Play Report: Dreams and Battle (Stormguard Session 3)

Our intrepid adventurers have been shipwrecked in the orc controlled Stormguard wilderness for two days now. They have just leveled up. The party is:

  • Hilbrent Firebrand: Human Magic-user, Level 2 (Fire Spellbook)
  • Talia Stromborne: Human Cleric of Vardor, Level 2 (Healing Spellbook)
  • Benquil Barrison Del’Armgo: Half-Drow Thief, Level 2
  • Algaeir Ashbow: Human Druid, Level 2 (Tracking and Archery)
  • Lamila Umdril: Half-Orc, Half-Elf Fighter, Level 2

As they sleep, our party dreams. Continue reading

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Play Report: Among the Stormguard Orcs (Session 2)

We last left our adventurers shipwrecked half a day in central Stormguard. They have battled twice the local orcs and currently have an orcish prisoner. The party is:

  • Hilbrent Firebrand: Human Magic-user, Level 1 (Fire Spellbook)
  • Talia Stromborne: Human Cleric of Vardor, Level 1 (Healing Spellbook)
  • Benquil Barrison Del’Armgo: Half-Drow Thief, Level 1
  • Algaeir Ashbow: Human Druid, Level 1 (Tracking and Archery)
  • Lamila Umdril: Half-Orc, Half-Elf Fighter, Level 1

Following the battle, the sailors, who have been up all night, are exhuasted. So is Benquil, having taken significant wounds in the skirmish. Upon hearing from the orc prisoner that they are the edge of his tribe’s territory, Captain Retinue suggests that they release him and take a longer rest so his men can sleep. Benquil also sleeps, recovering from the exhaustion of pain. Continue reading

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Play Report: Shipwrecked in Stormguard (Session 1)

Well, we’re four sessions into a play test of the Mind Weave rules around the table. With two players leaving the group and a player taking over one of their characters in the next session, I figure I ought to write up what’s happened to catch him up, and why not make it a report here.

The campaign takes place in Stormguard with all of the party members coming from the Southern human colony of Anaithwaite:

  • Hilbrent Firebrand: Human Magic-user, Level 1 (Fire Spellbook)
  • Talia Stromborne: Human Cleric of Vardor, Level 1 (Healing Spellbook)
  • Benquil Barrison Del’Armgo: Half-Drow Thief, Level 1
  • Algaeir Ashbow: Human Druid, Level 1 (Tracking and Archery)

A small ship, a single mast schooner, battles northward along the coast against howling winds. Farther out to sea a storm is blowing in and the last chance of the ship to not be dashed against the coastal rocks is to find the shelter of several large islands ahead off the port bow. The crew of 13 have been all hands through the night striving to make that shelter and though the wind is picking up and fighting their every effort, the captain is not yet resigned. He orders a sailor to rouse the passengers in the hopes that they might be able to lend a hand. Continue reading

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Drake-Reamuk (Swamp Lurker)

Reamuk600“I hate this swamp!”

“Stop complaining. They’re paying well.”

“But it’s noon and I still can’t see in this fog. I mean, agh.”

“That is odd. Is it getting thicker? Alek?”

Reamuk

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Enchantment-Lesser Fire Resist Robes

If you don’t know the Mind Weave enchanting rules, this resource will help you keep up: Enchanter’s Almanack.

I gave a player these robes, but since it never came up, I haven’t yet had to calculate the fire protection. It just means he’s too careful, since he’s a fire mage. The character is being taken over by a more aggressive player, and I suspect I will need to know as soon as next session.

Lesser Fire Resist Robes

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Stormguard: An Island Frontier

I was about to start writing a campaign report for my current Stormguard test campaign when I discovered that I haven’t posted the map of Stormguard yet. Let’s remedy that.

Stormguard is an island about the size of Great Britain. At the time of our campaign, the people of Vardor have been colonizing the Southern tip (Anaithwaite) for centuries:StormguardMapMarkedTrimmed Continue reading

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Hilmrick Dilbershinds’s Spell Book

In introducing the Quick Start Guide to Mind Weave Magic I mentioned a game I am preparing to run where the players are going to have extensive spell books. Hilmrick is the leader of this Mhyrinport noble family, and he has learned every spell component but 6 of the half fingers in his enchanting efforts.  As a result, his spell book is eclectic and varied, and is a good example of the great variety of spells that can be built in the system, check it out:

Hilmrick Dilbershind’s Spell Book

If you think you recognize these spell names from the SRD, you’re right! I made attempts to make the spells parallel spells that would be known to the player to make things more palatable. It is going to be his birthday, after all.

