Saturday, 19 April 2014

Horror's Cast of Characters

Well, it's time to get started posting about my Horror on the Hill game. As I said, it's based loosely upon both the Module (B5) and upon Gary Holain's article The Kingdom of Keoland, from the Living Greyhawk Journal, issue #1.
Note: Very few of the Players haunting Role Playon Line are interested in starting with 1st level Characters, so I have gotten into the habit of allowing everyone to start at 2nd level; that's where the Character's currently are. Also, one of the Player's quit soon after the game started and a second quit later. I am currently NPC-ing two "former" PCs. They will soon serve as Cannon fodder.

The Player Characters:

Arya Snow - female half-elven Ranger, age 32, 5'4" tall, 135 lbs., white hair with black streaks, green eyes, left handed. Born in the County, she joined the guard, but quickly learned her skills were put to better use patrolling the County's wild places. She now patrols the wilds alone, slaying evil humanoids her favorite past-time.
Duran Lazerde - male human Paladin of Heironeous, age 20, 6'4" tall, 220 lbs., blonde hair and blue eyes, left handed. Born the second son of Duke Lazerde, Knight of Barovia and ruler of the fortified stronghold of Broque. He is on a Quest to spread the "light of Heironeous" to unbelievers. The polyglot of people gathered in Flen -- in an effort to cleanse the Earldom -- has drawn him here.
Quntius - male human Kineticist, age unknown, 6'2" tall, 195 lbs., black hair and beard, grey eyes. Born to a prostitute in Estgant, he was abandoned upon the steps of the Church of St. Cuthbert. His talents were quickly recognized and he was trained by the Order of the Sanctified Mind. He strives to use his psionic abilities for the betterment of mankind.
Rowan Nigel - female wood gnome Druid, age unknown, 2'4" tall, 30 lbs., black hair, blue eyes. Her family lived amidst the Grey Elves of the Vesve forest, north of the Deepstill River. Trained as a Druid by her mother and taught Alchemy by her father, Rowan served her community well. Then, ten months ago, a horde of Abyssal bats -- led by lesser Demons -- invaded her home, as part of the on-going fight with Iuz. Rowan's mother was slain by an Ogre named Iron Jaw. While her father and brothers rebuild their lives in the Vesve, Rowan pursues Iron Jaw, whom rumor says is heading south. It's been sometime since she's had word of the Ogre's movements.

The non-Player Characters:

Tarn - male human Rogue, age 21, 5'9" tall, 168 lbs., blonde hair, and blue eyes, right handed. Tarn is the second son of the Head of the Thieves' Guild of Niole Dra. Finding his son in gambling trouble -- again -- Tarn was sent on a mission; to contact each of the Guild Houses within Keoland. Silver tokens were given to Tarn, identifying him as a trusted member of the Guild. Tarn has long since gambled the tokens away and cannot return to the Guild. He's travelled west in search of his own Destiny . . . and to avoid the wrath of the Guild. (former PC)
Fiolas - male human Fighter, age 26, 6' tall, 195 lbs., brown hair and hazel eyes, right handed. Fiolas was born and raised in the city of Niole Dra. He grew up learning to use the sword and soon moved to the city of Flen, where swords were much needed. He served as a member of the Guard, a job he enjoyed, but within a few years he found himself chosen to serve as the County's next Executioner. Quickly losing interest in such grisly work -- and having served out his enlistment -- Fiolas now seeks to make his own way in the world. (former PC)
Worquin - male human Cleric, age 24, 5'11" tall, 190 lbs., close cropped sandy blonde hair and blue eyes, right handed. A cleric of Trithereon, Worquin came north from Longspear -- in The Yeomanry -- when he learned of the razing of Kilm. It is his desire to bring "Justice" to those who would perpetrate such evil upon the innocent . . . though "Retribution" is closer to what the Cleric and his God actually have in mind.
Pharles Brightblade - male human Fighter, age 30, 5'10" tall, 185 lbs., brown hair and blue eyes, right handed. Pharles is a Captain in the County's army and is second in command of the fortress of Godakin Keep.  He knew Duran Lazerde some years back, when the younger man was training to serve Heironeous. His mission is to protect the territory around Godakin Keep, but given the relationship with Duran, he will allow the heroes to use the Keep as their base of operations.

