Tag Archives: RPG

Spire – Session 2 – Operation Highwayman

midwife

Theratrix, Midwife

We go deal with the casino people who hold Quartermaster Bob’s gambling debts, and trade them the drugs we stole from the Roaring Boys for the note to them. Then we go steal a payroll and figure out the combat system.

Complete First Battle!

  • Tariq steals Roaring Boys gangster wear and weapons, four sets.
  • Team plants evidence of Quartermaster Bob’s gambling debts in Roaring Boys territory.
  • Team attempts to steal payroll destined for Factory level guard station as it is passing thru Roaring Boys HQ on the Farming level.
  • Lyddia uses their access to Guard HQ to access the payroll route, then alter the paperwork to have it pass thru Roaring Boys territory.
  • Payroll: 4 guards with clubs & good armor, one halberd, one gun. 4 durts with ill fitting armor & carrying the payroll.
  • More equipment is purchased, including some weapons.
  • Plan: ropes in the water to prevent the boats from moving. One team fires guns and spells from shore, while Grella runs along the rope to attack those in the boat.
  • Plan as executed: Tariq shoots the guard leader with a pistol.  Lyddia follows suit.  Guard leader drops.  Tamar drops from a bridge via rope onto the barge, cutting the halberd bearing guard.  Slav the Blood Witch sprays the barge around Tamar with eyeball blood. Several durts pull up a ladder, drop it onto the bridge.  Tariq shoots a porter.  The guard picks up the captain’s pistol and dies from a shrike pistol shot from Lyddia.  One porter swims for it; Tamar spots his leech covered back but opts to cut another guard down.  The last guard dies from multiple attacks from the rest of the team.
  • Tamar threatens a surrendering porter with, “Don’t tell them the Roaring Boys did this!” One of the surviving porters takes note of Tamar’s distinct eyebrows above the Roaring Boys distinct face hiding kerchief.
  • They escape with the payroll, the guard’s pistol, and their lives. Four porters are left alive; those on the boat are told to loot the guard bodies for the silver they lifted from the payroll. The porters accept the bribe.
  • The team takes their payroll to a secret place for counting. Tariq takes a single coin from it, which Lyddia notes in a diary.

Success! We are glad we put a lot of work into our tactical plan because the combat system isn’t real forgiving, and we’re not real combat monsters.

Drow Fact of the Day: All drow are forced by the Aelfir to serve a “durance”, or mandatory service, when they become adults.

Brain Crystals and Crime Lords

After the heist, Tariq arrives at the Hive to find the staff very agitated. The lightning professors are in denial and/or accusing each other about the crystals growing out of back of prisoner’s heads. They are putting crystals into prisoners heads, one of those people died.  The guards are busy interrogating the durt porters from the stolen payroll run; this involves torture and screaming.  Tariq arrives at Lt Langley’s office to announce he overheard that the Roaring Boys pulled the payroll heist and Quartermaster Bob had something to do with it.

But “brain crystals” sounds like something we should look into, as we want to co-opt the prison, not have some weird alien hivemind or something do it for us. So we gather intel…

  • The University’s Applied Galvanics Department is researching at the prison for purposes of warfare for execution/brainwashing and/or fighting. The “Cult of Intelligence” found a Crystal Mind buried nearby. They broke off chunks and placed them into their brains to form a group mind. They are experimenting at the prison for reasons unknown.  They get the name of Tristan Avanod, an ex-student, who claimed to be in the Cult of Intelligence.
  • Slav figures out there are two criminal groups involved with the Crystal Mind shards. Group 1 is led by Lord Veq Light-Through-Splintered-Glass, a councilman and high elf.  Group 2 is let by “The Wicked Mr Alas,” a drow and head of a landlord family seeking further power via criminal enterprises.
  • Bohemians are indulging in crystal addiction on Ivory Row.

The team speculates quite a bit on what all of this means. They decide to approach Wicked Mr Alas. This ends up not being all that simple and requires another round of intel gathering. We determine he operates in “Ivory Row” so find out about it first.

