Spoiler alert! Someone dies!

We left off last week with finding a dwarf dangling from the ceiling, with a not-so-happy outlook on how to get him down. Surprisingly, it’s a lot easier than we expected. We get down to the gallery, and when nothing comes around, Haltz and I hoist Carric onto our shoulders, where he can reach the manacles of the dwarf. He begins working on them, with Ronin keeping watch, but then – We hear buzzing! It’s a whole swarm of those flying demon things with bows.

Two pop up from one shaft and fire at us, while three pop up from the other and do the same. Haltz is hit twice, Ronin and Carric are hit once, and my armor deflects another arrow. At about the same instant, Carric jumps onto the dwarf’s back, which frees Haltz to throw his last dart, although he misses his target. A fraction of a second later I cast Fog Cloud, concealing Haltz, Carric, and I from the creatures’ bows.

Ronin wastes no time, running across the room and making a flying punch into one of the creatures. His fist lands, crushing the creature, and then Ronin faces another problem – The demons were above a shaft, that was backed against a wall. This, however, turns out to not be a problem at all, as Ronin easily bounces off the wall and to the side of the shaft.

Haltz and I both move to the edge of the fog cloud while Carric works on unlocking the manacles. Out of darts, Haltz pulls the arrows from himself and begins throwing them, while I sling a Ray of Frost. We’re greeted by some more arrows, hitting both Ronin and Haltz, but they are too small to do significant damage.

Carric feels something poking him in the side as he manages to undo one of the manacles, which leads to him and the dwarf hanging from one of the dwarf’s arms.

I move to assist Ronin, who is still fighting his two creatures. My glaive is much more effective than my spell, and I cleave one of the creatures in half. Ronin, not to be outdone, kicks one creature hard enough to completely shatter it, and punches the other one to the same results. The last creature vanishes, so I drop the Fog spell, giving Carric more visibility to pick the final lock on the manacle. He also sees another one of the creatures coming out of the dwarf, who has now woken up and is shouting because there is a person on top of him and he is in great pain.

I cast Sleep, putting the dwarf, the creature, and Haltz to sleep. Thankfully, Carric is an elf and immune to such effects, so he dispatches the creature as Ronin wakes Haltz. I assist with Carric, who proceeds to pull out the hooks holding the Dwarf’s chest-portal open. This wakes the dwarf, but he is remarkably lucid, and after we explain what we’re doing he stops fighting us.

Once the pillar heals him to the point where he’s not dieing, he tells us who he is – Demiphus, the Captain of the Guard. He came in after losing a few villagers, and recounts the tale of losing a few people to the natural hazards before he was captured.

At the same time, Haltz and Ronin explore the two galleries below us, with my owl following them. One of them is a rubble-filled semi-collapsed, with a shaft that leads into the water table. The other, I lose my owl to a frog-man with a sling. It is obvious which one we need to go down, so we take a short rest. I regain some of my spell capabilities, and we give Demiphus directions to where Stacia is staying, after giving him what first aid we could.

We decide to all drop into the next gallery at the same time, which is a good thing. There are four frogmen, and also one of the ape creatures – Standing next to another pillar, this one with a small boy attached to it. The ape charges Haltz, a frogman charges Ronin, and one charges me, while the other two stand back with slings. Carric and Haltz are hit with the slings, and Ronin is hit with the creature’s spear, although he dodges its angry-looking bite. I cast Shield, blocking my attacker’s hits, but Haltz is slammed by the ape creature and falls unconscious.

Carric shoots one of the creatures, significantly harming it but not killing it, and Ronin hits the creature attacking him, also doing significant damage but not killing it. Seeing a large threat, I attack the ape creature, managing to kill it with my glaive.

One of the slingers manages to knock Carric out, leaving Ronin and myself to deal with the four frog creatures. We both fail to do anything with our attacks, but the creatures hit both of us with their spears, and Ronin is hit with a sling. Angry, he retaliates by killing both of the creatures next to us.

I move forward to the slingers, engaging them so they can’t simply pelt us at range. Ronin tries to help Carric as I attack one of the creatures, and while I hit, Carric is still bleeding out – And there is also the pressing matter of the two frogs. They both attack me, one doing heavy damage to me.

I fall back, moving away from Carric and Ronin, trying to buy some time as they, hopefully, go after me. One stays in combat with Ronin as the other comes over to me. Ronin manages to beat the third frog creature to death, but my adversary manages to get in a good hit, dropping me as well.

At this time, Carric miraculously wakes up, just in time to see two things – One, another ape creature attempting to pull itself from the young boy’s chest portal, and two – Ronin being dropped by the last frog creature. It notices him and moves towards him.

