Thursday, February 27, 2014

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 9

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 9

The One Where Merida Had to do Everything

Elsa, a Graceful Nano who Wears a Sheen of Ice
Anna, a Swift Jack who Entertains
Merida, a Rugged Glaive who Carries a Quiver


A billion years beyond "once upon a time" Merida was realizing that she got an extremely raw deal.  With the two sisters Anna and Elsa still suffering from a bit of post-traumatic stress disorder following their encounter with the war moths just a few days earlier, the fire-maned archer was coming to the realization that she'd pretty much have to do everything in her power to save the lives of both of her associates, as well as the daring Commodore Jek Sperro.  The princesses had rescued the commodore from the clutches of Mayor Randall in the small coastal town of Pike's Head, but just before they could escape in the pirate's submersible craft, they realized that it had sunk to the bottom of the harbor!  Now standing face to face with the major and his four most trusted guards, the party needed to do something to get Commodore Jek, and themselves, to safety.

And by "party", this narrator pretty much means Merida.  

The rugged glaive Merida knew that the party probably couldn't hold off the entire town guard so she quickly turned around and dove into the harbor head first, using her targeting oculus cypher to help see more clearly in the murky depths close to shore.  Anna and Elsa were too busy arguing about how to best handle the situation, and so they (along with Commodore Sperro) just stood around until the devilish Mayor Randall fired off an explosively sticky web at the princesses and their ward, entrapping them until they could pull themselves free.  Anna would be able to get her hands and body free, but her feet stayed entangled, while Elsa was the complete opposite.  Commodore Sperro would be covered in terrible amounts of the sticky webbing, so much so that he'd need assistance, which Anna tried her best in giving.  To hold off the guards, the swift jack fired her crossbow with an attached disruption nodule at the Mayor, with a critical success!  The disruption warped the electrical impulses in the Mayor's body, which caused him to convulse rapidly, allowing the princesses to continue working towards freeing Sperro.  But they would have to work faster, because the other four guards were lining up like a firing squad, and they began peppering the trio with pointy darts.  

Beneath the waves, Merida was making some progress with Commodore Jek Sperro's submersible craft.  Using her rudimentary skills in numenera, the glaive was eventually able to gain access to the craft.  It took a bit longer for her to realize how to bring the vessel to the surface, but the small metal and synth sphere was quite nimble, and relatively easy to operate even for a first time pilot.  Anna was having a hard time resorting to so much violence, so she used her wits and some very pointed conversation to convince two of the town guards to just leave the party alone.  This worked on two of the guards, who immediately turned in their pink slips, but the other two were standing next to the Mayor in solidarity.  The Mayor would attempt a careful shot at Elsa with his crossbow to no avail, she was just too quick for him.  Suddenly Merida surfaced the boat just as Elsa would finish spraying an icy blast at Mayor Randall, which was so successful that it froze him solid.  Quickly Anna and Elsa finished helping Sperro out of his webbing and the trio dove into the water to get while the gettin' was good.  The crew wasn't out of the woods just yet, as a trio of raster riders started dropping bomblets in the water causing a scene reminiscent of that ancient movie "Das Boot".  But with his new and exceptionally skilled crew, the Commodore was able to get out of the harbor quickly, and out into open waters.

Commodore Jek Sperro explained to the party that he was looking for a certain oracle named Jruve, who was located along the Ancuan coast.  But since the Commodore was a wanted man all throughout Ancuan, and he didn't know exactly where Jruve was hidden, he thought he'd return to his favorite city, the City of Bridges, so that he could contemplate his next move and quite possibly get a map to wherever the Oracle was located.  He promised the princesses that they would love the City of Bridges.

En route to the City of Bridges, the Commodore noticed that there was a crashed craft on the bottom of the sea floor, not far off the south-western coast of the Sea Kingdom of Ghan.  Jek offered to maneuver his craft closer to the crashed vehicle, so long as it was one of the princesses who went out in the deep waters and explored.  Both Anna and Elsa quickly pointed to Merida to go out and bring back any good gear and loot for the party, which the red-headed glaive begrudgingly agreed to do, knowing that she'd get first pick of any awesome bits of numenera in the process.  So the glaive took a deep breath and swam out towards the sunken craft.  Twenty feet across, the saucer-shaped ship was split in two, right down the middle.  Although Merida could see some neat technology on the outside, it was clear she'd have to swim in deeper to find anything of use.  So she moved closer, eventually entering the ship, and found two cyphers, an amazing artifact, and some interesting oddities.  But when Merida went to flee the vessel it started to close up around her, with stringy tendrils working to close the craft.  It appeared that the cyphers and artifact that Merida pulled from the wreckage had allowed the ship to start fixing itself.  Merida pulled her greatsword and slashed at the tendrils, severing nearly all of them.  She started to swim away and towards the submersible, but the tendrils were still coming after her, so she had to drop her greatsword to outrun the defensive system of the craft.  Once back on board the White Onyx, the glaive split her findings with her teammates, but kept the juicy artifact for herself, even if she didn't know what it did!


"There's no accent tonight." - Mommy was still tired from her day and didn't feel like pulling off Merida's Scottish brogue.  

"I always roll bad on initiative!" - Carrie exclaimed quite loudly.  All I have to say is "get used to it kid, that's life as a gamer!"

"I am certain that you shouldn't fight us because we are trying to help our friend… wait…. what are we doing again?" - Anna started trying to persuade a guard until her player had to ask for GM guidance.  

"That's chocolate pudding!" - Cooper (not playing) was insistent that Elsa shoot's dessert out of her hands, not ice.  

