Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Magic Items

Short post today, here are some magic Items I am leaving in treasure hordes in This is Thracia as well as some I wrote for 13th Age.

Daedalus Wax
Comes in a pot with 1d6 uses must be melted and painted on the users back. Then once that day the user can Fly their speed for one hour. Potential drawbacks: while applied user takes double damage from fire. Fly spell dispelled If user takes fire damage while flying. May also cause feelings of overconfidence.

 Map of Groaning Ground

This Thin calf skin, leather map looks like the drawings and markings have been etched into the leather with fire. Enchanted by the dwarves hunting Living dungeons before they reach the surface for the dwarf King. It’s original purpose was to detail the insides of the dungeons as the dwarves hunt them. One side will show a large scale view of the land surrounding Forge, marked with the locations of dangerous underground locations. The Other has a map of the last Dungeon or similar place the owner explored.
Quirk, constantly wants to sketch a quick map of the local area.

Essentially this is a magical item that is also a plot hook and excuse to give the players a map of the dungeon in advance, or make it from Dwarven Forge, and then surprise them with the contents.

Demon Trapping Sack

Large Sack made of Strangely stretchy leather like Skin. (Demon SKin)
This Sack can be used to trap a Demon.
It makes one attack at Users Level + 3/5/7 by tier vs MD Success sucks the Demon inside the bag. The Demon gets last gasp saves. If it fails them it is trapped in the bag for a year and a day. The bag can only hold 1 demon at a time. If the bag is opened while a demon is inside it is let out they are normally very angry
These sacks are sometimes used by agents of the Diabolist to smuggle demons into places.
It is said that there are Vaults full of these bags and their trapped demons in the Golden Citadel.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


This week I weigh 14st and 2 lbs. I need to lose another 2 lbs by this time next week to win this month’s Diet bet.

Going back to Ninjutsu and a conversation with Ceri have got me thinking about Rolling. K8 told me an awesome quote about it on the way home from training on Monday:

“You roll in order to move quickly out of the way without needing to rely on having to use your feet or legs in the usual fashion. Especially if there are vertical or horizontal ‘issues’ to overcome en route.”

So the following is what I know about rolling right now, it’s something I’m going to come back to as I get better at it again as well.

1. Learn to breakfall
2. Start near the floor
3. Keep your limbs in
4. Protect your knees!
5. LOOK where you are going and where you have come from in case you are being pursued
6. Aim to finish in a safe and ready position with your toes under your feet braced to allow further quick movement
7. Practice

Falling is important, a black belt in ninjutsu pretty much tells other people you can fall and therefore it is safe to train fully with you.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Diet update and Session Reports

Today I weigh 14st and 2lbs despite having had pancakes (and paid a forfeit into the diet bet) on Tuesday. I have also decided to give up both Diet Coke and Being mean to people (I’m using lent as a motivator for this but in practice I want to give them up forever.)

In addition to excellent pancakes, I also had an excellent game of Dnd on Tuesday and Robin, K8 and myself all wrote up the session. here are the writeups:

I should also add that alot of my Temple of Elemental Evil plots are inspired by this post: http://wondrousimaginings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/oldschooling-pathfinder-with-toee.html

The Party followed the treasure map they got from the possesed goblins to a tree on a rise north of Troy, there they found a party of 6 muppet goblins with a skeleton on a rope. Clio shot the skeleton and a parlay with the goblins began:
“you owe us a skeleton” demanded the goblin
“take it in bits” said Xavian
“Ok” said the goblin (some conversation abbreviated)
It also revealed that they were capturing Skeletons for the crazy wizard south of Troy, and that the North gate of Troy was missing. After sending the goblins on their way they found a pit beyond the hill with the tree on it. The pit was open and looked like the start of an undermining effort against the walls of troy, long abandoned and filled with rubble. Khandi investigated while tied to a rope, and as she climbed out found a stash of bags full of gold on the underside of the trapdoors.

The pit was closed and the party continued to the south. As they came into sight of the walls they discovered that the Goblin was correct. a short section of the walls including the North Gate of Troy was missing. A closer investigation led to a battle with Dessicated Trojan warriors their spears made from the dust of the city seemed to leech the feeling from limbs as they struck. (Wights in Dnd next are really interesting).
The warriors were dispatched but the effects of their blows lingered, retreating to a safe distance from Troy, Iola performed rituals to remove curses.

They travelled south for a day to the Temple River and then east for 2 more days before investigating the Moathouse once more. The drawbridge at the Moathouse was missing but a walkway of earth had replaced it. All of the bodies were missing from the moat house including from the dungeons beneath. The place that Tharg (the half orc) fell was still necromanticaly tainted. They concluded that followers of the Earth Temple must have been there.

