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<![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - Webhead]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/3316-Webhead Pen and Paper Games hosts a very powerful, but easy to seach and join database of players and game masters in the United States and Canada. Our forums are also a great place to find the most recent news, product releases, tips, and rpg discussion. en Mon, 24 Oct 2016 03:31:12 GMT vBulletin 60 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/pnpg_style/misc/rss.jpg <![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - Webhead]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/3316-Webhead Sundered Skies: Session 7 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/464-Sundered-Skies-Session-7 Mon, 22 Jun 2009 05:56:00 GMT And so the battle continues aboard the Firefly as her crew fight desperately against the well-trained and well-equipped Elven forces. The Elf captain... And so the battle continues aboard the Firefly as her crew fight desperately against the well-trained and well-equipped Elven forces. The Elf captain is gravely wounded by some focused fire. After being enraged by a sudden backlash of his untamed magical energies, Adrian lashes out and kills him by crushing his head with his last ounce of arcane power. Thanks to a fantastically lucky shot of the ballista by the ship's Master Gunner, Borlass, a harpoon severs the restraining rope on a catapault aboard the Elven ship. Not yet properly readied, the catapault lurches forward and ends up driving its load straight into the deck of its own ship, shattering completely through the hull and sending her spiraling down into the Void. The battle takes a turn in the crew's favor and the Bloodhounds and soldiers are quickly dispatched.

In the aftermath, Captain Ia learns that she has lost three crew to the attack, one being Camille, the ship's cook. The few surviving Elves are dispatched, the ship is cleaned and salvage stowed. The Firefly sets back on her course for Canopy to deliver the Wildlings. They stop back at the isle to retrieve the skiff and, piloted by Adrian, Leo and Brother Fran, the two sail off into the glow.

Along the trip, intrigued by the armor and swords carried by the Elves which were apparently fused to their bodies, Leo and Adrian decide to experiment. They learn that the weapons and armor actually appear to be living plant-like organisms that have bonded to, and draw sustenance from their host. Attempts to peel the gear free from the bodies are successful but the organisms quickly wither and die, rendering them brittle and useless.

Four weeks into their travels, the ships are set upon by a dark haze that approaches quickly and against the wind. Identifying it as a massive swarm of flying insects, the crew of the Firefly seals up tight while the skiff's crew prepares defenses. With the help of fire and smoke, both of arcane and scientific design, the skiff's crew is bitten and bruised but otherwise chases off the voracious Bloodflies.

On the seventh week of travel, ascending into the Ice Isles but still having not yet reached Canopy, the Firefly comes across a smaller island in her path: a trading post and small village that is currently being pillaged by a large Orcish raiding party! The village is being burned and ransacked and the villagers are ill-equipped to defend themselves against the attack. Less by group consensus and more by reckless gusto and some by moral obligation, the crew of the skiff steers toward port, readying to engage the raiders and her docked war-raft. Not wishing to leave half her crew to death, Captain Ia reluctantly puts her ship on course to match and orders all men to their combat stations...

End session. ]]>
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Sundered Skies: Session 6 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/463-Sundered-Skies-Session-6 Mon, 22 Jun 2009 05:19:51 GMT With their business arrangement concluded, Captain Ia decides to do a few last bits of shopping in the *Market Garden* before returning to the ship.... With their business arrangement concluded, Captain Ia decides to do a few last bits of shopping in the Market Garden before returning to the ship. While doing so, she is approached by one of the Elven patrols who ask to speak with her. They inform of the discussion the temple priests had with one of her crewmen and that the Sheriff has asked that her and her crew remain confined to the docks during the remainder of their stay. They also insinuate that their presence is apparently unwelcome as it has drawn suspicions of glowmadness: something which the office of the Sheriff seems to take very seriously. Aggrivated but not in much of a position to argue, Ia hastens her plans to return to the ship, swap the cargo and leave without incident.

And leave the Firefly does the next waking cycle to rendezvous with her designated customs inspectors on the way out. The patrol ship docks and boards, the compliment of Elven soldiers again accompanied by leashed Bloodhound Ferals. It doesn't take long before a commotion below deck signifies that the bloodhounds have found something. Then one of the soldiers brings a Spider Wilding up on deck by the scruff of its neck (the party recognizes that there were not supposed to be any such breed of Wildling in the original job details). The Elven captain and his men turn their attention on the Firefly's crew for justification. Kelly, proclaiming the creature a stowaway, draws his gun and shoots it dead. The Elves proceed to uncover two more Wildlings, again breeds not accounted for in the negotiation with Gereth. Unconvinced of Kelly's proclaimation and under orders to follow protocol, the Elven captain orders the crew confined and the ship impounded until a thorough investigation can be conducted.

