Graz’zt vs. Klauth: Hunting a Dragon with a Demon Prince

AP Thread:

So, they made a deal with the Lord of the 45th, 46th and 47th layers of the Abyss and did it without a Duel of Wits…which maybe bummed me out but their terms were reasonable. We haven’t hit that moment where both sides dig in their heels and no further forward motion can be made in the game that always was a sign for DoW to start.

Terms:

  • He won’t seek revenge against the witch who had kept him her prisoner (they were friends with the witch’s sister).
  • Before he leaves Luskan, however, he can lay with her, disguised as her lover in a local brothel.
  • He won’t harm any in the Deep 6 as long as they do not harm him.
  • He won’t seek revenge on any within the Deep 6.
  • He will continue to hunt Old Snarl until the dragon is dead as long as Arkadian Lahl is beside him.

Yeah, Auric wanted his name in that last term but Arkadian wasn’t having it and he had a belief about keeping the Hanged Prince safe until he takes back Felbar. They walked out of the tower while the Witch was out, with a Demon Prince who shifted his shape to look like a Luskan sailor with six fingers on each hand and tattoos on his arm: 45, 46, 47.

 

https://shopofjudd.threadless.com/designs/mithrandir-the-grey-pilgrim

Building a demon prince

Monster Burning Thread:

Pete took out a bunch of his old D&D books, here are some relevant quotes:

MM2:

I’m paraphrasing, here, “He was winning the war in the Abyss against Orcus and Demogorgon when he was summoned by a mighty magic-user and pulled to the prime material plane. Cool. That fits right into the game we’re in.”

“Graz’zt is the handsomest of the demon rulers, at least by human standards. He appears as a huge, good-looking man, although his skin is shining black and his eyes are glowing green. Graz’zt is six fingered and six toed.”

The 3.0 Manual of the Planes is a nifty book. I especially like the 3-line descriptions of each plane:

“It is an infinity of clutching horror.
It is home to demons.
It is where morality crumbles and ethics perish.”

Demons, dark gods and thinking outside the box

AP thread:

I wanted the calling of the hunt to have some traditions and some ritual to it. We e-mailed a bit about it and I suggested that the noble in charge of the hunt calls on seven deities to bless the hunt. Tonight, before the game, I sat down and wrote down the four recorded Great Hunts:

The first Great Hunt was called by an ancient God-king of Mulhulorand. Who or what he called the hunt on or how the hunt ended is lost to time and history.

600 years ago the Elven Queen called the Great Hunt upon an avatar of Orcus who walked the earth. Orcus was killed the queen’s own champion, a sword singer, the Herald of the West.

200 years ago King Azhoun III (King Azhoun IV currently reigns Cormyr) called the Great Hunt on the Dragon-god of Hullack, a green dragon, the consort of Tiamat who was attempting to become a god. The dragon was killed by the knight who founded the Purple Dragon knights of Cormyr.

50 years ago Lord Urdo of Westgate called a spiteful Great Hunt on a thief. The hunt brought out every bounty hunter on the Sea of Fallen Stars but the thief was never caught. Some say he found a portal to the legendary city of Sigil. (ya know, when I had Lord Nasher talk about the history of the Great Hunts, I forgot this one…shit).

And 20 years ago Lord Ather, the Arm of Tyr and father to Waterdeep’s own High Lord, Peirgeron Paladinson called a Great Hunt on Klauth, the Great Wyrm of the North. The hunt ended when Lord Ather himself was killed. Killing the noble who called the hunt, ends the hunt.

I listed a bunch of gods and goddesses who sent representatives and they chose 7.

  • Moradan, the dwarven highfather, the world-forger
  • Tyr, god of justice and law
  • Mystra, goddess of magic
  • Bhaal, god of murder
  • Mask, god of thieves and shadows
  • Bahamut, the father of dragons
  • Solonar Thelandira, elvish goddess of hunting and archery

They chose Solonar to honor Milja’s death.
For the duration of the hunt, each deity will provide a call-on for a skill that pertains to their realms of expertise.

Killing Cannibals and Hunting a nasty Dragon (who is also a cannibal)

In both games I am GMing right now, things are right on the cusp of really exciting sessions.

