Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Look what I got in the mail today!

My copy of Crypts and Things Remastered arrived today!  Now if I can just find some people to play it with....

Saturday, June 25, 2016

DCC RPG in the City of Lankhmar on Free RPG day!

Last weekend I ran DCC RPG at the Orem, Utah Dragon’s Keep for Free RPG Day.  Only one of my two players showed but fortunately for me, I managed to recruit two other GMs whose didn’t have any players show up so we played with three players and three characters:  A wizard, a warrior and a thief. One of the other GMs was my friend Joe that I play with in a 5th Edition game.
The adventure starts with the characters waking up in a dank and dark dungeon somewhere in Lankhmar, the The City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokes.  The characters have find a way to escape and fight their way out of dungeon.   Everyone had a blast despite a TPK at the end which came down to a single die roll.  (If the warrior would have hit the evil sorcerer with the tendril arm, he probably would have killed him and the party would have survived.  But…he didn’t and the evil sorcerer kept on rolling spectacular spell checks and the wizard was the last two fall as his body was torn to pieces by magic missiles.)  The people upstairs could hear us cheering, lamenting and laughing.


A door!

Killing the jailer


The module was DCC RPG’s version of Lankhmar, a city that has been adapted for fantasy RPGs for over 30 years.  My first exposure to the city of Lankhmar, the world of Nehwon and the two adventurers Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser was in the 1st Edition Deities and Demigods book.  Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser were the invention of legendary writer Fritz Leiber.  If you haven’t heard of him, Google his name and go out and find his work, at least if you are into Sword and Sorcery literature.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Crypts and Things Remastered Beta Rules actually play.

Back in February, I conducted a one shot play test of the new Crypts and Things Remastered rules by D101 Games.  I have run two other successful campaigns using the original Crypts and Things in the past, I was a Kickstarter supporter for the new rule set and I was curious to try out the beta rules

I managed to put together a group to play with the new rule set and generated one character for each class in the game:  Barbarian, Thief, Fighter, and Sorcerer.  Adam (who played in my first Crypts and Things campaign) played the Barbarian, Jade played the Thief, Brandon (who played in my second Crypts and Things campaign) and David played the fighter.  I came up with a quick dungeon crawl where the adventurers where trying to find a thief that had disappeared with a sizable amount of treasure.

I don’t really remember the specifics of the events from the game but the party overcame a ghoul, some skeletons and they encountered an insane immortal and a demon.  As the barbarian, Adam when full dark side when he sacrificed the insane immortal and freed the demon while the rest of the party (rightfully so) fled.

All in all, we had a good time and it gave me a chance to check out the change to the rules.  The Skill system has been more clearly defined, the magic systems have changed somewhat in that in the original Crypts and Things game White magic was safe and now it isn’t. White magic is downright dangerous although using Black magic still can lead to madness and corruption.  Also, saving throws have been replaced with the Pressing Your Luck mechanic.  With Pressing Your Luck, you can also do a lot of other things as well such as recovering a spell or avoiding a death blow.  All in all, the game is a little bit deadlier than it was which is OK with me.

As a note, my friend David is David J. West, a published writer of horror and dark fantasy/sword and sorcery stories. My personal favorite of his yarns is Whispers of the Goddess which is a historical fantasy that is set against the backdrop of the sack of Constantinople which occurred during the the 4th Crusade.  It is based on an actual event where a mob tore down a statue of the goddess Athena.  It think that Robert E. Howard would have enjoyed it and if you are reading this blog, I think that you will too.
Here is his Amazon page
Here is his blog page

Here are some pictures from the adventure

Sorcerer character sheet.

Thief character sheet.  I could have sworn that I took a picture of the Barbarian and Fighter minis.  

The Ghoul Bride that the party found eating the missing theif

Attack of the Spider

The party battles animated statues

Watch your step

The barbarian goes darkside and sacrifices the old insane immortal by pushing him into the demon summing circle.

Everyone else flees the demon, which is a good idea.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Crypts and Things Remastered Beta Test

This Thursday I will be running a brief Crypts and Things session were we will check out the Beta Version of Crypts and Things Remastered.  I am preparing a deadly crypt for the adventures to explore.

The Catacombs of the Scarlet Sorcerer

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Crypts and Things: Expedition into Darkness and Death.

I adapted this for Crypts and Things from the adventure “Pale Shadow” from Beasts of the Dominions for Beasts and Barbarians which you can purchase here.


After a relatively uneventful trip, the Blood Bride arrived at the island designated on the map that was recovered from the wizard/silk merchant’s tower.  Anaya took a strong interest in Raelic the Theif but Kord warned him to stay away from the Amazon captain as he believed that she had fangs in her vagina.