However, thanks to a clever moment of distraction caused by Adrian in heated debate with one of the guards, the party springs into action! They sever the ropes binding the two ships and Captain Ia rushes to the helm to steer away. Meanwhile, the crew engages in fierce combat with the Elven boarding party. Swords clash, powerful magics are woven and a chase ensues as the Firefly attempts to evade her much-better-armed pursuer...

End session. ]]>
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Sundered Skies: Session 5 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/447-Sundered-Skies-Session-5 Mon, 15 Jun 2009 04:01:50 GMT Three weeks into their travel across the endless Void, the Firefly comes across another ship heading in the opposite direction. As the ships close,... Three weeks into their travel across the endless Void, the Firefly comes across another ship heading in the opposite direction. As the ships close, the lookout discovers that the other ship is an orcish war raft, a raiding vessel built by lashing multiple ships together as one. The captain prepares her ship and crew for an attack but upon coming into close range, the war raft is revealed to made of only smaller ships and the orcs are detered by the apparent skill, armament and size of Firefly's crew. This is one prize that seems too risky to take and so they pull away and simply allow the Firefly to pass. The mere presence of orcish raiding parties this far from the upper reaches however, is a troubling sign that does not escape Captain Ia's attention.

In her seventh week of voyage, the natural bounty of the Skies seemed to be thinning out. The large drag nets that the Firefly (and, in fact, virtually all skyships) deploys behind her to collect the driftweed, skylers and other food sources were coming up short and her food stocks were getting dangerously low. The Captain and Brother Fran offered up half of their own rationing to assure that the other crew would have enough to eat until they can arrive in port to restock.

A few days later, nearing Heartland, the crew came across a mass adrift in the Void. At first mistaking it for a small chunk of land with a single oak tree sprouting from its center, closer inspection revealed it to be an elven ship. A small skiff, probably a patrol or fishing boat. Climbing aboard, they discover evidence most foul: a rope dangling out one of the ship's portholes and severed and the only crew member in the aft cabin, apparently a victim of suicide. A few moments later, they hear shouting coming from the Firefly, an attempt to warn them of an impending attack. Suddenly, they are set upon by three wolf-like beasts formed out of living, moving brambles. After dispatching the strange creatures, they decide to tow the ship a few days away from Heartland to tie it off to a small deserted island, hoping to retrieve it on their return trip to Gateway.

They resume their journey, arriving at Heartland five days later. After being greeted and inspected by an elven patrol ship, they are allowed to dock at Roseport, the only city on Heartland accessible to outsiders. They disembark and are exposed to some of the bizarre majesty of the elven homeland. They must pass through an enormous open-air temple to reach the market district, the temple filled with organically grown statuary and murals dedicated to their god, the Leaflord, the royal families and prominent spiritual leaders. Entering the city proper, they discover that all the buildings are made from enormous hollowed-out trees and the streets are crawling with elven guards, large and fearsome attack beasts known as Ferals and scampering wilding slaves delivering messages and running errands for their masters.

Captain Ia meets with Gereth, their contact and informs him of the cargo they are carrying. Gereth is pleased and relieved that they have come to his aid. Impressed with their courage and dedication, Gereth promises even greater payment if they see fit to perform another favor for the Boughbreaker cause. He reveals that a group of about a dozen wildlings have recently been recovered and the Boughbreakers are trying to get them away from Heartland before they are discovered. If the Firefly can sneak the wildlings aboard and get them to the island of Canopy in the Ice Isles of the upper reaches, they should be safe. With the help of a little creative negotiating, the Captain makes amicable arrangements to smuggle the wildlings and help ensure her crew's safe voyage.

Meanwhile, at the Nature Temple, pondering the significance of the voice of the Lightbringer heard aboard the ship weeks ago, Leo decides to inquire with one of the temple priests for insight. Fearing that the already strange dwarf may be going insane from glowmadness, the priesthood first offers to seek help for Leo but with is protestations decide instead to shoo him away, removing him from the temple and encouraging him to return to the docks.

End session. ]]>
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Sundered Skies: Session 4 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/446-Sundered-Skies-Session-4 Mon, 15 Jun 2009 03:09:36 GMT This session became mostly a "planning/investigating/recovering" session.

