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Tracy's HackMoor 2017/11/02 Beaucoup Experience and Racial Limits

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 04:59

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

If it seems like more than a week since last report. We played a board game.

We had a large meat-lovers pizza with the pepperoni taken out and philly cheese-steak added. However after it was brought in, we found out the pepperoni was not removed.

This is a late night entry, there may be grammar and spelling errors.

PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

We started the session with absolutely nothing to do. So I put out some possible job opportunities.

The first was simple, the Magicians at Blackmoor U wanted someone to obtain non-Blackmoor gems as "control samples" for their magical experiments. They have a suspicion that gems from the area of Blackmoor may contain properties that would make them better magical ingredients than normal gems. Costs and expenses would be paid.

The second was an offer to expore some caverns that somehow tie in to the grumpy old man from prior encounters.

The third was to investigate rumors the Skandaharian Vikings may be on the move and check against a posible invasion.

The fourth was the annual Blackmoor Dungeon festival.

The party chose the first. Since Jacko had a Mirror of Mental Prowess, allowing him to scry nearly anyplace on the planet, then step through it as a portal. He decided to take this mission to the capital of the Empire.

Which capital of which empire? Doesn't matter, could be Thyatis, City State of the Invincible Overlord, City State of the World Emperor, (pick one). Does anyone see anything wrong with using the Mirror this way? (If you can scry it, you can go there.)

In any case Jacko made his trade for the Non-Blackmoor Gems, one of each type.

As is the wont of thieves to do, Jacko also sold off his Orb of Abyssal Death to whatever empire he was in. Empires having a penchant for collecting doomsday devices. Blackmoor wouldn't take it, said it was too evil and had to be destroyed. Then Jacko had a stroke of genius.

He asked to be paid a million in copper pieces. Non-plussed, the empire paid it out. Filling up his portable hole several times over (he had to make more than one trip).

Taking his haul back to Blackmoor, Jacko completed his mission and cashed in the copper for the going rate. Because Willis Enterprises, run by the lone survivor from module DA3, had cornered the local copper market developing his off world technology, and run up the price of copper to the same price as gold. In one fell swoop Jacko relieved the Blackmoor copper shortage and made the price of copper pieces normal again.

It also made Jacko a multimillionaire.

This created a leveling-up problem. Due to my warping of the standard leveling rules with the original First Fantasy Campaign Hobby Rule. The players had figured out they can level up consecutively if they simply abided by the Hobby requirements. This meant Jacko could concievably level up umpteen levels.

As we we're calculating the possible experience one of the other Players spoke up.

"No you can't."

"Why not?"

"You're a Dork Elf, that's why. You have a racial 15 level limit for your class."

"Okay, I'll just add another class at Level One."

"No you can't."

"Why not?"

"That's dual-classing, only Humans can do that." "Elves can multi-class, but only if all classes start at the beginning."

After some sifting through the GMs Guide, even letting Jacko's Player look through it. We found the Racial Level Restrictions section where it says in no uncertain terms this must be so. To quote: "Should you be faced with the above mentioned situation, inform the player that the situation he has gotten himself into is the result of poor planning and greed. (Maybe he'll think twice before salivating over all the advantages demi-humans have over humans.)"

However further reading provided a way out to use unusuable experience points. The Protege system. While Jacko still cannot advance, any further he can channel half his experience points into up to four proteges.

As I write Jacko has had a week to roll up any proteges and channel half his unused experience points for Tomorrow's session.

This also calls for reversion to standard rules.

1. No more First Fantasy Campaign hobby rule. (Players had a tendency to choose the Wealth, hobby.)

2. Experience for money gained reverts to HackMaster standard. That is, only one fifth of claimed treasure value can go to experience points, FURTHER MODIFIED by HackFactor. (in other words, It can be much less than a fifth, say in the instance of a 20th level Wizard killing a rich weak Orc, you may only get 1/20th the experience for gold value.)

3. Characters can only raise one level up at a time, extra experience is lost and the Character must train, unless they take the double experience training exemption. No going back.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
D'Vine - A Druid Intiate of the 8th Circle
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs:
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Six Icosahedrones. (27B-stroke-6 contractors)
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING CHARACTERS
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.




​​

--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

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Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Tracy's HackMoor 2017/10/19 Campaign Development and Leveling Up

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 00:28

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

This time we only had a large sausage pizza.

PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

Having rescued "some" (2 out of 3 ain't bad) of the previous characters taken prisoner several years ago the rescued characters had previously qualified to level-up so we took the time to do so.

Junkbot a multi-class Ranger/Cleric and was raised to a Level 6 under the Cleric aspect, a "Friar" in HackMaster nomenclature.

Fundisha is a multi-class Fighter/Infiltrator and was raised to a Level 4 under the Infiltrator aspect, a "Tout" in HackMaster nomenclature.

The leveling process is rather time consuming, but once done we took the time to discuss where the party wanted to go now? Or just wait for events to unfold.

We agreed upon some resolutions, which will lead the party down a certain direction. Adventures will be geared towards clues to the next step and will promote campaign development. But are yet unspecified.

Since campaign development may take some time it may still be up in the air if I'm ready to run it this week. I may settle on another board game.

Summary of the Characters are in part 2.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
D'Vine - A Druid Intiate of the 8th Circle
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs:
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Six Icosahedrones. (27B-stroke-6 contractors)
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING CHARACTERS
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

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Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Tracy's HackMoor - Placeholder

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 21:58

Games are on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

The adventuring party will either be looking for a new adventure or playing another board game.

Suggestions?

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

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Tracy's HackMoor 2017/10/08 Rescue From the City of Brass

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 03:31

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Once again last week's pizza we we had a Philly Steak with fresh Mozzarella (no other meats).

