Monday, November 25, 2013

On the Road to Jorgenfist (11/15/2013)

For the most part, the town of Sandpoint had been saved. The Red Dragon Longtooth had been vanquished, several of the dire bears and stone giants that had attacked the town had been killed as well, but Teraktinus had apparently found what he was looking for at the ruins of the old lighthouse, a site that dated back to the Thassilonian Empire from nearly 10,000 years previous. Now Teraktinus and the remainder of the stone giants were returning to their homeland with many prisoners and whatever loot they had managed to scavenge from the town.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sooooooo ... What Is Going To Happen With Your DDI Subcription?

The DnD DDI subscription model has always been controversial. The idea of having to pay a monthly fee for content was something new. The original DnD 4E character builder was a downloadable tool, and then switched to an on-line version based on MS-Silverlight so there was no tablet compatible version when new platforms came available, promised tools such as the character visualizer never materialized, and the tabletop tool was put out for beta testing and then cancelled. With the new 5E getting ready to roll-out next year (likely, anyway) ... well, I guess it can't get any worse.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Home Again, Home Again (10/25/2013)

The players had vanquished stone giant Barl Breakbones and had scattered the Kreeg ogre clan and their ogre captives across the wilderness of the Hook Mountains, but is a hero's work really ever done? Barl confessed he had been sent there by Mokmurian to collect an ogre army to help him on his assault on Varisia. The first part of the assault was to be on Sandpoint, the town that was the starting point for the party members. Mokmurian was looking for something hidden there, likely something related to the ancient Thassiloanian empire. There were scores of Thassilonian artifacts to be found up and down the coast - what was their real target? And ... a dragon was to accompany them?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rise of the Runelords – At the Half-Way Point

With the completion of our last Pathfinder session we have now closed out Chapter Three of Pathfinder’s Rise of the Runelords adventure path. There are a total of six chapters, with each chapter having 5-8 modules, so we are essentially at the halfway point. The reviews are in and everybody is really enjoying it. The adventure is extremely well-written, gives the DM the flexibility to mix and match and to make adjustments along the way, and best of all it really keeps the players guessing as to what is coming next. Not all encounters require fighting, and not all fighting requires killing, all in all a good mix that challenges all involved.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Upon Meeting a Giant (10/04/2013)

After having braved the mysteries of the mysterious Whitewillow in the midst of the Shimmerglens the heroes learned that their search for Lamatar Bayden would have to be continued on the top of Hook Mountain. Myriana, the cruelly savaged and beautiful nymph ghost, had begged the party to continue their search for her true love, and with Jakardros and Shalelu back with the party the heroes had ventured up into the steep mountains. There they had found the ancestral home of the Kreeg clan - a truly huge cave guarded by two large Kreeg ogres. The party had quickly bested the two ogre guards in a brief but brutal battle, and had just ventured further into the cave.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Into the Gloaming (09/13/2013)

During our last game session the heroes had discovered the secrets of Skull’s Crossing, the ancient dam that dated back to the Thassilonian Empire and to Runelord Karzoug himself. With the flooding problem at least temporarily abated, the party had reported back to Mayor Maelin Shreed in Turtleback Ferry with their findings, collected their 4000 GP reward, and from that vantage point struck off to the south and west to an area known as Whitewillow. The plan was to follow-up on the party’s promise to Jakardros Sovark and the remaining Black Arrows that they would look for their missing commander, Lamatar Bayden.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Skull’s Crossing (08/30/2013)

After having cleaned the remainder of the ogres out of Fort Rannick Jakardros Sovark and the remaining Black Arrows, including Shalelu Andosana, had decided to rebuild the Black Arrows and Fort Rannick. They would do the best they could to hold the fort until spring, when which hopefully supplies and workers could be provided to help rebuild the fort. Jakardros asked the party to deliver the news back to Turtleback Ferry first though – perhaps Mayor Maelin Shreed could arrange for some volunteers to help re-staff the Black Arrows in the short term, and the mayor could also contact Magnimar to get the assistance the Black Arrows would require to rebuild the fort.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday Game Day (08/24/2013)

I spent Saturday afternoon running Pathfinder demo's at Draxtar Games in Batavia IL. The store opened a few months ago and they have been busy running a lot of Magic: The Gathering and other games, but are looking to expand their offerings, especially in the area of RPG's. I volunteered to run some Pathfinder and things went really well. I was able run to three sessions over the course of the afternoon and everyone appeared to have a good time. The store was pretty filled all day with other game demo's being provided as well, a good day all around.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fort Rannick, Part Two (07/26/2013)

The party had made a huge dent in the ogre forces last time. They had snuck into the fort through the secret passage behind the waterfall, taken out the ogres on the wall and in the courtyard, and in a bit of serendipity found a group of ogres residing in the barracks that the party was able to burn to the ground and eliminate all who resided inside. But no Black Arrows had been found alive yet, plus there were likely plenty of ogres remaining, including Jaagrath Kreeg and his two sons (Silas and Hookmaw) inside the keep at Fort Rannick, plus who knew what other horrors were yet to be found.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Game Store in Batavia IL - Draxtar Games

I didn't see it initially, but since I drove past the shop twice a day everyday it was only a matter of time before it actually caught my eye. The electric sign that proclaimed "Games" was the giveaway, so on the way home from work today I stopped in to visit Draxtar Games. As is obvious from the picture at their Facebook page they have a good size space and they seem to keep it filled on game nights. They are running game tables for all types of games, including DnD Encounters on Wednesday nights. They maintain a good size set of gaming material as well, including Pathfinder, DnD, and other books, games, and miniatures.

