Saturday, November 26, 2022

Frontier Bulletin 24: The End of Cahn or Vampire vs Kaiju!


Laughing Fox, Shaman

Dogbreath, Fighter

Hellena Keller, Dwarf Machanist

Laurentius, Cleric

Boldvay, Magic User

Mark, Thief

Whiskey John, Explorer

Plus Boldvay's dog

After being forced to retreat twice, and at deadly costs, the players were taking no chances against the ancient vampire Cahn and his undead army. Some sessions back, the players had found the Black Eidolon and it's manual. The last session they befriended a family of storm giants, the Bunyans. With these turn of events in mind, they quickly formulated a plan. They decided to be back at the mines after sunrise, have Zappos the Wizard to summon and use the Black Eidolon to dig out the vampire horde, and finally get the Bunyans to pour down their holy water upon the hellish undead. Simple, right? Pretty much and it was executed nearly perfectly.

Flying with the giants in their castle Storm-Anvil, the players quickly arrived at the deadly mines as the sun was rising. Zappos began the hour long summoning process of the Black Eidolon. The players themselves prepared themselves. The Black Eidolon, which was just a foot tall black statue, grew into a gargantuan 300 ft tall, animated golem. With Zappos controlling the giant, eldritch weapon, it began to dig into the mine with its mighty hands. 

Soon, many of the vampires began falling from the eidolon's hands, landing into ash. The other undead, ghouls, wights, skeletons, etc., landed on the ground, crumpled and unmoving. Some of the older vampires (probably Cahn's daughters) tried to escape by flying away as giant bats, but were burned away by the sun. . While the eidolon was digging, the Bunyans let loose their pool of holy water to rain down upon the vile dark creatures and flooding the mines. Finally, a black stone coffin fell unto the ground. 

Before the party could get to it, a black, many eyed and tentacled eldricth horror from ancient times emerged from the now gaping pit: a Shoggoth! It grappled with the Black Eidolon who was forced to stop it's digging. Unfortunately for the tentacled, many eyed creature, it proved no match to the gargantuan stone giant. The shoggoth let out a high pitched, artificial sounding scream, and was soon torn apart and stomped on until it stopped moving. 

The players soon raced towards to the coffin. They pried it open to shine some light on Cahn. Clad in his black armor with red bat, he began to emerge while half burning away. Laughing Fox, in a moment of mad genius, covered his naked hand in garlic and punched Cahn in the face. Cahn flinched, but Laughing Fox was drained, again, of two levels. Sad!

Cahn soon succumbed to the rays of the sun, and now only ash lay within his black coffin. Lauerintius had the other pour some of the holy water inside the coffin, just to be sure. With the vampire menace destroyed, the party soon looted Cahn's treasure chambers. And a great haul was obtained! They found many spell scrolls (including Wish!), much coins and gems, and even some magical items, including a pair of Eagle Eyes. In Cahn's coffin, a Rod of Control Shoggoth was found. Zappos claimed this as his part of the loot, while the Bunyans took a share of the coins and gems. After all was said and done, the Bunyans bid their farewells and headed west, and players and Zappos set forth back to Pottsfort.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Frontier Bulletin 23: Stony Roosters & Dead Horses

Laughing Fox: Shaman, lvl 5

Helena Keller: Dwarf Machinist, lvl 4

Boldvay: Magic-User, lvl 4

Mark: Thief, lvl5

Whiskey: Explorer, lvl 2

The party kept their word and returned to the Power Station the next weekend. They left out on Friday but unlike their last trip, this one proved more eventful. That first night, they encountered a flock of 4 cockatrices who were flying towards the group's camp. Neither side were surprised, and fighting soon broke out. Spells were cast, including Holy Chant, Dispel Magic, Phantasmal force, and soon to follow, Spiritual Weapon. Arrows and bolts were launched as well. Mark used the opportunity to use the Horn of Blasting at the foul creatures. This, while proving very effective, scared off all the horses. Still, not long after, the party emerged victorious. Laughing Fox collected the bodies of the stony birds and the players decided to settle back in for the night and to search for the horses in the morning.

Early the next morning, a couple of the horses comes back to camp. The party soon leaves to search for the others. While most of the party stays in their wagon, Whiskey stays ahead of the group on foot, looking for tracks. They venture towards the northeast, and finally after some hours of searching, stumble upon horse tracks. They lead to a copse where they can see flying above a hippogriff with one of their horses clutched in it's claws. It soon drops the horse, and they hear a sickening wet crunch. The players then notice one of their other horses fleeing from the copse and is headed their way, with about six hippogriffs hot on it's trail. 

The players grabbed Whiskey and Laughing Fox decides to use the fleeing horse as a "snackrifice" so that the party can get away in their wagon. I ruled that each of the hippogriffs have a 33% to continue to focus on the poor horse instead of the party. Two of the hungry creatures made the roll and soon flew off with neighing horse. The horses tied to the wagon see and hear what happens to their equine companion and soon break morale and flee, taking the wagon with them. The remaining four hippogriffs soon chased after the now fleeing party in their wagon! Laughing Fox tried to cast a spell against the flying beasts, but I ruled that since the terrain was rough, he wouldn't have the focus needed to properly cast his spell. 