"As Admiral Ackbar once said: 'it's a trap!'" - Carrie made her daddy tear up tonight.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Numenera - Vortex - Session 4

Numenera Session 4

“Vortex, Part 4”


Jen - Oswin, an Intelligent Nano who Fuses Flesh with Steel
Nate - Lynq, a Rugged Glaive who Explores Dark Places
Tom - Torrent, a Clever Jack who Rides the Lightning
Sarah - Silus, a Stealthy Jack who Exists Partially Out of Phase


After reality sunk in with Oswin, Lynq, Torrent, and Silus, that they were on a floating platform located within the Sun’s interior, it was time for a little snack break.  Tearing open their ration containers and patching their wounds, the team spent a few moments on the flip-side of the Vortex getting healed for their next encounter.  It was during this break in the action that Torrent noticed some rubble and debris on the floor of the room in which they were resting.  The clever jack approached the debris and examined it closely in way that allowed his perceptive eyes to uncover the dark truth: the debris was recent, and something terrible was happening to the floating station.

Knowing that time was of the essence, the party set out to explore the station.  Although they would not know what it meant immediately, as they moved towards a small block of rooms adjacent to the Vortex chamber, a small red light in the ceiling started to go off.  An alarm of sorts possibly.  No matter, Silas had a remote viewing unit and was ready to use it to check out a pair doors to the southeast.  One contained the skeletal remains of a dead alien.  A horrific creature with a triangular head, three arms, and three legs.  This ominous sight caused a bit of fear for the party, so they moved on to another door, where there was rubble but also a great deal of supplies on the other side.  Choosing to open that door first the party found that the rubble in the floor was nowhere near as dangerous as the dangling wires above.  Rather than try to squeeze through the tight gap between rubble an wires, Lynq gritted his teeth and muscled through the debris through shear force.  On the other side the rugged glaive found foodstuffs of weird yet tasty varieties, and a few oddities.  While the cup that would turn liquid purple and the shoes that obviously fit the nearby skeletal alien were both interesting, the stone that showed an image of the holder’s father would be especially useful on a day-time talk show from a billion years in the past.  With the alien skeleton in the other room still invoking the party’s curiosity, the crew managed to open that door, allowing the remains of the thing to clatter against Lynq’s shield and fall to the floor.  It was just a dead guy, not some undead alien beastie, and given the goods in it’s ancient satchel, it was probably a custodian.  So the party took it’s tools and lone defensive cypher, a Hunter-Seeker device.  

With the westernmost passage (using the Vortex as true north) blocked by debris the party moved to the east along a long hallway illuminated by opaque windows that possibly led to the Sun’s atmosphere.  At least the window blinds still worked!  But as the party moved down this passage, the station shook in a foreboding way.  The team needed to move faster.  This would’ve been the plan if their path had not been blocked by a terrible form.  A hovering knightly figure with a flashing red light was approaching.  Attached to one arm was a shield, and it was clutching a blade that radiated intense heat.  The radiance knight was clearly on a mission:  destroy!  Fortunately for the party, Lynq had a similar mission, but before the party’s glaive could engage the target, Oswin, the nano, started bad-mouthing the automaton.  Taking this for what it was worth, the mechanical beast charged Oswin, who fortunately rolled to the side.  The rest of the party assumed combat positions.  Lynq locked shields with the floating machine allowing Torrent to lead Silas to it’s rear and perform attacks from behind, where the radiance knight’s shield would do no good.  Oswin would continue to sass the knight from afar, attempting to use her beam attack multiple times to no avail.  Torrent’s powers  over electricity were equally difficult to discharge past the knight’s armored shell, so it was up to Lynq and his battle-born sword-arm and Silas with her neural disruption artifact to perform the tag-team.  Lynq’s blade struck true several times, causing significant damage, but it would be the stealthy jack’s neural disruption attack that would shut down the machine’s defenses.  This in turn allowed Lynq to perform attacks that were progressively more powerful.  Slice, chop, stab!  Lynq’s blade tore at the knight’s shield, armor, and then internal units before one last blow by Silas’ artifact crushed the cybernetic brain of the radiance knight.  The party’s glaive rummaged through the remains, and pulled out the knight’s radiance blade.  Now the glaive had an artifact all his own.  

The next room the party came across after traveling down the long hallway contained a control panel and an access portal to a engineering chamber.  With the party’s cypher count dropping, Oswin used her abilities to uncover numenera to raid the control panel, and then charge up some of her precious lozenges with energy that could be used to empower cyphers with additional energy.  With nothing else of interest in this area, the crew started to move to the next chamber when a great rumble hit the station, causing an even more dangerous vibration.  The ceiling gave way directly above Torrent, nearly crushing the jack, covering him completely in rubble.  Oswin whipped out her internal beam generator and tried laser-slicing through the rubble to no avail.  Lynq pushed the nano aside and would call upon his great might to lift the stones, but with the amount of debris, and the fine nature of most of it, it was just taking too long.  So Silas used her unique ability to pass through walls to move within the rubble and then in a successive string of impressive blasts, explode out of the pile from the inside out.  This strange strategy would work, freeing the clever jack from an untimely death.

With the knowledge that they were most definitely running out of time hanging over the party, they swiftly entered another chamber, which was the defensive control room for the entire station.  There were pillars all around them seething with energy, and a docking station for the now destroyed radiance knight, but what seemed to interest the keen eye of Torrent was a beautiful jeweled crystal that was powering one control panel.  Although he didn’t know what it did, Torrent knew that it was worth some serious shins, but after debating with the rest of the numenera hunters they decided that plucking it from it’s pedestal could possibly cause a giant boulder to appear, with intent on crushing the team.  The door to the north looked interesting enough, so Oswin took a look at it realizing that it was locked and sealed.  Taking a peak in the general vicinity, she found an access panel to a ventilation shaft, so she tore the grate off and squeezed into the chute.  Figuring out that she could use the shaft to move into the chamber beyond the locked door Oswin quickly shimmied down towards another grate, pushed it off it’s hinge, dropped into a room filled by an enormous projection screen, and then unlocked the door for the rest of the party.  It was about this time that the largest sun-quake hit the station, which caused another collapse above the party.  These events were becoming more and more frequent, and were taking their toll on the numenera hunters, so they needed to pick up the pace!

