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Monday, December 19, 2016

Actual Play Report by Staunch Player

While I compose my thoughts and words regarding the past several sessions, here are three reports from...several months (years) ago from a player in my Thursday nigh Hangout sessions.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday Nights Hangout Crew

Other Human Martial Arts Warrior
Numeneurian Psi-Witch

Aelbaan Astrogator/Lesser Psychic

Vael-Kyn Criminal/Security Officer (Bad Cop)


W40k Commissar

20ish Vrun Warriors under his command and eating up his inspirational comments about the Imperium, and the Emperor

* Big Earthlike planet coinhabited by Chaotic Amphibians and their Chaotic Cloister Humanoids
* Humans (including Vrun) taken captive by the aforementioned baddies
* Campaign to recover the humans by Commissar leads group through gateway to Elemental Chaos (equal parts Air, Water, Earth, Fire)
* Fights inside vast complex
* Enervation stations feed raw chaos reactor
* N/PC disruption causes instability which in turn causes a chain reaction ignition of Chaos Star (Tyrant Star?) which begins to consume everything in area
* N/PCs manage to escape, losing 6 non-Vrun passengers
* Find shelter with D&D types on a _-Jammer craft, to which they sacrifice a magical suit of Paladin Full Plate for more power; its former owner a fallen comrade of the D&D NPCs
* Looking to leave the Plane before things get worse

Monday, November 28, 2016

Two of my Alternating Weekly Games Update

Planet on the Edge of the Former Galaxy: Investigation of the connection between Jezebel Pearmother, wife of king Ahab Pearlmother, of the pirate city of Pearl, were cut short due to the arrival of the Dragon invaders.  The PCs and freedom fighters left the city and fled to caves outside of town.  Their progress was very linear and eventually led them to an encounter with Drow in the employ of the Dragon Empire.  The Drow took a few captives to illustrate that they had accomplished their search, but not only let the others go, but also left them a few survival supplies.

15th Experience Level Campaign characters have transitioned from the Urutsk universe to the Grim Darkness of the Future in that setting the UKers would sue (or at least C/D) me if I mentioned their IP.  As all three of the players has at least one Haelbean character, they became Space Elves (tm).  The adorable little flying eyeball critter became a Service Skull (tm), and the cyborg machinehead assassin guy became, you guessed it, a Technical Adept (tm).  Everyone and thing became Grimdarkified and grotty.  They had to hastily create a Yuri Geller Field ;) to avoid Kaos nasties consuming them as they travelled through the VVorp.  Exiting due to inclement weather in the VVorp, the ship exited to realspace and noted a system with not much to recommend it except a moon sized garden world with a station in orbit.  [FF>>]  The party determined (both through recordings and psychic impressions/retro telepathy) that Kaos-corrupted Technical Adepts had tortured a woman who appeared to be a Space Elf, and were questioning her about her reasons for being in the system, etc.  She killed one of them, and opened up a VVorp down to the planetoid's surface.  Pirate friends of the woman showed up and torpedoes were fired and destroyed by the party's Ancientech (tm) ship.  Parley and partying ensued and the two groups went down to the surface, only to be fired upon by the Technical Adept who seemed to have dominated her via cybernetics, using her vast Psyche powers against the n/pcs.  She survives his accidental self destruction when his Melty Gun (tm) catastrophically esplodes.  Technical Adepts from the friendly pirate ship determine that there is foul Kaos stuff afoot, and, indeed, there is.  Using a receptacle, a Demon in spirit form had occupied the nearly fleshless Heretical Technical Adept, and was about to lay down the law -er- Kaos on the group, when a device from the Urutsk universe sent enough of it away to the Shadow Plane that it destroyed the casing and revealed the Lich for what it was.  Lord Shadow has a new plaything.  :)  The Space Elf psyche captain feels a disturbance in the VVorp and leads a Technical Adept to a cave where they find a large structure made up of cogitated, young Psyche skulls, all networked together.  Forcefield + chainsaw axe wielding TA says, ~'zzt Abomination zzt'~, while a more human voice from him says, '...the Engineering...', before he tears into the structure.  [FF>>]  Bad news: the skulls were mostly under 20 years of age, and were apparently bred/raised on the same world, and all possessed Psyche powers.  Good news, a dangerously zealous, but unpredictably understanding Warrior Nun (tm) (recently became Governor of a planet now named Virtue), is the pirate captain's contact, and she is the one to speak with to find out what in the Kaos is going on, and put an end to it.  Two Technical Adepts are coming along to add validity to the pc group's claims, etc.  At the lawless space fort, Aimless, it is seen that a Privateer House is assembling a fleet of war craft, and pressing scum into service for what appears to be a major surface engagement, as well.  A warning dispatch is sent to the War Nun governess...

