Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Recent Reading: Poul Anderson

  • Three Hearts and Three Lions, by Poul Anderson; copyright 1953 by Fantasy House, Inc.; copyright 1961 by Poul Anderson.; Berkely Medallion Books/Perkley Publishing Corporation; April 1978; second printing; SBN 425-03680-4; published by arrangement with Doubleday & Company, Inc.

    This is one of the books Gary Gygax lists in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide, APPENDIX N: INSPIRATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL READING.

Recent Reading: Becket, Bujold, Butcher, Thurlo

  • The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, by Galen Beckett, copyright 2008 by Mark Anthony; Bantam Spectra/Bantam Dell/Random House, Inc; August 2008; ISBN 978-0-533-58982.

  • Paladin of Souls, by Lois McMaster Bujold, copyright 2003; HarperCollins Publishers Inc; ISBN 0-380-97902-0.

  • Legacy, The Sharing Knife, Volume Two, by Lois McMaster Bujold, copyright 2007; HarperCollins Publishers; ISBN 978-0-06-113905-5.

  • Small Favor, by Jim Butcher, copyright 2008; ROC/New American Library/Penguin Group (USA) Inc/Penguin Group Ltd.; April 2008; ISBN 987-0-451-46189-6. Part of his enjoyable Dresden Files.

  • Coyote's Wife, “An Ella Clah Novel”, by Aimée & David Thurlo, copyright 2008; Forge/Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.; October 2008; ISBN 978-0-7653-1716-2.

Recent Reading: Campbell, part 2

  • The Lost Fleet: Courageous, by Jack Campbell, copyright 2008 by John G. Henry; Ace/The Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Group (USA) Inc/Penguin Books Ltd; January 2008; ISBN 978-0-441-10567-2.

  • The Lost Fleet: Valiant, by Jack Campbell, copyright 2008 by John G. Henry; Ace/The Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Group (USA) Inc/Penguin Books Ltd; July 2008; ISBN 978-0-441-01619-8.

Recent Reading: Campbell, part 1

  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless, by Jack Campbell, copyright 2006 by John. G. Henry writing as Jack Campbell; Ace/The Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Group (USA) Inc/Penguin Books Ltd; July 2006; ISBN 0-441-01418-6.

  • The Lost Fleet: Fearless, by Jack Campbell, copyright 2007 by John. G. Henry; Ace/The Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Group (USA) Inc/Penguin Books Ltd; February 2007; ISBN 978-0-441-01476-7.

Rushing Valley D&D, Session #3

Rushing Valley D&D, Session #3

Thursday, 29 January 2009

version

2010-02-08 00:14:33

This is an actual play report from the “Rushing Valley” Dungeons and Dragons campaign. These actual play reports are available in html from T.K.B.'s blog and from P.D.F.'s RPG forum's Rushing Valley Campaign History forum.

Here's the very rough first draft of the log of the third session.

Please reply to this message with more details, or you'll end up with only this rambling biased view as the permanent record.

I'll post this to P.D.F's forum after everybody has had time to comment.

Attending

Clockwise round the table, starting with the GM at 9 o'clock:

  • P.D.F. as GM

  • B.MC. joins us, playing Polonius, Onchu's rowdy young cousin from Riverton

  • T.K.B. playing Droston a'Seamus

  • M.A.F. playing Bartha

  • C.A.F. playing Onchu

J.H. was unavailable.

Introduction

Sunday, May 24th.

Wages:

  • Bartha: 5 cp & leather armor

  • Droston: 12 cp

  • Onchu: 2 sp

  • Eirnin: 2 gp (sold a perfect cherry tree to a Riverton businessman)

Actual Play

Somebody (the mine owner?) hires the group to help rebuild a bridge on the old road out past the village, where they want to open another quarry (marble?). Onchu and Polonius are to help Brock Stonearm, old dwarf who lives in a suite inside the iron ore mine, rebuild the bridge while Bartha and Droston guard and supply food.

Leave at dawn and get to bridge site at 9:30 am.

Bartha: 19 on Survival, a deer; Droston: 16 on Survival, 4 rabbits.

Droston leaves out cakes at likely places.

Lots of wolf sign; usually pack of 30, but now split into small groups of 3 or so? Also the tracks of a huge creature: Bartha says "Man Bear" — feathered, beaked, bear.

Droston insists on plenty of fires.

Second watch Droston heard something. He quietly work Bartha, who yelled and carried on. Eventually whatever it was went back the way it came.

Droston insists on more fires.

Tuesday? Day 2?

Bartha ran into 2 wolves 75 yards from camp. The wolves end up dead and skinned.

Droston insists on even more fires.

