Monday, April 2, 2012

Classic Fantasy- 2 maps with notes.

I've been playing B/X with my boys (ages 10 and 8) for about an hour each night for the last three nights.  They wanted to do something that was kind of like LoTR, which is definitely not my usual thing. However, I figured I'd reexamine my own prejudice's and give it a shot.

My inspirational source material:
The Hobbit- JRRT
The Elfin Ship- James Blaylock
Lyonesse/ The Green Pearl- Jack Vance
Bloodstar- Richard Corben
Europe Between the Oceans- Barry Cunliff (Fairly advanced archaeology text book on prehistoric Europe, useful for filling tombs, among other things).
Dwarf Land -Huge Ruined Scott

The basic set up, conceived of in about an hour, less the time it took to draw the map- Dark Mantel Tower (DMT) is currently ruled by the Witch King  (TWK henceforth) who has united the four gnoll tribes of the Grisly Mountains.  Mangor, the white ape, an apprentice to TWK has, along with a band of goblins, stolen the Golden Peacock from Glistendome, woodland fortress of the elves. The Peacock has the ability to answer one question truthfully every year at midnight on Halloween. After the theft, 9 out of 10 elves within The Great Wood fell into an enchanted slumber. If the peacock is not recovered by Halloween the elves will never awake. As ransom for the Peacock,  TWK demands that King Blogandorf IV, ruler of the elves, swear loyalty to him. this would effectively be the end of the elves and they know it.

No one knows where Mangor has taken the peacock.  The player characters, Thorn the thief and Drake the warrior, have been asked to find him and recover it. First, they travel to the ruins of Moon Keep to meet with the spy Mortimer (an elf who uses magic to disguise himself as a gnoll) who has some leads.

The Setting: Sensool, Province of the Forgotten Empire:

Each clear Hex is about a day's walk from side to side. 

As soon as they set out from Glistendome upon the back of their elephant, Tusky, the characters are attacked by a small band of goblins led by a gnoll.  The fight is short and savage.  The gnoll is killed and the goblins flee in fear.

Upon arriving at Moon Keep, the adventurers find that their contact is not in evidence.  Drake (who has an 18 STR!) kills a giant spider while they wait, but even after a full night, Mortimer never arrives.  While the PCs are arguing about what to do next, they are approached by a satyr who identifies himself as Mister Thistle.
Mister Thistle informs Thorn and Drake that a creature known as the Troll-witch has taken their friend into the catacombs beneath the ruins. He believes that she plans to eat him. Thistle offers to show them the entrance if they will be so kind as to retrieve for him a vial of green fluid that resides somewhere in the catacombs. They agree and Mister Thistle hooks them up...

Some character sheets (stolen from here)

And Thorn's Log
All this brings me to my plans for this site. From here on in I'm only going to post when I have something substantial to share. My current plan is to post once a month. Undoubtedly,  I will use this format to complete some of the many unfinished projects that are drifting around here, but primarily I'm going to post stuff from my in progress games. I will make my next post on or around May 1st. I'm not certain what I'm going to put up, but it will be something with a bit of meat or I wont post at all. 


  1. Never heard of this but it sounds pretty interesting : The Elfin Ship- James Blaylock

  2. So... I enjoyed this post, as I have your past ones. I guess I have to ask... How do you define a "substantial" post with "a bit of meat"?

    I don't think a post has to contain a new class or spell or anything to be "substantial" - for me just reading about people's games or their thoughts and memories of why they got started role playing are much ore interesting to me.

    I thought this one was great and I'm very interested to read more. If you're busy - I totally get that. But hopefully you can keep up the posting a bit more frequently.


  3. "As soon as they set out from Glistendome upon the back of their elephant, Tusky"

  4. @ Cole- The Elfin Ship is hard to find, but if you like the lighter tone of The Hobbit as opposed to the darker more 'grown up' tone of LoTR, you should definitely seek it out.

    @Martin- I'm just frustrated with myself because of the many half done things on the blog. I do see your point, though. I'll have to think on it.

    @Blair, they originally wanted a dinosaur, which I was okay with, but they decided on an elephant because it was more like LotR. Besides, there is just something magical about leaving the castle of the elves on the back of an elephant.

    1. Have you read "the sorceror's ship" by Hannes Bok?

    2. No, but after googeling it, I'd like to.