lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Started the evening with Matt's wizard Sillius getting his draws from the Harrow deck of many things.  Not surprisingly (and with zero Harrow points of his own remaining) Matt went with the maximum four draws.  For which he got his own ants, his own paladin summoning sword, a level, the speed increase and three extra draws.  Leading to him being permanently blind, losing a level at night and the opportunity to trade his own life potential for magic items from a other-dimensional merchant.  So he aged himself two age categories  and got a headband to compensate for being blind and a belt to compensate for the stat loss of being older.

After that we began to explore the 4th level of the castle.  Well after Bill's cleric Terry healed the blindness of me and the witch.  Then to the exploring.  Led by Sillius in gaseous form using his limited range thoughtsense.  This led to a battle with a horned devil and a group of Red Mantis Assassins.  The devil dealt out some heavy damage early with a fireball and lightning bolt, receiving some return fire from Eric's Thrumm's holy arrows.  Only to then go down with a single critical hit from Frazier's Krogar.  After that the RMAs were just mopping up.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
This session we were down our archwizard as Matt had a previously planned baseball outing with his son.  But we ended up not getting into combat, so that worked out.  Instead we located the missing bones of the dead tiefling noble and returned with them to attic floor.  There new ghost buddy and old ghost guide combined their powers and haunted Harrow (not-Tarot) decks into a Harrow Deck of Many Things.  One where we could spend our Harrow points to cancel out a card and redraw.

For those not familiar with D&D's deck of many things, its basically random draws from a standard 54-card deck where each card has a different magical effect, some good and some bad.  So each of us choose to take the maximum four draws (with Matt getting the chance to choose when he returns next session), which if it weren't for those Harrow point cancels is just NUTS.  Even if I was the only one who pulled disaster cards that had to be avoided, the Idiot which would have drained 3 points from each of my mental stats and one that would have disintegrated me.  I ended up with a true & false vision to be determined later, something called the Theater to be revealed later, an engagement to a genie and a Redo any one choice my character has ever made.

Bill & Eric, among other things, both got the +1 level card.  Aaron ended up with Immunity to fire/Vulnrebility to Acid, +30 base movement (but 3 more forced deck draws), Automatic critical hit confirmation for him and when people crit against him, 4 pet giant ants and then I forget the rest.  Krogar the Fighter is more than a little double-plus bad-ass now; on top of where he was a 15-straight Fighter.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
We shuffled the schedule around since Frazer can't game next week.  So this week saw the group teleporting down to the dungeon level.  Where Matt experimented with scouting using the spell Vomit Twin.  Where the wizard vomit's up a kind of slime duplicate.  Only Matt would build a 15th level Wizard with a spell book with obscure Goblin spells.  But this led us to a trapped room that summoned some kind of evil other-planar Star Children beasties.  That blinded me and Ona the Witch and delivered some punishing Shining Ray attacks.  Bill's Terry the Cleric did manage to cover the group in communal protection from evil so at least they couldn't physically attack.

Eventually (and mostly thanks to Krogar and Thrumm) the Star Children were defeated and we learned that the entire room was basically pointless, though rewarding in the XP sense.  Next time hopefully we can find dem bones.  Which is hopefully a fetch quest that results in a safe resting point in the the castle.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
More of a prepatory session as we attempted to check off that missing priest bullet point before going after any of the Storm the Castle ones.  But we learned that said missing priest was probably in the castle as his sister is the evil trainer for the Grey Maidens.  So after some Keystone Cops style breaking and entering involving an alarmed door we checked our maps and our spell-load and headed for the roof of the castle.  Where exploring the uppermost level mostly what we found is the fire safety is shockingly poor.  I mean there are rooms storing skeins of whole, alcohol, a granary and oil soaked rags and deitrius all next to each other.  But no combat or encounters as yet.  Except for finding a hidden room with the ghostly remnant of the ex-king's tiefling half-brother who asked us to bring him his bones.  I'm guessing thats to set up a safe camp zone in the castle.  So next time we'll probably be 'porting down to the bottom dungeon level to try and find said bones.
lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Went on the roommate's extra guest membership again this year, the I only managed one of the days.  On Sunday I was just exhausted and fell back asleep in the morning.  A small pity, as I'd signed up for a session of Kobolds Ate My Baby! and to try out the board game Abyss.  But Saturday was good.  Played in the GURPS: Trollhunters ongoing again.  This time I was chipper, fanatical priestess of the God of Resurections.  I kind of picture her in a Mormon suit, biking around from dungeon to dungeon, knocking on doors.  Anyway, our group went to the ruins and encountered a band of orcs, led by a troll.  A sizable portion of the orcs were downed by the groups specialized archer, until she got knocked out by a more heavily armored orc.  In preparing for the approaching troll I attempted to boost the health of the dwarf barbarian only to suffer a critical miscast.  Which turned them into a giant naked dwarf.  They gamely tried to wrestle the troll but ended up at -66 hit points.  Still alive and walking at the end of the battle, but yeesh.  Despite several near deaths (including my priestess) the group was victorious and the characters will advance to whoever runs them next.

