Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Sunstone

Among the most revered residents of the Slipstream are the followers of the Maker. Their temple located on the fragment Theophilia is a haven for those seeking silent meditation. Races from across Slipstream gather here seeking a sense of peace.


But don't be fooled by outward appearances. The Theophilians are no pushovers; they are protected by the Temple Knights, holy warriors of great skill and mystic abilities. Not only do they keep the peace on the fragment; they also protect the Theophilians prized possession - the Sunstone.

The Sunstone, a large crystal imbued with latent mystical energy, is a rare prize in the universe of the Slipstream. As long as one can remember it has resided at the Temple of the Maker. The Theophilians believe that the Sunstone assists them in their meditations; it also seems to boost their mystic powers. Outsiders believe that one can tap into its mystical energy and access a bountiful supply of power. For this reason, the evil Queen Anathraxa desires the Sunstone.

Notes

  • This is an introduction to a new campaign I am starting, based on the Savage Worlds RPG setting Slipstream. Of course, I cannot leave well enough alone and have added my own twist to the setting, as described above.
  • I have some ideas not only for RPG sessions but also for skirmishes, mass battles, etc. I plan to experument with the Freeform Universal (FU) rules, tweaking it to fulfill my needs. Stay tuned for upcoming reports!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Battle for the Bridge

Last time, our heroes boarded the derelict and made their way to the door of the bridge.

They burst in, and find themselves confronted by 3 Dominion robots, including a hulking overlord robot.

Shots ring out but no one is hit.

Until the guard robot blasts Kate at close range. She collapses!

Kip destroys the guard.

And comes to Kate's side. He blasts another robot but is severely wounded.

Kip pulls Kate off the bridge and closes the door, In the adjoining corridor, he administers a stimpack. Kate groggily comes to her feet and our heroes retreat. But the robot overlord bursts through the door and blasts Kip!

Kate backs away and shoots the overlord. It is damaged but still pursues her.

Until it gets close enough to strike with its stunsword. Kate crumples to the ground.

Much later, our heroes awaken, and discover that they are imprisoned.

What do their captors have in store? Find out next time!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Destroy the Derelict

A Kate and Kip Adventure
While battles rage on Zirconia, spaceships slug it out in orbit above the planet. During one of these battles, the Federation ship Nebula was crippled, and the crew abandoned ship. However, the auto-destruct failed to engage. So Kate and Kip are sent to the ship to finish the job.

Kate and Kip enter through one of the airlocks. Oh no! Dominion robots have boarded!

Kip takes out a robot.

More robots advance but our heroes shoot them down.

The last robot shoots and wounds Kate. Kip zaps it.

After taking a stimpack, Kate is at full strength. The proceed through Nebula's winding corridors.

Kate trades shots with a robot.

And she destroys it. Another robot rushes Kip and tries to grapple him.

But Kate takes it out.

Our heroes advance deeper into the corridors and encounter another robot.

Kip eliminates it.

Kate shoots another robot in the hallway. Look out! A master robot shoots, wounding Kip.

The master robot rushes forward and slashes Kip with its laser sword. Kip retreats, and zaps his attacker.

After taking stimpacks, Kip and Kate arrive at the door to the bridge.

What will they find on the bridge? Find out next time!

Game Note: It's been a while since the last adventure of Kip and Kate. I was off work this morning and did not feel like setting up a miniature game or 4AD scenario. I decided to run a virtual scenario instead. I rolled randomly to find their mission, and robots came up as the enemy again. That's serendipitous because I have a campaign against the robots going on.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Skull Cave

In our last installment, our heroes have been searching the forest for the orc reavers who stole the three rings from the Northport abbey. The have just stumbled upon . . .
 
the Skull Cave!
Source: http://imgur.com/LZ1jO
They enter the cave through the gaping maw and descend a set of stairs into the bowels of the earth, At the bottom of the stairs, a winding corridor (1) leads them further into the lair.