Once everyone was in front of the screen a familiar voice filled the chamber.  It was the entity that had first enticed the party to pass through the Vortex, an entity that called itself Aerridomos.  Aerridomos explained that it was an intelligent program that was in charge of communication for the station.  It had been calling out to possible users on the other side of the Vortex for a very long time, to come and save it from destruction.  The station had been abandoned for millennia upon millennia, and Aerridomos was alone but at least content.  But in recent years the station began to suffer from power and structural failures.  Aerridomos being a communication system, it could do nothing to stop the destruction, and with other intelligences within the station’s mainframe destroyed, it would require someone else to come to it’s rescue... someone with a physical body.  To the south of the chamber with the view screen was a room that Aerridomos called the Wishing Well.  It explained that the Wishing Well contained a power strong enough to fix the station, and it begged the party to aid it in it’s plight.  

Interfacing with the Wishing Well was much more difficult than the party had first expected.  Oswin being the party’s only nano and expert on the numenera plunged her hands into the glowing sphere that floated at the center of the room, trying to take control of the amazing forces that raged within it’s surface.  She tried repeatedly to gain command, but it was no matter, she was not able.  Completely frustrated and ready to quit on the whole scene, Oswin stormed out of the room.  Aerridomos called to the nano, begging her that if she could not fix the station, she could at least hit a button that would “exile” all of the intelligent programs from the station to a place “beyond”.  This fate, Aerridomos explained, was better than electronic “death.”  Oswin didn’t seem moved by this, and just crossed her arms and tossed the numenera book that she had to the rest of the party.  Lynq was the next to try, but using the device was far too taxing for the glaive.  Torrent had little effect as well, and had to quickly pull his hands from the glowing sphere in frustration.  But when Silas placed her hands within the, the stealthy jack was able to get some understanding of what was going on with the flowing pool of radiant nanos that resided inside.  Silas realized that she had the choice to manipulate the wishing well to do the bidding of either Aerridomos or actually help the party gain some kind of physical benefit themselves, but despite her roguish ways, the jack did the right thing and fixed the station with the nanites! 

Aerridomos was elated!  It offered the band of numenera hunters a “boon” to speed up their ability to attain knowledge if they pressed their hands to the screen, which they all did.  In addition, Aerridomos told Torrent that he was welcome to take the crystal that he kept asking about, and said that it wouldn’t damage anything or cause any boulders to drop down and crush the party.  So the jack took the crystal, and led the team back to the Vortex where they passed through.  On the other side they found that the light behind them was extinguished.  The path to the station within the surface of the sun was closed... for now.  Heading up and out of the Temple of the Vortex the party bid the remaining cultists adieu and met up with the varjellen merchants on the outside  When they looked for their “cut”, Torrent tossed them the crystal and breathed a sigh of relief.  It was good to be back on the Ninth World!


“I love art with Jim.” - Jen mocks her husband’s map drawing abilities.

“We should’ve sent Frank on through.” - Nate kept wanting to use Frank’s character as the scout, since he had to bow out of the campaign.  

- “I feel bad, kinda want to put his shoes back on him.” - Torrent had a bit of empathy for the poor triangle skull alien who’s shoes Lynq found in a nearby room.
“Finders keepers!’ - Lynq was keepin’ those Keds.  

“If it bleeds... it can die...” - Lynq

“I have a feeling it’s going to be all ‘Indiana Jones’ if we take that thing.” - Jen wasn’t feeling very comfortable with Torrent taking the gemstone from the security room.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Norwin Game Knights Event: Numenera - Cryo Jak's Lair


Cryo Jak's Lair

Reminel, Graceful Nano who Talks to Machines
Caldross, Tough Glaive who Masters Weaponry
Benthre, Charming Jack who Fuses Flesh with Steel
Daylen, Learned Jak who Wears a Sheen of Ice
Satha, Clever Glaive who Masters Weaponry
Hawmett, Mystical Glaive who Controls Gravity


Six Numenera hunters had followed the legend of Cryo Jack and her icy laboratory into the highest peaks of the Black Riage, south of Hidden Naresh and near a great chasm.  A secret path led to the frost covered trail, which in turn led to a giant ice bridge that spanned the chasm and stopped at a circular door in the cliff-face.  Under further investigation by Reminel and Caldross, the icy bridge was incredibly slippery, and would be very dangerous to cross.  Satha took his trusty rock (a prized possession!) and tossed it down the pathway, further revealing that there were no traps.  So the party hatched a daring plan.  Hawmett, who had the ability to hover, would float in mid-air, holding rope provided by the rest of the crew.  Reminel, the graceful "billion-years-in-the-future-ballet-expert", would grab the rope, and drag Hawmett across the bridge.  This worked fine until they reached the halfway mark, where there was a gap in the bridge.  Trying to pass the gap, Reminel fell!  But this was where the plan was brilliant, because Hawmett was able to use his incredible strength to continue hovering while pulling Rem back to the bridge.  So they finished crossing, and with the rope on the far end still being held by Caldross the party tank, they carefully had the rest of the numenera hunters follow them.  

