D&D Encounters – Out of the Abyss – session 5-6

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by vobeskhan

out-of-the-abyss-coverWe had another great evening at Tabletop Tyrants. My table once again consisted of:-

  • Stuart, playing Exom, a level 4 Human Wizard (Zhentarim)
  • Jason, playing Io, a level 3 Human Monk (Zhentarim)
  • Sil, playing Raggia, a level 3 Elf Druid (Zhentarim)
  • Phil, playing Captain Astrid Alexis Astor, a level 3 Human Paladin (Order of the Gauntlet)

Our resident rogue, Rose, couldn’t make it due to other commitments but will hopefully be back with us next time.

The heroes continue their journey to Sloopbludop, but the paladin begins hearing a faint female voice calling for help. No-one else can hear it but they trust the paladin and send the wizards owl ahead to investigate.

CAM04082Some way ahead there is a narrow side passage  with leads into a dark, small chamber with a marble wall and large metallic door. The voice continues to plead to be rescued from the darkness but sounds closer. It takes a little effort (what a time to be missing the rogue he he) but they manage to open the door and it leads in to a marble chamber.

The walls are lined with frescoes depicting vistas with floating cities in the sky, and a couple of shelves show broken jars etc. One shelf holds a small diorama of a noble looking woman being attended by her servants. Our well-read wizard remembers reading in his studies of ancient Netheril and its magical floating cities, a civilisation of powerful magic users that almost destroyed the world centuries ago.


The wizard also begins to feel a prickling sensation on the back of his neck while in here. The heroes follow the marble stairs down to a small landing which is decorated with an inlaid stone, Exom the wizard again uses his knowledge of history to determine that it is a Netherese calendar stone, depicting the date this building was built. the stairs continue to lead down some hundred or so feet to end in another metallic door.


The door opened into another marble chamber with two more doors leading from it. In the room was a grey stone altar and more of the broken jars/containers. The friezes decorating the walls were defaced with several deep gouges as clawed by some beast.

The heroes chose a door, opening it to find a short corridor ending in another door. This then led into a chamber dominated by a large stone sarcophagus resting on a black stone plinth. The lid of the sarcophagus depicted more scenes of the floating cities, and two niches in the walls held unbroken jars.

Investigating the jars the heroes discover them to be some sort of canopic jars, holding the long deceased remains of some unknown humanoid.

Io opens the sarcophagus and is surprised when the lid lifts easily, though even more surprised when a voice booms out of nowhere “You have disturbed the tomb of Brysis of Khaem! Accursed are you, most miserable of creatures!”. Inside the now open sarcophagus lay a motionless woman who looked remarkably like the one depicted in the diorama above. After several minutes investigation they realised that it was actually a stone replica of the woman and that they was nothing else of note in the room.

Moving back to the other door, it led into another short corridor which opened up into a chamber with four smaller sarcophagi, each lid carved to show a well dressed servant. Io stepped forward once more but as he touched the lid of the first one four spectral figures rose through the lids and attacked!


Battling the spectres proved harder than anticipated as the party realised that they had been cursed when opening the previous tomb, and to make matters worse when Exom began casting spells strange side effects also occurred (not all of which were helpful). Eventually the heroes despatched the spectres but after the undead had taken a heavy toll on them. While they recovered they investigated the sarcophagi, finding some treasure but importantly finding that one of them was on small rollers and covering a trap door.

Rolling the sarcophagus back over the trap door (just in case) they decided to bring their companions in with them and take a rest and recover. Nothing disturbed their rest, but upon waking Exom conjured his magical armour and in doing so created a burst of necrotic energy which hit all of his associates and killed JimJar the deep gnome.

The trap door led down a tunnel to another marble chamber. Its wall decorated with coloured pigments un-dulled by age and a gilded sarcophagus on a dias. As the heroes approached a black shadowy figure (vaguely resembling the statue of the woman) rose up and attacked them.


Exom was loath to attack lest his magic cause more harm than help to his allies while Io and Raggia (in dire wolf form) found that their attacks weren’t as decisive against the incorporeal form. Captain Astrid however was able to bring the power of her god to bear. The voice she had been hearing called out more insistently now, telling her she was in the coffin and could help if they got her out. Raggia and Io switch tactics and between them heaved the lid, revealing a sword hilt (but no blade). Io tried to pick it up but felt a compunction to drop it straight away. Astrid grabbed it and the blade instantly sprung to life, glowing like a sun and causing the wraith to recoil momentarily.

The wraith seemed to realise that the paladin was her greatest threat and so concentrated her attacks on the holy warrior, both combatants taking a heavy toll on the other.

Astrid knew that one more strike from the undead would spell her end and begged Exom to risk his magic. With trepidation the mage cast  magic missile at the wraith instantly realising that additional magic was being generated but was streaking towards Raggia’s animal form – which then levitated to the rooms roof!

