Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Savage Princess Bride - Character Builds

Help wanted!

I had an incredible time running Savage Worlds at Gen Con last year, so when event registration opened up back in January I was incredibly excited to sign up.  As I've learned from reading about other Savage Game Masters, conventions are a great venue for creative and delightfully unusual adventure concepts.  Since I attempted to run a horror game at last year's event, I thought I'd switch gears and run something light and comedic for Gen Con 2015: Savage Princess Bride!

"After the Princess bride" takes place immediately after the movie ends.  The adventure outline was written before I registered the event, and I have some pretty cool twists up my sleeve for this fun and lively romp through Florin.  Last weekend I started working on character creation…

… and that's where you come in!  

I'd really like to run some of these character concepts and builds past all you incredible Savages.  Take a look, give me some feedback, good or bad, and tell me some of the stuff you'd tweak or change.  I really want to make this adventure awesome, and would love your assistance!  If you enjoy the builds, please feel free to try them at home.  After the convention, I'll see about posting my adventure outline for others to use… including some of the crazy twists!

Our Cast

Buttercup - Commoner Princess

Strong willed, fearless, and incredibly poised under pressure, Buttercup has dealt with a lot of emotional hardship over the last few days, and is ready to take the lead now that her true love is injured.  Whereas "The Princess Bride" seemed built around Westley saving Buttercup, I wanted to take the angle in this adventure of Buttercup leading the flight out of Florin.
  • Attributes:  Agility d6,  Smarts d6,  Spirit d8,  Strength d4,  Vigor d8
  • Rank:  Seasoned (20 xp)
  • Pace:  6,  Parry:  5,  Toughness:  6,  Charisma:  +2
  • Edges:  Brave, Command, Charismatic, Nerves of Steel, Inspire
  • Hindrances:  Bad Luck, Wanted (minor)
  • Skills:  Fighting d6,  Persuasion d8,  Shooting d8,  Notice d6,  Swimming d6,  Riding d6

Westley - The Dread Pirate Roberts

Creating a Savage Worlds character that can best a duelist, wrestle a giant, and outwit a mastermind seemed daunting, until I figured out an end-around: bennies.  Who says that Westley has to be faster, stronger, or smarter… maybe he's just lucky?  Coupled with Elan, Westley always has the opportunity to come out ahead when relying on chance.  
  • Attributes:  Agility d8,  Smarts d6,  Spirit d6,  Strength d8,  Vigor d8
  • Rank:  Seasoned (20 xp)
  • Pace:  4,  Parry:  6,  Toughness:  6,  Charisma:  0
  • Edges:  Danger Sense, Luck, Elan, Great Luck
  • Hindrances:  Lame*, Heroic*
  • Skills:  Fighting d8,  Notice d6,  Stealth d6,  Taunt d6,  Boating d6,  Swimming d6,  Climbing d6
* For the purposes of this convention game, I'm allowing Westley to have two major hindrances.

Inigo Montoya - Spaniard

I wanted to completely maximize the duelist capabilities of Savage Worlds, so I chose edges and skills that matched Inigo's fighting style in the movie.  While I was tempted to make Inigo ambidextrous ("I am not left-handed") there really was no benefit to doing this in the game… besides, the character admits that he is still better with his right.
  • Attributes:  Agility d10,  Smarts d6,  Spirit d6,  Strength d6,  Vigor d6
  • Rank:  Seasoned (20 xp)
  • Pace:  6,  Parry:  7,  Toughness:  5,  Charisma:  0
  • Edges:  Trademark Weapon, Frenzy, Acrobat, Dodge, Counterattack
  • Hindrances:  Overconfident, Death Wish, Enemy (minor)
  • Skills:  Fighting d10,  Intimidation d6,  Notice d6,  Tracking d6,  Stealth d10,  Swimming d4

Fezzik - Giant

Okay, I'll admit that this one was easy.  A big, tough, bruiser with a heart of gold.  
  • Attributes:  Agility d6,  Smarts d4,  Spirit d6,  Strength d12,  Vigor d10
  • Rank:  Seasoned (20 xp)
  • Pace:  6,  Parry:  6,  Toughness:  8,  Charisma:  0
  • Edges:  Brawny, Brawler, Martial Arts
  • Hindrances:  Clueless, Loyal, Pacifist (minor)
  • Skills:  Fighting d8,  Intimidation d6,  Notice d4,  Climbing d10,  Throwing d8

Miracle Max - Miracle Worker

The first four characters were easy to choose from, but coming up with "5" and "6" was tough at first… until I remembered Max and Valerie.  For Miracle Max, I plan on using the Alchemy rules from Accursed, which gives him four starting powers.  I haven't chosen those yet, but am open to suggestions!
  • Attributes:  Agility d6,  Smarts d12,  Spirit d8,  Strength d6,  Vigor d4
  • Rank:  Seasoned (20 xp)
  • Pace:  5,  Parry:  4,  Toughness:  4,  Charisma:  -2
  • Edges:  Arcane Background (Alchemy), Power Points, New Power, New Power
  • Hindrances:  Elderly, Hard of Hearing (minor), Ugly
  • Skills:  Fighting d4,  Notice d10,  Alchemy d12, Knowledge (Arcana) d10, Investigation d8, Streetwise d8

Valerie - Not a Witch

She might say that she's not a witch, but I gave Valerie the Arcane Background (Witchcraft) from Accursed.  Despite being the typical "spellcaster" I think that this character's hindrances will open a lot of doors for role-play, especially during social interaction.  Personally, I think this character will be the most fun at the table!  As with Max, I haven't picked powers yet, but would love to hear your thoughts!
  • Attributes:  Agility d4,  Smarts d8,  Spirit d10,  Strength d4,  Vigor d8
  • Rank:  Seasoned (20 xp)
  • Pace:  6,  Parry:  4,  Toughness:  6,  Charisma:  -2
  • Edges:  Arcane Background (Witchcraft), Power Points, New Power, Beast Master
  • Hindrances:  Curious, Big Mouth, Mean
  • Skills:  Fighting d4,  Notice d8, Witchcraft d10, Knowledge (Nature) d8, Healing d8, Survival d8
*     *     *

As you can see I still have far to go, including equipment, powers, and some more fine tuning.  Again, if you have any suggestions please send them my way!  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Suffering from [Genre] Mood Swings

I’m not sure if this is typical of all gamers, or just me, but I often describe myself as being in a “[genre] mood” when looking to play certain games or declining others.  At any given time, I’m really excited to be playing games in one very specific genre, typically for a period of three to six weeks, and then I move on to something else.  I get obsessive and very specific during these periods of time.  For instance, I may be in an "Ancient Roman" mood, listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast, watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand, playing Rome: Total War, and preparing materials for a Savage Worlds: Weird Wars Rome one-shot.  If I am in a “space opera” mood, I’m typically absorbed in games like Mass Effect or Master of Orion 2 (yes I still play that), and sit down for endless hours of Battlestar Galactica and Firefly.  

