Monthly Archives: February 2012

Off Session 1

This past Friday night was the second meeting of the group, but our first off session. When I started Doctor StrangeRoll, I always intend to play an alternate RPG on the days when several members of the D&D couldn’t make the game, and we were down to 50% attendance Friday night (only one of which was unexpected).

So, I broke out the West End Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game. That’s the D6 version that went out of print in the 90s for those of you keeping score at home. It’s nice and rule-light and easy to run, so it makes an excellent alternate game to play when we’re down enough players that picking up the D&D game where we left off would be a problem.

Two of my players showed up with characters already made, so we had to wait while the third made his character (not unexpected). My game prep was pretty lacking because I really only knew ahead of time what one character would be (I knew about the second about 2 days before game day). I find it hard to prep if I don’t know what kind of characters there are going to be. For example, it’s not really appropriate to create an adventure around a Jedi Master sending his apprentice out on tasks if the entire group is made of smugglers, bounty hunters, and other fringe characters, nor it is appropriate to have them indebted to a hutt if most of the characters are closely affiliated with the Jedi. I can usually ad-lib Star Wars pretty well (probably because it’s been part of my life & imagination for 34 years), but I did have a little trouble Friday night getting into things; I suspect it was a result of fatigue. It was a very taxing week.

 

Anyway, our Star Warsian odyssey starts with Padawan Jakar, a mon calamari and former Sith apprentice of Darth Ul being tasked by his new master on Tython, Jedi Master Shayl Bey’lya, to go to Dantooine and investigate reports trouble near a mining town, thought to be caused by a fallen Jedi, thought to be dead. Jakar is accompanied by a togorian Bounty Hunter, Khalendri. They received the name of their target: Ben-Dara Jobi and the knowledge that he was once a Jedi. Ben-Dara Jobi fell to the Dark Side during the Cold War and was severed from the Force, rather than being killed. Some time, near the end of the Cold War, he was presumed dead. The two impulsive, would-be heroes rushed off to find transportation off Tython.

While in the Spaceport, they ran across a human pirate, Baccus, who was also looking for transportation. A Republic Captain crossed their path, barking orders at his command crew, and with the help of another Jedi, S’oona Onos, they convinced Captain Damatos to grant them passage on the Republic Cruiser Crimson Hammer (Jedi stick together, and Dantooine wasn’t too much of a delay from the cruiser’s regular destination). Baccus attempted to break into the cruiser’s armory, but when he discovered it was guarded by two battle droids and a couple of armored turrets, decided the potential gains weren’t worth the risks, particular when one takes into account the fact that there’s no where to run when you’re on a cruiser in hyperspace.

The Crimson Hammer dropped our intrepid crew off in Garang, the capital of Dantooine. From there, they headed to the nearby Jedi Enclave to see if they could find more information about Ben-Dara Jobi, such as his description, possible location, and other important details for which they neglected to ask Master Bey’lya. The Archivist at the Jedi Enclave, Dorak wondered why the Council didn’t contact them about Ben-Dara Jobi’s possible resurfacing, but was more than happy to assist Padawan Jakar and his friends. They learned that Ben-Dara Jobi was a miralukan, a species born blind who “see” through the Force. Severing Ben-Dara Jobi from the Force would have robbed him of his most important sense.

Armed with knowledge of Ben-Dara Jobi’s background, they rented a speeder from a shift rodian and traveled to the mining town, Outpost 3. They learned that the mine at which most of the townsfolk earn their living recently suffered a collapse and they’ve been unable to determine a cause or get help. Also, laigreks indigenous to the area have become unusually aggressive since the collapse of the mine. Baccus suggested they acquire some equipment to help them explore the mine and they convinced the shop keeper to supply them with the mining corporation’s equipment free of charge since no one was using it anyway right now. Equipped with detonator packs, syntherope, mining lasers and one breathing mask (the masks available would fit neither a togorian nor a mon calamari and Baccus’s attempts to modify them met with catastrophic failure), they set off toward the mine….

You can read more about the setting and background on the “A Galaxy at Peace” campaign page.

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First Session Report – The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh

If you’re not familiar with U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and you wish to remain spoiler free on this 31-year-old adventure, then I recommend you stop reading now. You can read about the campaign background and get acquainted with the player characters on the Campaign Background and Characters page.


