Keeping up with the Joneses #10

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Nick’s suspicions had been correct, and the Reaper returned the very next day to claim him. And this time, Bryant wasn’t at home to plead for his life.

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The Reaper took advantage of the now empty house to catch up on his favourite cooking programme.

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Alexis was devastated when she returned home from work to find that all that remained of Nick was a lovely urn.

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Alexis wept until she passed out from exhaustion.

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Meanwhile, Bryant found other ways to deal with his grief.

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The ordeal brought Bryant and Alexis closer together. But the house still felt a bit empty…

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Facing the Black Monk

blackmonkContinued from previous session. Session Date: 21 November 2014

About two weeks passed while Ciaran studied the resources he found in the great library under Jorgenfist. He learnt a lot about Thassilon and their enemy, Runelord Karzoug. It was clear from his research that the key to defeating the Runelord lay in forging a ‘dominant’ weapon in the mysterious laboratory known as Runeforge. Mokmurian had apparently been searching for the same thing, and had determined that the only person who knew a way into Runeforge had died beneath the town of Sandpoint.

The other heroes spent their time clearing the fortress of any dead bodies ahead of the arrival of the supplies and people from Magnimar. Only the foreboding black tower remained. The heroes ventured into the icy chamber and went through the trap door. At the bottom they were greeted by a dark chamber filled with beautiful song. However, they quickly realised that the song was a distraction as the harpies stopped singing and attacked.

Meanwhile, the mysterious black monk summoned forth swarms of scarab beetles and noxious gases. Ciaran took a risk and used a fireball in the confined space, which took care of the swarms but left him rather singed, while the others managed to escape harm. While Cecil and Nu were occupied fighting the harpies, the Black Monk came for Ciaran, killing him with a series of well-aimed blows. Radha was able to destroy the monk after that, but it was too late for Ciaran. Claiming the mysterious scroll case that the monk clung to, even in undeath, the remaining heroes returned to the surface.

Distraught by the sudden death of their sorcerer, they waited for the Magnimarians to arrive, hoping someone among them would have resurrection or teleportation magic. Brodert Quink and a few other scholarly types offered to translate the Thassilonian runes on the Black Monk’s scroll case. These turned out to be a riddle, which the heroes eventually puzzled out, revealing several magical scrolls within. One of these turned out to be a scroll of true resurrection, but there was no one who could cast it without a chance of failure.

Using the communication device that Alamander had given Ciaran, Nu and Radha contacted the knights to ask for their assistance. Zoren arrived to teleport them all to Magnimar and back to Jorgenfist. He also brought the Samsaran Yeshing to study in the library. Zoren informed the party that they had at last tracked down the missing stone giants from Mokmurian’s army. They had traveled east to the town of Turtleback Ferry and slaughtered a number of citizens bearing the Sihedron tattoo. The giants had since been slain, but at great cost to the town.

After finding a cleric in Magnimar to resurrect Ciaran, the heroes spend an evening in the comfort of the Kaijitsu villa before returning to Jorgenfist. Among the items found in the great library, Ciaran located records of mining operations in the area. He ordered Jaden to take some men to the nearest mining location and start extracting any available resources. He hoped to make their occupation of Jorgenfist into a profitable venture. He also left behind the roc egg he had acquired, instructing Jaden to locate a suitable trainer once the egg hatched.

Once they were sure everyone had settled into Jorgenfist, the heroes returned to Sandpoint to investigate the sinkhole that had appeared in the town at the time of Mokmurian’s death. Sheriff Hemlock had roped the area off and stationed a guard after a curious soul had found a way down into the sinkhole and had not returned.

Review: So What’s the Riddle Like, Anyway?

Riddle_front_new_220I’ve recently been introduced to Raging Swan Press, who produce useful resources for Pathfinder. A lot of their GM resources are actually system-neutral, and as such would be handy for GMs of other systems as well. So What’s the Riddle Like, Anyway? is one such product.

At just $1.99, this little PDF offers several dozen ready-made riddles that you can drop into your game at a moment’s notice. As a GM, I find this sort of resource invaluable. The provided riddles are separated into wordplay and descriptive riddles. Wordplay riddles give clues for the actual letters in the answer, while descriptive riddles describe the object or concept.

There are also two pages about designing riddles and actually using them in a game. This may not sound like much, but I found it refreshing to have important concepts described so succinctly (rather than having to wade through a whole chapter on the subject). Between the short explanation and the sample riddles provided, So What’s the Riddle Like, Anyway? provides an invaluable resource to GMs who don’t have hours to come up with things like riddles.

The layout and formatting of this PDF is also top-notch. In fact, this clean layout was one of the first things I noticed across all of Raging Swan’s products (you can get free samples of most of their products via their website). As with all their products, this one comes with a screen-friendly and a print-friendly version and uses a simple two-column layout with clear, readable fonts. Its unassuming cover hides a wonderful gem of a product for GMs who want to use riddles in their games.

You can pick up this and other Raging Swan products over at Paizo.com, as well as Drive Thru RPG and more.

Minifig Monday #9: Grandpa

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This week we have the grandpa from series 10, a nice accompaniment to the grandma I posted a few weeks ago. I love the way they do the comb-over – almost like a hair piece but without the normal hair. This old dude is wearing suspenders and has a copy of ‘Old Times’ to read 🙂

Minifig Monday is a weekly post in which I feature a random LEGO minifigure from my personal collection. I have a LOT of minifigures, so I hope to keep going for a while 🙂 Unless otherwise stated, all minifigs have been photographed by me. Occasionally I might replace a Minifig Monday with a look at a full LEGO set instead.

Keeping up with the Joneses #9

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It seemed like Bryant was a baby for mere days when he grew up into a little boy. Though he had the Social Butterfly childhood aspiration, he felt drawn to activities other than socialising.

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Meanwhile, Nick’s time was up. Unfortunately Alexis was at work, so Nick lay down to die alone.

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It wasn’t long before the Reaper showed up.

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Nick hadn’t realised that his son was at home, and Bryant rushed over to stand between his father and Death himself!

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The Reaper decided that Bryant’s plea was genuine, and he agreed to bring Nick back to life. Nick was relieved to have a bit more time with his family, but he still felt that the Reaper was close by…

Cleaning out Jorgenfist

Clockwork LibrarianContinued from previous session. Session date: 14 November 2014

After teleporting back to Jorgenfist, our heroes found themselves face to face with some very surprised frost giants who had apparently taken Jorgenfist as their new home. After a brutal fight with several frost giants and their winter wolf pets, our heroes began exploring the rest of the giant fortress.

There was one tower above ground which appeared to have been a nesting place of several rocs, but there was no sign of the giant birds except for a lone egg high up the tower. Naturally the heroes claimed the egg, perhaps hoping to sell it for a tidy profit.

The other remaining tower was eerily cold, and the main level contained the bodies of a frost giant and a harpy. The heroes decided to return to this tower last in order to investigate the lower levels.

The underground levels were abandoned save for the bodies of several freshly slain stone giants. On the lowest level they used the key they had obtained from Mokmurian to open the mysterious door they had passed last time they were here.

With the key, the door opened immediately, revealing a magnificent circular room that was seemingly untouched by the passage of time. This room turned out to contain a library dating from Thassilonian times. It’s only inhabitant now was an ancient clockwork librarian. He was able to provide many resources that the heroes could use to at last learn something about the enemy who had been behind so many of the evil acts the heroes had dealt with over the past few months.