d12: Lamenting The Death of Dungeoneering

I hadn’t thought of this before. I think this is why my attempt to run Tomb of Horrors in 4E wasn’t much fun.

In 1st edition D&D, you knew if someone found an item hidden under the bed because they said they searched under the bed. You knew if they detected the spider lying in ambush because they said they checked the ceiling

via d12: Lamenting The Death of Dungeoneering.

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Workout routines

These are some fun looking themed workout routines. I might give these a try for a bit of variety.

(Via Lifehacker)

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Access Control Lists and the Fellowship of the Ring

I enjoyed this explanation of Access Control Lists using the characters from the Fellowship of the Ring http://book.cakephp.org/2.0/en/core-libraries/components/access-control-lists.html. I’ve had to explain ACLs to a couple of colleagues and this is a beautifully clear explanation. Then again, maybe I should run it by some of my non-coder colleagues to see if they understand it.

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(Via @ferretthimself ‘s Twitter feed )
Image from haleyhss http://fav.me/d60qizz

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Tactics matter

Turns out the unnamed ninja cunningly dodged the ogre’s devastating blow. The stealthy types moved into the cave, past a dragon’s bones and a giant statue with a Sidhedron medallion. They found a number of ogres playing cards with a pair of giants.

Rather than fight the ogres and giants directly, the party decided to lure them back to a deep pit. With WhyD’s grease spell and Jusy’s trip-rope trap,  a giant and an ogre slid right into the pit. A rough battle ensued with the ninja nearly dropping again. Thanks to their well thought out tactics the group lived to move deeper into the ogre’s lair.

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Alas Unnamed Ninja

As Theo recovered her strength, the rest of the party wandered around Turtleback Ferry. Brecca spnt some quiet time recovering alone. WhyD asked around and found out from Wenda that the leader of the Black Arrows was seen heading into the swamp west of town. A young teen girl stared at WhyD and babbled about how impressed she was at WhyD’s fighting against the goblins and her amazing moves.  The unnamed ninja skulked about the town, standing on rooftops in the rain. Bumaro just hung out around town. Jusy swam down to the sunken Paradise barge and found that the doors had been barred from the outside.

GhostThe party decided to head over to the swamp. They were flagged down by a pixie, Yap, who begged them to help his mistress. Her heart was broken and now the swamp is dying. The party followed Yap into the depths of the swamp and found a clearing with a murky pool in the middle. As Brecca entered the clearing, the wailing ghost of a nymph rose from the pool and asked why they had come. She begged them to recover Lamatar or at least some of his body so that she can reincarnate him. They agreed to go to the ogre stronghold to recover him.

Rather than make their way past Fort Rannick, they opted to navigate to Coal Lake and scale the cliff to get directly to Hook Mountain. Thanks to Brecca’s fly spell, scaling the cliffs proved easy. Despite the bitter cold the party found their way to the Hook Mountain Clanhold. Jusy and the unnamed ninja suck around and observed the entrance. When the ogre sentries swapped out, the party moved in to attack. Theo was happy to unleash her hatred of giants upon the ogres and fought one toe to toe. Jusy moved in to flank, WhyD encouraged the group with her performance. Brecca worked to keep Jusy alive when the second ogre charged in to attack. The unnamed ninja moved in to flank and was splattered across the landscape by the ogre’s hook. A short battle later and the two sentries were down.

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The end of the Grauls

The party headed upstairs from Mammy’s room and found the Graul’s sleeping area. Jusy disarmed a chest trap and found a little bit of cash and severed fingers. The attic workshop had little of interest besides a few flasks of acid.

Heading into the basement, they found a storage room then a very wet area with a huge tentacled plant, another ogrekin and his pet rats lurking in the shadows.  The tendriculos’ long reach was threatening and the flanking rats were annoying, but they fell quickly enough to the party. Behind the tendriculos they found the Garul’s treasure, including a shocking composite shortbow for Whyd.

