First Post Orcus Campaign

Last night marked the first game of the Orcus Campaign one of the players is running between chapters of the Tomb of Horrors. We met and created characters. The initial player-character list is as follows:

  • Mike: Gloin the dwarven cleric
  • Kim: Kava the dragonborn fighters
  • CJ: Clarence Gattling the elven ranger
  • Dave: Varis the elven wizard
  • Nick: Mellick the tiefling paladin
  • Zombie Joe: Raven the halfling vampire

We went on a single quest to deal with a grouping of goblins that had been leading raids from a mine near Harkenwold. A quick search of the area revealed a rather intricate lair built into the mineshaft. Goblins with wolves had indeed made their home there.

The party of adventurers went through the mine and eradicated the goblins, only allowing the largest of the wolves to be set free once the vampire had used his feral nature to befriend it. They also managed to recover a magical long sword, a black orb taken from the inside of an old statue of Orcus. We also found a map of the village with the inn and the Lord’s Manor circled in red along with a letter written in goblin.

End of Game Notes

  • 53 gold each (this includes the 25 gold payment from Old Keller)
  • 243xp each
  • map – brewery and lord’s manor circled in red
  • letter written in goblin with only the word Thunderspire written in common
  • black orb (religious item) found in statue of Orcus)
  • +1 long sword (given to the paladin)
  • red potion of healing (not given to anyone)

Game Quotes

  • Seriously, I can make my staff glow whenever I want.
  • What? Just grab on and walk backwards. It’s totally my power.
  • I would have totally pounced on it and sucked it dry. (The game does have a vampire after all…)
  • It’s hard upside down.
  • And not the swing you sit on.
  • You could take a standard action to make me surge. Do you want that? Yeah… yeah I do.
  • Be more specific… Okay, I try to penetrate it.
  • I don’t know where my little lever went.
  • He gonna mage hand the lever.
  • It’s much easier going down.
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Tomb of Horrors – Chapter 1 Wrap-up

Little did the Blackhawks Talons know, but they were a couple of encounters away from completing chapter 1 in the first leg of the Tomb of Horrors. Of course with Bairn the runepriest still off helping out Puff and Anuk the druid gone off to track them down in her loping wolf-form, the group was a little unprepared for what lay ahead of them.

While inspecting the room that seemed to be part mausoleum and part arboretum, three zombie eladrin knight burst out of their cairns along with an undead firbolg. This, of course, happened after the ivy growing along the walls in the other couple sections of the room mounded up into a roughly humanoid shape with a single eyestalk ending in a reddish looking gem for an eye.

Highlights of the Zombie-Ivy Battle

  • The firbolg hit like a sonofabitch
  • The DM’s dice were hot or cold, very little in-between
  • The Ivy Beast was a pain in the ass with an 8 square reach
  • Kafka the Wizard bounced at the brink of death from a Drain Soul attack for several rounds getting better then worse until finally breaking free of the hold
  • Had the DM not been rolling cold dice the party would have died
  • The DM is not fond of his Vegas casino-used dice

Once done with the monsters that had been set to guard in the room and putting the 4 intact cairns from the entire garden left (before the undead burst out of them) back into place, the Talons came upon the double doors that were depicted in the magical tapestry that Anuk had inserted the key into the lock of. The doors stood slightly ajar, so the key obviously worked.

Once inside the room they were met with an enormous magical construct. Kafka determined that it was channeling the absorbed magic from the feywild to something else. They weren’t sure what, but he was sure that dismantling it would stop it. His wizards sight showed him where the key component of the construct was and he plucked the magical staff from it, causing the construct to collapse in on itself.

Puff reappeared shortly after with news. Anuk was just outside of the area of the Garden helping to care for some of the pixie refugees who were injured fending off the attacks of more planar slavers that ambushed them as they left the Garden area. With the destruction of the construct and the release of the curse on the Garden, fey from across the areas nearby have been showing up to help with putting the Garden of Graves back to its former state.

The party is welcome to help with this, but Puff also brings the news that Bairn was taken captive by the slavers that attempted to enslave the pixies. The closest place that Puff can think of that they might go with a Feywild oddity like a dwarf would be a nearby carnival. As soon as the Talons wish to leave, Puff has agreed to show them the way to the carnival. After all, his people owe their lives to the Lady of Fur and Fangs (his new name/title for Anuk the druid).

Game Quote of the Night

You can have my soul, but you can’t have my body.

said when the wizard stunned by the Drain Soul was missed several times in a row by attacks…

Tomb of Horrors: Log and Quotes

Sunday the group delved further into Chapter 1 from the Tomb of Horrors. It also produced a decent number of good game table quotes. For those simply interested in the Game Table Quotes, scroll to the bottom. The rest of this is an adventure log to help the group’s memory from one game to the next.

Blackhawk’s Talons – Tomb of Horrors Chapter 1-1

Having completed the challenge of the water serpent (to get a platinum key), the beetle woman (to get past the sundial challenge) and the mad wraiths (in failing the sundial challenge the first time), the party took refuge in the Haunted Game Room. They had defeated their ghostly opponents at the game and succeeded in disarming the tables. They took their rest for the night in the room although nightmares tormented their sleep (game effect – they didn’t start with an action point).

Upon waking they walked into the next oddly-shaped room in the ruins formed from the cairn stones. The lights illuminating the room dipped low and when they came back up there were duplicates of the heroes mixed in with them. The fight broke out almost immediately with the party winning, but only after taking a few lumps (in a couple instances from their own teammates). Moving a lever found in the corner of the room, they heard a door opening somewhere back the direction they came from.

