Saturday, August 11, 2018

Tales from Haven (Mini-session Report)

Haven is a terrible place. Just terrible.

This session we had a loss of players, so decided that the two who were able to make it would make new characters for a side-campaign. It was an amazing disaster, a vignette into the world of the adventurer, and pretty damn fun.

Drogo the scoundrel was a petty thief, scheming cartophile, and was sorely lacking in moral fiber.
Izzy the wizard was an escaped slave from a Lydosian Research ship that made his was on the tides to Haven along with his physically wrecked former mentor Jimmy.
Jimmy wants a meat pie. Jimmy thinks it smells down here. Jimmy, formerly Sir James, was Izzy's henchman (the henchman rules work really well)

Side Note: the Henchman Rule
Roll your stats and total the action modifiers. If the total is 0 or less, then the character is a henchman, not a playable adventurer. Set them aside and roll again. Keep rolling until you get a viable player character. You can keep 1 henchman that you previously rolled as a loyal retainer for each positive point of PRESENCE modifier.

Both were dirt poor (failed "Working Hard" and poor starting funds rolls) and Destitute (alley living at its finest). A lot of table time was spent describing the terrible memories and backgrounds of these hard luck characters. The were probationary members of the Guild of Defenestration but weren't looking for a dungeon run, so I asked the players what rumors their characters had heard. Two things popped up
  1. A warehouse in Richardtown, owned by the Guild of Bricklayers and Cobbilists, had recently had some breakins and was hiring unsavory types to guard the warehouse. No Cops. Inquire at the Hogg's Nipple on Bell Street.
  2. There were several sightings of disturbingly large rats on the Briteside docks. The Sunflower House (Seamstress Guild local 121) near the Briteside reported seeing some sort of unclean commingling of man and rat outside in the back alley.
Two great rumors, immediately combined, and an adventure was spawned.

Getting Things Going
Drogo knew Harry, the Guild (BL&C) Steward and along with his crew met him in seriously seedy Hogg's Nipple. After much haggling and henchman Jimmy getting drunk, the party agreed to the watch job at the warehouse. They were clearly suspicious of the "no sniffing around and mind you post" talk, but had a few hours to kill. Another band was hired for the earlier shift - some tough guys that were always getting jobs first.

After a successful pickpocket on a minor noble slumming in Richardtown, the crew went to the warehouse. No=one answered the door. after some scouting and climbing up to the second floor window, Drogo saw some wan candlelight.

It Starts to Go Bad
There was stealth and skulking about in the dark. The party stumbled upon the body of one of the tough guys. They found a single candle left on an open crate, various crates opened and contents spilled about, and the bodies of the other tough guys and the guild nightman Smitty.

There were some silver candelabras and other material that looks the like guild warehouse was being used as a smuggling or fencing base - something unsavory. All the stuff lying around that weren't bricks and cobbles was pretty good ... so why was it there?

Izzy peeked into the astral and was immediately swarmed by the Gloom and mosquito. He came back quickly. No one had a good feeling about this situation. They followed a blood trail through the dark warehouse to find, hidden beneath a crate, a grate that leads into the undercity. Sewers and dead dungeons. Uhg.

GM Thoughts: Clues
The tough guys and Smitty not just killed, but mutilated, was a clue. The source of their demise was clearly something dangerous and tough. The multiple candles indicated there were multiple foes. The lack of dead foes, whoever they are, further adds to how dangerous they are. The loot left lying about means they were after something specific, not just treasure. Peering into the Astral and seeing Gloom means something mystical is involved. GM Tip: don't tell the players, show them.

It Gets Worse
In the undercity they follow the blood trail and eventually find a dead ratman, his guts spilling out as he tried to hold them in. His end is merciful, but the trail ends. The adventurers wander the sewers a bit, rouse something large from one of the cistern, but eventually find where they believe the ratmen are holing up - in a dead dungeon connected to the sewers (surprise! come on - it was an improv adventure and i was pretty tipsy).

