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The History of Vandree
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Below are the 8 most recent journal entries recorded in The Vandree Legacy Development Community's LiveJournal:

Friday, March 13th, 2009
11:30 pm
The orc ranger, the human wizard and the orc sorcerer have breakfast in the morning and head off to the woods to find the fey.... They are surrounded by vine creatures, and hear music. A satyr is playing on his syrinx in a small clearing. Three rag dolls are dancing happily to the satyr's music. The wizard tries being diplomatic, or as diplomatic as interrupting a celebration can be, but battle is inevitable. The vine creatures throw up their vines, the rag dolls throw themselves in the character's faces, and the characters attempt to attack the satyr... When the rag dolls are thrown, they turn into girl toddlers, and depending on how much damage they do (some of them were used as weapons) they either are dead or alive.

The vine creatures are dispatched. The satyr is knocked out by the ranger and tied up as a prisoner. Two of the three children survived. These are returned to the shepherd settlement. and the satyr is questioned. The girl that the PCs are looking for is at the fairy circle near the South edge of the woods. She is to be the queen of the toy kingdom.

The PCs head once more into the woods.. this time they are attracted by laughing. Four toy soldiers, carrying pikes march in front of two dryads. This battle was a little less drawn out, two of the four little boys being killed, and it is decided to continue on.

The PCs are now half way to 2nd level, and have found the fairy circle. The changeling they search for will be permanently a chair within three (in game) nights.
Friday, February 6th, 2009
9:15 pm
The fey at the gate
This session the fighter was missing.

The Falcon Orc ranger, and the human wizard decided to go up to the farm community where Meaga came from to investigate. Traveling through the forest, they encountered two dryads and a vine creature that liked to send shoots of vines out (up to five hexes away) to ensnare and crush its targets (I kept the vine creature in the otherwise impassable trees). The party had a bit of trouble with these creatures, using up some resources, but in the end they prevailed, when the last dryad standing fled into the trees herself. There was some magic dust left from the death of the first dryad.

Once outside the woods, there was an old farmer who greeted the party with slight suspicion (nothing too major at this point) who led them to the mother's house. She returned by horse last night.

The woman welcomed the party into her home, and introduced them to her other guest, the snake-rat orc who had been her friend in times passed. Some of the back story between these two, and the father, who is still missing, came out in rollplay, and a blood oath was taken between the orcs that they would not mess with one an other until the business of the child,s return was completed.

Currently the plan is for HabuNezume to accompany the party on a quest to recover the child, before she is turned into a chair.
Friday, January 23rd, 2009
10:11 pm
The Foundry session 1
 Will Vernon a human wizard (Alan)
 Ur'Phif' a hyena clan orc fighter (Sterling)
 J'sperel' a falcon clan orc ranger (Tony)
 A thousand years ago, the planes of the Birnbaran was a province of the kingdom of Agoel. Under King Kaskglios the Wise, the land flourished, and the people were happy. Then war knocked on the Southern border...
 From beyond the Karub forest, a brutal and deadly force – bent on conquest – swept through the land, burning villages and murdering the peaceful folk who lived there, even down to the last woman and child.
 The king sent an army down from the Northern mountains to block the progress of this atrocity. It looked like the conquerers might be pushed back, until one Autumn night....
 There was a disturbance in the heavens, and the plains fell to the rising empire of Glesdain.
 About twenty years ago, a caravan of political refugees fled from the capitol city of the Glesdain Empire. They eventually settled on the site of the last stand of the Birnbaran planes, naming their small village after the planes, and the battle that had taken place there.
 The village grew quickly, as villages are want to do when built on the crossing of two major trade routs. And soon a festival grew up on the Autumnal equinox, to celebrate the history of the land, and the freedom that was found here.
 Alliances have been forged between the people of Birnbaran village, and both the druids, and hyena clan orcs in the Karub forest, and the mountain men, and hawk clan orcs on the Agolean Plateau.
 So far Glesdain's leadership has not bothered to pay any heed to this settlement, but the people are constantly alert for a messenger, or worse, an army to show up.
 Slightly of more immediate importance is the ring of bandits who have been commandeering goods traveling from the villages to the North. The shepherds have been asking for something to be done about this problem, but until someone can locate the bandits hideout, nothing can be done.
 I began in the village of Birnbahran as the Autumnal festival is ringing to a close.
 Jendra madlestien, the matriarch of the village is leading the benedictory rituals, when a redheaded woman in a fur lined cloak rides up to the bale fire, and almost falls out of her saddle with exhaustion. Her daughter, Hope is missing...
 The party quickly sets to discovering what rumours are being spread, (the woman is a sorceress and she had an orc lover at one point, and that it is suspected she ensorcled her husband) and getting into the house where the woman was taken, to talk to her. Along the way, they bump into the woman's neighbor, Bant.
 Convincing Maega (the begrieved mother) Jendra and rafe (the local inkeeper) to send them on the quest to rescue the child was the next task. Aparently the wizard was a bumbling kind....lots of good role play here, as well as some rolling of dice.
 Rafe handed the PCs a ransom note that the mother had been holding in her hands... Apparently Bant was to meet the bandits in Beridell woods in four days (it took a day for the woman to ride to the village, and would take two days to walk to the meeting place, so the party was to leave the next morning.
 I instilled mistrust in Bant pretty early, as well as in Maega a mistrust I was quite happy to see.
 The fighter was chosen to go visibly as a guard with Bant, and the other two characters were to shadow an hour behind... The journey North was uneventful save for finding a fairy circle an hour into the woods.
 There were four bandits ready One holding the girl, and an obvious leader. The fighter stalled as long as he could for the other PCs to catch up, but the leader got tired, and knocked Bant out... which precipitated the inevitable battle.
 The battle was over in a matter of six rounds, in the middle, the ranger grabbed the girl away from the bandit who was holding her.
 The party returned to the village, fully knowing that they might be followed...
 When the mother saw the child, she screamed that it was not her daughter, but a fetch sent to deceive her.
 Not trusting the mother, the fighter insisted someone else dispell the glammar.... Jendra, who had been a priestess of Llunadi touched the child, and it was nothing more than a mandrake root.
 Thus ended session 1. I gave 200XP to each PC....
 threads the PCs are interested in persuing.....
 the missing father:
 Can they find the real child?
 The woods seem like a great place to flush out of monsters and other baddies.
Monday, October 27th, 2008
2:08 am
Friday night games in Baraboo
For the last two Fridays, and presumable continuing, My roommate and I have hosted D&D sessions at our Baraboo apartment. Currently we are doing a one-off adventure using the 1981 Moldvey Basic rules, after that, one of our guests will DM a 3.5 game for a few weeks... When we get to the Faun-ndrei campaign, I will start posting session reports here.

