Goodman Games

The Shardsfall Quest an AAR (spoilers!)
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Author:  Sutekh [ Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  The Shardsfall Quest an AAR (spoilers!)

This is the story of my first DragonMech session. Having spend weeks to gather up players and finding a day to play, we finally started yesterday.

I had decided to start with The Shardsfall Quest, since none of my players knew much if anything about DragonMech.

The characters was all created using the standard point buy system from the DMG, which lead to severe whining from some of my players. Especially after the session had ended, but more about that later. Now to introduce the characters:

Thariliss was an elven warrior, or so he would say anyways. In reality he was a 1st level transmuter, with the ambition of gaining ranger levels and perhaps some day become an eldricht knight. While a good guy when all came to all, he was proud to the point of arrogance of his elven heiritage, and he didn't much like the changes brougt by the Lunar Rain or the coming of mechs for that matter. Especially steamtech abhored him.

Kesskahn was a dwarf, who took pride in his clan and name, and the coming of mechs and steam had in his opion challenged the rigthful place of religion and clans. However one fateful night he was hit by a meteor. To save what was left of him his family had to hire a coglayer to transform Kesskahn into his current form as a steamborg. Kesskahn was furious and desided to leave his family and clan...

Lau came from the Endless Plains where his tribe of Stavians had traveled since the dawn of time. Lau had aspired to become tribal shaman, but the increasing failure of the gods to improve the world left him filled with doubt. The tribes head shaman felt this an commanded Lau to travel the world to gain certainty of his religious dedication. So Lau, currently a ranger, ended up with the rest of the party...

Atin was a human kid whose town had been wiped out by a severe Lunar Rain followed by a Lunar attack. To his own luck the Stenian Confederacy reach the town in time to save the boy, whom they brought aboard the Nedderpik. Here Atin reach adulthood among machines and mech, and like every other kid he wanted to be a mech jockey. The Stenian requitment officer however found Atin to random and chaotic in his behavior, so Atin set to into the world to prove, that he had what was needed to become a mech jockey. Atin started the session a first level stalker to reflekt his tech interest without making him a gadgeteer.

The first night and the coming of the Temple

Thariliss looked to the horizon soon it would be dark, and the moon would rise and death with it. Especially tonight... every traveller knew that when the moon was full, you had to reach a shelter. This evening however they were travelling in unknown territory, and they had no way of know where the next shelter could be. Luckily he was traveling with Lau, who more than once before had been able to find shelter where none were. He had hardly finished that thought before Lau proclaimed, that he had found three day old trails leeding to a small rocky hill to the north east.

It took the small group of wanderers almost two hours to reach the small hill. Much to their surprise they found that the hill actually housed an artificial shelter with a ceiling of metal plates to withstand the coming Lunar Rain. After much searching of the small shelter and examining the stucture of the most secure sleeping place the group finally settled down for the night.

This night was not like any other though, and shortly after midnight they awoke from the sound of a gigantic meteor hitting the surface nearby. The group decided to search out the landing site first thing tomorrow morning.

After two days of travelling the group reach the impact site, and found the meteor, that much to their surprise had split in two halves. They decided, that it would be best to secure the perimiter before entering the meteor and scouted the crack between the two meteor halves. Here they observed strange creatures unlike any they had ever seen. The creatures was constantly pulsing and growing new tentacles and alterering their shape. The cautious group decided to take a look on the other side of the meteor only to find similar creatures there. However this time one of the creatures spotted the group and started to move slowly in their direction.

Using their ranged advantage the group started throwing rocks at the creature, who in return sought cover behind the rocks between the two halves of the meteor. However the group spotted that the two oozes from the other end of the crack had approched them and Lau started to fire arrows at them. Each of the arrows hit its target with no difficulty, but the oozes showed clear sign of intelligence and sought cover.

