Thursday, June 30, 2022

Session 16: Crystal Lake and Stargates

With most of their main characters out of play for a bit, our players return with new PCs. They are: Dark Mark, Tethro Jull, Eric Cromson, along with Hellena Keller, and Laurentius returning. Not too worried about death, they set out to explore the unnamed lake on the southeaster part of the map. I told them that the lake is not named and whatever they come up with will be it's name from now on. They went with Crystal Lake. Because of course they did. Anyway, they take their time exploring, and I roll for an encounter for each hex, plus one for night as they bed down. They made slowly made their way down to the southern shore of the lake, following an ancient road.

Surprisingly, they only had one encounter during this exploration. They came across three giant black widows who were looking for some food. The food being the party. Needless to say, the spiders weren't a match for the party. Tethro and Eric go down to the bottom of the spider lair that they found, and were surprised and webbed by two of the spiders. While being webbed, they see five tunnels, each about five feet wide and ten feet tall. Tethro also hear the spiders laughing. The group up top uses their strength to pull them out of the webs and slowly made their way back up. Though they did manage to kill one PC and nearly killed another, Tethro Jull. He was bitten on his way down the spiders' lair, but charmed one of the spiders to help him. The spider brought him into one of the tunnels and dropped him into a glowing pool. He managed to heal his wounds. The other two spiders were killed by the other players up top. Tethro, being a bard, managed to convince the other spider to go back up top and help its friends. It followed through and was quickly killed.

Once all the spiders were killed, the remaining party went down and began to explore the spider lair. They found some loot, but also, down the hall with the healing pool, they found a manmade chamber. This chamber has two smaller chambers on each side. At the back of the chamber they see a large round disk with a silvery liquid surface. They explore a bit and find an astral map, some ancient books, and what appears to be ancient, small, crab-mech. After searching, Tethro jumps in the portal and disappears. 

The rest of party decides not to follow him in and instead leave out of the chamber and spider lair and come back next session for the mech. Tethro on the other hand found himself on a strange new world. He sees to his north jungles of a zircon color, the south a desert, west mountains, and the east, a ruined cityscape. Hovering above him, a red sun and two moons: one green with lines of fire webbed around it and a smaller red, cracked moon. No stargate though, just a large stone pad. He makes his way to the city. Tethro soon comes across a group of humans, three white and two green. He impresses them, and though he can't understand their language and vice versa, they lead him to a makeshift inn in the city. The rest of party had no other encounters on their way back. 


(0%) = 194 XP

(5%) = 204 XP

(10%) = 214 XP

Friday, June 10, 2022

Session 15: Down the Thundhr River

 Oh yeah! We finally have a river session! And a very eventful trip. So it takes a week by riverboat to get travel down the Thundhr River to get nearest piece of civilization, Rivertown. Glomm the Jeweler lets the party use his main riverboat for the trip. Because we use the 1:1 real time rule from OD&D and AD&D 1E, the players know that if they make the round trip back for this session, that their characters will be out of play for at least three weeks. They have no problem with this. Every day and night, I roll for an encounter. So by the time they get to Rivertown, they have a potential of fourteen encounters. On their trip down their, they only had three.

  1. The first encounter nearly spelled disaster for our group. I rolled on the random tables in the back of the book and came up with a dragon. Turns out it's a Sea Dragon (due to it being on a river). Not sure how to determine it's alignment, I rolled a d6. 1-2 would be Lawful, 3-4 Neutral, 5-6 Chaotic. I rolled a two. Disaster was averted and the dragon, named Harley, quickly let them know that he was friendly and was making his way up the river to find a place to lair (he's a juvenile). Harley even let the party know of a possible river pirate ambush a few miles down. They told him that he should stop by Wirrow Warrens before making his way into the underground mouth of the Thundhr, which is somewhere inside the Old Bastard. He thanked them and went on his way.
  2. The next night they encountered a lone cockatrice. While the foul bird was quickly dispatched, he did turn one of the crew into stone.
  3. The night before sailing into Rivertown, the party encountered Billy, a merchant making his way to Woodshome. His wares? Ivory tusks. The party was uninterested and sailed on by.

Finally at their destination, the party disembarked and made their way the recommended The Green Warthog Tavern & Inn. Their stay at Rivertown was a short one, only two days. While bar hopping, they did hear some juicy rumors including a kidnapped maiden, the local thieves' guild The Orange House, a gang called Billy's Boys, and a group of assassins called Red Fingers. Plus, they even did some gambling with some shady dwarves. They didn't encounter anything worth of note in bustling city and managed to pick up a couple of slaves. Slavery in The Red Frontier, at least in Lawful areas controlled by man, are overseen by the Church. Slaves can be bought, usually criminals, orphans, debtors, etc. but the buyer is put under a contract. After so many years, usually seven, the owner must let the slave go, or be able to join his master's house. Laughing Fox and the party arrive to the slave market dubbed The Helping Hand and bought three slaves. A criminal named Sharpeye, another criminal, this time one from the local military, and an orphan child. With their purchases complete, they head back up to the river. They purchased the services of the one eyed Captain Rowdy and his smaller riverboat (Glomm's boat was more the size of a small galley). Their seven day journey back proved to be more eventful. They had six encounters!

