Archiv der Kategorie: Rollenspiel

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-04-20

This week was rather slow, as neither I nor the players had a clear goal established and rather spontaneous ideas dragged the game along. Nonetheless, the whole group made it to second level!

It was the same players as last week:

  • La Fleur (lvl 2), human wizard, 349 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater (lvl 2), human rogue, 369 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter (lvl 2), 349 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter (lvl 2), 423 XP

We started in Ansvell. The group decided to contact the local outpost of the Societas Hesindiarum Intelligentiae, to learn a little more about the strange occurances and mutations in and around Ansvell.

This took me completely by surprise. I knew that there was a sages guild based in Lesserton, but I had not prepared it. So I basically made everything up as we went, and the little inconsistencies made the players extremely suspicious. This changed the guild somewhat, and I have not yet decided how exactly.

They were greeted by Hesindion Binfane, an archeologist who was studying stones. La Fleur and Dargoth quickly figured out that he was studying Achaz reliefs, and seemed to inquire about a certain idol the Achaz worshipped. He was interested in Achaz relics, mostly mosaics and stone reliefs.

He told some background information about the ruins: It used to be an important Achaz city, which was destroyed during the last war between Achaz and Elves. Wild magic devastated both empires, and orcs used the opening to pour in and sack the area. A couple orcs remained in the ruins and changed greatly, turning into the lizorcs that today live there. When asked whether the mutations of the burghers of Ansvell had the same cause, he reacted denyingly, pretending the group must have falled to optical illusions.

The players assume that he might have caused the mutations, but are unsure whether he is an Asfaloth cultist who caused this change deliberately or whether it was an accidental side-effect of his studies.

With this in mind and two honey addicts in tow, the group went on their way to Lowangen. The addicts greatly suffered from withdrawal symptoms, which slowed them down. When the group woke on the fourth day, one of the addicts did not rouse. He died in his sleep. Ilmbold, the second addict and Black Jandora’s agent, was in a horrible conditon, and the group raced him to the famous Jhaell Sternenschweif, who is said to be one of the best healers in Adventuria. But despite their hard work, Ilmbold died from the withdrawal.

While the rest fought for Ilmbold’s life, Tapio brought the honey to Black Jandora to ensure that she would not send a squad of assassins against the group for crossing her. When hearing about her agent’s state, she vowed to pay the healer in full and handed 350 gold pieces as reward for the honey. When she learnt about Ilmbold’s demise, she also paid for a funeral.

The next day, they went on a shopping spree and bought all kind of adventuring gear, including potions and belts. Afterwards, the group visited the Hall of Miracles, where they learnt that the sword they found was probably made from an alloy of copper and asthenil, which is easily blunted (and thus not very useful against armoured opponents), but also extremely resistant against heat (and thus very useful against fire elementals or dragons). The smith guildswomen offered 75 gold pieces for the sword, but the group kept it.

Last, they went to the barracks and spoke to Erbert Domian, captain of the guard. He invited them jovially, told them that the rescued officers had been sent by the Middle Realm to ask for help in the civil war, but that he could not comply as the orcs prevented all military actions south of the city due to a spy tower. So far, all attempts even to spy at it failed, and he would offer an orcish healing potion (with slight side-effects) for anyone who was willing just to investigate. The group declined, and decided rather to search for the missing Agdan Dragenfeldt, which will happen during the next session.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-04-13

The same crew as last week continued their search for addictive honey. This time, having finally found a likely source for the honey, they became more daring and attacked recklessly. With luck on their side, they prevailed and started their journey home ladden with honey.

The following characters risked life and limb for honey:

  • La Fleur (lvl 1), human wizard, 272 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater (lvl 1), human rogue, 292 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter (lvl 1), 272 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter (lvl 2), 335 XP

Last time, the group had attempted to assassinate the lizorc bandit’s sentry, which failed. The bandits sent a scouting party, which the group decided to ambush. Dargoth was to attract their attention, and then lure them towards the others.

This was not difficult, as the group was looking for attackers. Seeing the lone fighter, they immediately gave chase. I asked for an Athletics check DC 8 for their plan to succeed: If the check was made, the group would have a surprise round, if the check failed, they would only win initative. Dargoth’s player failed the roll with a 1.

Dargoth accidently steps into a rabbit hole and wastes time, the lizorcs are right behind him as the trap is sprung. The combat goes well, and only Dargoth takes a few scratches while three lizorcs are killed and one is captured.

The group questions the captured lizorc, who introduces himself as Narhbub. He tells them that their band is lead by Vrogak, a very tall and strong lizorc, and ten further bandits and two slaves were still in the hideout.  The group verified this information with the help of Jules, and then came up with a plan: Dargoth would distract the sentry, while Tapio and Roderick were climbing the wall and then assassinate him. Afterwards, they would take care of two guards that were hidden on the roof. Meanwhile, Dargoth would open the door and storm in.

Up to the point where Dargoth was to open the door, the plan worked flawlessly. The sentry was shot down from the pillar, and Tapio and Roderick were waiting in cover. Dargoth found the door to be rather massive though and held by a strong bar, it was not possible to open it from the outside! Narhbub pleas to open the door do not do anything, either.

I have no idea why the group assumed the door could be opened from the outside, probably because I used the word latch instead of bar.

