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<![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - Otakar]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/6037-Otakar 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 Sun, 23 Oct 2016 09:45:32 GMT vBulletin 60 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/pnpg_style/misc/rss.jpg <![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - Otakar]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/6037-Otakar How did they become heros? http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1438-How-did-they-become-heros Tue, 09 Nov 2010 15:10:34 GMT I skipped 3E but as I play 4E I find that the characters are downright tough! I pit the 4E first level characters vs monsters as recommended in the... I skipped 3E but as I play 4E I find that the characters are downright tough! I pit the 4E first level characters vs monsters as recommended in the DMG and modules and I cringe. In my 1E and 2E mindset these characters are going to get their [COLOR=rgb(0, 0, 0)]Clocks Cleaned!

[COLOR=rgb(0, 0, 0)]When they play within their role (controller, defender, striker, leader) they manage to always come out on top. My new players really seem to enjoy this but I had one old-schooler who didn't. I don't like to kill characters but I do see a little of the development removed.

4E characters start out at the heroic level. What were they doing before that? I kind of liked the ambiguity of 1E to handle that and didn't mind the skills of 2E that enhanced it.

I guess what I' saying is that WOC could get a little more cash out of me if they added a pre-heroic supplement. I've been thinking about it for a new campaign. Something like the old Dragon Wars [/COLOR]http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/3668/Dragon+Wars.html computer game.

The PCs are regular "Joes" who end up in Purgatory . They had a previous life but are now forced to become heroes or die. They would need a fighter mentor. A thieves guild could be more of a hook. How do they learn those spells anyway?

Any thoughts? :confused:
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Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1438-How-did-they-become-heros
Monitizing my passion II http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1368-Monitizing-my-passion-II Thu, 09 Sep 2010 15:36:47 GMT I wrote earlier about monitizing my passion for gaming. Since I retired from the Coast Guard I haven't really done any gaming. Between working on my home and family I haven't made the time for it. I hear talk of table top gaming dying and I can see why. I can get my "fix" by playing Fate on the PC for 45 minutes without involving anyone. I can also live vicariously through others in the community by reading their blogs. I pulled a couple of old role playing games off of Abandonia.com that the kids and I have been enjoying. Sword of the Samurai and Princess Maker II are big hits.

I may do a site that monitizes gaming in the future. Right now I'm working on another "supposedly more profitable" site that is also very important to me. You can follow my successes and failures at: http://sbiowner.blogspot.com/

As I get into the process I find that I am more dismayed at the income earning potential but I feel more capable of putting up a web site that will actually contribute to the web. I'll know more in the coming months. I find that I want money to come easily and quickly. Part of me knows that is not reality but I am a sucker for GRQ pitches. The reality is that making money on the web is not GRQ. I should know that. P&P Games is an excellent site and I don't think Farcaster has quit his day job yet. :)

Hopefully things level out soon for me to play a real game. ;) ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1368-Monitizing-my-passion-II
Can I monitize my passion? http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1191-Can-I-monitize-my-passion Tue, 11 May 2010 05:50:38 GMT The late Malcolm S. Forbes said, "The biggest mistake people make in life is NOT making a living at doing what they most enjoy."

When I think of my hobbies I consider fishing, working in the garden, working on the house, watching UFC, and playing computer games. None of those compare to my first thought; role playing games. I enjoy the stink out of them. I like reading about them, owning them, getting with a few people to play and running them. I'm not a writer like some of the bloggers and posters on this site. I have been told that I have a good personality but that doesn't really come through the web. I have a nice family, a home, and children but I still feel that I can game with the guy who lives in his parent's basement. I would love to make a living out of my passion for gaming.

I'm retiring from 20 years of military service. I could go into a government job but I really don't feel like rolling the dice and hoping to get lucky with a good boss. What if I could do something like Farcaster? He has this site, I think it generates money, but he gets to interact with people and things that all of us are interested in here. I want to explore the possibilities.

I purchases a product on the Web that helps one build a site. I just got it yesterday and it has a lot of in-depth information, tips and advice as well as a lot of support. It had a 10-step process to build a great site that encourages traffic. The product includes a web-based brain storming application that checks the key words related to one's interest. The application goes out to the web, checks the demand and availability of a key word allowing the user to get an idea how profitable it could be to use that key word.

For key-words I think I'll try role-playing games or Dungeons and Dragons along with some other things I am interested in making a business. I finished step 1 of the process today which provides an overview of the following 9 steps to creating the site. Tomorrow begins the brainstorming process. The product guide stresses that step 2 may take longer than a few days. If I don't check in for a while, that's what I'm doing. If I do not choose a role-playing theme to the site I'll discontinue my blog as I wouldn't want to have a "fishing web site creation" blog on PPG.

I stop drawing a check at the end of August. My goal by then is to have a Web-based infopreneuer site (hopefully about role-playing) that I can see will have growth. By the end of August I want to see that this concept will either get rolling or should be dropped.

I am starting a blog to commit my self, in a sense of moving forward. I will let you know how it goes.

Jarrod ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1191-Can-I-monitize-my-passion
Society of the Upper Room Session 10 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1089-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-10 Thu, 01 Apr 2010 15:16:01 GMT After finishing the orcs and the cavern choker the party takes a short rest. Thalion checks the door from which the choker emerged. A narrow set of... After finishing the orcs and the cavern choker the party takes a short rest. Thalion checks the door from which the choker emerged. A narrow set of wooden stairs lead down to a cellar. Phaldara leads the way down the stairs to an un-kept room. Across from the stairs there is a door, meant to be concealed but left ajar. Green flickering light leaks out from around the edges. A quick peek by Thalion reveals another flight of stairs.

The green light emanates from two torches fastened to the walls. Three skeletons draped in tattered chainmail and carrying swords and shields stand in a ragged arc but turn, facing the adventurers and raise their weapons. Another skeleton, bones blackened by the fire that surrounds them comes from around the corner and prepares to throw a ball of fire at the group.

Thalion moves quickly into the room, launching his dagger into the nearest skeleton skirting its armor and breaking bone. Phaldara chooses to charge the blazing skeleton, great axe in hand, seeing it as the most deadly threat, and foiling its chance to blast the party with its eldritch fire. Phaldara's charge does not come without a price as he takes a nasty wound from one of the skeletons he passes. The skeletons converge on the Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut. Two of their blows fail to pierce his plate armor but one gashes his side sending causing Phaldara to clench his teeth in pain. Unable to launch its flame, the blazing skeleton reaches forward toward Phaldara with fiery claws that burn through his armor and send him into a bloody rage. The half-elven cleric of Avandra, Ecthor, positions himself near the fray and channels his goddess's divine power to turn the undead. Avandra answers blasting two of the skeletons away from Phaldara and causing damage to the rest as well.

The battle continues as Phaldara stays close to the blazing skeleton preventing it from tossing its deadly fire. The mindless undead, focusing on the radiant causes of damage, lash out at Phaldara and Ecthor. Thalion takes advantage of their ignorance launching deadly sneak attacks into their flanks and darting away before they can retaliate. Phaldara takes the brunt of the damage but is continually bolstered and healed by Ecthor. The blazing skeleton falls to Phaldara's mighty axe and turns his attentions to dispatch another weakened foe. Thalion's sneak attacks prove most effective as he sends two of the undead to their eternal rest.

The room is somewhat large and reveals itself to be a storeroom of sorts. There are casks of fresh flour, smoked meats, dried apples and wine. It is obvious that these guardians have allowed recent foot traffic through their room. The passage to the west seems well trafficked and illuminated while the unlit passage to the east is unlit and has a faint musty, damp odor. The party chooses to follow the path more traveled.

The well trodden corridor is also lit by the eerie green torches that provide no warmth and give off no smoke. Not far along there is a branch to the north. Thalion takes a quick peek up the corridor that ends in a huge double door constructed of iron plate. Using his thievery skills Thalion determines that while he could open this door, it appears that it is not constructed so much as to keep something out but instead to keep it in. A short discussion ends in a unanimous decision to bypass that door and move on.

The passage turns south with an alcove to the east and double doors again. Further south a smaller passage branches to the west and ends in a stout oaken portal. Phaldara thrusts the stubborn door open to reveal the waning day. This door is an exit through the hill.

Not ready to leave the group returns to the double door in the alcove. It is an ornately carved heavy set of doors. The wood is dark and rich but could stand a good polish. The symbols on the doors mean nothing to the party, none of whom are adept in arcana. The one thing they all catch is a piece of parchment stuck to the door that reads in common, "Keep Out". A quick once-over by Thalion proves that the door is unlocked. Phaldara declares that he would never take the orders of anyone who consorts with the likes of orcs and skeletons and proceeds to kick in the portal, much to the surprise of the room's occupants, three orc warriors.

Thalion deft strikes the first orc with a critical hit to the shoulder, cutting deep into the creature's flesh. Ecthor baths the wounded creature in radiant light from his lance of faith and Phaldara charges the hapless warrior with his great axe. His mighty chop releases a crunching sound of bone, mail and flesh sending the orc to meet Gruumsh. The two remaining orcs look at their fallen companion and to each other wishing that they could surrender but steel their eyes and clench their jaws as they move forward to meet their fate.

Their motivation appears from behind a velveteen curtain to the north. A tall, gaunt and particularly dark skinned tiefling emerges demanding, "Who is it that disturbs my work?"

Phaldara points to the wizard and declares. "Surrender and we'll promise you a fair trial but either way you will come with us."

The tiefling replies, "Trial? Trial? I would save this land and you would put me on trial? Who are you? And who do you think you are to accuse me?"

"We were sent by the queen" Says Phaldara. "Active, you have taken that which does not belong to you. Come peacefully. This is your only chance."

"I think you and the queen have been listening to my sister. I am not going anywhere. Do you think that I am helpless in my own workshop?" Active looks toward the southern end of the room and beckons, "Ooooh, Tharoooon. Come meet our guests!"

A feral scream, the anguish of the undying and the longing for the grave proceeds the dreadful dark and wispy form of a wraith. The waith's visage is one of restrained pain and betrayal. As it prepares to engage the party it declares to Active, "Master, I will kill these interlopers like I will one day kill you!"

Active seems unphased by the wraith's threats and the battle ensues. Phaldara's divine challenge keeps the orcs battling him while Ecthor keeps him standing. Thalion makes an attempt to maneuver toward Active but the tiefling's necrotic blasts divert the elven rouge towards more distracted opponents. The tiefling turns his attention toward Ecthor who seems to be blessed by Avandra by managing to shrug off the wizard's burst. Phaldara is once again pushed to his bloodied rage, finishing one orc and then hewing into another. The wraith proves difficult to damage even with Thalion's magic rapier but the rouge's persistence pays off and he manages to damage his insubstantial enemy severely.

