RPG a Day 2015: 13th, 14th and 15th

Here is a continuation of my participation in #RPGaDAY2015 .

13th: Favourite RPG Podcast

I don’t listen to podcasts. I’ve tried, but I just don’t stick to them for some reason. So instead, my 13th entry will be about my favorite book from the World of Darkness.

13th: Favourite Product from White Wolf

vampiredarkagesI have a strange love for the original Vampire: Dark Ages. Something about the look of it, the artwork, the cover and maybe the timing? I first read it in high school.

I loved it so much that I spent a couple of hours at a copy & print centre photocopying and binding it. I still didn’t have a job back then, so buying it for myself was somehow difficult. Oh, and once I could afford it, there were no print copies anywhere.

Remember that this was about 15 years ago and before the internet’s coming of age and widespread use of PDFs.

It isn’t perfect, for sure, but I love it nonetheless. Managed to find a really nice copy for next to nothing a month or two ago.

Lasombra2vampire-dark-ages-ventruedark-ages-vampires

14th: Favourite RPG Accessory

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll assume that this means a non-book, non-dice physical item used during game sessions.

I love my Chessex reusable, reversible battlemat (Chessex store link). One side has a square grid, the other a hex one. It is used with wet-erase markers.

‘Been using it for at least 10 years. Super excellent item, I wholeheartedly recommend it to any gamers out there. When one simply doesn’t have the time to prepare dungeon tiles, scenery and other maps, this works splendidly, especially when you run things on-the-fly or with a lot of randomization.

Map: click to enlarge

15th: Longest Campaign Played

We’ve had a few campaigns that have lasted years but in which we only actually played sporadically. Sometimes a month or two between sessions.

So instead I’ll say that it’s my current campaign, the Age of Heroes (Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition set in Ancient Greece).

It officially began in November 2014 and we’ve been playing regularly every 2 weeks (with one or two lapses of 3 weeks instead). It’s been incredible and I’ve never had players who were so invested in it. It’s going very strong: my players have a hard time choosing which of many hooks and plots to follow. Much of it was generated from asking the players questions and using their answers for world-building. It’s also been my first campaign heavily relying upon tables and random generators.

Best campaign that I’ve ever run. It is kind of sad to say that a single campaign that hasn’t even lasted a year yet is my longest, though.

 

Work in Progress

So for my current Age of Heroes D&D campaign, my players have roughly mapped out the infamous Library of Zorlac (since our campaign is set in the Ancient world, it’s the Library of Menkhat the Egyptian).

I promised to re-draw their map properly for their future reference (they plan on taking over the Library and keeping it for themselves). While the maps within the Vornheim book itself are awesome, they wish something a bit more traditional and set on a grid.

The biggest difference (among others) between it and the one in the published book, is that my players interpreted the various towers as set in a ring. I mean, why not? I went with it.

So here is my work-in-progress floorplan of the Library of Zorlac from Vornheim (heavily interpreted with lots of liberties). I decided to try to use the famous Dyson-style mapping out there, which is quite popular.

Not a perfect job (my first attempt), but it was fun to do and my players will love it. Once it is complete, I’ll post it for others to use (high-res for printing).

vornheim Dysonized

Useful and awesome links

Age of Heroes Session 4

This a session report of my last Age of Heroes game session. Most of it happened in the Library of Menkhat (the Library of Zorlac in Vornheim).

The game session started off with a crossbow duel in the library of Religion: Protus, Adja and the mysterious librarian-assassin faced off and took shots at each other. Our sure-shot hero put one right into her eye and her paralyzed form tumbled down the side of the tower to her death. They hurried downstairs to rejoin the party.

Referee’s Notes: While both the PC and the NPC succeeded on their to-hit rolls, Ryan’s natural 20 made me want to do more than just give him critical damage. The NPC was literally hanging on the outside of a tower and got struck with a poisoned bolt, so extra damage was meaningless. Instead, I ruled that his shot was so successful that hers went astray.

Pytheas and Arcas searched the library downstairs (Philosophy). The Warlock triggered a secret door to the outside, which his comrade investigated. Suddenly, the secret door in the floor opened and a wizened Egyptian man poked his head out. He seemed genuinely surprised at what he say and instantly cast a spell that flung everyone outward. Unfortunately, this launched Arcas out of the door into the void outside. Our talented Rogue plummeted into the dark waters of the oasis below.

Protus fired at their enemy with another poisoned bolt. They took their paralyzed foe upstairs but only after searching him for valuables (his jewelry was given to Adja and Protus claimed a mysterious glass orb). To avenge the (perceived) death of Arcas, Pytheas suggested propping their foe so that he would be facing the Madness-inducing Oblong Rug. That would ensure that even after the paralysis would wear off, he would be completely insane.

Referee’s Notes:Great idea here from the players: not only was this a clever way to enact revenge, it would alter the location’s main villain so that he’ll become an even more deranged antagonist. Also, once they return to this dungeon, it will be quite a different place because of the implications of all of this. Kudos to some great ideas at the table!

The rest of the session involved some exploring and eventually a retreat through a secret door to the outside (they plan on doing an odd job to raise some funds for a second expedition into the Library).

Some other highlights:

  • In Menkhat’s quarters, Pytheas found a special looking scroll. It was trapped; he and Adja were nearly killed by an electric bolt (Andrew made his first Death Saving throw and got a natural 20!). Protus used his healing arts on Adja to save her.
  • In a large dining hall, they found a sinister tome: the mad ramblings of a sorcerer (possibly Menkhat himself?). Pytheas has found a physical form to his pact with Oceanus.