Abomination Vaults #6: The Great Debate

Pathfinders' Guild of Berkeley

The explores some more of the Gauntlight and gears up for the mayoral debate! –GM

25th of Sarenith, 4721 AR

(When the undead mitflit is killed, a wispy skull they have seen before floats out of it. -GM)

In the cave, the gang encounters a large, and to be honest, hideous toad. Giant maggots crawl out of it. Quincy uses acid splash and hits the maggot, thank God. You can’t tell with that man. Leneth rolls her eyes and steps to the front, slashing the maggot with her rapier. It hits, as expected. We fight for a little bit more, and eventually destroy the stupid maggots. Leneth is pretty hurt, however.

We leave the room and recuperate in the open area. Beldon sits in the corner, rubbing a sore tummy. Nythardra fails to heal Leneth, and rubs some dirt in her wounds, stupidly. In the cave, Quincy and Nythardra

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The Ochrenvault – Map 1

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Teo's Portal - Map 1
The Ochrenvault – Map 1 (300 dpi promotional)

The Elders of the Ochren built a portal to the stars deep within the Ochrenvault – a deep set of caves and “dungeons” that were cut into the mountains by nature and the ochrefolk (a “privileged” class of humans and half-elves that were “permitted” to serve the elders). The Ochrenvault is deep in the inhospitable jungles of one of the Ochren Isles (commonly marked on maps now as the Ochre Isles, as knowledge of the Ochren fades from this world) and delves deep into the tropical island’s rocky hills.

Teo's Portal - Map 1
The Ochrenvault – Map 1 (1200 dpi)

The main inhabitants of the vaults are the morlock tribes that share the islands with far more dangerous predators – descendents of the ochrefolk left to their own devices when the elders departed through the portal. They claim the main vault as their sacred territory but…

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7 Video Game (Inspired) Movies

The Nerdd

Last weekend, I went and saw Free Guy, a fun video game movie. While I’m not much of a review guy, if you like The Lego Movie and Deadpool, this is the movie that fits perfectly between those two, in all of it’s PG-13, self-referential, cameo-filled, goodness.

There are two types of video game movies. First, there are movies based on video games, which I’ve already written about the Video Game Movie Curse. The Mortal Kombats, the Assassin’s Creeds, the Angry Birds the Movies. Then, there are movies that are based on the idea of video games. Because that is what Free Guy was, let’s talk about that.

Tron: Legacy (2010)

The first movie to be placed in a fictional video game, was Tron (1982). This movie was one of the first to use an extensive amount of CGI, which was necessary for this…

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Rise of the Runelords #53: Hillbilly Necromama

Pathfinders' Guild of Berkeley

The party and the rangers they rescued confront Mammy Graul, the matriarch of the hillbilly ogrekin family.  -GM

6th of Kuthona, 4707 AR

Mammygraul-1- Mammy Graul

In our session this week we continued our quest. This leads the party to a dark and mysterious house, large and menacing. Upon venturing in we were met by some traps and ogres. After clearing these out the group ventured on. Finding a truly smelly ogre and her undead kin we began to fight.  

-Jail (Cort)


Jail, tiefling inventor 8
Kraiton Utur, tengu cleric of Shizuru 7
美しい巫女 U / Utsukushī Miko, elf-beastkin cleric of Sarenrae 7

Previous post in this campaign

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Shadows of the Ruinous Powers – Session 70

Dyson's Dodecahedron

(Being a series of quick game notes trying to account for the events of many sessions of playing through The Enemy Within using the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1e rules.)

Session 70

Something Rotten in Kislev

  • Larry [Mercenary Captain] – I 68
  • Othmar [Assassin] – I 66
  • Nate [Witch Hunter] – I 64
  • Gottlieb [Witch Hunter] – I 63
  • Wilfried [Templar] – I 63
  • Scargetter [Assassin] – I 60

“I was hoping that you wouldn’t find out like this…” Kisa started as she reached out to grab hold of Larry.

And the melee begins. She has come prepared with a number of potent spells defending her as she tries to take on the group single-handedly.

The cell opposite Mickhail’s opens quietly as the fighting begins, and a soot-darkened dwarf silently slips into the fighting – but on the side of the knights Panther instead of Yatsakaya’s. Like the witch hunter, he…

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D&D-5E Effects of Magical Aging

Dungeon Master Assistance

Can my D&D character die of old age?

