Thursday, April 23, 2015

How's Grandfather Ticking Along?

Were all those clocks safely delivered to Pentagram Square?

After careful inspection, all grandfathers are pronounced to be in good working order . Good job!

Home, James, and Don't Spare the Horses

Taking the pairs race first, Chester the Centaur and Gibby Honeydew spend the last leg tracking Tommy Two-Time and Buzz the Uruk with dogged determination and reach the central streets literally breathing down the neck of their rivals. Gibby finally applies the infamous axe leg to Chester's flank and the flying centaur rockets past the helpless uruk and time-twisting man to pip them at the post by a short head (Gibby's). The event is so popular that it will be included in future years alongside the main event.

Last back in the singles is Phlaag, driving with style and dignity into Pentagram Square where Lucky, who owns a haulage business, is quick to offer the ogre a senior position and will both talk and eat turkey.

Getting home ahead of the ogre and the pairs was Hrrothgar. The hairy barbarian really gave up on the race when he descended into some catacombs but he did come up with a winged helm which, although it didn't allow him to fly horse and cart, does bode well for a rather more airy approach to future dungeon delving.

Just out of the medals are Kangaroo Jack and Dalup the Dwarf. Both have been taciturn during the race, preferring to let their driving do the talking. Jack trailed Dalup by 10 minutes overnight and they spend the day in a dogfight, both killing more than fifty. The finish neck and neck, not even a retrospective 'Freeze Time' spell by Wizard Control showing any separation. They shake hands but the dwarf clearly regards Jack as something of a bounder.

The local favourite, Lucky, can't pull magic out of the bag and has to settle for a creditible third place. He won last year and is gracious in defeat, only spitting at a bunch of desicated mummies, who seem grateful and grow in stature.

The big showdown, seen earlier in the piece than the above, sees an epic see-saw battle between Phloog and Ivy. All through the suburbs, the lead changes hands after Phloog came booming out of the dawn's first rays while Ivy could not help but stay tucked up, even though she is not that sort of vampire.

In the final dash to the line, Ivy urges her vampire horse to greater exertions than Phloog can coax from his animal and the 10,000 GPs prize and the victory laurels go to the young lady. The Mayor is somewhat shy with regard to vampires and extends an offer of a place by his side at the crowning banquet to the ogre. Trade is expanding in Khaboom and although the city has a long-term contract with Lucky for high-value deliveries, Phloog is offered a contract for the new business to the east (in the direction of the ogre peninsula).

And the clocks?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mixed Doubles

And in the unofficial pairs race, it is neck and neck with Buzz and Tommy just ahead of Chester and Gibby.

Gibby has put a cover on his axe leg but if appying it naked to Chester's flanks would make the difference, the bookmakers are predicting he will go for it..

Blood will out!

The Cart Before The Horse

The Cart Before The Horse

Faced with a ravenous vampire horse to tend to, Ivy has a great stroke of fortune and passes a knacker's yard where she purchases a decrepit beast destined for the gluepot. The blood does the trick for her horse and she flies along the road to the city centre, barely missing a beat.
The ogre brothers may well have benefitted from the Jasmine Dragon tea as they are both jet-propelled and Phloog has Ivy in his sights (or from her perspective, he is choking on her dust).
Lucky has pulled away from both Dalup and Kangaroo Jack and is intent on hooking up with a transport vortex, known to very few in the city but quite possibly detectable by him.
Lucy Bottom is forced to join Rainbro in dropping out when her horse (a sentient beast, known as 'Smartie') gets bored with proceedings and heads back home to Castle Bllstrik, heedless of Lucy's curses - actually, Lucy too decides that plunder is more attractive than merely finishing the race).
It is hard to tell what Hrothgar has in mind. The throaty barbarian stumbled across the entrance to some long-forgotten catacombs and has disappeared from view. Rumours in the city suggest he has unearthed a valuable relic but whether it will assist him in the race or just lift him up to the skies in glory remains to be seen (bonus 'treasure' roll for Hrothgar).

With Pentagram Square and the cheering multitudes just around the corner for the leaders, the standings are:

Ivy        232
Phloog        223.5
Lucky        210
Dalup the Dwarf        197
Kangaroo Jack        196
Hrothgar        193.5
Buzz/Tommy        157.5
Chester/Gibby        155.5
Phlaag        112

Tomorrow will see a winner crowned so honour the Dice Goddess!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Home Straight

Galloping past the great outer wall of Khaboom come the leaders!

There have been a few complaints about the tea drinking of yesterday evening but c'est la vie - a level playing field was provided and that is more than most get.

The tragedy of the day is the death of a horse. Rainbro pushes his animal past the limit of its constitution and it gives up the ghost. All he can do is to whisper a few words of thanks and commend the passing of a brave soul before hitching a ride back to Khaboom with Lucy Bottom, who seems glad of the company.

The standings are:

Ivy 223
Phloog 199.5
Lucky 193
Dalup the Dwarf 192
Kangaroo Jack 186
Hrothgar 178.5
Buzz/Tommy 152.5
Rainbro 147.5
Chester/Gibby 143.5
Lucy Bottom 98
Phlaag 88

The two dwarves are racing neck and neck and have Phloog in their sights; Kangaroo Jack and Hrothgar are slipping out of contention while Ivy seems able to drive her vampire horse as hard as she likes without penalty.