Hearing faint flute and banjo music, the party creeps forward, but in the first room Drogo falls into a 20' pit trap filled with garbage and refuse. Ouch! The music stops, Izzy holds a rope as Drogo climbs out and from one of the other doorways 3 ratmen rush out.

The fight is tough, the ratmen are barely damaged by anything (very high DR against non-silver), but the pit in center of the room features as main point. Izzy gets knocked out, but not before two of the ratmen are shoved into the pit. Unfortunately, the last ratman managed to knock Drogo into the pit, ending the combat and the game.

TPK, but valiantly fought.

Epilogue

  • More G.O.D. member go missing on unsanctioned missions. The Guild cannot protect you if you don't follow the rules!
  • Rumors about town are that there is a new king of the undercity. a Sir Jimmy, who claims to be king of the ratmen.
  • Smitty was post-mortem implicated in a smuggling operation. The warehouse was shut down for a month for detailed inspected. the Guild of BL&C were furious. Parts of the city are falling into disrepair as a second Guild War seems to be brewing.

GM Thoughts
TPK is both satisfying and unfortunate. I'm definitely not the opponent of the other players and I want them to succeed, but at the same time watching things completely collapse into chaos and death is pretty fun from the GMs side. How many times the players have destroyed my clever plans or circumvented my amazing traps. The TPK also adds some seriousness to the games, makes retreat an reasonable option, and makes success, when it does occur, to be that much sweeter.

What I did like out of this adventure was a bit more flavor for Haven came out. Guilds, neighborhoods, and seedy activity all around. At one point the players were talking about stealing whatever contraband they could from the warehouse and ditching, which would also have been fun and interesting. The minor noble they robbed (from House Doorn) would have come looking for them had they survive, adding some potential political intrigue. ANd during character creation is was learned that Cardinal Tichonderoda has a map that shows a generally unknown entrance into Sorrow.

So while the adventure at had ended in disaster, I'd say the session was a success from a world-building and fun perspective. And after all - this is a game and fun is the main objective.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Knowing about Monsters

Sorrow in Haven has an setting where dungeons are all over the damn place. As such, it is implied, although not stated outright, that all characters have some knowledge of dungeons and their inhabitants. At the same time, discovering new things and having monsters be new and mysterious is part of the charm.

Everyone how plays D&D knows that kobold (dog-faced or dragon-babies - it doesn't matter) are little shit-stains that are not a threat to seasoned adventurers. Describe a kobold and other than Tucker's Kobolds, who are more of a "dungeon element challenge" than a "monster to deal with", and players get ready to knock the little bastards around so they can get on with the good part of the adventure.  They are trash mobs.

Not know what a monster is or does is fun, but if EVERYTHING is unknown, then each encounter is effectively a random battle as far as the players are concerned. I've decided to combat the "everything is unknown" and the "players read the monster manual" issues to create a sense of tension using the following

1. General Knowledge
If the players encounter a "common" monster, I'll use the name.  If anyone thinks to ask what they know about the critter, I'll give them one piece of info. The Explorer class has the "Dungeon Lore" advance and gets to ask about specific stuff, like what kind of dungeon they are in. If the dungeon type is known (and I don't hide it from players) they may have heard about the types of monsters that inhabit a type of dungeon. These are "common knowledge" things and while never outright falsehoods, they may be skewed versions of the truth.

Some examples
  • If the part encounters an Angel's Crown, I'll use that name.  A piece of information I'd offer is "they are known to be very aggressive in groups".
  • In a Tombs dungeon, players should watch out for Plague Rhinos (strange huge beasts that are infected with a rotting disease).
  • Blood Ogres are known to stomp around Gorhaven dungeons. They are easily swayed by music played on a silver flute.
2. The "Monster Lore" Advance
The character knows about monsters - in fact with an INT Action Roll the player gets to ask the GM a number of questions - any question. That is some direct meta-gaming stuff right there, but it does the trick. Critical and Legendary failures produce dubious results (or outright lies from me). At the same time, a Critical or Legendary will give the player more info as I wax on about whatever.

