Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Story So Far

A group of new adventurers, Faerthurin the elf rogue, Thorin the dwarf barbarian, Querion the half-elf ranger, and Zayna the gnome druid, were hired in the city of Neverwinter by Gundren Rockseeker, a dwarf miner and merchant, to transport a wagonload of mining tools to the town of Phandalin. Gundren and his bodyguard/escort, Sildar, proceeded ahead.

As they traveled the Triboar Trail, they found Gundren and Sildar’s dead horses and the signs of an ambush. As they investigated, they were attacked by goblins from the Cragmaw Tribe. After the fight one goblin was kept alive to show them the way to the Cragmaw hideout. A ferocious fight soon erupted which found the adventurers (barely) victorious over the goblins and their bugbear leader. Sildar was found bound and wounded, but there was no sign of Gundren. After leaving the hideout cave they met a goblin mage named Rita who joined their group. They proceeded to Phandalin. 

Phandalin is a small frontier town built on the ruins of a much older settlement. It is home to farmers, woodcutters, fur traders, and prospectors, with some of the latter searching the Sword Mountains hoping to find the Wave Echo Cave and its legendary Forge of Spells. Gundrun and his brothers had not been seen in days. Sildar paid the adventurers for rescuing him and they took accomodations at the Stonehill Inn. Many rumors were heard: Sister Garaele from the town’s Shrine of Luck returned wounded and exhausted from an encounter with a banshee. Daran Edermath, the orchard keeper, is a retired adventurer. Harbin Wester, the townmaster, is looking for someone to investigate and drive away orcs that have been seen near Wyvern Tor. Thel Dendrar, a local woodcarver, stood up to the Redbrands, a local gang of ruffians, and was murdered in front of witnesses. The Redbrands took his body, and his wife, daughter, and son also went missing that night. Qelline Alderleaf, a halfling farmer, has a son named Carp who found a secret tunnel in the woods near their farm, but ran away when he saw the Redbrands there. The Redbrands frequent the Sleeping Giant tap house and hassle all the businesses in town except for the Phandalin Miner’s exchange, which is run by Halia Thornton.
Faerthurin, being a rogue, tried to visit the Sleeping Giant in hopes of gathering information on the missing dwarf miners. Instead, he was accosted by the Redbrands and nearly killed in a streetfight. The group traded nearly all their gold for their lives and headed for the edge of town. Faerthurin secretly vowed revenge.
bugbears. Despite having perfectly good eyes, Rita took the eyepatch and was given
the staff. They also found a mysterious note.

The adventurers met Qelline and stayed in her barn in exchange for doing work on her farm. Carp showed them the tunnel he had found, and Zayna took the shape of a rat and scouted it out. She found a dungeon-like cellar with a vaguely humanoid monster (a nothic) in a crevasse, some bugbears and a goblin, a few Redbrands, and a wizard who had a bedroom and laboratory. The group moved in and attacked, using well-deployed oil fires to keep their enemies at a distance so that they could be picked off with arrows. After leaving none alive, they searched the wizard’s rooms and found a note, coins and gems, and two magic scrolls. They also took the wizard’s magic Staff of Defense and a bejeweled eyepatch from one of the

Moving further into the cellar, they found a weapons room and took some of the sare Redbrand cloaks. The next room had three sarcophagi with animated skeletons who immediately attacked. As the group was fighting for their lives, more Redbrands came in from the next door. After retrieving their wounded, Zayna used the Scroll of Fireball to cover their escape. The group returned to the farm to rest and heal.

The adventurers decided to go to the ruined town of Thundertree to see the druid Reidoth who was rumored to know where the Wave Echo Cave was. Thundertree was a frontier town that was devastated by the eruption of Mount Hotenow forty years ago. Reidoth agreed to tell the adventurers where the cave was if they could get rid of the green dragon Venomfang who had taken up residence in a ruined tower in town. The dragon had attracted group of cultists. After placating the dragon with an offering of treasure, the adventurers struck a deal to give the dragon the Cragmaw Castle in exchange for its help ridding it of goblins. They then headed south to the castle without exploring the rest of the town.

The group started their raid on the castle by surveilling it from the woods. Goblins and hobgoblins could be seen coming and going from the decrepit structure. Q made friends with a wolf, Seamus. During the night Faerthurin caught a dragon cultist who had followed them and was rifling through Zayna’s belongings. He nearly killed him and kept him tied up. Thorin stayed at camp and the rest of the group laid an ambush near the main entrance. They fought a pitched battle with some orcs during which Rita was knocked unconscious and lost in the fray. Zayna took her eyepatch and staff.

