Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Beyond the Black Gate did NOT go as planned.

Dear DCC RPG Community,

I never thought it would happen to me...

One of the PCs in my long-running campaign has become a patron--or at least taken the mantle (or horns) of one.

To be fair, he was simply taking the Horned King's crown. His new cohort (new PC, long-time player with us) didn't understand the mission fully, wasn't familiar with the legend of the Wild Hunt, and twisted the meaning of the word "king" and immediately killed the poor guy without consulting anyone else in the party. All this, despite my repeated warnings that they may not get the prime/desired outcome if they simply murder-hoboed their way through this one (Beyond the Black Gate).

To continue, in all fairness: It's Bob's PC. He's copacetic with retiring the dwarf as soon as this scenario [module] is wrapped up. While bittersweet, it's wholly fitting, thematically, that the "Ooh, I've never killed one of these before!" guy is now the master of the Wild Hunt. And, because this is Bob we're talking about, he's totally willing to rewrite the patron taint & invocation tables to reflect his personality, and even his current newness to the job.

My qualms... The crown was taken, no biggie. This other guy, and his actions based on misunderstanding, just screwed the rest of the party out of a few choice options, leaving them to follow Bjorn, the 6th-level murder-hobo-turned-badass-turned-nearly-NPC, to finish this chapter of the campaign.

On one hand, I'd been trying to figure a way to wrap up this particular game and its current set of characters without resorting to the "game got cancelled and we never reconvened" route, which sucks for everyone. I'd like to go about playtesting something different and have not been successful in carving out additional days/times, but I also hate loose ends.

On the flipside, this new development gives me a lot to play with...if I don't burn out on the current player/character combo at the table.

Anyone else run into such a major game-changer?

The Sanctum!

There's been new DCC happenings in the proverbial neighborhood. If you're reading this, you probably know about it already.

Part of me has been remiss over here; part of me has been waiting for the website to go mostly-fully-live. Then it was, and I was busy having my skull nommed on by life. (Really gotta stop using basting sauce as a perfume. Sorry 'bout that.) There's been a lot of prep for this thing, too. And more editing. All of this is cool, it's just a little brain-consuming.

So here she be. If you haven't already visited the hub to listen, check out the Sanctum Secorum podcast.* I adore the overall aesthetic quality; something about those woodcuts just gets me.

Hint: Explore the Dark Acquisitions to find the free show companions, free "for the community, by the community" offerings that accompany every show. And sometimes they hit the stacks independently...

*Caveats: Sanctum Secorum is neither affiliated with--nor in competition with--Spellburn, as it's all about spreading the love for the game. Nor are my loyalties divided. Et cetera. Ad nauseum.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Between working, traveling, editing, reading up for future projects, and more working, I found myself seriously stressing about where my campaign was going (the party took a left at Albuquerque last game, ending things on an awkward note after 3 sessions of People of the Pit with a good 20% of the place untouched). There simply wasn't time for me to do the normal prep work this week, and I certainly haven't had the brain capacity to stew on it and come up with some awesome resolution. But I had an epiphany yesterday: Interludes!

When Bob's 1E sandbox campaign [please note, I'm specifically not tagging him yet] recently came to a point where he needed some time to pass in the game, he put together some "interludes," episodes in which the players were given pre-generated characters that pertained to a different part of the world. Maybe they're designed to tell some backstory, and the scene takes place in the past to give us a better understanding. In one, we played thieves who ended up thwarting an assassin's attempt on the Mayor's life. We don't know exactly when that particular scene takes place on the grand timeline, but he'll reveal the resulting mayhem to our regular characters when we resume the main story. We've also had a one-shot where we played characters that would've been NPCs or villains to be taken out in regular play. It offered a lot of insight to us as players, in regards to the underlying motives.

I've decided on the "meanwhile, in this other location" approach. They'll all be playing 2nd-level ...well, formerly NPCs, who have to deal with the aftermath of one of the party's recent raids. They'll witness a previously-dismissed enemy limping back home, and will have to shoulder the subsequent wrath of a boss for allowing the PC party to desecrate his territory. I'm willing to bet they'll also stumble into an area that's off-limits to lackeys like them, and discover how a particular plot-driving item has been manufactured.

