Vegas Ren Fair II

Last weekend, I went to the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Fair in Las Vegas. It was a pretty hot weekend, but I was prepared: I dressed in the lighter fabrics of the Pashtun people. Plus I had a parasol:

My comrades and me. L to R: Dan the monk, John the barbarian, Stefani the pirate(?), me the Afghan traveler.

I had to ride the camel, as I was appropriately dressed to do so. I was paired with a random Japanese tourist. Pro-tip for men who wish to ride a camel: do your damnedest to ride in the front. The camel’s hump will smash your balls.

Here we are with the giant inflatable dragon slide in the background. I don’t understand it either.

John flexes while taking the camel ride.

Knights engaging in an honorable handshake. Predictable antics and silly fighting ensued.

Horse and knight and announcer.

Knight at the ready for the joust.

Knight leaps off of horse to punch the other knight.

There are other photos on my Flickr, but these represent a decent sampling of the nonsense.


Start thinking of your soldier of fortune’s back stories and favorite guns!

The White Elephant

Its always the same, no matter what.  Just when you think maybe you could start over, start fresh…

The sun is sooo bright.

Skin is starting to burn, you can feel it.  It is not so bad now, but in a few hours: Pink. Red.  Pain.  Feet are getting sore, the soles are not as tough as they used to be. This stupid road is rocky too.  You have to be careful not to step on a sharp one.  You just did.  You big stupid freak.  Watch where you are going.

Don’t cry, no tears for you.  You deserve it, you always deserve it.  You should have known better. These people are no different then anybody else, they hate you.  They don’t trust you, they laugh at you. That’s why you are here, on this road, naked and humiliated.  You HAD to impress them, didn’t you.  As if your 7″ doesn’t do enough.  You HAD to show them how strong you are.

How stupid you are is more like it.

Gods, how far is the wagon?  Its like you been walking for hours.  No shelter on this road, no shelter anywheres really.  No place for you to go but back.  Back from failure, back to shame, back to normal.

You’ll kill them for this.  They took your sword, armor clothes, dignity.  They wouldn’t even wrestle you.  They bleed though.

The Grove of No Fathers

After near death at the hands of the vampire, I find thyself in a strange land.

By some magic perhaps, my companions and I have been led into this distant realm.  My pigeons sent to the house Hammer go unanswered. The couriers and traders I speak to have never heard of Greyhawk. It may be a long while before I find my way back,  supposing I ever do.

This must be the will of the gods that we have come to this place.  We made our way to a small city and took respite in a rented manor.  We hired servants and guards to see to our needs, as a proper adventuring troop.

Not long after our arrival, our Sergeant of Arms, Sancho the Vampire Slayer, heard word of a terrible injustice. A murdered druid priest was crucified to the wooden posts of the dock, as a symbol of the perpetrator’s boasts of triumph. I was still tending my wounds when the party set out to find these vile brigands. Investigating this, they travelled across a great lake and found a sacred grove of forest that the dead priest protected.  It was here I reunited with my party having no longer the patience to wait behind swoon, while my brothers engaged danger and combat. I came upon them during melee, and ran forth impaling completely through a bandit.  Apparently, frozen stiff from fear of my gallant charge! Two men met in town had seemingly joined us in the search, a lecherous old wizard and a homely, coal stained preacher. Apparently, Vorschalpt the Damager did not take well to the courtesies of the cleric.

A prisoner taken told us the whereabouts of his cowardly accomplices.  We hatched a strategy to engage them that involved myself, in valiant stride, to announcing our arrival, commanding them to lay down their arms and surrender.

All went according to the plan, until it took a strange turn… Before the bandits could respond, the old rambling Mage who walks with us now, appeared from thin air and struck half of the enemies with a bolt of savage lightning. I can only surmise that the mage saw the brigands preparing a sneak attack that had been veiled from my eyes.

Melee ensued, I engaged three enemies, not missing a single swing with my sword.  I felled the three, receiving only minor wounds.  When I turned to slay the others, only one remained and I knelt him before my blade to repent of face the bitter whisper of the cricket.  He plead for mercy, rapidly blathering about his kinghood of this here grove.  How he on it through dueling the former protector priest, and claiming the title himself. Sancho stepped forward to challenge the scoundrel to a duel as such.

The fight was fierce.  The two exchanged blows, blade for blade, steel for steel.  Sancho, slowly cut the man to pieces, ending it with a hack to the bandit king’s leg, emptying him of what blood was left in his person. Sancho, was now protector of the grove.  Thy pride for my comrade shined bright.  To think, I now accompanied a king on my adventures! What an honor.

