Games for August 2017

Campaign: Compendium – Jade Sky, Crystal Sun
Imagine a world like ours, but changed and bent, seen through a different prism. On this not-earth, through strange warpings of physics, genetics and reality in general, a huge swathe of things we call mythical or fantastical have come to pass as possible, plausible or even normal. Cryptids, living fossils and monsters, aliens, Lovecraftian horrors and mutants, magic, psychic abilities and the ability to shift the laws of time and space, highly advanced technology, powerful armies and mad science, all exist on Compendium, a world of endless wonder. In response to these terrific wonders, humanity’s history has developed accordingly, altered and misshaped, but with still recognisable national, political, historical and geographical analogues to events in our own world-line.

Not that this matters very much to you. Right now you’re more concerned with the fact that on the orders of the Jade Admiralty your existing military and government contracts have been abruptly cancelled and you’ve been summoned to the capital of the eastern Empire of Kin, an island of relative peace and culture in the roiling turbulence that is Compendium’s geopolitics, for an urgent meeting. Maybe it’s to do with the sudden increase in activity in the Admiralty shipyards, or the correspondingly sudden lack of information coming out of the capital’s usually effusive Department of Cartography? Or maybe your past actions, sins, felony misdemeanours and/or bar tabs have finally caught up with you? Who knows? And who are this lot they’ve bundled you in with, uniforms, pelts, clockwork, equipment bags, wait, is that one carrying a spear?? One thing you can be sure of is that a weird wind is blowing, and something Strange is in the works…

The Almanac of Insei
Aah, the world of Pokémon. A world where pet fighting is an actively encouraged hobby, a world with a complete disregard for standardised education in favour of unsupervised exploration, a world full of incompetent criminal organisations, normalized animal slavery and technology more akin to magic whose inner workings are never really questioned. A world where you can do anything, so long as you are a small child with a (sometimes literally) fire breathing monster strapped to your back and a twinkle in your eye. Fortunately for you, you are just such a child.

The Almanac of Insei is a sandbox-with-plot adventure set within a new region of the Pokémon universe, a la the anime/videogame. Players play as teenaged (10-17) Pokémon trainers, adventurers, explorers, breeders, beauty therapists or whatever their as-yet lack of understanding of the crushing realities of the world allow them to dream of becoming, as they explore the varied landscape of Insei. They’ll encounter new locations, find Pokémon to befriend, people to aid, rivals to antagonise, criminal organisations to bring down, plots to uncover, competitions to take part in, badges to acquire through Pokémon prowess which can then be bragged about to their friends, and much more. The world is your Cloyster.

Legacy of the Fallen
It’s been 10 years since the Princes of the Elyn Spire betrayed the peoples of Anira and caused the destruction of the Elemental Citadel. Rebuilding the Elemental Knights has been fraught with mistrust and political subterfuge. Their armies are shattered, unable to hold back the chaos.

Now darkness gnaws at the edges of civilization and people whisper of the return of The Fallen. Magic is making a resurgence for the first time in eons. People call fire from the heavens, twist metals with a gesture and the races of the world find their gods reborn once more. Ghosts haunt the night and demons make pacts with those desperate for power.

To make matters worse the Light Towers are failing. The shield wall that holds back the Forever Night will collapse if the crystal that powers it is not replaced. The few Elemental Knights remaining are rallying what forces they can to defend the wall. For if the line is not held and the towers fall then everything will be consumed by the death.

Unlike some you have answered the knight’s call. Whether young and eager to see foreign lands, an engineer in the new steam age, practitioner of obscure martial arts or scholar of ancient technologies you have all felt the surge of magic within you and it tells you to fight.

Yet in your dreams, in those quiet moments of reflection, when alone or caught in a second of silence you also sense something else. That soon, events will take place that will change the world and way you look at everything.

A Bullet With Your Name On It
Conspiracies are everywhere: Just ask the reporters for the Tombstone Epitaph, they’ve printed them all.