The interludes have been really enjoyable to play, and break up the monotony a bit, so after a mere hour of work - and most of that was statting up these particular lackeys - I feel pretty good about it now.

XP is going to be awarded after the fact (in both our games) to the regular PCs for participating in these cut-scenes.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

DCC RPG #68: The People of the Pit

I'll admit it; I'm one of those who didn't give this one enough credit when I first saw it. "Oh goodie, cultists summoning something with tentacles. I get enough of that in our two-year-long Call of Cthulhu campaigns..." 


You know you've been thinking it too. "I'm sick of judging combats with tentacles!" 

Please hear me out.

I see very few people in the G+ communities talking about running this one, which leads me to believe that many others are judging books by covers and falling into the trap of viewing only the basic premise. 

Or, to be fair, it could be that it's not a new release. Or that you didn't find the cover art stunning at first glance. Or you might just not be into the "cultist" scene. 

Seriously, shed those reservations now. 

One-shot vs. Campaign?
This has a lot of meat to it. A LOT. It's not going to play nicely as a one-shot unless you condense it to a few key encounters -- which, actually, could provide for some high-quality play. I might try that for our next game day and/or mini-con.

Conversely, if you're running a campaign and you read this module ahead of time, there are tons of hint you could start dropping. Or, if you're like me and hit a wall during the campaign, you could find yourself picking this mod up, gritting your teeth against the "trite" concept, and coming up for air a couple hours later armed with pages of notes and a maniacal grin that worries anyone you live with. 

As I mentioned previously, the most often-encountered foes harken strongly to the Hollow Ones found in the core rulebook, which I ran as part of a huge, multi-session, crescendoing scene in the sandboxed village, Port of the Black Pearl (formerly the small shanty town from which Tower of the Black Pearl kicks off). The party still isn't sure if the faceless men with things spawning from their midsections were creatures that had been summoned, or if they'd been working alongside a coven of witches, so it made perfect sense to play on that bit of mysteriousness: The eyeless acolytes in the Pit are now faceless, albeit wearing robes in a different method of color-coding. [Note to self: Do not allow faceless creatures to become a crutch just because a judge doesn't want NPCs to be able to answer interrogations.]

Summary: Even if you've only skimmed it, it's worth taking a good cover-to-cover look -- or at least check out the 3rd level, and the intricacies of travel within. There are still plenty of other monsters besides cultists, and I could see reworking a good portion of this place to be run by the mineral mining critters instead of humanoids...even with no huge threat in the pit itself.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Back to it!

The open-table campaign has been through a lot of sandboxing, including a few published pieces and parts slid together to culminate in a few original sessions. Most recently, I've modified a couple adventures to fit the story.

Man, that's intensive.

Today I went back to basics: I ran a module with some scaled-up monsters and just the barest storyline adjustments to the "how & why you're here".

Much better.

It was nice to take less than 3 hours to prep the day before. It was wonderful to not stress about it for the hour-long drive to the FLGS. It was nice to feel more secure in where things were going (and yes, I had pegged the group's route). It was even nice to run with the new screen, despite my ambivalence about screens. And it was nice - if a little bittersweet - to hear the surprise in players' voices when they expressed their enjoyment after the fact.

We all have our niches, right? I've suspected I'd been running off the rails when left to my own devices, and my players have been awesomely patient with me, but I think I've confirmed my sweet spot.

Let's do this thing! Game on!

...This week's choice, by the by, was to hearken back to the early line, via People of the Pit, with tweaks to the cultists' stats to stand up to a mixed party of 0-lvl to 5th. The cultists are strikingly similar to the Hollow Men, given to us in the core book -- and those similarities correlate nicely with the sandbox.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Worth every mile.

This past weekend, we were fortunate enough to attend an experimental mini-con with approx. 15 others, hosted in Richmond, VA by the illustrious Wayne Snyder.

The locale was an art studio in a historic post-industrial structure. As summer in the southeast U.S. is underway, the result was humid and at times too warm -- just the sort of thing I generally flee for the comfort of air conditioning at home. It wasn't glamorous. It wasn't pretentious. It certainly wasn't posh.

And it was perfect.

This was the first time in over a decade in which we've been able to leave the state without a full itinerary of obligatory family visits. It was actually difficult for me to fully grasp this, and simply relax, until Sunday. But it was exactly what we needed, and far overdue.