Star Wars would get its own mood altogether.  

Currently I’m finding myself in that “space opera” mood, ever since running Savage Worlds - The Last Parsec last week for my kids.  Starting Saturday I began drowning myself in the glories of space adventure.  I finally got to the last boss in FTL, although both my crews of the Sigil and Sigil II failed to take down that monstrous vessel.  I watched the new Star Trek movie again (Pine & Quinto part 1), as well as Guardians of the Galaxy for what has to be the tenth time.  I rekindled my Mass Effect 2 game yesterday morning, and even played some of the Firefly board game last night with my wife (winning for the first time).  When everyone else in the house was busy yesterday afternoon, I was digging through my garage so that I could find all of my old Battletech miniatures and sourcebooks… it’s been years since I’ve roamed the battlefields with House Kurita!  

Battlemechs!  Arise from your slumber!

Although rediscovering old loves is a lot of fun, as someone who is a game-master for multiple campaigns, I find it very difficult sometimes to get excited for my regular groups when I’m in the middle of a conflicting [genre] mood.  If I’m steampunking on the inside, but running traditional fantasy with my players, I feel a disconnect at the table.  In the past, I’ve let my [genre] moods win over, and I’ve ended successful campaigns so that I could get to play something else, only to regret the change later… when I’ve entered a different [genre] mood altogether.  

When I first started playing Savage Worlds in 2012, and was collecting a lot of new and different sourcebooks and campaign settings, my tendency to switch genres of interest was downright destructive!  Our group was enjoying a very successful homebrewed steampunk setting called Clockwork when I got the itch to run something superhero related.  At the time I was reading a lot of Hellboy, and I wanted to do something dark, so I talked the group into making the change to Necessary Evil.  We ran three or four games of this campaign before I returned to a steampunk mood and we drifted back into Clockwork.  

Then Weird Wars Rome came out in print, and the rest became history.

I believe that my tendency to switch [genre] moods so quickly is why I’ve found such a terrific home in The Strange.  Our current campaign started on modern Earth, with a secret agent feel, but then shifted to the sword and sorcery Dark Sun recursion.  After Athas, the players will get a chance to see how we’re going to incorporate Star Wars into the mix… just in time for May the 4th perhaps!  I’ve found a similar experience in Numenera, since there is such a blend between science-fiction and fantasy that I can lean in either direction and still keep my players engaged and my interest piqued.

Long term campaigns have always been a challenge for me.  Even when I’m able to keep the group on track for a while, typically I need to run several one-shots a month just to scratch those [genre] mood itches that occasionally pop up.  This may just be a sign of just how many incredibly awesome game systems and campaign settings are on the market in 2015…

… or that I completely lack all self-control as a gamer!  

As a game-master, when you are running your campaigns, are you able to stay focused on one story/setting/genre week after week or do you find yourself distracted?  If your mind drifts, and your mind wanders, what do you do to stay on target?  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Savage Bedtime Story - Disney's The Last Parsec - Session 4

Another Rack Time Mission

After nearly two months of playing other games, on Wednesday night we returned to our Disney inspired, Savage Worlds - The Last Parsec campaign.  The kids were excited, since we ended the last adventure on a cliffhanger, with Commander Fredrickson, Experiment 626, Wall-E and Eve interacting with a strange and foreign robot near a crashed, red starship.  In that two month period, however, we kicked off our Living 4 Crits YouTube channel, and we figured this would be the perfect opportunity to show the world how to have a quality RPG session in just thirty minutes!  

As usual, this blog post features the post-game play report, but also some of the mechanics from the game.  I've included stats for Cactuars, as well as the builds for all of the characters in the game.  

In case you missed the video, here's you go.  For the sake of time, I trimmed all of the gaps, delivering just under fifteen minutes of bedtime story gaming.

The JumpCorp Operatives

  • Ellie Frederickson, Commander, played by Jen (Mommy)
  • Eve, Probe Robot, played by Carrie
  • Stitch, Experimental Security Officer, played by Evie
  • Wall-E, Waste Disposal Robot, played by Coopee

Session 4 - A Prickly Problem

This is part two of an adventure featuring the brave crew of the JumpCorp vessel Quorra.  If you would like to read part one, please follow this link.

Now that the JumpCorp operatives knew that the robotic probe was not a threat, Eve opened communications with the construct.  The robot introduced itself as Cid, and stated that its crew was still trapped in stasis, and had been so for quite some time.  During a mission, the human crewmembers acquired several members of a dangerous alien species from the planet Sabotender, and the aliens got free while the vessel was in flight.  Cid asked the JumpCorp operatives if they could assist in ridding the ship of the alien.

Commander Ellie agreed to the mission and led her team onto the craft.  Wall-E was the first to enter.  The brave little robot carefully "tiptoed" on his treads into the cargo bay of the massive red ship.  Commander Ellie was close behind, but only a few steps into the vessel she and her crew were beset upon by four, cactus-humanoid hybrids! 


The first cactuar charged Stitch, laid a devastating strike into the experiment's belly.  Stitch was able to roll with the spikey punch, taunt the creatures, and then return a claw of his own in retaliation.  Commander Ellie drew her molecular blade and started slashing in defence, while Wall-E scratched the eyes of another cactuar.  All this time Eve was attempting to use her blaster arm to shoot one of the aliens, but couldn't land a shot.  Eve ended up using her intimidating, electronic stare to frighten off one of the cactuars.

When one of the cactuars nearly yanked Wall-E's eye from its mechanical socket, the little yellow and grey robot got serious.  Wall-E reached into the Coleman cooler he had on his back, and pulled out a gunblade!  Shooting and slashing, Wall-E cut down the last remaining cactuar. 

Once all of the cactuars were defeated, or scared away, Eve quickly made her way to the crew quarters on the craft.  There were four individuals in stasis, and the scout robot disengaged all of their hibernations.  The crew introduced themselves as Quistis, Zell, Rinoa, and Squall, and they stated that their ship was the Ragnarok.  Commander Squall gave the JumpCorp operatives his thanks, and the crew of the Quorra departed the small, drifting world.  