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Dragoning

The newly awakened 67th Level Imperial Pswordlock asked the PCs to think about how they could contribute to the restoration of the base, and ideas were hashed.

During this downtime, the Yirinn/Dryvv woman is contacted by the queen of the Shlzm, informing her that a Draconic battlefleet has been sighted in the star system.  The PC contacts the paladin, and the alarm is raised.

Lhorsk, Chapter Commander of the Glorious Imperial Eagles, was inspired to knight the Skyger, who graciously accepted.  Power circle and runes / sigils invoked, and then a future self of the Skyger, now resplendent in Psychokinetic Panoply, hands the Skyger of now a PK blade: "Do you give your all for the Emperor?"  The Skyger realises that he is to slit his throat, and does so.  His blood is pulled out of his body and heightens the sigils, transforming the Skyger's war hammer and fallen comrade badger's skull into a PK form; his blood is then purified, electrified, and returned; he is a new creation.  Now wearing his PK full plate, the Skyger learns that he can dismiss and recall his hammer as a mental action.  The badger skull now is linked to him, and he can invoke the spirit of his badger friend to fight alongside him.

The half-Dryvv Darshin Yirinn woman says that she thinks that she can gain the support of her people (months journey distant), but realises that the paladin has nothing material to offer to sweeten the proposition, and she then plans to journey to the coastal City of Pearl whose library is well known throughout the hemisphere.

The Dokirinn solid light manipulator decides to transform his quasi force creation into a humanoid form with full stats.

The party set out on horseback, and I use encounters at the weekly rate of travel, determining when in the day the encounters occur.  Three mornings in a row, the party is attacked by draconic spawn, ranging from a squire of sorts, to a cloud of dragoncrows.  Finally reaching Pearl, the party learns that sea serpent men (bodies of eels, with humanoid torsos; they fight with tridents and gaff hooks) are devastating the docks, and smoke is clearly visible.

Moving into the horrid pirate haven, the streets are illed with scrawny dogs, and every vice is indulged openly.  A would be encounter turns into an audience with the king, Ahab Pearlmother, and his queen Jezebel.  She is quickly discovered to be a lamia in league with the draconics, and after urging the Yirinn woman to allow her to lie with the Skyger (and the guests throwing down coins to help convince), Jezebel is killed in front of the shocked and horrified court; her body thrown into the king who is attacked by his eunuch guards, but manages to duck their massive scimitars.  The Skyger kills Ahab with a hammer throw, pulping his head, while the eunuchs now lay into the known wicked cohort of the court, and a few even leap out of the windows, only to be devoured by the ravening dogs below.  We fast forwarded the aftermath, which amounts to a council being formed which will run the remnants of Pearl (after a mysterious conflagration burns most of it down), and in exchange, the city will open its library to the PCs.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Healing and Recovery Woes

One of the things that hadn't worked to anyone's satisfaction in this Encounter Critical edition of UWoM was healing.

Now, EC's roll hit dice method, and receive a bonus if luxuriating, was not to my liking, mainly because it is too chaotic, with the disappointment of low rolls, or too speedy recovery, etc.

I had been using a variant of Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes recovery rules until I realised that it actually took longer to recover the fewer points needed to be healed.  I ran a lot of analysis, and couldn't believe that I hadn't spotted that before.  That was out, especially when players complained it required too much in-game downtime (yeah, I know, whiners).

I briefly toyed with the thought that tougher characters should heal faster, but it turned out that that approach simply made everyone heal completely in 10 days.  That wasn't it either.

