Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Pigeon Street Society of Explorers and Specialists Session 5

08.21.16; Session Four; D&D 5e 
Len as Argon, Human Wizard 3
Paul as Galillian, Elven Ranger 3
Rachel as Naga, Halfling Rogue2
Jose as Iolas, Elven Wizard 2

 You told me to go back to the beginning, so I have. 
     Play began with a trip back in time. It was a short trip, really. Just a month or so. A few of the characters were travelling south from Waterdeep on the Blue Dragon before ownership exchanged hands. Now that the infamous vessel is moored at the end of Piegon Street, I thought it might be a good idea to establish a link between the PCs and the ship.

     When the PCs first met the crew it was not under ideal circumstances. A mutiny had taken place and the passengers (the PCs) were being set ashore. Once on terra firma, things were definitely not good. An inhospitable shore awaited them. It was a place where skeletal pirates from a doomed raid were damned to repeat their assault nightly under the baneful watch of a statue of Umberlee. Was she furious that the pirates were such worthless followers or was she mad that the pirates dared to attack a village that worshiped her? Or both?

     Aquatic pirates were hacked, a creepy dryad was met and the halfling was nearly pounded into jelly when she shot an arrow at the dryad. They also met a creepy human child who clapped and cheered as they group battled the undead. The weird kid smells like chlorine and has wings, so yeah. The wilds of Forgotten Realms are bizarre.

Talk to the hand.
     We then flashed forward to where we left last session. A giant's severed hand was rampaging down the street in a desperate bid to reach Argon's home where a stolen set of surgical tools were hidden. The hand did not get far as the party was able to subdue it quite easily. The party did some tracking an realized the hand emerged from the bay. Iolas put the hand it a tank filled with formaldehyde and added it to his ship's inventory.

     Although necromancy isn't necessarily illegal (what is legal and illegal depends on a number of factors), the group are concerned that the wizard lives locally and is plotting who knows what. I imagine that there is a brisk market for people wanting to have pets, loved ones and loyal servants reanimated. Creepy as heck, but perhaps common.

When momma's not happy, no one's happy.
     So the crazy rat lady next door to Argon tried to chop his door down in the middle of the night with an axe. She had a bunch more rats with her and she looked to be quite rat-like herself. Were-rats are such a nuisance! The rat mother and rat brood stormed into Argon's home and soon there was a grand melee in the open area behind the PC's homes. Rat mother absorbed a crazy amount of damage before scampering off. Her rat children were splattered.

     Franklin the pony, Fenway the pig and Pete the raven even got in on the action and curb stomped a dire rat. On Pigeon Street if you don't start none, there won't be none. Pigeon Street por vida, ese.

     An investigation of the crazy rat lady's house led to a series of secret passages beneath the houses. It's kind of a nifty underground lair complete with a revolting chamber where the rat lady conceived and gave birth to her brood. The group also found some nice doilies and a recipe book for baking laxative filled pastries.

     All in all another fine session. Iolas has decided he wasn't to locate the Night Market where secrets and arcane items are traded. It also appears there may be a collision between the PCs and the crew of the Blue Dragon. Since the rat lady got away, she may be back with friends.

XPs: 300 to all.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Pigeon Street Society of Explorers and Specialists Session 4

08.14.16; Session Four; D&D 5e 
Len as Argon, Human Wizard 2
Scott as Derek Stormheart, Human Paladin of Sune 2
Paul as Galillian, Elven Ranger 2
Rachel as Naga, Halfling Rogue2
Jose as Iolas, Elven Wizard 2
Eric as Growll, Half-orc Bard 2

Residents of Pigeon Street and the nearby neighborhoods have figured out that the intrepid explorers are eager to help out those in need. Play began with several people lined up at the door of the Lonely Hart. With hats in hand, they begged the party to aid them with the kinds of problems that are bizarre in other cities, but seem quite common in the Gate.

Cursed Composition
     After a bit of discussion, the party soon found itself at the house of a couple. The female resident had reportedly been playing piano for two days straight. Neighbors indicated that she had been moaning for help. She only stopped playing for a few moments when her husband arrived home. It sounded like a skirmish ensued. A neighbor said that he heard a sickening thud and the sound of something falling heavily to the floor. The music then resumed.

     The party kicked in the door and found a slain man on the floor, his skull caved in with a stone statuette of a famous composer. The woman was at the piano, nearly unconscious, her hands falling clumsily on the piano keys. They attempted to remove her from the bench, but soon it was all Evil Dead 2. She levitated about the place, pummeling the group and screaming, "You shall die!" Maybe that last part didn't happen. My memory is hazy.

     At any rate, the group torched the sheet music she was playing and the possession ceased immediately. It was discovered that the sheet music was written by the mysterious composer Suchet, the same writer who wrote the piece that destroyed Lenwe and Micah Rabinov's hands.

