I was born. I did things. Now I’m here. Scientist by day. Metal singer by night. Game Master.

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7/22/20

So you wanna hear my back story?



After high school I was a musician for a long time and attended university. During this either one of my best friends or the lead singer of the band told me how the band Coheed & Cambria played Dungeons & Dragons. He mentioned how their tour van or whatever was full of DnD books. Our singer had a huge collection of World of Darkness books. I would look over his White Wolf collection all the time when we were at a band practice or something. Even ran Midvinter recently for him and 2 other friends online. Another friend of mine was a hero-clix collector. I played that a few times.

Fast Forward...

It was roughly 2013 in the swamps of coastal South Carolina. Stationed there in the Marines I started playing a DnD campaign with guys in my unit. The DM played the Star Wars RPG online with his bothers and parents back home. We used the Pathfinder game system and DnD 3.5 I think. Anyway there was about 5 or 6 of us. Only lasted a few months but it was enough to start my addiction to TTRPGs.

Fast Forward

2019 ~September I start looking for modules to run for my 5E game. In some forum I read the words DEATH FROST DOOM. I read so much online about the module and the rest of the company (LotFP). Then on youtube I watch a Dungeon Craft video about Frostbitten & Mutilated which I believe was the first purchase I made from LotFP.

Almost a year later and I still haven't looked back at Wizards of the Toast since I found the OSR. I usually play 2 games a week now. I've made so many great friends this year through LotFP and the momentum is just going to keep on from here.


7/20/20

Temple of the Cats (Review)



The following was posted to a new website focused around the OSR scene that I'm not sure if I'll be using again since it seems to be just the same ol' shit as r/OSR. (not to mention it still is one the top seen posts on the website.) My Temple of the Mantis review was deleted in ~24hs. They wouldn't even leave the post up long enough for me to find a group. (it was posted in looking for groups and I've met people on their website that I still play with today) They explained that only Zak's old content can be posted about. Maybe I'll just post content on a Red and Pleasant land there for a while. I love this Tiger King adventure. I've ran it ~5 times now and it eventually became the precursor to running a World of the Lost campaign. 

Recently I found a 
blog/store and as a new and enthusiastic game master I immediately purchased this adventure. I’ve ran it twice so far with two different groups. The first being all new players and the second comprised of experienced LotFP adventurers. In the first group one player killed three (all clerics) of his own characters. The second spent two sessions sinking their fangs in. I will keep things spoiler free.
The map is hand drawn and plotted so it’s easy to run. Each room is diverse and includes interesting challenges along the way. There was plenty of loot to be found but personally I loved the new spell that was included most.
It’s an attention grabber. It brought five new players into two sessions. Soon to be three. Plus If you don’t spill your beans you can see if anyone figures out who they are actually dealing with.
I think it’s a great little dungeon to spark off a campaign (which is how I’ve been using it so far) or a fun one off when needed.
To anyone thinking of checking this out for themselves I see many impressive animals in your future.
Keep in mind when you visit this island… “Bad luck to kill a sea bird.”
It was written by Zak Smith (Vornheim ,Red & Pleasant Land, and Maze of the Blue Medusa)

7/17/20

Temple of the Mantis (Cube World #9 Review)



During one of the LotFP live streams last week the group chat got on the subject of Zak's Cube World which is currently on issue 20 (buy them individually here). I offered to run a game after another fan had mentioned he had a lot of interest in Zak's new material. I even asked my new friend which Cube World adventure he seemed most interested in playing. He picked Cube World 9 which aside from Temple of the Mantis includes 2 other adventures, one about a mountain that the party realizes is actually just a giant they have been traveling on, and another about a Wizard and his naval fleet on a river in the fast East. We're planning to the do the wizard naval battle one next!
The setting I used was 1700's Nigeria since I am also running the LotFP hex-crawl World of the Lost. I tried my best not to railroad the party so I used Zak's Vornheim city building book to have a few NPCs gathered outside of the temple. The players all knew we were just here to have some fun with a dungeon after all. One of the great things I've found with running Cube World is that the design and layout is great.
I prefer to use the Eldritch Cock rules for my games so the party consisted of a Magic-User who knew the Cleric spell word of recall (which is the only reason he survived this adventure alone), a fighter and a second Magic-User. The only problem I've come across with using the Eldritch Cock rules is that sometimes your lvl 1 characters end up with spells like Killing Word and Geas (which did in fact happen this game) but hey that's the fun right.
Running the dungeon was a cake walk. If you notice the colored doors in the art preview above they teleport to the other doors of the corresponding color. One thing I probably should have stressed more to the players is that the dungeon takes place in an abyss outside of the normal realm of earth. It's also important to the stress that the PC's light sources only reach 15'.
Only having 2 days to set this up I felt fine running the adventure because it's really less than 2 pages you're going off of. That being said though I did fail to establish the McGuffin so at the last moment I said heckin'-why-not and placed some kind of 'holy rod' from the Eldritch Cock book in the last room. After all I was only planning for this to be a one shot but the players strongly expressed that they want to play more Cube World games in the near future.
During the game I did share a few small pictures that I cropped to avoid spoilers yet also sharing Zak's awesome art style. The party almost made it out together with 5 mantis eyes worth 10,000 gp each. The last mantis was waiting for them right where they entered from earlier. The wizard with the holy rod gave it a shake not knowing what would happen... IT GREW! Beautifully to ten feet long which he used to pole vault over the mantis while his comrades were knocked unconscious. Unable to save them he managed to successfully cast word of recall and wake up in his sanctuary with only one ruby mantis eye.
If anyone wants to get a game going just leave a comment!

(here's a photo I made to help get the players recruited)