Godakin Keep
The Game opens with each of the Characters living in, or around, the city of Flen, capital of the County Flen, Kingdom of Keoland. Though not habitual "drinking buddies," they have shared a tankard, or two, and are thus known to each other. Our story opens with the friends sharing ale and discussing a new rumor.
A couple of months back, the hobniz village of Kilm was razed by humanoids from the Jotens, across the Javan River. Lord Garson Elgarin, son of the Countess, Lady Allita Elgarin, and Heir to the title, led a group of men to investigate. Two weeks ago, they crossed the Javan and entered the Jotens and then . . . they disappeared; all one hundred of them. Well, that's the "rumor," anyway. Our heroes believe they can succeed where the Lord and his one hundred failed.
Due to the constant raiding from across the Javan River, the County's armed patrols are spread pretty thin and having one hundred men suddenly disappear hasn't helped matters. So to ease the burden -- somewhat -- supplies to the Keep are now shipped by barge, due to the fort's nearness to the river.

Gary Holian's vision

FYI - I changed the first picture for Godakin Keep after speaking with Gary Holian. Some of you will recognize this as the picture for Keep on the Borderlands, but this is more inline with Gary's vision, so I'll start using it. The second picture shows the aerial view of the Keep as it sits on the Javan River.

The Keep averages a garrison of 500 men, but can hold nearly 2000, when necessary. The surrounding village has a population of approximately 750.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Adenocarcinoma = Cancer

Well, I just learned that my kid brother has been diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma of the lower one third of his esophagus.

He lives in Grand Junction, Colorado, near my father. He was sent to Denver for some specialized test, so he's had more than one opinion. My father -- now 73 -- says they haven't told my brother yet, but the Doctors informed him -- my father -- that folks with this stuff usually die within five years.

My kid brother probably won't live to see forty. I was eighteen when he was born; changed that boy's diaper, baby-sat him on numerous occasions, took him to the zoo, et al. Never had any kids, always figured he'd be the one to "close my eyes" when the time came. Now it looks like it's going to be the other way around. The sort of thing that takes all the wind out of your sails.

There are those who say: "Life's a bitch and then you die."

Not true. No, life's a bitch . . . and then it has puppies.

So, if I seem to be "dragging," sorry. Got some things on my mind these days.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Horror on the Hill, Module B5

I have begun running Module B5, "Horror on the Hill," as one of my Role Play on Line games. I have made modifications to it, as I said I would back in my October post. I'm using Mr. Gary Holian's article "The Kingdom of Keoland" in the Living Greyhawk Journal, Issue #1, page 8, as the story's background.
In that article, Mr. Holian presents a situation similar to that of the Module, set in the County of Flen. The hobniz village of Kilm – located within the county – has been razed by humanoids from across the Javan river. The Module B5 places a village on the other side of the river from "the Hill." Kilm is just on the other side of the Javan river from the Jotens mountain range.
Rather than use the razed village as a base of operations, my party is using Godakin's Keep, a fort located some thirty miles to the northwest of Kilm. Interestingly, the Module has the party use Guido's Fort as their base of operations. The parallels are apt and fit quite well with the Flanaess location I have chosen for the setting.
Both the village of Kilm and Godakin's Keep are clearly marked on Paizo's four poster map of the Flanaess. It's map #2 from Dungeon Magazine #119, the southwest Flanaess.
For those of you more familiar with the World of Greyhawk – and the web site Canonfire! in particular – you can find the locations on that most excellent source of Greyhawk maps, GHMaps, by Anna Meyer . . . Greyhawk Goddess of Geography. Let me also take this time to say that more Greyhawk "goodness" can be found at Canonfire!'s associate blog, The Canonfire Crier.
Following in the traditions of others in the blogosphere, I'm going to start posting the Game's progress here on my blog. Given the comings and goings of RPoL players – which I've discussed before – I can only hope that this game will play out until the end.
So, I'm going to get started putting the game into "writing" and getting it posted here. I do warn you beforehand, however, RPoL is much like Play by Post . . . and sometimes the posting is slow. More's the ptiy.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Peeking into The Manor, Issue #3

Tim Shorts does it again, but doesn't he always? This time he has Ivy contributing some of the Art Work. Now I truly dispair of ever seeing those scantily clad women Tim promised! Good thing we still have Conan! Jason Sholtis -- The Dungeon Dozen -- continues to provide the excellent artwork.
Tim presents us with a nice little one-off Adventure featuring an evil Cleric and oodles of Undead. A village's water supply has been poisoned and they are desparately in need of help! Will your Players rise to the challenge? Seeing as how I'm going to introduce this into a couple of my RPoL games, my Players will. Hehehehehe!