Bonus rolls tomorrow accrue to Phlaag, Phloog and Jack.

Gibby now believes this is a pairs race and sees Buzz and Tommy as the only rivals to Chester and him (they both get a bonus roll).

The betting is settling now with books closing on Ivy... but you never now where those doubles will land...
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Monday, April 20, 2015

A Nice Cup of Tea

Tyree is a one street town and its most obvious attraction is the Jasmine Dragon Tea Rooms. Since Gibby is in the race - and is still some distance from Tyree - the Tea Rooms are calm and the people are not as much on edge as they would otherwise be.

Jasmine Dragon tea has definite magical properties: sometimes they are beneficial and sometimes they are detrimental to health, happiness and diverting from one's purpose.

As not all the wagon drivers have reached Tyree this night - and two have been and gone - the citizens kindly bring tea for everyone who is not able to able to sup in the Tea Rooms.

Those getting a favourable reaction to the tea are Gibby (of course!), Ivy, Lucky, Rainbro, Tommy and Buzz (all get an extra roll every turn from now); those having adverse responses are: Phloog, Dalup, Hrothgar, Lucy and Phlaag (does not mix well with ogre blood, 'twould seem) who will from now on suffer 1,3 as a critical fumble as well as 1,2.

Standings are:

Ivy 207
Phloog 191.5
Dalup the Dwarf 182
Kangaroo Jack 178
Hrothgar 173.5
Lucky 173
Rainbro 144.5
Buzz/Tommy 138.5
Chester/Gibby 119.5
Lucy Bottom 91
Phlaag 80

The number target for the finish is 240. From Tyree to Khaboom, the test is on the horse's constitution. Ivy's vampire horse may well prove a tough old beast and Gibby should be able to rely on Chester to soldier on but the others?
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Perilous Pitstop

Those punters backing the centaur a more than a little alarmed when he turns round and heads back towards Pillbox in the dark of the night. It transpires that he has heard the sounds of conflict and stumbles upon Gibby and his assailant. The hobbit more than likely would have woken up and given his enemy a right seeing to but even Gibby remembers his manners and thanks Chester when he works out it's not a kidnap attempt. At this point, Gibby decides to abandon his wagon, kicking it to pieces in a sudden tempest of temper, and joins Chester for the rest of the trip, promising him a real drink up when they get to Tyree.

Buzz and Tommy eventually fend off their attackers and get going but they seem a sorry sight, both nursing bruises and black eyes and progress is slow, with frequent stops because the jolting journey sits well with neither their nerves nor their bones.

Both Ivy and Phloog make it into Tyree before nightfall and look well set for the race to Khaboom, the prize and the title. The ogre is growing anxious about the fate of the wench one the race is over (more below).

Here are the standings:

Ivy        193
Phloog        187.5
Dalup the Dwarf        178
Kangaroo Jack        172
Hrothgar        168.5
Lucky        160
Rainbro        133.5
Buzz/Tommy        129.5
Chester/Gibby        113.5
Lucy Bottom        86
Phlaag        76

Note from Mad Roy:-

In the city of Khaboom is an establishment called Luker's Place. It is run by a beautiful woman names Philathea Lukeromanowishkawsi. She grew up in the slums of that metropolis, and clawed her way to the top. She married two very rich old men both of whom died with a big smile on their face. With her inheritance she built the Place, a huge hotel with restaurant, a sports arena, a casino, and a high class tavern. She is known for taking beautiful young women off the streets and turning them into high class courtesans which she then arranges marriages with the upper crust of society. She is a major player in the politics and business of Khaboom.

Phloog has made many deliveries to her Place and she likes him. He knows that Zillayna would not be happy with him in the long run, and is thinking he could take her to Luker's place when the cart race is over. The half-ogre thinks Hrothgar is not the kind of fellow to take proper care of this girl he has come to love. Philathea would make her a lady and find her a good match.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Things That Go Bump In The Nigh

This just in from your nocturnal reporter:

The rules deliberation has concluded with the outcome that Tommy and Buzz would gain too big an advantage by starting where the uruk went off the rails so it's back to Pillbox for the unlikely pair so they have serious ground to make up.

More back-and-forth debate on the rules sees Gibby exculpated (that makes him jump back in alarm) and it is decreed that spectators getting to close to the action deserve whatever they get.

The scrying-screen watchers back in Khaboom begin to suspect malicious interference from somewhere (eyes turn to the magnificent Wizards' Guild building, today in the shape of a mighty staircase reaching up the stars) while others hint at demonic powers descending... At any event, all too many drivers are attacked during the night.

Kangaroo Jack, Chester the Centaur and Lucy Bottom make short work of the whip-wielding zombie automata lumbering out of the darkness to reach for their necks - Lucy quickly retrives her crossbow and puts a bolt through the fiend's forehead, Chester kicks out his back legs and bits of zombie going flying further than the thing could walk in a day while Kangaroo Jack jumps up and down all over his assailant, creating zombie jam in the process.

