Sunday, April 24, 2016

Thrilling Adventures in Aetheria!

The Tales of Dirk Daring
As the Empire of the Iron Fist threatens the Free People of Aetheria, the forces of freedom have recruited a band of courageous adventurers to take the fight to the Empire. Led by Dirk Daring, they go on thrilling adventures in Aetheria, with the fate of the free world in their hands!

Cast of Characters

Dirk Daring
The commander of the party. He was a celebrated fighter pilot during the Grand War. After the war, he became a stunt pilot. he travels the world performing at air shows across the globe. This gives him an opportunity counter the nefarious plots of the Empire throughout the world.

Dirk is a redoubtable soldier who wears a well-worn leather jacket and carries a pearl-handled pistol.

Sally Sweeting
Don't be fooled by Sally's demure looks. She is actual an accomplished mechanic who keeps Dirk's planes in working order. In a pinch, she can pitch in during a fight.

Sally's agility and luck, along with her .22 caliber pistol, keep her from harm.

"Boomer" Bradley
Nick "Boomer" Bradley is a demolitions expert. He was serving in the Confederation military, working on top secret projects for the government, when Dirk offered him a chance to get out of the laboratory. Boomer jumped at the chance.

Boomer is armed with a light pistol and carries 3 demolition charges.

Mme. Fifi Fatale
The sultry Mme. Fatale is an agent for the Galllian Secret Service. Her government is afraid of antagonizing the Empire openly so they assigned her to work with Dirk's team covertly. Although she is not averse to using her feminine wiles, she is no slouch in a fight.

Fifi is armed with a pistol.

The Mission
Join our team as they embark on their first mission - the Raid on the Wolf's Lair.

Raid on the Wolf's Lair

A Dirk Daring Adventure
(Using a Four Against Darkness Variant)

Our heroes have been tasked with finding secret war plans of the Empire of the Iron Fist. They surreptitiously flew into Imperial territory, found the hidden outpost known as the wolf's lair, and are now entering it to find the plans.

Here is a map of the outpost:

They entered through a little-used side entrance and found themselves in an empty room with 3 exits (1). They took the middle entrance and found themselves in a guard room (2). The guards were all armed with poison needle guns but before they could get a shot off the party opened fire and eliminated the enemy.

This room was a dead end so they backtracked, wound through a corridor (3) into a nondescript office. They found a hidden safe. Sally unlocked it and was almost poisoned by a trap. They found some secret documents, which they kept. They weren't the plans they wanted, however.

The next room (5) was an armory. The lone Imperial engineer saw the party and quickly donned a large, flame-throwing exoskeleton. Boomer used a demolition charge, which damaged the exoskeleton. It then replied by blasting the room with a jet of flame. Boomer and Mme. Fatale were burned. Dirk and Fatale then emptied their revolvers into the exoskeleton. Boomer followed with a well-aimed shot that disabled the machine.

Leaving the armory, the party headed down a  long corridor (6). They stopped at an intersection when suddenly machine gun fire erupted. Fortunately, our heroes dove for cover and were safe. They discovered that the guns were a trap. Also, when they hit the floor they found a security pass.

In the next room (7) they were confronted by 3 Guardsmen. Fortunately, they were able to use the pass that they found to bluff their way past.

Our heroes then meandered through an empty corridor (8) and entered a small office. At the desk was an officer of the Imperial Secret Police. When he saw the party, he pulled out a sub-machine gun and opened fire. Dirk and Sally fired back, wounded him. He ducked behind his desk. Lifting his weapon over the desk top, he fired another burst. This time Dirk and Boomer shot, wounding him again. At this point, he surrendered. Our heroes tied him up and searched him. No plans.

The party went back through the corridor (8) and entered the next office (10). Another Secret Police officer! Another firefight broke out. Boomer used a demolition charge to wound the officer, but in turn he wounded Dirk. But the barrage of gunfire was too much and the officer slumped to the floor. Checking the room, they found the plans.

They rushed back through the outpost while chased by guard dogs. At one point a dog latched on Boomer's leg, tearing at his flesh. His comrades was able to defeat the dog and helped Boomer limp from the outpost.

Once outside, they made their way back to Dirk's plane and soared off to safety.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stone Cold

The Thrilling Conclusion to the Catacombs
(A Maudicor Adventure Using Four Against Darkness)

After defeating the dragon, we continued our investigation of the Catacombs. Here is a map of what we explored:

Our search led us to a corridor filled with dragon swarmlings (8) which guarded an expensive gem. Then I solved a puzzle (9) to find a lightning bolt scroll.

