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    Canonfire :: View topic - grodog’s F&L and GaryCon XVI convention reports
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    grodog’s F&L and GaryCon XVI convention reports
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    CF Admin

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    Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:50 pm  
    grodog’s F&L and GaryCon XVI convention reports

    My first of probably three convention reports is now live, covering Founders & Legends: https://grodog.blogspot.com/2024/04/founders-legends-garycon-2024-convention-report-part-1.html

    Next up will be GaryCon proper!

    Allan.
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    Mon Apr 01, 2024 11:09 pm  

    Sounds like great fun, Grodog!

    SirXaris
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    Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:50 am  

    Thanks for sharing this Allan. I loved reading about your experience and musing about the origins of our hobby vis-à-vis its co-founder.
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    Thu Apr 04, 2024 7:53 pm  

    Thanks guys!—it was a fun time, for sure!

    Allan.
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    Thu Apr 11, 2024 4:07 pm  

    My GaryCon convention report Part 2 is now live, at https://grodog.blogspot.com/2024/04/founders-legends-garycon-2024-convention-report-part-2.html

    Allan.
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    Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:04 pm  

    I loved this one even more than the first and appreciate the multiple links that you included.

    I'm particularly intrigued by your "Abyssal Rift" adventure . . . Do you plan to publish it? If not, would you be willing to share more about the sea olven principality that the ixitxachitl raided to set up the adventure? (My PCs are likely to go beneath the waves this year, which might culminate the campaign, so I'm keen to read undersea adventures.)

    Thanks again for sharing!
    CF Admin

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    Sun Apr 14, 2024 12:59 pm  

    Hi Marc—

    I’m happy to share more with you, and I do plan to publish it as well. It’ll go through more playtesting at the North Texas RPGCon in June, as well as at Virtual GreyhawkCon this fall. Depending on how those go, I may run it again next year; we’ll see….

    Some of the specific encounters and the impetus to work on the ixitxachitl lair initially grew out of my 1:1 nautical campaign with Henry, and was then kicked into higher-focus this past summer with the OSR “No Artpunk 3” contest (focused on high-level scenarios this year), which I didn’t submit for in the end since I ran out of time on the data-entry portion of my writing. But I still liked the idea sufficiently to continue with it sans contest.

    All that said, the sea olven raid was really just my quick-and-lazy adventure description for the background setup for events submission deadlines, and I have not (thus far) put a lot of design time into that faction. They do fit into the adventure and its overall structure, I just haven’t needed to design them in detail yet, due to how I broke up the rounds for the events (round 1 at GaryCon, round 2 later ;) ).

    Allan
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    Thu Apr 25, 2024 10:24 am  

    My final F&L and GaryCon convention report—Part 3, Thank Yous and Swag—is now live, at https://grodog.blogspot.com/2024/04/founders-legends-garycon-2024-convention-report-part-3.html :)

    Allan.
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    Tue Apr 30, 2024 7:52 pm  

    Can you share an overview of the Heretical Temple of Wee Jas?

    The Stern Lady's church has featured substantially in my Hold of the Sea Princes campaign, particularly the temple in Monmurg. Although I've not mapped it, as our play style is narrative and typically eschews combat maps, I've developed several of NPCs of the temple, including:

    Alaríd Ioana (LN human (Sof) female Cleric 10 of Wee Jas, b. CY 545), the Jasidan (high priestess) of the Monmurg Temple of Wee Jas.

    Ysila (LN(g) human (Sof) female Cleric 6 of Wee Jas, b. 537), the canon (second-ranking priestess) of the temple.

    Savalia (LE female (S) Cleric 5 of Syrul, b. 5??), a Scarlet Brotherhood spy who infiltrated the Monmurg Temple of Wee Jas, became a curate (and third-ranking priestess of the temple), and led a coup against the Rule of Ioana during the Richfest Massacre (wherein the Brotherhood attempted to assassinate thirty "minor" nobles of the Hold.)

    Xeláneh (LN human (Zofs) female Cleric 5 of Wee Jas, b. 553), a priestess of the Monmurg temple.

    Nicanor (LN human (OSf) male Paladin 7, b. 545), the Commander of the Os’ord te Monmurg (“Bone Order of Monmurg,” i.e., the temple guard of the Monmurg Temple of Wee Jas). Brotherhood assassins killed him, but, with the Stern Lady’s permission, the Jasidan Ioana raised him.

    Qiana Os’ord (LN human (SOf) female Fighter 4, 549 – 583), a member of the Bone Order, who fell to Brother assassins while defending the temple but was not raised (and might join "Those Who Do Not Sleep," i.e., wights who defend the temple catacombs).

