Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekly D&D: Target practice

The sun was beginning to set on the small, abandoned town. The wilderness had begun to reclaim its land. Vines crept up the crumbling walls of the cave. One tree had decided to move into a lovely two-bedroom home, its branches reaching through the large hole in the roof. As the sun continued to descend over the horizon the air grew cold and sour.

Rurick, Finlore, Vatuu, and Zell stepped cautiously through the empty town. Something didn't seem quite right to the group. The town was silent; the wind refused to blow and the branches of the trees had ceased their normal creaking and rustling. Vatuu growled under his breath. He knew that the group was being watched, but he didn't know buy whom.

The travelers entered a small, lonely building at the end of a small road. Their quest had sent them searching for an artifact that could be of great value to them. Zell and Vatuu entered the ramshackle house first. They immediately knew that they were not alone in the dark room. Low moans permeated from far corners of the room. Rurick and Finlore, who both had eyes well attuned to seeing in the dark, immediately fixed their gazes on the source of the foul moans.

"They appear to be zombies," Finlore said in a perfectly calm voice "and they appear to be quite hungry." Vatuu lit a torch just in time to see Zell swinging blindly in the direction of one of the creatures. When his blade made contact with the zombie's torso, a puff of dark ash escaped into the air, blinding Zell temporarily. A second zombie began clawing at the fighter's breastplate in futility. 

"My friends," Rurick grunted as the holy symbol fastened into his beard began to glow "let me show you what a cleric is capable of." Rurick then recited words in ancient dwarven while lifting his hands towards the heavens. As he finished channeling divinity bright rays streamed out from his holy symbol. Upon gazing at the glorious light, all of the zombies began to hobble away. When they reached the farthest wall, the monsters scratched desperately at the cold stones in an attempt to retreat.

"Looks like target practice." Zell said as he readied a javelin. The other members of the party readied their ranged weapons as well. Fireballs, javelins and arrows rained down mercilessly upon the helpless zombies. 

Every undead creature was vanquished well before the holy light radiating from Rurick's beard began to dim. With the monsters out of the way, the party searched carefully through the abandoned building in hopes of finding the artifact. Sadly the search was in vain. The party found nothing more than a few empty barrels lingering in one of the corners. 

The band of friends left the building determined to search each and every building in the abandoned town until they found what they had come for. With hopes high, the band of friends headed towards the next dilapidated structure. Perhaps they would have more luck, and less zombies, ahead.

I hope that you enjoyed this week's adventure. As always, happy adventuring.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Savage Worlds: First Impressions

Secret agent Jose Rodriguez had trouble recounting the events that led to the predicament he currently found himself in. The mission seemed so mundane when Rodriguez had accepted it. There had been reports of attacks happening across the city. What had piqued Rodriguez's curiosity was the nature of the attacks. All of the victims were claimed to only have severe bite and scratch marks on their bodies, and nothing was ever taken from the victims. Rodriguez considered the attacks strange, but he had no idea that accepting this mission would intertwine his fate to the realm of the supernatural.

The clues that Rodriguez managed to unearth led him to an old, abandoned warehouse on this cold evening. The only light came from the moon suspended in the starless night sky. The pale beams of light flooded in through the broken windows on the side of the building. Rodriguez readied his gun as a precaution; he had learned the hard way that it is better to be over-prepared than to be under-prepared in these situations. Deep, gurgled moans permeated through the building; the sound sent small chills down the agent's spine. Rodriguez took aim at the source of the sound. Several dark silhouettes began to shuffle in his direction.

The figures came into the light, revealing a grotesque scene. The flesh of the creatures was rotten and mangled. The bones of the humanoid creatures could be easily seen between the patches of grey skin. The eyes of the creatures were sunken deep into their skulls. Rodriguez had come face to face with his first group of ravenous zombies. 

Seized by fear and surprise, Rodriguez's body was locked in place. His mind screamed inside to move, to run, but his body failed to respond to his plea. The zombies crept closer, their disfigured hands stretching out toward the agent. Rodriguez was helpless as the lifeless predators made their way towards their prey.

The closest zombie reached out strike at Rodriguez. Just as the monstrosity was bringing its claws down on the agent's torso, a shadowed figure leapt down from the rafters above and struck at the zombie's neck, separating his head from his body.