Carric’s first bow shot misses, but his second one lands, killing the frog. He easily dispatches the ape creature, then tends as much as he can to Ronin and I. Haltz is, unfortunately, beyond any help that we can provide.

While Ronin and I wake up, Carric tends to the boy, removing the hooks from him and removing the manacles as well. He consoles the boy, telling him we are going home “Soon.”

I wake up a little before Ronin does, resting for a little before re-summoning my owl. Ronin rests, helping Carric with the boy. Once my owl is re-summoned I send him down to the gallery below us, finding that it is empty – And the only shaft leading from it leads into water. We pause to make a cairn for Haltz, honoring our brave friend.

We carry the boy, whose name is Balric, to where Stacia and the now-clothed Demiphus are waiting. We decide that, as all of us are rather rough for wear, we should wait and take a long rest before returning to the surface. I spend that time using Mending on the plate armor we had to beat up beforehand, turning it into a useful set of equipment.

When we head up, I form a plan – Make a sling from the rubble and other items we have. Send two people up, and pull the others up. I go up first, and double check outside the entrance – There are several guards outside, who are overjoyed to see us – And to hear of the survivors. With their help, it is easy to pull up everyone, and we make our way first to their base camp and then into town.

We decide that, as Haltz had pledged his portion of the gold we found to Stacia, we would honor that. Ronin split his money between an orphanage he had pledged to help, and helping Balric and his family. I match his support of Balric, bringing it up equal to what Stacia recieved, and offer some to Demiphus – Who, being a humble man, refuses. We inform the guard of all the exits we found, and they are glad to hear of them – And send some parties out to find their other ends.

We still have to travel back to Parminium to report to the Obsidian Vault that our job is complete, and to collect our payment. But for now, we rest in town, enjoying not being in a mine.

As we are in the town, among my inspection of the dead demonologist’s spellbook, I find it has a false back – And inside is a purple gem. Detect Magic fails to produce any useful results, almost as if it doesn’t exist, and my jeweler’s knowledge tells me two things. One: This gem is one that, even in my extensive work, I have never seen. And two: The way it is cut is impossible. It is a puzzle that I definitely intend to work out.

As my brother has been relating, I’ve taken my party down into a silver mine outside the town of Metarius, just east of the City of Parminium, in western Killbar. This means nothing to most of you, but thats alright. Today I’m not going on about my world, but about how I went about building a dungeon. I want to talk about Parminium, Killbar, ect, but I have to wait until each of those parts pan out and are explained to the players before I get really into it.

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Keyword: THINK. Out player for Ronin was absent this day, so it was just myself, Carric, and Haltz.

We searched through the wizard’s stuff… finding mostly that, aside from the bodies and circular torture-portal-sculpture he was trying to create on the wall, it was terribly organized. We did find a chest with 400 gold, a nice dagger that Carric takes, and a longsword that had once belonged to a guard. There’s also a few trinkets in there – Some gold and silver jewelry, mostly, along with six iron rings. (Finger rings, not great iron hula-hoops). I take all of the wizard’s papers, intending to study them later, and also spend some time securing a vial of vile liquid. It’s the same glowy-red color as the stone pillars, and knowing what the pillars can do entices me to try and save it. I also write down the runes on the pillars, for further reference.

The shaft down from this chamber leads into the water table, and while there is a small tunnel leading out from it, Carric’s inspection shows that it simply leads out, a slight curve making it so that even with the lantern, he can only see so far.

We proceed back up to where Stacia has been camping, taking all the valuables with us. We also pause to pick up the plate armor, as that stuff isn’t particularly cheap. A good day or so and I should be able to use the Mending spell enough times to get it into shape.

Through the hours of our travels, Stacia has gone from “Scared to death” to “Trying to murder anything that comes nearby.” We only barely managed to not get stabbed in the face, with her recognizing us just in time. After spending some time discussing if it would be best to set her off towards the town or the guards, she pipes in that it would likely be best for her to simply stay where she is.

We finally agree, and leave the bulky, unneeded, and/or dangerous items behind with Stacia. I would be unsurprised to find that she managed to have made the plate wearable by the next time we came back.

Haltz, Ronin, and I decide to head to the shaft that seemed to be paired to the one we were in before. From where we are, the posts on it aren’t straight down, but we can get to them. Carric goes first, and when he signals the all clear, I follow with Haltz just behind.

As I enter, a stalactite falls from the ceiling, barely missing Carric. Only a moment later, two more fall – This time, hitting both myself and Carric. Unfortunately for us, they latch on and start doing awful things to us. After initial attacks by all of us fail to do much, I rip the creature off of my own back, spotting an eye looking back at me. It doesn’t take long to dispatch it, as even living stalactites can’t move quickly. Hatlz aids Carric with his, killing it before they remove it from his back. We pause as we hear buzzing, but it fades away shortly afterwards.

