The Hexcrawling Game: Part 1- Rules as Written

The adventures I ran most in my youth were hexcrawls; specifically, Isle of Dread (X1) and the Volturnus series (SF0-3) for Star Frontiers. Looking back, after reading a lot of good articles on hexcrawling in the last couple of years, I didn’t run them well. I want to do much better when the Crusader Kingdoms campaign (which seems less aptly named all the time) moves into it’s wilderness exploration phase. So, I have been doing a lot of reading, and even ran Mutiny On The Eleanor Moraes (SFKH2) as a one-off to practice. Based on this, I have decided I want to house-rule the ACKS wilderness adventuring rules a little bit. Most importantly, I want to move to a movement points model as similar as I can get to the one from Avalon Hill’s Outdoor Survival game, as described in this Damn You Gygax! article at Delta’s D&D Hotspot. However, not wanting to screw up the delicate balance of ACKSonomics, I don’t want to change the actual distances moved per unit of game time.

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Session 11: In Which the Legion Spins the Wheel

Tuesday, 21st day; 9th month (Horse); year 734

The Legion undertakes another expedition into the Pyramid of Sabban-Ka, intending this time to find Ulzain’s tomb. They take only a dozen of their best henchman, hoping that they will fare better with a less cumbersome party. On their way in, Thirleiro finds another secret door in the corridor that connects the Halls of Pleasure to the rest of the 5th tier. The secret door leads to a corridor, at the end of which is an archway obscured by a strange, shimmering field. Hovering in mid-air just beyond the field is a copper-plated staff carved in the shape of a pair of entwined snakes.

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Session 10: In Which the Legion Loots the Tomb of Sabban-Ka

Sunday, 12th day; 9th month (Horse); year 734

On the day after the Legion returns from their foray into the Pyramid to rescue the templars, Spinello hosts a feast for the henchmen in the tavern wing of their stronghold. He attempts to arrange things in the Fortenzan style. The Cynidicean servants do their best to follow his instructions – which call for foods, beverages, and musical instruments alien to their civilization. The results are…interesting…but entertaining enough to keep spirits up among the battered members of the party.

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Session 9: In Which the Legion Holds A Recruiting Drive In the Pyramid of Sabban-Ka

Saturday, 11th day; 9th month (Horse); year 734

The PCs, who have taken to calling themselves the Legion of the Gods Above, awaken to find that their assassin, Mercedes, has left in the night along with her sister, Eva. Aisha is livid that they did not ask her to go with them, as she would do anything to get out of this wretched place. The rest of the Legion is livid that they took the helm of telepathy and the ring of x-ray vision with them.

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Templar and Priest Live

My Templar and Priest custom classes have been posted on the Autarch downloads page, under supplemental rules. These classes are slight variations on the Cleric and Priestess to make those classes a bit better at representing medieval clergy and orders of religious knights like the Templars and Hospitaliers.

What Is Chaos?

For decades, we have played with either the 9-alignment system (LG-NG-CG-LN-N-CN-LE-NE-CE), the 5-alignment system (LG-G-U-E-CE), or no alignment at all. Going back to the original, 3-alignment, Law vs. Chaos alignment system seems to be causing a bit of confusion, so this post explains the nature of Chaos in the Crusader Kingdoms.

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Session 8: In Which Zargon Takes Seven Times Seven

Thursday, 9th day; 9th month (Horse); year 734

On the day after they exterminated the ssarmesk lizard-men who were camped in the Pyramid of Sabban-Ka, the party spends the morning in the old High Priest’s apartments discussing their next move. Some want to attack Thrak-Sha’s stronghold before he attacks them. Others would rather wait for Thrak-Sha to attack so they can take advantage of having a stronghold of their own. The breakfast meeting is interrupted by a servant bearing a message addressed to Aisha and Milnos from one Osero-Gep. This mysterious stranger is asking them to meet him at the Stronghold of Usamigaras, as he has information that “practitioners of the Art” should find interesting.

The party decides to spend the day seeing what is going on at the Fortress of Gorm and Stronghold of Usamigaras in the wake of the destruction of those cults. But first, they want to investigate the mysterious library in their own stronghold. Mercedes’ ring of x-ray vision reveals that the books in the library are covered in a strange yellow mold. The party decides that it would be best to keep the library locked at this time.

Milnos, Mercedes, Aisha, and Spinello head to the Fortress of Gorm, while Thjolstoff remains at the Temple to convalesce in Eva’s care. Most of the other henchmen remain at the Temple, as well. At the Fortress, the party meets with Hestmon-Zo, the gruff, middle-aged drill sergeant in rhino mask and blue dragonbone plate armor who has assumed leadership of the remaining Penitents of Gorm since the destruction of the Brothers of Gorm who ministered to their congregation. They discover that Hestmon has taken on a henchman: Brother Aubrey, the surfacer priest who used to travel with the PCs. Aubrey is trying to induct the cult of Gorm into the Aedis of the Gods Above – the religious organization that dominates the PCs’ homeland, which teaches that all Lawful deities are part of a unified whole – and the Gormites seem receptive to his teaching.

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