All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought, Session 4, Somewhere Between Lord Soth and the Moon

All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought, Session 4, Somewhere Between Lord Soth and the Moon

All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought / Session 4: Somewhere Between Lord Soth and the Moon

In which the Sigil 6 comes face to face with Lord Soth and begins to plan moving 2000 villagers across the Shadowfell using every tool at hand.

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Failed Soldier?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider
  • The Squires (what they call the village guard) called the town together to hear out the great heroes who are said to have killed Strahd. Everyone who wanted to speak was able to say something. I didn’t ask for a roll because I want the adventure to happen and don’t want the village not to agree to it because someone rolled a 2 at the wrong time. There wasn’t an interesting result for a failed die roll, so no dice were rolled.

    The villagers were given a day and a night to think it over.

  • Failed Soldier detected undead, a ghast hiding in the unfinished, unconsecrated shell of a cathedral. Failed Soldier and Kuru followed the ghast and its chained ghouls to an abandoned farm where a family who worshipped Orcus had been driven out years ago. Kuru followed by stealth and Failed Soldier went back to gather the whole party.

    Kuru watched the Ghast report to Lord Soth, who was sharpening his blade while his banshee host floated in their sleep-meditation among the rafters of the old barn. Kuru found a good spot to snipe should he be called upon to turn the tide of an upcoming battle.

  • Bugwump burned the ghouls into ash with a fireball as they approached and nearly killed the ghast as well. Then Jusko asked for a parley, hoping that Lord Soth’s knighthood would mean that the Death Knight would respect another knight. They met on a nearby family barrow.

    “Don’t do anything stupid unless I come running down the hill. If I do, bring all of the stupid.” Jusko left his sword with the group (I think he left it with Hellewynn) and Soth left it with his nightmare steed, despite the banshees telling him that it was surely a trap.

  • “How heroic.”

    Lord Soth upon hearing about the Sigil 6’s plan to relocate the villagers.
  • Having a cool conversation with a powerful evil creature is one of my favorite things in fantasy gaming. I call it Tea with a Lich. It started to drizzle as Jusko met Soth on the top of an old overgrown barrow. Soth was talking to the spirit of an ancestor of the folk who were forced out of town when Jusko approached; he got there in time to hear Soth dismiss the spirit of an Orcus disciple.

    They played Outlands Chess, played on a circular board with Sigil in the middle and the Lady of Pain occasionally floating across the board wreaking havoc. We rolled not to find out who won but to find out what they learned about one another. Jusko learned Soth’s hit point total from a class power (180HP) and also learned that he was Chaotic Evil but was the worst kind of CE; Soth thought he was Lawful Evil and the reason he had to break oaths was because of others lack of faith and grace. Asshole.

    Soth learned why Jusko had killed his apprentice, the evil act that turned him towards banditry and got him put in the Maze where he met the Sigil 6. Jusko gave Soth back the chestplate he had found in Strahd’s castle and Soth agreed that he would stay out of this affair with the town marching north for as long as he could and would give warning if he had to get involved. Awesome stuff was said. It was a really fun scene.

    The Death Knight suggested that they kill the Ghast, a guide to the Shadowfell assigned from Orcus’ court. Bugwump did so with a shiny new daylight spell.

    Jusko’s player does this cool thing where he gives bad-ass NPC’s weight. The player described Jusko taking a drink when he got back from talking to Soth and his hand shaking.

  • Trundle’s player is a craftsman and wanted to know if there was any interesting material to utilize to make something now or later. I pulled Hellewynn in and some stone-carvers showed them a block of stone from the moon. Trundle chipped off a hunk of moon stone to carve something later.

    “We were going to carve a warrior like you, one of the Moon’s Chosen so that even in the Shadowfell, we would have a moon in the sky.”

    “A nice gesture but far from the Bright Lady’s glory. How did you get this here?”

    “When the original siblings came here from the Heavens, they were powerful paladins and many thought their plan to bring light to the Shadowfell had merit. Angels brought us this stone, commanded by gods.”

    When Helewynn is within 50 feet of this hunk of moon-rock she can turn into a werewolf.

  • Jusko asked questions about the fighting capability of the town; it wasn’t great. Failed Soldier asked about the original 3 knights, who have become an undead being (Skull Lord) called the 3 Who Are 1. A squire talked about how they pointed to a bandit leader and that bandit died and came back as a zombie.

    The Sigil 6 got together and had dinner, just the player characters. Jusko suggested that Helewynn turn some villagers into werewolves. We talked about Bugwump teaching those who could learn the Fire Bolt cantrip. The table is affectionately referring to this campaign arc as Oregon Trail.

    We ended the game discussing infecting villagers with lycanthropy and deciding if the group wants to jump on the 3 Who Are 1 before the sibling paladins turned undead abomination jumps the villagers as they try to leave.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

DM’s Notes: I fucking love Tea with a Lich. There needs to be a name for when players take all of the different elements at the table and make something amazing that you never expected.

Next Game: The map…

https://www.patreon.com/thomasno/posts
Hex Art, not token art

We’ll start in the Ygoni Valley, Hex 071, headed northwesterly on the Salt Road, through the Bone Forest.

To the north you can see the Queen’s Mountain, a dark shape where black basalt is said to be quarried.

To the Northeast you can see the Lych-Fingers, mountains that seem to reach to dark sky like undead claws, where none dare mine.

As we scout and see more, I’ll unveil more.

Me, in the FB group
Sigil 6 Subject Divider

More Actual Play posts about the Thursday Night Delving Club’s shenanigans? Links Below:

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All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought, Session 3, “What would the best version of yourself do?”

All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought, Session 3, “What would the best version of yourself do?”

All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought / Session 3: “What would the best version of yourself do?”

In which the Sigil Six find an aborted city in a valley without hope and decide to save these people from the Shadowfell’s grasp.

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Failed Soldier?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider
  • Drew, who plays Jusko, posted his favorite moments in our FB group. These are posted with his permission.

  • Bugwump’s casual cruelty towards his apprentice hints at the life he led in his youth – we emulate what we know, in the begininng.

  • Kuru casting invisibility on Brin, the player realizing this is a pointless tactical act but saying “It’s the roleplay, it’s how he’s protecting her in the moment.” Playing to fail is awesome.