  • Ivory Row is owned by three factions:
    • a high elf heiress Cruel Lady Thorns on Silk (also patron of a Bloodwitch)
    • a drow noble woman who conspired with the high elves (who became a Bloodwitch during high society party)
    • a human cleric Archbishop Wynn who worships the high elf gods. He refuses life extending surgeries.  Rumor has it he is buying up land to build monuments to the high elf gods.
  • Other Ivory Row powers:
    • The Sunlight Collective – not an organized group of bohemians who like partying and cults and such things.
    • The Hidden – drow squatters hiding in the abandoned mansions of long gone rich. They hid quietly and steal quietly from the rich houses nearby.

The group travels up Spire via Perch to Ivory Row to gather more info on the Wicked Mr Alas.

  • Tamar spies on the bohemians to find Mr Itz’Bin, a Hidden drow, who owes allegiance to Wicked Mr Alas. Mr Itz’Bin is a lieutenant, dresses as a hidden with items of wealth displayed openly, plus an illegal rapier and parrying blade.
  • Slav uses religious circles to find that Wicked Mr Alas is interested in the gods and acquiring relics of said gods. He has found that all gods have failed him so he defiles the relics.  He is dealing with the various occult groups as “fire power”.
  • Tariq goes thru high society and finds how to contact Wicked Mr Alas… you start with one of his lieutenants unless you are very powerful and thus can jump to the head of the line. Taking something from him or some
  • Lyddia uses academia to talk to the bohemians. He sells them narcotics. He drives cultists bohemians out of his territory to the point of murder via Gentle-On-Blinded Orbs an enormous elf (augmented by muscle surgery, is blind, and sees via hearing).
  • The point thus far: Wicked Mr Alas would like the bloodwitch and the vermissian sage, but not Abu and Tamar.  He has lots of criminal connections and wants to be The Godfather of the spire.

So this means that the factions vying for power in the Hive (Prison) are:

  • The Guards
  • Crime Lord Wicked Mr Alas – wants to save or comfort his own troops who are imprisoned, gain intelligence from his enemies.
  • Councilman Light-Through-Splintered-Glass – same as Mr Alas.
  • Cult of the Intelligence – followers are being arrested
  • Dept of Applied Galvanics – want to experiment with crystals largely via shock therapy to those implanted with them
  • Us, your friendly neighborhood revolutionaries

A vague plan emerges.

  • Meet Mr Itz-Bin and make nice with Wicked Mr Alas.
  • Destroy councilman
  • Destroy Cult of the Intelligence
  • Make nice with Applied Galvanics

We exercise this plan… Next time!

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Spire – Session 1 – Operation Get Inside

Carrion-Priest

Abu Al-Nisr, Carrion Priest

Well hello all!  I know it’s been a sparse year of blogging, but work, life, and actual gaming have had to come first.  I’m paring down on other commitments so hope to add some fun content here.

Let’s start with some session summaries from our Spire campaign I described back in October.   Go read that again to remind yourself of the characters and setup.

First, as a group we decided what we wanted our revolutionary goal to be to stomp out the hated aelfir (or “honkeys” as they are also known). This involves hours of us figuring out the complex society and geography of the Spire.

War Goal:  Liberate the Hive, the prison, for the Ministry.  Here’s our basic intel on the place.

  • Entire cell blocks are basically suspended by chains and dumped to everyone’s death in case of trouble
  • Prisoners of the Hive include:
    • gnolls they want to keep
    • experiments and pets – the Menagerie
    • political prisoners
    • warriors
  • Run by the Guard
    • ill trained and equipped
    • working poor, living in Middle City
    • local folk trying to earn a living and maybe make the city a better place to live
  • Warden Wind-Before-Dawn, high elf, torture tourist
  • Captain Blessed, human mercenary, guard captain to Hive
  • Commissioner Armon LeVop, drow, administers the Guard stations around Middle City.
  • Baub the Quartermaster, human.
  • Lieutenant Ziminar Langley, drow.
  • Drow guards are mostly durance, rest are career
  • Corruption is rampant due to unpaid durance workers.
  • Visited by high elves who participate in torture tourism

Drow Fact of the Day – the six virtues of the drow people are:

  • Tenacity
  • Community
  • Grace
  • Vigilance
  • Sagacity
  • Theory

Our first milestone we decide on along this path is to identify four guardsmen to identify as friends and get promoted within the prison so we have powerful allies.

