domenica 12 maggio 2019

Technical difficulties

Unfortnately I have to admit that I don't have time to keep up with this blog, I tried, but the amount of writing required to make it good is too much for the time I have available.

For this reason I'm sad to have to let the few of you that read it, know that I won't keep posting here.
Maybe in the future I will have more time and drive to get it going again, but for now that's it.

I apologize and leave you with a few pics from our recent sessions.

See you soon.

domenica 24 marzo 2019

We moved to Toril, new Forgotten realms campaign

So, tonight the second session of the new campaign will take place.
We already met twice for this new adventure taking place in Toril, the first time was just to roll characters, the second was the first bite of  this new world to see what it tastes like.

I had a few experiences in the past with the forgotten realms, mostly as a player and once, a couple of years ago as I was telling a few posts back as a DM.
 So I started familiarizing with the setting, I red a few novels in the past, always useful to get the feeling of the place and I have been reading a sourcebook that came out in 1990 to update the setting to the 2nd edition of AD&D, its title is Forgotten Realms adventures and it contains a mountain of information about religions, spells, cities, magical items and all the rest that can give the game a more "forgotten realms" flavour.

With the informations of this book, especially those about speciality priests, we rolled the characters and the party is composed by the following characters:
- Paddy Byrne O'Shay, a half elf bard played by Doyle
- Floggin, a human fighter with a hint of barbarian, played by Will
- Rootin, Floggin partner, a huge female fighter, occasionally played by Taryn, otherwise a NPC
- Aref Sayyad, a speciality priest of Gond from the southern lands played by Cyrus
- Aurelius, a specialist wizard, a conjuror, played by Max

The party should gain a new member tonight, so I will introduce a new character in the next post.
I will also try to get figures painted for everyone and take a group picutre soon.

The adventure I decided to start with is "Doom of Daggerdale", I already played this adventure in my previous Realms campaign and I very rarely have the occasion to play an adventure twice, it is very interesting to see how differently it plays with a different party.

The adventure started with the group on the road to Dagger Falls, most of the would be heroes already knew each other after a little bit of adventuring together (everyone starts the campaign with 1.000 XPs), except fot Aurelius, a dalesman from Shadowdale, met on the road who was going to Dagger Falls to help his cousin who got  strange sickness called the "dream fever" and can't seem to wake up.

The group, almost at destination, met some freedom fighters on the run, but managed to briefly talk to them and learn that their leader is Rendall Morn, the rightful leader of Daggerdale, who is fighting agains the usurping constable Tren, a servant of Zenthil Keep who took his place in town.

After an uneventful night in the inn the party was summoned, the next morning, by an emissary of the constable and led to his tower where everyone was enlisted to solve the problem affecting the town by investigating the ruined local temple of Lathander.

The group decide to tale care of some personal business before starting the investigation and Floggin, Rootin and Paddy went to by some suplies and to fish in the river, while Aurelius decided to go visit his sick cousin, accompanied by Aref.

When the night came, all the heroes met back at the inn and all but Aref decided to have a fish barbecue in the woods in order to save a bit of cash.
Unfortunately they were attacked by a strange couple of creatures with the aspect of dwarfs with brown skin, dry leaves and twigs in their hair and beards and wearing kilts and vests made of vines.
Not without a few problems the adventurers defeated these creatures and managed to get back to the inn.

It is at this point that the session ended, so until next time for the next episode of the story.

domenica 17 marzo 2019

Chapter 2: Disaster and end

Here I am again, with more stories for you.
Unfortunately, before I could get up to date with the posts, my players screwed up and the campaign came to an abrupt end.

Last session was disastrous, some very very bad decisions were taken and followed past the point where me, as DM, could try to save the whole thing and the party ended up being FUBARed.

I will briefly report where the campaign had gone until now and then, next time, will start with the chronicling of the new campaign that will start tonight with the generation of characters and a brief introduction of the new setting we will be using.

Continuing from where we left the story last time:
the party went to Nolivari, a small town east of Darokin city, to find the city had just fought off a Norker's invasion.
The characters also found out that the invasion had been lead by Grakhirt, the true identity of Peddywinkle, a wizard that disguisde himself as the merchant that hired the party to find the tower.

The town Prince asked the party to find the wizard and capture or dispatch of him with the help of Ainz, a pries of Halav that helped in the defence of the city (Doyle's new character).
After exploring the norker's lair the group found the wizard and confronted him in a fight to the death and then returned to the village.

Here the heroes were appointed as "wardens", given a house and a new mission.
They were supposed to reclaim an abandoned temple of Chardastes near che village, but they failed miserably, Bill died and they were stripped of their title and sent away from the town.

