Orctober: D&D One Shot

Before we get going, there’s a few items to address. Firstly, if you’re active on reddit, come over and join me in my AMA today on r/Fantasy! I will definitely be screaming about Stranger Things and you could come join me with that. Secondly, The Demons Within Kickstarter campaign is still chugging along. This is the last week. It’ll be running through November 5th.

So, now that we’re here, I have some bad news: after recording for five hours (talking for around two while we waited for Leigh and playing for around three), I went to save the capture…and the program ate it. Those five hours are gone. We were going to see about recording the second half but schedules just weren’t really going to let that happen. I’ve since figured out how to properly record for a potential next time, thankfully, so that shouldn’t happen again. But now what?

Well, I’m going to at least try to give you a summary of the game. I realize this isn’t quite as good as listening but it is, unfortunately, the best I can do. I’ll try to make it worth your while though!

The basic premise of the campaign centered on a horde under a warlord attacking a castle with a hoard. Basically, our horde was being excluded from being able to live a little more comfortably, just toiling outside the castle while the humans live in excess. The party consisted of Radha (pronounced “Rahla” because Celtic), a half-orc druid played by Leigh, Jack Bloodfist, a half-orc bardbarian as played by his author, James Jakins, Grimnir, a full-blood orc rogue/barbarian as played by his author, Scott Oden, and me as Gruflek, a full-blood orc fighter. We used my orc variants as a basis for our characters. Our DM is my friend Garrett, who runs my personal D&D game (which I mentioned previously as well). We also started at level 5 and used point buy for our stats.

So the game starts off in the middle of the siege. We’re a side unit under Radha’s command, with pikemen up front, and a goddamn ogre/goblin-manned cannon behind us. The goal is to break the walls and storm in. While we’re getting the cannon ready, a group of humans and some of our number are fighting down the hill. We take a hail of arrows, which Gruflek is unable to dodge from. Radha casts call lightning and proceeds to wreck the humans. Our forces pull away from the lightning, prompting the humans to head after us, unsuccessfully. The cannon fires, taking out a group and Grimnir suggests we move forward enough to aim the cannon at the walls to aid the frontline.

The shot misses but it’s close. Then a regiment of griffin riders flies out and straight for us. Some of them get taken out by the lightning but the rest make it our way. Jack casts faerie fire on some of them. Their leader manages to escape it. Some of the pikemen manage to keep some of the riders at bay but two of them land near us and the fight begins in earnest. Grimnir goes for a sneak attack on the rider nearest him, but ends up just doing normal damage. Gruflek steps up to the rider nearest him and takes a swing with his greatsword. I rolled a critical, so Gruflek just wrecks the griffin, slicing off one of its wings.

Jack and Radha are mostly running support. When Grimnir’s turn rolls back around, he manages to rip the rider off his mount and turn it into a duel. Gruflek finishes off the griffin and takes on the rider, eventually dispatching him as well and moving to aid Grimnir. Radha rolls up on Gruflek and says, “You see what ya did to that one? Do it again!” and casts haste, meaning he now has an extra attack per turn (for 3 total) and double movement speed, and still has advantage from the faerie fire. So the next rider falls. The leader of the riders finally gets to our cannon and begins taking out the goblin operators.

Grimnir also decides to take the head of the rider he killed. Gruflek challenges the leader, who accepts after using some sort of magical strike to shatter the cannon. Turns out, this guy is a prince. Grimnir crits on a stealth roll and somehow manages to ninja vanish and get behind the guy for a sneak attack, trash talking as he does. Gruflek runs up and drops the prince to the ground with a sideways shoulder thrust to keep him from landing on Grimnir. So now the prince is prone but he manages to avoid Gruflek’s next attacks.

He rises and casts some sort of wind blast spell, which Grimnir and Gruflek both shrug off, Gruflek remarking, “What a lovely breeze.” Jack and Radha have their hands full with the last rider, whose griffin manages to catch Jack’s bracer and shake him around like a rag doll, mostly inconveniencing him. Radha turns into a bear and deals some damage to the griffin. Meanwhile, Grimnir gets in a hard shot against the prince allowing Gruflek to come in and finish him off, cleaving down at his neck and shoulder with enough force that it manages to bite through the platemail and finish him off.

