Parody – Let The Dice Hit The Tray

I wrote this parody song a few months ago and only posted it to Twitter. Thought I’d add it here now as well. Sung to the tune of Drowning Pool’s “Let The Bodies Hit The Floor”.  All due apologies to Drowning Pool, Paizo and Wizards of the Coast.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Original Song – Let the Bodies Hit the Floor by Drowning Pool

And now, my lyrics…..

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!

Hit points drop off (drop off)
Potion must quaff
(Here we go, here we go, here we go)  

One, cleric come heal me
Two, cleric come heal me
Three, cleric come heal me
Four, cleric come heal me  

One, come on, roll 20
Two, come on, roll 20
Three, come on, roll 20  
Noooooooww!!!!

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the traaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the traaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!  

Bard sings again (again)
Chased by gob-lin
(Here we go, here we go, here we go)

One, cleric come heal me
Two, cleric come heal me
Three, cleric come heal me
Four, cleric come heal me  

One, come on, roll 20
Two, come on, roll 20
Three, come on, roll 20
Nooooow!!

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the traaaaaaaaaaaaay!!

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray  

Zombies and wights, skeleton
The wizard’s last spell, but then he’s all done
Your rogue got you in and now you’re here
You failed your save, so run in fear

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!  

One, cleric come heal me
Two, cleric come heal me
Three, cleric come heal me
Four, cleric come heal me

One, come on, roll 20
Two, come on, roll 20
Three, come on, roll 20 Noooooooooow!!  

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray!  

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray

Heeeey!!!! Roll!!
Heeeey!!!! Roll!!
Heeeey!!!! Roll!!
Heeeey!!!! Roll!!
Heeeey!!!! Roll!!

I felt musical and gaming inspiration today. Apologies in advance to @DrowningPool, @Wizards_DnD, @paizo and pretty much everyone who sees this.

Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the tray
Let the dice hit the traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!
(1/8)

— Barret Blake (@BarretBlake) July 18, 2018

And here’s a link to my original tweet….

The World of Aeleon

I haven’t posted about my world building project in quite a while, but I have been working hard on fleshing it out. I’ve got several docs and spreadsheets put together. I also recently found a website called World Anvil that helps world builders organize and post their content online in a well organized, wiki-style format.

I’ve started transferring the information out to that site and will use it going forward. You can see that start of my creation, the world of Aeleon.

Character Portrait – Terun Eastmore

Terun is one of my all time favorite PCs to play. He was a human paladin of Helm, hero of Silverhall, warrior of the Wyrmfang Chronicles, and the endless butt of jokes about one-armed paladins.

Terun’s backstory was quite in-depth. It’s been a habit of mine that a number of my PCs have some hook that ties them to other PCs or NPCs within the Wyrmfang Chronicles campagin. Terun was tied to my second character in the Wyrmfang Chronicles version of Faerun, Endeleban Losteast (Delban). He was, in fact, his younger brother.

The Dragons

Terun was the last of 4 brothers, sons of a noble family headed by Matrom Eastmore, a general serving in the Purple Dragons of Cormyr. It was expected that all sons of the Eastmore family would serve in the Dragons as soldiers or clerics. The two eldest brothers, Grahm and Reynold, each enlisted as they came of age. Delban did not, turning instead to his natural arcane talents and joining the Aes Saidarr and getting himself cast out of the family. Terun, though torn, followed his two brothers into the Dragons.

Once his basic training was completed, Terun was sent to the eastern borders to join his two brothers serve in the fortress that guards the road that crosses the Thunder Peaks into Sembia. For a few months, all was well. That is, until the day the patrol his two brothers were a part of failed to return.

As Terun prepared to ride for with the search party, a lone rider brought word that the patrol was pinned down by an raiding band of orcs. The reinforcements rode with haste, but arrived too late to save the patrol. With the thundering cavalry bearing down on them, the orcs quickly surrendered. But no mercy was granted and they were slaughtered.

Terun was granted leave to take the bodies of his brothers home. Once they were laid to rest, a disillusioned and despairing Terun did not return to his post. Instead he wandered for many months, drifting ever north and east.