On the way back to Darokin city in search of a job and some more fortune, the party ended up saving a "girl in distress" who asked to be brought to Orb lake.
On the way of the lake the group met Stephen, a halfling thief (played by Will) who joined the heroes on their way through the forest to the mointain lake.

Once at the lake, the lady disappeared in its waters before flying out and fading into another plane as a white spirit stag without saying a word.

Close to the lake the characters found an ld abandoned dwarf mine that they tried to explore with little success and losing the newofund halfling who was dvoured by some giant beetles.
Just after this a tio of dwarves, a priest of Kagyar named Yarvin Tombhammer (Will's third character) and his assistants "the brewer" and "the butcher" appeared at the lake and joined in the exporation of the cave where they found a magical blacksmith hammer that they had to bring back to rockhome.

After this the characters decided to split and meet again in a few months, so that everyone could get some rest and deal with personal business in their respective places of origin.

When they met again, the heroes were unwillingly transported by some weird mists into a swampy unknown land and they spent few days in a village cursed by the walking dead and a zombie lord.

This adventure was actually played on boxing day as a one session affair, it took about 10 hours, but worked out quite well.

Returning to Mystara from the demilane of dread, the party followed Magnus in his search for the lost valley of Hutaaka in order to stop his recurring nightmares, but found the way blocked at the town of Threshold by an army of orcs trying to overcome the city and its defences.

In an effort to help, the group agreed to be polymorphed into orcs and infiltrate the orc citadel of Kirimba-Hai to recover a captured general and a mysterious megilac object called the Silver Key.

Unfortunately this is when disaster struck, the party managed to get the the city and enter it, but the sheer chaos of an orc citadel revealed to be too much for them to handle and some poor decisions spelled doom and death on half of the party, with no chance for the remaining members to get back to civilization without their mind succumbing to orciness and despair.

And so ends the second attempt of a long term campaign with this goup of players.
Tonight we will start a new one, from roughly level 1 and set in the Forgotten Realms, let's see where this one go.

Wish the players all the luck you can, they definitely need it.
Until next time

lunedì 4 marzo 2019

Chapter 1, The acursed tower

And so the new campaign begins, in the most classic possible way, in a tavern.
Since all the palyers are new to the game, I didn't need to come up with new ways to start the story, the classic call for a job with a meeting in a tavern worked very well.

The different characters were introduced to each other at the moment of discussing the job.
They all started in Darokin city, every one of them for a different reason.
I'm not a big fan of backstories, I believe that the story is made as the game proceeds, so all I needed from the players was a reason to be there.

The characters and their motives are the following:
- Billston Bearcharger, a half elf ranger with his dog Ralph was raised by a druid on the border of Elfeim, land of those who would never fully accept him.
When the Elfeim was overrun by the shadow elves, Bill had to flee and ended up looking for adventure and wealth in Darokin city.

- Tayla Naleana, a very young rogue who grew up an orphan in Darokin city and learned to steal in order to survive.

- Magnus, a former warrior who saw his life destroyed when a man killed his dog with a strange looking weapon that could give death at a distance, emitting a lot of noise and smoke. After this terrible experience, on the brink of insanity, the man was visited in a dream by Pflarr, a divine creature with the head o a Jackal, who gave him magical powers and the mision to find the killer of his dog and spread his word and faith all over the world.

- Aemilianus, a young Glantrian wizard who managed to survivive the war with Alphatia and fled his land in search of magical knowledge and power.

The party, from left to right, Bill, Tayla, Magnus and Aemilianus.

The job that the party took, from a merchant named Paddywinkle, consisted in finding and exploring a lost tower in order to find the diary of e wizard rumored to be researching a salve to cure all diseases.

During the trip to find the tower, Magnus and Tayla started to be haunted by horrible nightmares involving a misty and scary land that none of them could recognize.
The actual "mission" was a real grind, it took longer than expected and it involved fighting many undead and overcoming sunk and mud filled rooms.

The last part of the adventure involved entering a collapsed tower half sunk in mud.
Aemilianus, not the strongest member of the party, didn't manage to get into the tower and had to leave his companions and stay behind.
Durig the exploration, Tayla suddenly had interest picked by a statue partially submerged in mud, but as soon as she touhed it, the stone figure started moving and turned out to be a gargoyle.
A terrible fight started, Tayla fought with a magical mace she had recently found, while Magnus and Bill realized their mundane weapons were useless against the monster. Ufortunately the thief's efforts to overcome the monster were shortly interrupted by claws, fangs and horns and she perished in a very un-heroic manner.
Using the magical weapon that she dropped Bill managed to kill the gargoyle and him and Magnus could finally reach the last room where they found a strange looking undead wizard sitting with a big tome on his lap.