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Quick Start Guide to Mind Weave Magic

I’ve got a test campaign coming up with a family that plays a fair amount of table top, but who have never played Mind Weave. I’m pre-building their characters because it’s a birthday surprise, and I made them all part of a gnomish noble family (and the butler) in Mhyrinport. Unfortunately, they’re almost all going to have magic, which means making the magic accessible to them. I’ve done two things to help with this. I’ve written them each an extensive spellbook, but I also left them plenty of room to make new spells. To help introduce them to this idea, I produced this document:

Quick Start Guide to Mind Weave Magic

I gave an early draft of it to a player new to the magic system in a current campaign, and he decided his character would sleep through a battle while he figured it all out. I was worried, but he said that he knew the others could handle the fight and that he was having fun figuring it out! I hope this family can have as much fun building their own spells.

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Outsiders Versus Insiders

I’ve been playing with a new campaign lately that’s different than anything I’ve ever run before. The difference is something worthy of some new terminology. While I understand the term “outsiders” has a specific meaning in Dungeons and Dragons, I want to use it to describe a specific brand of PC party. In a campaign where the party members are “outsiders,” they come into a new place where events are afoot that they choose to get involved in. An outsider campaign involves assorted characters who come from somewhere else and, upon seeing the status quo in their new locale, decide to take action to change things. This may involve an “insider” NPC dissatisfied with the status quo approaching the outsiders to request their help. Because the outsiders have little incentive not to shake things up in the setting, it is easy to incentivize them enough to get involved. Most campaigns I can think of take this form. It is convenient because the PCs can be anyone with any background, lending freedom to character creation, and it makes hooking players into the campaign simpler.

“Insiders,” on the other hand, live every day in the locale where the events of the campaign are taking place. Most NPCs are insiders, but I am hoping to make an interesting and unique campaign by making the PCs insiders. In this case, the PCs have a strong incentive structure in place, most likely to let things be and maintain the status quo. The hook, however, is even easier. The campaign simply begins with an event that changes the status quo in such a way that the PCs can’t resist getting involved. In my case, the players are going to be part of a gnomish noble family in a metropolis where all is not well. Suspicion on the part of the emperor is leading to political arrests on a daily basis and the campaign will begin with the imperial police knocking on the players’ door. I’m running it as a one shot (at a surprise birthday party) and this approach helps because I can make the characters ahead of time, the players can have all of their connections in the city already established, and they can have a base of operations or two in the area.

Have you ever played or run a campaign for insider characters? Can you think of any more pros and cons to this approach? Let us know in the comments below.

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Enchantment-Lesser Whisper Plate

Helbren adjusted the shoulder plate of his shining armor as he stepped into a side corridor. It would be a few minutes before he was missed and, walking briskly, he quickly made his way toward the gate room. He tensed a little as he passed behind a guard, but his magic served its purpose. The guard didn’t turn.

He drew his sword and it’s ring was absent. He couldn’t even hear himself breathing, but as he quickened his pace he could hear the scraping of his armor and the dull thud of his steps. Soon he was running, but he heard only the jangle of his chain shirt as if he were walking. He rushed into the gate room and the guards there looked up absently at the new comer before realizing he was a foe. He struck one down before the others could reach for weapons and very soon he had cut down the rest, their dampened cries not reaching far beyond the room.

He readjusted his shoulder plate and sounds of the soldiers in the marshalling yard suddenly sounded in his ears. He whistled the signal to his companions outside the wall and began to open the gate.

If you don’t know the Mind Weave enchanting rules, this resource will help you keep up: Enchanter’s Almanack.

I’ve got a player in an upcoming play test campaign playing an assassin. He wants as much armor as he can get, but doesn’t want to sacrifice speed or stealth to get it. He’s settled on splint mail, but it got me thinking about an enchantment for a stealthy man in full armor, suitable for a sneaking paladin.

Lesser Whisper Plate

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