The wagon manages to stay ahead of the hippogriffs, but just barely. Many in the wagon use their missile weapons, which prove effective. Boldvay uses up another charge for his Staff of Wizardry and casts Fireball. This roasts and drops the pursuing bird horses. They finally reach back to their camp of the previous night, where they find two more of their horses waiting for them. Eventually, they make their way up to the Power Station where they are greeted by the welcoming dwarves. They also find that the Joe Bridger III has finished up the gunpowder. 

They stay the night and Laughing Fox, Joe, and Helena use the combine the bodies of the cockatrices with some of the gunpowder to make grenades that can explode and cause the targets to make a saving throw against petrification or be turned to stone. Nice. They head back the next day and on their way home, encounter a family of storm giants flying around in their cloud castle. I decided that these were the same storm giants that Urgag the Orc Chief (a patron player) encountered earlier in the week. He tried to recruit them but with them being Lawful, they told him to get on and leave them be. I also decided since they're lawful beings, the Bunyans (as Urgag called them) are also good Christian giants. 

They hailed the players and told them not to be afraid. They invited them to their cloud castle, Stormanvil. The giants treated the players well and took them back to Pottsfort. They even showed them their giant pool of holy water that they kept in case they ran into foul demonic or undead creatures during their travels. The players then asked them if they could help them with their vampire problem. The giants agreed, and decided to stay around Pottsfort for the following week. The rest of that story is soon to follow...

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Frontier Bulletin 22: Into the Deep

The Party:

Laughing Fox (Shaman)

Helena Keller (Dwarven Machinist)

Boldvay (Magic-User)

Mark (Thief)

Laurentius (Cleric)

Whiskey John (Explorer)



And Boldvay's various henchmen

Some months back, my first patron met his end. Duran Durin, the leader of the dwarves who settled in the western tail end of the Devil's Spine, and who established the dwarven keep dubbed the Power Station, went into a large underground, glowing chamber with a small band of about hundred dwarves to find what had killed the lone dwarf who went scouting said chamber. They clashed in battle against a tribe of albino orcs, and the dwarven survivors never made it back up top to their brethren. Soon after, a smaller force of dwarfs went into the chamber, only to never to return. You can listen more about this battle here

The morale of the remaining dwarves broke and many left. A good many went and stayed at Woodshome, the emerging boom town that has built up around Pottsfort Keep. They brought with them sad tidings. The players went up to investigate, but decided to not explore the cavern. They did give their word to the remaining dwarves that they would eventually go down and find out what happened to their leader. Also, with the help of Joe Bridger III, they began the process of making gunpowder. Finally, the players made good on their word, and returned to face whatever was in the Deep.

Despite the lack of dwarven patrols, the travel up to Power Station was uneventful. After checking in with the remaining dwarven force and on the progress of their gunpowder, the party headed down into the deep. One hundred feet down later, the found themselves in an extremely large, glowing cavern. They were surrounded by a small, greenish glowing jungle of large mushrooms, ferns, and tall grass. The party soon head south, the same direction that Duran went. Tracks were found, and they soon emerged out of the underground forest and into a vast open space. They could hear water rushing far to the east, but continued to follow the tracks. 

About forty yards out of the vegetation,  the players came across a decomposing dwarven body. It was partially eaten and the rest was slowly being consumed by a fungal growth. Laurentius cast Speak to the Dead to get information out of the corpse and asked it three questions:1) what killed him, 2) where was Durin's body, and 3) were there any orcs still living. A voice came out of the rotted mouth in response: "A black tentacled creature killed me,"Durin's body is laying in a field of corpses," and "I don't know."

Laughing Fox decided to ask his ancestors three questions of his own. The first was if there were more than ten orcs alive; they replied with 'no'. The second was if the creature that killed the dwarves supernatural. They replied with another 'no.' Finally, he asked if the party had the man power to kill the creature. This time the ancestors replied with a 'yes, but use caution.' The party continued to look for the remains of the mighty dwarven leader and to avenge his death.

Travel was slow, as the party was cautious as to what might be in the cave with them. Finally, they found the remains of a large battle. There were many corpses, including that of Duran Durin himself. Clasped in his rotting hands was the magical sword Dragon's Spite that he had found. Helena took the sword to give back to Duran's clan when, or if they made it back. 

Not long after that, the party came across the orc village made of stone. While exploring the ancient village, the party fought against some wondering fire beetles; these were soon dispatched. Once done, they faced the imposing, primeval temple located in the middle of the village. It's imposing bat and toad like features that were carved into the stone permeated an eldritch and weird vibe towards those that looked upon it. Before preceding, the party gathered in their battle formation, cracked opened the 20' stone doors, and sent in Laughing Fox's totem animal, the monkey, to scout ahead. While the monkey was scouting, Laurentius cast Bless on everyone. The monkey returned and told of a tentacled, inky black creature towards the back of the temple, near the alter. With this information, the party formed a battle plan against the eldritch creature. 

The party fully opened the ancient black doors and made their way into the blood covered chamber. Inside, the party went through a 30 ft hallway that led into a 60 ft square chamber. Along the walls, they viewed primeval frescos depicting blood sacrifices and weird rituals of humans and dinosaurs to the blasphemous alien god Tsathoggua. Near the altar, right where the monkey said it would be, was the squid-like creature that had killed the surviving dwarven army and forced the orcs to flee: the gloom crawler who was asleep on partially devoured and rotting bodies. Gaining surprise on the unwary creature, the party quickly enacted their plan. Boldvay cast Phantasmal Force to make the crawler think it was trapped inside the cage; Mark quickly blew from the Horn of Blasting to severely wound it; Laughing Fox cast the shaman's equivalent to the Bless spell to further give the party an edge; and the others let loose arrows and bolts into it's hulking body. Boldvay's spell was a success, and so was Mark's use of the magical horn, unfortunately, only Dog Breath managed to hit the creature with his arrow. Still, the battle didn't last long, as the crawler wasn't able to put up much of a fight and was quickly killed. Duran was avenged. 

