Category Archives: Games

D&D5e "Vanished Lands" F2F nautical Session 41.6 — The Bronze Storm

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.6 of our face-to-face D&D5e game, which Drew S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 27 July 2015:

In one ancient world, there was a place where strange majicks and demihuman racesthrived. The “Vanished Lands” were blessed by the gods and cursed by prophecy. Travelers became adventurers, and adventurers strove to be heroes in the face of many perils and wonders.

Sometime after a group of former circus performers wandered aboard the airship Zephyr and a team of diplomatic escorts fought chaos in Tong Sheng, past heroes reunited, and another band gathered on the Sea of Nagendwa….

Initial Player Character roster for Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” nautical campaign, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, as of summer 2015:

  • Kamar Alazar [Beruk A.]-male Suthern human swashbuckler (proto-Arabic Bard) and former member of the “Liberators” and “Dragonslayers”; CG, Lvl. 2
  • Nuriel Earendil [Brian W.]-male Grey Elf acolyte of light (Cleric of Corellan Larethian); NG, Lvl. 2
  • Cassy Keelnipper [Sara F./absent]-female Otter-kin Rogue, street urchin, and sailor; NG, Lvl. 2
  • Kaelen Northsea [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf scout (Sylvan/Saganim Ranger), seeking his father; NG, Lvl. 2
  • Eldamir Tempestborn [Rich C.G.]-male Atlantean human soldier (Theran/Minoan Barbarian), tattooed member of the Order of the Kingfisher, specialist in the net and trident; CG, Lvl. 2
  • Barret [Drew S.]-male Minotaur wrestler and gladiator (Fighter) with a crossbow; LG, Lvl. 2
  • Puliarus Aearion [Charles S.]-male Half-Elf sage (Thalassaquendi storm Sorcerer), seeking to befriend all; CN, Lvl. 2

Backup characters:

  • “Ludovico ‘Ludo’ Rosso” [Beruk A.]-male human ex-gladiator (Monk; see Bruce K.’s Pathfinder: Eberron/Reign of Winter); LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Brian W.]-male Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human Fighter, pragmatist; LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Sara F.]-female ?; NG, Lvl. 1
  • “Drogan” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Orc (Saganim) Barbarian, with a great sword; CN, Lvl. 1
  • Sebastian Leafsworn [Rich C.G.]-male Sylvan Elf Monk and sage, with forbidden lore; LG, Lvl. 1
  • “Vasco” [Drew S.]-male clockwork butler (Warforged), former member of the Zephyr ’s crew, displaced in time and space; LN, Lvl. 1
  • Antoun Miner [Charles S.]-male Hill Dwarf Druid, healer curious about the sea; TN, Lvl. 1

“9 to 12 October 1227 B.C.E.:” An away team from the H.M.S. Dauntless got reinforcements and defeated 10 Merrow raiders. The explorers talked with the former refugees in Novo Cidade and continued patrolling the Saganim coast. They then saw a woman riding alone. Esmeralda invited a few of the men to her cottage and turned out to be a Sea Hag who was quickly defeated.

Back aboard the Dauntless, Kamar gets a light crossbow from Barret, which gives him an excuse to chat with Alitasse Vorwende, the Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elf) purser, to ask for bolts.

Nuriel takes his leave from Brother Egil and visits Halfling chef Bungo Longtoes in the galley. Cassy also stays below decks as the dromond is tossed on the Sea of Nagendwa.

Kaelen sees a storm approaching and helps Cmdr. Perry Maxwell and the rest of the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human crew batten down the hatches. Eldamir and Puliarus welcome the wild weather, while Barret removes his armor for safekeeping.

Autumn winds and rain lash the deck, but Atlantean human Eldamir and storm Sorcerer Puliarus view it as an expression of the Sea Lords. Kamar checks on Cassy and Nuriel, who has quaffed a strong cordial.

Kaelen checks with Lt. Vitalis Durand, the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human navigator. Barret helps the sailors on the oars. After several tense hours, the warship manages to ride out the storm.

Capt. Sheridan Driscoll learns that they have been blown off-course eastward, and he orders Lt. Durand to correct it in the morning. The captain also gives his crew extra time to rest.

As the Dauntless approaches the Saganim port of Sileran, another naval vessel moves to intercept it. It unfurls a flag with a stylized white horse on a green field beneath a blue sky. The H.M.S. Brave Duchess sails alongside, and Capt. Magnus Johnson asks to come aboard. Capt. Driscoll welcomes his peer.

The adventurers squeeze into the map room to listen to the captains’ discussion. They report on the shores between Drunstimlos and Sileran, including the settlement at Novo Cidade.

Capt. Johnson isn’t overly surprised to learn about the Merrows (aquatic Ogres) and Sea Hag from the Blood Current, and he agrees to relay the villagers’ resettlement request to Thadenis, the capital. The blond officer also warns of humanoid corsairs from the Bay of Ethalgo.

In addition, Capt. Johnson mentions the status of the kingdom of Saganim’s neighbors, from the Halmed Desert to the Plains of Sathendo. In return, Capt. Driscoll agrees to continue patrolling and to return to the town of Drunstimlos.

