Friday, 28 June 2013

The Ruins of the Golden Citadel

Player map of the Red Wastes
Today I weigh 14st and 3lbs and have lost 6lbs.

As I talked about last time I had my players set their next level up goal and they chose:
Reaching and Securing The Ruins of the Golden Citadel

That seemed a little bit too easy to be worth a level all on it’s own so I have spent this week making it more challenging. I have the details of the map between Horizon and the ruins of the Golden Citadel and I have started to populate the Golden Citadel with Warbands who are struggling for control of the Ruins.

The lingering aura of the Great Gold Wyrm and the effects of the ruins of the Golden Dome still protects the ruins from full blooded Demons, so in their place the Demon Lords struggling to escape the Abyss empower Champions and send them into the Ruins. Such Champions are often infused with Demonic powers.

Before the Abyss opened The Citadel was protected by a Golden Dome enchanted to ward away supernatural evil. The rubble from this dome still litters the ruins of the city and many of the warbands search for it either to empower or weaken the wards around the abyss.

My players will earn incremental advances for the following mini goals:
Getting to the Citadel
Defeating a Warband
Getting a Warband on your side
Defeating or Recruiting half the Warband
Getting enough of the dome metal to do something cool with the Wards.

The Warbands that are struggling for control of the Ruins are:
The Author of Wrong Birthed - Mind Flayer Champion of a Demon lord
The Altar's Most High Overlord - Medusa Champion of a Demon Lord
The Dragon of Fear - Halfling Wizard Champion of Demon lord
The Preservers of the Perfect Doom - Sea Hag Champion of a Demon Lord
Demon Hunters working for the Priestess (This guy should blatantly be a “good guy” but be slightly distasteful or repulsive to work with.)
Paladins loyal to the Great Gold Wyrm
A Necromancer -
Lizardmen, Draconians etc led by a Dragon working for the Three
Goblinoids - because I like Goblins
Ratmen with a Prince of Shadows theme (Skaven Ninjas)
Gnolls Reformed and Branded by the Crusader (Think a hairy Solomon Kane)
Dwarf Treasure Hunters
Dark Elves - Hunters playing the ruins for sport

I have used this Villain Generator (and the Automated version is here) for the first 4 and am in the process of adding detail to the others. My plan is to have for each of them:

Leader: Name and Cool Schtick
Agenda: Why they are in the ruins
Secret: because that makes them more interesting
Henchmen and followers: troops and specials
Base and other resources in the city: I’m going to use Vornheim and Mordheim to make these.

What details or followers would you add to these warbands? Please keep adding details to my Hex Map:

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Goal based level ups and Diet Bet

I currently weigh 14st 7lbs and have bet a variety of people £20 that I will lose a stone by the end of July. Shout out in the comments if you want to take part in your own Diet Bet in July.

This saturday we played a mammoth  session of 13th age and my players defeated the living dungeon they were delving into.

In doing so they leveled to 4th and I hit upon an idea about letting my players choose when they will next level up.

The idea ties back into what I awarded xp for in This is Thracia.

I want them to set a fairly big goal and they can level to 5th when they achieve it and gain incremental advances when they reach a significant milestone in that goal or if they significantly advance a personal plot line.

Some of the ideas I have had about what that goal could be are:

Defeat the Demonic Warband that recently escaped from the Abyss (something that may or may not have been the players fault)
This could involve travelling to the Red Wastes, finding the warband, defeating the warband, helping shore up the wards over the abyss.

Unravel the mysteries surrounding Hale and Lynch the renegade Tower instigators were up to
This could involve interrogating the pair, breaking the code on their notes, stopping the rebellious cells they have set up and similar intrigue.

Un-curse the silver coins they found that they think used to be people cursed by the diabolist
They found just over 900 silver coins with the symbol of the Diabolist on one side and a persons face on the other, they suspect that each different face represents a person cursed into coin form by the Diabolist. This could involve finding the missing coins, finding out how the diabolist did it, breaking the curse.

6 different players significantly advance a personal plot line.
This could involve loads of things.

What Goal would you set to let your character level up?
Also please keep adding hexes to my map:

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Hex Maps!

These three Hex Crawl maps were created using Gygaxian democracy: The Hexenbracken, The Kraal and The Colossal Wastes of Zhaar. I found them after being inspired by this post from Playing Dnd With Pornstars about covering his entire map in a hex key using the Wilderlands of High Fantasy Box set from 3rd edition D&D.

So I got myself a copy of Wilderlands of High Fantasy box set and the 13th Age map. Then, thanks to Becky from Eclectic Games and Simon from Pelgrane Press, added Hexes to it. Then I discovered that at the Scale I had chosen the 3216 ish Hexes in The Wilderlands of High Fantasy only covered about 1/3rd of the map.

