WitchCraft (T&P) Session 01 – Part 2

All four guests introduced themselves and exchanged pleasantries for only a few minutes before the master of the house called for them and they were shown to his office. Entering the grand office they were introduced to Roland Wynter the Patriarch of the family, Roland is an old man with short white hair and looks the part of a proper southern gentleman. The group each explained how they came to be at Willow Grove and after a few questions Roland seemed pleased and explained that his granddaughter was missing. She was last seen the night before and has been missing for what he believes is going on 18 hours. Michael at this point was paid the usual police “fees” for expediting the case and looking into it personally and since each other person here had some “useful” abilities they too were asked to assist in finding his missing granddaughter. They all asked if they could look around and see where she lived. The large man who answered the door was introduced as Wallace and was told to help the group. Wallace gathered another employee and they drove the group around the estate in golf carts showing them the grounds and taking them to another house on the estate which Britney and her family lived in.

Looking around the house they did not find any signs of forced entry or foul play. The house was secure and valuables where all accounted for. The only odd points discovered was that Britney’s cell phone was still charging and outside her window was a large Willow tree that at the base was a dead bird with its neck broken. The group at this point decided to leave the estate and start looking on their own for leads. As they left Wallace offered a reward for each person for information on the missing girl. The group then separated again, each going to their own local contacts.

Michael drove Yin Yue home and headed to a Gambling parlor in Iberville run by a small man named Due Tran. As he entered the familiar location he was greeted by the security guys and headed straight for Due, past tables of dice and card games. Due was sitting in the back of the place at the small bar poorly flirting with the new bartender, a very attractive Asian woman, who looked barely old enough to drink. As Michael interrupted the exchange Due started by asking what day it was and reminding Michael that his taxes are paid in full. Michael reassured him that was not why he was there, but instead he was looking for a missing girl from a rich family and he needed to know if Due had heard anything or knew anyone who could help. Due to his credit did not have anything to do with that sort and didn’t socialize with this that did. But since Michael was there already he could help Due with a new problem gang that had popped up since Katrina and had been flashing a lot of cash and gambling a lot. They have been bragging about taking over and bring in more and more muscle from back home. They could be a good group to check out with the missing girl and they are known to hang out at a dive bar named Marlene’s place. With that Michael headed out when his phone rang.

Yin Yue meanwhile decided to ask a local man with his ear to the ground named Caymen who owns and operates a butchers shop. When she went into the store it was busy with customers and newly arrived meat deliveries. Caymen greeted Yin Yue as soon as she entered the door and as she approached he saw that she needed to talk in private and nodded to head into the back. She headed to the back from and as they talked Caymen worked butchered newly arrived meats. Yin Yue asked about missing girls and if Caymen knew or heard anything about this. He did not know of any missing girls but he did recently hear from a local woman that her son had taken up with a gang and was dishonoring his family with drugs and other illegal behaviors. Yin Yue was directed to the home of Hansa Wattana a couple of blocks away. Yin Yue knew of the neighborhood and headed there. Although it was a “bad” area she was unmolested as she traveled through and quickly got to the Wattana’s home. She as greeted at the door by a small, portly middle aged woman, as Yin Yue introduced herself and explained that Caymen had sent her over to ask about helping with her son. The two women quickly fell into conversation with Hansa doing all of the talking. When Hansa stopped for a moment to take a breath Yin Yue took the opportunity to inquire about where her son Pho could be found. Another long rant ensued in which Yin Yue learned a great deal of gossip about what the mothers of the neighborhood believed about the local gangs and their dealings. Finally she learned that Pho frequented a dive karaoke bar named Marlene’s place along with a great many details of his schooling and failing attendance, along with his failing grades and his unhelpfulness with his family, this all went on for a while before Yin Yue reassured Hansa that she would help and headed out to call Michael about the information she had gathered and meeting up.

Ethan and Simeon called a cab to take them from Willow Grove to the lower ninth ward to drop off Simeon then to the French Quarter to drop Ethan off. When the cab arrived it was the same driver that had dropped Ethan off at Willows Grover earlier in the afternoon. The two quickly fell into a conversation about the estate and the family and how the hell the two of them where allowed into the house to begin with. During the long ride the cabby and the two men discussed the house and the ground of the estate, but always side stepped what they are currently working on for the family.