Map of the adventure
They round a corner and encounter four giant centipedes. The creatures turn, and appear ready to attack the party. Instead of readying his bow, Rikk the ranger brings his hand to his mouth and makes a strange hissing noise. It startles the centipedes and they flee.

Game Note; The ranger is an unofficial class found in Uncanny Against Darkness. One of the powers of a ranger is to scare animals away.

At the end of the corridor is a door. They open it and enter a room (2). Two orcs are standing guard. Once they see the party, they charge. Wielding two wicked choppers, one swings at Khamen, who ducks and then plunges his dagger into the orc's chest. It collapses to the ground. Rikk takes out the other with a well-placed arrow.

In the next corridor (3), five worgs are sleeping on the floor. As soon as the door opens, the leap up and charge. Rikk kills one with an arrow. Khamen and Candorra are able to fend off attacks. The three heroes slay 3 more of the beasts. The last one flees.

Our heroes enter the next room (4) and spy a towering orc. A reaver boss!
Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/63/de/24/63de2410aa1cca422a138c0715c37cbe.jpg
"I know you, ranger!" the orc growls. "This is the last time you'll bother me!" With that, he launches himself at Rikk. The ranger manages to dodge the blows as he unsheathes his sword. Candorra rushes to Rikk's aid. Her blade flicks out and slashes the orc. It yells in rage and strikes at her. The orc's weapon hits, biting through her armor and drawing blood. Candorra stumbles backward.

Meanwhile, Khamen sneaks up behind the orc. His magic dagger pierces the orc's flesh. The monster lashes out behind him, and strikes Rikk with a mighty blow. But now Candorra has an opening and she strikes.

With Rikk temporarily down, the orc rushes and grabs Khamen by the throat. His powerful muscles clamp down, crushing Khamen's windpipe. In desperation, Khamen plunges his dagger into the orc's arm. It releases Khamen and swings. Khamen dodges, Candorra and Rikk rush forward and stab. Their blades bite deep, and the reaver collapses.

The party searches the room and finds the first of the three rings! Just two more to go.

Will our heroes find the remaining rings? Can they win them back?
Find out next time!

Game Notes
  • I am currently playing The Three Rings, a Four Against Darkness module.
  • Because 3R seemed very random, I have modified it a bit. I turned the adventure into 3 hex crawls. The boss of each crawl will hold one of the rings. 
  • In 3Ryou can come across dungeons, which are mapped out using standard 4AD rules. When I rolled a lair during the hex crawl, I declared that the boss of the lair would be the first hex crawl boss. I used my modified encounter charts instead of the standard 4AD rules. Here is how they look for this dungeon:
  • I got lucky and found the boss in the fourth room.
  • Next up - the second hex crawl!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Oak and the Skull

Part 2 of the Adventure of the Three Rings

Our heroes have been scouring the woods for the orc reavers who raided the abbey of Northport and made off with three sacred rings. After coming to a fork in the road, the party chose the left-hand path and began traversing northward.

North >


Soon they came upon an old oak (1) next to the path. A welter of tracks surrounded the oak.

"Perhaps they hid a ring in the oak." Khamen suggested.

"Be careful of old oaks," Rikk cautioned. "They can't be trusted."

"What could happen?" scoffed Khamen as he stuck his hand into a knot in the tree. He groped around and gave a cry of surprise. Then he pulled out his hand, holding a small bag. Unfortunately, it only included a few coins and no ring.

Game Note: I actually rolled a ring but decreed that it was too early to find one.

The party continued north, running foul of a swarm of bees, a magical whirlwind, and a forest fire (2-4). After surviving these hazards, our party rested in a clearing (5). Their break was short, for soon after they heard growling from the woods. Seven hungry wolves sauntered into the clearing.

Candorra jumped up and with a word and a gesture cast a fireball at the wolves. Two were burnt to a crisp and the others fled.

"Careful with that." Rikk warned. "Don't want to start another forest fire."

"Yes." Khamen agreed. "We'd be out of the pan and into the fire." Candorra just groaned.