The Saganim ships part ways before curious Kaelen and Barret have a chance to explore the cog Brave Duchess. Capt. Driscoll orders Lt. Durand and his crew to set course back north.

Medieval cog

Warship

Sometime later, Puliarus and Cassy are out for their regular swim when Puliarus notices someone else in the water with them. The Half-Elf and Otter-kin discreetly return to the Dauntless, and Kaelen borrows a spyglass to look. He spots a shark man, also known as a Sahuagin or Samebito.

From the crow’s nest, Nuriel sees another ship approaching. A fast four-masted schooner unfurls a red flag with a white cutlass. Kamar recognizes the colors as those of the Bronze Storm, a pirate ship captained by one Henry “the Ghost” Grayson.

Capt. Driscoll waits as the ships close the distance between them, even as the crew and mercenaries grow anxious. When Capt. Grayson demands surrender, Capt. Driscoll orders battle stations before potential reinforcements arrive.

Kaelen readies his bow in the forecastle, and Puliarus gets ready to dive. Nuriel stays behind Barret port side amidships, while Eldamir prepares to dive from the stern. Kamar waits by the tiller, and Cassy serves with damage control below deck.

Puliarus and Eldamir take to the water as the ships continue closing. The Sahuagin swims toward Eldamir. Kaelen aims at the man at the Bronze Storm ’s wheel, presumably “the Ghost.”

Puliarus stealthily swims toward the pirate ship, while Barret helps Saganim sailors load ballistae. Kamar casts True Strike as he watches people loading a trebuchet on the Bronze Storm. Nuriel waits for his light crossbow to come into range.

The Sahuagin stabs a spear at Eldamir, who makes a reckless attack with his net. A Gnome artillerist orders the trebuchet to fire, and balls of flaming pitch kill two men, Vargas and Reilly. The Dauntless’ forecastle also catches fire.

Ranger Kaelen fires arrows at Capt. Grayson, as do other Saganim archers. Puliarus casts Fire Bolt at the enemy’s mainsail, and Fighter Barret hits the Gnome, Neil Bruton. Bard Kamar offers Eldamir an Inspiring Word [to the tune of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”].

Rogue Cassy and others fight the fire, and a few of Cleric Nuriel’s quarrels find their mark. Cmdr. Maxwell notices that the Dauntless has drifted dangerously close to being broken in half by the Bronze Storm, and he orders Lt. Durand and the oarsmen to make a quick course correction.

Beneath the waves, the Sahuagin breaks free of Eldamir’s net and claws at the Barbarian. Pirate snipers hit Barret, Kamar, and Kaelen with arrows, but some of them are distracted extinguishing Puliarus’ flames.

Eldamir eventually skewers the Sahuagin with his trident, and Half-Elf Kaelen sets his Hunter’s Mark on “the Ghost.” After a few misses, the Dauntless’ archers and ballistae begin hitting their targets.

Sorcerer Puliarus creates a Fog Cloud on the enemy tiller, making it harder for theBronze Storm to steer, even if it also provides cover to Capt. Grayson.

Barret kills one of the people loading the trebuchet with a heavy bolt, as Suthern (proto-Arabic) human Kamar casts another True Strike. Sharks swim toward the slain Sahuagin.

Arrows from the Bronze Storm strike Barret and Kaelen, but the next volleys from its Bruton’s trebuchet miss the Dauntless. Eldamir swims toward the pirate ship and jams his trident into its rudder. Kaelen shoots the Gnome, killing him, as Puliarus casts more Fire Bolts and Magic Missiles at the sails.

As the ships get closer to each other, Barret tries to swing out on a rope, but the swashbuckling Minotaur is still too far to board. Still, Lt.Cmdr. Brock ap Corgan orders his Royal Marines to be ready for boarding.

Barret fights ship to ship

Minotaur swashbuckler

Persistent Kamar gives Kaelen an Inspiring Word and disables the trebuchet by casting Sleep on one of its remaining tenders. Nuriel and the other archers continue raining arrows on the enemy’s deck.

Bold Eldamir climbs onto the fog-shrouded Bronze Storm and pulls a Bugbear overboard. Puliarus cheerfully swims over to help. The Dauntless draws up alongside the pirate ship, as their crews draw blades and ready for melee combat….

Sara, I hope you’re feeling better, and I look forward to seeing most of the gang at our next “New Dawn” and face-to-face sessions!

"Vanished Lands: A New Dawn" Session 40.47 — Wyvern of the wastes

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.47, which was held on Sunday, 26 July 2015:

Long ago in a distant land, spirits and men directly traded bamboo, silk, and steel. Wars to the west, twisted monsters, and power-hungry sorcerers threatened the eastern kingdoms, so the call went out for new heroes of honor and tact….