The crew disembarked and found a few abandoned villages.  Khale Roley III noticed that there were a number of amulets that were hung about the abandoned huts that were supposed to ward of demons.  He wondered how effective those amulets had been in the people of the village were no longer there….

It wasn’t long after landing that the hostility between the two factions of the crew turned violent.  One of Kord’s men murdered on of Anaya’s men with a mace and one of Kord’s men vanished soon after.  Chantel examined the tracks around the missing sailor and it appeared that he had vanished into thin air as his tracks just seemed to stop….

Eventually, the expedition found an abandoned and ancient city in the center of the island.  A high wall had long ago crumbed in certain parts so the adventures had no trouble entering the city.  The ruins were mainly towers with no entries on the lower levels.  The doors and windows were often hundreds of feet off of the surface of the city.  Whoever had built the city did not spend much of their time at ground level…

Both Kord and Anaya sent men off to explore the city in an attempt to find treasure while the main group headed towards the city center.  A massive tower awaited the party.  Its walls were cracked and it was easy to gain entry.  At the base level was a hideous idol stained with long dried blood.  The idol was searched and two items were recovered:  A bronze crown with a serpent’s head and bastard sword that was made of a shiny black metal.  Anaya was furious that her crew had come all this way just for these two items.  By this time it was nightfall and that was when the screams began….

The screams did not prevent the war between Kord and Anaya coming to head and swords were drawn and blood spilled.  Ultimately, the party and Kord’s pirates prevailed but not before discovering that the black bastard sword compelled the wielder, in this case Raelic to kill at least one sentient being a day.  Moreover, the sword killed most creatures and people that it struck almost instantly.

The remaining crew of the Blood Bride were holed up in the Tower while something or somethings was outside attacking the crew members that had been sent out to explore and loot the city.  Not one of them returned.

The crew decided to leave in the morning but they would not be able to make it back to the beach before night fell.  When the night fell, so did the Sky Demons: creatures that looked like they were park bat and part human and all nightmare.

The crew had to fight their way through the ruins and then through the jungle to finally make their way back to the beach and the row boats where they managed to make their way back to the ship.

Upon arriving, the crew that had been left at the ship looked like they might kill the survivors as it was obvious that Anaya was no longer with the crew. It was then that Chantel decided to put on the serpent crown.  She commanded the crew to obey her.  They did.  (I also had Kevin roll a saving throw which I seem to remember that he missed and lost some sanity. Such is the nature of magic in Crypts and Things)


The trip back was uneventful…until Deep Ones, creatures from the ocean, attacked and attempted to steal the crown and the sword.  The Deep Ones were driven off but not before they managed to take the crown…

Finally the party returned to Jalizar to continue their adventures….

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!

Greetings.  If anyone really follows this blog, I apologize for not updating it in months.  I have actually wrapped up my last Crypts and Things campaign and I am planning on doing a write up with pictures.  Right now, I am doing a play for the first time in 11 years so I am a little distracted by that and work.

Anyway, I wanted to post a link to the new forthcoming Conan RPG game from Modiphius Entertainment.  From this website, you can sign up and download the play-test rules and take part in providing feedback.

New Conan RPG

I owned both editions of the old Mongoose D20 version of the Conan RPG but I never got a chance to play it.  From what I read of the Mongoose version, it certainly seemed to do a good job of capturing the spirit of the Hyborian Age and I hope this game does as well.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Crypts and Things: To Rob the Temple of the Bull God, the Tower of the Spider and the Virgin Goddess?

Chantel (1st Level Barbarian played by Kevin), Khale Roley III (a 1st level magician played by Brandon) and Raelic (1st Level Thief played by Matt) are on the road to the city state of Jalizar, the city of Thieves, the Rotten Flower of the Northern Empire and the domain of General Par the Horrific, seeking fame, fortune and wealth.  As they approach the city, they see farmsteads in good order, relatively well-off farmers tending the land, forts to guard the farmsteads and well-armed troops patrolling the city’s surrounding territory.  Par the Horrific may be a blood thirsty barbarian and iron handed tyrant but at least he has enforced order and stability to the surrounding country side.  After traveling for a number of days, our group of heroes arrives at their destination.

Having passed through the Gate, the characters make their way through the city.  The city is alive with sounds, sights and smells that nearly overwhelm the characters.  This is their new home.  This is where they will make a name for themselves.  The city is a fountain of opportunity and wealth.  Like so many others, they are drawn to the great palace in the center of the city.  There is a great commotion taking place and they are as eager as anyone to see what is happening.