Since this, we have prepared ourselves to move onward and seek adventure. Assembling gear and supplies for the journey…

There seems to be some commotion at the door, a messenger calls for the king of the grove.  What ill tidings does this man bring?


From the Brink

(From a brittle sealed parchment, blood stained and yellowed with age.)

Hail Sir Darius Belmont!

Your letter arrived to us with great expectation, for we have brooded over the fate of our sons each day since their disappearance. While we are grateful to hear of your continued commitment to the search, your lack of success brings no relief to our hearts. I still hold bated my breath with hope of their survival, Cuthbert willing.

The stories of you and your comrade’s travels thus far are heralded through the land. The slaying of the orcish slavers, the battle with the Hill Giants, and the magnificent triumph over the evil Vampire Lord in Ravenloft, from which many of you did not survive… Your own life barely hanging on by a thread of Cuthbert’s cloak. Breaking the grasp of such a powerful evil force is indeed a deed to be celebrated.

Thy can imagine mine armor gifted to you has brought you some luck! For it saved my hide from skinning many an instance. A hide I would gladly sacrifice to see the face of my boys once more…

As a father and a knight, I must confess pride in my choice of you, Belmont, to be charged with this quest. I would trust no man greater in persistence and bravery then thee. To be even further blessed with companions of valor and honor to be accompanying you along the way is something not to be taken for granted.

You spoke of plans to build a caravan? Have you not spent enough company with the likes of Gypsies to become one yourself!? I rib of course. In earnest, if you need any help further on your quest, know that I will do whatever I can to provide the means to your success.

May God bless your sword “Cricket” as it guides your conscience, and you it’s blade.

Sir Sledger Hammer

An epic victory, a narrow escape, a ton of treasure.

The fact that any of us made it out alive should be cause for celebration.  While we lost some dear friends along the way (and a not so dear mage) the party remained more or less intact and triumphant.  I am very excited about the new PCs who will be joining the party, it should be a good mix.

The most important thing though, we made off with a crazy amount of loot. (In this case it is worth less then it should be because of the level drains that occurred obtaining it.)  Anyway, as treasurer of the party and because I respect the need for transparency in such manners, all treasure will be categorically listed below.

I will add the treasure gathered from fallen comrades separately, as not to confuse XP point distribution.

ANY item/coin gained on this quest should be posted in comments.  I will add to the main post afterwards. 

All treasure XP is spilt equally among surviving members.  Treasure is stored in the party’s trust account, (as agreed to in the Party Charter) after distribution. Unused or unissued items will stay in the party trust account until needed or an appropriate PC can use.

NOTE: Any DM ruling on treasure will not be challenged by treasurer.


1,600 Platinum (=16,000 Gold)

6,700 Gold

16,000 Electrum (=3,200 Gold)

Total Coins Earned: 25,900 Gold


1x +2 Intelligent Longsword

1x +2 Scimitar of the Sun (+3 to hit undead, +10 damage to vampires)

1x +2 Axe

1x +2 Plate Mail

1x +2 Chain Mail

1x Ring of Protection of Scrying

3x Mystery Incense

1x Silver Icon of Ravenloft, Angel Statue (+4 turning undead, 3D6 heals per day)


1x Strom’s Horse Drawn Carriage

4x Fine Black Horses of Strom’s Carriage.

Hirelings A-Z: Mudlark


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Mudlarks will dig through rivers, looking for valuables. Mudlarks require 1 gold per day to dredge. They have a 10% chance of finding an item in a lake or river, +1% per day they have been searching. After 30 days, there is no more chance of recovering items. If a mudlark is looking for a particular item, there is a 50% chance item found is that item. Otherwise, it is a random item from the DMG.

Sewer hunters, mudlarks that work in toxic banks, require 5 gold per day.

I regret to inform you…

Pele burns to death.

Dear Master Pele the Elder,

I, Sir Darius Belmont, Warder of St. Cuthbert, write this letter as my holy duty as a paladin and as my loyal duty as a companion.  It is with deepest condolences thy must inform you of the tragic passing of your son, the cleric Pele.

He will be remembered as a friend and source for guidance.  Following St. Cuthbert can be a challenge for a young man such as myself and Pele always seemed to be able to recall an appropriate scripture for the occasion.  There is a silence in our party where his wisdom is missed. He fell during a fierce battle with vile Orcish slavers who were preying upon innocent people across the land.  Be sure, that Pele’s death was an honorable one and his fight will be remember as full of explosive glory.

While surely you may wish for a more thorough description of the way in which young Pele hath succumbed, I must ask thee to trust mine judgement that reciting such details would be most unpleasant and bring no peace to your heart.  All that truly matters is that he died defending the tenants of his faith and will be remembered as a true martyr of St. Cuthbert.