New Mechanics

Cactuar (from the Final Fantasy series)

Attributes:  Agility d8,  Smarts d4,  Spirit d8,  Strength d10,  Vigor d6

Skills:  Climbing d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d4

Pace:  6
Parry:  6
Toughness:  6(1)

Gear:  None

Special Abilities:

  • Armor +1:  Because cactuars have some tough cactus hide!
  • Green Screen Terror:  Cactuars are especially terrifying when they pass in front of a green screen… since they just look like walking spikes!  If this should happen, and they are seen on a view screen, there should be an immediate Spirit roll at a -2 penalty to not quake in fear!
  • Spiked Charge:  cactuar who charges at least 6” before attacking can add +2 damage to the attack.
  • Spiky Mits:  Str +1d8 damage

Character Builds

In case you missed my first post about the blending of Savage Worlds The Last Parsec with Disney Animation, here are the builds for my family's characters:

Ellie Fredrickson - Commander

A Cloned Human from the world of Epcot, Ellie's original DNA came from an adventurous woman who lived in the 20th century.  She commonly proclaims "adventure is out there!"  Played by my wife, Jen.  

  • Attributes:  Agility: d10,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d8,  Strength: d4,  Vigor: d6
  • Edges:  Ace, Luck, Charismatic, Great Luck
  • Hindrances:  Curious, Stubborn, Big Mouth
  • Skills:  Piloting: d10, Shooting: d8, Fighting: d6, Persuasion: d8, Knowledge Computers: d4, Knowledge Navigation: d6, Notice: d6
  • Signature Gear:  Laser Pistol, Molecular Knife, An ancient book titled "My Adventure Book."

Eve - Probe Robot

An energetic construct on loan from Buy 'n' Large, Eve was created in the great ark-ship the Axiom, and served several centuries helping with cleanup operations on Earth.  Played by Carrie.   

  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d8,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d4,  Vigor: d6
  • Edges:  Construct, Geared Up
  • Hindrances:  Owned (out of Interface Zero 2.0), Pacifist (Minor), Loyal (to the ship)
  • Skills:  Notice: d8, Intimidation: d4, Investigation: d6, Knowledge Biology: d6, Knowledge Computers: d8, Shooting: d8, Repair: d8, Tracking: d6, Stealth: d4, Fighting: d4
  • Signature Mods:  Flight, Sensor Suite, Armor

Stitch - Experimental Security Officer

Eventually becoming naughty enough to get arrested by the Galactic Federation, Stitch was placed in a cryo-prison and forgotten for centuries.  Recently he performed his "great escape" during a botched prisoner transfer.  Played by Evie

  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d10,  Vigor: d8
  • Edges:  Arcane Background: Supers Power (Environmental Protection)
  • Hindrances:  Wanted (Major), Mean, Phobia (Minor - Water)
  • Skills:  Fighting: d8, Throwing: d6, Healing: d6, Shooting: d6, Piloting: d6, Repair: d4, Survival: d6, Taunt: d4
  • Experiment 626:  Built as a new alien species.  Wall Walker (+1), Toughness x2 (+2), Small (-1).  

Wall-E - Waste Disposal Robot

This little "Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class" was quite distressed when his favorite robot, Eve, went off to work for JumpCorp.  So he stowed away on Quorra to be with his friend.  Played by my 4 year old son Cooper.  

  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d6,  Vigor: d6
  • Edges:  Construct
  • Hindrances:  None
  • Skills:  Notice: d6,  Fighting: d6,  Repair: d6,  Taunt: d6,  Knowledge Computers: d6,  Knowledge Planetology: d6,  Locksmithing: d8,  Stealth: d8,  Throwing: d8
  • Signature Gear:  Fire Extinguisher and a Ninja Sword (still shaking my head over this)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Numenera - Pulse - Session 4

The last scene… keep reading!

The One Where Garren Got Varjellen-napped 

Last year our party was given a healing sphere artifact during the very session of The Sun Below: City on the Edge.  Tonight, I spent the entire evening trying to brutally slay the party, but that damned artifact kept them alive!  It's okay… at the end I had my revenge!


  • Chase Rombek or Raa-em, a Mystical Nano who Sees Beyond or a Mad Nano who Wields Power with Precision, played by Frank
  • Jak, a Mutant Glaive who Constantly Evolves, played by Craig
  • Glyquorg, an Exiled Jack who Controls Animals, played by Andy
  • Ralyx, Mlox Jack who Throws with Deadly Accuracy, played by Marc
  • Takkorek, Slaker Nano who Entertains, played by Jeremy
  • Garren, Varjellen Glaive who Studies Anatomy, played by Andreas

Non-Player Characters of Note

  • None this evening


After the brutal battle with the Oorgolian Soldiers, our brave numenera hunters nursed their wounds and collected any valuable pieces of technology left behind by their slain enemies.  What was surprising, however, was the realization that Raa-em/Chase Rombek had not been in the battle!  So the party sent Jak back to the south in order to find their missing nano.  Several minutes passed and then Chase remarkably appeared!  However he had no recollection of seeing Jak.  Oh well!  Figuring that their mutant glaive was probably still safe, the party used Chase’s healing sphere artifact to recover a bit more health before moving on.

[GM’s Note:  Sorry, Frank missed last week’s game, and Craig had to miss this week… this was the best explanation I could come up with.]

Glyquorg and Ralyx paired up and started tracking the one remaining Oorgolian into the valley to the east.  A small stream of pure blood flowed along the ground, out into the river, and it seemed obvious that this was the principle source of the Wyr’s contamination.  After fifteen minutes, the tracks led to a small and bloody waterfall, flanked by a pair of smooth marble stones.  At the base of the waterfall clots of green muck collected, which fed dozens of beetles, each the size of a large fist.  

Ralyx decided to climb up one of the stones, but as soon as he approached the bloody waterfall, a small cypher clattered to the ground directly ahead.  Suddenly, a massive hontri, a bird with a thirty-foot wingspan, appeared in front of the mlox jack.  The terrible creature grabbed Ralyx, and started to “stuff” his body into the bird’s own torso.  But this event was merely a waking nightmare, as none of the other party members saw the bird.  They only saw a convulsing, squirming, and whining mlox.  Glyquorg was interested in what happened to his fellow ex-bounty hunter, so the exiled jack approached.  But Glyquorg also suffered a terrible waking nightmare, as a twelve-foot tall version of his slain “Lemux” appeared, and began beating upon the jack's head with clenched, gerbil-like fists!

Before the rest of the party could react, the pursued Oorgolian erupted from behind the bloody waterfall, bow in hand, launching arrows as it moaned a terrible warcry.  As he had done in the past, Chase Rombek, currently under the control of Raa-em, let loose with a violent flash esotery, not only striking the Oorgolian, but also all of the beetles, and his two party-members Glyquorg and Ralyx.  Takkorek had more concern for his teammates, and the slacker nano darted forward and used his countermeasure esotery to disarm the cypher affecting the screaming pair of jacks.  No longer quaking in fear, Glyquorg leveled his slug-thrower and fired several piercing rounds into the Oorgolian’s chest.  Always one to steal the final glory, Ralyx finished off the creature with a thrown rock.

