This is only a little over a week away, and I am pretty pumped about going. I have signed up for a lot of Swords and Wizardry and a Expert game with Steve Winter as the DM. I am expecting much fun to be had!
Now one thing that I have to admit, I have NEVER played an RPG at a convention. Blasphemy? Perhaps! I only started going to conventions to play miniature war games about 8 years ago, competitive tournaments and friendly fun games. RPG's were always reserved for the game group only.
This may be because I always assumed that games at conventions were competitive! I thought everyone was scored and there was a "winner" and then of course "the losers". I did not want my RPG to be scored and graded. I thought that would ruin the game!
Of course now I know differently, that not all, even most, are NOT competitive point graded games. This makes me a very happy dude! :)
I am counting the days, and plan on cruzin on into Dallas sometime Thursday afternoon, in time to get settled and play the first session.
Last Saturday, the party managed to administer Prison Justice to a few bullies trying to pick on a small guy who was just trying to make a living, a ‘professional’ living. Score one for Abner’s Drop Shot to the Neck. His PooFlinging skills translated into double rations in jail. However, it did not carry over into Dolmvay’s Noble houses proper. After a short hearing that led us to believe we could be cleared of our entanglement with the Harbor Master, we went out and about in the great city of Dolmvay. Completely shot down by the Reztum cousin who towered over him in stature, Abner went looking for a wife at the One Eyed Crow. There we were to meet with our old friend Gustav during the next day’s lunch rush.
It was our first night out after our jail time, bards and adventurers were packing the Crow’s tables, all of us served by the all female staff working the Crow. Dinkle kept wanting to carouse, but lost his mojo when we found out that rooms here at the Crow were 6 gold a night. Good thing Onyx is paying for all of this. Enter Morgan, the female warrior struck up a conversation with Abner, and before he knew it, he was hooked. She had muscles and muscles over muscles, blond hair and a killer sword. He never had a chance. She joined us when we were accosted by a messenger of dubious intentions.
Summoned into a private room, we were introduced to the Dolmvay’s Thieves Guild Master. He had a proposition for us. In return for some information on the Golden Axe’s whereabouts and perhaps a way to discover important details of how they work in this big city, the Thieves Guild wanted us to do some wetwork for them. Apparently, a major relic was stolen from the Temple of Glynis,…WITHOUT the Guild’s approval or knowledge. No self-respecting Guild Master could let that go without some type of action. In order to save face, and keep others from trying the same type of insulting acts of thievery without Thieves’ Guild consent, this Guild Master wanted us to recover the relic and return it to the Temple of Glynis before it became public.
What a conundrum, agreeing to work for the Thieves Guild, in return for some much needed information on the Golden Axe. Hmmmm. Edgar and Edward were stuck. However, Abner, still blowing happy bubbles with Morgan standing next to him, had a great plan! Deny working with the Thieves Guild, but go behind their back, using Glynis as a proxy to get some parole relief to allow the party to leave the city proper, and get back the relic. We could not leave town yet as a condition of our early release. Genius! So, armed with Abner’s plan, we ticked off the Guild, told them to pound sand, and went to the Temple of Glynis and laid it all on the table. The Plan: Have Glynis talk to the Dolmvay authorities, get cleared to go outside of town to the Leather House, and bring back the Bones and Dust relic.
Hopped up on caffeine, 8 cups O Joe, and some of the good drink from the One Eyed Crow, Edgar came off a bit strong with the Temple’s high cleric, basically almost ruining their deal to get a good parole. Maybe it was the mixing of stimulants and liquor, or maybe it was the Big City Lights, Big City Sounds, but Edgar needed a Time Out. Reason and clarity prevailed. The party managed to calm Edgar, and talk sense into the Dolmvay authorities to allow them legal right to go out of town and recover the relic. We left immediately, before it backfired.
Going half a day’s journey north of town, our newly appointed scout and sneaky guy, Dinkle, led us straight to the scary and terrifying stables of the ruined mansion where the cult of evil and relic were taking residence. “It must have been Undead, Evil Horses they rode guys,…” Dinkle reported when returning from his scouting of the mansion, “Don’t go into the stables.” Armed with this knowledge of peril, we instead, stormed the front door. Blam! Blam! Crap, it’s barred. Ok, off to the side door. I guess we let em know we were coming.
