Updates and stuff

What I’ve been up to and plans for the future.

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Hi all,

I’m writing this post as a small update to what I’ve been doing and what’s going to happen in the coming weeks. Recently I took a trip to Amsterdam to play and DM DnD for a whole day, I also got a chance to play test my first adventure (it went great). I’m also going to use this opportunity to talk about the Campaign Diary and Encounter Compendium.

So lets start with the beginning the trip to Amsterdam. We did two one-shots, one by one of my players who wanted to try DM’ing for the first time and the play test game by me.

One-shot

The one-shot was a lot of fun. We played a low-level adventure about wolves who suddenly were a lot smarter, and could even talk. They were terrorizing a local town and we had to save them.

I played a giant fat sad violinist who had a big interest in magic, food and exploration (he was going to be the main NPC in my one-shot later that day).

The adventure itself was straight forward. Save some shepherds, find out whats up, more wolves and a boss fight. I did think the encounters itself were a bit to strong for our party. In one of the earlier encounters my character died. Because the DM felt guilty and wanted me to be able to play the final of the adventure he said he that after combat I regained consciousness. He should not have done that in my opinion, I would have been perfectly fine watching the last part. Now dying in the game had no more meaning (I might write a post about this in the future).

The boss fight was heavy. We failed our stealth when we were scouting the wolves den and so we had to fight the encounter in front of the den and the boss fight at once. To add to our misery one of the wolves could breath fire. In the end half the party died again, this time for good. The two survivors made a deal with the wolves to leave them alone if they stop killing sheep and that was how the adventure ended. It was fun and our first time DM did a good job.

wolves of welton

Play test

After a pizza break it was my turn to shine. As some as you guys might now, I’m in the progress of making my first DnD adventure for the DM’s guild so it was a perfect opportunity to do a play test.

The summary of the adventure is the following: A fat wizard has shrunken some creatures and put them in his body to help him with some of his physical problems. After a few months he becomes weaker everyday, with his stomach feels stingy, he gets constant migraine attacks, and does sudden strange jerky movements with his arms. He also just feels a lot weaker than he should. To solve this he called upon the hero’s. He shrinks them as well and they have to kill the stuff inside his body that’s tormenting him.

I’m not going to reveal to much of the adventure today but it is a silly adventure. The wizard is in a hurry and if the players don’t stop him to ask questions they get shrunken and have no clue what to do inside of his body.

There are three encounters to solve. Not all can be solved with combat. And afterwards they find out they need to escape the wizards body to get back to normal size.

The adventure itself was a lot of fun, and honestly one of the more amusing sessions I’ve ever ran. For my group tho it fell a bit short, only 2,5 hours. I might need to put some extra stuff in before the next play test. But I guess if you put this into an ongoing campaign it can take a bit longer. It’s a one-shot for a party of level 8 so if ran with newer player it will probably also take a bit longer.

I don’t feel like adding stuff for the sake of it so perhaps I just keep it the way it is.

Current series on my blog

So for the small duration of my blog I’ve been posting focusing on two types of post. Campaign Diary and Encounter Compendium. I must admit I’m starting to have doubts about the formula of the diary. I don’t think it has a lot of value to outsiders so in the future the formula will change a bit. It will take 3-4 more post to catch up on the campaign and after that I want to change to focus more to lessons I learned running the game. So you’ll still have a story but DM’s might as well get some nice advice from it.

The Encounter compendium I really enjoy writing and it had been received well in the small community that I’m building. They take some research and time to write but more will follow soon. I might use social media to decide what monsters follow next.

So whats next?

For the coming two weeks focus will be on school. Reexamination are here and they take priority during that time. So I expect I won’t be able to make a lot of post. During this time there won’t be a new Encounter Compendium. I am going to try to finish a Campaign Diary post.

After that post will be back to regular schedule. Monday a campaign Diary, every other Friday an Encounter Compendium. I’ll also try to post some opinion/advice/reviews in the future on random days or in weeks without an encounter post.

The goal of my DM’s guild adventure is to have a finished product by the end of September. It will be named “The Inside Job”

So now you are up to date with the Backfip Dungeon.

Have a nice day

DrBackflip

Campaign Diary: The story so far… Part III

The hero’s try to save the Southern Sanction by retrieving the magical ward.

The winter wind was blowing hard through the hero’s hair. Below them they could see Spineguard Keep’s courtyard. Constant conflict in the north had its impact on the garrisons size. If you’re lucky you could find 20 soldiers here, good thing the horse tribes almost never raid during winter.

They were looking at the back of a stout Dwarf, the general of the fortress Netero.

“The royal guard was not called to Redknife for a small mission. Disaster has struck and it struck hard this time. The undead army doesn’t come on this side of the river and do you know why? A magical ward infused with a stone rests in Redkife, well rested I must say. It has been stolen and if we don’t find it back The Southern Sanction is doomed again. Undead are crossing the river and gods may now how many he will send.”

