Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fun Games and Funky Battle Mats!

Well our Saturday game was amazing! While traveling west toward the Shattered Forest the group came across a small village overcome by plague. Being newly sworn to uphold the ways of his deity, Blanklee convinced his party to stop and help the poor souls of Gransad.

Lowering themselves into the town well and navigating a series of tunnels they eventually found the source of the problem - a zombie had become stuck in the stream, contaminating the water! The zombie was stuck by a rudimentary trap set into the side of tunnel. Curious to find the trapmaker or source of the undead, the players pushed on.

The party eventually discovered an underground network of tunnels and caves which served as a troglodyte lair! Further investigation revealed the troglodytes to be housing a filthy pox covered witch. The witch had been providing the trogs with spell casting services in exchange for a safe place to conduct her foul necromantic experiments.

In a bit of a blunder, the PCs managed to attract the attention of the majority of the caverns' inhabitants, fighting off a veritable horde of troglodytes, their leader and the witch in a single massive combat. For a brief time the cleric of the party -Karl- looked like a goner but was saved when Gertrude pulled him out of combat and a lost cohort managed to find his way back to the group and cast a few clutch healing spells.

The game was a prime opportunity for the use of "the rule of awesome" Which I've discussed before and is covered on this post  on Dungeon Fantastic. In this case, when the situation was looking bleak and the PCs were struggling to survive, one of the players offhandedly said "Man, I wish Alvi was here." Alvi being an NPC who they left back at town. Applying the rule of awesome, I gave the players a 50/50 chance for Alvi to have become bored and gone in search of the party. They succeeded and during a pivotal point in the battle Alvi appeared to save the day! The table cheered!

In the long run the PCs managed to slay the witch and her allies, save the town and gain some loot. Fun was had by all!

The only bummer of the night was a new toy we had purchased for the game. Our entire group are huge fans of Chessex products and we use them all the time. When I got to Jim's house to play we all realized that I had forgotten to bring the wet-erase battle mat. Since combat is a pivotal part of our game and we love using miniatures, we decided to run out and buy a new one that we can leave at Jim's house, this way I don't need to lug my mats back and forth between game sessions at his house and my own.

We ran out to our favorite game store (Showcase Comics - we go to the Granite Run locale) and quickly grabbed the mat as well as a copy of Kittens in a Blender. When we returned home I discovered that the mat wasn't a typical 1" square grid, but 1.5"! We weren't worried about the size but what did bother us was that the it almost refused to be written on!

Every line came up splotchy, like the mat was wet. Unfortunately it was dry as a bone! I didn't want to call it quits on the mat and thought it might be the markers, so I took the markers home and tried them on my other mats and they worked fine! I gotta say, I was a little disappointed but I don't like to judge things too early. Maybe it needs a good soap and water wipe or maybe it's just a dud. I made it a point to send an email to the fine folks at Chessex today, asking if there is anything I can do to remedy the situation and I'm eager to get a response.


  1. Sounds like you guys had a blast. I so miss running the Sunday night sessions of old, but there you go, time marches on and waits for no man.

    About your battle matt; could it be a dry wipe matt requiring white board markers?

    1. No, it's a wet-erase mat. We actually took the time to fish the packaging out of the trash to make sure we weren't crazy. It said so right on the wrapper "For wet-erase markers only."

    2. Well that's just odd then? Sorry, my friend, I'm all out of suggestions.