Monday, November 24, 2014

The Ever Expanding Dungeon : Session 36

Having disposed of their prisoner, and come up empty handed after looting the pile of orc corpses, the party turned their attention to the door in the west wall. It had gone quiet on the other side sometime during their skirmish.

With caution to the wind the party barreled into the room. (ie. i forgot about my door procedure!)

[This room had been mapped before, so i don't need to check to see its size or shape For contents, I rolled 1d6 per Moldvay, and got a 2, Monster. I then checked on my Is the Monster Here? Table and got No ,and Roll on the Signs table: half-eaten meal/prey/victim.

I turned to Rory's Story Cubes and got a guy doing pull ups.]

Dangling from chains bolted to the ceiling, the remains of a dwarf dripped and oozed into a puddle of red-black gore that grew beneath it.

The party covered the doors, and Maglom and Ygg freed the corpse from the shackles. Ygg performed a simple prayer for the soul of the dwarf to enter into a weekend bender with the Hedonistic Lumberjack.

The door in the North wall of this room had been their objective, and after forcing open the door, they found steps going down.

Eomond, hunter and slayer of rats, looked for foot prints leading from the room down the stairs. 

[Does he find any?1d6, 1. Yes and they appear to be orc.

The question about whether or not the party would go down the steps was made based on the results of the survey of the characters' creators I conducted awhile back. Of those that responded, the split was 50/50, so my own preference to explore the level further was the swing vote.]

"Orc prints" said Eomond, pointing out a faint set of prints heading out of the room and down the stairs.

None the less, much of the party was intent on finishing their exploration of the 1st level.

Despite being in the mood for a fight to avenge the killing of the dungeon's dwarves, Maglom, the lone holdout, conceded to explore the remainder of the 1st level and attempt to complete the map - a decision made possible because Ygg, himself in no mood for fighting again, sided with Eomond and Leegand to finish exploring up here.

As a precaution, Ygg spiked the door to the steps, hoping to at least annoy the orcs a bit.

The natural next stop was the door in the north east corner of the East wall.

[I really should provide a map so you can see what I'm talking about. Oh wait, here's one.

They are in room 45. Room's 46 and 47 haven't been found at this point.
  • At the door, Eomond listened :3, and heard nothing nothing. Leegand checked the door for traps: 6 nope.
  • Using my Solo Traps table - I roll 67, 16, 68, which tells me that the door is unlocked,the lock is not trapped, and the door itself is not a trigger for a trap.
  • The door swung open and (using version 3.0 of my low budget dungeon generator, I rolled a d12, and got 9- an empty room). 
  • Version 3,0 used d10 for all dimensions which resulted in some seriously massive rooms and long corridors. I decided to take after version 4.1, but instead of card suits, I used 1d4 1= d4, 2=d6, 3=d8, 4=d10. The result would be used for the dimensions.
  • I rolled a 3 and used d8 for dimensions and applied the same rules I use in version 4.1. 6 and 3 = 3x3
  • 1d4-1, 2 = 1 additional exit - since the room abuts the door in the north wall of 32, well that's the door
  • Treasure- I used Moldvay's dungoen stocking table to check this - 5, nope
  • Few rooms are truly empty, so I turned to Rory's Story Cubes: apple, yelling stick figure, cauldron/pot]
The room was largely empty save for an old rusty cauldron and dozens of rotted apples. A curious thing to find in the dungeon for sure.

Checking their map, they could see that the door in the south wall should take them back to where they started, so Eomond pressed his ear to the door again and then Leegand checked for traps.

[At the door that led to 32, Eomond listened: 4, nope
Leegand checked for traps: 8, nope
Solo traps: 64, 93, 02 Door appears stuck not locked, the lock is not trapped, the door triggers a trap.]

Believing the door to be trap-free the party forced it open

[1-2 = front rank, 3-4 = middle, 5-6 = rear. I rolled a 2 and it sprang on front rank.
I rolled a story cube and got a flame.
flame jet trap (thanks story cubes)- 1d8 to front rank, save for half]

An unnoticed trip wire unleashed a jet of flame from the ceiling, briefly engulfing Maglom and Runolf.

[Maglom makes her save with a 14, I rolled 3 for damage, so she takes 1 point of damage. Runolf saved with a 16, I rolled 6 for damage, and he takes 3.
Wandering monster check: 3, nope]

With a general admonition for more caution, the party prepared to take the door in the north east corner.