Later in the evening I got to play the Red Dragon Inn card game.  In that the players are adventurers relaxing at a tavern, spending their loot on booze.  Each player has an adventurer deck, i was Zot the Wizard.  Another player picked Pooky the Bunny, my familiar.  The goal is to force the other players out, either by making them pass out from a combination of damage and drunkeness or by losing all your money.  I managed to help push out the enchantress, the drunken monk, the time wizard, the fighter AND my familiar.  But the shaman managed to block several turns of my attacks on him while right on the edge and come from behind to win.
lurkerwithout: (gaming)
The original plan for this session was to investigate a missing high priest and possible ally.  Instead we learn about a black dragon flying over the city.  So we go to check on that instead.  Yep, big ol' black dragon.  With a rider who we identify as the leader of the Grey Maiden guards and a confidante of the queen.

In the ensuing fight they both fight very..well poorly.  The dragon lands and keeps moving around, not using full attacks, its breath weapon or spells.  And the fighter only attacks to subdue.  Still, with the dragon's high spell resistance, mirror images and armor class its still going slowly.  Eventually the dragon kicks off its rider and attempts to go full out.  But before it can go into full devastation mode Krogar finishes it off.  The lady fighter (Elona, Elena?) surrenders and so we disarm, blindfold and fly her invisibly back to our current base camp.  After some interrogation we learn more about the remaining major NPC baddies, some of the summoned devil support and some partial maps of the castle.  Plus Captain Ex-Girlfriend is willing to change sides, join the rebels and even testify (in whatever legal court the rebels plan on using) on the crimes of the queen.

So dragon bullet point marked off, Grey Maiden bullet point partially marked off and me and the witch get vials of dragon blood to try and blood transcription some new spells from.  And Terry the Cleric didn't even die!

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
We start with the duel against Triffaccir about to begin and the return of Matt's wizard and Eric's arcane archer.  After a few rounds with the rest of the group observiving Bill's cleric spots that Triffy isn't what he appears.  This leads to Sillius the wizard wandering over under an anti-magic shell.  Which is aggravating in that it suprresses all MY magic items and buffs, but does reveal that Triffy is a disguised efreet.  This quickly turns the duel into a mass combat with the efreet taking flight and unleashing mutliple scorching rays.  Eventually the evil genie is defeated by a mulitude of enchanted arrow strikes from Thrumm the A.A, spells from Terry the cleric and the witch and flying attacks by Terry's celestial dog mount and Krogar the Pig (given flight by me).  Sillius, the high level wizard, mostly tried to get the efreet to look at him and his symbol of stunning.  Of course getting hit by a half-dozen rays did mean Terry died before the end of the fight.  Of course at our level thats a pretty short term effect.

So the first of our Defeat the Queen goals was accomplished and I got some new blood to drink so I could learn scorching ray.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Despite being two players down, started back into the finale of the Crimson Crown.  This session saw my pirate, Bill's halfling cleric (with celestial dog pokemon) and Frazer's half-orc fighter (with witch girlfriend) tracking down the "hero" Tiramasu (Brendan: That's not his name!  Me: Don't care).  Taffamassoo (Brendan: Still not his name!) is running a false flag operation, using a hired gang to stir up trouble as "rebels" who he then drives off.  Then gives a heroic speech about the Queen and tosses money to the people.

We track down a trio of the thugs as they're out strong-arming and easily dispatch them.  And then interogate them at our new base (found by the two PCs who weren't there).  After that is a confrontation with the remaining dozen members of the gang.  One where someone is apparantly granting the "rebels" wishes.  But then Trifaccir (Brendan: His name is, oh no thats it) shows up (after Krogar has been turned into a pig) and challenges us to take him one-on-one.  So Fenyx steps up to fight the duel.  Which is where we end for the night.
lurkerwithout: (gaming)
And so we officially begin "Crown of Fangs", the final installment of the Curse of the Crimson Crown.  And everyone is back with their character's from the last module almost three years ago.  My pirate captain, the elven magus Fenyx Asher; Bill's halfling cleric of Shelyn, Terry (with celestial hound mount/follower); Frazer's fighter Krogar (with witch follower); Eric's arcane archer Thrumm and Matt back in the group with his wizard Sillius.  Following a not-so-short loot division and shopping we teleported back to Korvosa where Queen Ileosa's enthrallment to her hat continued.