In its cold, hollow tone, Tharun, the wraith cries, "Master, these ones will send me to my rest and then they will turn to you. Tonight we shall meet in Avernus" but not before I raise a brother! With that remark the wraith snakes its icy black tendrils around the remaining, ill-fated orc. Phaldara and Ecthor taking heart in this new found ally turn toward Active but the quick tiefling is out the door forcing the Paladin and half-elf cleric to give chase. The wraith proves to be no ally at all, phasing away from Thalion's harrying blade to attack the pursuing Phaldara with a critical strike that sends Bahamut's champion into unconsciousness. Ecthor, torn between pursuit of his foe and saving his friend chooses friendship over duty and brings his mace down upon the creature with Avenging Flame! The holy flames burn the spirit and cause it to dissipate with a sigh that sounds almost relieved. Thalion arrives to see the wraith depart but there is no time to rest as a howl draws their attention back to the room. Another wraith, this one with porcine features, moves forward with eye on the fallen Phaldara. The anguished orc spirit bellows in broken common, "Won't undie forever alone! Need companion!"

In haste Ecthor brings Phaldara back to the land of the living with a healing potion while Thalion does his best to hold off the wraith. The undead creature ignores damage from Thalion as it attacks the prone Phaldara sending him into unconsciousness again. With no healing words or potions left, Ecthor ministers to Phaldara with such skill that the Paladin regains consciousness once again. Thalion rains telling blows upon the creature dispersing parts of its whispy form. Still, it ignores him and attacks Phaldara striking true sending him into unconsciousness yet again with the apparent desire to raise an undead Dragonborn. Seeing that sending this creature into oblivion as his only option Ecthor strikes it with Avandra's lance of faith causing it radiant torment and setting Thalion up for a sneak attack. The attack hits true and as Thalion's sword cuts through the whispy form he sees it fully dissipate and thinks he can hear a faint call for the Orc god, Gruumsh.

An un-killable Phaldara is quickly revived and the group follows Active out the front of the house. It appears that the tiefling is heading back towards Valmorgan. Although the wizard has a lead the party pursues with vengeance.

Continued.... ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1089-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-10
Society of the Upper Room Session 9 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/754-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-9 Mon, 28 Sep 2009 16:02:41 GMT Eastra and her porters offer to take the coin won from the dragon back to Valmorgan and keep it in the Septarch’s tower. Tuan, trusting no, decides... Eastra and her porters offer to take the coin won from the dragon back to Valmorgan and keep it in the Septarch’s tower. Tuan, trusting no, decides to remain with her and her team to assist. Thalion, Phal’dara and Ecthor take the children, Tyla and the head of Sstharax back to the city as well. The group hires some human females to attend to the children and the still incoherent Tyla while they follow-up on some leads within the city. The note and other leads appear to point to the mysterious tiefling, Active. Other inquires turn up redundant information except for Ecthor’s questions in the Moonsong Temple in regards to the strange amulet that was found on Chant’s robes. The leading priest recognizes it as a dragon cult. Also, by bringing the head of Sstharax the trio is granted an audience with the queen of Valmorgen, Dantrella. Dantrella, a deva, recognizes the amulet. Refugees from the North speak of a cult that wears the amulet and persecutes the settlements. Dantrella sent her most trusted knight, Jaryn, and his order to the North to investigate personally. The queen is exceptionally pleased to have this stout group arrive at such an opportune time. She also is looking for Active who she believes may have taken a sacred and powerful trident named Wave. She believes he has a hideout after the farmlands north of the city. The party, in pursuit of Active, decides to pursue him for the Queen as well. Fortune arises again as Dantrella, hearing their tale from Harken Village to this point, informs them that Elar, the Halfling rescued from Volundar’s dungeon is staying in an inn just outside of the city. It isn’t long until they meet with the grateful Elar and give him the charge of returning the children and Tyla to Harken Village. As promised Elar tells Thalion who can name his special sword. He apologizes for not having better information and says that family tales tell of his great grandfather, a mighty dwarven fighter, wielding a powerful war maul. The maul, Whelm, was named by a tiefling mystic of unsurpassed beauty named Arealasentanella. That was many years ago and the tiefling would be ancient if not dead but Elar hopes it will help.

With the burden of the children and Tyla off their hands the trio is free to pursue Active. They march north passing farms and finally reach the house of a farmer who has reported trouble in the area. He states that there is an old mansion belonging to a wizard in the woods north of his farm. He believes the trouble comes from there.

The group warily enters the shaded woods. Not far into their trek they are set upon by a huge bear. The bear proves to be a challenge for the party as it strikes and moves in cunning fashion covering its flank. Still it is no match for the three and Echtor deals the final blow.

The path continues and ends at a small clearing with a large house on the side of a hill. To the west of the house runs a deep stream. The windows haven’t been cleaned in years and none of the party can see into the house. A cursory glance to either side of the house reveals an old cart on the east and a broken window on the west side. Being somewhat proper Phal’dara knocks on the front door. No answer prompts Thalion to check the door which doesn’t appear trapped but is locked. The lock proves to be no challenge and the stuck door opens at Phal’dara’s mighty tug. Two huge orcs in the doorway greet them and welcome them to dinner. With no desire to be on the menu Phal’dara lays into them with his great axe. The orcs move out of the house but keep their backs to the door covering their flank. Two smaller orcs who have likely come out through the broken window start throwing axes at the group from the side of the house. The fight sets the party back on its heals in the first few moments with Phal’dara succumbing to the relentless axes of the orcs. That opening goes to the party’s advantage as the orcs maneuver but expose their flanks to a newly revived Phadara and a deadly Thalion. The larger orcs fall but shout something to the other two mentioning “Active” and they run back to the broken window. Echthor and Thalion give chase but Phal’dara goes through the front door to meet the foes, dropping his axe and brandishing his sword and shield just in time to ward off throw axes from the two orcs now inside the house. Phal’dara is also surprised as he makes his way through the entrance way to the main room as a cavern choker grabs him from the side. It can’t hold him long and the orcs, thinking that they have the advantage, are soon pelted by Ecthor’s crossbow bolts and Thalion’s devastating surprise attacks. With shield in hand Phal’dara proves adept at warding off the chokers snaky limbs and brings the little beast down. The remaining orcs never have a chance to make it to the door inside the room, which was obliviously their destination to warn their master. The bodies have little to offer and the party now prepares to enter the door that leads further into the house and the side of the hill. ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/754-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-9
Society of the Upper Room Session 8, Sstharax http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/731-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-8-Sstharax Sun, 20 Sep 2009 06:18:12 GMT Eastra (an Eladrin War Wizard) is commissioned by the High Septarch of Valmorgen to investigate a presence that has just began to touch his... Eastra (an Eladrin War Wizard) is commissioned by the High Septarch of Valmorgen to investigate a presence that has just began to touch his conscience. Although she thinks little of the Septarch, Eastra does not want to neglect a potential resource. So, along with four stout porters, Eastra heads toward the Cloakwood from whence the Sepatarch says the emanations originate. As she nears the forrest she notes a party of kobolds at the edge who appear to be scouting or searching for something. Taking notice of Eastra and her porters the kobolds, lead by an unusually large chieftain launch an attack.

Eastra is the quicker, casting a sleep enchantment which affects several of the kobolds and their guard drake pets. The sleepy kobolds manage to launch their deadly javlins ignoring the porters and delivering wounds to the wizard. The kobolds find their original quarry; Tuan, Phal'dara, Ecthor and Thalion, emerging from the wood to flank them. Tuan and Phal’dara move in to engage the chieftain, Juel. Juel makes a perfect victim of Tuan's Jaws of the Wolf attack taking substantial damage. Phal’dara's shield deflects the Bahamut emblazoned great axe wielded by Juel but cannot escape a stunning cheap shot kick to his dragon born family jewels. The drakes which were Thalion's bane earlier prove to be ineffective against Phal’dara and Tuan and fall to sleep as Eastra's potent spell takes affect. Juel, feeling in a straight, calls to to the woods for help and is answered by a hord of small kobolds armed with various sharp things. Thalion moves to assassinate the sleeping drakes. Eastra picks off the kobolds engaging her while her porters slowly advance hoping not to actually engage in a fight. The horde does indeed help Juel as Phal’dara stunning injury is given greater insult when the vicious little kobolds overwhelm him but do little damage. Tuan and Ecthor finish off Juel and attend to the horde while Phal'dara continues to succumb to the stun. Having killed her assailants Eastra can turn her attention to the little kobolds. Thalion finishes off the last drake with a vengeance and joins his companions to attack the horde. They all lay-to against the vicious little kobolds and manage to take them out one by one with Thalion dealing the final blow.

A thanks and short introduction brings Eastra into the Society. Phal’dara takes Juel's axe which proves to be a great axe of the medic and Ecthor dons the chain mail of resistance to poison. Strangely there is nothing else to be found on the corpses. Eastra's allows her porters to remain outside the ruins as they reenter the dungeon. As they pass through recently visited rooms all is silent. Apparently all of the inhabitants have been slain. With a little more time to spare Thalion looks over the dead priest and takes a peculiar amulet. Tuan looks behind the altar to find a bag with 30 gold pieces. After going through the room with the pendulum and sludge pit the party enters a large filthy room that was obviously the kobold's living area. Crude pallets and bunks along with refuse make up the furniture. A cursory search lends no clue to anything valuable. A door to the west is the only interesting feature. That door opens to a smaller chamber dominated by 16-foot-high but crudely carved statue of a dragon and an altar, below which is carved the name, "Shopie". On the altar are 4 familiar looking potions and Thalion's blood cut leather armor. Thalion's investigation of the staute reveals that a kobold-sized pressure plate between the altar and statue will actuate a mechanism causing the statue to slide. Once moved, a dark corridor is revealed behind the statue. With sun rods lit the group starts forward down the passage 2 abreast with Thalion scouting a little ahead. A sickly sweet smell is in the air and becomes more pungent as the party moves forward. A smoke or mist on the floor grows thicker as they feel themselves decending into the earth. The mist is fortunately heavier than the air and Ecthor can sense that it would be harmful if breathed directly.
After and hour of cautiously negotiating twists and turns the natural stone passage opens to a large room. Eastra uses a spectral hand to bring a sunrod illuminating the room as well as 3 figures chained to the west of the room and Thalion's keen hearing makes out the breathing of some large beast. Thus there is no surprise as a large green dragon appears to rise up from the floor.

The dragon introduces himself as Sstharax, stating that the interloper's bones will be dust when he is till young. Eastra and Phal’dara are already well into the room around the northern side so the rest of the group by the entrance receives a poisonous blast of dragon breath. The dragon uses its glare to slide Thalion into the large pit from whence he rose as the party begins to lay into the beast. Claws, bites and glares deal damage to the group as the dragon spreads the damage among the party. Sstharax taunts the party touting his greatness and at one point addresses Thalion stating that he smelled Thalion’s scent on the sword he now ones among his treasures and that he has awakened a power in it. Potions and healing from Ecthor and the members second winds keep them all in the fight. At one point Phal'dara ends up in the pit and makes his way to the other side to find himself tripping over bodies. Sstharax launches himself in a flyby attack at Eastra, who has been harrying him with magic missiles and poisons her with his deadly bite. While Phal'dara finds that the bodies in the pit are of children who are still alive, Ecthor cries and oath to Avandra and is granted a Lance of Faith that bursts forth and takes the life of the dragon, which saves Eastra from falling to the dragon's poisonous bite.