The undead, wielding magical powers, teleported the disturbing adventurers back to the main part of the tower, where they reunited with Aemilianus and had to figure a new way to approach the evil creature and obtain the diary.

Once they managed to get to the wizard room again, the heroes fought bravely and, one by one, were put out of action until, with a last, might blow of his mace, Magnus overcame his foe and obtained the goal of their quest.

Magnus managed to drag the badly wounded bodies of Aemilanus and Bill to a more secure area of the tower, but in the meantime had to fight the re-animated body of Tayla that had turned into a disgusting zombie.

After yet another couple of days, the remaining members of the party were fit to travel back to Darokin city. Unfortunately, upon returning to the capital, the characters found out that Peddywinkle had left the city and left a message telling them to find him in the town of Nolivari.

This is it for this post, the story will continue in future ones, and as we get closer to the present it will be more detaild and complete.

domenica 27 gennaio 2019

First start

I guess I chose a bad moment to start writing the blog again, I will go back to Italy for the whole month of February, so I wo't be playing or blogging for the next four weeks.

But before I leave, I decided to start writing about how I started playing again here in Edmonton and what happened until now. This should hopefully take a few posts, just to catch up with where we are now.

The group of players I play with now is actually not the first I tried to DM since moving here. The first try at starting a campaign happened over a year ago with my friends Garner, Adrian and Jeff, we started a Forgotten realms campaign, we managed to complete an adventure, "Doom of daggerdale", and to start another one, "The accursed tower", but we never got past the first half of this.

During this adventure, that I have to admit is not the best one I've ever DM'd, the interest kind of faded away and we stopped playing.

For the subsequent months I tried to find some other people to add to the previous group or to start a new one, until, talking to some people at work, I foiund someone who had never tried any rpg before, but was willing to give it a try.

To make things simple I started a trial campaign set in good ole Karameikos (in the "Known world" or Mystara setting) using the basic D&D rules, to keep things simple for beginner players.
We started with a classic "Castle Caldwell", a simple adventure to give the players a taste of the game without overwelming them with rules and options.

The first adventurers group was formed by:
- Billston Galarauth, a cleric of Halav, run by Will,
- Thror Brewhammer, a dwarf run by Doyle,
- Inquisitor Milhouse, a magic user run by Cyrus.

They managed to survive and complete their first adventure, with a mix of luck and cunning, but taking much longer that they should have, so they ended up almost empty handed, but certainly more experience, even if they still didn't make it to second level.

After this adventure they were engaged to investigate Eddistone point signal tower, in an adventure of the same title I found on an old issue of Dungeon magazine.
There has always been a shortage of starting level published adventures, but I finally found pdfs of old issues of Dungeon magazine that are full of interesting little adventure, many of which are for beginning level characters.

For this adventure the party was accompanied by Mich Buchannon, a thief that was supposed to act as a guide and as a support to make sure the adventurers made it through this mew mission.
The group did pretty well unti they faced the final fight of the adventure when disaster struck and the whole party was wiped out.

We used this event as an excuse to start anew and this time the players decided to move to the Advanced version of the game to be allowed more options in terms of character classes ad races.
At the same time the group gained a new player, Max, that brought the total to 4 players, which, even if in my opinion is barely engough to run a proper campaign, still works quite well and allowed me to start running more challenging adventures.

In general, since I don't have a ton of time to write adventures, my habit is to use published adventures which usually end up being tweaked and changed to fit my needs and to appear as parts of a major story plot.

I offered the players the option to chose which setting they preferred between:
- Forgotten Realms
- Mystara
- Dragonlance
- Greyhawk

I can mix adventures from all of them together and the differences between all these settings, but I wanted the players to set the general mood.

They decided unanimously to keep playing in the same setting they first tried, Mystara, they liked the amout of magic present and the easily perceived medieval feel.
The only diference I decided to include is the timeline, the first trial campaign was set in the "classic" yeat 1004 or the first publications of the basic game, this new one would be set after the "Wrath of the Immortals" events, so there were some reasonably major changes in the geography and political asset of the area where the campaign would take place.
I also planned to include as many visits as possible to the demiplane of terror (Ravenloft), which Ireally like.
Another idea that I had, was to include, after a while, some 3D miniatuers battles and skirmishes, just to have the opportunity for some change of pace in the campaign and to be able to have the players take an active role in major setting changing events while their characters were still relatively low level.

