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Stormbringer session last night!


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Tower of Yrkath Florn as a prequel to Stolen Moments. Stormbringer 4e rules with my extensive house rules. Three players, 6 characters. On Roll 20.

Session cut short due to real life intruding. But nevertheless it felt very good to be back to Stormbringer.

Highlight: sword with 2 fire elementals bound in it broke parrying a critical and went booom!

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Second short Stormbringer session of about two hours. Lots of fun was had by the players who went full old school and paranoid. They also explored room by room, chest by chest.

So, they are still in the Tower of Yrkath Florn. And - surprisingly - all of them are still alive. Despite almost succumbing snake poison and major wounds in combat. A lot of chatting with demon doors, too.

So, I guess we will continue... I hope, next time, to start the main adventure in Old Hrolmar

 

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Third short Stormbringer session tonight. The players characters bested the demons an clackars of the Tower of Yrkath Florn. The only casualty was Little Mylos. Whom they left crazed on the stairs landing, only to discover that he had jumped to his death trying to escape tornado demons of Vezhan that existed only in his imagination.

They are now in Old Hrolmar drinking too much at the Cardinal's Nose and reminiscing about their adventures. Tomorrow they will meet the Duke Avan Astran at the Scales of Goldar on Quayside. They are bunch of chaotic-leaning misfits and stick like a sore thumb in a Vilmirian city. Even in Old Hrolmar. 

 

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Fourth Stormbringer session! A very short one, but quite fun. Eventually, we did not start in Old Hrolmar because the players wanted to use their time on the ship to summon the panther demon, taking advantage of the silver panther statuette with a ready binding sigil and of the grimoire they had found in the tower of Yrkath-Florn. The kind of succeded but they were unlucky with the summoning results table: an Extraplanar Ambush ensued. The man-panther demon was helped by three Dolphtigers. Minor demons with the body of a tiger and the head of a dolphin. They are pretty stupid and have an annoying laughter. A pretty chaotic but not too lethal fight ensued. Fumbles and parried criticals caused a more than healthy dose of weapons breaking and flying around, noses bleeding and so on. The fearsome man-panther did not score a single hit. It was bound and directed against its dolphtigers pals. It continued failing rolls afterwards. Eventually, the annoying dolphtigers were dispatched. But not before they destroyed the demon broadsword of Morgainen of Pikarayd with a critical parry. It turned out that the fearsome sword had a CON of 3. Now they have a pretty impressive combat demon of dubious effectiveness.

Next time they WILL be meeting Avan Astran in Old Hrolmar without further ado - and the prequel will be over.

Here you can admire the summoning-fight scene in all its chaotic glory:

 

 extraplanar.JPG.c5206ffbb349565e37d9c6349629f340.JPG

Edited by smiorgan
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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick update on my Stormbringer online game, now into session 6.  Big fight in the basement of a waterfront tavern in Old Hrolmar took the whole session. Two demons and a Mereghn assassin as opponents. Additional cinematic elements spiced things, but I won't say more because the scene is a modification of an encounter in the published scenario "Stolen Moments".

We run the combat using Stormbringer's action economy RAW (see the other thread). It must be the first time I use declarations of intent in my whole career as Stormbringer GM.  The combat was tense if a bit less dynamic than I had anticipated. The finale, however, was dramatic and satisfying. One important NPC got her right hand amputated, but the PCs came out of the big fight relaively unscathed.

VERY MILD SPOILERS for "Stolen Moments" AHEAD

The game is gaining momentum, with the players finally buying into the premise of the scenario and bonding with Duke Avan Astran and his bodyguard Nadjana. The trouble in Old Hrolmar has political underpinnings that the players and their characters start being curious about. This is good and gives more depth to the Duke's character. However, I need to have them out of the city quickly to embark in the main quest, which is largely unrelated to Vilmirian politics.  If they dive into the political sideplot they risk  delaying too much the AWSOME main quest and lose focus.  I could either try to weave together the two plots more tighthly than the scenario suggests, or simply leave politics in the backdrop as per the published scenario.

