Tag Archives: Fifth Edition

Meeting The Girl Born Under The Serpent Star

We managed another online session this weekend. Sure Owlbear Rodeo was having some server problems but we worked around it.

So here’s a little recap. The party was hired to help one of the local nobles find his missing daughter. They soon find out that the local Temple of Set was also looking for a girl and quickly deduce that they are all looking for the same person.

After some shenanigans, the party finally gets an audience with the High Priest of the Temple of Set. Of course, he looks like this.

I couldn’t help myself. Here they learn that that temple doesn’t want to sacrifice her. They want to outright kill her. According to the High Priest, Kalia, the girl, is a gateway and will become the mortal vessel of the ancient evil serpent god Yig. The only way to stop it is to kill her. The High Priest offers to double the reward from the noble if they help. The little mercenaries agree.

They do a little more detective and find a tavern that seems to be under new management. They go in, they get suspicious, and the fight breaks out. Panicked bar patrons, brute guards, and oh yeah Serpent People. Spells and body parts go flying. The party’s henchman, Daryl, is killed in the fray. A pair of burly serpent man guards try to rush Kalia out of the tavern but the party prevails.

And things get more interesting now. The Druid was still in wolf form and quickly notices that the “girl” they are rescuing isn’t Kalia. The Serpent folk assassin drops her disguise spell, fails to stab anybody, and gets cut down quickly.

That’s when they notice one of the “dancing girls” hasn’t fled. She drops her disguise spell and it’s Kalia. Just evil green-glowing-eyes Kalia. She mutters, “You just can’t find good help. You can’t stop me, mortals.” She blasts the party with a spell, dominates the Barbarian and orders him not to let his friends leave this room, and she runs.

The chase is short. Only two characters manage to get passed the Barbarian, the Monk and the Courtier. Kalia with the use of a few spells easily looses them.

So the party got to confront the big bad of the campaign and they survived.

Complete Folio Black Label Kickstarter

I don’t often plug Kickstarters. Every time that I do folks pop out the shadows and want to plug their Kickstater. Just like reviews, I plug the one’s I like and one’s that I put my money where my mouth is back it myself. And I’ve already backed the previous Indiegogo campaigns that funded some of the original adventures so it’s time to do a little rant on those.

So what’s the Folio Black Label series? Let’s just get the point. These adventures are more adult and risque than your standard adventures. So yes. Warning. Boobies and sex. So if that freaks you out or you don’t want the children flipping through the pages then you might want to give it pass. That being said, sex is easily one of those dials that a GM and the players can set for their own group.

As I said previously, I backed the Indiegogo Campaigns for the final trilogy in the Complete Folio: Lair of the Slaver Succubus; Dagger, Venom, Throne; and Before the Necrotic Gate. I’ve already got my PDF’s of Slaver Succubus and Dagger, Venom, Throne so I’m basing much of this on those adventures.

Overall, the adventures are interesting and well written. They aren’t “Kick in the Door, Kill the Monster, Loot the Room” style of adventures but there’s still plenty of that and good old dungeon crawling. So the adventures do take some thought and may required some stealth or other tactics. Plus there’s a slew of new monsters and magic items that fun and just downright quirky. And it’s one of the few times that I’ve seen someone put a privy in a dungeon.

Another that makes these shine for me is that they are dual statted for 5E and old-school games. Yippee! And speaking of doubling up. The maps are both standard top down grid and a nifty isometric version.

You can follow along or just back the Kickstarter for the Complete Folio Black Label series over here. Heck. It’s only $10 for the PDF version. FYI, that’s six adventures!

With all that being said, Art of the Genre does have some pretty cool adventures and supplements that part of the Black Label series. I’ve personally found The Storyteller’s Arcana is filled with some very cool thoughts and resources for GMing.

Session Summary: Child of the Serpent Star-Part 1

Well, we had another session of the 5E Sword & Sorcery game this weekend. I didn’t post about the last session but then I should have. So I’ll throw a little bit of that in here too.

The party had just rescued their favorite henchman, Bob, from being possessed by an ancient necromaner. This whole adventure was my own quick take on the Necromaner’s Knife from The Spider-God’s Bride and Other Tales.

After a bout of carousing, the party is approached by Lord Josef (a minor noble in the city). He needs to rescue his kidnapped daughter, Kalia. They haggle for even more money but in the end agree to help. Since this an investigative session, there was no combat at all and I’m only go to do the highlights here and not in chronological order.

