Saturday, August 5, 2017

Black Powder, Black Magic: Los Montanas de Bandini (Session 1 Report) August 4th, 2017 WARNING: May contain spoilers for BPBM Vol. 1


It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with my GM style that I love Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, and enjoy the unpredictable outcomes of the zero level funnel. I have been running it and a few variations of the rules set for a few years now, but have never had a chance to run Black Powder, Black Magic (BPBM) until now.

I haven't really dabbled much in the western genre since Boot Hill (2e), and never with the mash-up that is the six-guns & sorcery, but the style and rules looked to be fun. I really wanted to see how the exploding dice damage on gunfire worked in making the game more lethal in shoot-outs.

So, I gave it my first run last night at my FLGS (Villainous Lair).

I chose to do a little reskinning of the funnel adventure "The Devil's Cauldron", and set their destination to be in the fictional and exotic "San Bernadino" in the Republic of California, nestled amongst the "mineral rich" Montanas de Bandini. (Bonus points to those of you old and native Californian enough to get that one!)

If you wish to check out the BPBM rules go to: stormlordpublishing.com/
As of this posting, there is a 20% off bundle deal on the first three vols.

!!!!!!!WARNING!!!!!! EVERYTHING BEYOND THIS POINT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM BPBM VOL. 1 & THE ADVENTURE CONTAINED THEREIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IF YOU ARE NOT A DCC RPG JUDGE DO NOT CONTINUE OR I SHALL CALL UPON THE DARK MASTER TO ETERNALLY DAMN YOUR DICE SO THAT THEY SHALL ALWAYS ROLL ONES!

SERIOUSLY, IT IS NOT FAIR TO THE OTHER PLAYERS, AND TAKES THE FUN OUT OF THE GAME!

ALRIGHT, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!!!!!!

Act I Sc. 1

Our party consisted of three players, running four players each. There are plenty of passengers on the train to replenish the party at any time. So, I made sure to use the Purple Sorcerer zero level party generator, using the Black Powder, Black Magic setting, to generate plenty of characters. (Note: the generator does not generate the PCs "token of the past" or "reason for heading west". a couple of quick rolls on those tables in BPBM vol. 1 will take care of that.)



The party all noticed a commotion at the entrance to the first class passenger car. A very pompous and loud Englishman was yelling at both Ezrah (the train conductor) and a dark skinned man wearing black priests robes and a black broad rimmed hat.
One of the party was able to make out part of the conversation. Listening they overheard,"I will not share a car with an Islander! And especially not with a dirty Frog!" The Englishman then shoved some coins in Ezrah's hand and stormed off into the first class car. Ezrah then looked sheepishly at the priest, and offered him the coins. The Priest then gave a strange smile, looked up into the first class cabin, and motioned for Ezrah to keep the coins. He headed back to the coach car.

Arthur "Slick Mick" Harris was the only one of the party that spoke french tried talking with the priest "Pere Warri". Pere Warri informed him that he was being sent by his order to replace the Father at the mission in San Bernadino, who had died recently. Arthur did notice that the priest was wearing a high collared robe, and thought it unusual that the priest was not wearing his crucifix. Pere Warri replied that when traveling in such dangerous and lawless lands, it is sometimes more practical to keep your valuables well hidden amongst such tight quarters. "Not all men are as trustworthy as you and myself"

The train pulled off into the late afternoon sun...

Act. I Sc. 2

The sun went down as the train pulled out into the open desert, and most of the party slept peacefully until the early dawn. The train was losing speed as they began to work their way into the mountains. At that point, Lola (the veterinary doctor) noticed a riderless horse by the side of the tracks.

A few seconds later, the passengers heard a long whistle blow from the engine area, quickly followed by four gunshots. The doors to the front and rear of the coach opened to reveal four masked gunmen who proceeded to rob all the passengers in the car.

Attempting to hide a precious land grant Logan Calvin (former cavalryman) was pistol-whipped, died, and his body was being looted. Jordan Holmes (also a former cavalryman) had enough and drew his pistol on the bandit, shot and killed him.