"If you have a preference towards living, then I suggest you fight back." The shadowed figure mused. A stray beam of moonlight caught the figure. Not quite human, yet not quite feline. This furry femme fetale brandished two rapiers, which she used to make quick work of a second approaching zombie.

Finally able to collect himself, Rodriguez readied his weapon and took aim at one of the monsters. His world had been turned on its head in only a few short moments, but he still had a mission to complete. He wouldn't let these rotten meat bags get the better of him. The first of many gun shots rang throughout the warehouse.


Savage Worlds has an amazing starting price point of just over ten dollars for paperback

I got the Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer's Edition in the mail earlier this week. I really, really enjoyed my first experience with this game. I love the fast-paced battle mechanics, the customization options for characters and worlds, the character creation system and so much more. All of that at ten dollars for the paperback edition, and there is little reason not to try it. I had so much fun making a world where a secret agent can fight zombies alongside a sword-swinging cat person. I can't wait to make and explore many more campaigns in Savage Worlds.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Weekly D&D: Revenge!

The sun rose slowly on this somber morning. The last embers in the fire pit died away, releasing small wisps of smoke into the cool air. Finlore, Vatuu, and Rurick rose wearily; they had been forced to bury their friend only hours before. Finlore sat in a melancholy silence, blaming himself in his mind. If only he had run a little faster or noticed a little sooner then this morning might have been cheerful instead.

If Finlore could have read the minds of his companions, he would have known that they shared his feelings. As a paladin, Vatuu felt responsible to protect the group. He knew that Hilda was the weakest of the group, and as such she needed the most protection. Rurick didn't tell the others, but he had seen the javelin travel in the Hag's direction during the battle. At the time he had assumed that the halfling dodged the projectile and he continued his onslaught against the orcs. He never even looked back to see if she was alright.

After packing up camp, the group discussed their next plan of action. Their original quest had sent them looking for a whimsical banshee to ask about a spell book. However, when the adventurers were in town, they had heard rumors about blood-thirsty orcs raiding caravans in the area. The orcs were rumored to have made base only one day of travel away from where the adventurers currently were. There were no arguments or disputes on what should be done. The three adventurers unanimously decided that the orcs should be eradicated for their wicked deeds.

The sun shone down brightly as the adventurers traveled along the gravel road. They had been walking most of the morning making only a few short stops. The party seemed to move more sluggishly than their normal pace. Moral was down across the whole group. Their only driving force was revenge.

Vatuu noticed a figure in the distance sitting under a tree. A battle-worn fighter sat lazily in the shade of the large oak tree, admiring the intricate designs on his great axe. As the group approached, the fighter's eyes shifted in their direction for a moment before returning to his leisurely task.

"I don't know if you gentlemen noticed, but the trail goes in the other direction." said the warrior, running one of his thumbs up the blade of the axe.

"We know the direction of the road." Rurick said curtely. "We are looking for an orc post." At hearing this, the fighter's eyes shot back up to the band of travelers as if to assess their motives. Without warning, the warrior hopped up and began to walk down the road. Vatuu turned toward the stranger.

" Hey! We aren't finished with..."

"You said that you were searching for an orc camp." The fighter interrupted as he walked down the road. "I will take you there."

"I don't trust anyone taller than me," Rurick rudely blurted, his dwarven beard glistening in the sun, "and you are no exception."

"What my partner means to say is what importance does this orc post hold to you? Also, we don't know who you are. We don't even know your name." Finlore said in his eloquent elven accent.

"I am sure you have your reasons for finding the orcs, and I have mine as well. Let's just leave it at that." The fighter said Tersely. "And the name's Zell." With no other way of finding the location of the orc camp, the group decided to follow Zell, who was already traveled several yards down the dusty trail.

It wasn't until the next morning that the group reached the post, which was nothing more than a small cave. A single orc stood outside of the cave. A fly landed on the upper lip of the beast. With a loud snort, the orc sent the fly into his dark nasal void, never to be seen again. The adventurers decided that avoiding detection was the best plan of action. That plan was quickly foiled when they heard a loud horn come from the trees where a sentry orc was posted. The orc just outside of the cave quickly ran in to warn his clan mates.

