.  They were not able to interrupt the spell, and so it went off.  A bunch of flaming rats flew out of the Kobold’s hand and blasted Quinn.  Cyr managed to get an arrow right into the Kobold’s throat killing it.  They could not put Quinn’s flaming rats out before the flames killed him…  So died Quinn from the flaming rat spell.

The Kobold had a drawing book that illustrated various torture techniques and doodles.  They found some wealth under the bed in a disgusting rotting sack.  They thought it came from a corpse from the pool of water where the Nixie now resides.  They determined that the Gnome and the Kobold were working together.  They threw the Kobold in the “Mungus” room and the fungus started to sway differently.  Can mushrooms be happy?  The party wondered. 

The next room they discovered some red flowers, and they found another way down to another level, and the banister on the stairs was made of stone arms instead of just normal wood.  When they walked by the flowers they opened up their flowers, but they didn’t interact with them any more than that.

They came upon a room of fighters gambling with some dice.  There some wagers where they were gambling away their loved ones.  They ambushed them by shooting arrows into the room, and then the fighters charged out of the room.  The Thief Cyr stabbed the third one in the back, and brutally murdered him.  Both of the remaining fighters swung their great axes and missed horribly (I rolled like crap, hehe).  They butchered the fighters and discovered that they had some prisoners in the sacks by the fire.  These looked like “trustworthy fellows” so they joined the group.  Hehe.  The fighters had talked about Kerlon (the Gnome that the group killed earlier in the session).  The group guessed that the new party members were going to be experimented on by the necromantic Gnome.

In another room there was a black and red snake that didn’t last very long against Mescillius’ snake-hatin’ sword.  They determined that the snake was poisonous.  They determined that using poison might be too dangerous.  (House rules, if you use poison and you roll a 1, you poison yourself).

They stumbled upon a lectern in what seemed like a religious room of some sort, with chairs as well.  The book on top of the lectern was a book of names, and they were dedicated to the goddess ZurBalta, the Queen of Darkness.  One of the Clerics picked up the book.  The longer they stayed in the room the heavier they felt, so they left the room. 

The next hallway had a smell of burnt meat.  Thanks to the maps from Old Manx, they were able to find a secret room.  The room was a room with fires, and hanging human corpses.  There was a pile of cooked meat, and some sharp cooking tools.  They heard some muffled screams coming from another hidden room.  They opened up the secret door and found a 2 feet tall Brownie that was cutting into a Gnome that was hanging from a metal hook in his back.  The Brownie hissed and growled and managed to cut and then bite into Grunka’s calf, but he didn’t stand much of a chance.  They rescued and healed up the Gnome that was captured.  The Gnome was well spoken for his kind, and then they decided to help him up to the surface.  They took Quinn’s body to the Temple in the town of Nahm where they burned it (as is the custom there).  They crashed for the night, and so ended the session.     

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Next Game This Weekend & Other Updates

So, it's that time in a GM's life when he realizes he needs to do some game prep, and he only has about an hour of free time left in week before the actual game, hehe.  It's a good thing I have been keeping up on the game summaries so I can scan over them quickly to remind myself of what has happened before.  Also, I've been blessed with great players and they set me straight when I blunder on something that happened in the past.

Projects around the old house that we bought have started to pile up, so I've been working on those.  My current job is to turn the unused attic into a space that actually has a floor instead of a series of wooden balance beams.  The threat of rolling a natural 1 up there and falling through the ceiling was a real threat, hehe.

Nothing like working in an uninsulated attic for a couple of days straight...  I think I've lost a few pounds.  :)

So, look forward to another series of audio recordings from May's session, as well as a typed up summary.  I need to get better with the character names.  I think the main character / retainer thing is mixing me up, but that is added to the fact that I'm piss poor when it comes to remembering names.

I was going to run a Midnight Campaign using Labyrinth Lord, but we've switched systems to Novus (a game in playtest right now from the author of H.A.R.P.).  I'm looking forward to it, and it should be a nice political game since all of the characters will be evil priests trying to work their way up the hierarchy of the Order of Shadow.

So for now I'll keep updating the game summaries and posting links for the audio files.

Also, I turned in my turn 3 for the Domain Level LL playtest over at Hill Canton's blog, so hopefully that will get resolved and we can move onto turn 4.  The Gibilki culture and settlement has been doing fairly well, and it is interesting to see the setting growing before my very eyes.  It's been fun playing in a game that is toward the higher end of things, and worrying about all of my citizens.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 2011 Game Summary & YouTube Audio Recordings

Darves Hill Audio Campaign Episodes 14 - 20

The party brought back the girl Summer and the child from Darves Hill.  They were going to be sacrificed to the god Baenur (the Son of Shadows), but the group rescued them.  They also killed the evil priest, that seems to have been the root cause of several things in the town of Nahm. 

Summer’s father was saying strange things and they took him to the Temple in town.  They delivered the baby to the priests of the Temple.  It turns out that the glassblower had two black snake-like parasites that seemed to be messing with him or possibly possessing him.  They removed the parasites with the help of Cyr’s holy coin artifact. 

They learned that the glassblower killed his wife and that he buried her face down up on a nearby hill by the Old Oak Tree.  She was supposedly “collecting herbs” for a couple of months, said Summer.  He also killed the seamstress and her half-orc son, and stole an infant from her place (that wasn’t hers either).  They gleaned this from the glassblower after getting rid of the parasites.  He told them that his wife was buried with her signet ring on her finger.

They headed to the Seamstress’ house to see what was there.  The half-orc son was nailed to the ground, and the Seamstress was completely butchered.  Her room was covered in dried rotting blood.  It looked very Helter Skelter, because the possessed glassblower wrote on the walls with her blood.

They found a bloody book, that had lots of old blank pages.  In the center of the book however they found a bunch of old arcane scrolls.  The glassblower created a bunch of bloody illustrations of what he did to the seamstress.  The scrolls seemed to be written in an archaic manner.  The Elf was happy to have them.