Now, I have a method which is still proportional, but where folk with more hit points recover faster from lesser injuries, but still take longer to fully heal than characters who have fewer and lost all of them and mend faster.  I'm still not happy with this.  Something charty looks like it will have to be done, which also doesn't thrill me.

Thoughts or suggestions to fulfill my design criteria?

1). Tougher creatures recover more quickly
2). Having fewer HP and losing most or all of them should take longer to recover from than a creature with lots of HP who lost a lot, but proportionately fewer than the low HP creature
3). Simple method; easy to explain; etc.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Longish Multisession Play Report from Thursday Hangout Games

Kyrinn S. Eis • 19 May 2016
19th May 2016
Pop.: 113,400
'Primordial Wisdom Flowing with Wisdom'
"Firstblood Brood"

* TERRAIN: Thawing frost over black volcanic desert, moss forests, frost and steam vents, frozen acid pools, hot alkaline pools
* LIFE: 'Dragonwasps' [S/Nv], Duren (Black Grazers) [H/Hv], 'Screw-Wings' [S/Ov], 'Shieldhogs' [P/Ov], and a variety of small avians and mammals
* POPULATION: 423,000
:: Baqej Clans (NOC) Duren Herders, News-Bearers, and Traders {72%}
:: Sebahsjyq Clans (AOv) Farmers, Shieldhog Ranchers, Craftsmens, and Scribes {24%}
:: Jesdoksvaj Clans (UOv) Craftsmen, Scribes, Artists & Entertainers, Support Trades {03%}
:: Others {01%}
Burn Baby Burn: Parsimony in her despair embraces a flamethrower attacker in the employ of Numeneurian House Red Drake (Firebloods). Stanet (+Lightning and Aether House Red Drake) interferes in attempts by the flamethrower and Parsimony and Kalyn, smothering Parsimony's flames, but blunting Kalyn's would be KO punch. The random encounter Cyborg was kicked asleep and didn't figure much. Trying to reach a tower at low tide, now the party will have to wait for Parsimony to heal (slowly now at less than half HP). ...
The Baqej Clans are most numerous, and with the most powerful warlords and largest group of religious warlocks. The regional religion is based upon the worship and sacrifice to four elemental gods; each of the four also has three cohort. The warlords can field over 200,000 fighters, most of whom are trained warriors. The Baqej have over 360 warlocks, each attended by 221 zealots.
The Sebahsjyq Clans are primarily Farmers, Shieldhog Ranchers, Craftsmens, and Scribes and represent roughly 24% of the regional population with 112,512 as of last census. Their five warlords have over 31,000 dedicated warriors, and can raise another 32 thousand militia. With the second largest group of religious warlocks at 107 (and 23,647 zealots), the smaller clans are not to be antagonised. The city of Jyqsebahsh (where the PCs are currently), contains all of the Sebahsjyq clans, and holds Baqej and others as well.
:: Jesdoksvaj Clans (UOv) Craftsmen, Scribes, Artists & Entertainers, Support Trades {03%}
* Svajsdokje | Pop.: 18,750 :: Jesdoksvaj Clan Majority (entire Jesdoksvaj & Other Clans population). The minority group, remnants of an earlier era of their domination of the greater region, the Jesdoksvaj are urban dwellers by preference, and their entire culture is derived from the needs of maintenance and social satisfaction, providing much in the way of taverns and public smoking cafes, to museums and art galleries. Under Baqej rule, the Jesdoksvaj have been reduced to one city, and their numbers ninefold-decimated, while their other cities have been inhabited by the Sebahsjyq and Baqej who enjoy the amenities and planning. The Sebahsjyq are perhaps sympathetic to the Jesdoksvaj plight, the bloody fighting which wrought this reversal of fortune is too recent for either party to entertain notions to overthrow the much more powerful Baqej.
The party survives an afternoon out on the town, narrowly avoiding addiction to Atigo's Wine, and helping to prevent the retaliation of the local warlocks for an attack by incensed Imperial QinqNol drunk on said wine. An unnatural wind blows in from the wilderness and Parsimony collects 21 True Magic points at the cost of 13 hit points. The party will begin next session roughly 2 days later with preparations for the heist.
The weather is showing only slight improvement after a few days of unusually cold and powerful winds left the city frosted over. Some roof collapses and even foundation cracks were observed in buildings around the tavern, but it seemed to have weathered better. The ice was a deterrent for most folk, but some Warlocks and their zealots were patrolling, and making rounds checking in on the faithful. During the freeze, the few patrons who had been trapped in the tavern were doing their best to budget themselves and arguing with, V'qeu, the proprietor, about his prices. In general, even tempers prevailed, and the atmosphere remained comfortable against the cold.
Today is still very cold and windy, and under normal circumstances, would be a terrible weather day, but it is still an improvement. Going out for supplies may be possible later if the shops open after noon, but it will only be for a few hours if they do. Strangers, apparently used to this sort of weather, are oot and aboot, laughing at the shuttered shops and pounding on the drink and smoke stalls. Some make their way to the /Tan Mantis/ tavern where you are staying, and are boisterous, but not as much so as the QinqNol. They number four (4), and are dressed in fur cloaks and revealing leather armour. Two males are armed with double-bited axes, while the two women are armed with greatswords. The barbarians brought a carcass with them to be cooked, and are hungrily tearing it apart and calling for more stout beer. Perhaps it is due to the revels, but a warlock has just entered the tavern, and looks the place over before sitting in the same section as some of the characters; the upstairs rooms far less comfortable than the open hearth of the main floor. Her head is shaved, and arcane tattoos of black and red ink contrast with her pale skin. This warlock seems inhuman, and her strange lanky form is hidden beneath her robes, but she seems hardened by disciplines as well as travels. Looking up from her expensive pomegranate liqueur, she catches the eye of one of you...