Because my Player's finished this session early, next session will be another board game night. I need time to plan player options. By the way, the previous board game was "Ticket To Ride". I may run this again on Thursday.

PART 1.

++++ SYNOPSIS ++++

Several years ago in Player time the characters Junkbot, Fundisha, and Gerry had been kidnapped by some Efreet (a type of Genie) who were, enacting revenge for an even earlier event some Player years before that. You may have seen the listed at the bottom of these summaries for as many years as they have been kidnapped.

The current adventure is the Party's attempt to rescue them.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

Having previously determined from the Hall of Transgressors, that prisoners are sent two only two places either into slavery with the Blood Cult, or cast into "The Rift", which is a tear in the elemental fabric of the Plane of Fire created during the Wars of Ice and Fire thousands of years ago.

[GM's note regarding the Wars of Ice and Fire, the City of Brass module was published in 2003 from material on hold since 1988, well before Game of Thrones became a TV series. Although I can see how the terminology crept in from the first published 1996 "Game of Thrones" during development.]

Since "The Rift" was 200 miles away and 400 miles long and 40 miles wide, the party opted to look in the Temple of the Blood Cult first.

So this put characters resuming play, acting innocent at the Temple of the Blood Cult, asking innocuous questions. Seeking more direct information, they were directed towards the Temple's "Information Booth". Where they found as with anything else in the City of Brass, anything can be had "for a price".

That price being anything of gold, platinum, or "better", (usually gems). Though barter works too. Since the City of Brass has a strict sales tax, barter is often easier. For a price untold, (I technically debited a Character's spreadsheet some gems, but I don't remember what gems I debited. It's all good.)

Anyway they found Fundisha was had become in fact one of the breeding slaves the Blood Cult uses to make Half Trolls. Her services could also be had, "for a price". Since she was the object of Huang's rescue attempt. He paid the appropriate fee and was directed to a second level room. Once there Huang found her shackled to the wall, barefoot and of course, pregnant.

It was about this time Jacko's character "remembered" he had a "Mirror of Mental Prowess" allowing him to to scry just about anywhere and transport to and thither. So, growing tired of "scrying" all the other slave rooms in the temple, Jacko returned to scrying the room with Huang and Fundisha and easily unshacked her and led them back through the Mirror.

One goal achieved, Fundisha rescued.

The second goal was to rescue Junkbot who having no useful breeding ability to create Half Trolls for the Blood Cult was cast into The Rift. Again using the mirror, this was rather easy. Fundisha knew Junkbot's mind, "scryed" his location and the Party went through the mirror and rescued him also.

The only doubt in my mind was as to what was Junkbot's situation upon rescue? As GM, I postulated three choices; a) he was dead, b) he had barely managed to survive, or c) he became a leader in The Rift and had grown a full blown army to rescue Fundisha on his own.

I chose "b". I elaborated a bit that Junkbot had managed to lay out an "SOS", among the rocks.

Well the Party, having rescued two out of three, used the Mirror again to travel back to Blackmoor, or Noob, or whatever they could recall. Alas for poor Gerry Castagere, the Party completely forgot about her. She'll have to carry on with the Blood Cult's Half Troll breeding program.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
D'Vine - A Druid Intiate of the 8th Circle
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Adept (a Ranger, Fighter subclass and Cleric).

NPCs:
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Six Icosahedrones. (27B-stroke-6 contractors)
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING CHARACTERS
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.




​​

--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

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Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Tracy's HackMoor 2017/09/21 Into the City of Brass

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 02:49

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Last week's pizza we we had a Philly Steak with fresh Mozzarella (no other meats).

Because Friday night is my month-end closing, Thursday's game will be a board game (I need my beauty sleep), depending on the number of Players: 5 or less: Ticket to Ride. (Rail Baron "light"); 6 even: Rail Baron (sudden death); 7 even: Old Civilization, (the only 7 player board game I can think of).

PART 1.

++++ SYNOPSIS ++++

Several years ago in Player time the characters Junkbot, Fundisha, and Gerry had been kidnapped by some Efreet (a type of Genie) who were, enacting revenge for an even earlier event some Player years before that. You may have seen the listed at the bottom of these summaries for as many years as they have been kidnapped.

The current adventure is the Party's attempt to rescue them.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

Before we restarted the battle with the Efreeti and the Fire Mammoths, we had to determine what was with that Silver Throne and its 666 gems nicked from that Demon Queen's throne room? Legend Lore and Identify were cast by a Weasel, (a semi-retired character in cahoots with Willis, the lone surviving alien from DA3, who runs Blackmoor's tech program. Weasel runs the business end of the operation.)

The "Legend Lore" spell came back with the following response from a higher plane of existence:

"It was the Demoness' effing throne, for crying out loud. She sat her magical ass on it for years. Go figure."

So much for Legend Lore, it has a tendency to answer either in riddles, cryptically. In the manner of an annoyed help desk operator, having to answer calls with, "Have you tried turning it off an on?"

An Identify spell was more helpful, it turned out the throne is a rare, even unique item called Demon Device Storage (or DDS), holding 666 Demons in each gem until released with a "License Key". The value of each gem determining the Type of Demon. There are 5 types of gems of different values. Oh and by the way it has a tendency to leak demons. Two of the gems have lost their luster, there are only 664 Demons trapped in it right now.

Of course since this "Identify Spell" was conducted retroactively before the attack of the two demons last session, it created a time anomaly that we glossed over by simply stating the above two gems were already spent.