The coach broke out into complete chaos as a gunfight ensued. The party managed to take out the gunmen, and grab their weapons but at a cost.  Three of the party lay dead. The fight carried over into the dining car, where they met up with Brigadier General Robert Bellows, ret., and Agent James Jasper as they were finishing of the gunmen in the dining car.

Next there was a loud explosion from somewhere in the rear of the train (the armored transport car). The party climbed up onto the top of the car in time to see the outlaws loading a strongbox from the armored car onto a wagon. They headed for the engine only to find Edgar the Engineer dead (four gunshots to the chest), and Rufus the fireman unconscious on the engine floor.

After reviving Rufus, the party tried to get Ezrah, the conductor, to get the train going again.
Ezrah said, "I'm just the conductor! You have to get Gideon the trains back-up engineer. He's sleeping back in the caboose." At which point the party exited the train just in time to see rest of the Levi / Dillon Gang loading a tied up and badly beaten Gideon onto the wagon and pulling out.

Act I Sc. 3

James Jasper reveals himself to be a railroad agent and rounds up a posse (the party refreshed from the pool of pregens and now armed with pistols and shotguns) to seek out the outlaws Stan Levi, Sean Dillon, and their gang,  bring back the stolen strongbox and rescue Gideon the engineer.

After following the trail for most of the day, the party found themselves heading down into a scrub covered gulch. they could see smoke from a campfire up ahead. Some of the party tried to sneak ahead only to walk right into a few of the outlaws on lookout. A brief skirmish occurred resulting in three dead outlaws, with one getting away to warn the camp. One of the party died in the encounter.

At Sunset the party arrived at the camp, and managed to take up positions surrounding the camp without being spotted. They observed two of the outlaws torturing Gideon by leaning him against the fire. When the party felt in position they attacked. They rapidly attempted to take out the lookouts, only to have one of them get out a warning.
 A wild gun battle followed. One of the party cut the line of horses free, in attempting to stop the horses, one of the bandits was dragged to his death.
In the wild nine of the party were killed, all of the gang except Stan and Sean were dead.  Stan and Sean, being badly injured, surrendered.
The party tied them up, and began debating what to do with them and all their new found wealth.
They decided to take everything back and return them to their rightful owners, and were debating what to do with Stan & Sean.
Lorelei Words (the bookkeeper) quickly settled the matter by walking up behind Stan & Sean and blowing their heads off with her pistol. "It says 'DEAD or alive'", said Lorelei.

The party loaded up the wagon with their dead, the bodies of Stan & Sean, the strongbox... etc. and worked their way back to the train by sunrise. They now have eight horses, a wagon, $200.00 in Gold, and will be collecting the bounty on the Levi / Dillon Gang when they arrive in San Bernadino!

Our list of chumps, oops I mean, er... honored dead for this session:

Arthur "Slick Mick" Harris (plumber), Jordan Holmes (cavalryman), Logan "the Snake" Calvin (cavalryman), Bobby Joe (cowpuncher), Landon "Muggy" Miller (cowpuncher), Ashley Collins (gardener), Gawain Greenlegs (cavalryman), Johnathon Tayler Thomas (musician), Lisa "Lola" Gentletouch (veterinarian), Marrick "Stinky Feet" (barkeep), and Noah Collins (artilleryman).



Thursday, June 29, 2017

GamerCon 2017 Schedule: July 6th to July 9th 2017

For those of you going to GamerCon 2017 in San Diego, CA
(Use Coupon Code: GCDCC2017 for an extra 20% off)
I will be running four games there this year:

Thursday, July 6th @ 5 PM:
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG: "Hole in the Sky", a zero level funnel.

Friday, July 7th @ 5 PM:
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG: "Frozen in Time", a first level adventure.

Saturday, July 8th @ 11 AM:
Mutant Crawl Classics RPG: "Beacon of the Gods", a second level adventure.



Sunday, July 9th  @ 11 AM:
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG: "The Frost Fang Expedition", a first level adventure.