Everyone’s attention though was snapped back to the wraith as the magical darts of energy struck, the creatures form burst scattering shadow stuff which the light of Astrid’s blade instantly banished into nothingness.

As the dire wolf (Raggia) continues to float around the other heroes searched the room but it wasnt until they spotted Stool standing apparently on thin air that they realised there was an invisible chest in the room. Well aware that their rogue would have made short work of any traps they cautiously opened it to find a veritable hoard.

Not wanting to travel further until they had recovered from the beating the wraith had given them the heroes settled down to examine their newly acquired goodies and rest for the remainder of the day.

That was where we left it for the session, not any closer to Sloopbludop but certainly richer for the experience.

Leicester All Scars Punic Wars Stage 1 – Planetfall v Eldar

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2015 by vobeskhan

BLToday saw the beginning of the Leicester All Scars Punic Wars narrative campaign event. The mission was Planetfall (from the Planet Strike supplement that was in the Sanctus Reach expansion) used in conjunction with the mealstrom Tactical Cards, and I was to be the attacker against the Eldar defending the planet of Leptis Magna – a hot and acrid planet whose atmosphere causes plasma misfires more often.

I suspected that my opponent would expect me to take my usual bikes, Lord, sorceror and heldrake combination; but with the special rules the mission allowed I decided to take an entirely deep striking force led by none other than Abaddon himself!

punic 1 v 2 – my army list.

The eldar deployed along with their bastion and aegis line (with quad-autocannon) , fully expecting the roar of bike engines. But after resolving my firestorm attacks (each of which aided by ground observers and bolstered by doomfire shells to give them all soulblaze) they were surprised to see my entire force (apart from the Tzeentch terminators) deep strike on turn one – and aside from the raptors, all arrived bang on target!.

Farseer Syndra had already lost her jetbike bodyguards to the firestorm attacks and then she suffered blindness from the warptalons arrival.

Abaddon and his Bringers of Despair unloaded their weapons into the nearby wraithguard, the combined reaper autocannon and combi-melta fire utterly destroying the eldar constructs and leaving Abaddon close enough to claim the objective they had been camping on.

The fire raptor has landed on the corpses of a few of the fire dragons, opening up with avenger bolt cannon, balefire missiles and reaper batteries at the nearby eldar.

Eventually the warptalons were unleashed, and their champion screamed his challenge to the blind farseer. She responded by trying to impale him on her weapon but his demon infused armour saved him. In retaliation his lightning claws shredded the eldar leader.

The surprise assault had taken a toll on the eldar forces, but they quickly rallied. Their rage focused on the Despoiler and his retinue with four entire units bringing their weapons to bear and many unleashing D-damage on them. Even the enscorcelled armour of Abaddon couldn’t protect him from it all and he fell.

The raptors then became a target of one of the wraithlords and were quickly reduced to smoking corpses.

Next round saw my remaining unit arrive by deep strike – again bang on target (had the chaos gods blessed my scatter dice?). The raptors advanced to claim an objective and score me some points while the fire raptor banked and targeted another jetbike squad as well as the eldar flyer, wiping out the jetbikes but the flyer survived. the obliterators stood still and continued to fire at the wraithguard while they contested another objective.

The Eldar response saw the newly arrived terminators ranks thinned though a scattering D shot also took out one of their own wraithlords at the same time. The wraithguard manage to take out two of the three obliterators while the rangers wound the remaining one.

The fire raptor decides to zoom off so as to return next round. The last obliterator moves forward, blasting away at the wraithguard and then charging into them, reducing them to a single warrior.

The raptors jumpack towards the swooping hawks shooting at them and then weathering a hail of overwatch to assault them – wiping the unit out before the champion even warmed his lightning claws up.

The tzeentch terminators assaulted into the remaining wraithlord, chainfist and powerfists eventually ripping the construct to pieces and leaving the terminators close to the remaining heavy weapons battery.

As the turn ended the objective close to the obliterator and wraithguard exploded, and the shrapnel manages to find gaps in the fleshmetal and dropping the last obliterator.

The eldar flyer swooped over the board unleashing its psychic assault on the raptors and causing the remaining members to begin fleeing, the rest of the eldar forces target the remaining terminators, reducing them down to just the champion who managed to stoically pass his leadership (obviously buoyed by the heavy weapon platforms D-cannon shot scattering back onto itself and destroying itself before him).

The fire raptor returned, taking out the last wraithguard with one of its reaper batteries, then firing its other weapons at the rangers, avenger bolter cannon and reaper battery shells shred most of the eldar scouts and a balefire missile takes another one, but the massive barrage left them suffering from soulblaze which manages to finish the unit off (they pop like popcorn, just ask Dave D).

The last terminator strode forward and commandeer the quad autocannon to take a cheeky shot at the eldar flyer, taking a hull point from it.

The trio of raptors manage to rally, ready to make themselves a nuisance next turn.

