Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Taking a short break from blogging.

The blog has been rolling along quite well sine November 11th of 2018. I'm still enthusiastic about maintaining it and will be posting more in the near future. For now I want to take a short break to build up my list of blog subjects before returning to regular posting.

Thanks!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Magic Item: Gong of the Herald

Gong of the Herald

Struck to announce the arrival of a person of importance, this enchanted gong works to pacify potentially hostile audiences. The gong can be heard to a distance of 200 feet when struck, and causes non-elves and creatures above intelligence 5 to be charmed into peacefulness for 1 round on a failed save vs magic item. Attacking a charmed subject immediately breaks the effect.

The user and allies are unaffected by use of the gong.



Saturday, February 23, 2019

Magic Item: Jeffry's Sock of Filtering

Jeffry's Sock of Filtering

This unique item is the long lost sock belonging to the halfling, Jeffry. It has become imbued with the ability to filter harmful toxins from anything poured through it such as making coffee through it. Any poisons of significance will be removed by the sock.

Drawback: All liquids filtered through the dirty sock smell like sweaty feet.

Jeffry doesn't miss the sock, he has more, and  continues making coffee with them when travelling on adventures.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

New Spell: Sandstone

Sandstone

Level: 1
Range: 30'
Duration: 1 round per caster level

The caster throws a small piece of sandstone at the target. On a hit the target takes 1d3 damage and suffers penalties of -1 to armor class, attack rolls, and a 5' reduction of movement due to the severe discomfort of sand within its clothing or caked to its skin.

The penalties are ineffective against oozes, elementals, undead, and constructs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sepulchre of the Bronze Legion: Room 6



Room 6:
Laid to rest here is the majority of the Legion's swordsman and officers. The sarcophagus contains the remains of the commander, waiting for the time when the Legion is called to fight again.

The commander is wearing bronze breast plate, grieves and bracers in perfect condition. He is wielding a bronze long sword and bears a bronze shield.

Upon the sarcophagus is the Legion Seal, a symbol of a bronze shield crossed by sword and spear. If this is taken from the lid skeletons from every room will begin to rise to pursue and slay the thieves.

In the Southwest corner is a door with a clockwork mechanism. It can be opened once the procedure is determined (easy task).

In the Southeast corner is a secret door leading south.

Full Map:



Friday, February 15, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Sepulchre of the Bronze Legion: Room 2


Room 2:
In the secluded corner of this room is a burial niche containing a bronze shield in perfect condition. Beneath the shield of a trap that will launch a poisonous powder at anyone disturbing the shield. The trap will affect anyone in the secluded corner.

Full Map:

Monday, February 11, 2019

Sepulchre of the Bronze Legion: Room 1

Renowned for their skill and resolve in battle, the Bronze Legion built their own secret burial chambers. Here their dead are together in death as they were in life, ready to fight enemies that threaten them.

This is the third mini dungeon of an ongoing series that will be posted, built using Dwarven Forge terrain. The full map is at the bottom of the post.




Room 1: Pool of the Dead
This room is cold, barely above freezing. In the center of the room is a pool fed from an icy spring. It is fresh and clean. Marching in a line around the perimeter of the circular room are three skeletons armed with spears. They will ignore visitors unless they are attacked or thieves have stolen the Legion Seal from room 6.

Full Map:



Saturday, February 9, 2019

Federation Commander

I had the pleasure of recently introducing my brother to Federation Commander. He was slightly familiar with its older sibling Starfleet Battles so the learning curve was practically painless.

We played the Doomsday Weapon scenario using two fleet sized ships against the squadron sized Doomsday Weapon. I know from experience that this match-up can be won by the ships, but it isn't easy. I gave Joe the ships so he could experience a variety of the game's mechanics in play.

Joe made a major tactical error and immediately put his ships in front of the weapon, a very Star Trek Original Show thing to do, but in the game, suicidal. His weapons barely scratched the weapon and then he felt the wrath of the return volley. One of his two ships was destroyed by a single volley from the Doomsday Weapon.

We had a lot of fun working our way through the Damage Allocation Chart marking off system after system until all of the frame boxes were marked off and the ship completely destroyed.

Since this was a familiarization exercise it served to help teach him the basics of the game and refresh my knowledge. I'm now looking forward to teaching others and getting into some good tactical matches.

If you are a fan of table top tactical games, and a fan of Star Trek, I highly recommend getting Federation Commander and getting your gaming group to play.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

YouTube Viewing

I recently began watching Matt Colville's D&D videos on YouTube. As well as his campaign diaries and assorted other topical discussions he has a  series called Running the Game. Running the Game is both interesting and educational, full of great advice and ideas for use in your game. While the series is primarily focused on the current 5th edition of D&D, the ideas and  DM techniques work for any edition.

I highly recommend Matt's videos for novice and veteran DMs alike.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Gaming Conventions and Guests of Honor: Why?

It is traditional for most conventions to have one or more guests of honor in attendance. The primary reason is to draw more attendance to the convention to bolster ticket sales. Star Trek or other science fiction conventions have celebrities directly tied to the franchise in question, for example Bill Shatner for Star Trek. Who does gaming have that would have that level of star power to bring in people that wouldn't otherwise be coming there to play games?