Getting into a fight with the barbarians after one of the males insulted the Water Warlock, the party once again dominates, but no one is slain, and the Warlock disappeared; just then, a zealot walks by and snoops into their activities. The party have a brief interaction with the female barbarians (one of whom Merc tried to murder, and who was furious, but her friend laughed it off and kept the peace), and Merc had kissie-face with the cool headed barbarian woman to help legitimise the ruse to the zealot that all was fine. The party fled to the basement and after stumbling into something weird in one adjoining building, entered a second. This looked fine, but had a trapped stair leading to a teleport pad depositing them in a 60' cube filled 5' full of ash-fine dust. Escape effected, the party got into a fight with guards playing a complex game, and killed or KO'd everyone. There is a doorway to their left, and one forward, through the kitchenette. Framed posters hang on the walls, and there is modern furniture and TV in this break room.
After two fights, and 11 facility personnel later, the party fled from the break room, only to find that a storm had recalled the flight crews and vehicle teams, explaining why so many personnel were accessing this break room. The storm turned from bad to worse very suddenly, and a tornado began buffeting the high-tech tower, buckling portions. Evacuation began and the PCs pursued a group looking to gain access to craft. Harrowing experiences, and many Escalation dice later, the characters made their way into a Class 10 space craft, and narrowly escaped as the tornado ripped the structure apart. Last known destination of this tower-personnel-crewed ship is another tower out to sea.
After flying to the remote facility, a prison at sea, the party of active PCs (Ryan's and Anne's) plotted to take action to secure the craft, but their chance never materialised. After some time on the deck of the facility, an event occurred at the threshold of the atmosphere which then rained down portions of what was likely a Size Factor 50 ship. The NPC leader flew the group back to the mainland and the two PCs were pressed into service, but ditched that to find a vehicle out. Settling on an airboat, a female security officer was attacked, stripped of uniform and gear, and dumped into the water as her backup was arriving. The party chose not to examine a giant termite-like mound, and instead, running low on fuel, made their way to a giant tree isle where the group has had a night's rest.
In the morning, the group find several animals on the outside of the enclosed airboat, and slugs or something have wormed their way in.
Installing an endurance / performance booster, S'tanet aided the group in arriving at a trading post and rest stop in the riverglade. Conveniently, her House had a contact there and S'tanet made efforts to find the man while the others enjoyed a meal and drinks with those friendly to the uniform the impostors wore. The contact was killed by a mysterious group of men who then fired a tranquiliser into S'tanet, rendering her unconscious. A lucky stroke of lightning prevented their abduction of her, and others came to her aid. Hiding out with their hosts, the PCs obtained Phasic power packs for their beam weapons before securing passage to Heuph, a megalopolis on the southern peninsula were they found themselves. From Heuph, the party planned to travel over sea to the mainland and from there, take a series of flights to [AfghanIceland] where their mission to steal the prize for Parsimony's demon patron lies (as well as their ship).
Returning to Jyqsebahsh, the party learn that debris from the orbital and near system conflict has fallen on the outskirts of the city, and folk are restricted from entering until examined by the Warlocks. Of the party, Kalyn (Ryan) is the only to contract higher intelligence. The party has carried a portable alchemical lab to be delivered to their Ohevoj dealer contact, Tomaj. They are interrupted by a woman being remotely controlled. She prophesies that the party are going to unleash Darkness upon the world. Warlocks and zealots get involved, and she is carried away. the Ohevoj Mercutio gathered is purchased and then the payment for delivery of the alchemy lab is given. S'Tanet decides to reach her cousin, only to find that she is under attack, dying and giving up part of her power to S'Tanet and warning her of the same dark power. Travelling out of town to await a House Red Drake recovery ship, they provide her with supplies and then depart without her: the situation too dangerous and the need to maintain a House presence on Yngarr too great. Local authorities launch a pursuit craft which the Red Drake ship destroys.
After observing the tower owned by the holder of the power object, the party enter a sewer tunnel normally under water, but exposed in a rare multiple-moon tidal event. Unused, the tunnel leads to an airlock which requires 20 minutes of combined abilities to open. A series of rooms and doors lead the group to an area with increasing security presence. Parsimony's connection to her demon patron guides the group towards the object. A one Round combat, dominated by the PCs, results in the death of three guards. The next room holds the door to the item chamber, but is warded by lower planar energies. S'Tanet and two others pool their power to neutralise the ward. Parsimony then enters, protected by her patron, and retrieves the power object, as guards enter from two doors. The group must exit the level from another direction, as the water entrance is no longer viable.
Fighting and extreme actions led to Parsimony opening a portal to any of the moons of Yngarr, and through which the party escaped the tower. Appearing upon the Blue Queen Moon, the party now mulls its options.
The Blue Queen Moon has proven a rough and tumble place, Pard'ner. After foiling a hostile business takeover and the assassination of a more moderate faction in the multi-party mining business, the PCs have had a week or so to recover from their rigours.
Anne Hunter • 4 Aug 2016
"The more moderate faction?" Does that mean Agatha and Dexter hired Dar because they objected to using alien monsters as mining equipment? Does that mean we're the bad guys here?

