Thursday, July 24, 2014

Leviathan Wakes

So after a lot of people who are have been following my Solar Empires setting and in particularly my Station 42 War conflict recommended I read this book because of the similarities to our setting I finally picked up a copy and did just that.  I have to say the similarities are pretty interesting.  Almost exactly the same general approach exist between the "Expanse" setting and our setting.  I think the setting is even more thought out than our setting but I would hope so since we are not a pair of professional writers and we are just working on our setting for gaming in on our spare time.  In many ways I almost wish this setting had come out before we started our project.  I could have been very happy setting my own adventures in the Expanse but I'm also happy with the setting we have developed.  

I thought the story was a really good one too.  Pretty interesting concepts.  Just enough science fiction and not too wrapped up in techno babble or pseudo science.  Mostly an interesting human story with some unexpected twist and character development.  I liked it quite a bit and I plan to read the other books in the series.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Savage Hyboria Forgotten Islands "The Tomb of Voltannox" Part 4

After several uneventful hours following an old path through the jungle the party came to the entrance of the Tomb of Voltannox.  Outside of the tomb were the desiccated corpses of several Argossean pirates.  Mon Tau lit a torch they had prepared and peered into the open tomb entrance.  "There is a small anti chamber here with several more bodies" he said.  "Let us press on then.  Whatever killed them is no longer here" Heimdall urged.  "Wait!" said the Hyrkanian "Look the floor of the room is littered with darts.  The room must be trapped".  
The tried unsuccessfully to move through the room using the discarded Argossean shields.  Several of the party members suffered minor wounds in the attempt so they were forced to retreat.  After tending their wounds Rozlynn spotted some stonework sticking out of the hill several feet above where the ceiling of the room would end.  "Look up there.  I see some stonework sticking out of the hill." the Aesir woman pointed at the stonework.  Racket climbed up the hill and cleared away some of the jungle foliage covering up the stonework.  With a hammer and spike they found among the corpses he managed to remove one of the stones.  Several bronze darts fell out of the hole he had created.  "I think I have found something" the Argossean said.  Racket pulled several more stones away and even more darts fell out.  "Yes there is some kind of magazine up here that must be feeding the darts into the room.  

 After spending over and hour removing thousands of bronze darts from the magazine that fed the room they party managed to enter the tomb without further problems.
 
 Beyond the anti-chamber there was a room with ten marble slabs on the floor.  As they entered the room a spectral form rose out of each slab.  "Ghost!" Heimdall exclaimed.  Aleena held her holy symbol above her head "In the name of Mitra I banish you!".  White light flashed the room and several of the ghost screeched and vanished but the rest attacked the party.  "Our weapons have no effect on them!" Rozlynn cried.  "We must destroy their corpses!  I believe that will stop them." Aleena explained.  The ghost lashed out at them each blow causing great fatigue as their spectral claws seemed to rend their very spirit.    
"Hyrkanian help me!" Heimdall called.  Mon Tau and Heimdall began pushing the marble slabs aside revealing the mummified remains of the ghost enclosed in sarcophagi beneath the stone.  Heimdall smashed the skull on one and a ghost shrieked and vanished.  Light again flashed from the holy symbol of the priestess and more ghost vanished.  Eventually they banished all the ghost but were so fatigued by their ordeal that they were forced to rest in the chamber for several hours.
  
 The next chamber they entered was large with a higher ceiling than the other chamber.  Lying in the middle of the chamber was a giant skeleton.  As they pressed forward the skeleton rose to it's feet and laughed a deep disembodied laugh.  As the party formed a defensive line the giant surged forward.

 The giant brought it's massive blade down on Heimdall.  The blow knocked the northman to the ground and left him wounded and stunned.  With a war cry Rozlynn attacked the massive skeleton with such fury that it too was knocked to the ground and damaged.  "Racket, Raka, try and get the next door open!" Aleena cried.  The Argossean and Vendhyan rushed to the opposite door which was covered in locks and began to try and pick them.  
 Again the giant stood and engaged the party.  Heimdall, Aleena, Rozlynn, and Aziz fought in hand to hand with the giant as Mon Tau fired arrow after arrow at the beast.