Outside of the palace, they see a gallows with several robed figures are currently occupying with nooses around their neck.  In front the gallows, another robed figure stands before a chopping block, his hands tied behind his back.  He features are not entirely human.  His eyes are dead and fish like, his skin has patches of green and he appears to have gills as well.  Next to him, a tall and powerful looking middle aged man stands with a great sword in his hands.  Although his hair and beard are streaked with gray, he still appears to be formidable warrior.  A sage opens a scroll and reads aloud.

“For the crimes of kidnapping, slave trading, murder, and for worshipping a banned god, Lord Par, the protector and lord of the City State of Jalizar, sentences you Abibaal , the high priest of Dagon and your followers to death. “  The gray bearded warrior forces the robed figure to kneel before the chopping block, raises his sword and slices Abibaal head from his shoulders.  Immediately after that, a lever is though and trap doors beneath the feet of the followers of Dagon open, hanging them as well.  The courtyard is silent.  The warrior cleans off his sword, mounts a horse and moves to leave, surrounded by what is obviously an honor guard.  The name of “Par” is heard on the lips of the townspeople who have witnessed the brutal administration of justice.  Just then the heroes notice a figure in the crowd raise a crossbow.  They do nothing and the crossbow man takes his shot…..and misses.

The townsfolk immediately scatter as the would-be assassin attempts to reload.  The characters watch as Par and his honor guards ride him down, crushing him beneath the steel shoes of their horses.  Par casts a passing glance at the characters, orders someone to clean up the mess and retires to the palace.  From there, the characters decide it is time to find a place to live and Raelic decides it is time to seek out the local Thieves’ guild. Realic and the others do meet two members of the thieves’ guild.  As part of Realic’s initiation into the guild, they task him with stealing something:  The Horn of the Bull God which can be found in the Temple of the Bull.  Immediately the characters set upon the task.

After scouting out the Temple, they notice that the followers of the Bull God are all males and that they are all warriors of some type.  Khale Roley III comes up with the plan of taking out three of the followers with a sleep spell, stealing their clothes and then sneaking back into the temple in disguise.  Starting out, the plan works flawlessly.  Three cult members are knocked out by Khale’s magic and their clothes are sufficient to conceal Chantel’s sex.  They also find that all of the cult members bare rings which mark them as cult members.  With the disguises complete, the three characters enter the temple.  Things then immediately start to go wrong….
The party enters into the main temple where do see a horn in a place of honor in the temple’s central chamber.  Before they can even think about trying to steal it, the rings on their hands become very hot and Kahle can immediately sense that a magical alarm has been triggered.  Several robed men surround the party with steel drawn.  One of the robed figures steps forward and pulls back the hood covering his features.  The man standing before them is the same man the beheaded the priest of Dagon:  Par the Horrific.  Apparently, Par is a member of the Cult of the Bull God in addition to being the tyrant ruler of the city. 

Despite the violation of this sacred place, Par actually seems amused.  He confesses to them that he had been an adventurer in his youth and that he probably would have done the same thing himself.  Once he confirmed that the characters had not killed any of the cult members, he took the rings back, told them that if he caught them in temple again without them actually becoming members, he would kill them, and then sent them on their way.  Kahle and Realic both decided to actually join the cult themselves.  Being a woman prevented Chantel from joining (and she was not pleased at all) but first they went out and confronted the two members of the thieves’ guild that sent them out on a possible suicide mission.  

The two thieves didn’t think that the party actually had the balls to undertake the task and the fact that they survived too.  This was more than enough to earn Realic entry into the Thieves’ guild although all three characters still contemplated killing the two thieves who had laughed their asses off when the party actually attempted the robbery.   
For the next week, Realic and Kahle underwent the initiation into the Cult of the Bull God which was a brotherhood of warriors and mercenaries.  They could now entry the holiest of holies in the temple without the rings burning them.  Also, from that point on, if they were danger, they could call out and any other member of the cult, even if they were fighting on the opposite side, would come and render aid.  Moreover, they would be obligated to render aid to any other cult member as well. 
Over the course of the week, Chantel, who was fuming about the snub, encountered a number of elements in the city, elements that attempted to recruit her to their cause:  The removal of Par and the restoration of the old monarchy.  She eventually declined despite her distain for Par.  She also noticed something else.  She did not have to buy any food.  She had found a small apartment to stay in but she found that someone was leaving her food and someone had paid her rent as well.  She also noticed that she was being followed.  She would catch a fleeting glace but then lose whoever was following her in the crowds of the city.  Someone had taken notice of her but who…..

