Part 1: Salty Reception

Following Rathune, the Creator, departing Dorwine dragon now rule the continent. Demanding and cruel, Brine is an unforgiving overlord. He has the citizens of Usban working tirelessly to build and maintain the boats that fill the harbor in search of treasure. Strange Sea Elves and Sea Dwarves, even the odd Genasai fill his ships to search the ocean for ship wrecks, harvesting their magic items. These are then taken to the High God Magna.

Jhaldus Blundal – Drow Slaver

Murruik Seabeard

Bella Corcus

Gargantuan vehicle, (80 ft. by 20 ft.)
Creature Capacity 30 crew, 20 passengersCargo Capacity 100 tonsTravel Pace 5 miles per hour (120 miles per day)
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA20 (+5)7 (-2)17 (+3)0 (-5)0 (-5)0 (-5)
Damage Immunities poison, psychicCondition Immunities blindedcharmeddeafenedexhaustionfrightenedincapacitatedparalyzedpetrifiedpoisonedpronestunnedunconscious
Armor Class 15Hit Points 300 (damage threshold 15)
Control: Helm
Armor Class 18Hit Points 50Move up to the speed of its sails, with one 90-degree turn. If the helm is destroyed, the ship can’t turn.
Movement: Sails
Armor Class 12Hit Points 100; -5 ft. speed per 25 damage takenLocomotion (water) sails, speed 45 ft.; 15 ft. while sailing into the wind; 60 ft. while sailing with the wind.
Weapons: Ballista
Armor Class 15Hit Points 50Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 120/480 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d10) piercing damage.
Weapons: Mangonel
Armor Class 15Hit Points 100Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 200/800 ft. (can’t hit targets within 60 ft. of it), one target. Hit: 27 (5d10) bludgeoning damage.
On its turn, the sailing ship can move using its helm. It can also fire its ballista and its mangonel. If it has half its crew or fewer, it moves at half speed and can fire either its ballista or its mangonel.

The Red Axe

Type:           Poor Inn           Common Inn           Good Inn         
Patrons:           Townsfolk           Adventurers         
Location: In a temple ward, southeast of the Temple of White Light. The street outside is filled with the sound of chanting.
Description: The inn is a two-storey timber and brick building, with a small fenced yard. Accomodations consist of several large rooms with beds and straw mattresses and a mezzanine with several wooden cots.
Inkeeper: The innkeeper is an absent-minded male halfling named Albert Rowes. He knows the secret location of the Dread Prison of Madness.
Menu: Roasted Mutton and Leek, Tankard of Beer (12 cp)Boiled Eggs and Carrot, Tankard of Cider (11 cp)Roasted Sausage and Dried Beetroot, Tankard of Cider (10 cp)
Patrons: Galorfinw: Male Elf Cleric, Evil. Galorfinw has gray hair and light gray eyes. He wears plate mail and wields a quarterstaff. Galorfinw suffers a traumatic fear of death.
Leifi: Male Dwarf Fighter, Neutral. Leifi is slender, with curly auburn hair and amber eyes. He wears plate mail and wields a flail and shield. Leifi seeks to free himself from an ancient curse. Reda: Male Human Fighter, Neutral.
Reda is fey in appearance, with straight silver hair and green eyes. He wears chain mail and wields a glaive-guisarme. Reda suffers an acute fear of spiders.
Maly: Female Halfling Fighter, Good. Maly has a long face, with long gray hair and dark green eyes. She wears banded mail and wields a battle axe. Maly is hunting the vampire who slew his mentor.
Ulfhigg Hordidotr: Female Dwarf Ranger, Good. Ulfhigg is fey in appearance, with uneven silver hair and light brown eyes. She wears leather armor and wields a long sword. Ulfhigg is quarreling with the town guard, who seem to be searching for someone.
Rumors: Something has been delving a network of chambers beneath the town.Anyone who takes a stone from the ruined tower on North Bundusharbh Way is transformed into a cat.The master of the Butchers Fellowship is actually a blood-thirsty vampire.The ruins of a draconic monastery lies deep within the Icecrown Mountains.


  • Thin Rectangle on a wall: door
  • “S” on a wall: secret door
  • Large Rectangle: table
  • Large Thin Rectangle: bar
  • Rectangle with a “T” or “S” or both: table or shelve or table & shelves.
  • Circle: bar stool or chair
  • 4/5 Circle: chair next to/under table
  • Small filled Rectangle in a larger rectangle: fireplace/hearth
  • Dashed Line: railing
  • Many thin lines getting smaller: stairs
  • Filled Circle: toilet/privvy
  • Filled Triangle: wash basin

Rethinking some things

So I’ve been working on the Agents of Intrigue combat system for a few days, and I’ve hit a snag.  This is the same issue that many such efforts have encountered.  Guns hurt.  The main issue is that IRL a gunshot will kill and super bad marine, 10th degree black belt, or maybe even Chuck Norris (!).  One stray shot and your are toast.  No such thing exists in fantasy games, outside of Power Word: Kill or something similar.  So I did some research.