We backtracked and in a square room (10) we found a hidden treasure chest with 196 gold pieces. As we proceeded, we defeated 3 zombies (11) and 6 cultists (13). I was able to use a fireball scroll that I found to aid us in our victory over the cultists.

Game note: Again, to meet the theme, I changed some monsters. As the dungeon progressed, I began to envision it as a lair of a dragon cult, hence the dragon swarmlings (instead of goblin swarmlings) and cultists (instead of hobgoblins).

Fortunately, we found a room with a fountain (15). We tested the waters and found that they healed our wounds.

The next room (16) was a more unpleasant surprise. As we entered, we spied a female figure with snakes for her hair. A medusa! Aganon and Wynne were instantly turned to stone! "Don't look at her face!" I yelled. "Keep your eyes on her feet!" I used a lightning bolt scroll but with my eyes averted, I missed badly. Kyda and I then forged into the fight. Alas, our limited vision hindered our attacks, and many times we missed our target. The medusa managed to wound both of us. But finally, we got used to our poor vision and struck her until she collapsed dead. We found a magical sword.

But what to do about our petrified comrades? We picked up their bodies and began to manhandle them through the dungeon towards the exit. We had to beat back attacks by rats and vampire bats but managed to make it out of the dungeon. We brought our friends back to the Temple, where blessings returned them to their human form.

After we made our report to the Preceptor, he sent out another expedition to rout out the remaining cult. Alas, the leader and the remaining cultists had fled. At least the Catacombs are now clear!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Wyrm Under the Streets

Part 1 of the Catacombs
(A Maudicor Adventure Using Four Against Darkness)

After our failure at the Caverns of Chaos, the Preceptor decided that we should tackle something a bit less challenging (famous last words!). Under the city is a labyrinth of tunnels known as the Catacombs. It has often been the lair of disreputable folk. Currently, there are rumors of evil deeds. It is our mission to investigate it.

As he was unable to provide us more equipment, we had to improvise some clubs.

Here is a map of the dungeon so far:

We entered the dungeon. Opening the middle door of the first room (1), we proceeded into a twisting corridor (2). Here we ran into 5 fungi folk. Aganon and Wynne fought superbly and defeated the enemy (although Wynne was wounded).

We then entered a large empty room (3). As we proceeded to the door, we were suddenly attacked by 5 vampire frogs. They seemed to target Kyda; she was soon badly wounded but Wynne healed her. Kyda then backstabbed the last remaining frog.

At this point,we discovered a valuable piece of jewelry. We decided to take it back to the Temple and re-arm ourselves.
Game note: I "cheated" here and let the adventurers leave and return to the dungeon because I felt it would make for a better story if I could arm them properly. Changing the rules is one of the benefits of solo gaming (and as you will see it was very fortuitous for the party).

Refit and rested, we returned to the Catacombs. In a corridor (4), we ran into 7 ne'er-do-wells, apparently using the Catacombs for nefarious ends. Aganon gave them a chance to surrender but they attacked. I put 5 of them to sleep and the others fled.
Game note: The random roll came up orcs but it seemed unlikely for tunnels under the city. I changed the name but used the same stats. One of the strengths of Four Against Darkness is that the monster lists can easily be tailored to your needs.

We then passed through a corridor (5) and a room (6) without incident until we came to an irregular room (7). There was a dais with what we thought was a statue of a dragon on it. Then the dragon began to move! I immediately shot a lightning bolt at it, which seared the beast. Aganon leapt into the fray and stabbed the dragon. The beast, reared back and slashed with its massive talons. Aganon ducked but Wynne was hit and thrown against the wall. Again, Aganon stabbed the beast. This time, its attacks missed. But then it reared back and spewed forth a geyser of sulfurous breath. Aganon and Wynne dodged but Kyda and I were scorched. Then Wynne leapt upon the beast's back, and with a prayer to the Maker clubbed its skull. It collapsed in a heap. We found some minor bits of treasure (including a fireball scroll).

As we take a moment to recuperate, I am jotting down these notes. It appears that the dragon was being kept by someone, perhaps as a watcher. Who is behind the evil doings in these Catacombs? Only further exploration will tell.

Game Notes
This was my second adventure using Four Against Darkness available from Ganesha Games. I highly recommend it for some quick adventuring!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Caverns of Chaos

A Four Against Darkness Adventure

My name is Maudicor. In the past, I have delved into the mysteries of mana and learned the arcane arts. Now, I use my talents in the service of the Holy Temple.