The eldar wave serpents and the remaining unit of dire avengers join the last remaining two fire dragons in burying the terminator in a wave of firepower while the flyer swoops around trying to again affect the raptors with its psychic shenanigans but this time fails.

The recovered raptors jump pack up to the rangers former vantage point and try to shoot the flyer, but fail. The fire raptor takes a risk and drops into hover mode as the pilot enacts the Marked for Death stratagem and targets the dire avengers before opening up with the avenger bolt cannon and obliterating them (7 twin-linked shots, strength 6 ap 3 – there’s no such thing as overkill, just kill!), then pops one of the reaper batteries into the last two fire dragons and leaving them as smears on the floor.

The eldar flyer continues to fly around but has no target in range, but the wave serpents unload everything (including their serpent shields) into the hovering fire raptor, causing the wrecked flyer to crash (unfortunately not on top of them).

The game ended on the roll of a two and with the three raptors camping on an objective, they secured my the necessary three vp’s to tie the score.

Final Score 10-10.

An excellent result considering the carnage we had inflicted upon each other.

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Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide – my review

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D with tags , , , , , on October 25, 2015 by vobeskhan


This is the first release from WotC that is neither a core rulebook nor an adventure arc and it’s what I have been waiting for – a campaign guide for the Forgotten Realms. While it doesn’t cover the entire realms as previous editions did, it does concentrate on the (as the title suggests) Sword Coast which is where the story/adventure arcs have been located thus far.


The book is split into five chapters and an appendix:

  • Chapter 1: Welcome to the Realms
  • Chapter 2: The Sword Coast and the North
  • Chapter 3: Races of the Realms
  • Chapter 4: Classes
  • Chapter 5: Backgrounds
  • Appendix: Class Options in the Other Worlds


The preface gives a brief outline of the book, including its origins back in the days of TSR owning D&D, but its main content is the full colour map of the Sword Coast. While it’s a great map it has a few niggling issues for me – it would have been better as an included fold-out poster, as my second issue is that with the way the book is bound part of the map is obscured where it crosses over the pages.


Chapter 1: Welcome to the Realms


This chapter gives us an overview of the post-Sundering Realms and even tells us briefly of the lands beyond the Sword Coast (I’m hoping we’ll get further guides for some of these areas, especially as the Expedition adventures are all set around the Moonsea region which isn’t covered in this book).


We also get details on the calendar of the Realms and its currencies which will add immense flavour to games, but I think the most important section here is the pantheons of the Realms. Descriptions of the numerous gods and their folios, as well as those associated with particular races too present more flavourful options to those of us that play clerics etc (Oh you’re a cleric of the god of War, which one?)


Chapter 2: The Sword Coast and the North


As you’d expect this is detailing the environs and inhabitants of the Sword Coast (and the North, who’d have guessed). It features some nice maps of the locations including city layouts, one of my favourite being a post-Sundering map of Neverwinter.


This whole section is absent of actual rules, being all fluff information for bringing the locations to life but leaving enough latitude for individual DM’s to make them their own.


Chapter 3: Races of the Realms


While not giving new playable races as such it adds a Realms flavour to the existing races available, old school Realms-players/dm’s will remember elves being known as Sun elf, Moon elf etc and the details such distinctions are here. My personal favourites being the Ghostwise Halflings of the Chondalwood and the variant Tiefling racial traits.


Chapter 4: Classes


This section covers not only how the existing classes function and are represented within the Realms but also brings us a few new things too.


The dwarf-only Barbarian path of the Battlerager will be instantly recognisable by readers of the R A Salvatore books, the legacy of Pwent will live on. The other barbarians also get some additional Totem Spirits as the Uthgardt and Reghed Barbarians are a prominent feature of the area.


Bards have long been associated with one of the major power groups in the area, the Harpers, and we now get information and options on the Bardic Colleges and some of the common (and not so common) musical instruments of the Realms.


As the Realms has two very prominent gods of Magic (Azuth and Mystra) we get the Arcana Domain for Clerics. We also get information on the Druid Circles of the Realms, and how they interact with the Harpers and Emerald Enclave.


Fighters gain access to the Purple Dragon Knight martial archetype, this I couldn’t quite see why it was included as the Purple Dragons are a staple of Cormyr which isn’t part of the Sword Coast and surely would have been better kept for a later sourcebook detailing that area, I would also have thought they would have been more suited to being a Paladin archetype but I guess not all Knights need to be holy warriors.


Monks of the Realms are not your usual type (pseudo oriental kung fu masters), that’s not to say they aren’t schooled in the ways of martial combat, they just don’t all have shaved heads and orange robes. The book gives us information on a few Monastic Orders of the Realms (some of which will be familiar) and two new Monastic Traditions – the Way of the Long Death, and the Way of the Sun Soul.


Paladins are a more tolerant lot in the Realms, dependant on their particular faiths tenets. Here we have the common “code of conduct”. The chapter contains information on a trio of Paladin Orders, one of which (Order of Samular) will be familiar to those that played the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure, as well a new Oath for paladin characters, the Oath of the Crown.


