So about that help…

A couple sessions back Yain made arrangements with an old aquaintance of his. The party followed through, to the letter of the deal, not necssarily the spirit. Then found themselves sidetracked disposing of a lich. That’s taken care of and now it’s time to cash in. Arragements were made and they have a meeting with the individual that stole the flying machine engine.

Instructions dictate not only the time and place of the meeting, but also that all of the party is expected to attend. They performed a bit of recon and figured out that the location seems to be obscured by magic, but went forward anyways. The whole party entered, and found themselves locked inside with a host of challenges, all somewhat necrotic if not outright undead themed. Ultimately making their way to a room with a dwarf that looked very familiar to Liath. The fellow be acquired his glove, the Prince of Shadow’s Left glove to be precise. However this turned out to be the guy’s twin brother. Who stil has his glove in fact, the Right. He apologized for the challenge, but was asked to provide a bit of a test. He then offered the party the job of trying to prevent the Lich King from forming an alliance with the Diabolist. However the party by and large was disinterested, especially Solare who had no difficulty expressing just how livid he was over the little test.

Now the party is making plans for their next move, which may very well be infiltrating the Necropolis itself, leaning more about the Lich King more directly.

Now outside of the recap, not sure if I’m gonna keep these of. They’re short, light on the detail, and I’m not sure if they’re worth putting up at the end of the day. Still interested in making posts here, but these may stop before too long.

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Top 5 RPGs on Reddit

So I like to follow r/RPG, and occasionally comment there as well. Someone made a post asking about your top 5 RPGs and why. So I replied, but figured I’d share that here as well. You can also see the original post here.

In no particular order: 

13th Age – This is my go to “modern” D&D. You get the best of 3e and 4e in one game, (no surprise given it has the two lead designers,) and a lot of story driven mechanics tossed in. Combat is faster and easier to prep for and manage than either game, doesn’t use mechanics that make you wish you had a grid if you don’t want one, and is in general pretty fast and fun. The One Unique Thing mechanic encourages the players to tweak the world slightly, while giving you a great deal of insight as a GM into what they wanna see as a player. The rules strongly favor improv which suits my GM style quite well, even the baked in setting flows in that direction smoothly. Reading it I kinda felt like this was written for me, so even though I said no particular order, this might be my current #1 given all my gushing.

Castle & Crusades – This on the other hand, is my go to “classic” D&D. It has a lot of modern sensibilities tied to the mechanics, but style wise resembles AD&D 1e pretty closely. AC ascends, enemies are easily defined by their level and follow simpler stat blocks than PCs. It’s also easy to adapt a lot of D&D material from pretty much any edition through 3.5e without much effort. So you have lots of material you can pull from, and it’s also easier to run. Both great things in my book.

New World of Darkness – My favorite horror game line. The rules and mechanics are pretty straight forward. If you’re playing as a mortal the rules are simple enough that this has long been my go to system for one shots with new players as I feel like the core mechanics are really easy to convey. On top of that, plenty of supernatural sub-lines to it that are great. Promethean the Created is possibly the most beatiful (and depressing) game ever. Innocents is a fantastic take on playing as kids. Not to mention the system is pretty easy to hack and adapt, they even have a book to help guide you there. (Mirrors)

Exalted – My favorite thing I never get to play or run. Unlike the above titles, this one can be really, really crunchy. But the setting, god. I can’t do it justice. Just look it up some time. It’s a fantastic spin on fantasy that’s explicitly not-Tolkien and I just love it so much.

Scion – You play as the offspring of a god, and can ultimately work your own way up to godhood. What’s not to love? The rules can be a tad wonky at times, but this is in part because they do such a great job conveying the sheer powerscale. The system bears a resemlence to Exalted, but far, far simpler by comparison.

The Prince of… Light?

So another game short a couple of players. This time they had to make due without their fighter as well as their ranger. But they continued on with their plan to destroy the lich’s ring…

For the most part the session became a race with Solare leading the group, to the best of his memory, to what should be an abandoned sacred place in the forest. Dedicated to the gods of light. The lich, calling herself the Mistress was hot on their trail, literally as she sent swarms of flying skulls after them. Solare guided them as best he could, while trying to stay ahead of the skulls homing in on them. They were forced into one encounter, but upon getting close, Yain decided to improve their odds of finding the temple by using his wand of the forrest to speak with the oldest tree he could find. He spoke with an ancient oak, that he woke from a nap. The tree was happy to help, and pointed them in the direction of the Prince of Light’s temple.

