40% off today only at Lulu

40% off today only at Lulu.  Use coupon code 26DEC at checkout.  It says "on any book", I don't know if that includes PDF's or not.  That's a crazy good deal though, so order those ASE1's and ASE2-3's!


Merry Christmas!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6


session recap, 12/12/2012

Mongo the Fighter (4), his henchpersons "Bunny" the Thief (2) and William the Sentinel (1), and his soil-bearer Malazar
Gutboy the Cleric (4), his henchman Trezgar the Elf (1) and his blink dog Rufus II
George P. Burdell the Cleric (3) and his henchmen, Slick Eddie the Thief (2) and Seegar the Elf (1), and his dog
Razoe the Fantra Paladin (3) and his henchman Skwisgar the Elf(1)

When last we left our intrepid explorers, the murderous foursome and their retinue were interrogating a giant brain in a jar. They turned around, and noticed Gutboy (who had been agitating to befriend the brain) was gone - presumably off to take a leak in some obscure corner of the dungeon.  They wrapped up their increasingly hostile discussion as follows:

Razoe: "Where did your goblins go?"
Brain: "They have gone to find more of their kind, and bring them back to me"
Razoe: "Make them bring us back gold"
Brain: "Of course! It will take a few days, but I will gladly do this"
Mongo: "They should raid Chelmsfordshire.  Here, let me get you some directions..."
Razoe: "We need a token of your good faith here if we're going to trust you"
Brain: "You already took everything I have from that cabinet, and I've told you what it all does, and I'm bringing you gold"
Razoe: "What else can you do for us?"
Brain: "If you go back to the teleportation circle, I can use my mental prowess to transport wherever you desire in the dungeon"

George began taking practice swings at the glass jar - as he did so, there was a noise from the other room.  The brain had telekinetically jostled Skwisgar awake, and he was standing above Seegar's corpse holding a bloody knife - the possessed elf had slit Seegar's throat!

Battle was joined, and George was subjected to an intense psychic attack as he smashed the jar open, and his nose began bleeding profusely.  Razoe beat the hostile Skwisgar into a coma, while the rest of the crew slashed at the immobile brain - who despite just sitting there proved quite difficult for the party to hit.  Regardless, probability was on our anti-heroes' side, and the brain was eventually slain.

Gutboy appeared as the battle wrapped up, and dispensed some precious divine healing upon Skiwsgar.  Razoe informed the murderous elf that his misbehavior while possessed meant that he was being docked pay for this trip to the dungeon.  Skwisgar sulked, and muttered that slain Seegar "had it coming anyhow and what's the big deal."  The party was unmoved by this.

The group headed back to the Cod-Man lair, only passing a trio of starving and fungus-infected moktars lost in the dungeon and begging for handouts - they were pointed in the direction of the goblin lair, where they presumably went to feast upon the dozens of carcasses that had been left behind.  Once the crew arrived at the Cod-Man lair, Chief Pyceen was ecstatic at their success, and proclaimed them worthy of the tribe's greatest honor - they were to be allowed to use the evolution chair to devolve into Cod-Men and fertilize a clatch of eggs floating in the water nearby.

None of the party wanted to become a fish-daddy, so the clearly disappointed chief told his underlings to "have at it", and they began spraying wildly all over the egg clatch.  This dungeon moment proved to be uncomfortably awkward, so the party made some hurried excuses and rushed away.

Reviewing their options, they decided once again to skip the tax-man, and go straight to Lugosi, and from their head to Denethix. Sadly, the Festival of Fangs wasn't scheduled for another week, so they passed through Lugosi without stopping.  In the fields outside the town they ran across a group of bandits - they panicked as Rufus blinked into the middle of their encampment and mauled one of their fellows, and ran away screaming "Ghost Dog!"  One bandit was paralyzed by Gutboy's magic, and he was forcibly enlisted to be one of Mongo's dirt-bearers - Gutboy informed him his new name was officially Dirtbag.