The last room was the one sealed to contain undead. They burst the door open and Arcmort’s eidolon charged in. Three small spirits floated above three tiny skeletons and reached out to touch the eidolon. It dropped instantly. Deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, the party ran out of the house and into the rain. Since they’d gotten most of the treasure and the house was disgusting the party decided to burn it to the ground. As greasy smoke billowed up, they saw the small spirits wandering in the burning house.

Since Theo needed restoration, they decided to head back into town with the two surviving Black Arrows (the traitor acquired an axe in his head at some point while they were exploring the house).  The local cleric, Maelin Shreed, healed Theo’s strength damage over the course of two days.

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Graul Homestead – First Floor

Mammy GraulAs they moved into the Graul home, the party was joined by Arcmort Warbottle and Bumaro. Upon opening the side door, a wave of stench left Jusy and Brecca sickend.  The kitchen was a mess of rotting meat and vegetable matter and swarming with insects.  Jusy disabled a trap on the dining-room door, then checked out the basement door. The dining room had scraps of unidentifiable meat on the plates and a human head as a centerpiece. Theo moved into the dining room and smashed a trap on another door. Jusy disabled the last door trap and Whyd moved into a room with two ogrekin. One had floppy limbs and the other had tiny little legs on a huge body.  The party dispatched them quickly and moved out into the hallway. They found a room with fetishes hanging all over it and a valuable jade ring on one of the fetishes. Another room had magical script keeping undead locked into it, so the party bypassed it for now. Arcmort’s eidolon burst into another room just ahead of Jusy and found a grossly obese ogrekin woman, Mammy,  and three corpses.  Shadows poured out of the corpses and attacked as Mammy flirted with Jusy and blasted the hallway with ice. The shadows stole Theo’s strength, but Bumaro made short work of them. Jusy and Theo managed to down Mammy.

————–

With such a big party, I tried something different. I ran the whole thing as one big encounter and rather than doing initiative I just went around the table – “What do you do” and kept cycling that way. It worked pretty well and kept things moving.

 

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X-Card

This idea is interesting: X-Card.  I’m playing Rise of the Runelords with my group right now and I’m worried that some of the descriptions may be a little too gross or otherwise bother my players. The biggest thing that stops me from implementing this is the awkwardness of the initial conversation. Maybe I’ll be brave and bold and give it a shot.

More on the XCard, its use and further links.

( via a Fred Hicks post on Google Plus https://plus.google.com/105843491826683668595/posts/iqTXhr5ZsUb )

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Artist Puts Disney Princess Filter On 10 Real Life Female Role Models

Artist Puts Disney Princess Filter On 10 Real Life Female Role Models. I really like the thought he put into drawing appropriate, yet Disney-ish outfit for each of the ladies. (via @ferretthimself ‘s Twitter feed)

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Friday Funny: Everything I Know about Economics, I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons / Kobold Press

Friday Funny: Everything I Know about Economics, I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons / Kobold Press. This seems like good advice.

I wonder where I can find a torch, something sharp, and some friends…?

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Pathfinder (Fate Accelerated)

I enjoy the crunchiness of Pathfinder in general but when I’m playing with my kids it’s a little overwhelming. I think that I may give this blend of Pathfinder and FATE a shot: Pathfinder (Fate Accelerated) and see if that gives the dungeon crawl feel while staying light enough to be fun.

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To Turtleback Ferry

Lord-Mayor Grobaras asked Theo to investigate the silence from Fort Rannick, one of Magnimar’s holdings where redeemable misfits are sent to be of service to the community and out from underfoot. After some negotiation, he agreed to pay the party a reasonable fee for their services. The journey was uneventful as they floated upriver on one of the barges. Upon their arrival, WhyD noticed a Sihedron tattoo on one of the dockworkers. He was uninterested in discussing it with the party. Jusy followed him to a local tavern , where Yads Kesker was happier to talk The town hasn’t heard anything from Fort Rannick for weeks and those who went to investigate didn’t come back. In other gossip, a gambling boat sunk in the lake about a month ago, drowning a number of townsfolk.

