Monday, May 27, 2013

Saturday Marathon Session was Filled with Athels

People drove from Michigan, Pittsburgh and Lancaster to join our game on Saturday.  We rented a conference room at a hotel ($100) for a 12pm to 12am time period.  Which I've already mentioned on Google+ has given me an idea about possibly starting an OSRcon here.  But one step at a time.

Dwayne from the Gamers Closet brought his amazing gaming prop, a Keep, Inn and Crypt beneath all molded from Hirst molds.  He did it all by hand and it is just incredible.  He did all the decorations, rugs, pictures, sconces, ect... and it really impressed me.

Dwayne is setting up our initial encounter at the Wulfgar Keep.

Dwayne created an adventure around his setting.  The gist, this keep is within a border barony that joined the Kingdom 25 years ago.  This barony is based off a Viking culture.  The Baron is enamored of the kingdom's ways which is in opposition of many his subjects.  We decided to use GURPS 4th Edition.  Rob made up characters for everyone before the session.  Now Rob will probably post his own version of what happened, but I have documented proof of what occurred.  All he has is a first hand account skewed to protect his dignity.  You'll only find truth here. 

Our group consisted of:
*Athelstan: Cleric of Mytria, Healing - (You are already here)
*Athelbert: Guard - Josh (he too cool to have his own blog)
Belafor: Cleric of Thor: only viking in out party.  He was blue. - Ken (Rusty Battle Axe)
Alia Rose: Scout, yeah let's go with that - Kelly Anne (Aliarose)
Sir Ellestan: A Foot Knight *snicker* - Rob (Bat in the Attic)
Cutie: Lego Knight - Gregory
* This became the running joke of the session.  How the game was full of Athels, from Athelburg.  It was funny at the time.  

A shot of the interior of the keep.  You can see all the detail Dwayne put into his keep.
Rewind a bit before we go to the keep.  We are gathered to help the border barony, we requisition supplies and in the morning when we go to pick them up there is a captain there that is going with us.  He and Sir Ellestan get into measuring the manhood battle (there was a lot of measuring tape not used).  We go on the road, its a 15 day trip to the keep.  Before we leave Sir Ellestan also gets a necklace from a powerful member of the mage guild to keep an eye on his progress.  A sleeping man talisman that allows communication between the two of them.  Its supposed to work while he sleeps, but can work when Sir Ellestan is awake.

While Sir Ellestan was on guard duty he got sucked into a dream conference and when he awoke from his meeting the captain he'd been measuring against was dead.  Throat slit.  Dead.  The blue Belafor cast See Secrets and found a pair of boot prints next to the body that were hidden by magic.

So no one slept well when Sir Ellestan was on guard duty.

We sent the body back to town when we reached a village then continued onto the keep.

Our group (bottom right) approaches the keep.
We met the baron who was very happy to have us.  I would even say he kissed our asses.  *smooch*  He explained a few people have gone missing and then his niece went missing.  Long story short, he asked for help.  No one around here seemed to know much or at least wasn't saying much.

Now Dwayne has this other prop...
Out of game knowing is okay...really.
So I used me clerical hoodedness and asked is there any weird location or strange temples in the area that might guide us.  Well wouldn't you know there was.  The Blood Oracle was down the road a bit, but no one goes there.  Of course they don't.  It's the Blood Oracle!

It was a day's walk away from the keep.  It was located in a dense thicket and we were told to only approach it from the front.  No explanation why.  With our group I was sure we would find out why.

BUT...something happen along the way to the Blood Oracle.

The tree across the mountain pass ambush trick. 
We were ambushed by orcs who blocked the way with a tree.  Remember, this is GURPS, not 1 HD meatbags that populate most games.  You need to take this serious and there were a lot of them.  We used our best and only tactic, mass confusion, one charging ahead, another running away, a few in between and me trying to dodge arrows while I kept people standing.  At one point Athelbert tried to ram an orc off the mountain side.  Great if is works.  It didn't.  Sir Ellestan caught him before he did a Wild E Coyote.  In the end we survived.