Ivy, Rainbro and Phlaag are left alone by the dark shapes of the night, perhaps very wise in the case of Ivy, whose fangs protrude in warning even as she sweetly sleeps. Phloog, Hrothgar and Lucky all get jumped, take a few cuts, bumps or bites as they rouse themselves but then rally and take their attackers apart with grim, methodical blows.

The thing that attacks Gibby catches the hobbit with his axe leg caught up in his sleeping bag and manages to get him in an armlock and is trying to either break Gibby's neck or separate it from his head. Bets are being placed eagerly back in the city (saving roll for Gibby). Buzz and Tommy, oblivious to the ruling on the race, also bothc their defence, the uruk clashing heads with Tommy as he turns to face the two zombies pummeling them as Tommy turns twice in the wrong direction (saving rolls for both of them too).

The other thing worth reporting is Hrothgar's talking in his sleep - seems as if he is pining for the temple maiden now and wants to win her back...

Tomorrow sees Tyree in sight and the rolls will test horse, wagon and route-picking as the leading drivers should have each other in sight as they descend onto the plains.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Don't Drop Your Lollies

Some of the drivers take extra care over this treacherous, rugged ground they are crossing today while others apply the hammer and let the Devil take their hindlegs.

Phlaag finally gets his clock stowed, downs a swift yard and a half of ale (and the rest) with his old mates in the Pigswillers Tavern, before shooting out again overt the horizon .

Lucy Bottom charges at breakneck speed and her cargo survives the assault on its delicate mechanism and glass front; Gibby is truly back on track and scythes through unwitting bystanders with his axe leg as they press too close for his liking (extra roll for the mad hobbit).

Buzz loses the reins at a critical moment and veers over a bank, turning his cart on its side to the unlovely sound of breaking glass and weird time-chiming - he is out but, unexpectedly, Tommy Two-Time appears on the rough track just where Buzz left terra firma.  He has a clock well-packed and offers Buzz a ride as his navigator. More rules examination here, one suspects...

Hrothgar maintains his lead but Phloog is fixed on taking the lead and is eating up the miles, the horse being handfed dried fruit and barley oats as he hangs over the side of the cart, thrilling Zilayna, the temple maiden, who has been having the ride of her life, notwithstanding that her pulse was oft times set racing by the big barbarian she may well be seeing again soon!

Other bonus rolls accrue to: Kangaroo Jack  (2 extra, 3 in total), Chester and Ivy (1 extra, 2 in total).

Everyone seems set for a good night's sleep when Phloog hears an ominous cracking sound at the back end of his wagon just as he is tucking Zilayna in for the night and telling her a bedtime story (extra roll for Phloog - this a saving roll).

The standings now are:

Hrothgar        164.5
Ivy        158
Phloog        156.5
Dalup the Dwarf        146
Kangaroo Jack        145
Lucky        138
Rainbro        124.5
Chet the Centaur                   122
Buzz/Tommy        119.5
Gibby Honeydew        102.5
Lucy Bottom        78
Phlaag        69

Wizard Control are occupied this night on a grand rules disputation and the camps are lacking in their avuncular (not to mention all-but-omnipotent) care. The rolls for tomorrow relate to what happens (or not) overnight but will also count towards getting to Tyree.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

High Roads and Low Roads - I'll Be in Tyree Afore ye

You'll Take The High Road and I'll The Low Road (and I'll Be in Tyree Afore Ye)

Starting at the back of the field, the ogre Phlaag is driving his horse on and really would deserve a place near the front of the field, the way he's setting about his work now - if only he hadn't got off to that 'mare of a start! He's far to go to reach Pillbox but earns a bonus roll.

Lucy Bottom looks as if she will have no difficulty in bearing down on Tyree, unlike Pillbox, and earns 2 bonus rolls as does Chester, who is champing at the bit (silly to do that to yourself as it makes eating tricky) to gain ground on the movers and shakers out ahead.

Gibby Honeydew really should have no problems finding home - but to assume that would be to discount the very essence of Gibby-ness... He burns up the last of the Jasmine Dragon tea effect, rocketing away from Pillbox, but seems to forget where he is going and is making a beeline for Khaboom - extra roll tomorrow to see if he realises his oversight.

Others who have picked the route to Tyree with distinction are Hrothgar (2 bonus rolls), Dalup, Ivy, Phloog and Rainbro (one bonus roll each) and Lucky, who possesses a survey map of the land west of Khaboom and is able to pick out an 'as-the-crow-flies' route to his target (2 bonus rolls). Buzz puts his struggles with the clock in Pillbox behind him at last and goads his gallant horse into heroics, following in Lucky's wake and gaining 2 bonus rolls.

Standings now are:

Hrothgar        141.5
Dalup the Dwarf        134
Kangaroo Jack        131
Ivy        131
Phloog        123.5
Lucky        119
Rainbro        113.5
Buzz        106.5
Gibby Honeydew        92.5
Chet the Centaur                   92
Lucy Bottom        76
Phlaag        53
Tommy Two-Time        34.5

The terrain gets rough tomorrow for everyone, even Phlaag who is about to reach Pillbox, and the test is to see if that precious cargo can be kept intact as the drivers press for even more pace.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Horsin' Around

Horsin' Around

Fag ends of yesterday...