After the gloom crawler's death, the players began to explore the small temple. The found another large stone door behind the altar covered in runes, but were unable to open it. They found five vases and a black chest under the altar and two side passages, one going east, the other west. They used the monkey to go down the trap door they found in the room that the eastern hall led to and not long after, he came back. He told of a tunnel about 600 yards that exited to a small dock on the western bank of a river. Down the western hall, the found another small room, but nothing of worth was found. The vases contained 200 ep each, Mark tried to open the chest, but failed to notice it was trapped. The trap, being a small needle, injected with a poison and he failed. Thankfully it wasn't fatal, and he only took six damage. 

With the chest now opened, and the players took a look to see what treasures were inside: various precious gems, two spell scrolls, two potions, an ancient elven cloak, and primitive hand axe that had magical aura about it. They quickly gathered their new finds, headed out of the evil temple, and went back up to the above levels of the Power Station. The remaining dwarves decided to let Helena keep Duran's sword and the party vowed to return the next week once the gun powder was complete.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Red Frontier Bestiary: Skinwalkers

Skinwalkers are a rare breed of skin changers. Like their werewolf counterparts, sorcery is used to turn the practitioner to a more animal like state. Unlike werewolfism and other forms of lycanthropy, the magic used for skin walkers is more ancient, more primal, and possibly tied to the Fae itself. Another difference between the two, is that while werewolves take on the characteristics of wolves, skin-walkers don't take on any certain characteristics of any known animal. Instead, their skin sheds and tears off very quickly as their limbs elongate and become more bulky. Their faces, along with their heads, elongate as well, but take on more a leathery, skull like appearance with long, needle-like teeth. Their short fur is the color of black ash, and their eyes become a glowing grey. Skinwalkers are also able to talk to their soon to be victims through telepathy. They can quickly move, including making long leaps. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that even children can be turned into skinwalkers, though a lesser version. And unlike lycanthropes, some skinwalkers, usually the head or older members of their "families" can cast some magic. While susceptible to holy water and silver (only in creature form), skinwalkers can be killed with normal weapons. No one knows the origins of these ancient, vile creatures, but many of the red men tribes have tales of skinwalkers that go back for centuries. Men, women, and even children that have wandered away from their tribe sometimes come back months later, changed, and ready to lead others into this dark path, or even feast on their flesh. Skinwalkers are not known to be solitary creatures. They usually form "families" either formed from actual families, or from various individuals of different tribes. Keep you settings in mind, especially on warm nights, and keep an ear out for strange voices when you're out in the Red Frontier. You know never know who or what is watching you, especially when you think you are alone. Though in the Red Frontier, you're never truly alone.

Skinwalker Stats:

Frequency: Rare

No. Appearing: 1-8

AC: 5-3

Move: 15"/18"

Hit Dice 4-6+2

%In Lair: 25%

Treasure Type: E

No. of Attacks: 2

Damage/Attack: 1-8/2-12 (1-6/2-8 for younger members)

Special Attacks: Older members and heads of families cast spells, usually Charm, Sleep, Hold Person

Special Defenses: Nil

Magical Resistance: Standard

Intelligence: Average-Exceptional

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Sizes: (In creature form) M-L

Psionic Ability: Telepathy


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Frontier Bulletin 21: A Trip to the Haunted Castle Part Two

Laurentius (Cleric)

Boldvay (Magic-User)

Mark (Thief)

Whiskey Jack (Explorer)

Plus Boldvay's various henchmen

Oh yeah! A second trip to the spooky castle! For this session, the party is joined by newcomer Whiskey Jack, a level one Explorer. Woo-hoo! The party arrives at Zappos's place and ask about any info he may have gotten from his snakeman prisoner. He replies that he did. The rest of the snakemen are low in number, maybe eight or so left, are lead by a snakeman wizard, and are indeed holed up in the northwest tower of the castle. The party pays Zappos to teleport them right outside of the castle and they soon began their way to find the vile serpentmen. 

Instead of making they're way through the courtyard and castle proper, the party heads to the castle's northwestern tower and decide to climb up and try to find and retrieve the Black Eidolon manual. Moving around the mote, they quickly found the tower they sought. Before scaling it, invisible was cast on the thief Mark who also carried a rock that had Silence cast upon it. He slowly made his way up to the western window on the second story and once inside, placed the rock down and attached his rope to the opened window and threw it down for the others to climb.

While they were taking their time to climb up, Mark saw that the room he emerged in contained four snakemen and what appeared to be human with a grayish pallor and adorned with many stiches sweeping the floor. Out of the four snakemen, the apparent leader, robed in a black cloak with various insignia and zodiac signs, was at a table containing various alchemical instruments and other equipment. He seemed to be preoccupied. The three other snakemen hadn't noticed Mark, but instead had their backs turned away from the window. Another table in the room had a glass dome over it with various magical items inside. The rest of the party finally made it through the window quietly and quickly surprised attack the snakemen. Their surprise was successful and soon all the snakemen were on the floor, dead. The other creature inside just watched as the players hewn the serpent folk down.