As Dargoth powerlessly rattled at the door, Tapio dashes over and attempts to lift the bar, which proves to be rather heavy and would probably require two persons to lift.

Two person can lift the bar easily, but a single person attempting it needs to succeed in a DC 15 athletics check. Tapio’s player rolls incredibly well and beats the check.

He somehow finds the correct spot where he could apply leverage and pull the bar off, but just as he opens the door two guards stand up on the roof and shower him with buckets filled with sharp stones! Luck is on his side though, and no stones penetrated his armour. With all the ruckus, the remaining bandits storm onto the yard, and the group now faces seven bandits in the yard, their very lizardy looking captain and two guards on the roof.

Roderick acts first and shoots on of the guards from the roof, before joining his friends at the door in the hope of creating a bottle neck.

At this point, the group jokes that their enemies would be in perfect position for an area of effect spell, which was true. They failed to notice that they themselves were just as densely packed as their enemies though.

The bandit’s captain acts next, steps forwards and exhales a stream of acid on the group! Narhbub dies outright, Roderick falls down unconciously with his left arm badly burnt by the acid. Everyone else was in bad shape too and things looked grim. Then, La Fleur stepped in to retaliate: Her Burning Hands burnt all bandits in the yard to a crisp, except for the bandit captain!

After the horrible rolls last week, the dice were extremely hot for the group at this moment. Not only did La Fleur roll extremely high damage, all the bandits failed their saving throws too.

Amidst the flaming inferno, Vrogak looks around, sees his band perish in the flames and Dargoth approach him menacingly, and decides it is time to run away. Tapio and Dargoth attempt to catch him, but despite some wounds, he manages to jump into a hole in the cellar and run off through an underground tunnel. Tapio hears him running away.

Meanwhile, La Fleur managed to stabilize Roderick with a Healing Kit and to enthrall the remaining lizorc guard with a sugar cake. Blissfully, he told the group about where the slaves are and that the boss hid the treasure in the cellar, that the boss warned them that anyone who tried to take his treasure would choke to death, and did not allow any of the other bandits near.

First, the group looked for the slaves, which turned out to be on a trip. Neither of them was Agdan Dragenfeld, but one turned out to be Ilmbold, the missing agent of Black Jandora.

Afterwards, they searched the bosses chamber and found a treasure chest and some valuable furs, and then continued to search the cellar where they first blocked the hole with an old grate and some furniture. Dargoth found a stone looking strangely placed and pulled it out, finding a bag behind it. When he poured it out, a moulded bread falls out, and its yellow spores spread throughout the room!

Yellow mould on a piece of bread to choke the dear life out of any potential thief, a very nasty trap. Both Dargoth and Tapio, the only characters in the room at that time, made their save, so nothing bad happened.

Behind the bag, Tapio found an amphora filled with honey. After all, they found what they had been looking for! A discussion started among the group whether it was wise to bring this horrible drug to Black Jandora. Tapio worried about crossing her and assumed the enormous risks the drug carried would discourage her from selling it. Roderick wanted to destroy the honey outright. Dargoth and La Fleur did not have any opinion whatsoever. In the end, they decided to take the honey with them.

There was a rather long moral dispute about the honey, which was a much more potent drug than the players had suspected in the beginning.

They barricaded the mansion and rested for one night, to let Roderick recover form his wounds. The next day, they started their way home to Lowangen. They see a couple giant bees collecting honey from the Morgendornsträucher, and pass a giant centipede which Dargoth smashed. They pay the bridge lizorcs with two bottles of wine and arrive in Ansvell around midday and decided to rest in the ‘Explorers Inn’, at which point we stopped this session.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-04-06

This week, we had four player who sent their characters to search for honey in the ruins of Ansvell. Despite facing several horrible creatures and even several fights, everyone survived!

This week, the following characters took part:

  • La Fleur, human wizard, 75 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater, human rogue, 95 XP
  • Tapio of Gareth, human fighter, 75 XP
  • Dargoth the Daring, human fighter, 138 XP

Last week, we stopped when the group met some lizorc gathering herbs and roots, and continued at exactly this moment. The lizorcs offered information for food, and gave the party more detailed information about the area:

  1. Honey makes you crazy, the Beekeepers produce it.
  2. All the lizorc tribes are somewhat crazy, that is why this group remains for itself.
  3. A group of lizorc bandits raid people who try to barter with the Beekeepers. They have a fortified mansion beneath a huge pillar, which they use as lookout.
  4. There are plenty rats in the area, which the lizorc’s hunt.
  5. The lizorcs used to have a nice building, but fire beetles had dug into it recently and drove the lizorcs off.

The group offered to reconquer the lizorc shelter instead of paying with food, to which the lizorcs happily agreed. After quizzing the lizorcs about the shelter’s layout, the group came up with the plan to send Jules, La Fleur’s squirrel familiar, into the shelter to lure the beetle out. This worked rather well, and two beetles were lured into the trap and slain easily. Jules complaint about the beetles shooting something at him that made the walls bubble.

Tapio snuck down and took a look. He found four more beetles sitting at the far end of the cellar, eating something. The group hatched a plan: Everybody would sneak down, shoot at the eating beetles and hopefully kill them before they could react. This almost worked, but two beetles (one of them almost frozen) survived and retaliated by shooting acid at the party! Luckily, only one hit and caused only minor damage. Before the beetles could do anything else, the group killed them.