A New Purpose

Eventually, in the mountains north of Thar, he happened upon an ancient fortress inhabited by a small group of paladins and priests who served the god Helm. In this group, dedicated to stopping evil at any cost, Terun found a home and a purpose. Joining their order, Terun became a paladin of Helm.

His initiation completed, Terun was sent southward, to the Dalelands, to carry Helm’s will to that land. There he found and united with the heroes of Silverhall, electing to grant Helm’s service to the Silver Queen.

The One-Armed Paladin

Terun fought valiantly with the heroes of Silverhall on many adventures. In one particular fateful day, Terun was turned to stone by the power of a vile beholder beast. His stone left arm, holding fast to an item that their enemies coveted, was ripped from him in effort to obtain that item. Restored to flesh once more, his arm was lost.

Terun, instead of seeing the loss of his left arm as a hindrance, saw it only as a test from his god. He was determined to persevere in the face of that challenge. On rare occasion, he was weak and complained of his state. Mostly, though, he fought valiantly with the heroes for many more adventures.

Not all was well though. Terun and the Heroes parted ways for a time. He became frustrated that his companions were unwilling to do what it takes to defeat evil. Evil, in all its forms, should be destroyed at all costs. Why couldn’t they see that? And so, in frustration, he left their weakness behind and struck out on his own, following the will of Helm wherever it led.

Eventually, older and wiser and perhaps a bit more patient, he was led back to Silverhall and joined the heroes once more.

Vani Mortem, Inlaqueaverunt Meam

Then came the day of Terun’s death. Working to clear a fortress of evil creatures, Terun and the Heroes came upon a trap. A hidden portcullis fell from the ceiling, separating Terun from the others. While the rest of the party tried to raise the bars, Terun decided to scout ahead and see if perhaps there was a way around.

Note: It should be said that my characters have a tendency to wander off or do something when I get bored of waiting for the others to argue about something or decipher a puzzle (I HATE RIDDLES), or pack the horses or whatever. It’s gotten a few of my characters into trouble over the years, but only once has it caused them to die. This was that time. What can I say? I’m a man of action, not words.

Unfortunately for Terun, he ran into a band of gnoll rangers. Pinned down by arrow fire, he tried to take cover and wait for help. It didn’t work. His companions were too slow getting past the portcullis trap and Terun fell.

Eventually, Terun’s body was returned to his family and interred in the family crypt outside of Suzail. There, his brother Delban, now following the path of evil, stole the body and entrapped the soul of Terun in a gem he had attached to a stolen ba’athril axe. It was all a part of his plot to lure the party westward to Brindinford and get them to eliminate an illithid threat to his domination of the city. (See: The Speaker In Dreams)

Restored to Life

The postscript of that adventure was that Terun was restored to life, as well as his left arm. There, he swore to join his father and a band of outcast Purple Dragons who had fled the Black Talon takeover of Cormyr, in defending Brindinford from an approaching army of Talons bent on capturing or killing all the remaining Dragons.

With the help of Delban, that threat was dealt with and Brindinford was once more safe. Now, Terun feels the calling of Helm once more. Perhaps the Heroes of Silverhall have not seen the last of Terun Eastmore.

Character Portrait – Heagen Witchhunter

My newest character, all of 4 or 5 sessions in now, is a half-orc barbarian named Heagen. I’ve never played a barbarian in the Wyrmfang Chronicles before. The last barbarian I played was way back in college in with 2e AD&D. Damn, I’m old.

Image Credit: barbarian by ali-tunc on DeviantArt

With the death of my cleric Qen in our party’s near TPK, the story-line has shifted several decades into the future. The Cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh, severely weakened by the exploits of the Shining Company, is once again on the rise. Their efforts to resurrect Hakotep and restore him to rule of Osirion are in full motion.

The two survivors of the Shining Company have recruited 4 new heroes to help avert the Cult’s goals. Heagen is one of them. Heagen has history with three of the other newcomers. They meet up from time to time as heroes for hire to do good throughout Osirion, so long as there’s gold involved.

