FalsKrag Session 2 – Under the Hold

This session was a lot of fun. We only had 4 of the six players but that’s never stopped us before. The players encountered creatures they have never seen before – which is always interesting. Low level characters often meet things they shouldn’t know about, but the players often have knowledge their characters wouldn’t. The group is starting to think about skills they want to develop as they go up levels, and have realised that some things they meet may be more powerful than they they would normally expect to encounter. The gargoyle in this session is a good example of this – they only did damage to it because of some quick thinking by the players and utilising their items and abilities. The session had a good range of fighting, thinking and planning in it.

The Gatehouse, FalsHold. (Click for larger image)

The party’s attention now turns to the main building with its corner towers. The lower floor looks quite solid, but little more than badly damaged walls seem to remain of the second story. They approach from the side, sighting arrow slits that face the open doorway into the structure. A barred window allows a glance into the dark and empty corner tower. Lanliss suggests going up the wall to the second level. The mule is tied to a boulder out of the way and a good throw by Bacon hooks a grapnel. He swings confidently up, and promptly has part of the wall break under his feet; he slips and falls. His second attempt is much better, and everyone else is aided to the top. This area is not wide and only eighty feet long. The afternoon sunshine shows some grass, broken walls, a few trees, piles of broken rock and a number of statues. The closest is a man in robes with his arms out slightly and around his neck hangs a red cord with what look like large silver dice. Lanliss carefully examines the statue and the floor around it, while Hardaz is concerned with how detailed the statue is. They concede that it seems to be safe, and not someone petrified. The statues are in different poses, of different stone, and in varied condition. Two are winged, most show damage and oddly, some have jewellery on or near them. They collect the silver dice necklace and claim a gold flagon. Lanliss gets nervous as they approach an elven statue with a jade headband. As a result, Hardaz backs away towards another “statue” that rasps “Leave them alone…” The gargoyle gores the dwarf. There is a panic as the group tries to reach positions to attack from and quickly realise that their weapons don’t even scratch the creatures stony hide. Seldrel coats his sword with an oil of Magic Weapon, which he passes to Hardaz. Winter casts Magic Fang on the monk and both dwarves move to strike – each getting a blow before the Gargoyle launches into the air. With only a limited time that their weapons will remain magical, the group elects to flee downstairs. Bacon watches as the Gargoyle lands high up on the side of the cliff above the building. They heal, then quickly make their way back up to loot the headband and pick up a few gems. Back in the tower, they explore the guard towers and entrance hall which shows signs of recent digging. Many of the chambers are small, with vacant doorways; all are empty and most have dust and cobwebs. Light cast on shields and stones illuminates the darkness and the further back into the building they go, the more they find the rooms are damaged and have suffered collapse. One hallway is not dusty, and shows signs of cleared cobwebs. It leads to a narrow flight of stairs down. They sight rats, the tracks of tiny vermin and more cobwebs. Three dire rats attack from rubble in one room, and Lanliss strikes down a spider the size of a dog in another. Its web-filled lair has the dry husk of a small humanoid that grants them with a few coins and a magical wand of Mage Armor.

Going back to get the mule, they realise that the sun is setting and decide to camp in one of the keep’s towers. Lanliss notes light in the gatehouse during the first watch, Bacon hears noise outside during the second, and there are yells, screams, then dirt and stones flung throw the windows. Everyone but the gnome wakes up. A few shapes fleeing toward the now dark gatehouse, and then southward are presumed to be goblins. Winter on the last watch of the night hears a wolf out in the courtyard. With cloud overhead and two new moons, she can see nothing outside and wakes Bacon, but even his darkvision can’t spot the creature. When all seems quiet again he goes back to sleep.

