Cyrran Reaches: All Must Burn

Tuesday August 20, 2019 at 8:15pm d&d, cyrran reaches, game session notes Comments (0) »
 Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 
Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 

- Standing over Lily as she climbed out of the blood pool was a massive stone giant, accusing her of the evil twisting the place.  He called down magical fire upon her as well as the ghosts and bodies, banishing the corrupted spectres and sending Lily diving for cover. 

- Ravina and Kael made their way back to the courtyard to see if they could find Lily.  Taryn and Tyrrox were still upstairs in the abbot's chambers when his ghost appeared - unmoving and floating over his body slumped over his desk.  They spoke to it and it answered, but they couldn't understand it.  When it made no aggressive move, they looked at the dagger in his back, noting that it bore a symbol of Many Eyes, Many Teeth.

Back in the courtyard, Lily attempted to convince the giant that she and her friends were not responsible for the state of the place as he pressed his attacks - eventually convincing him to stop.  After a final threat, he and the two other giants that arrived began burning the blood and bodies - turning the entire courtyard into an inferno.

- Once the fire burned out and the giants left, the group discussed what they had seen and tried to piece together what happened here.  Making their way to the broken-down door leading into the catacombs beneath the monestary, Lily heard a voice echoing up from it: "The sacred ground has been broken, and now the living must return to it."

Delcron 2282: Cornered

Friday August 16, 2019 at 8:15pm savage worlds, delcron 2282, game session notes Comments (0) »
 Savage Worlds artwork © Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Savage Worlds artwork © Pinnacle Entertainment Group

- The group made their way to the Gale-James Hotel and set about trying to figure out whether Plaskov was there and where he might be.  They ended up running into Justin Mills - the medic from the previous night - and learned that he was actually after Plaskov too: not for the man himself, but for something he had apparently stolen.  Some sort of tech his "clients" wished to recover.

- They'd figured out a likely floor, and after their discussion with Justin, decided they'd just go room-by-room, with a skeleton-keycard V had made from a room key lifted from one of the guests, until they found him.  Sara's empathy gave them a clue, and they found Plaskov, apparently passed out drunk on his hotel bed.  They bound him with ducttape and found the combination to the room safe.  Inside was a bunch of cash, and the case Justin had been looking for, which he took and left.

- Not sure how they'd get Plaskov out of the hotel without raising a LOT of suspicion, they decided they'd tell their police contact where he was and just let them pick him up.  While Sara was downstairs sending the message from the hotel's PostTerm, she saw Justin Mills have a brief exchange with another man as he was walking out - a man that happened to be one of the bikers from the night before - the one who'd shot Mario... 

- +2xp

Cyrran Reaches: Mad Spirits pt. II

Tuesday August 13, 2019 at 8:30pm d&d, cyrran reaches, game session notes Comments (0) »
 Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 
Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 

- As the voice echoed through the stone courtyard, red lightening began to arc from the floating ghost to several of the bodies, which seemingly spawned horrifically corrupted ghostly creatures which floated, oozed, and clawed their way toward them.  Taryn, Ravina, and Tyrrox headed deeper into the settlement after Kael, who was following the trail of blood.

- In the uppermost room, the group found a sigil oozing blood and burning brightly on the wall.  Its potency was so great that even looking at it was difficult and disorenting.  With some guidance from Taryn, Tyrrox was able to enter the room and smash through it - disrupting its magic but producing powerful electrical discharges and a gush of blood.

- Meanwhile, Lily found herself in a room of complete darkness with a pair of voices asking her who she was and what she wanted.  The voices spoke some form of ancient draconic and identified themselves as a "great serpent". They didn't get far in the conversation, howevern when she suddenly found herself submerged in blood.  Swimming up and out, she found herself back in the (relative) bright light of the Saint Orvusk courtyard, with a booming voice demanding answers of her...

Cyrran Reaches: Mad Spirits pt. I

Tuesday August 6, 2019 at 8:15pm d&d, cyrran reaches, game session notes Comments (0) »
 Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 
Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 

- The group continued away from the forest up into the mountains.  As they approached the settlement, they began to discover signs of violence.  When they reached the monestary, they found it littered with bodies.

- They noticed a pool of still-liquid blood standing in the area, with streams connecting to most of the bodies in a somewhat odd fashion.  As they investigated, ghosts of some of the dead monks and townsfolk began to appear - obviously maddened.

- As the ghosts attacked, the party reacted.  Ravina was able to turn several of the ghosts, and Tyrrox managed to obliterate another's manifested form.  Kael set one of the bodies on fire, resulting in a ghost that burned with ghostly flame.  Taryn discovered that by separating a body from the pool of blood, the ghosts would calm. 

- Lily then attempted to dispel any magic on the blood, but when her spell completed, she vanished.  Also convinced the trailing pool of blood was at the root of the "problem", Kael took off into the monestary, following the "trail" to see where it led.