Rangers surprisingly get short shrift in this section, despite being abundant across the wilds of the Sword Coast and the North. The only additional information we get is regarding the deities associated with the different racial archetypes of Rangers. I was kind of hoping for at least one optional “path” and perhaps more suggested animal companions here, but nope.


Rogues however get two new archetypes, the Mastermind, a real schemer and person of influence which I can see being great for city based campaigns of intrigue and political maneaouvering, and one I have been waiting for, the Swashbuckler. Duellist extraordinaire and all done with a roguish smile and wink for the ladies. I can see this being a firm favourite very quickly.


Sorcerers, while note being one of my favourite classes, have been a staple in the Realms since 2nd Edition and the appearance of wild magic during the Time of Troubles (oh how I laughed when the party wizard cast his fireball, seeing his little face light up when I told him it was maximum effect, and then see it turn to horror as I add that its centred on himself). To accompany the origins of Wild and Draconic Magic we get the new Storm Sorcery.


Warlocks get a good section on possible patrons for the Archfey, Fiend and Old One paths as well as the new Otherworldly Patron – the Undying – Warlocks of the Undead, how could that possibly go wrong?


The section on Wizards gives us two wizardly groups – The Red Wizards and the War Wizards – neither of which are traditionally associated with the Sword Coast (Red Wizards are from Thay, and War Wizards are from Cormyr), though the Red Wizards did make in-roads in gaining ground during the Sundering adventures (particularly around Neverwinter and Daggerford). We get a new take on another old Realms favourite Arcane Tradition – the Elven Bladesinger. The chapter then closes out with four new cantrips (available for Sorcerers, Warlocks and Wizards).


Chapter 5: Backgrounds


This chapter presents some Realms-flavoured Background choices to use instead of those presented in the Players Handbook; some are variations on existing ones while others (Far Traveller, Faction Agent to name a couple) are a little different.


Appendix: Class Options in the Other Worlds


This section gives notes on how to adapt the information from this book to be useable in the other Campaign Settings (which will hopefully eventually get their own full guides), such as Dragonlance, Eberron, Greyhawk, or a “Homemade” world.


Overall this book is a nice addition to the options available for players and DM’s alike, while the new class options will be of more use to players, the overall world information will be invaluable to both to bring their Realms adventures to life.


One important thing to note though, at this point in time, none of the class options are currently “legal” for play in the Organised Play events such as Encounters and Expeditions – though word is that there is an update coming to the Adventurers League Players Guide “soon” which will address which (if any) will be allowed in due course (I’m not going to restart the Aaracockra argument).


Destiny on the Edge of Rebellion – episode 3 – a Star Wars RPG campaign

Posted in Age of Rebellion, Edge of the Empire, Force and Destiny, Star Wars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by vobeskhan

Jewl-of-Yavin_LGWe continue our adventures at Tabletop Tyrants.

  • Liam – GM
  • Me – Hep Kresim, Duros, Spy (Scout)
  • Emily – Ara’Li, Twilek, Explorer (Trader)
  • Jack – Kallus, Human, Jedi (Shi-Cho Knight)
  • Alastair – Morty (1C-14N), Droid, Colonist (Medic) (Absent)
  • Tim – Lithel, Mon Calimari, Engineer
  • Jon – Zinogres, Faleen, Pilot/Smuggler

Well we didn’t fare too well against Shend’s goons last time so with discretion being the better part of valour (ie, none of us wanted to die over it) we decided to cut our losses and get the heck off of Bespin.

Unfortunately our little fracas had attracted the attention of the wing-guard and they were quickly and efficiently closing all the available exits. Thankfully my own meagre talents for such situations let me spy one that they hadn’t quite got around to yet and so I heroically led my comrades to safety. Ok, so I ran for it and they followed, but the intent was the same.

Apparently my choice of escape route led us into the Grand Galaxy Holopark, which today was depicting the woodland realm of Kashyyk. The holographic projections were so realistic I could have sworn we were indeed on the Wookie homeworld. But this was no time for sight-seeing as the wing-guard were hot in pursuit and it looked as if a fire-fight was our only option.


Before any of us can open fire though Zinogres steps forward and holsters his blaster with deliberate movements, calling to the wing-guard commander to parley. Surprisingly they don’t shoot him where he stands and their human leader confers with Zinogres.  I’m standing close enough to hear some of what they say to each other but not all of it, something about the guard realising who Zin works for and what the ramifications of that could be. Anyways, Zin gets the guy to agree to let us leave if we submit to a search for the missing jewel, thankfully since we carry nothing resembling a jewel of that size (thanks to Kallus’s lady friend) we’re released and Zin even gives the guard some info on Shend’s “possible” involvement in the theft. Rather than hang around for them to change their minds we hightailed it to Zin’s ship, the Swift Shadow,  and took off.

