Tag Archive | roleplaying games

Those Oscar Gordon Days: Who’s That Knocking Under My Floor?

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The End of Boulder

Adventure the Last: Who’s that Knocking Under My Floor?

The summer was nearly over. Folks had to go back to work or their home countries.

The adventure opened with Oscar, Boulder, Micah, and Jenny the serving girl from Adventure Four at home in the former haunted house from Adventure the First, when the floor cracked open and a bunch of zombies stumbled out.

These were quickly defeated, but the hole remained and it turned out the party’s headquarters had a whole unexplored level beneath it holding who knew what horrors. The crew (except for Jenny who stayed upstairs) headed down to investigate and found various undead menaces, sacrificial altars, and tombs all controlled by the reconstituted ghost of the necromancer they had defeated all the way back in the first adventure. Only now it was stronger and meaner. In the end the ghost was defeated, but not before cursing Boulder and making him age 70 years.

And that’s how Boulder stayed, since this turned out to be the last adventure. It was kind of nice coming full circle that way, but if we had gone on I would’ve had the party try and find some way to heal Boulder.

And so, it ended…

Like I said the campaign felt very episodic and didn’t have any big storyline pushing it forward. I didn’t mind this, especially since a neat setting was starting to emerge as the players interacted with the world around them. Mancuzo, the Maddling, and the Volod Brothers all would have made great recurring antagonists. If the game had gone on I would have added more politics to it by having the authorities and various factions take note of Oscar Gordon start interfering.

And despite my complaints in regards to running an open table, I did like the variance of different personalities showing up from week to week. Of course now I’d only be able to get one of the core players back since almost everyone else has left town, and we’re already playing other games so I’m resigned to let this lie and smile when I think of where the Madling is now.

Those Oscar Gordon Days: Every Ghoul Has Her Day

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Adventure the Sixth: Every Ghoul Has Her Day

Fun fact: I’m lousy at doing voices and basically every one of my NPCs sounds like Tom Waits. And so this adventure…

The party was hired by a woman who sounded a lot like Tom Waits and planned on running off to the swamps to live with her ghoul boyfriend. Her family of course had other ideas, as did another family of ghouls that wanted to disrupt the marriage.

This was the only adventure without the core players of Oscar or Boulder. Instead it was Ahtera, Micah, Wilson (who at this point was almost full Wendigo), and new characters Fellborn and Ekniv. Fellborn’s player was the same guy who ran Nibless and Geth, and Ekniv’s player was the one that made me refer to an open table as one susceptible to pests as he was just there to heckle and annoy the Fellborn player. Without Oscar and Boulder the rest of the group didn’t really cohere (they were also the ones with the least game experience.).

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The swamp roads were full of all sorts of odd things, plus potential sites for dungeon-crawling if the party wanted to come back and do so. There was a mad hermit (who sounded like Tom Waits) and some weird slime tentacles all around. The party managed to avoid the girl’s family, but ran afoul of the hermit and the rival ghouls. There was a showdown on a bridge, and Wilson failed a saving throw against eating one the ghouls. His player was a sport about this, although never really followed up on what was going on.

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I did enjoy how Wilson’s arc was like some after school special about the small town boy who moves to the big city to fulfill dreams only to get transformed into a horrible flesh-eating monster.

But they reached the ghouls they wanted and the woman paid them and there was a wedding, but I don’t think anyone, except Wilson, stuck around for the reception once they saw what was on the menu.

Those Oscar Gordon Days: Our Dinner With Mancuzo

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Toddlerpede by Jon Beinart

Last adventure Oscar Gordon and crew escorted a box of bones across town and while doing so bumped into a drunk wizard named the Dread Mancuzo.

In this adventure, the Dread Mancuzo invited them over for dinner…

Adventure the fifth: Enter the Maddling!

So the Dread Mancuzo invited the party over to his tower for dinner, vaguely remembering meeting them but unsure of the circumstances. Oscar, Haragrin, Micah, Boulder, and Geth accepted.

Of course Mancuzo had another motive. He’d betrayed another wizard, Rendak the Absconder, and now feared Rendak’s revenge. Mancuzo hoped by having the party around they would give him some protection.

But before Rendak showed up the party hung out with Mancuzo and his aged mother, and they gave vague answers as to how they met each other. Finally after his mom went to bed Mancuzo took the party on a tour of his workroom. And it was there that Rendak showed up with his four-armed ape sidekick, the two of them riding giant bats. Not only was this bad, but Rendak had led the inter-dimensional monstrosity, the Maddling, straight to Mancuzo’s door.

The Maddllllllllllllllig!

I loved this adventure. Although it was less an adventure and simply a horrible situation with the party stuck between two feuding higher-leveled NPCs (Rendak and crew were there to steal a McGuffin from Mancuzo) while an horrendous beast rained destruction down upon everything. And while the Maddling was simply a reskinned white dragon very much in the PCs power range, I showed them that picture at the head of this post and they were terrified.

In the end the Maddling survived, Mancuzo fled in a metal orb, and Rendak and crew got whatever they came for, while Geth and Haragrin died and everyone else fled with Mancuzo’s valuables stuffed in their pockets. Fun times!

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Regarding reskinning, I’ve played with both GMs and players that won’t do it, because they think it’s unfair. In their minds: the players should know what they’re up against and all that. A white dragon should be a white dragon, and recognizable as such. Needless to say I don’t buy into that at all, but I can see the point of the counter-argument.

I don’t know, but if you have thoughts either way, I’d be interested in hearing them.

(But I mean, c’mon, when you see a picture like that at the top you have to stat it up!)