But if you MUST know, I feel that it is my sacred duty to share the truth. You see Sir, Pele had a bit of a dangerous side to him.  Always the first with a lit torch, he loved to ignite many a thing… and enemy. For most brave he was with the tongues of flame. To such a degree that he had entered the before mentioned dungeon draped in half of a dozen magically fused oil flasks, set to explode upon impact.  Few of our party dared to even handle such devices for the risk of disaster if fumbled was too great.  This consideration was courageously dismissed by Pele, for he did not fear death nor mutilation, he was a true man of Cuthbert! Alas, this fearless nature of Pele is what eventually led to his fiery end.

In the deepest chamber of the dungeon we came onto a most evil altar room.  There was a trapped door leading up to the next floor and in order to pass through safely, one of us had to hold a rope disabling the trap device. Pele and I argued back and forth about whom should be the one to stay behind holding back the trap.  It is here Sir, mine regret turns to guilt.  For had your son stayed behind to hold the trap instead of rushing into battle, he may still grace this earth with the living.

Once upstairs my companions were swiftly surrounded by armored Orcs.  Tremendous fighting ensued immediately, and I desperately wished to join along side them.  But the trap I was holding would collapse the ceiling upon me if I let go!  It was during this dilemma that a troll of enormous size emerged into the room and I could see was headed towards Pele.  Mine own safety I disregarded when I released the trap and sprung forth with mine steed to assist in battle…

What a saw next was terrible indeed.  Twas only a momentary glimpse, for the floor beneath me began to give way rapidly, you see the trap had sprung.  It was Pele.  He had an oil flask in his hand and was aiming to cast it towards the troll.  Something happened then during his toss; a slip, a minor mistake in the way his arm swung around his armor.  In an instant the flask had erupted in his hand, igniting the band of like flasks strung across him.  I fell. My horse took the brunt of the crash and we quickly scrambled back up what was left of the the stairway.  Pele, was nothing but a smoldering corpse, half of his charred body lay disintegrated.  I could do nothing for him other then avenge his death.  We slew the Orcs without mercy. Eventually the troll, hacked and beaten to the floor, was under mine knife and I lit the vile thing aflame.  It was a suiting revenge, but not an equal sacrifice.

This letter will arrive first, but shortly after a small sum of gold will be delivered from mine own pocket as a way to make sure you will be taken care from now on. Pele would have wished it so. Along with the gold should arrive in good condition the remains of Pele.  He received a proper Cuthbert burial, yet I thought it proper to send his gathered ashes along to you.

I travel in the morrow westerly, towards the setting sun.  If ever thy fate passes me along your way again, I hope to honor Pele at his place of rest.

With Earnest Sympathy,

Sir Darius Belmont

XP for Oct 6th


5 Swordwraiths
6 Giants (four male, two female)


4000 gold

1 wand of unknown capability


For a total of 2434 experience and 500 gold for each player (gold Xp has already been accounted for)

Murphy- 200 XP for Web
Matt – 500 XP for tactics
Jim- 200 for da Bears

Healing and 20s/1s will be allocated on of before Thursday

Souls and Stars


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To the Venerable Mother Elizabeth-
Lady of Belmont,

(I address this to you dear lady, as your knowledge and wisdom in matters of the soul have always guided me true. It is also you whom I best guess would understand such happenings as these I will in turn tell.)

It began with a dream.

I found myself in a great mist, and as I moved forth, a clearing appeared surrounded by dense jungle. There was a glow before me of such brightness it very well blinded thee to stare directly into it. Shielding mine eyes, the glow lessened and my gaze turned again into it. What vision I saw brought a thunderous strike through my heart. For it were two white horses locked in copulatory mount; the stallion a mighty winged Pegasus, and the mare none other then the mythical Unicorn itself!

Thy should have felt shame from intruding into a moment of such intimate ecstasy between these holy creatures, for surely it is an offense. Yet not, thy felt nothing but a warm reception from the two, almost as if my presence was requested…

The sounds of the camp stirring awakened me.

I knew at once mine destiny called, a true vision from the gods. St. Cuthbert himself must have found me worthy to witness such a scene.  And like an arrow on a compass, my heart drew me towards a mountain in the distance. Sharing my vision with thine colleagues, they joined me as we traveling at haste towards the mountain, I suspect out of curiosity over obligation.

At the foot of the mountain, we came upon a village. Deciding to inquire stories of my destination for the climb up into the dense jungle.  We entered the inn.  I was somehow not surprised to see mine old comrade from many years prior, Incandenza- the halfling thief. He too had dreamt a vision persuading him to summon a party and journey here. This was too immediate a coincidence to be accidental, so we shared our stories with haste and passion.

