Saturday, April 30, 2016


Well I've been posting very intermittently lately because of my Dark Before Dawn multi-modal LARP.  Something about running monthly LARP sessions, with attached downtimes, play-by-posts and tabletop scenes tends to fill up your day!  Especially as it's a high mechanics LARP (lots of rules!) with character sheets and booklets that constantly needed updating.  Things will slowly get back to normal (I think!) after late May once my finale is done.

Meanwhile I'm in the planning stages for the following LARP campaign - Paradise Island (monthly LARP sessions, nothing else), enjoying Southern Wilds LARP (fortnightly boffer LARP), and continuing my Iron Gods and Wrath of the Righteous campaigns (currently on hiatus due to upcoming Finale).

I'm also working on finally doing the Cthulhu campaigns I've always wanted now that I've found a second player with the same love of tactics, investigation and NPC interaction.  It's a little too heavy having to do it solo because of all the decision making required.  Two players should be perfect as it gives each player plenty of time to enjoy their characterisations -- and it's much easier to interrogate a witness with two (maybe three) players than with four to six.

I'll be doing the Cthulhu campaign a little differently, however, because it's me and I like to tinker with settings.  The tinker posts will be their own topic, though, and worth their own post.  I will say that it will be using the Trail of Cthulhu rules and that I might start in Innsmouth and move on to Masks of Nyarlathotep and then finish up with Mountains of Madness.  Presuming we have the energy for all of these!  And then Achtung Cthulhu may tempt me.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Wrath of the Righteous: The Midnight Isles (Getting There)

Wow!  I haven't updated Wrath of the Righteous for awhile.  So let's see if I can recap.  They obtained everything they needed and were pulled in to meet Queen Galfrey and the Herald of Iomedae in Nerosyan's Pathfinder Lodge.  There they were given their marching orders to assault Minagho's hideout, enter the Abyss, seal the rift behind them (with Queen Galfrey's assistance) and disrupt the Nahyndrian Crystal routes on the Abyssal side.

So they teleport to Minagho's hide out, well their teleportation goes awry so they need to spend some time journeying to it, and slowly slaughter the demonic inhabitants.  They do leave the cambion alive when he makes a deal for his life.  He is an alchemist whose worked on the Nahyndrian crystals, after all, so he seems useful to them.  He's also labouring under the delusion that they are Lawful Good (rather than Neutral Good and Chaotic Neutral) and that they'll obey their oaths to the letter (not truly understanding how lawful humans can adapt).
He gets charmed by Minagho (luckily they spot it and don’t figure it for a betrayal) and fights on her side until he's injured.  Then he spends his time using cure potions and staying out of it until fully healed, by which time Minagho and the others are all destroyed.  Then Queen Galfrey and her troops arrive and are disgusted by the sight of the cambion, but are willing to escort him to Drezen for interrogation.

Our heroes enter the abyssal rift while Queen Galfrey positions herself on the other side, and the two groups shove two pages from the Codex into the rift and chant it closed.
I skipped a few of the battles on the way through the caves as they weren't all that exciting compared to what was upcoming and wouldn't have proven a challenge anyway.  They reached the temple, correctly guessed the puzzle, and appeared in Alyshinyra. 

We then took a few weeks off as I had a bit of a think about what I'd like to do there.  After all, the book can't devote much space to describing it fully and truly and I didn't want it to feel like Cheliax for demonkind or only as strange as Kaer Maga.  I think I did a good job, in the end.  You can judge for yourself when I write it up next week!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Iron Gods: Beating "Father"

It's been a few weeks since the last one so I can't remember all of the details.  I know they took out the robots in the last room and then decided to go and chase down some information on their friendly neighbourhood drug dealing merchant whom they are damn sure is a Technic League spy.  Our lovely tiefling seduces him and the others (plus Cleric of Brigh as a witness) rock up to interrogate him under a spell that prevents him from lying.

Sanvil Trett deflects their questions for awhile before finally drawing his sword … and being soundly beaten and grappled.  Then he finally admits that he is a Technic League spy, but he's willing to defect so long as he can investigate the ruins once they're done.  They accept this possibility but keep him under house arrest at the Evercandle Inn for awhile as they go off to get a broken elevator part repaired (which takes a couple days due to bad rolls).

Once they have the part repaired, they decide to follow up on a lead given by their newfound "friend" into certain strange activities at a particular warehouse run by Garmen Ulreth.  While approaching the warehouse, they start getting headaches.  Going inside they find a couple thugs and having decided that punishing the previous thug left them with a bad taste in their mouth, they went non-lethal.

