March 31, 2011

The Death of a God


Months ago, my D&D campaign headed in the direction of going through the WotC 4E Tomb of Horrors. They puzzled over the traps and obstacles set before them, started thinking laterally (at least a little) and were having a good time. The culmination of the Garden of Graves, the end encounter, loomed before them. They were ready to tackle this and, in fact, very eager. They had just spent the last few sessions perplexed by the mysteries of the adventure, but at the same time had their eye on the map of the complex provided so early on in the Garden. They knew the end was coming, and they were dying to know just what the hell had been going on. Despite this adventure being a cut above the rest of WotC's stuff, I knew that I needed to crank it up to deliver the kind of awesome experience they were looking for.

I had to kill a god.

Tomb of Horrors Spoilers Below!

March 30, 2011


I just got interviewed by Stephen Chast at Just Press Start, along with Sersa V, talking about Revenge of the Iron Lich and Fourthcore in general. It was really cool, and I hope it inspires others to give the fourthcore D&D experience a try.

March 25, 2011

Arkham Friday: Wizard's Tower & Library


This is a bit of a repost from a few months ago. I screwed up something and posted just the first entry (of twenty). Now that things are calming down a bit for me on the D&D front, here is the rest of that post.

Something that I've learned since that original post is how these random event tables can be used in a fourthcore game. Even the tables that are mostly beneficial, such as this one, provide that sense of danger, randomness, and reward that makes the fourthcore experience so thrilling. Think of the random event tables in the same way as a pull from the Deck of Many Things, except that these events take place over the course of many hours instead of the few seconds that drawing a card would normally take.

March 20, 2011

Revenge of the Iron Lich Podcast! March 20th 2011

I've just wrapped up the edits on our successful recording of my weekly campaign's run at Revenge of the Iron Lich!

The battle was long and hard, but everyone had a great time. I think it really showed my guys some fantastic things with 4E D&D that they didn't think were possible. A big round of applause to my players, and of course the adventure's designers, Sersa and Jerry 'Dread Gazebo'.

This took place on Sunday March 20th 2011 in Baltimore, MD.


Spoilers Ahead!

The fate of two of the characters in our long-running Paragon Tier campaign, Yusht and Mal, was decided by their actions in this adventure. The group achieved a score of 290.

Intro music artist: Nile
Song: Die Rache Krieg Lied Der Assyriche
Album: Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka

March 19, 2011

Red Hand of Doom - Session #2 (February 1st 2010)


The trials of our heroes Desmo, Asterion, Father Hagerty, Magnus, and Ashgrim as they get their first taste of a Goblinoid beat-down.
Please refer to this post for an overview of the encounters, as well as a general description of the game mechanics of the NPCs.
Catch Phrase of the Night: “Shimmy”

March 17, 2011

PAX East Revenge of the Iron Lich

This shirt has a hymn written on it in gothic-font German. Very appropriate. 

At PAX East, I ran a session of Revenge of the Iron Lich for a group of D&D players that weren't afraid of a little risk and danger, heroics if you will, in the face of true victory. I feel like everyone loved it, and welcomed the fresh change to a dungeon with some real chance of defeat, and that really challenged the player and not just the number crunch on their sheets.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

March 15, 2011

PAX East Adventure Links fixed

Gahh! I'm such a technological klutz. The file links are now fixed in the post from earlier today. My bad!

PAX East DM's Challenge: The Adventure

UPDATE! I fixed the links.

This past weekend, I attending the mega gaming convention: PAX East. I signed up to run quite a few delves for WotC, and in doing so met a lot of really cool people. One of those events was the PAX East DM's Challenge. I've wrote about it before, which you can see here and here. The game was a ton of fun, I felt like I had a great group, and it was well-received. The following are my thoughts on the whole matter, the adventure itself, as well as what I'm planning for the future.
(A note to my regular players: Do not read this until we’re done with ‘Iron Lich!)

March 8, 2011

Revenge of the Iron Lich: Total Recap!

At the dawning of Saturday March 5th, in the year two-thousand and eleven, four brave adventurers sacrificed their lives on a desperate suicide mission designed to strike back and stop the dreaded horror plaguing the land: The Iron Lich.
This is their tale.

The following post has explicit and detailed spoilers on the adventure Revenge of the Iron Lich.

This post is long as hell.

(Side Note: Anyone attending PAX East this weekend and wants to play this adventure on Sunday morning, hit me up!)

March 4, 2011

Henchmen & Hirelings

In the most recent March and Beyond Preview from Wizards of the Coast, it was whispered that hirelings and henchmen will be making a comeback to 4th Edition D&D. Huzzah to that, I say! The tone of it suggests to me that this will be part of a new Unearthed Arcana article. I love that Unearthed Arcana stuff; it's exactly the kind of boundary pushing that we need. Get out of your comfort zone and do something wacky.
Before WotC can beat me to the punch, I thought it would be high time I laid out my own Henchmen & Hirelings info here. That way, I can tell people that I had 4E hirelings before it was cool to have 4E hirelings. If you've been a reader of this blog, it'll be pretty old news to you, although this post goes overthe more run of the mill variety of helpers hired in town, rather than the specialty allies one might find during an adventure.
I’ve been using this system for my home games, and it has worked great. My players love it, and have developed a certain affinity for henchmen that survive more than a few sessions. Since those henchmen don’t gain levels with the PCs, they increasingly become more and more a liability to keep around. It becomes dangerous to take these minions on journeys into the deeps, as their poor defenses get completely overwhelmed. When you start hitting the group with close and area attacks is when the NPC Allies really start to drop, and fast. Cunning players, however, will find their presence extremely helpful, putting their NPC Allies in harm’s way without a second thought to help with a flank or to act as a speed bump between a vicious creature and their own character.

March 3, 2011

PAX East DM's Challenge: Intro and PC Backgrounds

I only have one week left to finalize all of my notes for the PAX East DM's Challenge. I intend to win. You might even say that I am addicted to winning. I'm on such a roll now. The preliminary draft of the adventure will be done either today or tomorrow, looking at around 30 pages printed out, including all the accessories. I'm blasting through this thing lightning fast. It's like I have tiger's blood. I have magic in my fingertips. I'm a vatican warlock assassin.

Seriously though, this is really getting my competitive spirit up, and I love it!

I wrapped up the introductory spiel, as well as the background/story information for the pregen characters, see below. Look for the complete adventure to be posted after I get back from the con.

March 1, 2011

PAX East Dungeon Master's Challange PreGens


PAX East is barreling down on me ... fast! I feel like I'm under considerable pressure, and for me , that helps kick my creative juices into high gear. I work great under pressure. The largest threat looming on my mind is the DM's Challenge. However, today I've crossed off a considerable hurdle: pre-generated character sheets.