They found a loose board, and under the house was a pool of black ichor.  They used Cyr’s holy coin artifact to destroy the snake-like creatures swimming in it, and the color turned gray.  The Clerics thought that it was very possible that the ichor under the house was introduced, and that the woman and son could have been slain in a ritualistic manner to possibly summon these creepy parasites…

The glassblower’s house had bloody prints all over it.  They looked under the porch and found a black box with the Baenur holy symbol on it.  When Thimple pulled out his evil sacrificial dagger the Baenur Box moved closer to him.  “Please stop taunting the evil box of doom.”  One of the new recruits wanted to open up the box, and then most of the party failed their save vs. spell.  Those that failed their save got some horrible or weird abnormalities to their person, and then the box vanished.

The box vanishes.  They tried to use Cyr’s coin to rid the strange effects that it had on them, but it didn’t help.  On the hill by the oak tree there were 5 patches of dead grass.  The war hammer that glows when it is near undead was glowing.  They used the trusty 10’ pole and staked all 5 bodies, and the war hammer glowed no more.  (I was quite impressed with this usage of the 10’ pole, hehe). 

There have been some other missing people in the town of Nahm, but the priest Ur-Nammu said that he would find out who is buried up on the hill, and if anyone else is still missing.  The party members said that it was safer up on Darves Hill.

The Seamstress’ place may become the group’s headquarters in town.  The priest Ur-Nammu said he would put in a good word with the Mayor to see if they could purchase the house.  Before they left they purchased some maps off of Old Manx, and they sold their donkeys to the Temple in town for 3 healing potions each.

They headed towards Darves Hill, and they saw the Temple on the top of the hill was glowing in an evil red fashion.  They decided to camp several miles away from Darves Hill.  During the night ferrets-like creatures must have surrounded the party because they saw many footprints.

They worked their way up to the Temple on the top of the hill that was glowing the night before.  They opened up the door that seems like it has been repaired many times in the past.  Inside the enormous temple there was a thick red light that they could only see 10 feet into at a time.  They explored the area with a 10’ fog of war essentially.

They discovered a very large pool of blood in the center of the floor.  They also learned that there was a passage way down to the 1st dungeon level, but it was filled with blood.  The pool was 100 feet across, and slightly longer.  They heard some splashing in the center of the pool.  They attempted to empty out the pool of blood with the bag of holding, but they realized this would take days upon days to accomplish this task so they gave up. 

Ordok Throon decided to wade into the pool of blood to see what was making the splashing noises in the center of it.  They tied a rope to the Dwarf and he wandered out of their sight.  The rope went out 80 feet and then the rope went slack.  The rope looked like it was cut.  They threw some more ropes in with a rock tied on the end of it several times, and eventually something grabbed hold of the rope and tugged them all face down into the blood.  A few of them were able to stand up, and then they tugged the rope and whatever was holding it let go. 

They could hear something coming towards them in the blood, and they began running back out of the pool.  It seems they distracted the unknown creature long enough to have them let go of the poor Dwarf, who broke free through the surface of the blood and started screaming and swimming/running towards shore.  Ordok felt hands grab him and pull him under, and then they let go of him.

The group ran around the outside of the pool screaming for Ordok to swim to them.  They threw out another rope in the attempt to get the rope to him and pull him in.  The creature was right behind Ordok at this point.  The rock on the end of the rope hit the Dwarf right in the face.  Ordok grabbed the rope just as his ankles were bit into by the creature behind him.  He looked back, and with his one handed axe he swing at the thing behind him…

The Dwarf saw a gorgeous woman above the surface of the blood, but beneath the waves he could feel the large mouth filled with teeth biting his legs.  The axe hit into her, as well as one of the arrows shot from the rest of the party on the shore.  The wounds made the creature let go of the Dwarf’s legs, and then the rest of the party pulled him in via the rope.

As they exited the Temple via going along the outside of the walls, they found all 16 of the gods of the pantheon represented via tall statues.  There weren’t altars but there were ancient offerings at the feet of the statues.  It seemed to once be a very ornate structure back when it was taken care of.  They hope to drain the lake of blood down into the lower level of the dungeon via the hidden way down that they discovered that appears to lead down to a 20’ x 20’ room.

They traveled to the left side of the hill where the building was that leads down to the lower levels.  The magical mirrors of the room don’t seem to reflect the true shapes that they should.  With the mirrors on the walls, the illusion of infinite reflections filled the mirrors.  The wall bended when it was touched, and Cyr touched the Mirror and he was sucked into it with Stinky the Quasit Demon.

Thimple the Halfling ventured into the mirror to save Cyr (and Stinky) from the wind and creature of the mirror.  The rest of the group pulled on the rope around Thimple’s waist to pull them both to safety.  Silverleaf the Elf decided to look at his handheld mirror, and then look into the mirrors on the wall.  The mirror creature had yellow eyes, with horrible yellow and green skin.  The mirror creature was holding Cyr’s reflection hostage.

The walls of the room and dungeon were made from a dull dark stone.  They heard two orcs talking and tried to sweet talk them into a trap.  This failed, and one of them went running for reinforcements.  A ballistae bolt just missed one of the characters and then they charged down into the dark tunnel.  A lone orc was trying to reload the ballistae but he didn’t have enough time.  They butchered him, and then continued on down into the darkness.  They turned the now loaded ballistae around and started wheeling it after the running party members with its squeaky wheels.

They were peppered with arrows from 4 orcs as they approached, but they barreled into them, and chopped them to bits.  They spiked the door, and then hid behind the Ballistae as more Orcs were gathering behind the door.  They set their trap, but when the door opened Cyr botched his shot with it, and the ballistae bolt missed its target.  Thankfully no one was standing in front of it, or else they might have had a nasty shot to the back.

More orcs poured into the hallway and were assailed by ranged attacks.  The fighter types ran up to hack them to pieces, and made quick work of them.  The room was empty, except for some nice filth.  They also noticed that the shields of the orcs had a symbol of a broken toothed smile. 

We ended the session with the group still down in the 1st level of the dungeon.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blogging vs. YouTubing...