Oh well, Mercutio's fine with a little slavery and graft, as long as he gets to wet his beak.
Kyrinn S. Eis • 4 Aug 2016
The Col. was the more moderate faction.
Parsimony's Cosmic Sorcery contacting the Blue Moon resulted in a negotiated pace with her blue stone giants: Mercutio would sacrifice himself to raise a crop of food to sate the giants in exchange for a cessation of raids upon the caravans. 28 days after his ritual murder, Mercutio arose fresh and fine and 1k XP richer the experience. Returning to Westville on the first night of Old Man Nickles ("He didn't have much, he didn't have much, he didn't have much, but he gave it all...") everyone was cheerful and gave gifts of jingle bells and tiny rattling cups as reminders of charity, and much hot spiced Jack was drunk.
Accomplished, Sticker
Resolving a past traumatic event in Parsimony's life, the party finds itself in a new star system, with an Aelbaan system ship ('it's bigger on the inside'). Long range scans indicate at least one habitable world.
Anne Hunter • 24 Aug 2016
I like the idea that while Parsimony *thinks* of her room as unbelievably sparse and Spartan (by Aelbaen standards) the rest of us are agog at the overstuffedness and luxury.
Kyrinn S. Eis • 24 Aug 2016
Absolutely. :-)
"What? You mean not every ship has at least one pocket dimension? "
The party began to explore the large, G3 star system with 12 orbits (one of which is an asteroid belt, in orbit 6); five habitable worlds ranging from QR 75 to QR 96+. The belt is inhabited by very fearsome avians with the ability to disintegrate (presumably the rock); they possess very limited space flight (mostly between nearest asteroids). The nicest of habitable worlds is inhabited by tribal units of an advanced synthetic alien with 9 limbs, but brittle construction; these appear to utilise gate travel technology rather than ships, and war amongst themselves over resources and noble bloodlines. That is about all that is definitively known about the worlds.
The party set down on the 5th planet, on a savanna continent, hunted riverglade capricorn, and were affected by the rest of the herd with a sort of psychic disorientation. The continent has an overall orange-yellow colouration, and the sky is a deep violet colour. Parsimony is planning on re-educating her Human servants so that they can survive without her.
Spaceship larger on the inside, but no warp drive. Stuck in the system. Very fearsome Avians in the asteroid belt, while nine limbed, gate using, aliens inhabit an earthlike world (one of a few, in this star system).

