kingtycoon: (Default)
Yes, this again.  Yes.  I mean, YES!  If you didn't know, I've been concocting my spellbook, as if I were somehow a D&D wizard in contemporary North America.  I guess.  I guess that's what I'm doing.  Sure, why the hell not.  Anyhow, I'm up to level 6 spells and this has been a strange period for me.  Level 1 was all the good stuff, the adventurer's toolkit.   I must have done okay because I lived to cast Level 2 spells, which come at like, character level 3 - don't...  let's not get into why the game is convoluted with all it's nuanced sub-systems, it's just this way and has been.  So says Gygax, so say we all (with a lot of muttering and foot dragging of course).  Kept it going, somehow, and made it to whatever arbitrary level I got my 3rd Level spells at - and things started to change for me.  None of the really big ones, no Fireballs or Lightning Bolts, I learned to see, really see then.  By the time I was throwing down my 4th Level power I guess I'd grown bitter, weary maybe.  But powerful, dangerous- maybe a threat to the others...  I abandoned ship, decided I'd go my own way and start a new - Monster Civilization with Monsters and Blackjack.  And...  Well, I'm guessing that got old, real old.



Which is all to say - I finally made it to (I think, if memory serves) 11th Level, which gave me 6th Level spellcasting ability.  Pretty handy, sure.  You'd like it, good luck surviving that long, but sure, it's fine.  Fun.  I'm getting a little distant now, strange  - removed.  You see, I think I'm learning - not just about the world anymore (but certainly about that, I'm learning about that in a big, big way) but about myself, and about other things, things that I hadn't thought about before.  I guess I'm mellowing, or maybe turning toward a new path, maybe I'll seek some eldritch power from out of the past, or maybe I'll learn some hidden truths about the cosmic realms beyond.  Maybe.  Maybe I'll just spy on people like a grinning, weird creep.  Who's to say?




Legend Lore


LL 1
LL2
LL3
LL4
LL5
LL6
LL7
Lucubration

Lucubration1
Luc2
Luc3
Luc4
Luc5

Glass Eye


GE1
GE2
GE3
GE4
GE5






GE6

Now... I guess these will do.Personally I'm a little stoked about the Legend Lore / Glass Eye combo-move.  I mean, Legend Lore (despite the nerfy text) is basically ultimate psychometry and glass eye lets you see the bones in the walls and the dinosaurs beneath you.  What's more legendary than a dinosaur?  So...  Like, time travel, kind of.  It's weird - when you get used to seeing with your mind's eye all the things around you through the eyes of others?  Remembering their memories?  Well, things get pretty abstract - you start getting confused - you accidentally make a 6 page spell into a 7 page, or do you?  Or do your magics become intertwined?



Straight up I'll tell you that I left an easter-egg in this thing.  Well.  I've left a few, and now I know how to see through objects and whatnot - I can...  understand, see colors not meant to be seen, there are words beneath words!  There's the hidden text within the text!  There's a lot to know, all around us, and now I'm getting to know it.  We shall see what becomes of me next.



P.S.:  It'll be a goodly while before I get back to this - I just got home from Vacation - and I still have NaNoWriMo to overcome this month.



P.P.S.:  Send Coffee.
kingtycoon: (Default)
What’s happened! Maaaan… Okay, so I’m late in recapping and I need to recap because tonight we roll again.



Mostly, I’ve been kind of internalizing the end of support that’s rumored to be coming for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, the game I like to run. It’s pretty wonderful and goony, and I’ve come to love the whole idea of the Old School Renaissance- to the point where I’m working on my own version of the thing. I think it’ll come off nice when it’s done. When it’s finally done. Someday. I’m also at work on my spellbook – which is tricky, because I’m up to my 3 6th level spells which means 18 pages… It’s tough being a wizard!So when last we left Tyron and Bron and Sin and Xiavan and Ral had been on the shore of the salty stream where they encountered some giant pigs being fought by giant housecats. The cats won, but were driven off – food being scarce the team took up the pigs and had a big barbecue. One of the cats was put to sleep – magic, Tyron the Elf dandy having called on the magic power of dreams to rub the cat’s belly. This particular cat had a great big jewel encrusted collar.
The collar interested them, but when Tyron tried to talk to the cat, using his magic again, he got no answers.



