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The path of Fire

  For the last few gaming sessions the Deviant army has been working out of Port Shirodate. They have had some forewarning of a great evil in the home of the Wudan society. When they attempted the climb to summit of mount Wudan and to enter the monastery (A city unto itself high in the clouds) The were greeted by a monk who bared there passage. He explained that since a Dan is already among those attempting to access the monastery above the must pass. The trials of a Wudan master.
  Zhan Xiang then produced a scroll seemingly out of thin air and then levitated it over to the hero's of the Deviant Army. Their first trial would be that of the path of Fire and they were to bring to him the eye of the guardian. After gathering some supplies and discerning the location of the lair they set out.
  Upon reaching the area where a Glacier meet hot spring and molten lava flow. They encountered the lair of the guardian and after navigating it's entrance they came to a misty area to the left a glacier in the middle a steamy hot spring and to the right a molten lava flowing. Glimpsed in the mist was a giant serpentine head. Then a blast of fire as a pyro hydra emerged from concealment. Using there knowledge of beasts and magic they quickly ascertained that the heads would regenerate and going after the body was key to defeating this guardian. Through the battle the deviant army also learned that it was immune to fire as it waded into the molten lava to begin splashing it towards it's attackers. Our Drunken master who also thought he might be immune to this lava made his way over to finish the beast. He was very wrong about the lava and it nearly took his life quicker than the 8 headed beast. Removing an eye of the hydra they had their prize and returned to town to rest before meeting again with Zhan Xiang.

2 gaming sessions have past

Our intrepid heroes have traveled for 3 weeks upon the recently purchased Poison Princess to Port Shirodate. Upon their travel they had an interesting encounter at sea. As an eerie mist spread across the sea the Poison princess was caught in an encounter between two very dangerous creatures. A undead whale known as a Baki Kujira with swarms of undead creatures feasting on it's rotting flesh . Also a Brine Dragon who used the poison Princess as bait. The mere presence of the two very powerful creatures overwhelmed the minds of the party and they struggled to maintain composure. Fearing for their lives the dragon issued orders to the crew and heroes this did not help them fear him any less but they were spurred into action.

 The heroes following direction from the Brine dragon successfully helped him eliminate the undead filth from his waters. The power of the dragons breath weapon and the ferocity of it's claws decimated the undead whale. Its glowing eyes and rotting flesh were hauled away by some of the dragons minions. Following the fight the dragon then landed on the wheel house and transformed into a beautiful male pirate clad in blue and green finery. He then walked the deck collecting tribute from everyone.

Upon reaching Port Shirodate they were greeted by a Blue Dragonkin who thanked them for their tribute to the lord of the sea. After the warm welcome and a tour of the city the heroes decided to shop for some well deserved goods. They met Green Devil an orc sword saint who made the best armor and weapons at his notorious store the Iron edge. Having a poor demeanor towards dwarfs this Orc ended up liking the respect he was given by Aerus and Una and decided to serve them in his establishment. They were turned away from the Wudan sanctuary as only one of the party was a Dan and allowed access.

They found that to reach the monastery high upon mount Wudan they would need to pass 4 trials at a  master level. The path of fire, steel, shadow, and nightmare. Since they had a Dan in the group who had completed the novice trials these 4 master level tasks would get them access to ascend the mountain and reach the Monastery in the clouds. Zhan Xiang a very powerful monk would provide the tasks to the hero's sent them to pass the trial of fire. This would be a fight against a pyro hydra. Its' lair would be located where ice and lava met finding this area amidst the mountain range would require the help of a friendly seagull. After correctly navigating the mountains and reaching the correct location the lair of the beast was discovered and the party proceeded in an attempt to slay the beast. After multiple head growths and flames spit upon them and one bath in lava the heroes triumphed over this magical beast and collected vials of his blood to return to Zhan Xiang.

The next quest doled out by the monk was for the path of steel and the clues held within pointed to the caustic nature of the beast. Now equipped with potions that would protect them the once again found some information from the general store owner that would lead them to the correct area where limestone and foul water met. They would then discover the acrid smelling lair of the beast. One of the most disturbing features was the lifelike statues scattered across the area. This was accompanied with the ground breaking away beneath them and creating pools of acid where they would be damaged but fortunately for the heroes the drank their newly acquired potions before entering the area. Ivy would fly ahead and scout discovering to her misfortune that the lair was home to a Gorgon. A green cloud of smoke enveloped her and she was petrified mid air. The beast would then charge through his terrain using his hooves and horns to his advantage.