Going back to the tapestry room (part two of the sundial challenge) they discovered another secret door that had opened behind a tapestry. We left the night’s adventure with them camped outside the door leading into the next room in the ruins.

They also now have a printed copy of the poem in their possession. I am pretty sure one of them said they were writing it down.

Quotes from the Game Table

most are rated R this week… or at least PG-13

  • Oh yeah, I take her goodberry.
  • You killed something, so you explode… and then…
  • He’s making the hole bigger.
  • Should I use my big one?
  • Just don’t do it next to my face anymore.
  • You have to eat it the Blaine way, where you just shove it in your mouth.
  • My boyfriend… a little gay.  I hate you all. (second sentence from said boyfriend)

World Wide Game Day: Gamma World

Remember when I said there would still be the odd rant or gaming post on the blog? You guessed it, today is indeed that day. Specifically because of the fact that today was Wizards of the Coast’s World Wide Game Day. This weekend the 4e version of Gamma World was on the menu. It was wanton mutant silliness to an extreme.

Of course the day started with the dog needing to go out around 3 in the morning, followed by the shower and ignoring the shaving part. Really after getting up at 3am with the dog who wants to shave on a weekend? There was also the trip to get bagels for the game, Starbucks (so the GM was awake for the game) and pick up Scott (one of my local players in need of a ride). Normally I wouldn’t provide bagels, but the table I was running first was my Sunday group – most of them anyhow.

For those of you interested in the game, I will give you some of the specifics. We had the socially frowned upon side of the table and the pop culture side of the table.

The Friendless Side

  • Pyrokinetic/Seismic (The Lava Man – complete with a fire aura that hurts EVERYONE) played by Mike
  • Giant/Radioactive (8′ tall glow in the dark guy) played by Blaine
  • Doppleganger/Cockroach (self-multiplying roach) played by Nick

Seriously, are there 3 guys that are less popular out there? One guy you can’t stand next to without taking 5 points of fire damage every turn. They made him ride on top of the mini-tank that the giant pulled as his Omega Tech. The giant (with his 4 charisma) was totally the Lenny character. As for the cockroach, he was named Terminix after the truck that he found with his picture on it. And yes, he did actually roll a truck as part of his gear.

The Pop Culture Twins

  • Electromagnetic/Gravitational (Dr. Tesla, he was dressed in steampunk gear and was his own tesla coil) played by Van
  • Hawkoid/Android (Hoot… he decided he was the clockwork owl from Clash of the Titans) played by Scott

The combinations were pretty staggering. Totally random, but each of them seemed to work. They all fit pretty well. Dr. Tesla started off wearing a Tron costume for armor, but after the first encounter and the pog I was using for him, Dave decided that he was a bit more Steampunk.

The opening encounter helped to flesh them out a bit. Each player was getting a feel for their character’s abilities. Lenny did choose to throw a bowling ball at the first porker (pigman) he attacked as opposed to using his radiation eye beams though. Of course Blaine was the guy who played a full season of Encounters as a fighter without marking a single creature.

Overall, the game was a lot of fun. There was a whole lot of silliness that came up, especially when the party started finding “treasures” – items rolled up from the Ancient Junk table. The group seemed to love finding the kid’s inflatable pool and weed whacker in the middle of an abandoned office building more than anything else.

The encounters did become increasingly more brutal as the game moved on. In the parking garage the Radioactive Giant (Lenny) had mutated with flame wings. He was standing on the back end of a car while one of the roaches with the assault rifles sprayed bullets their way. Needless to say upon leaving the back of the car to fly his direction the fire did blow up the gas tank after the last spray of bullets damaged the tank enough. In other words, the final hit points damage to the car was his flame wings. Yeah, the effect was rather explosive.

The system itself is very streamlined and open to interpretation by the players and GM alike. Lenny’s “heavy ranged weapon” was a bowling ball. The cockroach used a light gun as his ranged weapon without any description as to what it was. You simply pick the type of weapon and the stats are the same no matter what you choose it to look like. Lenny’s two handed weapon was a lamp post as opposed to Hank the Lava Man who may have used an aluminum baseball bat. Same stats, different weapon.

This is definitely a lighter more party-style game. It goes up to 10th level and that is about it (unless this changes in expansions). Although without traditional healer types (clerics and such), the game is definitely more deadly. They tell you not to get to attached to your mutant and they mean it! Not to mention the randomness of the character generation is pretty awesome.

Our current goal is to complete the “Zombieland: Nexus” campaign on Halloween night. Nanowrimo starts the next day. To eliminate the need for me to prep anything during that month the idea is to play Gamma World through until December when we will start Tomb of Horrors. I think it will be fun as hell myself.

And for those looking for them (namely my players, but after Shannon Butcher posted game night quotes to Twitter I felt obligated to include these)…

Gamma World Quotes (mostly inappropriate humor)

  • That’s what he gets for spitting down my throat! (counter attack on the porker who just hit Dr. Tesla with his “Swine Flu” attack.)
  • The Ass Whacker! (Hank named the weed whacker when we commented on rigging it up to an extension cord plugged into Tesla’s butt.)
  • Lenny is impervious to boing. (The mutant rabbitman’s leaping attack.)
  • I totally like it when it’s hard like that! (Blaine/Lenny commenting on the fun of having an encounter where most of the party almost dies.)

There are more from the Sunday “Zombieland: Nexus” D&D game, but I will save those for their own post.