The Cat was just a cat – I might have a weakness as a DM here, owing to my dislike of… animals generally. You know – about the animals I think of what Herzog said – about Nature being full of murder, desperation and evil. At a bar the other night a guy called me Herzog- that was really a high point for me. “Calm down Werner, we’re trying to have a drink!” Probably one of the best things I’ve been told. Anyhow – Animals, they’re dumb murderers and I play them that way. “I’m full, so I’m not a murderer right now.” Says the cat, why’s it got the collar? “Someone put it on me, thanks for taking it off.” And who put it on her? “Some two-legs that I ate.”
Anyhow, whatever, they cat goes away without any more bloodshed and I start to be sorry that I gave that dude the speak-with-animals spell. Because he wants to speak to them all the time, and again – I have a… Realistic opinion of animals.



salt-river-image

While camping Bron discovered that the Map given him by the Astrologer Gomez had some instructions and guides on it – notations indicating where food and shelter might be found. This, of course is the main purpose of the party in their current incarnation/journey – so they took his word for it and boated on down the stream. Finding themselves in the drained valley – what must have once been a deep lake, now gone to salt & seed, it’s a dusty section of canyon with a clear, flat expanse of shallow muddy water, maybe 5-6 feet deep. In the middle of this bowl of water are some big, big pylons- tall obelisks that are connected one to another by great metal chains – webs of chains, as if woven by titanic spiders. In the chains are old shipwrecks – held aloft above the desert playa in the thick rusty chains. And surrounding the Bowl? At the very cusp, a mile above the water, are four great towers of steel and glass, looming over everything. This, Gomez would have it, is the place.
After some misadventure and a lot of bad luck they find some old amphorae of honey in one of the shipwrecks, some sealed up, maybe still good cooking oil and some other amphorae of what is best thought of as a Vinegar-Brandy hybrid. They take it all, just to take and then decide to try one of the towers, the red tower is closest and the players quickly put aside any doubts I had about them by figuring out that under the dust-crusted exterior the 4 colors of the tower matched the 4 colors of the visible moons. Proud.
The Red Tower seemed easiest to get to, so they got to it, spending most of the day scaling a cliff was hard work and they all felt it.



At the summit they were dispirited to find that there was no ground entrance to the tower – as if the inhabitants of the place (if there had ever been any) could fly . Fly to the perchlike balcony at the peak of the steel-glass tower 100 feet above the already high mesa. An arduous day, but not liking camping out of doors when they can help it, the party decides to follow Xiavan, the best climber among them, who found for herself that the building had a kind of utility-ladder built in, cereal-bowl like depressions cut into the exterior at regular intervals, making climbing trivially easy – compared to scaling a cliff-face. Still, the sheer amount of climbing going on was pretty wearying overall. By the time she got to the top the sun had set & unfortunately for her… the man in the tower had begun to stir.
This guy had an immediate, disturbing air about him, instantly attractive – his eyes were like limpid pools, he hypnotized her, drawing her forth, toyed with her briefly and mercilessly and then started in on the draining of her blood.

Clio


This was pretty weird and difficult – especially to reasonably adjudicated – since the party had chosen to split like fools, and Xiavan couldn’t succeed on a saving throw literally to save her life. Now – this Vampire was the result of a randomly generated encounter and I’ve got a rule about not being totally murderous to players in a random encounter – not totally. At the bottom of the thing the other two players were just hanging out, stumbling into the nests of giant rattlesnakes. Not a good time for them either. Anyhow – finally overcoming his hypnosis, and drained of better than half her blood, Xiavan tries to escape the vampire by… Running right at him to get to the stairs behind him. Players man. Players.



By now, the rope that Xiavan had tied had helped Bron and Tyron at least get up the tower – of course the vampire saw this coming and dropped Xiavan on the ground to prepare himself for these others – who he couldn’t outwit – in the end he leapt onto the ceiling, revealing his gross clawed hands and feet, but still, his beautiful eyes called out to Xiavan. Now… That was weird, because the lady who plays Xiavan is someone I’ve periodically had carnality with and it got kind of weird because of playing out the intimidating vampire-man at a girl who’s kind of used to and… I dunno, sometimes on board about my dracula-sex-antics was a little embarrassing – just cause, you know, the other players are watching!



Still, all ended well – the vampire turned to a mist to try and escape, and then a bat, flying out into the night – only to be finally struck down (at this moment in the game I was thinking about how I could turn this guy into a recurring villain, someone who would hunt them down and find them later, etc… I decided his name would be Dalrymple). Anyhow, with tremendous good luck on the dice (finally) Xiavan whipped a silver dagger at the bat and dropped it out of the sky, hundreds of feet to the lake below, the burning body of Dalrymple crashing into the chain-nets they’d been climbing on earlier in the day.



