Where i share my experiences with DCC (as a noob)

not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
Oh. That sucks. Hope the rest of your recovery goes well. For what it’s worth, I’m enjoying the updates. Looking forward to more.
Sorry to hear about that and I hope you get well. I am interested in what you think about the Lankhmar set. I passed on that kickstarter at the time, even though I read all the Fafhred and the Grey Mouser books. I did pick up the Dying Lands box set and extras and am thinking of making that my next campaign after I wrap up my current 5e game.
I'm doing much better these days, thanks. Just nagging sinus congestion.

I've read through most of the boxed set material. There's plenty of random tables to generate quick adventures within Lankhmar using the Carousing Rules and the Event Chain Rules. I also read Fritz Leiber's "Swords Against Death" which features the earlier pulpy short-stories of Fafhrd and Gray Mouser.
I don't have much to say on the rules at the moment, but reading through the material has inspired some thought on my part. I've never run a campaign where most of the adventures took place within the city. Below are my initial thoughts on some stuff that will probably come up while adventuring in Lankhmar

_____________________

What is an Honest Rogue?

Fafhrd and Gray Mouser are described as "honest rogues." I'm trying to come up with three core beliefs or behaviors that encompasses the idea of an honest rogue. This might help players with role play. Maybe not. Who knows.
•Life is best lived as a game with high stakes.
•What you have won can easily be lost. So you might as well spend it all.
•Loyalty to your closest friends is unquestionable. All others are (at least) slightly suspect.

Institutional Slavery
There are different types described in the books. Examples: The Mingol Slaves that are forever connected to a specific ship (The Bleak Shore). Also the numerous references of slaves within Lankhmar being abused by their masters.

Institutional Sex Trade
There's a Pimp Guild and a Whore Guild, plus The Plaza of Dark Delights.

Institutional Crime
The basis for every Thieves Guild in d&d. They have political power that contends with the Lord of Lankhmar
Legal Corruption. Any official can be bribed for the right price, as long as nobody that's important sees you.
The black market operates in The Plaza of Dark Delights on a nightly basis.

Romance and Bawdy Situations during gameplay
The books have numerous sexual/bawdy situations that are mentioned (e.g. the ending of "Thieves' House" or the ending of "Prince of Pain-ease"). There's also the romantic tragedy of The Twain's lost loves.
Using the Carousing Rules found in DCC:L can potentially result in a bawdy situation. Example: The PC awakes in the bed of their rival's lover (50/50 chance its male or female) who is now enamored with the PC.
I have never included romance and/or sex in my games. For the most part, this works just fine with the players and me. My previous groups have either been family or random people I've met at my FLGS.
However, my current group is bunch of guys that are little bit older and more mature (and not my family); so I think they can handle this stuff without it devolving into cringe-worthy stupidity.
 

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Thanks @not-so-newguy, while I may still get the Lankhmar set for collecting and reading, Dying earth with its magician rivalries and vat-things are more my style than Lankmar's bawdiness. Now that I think back on the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser Books, yeah, things often got very kinky and weird. One thing to read it, another to DM it.
 

not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
Thanks @not-so-newguy, while I may still get the Lankhmar set for collecting and reading, Dying earth with its magician rivalries and vat-things are more my style than Lankmar's bawdiness. Now that I think back on the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser Books, yeah, things often got very kinky and weird. One thing to read it, another to DM it.
In all fairness, that wasn't really a review. The stuff above are initial concerns that I have.

OTOH, who cares? Do your thing. Are there Spell Duels? I think that was inspired by Dying Earth.
 

not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
We pick up again this Sunday. Woot!

Preview
 

not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
Enworlder Note: I named the town where the PCs are travelling to "Harn." I'm pretty sure that I ripped the name off of some RPG product. This is what happens when you make up names on the fly 🤷‍♂️

Harn
wesley-chong-desert-city.jpg

No Review :-(


I accidently crushed my Kindle which had the review written of the last session. Yeah it sucks, but life goes on.

Harn Description

Nestled in the foothills of the Dawnforge Mountains, along the western edge of the Blood Plains of Esh, is the fortified town of Harn. The town is built upon natural cisterns, which provide enough water for the inhabitants. It is supported by merchants of Hammerfast to the west and merchants of Iruk to the east.

What to do in Harn

If you want to Level Up your characters, then you’ll need to spend a month within the safe confines of Harn. This will also give you ample time to make inquiries about Saint Brynned’s Abbey, the Valley of Lune, and anything else. There are plenty of traveling merchants staying in Harn at any given time, so most items can be bought and sold.