Player Character Party 40 in Gene D.’s Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Asian-style telecom campaign, using AD&D1/D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinderand FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of summer 2015:

  • Moon Jung-Mo [Dexter V.H.]-male Nannuattan Ninja (Msamaki; eastern Dark Elf Assassin) who has left the Shadow’s Claw clan and is posing as a River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elf) merchant; with a young wyvern Niruth; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Souji Nobuto ‘Sonny’ Yoshimitsu [Beruk A.]-male Shengtese Tian Kensai (eastern human weapon master) from a dishonored house in the Lion Clan, specializing in chain weapons; with talking horse Yip; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 10
  • Ember Talon [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 10
  • Soske’ Tiatoshe [Geoff C.]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things but plagued by family and ancestor spirits; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Saigo Kasugi [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Tokoro Gawa [Drew S./departed]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10

“22 to 25 August 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventuring party defeated a demon at a ruined pagoda, and it learned from a geisha about more lieutenants of the chaos dragon it has been hunting. A Kitsune assassin confessed to killing a local priestess as ordered by Ninja Desc Soo-Ann, whom the team found and slayed.

The onetime diplomatic escorts continue hiking north into the Bamor Mountains. Jung-Mo scouts ahead, and Saigo rides his steed next. Sonny talks with his horse Yip and wonders if tribute from the dragon’s followers took this trail.

Sonny also notes that Kenmotsu Masashi, the mayor of Hei Kuan, may have fled in this direction after the scheme to sacrifice villagers to the Yao-Mor (demon) was revealed. There is no initial sign of the Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) and his panther-headed aide.

Toshi rides tiger Amaya and tells his companions of recent spells — a scroll of Permanancy for See Invisible for himself and a Contingency of turning Invisible if he is seriously wounded.

Ember watches Niruth, Jung-Mo’s young wyvern. Although the Druid shares some dragon lore, she doesn’t know a lot about a Chole Lung (chaos dragon). Soske’ and Toshi study maps of the Dragon Pass.

Saigo sees a shadow fall across the rocky path between Jung-Mo and him. The Samurai signals the team, which slows. Ember and Soske’ spot a full-grown wyvern with a humanoid rider circling around.

Wyvern rider

Charging on a wyvern

The Oni dismounts, hovers, and casts Rock to Mud, slowing those on the ground. The wyvern dives as Ember shifts to crane form. Wu Jen Toshi casts Fly on Saigo, while Amaya climbs out of the mud.

Samurai Saigo looses an arrow before switching to his sword in midair. Meanwhile, Invisible Ninja Jung-Mo maneuvers to higher ground. Shukenja Soske’ casts Protection From Evil on himself and Ember.

Kensai Sonny jumps clear of his horse and the muddy trail. The Oni, Gu Hyong-Kim, levitates rocks and hurls them at Toshi and Soske’. Saigo dodges the lightning breath of wyvern Gwang Mi-Ja.

Ember casts Silence at the Ogre Mage, who resists. The Oni is less successful against Toshi’s Lightning Arc and Sound Lance. Saigo repeatedly slashes at Gu Hyong-Kim, as Jung-Mo tosses poisoned darts. Soske’ and Sonny shoot more arrows at the Earth Yai.

Gu Hyong-Kim pushes Saigo away with Repel Metal and conjures stone spikes against Toshi. Gwang Mi-Ja attacks Saigo.

Hengeyokai Ember casts Protection From Lightning on Saigo, closes while Wild Shaped as a falcon, and starts a Summon Storm ritual. Shan Sao Toshi casts maximized Magic Missiles at the Oni.

Nannuattan Jung-Mo poisons the wyvern, paralyzing it and forcing it to crash. Shengtese human Soske’s Flame Strike injures the Oni, whom Spirit Folk Saigo then subdues. Shengtese Sonny verifies that the wyvern is dead.

Saigo secures prisoner Gu Hyong-Kim, and Jung-Mo and Sonny strip the Oni and wyvern of the following gear:

  • great club (masterwork Kanabo) 2d8 — Sonny holding for party
  • bracers of Armor + 2 — Ember claims
  • 200 tael (100 gold pieces) — party fund
  • leather wyvern saddle — Jung-Mo claims
  • ring of Regeneration (+ 1 HP/rd) — Saigo claims

In addition, Saigo gives Jung-Mo hollow-point arrows, Sonny a potion of Levitation, and Ember an eggshell grenade. The Samurai threatens Gu Hyong-Kim, who tries to Meld Into Stone to escape.

However, quick-thinking Jung-Mo uses his ring of Stone Shape to keep the Oni from escaping. Sonny hogties the Earth Yai, who is confident that his master Kaosu Uirumu will prevail. As prophesied, Toshi executes the prisoner.

The wanderers venture deeper into the dragon’s territory, as the landscape grows twisted around them. They consider sending Jung-Mo in disguise as Gu Hyong-Kim to lure the dragon from his lair.

Dragon Pass

Hiking through the northeastern Bamor Mountains

Sonny likes the idea of taking on the chaos dragon away from its stronghold and remaining minions, and Toshi offers to cast Animal Growth so that Niruth can impersonate Gwang Mi-Ja.

Ember isn’t happy about fighting a fellow dragon, but she notes that Kaosu Uirumu most likely comes from the Abyss rather than the Celestial Court.

