Browsing articles from "September, 2011"

Wish You Were Here

Sep 30, 2011
Mark

I’m kicking back in the dormitory at the Mount Evans field station. I haven’t been up here since last May. Here it is nearly October and the temperature almost hit 70 degrees. Pretty warm for 10,000 feet. The aspen have really begun to turn. The drive up was beautiful. Brilliant yellows, golds, and shades of red explode against the deep green backdrop of the surrounding conifers. I was going to stop to take pictures but will get some better views tomorrow or Sunday. The road is still open up to Summit Lake. Usually it closes directly after labor day. Only the highest elevations have been dusted with snow. If I were energetic, I could hike to the summit. Unlikely to happen this weekend but I do plan on hitting some of the lower trails. Work off a little of my excess belly.

North of the Entry Gate

The silence is almost palpable compared to the bellows of humanity in the city. I’m alone until tomorrow evening when I’ll be joined by my brother’s family. Two kids will eliminate the quiet but it will be fun to have them running amok in the woods. I wonder how many rocks, sticks, and other items my nephew will insist he needs to take home. Probably more than my brother will allow. I was hoping to hear elk bugling since they should still be in rut. Nothing so far. They are likely further away due to the traffic on the summit road.

The Mega Table

I brought a few things to keep me busy. I am working on a leather project, which I’ll post about at a later point. You can spy it in the picture above. I also brought along a four different books to work on a couple of RPG projects. One is the expansion of a couple of the short adventures I wrote for the September of Short Adventures as I mentioned previously. The second is to tweak some random generator code to allow a new data set.

A third project popped up just before I left town. I was asked to review a new eBook of short stories by the author. After minor confusion, it arrived on my Kindle. I have read several of the stories while kicked back next to the fire. The first few were pretty short. A great mix of satire and humor — right up my alley.

I do see a few artifacts from last spring’s Gaming Weekend. A few bits of the firewood I brought along are still in the stack. Although the supply of wood is nearly gone. If we return, for a long weekend I’ll have to procure some to keep the leg hair braider warm. Speaking of that, the back bathroom rug has an odd color on one corner. And some strange spots still dot the bottom of the shower walls. I wonder what that could be?


I survived the September of Short Adventures

Sep 30, 2011
Mark

I Survived - Thank you Moustache Dragon

Asshat Paladin’s A September of Short Adventures

SoSA was challenging but a good time. I’m not overly impressed with a few of my entries. Time slipped a way occasionally and I had to hammer out an idea quickly to make the post rate. Some of those “quickies” also became cool ideas I’d like to explore further.

/Matt has posted a list of entries by blog you might find helpful and plans to add a list by system as well. With the dawning of October, I can take some time to read through all of the excellent contributions.

My Entries

  1. Horse Thief: A Boot Hill Adventure set in Colorado Territory
  2. Besieged: A Zombie D6 Scenario set in Meadows Sanctuary
  3. Daring Heist: A Boot Hill Adventure set in Colorado Territory
  4. Death Gift: A Labyrinth Lord Adventure
  5. Down for the Count: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure
  6. Derailed: A Boot Hill Short Adventure
  7. Rumblings of Pinnacle Peak: A Labyrinth Lord Adventure
  8. Fly Trap: A Short Top Secret/Systemless Adventure
  9. Stepping Stones: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure
  10. KP Duty in the Dungeon: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure
  11. Parasitic Horror: A Labyrinth Lord Short Adventure
  12. Crooked Creek Tomes and Scrolls: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure
  13. Fouled Fountains: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure
  14. The Banshee of Beacon Hill: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure
  15. You Aren’t If You Are Eaten: A Weird West Adventure
  16. Swindler Soapy Smith: A Boot Hill Adventure in Colorado Territory
  17. A Dispute over Spirits: A Short Boot Hill Adventure
  18. The Good Ole Boy: A Systemless Short Adventure
  19. Here Be the Goblins – A Lair Level Encounter for Labyrinth Lord
  20. The Petrified Man – A “Soapy” Smith Adventure for Boot Hill
  21. Boar Bounty: A Labyrinth Lord Adventure set in Korton Forest
  22. Silence on Deck: A Labyrinth Lord Short Adventure
  23. Drop the Hammer: A Modern Adventure for Survival Style Games
  24. One Eye’s Wine: A Labyrinth Lord Short Adventure
  25. Caution – Danger Ahead: A Labyrinth Lord Short Adventure

Headed Up and West

Sep 29, 2011
Mark
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Tomorrow I’m headed up the University of Denver’s Alpine Research Facility once again. Although I’ve held gaming weekends there on several occasions, this time its just a getaway from the madness of daily life. My goal is merely peace and quiet. Late Saturday, the niece and nephew are going to arrive a wilderness adventure along with Mom and Dad.

