Shard Hunters

Journal Entry Three

1 Kobnys Febwell of the Red Age

There is no easy way out. For their sake, I tried to take the easy way out.

They’ll have us dead pretty soon. These Black Wyrms.

I sent a message to the council. We will continue our mission, but it may take some time. Now that we have made enemies.

I hope we have not started a war between our peoples. God, Sizer! Think sometimes.

I may have condemned us all.

Sizer

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Speed

This is important enough to go on the Adventure Log, so here it is.

I’ve been reading a lot about speeding up gameplay, as our battles seem to take hours. Too many hours. I have found lots of material on this and will be trying a system I liked. I will obviously need people’s feedback on said system, so this post here will be where you can leave your comments.

Thanks y’all.

EDIT: So, we did it. The Table of Things can be found in the forum. You can read them if you want. Also, how do you think things went? Did you like the system? If so, I’ll use it again. Leave a comment on this post.

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Next Part

Looks like part 2 of The Shard, the third episode of Shard Hunters, is shaping up to be subtitled Den of Thieves. Dunno how I feel about that, but that’s what I had written, so that’s what it’ll be.

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Journal Entry Two

1 Andrasnys Febwell of the Red Age

I waited at the top of the mountain for most of the day. They’re slow. They’re weak. I had to go back down the mountain with Voltag, the only one to reach the summit, only to find most of them dying along the path.

Karasht was bleeding out, asking for death. Dekuuna was on his deathbed. And from what? Little goblins and tiny humans with ridiculous dreams of being Shard Hunters! I’ll train them, certainly. I have to. How they got this far in life I’ll never know.

Voltag and I wrangled together the group, spending the better part of that day and the next tending to their wounds. That night, I hoped and prayed that we found The Makyne empty of other warriors and beasts, for their sake. But I knew this would not be the case.

Sizer

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Journal Entry One

1 Andrasich Janwell of the Red Age

I never thought I’d see the start of the next Age, but here I am. Two hundred forty three years of Green. Now all but the smallest patches of green still exist; in the tallest trees and highest hilltops. Not here though. Everything has turned a crimson hue. It’ll be impossible to tell where the blood ends and the ground begins.

But that doesn’t worry me now. A battlefield will not see me this day, nor the next. I sit now in an inn somewhere in the Grand City, awaiting orders. What this can entail, I will not know, but something tells me it is of great importance. Why else would I be made to abandon my post at the underwater city of Hellar?

I’ll write again with more information soon.

Sizer

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Up, Up the Mountain

So before I get into the adventure log for this week, I wanted to mention that “Up, UP the mountain” is funny to the group because of a non-DnD moment involving one of us (it was prolly me) insisting that Crockett needed to play the original Zelda in order to be a fully-formed human being— I mean, it’s the original Zelda… Anyway, Crockett is playing this and gets to the part in the upper right corner of the map where he must follow the advice of the old man in the cave and go UP, UP the mountain. Hilarity ensues as our notably-brilliant Crockett cannot seem to execute this order. *cue the Zelda secret noise

OK, so here goes.
Episode 3- Up, Up the Mountain
Present: David (DM), Jeremy (Cascaeda), Erik (Voltag), Ryan (Mu-Ahn), Jane (Dekuuna), Ron (Karasht)

The nameless group (DM “Seriously, you guys need to come up with a name… I’ve complained about it like, four times now…”) sits around a blazing fire in the dead of night (insert some beautiful poetic language describing the fire and the mountain behind the group). There’s a giant genasi with metallic wings walking around the fire, Sizor (not related to the other Sizor from Jeremy’s campaign). Voltag, a StormSoul is sitting cross-legged next to one of you guys. DM: “And it totally isn’t weird”

“We might be able to find shards hidden within the mountain, or clues to where more shards might be.” Sizor says, “Ready to go, then? No objections?” Up to the Makyne! (The Makyne is the fortress on top of the mountain by the same name, from where the shards originated.)

DM: I guess I should mention, you’re in a flashback episode. So, you’re playing at level 3 characters.
Jeremy groans alongside his printer as we re-print level 3 characters after just finishing getting our level 6 characters ready.

Jeremy (recapping): We are working for a watersoul named Sizor (not related to the other Sizor), and we have Voltag, the StormSoul ( Jeremy: I thought you wanted to be a PlagueSoul? Erik: I said I wanted to be the aspect of smelly dog farts)

We sit around for a while as things print off on attractive multicolored paper.
Erik brings in a giant red-tape Nerf bat “boffer” upon returning from a cigarette break: “So, how cool am I?”
Ryan gets the brunt of the abuse, followed by Jeremy.
Note: Did you know that “nerf” is an acronym for “Non-Expanding Recreational Foam?” Well, now you do.

