Commentary thread for that “Describe your game in five words” thread.


"My cantrip killed two demons."

Okay, this was my favorite moment of D&D in AGES. I'm playing a 13th lvl sorcerer; I recently got the warcaster feat but it hadn't come up yet. We were in the underdark and getting harassed by a glabrezu lord, a vrock, and a greater vrock. My damage rolls had been sucking but we'd hammered on the demons enough that they were low on hp but hanging in there. The barbarian gets power word stunned (bye, rage!) and we're all struggling with status effects.

But on my turn I twinned a firebolt cantrip against the glabrezu and vrock, rolled well, and actually managed to kill both demons in one shot. As we cheer, the greater vrock takes its turn and flies past me to target the squishy bard. Warcaster kicks in, I can use a spell for an Opportunity Attack, and I successfully slap him on the back of the head with a Disintegrate. Result? Greasy smear.

One round. Three dead demons. Yasssssssss.

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Priests being murdered; war looms.
Ah, playing a historical reenactment game then? 😉
No, but a game in a rational fantasy world where things have consequences:

Dave Waring's Avalon is a very long-running setting. I think he first ran it in 1976. Religions work in an unusual way, because the power that a god can grant to priests is entirely determined by the number of worshippers. There's a table for this, and it is understood within the setting.

One religion dominates, Mammon, a god of fair trade, money, and the like. Something like 80% of the sapient population follow it, and I doubt any other religion has 2%. The Mammonites have so many worshippers that they can rent out power to other churches: clerics who have achieved levels beyond what their church's worshippers can support can purchase support for their higher level spells. Obviously, Mammon being a god of money and trade is necessary for this to work. The main condition of renting power is that renters must not preach against Mammon.

The most-populated country, Greensward, is a collection of quarrelling petty-kingdoms, where local lords have a lot of control over local priests. The lords have managed to keep the development of magic under their control, so there are few magicians, and those are loyal to the system. The other human-populated country, Landcentre, was started by people who were fed up with Greensward and is rather freer. It encourages people to become adventurers, and bases its defence on the "Breston Army" which has over a thousand 10th+ level adventurers.

There has been a civil war going on in Greensward for a couple of years. The PCs in the campaign strand I'm playing in have just discovered that one of the sides, led by the Church of Set, has been killing all the local priests they can get their hands on. This is unacceptable on many grounds, but the unusual one is that it threatens the power of the Church of Mammon. The population of Greensward are likely to drift away from the church with no priests around, especially if priests of Set are trying to move in. If Mammon's worshippers are significantly thinned out, Mammon will lose the ability to rent out so much power, and other religions will suffer.

War looms.


Swords of the Serpentine:

"Megalomaniac ambitions, apocalyptically destructive means."

I've finally managed to start another game of Serpentine, with a group of 3 players this time. After a loooooong discussion, they've settled with a Bookhounds of Eversink theme for their adventure. So, we've got an old sentinel-warrior who fights with a cane who's only in search of new freinds. We've also got a monster hunter with a real talent at sorcery (one of the most powerful in the city actually) involving blades, curses, transformation and necromancy, and who wants to be obscenely rich. Then we've got an apprentice theologian, actually another sorcerer who has discovered the sphere of worship, and who dreams of becoming the highest priest of Denari who has ever lived.


B/X Known World
"More enemies? But we nova'ed!"

LOL. Yep. The PCs on the pirate ship nova'ed at the first group they encountered...and were completely shocked at the idea that they couldn't get an eight-hour rest...or even a one-hour rest...while still on a ship literally filled with enemies.

aramis erak

Wed Night... only 3 of the players showed, but we got a LOT done... 9 scenes. Including Dartz kicking Boba Fett in the head to prevent him from "fixing" the Boonta Classic, and Gida rallying the (largely culturally Mandalorian) audience against Boba..


“thief climbs building, then falls”

The party is back in town after finding out last session that there are nasty things in the hex they want to clear. They came back to deposit their treasure, hire some people to help them out, and talk to their sage friend. While they were at the market, the barbarian decides to ask around about rumors. She rolls Connect (CHA) and gets a partial success. I roll on my complications table and get “it attracts trouble”. She hears a rumor that there are raiders in the north, then someone accosts her suggesting she forgets she hears that. The thief manages to deescalate the situation, but in the confusion, the guy gets away. This prompts the thief to see if he can spot the guy from a high vantage.