Then we arrived at the Blood Oracle.
The power of the Blood Temple caused my camera go out of focus. 
The oracle invited us in only after we defeated her guardians.  Okay sure.  Bring them on.  In Harryhausen fashion skeletons rose from the earth and attacked.  I would have been disappointed if they hadn't.
This is where everyone got polite, "No, no after you."

Sir Ellestan decided to go around the temple and got a lesson on when someone tells you to go through the front door of the Blood Oracle, you don't try to backdoor her....

It's a BYOB party at the Blood Temple.  Bring Your Own Blood.
Skeletons and nearly invincible plant monsters.  They were the ones guarding the sides of the temple that Sir Ellestan tried to not merge with.  As you can see there are many more skeletons on the ground than party members.

The Blood Oracle forbids skinny dipping.

We got inside the temple.  We slipped past a fat little imp by answering his riddle.  Then encountered this pool monster.  All we needed to do was throw in a coin, but instead Athelbert cannonballed in and nearly drowned.  But he didn't.  He's such an Athel.  (See how the joke works?  Its funny really.)

We discovered the missing people were in the crypts below the Keep.  Some shadow lord had them.  Crap.   Back we go.


After some debate at the keep, the Baron's brother really didn't want us going down into the crypts.  Lots of arguing.  Needed to be persuasive.  We were.  Went into the crypts below and got another reveal.  The crypts beneath the keep and inn!

It's just a fantastic prop.  Just so cool.
So we get into the crypts and...

We get attacked by the Baron's men and his brother.  They've been sacrificing their own people to the Shadow Lord to gain power to expel the evil influence of the kingdom. 

What followed was an array of awesomely horrible rolls.  Rob rolled a lot of critical misses.  I have the proof.

In GURPS you only want to see this when enemy is rolling. 
Rob will tell you another story, but I have more proof.

That's Sir Ellestan on his back, Rob's guy.  The awesome guy in red is my guy saving the day.
The last battle was a collection of critical misses.  Even when the enemies had no defense.  All we needed to do was hit and we would critically miss.  In the end we won the battle, but we did not save the people.  We only managed to uncover the heinous plot. 

It was a fantastic adventure, the best prop set I've got the play on and it was a great day.  We played for 9 hours.  First marathon session I've played in for a long time.  We were out of the hotel by 10pm and got something to eat.

Ken bowing down before Dwayne for running such a cool adventure.  "I'm not worthy."


  1. Excellent write-up, Tim. Sounds like you guys had awesome amounts of fun. Took a moment to process the "Athel" pun - but I can see now how it could have disrupted everything ;)

    Props to the prop-master as well - makes me want to get down to some gaming ASAP!

    Thanks for sharing

    1. Ha, yes the Athel pun was used in abundance that night. It did not get old. We were Athels til the end.

  2. I can't wait until Ken sees he last picture.

    1. Me to. We'll see if he actually read my blog or just randomly puts up smart man comments.

    2. My wife showed my the pic right after you posted it but I haven't been on the computer (except for work...lots of work).

      I was either bowing down to Dwayne or quietly passing gas...maybe both. That would seem about right.

  3. Wow, sounds like you guys drew in a good group and had a lot of fun.

    1. Great group, well, except for Rob and Ken, and Josh was shaky. I think I'll have to move soon cause now they know where I live.

    2. Yeah, I am way beyond shaking. You have to admit that the critical success on the flame weapon and then the critical hit with the resultant flaming mace on the water in the oracle pool was awesome...even if the same results could have been gained by a coin tossed in the water.

  4. "Never try to backdoor an oracle" are wise words by which to live.

    1. Rob learned the hard way. The oracle wears protection.

  5. It was a blast and a great play test of the keep. So glad rob only gave each player character 4 skills

    1. Yeah it was a blast and I think Rob should only give us 2 skills next time. Like in the old game show Name That Tune. "I can get through this dungeon with two skills."

    2. I was considering doing a Compel Truth on the oracle.