One player calculated the possible damage afterward and found that a better hit could have annihilated the whole group. The lizorcs had good reasons why they did not attempt to reconquer their shelter.

Afterwards, the group took some time to clean themselves and take a closer look at the strange sabre (kopesh, in rule terms: a scimitar) they found (in rules terms: they took a short rest). Nobody knew anything about the strange alloy, except that it was very similar to bronze. It was not magical either, but had an affinity to fire and was once exposed to strong magic. Meanwhile, the lizorcs cleaned their shelter and prepared some rats on a stick.

The group had really bad luck with their rolls this time.

The group decided to investigate the tunnel through which the beetles had come. Jules found a break in the tunnel which was blocked by some piece of wood. He also could follow the tunnel further, but that would lead him out of telepathy range. Tapio, Roderick and La Fleur decided to crawl into the tunnel themselves instead.

The piece of wood turned out to be a chest or something similar that could be moved (with a DC 8 athletics check). They decided not to, as they heard high pitched, grumbling voices behind. La Fleur cast ‘Comprehend Languages’ and understood that the voices were arguing about the rules for a game (the lizorcs would later identify these creatures as Ratiers, a race of rat-man).

If a certain company was not as strict with their trademarks as it is, these rat-man would have listened to Ska in a Van.

Tapio decided to crawl even further down the tunnel, as he had smelled something odd earlier. Finally, he reached a grid set into the stone atop and below the tunnel and saw a strange, scaled creature below of brownish-grey colour beneath which emited a horrible stench. He heard some noise from further afield, heard a human voice pleading, and then saw an elder, scrawny man tossed from the left into the cage. The stinking lizard quickly devoured the poor victim.

Tapio retreated and informed the rest of the group. They decided to leave these strange underground tunnels for now, and instead concentrate on the bandits, as they hope those might have some of the honey the group was looking for.

They walk along, passed a pile of rubbels in which they heard loud ‘ribbit’, and continued to reach a wide, open area. In the middle of that wide area they saw a pillar, which they (correctly) assumed to be the pillar the lizorc’s had described. They decided to use a combination of dusk and the sparse cover on the open field to sneak close to the pillar, which worked. Their attempt to sniper the watchout failed, though, and they retreated again when an alarm was shout.

We ended this game with a small scouting group leaving the mansion and circling it in search for the snipers.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-03-30

This week, there were only two players due to Good Friday, but I ran the game anyway since I had already cancelled the week before. Again, the group was extremely cautious. Again, everyone survived, and furthermore they even found their first treasure!

Our roster consisted of:

  • La Fleur, human wizard, 20 XP
  • Roderick Clearwater, human rogue, 40 XP

The game started in Ansvell, where our adventurers had breakfast and learnt a little about entering the ruins: There are three entrances to the ruins, a rope bridge, a breach and the former harbour. The bridge is considered the safest and most travelled, guides have seen the adventurers they lead to the ruins attacked on their way into the ruins on the other entrances. On the other hand, the lizorcs guarding the bridge demand outrageous sums from travellers for entry, but uncle Murgin mentioned that they can often be bribed with fancy food and drink.

The players decided to buy some adventuring gears, which were in surprisingly great supply (with slight defects, though). The group brought several bags of caltrops, a healers kit, and two bottles of acceptable wine with accompanying cakes and cheese.

Uncle Murgin lead the group to the ruins, telling them a little about the swamp on the way and advised them to speak with the lizorcs. He would not enter the ruins, as he considered them to dangerous and prefered earning money as craftsmen and occassional guide. They also inquire about the swamp hags, and are told that those will contact anyone who leaves a message at one of the crow poles, small birches that are overgrown with an obligate hemiparasitic shrub of black colour.

The lizorcs turn out to have a very strong emphasis on the S-sounds and greedy: They demand 300 gold per person to pass. Roderick turns his charms on, however, and convinces them to let the group pass for a cake and some sugar.

For an additional offer of one bag of salt, the lizorcs tell the group some more details about the ruins:

There are four major lizorc tribes in the ruins: the Froggers at the harbour, the Beekeepers slightly north of the harbour, the Locusts in the centre, and the Spiders in the north. Explorers are quite a common sight, and they usually barter with the lizorcs. There is a large pyramide in the ruins, but nobody who went there ever returned.

With this information, and after climbing on a vantage point to get a general overview, the group pushes deeper into the ruins, heading south-west. After just a short while, they meet a rather hollow looking man with honey-coloured lips and teeth, who totters and pleads for some honey to clear his head. When asked about the honey, he tells them that his boss pays him in honey, but that he cannot work any more because his head is so clouded, and he needs honey to clear it. He offers to join the group, but they convince him that their chances will increase if they split up. Thus, they part ways, promising to whistle if he finds any honey, before stumbling back into the rubble.

Further on, the area changes a bit from rubble to vegetation, probably a former park. The group sees some of the Morgendornsträucher and keeps their distance. This leads them to a wide open plaza, with a couple of steles and obeliks on the otherwise empty place. A lizardman seems to be melted into one of the steles.