Upon reaching Denethix, they passed a unit of the Fist, and Dirtbag immediately ran off into the crowd.  The presence of the Fist deterred the boys from delivering the murderous justice that Dirtbag so rightly deserved for abandoning his duty, and instead they went to the temple of Science to sell off certain of their scientific wares - the broken laser rifle and the functioning laser pistol.  The tale of the Evolution Chair was pronounced "Highly Scientific!" and much acclaim was accrued by our heroes.

The final encounter of the evening was with an old lady, who approached the four heroes as they walked down the Street of Temples.  Her eyes were swirling with rainbow colors, a sign of divine possession, and she beckoned them into an alley.  Gutboy began praying out loud to Nisus, but after the old lady shouted "That's not even how it works! She can't hear you!" he relented, and followed the other three and the old lady into the alleyway.

Gutboy: "So how does it work?"
Old lady: "You have to be in the presence of a God's Eye.  I had thought your flubbed sacrifice at the temple either an act of extreme cleverness, frustrating the desires of both Nisus and Kiod, or an act of utter buffoonery. I see that it was in fact buffoonery.  You are aware, of course, that this vessel speaking to you is possessed by a god.  Or perhaps you are not.  You stand in the presence of Wurgol, the god of cutlety!"

Wurgol launched into a discussion on the useless vanity of Nisus and Kiod, and how there was a cabal of gods interested in greater things.  He instructed the party that they could contact him or others like him at the booth holding Nisus' God's Eye - they found it extremely easy to block her transmissions without her even knowing, and it was a secure place to communicate.  He further told them that they should tell him of any unusual transmissions or "computers" they found in the dungeon - this cabal of gods had sensed unusual energies from within the mountain.

Gutboy: "Don't I need Nisus to get spells?"
Wurgol: "Don't be ridiculous. The level of power you're accessing is generally available, you don't need a god to access nanocytes for the programming you're attempting.  When the time comes, I shall act as your patron - forget about Nisus.  Both her and Kiod are disgusted with your performance, and I can't imagine either trying to contact you again."
Gutboy: "So we can just cast spells? We don't need the gods?"
Wurgol: "Not yet, that comes later.  Are you paying attention?  Sometimes I wonder why we don't just wipe the lot of you off the earth with our lasers, instead of protecting you."

George genuflected for a bit and acted deferential, and Wurgol informed the crew that they shouldn't approach the old woman should they meet her again - she would remember nothing of this, and would no longer be possessed.  The vessel of Wurgol then walked away, and the party was left to ponder the secrets they had been given.

Gains: none
Kills: Giant brain, four bandits
Losses: Seegar, the opportunity to fertilize fish eggs


Down to level 4

When my group hit the fourth level, I had nothing but a blank sheet of paper waiting for them. So, the dice got rolled, and it was... werewolves. They killed the one werewolf and then fearfully retreated back to the third level.

So ASE2-3 is done, which means I've got all this free time. Oh wait, the players are heading ever downwards... no rest for me.  So let's hash this out.

Fourth level:  we've got Hinge-Headed and their Basalt Ziggurat, in a big ol' cave.  The Deep Tower runs through it as well, but it's only got some observation windows - no real interaction there.  There are Neanderthal slave-quarters arranged in neat rows around the Ziggurat, and palm tree-lined avenues.

The Dark Smokers need some representation too, so I'll have to chuck in those weirdos somewhere.  Medusas are 4 HD, and I've left their remains on the 2nd and 3rd levels - well, Medusas are "in".  And, Werewolves, as determined by dice.

