Direbane is an abode to share artifacts, simulacra, histories, and other items of note related to ongoing years adventuring.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

4th Episode from 1990 Game Session

Not bad, I am beginning to have vague recollections of this game. We had a session a couple years ago where we threw on all these videos in the background, but I didn't follow the story closely. I'm personally interested to see what happens next...

Also, while there are rolls for certain class skills, there are no general "skill checks" that all characters can possess. So a lot of time was spent with DMs explaining to players what their characters see and the players having to figure out on their own how to bypass some mechanical or magical obstacle. That is why a lot of what was being a good, experienced gamer was knowing what different spells and class skills could be used to determine whether the operation of a thing was mechanical or magical, and depending on the operation how to overcome different things.

Monday, November 28, 2016

3rd Episode from 1990 Game Session

Ha, it should be apparent our games move pretty fast.

Thus far we have entered a city, trained, left by boat over a Glass Sea, had a pitched battle between 3 boats, and are now flying overland to some castle.

It will be interesting to see how the evening progresses as alcohol begins to have more of an effect...



(*** Note: At 55 seconds spotted DM has a copy of "Terrible Trouble at Tragidore" that came free with the 2nd Ed. DM's Screen. Purported to be one of the worst dungeon modules ever. Thankfully, I suppose, it doesn't appear our DMs are using material from "Tragidore.")

Monday, November 21, 2016

2nd Campaign Video from 1990

Here is the 2nd episode from video taken of our gaming sessions back in March, 1990.

Ha, I can get at least the first three episodes of this session up pretty rapidly because I had already edited this footage. Just needed to add comments from my peanut gallery.

One thing interesting about this particular game session is how well we navigated the battles without using miniatures. We pretty much kept the scene in our head, knowing how far we could move per round plus our ranges and such. Also, I had forgotten or never realized at the time that our DMs are using a "Dark Sun" setting. (Desert, Glass Sea, Thri-Kreen...)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Original Blipping Campaign Video from 1990

My local gaming group in 1989, at the time a bunch of later twenty-somethings, began a campaign that lasted until 2005 running purely our home-ruled version of AD&D 1st Edition. During the 1990s we decided for whatever reason (I mean, we did have a camera so there's that) to record several portions of our game sessions.

I have wanted for a long time to scrub out the distracting bits (e.g. rules arguments, non-gaming stuff) and see if a running film of the actual gaming parts would bring back some sense of the campaign's atmosphere, what events occurred, and how our characters progressed. Unfortunately, viewing more than 5 minutes at a time of this stuff is pretty unbearable, and anyway I absolutely do not have time to edit large amounts raw footage and add my little comments pointing out various aspects of what's going on during the scenes.

Thus here is the first of what I hope to be a series of 5-minute segments of actual old school before it was OSR. Our rules set included the AD&D 1st ed. core books, Arduin Trilogy, Judges Guild Ready Ref Sheets, and various AD&D supplements. Some of our players utilized 2nd edition AD&D spells which we incorporated in a pretty loose fashion.

P.S. I have setup a page for the Blipping campaign here where I'll archive the individual videos and copies of other game remnants.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

D&D and How I Broke America

(Game session recap with meta...)

Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead

You'd have thought I learned not to tinker with talismans and sorcery.

Many moons ago in that most wondrous mystical land, "Reality," several of me buds and I were employed at a small cafe which was part of a complex of interconnected shops chiefly known in North America as a Suburban Shopping Mall. It was our nature to get along infamously with the precinct's rent-a-gendarmes, and after closing one day it occurred I should craft a play-dough image of said gendarme which we proceeded to fry in our establishment's microwave oven.

Mere moments later The Rimmer left a back door ajar and gendarmes raided us smoking hash oil in the women's rest room. (Why the women's? Something to do with a hatch to the overhead rafters in the ceiling, or a drainage grate in the floor usable as an ashtray???) Anyhow, because he was holding the pipe, Dingul was trumped up on a charge of illegal possession of concentrated cannabis (now perfectly legal thank you, Prop 64) and several folks lost their jobs.