 Rozlynn suffered a deep wound from the massive blade the giant wielded and Aleena was also injured but eventually Heimdall smashed the creatures skull in with his two handed ax.

 The next chamber was small and unoccupied so they decided again to tend to their wounds and rest for quite some time.  Almost two days had passed since they reached the tomb.  They were starting to run low on provision so they decided to press on.  Rozlynn was still suffering from her wounds so she decided to switch to her bow.

 The next chamber was as large as the Giant's chamber but instead of a single foe they saw no fewer than twenty skeletal warriors ranked up on the other side of the room.  As they stepped into the room the creatures eyes began to glow.  "Sheildwall!" Heimdall cried.  The party formed a tight line.  Rozlynn and Mon Tau drew their bows.
 Again Aleena held her holy symbol aloft and shouted "Begone!".  Several of the undead warriors burst into pieces and several more were knocked to the floor.  Mon Tau and Rozlynn targeted the skeletal archers and dropped two more of the undead creatures.

 Undaunted the skeletons rushed forward.  One of the creatures lashed out at Racket wounding him and knocking him down.
 Even as they destroyed the first wave of skeletons more recovered from Aleena's wrath and charged into the party.  Heimdall was knocked to the floor but uninjured.

 The battle was intense but did not last long.  the final skeleton went down in a flurry of blows.  Only Racket had been wounded and his wounds were not serious.

 There was a locked door beyond the skeletons and above it there was an incription indicating that any who entered would not survive.  The door was locked.  Racket picked the lock and opened the door but then noticed something strange.  "Look there seems to be some kind of mechanism here in the door jam.  I think there is a stone plate that will slide down and trap us in here when we enter the room.  "Ah I see it too" Raka said.  Heimdall reached out and pulled the wooden door from it's hinges.  He then wedged the door into the opening to keep the stone slab from falling.
The door at the opposite end was also locked so Raka and Racket entered the room to have a look at it.  As they passed through the room several iron bars shot out from the side walls and ceiling trapping them in that half of the room.  Moments later green gas began filling the room from vents above the door.  Racket and Raka worked quickly to open the locked door but they were overcome by the gas before they could do much.

 Heimdall started to rush to his companions aid.  "Wait!" Aleena shouted. "You will need to protect yourself from the gas".  Aleena took some bandages from her pouch and wet them down with water.  The two Aesir tied them over their mouth and noses before entering the room to free their companions.  They hacked the iron bars away and managed to pull their friends out of the room to safety.
Aleena knelt down to check them.  "They are still alive" explained the priestess "I will try to revive them but they will need rest".  Aleena pulled some herbs from her pouch and began working to heal her friends.
After several hours Racket was well enough to continue and the gas in the chamber had dissipated.  Raka however had no recovered and Aziz elected to stay behind to tend to her.
When they returned to the door they saw it was not only locked but inscribed.  Raka translated the inscription: Here Lies Voltannox the Priest King.  Aleena blessed their weapons and Racket picked the doors lock and they entered the chamber.
 Inside the chamber they saw a large stone throne.  Sitting on the throne was and armored corpse with a purple cloak and a large elaborate staff reading and ancient scroll.  The corpse stood up.  "Fools!  How dare you disturb Voltannox!"  Voltannox pointed his staff at the party and spoke an foul sounding incantation.  Immediately they were engulfed by a spider like web.

 Aleena pulled free of the web and with a cry of "Mitra!" she charged the unholy priest.  Light flashed from here holy symbol causing Voltannox to recoil in horror as the priestess knocked him against his throne with such force that the Priest King and his throne were knocked to the floor.

 With a scream Voltannox stood pointing his sword at the priestess of Mitra.  A green bolt shot from the blade striking Aleena in the chest.  She stumbled as magical energy crackled across her body.  Heimdall ripped himself from the web and charged forward.  He brought his blade down on the Priest Kings shoulder wounding him and knocking him back before the priest could strike Aleena.

