Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Once more into the Void - Session 21

I climbed up onto the battlement and collapsed in exhaustion on my back. But I quickly rolled to my side and staggered upright. The sounds of sword on sword and screams filled the night around me. Ahead of me on the tower I can see Mukah driving back and killing a pair of goblins. Then from nowhere a glowing spear appears and strikes at the startled Half-Orc.

By the gods, it looks like a Spiritual weapon spell!

There must be a shaman amongst the goblins. I climb the steps to the tower and peer over the battlements into the darkness. On a raised walkway below I can see an Orc clad in ringmail waving his arms above his head. There!

The orc is directing more goblins to charge the tower. I turn to yell to Mukah; “That Orc, he is casting the spell!”

Mukah looks back at me with little comprehension, he has gone mad with battlelust. Roaring some curse or challenge in orcish he steps back runs and leaps off the battlement into darkness.

Jumping up I look over the battlement to see where he has fallen and incredibly I see Mukah land perfectly on his feet beside the orc shaman with his sword ready to strike!

Once More into the Void Session 21: Lets go in the front door.

This week the session was mainly combat followed by a little exploration. I am going to break it down by rounds. Last week, our band of heroes had located a ruined keep in the mountains that we surmised was the lair of the Necromancer. We attempted a stealthy approach but the alarm was soon raised. It took 2-3 rounds of combat the previous week to fight into the courtyard of the keep. Mukah, Talrek and the wolf Tinda are still down in the courtyard. Oto ascended to the battlements and Thyrell and Alcor followed him there.

Round 1
Mukah engages one of the worgs and kills it with his sword. Alcor finishes climbing up onto the battlements near where Oto is pinned down by archers. Talrek, fighting down in the courtyard kills two goblins - one with his Spiritual hammer. Oto casts Burning Hands towards a goblin but he ducks out of the way and is only slightly burned. Oto takes the time to apply a healing salve. Moving away from Oto on the battlements, Thyrell cruelly chops apart a goblin with his twin swords. Oto is struck in the head by an arrow fired from one of the towers. More and more goblin archers are appearing from behind cover.

Round 2
Mukah decapitates a goblin attacking Tinda, then he moves to climb up the battlements. Alcor runs up and attacks two goblins, killing one with his spear but missing the other. Talrek casting Guiding Bolt at more goblins entering the courtyard from the north. Oto casts Magic Missile and finally kills the goblin that had him pinned down, he then moves rapidly over the gatehouse to get closer to where Thyrell and Alcor are fighting. Two goblins archers spot Oto and fire at him. Oto is struck twice by arrows as he presents an enormous target. Talrek is attacked by multiple archers in the towers and is struck gravely by one arrow.

Round 3
Mukah finishes his climb and reaches the battlements. He immediately attacks the archers firing at Oto. Alcor reaches the East tower and kills one of the goblins hiding there. Talrek struggles mightily to climb up onto the battlements out of the courtyard. He manages to pull himself up near Mukah. Talrek’s Spiritual Hammer crushes in the head of one of the goblins. Oto pauses and takes the time to cast Mage Armor on himself then scrambles around a corner into what he hopes is better cover. Thyrell kills the last goblins defending the easternmost tower. Suddenly, two more goblin archers appears out of the darkness with a clear line of sight to Oto. They both fire but miraculously both miss. Mukah comes under fire from five goblins archers but only one manages to hit him.

Oto tries to find cover and walks right into an ambush.

Round 4
Mukah kills one of the archers defending the central tower. Alcor returns from the east tower and as he runs toward Oto he flings a dart catching one of the archers in the eye, killing him. Talrek kills another goblin in the central tower with his Spiritual Hammer. Oto crawls back over the gate, sees a line goblins in the courtyard and casts Firebolt at him hitting him but not killing him. Thyrell switches to his bow and leaves the east tower on Alcor’s heels. He fires an arrow while running and kills the remaining archer menacing Alcor. The goblin in the courtyard tries to scramble up the wall to get his hands on Oto, but he falls back down. More goblins join the fray from the north, pushed on by a tall, brutish orc. Oto is struck by another arrow and is bleeding gravely now. A spear appears out of thin air and strikes at a surprised Mukah on the central tower.