The thief looks around for something tall (because he wants to climb shear surfaces this session), then scales it. He rolls Exert (STR) and gets a partial success. I roll on my table again and get “it subverts your intent” this time. He makes it to the top, but everyone sees the weird guy climbing up the building and starts pointing. They also get a priest to try to talk him out of jumping. The thief could still look for his guy, but he’s too embarrassed. The thief goes to climb back down and fails his check this time. His class is a member of the expert group, so he has an ability called Expertise that lets him add another 1d6 to a skill check once per turn (every 10-minutes, effectively), but he chooses not to use it and falls instead. The barbarian catches him, but they both end up splitting the falling damage.

So the thief climbed the building, then fell off it. I guess he should have listened to the priest after all. 😂

Only four of six players could make it for the first session of Neutral Currents, a new strand of our occult WWII GURPS campaign. In England, early March 1940, a female pilot/race driver in the ATA, an Imperial Airways planning manager, an engineer at Short Brothers and an RAF reserve officer were recruited by an intelligence organisation (not sure which one yet) and told to set up the capability to visit neutral countries under Imperial Airways cover, to find and block German "unconventional" operations.

We got ourselves an Empire-class flying boat, learned to operate it, and did a shakedown flight to Foynes, Ireland to deliver mail. We encountered a senior Irish Army Intelligence officer, Dan Bryan, who gave us a parcel for "C. Liddell" in Whitehall. We did some magic to check if it was dangerous, but it didn't seem to be, so we flew back to Poole, and went to London to report and deliver the package. The addressee turned out to be Cecil Liddell, who ran the Irish desk at MI5, and split the contents (a large ham, and a bottle of Irish whiskey) with Guy Liddell, his brother who was head of counter-intelligence. They were amused to learn we were working for Dr Jones (R, V.), since he's with their organisational rival, MI6.

Reporting to Jones, he was likewise amused, and told us to plan for trips to Norway, and to the Eastern Mediterranean, since that will become much less accessible if Italy joins the war.


(he, him)
Thursday: It was the whisky and lights.
We were investigating what had caused both a posh boy and a "mob" (or possibly "swarm" or "horde") of homeless people (turn our a "mob" was one) to go temporarily nuts and start attacking people. We learned the previous week that dodgy whisky was probably involved. But the posh boy's attack had coincided with a stage show involving flashing red lights. I had speculated that they might also have been involved, but I ccould not see how the homeless guys had seen them.

We interviewed the homeless person, and it turned out that the last thing he remembers seeing was red break lights on cars, which when viewed through a metal fence gave a flashing effect. It was nice to be right for once...

Sunday: Upgrades were not enough. TPK.
I think I have mentioned before, our Sunday game is just two players and a GM (I am one of the players for Savage Tide and the GM for The Sunless Citadel/PoA, and we are alternating chapter-by-chapter). We are playing the adventures essentially unaltered (apart from making the minor amendments necessary to use them in PF1), and making the adaptations on the PC side to account for there only being two of them.

The adaptations seem to have worked pretty well at higher levels. But first and second level PCs are really fragile, and our adaptations do not appear to enough to combat that: As well as last night's debacle, we had a near TPK at the end of The Sunless Citadel.

Ironically, this is our second go at starting Savage Tide. The first was over a decade ago; I do not really remember much about it other than we did not get super far*. But one thing I did remember was that there was an underground room or tunnel somewhere full of ravenous zombies, which are more or less like normal zombies except that they have a bite attack which does tripple damage on a crit). The reason I remember that is that they they inflicted such a crit on my first character and took him straight from full hp to dead - although that time the rest of the party survives. Guess which creatures inflicted last night's TPK!


* I think we did most but not quite all of the first chapter before we stalled out due to real-life pressures.
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(he, him)
Thursday: Ran away from nasty undead.
Back to our PF2 game: The party ran into a nasty undead creature. Partly because it was two levels above the party, but mostly because they decided to press on into the wilderness when they were running on fumes.


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