Thursday, December 3, 2015

"They Served Brandolyn Red" session report 28.11.2015

"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  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:

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
And Yes, those are the Bubblemen!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

DCC RPG rules options... Crawl No. 11 the Seafaring Issue

Found a nice surprise in my mailbox last night! Crawl! no 11
The naval warfare and nautical mighty deeds articles by Bob Brinkman will be quite useful in my current "Halfport" campaign. I'll have to do a little modifying to include ironclads, primitive submarines and torpedoes.
Daniel J. Bishop's has some great ideas for using deep elders. Some are close to the rules I am already using in Halfport. The other material might slip in nicely.
Sean Ellis put in a great piece dealing with life on board a ship. Included in the article are charts for ship morale, random on board events, and a wind speed table.
The Rev. Dak put in a fun table of ideas for sea propulsion, including the complications that would ensue.
The artwork of Mario T. is awesome as always.All in all, it's a solid issue and worth picking up!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

RPG a Day 11 Favorite RPG writer:

The toughest question so far, there are so many great writers over the years.  Gary Gygax , Dave Arneson, David Cook, Tom Moldvay, Frank Mentzer, Tracy and Laura Hickman, Mark Acres, Lawrence Schick, Jim Ward, Joseph Goodman, Jon Mar, Harley Stroh, Greg Gillespie, Michael Curtis, Jobe Bittman, Daniel J Bishop, Zach Glazar, Stephen Newton, Mark Bishop....the list goes on.
There are plenty more writers that I just can not recall at the moment, and this list is only of D&D and DCC RPG authors!  There are even more writers for other games.

By far the most prolific in his time was Gary Gygax.  He left a lot up to the DM in running his adventures, but the bare bones were there to make the adventures fun and exciting.  He was great, but there were a large number of even better writers that wrote for his company, and the many other companies that formed afterwards, that were almost as influential on gaming.

I honestly can not say that I have a favorite writer, or even a group of writers.  Every one of the above listed writers has a unique style of writing.  All of them create material to inspire your own campaigns and adventures.  Ultimately, it comes down to what you find useful for your table.

I guess you might say that my "favorite writer" is you, because it is what you take from the past and current writing to create for your own gaming groups that matters.  Loot, plunder, and outright steal if you have to, for material to keep your friends having fun around the table.  You never know it may turn into a marketable adventure or campaign setting some day, that will inspire some other gamer's table.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Villainous Slayers July 25th session part 2

Our adventurers pressed further into the cavern system wading through waist deep ocean water, eventually walking into an ambush from above. The Nevodari and Orkril began by dumping lit barrels of oil down from an overhead sinkhole in the chamber above them. It eventually turned into a running battle spread over a few chambers.
The party found their way the upper level and defeated most of their foes, before the last few of the Nevodari fled deeper into the caves. The victory came at a great cost with most of the party badly injured, and with the loss of P___head the warrior. (Failed luck roll on turning the body.)

Torgud the Unlucky was not having a good day with his lay on hands. By the time combat was done he was at an eight disapproval, had lost all but one of his spells for the day, was making spell checks at a -2, and needed to start praying to his god for the next hour.

RPG A Day days 7-10

It's been a busy few days...
Day 7 Favorite Free RPG:  Being a fan Classic D&D and AD&D 1e, my choice would be Labyrinth Lord.  The art free versions of Labyrinth Lord and the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion are not a straight up retro-clone of those versions of those games.  Instead they are a version designed to be the way that most people actually played classic and 1e.

Day 8 Favorite appearance of RPGs in the media:  My favorite would be from Freaks & Geeks. It just seemed way too reminiscent of the games and players of my early gaming days. The DM in the game reminded me a little too much of one our rotating DMs.

Day 9 Favorite Media you wish was an RPG:  The 1981 film Outland with Sean Connery would be a great game. Gumshoe in a brutal space environment with conspiracies, corruption and drug problems... sounds like it would be a fun setting for all kinds of adventuring.

Day 10 Favorite RPG Publisher:  There are so many great publishers out there.  I have a number of favorites Goodman Games, Goblinoid / Pacesetter, Frog God, Troll Lord, Green Ronin... all of which put out consistent and useful products.  I do think that Goodman Games stands out a quite a bit for their giving back to the community by making a lot of the old Judges Guild and Flying Buffalo available again.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

RPG A Day: Day #6 "Most Recent RPG you have played"

DCC RPG is my game of choice, and my most recent RPG I have played and run. I do try to find time to play in other games when I can, just to keep from hitting Judge's burnout. I've been having fun playing Dragon Age, D&D (Classic, 1e, Labyrinth lord, and 5e), Gamma World (4e), Ghost Busters, Fate, Fiasco...

It's great idea for GMs to try to get on the player's side of the table every so often. It helps you keep perspective when running games.

If you consider yourself just a player, I suggest you try running a one shot or two just to give your GM a break every once in a while. I think you will find both their and your games will improve.