[Eomond listened: 3, no
Leegand checked if locked and if trapped: 16 doesn't notice anything
54, door is stuck, 16 lock not trapped, 56, no trap on door]

Leegand suggested the party to open door and then probe ahead, but alas, no one had a 10' pole or even a spear.

Necessity is the mother of invention; the party forced open the door a and hurled an orc body through. It landed with a thud.

Satisfied the area wasn't trapped, the party peered through to spy a short hall ending in a dead end.

[Determined by a roll of 12 on the dungeon generator.]

[Zilliniy checked for secret doors (she can find one on a 1-3. I rolled a three, so she will find one if there.
I rolled a d6 and on a 1 there is one present. I rolled a 1. Version 3.0 of the random dungeon generator includes a 2nd roll to determine the whether or not the secret door allows passage in both directions or just one. I rolled a 3 and and it's bi-directional.]

The party assumed door formation and began their usual routine.

[Eomond listened: 3, no.
Leegand checked if the panel was trapped: 7, doesn't find any]

They find the mechanism ad try to open the door.

[It occurred to me that a secret door doesn't have a key hole that can be picked, so that's not an issue. I roll to see if opening the door triggers a trap. 02. Sure enough.

I rolled on some table or other and generated a pit trap. Again it was triggered by the 1st rank. Maglom and Runolf each fell 10’. Maglom took 1 damage, and Runolf took 3]

After fishing out Maglom and Runolf from the 10' deep pit, they noticed 3 dead orcs in the smallish room.

Wandering monster check: 2, nope

A quick examination of the bodies showed they bore several wounds each.

[Mythic, 50/50, were they wounded in battle?13. yes.]

It appeared to the group that the orcs sought sanctuary here, but died of their wounds. Looting of the dead commenced, but yielded nothing

[I used Moldvay's Treasure roll - 1-3 = treasure when a room holds a monster, but I rolled a 5.

I rolled for additional exits, 1d4 - 1 and got a 2, so 1 additional]

Ready to press onward, the party took their usual door opening positions. '

[Eomond: 5, Hears nothing]

And as usual, Eomond heard nothing. Leegand dutifully checked the door.

[Door procedure: Leegand checked for traps: 18, nope
Is door locked? 10, yes
Tries to pick lock: 3, SUCCESS!! WOOOO!!!!
Is the lock trapped? 100, nope]

Elated over Leegand's successful lock picking, the party remained cautious as they moved through the doorway.

Is the door a trigger for a trap?: 56, no door trap
I rolled on the dungeon generator and the result was 70’ and a t-intersection ]

As the party moved down they hall and approached a T-intersection, it was clear that to their right was the door to the former gnoll shrine room (31).  To their left, they found a previously unmapped entrance to the dungeon [thank you random generator]

This seemed a good time to get back to town with Runolf down to 9 HP and Maglom and Zilliniy minorly injured with 2 HP.

In the end, a rather quiet session and given the danger faced in some of the recent sessions, a welcome change. No one swung a weapon and no treasure, but, everyone survived and will get some XP to boot (using my home brew XP rules).

I discovered (or remembered as the case may be) I rather like the Is the Monster Here table, and i don't know why I had stopped using it, except out of forgetfulness. 

The total playing time was about an hour, and that included gathering my materials.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Picture, 1000 Words, Yadda Yadda

Although my postings here are a bit slow of late, I've been posting more elsewhere: G+ and especially on Instagram. 

I really like the latter, as I don't feel compelled to say more than a few words about what's pictured. 

Sometimes, i don't want to slow the game down to take a dozen pictures, and then type and edit a summary, especially when I'm learning to play (like Song of Blades and Heroes presently - and which I'm really enjoying. There's something about fantasy skirmish that brings out the kid in me. More than usual, that is.) but I still want something for posterity. 

I find it's also a great way to share painting progress. A picture or two is all it takes, and since I'm using my phone anyway, a few finger taps later and it's posted. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Current Painting Table

Seriously, it must be the change in weather.

Here's what's currently in my painting queue:

I'm rather pleased with how the horses are coming along. I'm using this tutorial from Ken of All the Kings Men Toy Soldiers and despite being written for 54s, it works quite well on the 1/72 figures. These figures are Zvezda mounts for Russian Dragoons.

