15 October 2022

grodog's Virtual Greyhawk Con 3 Report!

Hola folks---

As usual, I had a wonderful time at Virtual Greyhawk Con again this year, the convention's third annual installment of Flan-flinging fun!  

I ran three games, played in two, and participated in the closing panel again, which made for a very fun, but also very full weekend (30 Sept to 2 Oct 2022).

Friday Night Only, Alas

I had registered to play in Jay Hafner's 5e version of the Dragon Magazine classic adventure "Citadel by the Sea" (designed by Sid Fisher, from issue #78):


"Citadel by the Sea"---
artwork by Roger Raupp

My thought had been that it would be cool to kick the tires on 5e for the first time in a scenario I knew pretty well, with a DM I kn0w from the days of Greytalk.  Unfortunately work conspired to keep me away from Jay's table on Friday morning, but my empty spot filled up quickly, so he still ran with a full table (which I'm thankful for!).  Perhaps next year, Jay!

Friday night, I DM'd Carlos Lising's adventure, G2 The Witch Queen's Lament, and it was quite fun.  It's always a pleasure to get to play a high-level villain, and Iggwilv is certainly one of my favorites! :D

We ran through Carlos' adventure tourney-style, and while the players were not able to complete the mission, they did plumb the depths of the vile wizard's lair that Iggwilv set them upon:


Your PCs are forcibly recruited by the Witch Queen of Perrenland and geased to perform a mission on her behalf. Will you succeed and find mercy as Iggwilv restores your freedom, or will you fail in your quest and and suffer eternal consequences beyond mere death? Set in the World of Greyhawk and its planes, AD&D 1e/OSRIC pregen PCs of levels 6-9 are provided.


Such is the notoriety of the dread Witch-Queen that mothers speak of her wicked deeds to frighten their unruly children into obedience. These legends are hardly tall tales. Indeed, the Witch-Queen is very real – the staggering bloodshed spilled as she led a demonic army to conquer a mighty nation a testimony to her existence. And yet, for all her power and vile deeds, the Witch-Queen grows pensive in her fell manor in Sarendathos, faced with a mystery whose subject has cut all too close to her dark heart. Can your PCs find a solution to that which vexes her...before the world again trembles beneath her wrath?

Written by Carlos Lising of casl Entertainment, this adventure module was the official tournament adventure for GrogCon 2021, and is written for the OSRIC™ rules (ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS 1st edition compliant).

Bring your graph paper, dice, and a healthy dose of paranoid courage! Game will be hosted in Webex, via Theatre of the Mind.

G2 The Witch Queen's Lament---
cover art by Daniel Govar

I changed-up the introduction and structure of the adventure a bit, but otherwise ran it using Carlos' baseline.  Carlos set the scenario in the tundra badlands north of the Burneal Forest and south of the Land of Black Ice.  Definitely makes we me want to revisit the region in the future, and to explore a bit more with Baba Yaga, Iggwilv, and the rest of the extended family.  Carlos ended up sitting in during session, which was a treat too.  

The players had fun, I had fun, and I bet you would too if you ran it!



On Saturday morning and early afternoon, I played in Michael Mossbarger's "The Brokenstone Alliance" and that evening I DM'd WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure by Rob Kuntz. 

Michael "The Brokenstone Alliance" had an interesting premise, and was set in Ratik---an area of Greyhawk I've not explored much as a DM or as a player (although we did recently attend a trial there in Bill Silvey's Monday night Greyhawk campaign)---which is what drew me to his adventure:

What do an emissary from an ancient dwarven clan, an earthquake, and a dwarf who died of no apparent wounds have to do with each other? Lots if you’re trying to protect the northern borders of Nyrond. Travel to the Flinty Hills and The Rakers to solve this mystery with characters level 7-9. (Thanks to Wm. H. Dvorak and his Bone March Companion for the ideas that form the basis of this adventure). This will use mostly OSRIC rules with additional homebrew rules and "Lord Gosumba" character classes. Will be using my Discord channel set up / invites will be sent the week before.

I played Abratic Black, a Magic-User 9 with a wand of lightning and wand of illumination, a scroll of 3 spells (friends, haste, dimension door), a potion of water breathing, and a nice assortment of spells.  The PCs were on a mission for King Lyndwerd of Nyrond (and had previously served him in other scenarios) to act as ambassadorial explorers in the Nyrond's name.  

Michael ran his game online using Owlbear.Rodeo, which is not a platform I'd used previously.  It was pretty cool, but, alas, I didn't capture any screenshots from Michael's prepared materials, which were definitely good-looking! 

We were able to complete the mission, although we did run a bit long over time (perhaps 20 minutes or so?). 

WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure is one of my favorite D&D adventures of all time, and is one of Rob Kuntz's finest designs.