The circular door was imposing and seemingly impossible to open.  Reminel had the ability to talk to machines, but he couldn't focus on a single point to meld his mind to, so Benthre grabbed his x-ray viewer and enabled the cypher.  Able to see two hidden control points within the walls surrounding the door the charming jack showed Rem where to focus his mind.  First the nano disabled the security system to the door, and then he commanded the giant vault to open, revealing a frozen and frigid chamber on the inside.  The party moved into the room and explored all of the features, but only succeeded in finding a single elevator shaft to take them down to the next level.  

The elevator opened into a large chamber filled with frost covered "coffins".  Hawmett was rather excited a the discovery, and started to look in the glass panels of each coffin, seeing alien races of all varieties kept in different levels of stasis.  Caldross was a bit more careful, and had an interest in how these pods worked, so he carefully walked up to one and started examining the control panel.  But then something moved to his right.  As he looked further in the room he saw that six of the coffins had been damaged, and their contents, six seemingly undead varjellen, were up and about and preparing to attack.  Quickly Caldross and Benthre pulled their weapons and started slashing and clubbing the creatures.  The battle was fierce and long, with the party escaping significant damage, but unable to inflict much pain on the brutish creatures.  Daylen's bow would break in the battle, and Reminel would be the subject of a nasty overbearing attack that would cause him to become severely injured.  Satha would remain rather unscathed by the varjellen themselves, but would trip and land in one of the open coffins, causing it to close around him.  Two of his fellow numenera hunters would have to come to his aid, trying to yank him from the coffin while the doors closed around him.  It would be Caldross' blade that would break the control panel of the machine allowing the clever glaive to get free.  

When the varjellen were slain, the party moved into the next chamber which had more pods, a door to the north and south, and a computer terminal of significant complexity.  Using his ability to connect with machines, Reminel moved towards the computer and started dismantling it, revealing four additional cyphers to help the party in their following encounter.  It took a few minutes to decide who was going to get which cypher, and some voting, but once this was decided upon the crew could keep moving.  The troupe would open the door to the north, revealing the tomb of Cryo Jak herself!  

But the riches of the tomb were marred by a try of dangerous holographic frost specters!  These images were projected in the air, but could affect the physical world.  Some quick thinking by Daylen led his eyes to individual "image projectors" that were in the walls surrounding the party.  Directing his blade towards one of the projectors, Daylen found that the specters could be damaged more effectively if the projectors themselves were attacked rather than the specters.  Although it was more difficult to hit them, due to their size, the damage was significantly increased.  So this plan was adopted by the rest of the party, and they all began attacking the projectors.  Most of the numenera hunters were incredibly lucky, and dodged the frost specter's attacks with great ease.  But Caldross came under the attack of one of the creatures, which froze him to his bones and impaired him in a single strike.  No matter, the party continued their onslaught, and using Satha's explosive gadget, they caused enough damage to leave only one specter remaining.  It would be Benthre who would walk forward with a ray emitter to land the finishing blow on the last holograph.  With the riches of Cryo Jak laying about them, the party greedily snatched up their loot and looked forward to further adventures!  


"Why am I made like a ballerina?" - Matthew realizes what benefits the "Graceful" descriptor give his Nano.

"Are you saying it's 'undead dead' or un-undead'?" - Alex wanted to confirm the status of the slain undead varjellen that had been vanquished.

"If you're not dead… you're alive!" - Words of wisdom from Andrew, a veteran RPG'er, to some of the crew's tween-crowd players.  


To play the same adventure that we did this evening please clock the following link and purchase Echoes of the Prior Worlds by Ryan Chaddock Games.  You'll find some new material for characters and a whole collection of mini-adventures that are PERFECT for running shorter sessions… or daisy chain them into one massive session!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 8

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 8

This is a Tale

Elsa, a Graceful Nano who Wears a Sheen of Ice
Anna, a Swift Jack who Entertains
Merida, a Rugged Glaive who Carries a Quiver


A billion years beyond "once upon a time" Elsa and Anna met up with their friend Merida in the town of Pike's Head, on the coast of Ancuan.  They had travelled far across the cold desert, fought their way past killer war moths in Milave, and finally entered the town exhausted but determined to make contact with Commodore Jek Sperro.  A friend of Bel, who was the new love of Olaf, Commodore Jek had requested assistance in uncovering an Oracle named Jruve that was located on the Western Coast of Ancuan, and the Three Princesses of Nihliesh were just the adventurers to help a scurvy sea seskii.  But when the characters inquired in a local pub (the Snuggly Duckling), the bartender Leslie Fisherman told the princesses that Commodore Jek had been tossed in jail by Mayor Randall.

Knowing that they would have to spring the Commodore out of jail, the party wasted little time heading north to the town prison.  The front door was obviously locked, but this was no match for Merida, who surprisingly pulled out a few hair pins from her giant red mane and picked the lock only to find herself face-to-face with a viciously large seskii!  The archer-princess' rugged, wilderness-loving ways would guide her true, and she would be able to coax the seskii into remaining calm as the party entered the jail.  Across from them, at the far end of the room was the infamous Commodore Jek Sperro, who thanked the party for coming at Bel's request, but also told them that the lock to his jail cell was electronic and tied to the cellular structure of the seskii and a wand-like device that the jailer carried.  