Fast forward to October 2016 and I am planning our impending gaming session, Anton the Paladin in possession of Bob the Demon-Slaying Bastard Sword that, unbeknownst to Anton, actually slays a demon on the material plain while acting as a gate dimensionally-anchoring demon to a pocket plane completely surrounded by Prime Material imprisoning said demon since, in addition to the dimensional anchor, demon is prohibited from returning to the Prime Material for 100 years - but the pocket plane can only hold one demon at a time. Therefore, if the 100 years have expires any strike on a NEW demon breaks the dimensional anchor and swaps the new demon for the original demon inside the pocket plane.

Now, as Judge, I know that Bob the Demon-Slaying Bastard Sword 100 years ago (game time) was used to imprison Orcus and then smashed against the Prime Material Gate to the Abyss located deep in the dungeons beneath the pirate town of Underport. Unbeknownst to mortals and PCs, Abyssal Demons through devious machinations collected and had reassembled pieces of Bob, over time percolating into the dungeon's Orcus Cult reigned by Natrix, Kobold cleric-lich.

Once the party obtained Bob the Sword last session I knew it was only a matter of time before before Anton either by Bob's ego or Anton's own volition would use the demon slaying sword against another demon, especially since the party could hear a certain Glabrezu demon standing just outside the secret treasure room door where the party was situated. One hit on a demon and Orcus would be freed!

I wanted a new miniature to commemorate the occasion, and decided to go with a very hideous Reaper unpainted resin mini, scaled to be 15' tall as Orcus is described from the 1st Ed. Monster Manual. Initially I painted the Orcus mini in reds, however, the resulting figure appeared too much like a Balor or Pit Fiend. Here is where things went bad...

Recalling our original lead miniature Orcus from back in the day was painted in various fleshes and browns, and believing to myself there must have been some canon for painting Orcus that way since I always tried to paint things according to description, I decided to follow that scheme and paint a more humanly fat goatish demon lord. Ha, I thought, wouldn't it be funny if I made all the tufts of hair yellowish such that Orcis would be some fashion of Donald Trump! Hahahahahahahaha, how humorous and topical of me!!! Even remember my second thoughts, do NOT jinx the presidential election...

Self-control not being one of my strong points, I finished painting my Orcish-Trump effigy, had a grand reveal and hearty laugh at our game November 5th, then November 8th Donald Trump was elected our 45th President of these United States. Don't mess with voodoo magic, kids...

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Thus it is so, shortly after befriending a lost snake-mystic and her companion dog-naga, the adventurers burst through the secret treasure-room door to attack. Anton Paladin immediately destructing Glabrezu in a whirl of slate smoke, when appearing in the darkness a bellowing obese bat winged and goatlike giant - Orcus! Once Paladin struck his second blow, realizing there were no demon slaying ability, man-with-no-name opens a Shadowalk and our heroes cling along the border between Prime and Shadow at 50 mile per hour straight up and out of the dungeon. Orcus's dissonant braying laughter fading into distance.

Above ground, the party spies adjacent northward a large bay or estuary, on the opposite shore a distant five miles or more away stand what appears gigantic humanoid statues hundreds of feet tall carved into very cliffs miles in either direction, broken easterly by two immense waterfalls.

Decision made to venture west through the forest few hundred feet south of bay coast and hopes to find some land leading northwards, adventurers make their way trudging eight miles by midday when they are hit with pain-inducing sonic boom. Flying in through trees while fading in and out of physicality are three large, bat-like spiders known by man-with-no-name as phase wings. (Essentially large flying phase spiders that also emit battish sonic beams for damage)

Phase Wing attack!

After blistering attacks and taking some injuries, the band elects to make camp. Sends barbarian orc up one of the 100' tall trees to get bearings and look out for more of the shifting Phase Wings. Alas, barbarian visions something southwest far more unworldly, hovering top-like structures that seem to be probing the forest with a beam of light - and headed in the party's direction!

Hover Ship
As the hover ships approach orc-barbarian descends his tree, then spotting bands of Drow elves moving up through the forest ahead of the hover ship some few hundred yards distant. While the majority of the adventuring crew hides within the elven thief-mage's rope trick, the snake-mystic conceals herself in the underbrush in the form of a serpent and commands her dog-naga to climb a tree. The drow posse immediately halt at the party's position, thirty or more of the dark elves armed with whipblades and strange knobby pistols and bathed in the colorless light from now overhead hover ship. Striding confidently through the score of soldiers arrives an armored woman who is certainly the drow priestess in command.