  1. The first night out, they were waylaid by five gnolls in a canoe. With Boldvay using the Horn of Blasting, they managed to kill most of the horrid creatures. The last one was soon finished. Unfortunately, Sharpeye was severely wounded. He was quickly restored in health. They only found 2,400 copper pieces among the gnoll corpses.
  2. The next night, they encountered another party making their way out of a smaller river that emptied into the Thundhr. Some of them were wounded, but were helped by the party. They told them that they had killed twenty lizardmen on their way out of the abandon castle that laid to the west. After the quick discourse, they soon went on their way.
  3. Two nights later, the came across a bank of swans floating in the river. They quickly flew off but not before the players thought that they saw swan maiden turn into a swan and fly off.
  4. A few nights later they came across a group of tiger beetles making their way to the boat. Using the Horn of Blasting once more, plus using old fashioned bows and arrows, the managed to destroy the water bugs. But the beetles took their toll and killed Laughing Fox's newly acquired slave, Sharpeye.
  5. Day 17, the party came across a small group of mermen. They were peaceful and traded with the party. They also gave the party some information about a large force of hill giants and neanderthals that arrived at a large lake in the east.
  6. On the morning right before their arrival at the Bloated Badger, they came across a five headed hydra. This was a long and tense battle, but the party pulled through, and managed to kill the river monster. 

So yeah, a very eventful trip. One that makes me wonder how many have run river crawls before. While there was no ship-to-ship combat (those river pirates never showed up) it was pretty easy to run. And very deadly yet very exciting. Great session and I'm looking forward to running more water based  adventures in the future!


(0%) = 160 XP

(5%) = 168 XP

(10%) = 176 XP

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Session 14: Short & Easy

 Like the title says, this one's gonna be short. Before the session started, some of the players had in mind in travelling down the river to Rivertown, in hopes of procuring slaves. That didn't happen. As the session started, they decided to head to the Old Bastard, as most of the players never have gotten a chance to venture in those dark and horrid depths. Some minutes later, their minds were changed again. Sort of. Instead of going and plumbing the levels of the megadungeon, they decided to travel the wilderness around the Old Bastard, in hopes of finding forces of the orc and ogre faction that now resided in that hellhole. With the help of five knights from each knightly brotherhood, the players made their way to the northeast corner of the map in hopes of picking off as many of green and ugly bastards that they could. Like Rambo taking out enemies one by one. 

Their first day, and nearly at the perilous ancient keep, they came across a small patrol of three orcs and one ogre. The party managed to get the surprise on them. Keeping some of the knights on horse back to charge if need be, while the rest with short bows, they quickly terminated the horrible vermin. The party then decided to march forth along the trail their vanquished foes used for patrol and soon came up with the idea of  finding either a dugout or a hollow to hide in, and surprise the next band of orcs that would eventually come their way. After awhile, no one showed and the group decided to rest for the night. Nothing troubled them.

The day after, they decided to carry out with the same plan, but this time, move further down southeast on the trail. And they were in luck. Making their way to the party, unawares, were six orcs and seventeen ogres. Despite the large numbers, the party stuck with their plan, except in one way: to let the magic-user Boldvay to try take as many of opposing force out with his Staff of Wizardry. Specifically using the spell Lighting Bolt. And use his staff he did! Boldvay let loose a terrible bolt of lightning upon the unexpecting patrol and managed to roast many alive. Now he was down with six charges left. Not all were electrocuted, and the rest of the party, including the knights, finished the stragglers off. Then they loot the corpses.

And what a haul! Thousands of silver pieces and electrum were found. And some gems too! But most of all was a magical axe. But not any normal magical axe. No siree. In ACKS (as in with D&D), each magical weapon has a chance to be sentient...if you make the roll. And that roll was made! The party soon became acquainted with Neptune's Cleaver, a lawful good and very talkative great axe. He let them know (with a booming voice like that of Brian Blessed) that he was found by a minotaur who quickly lost it to an ogre. Being lawful, he would never made himself helpful to the foul beast, and is thankful for the party for finding him. They asked about the forces inside of the Old Bastard, and the axe told them everything he knew. He believed, with the recent deaths of the two patrols, that Urgag has lost about half of his Ogre force and was down a good bit on the orcs as well. Plus he let them know of his other allies within the dungeon. The players decided to head back to town.

Back there, they quickly found out about Woodshome new resident, Zappos the Legendary! Whose that? The local, possibly magic-user ( or conman) who was more than willing to identify some magic items the group had laying out. He managed to use a magical tome that looked suspiciously like that of the ACKS core rulebook to help identify the items. Weird. Anyway, that's about it. Like I said, it was a short, but eventful session!


(0%) = 622 XP

(5%) = 653 XP

(10%) = 684 XP

Happenings and Going Ons in the Red Frontier Part 2

These events took place during August thru October of 2022 While the Urgak and Wier were preparing to fight against the forces of Law, the p...