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Mike Shea
Attended New Trier
Lives in Vienna, VA
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Mike Shea

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Notes from my 13th Age Moonwreck Game

Lessons Learned

- Keep handout text short and sweet. Whatever you have could probably be half the size and it makes it a lot easier for players to parse.

- Get to your first combat encounter within 30 minutes or people will get bored. At least at my table, people like a good fight.

- There's only so far you can go with black tendrils of dark nasty malevolent entities before you have to start describing something real. What the hell is that stuff anyway?

- The Icon rolls can act as a sub-system for a lot of things. It can shift storylines, it can give PCs clues they might miss or have to roll on, it can give players a chance to re-roll shitty rolls, and it can even act as a sub-system for awarding out loot.

- Using the icon roll for loot: Every six someone rolls is an opportunity to find a piece of valuable loot. They have to describe what it is and its historical connection to the icon. Every PC can only acquire one piece of loot this way per level. When everyone has one, it's probably time to level them up. This takes a lot of load off of the GM to provide loot if, like me, coming up with meaningful loot isn't your strong suit and is a level of preparation you'd rather not undertake. It puts the load of discovering meaningful loot over to the player who probably wants something particular anyway. Tying it to icon rolls means there's still some random factor in it.

- Using the Mundane Magic Item Generator is a great way to add interesting single-use magic items to the normal pile of potions, oils, and runes. See http://slyflourish.com/random_mundane_magic_item_generator.html

- Leaving open choices at the end of a game means you have no way to really prepare ahead of time. It's hard work to improvise an entire game at the table but often leads to fun and unexpected results. Poke through the monster manual, bookmark some interesting potential threats, surf through your battle map archive, and hope things work out!

Longer Narrative

In our 13th Age Moonwreck campaign, our band of adventurers has entered the dungeons below the Temple of Wisdom and Logic which had been a hotbed of gnolls, cultists of the Dark, mercenaries of the Three, and agents of the Lich King. Once the PCs entered the dungeons, I began to steal material from Monte Cook's Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (http://www.dndclassics.com/product/28447/?affiliate_id=70406) which matches much of the themes in my current Moonwreck campaign and has some excellent dungeons from which to steal ideas. I'm using it very loosely but it works well.

Last night the PCs awoke in a beautiful sanctuary created by an agent of the Elf Queen they had released. The sanctuary slowly got eaten away by the tendrils of the Dark, a horrible malevolent entity that lives below the surface of existence and seeks the total destruction of life. The Dark is turning out to be a bit more abstract than I like, but I'll work with it.

The PCs learned of three potential future directions once they finish facing the Obex within this dungeon. Two to three remaining Obexes (after about a 90 minute conversation, we came to the conclusion that the plural of Obex is Obexiliciouses. Later, +Robert Bodine  confirmed it is Obicies). This gives the PCs three potential paths: the Black Spike in the center of Everburn, the ruins of the dark elf city of Darkspire, and, as uncovered in some captured Emberborn mercenary notes, the unearthing of the remains of the White in the Valley of Bones. Of course, the players can choose any other option as well (see Three Plus Infinite Choices: http://slyflourish.com/three_choices.html).

The PCs traveled through some Dark-infested halls which spiked them on black spikes and did other nasty things. They found themselves in a room with a living pile of armed skeletons and a bunch of nasty ghouls. At one point, our wizard inflicted over 45 damage to four targets at once, the most damage I had seen at the time until later when our sorcerer did ongoing 180 damage to about twelve mooks who, as you can imagine, died right after their second round of un-life.

With the ghouls down the PCs entered the chamber of the Obex, a three-story-tall obelisk of flat-black stone at the bottom of a drained well. A dozen cultists of the Dark had killed themselves around the Obex. Only a single wizard remained. I tried and failed to have an illusion of the actual cult leader of the Dark Dreamers, a man named Grayraven. He didn't get three words out before someone fired a cold ray at his servant. The servant, a wizard, fired back but was soon killed.

