Rimehart

1 04 2012

Rimehart Setting

All know of the Caprion Empire. It is a testament to what man and his allies are capable of. What started long ago as a small spark of military might in the verdant plains of the southern shorelines has erupted into a raging wildfire of conquest and domination. In the span of less than 500 years the Caprion Empire has expanded ever farther into the continent and across the great sea.

In the lands to the far north live men and woman of such savagery and such strength that the sun itself weakens in power before them. This is a land choked by frost, where every pine tree streaking towards the clouds does so purely in defiance. Every beast must grow stronger, larger, and more ferocious should it have any hope of survival. This land is called SvellHugr or Rimehart in the imperial tongue. It is a land old in tradition, and rich in natural resources; resources that the Empire is desperate to lay claim to.

The native humes are called the ássungr, and are divided into several large and ancient tribes called ætts.  Other indigenous races of Rimehart include the warring clans of dwarves who dwell deep underground and in the mountains. Minotaurs with great shaggy manes of fur maintain a powerful citadel in the north eastern foothills. Nomadic Gnolls both powerful and vicious patrol the grasslands of the southern plains. The swamps and marshes are home to the warm-blooded herklæði, humanoid descendants of the great dragons. The largest forest in the region is home to the Court of Winter Twilight, where Eladrin, wood elves, and other Fae hold court morally ambiguous to the concerns of the other lesser races and the outside world.

In the center of the Rimehart region lays the imperial trade city of Frostburg. Located on the regions only coastal inlet and connected to the southern regions of the continent by the Mistalin River the Empire keeps the city well provisioned, and well protected. Only the bravest, or most fool hardy volunteer for terms of duty in Frostburg, and only the most savvy or desperate merchants attempt to do trade in the region. It’s not that the races of the Empire are hated or shunned by the indigenous people, but the Empire represents something troubling to the natives, something they may yet come to fear: change.

Quick summary:

Rimehart is a mature game setting with a heavy lean towards graphic violence, sex, and gore.  It is a realm of Vikings and berserkers, of deadly sword maidens, and tremendous earth shaking monsters.  Due to the richness of natural resources, and the powerful warring factions all clamoring for control of them, even the slightest acts can spark conflict or even outright war.

Races in game terms:

Regional races include: Humans, Dwarves, Muls, Eladrin, Elves (wood), Pixies, Satyr, Gnolls, Minotaurs, Dragonborn, and Kobolds

Regional races benefit from being a part of the campaign setting from birth, having ties to the land and its people.

Imperial Races include everything else.  They benefit from being strangers in a strange land where a new marvel await around every corner.

Setting:

Take Conan the barbarian and set the whole thing in Skyrim. Simmer with some of the political intrigue and faction warring from game of thrones. Add loads of monsters and crazy magic. You are almost there.

Gameplay mechanics:

Honor System: Every character has 3 to 5 values that define their existence. When you live your life true to those values, whatever they may be, you gain honor, if you do not live true to your values you lose honor. Honor is good and provides tangible rewards in the game. Loss of honor affects your character adversely and thus, is bad.

Scar System: Any character or villain reduced to 0 health receives a scar denoting their wound in battle. Scars are a sign of pride and sometimes of shame in the region of Rimehart. Any character struck by a critical hit has a chance of receiving a scar from that attack.

Adaptive storytelling: Despite the more structured and thus, more limiting gameplay of 4th edition the campaign story will be changed and shaped every week by the actions of the player characters. Nothing is set in stone.

Characters so far:

Dwarven Battlemind (tank)

Half Elven Avenger (melee striker)

Undeclared race undeclared healer class

Unknown

Unknown

 

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MNF Session 17: of ninja tides

22 07 2011

Thunderspire was a bust.  Hearing rumors of a lost, tropical continent in the southern seas, Horns of War booked passage on a southbound sailing vessel. After some bribery and subtle coercion we had convinced the captain that an exploratory voyage to this mysterious jungle land would be an excellent idea. Pack your bags gentle readers we are going on a cruise.  Drinks with little umbrellas in them, half naked island folk, coconut bikini tops, this would be the best trip ever.

Sadly, adventurers cannot ride on boats without something awful happening to them and this trip would be no different. As an aside, why on earth would any non-suicidal captain even allow adventurers aboard any ship, ever?