So interesting factions will be:

a. Hinge-Headed.  Their section of the dungeon is largely inside the Ziggurat

b. Neanderthals.  Mostly slaves. They are busy excavating more dungeon for the Hinge-Headed - and are just about to break through into a cavern containing a Monolith.  Because caveman need monoliths.  There is a small group of escapees lurking about as potential allies for the players (or maybe the players will rat them out to the Hinge-Headed in an attempt to curry favor)

c. Medusas. This isn't really a faction, just a nest of them.  There will need to be rumors of big Medusa treasure, because otherwise no sane player would go after them.  They'll need to get spruced up a bit too, standard Medusae are booooring - they'll be the Gorgona sisters, who constantly eject their stone-gazed daughters to wander the dungeon.  They'll have some extra abilities and weirdness above their normal Medusa children.

d. Werewolves. They occupy the area around the secret tomb of the King, and are headquartered in the Jungle Room.  They are led by their chief, Warren, and their hair is perfect.  There is large chunk of moon rock hanging in an exhibit room - illuminating it with Klieg lights generates enough lunar radiance to turn them into wolfmen. Control of this room is critical to them

e. Dark Smokers. They will have a barter-town sub-level. It will have heavy representation from the lower levels. Dracula's minions (Renfield et al) will be there, among others

f. Rust Monster Lab.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  I'm laughing just thinking about this one

g. Viscous pit-bulls, crawling from the slime pits uncovered by unwise Hinge-Headed excavations (thanks Gusty for the awesome typo)

I need another major faction - the only major forces are Hinge-Headed and Werewolves right now, the Medusas and Dark Smokers are just sideshows.


20% off at Lulu til Dec 14th!

Lulu is having another sale - 20% off until Dec 14th.  Use coupon code FELICITAS at checkout.  This doesn't impact the amount that will be donated to Village2Village, so claim these savings guilt-free when you order ASE1 and ASE2-3!


session recap, 11/29/2012

Mongo the Fighter (4), his henchpersons "Bunny" the Thief (1) and William the Sentinel (1), and his soil-bearer Malazar
Gutboy the Cleric (4), his henchman Trezgar the Elf (1) and his blink dog Rufus II
George P. Burdell the Cleric (3) and his henchmen, Slick Eddie the Thief (2) and Seegar the Elf (1), and his dog
Razoe the Fantra Paladin (3) and his henchman Skwisgar the Elf(1)

Back in town, the crew gathered together, reviewed their maps, and came up with a plan.  Scissors were taken to the multiple pages of maps, adhesive was used to glue it all together, and then it was reconciled with the map they found in a secret room on the 3rd level.  Shockingly, conclusions were drawn and navigation decisions were made - next stop, Goblin Lair!

They passed through the Cod-Man lair with a stern admonition from Chief Pyceen to finish off the goblins on their behalf. Ever willing to oblige, the party followed their map down the wide flooded halls - and were stunned to see a pair of glowing green fins parting the water, heading towards their flank.

The pair of rather flat 12' long glowing sharks had horns growing out of their heads - and attempted to both stab and bite Mongo and Razoe.  Rufus the Blink Dog blinked in and out of combat, and the sharks were quickly dispatched.  Razoe gutted them in hopes of treasure - but found only an old license plate and a cod-man arm.

They soon reached the archway that led to the alleged goblin lair - walking through, a half-dozen machines sprang from the water. They were discs on tripods, with hoses dangling from their undersides, and nozzles atop them.  The machines shouted "Alert! Commence cleaning! Filthy humanoids present!" and blasted high-pressure streams of water at Mongo and Razoe.  Another quick fight and the machines were dispatched - but had the noise alerted the goblins beyond?

The answer was "yes" - the party opened the door beyond the archway, and saw dozens of goblins standing still and silent, with a 6' tall big-headed goblin in silver robes behind them.  The party shrieked in absolute fear and ran for their lives.

As they ran, Skwisgar turned around and tackled Razoe - who began screaming for the rest of the party to stop and help him. Reluctantly, the group stopped and turned to face the goblin horde.  Many sleep and hold person spells were cast, Trezgar screamed about something trying to get into his mind, and the party prevailed.  The ensorcelled goblins were slain, a laser pistol was taken from the tall goblin's body, and Skwisgar was beaten into unconsciousness and tied up tightly. Razoe also inappropriately used his one-shot commune spell in an attempt to convince Kiod to help him escape - nevermind that Kiod both hated him now, and that he would simply answer 3 yes/no questions.