Further along the path our heroes met a merchant and his guards (6). They perused his wares but he did not have anything of value to them.

Continuing north, they entered a patch of human-sized mushrooms (7). Suddenly, a fungoid-like creature attacked.

"A fungus ogre!" cried Rikk.

"Lets find another way!" suggested Khamen as he retreated down the path. His comrades agreed as they fled from the creature.

Their encounter turned out to be fortuitous. As they returned along the way they came they spied a hidden path that veered west. This path led to a huge boulder, about 20' high, that was shaped like a skull (8). Its jaw was opened wide. Looking into its gaping mouth, they saw a cave leading into the bowels of the earth. Around this entrance, Rikk could see orc tracks.

"A skull cave - fitting lair for an orc reaver." Candorra commented.

Khamen nodded in agreement. "This must be the way. Let's go in." At this, the party filed into the lair.

What will they discover inside? Find out next time!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wandering in the Woods

Part 1 of the Adventure of the Three Rings (A Four Against Darkness module)

Introduction
Candorra bowed before the Lord of Northport and presented the missive from the Holy Temple in Scotsile. As the lord's minister reached for a it, a commotion broke out from the entrance to the Great Hall. All eyes turned as a young novice burst rushed past the guards, panic in his voice."

"They're gone! They're gone!" he cried.

The guards tried to restrain the youth but the lord motioned for them to let him approach.

"Calm yourself." the lord commanded. The novice took a breath.

"Better. Now explain yourself."

The youth told a tale a woe. Orc reavers had attacked the abbey, which lay several miles to the east. They had killed the prior and several of the monks. They ransacked the place, even stealing the abbey's three sacred rings, and then fled into the Borderland Forest.

"This is dread news." The lord agreed. He then called for volunteers to hunt down the orcs and recover the rings/

"They're just some jewelry" Khamen thought, as he tried to remain inconspicuous. He had no desire to be traipsing into the wilds in search of murderous orcs.

"Wonderful!" the lord pronounced. "Our visitors from the Temple have volunteered."

Khamen jumped in surprise. He then turned, and to his dismay saw that Candorra had raised her hand. He responded with an audible groan of despair.

"What was that?" the lord queried.

Candorra shot an angry glance at Khamen then turned to the lord. She replied "He is just visibly upset by the injustice of it all."

The lord nodded in satisfaction. Khamen was visibly upset, but by what he saw as a different injustice.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Episode One

A few days later Khamen and Candorra were in the forest, tracking down the orcs. They were accompanied by a one of the lord's rangers, Rikk, who was well versed in the forest's perils.

Game Note: For Rikk, I used the unofficial ranger class found in the fan-made supplement Uncanny Against Darkness.

As they followed the orcs' trail, they were plagued by a swarm of bees and a whirlwind, which broke Rikk's bow. Candorra lent him her bow and they continued. Then they were fortunate to come across a young woodsman. He had seen the orcs, hiding in the trees as they passed. He agreed to show the party where they went. As our heroes continued, they passed a shrine and met an herbalist, acquiring some wolfsbane from the the latter,

Deeper into the forest they went. After a while, they could feel the earth shaking.

"Earthquake!?" Khamen pondered.

"Worse!" replied the woodsman. "Quick, hide!"

The party hid in some bushes. Moments later, a giant passed by along the path. As it passed, the giant dropped a body from his gnarled grip. The body plopped to the ground and lay still. They could still hear the giant's footsteps as Khamen snuck into the path and checked the body. It was a dead orc, probably one of the reavers. Unfortunately, it did not carry one of the rings.

The party continued. They discovered fresh orc tracks, fled from a forest fire, and passed an empty cabin. Then in clearing ahead they spotted a pile of skulls. Rikk advanced to investigate their grisly discovery. They heard a shriek from the sky above as a griffin swooped upon Rikk. It slashed him with its talons. Blood oozed from his wounds as he released an arrow, penetrating deep into the beast's chest. It howled in rage as it swung back to attack Rikk again. It rended the ranger once again. By now Khamen and Candorra had rushed into the clearing and entered the fray. Khamen struck then dodged as the griffin tuned on him. As it did so, Rikk managed to get off a shot, The arrow pierced the beast's heart and it fell dead at their feet.