Nova Courier

We’d barely broke orbit from Bespin when I received a communique from one of my contacts, telling me to go see a Twi’lek named Reom at the remote station The Wheel in the far edges of the Rim. Carrying out a task he had would wipe out a large part of a debt I owed. I put it to my new crewmates, emphasizing that it would certainly get us away from any of Shend’s goons or allies, they readily agreed and off we flew.

beyond-the-rimArriving at the Wheel we meet Reom, who’s head of a company called Isotech. Apparently he’d recently acquired a hyperspace message pod believed to have been from the lost ship, the Sa Naloor. The ship went missing in the closing days of the Clone Wars, and the data from the pod says it crashed on a planet named Cholganna. Reom wanted us to confirm the ships location and see if anything was salvageable. Reom had something else to aid us, a protocol droid that had served on board the ship (under its Captain Harsol), IT3-P0, and was having it delivered shortly, this would give us a short time to organise provisions and gather any further information we might need. Reom did caution us though that ISB agents had recently been seen on the Wheel also looking for information on the Sa Naloor, as well as a business rival, the Yiyar clan.

Between us we discover that Cholganna is a jungle world and home to the feared Nexu beasts, so sensibly we stock up on survival gear and weaponry. We also discover that the Sa Naloor was a Banking Clan frigate with a crew of about 50 souls but thousands of droids – that could possibly explain Iso-tech’s interest as leaders in tech production they’d very much be interested in military grade droids from the Clone Wars.

We head back to the Swift Shadow to await delivery of IT3-P0, but en route we spot the droid being kidnapped by a bunch of Rodians. With a brief firefight we rescued the droid but most of the Rodians escape on their ship, a modified YT-2400.  Not wanting to hang around and answer some awkward questions from the Wheel’s own security forces we climb board the Shadow and take off. Using the information supplied by Reom in conjunction further input from IT3-P0 I made the hyperspace calculations for our jump to Cholganna, after we’d all agreed to take a riskier direct jump to save a little time. I imputed the cor-ordinates and Zin punched it.

We emerged from Hyperspace in one piece though several alarms were beeping and a few internal systems were overloading. Thankfully Lithel relished the chance to show us his engineering skills and quickly set us aright, though one alarm still blared.

The external sensors are screaming in the “cloudy” nebula of the system and giving collision warnings galore!


D&D Encounters – Out of the Abyss – session 3-4

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2015 by vobeskhan

out-of-the-abyss-coverWe had another great turnout this session at Tabletop Tyrants, with another new player each joining Jon and Patrick’s tables. My table once again consisted of:-

  • Stuart, playing Exom, a level 4 Human Wizard (Zhentarim)
  • Jason, playing Io, a level 3 Human Monk (Zhentarim)
  • Rose, playing Morwenna, a level 3 Half-Elf Rogue (Zhentarim)
  • Sil, playing Raggia, a level 2 Elf Druid (Zhentarim)
  • Phil, playing Captain Astrid Alexis Astor, a level 2 Human Paladin (Order of the Gauntlet)

Having escaped from Velkynvelve the heroes and their fellow former prisoners decide where they want to go. The myconid, Stool, wants to go home to the Neverlight Grove (but doesn’t know the way), Buppido the Derro wants to head to Gracklestugh, while Shuushar recommends heading to his home, Sloopbludop. JimJar the svirfneblin says his home, Blingdenstone, has tunnels returning to the surface, but Topsy and Turvy seem more eager to visit anywhere other than home.

After discussion the heroes agree to head to Sloopbludop and then make a further decision from there and begin heading to the Kuo-toa settlement at a moderate pace. The journey should take them about 8 days in total and the first day they make good pace until they come across a widening of the tunnel ahead which has a reddish glow. Investigating they discover a handful of giant fire beetles but the insects prove little more than a minor inconvenience and the party quickly resumes their journey.


With no further interruptions they finally decide to find somewhere to rest up “overnight” with the elf and half-elf splitting the watch between them. Unfortunately the night did not prove to be uneventful as a mustard coloured jelly mass was oozing along the tunnel towards their resting spot.


Exom and Raggia recognised the creature as an ochre jelly, realising that it had an immunity to lightning attacks. While Io and Astrid prepared attacks for when the monster came closer, Morwenna darted ahead and struck the first blow. To the rogues astonishment the creature did not simply die, instead it formed a fist shaped pseudopod and slammed the her almost off her feet. Her companions quickly rallied to her aid, and Captain Astrid swung her mighty greatsword straight down on the monster scoring a critical hit that surely would destroy it.

Unfortunately the jelly was merely split into two smaller jellies which continued to fight on. Thankfully with the combined attacks of Io, Morwenna, and magical strikes of Exom and Raggia it didn’t fight much longer. Returning to their camp the rest of the night passed uneventfully.

