Process, Recaps, Visuals

Terrain Building

IMG_1870
The bard sings into the cavern. The acoustics are really good in here!

I designed a dungeon where the final area on the map suggested a ziggurat, but the vertical axis didn’t have the desired impact on a battle mat. So, I built some terrain for our session using polystyrene foam bricks. My partner was able to add a coat of paint before we had the session.

More pictures after the jump… Continue reading “Terrain Building”

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Cartography

The Merkinsaw Province (updated)

I’ve agreed to DM a second campaign because I am not mad. At all.

Regardless my mental state, I’ve been working on a detail from the world I’ve created, as the players want to begin their campaign in Aberland in the province of Merkinsaw, where evil magic is afoot and barriers between our plane of existence, the Feywild, and the Underdark are collapsing.

Anyway, here’s a map in progress, now version 4:

Merkinsaw Color Map 4
The eastern seaboard of Lochnochbogland, the Emerald Sea, the Merkinsaw Province (with city and town names), and the western border of Aberland’s Cambryshire Province by nonsailor on Adventures in Aberland
Recaps

Episode 21: Breakfast Brawl of Champions (Gameplay Recap)

Episode 21: Breakfast Brawl of Champions (Gameplay Recap)
Date of Session: Saturday, 7 July 2019.
In-Game Time: 16 Beltane 500 CE (Day 17 of the campaign), Morning-Noon
Where: Crow Crag Tavern & Whitesnake Lair.
The Weather: Until stated otherwise, it is raining.

TEAM TEALIGHT’s adventures continue with Ana Goldleaf-Hatfield (Half-Elven Bard), Astrid Morninghide (Aasimar Grave Cleric), Fingers Ol Susage (Wood Elf Rogue), Dharilius Ostad (Tiefling Wild Magic Sorcerer), and your Dungeon Master (human scholar).

TL;DR

  • Everyone had vivid dreams: Ana and Astrid had nightmares full of snakes; Fingers and Dharil shared in a dream of a memory.
  • Dharil believes he recognizes Fingers.
  • The tavern clears out and Team Tealight find themselves alone. Not for long, though, as six members of the Cult of the Serpent arrive and attack.
  • Very big breakfast brawl ensues.
  • Ana and Fingers take the most damage; Astrid some; Dharillius none.
  • Take out all the cultists, leaving one alive for questioning and light torture-play gets weird.
  • Learn from the surviving fanatic (Stephan) that the Yuan-ti abomination Shalkashlah wants them dead for disrupting his transformation ritual.
  • Aevar and some other cultists left on a boat yesterday. Zora and Garret are captives in the hideout.
  • The remaining Cultists are attempting to rend the veil between planes and bring about
  • The End of Things and thus prompt The Night Serpent to return.
  • Fingers ends Stephan, which annoys Astrid, as she felt she was making progress reasoning with him.
  • Team Tealight, led by an angry and focused Astrid, return to the Whitesnake lair and zip through the first room (for the third time) and the triple-trapped hallway with no problem.
  • Session ends with Astrid pushing open the door at the end of the hallway.

YR RECAP AWAITS…

Continue reading “Episode 21: Breakfast Brawl of Champions (Gameplay Recap)”

Behind the DM Screen, Narrative, Process, Recaps

What’s Been Going on in Strierbridge: A Brief History of What Your Characters Have Stepped In; Or, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Dendar the Night Serpent, but Were Afraid to Ask (Campaign Backstory)

Dendar by Jason A. Engel

Once upon a time, a wrong-side-of-the law adventuring group from Aberland called The Whitesnakes sailed to Yuanterio on the southern continent in search of arcane relics of the Night Serpent, Dendar. Led by the charismatic bard Daviton Cloverdale-Sykes, the Whitesnakes left behind the Strier river delta for fame, power, and fortune abroad. Once in the rocky, desert coast of Yuanterio, the Whitesnakes encountered a cult to Dendar. The yuan-ti were led by the half-woman, half-serpent priestess Talash, a warlock who ruled through acts of terror and received magical powers in return. Continue reading “What’s Been Going on in Strierbridge: A Brief History of What Your Characters Have Stepped In; Or, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Dendar the Night Serpent, but Were Afraid to Ask (Campaign Backstory)”

Recaps

Episode 20: But, Stuff? (Gameplay Recap)

Episode 19: But, Stuff? (Gameplay Recap)
Date of Session: Saturday, 15 June 2019.
In-Game Time:15-16 Beltane (Days 16 and 17 of the campaign).
Where: Around the Whitesnake Lair and the Crow Crag Tavern
The Weather: Until stated otherwise, it is raining.