Upon hearing this news the party rushed towards Redknife. Where they indeed found the town under attack. The undead had not reached the walls just yet, at the river the royal guard was keeping back the small waves. When they were sure Arzu was in the town they went out to help the guards. Just in time for a wave of Ogre zombies.

It was there that one of the hero’s met his fate a bit to soon. The monk Zhu rushed into the wave, forgetting he was so much faster than his friends who could not keep up. Before the rest of the party could reach him he had seven zombies around him taking attacks from all sides he went down fast and for good.

The rest of the battle the hero’s tried to reach Zho but they had to go trough a group of zombies with an ogre zombie putting up a though fight. By the time they reached Zhu there was nothing they could do.

ogre_concept_by_jubjubjedi-d7694bl.jpgOgre by jubjubjedi

Redknife was saved for today but the party came back in defeat. After a funeral ceremony the party decided to retrieve the magical stone, while the royal guard would keep defending the town from the zombies.

During their investigation a Goliath appeared at the front gate of the town, asking what all the noise was about.

Ug Stoneskinned: Banned from his tribe after losing against his rival Trog, he can only return if he gets strong enough to beat him in a rematch. So for now he seeks refugee in the north.

All the clues they found let to believe the thieves must have run of to the Spine Mountain range. The left Redkinfe immediately and apart from an encounter with a Bulette the trip went rather well.

As they were in the mountains they were looking for tracks or at least a place a couple of thieves could hide. The first few days were without success.

One night during his watch Dr.Chen, the death cleric, started praying to the gods. From the start he was struggling with his believe, and he wanted answers.

His prayers were heard and from the bushes a three-headed dog appeared. His religious training recognized it as a messenger of Cerberus, god of death and the unknown. The dog’s mouths opened and from it came a godly voice.

“Your mind has been filled with doubts and it clouds your judgement, you seek answers and you don’t find them. That will change! Tomorrow go east, there you’ll find your thieves. They have the stone and you need to take it. Bring the stone to south far into the Dead Kingdom and deliver it to the queen. She will bring you salvation.

cerberus_by_emma_fay-d442qnb.jpgCerberus by Ema Fay

The next day the party indeed found tracks east of their camp and found the thieves easily. The fight was a though one but with some good tactics the party won and even captured the thieves.

On the first night home the thief tried to escape though and he was killed in an effort to recapture him. But what happened the next night was a lot worse.

During his guard Dr.Chen took the stone and left the party. When the group noticed his disappearance they immediately tried to find him without success.

They had to go back to Redknife without a thief and without the magical ward that protects the whole south.

 

To be continued…

Part II

Campaign Diary: The story so far… Part II

Session 4-7 of my Broken Spine campaign. Kobold shenanigans and traveling south.

Send on a mission by the king the party begins its journey towards Throm. Even with horses provided it would take at least 40 days of travel to reach the destination. The first part would be easy, the northern part of the Broken Spine should be a relatively save place even during winter.

Broken Spine pre timeskip

All goes well until they reach the border town Pallem. During the night a kobold raid takes place. The guards were overwhelmed and there are just to many for the party to take on so they decided to wait out the attack.

The next day the party decides to investigate the kobolds and follow their tracks. It led all the way to Coppernight Hold a small mining operation that the kobolds took over. The players spot a big group of them on the surface.

I mainly used the first dungeon from 4e book Dungeon Delve.

To much to take on they decide to spy on them for a while. They soon find out that there are two groups of kobolds originating from different tribes. So they use this knowledge to set them up against each other. Some of the kobolds start fighting each other and when they are done the party swoops in to clean them up.

Then descending into the mine they get ambushed by another kobold group, the rest of the small dungeon they are fighting kobolds and their traps. Untill they reach the final room. Apart from kobolds in the last room they find a small white dragon sitting on a crude made throne.

The fight was not an easy one, but in the end the hero’s stood victorious. Instead of killing the drake they decide to remove his fire-breathing organs and capture him as a pet. During the looting of the room they also find a hidden cell with three Dwarves in it. Brunn knew these guys from before they had to flee their home. It turns out they were building their new home here, just a week ago the dragon claimed it as his new lair and captured him.

The party returned back to Pallem, a feast was held for their celebration and the mayor always wanted a dragon so the party sold their new pet to him.

The next day they continued their journey towards Throm. Pallem was the last town in the Northern sanction so now they have to cross the Maw.

stairway snow

The Maw is a ravine running through the Broken Spine Mountains. It is the easiest way to go from the Northern Sanction to the Southern Sanction. The East side of the mountain range is overrun with Duergar the West with Drow. Even with guards passing by every few days it should be one of the most dangerous parts of the journey.

The travel through the maw took the party 6 days, on their way they were ambushed by Drow, 15 vs 5 they still won rather easy using an effective choke point combined with Fog Cloud. The day after a group of knights raced passed them. Apparently there was some big disaster in one of the southern towns.

