It was cute…

As I already mentioned, my kids and I are playing a game based on The Hollow (Netflix) using a hacked version of World of Dungeons: Turbo.

Everyone’s having a good time, and is totally into it, but none so much as my five-year-old Zoe, who requests the game pretty much every evening. Needless to say, time constraints and the varying moods of her siblings mean we can’t always play when she wants to.

So, instead of bedtime stories tonight, I decided to start up a little game just for me and her. And of course that began by asking her lots of questions.

(She’s a girl with a pet flying lizard (butterfly-colored bat wings).)

And what situation did she come up with?

“I’m being chased along a beach by four demon knights riding demon horses, after I tried to steal something pretty that was hanging in the window of their castle.”

“Was it something important or magical?”

“No. It was just cute. And I wanted it.”

#thatsMyGirl

The Hollow, by way of World of Dungeon: Turbo

I’m running a game for my kids, inspired by The Hollow series on Netflix, and for said game I’m basically using a loosey-goosey version of World of Dungeons: Turbo.

However, the setup for the game doesn’t closely match the original World of Dungeons: Turbo premise, so I’ve already spent a fair amount of time scribbling in different abilities and such.

As a result, I figured it would be worth my time to build a character sheet I could tweak as the game went on. So I did that, and I wanted to share it not because anyone would want to run a similar game, but because I figured someone might want a sheet they could customize for their own WoDu variations.

PLEASE NOTE: I am verifiably shit at design of any kind, so this thing is pretty hacktackular, but whatever. It works.

The PDF basically looks like I intended.

The word .docx will likely shatter if you look at it sideways, but g’head and do with it what you will.

If you make a better version that’s still editable/changeable, please do let me know.

Ravenloft, via World of Dungeons, with Kaylee (video compilation)

Kaylee and I have been playing through the classic Ravenloft (I6) module, solo, using World of Dungeons. For quite awhile, we did it with Discord chat, but that led to a lot of me saying “Dude, seriously, post what you’re going to do,” and her say “I’m sorry – it’s just really easy to forget.”

So the lion’s share of recent progress has been since we switched to playing mostly on Roll20, maybe once every couple weeks.

Yes, I am playing on Discord voice chat, using Roll20 for the play space, with my daughter, while she and I sit in different but adjacent rooms in the same house, because that is somehow easier. That’s my life.

Anyway, I wanted to share the three short sessions we’ve managed to get done so far. It’s an entertainingly non-linear progression through the castle.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 33, part 2 – A Team Divided

A few days pass, and assorted school shenanigans take place. Mercury talks to Tempest and convinces her to allow Concord to examine the comatose Silver Streak. Concord has a plan. Ghost Girl teams up with Lucius to try closing the hole in Oakland Cemetery. She is partially successful. Mercury manages to secure a date with A10.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 33, part 1 – A Team Divided

A few days pass, and assorted school shenanigans take place. Mercury talks to Tempest and convinces her to allow Concord to examine the comatose Silver Streak. Concord has a plan. Ghost Girl teams up with Lucius to try closing the hole in Oakland Cemetery. She is partially successful. Mercury manages to secure a date with A10.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 32, part 3 – Future. Tense.

It’s a Link and Concord session! Link talks with Waters about Rossum and Vyortovia. Adam talks with his folks. Link and Adam actually talk to each other (!?!), give romance advice to Otto (?!??!?), and question the future-speedster who tried to kill everybody.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 32, part 2 – Future. Tense.

It’s a Link and Concord session! Link talks with Waters about Rossum and Vyortovia. Adam talks with his folks. Link and Adam actually talk to each other (!?!), give romance advice to Otto (?!??!?), and question the future-speedster who tried to kill everybody.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Actual Play snippet: Dungeon World one-shot, Gauntlet Con

I’ve been GMing the same Masks game for over a year. Before that, there was a PBTA-based Star Wars game that ran for over thirty sessions.

This isn’t to establish bona fides – I just want to point out I really like running PBTA stuff – as a game system, the mechanics suit me better than anything else I’ve ever run – and I will happily laugh in the face of anyone who says it can’t handle long-term games.