Some examples
  • Mike gets to ask 2 questions. He asks "Can a Succulent Jeff be trusted?" The short answer is "No", but a critical success might be "They seem like good allies until you go to sleep, then they disappear with your stuff"
  • His other question is "What special abilities do they have". They have a few, i'll answer with one of them on a normal roll "They have bursts of incredible speed" or on a better roll I'll add in "they are immune to non-magical damage".
3. The Phantasmagorica as Loot
In short, the players can find pages from the monster book I've written as loot. There is some in-game chatter about The Cornelius Papers, but in reality, they get all or some of the stats of the monster entry.  I'm also encouraging players to keep their own monster book for reference... which leads to #4

4. The Lore Keeper
Adventurers have limited access the the Guild of Defenestration's Lore Keeper. Depending on their reputation within the Guild, they can get some time with Ingref. She is the current Lore Keeper and a bit frazzled at the utter lack of organization the previous Lore Keepers had - also there was a fire and a lot of info has been lost.

In any case, there is a chance, depending on the type of information they are looking for, that Ingref can answer a few questions, find some rumors or legends, or generally give the adventurer's a leg up. The more the adventurer's do, the more time they get with her, which is another reward for successful play - more information.

Tangent Thoughts on Info as Loot
This goes back to my long-standing believe that information can be loot. Not that I'm keeping information hidden (the game is hard enough already), but special information, a little extra insight, clues to how things work, bits of history that tie to setting together, all work to create a complete setting with things happening outside of the narrative of actual play without anyone having to read reams of my poorly written backstories. Players won't give a flying fuck if Agroth VonKranakek left his noble wife of House Albon for the non-noble Theresa Bloch and the political implications of that action ... unless it directly affects the game, but why would they know that unless they happened to be scholars of nobility? That kind of thing.

Back to the Lore Keepers - Reputation
The adventuring crew's reputation is a simple number. The current average (MEAN average) adventurer level multiplied by the highest threat value of a dungeon level they have defeated ("they" being the ongoing guild chapter as long as there isn't a TPK, in which that value is reset) plus the number of dungeons the Players have explored.

Reputation: (average level x highest threat) + dungeons explored.

The current party has a Reputation of 6
  • average level: 2 (rounded 1.75)
  • highest threat: 2 (Gardens of Kesh)
  • dungeons explored: 2 (Gardens of Kesh plus the Tomb of Agaroth)]

The party's reputation is the NUMBER OF REAL LIFE MINUTES they can ask questions of Ingref. I tend to ramble on a bit, so if it goes over because I'm puttering and being poetic, I don't hold it against them. This isn't role playing time with Ingref, that is completely different - and can actually give the players a bit more info.  Jinxy was courting her with flowers and, if that character hadn't become forever lost in the Labyrinth of War, would get some extra time with Ingref beause he was nice to her.

Tangent Thoughts on Rewards for Role Playing
Sure I throw around some XP and Advantage from time to time as a reward for role playing, but I also give players more options - extra information, new paths, new types of currency (influence and favors as currency is an entirely other blog post). The more someone role plays, the more I get to role play and improv, which I love. Role playing that is on target (not that self indulgent shit where players won't do something obvious because they character wouldn't - which unless they have a better option is usually just garbage ... or those jerks who are clearly ignoring the group dynamic to bring out some aspect of their character's overworked past to dominate the game space as a replacement for therapy ... but I digress) can really get some of the best rewards out of the game.

Sure mace that cripples foes with each strike is bitchin, but so is getting a free lifestyle increase because you are known about town as having tea regularly with Kira Lightwater of House Doorn. She is well liked ... and if she likes you then you must be worthwhile as well (either as a good person or a potential contact to woo to gain her favor).