Over the past few years more celebrities from TV and Movies have acknowledged publicly that they are one with nerd culture and either did game or still game. This is definitely a great thing for the hobby which seems to be growing rapidly, but could their presence at a game convention be enough to entice more attendance and non-gamers to come out to the convention? Who do we have that makes sense to invite as a guest of honor to gaming conventions?

These questions are based on two factors: 1) financial bottom line, and 2) boosting participation in the hobby. For 1 you only need to draw enough people to show up, pay admittance to see the guest, and not fall short of break even to cover the expense. For 2) you need someone whose drawing power and influence can convert non-gamers into gamers. Ideally the guest of honor should be able to accomplish both goals.

The objectives of financial draw and participation increase do seem to be growing in likelihood as more stars open up about the hobby, but do game conventions need them? The answer may be, not yet. Perhaps after a couple more years and more popular, high profile figures make themselves known as gamers, the hobby will have gained potential guests of honor that can reliably help conventions.  Still to be answered is why would they be needed and maybe they aren't.

Game conventions already draw dedicated followings that come to directly participate and not for any other purpose, so maybe enlisting star power, even those within the industry of the hobby isn't necessary. Still, the larger conventions do have guests of honor. It is up to the convention runners to tell us if the benefits exist or if this is just a way to say thank you to the people who designed or otherwise helped grow the hobby.




Sunday, February 3, 2019

Magic Item: Wand of Frost Barrier

Wand of Frost Barrier

This wand creates a 5 foot wide by 15 foot long barrier of deadly cold. Creatures standing within or passing through the area suffer 2d4 damage. The wand has a range of 60 feet. When found the wand will have 2d4 charges remaining.

(See The Halls of Mugg the Mad in previous posts)
Example of wand.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Magic Item: Bracers of Bashing

Bracers of Bashing

This pair of thick leather bracers are heavy and lack decoration. The magic within serves a simple purpose, to make the wearer's melee and thrown ranged attacks far more lethal when using blunt weapons. Add 1d4 damage to attacks with blunt weapons including unarmed attacks.

(See The Halls of Mugg the Mad in previous posts.)

Example of bracer.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Halls of Mugg the Mad: Room 6

Room 6: The Portrait Vault

Within this locked chamber, hung on the surrounding walls are 11 portraits in fancy gilded frames. The treasure illustrates just how mad Mugg truly is or was. Total value = 1,000 gold pieces for the frames, and it is unlikely anyone would see the actual portraits as having value.

The portraits include a large eyed kitten, dogs playing poker, two farmers with the heads of weasels, a knight mounted on a flail snail, and various other bizarre images.

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Halls of Mugg the Mad: Room 5 and secret hallway

This image shows Room 2 leading into both Room 5 and the secret hallway, and in the backgroud you can see part of Room 6.

Secret Hallway - Halfway along the hall is a covered 10' pit trap, standard detection chances. The other secret door is behind the throne.

Room 5: Mugg's throne room.

This grand chamber has a high vaulted ceiling supported by 4 huge marble pillars. Occupying the room are the following:

Mugg the Mad, Ogre, 5HD, maximum hit points. He wears a 500 gold piece valued necklace, has a pocket full of flawed pearls (total 75 gp value) that he uses like marbles to foil the footing of enemies, and he wears BRACERS OF BASHING (to be detailed in an upcoming post).

There are 3 bugbear guards, 3+1 HD each, hitpoints 15 each. One wears chainmail +1, another has a scroll of healing he will use on Mugg if needed, and the third has 11 silver pieces.

Also present are 7 goblins, one of which will use a WAND OF FROST BARRIER with 6 charges (to be detailed in an upcoming post). The goblins have a combined 15 copper pieces.

There is a metal door leading to Room 6.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Halls of Mugg the Mad: Rooms 3&4

Here are rooms 3 and 4 of The Halls of Mugg the Mad.
Room 3: Prison
There is a single goblin guard here along with a human prisoner kept in the oubliette. The goblin has 2 copper pieces.

Room 4: Worg Lair
The 2 Worgs have made a lair of the oubliette which has been broken open. There are also 3 goblins present. Treasure totals 33 copper pieces and 2 silver pieces. The room is also littered with bone fragments.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Halls of Mugg the Mad: Room 2

This is the small ante-chamber that leads from Room 1 to Room 5.

Room 2: Ante-chamber
The room is cluttered with stacks of crates and barrels filled with rotting food, stale water, and moth eaten clothing.

Hidden behind a barrel sits a goblin guard that if undetected will wait until the party enters Room 5 and then will attack from behind.

In the pocket of a vest can be found a silver bracelet worth 25 silver pieces.

There is a secret door in the right hand corner to the right of the door that leads into Room 5, to a hidden hallway.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Halls of Mugg the Mad: Room 1

This is the dungeon based on the image I drew for one of the mugs available in my zazzle store (link in upper right of web page, not shown on mobile version of blog).

 Original map
Room 1

Room 1: Entrance Hall
This large room 50' x 40' smells strongly of urine and feces. It contains a large statue of a hammer wielding dwarf that has been defaced and used as a guarderobe by the inhabitants. The floor is littered with bones among which can be found a silver ring worth 12 copper pieces.