They move on to another earthlike, discover Vrun (Humans) in a non starfaring state. Vrun are occasionally attacked by amphibian species: Slaad, who are scattered about the planet. PCs surveil an island, study their transmissions and other communications methods, and decide to use the cover of a tropical storm to raid technology to sell to the Vrun. The PCs are stalking around in a hurricane at night in their skintight spacesuits, and are ambushed by 15 Slaadi. The Martial Arts Warrior guts one before it strikes. Two attack the other two PCs, but their 1d4 attacks cannot meaningfully penetrate the suits. However, the PCs are captured.
Waking in separate chambers, the party find that they have had tissue samples taken from them while in the amphibian facility. Escaping from each chamber is decidedly easy, as each has several tunnels leading to other chambers. In time, the party is reunited, meet a Vrun who has been imprisoned for some time, and heard the voices of other Humans but do not met them. the noises have been getting louder and closer, until a large red amphibian appears from a tunnel, but is misdirected by S'Tanet and goes off to attack the Vun prisoners. One large dark grey-green 'phibian pulls itself into a narrow tunnel in pursuit of the party, and S'Tanet kills it, doused in its blood. Parsimony jumps into dark water, avoids taking any damage, and then realises it was further down than she had thought. The party is flown, one by one, out of the cave by S'Tanet, but Parsimony, the last to leave, is attacked with some sort of magic or mental effect. The party learned that more Human-like creatures are working with the 'phibians. Finding the air/raft, the party escapes before entering again into a ground fight with the creatures; Kalyn is injured by some sort of energy shotgun. They debate the best plan to exist the eye of the hurricane, and reach Parsimony's ship.
Folks are stuck in a large star system with at least three earthlike worlds in the Goldilocks zone, and an alien-inhabited asteroid belt. After flying through a hurricane's eye-wall on an air/raft, the party returned to the very much Space: 1999 Eagle Lander craft they have, and almost immediately are fired upon by a ship almost 4x their size. The weapon to size differential was pretty brutal, inflicting hits past armour on Aux. Power, Cargo (crew module), Interstitial (yay, free hits) and something else memory escapes me at present. The Security Officer (and Crook) provided a sensor scan of the enemy craft, worth a bonus of +11 to strike, and the Martial Arts Warrior manning the mega laser scored high enough with Initiative bonus and the scanner bonus, to inflict a critical hit against the larger ship (Main Weapon, Aux. Power, Lifesupport). The smaller and more manoeuvrable lander escaped and headed to the largest human city, Bay City, located upon and in a crescent shaped atoll. Well treated, the cautious humans explain that they do not yet possess FTL capabilities, but possess old Imperial Jump Drive plans, needing to build them from materials out in the asteroid belt. The party volunteered to fetch the goods and provide advanced engineering skill in exchange for a jump ship. Friends were made.
Setting out after re-provisioning, the lander sped off towards the Asteroid Belt. Although I wanted to err on the side of caution, I was off by a lot: rather than 2 mo., it really took more like 12 Hours at 20 million Miles/Hour (18.47 Hexes per Round). Exploration was hampered by a recent collision and resultant debris cloud. Space animals were observed. Later, a radioactives source was found and secured in provided containers. An alien craft, apparently Avianoid, approached, scanned, and made first contact, indicating the craft should follow.