Heagen doesn’t speak much about his past. From the bits and pieces his companions have learned over the years, they know he comes from the northern Golarion somewhere, but little else.

For the remainder of his introduction, I’ll just quote the original email I sent the rest of the group:

It’s well past dinner when the door to the inn opens. In walks a middle aged human merchant. 5’6″ tall, a bit portly, and showing a touch of gray in his receding hairline. He could pass for any random local businessman. You, however, instantly recognize your companion. It’s one of his more common disguises in civilized areas such as this.

It’s a bit of a shame that it’s necessary, but your companion has long since accepted the need to not draw unnecessary attention to himself in towns such as this one. “Better for all,” he often says with a smile, taking it all in stride. His calm, almost serene, personality sits in drastic contrast to the blood rage that fuels his actions in combat. You’ve long since given up trying to figure out the dichotomy.

He sits down at the table with only a nod to you. It’s been months since you last saw him. He’d left with barely any notice, saying only that it was time to collect on an old bounty. You know that from time to time, Heagen (Hay-gun) takes up bounties on witches, wizards and other spellcasters causing problems for locals. It’s why they call him the Witchhunter. But he never goes into detail and you never ask. Everyone’s gotta have a hobby, right?

You’re a little surprised that he’s here. You sent messages to his normal hangouts across Osirion. Usually, when he disappears like this, it’s nearly impossible to find him until he’s ready to be found. You can only guess that, like normal, he has collected on whatever bounty he went out after.

You know he prefers to talk business in his normal form. To that end, you stand and lead him to a back room you’ve reserved. As you shut the door and turn to your companion, you see the nondescript merchant reach up an doff his cap. Instantly, the human merchant is replaced with a hulking half orc. 6’6″ tall and easily 250 pounds of pure muscle, the beast draws his enormous great sword and long bow, leaning them carefully in the corner next to him as he takes a seat.

“Now,” he says with a smile, “What’s this I hear about a job?”

Character Portrait – Aeduin

If I’m remembering correctly, as the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons came to the public, our group was left with a dilemma. Like many, there were things about the 3/3.5e versions of D&D that we weren’t particularly happy with. Neither did we particularly like what we were seeing from 4e. It was too much like a card game or MMO and too little like D&D. While opinion varied a bit in our group, my view was that it wasn’t D&D at all. It was more like Magic: The D&D edition. Well, we eventually settled on a decision to move instead to Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG. Many referred to this rules set as D&D 3.75e. It cleaned up a lot of what was wrong with late 2e and 3/3.5e D&D. One of the first campaigns (might have actually been 1st) with the Pathfinder rules was the Shackled City Campaign Setting. For that campaign I played a bard/cleric name Aeduin Tharn.

“Now, wait,” I can hear you saying already. “Shackled City wasn’t Pathfinder rules! It was 3e/3.5e”. Yes, that’s true. And the fact that you know that off the top of your head means you really need to get out more. But that alone was a reason to pick Pathfinder over 4e. It also helps that anything written for 3/3.5e was extremely easy to convert to the Pathfinder rules and not easy to convert to 4e. That meant going in there was already a huge amount of material available. And most of us being fans of D&D from the very beginnings and 1st edition, we were among those that were not impressed with 4th edition. So on to Pathfinder we went.

The Problem with Aeduin

Shackled City was probably the first time we were planning on taking characters from 1st to 20th level. While we sometimes re-visited characters, none of them had yet to achieve the topmost levels of the game. For my part, I’d played pretty much every core character class in the game except barbarian and bard. For Aeduin, I chose bard. Mostly I made the choice because we already had a couple of tanks in the party and I was fine with either one.

As the campaign progressed Aeduin grew as a bard and I pushed him along. But I also grew more and more bored with playing the bard. There were a few reasons for this. First, I found myself with a “meh” attitude towards the skills and abilities that bards have in higher levels. It just seemed like more of the same and increasingly less useful to the party. Second, I wasn’t really happy with the interpersonal dynamics that my character had with the rest of the party.  And third, bards are supposed to be exuberant, outgoing characters, the voice of the party. That is 100% the opposite of me and I found it very difficult to draw a sufficient amount of that attitude out of myself as a gamer.