Chester hotfoots back to Pillbox to work of his penalty, nods appreciatively to the wagon-seller as his cart has somehow stood up to the test - the fellow that built knew a hedge-spell, '#8 Wire' and the cart is magically protected, it transpires (that's what you get for rolling 17!) - and does a sprightly u-turn to head for home.

Buzz curses and wants to smash the damn thing but finally heaves his clock up on to his wagon and cushions it against the inevitable stresses and bumps it is about to endure, raises a finger at the locals chewing the cud and giving wise words of advice (like, 'you lie down in the back, son, and let your grandfather have the whip seat'). It is doubtful that the uruk will want to return to Pillbox.

Hrothgar has sent message to Phloog that he wishes him well with the temple-wench and gives her excellent references.

Getting those wagons rolling...

Phlaag is still flagging (sorry, it had to come sometime...) but Lucy and Gibby finally get to Pillbox and can set about loading their wagons which Chet has safely managed, by the way. Gibby has now got his dander up and is swinging that axe leg with menace... he gets 3 extra positive rolls. Phlaag has picked up his pace and gets 2 bonus rolls.

Lucky's horse (aptly named 'Horsey' by the imaginative dwarf) throws a shoe and this slows the stout and stocky one as much as it does Horsey.

Solid performances are put in by Dalup. Kangaroo Jack, Hrothgar, Rainbro and Phloog who all get 1 bonus roll.

Wizard Control send a message to all drivers instructing them that they must detour home via Tyree, Gibby's stomping ground. This seems malicious at best but there are no appeals against these rather whimsical decisions from on high. Tomorrow's focus must be on picking the best route...

Standings now are:

Hrothgar        130.5
Kangaroo Jack        124
Ivy        122
Dalup the Dwarf        120
Phloog        108.5
Lucky        103
Buzz        96.5
Rainbro        95.5
Chet the Centaur                   81
Gibby Honeydew        67.5
Lucy Bottom        62
Tommy Two-Time        34.5
Phlaag        29

Poor Phlaag has not yet reached the point of Tommy's exit from the race but is winning a new fan club back in Khaboom for his dogged perseverance. He still has someway to get to Pillbox and may even see the other drivers heading past him on their run for Tyree! Still, his brother has set up and warm welcome when he does get to collect his clock, which may well be a great-grandfather by then.

The temple-maiden has never been so well looked after as is being done by Phloog who may have won a heart and may still win the race.

Good luck finding Tyree!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Clocking In - The Turning Point

Official Pronouncements

1) Poor Tommy is out of the race. He does get teleported back to the city in one piece but not so his horse or his cart. Time would not turn again when he needed it to - those dice rolls were consistently cruel.
2) Chester the Centaur's need for a new wagon: The centaur has to make a hands and hooves plea to Wizard Control - if they let him acquire a new cart, he will not have completed the whole race with a cart - which is essential. [Rolls 8] - the ruling is that he may attempt to buy a wagon in Pillbox - if the tiny hamlet has one for sale - but he must take it back to the place his first wagon fell apart and then return to Pillbox for the clock. [Rolls 15 (DARO)] - he finds that Dan Jerustono has a cart for sale but will he give credit? [Rolls 13 (DARO) - yes, he will but the price is twice the city going rate and the cart  looks... well, rather shonkey. [Rolls 5] - he gets back to the place of wagon ruination but his 'new' cart is shuddering rather alarmingly! He can chance it and just get straight back down the road to Pillbox or stop for cart maintenance - either way, 2 rolls for tomorrow please.

Off the Pace

Lucy, Gibby and Phlaag still have not reached the hamlet but Lucy does have it in sight now.

Safely Loaded

Everyone else has safely loaded the grandfather clocks on to their wagons bar Buzz, who has had to put it down twice lest he drop the darned thing! (2 rolls for Buzz tomorrow.) Ivy, Buzz and Rainbro have not yet left Pillbox but the others have - Dallup and Kangaroo Jack are going like bats out of hell and have put a bit of distance betwen themselves and the chasing pack.


Phloog has looked after the temple-maiden very well and when Hrothgar warns him that she has wrathfdul brothers, the ogre has no need to fret - the girl prefers going back to Khaboom with Phloog to staying in this limited-horizon place, even though Phloog knows people here and buys ales and pies for his old mates (when he leaves, it is to rousing cheers although it could be because of the antics of the scantily-clad one...)

Extra positive rolls for tomorrow go to:-

Hrothgar - 4 (!)
Kangaroo Jack, Phloog, Rainbro, Gibby and Ivy - one each

Monday, April 13, 2015

Racing Into Pillbox (bonuses for those wearing leopardskin hats)

I wonder if anyone did bring one of those hats?

The sleepy one-tavern village is in sight for the leaders and those not facing serious delays or 'other' problems...