  • Trundle reporting what happened last game, Kuru’s fear .. and then outrage.. and then back to fear. Trundle utterly unphased by the events, doesn’t even roll his eyes.

  • Judd’s description of headless and armless angel statues was particularly creepy after having met an angel in Ravenloft.

  • Knight puns , all knight

  • Whatever the Ygoni knights are now sounds awful.

  • Judd remembering that Chesteropheles exists and playing him to the hilt as a corrupt sinister little f*ck.

  • Hellewyn the shining silver knight, getting heroic attention from locals. That’s what bling gets you.

  • he ‘are we doing this?’ conversation over coffee. Everyone signs on to this ludicrous mission for reasons of their own, but also because their comrades are doing this. It was a good conversation.

As a DM, I can draw up a map and daydream up a story of angel-blooded knights coming to the Shadowfell with swords of light, hoping to bring the shining hope of the Heavens to a hopeless place. The Ygoni Clan, chosen of the Heavens, came to this valley with big dreams. Their cathedral remains unfinished, still covered in decrepit scaffolding and statues of angels are incomplete, without heads or limbs.

Ygoni Knights Shadowfell holdings / May Our Swords Be Lights in the Shadow

I can write this stuff up but I never really know how the players will react to it. I made it clear that this was not Barovia, where killing one vampire would change the Land. The Shadowfell is a Plane of Shadow. Yes, the three siblings of the Ygoni clan became the Three Who Are One (a Skull Lord) and Lord Soth is in the area, recruiting this fell undead monster for the Death Knight’s Host. But that doesn’t mean killing either of those monsters would change the reality of the Shadowfell.

I had no idea what they would do with this situation, a city inhabited by the faithful who followed holy knights from the Gates of Heaven and the craftsfolk who came to build a Cathedral of Light in the Shadowfell. They talked it over and decided that they would lead the city of 2000 souls north to Gloomwrought and from there get them to the uninhabited lands Jusko’s family vacated.

I put them in an unwinnable situation and they shook their heads and said, “Fuck that.” They are going to try and find a win in an adventure that is going to be part Battlestar Galactica, part Oregon Trail with heavy dashes of Orcus and Undead Mobs and Lord Soth’s host in the mix.

I have no idea how this is going to turn out; I have no idea how this table will surprise me every week, only that they will and when they do think outside the box and surprise me – that it will be delightful.

DM’s Note: Usually I go over the most dramatic scenes and while this game did have a petulant apprentice, a Shadow Demon and an Orcus Cultist in a crow’s cage – the decision felt like the thing to write down and commemorate.

Next Game: The city of Chiaroscuro picks up and heads north.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

More Actual Play posts about the Thursday Night Delving Club’s shenanigans? Links Below:

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All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought, Session 2, The Zombie Mob

All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought, Session 2, The Zombie Mob

All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought / Session 2: The Zombie Mob

In which the Sigil Six cross the Dread Bridge, Helewynn is given a gift by the Shadar Kai and 300 or so zombies block their path through a deserted valley.

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Failed Soldier?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider
  • The Shadar Kai gave Helewynn a War Corvid, used by the Shadowfell’s elves to cross the shadow plane in appreciation of the tale of Strahd’s slaying and for her heroism. It is named Butters because the group tried to teach it the words, “Jusko is a butt,” as a gag because Jusko’s player was not able to attend. Butters the giant raven. See below for more on the War Corvid, using the stats for the Giant Eagle but with a better Intelligence.

  • War Corvid
    Stats, Giant Eagle, page 324 but lower Strength and higher Intelligence

    A raven the size of a stag rushed onto the road.

    I made a little sound in my throat without meaning to.

    It’s an unforgettable thing, seeing your first war corvid. Especially if it’s not on your side. It plucked Spear’s foot out from under her, spilling her on her face, then began shredding her back with its hardened beak. I woke myself out of just watching it and thought I should probably nock another arrow, but the corvid was already moving at Axe, whose name was actually Jarril. I tell you this not because you’ll know him long but because what happened to him was so awful I feel bad just calling him Axe.

    Black Tongued Thief by Christopher Buehlman
    The Blacktongue Thief by Chrstopher Buehlman
  • They were getting their shit together, asking questions to the Dread Bridge’s stable hands about the car and feeding of a War Corvid and Kuru’s player said, “I want some kind of a wrinkle. Maybe Kuru got someone pregnant back in Barovia or there’s a child in his Vistani cart, a stowaway Vistani child looking for adventure and a way out of Barovia.

    Brinne was born. She is a 16 year old girl who said, “You got my elder sister pregnant, Kuru; getting me out of Barovia was really the least you could do.” She asked Bugwump if she could be his apprentice because she wants to be a Wizard. I made her 16 because Bugwump’s player has a daughter in real life and I wanted Brinne to be a different age than her.

  • I rolled on the Encounter Table but decided to throw that roll away and instead choose a mob of zombies. Quickly searched, 5e, zombie mob and found stats I liked.

    Mobs are cool monsters. It was a fun encounter – a little slow but getting around the 300 zombies, who had eaten their naive necromancer who had not understood the power of the Shadowfell, took the entire session.

  • When they tried to split the zombies up, a cold wind blew and Failed Soldier realized that some fell power was controlling them – not some necromancer in a tree but some kind of Undead Power that made its home in the Shadowfell.

  • Helewynn wanted to give Butters something to eat, so she swooped down to grab an outlying zombie. I asked for a DC 12 Animal Handling and when that was failed the zombies grabbed both steed and rider. Failed Soldier and Kuru, on pterodactyl, swooped in to help and things got rough. Only through Failed Soldier’s healing, giving it the hit points it needed to rise again, and Kuru’s turning it invisible, giving it advantage on its roll to escape the zombies’ clutches, did they stop a pterodactyl from perishing under the weight of the mob.

  • While Helewynn, Kuru and Failed Soldier took flight to scout out the mob, Trundle, Bugwump and Brinne forded a river. I asked for a DC 10 Survival check and Trundle failed the roll. I decided that meant Trundle didn’t see zombies under the river’s mud lying in ambush. It was less of a failure and more of a complication due to a failed roll. Trundle and Bugwump made quick work of the zombies before they could ever attack. Bugwump’s spell seemed to create some kind of localized black hole (what was that spell?).

