Actual Play – Your Home Away from Home (7/21/2013)

PathfinderCoreCoverGM: Brian Isikoff
Players: Dennis Jordan, Regina Joyner, Karen Twelves, and Sean Nittner
System: Pathfinder
Campaign: The Slumbering Tsar

After a bit of a break (and me missing the last session), we’ve picked back up on the Slumbering Tsar game with Brian. We had been talking about converting back to Pathfinder (from DCC) a few times and over the last break we did it. With some help from Hero Labs we made 8th level Pathfinder versions of our DCC selves.

“I hit it with my faith stick!”

I missed the morning half of the game but it was for a good cause (my little one was turning 8… I know, crazy).

As I waled in I said “I hit it with my faith stick” and low-and-behold they were actually fighting some undead. Woots.

I came in at the tail end of the combat, but was happy that I arrived just in time for loot! and XP! Ninja Cleric.

We had cleared out and old burial mound from it’s undead occupants, and although still unholy ground, it wasn’t nearly so bad as many of the places we had been! We delivered a bit later and then got an email from Brian with the subject line.

Your Home Away from Home

Here was the content


What a sweet heart.

On to more murdering, er questing

When you kill undead is it really killing? It seems like they are already dead so it should be called something else. Living maybe?

We moved west and found an awesome Firestation still manned by armies of light, now corrupted and turned undead! So we sanctified them with positive energy of destruction! And then, we interred the bodies (probably for the 2nd time) and sanctified their bodies by the light of Muir.

Thoughts on the game

I can really sink my teeth into pathfinder in a way I couldn’t at all with DCC. I figure if I’m going to play a combat heavy game (which not all D&D is, but Slumbering Tsar certainly is) I want that game to make combat fun an interesting for me, and Pathfinder scratches that itch much better than DCC did. I’m happy for the change.

The analog of Clerics casting buffs on people as being drug pushes was made a few times, and the more we talked about it, the more apt it seemed. Kail (my cleric) is a total heroin of the gods dealer.  It’s good times.

TARK!!! – Brian is fantastic and describing epic deaths wreathed in flames!

Actual Play – Death of a Halfling (1/20/2013)

SlumberingTsarGM: Brian Isikoff
Players: Dennis Jordan, Regina Joyner, Karen Twelves, Angelo De Stephano, and Sean Nittner
System: Dungeon Crawl Classics, the RPG
Campaign: The Slumbering Tsar (for Pathfinder converted to DCC)

The highlight of this game was surely my character dying and being eaten by carnivorous plants. At least the highlight for me. But more on that in a bit.

A conundrum

So, last session we killed, or banished really, this Earth Elemental guarding a graveyard, which we thought was surely full of undead abominations. Turns out it was the last graveyard of the Heroes of Light and we had just removed it’s only guardian. Yeah, not so good.

Our boo-boo was articulated by three Vroks (demon vulture things) flying down at night and cackling over the horrible things they were going to do to the bodies in the graveyard. Laudron (my every bold but not everlasting halfling) decided to sneak up behind said demons and when the first two flew off to report on the good (or really bad) fortune, he took this opportunity to show off said boldness and garotte the remaining demon while yelling “THIS IS FOR THE ANTIQUARIANS, BITCH!” (Laudron was very keen on all religious and cultural artifacts making it back to the proper secular and sacred institutions for curation rather than fall into the hands of a demonic host. Well, he hit, which is yay, and made enough noise that Tilas, his one-sided bromance would be lover, came charging to his rescue with a magic missile the size of a meteor, which turned the Vrok to ash (that Laudron promptly collected into a jar for posterity sake). In it’s dying after image, the Vrok told Laudron “we know the guardian is gone.” Yay!

The party was divided on what to do. Sozen the Dwarf wanted Laudron to ride his magical centipede back to the druid’s grove and let them know we broke their guardian. Mira, on the other handed wanted to make reparations for his actions by calling upon Freya to protect the graveyard forthwith. Like all schizophrenic groups of murder hobos, we elected to choose option C: all of the above.

Tilas and Laudron set off to talk to the druids while the rest of the party stayed at the graveyard to ward off any other attackers while Mira performed a lengthy ritual to ask Freya for divine aid. One party succeeded with style. The other was druid stew. I’ll let yo guess who was who.

Fall out

Laudron – Dead

Tilas – Barely escaped with his honey badger familiar. Naked and withered to the bone from ability score burn.

Freya – Got it on with Mira and not only restored the elemental to protect the graveyard, but added her one white light of righteousness to the mix.