Laurentius realizes the creature is a sort of undead type and used turn undead on it. While he made the number he needed, it failed. The creature then tells the cleric that his turn ability has no effect on him as he is indeed alive, but made from various parts of different human corpses. He lets everyone know his name is Frank and that he's a patchwork of body parts brought back to life by the liche Aristide Malevol the Patrician, another member of the vile family that calls Castle Xyntillan home. He goes into the adjoining room and soon the party hears various clicks and buzzing. The glass dome on the table lifts and they plunders the table's contents. The items they recovered are: 1) a journal made of human skin, 2) a spell book with various level spells, 3) a gold and onyx sacrificial dagger, 4) a Ring of Spirits, and 5) a Staff of Commanding. Not bad at all.

Frank then reemerges and tells the group that the fowl liche has been away for some time, and during his absence, the Black Scale gang has moved in. He also tells them that he hasn't helped them much and has mostly stuck to his own business. Frank also let's them know that there isn't as many of the snakemen left. Next, the players move into the side room Frank just left only to find strange metal contraptions, with electric buzzing and humming. They soon left. After that, the party sees some stairs leading down and make their way to first floor with Frank in tow. Emerging out of the stairway, they see two snakemen throwing another one of their kind into what seems to be a pit of acid. Whiskey Jack charges the snake men, who being surprised, all manage to fall into the deadly acid. Unfortunately, the snakemen managed to splash some acid on Whiskey, who took some damage. They're quickly dispatched. After that, they dispose of the bodies by throwing them into the acid pits. Searching around the room, they see a large magical mirror and a pedestal with a black and eldritch tome. Frank clues them in that the liche uses it to go to different places and is usually gone for long lengths of time. 

Before leaving to go back to the teleportation spot, they get a bright idea to deal with the liche. Finding a rug in front of the mirror, the party moved it of over the acid pit, weighted down (or tied down, not quite sure which) each corner to where it was tight and level, placed the pedestal on the other side of the rug (with the book on top), and finally placed the mirror in front of the rug. This was done in hopes that one day the liche would return, climb out of the mirror, and walk onto the trapped rug, and finally fall into the acid pit as said rug collapsed. Here's a picture: 

After all that, they finally left the castle unharmed and returned to Pottsfort with treasure and Frank in tow. Frank was convinced by Laurentius to join the church, and the players, over the next few days of down time, quietly went back to the castle (with help of Zappos's magic mirror) and carefully retrieved the very expensive lab equipment from the second story of the laboratory tower.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Frontier Bulletin 20: A Trip to the Haunted Castel Part One

Laurentius (Cleric), plus his Henchman

Boldvay (Magic-User), his 3 Henchmen, and Slave

Mark (Thief), 2 War Dogs

So with only two players this session (one playing both Boldvay and Mark), and with not much else to do, our team decides to follow up the lead for the search of the Black Eidolon Manual. They sought the aid of Zappos to teleport them to the Castle Xyntillan, which is located on a hill in a swamp northwest of Rivertown. He happily obliged and and charges them the friend price of 350 gold for the whole group. They knew to expect a gang of snakemen, but didn't know what else might be waiting for them in the long deserted castle. Oh, and for this session and the next, I'll be putting Melan's excellent fun house module Castle Xyntillan to use. Also, check out his blog here.

"Wait!", I hear some of you shout. "The BROSR is against the use of modules!" This is mostly true. Most modules or "adventures" are nothing more than premade stories that are the antithesis of what D&D is about. Older modules, and some newer ones are simply that: modular. They're like legos, just something you can plug into your game with no fuss, no muss. Unfortunately, most DMs use models as a crutch, instead of not making their own adventures, dungeons, etc. Also, a lot of modules aren't playtested or are just crap. Castle Xyntillan on the other hand was playtested for two or three years, is totally modular and even comes with a local town the players can visit if you want to use that. It's also a "funhouse" type of dungeon, which is something I normally wouldn't care for, but this one caught my eye. I usually find them to be too silly, but I noticed that Xyntillan seemed to lean more into the Hammer gothic horror, which was a big seller for me. Plus, I bought this before I got into the BROSR and I figured, why not put it to use in my game?

So back to the session. Zappos teleports them into some bushes in front of the castle and the party begins their search. They begin by scouting around the mote of the decrepit keep, and finally take the main road into the structure. The adventurers find themselves in the courtyard and eventually head into the northern of the two ruined gate towers. Inside, they open the door that leads into a hallway. Making their way north, they find another door and before trying to open it, they put their ears to it and listen. On the other side they can hear two snakemen "talking" to one another. They head back a bit, grab a rock from the rubble, have Boldvay cast Silence on it, and hold on to it as they open the door (it was unlocked). They surprise the two snakemen, and quickly take them down. This room was another tower, the so-called Garden Tower. They quickly find another door on the right that lead back into a semi-secluded part of the courtyard. Walking around, they find rose vines growing along the path. It became obvious that flowers were trying to attach themselves to player in order to slow them down. (I read this wrong. In the book, it's the hands of rotting corpses that the rose plants feed off of that try to trip up players. Still though, it worked out.) Realizing what was happening, they set fire to the roses and the plants shrunk back to the wall. The party soon made their way to opposite door. Before trying the door, they looked through the window beside it and saw the inside of a hallway and not much else.

