Happy Holidays to all the gaming community! It's been a while since I have been able to get to the blog. Had a nice vacation and had some family time during the holiday last week. Thanks to all the responses regarding my last post on play styles. I have done some thinking and experimentation with some different styles, which will lead me later to different play environments (gaming spaces).
In the meantime, I am returning to my Drowsbane campaign and having some fun with Epic (Mythic D6 Lite) and dusting off an older favorite system to alleviate any boredom I'm having with FU. Not sure how many parts this particular chapter will run at this point. This one gets a good old-fashioned hex-crawl treatment to get going. In part 2, there are some fun twists and turns, and from there...not yet sure.
Again, happy holidays to all!
“Hour of Dream”
A working randomly-determined title.
A Questers of the Middle Realms (PDQ) (with some elements of Jaws of the Six Serpents included), “Epic”, and Forgotten Realms mash-up. This is the fifth in a series of solo games entitled, “Last of the Drowsbane”, this time switching the core system and GM emulator. All meta-game text (except Epic questions and scene setup details) will be eliminated.
Fortune Points: 1
Leaning Points: 0
Strengths: Good [+2] Half-elf: Night-vision, Good [+2] Homeland: Northern Moonsea (Sullaspryn), Good [+2] Organization: Last of the Drowsbane, Good [+2] Swordsman, Good [+2] Brilliant Intellect, Good [+2] Agile, Good [+2] Enduring Magical Elf-blade*, Average  Arcane Rituals*§, Average  Displays of Light*, Good [+2] Magical Blast*, Average  Wall of Ice*, Average  Gravity Manipulation*, Average  Teleport*, Average  Slumber Spell*
Weaknesses: Poor [-2] Principled
Props: Good [+2] Corselet of Elvish Mail*
§ Arcane Rituals* can replicate almost any “downtime” effect, from scrying, to identifying magical items or attunement, to complex summoning rites. These effects are assumed to be those with the secondary duration effects or ranges, and must take considerable casting time. Since a ritual approach is assumed, no Upshift is granted for time. For complex spells, the GM is encouraged to impose TNs higher than Master (regardless of the effect one is building), require exotic or unique relics, and/or Fortune Point costs.
Qualities: Good [+2] Roguish Persona, Good [+2] Homeland: Hillsfar, Good [+2] Organization: Last of the Drowsbane, Expert [+4] Knife Play, Good [+2] Athletics, Good [+2] Winsome Looks, Good [+2] Legerdemain, Poor [-2] Roguish Persona
Props: Average  Knives (x6)
Departing from Highmoon after the villain Shandorin’s flight, Tengrym had discovered the plot by the drow to overthrow the north. He also uncovered the danger of the drow’s intent to capture all the remaining Drowsbanes and effectively drain their essence for dark purposes. His only clue about the designs of the enemy was a handful of grain he had discovered that was thought to be a part of Shandorin’s secret cargo. He could have gone after Shandorin’s trail directly, but Tengrym had the plight of all the Moonsea and the Dalelands first and foremost on his mind.
He headed back to Shadowdale…
Chaos Factor: 0
NPCs: Anoris Shandorin, Dark Elves, Thedric
Threads: Discover the nature of Shandorin’s plot
Twist: Focus — PC positive; Meaning — smiley face, tower
Scene: Tengrym returns to Shadowdale, greeted by warm and friendly faces. Going to Elminster’s tower, he asks about the seeds
6 Kythorn, Year of the Shadows
Without mishap, Tengrym arrived back in Shadowdale. First order of business, he returned Foalsnurse’s excellent horse to him. “See!” the man said. “No doubt a fine upstanding sir, such as yourself, would return her unharmed.” He met many a delighted Dalesman, who greeted Tengrym warmly. I need a new identity, and to go to a place where I am not recognizable, he thought.
Is Elminster at home? No, but…
Is Thedric and his guardian at home? No, but…
After that, he sought Elminster out in his old rickety tower. The old sage was not within, but his scribe expected him ‘any day now’. After that, he looked in on his brother at Torm’s place. He had been seen around, but was not there. Tengrym found Thedric carousing at the next likely place in the Old Skull Inn with Illistyl Elventree, with whom he was getting along fondly…perhaps too much so.
Were things eventful? Yes, and…
What happened? forest, near miss, butterfly net, strongman
Tengrym asked how things had been, assuming all was uneventful. However, it was not so. In fact, there was quite a kerfuffle while the half-elf was away. While Thedric was palling around in the woods with his new friends, there was an attempt to capture him. It was a near miss, and it required the might of several Knights to thwart the somewhat coordinated effort. The offenders were experienced and formidable mercenaries…perhaps the Zhentarim, or likely employed by them. When asked why, the roguish Torm replied, “When it’s thick with the Zhentarim, there’s no denying their stench.” The men had escaped, but the Knights followed them. They headed toward Dagger Falls, but lost the trackers through some cunning evasion.
Tengrym was mystified and more than a little worried by it. Attempts on the Drowsbanes, even in Shadowdale! Even more so, it was a sign it was time to move on.
