Thursday, August 22, 2013

Encounters of games past...

I was thinking up new encounters with my new group when I started reminiscing about old encounters that were fun for both the players and me, the DM.   I think I might start a whole new feature here.  Here's one such encounter that wasn't particularly fun for either...

The part was sitting in a tavern looking for something to do, they were perusing the "Bulletin Board" that was up in the tavern.  Great leads always came from there.   I had made an actual bulletin board with post it notes for my tavern.  Each post-it had an adventure hook on it.  It helped the players to feel like they were choosing their adventure path.

They picked one that looked like a simple escort job.  Help a wounded man bring his dead adventuring friends back from the cavern they were exploring.  Simple job.  But things were wrong from the beginning.

The ride to the cavern was about a day's ride.  I gave the group ample time to ask questions to the survivor about the place, in hopes to prepare them for the coming battles.  They never once talked to him.  Bad Move #1

Ok so going into a dungeon without ANY knowledge of what to expect, is never good, but it does happen.  it's like being given a book you've never read and told to write an essay on it.  AND you're given a day locked in a room with said book and nothing else to do.  AND you never actually read the book and then have to still write the essay about it.. AND you CAN read.  sheeze.  Let me force feed that carrot...

They went into the dungeon.  first room i described like this:   You see a large 50ft by 50ft room and there seems to be two sleeping cats in the center of the room.  they have 6 legs and tentacles coming out of their backs.

The group brings out the bows and starts firing into the cats. THUNK!  THUNK!.  They cat's don't move.  In fact, they don't respond to the attacks.   Looking closer, you see they are already dead.   Yea, the other party already cleared this room.   Still the group doesn't go back and talk to the survivor that stayed with the carts because he didn't want to go back in there because of what killed the group.  Did they ask him what killed the group?  NO!  Bad Move #2

So they continue.  they get to a room that has a large black pool in the middle of it.  they immediately know it's a black pudding and move in to fight it.  STAB!  MAGIC MISSILE!  no reaction here either.   Yea, it's also dead already.  So..  two rooms and the party's guard is dropping faster than a virgin's panties on prom night.

Next room, looks clear.  the elf walks straight across the room.   odd thing is, the dust was never disturbed here.  Green slime drips onto him.  party takes a good beating from the green slime, and the elf lost a good deal of Constitution.  Luckilly they had some healing wit them to heal the elf.   they decided to take a different route than the one the original party did.  They encountered a room barred shut with a wooden door.  they eventually got it open and found lots of treasure piled up in there.  Since it was too much to deal with, they decided to leave it and come back to it after recovering the corpses.  Bad Move #3

The continued along, fining no resistance from anything else.  They entered the final room of the dungeon and saw three dead bodies in the room.  the mage sees them and immediately, I said... IMMEDIATELY walks in to get to one of the corpses.  FINAL BAD MOVE.

Once the mage got inside, he could not lift the corpse, being a weak mage after all.  so the  fighter goes in to help.  The fighter actually at this point, looks up/dowm/all around.   That's when he notices that the ceiling is 50 foot high.  very odd when the rest of the place was only 10 foot high, but this one room was 50.  Odd.  he reaches the corpse and all hell breaks loose.

A huge Earth Elemental puts a hand up n front of the doorway and he "climbs" out of the floor.  standing at about 35ft high and 25 wide, he pretty much engulfs the room, blocking the mage and the fighter from any possible escape.  The other two characters are out in the hall.

The battle ensues.  the mage casting fireball on the elementals head.  he gets a fist to the chest that renders him unconscious. I could have remembered that the elemental's strength was higher than it was and it would have killed the mage.  but I left it at unconscious.   The fighter hacking away at the knees of old Earthy.  The elf ranger firing his bow from the hallway.  the elf monk, whose constitution was much better at this point, kicking and punching.

The elemental punches the fighter and knocks him back.  The elemental moves a little bit away from the door to continue the onslaught of the fighter and this allows the monk to get into the room.   The elf, still inside the reach of the elemental, fires off a crit shot to the thing, then ducks behind the wall.