If you consider yourself just a GM, encourage your players to take a shot at GMing. Try to give them positive, constructive criticism afterword.  You will find it makes them better players, and will give you a chance to see how your players view the game.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

RPG A Day Day 5: "Most Recent RPG Purchase"

Going back to the basics: My most recent purchases have been the pdf versions of the AD&D 1e core books.

The Monster Manual, Players Handbook, and Dungeon Masters Guide were some of the earliest RPG purchases I made. Having them readily available on my laptop or tablet makes it a lot easier for quick reference during a game. I still have my original copies, which are great for when I'm at home and want to read up on the game.

I'm rather surprised that WotC has not made 5e available in pdf format. I would be more likely to run it, if I didn't have to lug around the core books every time someone wants to play. It's not like all of us who DM don't buy the core books anyway. It's just that I'm no longer a school kid willing to carry around a thirty pound backpack filled with reference books.

Another great purchase I made recently was the print version of "Steel & Fury" by Purple Duck. It is a great set of options for the warrior's deed in Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. If nothing else it will inspire the warriors in your game to get creative in combat.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

RPG A Day 2015 Day 4 most surprising game.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, but Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG is the most surprising game I have both run and played. Some people say, "It's swingy, and can't hold up to a long campaign." I have found that the mechanics are surprisingly stable. Yes, TPKs and character deaths can happen, but I have had no problems running a regular campaign.

I don't run your standard campaign, however. There is no big story arch with a fully detailed setting. It's more of an extended hex crawl, with only key places and NPCs being mapped out ahead of time. We build the world as we go and let the story build organically from the results of the sessions.

Monday, August 3, 2015

RPG A Day 2015 Day 3 "Favorite new game in the last 12 months"

Far Away Land RPG is my favorite "new game"... It's a simple d6 system. The art style is very fun and entertaining. Most of the adventures are inexpensive or free.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

RPG A Day 2015 Day 2

What Kickstarted game was I most pleased with backing?
This is a difficult one to answer, as most of the RPG material I backed this last year are supplements, and system neutral material.

For posterity's sake it would be the deluxe printing of Metamorphosis Alpha (1e), but my favorite new product would be the Monster Alphabet. It's a great system neutral product usable with any fantasy system.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

RPG A Day Challenge 2015 Day one

For those that know me, it is no secret what my most anticipated forthcoming RPG is, but there are some great ones either just coming out or soon to be released.  Honorable mentions go to the A.G.E. fantasy system by Green Ronin, and to Victorious by Troll Lord Games.

My real love is for futurist sci-fi and fantasy mash ups. I love the freedom of DCC RPG and I have always loved the post apocalypse style of Gamma World. When I heard that there would be a set of optional rules to mix my favorite styles and genres of game, a tear came to my eye. I loved crossing back and forth from AD&D 1e and Gamma World  as a kid.  So by far, my most anticipated game will be Goodman Games Mutant Crawl Classics!

Villainous Slayers session July 25th, 2015 part 1

After surviving their second raid on the mysterious sea cave, P___head and Albert sold off their spoils and returned to meet up with Roan and Torgud the Unlucky at the Speckled Sculpin Tavern.
They then announced that they were looking for some brave townsfolk or adventurers to join them in rooting out whatever the problem is at the cave. They managed to recruit Murgen (Dwarf mercenary), Locket ( a local thief and fool of some renown), Dargo, Vodu (Elven way warden), Garblek (the Dwarven smith), Henry (the potato farmer), and Sven (the woodcutter).

The party made their way to the secret entrance to the mushroom cavern and began moving into the cave network. They were quickly discovered, but the octopoid humanoids (Nevod) they saw quickly fled to warn the others. They made their way to the jail cells only to find the gate locked. Locket tried to unlock the gate unsuccessfully, not noticing the  two Orkril (7 ft. tall humanoids with lamprey like mouths) guards on the otherside.

Locket was the first casualty. He received a quick spear thrust through his leg severing his femoral artery. Unfortunately, Torgud had not caught up to the party, and Locket quickly bleed out. A skirmish ensued, eventually Murgen managed to bash in the gate and slay the last of the guards.  The party found a barrel of ale and a few useful items in the guard room. The also rescued Frank the wheat farmer, and Steve the Halfling trader from the holding cell there. Locket was not so lucky. He failed his luck roll on turning the body.

Our adventurers moved on to the sunken cavern that leads out to the main entrance to find the room is now filled most of the way with seawater and the cavern openings look like some large creature has burrowed it's way deep into the cavern complex. Roan the thief was the first to (attempt a) climb down. He fell onto the small beach bellow.

