Monday, November 1, 2010

Session synopsis - AD&D 1e Ch 1.

I think the Tomb of horrors sessions gave Chris a taste for some real old school AD&D action. We ran OSRIC on Saturday.

They had to roll 3d6 for stats (no, not in order, I am not an ass) and I gave them full HP for level one. The group was: Elven Mage, Elven Fighter/Thief, Dwarven Cleric/Fighter, Halfling Thief.

Summary follows:
The emerged from a glowing and crackling blue doorway (this was lost on them, none of them were Ultima players!) into the howling wind atop a stony mesa. They saw a ruined Caravan below, with two riders in shining armour driving a pack of small raiders before them up the road to the river.

The group went down into the Savannah to investigate the Caravan. There, they were ambushed by little lizard-headed kobolds. They saw the first lot off. Success went to the Dwarf's head. He hatched the 'genius' plan of advancing right up to the Caravan (where they could see some Kobold crossbow-lizards) and taking the hit on his remaining HP, reasoning he could just heal up the next round. He charged up and skewered what he thought was a Kobold, only to get a cloud of feathers as it exploded - it was but a ruse! And then he heard a hissing sound.... (at this point another player said "they're Moties" - I'm glad they are following some of the references!) The hissing was followed by a loud Kaboom! and the Dwarf bought the farm. The rest of them headed in. The Elven Mage used his sleep-spell to subdue the rest of the Caravan. They then looted.

The Two shining silver-armoured figures returned, riding lean saurian mounts. They were unsurprised to face outworlders speaking in a strange tongue, and one of them could even translate. They said that there had been much Kobold trouble of late, despite this being only hours from a garrison - they laid this at the door of increased activity out of the nearby Caves of Chaos. There was a reward to be had for returning the mining goods in the Caravan the companions joined them on the way to the nearest settlement, a large keep on the borderlands of the High Kingdom of Armanthor. There they collected the reward, and stocked up, ready to make there next move in this strange and dangerous world.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Session synopsis - Ch 3 pt 2.

After making their way over the hidden pits, the adventurers found themselves in a long corridor. They explored cautiously ahead, striking pitons into the walls at 20' intervals and tapping the floor before them with a stout wooden pole. After some laborious progress, they did come to a door.

Sharp eared Miklos heard sounds beyond, and they planned and plotted how to breach the iron reinforced portal. Eventually, Paschal hit upon a plan. He remembered the alchemical variant that allowed Seighard of Zurich to breach Lois the Bearded's blockade on the River Inn. With this cast, they made their way through. Miklos, seeing a retreating torchlight and voices, resolved that these must signal others in the tomb making escape with the treasures. So he made chase. His haste nearly undid him, as the entire corridor proved to be a tilting floor than deposited him in a burning room at its foot. He barely made his escape and was pulled to safety by his more cautious companions.

Unsure how to proceed, they decided to throw numbers at the problem and had the men they freed from the cultist's fastness painstakingly search this relatively safe part of the tomb for them. Eventually, one found a secret door and they made their way downstairs. Paschal dispersed a strange mist, Han burnt some spiderwebs and Richard found a golden sceptre.

They also found the reanimated semblance of Augustus, still bedecked in his funerary wrappings. The battle was fierce indeed, but the Golden sceptre allowed Richard to slay the revenant Caesar, though not before he was cursed with a deafening voice. As the chamber began to visibly and audibly crumble, they took the crown, a jade box and quite that place to make their way back to their base in the mountain caves. There, they gathered a small band of henchmen and awaited the coming of spring and the thawing of the snow on the passes...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Session synopsis - Ch 3 pt 1.

The companions resolved to further explore the Tomb of Divine Augustus. Miklos had his gender changed, then back again, Han stood in the way of a thunderbolt and Seighard investigated a strange brain in a jar. Afterward, they repaired back to the comfort of the cultists' former demense and took their leisure.