Abandoning the plan of fighting the oozes the group returned to the entrance into the meteor, and Kesskahn decided to scout the entry chamber. Here he found a wounded ooze, that he desided to approch to see if it was still alive. Kesskahn managed the walk right up to the ooze and poke it with his morningstar. This however didn't sit quite right with the wounded ooze and it assaulted Kesskahn. Much to his terror Kesskahn found himself growing two additional finger on the left hand and one on the right hand. Seeing their friend attacked the rest of the group moved into action. Atin attacked the ooze with his rapier, and had it been a mortal man the hit would surely have been fatal. Lau decided to run around the ooze so that he could get a clear shot with his bow, while Thariliss casted Mage Armor.

Finally Kesskahn got the opputunity to return the attack, and hit the ooze hard. The ooze however returned the favor, and Kesskahn went down. This caused panic to spread across the group. Atin ran out of the cave barely dodging the oozes attack. Lau seeing his Atin run and Kesskahn go down followed Atin example. Thariliss cast Shield.

The ooze went into cover by the entrance await the return of the group for their fallen commerade, and surely Lau decided to run into the cave to retrieve their fallen friend. The ooze hit him hard, but Lau felt that he had no choice but to rescue Kesskahn. While Lau picked up Kesskahn the ooze landed another blow, which sent Lau falling to the ground. Atin seeing this jumped to the rescue and attacked the slime. Thariliss cast Magic Weapon, and then attacked the ooze. Shortly after the ooze died, but by then it was to late to rescue Lau.

The Atin and Thariliss buried Lau and tended to Kesskahns wound, and then decided to further investigate the caverns. Thariliss was must fascinated by the changing symbols in the greeting chamber, but wasn't able to figur out their meaning. He then returned to tend to Kesskahn.

Now it was Atins turn he went into the greeting chamber and using a grapling hook he reached the hole into the ceiling. He picked up his grapling hook and proceeded into the next chamber, where he was attacked by the Dronog. The battle was soon over, the Dronog killed him in one blow.

Outside Thariliss and Kesskahn awaited the return of their friend, but he never came... they decided to abandon the meteor.

Thus ended the Shardsfall Quest for my poor players. They argued poor stats, overkill monsters and bad rolls, I argued poor tactics and stupidity. :roll: I think I'll give them another shot at it restarting at the meteor. ;)

EDIT: Spelling

Author:  Ken Hart [ Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Sorry to hear about that! So were they all 1st-level characters? TSQ can be tough for 1st-level PCs, as several creatures in the meteor, like the dronog, can take out a 1st-level PC -- especially a non-fighter -- in one shot. (An average of 3rd level is recommended.)

Author:  Sutekh [ Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:18 am ]
Post subject: 

Ken Hart wrote:
Sorry to hear about that! So were they all 1st-level characters? TSQ can be tough for 1st-level PCs, as several creatures in the meteor, like the dronog, can take out a 1st-level PC -- especially a non-fighter -- in one shot. (An average of 3rd level is recommended.)

According to page 3 of the Shardsfalls Quest the recommended starting level is 1st. But I agree, that the Dronog is very deadly.

Author:  Ken Hart [ Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:31 am ]
Post subject: 

My bad -- I was looking at the wrong section (i.e., you finish up at 3rd level). Serves me right for going online 5 minutes before sleeping.

Actually, when I ran a version of The Shardsfall Quest, a guy playing a dwarven fighter chose to be the first to climb up into that area, and he defeated the dronog in single combat. He and the other players made it all the way through the meteor with no casualties, and yeah, some of that was pure luck on their part. (Without saying much more for those who haven't read TSQ, I'll just say that the first PC to step into an area with a mind-affecting attack was the one with the best Will save. Things could've gone ugly if the dwarven fighter had continued to lead the way.)

Sometimes (as your players said) the dice are evil, and sometimes (as you said) the players' tactics aren't great. I hope your players give it another shot!

Author:  goodmangames [ Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Har! Sorry to hear your PCs died so fast. That wasn't supposed to happen. :) In my playtest, the characters initially charged the oozes in the crevasse and suffered heavy damage. They healed up and returned the next day, going in the way they were supposed to, and from then on had no fatalities until the dramatic combat against the two lunar skinstealers near the end (described in the module's notes end notes).