The gorgon would once again breath his noxious fumes across the party and petrify some of them. Others would counter his charges, an arrow would find purchase dead center in his flank, the allosaurus would take a bite out of the metal and gold trimmed hide. Ivy performed her flyby attacks, Dan used his drunken strength and Aerus broke the ground creating an acid pool at his feet delaying the beast's charges. Reeku summoned thunder storms that the gorgon was lucky enough to avoid. This lead to a long combat and eventually the Deviant Army was successful in taking down the beast. Gaining his eye scales meat and other treasures about the lair. 

Una Coldfist Confessions

Una Coldfist confessions

Una Coldfist grew up in a small dwarven tradepost called Froupa. Located in the Zothren mountain range Froupa is so small it is not even found upon the territory of Tomsk's map's . She was the middle child of 13 children sired by her Father Fym, and Mother Frey.  Unfortunately Frey passed away when before her 8th birthday. Fym attempted to support the large family but, struggled to put enough food on the table for 14. Una would willingly give up her share of her food for her younger siblings. Going hungry or eating what little scraps were left was a very common thing and hunger was no stranger to her stomach.

She had trouble making friends in the village due to a quiet and shy demeanor. Her kindness to others made her willing to lend a hand when ever needed. Una's only friends were a rock named Frëck, and a spotted toad named Goober found by the nearest river. She would often have conversations with Frëck and Goober while roaming around the village in her free time. The rock and frog would accompany her when working around the farm. Before dinner sometimes she would tell stories to her younger siblings about her adventures with Goober and Frëck. On Sundays Una would visit village holy sanctuary where she would pray and listen to sermons by village priest. Her favorite tales were about a brave Paladin from the deep underground mines of Razetch.

Una spent 16 years of her life in Froupa until the winter of Izekor destroyed most of her father's crops. The winter was abnormally cold and legend was told of Izekor a mighty frost dragon who was angered and swept the lands with unnatural cold. That winter grew extremely cold, below freezing many dwarves did not survive this frigid winter. Fym, had to wait till after winter and the rainy season to start over. Her father had no choice but to sell his children into slavery. Una was sold to a  tiefling merchant named Nomack Dusk. Nomack traveled in a caravan.  For several years they would travel through the country side of Tomsk making a circuit around the continent. Swindling townsfolk of their money. Selling novelty potions and spells. Convincing they are genuine. Before entering a town. Nomack would beat Una. Break a bone or two. Then dump her a few miles away from the nearest town to make it “more real” during the sale. He “pick” her out from the crowd and heal her with the “potions” after every successful sale. Nomack would celebrate. By using her for his Sadistic pleasure. After several months of torture. Nomack, took it far. Nearly killing Una with his Winterbane. A war hammer he accepted as payment. When he wasn't looking, Una grabbed the hammer from him. Dusk tried to convince her to give it back. Charm her. Eventually she would give it back. By burying it in his skull. She escapes, nearly half dead but with Wintersbane still bloody and a piece of Nomack right horn. Now homeless and nowhere to go. Una would run far as she could north to Norveniks. With her injuries slowing the pace she fell one night not certain to rise when she blacked out a dream came to her.

She would take what knowledge she had of healing and put it to a more noble cause. There was a presence in the dream that could only be described as divine. She was bathed in warm light and when she woke she was driven to seek this light and put her meager talents to better use. Una would start her new path in the most northern city of Norveniks. She arrived battered bruised and half starved from the intense journey.  She sought a church a true and proper holy place where she was taken in by a human priest. Hamlin Grobenthal took her into the church and provided a bed to sleep on, a bowl of stew and bread to fill her belly. The priest would help Una discover that the goddess Kai-Lara was the one who had visited her in her journey to Norveniks. This conversation would set her on the path to become a Paladin of Kai-Lara. Una and Hamlin became as teacher and pupil she perfected her healing with his aid and learned of other religions and teachings from across the realms. She would often exercise in the courtyard and was invited to spar with the city guard as they recognized her proficiency with Wintersbane.