So, I think I need to figure out what to type out here, and what is better left for my rambling monologues on YouTube.  I've been trying to put more of my old school thoughts in the blog and I think that is what I should be doing.  Feel free to drop on by my YouTube channel for all things RPG however.

So my monthly game of Labyrinth Lord has been going well.  I have 5 devoted players, that all have good attendance, and good communication when they can't attend (which is awesome).  I can't tell you how many times people have "no called, no showed" games in other campaigns.  It is refreshing to have players like that.  :)

I am going to allow two floater players in to play in the April's game session, and we kind of figured that having two more players to absorb damage wouldn't be a bad thing.  FRESH MEAT!!!  I mean, new players...

Hopefully we will have a nice quiet place to record the session again.  Background noise from other games is not so good for an actual play podcast/video-thing.  While I still don't have access to a plug-in for my laptop, I figured out a way to use a lower power level, so it doesn't drain my battery as fast.

So, I'll still continue to do my videos, and try to keep this blog from gathering too much dust.

I need to do some more prep for April's game, as it seems they might actually break the surface of Darves Hill and do some real dungeon crawling.  What horrors await them beneath?  My dark muse and my shoddy prep work will decide...   

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 2011 Game Summary & YouTube Audio Recordings

They stayed the night on Darves Hill after last session. 

They encountered a poison snake with wings.  Cyr the Thief was bit in the neck and poisoned along with Metham the Cleric.  The poison of the snake reduced the strength of those that it bit (by a d6 roll).  We house ruled that if you hadn’t used your healing amulet that it would automatically go off if you were reduced to zero hit points.  This of course can only happen once a day, because it has a 1/day healing ability. 

Grunk set off a trap on another building that changed the sex of the person that set off the trap.  He was nicknamed Grunka, or Grunkette.  They found some emeralds, and also an emerald with a small human trapped inside of it.  There was some jokes around the table, "Collect them all!" 

The next building had a pit trap and Cyr the Thief avoided falling 60 feet to a spiky wet death.  They found some large rats, then Silverleaf used the Sleep spell, and they killed off the remaining rats.  Stinky the Quasit Demon slashed one up and then snorted its blood up its nose.

They found some more teleportation devices, and how they worked, but there was still one that has a questionable destination.  They also found the stairs to the 1st level of the dungeon below the surface of the hill, and it had some magical mirrors that weren’t investigated.

They took a 12’ x 2 ½’ tall door off of the hinges, and used it to cross a 10’ pit trap.  Later they figured out a way to take this door along with them...

They found a bunch of outhouses and Ordok the Dwarf decided to risk reaching into the wet dung to find any treasures buried within.  He found a 4’ x 4’ chain ring sack, which turned out to be a large Bag of Holding that was the final resting place for 4 human skeletons.  It was nicknamed the Shit Bag.  They then shoved a bunch of stuff into the Shit Bag, including the 12’ door that they used to cross the pit trap.

Silverleaf discussed the idea of waiting till he was of high enough level so that he could open a magic shop that specialized in selling Continual Light items.  Others had talked about buying a house in the town of Nahm to store their items.

Building 3’s door was knocked off the hinges, but they went to 4 & 5.  These buildings are part of the main Temple complex at the top of Darves Hill.  They encountered a talking lock that wasn’t happy to be picked, and it damned them.  They encountered a room that was converted to being a church to the god BaeNur, the Son of Shadows.  There was a wicked sacrificial dagger on the altar, and also another teleportation circle.  The room had a definite creepy malevolent feeling in the room.  Thimple grabbed hold of the sacrificial dagger, and was filled with dread, but also with a feeling in invulnerability and strength.  He put it down (at least for then). 

They released a girl and a baby, that looked they were going to be sacrificed.  Ordok almost lost a hand, from a nasty spell, when he opened the door.  The girl’s name was Summer, and her father is the Glassblower in the town of Nahm. She didn't know who the baby belonged to.  They plan to head back to town to return the kids. 

The Goblin that Thimple was supposed to meet, sold out the group to a Cleric that seemingly worshiped the god BaeNur.  They battled the Cleric, and the battle nearly killed Metham the Cleric, but they quickly used another Healing Amulet to keep him from the clutches of death.

The daggers that the Goblins where using opened up once inside a victim, with barbed edges extending into the soft guts of the target.  They are good 1-shot items in that once they hit, they have to be ripped out, doing more damage.  The party snatched up these swords, and hope to use them in the future to great effect.

Here are the YouTube audio recordings:

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Feb 2011 Game Summary

So, because of the audio recordings I noticed that I didn't take as many notes as I normally do.  I figured that I would have time to listen to the recordings and take notes later, but a month goes by pretty quickly if you aren't paying attention.  It is the morning before I head off to Pittsburgh to do some gaming, and I find myself trying to rush a summary that is half remembered, hehe.

The group stayed the night in the town of Nahm, and wanted to get back into the madness that is Darves Hill.  They left in the morning, and arrived in the evening.  They saw that the greenish dragon on the temple at the top of the hill was sleeping still.  Upon arriving, they started to explore the buildings on the surface of the massive hill.  They discovered the lair of what they thought was some sort of undead creature, because the holy warhammer had glowed a faint white the last time they were near the creature that lived there.  They saw the remains of its clawed hands, a half of a cow that they put out of its misery, and six upside down humans.

The six humans were hanging from chains, and their heads were buried in the dirt.  When they dug up the heads of the rotting humans, they discovered a moving bag in their mouths.  Upon opening the bag, they found worms with human faces that were starting to grow "roots" into the skulls.  They kept some of these strange worms, and destroyed the bodies and hopefully ruined what was happening in that room.

They explored many other buildings on the surface of the hill, until they heard some sounds coming from the South that seemed like a fog horn.  Four strange giants were intoning something in their howls.  They had huge red twisted horns, lots of hair, and long tendrils that extended from their arms and they dragged them behind them.  Some of the party members had heard of a strange race of Giants that are supposed to be a form of Mystic, with the ability to manipulate strange magics.