Then the shapeless malevolence of the Obex raised up and attacked. It swiped with ethereal claws and bit with faceless mouths. It reanimated the bodies of the cultists before they were quickly killed (see the ongoing 180 damage above).

The party put it down without too much fan faire and then our dark elf possesser of the secret key had a choice: use the key to destroy the Obex but release whatever it contained inside or leave the Obex and leave with it the growing energy of the Dark.

They chose to destroy it and unleash whatever it was inside. Inside was an ancient and emaciated Glabrezou who quickly teleported away - a new potential threat in the area of Moonwreck.

Next week, the PCs travel wherever it is they decide to travel next!
6
Chad Rose's profile photoJoshua Kubli's profile photoJonathan Tweet's profile photo
3 comments
 
"Get to your first combat encounter within 30 minutes." The first thing my players did when we started a campaign yesterday was roll initiative. 
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Mike Shea

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Mike Shea's profile photoJared Hayter's profile photoMichael Hazen's profile photoAdam Thornton's profile photo
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Older Dwarven Forge stuff!
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Mike Shea

Discussion  - 
 
 
This week's Sly Flourish article is a bit of javascript I wrote to generate random mundane magic items. Here are some examples:

* Pristine draconic gemstone that lets the user emit a cone of cold and shocks the user randomly

* Rough arcane mask that lets the user levitate and the user becomes a child

* Grimy astral hammer that lets the user create a shell of magical protection and covers the user in purple

* Burned otherworldly coin that lets the user control a rope and emits bright harmless flames

* Chipped ethereal coin that lets the user open a dimensional door and the user grows claws

* Chilling dark elven pipe that lets the user summon webs and the user becomes colorblind

* Chipped arcane gemstone that allows passage through solid objects and the user's flesh becomes magnetic

* Old pre-humanoid bone that engulfs a weapon in flame and the user experiences vertigo

* Runed abyssal mirror that lets the user strike true and the user loses a tooth

* Smooth elven bone that lets the user create an arcane lock and the user's eyes move independently

http://slyflourish.com/random_mundane_magic_item_generator.html
1
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Mike Shea

Shared publicly  - 
 
This week's Sly Flourish article is a bit of javascript I wrote to generate random mundane magic items. Here are some examples:

* Pristine draconic gemstone that lets the user emit a cone of cold and shocks the user randomly

* Rough arcane mask that lets the user levitate and the user becomes a child

* Grimy astral hammer that lets the user create a shell of magical protection and covers the user in purple

* Burned otherworldly coin that lets the user control a rope and emits bright harmless flames

* Chipped ethereal coin that lets the user open a dimensional door and the user grows claws

* Chilling dark elven pipe that lets the user summon webs and the user becomes colorblind

* Chipped arcane gemstone that allows passage through solid objects and the user's flesh becomes magnetic

* Old pre-humanoid bone that engulfs a weapon in flame and the user experiences vertigo

* Runed abyssal mirror that lets the user strike true and the user loses a tooth

* Smooth elven bone that lets the user create an arcane lock and the user's eyes move independently

http://slyflourish.com/random_mundane_magic_item_generator.html
2
2
Robert Bodine's profile photoMike Shea's profile photo
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Mike Shea

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Help me internets! I'm working on a generator of random mundane magical items and need a list of 100 quirks. Here are some examples:

turns the skin of the user blue
makes the user nauseous
makes the user giggle uncontrollably
sheds a bright multicolored light
tells horrible truths
is uncomfortably cold to the touch
emits the sound of nails on a chalkboard
slithers and squirms in hand
drips with black blood

The effect of these items lasts about five minutes so it should be something that will matter in that time. These also shouldn't be so severe that players won't want to use them, but they should be something that players consider when using them.

I need about 80 more of these so please comment and add them below!