Una Coldfist daughter to Fim and Frey the farmgirl from Froupa was finally living well and was finding happiness again in her life. The memories of times with her siblings telling tall tales of her adventure with Goober and Frëck were a pleasant sentiment from her past. However the beatings lies deceit and dishonesty to which she was unwillingly a part of with Nomack Duck and his murder would require serious atonement. She prayed about this and in time another dream came to her. She would seek out the sacred texts of Kai-Lara in the Valatheim towers. There she would have to join an unsavory lot of bandits which will allow her to care for the miners residing within. Allowing her to study the sacred texts held withing the monastery. Finally in the last few images she would meet her king one whom she would serve and serve well. She dreamt of them meeting amidst a battle and everything would fade away except the two dwarves they would stop fighting and make love. She was fascinated by how intense the dream was and would often fantasize about meeting her dwarven lover. A fallen king from under the mountains a true dwarf one who would be her fixer up project. Every woman needs a good man to make better and this fine specimen of dwarven muscle and rage would be the perfect choice for her. It was destined to be and she prayed about him and for him often.

She would have to travel a significant path crossing land and seas to reach her destination. Her travels would be arduous and dangerous taking her to a completely unfamiliar part of the world. The trip took much planning and finances.  Her now true skills as a healer and refined might as a warrior skillfully trained with the war hammer paved her way to the far off destination. Many would fall to Wintersbane along the way. However Una would only resort to violence when her opponents were truly wicked or unjust. Kowing her path would take her into the midst of just that type she would vow never to kill unless necessary. Una would not ever feel guilt or remorse for taking an evil life. Infact she couldn't remeber the last time she had a nightmare about Nomack and his abuse.

Upon reaching Glomfjord she was harassed for being a dwarf but her mild manners and cool composure got her through with out too much trouble. The towers were as she had envisioned in the dream. The Leader of the Green Bandits was a reprehensible individual but on the account of a healer wishing to stay in the tower with the agreement to heal any of his wounded allies she was permitted access to a room and use of the monastery. Finley Snow and his men controlled a strategic position upon the path from Glomfjord to the Freehold of Durn. He would extort travelers for money and harass the barbarian women from the free hold often letting them pass in exchange for sexual favors. This worked about half the time the other half someone would end up bloody and it was her job to heal them. Most of her time was spent studying the sacred texts which she easily found in the towers only monastery. Not a great part of her life and filled with the vile company of the green band gang.

 Until a certain group of heroes came and “liberated” the towers. Una, always preferred to avoid unjust combat would stay in the second tower. The screams and bloodshed rapidly drew closer. She listened to the battle from her room. She opened the door quietly peeking her little dwarf head out. At the end of the hall she sees another dwarf. Male, Raven black hair, An impressive sight. Standing in front of her. Watching him fight. She walks out of the room. The male dwarf catches her in the corner of his eye. Looks at her calmly as she charges after him. As she approaches she see's him as the dwarf from her dreams. She feels her heart ache her mind reels she is his. She knew it as soon as he spoke commanding her as he would a common whore. She was wet as soon as her brain registered his mandate. She was completely utterly helplessly his. His intimidation only thrilled her more this was an interesting discovery for her. Her head was swimming as he took her in his powerful arms and carried her away from the battle.

Soon she was back in her room on all fours. Being taken by the Impressive dwarf. While she feels every thrust. She thinks to herself “how did I get here? Who is this? Why is he doing this? I must get him off me. But he's so strong. And he feels so good” after a moment's. She feels the power of his finish. She lies prone on the floor. Feeling defeated, vulnerable and satisfied. The dwarf stands over her, stares at her with lustful hazel eyes. His muscles, glistens with blood and sweat. He grabs Una by her collar. Brings her in close, stares her down. Sniffs on her. “you're coming with us” the male dwarf growls. Una whimpers. Nods yes. He drags her back to the others. One of the others. Call him “Areus” the name bores into her mind. He drags her into another room. The monk in the group gives one of her only tollerable companions Enid a chance to walk away from all this. Enid and Una glance at each other. Una sprouts a little smile at her. But it goes away when Enid runs. Leaving Una alone. The group leaves the 2nd tower and carry on. Una and Areus stay behind. Areus brushes her hair behind her ear. “You are with me now. I will protect you. Won't let anything happen to you” after everything that's happened in her life. She feels a sort of comfort in those words. Knowing everything will be okay.