We also decide to hijack the guard payroll to destabilize the situation. It is held at the Quince Tear Guard station.

Operational plan:

  • pick a patsy in the Guard to be fingered as the insider
  • pick a patsy in the crime circles to be fingered as the robbers
  • pick a replacement for the Guard patsy
  • steal the money
  • launder the money

We gather intel. The Quartermaster and employees at Quince Tear Guard Station are:

  • Baub the quartermaster is a drow collaborator. He is also corrupt – he steals from the widows and orphans fund to pay kickbacks. He owes money/markers to a casino on next city level up. We decide he’s the patsy.
  • Lt. Langley is a Drow nationalist we tag to replace Quartermaster Baub, who will run the widows and orphans fund for primarily for drow benefit. Three husbands.  Upper class drow. Went to university.  Guard durance.

Therratix the midwife, acting as a medic at the prison, gains Langley’s blood after she is shivved by a prisoner. Slav the blood witch reads the blood and learns Langley is having an affair with a human.  She loves her career over her human lover, a professor at University, named Professor “Lightning” Thule.  Given time and effort the team is able to convince Langley that her lover is a liability, so she ends it and owes the team an obligation.

The cell steals drugs from the Roaring Boys, so they have an excuse to be patsies for the payroll robbery.  Drugs stolen from Roaring Boys (including Corpse Fruit, which create hallucinations of the dead, and God Smoke – a euphoric and pain dulling drug) are traded to the casino in exchange to the title for Baub’s debts to said casino.

The cell collects evidence of Quartermaster Baub’s huge gambling debts and theft from the W&O fund. Again, this is to make him a patsy for the payroll robbery, as the inside man for the Roaring Boys.

We end the session prepared to rob a Guard payroll!

Pathfinder 2e Playtest Retrospective

Well, we played through the Pathfinder 2e “Doomsday Dawn” adventure through 7th level (the first three scenarios, The Lost Star, In Pale Mountain’s Shadow, and Affair at Sombrefell Hall).

It was… fine.  It’s not super different from Pathfinder from a 10,000 foot view. The main changes were:

  • the “three actions a round” thing – you get three actions, which can be any mix of attacks at iterative -5s, or moves, or spells, or whatnot. made rounds take longer, but probably at higher levels cuts down on time since you can’t do 20 attacks.
  • how crits work – if you beat what you need by 10+. More crits but more math.
  • how magic weapons work, with plusses adding whole dice of damage.
  • Spell Points for everyone to power whatever innate abilities, but not spells, which kept confusing us.  Why not Power Points?
  • Random slight spell changes
  • A weird baseball diamond icon used to indicate how many actions something takes instead of just using a damn number
  • encumbrance simplified into “Bulk”
  • magic item slots simplified (?) with “Resonance”

It didn’t seem better or worse really, just different. You may recognize some of these specific rules from 5e, 4e, and other RPGs, none of it was real innovative.

Unfortunately, that is a bit of a deal-killer for us.  We have loads of PF 1e stuff, more than we can ever play.  We play other games too.  There’s no killer feature in PF 2e that makes us say “I really want to play this!” It’s unexciting.  And from running through the adventure, it’s not just on paper – in play it’s the same thing, like Pathfinder 1 but just with some warts removed and some new ones added. Huzzah?

I was leaning on Hero Lab hard for the deep NPC work in Pathfinder.  They’re (Wolf Lair) apparently not carrying on with existing Hero Lab, they’re abandoning it in favor of a new subscription-based online service (Hero Lab Online) that I’d get to pay for new and differently, despite investing probably near $1000 into HL over time. Again, starting over for “different but not better really.”

I mean, I don’t *dis*like the game – but it’s telling me “abandon all previous thousands of dollars of product, for something that’s… like it but slightly different.” And I’m not clear what I’d get out of that.