11th Goodmonth

Seldrel grumbles about his interrupted sleep, but luckily he hadn’t cast his main spells the day before. They head downstairs finding stone block walls, a few cobwebs overhead, but not the dust of unused chambers. A large room shows signs that furniture was once attached to the floor and walls in rows. They find a small pot full of green crystals. No one recognises them, and without alchemy skills, they pack it away unidentified. Six small square rooms all exit the main passage, with one still blocked by a magical iron door. Lanliss can’t unlock it, but as he explores the passage, he finds that someone has used magic to make a hole into the now empty vault through the wall of the adjacent room. He also realises that the end wall of the passage pivots and the passage extends into a small room. Two bricked up doorways are on either side of a brick wall with a narrow gap at the top and a roughly five foot square hole blocked by a metal plate. There is a loud chime as they approach, and then high-pitched voices yelling. After a while a creature calls out that “Dis is da toll.” The metal plate slides aside revealing a 5’ wide, twenty foot long iron pipe. “You pay an we let you in da pipe. Pay one siliver each, two for da dwarves and gnome – drop in hole in pipe. Den we open other gate.” The group decides to pay the 9 silver pieces requested, and tie up the mule here, which won’t fit in the pipe. Through holes in the brick walls and the pipe they get glimpses of small blue skinned humanoids.

Approaching the toll gate

The pipe opened into a larger room with four exits, and as upstairs, no doors. Rubble was scattered around the room and a stirge flew out of a hole in one wall. It dived at Bacon who avoided it, and it was killed before it could try to attach itself to anyone else. There were tapping sounds from the south and the group headed that way – finding two adjacent rooms. One had a set of carved panels showing different creatures along one wall, the other had two giant ants sorting through rocks and debris. The ants were creating the noise as they lifted and dropped rocks. A third ant was observed to enter from another passage, pick up an object and head down the passage with it. Seldrel looked at the creature panels and they group debated attacking the ants. Once most of them had moved in behind the ants, the ants stopped sorting debris and combat commenced. The two original ants died quickly, while the third ant returned, attacked and was wounded. It fled back down the passage. Lanliss followed, stopping at side room with a larger soldier ant. Winter moved in to join him and was stung, but not poisoned. By the time it is killed, there is no sign of the other ant. A third chamber has objects sorted into piles – stones, old food, clothing scraps, silver coins and some gems. Merxif crawled into a narrow tunnel that led out from the room but after a considerable distance it started to divide and he quickly returned.

They all return to the room with the panels, and Lanliss locates a secret door next to the panels, but cannot open it. He does learn that the panels can be depressed and they spending considerable time working out what each of the creatures displayed are. They are arranged in alphabetical order – Bat, Chimera, Fire elemental, Gnoll, Minotaur, Pegasus, Rust monster(?), Satyr, Wolf. They try pressing a few combinations to no avail, while Seldrel looks over the notes they retrieved on Fals Hold. He suggests pressing F and S, and the door slides open. Behind is a small chamber with a magically lit lantern, two chairs and a small desk – all old and well carved. They find a few trinkets of minor value, five bottles of whiskey, and then stuck at the back of a drawer – a signet ring (with an ornate FS) and a loose parchment sheet. The writing on it mentions fighting goblins in the Kron Hills, and the tunnels under the Krag. They check that they can open and close the secret door and decide to take the chairs and desk with them when they leave. They also pry the lantern off the wall.

Heading north, they pass some rooms empty but for bits of rubble, sight stairs down ahead, and an odd swirling grey mist. The mist floats towards Lanliss, who retreats. It drifts out into the passage where the group is now lined up and it engulfs Merxif. He feels slightly weakened. It then strikes at Bacon who collapses to the floor. Seldrel blasts the mist with a Burning Hands spell, hardly doing any damage. Merxif forces his way forward and out of the mist. Weapon blows seem to sweep through it, having no effect. Merxif casts Magic Weapon on Lanliss’ sword. Lanliss swings at the mist, cutting it to shreds, which dissipate. Puzzled by what they have just fought, they are thankful to have found a way to defeat it. Bacon turns out to be asleep, and is easily woken, though he too feels weakened. Back where the mist was first seen lies the corpse of a small blue skinned humanoid. No-one knows what it is, but they are reminded of the creatures glimpsed at the toll-gate.