The dragon woke up and came down off the hill to investigate, and one by one as the ritual chanting and singing continued, the Giants met their end by being gobbled up by the dragon.  In the end, one Giant remained, and then the dragon laid on its side, and the Giant proceeded to cut a large chunk of its tongue from its mouth.  After the large chunk of tongue was removed, the strange Giant Mystic began singing once more and then walked away from the dragon at a slow pace.  The dragon after a short while shook its head (spraying tongue blood everywhere).  It then flew up to the top of Darves Hill once again, but it kept flapping its head from side to side, shaking blood all over the place.  They thought perhaps it was some spell component as a part of some ritual.  It then crawled all over the hill in the night, and they thought it was rather cranky because it was missing part of its tongue.  It fled halfway through the night, and the strange horrible noises on the hill returned once the predator had left.   

 In one of the buildings they found a strange idol that was discovered was one of the gods of the Goblins.  It was their "Mother."  They later traded this idol to the Gnomes of Mumbling Speech.  hehe.  They killed a monstrous centipede in another building that looked like it was being fed by someone.  They set up a wonderful ambush, and the planning helped them in the fight.  They wondered if they killed another one of Marnal the Dwarf's pets, but it was fairly far away from where he lives, so they weren't sure.  They managed to take one of the poison sacks from the centipede to use at a future time.  In the corner they found a bag of nasty barbed caltrops with magical writing on the side of them that said "Toe Biter".

In the morning (after resting in one of the buildings) they looked around on the hill.  They found small pool of dragon's blood, and they collected some of this.  The Quasit Demon started snorting the blood up its nose (because its mouth is sewn and melted shut).  The blood of dragons is supposed to either be a blessing or have a curse to it.  They saved some of the blood in vials, but they didn't do anything with it yet.

They found a strange magical room with a marble floor.  After some exploration and tapping on the walls, they found a secret lever that twisted and lowered the floor like a ramp down to the third level of the dungeon.  They explored a little and found an arena where lots of goblinoids and other strange races were cheering on the combatants.  One race of beings they discovered was a pink skinned creature with tusks and mucus all over it.  They learned that Lekorh (the Undead ruler of the Hill) takes taxes from the event.  They also talked with a goblin that wants to meet them the next day (that will be next session).  One of the strange customs of the event was that the fans threw chunks of meat onto the arena during the parts that were exciting for them.  Blorgoth seems to be one of the most popular combatants of the Arena.  There were a few adventuring humans present, but the event was decidedly anti human, because they sacrificed captured human slaves to start each fight...

They also encountered a lair of some Fungal Undead, and luckily for them they didn't inhale the spores from the abominations...  Fire and oil were used to turn them into a bunch of crispy mushrooms.  The Cleric was also able to defeat many of them with his Turn Ability by harnessing the power of AeBalt, the King of Light.

On the surface of the hill (after realizing that facing hundreds if not thousands of amped-up goblinoids might not be a good idea) they encountered some Stirges holding up in a building.  with some planning, and by containing most of them in the building by closing up the holes, they torched the inhabitants inside, proving that good planning can go a long way to keeping your group alive.  The Elf's Sleep spell was proven to be very successful against them.  One of the characters got a little proboscis action, and felt a little weaker.

I'm really looking forward to today's game.  :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yeah, I Haven't Posted Much

Sorry for the lack of posting.  I need to go through my audio recordings of the last LL Session of Darves Hill and type up a summary.  There hasn't been too much going on with the Domain LL PBEM game either, though I have formed an alliance with a nearby group of settlers in Nowhere, that should prove beneficial to both parties involved.

My Monday night group finished up a Firefly/Serenity game, and then we played some 1-shots of Witch Hunter which has proven to be quite enjoyable.  Witch Hunter uses a modified D10 dice pool mechanic, and it is fun to try to roleplay things out in the 16th/17th century period.

Tonight I'm running a Goodman Games module, but I'll be using the Novus RPG (a game I've been playtesting lately).  It is a fantasy game put out by the author of High Adventure Role Playing or H.A.R.P.  I now have my name in Barbarians of Lemuria and Novus now.  :)

Here is my video for Novus that I did the other day:

Anyway, have a good one out there guys and gals.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Darves Hill Campaign Audio Recordings

These recordings have a good deal of background noise, because we play at a gaming club and the RPG games are packed like sardines in one area.  The next time I record however, I hope to have a better quieter location, and to place the laptop closer to the players, so you can hear them better.

Darves Hill Audio Recordings:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Darves Hill Eats 1st Level Magic-Users For Breakfast

So... there have been two 1st Level Magic-Users that have come to Darves Hill, and died there.  I think I'm a tad rough on them it seems.  That is part of the old school that I have to get more accustomed to however.  Darves Hill is my first real old school campaign, and I really am having fun with it.  I'm hoping that the players who are more used to newer versions of D&D like the story aspect of the game, as well as exploring the megadungeon. 

The reason I was thinking about the high murder rate of Magic-Users was because I have all these pretty spells printed up on old crumbling paper, in a cursive type, and no one to use them... hehe.

I need to block off some more time for prep this week, as the next session is going to be on Feb 12th.  I'm also going to attempt to record the session, but I may have an issue keeping my laptop powered up for 4 hours if I can't find a plug.  I may have to get creative with an extension cord to make it happen, and tip the gaming store to help pay their electric bill, hehe.

The revealing of some of the past, as well as the large dragon resting on the temple that they have been paid to clear out, should prove interesting in the next few sessions.  I should probably do an introductory video on YouTube to let everyone know what has happened so far.  I'm excited to see what happens next.  Let us see what my dark muses whisper in my ear during this next session...  >: ) 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Domain Rituals With Many Casters

So for the Hill Canton's LL Domain PBEM Campaign, we were talking about the possibility of including powerful spells in the form of "Rituals" that would affect an entire hex or hexes of a world map.  These would be similar in affect as the Domain/Realm spells of Birthright.  We were talking about how each Ritual would have various requirements of the number and level of the casters needed to cast the spell in question.  The world map we are currently using has 5 mile hexes.