The Cannibal War

Tonight in Apocalypse World, the players are leading the Hudson Valley Compact into Cannibal Country in order to hit an incoming shipment of goods that will keep their hardholds fed until the winter.  Should be some vicious road battle for the ole Driver and just some nasty small group warfare for everyone else as they attempt to take a bridge that leads into Central Garden.

 

The Great Hunt

Over in the Forgotten Realms, the Great Hunt has been called on Klauth, the Great Wyrm of the North, the most vicious named dragon in all of the realms and one of the few bits we’ve taken from the 3E book rather than sticking to the gray box.  Or am I wrong and is Klauth in the gray box?  He has a spy network of critters throughout the north and gains power by eating other dragons.  What a shit.

Pete and Aaron discussed it over e-mail and indeed, the Deep Six are taking part, probably the leading adventuring group.  We e-mailed a bit about what goes into the calling of a Great Hunt and decided that seven deities are chosen to sponsor such a hunt, chosen by the noble who sponsors the calling.  The deities they choose will change the tenor of the hunt itself.  I’m curious to see which ones the players will pick.

That’s what is up at the gaming tables I frequent.

How about you?

Greyhawk, Arch-Mage War and the World’s End

After last Sunday’s game, we’re sitting around the dining room table, talkin’ shit, a normal post-game routine for us.  Pete has his map of Greyhawk nearby, so he drops it on the table and starts talking to us about the fictional history of it all.  Pete is an awesome public speaker but Aaron and I are tired and have nothing invested in Greyhawk, having never played a game in its borders.

“This nation blah blah blah and that nation and evil monks the Brotherhood of the Red something-or-other.  Greyhawk is actually a city, a magocracy,” (my ears prick up a bit), ” until the arch-mages who ruled it got into a war.  A few left the plane, maybe going to Sigil or wherever.  So now-”

“Wait, stop the presses.  An arch-mage war?  That is the stuff.  I’d be up for playing the midst of an urban arch-mage war.  Shit, I’d want to play a wizard who wants to gain arch-mage status, wants to step up and gain something from the conflict.  I mean, this Realms game could end anywhere from 3-8+ games from now.”

Aaron get’s the scared look in his eye, the look of a player whose game will end before he’s ready for it to end.  He urges us, “Let’s not rush to find an ending to the campaign we are playing.”

“Nope, I’m on no rush but if it goes down, we could play that if Pete would run it.  That’s all I’m saying.”

And I’m not in any rush to end the Realms game at all.  I’d be more than happy with playing around with Old Snarl and the siege of Felbar and moving on to other things…maybe doing some running around along the Sea of Fallen Stars, giving the Zhentarim a run for their money.  Those seeds are certainly planted and ready in the campaign already.

It was just funny and odd how quickly I got excited by Greyhawk once Pete showed me some situation amidst his nostalgia.  At some point, I will have to write a blog post about the arch-mage/gunslinger found within the Greyhawk canon.

Our game enters the final arc of its first book

Exit the Sage, Enter the War Wizard:

It felt like the first part of Chapter 3, the Seige of Felbar. It was a promising start and it felt like a very different game without Celedon. With Aaron playing an established member of the Deep Six, the game suddenly feels entirely different and in a cool way. It is nice to see the adventuring company in action and watch Aaron and Pete get a feel for Arkadian and Auric’s rhythm.

Links to our other BWFR threads after the cut.

Continue reading

In which a beloved player-character retires…

From this BW AP:

The king asked to meet Celedon in the library, where his book, chronicling all he has seen on the Sword Coast, on a lectern.

“Celedon, I have read your book and I can fathom your intentions here. You seek to have my daughter crowned Etharch of the Sword Coast. You would have me send an elven host to guard her and send them to help your friend, Auric. The Burning Wheel is not only an artifact of great power but a prophecy, a sign of fire and blood to come.

“If you wish to ask that of me, you may do so tomorrow, in front of the court but not now. For now, allow me to put down my crown and only be my daughter’s father, concerned for the elf she married. I would offer my daughter’s husband a job in my court.

“Waterdeep is indeed a city of splendors but there are other cities…cities of doors, cities of brass, places where I need an emissary. I would ask you to travel to these far-away lands and use your skills for all of Evermeet. There is a grove of portals just outside and I would ask you to traverse these portals in my name.