In the pile of skulls they found a magical mace and a potion of healing. They used the potion to cure Rikk's profusely bleeding wounds.

They continued into the forest and came across a fork in the road. There were three paths they could take. Rikk surveyed the ground, looking for tracks. After a few minutes he announced his verdict.

"They split up into three groups, each taking a different path."

After some consultation, they decided to proceed along the path to the left.

What will the find along this path? Find out next time!

Game Note: After a series of adventures, I am no nearer to the rings than the first time. I plan to modify the module a little, turning it into 3 hex crawls. The boss of each hex crawl will be one of the reavers with a ring.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Crypt of Count Valod

A Khamen and Candorra Adventure

After their adventure on the island of Sarpedon, Khamen and Candorra hopped on a ship back to their home. Stopping for provisions at a little town on the coast, they witnessed a funeral procession. However, there was no body or casket, just an effigy of the deceased, a young girl. When Khamen asked what happened, the locals just scowled, said "the Count took her," and gestured to a menacing castle overlooking the town. After some pressing they were told that the Count was a "vampyr." It took some prompting from Candorra but they decided to investigate.

Here is a reproduction of the map that they drew:

They entered the foreboding castle through the front gate. In the foyer (2) a trapdoor suddenly opened under Candorra's feet. With a deft leap, she vaulted clear of the gaping pit. The next room (5) was empty; they searched and found a clue. In the next room (6), several corpses animated and shambled toward our heroes. Candorra minced them in seconds.

Opening the door into a kitchen (9), our heroes were confronted by a coven of witches toiling over a cauldron. The lead witch called out "Kill them!" Then she launched a lightning bolt at Candorra. The elf could not dodge and was singed by the electric shock. She responded by pulling out her sleep wand; 3 of the witches succumbed. Khamen and Candorra then defeated the remaining witches without further wounds.

After driving off some vampire bats (8), our heroes reached a dead end. They backtracked to the empty room then exited through the western door (4). This room was being used as a den for a pack of wolves. They immediately attacked but the party drove them off. Then the party had to backtrack again. fighting more wolves along the way until they entered a room (1) with four young women. Seeing our heroes, the women bared their fangs - they were vampires! One swooped upon Khamen; he dodged then stabbed it. Candorra took out two more and the last fled. After a couple more rooms they finally found the stairs (3) to the crypts below.

"Looks like we took the scenic tour." Khamen quipped, much to Candorra's dismay.

They passed along a musty corridor. Large mushrooms grew from the floor. Suddenly they erupted, spouting spores throughout the passage. Khamen and Candorra covered their faces and rushed forward.

Note: I treated the cloud of spores as a poison gas trap.

Suddenly a malevolent presence appeared before them.

"Welcome to my castle." announced Count Valod. "I trust you shall stay for dinner."

Candorra wasted no time. She cast a lightning bolt. It struck the Cont in the chest, knocking him back and singing him. In a blink of an eye he pounced on Candorra. She eluded her grasp and struck the Count repeatedly. Howling in pain, he turned into a bat and flew away!

"He got away! Now what?" said Khamen.

"Destroy his sarcophagus. He won't be able to return to this castle!"

The heroes dismantled the sarcophagus. Later, they would bring a priest to the castle to bless the ground of the crypt. This would seal the vampire's fate.

Game Notes

  • For this adventure, I decided that the final boss would be a vampire. I then chose encounters that would give a gothic feel. The party missed (did not roll) some of the more interesting encounters, such as a laboratory, a Frankenstein monster, and a werewolf.
  • I finally was able to get Candorra to level 3. Now my heroes can take on the published adventure Three Rings.