At that point I went looking for more Hexes to pillage. Finding The Krall and observing that it looks similar to the top right corner of the 13th Age Map I stuck that one straight in and have decided to carry on filling the map in 20 Hex by 20 Hex blocks.

The next 20 by 20 hexes from the 13th age map cover the Hell Marsh (the most common place to find the Diabolist), Lake Hope and The Walking Trees. The Map also has 10 Hell Pits on it. So my aim is to tie the themes of the Hexes to those things and the politics of the Hell Pits.

This is what the 13th Age main book has to say about Hell Marsh:

Hell Marsh
This marshland west of Anvil is the Diabolist’s territory. Some of the swampland between the hellholes is normal enough, but the hellholes are so plentiful that much of the swamp writhes
with demonic energies. The deeper you go, the more dangerous it gets. The more often you visit, the weirder it gets, but that may just be you changing instead of the terrain.

My first Hex for this map is one of the Hell pits:

03,31 Hell Pit full of Dretches. They have a Throne that weakens more powerful Demons who get too close to it and so free of the tyranny of the greater Demons have created a tyranny all of their own.

Please pick a Hex and add a description in the comments.

Here is the Google Spreadsheet I am going to be using to track all the hexes people have helped with. Feel free to add details in there as well.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Living Dungeons

Inspired by this actual play report, from this session and from having not properly prepared for Tuesdays 13th Age game I ran my three players through part of the Stonehell dungeon Lost level, slightly re imagined as a Living Dungeon.

The session was good and the players cleared a bunch of rooms before retreating back to the nearby Halfling town of Barrow.

That session and planning for the game on Friday where the players are planning to return to the Dungeon got me thinking about living Dungeons.

One of the suggestions in the 13th age rulebook is to tell the players the 6 most infamous or interesting Dungeons in your version of 13th age, mine are:

The Tomb of the Wizard King based loosely on Gallowspire from the Dungeons of Golarion book for Pathfinder.

A flying realm that rains goblins on foes (inspired by a comment I read or heard from Rob Heniso, I think it was here) It looks like castle Greyskull possibly on its side.

The Secret Vault of the Draco Emporium Trading empire. Based on the background and one unique thing of one of my players.

The Horde of the Great Gold Wyrm. hidden somewhere beneath the Red Wastes and unlockable only by clues scattered amongst his followers and in the ruins of The Golden Citadel. (I’m using Carcosa for the Red Wastes so that whole section should be interesting)

Horizon and Drakkenhall Sewers The homes of subterranean monsters joined by Strange magics to the Sewers beneath the largest concentration of Wizards in the Empire. Each tunnel that you traverse might be under either of the cities.

Omens Home a Famous living Dungeon that has tried to rise many times each part of it connects in some way to Omen. Either having briefly become a flying realm and crash landed or sent tunnels heading towards shore to grow dungeon levels on the edge of beaches.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

13 NPC's for 13th Age

Today I weigh 14 stone 4lbs. So far I have lost 4 lbs this week. I intend to skip my binge day this weekend and have a Ninjitsu Seminar on Saturday morning.

Here are 13 NPC’s from my 13th Age game. All inspired by my Characters Backgrounds, One Unique Things or Icon relationships. They are already known to one or two of the Characters, though not all of them have turned up in game.

Each of them should also have a Secret and a Motivation but I haven't filled in all of them either because the players don’t already know them or I haven't decided on them yet.. Feel free to pitch in some suggestions for them in the comments.

Hacari Circlesailer - Pirate Captain with Demonic summoning circle from the ship The Circle. The Party discovered his summoning circle on a trip to New Port and Gribnez used it to Summon a Demon named Pimomasiel. (fun Fact I decided what sort of Demon Pimomasiel was by showing the player who knows least about Dnd models from my Demon section of the Figure box and getting her to pick one she liked. It made the players that knew what they each were twitch a lot.)
Secret: He is a Servant of the Diabolist and his Ship is powered by Demons not by the wind.

George - The Dretch. A lesser demon granted to Hacari Circlesailer Captain of the ship The Circle.

Deneth Serassalion - Elf - Magical item forgery creator in Newport. The Party broke into his warehouse and when he turned up (alerted by his alarm Spell) They convinced him he was being punked. He has connections in both The Tower and with people that need fake magic items (Often the Prince of Shadows).
Motivation: as it related to the PC’s inflict minor revenge upon them for fooling him.
Secret: He makes Fake magic items for a living.

Sir Altariel A High Elven Paladin,

Scorning the Courtly intrigue and deceit of the The Elven Court, Altariel is a soul without Guilt. She has a very straight forward approach to all problems.  
She will typically turn up having heard about a character getting a reward or (a 6) from the great Gold Dragon and will either want to pledge her aid to that Character or to get their aid with something she cannot defeat on her own.

She may also turn up having been conned of all her belongings by a follower of the prince of Shadows and want the players help either getting them back or getting re kitted.