All the independent RPG Games are listed through: The San Diego Role-Players Meetup

Monday, May 1, 2017

Session Report: "The Dread on Demon Crown Hill" @ Kingdom-Con 2017 29.04.2017

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***
IF YOU ARE NOT A DCC RPG JUDGE STOP HERE


From left to right: Lulu Smith the Enchanter (Skeletor), Puck the Halfling Explorer (Derek), Faerona the Elf Seer (Faeron), and Dogan the Dwarf Broker ( Mez and his zero level hirelings: Sefer, Cayn, Brurin, and Vesh).

They were a very resourceful party of adventurers, and roleplayed their way through, making a lot of excellent choices.

After the party had assembled and decided to follow-up on some rumors they had heard about the lonely tor, they made their way to the village of Aegishollow (pronounce: "ages-howler" by the locals) nearby. 

The party scouted out the site from a distance, staying at a nearby Slippery-Pig Tavern (thanks Jobe), and gleaning what local knowledge they could from the Nick Blackleaf the local tavern-keeper.
They made a visit out to see "Old Man Whithers" at one of the turnip farms outside the village. He told them of how he used to go up there as a "wild young'un, but that I ain't been up there since I's seen that ghost!"

After that some of the party stayed up on the roof to see if they could see any of the strange, small fires that seem to flair up on occasionally in the plain around the hill. They rolled well on their luck checks, and Puck thought he saw something fly off from high up on the structure and drop down into the valley below. About an hour later both Puck and Faerona witnessed a something burst into flames a few miles away, but couldn't tell what it was.

In the morning the party went to investigate where they thought they saw a fire and found what they guessed was a partial deer carcass, severely burned and ripped apart savagely.

They then made there way to the lonely hill, and tried to find another way in. Lulu enlarged Faeron's pet falcon, tied 100' of rope to it, and sent it up to the opening they thought was about 90' up. They heard a horrifying screech from the falcon, saw a burst of red flame, and 97' of rope fell down to the party bellow. The party then decided to try the cave at the front of the structure.

I won't say much about the details of inside the "Crown", but suffice it to say they went in and didn't fight when they didn't have to, and got a little lucky to make it to the end.
The hirelings other than Cayn (left outside to guard the horse cart) were all either killed or had run away by the last encounter.

In the final encounter, the dice failed me (I couldn't roll anything over an 8), but not for the party... Lulu the enchanter pulled off a natural twenty roll on her enlarge spell, and Faerona the Elf went "full giant sized" wielding the "blessed" magic item in the adventure and wailing on the "Big Bad". The final death blow was dealt by Puck the Halfling! Puck clambered his way up to get a double hit with his axes to finish demon off.


As a small note to this session:
I did give the option with the pre-gens to play the paladin, ranger, and orc classes, but was surprised that everyone wanted to run just the classes from the core book.
The only thing not standard from the DCC RPG core book was that everyone thought that Lulu the Enchanter was "touched by the gods (insane)" because her background is a Pizza Cook from "Vinnie's Pizza in the Bronx". This came out great in the roleplaying, as she taught Nick at the Slippery Pig how to make a really good pizza in exchange for free room and board for the night.
So, it is now cannon in my world, that the Slippery Pig is now know across the land for their sausage "pizza".

Friday, June 24, 2016

Free RPG Day 2016: Part 1 Session Report for "Museum at the End of Time"

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
FOR THE ABOVE MENTIONED ADVENTURE. DO NOT CONTINUE, IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON PLAYING IN THIS ADVENTURE!
June 18th, 2016, 12:00 "Museum at the End of Time" for MCC RPG
Run at Villainous Lair Comics and Games, San Diego. CA

Players for this session: Steven G. (Bumpy the Mutant, Dole the plantient Banana Tree, Moses the plantient Moss),  Jason H. (Carl the plantient  Sage Brush, Blothar the plantient Bamboo, Mtn Du the mutant),  Lizlo C. (Shai the P.S.H., Donny the P.S.H., Coda the mutant),  Tamar C. (Snow the P.S.H., Peter The Mutant, Rachet the manimal Dog),  Logan S. (Joe Bane the P.S.H., Ker the manimal Warthog, Ribbit the manimal Frog),  Mario T. (Men-Crab the P.S.H., Hue Mann the manimal Buffalo, Man-Bat the P.S.H.)
(Left to Right: Hue Mann, Man-Bat, and Men-Crab.)