There is a single shaft upwards, and a ladder leads up it. This ladder isn’t in the best condition, so Carric, his elven form being the smallest and lightest, heads upwards after only a slight mis-step. He secures a rope at the top and gives the all-clear signal. Haltz heads up after me, as my bulk will be more likely to break something – And having more than 300 pounds of human fighter fall on you generally doesn’t help your own climbing efforts.

As we are part of the way up, Haltz sees Carric pulled away by – Something. He hurries up, and I hurry after him. When I reach the top, both Haltz and Carric have been knocked unconscious by a madly flailing mushroom that’s probably about as evil as plants can get in their alignment.

I manage to keep out of the range of its tentacles and use one of the spells I found among the wizard’s book to kill it and set it on fire. It turns out Firebolt is really handy. With Carric having self-stabilized, I assist Haltz, stabilizing him. Without being able to do much more than wait until they wake up, I set about casting the Find Familiar ritual.

About the time they wake up, I summon an owl, a creature that will greatly assist us, especially here in the mines. My first task for it is to have it check the room, and I fail to mention to this owl what sort of threats await it. It evades one more of the tentacle mushrooms, but is caught and killed by the other. Thankfully for me, familiars can be re-summoned, and killing one doesn’t actually kill it. We decide to wait for another hour as I re-summon it, and from now on my owl doesn’t truly ask “WHO” it asks “WHY.”

There are two further shafts in this room – One going up, and one going down. I send the owl up, using the familiar’s ability to see through its eyes to see what is up there. It turns out that it is the main chamber! We’re almost finished.

I send it down the other shaft as well, warning it this time that there likely will be things that will harm it. Again, I use the ability to see through its eyes, spotting a gallery that was likely in progress when the mine was last used. Additionally, there are two further shafts down, along with a dwarf hanging from one of the body portal pillars that is curiously attached to the ceiling.

After relaying this information to my companions, we decide that, due to how difficult it may be to get the dwarf down, it may be the most prudent thing to kill him if needed. At that point, it is time for the night, and we will only figure out next week what sort of horrid things we need to do to close this dwarf’s body portal.

Keyword: THINK. Out player for Ronin was absent this day, so it was just myself, Carric, and Haltz.

We searched through the wizard’s stuff… finding mostly that, aside from the bodies and circular torture-portal-sculpture he was trying to create on the wall, it was terribly organized. We did find a chest with 400 gold, a nice dagger that Carric takes, and a longsword that had once belonged to a guard. There’s also a few trinkets in there – Some gold and silver jewelry, mostly, along with six iron rings. (Finger rings, not great iron hula-hoops). I take all of the wizard’s papers, intending to study them later, and also spend some time securing a vial of vile liquid. It’s the same glowy-red color as the stone pillars, and knowing what the pillars can do entices me to try and save it. I also write down the runes on the pillars, for further reference.

The shaft down from this chamber leads into the water table, and while there is a small tunnel leading out from it, Carric’s inspection shows that it simply leads out, a slight curve making it so that even with the lantern, he can only see so far.

We proceed back up to where Stacia has been camping, taking all the valuables with us. We also pause to pick up the plate armor, as that stuff isn’t particularly cheap. A good day or so and I should be able to use the Mending spell enough times to get it into shape.

Through the hours of our travels, Stacia has gone from “Scared to death” to “Trying to murder anything that comes nearby.” We only barely managed to not get stabbed in the face, with her recognizing us just in time. After spending some time discussing if it would be best to set her off towards the town or the guards, she pipes in that it would likely be best for her to simply stay where she is.

We finally agree, and leave the bulky, unneeded, and/or dangerous items behind with Stacia. I would be unsurprised to find that she managed to have made the plate wearable by the next time we came back.

Haltz, Ronin, and I decide to head to the shaft that seemed to be paired to the one we were in before. From where we are, the posts on it aren’t straight down, but we can get to them. Carric goes first, and when he signals the all clear, I follow with Haltz just behind.

As I enter, a stalactite falls from the ceiling, barely missing Carric. Only a moment later, two more fall – This time, hitting both myself and Carric. Unfortunately for us, they latch on and start doing awful things to us. After initial attacks by all of us fail to do much, I rip the creature off of my own back, spotting an eye looking back at me. It doesn’t take long to dispatch it, as even living stalactites can’t move quickly. Hatlz aids Carric with his, killing it before they remove it from his back. We pause as we hear buzzing, but it fades away shortly afterwards.