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Session 7 was a short one. A lot of talking in the Ducal Palace of Hrolmar, visiting a shrine of Arkyn, summoning Undines. The players surprised me by asking the Duke a fief as reward for accompanying him in his adventure. Avan Astran said yes! Now, they are the appointed lords of Hrolford - a starving hamlet on the border between the duchy of Hrolmar and the duchy of Jadmar. If they manage to save it from the drought of the ever expanding Dinner of Dust, they will earn the Duke's gratitude.

NOTE: According to the "Atlas of the Young Kingdoms" Hrolford is supposed to be a small town, but I'm going by the original Stormbringer map and Hrolford is most conveniently not represented and happens to be a hamlet and sit exactly on the road from Old Hrolmar to Doom Point.

 

Edited by smiorgan
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The Stormbringer game on Roll20 keeps going. Last night it was a side quest with just one of the players. I improvised the session using the Old Hrolmar gazeteer. It's a great resource for NPCS, plots and places! Criticals, fumbles and a successful call for divine intervention made the rest!

  

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Afternoon Stormbringer session today. The adventurers started their journey with Duke Avan Astran. I am running an "enhanced" version of the scenario "Stolen Moments" from "Perils of the Young Kingdoms". So some SPOILERS ahead...

 

 

GRAVE SPOILERS, BEWARE!

 

Inspired by dreams and old manuscripts as well as by the prospect of holding a fief on behalf of the Duke they departed from Old Hrolmar  riding stout Weeping Waste ponies provided by the duke. Actually, Saran Sheik the Black Abbot and Morgainen the devotee of Hionhurn were on a little cart as they are heavily wounded - same for Nadjana who lost her right hand to the Frog Demon. As they left behind the immediate interior of Hrolmar they signs of the drought became apparent on the dusty roads of Vilmir. First stop Hrolford a hamlet on the border of the Duchy of Jadmar, which the characters hope to hold as ducal administrators once they help the Duke recovering the "Melnibonean treasure" hidden at Doom Point.

As they approached Hrolford they were ambushed by Dervil's gang of desperate peasants. Despite 2 rounds of surprise Dervil's crew proved desperately ineffective. Khaleb T'aarna, the Pantangian outcast, was unhorsed but managed to parry critically Dervil's shortsword and then attacked again critically with his demon falchion. At the end of round three the would be bandits had lost their chief and another member, while a third laid unconscious only because Zergan Four-Pigeons - the Purple Towner sailor - was too kind-hearted and had opted for a non-lethal attack.  The Duke ordered the unlucky fellows to surrender. And the survivor saw it as a better prospect than being slaughtered by the adventurers. Desperate because of drought, famine and injustice from the King and Church, they had heard that in Rignariom, on Ilmiora's border, Estele Regardus - a girl of humble birth and pure heart - was preaching the penance of the corrupt Church and calling the poor to disobedience in the name of True Law.  Inspired by these stories they had created their own insurrectionist group nominally allegied to her cause, but actually not doing much beyond petty banditry.

When our heroes entered the village of Hrolford  a small crowd gathered around them, voicing contrasting sentiments. The Duke was hesitant, but Marlissa of Sequaloris delivered a great speech, promising a new era of prosperity (and Chaos?) to the village. 

They plan to stay one or two weeks in Hrolford as their wound heal. Those who are not wounded will be busy with agricultural works (and demon summoning in the crypt below the chapel of Law!).  Bu the Duke won't let them stay for long as he has Doom Point constantly on his mind, dreaming of the mysterious treasure and of the red-rosy light.

     

 

    

 

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Just in case you were in doubt, our Roll 20 Stormbringer games continues. They characters stayed one week in Hrolford where they started to rebuild the destitute and desperate village and save it from the encroaching Dinner of Dust. For that I used a variant of Revolution d100 conflict rules (outdebating the Vilmirian Inquisition was a high point of the conflict!). They also summoned a hand-demon for Nadjana who had lost her hand due to a major wound. After a week Avan Astran grew impatient. They left for Doom Point, which they reached after 4 days on the backs of their trusty ponies.

(continues in the next post - with spoilers)

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, not exactly last night but last Thursday night. We had a great Stormbringer session. I'll try to say something without spoilering the Stolen Moments scenario too much.

SPOILERS AHEAD BEWARE

The characters investigated a Melnibonean necropolis on top of a seaside cliff. They tried to summon a gnome to clear a caved in passage to enter a burial mound. They fumbled, angering Grome for disturbing the burial of the dead. It was enormously fun to narrate the angry earth elemental made of earth, bones and tombstones wandering about menacingly.