Upon further examination of the seskii Elsa believed that she could fashion a similar wand-like device by cannibalizing her Three Part Alarm cypher (making it a Two Part Alarm), and acquiring a bit of the animal's DNA.  Quickly the nano got to work, and pulled her cypher apart, using one piece to create a wand, which allowed her to spring Commodore Jek from his cell!  So the trio, plus one now with the Commodore sprinted out of the jail and ran down the road towards the docks.  The Commodore told the princesses that he had a magnificent submersible diving craft called the "White Onyx" that awaited them.  Sadly, as soon as they reached the dock, a booming voice called out to the troupe.  Slowly Elsa, Anna, and Merida turned to face a vicious looking varjellen (the mayor Randall), and a crew of guards armed to the teeth.  The mayor commanded the party to stand down and hand over the Commodore, but before they could make their escape into the submersible, Jek pointed out that his craft, the White Onyx, wasn't were it was supposed to be.  

It had sunk!


- Daddy:  "Do you want to go into the pub?"
- Carrie:  "As long as I don't have to drink a beer!"

"We have to kill the animal!" - Cooper (3 years old) chimed in on what Mommy's Glaive Merida needed to do to the poor seskii guarding the Commodore.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 7

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 7

Like Moths to a Game

Elsa, a Graceful Nano who Wears a Sheen of Ice
Anna, a Swift Jack who Entertains
Tonto, a Mystical Jack who Lives in the Wilderness
Milo, a Learned Nano who Talks to Machines


A billion years beyond "once upon a time" Elsa and Anna were chatting with their new friend Bel, who was still head over heals with Olaf the cryo-mutant.  It seemed that Bel had a friend who had a problem, and she was hoping that her new friends could be of some assistance.  His name was Commodore Jek Sperro, and he was a corsair that made his home in Ancuan, a sea-faring nation that existed on the southern edge of the Steadfast.  The Commodore was seeking the Oracle in a Pool, along the western coast of Ancuan, but he was shipless and alone, stuck in a place called Pike's Head. He sent word to Nihliesh, and to his friend Bel for help… which is where Anna and Elsa come in.  Agreeing to assist, Anna and Elsa packed up their snow lopers Cutey Pants and Sven and sought out two "guides" who could help them across Matheunis, into Milave, and then into southern Ancuan.  The first was Tonto, a wilder who called the region around the Sadara river his home, and the second was Milo, a bookworm who was often the brains to Tonto's brawn.  Using the snow lopers as a team, they hitched a small cart to the back and set out like a bunch of settlers across the Cold Desert.

It was several days into their trip and the party had crossed into the chaotic nation of Milave via a passage through the hills.  There were great farms located here and there, where leaves of ganch were harvested, rolled, and then sold for the consumption of smokers all across the Steadfast.  The quartet was nearing one particular farm, when they saw an odd sight: a single bearded man, clad in robes, running at them screaming "get down, get down!"  Once the party was on their bellies, they huddled around the man.  He called himself "Merlin", and he was an Aeon Priest and an expert at all things regarding the Numenera.  Merlin claimed that the farm that lay just in front of the party's path was infested with horrific creatures that were flying all about.  Tonto and Elsa looked around and didn't see anything flying, but they all saw a giant cocoon that lay in the center of one of the ganch fields.  Merlin asked the party to investigate, and offered some bits of Numenera if they were able to assist the farm.

Tonto led the team forward into the ganch field, but before they were able to inspect the cocoon, a whole flight of Stratharian War Moth's appeared in the skies above them, and began swooping down on the princesses and their guides.  The first few passes of the insects were harmless enough, as the creatures were not able to break the skilled defenses of the Numenera hunters.  But then the moths reared back and the lights from under their wings shone down and started to sear the flesh of the characters.  The energy caused wicked damage to everyone in the team, especially Anna who took the brunt of the attack.  This caused panic within the party, who began to scatter.  Milo ran towards a large field-working automaton in order to get it to assist the party.  Tonto ran off and away from the princesses hoping to draw some attacks his way, but this left Elsa and Anna together, back to back, desperately trying to blast away at the creatures with piercing crossbow strikes and wicked icy onslaughts.  Milo managed to get the machine working, and slowly the ponderous automaton rolled towards the large unhatched cocoon on the ground while the nano used a cypher to slowly sink into the ground away from the reach of the remaining moths.  Actually all of the crew used as many cyphers as possible, from ray emitters to restoration nodules, anything that could help in a fight where the hunters had become the hunted.

The large automaton was successful in knocking into the cocoon, but this only dislodged the giant moth that was inside, freeing it from the silk.  Before the deadly creature could take to the skies, however, Milo fired a giant web onto the beast from another one of his cyphers, which completely pinned it long enough for the concentrated fire from Anna and Elsa to do the trick and send it to the afterlife.  The remaining smaller moths were still causing the team some difficulty.  One of the cruel insects even managed to tackle Anna, and knock her out of commission but her sister was nearby with a well timed ice blast.  Tonto, who had lost his spear to one of the moths, had previously been doing a half-decent job on the offensive as well, but he was spared having to use his lowly knife on the last creature when Milo commanded the automaton to run it through with a giant fork.  With the war moths dispatched, Merlin came forward and handed out some precious bits of Numenera for the party to share.


"Does anyone have TNT?" - Dylan (playing Tonto) was trying to think up the right solution to the giant cocoon.

"The weird thing is they look kind!" - Evie was realizing that the cute little "butterflies" that daddy asked her to cut out earlier in the day were being turned against her and her sister.

