Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Delving Deeper Revisited

I ran across the current edition of Delving Deeper on the web a few weeks ago, and it prompted me to reread it in some depth. (It had been some time since I read my copy of the Delving Deeper box set.) The current version of the Delving Deeper Reference Rules (V4) is available online in hypertext or for free download as three digest-sized booklets.

I've decided I like this rule set very much. It really seems to reflect the rules of the original 3 Little Brown Books of Original D&D very well, and I can see that there are enough differences from, say, the Labyrinth Lord rules that I have been using, to make it a different experience. I'm looking forward to trying it out.

It prompted me to sit down and draw out a dungeon level and fill it using the method in Delving Deeper, which turned out to be good fun.

“Footsteps of the Fallen” comes to an end


  • M.A.H. — the DM

  • C.A.H. — Bulwark, a warforged

  • T.K.B. — Mord, an orc rogue

  • B.McC. — Vex, a changeling wizard/necromancer

Actual Play

We played the last session of M.A.H.'s “Footsteps of the Fallen” campaign, and were successful in eliminating the Mourning! In mass battle we defeated the army of the Lord of the Blades. Afterward we killed the Lord of the Blades, but the psychic purple creature who turned out to be behind it all escaped. We're left with a bunch of psychically active purple glass that can be mined and turned into psychically active artifacts.

This was probably the 33rd game session we'd played, and we'd been playing since the first session on 2013-02-27.


We got +5500 XP.

T.A.'s PotSM: The Scarlet Rose


We played “The Scarlet Rose”, an adventure from off the net, so if you haven't played that you might want to skip this entry.


  • T.A. — GameMaster

  • T.K.B. — Capt. Jack Savage, Rowena Blackwood

Actual Play

Heard rumors of Cutthroat Henry Hobbs' treasure; key under Santa Domingo's Lion's Gate (St. Leon's church). Go there. Try to climb down well in church. Rowena falls, but quietly. Find box with sand casting of key with the number 4 on the handle. Took it to a blacksmith, who recognizes it as a key from a gold collection site from mines of Santa Domingo — he warns us that the spirits of natives who died in the mines infest them to this day. 11$ to make the key. Can't find any way to protect us from the spirits. Bought Lantern and Bullseye Lantern and 6 pints of oil for 89$. Went to mines. 5 main passages. Some men came out of one of the other passages. Their leader is Catfish Carlos Peña, and they say they can't let us get away knowing about them. We fire and kill Peña and others flee. Number 4 area opens to our key. Only thing of interest is the Shipping Security Log. The 13th shipment lists Robyn H Besh (an anagram for Henry Hobbs) is in charge. He must have changed the log and took command of the ship to took it to Santiago (destination listed on the log).

Jack has a one-masted sloop with 4 crew. On the 3rd day one of the crew sees a ship; 2 days later another crew member sees it. We've also been having bad luck. We reach Santiago. Lots of taverns to investigate. We find an old man, Smiling Jack, who sells us for 5$ the information that William Wilks sailed with Besh, boasted of Spanish treasure, but lost money and couldn't pay. Smiling Jack leads us to the gambling house wher Wilks, known as Whistling Willy, is playing. He's about to be shot. Captain Jack Savage walks up to the shooter and shoots him first, killing him. His friends weren't happy. We kill 3 more, and 1 runs. Question Whistling Willy. Cutthroat double-crossed his crew. Willy had a pine box Besh gave him that turned out to have a false-bottomed, with a treasure map. It looks like Besh hid the treasure on the Isle of Pines. We head there. A day's trek inland. Come to the location where think Hobbs/Besh buried the treasure. Find large pine with H.H. and an arrow pointing down carved on it, but it's surrounded by fire ants! Drove the ants out with burning oil. Takes 3 hours to dig down to 6 large chests with 5000$ each. Took us several days to transfer the chests to the ship.


+5 XP.

Converting my old log entries to blog entries

I converted my old log entries, which originated from my original Docbook-based website, and were presently part of my static Sphinx-based website, over to my current PyBlosxom blog tonight, using the following script:

#! /usr/bin/env bash
find 200? -type f ! -name \*~ ! -name \*-idx-*.rst |
while read filename
    newname="$(echo $filename | sed 's#/#-#g')"
    date="$(basename $newname .rst)"
    (echo $date; echo "#published $date 00:00:00"; echo "#tags Old Blog";
        cat $filename) >/home/tkb/myblog/entries/oldblog/$newname

I'll have to go through and fix uses of Sphinx-specific RST extensions, and I'll probably add real entry titles as I do so; in the meanwhile, if the blog entry title is a date I haven't updated the entry. I think this was pretty good for a ½ hour's work.