Soske’ is quiet as he contemplates the possible end of his quest, while Saigo is eager to avenge his grandfather, who was ambushed and captured for a time in the Dragon Pass….

It was good to see everyone online, and I’m glad that Skype and your tactics worked well. Don’t forget to work on your characters for our upcoming higher-level D&D5e campaign!

I’ll try to post an update for our latest face-to-face nautical session soon, and I also look forward to the Boston Comic Con and “Star Wars: Dark Timesat “JasonCon 2015!”

D&D5e "Vanished Lands" Session 41.5 — Otter in the mist, or rabbit carnivale

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.5 of our face-to-face D&D5e game, which Drew & Divya S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 6 July 2015:

In one ancient world, there was a place where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. The “Vanished Lands” were blessed by the gods and cursed by prophecy. Travelers became adventurers, and adventurers strove to be heroes in the face of many perils and wonders.

Sometime after a group of former circus performers wandered aboard the airshipZephyr and a team of diplomatic escorts fought chaos in Tong Sheng, past heroes reunited, and another band gathered on the Sea of Nagendwa….

Initial Player Character roster for Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” nautical campaign, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, as of summer 2015:

  • Kamar Alazar [Beruk A.]-male Suthern human swashbuckler (proto-Arabic Bard) and former member of the “Liberators” and “Dragonslayers”; CG, Lvl. 2
  • Nuriel Earendil [Brian W./absent]-male Grey Elf acolyte of light (Cleric of Corellan Larethian); NG, Lvl. 2
  • Cassy Keelnipper [Sara F.]-female Otter-kin Rogue, street urchin, and sailor; NG, Lvl. 2
  • Kaelen Northsea [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf scout (Sylvan/Saganim Ranger), seeking his father; NG, Lvl. 2
  • Eldamir Tempestborn [Rich C.G.]-male Atlantean human soldier (Theran/Minoan Barbarian), tattooed member of the Order of the Kingfisher, specialist in the net and trident; CG, Lvl. 2
  • Barret [Drew S.]-male Minotaur wrestler and gladiator (Fighter) with a crossbow; LG, Lvl. 2
  • Puliarus Aearion [Charles S.]-male Half-Elf sage (Thalassaquendi storm Sorcerer), seeking to befriend all; CN, Lvl. 2

Backup characters:

  • “Ludovico ‘Ludo’ Rosso” [Beruk A.]-male human ex-gladiator (Monk; see Bruce K.’s Pathfinder: Eberron/Reign of Winter); LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Brian W.]-male Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human Fighter, pragmatist; LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Sara F.]-female ?; NG, Lvl. 1
  • “Drogan” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Orc (Saganim) Barbarian, with a great sword; CN, Lvl. 1
  • Sebastian Leafsworn [Rich C.G.]-male Sylvan Elf Monk and sage, with forbidden lore; LG, Lvl. 1
  • “Vasco” [Drew S.]-male clockwork butler (Warforged), former member of the Zephyr ’s crew, displaced in time and space; LN, Lvl. 1
  • Antoun Miner [Charles S.]-male Hill Dwarf Druid, healer curious about the sea; TN, Lvl. 1

“6 to 8 October 1227 B.C.E.:” The team returned to the town of Drunstimlos, turned Necromancer Morgwyn over to militia chief Brenda O’Connor, and gave maps to Cmdr. Perry Maxwell. It then boarded the Saganim naval cruiser H.M.S. Dauntless, got to know its crew, and fought Merrows attacking a human coastal settlement.

Under the cover of Puliarus’ Fog Cloud, the landing party retreats to the dinghy. He and Nuriel help wounded Cassy, and Barret carries unconscious Kamar. A second boat arrives from the Dauntless with Kaelen, Eldamir, Brother Egil, and a few royal marines.

Brother Egil, a Saganim (proto-Celtic) human chaplain, heals Kamar and Cassy. Nuriel has exhausted his spells for the day, so he stays with a few guards at the boats. Horned Barret charges back into battle, as Puliarus cautiously maneuvers to cast Fire Bolt.

Newcomer Kaelen recognizes the 10 Merrows as a favored enemy and looses arrows from the rowboat. Cassy follows Puliarus’ lead and sneaks to the edge of the magical fog. Intimidating Eldamir rages against one aquatic Ogre outlined in Faerie Fire.

Bard Kamar aids Eldamir with vicious mockery, but two of the Merrows hit him rather than the Atlantean human Barbarian. Fighter Barret tries to toss one foe aside and join Eldamir.

Sorcerer Puliarus misses with one Fire Bolt but hits with another. Ranger Kaelen wades ashore, as Rogue Cassy drops an enemy with her rapier. Eldamir stabs at a Merrow with his trident, while Kamar offers an Inspiring Word to Kaelen.

The Merrows injure Cassy and Eldamir with harpoons and claws, and the Saganim sailors shoot arrows. Barret shoves two opponents, and Kaelen slays two more Ogres. Brother Egil attends to Cassy, and Eldamir also kills two Merrows.