They also used a rune - pilfered from Mongoose Elric - to summon the spirit of a Half-Melnibonean girl dead a millennium before.

They learned something about a curse. But that did not help them too much.

And they all ended up in the past...

END SPOILERS

Players are having fun. Like a LOT of fun. I'm increasingly comfortable with the Stormbringer 4 system. It works.  And it works great if you think it is a old school game and that you are supposed to supply GM's rulings from time to time. I do use minor house rules here and there and very occasional magicks ported from other versions of the game (but ad hoc summonings and incantations have been a thing in the game since the first edition). 

While I do like random chargen, I've come to think it could be interesting to use Stormbringer (1-4) for different kinds of thematic games by pre-selecting nationalities and/or classes. A Lankhmar-like game where characters are all thieves, beggars and assassins. An all-Melnibonean game.  A Pan-Tang game or a Purple-Towns game, which are explicitly targeted by the respective Stormbringer 4 supplements. Another idea is a sort of "high-powered" game where all start play as "Agents".

You could just run normal random chargen and then state that each of them had sacrificed 1 POW to some cosmic force and mysteriously had been accepted as a champion of that god. They would have some interesting powers (as per the Agents rules), but they would not be super-heroes but very normal guys that mysteriously have been chosen by the gods to act as important pawns in the cosmic struggle.     

   

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  • 2 months later...

After almost three months of "summer break" our Stormbringer roll20 game is up and running again! Last night we had the usual short but sweet session. The ingredients were: brutal combat, a cursed puzzle to solve and a magic item to risk your soul for...

The player characters were quick to dispatch the Dharzi stranded trooper and his monstrous mount. I experimented, for the first time ever, with a by-the-book Stormbringer rule I had NEVER used: -1 DEX every 4 HP of damage. It is fiddly but satisfying in making the round more dynamic. It contributes to making combats even more brutal. The wounded party risks being hit a second time before attacking again.

To emulate an exotic Dharzi magic item I adapted RQ2 rules for magic crystal attunement. The poor merchant-sorceress Marlissa failed to "attune"/"rebind" the violet Dharzi Scarab and lost POW as a consequence. I had made the POW loss a bit less brutal (1D4-2 instead of the RQ2 table), but she lost 2 POW and that was sufficient to make her an ex-sorceress.     

Edited by smiorgan
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is so much fun to read Smiorgan! And that extra rules that you mentioned earlier: "... Revolution d100 conflict rules (outdebating the Vilmirian Inquisition was a high point of the conflict!)" sounded really fun! Where can I get hold of those? Please advise.

I generally only GM the 1st/2nd version of Stormbringer, the reason being that I think the general chaotic feel of the character generation and especially the ritual magic with everything being creatures instead of spells, right in tune with the overall Young Kingdoms/Chaotic plane atmosphere.

House ruling and bridgeing from other BRP games; RQ, Pendragon, etc. is testament to BRP being just a wonderful system - still after all these years.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/15/2020 at 1:56 AM, dracopticon said:

This is so much fun to read Smiorgan! And that extra rules that you mentioned earlier: "... Revolution d100 conflict rules (outdebating the Vilmirian Inquisition was a high point of the conflict!)" sounded really fun! Where can I get hold of those? Please advise.
 

The Revolution d100 rules:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199093/Revolution-D100?src=hottest_filtered

The basic rules can be found in this free quickstart scenario (very Moorcockian in flavor):

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/287848/Revolution-D100-Quickstart-The-Conspiracy-Theory?src=newest

The conflict rules are on page 7 of the basic rules. My port to Stormbringer was very basic and all you need to replicate it is on that page. In using the table substitute the term "advantage" in the table with "critical" if you are using Stormbringer's levels of success.

Have fun!

Smiorgan

 

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In the meantime we had 2 Stormbringer sessions...

VERY MINOR SPOILERS BELOW:

One was quite short due to technical problems - but it was graced with the meeting with two notable interplanar travellers Prince Rorn of the Vadhagh and his relative Count Manuin (new player character!). They had seen the hulking shadowy figure of the Sword Ruler Arioch deep in the woods and were quite terrified. But Saran Sheik, the Arioch priest PC was quite elated, instead. He decided to leave the party to go on a pilgrimage in search of his god. While Saran entered the foggy wood, the other arrived in Tormesh to contend with demon doors until a Dharzi attack caused a major disruption.

