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Convention and Game Day » Gary Con X (2018) » 3/06/2018 9:34 am

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My ride from Milwaukee to Lake Geneva had to switch which days he's flying in, so I'm looking to carpool.  Anyone else getting into Milwaukee around 1:30pm Wednesday have an extra seat available?

Sorcery » Spell Recovery » 2/21/2018 2:31 pm

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Jimm.Iblis wrote:

Here is the beauty of that: through that one job, which very few of us have the time, patience, or whatever to do well, I can ease them, bit by bit, back to the foundations of the D&D experience that we love enough to take [looks at clock] well, a great deal of time deconstructing, analyzing, advising on, publishing.
 

This is very true.  In our game, the rest of the group all started with 3x, and when we first started playing together, it was kind of rough.  TPKs were frequent, they complained about having nothing to do but swing a sword each round, they didn't want to track resources, and so on.  But over the past couple years, they've evolved into a pretty efficient party.  We're a dozen sessions in with no deaths.  They spike doors, throw down incendiary fire, collect every available resource to keep themselves alive and kill enemies without risk, focus on getting the treasure over killing monsters, and generally play the kind of game that I love running.

Sorcery » Spell Recovery » 2/20/2018 7:23 pm

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Handy Haversack wrote:

Chiming in to agree with the Crusty Contingent but also to say I think this whole (and age-old at this point) debate grows out of the idea that every *character* needs to do something every round. My feelings on this are that every *player* can do something every round, even if that thing is strategerizing with the other players.

I don't know why it's so hard to convince some players to get some hirelings.  If you've got a few men-at-arms and archers at your disposal, you'll be plenty busy each round commanding those.

Rules Discussion » Magician's Familiar » 2/14/2018 8:34 am

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Jimm.Iblis wrote:

My bunny familiar in under_score's game has more hit points than my witch-man.

And I keep forgetting to send the wolves after that abomination.

Campaign » AS&SH Roll20 Campaign » 2/13/2018 12:26 pm

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Kradonus wrote:

Not that you are looking for more but just want to make myself available if you ever get another empty spot in your campaign on Roll20. 

Hey Kradonus, I will keep you in mind on that.  We've only had a couple sessions with 5 players, and real life has a way of taking players, so if we either lose a player or decide we'd be comfortable with 6, I'll message you.

Campaign » AS&SH Roll20 Campaign » 2/13/2018 12:23 pm

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Crawling for Coppers

My Roll20 campaign has had eleven sessions so far.  I posted recaps of our first session and another update after a few more sessions.  While I haven't felt like writing up session reports lately, I did want to write a review for the first official AS&SH module that I've inserted into our game, Jeff Talanian's Rats in the Walls.

The Party
We've had some changes in the party over the last half dozen sessions.  The player of Sheela, the Ranger, had to bow out for a while.  He recently had his first daughter and is understandably exhausted with that.  We picked up a couple new players.  I recruited one from the AS&SH forums, joining us as an Esquimaux Witch.  The latest addition is the judge of a Dungeon Crawl Classics game I attend monthly at my local game store.  He runs an exciting and relentless DCC game and I'm happy to turn the screen on him.

Current
Badulf: Kimmerian Shaman, follower of Krimmer, level 1.
Ingolf: Viking Death Soldier, level 1.
Hogsalt: Kelt Berserker, follower of Yoon'Deh, level 1.
Nushniaq: Esquimaux Witch, follower of Kthulhu, level 1.
Naysho: Atlantean Scout, level 1.


Former
Sheela: Amazonian Ranger, follower of Artemis, level 1.

Broad Recap
After their business at the Manse of Korrhil Xai, they returned to Swampgate and decided to look for the Black Moss Hag, with Ingolf and Nushniaq both hoping for training in their dark arts.  The witch agreed to mentor Nushniaq in return for him recovering a book owned by a wizard who had built a tower on a nearby hill.  He was long dead but there was a dungeon beneath his tower that hid is treasures.  The group ended up spending four game sessions exploring the dungeon, covering about half of the first and second levels.  They fought giant bats and giant toads, skeletons and zombies, daemon grubs and daemon-picts. 

Rules Discussion » Quick question about Roll20 and AS&SH » 2/09/2018 10:54 am

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Hey Kradonus, I'm running an AS&SH game on Roll20 (Jimm's playing in it) and created the character sheet gizmo mentioned (see sig, it still needs work but it's functional enough that I forget about the things that need fixing when playing).

When I setup the LFG listing I listed it under AD&D 1e and 2e (agree with Jim, those should be separate categories) and "Other Games", and then listed the name of the game as AS&SH.  That's about the best you can do on making it searchable for now, until they list AS&SH as it's own game.

I'd love to see this game become more popular on Roll20.  If anyone is in need of any resources for running it, talk to me.  I've created a lot of handouts and macros and other stuff in game that helps me run it easily and I'd be happy to share any of that.

Convention and Game Day » Gary Con X (2018) » 2/04/2018 12:23 pm

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Got into a few AS&SH games.
Hyperborea: In Umbrage Taken - Thursday, 12:00 pm, run by David Prata
Hyperborea: Battle for the Horned Helm - Saturday, 1:00pm, run by Eric Peterson

And Chainsaw was nice enough to save me a seat for his Thursday evening game.    I'm looking forward to meeting some of the crowd here.

