Story Hour: 25 years after - Part 2

Hi again, Reader, and welcome back to this Story Hour!

Django, Tilanthe and Eldeth in the tavern

Session 1 - On the way to Phandalin...

Three strangers in a tavern

It was a quiet Fall night, and the main room of La Reserva was teeming with regulars. The first to arrive was Tilanthe, a red-haired elf whose tunic and staff betrayed her vocation as a magician. Some minutes later, she was joined by Eldeth, a Dwarf priestess of the Divine Triangle. The last to arrive was Django, a tall Human with a wide-brimmed hat and a rapier at his belt.

None of them where there for the food or the drinks, but for a job interview: they had learned that a certain Grunden Rockseeker, a Dwarf prospector, wanted to hire help to escort a wagon of mining equipment to the little mining town of Phandalin. While they waited for their prospective employer, the three strangers began to get to know each other.

They enjoyed their dinner (boar marinated with beer drizzled with even more beer for Eldeth, a large dish of vegetables and fresh water for Tilanthe, and some meat and a glass of red wine for Django), and by the moment when Mr. Rockseeker arrived, they weren't strangers anymore.

Grunden was accompanied by Sindar, a tall Humain with the unmistakable look of a veteran soldier, and Dinny, an always smiling Halfling.

Dinny, Sindar and Grunden Rockseeker

Grunden explained them that he had two wagons loaded with mining supplies to send to Phandalin. He was going to send the first wagon the next day, accompanied by Sindar. The second wagon would not be ready until two days later, and he needed our heroes to accompany Dinny and escort the wagon to Phandalin.

Django, Tilanthe and Eldeth accepted the job, and agreed to meet Dinny at La Reserva  two days later, by noon.

On the High Road

The first day of travel was uneventful, even plain boring for our heroes. The High Road from Neverwinter to Waterdeep was safe and well maintained. Django took advantage of the tranquility to take a furtive look at the contents of the wagon: shovels and picks, boxes of acid vials and cartridges of dynamite.

They decided to spend the night in an inn by the roadside. When they approached, Tilanthe thought she saw a small humanoid in a hooded cloaked that ran away when they saw them.

The next Monday the party continued travel, and by noon, they left the High Road and took the Triboard Trail towards the Sword Mountains.

Goblins!

The ambush

The Triboard Trail is less traveled than the High Road, and bumpier too. The wagon advanced slowly when our heroes saw a broken wagon and the corpses of two horses. Dinny anguish was visible when he recognized the wagon as the one that Grunden and Sildar were convoying to Phandalin.

While Dinny got out of the wagon and advanced to inspect the wagon, Eldeth, Tilanthe and Django watched the area, fearing an ambush. And their instincts were correct, because at that time a group of Goblins came out of the shrubs on the side of the road and attacked the party.

Before our heroes could act, the Goblins let their arrows fly and Sinny fell down, bleeding for multiple wounds. Django jumped into the melee, while Eldeth covered him with her crossbow. Tilanthe, painful aware of the danger of Goblin archers, decided to cast one of her most powerful spells, Sleep. Three of the four remaining Goblins dropped down under Tilanthe's spell, and the fourth one flew into the forest. Their first skirmish as a group was fast and efficient, but Sinny didn't survive his injuries, the party has lost their first ally.

The hunt

Our heroes interrogated une of the surviving Goblins, admitted that they had set a trap for Grunden and Sildar the day before, as they had just done with the group.
They kidnapped them and carried it to their base, a cave a few kilometers away.

Determined to find and save their boss, our heroes intimidated the Goblin and forced him to guide them through the forest, to a cave on the side of a hill, from which flowed a small river. At the mouth of the cave, two distracted Goblins stood guard.

The heroes hid and began to prepare their assault...

By Horacio Gonzalez

Story Hour: 25 years after - Part 1

Hi reader, and welcome to this Story Hour!