The next two chambers appear empty except for broken rock. As Lanliss enters the second, two long arms reach out, trying to grab him around the throat. The rest of the group moves up to assist. The choker is soon killed. The hole it had made above the doorway also contains coins, gems, jewellery, a scroll and a potion. The last two rooms near the stairs contain a 3-legged stool, and three Fire beetles eating moss. The beetles are quickly despatched and their glowing glands detached to use as light sources. The group discusses continuing onward, or leaving for Falsford. Both Bacon and Merxif feel their strength return.

FalsKrag Session 1 – The Crimson Oracle

Moonday, the 10th Goodmonth 576 CY.

Twelve people stand near a path to a cabin, looking annoyed, confused, angry or surprised. There is a main road to one side, and what sounds like a large river close by. Most people have drawn weapons, many are wounded. An elven woman points her bow at an armoured gnome and takes a step back. Everyone watches each other. Then the gnome raises a shiny disc on a silver chain. “Have any of you got one of these?”

After some discussion of what has recently happen, and introductions, they realise that they are all likely far away from where they began the day. A steep mountain rises behind woodland to the south and greater mountains can be seen in the far north. Lanliss moves to skirt the cabin and Merxif warns that the person who wants them dead is likely inside. As some of them move forward, the door opens. “Its about time someone got back here…” A older human male in a bright red cloak looks out through the door. His expression becomes one of horror. “You… you should be dead!” He steps back inside. There is a rush for the door by most of those present and a lightning bolt is fired back out. The mage casts a number of spells, inflicting many minor wounds and avoids being hit for some time. Eventually the numbers against him are his defeat. The group have decided not to kill him and Merxif makes sure his condition is stable while others tie him up. They search the cabin, recovering many papers, scrolls, some magical items from the mage, and six pouches with gold and gems. A page of a calendar has a cross on the 10th Goodmonth, and a circle around the phases of the moon on the 11th. (Both Celene and Luna are new on the night of the 11th.) A finely scribed parchment sheet is with the calendar. Seldrel recognises the writing as Suel, but cannot read it. Other papers are a recent history of Bissel and Veluna, notes on a ruin called Fals Hold, and two maps that they realise display south-western Veluna. One page mentions a magical crystal skull, another the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords. Usko, originally from the Yatils, believes they are in the region shown on the maps, and that the mountains to the north are the Yatils. Lanliss climbs on top of the cabin and sights a castle across the river to the north-east. They grab what they consider of interest or value and find that the mage is dead. Merxif examines him, but can’t explain why he died.

The castle turns out to be Fals Keep, a small fortress with many Velunese troops that patrol the river road. They are taken to a half-elf wizard named Nassic, who is intrigued by their stories and tells them about where they have ended up, and what the surrounding land is like. He suggests they could travel to Mitrik if they have money to pay for magical means to return them home. They also speak with the Dwarf Cleric Stoll, and a soldier who speaks Suel translates their parchment. It sounds like a riddle or prophecy – three moons doom the seer, he falls on one – two rise anew… coins of fate, six strangers brought together by chance, revenge, fear, curiosity. Almost everyone has only their armour and a weapon with them, so they spend some of the gold found on general equipment and a mule with saddlebags. They also use the opportunity to rest and eat.

The group decide to head together to Falsford to seek lodging and think about the future. A few miles outside the town, a path leads to the southern mountain – FalsKrag. Half the group elects to head down the old road and look at the ruined castle, while the remainder head into Falsford. The castle still has mostly undamaged walls, but most of the towers appear to have collapsed. One, though broken rises high into the air. The party moves of the overgrown road, taking a side trail towards oddly regular trees and bushes. They soon realise they are entering a graveyard – the outer fence is covered by vines and bushes. Trails wind between long grass, holes and damaged grave stones. Near the northern side rises a huge block of stone, engraved with the name “Falshadren”. Seldrel notes a magical aura and searching the block reveals a iron door or gate in the side of the stone, hidden by an illusion that only a few of them can see through. Lanliss spends time attempting to pick the lock, but eventually decides that it is way beyond his current capabilities.