Where as mine vision was one of joy and light, poor Incandenza’s was plagued with haunts. His nightmare was filled with fire, evil and death.  Particularly, our deaths…
So there WAS a trial of courage to be had!  Although his tales were most unsettling, I was burning with excitement to continue forth.  Overhearing our speech, an aged knight of impressive decoration approached us with his own curious tale.  A dream he had of leading men up the slopes of the mountain to battle an evil wizard.

In hindsight, I do regret my involving of this distinguished gentleman in our quest so blindly.  For the next morrow we entered the mouth of the volcano’s dungeon, and this man (as well as our party) was promptly spilt in two.

This is where I can recall less.  We found undead creatures and evilness about the tunnels in the mountain.  But, my Lady, at some point along the path towards that jungle clearing in my vision, I lose memory.  It was as if I was pulled into two places at once.  One where my heart beckoned and another where duty required.  Tis, I suppose, the marked burden of any Paladin; to do right and sacrifice thyself in the process… My mind comes clear again as literally I am stuck between these two places!  I hear my comrades voices echo through the darkness as I yodeled out towards them.  For I was indeed bound by some magical force from moving forward or backwards.  This is also mine first knowledge that I was no longer alone on my journey.  For along side me, arrested as well, was a soul I feel I’ve always known.  It is here, if not for mine comrades help, we would have not been saved.  Eternally displaced between two worlds.  I thanks them with all mine hearts’ blood.

Once rescued, my mare and I looked each other over.  It seemed the Pegasus and Unicorn in mine vision hath produced a magnificent offspring.  This new friend was gifted with neither the flight of its father nor the magical weapon of its mother, but without fail inherited their beauty, grace and intelligence.  For her wings were small and her horn be tiny.  Little Wings she be called.  And together our souls seem more perfect in compliment then the moon and the stars in the sky.

My Lady, you’ve know me well since my boyhood, we have spoke of the struggles of the heart in pursuit of justice, honor and truth.  This letter is writ as a thanks for your kindness and guidance.  For it seems my faith has been rewarded as this beast fills a hole of doubt in mine soul.  I return to battle now with renewed vigor.  For may evil shutter in mine presence, as together mounted we be a most mortal weapon.   Pray for mine soul for my struggle is not over, but pray please too for the enemies who will fall under mine knife, and be crushed beneath the hooves of mine wrath.

Forever Your Faithful Servant,

Sir Darius Belmont

A Guide To Orc Miniature Making…

As promised, a visual step through guide (labor excluded) of what goes into making one the many Horde Orcs, or any other miniature I’ve been carving.

Step 1: Make a Nipple.  Get your Super Sculpey out and tear a piece off!  I found about an inch of three strips is enough for most guys, for this particular one, it was more like an inch and a half.  Remember, most Mini’s are about 25 to 35mm tall from the base to the top of the head (high point, could be an arm.)  I don’t include weapons in this measurement.

Step 2: Begin Gesture.  After a good massaging of the clay, I set it on the table and start loosely exploring what the character wants to be doing.  Don’t worryabout getting in too much info, just get the feel of the action.  The final pose is formed from this initial suggestion.  I placed these two together for scaling (want him to be another big fella.)

Step 3: Bake.   Oven at temp at 275F.  Depending on thickness, its about fifteen to twenty for these.  Put them on a solid something, I like a tray with aluminum foil over it.  You don’t want the bases to bendy warp or they won’t stand right.

(*This is a good time before they go in to think about magnet imprinting on the bottom. Simply get the magnet you want and press the base onto it. When it’s hardened, it should fit right in and you can glue it securely.)


Once done, remove but be careful!! They are friggin hot.  Let them cool down then grab your Exacto.

Step 4: Carving.  Now here is the fun part, finding the figure inside the gesture.  Think about it like your freeing someone who was buried in a mudslide, or an avalanche if you like snow better.  You want to carve chunks out of where empty space is and get more careful as you get closer to the person stuck inside.  (Don’t waste your time trying to slowly scratch away the giant space between the legs, crave a pie wedge to get the majority of it out then scrape it more carefully as it looks right.)  Also, remember your guy is standing on a base! Eye out where the feet will land, keeping this in mind will prevent your Mini from being torso only.  It’s also important to follow to suggestion (if it makes sense) of the gesture, don’t fight it.

Step 5: Arms.  This should be a separate post.  There’s a lot of info on just this topic.  But for the sake of this post, I’ll talk about my specific character’s weapon.  Because of his pose, a one handed weapon seemed lie the right choice. I wanted an axe, something mean looking, so I made one.  A BIG one.  Too big for my tastes, I am trying to avoid comical scaling here. As strong as this guy looks, that axe probably weighs as much as his own body.