Lady Catraine the Demon of Durn

Lady Catraine The Mistress of Durn
Lady Catraine is the recently deceased ruler of the freehold of Durn. She had a rough encounter with the Deviant army. Her followers a bunch of charmed and compelled barbarian women whom lorded over the city of durn had captured Toren Beaumont. Friend, Healer and love interest to Ivy the Dancing rogue. When he was taken and held against his will the women of durn performed deviaous and pervers rituals upon him and his body. For some reason this tribe of women were after holy clerics for their purity and divine power their goal was to pervert this cleric and to infuse withing his body that of a demon. They were attempting this when the Deviant army fell upon the freehold. A spear headed attack with their new recruits crushed the barabic womens defenses. Upon entering the main room and discovering their captured comrade a fight ensued and the party was able to put up a heroic effort to save their captured comrade. Upon seeing the tide of battle not going in her favor the Lady Catraine activated some magical tattoos that would revealed her true form that of a Lustborn demon.

Freed of his captivity the battered and abused cleric immediately joined his allies and helped them to over come the enraged demoness. After which he continued to beat her corpse to mangled mess of blood and bone. The town now under the control of the Heroes who liberated the female dominated society has been a great boon to the adventurers. Durn has provided shelter income and new allies as their efforts to protect and govern this developing city have fruited many benefits. The intention of freeing their friend from captivity, has turned into so much more. Governing and protecting this strange and unique city has benefitted other holdings of the army and provided for a place to rest and recuperate along the road.

Many of the women freed of Lady Catraine's influence have stayed to protect their city but most however were slain in the initial assault upon the freehold. Only 7 women of all the forces were spared. They have been put to good use by the heroes making them serve the deviant army in more than just guard duties. New laws were put in place making them immediately available to serve in any capacity needed whenever the army is in town. The Barbarian Kin were stationed in the city, The night raiders were the forces sent out to capture men of the cloth for the demons experimentations. The huntress classes were to serve as the scouts and supplemental food providers for the city. After the fall of their Matriarch as the women returned home to their men and families they have accepted the rule of the deviant army. The proof of the demonesses treachery and deceit hangs upon the roof peak of the main keep where the demon's skull adoorns it's apex.
Barbarian Kin Leader

Barbarian Kin Lueteniant

Barbarian Kin Captain

Barbarian Kin Soldier

Barbarian Kin Soldier

Barbarian Kin Soldier

Ranger Night Raider

Rogue Night Raider

Ranger Huntress

Shaman Huntress

Fighter Huntress

Druid Huntress

Slayer Huntress
Warpriest Huntress

Ivy the dancing rogue


Blessed at Birth with Azata's sign of the star to protect her from harm, warning enemies that there would be severe consequences for any harm inflicted on her. Ivy's mother is an artisan she makes high quality lingerie for the townsfolk. Her family brand was very popular with the courtesans and tavern wenches. Her mother also makes soaps tonics and oils for hair and skin. Ivy's father was a talented blacksmith who was a master smith know for his locks and keys, unique armor, high quality brands and masterwork thieves tools. She learned in her first year as a teenager to lift small items such as coin purses ans jewelry. Ivy was contracted as an assassin to root out elements of the population who had either offended the nobles or were problematic to the greater good. Ivy's father was later murdered by vengeful kin of her own victims. Since her fathers murder Ivy is hard at work trying to redeem herself and restore her reputation not only in the eyes of her self but to those she meets upon her adventures. She vowed that after her fathers death she would never return to Monticello if she could compete in the Silver spoon tasting ceremonies.  