In 3.5 and earlier editions of D&D your character could die of old age. This is not presented as an option in 5th edition. If you want some rules for how your characters are effected when they are magically aged, with the possibility of dying from old age, this post is for you.

Your character ages normally as time passes in your campaign. Most campaigns won’t represent a long enough time for your character’s advancing age to effect your character’s abilities. But the world of D&D is a world full of magic and anything can happen.

The Player’s Handbook tells you when each race is considered an adult and their expected lifespan. You also learn that the “petrified” condition ceases aging and creatures under the effect of the “imprisonment” spell don’t age. You also learn that the “resurrection”, “true resurrection”, and…

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Physical vs cloud


August means the Blaugust 2021 blogging event is ongoing, see the linked post for more info!

Syp has a post up about physical media versus cloud streamed content. It is something I have been discussing with my husband of late since we have been contemplating a move. Moving house is a major hassle at the best of times, but one aspect particularly relevant to a pack-rat, life-long gamer is the sheer volume of CDs, DVDs and books that we own.

We both have extensive collections of book series for a start. Is it sacrilege to sell off old novels that I will likely never read again in physical form. For years now I’ve mostly read novels on my Kindle Paperwhite, I find it more convenient to read books in a form with backlit pages and adjustable font sizes.

I very rarely buy books in paper form nowadays, though my husband…

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The Dragon Shrine

Dyson's Dodecahedron

The Dragon Shrine (300 dpi promotional, no commercial license)
The Dragon Shrine (300 dpi promo – no commercial license)

Seeming to have climbed out of the ghost dunes, the namesake of the Dragon Shrine is more accurately described as the upper torso, shoulders, head and arms of a massive troglodyte assembled from massive stone blocks. Stone tiers and rows of parallel columns lead up to the idol’s chest where a copper door covered in a deep green patina allows access to the interior of the beast to those who know the command word to open it.

The Dragon Shrine (1200 dpi)
The Dragon Shrine (1200 dpi)

In the idol’s left hand is a large bowl. Depending on the season, this bowl can be found filled with evaporating stagnant water, crusty residue of dried algae, or rarely with wood for a great fire (or the ashes from the fire). While the shrine is usually alone in the dunes, there’s a 1 in 6 chance that…

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Boss Rush Banter: Should Microsoft and Sony Try to Break Into Nintendo’s Family Friendly Brand?

We know games are for everyone. There are casual players, skillful players, creative players, and the hardest of the hard. With Nintendo being a well known brand, and for some parents they remain the representation for video games, they seem to corner a certain market of the industry. It’s the family friendly side of gaming. Children and their friends, siblings, and parents and more can enjoy their simple yet enjoyable multiplayer titles. With that being said, Sony and Microsoft are absent in this area. I do wonder: should Sony and Microsoft try to enter the family friendly market that Nintendo seems to dominate?

The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Family Friendly Games in May 2021

Unfortunately, both Microsoft and Sony have failed miserably in this line of gaming. Look at the games those systems are known for: Uncharted, Halo, Resistance, Forza Motorsport, and other titles that appeal to older gamers. They are not known for Wonderbook, Dance Central, LittleBig…

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Insight Isn’t Pass/Fail


5th Edition D&D uses ability checks in a pass/fail fashion. The DM sets the Difficulty Class (DC), the players roll, adding their ability modifier and any relevant skill proficiencies, and the result either meets/exceeds the DC (and passes) or falls short (and fails).

To make an ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability modifier. As with other d20 rolls, apply bonuses and penalties, and compare the total to the DC. If the total equals or exceeds the DC, the ability check is a success — the creature overcomes the challenge at hand. Otherwise, it's a failure, which means the character or monster makes no progress toward the objective or makes progress combined with a setback determined by the DM.

While there’s some guidance in the Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide suggesting a “fail forward” mechanic if you fail by two or less, this isn’t really hard coded in the system, or implemented in its adventures. Some D&D adventures offer differing degrees of failure (see, e.g. the avalanche and blizzard mechanics in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden). But, some skills are better suited to having varying degrees of success.

The Problem with Pass/Fail

Insight is the prime example. Insight should not be a pass/fail skill. When used this way, it falls into a boring “lie detector” cycle where characters can either catch the non-player…

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