Then a horn sounds. A retreat horn from our forces. For the moment, we finish off the other griffin rider while one last rider hurls spells at us from above while we cover escape. Once we’re clear, we find out the warlord died screaming from some unknown force in his tent, scattering our forces. We manage to gather up about 300 or so remaining soldiers and make camp, trying to figure out what happened and where to go from there.

Grimnir, incensed at how close we were getting to breaking the wall, goes on a spiel that, while a bit on the, uh, racial superiority side, also has a core of wanting more for our people. Jack helps inspire the forces with a massive song, and Grimnir takes over as the new warlord. The next morning, we make it official. Gruflek, being the only one of them that has any concept of regimentation as a mercenary, gets the other orcs, goblins, bugbears, hobgoblins, ogres, and an ettin (Grum and Chuck) who wandered into our circle the night before, to pack up under the new warlord’s orders, puts them in a tactical marching formation (ogres up front, in the middle, and in back with everyone else in between, with GrumChuck serving as flank coverage), and they head into the swamp.

Once they’re deep in the swamp, camp is made. The ogres proceed to make rafts to sleep on, with Gruflek making sure to show the ogres how to anchor the rafts so they don’t float away. The smaller races climb into the trees as well. Gruflek opts to sleep on a raft with the ogres as greatswords aren’t really good for trees. Later on, Grimnir awakes and spots a strange light. The party ends up following him, meeting a wizard. The wizard in question actually helped form the horde, basically instigating the whole thing. We update him on the situation we make a new plan to infiltrate the castle and break down the doors to let our forces inside. The wizard agrees and directs us on how we might accomplish the goal.

The next day, Grimnir, Radha, and a bugbear make a recon trip to recover the black powder for the cannon. There, they find a woman interrogating a hobgoblin (or maybe it was a bugbear, I can’t remember). They’re trying to find who killed the prince. Radha casts invisibility on the group and then get enough of the powder barrels for our job to work, and then blow the rest, taking out the humans and the nearly dead bugbear. Jack and Gruflek, meanwhile, end up in a camp song, though Gruflek had been attempting to make sure weapons and armor weren’t in need of repair.

When the others return with the powder, several goblins came running up, having scouted the area, and inform us of lizard people attacking them. The party goes to investigate, finding a tribe of elves whose territory we’ve essentially invaded. They agree to a parlay, demanding weapons be left. Gruflek does NOT leave his weapons out of arm’s reach and so manages to pass with a bit of magic and an oath of conduct. The party meets the tribe’s leader and through the parlay, Grimnir works out an alliance of sorts with the elves. If they’ll allow us refuge and help us build fortifications, we’ll help them keep the swamp free of humans and share the spoils of the invasion once it’s done. Given that the rumor of the resources contained behind the walls is more than we’d ever need, a 70/30 split feels more than fair. The deal made, the party returns to begin fortifications and then planning their infiltration.

And that is where the session ended. Hopefully I did a decent job recounting things but some of the details are fuzzy nearly a month later and session summaries are never as good as actually playing them. We would’ve had to have gotten a second day to finish it up but, as I said, our schedules just weren’t having it. Eventually, we hope to play again and finish this little campaign but I have no idea when that will happen. You’ll find our character sheets below. I’m really sorry there isn’t anything to listen to. I was going to include a second file of bits of our pregame conversation as well but technical difficulties happen.

Do you have any orc-heavy D&D games you’d like to share? Leave it in a comment!

Character Sheets

Gruflek Radha Jack Grimnir

Ashe Plays Fallout New Vegas – Journal of the Courier #001-025

When I started playing Fallout New Vegas, I decided to do little journals for my Courier. Given that I got up to 25, I figured I’d post them all here. This is the journal of Jed Wales, Mojave Courier. This is a long post.