I discovered some projects that have ran parallel to my own.  One to convert d20 Modern to 5e.  Here it is:  I found extensive information about how to update the d20 system for 5e.  Well done!  But that system has the same issue as the rest.

I also found this:  It’s basically putting together  Top Secret S.I., Get Smart RPG and some Fate elements into a 5e system.  Despite all the good work that went into this concise, 20 page, document, the same problem exists.  Point blank hit from a 9mm doesn’t necessarily kill you.  In fact, a high level agent can get pumped full of all kinds of lead before he goes down.

So I hit the web and read how others were dealing with the issue.  Sadly, most people said “switch to Cyberpunk” or some other game with better rules for ranged weapons.  The main problem with that is, I don’t want to learn another system :/  I didn’t like Cyberpunk when it came out.

What are my options?  Well, I’ve got my thinking cap on.  One, sort of complicated, way that I thought about was expanding crits for guns.  Some guns may have a higher crit rating (such as a sniper rifle), and when you crit with a gun, you roll again on a special crit chart.  Rolls 17-20?  Headshot.  x10 damage.  Roll a 1 or 2?  You clip them in the love handle, x2 damage.  One flaw that I thought of is that it still might not kill you.  Roll a 2 on 2d6 damage and your headshot does 20 damage.  That’s survivable by many people.  This is one of the ideas I will be kicking around this week.

AoI Player’s Guide Progress

So Christmas break is upon us.  My four boys and I will get to spend much time together over the break.  I plan to spend a decent chunk of time working on Agents of Intrigue.  This is my update log for the Player’s Guide.  I decided to make the guide on my site.

Here is what I have so far:

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Your Agent  – I got a lot done on the theory behind your Agent, and how to create their backstory and personality.
Chapter 3: Your Gear – Generally skipped this for a bit.  I’m kind of hung up on what types of weapons categories to have.  I will come back to it later.
Chapter 4: Factions – This is mostly done.  I may come back and include some fictional factions later.
Chapter 5: Missions – Very little info about this
Chapter 6: Combat – Figuring out how to manage the modern era damage issue is a problem my subconscious is chewing on.  I have some ideas.  Basically, the problem is that one bullet from one gun can kill any one person in real life.  How do we make the mechanics of 5e fit this reality?

Here is a sneak peak at Agent classes as they stand now.  This will change, a lot.

[Career Agent]

Turn their swords into Glock 19s

D&D was my first love.  It was my first role playing game and, as a teenager, I couldn’t imagine paying anything else.  Then Top Secret came along.  A really old guy in our group had the original Top Secret game as well as Top Secret S.I., the second edition.  These were TSR games, so they were well made.  I loved the setting.  Flying down the city streets in a tricked out Tahoe while my buddy, Brian, shot at bad guys through the broken back glass.  It was fun!

Once life got rolling I started to miss those days.  The Top Secret stuff was hard to find and, when I did manage to find it (thanks eBay), it was hard to get people excited about playing it.  Then came Spycraft.  It was interesting, and nuanced.  I was able to get a group together and play a few games.  By the time I found Spycraft, Spycraft 2.0 was being released.  It was crazy!  Tons, and tons more detail.  You could play any character, in any setting, in any genre.  Pulp fiction, 60s Bond style, high concept, sci-fi campaigns, aliens, super tech, whatever.  The only trouble was, it was hard.  Hard to learn, hard to play, hard to run.  It came along at the time of D&D 3.5 , d20 OGL, and was, like many games of that era, very cumbersome.  It was tough to get new players interested in the game.  But their was hope.

Crafty Games began to talk about a simplified Spycraft, version 3.  Simpler.  More streamlined.  Very sleek.  Some information was teased out.  Life was good.  Then Brandon Sanderson had to go and ruin it for everyone.  His fantastic Mistborn books sparked an interest in playing a tabletop RPG in that wonderful world, and Crafty jumped on it.  Most of their efforts have been focused on that game, and understandably so.

The reality is that Crafty is in no hurry to produce Spycraft 3, and we are stuck.  So we are back to square one.  Like a lot of people that I know, D&D 4, and 4.5, and Pathfinder, were a heavy load.  I felt like I was too stupid to play the games I enjoyed, or that I didn’t have the time to play, especially if there was a chance of combat!  Then D&D 5e dropped.  Wow!  This is a very slick and sleek system.  Much like AD&D 2nd Edition, with some of the improvements that Wizards has made along the way, D&D was fun again.  I started to wonder what it would be like to play a spy game with 5e rules.  As you can see on this site, I did some work to adapt some old 2nd Edition modules to 5e, and that went well.  Then I basically recreated Menzoberranzan in 5e, circa 1470 DR, for my sons, and their friends.  Pretty smooth.  This was pre-Out of the Abyss, by the way :/


Agents of Intrigue

Then, kind of unexpectedly, WotC released the 5e SRD.  Now we are cooking!  So, with the help of my two teenage sons, and some excellent reference material, we are creating Agents of Intrigue.

Agents of Intrigue is a story heavy, mechanics light, spy tabletop RPG.  Players will work as Freelancers, or part of one of the many world Intelligence groups, to save the world from all the stupid stuff it gets into.  Our goal is to make a game that scales well for small missions, like stopping a psycho band of ex-Pro Baseball players, turned drug dealers, to tracking down a mobile group of Russian super hackers, bent on crippling the US economy.