The party met with the various NPCs/rebel leaders from the previous modules and got the general Sub-quests that needed to be compleated before charges could be brought against the Evil Queen, parliamentary style!  Anyway, next session should see us going after one of the items on that list, a new "hero" who has been taking down groups of fake rebels.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Finished up the final parts of "Snows of Summer".  Which mostly involved looting the tower (and the defeated witch from last session) and closing the winter-causing portal to Taldor.  Though the looting did lead to Brendan's Erasmus getting cursed twice, first by a trap and then by a ring he thought was a ring of regeneration but was not.  Luckily, Eric's mage had an arcane remove curse scroll for the first and we were able to get a divine version back in town for the second.  After that it was all bookkeeping and loot divvying.

Next session should be the return to Brendan's "Curse of the Crimson Throne" campaign and starting the final module "Crown of Fangs".  Which for me means finishing up a level 15 version of Fenyx Asher my Magus.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
And the group did press on without resting and confronted the slyph mistress of ravens.  And lo did swarms suck in the dealing of irritating amounts of damage.  But Eramus the Investigator was able to use his remaining flaming loogies and the aviary was cleansed and looted.  Then to the resting, cause the cleric's player hath dropped out for a time.  And so Eramus must now be the group healer.

Then to the final boss.  And the witch-boss' goat was smited.  As was the witch-boss.  And his summoned baby ice elementals.  And so next session will be the wrap up.  As well as the prep for the return to the roommate's Carrion Crown Crimson Throne campaign.
lurkerwithout: (Default)
January:
Short Fiction:  Seanan McGuire's My Last Name, Velveteen vs. the Retroactive Continuity & Velveteen Presents Jacqueline Claus vs. the Lost & Found; Stephen Leigh's the Atonement Tango

New Read:  Eric Flint/Griffen Barber's 1636: Mission to the Mughals
Chuck Wendig's Star Wars: Aftermath
Yuya Sato's Dendera: Old ladies vs. enviroment.  And a marauding bear.
Mira Grant's Parasite
Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl:  Coming of age/starting college for the fanfic writer set.
Douglas Hulick's Sworn in Steel
Foz Meadows' An Accident of Stars.  Teen travel to magical worlds now with PTSD.
Paula Goodlett/Gorg Hoff's Bartley's Man: "Ring of Fire" sidestory, specifically the Sewing Circle/OPM/Barbies bit.
Grady Hendrix' Horrorstor:  There should be an umlaut over that 3rd o.  Haunt at not-Ikea.
Evan Curie's Into the Black
Rachel Aaron's No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished

Rereads: Eric Flint's 1635: the Eastern Front, 1636: the Saxon Uprising & 1636: the Ottoman Onslaught

Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs:  Chris Hastings & Guhiru's the Unbelievable Gwenpool vol.1: Believe It
Stjepan Sejic's Sunstone vol.5:  Final volume of the best bdsm-lesbian-romance comic.
John Layman/Rob Guillory's Chew vol.12: Sour Grapes: More than a bit of a downer ending.  Not Ex Machina levels, but still.

Total: 18


February:
Short Fiction: Seanan McGuire's Lay of the Land & Velveteen vs. Recovery, Yoon Ha Lee's Extra Curricular Activities.

New Read:  Robin McKinley's Deerskin
Tim Pratt's Liar's Blade: Pathfinder tie-in novel.
David Drake's Death's Bright Day:  Latest "Lt. Leary".
April Daniel's Dreadnaught: Nemesis:  Cape fiction with trans-female lead.
T. Kingfisher's Summer in Orcus  YA magical quest from one of the best in the genre.
Ben Aaronovitch's the Hanging Tree:  Latest "Rivers of London" with visits the American & Russian magic heritages.
Becky Chambers' the Long Way to the Small, Angry Planet (I'm not crying you're crying shut up) & a Closed and Common Orbit
Daniel Jose Older's Battle Hill Bolero
Jasper Fforde's the Eye of Zoltar
Jack Weathford's the Secret History of the Mongol Queens:  Non-fiction history on the female Mongol leaders.