 Mon Tau fired an arrow into the undead priest chest and as Racket and Rozlynn charged forward Aleena stabbed Voltannox through the heart.  With a screech the Priest King cried out "You have not defeated me!".  A spectral form rouse from the corps and flew up through a grate in the ceiling cackling with hideous laughter.
Underneath the throne was a hidden chamber filled with; coins, jewels, scrolls, armor, and weapons.  The armor and weapons were damaged with age and in this state unusable until they could be repaired.  The party gathered their treasure then returned to the large room guarded by the skeletal warriors.

There they found two more locked rooms leading off to the side.  One room was filled with rotten provisions but the other held three large bowls filled with gold coins.  "Ah more treasure!" Heimdall exclaimed as he strode forward and reached into one of the bowls.  Mon Tau reached out and grabbed the Aesir by the wrist.  "Not so fast my friend.  Things as not as they appear.  Look one of the coins is a false one covered only with a think layer of gold foil.  I have seen these things in my travels.  The powder concealed under the foil is a dry acid that will eat the flesh from your bone".
The party carefully sorted through the coins and were able to recover several hundred real ones.  They packed up their treasure in baskets from the provision room then left the tomb.  "Now we are rich castaway slaves and wanted pirates" Mon Tau said.  "I suppose that is better than being poor slaves" Racket laughed.

Notes:  Well again this report is based on a game we played at the end of last year so the details are not very accurate but this is basically how the session went down.  Just before this session I had awarded experience and my wife Michelle took the "Holy Warrior" edge for Aleena her priestess of Mitra.  This worked out very well for her especially in the room filled with the skeletal warriors as many of them rolled a one which destroyed them.  A number of the others were also shaken making that encounter far less dangerous.  It was a pretty long session and fairly difficult.  I know the gas chamber was even more difficult than the way I wrote it up but I didn't remember the details well enough to portray it exactly as it happened.  Hopefully I will have our last session for this campaign up in a day or two.  We just played that one of a couple weeks ago and it was a short session so it should be at least a bit more accurate.   



Monday, July 14, 2014

Savage Hyboria Forgotten Islands: Episode 4 "The Tomb of Voltannox" Part 3


After fighting their way through the jungle and into the ruins the band of ex slaves decided to take refuge in a small building that was still mostly intact.  Tired and wounded from their journey they fell asleep without even setting a watch.
Suddenly Rozlynn awoke to an eerie howl.  She immediately shouted an alarm to the others "Wake up!  The creatures are upon us!".  

 More of the undead creatures attacked them along with several twisted and mutated undead hounds.  The hounds attacked with even greater ferocity than before.  Again the party suffered several wounds before destroying this threat.  This time they decided to set a watch before going back to sleep.
 
 Rozlynn took over watch after Racket had his turn.  She noticed a strange winged statue on a nearby building that she had not seen earlier.  Eventually fatigue overtook the Aesir and she began to fall asleep.  Suddenly the roof shook beneath her feet with a loud thud.  Snapping out of her stupor she saw the statue before her raising a taloned claw to strike her.  She barely managed to deflect the strike with her sword as she struggled to her feet.  Racket had heard the commotion on the roof and rushed outside to aid his companion.  The Argosian drew an arrow from his quiver and fired but the missile was deflected by the monsters stone-like skin.  Rozlynn screamed as a taloned claw ripped into her thigh as she rained blow after blow onto the creature.  Though she struck with great strength she did only minor damage to the beast.  Again the creature struck and sent the warrior reeling.  She barely managed to keep from falling off the roof.  Seeing that his bow had done no damage Racket gripped his spear and hurled it at the creatures back with all his strength.  The spear struck the creature square in the middle of it's back and pierced it through it's torso.  The creature screamed and crumbled into many pieces.
Shortly after the battle with the stone creature the sun came up and Rozlynn woke the rest of the party.  They were all amazed that such a battle had not woke them during the night but they decided to be more cautious.    
 As they made their way through the city again they heard the echoing howls of the undead hounds.  They saw a large pack approaching from their front and a small one approaching from their rear.
 