They aren't running any Pathfinder games at the moment, but they are scheduling a Games Day for a Saturday in late August and want to run some "Introduction to Pathfinder" sessions. I could do that ... checking my schedule ... honestly if I was to do this we could just use the adventure that came with the Pathfinder Beginner Box. That is what our Friday night crew used to learn the basics of Pathfinder, so we'll see if this can be lined up.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Some Notes on Pathfinder Prestige Classes

Our Friday Night Pathfinder gaming group started playing the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path this past fall and things are going great. Everyone is having a good time, and while I am not the greatest DM in the world, the ROTRL modules are very well written, with plenty of options, and the players never know what is going to happen next. All in all, a big thumbs up.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fort Rannick, Part One (06/28/2013)

After a long layoff the Friday Night crew was able to meet for a second consecutive week. It’s not like we are on an actual schedule, but we hadn’t gotten together for almost a month and half until Friday a week ago and everyone was eager to see what was going to happen next. That, plus the upcoming weekend is the one right after the Fourth of July holiday, so things weren’t looking good for getting together then.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Meet The Graul's (06/21/2013)

Our humble Friday Night game group hadn’t met since mid-May due to a series of schedule conflicts, some planned and some unplanned, but all were back together tonight and were ready for some fun. To help keep things fresh in the interim the DM had sent a page’s worth of teaser notes and these have been incorporated into the post below.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Up the Lazy Yondabakari River (05/10/2013)

After a week of rest the heroes were itchy to get on with their new adventure. Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras had offered them a paying job to investigate what was going on with the Order of the Black Arrows, a group of rangers that patrolled the eastern most borders of Magnimar’s influence. After some haggling a price was named, and a decision was made to take one of the many ferry’s that worked up and down the Yondabakari River. It was expected to be a trip of about seven days to reach Turtleback Ferry.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Shadow Clock (04/26/2013)

In the last session the heroes had survived the Skinsaw Cultists at the sawmill and had taken out their leader, Justice Ironbriar, as well. The Mayor and a dispatch of city guards had arrived on the scene, but due to some quick thinking the party managed an unseen escape. The next piece of the puzzle seemed to be at The Shadow Clock ... and what had the mayor meant with his parting words?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Seven's Sawmill (04/12/2013) (Updated)

As happens upon occasion half of us when to Scott's house, the other half went to Corky's house. They live relatively close to each other, so no harm no foul and we all soon ended up a Corky's. I am not sure we will be able to top last week's jaw dropper this week, but all are looking forward to the next portion of the investigation.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Road To Magnimar (03/29/2013)

After having spent the previous session wandering through the mysterious and haunted Foxglove Manor the characters and the deputies were glad to be out of there and able to get back to Sandpoint. By working through all the different haunts and visions they encountered in the house and then freeing the Revenant Iesha from her attic prison and allowing her to do the dirty work of defeating Aldern Foxglove - now in his full ghast form - the party believed they had at last resolved the long sordid mystery of the Foxgloves and Sandpoint. New clues had been found though, and they pointed the party towards Magnimar, the City of Monuments.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Foxglove Manor (03/15/2013)

After this particular Friday night game session the wife and I headed off for a week of vacation in Arizona. I had brought my notes with me and had the best of intentions about completing this recap in a timely fashion while sitting in the warm sun. Alas, vacation mode struck and I didn’t get to it as promptly as I should have. The players had been given a little bit of a hint the previous session as to what was coming this night and all were looking forward to investigating Foxglove Manor (insert evil DM laughter here).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Scarecrow Festival (02/22/2013)

The party had made it through the previous game night without a single combat encounter, and although there had been a possibility of combat, the module was set-up in such a way that the real point was that the players could spend some time investigating the gruesome set of murders. The schedule being what it was it had been three weeks since our last gaming session so we started the evening by recapping where we had left off last time. Questions ... so many questions.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Skinsaw Murders (02/01/2013)

Our previous game night had run a little long so we started off this week's session by running through any questions or close-outs items the players might have had. As the DM I had taken the liberty of walking the players through the last few rooms of Thistletop as if we had done so on game night because it was the end of a chapter and I knew there wasn't much more there than exploration, plus I wanted to start of tonight's game night with the new chapter.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DnD News

While most of my recent posts have been recaps of Friday Night Pathfinder fun our Sunday Night DnD group is still going strong (you can read about our current adventures here). However, DnD news has been rather sparse of late. The January update to the DDI online tools was announced this week (here) but given that this was the update that would have occurred from over the end-of-year holiday break there were little if any bug fixes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thistletop Island (Part Two) (01/18/2013)

As part of my preparation and DM'ing duties this week I used an IPad/IPhone app named PFRPG rd (link). This reference dictionary contains all the Pathfinder material from the core books and in an easy-to-search database. The adventure module of course contained all the material about the various NPC's, but I didn't necessarily want to print out a list of details for all their known spells - this app gave me quick access to the different spells I needed to know about and saved me from additional printing. I guess I can't absolutely guarantee it is 100% complete and accurate, but for the $3.99 I paid for it this app is pretty darn good.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Thistletop Island (01/04/2013)

Due the a spell of holidayus interruptus our Friday Night Pathfinder game had been on hiatus for a month. Everyone was eager to resume our adventure but we needed to do some clean-up from our last game night first. The last encounter had run long and there was some "end of day" details that we did not get to cover, so after we got caught up on our personal holiday stories we quickly moved into game mode.