They head for the eastern gatehouse of the ruin and are fired upon! Arrows fly from slits in the second level, and three strike Hardaz, severely wounding him. Merxif hides in the long grass and creeps forward while Hardaz quaffs a potion of healing. Everyone else runs for the door or walls of the gatehouse. Eight goblins taunt or shoot at them through a hole in the floor as Bacon and Winter find positions to fire back. Both Merxif and Seldrel conjure a glimmering humanoid figure on the castle walls to disturb the goblins, and Bacon lobs one of his necklace globes through the hole. Most of the goblins are knocked unconscious. The last two attempt to flee but are brought down by Hardaz and Winter. The south-west tower has solid walls and a ceiling and appears to be used by goblins. There are signs that more goblins have recently vacated the chamber. Seldrel comments that what remains of the high tower walls show signs of old magic. Both the north-west and south-east towers are full of rubble. In a small grove of trees in the south, three stick-like humanoid plant creatures attack them. They are beaten without much difficulty and the recently dead body of an adventurer yields some coins and masterwork leather armour. A well in the courtyard is partly blocked by branches. Seldrel notes a hole in one wall of the deep shaft near the blockage. A fountain in the centre of the courtyard is brken and holds a pool of stagnant water. The north east tower is in mostly good condition and occupied by a ghoul. It is quickly destroyed and the group are excited to locate some platinum coins and a fine rapier. The second level of the tower has many bird nests and bacon declares the floor to be unsafe to walk on.

FalsKrag Session 0 – Beginnings

Adventure Diary for Session 0:

PC Name Race Class Origin
Lanliss High Elf Rogue Blackmoor
Bacon Hill Dwarf Monk County of Ulek
Hardaz Mnt Dwarf Fighter Cairn Hills
Merxif Rock Gnome Cleric Sterich
Seldrel High Elf Wizard Vesve Forest
Winter Wood Elf Hunter Gamboge Forest

It is Moonday, the 10th of Goodmonth in the Common Year 576. (High Summer) Six would-be adventurers head out of their village/town/city with friends. They plan to practice their skills, look for trouble and hope to find something interesting, but won’t be surprised if it’s another ordinary day.

On the outskirts of Mosshold, on Blackmoor Bay, Blackmoor. Lanliss goes out with his friends Vargas (Human Rogue) and Wat (Human Fighter). They have been warned that strangers have been asking about young elves. Most folk are quite suspicious of these southerners who don’t seem well equipped for the current conditions. As they approach the village edge a hawk dives out of the sky to attack. This is closely followed by an attack by three human thugs. Lanliss and Vargas are wounded, while Wat is knocked unconscious in the fight. Lanliss finds part of a note on one thug that mentions getting payment and claims an extremely good set of boots. Vargas picks up a silver medallion from another. He holds it up glancing at the back and there is a bright flash!

Near Jurnre, capital of the County of Ulek. Bacon Ironfist is accompanied by Baldor (Human Slayer) and Wes (½ Elf Fighter). Heading into the hills, an unusual creature flies out of a tree. Bacon takes it down with a crossbow bolt. They decide it is a blood-draining stirge. Thankfully there appear to be no more about. Approaching a cave, they sight a dead or dying figure. The male human appears to have collapsed on the way out of the cave. Another human retreats out of the cave followed by a bear. He yells a warning and fires an arrow, dropping the bear. He turns and begins to warn the group, then gets a clear look at Bacon. “You!” The man tries to throw a metallic globe at Bacon, but it misses, landing close to Wes and exploding. Wes is knocked unconscious, and a second bear charges out of the cave. It fatally claws the man. Bacon and Baldor struggled to kill the bear and are lightly wounded. Searching the bodies reveals a necklace with two more globes attached, and a silver amulet on a chain. Baldor states “this looks like you”, then reads something on the other side. There is a bright flash…

