12/17/14

World of Montporte

After 40 sessions of play in the Montporte Dungeon campaign, I finally have made a very simple handwaving map of the world around Montporte.
Scale: The Qawana Forest Is About 750 Miles Across
Montporte is a small isolated town on a lightly used trade route that enters the Wild Land via a dangerous mountain pass. The region is cold, being located in the higher latitudes of the southern hemisphere. The climate of the Western Kingdoms is tempered by the presence of the sea, which I didn't include on the map above.

Here is the Montporte locale:

And here is the map of the town of Montporte:

Additional geographical information:
The Montporte Region: History and Geography
The Town of Montporte

12/16/14

Our D&D 5e Characters for the Montporte Dungeon Campaign

Our player character conversion to D&D 5e is just about complete and we have added two new players to the Montporte Dungeon campaign, Joshua and Douglas (Joshua joined several months ago, but just recently created his Montporte character, as we have been playing some other campaigns). The active player character roster for the Montporte Dungeon campaign now looks like this:


At this point, we are basically using the 5e races and classes in the Player's Handbook as is with the following clarifications: Yes to Feats, No to Dual/Multi-class characters, and No to Inspiration.

12/15/14

Monday Moodsetter 59

"Three Giants" by IBreslav
RPG Rorschach: What's the first gaming thought that pops into your head?

12/14/14

Social Skills (or Lack Thereof)

I was explaining the similarity between my rock band and my Monday Night Gaming Group: In both cases it is just a group of guys with no social skills trying to accomplish something together.

12/13/14

Cryptworld for Our In-House Gaming Group

Several months ago, I wrote a post about restarting our in-house gaming group. Not much has happened on that front since the post, mainly because of my work and surprisingly busy weekend music performance schedule. However, my one goal for gaming in 2015 is to restart our group and, after my experience at Con on the Cob, Cryptworld will be the game that I recommend to the group. I think I could run it with very little prep and I think the players would quickly grasp the Pacesetter system.

Something to work on when 2015 rolls around.

12/12/14

Five for Friday 30: Even More World War 2 Books

It has been awhile since I have posted any of my World War 2 reads. Here are some of my more recent World War 2 reads (I will post more next week).

  • The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel and Bret Witter--The book on which the recent movie was based (I have not seen the movie). I read this book after ordering for my wife (her book club read it). It was interesting, as it was part of WW2 that I was not familiar, but the book jumped around a bit. My wife struggled a bit with it, as well, for the same reason.
  • The Secret in Building 26: The Untold Story of How America Broke the Final U-boat Enigma Code by Jim DeBrosse and Colin Burke--Another interesting book, again because I was unfamiliar with the story. I was more familiar with the British side of things, which is barely mentioned in this book (a glaring weakness). Even so, it was a fun read.
  • Target Tokyo: The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring by Gordon Prange, Katherine Dillon, and Donald Goldstein--Prange's books on the attack of Pearl Harbor and the battle of Midway are well-written and balanced. They offer a lot of detail, based on Prange's extensive research. This book is very similar. It was finished posthumously by Dillon and Goldstein. I really enjoyed this book a lot and list it among my favorite WW2 reads.
  • Why the Allies Won by Richard Overy--The is a solid, thorough book by a historian who has written extensively on the Eastern Front. I wasn't surprised by his conclusions, as most WW2 history buffs are familiar with them. However, his underlying reasoning made for good reading.
  • Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure by Donald Kladstrup and Petie Kladstrup--This is a breezy book that, like some other books on this list, addressed a topic unfamiliar to me. It wasn't a bad read, but it left me wanting a bit at the end.

Previous posts about World War 2 books:
My Favorite World War 2 Books
My Latest World War 2 Reads
More World War 2 Books

12/11/14

Montporte Dungeon Campaign Session 40 Notes

Rob Conley (Bat in the Attic) has a nice post about this session, Playing 5e Combat from the Other Side of the Screen.

The Cast
Dante Rathburn (Human, Warlock): Chris (The Clash of Spear on Shield)
Luven Lightfinger (Human, Thief): Rob (Bat in the Attic)
Breena Honey-Badger Warrick (Gnome, Barbarian): Joshua (Tales of the Rambling Bumblers)
Larramore “Little Larry” (Kobold, Marksman): NPC
Marcus Aurelius (Magic Sword): NPC
Dwemmon (Gnome): NPC
7 Rescued Gnomes

The Prelude
Breena Honey-Badger Warrick woke with a start. She has no idea where she was and even less of an idea of how she got there. She and a small band of barbarian gnomes--the last of her tribe--were camped in the wilds. Despite having well-placed and well-trained sentries, the little group was surprised by a band of hobgoblins and trolls. Slavers.