Our adventurers decided to wait until the sun had gone down before entering the Glow Desert. Traveling by night to conserve the water they had on them. 

While traveling only one member of the party managed to notice the source of the low rumbling noise that seemed to be coming just beyond the dunes around them Bumpy managed to dodge the first attack of the Giant Crystalline Worm. Dole came to his aid along with about half the party. Dole fought fiercely, but was quickly turned into banana paste by the worm. 

After seeing the uselessness of their initial attacks, Hue Mann attempted to run for the rocky outcrop nearby. Unfortunately, he was run down by the great worn and devoured whole. 

Peter realized the worms silicate form would be vulnerable to water. The party then began to attack it with every range weapon and flask of water they had. They managed to get it down to one HP, before it finally failed it's morale check and fled deep into the sand. This was not before it had consumed four members of the party. Another had been killed by friendly-fire (sling stone upside the back of the head.)

The party decided to rest for the day and bury (and loot) their dead comrades . Two more of the party died of radiation poisoning in their sleep (Man-Bat & Blothar).

Shortly after nightfall the party set out travelling deeper into the desert. After a few hours they could hear a strange deep throated screeching noise from just beyond the next dune.

Joe Bane, Men-Crab, and Shai scouted ahead to see what the noise was. To their horror they saw a number of humanoid corpses moving in their direction. These desiccated corpses gave of an eerie, yellow glow and a green, glowing, dust like powder seemed to be steadily coming from their eye sockets and mouths.

Men-Crab tried to run and hide himself by burying himself in the sand. Shai and Joe Bane shouted out a warning to the rest of the party. Joe Bane attacked with his sling, as Shai prepared to attack with her spear. Most of the rest of the party chose to stay back and attack from a distance.  By the time the Screamers were upon them only four were left standing. Joe bane went down with severe radiation burns and his body was infected by spores. Unbeknownst to the rest of the party, Three others were infected by the spores as well.

After burying Joe Bane, the party traveled on for the rest of the night. At daybreak they found what appeared to be a treeless oasis. After resting under a nearby outcrop, they investigated this strange oasis and found a smooth surface of iridescent blue-green glass. After Snow cracked the glass, Rachet used some strips of leather to fashion a crude dagger. 

The party pressed on through the night, as a sandstorm built up. Barely able to keep together as a group. As the storm began to subside, they could see a strange, green shining cylinder sticking out from the side of a dune up ahead. They approached to find an opening in the base, and decided to use their rope to climb down... all of the party with the exception of Ribbit made it down safely. Ribbit lost his grip at the top and managed to grab hold of the rope further down, but severe rope burns ripped the flesh clean off of his hands. He collapsed at the bottom of the rope, dead.

Beyond this point I will not go into to too much detail in order to not spoil the main part of the adventure.

In the atrium, the party found the corpse of the long dead security guard. They took his "Metal club", The strange "rectangular medalion" he had around his neck (unable to decipher the strange, mystical symbols on it, or what the "realistic painting" of a man in a strange blue outfit on it meant), "the shiny metal medallion" ("It would make a great broach for your cloak"), and his strange looking hat. 

Most of the party went exploring the room, as Moses almost killed himself attempting to figure out how to use the "metal club", destroying the artifact in the process. 

The party got separated in the "Hall of Portals".  Ker wandered off into a particular room on his own, when he turned to see what the squeaking sound was behind him, he was pelted with darts. Two of the party lost their way back out of one of the rooms as the others were hunted down by a group of primitive apelike men. The last thing most of them heard was a "Squeak-squeak".

It was a TPK, but a lot of fun was had!



Thursday, December 3, 2015

"They Served Brandolyn Red" session report 28.11.2015

WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS!
"Mors enim cum indignum roges!"



Players: Kyle, Tony, Steven, Mario, Benji, and James.

