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Bill Adcock
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Currently three sessions in to an Alpha Blue campaign. Thus far the players have pissed off the Cult of the Glass Spider, the Space Mafia, and one of the Knights in Black Satin, and have decided to sign on with the Wyrmslorr Syndicate in exchange for protection from these enemies. Third session was this past Saturday, and their first as Wyrmslorr employees.

Meeting with their handler from the Syndicate, they were given the job of finding Voork Vega, a con-man 20,000 credits in debt to the Syndicate and A) shake him down for the money and B) make sure he doesn't arrive on the planet Titty-Prime, where his virulent strain of space herpes would put a damper on the Wyrmslorr Annual Pimps and Hoes Ball. They cornered him on the casino planet of Reno IV by posing as potential clients of the grift he was running (he was getting rich socialite women to pay him to cum on their faces by telling them it was anti-aging cream) and kicking the crap out of him in his own office, taking his bank card and draining his account (skimming of everything beyond what he owed the Wyrmslorrs for themselves).

On their way back to Alpha Blue, their handler gave them a second mission - go through the drive-thru at a nearby Furburgers Restaurant and pick him up lunch - a vertical pastrami sandwich with extra clam sauce, a side of potato salad and a vanilla booty shake.

Session ended with the party meeting the local Wyrmslorr capo, a blubbery creature named Thick James who ends every sentence with a bubbling exclamation of "BITCH!" and likes forcing underlings to watch him have sex.

Next session they're either getting tasked with impersonating judges to rig a beauty pageant in favor of the Wyrmslorrs' preferred candidate, or delivering a shipment of Colt Laser Malt Liquor to Don Corneliax on the set of the holonet show Soul Satellite to fulfill Willy Bee Dilliams' contract rider. Haven't decided yet.

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Every time I see this poster, I think it's a new Lamentations of the Flame Princess release.

"What? No, no, tell me that's not what we see. We are so fucked."

Last night's session ended with the party in the hobgoblin city of Molekh, "honored guests" of Borgai Khan. They want to get in the Khan's favor so they can count on his support in case they destabilize the region they're in beyond their capacity to contain. They were informed that while they have permission to meet with the Khan, they still need to earn the privilege of speaking with him, and for that they need to fight a monster in the Khan's Arena.

In the arena, they watched the portcullis open and their opponent nudged into the arena - a Gorgon.

The players lost their minds a little bit at that. Seems some of them had fought Gorgons in other campaigns and had seen their destructive capabilities.

So the actual combat starts next Tuesday, and the players are going in as fearful for their characters' lives as the characters themselves would be. Excellent.

The Star Trek: TNG episode where Riker is sent to a Klingon vessel as part of an officer exchange program is proving unexpectedly inspirational for my weekly D&D game. This week the adventurers are going to be traveling and living with a hobgoblin patrol for several days in order to fulfill some mutual goals. This may lead to a better understanding between the two cultures. It's more likely to end in a bloodbath.

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Time to roll.

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Running 5e is taking some getting used to but going sandbox and giving the players a map and list of plot hooks and letting them figure out where to go and what to do is definitely taking some pressure off me.

Last night, presented with a map of the region and a Hill Cantons-style newsletter of current goings-on, my players plotted a course that would let them hit all the major goings on over the course of the next month in-game.

"So if we take the short cut through the ash desert to get to the castle of the guy who everyone thinks is a devil-worshiper, it'll take us right past the ruined castle where those evil knights were tortured to death three hundred years ago and we can check it out. In the ash desert we can kill some goblins to collect on the bounty offered by the necromancer of the southern woods. And halfway between the devil worshiper's castle and the castle of the necromancer is the town where the retired war-wizard beat a demon at chess to make it write his memoirs. And once we're at the necromancer's castle, we're almost half way to the swamp where that super ancient stone road carved to look like Dragon scales is said to be."

D&D off to a strong start last night. 7 PCs (Half-Elf Warlock, Half-Elf Paladin, Wood Elf Druid, Wood Elf Rogue, Rock Gnome Wizard, Half-Orc Barbarian and Human Fighter) rolled into a mining town in the heart of a Deadwood-meets-Borgias region of horse thieves, necromancers, lycanthropes, hustlers, rustlers, con men, cultists, petty despots, wannabe warlords ("...and Methodists!") where the gnome had inherited a house from his late uncle. They learned that the local petty despot is a necromancer but perhaps not an evil one, since he pretty much leaves everyone else alone as long as his tax of "send the bodies of everyone hanged for horse thievin' to my castle" is paid, and that a neighboring petty despot has a standing offer to name as his heir the first person to unseat him in a joust.

Visiting the house, they discovered it used to be three, maybe four houses that have had connectors built between them over the past forty years, and is borderline Winchester Mystery House in its general layout. Other than needing a new porch, some paint and the observatory dome scrubbed, it appears to be in good shape.

Inside the house, they discovered that a small band of kobolds has been sneaking in to raid the expansive and well-stocked cheese cellar for the past two weeks. These were swiftly scared off, despite their protestations that they were orphans.

For the second time now, a player has pitched a character backstory and motivation identical to what's motivating the villain of that particular campaign. Damn.

Edition warriors ain't got shit on the yarn shop biddies debating knitting needle materials or fiber sources. Apparently graphite-shafted knitting needles are fighting words.
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