The ship returned to Gateway and the first order of business was to return Allon's remains to Tomas who then rewarded them as promised and left to grieve. The Captain found buyers for their salvage and scrapped together the necessary money to make repairs to the ship. Adrian's fever broke and he came out of his coma shortly after arriving, learning subsequently of the attack upon the ship. The crew went in different directions, following up on leads, looking for information or lining up future jobs. One of their crewman deciding to leave after witnessing the battle with the Ogre, Captain Ia recruits a peculiar little drakin: a Windpriest, follower of the Lady of the Winds, said to be the goddess of both clear skies and raging storms.

The most promising opportunity was for a very dangerous and very secretive smuggling run. A local import shop owned by a pair of elf brothers, Jeche and Jarle, spoke in confidence to Adrian and the captain about their involvement in an underground movement on the elven home island of Heartland. A group of elven revolutionaries known as the Boughbreakers were involved in liberating wildling slaves from their elven masters and transporting them safely away from Heartland. Recently, their operations have been falling on hard times and the Boughbreakers have been in desperate need of more weapons and supplies to aid their cause. Jeche and Jarle have such a shipment that needs to be delivered to their contact, Gereth, on Heartland as quickly as possible. The payment is significant, half to be paid now and half upon return, and Captain Ia agrees. She is supplied with an alibi and the concealed cargo is delivered to the ship.

After a couple of days taken to repair the ship, the crew casts off for the long journey to Heartland. End session. ]]>
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Sundered Skies: Session 3 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/445-Sundered-Skies-Session-3 Mon, 15 Jun 2009 02:42:16 GMT Sorry for the lack of updates here recently. The Sundered Skies game is still going and I am about to post the missed adventures in rapid... Sorry for the lack of updates here recently. The Sundered Skies game is still going and I am about to post the missed adventures in rapid succession.

At the start of session 3, the crew had left the island crash-site having recovered the body of Tomas' son and learning the fate of his crew. The next day after setting sail for Gateway, the crew of the Firefly is drawn to a commotion on deck when a blinding flash of light is accompanied by a terrified scream which transforms into a deep, rumbling fit of laughter. The intense light bathing the entire ship and proving quite impenetrable to the senses, the voice begins to speak to the crew, claiming to be the Lightbringer himself, Lord of Madness (and progenitor of the Voidglow that exists throughout the Skies). The voice warns the crew that even more terrible forces than he conspire to destroy the remnants of their world and that if it is their fate to stop it they must find several fragments of the "old world" to use against these forces. As the voice and the light fade, the crew discover that a massive Ogre (the twisted form that an orc assumes when it is taken by glowmadness) is standing before them, frothing with rage.

A furious battle ensues, Leo tripping the Ogre up with some clever use of leverage and his detachable mechanical arm, Brother Fran slowing it down with divine, icy magics and the captain and Kelly fighting for their lives against it. At one point, Captain Ia's harpoon is lodged in the creature's shoulder and it withdraws it from the wound, using it against them and nearly killing Brother Fran by running him through with a single blow. Eager to end the battle before any more damage is done, Ia seizes an opening and finishes the beast off.

In the aftermath they discover that the Ogre seems to have been who they suspected, Karr the Luckfinder had somehow gone glowmad but judging by how quickly it happened, something still seems out of place. Captain Ia discovers a small hole about the size of a coin burned clean through the door to her cabin and a similarly sized burn-scar on the Ogre's chest. Searching her cabin for the medallion they had recovered, it is nowhere to be found. It is also quickly discovered that Adrian, the ship's wizard, is suffering from an intense fever and has not awoken since the previous sleep cycle.

Having sustained significant damage to the ship and with sick and wounded crew members aboard, the Captain decides to press on with all possible haste to return to Gateway. The session ended here. ]]>
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Sundered Skies: Session 2 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/167-Sundered-Skies-Session-2 Mon, 02 Mar 2009 19:52:57 GMT *_*Warning*:_ *Beginning below and continuing periodically throughout this blog will be spoilers for much of the Plot Point adventures and world... *Warning*: Beginning below and continuing periodically throughout this blog will be spoilers for much of the Plot Point adventures and world background from the GMs section of the book. My players are welcome to read through these materials as they will only recap events that they have already played through, but anyone who may be playing in a Sundered Skies game or use the aforementioned Plot Point adventures in the future should not read further as it will spoil many of the mysteries and surprises.

As we returned for our second session, the group picked up where they had left off, rescuing the mayor's young nephew, Coryn, and hiking back to town. Upon their return, mayor Maxxus Bishop was ecstatic to see his nephew safely returned and happily offered the PCs the promised reward and his word that they would recieve free room and board if they should ever return to his town. The party informed him of the cult activity, information which Maxxus took deathly seriously and hastily dismissed the crew so that he could begin the preparations to protect his citizenry.