- Back in the courtyard, Taryn, Ravina, and Tyrrox were still dealing with a couple of lingering ghosts when they heard a booming voice from above them...

Delcron 2282: Bullets and Blood

Friday August 2, 2019 at 8:30pm savage worlds, delcron 2282, game session notes Comments (0) »
 Savage Worlds artwork © Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Savage Worlds artwork © Pinnacle Entertainment Group

- The group broke into an abandoned apartment building across from the bar to stake out and watch to see if their target return - and he does, very early in the morning, meeting some kind of medic. 

- The group decided they'd go grab him, but they hadn't counted on a trio of bikers arriving, apparently after Plaskov as well.  The insuing firefight left Mario, Kendra, and the bartender wounded, the bar shot up, and Plaskov chased out of the bar.

- When the group met up the next day, they decided to sneak back into the closed bar to see if anything left behind might point them toward their quarry.  Here they finally had some good fortune: Plaskov's jacket.  Inside they found a folded piece of stationery from the Gale-James Hotel with what looked like a product model number for something secretive produced by V's former employer...

- +3xp

Delcron 2282: On the Case

 Savage Worlds artwork © Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Savage Worlds artwork © Pinnacle Entertainment Group

System: Savage Worlds

Setting: Delcron City

Players: Sheri, Taylor, Dave, Stephen

Schedule: Every Few Fridays

 

This game was started on Stephen's suggestion, and Taylor and Dave were really interested in getting to play something.  After some voting, we settled on a cyberpunk-style game using the Savage Worlds system.  I'm using a portion of one of my homebrew settings for this game.

 

Template: The party are a group of friends who have been taking jobs as private investigators and bounty hunters for the last year or so, and it's proving lucrative - or, at least, more lucrative than their crappy jobs.

 

Characters:

- Sara [Sheri] :: a medic and emergent Empath

- Mario [Dave] :: an asteroid miner and pub bouncer

- Kendra [Taylor] :: a mechanic who runs a junk shop

- "V" [Stephen] :: a hacker now wanted by his former employer

 

Opening Session Highlights:

The crew got a message from their contact at the DCPD about a possible job.  When they met up with sgt. Askara Kyotu at the usual place (an abandoned pier in the Old Harbor district), they were told about an armored car holdup.  Three attackers, one of whom apparently killed the other two and was injured and on the run.  They'd ID'd the man as Marrion Plaskov, a corp-worker in his late 40s who'd been let go about 15 months previous.  The PD had gotten a tip about a man matching the description at a place called "Hotwired 6" in the Neon district near Res II.  Askara told them bringing him in would be worth 20k to them.

- The group went to the bar, which was crowded and loud.  They looked and asked around a bit, eventually talking to a couple of thugs who subsequently attacked them in the street outside.  After Kendra took a wrench to one of their heads and Sara paralyzed the other with indecision, they learned that the group's target had paid them to "take care of" anyone asking questions about him.  The thug told them the man indicated he would be back to the bar, and then fled down a back alley.

- +2xp

Cyrran Reaches: What Is To Come

Wednesday July 24, 2019 at 7:48am d&d, cyrran reaches, game session notes Comments (0) »
 Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 
Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 

- The group resupplied and headed out of Rolessi to the woodlands to the west using Ravina's Wind Walk spell.

- The Charothi Forest is old, thick and has a very heavy canopy, so they weren't able to see much from the air.  When they caught sight of a wisp of grey smoke, the descended to investigate, finding a couple of humans breaking camp in the late morning.

- They spoke with the humans - Eddard and Frennel - for some time, and learned that they and two previous traveling companions had been attacked by orcs on their way to Velgrin.

- While they spoke, a number of fey creatures appeared - warning them of a darker threat to which the orcs are merely an overture...

Cyrran Reaches: What Looms Beyond

Wednesday July 10, 2019 at 8:30pm d&d, cyrran reaches, game session notes Comments (0) »
 Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 
Dungeons & Dragons artwork © Wizards of the Coast 

- After camping for the night, the group made it back to Rolessi.  Their plan was to see if they could find someone to implement a more permanent solution to the problem at Ver'Sheole and then find some way to move against the growing orc presense.

- Rolessi, however, seemed to be in a state of social and political turmoil.  In general, much of the populace seemed to be a little on-edge.  The PCs reports of orcs to the west had developed into all sorts of rumors, and several sudden assassinations had made many feel unsafe.  The leaders of the city were apparently engaged in heated disagreements about whether the primary focus should be on internal or external problems.

- Lily and Taryn spoke with Lady Wyrra of house Dyn'Talor about the nature of the rift they'd found in the ruined keep and the anti-magic field that was currently containing it.  She told them that her house would see what they might be able to learn and hypothesize about possible solutions, but that few would be as capable as they (the PCs) were in actually acting against the forces at work.