Roderick is extremely suspicious, and La Fleur does not even dare to attempt an Identify spell. Her attempt to render an expert opinion based on her magical education fails, the place is just to different from the things she is familiar with. She only recalled a clerical spell called ‘Meld into Stone’ that would produce somewhat similar effects, but nothing more.

Or rather, her player rolled a 1 on her Arcana knowledge roll.

Roderick considered the place a death-trap and decides to give it a wide berth, but La Fleur decides to sent her squirrel familiar onto the plaza. The squirrel touched the lizardman, and found itself in a shower of stone because the melted lizardman turned out to be extremely brittle. Afterwards, the squirrel flit across the whole plaza, without any negative results. Finally, the group dared to enter too.

Roderick’s player was very suspicious and insisted on leaving, even though La Fleur seemed not that certain. I had to encourage La Fleur’s player a little before she dared to tell her plan. It worked great and I am glad that she told it, because that way the group saw that not everything odd is necessarily dangerous. Sure, many odd things are dangerous, but no risk, no gain—and without La Fleur taking this (calculated) risk, the group would have missed its first treasure!

Inspecting the statue a little closer, they noticed the lizardman was holding a kind of sabre with a reddish metallic hue. Still somewhat suspicious, they pulled the sabre of the statue with a grappling hook and some rope, which resulted in nothing but a loud ‘clang’ when it fell to the floor. The group pocketed the strangely looking sabre, decided to inspect it more closely in a more secure spot, and went on their way.

The sabre they found was actually a Kopesh (or sickle-sword), but the name completely escaped me during the session.

Shortly thereafter, they met a small group of lizorcs that were gathering roots and herbs. With this encounter on the horizon, we finished the session.

[RSP-Karneval] Tipps für neue Spielleiter

Du hast auf Youtube ein Rollenspiel-Video gesehen oder ein Rollenspiel-Regelwerk wie Das Schwarze Auge oder Dungeons & Dragons geschenkt bekommen und möchtest nun deine ersten Gehversuche als Spielleiter unternehmen? Dann möchte ich versuchen, dir ein paar Tipps zu geben, damit der Anfang nicht ganz so schwer wird.

Ruhe bewahren

Zunächst einmal gilt: Ruhe bewahren. Spielleiten muss man lernen, deine Abenteuer werden nicht auf Anhieb so gut gelingen wie in den Videos. Am Anfang wirst du oft Regeln nachschlagen, Denkpausen brauchen, den Faden verlieren oder auch mal NSC verwechseln. Das ist ganz normal, einmal durchatmen und weitermachen.

Lass dich auch nicht von theoretischen oder philosophischen Diskussionen um richtige Spielstile verwirren. Das sind bloß die ganz normalen Fachgespräche unter alten Hasen, die man in allen Hobbys hat. Für die ersten Schritte im Rollenspiel kannst du das getrost ignorieren.

Klein anfangen

Spieler verhalten sich immer anders als man erwartet, daher sollte man als Spielleiter klein anfangen. Die ersten Abenteuer sollten keine riesigen, weltumspannenden Geschichten mit unzähligen versteckten Bedeutungen und unvorhergesehenen Wendungen sein, sondern kurze, gradlinige Erlebnisse.

Die ersten Nichtspielercharaktere benötigen keine tiefgreifenden Charakterstudien als Hintergrund. Für den Anfang genügen oberflächliche Beschreibungen, bei denen neben dem Namen bloß die Rolle im Abenteuer und ein beschreibendes Adjektiv notiert werden. Das vereinfacht es dir als Spielleiter, spontan in die Rolle dieses Nichtspielercharakters zu schlüpfen (und das wirst du sehr oft tun müssen).

Chaos am Spieltisch

Spieler verhalten sich fast nie planmäßig, sondern finden Abkürzungen und gehen seltsame Umwege. Sie erschlagen den geplanten Auftraggeber, weil sie ihn für einen getarnten Werwolf halten, und helfen dafür dem Werwolf, der sich als schmieriger Kutscher tarnt.

Im Gegenzug dazu erkennen sie offensichtliche Hinweise nicht und planen für obskure Eventualitäten. Sie finden van Helsings Holzpflock-Armbrust, aber anstatt Graf Dracula damit zu erschießen, entwickeln sie einen verwirrenden Plan, bei dem sie dessen Sarg um Mitternacht in einen Bach fallen lassen, damit er kurz nach Sonnenaufgang an einem Wasserfall ankommt und der Graf, von der aufgehenden Sonne in seinen Sarg zurückgezwungen, im zerschmetternden Sarg von Sonne und fließendem Wasser vernichtet wird.

Ich fand dieses Verhalten zu Beginn sehr frustrierend, weil meine durchdachten Lösungen selten bis nie zur Anwendung kamen. Inzwischen bin ich dazu übergegangen, einfach nur Probleme zu gestalten und den Rest dem Erfindungsreichtum der Spieler zu überlassen. Wenn die Lösung plausibel erscheint, lasse ich sie zu oder lasse würfeln.

Mit offenen Karten spielen

Ein großes Problem beim Rollenspiel besteht darin, die Informationen aus dem Kopf des Spielleiters in die Köpfe der Spieler zu bekommen. Als Spielleiter solltest du daher mit offenen Karten spielen und nicht versuchen, deinen gigantischen Informationsvorsprung gegen die Spieler einzusetzen.