There is a single shaft upwards, and a ladder leads up it. This ladder isn’t in the best condition, so Carric, his elven form being the smallest and lightest, heads upwards after only a slight mis-step. He secures a rope at the top and gives the all-clear signal. Haltz heads up after me, as my bulk will be more likely to break something – And having more than 300 pounds of human fighter fall on you generally doesn’t help your own climbing efforts.

As we are part of the way up, Haltz sees Carric pulled away by – Something. He hurries up, and I hurry after him. When I reach the top, both Haltz and Carric have been knocked unconscious by a madly flailing mushroom that’s probably about as evil as plants can get in their alignment.

I manage to keep out of the range of its tentacles and use one of the spells I found among the wizard’s book to kill it and set it on fire. It turns out Firebolt is really handy. With Carric having self-stabilized, I assist Haltz, stabilizing him. Without being able to do much more than wait until they wake up, I set about casting the Find Familiar ritual.

About the time they wake up, I summon an owl, a creature that will greatly assist us, especially here in the mines. My first task for it is to have it check the room, and I fail to mention to this owl what sort of threats await it. It evades one more of the tentacle mushrooms, but is caught and killed by the other. Thankfully for me, familiars can be re-summoned, and killing one doesn’t actually kill it. We decide to wait for another hour as I re-summon it, and from now on my owl doesn’t truly ask “WHO” it asks “WHY.”

There are two further shafts in this room – One going up, and one going down. I send the owl up, using the familiar’s ability to see through its eyes to see what is up there. It turns out that it is the main chamber! We’re almost finished.

I send it down the other shaft as well, warning it this time that there likely will be things that will harm it. Again, I use the ability to see through its eyes, spotting a gallery that was likely in progress when the mine was last used. Additionally, there are two further shafts down, along with a dwarf hanging from one of the body portal pillars that is curiously attached to the ceiling.

After relaying this information to my companions, we decide that, due to how difficult it may be to get the dwarf down, it may be the most prudent thing to kill him if needed. At that point, it is time for the night, and we will only figure out next week what sort of horrid things we need to do to close this dwarf’s body portal.

Dungeons and Dragons, as I have grown, seems to have followed my gaming preference path; Or maybe I’ve followed it, I don’t know.

What I do know is that what first got me into the game back in ’95 was that I could play anything, I could be anything, and I could play out a story in my mind.

The First D&D Image I ever saw

The First D&D Image I ever saw

This lead to the discovery, with my dad, family, and friends, that stories could be amazingly fun not only to play, but to tell. I DM’d for my family, and eventually for a few friends. Before I could get well and truly established, however, I moved with my family hundreds of miles south to start again

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It is time!

Its been over a year since I’ve been at an RPG table at all, an even longer since I have been behind the screen as a DM. Now, its time for me to return to my favorite non-competitive past time and start weaving stories.

I will be sending my adventurers in the wreckage of the Killbaran Empire, the shattered shell of what was once a great mageocracy and then a short lived dictatorial Empire. Now, in its rotting carcass over 30 city states and countless warlords and bandits vie for control of the what they can chew off.

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The new edition of D&D is starting to trickle out, as I mentioned yesterday, and I am really excited. I had held off on any emotion until I saw the actual rules. I’ve been playing D&D now for 20 some years, and I’ve been through it all. I started with my dads AD&D set, and was amazed when I moved down to Maryland and met people who played this mysterious “second edition” game. I played that system with a fervor for 4 years before 3rd edition was announced. We looked over it, and disregarded it. We saw no use in this edition. I finally got picked to play in an adventure with a friend (it was some sort of raffle), and absolutely fell in love with 3rd in early 2003. Later that year D&D 3.5 came out, and we embraced it heartily, playing it for another 5 years until 4th edition was announced. This time, I wasn’t going to be late to the party, I wanted in at the ground floor. I even bought my friend his own PHB! While we played it for some time, it was not what I had bargained for. 4 years later, after a number of tried, 4e just kinda died. We played Gamma World, tried Dark Sun out, and eventually played the Iron Kingdoms RPG, which was a blast. We’d fallen out of love with D&D, it just wasn’t the same. Wizards eventually caved, and in May of 2012 started their 2 year long beta test of the next edition. I was cautiously optimistic, burn me once, shame on me, burn me twice, well… you know the end.

 

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Just a few days ago, Wizards released the primer and dates for the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and it turns out they are doing a few things different this time around.

The schedule is below.

Dungeons & Dragons Starter set: July 15th
Players Handbook: August 19th
Adventure: Hoard of the Dragon Queen (Forgotten Realms): August 19th
Monster Manual: September 30th
Adventure: Rise of Tiamat: October 21st
Dungeon Master’s Guide: November 18th

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