Savage Worlds Greyhawks: Traps, Traps, Traps

Pirouline’s player is sick tonight and can’t make it, so the elf is deemed to be receiving a magic lesson from the Kobold Queen. “I’m learning magic,” he says.

The two goblins in the next room are startled by the entrance of the party. One bolts, one shoots at Jimbo, who blocks the arrow with his shield. “Ho Ho!” says Jimbo. Jimbo smashes the goblin and then runs after the other goblin. Jimbo cleverly spots the caltrops on the ground and delicately dances around them. In the next room, he is puzzled by a blank door but Ted spots a secret door. Beyond is a four way intersection.  Jimbo again spots a small cloud of dust to the left. “The goblin!” He chases after him. He maneuvers around a pit trap that is nailed open, then almost falls in a second trap, but avoids it agilely. The door from the room smells of rotten meat.

The others throw a rope to Jimbo, who holds it so they can use the rope to cross the pit.  Ted calls upon Pelor to aid him who helps him to climb. Jimbo suggests they stop and check for other exits. Gertie stops Jimbo from triggering a trap in the pool with a diving dragon. There is a message in Draconic on the pool. Jimbo is the only member of the party that speaks Draconic, but unfortunately he can’t read it.

Jimbo opens the door and on the other side an oppressive smell of humanoid bodies and rats, all gnawed upon, make a large and vile nest. Jimbo enters and spots three dire rats chewing on a recent goblin kill. “Idiot,” says Jimbo to the goblin corpse, and then prepares to smite the vermin. Then an even larger, monstrously swollen rat appears. Jimbo and Ted are surprised but Jimbo gets a big grin on his face and launches himself on it while Ted tackles the anklebiters. Gertie taunts them viciously but the rats do not retreat.  Jimbo smites the mama rat and she hisses. Jimbo hisses back. She bites but the armor deflects her bite. One of the ankle biters attacks Jimbo but can’t penetrate other. A second tries as well, but misses. The last one attacks Ted but misses. Ted kills it with his magic mace.

On the second round, Ted bravely attacks one of the other anklebiters. He hits it and squashes it flat. Jimbo misses the mama rat, but the remaining anklebiter and the mama miss him. Gertie hits the mama rat and wounds her again.

Gertie attacks mama rat and wounds her again. Ted attacks the smaller rat, and squashes it as well. Locked in mortal combat, the mama rat, bleeding from several wounds, attacks Jimbo but she cannot penetrate his shield and armor. With a grunt, Jimbo stabs the leprous mama rat through her eye, putting her down for good.

Beware of R.O.U.S. tshirt

Poking through the refuse, Ted recovers 300 in silver, 68 in gold (worth 680 silver), and 3 gems. The humanoid bodies are two goblins, a kobold, and a human. Rolling over the human corpse, they note that it is probably Karakas, the missing ranger. The slimy corpse has on ranger’s leather (+2 stealth), 5 daggers (one of  which is +1 to hit), a longbow, a quiver with six arrows, a potion of healing, a pouch with 17 gold, and a gold ring with his name engraved on it (Karakas), and a backpack with a waterskin, a few iron rations that smell of the corpse. There is three torches, a bedroll, and a tinderbox. The tinderbox is magic and will refill itself once per day. The armor is stained from the liquefying body. Jimbo takes the +1 dagger and tinderbox. The armor goes to Pirolin. Gertie takes the bow and armor.  “Ooh,” says Ted, “one of them has a copper necklace. I’ll take that.”

Ted says a prayer over the dead Ranger. Jimbo is beginning to be interested in the worship of Pelor, whom Father Ted describes as a God of Blessed Light, so he joins in the prayer.

In the next room is another dragon pool and a locked and trapped door on the western wall. It is cold to the touch. The southern door is not locked, not trapped, and isn’t freezy. The party chooses it.

Beyond is another empty room. And a door.

In that door is a corridor leading west with a door at the end that leads them back to the start. The party retraces their steps and goes to another unexplored door.

There are only abandoned rats’ nests in six more rooms. The party find 11 silver, 4 gold, and 6 gems.

Ted prays to Pelor for guidance regarding the wintry door, and thinks it is arcane magic. PIrolin shows up, tries to detrap it, and just barely avoids a scything blade. He pees himself in terror and then goes to wash up.

Ted mentions that he has had dreams about peeing himself. Jimbo is not surprised.