    Also, IMC, the Port Toli temple of Wee Jas is the "mother temple" for the faith in the Hold. I've not determined how it relates to the temple in Gradsul, Niole Dra, or elsewhere in Keoland (or the surrounding lands).

    PS - Besides the canon sources, including Lakofka's original Dragon article on Wee Jas, one of the fan sources from which I drew is Nathan Irving / Nellisir's Oerth Journal 7 article, "Wee Jas: The Lady of Book and Bone," particularly his "Order of Bone."
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    Tue May 07, 2024 9:46 am  

    mtg wrote:
    Can you share an overview of the Heretical Temple of Wee Jas?


    I have a little info on my blog at https://grodog.blogspot.com/2019/11/grodogs-mega-dungeon-maps-heretical-temple-of-wee-jas.html and some tidbits from a previous GaryCon 8 (2016) convention report:

    Quote:
    Friday evening I ran my second game for the con, set in my version of Castle Greyhawk: Assault on the Heretical Temple of Wee Jas. This was a full table of 10 players plus me, and we didn’t fit into the allotted table in Evergreen. Paul Stormberg graciously allowed us to use some unused space in his Legends of Wargaming hall, which worked out great. One of the premises behind this scenario is that it’s one that I’ve offered in the slate of adventure I run at GaryCon and North Texas RPG Con each year, but it wasn’t selected for the past several years (players chose other missions to pursue). Well, as a result of being left alone by previous expeditions, the cult has flourished in the dungeons beneath Castle Greyhawk these past several years, and their membership and power have waxed significantly. Unable to suffer their outrages any longer, the High Priestess of Wee Jas in Greyhawk anathematizes the heretical cult, declared an crusade, and sent the PCs in to bring their EHP’s head back on a pike!

    After some early troubles with three ghosts (who aged the party 160 years collectively), the players played very smartly: they interrogated an NPC enslaved by the cultists, who provided some mapping guidance, and they used an Anti-Magic Shell to move past a cluster of guardian statues to penetrate into the heart of the temple complex. Unfortunately the cultists grew aware of the PCs and cast Guards and Wards, which slowed their progress as the cultists gathered their defenses. We called the session at about 12:20am with the PCs in a stalemated pitched battle with the cultists that was going to drag on for quite awhile longer before victory would be decided for either side. Best quotation: “Don’t come in here, I’m worshipping” from Josh Ford.


    The heresy itself is varied, and I’ve sketched out several different options, which change the nature of the opposition the PCs face too:

    - a cult that reveres undead, seeing them as the ultimate service to Wee Jas, and the “purest” form of worship of her Death domain (with liches and other magic-using undead as the pinnacles among their servants); this is the least offensive among the heresies, and the cult still receives their powers from Wee Jas herself
    - Wee Jas as a Greek snake cult, adding snakes to her worship focus, with the cult’s allies as medusa, nagas, hydras, and arimoi, and with a variant cult where Echidna is ultimately the granter of spells (the Greek Mythos is invasive to Oerth in my current Greyhawk campaigns)
    - a similar snake cult, but worshipping Wee Jas as male (this is a far worse transgression, since Wee Jas IMCs only allows females in her clergy—although her paladins, arrikuhn, monks, and other servants can be male; worshipping her as a male deity is an affront to her faith, as well as her person and vanity; one variant blends this heresy with the snake cult, and is powered by Set)

    Sometimes some of the cult temple members are truly faithful, with a secret inner circle that know of the heresy, so the PCs can’t always go in fireballs blazing (well, they can….).

    You could also take some of my faction examples from OJ#31 and spin them into further heresies.

    I’ve got a few different cult rosters designed (the flavors of heresy and their variant rosters increase the replay value of the level for me), and here’s one of them:

    Quote:

    And for the quick summary for the Heretical Temple of Wee Jas, I simply drew out a quick roster:
    1 EHP 15th
    1 EHP 12th
    2 EHP 9th
    1 8th
    2 7th
    4 6th
    7 5th
    9 4th
    8 3rd
    12 2nd
    16 1st
    24 lay
    Arrikuhn: 1 10th, 2 8th, 2 6th, 2 4th, 6 2nd
    Ftrs: 1 9th, 4 6th, 8 4th, 12 2nd, 12 1st 30 MaA
    MUs: 1 15th, 1 12th, 3 8th, 6 6th, 6 4th
    Jackalweres
    Deceived of Set* (at least 12, forming a "chorus")
    1 Kheph?
    I also listed out 2 common patrols that they would have as possible WM encounters on their level and in nearby-adjacent levels/sub-levels.