Although, now that I think about it, I ran it with 5 PCs instead of your 4. That can make a difference. You could try it with 5, or send them in at 2nd level.

Author:  Thos [ Sat Oct 02, 2004 7:07 am ]
Post subject:  A Danish version

I tried it on my friends here. First time was disastrous.

DwarfCoglayer, HalflingStalker, HumanMechJockey, ElfConstructorWiz., HumanClockworkRanger, all 1st lvl.

They had to stay out of the temple twice for several days while healing their wounds and hadn't even made it to the skinstealers yet. The skinstealers then took over the coglayer and his high-amp flamethrower and grilled the party. (in other words, I decided on a GM coup-de-grace on the entire party.)

Second time around with 4 players, HumanMechJockey, HumanBarbarian, HumanCleric of Eron (i.e. Heironeus from standard 3.5 pantheon) and an ElfStalker, all 2nd lvl. They had been sent by their village to check up on what had happened to the first party. They made it nicely through the rock, killed everything in sight (I rolled 7 'natural 20's for the Cleric's lunar sense, who each time went ballistic). Biggest problem was for them to use the 'Cloudform' potions.

I stopped the session just after the Stenian Mechs had shouted their 'Halt!' at them, to exploit that cliffhanger possibility.

Author:  mythfish [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  remember: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS THREAD!

This post has spoilers. If you intend to play the Shardsfall Quest as a player, I highly recommend you do not read it in order to preserve your enjoyment of the adventure.

I ran the first part of the adventure the other night, and I found that a lot of the challenges were actually too EASY for my group, in part because of good planning on their part and old fashined dumb luck. The group consisted of an elven druid, an elven stalker, a gnome coglayer, a dwarf warrior, and an NPC half-elf wizard who did very little.

The coglayer had with his steam powers a metal platform fitted with metal legs, a light generator, and voice command which they used to explore the first chamber and get smashed by the spawn. They slaughtered the spawn quickly enough that it didn't even manage to hit any of them and change them. The skinstealer caught the group flatfooted, missed on its surprise round (I make most of my rolls openly so fudging them is difficult), they beat it in initiative the next round and killed it before it had the chance to do anything else. I think the lunar elemental was the only creature in the whole first section of the adventure that lasted more than a couple rounds. But they got so used to seeing things they didn't recognize or understand that it didn't occur to them for a long time even with all the hints that the metal vials might be full of run-of-the-mill magical potions (the wizard had already cast detect magic earlier in the adventure). They were, and I suspect they still are, completely baffled by the brass spheres. They thought they were part of a puzzle that needed solving to open the door. But eventually they figured it all out. And then they almost left the Starshard there. Doh!

But I'm happy to report that everything is still on track, and despite the easy fights everyone said they really enjoyed it.

Author:  mythfish [ Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Part 2

I ran the second part of the Shardsfall Quest last night, and it went pretty much as written. Due to the ease which the characters defeated the lunar creatures in the first part, I doubled the number of centipedes in the steam room, but they still handled it just fine. The only really tense part came in the climax when the dwarf fighter, whittled down to 2 hit points by various things including a friendly arrow fired into melee, walked right into the beetles' lair and promtly had his weapons and armor rusted away. But they all survived.

The interesting part in this session was really the character's personalities. The druid and the fighter in the group are both pretty anti-technology due to their backgrounds, and while the coglayer loves technology he has some bad history with the Stenians and the Gearwrights. So they pretty much just laughed when they were offered citizenship on Nedderpik. But I still managed to get them to accept the mission by appealing to their more materialistic sides. In the first session the fighter and the coglayer had a pretty intense debate about technology having "soul", and I'm looking forward to when they get the chance to continue that debate now that they've met Old Iron Arms.

Author:  goodmangames [ Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:55 am ]
Post subject: 

It sounds like you got some good role-playing in that session. It sounds like fun.

That's also interesting hearing about the dwarf fighter getting his equipment rusted. In my first playtest of the adventure, I gave the beetles a cone-shaped breath weapon instead of a line. They wasted EVERY metal item on EVERY PC in the first round of combat... and the players hated it. So I toned it down to a line attack after that!