Gaming (for me) included Swords and Magic (the Wayne & Lily production), Talisman, DCC (including a bit of a Lankhmar preview by Doug), Metamorphosis Alpha, and Thunder Road.

In between the games - the official excuse for gathering - were excited, happy discussions. So rarely are any of us able to get together in person for anything social; conventions tend to give us exchanges like, "Hey! Great to see you, now I have to run to my next game!" This was a chance to sit back with no real schedule...and get to know the people we'd all been following online and +1'ing for years, as well as some of Wayne's local friends who joined us for the festivities.

This weekend also served as a recharge to many of our creative batteries. Pooling ideas, watching others' judging styles and techniques, and sharing tales of our home games... It was the gaming equivalent of the diverse food offerings on the buffet line.

I thought about giving "notable mentions" to certain individuals who made a special impact on our experience, but there honestly wasn't a single attendee who didn't leave their mark on the event. Much love to all, and most to Wayne for his unending hospitality. {Okay, and to Taylor, David, and Doug for feeding me!} Until we all meet again...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Brady's last words (from 02.15.15 session)

[Not gonna lie: The act of posting recaps is more than difficult. Ergo, as judge, I'm hand-waving this rule.]

After exploring Brady the Merchant's shop and newly-constructed warehouse compound, and finding their own brewery was being robbed and fakes were being put out in place of the Dead Goblin Ale, they came across a wizard's workshop with a hidden portal. Using a Scale of Truloq to make the prerequisite blood sacrifice, they teleported into an unknown, who-knows-where cavern system. Shenanigans ensued (for days!) until they finally found the merchant. Despite him having been left for dead in this isolated place by forces unknown, Bjorn rattles him into raspy speech with repeated threats of death for stealing their beer. 

Here are some of the highlights:
...huh? Oh, damn dragons...
...stole the Pearl from under Quenn's nose...
...bargained with Capo Tormanu to take over imported beer shipments...but he welshed on the deal til I let his crew build the new shop. Not allowed to ask questions. No say.
 Doing okay after that. Port of Black Pearl all making money...
Had to live in the Mermaid while they rebuilt my house. Tore the whole damn thing down. Then wouldn't let me back...
Mortesh was angry. You took him. I let you leave. I let him out of my sight. So much knowledge...so much history! Worth so much...but I was weak. I couldn't keep him. Wanted him. Not for Mortesh. Not for research. Not for dragons. Mortesh is so angry...
...found workshop. Told Capo I'm out. Quiet. Then kid... Kid sold me out.
...Mortesh was so angry...

And, of course, before he can ask for quarter or assistance, he passes out -- at which point, Bjorn Berber (now a 5th-level dwarf) predictably kicks Brady's skull in.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Newer" Appendix N Alert

During my workyworkyworky~TING~ phases, I tend to listen to audio books. I paused in the midst of Jack Vance because I'd been wanting to re-read Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora (and Red Seas Under Red Skies, the 2nd in his Gentlemen Bastards series) so that I can jump into the [relatively] newly-released 3rd book. I figured it'd be no issue to play this fluffy** one as a review while crunching on numbers...
**compared to Vance

OH MAN. The audio presentation of this is just that: a performance

As in, to the point that Bob's tired of listening to me gush about it.

It fantastically blurs that line of audio book and audio play. I find myself replaying chapters for enjoyment, not because I'd missed something. I almost want to replay the entire thing when I finish it, before going on to book #2.

And NOT SO FLUFFY anymore. As I mentioned, I'd read it before; twice, I believe, since I wanted to be refreshed on the storyline prior to reading the Red Skies. But the Appendix N appeal wasn't there back then...and by the Twelve Gods, this is a brilliant story about thieves set within a world previously inhabited by unknown alien entities. The Elderglass, the alchemical light balls, the gentled creatures... I'm in love with this book all over again. The audio presentation brings it to life in a way unlike any audio book I've experienced. If I had the time, I'd curl up with the book and read along!

As I'm listening, I'm also toying with the idea of starting a DCC campaign in this world, but it's a little too ... brutal, I suppose, for the local players. But it could be done...spectacularly in a convention setting, methinks.