I suggested that there would need to be a magic-user that would be the Focus Caster of the Ritual, and they would need to be of a higher level than the rest of those helping with it.  So the requirement for a certain Ritual might be that the Focus Caster must be of 5th level or higher.  In addition to the Focus Caster, there would need to be a required number of levels of helping casters, or Secondary Casters.  So perhaps a Ritual needing a 5th level magic-user might need a total of 10 levels of Secondary Casters.  So if you had four 2nd level magic-users, and two 1st level magic-users, then you would have a total of 10 levels of Secondary Casters.

We also thought about the possibility of a Ritual affecting additional adjacent hexes of the world map if there were enough Secondary Casters, or perhaps if the Focus Caster was of a level much higher than the required level for the Ritual.  The question comes down to the required extra levels that would be needed.  It also depends on how powerful you think that a bunch of clerics or magic-users should be in a setting.

If the setting is high magic, maybe the requirements would be less to affect adjacent hexes, and if the setting is low magic, maybe Rituals that affect adjacent hexes would not even be possible.  I think it comes down to the GM and what they would like out of the rules.  I'm guessing that the goal should be to come up with rules for those mid fantasy settings, and GMs can modify the requirements as they see fit.

I was trying to think of a quick formula to figure out the costs to affect those adjacent hexes from where the Ritual actually took place.  I wanted something simple, so here is my first stab at it.  I also wanted to either have a powerful Focus Caster be able to do this, and/or to have a bunch of Secondary Casters in addition to the normal requirements to affect those adjacent hexes.  So here goes:

1) If the Focus Caster needs to be of X level to cast the Ritual, then for every +1/2 X additional levels the magic-user has (rounded down) the Ritual can affect an additional adjacent hex.

2) If the Secondary Casters need to have a total of Y levels to cast the Ritual, then for every +1/2 Y additional levels of Secondary Casters the Ritual can affect an additional adjacent hex.

So using the above suggestion let's make up an example Ritual to show how I think this could work.

Ritual: Harvest Boon

Focus Caster Requirement: 5th Level
Secondary Casters Requirement: 10 Levels of Secondary Casters

"This Ritual decreases the growing time of planted vegetables in your hex by half.  This would allow a hex to have two harvests in one growing period, thereby doubling the work, and doubling the yield."

Let's say that your Focus Caster is of 7th Level, and that you have 10 total levels of Secondary Casters.  Using the above formula, you could affect the hex where the Ritual took place, and one extra hex (because you have a Focus Caster with 2 extra levels than are needed (5 divided by 2 rounded down).

Let's say that your Focus Caster is of 5th Level, and that you have 15 total levels of Secondary Casters.  Using the above formula, you could affect the hex where the Ritual took place, and one extra hex (because you have 1 1/2 the needed total levels of Secondary Casters).

The nice thing about that, is that you can have both a high level Focus Caster, and extra Secondary Casters and use both to affect more and more adjacent hexes.  Once all of the adjacent hexes have been affected by a spell, then you can go out to the next ring of adjacent hexes.  This probably would only happen for very large conclaves of magic-users or clerics however.

I think this format could be used for Divine Rituals, as well as Arcane Rituals, as I can see both working out well.  I'm not sure what the differences would be between the Divine and Arcane Rituals and their effects, but I'm sure there would be some overlap in areas.

In addition to the above, I was also thinking that other things could help out these types of far reaching Rituals.  Perhaps the following could be boons to casting bigger and badder rituals:

1) The stars are right.
2) Sacrifices (animal or humanoid)
3) Burning Spell Slots of the magic-users or clerics involved in the spell.  So they would essentially exhaust themselves of every spell slot they had for the day.  I'm guessing there would be some formula to give extra levels to either the Focus Caster, or Secondary Casters.  This might be a bad idea though.
4) Lay worshipers and lay cultists could help out, but there would need to be many of them to do so.  These worshipers/cultists would be chanting, singing hymns, dancing, smoking things, etc.
5) Alignment of the moon(s) in the night sky, or the position of the sun(s).
6) Using magically oriented crystals, or minerals that are particular to your setting.  Magic rocks can help in the casting perhaps by multiplying, or adding to the total number of casters, or the level of the Focus Caster.
7) Sacrificing powerful magic-users or clerics themselves might have a powerful effect, but with a heavy price...  The Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth series had a lot of magic items and powerful spell effects created by the loss of life of powerful magic-users, so why not here?  Perhaps every level that the sacrificed caster had would translate into twice the amount?  This might be too dark for some campaigns.
8) Summoned extra planar creatures could perhaps be conjured forth to aid in the spell casting, but with a lot of risks to those performing the ritual.  Perhaps there would be a % chance of the Ritual going awry, and perhaps performing a curse instead of a boost to what they were attempting to accomplish.

That's all I can think of right now.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Elf & Magic-User Sumerian LL Spell Names / Command Words

I posted this over on the LL forum, but I figured it would be good to post the full list here.  Some of the translations of words are pretty weak IMO, but I did the best I could with the available words.  I think the worst translation was Reverse Gravity (because Sumerians didn't have a word for gravity).  If I couldn't find the word, I tried to boil down what the effects of the spell were, and go from there typing in words till something popped up.  I used the link to find all of these words:

1st Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Charm Person "Namhili Umia"
Detect Magic "Hulu Emegar"
Floating Disk "Dirig Gur"
Hold Portal "Du Daggan"
Light "Geshnu"
Magic Missile "Emegar Gagsisa"
Protection From Evil "Shudul Hulgal"
Read Languages "Gu De Eme"
Read Magic "Gu De Emegar"
Shield "Duksium"
Sleep "Usag"
Ventriloquism "Zulun"

2nd Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Arcane Lock "Emegar Za"
Continual Light "Duri Geshnu"
Detect Evil "Hulu Tuku"
Detect Invisibile "Hulu Nu Igi Duh"
ESP "Ningdirig Shu Gid"
Invisibility "Nu Igi Duh"
Knock "Gal Taka"
Levitate "Dirig"
Locate Object "Hulu Barutum"
Mirror Image "Zarbarshu Mete"
Phantasmal Force "Gidim Gu"
Web "Ash Ningdu"