Author:  mythfish [ Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ha! Well, there is plenty of warning. I say it's their own fault if they get rusted.

Author:  DMSteve [ Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:40 am ]
Post subject:  Should I use 2nd Level Characters


I was going to run TSQ on RPOL as an introduction to the setting. Just curious, since none of the players are familiar, should I make them 2nd level - allowing some multiclassing to get the right skill mix, or just go with 1st level and maybe leaving some better items for them?


Author:  goodmangames [ Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:33 am ]
Post subject: 

Based on some of the comments on this board, 2nd level might be better for survivability purposes. :) My own players were familiar with the setting when I playtested it, and that might make a difference in how they handle things!

Author:  mythfish [ Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Depends on your players, I'd say. My players handled it just fine at first level with little knowledge of the setting. They were smart and cautious (and maybe a little lucky).

Author:  BradfordFerguson [ Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

I ran the first episode of the adventure last night and it went pretty well. They had a fairly easy go of things until they ran into the first skinstealer which was hiding in the hallway. It rolled really well on its hide check and the good spotters didn't roll well (I rolled for them) and they were checking the first door on the right for traps when the skinstealer went for the fighter!

It was able to grapple him, but not bend him to its will. The next round, I goofed and had the skinstealer re-grapple instead of just dominating. The third round, the skinstealer grappled and dominated, though by now it was low on HPs. The dominated fighter then put the gnomish coglayer down with a longsword slash and a shortsword pierce. Combat ended when the constructor wizard cast magic missle at the skinstealer and put it down.

Then, I had a little problem as there was no cleric in the party. Next up were the nanites in each room and some treasure. Instead I said that the halfling stalker found a healing potion on the unconscious form of the coglayer and the rooms were now empty (my players never knew I did this). I let them find the bars and one of the rooms had a healing potion instead of the bars.

The halfling stalker did a super jump to jump across the 20ft. between the meteor halves (I altered the adventure so that the holes were level with eachother) and they tied a rope across. Everyone made their climb checks until the constructor wizard came up. He saw the spawn moving toward him and started peppering them with crossbow bolts instead of climbing across (DC 5). Before the game became an exercise in tedium, I asked the player if they wanted to keep shooting until they were dead or driven off, so I said they were dead and said he had 2 crossbow bolts left.

I goofed earlier in the adventure and allowed the constructor wizard to roll to decipher script in the very first room. He rolled a 20 (doh) and so I told him the function of the room and also said Spawn of Seroficiiticiict (or whatnot), then in the next room I allowed him to read the moving images though the dronog was affecting the area.

So that made some of the later stuff in the adventure a little easy, but I think stuff flowed well. A halfling in the party simply gulped the gaseous form potion and two others in the group followed suit immediately. The were all set to leave the place in the next room, after I had them reconstitute (I didn't read the spell description) until I had the item call to them all.

So they get out and the mechs come to question them and the first thing that happens is the halfling takes the item out from under his cloak and says something like "I control the sun."

So I gotta figure out how the Stenian's react to that without totally side-tracking the adventure. I think I will have them laugh it off as petty magic... Any suggestions?

Author:  goodmangames [ Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wow... your group is reacting totally differently than my group did! My group was terrified of drinking anything that seemed remotely alien, and they did everything in their power to hide the starshard from the Stenians.

If it were me, I'd have the Stenians arrest them on suspicion of lunar influence -- after all, the guy's wielding a magic item for which there's no precedent, and which could easily be construed as something lunar by the paranoid Stenian grunts. The PCs get dragged to Nedderpik, interrogated, and then roped into going into Legion territory. Maybe the Stenians see this as a way to verify their story: "So you really expect us to believe that you acquired this moon relic by force? It sure looks like you're lunar-possessed to me. If your loyalties aren't to the moon gods, then prove it -- go steal another of these moon rocks!" (or something like that). Or the Stenians actually put them in shackles for a while, then threaten to shoot them if they don't cooperate -- more like they're shanghaied than anything else?