They door was neither locked nor trapped and the adventurers made their way safely into the hall. They soon heard sounds of heavy galloping on the other side of the wall to their north and east, and decided to go through the door in the middle right of the hall. The party make they're through a room with rotting banners, another with a violent whirlwind, and finally, a room just north of the one with the whirlwind. Inside they could hear a woman singing as she was putting up bloody linens to dry. Turning around, it was revealed that she was werewolf! Instead of the attacking her the party decided to parley with her. She responded in kind. They asked her about the snakemen and where they might be located within the giant keep. This seemed to aggravate her and she quickly let them know that the serpentmen were intruders here and have been causing problems. The wolf-lady told them that the snakemen were located in the very northwestern tower. She soon gave them directions to get there, to be careful of one of the undead members of the house and his monstrous menagerie in the north, and that she would also tell the two dream horses (the cause of the loud galloping) to settle down so that the group could get through.

They gave her their thanks as she led them back to the hallway with the dream horses. She yelled to the fantastic mares to stop and told the players that should hurry to get to the other side before the horses started again. Our adventures quickly made their way through the hall and noticed bloodied and torn corpses of snakemen and the two "horses": one a violent storm cloud, the other a burst of light. They made their way to the left door. Not long after, they caught six more snakemen unawares, and with surprise, three backstabs from the thief, and other attacks, quickly killed all but one of the vile serpentmen. not knowing the full numbers of the snakeman and thinking they might not be able to avoid the undead hunter, they decided to head back and leave the castle grounds. They managed to snake their way back through the various halls and chambers, and soon found the teleporter that lead back to Pottsfort. After returning, they told Zappos what they found, and left the snakeman there to be interrogated by the wily wizard.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Frontier Bulletin 19: The Devouring of the Twelve-Headed Hydra


Laughing Fox (Shaman) with his henchman Dogbreath

Laurentius (Cleric) along with two of his henchman

Hellena Kellar (Dwarf Mechanist)

It's been a month since the twelve-headed hydra laid waist to the Bloated Badger and forced Wirrow and his fellow hobbits off his land. Since then, Laughing Fox has put a plan together. Over the month, he's gathered a small army of giant catfish that he's kept in a small, manmade pond. He managed to gather 27 giant catfish. Laughing Fox's plan was when they confronted the hydra, he would release the giant catfish,, and hope they will get a surprise on the fowl beast and do enough damage that it would make the rest of the battle easier. The party also had planned to have Boldvay cast Paralysis from his Staff of Wizardry. Unfortunately Boldvay's player didn't make it for the session. The players were a bit nervous and thought about abandoning the plan to do something else. But their bravery prevailed and decided to help their friend Wirrow in his plight.

Before setting out, Laughing Fox asked his ancestors when the best time to attack the hydra, if it was hydra mating season, and where the hydra was nesting. There answers were: best to attack during the day, it wasn't mating season, and that it was nesting on land. With that said, the hired a boat (the very same that brought them back from Rivertown), put Hellena Kellar in the crab-mech they found, bought a lot of chum to lead the giant catfish, and finally set out. Their plan was to draw the hydra out, using themselves as bait, with Hellena Kellar waiting in the crab mech underwater to attack, and with the giant catfish waiting on the side to surprise the hydra. 

Arriving at the desolated river tavern, the party saw the wreckage the hydra wrought. They smelled something rotting and soon discovered pieces of Harley the river dragon stuck among the decimated settlement and along the bank. Various carrion birds were feasting on the remains, and floating debris of the Bloated Badger had made their home in the river itself. Cleaver, the sentient great axe the party found awhile back, swore an oath of vengeance upon the hydra. Laughing Fox and Laurentius both cast blessed on the party to even the odds, then the  players began to shout and draw the attention of the hydra. The twelve headed hydra swam out to meet the players in their boat. Before this, I decided on how to roll for the catfish army. Normally, due to it's size I would just divide the group in to two or three smaller groups and roll whatever dice for each group to keep things simple and fast. This time I gave the players an option: I could stick to that or roll for each single giant catfish. The group decided on the latter. Well, before that, the fish managed to surprise the hydra as it was making it's way to the players. With that, I then rolled 27 d20 to hit. 19 of the giant catfish succeeded.

They swarmed the unsuspecting hydra and with decent damage rolled for each hit (giant catfish have four bites that do 2d8 damage) the hydra went down. The players and the ship's crew looked aghast as the hydra struggled and was overwhelmed by the biting giant fish, and sank in a frothy maelstrom of blood and gore. Some of the crew even wretched at the site. I ruled that once their feeding was done, Laughing Fox would lose control of the fish and they would swim back into the river. With large sea-beast vanquished, the party went ashore to look through it's nest that it maid in the remains of the tavern. They found a mermaid statue maid of pure gold clasping a black pearl worth 5000 gp. The party also found four brilliant gems, four pieces of jewelry, and magical scale armor made of greenish-gold clams, and 10,000 gp. Finally, the greatest of the treasure was found: a pair of Gauntlets of Ogre Power. The party also brought back two of the hydra's heads.

They soon left and arrived back to Woodshome where the hobbits were hosting games for adventurers and warriors to kill the hydra. Wirrow, surprised at what the party accomplished, congratulated them and offered them half of the 10,000 gp to the ongoing games. After that, the players had some magic items identified, including some found from previous sessions. 