Ralyx was quite interested in the area behind the bloody waterfall, and hoped that perhaps the Oorgolian’s missile launching artifact was located inside.  The mlox ignited a glowglobe and stepped through the falls, followed by the rest of his team.  There was a long winding corridor ahead, which appeared to be constructed of synth and metal.  Following the passage, Ralyx came to a point where it turned left, and peering around the corner, there was a soft glow of light.  The mlox signaled for the rest of the party to follow along, but accidentally triggered a trap!  Since the party took an hour to heal their wounds earlier, the Oorgolian had time to set up an explosive rig, using the last remaining missile and pieces of the launcher.  The blast washed over the entire team, and the ground shook violently.  Certainly, if anyone else was nearby, they would be coming soon.  Since time was of the essence, this intrepid team of adventurers made the wisest decision possible…

… they waited forty-five minutes for the party’s mad nano to construct a walking automaton (named SH33P) out of spare parts.

Just before the automaton was ready, Ralyx noticed something strange.  The soft glow of light at the end of the hall was starting to dim.  Running down the hall, Ralyx looked east and saw that there were three Oorgolians pushing large heavy stones to block the one exit from the tunnel.  Glyquorg, sensing trouble, took a look to the west, carefully peering out of the bloody waterfall.  Sure enough, three more Oorgolians were setting up an explosive launching device.  

[Queue Admiral Ackbar quote]

Thinking quickly, Ralyx decided to charge past the three Oorgolians pushing the stones.  He threw a needle burst cypher at one, causing him to explode into shards of crystal and bone, which sprayed the others.  The rest of the team followed behind the mlox, and when a cypher was lobbed into the hallway from outside, Takkorek was ready again with his countermeasure esotery.  The entire troupe ran up and out of the hall and into the tall grass and bushes that were on the other side.  

Careful to stay out of sight, the party followed the edge of the valley, staying low and ever vigilant for more of the Oorgolian soldiers.  At the very end of the valley they found them… as well as the source of the blood and oil.  

The valley came to a close around a massive cave entrance.  All around the entrance to the cave was a deep pool of blood.  Protruding from the cave and flopping against the ground was a thirty-foot long, five-foot wide, constantly bleeding artery.  There was also a soft thumping in the ground below the party’s feet, and with each thump, the artery moved, and more blood flowed.  Attached to the end of the artery were long wires, connected to a giant metal cylinder.  There were ten Oorgolians overseeing this operation, five working with the artery and the cylinder, and another five standing guard.  Occasionally one of the Oorgolians working would disconnect the wires, and either a “scientist” would enter or exit the artery.  It was clear that cylinder was acting as some kind of “pacemaker” for whatever was attached to the organic tube.  

Knowing that they had to shut off the flow of the blood, the party carefully planned a coordinated infiltration of the Oorgolian camp.  The key to the whole operation was that metallic cylinder, and Garren believed that, if he could get close enough, he could discern what it was doing, and perhaps shut it down.  So the varjellen donned a visage changer, turned himself into an Oorgolian, and entered the camp.  

Unfortunately, while investigating the cylinder, Garren’s disguise failed.  Although he looked 100% Oorgolian, he didn’t speak the language, and the three nearby scientists attacked with detonation cyphers.  

Figuring that the plan was shot, Raa-em/Chase Rombek flash-bombed all of the Oorgolian guards in a searing blast.  He then used his mini-gate cypher to disconnect the wires from the flopping artery, causing it to go non-floppy.  Ralyx far-stepped to the top of a hill and rained down razor ring death onto the Oorgolians, but had to carefully dodge the incoming hail of slug-thrower fire from the remaining guards.  

Meanwhile, Garren was able to dodge his remaining attackers, as he leapt into the bloody pool.  Two of the scientists to the north had remained unscathed in the combat... until Glyquorg showed up.  The exiled jack who murders descended upon one with his water sword in a terribly vicious chop, and faced a second with the help of SH33P, sent by Chase/Raa-em as backup.  The entire group was able to work more effectively given the entertaining Takkorek’s stories and esoteries.  Some of the party members were accelerated in their actions, and others were donning nanite-driven force shields.  All had the confidence to assault these organized visitants head on.

The Oorgolians initiated a failed counteroffensive to drive the numenera hunters back.  Ralyx was blasted with a gas emitting cypher, which he managed to shake off.  Garren was “shocked” to discover that the electrodes of the cylinder were very effective against victims swimming in the metallic blood.  The varjellen was dragged ashore by one of the scientists, and then pulled into the giant artery itself, into the “creature” that resided in the hillside.  SH33P would fall to a needler attack, but Glyquorg avenged the death his hastily crafted cohort.  Between Ralyx’s razor rings, and Raa-em’s onslaught barrages, the battle was completely won…

… until the last remaining Oorgolian initiated a self-destruct feature on the metal cylinder, detonating the entire area in electricity that injured the party (save for the captured Garren), and shorted out the group’s most useful artifact… the healing sphere.  


"Five dollar footlong, bitch!" - If Ralyx could throw a sandwich, this would be his war cry.

Jim - "… and a handheld shredder." 
Andy - "I'm holding out for a handheld Beebop and Rocksteady!" 

"… and out of the waterfall comes an Oorgolian Rambo!" - Jim almost made Marc spit with this comment.

"I'm convinced this is because of the beetles, because I don't like beetles." - Frank doesn't like beetles.

"I say 'that's not a knife, this is a knife,' and I pull out my Water Sword!" - Andy's character, Glyquorg, knows how to speak Australian.

"I'm basically a big crystal explody thing!" - Frank's description of Raa-em was sort of accurate, but not.

"TK421, why aren't you at your post?" - Marc quotes Star Wars when Andreas' character can't communicate with the other Oorgolians.

"I high five the sheep!" - Glyquorg was having Lemux flashbacks.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Seller's Remorse

If it says 4E or Eberron, its gone...

Losing Your Treasures by Choice

Recently I’ve been thinking of all the role-playing games I’ve sold over the years and how I occasionally regret these exchanges months or years down the road.  But despite my tendency to kick myself for letting go, I still find myself repeating the same process over and over again.  As with most gaming collectors, I purchase far more products than I could ever possibly read or use, and while there are many that I would never give up, even if I were never to play them, whenever there is an edition change, or a new and improved update, I get the itch…

… because there is always some other product out there that I need to get my fingers on, and spare cash can be hard to come by!