Wenn ein Spieler etwas sinnlos Erscheinendes versucht, dann deutet er die Situation oft ganz anders als der Spielleiter. Daher bin ich dazu übergegangen, die Schwierigkeit einer Situation offen anzusagen, bevor gewürfelt wird. Frag immer noch einmal nach, wenn ein Spieler etwas eindeutig lebensmüdes tun will, und prüfe, ob ihr beide die Situation gleich einschätzt.

Ähnlich handhabe ich es mit Fallen: Die schießen nicht urplötzlich aus der Decke, weil dem Späher der Wahrnehmungswurf misslang. Gib lieber ganz ohne Wurf ein oder zwei deutliche Hinweise, derentwegen die Spieler von sich aus vorsichtig werden können: Blut, Skelette, Dellen in der Wand, Rußspuren, ein seltsamer Geruch…

Regeln bereithalten

Mit der Zeit gehen dir deine Lieblingsregeln in Fleisch und Blut über, du wirst viele Situationen lösen können, ohne die Regeln nachzuschlagen. Zu Beginn aber werden dir selbst regelleichte Systeme als gigantischer Wust erscheinen. Dagegen hilft es nur, sich die Regeln zu sortieren: Sei es, dass man sich eine Zusammenfassung der verschiedenen Regelsituationen schreibt, einen Index anfertig, das Regelwerk mit bunten Klebchen thematisch sortiert.

Sehr hilfreich sind auch kleine Karteikarten, auf denen man für wichtige Nichtspielercharaktere alle benötigten Werte mit Kurzregeln notiert.

Einfach anfangen

Diese Tipps helfen hoffentlich bei den ersten Schritten im Rollenspiel, aber sie können natürlich nicht die Praxis ersetzen. Um ein besserer Spielleiter zu werden, braucht man nicht nur Tipps, sondern muss auch Erfahrung damit sammeln, wie sie im Spiel funktionieren.

Dabei wird viel schiefgehen, du wirst gelegentlich unzufrieden sein, aber doch Schritt für Schritt in die Rolle hineinfinden. Halte dir immer vor Augen, dass Rollenspiel eine Gruppenaktivität ist, bei der sowohl du als auch die Mitspieler sich einbringen wollen. Solange du das bedenkst, lassen sich alle anderen Fehler korrigieren.

Und jetzt, viel Spaß beim Rollenspiel!

Dieser Beitrag gehört zum Karneval der Rollenspiele im März 2018, bei dem verschiedenste Blogs Tipps für neue Spielleiter geben.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-03-15

During the second session of my Open Table Chat Game, the group was much more cautious and avoided all fights. Instead, they gathered information, socialised and looked for ways to increase their reputation. Accordingly, all of them survived!

There were three player characters:

    • Mallon Everis, Wood Elf Cleric (Tempest) of Firun, 20 XP
    • Tapio of Gareth, Human Fighter, 20 XP
    • Roderick Clearwater, Human Rogue, 20 XP

The three characters started in Lowangen and were informed that they knew three possible employers in Lowangen: Erbert Domian, Captain of the City Militia, Eolan Sustermond, Master of the Grey Staves, and Black Jandora, mistress of a local crime syndicate. Due to all of them having a rather checkered past, they immediately decided to speak with Black Jandora.

This took me completely off guard: After their behaviour and ideas last session, I had expected them to mainly cooperate with the city watch. Luckily, I had taken some notes on criminal contacts for the rogue.

Black Jandora was based in the Black Store, a rather dark store in the city district of Eydal. Tapio noticed that most goods were rather cheap, with a few items of excellent quality cleverly hidden between them. He deduced the store was probably a cover and mainly used to fence stolen goods. It turned out the store was run by Jandora’s son Kulman, and that her criminal network was run from a hidden salon in the courtyard. After exchanging some pleasantries, where Jandora showed that she had heard about all group members, the group asked about possible work.

Jandora told them she was interesting in an addictive honey, which (according to rumours) was produced by bees in an ancient ruin near the village of Ansvell in the Svelltmoor.

The addictive honey is part of the treasure one can find in the ruins of the module Lesserton & Mor.

She warned the group that this was a dangerous mission, and that two other groups of agents never returned. Even though her own agents were rather inexperienced young hotheads, she mentioned that a very experienced patrol of the Grey Staves was also lost in the swamp. The group offered to look for the lost agents and the honey, and Jandora told them they were tatooed with a black spade on their upper arm. She also handed the group some jars (for the honey) and gnat repellent (because she want their agents to concentrate on the task at hand instead of itching gnat bites) before dismissing them.

Afterwards, the group decided to speak with Eolan Sustermond as well, as they assumed his patrol was probably investigating the honey as well and they could kill two birds with one stone if they looked for them. On their way they passed the teamster the characters in session 1 accompanied, without recognizing him (whereas the audience did).

The teamster was included by one of the players, and I enjoyed this description very much.