Is this going to be a stand up fight or another bug hunt, sir?
     Next, the party made their way to the Auberg district where the pathetic residents have endured Kafka-esque transformation for decades. The least motivated and most pathetic residents eventually wind up as skittering insects. No one really cares as Auberg is the Inland Empire of Baldur's Gate. I used to live there so I should know. *shudder*

     As I detailed in a recent blog entry, the group set about slaughtering the insect relatives of Miss Elisabeth, a tough, serious-minded young woman. (Sir Derek would soon rescue this diamond in the rough from Auberg and bring her to the Lonely Hart. Hubba hubba.)

     The insects were hammered into submission and their twitching bodies were loaded into a crate.The party showed great restraint in light of the fact they were once humans and might someday be so again.
    
     Eventually the party delved a bit deeper into the mystery. They learned that a titanic cockroach lived in the sewers underneath Auberg. This timeless bug, an avatar of the abyssal fiend H'stik, Lesser Deity of Things That Crawl and Skitter in the Dark, was responsible for the terrible transformations taking place.

     The group descended into the sewers and soon met Conrath Grohe, a cleric dedicated to H'stik. He began to chastise the party for their intrusion, but Galillian stabbed the absolute hell out of him. Interestingly, this was the first time the party slew a human/humanoid/demi-human.

     The titanic bug took exception to the murder and assaulted the party. Well, technically, he only attacked long enough to retrieve the body of the cleric, which he ran away with. The party gave chase and soon cornered the bug. After many quotes from Starship Troopers, the big bug was slain. It was a quick affair as the party is quite efficient in combat.

     There was more to the session, but school started this week and wow just wow I can't think straight.

XPs for the session: 333 each.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Pigeon Street Society of Explorers and Specialists Session 3

08.06.16; Session Three; D&D 5e 
Len as Argon, Human Wizard 2
Scott as Derek Stormheart, Human Paladin of Sune 2
Paul as Galillian, Elven Ranger 2
Rachel as Naga, Halfling Rogue 1
Jose as Iolas, Elven Wizard 1

Play resumed on the crazy street of Baldur's Gate. The group decided to investigate the abandoned tower where a wizardess recently disappeared. En route, they ran afoul (ha!) of a cockatrice that had slipped its leash.

Curb Your Bird!
     The ugly beast pecked a lady until she turned to stone. Poor lady. The bird's owner begged the party to capture it and they did. Argon eventually cast a Sleep spell, causing the bird, its owner, a commoner and a pig to pass out. The bird's owner was robbed by Naga. The pig and commoner were unharmed.

The Spire, Level One
     The spire was soon reached. I've been detailing it in several issues of the Tolling of the Great Black Bell. It was written in a mix of 2e and 5e stats so I just used both. On the first level three giant centipedes were squished.

     They found some crates containing doll heads, pickled eggs, wigs, clipboards, and various stuffed pets. I give out great treasure. Let me tell you. There are lots of DMs out there who give treasure, but not the way I hand it out. Boy, I'm going to make the dungeon great again. Iolas found a typewriter and a few employee handbooks. He kept the typewriter. It will look great in his shop.

The Spire, Level Two 
     On the second level the group saved the most recent incarnation of Apris the Wondrous. Apris is always in trouble. Curvy, passionate and she has a thing for fighters. She is going to stalk the hell out of the group's Paladin.

     Apris was in a mess of trouble with a bunch of stirges. She levitated up to this floor and expected her party to follow suit. They never showed up. Did they ditch her or did they get distracted? Who knows. At any rate, they saved Apris even though Iolas accidentally lit her on fire with a spell. I cant remember what he used, but it was cool.

The Spire, Level Three
     The group met a friendly raven, who was eager to share his pile of shiny glass and beads with them. He even gifted the party a small voodoo doll. It emanates faint Necromancy magic. Once per day, the wielder can look at a foe within 30', stab the doll, then the target will take one hp of damage. No save. Ouch!

     The raven later followed Iolas home. He was going to follow the paladin home, but the shifty halfling lives with the paladin and she was eyeing his loot.

The Spire, Level Four
     Bats! Big ol' bats everywhere. There was a fierce skirmish and soon four dire bats were either burning, pierced with arrows or plummeting down the elevator shaft. It was a grand slaughter.

The Spire, Level Five
     They found a Potion of Climbing in ankle deep bat poo. They found an old flying boat. The view from up there was also nice.

     The party then went home with their typewriter, doll heads, and bags stuffed with dead stirges and dire bat heads to turn in for a bounty.

Total XP: 300
      The bat heads, stirges and centipedes earned the group a 30 gp bounty. The wigs and other crates were sold for 50 gp. Eighty gp in all. Divided five ways, that's 16 gp each. It's hard as hell to pay the bills in Baldur's Gate.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Pigeon Street Society of Explorers and Specialists Session 2


07.31.16; Session Two; D&D 5e 
Len as Argon, Human Wizard 1
Scott as Derek Stormheart, Human Paladin of Sune 1
Paul as Galillian, Elven Ranger 1
Eric as Growll, Half-orc Bard 1

Play began with a visit from Marcus Grooms. He thanked the party for the previous session's service. He informed them that the church of Lathander had the warehouse on lockdown as they conducted an investigation. He offered them future employment if they were so inclined as his patron owns diverse, complicated properties across the city.