A couple of things. First, from here on out, the session reports will be called Frontier Bulletins. I wanted something more exciting than "session report" and had my players brainstorm for a better title. Second, the giant catfish army. Pretty powerful, right? Well, I allowed it for a couple of reasons. One, it was well thought out by Laughing Fox's player, and seemed reasonable. Plus it took over a month to gather said army. Second, with the use of animal control with his ring, keeping them fed, and separated from the rest of the river, seemed reasonable to me. I dig this out-of-the-box thinking that players can bring to the table and that D&D (or in this case ACKS) supports. It's an example of player skill vs character skill. And yes, it's on the meta side as the players all have access to the Core Rulebook and know all the monster stats. I don't have problem with this as I'd rather player with players who don't dumb themselves down. I'm running a game with actual, breathing, thinking human beings. Why should they have to play stupid? Playing stupid = poor player skill. Honestly, as long they don't look at my maps and non-existent notes, I really don't care. I think that the Alt-Right DM (may peace be upon him) says it best in these two posts

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Session 18: Meatball & The Hypnoblade


Laughing Fox - Shaman

Quirkus - Elven Spellsword 

With Mummy Rot contracted, Laurentius, Laughing Fox, and his henchman Dogbreath seek help curing their ailment. First they think of Brother Took, who and his knights reside in the keep that the party found the werewolves all the way back in session five. They also believe they could explore more of the ancient city around Crystal Lake once they're cured. Before setting out, they think that maybe the curious wizard Zappos could possibly cure them of their annoying curse. They go to him and seek his aid. Not expecting this, I decide to bust out the Tome of Adventure Design and see what I can randomly come up with. A few rolls later, I've got what I need! 

Zappos informs them that he does indeed have enough Remove Curse potions available to help them, but under the condition that they travel to Rivertown and bring back The Hypnoblade that he's loaned out to a mob boss named Meatball. Meatball has made his headquarters in an abandoned warehouse he's named the Pasta Bowl. He tells them to save time, he will let them use his magic mirror that will teleport them there and back again once they are finished. Zappos also informs them the last time he had dealings with Meatball, the man only had about three thugs working for him. Laughing Fox then contacts his ancestors and asks if they know anything about Meatball, what time would be best to obtain the magical dagger, and how many men Meatball has working for him. They respond with yes, that the party should go at night, and that he does have more than three thugs. With that, they head through the mirror to Rivertown.

Laurentius's player leaves his cleric behind with Zappos and takes his elf Quercus. They also bring with them five charmed black panthers, now dubbed the Jackson 5. They emerge from the portal at the front of the warehouse at night. They split into two groups, with Laughing Fox and his group exploring the east side of the building while Quercus takes the left. Before splitting up, they see a bloodied and wounded man emerge from the west side of the building mumbling about serpent men of the black scales. He soon expires. Laughing Fox takes the east side of the building, while Quirkus takes the west side. They make their way around to the back of the building and Quirkus with his elven abilities, soon finds a secret door. Before entering though, emerging from behind Laughing Fox, a group of Craymen try to attack the reunited party. While the craymen numbered seven, the our two heroes, along with their henchmen, made short work of the walking crustations. The party finds on the craymen four craygod idols made of electrum and thirty silver arrowheads, worth 100 silver each. They soon unlock and enter the secret door.

After they make their way in, the soon find dead bodies of Meatball's men and craymen. Looking around a bit more, they soon find a trap door that leads to a basement level. Inside they find a dead crayman killed by a trap and catch two serpent men and three craymen unawares as the look over the body of a very fat man. Before surprising the scaled folk and their henchmen, the party hears one of the serpent hiss out that "Master Skale wants the Black Eidolon found." The party gets the jump on their foes, and soon emerge victorious, with both snakemen and their (water)bugmen joining the dead. Looking over the dead human that the serpent men were examining, Laughing Fox realizes he matches the description given to them of Meatball. They find three black keys on his body.

Further exploration in the underground level soon reveals Meatball's office, along with three chests made of black oak and black iron. They use the keys they found and are successful in opening all three chests. What they find is an assortment of treasures: folders of blackmail, various gems of high quality, ten gold bars, the Hypno-blade, and what appears to be a footlong, primitively cut, statue of a man. They believe this to be the "Black Eidolon" the snakemen were looking for. Knowing that there's a bounty for the heads of the vile snakemen race, the two adventures take the heads of their downed foes and retreat back to where the were teleported to by Zappos's mirror. They arrive back in Zappos's store and tell them what happened. They turn over the blade and let the eccentric wizard look at the Black Eidolon. He believes this to be an ancient magical weapon that could cause catastrophic destruction but needs to find more information about the relic. Before leaving, Zappos cures our heroes and they soon turn in the serpent men heads to the lord commander for their bounty in which they recieve 1,000 gp for each head.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Session 17: Harley's Death and Wirrow's Trail of Tears

 Between session 16 and this one, Wirrow Warren's patron rolled some encounters for his small domain. He came up with a travelling level one fighter whose name I've forgotten, and a twelve headed hydra. Oh boy, it's a big un'! Over the weeks that the players travelled to and from Rivertown, Harley the river dragon they made friends with, was staying at Wirrow's before heading up river to the Old Bastard. Then the twelve headed hydra showed up. It gained surprise on the likeable river dragon, and in one round managed to tear the poor beast apart. It didn't spare the hobbits either as it then claimed the Bloated Badger as it's own. Wirrow and his hobbits fled to Woodshome and since then began selling whiskey out of the back of his wagons. He's also put a 10,000 gold bounty for the death of the hydra.