Synopsis: Thank you, #DCCRPG, for re-opening my eyes to the possibilities of Appendix N, and things I'd missed before. And, of course, to Mr. Lynch, for material that makes me laugh, gasp, and re-read (and listen) repeatedly. Your dialogue inspires me to push my own creativity.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The One Who Watches From Below (conclusion) ~ 04.27.14

[Editorial note: Cleaning out the pending drafts and posting with bare-bones basics. This way the players can at least skim through and remember which ones their various PCs took part in.]
Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/4
Garrett: Halfling/3
Growlen Legbinder: Thief/2
Eridan: Wizard/3 (+Pyraspite, familiar)
Valmyr: Wizard/1

So many messed-up moments here. Most entertaining were the creativity used in transporting the now-petrified familiar, and Bjorn racing through underground tunnels as fast as his little dwarfy legs could take him after getting zapped for -6 Int. Yes, he got some herp with his derp.

The One Who Watches From Below - Jobe Bittman / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math
Bjorn: +13 XP
Garrett: +12 XP
Eridan: +12 XP
Growlen: +12 XP
Valmyr: +10 XP

PARTY LOOT: 5 silver-tipped arrows / mirror shield / Sparklefang (+1 long sword) / various "normal" equipment, resold for total value of approx. 447 GP to be split

Bjorn: 1 dwarven helm
Eridan: blue wand (force manipulation)

The One Who Watches From Below (part 1) ~ 04.13.14

[Editorial note: Cleaning out the pending drafts and posting with bare-bones basics. This way the players can at least skim through and remember which ones their various PCs took part in.]
Bonus in SW FL: DCC RPG Day at 2D10 Games now has two tables! It certainly changed the table dynamic(s).

Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/4
Garrett: Halfling/3
Growlen Legbinder: Thief/2
Eridan: Wizard/2 (+ Pyralspite, familiar)

Everyone's catching their breath after hauling as much "loot" as they could from their last Good Deed. (Let's take "Encounters with Encumbrance 101" for "not nearly as much GP as it should have been", Alex.)  They return to town to find rumors abound in their respective circles. Most seem to intertwine; there are whispers of a chapel hidden under the cobbles. Or was it a vault? Or a monster? The original owners were monks...but were seen as a cult. Maybe. It could even be under their very noses here in Great Bell, but Magmar knows better.

Magmar the Lucky is essentially the local ambassador for the Thieves' Guild and has been a fount of knowledge lately (his tip-off about the green wizard being the most notable thus far). Today, he seems to be stoned, as opposed to in his cups, and he lazily confirms every single rumor they'd heard. Even the contradictions. But, hey, as Bjorn & Co. declare, "Monks make beer! They've gotta be okay!" So Magmar goes further to explain about the Cave of Secrets, where many people travel to pay large sums of gold to answer the most elusive questions -- but the money hasn't been put back into the local economy. He slides across a map scribbled on a wine-stained sheet of vellum. In his lotus-binge haze, he explains it should only be a mere two days' travel. Oh, and could they be bothered to find Luthold, while they're out? He got lost.

After about 4 days of following the vague map, Bjorn is nearly sober and the others are cursing Magmar's name. These two things may be closely related.

The "ENTER" sign at the mouth of the cave is a dead giveaway, and not a smidgen suspicious...

[Note: The following day, Magmar is approached by the other PCs and he gives them the map he meant to give to the other group. What we have here, folks, is a concurrent pair of adventures. We'll see if it works out!]

....Most memorable moment: Pyralspite, the pseudo-dragon familiar, getting petrified by the gaze of a vilehund.

The One Who Watches From Below - Jobe Bittman / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math
Bjorn: +28 XP, +1 Personality
Garrett: +28 XP, +1 Personality
Eridan: +28 XP, +1 Personality, +1 Luck
Growlen: +28 XP, +1 Personality

PARTY LOOT:  To be tallied upon completion of adventure.

The Emerald Enchanter (conclusion) ~ 03.16.14

[Editorial note: Cleaning out the pending drafts and posting with bare-bones basics. This way the players can at least skim through and remember which ones their various PCs took part in.]
Conclusion Cast:
Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/3
Eridan: Wizard/2 (+ Pyralspite, familiar)
Toad: Thief/3
Bash the Mighty: Warrior/2
James the Warrior/3
Jhordak: Thief/1
Amariah: Wizard/1
Krum: Dwarf/1
Remus: Cleric/2
Zhalen: Rice Farmer/0
Valmyr: Guild Beggar/0

Most memorable event:
Mucking around in the laboratory results in the faces of James, Eridan, and two others being turned red permanently.