TEAM TEALIGHT’s adventures continue with Ana Goldleaf-Hatfield (Half-Elven Bard), Astrid Morninghide (Aasimar Grave Cleric), Fingers Ol Susage (Wood Elf Rogue), Dharilius Ostad (Tiefling Wild Magic Sorcerer), and your Dungeon Master (human scholar).

TL;DR

  • Our adventurers have been sent by the Lords’ High Investigators to stop the Whitesnakes, a serpent cult of humans and Yuan-ti, who have been terrorizing the town of Strierbridge
  • The Tealights take a short rest in the woods after being ambushed on the road
    Notice the sounds of battle coming from the Strierbridge Docks, but opt to stick with their assignment
  • Stake out the Whitesnake Lair and discuss a plan to contend with the three guards stationed outside
  • Ana and Fingers remember this place from a previous venture that went less than perfectly (Episode 8)
  • Attempt to use a decoy to lure the guards away fails, a fight ensues, and the Tealights prevail
  • Discuss strategies for entering the lair, ranging from disguise, a frontal assault, or luring the occupants out one-by-one to kill them
  • Attempt to bluff a way into the Lair fails
  • Big fight in the first room with seven cultists, some of whom are spellcasters
  • Victorious, but low on spells and health, Team Tealight sound a retreat and return to Crow Crag for a long rest

Full recap COMING SOON!

Recaps

Episode 19: Lunchbox & Dhinner (Gameplay Recap)

Episode 19: From Lunchbox to Dhinner (Gameplay Recap)
Date of Session: Friday, 3 May 2019.
In-Game Time: We left off on 11 Beltane. It is now the afternoon of 14 Beltane 500 CE (Day Sixteen of the Campaign) through afternoon of the next day, 15 Beltane.
Where: Strierbridge and the road east toward the docks and the forest.
The Weather: Until stated otherwise, it is raining.

TEAM TEALIGHT’s adventures continue with Ana Goldleaf-Hatfield (Half-Elven Bard), Astrid Morninghide (Aasimar Grave Cleric), Fingers Ol Susage (Wood Elf Rogue), and your Dungeon Master. Introducing Dharilius Ostad (Tiefling Wild Magic Sorcerer).

TL;DR

  • Fingers, Ana, and Astrid wake up in the Strierbridge Keep Infirmary, several days after we last saw them. General confusion as to what has happened. No Aevar and no Zora.
  • Lords’ High Investigator (LHI) wants to question them about what they don’t remember.
    RP Challenge: Meet the LHI.
  • Quest: Infiltrate the Whitesnake hideout, rescue Garret and any other survivors, and retrieve the planeshifting device and objects of interest, arcane or otherwise without disrupting the operation at the Strierbridge Docks.
  • Traveling secretary to the High Investigator, Dharilius Ostad, joins the Tealights.
  • Fight with six hooded figures drops Fingers, but Los Tea-Teas prevail.

Full recap COMING SOON!

Recaps

Episode 18: Heroes to Zeroes (Gameplay Recap & Behind the DM Screen)

Date of Session: Saturday, 2 March 2019.
In-Game Time: 11 Beltane 500 CE (Day Thirteen of the Campaign)
Where: Honorbow Keep Excavation Site, then the fair city of Strierbridge

Photo via: Trek Earth

TEAM TEALIGHT’s adventures continue with Aevar Dragontide (Human Tempest Cleric), Ana Goldleaf-Hatfield (Half-Elf Bard), Astrid Morninghide (Aasimar Grave Cleric), Fingers Ol Susage (Wood Elf Rogue), and your Dungeon Master. With Zora Bersk (Human Arcane Archer / NPC).

TL;DR Receive licensing agreement from Arcane College before leaving Honorbow Keep; teleport to Strierbridge; encounter Keeva, Claire, Shava, and Leoline’s mastiff there; a caper to charm guards to release Garrett from his cell; shopping at the Smithy; drinks and letters at Olde Resting Grounds Inn; Aevar storms off; the party decides to follow; tell Garrett to go to Gardenarea; Aevar confronts Viper and a Goliath in the street; Uthgar the Goliath challenges Aevar to brawl, which Aevar accepts, but uses magic instead of his fists; Uthgar denounces Aevar as a cheater and a weakling; the assembled crowd boos Aevar for denying them a street fight; Uthgar tells Viper he was right about the Tealights, solidifying the Goliath’s bond with the Whitesnakes; Astrid demands to know what in the ever-living hell Aevar was doing.

Continue reading “Episode 18: Heroes to Zeroes (Gameplay Recap & Behind the DM Screen)”