A day and a halfs further travel east brought them within sight of the walls of the temple. Starkly changed from Xavian and Khandi’s previous visit the outer works were a hive of activity. Slaves labored under the whips of earth temple guards around the southern gate rebuilding the Walls. In the South east corner of the wall ranks upon ranks of humanoids stood unnaturally still. Clio recognised them as unliving. North of the undead and in the middle of the works near the eastern wall was a small camp of perhaps a dozen tents bearing the mark of Elemental Water. On the far side of the temple on the western side was a similar camp bearing the symbol of Elemental Fire, Patrols of Hobgoblins regularly left that camp and circled the walls. North of the Fire camp and in the North west corner was a larger Earth bannered Camp around a ruined building that they seemed to be rebuilding. Finally in the Northeast corner, near the tower that Xavian and Khandi had learned about arrows was another smaller camp with black banners.

Waiting for the cover of night Xavian snuck forward to free the slaves, conning and dispatching the guard watching them. Meanwhile Kavern, Khandi and Ioala snuck closer to the tower camp while Clio set fire to the largest tent in the Water temple’s camp. This caused the expected uproar and distractions. The Water temple demanded recompense and before long the Earth temple noticed the missing slaves and set off in pursuit. The party gathered back together and eavesdropped on the commander of the forces in the Black Bannered camp. They waylaid the fighter sent to disturb “The master” from inside the tower and questioned him.

They learnt that lareth had returned 2 weeks ago as a Lich, That Falrinth who led the Temple forces at this level had bowed before him and he had led the various forces of the temple out to the surface and set them to various tasks. That the emperor himself had visited the temple about 2 months ago and left with people from the Air temple and that Lareth was staying in the tower.
The party knocked him out and tied him up before assaulting the tower.

Blessed with the might of Ares Iola smashed in the door to the Lich’s chamber and both Xavian and Clio launched arrows and bolts into him, while Khandi began operation halfling ransack. Kaverns flask of Green slime went astray and the slime began to devour a dresser. The lich responded with a Flame strike and by infusing himself with dark power closing some of his wounds. However Iola lifted the 8th Sword of Ares and smote him critically destroying its head. As his empty armour fell to the floor they quickly looted the room, smashed the Pearl Skull he was wearing as an amulet and fled through a tunnel they found in the floor. The tunnel led half a kilometer to the west before emerging into a small cave. From there they headed back to Cannakale Xavian managing to lead 24 of the slaves he freed to safety.   

Robin Xavian’s player and K8 who plays Iola also sent me write ups:

