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 Post subject: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan Poag
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:03 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:17 pm
Posts: 96
PHOTO

http://dungeoncrawlersguild.blogspot.co ... neath.html

WRITE UP
http://dungeoncrawlersguild.blogspot.co ... ephan.html

Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:07 pm
Posts: 23
Thanks for the write up, as someone who hasn't played an RPG since AD&D 2e, and will be running this module soon, I found it helpful in visualizing this crazy dungeon. Was this the end of the session? How much play time?


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:01 pm 
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This was about 3 1/2 hours of play with characters that had been created before the game.

We ended with the vanguard about to descend the spiral staircase to the second level, with another group in the scrying chamber figuring out the story on the tablets, and a third huddling in the entry room waiting cautiously.

We'll have another post in about a week or so.

I'm planning on going from Portal Beneath the Stars right into the Doom or the Savage Kings...


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:43 pm
Posts: 31
jonchappellnow2 wrote:
I'm planning on going from Portal Beneath the Stars right into the Doom or the Savage Kings...



My plan exactly, I keep thinking of the admonition from p314: "Make your world mysterious by making it small - very small."


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:17 pm
Posts: 96
Re-reading the module (for, like, the third time) I'm surprised how I missed so many things. Like the Simian Masks in the burial chamber, and the description of the proto-ape-like men.

There's a very Howardian tone to TPBTS, just as Tomb of the Savage Kings is very Beowulfian.

Love it!

One mistake that I made running it was I confined the skull/bone piles to the burial chamber. Sisssuraggg slithered out of the Scrying Chamber, but I had a chance to flank the party on both sides to really stir the pot. I chose not too because instinctively I wanted to set some limits, and interpreted the burial chamber as a resting place. In hindsight I should have let it all run wild.

Looking ahead, I'm wondering how the clay warriors will fair. There's no way that I'd take them on in the great hall, but they are so slow I'm thinking of having them sort of be a "tramp of doom" as they pursue the party, likely out of the portal itself. It could end up as sort of a mini-invasion into the small farming community point of origin.


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:25 pm
Posts: 18
I started a group who i hope will play every other Saturday. I had 4 players with 4 characters each(0 level) and 1 other who showed up late and made 4 as well. It was a good thing as 4 characters died in first room. LOL It went well after that and we finished up with 1 guy having 1 character left and 1 with 2 and the rest had 3. No, there were no one with all charcters alive at the end. It was really fun and hoping to run the "Doom of the Savage Kings" next.


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:17 pm
Posts: 96
# Belares - We're headed there next ourselves. It's kind of fun having so many folks discovering this new game (and adventures) together.

The second session is posted, where our hapless adventurers wrapped things up.

http://dungeoncrawlersguild.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:00 am
Posts: 60
jonchappellnow2 wrote:
# Belares - We're headed there next ourselves. It's kind of fun having so many folks discovering this new game (and adventures) together.

The second session is posted, where our hapless adventurers wrapped things up.

http://dungeoncrawlersguild.blogspot.com/


That's a great writeup. Thanks for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:17 pm
Posts: 96
You bet!

Stef is not only a brilliant old-school artist, but his humor and writing are superb. I literally laugh out loud while reading his session write ups, which reflect a sort of geeky, cool, subversive and often irreverent treatment on what happened at our table.

In real life he's a very cool dude, not to mention that he's one of the main reasons that I personally got back into fantasy rpg gaming after a twenty year hiatus.

Be sure and check out his recent write up of Doom of the Savage Kings!

Jon C.


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:07 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Texas
Massive casualties.


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
This was a very fun writeup to read. Kudos to the author, and to the entire group for your game.

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:13 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:17 pm
Posts: 96
Thanks again for the encouragement.

I've added a blog entry on feedback from the players here:

http://guildofthedungeoncrawlers.blogsp ... dback.html

You'll find a wide swath of reception to our initial foray into DCCRPG.


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:01 am
Posts: 1200
Location: Atlanta, GA
Kinda funny to see the divergent opinions. Also, their complaints about there being only one "solution" are way off, but I guess you didn't tell them that.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: The Portal Beneath the Stars, session writeup - Stephan
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:17 pm
Posts: 96
Yeah.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Yeah, the second solution was lost to them unfortunately.

One clever, inspired player actually charged the chamber and went for the crystal ball when the warriors were milling about aimlessly because their general's bones had been destroyed. One of them got that part right and as a group they did destroy the bones up top and kick the absolute snot out of Sissragg by working together.

There was a great window of time there that was all but lost to one player because the party had split up and either weren't communicating with each other, or weren't paying close enough attention to what was happening. It's a challenge with our group is that we have 7 players, and one of our best players is often on his phone while another is being called away from the table to perform husbandly/fatherly duties.

But instead of "cutting off the head of the snake" by killing the animated war lord, our lone wolf attempted to smash the crystal ball -- which made perfect sense the way it was glowing! LOL. When that didn't work he attempted to flee and got stabbed, sadly.

And he was RIGHT THERE next to the War Chief and could have slain him (he was pretty wimpy) , forcing all of the other soldiers to de-animate! Could have been a MAJORLY heroic moment. Unfortunately he was the only one bold enough to "charge in" as the soldiers were kind of wandering around aimlessely for three rounds.

After that, everyone else backed out and began losing the war of attrition, so they fled the dungeon.

Still, a GREAT story from my perspective. All adventures don't need to be "solved" in order to be great, weird, dungeon crawling adventures.

I rewarded the "lone wolf" character who was bold by reviving him with an "unexplained, miraculous resurrection" in the finest literary traditions. He was slain, but since the player was SO CLOSE I had him emerge from the dungeon with a war mask fused to his face, partially insane from the traumatic experience. It seemed fitting for the Old School / Appendix N tradition.

Another complaint was that the scenario should have "forced the players to work cooperatively" or words to that effect. I always considered it up to the players to make those decisions, not the GM. If you want to run off in all directions chaotically -- that's your choice. If a player wants to attempt to assume some leadership and basically say, "We need to have a plan, we need to work together" than that should be a player decision.

All in all, I had a great time. 5 out of 7 of our players seem to "get it" on our first forray, so I call it a success. :)


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