Ted opens the door and sees five dusty sarcophagi, 3 to the north and 2 to the south. There is an unnatural chill in the air as if something undead slept within. “By Pelor!” exclaims Jimbo. “They are elf sarcophagi.” A single candle burns on the altar next to a small whistle and crystal flask. “They look old,” says Jimbo. “Indeed,” says Ted, “they look to be the same age as the complex we are in. If I had to guess, that candle is magical.” “That would explain why it is burning in a locked tomb,” replies Jimbo. “Were these elves good guys or bad guys?” asks Jimbo. “It was a dragon cult,” replies Gertie, “and cults are generally bad. There are five types of dragons and five sarcophagi. Perhaps there’s a connection.” Jimbo is impressed with her reasoning. “The cultists worshipped a dragon. We don’t know if they were good or not,” says Ted.

A skeletal figure with one eye and one hand introduces himself as Vecna. “Just kidding,” says the DM. “Who’s Vecna?” asks Gertie. “It’s Ancev, backwards,” says Jimbo. “Or Vance, if you mix it up,” says the DM. “Or Caven,” adds Ted.

“Let’s check the other door,” says Gertie. The party agrees, but first talks to the Kobold Queen about the sarcophagi.

The Kobold Queen reveals that the giant mama rat was called Goothash. She says that Meepo can read Draconic. The Queen insults Jimbo for being unable to read, and Jimbo considers how heroic it would be to slaughter the entire kobold tribe by himself. He’s tempted. Jimbo instead adopts the additional title of “Slayer of Goothash.”

After hearing what’s for lunch (goblin and rat stew), Jimbo tells everyone that it sounds utterly disgusting (disadvantage = “Big Mouth”) and then says, “Let’s go.” “Come on Meepo, you come too.” Meepo tries to evade but Jimbo deftly grabs the kobold and drags him along (using several bennies to do so). The DM then decides that Meepo can’t read Draconic after all. 

They go to the rearing dragon door, which has a slight magical aura matching the key the party got from the Goblin Queen.

“A gigantic dragon as big as the dungeon appears and chews off Ted’s leg delicately. Just kidding!” says the DM. The party remains unamused.

Ted opens the door. A hissing noise and a puff of dust accompany the opening of the door. “There’s a lot of dust,” says Jimbo.

There are three alcoves with stone pedestal with fist sized globes that are cracked and darkened crystal. The one in the south alcove glows blue and tinkles. “The noise kind of tinkling,” says the DM, anticipating Jimbo’s next words. There is a door on the west wall.

Ted and Jimbo both critically fail at an occult knowledge roll. “Oops,” says Jimbo. “I bennie it,” says Ted. The DM sadly shakes his head. “You both fall in love with the music and then run back to the entrance.” Jimbo runs faster than Ted. “I’m winning!” He drags Meepo with him. “Help me!” screams Meepo.

Gertie tries to smash the glowing orb and breaks it in half. Jimbo breaks free of the charm. Ted doesn’t, and keeps running. Jimbo throws Meepo into Ted’s retreating back to wake him up and Ted wakes. “Nice job Meepo,” says Jimbo, offering Meepo a high five. Meepo runs away.

“Good job,” says Jimbo to Gertie.

The party goes through the next door. Beyond is a corridor with a door at the end. Jimbo investigates successfully and spots an arrow trap. He goes around it safely and tries to disarms the trap. He fails. The weapon bounces off the stone work, but he drops his sword and has to pick it up again. The arrow hits Ted for 13 damage, who is shaken. “Sorry!” says Jimbo.

To help Ted recover from  the experience, Jimbo tells the story of his sister Gloriana, slaughtered as a young child by the mountain goblins. “She fought the goblins with all her strength,” he says, “though she was but a young girl.” He turns to Father Ted, “so pull yourself together and start acting like a man!” he says to Ted, who pulls himself together.

In the next room is a very realistic statue of a red dragon. “Hail and welcome,” says Jimbo in Draconic, showing proper respect for a powerful foe. It speaks in Common. “We come at night without being fetched; we disappear by day without being stolen. What are we?” “Shadows!” says Jimbo. Nothing  happens. “Stars!” says Gertie, and a secret door in the west wall opens.

The next room has 5 humanoid figures of elves in plate mail. Five are in the 6 alcoves. One alcove is empty. There’s a green light through an archway to the west, with a pit in front of it.

Gertie finds in the southwest corner that the dust is disturbed in the empty alcove. She sees that the tracks are made by small humanoid clawed feet that went into the pit, which is 10 feet deep with spikes at the bottom. The wall of the pit is rough and easy to climb. The feet look magical or faerie (you can tell from the curlicues on the bottom), and were here long ago.

