Post 100! Whisper and Venom Arrives!

Welcome to post number 100 here on Orcsamongus.com!

When I started this blog as a way to share my experience with Gen Con, I was amazed that anyone came to check it out at all. Now, I’m approaching 10,000 views and I’m even more amazed that anyone still visits the blog. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. I hope to continue to provide you a glimpse at the World of Gaming through my eyes.

I was going to finish up the Tomb recap but the gaming group has been on a kind of pause since Thanksgiving, mostly just playing Star Trek Attack Wing. So I dallied.

I delayed posting this because I knew something cool was on it’s way to me, and it just arrived!

Whisper and Venom is sitting on my desk and I want to use Post 100 to just say, HELL YEAH! I’ll get some photos up…

DaBox01

 

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The Tomb of Horrors Adventure.

So, where were we? Ah yes…We chose Option 1. That gave us three Humans, a 14th level Magic-User, 14th level Cleric, 12th Level Paladin, along with a 1/2 Elf level 5 Fighter/6 Thief, Gnome Fighter 4/Illusionist 5 and a Halfling Fighter 4/Thief 5. I also gave them a Kobold minion (Steve!) and a dog who remained nameless.

Clint Howard (Halfling Fighter/Thief), Clint Eastwood (Cleric), Brian Dennehy (Half-elf Fighter/Thief, Stacy Keach (Paladin), Slap Bumwalla (Magic-User) and Dewey Manlove (Gnome Fighter/Illusionist) all set out into the Vast Swamp to find Acererak’s Hidden Tomb.

The first thing they did was cast Find The Path to find the true entrance, and then Move Earth to get to it. Confronted with the main Hall of the Tomb, the players cautiously moved up the hallway, keeping to the path on the floor. At the Fresco of the Wizardly Work Room, they decide to play with the box and find the lever and pull it. Boom. Dennehy and Eastwood fall into the pit making their saves vs. poison. Then, Dennehy climbs out to the East and hits floor. Eastwood’s Find Traps spell wears out just as he looks at the floor section to the South. I mention a touch of blue, but it fades quickly, leaving the player unsure. He climbs out to the South and…falls into the pit. He makes his saves, again (this would become a pattern) and then climbs out to the East to hit floor. Now he steps forward and falls into a pit. Makes his saves and gets out again, now prodding with a ten foot pole to find the rest of the traps in the hall. This of course eats up a bunch of turns meaning the Cleric’s Find the Path is now done. Just like I wanted.

They arrive at the The Face of the Great Green Devil (Free Ice Cream!) and The Arch of Mist. Nobody goes anywhere near the Great Green Devil, it’s reputation has preceded it I believe. Eastwood Looks at the Arch, approaches, does not notice the pattern of lights, walks through, on the path. Welcome to the Forsaken Prison. All of the other characters except the Gnome and the dog eventually walk through the same way. While the Gnome just sat on the floor hugging the dog, the rest of the party messed with the levers in the Forsaken Prison, finally moving them all at the same time, down. Opening the floor to a 100 foot drop. 46 points of damage later and Steve, the kobold minion is dead and the rest of the party, sans Gnome are laying on the floor of the pit in a heap. The Magic Users Boots of Levitation only helped so much, so he was soon on the floor as well. Much time was spent using a Rope of Climbing and spikes to navigate to the top of the pit, Magic User casting Fly and then Passwall on the pit, allowing them to regroup in the Prison and try again.

I’ll continue the tale in just a bit…

Concerning the Tomb of Horrors.

So, on October 30 and November 06, I ran the Tomb of Horrors for my group of players. I used the facsimile copy of the original AD & D module from the Return to the Tomb of Horrors box set released in 1998 by TSR, Inc.

I used Labyrinth Lord with the Advanced Edition Companion for the ruleset and rolled the characters suggested for three players in the back of the module. We chose Option 1. That gave us three Humans, a 14th level Magic-User, 14th level Cleric, 12th Level Paladin, along with a 1/2 Elf level 5 Fighter/6 Thief, Gnome Fighter 4/Illusionist 5 and a Halfling Fighter 4/Thief 5.