They found that all servants of the Grey Staves were crippled by some fighting injuries, and assumed Dargoth would like the place. After some waiting, they were granted an audience with Master Eolan. He told them that indeed one of his patrols was chased through the swamp by bullywugs and lost their leader, Agdan Dragenfeld. He would pay handsome for his return: 50 ducats for verified information about his fate, 100 ducats for the corpse, and 200 ducats plus two magic potions if he was returned alived. He gave them a portrait of Agdan and a copy of the patrol’s report, which should allow them to retrace its steps.

The patrol wanted to investigate the Morgendornstrauch, a bush similar to a raspberry, but with leaves the colour of the rising sun. Its poison is rumoured to turn its victims into horrible monsters during dusk or dawn. He knew of no anti-toxin against this poison, but mentioned the swamp hags might know one. They would be on their own: He could not spare any other patrols to search for Agdan, as his forces were stretched thin after recent encounters.

The group happily agreed to look for Agdan, as they assumed both Agdan and the honey would be found in a similar area of the swamp.

After buying some equipment, the group started their journey to Ansvell. On the road, they listened to the other travellers, who complaint about bad weather, bandits, orcs, and taxes. One piece of gossip caught their attention: someone mentioned a rumour about a waggon full of loot, that the orcs lost in the swamp.

They rested in a warm bed a last time before entering the swamp, where gnats, water and other hindrances would make their life miserable.

I decided beforehand that I will use the random tables for the Hellbog swamp from Elfmaids & Octopi. If the random encounter dice will show a 5, I will use an entry from the d100 Hellbog Dressing table, and if it shows a 6, an entry from the d100 Encounters or d100 Hazards tables. I rolled how long the journey will take, 1d4+2 resulted in 3 days of travel and the encounter dice showed 5, 6, and 5.

Their journey started with a horrible thunderstorm, but that only slowed them down. They camped on a stable hill in the swamp, where they noticed some lights flickering in the distance. They shouted, but the only response was a faint giggle, and they decided that it was probably some fairies which should be better avoided.

The next day, they noticed a couple cut reeds growing in the middle of the river. They found this very suspicious and prepared for a fight, but then decided to make a detour instead. After passing some grazing dinosaurs, they returned to the path, losing only about two hours of progress.

One of the player would have prefered to attack, but the other two, who had lost their characters in session 1, prefered to be safe than sorry. There were five bullywug bandits lurking beneath the water, hoping to surprise a traveller who got closer to the river.

This night passed calmly, as did most of the third day. Around late afternoon, they heard a child crying on the river. First, they suspected foul play, but then noticed a small figure hunched on a log floating down the river. They prepared for a fight, but still decided to help, and used a grappling hook to tow the log to the river bank. Luckily, it turned out that there was no enemy on the log, but just a human child with gills on its throat. They managed to calm it, gave it some food and learnt that it was called Mu-Gin and wanted mum and dad who were in that direction.

With the childs direction rather indecisive they decided to continue along the road. Soon after, they heard two voices shouting ‘Murgin? Where are you?’. Since Murgin sounded very much like Mu-Gin, they answered the calls and finally met the searchers who turned out to be the parents. The parents also looked quite odd, the woman had scaley skin on her forehead and dad lacked any visible body hair whatsoever. This did not deter the group whatsoever, and after the lucky reunion they asked the parents about the swamp and their missions.

The parents know a little about the Morgendornstrauch: If you cut yourself on its thorns, you will turn into a horrible monster. The bullywugs that torment the swamp are the result of this mutation, and the swamp hags may be able to cure only those who have been recently inflicted. Luckily, the civilized inhabitants of the swamp do their best to prevent the bush growing near the trail, which thus can only be found deep within the swamp. They had also not seen Agdan or his patrol, but knew about the ruins. There would be plenty of adventurers trying to search the ruins, few would return, but quite some inhabitants of the village would earn some money by leading them to the ruins.

They invited the group to stay in their hut for the night, and promised to introduce the group to the mother’s cousin (also called Murgin), who knew entrances to the ruins. The group gladly accepted and we finished the game here.

One of the players was disappointed that there was no fight, and wanted to storm the ruins with guns blazing. The other two players were very reluctant to approach enemies, though. I worry this disparity might lead to trouble among the players. I am rather hopeful though that the careful players will be more willing to risk a fight if there is something to be gained, and such situations should present itself in Mor.

[Actual Play] Adventuria Open Table Chat Game, 2018-03-09

The first session of my Open Table Chat Game ran quite well, except that it almost ended in a Total Party Kill. What happened?

We had three player characters:

  • Kylian, the Ice Elf ranger.
  • Lockless, the Human bard.
  • Dargoth, the Human fighter.

Game started with the player characters joining a lonely teamster called Torik on his way to Lowangen, who gave them some background knowledge about the area and pointed them to three potential adventuring locations:

  • An ancient lizardmen ruin in the swamps, said to be home to a lizardmen/orc crossbreed and full of ancient treasures.
  • An old burial mound that was disturbed by the orcs and is now swarming with undead.
  • Three dwarf brothers that look for the smithy in which the Salamanderstein was forged. The Salamanderstein combines elven and dwarfish art as a symbol for their alliance against the first orcish invasion.

The group decides to look for the Salamanderstein once they reached Lowangen, even though the dwarf brothers search it in an unlikely place. But there is on potential ambush spot before Lowangen can be reached, a muddy copse. Torik asks them to secure the copse before he drives through with his cart, which the group agrees to.