I can still remember the first time I sold off part of my gaming collection.  It was at Lehigh University’s EPIC Convention in the spring of 1996.  I was sixteen years old, and showed up to the convention with my entire collection of Magic the Gathering cards.  I cannot recall why I had the cards with me, as I had no intention of playing Magic the Gathering while at the convention.  I signed up to run two RPG events, and play in another three or four, and that left precious little time for anything else.  But I had recently purchased West End Games’ Star Wars Role-Playing Game, and on a break between sessions I found myself in the dealers’ hall staring at a bunch of sourcebooks that I needed to purchase.  

Since I was in high school and didn’t have a job, money was pretty tight.  I was about to walk away when the guy behind the counter asked if I had anything I wanted to trade.  

Trade?  Really?  I could do that?

I wasn’t actively playing Magic the Gathering at the time, so I showed the gentleman my deck and we worked out a price.  An hour later I was admiring the new books I acquired.  Two years later I was lamenting my lack of an awesome White/Green deck.  

The process would repeat itself year after year all through college.  I’d buy a bunch of books, maybe play with half, and sell a few off to fund my next purchase.  For example I sold my original Planescape 2nd Edition books to pay for Wraith the Oblivion stuff which I sold a year later for the Mordheim miniatures game and some extra figures.  In an interesting and costly merry-go-round fashion, I sold a lot of my AD&D 2nd Edition books when 3rd Edition came out, and then ditched most of my 3rd and 3.5 Edition books for 4th Edition.  But when I got tired of 4th Edition I decided that I wanted to boost my collection of “old-school” products, and went back and re-purchased many of the AD&D 2nd Edition stuff I ditched in the first place!

I hope I’m not the only gamer out there that treat’s their collection like a used car lot!  

Judging by eBay, Amazon.com, and Half Priced Books, I know that there is strong market for used gaming materials, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to correct some of my bad decisions as a younger gamer.  I’ve been fortunate to re-collect all of the 2nd Edition Planescape, Dragonlance, and Spelljammer books that I ditched in the early 2000’s.  Some of the products I’ve sold over the years, like Wraith the Oblivion, I don’t exactly “miss”, but in hindsight I wish I would’ve kept because they were an interesting read, even if I had no intention to run the game again.

The reason I thought about writing this post stems from that very first trade: the “1996 Magic the Gathering for d6 Star Wars deal.”  I ended up amassing a huge d6 Star Wars  collection, only to partition it off when Wizards of the Coast released the Revised Edition and then the Saga Edition.  Those books that I didn’t sell, I gave away, figuring I’d be playing the new game, and would be completely content.  But I miss those old books.  I miss the basic rules, even the clunky parts that I mistakenly believed I had to “fix.”  I miss the Millennium Falcon screaming across the cover, and the old black-and-white sourcebooks created back when the expanded universe was still precious and the prequels were far, far away.  

I can’t say for certain that I’m completely finished trading in older books and older editions.  But I hope that “future Jim” will be more careful before letting go of tried-and-true games he grows tired of, in favor of something new and shiny.  Sometimes an old favorite doesn’t need to be replaced.  It just needs to spend some quality time on a shelf or in storage, so that it can be rediscovered like buried treasure a few years down the road.  

So am I alone?  Does anyone else buy/play/trade/and sell their books and games constantly?  If so what sales do you still regret?

Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Under Strange Suns - Session 2 - a Sherlock Holmes/Dark Sun/Star Wars Campaign

Exploring Athas

It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to explore the sandy wastes of Dark Sun.  Whenever I open that worn boxed set, and flip through the paperback sourcebooks, spiral bound adventure books, and incredibly detailed maps, I feel nostalgic.  I ran long-term Dark Sun campaigns from 1994 to 1995 (AD&D 2nd Ed.), and then again from 2003 to 2007 (D&D 3.0/3.5).  During the D&D 4th Edition I ran a short-lived, online campaign that only lasted three sessions, but the feeling of the new and revised races, classes, and monsters didn't feel right.  Thri-kreen were no longer large, eleven foot tall half-giants were now wimpy eight foot tall goliaths, and elemental clerics were completely gutted.  So I resigned myself to a long separation from the world of Athas.

Leave it to Monte Cook Games' The Strange to bring me home!

In the last session of Under Strange Suns our party followed the trail of Sherlock Holmes from 221B Baker Street to Troy Denning's home to the broken world of Athas.  But after completing the translation to this shattered, arcane-apocalyptic recursion, the Estate agent found themselves in the bonds of slavery.  Could this be right?  Did Sherlock Holmes suffer the same fate?  

Agents of the Estate

  • Barbara "Babs" Goldstein, a Strange Paradox who … 
    • Works the System on Earth
    • Shepherds the Dead on Ardeyn
    • Casts Spells on Athas (Elven Preserver)
    • and is played by Emily
  • Jacqueline Dingo, a Skeptical Spinner who … 
    • Solves Mysteries on Earth
    • Embraces Qephilim Ancestry on Ardeyn
    • Focuses Mind over Matter on Athas (Human Psionicist)
    • and is played by Jen
  • Arlo Coulton, a Graceful Vector who … 
    • Is Licensed to Carry on Earth
    • Carries a Quiver on Ardeyn
    • Fights Dirty on Athas (Mul Gladiator)
    • and is played by Jeremy
  • Chuck Lannigan, a Stealthy Spinner who … 
    • Operates Undercover on Earth
    • Channels Sinfire on Ardeyn, 
    • Crafts Powerful Poisons* on Athas (Half-Elf Bard)
    • and is played by Andy
  • Agent 97 aka "Carol", a Clever Vector who… 
    • Leads on Earth
    • Leads on Ardeyn
    • Bears a Halo of Fire  on Athas (Dwarf Cleric of Fire)
    • and is played by Bobbie
  • Dr. Sybil Holloway/Ka'cha Kano'kek, a Lucky Paradox who …
    • Conducts Weird Science on Earth
    • Embraces Qephilim Ancestry on Ardeyn
    • Hunts with Great Skill on Athas (Thri-Kreen Ranger)
    • and is played by Ethan 

* Crafts Powerful Poisons is out of Ninth World Assassins by Metal Weave Games

Adventure Summary

The slave hold of House Vordon's slow moving mekillot wagon was hot and sweltering and nearly devoid of light save for the precious few holes cut into the ceiling to provide the prisoners fresh air.  There were eight captives in the hold.  Three were natives to the recursion: two humans, brother and sister, and a half-elf man.  The other five were the recently translated agents of the Estate.  The agents were still trying to come to terms with their new bodies and abilities, save for Dr. Sybil, a native of Athas who was finally "home."  