Ivy's Evil Cleric
Ivy's Undead

The Adventure also introduces us to a Dead God -- Mytria -- and one of her Clerics. Sorry Tim, but in my world God's don't die in quite the same manner that we poor, pitiful mortals do, so Obidiah will probably have some residual “powers” that he's unaware of -- via his contact with the Lion of Mytra. He just needs one of my guys to inspire his Faith!
The Lion of Mytria? Sorry, you'll have to get an issue and read it
Yes, it's good to be the Dungeon Master! The mighty Over Lord who rules and shakes the heavens! Even if it is only im my imagination. LOL
Needless to say the evil Cleric and friends are set up in an old abandoned coal mine. I found that very interesting. You don't see that much in gaming; a coal mine. We tend to think of coal as a more “modern” thing, going back only a few hundred years, but coal actually has a much longer history. Though mostly used as a domestic fuel in those early centuries, coal was used for metal-working by smiths as far back as Ancient Greece. The Greek scientist Theophrastus spoke of it in his geological treatise "On Stones," circa 371 b. C. E.
Map by Rob Conley

Nice homework Tim! It's really quite original, well done! I'm going to be stealing that concept.
There's also a new Magic Item, usable only by servants of the Evil God -- Ba'Valon -- introduced in the Adventure. It will have to be destroyed, or course.
We have Poetry, in the form of a Haiku, from Ken Harrison, over at  The Rusty Battle Axe, one of the blogs I read myself. Why we even have a couple of “filler jokes,” though I can't find who Tim credits them to.
Then there's Pog Nog's Cart. Yep, another GoblinI It's amazing the way Tim keep's expecting "us" not to murder all these nice, cute, little goblins running around in our midst. Ah, Tim, if only all NPCs were that accepting of their fellow creatures.

Pog Nog makes his living as is to be expected – going through other people's trash! Yet, somehow, he always manages to find some worthwhile objects that he sells. Why, even his cart is made up of "our" cast offs!
In some uncanny way, Pog knows that something's amiss and hopes that he can help. Tim provides him with an interesting backstory as well, but I'm not going to give it away here. You'll have to get an issue and read it for yourself. Tim always manages to find a reason for these goblin persons to dwell amongst us . . . unmolested. Nice.
Finally, Tim inroduces us to another God of his creation, Adzeer, a deity that speicalizes in Monster Hunting, of all things. Needless to say, Adzeer's Holy Symbol is a bull's-eye target!
Adzeer's Holy Symbol
To go with this God is, of course, another PC Class – Monster Hunter. Tim provides us with an Advancement Table for this Class, as well as appropriate titles for the various character levels gained. Naturally, the circles of the target also represent the circle to which Adzeer's followers belong, as they advance in level. The Class  receives Boons from their God at the appropriate levels, as well as special abilities. There are also specific Monster Hunter Spells for the Class, accompanied by a Spell List, of course. Tim certainly puts effort into his work. Very nice.
Tim concludes with an advertisement for Blood & Treasure, a Fantasy Role Playing Game, one I had never paid much attention to, until reading The Manor #3. Ken Harrison also plays it, over at The Rusty Battle Axe. Something I'll have to look into I suppose.
All in all another fine production by my friend, Tim Shorts. It was also nice to see Ivy contributing in such a way to her husband's product . . . though she is interferring with those promised “scantily clad women."
Next time, we'll talk about Gygax Magazine, issue #3.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Gone Too Long

Hey gang, sorry it's been so long.

I've had the crud for the last couple of weeks , then add to that the boil returning to the back of my neck . . . for the third time. My diabetes makes it harder for me to fight off such illness, coupled with infection. The boil makes me feverish and groggy.

But I seem to be finally over it all. Now to get back to talking about Gygax Magazine, issue #3, as well as Tim Shorts' The Manor #3. Tim was probably thinking that I forgot about his excellent publication, but I didn't. Tim? Fooled you!

I also need to catch upon my favorite blogs, no telling what I missed. Ivy's probably been baking up all kinds of goodies. I understand Tim got her a new Wonder Woman flash drive and bust. Can you say; "Oink, oink?" ROFL

I'll have to look into it. And no, I'm not forgetting all my other favorites . . . that's why you guys are over there on the right hand side of the screen. Lots of reading to catch up on. Of course, I'll probably never catch up with Erik Tenkar, that guy is prolific, to say the least!

Well, lots to read and much to write, so I better get started. Thanks for sticking around!