Round 5
Mukah, apparently lost to battlerage, makes a death defying leap off of the central tower and lands on the battlements 10 feet below and 15 feet away right beside the orc who the heroes suspect is a shaman. The shaman and 3 goblins all converge to attack Mukah in a furious melee. Mukah manages to fend off the goblins and strike the orc shaman with his longsword with a slashing blow. Talrek lights up the shaman with Guiding Bolt from the vantage point of the tower. Then Talrek strikes down a nearby goblin with his Spiritual Hammer.  Oto fires one more ineffective Firebolt at the maddened goblin in the courtyard, then he runs for the apparent safety of the central tower. Thyrell runs up to the central tower to join the fight. Tinda lunges out from the darkness and drags away and kills the goblin in the courtyard. Mukah is struck several times and starts to slow. Thyrell is hit by an arrow, but then immediately fires at the goblin archer and kills him.

Mukah makes a rash leap from the tower into the middle of the goblins.

Round 6
Mukah misses the shaman, the shaman then strikes Mukah again who is now staggered and near the end. Before Mukah can be struck again, Talrek hits the shaman again with Guiding Bolt, this time the shaman tumbles to his knees and topples dead off of the battlements. Alcor appears and kills the remaining goblins attacking Mukah. Oto casts his last spell, Burning Hands, this time he kills one goblin and badly injures another. The two remaining goblins, devoid of a leader, turn and make a run for it. Mukah flings his javelin sixty feet striking one fleeting goblin in the hip, but the goblin disappears in the distance. Alcor catches up to the other fleeing goblin (the one who is badly burned) and kills him. Tinda sets off in pursuit of the last goblin.

With the fight over, Oto collapses in a heap and starts patching up his wounds, and removing an arrow from his thigh. The heroes gather together and Talrek casts Prayer of Healing to restore several of the heroes to full health. Talrek goes to see where Tinda is and finds the wolf sniffing around a crude goblin shrine erected on a pile of rubble. In the rubble Talrek finds some gems. Talrek searches the orc shaman corpse and sets aside his ringmail, shield and spear. After casting Detect Magic it is discovered that the spear, shield, boots and a potion are magic. Alcor takes the spear and Talrek takes the shield. The heroes search through some buildings in the rest of the ruins and find a few coins but no clues to how the goblin got away. Tinda is still scratching around the goblin shrine so everyone gathers there to search. No one can find a clue so the decision is made to check again in daylight.

The heroes camp in the east tower and set watches. They are not disturbed during the night. The next day the heroes search around the shrine again but have no success until Mukah finds a concealed door when he pushes some rubble aside. A pair of wooden doors almost flush with the ground conceal an ancient stone staircase descending below the keep.

In the complete melee in the keep over 2 sessions we killed 15 goblin archers, 15 goblin swordsmen, 1 orc shaman and 4 worgs.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

No Blasters

I am pretty happy with a work in progress I created this weekend so I thought I would share it. It is a location in a Stars without Number adventure I have almost finished writing. The bar located under the Montegue Hotel.

I threw in a number of the character models I have created and modified some to look more futuristic. The lighting was a struggle but once I upped the Samples to 512 for the final render it cleared up pretty well for an enclosed space render.

Captain Irina has a few things to say to Marko

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Once more into the Void Session 20

I try to move cautiously and quietly at the same time. So far I seem to be managing without breaking my neck. I keep one hand gripped on the back of Thyrell's wolf to steady me.

We are right under the walls of the old keep now. I glance up nervously but I cannot see anything except the outline of the walls far above us against the sky.

I follow the wolf as we round a corner of the path toward the old gatehouse. There is a dim flickering light ahead. I can just make out... Movement! On the path head it looks like two goblins. Thyrell and Talrek exchange hand signals and I can see Thyrell notching an arrow.

Wait.  I have just the spell for this!