After spending the night in Turtleback Ferry, the party went up to investigate Fort Rannick. After crossing the bridge, they heard yowling and found a large, tame cat in a trap. They released it and were attacked by a deformed humanoid and his pack of dogs. The party followed the cat to run-down farmyard where they were accosted by another of the deformed humanoids, this one yelling about corn. They chose to investigate the barn next and found three weaker humanoids and a gigantic spider that they dispatched with ease. Three of Fort Rannick’s Black Arrows were chained up in the barn. After spotting a Sihedron tattoo on one, they quickly discovered that he had betrayed the fort to Lucrecia of the gambling boat Paradise.

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The Shadow Clock

Clock tower After dispatching the Skinsaw cultists, the party continued to explore the sawmill. Theo was delighted to find many bags of coins, especially since Jusy destroyed the skinsaw masks by feeding them through the lumber mill’s saws. Whyd chatted with messenger ravens that told of trips to visit the snake lady in the Shadow Clock.

After resting up, the party headed for the Shadow Clock in the Underbridge district. They started scouting the ground floor of the Shadow Clock and found a huge creature waiting there. Jusy snuck in closer to check on it, but Beast’s snake caught its attention. There was a fairly quick battle – the scarecrow golem nearly got a crit on Jusy but was blocked by Brecca’s misfortune. As Jusy’s blood splashed on his dagger, he felt a tug to the northeast corner of the room.  Beast quickly discovered that electricity attacks revitalized the golem, while fire attacks slowed it down. After demolishing the golem, they investigated the room and found a stripped and beaten corpse that looked identical to Jusy hanging upside down in the northeast corned. Jusy picked up a discarded dagger identical to his own and the two daggers merged into one.

Leaving the mystery of Jusy’s double behind them, the party headed up the tower stairs. Partway up, a bell dropped onto the party, but Theo blocked it and it clanged down into the central floor without inflicting any more damage.

At the top they found Xanesha and three faceless stalkers waiting. The stalkers weren’t much of a threat, but Xanesha managed to knock Jusy out until Whyd healed him back up. Beast stacked flaming spheres on Xanesha while Theo went toe to toe with her. Brecca’s owl delivered healing to the wounded party members. As the battle turned against Xanesha, she leaped from the side of the tower and cast feather fall to slow her descent. Determined not to let her get away, Jusy leaped from the side of the building after and hit her dead on, dropping her before she could get away.

Fortunately Xanesha left a tidy pile of possessions behind, including a gloating note from a sibling in Turtleback Ferry. They also found a list of Sihedron sacrifice targets. When they showed the mayor that he was on the list, and Theo hinted very broadly, he gave them a reward for bringing down the threat to the city.

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Iconic Love

This is old, but I hadn’t read it until now: Iconic Love – Paizo / Paizo Blog. The amount of thought, effort, and artistry it took to do 14 linking sonnets and then have the last one made up of the linking lines and have them all make sense is amazing.

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Welcome to Magnimar

After re-suppplying in Sandpoint, the players headed down to the big city of Magnimar. Rather than heading directly into the high class area of the city, Brecca decided they should go clean up. Rather than look around they checked into the first in they found, got cleaned up and headed to Pug’s to follow up on the cages in Foxglove Manor. For a small consideration, Pug pointed them to the Foxgloves’ townhouse.

Upon their arrival, they were greeted by Iesha Foxglove, a maid, and a butler. Unsurprisingly, none of these were what they appeared to be and a brief battle with faceless stalkers ensued. One ran out of the house and into a nearby alley where it was cut down.  Searching the house turned up a dead pointing to a sawmill owned by the Brotherhood of Seven.