Recently, the Preceptor of our local temple learned of a nearby dungeon that the locals called the Caverns of Chaos. Apparently, evil forces had occupied it. I was assigned, with three others, to clear it out. My companions were Aganon the warrior, Wynne the cleric, and Kyda the rehabilitated rogue.

I drew a map of the parts of the dungeon that we explored.

  1. We entered the dungeon and found ourselves in an empty room. There are 3 doors leading out; we chose the middle one.
  2. From there, we moved into a long corridor that emptied into a rectangular room. As we entered the room, a sudden flurry of wings swooped by us. A pack of vampire bats, startled by our appearance, flew out of the room.
  3. After passing through an empty corridor,
  4. we came into a long room. It seemed empty but after a thorough search we found some mysterious runes carved into the far wall. Perhaps a clue to the secrets of the dungeon? We need more information to reveal the mystery.
  5. And another empty corridor, leading to
  6. an irregularly shaped room. As we entered, a foul odor assaulted our senses. Bones were strewn throughout the room. Then we heard a faint growling, followed by an angry roar. The denizen of the room, a vile troll, leapt out of the darkness at me! He swung and his long claws dug into my arm. I fell back, blood oozing from my wound. My companions rushed forward. Aganon and Wynne hacked and smashed the creature. Them Kyda snuck up behind it, and thrust her blade deep into its vitals. It collapsed. We then chopped it to bits so it would not regenerate. We found 2 gold pieces strewn among the rubbish. We then retraced our steps (scaring off some rats in one of the corridors) until we reached a new room.
  7. This room was occupied by 6 goblins. I blasted one with a fireball while my comrades each killed one. The remaining 2 fled.
  8. We followed them into a corridor but they disappeared! There was a stone door at the end of this hall but we could not open it. Then I noticed s series of knobs labled with pictographs. A puzzle! After a few minutes, I solved it and we were able to open the door.
  9. As we passed through the next corridor, we ran into a patrol of 3 hobgoblins. We immediately attacked, and after a brief fight we had vanquished the foe. On one of the hobgoblins, we found a ring of teleportation.
  10. The next room was covered in webs, We started cutting and burning our way through them, but this awoke the denizen of those webs. A giant spider dropped into our midst. As it descended from the ceiling, Aganon thrust into its torso but the creature still lived. It landed on Wynne and sank its fangs into shoulder. She cried out in pain and backed away. The party attacked, but the spider deftly dodged. It then leapt at Aganon biting him and injecting him with poison. Aganon countered and slashed the spider. It bit him again; more poison coursed through his veins. He was growing weaker, but he put all his strength into the blow and split the creature in twain. Wynne then rushed to him and by praying fervently to the Maker Aganon's wounds were healed. Searching the room, we found a necklace worth at least 100 gold!
  11. We backtracked through a few rooms, scaring off some more vampire bats. We burst into a new room and ran into 7 orcs. With a quick incantation, I put 3 of them to sleep. Aganon and Wynne each killed an orc, but they were injured in their fights. Aganon then slew another and Kyda's backstab eliminated the last one. We found a ring worth 120 gold.
  12. As we explored the next room, we found piles of rusted junk lying around. I planned to poke around with my staff, but then I realized that it was missing from my hand. After my cry of surprise, the others discovered that their weapons were gone. Gremlins! They had stolen all our weapons, our treasure, and even my spell book. We were utterly defenseless so we decided to make a hasty exit.
As we neared the exit, we were attacked by a pack of goblin swarmlings. They bit and clawed, wounding me. But we were able to extricate ourselves and flee from the dungeon.

We have now reported our failure to the Holy Temple and we await their response.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Rescue

The Thrilling Conclusion of Icing the Enemy
A Kate and Kip Adventure

Last time, Federation intervention has defeated the Frigidair defense forces. With resistance broken, Federation troops streamed into the capital, liberating prisoners from the various holding cells throughout the city.

But what of Kate and Kip? They were being held captive in the capital but an enemy agent has arrived to take them back to Imperial space.

At that very moment, a squad of Federation Rangers arrives.

The Rangers move deeper into the cell block, taking out a Frigidair security guard.

A brisk firefight ensues. The agent cautiously escorts our heroes towards the exit.

The Rangers eliminate the guards and converge on the agent and her prisoners.

The agent is hit.

And then she goes down. The remaining security guard flees.

Kate and Kip have been rescued!