The tough Merrows briefly knock out Kamar, Barret, and Puliarus, even as the marines continue releasing volleys of arrows at them. Half-Elves Puliarus and Kaelen manage to finish off three more foes between them.

Brother Egil stabilizes Minotaur Barret, and Otter-kin Cassy picks up two harpoons. Suthern human Kamar regains consciousness, and Kaelen asks the last Merrow who sent them to attack the human hamlet.

The sea Orc snarls and says that an old woman, possibly a Scrag or sea Troll, told him about easy pickings. Kaelen executes the prisoner. The group retrieves the following weapons from the fallen:

  • Five cutlasses (1d6 damage)
  • Three daggers (1d4)
  • Nine harpoons (2d6)
  • Pearls, worth 150 sovereigns (gold pieces)

It then enters “Novo Cidade,” whose dark-skinned inhabitants turn out to be former slaves whom the Saganim king granted land to resettle [see notes for “Tempestade” and “Vistel’s Expedition”]. Padre Franco says that his people have had difficulty with farming in the relatively cold climate and with some intolerant neighbors.

The Cleric asks the away team to see if it would be possible for them to relocate somewhere warmer. Kamar agrees to help, and Kaelen gives 50 g.p. in pearls and the extra weapons to help the people defend themselves.

The two dinghys then return to the H.M.S. Dauntless, and the mercenaries report to Capt. Sheridan Driscoll. He recommends greater caution in future missions ashore.

That night, Kamar finds fellow musicians among the crew and continues courting Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elf) bursar Alitasse Vorwende. Cassy talks about naval strategy with Capt. Driscoll, while Kaelen asks first officer Cmdr. Perry Maxwell about ship duties.

Manowar deck plan

Cruiser decks

Eldamir and Barret debate tactics and practice speaking Bamoric, the language of the humanoids of the Bamor Mountains. Both burly brawlers chafe at the discipline of a navy vessel, even as Kaelen puts in a good word with the captain for Barret.

At dinner, Puliarus talks with fellow arcanist Lieut. Vitalis Durand, the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human navigator. Pious Brother Egil keeps Nuriel busy with religious rites.

Amphibious Cassy and Puliarus also go for a moonlight swim in the Sea of Nagendwa and practice sneaking around. By contrast, Barret challenges some sailors to wrestling matches. The sometime gladiator surprises Kamar and others by defeating Lt.Cmdr. Brock ap Corgan, leader of the contingent of marines.

Eldamir cheers him on, but Barret is beaten by Bran MacDougal. After shaking hands, sharing drinks, and collecting winning wagers, all are fast mates.

The next day, Cassy spots someone walking along the shore southward from Novo Cidade. A young woman rides a mule without escort, despite the danger of brigands. Capt. Driscoll authorizes a change in course to a cove ahead of the woman so that another away team can question her about Merrow attacks.

Puliarus, Kaelen, and Kamar go ashore to meet the dark-haired woman, while Cassy, Eldamir, and Barret try to follow at a discreet distance. Esmeralda Cordina greets the wanderers and invites them to her cottage.

Sly Kaelen introduces himself as “Galen Moonglow,” a follower of Gheket, goddess of the moon. Wary Kamar uses the pseudonym “Carnivale,” but friendly Puliarus uses his own name.

Esmeralda prepares rabbit stew and explains that she is out of the way, so she has little to fear from pirates or bandits. The alluring woman claims to have bought supplies from the humans in Novo Cidade but hasn’t seen any Merrows.

Sensing danger, Barret bursts in through the door, confusing Esmeralda and her guests. Kamar is Polymorphed into a rabbit, but only Kaelen notices right away. The Half-Elf Ranger moves to subdue the enchantress with his sheathed sword.

Barret tries to grab Esmeralda, but the Minotaur Fighter has difficulty moving in the cramped cottage. Atlantean Barbarian Eldamir rages and stabs Esmeralda with his trident. The woman unleashes a glare at Barret, briefly stunning him.

Otter-kin Rogue Cassy catches lagomorph Kamar and puts the Suthern Bard out of harm’s way. Puliarus doesn’t understand why his companions are attacking Esmeralda, and the Half-Elf Sorcerer tries to interject on her behalf. They suspect that he has fallen under a Charm.

Kaelen draws his two swords, unaffected by Esmeralda’s Frightful Gaze. The woman claws at Eldamir, but Cassy is unable to trip her. Kamar returns to human form, just as Kalen kills the Sea Hag.

Relieved, the group searches her cottage and finds the following:

  • 20 pence (copper pieces)
  • 15 shillings (silver pieces)
  • 10 sovereigns (gold pieces)
  • 60 g.p. in gems
  • bowl, copper and silver, worth 25 g.p.
  • potion of Healing (6 doses, 2d4 + 2)
  • scroll of Mage Armor (Abjuration 1, AC 13 + Dex bonus)
  • scroll of Thaumaturgy (Transmutation 0)

The landing party returns to the H.M.S. Dauntless as it continues to patrol the Saganim coast….