The door to Room 2 is locked.
The door to the hallway is not locked.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

New Spell: Tar and Feather

Tar and Feather

Level: 1
Range: 10' plus 10' per caster level above 1st
Duration: 1 week plus 1 week per caster level above 1st

This minor curse causes no harm aside from causing the subject to become covered in a sticky tar and coated in chicken feathers for the duration. Remove curse ends the affliction or the subject may wait out the duration.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Dear Readers

Two days ago my viewer numbers suddenly dropped by 80% and have remained down through this morning. I checked my audience and sources to discover that entire regions are no longer showing up as visiting the blog. Most of Eastern Europe, South America, and a big chunk of Asia have dropped off the list as well as some other nations. This is very strange. Does anyone have any insight that might help clue me in to why this has happened?

Meanwhile the blog can use more viewers. Please send your friends to the blog and if they like it please have them pass it along to others. It would be nice to build the audience again.

Thanks,

OSRbaron

Friday, January 18, 2019

Mutants & Masterminds: My previous campaign logs.

Charm City Campaign: Mutants & Masterminds
Charm City Overview:
So that you don’t start reading the campaign logs from my Mutants & Masterminds campaign totally blind I am offering a little information to help set the tone and give readers a feel for the world and the characters.

THE PCs: All PL10
Alchemy – Alec Holgate. A scientist and mutant. Transmutation due to nanotech infusion combined with absorption and some other talents.
Themis – Helen Troya. Named for a Greek titan. Powers of flight, super strength, and the ability to temporarily steal the powers of others.
Shield – Peter Evans. Wealthy sponsor of the team’s financial needs. A speedster and powerful empathic healer. Able to regenerate.
Dr. Prometheus – The real Prometheus of myth. An immortal, and a wielder of cosmic power.
Pagan – Aya Cade. Precognitive/Postcognitive, telepath.

At some later point I will post character sheets for the PCs. I gave the players the first 3 or 4 sessions to solidify their character information since we’re all getting used to the new system. We’ve only played three sessions so far and I’m only halfway done writing up session #1.
The group is still debating a team name.

THE WORLD
The Charm City campaign takes place in an alternate universe from our own in what in our world would be Baltimore City. Things are a bit different, not just because of the existence of super powered beings, but in other not so obvious ways.

The campaign style is somewhere between 4-color comic and grim & gritty with elements of each extreme mixed in at the appropriate times. Heroes are expected to act the part and not indiscriminately butcher foes or disregard the property of others … but with all things nobody and nothing is perfect.

In the universe of Charm City there are some important setting elements at play in shaping the present world. Those will be detailed below with a discussion of how they affect past and current events. A brief timeline is included to help explain how some events came about.

Metahumans have been around for a long time in many forms. How they get their powers is always a debate, but it is now accepted that these strange abilities have many sources, not a single definable event.



TIMELINE:
1977 – There had been long debate in the United Nations about the involvement of metahumans in the national militaries and thus international conflicts for several years after the end of the Vietnam War. Several incidents involving powered individuals serving in national militaries in numerous locations around the globe were seen as nearly igniting World War III. Over the course of several months the U.N. created and passed a measure designed to defuse the tension.

1978 - The Metahuman Non-Militarization Resolution went into full effect, banning the use of powered individuals in national militaries and authorized heavy economic and potential military sanctions against nations found to be in violation. Use of metahumans in civil law enforcement was left as an exception to the rule. The purpose of the measure was to prevent a metahuman arms race that would rival and maybe exceed the dangers of the nuclear arms race already threatening the globe. A side effect of this measure was that few nations would be willing to authorize a U.N. sponsored team of metahumans, citing national sovereignty issues, thus to date, no sanctioned U.N. team exists.

1980 – An attempt to rescue hostages held in Iran failed. Although never publicly acknowledged, there was some speculation that a metahuman among the ranks of Muslim extremists was to blame. This has mostly been discounted.

1985 – World famous scientist Alburt Tesling put forward his theory that this universe was one of many along strands of universes, much like strands of DNA, issuing from junction universes. The theory postulates that this world is approximately the 19th along a branch strand possibly 24 universes long. Using the Greek alphabet he labeled this universe Tau, and thus this planet Earth Tau or Earth-T.
Later that year he was presumed dead when an implosion occurred at his lab. His lab was permanently sealed by the government and his body was never recovered.

1986 – Public outcry and increasing amounts of litigation in the United States lead to Federal and State governments requiring insurance companies to devise and offer some form of Metahuman Disaster insurance.
The protection is often in the form of additional coverage offered along with home, business, car, and medical insurance. Also insurance is offered to government agencies. A form of liability insurance is offered for metahumans to buy if they choose to cover for their own actions. Only a few are known to have purchased the liability coverage, but there are very active advertising campaigns trying to encourage more powered individuals to do so “for the good of their neighbors and the country”.
Any metahuman organization with an operating headquarters may be required by law to carry liability coverage depending on the laws in the municipality or state in which they operate. Some zoning laws also include clauses concerning such requirements.