The group surprises four goblins that are butchering three horses that are peppered with throwing knives. The group watches the scene for a short while, then agrees to attack. Because the goblins are distracted (and thus have disadvantage on their perception), the group manages to surprise them, with Dargoth rolling exceptionally well, killing on goblin on the spot and causing panic in the others. Lockless follows suit and hits another goblin, before the goblins are even able to act and flee screaming.

The extremely high damage roll on Dargoth first hit would doom the group later on, as it lead to them greatly underestimating the strength of their enemies.

Lockless notices that the goblin he hit is still alive, and decides to save him with a Healing Word. The goblin faints, and the group ties him. Kylian and Lockless search for tracks, finding that a group of about a dozend goblins must have ambushed the three riders, and that a group of larger, heavier creatures marched away with the goblins. They assume the riders, who seem to be Imperial army scouts, were taken captures and decide to free them. Torik tells them that the road to Lowangen should be safe after this point and tells them how to get there.

The group takes the goblins with them, following the clearly visible trail. When the goblin wakes, Lockless performs a ritual of Speak Languages that allows him to communicate with the goblin who calls himself Dravuvo. They figure out that the goblins are hungry and terrorized by a duo of hobgoblins, mainly wanting to go home. Dravuvo offers to arrange a meeting with the goblin chief, the group accepts. The goblins offer to help the group get into the cave and close to the prisoners, but unwilling to fight the hobgoblins or get any more actively involved – they are to terrified of the hobgoblins.

Here the group greatly underestimated the goblins, considering them extremely easily scared, and thus underestimating the strength of the hobgoblins, assuming they could defeat them with a frontal assault.

The group came up with a clever plan where on of them would be disguised as a goblin, and be snuck in by their goblin allies as guard for the prisoners. They then would free the prisoners, the others rush in and kill the hobgoblins, their wolf and the alchemist.

Everything went well: nobody noticed their clever disguised, they freed the prisoners and killed the remaining goblin guard that was loyal to the hobgoblin. The hobgoblins formed a defensive line behind the door, awaiting the heroes approach. The heroes rushed in, but their attacks caused little damage and the hobgoblin’s counter attacks cut down both Lockless and Kylian.

Dargoth and the three former prisoners turn and run away, not stopping before they arrive in Lowangen.

  • Dargoth: 83 XP
  • Kylian
  • Lockless

Open Chat Table: D&D5 Adventuria on Discord

After some planning and re-reading the adventures on my hard drive, I decided to attempt a new text-based online gaming group. I will try to establish a weekly Open Chat Table, meaning I will run an adventure every Friday, 18 to 22 Central European Time, and whoever is online, has a character ready and was not banned may participate.

Adventuria Open Table Game

Background

Backdrop will be the Adventuria after the third orcish invasion of the Svellt River Valley, but not according to official history. As a matter of fact, I mostly will build my own Adventuria based on ideas from different sources.

Much of the destruction will remain, but instead of a powerful orc force, one will mostly find robber barons upholding something resembling rulership. The remaining orcish host and Lowangen mostly neutralize each other, leaving room for lesser powers to carve out their personal realms. The dwarfs of Tjolmar are probably the most powerful un-entangled city state remaining, but their reputation suffered for their treasonous collaboration with the orcs.

Even though the orcs never truly lost, their victories against the Garethian legions and the united Knights of Weiden and the Order of the Theatre from Bornland were phyrric. Nobody could have prevented an orcish siege of Gareth and Trallop, but the orcs worried about a counter offense from the north by the combined forces of Riva, Norbards, Nevese and Elves which would cut their supply lines and leave their troops exposed to freshly raised relief forces. After pillaging the countryside and before the first snow, the orcs retreated to the Svellt Valley instead of furthering their conquest east- and southwards.

Furthermore, both Thorwal vikings and the small kingdom of Andergast to the west seek to plunder the Orc Hoard, forcing the orcs to keep a strong military presence on their western border instead of establishing their control of the Svellt River Valley more strongly.

At the same time, civil war (between house Gareth and House Rabenmund) and the great loss of experienced fighters among the northern knights, prevent the powerful Middle Realm from any attempts to recoup its losses.

The village of Ansvell will be home to the module Lesserton & Mor.

Sibra will replace Phandalin (Lost Mine of Phandelver).

Svellmia will replace Helix (Barrowmaze).

And further dungeons and modules from different OSR publishers will be placed within the area.

Rules

Attributes

Use the standard array for attributes: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8

Passive Perception

Passive Perception is discarded, I usually describe obvious hints automatically and everything else if you mention that your character is looking for it in a specific situation.

Darkvision

Darkvision is downgraded to low-light vision.

Proficiencies and attribute bonus

In my experience, the attributes are often more important than a proficiency. Therefore, I want to experiment a little: You always gain your proficiency bonus when you would add your attribute bonus according to the normal rules. Your attribute bonus is only added if you are proficient. (Proficiency bonus and attribute bonus basically switch places.)

An attribute penalty is always added.

Races

Some of the races do not exist or do not make sense in Adventuria, those will be simply considered something else without the rules for them changing.