The noise of the battle had attracted visitors - a half dozen cavemen being driven on by a pair of tall fellows wearing robes and with eyeless metal cylinders over their heads. The cylinder-headed men introduced themselves as the Hinge-Headed, and they congratulated the party on defeating the goblins.  A few questions were exchanged, notes were taken by the metal-headed pair, and they wandered back off into the dungeon peacefully.

With the goblin menace slaughtered, the party headed into the lair proper.  They found a large group of boxes, that the communion with Kiod informed Razoe were both dangerous and had nothing valuable inside.  They also found some fungus that smelled like cherries, and was "safe", per Kiod.  Razoe gathered up two mouthfuls of the fragrant brown fungus.

A transporter disk was found - when items were placed on it, and a button pressed, they disappeared, it was guessed to somewhere else within the dungeon. A short debate about dumping Skwisgar on it ensued - but for purposes of henchman morale it was decided to keep him.

Finally, they found a room with an egg-shaped chair, with a bowl of gems sitting next to it.  Rotating it caused a secret door to open - at which point Trezgar turned on Gutboy with murder in his eyes.  George convinced his elf employee Seegar to cast "sleep" upon both himself and Trezgar rather than succumb to the elf-infecting madness of the dungeon, and both elves collapsed.  Inside the secret room, they found a giant jar with a huge brain floating in it, and another one of the tall robed goblins - it was slain as soon as it was spotted.

Suddenly a voice rang out from one of the machines connected to the jar:

Brain: Thank you for rescuing me!
Gutboy:  Rescue you? What are you?
Brain:  I was once human like you!  Those monsters stole my body!
Mongo:  Let's smash this thing
Brain:  No!  I can help you! Don't!

Not believing the brain's pitiful ruse, the party quickly deduced that it was controlling the goblins.  Razoe ransacked a metal cabinet, finding gold, a potion bottle, a green crystal skull, a broken laser rifle, and a wristwatch with a blank face.  A Q&A session with the brain followed:

Q: What's this potion bottle?
A: That contains a healing elixir

Q: Where are those goblins outside heading to? Are they going to Chelmsfordshire?
A: They seek more goblins to attend to me!  Join me, together we can rule the dungeon!

Q: What does this wrist band do?
A: That is a wrist replicator.  It can make any object you desire, just put it on and ask it.  I use it to make laser weapons.

Q: How do we get to the lower levels?
A: (various directions presented)

Q: Do the Hinge-Headed have any weaknesses?
A: Arrogance!  Also, to destroy them, you must destroy their mind crystals

Gains: laser pistol, funky silvery goblin clothing, 1,430 gp worth of gems, broken laser rifle, green crystal skull, 500 gp, potion of healing, wrist replicator, 2 mouthfuls of cherry-scented fungus
Kills: 2 subterranean sharks, 6 pressure washers, 30 goblins, 2 tall goblins
Losses: nothing, what's up with that?


All Proceeds to Charity thru Dec 25th

From Dec 1st thru Dec 25th, all proceeds (that I get - Lulu keeps their cut of course) from sales of ASE1 and ASE2-3 will be going to charity. Yes, I realize Dec 1st is yesterday, and Dec 2nd is almost over - timely announcements are not my strong suit!

Which charity, you ask?  Village2Village - they help children in need in Uganda. It's a small charity, and I've met w/ Laurie, who runs it, a couple of times - so I'm confident that all money donated is well spent.

So if you haven't picked up an ASE, do it now and help support a good cause!  Already got one, or just don't like gonzo, or feel moved to do more? Please consider a donation to Village2Village directly - they are helping people who desperately need it.

Here's a video that shows a bit more of what V2V is all about: