Sunday, October 31, 2021

Vobleavira Haven Play Report and Revision

So I attended our revived local con, Dragonflight, after a year's hiatus due to <REDACTED>. I signed up for a few games, but felt the offerings were thin in the RPG front (due, in part to the absence of organized play supported by the current editions of the game).

Nothing else to do but step up and run a game. I set up a 3-hour window on Sunday morning running my B/X-OSE dungeon-crawl Vobleavira Haven. It's been a while since I looked at the adventure, so I reviewed it, and decided to tweak the adventure for the game - adding a few details, and creating a bit more story to make the adventure less of a "wander around and steal stuff."

Spoilers below:

First of all, apparently adding this:

... is becoming a recurring theme via another recent adventure....

Besides, it was a Halloween game. Gotta have something spooky.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Another Itch Jam entry - The Tomb of Spear and Smoke.

Been quiet but not unproductive (I hope). Besides reworking The Long Hall (see yesterday's post), I took a whack at's recent Dyson Logos Jam.  After all, a theme and a deadline is always good for the creativity. Perhaps. 

Per the jam requirements, I scrounged through the maps made available for commercial use. I downloaded several, and of course there are now multiple notated maps scattered about. But this one came through in the end:

It's an interesting complex - certainly not linear, and with multiple zones to work with. At first glance, it doesn't have a clear 'goal' location. The adventurers enter into the center of the maze, with four doors to choose from - which way to go?

Some process notes:

The entry room with three columns and an apparent broken fourth column implied an incomplete story. 

The five-chambered room looked to hold five small sarcophagi - were they small individuals, or other remains? Who were they?

And why is there a separate larger sarcophagus in the upper center? Obviously an honored dead - what was their relationship to the other remains, and why were the two sets separate??

And what's with that capstan-looking thing in the hall adjacent?

Subterranean water is always a good feature to hide threats... Besides, I'd just watched this video.

The number of small alters, statues, shrines, implied a temple or center built in stages, or maybe repurposed to fit a need.

There will be traps - some telegraphed, some not.

In the end - we have the tomb of a hero, interred to watch over those he defeated. And because the hero is here - so is his favored weapon, a magic spear... But of course it's not in his tomb. That would be silly.

And those he defeated? Like many evils, they do not rest easily...

So welcome to the Tomb of Spear and Smoke.

Where's the smoke? Well, the adventurers will just have to discover that themselves...

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Long Hall, redux

So a bit ago I entered the Prince of Nothing's No Artpunk Contest with a cobbled-together adventure using Jackson's "The Long Hall" map.

And, well, it sucked. No two ways about it. That said, I got some valuable constructive criticism in the judging. 

So nothing to do but take it home and rework.

(insert stock footage of typing away in the garret) 

Added some more story to the place, a few more NPCs, tweaked the baddies. Shifted a few things around to help the flow of the adventure. And dumped in more treasure (although the Bag of Holding hit the cutting room floor). So perhaps it sucks less now...

And now it's live, again, on So have a look, see if it's improved, and enjoy your visit to the shrine... Where is that weird droning noise coming from? 

Some bad related news: Matt Jackson took a serious fall last week, ending him up in a trauma unit with numerous d6 in falling damage. Been receiving updates from his family, and now, thankfully, Matt himself. He has a healthy shopping list of injuries, but nothing that won't mend. That said, he's at the beginning of a long road of recovery and rehab, but I suspect it's hard to keep an old soldier down. So if you know him, feel free to drop a line of support, prayers to an appropriate deity, and/or good thoughts. 

Oh, and I received an Honorable Mention in the One Page Dungeon Contest, (again, with a "Matt Map") so there's that. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Pilgrimage to Aldo's Call

Not much to report - writing is off, been reworking a prior project to re-introduction into the outside world. Been getting outside and moving around...

So, this is Aldo's Call, named for a martyred priest whose death is memorialized beneath the dome of the local temple/shrine. Folks come from all around to visit the site, and the surrounding village is purposed to serve the temple and its many pilgrims. 

Visit the town! (download)

Crafted from another fine Jackson illustrated product.