PAX EAST

OHMERGHAD

It is that time of year again. If you’re not familiar Pax East (http://east.paxsite.com/) is a three day video game/table top/music/comedy mardi gras that takes place at the Convention Center in Boston put on by the guys who run the webcomic Penny-Arcade.com

PAX is the only convention I have been to and from what I have heard it is also one of the greatest around. In fact people have said that they have ruined my con going experience by being the best. The Expo hall is glorious sensory overload and swag maddness. The Panels are hilarious and/or thought provoking. Table top area is filled with instant classics and memories ready to be stored for future nostalgia.

On the way to PAX I will be running a short one shot adventure for my friends whom I used to game with back in Michigan, before I moved to Cleveland. This adventure is called The Drowned Gold. I have a rough outline of the story and encounters now but will have it more fleshed out in the next two days. So for now I’ll leave you simply with this little tidbit:

THE GOLDEN SAILOR

The interior of the tavern is dark and dank, and exudes the smell of dried sea water. The room circles around an oval bar that encircles a chipped and worn gilded statue of a dwarf sailor. An ominous chill permeates the air. People speak in hushed tones, whispering quietly among themselves.

Staff

Rooms Available (2/4)

3 servers and 1 bouncer

Barkeep

Thrayka Runechip (F, Dwarf, 122)

Class (Poor)

Room: 5cp/day, Common Room: 2cp/day

NPCs Present (16)

3 Beggars(Sore,Scab,Cord), 5 Commoners(Tome, Ilk, Korin, Adem, Grumm), 6 Shady Characters(Sils, Harn, Aster,Gallahar, Nanok of Karr,Lev) 1 Town Guard,(Quadin Redrook) 1 NPC adventurer (Gorrick Broadback)

Today’s Special

Crab-stuffed lobster tail, Archon ale

Topics of Conversation (1d6)

• A table of customers compliments the food and drink of the establishment.
• A customer laments his upcoming chores. He despairs of a full two weeks of hard work attending to his master’s errands.
• A local has recently been made to sleep in separate quarters by his wife—again. Gossipers speculate on what could have caused her ire this time.
• Customers argue over which ale tastes better, and which inn has the best looking servers.
• There’s a lively discussion about where to buy the best livestock and what prices to expect.
• The weather has been a bit peculiar. Hopefully it will get back to normal before it interferes with local trade.

Random Events (1d6)

• People cringe as someone runs a knife too hard over a plate, causing it to screech.
• Outside, a man appears to be waiting for someone to leave (or enter) the inn. He seems nervous.
• A patron waves to the innkeeper, then deftly tosses a coin to him. The innkeeper catches the coin.
• Two lovebirds spoon-feed each other while looking at each other with adoration
• A beverage is tossed in the face of a patron, causing an uproar.
• A customer staggers near the bar and then falls over, sending coins sprawling.

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Isle of the Storm Giants: New Village Village

The first stop along the way to Mt. Evensil and the floating isle will most likely be New Village (aka The Village of New Village or New Village Village). It is possible that the adventures might perceive and want to check out that crashed airship nearby but without the permission of the village ‘elders’ they may meet some resistance from villages who are worshiping at or around their ‘Sacred Ship’

NEW VILLAGE VILLAGE

General Information

A small village built at the bottom of a cliff leading up to the Sentinal Peaks. Strangely enough this isolated village is filled with half-orc and goblins who are not only peaceful but have apparently achieved enlightenment.

Population: ~50

Inhabitants: From most to least prevalent Half-orc, Half-goblin, Orc, and really short goblins.

Government: Ruled by Six of the eldest villagers, who rule on principle.

Trade: Virtually none. The are simple hunters and gatherers, relying heavily on simple grains, nuts, roots, and seeds. They do keep a small but functional bit of livestock including a few cattle, chickens, and sheep, one of which is named Shadowfax ‘Lord of all Sheep’.

Culture: All who live here have been trained carefully and diligently by an expert Githerzai Monk. Many revere this monk as ‘father’ and may very well actually carry that relation. The villagers do not like to talk about the ‘father’ and will avoid the topic at great lengths. For the characters it is something of a mystery why the orcs and goblins here act like monks in a Githerzai way and can be discovered if they explore the cave (known as Father’s Cave), or if the perform a task which deems them worthy of such personal information.

Their monk training has led them to a tranquil life of balance and markedly civilized behavior. They view any outsider who is not trained in monk-like ways or peace and strength of mind to be savages. Savages are animals, and animals may not enter the village proper confining them to the barn with the livestock, unless proven to be civilized.

