The game went well, we still have no wizard, which does worry me, but we'll see how it goes. The cleric also wasn't as engaged as I would had liked, but she did change the tide of battle more than once. I didn't have to do any prep, as I had already done it. On game day I just had to re-read my notes.
The first scenario was a large one, so we played it with miniatures; I finally got to place the Lord of the Rings RISK minis on the board, they aren't to scale but they are more glamorous than paper! I will say that I held back, all of my monsters could had gotten a second attack, but I just took it with my commanders, I think next game I will unleash the orcs full potential.
Everyone remembered the rules for miniature battles pretty well, it has been a while since we used them! I like to keep things "Theatre of the Mind" but with 6 players it is hard to keep everybody on the same page. I would like to think of a system to remind me what segment we are in, as we used the 2 segment round method, and all it takes is for somebody to ask me a really good question and I forget where I am at.
As far as errors went, I made one, but I granted her a free re-roll as payment for ruining one of her ideas.
The characters had found a secure room in a section of the mine that was completely unknown to the enemy, they had left sign to tell their peers where they had gone and were found by the two adventurers who arrived to play today.
Delving deeper into the mine, they players found themselves in a passage to an underground source of the Immerflow River and discovered that the orcs were using this river to ship finished arms and armor down river; barrels and boxes where falling from a waterfall 200 feet above the river, and orcs were busy on a long bridge designed to help them push the products free of rocky outcrops with long poles. These orcs were quickly picked off.
An elevator system was found that allowed two people to make their way up 200' to the level above, but they were discovered. An orc was going to cut the lift rope but a player decided that it was better to just let the lift free fall back down, a drop of 100', both riders were injured and the lift was broken, but the rope system was still in place.
Exploring further up river, they found a slave camp, slaves were slowly and unproductively trying to mine Mithral out of the wall, guarded by a small orcish camp of 30 soldiers and a commander. The players were knocking out the light sources as they crept up the bridge, and this didn't go unnoticed, but wasn't taken seriously either as the torches are prone to go out. The commander ordered six soldiers to go investigate, and another group to go secure the slaves, that is when war happened!
The players were funneled on the bridge, and the cleric began casting spells, she caused a bonfire used to light the area up to magically flair, blinding half of the orcs, and slowing down their response to invaders. They fought their way through the ranks, with bow and sword while the slaves were corralled back up, but before a true counter attack could be made by the orcs, the cleric cast a spell which forced the orc commander to Surrender just long enough to kill the orc POWs, they had the commander gagged so that he couldn't recall the order, and these orcs are all religious nuts who aren't afraid of dying since they believe that they will return more powerful than before, which may be true as these orcs are incredibly powerful already! They tried to get the commander to talk, but just got belittled, and torturing him earned them nothing but his religious fervor, so they killed him.
The party rested, which was allowed as the orcs above didn't believe that they could come up and after if the slave camp down below failed to deal with them, then they would just go away as the broken lift was the only way up out of the river section. The products already dropped that day had been hung up, and a plan was developed by the players, two of them would dress in orcish mail, with a small chest to pretend that they were bringing their tiny load of mithral up top. One of the slaves had also been a carpenter, and he was able to fix the lift with boards and nails pilfered from some of the shipping crates. The plan worked and the guard was thrown 200 feet to his death.
The party had found themselves surrounded by racks, once in a while a barrel full of finished arms would roll out of a shaft in the wall and crash along the racks. Orcs could pull a rope and release the barrels down the hole in the floor, and a lot of water was running from the cave itself, which formed the waterfall. The speed of the water wasn't fast, but it was waist deep and putred. Walking three miles down this rough and twisted cave, they finally found a fork, they decided to head left.
From the darkness, they were attacked by a patrol that they couldn't see until the cleric cast a spell to light the section of dark corridor up. All of this patrol was slain in a long battle, except for on orc, who was allowed to escape back down the corridor. Once this battle was over, we stopped for the night. Our calander advanced 3 days during play.
The players had found some gems that have not yet been appraised, and were unable to identify a few potions which they discovered while searching the orc tents.