5. Monster Clues
Last, but not least, some of the "loot" are clues as to the types of inhabitants of a dungeon. If players pay attention to and ask questions about the clues, they'll get some insight into what is going on. This lets players plan a head a bit while continuing to explore. I'm a pretty big fan of this one as well. What the hell strips the flesh off bones and also chard the bones? Flame Beetles - those giant bugs are nothing but trouble, but good scavengers I hear.



Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Gigadungeon SORROW, namesake of Sorrow in Haven

The setting of Sorrow in Haven has several points of interest, but the one that I've enjoyed building the most are around the dungeons. In particular, the Sorrow of Sorrow in Haven is the first and largest mega-dungeon - nay giga-dungeon! - in the campaign.

How big? Smeesh. Fucking epic. Check this out:
That is not the dungeon map, that is the "side view" level and region relational map.

Nay-sayer: BAH! what a big mess - no one will ever be able to explore all that! Garbage!
Me: NAY, Nay-sayer, it is you who are full of shit.

Each one of those boxes with the purposely blurred out names is a dungeon level (or sometimes a few levels). The levels are organized into regions. Each of the regions has enough material to be a mega-dungeon by most standards. In fact two of my mega-dungeons from days long past have been slotted into Sorrow. I know exactly how much play there is in there, and the answer is a fuck-ton (or fuqe-tonne if you prefer).

With that much mega-dungeoning, this is clearly a gig-dungeon. On another scale.

Nay-sayer: Seriously? How much of that do you even have mapped, let alone keyed? Garbage!
Me: TO HELL WITH YOU, Nay-sayer.

The entire dungeon is meant to interact, at least on local scales. Within Sorrow there are direct and indirect routes between places - the entire thing isn't on a flat plane, though, nor is that plane even euclidean. N-dimensional topology, anyone? If that doesn't float your boat ... magic portals, anyone?

To count this bad boy out, there are 11 regions. Within those regions are 81 levels. Some levels are only a few rooms.  One of them is more than 200. The median is around 35. I'd say this will be a 3000-room dungeon when all said and done.

How much of it is mapped? A little more than half is actually mapped, and anything mapped is keyed. Each level has notes and scribbles and partial maps. However, I plan to have map and keyed frameworks done by end of 2018. I'm going to re-draw every map using the same style (I've been compiling this fucker for nearly 15 years).

I've also lined things up so that I can run multiple campaigns in the same environment without having to worry about the parties stepping on each other; but their actions will still influence things other parties encounter.

Will it ever be done?  No, probably not.
Will I work on it constantly until I die? No to that either. I like going outside too, you know.

HOWEVER, I can't wait for the first party to get either brave or desperate enough to poke their head in. The first known level is called the Gauntlet. Below that is the Gear Hall. After that, it is a mystery; those that know either want these memories purged from their mind or are keeping those secrets for greed or potentially the betterment of all humanity.

I love fantasy role playing games. I really do.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Small Jobs in Haven

My players were lamenting their lack of funds in the most recent game - they are adventurers, members of the Guild of Defenestration, and their "job" is to get into the dungeons that bloom under Haven. Their "payment" comes from loot they recover (a small percentage skimmed from the top by the Guild for operating expenses, of course).

One of my players was asking "can't we do something to earn a few groats?" My immediate response was "no - you are adventurers! go adventure!" I should have said "sure, but it takes time and has consequences.  After all, if you saw your local mayor working at the local fast food chain, you'd have a thought or two on the subject.

So, some rules for "other jobs" for adventurers. Incidentally, they all suck.

Odd Jobs Rules
A character may stop adventuring for a week and do some fairly boring jobs. This has two consequences.

The First Consequence
If there are any "live" dungeons, roll 1d6.

  • 1-3: The dungeon grows - it repopulates itself, more monsters, possibly more dangerous, new areas, not good.
  • 4-5: Another local Guild chapter takes over the contract. The character's chapter loses some status and trust.
  • 6: The dungeon erupts from the Underworld - monsters in the streets, a plague of Gloom, general mayhem.