3rd Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Clairvoyance "Mushma Igi Bar"
Dispel Magic "Hash Emegar"
Fireball "Izi Ellag"
Fly "Barash"
Haste "Kusham Tag"
Hold Person "Du Umia"
Infravision "Mashgik"
Invisibility 10' Radius "Nu Igi Duh Eshe"
Lightning Bolt "Saggul"
Protection From Evil 10' Radius "Shudul Hulgal Eshe"
Protection From Normal Missles "Shudul Gagsisa"
Water Breathing "Asura Pag"

4th Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Magic Eye "Emegar Igi"
Charm Monster "Namhili Mushhush"
Confusion "Suh"
Dimension Door "Anshag Daggan"
Hallucinatory Terrain "Kur Kalam"
Massmorph "Mah Giri Kur"
Plant Growth "Abushu Dubul"
Polymorph Others "Giri Kur Balare"
Polymorph Self "Giri Kur Ni"
Remove Curse "Hash Ash"
Wall of Fire "Egar Izi"
Wall of Ice "Egar Halba"

5th Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Animate Dead "Zi Shag Gal Dugdugurhi"
Cloudkill "Dungu Gaz"
Conjure Elemental "Dim Lahama"
Contact Other Plane "Di Anshag"
Feeblemind "Huba Sag"
Hold Monster "Du Mushhush"
Magic Jar "Emegar Tigul"
Passwall "Dib Egar"
Telekinesis "Sa Sag"
Teleport "Emegar Zid"
Transmute Rock to Mud "Shu Bala Na Luhum"
Wall of Stone "Egar Na"

6th Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Anti-Magic Shell "Nu Emegar Murguba"
Control Weather "Ku Gal An"
Death Spell "Dugdugurhi En"
Disintergrate "Sugzag Gu"
Geas "Gasham Duga"
Invisible Stalker "Nu Igi Duh Gissu"
Lower Water "Kita Asura"
Move Earth "Sa Lag"
Part Water "Na Deg Asura"
Project Image "Sig Mete"
Reincarnation "Kunu Sug"
Stone to Flesh "Na Ushmeda"

7th Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Grasping Hand "Tab Silig"
Delayed Blast Fireball "Giri Gub Tab Izi Ellag"
Instant Summons "Inesh Dim"
Duo-Dimension "Min Anshag"
Limited Wish "Kisher Kurku"
Mass Invisibility "Mah Nu Igi Duh"
Magic Sword "Emegar Ugur"
Phase Door "Alad Daggan"
Power Word Stun "A Shum En Udi"
Reverse Gravity "Balare Shu Dub"
Simulacrum "De Uludin"
Statue "Alan"

8th Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Antipathy/Sympathy "Umul Kunu" / "Umul Kar"
Clenched Fist "Mir Geshba"
Clone "Gabari"
Glass Like Steel "Anzah Kugan"
Incendiary Cloud "Manu Dungu"
Irresistible Dance "Gu Gud"
Mass Charm "Mah Namhili"
Maze "Dih Dus"
Mind Blank "Sag Nunignam"
Polymorph Any Object "Giri Kur Ningnam"
Symbol "Zib"
Trap The Soul "Ellagdu Shedu"

9th Level LL Sumerian Elf & Magic-User Spell Names/Command Words
Crushing Hand "Gum Silig"
Imprisonment "Egal"
Meteor Storm "An Amargu Ud"
Power Word Kill "A Shum En Gaz"
Prismatic Sphere "Bara Ni Karkar"
Shape Change "Egar Shu Bala"
Temporal Stasis "A'udtegiba Nu Sa"
Time Stop "A'udtegiba Gala Dag"
Wish "Kurku"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Old Paper Scrolls & Sumerian LL Spell Names

A few posts back I mentioned that I bought this old photo album from my local antiques/junk store for a buck.  It has odd large shaped paper and it is turning a brownish yellow from age.  I've tried to emulate that color with normal printer paper / drawing paper with tea bags, but this age you just can't duplicate well.  The feel of the paper just lets you know it is old, and it is a little fragile as well (which adds to the affect).

It was good for me that only like 5 sheets of this paper had those corner holders glued on to the pages, and the rest is in pristine unused condition.  After I took out the pages where the photos were, an idea came to me.  What if I cut the pages in half, and then printed only on one side with my printer?  The idea of scrolls popped into my head, and so that is what I did. 

I used a "Lucinda Handwriting" font, and made it 14 points so it was easier to read.  It looks like some neat crazy mage wrote the spells down on the paper!  :)  I bolded the Spell Name at the top of each spell, and then copy and pasted the Labyrinth Lord spell description below it.  Beside the name I went ahead and figured out what each spell name would be in Sumerian (since I'm going to go ahead and use that as a command word for each spell).  That way, if any role-playing inclined player wants to chant/yell the name of the spell, they can.

I started with the 2nd level Labyrinth Lord spells, and I'll branch out and do more from AEC and perhaps 1st level spells as well (even though they have most of them by now).

LL 2nd Level Spells In Sumerian
Arcane Lock  "Emegar Za"
Continual Light  "Duri Geshnu"
Detect Evil  "Hulu Tuku"
Detect Invisibile  "Hulu Nu Igi Duh"
ESP  "Ningdirig Shu Gid"
Invisibility  "Nu Igi Duh"
Knock "Gal Taka"
Levitate  "Dirig"
Locate Object  "Hulu Barutum"
Mirror Image  "Zarbarshu Mete"
Phantasmal Force  "Gidim Gu"
Web  "Ash Ningdu"

I'm not a Sumerologist or anything, and I've never been good with picking up any other languages.  The above are just my interpretations of words I could find on the Sumerian Lexicon.  When I couldn't find a word, I would look around for a word that was similar. 

While I'm at it, I might as well figure out the Sumerian words for the 1st level LL spells.