I am trying something new with this batch of Swedes (the guys in blue and yellow) - a white base coat for one (which I hate), and blacklining after the fact, rather than leaving a gap between colors (can't do that with a white base coat). After this group is finished, I will be focusing more on dragoons for both sides. And not just because i really like painting the horsies.

The Soviet riflemen may not look it, but they are primed; I use PVA. This has been my method of choice for most of this year for the big figures - so far, it seems to work. I will follow this up with a second coat of PVA once the figures are finished.

The buildings are birdhouses from Jo-ann's and Michael's that will be pressed into service for my 54mm games. The cabins, with a little work, will serve on the Eastern Front, primarily.

Another fantasy figure? (well several, if you count the rodents of unusual size)

What can I say, Song of Blades and Heroes is rather enjoyable and it's a great motivator for painting up some of my Bones minis. I have to say, they really don't take primer well at all, and still feel tacky a week later. A base coat of black acrylic seems to resolve that issue, however.

Oh, yeah. This guy., Skeletor, the Wraith Lord!! 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Paint Table Friday

I started in on Song of Blades and Heroes (part of my 10 games, 10 times challenge) and it's done two things: got me psyched about paper figures again but also, maybe I should try to paint some of the Reaper Bones figures I've got taking up space.

Shields need some touching up and the swords aren't finished yet.
And here's a blurry picture of a portion of my paper goblin warband (led by the red chaos knight):

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Ever Expanding Dungeon: Session 35 and My 500th Post!

This post is the 500th here on Tabletop Diversions, and so it made sense to feature a session summary for the Ever Expanding Dungeon.

'tween story (using Mythic Variations)

The party returns the Dagger for 4 weeks of rest and relaxation, armor repair, and healing, as well as some sparring and tactics practice. The Sheriff is a little concerned about the activity, particularly as a magic-using type seems to be involved, but otherwise allows it to continue. After two weeks of rest, they are ready to return the dungeon in the hills.

Is that what happens? 50/50, Chaos 5, 63. No

For 'tween stories, if you get an ordinary no, then just choose the next most logical thing:

After 2 weeks of rest, the party opts to head into the dungeon again, seeking fame and fortune. 

It isn't fancy or terribly interesting but it gets the job done.

Return to the dungeon

Utilizing the survey that some of the players filled out, plus my own preference as Ygg, it was a sure thing the party would return to the scene of the last battle, but in terms of where to go from there, there was a difference of opinion.

Having agreed to return to the scene of their most recent encounter, Zilliniy and Ygg wanted to venture East towards the unknown, while Leegand and Eomond wanted to head north to see if it connected to area 17 on the map. Runolf, Maglom and Lykidas saw little difference in the choices.

Utilizing my Intra-party Decision Making system:

Does the party go East?

Ygg -11 + 1
Zilliniy - 7 +1
Eomond - 12 +1
Leegand - 8 +1

Ygg and Zilliniy = 20 yes
Eomond and Leegand = 22 no

The difference is 2 in favor of no.

Treat as a 50/50 roll in Mythic, Chaos 5: 53 + 2 = 55, No

After brief debate, the party decided that, once in that room, they would check out the north door.

They moved quickly through the dungeon to the Gnoll Shrine room (they don't know it's called that) 

Anything here? I chose to use the b/x stocking die roll of 1d6. 5, Empty, Treasure? 4, no treasure

Wandering monster ? 1, nope

Checking the secret door from the hallway into the room of their final stand against the orcs, Eomond and Leegand listened for anything on the other side.

I based this on the survey responses.

Does Eomond hear anything? I can't find in S&W:Whitebox a roll for hearing noises, so I posed it to Mythic - 80, no

For Leegand, I am using the thief class from Whitebox Heroes (since S&W: Whitebox has no thief class). I roll a 4 (on a d20), which means he does hear something.

Although Eomond could hear nothing, Leegand, possessing that ability to hear even the faintest hint of potential trouble or income common to all those who engage in questionable activity outside the limits of the law, overheard the murmuring of voices in a heated exchange.

I turned to Mythic, What does he hear? Negligence of the Public. Which i figured would be some kind of argument about something - I don't know why.

Rather than enter through the secret door, which might reveal its existence to creatures who might not know of it, Ygg suggested they check the door to the room where they and the Dwarves started their battle against the orcs last time.