So new axe and a shield to boot! I made the shield from a wine bottle cork. I always save them, some have different properties then others, I chose this cork because it has a real rough graininess to it. Once, the weapon is to scale and looking good, I super glue it into place. With a weapon in one hand sometimes its necessary to remove the end, stick it through fresh/soft clay then throw it back in the oven for ten minutes.  This way you have a full wrap around the hilt/grip.  I get away with just carefully carving a trench where the grip goes and glueing the weapon into that.

Step 6: Base Coat.  I Like to prime my guys with a thin base layer of paint before attaching armor and the like.  This way I can get into all the nooks and crannies that are hard to get to.  This step can also be taken before the armaments are added, but it’s your choice.

Step 7: Armor.  So with the Orcs I’ve been using mostly thin copper sheeting. With some embossing work put into it, you get some great textures and shapes happening. All armor is cut to shape and scale on model, so make it count.  There’s a lot of labor lost if you screw this part up.

Step 8: Final Color!  Thats right, but this is probably another post all together.

Well thats the skinny, I encourage all of our team to try their hands at it.  If carving a man seems daunting, start with set props we will need during the campaign. Chests, and barrels and whatnot.

The Horde (Painted)

Reached the 20 Orc goal of the Horde.  When grouped together they look like a real tough bunch to try and get past… or away from.  Just like the Hero character’s for everyone, I’ve made low level and higher level versions for game play.  There is a shift in skin pigment, size and armor with these guys.  I think I may make 5 more female Orcs and 3 Orc Shaman just because I forgot to mix up the sex/class.

So the first grouping are the low level Orcs seen here, with lighter skin, smaller frames and a poor AC.

These are my stronger armored crew. All the armor was made from bits of sheet copper embossed to make it look studded.

Last are the Big Dogs, the Orcs that are so mean they don’t have much need for armor, just something huge to swing at you!

I still plan to paint the base stand on the different level guys separate colors, that way the DM has an easy time telling who’s who apart on the map.

Basic Combat XP

Okay – so here is the basic XP for the combat and spoils from the last two and a half sessions I ran. This tally is missing Clerical and Druidic healing in combat, as well as any of the Crit/Fumble bonuses. This also does not include XP for Bobby’s Magic Animal Adventure session (though it does include my part of that evening).

1st level: 32 orcs, half-orcs, and men-at-arms
3rd level: 3 orc guards
4th: 2 orc slavers, 5 giant ants
5th 2 guards, 1 orc assassin
6th: 5 giant weasels, Jaspers, Troll, 5 apsis (insect dudes, Doppelganger)
7th: Grumash Cleric, O’won
9th: 2 Slaver Guards

total combat XP: 17,981

ring of ?: O’won
Bracers of ?: O’won
ring of ?: Jaspers
potion of ?: Jaspers
plate armor of ?: grumash cleric
5900 gold
3 necklaces- 1000 each
3 gems- 500 each
1 gem 2000
magicy animal hides- 1500 each

total spoils XP 26981

necklaces, gems, and magic items need to be allocated to players

Combat, Gold and Magicy Animal Hides Xp for each party member:

2569 combat xp + 842 recovered gold xp + 1500 magicy animal hide Xp = 4911 XP

All players receive 4911 xp and 842 gold – this does not include gold or xp for gems or magic items, healing in battle or crit/fumble bonuses/negs. ownership to be determined at start of next session.

In addition: Murphy +300 for web spell on O’won and Jaspers and Sleep on slaver guards; and Trevor 500 for journal entry

Barbaric Greed

(posted by infravision on behalf of beerboxrobot)

So Vorschlapt, completely dishartend by the fact that the crew let some whack job magic user go, armed to the teeth, while i was taking my customary mid-battle dump, promptly wiped my ass on the fallen (by combining my spring attack and a dogie butt-scoot maneuver) and promptly chased after him. The crew chose not to follow. Being of immense strength and agility i quickly caught up to him and relieved him of his utterly distasteful magical possessions. As i stuffing the robes in his mouth and tying a knot around his head an assassin came out of hiding and stabbed me in the back while the accosted got me with shocking grasp doing a fair amount of damage. Being of barbarian nature im not used to being surprised. Feeling overwhelmed i did the very unbarbarian like thing and ran twords my crew screaming help like a little girl. As if to help me save face the wizard cast web on me to stop me from fleeing and remind me that killing such magic users is worth death. Thinking a small child was in danger the group came to my rescue. Upon seeing the murderous mob the assassin cast invisibility and vanished saying some spiteful thing or another. Adrionous in all his glory threw a web spell right back twords him. As of now the web spell is in mid-air as is the fates of the team, the slaves were trying to rescue and the lone Hammer Brother we found.

