That’s yours truly with a beard on the left in all shots. The DMs are Dennis Sustare and Harly Stroh (in a ballcap).

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Mutant FutureI just ordered Goblinoid Games’ Mutant Future from lulu.com today. (You can download the PDF free!)

I’m really looking forward to reading through it (great summer fare). And I might try to get my nephew interested in a short-term campaign.

Right now, I’m thinking of something like a post-apocalyptic retelling of Beowulf. But with a spidergoat and its huge angry mama.spidergoat

To help keep the action visceral and fun for a pre-teen, I also picked up some of WotC’s Star Wars minis from miniaturemarket. I stayed away from canonical characters and concentrated on oddball monster types and n0-name rebels and pilots and guards. These will make good PC and NPC figures.

Weequay Pirate

PC or NPC

I picked up a ton of good minis, with about 95% of them being under one dollar, so I only ended up spending about 20 bucks.

Ng'ok

awesome mutant beast

North Texas RPG ConSo, I’m going to this old-school D&D convention this weekend here in Irving, TX. My wife’s sick, so I can’t play tonight…but I’ll be able to join in a couple of games over the weekend. So, yeah, I’m geeking out like an old man!

Tonight’s game that I had to drop out of (6pm till midnight):
Ruins of Lindoran Short description : Centuries ago a civil war tore apart the Kingdom of the Elves. Before dying in battle the last King sealed artifacts of kingship in a Vault in the doomed capital city. The Elves are now in need of those artifacts, and have sent for hardy Adventurers to recover them…but who or what now lurks in the ruins of once-fair Lindoran? This adventure combines an above-ground section of the ruined city with a complex three-level dungeon featuring tricks and traps aplenty. This is a real thinking-Elf’s dungeon, not just hack-and-slash through it. This is an updated and expanded version of the 1981 JG module. Character levels are 4-7; some background and prep material will be provided prior to the game session. I still own the original 1981 Judge’s Guild version of this adventure module, so I was plenty stoked to revisist this one!

Friday night’s game (6pm till midnight):
Polar Expedition Short description : Your party was hired by a sage who was investigating conditions along the polar coastline. Although you were hired to serve as guards, there has not been much for you to do, and the sage’s research has now been concluded. You have been assured of your payment as guards. The ship is returning along the coast through a sea thick with chunks of ice. The Captain is quite concerned with the safety of the ship, and does not want to remain in these hazardous conditions any longer than possible. I’m looking forward to this one because of the hazards presented by the environment. Plus…there might be Yetis!

Saturday night’s game (6pm till midnight):
Keep of the Chaos Lord Short description: Your people have lived in the shadow of the ruined keep on the hill since time immemorial. But something has stirred the ancient mysteries, awakening aberrations that should never grace the sight of man. Now villages tremble in their homes fearing the night, and every new dawn reveals a new horror – victims of the keep’s ancient curse. Armed with only your wits, can you and your companions end this reign of terror, or will you become the latest victims of the Keep of the Chaos Lord? This is actually playtesting for a new old-school D&D retro-clone gaming system, so I HAD to get into this session!

Mike – male Dwarf
Tanya – female Elf
Mary – male Cleric
Marni – female Halfling

Quick note on the players: They range in age from 36 to 41, and none had ever played D&D. Mike and Tanya are a married couple, Marni is my wife, and Mary is a mutual friend of us all.

The adventurers found themselves in the town of Silverton to take possession of an abandoned silver mine. Each had an “official” deed granting them ownership, and they each had their own personal reasons for wanting to re-open the mine. An agent was to meet them in the local tavern.Silverton Mine

When the agent never showed, they gathered and compared notes…and realized it was all a set up, as each held a “valid” claim to the mine. And none of them had ever met the long-lost relative who bequeathed them the mine.

After an investigation, the party learned of recent kobold attacks in the area surrounding the mine. They decided to clean out the mine and determine what to do with it after that.

The mine was indeed home to a band of kobolds preying on local travelers. After killing a few and interrogating a captive, the party pieced together that a tall dark woman known as the “Frost Witch” commands these kobolds from her “lair” on the second level. She is protected by her bodyguards, a troll and a dwarf.

After clearing out the first level of the mine, the party encounters an insane kobold sage repeatedly taking inventory of mundane loot such as iron spikes. He is very talkative but equally difficult to understand, as his speech is interspersed with strings of sequential numbers and curses for the lesser kobolds who are pathetic record-keepers. The party patiently extracts from him the fact that they are being set up by the Frost Witch, a drow priestess. She lures hapless fools to the mine with fake deeds (that he writes for her), where then her kobold minions take them hostage. She gives all loot to her minions and sacrifices the victims’ hearts to her “sister-goddess” the White Witch. [The party is aware of the cosmology that holds the White Witch to be the Queen of White Dragons and sister to Tiamat.]

Braving the second level, the adventurers descend into a large cavern with a smaller cavern extending off of it on the far side. The Frost Witch’s bodyguards, an Ice Trollkin and a Frost Dwarf warrior, moved to intercept the party. The Dwarf kept the bodyguards busy, eventually killing them both, at dear cost to his own health. The Cleric kept busy healing the Dwarft and using her holy power to shatter skeletons the Frost Witch kept raising (her previous victims). The Halfling harried the Frost Witch by slinging stones and with an occasional dagger thrust. And the Elf was a whirling blade of death.

Until the Frost Witch shook off her Drow form and revealed her true self:
a young white dragon!Frost Witch white dragon form

The dragon roared, but all made their saves and stood bravely against her. She buffeted the party with her wings, sending the Halfing tumbling, but only for minor scrapes and bruises. The Cleric cast his last spell, blessing the party, and waded into the fray with shield held high and mace swinging. The Elf fired off a couple of magic missiles, drawing the dragon’s attention. The dragon breathed an icy spray, damaging and slowing most of the party.

Then, with one quick snap, the dragon had the near-dead Elf in her massive jaws. She flung back her head, readying to swallow her whole…when the Dwarf charged in and scored a critical hit. The dragon’s midsection split open, her entrails leaving her as she collapsed in death.

The party decided as a group, then and there, to turn over ownership of the mine to the townsfolk. The Silverton Mine is now a prosperous co-op venture, thanks to the generosity of the adventurers.