The Emerald Enchanter - Joseph Goodman / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math
Bjorn: +16 XP, +1 Luck
Eridan: +16 XP, +1 Luck
James: +16 XP, +1 Luck
Remus: +16 XP, +1 Luck
Toad: +16 XP, +1 Luck
Bash: +16 XP, +1 Luck
Jhordak: +16 XP, +1 Luck
Amariah: +16 XP, +1 Luck
+16 XP, +1 Luck
Zhalen: +16 XP, +1 Luck
Valmyr: +16 XP, +1 Luck

PARTY LOOT: potion of Levitate  / potion of Spiderclimb / 5 iron cubes / 1 silver cube (30 SP) / 1 gold cube (30 GP) / spellbook / padded armor / +2 ring of protection 

Eridan: scrolls: Sleep / Spider Web / Magic Shield / Ray of Enfeeblement
Eridan: wooden kitchen spoon
Eridan: 5 unlabeled potions
Eridan: wizard staff
Bash: 2 unlabeled potions
Toad: 5 unlabeled potions
Jhordak: shovel

The Emerald Enchanter (part 2) ~ 03.02.14

[Editorial note: Cleaning out the pending drafts and posting with bare-bones basics. This way the players can at least skim through and remember which ones their various PCs took part in.]
Entire cast:
Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/3
Wilber Wifflelinks: Halfling/3
Eridan: Wizard/2 (+ Pyralspite, familiar)
Toad: Thief/3
Bash the Mighty: Warrior/2
James the Warrior/3
Garrett: Halfling/3
Buckers McMoney: Warrior/1
Red#2: Wizard/1
Growlen: Thief/2
Allric Moon-Weaver: Elven Sage/0
Oak: Woodcutter/0
Terezi: Thief/2
Jhordak: Jester/0
Kylan: Elven Barrister/0
Gruntsworth: Dwarven Miner/0
Amariah: Outlaw/0
Krum: Dwarven Miner/0
Mycroft: Halfling Mariner/0
Manny: Herder/0 (+ Peaches the dog)
Bob: Rutabega Farmer/0 (+ sheep)

Tight hallways + huge party + comfy sitting room = nearly half the adventurers from episode one moving to the "backpack" position, taking a break and keeping an eye on the emerald table to see if anyone/anything emerges again while the forerunners clear some more ground.

{Read: Holy crap you guys. Nine players at the table...}

Most notable:
A) Bjorn uses the last of the explosives from the dam to take out a serious, serious threat of 7 emerald guards.
B) Farmers feed the dead, transformed guards to the cat-like creatures in the menagerie.

The Emerald Enchanter - Joseph Goodman / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math
Bjorn: +15 XP
James: +15 XP
Eridan: +15 XP
Growlen: +15 XP
Toad: +9 XP
Red#2: +8 XP
Bash: +15 XP
Jhordak: +15 XP
Amariah: +15 XP
Krum: +15 XP
Mycroft: +15XP
Manny: +4 XP
Bob: +4 XP

PARTY LOOT: various amounts of emerald pieces & shards / ring of consultation 

The Emerald Enchanter (part 1) ~ 02.16.14

Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/3
Wilber Wifflelinks: Halfling/3
"Captain" James: Warrior/3
Garrett: Halfling/3
Eridan: Wizard/2 (+ Pyralspite, pseudo-dragon familiar)
Terezi: Thief/2
Growlen: Thief/2
Allric Moon-Weaver: Elven Sage/0
Oak: Woodcutter/0
Toad: Thief/2
Red#2: Wizard/1
Bash the Mighty: Warrior/2
Buckers McMoney: Warrior/1