"Can someone help me!?!  I mean, I really like this character!" - Evie was desperately begging other players to assist her character Anna who had just been knocked down and tackled due to a poorly rolled die and a GM intrusion.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 6

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 6

A Chilly Reunion

Elsa, a Graceful Nano who Wears a Sheen of Ice
Anna, a Swift Jack who Entertains
Merida, a Rugged Glaive who Carries a Quiver


A billion years beyond “once upon a time” the Three Princesses of Nihliesh were entering the Temple of the CREW L.A. D-VII, which was on the western edge of the Island of the Lost Module.  Carefully Elsa moved into the first chamber, which had been unveiled when Merida used her mace to elegantly shatter the front door.  The floor was soft and spongy, with the appearance of plastic, but the give of foam.  On the opposing end was a small raised floor, to the left and right of which were passages to the east and west.  Sensing the possibility of a trap, Merida fired an arrow across the room and sure enough a glass panel dropped down the center of the room, cutting the characters off from the facility's corridors.  Anna figured out that she could possibly squeeze her slight figure below the glass wall, since the floor was so squishy, and immediately began doing so, when two winter-pelted margr's appeared from the western hallway.  Anna had to think quickly before she was discovered!

[GM's note:  This was our first GM Intrusion, which was rather traumatic for Anna's player, Evie, who is only 7.  Evie is of the firm belief that GM Intrusions are "unfair"]

Using her Chameleon Cloak artifact Anna was virtually invisible to the dimwitted goat-men, and while the grotesque pair was distracted by the other two princesses the party's jack deftly lifted the satchels from each of the margr's.  Anna searched the satchels to find an oddity (a musical instrument that only made terrible noises) and a remote control for the glass wall, which the margr's were searching for at that very minute but couldn't find.  Realizing that they couldn't do anything about Merida and Elsa, the margr's ran off to figure out their next course of action.  Anna activated the glass wall shortly thereafter, and the three chased down the margr's and sent them off to their graves.  And then CREW L.A. D-VII started to call to the party.

The artificial intelligence called out to the three princesses, beckoning them to come further into the temple.  Along with the voice of the construct, Anna was able to make out the voice of Olaf, whimpering pitifully within the chambers.  Well Merida had enough of her friend's suffering, so the glaive set out to put things right once and for all.  Down a short escalator Merida traveled, into a large circular chamber.  The chamber, over fifty feet across, contained a pair of mechanical arms that could span beyond the room, a machine with a large viewing screen (a device that seemed to contain CREW L.A. D-VII's synthetic voice), and a rack that held poor Olaf.  The young cryo-mutant had many pieces of his skin pulled from his body, ripped by the arms which were then adorning themselves in poor Olaf's flesh.  At the center of the room was a patch of snowy ground, out of which grew a single beautiful frozen flower, slightly alit by the sun that poured into the chamber from a large gap in the structure above.

Merida was dead-set on taking her great sword to the arms, but as she bolted into the room one arm narrowly missed her body, allowing the other to close in and spray her with a powdery mist that disoriented the rugged glaive.  Anna tried to distract CREW L.A. D-VII's arms to no avail, using that god-awful musical instrument and flailing about the chamber.  Elsa had a bit more luck with a ray emitter cypher, that severely scorched a mechanical arm… but it was obvious that it would take a lot more to disable one of the claws!  With her cypher expended, Elsa started using her powers over cold and ice, but the arms were both able to dodge these, while landing a vicious blow on the nano.  Luckily Anna was nearby with a rejuvenating cypher to heal her sister.  While the sibling princesses were having some luck dealing with the arms, Merida was having a terrible time.  She was unable to land a sword blow, and was still woozy from the debilitating gas.  She pulled her reality spike from her backpack, with the plan of "spiking" one of the arms in mid-air, but she couldn't land a shot with her eyes all a blur.  But the tides were about to turn!  Just when it seemed like fate was turning against them, Elsa, bolstered by her last cypher which increased her psychic capacity, let out a huge blast of frigid gale-forced winds that completely froze and then shattered an arm and claw.  While the other mechanical arm reeled, almost as if in pain, Merida struck true with the reality spike, locking it in place.

Once the arms were dealt with, Merida quickly freed their friend Olaf.  Elsa, using her skills with Numenera dismantled CREW L.A. D-VII's processing unit, raiding it for cyphers, and then joined the rest of the troupe at the center of the room.  Olaf still wanted to take the flower at the center of the room home, but didn't know how he'd keep it cold on the long journey back to Nihliesh.  Well for Elsa this was no problem at all!

It took the party less than three days to gallop back to Nihliesh on the backs of their three snow lopers.  Although they were said to leave Captain Remy and Poppins behind in Squibbon, they were excited to help make their friend Olaf's dreams come true.  When they finally returned to the great walking city, the three princesses were surprised at their cryo-mutant friend's anxiousness.  Olaf was almost ready to greet his love Bel, and to woo her one final time before giving up and letting the Lattimor Steab carry her off into the sunset.  What Olaf needed more than anything was the proper words to say to the beautiful Bel, and this was where Anna came in.  The jack whispered just the right words in the ear of her dear friend, and a mere moments later Olaf handed the frozen flower to Bel and said "You shall be my true love, and we shall be married… for life!"  With these words Bel decided that Steab was nothing to her, and that Olaf was her true love.  So Bel and the cryo-mutant Olaf would live happily ever after…

… while the Three Princesses of Nihliesh would go on to find even greater adventure!


"I'll do whatever they want me to do…" - A pouting Evie's polled the other two players as a response to the obviously unfair GM Intrusion.

- "Evie's gonna roll a 20!" - Carrie
- "I bet I will!" - Evie
- *roll*
- "Twenty!" - Evie… my kids are psychic now.

"He has that axe-y thing, right?" - Mommy was very interested in how her margr opponent was equipped.

"Dalmations don't exist in Numenera… only flesh!" - Mommy's explanation to the children as to why the arms of CREW L.A. D-VII were tearing at poor Olaf.

