Archive for rpg

D&D life – living to DM

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D with tags , , , on June 13, 2017 by vobeskhan

So as many of you will know I organise, DM and on rare occasions play D&D at my local store (Tabletop Tyrants) here in Leicester, as well as now and then online using Roll20.net.

Well back towards the beginning off the year I was on Roll20’s looking for game forum and saw a couple of posts regarding DM’s for hire, and looked into what it entailed. Basically players could hire the DM in question to games or them (either one offs or for ongoing campaigns) and I considered doing so myself.

Now at the time nothing came of it, despite having had a couple of enquiries including one to run a game in person at a stag weekend. However, fast forward to a few months later and I decide to try again and this time I had a bit more luck.

I’m now running two regular games as a paid DM and looking to begin a third in a couple of weeks time.

Game 1 is a fortnightly Thursday evening game running the “Lost Mines of Phandelver” from the Starter set.

Game 2 is a two weeks on, one week off rota on a Saturday afternoon/early evening running the “Storm Kings Thunder” adventure.

Game 3 will be a fortnightly Tuesday evening game running a homebrew adventure in the Forgotten Realms but using bits and pieces from some of the older edition adventures I have at my disposal.

I’ve also ran a one-off Adventurers League adventure on request and may well do so again should the opportunity arise.

This is all in addition to my in-store “Encounters” (I know the Adventurers League doesn’t call them that any more but I do) running 3 tables on fortnightly basis over two weeks (Tuesday. Wednesday and opposite Wednesday); and my once a month AL game for the Hackspace group (also running the “Lost Mines” adventure).

Am I mad? Quite possibly, but I enjoy DMing and while I continue to do so I’m happy to carry on until they lock me up πŸ™‚

So, who brought the dice?

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?

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

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

Jewl-of-Yavin_LGA grey, wet and miserable Bank Holiday Monday saw a ragtag group of adventurers enter a humble gaming store and find themselves whisked off to a galaxy far, far away.

  • Liam – GM
  • Me – Hep Kresim, Duros, Spy (Scout)
  • Emily – Ara’Li, Twilek, Explorer (Trader)
  • Jack – Human, Jedi (Shi-Cho Knight)
  • Alastair – Morty (1C-14N), Droid, Colonist (Medic)
  • Tim – Mon Calimari, Engineer
  • Jon – Faleen, Pilot? to be koining us from session 2

Our GM, Liam, had given us free reign on which of the core/source books we used for character creation with the only proviso that he didnt want a party of Jedi. I think Emily, Alastair and Jon all used EotE, while myself and Tim went AoR, and Jack used FaD. We didn’t know which adventure we would be playing but I think we have a solid coverage of skills put together, with a few of us able to overlap if needs be.

Yavin-intro

Aris had acquired a tail, some hired street muscle, so we decided to front them out as a distraction while she made it to the meeting point. They weren’t particularly bright, both believing our cover story a cloth merchant (Emily) and her retinue, and giving away the fact that Aris’s own husband had hired them to watch her. Once we were sure she’d made her exit we made our excuses and headed off.

Meeting back up with her, she and her father hired us to steal the Jewel of Yavin which was being auctioned off in the city, but they also wanted us to infiltrate the auction and push the price up, as well as steal the final buyers fee before it was transferred via the banking system. Simple huh? To get invited to the auction we needed to either be uber-rich or celebreties, well we weren’t rich but they were able to supply us with a cloud car and some credits to hire a racing pilot and enter the Cloud City Grand Prix.

Jack agreed to co-pilot the race, hoping to use his jedi powers to influence the outcome in a favourable way, despite his lack of success our pilot was able to still narrowly win the race securing us the winners purse and an invite to the auction. After the race one of the other teams engineers came to us, disillusioned with his employers and ended up joining our merry band.

auction houseThe auction house was impressive, Emily and myself were able to carefully watch the security patrols and guage their route and timing during the pleasantries beforehand while our companions tried to get a read on the other bidders. Once the auction itself started we were quickly left behind in the bidding stakes, though that didn’t stop our excitable droid from making bids which we thankfully would never have to make good on. I engaged our employers husband in conversation, he was half drunk and not particularly friendly so I decided to imply that his wife had given his thugs the slip for a romantic tryst with myself, this had the desired effect of goading him into making higher bids.

After several rounds of bidding the auction was over and we all left, however Emily, Tim and myself remained outside the auction house to case the joint some more while Alastair and Jack tackled the banking-bot before it got back to its station and rerouted the transaction as we were hired to do so. They weren’t particularly delicate in doing so and ended up having to destroy the droid to avoid any evidence of tampering.

Regrouping we hurriedly discussed our plan to get back in to the auction house and pilfer the gem. Concensus being to use the building refuse system to get in (its nearer to the gem room than going in through the front), snatch the gem and get back out the same way, quickly and quietly as possile then go and meet our contact.

Simple plan, but effective – what could possibly go wrong?……..