Leveling up
1st 0
2nd 50
3rd 150
4th 300
5th 500

Current XP Totals

J
Eni 163 (3rd level) Turmus 163 (3rd level)

B
Mizclio 95 (2nd level) Manu-are 63 (2nd level) or RED SHIRT 0 (1st level)

D
Abboud 63 (2nd level) Orn 119 (2nd level)

T
Wiblo 95 (2nd level) Ned 63 (2nd level)

A
Wuzra 56 (2nd level) RED SHIRT 20 (1st level)



The Road Ahead
montage.gif


We've spent the last three sessions doing nothing but travel montages. While this has been fun, I'm going to skip the random encounters that may occur while travelling through the Dawnforge Mountains and plop you guys right in the Valley of Lune. I will be sure to briefly describe your travels, so that you can get a sense of things.

Specifically, you will be arriving at Jora's Last Inn and Emporium. This is assuming you will get all the necessary supplies to make the trip. SPOILER ALERT: It's gonna get cold.

To be clear, some travel will still be necessary between Jora's Inn and Saint Brynned's Abbey. The Abbey is located near the top of frigid Lune Peak. Random encounters may occur here.
 

not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
I expanded on the city of Harn.

Harn: History and General Layout
wesley-chong-desert-city.jpg

Judging by the architecture, Harn was built by the Dwarves. The original inhabitants have long since abandoned the area for unknown reasons. Humans began to inhabit the place after the Fall of Suma and the Time of Cleansing when the the Twin Vales were leveled and the Blood Plains of Esh were formed. In other words, humans began living there hundreds of years ago and beyond historical accounting.

The place has been ruled by several different human cultures throughout its existence, although it has never been taken by siege due to its remote location and fortifications. The latest ruling class can trace their lineage to the Nentir Vale along the western slopes of The Dawnforge Mountains. Some claim ties to the Valley of Lune, although this is disputed.

Harn lacks any access to mines and there is no known valuable mineral in the area, which is a bit of an anomaly for a Dwarven city. Despite this lack of resources, dwarven built forges can be found and still in use by the local humans. Some speculate that the city originally served a similar geopolitical purpose as it does today, that being a safe waystation for travelers.

There are two tiers to the city: a lower tier for commoners, artisans, and travelers, plus an upper tier for the ruling class and military barracks. The lower tier features a domed plaza where merchants can sell their wares. Also there is access to caverns where edible fungi are farmed. The water cisterns are made available through many wells found within the city. These natural formations are fed by underground water runoff consisting of snowmelt from the Dawnforge mountains.
 
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not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
SPOILER ALERT: The stuff below contains some minor and one major spoiler for the Falkrest Abbey adventure. The PDF costs less than a dollar. highly recommend. DriveThruRPG


Today's prep notes for Harn



The Gates of Harn:
The party is greeted by the Gate Sergeant and her retinue. She will inform the PCs of important laws at the first opportunity.
Ramona, Bandit Captain Stats. Long Sword, dagger, and crossbow. Chainmail. Lawful Alignment. Courteous and informative, but very stern.

Laws:
  • 1gp per person or mule per week of stay. Your name, date, and signature is put in a ledger. First week paid up front.
  • Unescorted foreigners (ie the party) only allowed in the merchant plaza area.
  • Foreigners must be escorted by a nobleman or officer into restricted areas.



Merchant Plaza Area
There are a dozen merchants in the Merchant Plaza. Several inns and taverns surround the plaza. Chess is the local game of choice. Heavily patrolled by guards. All equipment is available.

Depending on roleplay and Luck of the dice, the following things can happen:
  • pick up rumors about Saint Brynned's Abbey
  • Find a silvered weapon for sale.
  • Find an exceptional item from the Adventuring Gear List from 5e PHB for sale. Examples: Holy Water, potion of healing, Antitoxin.



Earl of Locklear:
If the players tell anybody about their plans to go to St Brynedd's Abbey, then the Earl will learn of it. He will invite the PCs to his home via messenger at the first opportunity.
He has recently discovered his family descends from the legendary Queen Ethofled and wants to display the queen’s crown in his castle. Offers: 3.000gp for Queen Ethofled’s Crown.

Falkrest Abbey Spoiler:
Queen Ethofled is a Ghost in the Abbey. As proven by the documents found in room 8, his claim is false, even though he believes it.
 