I love Golarion and their Adventure Paths (I got into it from being a Dragon and Dungeon subscriber and converted over).  They know how to write adventure and setting for sure.  In Pathfinder 1e the mechanics weren’t too revolutionary, but as they went on they had a knack for picking good and iconic classes instead of the weird junk WotC had been doing even in 3e/3.5e.  “Witch, Alchemist, Cavalier”, makes sense!  “Acolyte of the Skin! Candle Caster!” No. The archetype system allowed a lot of class customization and that was cool. Fun game, played it a lot, though I must admit over time the extreme amount of rules content caused us to play other, lighter games about 50/50 (they call it Mathfinder for a reason).  But heck, I’m still running a 5 year old Pathfinder campaign, it’s a good game. They’ve had good instincts and business practices. I wish Paizo well.

To really make PF2 a success like PF1 they’re going to have to come up with something besides “inertia of PF 1e players” to drive adoption. The kids nowadays are moving to D&D 5e. If I’m going to coast, I want to coast on the existing game.  For a new Pathfinder to get me to keep subscribing (to the tune of a lot of $$ per month), I need *something* new and exciting.  It could be more rules light, but doesn’t have to be, it could be anything really innovative. But it’s pretty clear they didn’t have a huge innovation in mind that drove them to make 2e – they just figured it was time and started cobbling something together. Is the setting new?  No, same setting I have 100 supplements for, they’ll just re-release the exact same content with some new stats so I won’t really get anything new.  Do the new rules unlock any new actual kinds of classes or characters?  No, so all the new supplements will just be “and now here’s the witch with some different rules.” What am I supposed to be looking forward to?  There’s not really messaging on that.  Check out their Web page – it’s just like “playtest this now.” It’s not even trying to hype me on something.

When D&D went from 1e to 2e to 3e, each time was a really big change and improvement. Hit tables to THAC0 to DCs level improvement. I just don’t see anything like that in Pathfinder 2e.  If it was released 10 years ago as “our new D&D killer” instead of 1e, I would have loved it and played it and it’d be in the exact same spot as 1e is now, like I say, there’s nothing wrong with it.  But after 10 years, a new edition should be something to really move the needle on your gaming, and after giving it a fair shot at play – it’s just not.  At least not in the current playtest form.  But I don’t have a lot of hope it will change dramatically from the playtest – I mean, I’m sure they’ll fix some of the issues, but you don’t fix “it’s not really that innovative” in a playtest.

I fear the net here is “I and the gamers I know here will keep playing PF 1e, just a bit less each year; we’ll wish Paizo well but not buy much.” Starfinder didn’t grab me (science fantasy isn’t my thing), and PF 2e isn’t grabbing me.  Maybe they’ll put out another RPG that’ll draw me in eventually, but thus far looks like I’ll need to pack up my love for Paizo products, put it in a box, and bring it out and remember it from time to time.

Pathfinder 2e Playtest First Impressions

I was in my FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store) the other day and saw the printed copy of the Pathfinder 2e playtest.  Paul had been talking about running a one-shot for us so I decided to go ahead and pick it up.

I’m a long time Pathfinder player (as long as you can get, I migrated from Dragon/Dungeon to Paizo APs in 3.5 to Pathfinder Beta to Pathfinder as it happened).  I’ve been a superscriber for all that time so I have every Player’s Companion and rulebook and everything.

As a result I wasn’t chomping at the bit to look at 2e – I have more Pathfinder stuff than I can probably use in my lifetime, and my gaming group is mainly playing other games nowadays, but this prompted me to pick it up and read through it.

Overall it’s good. It’s different than Pathfinder/3.5e.  I’m not sure how many of the changes are really better or worse instead of just being different, however.  More on that after the details.

The book is beautiful, it’s full color and pro layout and no typos; better than most non-playtest RPGs (and definitely levelled up over the initial printed Pathfinder Beta I still have a copy of).

Overview

Intro

It starts with the usual RPG intro, which is fine.  They go a little overboard on the nearly page worth of SJW-speak in the beginning.  I want gaming to be inclusive and fun for all too, but they drone on about “safe space” and how GMs should be “pay[ing] careful attention to players’ body language” to police anyone being “uncomfortable.” Yes, job #1 of a GM is to carefully monitor everyone’s emotional state and make sure everything’s light and non-challenging in 2018 I guess. But, whatever, the book’s 432 pages long already why not pad it out.

