Monthly Archives: October 2015

The End is Near!

My current long running HackMaster campaign will be coming to a close soon. This campaign has been running a little over two years, the characters range from 12th to 15th level. This last game, the group learned they had a nickname and are much more famous than they thought they were. The name everyone has been calling them behind their backs is “The Doom Bringers of Cotedela“. The group was very excepting of the name, they realized that perhaps not all of their adventures have ended in ways that would be considered ideal by other adventuring groups. Since the beginning, the PC’s have been responsible for;

  • Collapsing the Tower of the Elephant in mid town High Port.
  • Turned over an extremely powerful artifact to Turel , the master of the thieves guild.
  • Restarted the war for the Throne of the Bright Empire.
  • Released the Glitterdoom curse upon the world (basically starting the zombie apocalypse).
  • Freed the Dead King from his prison.

Needless to say, the people who actually have to live with the consequences of these guys actions are probably not all that thrilled with them. On the other hand, they are one of the most powerful groups on the island and there are few who can stop them or even interfere as they rage across the landscape like angry rhinos in a china shop. Someday I am going to run a follow up campaign, where it is the groups job to go around and fix all the messes this group created.

Dice Shrine

I got my Dice Shrine today. It is holding my Opaque Blue Die, purchased in Laurel Montana in 1980.


Here is a close up.



This is an awesome gift, Thank You PezWitch, I love you. For those of you who are jealous, you can get your own on ebay.

30 Minute Sandbox Game

In one of the odd little forums I go to, there was a discussion around how much prep time a reasonably experienced GM needed to run a campaign that could potentially run anywhere from a single game one shot to a multi year mega campaign. Like all these types of questions, the real answer is, it depends. In this case, what the questioner really wanted to know was, what was the minimum prep time. To answer this question, I sat down and did the work for a first game in a new area.

The first thing I did was I went to the Donjon Random Dungeon Generator and produced a 30 room dungeon with an undead motif. This took me all of 5 minutes, it gives me a first adventure without too much screwing around and I can modify it on the fly to better suit the party. This spit out the Black Shrine of the Vampire Princess, it is not a module I would actually spend money on, but it is a handy framework that can be built upon in a minimal amount of time. I wanted to spend more time on other things, so I did not modify it in any way, figuring I would do that in game.

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The next step was to design a small sandbox area where the PC’s can adventure for at least the first 10 games or so. I opened up my mapping software, which happens to be GIMP or the HexGrid plugin. I quickly laid out a 16×16 hex map, each hex being 5 miles across. This means everything on the map is just a few days of walking away, but most of it is wilderness, so there is plenty of opportunity to get into trouble in each hex.
















This took me about 15 minutes to lay out and another 10ish minutes to write a bit of background. I admit to stealing ideas and using cheesy names, but again, you can have it fast or good, you can’t have both.

  • Hex 1407: City of Greymoore – By tradition Greymoore is run by Baron BlackHawk, however for the last 20 years it is been run by Governor Lorraine, who is a competent administrator, but not a particularly nice person.
  • Hex 1409: Castle BlackHawk – Owned by Baron BlackHawk and his family, old man BlackHawk is now in his 80’s and the place has fallen into mild disrepair.
  • Hex 0007: Son of Arne Glacier
  • Hex 1104: Lake Bleedslow
  • Hex 1011: Lake Yrag
  • The eastern edge is the Mutter Ocean
  • The western edge is the Vater Mountains
  • The North Forrest is inhabited by an goblin tribe
  • The South Forrest is inhabited by an unruly group of elves

This probably took me around half an hour to do in total. Had I wanted to be more creative or fleshed things out a bit better, another 30 minutes I think would be more than enough.

On the Kender race

D&D players fall into two broad categories. Those who love the Kender race and those who hate them. The Kender race is a sub species of Halfling from the Dragonlance series. Kender have two very specific racial characteristics, first they are completely fearless and second they have no sense of personal property. While this is highly entertaining in the context of a book series, it makes for terrible D&D characters.

My personal experience with players who like Kender is the whole “I didn’t steal your +3 dagger, I just borrowed it!” thing is funny the first time, mildly amusing the second time and outright pisses me off the third time. I mean, they never steal trivial items, I have even went out of my way to have interesting items on hand for the Kender to steal, but nope, they never go for the shiny and rare coin from three kingdoms away, or the handmade fishing lure, they always go straight for my magic items or high value gems. Then, when I would turn it a round on them and started stealing my stuff back, or god forbid, I stole one of their magic items, then suddenly its not funny at all. All through this they scream “I’m JUST PLAYING MY CHARACTER!”. The Kender race was developed solely for the purpose of giving the guy who created them an excuse to steal from his fellow party members, there is no other reason to play one.

Besides my own personal dislike of the Kender, thinking about them in game terms, there is no way they would survive as a race. It would be impossible for them build any kind of civilization and would have to depend on raiding for survival, which of course does not win you any friends. The elves and the dwarves might tolerate such shenanigans, but humans most certainly would not and would likely seek to wipe out Kender wherever they were found. In fact this is exactly what happened to Kenders on Caldoom. centuries ago everyone got tired of Kender shit, got together and wiped them out. Today, this is referred to as the Great Kender Culling. It is doubtful any Kender still exist on Caldoom, and if there are any, they stay well away from everyone else and if discovered will deny being Kender, claiming instead to be halflings.


This made me laugh

Normally I am not disposed to posting cat pictures, but this made me laugh.

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Sad Cat is sad because he lives with a Yeti.