Because Weasel who cast the Identify spell was also a paid shill for Blackmoor's Ministry of Defence, an shortly thereafter an offer was made for the throne for an untold sum out of the Royal coffers. It will probably be used as a doomsday device in case the Kingdom gets overrun, again. At least it will be kept out of the hands of the Egg of Coot, or the Empire. Weasel and Willis will be probably spend a lot of computing time trying to crack the License Key.

BACK TO THE BATTLE

In correction to last week's Poison Gas attack by the Icosahedron's on the Fire Trolls, instead of failing on all but one, it SUCCEEDED on all but one. This left the party to deal with only two Efreet and one Fire Troll that the party managed to barely defeat. I wouldn't say it was easy, the party took some damage. But the end result was that when the last Efreet was down to its last few breaths, Jacko tried to interrogate it to no success, and ended up killing his prisoner.

Disclaimer, apparently Efreeti are not as powerful on their home Plane of Fire as they are when encountered on the Prime Material Plane. Or maybe it is just SOME Efreeti that are less powerful?

This left the party to handle the suddenly sullen Fire Mammoths. They were merely standing over their dead riders, and if Fire Mammoths could cry, they would be shedding tears of lighter fluid. They party tried herding them to no avail. So before the Fire Trolls could regenerate, (the party did something about the Trolls but I forgot what), D'Vine cast a "Charm Mammal" spell on the Mammoth Alpha male and the party rode them in towards the city gate.

The way to the gate was actually a roundabout path and they had to go around a volcanic peak or two.

I won't go into the city's external description save that it should be as expected. Picture our characters in front of a Cecil B. DeMille mask of a city's massive series of brass metal walls on a mountainside and a huge gate with Fire Giants walking the battlements (because it was filmed out of proportion to the characters).

Once they arrived at the gate, they were hailed at some distance and asked with a deep booming echoing voice the following question:

WHAT HAVE WE HERE, THIEVES? OR DO YOU COME AS ALLIES, INVOKING THE ANCIENT AND HONORABLE 'HUMAN COMPACT'? SPEAK NOW OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES."

(Note 'Human Compact' is with single quotes, denoting it also applies to any humanoid other than Efreeti. Like the sarcasm when you lift up both hands and curl your fingers to show 'quotes' when speaking.)

The party replied (rather too quickly), "Sure!"

As the ponderous metallic gates slowly opened an Efreet, in very ornate clothes and a red cape came forth to inspect the party. He was also holding a clipboard. Looking them over he says, "Hail and well met, allies of Brass. I keep this gate. By the Tithe of the Compact, you may present your treasure as a token of respect. Once each of you have done so, you may go about the City. In the names of the Elders, speak not during this time. Thus is it written by the hands of those who have gone before."

The "Treasure" is 100 gold pieces (or equivalent) per character and 10 gold pieces per slave or retainer. (It was also displayed by the obvious sign on the front of the gate, additionally no credit cards accepted.)

Since Jacko took the lead in representing the party, he offered the equivalent of 100 for himself and 10 each for the rest of the party (treating them as slaves).

The Efreet took down each of their names, the date and time and wrote it down on the file in the clipboard. He added "I note since you are newbies here, you have 24 hours to present yourself and and invoke the Oath of the Compact at the Hall of Allegiances." He handed Jacko a brochure and walked back towards the gatehouse.

Again avoiding details, the party made it to the nearest Inn (and Stables for the Fire Mammoths). After checking in and examining the handout, the party learned that to take the oath at the "Hall of Allegiances", one has to bring two Efreeti as witnesses after which one has to be branded on the forehead with a symbol of his allegiance to Brass - a demonic hand gripping a large flaming broad sword. "Slaves" however are not branded but tattooed on an upper arm with a picture of a flaming serpent indicating their station.

Wishing to avoid branding or tattoos, Jacko hit upon the idea of getting temporary tattoos for everyone on their upper arm and masquerading as proper oath takers. I won't describe how it was done, but lets say it was discovered later to be technically outside game parameters but I let it slide. Tattoos obtained.

Next item on the agenda, the Player for Huang & Honda, took the lead in attempting to discover what happened to Junkbot and Fundisha, (conveniently forgetting about Gerry). After making some discreet inquiries (and re-reading the brochure), they learned that captured prisoners are always taken to the "Hall of Transgressors". From there they are either made slaves to the "Blood Cult or are cast into "The Rift" about 200 miles outside the city. The "Hall of Transgressors" is conveniently next to the "Hall of Allegiances", which is also conveniently next to the "Temple of the Enternal Flame" (a.k.a. Blood Cult HQ). Further researcj led them to the knowledge that the Blood Cult is one of the most influential organizations in the city. It must have been the ubiquitous "Blood Cult" adverts for recruiting and services in every page of the brochure. Not only does the cult have its own separate Army, it controls most of the Judiciary in the "Hall of Transgressors" and has developed a new breed of compliant slave known as "Half Trolls" (coincidentally but used for marketing purposes) at half-price for a regular Troll slave!

Presuming there was a 50/50 chance their targets of rescue were made slaves to the Blood Cult, the party then decided "Let's join the Blood Cult!"

Since they now had their faux tattoos, unchallenged (but I need to work on that), they made their way into the Temple as supplicants without even knowing the Blood Cult minimum entry requirements. (What's the worst that can happen? Will they not let us join?) In any case, once they got inside the common area of the Temple they didn't see any many slaves at first, only some of the advertised Half Trolls on an auction block. But after waiting around and acting like tourists looking at cultural icons and statuary (the place is open to the public during business hours,) there was the sounding of a bell, and a door opened on the mezzanine and a series of chained women were led through one door and out the other, many of them pregnant (and barefoot). They were all wearing red robes with white curved bonnets. (Yes, imagine your "Handmaid's Tale" right there, with Trolls.)