Basic Concepts

The basic concepts are the usual, and you’ll generally get AC, HP, and so on. You get 3 actions (and a reaction) per round from general inflation, I wish it was more like 1e/2e – do one thing and the action will get back to you quickly, instead of doing 4 things and then waiting an hour for your next turn. Though there’s one real problem I had  – the new icons to indicate action types.  It smacks of trying to IP-protect your trade dress for the sake of it, and they are not more concise than just using a letter or whatever.  For 2 actions I need two little baseball diamonds instead of a 2?  Making a character sheet or spell cards gets to be a non-plaintext exercise now?  Boo.

Anyway, then important concept, Proficiency Modifier!  Like D&D, you have a proficiency modifier that applies to everything (weapons, skills, etc.) that is based on your level. It can be slightly less than your level or slightly more than your level if you are untrained or master or legendary.

In the book, untrained is level-2 and legendary is level+3.  That is terrible and let me explain why.  It means there’s only a 5 point spread, on a d20 roll, between the most hapless and the most skilled of a given level.  This means that when faced with the nearly ubiquitous adventure option of “do some skill challenge, or fight them,” it’s a sucker bet to try to beat them at the skill challenge because a 5 point spread on d20 is very, very failable, where if you differ enough levels you’re basically guaranteed to beat them in the fight because of how many things stack onto making you better and it’s effectively a complex skill check of many many rolls and not just one.

But all is not lost!  Paizo listens to their playtesters, and in the current rule update, they change this so unskilled is level -4.  It still means “trained” and “legendary” is only a 3 point spread though, which isn’t great, but it’s nice to see it iterating in the right direction.  It does mean “mommy taught me the guitar” can beat Robert Johnson 34% of the time in a straight roll-off, which kinda sucks. At least untrained at -4 only beats him… 20% of the time?  That’s not excellent.

Character Creation

Then you get a summary of character creation. It’s straightforward, though they hide how you determine hit points in the middle of a long “Apply Your Class” section and I went past it and it took me a while to find it – I’d think that would at least merit some bold or a header or a sidebar or something; it’s more complicated than previous because you have an ancestry set of hit points and then a class set of hit points you add together.  (And it’s here instead of in the definition of Hit Points with a header in the previous section why?) There’s a lot of formulas like that that are only explained in this section (AC calculation too) that really should be set out to look like

AC = 10 + Dex modifier (up to armor cap) + armor proficiency modifier + armor item bonus to AC + other bonuses/penalties

instead of just being text inline which is what they are.  You’re Mathfinder, own it.

Alignment is skimmed over pretty much in passing.

Ability Scores

Next we do ability score generation.  It’s the usual 6 D&D stats, but the generation is a little tricky. You start with 10 and then do a bunch of iterations of adding ancestry ability boosts (boost = +2), two background ability boosts, four free ones, a class one…  But you can’t double up in a given iteration, but you can stack them across iterations. OK, fair enough, though I suspect we’ll always be seeing the same Backgrounds for the same classes since it’s the only way to min-max your stats to 18. Or you can roll if you’re a real man.

Ancestries and Backgrounds

Next we do the races, except it’s racist to call them races so they’re Ancestries I guess?  You get the venerable Dwarf/Elf/Gnome/Halfling/Human and can do half-orcs and half-elves as variant humans. All pretty cool, and instead of a standard set of abilities there’s “ancestry feats” you can choose from both at start and then you get more every 4 levels. Not sure how you explain “suddenly I can do that thing that I learned growing up I guess” story wise, but eh, everyone likes more powers.

Only humans have ethnicities, which is weird because in Golarion there’s elf ethnicities and stuff.

And the big bad in this chapter is goblins as a playable race.

