Flight of the Black Candle - a foray into Relics of Odium


I had the pleasure of running a game set in Runehammer’s latest setting, Relics of Odium. This adventure module includes a battle world map and source book for running adventures.

My party consisted of Meadbeard (hard charging dwarf commander), Varen (smallfolk wild mage), Bjôrn (axe swinging blade), and Velazithro (elf shadow). This was the first ICPRG game for two of the players.

The adventures starts with the stalwart heroes investigating the turnip farm of Reginald Henson. All is quiet at first. Meadbeard ended up kicking in the door to the farmhouse and finding an irate Reginald yelling at him to “get off my land”! The other members of the party had discovered some old skeletons in the woods nearby. All hell broke loose as Velazithro was poking around the old bones. They came to life and battle ensued. Meadbeard ran to engage the skeletons and took a might blow from a rusty spear. He then ran back into the farmhouse shouting “we need to do a PROPER DWARVEN RETREAT!”. Bjôrn did not know what retreat meant and stood like a shield wall in front of the oncoming skeletons hewing many of them with his axe. Meanwhile, Varen was spraying the skeletons with her tears of acid inflicting a great deal of damage to them. On the far end of the valley, Velazithro spied a mage known as Kigron who seemed to be controlling the skeletons. He immediately engaged him and forced him to retreat thus keeping any more skeleton hordes from appearing. Once that was done, the remaining skeletons were quickly dispatched and the valley became quiet again. Henson thanked the party by giving them each a turnip with healing properties.

The party then headed towards the crags hoping to find the goblins that were rumored to be digging for gems. Varen sent her owl ahead to scout the way. The owl indicated that there were goblin archers atop the crags. Bjôrn and Velazithro attempted to sneak up on the goblin guards. Velazithro was able to do so but Bjôrn was about as sneaky as an elephant in a glassblowers shop. A full scale battle ensued with more and more goblins entering the fray. Meadbeard clambered up over the rocks to engage them from behind while Bjôrn and Velazithro hit them from the front. At one point, Velazithro kicked a goblin off the cliff shouting “THIS IS ODIUM!”. As the battle raged, one of the goblins who had been digging shrieked with joy as he found a red gem. With the light glinting off the gem, adventurers and goblins all stepped up their fury to win the battle.

As the battle raged, the mage Kigron reappeared. The goblins quickly took the gem to him. Velazithro saw a dagger hanging from Kigron’s belt. Could it be the Black Candle? Indeed, it was one of Odium’s Relics known as the Black Candle. The pulls of the magic dagger was too much for Velazithro. He immediately snuck up on the mage and successfully stole it right out of the sheath. The battle was raging though and getting away with the dagger would be difficult. As the goblins continued to fight against Bjôrn and Meadbeard, Varen turned into a bat and tried to steal the red gem from Kigron as well. Varen was not able to get it but she distracted Kigron long enough for Velazithro to move away with the Black Candle. Unfortunately, the goblins pressed home the attack and three of the heroes Meadbeard, Bjôrn, and Velazithro fell. As their blood seeped deep into the soil, Varen was able to grab the Black Candle and fly away to the south. Kigron’s rage could be heard throughout the valley as he yelled curses at the loss of his Relic of Odium.

The cost of the Black Candle was high. Three brave adventurers gave their lives to obtain it. Was it worth it?


Here are a few screenshots from the game as it was played on Roll20:


Oh you guys started at Henson’s farm! Awesome :slight_smile:


This was great fun! First time with ICRPG and first time with Roll20. Thanks for guiding us thru it, @Chuck_Lemons. I had a really good time :beers:


OOIh!! I see GEMS hidden in them rocks!!


It was just so much fun. Thanks for the write up. :beer:
Can’t wait for the next one. :sunglasses:


Today I ran my first roll20 session. 3-maps with transitions. Your screen shots show 0 “fiddly bits.” Curious how you managed it on your end. Did you find the zooming in and out an issue at all? Still need to learn hot keys I think; to make the work on my end as the GM a bit smoother.

After I finished I for sure felt like I just should have either layered the maps as a single page and deleted them as they transitioned from location to location or just linked all the rooms similar to the bigger scale of Odium.


That looks sweet! :slightly_smiling_face:


Once I mastered the 3 layers provided by Roll20 (map, token, gm info) I found my games ran much smoother. Before a session, I place most of the monster tokens on the gm info layer. That allows me to quickly move them to the token layer so the players can see them when the right time comes. You can actually see that in the screenshots. As @Runehammer said above, there are gems hidden in the rocks. The players couldn’t see them because they were on the GM info layer. My screenshot shows all three layers though.

Another technique that I have seen used but haven’t tried it myself is having a section of the map that is not visible to the players. That section is used to store token and notes to ease the GM’s workload. I know @Jason_Scranton uses this technique when he runs games.

I rarely zoom in and out. I zoom to a point that I can see most of the combat and then leave it. Of course, my setup includes my laptop screen and two large monitors.


Players control their own zoom right? Like my zoom does not set their zoom. Or at least that was how it worked in the games I was in as a player.

I am not following how you could hide anything on the map or token layer from the players unless their is a setting that I don’t know about.



There are 3 different layers in Roll20. Players can see map and token layers only. You can put anything in gm info layer and those will be invisible to your players. You can change the layer of a token etc by right clicking on it and setting the layer from there, so you can make something invisible and visible to your players dynamically.


The 3-layers are what I used. I’m going to assume that’s what Chuck meant. I was reading it like he was saying there was a way to maybe control the zoom on the GM side for the players which actually would be way cool. It would allow you to create on the same layer instead of having to manage switching between them.

I kept finding myself wishing I could do custom drag and drop map build-outs instead of the traditional square or rectangle shape. I think I just have to get more used to its functionality.


You can’t control the zoom of other people. That would be counterproductive since everybody has different screen sizes and resolutions.

You can mask off areas on the map with visibility so your players won’t see what’s inside. You can put all your stuff there and keep them on the same layer.


Where is the setting found?


Brandish Gilhelm (aka @Runehammer), the proprietor of Runehammer Games, wrote it for his Patreon supporters. You can get it by joining the shield wall on Patreon. The lowest tier costs just $1 a month.


From the Roll20 wiki.


The way Jason and I do it is by using a larger page size. Like if you scale your map to a 20x20 size, set the page for 20x25. This leaves that extra space for hiding your stuff. Make sure you turn on Fog of War and reveal the map parts to players, just leave that slice covered. This method can be done with just the Token and Map layers.

I’d be happy to do a tutorial kind of thing with you if you want.


Fog of war! Dude - never considered that.


The offer for Roll20 help is open to everyone. I’m more than happy to share everything I’ve learned so far. :metal::heart::+1:


I am also willing to share what I have learned. Perhaps we need to put some notes together and publish here on the forum.