After returning to camp and resting, they saw Venomfang arrive and attack the castle with his poison breath. After briefly talking with him, the group went in through a side opening and fought the frantic goblins from room to room. In one room they found a caged owl bear and set it free to attack the goblins, but it was killed. After all the goblins were killed, Venomfang claimed the castle as his own and demanded treasure. Zayna gave him the Staff of Defense and the group headed back to Thundertree. Reidoth was surprised to see them again and told them how to find the Wave Echo Cave.

They headed back to Phandalin. Along the way they heard the sounds of battle in the forest. Two elves were being attacked by hobgoblins. One elf was immediately killed, but the group (minus Thorin and Faerthurin, who hung back at the tree line) vanquished the hobgoblins and the surviving elf, Krehnigar, joined their party. He was a defector from the elf army. They traveled for another day and set camp. That night they heard a rider on the trail and investigated (again, minus Thorin and Faerthurin who stayed at camp). The rider from the west was met by a Redbrand from the east who was leading two horses with three bound humans on them. They witnessed an exchange of gold for the humans, and after the Redbrand left, theattacked the rider. They defeated him but he swallowed poison before they could get any information from him other than that he feared his masters more than the adventurers or even death. The rescued humans were the family of Thel Dendrar, the murdered woodcarver, named Mirna, Nars, and Nilsa. The Redbrands intended to sell them as slaves to be sent north. Mirna told them that her family was from Thundertree and that her heirloom emerald necklace was probably still in the ruins of their herb and alchemy shop there. She offered it to the adventurers for rescuing her, but also requested that they retrieve her husband’s remains from Tresendar Manor for burial, and told them that the Redbrands had thrown his body into the crevasse as food for the nothic. Together they all returned to Phandalin the next day.

Our Shared Home Campaign part II

That last post went into some of the details and advantages of the shared world campaign I run, but it  was supposed to say that I'm going to transfer our adventure logs over here.  They will be denoted by tagging the character names, so if you want to follow Zayne, Meepo, or Archfiend Beelzebulb's adventures, you can just click on their tag and pull up the relevant entries.

I'm currently in Dublin staying around literally around the block from Jameson distillery for the night.  Tomorrow I head to Belfast for two nights, then back to Dublin before going to Wales and London, and finally arriving in Belgium to start the Damien Done tour.  I've brought so much D&D stuff to read (I read half of Elfshadow by Elaine Cunningham on the plane on the way here) and I have so many projects to write up.  This is my chance to get ahead of the home responsibilities curve and get some serious writing done so that I can get into a regular publishing schedule on DMsGuild this fall.  Goooooo!!!!!!!!

Our Shared World Campaign

The most common difficulty people seem to have when trying to get a D&D campaign going is getting all the players' schedules to line up consistently.  My solution has been to run multiple groups (some with shared players and characters) in the same world.

Our home group tries to meet every other Friday, but logistical hiccups can easily lead to four or even six weeks between sessions.  My first solution to bridge the gap was to blend my kids' campaign with the main one.  The kids's characters could have their own adventures, but they existed in a shared world and could join up with the main group when the circumstances of the story and the schedule permitted.  Our home campaign actually started with another person DMing and I played Faerthurin, my wood elf assassin.  When I switched to DMing the main group, I originally intended for Faerthurin to become an NPC and resurface later in the story, but I found he was useful in the kids' campaign as a character anyone could use if they were sitting in on a session.  It all made sense in the story as characters joined the main group for a session or two and then left to have their own adventures.

Since then, we've added a third group.  I had a friend who I knew was somewhat interested in playing, and with a little nudge he got his brother and another friend to join in.  One player from our home group joined in with a new character and we were ready to go.  My impetus as DM (besides just getting to play D&D more) has been to run an epic length Tomb of Annihilation campaign.  I intend to use the hardcover adventure, all the Adventurers League modules, the Guild Adepts material, the Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan, a fair amount of bespoke material, and maybe even some conversions of other topical tropical adventures like the Isle of Dread, Isle of the Ape, or other X series BECMI modules.