Charm Person  "Namhili Umia"
Detect Magic  "Hulu Emegar"
Floating Disk  "Dirig Gur"
Hold Portal  "Du Daggan"
Light  "Geshnu"
Magic Missile  "Emegar Gagsisa"
Protection From Evil  "Shudul Hulgal"
Read Languages  "Gu De Eme"
Read Magic  "Gu De Emegar"
Shield  "Duksium"
Sleep  "Usag"
Ventriloquism  "Zulun"

All Sumerian words were found on the following website:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Darves Hill Audio Files On YouTube?

I'm hoping to start making audio recordings of the Darves Hill game, and start putting them up on YouTube.  I've done this in the past with a Vampire/Werewolf game I ran awhile ago.  So far the players seem to like the idea, but I wanted to get the okay from everyone before I started recording their voices.  I'll still sum up the adventures here as well (and I'll have audio to listen to so I don't forget anything).   We play at a gaming club so I'm curious to see how much background noise I'll have to weed out of the recordings when I go through them after the sessions. 

The next session will be on Feb 12th.  So most of my posts will be about other LL things until then.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Simple LL Races (Using AEC Class & Races)

I like the standard race-classes in the core Labyrinth Lord books, but I also realize that some players like a little more variety and like to mix and match races and class abilities.  I've never quite been happy with the way the separate races are presented in the AEC (Advanced Edition Companion) book, as they seem to be more complicated than they need to be.  I'm of the opinion that you can have a simple race description and then just add one of the human classes to it (Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, and Thief). 

So what really do you need to make a race?  I suggest that you really don't need that much to make a race.  Sure, you can go into the fluff as much as you like to fit your particular setting, but mechanically you can cap each race to a few special abilities, add some modifiers to stats, and then you are all done.

So, let us see if we can make some simple races.

Stat Modifiers: Dex +1 / Str -1
Infravision 90' (-1 to all dice rolls in bright sunlight)
Hatred: +1 to attacks and damage vs Dwarves & Kobolds
Tracking Scent: 1-3 on a D6

Stat Modifiers: Str +1 / Cha -1
Infravision 90' (-1 to all dice rolls in bright sunlight)
Hatred: +1 to attacks and damage vs Dwarves & Elves
Depravity: Everyone hates Orcs even other evil races.  Not only are they violent, but they do all sorts of horrible things to the corpses of their enemies.  All social interactions should have role-playing consequences left up to the GM. 

You could come up with more special abilities, or change them till they fit the way you view the race in question.  Making simple races also makes it easier to make new races of your own design.

Actor Pictures For Characters

I've been a few games where players would scour the internet looking for a picture of a certain actor that would fit their character to a T.  I always liked that idea.  You could also just look for some picture of a random person and use that as well, which would probably work better because it doesn't have the baggage that some actors have.  Think of playing a character who picked Jim Carrey as the actor for instance...

When the Lord of the Rings flicks were in the pre-planning stages, everyone had their perfect cast lists.  Just think of doing something like that for a RPG.  I just watched the official cast video from HBO for the Game of Thrones show, and it got me thinking about this idea again.

So, the next time you are coming up with a new character idea, or you want to flesh out your NPCs just a little more than you normally do, perhaps look for some actor or random person picture online.  An image is worth a thousand words.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Domain Labyrinth Lord Playtest

So, I jumped into the Domain LL Playtest with a bunch of online players.  It hit me right at the time that I was wondering about Birthright, A Game of Thrones, and Houses of the Blooded.  I had just played some of the old Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance on the old junker PC, and the fire of ruling kingdoms was in my belly.  So when I saw the post on the LL forum, I jumped at the chance.

Yeah, I needed another gaming project like I need a whole in the head, but I just couldn't resist.  A rules-lite domain level game?  Man, that just sounded like an amazing thing to be a part of.  If this ever becomes a product, my name will be listed as a playtester as well.  :)

The guy that is putting this all together, and running the playtest game has a blog:

Like some of my other gaming projects, and fantasy settings, I'm going to be using the Sumerian language to name everything.  I'm also going to have some Sumerian cultural influences when I make this new kingdom.  I will try to designate what each word and name means in Sumerian.  For a link for a Sumerian Lexicon, go here:

I'm having a lot of fun weighing all of the possibilities of running a new territory, and working my way towards making a society that can fend for itself, without still leaning on the old kingdom.  The idea was that there was this portal that went to some strange land with a redder sun, and that the old kingdom wanted some new territory in this new place.  That is where my main character (a 4th Level Cleric) and his retinue come in.  We are there to put down fresh roots, and to carve a place for our little band there.

I came up with the name Gibilki for the name of the Domain, which means New Land in Sumerian.  It just seemed to fit, and had a weird sounding name, so I went with it.  

I find myself laying awake at night planning ahead for the next turn of the game.  We have only had one turn, consisting of 4 weeks in game time.  Each turn will be every 2 weeks in real time, so we have time to weigh our decisions, and tally up all of our costs.  I've built a large stone Ziggurat (Temple) to the four gods of my culture, did some planting of crops and holy white Elammakum trees, carved out some tunnels and rooms for the miners to live in, and built some crappy lean to structures until we can take the time out to make better structures.  The miners have been churning out stone for the building of the Ziggurat, and for other building projects down the road.  I'm hoping to build roads, walls, and other stone buildings for my peasants to live in as well.  It all costs money, and takes time however.  It would be really nice if those Dwarven Miners found some silver or gold, to help with my income, but only time will tell.

My culture is a mix of Dwarves and Humans, with a heavy religious flavor.  There are Dwarven Infantry that fight in small units called Balgi (which means Turtle).  These Dwarven Infantry units have shields and fight mainly with spears, though they have swords as well as a back up.  They fight in small knit units that move simultaneously together.  Other units of Human Archers called Tirah (which means Shoot) fight behind the infantry units and fire their arrows at oncoming enemies.  I want to have some cavalry units eventually as well.  It costs a lot of money to give them improved equipment, but that is exactly what I eventually would like to do.    