Convention and Game Day » Gary Con X (2018) » 1/20/2018 7:13 pm

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Very good news Chainsaw, looking forward to seeing you again

General Discussion » Downtime adventures » 1/10/2018 12:09 pm

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Grimm, check out the Tome of Adventure Design by Matt Finch.  Not only is it one of the best books for adventure inspiration and dungeon design in general, it has a section specifically on generating missions, including generating the Villain's Plan, which could be help you generate outcomes for downtime missions.  Just the section on the Villain's Plan includes 25 tables (the book has 405 tables total).

General Discussion » Timekeeping and Encumbrance » 1/09/2018 11:06 am

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I track time, both campaign and dungeon, quite meticulously.  I've got a campaign calendar in Google Drive that I update between sessions, marking important notes and rolling up the next week's weather.  In the dungeon, my players know their travel rate based on worst movement speed and I check for wandering monsters on set intervals, tell them when their light sources are running out, and so on.  I think careful time tracking is vital for maintaining tension in the dungeon, or else the players would spend an entire session searching every nook and cranny of every room.

Encumbrance is harder.  I kind of handwave it but check on the PCs regularly and will tell them if they're getting unreasonable (last night I realized one of the warriors, wearing banded mail, had a full suit of scale mail in his backpack, and told him that's a no go).  I have warned my players that as they acquire more stuff they need to start thinking of long term storage.  I'd like them to track weight and encumbrance better, but it's just not an element of the game that interests them, so I have to just police it as best as I can.

Adventures » List adventures that would fit the Hyperborea setting » 1/06/2018 9:14 am

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It's not yet released to the public, but the final pdf draft of Operation Unfathomable just went out to backers this morning, and I think I found the perfect entry to Underborea.  It is full of strange new monsters, weird, alien, and ancient.  A nice mix of psychic sorcery and technology.  And the map is appropriately chaotic, with a dozen or so exits to other parts of the underworld, so you can just keep adding stuff onto it with ease.

Convention and Game Day » Gary Con X (2018) » 1/03/2018 11:46 am

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I am attending Gary Con for the first time this year and am working on travel arrangements.  It seems like the most sensible thing to do is to fly into Chicago and rent a car to drive to Lake Geneva.  Is anyone else here doing that that would want to share a car?

General Discussion » Dungeon Prep » 12/31/2017 11:21 pm

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Are you using blackadder's random encounter tables?  They're really great.  You could very easily do a zero prep, just wander around and face what Hyperborea throws at you style game with just those.

General Discussion » AS&SH Reviews » 12/31/2017 11:17 pm

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Bat, Black Company is definitely on my to-read list.  I keep hearing it referenced in the best ways.

I do think that dragons are an interesting point for discerning high/low fantasy.  I'm not sure that dragons have to be considered high fantasy.  The Hobbit was pretty low fantasy, although more whimsical than usually mined for swords & sorcery fiction, and it had a singular dragon, who might as well be the only dragon in Middle Earth.  On the other hand, the closest thing to a dragon I can recall Conan facing was the great lizard in Red Nails, but that was very different from the image usually conjured by the name "dragon".
Still, I don't think dragons cannot be in a swords & sorcery/low fantasy game.  But it's easier to think of examples that are decidedly not low fantasy (Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms) than the alternative.

General Discussion » AS&SH Reviews » 12/31/2017 10:51 pm

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Of all places, I forgot to post it here, but here's my review.  Although, does anyone here need convincing?  If you want to skip reading my master's thesis: it's great.

General Discussion » Dungeon Prep » 12/31/2017 10:17 pm

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Tonight I wrote a 35 room top level of a dungeon.  I used the 1e DMG for room stocking.  I ended up with 10 monster room, for which I used the S&W dungeon level encounters, assigning monsters to the various CL levels based on a theme I had picked out (mix of undead and swampy stuff).  For treasures , the AS&SH treasure tables were sufficient on their own, although I did make some substitutions to consolidate treasures where I wanted.  For empty rooms, special, and tricks/traps, I used Courtney Campbell's 'Tricks, Empty Rooms, & Basic Trap Design', Michael Curtis's 'Stonehell' appendix on dungeon decor, and Matt Finch's Tome of Adventure Design, to put together some interesting rooms, weird puzzles, and devious traps.

I moved a few things around and overuled a couple random rolls that just didn't fit in, but the overall result, I think, is pretty damn good.  We'll see how it works out in play.  I'm curious to hear what tools everyone here uses to create their dungeons.  I'm pretty happy with my current repertoire but always want to add in new stuff.  I do need help with dungeon layout.  I currently mostly swipe other maps and redraw them.  Haven't found anything for randomizing a dungeon layout that I like yet.

Campaign » AS&SH Roll20 Campaign » 12/26/2017 10:23 pm

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Jimm.Iblis wrote:

Do you have room for another player? http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/confused.png

We actually usually run with 5, but lost one of our guys due to switching jobs, requiring a late shift.  The current group and I have been playing together weekly for almost 2 years now - DCC and S&W mostly.  We use Discord these days for audio.  Would you like to join us next Monday?  We're currently in town, getting ready to set out looking for a witch to learn about some ruins in the bogs.

Rules Discussion » House Rules? » 12/21/2017 4:37 pm

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I'm all for players using poison.  It's expensive and hard to get and using it is almost always an evil act (acts of survival against giant draco lizards aside), but I like the danger it brings to the game.

As for monster venoms, I can't say I've read every entry but it seems the ones I have read are consistent in that they do damage/some effect now and death some days later.  That, to me, is just adventure material.  The race against time for a cure while your buddy is puking his guts up every step of the way.  Yeah, poison's great for players and monsters alike.

Rules Discussion » Rolling Attributes » 12/21/2017 4:30 pm

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They say there's nothing new under the sun, but I've honestly never heard that one before Jimm.

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