After setting all this we generated the characters, obviously first leve, and ended up with the following:
- Tayla Naleana, human female thief run by Doyle,
- Bill Bearcharger, half elf raner, run by Will,
- Magnus, human priest of Pflarr,
- Aemilianus, human wizard, run by Max.

The first adventure was "The acursed tower", but this time i decided tu ust run the main tower and not the trip to it, so I changed the beginning of the adventure and the party was hired in Darokin city by a merchnat to go and find a diary in the tower.

And so the new campaign began, I named it "The holy wars campaing", but this happened way later and so it might not make sense now. I will sitll use this name as a tag for the posts telling that story starting from the next.

I guess it is all for now, I'll be back posting as soon as possible.

domenica 20 gennaio 2019

Back to life

I finally decided to try and resuscitate this blog.

Since last time I posted something I had some major changes, I now live in Edmonton Alberta, Canada, and have a new job and a quite different life.
One thing that didn't change, though, is my passion for RPG and miniatures and, after two years, I finally have a new stable campaign going and I decided should try to chronicle it again.

The main differences are, first, that I play and DM in english, hence the choice to change the blog entries to this language, second the ruleset, now we are using second edition AD&D.
The main reason behind this choice is that I mainly own material for this edition and it is the one i know and like the most.
I could spend hours explaining why I'm not into newer editions, but to cut it short, I'm old and still like the stuff I started playing with ages ago, so if the players are ok with it, why change?

With a couple difficult starts, we finally managed to get a campaign going and now all PCs are third level or so, in the next post I will briefly explain where we started and where we are now and then, same as years ago, I'll try to make a small post after every session explaining what happened and where the story is at.

I hope the few paople that once followed this blog will start again and that this campaign will go on at least as long as the previous one.

for now it's all I have, let see where we go from here.

lunedì 14 marzo 2016

Fuga disperata

Johnny e Dolbo si trovano ora in una situazione molto delicata, vorrebbero salvare la pelle, ma non vorrebbero abbandonare i compagni ancora vivi, ma incapacitati.
Inoltre serve un modo per poter abbandonare la cittadella e tornare rapidamente a terre meno inospitali della catena montuosa innevata.

Schivando il mostro grazie ai vari oggetti magici di cui dispongono, i due compagni riescono a rientrare nella cupola del pesce argenteo. Esplorandola a fondo trovano un bizzarro oggetto, sembrano delle briglie, ma di strana foggia e, guardandole, sembrano non essere adatte ad un cavallo.
Osservandole attentamente, Johnny ha subito un'intuizione, le afferra e urla a Dolbo di seguirlo attraverso il teletrasporto per tornare alla cittadella.
Qui si lancia sulla statua del grifone, che era stata abbandonata da Nulbo e, nonappena le infila le briglie che, guarda caso, calzano alla perfezione, questo si anima e risponde ai suoi comandi.
A questo punto, uno a cavalli del grifone e l'altro della scopa, i due eroi riescono ad il mostro di ghiaccio senza troppe difficoltà e, agendo in contemporanea, Dolbo lo distrae mentre Johnny fa si che il grifone afferri Heens Hoolt e Nulbo tra gli artigli e si lanci fuori dalla balconata del terzo piano.

Purtroppo questa fuga precipitosa fa si che la maggior parte dell'equipaggiamento dei personaggi privi di sensi debba essere lasciato indietro, ma meglio vivi e poveri che morti ricchi.
L'ormai famoso tridente di Heens Hoolt e la Vecchia Betsie sono le cose più dolorose da abbandonare, ma i moribondi se ne accorgeranno solo quando si sveglieranno a leghe di distanza da questo luogo maledetto.
Il viaggio aereo mette a dura prova il fisico, già molto provato, dell'elfo e dell'halfling, ma per il rotto della cuffia sopravvivono entrambi, anche se dovranno stare a riposo e al caldo per lungo tempo, prima di poter riprendere la strada dell'avventura.

Dopo un faticoso e lungo viaggio, il grifone e la scopa volante giungono in vista di Rocca Diamond e sia il ladro che il chierico possono finalmente tirare un sospiro di sollievo.

La situazione si presenta ormai critica.
Il gruppo ha fallito nella sua missione e le tribù degli aarakocra rischiano l'estinzione
Non avendo sconfitto il gigante delle nuvole, rimane impossibile la riapertura delle rotte commerciali con Casa di Roccia e l'alleanza con i nani rischia di essere compromessa.
Gli alleati del granducato non sono molti e la guerra sta aumentando d'intensità.

Cosà farà il granduca?
Cosa farà Vince Diamond?
Cosà faranno gli avventurieri rimasti?

Lo sapremo solo se la campagna proseguirà in futuro.
Per il momento saluti a tutti, a risentirci