Oh – about the chains – the Obelisks were written on in the old language of the land – which it turns out most of the party could decipher – they went on to decipher that the obelisks were used to measure the flood depth of the river, which was, once – long ago, very substantial – they could see that the maximum depth of the river was 30-40 feet greater than current levels.



Okay, this is getting tedious – I can, and sometimes even do write out these events in a more artful fashion, but this is just a rundown, meant to keep track of what’s happened, I’m circling back on myself and rambling pointlessly.
In the Red Tower they found the Red Book (I don’t know if they’re getting the pun, a cool prop I was happy to make. And as well, they found a bunch of quill-pens made of copper that sprouted flame when the engraved magical word was spoken – scholar-lightsabers. Yes.




The red book

Untitled



Exploring through the tower they found some strange things going on, and then started calling out – as if they wanted nothing more than for there to be a monster attack – and so I obliged them, naturally.
On the random table I have a few things noted – things like Vampire – with no real explanation it falls on me to come up with the Vampire’s backstory and rationale for being in the Red tower just at the moment – which is fine, I did, he’s part of a sect of these scholar monks (they’re tweedy!) who were studying the Red Book and the Red Tower and so on, and then got turned into a vampire by something in the basement, and then ate up all the blood of his friends – somehow, turning them into the next enemy that was randomly generated: “Spider Hulks” I really don’t know what I was thinking when I put that down on a chart, but the results were pretty weird –



Dead guys, split open, navel to neck and out of the dry holes are dozens of great big long scary spiderlegs. These guys climbed up out of the lower levels of the dungeon (after the party started hollering for attention) and their dead, lolling heads, suddenly snapped into a kind of life! They moaned, just slightly and then disgorged vast, impossible quantities of webs that bound the adventurers and clogged the area.
Which was the cliffhanger (cliff-sticker?) that we ended the session on. We’ll resume tonight, better, stronger, more complete.
kingtycoon: (Default)







Recapping – Not something I particularly enjoy doing – but I’ll
make my apprentice effort if only to keep myself on track at least somewhat,
and so I can explain how it’s worked from last time’s posting.  I’ll try and have the next session blocked
out beforehand so that I can keep up doing this set it up and spell it out
cycle.  






Hermit-city-5But Huge.  Also, Dead.



So this rundown will, by needs have to be in-media-res.  We spent the better part of the summer and
some of the spring solving some problems in the crazy patchwork quilt of world
I’ve devised.  In the end the team had to
flee on the urbanized back of a titanic hermit crab during the greatest hurricane
that the world has ever seen.  The
Hermit-Crab-City – certainly capable of ambulation under the waves proved very
unsturdy outside of the supporting weightlessness of water.  It stumbled for leagues under the typhoon
winds, struggled mightily against what could barely be made out and possibly
understood as a Dragon, or perhaps a titanic mecha from the ancient past – a monstrous
thing that haunted the ruins of the fallen cities of the North.  Finally the poor creature was spent, far off
track, on the banks of an unknown river in a strange, unknown territory. 





There were many, many refugees gathered to the crab-city by
the kindly, capable dwarfs that rode it out of the sea.  These dwarfs – the Kin of Mirin Ecter – had
long ago been exiled (for unknown reasons) from their northern fastness –
deigning to avoid all contact with the sun and danger, they’d donned
pill-bug-like exoskeleton armor stillsuits and gone to live at the bottom of
the ocean – presumably where they’d tamed the giant hermit crabs and built
their pavilion-laden city on its shell. 
Mirin Ecter – the hero of these dwarfs, referred to by them as their
Lord&Savior, had denounced the ocean trenches and gone to land to retake
their mountains at the furthest northern reaches.  This has been an ongoing subplot for the
party to…  accept, digest, maybe even
deal with a little – but so far, just something that’s been happening.  The dwarfs are not all ready to take off
their ocean-floor survival suits, having all (mostly) lived all their lives
inside of them, so they approach the land in stages and take on special
counciling until they’re ready to make the transition to air breathing ,food
eating and land walking – it takes a long time and there are many stops along
the way.  But regardless of their speed,
all the dwarfs are compelled to head north to follow Mirin Ecter  -so when the story begins, most of these
dwarfs have already marched on, leaving behind their rotting carcass of a city
to be scavenged by the precious few remnants of the last adventure series.  About a thousand people, all told, living on
the briny banks of the salty mineral river. 
Food is running out, and the sky is blotted out, often, by the endless
waves of buzzards and condors that have come to feed on the mighty crab
city. 