Lantry, please feel free to do the same with your campaign when it becomes germane to said setting :)
Monday, April 28th, 2008
2:47 pm
War gaming and RPG department. (reviews)

In the last decade of the 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th, several well known authors and their families would sit around sand tables, playing out battles using 40mm soldier figurines. Robert Lewis Stevenson and H G Wells are the best known of these, and can be thought of as the grandfathers of the hobby war game. This hobby had an initial surge, then all but died off for almost 50 years. Jack Scruby's War game Digest rekindles interest. The scale of the figures now has shrunk to 20mm (HO scale for model railroad enthusiasts) but would slowly grow back to 30mm over the next decade.

In 1966 Leo Cronin published rules for the first fantasy based war game, based on The Lord Of The rings. The next year, Strategy and Tactics Magazine published an article (Siege of Bodenburg) promoting Estolan's brand of 40mm figures. This lead to the work of one Jeff Pernin, a member of the Castles And Crusades Society, who sent a few pages worth of rules to a certain Earnest Gary Gygax, publisher of the C&Cs's newsletter, "The Domesday Book". Gary added some pages of his own, and this became the LGTSA rules for medieval miniatures.

Jeff and Gary continues to polish their collaborative rules, adding rules for man to man combat, and jousting. In 1971, they published their game through Guideon Games as "Chainmail, rules for medieval miniatures". A second edition of this game added rules for fantasy battles.

When Gary and Don Kay formed Tactical Studies Rules in 1973, Chainmail got yet a third revision, to be published as the premiere vehicle for this new company. This is the game I will be reviewing here.

When I first looked at the folio that is the rulebook for Chainmail, I was impressed by the clean and uniform layout. There were no more illustrations than were absolutely necessary to explain concepts visually. Most of the folio was filled with various charts, which would prove quite useful. The one problem I had was the apparent lack of organization. This illusion was shattered when i read more carefully. The visual cues to signal the end of one sub-chapter, and the beginning of the next were not very clear, which is what gave the illusion of disorganization.

Beginning with the basic rules, The game is designed for 40 mm figures (with 20mm for hobbits and 30mm for dwarves apparently) and each figure represents ten soldiers. An inch on the tabe represents ten yards of in game distance. So far so good. The charts lest movement rates and ranges of missile weapons in inches, which makes sense as you do not have to worry about conversion. Eventually, i begin to realize exactly how involved these rules are, when I see Pythagorean thrum used to explain how far a trebuche can fire.

All right now.... Lets look at those man to man rules, and the fantasy supplement, as those are what eventually became Dungeons And Dragons the next year (Thanks to input from David Arneson)... Looking at the Man To Man section, most of the rules referred directly to the main section, rather than repeating anything, thus constant cross referencing would be needed to play a simple melee encounter. The fantasy section is mostly a number of charts with descriptions of advantages and disadvantages of the various fantasy races (elf, dwarf, hobbit, as well as a few monster races) and unit types, including the mage type, which gets a list of spells that looks quite familiar to someone who grew up playing D&D in the 70s.

Overall this looks like a heavily involved game, and most likely would need heavy editing before it was ready for most later generations to play without complaint. I personally find the detail incredibly interesting, from a knowledge standpoint, but not very playable as a game. This is a great piece of history to know and understand, especially if you like to know where popular ideas come from.

Saturday, December 30th, 2006
10:58 pm
Website work
Working on the website some... I got an RSS feed of this LJ there. I plan to add some pages highlighting more specific locations in the next few weeks. You will be updated semi-regularly on the progress of constructing Vandree.
Monday, December 18th, 2006
6:35 pm
I'm back

We're changing format. Instead of a PW right off the bat, I'm going to be putting out a series of story based mods, each of which will introduce a different part of the world, as created by Andrew Drays. The deity system I am working with was created by lantry. Since I will not have my computer upgraded until February, at the earliest, I will be working in NWN until then.

The first mod I am putting out will centre on Avile, the capitol city of the Glesdain Provence.

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
7:24 pm
In mid 2003, I had returned contact with my second cousin Andrew Drays, whom I had enjoyed writing Amiga music with in the late 80s and through the 90s. He introduced me to a computerised RPG known as Neverwinter Nights.

We had a lot of fun working on polishing a world which he had started work on.

That world had a vast history already before I had come into the picture, and had been a live server for some time, but due to creative differences between my cousin, and an other person who (from what I could tell) had worked on some of the scripting, it got taken down, and put away.

We played with the idea of bringing this world back to the community, and even did a lot of redesigning, and cleaning up of the sloppy scripting work that plagued the module as it stood.

On December 1, 2004, a tragic car accident took Andrew's life.

Now I am working on restoring this final project of his to the world, in a form that will do better justice to his vision. I hope that NWN2 will give me that opportunity.
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