T.A.'s PotSM: The Lady's Favor


We played “The Lady's Favor”, the adventure from the back of the Pirates of the Spanish Main book, so if you haven't played that you might want to skip this entry.


  • T.A. — GameMaster

  • T.K.B. — Capt. Jack Savage, Rowena Blackwood

Actual Play

The PCs rescued Virginia Cotton from rowdy pirates. (+1 Fame) They escorted her to the Royal Crown Tavern. Her contact, Knox (???), told her that her dad Jebidiah was a pirate, to her shock, and that he'd buried a pirate treasure then got captured, and is being held captive at the house of Baron Pettigrew. When Virginia tells him that she knows nothing of the treasure, he grabs her and tells his two thugs to attack. We manage to down Knox and one of the thugs and the other flees. We take their weapons and leave.

We decide to sneak into Pettigrew's mansion. Virginia suggests we have our ship ready to go, so Capt. Jack gives the orders. We went to the mansion after dark and snuck up to the back door. Sneak into the kitchen, dining room, through the hall past a maid, and found a sleeping guard. We tried to knock the guard out and failed, but intimidated him and tied him up, got the keys from him, opened the door and found Jebidiah. We untied Jebidiah and snuck out with him.

We agreed to split the treasure and headed off in the ship. Jack healed up. We were trailed by another ship, but managed to give them the slip. We arrived at the island, but had to ride out a storm offshore. Then we took a longboat ashore, and dug up the treasure. There were five chests, each containing 500$. We distributed the treasure, one chest each to Jebidiah, Virginia, our crew, Rowena, and Capt. Jack.


+5 XP.

AFF1e: Dungeoneer Adventure II: Revenge of the Sorcerer, Part 2


We're playing “Dungeoneer Adventure II: Revenge of the Sorcerer”, from Dungeoneer, so if you haven't played that you might want to skip this entry.


Clockwise, starting with the Director:

  • T.K.B. — Director

  • T.A. — Grimbold Tornhelm, Alexa Wolfrica (L.B. wasn't here)

  • M.A. — Gordo Brondwyn, Aspen Darkfire (E.A. wasn't here)

Actual Play

They explored the tunnel the centipede came out of, and took the 5 tridents in the nest at the end, in want of some better loot. Headed back to the main tunnel and continued on. They were soon captured by the Fish People, who tied them up and marched them off toward a wizard! After a while they came to an open area, held up by pillars, and the Fish Men seemed to get very nervous. A white light appeared in the open area, and the Fish Men all screamed and ran off, dropping the characters' possessions.

The white light gradually resolved into a ghost, who seemed pleasant enough, and introduced himself as Sargon. Eventually the PCs made a deal with Sargon to bring him a magic Crystal of Power that the Fish Men were keeping in the Temple of Hydana, in return for which Sargon would tell them how to defeat Xorton Throg. They snuck into the temple through a secret door Sargon told them about and killed the Fish Men priest who was there before he could alert the guards. They took the Crystal and a magic sword that was also on the altar. They searched the room and found a secret door that lead to stairs that lead up to a tavern. They found out it was the Mermaid Tavern, and then escaped back down into the cellar followed by a bouncer, but escaped down the hidden trap door before he reached the cellar, and he didn't follow them. They continued down the stairs to the temple. They returned to Sargon.

The Crystal returned Sargon to life and he told them how to find and defeat Xorton Throg by getting him to throw a powerful spell at them and reverse it onto him by bringing out the crystal. He also restored the magic sword to good condition. They followed his advice and killed Xorton Throg, after killing some skeletons and a skeletal tyransaurous. They got 300 GP each loot and 4 swords each from the remains of the skeleton army.

They returned to Nicodemus and gave the Crystal to him, then slipped out of Port Blacksand and back to Salamonis, where the king rewarded them with 500 GP each.


They each got 3 XP.

I3, Pharaoh — Session 1


  • T.K.B., the Labyrinth Lord.

  • T.A., playing

    • Glen the Strategist (a wizard) and

    • Dooley the sly (a thief).

    • Playing for L.B.,

      • Taffy the Halfling and

      • Alice the Cleric

  • M.A., playing

    • James the Cleric and

    • Jeffrey the Monk.

    • playing for E.A.,

      • Curufin the Elf and

      • Drusilla the Ranger.

Unfortunately L.B. and E.A. were not here for this session.

Actual Play

Got to the sunken city of Pazar. Dru fell in. Everybody followed down after tying rope around stone. Jeffrey was first onto the platform. Killed all the tarantulas in G2. Opened the way to G7, but didn't open the lamp. Left.

Eventually see Amun Re. He points them to the pyramid. Left off playing right outside the temple.