Since Chuck Lannigan was an avid fan of Dungeons & Dragons, he helped the rest of the party understand the "races" and "classes" that the team gained by coming to this fictional recursion.  Chuck explained that he was a Half-Elf Bard, a master of song and poison.  On her home recursion of Athas Dr. Sybil was Ka'cha Kano'kek, a fierce, mantis-like Thri-Kreen Ranger.  Arlo Coulton was a massive and muscular, hairless bronze Mul Gladiator.  Babs Goldstein gave up her pocket constitution for a cloth spellbook as an Elven Preserver.  Jackie Dingo, comfortable in fantasy settings since she was a qephilim native of Ardeyn, was still somewhat dismayed that she remained in human form as a telekinetic Psionicist.

The agents were bound with leather collars and bone and rope chains.  Arlo scoffed at the binding implements, as he had a hidden steel knife in one of his sandals… a benefit from his new ability to fight dirty in the arena.  The graceful vector was quite certain that he could cut everyone free, but needed to make sure that the other three slaves weren't going to squeal.  Chuck got the attention of the other slaves, and tried to talk with them.  He spun a story that he was confused in his capture, and couldn't remember how he got on the mekillot wagon.  The two siblings, Avrana and Theeg were young, barely fifteen, and didn't seem interested in talking to Chuck, but the half-elf was quite talkative.  

His name was Nalno, and he stated that the "slaves" had been captured from a Slave-Tribe village called Yazig, located near the city of Altaruk to the east.  Nalno stated that everyone was rounded up by House Vordon, and thrown into caravans to be sold to various cities.  This particular wagon was being taken to Tyr.  During the conversation one of the guards opened the door to the slave hold and started shouting.  He heard voices, and insisted that it had to be the "dirty bug", so the guard pulled a club and began to beat Dr. Sybil/Ka'cha relentlessly.  The guard then left and ordered the slaves to be quiet.  

Although the mekillot wagon was headed to Tyr, the Estate agents believed that it would be more advantageous to perform their mission on their own, rather than as owned property.  They wanted to escape, but needed the other three slaves to be "on board" with the plan.  Chuck asked each slave if they would cooperate.  The brother and sister nervously shook their head, but Chuck believed that Nalno had something else up his sleeve.  The half-elf was very interested in the plan, and was listening in on the agents' conversations with a deceiving twinkle in his crooked eyes.  

So Arlo cut his throat.  

As the half-elf bled out on the floor of the slave hold, Arlo cut the bonds of the rest of the party, and everyone started acting quickly.  Now that blood had been shed, the escape plan was set in motion.  On Athas, Jackie Dingo gained a psionic wild talent that allowed her to pass through solid objects.  The Skeptical Spinner stuck her head through one of the doors to the slave hold and took stock of the situation.  Each side of the hold was connected to a long hallway that traveled the length of the massive wagon.  Along each hallway was a stairwell to a tower, a stairwell to a cross-bow turret, and an exit door.  But the doors to the slave-hold were locked from the outside by a sturdy steel padlock, as were the doors to the wagon's exterior.

Dr. Sybil/Ka'cha and Arlo knew just how to get a hold of a few keys.  

The thri-kreen spent enough time on Earth to become a fan of heavy-metal, especially Metallica.  The rest of the party backed away from the door as Dr. Sybil/Ka'cha started screaming "Master of Puppets" while playing air guitar with all four of her arms.  She was wailing away, stomping her chitinous feet and growling lyrics from behind her mandibles.  The guard of course heard this, and opened the door.  But before he could shout an order, the guard winced in pain and grabbed his chest.  There was a steel knife sticking out of his ribs, held by Arlo.  The mul used his chameleon skin psionic wild talent to bend in to the wall, so the guard wouldn't see the attack coming.

Arlo described his stealthy attack technique as "Invis-i-stabbing!"  

The time had come to escape!  The agents grabbed the two remaining slaves and all fled into the hallway, save for Babs.  To divert the attention of the entire caravan, the elven magic-user planned on setting the wagon on fire.  This was Babs' first time using magic on Athas, however, and in this recursion all arcane energies were drawn from life itself.  Careful wizards, who called themselves preservers, focused on borrowing energy from life.  Ruthless and careless magic-users often drew too much energy, defiling the land around them.  Babs made the mistake of drawing far too much energy, creating a circle of ash below the wagon as all plant life, even bacteria, was sucked out of the ground.  This also had the effect of exponentially boosting her arcane fire spell.  By the time Babs left the slave hold, the wagon was certainly going up in flames.  

"It's a miracle!" Babs screamed, mimicking the opening song from the attorney's favorite new show, the "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

While most of the wagon's crew were desperately trying to put out the flames, two guards noticed the escape attempt, one armed with a crossbow and the other with a bone cudgel.  Arlo chose to stay back and keep the guards occupied while the rest of the team escaped.  In an instant Chuck unlocked the door, and everyone began jumping from the wagon.  Chuck and Dr. Sybil/Ka'cha ran across the road towards a long ditch, scrambling for cover.  Since she had spent so much time with the Jr. Estate Agents, Jackie Dingo took responsibility for the two teenaged slaves, and helped them out of the wagon.  

The party would've been free and clear, if Babs hadn't gotten greedy.  She was the second-to-last to leap from the wagon, as Arlo was still engaging the guards, and on her run to the ditch she saw the pair of crodlu-riders flanking the wagon.  Crodlus were bipedal bird-like mounts, and Babs thought they were adorable.  Rather than hide like the rest of her partners, she rained fiery death down on the crodlu-rider, but gained the attention of the remaining archers on the wagon.  

Arrows began to strike all about the party.  Two struck Jackie's young slave wards, killing both, and another hit the party's thri-kreen.  As Arlo leapt out of the wagon for safety, he saw Babs sprinting towards the rider-less crodlu.  The Strange Paradox calmed the animal and ran off into the broken wastes, followed by the rest of her team.

From atop the crodlu, Babs surveyed the scene a half-mile away from the blazing wagon.  The spired palace of Tyr was only about eight-miles to the west, a half-days march in the blazing sun.  But before the party could leave, a huge sandstorm blew in from the east, quickly surrounding the party.  Out of the storm a massive spout of a tornado appeared in the distance, which cut straight through the burning wagon…

… thus creating a firenado that was bearing down on the team!

