Sunday, February 17, 2013

Along came Shangor

So, when we left off, our party of adventurers (Hawk, an Amazon warrior, Katrina, an archer, Sul’khaz, a Cairnlander that fights with two swords and occasionally summons wolves and Sylph, a temptress of almost magical beauty) successfully defeated the Cairnlander marauders that slaughtered their caravan and had descended their way down a narrow path that ran along the side of the cliff to a rusty and algae covered door.  At this point, the party was joined by another survivor of the caravan, Shangor, a northern barbarian who was also fleeing the horde of marauders.

Sul’khaz attempted to pick the lock but couldn’t quite get it to open.  Why he was examining the door, he found ancient Cairnlander runes that stated the following “Beware things unaged! Beware the gifts not refused” After Sul’khaz’s failed attempt to pick the ancient and rusted lock (he was almost successful), the mighty Shangor flexed his muscles and managed to pull the door off of its hinges.  Behind the door, the party found a dark and dank tunnel that continued into the darkness.  On the floor was a still dry torch.  With Sul’khaz and Shangor in the lead and Hawk guarding the rear, the group managed to light the torch and then continued down into the dark tunnel.

After a few hundred feet, the party was greeted by the soft sound of a harp playing.  The further and further that the party went, the louder the ethereal harp music became.   As the party came closer and closer to the music, they could also see light ahead as well.  Sul’khaz and Shangor managed to sneak a head and discovered a spectacularly beautiful grotto. In the grotto was a feast and in attendance where a number of very beautiful women.  The most beautiful of the women was playing a harp on ledge overlooking the grotto.   

Although the beautiful woman did not immediately spot Sul’khaz and Shangor, she did spot Sylph and Katrina.  She introduced herself as Seablossom and welcomed them to join the feast.  Not long after that, Sul’khaz and Shangor were also spotted.  The two men were enthusiastically invited to join the feast.  Enthusiastically, the two men accepted.

Shangor and Sul’khaz were seated at the front of the table where Seablossom and her courtesans showered them with attention.  Neither man seemed to mind at all as they partook of the excellent food and wine.  Sylph, on the other hand, was fuming……

Sylph could not abide that Seablossom was more beautiful than she was.  That wasn’t true of course…but then why were Shangor and Sul’khaz ignoring her in favor of Seablossom and her…whores?  None of the women touched the food as all three of them were weary of the whole setup.  Their paranoia was, of course, completely justified. 

One of the serving women, a Cairnlander named Winna managed to warn Sylph, Katrina and Hawk that they all were in great danger.  Needing no more incentive than that, Sylph quickly went into action. 

Sylph called on her powers of seduction to break the spell that was had been cast over Shangor and Sul’khaz.  However, the harp began to play on its own and any affect that Sylph had mustered was crushed by the harp’s foul sorcery. 

Seablossom then declared that it was time to dance and insisted that the adventurers join them.  Shangor and Sul’khaz had no choice after eating the food and drinking the wine but to join the dance.  Sylph, Katrina and Hawk, having skipped the feast, resisted the urge and Katrina jumped up on to the stone dinner table and shot Seablossom with an arrow in answer to invitation to dance.   Seablossom and her courtesans took on demonic characteristics as their fingers turned to claws and the teeth into fangs.  The fight was on! 

Katrina fought bravely, shooting Seablossom several times with her arrows but she was eventually surrounded and brought down by the demonic courtesans and left in heap upon the dinner table.  Using Katrina and Hawk as a distraction, Sylph made her way to the harp and desperately tried to push it off of the cliff while Seablossom closed in for the kill.  Despite being wounded several times, Hawk managed to fight her way to the harp where she managed to finally push the dread harp off of the ledge and down to the ground where it shattered, freeing the men from the spell that had compelled them to dance.  Not long after that, Hawk also managed to land a telling blow that finally ended Seablossom’s long and magically prolonged life.  Despite the death of their leader, the courtesans continued to fight on.
With Shangor and Sul’khaz now in the battle, the last of the courtesans fell to the blades of the heroes.  As soon as the last courtesan fell, the grotto began to shake and rubble began to fall from the ceiling.  Winna emerged from hiding and declared that the whole complex would now collapse.  She told the heroes that Seablossom had a key around her neck that would open the door to the way out.  Shangor grabbed Katrina’s near dead body (I wasn’t going to kill off Brandi when she wasn’t there.  Where would be the fun in that?) and the party made a break for it, even passing on raiding a treasure room that they passed.

Following Winna, the party found their way to a locked iron door.  Using the Seablossom’s key, they opened the door and found themselves in the ruins of watchtower, further down the coast and safely away from the Cairnlander marauders that sought their blood.  With the collapsing of the Seablossom’s kingdom, Winna aged rapidly before the eyes of the party.  Before dying, Winna explained that she had been force to serve Seablossom for over a century and that she was well aware of her fate is ever she were to leave the grotto.  She told the heroes not to mourn for her because she was finally free.  With that, she died and turned to dust.  (Sadly, the only party member that seemed to mourn her was Hawk.  Sylph didn’t because supposedly Winna was prettier that her.  I am going to say that Katrina did too since Brandi wasn’t there to play her.  There.  I feel a little better. )

Anyway, that concluded our first adventure in my Savage Worlds: Beasts and Barbarian campaign.  We should start our second adventure in two to three weeks, depending on how long it takes to wrap up Grant’s Dresden File game.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Session 1

So it begins....A little earlier than I expected.  I have been playing with one my groups for around 12 years now and we have played a lot of games.  We started out with D&D 3.5 and we later tried Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition, Savage Worlds:  Necessary Evil, Shadow Run, Pathfinder, Star Wars RPG (although I skipped that one) and the Dresden Files. Currently, we have been running the Dresden Files, which we had planned to wrap up fairly shortly.  Anyway, this last Thursday, my friend Grant, the Dresden Files GM, had to make a sudden business trip to California so we decided to give my Savage Worlds: Beasts and Barbarians campaign an early start.

