Monday, December 29, 2014

GotWK Campaign Part 2: Blood on the Rails

This is an account of part 2 of my ongoing campaign set in my homebrewed wild west setting, Guns of the Western Kings.  Get caught up with part 1 here.  

Vulture-Tribe Orc Berserker - Kent Hamilton
When we last saw our heroes - Face, Blair, and Heather - they had vanquished a bandit gang of hobgoblins and kobolds in the Sunbeam Silver Mine and discovered that the old mine, long thought to be played out, was still producing silver.  That night, Blair struck off on his own, still convinced that he was evil inside and hoping to save his companions from himself (translation: Blair's player wanted to play a different character).

The next morning, Face and Heather sat in the sheriff’s office.  Sheriff Flant sat across from them, his dirty old boots propped up on his messy desk.  Two of the hunks of silver ore that they had liberated from the Sunbeam Silver Mine rested atop a stack of coffee-stained papers.  Flant took another puff from his pipe, then wheezed, his grey moustache bouncing along with his rattling cough.

“I have to say, everyone in town is mighty pleased that you found silver in that mine, seeing as we was all told it was played out.  Silver was the lifeblood of Sunbeam; without it we been withering up, fixing to expire.  Problem is, that mine is still property of the Deuclair Mining Company.  Mr. Deuclair bought up the whole damn mountain less’n a year after the first silver strike.  Course, weren’t two years after that the mine up an closed, citing a lack of ore, which we can clearly see is no longer the case!”  He laughed and tapped the ore with his foot.  “We cain’t draw none o’ that silver out without oversight from Deuclair.  Our town’s got hope again, but hope’s gotta go through a whole mess o' clerks and lawyers afore it can reach the people.”  He paused and took another puff from his pipe.  “Course, being as the silver ore you liberated was already mined, that’ll fall under spoils of war.  No need to notify Mr. Deuclair on that account,” he winked.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Escape from the Lair of the Krampus - A Holiday D&D Adventure

Happy Boxing Day, everyone!  My Boxing Day present to you is my holiday adventure, "Escape from the Lair of the Krampus!"  It is available to download for free from my Patreon page.

"Escape from the Lair of the Krampus" is a short dungeon-crawl for four to six 7th level characters.  The adventure comes with eight pre-generated characters for your group to choose from, but I have also included guidelines for creating your own characters to run through the game with.  Last night, I ran (part of) the adventure for some very cool friends and family members, some of whom played the pre-generated characters and some of whom played their own characters - it works fine either way.

"Escape from the Lair of the Krampus" is the first part of a trilogy of Christmas adventures I have planned.  "The Chaining of Krampus" will come out for Christmas 2015, and "Assault on the Fortress of Christmas" will come out the following year.  They will use the same characters advanced to 10th and then to 13th level.  I'll try to have them out sooner next time.

I should note that one of the reasons it took so much longer than I anticipated to get this adventure ready for you is that I created five original monsters specifically for this dungeon, including the figgy pudding and the frostjack.  Expect more original holiday monsters in adventures to come!

-your holly-jolly d20 despot

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monster Monday: Frostjack - the Frost-Touched Fey

As a bonus preview for my upcoming Christmas adventure, "Escape from the Lair of the Krampus", today's Monster Monday is the frostjack, a frozen fey creature based on the legendary figure of Jack Frost.  This is one of five brand new monsters I have statted up for this dungeon (one of the big reasons for my lateness in getting the adventure written up.  Expect it before Christmas!)

Here's a lovely picture of some ice crystals,
because I can't find a good jack frost picture that isn't from some Legend of the Guardians fanfic.  
The following text in gold is available as Open Game Content under the OGL. Open Game Content is (C)2014 Jonah Bomgaars.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Escape from the Lair of the Krampus - TEASER

You stand in ankle deep snow across the street from the orphanage, the midnight moon casting its silver light across the quiet northern town.  You check the note again:
Season’s Greetings, Adventurers!
Santa has a very important mission for you.  Meet Santa across the street from the orphanage at midnight.
-Santa Claus

The note is brief and cryptic, but the ornate, flowing script seems to call to you from the depths of your childhood memories.  The whole thing is absurd, yet you hold out hope that it can be real.  

Just then, you hear the faint jingling of bells behind you.  Out of the shadows steps a tall man in a long, red, fur-trimmed cloak, leaning on a crooked staff of holly.  “Ho, ho, ho!” He laughs, his thick white beard tumbling out over the clasp of his cloak like an avalanche.  A warm feeling comes over you, the cold of the snow completely forgotten.  It is Santa!

“Santa is glad you came, brave adventurers!” Santa begins.  “You are familiar with the Krampus?  The diabolic holiday spirit who punishes naughty children?  Santa’s elves report that the Krampus has been getting a tad… overzealous lately.  It seems it is much easier to land on his naughty list than Santa’s!  Ho, ho, ho!  Well now, Santa’s bag has been stolen, and the elves suspect the Krampus.  Santa can’t deliver presents without that bag!  This is where you come in.  Santa needs you to get captured by the Krampus and search his lair for my bag.  If you find it, escape and bring it back to Santa.

“How will you be caught by the Krampus, you ask?  Well, you’ll just have to do something particularly naughty.  Which brings us to this orphanage…”

There's no post today because, as I mentioned last week, I'm working on a Holiday one-shot adventure called Escape from the Lair of the Krampus.  The adventure is designed for 4-6 seventh-level characters, and it will be available on this website as a PDF sometime later this week next week, because it's taking me longer than I expected.  

If you're a GM on the lookout for a Holiday adventure for your group, check back later this next week!  If you are in my gaming group, I will be running this game for you later, so maybe don't check back.  

-your naughty d20 despot

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monster Monday: Figgy Pudding - The Holiday Monster that Really Brings It.

'Tis the season for holiday-themed D&D adventures!  You've heard of the deadly black pudding, but today's Monster Monday is its lesser-known Christmastime cousin, the Figgy Pudding, a truly terrifying dessert wreathed in alcoholic flames that are sure to fill you with seasonal warmth.

illustration by Kent Hamilton
Consider this a preview of next week's post: a short little one-shot Holiday dungeon crawl I'm calling ESCAPE FROM THE LAIR OF THE KRAMPUS!

The following text in gold is available as Open Game Content under the OGL. Open Game Content is (C)2014 Jonah Bomgaars.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sandbox Campaign Part 12: "We're Getting the Band Back Together!"

It's been a while since we last saw The Graverobbers, the famous adventuring party in my sandbox campaign.  You may want to refresh your memory.  As it has been over a year since the last session of this campaign, I thought it fitting to rejoin the party members a little over a year after Sigrid and Hardrig's wedding.  

Kat awoke, as she so often did, to the noonday sun right in her face.  She grumbled death threats to whatever hotel architect put a skylight right above the penthouse bed.  She looked over and saw a man sleeping in the bed next to her.  She didn't remember his name.  All in all, a normal start to the day for one of the most popular bards in Karcerinburg, capital city of the Kaldish Empire.  As she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, she spotted a note that had been slipped under her door.  She ran over to read it.

It said, in a practiced, lunate hand:

The note:

Kat - 

You are in grave danger! Gather the others, meet me tonight at the center of the hedge maze, before the Moon Maiden reaches her height.


Kat was elated.  The note must be from Chernyx, the undead rogue/cleric of the Moon Maiden who had befriended the party, and whom Kat had killed and raised from the dead.  She ran to the bed to kick the mystery man out of her room, but as she did so she saw a shadow fall across the bed.  Seconds later, the leaded glass panes shatterd and a black-garbed figure leapt nimbly down onto the bed, brandishing two shortswords menacingly.