Regardless, several weeks, yes, weeks… it takes forever to get anywhere with a stupid boat, teleportation WHERE ART THOU!?!?! Where was I? Yes, several weeks into the journey, the occasional storm, and a dragon turtle sighting later we hit an aqua speed bump. Another ship came into view, under a veil of ocean mist, under the flag of piracy! Aboard this rival vessel was a crew of ninja pirates. (I am not making this up, though they could have been pirate ninjas for all I know). They began a siege against our small, but sturdy ship; ninjas flying through the air, fire, death, bedlam. Just for flavor, a storm rolled in, lightening splitting the sky, illuminating the epic sea battle. Thunder began rolling across waves to shake the burning timbers of the ships. But wait, it gets even better.

A whirlpool began to form at least a dozen ships wide, funneling down, down, down into the inky darkness of the endless sea bottom. Both vessels, heroic and ninja, were now caught in this behemoth spiral! You might want to sit down, because there is more. One after another pillars of sinuous pink flesh each four times as thick as the main mast burst forth from the water surrounding the two ships. Someone yelled (probably Captain Obvious himself), “KRACKEN!”  The kracken began savaging the ships, and at that the fight between ninja pirates and Horns of War was a moot point.  I found the most authorative looking ninja and told him, “Look, Yoshi Blackbeard, or whatever your name happens to be, we have to work together or we are all squid snacks.”

Nodding his accent we lashed our two ships together, combined sails and skill, dropped all available cargo, including the gun powder barrels (which we blew up in the kracken’s face), and crested the edge of the whirlpool. Daring escape? You know it.  But now the chase was on, a chase we were sure to lose, with the kracken jetting after us, there was little hope for our survival.  Or was there?

It turned out the ninja pirates lived on a floating island, probably a turtle, I never confirmed this, but on this island was a powerful sea dragon. Well, he was a territorial fellow apparently, because as soon as the Kracken jetted too close the fight was on.  Popcorn, peanuts, it was a Godzilla-esque super battle like I had never seen, in fact the two titans fought for HOURS, 7 to be precise, and again I swear to you I am not making this up.

Eventually our deadly towering monster of death was the victor, tired from the battle and its wounds it returned to its lair to rest.  Horns of War then paid tribute the beast by donating all their available coinage and gems… and residium… *sigh* Look, it was that or be fed to the dragon.  So we celebrated, huge party, 7 days long. Restocked our supplies (hey look at that we are totally broke) checked our heading, mapped the charts, scurvied the dog, shivered a timber, insert more nautical terms here, and two weeks later made landfall on the beaches of the southern continent, who as it turns out was having some trouble with snakes…





MNF session 16: Letting the Blood Klowns

18 07 2011

Well, I have to admit, Horns of War was a little pissed off.  Here they are, rolling up into the remote mountains, delving into the earth to bring some aid and succor to a community in need, and what do they get? A xenophobic, paranoid, power-hungry, fear mongering, barrel of fuckery. Pardon my Elven.  So the second in command of the local government is secretly supporting the Blood Klown Klan? Not hard to imagine how this played out.  You secretly raise a little rabble, something to scare the common folk, put that fear back in them so they hide under the skirts of local government. Use this propaganda to discredit your rivals, while playing up your strengths. Until, like that baby basilisk you bought at the fair, it grows into a bigger beast than you can handle.

So now the Blood Klowns are operating independently of Anklyar, using the resources he gave them in a campaign to take over all of Thunderspire labyrinth.  Good show boys, good show.  Sadly for you, there has been a hefty price laid on your heads, and a certain Horns of War reputation dragged through the muck.  Killing your leader will not only bag some coin, but more importantly clear our names.

And that, gentle readers is what we did.

Hell have no fury like The Horns of War venting some stress after being betrayed, falsely accused, tried, and nearly imprisoned.

We left a trail of carnage, brains, gore, shattered skulls, frozen flesh, ash, melty bits, and urine stains throughout the Blood Klown Klan’s secret stronghold. Hobgoblin guts mingled freely, with shattered rogue minotaur horns, exploded duergar, and the odd burninated human. If anything, it was racial harmony on a unparralleled scale. When we finally cornered their leader, there was no parley, there was no “talk it out.”  We killed his guards, captured him, forced a confession, implemented Anklyar, cleared our names, and clocked out for the day.