I wave my hands above my head, concentrate and speak the weave of magic.

"Dormis" I whisper. First one goblin and then the second slump to the ground.

Once more into the Void Session 20

It was a short session this week. We are back from the holidays but people are still busy or fighting colds.

When last we left off the heroes had traveled under the mountains fighting spiders every step of the way before emerging on a ledge on the mountainside. There is a ruined keep about a half mile away slightly further up the mountainside.

The heroes decide to observe the Keep for a few hours but at the distance of half a mile all they can discern is that there is some movement. Given the blanket of snow on the ground the opinion is that we cannot approach without being spotted. Then Thyrell offers to use his Ring of Minor Invisibility.

Thyrell puts the ring on, disappears, much to the worry of his companion wolf Tinda, and he travels up the path to the keep. Getting closer he can see that the workmanship is similar to the old ruined tower in Winterton. The keep is old, basically a ruin but there are signs of recent crude repairs. As Thyrell gets up close to the keep on the path he knocks a rock lose that goes clattering down the mountainside. Some goblins peer down in his direction. But seeing nothing, they lose interest and pop back out of sight. Thyrell decides that caution is more important and he turns back before approaching the entrance to the keep and returns.

Thyrell returns and tells his friends what he was able to see. There are several suggestions on how to proceed. Oto suggests casting jump on everyone and leaping over the walls of the keep. Talrek suggests sneaking up during the night when possibly the guards will be less active. The suggestion carries the day once Alcor augments the plan with his Shadow Arts ability. Once Alcor focuses and brings about the ability the group heads for the keep. Now there noise is muffled and they are harder to see.

Talrek had been worried that Oto, the lone human in the group, would fall down the side of the mountain in the dark but everyone, Oto included make it to the keep undetected (as far as they can tell). Approaching the entrance to the keep they make out that it is guarded by two goblins but it is just an open archway with no door or barrier. Oto casts sleep and both goblins fall unconscious. Talrek and Mukah dispatch the two sleeping goblins. Quietly the group enters the keep.

Otrivush Oto casts Sleep on the Goblin guards

Just inside the keep are two more goblins standing near a pair of fires. One of the guards spots Talrek but mistakes him for a guard. He angrily tells Talrek to get back to his post in goblin. Talrek pretends to be a goblin guard looking for a meal. The goblin is fooled by Talrek's mastery of goblin but still tells him to get back to his post. Talrek sneaks back into the dark. Oto casts sleep again and both of the goblin guards fall to the ground. Yelling in goblin erupts from one of the towers. Talrek hears, "Get up you lazy dogs!" Alcor and Talrek run up and kill the two sleeping goblins. Almost immediately the alarm is raised. A gong rings throughout the keep and a lot of yelling is heard.

Three more goblins and a pair of worgs enter the keep courtyard from the north rushing toward Alcor and Talrek. Alcor spears one of the worgs then spins and snaps its neck with his fist. Talrek attacks the other worg but misses. Oto decides to cast jump on himself and he leaps up onto the battlements in a single bound. Unfortunately, this appears to be unwise as he is immediately confronted by a host of goblins archers on the battlements. One archer hits Oto with an arrow wounding him gravely. Seeing the danger to Oto, Thyrell leaps up and grabs the battlement ledge and pulls himself up to face down the goblins. In the final action of the opening melee of the battle, Tinda lunges at the worg and bites it in the flank.

We had to stop mid-battle because of the late time. Oto is badly injured and surrounded by archers but Thyrell is now nearby to help. Talrek, Alcor and Mukah appear poised to clear out the goblins in the courtyard but they face the danger of archers on the battlements behind cover.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Lowpoint Starport

I have not managed to post so far in the new year. Not that I have not been working on things. After a flurry of activity on the Bomar domed city I decided I wanted to go back and finish off my Lowpoint Starport I have been working on for months. Armed with more ability in Blender now it did not take all that long to finish off the 50 buildings of the starport.  Given that Bomar has 500+ buildings I will need to use more general methods to complete it or I will never get it done.