Journal #001
This Pip-Boy has a journal feature so I figured I’d use it. Mostly, I just wanna keep my thoughts together. It’s hard to keep straight still. I guess that’s to be expected when someone tries to blow your brains out. Guess some robot named Victor found me, brought me to Doc Mitchell, who patched me up. Don’t remember much. It’s all kind of a haze. Bits of my old life. Runnin deliveries. Doc says I’m mostly okay now. Gave me some fresh clothes, the Pip-Boy, a few caps, and sent me on my way after answerin a few questions. Goodsprings is pretty small. I’m just sittin here on Doc’s stoop, lookin at it. Guess it couldn’t hurt to get my bearings. How else am I gonna kill those sons of bitches?

Journal #002
Made for the Prospector Saloon. Old man out front says his name is Easy Pete. Didn’t know much about the men that nearly killed me. That’s fine. Met a woman inside named Sunny. She was nice. Guess this town’s just full of nice folks. She helped me get my head back on right. I don’t remember bein this good with a gun before. Wouldn’t that just be a kick in the head? They shoot me and end up makin me a crackshot? Anyways, Sunny had me help her kill some geckos. I feel bad for her though. Her dog died. Tried to bite a gecko and got bit herself. Sunny was upset but showed me a few more things. Tough broad.

Journal #003
Sunny told me to introduce myself to Trudy. She owns the Prospector. When I got in, she was arguin with some asshole about some other asshole. Turns out these guys called the Powder Gangers are lookin for some guy named Ringo. I guess Joe Cobb is the Gangers’ leader or maybe just a mouthpiece. After he ran off, I introduced myself. Trudy seems like a nice lady. Told me she’d seen the assholes that tried to kill me. One of them busted her radio. I fixed it, asked her about Ringo and the Gangers, then figured I’d go back out lookin for geckos again. They’re easy shots and it’s helpin me get back in order.

Journal #004
I guess Goodsprings isn’t just a pile of saints. This motherfucker named Thorn comes runnin up to me while I’m gecko huntin, tellin me his girl’s trapped by geckos on the ridge above. Seemed funny cause ain’t no one screamin but I figure what the hell, maybe she’s stayin quiet, hopin they’ll go away. So I go on up and clear out the geckos and…nothin. Maybe she’s dead. Nope. Thorn wanted me to do cleanup for him so he could get at some damn treasure. Then he said he was gonna kill me. Give ya two guesses on who walked away.

Journal #005
Did some wandering around Goodsprings. Found an old house the robot’s house. Never knew robots needed houses. Feel like I met everyone in town but no one seems to know where the owner went or even who they were. There was a letter on a dead bike though. Said something was buried in the graveyard. I got up there and some lunatic in a lab coat starts swingin a shovel at me. Guess he was lookin for the key too. Guess now I’m a real resident of Goodsprings.

Journal #006
Got curious and figured out where Ringo was hidin. I know I got a trail to follow but hole in my head or not, I ain’t stupid. I’m still healin and I wanna take those sons a bitches on healthy. So I talked to the kid. He’s a fuckin Caravaner. The Gangers wanna fuck the town up over him. Figure they’re gonna keep getting pushier until someone talks or they lose their patience. Good time to work on trigger discipline, I guess.

Journal #007
Took some convincing but I talked Trudy and the others into kickin some Ganger ass. Figure this is my new home, these folks patched me up, helped me pull myself together. Might as well repay them. Course, one of the bastards got away after watchin me blow Cobb’s brains out so I’m probably gonna get in some shit with the rest of them at some point but whatever. I been dead once.

Journal #008
Guess I’m headed to Primm. Need to make some ammo and gather supplies. Truth be told, I’m a bit nervous. Not every day a man hunts down his killers. Least this old house has a loading bench. We’ll see what the Mojave’s gonna throw at me.

Journal #009
Things got pretty heated since the last time I made an entry. Guess I got a lot to put down here. Let’s see if I can remember it all. Primm, right. I was heading to Primm. Some NCR soldiers are there, said they were keeping some escaped convicts from runnin out but they seemed happy to be holed up in Primm even with the NCR watching them. They’re gone now. Rescued Deputy Beagle, the coward, but he gave me the info I needed. And then asked me to find a new sheriff. Somehow, I made a robot the new Sheriff of Primm. No idea how I did it. I’m not that great with technology but I’ll be damned if it didn’t work.