The next day cycle, deciding to stay on schedule with delivery of their cargo, the crew set off again for Gateway. The passage from Broken Landing to Gateway took 1 week and upon approach, the ship fortunately encountered no trouble with the debris field that surrounds the city. The crew harbored their ship and delivered their cargo and salvage to Tomas Hawke as promised.

After concluding their initial business, Tomas informed Captain Ia that he had another job for her if she was interested. His youngest son, Allon, had taken a ship on a salvage run into the inner isles of the Shattered City. His ship, The Raven, had departed on what should have been only a short journey and had still not returned after 3 months. By a stroke of luck, Tomas had recently done business with a quirky orc scavenger by the name of Karr the Luckfinder who claimed to have come across the wreckage of the ship on a small island and had taken a sample of the island's soil should he ever wish to return there. Having left his previous crew over a disagreement about salvage rights, Karr was in need of a ship.

Ia accepted Tomas' promise of reward if she returned either Allon or the marked leather gloves that he wore with Karr accompanying and providing the necessary soil in exchange for rights to any odd trinkets they should find. The crew set off the next day and drifted through the ruins toward the heart of the Shattered City for 4 days before sighting the island Karr had discovered. The Raven had crash-landed into the base of a stone tower near the shoreline, partially collapsing the tower on top of the ship.

Taking the skiff and a small band to shore, the party scaled the side to the top deck where they discovered the gnawed skulls of what was presumably crew. Exploring the belly of the ship they were overcome with the piercing scent of decay and other foulness as they came upon the lair of a half dozen barnacle apes, a common but dangerous pest amongst sky travelers. Most of the creatures seemed normal but one of them seemed to be tainted with unnatural power and its eyes glowed a menacing red color.

After killing the attacking apes, they discovered a narrow crawlspace from part of the collapsed ship into the tower itself which seemed to be the source of the wretched odor. Entering the tower they found the landing of a spiral staircase upon which laid a bloated, misshappen human corpse which seemed to have been undergoing an unnatural transformation when it died. It was the origin of the horrible smell. They decided to ascend the stairs to the upper chamber of the tower, what was apparently an armory at one time which had since fallen to disuse and decay.

Then, hearing the sound of groaning and scratching from around the central column of the room, the party discovered a grizzly sight. Another of the bloated, mutated figures was leaning against a far wall, scratching feverishly into the masonry with its long, black claws. Apparently it was trying to keep as far away as possible from the light of the Void that entered the chamber through a collapsed part of the tower ceiling. Just as unsettling was that the chamber floor was littered with the dozen headless, emaciated bodies of The Raven's crew.

Attacking the party on sight, the bloated monstrosity shot tentacles from its swollen belly which pierced a handful of the corpses and animated them, turning them against the PCs. In the messy and foul-smelling aftermath of the battle, Ia found the body of Allon and took his remains and signature gloves to return to Tomas for proper burial. They set a funeral pyre outside for the bodies of the other crew and discovered a small, iron medallion around one of their necks depicting the image of a large beast over open water. Upon learning of the medallion, Karr was eager to insist that he forgo all other shares to lay claim to the trinket.

So, the crew of Firefly gathered and stowed their salvage and set out again for Gateway, where the session ended.

As GM, I felt that things went very well and with character creation out of the way and some system familiarity settling in, the players seemed to have a lot more time to really get into the meat of the world and the role play. I am finding myself really liking the system for overall flow and ease of management. Not having to worry excessively about mechanical details has left me more opportunity to invest energy in describing actions, scenes and characters with flair. I think the game is a bit more atmospheric for it. This was the first session that I actually broke out the paper minis and used them to nice effect. It was tangibly more appealing to simply use them on the table top with a ruler than bother with the off-putting "grid" or "hex" maps and so I will continue to use that method for combat to really evaluate what benefits it brings to the game. The setting is shaping up to be quite interesting and the players seemed to have a blast playing. ]]>
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Sundered Skies: Session 1 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/139-Sundered-Skies-Session-1 Thu, 19 Feb 2009 23:41:26 GMT So, this past weekend I began my first Savage Worlds campaign set in the "dark fantasy" setting called Sundered Skies. For those who don't know, the world of Sundered Skies is a very non-traditional one. Long ago in an age long-forgotten, the world was devastated by a great cataclysm and was torn into little pieces and scattered across the void. Those that survived the destruction were faced with a new world beyond belief. Now, the hundreds of disjointed floating islands drift through emptiness, surrounded by a constantly glowing haze. This haze (known as simply "The Void") casts eternal light upon the world and can even corrupt the minds and bodies of its inhabitants. These corrupted "glowmad", as they are called, are destructive monstrosities that are universally hated...and feared. There is no known cure for glowmadness. The humans and humanoids of the world construct flying ships in order to cross the Void and continue to interact with the other islands. Simply crossing the Void is dangerous in itself as the threat of madness, piracy and attack by any number of unpleasant creatures awaits many an unlucky traveler.