The remaining live maiden hanging by shackles at the other end of Sstharax’s chamber appears to be Tyla. The 10 children in the bottom of the pit appear to be the "dusties" from Harken Village. The dragon’s treasures include: 50 Platinum, 1K Gold, 5K Silver, 20K Copper, 20 x 50Gp Gems, 2 x 100Gp Diamonds. Thalion finds his sword but in a bejeweled scabbard and removes it to find that the blade is invisible and sharper than ever. Also among the treasures there are a pair of wild runner boots, a +1 Crossbow of wounding, and a +1 inspiring mace. Eastra also finds a strange orb with a cloudy visage and sheathed in a worked metal reptilian talon. She places it safely within the folds of her robes while heading to the surface to summon her porters for this labor. Thalion urges Phal’dara to remove the head from Sstharax as proof of their conquest. ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/731-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-8-Sstharax
Society of the Upper Room Session 7 The Rescue http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/638-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-7-The-Rescue Fri, 14 Aug 2009 12:35:43 GMT Tuan knows that he had better chance for fame, fortune and adventure with his former group and decides to pursue them to the destination on the map... Tuan knows that he had better chance for fame, fortune and adventure with his former group and decides to pursue them to the destination on the map (see The Note). As Tuan exit’s the forest onto the Kings Road towards Valmorgen he spies a fellow traveler. Knowing that there is safety in numbers Tuan recruits the half-elven cleric of Avandra, Ecthor. Ecthor trusts that luck and Avandra favor the bold and has chosen to make a name for himself vanquishing Valmorgen of the evil humanoids that he’s heard have begun to venture into the kingdom.

Wanting to catch-up with his former companions Tuan rushes through Valmorgen forgoing himself and his new partner an ale at one of the many fine brew houses. His ranger memory and tracking skills lead him and Ecthor right to the path into the Cloakwood. The midday sun is dimmed by the trees that press all around the path but the two’s eyes have no trouble seeing the ruined manor house with its entrance to the dungeons below. Tuan leads the way down the stairs to be met by a stout kobold champion, in ill-fitting dwarven plate armor, and his two javelin throwers. In very fine common the kobold states, "I told them that more would come. Now it’s up to Macks to take care of you." As he clangs his sword to shield in challenge Tuan answers with a smile when he sees the kobold’s sword burst into flame knowing that if he can defeat the kobold Phal’dara’s sword will become an excellent companion to his frost scimitar.

Whirling like a dervish Tuan wades into the 3 kobolds with sword and mace. 2 of the enemies deflect his swings but the 3rd
falls victim to a crushing blow from the mace shattering the monster’s skull in a spray of blood and bone. Ecthor raises his holy symbol and calls sacred flame onto the other javelin thrower but tumbles out of the way. Tuan trades blows with the champion but deals a telling wound after Ecthor’s mace brings wrathful thunder against his enemy, dazing him and allowing Tuan to strike. The kobold’s shield glows brightly as the damage is reduced to a mere scratch and Tuan is further dismayed as the armor flashes and the kobold seems to recover from earlier wounds. Ecthor’s healing and damager enrage the champion who swings fruitlessly at Ecthor but Ecthor remains focused on the smaller javelin thrower who has been harassing them. Ecthor comes up with a mace upper-hook which lifts the javelin kobold off his feet and throws him against the wall with an audible crunch. Tuan takes his enemy out with a final thrust from his scimitar combined with a crushing mace blow.

Tuan and Ecthor search the corpses, removing the valuable armor which Tuan knows belongs to Phal’dara. Tuan magnanimously tosses his magic mace to Ecthor as he claims the flaming longsword for his own. A quick search of this area reveals nothing further. The duo turn their attention to the portcullis to the north. Not wanting to put his back to work unless absolutely necessary, Tuan flaunts his roguish abilities by tying a line to an arrow and making a fantastic shot to hit a leaver to raise the portcullis allowing Ecthor and him to go on along the darkened hallway.
While Tuan and Ecthor are fighting Macks, a tied Phal’dara and Thalion are being moved back to the chamber where the altar lies. As they are raised from the sarcophagi in the game room the see the larges kobold that they’ve ever had the displeasure to look upon. The beast ignores them while Pek (last session) happily urges the tow fallen heroes to get up and meet their destiny at the end of a sacrificial blade. Thalion taunts the large Kobold who turns out to be named Juel and buys some time to loosen his bonds. Phal’dara cannot muscle out of his own bonds and helplessly shuffles up the stairs and back into the altar room. Pek tells the two that Cahnt will send them on their journey as sacrifices to Tiamat and the "Other".

With four kobolds on Thalion and 6 on a bound and muzzled Phal’dara Thalion decides that he’ll wait before he reveals his free hands. As the kobolds enter the altar room they begin to chant. Cahnt is obviously a tall human in a dragon mask but seems to mean business with a wicked dagger. Cahnt stands out among the kobolds with his ornate dragon mask and purple robes clasped with a particularly noticeable broach. Thalion notices that Tuan is around the far corner and waits for him to make a move. As the kobolds lay Phal’dara onto the altar Tuan rushes in trying to take down Cahnt with 2 shots from his bow. He and Ecthor both miss and ready themselves for return fire. They don’t wait long as a kobold archer on either side of Cahnt looses an arrow to hit Tuan. Tuan feels a searing pain on his feet and calves when Cahnt points his dagger at Tuan, uttering a word of power causing the very stone beneath Tuan’s feet to melt and hold Tuan firm. Thalion makes his move, feeing himself from his bonds as he gathers up javelins from the dead to join the fight. Phal’dara does his part by requiring 4 kobolds to hold him down and remain out of the fighting. That doesn’t last long though as Phal’dara does manage to rise and head-butt one of the creatures into oblivion. Cahnt moves around the field dealing damage to Thalion and Ecthor. In their efforts to gain better vantage on the battle field Ecthor and Tuan both inadvertently trigger pressure plates. With the sounds of gears grinding and a thrown bolt, the two become victims of the dart traps that fire from the visors of the 2 suits of armor in the room. Thalion requests and receives Ecthor’s crossbow and begins use hit and run shots against Cahnt. The tide turns on Cahnt as Tuan lines him up for this Jaw’s of the Wolf sword technique. Tuan‘s two swords cut deeply into the dread priest but Cahnt strikes back with his deadly dagger which, along with a nasty cut, strikes fear into Tuan‘s soul forcing his next attack to be a hit and run. Phal’dara manages to struggle free of the kobolds and Cahnt cries for them to kill the former sacrifice and for Pek to warn Schopie and Juel. Pek does escape to the corridor leading to the next room but the decision to kill Phal’dara to be bad for the kobolds as their stabs weaken the dragonborn’s bonds allowing him to break free and head-but the nearest minion into the next world. Although Cahnt seems to have turned his attention to a fearful Ecthor, Tuan decides that everyone’s best chance is for him to bring blades to bear against Cahnt. Weakened and bloodied Tuan slices futilely down against Cahnt with his frost scimitar but Cahnt’s magical wards do nothing to deter Tuan’s flaming long sword which strikes deep into his side igniting his clothing and burning him to death.

With Cahnt dead the remaining kobolds don’t last long. Tuan grabs the nasty dagger from Cahnt’s dead hands while Phal’dara dons his armor and inspects his new Protecting Shield. Aside from the dagger, a satchel containing 30 gold pieces is the only other treasure the reunited party can find in the room before Thalion‘s keen ears warn them that Pek‘s efforts have brought reinforcements. Beaten and without time to rest the party flees the dungeons and quickly looses their pursuers in the dense woods. Finally able to rest the companions feel an urgent need to finish their quest and ponder the best course of action against their well equipped and determined foes.
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/638-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-7-The-Rescue
Society of the Upper Room - Session 6 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/623-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-6 Mon, 10 Aug 2009 04:06:58 GMT As the party departs the area of the grove they notice that Rummy is no longer with them. Could the fey nature of the grove somehow have caused him... As the party departs the area of the grove they notice that Rummy is no longer with them. Could the fey nature of the grove somehow have caused him to seek out the Feywild? With their wizard gone the party continues on their quest, hopeful that all will work out in the end. Thalion, Balim and Phaldara make slow progress along the hidden trail without their ranger companion. After two uneventful evenings the path empties from the forest onto the Kings Road near Valmorgen.
Balim seems nervous or anxious as the group approaches the city gates. Valmorgen is a large walled city wherein reside possibly over one thousand souls. The citadel of the queen can be seen in the north eastern part of the city. Apparently the guards take little notice of travelers on foot and the adventurers pass through without question. Upon entering the city Balim apologizes to his remaining companions, stating that he must pay a visit to a prominent dwarf named, Teldorthan Ironhews and that he’ll catch-up with them at a later time. Thalion and Phaldara feel the urgency of the quest driving them forward. Thalion wisely decides to pick up some healing potions if they are available. An inquiry to the city guard gives the pair a list of places that might be able to supply them but one of particular interest is House Azaer (see the note).

House Azaer seems to be a simple warehouse/ shop, two stories tall and possibly with a basement. Questioning a local beggar reveals nothing special about the enterprise. Phaldara and Thalion are greet upon entry by the most beautiful tiefling either of them has seen. She introduces herself as Nella and after some not to subtle questioning about humanoids and House Azaer’s possible connection tells the duo that her brother Active may have some information. She tells them that Active is away but Thalion feels that there is something that she isn’t saying or cannot say. Nella relieves the two of about 500 GP worth of gems in exchange for four potions of healing which she claims is her entire stock. Nella lets the pair know that she would be in the market to purchase more gems and items of power if they come across some. She also mentions that the queen may be interested in the fact that humanoids are in the land of Valmorgen.

Feeling that they can find their destination before sundown Thalion and Phaldara decide to visit the citadel of the queen. Traveling the tight streets of Valmorgen they get a sense of order in this clean city. The beggars seem content to sit by the street sides and receive their alms without soliciting. Even the urchins won’t leave their games to panhandle passers-by. Much of the streets are cobblestone or solid packed dirt and the citizens seem relatively happy. Phaldara and Thalion meet a sergeant of the guard at the citadel. He refuses to grant them an audience with the queen but is happy to listen to their story. Some questioning and intimidation on Phaldara’s part reveals that the citadel guards do not think the city guards are above bribery. They also know of the tiefling, Active, and do not trust him. The guards do not seem overly surprised by the fact that the party has encountered evil humanoids and reveal that the guards think that the Baron of Harkenwald may be allowing humanoids to pass through his guard post. The Baron has a small keep to the north on the boarder lands. What is unusual is that the keep has never been assailed unlike other guard posts in that dangerous land. The guards say that the queen is aware of humanoids in her lands but the guards also say that the suspicion of the baron is their own. The sergeant introduces himself as Maton and that he would be interested in speaking with the adventurers again.