DM: I need a sheet of that graph paper.
Jane: rips a sheet of graph paper
DM: Design your mounts. (One square) Everyone cries.
Ron: You needed a whole sheet ripped off for five squares?! Wasteful bastard.
We design our mounts as directed. Ron makes a goat, labeled goat. Ryan makes the electronic dog from…crap…who remembers? Erik makes a Segway (compete with speed lines), Jane makes a yak, labeled yak.
Jeremy: “This was supposed to be a giant frog but came out as a retarded umbrella.”

*Tabletalk “Ryan: It’s like salmonella just jizzed on my hands”

Ron: What other magical hoops are we going to have to jump through, DM?
DM: I’m asking you to play AND make the campaign so I don’t have to do anything…I’m kidding

David reveals a crazy looking map. There are circles, there are squares. There are all sorts of squiggly lines.
We roll initiative. FOR THE WHOLE DAY.
The order is:
Ryan, Jane, Erik, Jeremy, Ron
DM: We’re playing a board game. A DND board game. We’ll go over it as we play.
Each of your mounts gives you 1d4 of speed added onto half your speed. (3+1d4)
Mu-Ahn: Red dot NOOO!
Red dots are encounters It’s a chance space on green dots. There are cards for chance spaces and encounters. We all have different donkey cards with different stats.
DM: Each encounter space takes an encounter card, and a map, randomly.
Jeremy: It’s the magical card of shut-the-fuck-up.
DM: People on the same spot are in the same encounter. You get the same mini-map, and etc. (or ect, ect, ect) “S”s on the map are where you start. The mounts have to stand adjacent to you as well.You can give people help who are lower than you on the mountain but not higher (because then you’d be moving up on the mountain which wouldn’t be fair).

The encounter cards prove to be a bit of a struggle as we all seem to be unable to roll for crap. We dream longingly of reverse battles, but then quickly snap out of that, too.
There is difficult terrain on some of these maps, filled with mud and snails.

Mysterious yellow squares = trap. Roll d6 for a trap. FUN! We proceed along at a pace only slightly faster than actually scaling a mountain with donkeys, but receive a kind boost from the DM when he realizes that Ryan needs to leave at 8.
Holy Crap! The donkeys are powered up to d12s!!!

DM: No, I want the actual sound of this ghost sound, not a description!
Erik: And the ghost sound is… “Great Googley—Moogly” and the guy is confused.
We finally made it to the top. And by “we”, I mean Voltag and Mu-Ahn.

The Makyne is at the top of the hill.

In addition to gameplay, there was apple cake, there was apple cider. There were “apple jacks” and a momentous occasion as we finished off the Dewar’s that has been a function of our kitchen for the past year or so. Jeremy and Erik had a dueling-banjo laptop link-fest as we watched epic examples of comic timing “No, we just sell shoes.” and “ect, ect, ect”. There was also Scrabble which was almost as cursed as our D20 rolls for the day (dismally low and full of difficult letters at inopportune times, or at least the first part) and the exciting arrival of Fallout 3 New Vegas.

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Episode Three Teaser Again
Not a board game.

Whether having ridden his donkey or having been saved by a fellow Shard Hunter, our heroes find themselves at the top of Makyne Mountain, directly outside the ruins of The Makyne.

What will they find inside? Why is it even a tiny bit important that I’ve sent them back in the past in this flashback episode? Do I even believe it’s a flashback episode? Well, no, because a flashback is when some one person remembers something from the past and then this is presented as such, whereas this is more just another adventure but taken out of order. I guess I answered that one. Umm, what else?

Also, if this is the past, what ever happened to Voltag and who is this Sizer fellow?

Find out next time on the completely board game-less third episode, The Shard, Part 2!

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Very Mildly Important Announcement!

Just announcing the subtitle of Episode 3, The Shard. The full title is:

Episode 3, Part 1 – The Shard: Up, Up The Mountain

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Episode Three Teaser

I know that the Adventure Logs for the prologue, first episode, and second episode have not been posted. But that’s not stopping me. You guys should try and get on writing those up.

Our Shard Hunters have experienced an epic adventure in a small town. They’ve experienced something completely different that has minutely hinted at the true goings-on and their backstories.

Now, get ready for a complete opening up of the mythology in the most revealing episode yet, part one of The Shard!

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Episode 2 - The Ambush
Quasi-LARP-tacular!

So, the Shard Hunters adventured in their First Mini Adventure down a pathway going towards the location of the next Shard. They stopped at an overturned cart (that looked exactly like their own) and saw nothing of note beside a mysterious blood trail (which was not Goblin). Cautiously (well, partly-cautious), the group followed the blood trail to an abandoned house.

Cascaedia had decided to walk alongside the group in the stream which ran parallel to the path, but, as he did not formally declare that he was no longer in water-form but had returned to human-form, the DM remarked that Cascaedia was not with the group initially at the table, that he had instead been lost in a lake, to which Mower protested:

“I AM NOT IN A FUCKING LAKE”

After the issue of lake/no lake had been discussed ‘ad infurium’, the group decided that after exploring the house to the fullest and finding nothing but dust bunnies and detritus, that they would eat a meal at the fully-functioning dining room table. Soon enough, they heard mysterious noises outside…

The group in real life looks outside and they see a mysterious figure walk past the window in the real-life dining room… And the mysterious figure was Liz!