    * Watchers of Wee Jas (the name for the Deceived of Set in the context of the level): heretics and other enemies of the faith are turned into undead to act as shrieker-like wardens, by singing their dolorous songs: each row sings in succession, 2/round, and save at -1/round/watcher; song effects are also cumulative:

    - 1 watcher = scare
    - 2 watchers = fear
    - 3-4 = forget
    - 5-7 = repulsion
    - 8-11 = paralysis
    - 12+ = a chrous --> quest? turn to stone? imprisonment?


    The upper level leaders of the heretics include straight clerics, a monk//MU, and various unique magic items and spells tied into the themes of the cults.

    Allan.
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    Last edited by grodog on Sun May 19, 2024 9:15 am; edited 1 time in total
    CF Admin

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    Tue May 07, 2024 9:57 am  

    mtg wrote:
    Also, IMC, the Port Toli temple of Wee Jas is the "mother temple" for the faith in the Hold. I've not determined how it relates to the temple in Gradsul, Niole Dra, or elsewhere in Keoland (or the surrounding lands).


    I love the idea of a mother church/site!—especially a mission into the Sea of Dust to recover some sacred relics from the original one, now lost to the Rain of Colorless Fire :)

    I’ve got a few monasteries dedicated to Wee Jas (one based on the 1e DMG sample dungeon, one sponsored by the Maure family and near the edge of the extent of their old estates, one with a sacred and magical well/spring from when Wee Jas was walking the Oerth in the past) but hadn’t thought about where her Covenants and Missionaria Protectiva are based from!

    mtg wrote:
    PS - Besides the canon sources, including Lakofka's original Dragon article on Wee Jas, one of the fan sources from which I drew is Nathan Irving / Nellisir's Oerth Journal 7 article, "Wee Jas: The Lady of Book and Bone," particularly his "Order of Bone."


    I’ll have to look at those again. ISTR that chademon also did a lot with Wee Jas, but I’ve not looked at most of his work in depth, I don’t think.

    Allan.
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    Sat May 11, 2024 7:38 pm  

    Thanks for sharing your blog post discussing your drafting (and redrafting) of your map!

    grodog wrote:
    The heresy itself is varied, and I’ve sketched out several different options, which change the nature of the opposition the PCs face too: . . .

    Love your various heresies. I've been toying with something like the first one for my campaign's version of the faith in Port Toli—building on long ago posts here in the CF! forums, particularly an asynchronous "dialogue" between Samwise and Rasgon about the "Toli" Suel's origins and founding of the city. Where Sam characterizes their origins in "a small group of mercenaries and slavers that had been operating in the
    Sheldomar, serving various Firstcomer Houses in their incessant wars," Rip posits a "Suloise House of Tolax" to which the Emperor granted "custody over the Kendeen Pass" and which had House Rhola as its greatest rival.

    IMC, I've been toying with making a Migrations era priestess of Wee Jas be among the original group of Suel that conquered and a Flan city-state at the site of Port Toli. She eventually became a lich who influenced the city's formal leaders across the centuries of conflict with the Rhola, and she may have succored the handful of Toli children who fled into the catacombs when the Rholan King of Keoland, Tavish the Great, finally took the city by storm in 306 CY and put its leaders to the sword. In turn, she then "nurtured" these children (rather enabled their survival) such that their scions were among the "free captains" who rallied to the Sea Prince's banner in 434 CY, a decade before they formally declare themselves and begin their invasion (liberation) of the Duchy of Monmurg (eventual Hold of the Sea Princes).

    grodog wrote:
    You could also take some of my faction examples from OJ#31 and doin them into further heresies.

    I enjoyed that article. Like you, IMC, the Jasians (priestesses of Wee Jas) are all female although other devotees can be male or female. I did away with the Lakofka's detail about the different raiments signifying alignment, making it a rumor about them. While I liked his inversion of the typical associations of black and white, I wanted to make the raiments more complex in their signification, so at present the baseline shade / tone is a gray kaftan / robe with intricate embroidery in white and/or black the meaning of which is arcane (and the PCs have yet to decipher).

    In your cult rosters, are your "Arrikuhn" Neutral Evil like those presented in Dragon 106? What is a "Kheph"? (My quick web search didn't produce any seemingly relevant hits.)

    grodog wrote:
    I love the idea of a mother church/site! . . . I’ve got a few monasteries dedicated to Wee Jas . . .

    I believe that Nellisir promoted the "mother church" idea for Wee Jas, which makes some sense given the goddess's Lawful alignment, but IMC, I made the ambit be regional / much smaller, so that Port Toli's temple exerts substantial control over the temples throughout the Hold and across Jeklea Bay but not over the temples of Keoland (for example).