Halflings → Considered a dwarf variant

High Elfs → Meadow Elves

Humans → Human Variants are allowed

Dragonborn → Achaz

Gnomes, Forest → Considered an elf variant

Gnomes, Rock → Considered a dwarf variant

Half-Orcs → Are considered a human variant

Tiefling → cat-people called Amaunir, rumoured to be from the fabled „Gilded Land“ and with no infernal heritage.

Death & Dismemberment

Trollsmyth’s Death & Dismemberment Table, Revamped For D&D 5E

In den Fußstapfen Agrimoths

Vielleicht erinnern sich noch einige an die Vorurteile gegenüber DSA4: Ein extrem kleinteiliges System, bei dem nichts existierte, was nicht auf dem Heldenbrief stand. Mir und einigen anderen im IRC-Kanal #tanelorn fiel gerade auf, dass dies bedeutet, dass Aventurien leider nur Einheitsschuhe kennt, weil das Regelwerk ja keine linken und rechten Schuhe getrennt definiert.

Glücklicherweise haben wir auch gleich eine Lösung für dieses Problem gefunden: Das Abenteuer „In den Fußstapfen Agrimoths“, bei dem die Helden dieses unbequeme Problem lösen!

Alles beginnt in Lowangen, wo der gerissene Pelzhändler Lygor die Idee verfolgt, seinen Pelzabsatz zu erhöhen, indem er alle Schuhe von einen auf den anderen Tag veralten lässt. Von einem alten, derilierenden Elfen hörte er unglaubliche Geschichten über Achaz, die zwei verschiedene Schuhe gleichzeitig trügen und sieht seine Zeit gekommen. Daher rüstet er eine Expedition aus, die in der sagenumwobenen Stadt der Schlange dieses Geheimnis aufdecken sollen.

Anschließend muss die Gruppe in den Sumpf des Vergessens reisen, unter dem sich diese Stadt verbirgt. Dummerweise piekst sich die mitreisende, herzallerliebte Perainelieb an einem Morgendornstrauch und droht, sich in eine Sumpfranze zu verwandeln! Das können die Helden natürlich nicht dulden und stolpern ziellos auf der Suche nach einer Lösung durch die Sümpfe, bis sie zufällig in einer Truhe ein altes Dokument finden, in dem beschrieben wird, man man mit bei Mondlicht gepflückten Heidekraut diese Verwandlung rückgängig machen kann!

Währenddessen hat glücklicherweise der mitreisende Kartograph die notwendigen Berechnungen vorgenommen, um die versunkene Stadt zu lokalisieren. Nun ist es natürlich an den Helden, sie zu erkunden, während der Rest der Expedition das Lager aufschlägt!

Vorbei an altertümlichen Fallen, seltsamen Kristallformationen und dem abgefahrensten Zeug, was man im Dungeon Alphabet so findet, gelangen die Helden tatsächlich bis in die ehemalige Schusterzunft und können dort die Anleitung für die Herstellung rechter und linker Schuhe finden!

Doch kaum zurück aus der Ruine, plagt den mitreisenden Schusterlehrling Alrik Ingerimmstreu das Gewissen: Ist diese Veränderung auch ingerimmsgefällig oder spielt sie dessem erzdämonischen Widersacher in die Hände? Er vertraut sich einem vorbeireisenden Geweihten an, doch perfiderweise handelt es sich hierbei um einen Geweihten des Namenlosen, der versucht, diese Schwäche auszunutzen, um Alrik zum Namenlosen zu bekehren! Glücklicherweise bemerkt Perainelieb gerade noch rechtzeitig, dass der vorgebliche Geweihte keinen Schatten besitzt und die Helden können den Bösewicht vertreiben.

Der Weiterreise und triumphalen Rückkehr scheint nichts mehr im Weg zu stehen, doch in Lowangen angekommen müssen die Helden feststellen, dass sich eine Opposition gegen sie gesammelt hat: Von Schergen des Agrimoth aufgestachelt stellt sich ihnen eine Abordnung der Schusterzunft in den Weg und versucht, ihren Einzug in die Stadt zu verhindern! Die Helden müssen die erzdämonische Intrige zerschlagen, was ihnen dank es zufällig vorbeifliegenden Greifens, der die Ubedenklichkeit der Schuhe bescheinigt, gelingt.

Anschließend folgt die Abschlussparty, in der die Helden in ein schwarzes Auge blicken, hören dabei leise Beethovens Schicksalssinfonie spielen und sehen, wie eine Hand mit die Worte „Schuh, links“ und „Schuh, rechts“ in eine Liste einträgt und anschließend den in ganz Aventurien gültigen Preis nebst des standardisierten Gewichts eintritt. Für ihre Strapazen erhalten die Helden natürlich Abenteuerpunkte und dazu die Möglichkeit, kostenlos Schustern in Lowangen zu lernen.

Die Erben des Monsterhandbuchs

Wer nach dem Ende meiner Monsterhandbuch-Serie unter akutem Monsterentzug leidet, den möchte ich Dnalors Troll-Blog empfehlen. Er hat dort ebenfalls eine Serie zu neu interpretierten Monstern begonnen, wo er bisher Ziegenmenschen, Sneeuwpuppen, den Schalk im Nacken, fliegenden hölzerne Pferde und Bronzebullen vorgestellt hat.

Allesamt sehr lesenswert, wie ich finde, von daher unbedingt einen Besuch wert!