Look man, I’ve played all the goblin modules too and I love them.  The goblins are some of Pathfinder’s most recognizable IP. But in Golarion, goblins are crazed spazzes that are in no way compatible with other people.  And people already use gnomes and sometimes halflings if they want to play a little spaz.  By them being a core race instead of just in some later race guide, that means 1/6 of characters, especially in Pathfinder Society play, get to be disruptive illiterate arsonists.  Great. Needs to be pulled and put into some later more optional thing, even if it’s the first AP, with some warning text.

Backgrounds

Then we have two pages of Backgrounds, which give ability boosts and skills usually. Acolyte, Criminal, Warrior, and so on.  (I wonder which map to which classes?) There’s not that many but I assume they’ll get the shit splatbooked out of them eventually.

Languages

The next chapter is Languages, which generally works like you’d expect except for a weirdly complicated full half page on sign language (every language you choose normal or signed and if signed you get the Read Lips feat for free and blah blah see page 301)…  It also weirdly assumes that every language/race has sign language and that they’re tied to languages?  So gnoll sign language is different from celestial sign language?  Plus IRL sign language wasn’t developed until post-Renaissance so it’s all just kind of weird and overwrought. Like, the sign language section is larger than the entire alignment section.

Classes

Classes.  The first class is Alchemist because they’re alphabetical and it really threw me, I started reading it and my reaction was “what the hell is this?!?”  I had to start looking up bunches of other game concepts (“Resonance?”) and it was super confusing. I punted and went forward to Fighter to figure out the game.  Turns out they published a massive revision to the Alchemist in the errata because I guess that was a common reaction.

Anyway, the classes go to a pick-and-choose set of feats, you know, like every video game skill tree. I approve.  So many archetypes in 1e were just to basically move around things you didn’t really want for things you did, so going to “pick a class feat” is more elegant.

But I speak too soon.  While most items are turned into class feats, there is still a level advancement table with some things built in (Barbarian gets rage and totem at level 1, “juggernaut” at level 7, and so on). It’s not clear why these aren’t just class feats with that level as their level restriction, so you could take some other thing at 7 and then juggernaut at 8 if that floated your boat.

It’s the normal core classes plus alchemist, a solid list with no surprises.  Without actually playtesting them it’s hard to tell, but they seem to generally do what they did in previous editions.

Skills

They combined skills into a semi short list of 17 skills. They are still complicated because they basically pasted the rules for each more granular skill under them, so in Acrobatics you get a long ass thing about Balance, Escape, and the 5 other uses each of which has its own ruleset.

You don’t have skill points any more, it’s just those untrained/trained/expert/master/legendary levels. Everyone gets skill advances that boost your skill ranks pretty frequently.  Even the wizard, which starts with 2 + INT skills, gets one skill every 2 levels so can have 11/17 of the skills (barring mastery, but each level of mastery only gets you +1, so they’re a poor investment).

Each skill, like many of the feats in the class section, have these little “Traits” associated with them.  Some are defined here, like Secret.  Some are off in Appendix 1 in the back; I’m not sure how you’re supposed to know that.

The organization of this book starts to fall down about this point.  There’s a lot of inconsistency.  Take classes and their class feats.  OK, those are described under the class entries, not lumped into the general feats chapter.  But then “powers”, like the monk’s ki strike, aren’t in the class section, they are lumped into the Spells section!

I know in a complex game you can’t always have it where you read the definition of something before you have rules using that something, but at least have a consistent design philosophy of where you’re going to squirrel things away.  Do class things go under the class or sorted into other categories? Do traits and such get defined in the relevant section or in the back?  On p.144 it explains what a Secret skill check is.  Secret is in the traits section in the back but there it just says see p.293. Where it has the exact same text as on p.144 duplicated.  What?!?

Anyway, organizational gripes aside – they’re skills.  They let you do the normal panoply of stuff you want to do in D&D/Pathfinder.

Feats

Feats feats feats!  Only 13 pages of them. They are almost all skill feats and then some general feats, there’s no like metamagic or combat feats, which are just in the classes I reckon.

Equipment

They go to the silver standard, which I like. Gold is just for magic items and super expensive stuff, normal folks use silver for conventional expenses.

Armor is mostly like armor used to be, although with AC and touch AC (TAC) stats.  Shields are weirder and more complicated, you have to use an action to get their AC bonus.