"If this doesn't happen, people on Twitter are going to be so upset!" - Carrie put a lot of pressure on Evie's roll to put the right words in Olaf's mouth before he spoke to Bel about his love.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 5

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 5

A Winter-Pelted Margr Named "Jeff"

Elsa, a Graceful Nano who Wears a Sheen of Ice
Anna, a Swift Jack who Entertains
Merida, a Rugged Glaive who Carries a Quiver


A billion years beyond “once upon a time” a skate-skiff captain darted across a frozen salt lake towards a perilous island so that three princesses of Nihliesh could save their dear cryo-mutant friend.  Elsa, Anna, and Merida had gained the trust, and therefore the assistance, of Captain Remy by freeing his little lakeside village of Squibbon from the clutches of the evil Skinner just a day before.  The princesses had left the whimsical and gravity defying nano named Poppins behind to help guide the village to a new and bright future, and continued on their quest to save Olaf!  At the center of the westernmost salt lake there was the Island of the Lost Module, a mysterious home to many winter-pelted margrs, and the supposed resting place of a twisted artificial intelligence known as CREW L.A. D-VII.  Once Remy found the island, he circled it to give the princesses an idea of it's general layout.  The island appeared to have two lobes connected by a narrow isthmus.  The eastern lobe had a village of huts and tents atop a slight hill, while the western lobe had a towering hill and a great temple at it's summit.  

Merida commanded Remy to land the vessel on the edge of the eastern section of the island, and all three princesses disembarked from the craft.  The rugged glaive led the team to the base of a cliff, and deftly climbed to the top where she saw a whole village of the winter-pelted margr moving about.  Quickly she hid behind a rocky outcropping and then dropped a rope so that the other two teammates could climb up.  Elsa went next, but she was rather clumsy at the top of the rope, and so two of the margr guards saw her and started charging her way.  Merida would've had a clean shot on both of them, but she didn't want to kill anyone unnecessarily, and rumor had it that the margr were under the influence of CREW L.A. D-VII, and maybe if she freed them of their oppressor they would be useful in the future.  So when Anna, who was having a little difficulty climbing at first, made her way to the top of the rope Merida used a face changing cypher on her so that she'd appear like a winter-pelted margr herself!  As the two creatures came into range, Anna moved forward calling out to them to back off, and that she'd take care of the trespasser herself.  She sounded pretty convincing, and amazingly, the two guards wished her well and went back to work.  

Deciding to bypass the village entirely, the three princesses went back down the rope and moved towards the western lobe of the island.  Up a carefully tended, and well worn path they moved towards the large temple that awaited them at the top of the hill.  Once they reached the structure, which was looking more and more like a section of a once-great craft that could've roamed the skies, they realized that the door at the "front" of the structure was quite hard, and did not have a handle.  Well this was no problem for Merida, and her unique skills of bashing.  The fiery-maned glaive pulled out a vicious looking spiked mace and with a single blow shattered the door like it was glass.  It was then that the trio could hear a soft, tearful, and familiar voice crying out from the inside.  It was Olaf the cryo-mutant… begging for "something" to leave him be, and for "someone" to save him.  With grim determination, the three princesses looked at each other and marched quickly into CREW L.A. D-VII's chamber… 


"In my opinion, they do not look good together." - Elsa commenting on the rumor that Captain Remy and the nano Poppins were bound for courtship.

"Crossbows are not supposed to be pretty… they're supposed to be deadly and gross!" - Evie (playing Anna) didn't want Carrie (playing Elsa) to decorate her newly repaired crossbow with glitter. 

"I don't think it's a village, I think it's 'ye olde puppy mill'!" - Mommy's (playing Merida) first thought when she saw the compound that rested on CREW L.A. D-VII's island.  

"They think I'm one of them, and that my name is 'Jeff!'" - Evie was pretty sure that the winter-pelted margr's would recognize their good friend "Jeff" when she used the face changing cypher.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 4

Evie, Carrie, Nini (my mom), and Mommy (my wife)

The Ultimate #GetOutAndGame

So my mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews are in Disney World this week, and it got me thinking about the last time that I was in Disney.  More specifically, it got me thinking about the crazy and outlandish idea we had to do some serious gaming in the Happiest Place on Earth!  Back in February, while staying at Disney's Art of Animation resort my family and I played a short but spectacular game of Numenera out in the main dining area of our resort.  It was actually our second game of Numenera while in Disney World, our first occurring our first night while staying in our hotel room.  

Our first game at Disney

We didn't have many onlookers, since it was pretty late, going on 9:30pm.  But I have to hand it to my kids, they sure are a bunch of hardcore gaming troopers!  It was close to 11:30 when we rolled out of the restaurant, but we were really happy to have the opportunity to play in public.  You can be sure that we'll be doing this again on our next vacation.  

Our Disney-fied Cast

Anna, a Swift Jack who Entertains, played by Evie
Elsa, a Graceful Nano who Wears a Sheen of Ice, played by Carrie
Poppins, a Strong-Willed Nano who Controls Gravity, played by Nini
Merida, a Rugged Glaive who Carries a Quiver, played by Mommy

We Need a Nanny

A billion years beyond "once upon a time", and three princesses who had departed from Nihliesh only days before had found themselves entering the snow and sand covered ice-fishing village of Squibbon.  In search of their friend Olaf the cryo-mutant, the trio believed that he must have come through this village as it lay at the heart of the Fields of Frozen Flowers. This particular village was situated right alongside one of the frozen lakes, with skate skiffs, ice skating boats with sails, parked right along the edge of the ice. But the skiffs were not moving and the entire village looked tired and destitute. When the girls passed the first building they add acquaintance with a very properly dressed nano who introduced herself as Poppins. As one with the powers to control gravity, Poppins believed that it was her mission to free the village of whatever dark force was plaguing it's peoples.