Father Ted investigates one of the statues. Jimbo climbs into the pit and sees the footprints going out the other side of the pit.

Father Ted climbs down with Jimbo’s help but is scared by the effort and shaken again. After climbing down 10 feet! Jimbo tells him to man up again. Gertie climbs down. She tries to climb up but fails and is shaken as well. “Pelor!” exclaims Jimbo, “you people suck! It is just a ten foot climb.” Father Jim climbs up the western side. “Why don’t you go first,” says Gertie to Jimbo. “Ok,” says Jimbo, leaping gracefully up the western side.

Ted hears in his ear, “you broke the binding, my watch on the dragon priest is over.” An imp hits him but doesn’t do any damage. Jimbo prepares to whack an imp. It’ll be a bit more difficult since it is on Ted’s shoulder, but Jimbo is pretty certain he won’t hit Ted.

We’ll take that up next time.

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MERP: Isles of Rhunaer (Sea of Rhun)

The most detailed map for the Sea of Rhun in publication is pretty sketchy, at least for Nabal Mayzri, where our adventures are roaming (below).

A map of Rhunaer (aka. the Sea of Rhun)

Since we’re playing in the region, I thought we needed a better map. We are based on Nabal Mayzri, which our DM has identified as a single island rather than the name of the entire archipelago. I made a new map, concentrating on the area from Dilgul to Tol Sulereb. I figured that those little hats in the old map were meant to be small rocky outcroppings or islands. Since my character is a native to the region, and a sailor of some skill, I figured he would know the names of the islands, so I gave them all names. Most are based on Easterling stems. I’d love to have feedback on the names, especially if I made any huge errors, so please let me know. I can always change them, and repost the corrected version here.

The isles of Rhunaer, Middle Earth, north of Dilgul & South of Tol Sulereb

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MERP: Drogo’s Aerie

Now that Drogo Longfoot is an accomplished teleporter (Lofty Bridge in MERP), and he is back in Nabal Mazry, he’s planning on settling down a bit. He has hired workers to prepare a cave system in an 80′ tall stone tower about a mile offshore as his residence.  I used Dave’s Mapper to create the original cave, which is below.

The original cave that Drogo built his Aerie from.

They then modified it with doors and such. The kitchen has a stove that has a hole bored to the exterior wall to act as a chimney, and the toilet has a similar hole bored down for the waste. The water is a 3×3′ water reservoir, 30′ deep. The main entry way doors are slanted like a exterior door over basement steps and visitors have to descend a short set of steps into the entry. That makes the entry very difficult to see from the sea. There is a 6′ wide ledge outside of the doors. The exterior doors are iron, with an iron bar. Interior doors are wood, again with a bar blocking entry on the inside of the door. There are no windows. There are small shafts (2″ wide) bored to the outside in the Bedroom, Kitchen, Entry, and Living Room with carved wooden plugs over them. The plugs can be removed to allow fresh air to come into the rooms. The Kitchen plug is almost always off. On top of the stone tower is enough dirt to plant in (most of which had to be hauled out from the island) and a small stone walled gazebo with a slanted wooden roof where Drogo can watch the entry to the bay. In order to bring workers, furniture, and dirt to the Aerie, there is a block and tackle set up on the top of the tower to the left of the ledge outside the exterior doors. When Drogo visits, he teleports from Nabal Mazry.

The completed Aerie

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MERP: Drogo’s Homecoming

The party advanced to third level in the town of Dilgul on the edge of the Sea of Rhun.  Feldenaith learned more of traps and lockpicking, acting, and cookery. Delcaran learned Earth Law, and rhetoric. Grafarlig trained in a variety of skills in her own particular idiom. Drogo improved his teleportation range to 30 miles and began a new spell list, Concealment Mastery. Thanks to their sale of the ancient coins to Lord Windsor, they had more money than anyone needed. The party scours the town for magic items to purchase. Feldenaith’s purchase of a sword that desires to drink blood, literally, is the most questionable item.

Elias (played by Jim Beaver) leaves the crew and sells the party his share in the ship. He reveals to Feldenaith that he is an old ranger and that he intends to follow another experienced ranger named Kafarlas, who intends to seize control of the rangers from Oldahr and reinvigorate the rangers using Dilgul as a base. They expect they will get 10-20 old rangers to join them. They plan to get Oldahr to step down but hope that he will stay in the rangers, as they recognize that he is a good man. Both Feldenaith and Drogo pledge their support to Elias’s efforts.

