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Chapter Two: Winter in the Woods, The Boys

 

 

 

 

The boys found the orc camp with the help of the pixies who helped get them into trouble in the first place. Aidan charged in ready to attack, as always Rocky and Liam were left running in after him in order to save their friend from getting into too much trouble. Sir. Aidan slaughtered most of the orcs in the camp, not having questioned any of them. One managed to escape and he made chase after him. Rockie, the more cautious of the boys, seared the camp to find any trace of the bear or where the orc may have run off to. He found foot prints form a large number of orcs and dwarves, all leading into the same cave Sir Aidan had taken off into after the run away orc.

Having split their party a second time, Prince Liam and Sir. Aidan found them selves in an underground caver and river system, complete with structures and tunnels. Still determined to charge ahead, Aidan encountered a nest of hungry and viscous spiders. Liam entered the fray with some well aimed arrows and saved the knight form him self, once again. Something Liam and the queen point out and tease him about later. Since Sir. Aidan’s sworn duty is to protect the royal family.

As the boys all met up once again, they find an underground trog village and they have already taken out a few guards and stragglers before they found the vlage. Reports of their hostile entry into their village reach the village which doctor who sicks slims and oozes that he can summon and control on the party. Some trog warriors emerge from the water and launch spears at the boys and some thugs flank the small party. Somehow the boys manages to survive, having a decimated village on their conscience. As Aidan is about to make the killing blow on the witch doctor, he lets out a mighty cry and accuses them of being worse then the orcs and dwarves who march through here acting as though they own the place. That they are trick false talkers who just like the others. As he dies and his magic fades, the back wall opens up to a new tunnel and the party continues.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two:Winter in the Woods

 

The Queen Took her children, their armed escort, and their friends to the woods to enjoy the first snow of the season. The girls took to making a snowman while the boys had a snowball fight that turned into a war, that led to them going off on their own. This is where the kids learned a very valuable D&D unwritten rule…

NEVER SPLIT THE PARTY!

Perhaps it is written somewhere, you know other then on one of my t-shirts. This is how the children discovered it for them selves. The boys were goofing off in the forest and were besieged by an invisible force, only to discover Trixy’s family who were joining in the fun. Sir. Aidan set his sword a blaze to attack the unseen menace, then struck a tree believing it to be his foe. It was not…yet. Thundering into view came a huge walking tree, who did not seem very pleased at the dent or fire burning one of his kin. The boys were marched off to the guardian of the forest for judgment atop a huge tree ent named Meantrunk. He was very angry and wished to “crush the menace into past to cure the tree they hurt.” He did not, and instead brought them before Moonbeam. The beautiful male unicorn gave them a task to prove their good intentions. A bear who was hibernating was taken by a group of orcs and vanished. As protector of the forest there have been laws of the wood and hunting here is prohibited. They can not seem to locate the bear or it’s attacker for punishment though. Find and rescue the poor beast, or rid the forest of the assailants if the bear is already dead. Do this and the harm to the tree will be forgiven.

The girls brought their snowman to life and called Olaf Frosty the 1st (there later came the 2nd through 21st). While they were dancing in the snow with their new friend they came across a badger with a suite case babbling about it not bing his fault and his wife was going to kill him. When they questioned him further they found out that his home was being invaded by a black ooze coming in through the walls and ceiling of his barrow. is wife was going to blame him for not cleaning up and letting things get so bad he had found a whole new level of grouse and she was going to leave him for sure! The girls calmed him down saying they were sure that was not the case and they would go with him to try and help.

So our party was split with two different missions. Stay tuned.

More About D&D Board Games

I did a post on miniatures a few weeks back but I wanted to spend a little more time on the D&D board game option because I really thing as a brand new DM looking to have some visuals, this is a great place to start. Here’s why.

LegendofDrizzt

This is the most resent addition to my miniature collection that just arrived yesterday. For it’s self it has everything you need to play a great board game with friends, but it is also so much more. I have already mentioned all the stuff that comes in it, but here I am going to focus on the stuff I use. I have started DMing a game for some friends (adults). We meet every week (or three) depending on peoples schedules, and we meet at game shop that is currently located. This makes it difficult, though not impossible, to bring all my sets and buildings to each game. So again, here is why this is the greatest FIRST THING TO BUY if you are looking to do 2D / 2.5D / 3D gaming:

The board games come with 5 player characters, a variety of small and medium, 2-3 large monsters and one huge monster. They come with a great sculpt from classic D&D figures that you can paint to your own style, which I personally LOVE to do. Each game comes with different figures so you wont end up with a massive amount of one miniature, you will get 1-3 of a particulate sculpt and no more.