WG5 by Rob Kuntz---
cover art by Jeff Easley


For this adventure, I added two more player characters to the mix of pregens originally published in the module:  Otis (Ranger 9) and Lord Robilar (Fighter 12) joined Mordenkainen (Magic-User 12), Bigby (Magic-User 10), Yrag (Fighter 9), and Riggby (Cleric 9)

The PCs explored the first level of the dungeons (we didn't make it into any of the Maure Castle levels, alas), encountering various and sundry dungeon features and inhabitants throughout.  They did manage to meet and defeat the Terrible Iron Golem through some savvy play (although Bigby was turned to stone!), which is not a feat I've seen replicated most times I've run the adventure. 



In the morning, Josh Popp ran an unpublished adventure designed by Lenard Lakofka---"The Ravages of the Mind":


Lenard Lakofka's final adventure. Journey into Ratik's Timberway to root out a growing malignancy. An AD&D adventure for characters level 3-5, pregens provided. Content Warning: kidnapping.

Lenard Lakofka's unpublished
"Ravages of the Mind"---
non-final cover art by Syedafarrwa (Farva)


I played Oben, a Cleric 5 of Phaulkon, as we explored the remains of a Temple to Llerg still manned by its high priest after it was ransacked by orcs 30 years back.  The high priest had been slowly growing more strange over the years, and kidnapped a local woman and her little girl who looked like his wife and daughter slain when the temple was sacked.  Things went from bad to worse as we explored deeper into the environs and temple!

Josh also DM'd using Owlbear.Rodeo, and I did remember to capture some highlights during the adventure:


Marner region of Ratik--
Cartography by Anna Meyer


Temple of Llerg Wilderness Environs



Temple Compound

We explored about half of the temple compound, slew of bunch of orcs, but were not able to find and rescue the missing townsfolk from Layakeel before the session ended.   We also never discovered the dungeon level, either, but had a great time playing through the adventure!

After Josh's scenario, I had an hour to eat lunch before running Erik Mona's "River of Blood"---one of the earliest Living Greyhawk scenarios published BITD:


The Millstream runs red with the blood of the abducted children of Greyhawk's lower class, triggering memories of a crisis thought averted long ago.

Create your own 1st level AD&D PC to play in this classic Living Greyhawk scenario designed by Erik Mona.


Eric's adventure was in part inspired by the NPC description of Sir Bluto Sans Pite from Lawrence Schick's S2 White Plume Mountain:  

S2 White Plume Mountain---
by Lawrence Schick


The background information is a bit more extensive in the adventure, and paints a chilling picture of the hellish nightmare that the PCs stumble into:


The River of Blood

26 years ago a noble of the city was implicated in a series of crimes so horrendous that news of the foul event spread as far as Ratik*, confirming provincial wisdom that the city of Greyhawk was good for two things alone:  corruption and death.

The scandal began with teh dispppearance of eight children, scions of nobles and wealthy merchants....

The criminal behind the abductions made himself known in a hideously violent act of confession. Merchants travelling east on High Street from the High Market to the Duke's Gate noticed it first.  The waters of the Millstream, the thin creek that runs throughout nearly the entire city, ran red with blood.


(*And there it is again!  Apparently it was a Ratik-themed convention for me!).

"River of Blood" was the first of two Living Greyhawk scenarios that Erik published in his "Absolute Power" series (the second was "As He Lay Dying"), but the rest of the adventures remain locked behind Erik's eyes (for the moment---he did state later that he was itching to DM some Greyhawk again, so if we're lucky perhaps he might consider working on the series some more as part of his new campaign!). 

The six PCs were brand-new first level AD&D characters, with a good mix of martial classes (three human fighters, one dwarf fighter, one human thief, and one human cleric of Heironeous), but not an MU among them!   They were able to rescue the missing child (although they didn't solve the larger mystery of her disappearance and capture) and save the day, which is as good an outcome as any level 1 character could hope for!


The convention concluded with the Greyhawk "Ask the Experts" Panel, hosted by Jay Scott, with Joe Bloch, Eric Boyd, Anna Meyer, Erik "Iquander" Mona, Denis Tetreault, and me as the panel guests: 



The recording is available on YouTube, as are all of the streamed games from the convention:


"A room full of liches, other than Anna"
quipped some wag in the chat ;)

We had a great chat that ranged through a number of fun topics, including:

  • Castle Greyhawk and the City of Greyhawk
  • Stoink
  • Elminster being mentioned in passing in Ivid the Undying
  • L6 and other unpublished Lenard Lakofka materials
  • Favorite non-TSR scenarios to use in Greyhawk
  • How to change-up the Greyhawk Wars
  • Favorite Dragon Magazine ad products
  • and more!

It was a fun discussion, and a great way to round out the convention weekend!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that overview, Allan. I wish I had the ability to participate in more events like this, but reading about the fun others have is a nice consolation prize. :)


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