  • In the end, they would land just ahead of the zombies, leading the mob away and sending their carts in another direction. The folk on flying steeds would catch up once the carts were through the valley. When the mob was too far to catch the carts, the Sigil Sixers on flying steed could see some kind of odd movement among the zombies as they passed along a goat corpse.

    A zombie with its head down as if in prayer brought forward a goat head; its eyes glows red as it spoke, “You have evaded my toys on your way through this dead valley. But the Eyes of Orcus are upon you…”

    The Wand of Orcus

DM’s Notes: Using the search terms, valley, D&D map, I found this map and used it for giving the zombie mob context.

Next Game: We will pass through the Ygoni Valley on their way to Gloomwrought.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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Who are the Sigil 6 and what are they up to?

Who are the Sigil 6 and what are they up to?

Real World Origin Story

When the pandemic had just begun my friend got the flu. We had no idea if he had covid or what that might mean. As everything closed down, I called him and asked if he needed me to grab something from the pharmacy or the grocery store and leave it on his front steps. He said, “No, I’ve got that covered. Could you run a game online?”

“Damn right I can.”

That was more than two years ago and we’re still going. We played Trophy Gold for a while and had an amazing time. Then we started with Five Torches Deep and eventually settled into D&D 5e. Character descriptions and links to our AP blog posts are below.

The Sigil 6: Outlands Expedition Team
Made with assets from Thomas Novosel's patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thomasno?fan_landing=true
and Feral Indie Studio's amazing products: https://feral-indie-studios.itch.io/

Made with assets from Thomas Novosel’s patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thomasno?fan_landing=true
and Feral Indie Studio’s amazing products: https://feral-indie-studios.itch.io/

Who are they?

Most of the team met when the Lady of Pain sentenced them into the Maze, a kind of otherworld prison sideways to Sigil. The group was in there for 15 years until the Lady of Pain pulled them out and asked them to serve Sigil as an Outlands Expedition Team, defending imbalances in the Outlands. The team is ambivalent about their mysterious and otherworldly patron.

Logo, Outlands Expedition Team / Deputized by The Lady of Pain / Clerk Ward, Sigil

Jusko Hajek

A human fighter sent to the Maze for banditry and murdering his squire; he was guilty as charged. Nowadays he’s a glorious jumble of honor, bravery and love for his friends.

DM’s Notes: Hajek was the family name of Drew’s character in our old Burning Wheel game; it is a nice tip of the hat. The Hajek family is burning there in the background.

Some of my favorite of Drew’s decisions is when he uses Hajek to highlight the greatness of the other characters.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Bugwump

Bugwump is a crotchety, frog-kin wizard. When the campaign began, it seemed like he had been put into the Maze for petty reasons but then John mentioned that Bugwump had been an Arch-mage with an eye towards deity-hood and conquest who had his powers stripped when he was sent Maze-ward. It was suggested to Bugwump that perhaps he is only a clone of the powerful Arch-Mage he remembers and that thought still haunts him.

DM’s Notes: Whenever we meet a famous wizard or lich I ask John if Bugwump knew this person when he was an Arch-Mage. As mentioned in a previous blog post, this arch-magery is a gift.

John does cool stuff in making Bugwump’s magic very amphibian and unique through his descriptions.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Trundle

A Dwarf Ranger who makes arcane carvings out of wood, eschewing his stone and iron heritage. The Holdfast where he was raised was besieged by Abyssal forces, a detail I haven’t delved into nearly enough. Trundle took up the holy symbol of a Dwarven priest of portals and became a Mist-Walker while in Barovia.

DM’s Notes: Trundle isn’t a power-house in combat but Teo boxes clever with him and he often pulls out the wild card that ends up saving the team.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Kuru

A Halfling Rogue (Arcane Trickster) who took the fall for a heist gone wrong. Sometimes Kuru has lots of heart and other times he ends a problem with a ruthless backstab before it can escalate. The town where he was raised was a kind of ninja-enclave.

While in Barovia Kuru earned the nickname, Kuru Heartbreaker, after destroying Strahd’s crystal heart artifact with a Wand of Lightning Bolts.

Spirit Costume meme with pic of actor who played Bilbo, in costume, double flipping off the camera.

TEXT: Kuru
Wand of Lightning Bolts
A Wild-ass plan that just might work
Ball bearings
Something that EXPLODES

DM’s Notes: In every group there’s that one character who will jump on a dragon’s head to try to get at the dangerous beast’s eyes. Kuru is that character; Anthony is that player.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Helewynn

Helewynn joined the group later, an elf (Eldadrin) Barbarian who serves a moon goddess. She has her own strong ideas about honor. Her rage in combat will become stuff of legend and her comrades benefit from her totemic Wolf powers. While in Ravenloft, Helewynn became a werewolf, an honored caste of soldier among the Moon Goddess’ people. The werewolves, wolves and dire wolves of Barovia refer to her as the Queen of the Moon. Helewynn delivered the fatal strike against Strahd.

DM’s Notes: B is new to D&D and makes great outside-the-box combat decisions that are always interesting and fun. When I ask B a question about Helewynn’s thoughts on a topic, the response is always delightful.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Shepherd

Corpseflea (from Five Torches Deep: Origins) Grave Cleric who has left the body of a dead thief deity and is currently inahbiting the body of a flesh golem made by an angel in Ravenloft (shit got complicated and strange). Failed Soldier Shepherd has taken his desire to usher souls to their destinations when they have died. The Corpseflea has helped refugees from a dead world mourn the death of their home. Failed Soldier Shepherd inhabited the body of a dead God of Thieves from a dying world, giving the Sigil 6 access to the Godroads; now he inhabits a flesh golem made for him by the lost angel of the Morninglord in Ravenloft.

DM’s Notes: All of these characters are delightful surprising thanks to the wonderful player choices but Shepherd is a particularly odd one. Not only because he’s a mote of consciousness who can inhabit corpses but because J players them with complicated soul.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

What has the Sigil 6 been up to?

Book I: Starting in Sigil

In which we get our feet under us in the Outlands…

Revisiting Planescape

The adventures in the Outlands were supposed to ripple out into the rest of the planes of reality.

Tables for the Outlands

I don’t think of the tables as Random Encounter Tables but as Inspirational Encounter Tables.

Back in Sigil

“How do you say last rite’s over a world?”
“Maybe the same way we’d say good-bye to a dear friend…”

Not Random but Inspirational

Why did I roll these encounters? There weren’t any fights.