D&D Enc Elemental Evil: Princes of the Apocalypse Table 1 Session 11-12

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2015 by vobeskhan

DnD_PotAApologies for the late update on this post but to be honest there really wasn’t a lot to put.

The heroes continued heading back to Red Larch but were assaulted by Earth Cult marauders leaving all but Jack out of action. Jack bravely took his fallen comrades back to town and arranged their being raised by their respective factions.

Once they had sufficiently recovered and restocked their supplies they went to investigate the strange graves the shepherd in the Inn had told them of, uncovering the bodies within. They found a crude map which seemed to indicate Feathergale Spire as a locale of importance and set out towards it.

However they were then attacked by a group of men riding giant vultures. Despite dealing with them with relative ease, one of the heroes was still taken down. So it was a decision to either head back to Red Larch and recover, or head on to the Spire a man down. Wisely (I think) they trudged back to town.

The random encounters seem to be taking a lot of the time up, and while they supply needed xp, I think we may need to possibly get a move on and head to the “meat” of the adventure a little more.

The other reason for the lateness of this post is that I spent last weekend at UK Games Expo, DMing more 5e Adventurers League over 3 days. We had been given the premier of one of the season 2 Expeditions (DDEX2-10 Cloak & Shadows) and I was running it 5 times over the weekend.

I wont give any details as I hope you’ll all get the opportunity to play it yourselves when it gets released, but I will say its a well written, fast paced adventure that throws the heroes straight into the action with some very innovative twists included. I did ham up some of the npc’s involved and had an absolute blast each time I ran it as no group played through it the same.

D&D Enc Elemental Evil: Princes of the Apocalypse Table 3 Session 1-2

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2015 by vobeskhan

So we began the adventures of our third table of Encounters for this season this week:

  • Patrick – level 1 Fire Genasi Barbarian
  • Emma – level 1 Tiefling Ranger
  • Matt – level 1 Wood Elf Ranger
  • Eleanor – level 1 Tiefling Warlock

We spent the first part of the session finishing off character creation before beginning with the same hook as my other table.

WARNING – the following will contain spoilers, if you intend to play this adventure yourself and don’t want to ruin the surprise, stop reading now!

The heroes were gathered in Waterdeep, out of work adventurers looking to earn some coin. They were approached by a garish attired elf named Coran, he wanted them to travel to Red Larch to find out where the prize-winning boar he had ordered was. It was supposed to have been delivered to the temple of Chauntea at Goldenfields but so far hadn’t arrived. His reputation was on the line, and he offered the heroes 50gp to find his pig.

Preferring the open road to the confines of the sprawling metropolis the heroes agreed and set off, as they travelled they noticed a strange shadow following them and discovered it belonged to what appeared at first to be a bird but was actually a man in some strange suit designed to mimic a bird. The figure followed them a few hours but as it posed no apparent danger they ignored it and continued on.

The rest of the journey to Red Larch proved uneventful, and the quickly found the butcher that had been engaged to supply the pig. She was surprised to hear that the pig hadn’t been delivered and suggested they talk to her husband the constable. In doing so they found that several travellers had been accosted by bandit activity recently but the constable didn’t have the resources to deal with it. Marking on a number of suspected bandit campsites on their map the constable wished them luck.

The first 2 sites proved fruitless but nearing the third they spied a quartet of men sitting beside a fire, cooking some meat, with a large black furred animal in a caged cart next to a shallow cave entrance.

Eleanor used Sleep to put a pair of the men to slumber as Patrick and Emma charged the remaining pair with supporting fire from Matt. That was when the animal broke free from its cage, revealing itself not as the missing pig but a big angry bear.

The bear didn’t seem to care who it took its rage out on and began attacking Emma, with heavy hearts the rangers put the beast out of its misery before tying up the still sleeping bandits before examining the cave contents and sampling the succulent roasting pork on the fire (oops, found the pig!). Eventually the bandits came too and after questioning revealed they had ambushed the priests and their pig, leaving the men for dead and taking the pig for themselves.

Loading the bear carcass into the cart the heroes head back to Red Larch with their discovery.

And that was where we had to leave it for this session, as Emma and Eleanor needed to head home.

In the interim I now have the full hardbound version of the adventure and must say I’m very impressed with the content and the artwork is fantastic.

D&D Enc Hoard of the Dragon Queen Session 23-24 finale

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2015 by vobeskhan

DnD_HOD_300x300This Wednesday down at Tabletop Tyrants saw us playing our final double session of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen.

Sarah and Adam’s characters had finished “celebrating” with the cultists and retired to the room where they were joined by another new recruit, Daniels barbarian. In the early hours of the morning they are rudely awoken by the sounds of combat and rush out to find that Rezmir has abandoned the castle and so Snapjaw has taken the opportunity to begin his lizardman rebellion. The lizardfolk are engaging the bullywugs in open combat and the heroes spot Borngray and Spattergoo heading underground with a group of bodyguards.

Rather than follow straight away they head to the armoury where they find one of the low ranking cultists cowering. After convincing him to come with them and grabbing a spare weapon they head for the tunnels beneath the castle.