I remember that earth elementals can "see" people standing on the ground, give a punch through the wall to the elf ranger.  He hits and promptly places the body of the ranger between his fist and the opposite wall of the corridor.  A wet gooey mass flops to the ground.  Dead.

The human fighter and elf monk fight the elemental, with the fighter going over to shove a healing potion down the mage's throat.  doing so allowed the mage to get up and start casting spells on the elemental.   the three kill it and all is well.  they pick up their fallen comrade and the corpses of those they were sent to retrieve and take them back to the cart.

Remembering the treasure they found, they head back there.  Only to find two rust monsters finishing off the last pile of gold and items....

Yea, I'm evil ain't I?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Promo Survivors and who they really are....

Here's the most comprehensive list of the survivors and who they really are:

Zombicide (1st Season):
1) Amy (Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto in NCIS (2003-))
2) Doug (Michael Douglas as William Foster in Falling Down (1993))
3) Josh (Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad (2008-))
4) Ned (George Romero)
5) Phil (Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead (2010-))
6) Wanda (Heather Graham as Roller Girl in Boogie Nights (1997))

Zombicide (1st Season) Promos, 1st Wave:
1) Dave (Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory (2007-))
2) El Cholo (Danny Trejo as Machete in Machete (2010))
3) Nick (Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard (1988))

Zombicide (1st Season) Promos, 2nd Wave:
1) Cardboard Tube Samurai (Penny Arcade character)
2) Eagle Chaz (Chuck Norris)
3) Troy (Bruce Campbell as Ash in Army of Darkness (1993))

Zombicide (1st Season) Paid for Promos, 2nd Wave:
1) Claudia (Naomie Harris as Selena in 28 Days Later (2002))
2) Eva (Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003))
3) Ivy (Angelina Jolie as Jane Smith in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005))
4) Marvin (Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction (1994))

Mission Design Contest Prize:
1) Kyoko (Lucy Liu as Alex Munday in Charlie's Angels (2000))

Toxic City Mall:
1) Derek (Season 1 "I am Legend Backer")
2) Elsa (Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow in The Avengers (2012))
3) Neema (?)
4) Raoul (Season 1 "I am Legend Backer")

Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak:
1) Belle (?)
2) Grindlock (Pete Steele as Nathan Explosion in Type-o-Negative (Dethklok on Metalocalypse))
3) Joshua (Joshua 'Cornbread' Harris)
4) Kim (?)
5) Shannon (Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Alien³ (1992))
6) Watts (Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park (1993))

Zombicide Season 2 Kickstarter Promo Survivors:
1) Achille (Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991))
2) Aunt Rose (Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote (1985-1996))
3) Brad (Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971))
4) Chuck (Nick Frost as Ed in Shaun of the Dead (2004))
5) Gary (Jeff Bridges as The Dude in The Big Lebowski (1998))
6) Kirk (Steven Segal)
7) Mack (Nicolas Cage as Cameron Poe in Con Air (1997))
8) Mike (Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980)) [free @ $2.1M]
9) Ralph (Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee in Zombieland (2009))
10) Smith (Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken in Escape from New York (1981))
11) Thaissa (Bridget Fonda as Maggie in Point of No Return (1993))

Zombicide Season 2 Paid for Promos:
1) Adriana (Beyoncé as Foxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002))
2) Dakota (Pamela Anderson)
3) Fred (Simon Pegg as Shaun in Shaun of the Dead (2004))
4) Helen (Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991))
5) Lea (Emma Stone as Wichita in Zombieland (2009))
6) Rick (Jason Statham as Chev Chelios in Crank (2006))
7) Ross (John Goodman as Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski (1998))
8) Will (Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz in The Big Bang Theory (2007-))

Special Guest Artist Box - Adrian Smith:
1) Bones (original creation)
2) Padre Johnson (original creation)

Special Guest Artist Box - Karl Kopinski:
1) Angry Mary (original creation)
2) Red Cap Ben (original creation)

Special Guest Artist Box - Kevin Walker:
1) Butch (original creation)
2) Uncle Honk (original creation)

Season 2 Moustache Pack
1) Don (John Cleese as Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers (1975-1979))
2) Frank (Tom Selleck as Magnum in Magnum, P.I. (1980–1988))
3) Rob (Sean Connery as John Patrick Mason in The Rock (1996))

Total Survivor Count: 55!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dungeon Roll Review

Sitting in the mail yesterday was a box.  inside the box was my copy of Dungeon Roll, Kickstarter Edition.