The Second Consequence
Adventurers have a special place in society. While they are often looked down upon they have a strange respect from the population. Doing non-adventuring things lessens their standing. Reduce the character's lifestyle by 1 level automatically (even if the character spent loot in advance to boost their standing).  A destitute character doesn't get any lower.

The Jobs
Based on current lifestyle (after the drop in status), roll 1d4. If you don't know what the job is based on the title, imagine the worst thing you can based on the character's new lifestyle.

Humiliation is the key. These jobs suck. If a character had a real job they wouldn't be an adventurer.
 Lifestyle1234
 Destitute dung picker scuz mopper silk snatcher sweat milker
 Shabby corpse cart driver  bird feeder fence mender rat catcher
 Working pet walker catchpoke fruit stomper scab tender
 Craftsman shop assistant guild herald shit strainer tooth snapper 
 Guilder personal servant house herald slop grinder fish gutter
 Wealthy guild attendant tavern server lip painter chug dealer
 Extravagant  house balif Incense bearer  house pratwhore  payed friend

How Many Groats?
Not as many as you would like. Any groats earned from boring jobs cannot be used by a character to gain experience through banking or carousing. Only loot earned through adventuring can get a character XP.

If the player complain about the paltry number of groats (and those numbers are pretty paltry), remind them that this is not a game about being an accountant or avoiding adventure. If they don't have enough loot to maintain their gear or lifestyle then perhaps they should be a bit more aggressive in looting the Underworld or choose to sell relic they found to a noble house or the Guild of Defenestration instead of hanging on to it.

Sure it might come to bite them in the ass later, but at least they could repair their armor and buy a shield.

 Lifestyle
 Loot 
 Destitute
1d4
 Shabby
2d4
 Working
3d4
 Craftsman
4d4
 Guilder
4d6
 Wealthy
4d8
 Extravagant 
5d8
Sorrow in Haven, and most fantasy adventure games for that matter are not about doing mundane things, they are about taking chances and high adventure; about encountering the weird and overcoming overwhelming odds; and most of all about having fun!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Underworld Beasts: Gilgesh

The Gilgesh are an ancient culture, long forgotten from the World of Light. They are casually referred to as scorpion-men.

Most gilgesh are encountered when they are in the middle of a summoning. So far no adventurers have identified what they are attempting to summon because they don't wait around - combat or escape are the number one priority.

The gilgesh vomit acid as their primary attack, their vicious looking claws are too delicate for combat. Their tail does not end in a stinger, buth rather can "tulip" open revealing a terrible second mouth. It is from this mouth they call forth the Ancient Oath of Binding.

The Ancient Oath of Binding
Apparently the Gilgesh once enslaved the ancestors of humanity.  If the Oath is spoken, all who hear it must pass a difficulty (+3) WIT action roll or choose Deference of Defense.  One who defers becomes a worker slave, cleaning the gilgesh or doing menial tasks for it. Those who defend will do so with all their power and even sacrifice their life to defend the creature. Characters who failed the first roll get a second after 1d6 turns; if this second one also fails the target is forever enslaved.

Digestive Acids
If a character is hit by the digestive acids, one thing that they are wearing or are carrying openly (weapons, shields, armor, fancy hats, masks, cool rings, whatever) has to immediately make a durability roll to see if it gets seriously damaged.


Sorrow in Haven (and other useful) Stats

 Aberration (neutral) Size: M Danger: 4 KO: +4
 Intransient Raconteur  Org: group or solitary  Atk: +1 Def: +2
 Multiple Appendiges Cunning: Clever Digestive Acid DR: 1
 Demeanor: Cold Ferocity: Calm Speed: 4 END: 20 
 Int: Smart Instinct: enslave  Dmg: d6 VIT: 6

OSR / LotFP Stats
 Armor: 4 better than "base"
 Move: 40'
 Hit Dice: 3 (11 hp)
 Digestive Acid: d6 x2
 Morale: 10
 Oath of Binding: save vs Magic
 Digestive Acids: wreck an item


Also, I totally borrowed this artwork without permission from: https://kingovrats.deviantart.com/art/Scorpion-Man-II-696164278.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Painting Minis

Here is a bunch of stuff I've been painting this last week

Mummies of the Iron Wastes
These are from one of the Reaper Bones collections. This dire pack of undead minions shuffle endlessly forward through the red sands of the Iron Wastes, their bandages hanging in tatters as they are constantly torn at by vicious winds.

