Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Cast and Crew of Bob's Dwimmermount ACKS Game

I've been wanting to post a breakdown of this for a while. This is the group of players I've been writing for, and only once before have I been blessed with as solid a crew. We've been playing every Wednesday and Sunday for about three months with few breaks- and we run by Skype a few nights here and there as well.

Almost every player has a dude or three- ACKS resting doesn't stop the party.

Speaking of parties, the adventuring party (with the number of players and characters, it's more of a guild) recently built a stronghold not far from Dwimmermount to replace the party cottage they were rapidly outgrowing. This one is a 3600 square foot wooden structure, two floors, with a stable/smithy, surrounded by a log palisade and eventually to be patrolled by the two changed hellhounds Trogdor befriended and then had transmogrified into mastiffs who breathe fire.

I'm not going to use real names here, just initials. I will give the real character names- even the silly ones. :) Now, I should note that even though some names are silly, the characters are, generally, not. Everyone's taking the game seriously, and I love them for that.

Player A1
The party house in Muntburg was owned by Trogdor, who started life as my fiance's Thrassian gladiator. After many, many sessions of play, he is now 3rd level, and has been combined with the ruins of a slain manticore in a horrid Chaotic ritual, basically turning him into a Thrassian Value 4 gladiator. (He's got wings, iron scales, iron teeth, a Bowser mane...) Trogdor is Chaotic to the core, but in a friendly sort of way. He does make jerky out of... well... pretty much everything. Trogdor's closest friend is Doric, who has adventured with him since they both began. The kobolds on level 1 (the ones the party left alive) worship Trogdor like the sleek scaly god he is.

After many, many sessions (at least 20? Maybe more?) the highest level party members are just under 4th. The reason for this is manifold. People keep needing rest, so that takes them out of the action. Or, people have altaholism, so they play another dude for a while. Or, worst offender, people just can't make as many sessions as others. The numbers I give for levels are their current ones.

A also has a 2nd level explorer named Lorasaadi, who particularly hates dragons, and carries a voodoo doll of one stuffed with pins. Lorasaadi comes from an old campaign of mine, and was translated out of a LotFP specialist.

Player R1
A staple at our Wednesday night game, R1 started out playing a mage who rolled the Eunuch sorcerer template. He rolled with it, and Whelan-Thiss became the preeminent magic-user. Unfortunately, a gargoyle in the Dwimmermount mangled his hand, so Whelan-Thiss needed a restore life and limb. While he's been recovering (30 days is harsh), R1 has played Cadus the Mad, a 1st level dwarven fury, and Grimdal Stonegrinder, a 1st level dwarven machinist. Cadus was of the Hammerspite clan, but, even though the are the dwarven equivalent of trailer trash, living in a dump in Muntburg, Cadus was too crazy, even for them.

R1's wife, and my good friend, E is playing a 2nd level Nobiran Wonderworker named Daymana. Daymana is about seven feet tall, a master of makeup, and a connoisseur of wigs and jewelry.Nobody really asks Daymana what he or she is really about. Daymana has a wand of polymorphing which has proven very useful.

Rain is a 3rd level elven nightblade who dual wields two magic swords. The better of the two is the fabled blade Karakgoburzgarandak, Foe-Knife-Shatter-Master, or Shatterfoe in the Common tongue. This blade was found in the tomb of a dwarven warrior in Khaz Droonan. Shatterfoe is a +2 sword which warms in the presence of goblins within 60' and, when attacking such creatures, sunders non-magical weapons on a roll of 17-20.  In his off-hand he wields a nameless +1 sword. Rain has been very lucky with the backstabs and the kill shots.

This player started out as a live player, but transitioned to Skype only as she and her partner (B) moved far enough away that they can't just stop in. L is playing a 2nd level shaman, Nymeria. Nymeria's primary claim to fame is being a voice of reason in the party- and when that fails, she's got a horn of blasting.

B is playing a 1st level elf spellsword named Byrt Reynaulds. I wish I were making this up. His picture on our Facebook group is Sterling Archer with ear tips and a bow. Byrt is... not the voice of reason.

J has a couple of distinctions going for him. One, he's my oldest friend- practically my brother. This allows me to fuck with him mercilessly. Two, no matter who he is playing, he always seems to be first through the door, which has resulted in more deaths, dings, cuts, scrapes, lost arms, eyes gouged out... the list, man. He was also the first PC death... in the second room of the first session. That character, Roshin, was a 1st level Nobiran wonderworker. He has since played Doric Bosley up to 3rd level cleric. Doric got literally eaten by troglodytes, and so after they got his and Rory's mangled skeletons back and life and limbs restored, he started playing Koster Stonegrinder, a 2nd level dwarven craftpriest. Koster was also out of action for a bit, so J started playing Ssarook, a 1st level Thrassian gladiator, and his henchman Damian Hawthorne, a 2nd level alchemist. Having a henchman worked out, because Ssarook had three stories of tower collapse on him a few sessions ago. For about half a session, Doric had a thief henchman named Jean-Luc, but a trap caused that to not work out. So yeah. Six total characters. Roshin has the inglorious fate of being the last primary PC to die before the party got rich enough that Restore Life and Limb flows fairly regularly.