From the journal of Amos, First Disciple of Xavian (self proclaimed).
Our taskmasters had worked us particularly hard that day, wishing to speed up the completion of their great task, the details of which, lowly slaves like us were never privy to. All we knew was the oppressive heat of the sun and the terrible sting of their whips and the soul devouring exhaustion that hung ever about our shoulders. The night meant an end to the days labours, but it offered us no comfort. It's cold embrace merely gave us time to better feel the ache in our bones and the despair in our hearts. Three more of our number gave in to their misery and took their lives. I pity these poor souls most, for had they but waited a few more hours then salvation would have been theirs, as it was ours.
I was sat weeping, sick from the sun, when the stranger appeared. He appeared as if from nowhere, cloaked in shadows and silence and I thought that Hades himself had finally come to claim us. He came to the gate of our prison and with a wave of his hand, the lock fell free. We could only watch, terrified, as the stranger set about releasing us from our bonds. We knew not what to do, surely this was some trap, some ploy of our dark masters to further break our spirits. We dared not to dream of freedom, hope had been a stranger to us for too long. But then the stranger spoke and his gentle voice was as a balm to our tortured souls.
"Fear not, my brothers and sisters, for I am come to take you away from this fell place. Follow me for I am your freedom."
In his words we saw only truth. This man, this cloaked stranger, had truly come to save us from our plight. Eagerly now we followed him from our pen, but despair would not so easily let us slip from it's clutches. In our path stood a legion of our captors, blades out, waiting to take from us our newly gifted freedom, or our lives should, we resist. The stranger, however, stepped forth to meet them.
"My people have suffered enough at your hands." He spoke calmly, but his voice carried with an air of authority beyond mortal men. "Let us pass."
Our enemy, beholden as they were to foul powers, could not hear the divine resonance behind the stranger's voice and were unmoved.
"These people have but begun to taste the agonies that we have prepared for them." One of their number jeered. "And who are you that thinks he can stop us?"
With a great sweep, the stranger flung back his cloak and divine light shone out into the night.
"I am Xavian, son of mighty Zeus and champion of the weak!"
With one slash of his mighty blade, the mighty Xavian slew fully half of the amassed legion and sent the rest fleeing into the night. With the way clear, our lord bade us follow once more and led us from darkness.
Once we were away from the dark temple, blessed Xavian spoke once more. He commanded us to wait at the feet of the great mountains. There we would remain safe while he returned to the temple to finish his holy mission and though many begged him not to leave, he would not be swayed.
"Fear not my people," he said, "I shall return and lead you to freedom as I have promised. However, I came to this place with companions who yet wait for me at that dark place and to them I must return, for justice is not yet done with this foul place."
With that, he was gone, as swiftly and as silently as when he first appeared.
Many hours did we wait. So many that we began to once more feel the cold hand of despair. But then we heard the great death cry of the lich echo throughout the valley and a moment later our lord was amoung us once more. He led us west, the direction of prosperity and freedom, and at dawns first light, we were joined by the Blessed Companions. Theirs was a band as varied as it was magnificent. There was the Huntress, an archer raised in the wild by wolves whose arrows are said to never miss their mark. The Child, eternally youthful and blessed with the gift of prophecy. The Half Man, who traded away much of his mortal form in exchange for mystical powers. Finally there was the Warrior. A fair maiden clad in armour of purest silver and wielding a holy sword, she is said to be cursed, her heart forever torn between our saviour and her own god. Along with these great heroes, our lord led us safely back to the village of Kannacle, beyond the reach of the dark forces that had ensnared us.
Whilst my fellows set to resting their minds and bodies, I found myself beset with a restlessness beyond any I had known before. When finally I slept, I dreamed. I dreamed of dark forces abroad in the world, of innocent men, women and children enslaved to their will, as I had been and when I awoke, I knew what I must do. It will be my mission to go forth and carry the word of my lord. I will be his herald in the world. I will gather others, and together we will bring light to darkness and hope to the hopeless. And so i leave this, so that even if i should fall, my words will remain and others will be able to carry on my great mission.
May the light of Xavian fall upon you all.

A few of the other slaves recognise the name Amos. They seem to recall that at the time of the rescue, he was suffering from an extremely bad case of sunstroke and was quite delirious

Iola’s writeup:
Report from Iola:

The Army Rosta: the unusual suspects.
Absent: Farouque; apparently bathing...again...Not to self ensure he is not being brain washed by bath related peril.

Troy: Who let the Ghouls out?
Unliving creatures from Troy are now loose and able to cross the threshold of the City.  The doors have been carefully removed and perhaps it is this which has broken the seal which until now held the denizens within.  The culprits need to be found.  These are now also Hopolites rather than simple mindless unliving, they are seasoned warriors demonstrating small unit tactics and co-ordination.  A much greater threat than before.

I need scouts to watch any egress from the City and report back as to what and where.
I need to know if this is the necromancer or more deluded Thanatos followers.

Find the necromancer who is investigating reanimation and how the unliving from Troy works.  Ensure he is on 'our side' or annihilate him and give his research to Kavern, Deiankus and anyone else of that bent.

Temple of Elemental Infighting
The Threat:
Too many resources and troops amassing here, albeit in hatred and bigotry of one another. We must use this to our advantage. As such Ares was definitely with us and Operation Gankthebitches proceeded successfully.
Cleo again demonstrated her expert bowling arm and desire to kill everything in the vicinity.
Kavern and his infernal Creature proved their worth with a variety of filthy alchemical nasties to defeat the enemy.  Water Temple people are stupid and assume any fire attach is done by the fire temple.
Lareth the aggravating was dispatched...again.  Eventually he will learn this is just a game he will continue to lose.
Xavian picked up more sycophants presumably Nyphs have become dull and he is expanding his horizons.  Finally got some more funding for the army.
The small dusky child follows him around still, she is adept at being inserted into odd places to investigate (perhaps this is why Xavian keeps her around) but I wonder if she is actually a Goblin or Imp in disguise, no one could be that innocent...

Continue Operation Gankthebitches as regularly as we can from all sides.
I need scouts on the Temple to report movements and see where their supply lines and allies are.
Try and train up Xavian's rabble into a fighting force before he impregnates them all. Speak to Kavern about possible birth control options.
I need Scouts on the Temple to see where they are and work out where the Air Temple are operating from as they

Get rid of this problem with guerilla warfare until an assault can be mounted either by stealth or straight out fighting.
Then go and reclaim Troy...

