Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Keep on the Borderlands, Play Session #9: Finishing the Orcs, and on to the Hobgoblins


We're playing B2 — Keep on the Borderland, so if you haven't played that you might want to skip this entry.


Clockwise round the table, starting with the Labyrinth Lord:

  • T.K.B., the Labyrinth Lord.

  • T.A., playing Glen the Strategist (a wizard) and Dooley the sly (a thief).

  • M.A., playing James the Cleric and Jeffrey the Monk.

  • E.A., playing Curufin the Elf and Drusilla the Ranger.

  • L.B., playing Taffy the Halfling and Alice the Cleric

Finishing the Orcs

C. 6 orcs from 14: 5sp 12sp 3sp 7sp 6 scale armor, 2 light crossbows, 6 morning stars.

Curufin found the secret door to 13, then kissed Taffy's hand.

Bow, quiver w/20 arrors, 2 swords, 2 daggers, 2 shields, 2 gems, 20 gp, 40sp.

Guard from 16: 8 sp 1 gp, Chaimail, short sword. Girl: ivory bracelet (100 gp). Orc leader: longsword, plate mail (to Alice), shield, magic +1 hand axe (to Taffy), silver belt w/gold buckle, sword w/100 gp gem in pommel, purse with 9 gp, 17 ep, 5 sp. Storage Room: wine barrel 55 gp, sack with 50 gp, rope of climbing, copper bowl 50 gp.

Dru & Curufin took shields, Dooley took 2 swords, Glen took the daggers, Taffy took bow & quiver. (Alice gave her chain to Drusilla.)

They went back to town and healed up.

On to the Hobgoblins

They headed out towards the Caves of Chaos again, and this time they approached H. Taffy found the lever to move the bar. They went in and straight to 25, where they killed 4 male hobgoblins and 4 females. The males had 4 gp, 4 gp, 2gp and 4 gp, while the females had 5 sp 10 sp 9 sp 6 sp and 9 sp. They also had 4 scale armor, 5 leather armor. Pewter diskes, 25 gp. 4 heavy picks (8 gp) and 5 maces (5 gp).

The Gray Goblin Warrens, Part 1


We're playing Christopher Brackett's One Page Dungeon The Gray Goblin Warrens, from the blog A Rust Monster Ate My Sword, which can be found as part of The One Page Dungeon Codex 2009. If you haven't played that you might want to skip this entry.


  • T.K.B., the Labyrinth Lord

  • M.A., playing Niall, a cleric

  • L.B., playing Caramel, a halfling

  • T.A., playing Angrim, and Elf

Actual Play

S, W to SW, S, SE, S, SE, NE, NW, around CH, N, NW, SW, slid down the greased steps and all fell in northmost O (Oubliette). I said that Caramel's 10 foot pole fell across the entrance to the oubliette, so they were able to throw Angrim's grappling hook up and snag it and climb back out.

Back up the greased steps, and then NE to northmost G, where they killed 4 gray goblins. 9 sp, 14 sp, 3 sp, 11 sp, 4 scale armor, 2 light crossbows, 4 flails. Caramel took one light crossbow.

Went back to village. With last time's haul they have 8 scale armor (260 gp), 4 maces (10 gp), 4 flails (6 gp), 3 light crossbows (24 gp). Total: 300 gp, 100 gp each. Spent 2 weeks at village.

Back to the Gray Goblin Warrens. S, W to SW, S, SE, S, SW, first covered pit. Angrim fell in. Used Caramel's 12 iron spikes to get around turn to where Angrim could climb up.

Back to village.

DragonQuest, 1st Edition

Today, while visiting a local used book store, I was thrilled to find a copy of the first edition of DragonQuest. I played DragonQuest extensively, but I'd never seen a copy of the 1st edition, and to find a copy in Buckhannon, WV was just neat.

Recent Reading: Marie Brennan

  • Midnight Never Come, by Marie Brennan, copyright 2008 by Bryn Neuenscwander; ISBN-13 978-0-316-02029-9.