Speaking of which:

Tommy Two-Time failed in his latest attempt to mess with the 4th dimension and has to get down to some dancing in the dark as he tries to hunt down his runaway nag. On the plus side, Tommy does eventually find the horse but on the downside, the poor animal has been half-eaten by the local leopards and clearly won't be pulling anything ever again. What's worse, Wizard Control only watch over tents and campsites at night and Tommy has had to go some distance from his tent and now hears snarling and the licking of feline lips... Tommy is welcome to say what he wants to attempt and send in some dice rolls...

As for Lucy Bottom, she finally gets back her sense of direction and makes her way towards Pillbox with not even the tracks of the other drivers to follow as she is so far back that the wind has turned the dust over a long time ago. Still, she is - technically - still in the race.

Now, Ivy - things look bad for Ivy's horse so Ivy does what any self-respecting vampire would surely do and bites the beast in the neck. She has never managed to make a vampire of anything non-human before but this time, lo and behold, there is magic in the night air and the the horse rises undead with suoernatural strenght and Ivy waits until the mandatory sleeping period is over and sets off with scary speed.

The disaster of the day befalls (drum roll) our centaur friend, Chester... He really fancies himself as a flyer but does not consider whether his wagon is his equal - it is not. As he takes a daring approach to a rocky mogul and gets airborn (no Pegasius, he, much to his chagrin!), yelling offputting warnings to any driver within earshot about vampires and werewolves, his cart lands less stoutly than he does. The centaur finds himself pulling matchsticks and sees a depressing pile of splinters behind him. He needs to decide whether he attempts a repair or tries to get another cart in Pillbox (is it allowed in the rules?) or something else... (that would mean sending quite few extra dice rolls!).

Making best headway today, are Dalup and Phloog - 2 extra positive dice rolls. One extra dice roll for Ivy, Kangaroo Jack (who is bounding along in a seemingly indestructible cart) and Lucky.

Phloog is proving himself to be quite the gentleman, picking up Hrothgar's scantily-clad temple maiden and making sure she stays warm at night before he can drop her off in Pillbox. May they be very happy and snug together and may Hrothgar's rage not be incandescent!

Rather than give yesterday's many dice rolls, I'm just giving the standings (with relative-to-each-other scores):

Dalup the Dwarf
Kangaroo Jack
Chet the Centaur           
Lucy Bottom
Tommy Two-Time
Gibby Honeydew

Ivy is the laast driver to get to Pillbox before nightfall, the others having to sleep some way away. Chet is broken down outside the village being laughed at by bored local youths; a pair called Tanmay and Wiremu are particularly annoying in their repetitive baby-chanting.

The big news delivered on arrival in Pillbox is that the cargo to be collected by each driver and safely packed for the journey back to Khaboom is a grandfather clock - both heavy (no help lifting) and fragile. The dice rolls for tomorrow will indicate the success or failure of the packing.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Flogging a Dead Horse

So, here are the rolls for Day 6:

- Lucky 19 (DARO)

- Phloog 9

- Phlaag 8

- Lucy Bottom 7

- Ivy 4

- Gibby Honeydew 8

- Tommy Two-Time 4

- Kangaroo Jack 8

- Buzz 25 (DARO x2)

- Chet the Centaur 9

- Dalup the Dwarf 7

- Rainbro 18 (DARO)

- Hrothgar 7

Most of the drivers know where they're headed and this stage of the race is about getting the most out of the horses. That's an interesting condundrum for Chet, since the centaur os pulling his own cart.

Lucy Bottom is still lost and makes absolutely no progress towards Pillbox on this dark day (extra roll for Lucy) while Tommy finds his horse unforgiving after being scared witless by his driving on more than one occasion already - there;s a long way to go and when Tommy pitches tent for the night, he fails to secure the horse, which promptly bolts (Tommy has to give up on sleeping and search for the animal in the moonlight - extra roll for Tommy, please).

Another is trouble is Ivy - perhaps predeictably, horses get freaked by vampires and when ivy bares her fangs to urge the beast on, it collapses in fright and Ivy needs to either dredge up some vet skills or sink her teeth in... (either way, an extra roll is required).

Notable feats of the day come from Buzz (who would have thought an ugly uruk could love a horse so much - 4 extra rolls for the positive effect), Rainbro (3 extra rolls - this kid has got over a bad start and has been flying ever since), Lucky (at last living up to his billing - 3 extra rolls). These drivers got get blood from a stone horse (useful if we enter gorgon country).

Kangaroo Jack, Gibby and both ogre brothers strike a chord with their horses and get one extra dice roll each); perversely, Chet finds an extra dimension to his personality and forgets fatigue and fear for forging furiously forward (all those flying f's are worth an extra roll in the hay too).

So that's it for Day 6. Tomorrow most drivers should be descending from the heights towards the target and they can really go hell for leather - but will the carts take it? 2 rolls each for tomorrow (plus any extra ones prescribed above).

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cutting Corners

Yesterday's leader, Chet the Centaur, has apparently been overwhelmed by a diet of beef jerky and hallucinates... 'seeing' a flock of flying chocolate bars down a narrow defile leading... precisely nowhere. This centaur is not stupid (just greedy) and manages to clear his head over sweet treats, losing only 2 hours in this futile pursuit before getting back on track.