Troubling Politics
The Emperor is reputed to have visited the ToEE which is why the Norse Legion were present there also.  He confirms his Apotheosis and his determination to oust all the divine Pantheon.  I will meditate on this with Ares...then work out a way to break him into pieces with righteous fury.

The Temple is funded by his Eliptrum, newly minted coins.  Further proof of his treachery.

Does this stain reach to Cannaucle and the fiendish Elf who keeps us out? I need to seek out Deiankus and Supermangangramicus to ensure she still follows the Gods and to remedy our current asylum.

Notes to self: Get a scribe...this is tedious, plus see which of Xavian's waifs and strays can be trained as a holding force for Canacule and a few leaders within this, should we have to take our more seasoned veterans out to the Temple or Troy.

Praise Ares.

That is all.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Bujinkan Training

K8 and I went back to training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu last night with Instructor Jim Jones in Reading.

Google lies took us on a harrowing tragical mystery tour of the back roads leading to Reading across several single lane bridges and along a variety of one way systems.

The class started with a variety of rolling.  A succession of backwards and then sideways rolls later, both of which were a little trickier than last time I tried them, showed a lack of practice.

We then moved on to a variety of applications of stances or ‘Kamai’ showing how they were different in this year’s school of study and then turning them into a variety of throws, arm bars and takedowns.

The lesson finished with stretching and a cool down.

I had a really good time and it feels excellent to be training again. K8 and I will be going back again next week.

In the meantime here are some videos of Jim’s Training in Reading: http://www.youtube.com/user/BujinkanReading1?feature=plcp

Thursday, 7 February 2013

This is Thracia Places of Interest

Many (but far from all) of the ruins and places of adventure in my This is Thracia Campaign have been revealed on the table map, some by exploration and others by Rumour.

Here is a selection of some of them and what happened there according to people in the arena: (players in This is Thracia should not follow the links)

Hermean Standing Stones - These four standing stones within half a day of Cannakale are inscribed with Hermean Symbols. In the center of them is another stone inscribed with a Teleport Circle.

The Thorn Rimmed Mirror - Hidden a couple of days march into the Black Wood. This man high mirror stands covered by a Canvas tarpaulin in the center of a circle of Briars. It is reputedly a gateway to the realm of the Goblin King.
“It is the portal to the realm of the idiot djinns - a vector for a disease of the mind.” - Farouqe

Troy - The Ruins of the Haunted city are cursed by Hecate. It is said that any who fall here are doomed to rise again and that many of the heroes who fell in its siege now rule the city as undead lords. Adventurers have only braved its walls once thus far even though great treasures are said to be hidden within.
“Troy?  it's full of unkillable undead spirits bound by a curse that has endured for centuries, but the  architecture is quite lovely.” - Xavian The Greatest Thief in the Mediterranean.

The Haunted Manor House - An Abandoned manor house belonging to the foxglove family, before Adventurers burnt it down. Reputed to be both Haunted and home to a particularly creepy Ghoul who was apparently obsessed with Dianakous. Luckily nothing unusual has happened there since it was burnt down, though no one has been back to check.

The Bugbear Cave - Also in the Black Wood, located at the top of a scree slope. This cavern complex employs well organised Bugbear Guards and a variety of creepy Spider’s and weird looking Elves.
“Iola assured me that the majority of them were huge, beastly creatures, mostly bigger than a horse - just the prospect of those seemed worth the journey. Well, the first spiders we found were nothing of the sort: rather they were tiny, scuttling things cast at me by a robed Elf. And besides that, there were Bugbears - and more Bugbears. Where these giant spiders Iola spoke of were hiding is a mystery to me” - Mouse

The Haunted Prison - Located north of the Moat House in Temple Valley and south of the Black Wood Mountains. The tower has long since toppled but the prisons beneath it are intact. It was here that Domnicus Asiagenus (the former Legate of Cannakale) fled with the severed head of his wife and turned her into a Flesh Golem, before Magnicus Judged him with The Hammer of Law.

The Sunken Keep - This keep south of the Temple River was swallowed by the earth leaving it at the bottom of a deep ravine. Inhabited by warring tribes of Kobolds and Goblins. The adventurers who delved within emerged with the hide of a White Dragon.

The Ruined Keep - Twin to the Sunken Keep, these two fortresses were built to guard against the return of the temple but soon fell into disuse as the resources of the empire were spent elsewhere. The single foray into it has revealed Goblins and Hobgoblins working towards a sinister aim but no other details.

The Caverns of Thracia - One of the first places explored by adventurers, these ruins and tunnels lie under a strange jungle. The most recent foray here nearly ended in disaster, with the Delvers having to escape using a bodged linked portal scroll.