Weapons, predictably, are like they used to be except we love traits now so every single weapon has 1-6 traits on it. Axes sweep, mauls shove, bows are deadly and propulsive… Entertainingly they define all the traits but not any of the weapons, I guess if you don’t know what a main-gauche or guisarme is, your hapless noob ass can google it? Maybe that’ll be added in the final book.

Gear is gear, but encumbrance has changed to a more abstract Bulk system instead of weight, with all the complicated junk about well this is negligible and this is Light so 10 of those become 1 Bulk and so on. Not that anyone uses encumbrance anyway.

There’s item qualities, like “masterwork” was but they can go up to +3 if you spend about x10 more money for each increment.

Spells

We’ll pick this up next time in a Part 2!  I’ll discuss spells and then the actual gameplay rules, which are hidden behind everything else. And then GMing and treasure if I reach it.

New Campaign – Spire

spire-cover-blue

Spire

Our newest campaign is based on the Spire RPG.  This is a cool high-concept game – we are all drow living in the Spire, which is a China Mieville-esque super weird giant tower where each level is a whole neighborhood.

But the elves have conquered it and keep us down as an oppressed underclass (along with their human lackeys).  Therefore, we foment rebellion! It’s like Vornheim meets Bas-Lag meets Menzoberranzan meets the Black Panthers and the IRA. Good stuff!

I recently read Melvin Van Peebles’ book Panther and racial politics are a big deal nowadays, so it’s interesting to explore it as a batch of privileged white guys.

Here’s our characters:

  • Firebrand-lo

    Firebrand

    Abu Al-Nisr (Paul), a carrion priest and clutch mate to Tamar and Tariq. He has a hyena to help devour the dead, as is only proper.

  • Tariq Al-Nisr (Me), a firebrand and clutch mate to Abu and Tamar.  He brought Slav into the revolution the old fashioned way, sexing her into radicalization.
  • “Fortunate” Tamar Al-Nisr (Bruce), a Bound and clutch mate to Abu and Tariq.  He rescued Lyddia Jath when she fell from the Perch.
  • Lyddia Jath (Chris), a Vermissian sage. She knows Abu’s secret, which is that he was captured by the gnolls and joined them in fighting the drow army.
  • Theratrix (Matt), a midwife. She saved Abu’s life during the war, not realizing he was fighting alongside the gnolls.
  • Slav (Patrick), a blood witch. She has tasted Lyddia’s blood and believes she’s fated to kill Tariq.
  • Krieth (Kat), a human emissary. Appeared briefly and was gone just as fast.  For the best, humans aren’t trustworthy.

The game system is pretty Apocalypse-y.  Our initial direction for liberating the Spire is to compromise the Hive, the big ass prison blocks, and use that to recruit people to overthrow the hated high elves!  Word of our adventures will come…

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 9.49.47

The Spire (Aboveground)

Reavers on the Seas of Fate, Season Five, Fourteenth Session

waterspoutFourteenth Session (9 page pdf) – “Escape the Eye” – The shore team returns to the Araska, counts their loot, and sets their course for the Shackles. But a giant waterspout intervenes.

It’s just some giant lizard fighting and then they get back to the Araska with their prize.  But navigating the Eye of Abendego is no picnic, another waterspout bangs up the Araska.  I keep rolling hot on the random weather table.

Then they pass the Bloody Vengeance on its way to the Green Blood on Black Rock local monster fighting festivities! They seem interested so I’ll have more on that next time.

But then, another random weather roll…  How many 00’s can one set of dice hold?  It’s the largest waterspout possible, F5 style. Eek!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate, Season Five, Thirteenth Session

wendifa

The Wendifa

Thirteenth Session (12 page pdf) – “The Key To War Machine, Part III” – An epic fight with juju zombies and a Wendifa (female witch doctor) has lasting effects as they scour the tomb for the amulet of the Terraken.

Bonus: Jitikai the Wendifa’s Character Sheet (pdf)

More dungeoneering, and then a fight with a Juju oracle! Voodoo all over the place; juju zombies, she zombifies and mind-controls party members.  Fun!  They even leave her alive… Kinda.