Coming to New Village Village

Entering the village can be somewhat tricky, and it is up to the DM to decide how far to push the PCs. The town is simple, and the people here are civil, nice, but stubborn. They are extremely reluctant to allow ‘savages’ into their village, especially fighters, warlords, and other heavily militarized classes. Rangers (one with nature), Druids(one with the animals), and Wizards(one with knowledge/history) with a show of knowledge and enlightenment can be permitted on a case by case basis. A Monk, especially a Githerzai monk, is permitted instant access and can help vouch for his companions. However, until truly proven to be ‘enlightened’ to their monastic expectations they must stay and sleep with the livestock.

At the village gate visitors will be met by two muscled and robed sentries and a short goblin dressed in white robes covered in smears of ink. The goblin has a ledger book, ink pot, and quill at hand and takes note of the comings and goings of the village (especially when outsiders are involved). The inky goblin, known as Groint, is not quite rude but is definitely firm about not admitting savages, but would be willing to set up an audience with the elders to grant access to the village. Again, non enlightened characters are confined to the livestock field and barn, while Githerzai monks and other high minded folk may walk about freely and are given a hut to spend the evenings.

Groint performs his day to day functions adequately, however he is reluctant to admit these fellows because he is possessed by an Indwelling devil..

Inside New Village Village.. Father’s Cave.. Tomb of the Orc Slayer and more!……Next time!

Isle of the Storm Giants

In my campaign some of the characters/players have been obsessed with the idea of claiming a floating island as their own and building a magnificent stronghold there. Well they have caught hold of a rumor that one exists but is currently inhabited by giants. They have decided that they will crush said giants and take what ‘should’ belong to them. Part of me thinks that they don’t quite understand what they are getting into!

IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY PLAYING IN MY CAMPAIGN DO NOT READ THIS POST! Thanks 🙂

By Frank Tedeschi ( DnDiy.wordpress.com)

Adventure Synopsis:

There is a stronghold carved into the peak of a mountain on a floating isle, caught in an unending storm. This airy mountain castle was forged by storm giants lead by the titan Crakshar. His undying loyalty to the primordial Saeta-The Devoured, has brought him to this place because here he plans to finally unbind his former primordial master. In this floating isle the material between the planes is weak, allowing Crakshar to open a transient portal to the Elemental Chaos. The divine bonds that hold Saeta are nigh unbreakable, and only can be undone by great unholy power. That is why Crakshar has enslaved Cultists of Orcus to summon the Prince of Undeath himself and persuade him- by any means – to use the mighty Wand of Orcus to free his master.

The adventurers must make their way through the Sunken Pass, parlay with an unusual village of Orc and Goblin Monks, devise a way onto to the floating isle, and stop Crakshar before he frees a being of such catastrophic destruction and power, even the gods couldn’t kill him.

Background:

Mt. Evensil lies just beyond what is known at the Sunken Pass, a shortcut passageway through two mountains known as the Sentinel Peaks. The Sunken Pass is named for the large war galleon which is shipwrecked between the peaks a hundred miles from the nearest body of water. The path to Mt. Evensil lies through the heart of this cryptic ship whose origin has passed into myth.

Beyond the ship marks the base of Mt. Evensil, a 1000 foot sheer cliff. At the base of the cliff dwells a small village of huts and caves belonging to a mountain cult. The cult is an eccentric bunch of isolated men led by a tribunal of spiritual half-orcs which worship those found within the deep belly of the sunken galleon.

The floating isle itself was created during a devastating event at the end of the Teifling Empire, which led to the peak of Mt. Evensil breaking away from the rest of the mountain leaving a deep valley behind. A furious broil of thunder and lightning enveloped the isle which eventually drew Crakshar and the storm giants to claim it as their own. However Crakshar is not working alone he has enlisted the aid of a living glacier, who was once part of the holy glacial lattice which has imprisoned Saeta. Together they have begun to strengthen their numbers with both storm and frost giants.

The storm giants built many of the peripheral rooms open to the elements and storm outside. The red lines denote the absence of wall (and presence of cliff-like mountainside). The two circular rooms are slowly turning in the indicated directions.

A-Armory and merchant B-General storage C-Dining Hall  D-Kitchen E-Barracks F– Interrogation room G-Dungeon H-Cultist study/preparation room I-Summoning room for Orcus J-Throne/audience room K-Crakshar’s chamber L-Room of the stormstone golem whose magic keeps the isle afloat M-Large amphitheater like room, channel in center of room is used for entry/exit of the castle. This room is also used for grand storm rituals if they are to ride the wind into battle. N– Portal to Elemental Chaos and Saetia P-Tower of the Elder Elemental Eye

Due to the storm and seepage from the elemental chaos all rooms open to the outside are subject to random weather. Roll 1d10:

1.       lightning storm. Hazard rolls initiative. Every round on its turn each creature in area rolls a d20 any natural ones are stuck 3d10 +5

2.       Unusually fierce wind and snow. Movement at half speed -5 to ranged attacks.

3.       Driving rain. Sight is halved. -2 to atk rolls for obscured vision

4.       Ice. Half speed. Or acrobatics for full speed DC=16. Failure=prone slide three squares

5.       Fog. -5 perception checks. 6 squares away have partial concealment. Rogues have automatic combat advantage in this area and a +2 bonus to steath checks.