1993 – The Libertarian, a powered individual known for his fervent anti-war protesting and espousing of free-love/free drugs in the late 1960’s, gave his life absorbing most of the blast damage from the truck bomb used by terrorists to attack the World Trade Center in New York. He saved thousands of lives with his last heroic act and despite never having been fondly thought of by “the establishment”, was given a funeral with national honors and international television coverage.
He was age 49 and a stock broker at the time of the event.

2001 – September 11th, terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into both towers of the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon. A 4th plane was downed in Pennsylvania before it could strike any buildings. None of the known precognitive metahumans has admitted to pre-knowledge of the event, and no post-cognitive seems to have learned much from any of the debris at the sites.

2002 – October 31st, After two years of work a six story hexagonal black glass tower was completed atop the site of Fort Carroll in the harbor. The property of wealthy industrialist Nathan Alexander Black, this was not only the new headquarters for his businesses, but his home as well. The top floor holds his penthouse. Below the main six floors, in what used to be the fort are 4 more floors below the surface. Tunnels that had been below the fort since before the Civil War have been renovated and a tram-shuttle put in place to move workers to and from the shorelines. At the outset of the project, a number of organizations favoring historical preservation over development had protested and engaged Mr. Black in court battles. He won handily after the primary movers & shakers in the protest group were discovered to be part of a child pornography ring. Support for blocking development evaporated and the project began. To show his understanding for the concern of those whose interest was preserving history, Mr. Black had the first above-ground floor, and his reception lobby arranged as a museum dedicated to the history of Fort Carroll and its builders. Some still scoff at the project referring to it by several derogatory names (Tower of Doom, Dark Tower, Black Fortress, etc).
Nathan Alexander Black is owner and CEO of Modern Idea Company, Inc. which is a conglomerate of smaller companies in numerous fields.

2003 – January 5th, Work is completed on the new headquarters building on Pier 5. The newly formed and as yet unnamed team of heroes begins preparing it for use. Peter Evans the financial sponsor of the new team begins paying liability insurance for all homes, and private businesses within an 8 block radius of the building.






Starting Game Play Date: January 24th 2003
Issue #1: Testing Grounds Part 1
January 24, 2003 9:15am. The morning air was a frigid 9 degrees with winds making it feel near zero. Reports were beginning to pour in over radio and television news sources that a hostage situation was in progress. A two car Light Rail train had been taken over at the Hunt Valley rail stop.
---------------------------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS:
“This is Olivia Earhardt of Channel 12 News reporting live from Hunt Valley. Fifteen minutes ago an unknown number of armed men took control of two Light Rail cars. Police have cordoned off and begun evacuations in the area surrounding the Hunt Valley Light Rail stop. Reports indicate that the train was occupied primarily by elementary school children from York, Pennsylvania on a field trip to visit the National Aquarium in downtown Charm City. Information is limited, but we do have confirmation that paramedics have taken the train’s engineer, identified as Martin Wells, to Shock/Trauma after he was shot and thrown from the lead car. Mr. Wells is reported to be unconscious and in critical condition.”
------------------------------------------------------
Work at the construction site near North Avenue was progressing well despite the deep cold and biting wind. No high work was being done, but Calvert & Son’s Construction Company always made some kind of progress even if it was just preparing for the next part of the job or restocking supplies. Mr. Calvert would have it no other way.

Helen Troya was taking a 100lb crate of rivets from the back of the foreman’s pick-up truck when she heard the radio report through the open truck door. If she flew she could be there in minutes. She knew it wouldn’t take long for her new-found teammates to converge so she excused herself claiming she wasn’t feeling well.

Alec Holgate’s morning started much like any other. He sat scanning the web from a seat in the back of BagelDotCom, a cozy internet cafĂ© near his small apartment. He put down his still warm coffee and took a long drag on his cigarette. He could feel the tingle in his lungs and throat as the nanotech infusing his body attacked the smoke changing it to oxygen. “All the benefits of nicotine, none of the harmful side effects” he thought. The itching used to drive him to distraction, but now it was second nature, no more scratching at his chest till it bled. Exhaling a puff of fine white smoke with the scent of fresh spring grass, he reached for the marmalade. That’s when he got the news report and knew his day was about to change.
Quickly wrapping the last of his bagel Alec headed out the door. If he was quick he might reach the construction site down the street where he knew Themis worked in her civilian identity.

Thirty students sat wide-eyed and attentive in the lecture hall listening to their unusual philosophy professor talk as if he personally knew Socrates. In fact, Dr. Prometheus did personally know Socrates. When you’re immortal these things are possible.
 This would be a day of interruptions of schedule. An excited student burst through the lecture hall door and breathily announced the breaking news to the class, obviously meaning the information for Dr. Prometheus. Class was ending so the Doctor dismissed everyone and made for his office to check the police scanner he kept there. His thoughts were interrupted when he discovered his office wasn’t empty.

Aya Cade sat perched atop the small desk in the good Doctor’s office in Hopkins University. She had skipped class this morning. Her visions had indicated something important about to happen and she knew better than to ignore her feelings. She had taken a couple of buses to get here from Towson University where she attended school. She would need his abilities to get the team into place to deal with whatever it was that was coming.
“We need to get Themis and Alchemy. They’ll be waiting a block away from the construction site on North Avenue.” She said as his door opened admitting Dr. Prometheus’ silvery clad form. Moments later they were airborne and preparing to teleport. “For someone so young”, Prometheus remarked, “You certainly know how to make an entrance, Pagan.”