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
D'Vine - A Druid Intiate of the 8th Circle

NPCs:
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Six Icosahedrones. (27B-stroke-6 contractors)

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Adept (a Ranger, Fighter subclass and Cleric).
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus.
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

MISSING CHARACTERS
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN
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tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Tracy's HackMoor 2017/09/14 Into the Plane of Fire

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 02:00

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

This week's pizza was the usual staple of a Meat Lover's pizza with the Pepperoni out and Philly Steak added. Suggestions anyone?

PART 1.

++++ SYNOPSIS ++++

Several years ago in Player time the characters Junkbot, Fundisha, and Gerry had been kidnapped by some Efreet (a type of Genie) who were, enacting revenge for an even earlier event some Player years before that. You may have seen the listed at the bottom of these summaries for as many years as they have been kidnapped.

The current adventure is the Party's attempt to rescue them.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

A few more administrative matters regarding who bought what last week and where they are kept. Meaning I have to skip forward to the end of the session, because the Player for Jacko wanted to dispose of his prize of the Silver Throne and it's 666 embedded gemstones. Apparently the whole throne was detected as Magical and became difficult to dispose of. There is little Legend Lore nor Identify on it since it is unique.

However the remainder of the Player group had already left for the night, so we will revisit this at the beginning of the next session.

Back to the beginning of the session.

The Party had located itself In the town of Noob (thirty or forty miles southeast of the Regent of the Mines) and decided to head to the Mortuary and Crematorium where it was discovered in a previous session the crematorium's furnace was actually a gate to the Plane of Fire. Just before they made it to this Mortuary there appeared out of nowhere (poof) a Type I Demon and attacked the Party. As soon as they killed it off another Demon (albeit a Type II) also appeared out of nowhere and attacked the party. After some time they also killed it.

Then coming down the path toward the Mortuary they had yet another encounter.

D'Vine the Druid.

(I had pulled up a Retired character out of my hat.) Numrendir, Huang, & Honda exchanged greetings because they had worked together before. She came armed with a Scimitar and something strapped to her back that looked like a Techno-Weapon from the City of the Gods (module DA3).

Having carte blanche with no appointment neccessary, the Party went through the furnace door of the Mortuary.

They found themselves in a relatively hot dry barren landscape at about 120 degrees Fahreinheit. Everyone had prepared themselves with Rings of Fire Resistance, so they were not uncomfortable. And at least it was as they say, "a dry heat". Nearby there was a metal cadaver cart which led to a small perpetual flaming pit. This was apparently the true location for the city's "crematorium" that allowed for a furnace that required no fuel.

About one-hundred yards away down a path, the ground seemed to move and change color. It moved at a constant rate of .75 miles per hour compared to the ground next to it. Stepping upon it, the party noted it was stepping on what appeared to be metal made of ... (drum roll) "Brass". While it looked perfectly smooth, the party also notice it was pockmared here and there with bits of other terrain, such as pools of flame, or piles of dirt. It was also dusty, which may account for the dirt.

About 20 miles in the distance the party could see what appeared to be a city on a mountain. (Since the plane of fire is not a planet, there was no "horizon" per se, only the limit of distance they could see through varying stages of haze.)

And would you know it, where the party stepped on was a path, a road as it were leading toward the city. Clearly marked with double painted lines on the brass surface.

So the party moved on foot.

Several hours into the journey, they were approached by eight mounted riders on what appeared to be huge fur matted elephants (Fire Mammoths).

GM's Note: You'd think fur and large size would be an anomaly in this heat, but they're native to the plane so who knows? It's just a game.

The riders were two Efreeti and six Fire Trolls.

At first the riders attempted to negotiate, with a simple "Come with us or else."

The party chose "Else" and battle ensued.

Without going over the details highlights of the battle as follows:

Jacko still had contractual cooperation of the six extraplanar Icosahedrons by contract 27B/6 and attempted to use their poison gas attack. It failed on all but one.

One of the rider/mammoths attacked D'Vine and she took 49 points of damage and didn't blink an eyelash. (The rest the players took note that D'Vine was a convenient "meat shield"). She responded by pulling out her Techno Weapon (a.k.a. "Boom Stick") and blasted her opponent.

Grok attempted a Charm Person spell on the Efreet leader. This appeared to work well and the Efreet failed its saving throw. I was about to call the battle because the lea when it was remembered that the spell only works on humanoids man-sized or smaller.

It was getting late so I called the game for the night.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass) - Gone off to
D'Vine - the67

NPCs:
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Six Icosahedrones. (27B-stroke-6 contractors)

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Adept (a Ranger, Fighter subclass and Cleric).
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus.
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

MISSING CHARACTERS
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.




​​

--

Tracy Johnson
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Tracy's HackMoor 2017/09/07 Consolidated Since 2017/07/20

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 04:43

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

This is a consolidated report over several weeks. We did not do very much due to various illness, absences, and the fact is we are between adventures.

++++ START OF SESSION(S) ++++

The party started the next few sessions with administrative matters. Since it was the end of the adventure, they decided to cash in their chips (shares).

Jacko made a special mission back to the ruins of the Temple of Existential Evil to retrieve the Demoness' Silver Throne embedded with 666 gems of various varieties. Either the Orb of Abyssal Death still operated the elevator down to her throneroom, or the vertical shaft was still navigable. Jacko simply put it into his Portable Hole and departed.

For the remaining sums of treasure, they also consolidated their sums into Platinum and made deposits into the Bank of Blackmoor. Aerys put 25 percent of her sum into the local bank of Nulb, called "Your Money or Your Life".

Speaking of 'Nulb' the party also renamed the town 'Noob'.