Jeremy remarks “Poor Liz, waiting around outside all that time whilst we were dicking around”
Crockett, who was making a guest appearance as well, had just roused from sleep and asks, “Did Liz get any scones or anything?”
Jane, hearing only part of this query, “Oh, they’re on the table in the living room”
Oh, tables, Cruel reminders of Brykenia (Liz’s character from back in the day could not succeed on an athletics check to jump onto a table, it was the first DnD Insider Joke)

Completely at a loss for what to do now, the fourth wall having been shattered by a teensy hammer, the group looks around at each other, until Ron, who was in cahoots with David for this episode, volunteers that “Maybe we should go look outside?”
“We should go outside, then?”
“Yes, we should ALL GO OUTSIDE.” Ron says, then racing downstairs to the basement and returning to meet us on the steps of the RZ hotel with lovingly-crafted cardboard weapons. A short sword for Cascaedia, a Cloud-style two-hander for Karasht, and two curved blades for Mu-Ahn. (Dekuuna, your faithful scribe, does not have a cardboard weapon. He fights with only his fists—BA)

Jeremy: “We’re LARPing. I’m so embarrassed. Can we get out of the front yard?”
Ryan: “Did you know that Erik was in a real LARP troupe once?”
All: “He was?!”
(And so we lamented Erik’s absence, trapped in the foul dungeon of RSL’s)
Ron (laughing): “Seriously, I think we picked the busiest time in Worcester”

Cars drive by, looking at us as if some circus side-show had been misplaced.

Ryan: “But guess what I have in my car!!”
Ryan emerges with a totally-befitting black opera coat, and dons it.
Ron decides to loot Liz’s bag which had been left on the stoop as she assumed her position on the lawn, menacingly clutching a frog and looking quite fierce. He finds Liz’s glasses, which he dons and is awarded a +1 bonus to perception by the DM as long as he continues to wear the glasses. Also in place on the lawn is Crockett, who is having a grand-ol’ time with that creepy puppet thing that David loves. There’s a solid five minutes of obscene puppet gestures, and then initiative order begins
And then Jeremy needs his cards
And then we all need pencils
And then David needs his white-board
And then…we start for real, rolling David’s giant red D-20 (purchased at PAX, of course).

We begin to move down the steps, counting steps as squares. After attacking both of the enemies for a round, it dawns on the Shard Hunters that they had never really ascertained that these fellows were hostile. Dekunna takes pity on Xanadu and asks what is going on and is given a sob-story about how he (Xanadu) had only been protecting his frog friend from the mean and clearly violent Shard Hunters who had been attacking him. Dekuuna asks for Xanadu’s word that he would not be attacked if allowed to walk by, which Xanadu gives…
And then attacks Dekuuna.
Oh, so naieve and trusting! That’s right, character, development

We valiantly strike out at our opponents and walk around the side of the house, where suddenly there are no more enemies… We continue to walk around until we reach the kitchen windows, where we are attacked by Drou raiders, who shout at us that we have stolen their shard (the black shard, in Mu-Ahn’s possession) and they are coming to get it back. But they all die, slowly, and laboriously.

In the midst of battle, Ryan hears the dulcet tones of steel drum music coming from what seems to be the crazy-backyard neighbor’s house. I come back from getting sweatshirts for Liz and I (it’s gotten cooler outside), and we hear it again, right near the house! We traipse into the front yard, still in our “battle gear” and discover A SHAVED ICE TRUCK! This is clearly the most awesome thing ever. AND, for the price of an extra-large, you got a FREE lei. To think, there are other people whose jobs involve dealing with idiots and wearing Hawaiian shirts! They also had a “flavor wave” station on the side of the truck, allowing you to mix-and-match many different flavors of sugar syrup and add as much as you want. And, they even had sugar-free styles (but Crockett was still in the backyard, so he missed out) Liz and David got a Cotton-Candy popsicle and a ChocoTaco respectively,

With shaved ice in hand and ultimate happiness radiating from our hearts (or at least mine, since shaved ice is one of my most favorite things ever), we vanquished the Drou raiders and then entered the house, ate chili and delicious rolls (totally unbiased recounting) and then retired to the game room for a rousing match of Halo. Later, reunited with the group after Halo, Jane and David played (old-school) Tetris competitively and then Jane and Jeremy played Dr. Mario with Ron and David serving as sports commentators, with Crockett as the “man in the field” who was sitting on the rug playing Minesweeper. After a tense series of “THIS IS THE LAST GAME” games, Jeremy switched off the Nintendo system and David and Jane went downstairs to play a game of Scrabble with words including “triaged” “voids” “cuvee” and “ilk”, which Jane denigrated into “milk”, because it was a 20 point word.

Good times were had by all. If I missed anything, feel free to add it in, or if I totally botched the recounting of things.

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