Simeon was dropped off in a particularly nasty neighborhood full of hardened gangsters, dealers and addicts. Simeon sadly was at home with this and the locals knew him or of him and he passed through unharmed. As Simeon walked through the ward he found his way to a nasty, run down old house known as the “manor” to the locals. At some point it is history it was a large and beautiful home to what Simeon assumed was a loving family. Over the decades it had fallen into disrepair and was neglected by the locals until finally during Katrina it was ravaged by water and completely abandoned. Now it served as a drug den and squatters residence. Simeon walked through the missing front door and started asking around about the dealer that had setup shop here named Lee Johnson. A short search ensued to find a conscious enough addict to answer his question that led to him discovering that Lee has been chased out or just disappeared, no one seemed to care much but he has been replaced by a new dealer named Willy Xue, who could be found in the master bedroom on the second floor. Heading up the barely hanging together stairs Simeon found Willy at an old desk getting head from a prostitute and after an awkward moment Willy finished and the two talked. Simeon discovered that a local gang named the Mott Street Rascals have had dealings in kidnapping and have ties to the slave trade. Some of their members hang out a bowling alley in Gert town and Simeon should be careful about dealing with them. They are serious business and have a growing reputation to watch out for. With that Simeon headed out and started his long walk to the French Quarter to find Ethan and hopefully crash at his place.

As Ethan and the cab driver sped away from the area they dropped Simeon off they talked about Simeon and how Ethan came to meet a man like that. Ethan came up with few answers on that topic. A short while later Ethan was dropped off in front of a small, rundown strip joint named Rick’s Girls, paid and thanked the cab driver and headed into one of his very familiar haunts. Ethan was greeted by a number of the working girls there and finally by the large man behind the bar. The two old acquaintances made small talk over a drink for a while before Ethan got around to the subject he was there for, a missing girl. Rick did not know of any rich girls running away to the French Quarter, but he did know of a missing local girl. One of the street ladies had been asking about a missing friend and coworker, her name was Lily and she could be found working on the north side of the quarter after dark. Ethan thanked Rick made a few good byes and headed out to track down Lily. After a couple of hours of waiting and wandering Ethan found who he was looking for. Lily was a small, very think black woman who had clearly spent a few years living rough on the street. She was still attractive and talked eagerly with Ethan as he asked about her missing friend. Lily told Ethan all about Renee and her disappearance. She was a local working girl who knew how to survive, she wouldn’t have just wandered off, something bad had to of happened. Ethan gathered as many details as he could and headed off, calling Michael as he walked. The two agreed to meet up and Ethan walked to the agreed upon location.

Michael headed to pick up Yin Yue after his meeting, the two talked about their discoveries while heading to get Ethan. As they arrived at the corner of Canal and Decatur they spotted Ethan walking down canal away from the River and honked the horn. As Ethan waved to them and started heading over he saw Simeon heading out from an ally way and called out to him. As the group all gathered in the car they started talking about what they had found out and what they should do next.

End of Session 1

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 01 – Part 1

The first session started with the characters scattered across New Orleans. In October of 2005 Katrina has ripped through New Orleans and the city is still a mess. Not only are the mortals displaced, hungry and angry but so are the monsters that live there.

We started with Michael who was enjoying lunch at a small café when another detective (Dean Lewis) arrived at the café and walked up to Michael and after some small talk Dean brought up an opportunity for some easy money, a shakedown of a wealthy local family that had reported a missing child, but the child has only been missing for a few hours. Michael quickly accepted and after getting a few details from Dean he headed to Willow Grove the home of the Wynter family. Upon arriving at the estate he drove up to the massive plantation house and was greeted by a large black man in an expensive suit. Michael explained who he was and why he was there. The man escorted Michael into the house and to a sitting room in the house and was told to wait for the master of the house.