Our adventure started with the caravan of “Lucky” Thorek Copperpot arriving in the coastal fishing town of Saltmarsh. After receiving their pay, our heroes immediate set out to do what adventurers do best (or second best, at least): find a tavern. There was some debate between The Dancing Dryad Tavern & Casino and The Silver Raven Adult Club, but the group eventually settled on The Flounder Pounder’s Seedy Dive. En route, they encountered an old woman pushing a cart of crabs and lobsters (Crazy Nettie), but declined to get crabs from her.

While at The Flounder Pounder’s Seedy Dive, they started asking about stuff to do in town. The casino was mentioned, though someone pointed out that was not the ideal place to go if you wanted to MAKE money, the theater, and someone slid in a comment about the haunted house on the edge of town. This, of course, piqued their interests, so Finias Jinx led the group over the “sheriff’s” office (actually the town constable) to inquire if there was any sort of reward for clearing out the haunted house. The constable didn’t know of any; as far as he knew it was just an old, abandoned house. Still, the lure of excitement proved too much and our intrepid heroes decided to investigate.

Upon arriving at the decrepit old house, the heroes found it to be in a sorry state of repair. It stood on a cliff overlooking the sea, surrounded by a six-foot high stone wall. The wall was in a state of serious disrepair. Finias Jinx climbed over a portion of the wall near the well in the backyard while the rest of the party walked through a nearby hole in the wall. Except for Finias, no one found the well terribly compelling, so he was alone in his attempt to scale down the well.

Until the big snake came out of the wall and attacked him.

After failing to kill it by stabbing it, Finias attempted to climb up the slimy walls, failing in a hilarious fashion while a large snake tried to eat him. Kilos threw a rope down to him and pulled him up. Once Finias was more or less safe, Pat decided the backdoor of the house needed kicking in and proceeded to do so while Finias finished off the snake from above with his bow.

The party proceeded to explore room-by-room, finding little more than broken, moldy furniture and various creepy-crawlies (a nest of giant centipedes and giant spiders). Three books of interest were discovered in the library, as well as a fist-sized chunk of crystal hidden in a fireplace. Herrick took some red mushrooms they found, believe they might be of use, or at least worth further study (he’s an herbalist, mind you). Wikki managed to get himself poisoned by one of the spiders and was incapcitated. He might’ve ended up being dragged around like a ragdoll for the next four hours were it not for Kilos’s timely intervention and clever use of one of the mushrooms to stave off the poison*.

Upstairs, the found the house in similar sorry shape and Kilos almost succumbed to a colony of yellow mold infesting an old cloak he decided he had to try on. Fortunately, he did not die, despite adding one of the “magic” mushrooms to the mix of spores (hey, it worked on incapacitating spider poison!). In one of the bedrooms, they found a nearly-naked man tied up. When freed, he introduced himself as Ned Snakebite. Lorelei was suspicious of him from the start and refused to loan him a dagger. As a safety precaution, Wikki enchanted him and gained a new best friend (Charm Person). Kilos helpfully offered him the formerly-yellow mold-infested cloak to cover up his loincloth and with Ned in tow, they prepared to enter the attic….

So, this was my first time running Basic D&D since Gary Con III, and the first time I ran it as anything more than a one shot since the early 1980s. A few players did not have characters ready when they arrived (which was OK since I intended for us to make characters at the first session), but character creation took very little time, maybe 30 minutes since people were also concerned with acquiring food and getting to know each other. We didn’t both with tactical combat, even though I had Tact-Tiles and miniatures, and no one really missed it. The combats were very short. Everyone seemed to have a good time and even though there were no daily powers, no attacks-of-opportunity, no feats, and no skills, it still felt like D&D to me.
 
The next game session will be on Friday, February 24th. I’m expecting to be down two players, so we will likely play a different game that day. The next schedule session of Doctor StrangeRoll will take place on Friday, March 9th.

* The mushrooms were supposed to have no effect, but it was a ballsy move I felt needed to be reward with some psychedelic comedy. Wikki could taste the colors for quite a while, man.

Categories: Phase One - Basic D&D | Tags: | 2 Comments

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