Saturday, June 5, 2021

Tales from the Rattlebones Tavern: Men of Living Metal...

... or Dungeons are a Gas!

The Men of Living Metal

Characters Present
Annapurna, 4th level Altanian  Ranger
Beerbane, 4th level Altanian Berserker Barbarian
Ion Skamos, 4th level Tiefling Cleric of Set
Sobek-Ra, 4th level Orichalan Dragonblood Sorcerer

Events
  • Sobek-Ra returned to his compatriots and described the situation about the strange complex the Viridians were investigating. They debated what to do for some time, but the horrible thunderstorm they were in precluded their initial plan of setting fire to the Viridian camp, though each flash of lightning seemed to set off a cloud of methane within the Vapor hills in mockery of this fact.
  • Sobek-Ra also told of a side passage which led into a cave. They agreed that they should scout this out to see if it could lead to the rear of the Viridians, or perhaps to the "eye" they sought.
  • Using the cover of the pouring rain and the onset of dusk, the four made their way into the cave, which Annapurna was disturbed to find covered in a reeking fluid like the runoff from a mine. It seemed this fluid occasionally burbled up methane, which made the journey perilous and also meant that Ion and Sobek-Ra had to led their human companions closely.
  • Soon they found a large hall made of an opalescent black metal. This hall also contained a noxious gas, created - they soon learned - by the mixture of the methane and some strange components held within large metal boxes. This gas, unlike that of the cave tunnel, was not flammable, but burned Sobek-Ra's nostrils as he held his breath and tried to explore the room without suffocating.
  • Eventually it was decided that this room should be passed by, and the four all covered their mouths and hoped for the best, moving through it at great speed.
  • Further down the tunnel they came to a large chamber... filled with orange crocodiles! They seem to have been changed by bathing in the impure water of the cave.
  • Ion Skamos called upon the Slithering Lord of Darkness to cloak them in a cloud of fog, and they fled from the crocodiles, whom they worried would prove too much for them.
  • There was then some discussion of if the poison gas from earlier could be blown out onto the waiting Viridians, but Ion knew his spells well enough to know that by the time they made it to the camp he would've merely dispersed the gas until it was harmless.
  • So they decided to do a variant of this instead, blowing wind down the chamber to clear it of the gas. This was done easily and the party preceded to the first door within.
  • Beyond, they found a section of cavern with stairs added of the same opalescent black metal as the gas chamber.
a re-enactment* of the action
  • These they ascended and soon found themselves in combat with strange men made of the same metal! They knew quickly that these were no suits of armor, as blows through landed on neither flesh nor bone and no blood spilled from these strange beings.
  • Beerbane rushed forward to face them but soon found himself surrounded. Luckily this was quickly rectified by Ion Skamos who used a thunderous blast to send one of the metal-men flying backwards into a metallic chest which spilled silver coins everywhere.
  • Soon the metal men were defeated, with comparatively few resources used by the four adventurers; however, now that they had a fair amount of treasure, and since this was only meant to be a scouting mission, they decided to exit and make camp in the swiftly approaching night. 
the party's location at the end of the session
  • The terrible storm gave way in the night to an unbearable mugginess, common in the subtropical lands of the World Emperor.
  • Knowing that they would be unlikely to return to civilization any time soon, they decided they should bury the treasure they currently had. Since Annapurna is better versed in forests than in hills, they descended back into the Elsenwood for the burial. There they marked the spot by means Annapurna would remember.
  • They then made their way back into the vapor hills and set camp in mid afternoon, hoping to wait until dusk to again plumb the strange structure the viridians had found.
Treasure
4200sp, 2 black jade "crab men" statues (150gp each), 2 metal crates (100gp each)

XP Per Player
285

* I neglected at the time to take a screenshot, so I recreated it with the tokens I had to hand later. I also didn't make the tokens you see for the metal men until after the session when I found a Krull comic I could use.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Tales from the Rattlebones Tavern: The Story So Far

Today's post is from longtime player in my game Michael. He has helpfully provided an account of the campaign so far so I don't have to write it.

The wood-elves of Khaled, hearing tales of Annapurna's care in returning the body of her friend and compatriot Sweetleaf to the wood-elves living in the shadow of the City State of the Invincible Overlord, sent word requesting her help. They asked that she and a party of adventurers follow one of the now-frequent Viridian patrols that pass through their territory, perhaps signalling a coming assault on their beleaguered people.

Arriving in Viridistan, and finding rooms at the Rattlebones Tavern, Annapurna and her associates were approached by a strange man offering gold in exchange for one of the mummies of Ancient Kings vouchsafed in coastal cairns to the east of the city. Returning with one of these mummies, or a considerable part thereof, the party has now agreed to meet the strange man in a mysterious region to the west, where he posits to utilise the mummy in procuring an ancient stone of strange powers.

Annapurna believes there is a possibility that the Viridian patrols may lead to this same place in the west, perhaps with a corollary purpose. Thus, not wanting to delay their request further, and hoping to combine two tasks in one, the party has gone north to Khaled to meet with the wood-elves there and pick up the trail of one of these patrols.

Leaving the small woodland village of the elves, known as Khaled, Annapurna began tracking the Viridian soldiers who had passed through the forest the previous day. While she was gathering food as they travelled beneath the trees, the others were set upon by a fearsome demon. When she returned, the demon had moved on, but laying there, nearly slain by the creature, was someone she had not seen since her time in the distant City State; Waq Awaqa, the magician. Quickly reviving him, he told the travellers he had been following this demon when it attacked.

They bent their attention again to the trail of the Viridians, and were led from the forest out into open hilly plains, redolent with clouds of noxious gas. The journey was also plagued by a rolling thunderstorm, and they soon discovered the clouds of gas were highly explosive in the lightning. They gave the clouds a wide berth.

Scouting ahead, Sobek-Ra discovered the terminus of the Viridians tracks. Some thirty of their soldiers were camped on the weirdly spongy ground, their tents arrayed near a stark, blocky archway of square black stone set into one of the hillsides. Disguising himself with sorcery, Sobek-Ra approached the camp, and spoke with the leader. He revealed that they had sent at least one group of soldiers through the archway, delving into the depths below the hill. They sought for something the leader would not discuss; clearly the same so-called 'eye' we were seeking ourselves.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Concerning the Wilderlands

I've been thinking about making this post for a while. Some of you may be aware of the extremely vile statements made by Bob Bledsaw's son. As Rob Conley noted his attempts to clarify or apologize have not been any better. For this reason Conley has decided to terminate his business connections to the Judges Guild. Last I heard Goodman Games was still working them to publish works by Jennell Jaquays in order to do right by her even if the Judges Guild is run by a shit, and I respect that decision.

I have no financial ties to the company and merely have talked about how I like the setting (in both it's original and d20 forms) on this blog numerous times. I also often run it. For a while I thought I'd never run it again but as summer approaches I find myself again in the mood for Sword & Sorcery adventure in lieu of or in addition to my normal spooky affairs. I have, in fact, restarted a Wilderlands game (with at least two of the characters from the old Cutthroat Inn campaign returning). I've decided my connection to the setting outweighs my feelings on Bledsaw II's racism. I would likely feel different if I had been involved with the business as the aforementioned people had been.

Anyway, I wanted to start posting about the campaign here but I thought I should clarify that my still using the setting is in no way an endorsement of anything Robert Bledsaw II has said or done.

Oh, and if you want to read a post about how to handle social justice issues in your tabletop rpgs I highly recommend this post by Humza.