Deciding to brave the city ruins in search of materials are
our adventurers – Bron From the Ghost Ship (resembling Abraham Lincoln, but
with blue-skeleton armor), Tyron, the one-legged elf dandy (who dresses in the
finery gathered from shipwrecks and who sort of led a kind of cargo-cult – for symmetry,
he has one lobster-leg attached above the knee, where a giant lobster ate his
leg off).  There is also Sin Silverseeker
(one of legions, he’s lost a kingdom that he gained by misadventure, his
cloner-father having been displaced, Sin looks and acts like a Veronese swordsman
who may or may not be hunted by thousands of duplicates of himself).  Not appearing in this session are Ral – Bron’s
sidekick, the corn-fed thick-limbed head-breaker and Xiavan, the girl from
under the earth, studded all over in iron spurs, like a porcupine wearing a
chain-link prom dress, she is, lik Ral, presumably resting.





Tyron, who fancies himself a friend to all – man or beast –
casts his elf-spells and goes to speak with the buzzards – the buzzards are
bird brained indeed and he only succeeds in suggesting to them that if they
somehow kill him, they can eat him, as well as the giant crab.  Run off – he gathers his wits and a small
gang of refugee/survivors to help him. 
Some Libras (his cargo-cult priest sect) remain, as does a witch, a few
scattered warriors, a pair of tatty, scarecrow looking, naked elfs and a plucky
Halfling with a take-charge attitude – Chester Kegtapper.  Chester persuades Tyron and Bron and Sin to
attempt to climb back into the hermit-crab city which now stinks horribly and
lies perpendicular to the ground. 





The going is tough but the party is tougher, they find some
strange, elastic rope – probably made of eels, and discover in one of the many
open-air plazas decorated with horseshoe crab shells a strange portal – a mechanical
lens cut into the ground.  Operating it
is a cinch for Bron & co and they find inside it a pair of large, heavy
kegs wrapped in tar & wax.  Reasoning
that heavy things might contain valuable materials they lower them to the
ground and then continue searching.  Only
Bron prevails at climbing the sheer surfaces of the perpendicular city and he
discover three underwater dwarf axes – which have trident-heads instead of
axe-heads and are made of a strange alloy with veins of gold woven in.  He distributes these while young Kegtapper is
ordered to try and open the strange sealed casks.  Tyron remembers just a moment too late that
he knows the Dwarf language and goes to speak out just as Kegtapper cracks the
thing like you’d open a bottle of maker’s mark. 
Peeling off the string causes the keg to go pop – the pressurized air
filling up the balloon made of whale-guts and squid-skin.  Under water the balloon might have risen up,
carrying the keg and its tools and some evacuees away.  On the land it throws Chester Kegtapper
across the hill like a rag doll, stunning him utterly.





Our heroes gather up the goods inside – survival rations and
some useful hatchets, flints, tinder, all the things you might need to survive
on a deserted island for a few weeks. 
Sin, thinking quick realizes that the whole affair can be repurposed
into a boat, of a kind, and sets about assembling it with the help of the
available cronies. 





Meantime things are happening.  The party rolls to determine if a random
encounter from the tables is generated & one is.  They are on the grassy hills at the southwest
of the map, the large patch of ruins.  Nearby, it’s explained to them by their friend
and the leader of the refugees Sweet Kendo, that some people have been seen,
outsiders, who are battling giant rats (apparently.  Sweet Kendo swears a lot in a loveable, crazy
way that the players can’t get enough of, he’s got a really weird accent and
they love him).  The party volunteers to
go & check out the fracas while their minions build the boat according to
Sin’s specifications. 






Mohave Desert near Barstow in low evening light; California, USA Covered with Astrologers and Prairie Dogs



What they find are some astrologers fighting a city of giant
prairie dogs.  These astrologers look
like cartoon wizards – they’ve got star covered robes, pointy hats and
ridiculous beards, they’re all carrying big leather bags like and old-time
doctor and they’re being run off by these bear-sized prairie dogs that keep
popping out of the hillside like whack-a-mole. 
Tyron, game to try again, does his magic and goes to talk to the
gophers.  They don’t trust him – noting that
his eyes point forward and he must be a predator, they nevertheless accept that
he’s too small to eat them and that anyway – he and the others will just camp
out overnight and why not, they pledge to keep any real predators away.  The prairie dogs consent, but demand that at
dawn everyone leave.  The astrologers
seem happy – they’re not able to communicate with the party – speaking a
language that no-one on the team quite knows – but which sounds strangely like
another language they’ve heard before – like music from an outer room (I tell
them, like a weirdo).  Still, they pantomime
their wishes successfully and are wizards enough to be able to understand what
the party is saying.  The whole group of
about 20 astrologers and the 4 players all set up on the hillside and presently
one of the astrologers prepares and casts the tongues spell.  Fire stretches between his extended index and
pinky fingers and then flies into his mouth so that when he speaks it flicks
out like a jack-o-lantern.  They all
understand him as speaking their own native languages. 