I know Horns of War is pretty incredible, but in this particular instance, we handed these guys their hats.

The city of Thunderspire then proceeded to fail, in both their level of sorrow at mistaking us for villains, and in the rewarding of bountiful loots and prizes.  In fact, they had the nerve to mention needing even more help against a cabal of demon worshipping gnolls, and a tribe of evil minotaurs claiming rights to the city and all lands in the labyrinth.  Well, gentle reader, what can I say? Hearing of this further blight upon the fair denizens of Thunderspire, I was moved to action.  I turned my beautiful face towards the city leader, highest wizardess of the tower council, locking eyes with her I heroically said,

“Tough Titties.”

And the Horns of War left Thunderspire never to return again.

-Cham

remember to tip your service folks 😀





“We are going to need more holy water” -Season of the Witch

6 07 2011

*This post is one giant spoiler for the movie. you have been warned.*

This is not a movie review blog, and let’s face it, this movie couldn’t survive another review. I am talking about “Season of the Witch” at a hilarious 7% freshness rating.  While I can admit to a certain dirty, guilty pleasure, that of intentionally finding and watching terrible movies, I will be one of the first people to testify that this movie, was a terrible train wreck of shameful badness.  And I loved it.

While this was a terrible movie, don’t even joke around about using the word “film”, it was actually a really great D&D one shot adventure.

say what?

Think about it….

cast of characters: big knight, hero knight, squire(multiclass priest), priest/monk, rogue, random npc to be killed off first. players pick them or randomly assigned.

mission: deliver this witch to the crazy evil sounding obviously haunted monestary. “Savarock”… seriously wow.

settings: town full of plague victims, crazy bridge over bottomless chasm, “wormwood forest” (heck yea), haunted monestary

encounters: roleplay with the plagued bishop, illusion chase through plague town to recapture escaped witch, skill challenge for bridge crossing, wolf fight in wormwood, showdown with undead monks and demon in monestary.

"I made this same face the entire movie"

I am telling you, that would be an excellent night of over the top pulp fantasy horror goodness.

Heck, if I had the time and the inclination I would post the whole thing as an unofficial 4e one shot adventure.

 

Big Knight forgot his Hellboy makeup 😦





MNF Flashback: How we found Psyche

4 07 2011

The old man wept into his bushy eyebrows, so overgrown he had braided them into his long grizzled beard. Tears for the fallen.  The war machine, as we came to call it, had passed no more than 300 yards from the tiny woodland village of Foxshot. Lured by the promise of gold the village hunters, brave and hard men and women, 15 in all, had tried in vain to subdue or destroy the creature.  The king’s bounty placed on its head more than enough gold to feed the entire community through many winters.

Or buy the Horns of War a single magical item. Heh.  You gotta love that prime material world economy.

He rambled on some more, we gleaned info, knowledge is power, yadda yadda… Then the hot, yet unkempt village druidess came over to put in her 2 copper, gave us some healing potions.  We rifled through the dead, watched the last vision rites videos, the usual.  The War Machine was roughly the size of an elder dragon, sported multiple attacks, both physical and magical, and as we already knew from tracking the things for the past few days, it was fast.  Toss in a razor-sharp prehensile tail (the best kind), a strange electromagnetic aura, and some weird energy pulse that disintegrates everything around it and you have yourself a creature worth well more than the paltry 8 grand placed on its head.

It kind of looked like this… but covered in metal plating.  The spines on the back, there were 4 of them, were very active with electricty.

copywrite square

We rode hard to the village of Landsmeet, the next stop on the War Machine’s grand destruction tour of the Empire, there to lay waste to the beast and collect our bounty.  Talk about earning your next meal.  This thing was mowing through guards and townspeople like there was no tomorrow.   Bison, random fleeing knights, shop stands, anything metal it could get it’s aura on was being sucked in and used to build up and fortify its dense exoskeleton.  Physical attacks were practically worthless, but the combined spellcasting might of Skye and myself began to slowly chip away at the beast.  Dust lead the strategic assault on the creatures spiny back which it turns out was allowing it to vent excess energy in a huge intermittent nova blast of energy.