WITH THAT SAID, I do appreciate a good, tight, one-shot or short-arc game, and I’ve been intrigued to see more of that kind of play using PBTA, because I know a lot of people run their games that way, and I rarely/barely have.

Also, I just don’t get to play as a PLAYER very often (I think the last time was a couple years ago), so that would be nice.

All of those desires came together last night, when I was able to jump into a Dungeon World one-shot at Gauntlet Con, which runs yearly, online, thanks to the Gauntlet community.

Here’s the game introduction:

A structure of softly-glowing stone appeared suddenly upon the sands outside of a small oasis city during a moonless night. From the freshwater springs, it appears to float hazily above the desert like a mirage. While at first people talked about its mysterious arrival and appearance, now they only whisper rumors and hushed secrets out of fear of those dwelling within. Others, bolder, have made pilgrimage to camp beneath the temple, believing it to contain a divine being they call Shil-Muar. What secrets and riches await you within its luminous walls?

The GM also noted he was aiming for “a heavy sword-and-sorcery style; expect bloody gore, weird and potentially unsettling magic, and quite possibly scantily-clad people and creatures of all genders.”

So, I mean… yah gotta do a barbarian, right?

That was where I started, but (after checking in with the group) I drifted things a bit, making my barbarian (Clovis Bonebreaker) a dwarf from kingdom several continents away. His barbaric drives were all about amassing fame, glory, and wealth, which looks SUPER shallow at the outset, but for which I felt had cool reasons.

Why did he seem weird and barbaric? Extensive facial and body tattoos, fastidiously clean (washed up every morning, commented on peoples unpleasant odor, et cetera). Well-spoken, polite, and generally “polished.” The fighter in the group was convinced I’d soon see the foolishness of my own behavior.

Dude… my WIS is a -1 – I’m never going to see the foolishness of my behavior. It’s what got me into this mess in the first… never mind.

One-shot Dungeon World players have developed a very solid method for running VERY LOW prep sessions and getting a super-focused game. Our GM followed that general ideal very well, and continued asking the players questions about their background and world as we went on.

The key bits I need to mention about the game setup, to get to the part I’m most happy about, are these:

  • The divine being Shil-Muar was basically a mix of djinn and quetzalcoatl. A powerful trickster flying snake… thing. Mirages and illusions dominated the themes of the temple.
  • The treasure we were all ostensibly after was the enormous ruby that bound Shil-Muar to this world.
  • Shil-Muar’s immediate servants were mostly snake-like yuan-ti types and “harpy-dactyls” that made getting into the temple pretty perilous. Also mad human cultists, but that’s typical.

The relevant bits of character background I need to mention are:

  • Dwarven society is a RIGID caste system.
  • The tattooing is based on one’s caste and various subsets of role within that caste, and might begin as soon as the age of one. Clovis was covered over most visible areas.
  • Ancestor worship is the one and ONLY deal when it comes to dwarven religion. It confers no supernatural powers.
  • If you leave the homeland, you cannot come back unless you “bear with you fame and wealth commensurate to your position.” To come back empty-handed is to inflict that debt (in the broad sense, both spiritual and monetary) on the homeland, and is never allowed. “Blessed are they whose return is remunerative… etc etc.”
  • The higher your place in society, the greater the debt you must bear if you return.

Anyway.

The evening was a series of misadventures (we all nearly leveled just from the XP we each earned from failed rolls; it was ugly, but glorious).

By the time we staggered into the holiest of holies within the floating temple, our fighter was missing an arm, and we were all well done-in.

NONE of us liked our chances trying to beat up a flying snake deity and taking his stuff.

We had ten minutes left in the game, so the GM gave us time for each of us to lay out our play.

The druid basically went belly up in front of the snake god and shifted into a miniature copy of the god – offering abject servitude, just don’t kill him. He was accepted, but locked in the snake form forever.

The fighter demanded reward for breaching and defeating the temple defenses, and demanded just rewards for what we’d done. He rolled snake-eyes (appropriate!) on this demand, and we jumped right to him rolling Last Breath and negotiating his new role as semi-reincarnated, cringing servant of the deity.

I went a different route.