9:28am
-------------------------------------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS:
We now return you to Marshal Stuart of Channel 7 Action News live from the scene of the hostage crisis in Hunt Valley.

“The latest information indicates that numerous demands have been issued by the hostage takers. Among the demands is a request for a new engineer to drive the train uninterrupted to the airport. At that juncture a shuttle bus is expected to be waiting which will transfer the hostages and their captors to a fueled and ready Boeing 747 with only a pilot and co-pilot. Threats have been issued that any deviation from this plan and any interference from authorities or metahumans will result in the death of many of the children being held hostage. Their goal seems to be securing the release of nearly two dozen of the terrorists being held in Cuba by the U.S. military.”
--------------------------------------------------------------

9:29am
Four heroes have assembled atop the Lifecare Insurance building near the Hunt Valley Light Rail stop where the train sits waiting. Peering cautiously over the edge trying to see into the train without being noticed, the heroes spot a multi-colored rainbow of parasols being pressed against the windows, blocking the interior from clear view.
A lone figure in the uniform of a Mass Transit engineer nervously approaches the lead car along the boarding platform, his hands held above his head.
Pagan reaches out and touches his mind telepathically and reassures him that things will be fine. “I need you to actively think about what you see as you board the train. I’ll be in your mind listening to your thoughts.” She learns his name “Charles Branch” and again assures him things will be okay.
The doors open and a pistol can be seen pointing at the frightened engineer’s head and a voice is heard urging him to get on. Whispering to her teammates Pagan conveys Charles Branch’s thoughts. “Being told to wear blindfold, not to look around. Gun in my face, oh God. Children crying. Please don’t shoot me. Okay, I’m going, can’t see, must be control cabin. Being shoved into chair, told to take off blindfold and get ready to drive. No, I won’t look around I’ll do what you say. Oh God, please don’t shoot me.”
“How many criminals did he notice?” Dr. Prometheus was already weighing plans, but the information didn’t seem promising. Perhaps, he thought, we should wait for the transfer to the shuttle bus at the airport when fewer hostages will be around them.
“One, but he was hustled up front quickly and he’s very scared. I’ll try to slip into the terrorist’s mind” she trailed off as Themis pointed out the terrorist crouching low in the cabin to avoid detection by snipers.
As Pagan began concentrating on plunging into the mind of the terrorist, the rest of the team began planning an assault strategy. Children were at risk and they felt they couldn’t wait for a transfer. Dr. Prometheus had spotted an area just behind the control cabin door where he could teleport the entire team inside to begin the assault.
Hatred, pure unfiltered hatred bolstered by a zealous faith that no matter what, the rewards of Heaven would be his for his devotion and for doing this deed. Pagan felt overwhelmed and in merely an instant, though she felt sure she had reached his subconscious mind, she was pushed out as if a door had been rudely slammed in her face.
[The terrorist made his roll by one to eject her from his mind.]
Gathering their wits the team prepared to teleport just as the train beneath them began to move away from the platform.
SURPRISE ROUND: (note: in the excitement of our first combat, I neglected to hold the surprise round to half actions thus making this a full round for our heroes. There was a slight chance had it been done right that a terrorist might have gotten off a shot in the next full round, but not much chance as you will soon see.)
The slight lurch as the train began forward covered nicely for the entrance of the four heroes. The terrorists, their attention elsewhere, took no notice of the sudden appearance of the costumed individuals.
Alchemy enacted his part of the plan immediately, transmuting a section of the thin control cabin wall from in front of him and rebuilding it in an instant between the engineer and the gun wielding target.
Within a moment Dr. Prometheus had visually identified his next location and teleported into the second car, never seeing the startled look of the would-be martyr who could now see the back of the Doctor’s silvered, billowing cape through the door window that separated the two cars. Nor would he see the look of shock grow as Prometheus blasted another terrorist that he was face to face with whose look of surprise could have served as a mirror image of the thug at his back.

Having stunned his first target, Prometheus took stock of his surroundings. “Two more unengaged, one with a child in his lap, one crouched between benches at the other end of car two!” he loudly exclaimed to his teammates.
Themis wasted no time on the thug in the first car and behind Dr. Prometheus. She leapt into flight, accelerating along the ceiling down the center of the car and burst through into the second car, rushing along to position herself hovering in front of a crouching enemy form.
[She double moved and took a hit of bruising damage when breaking through the walls between the two cars.]
“He has a rifle” she hollered. Noticing the AK-74 on the bench beside him and also noticing another figure, in a trench-coat and hat, hunched and quivering on the end bench nearby.
Pagan reached into the mind of the thug staring wide-eyed at the back of Prometheus, and sent synapses firing wildly. Pain wracked him for an instant until his mind’s reflexive defenses shut everything down. His eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed, unconscious to the floor.
Stepping around Alchemy she looked at her next target, who, a moment ago had been training a pistol on a frightened engineer, but now stared unbelieving at a wall that had not been there.
“Stop the train!” Charles Branch heard the familiar voice say, this time with his ears and not in his mind.