“There was an etharch of the Sword Coast on Ilfarne. I was a ward there as a boy, taught how to use a sword there when a citadel still stood. You would ask me to put my daughter in that same danger…to make her a target for all of your enemies…the Zhents…the Thayans, they would all seek her harm. You are setting her up for tragedy.

“I only ask that you stay and use what you have learned on the Sword Coast and think not only of the young species in the north but of your wife’s safety and the safety of your child.”

Yeah, I dropped a bomb, I let Celedon know that he would have a child soon. The king knows everything on Evermeet.

“No baby is pretty upon birthing.” – Prince Auric, discussing the city of Luskan

From this thread on the BW forums:

Aaron latches on to a belief about finding a lost elven treasure under the city. He had circled up these elves who were dedicated to uncovering the lost elven foundations under Luskan, where once the elven court for the Sword Coast, the elven prince was seated. This was once an elven citadel and now its a pirate port ruled by a trio of wizards.

I mention that the citadel has fallen into a fault-line and now is sideways in the earth (like that hotel in Lost Boys) just outside of what is now Luskan. I am stalling. I have no fucking ideas. I am looking at their beliefs and I have no fucking idea. Seriously.

Long story short…the rescue mission is a fucking disaster, a total fucking disaster. They fail. In the end, they give the Zhents the elven crown in order to ransom Gwyon back.

Aaron is pissed. Celedon is fucking bereft. Lots of rolls were failed.

Celedon to Gwyon’s friends: “Burn the ship into the bay.”

Gwyon’s friends: “My Lord…we can’t. We are out-manned.”

But the really interesting moments for me were those in which Aaron was pissed, pulling at every fictional string on the table, trying to figure out a way to deal with these kidnapping, hostage-taking bastards. The Zhentarim have been established as amoral fucks and worthy antagonists.

Accounting and Axe-play

AP thread on BW forum:

Luskan is a city filled with pirates, ruled by wizards, that is feuding with a nearby island of vikings. Where the hell is that Forgotten Realms novel, dammit?

In the background of other games, it was mentioned that Peirgeiron the Paladinson went to deal with the feud between Luskan and Rhuathym. As a precaution, he asked if he could take the War Wizard in Auric’s advenuring party. Turned out, Peirgeiron uncovered that Luskan was in talks with the Zhentarim. He had the War Wizard burn Luskan’s ships into the sea with White Fire.

I had no idea the game was heading to Luskan. I just thought burning the bay of Luskan with White Fire was some cool shit to happen in the background. It wasn’t until tonight that I had to reason out from an NPC’s point of view all of he problems this brutal gesture created.

The Many Portals to the Forgotten Realms

The reason our Forgotten Realms game is working is because we all got to the realms via the same portal, the original boxed set. Pete has vivid memories of first opening the boxed set with a buddy when he was a young teen. Aaron had the maps on his childhood bedroom ceiling.

In posting stuff about the Forgotten Realms online, it is wild to see how many different portals there are. There the novels, the old SSI video games, 1st edition supplements, 2nd edition supplements, 3rd edition supplements, Volo’s Guides, 4th edition books, Neverwinter Nights and on and on (did I miss any? if any come to mind that I missed, please post to comments).

It was really interesting to ask on twitter/facebook which iconic characters I should burn up and having people name vastly different people. There were NPC’s from old video games who I didn’t know at all and I am sure that folks on the Candlekeep forum could name dozens of names that would fly right over my head.

Luckily, we are all playing through that same portal and our iconic ideas are similar…Mirt the Moneylender, Khelben, Elminster, Azhoun IV, the Harpers, Peirgeiron the Paladinson, Obould with some cherry picks from the 3rd edition books like Old Snarl.

I’m not sure if this is a feature or a bug because we have no other portal-goers trying to integrate into the game. We’ve kept it nice and small and haven’t had to deal with anyone who has a vastly different idea about the Realms or *gasp* someone who doesn’t care for the setting at all.

This design and more can be found at the Tabletop Role-Playing Games collection…

https://shopofjudd.threadless.com/designs/talk-sh-t-roll-crits-d20-edition