2prairie-dogs 


 But Bear-sized



He tells them that he is Gomez and that he and his friends
serve the living goddess Urania – that they are trying to map the night sky in
her dominion and that by doing so they think they will be able to approach her and
ask their questions, it is said that she is very dangerous and that none of
them have yet seen her.  Gomez and the
other Astrologers get out their orreries and spyglasses and maps and charts and
prepare for the sun to set.  The party
decides to hang out and learn some more from these astrologers (they discover
for instance that some of them are women and that their crazy beards are false –
some kind of uniform).  Since they’re
staying I have them roll again and they get another encounter (they rolled
pretty badly all night and got a lot of encounters – the map is going to fill
up quick).  The encounter says “Sinister
Color” and I determine that this will go along well with the astrologer
angle. 





They’re all set up on prairie-dog hill to see something
strange – I tell them – a peculiar even that is scheduled for the evening –
some kind of meteor shower, best viewed from the spot.  I explain that as the sun sets there’s a
weird flash – like a green-flash over the ocean, but not green, some other color,
some other color they’ve never seen.





At this point in the game one of the old veterans from Lake
Geneva was walking by on the way to the bathroom or just eavesdropping (I
sometimes get a little audience) – and he piped up – “Is it Dohlm?”  to which I reply “no, it’s Jale.”  And if you don’t get this joke, then you
should use some google for yourself because it was hilarious and also proved
that I am smart as hell. 






6a01310f4a6c79970c01901ebe389e970b-800wiBut Jale - and Coming out of the sky



The flash didn’t dissipate – but rather seemed to fall out
of the horizon, like a claw – like some kind of slowly closing trap, like
cobwebs falling all around them.  It
changed in size, density – becoming almost human in size –but still somehow
distant – like a shadow cast by a far off giant – this color, unknown – it reaches
for them, the shadows it casts chill them to the bone, rooting them to the
spot, but when the radiance touches their flesh it burns them, scalding, it
cauterizes their pores.  They begin to
try and struggle against it.  At first, aimlessly,
swinging weapons, recklessly they don’t make contact – the color is a
color.  “How can we battle a color!”  Sin screams in dismay, trying with his silver
saber to cut down the tendrils that had frozen his legs.  I explain that the flash of reflection from
the saber seems to disrupt the color, firelight seems to pierce it, he takes a
moment to consider how he can weaponize this effect.   





Meantime Tyron goes for a flaming brand,
hoping to ward off the color – which seems like the indistinct shade between
the blue and the orange of a match-flame, like the horizon at midnight.  Bron, though, has incorporated into himself,
into his character – the determinations of the stars.  He has a vital spirit within him that he can
call upon in danger –The Bones of The North power, which allows him to
intimidate his foes by making his bones glow through his skin, a ferocious –
terrifying x-ray.  He summons the
chi-of-earth into himself and, cruciform, radiates the radiation with his inner
color – critically succeeding on the 2d6 roll he performs the effect at maximum
power.  I explain that he can feel
the  color around him, that they can all
do so – it becomes solidified, somewhat, and they can pierce it with
reflections, damage it with their own light. 
Tyron, eventually recalling that he has a magical, glittering handshake,
begins gathering the stuff up – it peels off the air like wet crepe paper with
a strange crunching viscosity, like gathering slush into a snowball, but
hot.  In short order they’ve dispatched
the deadly color and gathered it up in their bottles.  Meantime the meteor shower that the
Astrologers had set up for begins -  and
the traces of the color that streaked the sky are cut apart by falling
stars.  It goes on for some time and is
both hypnotic and beautiful – they lay on the grass watching, and even the
prairie dogs come up from their city to give it a look, it’s purely beatific. 





In the morning they keep their word to the prairie dogs and
go – letting the itinerant astrologers go their own way.  Their boat has been completed and the hungry
refugees bid them go and find some food and maybe some shelter.  They take off in their saturnish ball-boat down
the salty canyon river – and once again they roll an encounter.





This time it’s some giant Princess Mononoke style boars
being hunted by some bigger-than-tigers tabby cats.  The cats win, the party has a little hand in
it, Tyron magically rubs their bellies and one remains on shore, asleep.  They note that it has a beautiful, huge,
diamond collar.  They make camp eat some
giant boar and we stop for the night. 

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