FIRST FULL ROUND:
Not wanting to risk a missed shot striking any of the children behind him, Alchemy focused on the semi-automatic pistol before him. Nanotech emitted a high pitched, nearly inaudible buzz as it turned the metal of the gun to water in seconds and the terrorist’s pants grew wet twice as fast.
Realizing the desperate need to protect the children, Dr. Prometheus drew on his ties to the Power Cosmic and pulled bands of energy around the seated thug to restrain him. To insure no harm came to the child on the man’s lap, Prometheus reached deep within, redoubling his efforts, completely encasing his target in the binding energy.
[ Heroic Surge and two successful snares. ]
The crouching terrorist raised the Ak-74 to take aim at the children along the other side of the car …
__________________________________________
FLASHBACK:
7:32 am Friday January 24th
Aya giggled slightly at the pentagram smiley-face she had drawn on the steamed mirror of her dorm-room shower. “Not enough caffeine yet to make things less than silly” she thought as she went to her closet to dress for a day of classes. She had chosen a very casual look for the day, layered to keep out the cold and to play down her looks. “No need getting hit on this early in the semester.”

“Nine a.m., Hunt Valley Light Rail, Shield, last seat, second car, trouble”. The vision hit her in a flash and was gone like a bolt of lightning. She hated the unreliability, unpredictability, and frequently unexplainable images and flashes of the future she received. She couldn’t always make things turn out for the best, her mother’s death being proof of that.
She grabbed her phone book and a handful of change and made her way to the payphone at the end of the dorm hallway. Nobody was around as she dialed the number.
It had been another long day of meetings that had dragged on into the early hours. Managing his parent’s financial empire was something he had never really given a thought, but here he was fresh from burying both of his parents and already neck-deep into the dirty business of being Chairman of the Board. He loathed it, but his days of irresponsibility had come to a crashing halt and now he was growing up fast.
Looking at his watch, all Peter Evans could think of was a warm shower and a good long day of sleep. He was entitled to it after finalizing the contracts, and besides, Dante could handle anything that didn’t specifically need him this morning. That’s when the cell phone rang. “Worthless, useless, a waste of time” he mumbled, about to toss the phone into the closet and ignore it. Instead, he answered it and found that sleep would have to wait.
“You have to be there, I saw it in a vision.” said the excited female voice from the phone.
“Slow down, I’ve been awake almost 24 hours and I’m not quite fully aware” he replied. “I have to be where, when, and why?”
__________________________________________
ROUND 1 CONTINUED:
The world moved in slow motion as the alcohol scented trench-coat and hat, Shield had traded his good parka and $50 to a homeless man for, gave way to black body suit with silver stripes. What had previously appeared to be a cowering passive drunk was replaced with a blur of motion. Shield reached over the bench seat and struck downward at the terrorist’s head. The impact of the high speed punch slammed the target’s chin against the rifle stock hard, setting it spinning freely in the air as another zealot crumbled to the floor. Catching the rifle effortlessly he smiled at Themis and glanced at the stunned individual standing next to Prometheus.
[ Used a held action. ]
The task was obvious and mop-up would be quick. “One to go in car two” she thought. Themis flew up to the remaining target and punched him hard. Still reeling from the opening blast Dr. Prometheus used to stun him, the thug was knocked off his feet and halfway through the wall of the train car, squarely through what had been a poster encouraging people to “STOP VIOLENT CRIME”.
Looking at the remaining target, Pagan nearly hesitated at the thought that “this one forced me out of his mind”. Instead she poured on the power. The mental blast hammered his synapses and he, like his partners in crime, was now out of the combat. She breathed a sigh of relief as the train halted and Themis called out “Car 2 clear!”

After the hostage takers were securely bound, the team began making last minute checks in preparation for leaving. Shield made a quick sweep for any hidden bombs or weapons, Alchemy went around using his transmutation powers to repair as much of the damage they had done as possible, Dr. Prometheus assured the police the train was secure over the train’s radio, and Themis double-checked the well being of the passengers.
Pagan paused and delved into the mind of another unconscious prisoner. What she found was disturbing and informative. These men had experienced what they thought to be a glimpse and a taste of heaven. A voice and a vision, clouded by the heady smoke of hashish and incense, in a room, surrounded by luxury. Soft cushions, bounteous food, and many young, beautiful women awaiting the whim of command to serve. Brainwashed, but not mind controlled, not in the sense Pagan expected. These zealots were heavily conditioned, using their beliefs to goad them into actions of violence and hatred.

With the police, federal agents, and media converging on the scene, the group made a hasty departure, leaving the spotlight for the real heroes … the average person, doing what it takes to survive.

Two hours later the group met back at their Pier 5 headquarters to debrief over lunch.

Pagan looked out the west terrace windows at the National Aquarium situated on the next two piers. She thought about the school children whose world took a dark turn 3 hours earlier who instead should have been enjoying the wonders of the aquarium, not dealing with fears of armed hate-mongers.