So, you want to know what comes in that awesome game box that is shaped like a treasure chest? 
  • 7 Dungeon Dice - Custom Molded Dice
  • 7 Party Dice - Custom Molded Dice
  • 8 Base Set Hero Characters - Commander, Paladin, Battlemage, Necromancer, Dragon Slayer, Half-Goblin, Enchantress and Bard.
  • 8 Expansion Pack #1 Heroes - Alchemist, Scout, Leprechaun, Treasure Hunter, Elf Tracker, Sorceress, Dwarf Berserker and Undead Viking (Included at no extra cost)
  • KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE -- +2 Dungeon Dice
  • KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE -- Dragon's Lair card (does not affect gameplay)
  • KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE -- Graveyard card (does not affect gameplay)
  • 4 Player Aid Cards
  • 36 Treasure Tokens
  • 24 Experience Tokens
  • 1 10-sided die - For tracking the current dungeon level
  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Book of Heroes (Information about the heroes and rules clarifications pertaining to those heroes)

Here is a closer look at the dice:

Each game is played in three rounds.  each round is one delve into the dungeon.  Highest XP wins.  There are hero cards.  these heroes are the party leader.  They have special abilities that can affect the outcome of the delve.

Pictured above is the Crusader.  Every level, she can use the top ability.  the bottom is used once per delve.  This is the hero I picked for this demo.

Starting the game, you pick up the 7 party dice(white ones) and roll them.  That's your "party".

Then the "dungeon lord", aka, you in a single person game, turns the dungeon level die to 1 and then rolls the appropriate number of dice for that level.   1st level, is 1 die.  2nd level is 2 die... you get the idea.

Pictured above is a 5th level dungeon with the party still in full strength.  the party currently consists of A Wizard, a Fighter, two champions, two thieves and a scroll.  the Dungeon dice (black ones) show two goblins, a Skeleton, a dragon, and a potion.

To start the round, the dragon die gets set aside into the "dragon's lair".  Once three are in there a dragon will appear and you fight that.   The fighter die can take out any number of goblins, but my hero's ability allows me to use him as a cleric if I wanted.   I really don't, so I discard the fighter and the goblin dice.  The Fighter die goes into the "graveyard", and the goblin dice get set aside for reuse.   The Wizard can take out any number of oozes, but only one each of the other types of monsters, so I'll keep him in reserve.  the thief takes out one of any type of monster, and since I've got two of them, I'll use him.  The champions take out all of any one type, so I'm saving them for level six.  I move one thief to the "graveyard" and the skeleton to the side to be reused.  the thieves are needed for treasure chests, so I'm holding the last one in case the next level gives me a treasure chest.   At the end of the round, any party dice left can be used to activate potions, or if a thief, take a treasure chest.   Since I have a potion left, I use one of my champions ( I can use any die, including scrolls) to use the potion.  A potion brings back one party die back from the graveyard.

Next round level, I have two champions, one thief, and one scroll.   the potion brought back an additional die for the party, so I can make it anything I want.   Scrolls are handy as they allow rerolls of the monster dice.  if I didn't think I had enough to run the next level, I'd retire to the tavern, collect my XP, and let the next player go.  If I'm lucky enough to get to level 10, I automatically retire.

Once there are at least three dragon dice in the lair,  you have to fight the dragon.   You defeat him with three different party members.  IE:  fighter, wizard, thief would work, but two champs and a thief would not.

it's pretty fun, quick and can be played in a half hour or less.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013