Sacrifice

Occipitus
Occipitus
Occipitus

There comes a moment in the campaign when the characters are on a plane of existence known as Occipitus. There they face several tests. The last test takes place around a pillar of flaming plasma. Kaurophon is attempting to gain control of Occipitus. Here, he must sacrifice a soul to the pillar to gain that control. During the battle, Kaurophon used his magic to lift up one of the party and begin shoving them towards the pillar. The party fought to prevent the sacrifice, but we were losing the battle. We had but a round or two remaining before our foe was victorious.

In a moment of decision, Aeduin determined to throw himself into the pillar and gain the control for the party. Despite the fact that I was unhappy with Aeduin, it was also not in my nature to just throw a character away. I just thought that here was an opportunity for him to make a difference, something that I didn’t feel he had done in quite a while. Mostly I was totally happy with Aeduin not coming back. I was already starting to plan a new character out in my head before the end of the session. But as we were packing up, our GM told me he had an idea.

Opportunity for Change

What I didn’t know at the time I made the sacrifice is that if a character sacrifices themselves instead of someone else, they are not killed. They instead gain the Sign of the Smoking Eye template and become the heir to the plane of Occipitus. Between my GM and myself, we came up with an additional change. Instead of just becoming the Smoke-Eye and heir to Occipitus, Aeduin would become a cleric of Occipitus. All of his existing levels of bard were replaced with an equal number of levels of cleric of Occipitus. Aeduin found new purpose and I found it enjoyable to play him once again.

We eventually finished the campaign and Aeduin reached level 20. Having completed his original purpose in finding his missing father and restoring their family’s trade empire, he left Cauldron behind to return to Occipitus to begin molding it to his designs. Among his changes are taking ownership of the World Serpent Inn and giving it a permanent home.

Character Portrait – Rem

image credit: Cthulhu, by dano-h on DeviantArt

One of my many clerics was Noremus Toffli. Rem was a human cleric of Pelor tasked with finding a cure for a mind plague afflicting the people of Stormport. Little did he know when he joined the heroes that his quest would take him far from home, to the very stars themselves. Rem’s story is tightly coupled with that of my paladin of Helm, Terun.

Terun and the heroes of Silverhall had traveled to the Moonsea city of Stormport. There, they found a people under the influence of a band of insidious mind flayers. Through much tribulation, and a couple of misunderstandings, the party freed the city. Unfortunately, it became clear that this group of heroes had some deeply rooted failings, in that they were unwilling to do whatever it took to uphold the glory of Helm and Terun parted ways with them to seek out worthier companions.

In stepped Rem. A cleric of the temple of Pelor in Stormport, he saw that many in the city were still afflicted by a mysterious brain disease that had come upon them during the  Illithids’ reign. While his brothers and sisters remained to treat the sick as best their abilities could, Rem traveled in pursuit of the band of heroes. Catching up with them, he joined with them as they eventually found their way aboard an Illithid sky ship.

The party traveled aboard the fell contraption to the mind flayers’ home world of Penumbra. There, the heroes faced off against many of the mind masters, their slave minions, and their elder brain master. Through great battles and at great cost, the heroes defeated the creatures. Carrying what remained of their wizard companion, the party were able to find their way back to Faerun.

Rem, having gained the cure for the brain disease, was last seen traveling east from Waterdeep towards home. Perhaps we have not seen the last of this young adventurer…

Character Portrait – Gogun

Gogun Elfcrusher, aka “The Gogun”, was my cleric of Silvanus. He was from our 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons era. He ventured north with a group of dwarves, led by King Tadom Trollslayer, seeking to return to their ancient home in the Vast. It was a nameless city north of Raven’s Bluff. I created him to join the campaign after my paladin of Helm, Terun, left over a religious disagreement with another paladin.

Gogun served the Trollslayer as a scout for his armies. The name Elfcrusher came from one of his scouting missions. They were exploring some caves and he came across a party of drow. The dark elves had apparently killed each other in some argument. He was examining the bodies when one of the other scouts came across his position. The story soon spread that Gogun had slain the drow by himself. Despite his attempts to refute the story, it stuck to him.