I didn't like the primary hook in Tomb of Annihilation at all.  I think it really stretches believability when a powerful NPC hires some squishy nobody 1st level characters to undertake an important mission.  I also felt like teleporting to Chult was cheap and squandered the opportunity for a classic sea voyage.  I had my group start on the docks of Waterdeep, answering a posting looking to hire swords for the trip to Chult and back.  Our first four hour session covered roughly half the journey to Chult, including giant rats in the hold (as every squishy 1st level should have to deal with), a sahuagin attack, and lots of role playing interactions.  That was really a wonderful surprise.  Everyone in the group had differing levels of experience with different editions of D&D, from none at all to less than a year of 5e, and I sort of expected a pulpy, kill everything and take the gold adventuring style. But rather than diving into the rules and mechanics, everyone dove into their characters with wonderful results.  The potential boredom of the sea voyage ("roll for random encounters... None... Next day, roll again...") was eliminated as the characters spent the time between encounters interacting with the different NPCS in the crew.

Ah yes, the crew.  As the trajectory of this campaign arcs towards the Tomb of Annihilation, I wanted to have some replacement characters ready to go.  I made half a dozen NPCs on DnDBeyond and sketched out their basic personalities and possible secrets and motives.  Making them on DnDBeyond was an enormous time saver and won me over to that system completely.  Each character took roughly ten minutes to make rather than the traditional hour or more using pen and paper. I made them as approximate analogues for the characters the players made so that they could be easily substituted if anyone died.  The main party is a half-elf druid, orc fighter, tiefling rogue, and tortle barbarian.  The crew surrogates, if you will, are a halfling bard, genasi sorcerer, goliath cleric, human monk, and minotaur ranger.  The captain of the ship is a higher level dwarf fighter, and the rest are commoners (unless I need to develop one into an NPC for the sake of the story or as a surrogate).

The ship voyage is somewhat railroad-y.  I have specific encounters planned rather than going hex by hex.  But it will be up to the players to decide what to given their circumstances.  The first example of that is that the ship left Waterdeep with just enough food for the voyage, but the giant rats ate some of it and they're going to have to make an unscheduled stop to steal giant crabs and goats from the island of a cyclops.  I'm going to develop the island enough that the characters can Either get their crabs and goats and leave, or they can choose to explore it further.

I quite intentionally have not introduced the Death Curse yet.  MY plan is for the ship to dock at Port Nyanzaru for ten days, during which the characters can have adventures in and around the city.  However, this will open up a possibility that they will miss the ship leaving to return to Waterdeep, leaving them stranded in Chult.  If so.. So be it!  If they make it back to the ship, there's the possibility for more sea adventures and then some more action in Waterdeep like Rats of Waterdeep or Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.  I might use Cellar of Death by James Introcaso to initiate the Death Curse and push them back to Chult

But back to the main point! The home groups has found themselves in the Underdark.  The kids group is adventuring in the vicinities of Neverwinter and Neverwinterwoods, practically about the main group.  The Chult/Waterdeep group may find themselves drawn into the web of the others, or perhaps I'll just have little Easter eggs that pass between their stories.  Either way, it means a lot of D&D and a very good time.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Moving the Records to Discogs

皆さん - For those interested, I set up a Discogs page with everything from the distro and I will be adding lots of records from my personal collection as time goes by.  This will be my primary site for selling records for the foreseeable future.  Check it out and send me money.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

new releases: SUPER FRISKY 12" and NIGHTBRINGER 3rd 7"

I'll update the mailorder list (add a couple, delete a couple, nothing major) next weekend and do a proper blog entry.  In the meantime, here's the big news...

--- new Burai Core releases, June 25, 2012 ---  
BCR-02  Super Frisky "For Buddy" 12".  Super Frisky is from Tokyo, Japan.  In the beginning it was a band named "Buck Wheat" and the members were Yoko (AKUTARE), Sakura (JUDGEMENT), Kaki (鉄アレイ TETSU ARREY), and Chelsea (PAINTBOX).  After Chelsea regrettably passed away, Keiro (AKUTARE / TETSU ARREY) joined and it became Super Frisky.  The songs are made up of Chelsea's and new songs, making a "rock'n hardcore punk" sound.  Please listen and decide the image of the sound for yourself.  LP includes an mp3 download code and comes in a resealable polysleeve.
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7vkTxK3Pfg http://superfrisky.bandcamp.com/