The Merchant of Venus was happy to tell the party all he knew of the village. Legend had it that Squibbon was first founded by intelligent land squid, who built most of the village long before humans arrived. Even so, no one had ever seen one of the land squids, not even the eldest of the elders.  So now just humans lived in the village, and a few mutants. The first person they approached to see what was going on in town was the ice fisherman and skate skiff captain, a human with some slight rat features that introduced himself as Remy. Remy said that he knew who Olaf was, and that he was the one to take the crio-mutant out onto the ice just days before. He further explained that the greatest frozen petals were located out one one of the islands locked in the ice, and this is where Olaf wanted to go. Remy was sad to tell the princesses that there was significant peril on this small island because it was under the wicked control of a rogue AI unit that had once been part of a great ship that sailed the skies. This unit, Crew-L.A.D. VII, commanded a clan of Winter-Pelted Margr's and used them as minions. Rumor had it that the Crew-L.A.D. VII would've been especially interested in Olaf because it's physical robotic form was commonly adorned in the flesh of crio-mutants.

Remy would've been happy to take the party to the island but was unable to because he had to pay his sail in taxes to The Skinner, an evil man who had the village under his iron thumb. Well the princesses and their new friend Poppins would have none of that. They were determined to confront The Skinner and get back the sail. Remy said that a nearby tavern, Steaugu's was where The Skinner typically hung out, and his mansion was usually relatively empty. It was in his mansion that he kept his "taxes" collected from the villagers. Merida eyed up the mansion of The Skinner, saw the four story tower, and believed it had to be where his greatest treasures were kept. Grabbing rope out of their explorer's packs, the party passed it to Poppins. The gravity controller grabbed Anna, who shrouded them both in her chameleon cloak and then they hovered up to the tallest window of the tower. Sure enough the sail, as well as other treasures from the village, were in the highest room.

Anna went to pick the lock on the window but she set off the alarm. This sent out a loud buzzing that would surely tell everyone in town what was going on. Quickly she broke the glass, darted in the room and grabbed the sail, tying it with the rope so that Poppins could lower it down. But outside, The Skinner was facing off with Elsa. An evil fire commanding nano, The Skinner despised the ice loving Elsa even though he had never met her before. The two began blasting each other in ice and fire, although it was clear that the princess of Nihliesh was superior in her esoteries. As Poppins lowered Anna to the ground, an alarm bot flew out of the window and threatened the flying nano and the dangling jack. But no bot could withstand an arrow from the bow of Merida, who dropped it fast. Once on the ground, Anna realized that The Skinner had friends, a pair of bat wielding thugs who charged the party. Anna's crossbow broke on her first shot and she had to use her staff, but she was no match for two of the thugs. Luckily Merida the glance used her sword one one of them, and even after getting slugged by one of the bat-wielders, Anna returned the favor by smacking a stink pot in the face of her foe, knocking him out. Bolstered by Poppins' gravity control which had blasted The Skinner to the ground, Elsa continued to cover the evil nano in frost. After having enough of The Skinner's evil ways, Poppins stepped up and used her whip to shatter the head of the town's long time dictator.

Hey, it's the GM and his crew!


"We have a nanny now!" - Carrie was excited that her grandmother was joining the party as Poppins.

"Are they animatronic legs?" - Mommy still pondered the workings of Nihliesh and how it strolled through the desert.

"He probably wears a skin bow tie." - Evie's take on The Skinner.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 3

Numenera: Disenchanted Tales - Session 3

The Merchant of Venus

Elsa, a Graceful Nano who Wears a Sheen of Ice
Anna, a Swift Jack who Entertains
Merida, a Rugged Glaive who Carries a Quiver


A billion years beyond "once upon a time" three princesses were almost to the Fields of Frozen Flowers, in the hopes of finding their dear friend and cryo-mutant Olaf unharmed. The party's snowlopers had done an excellent job carrying their masters on their furry backs, and the trio was able to make excellent time cutting across Matheunis, a desert of frozen drit. With their keen perception, both Elsa and Anna were constantly scouting the horizon, and on this particular morning they saw as strange purple figure trying to flag them off the road. This figure obviously was a wounded varjellen and was seen leaning against a trader's cart, it's pack animal (giant slug) having been killed by something.  And both Anna and Elsa saw those somethings... A pair of Ithsyns we're stalking the visitant, who had run out of crossbow animals and was preparing to make its last stand. 

We'll the three princesses of Nihliesh we're not about to let some innocent Varjellen get slaughtered by fish/bird/reptiles. Anna used one of her cypher to blast one of the horrific creatures with a web while Anna blasted the other with a frigid spray of icy dust particles. Before they could even counter, the Ithsyns found themselves getting pelted by Merida's arrows repeatedly. She even managed to knock one of them out. The other was slain by Anna's crossbow. 

A very grateful Varjellen introduced himself as the Merchant of Venus, a traveling spice trader who followed the path of Venus across the sky as his means of navigation. He said that he was going to be trade sources in Squibbon, a town located near the Fields of Frozen Flowers, and offered the princesses each 5 shins if they would protect him the rest of the way, to which they agreed. Merida, Anna, and Elsa were another step closer to freeing Olaf!


"I wanna call him Steve!" - Carrie didn't know how NPC's worked.

"Where's Mad Max and are we Beyond Thunderdome?" - Jen was intrigued by the GM's description of the frozen desert.

"You better be tweeting that we got three 20's!" - Carrie, excited that the party was rolling exceptionally well tonight.

- "This is going down fast..." - Jen commenting on how tired everyone was
- "It's goin' down STEADFAST!" - Carrie was definitely a bit punchy.