Corden Runderburg Leader of the Black Crow Mercenaries

Corden Runderburg the leader of the Black Crow mercenaries guild. He will gladly provide the customers with sufficient troops for a price. He is a bit stern but also very charismatic. He is not seen in a combat role much anymore. His days of adventure are past and now he is a businessman and a general now. His guid has a training facility in the countryside of Sulpointe but all his business dealings happen within the city proper. Corden loves to imbibe in harlot sweets which he has a pouch full of them in his belt. Continued use of these has drained a bit of his intelligence. But he is not a dim whit by any means Corden is a very capable man, capable of leading and training an army. His notoriety has spread far and wide and many young men seeking fame and fortune will come to his guild hall pledging themselves to be trained under him. His Crows known to be fierce in combat, loyal to any order, and unflinching in their duties as soldiers to their master. It is said that his troops have influenced the outcome of wars and moved the borders of nations.

Corden Runderburg

3 mechanics to steal from mobile gaming.

I wonder what kind of content you have seen in a mobile game that would translate well to tabletop gaming? I run a pathfinder homebrew setting every two weeks. As I have been dming for over 15 years and still have to look up the rules from time to time I have incorporated many new forms of technology to my game. Youtube for background music, Pinterest for character ideas, D20pfsrd has replaced my hardcover books, And a laptop has replaced my dm screen. I am sure this is the case for many Dm's and gamers in the community. So what can we take away from the plethora of mobile rpg games? What things do we appreciate about app's and what can be incorporated into tabletop gaming?

As a fan of the gacha games I think the first thing I have done is have a few combat npcs that I keep leveled and have available for any guests that want to game. This also provides a different feel to combat my mage likes to summon evil creatures to do his bidding whereas the wandering swordsman excels with a blade in combat. It may be one of the oldest tricks in the book running an npc for your players, But give them the choice on who to bring. I also believe that adding a good story to the Npc's can encourage players to care about them. I have an npc who was captured and raped with the ultimate goal of creating a demon from him. Well the party saved him but over time he began to change until he finally went full demon crazy and had to be locked away in what my players refer to as the phantom zone. Having this npc get captured turned into saving him, dealing with him, and now how do we bring him back? 3 adventures that all spawned from taking out what I thought was an unimportant npc.

Now I love a city builder game and I have probably tried every major app out there that lets me build a city and raise an army. As soon as the build time reaches about 24 hrs im done. I don't want to wait I want to upgrade advance and move on now not 3 days and 16 hours later. I feel that players often get this way too. Make your cities important, I have the heroes of the deviant army building towns and developing the land around them. This has been a bit of a challenge but they now have access to a blacksmith with enough skill to forge any kind of masterwork item they can dream up. The army is getting funds from collecting taxes and reinvesting into these areas of the game. Normally those towns quickly become unremarkable and lost to memory as that one place we went that one time and beat up so and so.

The rules of tabletop are to have fun and what could be more fun than running a nonstop cutscene of epic proportions? Sometimes the rules just don't cut it. When I will play a party based combat game the characters will have a signature skill that is theirs and theirs alone. I think about brave frontier marvel strike force, raid shadow legacy, and kirita the white knights. Action is pretty standard but having that final move be a cutscene described by the player or giving them a made up ability to use is often times more cinematic. It has lasting impact "Remember that time when I killed the bandit leader? vs "Remember when I impaled the bandit leader on the spear that I had stuck in my gut" Now I agree that this falls under the rule of cool and alot of people do it. But i'm going to take it one step further. My next gaming session is going to be completely off the cuff, I have a bad guy planned and the heroes will all be stuck in a dream like state (This has happened before to them) I will then initiate combat with the spirit of a pissed off oni whose grave they recently disturbed. The rules will not be a major part of this encounter. I will allow them to make up there own moves special powers and moves inside the dreamscape. Once they wake they will have their own unique move that is in no book but came from their own imagination.

In conclusion take what you can from mobile games there are a ton out there with loads of content t come up with great ideas from. I feel the three mechanics i want to incorporate into my game are large cast of unique npc's, kingdom building, and signature skills. I am most looking forward to the last one as I have yet to try it out. I would like to hear about other people's ideas of mechanics or ideas they have stolen from a mobile game and how it translated to tabletop. please feel free to leave a comment below.

The path of Fire

  For the last few gaming sessions the Deviant army has been working out of Port Shirodate. They have had some forewarning of a great evil i...