Close to death several times we finally wore down the last of its spines, robbing it of a way to vent its excess energies.  In a final play of insanity we knocked the beast into the stream running along the edge of town and quickly took cover.  The ensuing destruction destroyed nearly all of Landsmeet, but fortunately the War Machine as well.  Curled up in the center of the flooded crater that used to be a town was a man made of metal.  Rather than turn it in for the bounty we kept this metallic man, and as it began to recover, we began to call it our friend.

And that is how we met Psyche the magic robot, woo hoo, blah blah blah, the end.

-Cham

digital battlemat for the fight:

Panicked crowds? Delicious!

 

 

*note it’s 230am and I am exausted… this was actually an extremely awesome fight, as most 4th edition fights tend to be.





Psyche

1 07 2011

This body has potential, unlimited potential really.  The unique composition of living, organic materials, and cold inorganic minerals allows for growth, storage, and customization that would be life threatening, if not outright impossible on a purely organic body. But the process, the growth, is glacier slow.

The demon is speaking at us. She always does this, as if speech is the means by which her body processes oxygen.  We stare at her blankly. She huffs indignantly. We are neither rude, nor “stupid” as she often calls us. Just slow, this body is new, this mind, nothing but wood and sand. Sensing she needs acknowledgment, we nod, our metallic head pivoting on an infrastructure of fibrous vines and cables.

She is like mother to this form. Abandoned long ago to rot and rust, entombed in the crypt of its final masters as a guardian. We were reborn within its failing body, trapped, stillborn. Our essence the spark of life it needed to rise again, the body went on a rampage. Sorrow, loss, confusion, malfunction. This body vented these “feelings” on its surroundings. It carved a path of destruction and death. We rode as passengers, powerless, watching, our growth too slow to establish control.

Then she appeared, with her unusual companions. They fought the body, but their efforts seemed in vain.  With silver tongue and razor wits, the demon began to soothe the raging machine. The body relented, submitted, and in some strange twist of fate imprinted upon her.

It now insists on following her about, like a baby duckling, and we are generally inclined to allow this. We need time after all; time to grow.





MNF session 14: Welcome to Thunderspire

10 08 2010

As the Horns of War sat in the tavern of Winterhaven enjoying the class and accommodations befitting heroes of the realm, an urgent request was issued by one Lord Patrick, steward of Winterhaven.  It seems that the clandestine underground trade city known as Thunderspire has been cut off from both trade and communications for the last two months!  None is quite sure what has happened, but rumors abound of an army of demonic goblinoids, wearing the faces of their victims and dressed as carnival clowns have risen up from the ancient minotaur labyrinth city located below Thunderspire and began a campaign of terror against the citizens and surrounding countryside.

The Horns of War, moved in a very emotional way by the large bounty being placed on the Blood Clown Klan’s leader, rush to the scene.  It is also important to note that the possibility of discovering more about his origins and people was motivation enough for Bison.  Mounted on their trusty cave lizard mounts the party discovers the secret mountain entrance to the city.  The reception they received from the local militia was…. less than warm.  Cham tried to be as gregarious as possible, showering the locals with warm words and large fistfuls of gold.  Sadly, the party’s unusual appearance, and loud nature, put the already paranoid townsfolk high on their guard.  A few hours spent around town revealed much: the attacks have ben going on for over 8 weeks, 30% of the town’s population has either been killed, kidnapped, or fled, the local militia can barely defend the towns borders, the number of Blood Clowns is currently unknown, but believed to be upwards of 400.

The town is ruled by an unaligned circle of mages, with the two primary leaders both suspecting each other of foul play.  While investigating the second in command, Anklyar, a minotaur wizard with tribal markings identical to Bison’s, he betrayed and left us for dead in a dungeon under his mansion.  With the aid of Skye’s familiar, Rimeclaw, we escaped the death trap and returned to town, only to find the militia waiting for us.  Anklyar had spun a story about us being spies for the Blood Clowns and we were put on immediate trial.  Seeing that the situation had gone south, Cham began using her bardic fast talk to provide the verbal cover the party would need to move towards the nearest exit of the mage tower…

We have to get out of here.

-Cham

new mounts!!!! (yes, they climb walls and ceilings)

copywrite some other artist