Saturday, April 8, 2017

Family Game Knights - Sour Spring Hollow


Opening the Chained Coffin


This week we started a new, regular gaming group in our house.  In the past we've done games as a family, and occasionally we invite some other friends and family to come join me, +Jennifer Walls, and the kids.  But these have usually been one shots.  So, as a new experiment, I thought we'd try doing a regular, as close to weekly game as possible, with open invites to many of our friends.  Some of these friends have kids of their own, and some don't.  

Some face their fears of my crazy children and still choose to roll dice with us.  

For our very first session of something I plan on calling Family Game Knights I grabbed my copy of The Chained Coffin and caught up on my Shudder Mountain setting knowledge.  I've been to the Shudders before, but it's been a few months.  Late last year I ran Sour Spring Hollow for my old D&D 4E group as a reunion game.  You can catch up on that tale here.  

For those uninitiated with the Chained Coffin box set, creative lead +Michael Curtis and the rest of the Goodman Games crew have created a wonderful and vibrant fantasy campaign setting based on Appalachian myth and legend.  As someone who spent nearly every summer vacationing at Hungry Mother State Park in western Virginia, with many day trips to the Great Smokey Mountains, coal mine tours, and outdoor cheater at the Cherokee Reservation, the Shudder Mountains feel right at home.  

It's my intention on running pretty much all of these Family Game Knights sessions in the Shudder Mountains as a campaign.  As is typical of the wonderful G+ DCCRPG community, when I asked for tips on what other adventures to throw into the Shudders, I got a ton of recommendations.  Fortunately, I own a lot of the adventures suggested, and those that I don't... well... I may have some shopping to do.

For now, this is the order we'll be following for Family Game Knights:

  1. Sour Spring Hollow (from The Chained Coffin)
  2. Moonricket Bridge (from Tales of the Shudder Mountains)
  3. Doom of the Savage King
  4. Attack of the Frawgs

I don't want to add too many to the list, as I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can keep this thing going.  But I have a lot of hope!

Also to note:  I'm working on a Shudder Mountain soundtrack through a YouTube playlist.  Any suggestions?  Here's where I'm at. 


The Adventuring Party


  • Jen
    • Warwick Anheiser - Halfling Brewer
    • Wize Wizard McBride - Sage
    • Dave Chappelle - Herbalist
  • Evie
    • Jefff - Wheat Farmer (yes, that's 3 "f's")
    • Lyrica - Musician
    • Bob the Savior - Hunter
  • Carie
    • Mullet - Turnip Farmer
    • Erp - Halfling Brewer
    • P. Specs - Prospector
  • Andy
    • Waldon - Orphan
    • Jerald - Herder
    • Faldoon - Corn Farmer
  • Jeremy
    • Huey - Woodcutter
    • Dewey - Smuggler/Bootlegger
    • Louie - Halfling Farmer
  • Melinda
    • Ebbonly - Halfling Farmer
    • Kadabra - Miller/Baker
    • Kathar - Halfling Brewer


Quick Report


When I say "quick" I'm not kidding!  

After enjoying some kind of tainted brew at a wedding in the foothills of the Shudder Mountains, the adventuring party awakens in the center of what appears to be a dead farm. They are surrounded by dried up grass, corn, and dilapidated buildings under an ominous sky.  Immediately the party is beset upon by strange, cackling spirits that turn all they touch into tiny corn dolls.  Some of the party members run and hide, and others attempt to fight off the spirits unsuccessfully.

After the attack, the party explores the dead farm:

  • Kathar finds out the hard way that the cemetery is no place for a halfling, and is devoured by Earth Hounds.
  • Huey finds that one of the buildings bears a Devil's Thorn that protects the building from the spirits.  Unfortunately it only works when affixed to a door.  No problem for Huey!  He carries around the door from building to building, protecting the party whenever it's attached.  I think he's taking the door into the next adventure.
  • Speaking of buildings, one of 'em eats some of the party members!  The Gardinel, a black-magic infused living house, gobbles up Bob the Savior, Dave Chappelle, Waldon, and Huey.  Fortunately, the latter two are able to escape before getting digested.
  • One of the houses contained a child's drawings depicting a nice, white-robed priestess coming to an evil family's farm, having her holy symbol get thrown down a well, and then getting tossed onto a scarecrow's pole.  
  • Jefff, ever the future Paladin, battled several of the spirits with a frying pan.  
  • Waldon's dog (what was his name?) collected some human bones from the cornfield that the party attempted to set on fire, but it was full of bloody stalks.
  • Ebbonly learned to play an out of tune fiddle, and continued playing it the entire time.
  • Kadabra gained a spellbook from one of the homes, but reading it caused some corruption, causing her to get the chills forever (and forcing players Andy and Jen to sing "You're the One That I Want" repeatedly.)

After several more attacks by the cackling spirits, and more party deaths, the team decided to follow the breadcrumbs and escape the cursed farm.  They went to the well, sent Ebbonly down in a bucket to retrieve the lost holy symbol (unfortunately this cost her her life), and headed up to the scarecrow in the corn field.  There they found a desiccated priestess with an outstretched hand.  So they placed the holy symbol in her hand, and the farm started to change.

Instantly the party was attacked by a series of raving spirits, but these were defeated.  

(GM's Note:  If I left out any great stories, I invite my players to let me know and I'll include them in the recap.)

Campaign Crematorium


  • Jerald - Turned into a corn doll
  • Lewe - Turned into a corn doll
  • Faldoon - Turned into a corn doll
  • Kathar - Eaten by Earth Hounds
  • Warwick Anheiser - Killed self by trying to run with a barrel over his head
  • Erp - Eaten by a goose
  • Bob the Savior - Eaten by a house
  • Dave Chappelle - Eaten by a house
  • Ebbonly - Killed by the Deadfall in the well