Knights of Enel: Elite special guard of king Cyric the Grey. Six warriors/clerics sworn to the god of justice and the king. Their leader Mohan ‘Shield of Justice’ is a kind man, but unmatched in his skills with the sword. Almost just as famous is his second in command, Eldrick ‘eye of the storm’. It is said he is the fastest man in the land. That’s maybe why he does not ride a horse while traveling.

Interested in what’s going one the party makes extra haste to reach the Southern Sanction. They arrive safely in Spineguard keep and find out what’s the deal with the knights and the disaster. If its true what they heard the whole country could be in danger!

To be continued…

Thanks for reading, campaign diary will appear every Monday. Next part will be all about the disaster threatening the lands and how to party tries to save the day.

DrBackflip

Part I

Campaign Diary: The story so far… Part I

A synopsis of the first few sessions of my “Broken Spine” campaign.

Hooray the first entry in my campaign diary. Thanks for coming to my dungeon where I’ll talk about one of the campaigns I run. Instead of dropping you all into a year of gameplay I think its best to give some background information about the world and story so far.

The campaign I ran before this one just came to an end around the time Matthew Colville decided to make a map/setting for his community called Collabris. I liked the result a lot, and having a professional writer make up some of the lore and intrigue of the world doesn’t hurt either. So I used Collabris as a base for my new campaign and mashed it up with some lore and references to the hero’s from last campaign.

Our group decided to play a sandboxy style of game so I integrated a lot from their backstory in the world as well. The characters didn’t know each other at the start of the game so we needed an excuse to get them together.

Our first game started in the middle of winter in a small lake village called Stolver. Grand bonfires fill the town square and melt the snow away. It’s the town’s yearly Feast of Ancestors. Village elders tell stories about long-lost hero’s. Travelers share their own adventures, and guess what by coincidence our hero’s are sitting next to each other.

Brunn Redcask, a dwarven brewer forced to flee from the dwarven city Kalanzanbaar from invading drow. After some year’s of fleeing, drinking and working for a mercenary company he is now ready to find his old gang and revenge his family, but where does he begin?

Querion V’ael, an elven prince away from home looking for a reason the magical mist in his land does not work on him anymore. Maybe the wizards in the north can help him?

Zhu Raines, a farmers boy who after training with the orc’s in the mountains is now looking for the meaning of life.

Nadar Kerrhylon, a dragonborn clock maker on the run for accusations of murder. Not planning on returning to Ziris anytime soon maybe he can find rumored crystals that would help him build the most accurate clockwork ever.

Dr.Chen, a doctor/cleric raised by yuan-ti on a quest to better understand his fate and inner struggles.

 

The Feast of Ancestors is interrupted by a woman who is worried about her husband and sons. They should have been back with wood a few hours ago but they are still missing…

The hero’s offer to look for him only to find a pack of wolves feeding on one of the sons and the body of a yeti. The tracks make clear there were two yeti’s so they follow its footprints to his makeshift lair. The missing father and son are trapped and killing the yeti seems like to only solution to save them.

Yeti_-_FB-C.png

The battle was a close one for Brunn. Locked in place by its chilling gaze the yeti did not have problems hitting him. But in the end the hero’s stood victorious and during combat by magical means they discovered the yeti’s fled the mountains running from a white drake. Very disturbing news but for today the hero’s did what they could.

Upon returning the burgomaster gave them a small reward and asked them to deliver a message the king from him. Dragon’s so far north is not a thing to take lightly.

Meeting the king and earning some coin in the progress is a chance none of the characters want to miss so the next day the leave towards Haldrim’s capital Grey’s Keep. Travelling during the winter is not the most pleasant thing but apart from Brunn almost dying from a quickling attack they reach Grey’s Keep safely.

Atmosphere in the capital is tense. King Cyric the Grey recently made a truce with the Kreshnik orc tribe allowing them to live and work inside of the city. Recent riots against opposing the decision calmed down but it only a small spark is needed to light those fires up again.

 

Certainly closer to his end than his beginning, the people fear what will happen when the king passes. His daughter Princess Elise will be Queen, she lost her husband to the Orc Warfather Valkun. If she becomes Queen the peace with the orcs will quickly convert to war. A vocal, traditional minority would like this very much, and in spite of her hawkish sensibilities, the majority of the people of Haldrim love Princess Elise, and remember her as a girl. The alternative is princess Miranda, a powerful enchantress who rather than play the political game perfects her magic.

During their stay in Grey’s Keep the party meets Miranda. Querion offers to pay her well if she finds out what’s the deal with him and the magic mist in his lands. It is clear if she is paid well she could be a resourceful ally.

After delivering the message of the dragon sighting the party asks if they could be of service to the king (and his money). To test their worth he allows him to be the bodyguards of Arzu an important diplomat preparing an economic mission to the recent discovered village of Throm.

To be continued…

Part II