After that, I found myself up at the Mojave Outpost. Big fuckin Ranger statue shakin hands with a big fuckin Trooper, blah fuckin blah, we’ll make you safe or whatever the fuck they’re always on about. You fucks didn’t keep me from gettin a bullet to my head. Anyways, cleared out an ant problem for the guy in charge. He let some supplies fall off the brahmin for me. Met a woman named Cassidy who was stuck there cause some raiders burned her shit down. Had a drink with her and she told me I could check for work with the Crimson Caravan if I was interested. They owe me anyways for helpin Ringo.

After that, it was Nipton. Fucking hell. Fucking Legion assholes had strung the whole town up…cruxifation…I think that’s what it’s called. Dogs and weapons aimed at me and this asshole in a dog hat starts yammering on at me. I was nervous and horrified and kept askin him questions. He told me to spread word of what had happened. I said okay but fuck that. I’ll warn people away from Nipton if it comes up.

The worst fuckin part of Nipton though? I poked around, got some info about what had happened after the Legion boys left and…well look, I know I’m talkin to myself here, but no one deserves what they had done to ‘em but it seems a lot of them deserved at least a punch to the balls.

Hightailed it away and wandered over to Novac. Fuckin assholes ambushed me in the canyon beyond. Glad there was a doc in Novac when I got there. She patched me up. That was a long fuckin walk though. Now I’m in Novac and this guy tells me he’s happy to point me in the right direction but the town needs help. Great. I guess it’s not so bad helping folks along the way. Keeps my shootin sharp so I’ll be ready when I meet that fucker.

Journal #010
I just launched a group of ghouls into space in ancient rockets from before the War. I need a fuckin drink. Or several. Maybe a whole crate of whiskey. I ain’t leavin my hotel room for a few days after that. Got the info I needed, gotta go find the Khans. But first…I’m gonna drink til I can’t feel my legs.

Journal #011
Boulder City’s NCR troops have those Khans locked behind that rubble wall or whatever it is. They say it’s dangerous, they got folks taken hostage. I say I can help with that little issue. I say I’m gonna put a bullet in the faces of each of those Khans. And that’s exactly what I fuckin did. Recognized their leader. He was there when that fuck in the suit shot me so there was no small sense of satisfaction when I blew his head off. Fucker had a lighter on him, belonged to Benny, the fuck in that suit. Guess I make for New Vegas now.

Journal #012
Parked the truck near the Crimson Caravan’s outpost. Did I write that down before? Guess not. Found this old truck in Novac. Has everything I could need while away from home. Even a reloader. Anyways, I’m here, outside the walls, and I’m thinkin. I need time to get the lay of things and I need time to figure out how I’m gonna deal with that bastard Benny. Ringo mentioned more pay and Cass mentioned work, so I’m here. I’ll get some caps, get some work, and stock up on gear before finding Benny and watchin him piss his pants.

Journal #013
McLafferty hired me to buy out Cass’s caravan. Trekked all the fuckin way back out to the Outpost and she was still there, still nursin that whiskey. I felt bad askin her to give up her family name and all that but when I asked if she really wanted to be trapped at the Outpost forever, she changed her mind. I figured, what the hell, maybe she’d wanna come with me, keep my ass from gettin lost. She agreed to join me. Think at first, she figured I’d be good for some work, get some caps. She just asked that we find what was left of her Caravan. That was just fine with me. Somethin wasn’t right with it though. Cass wants to check out another Caravan that got hit. Suits me fine.

Journal #014
We been travelin for a while now. I been out here trackin down that shithead Benny for longer. I figured the only folks that really gave others shit were the raiders and gangs and the Legion after I came upon them cruxificated folks in Nipton. Turns out that’s horseshit and anyone with an ounce of power will try and fuck folks over out here. See, Cass and I tracked down that other Caravan. Same as hers. Then we got wind of another one and tracked it down. Same as before except this time, there was some dead assholes from the Crimson Caravan and the Van Graffs.