That allows Kangaroo Jack and Ivy to get back within sight of Chet.  Ivy pushes on past Jack into second but the mad barbarian, Hrothgar, is today's big gainer, believing he has ditched his maiden in a ditch and is now able to fly with a lighter load - he actually chances upon a trail he manages to drive safely along and, as best the watchers back in Khaboom can tell, is ahead of Jack too. Dalup the Dwarf picks a handy trail and is hot on the leaders' heels.

Buzz, Rainbro and Phloog are bunched a few hours back and only Phlaag and Gibby are left with a mountain to climb to catch up. There is one sorry sight to report though: Lucy Bottom is clearly lost, having followed a real red herring of a 'shortcut'. She is wandering about in thick fog now, rising up from swampy ground, seemingly unable to relocate the way she came to get to this Trollgod-forsaken nightmare.

Tomorrow sees everyone needing to coax a little more from their horses, testing the strength of the bond between man and beast. Roll those dice, folks! (And an extra rool for Lucy, please.)

Here are the dice rolls for Day 6:

Chet the Centaur 5
Kangaroo Jack 6
Ivy 7
Dalup the Dwarf 8
Hrothgar 11
Lucy Bottom 5
Phloog 8
Buzz 11
Rainbro 11
Lucky 8
Tommy Two-Time 9
Gibby Honeydew 8
Phlaag 7

Friday, April 10, 2015

But That' What the Map Says, Honey!

Day 4 and the drivers are pouring over the maps they bought (or drew themselves in a few desperate cases). There is no official map and it is unlikely many have the one-horse village of Pillbox marked down so for most it is a matter of assessing the general direction and asking along the way of the folk that live out here - by now, those who do scratch their living in these hills have no heard of the race and would be unlikely to give two hoots. Gold may loosen lips though.

The dice rolls are:

-  Lucky     6

- Phloog          7

- Phlaag      7

- Lucy Bottom   11

- Ivy           19 (DARO)

- Gibby Honeydew       6

- Tommy Two-Time           4

- Kangaroo Jack       7

- Buzz       11

- Chet the Centaur           10

- Dalup the Dwarf       9

- Rainbro       10

- Hrothgar      11

 All the drivers decide to skirt the mountains with two exceptions: Gibby Honeydew and Tommy Two-Time. Most stick to the south side, figuring the elves of Hemnin will be more friendly than the Iron Duke and his dwarves but Lucky and Dalup trust to cousinly goodwill. As for Gibby, the hobbit makes a beeline for the small village of Tyree where he lives and attends to some business which Wizard Control are blocked from seeing. He loses 5 hours in the process but emerges with a goofy smile on his lop-sided face. And Tommy? He heads straight for those high mountain passes, relying on Wizard Control to ward off yetis and trusting to his horse's stout lungs.

The final report from Day 4 concerns Hrothgar. The barbarian either doesn't get the rules or is just plain rebellious (probably both actually). He has had someone bring his real Throat along behind the racers and only pretends to be asleep at night before leaping on to the monster and charging off in the direction of unsuspecting Pillbox! Fortunately, Wizard Control notice these things and a temporary Spirit Mastery spells has him under sedation for the night and back on the wagon in the morning.

Here are the standings one fifth into the race:

Chet the Centaur            47
Kangaroo Jack 42
Ivy 42
Dalup the Dwarf 39
Hrothgar 34
Lucy Bottom 33
Phloog 32
Buzz 32
Rainbro 29
Lucky 26
Tommy Two-Time 21
Gibby Honeydew 0
Phlaag -22

More dice rolls please (2 sets for Tommy and 3 sets for Gibby).

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Don't Put the Cart Before the Horse...

Picking up on the loose ends of Day 2, Lucy Bottom had to stop to massage her horse's fetlocks - Lucy proved a dab hand at getting that nag back on its feet (6,6, 2.3) and lost just an hour before she could get back in the race.

Poor Phlaag had serious work to do to achieve the same thing. He, like all the other drivers, have tool kits stored under their wagons but working alone on a broken axle was not easy even with ogre strength to lift the chassis up. He lost 8 hours and is probably glad this happened now and not at the back end of the race when such a disaster could not be recovered from.

The drivers also have camping gear with them and are bound to stop for a minimum of 6 hours every night (when Wizard Control only protect camp sites and do not patrol the route ahead). Overnight, there is a challenge to the legitimacy of Hrothgar's set up - he appears to have  a "huge, eight-legged beast called a 'Throat' which snorts and swings it’s wide, flat tail from side to side. The mighty-thewed barbarian glances about, his cart filled with treasures from the last sacked temple. Atop the glittering gold and precious gem encrusted trinkets a bejewelled ex-temple maiden sits...'  Wizard Control investigate and pronounce themselves satisfied that it is all an illusion and the barbarian has a standard wagon and horse (as for the maiden, she's real enough and should help wile away those long lonely nights on the road).

