Monday, December 19, 2011

Circe's Rune, campaign fail and wrap-up

This campaign got cut short due to personal reasons, but I wanted to summarize the other sessions we played.

The characters made their way to the nearest town Arrakhar and were given rooms by the suspicious townsfolk. They bought some equipment with the money taken from the tomb and picked character classes. The elf mage bought supplies and met Monbec the Magnificent, an illusionist. The eladrin star pact hexblade found out that the local lord Danlak the Falcon was asking around about the group. The dwarf slayer Princess Beyonce (my wife's PC, the only one whose name I remember) drank at the inn.

The group met with Danlak, who claimed he had revived them using a strange ritual he had access to. He also filled them in on the army of orcs and skeletons wielded by the witch Circe, which was besieging the lands of men. The Elf King lived in the nearby forest, but he hadn't sided with anyone. The PCs' bodies had been found on a battlefield by Danlak, and he wasn't sure if they had been fighting with or against Circe. 

They travelled into the forest to meet the Elf King, and were attacked by Ragramok the Runt, a dragon servant of Circe. They subdued him and presented him as a gift to the Elf King, who ruled over all the fey of the forest (he was actually an eladrin, "Elf King" was one of the dozens of titles he had and the one mostly used by humans). Turns out the Elf King was forbidden from attacking Circe because of an Oath he made. A ritual Oath made on one of the holy days of the year was magically binding, bringing sickness and death on those who broke it.

Ragramok knew of a way around the Oath--the black apple of the God-Tree would break any sickness. There was only one left in the world, and Circe's minions were on there way there now so she could break the pact and invade Elfland. The PCs set off to get there first, fighting orcs and skeletons on the cliff side road on the way there. They got to the tree to find the Nosferatu vampire and werewolf they had fought previously, assisted my magical lighting from Circe. They killed them both for good this time, only to discover that the werewolf was none other than Danlak the Falcon! 

They took the Black Apple so the Elf King could survive breaking his Oath and help the mortal armies fight against Circe. I had intended a few military-style battles, trying to get the Stannic Legion on their side, and a big battle against Circe herself to wrap up the game.

Unfortunately, some personal stuff came up and I doubt I'll return to this game. It was an interesting diversion and a welcome change of pace to the previous campaign. It was fairly railroaded, but it was meant to be a short game. I think whenever I can get a new game together it will be much more sandbox. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Circe's Rune, session 1

I'm about to wrap up a mini-campaign based on Jeff Rients' one-issue campaign idea. Not just the concept (squeezing every creative drop out of one issue of Dragon as the basis of a D&D campaign), but actually stealing his ideas. 

It has also been an experiment with a different playing style for my group. Most of them are used to creating their PCs with the DDI character builder. I made them create their characters together, and used mostly random elements. 4d6-L for stats, straight down the line with no trading. I came up with a random chart for races available. They didn't get to pick a class right away, either.

The PCs woke up in coffins--an elf, an eladrin, and a dwarf. They had no memories and no abilities beyond their basic stats and racial traits. They broke out to find themselves in a mausoleum with something further in trying to beat the door down. Everyone noticed they had tattoos of a strange rune (the mark of Circe).  They escaped into a graveyard surrounded by an iron fence with a wolfsbane wreathe. A huge shaggy werewolf finally burst out of the mausoleum and they elected to fight instead of run--and they beat its ass. They realized he was dazed by the wolfsbane so they pinned it to his chest, so smart play and lucky dice helped three 0-level PCs take down a 4th-level monster. By then two vampires were approaching (one looked like Nosferatu, the other like the girl from the Ring) Did they flee? No! Back into the mausoleum!

They split up. The elf found some gold and a magic hammer in the family tomb. The eladrin ran into some underground catacombs and was chased by Nosferatu, with his hypnotic red eyes. He eventually clawed his way through dirt back above ground. The dwarf faced off against Ring-girl's spider and wounded it, then beheaded the vampire with a shovel. Finally, everyone escaped the graveyard and headed toward the lights of a nearby town.

I was expecting everyone to run, so I had to improv everything inside the mausoleum. I certainly didn't think they would defeat the werewolf so easily, but then I had given him a strong weakness (ideas stolen from here).

More sessions to follow...