The little band fought well, but Breena could see her comrades falling one by one to the trolls. A hobgoblin on the edge of her vision began muttering and moving his hands quickly. There was a flash. Then there was nothing.

Vague nightmares of being suffocated in a bag while bouncing haunted Breena for hours then days. Some sort of deviltry had been used on her and she could not clear the fog from her mind.

Then she found herself freed from her ropes and her leather sack. As she came to her senses, she could see her faithful gray cave bear next to a small pile of ropes and shredded leather. Could it be that he had rescued her from the hobgoblins?
Map A (1 square = 5 feet)
Breena found herself in a narrow chasm, only 20-40 feet wide (Area 1 on Map A above). It was impossible to determine its depth. Breena and the bear began walking. They walked for days, heading south, struggling over piles of broken stones and boulders, creeping carefully around the mouths of foul smelling caves.

Finally, Breena came to a narrow steep set of steps ascending in switchback fashion up the west face of the chasm. They began to climb, slipping dangerously every so often on the narrow, worn steps. She estimated that they had climbed about a mile vertically. At that point, Breena and the bear arrived at the mouth of a small tunnel (Area 2 on Map A). They had discovered a small abandoned mine, probably dwarvish by the looks of it.

Breena found a set of stairs (Area 3 on Map A) and ascended to a second mining area, about 60 feet above the first (Area 4 on Map B below). She found a strange metallic door that seemed almost living. She sensed that it empathized with her and it opened into a large square room with a small pool of pink liquid in the middle (Area 5 on Map A).
Map B (1 square = 5 feet)
The Session
The brave adventures started the session in Area 6 (Map B above). They had stopped to rest at the end of the previous session. They were still trying to find their way to the homeland of the subterranean gnomes to return a group of rescued gnomes. The party made their way to Room 5 (Map B) where they encountered Breena and her bear. After some cautious introductions by both parties, Breena decided to join the adventurers.

Room 5 contained a sentient creature that comprised the pink pool and the three magic doors (one each on the north, west, and south walls). Having gone north already and hearing from Breena that only a small mining area lay to the south, the party decided to head west.

The party couldn't open the western door, but then remembered that they had to throw a silver bar into the pool to open the north door. They threw another silver bar in and the north door closed. More silver resulted in the north door opening again. They paused to think this over then decided to toss a gold piece into the pool. The western door opened and led them into Room 7 (Map B).

From Room 7, the party moved south into Room 8. Luven could hear movement and hissing coming from the west (Area 9). They peeked around the corner and confronted a hydra. Most of the party fled to the north as the hydra slowly followed them. Luven hid against a cave wall to the south.

The party unleashed a combination of missile weapons and fire-based spells, taking off two the of the hydra's five heads. Because of the fire damage, no new heads regenerated. At the same time, Luven attacked from behind, gaining the advantage and inflicting a boatload of damage. Being reduced to two heads, the hydra began a slow retreat back to Area 9. This enabled the party to inflict more damage, ultimately killing the hydra and leaving the party unscathed.

The party explored the rest of the cave and found a pile of busted up goblin bones and tatters of brightly colored goblin clothing. They also found some gold and silver bars, as well as a small run with a series of red concentric circles. It was a teleport carpet, with the red circles indicating that it was a destination carpet.

The party had a sending carpet (green circles) so they tested to see if the carpets were connected by tossing a stone onto the green circles of the sending carpet. The stone disappeared but did not appear on the destination carpet.

The party moved back into Room 7, then moved north, with Luven carefully scouting in front of the party. He peeked into Room 11 and saw three worm-like gricks in the middle of the room. He crept back to the rest of the party, where they quietly planned an ambush. Little Larry and Dante crept back north and launched an attack with ranged weapons and spells. They killed one of the smaller gricks then fled south, hoping that the remaining gricks would follow. The gricks did follow, but moved faster than expected. The gricks did move into Room 7, as hoped, where the party surrounded them. However, the party had not counted on the larger grick (the alpha) having a nasty tail attack.

The party killed the two remaining gricks, but not before Dante went down with some nasty wounds. He was near death after taking additional damage from the grick's beak. Fortunately, the party dispatched the grinks in time to pour a potion of healing down Dante's throat.

The party moved into Room 11 and, after a thorough search, found more gold and silver, plus a chalice and a tin scroll case. The party decided to take a short rest and we ended the session.

The Dungeon So Far
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Mystery Level A
Mystery Level B
21 Miles Below-Upper Level
21 Miles Below-Lower Level