Apr 9, 2023


This week I read:

Roleplaying Games

Cartographic Curiosities

This week the players managed to gain a strong advantage in a fight with a cunning plan, I got to whip out some of my pre-rolled random encounters, and nobody promised their soul to an ancient forest spirit. A great success on all counts.

At the start of the session, the players were facing down a bunch of Crookhorns (think “orcs” but goatfolk) who slightly outnumbered them, and who were demanding money. Now, the Dolmenwood Minstrel class can fascinate mortals by playing music and singing, and one of the players is a minstrel. They’d also picked up an NPC minstrel who had decided to accompany the party until he got back home. So the two minstrels approached the Crookhorns being all “now now friends, there’s no need to be hasty, let’s resolve this nonviolently” and began playing their music. This ensnared most of the Crookhorns, who proceeded to approach the minstrels (their friends who hadn’t realised the situation yelling things like “get ’em boys” and “make sure to take that shiny lute!”), whereupon they were jumped by the rest of the party, who essentially gained a one-round advantage over the fascinated Crookhorns.

After a couple of rounds enough of them had been killed or blinded (the Light spell is intense in older editions), and the rest fled into the forest, leaving the party to continue exploring.

I had planned for the party to find the lair of a corrupted centaur, with a shiny magical mace inside, but they decided to retreat from the dark spooky woods and explore elsewhere. So instead I brought out two of my pre-rolled random encounters: a cave full of giant fire beetles with something shiny inside (they decided to come back to that later) and a cottage full of runaway teenage druid girls who have had enough of their fathers introducing them to nice boys.

The druid girls patched up their wounds and shared some information in exchange for stories of life outside the Dolmenwood, and once recovered the party returned to town to finally level up.

Will they ever return to the dungeon they started exploring several sessions ago? Will they ever find the other dungeon I’ve put on the map just beyond the bordeer of where they’ve explored near town? Or will they just keep heading further and further out without ever returning to anything? Who knows!

I should probably add another dungeon or two.

Sylea Rising

Today we wrapped up the campaign. I ran the Traveller4 scenario The Sleepers, in which the players find a long-abandoned Second Imperium cryogenics facility called “A Better Tomorrow”, which has become a holy site for a local tribe who believe that the world will end if the sleeping gods within are ever woken up. Along the way the players get to interact with some insane caretaker-robots and rescue two sleepers from imminent cryo-pod failure.

It was a good ending, really got back to the roots of what I wanted this campaign to be about: exploring ancient and weird locations, and figuring out artefacts from before the Long Night.

Despite being for a different edition of Traveller, it was straightforward to run. One of the strengths of Traveller is that converting material between editions (in most cases) is really easy.

We wrapped up with a short epilogue for each character. It’ll probably be a couple of years before we return to Traveller, but it was fun while it lasted.

Next up: Tomb Robbers of the Crystal Frontier!


What-Cha, my usual loose-leaf tea shop is great and I never fail to spend my monthly tea budget on nice things, but it’s been out of puerh for a while. So I’m branching out. Trying a few other places. Increasing the variety.

To start with, I’ve ordered two types of puerh from Yee On Tea. I’ve heard good things about Yunnan Sourcing and Taiwan Sourcing too. I’ll report back after it arrives.