Anyone touched by one of these rotting monstrosities will be infected with nanobots that slowly start to disassemble them. Pass a CON test every 12 hours or permanently lose 1 point of vitality. The rot can only be cured by magic or old scions.

Wrapping one's self in the bandages of a mummy will cure any disease within 1d6 hours ... except the nanobot infection. Powdered mummy brains are also effective in making a potion of poison and disease nullification.



Undead Legion
A selection from the Dark Souls board game. This is the majority of the non-boss troops; I didn't get around to the sentinels because i need to get some more airbrush paint ... and I've only got so much desk space.

This gang of miscreants have given me no end of pleasure and frustration in the Dark Souls video game series, but in the board game they are all too simple to eliminate. Of course, once false move and you get completely boned even by the most lowly of Hollow Soldiers. Jerks.

I'm sure most of these will make it into the RPG rotation as meaningful foes.
Closeups: Silver Knight Greatbowmen & Silver Knight Swordsmen

Closeups: Large Hollow Soldier, Hollow Soldier, & Crossbow Hollow

The Heroes: Herald, Assassin, Knight, & Warrior
I added some skulls I had lying about to their bases and finished the bases with gold rather than black like the monsters. These were great fun to paint, so I've shown them lined up for battle and running away as you really should do a lot more in the Dark Souls games until you learn how to fight. No fleeing in the board game though - one must persevere until they die.  And you will die.


I'll be doing some more painting in the near future, finish up the DStBG models before the new ones arrive (hopefully), painting the Gloomhaven models, mode undead Bones, I've got a big pile of pirates to take care of, and sooo many monsters.  This is the summer of painting when I'm not running or writing Sorrow in Haven. If I feel ambitious enough I might even start creating specific game stats for the painted models. Game on!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Tiny Castle Gargantua Adventures!

Last night we took a quick jaunt into Castle Gargantua using the Tiny Dungeon 2e rules.  It was a short pickup game and quite a bit of fun.

The Characters
  • MARTOG THE GIANT - a grump dwarf who is a failed healer
  • Princess Fey - a fey, apparently of royal blood, who is a failed baker
We did the normal character creation, plus the roll for a failed career (which gave them some starting stuff) and a roll on the "weird stuff" table I've put together. That second one is interesting because players can choose to push into potentially dangerous territory.  These characters ended up with
  • A foil packet of Dubious Sandwiches.  Turns out they were prawn and mayo sandwiches Princess Fey found on a barrel behind a bar.
  • A sack containing a baby poisonous sand lobster. Martog says they are a great snack.
Ducks Heritage
Also, for no particular reason, I added the Duck heritage. There is a table for Ducks and the PDF mentioned was cheap, so I thought what the heck!  Ducks per TD2E rules:
  • Ducks are grumpy cursed beings. They can’t walk well (duck feet) but swim like aces. Ducks are generally unpleasant but stalwart and loyal friends. Most of them worship The Great Egg.
  • HP: 5
  • Magically Influenced: Ducks have the traits Spell Reader and Cursed
  • Ducks begin with 1d2 scrolls
  • Cursed: ducks are more susceptible to magical effects and as such roll to resist with Disadvantage, take 1 extra damage, or effects last longer or are more pronounced. 
  • Instead of Previous Failed Career, Ducks can roll on the Duck Motivations table in the PDF

Rumors
These folks knew a few rumors about the castle. To match  up Heritage to the rumor tables, I made the following table and everyone gets 2 rumors. Also, everyone knows about the Blade Maidens that guard the front gate (they are really mean).