Their first round of investigation they learned that that Josef has not received a ransom demand. They eliminated any actions my rival noble house. They also learn that the local Temple of Set is searching for a woman who bears the mark of the Serpent Star. It doesn’t take them long to figure out that the missing Kalia is the one who bears this mark (according to her handmaidens). They deduce based on the cult’s actions that they haven’t this out yet.

The party does a little research on the Temple of Set and the Legend of the Serpent Star. They learn that there are two factions within the Cult of Set. One believed that Set and Yig are just two names for the same god. While the “orthodox” view is that Set is the son/brother of the ancient serpent god Yig the Father of Serpents. Set tricks and imprisons Yig to steal his power.

The party questions Kalia’s hand maidens and searches her room. They learn that Kalia has been having nightmares the last few weeks. In the room, they find an ancient hold symbol of Yig, a small book written in an ancient language that no one in the party can decipher, and some pieces of the snake skin in her bed (as if a snake had molted). They also find the marks where a grappling hook was attached to her window and where one was used on the wall surrounding the villa. The party’s Druid changes into a wolf and literally begins snooping around. She tracks Kalia from her window across the courtyard to and over the wall. Kalia travels further into the city (in the opposite direction from the the Temple of Set) and meets a snake? And shortly after that the Druid lost the trail in the city.

The party takes the small book to a sage for translation. It’s short and the sage tells them to return the next day for the translation. They return and the sage has been murdered and the book is gone. Examination of the body reveals that while the sage did suffer wounds from a fight the main cause of death was from what appears to be an unusually large venomous snake bite. They also find a scrap of parchment in the sage’s hand. Written on it, “I shall return.”

Here ends this session. Stay tuned.

D&D Live. Where’s my Steak Knives?

You’ve probably heard that this last weekend was the whole D&D Live thing. It streamed live via Youtube, Twitch, and Peacock. It was sort of a virtual WOTC pat itself on the back event.

OK, yeah. They did announce two new products. And there were some celebrity actual plays. I do admit there were a lot of the celebrities were folks who’s work I have followed over the years and have enjoyed. And even some panel type discussions. I didn’t torture myself with whole thing but I did do a lot of skipping around and watching as much as I could until I started to feel sleazy.

I understand that this was just a corporate marketing push. But they could have at least been a little more subtle about it. Watching as little as I did, I still couldn’t help feel like I was being force fed saccharine. As soon as I got through the sales pitch for the time share then they’d give me a free set of steak knives.

Rant over.

How’d The Weekend Gaming Go?

Well, it went pretty good. Our little group kicked off the 5E Sword & Sorcery game. As I said before I took a lot of the rules from Xoth.

The party consists of a barbarian, monk, druid, and courtier. The courtier player couldn’t make it so an NPC (Fighter/Rogue) stepped in to keep them from totally getting their butts kicked.

This was combo of Session 0 and intro adventure. Actually, we did a lot of the Session 0 stuff before hand via a Facebook Group. It was pretty simple at the beginning. Guard a merchant caravan through the desert. What could go wrong? At first, not much. Some bandits tried to sneak into the caravan at night and steal some stuff. No problem for our group of adventurers.

Then I did a little railroading. OK, a lot of railroading. I wanted to create an event that would give the characters a reason to bond even if it was against a common enemy. So the player characters (+another guard) got drugged and wake up in chains. They had been handed over to a bunch of slavers. Since I pulled this little nasty narrative trick on them, I did give them each an Inspiration Point.

Of course, the barbarian rages and breaks his chains and the fight begins (without a real plan by the party). It was bloody and tough fight for the PC’s who didn’t have any armor or weapons. The NPC who really saved their bacon was the no-name, no-class, lowly NPC guard. With just damned lucky rolls, he was able to wrestle the Slaver Boss to ground and keep him occupied for half the fight. Ah, when the dice decide that they want the story to in an odd direction, that’s a cool thing about gaming.

The party frees the other slaves and quickly realize that the slavers weren’t nice folks and that they only had about half the water they needed to make it out of the desert. It was a tough trip and a couple of the NPC’s died along the way but they made it to the big city and new they are looking for that bastard merchant who double crossed them.

And on a final, I’ve already had a couple of folks inquire about starting a second game. But more on that later.