The murmur of conversation behind her was interrupted by the ringing of the phone. She heard snippets of the exchange between Dr. Prometheus and someone she guessed was from the local police department. Obviously it was about the earlier incident.
“Captain Crowley of the Charm City Police Department sends his thanks for our assistance. He said that the investigation and the prisoners are now in the hands of Federal agents.” Prometheus hung up the phone and returned to the table. “The good captain has no questions for us presently, but the Federal investigators might be contacting us later. And of course the media are waiting outside this building hoping to speak to us. I prefer we limit such contact whenever possible.”

“No argument from me.” Alchemy’s years of hiding to avoid notice by the Vigilare organization had made him cautious, paranoid at times. Vigilare were the people responsible for the death of his wife and perhaps even his children. It was during his escape from their labs that he gained his ability to transmute. The injection of nano-tech as a last-ditch effort to protect him and the other escaping scientists had been miraculous for him and some of the others, but even that didn’t save his wife from being gunned down in cold blood. He wanted to know what happened to his children, but his fear held him back. Perhaps building a relationship with these other metahumans would give him the resources and confidence to try to find his children. Meanwhile he preferred to remain as low profile as the situation would allow.

Themis and Shield nodded agreement from across the table as the phone rang again.
Doctor Prometheus answered the call in his usual calm manner using only his name. “Prometheus.”

“We need a team name.” The others at the table turned to face the terrace window where the youngest of them stood outlined by a hazy nimbus of sunlight and dust motes. Pagan could see their facial expressions, their smiles and subtle grins of agreement. “Let’s think on it and see what we can come up with.”

“Anything’s better than having everyone think we’re his lackeys.” Themis thought to herself as she stood up. Excusing herself she remarked “Half a day of work lost with the excuse of not feeling well. That excuse won’t hold up long so I need to get back.”

“One moment please everyone. It seems we’re needed again.” Prometheus put down the phone and looked at the assembled heroes. “The military has lost control of one of their toys and are afraid it might be headed for civilization. They’re afraid of using explosives to stop it and want us to help minimize collateral damage. They’ve dispatched a helicopter from a base in the western part of the state to pick up those of us unable to travel quickly. It should be here in minutes.”

It wasn’t difficult to figure out that even the fastest military chopper would require some time to cover the couple hundred miles of distance from the western reaches of the state to downtown Charm City.
Shield looked up from his coffee. “Nice of them to ask.” His sarcasm wasn’t missed by anyone.
-        - - - - - - - - - -
Further escapades included:
-        Stopping the Army’s 30’ tall renegade Killbot.

-        Stopping a chameleon art thief at the museum, learning that he was working with someone in an abandoned art studio, exploring the location and discovering an old co-worker of Alchemy creating almost exact duplicates of the originals (using nanobot abilities) to be returned to museums while the originals were being sold to a mysterious German buyer. The buyer turned out to be the super villain Refractor (aka the Living Diamond). Defeated him and returned the stolen originals.

-        Stopping a bank robbery being perpetrated by what appeared to be the John Dillinger gang. They were animate wax recreations armed with working Tommy Guns. After defeating the wax minions they investigated and eventually discovered Professor Paraffin (aka the Wax Master) and turned him over to the authorities.

-        Their first real challenge: Facing a previously unknown group of more powerful super villains that outnumbered the group. They not only defeated the villains, they humiliated them. The villains escaped to an alternate earth dimension, but left enough clues for the heroes to discover a connection (Pagan’s post cognitive ability) to the missing and presumed dead, Dr. Alburt Tesling. Breaking into the scientists sealed lab they discovered a dimensional rift and through it they discovered the villains and a living Dr. Alburt Tesling. Tesling was attempting to force a merging of all 24 Earths and through a Wizard of Oz style con job had tricked these otherworld supers into working for him. Revealing the fraud to their previous enemies, they then went after Tesling unopposed. They caught up to him just in time to prevent the merging of worlds and brought the scientist back to their Earth for psychiatric rehabilitation.

Another request from the army to test out a full company of miniaturized 1’ tall killbots. The heroes surprised the military with an incredible display of power quickly eradicating the contingent of machines with only one hero being incapacitated.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Spell: Unsettling Portent

Unsettling Portent

Level: 1
Range: 0
Duration: 3d4 turns (30 to 120 minutes)

This spell leaves an arcane marking on a surface that conveys a vision of horrible events to come. The first examiner of the symbol is affected (no save) and is shaken for the duration of the curse.

The effects include a 10% chance of spell failure, and -2 on all saving throws until the curse wears off.


Monday, January 14, 2019

Dungeon of Jolokia: Room 8



Room 8: Great Ceremonial Chamber
At the back of the room are the two personal chambers of the nagas, Bhut and Mogura (Mogura is in room 4). Bhut is present and will join the action in room 6 1 round after any combat begins. Bhut is an albino naga and is the leader of the cult.
Present in the ceremonial chamber are the following:
- 2 giant constrictor snakes.
- 1 Fang of Judgement (fighter level 2) Scale Mail +1, Shield +1, Scimitar +2.
- 1 Speaker of Fire (wizard level 2) Burning Hands spell
- 1 Tongue of Jolokia (Cleric, level 2)
- 6 zero level cultists with powder, dagger, and finger cymbals.