The other session was the one-of-one play of the side quest of Saran Sheik. In his dream-quest the priest contended with beastmen faithful to Xiombarg ending up stealing their reptile-pulled chariot, mercilessly killed an injured Goffanon, stealing the Horn of Kerenos (or some incarnation of it), revived key moments of Melnibonean history, became friends with dragoness Lady Scarsnout and rode her to battle against Dharzi mounted on flying crocs. Miraculously Saran, who has only 8 HP (!!), did not die in the process, met briefly with Arioch, and reappeared near Tormesh having gained a ton of Elan, a supposedly magic horn and a suit of Melnibonean plate.

Oh, I love Stormbringer!

With the next session we approach the scenario showdown and the end of the mini-campaign.         

 

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16 hours ago, smiorgan said:

The Revolution d100 rules:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199093/Revolution-D100?src=hottest_filtered

The basic rules can be found in this free quickstart scenario (very Moorcockian in flavor):

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/287848/Revolution-D100-Quickstart-The-Conspiracy-Theory?src=newest

The conflict rules are on page 7 of the basic rules. My port to Stormbringer was very basic and all you need to replicate it is on that page. In using the table substitute the term "advantage" in the table with "critical" if you are using Stormbringer's levels of success.

Have fun!

Smiorgan

Thank you! Sorry for the late reply!

Kindest regards,

Erik.

Edited by dracopticon
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  • 2 weeks later...

Stormbringer session last-night! Game going on and approaching the grand finale! 

SPOILERS AHEAD for the scenario STOLEN MOMENTS (Perils of the Young Kingdom)

Our characters found themselves unable to gain access to the Melnibonean Tower in Tormesh (Ah, these demon doors!). While they were debating on what to do, the village got attacked by remnants of the Dharzi army who found themselves beyond enemy lines (well, there aren't really frontlines as the Melniboneans are unable to maintaining them due to severe manpower shortage - so they nuke Dharzi armies with dragonfire, demon magic and elemental fury every time they spot them massed, but small Dharzi warbands go around the Northern Continent unchecked). A huge Rhinogorilla hybrid made short work of the village gate  while Dharzi cavalry jumped over the hedge mounting their fearsome worm-kangaroos. A few warriors had the courage to make a stand and implored for the characters' help. Not far from the village Saran Sheik, who was trying to rejoin the other characters spotted a large pack of Dharzi hunting dogs with their huntmaster. The battle was fearsome but our heroes managed to kill the Rhinogorilla before it flattened them. At that point, the surviving Dharzi retreated. Saran Sheik tried to use Goffanon's horn to gain control of the hunting dogs, but narrowly failed. They are now hailed as heroes by the population.

In other news, one of the core players continues to struggle with the system (while enjoiying the adventure). His point is clear: too many skills and too low chance discourage improvisation. If there is no "Tumble" skill I can improvise and use, say, a DEX x5. But what if the skill is there and I have 8% ? In fact, when the players describe what they want to try i do often say things like roll "Tumble" or DEXx2 whichever is better and I concede modifiers if they narrate something cool. But I do agree with him that the player looking at the sheet on might FEEL limited. 

So, I have decided to try to convert the game to Elric! for the last few sessions. Let us see how it works.

   

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Our latest Stormbringer session was a HUGE lot of fun. Lots of talking with crazy Melniboneans, with Marlissa disguised as Melnibonean thanks to the Dharzi scarab contraption. We are close to the BIG SHOWDOWN!

Some VTT pictures below. AS ALWAYS SPOILER ALERT!

image.png.61a38528200f19943b79a0721f3e9bf8.png

Yes, there was this Melnibonean gal asleep within the summoning pentacle! While her pal was illuminating a grimoire. Beware of the stone slab with the dragon fossile skeleton!

 

image.png.390cbeccf0a123796a1bfdf9aae487fa.png

Saran Sheik, the Black Abbot, is basking in the rosy light of the Hearth of Arioch, just a second before the final denouement is set in motion.

PS: We played with Elric!/ SB5 rules. It worked well. 

 

 

Edited by smiorgan
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