Thalion and Phaldara leave through the East Gate towards their destination on the note. Thalion’s excellent perception leads the two right to the spot shown on the map even though it would appear that great pains were taken to conceal it. The destination turns out to be a ruin of a large stone manor house. An opening in front reveals stairs leading down into what must’ve been dungeons below the house. In the waning light Thalion’s keen elven eyes can tell that there is a source of light. Thalion leads the decent with Phaldara a few paces behind. Thalion keeps to the shadows and isn’t seen by the lone kobold who appears to be guarding the large chamber. The creature stands on the other side of a pit, from which emanates a stale, musty smell. In a flash Thalion flings a dagger that strikes true into the reptilian’s abdomen. With a scream it raises the alarm but is forever silenced by Thalion’s next dagger which imbeds itself deep in the kobold’s throat. All seems quiet and no further monsters enter the chamber. The well lit room reveals a short passage to a chamber to the east and a dark passage to the north blocked by a portcullis. Thalion and Phaldara cautiously investigate the chamber but are quickly greeted by 2 kobolds with spears and shields. As they prepare to engage the kobolds a sling launched glob of goop sails over Phaldara’s head alerting the heroes to the 2 kobolds who have slipped through the portcullis. The one of the monsters rushes at Phaldara to shove him into the pit but Phaldara stands firm. The other kobold stabs at Phaldara but his spear is knocked aside by Phaldara’s shield. The remaining spear wielding kobold launches himself at Thalion but fails to hit. Phaldara chops past shield and hide to cut deep into the foe before him and Thalion drives his rapier deep into the other kobold’s side for a staggering score. Phaldara raises his shield to deflect a slung stone and Thalion is grazed by a spear. Phaldara looses lightning from his mouth killing the two foes before him as Thalion spins to reply to his wound with a thrust to his foe’s thigh. Another failed toss of a stone convinces the slinger to retreat through the portcullis. His companion does the same but receives a departing wound from Thalion.

Knowing they have little time, Thalion gathers his daggers as Phaldara assesses the portcullis. While the kobolds could escape between the bars the to adventurers must find another path. Phaldara decides to make his own path and with a mighty heave raises the portcullis locking it into an open positions. Phaldara and Thalion advance down the long narrow hall with Phaldara in the lead. A turn divulges a stair leading down. As Phaldara reaches the foot of the stairs he is greeted with a slung stone that bounces off his enchanted armor. The wounded skirmisher comes around from the side as 2 skirmishers from the far end of the large chamber move to attack and shift away. Thalion moves to try to take out the slinger as Phaldara brings his flaming sword into a massive strike against the kobold’s skull, finishing it. The slinger does not last long against Thalion but does give him a small surprise by luring him to a pressure plate that causes a dart to launch from a suit of armor in a nearby alcove. A dart which fails to penetrate Thalion’s magical armor. The skirmishers lure Phaldara into a similar trap that wounds him slightly. Thalion finishes the slinger and moves into position to flank a skirmisher. With a few strokes only one kobold is left who offers to surrender. The room is quite large with four stone sarcophagi in the center and an altar to Tiamat on the far end. Pek, the kobold promises undying loyalty to his captors and shows them how to disarm the traps. When questioned about his cohorts Pek is unclear on how many there are but he does let the two know that there are drakes in the dungeon as well. Phaldara agree to tie-up Pek and retrieve him on the way out.

Another turn and stair leads to another chamber. This one also has a foul pit and sarcophagi but there appears to be some kind of competition afoot as the kobolds in the room are using a pendulum-like stone on a rope to knock bones from the sarcophaguses. They immediately turn their attention on the two adventurers who have interrupted their game and inadvertently provided live entertainment. Phaldara and Thalion refuse to be entertainment for anyone. Phladara launches his Goblin made javelins while Thalion moves forward to engage the kobolds swinging the pendulum from the ledge. 2 kobolds, each on a ledge, engage with slings while another kobold on each ledge waits to toss the pendulum. Phaldara takes out slinger on the far ledge as Thalion hops up to engage the other two. One fall immediately to his sword but is quickly replaced. Phaldara quickly hitches a line to a javelin and sends it sailing into a surprised slinger. The slinger prepares to engage Thalion but is jerked from the ledge by the improvised harpoon which sticks tight in the kobolds thick hide and armor. A whistle from the lone kobold brings a pit-bull sized guard drake charging up the stairs. It tries to bull rush Thalion but he nimbly dodges it. Phaldara moves to finish the job but the stone on the rope sends him reeling back with a bruise to his head. Thalion strikes a deadly blow into the remaining kobold but another guard drake gallops up the stairs and also fails to push him over the edge. The other drake nips as his heels to no avail. Phaldara finishes the slinger on the ground as he is again kept from moving forward by the pendulum. Thalion thinks that he’s over his head as one of the drakes puts a deep gash in his side. He drops to the ground below but is followed by the two drakes whose vicious fangs tear through armor and into succulent elven flesh. Overcome with pain, Thalion passes out. Seeing his companion fall, Phaldara rushes to his aid, dodging the pendulum and laying hands on his fallen friend. Thalion rises and tries to strike at the drakes but cannot penetrate their thick hide with his sword. Both drakes snap at Thalion and one strikes true sending waves of pain up his ravaged thigh and into unconsciousness. Phaldara fails to hit the quick drakes but both of them turn on him, one striking his side and the other sinking its teeth into Phaldaras thigh and artery sending the mighty dragonborne into unconsciousness as well.

Thalion, awakens to find himself in the same room strapped to one of the sarcophaguses. On the other sarcophagus lies Phaldara similarly bound but stripped to his undergarments. Thalion then realizes that he too is missing his armor, gear and his family’s sword. The earlier captured kobold Pek is leering over him with a toothy grin washing his wounds and applying a healing salve. Pek responds to Thalion’s confused look with, "Cahnt likes the sacrifice to be healthy before he offers it to Tiamat and the Other. You lucky, elf. Since you so ugly, you get to watch phony dragon man be sacrificed first. Say you prayers."
That is all, for now…..
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/623-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-6
Society of the Upper Room. The World. http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/622-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-The-World Sun, 09 Aug 2009 02:46:20 GMT While ancient, Thyracia all seems very new to its current inhabitants. The characters know that the world’s namesake comes from an ancient empire... While ancient, Thyracia all seems very new to its current inhabitants. The characters know that the world’s namesake comes from an ancient empire that ruled many millennia ago. A few scattered ruins exist that seem to give evidence that Thyracia was ruled by beasts or beast-men. The characters know extremely little about that ancient empire that disappeared into history.

The characters are mostly familiar with the area of Garutu in the south. They know little or nothing about Rendishire to the north. Several thousand years ago Garutu was ruled by a dragon king whose name was also Garutu. While many creatures acknowledged Garutu as their liege, his most beloved subjects were the Dragonborn. Over the Hellfire Mountains lies the land of Rendishire. The characters know that tieflings ruled that land.

Some event sparked war between the 2 lands that destroyed the cultures. After millions died with much destruction on both sides, the tieflings and dragonborn united together against an unknown common foe. This resulted in a common bond between dragonborn and tieflings that still exists. Rendishire was cherished by the Raven Queen. The tragedy of this war was the result of her forsaking her name and taking on her current mantel. Bahamut loved Garutu, as is fitting dragons and although the war ended there is a rift between the Raven Queen and Bahamut as well as their followers.

Four generations of the oldest people, the Eladrin, have passed since the peace was made between Garutu and Rendishire and most of the details are only known to the wisest scholars. The characters are currently in the kingdom of Valmorgen ruled by the deva queen, Dantrella, whose capital is the city of Valmorgen. Valmorgen lies between Cheswick and Lormidia, also kingdoms within Garutu. Trade flows freely between the three kingdoms. Much of Garutu is excellent farmland and easily feeds its residents. Magic and riches are scarce. People in Garutu believe Rendishire, over the mountains is rich in gems, gold and other minerals used in the creation of items of power. Moradin’s Anvil, north of the Treldon Wood and on the border of Rendishire, is a close knit dwarven community that purportedly trades with Rendishire. Very little other information comes from Rendishire and there is little trade due to the monsters and hazards of the mountain passes. Most evil humanoid incursions seem to come from the North which would lead Garutu residents to believe that Rendishire is, at best, a lawless land and, at worse, a place of evil.

Valmorgen and the other kingdoms of Garutu are populated my a mixture of the goodly races. Humans, elves, dwarves, half-elves and halflings are all quite common. Dragonborn and tieflings rarely gather in groups and are interspersed among different communities. Eladrin enter Thyracia anytime the Feywild touches the realm and many reside permanently in the Sylvan Valley to the north of Valmorgen which is nestled between the South Mountains and the Hellfires. Elves have exclusive communities in the Treldon Wood to the east of Lormidia and also have elven villages on the fringes of the vast Dark Forest to the north of Cheswick. Half-orcs, changelings, goliaths, gnomes and devas are not unheard of but their appearance will raise the eyebrows of the everyday Garutu resident.

The Garutu kingdoms do not suffer evil humanoids in their lands. All of the kingdoms, and Valmorgen in particular send men-at-arms and knights to the North to thwart incursions. Valmorgan’s lands are divided into baronies that pay homage to the Queen through goods, funds and men. The characters started in Harkenwald, rich in farmland, and in the town of Harken Villiage. Nobles of Harkenwald keep surfs to work their lands. Harken Villiage is unique in that it a community run by free people who manage to pay taxes to the baron.

Fighting men in service of a lord or the queen are not uncommon but adventurers in this place are rare. Many factions are looking for heroes with particular skills to hire. Merchants vie for precious gems and magic items. There is also word of strongholds of evil humanoids within Garutu. there is no shortage of adventure for the stout-hearted.
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/622-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-The-World
Society of the Upper Room. Recent adventure thoughts http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/621-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Recent-adventure-thoughts Sun, 09 Aug 2009 01:00:31 GMT It was a a real pleasure running the group through the Fool’s Grove. I’ve since misplaced the adventure but it must’ve came from one of the Dungeon... It was a a real pleasure running the group through the Fool’s Grove. I’ve since misplaced the adventure but it must’ve came from one of the Dungeon pdf.s Being an old timer I remember the "brain mole" from the 1st AD&D monster manual and the other cheesy monsters from the Fiend Folio including the only lawful good monster in the book, the Flumph. I always got a kick out of the odd-ball monsters but could never wrap my head around putting them in an adventure. I’m better at sticking to the basics. I give credit to the authors for making that adventure so much fun. We did use the outdoor tiles and I think that added a bit of flavor to the game. The characters did very well and the role-play/conflict at the end really added to the game. The players seemed to have a good time and I know I had a good time running Fool’s Grove. I highly recommend it.
The part with Talos was done very much on the fly. I would like this to be a novel-like epic campaign and see the players advance to interact and affect change in Thyracia (the campaign world). Since the player couldn’t be there I wanted to have something happen in the interim. Fortunately the player and Phaldara’s player were available for a short adventure. The guy who usually plays Phaldara played the 2 NPCs so it ended up being more like a one-shot for him. He did very well and the game ended up lasting the better part of the evening but it was worth it.
My inspiration for the Talos adventure was all stemmed from Open Grave and the "Blood Tower" setting. I removed a couple of floors and all the undead portion. When I first looked at Open Grave it didn’t really live up to my expectations but now I’m appreciating it a little more. The storied behind the settings and personalities work well with other ideas. I liked the bullywugs a lot more than I thought I would. The elven fighter rolled a couple of natural 20’s agains the bullywugs and received bonus temp hit-points, as per MMII. Talos’s player, who is well abreast of the rules, could not understand what "power" the fighter was using to gain those temp hit points. Hey, not everyone can know all the rules. J I was also a little worried when they fought the crocs. Had I rolled better it may have been a much shorter adventure. The fell taint were my first experience using "insubstantial" monsters. The 20 hp seemed to last forever.
Overall it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed these 2 adventures/dungeons better than the first. On to the rest of the story….. ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/621-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Recent-adventure-thoughts
Society of the Upper Room – What happened to Talos. http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/530-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-–-What-happened-to-Talos Fri, 10 Jul 2009 21:39:10 GMT While the group explores this portion of the grove Talos notes this grove’s arcane barrier was erected by an infernal ritual. He also recognizes... While the group explores this portion of the grove Talos notes this grove’s arcane barrier was erected by an infernal ritual. He also recognizes this shaggy creature, the umpleby for what it is, a steward. Although he has not spoken supernal in this life, while gazing on this steward a particular word comes to his mind, “submit.” Talos approaches the umpleby and says “submit” in the supernal tongue. The beast in turn hands Talos a coin-sized metal token with supernal inscriptions on it. Although Talos cannot read it he somehow feels that it is tied to infernal origins and that with this token he can leave the grove. Talos says farewell to his companions and departs the way he came vowing to meet them in Valmorgen.