However upon awakening they find that one of their companions has passed away, Sarith the drow, is dead. Io and Raggia examine his body and discover a stab wound from either a dagger or shortword, as well as the fact that his rash seemed to have become open sores that give off a puff of spores when touched rather than ooze puss. When the heroes ask the rest of the prisoners who’d done this no-one admits to it (apart from Turvy who stands before Morwenna and says he’ll admit to it if she wants him to). Leaving the dead drow where he lay, the party continue their journey.

They hadn’t been moving for long when Exom’s owl familiar picked up the sounds of someone (or something) following them stealthily. Finding a suitable are the heroes prepare to ambush whatever it is, Exom using his illusions to make walls for them to hide behind while Io acted as bait.


It wasn’t long before a trio of drow scouts appeared and rather than confront them immediately the heroes use their concealment to begin making ghostly noises. The drow fired their hand-bows at Io who was then made invisible by Exom, furthering the ruse of a ghostly encounter, and Morwenna used her skills of deception to issue a ghostly warning. Two of the drow faltered and swiftly fled back down the tunnels but the third held his ground.

Raggia has morphed in the form of a dire wolf and bounded out of the illusory wall to pounce on the remaining drow, knocking him prone as her companions swiftly backed her up and took the drow prisoner. Interrogation revealed they were scouts for Ilvara’s hunting party, out looking to recapture the prisoners from Velkynvelve. Using intimidation and deception (Exom pretending to place a curse on the drow) they convince him to take recover Sarith’s corpse, take it back to Ilvara and tell her that the others are all dead. The weak-willed drow swiftly agrees and makes a rapid exit when released.

Eventually satisfied that they weren’t still being followed the heroes begin looking for their evenings resting spot, coming across a cave opening half filled with swirling steam and hissing sounds. Investigating they discover that there are natural steam vents in the chamber and that the steam is oddly refreshing. Still worried that one of the other prisoners could be a murderer they ask if they would volunteer to be tied up “for their own protection”, unsurprisingly Turvy is the first to volunteer. In addition to Raggia and Morwenna taking turns watching, Raggia puts her hunting traps around the cave entrance and Io decides to stay awake and help keep watch.

After a few hours Morwenna notices that Topsy is shrinking and within moments is replaced with a furry rat which scurries for the entrance only to be caught in one of Raggia’s traps. Io meanwhile is watching over JimJar and Shuushar and panics when he sees the svirfneblin begin to grow tentacles. When he calls his companion over and they look more closer however there is no sign of anything untoward.

In the morning Topsy is once again his annoying self and looks sheepishly at the party, haltingly admitting that he sometimes becomes a rat but assures them he’s not dangerous. Shuushar hasn’t awoken and fearing that he might be dead the heroes gather around but are happily surprised when he awakes with a snort. JimJar has begun to take bets on who the next one of them to die will be (Turvy excitedly bets 5 silver that he’s next).

The heroes gather the group together and continue the journey through the tunnels of the Underdark, eventually the path is blocked by an underground stream some fifteen foot across. Io and Morwenna gracefully launch themselves over with running starts, taking ropes with them to aid others in crossing. Shuushar happily gets in the water to aid from below and between them they manage to get everyone over safely.

When it comes time to rest once more Io decides he really needs to sleep and so only Raggia and Morwenna take turns again. However Raggia and Io suffer disturbing dreams of a large flat black reflective surface which begins to bulge upwards before giving way to a terrible visage breaking through. A pair of large heads looking a cross between an ape and a dog come first, massive yellow eyes glowing in the darkness. Broad muscular shoulders lead an equally massive torso but the creatures arms are what draw the eye, not arms at all but massive tentacles. The heads swivel back and forth as if looking for something, then they seem to focus upon the dreamer and the fanged mouths open in a roar – just as Io and Raggia awake in a cold sweat.

Thankfully nothing else disturbs their rest and in the morning they prepare to move out once again, but another of their companions was never going to do so again. Eldeth the dwarf shieldmaiden had had her throat slit in her sleep.

Fully aware that they had a killer in their midst but not wanting to spare the time to investigate further the heroes get the party moving once more. It’s shortly after midday when the come across a chamber littered with bones (humanoid and animal). Io and Morwenna, being lightest of foot go first and easily make it through to the exit on the far side without incident, Exom and Astrid do so also, but Raggia is in dire wolf form and decides to roll in the bones in the hopes of getting some interesting skulls stuck to her spines to make her look scarier.

She managed to get a meaty looking orc skull but then noticed a trio of large bull skulls, before she can grab one though they start to rise, the surrounding bones pulling together to form massive bodies below them.


Exom used his illusions to put up a wall in front of the majority of the party as Io and Astrid readied to attack anything coming within range of their weapons. One of the monsters (the heroes identified them as minotaur skeletons) came close the false wall and the monk, paladin and rogue quickly dispatched it. Meanwhile the other two charged the druid/wolf, trapping her between their horned heads with such force that as they stood back up she fell to the floor gasping for breath.