The Temple River - Several explored and half explored complexes lie along this valley. The Strange Elven burial mound with moving walls, The Ruined Bridge and the Troll infested tunnels beneath it. The Moat house (now cleared and re occupied by Temple Forces three times), There was also a Giant Owlbear that had it’s lair in the valley and A Gaint is rumoured to keep a herd of Elephants in there as well.

Other briefly explored locations: There are sea caves near town regularly used by smugglers and pirates. A fort run by a Mage researching the curse just south of Troy. A dungeon complex southeast of town that houses a Gorgimera that the arena has offered a reward for. A dwarven fortress lost to Orcs at the eastern end of the Blackwood. Not to mention the lairs of several Dragons and the Pirate Island.

The Players also have a document of information they have assembled and session summaries and it can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rJDadZ0oZvJYBv7KgXYrlHcRRjBwGfWa7Nr6yZupu-o/edit?usp=sharing

Where would you like to go adventuring?

Also the diet bet is working, I weight 14st 5lbs and have lost 5lbs this month.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Magic Item origins in This is Thracia

An interesting thing about the magic items in Dnd Next is that it has tables for the items origins and minor abilities. So I amended the table to reflect my This is Thracia Setting:

I wanted magic items to be rare so creating them needs a specific ritual for each item and then specific reagents (that would typically require an adventure to get) to complete the ritual as well as a Gold Piece cost and the other prerequisites.

Roll 1D20 for item origin or choose
1 –4 Legion Made - The closest thing to mass produced Magical items, many officers centurions and similar in the legions had enchanted gear. These are by far and away the most common source for magic items. I might go so far as to say if it is a common item it is of legion make.

5 Celestial - Olympian Crafted on the slopes of mount olympus, probably by Cyclopean Smiths. These items are often replicas (of lesser power) of that magical items wielded by the Gods. This would also include Gifts from the gods such as those that perseus received. This would also include items that became magical because of the actions of a deity.

6 Draconic - Made by or from a dragon. Obviously both mean that the items are of interest to other Dragons you might meet. That may or may not be a good thing.

7 Oriental - There is some trade in these via constantinople and the silk road.

8–10 Dwarven - Typically made by the Followers of Haephasteus. They are also the people most likely to have a ritual to make a specific item or be able to work one out for you.

11 Elemental (air)
12 Elemental (earth)
13 Elemental (fire)
14 Elemental (water)
All of these were crafted by the temple of Elemental evil and reflect their element of origin, often found in the hands of The temple forces or their flunkies.

15–17 Elven - Locally made items are similar to Olympian but clearly of this world and of slightly lesser (but still exquisite craftsmanship).

18 Fiendish / Abyssal - Often given as ways of sealing Deals with Mortals, these items will typically be made by binding an infernal creature into the form of the item. Owning one of these is a really good way to be accused of Demomancy.

19 Atlantean - very old often made of strange metals mined from beneath the sea. Only the Atlkanteans had the skills to make Adamantium items.

20 Fey - Fey items are likely to have come from the Tuatha Dé Danann, and possibly will have been given as gifts to mortals as part of the great game all the fey are playing.

This is specifically for the area the players are currently exploring, if they were to migrate i’d change the frequency on the table as well as probably some of the entries.

Some example currently in the hands of my players:

Auxillas Armour: A +1 suit of Studded leather Lorica grants a bonus to any checks to avoid fatigue or exhaustion. ~(In next I would have it grant advantage, in pathfinder It might grant the feat.)

The 8th Sword of Ares This +2 Bastard Sword is as it’s name suggests the 8th Sword Wielded by Ares. When held by a follower of Ares the sword grants proficiency in its use and counts as a holy symbol.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Feb Diet bet and This is Thracia

I’m doing a february Diet bet with some guys at work. I have wagered that I will lose 10lbs in february and will add a pound to the pot every time I break Diet. I currently Weigh 14st 10lbs and aim to be under 14 stone by the end of the month.

I’m also going to start a This is Thracia DnD Next Game on G+ on Tuesdays to go alongside the Friday game.

Meanwhile Friday’s This is Thracia Game is progressing well. So far since restarting and converting to Pathfinder the players have cleared out the lair of a Giant Owlbear,  Investigated the monastery of an atlantean scholastic order that had been attacked by the agents of the Fire temple, and returned to the Moathouse and dispatched the Gnome Air Temple illusionists that were guarding the upper level.

This evening they plan to clear out the basement level and wait for the resupplies that one of the captured Gnomes spoke about.

Drop a note in the comments if you are interested in joining in the G+ games.