I am old-school Internet, and if you didn't know, the Internet was a place to go to get information for free. Those of us who produced material didn't charge anything, we created content because we enjoyed doing it. Even today, I hold true to this philosophy. The content that we create isn't really all that marketable. People don't like to hear that, they enjoy believing that there is some magic cash cow out there and that they can quit their job and work full time online and live like a prince. That isn't the way this works. Sure, there are success stories, but that is all they are, stories. Just because I buy a pair of wrestling boots and a lucha mask, that doesn't make me a wrestler.
Gygax got mad when he first started, a few folks bought Chainmail and the rest photocopied it. He got beat up and pushed down and had to learn how to be a businessman the hard way, and he ultimately failed at it. Dungeons & Dragons was a booming success, TSR believed in the cash cow and it tanked. I love TSR! I miss TSR! There have been lots of theories about how TSR went under, but that is all they are is theories. They came close, and they lasted a long time! They got good at projecting sales and figuring out how much people would pay, and adjusting material and all of the other boring stuff that goes along with making a company successful. They took lots of risks, some successful and some failures, that is the way it goes!
The technology was there for TSR to make full color, glossy handbooks, but they didn't. They knew that people wouldn't buy them, they had to adjust the cost. Today they are going that route, as if all of the cheaper paper has all been used up. As a user, I don't give a crap about some background under the text, I am on record stating that the Black 2e handbooks wasted too much space with that pointless cover page before every chapter. I want function over form. As ugly and as hideous as the book is, the best RPG book ever written is still, and always will be the original Dungeon Master's Guide written by Gygax. It was functional.
This living wage crap is an illusion. When I was young I used to dream of working for TSR, but those days are long gone. TSR was a creative killer. I'll gladly stay here and work for free doing what I want to do, what inspires me. I know that I am riding an invisible Tightrope, and I do my best not to break any laws here. I know very well that at any moment WOTC could swoop in and demand that everything I've done here be taken down, they've got better lawyers than I've got. It isn't fair, but nothing is.
KNOW YOUR MARKET
I am not a person who buys anything new. I play RPGs because it is cheap and creative, lots of people do. When money is tight, and we don't have the cash to go out, we stay in and play D&D. Everybody can join in and it costs nothing. I enjoy producing my own material, and getting better at the craft of DMing. To me, the less money you spend, the better! I don't collect books just to have them, everything that I have is functional. I'm going to draw my own maps. I'm going to write my own keys. I'm going to stat my own monsters, and tell the stories that I want to tell and that the players want to hear. That is how the game was designed to function. Yes I cheat when I can. I buy beat up and incomplete boxsets from the past, but just because I own a functional campaign setting doesn't mean anything. I have no interest in all of the bells and whistles. I like the old-school modules because they have teaching points, and they are interesting to me.
I have no desire to learn a new system, I only buy stuff if the price is right and I know that I need it. I am constantly shopping and looking at prices because as much as the industry likes to believe that they set the prices, they don't. The bottom line is that an item is only worth what the buyer is willing to pay. Let the collectors squabble over a sealed copy of Dark Sun, that has nothing to do with me.
You don't have to give back with your money, that is so stupid to me that people think that you do. Especially in a hobby that the point is exploring one's personal creativity. I give back by challenging the reader to get out the notebook, get out the pencils and get to creating! I provide interest in old books which are important to me. Many people cut their teeth on the 2e system, and want to go out and find their lost books and play! To them, I say WELCOME! Get what you need and do it. PLAY!
Teach your kids how to play, that is giving back too. Go on Reddit, and answer some questions that you know the answers to. If you want to show off some of your inventions, get that blog up and running, and post away! The heyday of tabletop gaming is over. Folks go back to it in times of strife, it isn't stable and it never really was. The less that the dollar is worth, the more people are going to go back to play these games. Heck, TSR found it surprising that people even bought modules! Gygax wouldn't, why should you?
Call me a communist, call me a terrorist, I've been called worse. There is no money to be made here, the money that is out there is being picked up by WOTC and a handful of other companies who know exactly what they are doing. The bottom line is that all you need to play the game is 3 books, and your imagination. You're giving back just by sharing your ideas, that keeps what we do alive.
- campaign ideas
- Ripper's Gaming Sessions
- money and equipment
- pc classes
- Time and Movement
- Sunday Supplemental
- campaign add-ins
- vision and light
- Ability Scores
- Mechanic Series
- wizard spells
- priest spells
Contact me at Ripx187@gmail.com
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