All except for Nathaniel who decides to go for the kill.

When the thugs press their attack, they manage to bolt the door on Nathaniel who stealths away and around the building, brooding.  The others manage to get inside and head into the office to try and intimidate Garmen Ulreth who's sitting in his makeshift office.  In the end, when Luna tries to open the wrong thing (or rather, the right thing), Garmen calls in his guards and attack.

Luna keeps the various doors shut and bolted while Garmen tries to get his troops in, and they kill Garmen Ulreth.  Once their boss is dead, they open the door and use his corpse as a reminder that the thugs should run.  Which they do.  Promptly.

They find a strange device in the warehouse but they don't yet know what it does.

And that's where we left them.

Dark Before Dawn Session Summary: Meeting Nurse Cassandra

The Angel of Mercy arrived to collect votes.
The Angel of Mercy came to collect votes.
All LARPs run a little differently.  Some use dice and others use boffer swords.  Some use narrative devices to guide the game (i.e. lighting changes) and others throw in external events.  Therefore it can be enlightening to read about the ins and outs of other LARPs to understand more about the format and all it can do.  In the interests of sharing information on how different LARPs can run, this will be the first of a 25 week series of posts on a Dark Before Dawn campaign summary.

The Dark Before Dawn campaign is a Vampire: the Requiem LARP which focuses on the unlives of the Adelaide court as they come to grips with terrible conspiracies and incredible finds and sits as firmly in the occult investigation genre as it does in the tragic horror genre.  Since this campaign is actually the second in the same setting, but most of the players from the first campaign couldn’t return to reprise their roles, most of the vampires were either new to the city or had returned after years inter-state or in torpor.

The game began with one Carthian (original campaign), two Circle of the Crone (one from the original campaign and one quite new) and the rest belonged to the pseudo scientific Ordo Dracul.  For a time new players could only bring in characters for the Ordo Dracul but later people could create characters for the Circle of the Crone as well.

Although the Dark Before Dawn is multi-modal, using forums and tabletop sessions to solve plots and deepen character connections, this series will *only* provide summaries of the LARP sessions although the final two posts will discuss how including a forum and a tabletop component affected the LARP.

On Saturday, 5th December 2014, we began with an occult mystery where a dozen vampires (either pre-generated with some advice from the players or returning from the original campaign) who all expected a different event, location and even era when they arrived.  There were folk in lab coats, police uniforms and masquerade ball gowns, and each vampire was shocked and confused at the situation they found themselves in.

The Ordo Dracul.

After the initial confusion, the vampires quickly realised that the location held many clues in the artwork, alchemical solutions and even spirit-possessed shrines that populated the hall.  They also found a warning, or perhaps a threat, written on both the chalkboard and even projected onto a screen at various points.

Soon they came to realise that four possessing spirits of darkness (strix) would be released into the venue to possess one of the vampires every hour and twenty, give or take.  These spirits would have vital information they would be compelled to provide to the vampires in their own way but they would also be vicious threats if allowed to linger too long.  Should the vampires fail to root them out and exorcise them, they will find themselves quickly overwhelmed as each additional one is released to possess another vampire.

The vampires were informed that they had been provided with several exorcismal techniques which lurked within the hall but each technique could only be used on one person.  If an exorcism was attempted on the wrong person, the entities would adapt and the technique would cease to work.
The unafflicted vampires performed admirably under pressure, though the first possession turned to be a very tricky beast indeed, but as their own secrets began to come to light they started to turn their attention back to the greater question: Why had they been brought here?  Who was the person who had done this to them?

The words projected on the screen revealed themselves to be sent by Nurse Cassandra, a ghostly victim of a mystical accident caused by one of the characters, who had been flung into some kind of arcane machine deep within the city and who had constructed this realm to communicate with them.
Things finally came to a head when a mysterious stranger arrived with a choice for those present.

Would they empower Nurse Cassandra or would they allow an ancient deity to slowly regain control of the city?  A few picked the ghostly figure, still fewer picked the deity.  Most chose to walk their own path and refused to choose at all.

In the end, the ancient occultist, Yzador, of the Circle of the Crone made a  deal with the angelic messenger that was an abjuration in disguise.  She was banished from their realm.

The doors to the outside world finally opened and the vampires were allowed to leave.  Many did so in silent contemplation, a great contrast to the chaos and confusion that had reigned for hours earlier.

Since their pre-generated characters had history in Adelaide and connections to each other, many of the players then chose to keep their characters rather than make new ones for 2015.