“Shil-Muar, I have crossed continents to find you. I call on you to cast aside this unworthy, once-yearly worship from sand-scrabbling peasants, and join me. I will take you to a land of wealth – fabulous wealth – power, and prestige; a land where the only opponents you face in the spiritual realm are the powerless, empty bones of the long-dead. You can reign in the temples of my people, unopposed, and to do so you need only ally yourself to me, the crown prince of Tuor Kalvek, as I break my homeland apart and reforge it.”

And I rolled.

Fucking.

Boxcars.

Clovis was the crown prince, you see, and had stormed out of the city after yet another argument with his father, only to realize that in order to return with fame and wealth commensurate to his position, he’d literally have to found a kingdom, and then bring the whole bloody thing back with him.

Or… you know… something similar.

I then got to narrate returning to the gates of my city, many months later, clad and cowled in rags, walking alongside an old mule and a creaking horse cart. Clovis is confronted by the guards, and yanks aside the tarpaulin covering Shil-Muar’s ruby. The serpent, wreathed in flames, spirals into the sky over our heads as Clovis strides up to and through the gates behind the fleeing guards.

So, so good.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 32, part 1 – Future. Tense.

It’s a Link and Concord session! Link talks with Waters about Rossum and Vyortovia. Adam talks with his folks. Link and Adam actually talk to each other (!?!), give romance advice to Otto (?!??!?), and question the future-speedster who tried to kill everybody.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 31, part 2 – A Moment of Silence

The Team (plus Alycia Chin) is gathered at the Quill Compound. Various talks happen, and someone from the future tries to kill everyone. So basically a normal Monday night.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Fire Goose

Created at the behest of Mark Hunt, for a silly little project on MeWe.

Fire Goose

Small beast, probably evil
Armor Class 16 Natural Armor
Hit Points 30 (5d10 + 5)
Speed 25 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 35 ft.
STR 12
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 5
WIS 9
CHA 3 (because geese)

Immune to Fear (as near as we can tell)

The Fire Goose is basically just a goose, from a fiery pocket dimension. We assume. No one wants to go to whatever beknighted hellhole spawned something as terrible as a goose (which is already terrible) but also on fire. We wouldn’t even know the damned things existed – and might then sleep slightly better – except some idiot in a robe summoned one and the sodding things keep pulling more of their feathered, furious kin over. Seriously, it’s terrible. We may be doomed. Did you learning nothing from the Vrock Debacle that leveled the city of Yll, Kevin ?!?

Not noticeably larger than a typical goose, a fire goose is often mistook as its local cousins, if you approach in bright sunlight (which makes the fiery crown nearly invisible). However, once you get close enough (why would you get closer?!? – even if you didn’t realize it’s on fire, it’s still a goose, and thus nothing but pure evil and spite), it will stretch out its wings and wreathe itself in flames; either as a power display or – and gods above and below help you if this turns out to be the case – a mating stance.

The fire goose is not afraid to attack an intruder, but is also MORE than willing to summon aid and kill anything not goose-shaped with the support of its hellish kin. It is not unusual to see two or three fire geese turn into a large flock of twenty in less than a minute.

Also, they’re apparently mating with local geese as well, now? And get viable progeny? Gods’ tears, Kevin, what did you do? This is the darkest timeline.

Squawking Lava Charge. If the fire goose moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a beak attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 7 (2d6) fire damage. The target must also succeed on a Wisdom Save or become Frightened. This is not a supernatural effect: geese are just effing terrifying, man, and this one is on fire.

The Great Honk. When the Fire Goose feels threatened, wants to BE threatened, or – as near as we can tell – just bloody feels like it, it may attempt to summon more Fire Geese to its aid. The Fire Goose must attempt a CON save; on a success, its call was loud enough to be heard beyond the filmy veil between worlds, and another Fire Goose appears within 30 feet, already angry and ready to get stuck in.

Fearsome Hiss. At The start of the Fire Goose’s turn, it wreathes itself in flames and emits a hiss that affects all creatures in a 15-foot cone in front of the dire goose. Each creature in the area must succeed a Wisdom Saving or have disadvantage on its attack rolls until the end of its next turn.

Fire Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6 + 4) burning damage.