Should be fun.



Our original 2nd edition, converted to 5e, campaign never got any traction because the group wanted to do the Hoard of the Dragon Queen campaign.  With that campaign moving along nicely, my sons are interested in playing another campaign with a different group of friends.  We loaned one of these friends a copy of The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore and he was hooked.  Not fair, I know.  Now this group wants to run a campaign in the fabled city of the drow!  I’m going to post a lot of information pertaining to Houses and the city itself, mostly for my own use, and for the use of the players.  I am about 51 pages into a conversion document for the famed drow city.

Converting 2nd edition characters to 5e, or D&D Next

Greetings.  It’s been a while since I last posted.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and a wedding in a far away land called South Dakota has kept me away.  A couple of campaigns featuring Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, one I’m running and one I’m playing in, are on the horizon.  A lot of the reddit D&D stuff I have been reading of late has pertained to converting characters and adventures over to the new system.  This idea appeals to me because my son and his friends want to play a Forgotten Realms Campaign set in 2nd edition (what this whole page is about).

Another thing I am sensing is that people 1) don’t want to wait until 2016-2018 (some of the time lines I am seeing) for their favorite campaign to be re-released by Wizards and 2) they have hundreds of dollars worth of old books just sitting around.

What I am going to try to do in this post is to convert a PC named Jaseraxe over to 5e.  Jas was a fighter/thief from a Menzoberranzan campaign I ran a lifetime ago.  Jaseraxe is complex and has some difficult elements to him, so I thought he would be a good place to start.  I will post him tonight for review and come back over the next few days and begin to break down our process for updating him.



*Eveningstar is a small unwalled farming town of about fifty buildings located roughly 30 miles west of Arabel, in Cormyr.[1] Eveningstar is located where the High Road crosses the Starwater River,[2][3]


Eveningstar is a pastoral village surrounded by fields and orchards situated in an elbow of the Starwater River just north of the King’s Forest in Cormyr. It stands at the intersection of the High Road, which runs west to High Horn and East to Arabel, and the Skywater Road (known by locals as the “Suzail Road” or “Southrun”), which runs south to the village of Dhedluk in the King’s Forest (known by locals as the “Shadowood”). Immediately to the north of Eveningstar is the Eveningstar Gorge[4]or the Starwater Gorge. The gorge, formed by the Starwater River as it flows down from theStorm Horn Mountains, provides relatively easy access to the Helmlands and the Storm Horns and is the only significant break in the limestoneStonecliff that runs from Tyrluk to the west to just short of Arabel.[5]


Eveningstar is an agricultural community producing primary products such as milk, eggs, poultry, mutton, carrots, beans and parsnips, as well as value added goods such as cheese, parchment, wool and wine; all of which are sold at a weekly farmers market. Eveningstar is also a popular stopover for frequent overland caravans, who patronize the local farmers and businesses. The most important business in town is the Lonesome Tankard tavern and inn, famous in Cormyr as one of the best places to eat, drink and stay the night.[1]

*shamelessly stolen from the wiki site

**AT A GLANCE: Eveningstar is an unfortified town of fifty or so main structures, situated where the main road crosses the Starwater, in Cormyr.

ELMINSTER’S NOTES: Eveningstar is a crossroads village, and home to skilled craftsmen who produce wine, parchment, and wool for the weavers in Suzail and Daerlun. Eveningstar is a market for the small but good farms in the vicinity, with a good inn, The Lonesome Tankard.

GAME INFORMATION: Eveningstar’s lord is Tessaril Winter, who is both quick and efficient in her duties to the crown.

**notes from Forgotten Realms 1st Edition Boxed Set

Image of Eveningstar

What Eveningstar might look like

City of Evening Star

City of Eveningstar





What is D&D?

dnd-wizards-cnet[1] Dungeon and Dragons was a lot of things for me growing up.  It was a place where I learned to love reading.  I learned to master math skills, I learned critical thinking and problem solving.  I learned how to deal with various complex social scenarios.  I learned to dream and to build.  Mostly, I D&D was a lot of fun.

At least once a week I would get together with 5-7 friends and, with the aid of the D&D game materials, go on epic imagined adventures.  Missing from the MMORPGs of today is real social interaction.  In the context of D&D you assume the role of the character you are playing and you relate to other players from that standpoint.  You fight monsters, explore dungeons and save princesses along the way.  I had hours upon hours of good, clean fun in my buddy William’s basement that I intend to share with my own kids, and their friends.

Visit the links below and read through them.  If your interest is piqued, asked Nathan to borrow The Crystal Shard.

Here is a link to a great post, and a great place to start:

This is a good place to read about the 2nd edition D&D era of Forgotten Realms.


How to create a character p1

This is the first part of a brief series on how to create a D&D 5th edition character.

In this Forgotten Realms we will use the standard character classes offered in the Player’s Handbook.  This is subject to change.

Here is a link to a YouTube Video:

It’s a bit long, but has some good information.