He asked Illistyl for a favor. Being magically inclined, she might be able to know something about the mysterious grain he had pocketed from Highmoon. He gave an account of his recent adventure in Deepingdale, and the meeting with both the mysterious Shandorin, as well as the encounter with his drow accomplices. She had no inkling as to what was the significance of the substance, but she was determined to find out. They made a point of meeting again the next day. In the meantime, Tengrym told Thedric to be ready with his things and to make whatever preparations needed to leave. His half-brother was of course cocky, and tried to downplay the whole affair. Tengrym was firm.
NPCs: Anoris Shandorin, Dark Elves, Thedric, Illistyl Elventree
Threads: Discover the nature of Shandorin’s plot, Find a new safe haven
Setup: Tengrym meets with Illistyl the next evening
The next day, growing dread overcame Tengrym. He still had no idea which way to go. He called again upon Elminster, but the sage was still not within. He grew anxious as Thedric playfully toyed with his knives in their room at the Old Skull. The half-elf wanted news about the grain as quickly as possible. When the appointed time came, they went to meet the sorceress.
Did she find out something? Yes…
What? playing with dolls, fountain, parachute
Illistyl whispered. “These are bearing some sort of enchantment,” she began. It was her theory that these grains, when consumed, would allow he who ate them to be controlled, or perhaps fall under a deep slumber. The magic was so potent, that tasting just a small concentration might be lethal. The sorceress thought that they might be sprinkled among a greater supply of normal grains to achieve a safe and undetectable level. Even a handful of the chaff drifting through the air might be enough to cause one to fall into a deep slumber.
Tengrym and Thedric were horrified. The half-elf cursed himself for allowing Shandorin to escape. However, he had been in no condition to give chase, let alone pose any significant threat. Still, the guilt he bore was tremendous.
“I assume their plan is to poison most of the region through the distribution of the stuff,” Tengrym said. “Then, perhaps the drow or their allies are already in position for an easy conquest.”
“Or soon will be,” Illistyl added solemnly.
“Where does most of the grain in the Dales go?” asked Thedric who still refused to put on the sad face.
Does Illistyl know? Yes…
“Scardale has the largest granary,” the sorceress answered. “And it’s the Dales’ largest port, still the greatest even after Lashan’s fall.”
After a long pause, Tengrym pronounced in a hushed whisper, “Shandorin’s plan must be stopped.”
NPCs: Anoris Shandorin, Dark Elves, Thedric, Illistyl Elventree
Threads: Find a new safe haven, Discover if Scardale is the distribution point for the seed, Stop Shandorin’s plan
Setup: The heroes navigate a shortcut through the woods to Scardale, avoiding some natural obstacles to race against time
Interpretation: Instead of obstacles, they have some monstrous encounter
Is it a natural beast? Yes, but…(It’s terrifying)
What are some characteristics? spectacles, step ladder, t-rex skeleton
Interpretation: Sounds like a basilisk!
The next morning, the two departed early. Visiting Foalsnurse again, Tengrym used some of the winnings from Thedric’s wagers during their time apart. Because of the heroes’ reputation and Tengrym’s upstanding nature, they got a deal on two decent steeds…not spectacular, but far better than they could really afford. Some supplies for the road were scrounged, and they set off.
Tengrym planned to follow the Ashaba south to Mistledale, then the road through the old elf realm, then half-ax trail south to Scardale. It was a dangerous road, but might cut the time from other safer routes.
Do they find clues of the creature’s presence? No…
How does the encounter go down? blind face recognition, ray gun
Qualities: Good [+2] Predator, Good [+2] Hide Armor, Good [+2] Large, Expert [+4] Shocking Appearance (Petrify)*, Good [+2] Claws, Good [+2] Toothy Jaws, Poor [-2] Large
The two followed the narrow track along the river, turning their course east through Ashabenford without a break. Two days along that way on the eleventh of Kythorn, their luck turned ill.
It was nearing dusk after the hottest day of their journey so far. They were pushing hard to cut the miles, when Tengrym briefly spotted something large sprawled out on the road before them. It was lizard-like. Before he could think or identify the thing, their flight was abruptly halted. Two riders were thrown as their newly bought horses turned immediately to stone and smashed into thousands of shards. Both riders rolled, but were miraculously uninjured save a few bumps and bruises. Tengrym recognized the danger, and shouted out, “A basilisk! Don’t look it in the eye.”
Both brothers rushed to find cover behind trees on opposite sides of the road. They heard the hiss of the scaled monster as it scuttled forward on its many legs to finish its prey. This monster had been emboldened enough to threaten travelers on the road. Without the elves of Cormanthor, the great forest had truly become more dangerous.
The thing was nearing. Thedric, on the other side of the road, looked panicked. Darting across to his side, Tengrym cried, “Run!” and scrambled among the more dense tangle of trees. They passed into foliage, but the snapping of branches and young trees behind them signaled that the monster was close on their heels and little affected by the obstacles. The two scrambled nearly head over heels to evade the thing, not daring to look back. Gradually, the crunch of snapping limbs receded, and the thing broke off chase.
The two stopped only later when they were sure their predator was well behind them and they were near exhaustion. They stopped and collapsed against a tree, each catching his breath. They were suddenly without their fine horses, and both mourned the loss.
“We have to somehow cut across the forest and evade that thing,” Tengrym announced. “So much for speed…”
“What if the thing follows us?” Thedric asked.
“A distinct possibility…” answered Tengrym hesitantly. “We will have to be vigilant and cautious!”