Rereads:  -

Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs:  Jennifer Doyle's Knights Errant
Tom Neely/Keenan Marshall Keller's the Humans vol.1: Humans For Life:  Planet of the Apes meets outlaw biker gangs

Total:14


March:
Short Fiction:  This was basically the "Neverless, She Persisted" theme Tor.com did.  With stories by Seanan McGuire, Kameron Hurley, Hyssa Wong, Carrie Vaughn, Chalie Jane Anders, Nisi Shawl, Brooke Bolander, Jo Walton, Amal El-Mohter, Catherynne M. Valente.

New Read:  Jo Walton's the Just City: Athena & Apollo attempt to create Plato's "perfect" Just City.  Shockingly the actual and the theoretical do not mesh perfectly.
Chuck Wendig's Invasive.  Sequel to the Zer0es.  With this second volume its very much supers type bad guy in an espionage/adventure setting.
Chuck Wendig's Atlanta Burns: the Hunt: 2nd of his YA white-trash pulp.  "Winter's Bone" meets Veronica Mars I guess.
RJ Ross' Coyote's Howl:  Latest "Cape High" book.
C.B. Lee's Not Your Sidekick: YA semi-dystopian with supers.
Seanan McGuire's Magic For Nothing:  Latest "InCryptid", with youngest sibling Antimony this time.
Patricia Brigg's Silence Fallen:  Latest "Mercy Thompson", with Mercy kidnapped to Europe 'cause vampire politics.  And the vamps are really the last interesting part of Brigg's urban fantasy series.
Jim Butcher/Kerrie L. Hughes' (ed) Shadowed Souls:  Urban fantasy anthology.
Louis McMaster Bujold's Mira's Last Dance
Anne Leckie's Ancillary Mercy
Matt Dunn's A Day at the Office
Clifford D. Simak's City
George R.R. Martin/Melinda Snodgrass' (ed) High Stakes:  This "Wild Cards" volume was actually a bit too dark even for me.  I'm looking forward to at least slightly more upbeat future books.


Rereads:  John Scalzi's Lock In & Redshirts
Douglas Adams' the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.  Rereading this I'm suddenly left with the feeling Adams just gave up around the final act.

Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs:  G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona/Tekeshi Miyezawa/Cameron Stewart's Ms. Marvel vol.6: Civil War II:  Carole is in an idjit, out-idioting Tony from the first one.
Gwenda Bond/Kate Leth's Girl Over Paris: Lady high-wire walker vs. ghost mystery.
Marguerite Bennett/Ming Doyle/Marguerite Sauvage/Laura Bragen's Bombshells vol.1: Enlisted
Kate Leth/Brittany Williams' Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! vol.2: Don't Stop Me-ow.  Now with teen mom/vampire Jubilee.
Tom King/Michael Walsh/Gabriel Walte/Mike Del Muado's Vision vol.2: Better Than a Beast
Jason Bulmahn's (et al) Pathfinder: Horror Adventures
Sandy Petersen's (et al) Call of Cthulhu: Keeper's Handbook

Total: 24

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
This session we were down a player, as Byron had to cancel. And since Bill didn't have a copy of his character no cleric. So Bill let us all have our level bumps without needing to rest and we continued onward thru the 2nd floor. Well first we interrogated the Fae bard we captured last session. Mostly getting general info on the higher ranking tower residents. The main one was away, searching for the Black Rider, aka the old dude who died and gave us sweet stat bumps. So the final boss looks to be a Witch of some kind plus a Slyph spymaster.

But before that, more level exploration. We ran into the guard captain, some kind of fighter/spell-caster in the library. Thanks to several poor attack rolls early in the fight, she became a bit of a threat thanks to getting an enlarge spell off while wielding a greatsword. But the numbers won out and down she went.

Then we explored the conservatory and fought a mandragora, a kind of plant monster. Where the roommate's investigator downed an Elixer of Fire Breath thinking it was a potionof fire breath. Which work differently in addition to one being a 1100gp magic item and the other a 150gp potion.

So after the fight, he's pushing that we don't rest at the start of the next session, but instead push on so he doesn't waste the remaining time on his temp ability to spit flaming loogies.
lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Before getting started on the "Orient Express" campaign we played a couple games of the Dresden Files Card Game. Basically a co-op board game adapted from the Fate System rules where you're attempting to solve on the books using an assortment of characters from the whole series. First we tried "Fool Moon" with Harry (one player always has to be Harry), Mouse, Sanya (me), Molly and Thomas. We lost, with it all coming down to a roll of six Fate dice.