- The city had sent out several militia parties to investigate reports of problems in the region - and some had not returned.  After some discussion, the group decided they would head to the remote settlement of Saint Orvusk, which had been cut off from outside contact for some weeks amid reports of unusual orc activity...

Spirit Island - Greater Than Games

Tuesday June 25, 2019 at 12:56pm board games, spirit island Comments (0) »
 Spirit Island artwork © Greater Than Games
Spirit Island artwork © Greater Than Games

So Spirit Island was definitely the new-to-me board game highlight of this year's Trogland meetup.  Let's talk about it a little.

 

Spirited.

First off, Spririt Island is a cooperative game, which is always a big plus for me.  There are a number of competitive games I enjoy of course, but all else being equal, coop is always more fun.  I'm always glad to find a new, solid, coop game.

In this game, each player plays as one of several primal "spirits" inhabiting an island and taking care of the natives.  Unfortunately, some punk colonists from who-knows-where have arrived and are messing up the place - like they do.  Your objective as a group is to stop their spread, repair their damage, and ultimately eliminate them from the island - hopefully keeping the natives safe(ish) in the process.

Each spirit starts off in their own little corner of the island.  As the game progresses, they will spread their influence, gain powers, and increase in colonist-stomping strength.  On each turn, you'll "grow" a bit, and then try to find the best way to apply your current powers to the situation at hand. The growth and power mechanics have a satisfying feel to them.

Each spirit also plays quite bit differently from the next.  Not quite Vast-level "different", but enough that it meaningfully effects the play and feel of the game.  Also enough that, with all you have to keep track of just for yourself, it would be hard to concern yourself with what anyone else is doing.  This goes quite a ways in preventing the "alpha gamer" problem where you have one person that wants to tell everyone else how to play. 

Since only some of the Spirits will be at the table in any given game, the particular mix present also affects the overall strategy and the general progression of the game.  Really interesting dynamics there, too.

The pacing of the game has an interesting reversal of many games.  Many games start out slow and easy and ramp up to a certain franticness.  Spirit Island is almost the opposite - you start off feeling pretty overwhelmed by the colonial presence, but as you play through turns and gain power, you quickly begin to out-pace them and, by the end of the game (if you're winning), you're pretty handily wiping them out.  At first glance you might think this would be anti-climactic (and, I suppose it could be in some senses or situations), but it actually plays really, really well.

 

So yeah, really enjoyed this one.  Like I said before, my favorite find of the weekend.

 

~PS

Trogland 2019

Tuesday June 25, 2019 at 12:27pm trogland, gaming, board games Comments (0) »
Trogland 2019 Image

Trogland 2019.

So last weekend we had our mostly-annual Trogland meetup.  I say "mostly" annual because we missed last year for the first time since we started doing this thing back in '07.  Things just kinda fell apart in 2018.  At this point, it's mostly just me planning the thing with some input from some of the others.  Not that I mind, really, but it's a significant task.

This year, though, I think went pretty well.  We had a different venue which was a little smaller, but our old location inflated the price on us about 700% which was undoable.  Sunday we actually spent in the game room of a local game shop, which was actually kind of cool.

We operated at a bit of a deficit this year. I was glad we had some cash left over from previous Troglands to break even. May need to tweak some things for the future, but overall not a big deal.

I think this year's Trogland went quite well.  One of the cool things this year was that several of the kids were actually old enough to participate.  I guess we're getting to be that age.  I mean, we have been doing this for 12 years.

 

Games at the Trog.

So we played games, of course.  I mean, that's what we do.  Didn't get to run the Fate game I'd pitched, but after the massive Battletech encounter, several of the participants weren't up for a longer time commitment.

I got to play Stuffed Fables again - still only made it to the junk-pile page, but thoroughly enjoyed it.  Played through Mysterium as a player, which was fun even if I was terrible (I'd been the ghost the previous 2 times). 

The Mind is a very interesting game in its staggering simplicity. 

Sheri played a game called Comanauts, which I understand to be similar to Stuffed Fables but with a darker, more serious sci-fi theme. 

I got to play Pandemic again for the first time in years - and, for the first time ever, we won.  

Unearth was enjoyable, though we didn't get to play a whole game. 

I think the board game highlight of the weekend for me was Spirit Island - will be making a post dedicated to that one.

 

And, of course, I got to run the Battletech scenario, which always takes a long time but I always enjoy.  Ran this one as a double-blind where both sides felt like they were the underdog and a countdown timer brought other conditions into play.  It went just about exactly like I'd hoped.

 

That's just what I made it to the table for (or observed).  LOTS of other games were played.  Lots more fun was had.

It was a good time, as always.

 

Oh, and on Sunday at the game store we picked up Folklore, which we heard great things about from some other attenders and we're planning to try out tonight.

 

~PS

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