Shard Hunters

Episode Three Part Two

Episode 3: The Shard Part 2- Den of Theives
Present: David (DM), Jeremy (Cascaeda), Ron (Karasht), Jane (Dekuuna), Ryan (Mu-Ahn), Nik (Arion)

Sizor and Voltag went back down the mountain to get the rest of the players who didn’t get the memo.
And we’re still at Level 3. Ryan “I HATE that level!!”

Tons of new systems in play: 1. One initiative for the entire thing (dungeon).
2. To make encounters quicker, if you take your turn in less than one minute, you get a token that gives you a +1 to any die roll you want (no stacking). If you get three tokens, you can trade them in for a +2 bonus. If you get three +2 tokens, you can trade them in for a D100 roll on the Random Table of Things (all positive—like moves, roll bonuses etc.)

The group is sitting outside of the Makyne. Sizor says, “If everyone’s ready, I think we should go in…” C: “Do we have any idea on what to expect from here?” Sizor: “This has all been explained…we should go into the Makyne and look for shards or any useful information—there might be hidden ones that have not been found yet.”

After careful deliberation, we enter the fortress.
We get a card that lets us REWIND time and avoid TIME PARADOXES. It’s a one-time use card. You can REWIND his REWIND!
A time period ensues where the use of the word “REWIND” was used A LOT.
Then DM demonstrates his epic clapping skills. Followed by Ron and Ryan clapping in unison.
Sizor is with you, but DM isn’t going to play as him because that wouldn’t be fun.

The first room is covered in claw marks on one side and the rest of the room is excessively dirty. It’s dirty as if it were the first room everyone had to walk through. C wants to do a check on the claw marks. They are claws of different sizes and types. Initiative begins. You can see through the hall.
A “C’Mon guys!!” He runs down the hall. The room is dank and musty as if there was no reason for anyone to explore. He yells this information back to the group
K: “So you can attract the attention of all the undesireables we’ll eventually have to fight!!”
Jeremy: “Why don’t you perceive if you can see anything or hear anything?”
Mu-Ahn: “Why would there still be doors in an old ruin?! There’s no one in there, just GO!”
Karasht listens and hears nothing.
DM: “There’s noone in there, just GO!”
Mu-Ahn: “Of COURSE it’s a wooden door, we’re in a ruin!”

C opens the door to the room. It is pitch black inside.
Ron: “SHIT! BATS!” (Bats were added to the initiative order)
The bats start doing stuff. And the bats are all numbered.
C attacks the bats, they vanish, then reappear.

I’m not going to keep tracking the battle. There are fighting things.

Mu-Ahn “If there’s anything in this room, I can steal it and they won’t even know!”
Mu-Ahn has moved the opposite way from the group. There’s a room of hammers and HODM (“wHore O’ D’Mountain”, apparently, NOT half-orc death mage)

In one of the rooms, there is a door at the far side. It’s an iron door with three 1” diameter holes in the center of the door.

Jeremy: “In the DND equivalent of a filibuster, we are now at Nik’s mercy for as long as he can hold this up…”

On the Stuff table, Jeremy gets “The Switcheroo!” Which lets you switch around the order of initiative before battle begins to whatever he likes.
Ron gets: Chess Knight (move action attack thing)

Jane double-crits and THEN crits the damage! Go me!
And then Mower saves the day with his encounters!

We defeated some bats, (but they kept coming… so we ran out and shut the door behind us) and then we went to another room where we fought the HODM and some really, really strong hammers. The room after the room with the HODM is huge, with a hole in the floor with glyphs surrounding it—one (hole) is black and one is red. There’s a raised area of the map (literally) and when you jump up, you can see a blue hole not unlike the red and black ones.

Hole info: It is ancient magic that is somehow tied to the shards, but you can’t tell what exactly.

We come to another campsite (this time inhabited). You see black legs and arms sticking out of the tents and a fireplace blazing. Sizor sees them and smiles. “Look over here, there’s a shard. Let’s take it and get out of here!”

Mu-ahn attempts to stealth into the room. Natural 20!!! Plus 9!! He is SO stealthy. He sneaks into the room and takes the black shard. As he’s exiting the room, he uses his REWIND card to go back to the moment when he sneaks OUT of the room (the first time the guys wake up)
Mu-Ahn: “There’s one thing I do well, and that’s stealing things from sleeping people!”

Mu-Ahn rolls 4d20 and kills 4 minions in under a minute! Good going!

There’s a chest in the room—and it’s locked. Luckily, there’s a fellow traveling with us who is skilled in Theivery. Mu-Ahn has to succeed two times before two failures. Which he does. With another Crit. I know, right?! Inside of the chest, hanging from a string hanging from the lid is a potion, The Potion of Knowing Resistance. (When you drink, resist 5 to last damage you receive).

We saved the day and rescued three shard hunters who were totally getting their asses kicked. They retreated to their tent. Cascaeda asks the group how long they’ve been in the Makyne, they said about a day. The SH’s also hadn’t encountered the room with the door.

Mu-Ahn intimidates the three SH’s (Jiminy-Jam, Simmy-Sam, and Flim-Flam) into coming with the group, but Jimmy-Jam and Simmy-Sam are staying behind at their camp to rest up.

Three hammers from the camp seem as though they might fit into the three holes in the door we encountered.

Nik and David have a pissing contest about whether or not Nik will die when entering a room full of trancing Drow [Ed.- In truth it was about if Nik character Erion would know what was over there and do that. He was just trying to fuck with the game.]. The result is that Nik decided not to do that.

We try some options to try and open the door in the first room, but meet with nothing. We put the shard in the hole, it glows, but nothing else happens.

Episode Four Teaser

In Episode One: The Cube, we met our characters for the first time, experiencing their quest for their second shard. But this left the players with unanswered questions. How did the group get together? Where did they get the black shard from? What is their plan for the shards once they have them?

Episode Two: The Ambush continued their adventure as they advanced toward the red shard, stopping along the way at an empty house. Our players met a group calling themselves The Black Wyrms. They insinuated that the group was thieves, having stolen the black shard from the Wyrms. Could their allegation be true? Our group put them to rest and moved on.

The next episode, The Shard Part 1: Up, Up The Mountain, began with the group around a fire with two characters new to the players: Sizer, a watersoul Genasi who seemed the leader of the group, and Voltag, a plaguesoul who would eventually disappear from the group. Who were these people, and where had they gone, as the present day group is missing these people completely?

Part 2 of The Shard, entitled Den of Thieves had the group visiting The Makyne for the first time and coming across a camp of sleeping Drow who left their shard unguarded. At the insistence of Sizer, the group stole the shard, and it became clear to the players where they had gained it.

Episode Four will join our group back in present day, where they are still trying to make their way toward Vorpar in search of the third shard. Things, as always, will take a turn for the unexpected, in episode four: The Sun!

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.



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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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!

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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