The next time we tried "White Knight" with Harry, Karrin, Sanya (still me), Ramirez and Butters. Again it came down to single roll of six dice. And again we lost after a zero result.

Then we got back to CoC, with the same group of Wooster & Jeeves and my giant Hawai'in. This first session was basically set-up, with us arriving in London, some avoiding of Wooster's family and then attending a Challenger lecture on ghosts by our main contact. Then waiting to hear back from said contact about what we were going to be tasked with investigating. But before that, a mysterious fire and three dead men with the same name. So that is where we'll start next time.
lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Mostly just lots and lots of guards. Also a water elemental in a hot spring. And then we captured that fae-kin bard/evil herald from a few sessions back. And so the group leveled up to 4 at the end of the session. Of course finding someplace to rest and get the full effects of said leveling could be a bit tricky while in a relatively small tower dungeon.

Also hopefully this crosspost works...
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
On the trail to the Pale Tower goes the party.
And on that trail do they encounter a crow.
A magical, talking crow.
Neither Natural nor Planar, but Arcane is this crow.

And the crow doth try to pickpocket attack.
But fumble does the magic crow.
And so captured is the talking crow.
And then interogatted with truth spells he is.

Bargains are made with the crow.
Magical items are earned for his freedom.
And spying mirrors are given.
The wizard is happy with his magic brooch.

Off is sent the crow.
No more to steal from the party.
Instead he will pester the spy in the last town.
Goodbye new friend crow.


Oh and we got to the Tower and bluffed past the gate guards and then had to fight an ice troll.  Which left everyone less than 50xp from 4th level.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
Finished up the introductary practice mystery.  It was a crazy scientist all along.  He just wanted to show those fools at the institute the glory of the stars.  And his neighbors.  And anyone who wandered by.  And sure it led to some children vivisecting their father.  And maybe some mass graves came about.  But all for the glory and wonder of the stars.  Which spoke to him (and some others) in the voice of God.  Anyway we solved everything using violence and fire.  As one should.  Next stop, London.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
After a lengthy scheduling break, we're back to Creepy New England Academic Town.  And we investigate the mystery of Can We Find a Hotel Room?  No we can not.  Both the good and the cheap lodgings are sold out.  Why?  No one knows! (Obviously its Cultist Season and all the Cultists are in town).  We also learn that many local homes and farms are being foreclosed on for seemingly no reason.  So we end up essentially camping in the empty home of our missing professor aquaintince.  Though during the night my Hawai'in Dick sneaks off to check on the secretary and her creepy twins.  One of said twins was spotted washing their hands late at night in a creepy manner.  Sadly the basement window was too small for Max's overly large frame and my lockpicking skills are non-exsistant.

The next day we attempted to report our missing person to the local cops to no effect.  And checked with the grocery store where our deranged and doomed grocery clerk worked.  Minimal gains there as well.  We did notice an ongoing pattern of injury to eyes amongst the townsfolk.  After that we headed out to the farm owned by the local handyman who dragged off Kenny's body last time.  And had a bad reputation.  There we came upon some goons and what looked to be a mob digging a giant hole.  Violence ensued, with the goons drawing knives after mention was made of the rampant pink eye going about.  The mob seemed to be some kind of forced labor and fled the farm after the fight.  And interogation was attempted on the surviving goons but to no avail.  And then we searched the farm, finding a drawer full of assorted key rings, a barn full of cars and eventually a group of filled in giant holes.  Investigation of one revealing it was mass grave.  Leading to more shock and horror to poor, innocent Wooster.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
A quick getaway is not in the cards for the party.  Instead of sneaking away from the village, the party gets in a battle.  Luckily, its two seperate fights against the Queen's Guards and each is handled by the group.  And THEN the party leaves town for the Pale Tower.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
With the party now in Irrisen and traveling with the NPC mom to the doll-ghost exposition happens.  But before reaching the nearest village, a night-time Skulk ambush.  They tried to steal our horses and other stuffs but instead got death.   Taste moose fury Skulks!

Anyway, we reach the village and its an almost exact duplicate of the original village.  Strange mystical convergance?  Deadly conspiracy?  Paizo not wanting to pay for two distinct maps?  Who can say!

What with being in a town, loots were divied, supplies were purchased and low-end magical gear was dangled just out of our collective buying power to taunt us for not being evil.  Also Bryon's cleric may have tipped off the local informant that dangerous adventures were about.  So that the session ends with the group preparing to flee towards the capitol.

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