The sentry orc sent  a javelin flying at Vatuu. The javelin ricocheted off of Vatuu's gleaming armor and stuck forcefully into the ground. Vatuu pulled the javelin from the earth and hurled back at the orc. The orc roared as the javelin pierced his shoulder. Finlore shot a bolt of fire from his wand and struck the orc in his side. Some of the embers from the bolt landed on the dry, wooden platform, setting it ablaze almost immediately. As the orc attempted to snuff the flame, a fierce creature climbed up to the platform and prowl toward the orc. Between the fire and the beast, the sentry failed to notice how close to the edge he had come. The orc fell to his death with a thick thud. The monster in the tree evaporated from existence and Finlore smirked. The illusion had done its job quite well.

The group all stood outside of the mouth of the cave waiting to ambush the orcs. But no orcs came. Finlore suggested that the group enter stealthily, but Vatuu had had enough stealth for one day. He charged into the dark cave brandishing his weapon and proclaiming the name of the hag. Without hesitation, Rurick and Zell followed suit. Finlore let out an exasperated sigh as he cast an invisibility spell on himself and entered the cave as well.

The cave was pitch- black, leaving Vatuu and Zell blind. Vatuu lit a torch to see several orcs standing around him in the cave, each wielding a crude great axe. The orc in the center stood two feet taller than his counter parts. Vatuu, a large dragonborn, targeted the large orc and charged right at him. As he charged, Vatuu called upon his deity. The symbol of Tiamat engraved on his weapon began to radiate. The glow quickly consumed the entire weapon. Vatuu leaped into the air, raising his weapon high over his head. He came down hard onto the beastly orc. Had it not been for his armor, the orc would have been cleaved in half. The mighty blow brought the large orc to his knees, but to the surprise of the entire party the orc stood back up and delivered a powerful blow of his own to Vatuu. The other orcs let out gurgling laughs as Vatuu tumbled across the cold cave floor. The large orc pointed at the intruders and let out a fierce war cry. The intense battle had begun.

Vatuu managed to raise to his feet just as two of the orcs swung at him with their mangled axes. He managed to parry the first blow, but the second blow bored itself into his shoulder. Vatuu screeched in pain. Another orc flung a javelin at Rurick, who easily knocked the projectile aside with his axe. He charged at the barbaric beast and struck him with a swift blow to the thigh, knocking the orc prone. Zell attempted to cleave another orc, but missed and was thrown off balance. The orc seized the opportunity to attempt to strike Zell in the back. Just as the axe came swinging down, Finlore revealed himself and sent a ball of freezing energy at the orc. The orc's movement slowed to a stop. Frozen solid, the orc fell to the floor and shattered like a fragile clay pot.

Vatuu, enraged by the humiliation that he had been dealt by the orc leader, charged once again at the giant. The dragonborn made a precise strike at the orc's unprotected neck. The orc's smile faded as Vatuu made his strike. The monster's body fell forward, and his head fell back. Upon seeing their captain murdered, all but one of the orc's decided that the escape was the best course of action. The two orcs quickly ran toward the light that shined dimly through the mouth of the cave. Finlore and Rurick followed closely in pursuit. Zell made quick work of the remaining orc in the cave. Finlore and Rurick were successful in bringing down one of the orc's, but the last orc ran swiftly and managed to escape. The party decided that living a life haunted by cowardice and isolation was worse than death itself.

Zell thanked the party and revealed his true motives. Just like the party, Zell had lost someone very dear to him at the hands of the orcs. His only son had been captured and killed by the orcs. When they had found him under the tree, he was planning to take on the orcs alone, fulfilling his death wish. Now that his son had been avenged Zell decided to continue fighting with the party. Even though they were new friends, they were the only friends that he had left in the world.

The four adventurers looked into the clear, blue sky. The Hag had been avenged, and the party had made a new friend. With moral slowly returning to the group, the four friends headed back out to the road from whence they came. Tomorrow would bring a new day with new adventures.


I truly hope that you enjoyed our group's most recent D&D session. We have decided to finish our current campaign before we start a new campaign to save the Hag from the clutches of death. One of our members has already started planning the campaign. Go out and enjoy your adventures. Happy adventuring!