Wreathed in Fire Wing Attack. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one horrified target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 4) fire damage. CON save or become prone.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 31, part 1 – A Moment of Silence

The Team (plus Alycia Chin) is gathered at the Quill Compound. Various talks happen, and someone from the future tries to kill everyone. So basically a normal Monday night.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 30, part 2 – The Merge

The Team (plus Alycia Chin) gathers at the Quill Compound to repair Jason’s memory.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 30, part 1 – The Merge

The Team (plus Alycia Chin) gathers at the Quill Compound to repair Jason’s memory.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 29, part 2 – Back to School

Everyone (except Ghost Girl) is back to school after the holiday break, and all gathered at Gardner Academy. What could go wrong?

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 29, part 1 – Back to School

Everyone (except Ghost Girl) is back to school after the holiday break, and all gathered at Gardner Academy. What could go wrong?

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 28, part 3 – Question Time with the Ponies!

The team finally sits down for a nice, casual, light-and-breezy Answer Time interview with @HeroesAreMagic and @PowerPony. It’s an emotional roller coaster even before Congress publicly threatens them with treason.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 28, part 2 – Question Time with the Ponies!

The team finally sits down for a nice, casual, light-and-breezy Answer Time interview with @HeroesAreMagic and @PowerPony. It’s an emotional roller coaster even before Congress publicly threatens them with treason.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 28, part 1 – Question Time with the Ponies!

The team finally sits down for a nice, casual, light-and-breezy Answer Time interview with @HeroesAreMagic and @PowerPony. It’s an emotional roller coaster even before Congress publicly threatens them with treason.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 27, part 3 – A Star Falls from the Firmament

The Team faces off against the Dread Queen. Sol says his final farewell.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 27, part 2 – A Star Falls from the Firmament

The Team faces off against the Dread Queen. Sol says his final farewell.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 27, part 1 – A Star Falls from the Firmament

The Team faces off against the Dread Queen. Sol says his final farewell.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 26, part 3 – The Horrible Satisfaction of the Aggrieved Dead

Vyortovians attack Halcyon High, Jason and Alycia face off against their fathers, and Charlotte connects with Federal City’s spiritual side.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

You can subscribe to the podcast with your preferred podcast app right here.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 26, part 2 – The Horrible Satisfaction of the Aggrieved Dead

Vyortovians attack Halcyon High, Jason and Alycia face off against their fathers, and Charlotte connects with Federal City’s spiritual side.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

You can subscribe to the podcast with your preferred podcast app right here.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 26, part 1 – The Horrible Satisfaction of the Aggrieved Dead

Vyortovians attack Halcyon High, Jason and Alycia face off against their fathers, and Charlotte connects with Federal City’s spiritual side.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

You can subscribe to the podcast with your preferred podcast app right here.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 25, part 3 – A House Divided

All hell breaks lose, as Vyortovia appears off the coast, Alycia escapse Byron Quill’s holding cells in the Sepiaverse and heads for the Keynome, and something weird is up at Halcyon High South.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

You can subscribe to the podcast with your preferred podcast app right here.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 25, part 2 – A House Divided

All hell breaks lose, as Vyortovia appears off the coast, Alycia escapse Byron Quill’s holding cells in the Sepiaverse and heads for the Keynome, and something weird is up at Halcyon High South.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

You can subscribe to the podcast with your preferred podcast app right here.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 25, part 1 – A House Divided

All hell breaks lose, as Vyortovia appears off the coast, Alycia escapse Byron Quill’s holding cells in the Sepiaverse and heads for the Keynome, and something weird is up at Halcyon High South.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

You can subscribe to the podcast with your preferred podcast app right here.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 24, part 2 – Jason and Byron

Jason makes it to the Sepiaverse for the first time, pursuing Charlotte… who is apparently in hellscape D.C.? With Jason’s Dad?

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

You can subscribe to the podcast with your preferred podcast app right here.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 24, part 1 – Charlotte and the Magus

We spend a short session getting Charlotte caught up to Jason’s point in the game timeline, so we can get them both caught up to the rest of the game timeline.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

You can subscribe to the podcast with your preferred podcast app right here.