Feuding Gods in the Portal City of Xaos

I wrote down Water, Chaos of Limbo, Feuding Deities.

The Godroads

A few years ago I wrote some notes in a notebook about the Godroads.

Sigil with Rule of 3 Rings
Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Book II: Even Death May Die

In which the Sigil 6 travels to Chult because someone broke death.

Even Death May Die
Tomb of Annihilation as played by the Thursday Night Delving Club
made like a movie poster

Chultan Skies

They are flying on pterodactyls…

Bugwump’s Gift to the D.M.

I know that adventurers (particularly, bards) dating monsters is a kind of RPG-twitter cliche. Tonight it made a dangerous and interesting totally unbalanced encounter even more interesting.

Landing in the Lost City of Omu

Jusko was worried about the letter of introduction Vandrilla Shadowmantle gave them to give to the Red Wizards, worried they might get Rosencrantz-&-Guildenstern’d.

Wizards, Derring-do and a Legendary T-Rex

Trundle and Kuru ended up on the Queen of Feather’s head…

Robbing Yuan-ti and Contemplating Magicide.

In which Yuan-ti are robbed and multiple magicide is discussed.

Identity and the Tomb

“Who are we? Are we people who crawl into our allies’ camp and slit their throats while they sleep?”

Hit-and-Run Finale

I forgot lots of stuff in the room that would’ve made he fight harder. It was still fun, still felt epic.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Book III: Killing Strahd

In which the Sigil 6 enter a demi-planar prison to kill a legendary parasite.

Prelude in Sigil

Trundle got into the spirit of things, wearing a Devil mask and doing a public carving celebrating their last adventure…

Questions Before Curse of Strahd

Helewyn – How do you (or your Goddess) feel about lycanthropes who change shape with the full moon?

Session I Welcome to Barovia

In which the team arrives in Ravenloft and the Siege of Ravenwatch begins…

Session II Battle of Ravenwatch

Kuru, being followed by Strahd, throws a fake amulet in another direction so he can get to Jusko and turn invisible. Deception with Dex bonus; Strahd falls for the sleight of hand.

Session III Wolves and Souls

In which the Outlands Expedition Team heads to the village of Barovia and is tested by a pack of wolves.

Session IV Ghosts & Bones

Trundle, when he entered the inn, offered a prayer against fiends (his chosen enemy) in Infernal. Just a nice bit of color that I loved.

Session V – I fucked up numbering; there is no Episode V. 

Session VI Enter the Amber Temple

In which the Amber Temple is entered

Session VII Dark Gifts

Chester suggested they head back to Darkon and take over. “Azalin Rex is gone; the domain is in chaos. A group like you could wreak bloody havoc and own that place.” The Team nixed this idea.

Session VIII New Wolves & Old Friends

In which we see Werewolf politics, exit plans, scouting the Mist and Chultan pterodactyls in Barovia…

Session IX The Execution of Kiril Stoyanovich

In which a werewolf is beheaded, a sword is lit and a plan is tossed aside.

Session X The Crypts Under Castle Ravenloft

In which Jusko leads a team of strangers whose lives have been brutally damaged by Strahd 

Session XI Plans within Plans and the Broken Angel

In which the team starts to plan and make plans within plans and meet the broken angel known as the The Prophet…

Session XII Blood and Philosophy in the Abbey of St. Markovia

We are picturing it like the helicopter approach in the beginning of Predator.

Session XIII The Ballad of Kuru Heartbreaker

The Heart Tower was my favorite encounter that I ran pretty close to as-written.

Session XIV The Death of Strahd

In which the Sigil Six ends of the Curse of Strahd slaying the legendary vampire through sorcery, steel and cunning.

Spending the Ravenloft Fortune

I did not feel like going through the treasure in Castle Ravenloft and tallying it up…

Session XV Loose Ends and Lost Gods

Rahadin and the remaining vampires left the Domain. None are sure where they went.

Books from Castle Ravenloft’s Library

This tome was compiled by Strahd over the years, keeping track of Gloomwrought, through the reports of his messengers.

Curse of Strahd Awards

To hand out to players once the adventure is finished.

Why is Strahd a good villain?

Know that strahd died screaming in daylight.

Curse of Strahd as played by the Thursday Night Delving Club (Friendship, Laughter, Adventure)
Big moon behind a castle with bats flying...
Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Book IV: All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought

In which the Sigil 6 walk across the Shadowfell towards the City of Midnight.

All Shadows Lead to Gloomwrought
In which the Sigil 6 walk through the Shadowfell

Encounters, Faction and a Map

Or as Trundle said, “We’ve done enough work for the Lady of Pain; let’s walk through the Planes a while and take our time getting back to Sigil.”

S1 Knights and Elves

They got to a bridge from the mists, over a bottomless shadow chasm, leading into the Shadowfell. 

S2 The Zombie Mob

In which the Sigil Six cross the Dread Bridge, Helewynn is given a gift by the Shadar Kai and 300 or so zombies block their path through a deserted valley.

S3 “What would the best version of yourselves do?”

I put them in an unwinnable situation and they shook their heads and said, “Fuck that.”

S4 Somewhere Between Lord Soth and the Moon

“Don’t do anything stupid unless I come running down the hill. If I do, bring all of the stupid.”

S5 Recruit Villagers, Scouting Ahead and Evading a Dragon

In which the Sigil Six recruit the villagers, scout ahead and meet a dragon in the skies.

S6 The Three Who Are One

I grabbed a Skull Lord from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and a Zombie Clot from Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft. They are fun monsters and it was a fun, challenging fight.

The Three Who Are One
3 skulls melded together

S7 On the Salt Road

Kuru started a conversation with the Shadar Kai riders about their strategies in fighting a dragon.

“We run.”

S8 Bounty Hunters

Three things happened that turned the tide of the battle…

Moments in Actual Play

In which we look at a few moments and decisions in the game, considering the techniques at hand.

S9 The Old Githyanki Gate

Are the players interested in this job? Does it sound fun? Are the characters interested in this job? We talked it over and folks were interested.

S10 The Drow Job Prep

In which Kuru finds trouble in a Drow kitchen and the Sigil 6 prepares for the job.

S11 The Execution of the Drow Job

In which blood is spilled at a spirited Doors of Fate gaming table and Kuru disappears with an Aboleth.