Drow Priestess of Hover Ship

The priestess chanting rhythmic spell casts gaze in a purposeful pattern around the small clearing where the party had intended to camp. Her gaze stops at the underbrush where snake-mystic is and the snake-mystic's form is returned to human. The drow priestess barks a phrase in undercommon and three of the drow soldiers fire great globs of a glue substance at the snake-mystic, trapping her in the place she stands. The snake-mystic senses poison from the glue, but to harm her it cannot. Still the snake-mystic cannot break free. Snake-mystic calls up liturgy for Baaloloth - shapeshifting into a titanic avatar of her diety, enlarging and breaking free from the insignificant glue that had bound her...

The price? A geas into Chasm of the Drow!

Snake-Mystic's Avatar of Baaloloth
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Food for thought, because all my stories operate in the same Multiverse I have some very tricky time concepts to deal with from my last campaign to this one.

1. Orcus aided Wilderlands of High Fantasy adventurers in their fight versus the forces of Lolth, which must have taken place after the present in the Blipping 2 campaign (because Orcus was only just freed after 100+ years going back to one of our earliest gaming parties).

2. When the Blipping 2 folks released the 10,000 zombies into the Wilderlands, that event occurred before Orcus was released. Thus, in the "past" of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy troupe.

3. This all means Loth has not "yet" been imprisoned on the tower, nor Vecna led the zombie horde siege of Veridistan. It is possible Vecna's zombie horde was not raised by the drow high priestess at all, perhaps being in fact the zombies released by the adventurers of Blipping 2.

Of course, the Blipping 2 game now being in the lands of Krull means that what eventually might happen in The Wilderlands has little meaning to this party. Unless those mauve-skinned humanoid creatures with tentacle faces have some plan up their sleeves...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Stuff at Hypertext d20 SRD!

http://www.d20srd.org/index.htm

Dang! It looks like The Hypertext d20 SRD has been rolled into some company called BoLS Interactive, LLC. And at first glance, that appears to be awesome!

I had long-used Hypertext d20 as a reference for our long-running Wilderlands of High Fantasy v.3.5 campaign (2004-2011) and my home brew 1st Ed/v.3.5 hybrid game

I'm looking up Sanctuary spell (I'm like, vis a vis my little movie clip, "Can an character really move around covered by a Sanctuary spell?") when this flippin' COMMERCIAL ADVERTISEMENT pops up on screen. Splitters! Anyhow, I'm like, whutev, and backing out to the page where I started.

Then I notice THERE ARE NEW SHITS IN HYPERTEXT D20!!!

Fantasy Name Generator NEW!
Fantasy World Generator NEW!
Fantasy Adventure Generator NEW!
Fantasy Inn Generator NEW!
d20 NPCs/Items/Traps Generator NEW!
d20 Demographics Calculator NEW!
d20 Dungeon Generator NEW!
d20 Random Encounter Generator NEW!
d20 Magic Shop Generator NEW!
d20 Treasure Generator NEW!

 The "Fantasy World Generator" creates a hex map with over 19,000 hexes!!! You set amount of land/ice, whether rivers, cities and castles and VOOOM!

The "Dungeon Generator" is INSANE!!! It creates an entire dungeon, monster-traps-treasure-etc, with map of 30+ rooms!

I expect that there are some playability quirks that won't become apparent unless gamed live, but at first glance I may never run out of material during a gaming session ever again!

Back when I was but a wee lad and good computers had RAM measured in kilobytes rather than gigabytes, I actually created a program in BASIC that used random encounter tables in City State of the Invincible Overlord, and a buddy of mine, J.A.S., once ran a gaming scenario straight from the random dungeon tables in the 1st Ed. DM's Guide,. This is like that process on steroids!!!

I know, I am a purist too who spends a godawful chuck of time spent on this planet creating scenarios to confound and amaze my gaming friends. However, there are times, often late at night when the brain is tepidish, when the party runs up against limit of what has been prepared or heads off map.

These new Hypertext d20 tools are, at minimum, a fine backstop against running out of material.

******* Ha, well didn't take long to expose the limitations inherent in the system. Generated a 20th level, colossal, abyssal dungeon and the only moster types over all the rooms were ropers and aboleth mages...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Blipping Campaign, The Motion Picture

Here is an intro to a 90's D&D documentary I hope to edit through before I die. Basically, all our gaming film (not arguments, just the actual gaming) taken during the Blipping Campaign which ran from 1989 through 2005, however our last video was recorded in 1996...