While waiting for the rest of the party to climb down he was surprised by a pseudopod arm grabbing his leg from the water and stinging his leg. He failed his fortitude save and found himself becoming paralyzed as the giant anemone. Helpless, he was pulled into the water as it began to drown and prepare to devour him.The party manged to free him, and defeat the creature, but not before he had already drowned. They turned the body, but it was too late. He failed his luck roll.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Our present cast for the campaign

Tony - P---head the Barbarian Jester
Chris - Roan Stoneledge the Thief and Vagabond
Ron - Wade Sealorne the Wizard Alchemist
Ismael - Joe the Dwarf Tradesmith
Ian - Jaques the Squire of dubious noble birth.
Sean - Griff the Wizard and Scribe
(?) - Torgud the Lucky Cleric of Myna
Matt - Albert the Squire and Legendary Cheesemaker

Your humble Judge Stinky

Villainous Slayers Game Session (June 27th, 2015 part 2)

After resting up for the night at the Speckled Sculpin, P---head and Albert decided to seek out Brender (one of the town elders), and ask him for help in rooting out the problem of the cave.

Brender runs the smokehouse and fish packing plant on behalf of the temple of Justicia, and is also a priest of Justicia. After a little negotiating, Brender gave the party a couple of longswords "... to smite these agents of Chaos that dare disrupt the law and commerce of our bright and fair town!" He lay hands on Albert and sent a couple of the towns spare "rif-raf" to go with them (Oliver the Orphan and Jim the Indentured Servant.)

The party then headed back out to the cave. Sneaking in the back tunnel they had found, the party fought a nasty battle with the giant yellow slug in the mushroom cavern. They defeated it by slicing off its eye stalks and pelting it with salt.

A short while later the party encountered two more humanoids, that had crab like carapaces for skin, crab like mouths, and three black eyes. They defeated them to get back to the holding pens that they had escaped from finding three new people in the pens, only one of which was alive. This was Marvin the Mendicant. Marvin quickly joined the party as they headed down to explore cave some more. They took along a keg of Obbie Stout's Golden Ale they had found.

A little while later the party came upon a partially sunken cavern. There was a salt water pod in the center of the cavern with a stream running from a small cave opening to the pond and continuing on to a larger tunnel at the other end. They saw a large row boat floating in the pond. A large wooden chest and three barrels were dragged up on the near shore. As they moved in to check it out, four purple-black skinned, three foot tall,  amphibious humanoids popped up from the water. One ran for the smaller tunnel opening. The others opened fire on the party, injuring Oliver the Orphan, but doing little else. The party quickly took out the creature heading for the exit, and soon took out the remaining ones along the shore.

Attempting to open the chest, P---head nearly was stung by a poison barb trap. The party found some loot and trade goods in the chest, and soon found out that the barrels were full of Ale as well.

They worked there way downstream, bringing the rowboat loaded with their haul. They found that it lead to the main cave entrance. They fought a short battle with the guards there and quickly launched their boat into the water. We last left them rowing their way back to town with their new found wealth.

Villainous Slayers Game Session (June 27th, 2015 part 1)

After the party had agreed to guard a trade caravan from the Surfside to the city of Brodechte, the found themselves in a fierce battle on the bridge leading to the trade town of Holblerie with as yet unidentified amphibious humanoids.

The town has been under attack and trade caravans and boats coming in and out of the harbor have been harried for weeks now. Envoys have been sent out to the capital and to a local Wizard (Yazarian), but none have returned and no aid has been received.

After arriving, the caravan has decided to stop and sell some of their wares for a few days in the market square.  Pusshead the barbarian was restless and decided to look for a way to earn some gold while in town. He met up with another adventurer, Albert the squire, an up jumped cheesemaker.

Whilst asking around they found their way to Obie Stout and son's. Obie, (owner of the Speckled Sculpin Tavern & Inn and Obie's Fine Fish), told them that his fishing boats were being harassed by the same creatures near the north end of the bay.  His men had reported seeing the creatures hanging around the mouth of a sea cave in that area.

He offered them some money to go and investigate the cave, and let him know how many of these creatures were out there, and what they were up to. He sent two of his men to row them out to.the cave. The men dropped them off near the cave and told P---head and Albert that they would return the following two mornings to pick them up.

Spotting some of the creatures near the mouth of the cave, P---head and Albert decided to charge them, but not before one of them had hurried into the cave. They quickly dispatched the creatures near the mouth of the cave, only to be taken out by the reinforcements arriving a few minutes later.

They awoke to find themselves prisoners deep somewhere in the cave complex penned in with Hendry the Halfling Haberdasher and Carl the Lumberjack. With no equipment, they combined their resources and tried to escape. They were unsuccessful at first getting Carl and Hendry killed in the process.

They attempted a second escape and were successful in finding a hidden tunnel at the back of a mushroom and filth filled cavern. Barely escaping the giant slug  in the chamber, the party found themselves out in the forest above the cliffs. They made their way back to town to lick their wounds, and report back to Obie what they had seen. He paid them and gave them a free night's stay at the inn.

The party were able to re-equip themselves somewhat with the gold they had earned.