ORCS ATTACK!! (unpainted)

So over the course of the last few days I’ve been cranking out our most recent enemy. Orcs! I’ve armed them but haven’t given them armor and clothes yet.  Right now I think there are a dozen, but the plan is to have at least 20.  Some big fellas and some of those scrawnier half-man orcs. When placed along side our heros, the size ratio should be correct.  Tallest orc stands at 35mm.

The next batch of these guys I’ll document the sculptural process of discovery; from the rough mold bake all the way to the final paint.

Anyway, in the process of photographing all the miniatures that have been made so far (over 70 in about 4 weeks!) and will post those once I wrap up this latest gig.


Introduction to “The Kitchens of Paunchswell”

These are the DM notes to Richard Ellwood’s fuckingfantasticallyawesome Kitchens of Paunchswell adventure. He sent them to me last year because I could not shut up about said fuckingfantasticallyawesome sessions. Table consisted of Trevor, Marcel and myself. I just wanted to share these notes for all their zany brilliance.
Notes are after the jump:

Class Specific Fumbles


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Fumbles happen on a roll of 1 on a D20

Fighter – Weapon drop. You have butterfingers. You got to pick it up next turn.
Paladin – Hubris. You boast and make a flamboyant but ineffective attack. -2 AC this turn.
Ranger – Bird watcher. Is that a rare bramble-toed wood owl? -2 to all rolls next turn due to distraction.
Cleric – Momentary lapse of faith. Why would a good god create a world with orcs and zombies? No spells next turn.
Druid – Roadkill. You have stepped on a bug or rodent or lizard or something. You feel guilt and shame, and a momentary disconnect from mother earth. No spells next turn.
Magic User – Memory lapse. Roll random spell. 50% chance your forget it, 50% chance you accidentally cast it while sneezing.
Illusionist – the Job. One of your memorized spells goes off at random.
Thief – Wallet drop. Drops an item at random from his inventory.
Assassin – Go boom. You fall to the ground and make a loud crash.
Monk – Finger jam. Your attack jams your wrist or finger or toe or something. Take D2 damage.
Barbarian – Verbiage. The barbarian says a word with 3 or more syllables. Any party members within 20′ must save vs. paralyzation or receive -1 to AC for the rest of the turn.

Rewards of Experience: Slave Pits of the Undercity (sessions 1 and 2)

How Experience is Granted: Have You Ever Been Experienced? ~ A Disclaimer

XP is meted out in Five Ways:

    • Defeating Monsters and/or Enemies: This is mitigated by opponent’s number of hit points, hit die, and special abilities. Total is divided by number of party members even remotely involved in combat. House Rule (for as long as I am DMing): Starting next session~ Natural 20s in combat grant 100 XP to next session. Fumbles grant Negative 50 XP for next award session.  Saving Throw rolls do not apply.
    • Gold: Players are granted additional XP for every gold or gold value they receive during a session. This is not divided amongst the party. If 1000 gold pieces are found, and the finder shares this with the rest of the party, each member would receive their share in gold And Xp. If a gem worth 1000 gold is found, that player who has the gem receives the 1000 XP and no one else. (edit) Recovering Magic Items gives experience, but Magic Items do not grant Gold Worth in XP unless sold. If these are sold, then gold-XP can be awarded with the following formula: sale-price minus the experience for recovering the magic item in the first place = xp earned for selling a magic item.
    • Class Specific Behavior and Actions: Fighters should do well in combat and protect the weaker members of the party; Barbarians should be barbarous and use their outdoor abilities when applicable; Paladins must uphold the causes of Law and Good, and must be honorable; Clerics should act under the tenants of their faith, heal in combat and repel/control the undead; Druids should act in accordance with nature, protect animals and heal in combat; Thieves must be thiefy; magic users should use the right spell at the right time; Monks should act thiefy at times and uphold the tenants of their order. These awards are subject to the DM’s judgement and take into account setting and threat level.
    • Novel Solutions: Coming up with an original solution to a problem can earn XP. Additionally, the modules also sometimes have specific actions that are rewarded.
    • Journals: (House Rule) Every player will receive 500 XP for their first in character journal entry on the boards per level. After that, journaling players will receive 20 x Character Level in XP per journal entry with a minimum of 200 words. Pictures are not worth 1000 words, but 100, and must be accompanied by at least 100 words of text to count as a journal entry. (edit) Original art posted without the additional 100 words of text receives full 20 x Character Level bonus, but does not count toward the 500 xp per level journal entry. Only one journal entry per session of play will be awarded XP- this is not retroactive.   For example: Belmont is level 4. He will receive 500 XP for his recent journal entry. If he posts another entry he will receive 80 XP (level 4 x 20). Once he reaches level 5, his first journal entry will be worth 500 XP, and others after that will receive 100 (level 5 x 20) until Level 6, and so on. 