The next thing that comes in each box is about 40 dungeon tiles! That might not seem like anting interesting, but I looked into mats, maps, and dungeon tiles, and they cost between $20 for a basic grid and a simple map to about $50 if you want to get a more detailed birds eye view of a space and a few 3D punch out tiles you build your self. All of those are great options, and if you are looking for outdoor settings the maps are great. However, if you are just starting out and don’t really know WHAT your game style is or how you are going to want to run your games, there is no point in hashing out a huge chunk of cash for a tone of accessories you may not end up needing. The board games come with a few simple tiles that fit together and allow for some creativity in their assembly.

tiles.JPG

Each board game comes with an adventure book that has a few options for games to play, these are great inspiration for starting a game. They each come with player cards, tokens, and a number of other things specific to the board game, but each has a few bits and bobs I have taken to my game table for D&D.

The first thing of the bits and bobs that I love is the life counters. Yeah we can all count (one would hope) and we can keep track of our life total, but if there is a physical representation in front of you, other people in the party can also be aware of where you are at. This allows a healer to see where you are at and toss a heal your way, another party member to remind you that you might want to drink a potion before you jump off a cliff or even more of a clear picture to your self that you are looking a little low and might want to either rest or take it carefully. The next item is a “healing surge” token, that I use as healing kits. A player can toss it on the table and continue their turn while the person unconscious now can roll to heal and toss it in a pile when they are conscious again. Both of these items are found in each game, though they might look a little different for each set.

The next item is found in the Drizzt game, and that’s the chest. They are birds eye view of a treasure chest unopened on one side of the card and a message as to weather it is empty, trapped or if it holds loot. I love tossing these on a board and then see what they get.

That brings me to loot bags, or gold rewards. This item can me found in the Ashardalon game. There a several of each copper, silver, gold, platinum and gems and their value in gold pieces. Sometimes I’ll have actual loot pouches prepared, other times I use these if I’m more in a grab and go mood.

From the Ravenloft game I use the secret passages that also have text on the back for more details on what they have found, and lastly are time tokens, these can also be found in every game. I uses these to count out days to show the passage of time. Sometimes the players what to know who long a travel took, or if they have a time sensitive quest, this is a way to always be able to look up and know where they are at.

 

So in my opinion, if you are just starting out you get all the essentials you need to start playing with the exception of a players handbook and a DM’s guild, both of which can be downloaded in PDF form from the D&D web site for free. Once you start playing and get a good feel for how you personally like to run a game, you will find out what more you need and chose to buy or build it.

I hope this helped. I know it was a great find when I stumbled upon it, and I wish someone would have pointed it out sooner. Enjoy.

Chapter Two: Level Two

Because I mostly DM for kids, when they learn a new skill, spell, feat or ability, I have them learn it in near real time. I have them read a little blurb about the thing they are learning, so they know what the book says, then have their character use it in a safe setting with their trainer. That’s right, there is no leveling mid dungeon with my groups. Every DM has their own “House Rules” and that is one of mine. You reach your level, you find your trainer if you want your more HP or new skills. Finish the dungeon as you started it, or leave and come back, what ever you choose, but you have to find your trainer to gain your level.

This mean Siobhan casting feather fall on some books and throwing them out the window, then her friends and family members. It found Liam shooting pouches of poop before they hit him to learn his archery skill and Trixie stealing snacks from the kitchen to practice her slight of hand skill. It is one session of each player taking a turn to learn their new skills and every one else getting to see what it does. This allows every one to at least have a passing idea of what their group can to just in case the player themselves forgets in the throw of things. It may seem silly to have them do this, but I tel you, when I ask if they have a spell that would let them make something fall slower, Siobhan never forgets throwing her mother out of a window!

I try and work their trainer into the scope of the game world. Aidan’s trainer is one of the great adventurers of old, only he doesn’t remember it. Siobhan’s is actually her fairy godmother…like literally. Having these NPCs who are going to be someone they see a lot of over time, also be part of the tapestry of the world who have a larger roll to play helps tie things together and make the players feel like every one and an one can have a larger purpose. This makes them feel part of something as well as keep them on their toes.

As we go in, I will drop in more posts like this of things I do as a DM, the whys or why nots. Feel free to let me know if you find them useful in your own games or what things you do or don’t do at your table.

Hope this helped.