S12 Back in Sigil

In which the Sigil 6 get Kuru back, make a Wish and get back to Sigil.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

0 Sigil 6 Questions

At this point, I really hope we take it to 20th level. I’d love to be able to get that Gamer Merit Badge. More than 30 years playing these games and I’ve never taken a D&D game from 1st to 20th. I think we’ve go the momentum to do it and hope the scheduling holds up and we get there together.

1 Acorn Problem in Bytopia

The players didn’t come out with their realization that Divast was in fact, Garl Glittergold in illusory disguise until the last minutes of the game. When Helewynn offered him half a muffin, he called it, “an offering,” a slip that Jusko noticed. Failed Soldier had a piece of Gnome-tech from Dosk, allowing him to see the spirits of the dead. During one of Divast’s many (many) temper tantrums, he seemed to be talking to a spirit of the dead and throwing them away. Why would he be doing that?

S2: A Balanced Deal with a Heaping Side of Lore

They brokered a deal between the Druids and Garl, despite the god of the Gnomes trying his damnedest to get them to slaughter them all.

S3: The Vampire, the Lich and the Raven Queen

It was an odd night and I might’ve not managed the spotlight as well as I might’ve.

Imbalances in the Outlands with Rule of 3 circles, Key and Sword and Sigil 6 symbol
Sigil 6 Subject Divider

S1 Locate Object

In which the Sigil 6 track down Strahd’s second-in-command, who got away from them in Barovia; she is now a crimelord in Gloomwrought.

S2 Killing Rahadin

In which the Sigil 6 kill Rahadin and most of her vampire gang that has terrorized the streets of Gloomwrought since Strahd’s curse was lifted.

S3 The Second Wave

In which the Sigil 6 loot the vault of the late vampire gang, kill the last surviving vampire, stuff 2 vampire spawn accountants in a bag of holding and face Innistradi Vampire Assassins.

S4 LOOK UPON ABORAZ AND DESPAIR!

In which the Sigil 6 survive their first encounter with Aboraz, the Living Tomb, the Skull that Walks.

https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/08/18/planescape-tweener-planning-session/

They are going back to Chult, apparently Jusko has an apartment there. Then we’re off to the Radiant Citadel.

S1 Return to Chult

One thing was certain, they needed to go back and grab the lich’s soul jars their gnome friend, Dosk, picked up in looking over her scans of the tomb.

S2 “I don’t know; Scry casual.”

Some players were missing tonight, so we had a low-key scry and chat. It was a lovely downshift.

S3 The Heart of Ubtao Hospital

“He seeks to unite the tribes and peoples across Chult as best he can. Dacaad has placed tablets in all of Ubtao’s deserted holy places, with a litany about what he needs to do to apologize to the people of Chult for abandoning them.”

S4 Slaying the Queen of Feathers

In which the Sigil 6 slay the Queen of Feathers in front of Dacaad and return to Omu, a lost city in the midst of being rebuilt.

S5 Keep on Truckin’ a.k.a. Enter Acererak

In which the Sigil 6 enter the Tomb of Annihilation again but this time they encounter the tomb’s architect.

S6 Beheading Acererak

In which the Sigil 6 used a Wish to avoid Death and then beheaded Acererak.

1 Plans and Deals

In which the Sigil 6 decide to venture into the Shadowfell once more, this time in order to destroy Acererak forever.

2 The Knife, the Jar and the Eye

In which the Sigil 6 find Acererak’s Soul Jar, hidden near the Eye of Vecna – also Lord Soth gains power and a gaggle of necromancers gain the resources they need to make wealth management plans so they can start thinking about saving for their retirement.

3 Just South of the Cairn Hills

In which the Sigil 6 get to the Free city of Greyhawk and purchase a flying carpet to head to the swamps south of the Cairn Hills.

4 Dragonslayers & Lich-destroyers

In which the Sigil 6 slay a Black Dragon and dissolve Acererak’s Soul Jar in the dragon’s acidic drool.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

What else?

What is an Outlands Expedition Team?

What is the Bingo XP Variant that the Thursday Night Delving Club uses?

Sigil 6 Questions – Why D&D 5e and more…

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Post-Tomb of Annihilation/Pre-Curse of Strahd

Post-Tomb of Annihilation/Pre-Curse of Strahd

Omu: the Lost City in their past, Curse of Strahd in their future.
Sigil: The City of Doors

Back from thwarting Acererak (but not facing him directly), the Outlands Expeditions Team returns to Sigil in the midst of the 1000 Faces Festival. Music and dancing in the streets at all hours…

Silver Sword/Lich Queen line separator

I did a few things with the Facebook group to get some details and flesh some things out. I made a poll with a bunch of masks for characters to wear during the festival. Some chose from the choices, others made up their own.

And I asked questions to get into the spirit of heading to the Demi-Plane of Dread.

Jusko – Your family’s ancestral lands neighbored ancient Barovia. What was the Hajek family’s relationship to the cursed von Zarovich clan?

Helewyn – How do you (or your Goddess) feel about lycanthropes who change shape with the full moon?

Kuru – What do you remember of the nomadic Vistani people who would stay for a season near the shire you where you were raised and trade with your family?

Trundle – What was Trundle’s first brush with the darker parts of the forest, where sun never penetrates the canopy and fell beasts hunt the weak?

Bugwump – What had you uncovered about the Demi-Plane of Dread when you were an Arch-Mage?

Failed Soldier – What does your religion’s parables say about the First Vampire, Strahd, a great warrior whose fell deeds drew the attention of fell powers?

Not everyone answers but the answers I get I use. It led to a good discussion about the Vistani and not wanting to punch down in our depiction of them. Those who didn’t answer in type I’ll ask “face to face” over Zoom at the next game; I forgot to do so tonight.

Basic, ask questions and use the answers stuff but having a digital home for the game makes asking the questions easy.

  • Trundle got into the spirit of things, wearing a Devil mask and doing a public carving celebrating their last adventure, carving a triptych of hobbits upon dinosaurs out of a piece of wood the size of an elephant.

  • Anthony described Kuru wearing a kind of rosary beads that Vistani would recognize. I told him that in Barovia the gods are Mother Night and the Morning Lord. Perhaps the beads are Mother Night’s stars. He met an old woman and had his fortune read. I dropped some game details as per the module.