Remember to update your characters to Level 2 on Obsidian Portal. I look forward to continuing this crew and the “New Dawn” telecom team in the next two weeks!

"Vanished Lands: A New Dawn" Session 40.46 — Incense and blood

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.46, which was held on Sunday, 5 July 2015:

Long ago in a distant land, spirits and men directly traded bamboo, silk, and steel. Wars to the west, twisted monsters, and power-hungry sorcerers threatened the eastern kingdoms, so the call went out for new heroes of honor and tact….

Player Character Party 40 in Gene D.’s Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Asian-style telecom campaign, using AD&D1/D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinderand FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules and an online dice roller, as of summer 2015:

  • Moon Jung-Mo [Dexter V.H.]-male Nannuattan Ninja (Msamaki; eastern Dark Elf Assassin) who has left the Shadow’s Claw clan and is posing as a River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elf) merchant; with a young wyvern Niruth; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Souji Nobuto ‘Sonny’ Yoshimitsu [Beruk A.]-male Shengtese Tian Kensai (eastern human weapon master) from a dishonored house in the Lion Clan, specializing in chain weapons; with talking horse Yip; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 10
  • Ember Talon [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 10
  • Soske’ Tiatoshe [Geoff C./absent]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things but plagued by family and ancestor spirits; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Saigo Kasugi [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Tokoro Gawa [Drew S./departed]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10

“21 August 1227 B.C.E.:” At Hei Kuan, the wanderers prevented Spirit Folk and Shan Sao villagers from unwittingly becoming sacrifices. They fought six reptilian Zukojin and a large demon in a pagoda.

Sonny gets Saigo, who was escorting people back to the village. The Samurai politely bows to the demonic Yao-Mor, which swings at him with hooked swords. Saigo then readies a potion of Cure Serious Wounds. Ember casts Protection From Fire on Saigo, while Jung-Mo sneaks around the burning pagoda.

Toshi and Soske’ fall back, and Sonny lashes at the three-eyed demon with his Vorpal whip. Lung Jua (“Claw of the Dragon”) taunts Saigo, who initially misses with “Thundering Blade,” an enchanted katana (+3 Outsider Bane long sword).

Druid Ember casts Lightning, and Jung-Mo pelts the four-armed Yao-Mor with arrows. Soske’ heals himself. Saigo slashes at Lung Jua, and his sword resists the monster’s Rust spell.

Greater Oni

Yao-Mor

In a step toward fulfilling his prophesied destiny, Wu Jen Toshi turns the greater Oni into a nasty puddle with Sound Lance. Jung-Mo and Kensai Sonny carefully place the “Dragon Talons,” Lung Jua’s two swords, on Toshi’s floating disc.

Soske’s Detect Curse doesn’t register the hooked blades (1d10 + 2), but the Shukenja does sense something evil shifting within them. Toshi later determines that they can each create copies that steal life to heal the wielder.

Jung-Mo also finds and claims a ring of Stone Shape with eight charges from one of the Zukojin. Soske’ heals his companions. The warriors return to Hei Kuan, the last outpost before the Dragon Pass in the eastern Bamor Mountains, but they are unable to find mayor Kenmotsu Masashi.

Saigo goes to the House of the Glowing Carp to ask Miyamoto Narumi about the duplicitous mayor’s whereabouts. The River Spirit Folk geisha (eastern Grey Elf courtesan) says that the Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) and his panther-headed lieutenant fled when villagers came back from the shrine and the Yao-Mor.

Miyamoto admits that she has heard of Gu Kyong Kim, another Oni (Ogre Mage), and Gwang Mi-Ja, a wyvern, as other servants of the chaos dragon. She pauses to write the dragon’s name on a silk scroll but gasps for air when she is poisoned by the ink.

Ember quickly Neutralizes Poison, and Miyamoto writes the names of Desc Soo-Ann and Kaosu Uirumu. Jung-Mo recognizes Desc Soo-Ann, or Desan, as a fellow Nannuattan Ninja encountered a few times in his travels. He says that Desan probably planted the poison and may still be lurking nearby.

Kaosu Uirumu is the Chole Lung, or chaos dragon, that Shengtese human Soske’ and company have been hunting for the Zedu kingdom in return for the promise of land and titles. Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo thanks Miyamoto for her help.

The group goes to the house of Shiomi Romi, a Korobokuru (eastern Dwarf) alchemist and Shukenja of the Path of Order. On the way, crane Hengeyokai Ember recognizes Endo Mayumi, a Kitsune (fox Hengeyokai). The shapeshifter says that she is leaving town.

Saigo demands a look at Mayumi’s bags, but she is evasive and tosses them past him. The Kitsune tries to shift into vulpine form, but Shengtese human Sonny trips her with a flail. Saigo punches Mayumi, and Ember Wild Shapes into a wolf to subdue her.

Toshi notices that one of the woman’s bags is bleeding, so the Shan Sao opens it. He finds the head of Shiomi Romi and angrily threatens Mayumi with a Lightning Bolt until Jung-Mo and Ember can tie her up. Soske’ keeps watch as the people of Hei Kuan are confused in the wake of the Reaping Festival.