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not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
Yesterday's recap

CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR FALKREST ABBEY

Journey's End. Enter the Abbey.​

11447a_54f8fb40fa894c518450a4569244450f~mv2.jpg



East meets West in Harn

Gate Sergeant

The gang finally reached Harn after a month of wandering in the Blood Plains. The so-called city was tiny, hardly larger than Balthazar's Bazaar District back home, but the streams of smoke and the sounds of commerce promised a restful night in a bed.

They paid the steep entrance fee upfront, a full month's worth. The Sergeant informed the party that foreigners were restricted to the Domed Plaza Area, unless escorted by militia or a noble. When questioned about it, she dully repeated some local history. "The city of Harn has never been taken by an outside attack, but only from within. This law is a precaution against such an attack."

Mizzcleo thought that this seemed fascist.
Abboud thought that this seemed like a good challenge.
One of them may have been right.


Warm Clothes
The gang all bought fur cloaks to protect themselves from the cold when they travel further west.


Abboud and the Tailor
Abboud decided that he wanted something special, a custom fit nobleman's outfit, specifically a Harn nobleman's outfit. He discreetly expressed these wishes to the tailor with an extra 10gp to keep quiet. The smallish man scoffed, "you look nothing like us. I should report you to the authorities." The impulsive Thief decided that he needed to abort this plan and cut his losses. Giving a whispered threat of pain and a glance, he made the tailor realize who was actually the one getting in over their head.

In the end, a fine fur lined suit was made, something that a rich traveling merchant might wear, and it fits Abboud perfectly.


Lucky finds
The gang found some silvered weapons for sale. A short sword, javelins, sling bullets, maybe a few other things that I can't recall.


Wiblo plays chess
Wiblo played the local game of choice and won 5sp.


WTF?
The gang decided to hire a butcher, slaughter one of their mules, and turn it into mule jerky. They added ten days of dry rations for one person to their food stock. Were you trying to teach the other mules a lesson?


Restock
The gang got enough food and feed to last them 20 days on the road, plus some mule jerky.


Bob The Elf
Bob The Elf joined the party.

4xp for everyone



From Hot to Cold

Travel with Caravan
The gang joined a caravan traveling west to Hammerfast. The caravan leaders assumed that they would travel with them the whole way. The party was tight lipped with all outsiders about their real travel plans of going to Lune Valley instead of Hammerfast.


Split from Caravan
Midway into the mountainous pass through the Dawnforge, the gang unceremoniously told the leaders that they would be heading north towards Lune Valley. The caravan leaders were surprised, but there was nothing they could do about it. With curt goodbyes, the gang headed two days north into Lune Valley where they found Jora's Last Inn and Emporium.


Lune Valley and Jora's Emporium
11447a_4bf55b17c9d84f8bb6cd213f6068e6ac~mv2.webp



Mostly buried ruins dot the Valley of Lune. Nothing much remains or is known of Yore Kingdom as it was lost and repeatedly looted long ago. The gang followed the only river northward into the box canyon towards Lune peak. At the base of the peak, built upon the stone remains of centuries old structure, sit Jora's Emporium.

Jora Xplorah is an old timey prospector that acquired the skill of leather working. The Emporium is a large two-story building with three generations of Xplorahs living upstairs. The family sustains itself with a small farm and a barn full of animals. They will occasionally travel southward out of the box canyon to the Mountain Pass in order to trade with any passing caravans.

Jora likes to pick through the nearby ruins of Yore Kingdom in hopes of picking up something of value. He usually doesn't find much. The best thing he found was The Pilgrim's Diary. Jora can also make winter clothes capable of withstanding arctic conditions.


Mizzcleo reads a Pilgrims Diary
Abboud bartered his gold necklace for the Pilgrims Diary and 4 pounds of salt. He gave it to Mizzcleo who happened to be the smartest person in the group. Mizz Cleo learned three fun facts about St Brynned's Abbey:
  • The legend holds that the Water of St. Brynedd has a distinctive azure glow
  • The Queens and Kings of Yore were often depicted riding a chess horse
  • The Fountain of St. Brynedd is located in a secret enchanted garden

Warmer Clothes
The gang learned that the path to St Brynned's Abbey led from the south side of the peak to the north side. From there, the path was a series of switch backs up the north side of the mountain. Jora explained that once on the opposite side of mountain, the gang "heheheh would be 'xperiencin' a butt ass col' lik'n ter no other heheheh" Jora had 5 sets of Arctic tier winter clothes for sale (15gp).