Session 1:

    Alex, Bobby, Jim,  Maher (Samhein), Matt, Murphy, Trevor

5 skeletons
8 1st level half-orcs
3 3rd level orcs
2 4th level orc
4 harpies

Encounter XP:
285 experience each + individual rewards

Adrionus: +100 for timely Sleep spell
+200 for effective Web
Sancho: 50 for picking off Skeletons

Additional XP: Darius Belmont– 500 XP for initial journal entry on Ojai Gaming Boards (all players will receive 500 XP for an initial in-character journal entry)

Treasure XP: whoever searched the guard for keys to unlock the slaves found a gem worth 1000 gold. Was this Jim? Disputes will be settled by a roll off at the beginning of the next session. Winner of the dispute (if there is one) receives the gem and an additional 1000 XP.


Session 2: Alec, Bobby, Dustin (Samhein 1/2 XP), Jim, Junior, Matt, Trevor

17 1st level half-orcs
3 1st level orcs
3 3rc level half-orcs
4 4th level half-orcs
1 7th level half-orc
8 ghouls
2 ghasts

Encounter XP: 390 each + individual rewards

Bronzefist: +80 for attempting to find trap on secret door
Cassandra: +110 for turning ghoul; +10 xp per hit point healed during melee. we will roll at next session to approximate
Darius: +100 for sweet Double Impale on Nat 20
Pele: 170 for ghouls turned; +10 xp per hit point healed during melee. we will roll at next session to approximate
+10 xp per hit point healed during melee
Sancho:  +10 xp per hit point healed during melee. we will roll at next session to approximate
Vorshlapt: +100 for Blender Mode

Treasure XP:

Sancho gets recovered gold in XP; a sweet short sword
Six players found a potion and six gems. Gems are worth 500 gold each and thus 500xp each.


Totals: (Not including one 1000 gp gem or Hit Points healed in melee for the Clerics and Druid, also will alot XP for a few items found)

  • Adrionus: session 1 yields 585 XP (edit: plus 500 additional XP for past crayon postings) new total: 1085
  • Bronzefist: session 1 and 2 yield 1270 XP
  • Cassandra: session 1 and 2 yield 1285  XP+ healing in combat
  • Darius: session 1 and 2 yield 1775 XP
  • Pele: session 2 yields 1060 XP + healing in combat
  • Samhein: session 1 and 1/2 of 2: 485 XP
  • Sancho: session 1 and 2 yield 1240 XP plus healing in combat
  • Vorschlaaapt: session 1 and 2 yield 1290 XP

Honor Hath Arrived

Lord Belmont,

Thy hope this letter reaches thee in strong health, Cutberth willing.

As thee requested, this be an account of the investigation into the fate of the Brothers Hammer. As of yet, there be no evidence I hath detect of their whereabouts. For this land I am immersed in is writhe with danger of the vilest scale, hostile to a noble soul as I. Fear not, my lance stands erect and ready to impale its shaft into the slightest evil in search of the truth!

Traveling with my man-orc companion Vorschlap, I hath made contact with the emissaries of the Circle Seven. A small gnome of wise wisdom shared his knowledge with me of the slavers and the pact of followers of the good gods against them. With great joy I am reunited with some of thine old friends with whom last journeyed, as well as newly acquainted with a few fresh souls of a noble, but odd nature.

Foremost amongst them, the Elvish wizard who was our original witness to the demise of the Hammer Brothers. (Thy cannot pronounce his name for every time he speaketh it to mine person it be in Elvish!) This must be Cutberth’s will! For this small fellow who once ran from battle upon the regular seems to have doubled his power if the arcane, though not courage. This elf also conjures a hardy Meat pie the likes of which even the Mistress Belmont would relish inside her moist lips!

Also amongst thy companions the Druid of Latin Blood, Señor Sancho, whom seems to have grown deadly with blade. It must be so his Druidical knowledge is throbbing ripe as thee has plowed deeper roots into the bosom of the earth-goddess to obtain her secrets. His boots tell a similar tale… Truly the most extravagant dress of our party!

It is now I must again speak of the admiration I have of Sir Vorschlap, a man-orc of immense strength and battle prowess. Although a heathen in manner, his warrior nature is not dissimilar to mine own. Personally I look forward to pressing mine back against his as the girth if our manly weapons comes forth for the world to admire.  It is luck of us all we stand together.