Talos plans to travel back along the secret path back to Harkenwald, a larger town where he knows resides a powerful tiefling by the name of Eyeshown. While sprinting back Talos finds that the path is no longer a secret. As two armed and armored humans, one mounted and one on foot, approach. Talos hails them and can see that they carry shields with the standard of the Baron of Harkenwald, the lord of these parts. Although they soon become friendly to the charismatic Talos they are not swayed in their orders to apprehend anyone along this path and return them to the Baron. Talos’s demeanor quickly puts them at ease and they take Talos to be a tiefling of quality treating him to food and lodging in Harkenwald prior to visiting the Baron’s stronghold.

Upon arriving at the Baron’s stronghold Talos is greeted by the baron’s seneschal. Talos can tell that he is destined for the dungeon but through diplomatic discourse and well stated bluffs he manages to avoid seeing the Baron and is soon on his way back to Harkenwald. His inquiries of Eyeshown reveal that Eyeshown probably has something to do with a recently raised tower in the nearby mucky fens. He makes the aqquaintence of two elves; Telson, an elven wizard and Calias an elven warrior, who have come from the Treldon Wood because of a foul disturbance in the nearby fen.

As they approach the tower Calias notices that several creatures lie in wait for them, trying to hide in the many reeds within the fen. Calias boldly calls the adversaries out and is attacked by 5 froglike bullywugs. Telson’s magic missile takes one out immediately as the battle begins. The larges bullywug charges Calias missing and stumbling into the muck another attacks and begins a frantic hop to avoid Calias’s blows. Talos steps forward to send one enemy to its death as Calias fells another leaving only the hopper and the large bullywug. The larger gets up and charges Telson but fails to land a solid blow while Talos and Calias finish the hopper. Without his companions, the large bullywug falls to the blades of Talos and Calias.

The trio approaches the tower before them and can see that it has been raised from the muck of the fen. It appears that the job is not quite finished and may be due to the fact that an underground boulder must have scraped the side as the tower rose and punctured a hole in what was probably the 2nd floor but is now at ground level. The three heroes struggle over the rubble to be greeted by 6 slovenly bullywugs. They make short work of their foes who appeared to guard an empty room that comprises half the floor with a spiral stair in the middle leading up and down. Talos urges the group to a door in the north west.

The small wooden door opens easily to expose what must be the bullywug king and his harem. The female bullywugs, which look as dainty as the males, prove willing to engage the party and one makes a grab to bring Calias through the small door and into the room. That tactic is short lived as Talos breaks its grip by removing its head. The bullywug ruler proves more of a danger as it belches a fiery/thunder burst at the group incinerating one of his brides but doing telling damage to Talos and Telson. The adventurers press into the room, dispatching the kings concubines in the process and make their way to confront him directly. As Talos and Telson converge on the self-styled king the bullywug regurgitates a burst of lightning shocking and stunning the vengeful pair. Seeing that this group is more than he may have bargained for he dives head first into a hole in the floor with a splash.

The group takes a short rest and searches around to find nothing of value before Telson puts a light cantrip on a wooden chair and throws it into the hole. Talos and Calias leap into the hole and are met with water over their head. With no attack forthcoming Telson follows and notices that there is a door to the west and to the south just under the water level. The one to the south is ajar and the group suspects that is where the king bullywug made its escape. Without time to loose they pursue their adversary into the next room but are met by a mated pair of vicejaw crocs. Calias takes the brunt of the attack as a pair of crocodilian jaws clamp down onto his armor. Telson fires acid arrows and magic missiles and uses a lucky “burning into the beasts as Talos and Calias are grabbed in turn by the crocs. The heroes give better than they get and with the crocs sinking to the bottom of the flooded room pull themselves up onto the staircase landing to give their battered bodies a long rest.

Their rest is interrupted as the bullywug king rises from the water to take his revenge. His reign is short as he proves to be a feeble monarch not very adept at taking advantage of a good situation and is soon joining the crocs at the bottom of the flooded room. The party finally gets a chance to take their well-earned rest.

Rested the party goes back through the flooded rooms to find a library with one book of sigils still intact. Although they cannot read them Talos determines them to be of an infernal value. They also find 2 potions of healing.

Heading back up the staircase they climb about 2 stories before meeting another guardian in the form of an Iron Cobra. While combating the cobra they hear a shout from what must be the top floor of the tower. The urgent summons spurs them to quickly dispatch the cobra and ascend the landing.

At the top floor Calias, Talos and Telson see the strangest creatures which imagination could not create. 4 small undulating masses of tentacles float around a tiefling that appears engaged with opening or closing a portal. The tiefling, Eyeshown, exhorts the party to dispatch the “fell taints” so he can safely close the portal to the Outer Realm. He tells them they must hurry as another one appears to be pushing through. The taints prove to be somewhat impervious as physical attacks partially go through them. They surround Calias who steadfastly engages them so Talos and Telson can damage them from afar. Calias does indeed fall 3 times in the battle with the taints and another taint does get through the portal. Before Calias’s final fall Eyeshown tells Talos to grab the weapon behind the stairs to combat the taints. On the wall behind the stairs hangs a fine kopesh that bursts into flame as Talos takes hold of it. He returns to the side of the failing Telson who stands over the unconscious form of Calias and strikes the fell taint that just brought Calias down. The remaining taint is barely alive and is only thwarted from delivering Calias with the coupe de grace by the ongoing flames of Talos’s newly acquired kopesh.
With the taints extinguished, Eyeshown falls to the floor, exhausted. Talos attends him and offers him the token given by the umpleby and tells about the barrier surrounding the grove. Eyeshown is grateful and indicates that this will put him in better graces with his mistress, Shalmestra. He tells Talos to keep the +1 flaming kopesh and states that he knows Talos and that Talos is taking a brazen gambit with his actions. The elves stare in wonder as Eyeshown whisks them out of his foul tower. ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/530-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-–-What-happened-to-Talos
Society of the Upper Room – Session 5 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/528-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-–-Session-5 Fri, 10 Jul 2009 20:34:09 GMT As the party searches the grove for other possible valuables Talos approaches the umpleby, speaks a word and receives something from the creature. ... As the party searches the grove for other possible valuables Talos approaches the umpleby, speaks a word and receives something from the creature. He salutes the group vowing to meet up with them again and then departs around the door from which they entered. The perplexed band can only press on as the umpleby points to a dilapidated building across the small stream and says, in poorly accented elven, “out”.

As they approach the stream they see large one-horned bunnies grazing in a garden, a small creature on top of a mound, a grumpy, smelly cow standing by a tree and they can hear a squishing sound coming from behind the tall beanstalks next to the garden. The bold elf, Thalion, leaps across the smooth tree trunk bridge that spans the small stream to see what happens. The bunnies glare at him with mal intent and the umpleby grasps it’s head in pain. A quick leap back has the bunnies back to foraging for goodies but Rummy and Tuan send missiles towards the mole on top of the mound, suspecting that it is behind the umpleby’s discomfort. Arrows and magic strike true sending the wounded creature scuttling down its hole. Tuan crosses the bridge and is charged by the cow whose smell leaves him feeling weak and short of breath. The charge fails to catch the nimble Tuan who starts back across the bridge after fending off charging bunnies.

Tuan stumbles across the bridge and is followed by a less than sure footed Stench Kow into the river below injuring himself slightly. Balim tosses a rope as the squishing noise turns out to be a Flail Snail that begins to plod across the bridge. The bunnies (Al-mi’raj) burrow, fearing more missile attacks from Balim, Phaldara and Thalion. The mole pops up among the beanstalks but is noticed by Rummy who rewards it with a magic missile for its trouble sending it back into its hole forever. Tuan squares off with the Kow taunting it with hit and run tactics and taking wounds in the process while Balim engages the snail. Rummy moves into a better position to attack the snail and Kow but is surprised by the al-mir’aj who surface near him. Three lower their horns and charge Rummy but he is saved from sure impalement as he activates a magical shield to ward their attacks. Phaldara kills a bunny but the remaining rodents fly into a rage taking a stabbing charge at their closest foe. Thalion kills another causing a rage amongst the bunnies again as Balim’s axe proves stronger than the snail’s shell, shattering most of its protective covering. The snail no longer uses it’s flails but instead lets out a piercing wail the rattles Balim’s and Phaldara’s armor and sorely wounds their nearest bunny foe. A battered Tuan puts down the kow with a stab to its lungs and a mace to its head and turns to engage the 2 remaining bunnies with Thalion and Rummy. Phaldara and Balim chop away at the mollusk and remain impervious to its piercing wail as the other three companions finish the raging al-mi’raj.

The group searches the now deserted garden to find a strange magical carrot that promises to hold wondrous powers. Thalion tries to converse with the umpleby but only gleans that “out” is through the dilapidated structure ahead of them. Finding nothing else of interest in the garden the group boldly strides toward the structure.

Looking through the ruined wall. The party sees an odd sight and are greeted by the smell of roasting mushrooms. Floating disk shaped creatures with eyestalks and tendrils attend each other by sticking mushrooms with a sharp appendage beneath their bodies and feeding them to their companions. A portly badger is snoring as it rests against a wall. A wild haired gnome comes up from a small hole in the floor bearing a plate of roasted fungus and announces, “I just brought more campestries from the fire! Who wants seconds?” Noticing the party his pleasant demeanor changes as he says, “This isn’t an adventuring party. It’s for monsters only. Get outta here!” and begins the melee by throwing the plate of food at the group, yelling “Get ‘em, Francis!”.