    I forgot that Chatdemon worked on Wee Jas. When researching for my campaign, I came across a trio of CF! articles by GVDammerung. (Here's the first one, Wee Jas Dissected Part I.) And Sean K. Reynolds credited him in his own "Wee Jas" article in Dragon 350 (Dec. 2006), pp. 18–33, but for me Nellisir's article is foundational.
    CF Admin

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    Sun May 19, 2024 10:00 am  

    mtg wrote:
    Thanks for sharing your blog post discussing your drafting (and redrafting) of your map!


    De nada!

    mtg wrote:
    Love your various heresies. I've been toying with something like the first one for my campaign's version of the faith in Port Toli—building on long ago posts here in the CF! forums, particularly an asynchronous "dialogue" between Samwise and Rasgon about the "Toli" Suel's origins and founding of the city. Where Sam characterizes their origins in "a small group of mercenaries and slavers that had been operating in the
    Sheldomar, serving various Firstcomer Houses in their incessant wars," Rip posits a "Suloise House of Tolax" to which the Emperor granted "custody over the Kendeen Pass" and which had House Rhola as its greatest rival.

    [snip]In turn, she then "nurtured" these children (rather enabled their survival) such that their scions were among the "free captains" who rallied to the Sea Prince's banner in 434 CY, a decade before they formally declare themselves and begin their invasion (liberation) of the Duchy of Monmurg (eventual Hold of the Sea Princes).


    I love her playing the long game this way, and clerical liches don’t get enough attention in the game, too.

    mtg wrote:
    While I liked his inversion of the typical associations of black and white, I wanted to make the raiments more complex in their signification, so at present the baseline shade / tone is a gray kaftan / robe with intricate embroidery in white and/or black the meaning of which is arcane (and the PCs have yet to decipher).


    I like this blending of ethos colors in the raiment—perhaps reinforcing that Law is most-important above all to the Ruby Queen, and that good, neutrality, and evil are all necessary and co-equal aspects of law, with each sets of faiths revering and acknowledging all three, but to a greater or lesser amount.

    That also suggests another possible heresy type: mono-alignment sects that are purely LG, LN, or LE, denying the rich complexities and interdependencies between the lawful ethoi.

    mtg wrote:
    In your cult rosters, are your "Arrikuhn" Neutral Evil like those presented in Dragon 106?


    No, I’ve reorganized the alt-paladins from Dragon 106 into five core types for the five polar alignments, and, all of which can properly be called “paladins”:

    - LG paladin: as PHB
    - LE arrikuhn
    - CG larifynn
    - CE anti-paladin (now a misnomer I haven’t renomenclatured yet, since all are paladins): as Dragon #39
    - all neutrally-aligned (LN, NG, TN, NE, CN) paladins are paramanders

    I then folded, spindled, and mutilated the class abilities, moving them around and changing them up quite a bit, using the best ideas from the article, and adding some of my own of course . I further refined the arrikuhn while building out the rosters for that dungeon level, so they’re probably not-quite aligned to my original notes from my Penn State days (which were largely untested in play, although someone did play a paramander in one of our PSU campaigns). I should probably write them up at some point before the pencil all fades away ;)

    My LG paladin of Wee Jas in the Monday night campaign I play with Bill Silvey is close to but not quite how I designed them for my games, too, so I can talk a bit in there about customizing LG paladins too, for folks who don’t use the variants at all.

    mtg wrote:
    What is a "Kheph"? (My quick web search didn't produce any seemingly relevant hits.)


    Both the Kheph and the Deceived of Set are from the free OSRIC _Monsters of Myth_ collection, at https://www.lulu.com/shop/the-first-edition-society/monsters-of-myth/ebook/product-17452854.html?page=1&pageSize=4 It’s an excellent addition to the 1e MM, and I’ve used a number of these creatures in my campaigns, along with others from Malevolent & Benign 1&2 from XRP at https://www.lulu.com/search?contributor=Joseph+Browning&adult_audience_rating=00&sortBy=PRICE_DESC

    mtg wrote:
    grodog wrote:
    I love the idea of a mother church/site! . . . I’ve got a few monasteries dedicated to Wee Jas . . .
    I believe that Nellisir promoted the "mother church" idea for Wee Jas, which makes some sense given the goddess's Lawful alignment, but IMC, I made the ambit be regional / much smaller, so that Port Toli's temple exerts substantial control over the temples throughout the Hold and across Jeklea Bay but not over the temples of Keoland (for example).


    That makes perfect sense, in particular after the Suloise diaspora.

    mtg wrote:
    When researching for my campaign, I came across a trio of CF! articles by GVDammerung. (Here's the first one, Wee Jas Dissected Part I.) And Sean K. Reynolds credited him in his own "Wee Jas" article in Dragon 350 (Dec. 2006), pp. 18–33, but for me Nellisir's article is foundational.


    I’ll take a look at those again, thanks for the reminders! :)

    Allan.
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