Outside Diamond Lake in the Cairn Hills. Hardaz Granite goes out with his friends Ardartha (Elf Warlock) and Wix (½ Elf Fighter). They make their way into the hills through a wooded area. Ardartha and Wix have heard rumours of Goblins in the area, and it is not long before they find a dead goblin. Further along is another dead goblin and the corpse of a human male. There is a loud noise ahead and the three make there way forward quietly. A clearing ahead has four goblin warriors calling out and laughing while an unmoving human is tied to a tree. Hardaz and Wix charge the goblins, while Ardatha stays back and blasts them. A previously unnoticed goblin steps out from near a tree and waves a wand, launching a bolt of lightning at Wix. The blast hits him squarely and he falls, dead. Fortunately the goblin shaman seems unable to make the wand function again and the fight goes rapidly downhill for the goblins. Hadaz retrieves the wand and Ardartha notes that the human tied to the tree had been blasted by lightning. She picks up a silver pendant. “I know this rune…” There is a bright flash.

West of Ironstead in the southern Vesve Forest. Seldrel goes out with his friends Usko (½ Orc Ranger) and Wyn (Human Fighter). The trainee Wizard is hoping to test his magical skills and they head out into the forest. They find body parts that have been chewed and are attacked by two dirty humanoids. When one paralyses Wyn they realise the creatures are ghouls. Usko is hurt while he and Seldrel fight one ghoul. The second focuses on the helpless Wyn and is nearly killed before the ghouls can be destroyed. They stabilise Wyn and Usko notices a silver disc. There’s a face on one side and something on the other… there is a bright flash!

On the edge of the Flinty Hills, in the eastern Gamboge Forest. Winter goes out with her friend Wen (½ Elf Fighter) and owl companion Summer. An old ruin nearby has a nice view from the hills. They glance around the ruin and sight some bones. A rusty sword, a ragged leather shirt and a flask and also found. Wen picks up something shiny and is attacked by two large spiders. Wen is bitten by both and poisoned. Winter and her pet kill the spiders and treat Wen who is barely conscious. Her friend has dropped the shiny item – a silver disc with Winters face engraved on one side. On the other is a rune which is familiar. There is a bright flash.

North of Steryn, in Sterich. Merxif goes out with his friends Sharra (Human Swashbuckler) and Wol (Human Fighter). They decide to explore a ridge nearby that has occasionally yielded artefacts from a town buried centuries ago. They hope to find something of value, but instead turn up a body. They decide the male human likely fell and was killed by shifting rock a few days ago. While they check for valuables, two scorpions emerge from holes in the rock. Wol is wounded. Sharra is clawed multiple times and falls unconscious. Merxif is able to avoid being hit and uses a healing burst to revive Sharra while Wol crushes the vermin. The friends locate a second body, this one with a large glistening arrow and a note with Merxif’s name, town, and country. It states an amulet can be used to locate him and he is to be killed by the 10th of Goodmonth, with the amulet used to return for payment. A shiny medal on a silver chain has Merxif’s face engraved on one side and a rune of fate (or destiny) on the other side. A bright flash momentarily blinds them all…

FalsKrag – Setting up a new Pathfinder Greyhawk Campaign.

The “first” session in my mega-dungeon Greyhawk campaign was primarily character creation. We had 5 of the 6 players free this day. While some people worked out fine detail, I started the introductory sequence for one of the players, then went to the next, and so on.