The five flumphs split up to attack each character. Phaldara goes around the back of the building to attack the gnome. Thalion, Tuan and Balim end up fighting flumphs who prove to be more dangerous than they look with their flyby attacks and ongoing acid damage. Rummy kills Fancis the badger right off the bat with a well placed magic missile but is dismayed when Francis somehow returns to life! Phaldara meets the gnome who offers him a plateful of steaming but still alive campestries whose annoying songs do serious psychic damage to the dragonborn paladin. The thrown campestries begin to move slowly about the battle field and prove so annoying that no one can enter a space they occupy. As in the last battle, Umpleby stands out of the way but glares hungrily at the cooked but still singing campestries. Phaldara attacks the gnome grazing him but then stares in wonder as he fades from sight. He reappears to yell, “I’m a monster! Rrawr!” which rattles the group’s brains for a small amount of damage and focuses his allies allowing them to mark each of the party. In response Balim, Tuan, Thalion and Rummy decimate the flumphs but not without taking piercing, acid coated wounds. Francis gives Balim and Rummy turns killing him and nipping at their shins. Phaldara begins to be concerned as more of the gnome’s thrown plates of campestries take their toll on him. Only when Rummy frees himself of flumph and Francis and sends a flaming sphere near where he thinks the hidden gnome to be does the tide turn. The sphere seriously burns the invisible gnome alerting Phaldara to his position. Phaldara’s dragon rage burns hot as he lunges with his sword to impale the gnome. As he raises his gruesome trophy for his cohorts to see, the un-killable Francis rises again to snatch the body from the sword and tunnels through solid rock to flee the scene.

The umpleby begins to eat-up the roaming campestries much to the party’s relief. Rummy and Balim go down into the small hole which turns out to be a kitchen and notice a suit of scale armor with a sheathed long sword hanging from a hook in the pantry. Once unsheathed the sword bursts into flame to reveal itself as a +1 flaming longsword. Balim happily appraises the armor as Drake Scale +2.

When Thalion and Rummy confront Umpleby about getting out of this place the creature holds out a robe that it indicates will allow the party to leave but he seems to want it in exchange for some of the party’s magic items. Not willing to part with anything Rummy successfully grabs the robe from the umpleby but not without being grabbed himself and taking a small amount of static damage from the beast’s hairy body in the process. The party begins to press forward on the large but seemingly docile creature as if they will take the robe by force but the righteous Thalion will have none of that and stands in the way of their designs. He gives Umpleby his armor (won from the bugbears) and boots (gifted by Jammy) and receives the robe which does prove to let him out along the path that leads from the back of the old building. His companions stare in shock as Thalion starts to walk down the path leaving them in this bizarre prison. Balim offers the umpleby the carrot which they discovered in the garden intending to exchange it for the boots and armor. He receives only the armor and proffers it to Thalion to get him to come back to the party. With a second thought and much discussion Thalion returns to the group and lets them accompany him from the grove. Rummy seems somewhat jaded but feels comfortable embracing a more “unaligned” philosophy. Tuan is disgusted and once free of the grove bounds off in great strides to put distance between himself and those he now considers dupes. Thalion, Balim and Phaldara, being of more like mind, take up the path toward Valmorgen with the cynical Rummy in tow. ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/528-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-–-Session-5
Society of the Upper Room Session 4b http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/475-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-4b Fri, 26 Jun 2009 06:34:58 GMT Thalion ponders the quest to rescue Tyla given to the party by Tob and the proffered reward of helping Thalion “name” his family’s sword. The party... Thalion ponders the quest to rescue Tyla given to the party by Tob and the proffered reward of helping Thalion “name” his family’s sword. The party collectively feels the need to make haste in light of the threat that prisoners of Sstharax do not last long. Not knowing who or what Sstharax is the group follows the secret path revealed in the note found on the body of a slain half-orc. Phaldara and Balim take the point and lead the party along the path until their progress is impeded by a door standing unsupported on the path in the woods.

The 15 foot tall, 6 foot wide, magnificent oaken door has no handle, knob or hinge but only a small peephole and seemingly bars the path. Rummy divines that there is a fey dewomer extending from either side of the door that seems to be a barrier, not to keep things out but to keep something in. Thalion translates the elven script on the door, “Keep out. This means you! Yes, you, who have vanquished Volundar!” Despite the obviously personal warning, Talos peers through the peephole to look upon an empty grove. However, when the members look around the door there seems to be a bit more life in the form of small golden armadillos with a sizable ruby on their foreheads milling about the grove and shimmering white pillars that Rummy recognizes to be envelopers (creatures who grasp a character and mimic some of its battle knowledge). Tuan bravely walks around the door to find that he cannot get back through to the group. Though he can see them he appears to be on the other side of an invisible wall. He implores Talos to take his hand and try to pull him to the other side but as soon as Talos grasps his hand Talos is pulled to the other side as well. They find that a small piece of paper is attached to the other side of the peephole and that it happens to have a tiny painting of an empty grove facing the peephole.

The group realizes it’s time to act as the trees in the area have armored squirrels that happen to bear tiny bows and foul elven tongues that spout invectives which Thalion and Rummy are happy to translate. Talos and Tuan are stuck with numerous tiny arrows that quickly go from irritating to threatening. Tuan returns fire effectively sending 2 of the squirrels (Kercpa) to wherever the spirits of squirrel warriors go. The 3 envelopers begin to engage the companions as well. A large hairy figure shambles from behind the trees but makes no move to engage the group. Since the Kercpa are skillful bowmen (bow-beasts?) Rummy pelts them with Magic Missiles and Balim tries out his new throwing hammer all with good effect. Phaldara rushes to blast an enveloper and a Kercpa and is rewarded with the smell of charred squirrel-flesh and an oily smell from the seriously wounded enveloper. Talos neglects to heed Tuan’s warning not to attack the apparently passive bejeweled armadillos and takes his large blade to one of the small creatures. His strike is true and the beast dissipates in a puff of dust and ash, ruby and all leaving the group with a disheartening feeling in their minds.

The Kercpa and envelopers prove to be small resistance to this stalwart and coordinated band of adventurers. Rummy and Tuan drop the leather clad rodents from the trees as Balim and Thalion set up flanking positions to finish the envelopers. Only Phaldara catches-on to the treasure of the armadillos, known as Carbuncles, when he approaches the big hairy humanoid, which points to the Carbuncle and says, “Treasure”. Phaldara’s quick dragonborn claw catches the gem on the creatures head divesting it of the 70GP ruby. The Carbuncle seems somewhat happy as it dissipates knowing that its treasure is in glad hands. Phaldara manages to grab another before the battle is finished but the shaggy creature before him points to the gem imploring Phaldara to hand it to him. Phaldara can see that there is more to this creature than hair as static sparks all around it as it moves. That doesn’t keep Phaldara’s good nature from getting the better of him and he hands the creature the gem which seems to disappear within its hairy body.

The party can see that this strange grove holds more inhabitants as they look up the path across a small stream spanned by a log bridge to see other creatures moving about. With their quick rally and powerful strikes the adventurers made short work of their foes in this encounter. Will they be so fortunate in the next? What devilish fey creatures are there on the other side of that bridge? Will their hirsute companion ask for more treasure?

*Take a look at the attachments for the pictures of some of these vintage D&D creatures.*
Attached Files
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/475-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-4b
Society of the Upper Room, Session 4a http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/466-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-4a Tue, 23 Jun 2009 05:34:05 GMT Our party felt worn thin after their encounter with the flame skull and its bone-shard skeleton companions and decided that taking a rest may be the... Our party felt worn thin after their encounter with the flame skull and its bone-shard skeleton companions and decided that taking a rest may be the wisest course of action prior to investigating either reaming set of doors. As they were departing the apartments Thalion hears a door shut. The door appears to be the closed double door across from where the group faced the corruption corpse. Thalion listens at the stout reinforced oaken door and thinks that he may hear a faint scratching on stone. Grabbing several handfuls of foul dirt from where the undead fell, Thalion sets a tattletale trap to see what prints may be revealed upon the party’s return. The fearless Rummy offers to maintain a solitary vigil while the group rests outside the ruins but is talked out of it by Tuan who refuses to be outdone on bravado.

The group relaxes outdoors while the afternoon wanes to late evening prior to making their return to the dungeon. They make their way past the first large rooms with no incident. However, when they open the door to the hallway leading to the smaller chambers several harmless hand-sized spiders scuttle past their feet. Balim tosses a torch down the hall to reveal other harmless spiders hiding from the light among some freshly spun webs where the hall meets the smaller chambers. It is obvious to the party that the webs will make traveling through the area somewhat difficult. They test the webs for inflammability and find that while they readily burn the webs do not go up in flames much less become a conflagration. To clear them they realize that they must clear them space by space and to make matters worse the tangle seems to go all the way up to the 15-foot ceiling. Fortunately Rummy has the flaming sphere spell and begins putting it to use to clear the webbing.

Rummy’s efforts are immediately frustrated as he has to assist the lead members, Balim and Phaldara fend off attacks from a small foray of very large spiders. The arachnids are quickly squashed by Phaldara’s sword and Balim’s great axe with a little help from their friends in the back ranks. With no further attacks the group moves forward combining spell and torch for a methodic clearing of the webbing. Their progress is halted just after the first intersection as the light from the flaming sphere reveals a huge spider clinging to the ceiling.

The watchful point is not surprised as a pair or ettercaps emerge from the webbing and more of the large spiders (about as big as a housecat) descend into their midst. The ettercaps go to work with their great axes on Phaldara and Balim. Balim manages to avoid serious damage but Phaldara’s new armor is put to the test after he takes a sturdy blow from his enemy. The spiders continue to be painful nuisances as their bites and weak poison wear away at the front line. The rear of our party focuses on the immediate threat of the ettercaps while the huge spider flings a stinging web at a good portion of the group in the hallway. Balim tears free of the webbing confining him to go on to split another large spider in two. An ettercap and spider trio is treated to Phaldara’s harmless lightning breath attack and rewards him with bites and an axe cut that puts him within an inch of unconsciousness. Fortunately Talos is there with an inspiring word to keep Phaldara from falling. Thalion and Talos maneuver to flank and remove the ettercap threat to Balim. Tuan, held immobile by the webs, is undaunted as he launches arrows into the body of the huge spider on the ceiling. Rummy’s skillful use of the flaming sphere damages their largest foe and the smaller spiders near Phaldara without harming a scale on Phaldara’s head. Rummy’s magic missiles prove ineffective but, along with the continual burning of the sphere, attract the huge spider’s attention bringing it along the ceiling toward the fearless wizard. More webs fly from the spider holding fast Tuan and Balim. Balim refuses to be stuck and rips the webbing from his torso and replies with a kobold javelin. Phaldara’s ettercap flees leaving him free to pursue the larger threat as well. Rummy stands defiantly beneath the huge arachnid but not for long as the creature sends its sharp fore claws into the eladrin’s soft flesh pulling him up to its fangs to deliver a vicious bite that almost sends his soul to meet the Raven Queen. The beast discards the inert form of Rummy and readies for the next attack. Even this monster does not expect the next action as Talos leaps onto Phaldara’s unsuspecting but sturdy shoulders to bring his blade to bear on the spider. Mighty blow cuts through the creature’s chitin severing a leg and staggering the beast. Talos’s potent strike causes him to loose balance and fall from Phaldara’s shoulders. Thalion, seeing a good idea put into practice, takes it a step further as he launches himself from the steadfast Phaldara and clings to the back of the spider doing significant damage as well. The companions continue to attack fend off blows from the spider as it continues its aggression while trying to throw its unintended rider. Thalion holds fast and maneuvers himself between the creature and the ceiling to deliver serious damage including the final blow that brings it falling to the floor. Phaldara’s ettercap foe return only to have its insect-like head removed from its shoulders.

