The Morning After

The D&D session on Sunday went really well – albeit not in any direction planned by myself. It was set the morning after a long night of carousing and started simply enough with Thorin’s hangover.

During the afternoon I’d messaged the players of every other character and asked them to nominate random items that he would find to give clues to the previous evening – with the hope this would lead to their comparing tall tales during the session.

What actually happened was that Thorin woke up and saw something moving under his discarded cloak. As he approached, it began to cry.

After a few moments of confusion the group was gathered round the swaddled baby kobold, and wondering why there were poker chips, a lone ace of spades card, and a broken monocle falling out of Thorin’s pockets.

There then followed an ethical debate between keeping the baby and trying to find the baby’s mother which was an emotional rollercoaster for several players.

A combination of retracing their steps and asking questions in low places (like the Floating Market) turned up memories and stories of betting against a powerfully built Shifter at the casino – putting up their house against the baby as a wager. While being unable to identify the Shifter (and suspected slaver), promises were secured from various people to either identify the Shifter, or the tribe from which the baby had been taken.

The baby, by now being called Odif, was being firmly taken care of by Caeluma and they refused to put Odif into anyone else’s hands – which is why they still had Odif in their arms when they walked into the middle of an armed industrial dispute at the Sky Docks…

So, that was our Sunday…

How Bizarre

I was about to write a blog and found three unpublished drafts from over the last few weeks, so I’ve hit the button on them. That should confuse the stats.

It’s been a very busy weekend – we finally caught up with each other yesterday – so today’s gaming session was a bit more subdued and roleplay-led than our more recent weekends.

The DDC ended up visiting a casino and taking advantage of Thorin’s local fame and popularity to sweettalk the owner into giving them some information about the missing Lord Kemsler. They now have the office address and name of a skyship captain who transported the artificer.

It doesn’t sound much, but the session was full of visits to tailors, shopping for gifts, and asking questions of suspicious town hall gnomes. It was gentle, but we had fun.

We’re also starting to get a regular viewership – a steady half dozen or so listeners all the way through and another couple of dozen who dipped in and out. According to our stats we also have a healthy number of people who check in on the recordings during the week – so if that’s any of you, thank you very much and hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have making it.

If you’re not sure of the link, have a listen to www.twitch.tv/princessleah1980 and we’ll see you soon.

Why Kobolds?

Last night’s game ran over time, but was great fun, mixing the freeform joys of a festival with a guest player who needed to recruit the DDC. As with last week, I’d drawn up a timetable for events to help keep us on track for the session and by and large it helped us clip along at a brisk pace all the way through.

Was a good session

Our guest character, Zorra, was a warlock from the University library, well known to Kerne. An aarakocra looking like a large humanoid owl in a smart suit, Zorra had been shut out of her home by an invasion of kobolds and needed the DDC’s help getting back in.

Home Alone style hijinks then started before the group managed to break in and fight off the small statured but persistent pack – while Valenia and her wolf fell through into a sub basement which looked to be where the kobolds had come from.

We did overrun, so the story will continue next week with our guest returning – but if you’d like to hear and see what happened then go to www.twitch.tv/princessleah1980 and you can catch up there.

Games Report

Last night’s game dipped into more pulp and espionage elements after the side trip taken the last couple of weeks. A long-bubbling subplot regarding a missing artificer and artificially produced narcotics came into focus with a bit of a bang.

The session started gently with the identification and sale of various treasures recently recovered. This allowed them to have a bit of a shopping spree to update some of their equipment, and so everyone’s mood was high.

The courtesan Belle, last met in the Undercroft on the arm of Lord Harm, arranged to meet Valenia at The Brazen Hydra, the tavern just down the street from the group’s home.

Valenia brought everyone along, so they were all there when Belle revealed herself to actually be Sobrein d’Phiarlan, an Agent of House Phiarlan who specialise in entertainment and information brokerage. The House was concerned about the potential damage the drug could cause and so wanted to help point the group in the right direction.

Before they could move somewhere private to discuss it further, an assassin launched a fireball from an alley across the street, and struck Sobrein down. Iron Ryan, who has become Kerne’s companion, stayed to stabilise the fallen Bard while the group raced in pursuit.

It wasn’t destined to be a long chase, as Caeluma and Kerne both discharged spells in response. Caeluma’s eldritch blast clipped the fleeing assassin, but Kerne’s spell melted him into little more than a pile of gloop, much to the alarm of bystanders and a local guard patrol. Sobrein suggested that he might have been an agent of House Thuranni, bitter rivals of her house in spycraft.

Eventually they were able to get Sobrein to their house and complete their discussions. She was able to describe a conflict between the lowlives of the Dhaask gangs and the extensively connected Boromar Clan in the city of Sharn. House Phiarlan was concerned that if either group was successful they would wreak havoc in different parts of society and so wanted it taken out of both their hands.

The clue that she could offer was that Lord Kemsler had been to a meeting with someone at Casino Tanja. If they could find out who it had been with they would find it easier to track where the artificer had gone.

And that’s where we left the session. It’s probably just a coincidence that House Phiarlan’s symbol is a hydra.