 The creatures discordant barks and howls echoed from the buildings and stone pavement.  The Argosian and the Hyrkanian shot several arrows at the creatures felling a few but the pack charged into them snapping at them with their teeth and slashing at them with their claws.  With no where to run the party fought desperately against the hounds.  The two Aesir stood their ground slashing left and right with their great blades felling several hounds but suffering grievous wounds.

 Within moments they were completely surrounded by the rotting creatures.  Racket and Mon Tau fired arrow after arrow into the beast as the others fought.  Racka and Aziz held off the creatures charging from the rear and Alenna did her best to keep the beast that broke through from attacking their archers.
Eventually the beast were defeated but they were again forced rest in an ruined bakery.

 Near the middle of the ruined city Racket spotted a familiar looking building.  "There at that temple!  That is where Melampos found the clues to the location of the tomb".  The adventurers entered the temple as night began to fall.  It was sparsely decorated but there was a large plaque on the far wall behind the alter inscribed in ancient Stygian.  "I think I can translate this with a little time" Raka said.
 
 Heimdal and Mon Tau took up a position to guard the door.  "Look there!" Mon Tau Shouted.  A hoard of ghouls charged towards the temple from across the square.  "We are going to have company!" Heimdall Shouted.  Mon Tau began to fire arrows into the crowd of ghouls killing several even at great range but still they charged on.  Racket climbed up to the roof and Rozlynn guarded the back door.
  
 Before Racket could fire any arrows into the approaching ghouls one of the flying stone creatures swooped down and attacked him on the roof.  Another attacked Rozlynn at the back door.

 Heimdall and Mon Tau fought at the front door as Raka began to translate the inscription.  Alenna rushed to Rozlynn's aid and they managed to destroy the stone creature trying to get inside.

 After a fierce battle with the stone creatures and the ghouls it looked as if the battle was about to come to an end.  Only a few ghouls attacking the back remained.  As the party closed in on the remaining creatures one of them lashed out and slashed Rozlynn across her mid section.  The Aesir fell back into the temple covered in blood.  Her companions charged the remaining ghouls and destroyed them.

 "Look here Mistress!" Aziz exclaimed "There is a loos stone behind the alter.  Raka removed the stone and uncovered two scrolls.  On one of the scrolls was a map to the Tomb of Voltannox and on the other was a riddle of some kind.  "We can use these to help us find the tomb more easily" explained Raka "Go and check on the others Aziz".
Alenna used her skill and divine power to revive Rozlynn and after they had rested to party assembled and began their journey to find the Tomb of Voltannox.

Notes:  We played this session over nine months ago so this account is somewhat more invented than the others.  The players have finished this adventure but I still have the final chapter to post after this one.  Their final encounter at the Tomb of Voltannox.  They have also had another adventure since then.  We played it just a couple weeks ago.  Hopefully I will get caught up on this campaign soon.   

Monday, June 16, 2014

Savage Hyboria Hero Upgrades for the Forgotten Islands Campaign!

We are about to kick off another leg of our Savage Hyboria Forgotten Islands campaign.  Most of the party have reached the "Seasoned" level in the Savage Worlds rules system and they also just looted the tomb of an ancient undead sorcerer so I decided it was time for an upgrade of their miniatures to more accurately reflect their new gear.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Project Phoenix Episode 2 "Information is Power" game report.

 This is Episode 2 of my new Solar Empires role playing game called "Project Phoenix".  The player characters are playing specialist who have had their identity stolen by some kind of hacker known as "Casper".  Casper has been sending them on "jobs" for unknown purposes.  In Episode 1 Casper sent the party to the Greek camp of Jupiter's Trojan asteroids to search for a doctor who had discovered the cure to a dangerous Martian biological weapon.
In this episode Casper sent them to Titania right in the middle of the war zone surrounding Station 42 to meet with a contact who knew the location of Casper's hacker friend known as Starfire.  Casper sent three of his agents.  Spider is a female hacker from Titania.  Vogue is a female public relations specialist from Callisto, and Lone Star is a; gambler, drifter, gunslinger, from Titan.  They met with Casper's contact several kilometers South East of Station 42.