In the first chamber they spy the leaking crack and Adam sends his quasit through to investigate, it gets attacked by the gray ooze that resides there and so Daniel charges in to help the creature out – unfortunately he can’t see in the dark so he’s not an immense help but eventually they destroy the ooze and uncover its small treasures.

Heading further through the tunnels they find a clinging mist collecting in their way and decide to backtrack and try and get around it. This leads them down some slippery stepsΒ  where there are a pair of bullywugs on guard. As they try to converse with them the cultist slips on the stairs, falling and breaking his neck. The bullywugs find this highly amusing and while it distracts them the heroes quickly despatch them.

Moving on they find a large pool and hear an ominously loud croak, a massive frog sits on an island in the pool and as he croaks they hear responding splashes as several giant frogs leap into the water and head toward them. The heroes luck holds however and they tackle the frogs with relative ease, though once they finish the massive frog has gone. They spy a smaller cave off to the side and upon investigating find it contains a pool of tadpoles guarded by another pair of bullywugs. They kill the guards and Daniel goes into a slashing frenzy turning the tadpole pool into a bloody soup.

Not wanting to risk swimming across the pool they have no other choice but to head up into the mist which thankfully is harmless and then they find a chamber defended by their prey.

Borngray, Spattergoo and a half-dozen dragonclaws (cult warriors) are here and they realise the heroes shouldnt be. Daniel and Adam’s quasit attack the cultists while Sarah shoots at the elf who responds with a firebolt and thrown daggers. Before the other heroes can react Spattergoo uses entangle to trap them, positioning it so as not to trap his own troops. Adam wisely keeps back and uses his ranged spells. Unfortunately with the additional problems of being entangled and Daniel already having the disadvantage from being raised, the cult warriors pack tactics give them sufficient advantage to pretty much slaughter them and the only one to escape (running away while the entangle effect prevented pursuit) was Adam’s warlock.

So ended the season, pretty much as it began, with bloody and violence and none too few laughs. As we packed away we could also hear some of what was occurring on the other groups table, while they had managed to get a little further than we had it turned out their fate was no less fatal.

Next week I shall be sitting down with my fellow DM, Jon, to go through the new season notes (which we should receive on Tuesday) and decide how we want to split the groups between us – it has been suggested to put everyone’s name in the hat and for each of us to drawn one at a time, while this could be fun I know some people like to stick with others so we shall have to see.

Before that though we have our March Expedition to play – DDEX1-8 Tales Trees Tell (as I am typing this on Saturday evening, we played it today) with myself and Liam taking the helm for our respective tables.

Looking back at the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure, would I change anything (do I hope its changed for the coming season)? XP capping! The main thing that irked me and the players was that the opening chapter had a low xp cap and consisted of 8 encounters all set within a single nights time frame. I think this was a bit too much of a baptism by fire, especially if players were new to D&D in general and not just 5th Ed, as the resource management for spells etc is something you need to get used too.

D&D Enc Hoard of the Dragon Queen Session 21-22

Posted in D & D 5e, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by vobeskhan

DnD_HOD_300x300First off i must apologise for the lateness of this post, I have found myself easily distracted of late.

Our heroes found themselves rudely awakened with a foul taste in their mouths and surrounded by lizardfolk, thankfully Daniel spoke draconic and one of the lizards spoke a little common.

Snapjaw (the lizard) wanted to enlist the heroes to free his people from the “dragon-kneelers” that were making them work alongside the bullywugs, in return he would ensure his people didn’t interfere in their actions within the cultists base. The heroes readily agreed, especially when they suggested the heroes pose as new cult recruits to gain access and the lizards would escort them there.

The two-day journey through the Mere of Dead Men was fraught with dangers, as the merry band encountered giant frogs, a raiding party of bullywugs, another patrol of lizardfolk, and a trio of yuan-ti before finally reaching the old castle.

They successfully blagged their way in as new recruits and were assigned quarters, unfortunately they were already occupied by a nest of giant centipedes but these were soon dealt with when Adam blasted Arms of Hadar in the doorway. (Worryingly) Adam then used his disguise self ability to appear dressed in a maids outfit as he tidied up their new residence. He kept the outfit when they were given their first duties in the castle, clear up after breakfasts and take the kitchen trash out.

Dragging the heavy cans of refuse to the dump site in the corner tower they were only slightly surprised when a pair of massive tentacles lashed out. Unfortunately a mixture of bad dice rolls on their part and ridiculously good ones on mine led to Patrick’s cleric and Daniel’s warlock/cleric being grappled and pummelled. Adam and Sarah tried their best but eventually all they could do was a mercy shot to end Patrick’s suffering.

The session ended there, and we have since decided to run an extra double session this week as the season end looms in the near future and we’d like to get through as much as possible. It’s going to require some cautious play on their behalf with one or more facing the penalties of being raised (as Patrick found out in this session) but this could lead to some creative thinking I suspect.