I should have 30+ hours to absorb the silence that is the field station. Should I feel motivated, I have a number of projects to begin. I’ve been plotting a retooling of several of my utilities into a more unified experience. That will require a significant plan on merging disparate databases and controlling work flow. Not difficult but I need the time to ponder the architecture.

I also want to expand my adventure short, The Banshee of Beacon Hill, into a full fledged adventure to run with a new group of gamers I’ve only played with once before. It only needs to be a one-off session but there are several holes I need to fill. A cup of coffee on the deck in the mountain air should percolate a few new ideas.

I’m also going to get my butt out into the woods. I need to collect some pine resin/sap for a leather working project. My memories of pine sap are that is a pain in the butt to remove from skin but it also makes a great sealant. Buying it is like forking over gold doubloons. Collecting will be the easy part. I’m not as confident about the purification process.

Depending on the volume of the collection, I have another idea in the back of my mind. My inner child says to apply fire. I may get to it, may not. If I don’t it will be an excuse to get out of the house again.


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Caution – Danger Ahead: A Labyrinth Lord Short Adventure

Sep 29, 2011
Mark
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Get Ready

As the party works through a labyrinth they spy an unmoving elf standing a few feet outside of a closed door. The elf does not even twitch nor will he again.

Get Set

The elf has been turned to stone. His pose indicates he was just about to enter the doorway. One arm extends forward and the opposite leg hints at being raised. The eyes are wide open as if astonished by what he saw. Around his waist, chip marks are evident as if something was removed from his body. In addition to the petrified elf, a single word has been chiselled into the wall in the dwarven tongue – ‘Danger’.

A sharp odour of acid wafts in the air within a few feet of the close door. The odour is not overwhelming. Easily detectable, it is more dominant within a foot of the doorway. Anyone moving in front of the statue near the door will get a whiff.

The door is bound iron. Rust lines all the outer edges and fades gradually toward the center. The rust has cut deeply into edges of the door and the hinges. The middle of doorway is covered by light surface rust.

Go!

Should the party decide to ignore the warnings, the door is stuck closed due to the rust. Opening it will require a strength of 15 or more to pry it open a few inches after which multiple characters can combine their strength to open it completely. The hinges of the door will squeak loudly as it initially opened alerting the occupants. The sharp acidic odor expands as the door is opened.

Four basilisks lie in wait staring at the door as it is opened (if they are alerted by the squeals of the hinges). They rest atop a platform 3 feet above the entry floor. In addition to the basilisks, yellow mold colonies have covered the walls on both sides of the door. A newer colony has begun to spread to the right of the door along the floor. The yellow mold cannot directly attack but is generally fed by startled adventurers turning to run and hitting the walls as they attempt to exit.

Notable NPCs

Basilisk (4) [AL N, MV 60’ (20’), AC 4, HD 6+1, #AT 2 (bite, gaze), DM 1d10/petrify), THAC0: 13, SV F6, ML 9, XP 570, LL 63, HC XVII] Total XP: 2280. HP: 28, 33, 22, 34.

Treasure: GP: 4000, Gems : 20 – Total Value: 4345 gp., Magic: Feather Token, Scroll: Treasure Map (Value 2 magic items), Armor –1 (cursed), , Potion of Plant Control, Scroll: Ward against Undead

Yellow Mold (3) [AL N, MV 0, AC NA, HD 2, #AT Spores, DM 1d6 + special, THAC0: 18, SV F2, ML NA, XP 38, LL 103, HC None] Total XP: 114. HP: 6, 5, 11.



