Wednesday, November 18, 2020

OSE: Progress

 Tonight was a resounding success for the players.

One player decided to shelve his druid and bring out his gnome. (I'll be writing a separate post about why druids in OSE are fuckin' terrible) They hired three fighters and kitted them out in plate mail, shields, spears, and bows. The players were tired of mucking about as a bunch of broke, perpetually first level scrubs. It was time to kill the minotaur or die. 

A lot could've gone wrong, but luck was with the players. They navigated the maze much better. They no longer had lots of fire beetles or stirges to deal with. The minotaur failed two saving throws, both against phantasmal force and darkness. (Courtesy of the gnome and the drow, respectively.) The party rolled much better for missile fire. The magic-user came prepped with magic missile instead of sleep. 

In the aftermath, the party was able to recover the belongings of their slain cleric compatriot and two retainers. (Their remains had, for the most part, been eaten.) The assassin found the secret door to the minotaur's treasure hoard. A couple of crowbars and some caution avoided the poisoned needle in chest #1. 

The party dismissed the three fighters after paying them, but kept their hired thief on retainer. The gnome spent money on better equipment. The magic-user gained a level, met another of his kind, and negotiated a spell swap, gaining charm person and light in the process. The drow has the magic plate mail and the healing staff after the party had the magic loot identified by a wise man. The assassin compensated for her low charisma by buying rounds of honey mead and eavesdropping on adventurers. 

So now we've got another 2nd level character, the assassin is nearly 3rd, and the gnome is off to a decent start. The players are contemplating swapping the druid and drow out for wilderness and underground adventures, respectively. Both in and out of character, they are debating raiding the caves again or moving on to other adventures. 

Good stuff. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

OSE- Oh, Second-level Eludes!

Another setback session, more or less. 

The PCs raided the kobold lair again. They found the treasure chest with a note asking for quarter, but the PCs decided that they should just murder the kobolds and take everything. They ended up focusing most of their attention on the common room full of regular kobolds and females. Bloodlust took over, but ultimately the PCs had to withdraw. They went back to the base camp (my version has a base camp near the Caves of Chaos, with a keep being a little bit farther away.) In the two days it took to heal up, the kobolds evacuated their cavern, and the chief took all of the portable treasure. The PCs gained a pitiful 50-some experience each from the loot and killing kobolds. 

I feel like the players are starting to get frustrated by the glacial pace of this game. We've been playing since July and only one person has made 2nd level. 

Part of the problem is that we only play for about three hours every other week. This is due in part to two of the players having kids who must be abed before they can play, so we start later than I'd normally like. 

Another factor is hardware/software problems. We've been using a combo of Discord and Roll20. Discord, for some reason, just likes to randomly stop picking up sounds from the other players, or stop transmitting sounds from me, or both. It happens out of nowhere and then I have to fiddle with various knobs and dials until one of them inexplicably restores my mic's functionality or I start being able to hear the other players again. We lost a good chunk of time on just my tech bullshit last night. 

Finally, the players gave up on the previous dungeon without having reached the 2nd or 3rd level, which were the treasure-heavy levels. There were clues to get down there, but in one case I think my clues were too obscure, and in the second case they overthought it and then just shrugged their shoulders and gave up. If they'd made it to the two lower levels of that dungeon, they'd all be 2nd, perhaps 3rd level... there was a flippin' Type A treasure down there. 

So, we can conclude that several factors are in play here. It's just a bummer to make such little progress. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Campaigns Continue

OSE continues this week. Will the party continue their raid against the kobolds? Will they seek vengeance against the minotaur? Will they search a new cave entirely? The assassin finally made 2nd level, so that's a thing. Progress is slower than I anticipated, but I guess there's no real rush. 

My Savage RIFTS game is still in the character creation phase. I threw out the Vampire Kingdoms, Madhaven, and Dinosaur Swamp as three possible locations to my player group. So far, Vampire Kingdoms is leading Madhaven by a single vote, with nobody voting for ol' Dino Swamp. The latter two settings I have RIFTS experience with, as a GM and a player respectively. I've never done Vampire Kingdoms, but I'm envisioning a heady mix of John Carpenter's Vampires, From Dusk Til Dawn, Vampire Hunter D, and Heavy Metal. Hoping to get started in 10 days. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020


 So someone published an rpg called Agon. My OSE game, started back in July, is called 'Realms of Agon.' 

Oh well. A certain quote from Office Space comes to mind. 

Still working on my Savage Worlds RIFTS game. Until I get that started, every other Wednesday is just bereft of gaming. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

OSE: Half-PK

 They went into the minotaur's cave. They blundered into the room full of stirges, which could've done them in if I'd been able to roll over a 10 on my d20... as it was, they killed a few stirges, the magic-user used sleep, and that was that. 

...then they blundered into the minotaur's cave. 

The assassin fled on the second round. 

The retainers died.

The magic-user fled. 

The cleric got a hurled magical spear through the back as he tried to withdraw. If my die rolls would've been at least average on that cursed d20,  the entire party would probably be dead. 

The assassin managed to throw off the effects of the confuse direction spell that hangs over the minotaur's cave. She grabbed the magic-user, who she found wandering. They fought some fire beetles and the magic-user almost died. They ran from some other fire beetles. They made it out and retreated to the base camp. 

It was kind of a big setback session overall, but the players enjoyed it. There will be a new character, and probably some new retainers, when next we play. The players might finally start taking advantage of my stable rule to field more than one character. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Rethinking Troika Part 2: The Backgrounds

My initial vision for Troika was to be like Spelljammer meets the graphic novel Saga. I was writing up some Backgrounds right when the pandemic hit, and that venture was lost in the initial confusion and panic and then stayed neglected in the months of ennui and malaise that followed. 

I was ready to dust it off and continue working on it when I stumbled across this: a $4 book of Spelljammer backgrounds for Troika. It also turns out that I owned this little book already, it having been included in a bundle I bought over the summer. 

If I run Troika again, I'll probably just use these and call it a day. I might offer a selection of original Troika backgrounds as well, but I'm not sure. 

I'll post the few backgrounds that I actually finished at a later time. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

OSE Continues

 My OSE game continues! 

I finally conquered my fear of mapping and started drawing maps. In the last week, I mapped the lower level of the sepulcher, and the series of hidden caves and caverns below that, complete with a juicy Type A treasure nestled in a warren of troglodytes. 

...aaaand the party decided they didn't want to try to figure out how to open the door to the western entrance to level 2, and they didn't want to fight the roomful of skeletons guarding the eastern door to level 2. They left town. -_- 

I've decided I'm going to keep these maps/this world and run them for future groups who I can con into trying OSE. 

In the meantime, the players have wandered a few days north and decided to try their hand at the Caves of Chaos. Yes, those Caves of Chaos. Mine don't exist next to a keep (although Harkon Keep is reasonably near), but I have placed a base camp of the lord's retainers and various adventurers and merchants a few miles off of the Caves. We ended with the PCs scouting out the various entrances (though they've missed a couple) and deciding to nope out of the Chaos Shrine entrance and pick the minotaur entrance. (Fools!) 

I should also note that the PCs picked up a new retainer, a fighter named Petrow. He is, unfortunately, an obvious con man, who has gleefully joined the cleric's enlightenment-pyramid-scheme religion. Their conversations are reminiscent of this. I keep envisioning him as a duelist from JB's Complete B/X Adventurer, but I'm not sure I'm going to introduce any more classes into the game right now. 

We play again in two weeks. Since they're doing the Caves of Chaos, I don't need to do any mapping or stocking, though I should probably bone up on good ol' B2.