Cass says what we’re both thinkin. They been workin together to remove competition and shit went south this time. Cass was mad enough to bite the throat out of a deathclaw and I’m with her. Especially after travelin out to for McLafferty to buy Cassidy Caravans. Cass wants Gloria Van Graff and Alice McLafferty dead. I say that’s just fuckin fine with me.

Journal #015
McLafferty didn’t bat an eye when we showed up. Hell, she offered me more work. Wanted me to shut down a cap forging operation. Cass shut that piece of shit down though. I took out the guard and some asshole that pulled his piece of on us and then some asshole in a suit tries to take a swing at me and Cass shot him. No one outside that office said anything when we left. They knew.

Journal #016
Cass said the Van Graffs would be hell to get to. She wasn’t kiddin. I scoped the place out. Guards armed to the fuckin teeth with plasma rifles and armor and I saw Gloria torch someone as I came in. Guess that’s a New Vegas special. Just shoot people dead cause they piss ya off or have somethin ya want. Guess that might make me a hypocrite though since I’m on my way to kill Benny and we were plannin the death of these fucks but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

I told Cass to wait across the street, cover me if I had to escape but when I talked to Gloria, she had work. So I came out and waved her back. Door man wasn’t too pleased but he gave me my gear and showed me the ropes of being a Silver Rush gatekeeper. Guess fortune smiled on me. Turned away a drunk, checked a gambler, turned another away and then another guy shows up and looks twitchy. Says he just wants to replace his revolver. So I let him in. Simon says I’m supposed to check all folks for weapons and I just say sorry. Then I took a slide on the road. Turns out, the guy I let in was covered in explosives.

I just figured workin them would let me figure out how we could make Gloria, as Cass suggested, eat her own hair. I bought her a bottle of whiskey to apologize for not getting to shoot the bitch in the face herself but this way let us survive. Neither of us were sure we could walk out alive with all the muscle they had. We hoofed it back to the truck and drank up the whiskey. Cass is out and I’m wondering what’s next. Guess I’ll figure it out tomorrow.

Journal #017
After we got ourselves patched up from one massive hangover, Cass and I headed to the Strip. Honestly hadn’t decided if I wanted to find Benny yet but I figured we could at least get our bearings. I’d seen the lights from the Mojave as I headed towards New Vegas for the past few months but it’s wholly different once you get inside. It’s never dark there and the buildings are huge. I mean, sure, RepConn was big but it was beat to shit and filled with religious ghouls and super mutants. And for some reason…Victor was there. We went through the gate and there he was. And then he tells me Mr. House wants to see me. The fuck does that mean? So here we are, outside the Lucky 38, which is sealed up tight, and I’m supposed to leave Cass out here and go in myself. And she’s lookin at me funny for writing all this down out here.

Journal #018
I don’t know what the fuck I expected up there. It’s been a few days and I been thinkin it up. Now, Benny’s a traitorous snake, that is clear as a bell and we all can agree on that. But it turns out he went and fucked over his master. Bit the hand that feeds him, as it were. And his master…is a goddamn computer. Or a bit robot, though I guess there ain’t much difference when ya get down to it. He wants the chip back and he doesn’t give a shit how I get it. He basically gave me the Lucky 38. I think Cass is as creeped out as I am about all this. Nicest spot on the Strip and it’s filled with machines and two humans and that’s unsettling as hell. And I don’t know what to do.

Journal #019
I agreed to get the chip back. I’m not sure House wouldn’t have tossed me from that top room of his and had Cass shot. He comes off very reasonable, sure, very logical and whatnot. Benny talked like that too. So I agreed and then we left. I’d rather take my chances running into a deathclaw than stick around that tower and all them fuckers. And if by some fuckin chance the great lord and master can read my pipboy, well fuck you. Even if I give you that chip back, fuck you.

Maybe I’ll take Cass home to Goodsprings. Cass is a good woman. When I told her what was going on, she was ready to help me deal with Benny however I wanted. Got my back just like I had hers with McLafferty and Van Graff. I’m lucky our paths crossed. Couldn’t ask for a better friend out here.