6.       Raging Wind hazard (the plane below 4e supplement)

7.       Very pleasant indeed.

8.       Overcast and quite chilly.

9.       Fist sized hail. Hazard rolls initiative. Attacks everyone on turn. +12 vs Reflex: 10 damage.

10.   Acid rain. Melee weapons deal 7 additional acid damage on hit. All armor wearers (except cloth) is at -1 AC

This is still a work in progress, one of which I hope will include many interesting encounters, side quests and unbelievable dangers. Once finished I hope to compile this adventure into a pdf module complete with some nice maps, monster stat blocks, and plenty of random generation table fun. I hope you guys enjoy this preview and check back later for the completed work!

Soon I will be making a post about the first two sections of this adventure: Coming to the village of New Village home to the strange Orc and Goblin Monks and the exploration of a crashed airship.

REVIEW: Tomb of Horrors. By Gary Gygax

1. What kind of adventure is it? (Location based? Dungeon? Town? Etc.)

This is a thinking man’s meat grinder style dungeon crawl in a trap infested tomb of a legendary demi-lich.

2. How long is it?

It is fairly long, took me roughly 5 (maybe 6), 4.5hr sessions to get through the entire dungeon. This includes additional roleplaying, dream sequences, random monsters I dropped in for my pleasure, and a unique “Dungeon Collapse” game sequence I created where the players had to flee the dungeon before they were irreparably crushed by the crumbling tomb.

3. Were there any particularly noteworthy things in it? (Monsters, traps, plot ideas, mechanics, etc.)

This is mother of all Death-Trap Dungeons. The Tomb of Horrors was created by the evil Demi-Lich Acererak not as a tomb or stronghold, but literally to entice heroes to overcome the obstacles within and attain great treasure, so that when they die, their soul is siphoned into the magical aura of the tomb strengthening Acererak and his eventual ascension to Godhood. If this sounds rather brutal, it’s because it is. Everything is a trap, or misleading, or dangerous in one way or another. Thus making it a delight to run.

Of particular note is the elemental vortex trap. Players here sounds of many people, laughing talking and playing music down a corridor, just beyond a door. When the door is opened they see a long hallway and the sound of people running away. Once they move into the hall, BAM, the floor drops down on the far end creating an intense slope, culminating in an elemental vortex attempting to suck them in and destroy them.

The caveat to this trap is that it is not THAT hard to escape from, however, if a player takes lots of damage and gets sucked into the elemental vent, and then dies. HE IS WHOLLY CONSUMED. Body, armor, weapon, and soul, nothing is recovered from his death. This makes it exceedingly difficult to Raise Dead since it requires a piece of the body. Yes dangerous indeed.

There are too many interesting traps and monsters to go through but most of them were enjoyable such as the many pillared hall, and room with three vats.

4. What sort of vibe is going on in it? (Creepy? Gonzo? Sword and sorcery? Chivalry? etc.)

This whole dungeon is a creepy sorcery feel to it. Once they enter and set off a few traps and realize just what kind of sadistic and deadly dungeon they are dealing with, the mood changes accordingly.

5. Would you run it? Why or why not?

Absolutely. This is the dungeon that I wish someone had run for me. There are puzzles galore and lots of fun and interesting details that went into making it. (Thanks Gary). However, it must be run correctly for the right group. If you have a hack and slash party, which just wants encounters every session, you should think twice about this dungeon. I sprinkled in a few extra minor encounters just for that reason, since there can be considerable time before monster based combat.

6. Does it resemble anything we might’ve seen before?

This is the original Deadly Dungeon, however I am sure there are other similar deathtraps out there. The neat part about this is that was written by Gary Gygax himself, and his a unique flavor to the text as well as the art. I will say though that death comes easily in this dungeon but not unwarranted. There are no instant death, no save, for no reason, traps herein. Things that cause severe injury usually are triggered by something a character does specifically. Like touch the altar, walk through the portal, pull the lever, etc. I fine balance of caution and bold action will create a memorable and dangerous game the likes of which are hard to top.

Adventure Time.

I begun development of an adventure Module inspired mostly by D&D 4e materials but heavily reliant of my own design. I am putting this module for 9th-11th level characters. The plan is to have it not as text book walkthrough like the current 4e modules, rather, more location and sandbox based, while still achieving a nice story arc.

I will post little snippets here, however my goal is to make something which i can transform into a nicely laid out intuitive design layout.. much akin to how a real published module would be produced. The best part though is that once finished. You can has fo’ free.