Mayumi admits killing the priestess on Desan’s orders. Jung-Mo beheads the assassin. In the other sack, the adventuring party finds 1,200 tael (600 gold pieces), and Saigo claims 1,000 (500 g.p.) of it.

Sonny takes a potion of Haste, and Toshi gets a scroll of Permancency. At Shiomi Romi’s temple, Jung-Mo finds a shuriken, and Soske’ gets a scroll of Remove Blindness. They also find trip wires left by Desan.

Jung-Mo narrowly dodges a falling axe. After some encouragement by Toshi and Ember, the scout disables poisoned darts and a trap that would crack the altar.

Meanwhile, Sonny and Saigo bury the bodies in the adjacent graveyard. They hear a tree branch creak beneath an unseen spy’s weight. Saigo drinks a potion of Flying and attacks, and Sonny discreetly climbs the tree.

Desan drops his Invisibility by tossing a powder grenade at Saigo and draws hisninja-to (short sword). Hearing a commotion outside, Toshi shifts into bird form, and Jung-Mo and Ember follow.

Ninja gear

Ninja and gear

Jung-Mo drops his fellow Ninja with his own poisoned darts. He retrieves the (+ 3) ninja-to, studded leather armor (+ 2), a few eggshell grenades, and a masterwork disguise kit.

Sonny claims a signet ring stolen from one of Tong Sheng’s rulers, and Saigo takes a ring from the Zedu kingdom. Toshi studies a map of the dragon’s lair….

Geoff, I’m sorry that we missed you during our latest Google+ hangout! What does everyone think: Should we switch back to Skype?

Remember that we won’t be meeting virtually again until July 26, but in the meantime, I hope that you’re able to update your characters and finish creating or revising those for our upcoming D&D5e telecom game! -Gene

D&D5e "Vanished Lands" Session 41.4 — The "Downeaster Alitasse"

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.4 of our face-to-face D&D5e game, which Drew & Divya S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 29 June 2015:

In one ancient world, there was a place where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. The “Vanished Lands” were blessed by the gods and cursed by prophecy. Travelers became adventurers, and adventurers strove to be heroes in the face of many perils and wonders.

Sometime after a group of former circus performers wandered aboard the airshipZephyr and a team of diplomatic escorts fought chaos in Tong Sheng, past heroes reunited, and another band gathered on the Sea of Nagendwa….

Initial Player Character roster for Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” nautical campaign, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, as of summer 2015:

  • Kamar Alazar [Beruk A.]-male Suthern human swashbuckler (proto-Arabic Bard) and former member of the “Liberators” and “Dragonslayers”; CG, Lvl. 1
  • Nuriel Earendil [Brian W.]-male Grey Elf acolyte of light (Cleric of Corellan Larethian); NG, Lvl. 1
  • Kaelen Northsea [Bruce K./absent ]-male Half-Elf scout (Sylvan/Saganim Ranger), seeking his father; NG, Lvl. 1
  • Eldamir Tempestborn [Rich C.G./absent ]-male Atlantean human soldier (Theran/Minoan Barbarian), tattooed member of the Order of the Kingfisher, specialist in the net and trident; CG, Lvl. 1
  • Barret [Drew S.]-male Minotaur wrestler and gladiator (Fighter) with a crossbow; LG, Lvl. 1
  • Puliarus Aearion [Charles S.]-male Half-Elf sage (Thalassaquendi storm Sorcerer), seeking to befriend all; CN, Lvl. 1

Backup characters:

  • “Ludovico ‘Ludo’ Rosso” [Beruk A.]-male human ex-gladiator (Monk; see Bruce K.’s Pathfinder: Eberron/Reign of Winter); LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Brian W.]-male Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human Fighter, pragmatist; LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Sara F.]-female ?; NG, Lvl. 1
  • “Drogan” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Orc (Saganim) Barbarian, with a great sword; CN, Lvl. 1
  • Sebastian Leafsworn [Rich C.G.]-male Sylvan Elf Monk and sage, with forbidden lore; LG, Lvl. 1
  • “Vasco” [Drew S.]-male clockwork butler (Warforged), former member of theZephyr ’s crew, displaced in time and space; LN, Lvl. 1
  • Antoun Miner [Charles S.]-male Hill Dwarf Druid, healer curious about the sea; TN, Lvl. 1

“4 to 6 October 1227 B.C.E.:” Cassy joined the new team, which traveled to Tir na nOg and managed to return to the barrows near the town of Drunstimlos. The group evaded traps in the old tombs and defeated a Necromancer and his skeletal minions.

Nuriel notes that time flows differently in the fey Otherworld than on the Prime Material plane of existence, so it’s possible that they have been away for days or years rather than hours.

Barret and Kaelen lead the way across the wide Plains of Sathendo back to the camp where they had encountered a roaring bunyip.

Kamar points out that the bunyip’s blood is still damp on the heath, and Cassy sniffs the smoldering campfire. They conclude that not only have they returned somehow before they entered the barrows, but they also have time to catch a ship out of town!