The party was able to reach the temple quickly from there, only to find it not quite as abaondoned as expected. Two elves guarded the doors, silent as they approached, only nodding in acknowledgement. However as Solare explained the situation the doors opened and an elder elf stepped out and addressed the party. The priests here have taken a vow of silence, but it can be broken in exceptional circumstances. This qualified. As the next wave of skulls neared the priests ushered the party inside, assuring them that they would be safe within. The temple itself as a partial ziggurat, open to the air. The group watched as flaming skulls anhilliated themselves attempting to breach the barrier surrounding the temple with no success. Solare attempted to inquire about the Prince of Light, the temple glowing slightly in repsonse to every time he, and only he said the name. However the priests were reluctant to say much beyond him being a former god of light. Not a part of this age. The elder offered to lead the other priests in a ritual to destroy the ring for the party, however doing so would direct the temple’s energies inward, meaning no more barrier. So ideally the party would hold off the forces outside while they do their work. They agreed.

The group found the Mistress already outside and waiting for them. She made one last offer to buy her ring back from them, only to be told off more or less. The party’s bard noticed the force of gouls lying in wait, preventing them from being caught off guard as the battle began. The group managed to make short work of the lich, and tore through her gouls quickly. However shortly after her body crumbled to dust, they heard cries from inside the temple, as she began rematerializing from her exceptionally charged phylactery. The ring inside. Extending the battle a bit as they saved the priests from a super charged version of the lich.

However the group was trimphant. They recovered a considerable sum of gold from the lich’s remains outside, and the priests were pleased to be of assistance. However they would no longer speak, special circumstances no longer applying. The group also noticed that the temple had mostly been exhausted of it’s sacred light in the process of destorying the ring. Though Solare suspected it would recover in time. The party made their way back to Shadowport.

Shadowy Shadow Port…

So the group was short their typical face, their ranger Liath, but the bard and spy Yain was happy to step up. In fact, this was mostly an RP session, no combat occurred.

The group made their way to Shadow Port, as planned. Yain immediately set to trying to track down information concerning the missing engine the party learned about previously. He found an old acquaintance from the dwarven spy circles, who said he could help, but wanted them to retrieve a dwarvish puzzle box for him, from a tavern in the kobold quarter.

The party went to the Dragon Shack, where this box could be found and learned it is to the prize of a drinking competition that evening. One in which a very, very formidable looking ogre would be entering. They scrambled together a plan and Solare crafted a ritual to empower Yain to be able to outdrink just about anyone. Yain and Morris  entered, and while Morris hit the table, Yain went toe to toe, or drink to drink with the ogre and came out on top.

So  puzzle box in tow, the group retired to their inn for the night. Yain kept the box in his secret pocket, while Malfius, the no-sleep-needing necromancer kept watch in the room. In the wee hours of the morning they were disturbed by some light knocking. Yain hid in the room while Malfius answered the door. He found a cloaked figure offering to pay quite handsomely for the box. Ten thousand gold, even tipping that this value was in fact, open to negotiation. Yain successfully hid as Malfius insisted he wasn’t around. So the feminine figure left, but not before betraying her undead and likely skeletal nature, as well as identifying herself as the Mistress.

The next morning, curiosity now sufficiently peaked, the Yain solved and opened the puzzle box, filling the room with a brilliant blue light that eventually dissipated. Inside was a platinum sapphire ring, still on a finger.. bone. Radiating intense necromantic energies. The group quickly decided against the offer, and began scheming how to get rid of this. Solare and Malfius cooperating on a containment ritual for the ring. That way they could still hand off the box for their initial deal, playing off having not opened it. All of this was a success.

Now they’re off to one of the sacred sites in the nearby Bitterwood, hoping to use such a space to safely destroy the ring. In a week’s time Yain’s contact will also be able to arrange a meeting with the individual who stole the engine in Glitterhaggen.

The Great Gold Wyrm is free! Stick around for prizes

This was pretty much a laid back session.

The group made it to the Golden Citadel, and began to see the pieces shift and turn as a result of their actions. The Red Waste was turned into the Red Ocean as expected. Solare used a ritual to help feed the rescued slaves. As well as one to help the GGW’s forces withstand the tide, quite literally, as the waters poured into the abyss. This allowed the GGW to leave, as now an endless ocean of sorts is pouring into the maw of the abyss, keeping the demon hordes at bay.

After freeing the GGW, he vanished. Though they also watched at the Golden Citadel began to restore itself. The structure itself had seen better days, being the primary bastion holding off the abyss, no more. It rebuilt itself in a matter of hours. The next day the party was called into the main hall, which each PC receiving a reward for service rendered. By default these were to be magic items associated with the GGW, but in cases where icon rolls came up, these tended to shift to something closer to the PC’s patron. Though the hall was also filled with a subtle golden light, that brought to mind any of the PC’s past sins, and produced near tangible weight for all of them. Such is the judgement of the GGW.