They say somethin’ big happened down in N’awlins that they covered up. All kinds of things lurk under the boggy surface of the Louisana bayous, ain’t no reason why secrets won’t keep just as well down there. ‘Specially if the person keepin’ ‘em don’t get back up again. Not that that can be guaranteed these days, o’course.

After all that’s happenin’ Back East, the fragility of the ceasefire between the two States, the Rail Barons almost at each other’s throats for some danged reason.. can’t blame a fella for heading West to the Frontier. Gotta be careful though, no matter how wide those vistas look a past’s still mighty hard to outrun, whether it’s yours or some other compadre’s.

Tyranny of Dragons: Season III
All but the haughtiest of elves are forced to admit that the Sword Coast of Faerûn is besieged. The five factions that together make up the Cult of Tiamat are working together (mostly) to bring about an unthinkable cataclysm. But it’s probably OK: The Blackstaff, Archmage of Waterdeep, is pretty confident the cult would not have sufficient magical oomph to actually do this.

And so, the task that falls to the Knights of the Floating Wizard, heroes of the realm and agents of the Council of Waterdeep, is mostly clerical: Tidy up the few remnants of the cult, then be home in time for a nice cup of hot cocoa. Or possibly tea, they like tea. They’re making good progress, getting the Scarlet Soul to turn on the Cobalt Claw. But then… betrayal.

Suddenly, the Knights are on the defensive. They’ve misplaced a powerful artifact as well as one of their own number, and the two may be related. They fought a dragon with cultists, and briefly fought cultists with a dragon. They have instituted an aerial defense of Waterdeep, and an expansion of flight capacity is well underway, but will it be enough? Can they stand against the cult? Are there other forces at play? Only time will tell.

Tales from the Crystal Seas – Torindor
At the frontiers of the Imperial provinces lies the vast, mountainous realm of Torindor, an almost impassable series of sharp peaked mountains and craggy woodland that serves as the southern most border of the Empire.

At the forest’s heart lies the ancient city of Telanarath. Abandoned eons ago due to circumstances unknown, the crumbling city lies overwhelmed by the twisting roots of unchecked wild growth and towering crystal formations from the encroaching sea.

The nearby magocracy of Highgate, independent city-state and college of all things magical, has set itself the task of resettlement within Torindor. Scores of labourers, soldiers, scholars and adventurers have descended upon the ruins of the old city, to clear the land, recolonise the city and unearth whatever secrets it may contain.

Join an expedition to this formidable wilderness, make your claims on a new settlement and unearth the ruins of a lost civilisation.

Storm King’s Thunder
Ages ago, giants and dragons wages wars across the Savage Frontier. These battles are long forgotten by the human civilizations of today, but ancient relics remain. And now, the land shudders once more with each thunder of giant footsteps.

GM’s Note: This campaign will run the published adventure using standard D&D 5e rules and take players through levels 1-10. There’s a lot of flexibility in the adventure so it may run over two blocks depending on the players actions.

I’m open to all player experience levels so if this is your first time can assist with character generation and rulings. Equally, I’d like to run fairly standard 5e but if players have specific requests from other sources let me know prior to the first session and I may allow them.

Ad Hoc
The Ad Hoc group are a collection of Rotating GMs with Short Run Campaigns or One Shot Scenarios. The group had a successful run during the previous block and we’re looking to go on and maybe expand in the next.

Every week we will fill a table with a game as before, but if we have enough players it’s our intention to start up other tables as need demands.

So far we have a series of interesting games already proposed and you can check out the Ad Hoc Channel for the latest news on those.

For myself I intend to offer –

80s Nostalgia vs Skynet – A crack League of Extraordinary Resistance Fighters are sent back to the 80s to defend the past from Terminators. {at least three sessions}

Time Tours: Passage on the Titanic – Tour guides taking their tourists on a one chance trip of a lifetime.

Plus replays of last blocks big hits on nights we have an extra table to fill.