Exom conjured some magical missiles to strike at the enemies, but also struck Raggia with one, safe in the knowledge that all it would do is trigger her transformation back to her humanoid form. Getting back to her feet she called upon her own magic to create a thunderous wave of energy that threw the monsters away from her before again changing into wolf form as her companions move forward to assist in engaging the skeletons.  The battle was brutal and bloody but thankfully Astrid was able to call upon her goods divine blessings to assist her blows which proved highly effective against the undead.

Battered and bruised, and only half way to Sloopbludop, the heroes find a campsite and settle down for another (hopefully quiet) nights rest.

That’s where we left it for this session, with the party’s companions dwindling and one of them possibly being a murderer – how could this possibly end badly? The eagle-eyed among you may have recognised the maps used in this session, they’re from a previous season of Encounters (season 10 – Council of Spiders) which involved drow and the Underdark, it’s nice to be able to re-use these and they looked good too. Hopefully I’ll get the chance before the next session to dig out some of my 4e monster tokens for future use.

Destiny on the Edge of Rebellion – episode 2 – a Star Wars RPG campaign

Posted in Age of Rebellion, Edge of the Empire, Force and Destiny, Star Wars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2015 by vobeskhan

Jewl-of-Yavin_LGWe continue our adventures at Tabletop Tyrants.

  • Liam – GM
  • Me – Hep Kresim, Duros, Spy (Scout)
  • Emily – Ara’Li, Twilek, Explorer (Trader)
  • Jack – Kallus, Human, Jedi (Shi-Cho Knight)
  • Alastair – Morty (1C-14N), Droid, Colonist (Medic)
  • Tim – Lithel, Mon Calimari, Engineer
  • Jon – Zinogres, Faleen, Pilot/Smuggler

It was time for the big heist. We agreed that the garbage chute gave us the easiest access but to get to it we would need to go in via the central core so we were soon rappelling down ropes. We heard voices of guards and I tried to use my descent to collide with and disable the guard but mistimed it totally – only a fortuitous gust (actually a force push from Kallus) nudged me to the relative safety of a handhold. Thankfully Zinogres used his charms on the guard and convinced him we were an inspection crew.

Eventually we all climbed up into the maintenance room of the museum, it was agreed to let Morty access a console and disable the cameras before the rest of us headed into the auction room. Zinogres held back to provide overwatch – just in case.

Unsure of how we were going to disable the alarm or the electro rails Kallus once again utilised his gifts and pulled the gem through the air into his waiting palm, just as we heard Zinogres engage the guards. Unfortunately his opening shot didnt disable the security droid and it responded by trapping him in a net. Thankfully the rest of us were able to blast the droid and human guards (someone did suggest stunning them but, no witnesses is less messy).

Jewel in hand we freed Zinogres and prepared to make our escape when a figure appeared – one of the bidders (the archaeologist woman. Turns out she represents other interested parties in the gem, Kallus seemed to trust her and he strikes a deal that she’d help us escape and then split the jewel with us.

We accompany her to a safe location and she uses a tool set to slice the gem, I didn’t see the details as I was keeping a lookout at the door. Once she’d gone we contacted Shen and he sent his speeder to pick us up. Once aboard Lithel notices somethings “off” and on inspection finds the speeders rigged to blow as it heads out of the city. Thankfully the Calimari is able to disable the device while Morty and Zinogres take flight control away from the droid and get us back to the city. Once we disembark we set the droid to return to base and shortly after it takes off it self destructs (obviously a second device, just in case).

Heading in to the city we’re stopped by a group of thugs, Shen’s men, armed with carbines. I take a serious hit and can only assume that my companions took the thugs out as next thing I know Morty is pumping a stim-pack into me. Looking at the carnage I see that the thugs foolishly used a tibana gas canister as cover – mooks.

So, Shen wants us dead. Guess he wants the gem and the cash for himself rather than paying up. We discuss it quickly and decide that he’s probably hiding out on his private yacht. What we need to decide is do we go pay him a visit for some payback or do we see if Morty can reconfigure the funds transfer form the banking bot and take the cash and gem for ourselves?

D&D Encounters – Out of the Abyss – session 1-2

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2015 by vobeskhan

out-of-the-abyss-coverWe kicked off the new season of D&D Encounters own at Tabletop Tyrants, with 3 tables of players seeking to get “Out of the Abyss”.

“Deep beneath the surface of the world lies the Underdark, a realm of endless labyrinthine tunnels and caverns where the sun never shines. The Underdark
is filled with races and creatures too numerous to count or list, and foremost among these are the dark elves—the drow. Hated and feared even by their fellow
dwellers in darkness, the drow raid other settlements in the Underdark as well as the surface world, taking prisoners back with them. Rendered unconscious
with drow poison, then collared and shackled, these prisoners are eventually sold as slaves or entertainment in the dark elves’ subterranean cities.