Gogun was reporting to the king and attempting to set the story straight when the party arrived in Yhaunn, where King Tadom was in exile. The party was on a mission from the Silver Queen to do a favor for King Tadom. This led the party to the nameless dwarven city in the Vast. After their return, Gogun remained with his people as the adventurers departed for Silverhall. Gogun again attempted to set the story straight with King Tadom, who had been making him into a hero in his absence. Feeling that this was a sign of ingratitude and an insult to him, the Trollslayer exiled Gogun from his presence. Seeing no other options, Gogun followed the adventurers to Silverhall.

Once at Silverhall, Gogun joined the party and followed them on their quests through Firestorm Peak and the Return to White Plume Mountain. It was in White Plume Mountain, ancient Greyhawk fortress of the mighty wizard Keraptis, that Gogun found his destiny. First, from an ancient scroll of magic he gained the power to cast Fireballs. Thrilled at his new found abilities, which should have been beyond a cleric’s reach, he pushed deeper into these arcane mysteries. Eventually, the party happened across a Deck of Many Things. Following an irresistible urge, Gogun drew several cards from the deck. He ended up a twisted, deformed mutation of his former self.

The Gogun

Here stood this 6 foot tall dwarven cleric, with incredible strength and extra eye on the back of his neck. Add upon that his newfound arcane abilities such as casting fireball spells. And with each passing hour, he fell more and more into the belief that HE was the only true Keraptis. Eventually he would succumb to the powers and influence of Keraptis, fleeing the party. At a crucial point, when lava was exploding into a room he threw himself into the ethereal plane.

There he stayed for a time, barely conscious. When the true Keraptis was reborn and all the pretenders should have died, he survived because he was still in the ethereal plane. Then, when Thomisan cast the limited wish spell, he was dragged back into the Forgotten Realms. In this act he lost the last few vestiges of his original personality and became once and for all Keraptis.

Even so, he knew that in Silverhall there remained a part of himself that he must free. So in the night, while the chaos of a battle raged through the halls of Silverhall, he came. Gogun strode through the chaos and stole away the child Keraptis and the hammer Whelm. He did not understand how, but he knew that the child was a part of him and he a part of it.

So now, in the darkness of night, around campfires, and anywhere else is told tales of fright and horror, is told the tale of the Gogun. Children run in panic or cower in their beds. The hearts of even the bravest of warriors are chilled at the tale. But those who knew him, who know the truth behind the stories and what really happened, also know this: When the time comes and the child Keraptis comes of age, they will once more come face to face with…. The Gogun!

Character Portrait – Nignus

Nignus was my dwarven cleric of Oghma. A traditional gold dwarf of Faerun from the Great Rift, he made his journey north where he joined the companions to explore the dark heart of Nightfang Spire. His goal was to seek tomes of wisdom and knowledge to add to the Temple of Oghma’s great library in the Rift.

Sadly, the journey of Nignus was a short one. Not long after he entered the domain of the vampire Gulthias, the fell to a monstrosity of magic, a construct made of flesh.

Character Portrait – Chojen

Alas, poor Chojen Morg. After Thelisn the bodak fell to the servants of Gulthias within the Heart of Nightfang Spire, I brought in Chojen. He was human, a former thief and rogue who had repented of his ways and taken up a life of service to the gods. Serving in a monastary near Daggerdale, the companions of Silverhall rescued Chojen when he and others had been taken by an evil cult.

To repay the debt, he offered his service to them. That service was sadly all to short. Soon after the companions re-entered Nightfang Spire, he fell victim to an undiscovered trap in the floor, sliding him down over a sharp blade and then flinging him out the side of the tower. Having no ranks in fly, he plummeted to his death at the base of the Spire.

I was sad to lose Chojen, especially so shortly after losing Thelisn (twice). The character concept of a thief-monk multi-class was one that really appealed to me. I’m bummed I never got a chance to really explore what he was capable of. At some  point I would like to run a new character that’s similar in concept. We’ll see.