The western side of the Sea of Rhun is now under Elentaria’s control, and she has begun to have converts in Dilgul as well. Jason Hyragard is in charge of the Syndicate in that region. The eastern side of the Sea is not yet under her sway, and the Syndicate there is controlled by Joss A’Lynn, who is both an Easterling and Jason’s ex-wife.

Drogo visits the Dilgul bank and deposits 5,000 gp. At his advice, Grafarlig deposits 10,000 gp. and makes Drogo the signatory.  She tends to make silly purchases, and Drogo knows the day will come when she wants to use the gold for something important. That done, the party sails to the island of the Nabal Mazry. Feldenaith and Drogo guide the ship, as both are skilled sailors and Drogo was raised on Nabal Mazry and knows the harbor intimately.

A map of Rhunaer (aka. the Sea of Rhun)

On Nabal Mazry are three hamlets, populated by Easterlings and Stoors. Pesterwynn is in the west and closest to the ship’s berth. The party visits Helwynn Smallbelly first, as he makes a delectable Poppy Cider. On Drogo’s recommendation, they buy 19 jugs of the stuff. Drogo sends one to the crew, and another 12 to storage on the ship. He keeps one for himself and one he gives to Roddy Hartfoot (Nina’s father), who is much happier about the jug then about discovering he has a daughter.

Glaven is the middle hamlet, and Vilm Wildhead lives there. He is a cold, mean man and the father of Dyra. The party does not stop and visit.

Instead, they head for Drogo’s home in Shardroot, the easternmost hamlet. Drogo’s father Orlo (played by Clint Eastwood), a skilled and scarred warrior, remains unimpressed with his wayward son, who left to explore the world and learn magic. Drogo was always closer to his mother Sherla, who has since passed away. The loss of his wife has not improved Orlo’s disposition. Delcaran tries to convince the old man that magic is awesome, but he has none of it. Orlo mentions that Garheart the Easterling returned from Dilgul speaking of the wonders of Elentaria, Winton Coldfoot calmed him down. Drogo leaves to visit Coldfoot, who is the leader of the island. Winton is a strong tough leader who knows weather magic and mind calming magic. Drogo tells Winton of their encounters with the sirens, and then slips him 10,000 s. to watch his back while he’s on the island. He also asks that Winton’s weather magic also protect the 80’ tall stone tower just west of the harbor, as Drogo plans to build a home there.

Once Drogo has commissioned the construction of his tunnel home 70’ above the water, the party sails for Faizal Mazry, where Drogo knows a palantir is hidden. Faizal Mazry lays to the east of Nabal Mazry and is under the control of Sea Easterlings, the Corsairs. Westrar Mazry lays to the west of Nabal Mazry.

Once at Faizal Mazry, Drogo teleports the party to a hidden ledge known to Logoth Escarion, the ship’s loremaster. They then follow a tunnel to a hidden point above the main sea cave of the Corsairs. And there the players stop for the evening. 

At the end of the night, Drogo advances the idea that he might retire here. Delcaran indicates something similar about the elven lands to the north. Their players are considering taking new characters.

 

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A Jorune Timeline (in Excel)

I got reading about Jorune again, and found myself taking “6600 Years of Jorune” and putting it into Excel form. For anyone who wants it, here is the Jorune Timeline. Joe Adams’ post in his blog Jorune is a Mental Illness got me thinking. My world Navah is a lot like Jorune, in that it is an Earth colony with aliens. I think both of them were inspired by Empire of the Petal Throne in that aspect at least. They are in some ways more rational worlds, but the most popular stuff is not rational — I guess fantasy is like that.

Skyrealms of Jorune

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Reviews from R’lyeh on Fanzines

Pookie’s blog Reviews from R’lyeh has a great feature called Fanzine Focus. With the nostalgia around classic gaming, or the Old School Renaissance as he calls it, there have been a plethora of fanzines that have erupted as well. In the old days, they were hard to find but with the web and digital publishing, there are a bunch of them now, and they are worth a look. His reviews are a great place to look for interesting ideas or just a kindred soul.  The Holmes Art Zine and Vacant Ritual Assembly are two that look interesting to me.

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Silk Road game for K12 classes

I love games that teach, so I was thrilled to find Natxo’s Silk Road game. I had done something similar with the Oregon Trail in a college freshman U.S. history class I taught. This gives me some ideas about adapting the model to the Silk Road. It also led me to a good blog for trainers, and a nice idea for using poker cards to improve meeting dynamics. By the way, Natxo is a Social Sciences prof at “un Instituto de Educación Secundaria” (unnamed).

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