    I really enjoyed this mix of faerie an Elizabethan England. Interestingly, this novel was inspired by part of a campaign of the Changeling RPG, which was one of the things talked about in the informative “Extras” section of the book, where she recommends three books by the folklorist Katherine Briggs: two on general British faerie lore (British Folk-Tales and Legends and The Faeries in Tradition and Literature) and one specifically about Shakespeare's time (The Anatomy of Puck). I'll have to look for those, and for Maire Brennan's other books. She has a website <>.

Rushing Valley D&D, Session #9

Rushing Valley D&D, Session #9

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


2021-08-09 12:01:39

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


Clockwise round the table, starting with the DM at 6 o'clock:

  • P.D.F. as DM

  • T.K.B. playing Droston a'Seamus

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

  • M.A.F. playing Bartha

  • C.A.H. playing Onchu

C.A.H. is very late: –500 XP.


Bartha was gravely wounded (3 WP) in the last episode.

We start in the entrance room with Droston and Bartha on the exit side of the chasm and Onchu and Polonius on the other side of the chasm, next to the barred door into the rest of the cavern complex.

Actual Play

Ropes and Chasms

Droston and Bartha eventually join the others across the chasm, after entirely too much fiddling around with rope.

Polonius picks up a light crossbow and 12 bolts from a defeated hobgoblin.

Onchu and Droston press against the door while Polonius tries to raise the bar with a knife. Eventually they succeed.

A Storeroom?

The next room proved to be a store room with two large piles of goods and hobgoblin sleeping gear, with a cell to the south, a kitchen (with a chimney) off a tunnel to the south-east, a large room off a tunnel to the north, and a tunnel to the north-east that curved and then forked northeast again, which lead to another large room, which later turned out to be the same as the large room off the north tunnel.

Straight from the Centaur's…

Bartha snuck around the the side of the southern pile of goods, towards the cell, with Droston following with a drawn bow. The cell to the south turned out to contain a centaur! Bartha, knowing centaurs were Fey creatures thanks to her evening of revelry with the Fey of the Lady of the Valley, rushed to free him, and tried to converse; unfortunately, about all we could figure out was that he recognized Whaler's fey name. He had us all turn around and look elsewhere while he grunted a few times, then presented Bartha with a vial of thick colored liquid. She drank, and was immediately healed. She escorted the centaur back to the chasm room where it leaped the chasm handily, and ran away. We, stupidly, didn't follow him.

We were Warned…

We were attacked by two hobgoblins from the north passage, and killed them easily.

We investigated the south-east passage, which lead to an unoccupied kitchen.

We investigated the north-east passage, taking the north fork, which lead to a large room with a fire and some hobgoblins.

…But We Didn't Go

We investigated the north passage, which lead to a large room.

We were immediately attacked by 3 hobgoblins. Droston and Bartha stayed in the tunnel and loosed arrows at them, while Onchu and Polonius ran out and engaged them in melee.

Then three more hobgoblins showed up. Bartha ran to the help of Onchu and Polonius.

Then an ogre and two wolves showed up. A wolf tripped Onchu, and joined with the other wolf to tear him to shreds. Polonius, separated from the others, fled south-east down the large room. Bartha fled the room, taking with her the only light source, condemning Onchu and Polonius to the darkness, and fled to the other end of the tunnel. The ogre entered the tunnel and whacked Droston who screamed and yelled for Bartha to flee and fled himself. (Luckily he was wearing his night vision goggles and could see to flee!)

And Then We Died, or Fled

Onchu, meanwhile, died, and the wolves chased Polonius into the dark of the other end of the room, and the hobgoblins followed. Bartha and Droston made it back to the room with the chasm, and hearing Polonius's death cries, Droston barred the door through the handles with a hobgoblin longsword abandoned nearby.

Meanwhile, Bartha had tied the ropes across the chasm, and she and Droston fled into the open air beyond the caverns, where they eventually caught up with the centaur, and they all hid, mourning their fallen comrades.


After the adventure, Bartha and Droston were both 6200 XP characters, and C.A.H. and B.MC. were working on new characters.

Keep on the Borderlands, Play Session #8: More Orcs


We're playing B2 — Keep on the Borderland, so if you haven't played that you might want to skip this entry.

I got to run another short Labyrinth Lord session for the kids.


Clockwise round the table, starting with the Labyrinth Lord:

  • T.K.B., the Labyrinth Lord.