Day 3 sees the competitors exploding out of the western gates in the Great Wall encircling Khaboom and its forests and if the cracking speed most drivers aim to maintain is not to impact injuriously on the horses, those drivers had better have looked after their steeds well...

The dice rolls are:

-  Lucky     3 (critical fumble)

- Phloog          10

- Phlaag      11

- Lucy Bottom   8

- Ivy           6

- Gibby Honeydew       8

- Tommy Two-Time           7

- Kangaroo Jack       18 (DARO)

- Buzz       6

- Chet the Centaur           13 (DARO again)

- Dalup the Dwarf       9

- Rainbro       11

- Hrothgar      6

 This long flat stretch of the race sees Chet the Centaur stretch his legs and kick his heels as he extends his lead with only Kangaroo Jack (who fairly bounds at the reins as he urges his horse to greater haste) and Dalup within spitting distance,

Of the other drivers, those worthy of note are Phlaag who fails to reach the Great Wall by the end of Day 3, Tommy Two-Time (whose horse looks in rather a sorry state one moment but then looks as fresh as daisy the next - questions may be asked!) and Lucky, who is struggling to justify his name (they get changed easily enough on Khaghtch'an if they no longer fit).

Lucky's horse shudders and comes to a slithering, sliding stop as it takes in sharp shards of metal scattered over the road by some anti-dwarf villagers. It looks hideously bad for both horse and rider but at the last moment the horse and wagon shimmer and shift to the left, avoiding the danger but getting shaken up on the rutted tracks off the road. The dwarf stops to check over his animal and his cart but all is fine and he loses only 30 minutes.

Day 4 will require careful map-reading skills as the destination for the pick-up is announced: a no-mark hamlet called Pillbox way out in the sticks. It looks as if the choice is either to skirt the mountains - to the south or to the north - or to pick a route through the passes. At least it's not winter.

More 2d6 rolls please!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Get Out of Denver

Two drivers, Tommy Two-Time and Rainbro are staring down the barrel of serious repair work to their wagons. Rainbro is a wet-behind-the-ears kid but knows how to handle basic repairs - his task is not too tough but he loses over 2 hours getting back into racing shape. Not so Tommy, A very rare fellow indeed, Tommy screws up his face and then blinks, looking rather startled. Time has shifted and Tommy finds himself just behind Rainbro, who still loses his wheel but Tommy is able to negotiate the water trough easily this time. Wizard Control consult with the Guild Rulesman but Tommy has not cast a spell so is it is allowed to slip past unchallenged.

As the drivers move out into the less densely populated outlying districts of the sprawling city of Khaboom every driver has the chance to press the pedal to the metal and show a clean pair of heels.

The dice rolls are:

-  Lucky     9

- Phloog          10

- Phlaag      1,2 critical fumble

- Lucy Bottom   5

- Ivy           7

- Gibby Honeydew       8

- Tommy Two-Time           5

- Kangaroo Jack       10

- Buzz       8

- Chet the Centaur           17 (DARO)

- Dalup the Dwarf       14 (DARO again!)

- Rainbro       18 (DARO)

- Hrothgar      11

 An amazing burst of speed sees Chet the Centaur whiz his wagon over potholes and round corners, heedless of life and limb. His burst is so startling that it takes a daring whip-raised ride from Dalup to keep up with. Rainbro can't catch the leaders but does make up serious ground on the pack as Wizard Control scan his wagon for signs of magic on the wheel repair - he's good though!

The early leader, Lucy Bottom, looks to have a problem: as she drops back and first Dalup and the Chet pass her, it looks as if she as over-spurred her horse and the animal is not moving freely (extra two dice roll for Lucy please).

The rest are steaming along nicely to the cheers of the citizens whose homes and shops are decked out with colourful bunting - this is a great day for the city. The exception is poor Phlaag who has to part company with his older and smarter brother. The half-ogre misjudges a hill and takes to the air and when he lands it is to the shattering of an axle and he grinds to an embarrassing halt. There is serious repair work to be done if he is to get back into the race which, fortunately, has a long way to run (another dice roll for Phlaag - does he have a repair talent?).

As the field reaches the forests surrounding the city proper, the speed the drivers are travelling at can only be maintained if they have really taken good care of their animals - the next 2 dice roll relates to that so if you have a talent for animal care/training or something similar, do let me know.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Race is On!

-  Lucky     11

- Phloog          5

- Phlaag      5

- Lucy Bottom   15 (2 sets of doubles)

- Ivy           10

- Gibby Honeydew       8

- Tommy Two-Time           5

- Kangaroo Jack       9

- Buzz       7

- Chet the Centaur           7

- Dalup the Dwarf       10 (doubles)

- Rainbro       5

- Hrothgar       6

When the starter's gun backfires, taking his head off and showering onlookers in hot, sticky blood, the race gets off to its typically messy start with drivers determined to get out in front, despite the marathon nature of the event.

Away into the suburbs first is Lucy Bottom (whose wagon is pulled by a sentient horse), closely followed by the dwarves, Lucky and Dallup, and then Ivy, whose fangs are set in fierce concentration.