  • Kuru specifically asked about allies, which is part of the fortune telling in the book. I offered a few – a Mad Mage near Mount Bartok, an undead knight in his old order’s keep and the people they would meet upon arriving, could be allies, if any survived. “Your arrival will be covered in blood. I doubt any will survive.”

  • Bugwump took what the woman said very seriously, having known about the Demi-Plane of Dread from his Arch-Mage days. He sought out an arcane historian and learned that Strahd was the First Vampire and is a capable wizard in his own right. He also learned that Strahd seeks out Tatyanna because she is a capable Planar Arcanist who could help him escape his prison.

  • Kuru visited the tenement building the Vistani were staying with in Sigil and learned that *DUN DUN DUN* /dramatic music Mother Eva had been dead for a week! He had been visited by her spirit. It was a nice way to wrap up a low-key game.

I’m looking forward to getting into Ravenloft just as Autumn approaches. Our next game isn’t for 2 weeks, a friend at the table pointed out that we’d be heading to Ravenloft as Halloween approaches, which is fun.

As we approach Ravenloft, this shirt seems relevant. Check out this design and more at this link.

https://shopofjudd.threadless.com/designs/goth-af

The Godroads

A few years ago I wrote some notes in a notebook about the Godroads. They were pathways from shrines to temples to cathedrals taken by the gods. Whispered prayers could be heard on the wind. In the D&D houserules-turned-game I had notes on how players could become deities and the Godroads would be available to them. I think of this project as:

Project Ampersand / House-ruled and Homebrewed, because I got emblem templates today and got excited about using them.

In our last session, the players were tasked with stopping a feud between a trio of gods, the last survivors from a dying world. Their characters were caught in a battle between a toad-wizard-god and a bandit-god. They killed one another; the players helped them along.

Jesse is playing a corpseflea, a nifty and delightfully strange heritage from Five Torches Deep’s Origins sourcebook. We skipped a week and so I totally forget that last game, Jesse told me that he was going to transfer into the body of the dead bandit-god.

Holy shit. As they left the Portal Town of Xaos, Jesse’s character noticed a portal that had not been there, behind the traveler’s shrines on the way into town. And so the players discovered the Godroads.

Baska’s elf’-barbarian navigated the roads through faith to her moon goddess.

When it became clear that the Mists of Ravenloft were infiltrating the Faery party the players were looking after in an attempt to snatch the sun and world being born (the party was celebrating the birth) the players talked to the party’s host. With the Fey Queen’s permission, they took the stone and the sword that represented the sun and world being born and headed into the Godroads, Demi-Plane of Dread hot on their heels. That is where the game ended.

I thought about what might live in this place, what the ecology of a place so alien might look like. I don’t need to create a whole eco-system but I wanted the encounter tables to hint at such a thing.

I like having this written up a week before the game. Having these to daydream on allows me to use them as more of a menu. I can roll when I want a surprise and choose when I have an idea. There is an eco-system inferred here. I think there were griffons once upon a time but they were domesticated and so now the manticore are running a bit rampant. Angels probably get together with paladins and sphinx and go Manticore hunting from time to time to clear the roads up.

Are unicorns and manticores and sphinx bog-standard D&D monsters? Yes, absolutely but I’m hoping but jamming them together into a series of secret roadways used by gods will give them new context. If I want to spice them up I can add a little planar conditioning and roll on the table below to see which plane(s) have had an effect on this particular herd or pride.

I need to re-write these tables. The icons with 3 d6’s confuses folks who think they have to roll 3d6, instead of rolling 2d6, one white and one black.

The group was sent to the Labyrinth for 15 years by the Lady of Pain. Teo asked a really interesting question, asking the players if they thought it was a fair sentence based on their crimes. During that fascinating conversation I found out that the Frog-kin wizard, Bugwump, was far more powerful a wizard before being sentenced.

When I rolled an Arch-mage encounter, I asked John about Bugwump’s rivals and Cret, lizard-person/saurian arch-mage was born. I role-played him as cloying fake and the players hated him right away. Kuru, the hobbit thief, cut past his wards with his magic knife and stole some books from Cret’s camp. His black robes have twinkling stars on them and every so often a shooting star launches across his arcane raiment.

Now we have a new rival, Arch-mage Cret, Saurian Wizard, and his apprentices.

They never saw the manticore but did see an angel fly overhead, delivering a message from some deity. I’m thrilled the Godroads made it out from the notebook to the table. I hope we get to learn more about them.

https://shopofjudd.threadless.com/collections/tabletop-role-playing-games

Find this design and more in the Tabletop Role-Playing Game collection…

Feuding Gods in the Portal City of Xaos

I grabbed my tables and rolled some dice.

Water

Huh, Limbo.

Feuding Gods…now we’re talking.

I wrote down Water, Chaos of Limbo, Feuding Deities. I wrote down Lake Monastery and crossed it out. Then I thought about it a while and got excited about Xaos, the Portal City between the Outlands and Limbo. In the process of thinking about that, I forgot about the water aspect of this roll, which is just fine.

In the end, the players had to head to Xaos, a Portal City on the edge of the Outlands to end a God-Feud that was ripping the town apart.

  • Feuding Gods
  • Elemental Chaos
  • Githzerai Monks
  • Chaos Worshippers on Pilgrimage to look upon Limbo

Alright, let’s put these pieces together.

Taking a cue from Trophy Gold Incursions I’m going to break the Portal Town into sets. This is helpful to me because structure is helpful, especially with an idea as big as Gods Feuding in a Portal Town between the Outlands and the Elemental Plane of Chaos.

Front Gate, Portal Platform, Bell-Tower, Shrine-Town

Front Gate is built under a cyclopean statue of the ancient hero-saint Gith, cross-legged, meditating upon a sword, a broken chain and the elements.

  • Crow’s Cages
  • Githzerai Guards

Portal Platform has Githzerai with long polearms to keep out any chaos monsters that might spill forth from the gate. They are milling about but always with one eye on the portal, ready to spring into action.

  • Chaos Pilgrims
  • Githzerai Monks

The Bell-Tower is where the Abbot of the monastery lives and studies. The bell is only rung when something comes through the gate.

  • The Abbot’s Library – lots of planar theory about law and chaos, meditations on hierarchy, why the fist is more potent to the sword, martial arts manuals
  • The Bell of Chains – yes, it is made of melted chains from their days as Illithid Thralls.