     Hooks: The party can request more work from Marcus. They might tail him to determine who his employer is. The group might revisit the shrine to see if any assistance is needed.

     Next, the party collected Boris Blavens and headed to the Shrine of Loviatar where he wished to vent his spleen regarding all those who have wronged him. He had previously hired the group as an escort. The shrine was located deep in the bowels of a once stately villa. It was now inhabited by vagrants and who knows what. As promised, giant deformed toads - each with a lumpy head that looked like Boris' - attacked. The party hacked away at the frogs until they disappeared into the water.

     Meanwhile Boris completed his prayers to Loviatar. For her part, the goddess was not amused and her statue animated and folded Boris neatly in half. His spine snapped cleanly in two and he died on the spot. The characters looked around a bit, but decided it was not best to tarry.

     Hooks: Loviatar is often linked to slavery and torture. Would it be wise to stake the shrine out and apprehend anyone up to foul deeds? Is there a cult based at the villa? Is it worth exploring?

     Things did not stay quiet long at Pigeon Street. While having drinks, there was a great commotion. The group stepped into the street to see a man being savaged by massive rats. He hacked away at them while an old woman shrieked in terror. The group jumped in to help. As they slew the rats, they realized the old lady was screeching in terror because the damage being done to the rodents. As they last one fell under the blade, she fell to the ground sobbing.

     The man who was attacked dusted himself off and introduced himself as Viktor the Rat Catcher. He informed the group he was on Pigeon Street for two reasons. One was to check on reports of large rats at this address and the second was to ask for the group's help. He and his fellow rat catchers located a secret door down in the sewers. They opened it, but fled in terror as the chamber beyond looked like some kind of horror show.  While he was sharing his tale, the sobbing woman lovingly carried the rats' corpses back into her flat.

     Hooks: Lady, what's up with the rats?

     The group descended into the sewers and soon located the secret door. The chambers beyond held
dark and disturbing things. If you select the image, you can read a bit about what the group encountered. Suffice it to say, the area was torched, the undead put to the sword and Argon made off with a precision set of surgical tools.

     Hooks: Is this lab connected to the undead love slave from the previous session? Should the lab be staked out to see who comes calling?

      Following this, the group had a rather unfortunate run in with some filthy beggars. While listening to a half-elven Bard play his violin on a corner, they witnessed him being attacked by five ruffians. They showered him with kicks and punches. The group jumped in and soon drove the swine away.

     The Bard, Lenwe, explained that he had received multiple warning from the Beggar King's minions to share his earnings or cease performing. This was an affront to his honor, so he continued performing with a violent outcome. He thanked the group for their help and warned them to beware the Lord of Cobbles.

     Hooks: The beggars have great nerve trying to dictate terms to Bards. Perhaps they and their leader need a sound thrashing. Lenwe share a rumor of a composer who was deliberately crafting pieces that caused great bodily harm to anyone who performed them. Who is this scoundrel and why would he do such a thing?

    Finally, Argon received a visit from Nicole, one of the three bravos who lay claim to Pigeon Street. She was badly wounded in a bar fight with the crew of a vessel called "The Blue Dragon." She described the crew as rotten scoundrels who call Baldur's Gate home. They are often up to no good on Pigeon Street. Argon stitched her up and she was on her way.

     Hooks: Nicole claims to be a member of Hargor's crew. Who is Hargor and what does this crew do, exactly. What's the Blue Dragon and what scandalous acts does the crew commit?

XPs: We got a ton done. 250 xp to each PC. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

More Houses on Pigeon Street

I've been busy this weekend with my construction project. I've completed two new buildings. I like how they are coming out. The colors are bold and fun.

     I have three completed so far. I think six would be sufficient, nine excellent and 12 a dream goal. Each one takes about three-four hours to construct, so 12 buildings would be a ton of work.

     The buildings will see their first use tomorrow when we meet for the second session of our Baldur's Gate campaign.


Friday, July 29, 2016

A House on Pigeon Street


The other day the missus and I went to Giant Robot 2 on Sawtelle in West LA. I miss living in West LA. I miss the weather and being so close to my favorite surf spots. However, I don't miss the rental rates. My mortgage is less than my old rent. At any rate, I was very inspired by the model above. I decided to go home and begin working on terrain with big bold colors.



     The building was put together with foam core and cardstock. I glued it together with tacky glue. Usually I employ a hot glue gun and a basswood base, but this time I wanted a quicker, faster method.



     At this point, I have adorned the doors and windows with balsa wood and painted the building. Next I used cardstock to create a shingled roof.



     Here's the final result. I outlined with a Sharpie to create bold lines. I love the colors. Bold, cartoony and it definitely stands out on the table.