Day 4? Droston kills a turkey for dinner, but is attacked by a giant demonic weasel with horns and barbs, which he just barely manages to kill by himself, but is severely wounded. The group estimates the demonic weasel weighed 500 to 600 pounds, and its tracks come from the north. The group skins it and takes the head, paws, and pelt to show the village.

Bartha heals Droston to the best of her ability and treats his wounds.

Stonearm tells the friends that he had heard of such creatures, called dire animals, and had even seen one in his childhood, though he didn't want to discuss it any further. He suggests they head back to the village immediately in the morning.

Brock said stay at the mine to get first aid — old Gerdie there is the best in the village.

Somebody (Brock?) mentions that there is a witch in a swamp at Riverton who is said to be able to make potions that can heal wounds.

Town meeting on Saturday, 2 cp bounty for wolf skins starting with the two the group brought back.

Saturday, 2 gp, Monday fully healed.

Polonius is given a heirloom shortsword and a chaw of ‘baccie by old man Grillus.

Brock tells the friends that the only smith who can make weapons is in Riverton.

Back to bridge site on Monday.

On rock where Droston left sweet cake and Bartha left a pretty stone is a marble that tingles when one holds it, the colors swirl and change, and one feels happier when holding it.

Once back at the campsite the group discovers that some of the large tools that they left and some of the timbers are missing, the campsite has been picked through, and things moved and things missing — some turn out to have been thrown down the ravine. Unfortunately, the timber that Polonius (?) spent so much time shaping and the pulleys we need to finish the bridge are missing.

The tracks told Bartha and Droston that four creatures wearing boots, with very small feet, smaller than dwarven feet, were the culprits. Brock said he hadn't seen gnomes here since the dwarves left, and thought these tracks were were definitely not dwarven, and didn't seem like gnome tracks.

The tracks lead them up a mile S.E. to a camp, which was filthy and stank terribly. Found the big timber with end cut off with a rusty saw and hacked about. Didn't find pulleys Droston and Bartha both failed to follow the tracks any further (both rolled 17).

On the way back they found a vine covered carved opening in the hill half way back to the bridge site — dwarven sized, with unknown complex runes around the opening. Droston copied one simple glyph on bark, after Polonius came up with the idea of using bark.

Brock comes back with them to the opening and translates the dwarven rules: “Here lies Rorn (decayed) the savior of (decayed).” He tells them that Rorn Golden Eye was a hero of the first goblin war, 1200 years ago. His chosen weapon was a large hammer, and he died young saving a bunch of dwarves. Brock says leave the opening uncovered — if this is his tomb it should be honored.

Tuesday morning there was a problem with the timber, rope, and pulley arrangement erected to move the keystone into place, and Brock ended up hanging at the end of a rope. Onchu made a furious effort to pull things back to a stable position, but was unable to make any progress. Luckily Polonius had better luck, tied off his side, pulled Brock to safety, and didn't even loose the key stone.

The bridge is done Friday, hear wolves, get two more deer, which will be enough hide to make another suit of leather armor.

Aftermath

We each got 350 XP, except for C.A.F., who got 335 XP (15 XP late penalty).

Droston got 1 Fame Point, for killing the Dire Weasel.

We split the 4 cp bounty for the two wolf-skins amongst the four PCs.

Recent Reading: Stross

  • Saturn's Children, A Space Opera by Charles Stross, copyright 2008; Ace Books/The Berkley Publishing Group/The Penguin Group/Penguin Group (USA) Inc., July 2008; ISBN 978-0-441-01594-8. Bridgeport Public Library.

    Despite the cover (which I suppose was appropriate to the content of the book, but still was rather off-putting) I enjoyed this.

Recent Reading: Ruff

  • Bad Monkeys, by Matt Ruff, copyright 2007; HarperPerennial/HarperCollins Publisher; first Harper Perennial edition published 2008; ISBN 978-0-06-124041-6. Bridgeport Public Library.

    This book listed three others by Matt Ruff: Set This House in Order, Fool on the Hill, Sewer, Gas & Electric; I think I should check them out.

Recent Reading: Philip José Farmer

  • The Dark Heart of Time, by Philip José Farmer, copyright © 1999 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.; Del Rey/The Ballantine Publishing Group/Random House, Inc.; 1st edition, 1st printing, June 1999; ISBN 0-345-42463-8.

    It's been a while since I've read any of Burrough's Tarzan books, so I can't compare styles, but certainly in inventiveness and subject matter Farmer did a good job with this story. I've always been fond of Farmer's various different takes on Tarzan, whether an authorized pastiche like this one, a deconstruction, an alternate mythology, or a backstory element 1.

    I really should complete my collection of Tarzan novels, though.

1

See Hadon of Ancient Opar and its sequel, Flight to Opar.