Thanks!
5
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Justin Wampler's profile photoRobert Adducci's profile photoJim Kliss's profile photoJay Crossler's profile photo
46 comments
 
* Magic should be flashy - Subtlety is for hacks.
* Has dreams about people gathered around a table pretending to be other people in a fake world
* Can't help but greet people merrily. Its annoying.
* You can't help but record your exploits at the end of every day.
* Only the finest drink will do, none of the cheap swill.
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Have him in circles
1,218 people
Sally Sparks's profile photo

Mike Shea

Shared publicly  - 
 
Notes from my 13th Age Moonwreck Game

Lessons Learned

- Keep handout text short and sweet. Whatever you have could probably be half the size and it makes it a lot easier for players to parse.

- Get to your first combat encounter within 30 minutes or people will get bored. At least at my table, people like a good fight.

- There's only so far you can go with black tendrils of dark nasty malevolent entities before you have to start describing something real. What the hell is that stuff anyway?

- The Icon rolls can act as a sub-system for a lot of things. It can shift storylines, it can give PCs clues they might miss or have to roll on, it can give players a chance to re-roll shitty rolls, and it can even act as a sub-system for awarding out loot.

- Using the icon roll for loot: Every six someone rolls is an opportunity to find a piece of valuable loot. They have to describe what it is and its historical connection to the icon. Every PC can only acquire one piece of loot this way per level. When everyone has one, it's probably time to level them up. This takes a lot of load off of the GM to provide loot if, like me, coming up with meaningful loot isn't your strong suit and is a level of preparation you'd rather not undertake. It puts the load of discovering meaningful loot over to the player who probably wants something particular anyway. Tying it to icon rolls means there's still some random factor in it.

- Using the Mundane Magic Item Generator is a great way to add interesting single-use magic items to the normal pile of potions, oils, and runes. See http://slyflourish.com/random_mundane_magic_item_generator.html

- Leaving open choices at the end of a game means you have no way to really prepare ahead of time. It's hard work to improvise an entire game at the table but often leads to fun and unexpected results. Poke through the monster manual, bookmark some interesting potential threats, surf through your battle map archive, and hope things work out!

Longer Narrative

In our 13th Age Moonwreck campaign, our band of adventurers has entered the dungeons below the Temple of Wisdom and Logic which had been a hotbed of gnolls, cultists of the Dark, mercenaries of the Three, and agents of the Lich King. Once the PCs entered the dungeons, I began to steal material from Monte Cook's Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (http://www.dndclassics.com/product/28447/?affiliate_id=70406) which matches much of the themes in my current Moonwreck campaign and has some excellent dungeons from which to steal ideas. I'm using it very loosely but it works well.

Last night the PCs awoke in a beautiful sanctuary created by an agent of the Elf Queen they had released. The sanctuary slowly got eaten away by the tendrils of the Dark, a horrible malevolent entity that lives below the surface of existence and seeks the total destruction of life. The Dark is turning out to be a bit more abstract than I like, but I'll work with it.

The PCs learned of three potential future directions once they finish facing the Obex within this dungeon. Two to three remaining Obexes (after about a 90 minute conversation, we came to the conclusion that the plural of Obex is Obexiliciouses. Later, +Robert Bodine  confirmed it is Obicies). This gives the PCs three potential paths: the Black Spike in the center of Everburn, the ruins of the dark elf city of Darkspire, and, as uncovered in some captured Emberborn mercenary notes, the unearthing of the remains of the White in the Valley of Bones. Of course, the players can choose any other option as well (see Three Plus Infinite Choices: http://slyflourish.com/three_choices.html).

The PCs traveled through some Dark-infested halls which spiked them on black spikes and did other nasty things. They found themselves in a room with a living pile of armed skeletons and a bunch of nasty ghouls. At one point, our wizard inflicted over 45 damage to four targets at once, the most damage I had seen at the time until later when our sorcerer did ongoing 180 damage to about twelve mooks who, as you can imagine, died right after their second round of un-life.

With the ghouls down the PCs entered the chamber of the Obex, a three-story-tall obelisk of flat-black stone at the bottom of a drained well. A dozen cultists of the Dark had killed themselves around the Obex. Only a single wizard remained. I tried and failed to have an illusion of the actual cult leader of the Dark Dreamers, a man named Grayraven. He didn't get three words out before someone fired a cold ray at his servant. The servant, a wizard, fired back but was soon killed.