Some thirty years ago, I was a rather introverted teenager who has just entered High School. By today's standards, I was a stereotypical geek: I was a good student, I loved tinkering with the family computer, I spent too much time reading fantasy books and comics, and I was an avid fan of RPGs.

In my Freshman year, I met a group of people that would have a deep influence in the coming years, and in becoming the person I’m today: Alfonso, Alfonso, Alfredo, Álvaro, Amelia, Lorenzo y María Luisa. We were all different, but also really similar. Alone we were misfits, geeks, nerds. Together we were something more, we were a band.

For years, we played together all Fridays after school. Lots of games, AD&D 2E more than any other, lots of settings, lots and lots of adventures, and a whole truckload of memories…

But life is life, University passed by there, girlfriends and boyfriends appeared, and our weekly adventures became more irregular. We played our last adventure together in 1996.

In 1999 I moved to France, a whole new life began. I got married, had a kid, divorced, finished a PhD, got a job, met my future wife, moved together, had three kids, got married…

Fast-forward to 2020. My only link with the old gang is a Whatsapp group with some sparse messages, but the Lockdown was going to change it all…

With the perspective of some weeks to spend indoors, and the anxiety-provoking context, lots of messages, memes and photos were exchanged. And then, a crazy idea: resurrect the old gang, take the dice play some RPG together, like in the old time…

After some discussions, five of us took up the challenge: Alfonso, Alfredo, Amelia, Maria Luisa and me as the DM. We spent some time preparing characters, and we gathered at last around Roll20 to begin a new D&D campaign almost 25 years after our last game.

This Story Hour is the tale of this campaign that began two months ago and is still ongoing.

By Horacio Gonzalez

Basic D&D

Hey, you, random stranger, do you want to play with me to this roleplaying game?

By Horacio Gonzalez

Why did I get out?

After some days where I didn't find a moment for my projects, last night I was able to finish my TARDIS, at last!

As most objects in narizón version, one of my challenges was to alter its proportions to make it fit the big nosed guys while still being recognizable and looking good and practical on a miniatures game table.

Before begining, I searched inspiration by looking again at Airus' FANDIS, a gorgeous handmade narizón version of the TARDIS. Then I lauched Blender and I began to model it.

As the render of a lone TARDIS is a bit bland, I decided to make a small digital diorama for the pics on this post. I'm really looking forward to play my first game using my narizones, so I imagine a scene from that first game: poor Fourth Doctor getting out of the Tardis and coming face to face with three nasty looking Cybermen.

Why did I get out?

I sent the TARDIS model to Sculpteo and they gave me a quote of 40€, too expensive. I reworked the model (cutting it in parts and retouching walls) and I arrived to a price of 20€, not too bad. Working the STL models I've got a quote of 35€ for the five items in the diorama (the TARDIS, the Doctor and the three Cybermen).

Here you have a monochrome rendering of the diorama, I like it a lot:

Why did I get out?

What do you think?

By Horacio Gonzalez

Printing doctors and tinmen

I've just passed my command on Sculpteo to get my first batch of Narizones Dr Who miniatures printed in 3D.

I've printed four 4th Doctors and 12 Cybermen, and to get a lower price on Sculpteo, I've tighly grouped them, as you can see in the renders:

Printing doctors and tinmen

I'll receive them by the end of the week, I'll post some pics as soon as possible.

By Horacio Gonzalez

Please stand by, you will be upgraded

The 4th Doctor felt alone, so I decided to give him some company... even if I fear that after discovering the company he will miss his loneliness.

So last weekend I took some time to model on of the most iconic enemies of the Doctor, the Cybermen. As always, it's done in Blender to be 3D printed with Sculpteo.

Cyberman

Cyberman

And the two big nosed guys face to face. Poor 4th Doctor is going to find a way to dodge Cyberman deleting...