Instead of starting out on the planned adventure, The Citadel of the Winged Gods, I decided to run short adventure The Cliffs Queen's Court instead.  It had been years since most of us had played Savage Worlds so I figured a good warm up adventure was a good place to start.  I brought a number of pre-generated characters but only Brandi ended up using one.  Chris had already created his so Amy and Rianna spent the first part of the session making their characters, which was alright with me.  It gave us a chance to eat the splendid ice cream cake that Rianna had picked up as this night's session was also our group's celebration of my birthday which had actually happened a few weeks before.  Bad weather had prevented us from getting together for the last two weeks.

Here are our heroes so far

Brandi is playing an archer character that I put together. Rianna (who is married to Grant, who could not be there this session) is playing a temptress character that uses distraction to great effect in a fight.  Chris (who is married to Amy) is playing a character that has some magic, some rogue skills and who wields two swords in a fight. Amy is playing a straight up kick ass amazon warrior who uses a sword and shield.

To begin, the party had escaped their caravan's destruction at the hands of Cairnlander marauders.  However, Hawk, Amy's amazon, had slain the son of Corpse-raper, the leader of the marauders.  Corpse-raper had sworn vengeance and his men were in hot pursuit of the heroes.

A group of 8 marauders encountered managed to corner the heroes on sea side cliff that was covered in dense fog.  A Cairnlander called out to the group that they would sleep in Hell this night.  Katrina, Brandi's archer shot his throat out (a lucky shot that was the result of a bennie being spent on a re-roll) and the fight was on.

With sword, arrow, distraction and summoned wolves, the party was victorious.  Despite their victory, the party could hear the rest of the marauders coming for them.  Katrina had spotted a trail descending down the side of cliff just before the fight and the party decided to follow it.  When we left off, the party had just discovered an ancient, rusty, algae covered door set into the rock face...

I think that we finish this up next Thursday although Brandi can't make it due to Parent teacher conference.  Grant will probably just play Brandi's archer.  The next session after that, I assume that we will be back to finish up the Dresden Files.

I mentioned earlier that the group celebrated my birthday at this session.  I had been working on a custom GM screen for this game but Chris and Amy beat me to it and gave me one as a birthday present.  I loved it.  I could not have picked out any better art work for it than they did.

Very cool gift.  Just as cool was the Bluth Banana stand shirt that Brandi gave me.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A start and an explanation.

This is my first attempt at a blog.  This is the place were I will blog about my efforts to run a Savage Worlds: Beasts and Barbarians game and a Crypts and Things game.  In the coming weeks, I will be running a Savage Worlds: Beasts and Barbarians game and this will be were I display the details of the game and a general game log.  I really don't know what the hell I am doing but hopefully the quality of this blog will continue to grow as time goes on.  I hope to run a Crypts and Things campaign as well.

Why would I want to run Savage Worlds: Beasts and Barbarians or Crypts and Things instead of Pathfinder? Well, I like Pathfinder and I have run it.  I also own several of their supplements.  When you get right down to it, I would rather play Pathfinder than run it.  It is great game and gives the characters a HUGE amount of ways to customize and maximize your character.  That being said, I found it to cumbersome to run once you get into the higher levels.   The last time I ran, the characters were all about 9th level and we had this massive hour long (in real time) battle with a very nasty half demon/half something else with several levels of cleric and her minions.  When it was finally over, one of the players said "That was tedious."  He was right.  It was.  I had a lot more fun running my Castles and Crusades game (a D20 rules light variant) than I did running Pathfinder.  From that point on, I decided that the game that I wanted to run would use rule light systems such as Castles and Crusades, Savage Worlds and Crypts and Things.  Another reason that I decided not to use Pathfinder was that it wasn't really designed for the type of campaign that I wanted to run.  A campaign where magic wasn't common place.  Moreover, I wanted to run a campaign where magic was alien and flat out dangerous.  A typical Pathfinder game isn't like that.  Savage Worlds: Beasts and Barbarians or Crypts and Things are JUST like that.  

I just have a love of stories of Conan, Kull, Bran Mak Morn, Solomon Kane where the practitioners of magic had typically done horrible and unspeakable things to gain their powers and who were, by the very nature, irredeemably evil.  I loved Robert E. Howard's view of the universe which was both darkly romantice and grim at the same time.  I also love the stories of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith  as well where alien beings pass as gods and mankind is just a spec of dust floating in an empty void.  I wanted combine all of this stuff into campaign where the gods, if they even existed at all, have long ago abandoned humanity.  Where life is short and brutal but a good sword arm can gain you wealth, power and, in some rare cases, honor and were magic is something not meant to be wielded by mortal least not without a cost.  Hopefully I can accomplish this.