Elefus retired back to his Monastery in the North. His followers had been missing him anyway. He took his pet Gargoyle (a convert) with him.

Vixine also cashed in her shares and retired. (The Player moved out of town, we only kept the character along because characters can't simply disappear for no reason and the character didn't die in an 'accident'.)

When Jacko made his deposit, he also produced a damaged "coin" that had micro-metallic filaments that the Players could only describe as being "Dwarf pubes". The cashier asked him to stand aside and "wait".

(This concluded one week, we skipped a week and picked this episode up the 2nd week.)

After waiting what seemed like two weeks without going to the restroom, Jacko was then "interviewed" by a black leather clad man also wearing a black leather hat. He could only be described as Englebert von Smallhausen from the old British TV series 'Allo 'Allo. The man only asked Jacko "where did you get that coin?" Which after a short explanation by Jacko, he was thanked "for your cooperation" and the interview was over. Answer: It was Numrendir who gave him that coin when at about the time Jack was first introduced. (Other Party members had similar coins given by Numrendir, but they didn't break.)

Aerys had concluded that he needed to go and retrieve the rest of his family while the party decided what to do. So she packed up and made an overland trip to Tharp via Noob. (I placed Nulb, err now Noob, just a few hexes Southeast of the Regent of the Mines for you Blackmoor fans.) But Aerys hadn't just left yet so...

The party was still thinking what to do next. However the Player for Huang and Honda had some unfinished business. His other characters Junkbot and Fundisha, had been kidnapped by some Efreet on their way to liberate the Duchy of Ten several adventures back. It goes back even further than that, as Junkbot and Fundisha (with other party members) had earlier defeated some Efreet that were allied with another character named Rahl. They had banished said Efreeti, so the Efreet waited the requisite 1001 days and came back to exact revenge. The Efreeti also kidnapped Gerry Castagere (from module DA4).

The Party (as it was back then) decided to put off the rescue of Junckbot, Fundisha, and Gerry from the Efreet because the liberation of the Duchy was more important. Now that the Party (as it is) no longer has any more pressing matters of state from Blackmoor, they're technially on sabattical and decided to effect their rescue.

The next question was, how does the Party get to where the Efreet had taken the Kidnappees? A casual study at the University of Blackmoor hinted towards the Efreet capital called the City of Brass on the Elemental Plane of Fire.

The Party also remembered (rather coincidentally and conveniently), that the Mortician at the town of Noob had a crematory furnace that never seemed to need any fuel. They decided to go back there and check it out.

Aerys was going that way anyhow so she came along.

Using land travel and just a fortnight later (Elefus and Jacko's ex-girlfriend were no longer with the party so they had to get used to overland travel again due to the lack of Teleportation spells), they arrived in Noob. They went straight for the Mortuary and waiving all appointments with the proprietor checked out his furnace. (They had been previously been awarded the key to the city for their past good deeds so they had carte blanche everywhere in Noob.) Since Jacko had magical protection due to his possession of the Orb of Abyssal Death, he entered the furnace and returned with a positive report that that there was more to the furnace than just fire, it was an active gate to another (and very hot) world.

The Party decided this must be an entryway to the Elemental Plane of Fire and decided to undertake (no pun intended) the journey. Aerys refused however, stipulating the dry heat would ruin her fairy wings in no time.

[For Game purposes this mean that Player's character was out of the rescue. I made Aerys' Player my Assistant for the duration.] For the record, that Player was going to take that journey to Tharp and back and relocate her family consiting of her house-huband and kids. Some kind of Mom she is, always running off risking her life in adventures. But she is the bread-winner after all.

[Another game week passes.]

Preparing to go to the Elemental Plane of FIre, the Party also went back to Blackmoor. They made sure everyone had appropriate foot-gear such as Red Dragonhide boots and also everyone purchased Rings of Fire Protection with their winnings. Even Jacko, (in case his Orb gave out). The Party then hired a Magic User to cast some Legend Lore spells, learning firstly, that all prisoners of the Efreet are (yes confirmed), taken to the City of Brass. Secondly, they are put on trial in the Hall of Transgressors if found guilty, they are either given to the Blood Cult as slaves or are cast into the Great Rift about 200 miles Southeast of the City. (The party presumes Junkbot and Fundisha were found guilty.)

Then the Party made it back to Noob, which is about a week after Aerys made it back from Tharp. Meanwhile she had settled in. While the Party was gone, Aerys bought up all the unowned and abandoned properties in Town seeing as there were so many townsfolk that had been taken to the Temple of Existential Evil and and disappeared there.

[Now I'm just waiting for the group to get it's act together and go.]

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass) - Gone off to

NPCs:
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Six Icosahedrones. (27B-stroke-6 contractors)

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Adept (a Ranger, Fighter subclass and Cleric).
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus.
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

MISSING CHARACTERS
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



​​

--

Tracy Johnson
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BT

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Volume 5: Assassin of Gor - What in tarn-ation?!

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 08:45

Immediately this one was better than Nomads, and thank goodness for that. This was reminiscent of the first two books, full of adventure and action. I really enjoyed the journey and the prose was pretty good this time.

There were some twists and turns in the story but nothing you don't see coming from a pasang away. I was moved by some of the conflicts the characters faced and got quite attached to some minor characters. There was one surprise I didn't expect, they certainly fooled me there.

The glimpse into the Gorean slave trade was interesting, especially the way they are trained. This book made the Gorean slavery lifestyle sound more appealling and less barbaric than in the other books. There wasn't really anything that made me cringe in this book, unlike in Nomads when some events made me feel queasy. The events that happened during kajuralia made me laugh, turnabout is fair play after all!