Then the shapeless malevolence of the Obex raised up and attacked. It swiped with ethereal claws and bit with faceless mouths. It reanimated the bodies of the cultists before they were quickly killed (see the ongoing 180 damage above).

The party put it down without too much fan faire and then our dark elf possesser of the secret key had a choice: use the key to destroy the Obex but release whatever it contained inside or leave the Obex and leave with it the growing energy of the Dark.

They chose to destroy it and unleash whatever it was inside. Inside was an ancient and emaciated Glabrezou who quickly teleported away - a new potential threat in the area of Moonwreck.

Next week, the PCs travel wherever it is they decide to travel next!
2
Robert Bodine's profile photo
 
The day I stop caring about matters of language is the day I'm no longer of any use to the human race. 
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Mike Shea

Discussion  - 
 
 
This week's Sly Flourish article is a bit of javascript I wrote to generate random mundane magic items. Here are some examples:

* Pristine draconic gemstone that lets the user emit a cone of cold and shocks the user randomly

* Rough arcane mask that lets the user levitate and the user becomes a child

* Grimy astral hammer that lets the user create a shell of magical protection and covers the user in purple

* Burned otherworldly coin that lets the user control a rope and emits bright harmless flames

* Chipped ethereal coin that lets the user open a dimensional door and the user grows claws

* Chilling dark elven pipe that lets the user summon webs and the user becomes colorblind

* Chipped arcane gemstone that allows passage through solid objects and the user's flesh becomes magnetic

* Old pre-humanoid bone that engulfs a weapon in flame and the user experiences vertigo

* Runed abyssal mirror that lets the user strike true and the user loses a tooth

* Smooth elven bone that lets the user create an arcane lock and the user's eyes move independently

http://slyflourish.com/random_mundane_magic_item_generator.html
5
1
Robert Bodine's profile photoRobert Adducci's profile photo
 
Great idea Mike! I'll have to comb through and see if any of my ideas made the cut.
Add a comment...

Mike Shea

General Discussion  - 
 
 
This week's Sly Flourish article is a bit of javascript I wrote to generate random mundane magic items. Here are some examples:

* Pristine draconic gemstone that lets the user emit a cone of cold and shocks the user randomly

* Rough arcane mask that lets the user levitate and the user becomes a child

* Grimy astral hammer that lets the user create a shell of magical protection and covers the user in purple

* Burned otherworldly coin that lets the user control a rope and emits bright harmless flames

* Chipped ethereal coin that lets the user open a dimensional door and the user grows claws

* Chilling dark elven pipe that lets the user summon webs and the user becomes colorblind

* Chipped arcane gemstone that allows passage through solid objects and the user's flesh becomes magnetic

* Old pre-humanoid bone that engulfs a weapon in flame and the user experiences vertigo

* Runed abyssal mirror that lets the user strike true and the user loses a tooth

* Smooth elven bone that lets the user create an arcane lock and the user's eyes move independently

http://slyflourish.com/random_mundane_magic_item_generator.html
3
1
Mike Shea's profile photoGame Master Toolbox's profile photo
 
Hello and pardon me, but I notice that Critical Hits seems a bit dormant. Any news why?
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Mike Shea

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This week's Sly Flourish article, Three Plus Infinite Choices. http://slyflourish.com/three_choices.html
1
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Mike Shea

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Hey, I finally got my new smart watch!

h/t Jason Dunne on the Twitter

#smartwatch  
15
Scott Rehm's profile photoScott Dorward's profile photo
2 comments
 
I'm waiting for tomorrow's desperate post: "Does anyone know how to wash gel pen off skin?! .... umm... asking for a friend. Not me." 
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People
Have him in circles
1,218 people
Sally Sparks's profile photo
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Web Development & Management
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SlyFlourish.com, D&D, web technology, fantasy & science fiction, personal organization
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http://mikeshea.net/about
http://slyflourish.com/

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Playstation Network: mshea0001

Education
  • New Trier
  • Indiana State University
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