  • M.A., playing James the Cleric and Jeffrey the Monk.

  • T.A., playing Glen the Strategist (a wizard) and Dooley the sly (a thief).

  • L.B., playing Taffy the Halfling and Alice the Cleric.

  • E.A., playing Curufin the Elf and Drusilla the Ranger.

More Orcs

C. Net: 2 rounds. Killed male orcs from rooms 14 (9 orcs) & 15 (6 orcs) at the entrance. Dooley, Jeffry, & Alice went to below zero HP — Alice healed Jeffry, James healed Alice, and James bandaged Alice's wounds. Looted bodies and fled.

(This appears to have been the first session recorded in my moleskine.)

WVHTCF 50 Fathoms, Session #2: Sharks, Pirates, and Commerce

WVHTCF 50 Fathoms, Session #2: Sharks, Pirates, and Commerce




2021-08-09 12:05:14

This is an actual play report from the Savage Worlds 50 Fathoms plot point campaign from Pinnacle Entertainment Games. These actual play reports are available in html from T.K.B.'s blog.


Clockwise round the table, starting with the GM:

  • T.K.B. — GM

  • B.MC. — playing Azrulektos, a Kraken warrior/wizard

  • C.A.H. — playing Karl Kroc, a Masaquani treasure hunter and navigator

  • M.A.H. — playing Moorumah, a charming but rather dim Grael


B.MC. contributed the following actual play report.

Actual Play

Our story continues with our band of intrepid adventurers sailing their hastily repaired skiff from the Savage Land to the pirate haven of Brigandy Bay to sell the lumber salvaged from their initial shipwreck. Along the way we happened upon the remains of a battle, finding wreckage of a ship floating in the water with a large portion of the stern section bobbing in the ocean waves. We saw a man and a Scurilian standing on the stern yelling for help which Murumah was happy to oblige by diving into the water to swim over. Luckily Azrulecktos and Karl Kroc noticed the large great white shark making its way to Marumah and Azrulecktos killed it using his screaming water bolts. We learned that the ship that Black Bear (human) and Equias (Scurilian) were on was attacked by the dread pirate Windy Jack Windham. We were able to salvage one keg of brandy, one keg of whiskey and one keg of gunpowder.

We continued on to the questionable port of Brigandy Bay to find a buyer for the lumber we had salvaged from our shipwreck on the Savage Land and to buy provisions to travel to the larger port of Swindon. We were able to sell three loads of lumber to Lessa Larune for 900 pieces of 8 but Muramah had to perform a rapid offloading of material (knocking would be pirates back) to keep our unscrupulous buyer’s crew from stealing our skiff. Murumah was able to find eight Grael that paid us 400 pieces of 8 (1300 total) for passage to Swindon. Twelve days of provisions for our trip to Swindon cost 216 pieces of 8 (1084 po8 left) and the addition of a cannon and 10 cannonballs for protection another 250 pieces of 8 (834 po8 left). There was also another cost of 280 pieces of 8 (554 po8 left)…not sure what for but I think it was for papers to get us into Swindon with our passengers.

Karl Kroc’s skillful sailing helped us make the trip to Swindon in 10 days, saving 2 days worth of rations, and avoided possible attack by Windy Jack (a well known pirate) when we spotted smoke on the horizon, assumed to be a plundered ship. We had a tense moment when we were boarded by the East India Company but Murumah and the other Grael came to the rescue with their wild and raucous singing which convinced the East India Company captain to let us go.

Once we arrived in Swindon we proceeded to look for rumors and repairs to our ship. We found both in a tavern called The Gallows in the person of Garrin Glut. He agreed to repair our ship for 140 pieces of 8, ½ up front and ½ after the repairs were completed (take 3-6 days). Garrin also pointed us in the direction of the Whip Islands for treasures…

GM Notes

During their visit to Brigandy Bay, Miguel Figuroa proved surprisingly knowledgeable about the ways of pirates.


The PCs each got +2 XP, and Azrulektos got a bonus +1 XP for B.MC. writing up an actual play report.

(Azrulektos: 7 XP, Karl Kroc: 6 XP, Moorumah: 7 XP.)