Sunday, October 18, 2015

Getting Stranger Plus Keep on the Borderlands 5e Continues

I kicked in at the $22 level and picked up a whole mess of The Strange PDFs from Bundle of Holding. Considering that I got the core book for the ludicrous price of $10 (new and factory sealed) and that I got the Bestiary on Schmamazon for a steep discount, I have paid not quite the original price of the core book for a huge chunk of the entire line. Now, if only I could get myself some time to read it...

The premise of The Strange is somewhat reminiscent of my attempt at a FATE game. Perhaps I can read through The Strange and implement a slightly different iteration of the game without having to bang my head against the invisible wall that stands between FATE and my comprehension of it.

In other news, we ran Keep5e last night. I wasn't terribly focused and we were missing half the group, so the party mostly stayed in the Keep and looked for trouble/rumors. I have a side-quest going that is borrowed partially from the old 2nd edition adventure, "Wizard's Challenge," though with less fappy NPCs and a slightly different premise. The PCs also acted as ersatz exterminators, ridding a local shop keeper of a noise in her cellar that turned out to be a giant scorpion. The party also discovered a new dungeon beneath the Keep, and made a brief but abortive attempt to delve it's depths. (An early encounter with a mimic left them badly drained of hit points, spells, and special ability uses.)

I have been summoned back to the Sunday game, but I'm not sure if I will make it today. I have some errands to run and my attention span is sorely lacking in all things these days. (I blame the internet, in a curmudgeonly fist-shaking sort of way.)


  1. So I don't know how much Erik and Ashley have caught you up on the state of affairs on Shade Isle lately, but here are the highlights:

    - King Bjornstraand's niece, Princess Ingridine, was being held captive Jon Harker style in the lair of the nosferatu Lady Liedolor, in the dungeons under Hellstrommus Citadel. The party learned that Liedolor had been sired by Edmund, the vampire guarding Shade Abbey, near a thousand years ago; and that Cornelius Hellstrommus (remember, the necromancer you murked on a surprise round) was in love with her and trying to either cure her vampirism or turn her into a daywalker. Connor slew her with running water when she fled the scene of their battle in mist form (fun story).

    - The princess of the dwarves, as it turns out, is the hybrid child of King Bjornstraand's half-brother, Laertes Ravenbeard (himself a half-dwarf, half-human) and the elf-woman Yelinda. The dwarves' high priestess, Matriarch Garavel, racist that she was, was the one responsible for the disappearance of Ingridine's parents: she Ladyhawk'd 'em with a curse, so that they would lose their memories and be different people at different times. After the new moon, Yelinda was a lovely elf and Laertes was Dwerport's crazy human sheriff, Jasper Capefeather. After the full moon, Jasper turned back into Laertes (a.k.a. the Grandfather of Assassins) while Yelinda turned into Yelda the bog-witch. The PCs managed to lift the curse, finger Garavel for the plot, and have her executed. Now Connor is the dwarves' high priest.

    - Princess Ingridine is the heir to the dwarven throne again. (This requires keeping her elf and human blood a closely guarded secret, known only to the party and the king's inner circle.) Her rival, the king's cousin, Jarl Orrin Eisengant, is now the Baron of Dwerport.

    - The evil artifact that your party recovered from the town of the marsh-gnomes, the Eye of Izatu-Bal, which you guys had locked up in the vault under Dämmendell, managed to corrupt some of the dwarven vault-guards. They stole the Eye and took it the Shrine of Baldur in the Merkbog, where it grew into this pulsing plant-pod thing and was slowly crushing its way through the walls and floor of the shrine with Chaotic vines and roots. The party slew the corrupted dwarves, cut the Eye out of the pod, and now it's back in the party's bag of holding. The shrine-keeper of Alfader's Shrine, Aristel Starbrow, has informed the party that his research has revealed the existence of multiple Eyes in ancient times.

    - The party has frequently encountered bands of goblins and hobgoblins and trolls, who, when Connor makes nice-nice and plays tribal shaman, tell Connor that there is "a new master" and "a great call". The goblins of Shade Isle seem to be massing at a place called Ruckberg, which is also Shade Abbey's northern stronghold, the place mentioned in the diaries you found in the chambers of Abbot Mokor, on the Temple of Devotions level of Shade Abbey.

    That's pretty much it so far. Oh, and this last session, Connor found a crystal ball among the late Matriarch Garavel's effects and used it to scry for Sven, who is Prince Svartsen's palace in Jearing, the capital of Dolheim. Also, the party thawed out a frozen cave-girl who was apparently abducted by the giant aliens from the vision the party witnessed during the new moon on the Ancient Battlefield in the mountain pass northwest of Shade Abbey. Okay, THAT'S pretty much it so far.

    1. So... you're saying that it was a pretty uneventful session?

      They told me about the dwarven royal family drama, but that's pretty much it. Usually they just tell me how much experience I missed. x_x