J's fiance, T2 has also played a few folks. She started as Rory, a 2nd level bladedancer, but died and was eaten in the same messy fighting retreat as Doric. They went back and slew the troglodyte feasters, and Rory and Doric are about 20 days through their 30 days rest. In the meantime, T2 has played Urian Hammerspite, a 3rd level dwarven delver, and Veriswen Tathlond, a 1st level elf courtier.

R2 is A1 and I's roommate. She's played a variety of characters, primarily Vartan, a 3rd level elf ranger. Vartan bears a sword +1, +2 vs spellcasters, which he has christened "Bitchin'." When Vartan was unavailable, R2 made Delphina, a 3rd level cleric, and when SHE wasn't available, she made Phil of Panzance, a 1st level assassin. Noteworthy is that this area is hundreds of miles from the ocean, so a pirate-themed assassin sticks out like a sore, sore thumb. Stupid template rolls.

R2's boyfriend, R3 is playing Zayne Lionheart, a 3rd level dwarven machinist. Zayne is noteworthy in that he got leather armor +2 in an assault on the brigands of the ruins of Winterburg, and immediately went to Adamas to trade it in for... a caravan. As no one there (class III city) had the liquid wealth to purchase the armor, he chose to trade it for about 25% of it's worth for a 6 wagon caravan and all it's goods. He sold a bit of it, but is still sitting on 90 barrels of preserved fish, stacked floor to ceiling in his cottage in Muntburg.

I know a lot of people whose names start with R. R4 is playing a level 1 assassin named Meric Calloway. He has only made one session so far, and was beaten up by gnolls.

A2 was there at the first session of this campaign, playing Alisdair, a 1st level warlock. Woe to Alisdair, however, as in our first session, the second tromp down into Dwimmermount was met with an enemy NPC party which both outnumbered and outgunned the PCs. Trogdor, the following day, discovered the bodies of Felix, Doric, and Alisdair, naked, stacked like cordwood near a statue of Mavors. Alisdair's fingers were all broken and his tongue torn loose. He retired to obscurity, sans spellbook.
A2 made a new character, Artemis the 1st level elven ranger, but has yet to rejoin us to play him. A2 has played with us before, so I don't think he's mad at me...

A3 is an old friend of mine, playing a character dredged up from our ancient Hackmaster campaign Nimloth Remmirath is a 1st level elf spellsword, albino, who has nightmares and talks in her sleep. She was recently in charge of delivering over a gallon of azoth from Muntburg to Adamas, literally flooding the market.

A3's husband, M is playing an old character from a different old campaign of mine, that one ran in Basic Fantasy RP. M is playing a gnome assassin-esque character, here called a skulk. He's only been able to make one game so far.

Olan the Incautious. 2nd level barbarian. Another shipwrecked character from the same campaign Lorasaadi came from, Olan is young, naive, and happy to hit it with his axe. G lives in Massachusetts, so he only ever Skypes in. G is also one of my best friends, so I am happy to do the Skype thing just to get to game with him.

S is playing Sander, who started out as a Neutral, world-weary huscarl of a barbarian. An encounter with a shrine of Law in the Dwimmermount transformed him in a flash of lightning into a gruesomely-scarred, Lawful character with characteristics of both barbarian and paladin- a "Changed Crusader." S recently obtained a sword +1, +2 vs. spellcasters, which he intends to use against the witches and heretics. Sander's religious conversion has made him a stalwart of Typhon.

My descriptions would not be complete without the two NPC henchmen the party takes with them quite often.

Felix is now a 2nd level fighter, up from the 0th level fighting-man they hired in their first session. He gets full XP and shares of loot, since he is totally aware he is better than half the party. Felix is utterly, completely devoted to Trogdor, even though it's not the wisest course of action for him, as he's died three or four times. He was also "Felicia" for a while after a bad roll, and had a baboon leg. All things considered, though, he's done well- even going adventuring with his own henchmen once or twice, Gerrald and Scar.

Gurn Hammerspite is a 1st level dwarven vaultguard, who also had been hired as a 0th level meatshield. He's not loyal to anyone, specifically, but he does like his PC cousin Urian and his PC dwarven fellows Zayn, Grimdal, Cadus and Koster. Gurn just started adventuring again, having had his arm regrown from being sizzled off by gray ooze in a forgotten Thrassian temple.

There have been a few more NPC henchmen- Rita, Sammore, Oscar- but Rita got killed by a spider, Sammore was returned from death all... stupid, and Oscar saw them looting the corpse of a fellow PC and gave up on the party entirely.

The party has two dwarven personal automatons, a cadre of guards at Zayn's machinist shop/pickled fish warehouse in Muntburg, some guards at the stronghold near Dwimmermount, and two "hell hounds" named Hellfire and Brimstone which have been crossbred with normal mastiffs to have 2 HD and the ability to breathe fire, and look just like normal dogs.

Whew. I think that's it.

Tomorrow I may post a map of the area we're adventuring in- I separated out the globe into a Dymaxion projection and drew one triangle- so, basically, Europe. The world of Talis is the size of Mars, so the map I'll be posting runs from the 30th parallel to the North pole.

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