 Heritage
Which Rumors
 1. Human
 Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User, or Specialist 
 2. Karhu
Fighter or Cleric
 3. Fey
Elf or Mage
 4. Dwarf
Dwarf or Fighter
 5 Goblin
Halfing or Specialist
 6. Lizardfolk 
Thief or Duck
 7.Salimar
Magic-User or Duck
 8. Duck
1 Duck and Any 1
 9. Treefolk
Roll 1d8 to choose

But Wait - Why?
The campaign "reason" is that the world has gone terribly wrong (it is ostensibly set in the same world and time as the Sorrow in Haven campaign) and folks things that something in the castle can save them. Easy premise for a free-wheeling game.

Where is the damn thing?
As it turns out, this Castle Gargantua was in the depths of an oceanic abyss.  This would have been Disasterous, except that the War of Others dried up the ocean! SO Castle Gargantua is a day journey through the festering Siltmarsh that was once the ocean bed - thick clouds of stinking fog are rolling about, and it is kind of dangerous to get there.  But once there, the castle sits beyond the Abyssal Moat - some 100' wide and filled with a stranger, thicker fog. Something big is "swimming" in that fog. Also, the Blade Maidens guard the bridge across the Moat.

System Notes
The Tiny Dungeon system lends itself to a really free-wheeling style of play. The tone we set was a bit gonzo/over the top, but that was a personal choice rather than anything with the system itself. There are like 3 rules ... so rulings are the name of the game, which I completely enjoy.

The Adventure!
The party purchased a silt sled to haul their stuff around. Then using clever trickery and the baby poisonous sand lobster as bait (sand lobsters are cannibals) they managed to catch and harness a giant sand lobster (think of a lobster the size of a pony) and use it to cruise across the siltmarsh toward the castle.

They choose to negotiate with the Blade Maidens, who were actually pretty chill.  In the end Princess Fey gave them the Dubious Sandwiches and the Blade Maidens looked the other way for a bit. Their giant sand lobster dug into the silt ... it doesn't like being harnessed.

After dealing with the enormous brass doors that lead into the castle, the adventurers saw a large strange machine that apparently, if you fed it opals, dumped something from a spigot. Ignoring what they decided was a probable trap, they moved on, getting lost in the Escher Stairs for a while, but eventually found their way into another giant room.

Here the party confronted a group of a dozen or so Frunch Soldiers that were mucking about trying to open some huge lead sarcophagus. Attempts at diplomancy (not a typo) failed to convince the soliders that Princess Fey was an actual princess. The SOldiers were on some sort of mission for King Loius-Henri and didn't like the characters ... they were "filthy interlopers".  FIGHT!

The combat was BRUTAL! MARTOG wailed on the soldiers as Princess fired arrows at the Sergeant (who lead from the rear). After a bunch of the soldiers were eliminated and the sergeant fled after being shot by a bow a bunch, the remaining 4 soldiers were convinced to pledge fealty to Princess Fey.  So she got 4 followers which was pretty cool.

Then it was late in real life and we high fived and ended the game for the night.

Summary and Thoughts
This is super fun. I like TD2E and the little bit of Castle Gargantua we actually explored was fun. The entire thing is an enormous improvisation tool that I am in love with.  I might throw some pickup games of TCG at one of my local shops or something. It was a nice break from the heavier Sorrow in Haven game, but I'm also excited to get back to that. I've already got like 100 house rules for TD2E, but that seems like a fine situation - it is so simple house rules are cool and the gang!

Monster Stats
Just some quick notes for anyone interested in the TD2E stats:
  • Blade Maidens: 3HP, Vigilant, Diehard, Heavy Weapons, at least 1 in any group is Spell-Touched
  • Giant Sand Lobster: 5HP, SNIP - lose a limb from a critical hit, Poison - lose 1 HP every round for d6 rounds, cumulative per hit
  • Frunch Soldiers: 1HP, Cowardly - check morale if the sergeant is hit
  • Frunch Sergeant: 3HP, Fleet of Foot