I find in very enjoyable that the fighter dropped the gnome while possessed by the lunar skinstealer. That's what makes those monster so much fun. :)

Author:  BradfordFerguson [ Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:06 am ]
Post subject: 

The end of episode 1 and the beginning of episode 2 was a disaster for my gaming group. They decided to attack the Stenian Confederacy when the Stenian's were in a vulnerable position. One character got in a vacated mech, another was down and bleeding on the sand, one was trying to open the porthole by himself, and another had a gigantic axe raised above his head. I probably should have killed them off, but I called for a break and told them that I am going to give them a final out. They took it.

I messed up in that I didn't have the Stenians make them drop their weapons and then move away from those positions, but I didn't think it would come to that. The group is "opportunistic", but they still shouldn't have done what they did. One thing that I think should be on the Juggernauts and other mechs is some kind of net system.

They ended up helping out the people in episode 2, though the coglayer stayed back to repair Old Iron Arms (and metagamed that was what I wanted to do while the rest of the group went on [wrong bub]). They lost the stalker in the gear forest and the constructor wizard cut off the stalker's hand (killing the stalker) because the stalker stole from him a third time. Coincidently, the stalker is the one who caused the Stenian Incident.

I'm bending instead of ending things since I'm moving from my area. Otherwise, I wouldn't be so merciful. If one of the players played the game differently, I think the module would run much more smoothly. If I was staying in the area, I wouldn't game with him.

Author:  mythfish [ Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:13 am ]
Post subject: 

Your problem with the Stenians is similar to what my players are going through with the Irontooth. They come up on a ridge with dozens of Irontooth mechs below, and 5 Irontooth mechs coming up behind...and what do they do? Well, heaven forbid they should try to talk their way out. They immediately attack. So when we last left off, they'd been fighting the 5 mechs for a bit, but one of them signalled to the others which have now arrived. I think I've figured out how to get the adventure back on track, but it's largely going to come down to what the dwarf warrior does.

Author:  walrusjester [ Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

Players are the worst part of a campaign.

Author:  BradfordFerguson [ Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:40 am ]
Post subject: 

When I move I'm getting a new group of players and I'm gonna be mean about who stays and who goes. No more Mr. Nice Guy! ;)

Author:  mythfish [ Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

We finally finshed up the Shardsfall Quest the other night, so I though I'd let you know how it went. As I mentioned, my players decided to attack the whole gathering of Irontooth Clansfolk. For several rounds they fought only the five Raptors, and were doing okay. The wizard managed to summon a fire beetle inside the cockpit of one of the enemy mechs, causing the pilot much consternation. The dwarf warrior leapt from the outside of the Magwagon onto one of the Raptors and was attacking the pilot with his axe.

In an attempt to get things back on track, I had the dwarf's opponent yield and power down his mech. Thankfully, the player accepted the surrender. By this point the main battle had moved on, so the dwarf and the mech pilot were sitting together on a powered down mech and chatting while the other players were about to take on the main group of Irontooth. The pilot convinced the dwarf that they were being utterly foolish, while the other players engaged in a very tense dialog with Phegrip. The situation was eventually solved diplomatically.

After all that I decided to skip the duel, and continued on as written with the justification that the characters had already fought very bravely (if a bit stupidly). When they handed over the Starshard without even so much as a "What's in it for me?" I felt that they had earned their clan membership after all.

Author:  goodmangames [ Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

That's great! When I first started reading the post I was thinking, "Uh oh, it sounds like the players really screwed this one up" but it ended up playing into the script after all. That sounds like a pretty wild ending to the adventure.