All save Seighard that is, who unknowingly at the behest of the brain, crept into Miklos' room and bound and drugged him. When all awoke the next morning, there were vexed words, and Han set out to settle the matter in the tomb, with Seighard in hot pursuit. Unfortunately for Seighard, the brain persuaded Han that the Alchemist was a more pressing threat.

Hans ambushed Sieghard in the dark of the cavern outside the tomb. Minutes later, a wrathful Miklos arrived in time to slay Seighard with his crossbow. Shocked at the turn of events, Han shook off the malign mental influence. Thom Ecke brought up the rear and grimly took his firearm into the brain's room in the tomb, stelled his mind against its blandishments and blew it an the jar to pieces.

So the three who remained returned to the pagan chapel within the tomb. They did battle with clouds of red motes and discovered a secret door. Passing through it, they roped up and carefully made their way deeper into the tomb....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting back up to speed

Well, it's been a while, so here is some material to refresh your memory:

The character backgrounds:

Miklos the Hungarian
Thom Ecke
Seighard of Zurich
Hans Vohrberg

And a quick Q&A:

What are we playing again?
Epic RPG, set in the Sacrum Romanum Imperium aka 'Darklands'. It is the first half of the 15th Century and your characters are attempting to make their fortunes at the margins of society. This is the end of the medieval era and the land is undergoing profound social and political upheaval, so it's a good time to be an armed adventurer.

Where are we?
You are in the Alps in winter, to the South of the Empire and West of the River Inn. In the Tomb of Divine Augustus, beneath Mt Innesfreis. More specifically, in a large underground room, with an alter at one end and a number of wooden benches arranged before it. You discovered that these benches alternatively contained coin and deadly gas traps. Whoever set this place up was a bastard. Luckily you brought an Alchemist with you.

Why are we here?
You are attempting to recover some 'family heirlooms' (Stefano thinks he is descended from Caesar?) as part of a joint venture with Stefano de Medici. You found the clue to this place after investigating the catacombs beneath the Jewish Quarter of Regensburg. Seighard found a nice sword and a little loot there. However, your way further was barred by a door with the clue to the tomb's location on it and some kind of confounding force barring it. Things got a bit messed up in Regensburg, so this seemed like a good opportunity to let things 'die down' a little.

Full session logs are here:
The session logs.

I have also made some small changes to the equipment list (several basic weapons now have lower minimums, Lances and Pikes get higher ones). I will bring a revised copy to the game.


The Calixtines form the core of the Utraquist cadres, trained by the visionary tactician Jan Zivska himself. Bohemian outrage at the burning at the stake of the religious leader Jan Hus sparked the defenestration of officials and open rebellion. The teachings of the Martyr Hus sparked two major religious factions: The fanatic Taborites and the moderate Utraquists, who wished to regain the right to receive communion in both forms.

The Hussites were harbingers of a military revolution. Sigismund himself remarked, after the eventual end to the Hussite Wars, that: "only Hussites could in the end defeat Hussites." Calixstines fight as infantry and employ a high proportion of the new handheld gunpowder weapons. These, along with skilled use of innovative 'Wagenburg' tactics saw them defeat Catholic crusaders, year after year.


Melee arms or Ranged arms, Military Arts, Maneuvering, Theology, +1 LP

Secret Masteries

It is our Right (Theology (Catholicism) Mastery) Requires a Theology (Catholicism) roll vs a moderate (10) difficulty. Spurred by devotion to his cause and a keen sense for the point of decision in battle, the character gains first strike against any enemies in melee with them.

Draw them in. (Ranged Arms (Gunpowder) Mastery) Anyone hit by a shot from the character's gun must make a resistance roll vs a moderate (10) difficulty or be forced to disengage from their current activity and make their maximum combat move, without sacrificing further actions, toward the character.

Wall of Steel (Theology (Catholicism) Grand Mastery) The Character is awarded the title of Commander of Wagons. He gains +1 LP and additionally, gains +1 PL vs ranged attacks.

We have it!

Finally! It took me ages to count that letter out, so I am glad someone eventually dechiphered it.

Here was the text:

Good Sir, master of any manor pursuant to this trouble.