The adventurers have all had the misfortune of falling to such a fate. Captured by the drow, they are prisoners at one of the dark elves’ outposts, awaiting transportation to Menzoberranzan, the City of Spiders.”

My table has of a mixture of character levels:-

  • Stuart, playing Exom, a level 3 Human Wizard (Zhentarim)
  • Jason, playing Io, a level 2 Human Monk (Zhentarim)
  • Rose, playing Morwenna, a level 2 Half-Elf Rogue (Zhentarim)
  • Sil, playing Raggia, a level 1 Human Druid (Zhentarim)
  • Phil, playing Captain Astrid Alexis Astor, a level 1 Human Paladin (Order of the Gauntlet)

Each of the pc’s had been requested to make some pre-game rolls – these would determine how many days they had each been a “guest” of the drow, what (if anything) they had managed to scavenge during their incarceration, and any extra information they had learnt from their fellow prisoners, the outcomes of which were:-

  • Morwenna – 8 days, carnelian gemstone, supply patrol from Menzoberranzan is unusually late.
  • Exom and Io – 6 days, flint shards (usable as daggers), 3 drow guards watch the prisoners at all times from their post, once the patrol arrives they will be taken to the slave markets in Menzoberranzan.
  • Capt. Astrid – 3 days, 5-foot length of silk rope, Jorlan (one of the drow) suffered disfiguring injuries recently. Before that he seemed more in Priestess Ilvara’s favour, now Shoor seems to have displaced him.
  • Raggia – 2 days, small carnelian gemstone, there are 19 drow at the outpost including Ilvara, Shoor, and Jorlan, as well as another priestess named Asha. There are also a dozen quaggoths and a number of giant spiders.

Their fellow prisoners were a Derro, an Orc, a Quaggoth (who swore he was a cursed Elf prince), a Svirfneblin, a Kua-toa, a Drow, and pair of young Svirfneblin twins.


Following their regular meagre breakfast, Exom, Io, Astrid, the Derro and Kua-toa were designated as a work crew and escorted to a chamber further along the outpost and told to clean and tidy the cave used as barracks by the quaggoths. A large annoyed quaggoth was left to oversee them. The three pc’s quickly decided to overpower the beast and despite their restraints they were able to defeat it handily. At the Kua-toan’s suggestion they threw the body into the waterfall before sneaking back to their cell where Io and Morwenna were able to defeat the lock on their door.


Exom, free of the dampening effect of the cell, had regained mental contact with his familiar and discovered that their gear was being held in the armoury above the guard post. The heroes quickly assaulted the trio of guards, catching one by surprise and dropping him easily. Io did fall prey to a sleep-poisoned bolt and the stronger of the guards levitated up into the armoury and filled it with magical darkness. Thankfully this proved as much a hinderance to himself as the heroes and they were able to overcome him, though at the cost of Captain Astrid being slain by his poisoned blades. The heroes removed their restraints and recovered their gear (and that of their fellow prisoners).

Topsy & Turvy piped up that they knew how to revive Astrid and would share the secret for one of the “shinys” the heroes had. The party readily agreed and the twins revealed that there was something in the temple that could do it. Ront decided that he would take his chances against the guards at the other end of the outpost but to try and delay him Exom used an illusory wall, it worked for a moment but then the grumbling orc just barreled ahead and was last seen charging into a trio of Drow guards.

In the temple they found Asha and a large spider but Morwenna made quick work of the Drow priest while Io and Exom dealt with the spider. Discovering the way down to the room below they were all set to rush down when they realised it was Ilvara’s chamber – and she was there!

Thankfully it was at this time that an alarm was raised, not from the western guards Ront had headed for but the eastern side where a portal had opened and spewed forth a pair of demonic looking vultures. Ilvara and her troops were quickly engaged in fending off these newcomers, confident that they would be able to recapture the prisoners easily.

Still cautious the party agreed to send the twins down into Ilvara’s chamber. After a few minutes Topsy called them down as Turvy had fallen foul of a paralytic poison trap (and had somehow become dressed in a selection of silken drow lingerie). Thankfully they also found the potion they were looking for, and used it to revive Astrid.

As the sounds of the battle outside grew louder the heroes and their fellow escapees moved down into the next chamber and then used ropes to lower themselves down to the bottom of the chamber and make their escape into the wilds of the Underdark.

Once they were clear of the echoes of the battle they stopped to decide their next move (while the “grown ups” discussed this, Topsy ran around singing pervy Turvy as his brother still hadn’t removed the lingerie).

That was where we left it for this fortnight, read to begin the flight through the tunnels of the Underdark next time. Before any of my fellow DM’s start screaming at me regards the potion bringing Captain Astrid back to life I decided to use that mechanic to produce the effect of a Faction raise which would be extremely hard to explain story-wise within the outpost. Phil has now used downtime days to negate the 4-day penalty so should be “fighting-fit” for the next session.


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