Shrine-town is a ramshackle town where the chaos pilgrims stay.

  • The Eight-Pointed Star is the lone inn with shrines to Arioch and other Chaos Saints.
  • Squats – none really own land here, folks stay in the shacks here for as long as they need to and move on when they are ready.

One of my favorite parts of Trophy Gold adventure’s format is moments. Little things for the players to see, little things for the GM to say when there is a lull.

Front Gate Moments

Crow caged prisoner asks for water (Githyanki, Illithid and one other. to be determined at the moment or randomly..)

Monk meditates on four elements rotating around his head, changing the nature of each; she will talk about nature of the planes if folks want to chat about philosophy

Portal Platform Moments

Guards tell anyone coming too close to be careful but don’t hold anyone back CHAOS REIGNS

Chaos Pilgrims look upon the Chaos of Limbo, weeping on their knees

Fallen Paladin looking upon chaos; he came here to throw his broken sword into Limbo itself

The Bell-Tower Moments

The Abbot meditating upon the nature of lava.

The room, silent and inviting, only a sleeping crystal bat and Limbo’s portal lighting your way.

Shrine-town Moments

Chaos pilgrims debating hierarchies and their place in Law and Chaos…

But what do they DO?

They track down gods.

During the first session I had 3 player characters, so I based the gods roughly and loosely on them.

The Bandit God, The Hanged Man, the Road Agent

  • Escape, Ambush, Criminal Recruitment

The Sorcerer God, the Wizard-Toad, The Blesser of Towers

  • Spells, Lore, Towers

The Elder Ring, Dryad Crone, The Holy Willow

  • Roots, Seeds, Secrets

The first game was travel and getting used to the area. The second game I started with a bang. The Bandit God mugged one of the players at knifepoint while the kids of the town were watching a puppet show about Gith liberating her people from the cruel Illithid.

I decided the gods were weak and had trouble healing. They’d have 4d10 hit points and powers that went with their spheres of influences.

The Toad-Wizard-God tossed an acidic mist spell into the plaza, trying to kill the Bandit God and a brutal battle followed. I liked it. I haven’t run a good D&D combat in a long while and this one was fun.

At the end of the game, the players were gathered around Trundle as he tried to destroy the stone that had done the first murder in the gods’ dead world. It was a brutal death artifact. The Elder Ring approached. I rolled an encounter table and rolled a 10 – considers offers/leaves. She was not willing to jump them; they were right in front of the portal to Limbo. She asked them to give the stone to her. They refused.

She nodded and walked away.

On the Bingo XP table, I covered, Players make an enemy and told them I did so. There’s an angry tree goddess from a dead world pissed at them.

Cool.

Next game the players are heading to a party in Faery. Dark Powers are afoot. I won’t tell you what I rolled but I’ll post the notes just like this once I’m done.

Should be fun.

If you liked the blog post above you might like the pdf linked below with inspirational tables to support a DM running a Githyanki Invasion.

Not Random but Inspirational

The players are an Outland Exhibition Team (O.E.T.) operating out of Sigil. O.E.T.’s are city-funded adventuring parties that head out into the Outlands and restore balance to situations that arise there. When they return they sit down with the community where they live and discuss the philosophical and moral implications of their choices.

“I just want to point out that outsiders entering a community to restore some idea of balance is colonial nonsense that is harmful to the world.”

“Do you attend every O.E.T. community discussion to say this?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Fair enough. So noted…”

I rolled up the adventure and mapped out an outline using the Trophy Gold incursion structure (more on that in a future blog post). The players were heading to Xaos, Portal City between the Outlands and the Ever-changing Chaos of Limbo to stop a god-feud happening there. Gods from a dead Prime Material World were feuding and causing problems.

I decided that there was a rival group of assassins known as the God-killers on their way to Xaos to kill the feuding gods. I wasn’t sure of much else about them. Would they get there first or show up later to heighten the tension? Not sure.

I rolled on the Encounter Table for their first day of travel.

Lost Souls…Dead Adventurers. I think my encounter just told me that the God-killers are dead.

INTERESTING. I did not see that coming.

The gods heard about them and panicked. They set aside their differences for a bit, made sure they were killed and then went back to their in-fighting. If the players find out that they set aside their differences once, they can figure out how to get them to do it again.

It also was a nice way of giving an info dump because assassins who call themselves the God-killers definitely did their homework.

One of the God-killers was a Tiefling and asked Kuru the Halfling Thief to burn some incense at the shrine to Asmodeus back in Sigil. Love it.

For the next day, I rolled a 12.

DRAGON. Whoa.

On the third d6 I got a 6. The dragon is taking treasure. Cool. But from who? I rolled again. I could’ve chosen but I was curious to see what the table would say.

Merchants. Makes sense. More simple than a dragon mugging an angel but sometimes simple is good.

I described the players arriving to a one-inn town with a merchant caravan leaving as a thunderstorm began. The players noticed right away and asked the inn-keeper why they were leaving into a storm. She told them that the caravan had a delivery that was time sensitive (what was that about? I’m still not sure and I’m not sure I ever will be) and so they left despite her warnings. She said that the storm wasn’t natural and they were leaving into doomful circumstances.

The next morning as the players were leaving, lightning-scorched survivors from the caravan were in the common room, talking about how they survived a dragon attack the night before. The blue dragon had attacked the caravan and pillaged its treasures before flying away.

I decided the rest of the journey went by without a hitch. I roll every day or two of travel.

Why did I roll these encounters? There weren’t any fights.

That is okay. Friendly and neutral encounters are fine. We’re into our third session. It fleshes out the world. I get to learn about what the characters are like.

The players could’ve gone after the caravan and talked them into staying. They could’ve decided to hunt the blue dragon. For now it is just color.

Sometimes I roll. Sometimes I choose. Sometimes they players sprint headlong into a brewing situation that has nothing to do with the oncoming adventure. Sometimes they hang back and smoke a pipe in the rain, under the eaves of the inn. Sometimes the players’ actions make something on (or off) the table obvious, so the encounter for that day is taken care of. Sometimes they get the jump on the encounter and other times they encounter will get the jump on them. It all depends on the circumstances and what the fiction demands.

I’m not calling them random encounter tables anymore. They’re Inspirational Encounter Tables.