It felt like the story went at a good pace, with a lot more polish then 'Nomads'. I enjoyed the main characters persistence and courage and swashbuckling-ness.

I'm looking forward to reading Raiders, but I don't even know her!

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Running an Old Online Minicomputer Text Game

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 03:21

I'm willing to bet few, if any read my the URL for my byline. But Today is my once a year posting for one of the text based games that I manage. EMPIRE5.

Empire5 is regenerated once a year, and all you need is to do is Telnet to it. Once connected, enter HELLO PLAYER.EMPIRE5 and you're in. It will ask for your nation, (just make something up) and create a password. (You can also use PUTTY, but turn echo or duplex off. Control-H is backspace, and arrow keys don't work.) There are other versions of this game converted to Graphical Interfaces, but they don't always have the charm of plain ASCII Text. EX is for exit and logs you off.

As a text based game, any command can be prefixed by the word HELP and the command name. Of course the trick is knowing what the commands are. For that, enter COMMAND and you'll get a list. (There's a web page at the same URL so it shouldn't be too hard to find examples.)

The game lasts a year and accumulates time for each Island you occupy. With the year long game you get zero time points at the beginning. So once you've logged on you may have to wait a day or so to get any time points. (There are shorter games but I need to regenerate them. EMPIRE4, ..3, ..2, & ..1)

The picture shown is a typical Island. Unoccupied spaces are dashes, the letter D is a dock, M are Mining sectors, E produces Explosives, A produces Artillery, plus signs (+) are AIrports, the letter P produces aircraft. The quotes (") are occupied Mountains. Unoccupied mountains would be a caret (^). Blank spaces are water sectors. All these letters over time produce components to make a formidable forces to challenge other players. Occupied sectors all have civilians and military, although you can draft 100% of the civilians and convert them to military. However only civilians reproduce, military does not.

In Docks you can build various types of ships, Liners, Transports, Destroyers, Mine Layers, Cruisers, Battleships, Aircraft Carriers, Submarines and others. You can use these to colonize and invade other Islands.

The typical announcement for this game is as follows:

Full Length EMPIRE5 has been regenerated, it lasts 1 year and expires THU, AUG 23, 2018

High Scores for the previous game are posted at:

To connect, use Telnet or VT to: empire.openmpe.com

The log on command is HELLO PLAYER.EMPIRE5

Game parameters are:
- 999x999 sector grid
- 255 islands, starting island is random
- build and movement points accumulate every 60 minutes
- 0 starting time units
- ship movement is updated every 12 hours
- 255 Player limit
- Player identification is created on first log on
- Game is always open, no sign ups required
- Normal information hiding

This message generated by a batch job on the Empire machine.

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

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Tracy's HackMoor 2017/08/10 No HackMaster Last Night

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 16:47

Or any other game last night. I'm out of town.

To summarize this week's report, I had an excellent lunch on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood with an old friend and author at a French restaurant called the "Le Petit Four".

She had Steamed Fresh Mussels in a white sauce and I had the Spinach Quiche with mushrooms.

We both had Flan for dessert.

Tracy Johnson
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Tracy's HackMoor 2017/08/03 Divine Right Playtest

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 20:38

I'm doing a pre-publication demo of the latest edition of Divine Right at the Guns of August Convention at the Virginia War Museum August 25-27, 2017. 9285 Warwick Blvd. Newport News, Virginia 23607

Expect to run the game on the Saturday afternoon time slot (after lunch). Let's say, 1PM will run to the bitter end.

Since I'm running this demo, this night we did a small play test with my gaming group. There was one item worthy of note:

One guy had the Trolls. He had one ally with the personality that allows only one unit per set up space.

During the course of play he had stacked two units of Trolls with one unit of that ally. All of his other non-Troll stacks were one unit high.

He rolled the epidemic event.

In true rules lawyer fashion, we had an argument.

One player claimed the stack with the Trolls was the largest stack. Player has to loose the one non-Troll unit from THAT stack.

The other player claimed since the Trolls are immune, they don't count towards the largest stack. Therefore since all non-Troll stacks are one unit high, the one unit lost has to be at random.

I have a preliminary finding from the Divine RIght folks but can't say what it is right now.

Tracy Johnson
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[Book Review] The Moon Pool by A. Merritt ~Appendix N~

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 20:01

' Appendix N Readings

    The Moon Pool
    ~Abraham Merritt

I had trouble starting this book. The negative reviews kept turning me away. Usually they revolved around the book being dated because current knowledge ruined the plot and while it may have been good in an age of exploration, that time is over. I also struggled with the introduction and the first few pages.

Once I got into it however, those reviews seemed more and more like people who never read The Moon Pool. No current planetary knowledge nor cosmology or even quantum mechanics invalidate this tale.

A third of the way through the story turns. The tense tale from the start becomes something else entirely however the prose remains beautiful. The complexity of the tale rises and becomes more interesting despite having to remember which character is which.

Two-thirds of the way into this dynamic adventure it seems complete and as the reader I wonder why I would read any further. All is well. Then we're presented with another climax, and then another. It may seem elongated however near the end is bar none the best one on one battle of vengeance with such a riveting sequence that I started cheering and yelling at the book in joyous "No way!" type talk. It makes Liam Neeson look like a droopy eyed armless child and Chuck Norris one of the detached limp arms. That scene alone is worth the book but you need the build up as written to gain the effect. In fact this subtle build up to what can only be described as a true reckoning is a masterpiece all adventure writers should read.

What feels like 'true' climaxes end up being buildup to the actual climax and finale. Only in retrospect do you see the genius of Merritt's setup. It really had to be this way.