I have attached a bunch of images taken in the Lowpoint render.

Distance shot from out at sea

Lowpoint is located at the end of the Logaolos Point. A desolate, rocky point of land more than 100 kilometers from the Newalter, the capital city of Tusa. The original starports for Tusa were on the continent of Atsox. After the scream there was an accident at one of the starports and the entire continent became uninhabitable. Tusa was re-discovered by starships from Kaitos in 3072. At first ships landed on concrete landing pads wherever they could be built. Eventually, it was decided Tusa needed a starport. Heeding the lessons learned by the Atsox catastrophe it was decided to place the starport on a desolate peninsula.

The Overlook Hotel
Once the landing pads were in place, offices and warehouses were built, then bars and hotels for travelers drawn to Tusa for big-game hunting. Eventually, Logaolos Point Star Port or "Lowpoint"  grew to a few dozen buildings and a population of around 25,000.

The most popular Hotel is the Overlook. Perched on the edge of a cliff. The hotel has its own landing pad for air cars to take wealthy guests hunting on the continent of Moneaux. It also has elevators down to a building at water's edge where guests can charter a deep sea fishing boat.

The Piazza
Lowpoint is built around a central, open square dedicated to growing grass, plants and trees. I stayed true to my original map in most cases. Some items look fine on a map but out of scale in reality. Once I put down the buildings I realized the square was far too big. But I decided not to change it.

Khamid Tower
The most popular spacer bar is located in Khamid Tower residences on the piazza. The "Landing Pad" is located mid-way up the tower. It is recognizable from large hologram of an overweight spacer sitting on a rocket.

The Landing Pad does a brisk business late into the night

The bar/entertainment zone that draws in the locals from Newalter and beyond is Morley's Bar. Licensed gambling on just about anything. Large holo-screens and a good location right next to the Hyper-Loop terminus.

Morley's Bar
Wealthier travelers and spacers with their own air cars usually fly to Newalter and other cities and locations on Tusa. The locals who work in Lowpoint and live in Newalter come by Hyper Loop. A much cheaper way to travel. For a few credits you can get in a capsule and zip into Newalter in just 20 minutes.

The Hyper Loop Line
The hyper loop line comes into Lowpoint right beside the twin towers of the Frontier Alliance office. FA has a major office on Tusa at Lowpoint and it has a reputation of calling in debts on star ships and impounding them at the Lowpoint Impound pads. Some spacers with bad credit make a point of not landing on Tusa because of this.

The Montegue Hotel
Moving away from the piazza are the few areas of danger in Lowpoint. Muggings and car-jacking do occur in these areas. Lowpoint does not have much of a police force. Customs officers are the only police in Lowpoint and they are more interested in checking for smuggled goods.

Low Rent shops
Smaller shops offering financing and credit advances, lawyers, weapons shops are common in the back alleys of Lowpoint. Late night pedestrians are warned to keep alert.

Landing Pad X2
Two landing pads are set aside for a government run service shuttling passengers and cargo down from Tusa Highpoint space station. Moving goods from ships not configured for atmospheric travel. From the landing pads, passengers are moved by bus and cargo goes through customs inspection. Enormous tanks of hydrogen fuel are located not far from the starport terminal.

Viewing Lowpoint from the surrounding hills. A local farm boy is warned
of the dangers of Lowpoint by his Uncle Ben.

One last image taken from the hills outside Lowpoint. To provide scale I tossed in an air car and a few locals.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

New Year

This is my first post of 2018.

In 2017 I managed to post 159 times. Which I think is really good, more than I had hoped to manage. However, if you look at my posts month to month you can see that I started on fire almost posting every day. For the last 6 months I have been posting more like 1 per week or 5-6 times per month.

Part of the problem is that I felt the need to make more and more content filled posts as the year went on. Posts that took a lot more effort to create and often had map or art added to them. 

Coming soon in 2018 I hope to finally post a Stars without Number adventure. No really. I actually got it plotted out and wrote the introduction and background over the holidays. 

Here’s a picture of a Halfling wizard so that this post is not totally filler.