My players, having learned to play role-playing games from systems published mainly from the 1990’s and on, had a bit of a learning curve in respect to the way an OSR game runs as opposed to a more modern one. Thankfully, I had been running them through my corrupted Dwarven Brewery, The Puddin’ Works, (with LL’s AEC) for a few weeks before springing the Tomb on them. This has given them some familiarity with how OSR games differ, an excellent summary of which can be found in Matthew J. Finch’s Quick Primer for Old School Gaming.

It’s funny, because they have an inkling on how to play in that manner as I have always run my games with my own sensibility, which leans toward the OSR mindset as I have been playing since the ’70’s. I’ve never known it was an “OSR mindset” until I heard of the “movement” a couple years ago, I’ve just always run my games that way. I always tell my players “it’s a game of words” to the point it’s a joke with them, which is fine. I can be a surly DM. It’s only recently that I have decided to run the older systems (In the form of emulators such as OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, the recent WOTC 1st Ed. Reprints) because my experience with DCC RPG has been amazing and has opened my eyes to the OSR and the fore-mentioned games. I have always wanted to run S1 Tomb of Horrors, S2 White Plume Mountain, S3 Expedition to Barrier Peaks, I6 Ravenloft and the Desert of Desolation series I3-5, PharaohOasis of the White Palm, and Lost Tomb of Martek. Out of those, I’ve only run White Plume Mountain, back when it was new and with the HackMaster version. I’ve owned them all, absorbed them, read them to death, but I never ran them. These games allow me to do just that. I also want to run EX1-EX2, Dungeonland and The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, which I also ran back in the day.

Side Note: Concerning OSR. I know people say Old School Revival but I much prefer Old School Renaissance, so that’s what I call it. What’s official? Who cares, I house-ruled it anyway 😉

So, what happened?

I’ll have that up next…

Lesser Gnome’s Whisper and Venom Poster Map

I’m a proud backer of Lesser Gnome’s Kickstarter for Whisper and Venom, today I received the first piece of the project. A beautiful poster map as drawn by Alyssa Faden. Truly breathtaking to look at. Here’s a couple photos with my old iPhone which do it no justice whatsoever.

OSR Bundle of Holding.

There is a new Bundle of Holding out right now, an OSR Bundle. Lots of good stuff here folks, pick it up. Stock up here.

This Bundle comes with Swords & Wizardry Complete, which is an excellent book, a book which also just went free to everyone.

Description from the Bundle of Holding Facebook page.

“We never got around to a formal announcement and lineup of our new Old School Revival bundle, which launched yesterday afternoon after a hectic and glitch-filled backstory you don’t want to hear. Apparently the world wasn’t hanging on our every word, though, because over 500 customers have already purchased this collection of old-style fantasy RPGs, supplements, and modules that recapture the do-it-yourself spirit of D&D’s earliest days.

Now, in addition to the many titles we launched with, we’ve just added “Demonspore,” a fine module (character levels 3-6) by Matthew Finch for his “Swords & Wizardry” (a retro-clone, also included in this bundle, of Original D&D). Established for decades in the cyst left by their dead god, a zealot band of Shrooms (a race known for bizarre projects and subtle objectives) have been working on the strangest task in their strange history. They are cultivating for themselves … a new god.

As with all titles we add after launch to any Bundle of Holding, all previous customers get “Demonspore” added automatically to their Wizard’s Cabinet download page. When you buy early, you never have to worry about missing later additions. (And by the way, your Wizard’s Cabinet pages have been upgraded. Atop each page, you’ll see links to all the other bundles you bought using the same email address.)

This Old School Revival bundle also includes an “OSR Toolkit,” a sub-collection of free resources we assembled from around the web to help you launch your own OSR fantasy campaign. We just added a compendium of this year’s winners of Alex Schroeder’s One-Page Dungeon Contest. Some amazing stuff there — check it out!

But check it out fast — the OSR bundle offer ends this Monday.”

Dwarven Forge Tomb of Horrors Part Deux.

Howdy!

Last night I ran the second half of the Halloween game, as the players wanted to continue. I’m throwing up some quick photos now and will tell the tale of Clint Howard, Clint Eastwood, Brian Dennehy, Stacy Keach, Slap Bumwalla and Dewey Manlove later on.

Yeah, I know. Hey, I don’t name them, my players do.