These harrOwwing days only auger reknewed sorrows to all great and meek servant espouseing a life of Christ. Truely it sours my humble peaCe of mind, always finding herreTics where godly fArmers do till in hope of their rest in haeVen. I am greatly honoured it falls to hUmbler people in a role as an shepherd to carry forth God’s beneficiel plan for his fallen lost laMbs. To my sorrow the visit of merciless doom must today wash your demesNe clean. So a good friend of inocents needs bold saintly men to cleanse evil prOperly. Bavaria prays for aid. Our agent has the goodwill of God’s annoinTed, Clement IX, your Pope in Rome. Do not delay, sincereley gather Christ’s brAve heroes to go attack heretics and tools of demonic’s or evil men.

Dietrich von Mörs, Archbishop of Koln

Hans Vohrberg (Chris) must have spent the nights kept awake through the 'phantom pain' from his missing hand. He diligantly applied the fruits of the monks' tutelage and came up with this:

'Octavum Nota' is 'Eighth letter'

map to sword taken from elder at prag others to be removed then find map
bring only in secret to me


Sunday, October 10, 2010


I still can hardly believe it, but we will be returning to the Sacrum Romanum Imperium and Epic RPG, this coming Saturday.

In the meantime, this is possibly the most awesome RPG setting on the internet:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chapter 2: Into the Alps

Chapter 2: Into the Alps (three sessions)

Charged by the enigmatic Stefano de Medici to relieve precious 'family heirlooms' from the vault of Augustus in the Alps, the companions make the perilous journey in the dead of winter. Sailing up the River Inn, they were accosted by the henchmen of the Bavarian Duke, Louis the Bearded. The quick thinking Seighard used mystical alchemy to sever the chain blocking the river. Forestalling the alarmed boatmen, who were about to throw the apparent witch overboard, the decisive Miklos stepped in and proclaimed the act a miracle of St Hildebrand! Now heroes, they made use of the libraries of Innsbruck to learn the lives of Saints and made their way deeper into the Alps, toward the slopes of Mt Innesfreis.

Encamped there, they were assailed by cultists, who conjured a fell red mist, sending it roiling up the mountain slopes toward where they slept. Luckily, the companions were forewarned by their watch and avoided the trap, circled around and sprung a trap of their own. Thus followed a series of running battles amidst the firs of the snow covered valley. Until they espied the cultists base in some caves. The companions made their stealthy way inside, made pretence of being a returning patrol, jumped the guards and made their entry. There they wreaked their vengeance upon the black hearted diabolists, until their story was nearly ended prematurely by the intervention of a pagan Knight, in Antlered helm. His supernatural skill saw him near sever the life of Thom Ecke, before that red armoured warrior was laid low. Brought back to health by good rest, food and Elixers of Salubriance, poor Thom was near laid low once more by a trio of cultists lying in Ambush in the lower level.

There, enshrouded in supernatural darkness, they did find the entrance to the tomb of Divine Augustus. Within it's portals they found a twisting set of trap filled corridors, puzzles and wealth almost beyond their capacity to carry it. After the rash Hans Vohrberg lost his hand in an inky dark sphere, they near quit the locale in disgust and after near dying to a cloud of poisonous gass ponder whether to go forth or retreat empty handed....

Continued in Ch. 3: The Dragon's missing trinket.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chapter One: Regensburg Nights

(For their prior travails see: Prologue: The Road to Ruin)

What goes on in Regensburg, stays in Regensburg...for now.

However, you can't help but notice Seighard bears a fine new shortblade and the profound mistrust the companions bear for all street urchins, female or otherwise, is palpably obvious.

It is murmured in some quarters that it is suspicious for these strangers to skip town, purportedly to travel into the Alps, in the dead of Winter. Suspicious indeed, given the spate of strange and grisly deaths amongst the less savory elements of Regensburg's citizenry, the disappearance of a leading Physician, not to mention the unexplained explosion on the third floor at number 14 Palatine Street.

Continued in Chapter 2, tommorrow.