Realic, now both a member of the Cult of the Bull God and the Thieves’ Guild of Jalizar, received his first mission as a member of the Thieves’ Guild. Eilmar, a high ranking official in the Thieves’ guild told Realic that the silk merchant Hadirseen had been missing for the last few weeks. Hadirseen sold the finest silk in all the city and surely his home was full of considerable wealth.  In order to accomplish this mission, Realic decided to recruit his two friends Kahle and Chantel as well.  As another note, since the disappearance of the silk merchant, the rat population of the silk merchant’s tower home had disappeared.  Now cats, dogs and even a few people had gone missing….

It was after nightfall and Chantel and Realic were walking down the street when crossbow bolts came shooting out of the darkness.  Chantel was struck twice as Realic did not seem to be the target.  Out from the alley also came armed men, ready to kill.  Realic managed to kill one of the crossbow men on the rooftops with his bow, Chantel soon founder herself overwhelmed by the armed attackers.  Kahle arrived just in time but Chantel seemed doomed when unexpected allies appeared.

The remaining crossbow men were attacked on the rooftops as well as the thugs on the street.  Before Realic and Kahle could react, the mysterious saviors picked up Chantel’s fallen form and carried her off to the night.  Realic and Kahle followed.  The men that carried off Chantel were heading towards the temple district.  Eventually, their destination was revealed to be a temple to a goddess of some sort.  Realic and Kahle entered to rescue their friend.


Chantel is overwhelmed!

Unexpected help!

Chantel had been lovingly placed on an altar before a statue of a warrior woman as a priest of some sort tended to her wounds.  The men that had carried Chantel here could be seen kneeling in reverence before the altar.  The statue of the warrior woman bore a striking resemblance to Chantel…..

As it turned out, the men that had rescued Chantel were the followers of the Goddess Zorya, the virgin goddess of magic, moonlight and war.  (Both Realic and Kahle snickered at the “virgin” part.)  It was they had paid for her rent and brought her offerings of food as well.  These men were at Chantel’s beck and call although she did not personally believe that she was the avatar of goddess, let alone a virgin one.  However, Realic suggested that they make use of her followers when they would attempt to break into the tower of the silk merchant.  Chantel agreed and two of her followers accompanied the party to the Tower of the missing silk merchant. The tower was in the merchant section of the city.  The fact that the merchant Hadirseen lived in a tower was particularly strange. Typically a tower was the abode of a wizard or a sorcerer…..

Kahle, using his magic, determined that the front door was trapped so the party decided to climb to the top of the tower with a rope.  One of Chantel’s followers climbed to the top of the tower along with Realic, who actually struggled getting up the tower.  By the time he arrived at the top, Chentel’s follower was no were to be seen. There was a trap door but why would he have tried to enter the tower alone?  The rest of the group arrived and decided to open trap door and enter the tower.

Realic dropped down into the top floor of the tower to discover him surrounded by webs.  Spider webs to exact. Out of the darkness, an eight legged nightmare sprang to attack, the mystery of the missing cultist now explained. A terrible fight ensued.  The remaining follower from the temple weapon and Chantel’s sword bounced harmless off of the creature.  Obviously this giant spider was a creature from the planes of hell and chaos; a demon spider!  Realic, no stranger to the darkness and to planes of evil, was able to harm the creature and eventually it was slain.  The dried up husks of several animals and people were found cocooned in the tower, including the missing merchant was slain by the source of his wondrous silk, the spider that he had summoned from beyond.   As it turned out, the silk merchant was indeed a powerful sorcerer and one steeped in black magic judging from his spell book. 
The Tower of Hadirseen

The Spider from Hell!

The characters found a magical painting that could spell bind anyone that gazed upon it for too long, hundreds of good pieces, valuable silk and what appeared to be a map to an Island in the Western Sea.  They realized that they would have to give a cut to the thieves’ guild so to avoid their wrath, they reported in.

When they reported in, the party was in for a rude surprise when Eilmar order his two heavily armed guards to kill them.   A fight broke out and the remaining follower of Zorya/Chantel that had fought so bravely was killed along with one of the guards and Eilmar.  When Eilmar died, he transformed into a serpent man.  The remaining guard surrendered, claiming to have no knowledge of so and so’s true identity.   The revelation that Eilmar had been a serpent man spread like wild fire throughout the guild, casting it into disarray.  How many other guild members were shape shifting serpent men?  No one knew.  The party took their gold and their map and left. 

In her checkered past, Chantel had been a sailor and a pirate.  She knew the sea and the party decided to head down to the docks to find a ship to travel to the island displayed in the map.  Upon arriving at the docks, Chantel encountered her old friend Kord who was first mate on the ship The Blood Bride.  He had recently lost some crew members and, with the treasure map convinced his captain, the Amazon Anaya the Swift that it would be worth their while to follow the treasure map.  However, all was not well as it was clear that captain hated Kord, immediately hated Chantel and half the crew was ready to mutiny.  It would be an interesting trip….