Rumble in the Undercroft

Tonight’s session was fantastic, well-paced, and had sass and drama in equal measure. Great fun all round, had by all.

I’d planned out key milestones to help mark timings for the evening which left ample time for roleplay and plot elements to come into play – and with key events in early bouts being used to punctuate conversations, it kept a momentum going.

The wrestling references and in-jokes caused much eye-rolling from myr s and laughter from everyone else, so I’m glad I spent the time googling ring names.

A confidant of their host identified themselves as an agent of House Phiarlan, there was a meeting at last with Mr Friendly and Mrs Nice, there were fireworks and dancing lights, banners were made and flown, and Kerne made a new friend.

Oh, and in a bruising and tense knockout finale, Thorin won his match, much to everyone’s relief. Great fun, must do another one soon.

Game Prep

It’s been a bit of a lazy day, but I’ve done a fair bit of preparation for the Sunday game. The main map has been adapted, NPCs placed, and even some loose plotting sorted. I’ve also been creating a number of potential opponents for the main event, which is shaping up to be a WWE style pitfighting competition.

So far Iron Ryan (warforged unarmed combat champion), Rigger Reins (human drunken fighting monk), and Seck “The Snake” Saash (lizardfolk Eagle Totem barbarian) have been sorted out to join Thorin “The Firebringer” in the ring. I’ll finish off with Gorgeous Glorfina and The Chef (can you smell what he’s cooking?) in the morning.

Those who follow such things may have spotted some cheeky nods to well known ring names already. I have no shame…

Come join us at 7.30pm but don’t forget that the clocks go forward tonight here in the UK.

DDC Housekeeping

Just finished a great session for this week’s game. There were no great heroics or epic fights, but instead a quiet period of investigation and regrouping.

They now own a market stall, are setting up a WWE-style exhibition pit fight, and have found the culprit responsible for the pranks and missing items in their house: a surly boggle called Tanglefinger.

After a fight scene that owed more to Home Alone than The Raid, they captured the elusive and slippery fey, and eventually came to an arrangement to share their living space.

And we all had fun, and I broke out some silly voices, and it was pretty much all ad-libbed. A good session.

Next week? Who knows?

Oh, The DDC…

For those who haven’t caught up with Sunday’s streamed game, well where have you been? I knew it was probably going to be a bit random but I wasn’t expecting them to end up in a BDSM club.

On the one hand it was perfectly plot driven and was kept on the tasteful side, but it’s a stark reminder to DMs that any throwaway line can and will be used as a plot hook against you.

In this case it came from some abandoned and near ruined diaries found while investigating a deserted and haunted house. I was establishing the back story linking the owner of the house with another character that had previously been mentioned. A previous throwaway line of that character being a fugitive chemist and drugs being involved segued into the two mentioned characters being lovers.

This then led to a throwaway line of the DDC finding some erotic poetry between the two while searching through rubbish, and mention of some clubs that they’d frequented together. Having had a glass of whisky at the time I then made up some risqué sounding names.

This week, having rescued Coal, the DDC decided to go searching after the missing alchemist, and went looking for his previous haunts. This was where everyone produced their notes and said the name of the club they wanted to visit.

So instead of hunting after Warforged terrorists as I’d expected, they went clubbing, leaving Coal and Kerne behind to protect innocent eyes. Caeluma compared knitting and knotting techniques with a semi pro rope rigger, Thorin found his burgeoning pit fighter career made him a bit of a celebrity, and Valenia shmoozed for clues.

I have a vague plot now writing itself, but who knows where it’ll all end up…

Prepping for the DDC

Another game tonight, so as the last couple of weeks were intense fights and investigations this will probably be a bit more free-form and roleplay centred. There will be a week’s downtime to resolve, and that alone will likely determine the next directions taken.

With a largely character-led campaign I’m fully expecting some interesting side trips in response to the plot hooks I throw out there so my preparations are largely along the lines this week of some generic battlemaps that can be turned to a variety of uses. I’m posting them up in the Roleplay section as I go along, feel free to take a look.

It’s those adventurers again…

In terms of active plot lines: we currently have the missing Gnomish alchemist who fled from the university and his partner (Lord Rancaster) with a recipe for synthetic dream lily. We have the pit fighting scene that Thorin has begun to get involved with. We have random pranks by persons unknown in the DDC’s house, and we have the Warforged zealots following the Lord of Blades who were working with the Emerald Claw cultists who kidnapped Coal and used him to resurrect a Warforged Titan.

No doubt they will go investigate something else entirely.

Bouncing Back

Been a lot brighter as the weekend has gone on, and thats been more than a little due to the anticipation of and running of tonight’s game, which just finished.

It was a battle-heavy game as the group tracked down the people and entities responsible for the recent carnage and kidnapping of their companion. I was concerned at one point that I might not have judged things well from a balance point of view, but a combination of luck (both good and bad), tactics, and planning saw it all work out, including Caeluma being the one to strike the fatal blow against the Bone Knight responsible for everything.

I’m all energised in a tired way from that, so with tomorrow being my last day on holiday I’ll spend some time working out the next chapter, and then preparing for a new week of strangeness.

Lady M is back to work tomorrow. I suspect there may be some swearing…