The one thing that I'm not sure of in the game, is income.  A LOT of things have monthly costs, and I have to make sure to be able to feed everyone.  I want to eventually have Yaks (yes Yaks) be some sort of  bad ass cavalry.  It makes sense to have War Yaks as well, but that will be out of my price range for a bit.  Since they are the same costs as Draft Horses, and War Horses in the LL rules.

I want to extrapolate on the religion and the culture as time goes on.  Depending on what other cultures and races I bump into, will probably alter how my culture looks at the world, and what kind of culture they become.  If my culture bumps into nothing but cultures that want to kill them, then they will become more militant.  If they bump into cultures that want to trade goods, my culture might become more productive and trade more (and probably build a lot of roads).  What is cool, and yet frustrating, is that I need to wait to hear what happened in the last turn, before I can make too many plans for the future.  I also get the feeling, that some unexpected problems will begin to arise that I will have to deal with.  My lofty goals might be put off by attacks, diseases, natural disasters, etc. 

Perhaps people would like to see the four deities I would like to flesh out as the game progresses?  Well, here they are:

Adhalid [SECRET RIVER] (Add-Ha-Lid) - God

Domains/Portfolio/Specialties: Insanity, Luck, Lust, Prophecy, Rivers, and Secrets

It is said that Adhalid dwells in the rivers and streams of the land, and gathers unto himself all the secrets that people want to keep hidden. He is a master of gossip, betrayals, illegal business dealings, and secret sins. He has seduced many a chaste couple into the throws of passion, especially when they were near a river. It is said that Adhalid is a mad god, and at times he bestows insanity on those nearby. He likes to influence the ways of the world, or change the odds in favor of a mortal he admires, and in so doing, he lost some of his sanity. 

Barakara [UNKNOWN] (Barra-Karra) - God/Goddess/Force

Domains/Portfolio/Specialties: Cold, Death, Fate, Sorrow, Vengeance, and War

Not much is known of this deity. It is an enigma, and it is surrounded in mystery. None knows if the deity is a male or female, or perhaps an impersonal uncaring force. Many philosophers and theologians speculate on the properties of this deity, but the only thing that is known, is that eventually all come to feel the presence of this thing before the end of life. 

Diĝirama [DIVINE MOTHER] (Dij-Ear-Amma) - Goddess

Domains/Portfolio/Specialties: Childbirth, Fire, Harvest, Love, Nature, and Wisdom

Females that give birth call on Diĝirama most of all, but husbands also seek to ask her favor for their loved ones. She is called upon during auspicious events in life such as the birth of children, harvest time, marriages, and appointments to public office. It is said that every drop of blood that falls to the ground was once in Diĝirama's veins. It is also held to be true that Diĝirama and Adhalid's lust brought forth the mortal races, combining both flesh and the spiritual flame within it. 

Imhul [WIND] (Imm-Hull) - Goddess

Domains/Portfolio/Specialties: Air, Archery, Art, Birds, Knowledge, and Judgment

The worshipers of this goddess hold birds as being the carriers of inspiration and the muses of artists. Killing birds is forbidden, and dead birds that are found are cremated in honor. It is believed that the goddess Imhul travels through the air and only reveals herself through birds. A pleasant cool breeze on a hot day is attributed to her, and vicious storms are sometimes attributed to Imhul being exceedingly angry at something. 

The religion has a hierarchy, and the way Labyrinth Lord handles Clerics and levels works well with that.  So far I've described the religion as having lots of animal sacrifices on the altar in the Ziggurat.  I may be open to letting the culture sacrifice captured enemies (bug again, it all depends on how rival cultures interact with mine).  They sing lots of hymns, chant, burn incense, and the peasants and soldiers all take part in religious ceremonies and festivals.   

The government is going to be mainly a Theocracy, but with a heavy Military leaning.  The General can veto anything the High Priest says, if he thinks it is a stupid idea, or if it will cause problems.  It is normally the soldiers that institute the High Priest's orders, so they just can not follow through with the orders that they don't agree with.  So taxes in the territory, will be more like tithes, and gifts to the running of the temple, and to the territory as well.

It has been exciting to plan out how 65 people are carving out a new life for themselves, and I get to do a little bit of world building as well with the culture.  I'm very excited to see how the rules we are using change and are modified as time goes on.  The playtesters questions are making the author of the rules put more flesh on the skeleton as we proceed.  I'm having a lot of fun.  :)

Here is my Human Regent/High Priest that rules and controls the operations of the Ziggurat, and the Dwarven General that heads up the military branch of the government.

Lesser Noble Daramuš (Dare-ah-Mush) [RED FACE]
Human 4th Level Priest
(Leader/High Priest of the territory)
(Rolling 4D6 straight down, dropping the lowest, 2D6+6 for Cha)
Strength 9
Constitution 13
Dexterity 13
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 10
Charisma 13
“You will start at 10,001 exp and maximum hit points. Assume that you have all the mundane equipment list.” Needs to get to 12,501 to reach 5th level.
Hit Points 4D6 + 4 = 15HP
AC = 5(Chain Mail) -1(Shield) -1(Dex) = AC 3
Breath Attacks 16
Poison or Death 11
Petrify or Paralyze 14
Wands 12
Spells or Spell-like Devices 15
To Hit Armor Class Zero = 18 (and then down the line)
Uses a mace, and shield to fight.

Dwarven General Girdušia (Gear-Dush-Ya) [WEED STONE]
Dwarf Soldier
3rd level Dwarf
(Rolling 3D6 straight down)
Strength 13
Constitution 13
Dexterity 11
Intelligence 5
Wisdom 14
Charisma 11
Hit Points = 3D8+4 = 18HP
AC = 5(Chain Mail) -1(Shield) = AC4
Breath Attacks 13
Poison or Death 8
Petrify or Paralyze 10
Wands 9
Spells or Spell-like Devices 12
To Hit Armor Class Zero = 18 (and then add in the +1 to hit from Strength = 17)
Uses a Spear, Short Sword, and Shield to fight, like his soldiers.