Breaking in with a vengeance, Dinkle’s new job of scout and door breaker was certainly emboldening the party. “Go first Dinkle” was the call of the evening. Perhaps Dinkle muttered, “Where is my professional help?” a few times, but we all ignored it. Blasting through the main floor, we encountered Zombies all over. Covered in runes, the zombies seemed to be tougher than regular zombies. “BRAINS!” they clamored and shambled toward us expecting a good meal, but strangely, they avoided both OakenShaft brothers like they knew something. The Thaxon’s said they turned them, but it was never confirmed that the Zombies knew better, and that their hunger would not be slated if they attacked the Judge and Champion.
Mansion living Area, kitchen, storage; all of the rooms on the main floor were cleared. Finding a trap door in the corner of the kitchen, they piled the dead zombie bodies, and guard dogs, to prevent escape from the cellar, and then headed upstairs to find even more zombies. Again, after killing several more zombies, we encountered a very obvious runed trap on a door. Without our Professional, we employed the next best thing. Throw a Zombie body at it, and let that take whatever, ‘curse’ was in store for us. BLAM! The body and guts flew everywhere, but in the end, the trap was de-trapped. We found a laboratory where the Rune Cleric raised the zombies. Nasty. Several Magical things, some more Evil things, some platinum and a few other things were found. LOOT! Plus the third indoor crapper in the house. Man, we need to take that technology back to Larm.
One thing left was to go down into the basement. A trap door into the Cellar, then a 30 foot ladder into an Evil summoning room we went. Fearing that the ceremony that we stumbled upon was in danger of getting worse, we, of course, charged right in. Dinkle moved to the side, to try to flank the magic user, the fighting wall of OakenShafts and Doubleday couple went forward like a wall of death, and supported by ranged fire in Ellinora and Tarran. We had taken a few wounds in our fighting the zombies, so two of us were fighting on just willpower and guts.
Dinkle was bobbing and weaving under half health and dealing with henchmen, zombies and a floating mage, Abner was luckily basking in the knowledge that he had Morgan next to him, and that she liked him, and was taking out henchmen left and right. The brothers went straight for the Evil summoned critter that looked like a scaly Gecko with wings. Great plan, but it all went to crap. The slain henchmen from the first wave rose up again with cries of “BRAINS”, by the evil cleric, the critter looked out to our party, went BOO, sending Edgar, Abner running like bunnies, afraid for their own shadow. Morgan fought on alone, while Edward tried to even the odds by turning the newly risen zombies. That lasted about 10 seconds until the cleric regained control, and sent them all back after the Judge of Thaxon. Using his magic powers, the mage levitated up and kept out of reach of Dinkle’s flying forks. Seeing this new target, Tarran and Ellinora took aim and shot. The arrows hit, but he could not be harmed in his magical tower, so Ellinora cast her Doves of Death!, only to have it reflected back and knock her to the ground, seemingly slain by her own hand.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Edgar was crushed. He had fled from combat, allowed his love to be taken down, and he was still too scared to fight the summoned critter. Good thing Abner found this chick in Dolmvay. Morgan decided that enough was enough, her boyfriend was running, her party was disintegrating, and this ugly rat like thing,…was getting too close. So she killed it. Fully critting and slaying it in one shot. Without the blessing of Thaxon from the Judge Edward, the sword would normally have shattered upon the otherworldly being, however, with the blessing of a Just and Judgmental Thaxon, her sword cleaved the critter from top to bottom. “Now my Abner, take out these underlings and help me fight this cleric!” she cried out in fury.
So Abner began his whirling dervish of death taking out the last remaining resistance from the followers of this evil cleric. Edgar, now freed from his feelings of fear, ran to his fallen friend Ellinora, and poured his heart into his ability to restore life, given by Thaxon. “Come back to me Ellinora.” Through tears, he saw her eyes open, and then he turned back to fight the cause of this misery. “You shall be Judged!”