Ethan woke up late in the day and carefully navigated his small apartment, dodging around sleeping women and carelessly discarded cloths. Heading out into the French quarter it is early afternoon and already there are drunken people in the streets, one in particular stands out to Ethan, a young woman, blonde and attractive, but clearly a tourist stumbling down the street. Not only is she clearly drunk but she appears to be moving by an unseen force, almost as if she is a marionette. Ethan watched her for a moment before approaching her and asking her if she needed some help. She turned to him and spoke with an unnatural voice saying “mind your own business boy.” Then turned away and began to walking/jerking down the street. Ethan was taken back for a moment and decided to extend his senses to see if there was any magic affecting this woman. What he saw was an older man in a long coat with long grey hair and an unkempt beard controlling her and making her move. Ethan again called out to her while looking at the man and asked him if there was something he could help with. The ghostly man turned around and the woman stopped, standing like a discarded puppet, Ethan then got a good look at the man’s face which was missing the eyes and in their place were black pits. He smiled at Ethan and asked if he could see him. Ethan replied that he could and the ghostly man told him “Go to my master’s house at Willow Grove and tell him that Earl had sent you. You may be useful. His granddaughter is missing.” And with that he took control of the woman again and continued to move her further into the French Quarter. Ethan called a cab and was taken to the Willow Grove estate. The cab driver scoffed at the idea that Ethan would be allowed inside as he was a local hood kid and this was clearly old money. When Ethan got to the front doors of the house he greeted by a large black man in expensive suit who upon hearing that Ethan was sent by Earl looked quite surprised and let Ethan into the house and showed him to the waiting room where Michael already was waiting and who had only recently arrived. It did not take long for the two to start talking as they knew of each other and how they could get paid for their “help”.

Simeon started his day walking around the lower ninth ward, thinking about prospects and the next steps to take in the search for his family when a sudden wind took hold of the park he found himself in. As the wind ripped through the park bending branches, kicking up loose items on the ground and screaming as it went Simon noticed that the dead (ghosts) where behind this unnatural weather. Screaming and tearing as they flew/ran through the park clearly searching for something. As he reached out to get the attention of one of the spirits he felt a pull of strong magic binding these spirits to whatever task they were performing. Simeon got the attention of one of the spirits and through his own force of will managed to get it to stop for a moment to talk. Simeon learned that they have been commanded to find Britney Wynter and to bring her to the master of Willow Grove and while the spirits knew what the girl looked like and would know her when they found her they could not accurately describe her. As the talk went on the spirit grew pained and wanted to move, search and hunt. After Simeon got his answers he began the long walk to Willow Grove. As he reached the estate he too was greeted by a large black man in an expensive suit at the door, but the man was suspicious of Simeon and hesitated before letting him in and only did so after Simeon explained that he could be useful in finding the missing girl and he was directed by the ghosts searching for her in the parks. As he was shown into the waiting room two men were already there and in a conversation that ended the moment Simon stepped foot in the room.

Yin Yue was in her small room deep in the covers of her bed when she suddenly found herself some place strange:
You cannot see but you know you are not alone. A muffled cry echoes from your left followed by shallow, panicked breathing. Water drips somewhere in the distance giving you the impression that this place is large and the strong odor of rust and earth threatens to overwhelm. Your wrists and ankles are shackled with cold metal that is a little too tight and it cuts into your skin. A cold breeze rakes across your exposed skin raising gooseflesh and causing you to shiver uncontrollably. Panic sets in causing you too to cry out. “Hello?” a soft, frightened voice comes from your left. “Can you hear me? Can you help me?” you wake up with an image in your mind and a soft note in your ear and with a haunted shiver “Can you help me?” lingers in the air.
As she woke she found herself haunted and set to purpose. She went about her normal routines helping the Tian’s open their bakery and serving the locals. But as the day went on she could only think of the dream/vision and started talking to the Tians about what she saw and asked if they knew anything about the symbol. They guided her to a local and regular customer named Irene that Yin Yue had met a few times before and knew she was a wealth of local information and gossip. After a short talk with Irene she knew where she had to go and as the morning rush ended and in the lull of the pre-lunch crowd she asked John and Mary if she could leave early and start her investigation, they agreed of course and off she went. As she got to the estate and headed to the front door she was greeted by a large black man in an expensive suit who smiled widely as she put her bike out of the way on the porch and was shown into the house and taken to the waiting room where the three other men sat and waited for their host.

WitchCraft – Characters

In the new campaign I have four players, they are:
Michael Rousseau – A corrupt vice detective with some psychic power and an unknown debt/boon to a power.
Ethan Perry LeBeau – A local street kid turned amateur magician and street performer with an wide variety of powers ranging from psychic, necromantic and magic.
Yin Yue Lin – A recent import from China and one of the few practitioners of the Tao with necromantic powers.
Simeon Novembre – A Haitian born man who came to New Orleans in his teen years. A Voodoo practitioner with long family ties to it.