Finally returning from their trip to Rivertown, the players heard the sad news and began making plans. Laughing Fox, over the week back, managed to recruit a small army of giant catfish, and Boldvay hired a local "scout" to go and see what he could discover about the hydra in it's new domain. He never returned. After a bit, they decided to head back down to Crystal Lake and retrieve the crab mech. On their way there, they came across twelve mummies wondering to the side of the road. After a long battle, including the use of Web, Holy Word, and Holy Weapon, along with their magical weapons, the team managed to decimate the vile dust bags. But some of the party, including Laughing Fox, Dogbreath, and Laurentius contracted Mummy's Rot. That said, the began to follow the mummies' trail and by afternoon found their tomb.

Inside the tomb, they found twelve sarcophagi, an evil altar to the ancient being Yog-Sothoth, and four treasure chests. They managed to unlock three, one containing 6,000 electrum pieces, a second with eight ivory skulls worth a 1,000 gp each, and finally the last, which contained 7,000 gold pieces and a silver scepter with a bloodstone carved into the shape of Yog-Sothoth. They left and put the chests on the wagon and continued to spider lair with the crab mech. Reaching their, they retrieved the mech and began the march back to Woodshome. On their way back, the encountered two giant black widow spiders which were quickly dispatched and later, five black panthers. The panthers didn't attack and seemed curious or in awe with the crab mech that was being piloted by Hellena Keller. The group charmed the beasts and them and the panthers finally reached Woodshome and look for a cure for their Mummy Rot.

Total XP: 

4 Hench: 1,063 XP each 


(0%) = 4,251 XP 

(5%) = 4,464 XP 

(10%) = 4, 676 XP

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

Saturday, May 28, 2022

SESSION 13: Friday the 13th Mayhem!!!

The thirteenth official session on a Friday the 13th? Pretty damn cool man! So what happened? The players, along with Wirrow Warrens, decided to go back to the western mine and try to defeat Caln and his brood of vampires. They loaded up on garlic, holy water, silver weapons, and even managed to recruit some of the knights from both the Knights of Saint Jim the Pastor and the Knights of Chickfalar. Ten from each, along with each set being led by a ranking brother. Brother Took, a level 5 cleric for the Knights, and Paladin Michael for the Knights of Chickfalar. Wirrow brought thirty hobbits along for the ride. Over sixty in number once the players and their henchmen were counted. To keep things simple on my end, for each group of knights, and every ten hobbits, I simply counts as 1:10. Meaning I would only roll once for each group. To hit, saving throws, etc. Simple. After arriving, the plan was simple. Set some large mirrors along the main shaft to let the afternoon sun shine through, while keeping some of the party at the entrance to make sure nothing escaped, and to send most of the force down to the second level to draw Caln and his daughters, so they could possibly be killed with the sunlight. And with the large force. It didn't take long before everything went to hell.

They never made it to the second floor. Nearing the steps that led to the level below, the main force came across four wolves. These were easily dispatched, but did bite Brother Took. He was healed soon after. And then party began to hear children laughing and talking in the dark. The party realizes that they will now have to deal with vampire children. The two clerics are unable to turn the hell-children, but manage to make them cringe. Using their overwhelming numbers, the party grapple two of the children down and put a stake in their hearts and remove their heads. Due to the grizzly acts, I roll loyalty checks for the henchmen and the other npcs involved. Two of Laughing Fox's hench runs off. They chase the other two children down the hall, back into the fountain room from their first visit. Inside the see another vampire, this time a woman. She attacks, but it is forced into a cringing state from the holy symbols. Some of the party manages to grapple and dispatch the two children. The female vampire cries out. She's held down by some of the knights but she manages to charm them and get out of their grasp. Laurnetius's level one paladin hench is charmed, and was left behind. Ten of the hobbits are charmed as well.

Coming down the hall, the party's former, fallen companion Longshanks makes an appearance along with twenty skeletons. Most of the skeletons are either turned or are destroyed. But Brother Took is brought to near death from several of the skeleton attacks. While forced to stay put due to the holy symbols, Longshanks and the female vampire taunt the players. The party realizes they're in over their head and make their way back down to the entrance. 

While this going on, the remaining party at the entrance, including Boldvay, Mark Tarvar,  and one of Laurentius's hench, are confronted by a large force of undead and giant bats make their way down the main hall. Boldvay uses his staff of wizardry twice, each time a cone of cold is unleashed. He manages to destroy the evil force. About twenty skeletons, five wights, nine zombies, and three giant bats are destroyed.

As the party heads down, Longshanks summons three bat swarms that attack the party in the hall. Saving throws against Spells (swarms of bats can cause confusion) are made, and while some make it, others do not. Paladin Michael fails, and accidentally kills one of Laurenitus's henchman Weab Weabson. Down at the entrance, Boldvay casts passwall to help make a shortcut for the players and for the remaining sunlight to shine through. Wirrow failed his saving throw against the swarms of bats, but Laughing Fox once more comes to the hobbit's aid and grabs him as the rush down the hall. Many of the knights are left in the hallway. The survivors get back to the entrance and the two pursuing vampires are forced back due to the sunlight.

Out of a party total of sixty-seven, thirty-three made it out alive. And it could've been a lot worse. You see, after the first encounter with the vampire Caln, a wagon train of families that had managed to get off course made their way to the mine. Caln's daughters invited them in. And over the next few days, all forty-six succumbed to vampirism. And Cahn became a patron as well. So yeah, this could've have been really, really bad. I'm genuinely surprised as many made it out alive as it did. Great session!