Me newer companions are a peculiar bunch… there be the Mature Monk, Brother Bronzefist. A noble and kind man of dark complexion, I admire his vow of unarmoredness. Especially when faced with such a horde as these slavers! Lo, must he hath knowledge pertinent to continued breath nor would such an age be obtained. For under the gentle exterior me senses a frightening ferociousness. Lest me not forget his donkey, a warm reminder of the early days of mine youth spent on the farm, before being adopted into squirehood by you my lord.

There be a one-eyed cleric lady of striking beauty. Her doings baffle mine wisdom, for she consults the advice of dice when questions of fate arise! Thy understands Cutberth’s teachings as be straight forward indeed, albeit die my lord? Maybe the loss of her eye has lost her half her mind’s sight in addition? This brew odd feelings inside mine soul, for she is truly a vision of glory when she stroketh wild a flail in her hands.

They tell me my old friend Cleric Péle traveled with the party across the great river and is feared drowned during a ship wreck, murdered by mermen… This does not ring true in my heart of his demise, I have faith Cutberth has kept him safe from harm as I have faith he has done the same for the Brothers Hammer.

The wise gnome gifted us with powerful magical gifts to use against the slavers. In turn, we have all sworn an a scared oath to our gods swearing those weapons use against thine enemies.  With this message me informs you if our plot. For with haste in the morn we head towards the slavers temple… My courage pulses through my cudgel and mine heart beats hard throughout mine lance. The smell of battle draws near, and the blood of the wicked shall be smote upon the earth.

To Glory! Blessed be the wrath of Cutberth!

Sir Darius Belmont

Hirelings A-Z: Herald


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Heralds may make proclamations and prepared statements on behalf of a character. Heralds may be used to introduce a character,  along with any titles and achievements, as they enter a room. Characters receive a temporary +1 to Charisma with those present for the introduction. Heralds can also act as a Master of Ceremonies while a character holds court (Use herald’s Cha. when “holding court”). Charisma is always a herald’s highest stat. Heralds cost 6 GP weekly.

Hirelings A-Z: Falconer


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A falconer is a master of directing hawks for use in hunting. Falconers cost D6+5 GP per month. Having a falconer gives an effective +1 Charisma while participating in any hunt, do to the prestige associated with it.

After hiring, roll the following:
5 in 6 chance of being able falcon trainer
4 in 6 chance of being able falcon breeder
3 in 6 chance of being able falcon trapper
2 in 6 chance of being able horseman
1 in 6 chance of being a level D6 Fighter

Hirelings A-Z: Ditcher


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Ditchers are laborers who dig castle moats and building foundations. They are a necessary step in establishing a stronghold. The going rate for ditching in normal soil is 1 gold to hire on, plus 1 silver per cubic foot dug, and 2 gold when the job is finished. Ditchers will rarely travel with a party, however they may be hired on at a stronghold in other capacities.

If Ditching is required in hard clay soil, sand, granite or some other difficult terrain, prices rise accordingly.  And specialists may be necessary.

Zombies make excellent ditchers if the PC’s alignment allows for that sort of thing. There is no monetary cost for zombie ditchers and though they dig more slowly than living counterparts, as they have no need for rest, the per day effect is the same. The moral/alignment cost is a different matter.

Hirelings A-Z: Camp Follower


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A camp-follower is a civilian who travels with a party or military unit from place to place, usually as a prostitute. Camp followers may be male or female, and though they may have children with them, the children may not serve as “camp followers,” per se. Camp followers raise hireling and henchmen morale (the degree of which depends on the camp follower to party-size ratio).

Base Price: 10 gold per week (human) ((specialists will cost more so prices may vary))


half-orcs  – 5 g. per week

gnomes -15 g. per week

dwarf, elf, half elf, halfling – 20 g. per week

Hirelings A-Z: Bravo


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A bravo is a low level man-at-arms. The bravo acts as an enforcer or thug, willing to threaten or beat others at their employer’s order. They are bullies, however, and require morale checks at -4 to attack dangerous monsters or armed characters. A bravo is never lawful, and rarely of good alignment.

Bravo (50% chance Thief or Fighter, D3 Level): 5 gp weekly

Hirelings A-Z: Almoner


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An almoner is a cleric that distributes cash to the poor. Characters that are required to relinquish their wealth may do so through their almoner as well as through their religious/monastic organization. Having an active almoner will spread the renown of the PC as a Good and Lawful person.

Almoner (Level D2 Cleric): 20gp per month. Requires at least 50gp per month to distribute.