Decurtate Delvers & Island Hopping

So I not only did I manage to get some peeps together for a Thursday night Pathfinder game, I’ve also met a couple new gamers who wanted to roll some dice and now also have a Friday afternoon game to play in (with occasional DM’ing.)

Thursday Night: Decurtate Delvers

I didn't want to use stock art; but, this really is the party. Yes, that Dwarf is representing the cleric perfectly.

After getting in touch with a few friends I haven’t gamed with in an eternity, we decided to all give Pathfinder a solid shot. The first session was purely brainstorming and character creation, followed by a generic goblin fight just to test drive the mechanics a bit. We didn’t really get to see Pathfinder “in action” enough to see how it separates itself from d20/3rd edition D&D, but, I’m making sure Thursday night we get to dig into it.

I lovingly named the campaign “Decurtate Delvers” because everyone is under 5 feet tall. A Dwarfen war cleric, a halfling rogue and a gnomish sorcerer of an Air Elemental bloodline, who is kinda dumb and plays a Ukulele. I’m giving BIG props to my buddy Joey who is playing the gnome; even after giving everyone a free 18 and 16 before they rolled for stats, he wound up with three 9’s. I gave the option to abort the stats and roll again; but he wanted to go with it and see what he could accomplish. Oh yeah, the damn little guy despite lack of strength carries a 10 pound iron pot with him everywhere. This should be a funny campaign, and I’m looking forward to the (mis)adventures!

Friday Afternoons: Island Hopping Old School!

A couple really cool amigos tracked me down online last year by way of Obsidian Portal and have been wanting to play some old school for a while. I finally caved in and decided to game with a couple of strangers, and now I”m totally happy I did. I called up a buddy who I’ve been playing Magic a lot with to come over, and we all rolled up some good ol’ fashioned Mentzer Red Box D&D characters. Best part is? I didn’t have to DM….I love getting any chance I can to play.

I was a little taken back at first….we took a while purchasing gear, and the first thing that happened was we were onboard a ship that got hit by a storm, crashed on an island without our gear and were taken captive by Hobgoblins to work in a slave mine. Looking back, though, the DM was suggesting over and over we went with stock gear.  But after we got through the initial introduction….the world opened up. Yeah, we were slaves without weapons and armor. I was a first level cleric….which in old school, means I didn’t have any spells yet. But despite our chains and imprisonment, we were given sandboxy freedom to decide how we were going to get out.

Our party consisted of my Cleric, a Fighter and a Dwarf. While we were down in the pits mining for coral (which was going to be sold for cosmetics for nobility elsewhere) the Dwarf managed to sharpen our tools and sever our chains. We tried to escape by night, but were caught and bludgeoned by the Hobgoblin guards. Since we did manage to take out the biggest and meanest one, we were given a chance to fight in the Arenas. If we survived, we would be given a “job” as a guard for the head Hobgoblin. In the arena, we were given rusted weapons and there was a trough of some “slop” that a Shaman traded the leader for some coral. The slop was essentially our Healing potions, but it entailed a Save vs. Poison everytime. Go figure.

We had managed to take down a rampaging ape, a war boar, and a black bear before we had to take on a Panther caught by the Hobgoblins. We got our asses kicked; with my Cleric falling to his defeat with the Panther still up with only a single hitpoint. We awoke, heavier chains shackling us than before, and sent back to the mines and ending our session.

Right now, I’m feeling like this has a major “Great Escape” vibe to it; but once we get out there’s some cool plans. The DM’s idea sounds kind of like a tropical island version of Ravenloft….a chain of islands where the coastlines change every night, and once we manage to hop off the Island there are other stranger ones to explore. This was done on purpose so after every Island, another DM can take the mantle and we can keep the same characters going while someone else runs. I think it’s a fun idea; and armed with my D&D Rules Cyclopedia, I’m getting some pretty good ideas.

Ironically, itching for 4E

While I’m welcoming the break from running 4E and getting to play and DM some other games….I’m eager for when scheduling allows my 4E group to meet up again. As a solution to my dilemma about the Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress, I went out and purchased Matt James’ Soldiers of Fortune. I thought about it long and hard….why is it a level 16-17 Warlord and a Scion of Arkosia, who in the prior campaign led armies against the forces of Tiamat, are adventuring at a party level against the forces of Orcus? WoTC module design be damned….it’s time we lay siege to that mutha.

But, that’ll probably have to wait for a couple months.