Campaign Date: 10th Goodmonth 576 CY. “Beginnings”

One player was chosen to begin with – we started with Lanliss, the Rogue. The player on one side of him picked a pre-generated 2nd level NPC from a group of ten, based on a summary of the character. (Name, race, class, align, HPs, AC, Saves, main weapon attack/damage and a brief list of class abilities.) Most of these were classes from the Advanced Class Guide or classes not frequently seen in our previous games. The next person around the table was handed a pre-generated 1st level fighter. Both NPC’s were considered friends of the PC. I then talked briefly about where they were in the Flanaess, and led them outside their hometown. In each case they ended up in some sort of combat encounter where (as the GM) I tried to badly wound or kill the 1st level NPC and hurt everyone else. The final part of each encounter had a NPC locating a chain with a silver disc – with the PC’s face on one side, and a rune on the other. The NPC read the rune and there was a bright flash.

Then I picked another player around the table, and NPC’s were chosen/handed out and we did the same again. Each final encounter gave slightly more information – like finding bodies of strangers, revealing that the PC’s face was on the disc, etc. The final PC encounter also found a note on one body stating specifically where the PC was to be found, that the disc would point in his direction, and that he needed to be killed by the 10th Goodmonth. Payment could be claimed by using the disc to return to “the Crimson Oracle”. We had time to run four of the players through the intro.

I got to run the intro sequence with one player (my wife) on a later day. (She’d been away when the rest of us got together.) This was good because I got her reactions to everything without her having player knowledge (that her character wouldn’t have) by watching others go through the intro. I also got her reaction to appearing somewhere different (teleport) and being partly surrounded by a bunch of other wounded people holding weapons and looking surprised, angry, etc. I’d almost expected her to simply start firing her bow, but (thankfully for the other PCs) she simply aimed at one and stepped back, waiting to see what they did.

Later, at our first proper game session with everyone, I ran the intro for the last player and went straight into the “your standing on a path, near a cabin and there’s X other people standing around with drawn weapons.” He thought quickly and reacted well… no-one attacked anybody else!

After each session I’m writing a diary to record what happened. Then I’ll post that on the blog and link the post to the FalsKrag Campaign page.

A New Year and new games

I spent New Year’s Eve playing a long game of Zombicide! After an early restart, we eventually started to get some of the equipment we needed to deal with abominations and managed to get everyone out alive. We had all the walkers on the board at the end and spent the last two turns just running away from them to the exit. I’m impressed with the replay possible with this game – its still getting regular use after three years.

Last week I finally wrote up the last session played in my 3.5 D&D campaign – about two years after we actually played. I’ve added the summary onto the adventure diary blog page. We haven’t officially retired that campaign, but it probably should be considered in that light. My players completed the adventure we’d been playing, but were talking about going beyond the text of the adventure – they hadn’t returned to town with their loot but were considering digging up collapsed tunnels. I wrote a bunch of notes of what they would find, but we never got back to playing.

One of my players started DMing a Pathfinder Campaign – in which we reached 18th level. He started another campaign and that’s alternated with a d20 Gamma World game that I started. GW is taking a break and just before Christmas 2018 we got together and created characters for my next campaign. I spent more time writing FalsKrag last year that painting figures, and I’m very happy to see the game get off to a good start.

So 2019 looks like it will be mostly my FalsKrag campaign (Greyhawk based Pathfinder) and alternating occasionally with my mates Golarion Pathfinder game. I added a new page to the blog to track what happens in my game.


Painting: I have 12 Reaper Bones kobolds that got started at the end of last year and still need a fair bit of work. This month, I’ve “built” a tree, completed a Stone Golem and nearly finished a Wookiee. I’ve got some tombstones too, that were done a while back, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned them here. There should be a painting post with these once I get a bit more work done.

I got 58 figures painted in 2018. Not as good as the 93 for 2017 but I wasn’t as painting focused. I’ve recently bought some Reaper figures – some bones, but also some metal figures that I really like. I really want to see them painted, so they should help get me going again.