Dr. Sybil/Ka'cha used her insectoid antennae, and keen sense of smell to follow a strange crusty trail first noticed by Jackie Dingo.  The thri-kreen ranger followed the trail all the way to a Silk Wyrm's hole.  Silk Wyrms were fifty-foot long, flying, psychically enhanced snakes.  Chuck hoped that the owner of the hole wasn't home, quickly converted his hand-axe into a torch, and crawled down the hole with the rest of the party behind.  When the firenado approached, Babs was at the back of the tunnel and started to get sucked out.  Luckily, Jackie was able to turn and use her powers of telekinesis to help catch Babs before she flew away.  

Chuck continued down the tunnel and noticed that the Silk Wyrm was indeed gone, but that its lair was an ancient cistern, still full of water.  At the bottom of the twenty-foot deep pool were several incredible items, that the party retrieved.  Not only were there several cyphers, but also an enchanted sword: an artifact known as El's Drinker!  Arlo was thrilled to take the sword for future battles.  

After completing their investigation of the tunnel and cistern, Babs was the first out of the hole.  She figured that her new crodlu, which she happily named "Zoidberg," was probably dead… burned to a crisp or sucked high into the air only to fall to a brutal death.  

Guess how excited she was when Zoidberg was just standing there, waiting for his new rider.

"It's a miracle!" 

Quotes from the Table

"Given my knowledge of D&D, do I know what a 'Meka Dragon' is?" - Andy had a really hard time with the word "mekillot" during the game.

"I kind of see Andy's character as James Marsden from Anchorman." - Jen agrees with the GM, that Chuck Lannigan's name is perfect for the evening news.  

"The eyes are the best part…" - Dr. Sybil/Ka'cha was eyeing up some fresh vittles after Arlo sliced Nalno's throat.

"After we shank a guard that's… like… go time." - Chuck Lannigan plans for the next part of the mission.

"How dare you just eat me, and then play air guitar!" - Babs was pretty irate with Dr. Sybil/Ka'cha for attempting to nibble her elven arm.

"… I can invis-i-stab him again!" - Jeremy coins the attack description of the night!

"What do crodlu eat?  They could be… like… circus crodlu and be starved!" - Jen was hoping that the slavers' mounts would be hungering for human flesh.

"This is worst than the beginning of Beastmaster!" - Ethan shaking his head during the scene where the two slave youths were shot down by the guards.

"Is the 'dragonlance'… I mean 'chuck wagon'… I mean Mekillot wagon…" - Andy still struggling with "mekillot"  

Jim - "… so now there's a burning tornado coming your way."

Jeremy - "… are there any sharks in it?"
(In hindsight, I should've included land sharks…)

New Stuff

El's Drinker

If you ever played Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, SSI's classic PC game from the early 1990's, you may remember this cool, vampiric blade.  I never saw El's Drinker in any of the published Dark Sun modules or sourcebooks, but I introduced a version of the magic item in a 3rd Edition campaign I ran back in the mid-00's.  Since I didn't know when I'd be back to Athas, I just had to bring back this cool magic item, as an artifact for The Strange!

  • Level 6 Artifact 
  • Medium weapon with +1 damage due to enchantment (5 damage)
  • On a roll of 17-20, instead of doing extra damage or taking a major or minor effect, the player may choose to recover an equal amount of stat pool points.  
  • So long as El's Drinker has been "blooded" (struck an organic opponent in combat), any recovery rolls by the wielder in that given combat can be made with a +2 bonus.
  • Depletion: 1-2 on a d100.  

Athas Recursion Rules

If you are interested in how to use Wild Talents, Defiling Magic, and Inferior materials, check out our first play report for Under Strange Suns, where I detail these rules.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

Numenera - Pulse - Session 3

Call of Duty

So far the player characters have death with many threats in the Ninth World, but rarely have they faced an enemy as coordinated, prepared, and dangerous in combat as they did in this session.  What began as a simple investigation into the strange goings-on near the Jutting Remnants became a pitched battle against expertly trained and equipped forces.  


  • Chase Rombek or Raa-em, a Mystical Nano who Sees Beyond or a Mad Nano who Wields Power with Precision, played by Frank
  • Jak, a Mutant Glaive who Constantly Evolves, played by Craig
  • Glyquorg, an Exiled Jack who Controls Animals, played by Andy
  • Ralyx, Mlox Jack who Throws with Deadly Accuracy, played by Marc
  • Takkorek, Slaker Nano who Entertains, played by Jeremy
  • Garren, Varjellen Glaive who Studies Anatomy, played by Andreas

Frank was absent during this game, so Raa-em was considered to be daydreaming for most of the scenes.

Non-Player Characters of Note

  • Cacoethes:  Leader of Ballaster, and somewhat creepy seducer 


With the remaining ithsyns retreating into the woods, our intrepid band of numenera-seeking ex-bounty hunters patched their wounds and examined the corpses of their slain foes.  Interested in the befuddling poison that the ithsyns expelled, Garren and Glyquorg took out their toolkits and got to work.  Garren’s surgery expertise allowed the visitant to remove the poison sacs from three of the ithsyns, which Glyquorg weaponized for the party’s use.  Not one to be left out on some keen crafting, Ralyx took the time to fashion some clawed gloves out of the ithsyns’ talons.  Once they were all finished, Takkorek told a rousing story to bolster the group’s attitude, and they continued their long, three day walk to Ballaster.  

The village of Ballaster rested in a swampy valley, with about a dozen families living in bamboo homes nestled atop long struts.  Despite the attempt to keep the homes away from the water, just about everything in the village was cold, damp, and dripping with sour-smelling, bacteria laden water.  There were no inns or taverns in the village, and none of the villagers came out to welcome or even question the party… save for a young girl.  

The child was barely ten years old and had pale, sickly flesh covered in hard, weeping sores.  Her eyes were sunken, and her skin dripped from the marsh’s mist.  She grabbed Ralyx’s hand and led him away from the rest of the party while Takkorek and Jak climbed the ladder to Cacoethes’ home.  The girl seemed interested in Ralyx, and told him that he could come visit her house and her family.  As soon as the pair reached the girl’s cave-like domicile, an angry man came charging out from the doorway.  It was the girl’s father, and he smacked his daughter hard across the face, and then dragged her back inside.  The man made it clear that no one in Ballaster wanted visitors, and Ralyx simply walked away.  Unfortunately for the mlox, he realized that the hand he used to touch the girl was now covered in a rash of hard bumps.  

Realizing that he had quickly contracted some kind of dermatological malady, Ralyx ran into the hills using his survivalist instinct to uncover a cure.  When he returned to the rest of the group, he had his entire hand, up to his wrist, engulfed by a massive amphibian.  The saliva and the stomach acids of the six-legged amphibian could remove the rash, so long as he kept his hand in the thing’s mouth for a few hours.  Ralyx looked less than amused.  The amphibian shared the mlox’s sentiment.