Ziliniy and Runolf coverd the steps, while Eomond and Leegand again listened.

I used the same method as before:
Eomond - 02, he hears something
Leegand - 14, nothing

Eomond hears "Punish good" according to Mythic.

The sound of a whip cracking and muffled screams was all to clear to Eomond.
Thinking it could be someone in need of help, or someone who might be happy to be helped and return the favor, the party prepared to enter.

Leegand checked door for traps, found one, and was able to remove it.

I decided I would treat traps this way: If the PC detects a trap, they can then try to disarm it if it turns out one exists, but if they don't, and one exists, then they automatically trip the trap.

Using the Whitebox Heroes thief class again, I roll a d20 and get a 3, which is a yes

I check with Mythic, is the door trapped? 42, yes
Can he disarm it? I roll a d20 and get a 3, he succeeds in disarming it

Next, I checked to see if the door is locked.

Again, I as Mythic, Is the door locked? 46, yes
Can he pick the lock?  I roll a d20 and get 9. I turn to the table in Whitebox Heroes, and find he fails to pick it.

The door, however, was locked, and his attempt to pick it, failed.

Wandering monster check? 5, nope

The party arranged into Door Smashing Order.

Maglom     Runolf
Zilliniy       Ygg
Leegand    Lykidas
The door flew open and ....

Scene setup: 
The door flew open to reveal some orcs beating a dwarf who is shackled to several others of his kind, who are deceased.
Does it hold? Chaos 5, 8, yes
How many orcs? I turned to the d30 DM Companion and found 5 orcs present. Just five? AHAHHA. Piece of cake

Using the S&W:WB method of testing surprise with 1d6:
Are they surprised? 4, no
Is the party 3, no
Initiative: Party: 5, Orcs 1

Maglom moved into the room and yelled for them to unhand the dwarf.

Zilliniy's bow aimed steadily at one of the orcs, while Runolf glared threatingly, the flicker of flame from the party's torch dancing off the honed blade of his trusty axe.

Mythic: Do the orcs stop? This seems unlikely, given they hate dwarves and one just told them to stop.  42, No

Somewhere, I read that in S&W, each PC can take only 1 action per round of combat, which seems absurd, but on the other hand, I rather like as it feels very wargame-y and reminds me of GASLIGHT.

  • Zilliniy let her arrow fly: 17+1 = 18, hits for 4 points of damage and drops an orc where he stood
  • Runolf charged the nearest orc with Ygg following close behind
  • Leegand attempted to sneak into the room to flank and attack the one with the whip.
  • Lykidas held his ground, prepared to cast Sleep at the first sign of its necessity.
  • Eomond covered the party's rear - the last time they failed to do so, they were surprised by orcs coming up behind them.
With one dead immediatey, I had the orcs check morale. There's no mechanism for this in S&W: WB, the intent is that the GM will decide. I decided to keep the wargaming theme going and rolled a d6, if i rolled more than their number, they would fail - rolled d6, 3, they passedDoes anyone see Leegand? First I rolled to see if Leegand was successful in sneaking, he was not. Then I asked Mythic if anyone noticed 10, yes.
  • The orc nearest Runolf attacked him, but failed to cause any damage (it rolled 14)
  • The whip orc charged towards Leegand
  • The other two charged Maglom (determined by die roll: 1-2 Maglom, 3-4 Zilliniy and 5-6 Ygg) yelling "Kill the dwarf!"
Fighting continued for 3 more rounds, with orcs dropping and some party members minorly injured (save for Zilliniy who took 6 damage)

With 2 orcs left... 

Does the part give them a chance to surrender? Based on responses to the survey, I deem this Unlikely but then roll 33, yes

Maglom ordered the orcs to drop their weapons
Do the orcs comply? 81, nope

Runolf gets 3 attacks each round and hacks up one of the remaining orcs. The other find's this line of argument persuasive.

The orc dropped his sword and surrendered.

Does anyone from the adjacent room enter? 50/50 68, no
Anyone from the hallway?(Wandering monster check 2, nope)

Maglom interrogated the orc for the party.

I used Mythic to learn something about the orc's personality: Open for Food

The orc told Maglom that he and his people are starving, that the dwarves have cut them off from their food supplies and that they are desperate.

Ygg tried to persuade Eomond to give up some of his rations to get the orc to talk more.