They keep getting magically transported to other realms to fix stuff. It's grating a bit, so they're enjoying keeping their feet on the same bit of ground for a while, and generally kicking around Great Bell (aka Bell City - but more on that later): The fighter-types hang out in the barracks with the militia, most needing to practice with newly-acquired weaponry. Bjorn is, predictably, at all the pubs, creating demand for more ale from "their" Dead Goblin Brewery. Eridan, who'd stayed behind on the last adventure, shows off his new familiar, a fiercely protective pseudo-dragon he calls Pyralspite. Toad, an escaped slave, sticks close to the Thieves' Guild, taking advantage of safety in numbers (and probably learning a few new tricks). Ashir, the Elven Falconer, decides to retire from adventuring, despite having summoned his own familiar in the previous week (a tiny steam elemental with a cranky temperament). Remus, the overburdened cleric, having been smote numerous times in the recent past for healing party members of his polar opposite alignment, does some serious research and discovers that his preferred deity, Aristemis, is actually a Neutral entity. So Remus does a little alignment-shifting himself.  He also constructs a couple of shrines on board Paragon, the sentient dragon-prowed ship that also serves as a home base with a free nightly accommodations. The shrines are dedicated to Aristemis and the Three Fates, respectively, which will also help out Red#1. Magmar the Lucky (NPC) makes an appearance and babbles off something about this thing that might need looked into. Eridan, Growlen, and Toad pay another visit to Nod, the alchemist at the Black Cat Mercantile, and try to wheel & deal with some heretofore unknown components they've found along the way [from an important critter in the most recent hush-hush playtest]. Nod figures he can probably work with the smithy to create a potent weapon out of a large fang, provided he also has "a couple pounds of emeralds" to work with. He throws out an insane cost, but says he'll exchange the work for the other components. He also offers information on who to talk to about getting a ton of emeralds, "cheap". Greedily, Growlen heads over to the Guild to see if any of the thieves would be interested in this acidic material, and takes Magmar's counteroffer. When it finally comes together that the emeralds can be obtained from the same source as an evil wizard that keeps kidnapping locals for his nefarious experiments, the group bands together for their various reasons - avarice for some, heroism for other - and heads for a rough two-hour walk south, where the coast is lined with cliffs.

The squat, two-storied citadel set in the black rock looks gloomy but not threatening, even with its posted guards...but then the party sees the guards are fully green in hue, and Buckers charges in. Emerald-colored and textured as gems, even their swords, the two guards don't stand much of a chance against the seasoned dwarf and warriors. Bash and Buckers do in the one on the far end, and as he is killed, the emerald soldier transforms into severed flesh, whispering that about someone with an unintelligible name "knows the word" and dropping a sword that's now plain metal. Bjorn takes down the one who's closed with the rest of the group, and an incredibly mighty swing of his battleaxe shatters the guard -- literally. Millions of tiny green shards shower the stones at their feet. The sword has disintegrated as well. Bjorn and others begin scooping up the emerald dust and packing it into pouches, as every bit helps with the necessary weight.

The solid pewter doors before them hold no challenge, despite being locked. Growlen looks sideways at the keyhole and it slips. "Too easy." They enter into a long, wide hallway, completely tiled with colorful mosaics depicting a green-skinned, green-robed sorcerer in many scenes of study and battle. The party continues in, watchful, and are surprised when tiles begin flying off the walls to create a being in the hallway, barring their path! Although terrifying to some of the newer explorers, the toughs move up into defensive positions and stand their ground while taking turns to bash the tile golem into a porcelain mess. An expulsion of blue tiles hits James, who takes it in stride. At the beginning of the second round, Buckers scores a critically sound hit and the whirl of former art falls shapelessly to the floor.* Shreds of cement remain on the walls where the tiles were magically ripped off, but nobody seems interested in inspecting much, and the party clamors over a pile of debris to get to set of doors ahead.

*[Judge note: This is geared toward a 2nd-lvl party, but this session proved that most warriors with well-trained dice can demolish this thing in less than two rounds, thanks to the additional damage bonus on successful precision shot Mighty Deeds.] 

Though identical to the exterior doors, these are not locked, and the group emerges into a decently lush reception area with comfortable seating areas, decorative rugs, a huge green stone table, and colorful fabrics hanging on the walls. Wilber (with Vinnie, a non-sentient skull wearing the crown from Sezrekan's tomb) tries out a chair. There are two doors, one on either side, 25 feet ahead. The party decides to try the right, so Growlen spikes the door on the left. As they start for the right door, the top of the massive slab of emerald begins to glow, and two small (6-inch) winged skulls fly up from its surface. They are followed by a man with green skin, wearing green robes, who steps from the surface to the floor in one fluid movement. Toad, the closest person to him, is left to blink as the green wizard scowls, points to him and the rest of the party, mutters a word, and steps back onto the tabletop and disappears. The adventurers are a bit flummoxed, but the skulls seem to keep their distance after a couple arrows shoot up, and the right door is opened.

