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

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Gateway Outside the Circles of Time

The party ponders the strange, red-metal vehicle as red lights flash splash on and off to the south from the uniformed men around the southern corner up the street west. Soon the adventurers hear the engines of vehicles and sounds as if the uniformed men are driving away.

Man-with-no-name moves to take a closer peek through the car door Grady had unlocked, looking at the undulating, pearly image within the gem-like crusted frame only to have an sudden bare eyeball peer from the opposite side. Momentarily startled, the man leans back as blackened, smoky tentacles reach out and grasp the man's head and shoulders with painful barbs.
Mirror Eye
Man-with-no-name's face is drawn toward the orifice, he glimpses a desolate, fiery landscape where several robed personages appear to be congregating or cavorting with some demonic, aberrational creature. The adventurer feels himself be drowning down through a portal...
Vision of Cultists
In a lurch the half-orc barbarian, Groug, kicks vehicle's door closed on the blackened tentacles, chopping off their tips as the ends disappear in smoky tendrils freeing Man-with-no-name. As the smoke clears the party sees McQueef the half-orc barbarian has returned.

As the party pauses and unmarked white van approaches through the darkness. As everyone dives to either side of the street, the van passes and various tubes and equipment at viewed inside.
Unmarked Ambulance
The van continues on to the and of the street and turns to the back of the university library. The group in front of a library entrance notice the door is ajar. Man-with-no-name sees the key fob Grady left in the car door has a differently-shaped key from that of the vehicle and surmises that the fishy-folk may have entered through this entrance. Trying the key on the open door the key is discovered to fit perfectly.

During the meanwhile, elven thief-mage followed the white van down to the rear of the library and spies 2 humans, a man and a woman dressed in business attire, exit the van to remove a rolling gurney, then enter a back door of the university library. Elf chooses to stake out the van while the rest of the party (Man-with-no-name, McQueef, Groug, Lizard-cleric, and paladin) enters the library through the unlocked door on the street.

The heroes inside see the two human agents walk past down a hall and follow them to a set of mechanical, sliding doors. Inside the doors was a small box-like room with several buttons on the wall, and one button at the very bottom with a key-hole in it. Man-with-no-name tries the library key and it fits. The mechanical doors close and the room is felt to descend.

Mechanical doors open to a darkened, large basement seeming filled with rows of crates or tables. As the party moves to investigate, growls are heard and smokey apparitions resolve into hound-like creatures with blue-metallic hides, thin canine bodies, and bat-like faces exhaling steamy mist. Lizard-cleric realizes a similarity to the metallic hounds that appear as the blue marble counts down and, pulling the marble from his belt-pouch, see the counter is perhaps going to signal dimensional shift. As Lizard-cleric moves off green glowing orb rises claiming "I am the sum of all evil..." as the blue marble flies from Lizard-cleric's hand into the orb! The party is momentarily stunned.
Hounds from Nowhere and Orb
During the meanwhile, Elf hears squeaky wheels and views agent-looking man and woman moving some rolling table draped in a large, white, bloodies sheet. The agents move around back of van and Elf lies in wait toward the front, listening as the van doors open and close. The agents move off around the building corner as elf follows when... AMBUSH! The agent are waiting and grapple Elf.

Retreating from the basement up the elevator, the adventurers decide to move on down the hall to see whether agents have returned to the van. Exiting the library building, gasping grunts from Elf manifest and heroes attack - arrows and swords merely passing through agents without causing harm. But McQueef strikes with his invulnerable gauntlet knocking the male agent off of Elf. Surprised, the two agents then scamper like bugs, spider-climbing up the side of the library several stories to the roof.

Permitting for a moment for the agents to bugger off, Man-with-no-name opens the rear of the van. Inside is a large, worm-like creature with a human face, beaten and lifeless. In the Man-with-no-name's minds comes a thought, "... the Librarian."
The Librarian
The party decides action must be taken. First they open the doors to the red-metal vehicle and simultaneously run the gurney into the vehicle along with the worm creature, attracting the tentacles, then explode it by focusing their alien-tech laser weapons on the vehicle to heat the craft until it explodes in a fiery ball. Satisfied, the adventurers relax when Paladin glances up toward the heavens. Unfortunately, a gargantuan amoeba-looking monster peers through many red eyes back down. Adventurers once more retreat, running southward away from this new terror.
New Terror
Run, run the heroes move, out beyond a gate and paved street. They spy a lone, humanoid figure standing in doorway beneath sign reading "Toad Lounge" when to surprise they move in surrounding the hapless commoner. Startled, it is a young man who says "Hey, I'm Juan. I only work here..."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Page After Page After Page After ...

(D&D Bloat)
An almost 10-year-old, but still interesting, chart from Chris Tregenza at the 6D6 blog indicating D&D - History and Growth from its inception in 1974 up through the introduction of 4e in 2008.

The chart shows the number of pages of rules published each year as well as the average pages of rules over an edition's lifespan.

Says Chris, "What is clear is that between the 1st and 2nd edition, there was a huge jump in the number of rule books produced and that the general trend is for large systems with shorter life spans."

Ha, our group used AD&D 1st ed. from 1978 until 2005 (28 years), v.3.5 from 2005-2011 (6 years), and our 1e/3.5 hybrid from 2012-2017 (5 years and counting).