When he turned, his brother was still fighting toe to toe with the cleric, but Morgan, who had fought so well, was lying down entombed by a Staff of the Snake that the Cleric had taken her out of action with. Abner was too far away, so Edgar Charged. Flying over Morgan and swinging with anger and frustration building up, Edgar severed the head from body and flung the corpse backwards and stood over the fallen cleric, and screamed, “How do you like me now?!?!?!”
Seeing disaster unfold before him, the Mage now tried to flee, but escaping from a charging Dinkle, with his Thaxon blessed Crockpot helm was a hard thing to do. He was taken down with a Head butt filled with fury. The Mage fought a bit more, but the ending was never in doubt. He died under a flurry of blows from almost the entire party. elbows and swords rising and falling, completely eviscerating the mage.
Now, to the cleansing. Burning the zombies, henchmen, and of course the ringleaders, the party left the now destroyed mansion with some additional loot and goodies. A relic to return to Glynis, more gold to deposit into Blackstone banks, and one other surprise.
The stables were not occupied by undead horses, or critters from another plane of existence. (Dinkle said they must have fled when we were inside the house.) But normal horses in which the party packed their new loot onto, and would use to return to town. Edgar also found that in the far corner, was a horse with no equal. Standing immense in the last stall, empathically calling out in fear of his former master mistreating him, “StormCloud” answered Edgar’s will. “I now have a mount fit for a Champion of Thaxon. If only ‘Le Longue Lance’, Ser Dontes, could see me now. My old Mentor told me that when I found my lifelong horse, it would be like no other feeling. He did not lie.”
We returned to town, victors of a sort. Returned the Relic to the Temple of Glynis, and in their thanks, they healed us and restored us to full strength. Now, we spend some much needed time to rest in the luxurious rooms of the One Eyed Crow. A good shave, bath and meal is in order. It will be a short rest, but sound. We meet with Gustav at midday to learn what he knows of the Golden Axe. We now need to be alert because we have angered the Thieves Guild, and even though we expect the best, we still need our final freedom from Dolmvay for the charges stemming from our dealings with the Harbor Master. One thing that makes Dinkle’s eyes glitter with joy is a map he received from his friend in Dolmvay. It supposedly held Buried Treasure! Would a Pirate resist, perhaps he would not even try,….
Dinkle begins to daydream of an actual ship, with sails, and not lodge-poles or wheels, sailing the open seas, and he in the highest crows nest ever, with his fine “Guido’s Fine Trinkets” labeled telescope, and the wind in his hairy feet, spanning the horizon looking for a lost island in the wild seas. Of course, he has a map.
A good time was had by all, and I think the Skin is finally gone. Abner and his new wife Morgan will return to Larm to make a home there for the summer, and perhaps begin the quest for little Doubledays. We left JB and Blacklung alone in the One Eyed Crow for a night; I hope Onyx can settle the bill without too much difficulty. We still need to find Malden and Onyx who were to have been here in Dolmvay already after inspecting their business ventures and brewery in Parrish.
Its on! After several scheduling snafus that were my fault (Email reading comprehension For The Loss), we are back on track. I can't wait to see how the players deal with the current challenges. I better have my "wing it" boots on, I am sure they are going to throw me some curve balls.
Three very cool things I bought recently. I am sure you have seen these on many other blogs. Not really a review, just a couple thoughts on them.
Swords and Wizardry White Box edition released by Brave Halfling Publishing. What can I say? Been waiting for this for a while, but I finally got it in my grubby hands on Friday. I love it! Just the feel of a boxed set is so cool. I also got the special boxed set adventure included as I had ordered in January. This looks great next to my OCE Dungeons and Dragons box, and are almost identical in size. John Adams has gone through his own little mini hell getting these things produced, and it was worth the wait. Thanks John! Also, I hope that the momentum of the boxed set produces even more products for the WB S&W edition. Now if I could just find time to play a game of this. :)
Fight On! and Knockspell magazines continue to amaze me at their content. Fan produced content for the old school games, and high quality to boot. What terrific products to have available for us. I can't help but think back to the days of my Dragon mag subscription and the excitement I felt opening a new issue. I get that same feeling now perusing the pages of these two great zines.