Eldamir helps guard prisoner Morgwyn, who is bound and gagged. Puliarus recommends turning the Necromancer over to the proper authorities in Drunstimlos. Kamar and Cassy are tired as they hike back.

Geraint, the innkeeper at the “Sailor’s Climb,” directs them to a guard tower at the eastern side of the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human town. They see a sturdy woman training bored adolescents in the use of staff and spear. Brenda O’Connor dismisses her students and questions the motley crusaders.

The adventuring party testifies that it caught Morgwyn practicing Necromancy in the barrows, and O’Connor agrees to take him into custody and to notify Lord Caerdon. She also pays the group a silver talent (50 silver pieces) as bounty for the criminal.

The militia leader says that she’ll pay two more (100 s.p. or 10 gold pieces) once she gets approval from Lord Caerdon. O’Connor is also interested in learning more about bandits and witches threatening travelers around Drunstimlos.

Barret picks up the butted metal horn caps he had commissioned, and the group heads to the docks to catch the H.M.S. Dauntless, a Saganim naval cruiser. Cmdr. Perry Maxwell is pleased to get two maps retrieved from Fr. Gwydion, an erratic priest of Ghanki.

Kamar and Puliarus keep copies of the old maps of the town and a desert island, as well as one detailing the area around the barrows. First officer Maxwell gives the newcomers a tour of the dromond and introduces them to Capt. Sheridan Driscoll and his crew.

Warship plan

Saganim naval vessel

Suthern human Kamar flirts with Alitasse Vorwende, a Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elf) and the ship’s bursar. Grey Elf Nuriel is more pleased than Half-Elf Puliarus to meet her. The spellcasters also compare notes with Lt. Vitalis Durand, a Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human Wizard and navigator.

Otter-kin Cassy agrees to take shifts on lookout in the crow’s nest. Half-Elf Kaelen and Atlantean human Eldamir join some of the crew in the rigging and take shifts in the nightly watches. They see four ballistae mounted on the main deck and hammocks in the crew deck.

Barret notices Lt.Cmdr. Brock ap Corgan berating the sailors as the ship gets under way. The Minotaur happily tries the oars and later peels vegetables forHarfoot Halfling cook Bungo Longtoes.

Nuriel sings in Quelithan (High Elven) to bid the shore farewell and welcome the Sea of Nagendwa. He also receives some implements and an invitation to services from Brother Egil, a Cleric of sea lord Ghanki. The priest of Corellan Larethian enjoys gazing up at the stars before clouds move in.

Kamar joins the crew in sea shanties and composes a song in Alitasse’s honor. Cassy and Puliarus are glad to be able to take an evening swim. Barret is determined to become the best at each role aboard the Dauntless.

The next morning, Cassy spots a plume of smoke rising from a coastal village. Capt. Driscoll sends an away team to investigate, accompanied by two rowers. Amphibious Cassy and Puliarus swim ahead of the dinghy to the beach.

They see 10 Merrows (aquatic Ogres) attacking brown-skinned humans. Bold Puliarus yells at them to stop in the name of the kingdom of Saganim, and the Merrows turn their attention to him. Cassy tries to hide in the sand.

Kamar, Nuriel, and Barret come ashore and leave the two guards with the rowboat. The Bard readies True Strike, the Cleric draws his bow, and the Barbarian loads his crossbow. Cassy throws daggers at the Merrows, but they fall short.

Aquatic Ogre

Merrow

The sea Orcs thrust harpoons at Puliarus, wounding the storm Sorcerer. Swashbucking Kamar borrows a spear from Nuriel and joins the skirmish. Puliarus casts Fire Bolt, but the Merrows are tough and agile.

Burly Barret hits one foe with a bolt, and Nuriel’s Warding Flash protects him. Unfortunately, the elegant Elf’s bowstring breaks because it was dampened by salt water. Rogue Cassy switches to her rapier.

The Merrows injure Barret, but five are pushed back by Kamar’s Thunderwave.Puliarus joins him and advances with wind magic. Barret gets his second windand shoves two of the monstrous humanoids.

Nuriel pulls out a crystal, mutters, and outlines one of his opponents with Faerie Fire. Cassy strikes a blow before she and Puliarus are knocked unconscious by the Merrows. Kamar draws his rapier and casts another Thunderwave spell.

Nuriel hits some of the Merrows with a white flare from his crystal (Burning Hands). Kamar gives Barret Bardic Inspiration but is also knocked out by the Ogre-kin. Barret stabilizes Kamar, and Nuriel heals Puliarus, who wisely casts Fog Cloudso the team can fall back to the boat.

Nuriel and Puliarus grab Cassy, and Barret carries Kamar, as Kaelen and Eldamir arrive with Brother Egil and a few royal marines on a second dinghy from the Dauntless….

Two nights, two tough battles in a row! I look forward to continuing our D&D5e game, but note that I’ll be out of town later this month.

In the meantime, I also look forward to upcoming “Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” and “Star Wars: Dark Timessessions. Have a great Independence Day!