In the hallway ahead, a remarkably lifelike soldier of emerald - down to the curly hair and pockmarked skin - turns at the intrusion, hefts his emerald axe, and meets the party head-on.  Eridan, in a fit of unprepared fury, casts Feather Fall on him. The fighters once again make short work of him, Bash landing a blow with his "new" flail that sends him flying down the passage. This soldier, too, turns to flesh as he is killed, and his battleaxe is comprised of the expected metal. In his death throes, the man croaks out, "Ask Thesdipedes to save my wife..." and, thanks to the spell, he is dead long before he finally touches the floor at the far end of the hall.

About twenty feet in, the door to the left opens to a library - but instead of shelves, there are eight bookstands. Two of them hold massive, metal-bound tomes. Of course the thieves and wizard beeline for the occupied stands, but they are left empty-handed when the books disappear in front of them, reappearing on other stands. The entire party jumps in to surround the stands, resulting in a constant flickering, solved by the impatient knocking over of each in turn.

More searching... Growlen decides that a mattress is the perfect thing to place on top of a pit trap filled with traps, to assist the weaker party members over. Until next time...

The Emerald Enchanter - Joseph Goodman / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math
Bjorn: +8 XP
Wilber: +8 XP
James: +8 XP
Garrett: +8 XP
Eridan: +8 XP
Terezi: +8 XP
Growlen: +8 XP
Allric: +8 XP
Oak: +8 XP
Toad: +8 XP
Red#2: +8 XP
Bash: +8 XP
Buckers: +8 XP

PARTY LOOT: golden dragon head bust / 30 SP / 10 short swords / various emerald pieces and shards / autobiography of Thesdipedes / scroll: speak with the dead / set of blueprints 

Glipkerio's Gambit (conclusion) ~ 02.02.14

[Editorial note: Cleaning out the pending drafts and posting with bare-bones basics. This way the players can at least skim through and remember which ones their various PCs took part in.]
Finally, a chance to let single characters shine...

Red: Wizard/1
Terezi: Thief/2
Toad: Thief/2
Remus: Cleric/1
Bash the Mighty: Warrior/2
Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/3
Garrett: Halfling/3

Picked up just outside the Temple of Destiny. The shenanigans that followed would have been impossible to judge without the "battle tracker" provided in this module.

Glipkerio's Gambit - Jobe Bittman / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math
Red: +5 XP
Terezi: +5 XP
Bjorn: +5 XP
Toad: +5 XP
Remus: +5 XP
Garrett: +5 XP
Bash: +5 XP

PARTY LOOT: Coprolite Club +1 / 210 GP

Red: Tome

Glipkerio's Gambit (part 1) ~ 01.19.14

[Editorial note: Cleaning out the pending drafts and posting with bare-bones basics. This way the players can at least skim through and remember which ones their various PCs took part in.]
Red: Wizard/1
Terezi: Thief/2
Tethys: Elven Falconer/0
Token: Jester/0
Toad: Thief/2
Remus: Cleric/1
Bash the Mighty: Warrior/2
Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/3
Garrett: Halfling/3

After the last fiasco, they're more than a little hesitant to succumb to the next fair lass crying for help. But they started wondering just who they were dealing with when three lovely maidens came into the picture...

The gate = best imagery I've gotten to describe to my players yet.

Glipkerio's Gambit - Jobe Bittman / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math
Red: +15 XP
Terezi: +15 XP
Bjorn: +15 XP
Toad: +15 XP
Remus: +15 XP
Garrett: +15 XP
Bash: +15 XP
Tethys: +15 XP
Token: +15 XP

PARTY LOOT: 21 GP / 35 SP / silvered dagger ("Lady Blackbird") / two-handed sword +2 (Mythender) / 3 uses of pipe weed 

Toad: gems (60 GP)
Terezi: clothing (5 CP)