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One Eye’s Wine: A Labyrinth Lord Short Adventure

Sep 28, 2011
Mark
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Get Ready

The party is hired to retrieve a load of highly prized win from the legendary One Eye Vineyard. The vineyard is located within a series of steep, rugged hills a few days journey away.

Get Set

The vintners of the One Eye Vineyard are 3 cyclops — a male, female and younger son. Known only as One Eye, Bihar, the male, handles all public transactions while his wife and son generally handle all the brewing related tasks. Amyon, the son, is responsible for the rising fame of the winery due to his brewing talent. The matriarch of the family, Imeyna, oversees all the details of the operation and coordinates delivery of supplies and goods. She is the dominate force within the family — nothing happens without her approval. Bihar is always suspicious of new comers but is easily amused. He enjoys a good joke especially at the expense of elves.

Go!

The party are equipped with a cart and two mules to fetch four 10 gallon casks of the newly released vintage. The players are given permission to spend up to 100 gp per cask and have been given 40 pp to cover the transaction.

Upon nearing the winery, Bihar will greet the party when they are still 200′ from the winehouse. A large pile of rocks sit on either side of the double doors, which he will utilize as weapons if he feels the party is being deceptive. Since the party has not visited previously, Bihar is very suspicious of their intent. Shortly after he greets the party, he will be joined by his wife who steps out of the large double doors from the brewery.

The party must convince him of their intent to carry out an honest transaction. Perceptive individuals will note that Bihar occasionally glances at Imeyna, as if checking for her approval. If either of the cyclops feel threatened, they will be ordered to leave and not return. If the party persists or advances, both Bihar and Imeyna will lob rocks in front of the party as a warning. Neither wants to engage in conflict but will protect themselves if necessary.

Once the pair are convinced the party actually want to buy wine, they will invite them up to the winery. They will be invited into the front of the building into a tasting room and given samples along with a light meal. The building is built onto the face of the hill and quite obviously opens into a large tunnel, which descends deeper into the hillside. The tunnel has been expanded from but was a natural feature. The caverns below the building are used for storage and ageing of the wines.

As the party samples the wine and eats, Bihar will tell a few jokes mostly regarding the questionable heritage of elves. After they finish, he’ll get down to business unless distracted by other humorish tales. The price for the wine has gone up due to high demand. The price per cask is now 150 gp rather than the original 100. If careful in the negotiations, the party can get the price lowered to 120 gp/cask or opt to take a lesser vintage for two of the four casks. The vintage being sought is quite spectacular and worth the additional cost if the party is prepared to cover the extra cost from their own pockets.

Notable NPCs

Cyclops (3) [AL C, MV 90’ (30’), AC 5, HD 13, #AT 1, DM 3d10, THAC0: 10, SV F13, ML 9, XP 2,400, LL 69, HC XVII + 5,000 gp] HP: 70, 64, 46.



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A September of Short Adventures — Completed

Sep 27, 2011
Mark

I hope the Moustache Dragon is pleased. My twenty-fifth adventure is done and scheduled to post on Thursday. Some of them are good, some are sketchy, and a few are little more than a general concept. Still, hammering out 25 shorts in 30 days made me proud.

I covered a wide variety of ideas and a few different systems. The Boot Hill discussion late last month got my juices flowing and I actually managed to put together a half dozen adventures one could stitch together as a campaign. Every time I’ve attempted to run it has been from the hip. Longevity rarely comes from seat of the pants.

On the fantasy front, I labelled several as Labyrinth Lord adventures. I admit I’d probably play them under 2E AD&D rather than LL but they can probably be retooled to play under any early variant or clone quite easily.

The challenge has been very trying at times. The one thing it did was force me to be creative and imaginative even when stretched for time. Perhaps a few of the posts will inspire others. It has been a good time and I’m glad I signed up.

Thanks go to /Matt at Asshat Paladins for organizing the challenge. I’ll post a recap of all of my entries on Friday.


Grain Elevator Collapse – Wray, CO

Sep 27, 2011
Mark
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Gravity, Check. Via Denver Post

All I can think is what a major mess and a devastating loss to the elevator. The cleanup is not going to be friendly. I certainly hope the contents and structure were adequately insured. The full story is available at the Denver Post. Luckily it was detected early and no one was injured when the bin finally failed.

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