The sawmill proved full of maniacs who quickly pulled out masks like Aldern’s and attacked. One cultist in particular proved challenging as he combined swordwork and sorcery to hold the party at bay, but they finally took him down.

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Finishing Foxglove Manor

After a good night’s rest, the party made their way back into Foxglove Manor. They carefully avoided triggering the haunts on their way down. Jusy walked through a nasty patch of yellow fungus that left him feeling unhealthier. They fought some undead goblins and Theo made sure to collect their ears for the bounty.

In a room full of rot, debris, and fungus they found the Skinsaw Man. He was delighted to see Theo – “Now I shall eat your heart while it’s still warm!” and attacked. When Beast’s missiles hit him, he broke into sobs and claimed he was made to do it by the Brotherhood of Seven. Then a change came over him and he stood up haughtily, and attacked. After tearing into Brecca despite her misfortune hex, the Skinsaw Man put on his mask and turned into a replica of Theo. He summoned swarms of diseased rats to dispose of the other party members. Beast blasted the rats with fire then dazed them with a color spray. Unfortunately Theo was caught in both blasts and left stunned and shieldless.  Fortunately Jusy sliced and diced the Skinsaw Man before he could do more damage.

The party stayed away from the fungus when checking out the room. They found a letter from Xanesha in Magnimar commanding Aldern to harvest greedy souls using the Sihedron ritual.  Having looted what they could, they set the fungus con fire and left the room. The upstairs proved very quiet – they found a portrait gallery showing the generations of Foxgloves that had lived in this house and various rooms and supplies. Upon opening a locked room in the attack they found a rapidly disintegrating corpse and Iesha Foxglove’s ghost. She looked at them and faded away.

Having investigated the manor thoroughly, they headed back to Sandpoint to rest and recover before making their way back to Magnimar.

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From the cornfield to the mansion

As the party made their way back to town from the assylum, they saw a figure stumbling and falling on the road in front of them. They approached cautiously and found a local farmer, Maester, wounded and babbling about walking scarecrows on the Hambley farm. Father Zantus escorted the wounded farmer back to Sandpoint and the party went to check out the farm.

Finding the farm was easy and they didn’t see anything more ferocious than a raccoon crossing the road. Jusy quickly spotted that one of the scarecrows was wriggling on its stand, and the party attacked. The ghoul was dispatched with ease and Brecca’s owl spotted more moving towards them. A dozen ghouls attacked and the party destroyed them with almost laughable ease; Theo’s shield and armor shrugging off their fiercest blows, Brecca’s misfortune causing their few successful attacks to go astray, and Jusy’s daggers reducing them to no longer quivering pieces of flesh and bone. One of the Ghouls had an ornate key around its neck, but otherwise there was little of worth. They found another corpse with a Sihedron rune carved onto its chest in the farmhouse, and another note for Theo. Jusy found where Hambley had stashed the gains from his money-grubbing, so Theo grabbed that. After rescuing a couple from their scarecrow stands, they headed back into town to investigate Lord Aldern Foxglove since his symbol is on the key.

Creepy Mansion https://secure.flickr.com/photos/onthewhiteline/7192260978/

In chatting with some townsfolk, including Ameiko the inkeeper and Alma the baker, they found that Aldern hasn’t been seen in town for a couple of weeks. The party headed down the coast to Foxglove Manor. They didn’t let themselves be distracted by the ruins of a smaller building but headed straight for the main entrance. Sure enough, they key they found unlocked the door. As they stepped in, Just was over come with a woman’s memories that she must take her child and flee. They walked down the hall to a dining room with stained glass windows showing ferocious creatures, each with a 7 sided necromatic box and smoke. As soon as they entered the library, a red silk scarf flew off a chair and wrapped itself around Jusy’s neck. He saw an image of Aldern strangling him with the scarf before he pulled it off. Upon entering the drawing room, Jusy spotted a ghostly face appear in the window and vanish. The next room was full of hunting trophies, a taxidermied manticore, and badly decomposed animal heads on plaques. Brecca caught a brief whiff of burning hair. A horribly diseased rat was scrabbling around in the bathtub in the bathroom. Jusy tossed his dagger at the rat and the rat exploded in a shower of blood and pus. The final room on this level was a ballroom warped and moldy from water damage.