Treasure stored in Bhut and Moruga's personal chambers:
A golden naga statue with engraved fire designs and fire opals for eyes - 1,500 gold pieces.
Three silver statuettes of serpent people - 100 gold pieces each.
200 gold pieces, 1,130 silver pieces, 4,000 copper pieces, in sacks and chests.
A potion of levitation.
Eyes of Petrification

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Dungeon of Jolokia: Rooms 6&7

Room 6 is accessed by the northwestern hallway and room 7 is accessed from room 3 via the east door.

Room 6:
There is a giant venomous snake in the central pit and a team of attendant cultists in this room.
- 3 zero level cultists each with powder, dagger, and finger cymbals.
- 1 Fang of Judgement (fighter, level 2) scimitar, chainmail +1.
- 1 Speaker of Fire (wizard, level 2) Burning Hands spell.
- 1 Tongue of Jolokia (cleric, level 2) Mace +2.

Room 7: Storage for food, water, raw peppers, etc.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Dungeon of Jolokia: Rooms 4&5

Continuing the Dungeon of Jolokia.
Room 4: If not already alerted to intruders Moruga (naga) will be resting here reading several long scrolls made from snake skin. The scrolls are philosophical texts regarding fire, pain, etc. Among Moruga's other possessions is a scroll of Fire Resistance.

Room 5: Three cultists are carefully grinding peppers to created juices and powders. Shelves are lined with jars of potent mixtures. The air in the room is thick with the scent of peppers and anyone not used to constant contact with the plant must make a save vs poison or suffer greatly while present and for 1 turn (10 minutes) after leaving the room. Failed save results in -4 to hit and -4 to armor class due to choking and intense burning of the eyes and throat. Successful saves still result in -2 to hit and -2 to armor class while in the room and for 5 rounds after leaving the area.

Random encounters with cult members will come from the northern hallway, normal encounters will come from the narrow hall leading southwest.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Dungeon of Jolokia: Room 3 and Twisting Hall

Continuing the Dungeon of Jolokia.
Room 3: Along the walls of this room are piles of enormous snake skins. In  the center of the room are some tools and a large snake skin being fashioned into a garment. If the party stops to search the room, roll a random encounter coming from the hallway.

Random Encounter Table (roll 1d8):

1 - 1d6 cultists and 1 Speaker of Fire (wizard).
2 - Distant screams and gagging can be heard, roll for random direction.
3 - 1 Tongue of Jolokia (cleric) and a naga.
4 - A cultist stumbles up, hands on throat, face deep purple, sweating profusely. He will make a grab for a waterskin and fall down dead. Cross this encounter off after it happens and replace with encounter 1.
5 - The sound of cymbals can be heard ringing in the distance, roll for random direction.
6 - Options 1 & 3 together, from different directions if possible.
7 - 2 Fangs of Judgement (tougher fighters).
8 - A level appropriate encounter from the normal encounter tables.

All cultists will use pepper powder or pepper juice attacks first and weapons afterward.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Magic Item: Lingel's Warning (Boots of Tremorsense)

Lingel's eyesight had begun to dim though his skill with a blade remained great. His companions wishing to have many more adventures with Lingel, commissioned a fine pair of enchanted boots to aid him in remaining alert to approaching dangers.

The boots are light and sturdy, looking finely made, but otherwise ordinary. Movement of creatures cat sized and above can be sensed out to a distance of 120' allowing the wearer, even if blinded, to accurately target their location.


Friday, January 4, 2019

New Spell: Wakefulness

The withered old hag whispered through her jagged, rotting teeth "Mustn't fall asleep on watch, deary, something with ill intent might happen by." Stritt tried to scream to no avail, the witch had him thoroughly bound and gagged.


Wakefulness

Level: 2
Duration: 4 hours
Range: Touch

The caster touches the subject of the spell granting them alertness and protection from sleep magics for a period of 4 hours. This is often used to bolster those taking watch duty.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Dungeon of Jolokia - Rooms 1 and 2

Here are rooms 1 and 2 of the snake dungeon converted into Dwarven Forge terrain. Below the pictures is the original map.






Room 1: Flanking the stairsdown into this chamber are a pair of grand statues depicting great twisting serpents with human heads. To the south double doors bear the fading painting of a screaming face with images of flames inside the mouth.

Room 2: The walls of this room are covered in mosaic tiles depicting many beings contorted in pain, their mouths open with what appears to be flames around their tongues. The floor is covered in a swirling serpent-like pattern with worn pathways from the tread of many feet.

Tapestries hide doors on the west and east walls. The tapestries show a great open mouth, a human headed serpent wrapped around the tongue with flames stretching the length of the beast.

The door to the east is locked.

Any noise of normal talking volume or above will draw the attention of the naga in room 4 who will come listen at the west door to determine a course of action. If it believes the party have passed out of room two through the east door it will pause for certainty and then quietly follow them planning an ambush later.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Messing around with some Dwarven Forge

I'll be posting some short dungeons built with Dwarven Forge pieces, typically they will be 5 to 10 rooms in size. Meanwhile here are two pictures taken of some Dwarven Forge bits thrown together for the fun of it.

I'm looking forward to doing more DF setups as the blog progresses.