Hurggleeee Sauhaguin Pirate
Located in the Fangs or the Midland Sea
Unable to return to the Midland Sea by order of the empire he has become a dry skinned scourge of shipping. With the help of Lorret a wizard out of favor with the archmage he has twisted the magic of the edict to literally prevent him from returning to the sea, He is under a constant water walking effect. He can extend his water walking to an area, becalming ships etc.

His Scaly skin is dry and cracked, stats as a Shaguin with some class abilities. Immune to any water effect. His Crits also destroy potions.

Secret:  Motivation: Kill landlubbers, end the edict preventing Monsters from being in the Midland Sea.

Lorret a Dwarf Wizard out of favor with the Archmage.
Works out of shadowport doing minor rituals and cantrips for less reputable people.
Secret: Massive Gambling Debts that have been bought out by the Prince of Shadows.
Why is he out of favor: He was responsible for the failure of a massive ritual that was the culmination of at least a years work.  Motivation: Get out of all this trouble and get away with it all.

Jasper’s Background inspired NPC’s

Ratgog - Orc - Co Conspirator in Jaspers rebellion that ended up better off.
Located in Axis. He was sentenced to fight in Gladiatorial Games and Quickly earned the love of the Crowds. He has been lucky so far and keeps winning his games.

Hrert - Dwarf - Co Conspirator in Jaspers rebellion that ended up worse off.
Located in Axis
He was sentenced to be a foot soldier in the great wargames of Axis forced to trudge through the motions of war seemingly endlessly.
Desperately wants to escape and to do so has turned to darker powers.

ORDER - Warforged that broke up Jasper’s rebellion he is an imperial Investigator located in Axis.
Secret: Hates all the fleshies like a follower of The Lord of Blades form Eberron but shows it by messing them up using the laws.
Motivation: As Secret.

Fallenbridge - Human - The mystic that mentally connected Jasper to the Great Gold Wyrm.
Located at the Edge of the Red Wastes near the ruins of the Golden Citadel.
(I’m going to use Carcosa for the Red Wastes and swapping out the multi coloured men with Dnd monsters like this.)

Ethereblah - High Elf
Girbniz’s contact in the Elven court, magical researcher and affiliated with the section of her court who thought that Gribnez would be the next big thing, quite disappointed in her.
Recently has been assigned to manage the fallout of Gribnez having been the Lord of the Wild Hunt..

Apocalyptica - Tiefling - Ash’s Wife and Matthias’ half Sister.
In love with Ash due to a Potion of Love, Daughter of the Diabolist,
(I have these but they haven't come up in play so they are in white text, Highlight to reveal)
Secret: Never actually drank the love potion
Motivation: Wants Ash to look past her heritage and love her, he seems to manage to get on with her brother.

Dungarth Azsura - Asamir Wizard.
The Tower’s ( A spy Organisation working for the Archmage) Agent in Newport. Thinks Matthias is a troublemaker, overtly because of thier respective Heritages.
Secret: ?
Motivation: ?

Monday, 3 June 2013

Gaming Icebreakers

May was great for gaming and having fun. Less good for fitness and Blogging. This month I am back on track for exercising and dieting again. I am currently back up to 14st 8lbs but I expect that to fall off pretty quickly. I intend to be 14st or lighter by the end of June.

I had a pretty full weekend of Gaming. On Friday we played a 10th level Pathfinder one shot, That I can’t talk too much about as Gav wants to run it again for another group. (Which I will try and get him to write a guest post about).

On Saturday we played Mark’s Golden Age of Pirates D20 Game, which was excellent. We explored a Dungeon on an Island revealed by the tide but had a hard real time limit of the returning tide that threatened to drown us. It added an excellent level of tension to the adventure.

Then on Sunday we played the final part of Dan’s Savage Worlds of Slain adventure (Beyond the Wailing Marsh from Issue 16 of Signs and Portents Magazine). In which we cured two tribes of a ravaging disease and defeated the forces of the Drune Lords in a mass battle.

On saturday evening because we had so many different people staying or visiting for Gaming we had a BBQ which led to some extremely interesting conversations about peoples experiences with Gaming. Gav asked the first question, which was very similar to the one Keith asked us as an Icebreaker when he was doing Have Dice Will Travel.

He asked each of us “What is your favorite system?” and got some extreamly varied responses;
Mine is Feng Shui, but others that were mentioned were 13th Age, Apocalypse World, Dnd 3.X, Mage: The Ascencion, FATE (specifically Spirit of the Century), and Call of Cthulhu.

This led to a variety of other questions from What was your favorite Campaign, Favorite Character, Favorite Adventure? to what is an example of the worst behaviour you have experienced at a Game? If you don’t GM, Why not? (Leading to me lending someone The Armitage Files, which I hope they will run.) What is your Favorite XP system?

What would you ask as a gaming Icebreaker? What is your answer to any of the Questions above?