Journal #020
This shit with House has got me confused. I just wanted vengeance and now it’s getting complicated. We took off from New Vegas and headed to Novac. The locals gave me a room at the Dino Dee-lite so we’ve holed up while I figure out what the hell to do. In the mean time, Cass told me she make moonshine. It’s terrible but after a glass of it knocked me the hell out last night. Cass called me a lightweight. I threatened to make her something called a Mini-Nuke. I have no idea what the recipe actually would be but I’m pretty sure it would involve some flamer fuel and a conductor. Maybe we’ll just disappear into the Mojave for a while, take care of odd jobs. I need time to think.

Journal #021
Been a while since I wrote anything down besides notes. Me and Cass out taking odd jobs. Ended up answering a recruitment notice in Goodsprings for a bounty hunting job out by Primm. Wasn’t sure what to make of it at first but occasionally we’ve hunted down some real assholes. This one fuck was kidnapping kids from Novac. Some crazy ass ghoul. Had to take some time off hunting after that and ended up stumbling on Black Mountain. Super Mutant by the name of Neil came running at us. Normally, that’s reason enough to shoot first but I ain’t never seen one of them fuckers charge you without a weapon drawn. Gave us a warning, wondering why the fuck we’d come out here if we’d heard the broadcasts. He explained what was going on and I offered to help. Seemed the thing to do. Cass was surprised at first, slugged me for walking into Super Mutant territory but we ended up rescuing a ghoul named Raul, which pissed their leader Tabitha off somethin fierce. Took him with us for a while and then offered to let him stay at the Lucky 38 if he wanted. Told him it was creepy as shit but I guess after having a tyrant scream at him for who knows how long, silence and safety seemed a better option.

Journal #022
Got a letter from the NCR ambassador, wanting me to help them recruit the Boomers. Guess I’ve gotten a little infamous and a little famous. Walked passed the Tops, knowing Benny was in there, the piece of shit. Guy tells me they could really use the Boomers’ help but no one’s ever made it through their defenses. I’m pretty sure Cass contemplated smothering me in my sleep that night. Guy outside Nellis tells us he wants to make a bet in exchange for a tip on how to get through. I say sure. We’re either dead or richer. After nearly getting blown up and pulling Cass through a destroyed house, we made it to the gate. The whole affair was strange but their leader said she was hoping an outsider would eventually find their way in. That was me and Cass. Long story short, we ended up raising a goddamn bomber from the bottom of a lake and now I’m a damn hero to the tribe. Haven’t said anything about the NCR request though. Truthfully, haven’t made up my mind.

Journal #023
I think it’s time to have a chat with Benny.

Journal #024
God fucking damn it! I almost had him! He was right fucking there! Surrounded by bodyguards, and I’m weaponless except for a silenced .22 I keep hidden for emergencies. I figure maybe I can talk him into a private chat. Dumb fucking me. I got ahead of myself is all. He says he’ll talk and sends me up to the Presidential Suite. I know damn good and well he’s gone as soon as the elevator door closes but I figure I can look the place over. I hear him over the intercom, taunting me and then up come those bodyguards. Amazing what a .22 to the eye can do to slow someone down. Fucking great.

One of the bastards had a key on them though. Figure maybe we can use it and find out what that fuckface was doing. In we go, searchin the joint top to bottom and we find a Securitron named “Yes Man.” And he tells us where Benny’s gone, what he was doing, and what we can do about it all. Benny figured he’d take over New Vegas and replace House. I still gotta find that fucking chip.

Journal #025
That asshole in the dog head met us outside the Tops. Says Caesar wants to speak to me. Says I’ll get his mark and be forgiven any wrongs against the Legion. Fucking fine, let’s go see what this piece of shit wants. Yes Man said Benny was heading out that way anyways. Maybe I can find him, right? I found him. Caesar had him and the chip and tells me he wants me to take it down and destroy House’s army. This whole thing has gotten way the fuck out of hand and Cass is on edge cause we’re dead center in slaver territory. What now?