While all this was going on outside, Takkorek and Jak were meeting with Cacoethes.  The village leader was a sickeningly thin woman, whose pale, scab covered skin hung on her bones like a damp burlap sack.  Her entire home smelled of mildew, and turned Jak’s stomach although Takkorek didn’t seem to mind.  Cacoethes thanked Takkorek for returning to Ballaster, and after hearing of the party’s difficulty in coming to the village, acknowledged that the blood and machine fluids polluting the waters were clearly to blame for the village’s more recent problems.  The woman did not confirm exactly what the effect was on her village, but insisted on the party traveling north to the Jutting Remnants to stop the flow of the alien liquids.  

During the conversation, Cacoethes couldn’t stop staring at Jak, and the mutant glaive did his best not to return eye contact.  In a rather grotesque manner, the town’s leader was picking at a particular scab, and removed it completely.  At first Jak was completely disgusted, but when a mist of particles were emitted from the fresh wound floated into the air, the mutant no longer saw a sick figure, but rather a beautiful maiden.  

While the glaive’s mind said no, his body was saying “yes!”

At the end of Cacoethes’ conversation she offered Takkorek’s party refuge in her home for the evening, and had her servants retrieve the rest of the group.  In the middle of the night some of the party members heard one of their own slip away towards Cacoethes’ room, returning just before dawn.  When a breakfast of cold gruel was served just a few hours later, everyone arrived at the table.  Much to Ralyx’s delight, the rash on his hand was gone, and he no longer needed the amphibian’s secretions.  This was especially good news for Jak, as he had quietly requested not long before to use the creature’s services.  

For when the mutant glaive arrived at the breakfast table, his mouth and chin were firmly attached to the amphibian’s yawning maw.  

Bidding the unwelcoming people of Ballaster adieu, the band of adventurers followed the river Wyr north towards the Jutting Remnants.  It took half a day to get to the strange and ominous landscape, said to have been created by a crashed vessel from the heavens, long before the Ninth World gained its title.  The swamps, hills, and fields were covered in metal and synth structures, some barely noticeable, and others sticking out from the ground several hundred feet.  The blood in the river was much thicker, and the waters appeared to be filled with the red substance, a thin layer of oil and other light fluids resting on top.  

The party noticed a strange tube floating along the top of the river, and moved in to investigate.  The fleshy object was leaking the same blood entering the river.  Using Takkorek’s cable cypher, Ralyx fired a hook into the tube and pulled it ashore.  The tube was a living artery.  Even after pulling fifteen feet of the artery out of the water, it could’ve stretched hundreds more below ground.  As the rest of his team examined the weird organic object, Takkorek caught sight of something in the distance.

It was a creature holding a long cylindrical tube pointed towards the party.  Takkorek crashed to the ground, and the rest of the team did the same.  Looking out again, the figure was gone.  Sensing trouble, Glyquorg pulled out one of his javelins and crawled stealthily into the red water, moving carefully up the shore.  Takkorek looked again and saw that there was a small body tumbling down the side of a hill… the body of a young human child.  

The nano didn’t see any more figures, so he walked carefully across the grass towards the body.  When he reached the body, Takkorek carefully poked at it to see if it was alive.  There was no response, save for a faint beeping that began… and then the nano heard a click up in the bushes above.  


A massive explosion rocked the area, as the child’s body erupted in flames, throwing a dazed and disoriented Takkorek to the ground.  Immediately six figures stood up, two on a northern hill and one on an eastern, and started raining “fire” upon the party using slug-throwing artifacts.  Glyquorg was still not noticed, so the jack carefully crawled through the water towards the northern hill, his head only barely poking above water.  Ralyx, Jak, and Garren were not so fortunate… most of the suppressive fire was focused on their position.  If they didn’t react soon they would be shot down!

Garren pulled out the “Head of Sago”… a mace created from the cybernetic skull of a Marish Clan underboss… and charged the line of creatures.  As he got close enough to engage, he saw that they were skinny, artificially enhanced, humanoids, with long spindly limbs and thin, wormlike heads:  oorgolians!  Garren engaged one of the creatures, while Ralyx and Jak charged as well, all under heavy fire.  After a toothsome disarm with the Head of Sago, Garren managed to smack one of the creatures with a befuddling poison sac, causing it to stumble backwards in confusion.  One of Ralyx’s razor rings managed to topple another oorgolians, and the three remaining on the hill retreated into the thick grass and bushes.

Meanwhile Glyquorg was trying to take down the northern two oorgolians while Takkorek slowly recovered.  The exiled jack lobbed a javelin at one of the creatures, and continued forward, gaining their attention, and keeping them away from the wounded nano.  Unfortunately Glyquorg noticed that there was another pair of oorgolians, carrying some kind of “launcher” artifact, moving in from the east.   Their “missile” exploded above the heads of Glyquorg and Takkorek, causing further pain and suffering.  Glyquorg, still standing, managed to drop one of the creatures with his water-sword, but before he could slay another he was struck with a mind-affecting cypher that turned him blind and deaf momentarily.  The cyper-using oorgolian tried fleeing but was caught by a sleeping detonation, tossed from a now conscious, and somewhat recuperated Takkorek. 

Back on the hill with the other party members, Garren, Ralyx, and Jak chased the fleeing oorgolians.  There were traps waiting for the three, however, and while Garren and Jak leapt over the poison coated bamboo stakes, Ralyx’s legs were pierced with a painful poison.  The oorgolians turned back around and reengaged, but didn’t last long against the party’s exceptional strength and fortitude.  

At the end of the battle only one oorgolian had escaped, running to the east along a small stream of pure blood and oil.  The party of ex-bounty hunters regrouped, collected some of the oorgolians’ numenera, and took a brief pause to bind their wounds and prepare for more dangers ahead.  


Jim - "You're all going on the black list now." 
Marc - "I don't even know James Spader!" 

"My shirt is a sleeveless affair, that is tight to my body…" - Marc's response when the GM asked what he was wearing.

"You probably shouldn't do that… could leave a scar." - Jak didn't like that Cacoethes was picking at her scabs, seductively.

"That's a great trap… just throw a baby at somebody!" - Jim really liked his plan to start off the Oorgolian Soldier encounter.

"… with the 'Head of Sago' in hand." - Andreas (as Garren) charged into combat!

"THE BITE OF SAGO!" - Marc named Garren's attack, after the teeth of Sago caught one of the Oorgolian's slug-throwers.

"I am a Kill Stealing Jack who Throws with Deadly Accuracy!" - Marc doesn't lie.