Author:  IronWolf [ Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've got a question, does anyone know how much it actually costs to buy room on Nedderpick, my character just got his "provisional" citizenship and I would like to get some space, at least have somewhere to store my stuff. Thanks

P.S. I used to be a member but I forgot my username and password. So if anyone can help me figure out how to get that info it would be greatly appreciated

Author:  goodmangames [ Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

Good question on housing costs. I always had PCs be given a room as reward for a heroic deed. If you're going to make the PCs pay instead, I'd say costs should be based on the the PHB listing for a good inn, which costs 2 gp/night. A city-mech is a LOT safer, and a lot more expensive to maintain. You pay for that, so I'd say it should be at least 10 gp a night. But that's the "I don't know you, buddy" price. If the PCs are valuable crew (or even not-so-valuable crew), the city-mech would subsidize that and cut them a break (e.g., maybe charge them a much lower amount and deduct it from their wages down in the engine rooms, or place them in "government housing"). For purchasing, though, they should probably get charged the full price, especially if they're perceived as wealthy adventurers. So 10 gp/night x 252 nights/year = 2,520 gp, and assume housing usually costs 20x-30x annual rental cost so that's about 50,400-75,600 gp! That seems kind of high... maybe use that as an upper limit, based on how it fits into your campaign.

Author:  sallizar [ Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:51 am ]
Post subject: 

DISCLAIMERS: SPOILERS of course, Sorry for the bump of an old thread, sorry this is so long for my first post :)

I haven’t played anything d20 related in years, but recently I’ve had several friends want to try that “DnD” game and I also ran across the Dragonmech world… I’m an old school Battletech/Heavy Gear fan who adores the Steampunk genre so I was sold easy… Selling it to my gaming group was another matter, plus my grasp of the d20 rules are rusty, so I decided to start off with a canned adventure… That means Shardsfall! I’ve read all of y’alls accounts, but I still wasn’t prepared for how hard this adventure is…

A brief description of the folks involved…

Jerome “Stumbleduck” Ellywick – Gnome Coglayer played by my wife Melissa… This is her second RPG experience and her first time playing d20… She liked the sidewinder flamethrower from the guide so we came up with a backpack mounted version… With an 18 Int she also designed a large walking, voice activated box to store her loot.

Rando – Human Mech Jockey played by Alex L... Alex has played a good bit of d20 so he’s helping keep me honest…

Roxxy – Half-Orc Steamborg played by Nikki… She has some experience with d20… She got low stat rolls so Roxxy isn’t particular wise or charming…

Sol – Halfling Stalker played by Alex Z... RPG neophyte… He had no idea what any of this was about but has already learned that looting your pals is good fun…

Lain – Half-Elf Cleric played by Tina… Has played in a few single sessions of DnD… First time trying a cleric…

I tossed them into the world quickly by telling them they were a loosely bound group of adventurers/treasure hunters… After paraphrasing the opening, I quickly moved them to the meteor… They made a quick search around the area and discovered the entrance and the crack in the middle… They decided to explore the crack… I had the spawn move toward them from the center of the area thinking that six approaching enemies would scare away 1st level adventurers… Nope… Rando, Sol, and Lain starting laying down suppressing fire with light crossbows while Roxxy readied her buzzaxe and Stumbleduck cranked up the engine on her sidewinder flame gear… What followed was a series of high player attack rolls, especially Sol who gets a +6 ranged attack under 30 feet due to high stats and feats, low DM attack rolls, and good fortitude rolls.

After defeating four of the six, the group had a rough idea how many hit points the spawn had and was starting to feel cocky… That’s when Roxxy took a smack to the head and rolled a mighty 2 on her Fort check. I explained to her that her thoughts turned fuzzy and she was having trouble speaking… I then asked her to take a -1 Int and -2 Cha… As she started to write this in her temporary stats I chimed in that she should mark this on her permanent stats… The table then erupted in disbelief… Nikki laughed it off and when asked what Roxxy was doing now she replied “Woxxy Smash!” in a slurred Elmer Fudd meets Orc voice… They then proceeded to cautiously eliminate the rest of the spawn without further incident then headed for the entrance to see what they could discover…

Upon meeting the injured spawn in the first room they immediately engaged it… A few crossbow bolts and good chainsword hit from Stumbleduck and the beast was slain… I explained that the “ooze” was no longer moving or attacking, but they were convinced I was bluffing and spent the next few rounds making sure they had dealt as much damage to the poor injured spawn as they had dealt to the uninjured spawn in the crevice… They then began to examine the room and Tina quickly figured out the inverted basin hanging from the “ceiling” probably meant that the meotorite was upside down… “Woxxy” decided she would try to hang form the basin to see what happened… While the others explored the next room she did pull ups on the basin…