The rest of the part – Got to see an awesome fireworks show where the dozen oncoming Vrok were the unbeknownst fireworks and Freya’s light was the fuze. Four of them actually were smart enough to land…and be ripped to pieces by the earth elementals. Good times.

It’s pay back time. Or not. Well, maybe

When the party met Tilas on the road (naked and burnt) and found out what happened to both of them, they were ready for ACTION! Or maybe caution! Perhaps diplomacy! Or better yet, some good old subterfuge! As befitting characters of different alignment there were some strong voices to avenge the fallen, others to only do so if the druids came out of their grove (the carnivorous hedge being quite a threat). Others to let bygones be bygones.

The result was a melee of bloody nature. I brought in a new character, another halfling named Conrad, out to inspect on the progress of Laudron, who did little as the might adventurers killed one of the druids, his beetle animal companion and a quickwood tree.

Sozen was bad ass, he was made into a giant and smashed in the head of a lion, turning it to stone. Aileth put several holes in the druid with her bow, the druid responded in kind by putting holes in her with his pet giant beetle. Mira cured those in need and paralyzed the beetle. She also re-attached Aileth’s lower leg after said paralyzed beetle’s mandibles chopped it off. Lucius (Angelo’s theif) during the melee snuck up to the wounded druid (Aileth had just shot him in the eye) and poisoned him with Medusa toxin, rendering him unconscious for days…which he would never enjoy, as we promptly ended him by feeding him to his own carnivorous tree!

Parting is such sweet sorrow

To the Elf’s dismay, his new Halfling companion would not last long. As we wrapped up the session, Conrad gave his thanks to the party for their bravery in avenging a fallen Halfling (he was quite surprised anyone would care that much about a wee folk) and parted. Really I just realized that with near similar stats my “new” halfling was identical to my “old” halfling, minus the magic items. Time to try something new.

Thoughts on the game

Dungeon Crawl Classics (for me, I’m not saying this in general) works in one of two modes. Either I remain ignorant of the rules, roll what someone tells me, and be content with the company at the table for my entertainment, or I take the dive and learn the system to I can have some mastery of it. Since I’m now playing this in a campaign game, I think I should do the latter. Learn how it works and make it work for me. Yeah, new rules!

I way dig how we are just trashing the Ashen Wastes and remaking it in our own image. Guardians? Kill em. Druids? Kill em. And these aren’t even the “bad” guys. But…it’s the ashen waste, everyone is kind of a bad guy.

Next up, Kail, the Hand of Tyr. Let’s see how a cleric rolls in this game.


Actual Play – Dungeon Crawl Classics (11/18/2012)

GM: Brian Isikoff
Players: Dennis Jordan, Regina Joyner, Karen Twelves, and Sean Nittner
System: Dungeon Crawl Classics, the RPG
Campaign: The Slumbering Tsar (for Pathfinder converted to DCC)

I believe I have been officially invited to Brian’s game with Dennis, Regina and Karen. Yay.

I played a Halfling Collector who dressed like a Bedouin warrior, and had the personality of Quark from Deep Space Nine. He wanted to acquire items of religious and cultural significance. Which basically meant everything that wasn’t nailed down to the ground.

The play is the thing

I arrived a top a gigantic sapphire caterpillar named Qapla (yeah, we stole that from Klingon) and joined the group in time to kill some stuff, set off some traps and awaken an sleeping warrior of light.

We killed dudes, got treasure, and were basically heroes of awesomeness.

Thoughts on the game

DCC seems to have a exponential power curve.  A dagger does 1d4, just liked you’d expect. A magic missile however does up to 5d12 depending on a casting roll. Critical hit tables are also apparently off the chart (we didn’t get any crits so I didn’t see them, but I believe it).

Due to the lethal nature of the game, some of the players played multiple characters. It gave us some extra firepower as well. The downside was that role-playing was tricky, and the nature of a fantasy hack and slash game is that character development and relationships are usually pretty superficial anyway.

Luck in this game is interesting for Halflings. Not only can they get it back (which only thieves and halflings can do) they can share it (a halfling only trait). I had a lot of fun allowing for circumstances to miraculously aid folks on saving throws, attack rolls and the like.

The highlight of the game (for characters at least) seems to be finding new magic items that do crazy shit. Hammers that turn people to stone, figures of wondrous power that turn into bugs the size of elephants. You name it. There are LOTs of charts and tables in those books and we want to roll on all of them!