There is a final moment as the reader, where biting your lip, you know that in the end you will either cry triumphant and feel warmth in the cockles of your heart to sleep peacefully or you will fire the book across the room. Only by reading The Moon Pool in full will you know which.

Very minor spoiler in this paragraph. Merritt's protagonist sees something and states it's not the Bifrost Bridge of myth and then goes on to describe exactly what Bifrost is supposed to look like. Perhaps it was Merritt's way of saying that while one is myth, this bridge is real! Yet after all the fantastical things seen by the protagonist, he suddenly now can not accept the Bifrost Bridge? It struck me as odd, but I'm sure one can rationalize it; probably those complaining about Tycho (moon crater and inside joke).

This tale has in it one of my pet peeves usually seen in the Sword & Planet genre. Here is a fake quote as an example- "We passed some Dwarves holding a hand at their waist, maybe with a weapon hidden. Later I found out it was the Bludip which was used for..." It's when the storyteller explains how he found out all this stuff afterwards, but he is otherwise talking in the now. Now we walk up the slope, years later I found out the slope was named after a blah blah blah. Luckily, The Moon Pool only does this a few times, unlike say or .

Some of the descriptions are hard for me to visualize despite the vibrant writing as they describe things so foreign to my senses. Problematic is that I tend to skim through descriptions toward action however in this book I would go back and reread such things. His use of adjectives can occasionally be overwhelming and yet they fill the book with a unique charm.

One thing Merritt does well, is the chase scene. I was reading madly with eyes awide; word after word passing from my eyes into my ever increasingly stressed mind.

He also tends to describe things in action oriented sentences like, "the arch leaped a pit," describing a stationary object.

This isn't a book I read in one sitting. In fact I rarely read more than one chapter at a time. This was mostly due to the prose and wanting to bathe in it's beauty before moving on. I was brought to tears more than once just from the flow of Merrit's words.

In the end it seemed like too much story for one book, which is kind of odd to say as it's not an especially large tome and it's filled with extensive if alien descriptions, however the depth of story is remarkable.

I later found out that The Moon Pool was originally a short story and a separate sequel. This makes sense and it reads like two books combined. See what I did there? Look back six paragraphs.

It's easy to see why HP Lovecraft considered Merritt to be an influence on his work but Merritt combines other flavours of pulp, creepiness, fantasy, narration, purity and more in a unique way using his flowery eloquent prose that while occasionally makes your eyes glaze it ever more often instils powerful emotions.

The Moon Pool feels like it was written in the twenties but in my opinion is superior to other contemporaries and is an essential book for any authentic fantasy reader. This is after all a book from Appendix N; a list of books that influenced the 70s Dungeons & Dragons and all that follow.

Pulp meets Fantasy meets Sword and Sandal/Planet meets Lovecraft meets Tesla meets Disney (before Walt died) meets Gygax.

A bit of a slog at times but so very worthwhile. Public domain and available very cheap and even free!

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Tracy's HackMoor 07/20/2017 This Concludes Our Adventuring Season

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 04:20

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Tomorrow's game will be another board game. I got a pre-publication revision of the latest Divine Right game to play test. I'll also be running that as an official sanctioned demo at the Guns of August convention in Newport News Virginia on 25-27 August.

This is a two week report and I don't remember much. (Even though I have typed a lot of content). I have been tired lately. Probably overwork, I don't know. I took an online course at the local community college on network security. Maybe that's what did it. As an old timer I was rather a know-it-all, but it was a good refresher. A little bit of Python programming was included, it reminded me of good old BASIC without the line numbers while certain statements, functions, and libraries that would be verbose for me were assumed. I was disappointed because it wasn't FORTRAN/77. I ace'd the final at 100%, snark, snark. However it wasn't for credit since I took the course for free as a Virginia senior citizen in Audit mode.

I have not forgotten what the pizza was for the first session. It is just that I don't care. The 2nd session we got bumped out of our usual room so rather than take the upstairs suite on a hot day, (even though there was A/C I didn't trust it). We traversed town and gamed at my house. That day we had a conglomerate of fast foods, via Taco Bell and Burger King just to be different.

++++ START OF SESSION(S) ++++

The party made combat with the Grumpy Old Man and the Grand Demoness of the Dungeon.

There was a bit of betrayal from Jacko's demon girlfriend. When asked for data she simply started lying. One of the things I remember was Jacko and his Away Team (select characters) tried to sneak up from behind the curtain in the Grand Demoness' throne room, but there was an impenatrable wall of force. When asked if it could be penetrated she lied about it.

Next I remember she was asked to Teleport the Away Team to the other side of the barrier, but the group ended up in a nondescript room. She claimed not knowing what happened (spell malfunction). But the gamers finally got wind of her duplicity due to telltale signs from the GM and so they killed her off with the six Modron Icosahedones (known to the party as the form 27B-stroke-6 contractors), using their gas attack.

While she was down, Gnomex finished her off.

(If it matters only Jacko and his Away Team were witnesses.)

I can't really say if they "really" killed her or was she just putting on a good show of it. As a powerful demonness, her body upon "death" disappeard off the Prime Material Plane and ended up back on one of the Planes of the Abyss. Either way the party gets the points for her "defeat". Essentially her job was to get the Grumpy Old Man to this level. She did that by letting him shrink in size and hide somewhere. When previously asked to do some "detection" about the Grumpy Old Man, she lied about that too.

Mission accomplished.

Upon her reappearance in the Abyss I think she got a promotion and a medal.

Meanwhile back in the regular battle between the Grumpy Old Man the Grand Demoness and the rest of the Party. Elefus and others (not with Jacko) had been trapped with a Forcecage Spell. (Which is like the old Star Trek's Tholian Web but only a 20 foot diameter size.) Supposed to be like a Cube of Force but spells and weapons can be cast into and out of it.