4th Doctor vs Cyberman

Next step is to finish the TARDIS and to send it all to Sculpteo. If everything goes well, in to weeks I'll be able to play my first game of Dr Who miniatures game using my minis.

By Horacio Gonzalez

Every Doctor should wear a long scarf…

On Narizones, some people have told me taht the 4th Doctor wore a looooong scarf, way more long than I'd made on the Blender model. So before sending it to Sculpteo for 3D printing, I decided to give him his iconic scarf. And here you have the result...

The 4th Doctor

I like it better now, it was a good suggestion :)

The 4th Doctor

What do you think?

By Horacio Gonzalez

Is there a Doctor in the room?

I remember clearly the day I got hooked into roleplaying games. I was 8 years old, and my cousin, who was 9, showed me a red box with a weird name: Dungeons & Dragons. And then he opened it and I saw some books, a bunch of bizarre dies and a couple of painted miniatures. I think it was the miniatures that made me want to try it, I couldn't keep my eyes out of them. Since then, I love roleplaying games, and I love miniatures.

Some years ago, I wanted to do my own minis, based on the works of Cels Piñol, a Spanish comic writer. His characters, with a characteristic big nose, are usually called Narizones. So I began to sculpt my own Narizones, at the begining by hand, modelling putty. Later I began to model them digitally, with Blender and printing them in 3D with Shapeways or Sculpteo. You can see all my minis on my Spanish minis blog, Narizones.net.

In the last months I hadn't found any time to create new minis, but last week I was able to squeeze some free time without any other thing to do, and I began my next miniature projets: some Narizones style miniatures for a Dr Who miniatures game.

And I began with Fourth Doctor, of course:

The 4th Doctor

I'm going to send him to the printer next week, along with some of the other Doctors I hope to finish by then...

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions?

By Horacio Gonzalez

Aussi en français

If you like my maps but you'd prefer to read the posts in French, I'm translating most of the posts here and posting them in my French blog, LostInBrittany.org.

For the moment I've published two posts, Rappel à la vie pour un blog défunt and Durog Gurog, each one regrouping two posts from here.

LostInBrittany.org

By Horacio Gonzalez

The pit of the Spider God

If the Gnolls living in the Monastery of Kharas or the ancient evils lying in the Tombs of Durog Gurog haven't made your adventurers party wish to quit the county, here you have a third dungeon that will test their endurance... and their sanity.

The cliffs of the shore between Durog Gurog and the Dwarven city of Kriranag Gurog had always got a bad reputation, its numerous caves were used as lairs by smugglers, bandits and other law-dodging people. At least, that was the situation until a year ago, when Father Araigne, a mysterious religious leader, and his congregation decided to choose the area as their home. Nobody knows how they did, but the formed inhabitants of the caves disappeared quickly after the arrival of the holy men.

Local people was happy, it was better to have a bunch of eccentric monks as neighbors than a gag of smugglers. When some animals went missing, nobody made the link with the congregation, but when the first children began to disappear, people grew suspicious. After the fifth missing child, some villagers decided to visit the monks and ask some questions... but they never came back. The villagers believe the monks are behind all those disappearances, and they fear the situation will go worse if nothing is done. So they called their last hope, the A-team adventurers party.

What will adventurers find in the caves? A congregation of mad cultists, led by a mad priest with a mad nefarious plan: to summon a long forgotten spider god. And for it they need to feed him with blood, with lots of blood. Children blood is good for it, but adventurer's blood will do it too.

In the upper part of the dungeon, there are the living quarters of the congregation, where the twenty something cultists live. The lower part, behind a secret door or a small hanging bridge, there are a far more sinister set of rooms and corridors, today filled with giant spiders, the daughters of the spider god. He lives in the pit on the farthest room, to weak to fully manifest in the prime plane, but strong enough to offer a good challenge for the party.

Here you have the dungeon of The pit of the Spider God :

The pit of the Spider God

Comments and suggestions are welcome, as usual!

By Horacio Gonzalez