The group stabilizes Rummy and enters the hereunto unexplored room to release a captured dwarf and halfling. These two, Elar and Tob (dwarf) were part of the group sent to rescue the dusties and the maiden, Tyla. Elar reveals his love of Tyla and implores Thalion to go after her stating that the raiders who took her away several days ago remarked that the lovers should say their goodbyes as prisoners don’t last long in the presence of Sstharax. In his gratitude Tob hands Balim a +1 Resounding Throwing Hammer that Miller gave him to fight these raiders. In the room behind the webbing is a small gold statue of a spider rampant with several smaller precious stones. The party can also feel a surge of energy as this final battle has brought them one step further along their personal paths.

After a long rest the group decides to follow the secret path mentioned in the note and hopefully catch up with Tyla and her captors and find out what happened to the rest of the dusties. Elar and Tob go back to Harken Village to let Miller know what has transpired as well as the adventurers plans.

*I've attached the small map of the dungeon. The characters have completed two dungeons stuck together. The first part is from the Starter Set and the 2nd is from D&D 4E for Dummies".
Attached Files
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/466-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-4a
Society of the Upper Room Session 3 *The Note* http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/437-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-3-*The-Note* Thu, 11 Jun 2009 14:25:48 GMT Attached is the note taken from the one of the half-orcs that was carrying the children bound in webbing. Attached is the note taken from the one of the half-orcs that was carrying the children bound in webbing.
Attached Files
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/437-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-3-*The-Note*
Society of the Upper Room, Session 3 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/416-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-3 Fri, 05 Jun 2009 21:13:46 GMT As the party recovers from the battle with the corruption corpse and it’s undead companions and they meet the arrival of Talos, a tiefling... As the party recovers from the battle with the corruption corpse and it’s undead companions and they meet the arrival of Talos, a tiefling warlord/skald who was directed to the ruins by old Miller from Harken Village. While not the most insightful of adventurers, Talos only needed to follow his nose to the stench that now permeates the party. It is decided that Jammy’s gift of the Acrobat Boots is to go to Thalion. Jammy reminds the group that they shouldn’t go into the room across the way as there is something “very bad that eats people” in there. He tells them that maybe Tolar and Jinks could help. Upon further inquiry the party finds out that Tolar and Jinks are two men from the village who tried to rescue the dusties (child mill workers) and maidens taken by the marauders. Jammy points across the entrance hall to another passageway and says that is where he escaped from after Tolar kicked him the Acrobat Boots. Thalion, feeling a strong urge to assist anyone held against their will, volunteers to go scout the corridor. It turns out to be only a short passage with two doors; one being ajar. Thalion sees a small light coming from the open portal and sneaks up to it for a peak. The room is occupied by 2 well armored bugbears and at least 3 skittish kobolds. The bug bears are tormenting the two hapless rescuers tied together at the end of the room.

Thalion returns to the companions who begin their plan to lure the room’s foul occupants out to the large passageway where they can better dispose of them. As they begin to stage their potential ambush, two hooded humanoids come from the unexplored hallway and seem surprised to see the adventurers. They appear to be carrying a bundle of un-spun silk in each arm. In fine, slightly guttural common the two arrivals state that they just came to pick-up their silk and want to only go their way. Tuan trusts no one with a hood and tells them to show themselves. They remove their hoods and appear to be human with slightly grey skin and somewhat porcine features. Talos says, under his breath, that he smells a rat and readies his bow. Between the figures’ feigned innocence and Tuan’s persistent inquiries the tension comes to a head as both figures drop their bundles and start hurling hand axes. Talos’s arrow and Balim’s javelin of goblin make fly true nicking one of the figures as Phaldara and Tuan advance. A deep throated bellow issues forth from the recently scouted room as kobolds and bugbears pour out to join the battle. These arrivals find a proper welcome from Rummy and Thalion who are ready with blade and magic.

A bugbear on one side and half-orc (as the blade wielding forms reveals themselves to be) on the other proves to be too much for the mighty Phaldara who succumbs to their blows. Tuan nimbly dodges attacks from the half-orc before him as his enchanted scimitar and mace combo slice and smash away. Balim moves forward to stand over his fallen comrade and engage the half-orc, denying any possibility of enemy flanking and, with a sweeping strike from his heavy maul, knocks his foe flat on his back. Tuan shows he is not above smacking a half-orc when it’s down as he brings his mace upon the ill fated monster’s head, softening cranial bone and knocking loose its incisors. Tuan’s brutal victory is short lived as a bugbear wielded morning star collides with his collar bone. The bugbear couple boastfully supplements their aggressive attack by stating that they, Broot and Okola, are happy to add the group’s heads to their morbid adornments.

As Talos tries to avoid crippling damage from kobolds, he makes time to revive Phaldara with an inspiring word pulling him from his unconscious state and giving him a chance to take his second wind. Having dispatched the half-orc before him, Tuan turns to put his scimitar and mace to use against Broot, the male bugbear who assaulted him. Okola, the female and an assisting kobold begin to press Phaldara whose adept shield skills prevent him from taking damage. Balim chases after the remaining half-orc who flees to the end of the short hall to take his “warriors surge”. Rummy’s magic missiles and force daggers harry the enemies as Phaldara proves his draconic heritage with a well placed blast of electrical breath that damages both bugbears and fries a kobold. Broot’s ill fitting plate armor produces a short brilliant flash and Okola’s fine leather armor glows red as the bloodied bugbears become reinvigorated causing dismay to the battle weary group.

The half-orc’s surge proves of little worth as Balim’s maul smites its armor leaving only a crumpled heap. Tuan squares-up with Broot and proves his mastery of the weapon as his scimitar finds its way between the plates to strike critically into Broot’s abdomen. Tuan draws upon the frost weapon’s power to inject piercing cold into the beast’s intestines. Not finished, Tuan draws on his heroic reserves and strikes again failing to hit true with the mace but dealing a crippling blow to the creature’s thigh. Okola remains focused on Phaldara and is unable to deal with Thalion’s telling backstabbing attacks leaving only an annoying kobold to badger Thalion’s flank. Balim turns back to the fray as Rummy’s magic missile enters the side of Broot’s head and exits with the majority of the bugbear’s small brain. Broot’s fall throws Okola into a rage as she charges Rummy, leaving herself open to several attacks in the process. Her charge proves impotent though as her morning star misses Rummy slamming into the cold stone floor. Rummy fey-steps away from that engagement leaving Okola to face Balim as he begins his own charge. Tuan, seeing that Okola will soon meet her demise in the form of a raging Balim, turns his attention to the lone kobold who was previously bullying Thalion. The kobold pleads for his life but Tuan cannot deny the blood hunt that spurs him on and names the kobold as quarry before his icy scimitar removes the reptile’s head from his scrawny shoulders. Balim’s charge forces Okola to engage him as Thalion moves in for the final strike that pierces her spinal cord and drops her with a sigh.

The erstwhile rescuers do indeed turn out to be Tolar and Jinks. Balim offers them some recently divested Kobold spears but they seem more interested in departing the area even though they know that two other rescuers (Elar and Tob) and possibly other dusties are in need of emancipation. A search of the bodies and chest in Broot’s room yields 150 GP, a Cracked Zircon worth about 70GP, five (5) 10GP Cat’s Eye Gems and a Silver and Lapis Necklace. Also on the person of one of the half-orcs is a cryptic *Note* instructing them to bring their bundles to a certain destination along an unknown path. The bundles turn out to be a cocoon or webbing each containing a comatose child Phaldara and Tuan revive a child but all it does is cry in pain. Tolar and Jinks make some use of themselves and gather the happy Jammy and sleeping dusties and depart the way the party came leaving the group pondering several choices; a door across from Broot’s room, the door across from where they fought the undead and a door across from the passage to Broot’s room that likely leads to the same “Something very bad, that eats people”.

The party, perhaps wisely, leaves the more ominous room for last and investigates the room across from where Broot emerged. They easily notice that the door is protected by runes which Rummy divines are there to prevent entry. Phaldara fears no mere runs and reaches to the latch to open the door receiving a brisk shock for his trouble. After stifling a chuckle, Thalion reveals that the runes are linked to a trap that he thinks he can defeat. He finds little trouble in overcoming the trap and unlocks the door. A howling moan of the undying announces the presence of a flame-skull who states, “Who dares to enter my apartments and disturb the rest of Volundar?” Phaldara’s knowledge of history tells him that Volundar was a wizard of ancient Dragonborn-ruled Garutu during the wars with the northern Tiefling nation of Rendishire. He remembers something about the wizard disappearing before the end of the war. When Tuan begins speaking, the flame skull glows bright with rage, illuminating the dusty cobweb-filled library rich in ancient knowledge and 2 bone-shard skeletons which appear to be awaiting Volundar’s commands. The flame skull howls “What is this Rendishre scum doing in my apartments?!” Phaldara distracts it with the question about the apartments having an evil force in them and asks about the missing maidens and dusties. Volundar appears contemplative but says he knows or cares nothing for the missing children and females. Talos, not appreciating the skull’s racial prejudices, starts to say something but is cut off as the flame skull and skeletons begin their attacks.

Tuan and Balim enter the room forcing the skeletons to deal with them. The flame skull tosses a devastating ball of fire which deals damage to Phaldara, Rummy, Tuan and Thalion sending the rouge running for fear of another such blast. Tuan finds more trouble from the bone shard skeleton than he did from the bugbears and half-orcs. Balim’s armor keeps him well protected from the skeleton he faces as his maul busts away at its hard, cold bones. Rummy fey-steps into the room to make his own blast attack against Volundar and the skeletons dealing serious damage to Tuan’s foe and continual harm to the skull. Talos’s attack marks Volundar for the fleeing Thalion, causing the flame skull ongoing pain unless it can get close to attack Thalion and to do that it would have to go through the rest of the party. In rage the skull fires a burning beam at Talos forgetting those with hellish birthright have little to fear from fire. Phaldara moves forward with a cry to Bahamut to bring wracking pain to this undead horror. Bahamut answers but not with as strong a presence as Phaldara hoped to invoke but again offering recurrent punishment to Volundar. The resilient and agile flame skull avoids being hit but the damage over time proves to be his undoing as immediately following a failed flame strike the prayer to Bahamut turns the skull to the dust it should have been ages ago. The scrolls and tomes seem to have been tied to the entity’s undead existence as they too fall to ash with Volundar’s demise. The skeletons remain but not for long. Tuan, enraged by the necrotic shards remaining in him from the skeleton’s attack, brings his scimitar down upon its flame-blackened clavicle reducing it to a pile of bones. Balim’s potent maul has all but chipped his enemy to pieces but it takes a radiant strike from Phaldara to explode the bone shard skeleton into necrotic splinters causing little damage to those nearby.