Our campaign begins with a private transport frigate "Firefly" (yes, it's exactly what you're thinking) and her crew:

*Captain Ia (Eye-Ah)- A female human; born leader and tradeswoman

*Adrian- Male human sorcerer and expert in the occult; a no-nonsense blood-mage

*Brother Frandemarius- Male human priest of the Lifemother, goddess of life and bounty; pacifistic and benevolent

*Kelly- Male human musketeer and mercenary; rough, tough and deadly with a flintlock

*"Leo"- Male dwarf engineer; smart and inventive worshipper of god known as the Artificer from whom he draws his divine inspiration

The first adventure began with the crew taking on a shipment of timber from their last layover at Canopy, a trading port in the Ice Isles located in the frigid upper reaches of the Void. The cargo was to be delivered to a prominent, high-profile merchant by the name of Tomas Hawke with whom Ia had had prior business dealings.

In the first week of their departure, the Firefly encountered a small dingy set adrift in the Void. Sending a small group to investigate aboard their own skiff, they discovered 3 rat wildlings (hybrid animal-people who were created by the elves to serve as slaves) lost and at the brink of starvation. Weak and terrified, the wildlings meant no harm to the crew and Brother Fran demanded that they be taken back to the ship. There the dingy was lashed to the side and the wildlings warned to stay in their raft and off of the ship until a port could be found to safely unload them. Brother Fran tended to their wounds and hunger and learned that they had been stowaways aboard a trade ship which was attacked by elven Shepherds that were searching for them. They had just barely escaped with their lives.

In the seventh week of their voyage, as they were beginning to near the islands of the Shattered City where their cargo was to be delivered, the Firefly encountered another human ship heading the other direction, a passenger vessel bearing pilgrims perhaps on their way to the islands of Bridgeways. With no armed escort and no visible defenses and such a long voyage ahead of them, their pilgrimage seemed peculiar but the Firefly allowed them to pass without incident.

Arriving at a layover point at a small port called Broken Landing a week later, the captain planned to take a few days to resupply and give the crew some much needed shore leave. The inhabitants of the town, however, seemed to be on edge and the crew learned that the farmsteads just outside the town gates had been attacked by monsters several times within the last few weeks. In the last attack, the mayor's nephew had been kidnapped. On the second day, the creatures attacked again and the crew joined the town guard in defense against them. They were large, ape-like creatures with thick coats of quills covering their bodies and the defenders successfully killed 2 of them, injuring the third and sending it fleeing into the forest.

Following the trail of blood that it left behind, the party traveled to the mountain dominating the center of the island and there discovered a cave. Cobbling torches together, they descended into the cave and uncovered the site of a dark ritual. 4 cultists huddled around a large, stone, man-like statue surrounded by candles, occult trinkets and bowls of blood. 4 cages (2 of them now empty) contained the spined brutes that the party had encountered back at the town gates.

Before the cultists could complete their ritual, the crew attacked, vanquishing them and finishing off the other 2 brutes. Leo discovered the mayor's nephew tied to the back of the statue, likely a sacrifice for whatever vile plans the cultists had intended to enact.

At that point the evening was concluded, to be continued at our next session.

The character creation, learning of the rules, role play and adventure itself were all most enjoyable from my perspective as GM. The system moved swiftly and unobtrusively and though some familiarity with the rules is still settling in, on the whole everything went well and there wasn't anything that couldn't be resolved by a quick roll. I'm definitely taking a serious shine to Savage Worlds and really look forward to delving into the game further.

The setting itself was fantastically refreshing to run. It is such a drastic change from "standard" D&D-esque fantasy in style and yet still retains a very solid sword-and-sorcery feel. Due to the presence and importance of ships and travel, it almost has a "piratey" feel to it which, quite honestly, excites me. The mysteries of the world and the variety of locations stands to fuel plenty of hooks for adventure and I look forward to that.

All in all, I consider the game a success thus far and hope my players feel the same way. ]]>
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