[PCs without these winter clothes make a Fortitude check every hour or suffer 1hp cold damage]

This unfortunate development forced the gang to select only five characters that would head up the mountain to St Brynned's Abbey.

2xp for everyone




From Cold to Arctic
Ned the Warrior (2nd Lawful)
Orn The Warrior (2nd Neutral)
Mizzcleo the Wizard (2nd Neutral)
Wuzra the Wizard (2nd Neutral)
Eni the Cleric (3rd Neutral)


Travel up the Mountain
The crazy prospector was right. It was indeed butt ass cold going up the north side of the mountain. Nothing was encountered.


Outside the Abbey
The gang reached the clearing where the Abbey was located. The surrounding cliffs provided protection from the worst of the cold. Orn discovered some fresh tracks in the snow leading to the Entrance room of the Abbey.


The Entrance Room
1xp
The gang followed the tracks into the snow-covered floor of the Abbey. This initial room was 40 feet wide and 20 feet long with frescoes on the east & west walls and a closed portcullis in the north wall. The tracks led past the portcullis.
  • West Fresco: Four paladins in splendid vests, kneeling. Each has a shield displaying a chess piece (a Rook, a Bishop, a Queen and a King).
  • East Fresco: A crowned woman riding a white chess horse, and a crowned man riding a black chess horse.
The gang lifted the portcullis and propped it open with some mundane javelins.


The Central Room
2xp
Judging from the exterior, this is probably the largest room in the place. A 60 by 80 foot room with a large fountain in the center. Stone columns line the outer edges of the room. Points of interest in the room:
  • Fountain in the center of the room with statue. The statue is a black stone king and white stone queen, pouring ice-cold water from a bronze amphora they hold together.
  • A dwarf corpse lying near the fountain.
  • West exit: A door slightly ajar. The footsteps lead through here.
  • Three open exits to the north. The central northern exit has stairs leading up.
  • 2 east exits: Closed doors.
Ned and Mizzcleo approached the Dwarf corpse. He wore winter clothing, chainmail, weapons. The Dwarf's body was frozen solid. In fact, the body was colder than the stuff he was wearing. That's odd. Anyway, the body was looted.

Next, they approached the fountain. Mizzcleo detected some minor magic that allowed the fountain to function, but nothing else. Ned noticed some gold at the bottom of the fountain pool. A strange rippling was spotted in the pool. Ned and Mizzcleo decided to drag the Dwarf corpse to the pool with intentions to throw it in. That's when the strange water ripples revealed themselves to be Ice Vipers!

Two translucent snakes attacked Ned and Mizzcleo, striking from within the pool. Ned reacted first and dragged Ned away. The Vipers managed to strike Mizzcleo once who suffered some freezing damage onto of the piercing damage. The party eventually killed the vipers. They found 53gp and a brass key.


The Tombstone Room
2xp
The gang tracked the footprints to the ajar western door. When they fully opened it, they discovered three people with their hands raised in supplication. Behind them eight tombstones lined the walls and two of them were broken open along with the urns located within them.

The trio's names were Dog-ear Benn, Ratty Rod, and Charming Jeena.

Dog-ear Benn claimed that "we're just grave robbers like you guys! We don't intend no harm!"
"Well then why didn't you guys help when heard us fighting the ice vipers?! Huh?!" Ned asked.

This stumped the trio. As they glanced towards each other for an answer, Orn rushed forward grabbed one by the throat and leveled his sword towards another. That's when the crying and begging really escalated. They gave the party the treasure they had found so far (20gp, a pearl earring, and a silver ring.

The party forced them to break more tombstones and open the urns found within. They opened two of them. Whenever the urn was broken open, it had a clear effect on the person. They would stare off into the distance for a moment, as if their mind was in a different place, then their eyes would refocus. It was clearly an unpleasant experience. They complained of disembodied voices cursing them.

The whole situation sent the gang into a moral conundrum. A discussion ensued. In the end, they allow the three grave robbers to leave with their treasure.




XP Totals

T's characters

Ned The Warrior (2nd Lawful) 74
Wiblo The Halfling (2nd Neutral) 101

D's characters
Orn The Warrior (2nd Neutral) 130
Abboud The Thief (2nd Chaotic) 75

A's character
Wuzra The Wizard (2nd Neutral) 56
Vappsnác The Warrior (1st Neutral) 20

J's characters
Eni The Cleric (3rd Neutral) 174
Turmus The Warrior (3rd Neutral) 169

B's characters
Mizzcleo The Wizard (2nd Neutral) 106
Bob The Elf (1st Neutral) 6
 
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