Does Eomond agree? Very Unlikely 69, nope.

Will Maglom? Very unlikely- these dudes have been slaying dwarves, even if not her own 07 but Ygg pulled a guilt trip, mentioning tales of Gutzom's kindness.(truth or not it worked)

Maglom offered the orc some food and he became downright chatty.

Can he show them where the orc lair is on the map? 50/50, no.
Is it on this level? 81, no
Further down? likely. 40, yes

He notes that it isn't on the map, but further down into the dungeon.

How many of his people are there?

She asks how many of his kind there are,and he answers [Mythic replied Abuse of Weapons] that with the in fighting, and the battles with the dwarves, and the lack of food, their numbers dwindle daily.

Ygg felt a bit sympathetic - afterall, the Hedonistic Lumber Jack wants everyone to party.

Ygg had Maglom ask the orc if his people could pay for food to be delivered to them? 

Mythic: 50/50 33, yes

He nodded yes, although he seemed a bit confused by the question.

Ygg proposed to the party that they return to town, gather food and such, and then sell it to the orcs for a profit.

I turned to Mythic, and asked Does anyone disagree? 
Based on the survey replies to how much gold should be spent on negotiating with NPCs, I decided that the odds are high someone will disagree. Likely, 12, yes. 

Who? After looking at it, I saw that Ygg might be alone in this plan.

  • Zilliniy has a deep seated racial hatred for orcs. 
  • RUnolf wants adventure, which playing delivery boy isn't
  • Maglom still isnt happy these dudes were beating the dwarf
Speaking of, Leegand checked the dwarf. is he alive? 50/50  91, no

Does anyone agree with Ygg? 50/50, no

Lykidas could go either way, as could Leegand, Eomond wants adventure but a supply of easy gold isn’t terrible either.

Party conflict:
Ygg - 11 + 4 = 15

Zilliniy - 7+5 = 12
Runolf 11+1 = 12
Maglom 15 + 2 = 17
That's 39 opposed to Ygg's 15.

It wouldn't have mattered, as I rolled a 93 anyway, for an exceptional no.

Not only did they disagree with Ygg, much of the party was for killing the orc - seeing him as a liability and not to be trusted, plus there's that whole "I hate orcs" from Zilliniy and Maglom pointing out the pile of dead dwarves shackled together.

Ygg conceded that the party was right and noted that it is an opportunity lost but that this is just how things are.

In typical fashion, the party looted the bodies. [Anything? 1d6, 5, no] but found nothing.

They readied themselves to try and enter the adjacent the room, despite the heated exchange Leegand had heard before, and which had now gone silent.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Ever Expanding Dungeon XP Awards

Well I finally got around to calculating the XP for the last two sessions of my solo dungeon crawl, The Ever Expanding Dungeon.

Here are the XP totals and what 's needed for the next level (those who started at 2nd level, which is all but Ygg, started with enough XP to be at 2nd):

Ygg : 1045/1500
Lykidas : 3701/5000
Zilliny : 6691/10,000 (Variant Elf, so I could map her to b/x)
Eomond : 3509/4000
Leegand : 2501/240 (using White Box Heroes for the Thief class)
Runolf : 4139/4000
Maglom : 2921/4000

Two characters leveled up and there was also some shopping and pretty much anyone who can wear plate armor is. 

Runolf and Leegand are now both 3rd level.

Runolf now has 15 HP, Leegand is up to 10.

For those curious, in the last 2 sessions"

Runolf dealt 37 points of damage, with Zilliniy close behind at 30 (the next nearest is Eomond with 12)
Maglom took the most damage - 14 points - followed by Zilliniy and Eomond with 13 each.

I've already played the next session, and since the next post will be my 500th, it seemed appropriate that it be dedicated to the Ever Expanding Dungeon.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Blogoversary and 100,000 Views!

On Saturday, Tabletop Diversions turned 3 at the same time it crossed 100,000 views.

I'm also approaching the 500 article mark.

With so many milestones so close together, I should probably consider doing some kind of celebration here on the blog.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this. 

Yep, my son is going as a backhoe loader for Halloween.

Please excuse the mess. i finished it at 5AM Saturday morning and a few hours later there was a mad dash to attach the straps and get everyone ready to go to the Atlanta Zoo for their "Boo at the Zoo" event.