Total XP:

(0%) = 795 XP

(5%) = 835 XP

(10%) = 875 XP

No treasure.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Session 12: Ruthless Bill on Trial!

Last session ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. Ruthless Bill had seemingly changed his ways and was hellbent on helping our adventurers kill the demon boar Trudge that had begun to terrorize the land. Even though they were successful, during celebrations Bill and his surviving men were drugged and chained. And soon the players made their way to Woodshome to turn Bill in and to collect their bounty. And Bill and his men would be place on trial and very well executed for their crimes. 

A week after the killing of Trudge, the trial was held and the public invited. Before we go further, it must be noted that during that week two groups of knights arrived in the area. The Order of Chickfalar, bearing a white rooster on a red field, whose mission is to serve God, feed the hungry, and bash heads in. The other knightly order is The Knights of Saint Jim the Pastor. The flag is black bible with the letters KJV embolden in gold and with a sword behind the Holy Book on a purple field. Both groups have come to seek the Old Bastard to cleanse the foul place, and to bring the Word of God to this part of the Red Frontier and to strike against whatever deviltry abodes here. Back to the trial at hand. Lord Commander Rogget presided over the trial as judge. Rotho Boon served as the prosecutor. And defending Bill was...let's see here...Berg Goldstien.

I'm sure Berg is reputable.

Before the trial started, Lord Commander Rogget informed Bill that at any time he could forgo the trial and opt for a trial by combat. Why? Well, Bill stood accused for the kidnapping, ransom, and torture of Byrne Drover, the son of the cattle rancher Bran Drover. He was rescued by the party awhile back. Unfortunately, neither survived the wrath of Trudge. And neither did any of Bran's men. And while the party manage to "get" information out of one Bill's men, he's dead too. So that pretty much left Laughing Fox's word against Bill (the other members from Byrne's rescue were unavailable for the trial). And with only his word to go on, despite Laughing Fox being a well respected member of the community, it might not prove to be enough to convict Bill or his men. Still, Bill decided to let the trial run it's course for the time being.

But Laughing Fox has a surprise witness against Bill. He had been in contact with Rotho about this "witness" and even had him protected in the local Chickasaw village in case any of Bill's remaining men on the outside came to pay a visit. So who is he? Rotho called Bill's own horse to testify against Bill! Shocking!!! The crowd was shocked! The cleric Brother Took, who served for the Knights of Jim the Pastor, was called up. He himself didn't know Bill, Laughing Fox, or of Bill's horse. He was asked to see if he could use his Speak to Animals spell. Brother Took obliged the court. After casting the spell, Took asked the horse if he indeed belonged to Bill. The horse answered yes. He then asked if was there when kidnapped the young boy Byrne and when Bill went back to terrorize Bran and his ranch. The horse neighed yay. The crowd was once more shocked!!!

Bill was outraged at this betrayal! He demanded a trial by combat! And he got it. So how was I going to pull this off? Simple. I ripped off The 13th Warrior. In it we have a scene where two men face each other in combat. Each has three wooden shields and a sword. Once an opponents shields are broken, he must be executed. This was going to be between Bill and Laughing Fox. Except Laughing Fox isn't much of a fighter. Instead, he let his friend Dogbreath take his place. ACKS has sundering rules about breaking shields with a forceful blow. Once a hit is made, the opponent must make a saving throw against paralysis. If he fails, his shield is broken. A pit was formed and Dogbreath and Ruthless Bill entered. Bill proved to be no slouch at fighting, neither did Dogbreath. Back and forth their strikes went. Sometimes hitting, sometimes missing. In the end, it came down to each having a single shield left. And then an arrow flew past Dogbreath's head! Bill's remaining men came to bust him out! 

Wait. What now?!?! During the week before Bill's trial word had reached his handful of men at their hideout. I decided to roll for their loyalty, to see if they would try to rescue Bill or abandon him. They proved loyal to a fault. The three men and four hobgoblins made themselves a plan. Once trial was underway, they would set fire to some of the buildings around Woodshome to make a diversion, and during the ensuing confusion, would swoop Bill and any of their companions up and head out away from the law. With smoke and fire burning through the town, and the crowd running in confusion and chaos, the three men and one of the hobs made their way to the pit to get Bill out. Bill declined and told them to surrender. They refused. Soon, they were engaged in combat with the party and some of the knights. Three were eventually killed and the other was commanded to surrender by Laughing Fox when he cast Commanding Word on him. 

Afterwards, the town was brought back to order, but not before eighty-five causalities were counted from the stampede of people trying to escape, with many dead, and several of the buildings, including that of Lady Sally's Red Lace & Pearl having being burnt down. The trial resumed. Bill, while admitting to not knowing anything about the rescue, took responsibility for what had happened. Lord Commander was thinking that a hanging was in order. Brother Took, at the last moment, decided to try and persuade Rogget in letting Bill and his men pay off their crimes by joining his order. Laughing Fox was for execution. The other players that were present, because they weren't their for the session where Byrne was rescued, were for Brother Took's option. I decided to do a charisma check, Bill's against Laughing Fox's. Bill won. So now Ruthless Bill is known as Punished Bill, until he will work off his crimes while in the Knights of Saint Jim the Pastor. God speed Punished Bill! 

Punished Bill

XP from the Three Bandits and One Hobgoblin:

(0%) = 7
(5%) = 8
(10%) = 9

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...