Upon entering the next room they spent a few moments trying to figure out the room full of strange symbols… After multiple people failed their Decipher Script rolls, Sol ventured off alone into the next room… The injured Dronog that was lying in wait charged him and dropped him to the floor with -4 instantly… The rest of the group ran in to assist and defeated the Dronog before it could even attack again… After making sure the rest of the room’s inhabitants were truly deceased, Lain cured Sol and we adjourned our first session…

Besides the lucky shot I got with the Dronog I was starting to think all the talk of this adventure being hard were a nit unfounded… I toyed with adding a second skinstealer to the next room, but in the end decided not to… I’m glad I didn’t…

Last night we resumed the game and spent two and half hours in area 5… After Sol’s untimely “almost death” he became a bit more cautious… Roxxy and Rando took the lead and started into area 5… As everyone else hung back they turned the corner and Roxxy had no chance of spotting the skinstealer on the floor that had rolled a 33 Hide check… My grapple check was incredible and Roxxy rolled a 2 on her Will save… I turned to Rando and said “Only your character sees this”… I was interrupted by Tina and Alex Z. putting their hands over their ears… I’m used to players that can handle hearing some stuff that their characters don’t know and playing accordingly, so this threw me off… They insisted on dragging my wife into another room with them while I explained to Roxxy and Rando what was going on…

As I explained how the skinstealer had risen off the floor and leaped onto Roxxy’s head then melted across her body and equipment the players eyes grew huge in disbelief… The other players returned and Rando yelled “AHHHH!! Crazy bodysnatching carpets!!” and fired a bolt at Roxxy… The others barreled around the corner to see what the commotion was about… At this point, I turned to Nikki and told her Roxxy had just lost a point of Wisdom… The players were again struck with disbelief and she laughed it off again… Rando then failed is Will save and the “possessed” Roxxy told him to “Attack”… Rando turned and tried to skewer Sol with his rapier, but missed horribly… Roxxy then advanced and in one hit with her buzzaxe laid waste to Stumbleduck… Luckily she stabilized next turn or she surely would have bled out… A crossbow bolt from Sol, made the skinstealer decide that retreat was the best option… The dominated Rando continued to roll low but was still able to knock Sol down to 2 HP… Lain cured Stumbleduck and they retreated to the previous room with Sol taking refuge in the walking box… Sol barred the door with a good Disable Device check and they decided to wait the night to see if the others came to their senses… Rando finally was able to pass a Will save and Roxxy awoke at the end of the tunnel near the secret door… The players have not found it and the skinstealer used it to escape for the time being since it had taken a bit of damage from Sol’s crossbow…

Since they were locked out and the others wouldn’t let them back in Roxxy and Rando explored one of the side rooms (area 6) in search of shelter… They found only one of the nanites and defeated it easily… They both however took an acid bath which once again surprised everyone… The others finally let them in and they bedded down for the night…

The next morning they began searching the tunnel again… They cleared nanites out of the various rooms until Stumbleduck stumbled into the skinstealer feeding on the gruel in the last room… It grappled her but she resisted at first… The others tried to pry it off of her to no avail… She then failed her roll and the skinstealer turn the sidewinder flamethrower on Roxxy and Sol… I rolled incredibly low and they both managed to dodge the flames… Roxxy then fumbled an attack… After missing the skin stolen gnome her buzzaxe ripped through the room’s debris causing three nanites to attack… While fleeing the nanites Roxxy was burned to a crisp by the flamethrower but the nanites also got toasted causing the skinstealer to take just enough acid damage that Rando’s next bolt killed it… All of the piercing damage left Stumbleduck bleeding and limping with only one hit point… Lain cured everyone up, but ran out of spells in the process…

So far three players have dropped below 0 hp and the cleric has exhausted all of her spells twice… Wow this is a crazy adventure…

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