 Unfortunately for the party the meeting was a trap set by the Hell Knight mercenaries.  Six mercenary scouts ambushed the party when the team discovered the true identity of their contact.

Vogue updates her facebook about rolling a critical on her "Look at my boobs" roll she used to distract the bogus contact while Spider maneuvered behind him.
 Spider attempted to subdue their contact while the rest of the team engaged in a gun battle with the mercenary scouts.

 Eventually Spider managed to knock their contact out and then engage the rest of the scouts.  The fire fight was difficult.  Most of the scouts had cover while the team was out in the open.  Eventually the final scout fled the scene after Spider killed the last of his companions.
After defeating the scouts the bogus contact was "convinced" to reveal to the team that he did indeed know where Starfire was hiding but he assured them that the Hell Knights would get to the hacker before they did.
 The team arrived at a small compound about 20 kilometers further South East of their landing position.  Several armed militia members were on the rooftops of the simple structures that made up the compound.

 After convincing the militia members that they were friendly and on an important mission for one of Starfire's associates they were able to meet with militia leader Jim Dutton.

 Just as they were warning Dutton a Hell Knight LAGAREV transport arrived on the scene and blew up one of the small compound buildings with it's scatter laser.

Spider, Lone Star, and Vogue.  I can't remember what was so funny.
 The team immediately took up defensive position to help the militia members defend the compound.  About 10 Hell Knight mercenaries dismounted their transport as the transport's gunner covered them.

 The mercenaries split into two groups and took up positions in cover just outside the compound.  The mercenaries were armed with laser rifles while most of the militia had assault rifles.

 The mercenary LAGAREV was eventually destroyed by; Vogue, Spider, and the militia members.  Lone Star joined Dutton to engage the mercenaries hiding in the rocks.

 Eventually only one mercenary remained alive and only one militia member had been killed.  The mercenary warned the team that they would never get off Titania alive.

The team met with Starfire who told them she had irrefutable proof that the Smith and Wilson Agriculture Company had engaged in illegal dealings with several members of the Titania government and that their seizure of farms and Station 42 was a completely illegal action.  
Starfire agreed to flee Titania with the team but suggested that they gather a force to escort them since the Hell Knights knew where their ship had landed.  

 Before the battle Father Padre, another team member, joined them.  He had been on a separate errand for Casper who had sent him to Titania City aboard a civilian transport to aid them. Jim Dutton gathered his militia including his men and four improvised armored vehicles.  Dutton's forces were joined by a robotic force owned by the enigmatic "Rosie" of Station 42 who also piloted her own Cyclopes mech.
When they arrived at the landing site the Hell Knights had already arrived with three LAGAREVs, one Hobelar tank, an Incubus light mech and two scout squads.
  
The battle was bloody.  Most of Dutton's men were killed and more than half of Rosie's robot troopers were taken out of action.  Rosie's mech was also destroyed but she managed to eject to safety.  The Hell Knights lost half of their infantry forces and two LAGAREVs.  Their mech and tank were also heavily damaged.
The team managed to make it to their ship during the fighting but as they were making a run for the landing ramp a LAGAREV and a lone trooper with a grenade launcher fired on the.  Spider and Lone Star were wounded in the exchange and Starfire was badly wounded and in danger of dying.

As they took off in their ship Father Padre managed to stabilize Starfire with his medical skills.  The team had managed to escape Titania but the militia forces had sacrificed quite a bit for it.  With Casper's resources they should be able to use Starfire's information to completely expose the true nature of the Station 42 War.

Check out the System News Network news report here:  http://systemnewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2014/04/notorious-hacker-starfire-escapes.html
Notes:  This was a tie in between our No Limits campaign on Titania and my new role playing campaign.  We wanted to do an rpg tie in to help us bring the Station 42 War into it's final stage.