The party decided to head down and found a large kitchen fouled with rat droppings. When she heard a swarm of rats approaching, Theo quickly lit a fire and held the rats back with a burning chair, filling the kitchen with the smell of burned rat, singed fur, and and scorched droppings. Jusy found a couple of intact bottles in the wine cellar and the servant’s quarters proved devoid of interest. The next room looked like a workshop and featured two stained glass windows one showing a man drinking a green potion and the other showing the same man decayed but triumphantly spiraling into a seven sided box. As soon as Jusy saw the windows, he was overcome with the horror or realizing that Vorel is becoming a lich and that he must take their child and flee. He bolted from the room, Theo tackled him, and Brecca buffed him to clear the visions from his head. They kept their heads down and headed for the next door. Down a short hallway, they found a gaping pit opening onto a staircase. As soon as she stepped onto the staircase, Theo was overwhelmed with a vision of Aldern digging through the floor, chanting “For you” at her with every blow. When Aldern broke through the floor, ghouls seized him then turned to her and rent her flesh. Jusy and Brecca say Theo rise briefly then claw and bite marks appear all over her body.

They made their way down the long, long staircase and found themselves in a limestone cave. They opted to to head south and found themselves in battle with a half-man, half bat creature. The creature savaged Jusy ferociously and got some blows in on Theo, but they managed to beat it and loot the remains of its victims. With their resources exhausted, they decided to leave the mansion to recuperate. As they made their way through the trophy room, Brecca saw the manticore flash into life briefly and burn her with its tail. Eager to leave the mansion behind, they found a safe camping spot down the coast and settled in to recuperate.

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Investigations

A few days after returning from Thistletop, Sheriff Hemlock called on the party for help again. A serial killer is stalking the town again, and Hemlock is desperate to get it contained before more people are murdered. The latest murder is at the lumber mill. The previous murder left one insane survivor who is locked up in an assylum outside of town.

Breca went to look for information from the local expert on Thassilon, Broderick Quint. She learned that the 7 pointed star is the Sihedron Rune, symbol of the rulers of Thassilon. It stood for the seven virtues of rulership and the seven schools of magic.

Theo checked out the lumber mill and found a young lady who had been put through the saw and a man spiked to the wall with a seven pointed star carved into his chest. Further investigation turned up traces of rotted flesh and tracks coming in and out of the river.

Jusy went to the assylum and spoke with the inmate in the interview room, supervised by Habe and his two assistants. The inmate, Grayst, only mumbled about teeth and razors. Jusy tried to sneak in to speak to the inmate alone, but got tossed out.

Upon re-grouping, the party decided to go break into the asylum. Theo blasted though the first of the assylum guards and terrified the other into surrendering. They chased Doctor Habe upstairs where he was unlocking patients’ cells. A quick move by Jusy shut one odd patient back into the cell. The doctor didn’t prove much of a threat. Grayst seemed to recognize Theo and said “He said you should come to the Misgivings soon, to meet the Pack, for they have something wonderful to show you!” then attacked madly and was easily knocked out. Father Zanthus couldn’t cure the inmate so the party killed him rather than let him suffer. They then found a necromancer in the asylum basement and quickly destroyed him and his skeletons.

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RPG Selection Chart

Next time you need to pick an RPG, why not use this flowchart? RPG Flowchart RPG Flow Chart.

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HOWTO Replace Something with Newline in Emacs (by Jeremy Zawodny)

C-q C-j.

via HOWTO Replace Something with Newline in Emacs (by Jeremy Zawodny).

The answer, it turns out, is: C-q C-j.

Someday I need to learn Vi too…

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