Tuesday, November 24, 2015

U-Con 2015

This weekend was the first anniversary for me of heading to U-Con which just so happens to have been the first gaming convention I have participated in. Being only able to stay for 2 of the 3 days I made plans to get in as much old school goodness as I could.


The early morning was taken up with mostly blundering around the convention getting a feel for where everything was this year. I was pleased to see the OSR track getting a bunch of love this year and ran into some old friends I have met from previous conventions. I missed out on getting into Tim's  Stuper heroes game due to getting to the convention a little later then I would have liked but got a chance to hang out afterwards. Tim was even nice enough to give me a copy of the stuper heroes basic game rules which was much appreciated.

After this I met up with my brother in-law who came with me out to the con and we checked out a home brew game buildt on an expanded idea of triple triad from final fantasy called Battle Box: The Greek Gods by Chris Andersen. It appeared to be an interesting game and while I could not stick around to try it out my brother in-law said it was pretty good.

I then made my way over to Ryan Thompson's game GC1 It Lurks Below by pacesetter games & simulations. I was able to bring back my character from last year, a elven fighter/mage,who brought with him his dragon slaying sword and ring of regeneration and a few useful scrolls. Without going into specifics from the module the group played well together working as a team and while the initial goal did not get completed we still found quite a bit of loot to bring back to the surface world and a new mystery uncovered.

After the game I spent some time at the dealers hall and picked up some goodies from Bill Barsh including GC3 It Crawled From Below, H1 Six Feet Under, and B1 Legacy of the Unknown. I would the next day pick up GC2 They Lurk Below but he was out of GC1 for non 5th edition. I had a good time chatting with him and his family and getting a chance to meet him in person.

Over at the DCC booth I picked up the d30 Sandbox Companion by new big dragon games, into the demon idol by bloody hammer games, and Bill Webb's book of dirty tricks. I have been getting to know some of the guys from the DCC road crew and while I don't currently play DCC, it is always nice to stop and chat and pick up some old school goodness that I will make use of in my own games. 

Six o'clock rolled around and I went over to the auditorium to check out the
Old School City Scapes Roundtable Panel. It was a great round table with OSR track Sponsor John Reyst, the guest of honor Bill Webb, Bill Barsh, Tim Snider, Adam Muszkiewicz, the OSR track organizer Ryan Thompson, and last but certainly not least Jim Wampler who was recording it all for the save or die podcast. While waiting for everything to begin I struck up a conversation with another con goer only to find out he was non other then Larry Hamilton of the blog follow me and die of which I am a regular reader. The round table was great and every one had a unique view on the topic of cities in games. The audience as per last year was invited to participate with questions and comments and even some friendly banter. All in all it was a great way to end the first day at the con.


I headed out early due to nature deciding snow needed to be on the forcast. I made it out there with little issue and got right into an open seat for the 9am AD&D game of the classic Lost Caverns of Tsjocanth. I took on the roll of a large 6'5" fighter and teamed up with a elven fighter/mage, a fighter/mage/thief, a monk, and a cleric of justice and truth. It was a fun run through the early part of the adventure and my character had to swallow his pride and his dignity to save the party from a blue dragon. We did well only suffering the loss of the fighter/mage/thief at the hands (literally it tore him in half) of a troll but bringing in a very helpful ranger who successfully found the correct path to the caverns and the end of our first part of the 3 part adventure.

Our next forray continued where we left off however the monk took a back seat and in came a straight thief. We explored the caves and came across some things like a clay golem that rocked our world pretty hard, some more trolls of which several I BBQ'd with some lightning javelins, and barely surviving turning into green slime thanks to what I will now forever refer to as the slim-fast potion of life saving (potion of vitality). We did some additional travel in the caverns and found some additional loot but this was where I had to call it quits. I said my goodbyes to everybody and ventured into the snowstorm that was raging and looked forward to the adventures next year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Into the castle part 4

When we last left off the group got into it with a group of 6' diameter spiders. Having slain them but with the casualty of the mage's giant weasel familiar  (which nearly killed the mage himself) they used up the majority of their healing items, scrolls, and spells to bandage themselves up and continue forward. They thought about taking the stairs up but they still have not made really any profit on this excursion and felt they could travel just a bit further before turning back to the city.

They start following another winding path through the cave network and ultimately came across a group of hostile kobalds. The barb takes one out with a well placed arrow and the mage just barely pulled off knocking the rest out with his sleep spell. The dwarf decides they are too dangerous to keep alive and gets to work cutting some throats but the mage requested to spare one to try charming him into helping them find their way through the caverns and possibly to some hidden loot. The kobald(now known as belkin) failed his save and became the parties guide. He knew of a sword on a large metal object back inside the castle and recommended they go back the way they came and take the stairs up. When asked about the spiders Belkin very wisely noted when he and his group come across spiders, they run away.

So they clear the steps of the thick webs and the dwarf decides to take point. They head up the stairs and find themselves in another fairly barren room but also full of webs. Thats when the giant spider above the door descends down on a heavy thread and the dwarf just barely has enough time to see it coming down on him fangs flared and dripping with venom. It scored a hit, rolled max damage, and the dwarf failed his saving throw leading to both fangs entering his skull through his eye sockets and filling his brain full of venom before wrapped all of its legs around his now convulsing corpse and pulling him up into its nest.

The rest of the group terrified but pretty pissed off decide to instead of letting it enjoy its new found meal unleash everything they had left in the way of missile weapons on it scoring 2 heavy hits with arrows from the barbarian, a miss with a stone flung from the clerics sling, and a moderately successful magic missile from the mage. The group wins the next rounds initiative and the barb finishes it off with another salvo of arrows from his bow bringing the vermin crashing to the ground.

Still horrified by the way their new found comrade had died they decide to collect his possessions for his family putting it in their bag of holding and still hungry for loot decide to follow belkin further into the castle. They found they came out near the throne room and the secret passage they took in their previous time in the castle but belkin was taking them further into unknown territory. It is about this time when a raging orc comes out swinging (terribly too as he fumbled and fell prone in front of the barb) and promptly got his skull caved in with an axe. We then had to cut the game short due to a family emergency however the group is learning quickly that luck will not always be with them and that death really does lurk around every corner if you are not careful.