Characters: Frey Vintner the herder (muleskinner), Flyk the squire (of Doran Whitegrass), Quaan (the gravedigger), Tahm Vintner (woodcutter), Aphelius Whitegrass (elven sage), Quark Leddy (mendicant),  Arrum Vintner (the butcher), Floren Whitegrass (elven forester), Osgood (the radish farmer), Gumby Vintner (trapper), Thruen (dwarven chest-maker), Butters Vintner (confidence artist), Diamond (dwarven blacksmith), Pious (mendicant), Blackbrow (halfling mariner), Doug Vintner (squire), Dale Vintner (Healer), Edd Leddy (corn farmer), Harman Dragontear (dwarven blacksmith), Even Whitegrass (elven barrister), Gronk (dwarven rat catcher), Bartholamew (the Merchant).


This was a wild and fun game from the start. I chose to use the family background options from the start.  This made for some interesting roleplaying from the players.  The players started with four characters (two primary, and two back-up.)  The total play time was about four hours. We had one RPG newbie at the table.

The opening wedding chaos had Floren Whitegrass attempting to drag the bride off to safety. Dale Vintner (the healer), believing she was poisoned, immediately crammed his fingers down her throat to induce vomiting. While looking for weapons one of the party managed to steal a bottle of Brandolyn Red from the gift table. The rest of the party were pairing up to defend other members of their various families from the antmen. The final result was two dead PCs and two badly injured.

Other highlights in the adventure involving the PC's were:

1  Dragging of the corpse from the pond, only to loot the corpse and toss the body back in the pond to feed the Zombiegator.

2  The gleeful joy the party showed at sacrificing one of their own to the ghost of the wine press.

3  The stairs of death! (the simple things in life are always what kills you) Mud Stain 1 Stairs 2

4 The looting of the crypts. One of the party was crushed by a slab of stone as they pried it free from the wall.

5  The final battle involved a charm person misfire that resulted in one of the PC's and Frezzo Leddy falling in love.  The PC chose to defend Frezzo from the party, as the rest of the party battled their way through the corpse harvester to get to them.
Three of the party survived the battle, as Frezzo fled off into the caverns. They recovered the scalpless head of the groom, and have headed back to town.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Things to do while on Vacation #2: Find new podcasts to listen to...

While trying to catch up on my reading, I often find myself listening to podcasts in the background.  Nothing makes me happier than finding people discussing the same material I am trying to read.

I've been reading through appendix N material a lot lately.  I've been enjoying the Appendix N podcasts on The Tome Show for a while.  I'm glad to see that Judges Jen and Bob Brinkman and Judge David Baity have started a new Appendix N discussion podcast titled Sanctum Secorum.



The focus of Sanctum Secorum is how to apply ideas from the original material into your game.  It's well worth checking out.

Another promising new podcast is for game designers and judges has just gone live.  Designers and Discourse promises to be a one on one interview format roughly an hour long with host Jim Wampler. The first episode is an hour and nine minute interview with Michael Curtis discussing the development of the Chained Coffin setting, and game design in general.

I am finally getting around to reading The World of Ice and Fire... by George R R Martin, Elio Garcia, and Linda Antonsson (of Westeros.org).  I'm hoping to find enough time to squeeze in a reread of the Dunc & Egg novellas. I already have them, but I couldn't resist getting the new collected set of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (by George RR Martin).  If you are into the the ASoIaF series, there are plenty of great podcasts worth checking out.

Here are a few of my favorites:

http://podcastoficeandfire.com/

http://radiowesteros.com/

http://www.historyofwesteros.com/

Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire


Recommended Comic Books: Scottie Young's  I Hate Fairyland #1 (and it's alternate cover @#$! Fairyland! #1), the Hinterland series put out by Vertigo.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Things to do on vacation: #1 Update old monsters!

I had to take advantage of some free time today. I decided it was high time to update a classic monster from the early days of D&D.  This one is an update of Dave Hargrave's Bubble Man. The original version was published in 1980 by Chaosium in All the World's Monsters Vol. III. If you are looking for some crazy classic creature ideas, you can still find the pdf cheap at http://www.drivethrurpg.com
And Yes, those are the Bubblemen!