An important matter of note is that Yain, the group’s bard and spy caught that not only was the war table setup in the back of the hall, but it looked like there were troop movements slated i the direction of First Triumph. Free to take a more active role in the world, the GGW has issues to resolve with the Crusader.

The group however also reciveved free transport to the location of their choice, going with Glitterhagen. On their way to the port northward however, they witnessed a group of 13 white dragons headed to the Citadel. They decided to turn back and observe, ready to assist. Only to learn that the white dragons had come to petition the GGW for aid in an assault on the Lich King and Necropolis. Only to be denied.

The group made their way finally to Glitterhagen, and after a bit of stumbling around, learned that the Prince of Shadows has stolen the engine of a flying machine from their friend Jauqeem. Furthermore, it looks like the Prince of Shadows may be arranging a combined assault on the Necropolis with forces provided by both the Elf Queen and the Crusader. Leading some of them to dread the possibility of a coming world war between icons.

Someone set us up the bomb…

So the group finally succeeded in their mission to set off the Seed of New Life, using it to terraform the Red Waste into an ocean. Their ambitious half baked plan that was just too awesome to not let them try. But again, success!

So the group departed Horizon and got off at a dock north of the Golden Citadel, and then promptly avoided it. Though they noted that the Emperor appeared to have sent troops to aid in the current demon war. Taking the longer road around to head deep into the Red Wastes to infiltrate slave master Issik’s compound. Along the way they took note of the fighting going on near the citadel, as there is still a bit of a demonic imbalance due to the Prince of Shadows having stolen a handful of scales from the Great Gold Wyrm. They continued to avoid however, especially given that their own plan would have a drastic impact on the current fighting aside from making the Citadel beach front property.

Ultimately this involved sneaking in, which had some risky party splitting involved to first take down a guard tower. They then broke into the slave pits, and took note that the conditions were far, far worse than when Liath had first escaped. The prisoners being by and large traumatized both mentally and physically, the worst sporting wounds from being forced to battle manticore in the gladiatorial arena. The group was planning to use a few hundred miniature horses that would temporarily become “real” horses to help them escape, but in this condition they couldn’t make it. (Think a souped up version of wondrous figurines.) Solare devised a healing ritual to help soothe their bodies and souls, and they set them free. Counting on sheer numbers on horseback to overwhelm the guards.

In the confusion, they made way to Issick’s grand house. Though Liath caught wind of something being wrong with the household staff, which the new necromancer Malfius recognized as a genuine devilish aura. So rather than attempt to free them, the party went ahead and activated the Seed. Causing an instant and massive storm to begin, and slowly spread out. Devastation in it’s wake, but slow enough to outrun on horseback. Though a series of smoke devils escaped the home in the final clash, leading to one last big fight as the party made haste out of the Wastes. Victorious, they headed towards the Golden Citadel, where they sent the slave army, while actual armies are still entrenched in demonic warfare. Of course, now an ocean is forming that should drown out the Abyss…

A brief story and a plug…

I follow a handful of gaming podcasts, mostly on games I’m extra into at the time. (Meaning mostly 13th Age and Numenera.) On the 13th Age end, I’ve become a big fan of Iconic, which I highly recommend folks check out. A little while back though, they did a small contest asking people to submit their ideas as to who the White Dragon was, as it’s more or less a name dropped icon from an earlier age that we know the then Wizard King, now Lich King killed off. But that’s pretty much all we know canonically. They had a lot of neat submissions, and I’d suggest that you check them out. My own entry didn’t place, but I still really liked it. Enough that it’s likely to get used in either my current or a future game. (Depending on if it could get worked in.) So I figured I’d share it here.

Who was the White? The Red is Rage, and the Black is Darkness, and the Blue is Power. The White was Freedom. Long ago, as the then Wizard King began to reveal his true nature as a tyrant and threat to the world, it was the White that first stood up to him. He challenged him openly, and at the end of their duel, with the freedom of all hanging in the balance, the White fell.

Who is the White? The Lich King’s greatest secret is that the White lives. Though he fell in battle that day, the White was not slain. Instead, the White was hidden away, to become the subject of the Wizard King’s exploration of the necromantic arts. It is through these experiments that an entire school of magic was brought into existence, almost all of it at the first hand suffering of the imprisoned White Dragon. After he was slain, the Wizard King endured, because of the White, for the White became the first phylactery. In fact, it may be better to say that the White is the Phylactery. For the ritual employed by all manner of lich is to this day derived from that first ritual used to imprison the Wizard King’s soul within the White. Without which, all of these foul creatures would surely find true death.