Within the Forcecage was cast a Fireball, and a Lightning Bolt and maybe another high damage spells by the Grumpy Old Man. The end result on the Party's side, Huang's two remaining Monk followers, the two Mynxes, and Man-Bear-Pig were killed.

Otherwise during the battle there was a miracle of miracles. This kind of puts off all other details of the battle to the wayside.

Aerys flew up to the Grand Demoness and with an ultimate act of bravery, attacked her with a dagger (with the appropriate magic benefits otherwise the Demoness would be immune), and rolled a natural 20 on a 20 sided die.

A critical hit.

Gamewise we have a house rule, one can either roll the official HackMaster critical hit tables or use the House critical hit rules (which we call "Cheese Crits"), on a Cheese Crit, another natural 20 on a 20 sided die is a kill. (It slopes downhill from there.)

So while the Player for Aerys was pondering whether to use the official HackMaster rules or go for "Cheese".

The other Players were shouting "cheese, .. cheese, .. Cheese, .. CHEESE!"

He decided to go for the Cheese Crit, and rolled another 20.

This was of course instant death for the Grand Demoness, the Cause Celebre for this entire module. Of course being from the Abyssal Plane, like the lesser demon above she disappeared in a puff of an unfiltered pack of Pall Malls. Banished to the Abyss where she cannot enter the Prime Material Plane for 99 years (or is it 100? or 666?), whatever.

Meanwhile I was fishing for a GM card that would get her out of it. I couldn't find it. I knew I had it however, but found the card the following game session in this report.

Non-plussed, the Grumpy Old Man continued the fight. Elefus finally cast a Dispel Magic out of his Forcecage (3rd or 4th try I think). Meanwhile Jacko's Away Team figured out where they were and hoofed it back to the main battle. (They discovered they were merely in an adjacent room where the Jacko's dead ex-girlfriend had Teleported them to.)

Someone did something that caused the Grumpy Old Man to finally fail a saving throw and he was "Paralyzed". I think it was the 27B-stroke-6 Modron Icosahedron contractors. I'm sure the Players will remind me.

So the Party was about to deliver the Coup-de-Gras on the Old Man on the next round, and I declared the party still needed to roll for Initiative.

But he's "Paralyzed", said the gamers.

He still gets an "Initiative" roll, says I.

The party realizes there could still be mental things going on with the Old Man.

The Grumpy Old Man disappeared. (Just in case I was also armed with the GM card I couldn't find the week before, which was "Monster Emergency Teleport".) Didn't really need to use it, the Old Man had his own power, really.

Game over.

In the aftermath the Party collected any remaining loot and went up the Throne elevator (that only Jacko could operate with his Abyssal Orb). This is just game accounting and I may accrue it later.

About the same time the Grumpy Old Man would have recovered from his Paralysis, the party was upstairs on the Ground Level of the Evil Temple. The area was hit by an Earthquake, and the Temple started to crumple. Escaping through the broken stained glass window of the Temple as it was falling, the party made its way out of the area of effect. (Which of note was a 160 feet radius, hmmmm..)

Debriefing:

Elefus will retire. His presence as a high level Cleric was to shore up the Party. The Player had left long ago and now runs his own DC Superheroes game in another room. The same group of Players that bumped us out of our room the second session.

Who or what the Grumpy Old Man was, has never been determined. His lack of identity as well as the Grand Demoness that Aerys offed with the Cheese Crit (she had a name), I can only attribute this to Player lack of interest or carelessness in checking for story clues.

Whoever he was, the Grumpy Old Man had the hots for the Grand Demoness. She had been imprisoned and blocked from detection on the Dungeon's 3rd level by powerful spells and the Grumpy Old Man had been searching for her for years. Her death by Aerys' Critical Hit merely relocated her to the Abyssal Plane where the Grumpy Old Man can easily find her.

So you'd think the Grumpy Old Man would simply be grateful for her release? But like the lesser demonness killed by, she is now stuck on the Abyssal Plane for 'x' number of years.

So there is also this little bit of Her and the Grumpy Old Man wanting to dominate the World, well, that will have to be put off for the same number of 'x' years.

So it appears the Grumpy Old Man will be around for awhile to harass the Party.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

I expect the next HackMaster session the Party will be looking for something to do.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

PART 2.

CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass) - Gone off to

NPCs:
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Sum Dum Gai - Brother of the Winds (Monk, Fighter subclass). DECEASED.
Gangnam Bang Mi - Sister of the Winds (Monk, Fighter subclass). DECEASED.
Sum Ting Wong - SheMale Brother/Sister of the Mysteries (Monk, fighter subclass).
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Vixine Numar, a human Servant (a Chosen One, Cleric subclass). Recently raised a level.
A Dark Enchantress Demon. Grok's new girlfriend who folds her wings over her shoulders to look like a cloak. TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER PLANE OF EXISTENCE
A Madger, a half humanoid, half badger creature who made a deal to serve with the party. DECEASED (a.k.a. Man-Bear-Pig.)
Two Mynxes, half female humanoid, half cat. They can shape change either way. They went both ways. DECEASED
Six Icosahedrones. (27B-stroke-6 contractors)
One charmed Confusion Beast. WANDERED OFF (It got confused.)

MISSING or CAPTURED CHARACTERS (PCs or NPCs)
Gargoyle (Elefus henchperson, demoted from Sidekick, out of town on business, acting as courier to BlackMoor).
BlackMoor to check his Investment Account.
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Adept (a Ranger, Fighter subclass and Cleric).
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus.
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

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