Early trouble comes for the ogre brothers, Phlaag and Phloog, who really shouldn't act like Siamese twins but their talent for judgement allows them to narrowly avoid clashing wheels. Not so good for Rainbro and Tommy Two-Time who get blocked off at sharp left turn by Hrothgar, causing the two unlucky drivers to collect water troughs on the side of the street and lose a wheel each.

I need more dice rolls from everyone but two sets for Tommy and Rainbro.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Under Starter's Orders!

The contestants for the Khaboom Wagon-driving Championship are lined up in Pentagram Square for the start of the big race.

No one knows where they are going to yet - just that they have to head west out of the city until they receive further orders. They also do not know what it is they must collect and bring back to Pentagram Square - it might be fragile, it might be very bulky but everyone has a wagon that is large enough for the cargo to be stowed.

Wizard Contol will be following proceedings, relaying the action to great scrying screens in the city for the crowds to watch. They will also ensure that competitors are safe from monsters and other perils as they traverse the Kraken continent and that no one attacks a rival or the wagon of a rival.

The race is long - about 3 weeks on the roads and the prize of 10,000 GPs to the winner has attracted a large, quality field.

There are the drivers in the contest:

- a L9 dwarf named Lucky

- a half-ogre named Phloog (L5)

- his brother Phlaag (also L5)

- an adventuress named Lucy Bottom (L9)

- a vampiress by the name of Ivy (L6)

- an axe-legged hobbit, Gibby Honeydew (L10)

- a rather strange fellow answering to Tommy Two-Times (L2)

- a kangakin known as Kangaroo Jack (L6)

- an uruk called Buzz (L1)

- Chet the Centuar (pulling his own wagon; L30 no less!)

- Dalup the Dwarf (L3)

- Rainbro (L3 steam punk)

- Hrothgar (L3 fighting man)

As is so often the case, once the race gets under way and the drivers leave Pentagraqm Square, thinder down the broad Champs Elysee and hit the narrow city streets, the drivers have to exercise good judgement not to collide with one another or hit lamposts or the like.

Everyone needs to roll 2d6 (DARO) and report back the results within 24 hours (or I roll for you).

May fortune smile upon you and your wagons be well-sprung!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

More on The Great Wagon Dash

Not an overwhelming response to an easy-to-play low-level-of-commitment game but I shan't take it personally, to matter the pressure exerted.

The race will be run regardless!

There are some contestants announced thus far:

- a L9 dwarf named Lucky

- an (I think) ogre named Phloog

- an adventuress named Lucy Bottom

- a vampiress by the name of Ivy

- an axe-legged hobbit, Gibby Honeydew

- a rather strange fellow answering to Tommy Two-Times

- a kangakin known as Kangaroo Jack

- an uruk called Buzz

I'm sure there will be more. The prize, by the way, is a hefty 10,000 GPs with half that for 2nd, 3,000 for third and 1,000 for anyone who gets back to Khaboom in one piece.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Khaboom Wagon-Driving Championshp - All Welcome

Here is my Trollhalla post - get your name down quick!

I am going to run the Wagon-Driving Contest on the Outer Sanctum. I will also post the rules on [[]] as I know some can't access the OS.

The game is very simple and normally just involves sending me the result of rolling 2d6(DARO) - although conversational role playing is encouraged.

Any troll (or any other character) can enter; you just have to be able to drive a wagon.

The aim is to pick up a cargo (which is not revealed at the start) of the race from an unknown destination.. and get it back intact to Pentagram Square in Khaboom before any of the other competitors.

No magic is allowed and you cannot attack another contestant, his/her horse or wagon (centaurs can pul, their own wagon).

There will be 20 'testings' along the way of 10 talents a wagon driver may need (some will be tested more than once, some may not come up at all). You can claim talents per normal T&T rules.

Send details of your driver by trollmail, to, post it on the OS or at Gems & Giants - that's how flexible this is.

And if you miss a day, I'll just roll for you.

One thing you need to decide and let me know - the balance of your wagon between strength and speed in percentage terms (in tens not ones).

Give it a shot - the Trollgod might even give you TVP.

The Monster Menu

I needed a Wandering Monster list for travelling across Khaghtch'an yesterday - it seemed a simple enough project but as so often happens it inflated itself despite my protests!

So now the project is to include:

  • all the combatants from the Arena of Khaboom, appropriately described
  • all the wandering citizens from Missing Inaction
  • the Mayor's Champions from Strangebrew's Chambers of Deception
  • A thorough consideration of Khaghtch'an vampires, werewolves, zombies and mummies living on the Undead Peninsula
Then for breakfast :)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

More Publishing on Lulu

Kia ora

Many Ways To Die is available via Lulu (just search under Mark Thornton) along with two GM adventures - Potipher's Perils and Wraithfire. [] Nothing fancy about these two - just short dungeon delves based on games I played way back when which I have heavily adapted.

I'm currently working on a solo version of Alice In Wonderland which shouldn't take long to finish and then I am going to do one more edit of my novel, Magic City Mayor, before publishing that and leaving its fate to others.

Next post - maybe later today as school holidays have just begun - will our house rules on vampires and werewolves...