Chapter One: Place of the Dead

Following the directions from the priestess, the group comes across a grave yard and a crypt. Upon entering they run into many different types of undead creatures. A zombie attacks despite Princess Siobhan’s attempts to reason with him, continues to attack. Some ghosts teas and mislead them with false information, and then Siobhan runs into a ghost of a woman bound to a cracked tombstone. The party tries to crack it further to release the ghost, but it causes her pain. Siobhan then thinks of using her men cantrip to fix it, which does the trick and the ghost is freed. Siobhan and her talk and it is discovered that she has recently died and that she is hoping to find her love before the barrier thickens and he is lost to her forever. She felt his call but can not find him. Siobhan remembers Googaa’s brother, though forgot his name, and gives the ghost directions to find him in the mountains. Later the party finds him again and learn they had one last night together to say all that needed to be said.

While wondering through the graveyard, Sir Aidan is harassed by some troublesome tricksters and tries to attack to find the adult gargoyles less pleased with him then the baby gargoyles who had been the cause of the trouble in the first place. Being surrounded and cut off from the party, Sir. Aidan takes a diplomatic rout and enplanes the situation to the parents. With the trouble makes giggling in the background the adult s are more apt to believe him and combat is avoided. They find out that they are the guardians of this place of the dead, but that there is one who still lives walking amongst the tombs. They line up at the door, express their reason for wanting to enter the crypt and all with pure hearts, Trixie excluded for lying, are granted enter.

There is further combat here, some disturbed sarcophagi leads to unhappy skeletons who attack our party. They dispatch them, and Princess Siobhan and Rockie put the bones back into their coffins to rest. In the pursuit of the lost little girl they find a beautiful ghost of blue and white at the far end of the mausoleum, singing a lullaby. Through talking to her they find out she is the beloved aunt of the little girl who’s family fights too much. She called to her darling girl to care for her here where she would be safe. The party explains that the little girl is from the land of the living and must stay with the living. That the barrier with return and the little girl will be lost and alone in this place when the aunt is once again on the right side of it. She weeps and with a wave of her hand the last sarcophagus opens and the little girl is fast asleep on the silk pillow. They wake her up to say goodbye and take her home.

The town is thrilled by the return of the little girl and all their other assistance. There is a banquet in the honer of the royal family and much experience granted to all for a great job investigating.

Storage and Work Space

When I started crafting, I would watch some you tube videos, get excited and just start crafting at my kitchen table. It was not long before that proved to be a problem…for every one. So I had to get organized. I got some storage containers from Costco, a large metal shelving unit with shelves that could be moved to different hight, also from Costco and lastly I got a set of drawers on wheals on sale from Micheal’s. My craft supplies (like glue, beads and woodies) go in the drawers.  When I am crafting a project, I try to keep it contained to the trays you can see on top of the set of drawers. This allows me to pick up a wet project and move it aside to dry with out messing it up, saves my table surface, and keeps any little bits that may fall off from rolling around and getting lost. The cardboard, which is the base of a lot of my crafting projects, gets cut down from boxes into manageable sized and stored in the box on the bottom shelf in the garage. Everything I craft gets organized into zones, or gaming areas and stored neatly away. There is a bin for my forest pieces, my cavern items, town, tavern and grave yard…just to name a few. Take a look and tell me what you think or if it could be helpful to you. Also please share your storage solutions!

Crafters / Scavengers Material Hunt

For my gaming I have a few terms I might need to clarify. My figures are the 3d miniatures that are the physical representation of my player’s characters in game. “Sets” are the 2d, 2.5d & 3d environment I place those figures into that represent the world of the story. I am sure I will come across many other me specific terms I will need to define later, but for this post “sets” is what I wanted to define.

If you are making the decision to start crafting and designing sets for your gaming table, there are somethings you are going to want to have on hand at all times. Here is my preliminary list:

  • Sissors
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue
  • White Glue
  • Bag of Wooden Shapes from the craft store
  • Beads
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Some Paint
  • Craft Sticks
  • Tooth Picks

Things you are going to want to hoard when ever you find it and keep aside for later projects:

  • LOTS of cardboard
  • paper towel rolls
  • toilet paper rolls
  • cereal boxes
  • ANYTHING that looks kind of cool even if you have no idea how you might use it.

Keep all these things in a big box in the garage or attic so you have it on hand when you get inspired to sit down and do a project. You never know what might turn into something great! Keep that in mind when you walk through the dollar store, thrift store, craft store or if you pass by a yard sale. Old toys can make some great flavor for the gaming table. Just ask DM Scotty!

Hope this helps get you started, see you next time.