With Volundar vanquished the pragmatic Rummy begins to search among the remains of what must’ve been hundreds of ancient volumes of arcane wisdom to find 2 potions of healing and an Orb of Sanguinary Repercussions. Feeling that they’ve made a significant accomplishment the party can feel the heroic energy coursing through their battle-weary frames. Two doors remain and they both appear to lead to the ill-omened room that seems to be the culmination of this excursion.
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/416-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-3
Society of the Upper Room, Session 2 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/378-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-2 Tue, 19 May 2009 18:02:26 GMT Before going on Taijiya decides that she cannot tolerate Rummy's repugnant handling of the goblin corpses. She declares that this is not the proper conduct for any Eladrin and demands the moonstone (precious to Sahanine, her deity) that Rummy found as her share of the treasure. Out of principle Rummy starts to refuse and has the support of Balim, who believes any deity who covets gems Balim helped find must be inherently evil. Tuan and Phaldara remain indifferent and only Thalion's coaxing forestalls a potential conflict. Rummy hands the proud Taijiya the moonstone and she departs the dungeon and the game, for now.

Ready to get back into the action Thalion listens at the closed door but hears nothing. Rummy listens as well but can hear nothing either. Confident that nothing is in the next room the party opens wide the door to be greeted by a group of 5 wolf-keeping hobgoblins including a warcaster who orders a hobgoblin to raise the lever that operates a portcullis and dispatches the lone kobold among them to go and warn "Broot". Phaldara, being the strongest and best armored now that Taijiya is absent, is at the front and ready for the fray. The warcaster rewards his bravado by "force-luring" him to the edge of a pit that is at the foot of a large but crudely carved demon statue on the west side of the room. Tuan reacts quickly by firing two poorly aimed shafts at the hobgoblin moving to the leaver to "release the beast". Tuan's arrows did nothing to deter the hobgoblin grunt from tripping the lever to raise the gate while 2 of his compatriots move to intercept Phaldara who is already set back on his heels from the last attack. Both hobgoblins deal telling blows and the aforementioned gray wolf leaps over the pit to finish Phaldara who must now fight against death. Thalion maneuvers to take out a hobgoblin and puts himself in position to deal more damage while Rummy and Balim fire missiles at the enemies. The chamber behind the portcullis reveals a horse-sized dire wolf that charges right at Thalion over Phaldara's dying body.
Tuan drops his bow and draws his scimitar and longsword to go toe-to-toe with the dire wolf and his smaller gray companion. Thalion gets no opportunity to do more damage as the warcaster force-lures him into the pit. The feckless kobold fails to make it to the southwest door as rummy blasts him between the shoulders. Balim finds that hobgoblins are no easy foes as he takes maul to shield against the remaining grunt. While reckless, Tuan proves adept at avoiding and minimizing damage from wolf bites while he hacks away that the larger of the two. Although Thalion fails to extract himself from the pit he finds that he is not long without entertainment as the warcaster unintentionally joins him after a failed attempt to leap the pit. Thalion is not found wanting and quickly dispatches his foe to return to stabilize the hapless Phaldara who is but one step away from oblivion. Rummy and Tuan finish the dire wolf and are joined by Balim who introduces the smaller wolf to the business end of his maul. The grey wolf's whine of pain is cut short as Thalion's rapier pierces its lung finishing it.

The companions search the area in vain without exploring the two southern doors. Feeling well worn from the battle they wisely decide to finish the remainder of the night in rest as they retreat to camp outside the tower ruins. Being somewhat hidden in the thick forest near the entrance to the tower, Rummy is left in alert meditation while the rest of the group slumbers. Rummy arouses himself in about 2 hours as he notices a muscular, hooded, and torch-bearing humanoid emerge from the entrance and start poking around the side to the rear of the ruins. He rouses Thalion from his rest and the two go to investigate. They remain hidden and leave their interest unmolested as it comes back around and returns to the ruins.

All are rested (except Thalion) and choose to reenter the ruins and make their way to the site of their last conflict. As they traverse their previous battle sties they note that all of their enemies' bodies as well as the light sources are gone. Choosing to save their sunrods, Rummy casts a light cantrip upon Phaldara's shield as he leads the way. They reach their previous point without incident and notice that the south east door, which was previously closed, is now ajar. Further investigation shows that the door concealed a small room empty of contents but Rummy and Thalion's insight leads them to believe that a heavy object such as a chest was recently removed, dragged and carried out of this room. The group chooses to open the south west door and venture down the corridor.

After about 20 feet the atmosphere becomes more humid and the party notices glowing lichen along the walls providing adequate light for all of them. A horrid odor assails their sense of smell bringing to mind dead, maggot-ridden bodies ripening in the sun. The smell comes from a short way ahead around a corridor with an open door. Sensing an immanent threat the party rushes around and into the room to be greeted by darkness only broken by Phaldara's lighted shield and the glowing eyes of 3 zombies and 2 skeletons crammed into a small room with a pedestal upon which lies a small humanoid body. The foul stink clearly comes from one of the zombies and Phaldara's bright light is answered as the corruption corpse hurls a mote of its fetid body at him. The macabre adversaries pose little trouble for the intrepid heroes saving the corruption corpse whose stench affects Balim's and Phaldara's battle prowess preventing them from doing heavy damage. Thalion and Tuan wisely stay out of the reach of the incapacitating stench pelting the corpse with missile fire while it hammers against Phaldara's and Balim's shield and armor. Rummy deals the bulk of the damage staying ahead of the corps's ability to regenerate with clouds of daggers and finishing it with a well placed magic missile to its midsection. The victory is not without cost as the corpse explodes showering Balim with stinking muck.

Tuan wakes the unconscious form, which proves to be a little human boy. The grateful boy, Jammy, tells them that he was captured as he was returning home from the mill and that big hairy monsters we poking at him and planning to feed him to something across the room. An adult prisoner kicked Jammy a pair of special boots that allowed him to escape to this small dirt floor room where the monsters refused to follow. The zombies and skeletons rose up from the floor and Jammy made a man-sized leap to the pedestal before he was overcome by the stench of the corruption corpse. The next thing he remembers is being rescued by Mr Horny (Tuan the Tiefling) and out of thanks gives the party the Acrobat Boots. Amid the slowly dissipating stench the party looks across the hall to a pair of doors where Jammy points and in a small voice adds, "Something that eats people lives in there." ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/378-Society-of-the-Upper-Room-Session-2
The Society of the Upper Room http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/344-The-Society-of-the-Upper-Room Tue, 05 May 2009 19:07:06 GMT The Society of the Upper Room The characters; Thalion (Elven Rogue), Rummy (Eladrin Wizard), Phaldara (Dragonborn Paladin), Taijiya (Eladrin... The Society of the Upper Room
The characters; Thalion (Elven Rogue), Rummy (Eladrin Wizard), Phaldara (Dragonborn Paladin), Taijiya (Eladrin Paladin), Bailim (Dwarven Fighter) and Tuan (Tiefling Rouge).
The characters met cordially in the small village tavern. Tuan and Taijiya arrived together and Rummy and Thalion were familiar as well. Bailim was affable and Phaldara was reserved. The arrival of the town elder, an ancient dwarf by the name of Miller Damselgear brought the group together by beseeching upon their collective kindness (and promise of pay) to investigate the continual disappearance of the village "dusties" and maidens. The entire town survives on the mill (run by Miller) with the mundane duties going to the "dusties" or young people of the town. Not only is the loss of young folk alarming but is potentially deadly to the free peoples of the town. Miller promises 25 Gold to each adventurer to bring word of the whereabouts of the town maidens and young. Taking them aside he mentions a personal loss of his adopted Halfling daughter, Talya, and offers to pay them his life savings of 500 gold for her return.
Thalion and Bailim act as spokespersons for the group and ask about the local baron. Miller expresses his disgust in his lord and the fact that all his lordship is interested in is collecting taxes. Bailim asks where Miller thinks the trouble originates. Miller takes the party a few hours away to an opening in the wood that leads to the ruins of a tower.
There is a clear entrance to the dungeons of the tower and Thalion begins to make an investigation. He and Tuan decide to follow the corridor to where it opens in a dimly lit room. Fortunately the party is only a couple of paces behind the stealthy duo as Thalion trips up, alerting their presence to the room's occupants, 3 card playing goblins. Tuan wastes no time and rushes in with both swords drawn, jumping on the table in anticipation of striking the gamblers, but his lofty goals are dashed when he stumbles on the edge of the table and finds his hand full with defense of his life. The party quickly comes to relieve some of the pressure but is slightly surprised as Goblin Blackblades appear from the shadows and begin to rain javelins down upon the invaders. Rummy begins to command the battlefield by casting decimating orbs of force and whirling blades. Phaldara and Thalion experience the goblins "shifty" tactics by their first misses but then acquit themselves well by dispatching their respective foes. Bailim wades into the midst in spite of damage taken and takes out one, forcing another to flee. Attacks launched at Taijiya prove as ineffective as her ability to hit any of these foes and she resigns herself to giving needed divine healing to Bailim. Tuan redeems himself at the end by launching 2 well placed shots in the fleeing Blackblade's back preventing him from reaching the end of the corridor to alert any allies. The only thing of real value is a pouch of 40 gold hanging from a chair and a parchment map of the village with the town mill encircled.
Thalion scouts the corridor as it makes a bend leading into a room with several goblins in a heated discussion. Seeing only about 5 goblins, including a Hexer the party decides to rush in. Rummy answers the Hexer's invective with frost, freezing the Hexer and killing 3 of his goblin companions. The remaining Goblin Cutter rushes to engage the group but he is deemed insignificant in the face of the 3 Fire Beetles that emerge from an unnoticed pile of rubbish and begin spraying fire on the everyone jammed in the entrance to the room, except Thalion who was able to break from the group and begin a series of damaging attacks to the wall of beetles. Bailim ignores the opportunity attacks from the beetles as he moves to a more advantageous position and Tuan moves into the vacant space to launch a flurry of blades against the beetles. Giant rats emerge from another pile of garbage only to fall victim to Rummy's frost spell and Rummy and the Hexer engage in a magical battle from which the Hexer comes out the lesser. He does manager to drive Rummy around a corner with damaging blindness but Rummy is undaunted by the blindness retaliating with a well placed magic missile. Phaldara and the line of tanks crush the beetle formation allowing Taijiya to kick aside the carcasses, stride up to the hapless Hexer and thwart any plans he had of escape as she runs her longsword through him and tosses him aside with the rest of the rubbish as she calls over her shoulder, "And that is how it is done, gentlemen!" From around the corner a recovering Rummy cheapens her victory with the yell, "Cherry Picker!".
Rummy continues to show himself as uncouth and further earns Taijiya's disgust when he uses the blood of dead goblins to extinguish the coals from a recently toppled brazier. Still, it takes Thalion to find the ruby (worth 120 Gold) cooling among the sour smelling coals. Rummy further degrades himself by digging among the maggot infested offal that concealed the beetles. Taijiya seems more accepting of Rummy's social shortcomings as he draws forth a longsword of exquisite make. Bailim, not to be outdone, dives into the other rubbish pile with abandon but comes up empty. Thalion will have no diving in foul offal so leave it to Rummy to jump right in to the other pile to come up with a moonstone worth 30 gold. Taijiya remarks, "What can one expect from an Eladrin Wizard who plans to use a Goblin
The party looks cautiously to the closed door and plans their advance.
To be continued. ]]>
Otakar http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/344-The-Society-of-the-Upper-Room