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".