I wrote up 2 pdf’s with Inspirational Tables in them. Please check out Silver Swords of the Lich Queen or Raven Queen vs. the Ghoul King to see more.

https://www.dmsguild.com/browse.php?author=Judd%20Karlman

Planescape: Tables for the Outlands

I’ve been thinking about Planescape recently and wrote up some tables for our Thursday night game. As Stras says, “Encounter Tables are setting design,” and if you look at Band of Blades you can see that in action. I don’t think of the tables as Random Encounter Tables but as Inspirational Encounter Tables.

Inspiration > Information. If choosing from the table helps me create a cool thing or if the players’ actions mean something on or off the table should definitely be around, I’ll use that. As Apocalypse World says, “Sometimes disclaim decision-making.” Sometimes, though, it is obvious from the way the players’ actions have pinballed off of your prep, that a dragon-is-a-coming. When that happens, I’ll let the dragon in.

There is a blog post about having 2d6 Encounter Tables and always having a Dragon as the 2 or 12 and I always lose that link. If you have it, please post it in the comments.

Found it! Thank you, Wanderbill!

The following d66 tables are inspired by Trophy Gold, where we use these to create characters.

Sometimes I need a delve, an imbalance to address. When that happens I roll 2d6, not adding them up and looking at the tables below, rolling or picking until I have an idea for an adventure.

And sometimes I’m going to use these tables so that I have the planar bits at my fingertips. I remember that Story Hour on ENworld where there were elves whose plane had cracked and fallen into fell realms, changing the fey beings there forever. I want to be able to take an Elf Citadel and decide that there was a cataclysm and it…got jammed between *rolls dice* a plane of Magma and one of the Nine Hells, creating these volcanic elves who worship the Devil-God.

Our first game was about Keymont. I rolled and looked and daydreamed until I had this little cliff-side town on the edge of the Astral Sea, a failed whaling town that used to be the Nantucket of the Astral before all of the whales disappeared. Now they make keys but the machinery that syphons stuffs out of the sea to make keys out of is frozen and winter should be long gone by now.

Sometimes it’ll be like that, a town in trouble, a community in need. Other times it’ll be a dying god hit by a Fire Bolt fashioned in the Heavens who fell onto the Outlands and became a fell dungeon. Roll. Pick. Pick and roll until I have something. Who knows, I might even read through the Manual of the Planes from time to time or just have Githyanki forming a beachhead for a future invasion because I adore Githyanki. We’ll see.

I’m a fan of shrines and like having my favorite deities in a few tables. For some reason d66 makes it easy to list stuff. I can usually think of a dozen or so and then figure out that last 6 when I see a pattern in the first two-thirds.

That isn’t the map I started with, though. At first I started with this one:

What I really wanted was a link from each Portal Town to the plane it led to and the poetic three sentence descriptions from the 3rd Edition Manual of the Planes by Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell and David Noonan. At some point I’ll make 2 more for the infernal realms and the middling limbo-ish realms but for now, that is fine. I’ve got the idea.

Want to make your own? Here are some PDF’s. I’d love to hear about what you do with them and how they work for you at the table.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

In which I live-tweeted using these tables to prepare for a game:

P.S. Thank you to my friends and the communities on the D&D subreddit and the OSR RPG FB Group who gave helpful feedback on the 2d6+6 table.

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Lich Collection
https://shopofjudd.threadless.com/collections/the-lich-collection

Revisiting Planescape

I’m running a Planescape game tonight using the Bingo XP Variant and Five Torches Deep and here’s what I sent to the players and a Portal move inspired by AW: Burned Over.

I have no idea if tonight’s game is going to work. It has been a minute since I’ve played a d20 D&Dish game. We’ll see! Thank you for giving this a shot with me.

Planescape was this cool setting where the game implied in the boxed set was this city at the center of all worlds and the players take part in these oddly philosophical factions as they venture out into the Outlands and adventure. The adventures in the Outlands were supposed to ripple out into the rest of the planes of reality.

Made by me with Affinity Design, inspired by the map from the 3E Manual of the Planes Outlands map by Todd Gamble

It seemed to me that NO ONE PLAYED IT THIS WAY. Everyone was excited by this city and ended up being a bodyguard for a dwarf crime lord with fire for hair or doing security for an ogre opera house. I dig that but I’ve done my faction-minded fantasy crime saga stuff already. So, I’m trying to play it this way. – into the Outlands.

When folks go out into the Outlands in our game everyone knows. Word gets out. It is DANGEROUS out there. You could get dragged to hell – literally dragged to hell. In our game there is no money nor fame to be made in Sigil. Real fortune is made in the Outlands (and of course we’ll visit Hells or Heavens or Elemental Planes of Fire as needed). The cool thing about Sigil, the City of Doors, is that you can get anywhere from here. If you are interested in a world you learn about on your adventures, opening a gate is something anyone can do if they are willing to expend the will and time to do so.

When you get back from your adventure the philosophical factions will gather in a plaza near where you live and debate your actions with you. No judgment, just a spirited debate on how this made the planes better or worse. It is a big event. Everyone gets dressed up.

But first an adventure…

Thank you for playing.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

When you want to find a portal to another world, sit down with your friends and figure out everything you all know about this place and how you learned it. Consider your sources. If anyone you know might know more, invite them to this palaver.

Names, anything made in that place. Lay it all out on the table. Where in the planes are you guessing this place might be? Make a map of the planes as you understand it and put your guess on the map.

NOTE: I’m not saying sit down and make up a place. I’m saying you must’ve heard of this place in-game. Sit down and discuss that before heading through the portal to otherwhere.

What do you have that could be a key to this place?

The DM will saying, “Sure, you could try to get there but…”

  • your guess as to where this place is in the planes is a little off, you’ll end up somewhere dangerous but nearby
  • you need more lore about this place, you’ve heard X knows about this or has info on it
  • you need an item/spell/artifact made from this place, in the Outlands, there is a place that you can get more
  • you need more items made from this place, it is going to cost you a devil’s ransom in gold
  • someone else in Sigil or beyond wants to go there too and you’ll need to pool your resources to open the portal

Inspired by Tinkering in AW Burned Over by Meguey and Vincent Baker et al.

I’ve got an adventure outline, taking what I’ve learned from a year of Trophy Gold incursions, written by me, written by others, adapted from modules and turn it towards Outlands adventures.

Incursions for Trophy Gold? Here ya go.

What the eff is Trophy Gold? We’ve got a podcast all about that.