BCR-02.5 Nightbringer "Fight Like Hell" 7".  Drawing influence from the slashing riffs of "Give Notice of Nightmare", crashing open chords in the chorus and a splash of bit crushed distortion for emphasis, "Fight Like Hell" is an all out burner dedicated to living at maximum intensity until your last breath, putting fear in the hearts of those who would oppress the human spirit.  It will appear in a different mix on the LP (maybe released late 2012 or 2013), and the B side has Detroit/Ohio cover songs.  Covers are printed black on yellow stock and hand dyed with red detail.  Red vinyl, one time press.  http://nightbringerhc.bandcamp.com/track/fight-like-hell-2
--- still available in limited quantities ---
BCR-01  Origin of M 12"
Nightbringer "31st and Michigan" 7"
Nightbringer first 7"

--- PRICES --- (include postage and fees)  --- paypal to buraicore@gmail.com and write what you are ordering in the paypal comment section!

single copies (US=media mail for LPs, first class for 7")

combos (please specify in the paypal comment section what you are ordering)
SF LP, OoM LP, NB 7"   US=$20  CANADA=$24  WORLD=$33
SF LP, OoM LP, all 3 NB 7"s   US=$26  CANADA=$31  WORLD=$41
all 3 NIGHTBRINGER 7"s   US=$14  CANADA=$16  WORLD=$21

SUPER FRISKY LP, 5 copies   US=$38 CANADA=$48  WORLD=$60
SUPER FRISKY LP, 8 copies   US=$59 CANADA=$90  WORLD=$108
SUPER FRISKY LP, 10 copies   US=$73 CANADA=$105  WORLD=$124
NIGHTBRINGER 7", 5 copies   US=$20 CANADA=$23  WORLD=$29
NIGHTBRINGER 7", 8 copies   US=$29 CANADA=$34  WORLD=$42
NIGHTBRINGER 7", 10 copies   US=$35 CANADA=$41  WORLD=$49

to mix and match LPs:  OoM LP is $1 less than SF LP.  Deduct $1 for each Origin of M LP substituted for a Super Frisky LP.  For example, in the US, 3 SF + 2 OoM = $36 ($38-2).

to mix and match 7"s for LPs: 3 7"s weigh as much as one LP.  When substituting 3 7"s for a Super Frisky LP, add $2.50.  For example, in the US, 4 SF + 3 NB 7" = $40.50 ($38+2.50)

For other quantities, please email me.  To get anything off the Burai Core mail-order list (which needs to be updated slightly) at wholesale rates, email me.  Any other questions, email me!  buraicore@gmail.com

Friday, January 13, 2012


2011 was a little quiet for Burai Core, the Origin of M 12" release and having a newborn in the house took up most of my time.  But I had secret plans cooking in the background that are starting to come to fruition.

Took a trip to the pressing plant yesterday...

Came back with new test presses...  What could they be??

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New items

It's been a while since updates.  I more or less took the last month off, just keeping up with mailorders and behind the scenes stuff, because my boy started crawling, and climbing, and falling off things, so it became even more of a full time job to keep an eye on him and keep him out of trouble.  He's just hanging out today, so I was able tog et all this together.

First up, the new Slowmotions single, excellent as always, and the Isterismo discography 12", both on 540, released for Chaos In Tejas courtesy of Timmy Hefner.  Istermismo are raging Japanese crustiness, obviously inspired by the Italian classics.  Next, I got copies of the recent Annihilation Time reissues on Tank Crimes.  Sure it falls outside my general focus on Japanese hardcore, but it's a similar rock/hardcore fusion, and frankly I think they were one of the best American bands in the last ten years.  Similarly, I got a few copies of the reissue of Poison Idea "Feel The Darkness" on Farewell.  Like Discharge, undisputed classic and very influential on the Japanese scene.  Finally got some copies of the newest Crude 12", "Corner".  Raw and along the lines with their last 7" on HG Fact.  And brand new is the Etae discography 12".  Compiling both their 7"s on the A side and all 5 comp tracks on the B side.  Etae were from Hakodate and shared a guitarist with Crude around the time of their "Attitude" 12".  If the new raw Crude doesn't satisfy your jones for burly melodic Hakodate style HC, Etae will.

Unfortunately, thanks to soft European cardboard, some of the Etae and Crude jackets suffered corner damage in shipping.  I'll sell the cleanest copies first while I wait and see if the label can send me replacements for the rest.

Also, a lot of stuff in the distro is getting down the last copies, so I noted that where applicable in the mailorder list.