Witchcraft campaign – New Orleans

The campaign starts tomorrow and will be placed in New Orleans in October of 2005 weeks after hurricane Katrina. Prior to the hurricane the city was a hotbed of supernatural activity owning to the fact that the city was a nexus point for the ley lines that run through the city. This also caused the city to have the highest population of supernatural beings and ghosts anywhere in the United States. That was all of course before Katrina. Now that the storm has past they “gifted” residents of the city have discovered that their own abilities are harder to use and that the supernatural beings that also inhabited the city are missing or if they remain they are shadows of themselves.

In game terms before the storm all gifted people had a free level of essence channeling and there was a larger pool of free essence to draw from for ritual work. For the supernatural entities of the city it was easier to feed and fuel abilities. The storm has changed all of that and has killed or scattered many of the supernatural elements of the city.

That is where the campaign starts. More later on the characters.

New Campaign

It looks like I am going to start running a new campaign next week. My group has been kind enough to let me take a two year hiatus from running games and now I am refreshed with a bunch of new ideas. I will be running a WitchCraft campaign based in New Orleans. This will take place after Katrina in October of 2005. I will post more details soon. Also if you want to check out the amazing game from Eden Studios you can find it here and the main book can be downloaded here for free!

OrcCon 2015 – Thank you

Thank you all for a great convention! I was in a number of great games and had the amazing opportunity to play test two new games. Both of which I plan on getting when the kickstarters go up. This was also the first year in a long time that I haven’t run a game and I was able to get into six games as well as finally play a couple of board games I have been looking at. It was a great time and thank you to the Doctor Who convention at the next hotel for letting me gate crash and wander around for a little while.

OrcCon 2015

Well OrcCon 2015 (http://www.strategicon.net) is just two days away and this is the first time in many years I am not running games. I am really looking forward to getting to try out a couple of new systems and hopefully get in a DnD 5e game. Hope to see you all there!

Gaming with kids – part 2 (HeroQuest)

As the boys and I started a new round of HeroQuest the both wanted to play with spell casting so they picked the Wizard and the Elf divided up the spells and started playing. I let them play without limits on the casting of spells and they traded spells as they traveled through the dungeon. Things seemingly went well for the first adventure, but on the second level they went too fast and got killed while fighting a chaos warrior, familiar and two orcs. We took a break which led to us not picking back up that day, but instead the following weekend.

The next week the boys got back together and demanded that they get to try HeroQuest again which I happily setup for them. They both picked the same characters as before and happily started playing again. All was well for about a half hour of play, then out of the blue both boys got really squirrelly and ran their characters off in different directions and seemed to agree without talking about that they would now try to kill each other. This went on for a while and I sat back and laughed as they tricked each other and killed each other off time and time again for the entire afternoon.

One of my favorites was when the younger of the two started opening doors running into rooms casting a getaway spell and have the monsters chase him into the room the older boy was in and already fighting monsters. Then use the pass wall spell to leave the room. After a good long laugh and each boy having killed the other a few times over the course of an afternoon we decided to call it a day and go outside to run off the excited energy.

Gaming with kids – part 1 (HeroQuest)

Over the last many years my children have expressed interest in gaming, from sitting on my lap to helping me role dice and pulling all of my books off the shelves when I am not looking. Recently though they have starting asking me a lot of questions and really getting interested in what the adults are doing at the table. So I borrowed a copy of HeroQuest from a close friend and showed it to my two oldest, I talked to them about the rules (very simplified) and asked if they wanted to try it out. To my surprise not only did they want to try it, they got really into it.

On our first time running it my two oldest kids played, my daughter choosing the Wizard and my son picking the Fighter. I let my daughter have all of the spells without any restrictions on when or how often she could cast the spells and we were off. We played for about two hours running through the first three levels in the booklet and they loved it.

What caught me off guard was the next weekend when my kids had friends over and they all asked me to run the game for them. They had been telling their friends about the game during play dates and all of the kids wanted to try it out. So for our next time playing I had four kids at the table ranging from ages 5 to 10 years old. They all picked out characters, divided up spells and off they went.

Sadly the newly formed group met with some terrible dice rolling and a separation of the party which led to them losing and the girls leaving the game, deciding that it was time to dress up and help mom cook. So the two boys and I picked out new characters and tried it again.

To be continued…

New Host / New Site

Hello all,

For the last month we have been looking for a new host for this site and while there have been some bumps in the road it looks like we might be home. Although though this process it seems that we have lost all of our previous posts on this blog but we are moving forward and bringing new content to the site as soon as we can.

Thank you,