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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:40 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 342
When I knew the game was going “overland,” I worked out in advance how far and how long they would be traveling. I also pre-rolled the encounters for the entire trip and started choreographing how things would play out. I have encounter charts for the area they are in, and got Hill Giants, Grondar’s, & a thunderstorm. The Thunderstorm got 1d10 attacks over the 3d24 hrs.

The party had their first experience with the heretofore only rumored to exist Trap-door alligators... 3 to be exact; and they came for Nicks characters. There was some sort of confusion about the schedule (I blame myself) but we had a shorter session than normal after waiting a while for him to arrive. The Trapdoor alligator is my solution to the old “blue hue” or sending folks off on a “spontaneous side quest.” They can create a “trapdoor” into the material plain that allows them to dive out and swallow the PC’s and they strike so quickly that there is no defense against them. If the player returns, then the trapdoor alligators return the characters to wherever the party currently resides then die… allowing everyone to feast on alligator steaks. If the player doesn’t return… then neither do the characters. This way there are no awkward explanations about why their compatriots keep turning into “blue zombies” and then back to normal again, or having a side quest get in the way of the main story. It also forces RP in order to bring the returning characters “up-to-speed” on everything they missed.

We also decided that our official Initiative policy for multiple PC's / player is that they use the highest Agility modifier for the roll; then play one character per round, rotating through them from quickest to slowest.

***

Session resumes in the wee hours of Feb. 12th as they assess the aftermath of the fight. The echoes of battle are still fresh when there are the sounds of muffled screaming as large reptilian forms devour the Dwarf, Sun Cleric and Wizard. They soon realize that Archie wasn’t in the fight, and as they are wondering about this and fearing the worst, Hank approaches them with desperate look on his face and frantic urgency in his gestures. They follow him into the engine through a rear hatch and find Archie stuck in the “bathroom.” Apparently, that’s where he was when the combat started, and in his haste to get to the fight, he bumped his head and knocked himself out. {That’s the kind of thing that happens in my games when someone rolls a 1 on initiative.} This is also the point where they realize that there is “Gnomish plumbing” available in the engine, and they have been “squatting in the snow,” they are less than happy about this considering how much they paid for passage.

They try to take care of him, but the cleric is unable to successfully heal him so they settle for bandaging his wounds. They wait for him to sleep it off and continue to camp in the same place as they cannot operate the engine without Archie; when he regains consciousness they inform him of everything that is going on and their complaints. He thinks for a minute or two looking back down the road, then back at the tiny little wagon (by comparison) attached to his engine. “Well, it’s likely that the Giants are tracking us, and I know that I can travel faster without that cart banging around behind me… As to the other matter, y’all didn’t pay for first class accommodations and ‘Guild law says that no one but Engineers, Pilots, and Road Marshal’s are allowed inside an Engine.’ So, I now deputize all of you as Road Marshal’s with all the rights, privileges, and duties that goes with it; and I name the Cleric of Elyr as witness. Second order of business is the extra wagon… we’re better off busting it up for fuel so we can increase speed and not have to stop again for wood, save the canvas and hoops… burn the rest.”

The party had things taken care of shortly before noon and they set off at nearly twice the rate they were before. They are for all intents and purposes traveling within a mobile fort with a 20ft by 50ft covered battle deck; it has plenty of arrow slits, and roof access to the “missile-launcher” on the “sky-deck.” They take turns at guard duty and manning the fire-box, quickly realizing that Road Marshal = unpaid laborer… but now they have hot running water and a toilet, so they’re happy. They were made much less happy by the fact that the silhouettes of Hill Giants were spotted (though well out of bow range) along the ridge-lines behind them, confirming Archie’s suspicions.

Fortunately for them, the weather took a turn for the worse in the form of a nasty spring thunderstorm. I say fortunate because even Hill Giants & Trolls are smart enough to find shelter when a storm hits. For the players it meant that they were able to keep traveling while their pursuers ran to ground. It allowed Archie to collect enough water to fill the Engine’s reservoir. For the players it was described as a wild ride, but in fact they don’t know that they nearly died. I had rolled in secret before the game started how the weather would affect them, it turns out that the engine was struck 3 /10 times by lightning and the last one actually damaged the drive gears. If they fail, then the engine turns into an expanding cloud of clock-work shrapnel and hot steam…

Narrator-
At this latitude (16 degr.) the climate zones progress from cloud forest at around 5-6000ft, and then temperate zone until 10k feet, then an alpine zone until the permanent snow line at around 12k feet. The Silver vale is a flattened “S” shaped vale on a roughly north south axis, the eastern edge is nearly 10k feet high and the western edge is at a little over 12k feet; the floor of the valley is still 8000ft above sea level. The southern end of the valley is 7900ftt, so all of the many creeks and springs flow in that general direction into a small bog, but it drains into an underground river. Because of the construction of the valley, the sun doesn’t shine directly into the vale except during the middle of the day; the rest of the time being disposed to protracted dawn and dusk conditions… normally.

The storm lasted until early in the morning on the 15th, and by early afternoon they were trekking down from the pass into the eastern portion of the Silver Vale. The old Imperial road that connects the north and south ends of the valley climbing through a series of switch-backs that takes traffic north to Archbridge, or the south road that leads to the Free City of Soulgrave. The storm had left a layer of trapped clouds in the valley. Just before they pass into the clouds they spot an amber gold tower on the opposite ridge (nearly 3000ft above them). It seems to be gathering the light from the sun that is just starting to set behind the mountain; concentrating light upon the valley.

Beneath the cloud layer it is brighter than they expected, warmer too, but still an overcast day from the valley floor. They see that the majority of the mines are to the south, along with the open pit processing areas for the ore. The town is at the north end of the valley, tucked against the lower slopes of the west side of the valley. There appear to only be 2 mines at the north end and there is an unnatural quiet pervading the area. No sounds of industry, or children at play, no workmen toiling in the shops, nor farmers singing in the fields. No prayer bells chime and it is clear to them that everyone in Silverton is either gone or dead.

***

Archie calls back to the crew…
“We’re coming up on the main depot, n’ Marshals or not, I need ya to exit here.” Points to a platform on the left (south-ish) “I’m rather fond of the ale in the Silver Cups over yonder (points to the inn across the street from the platform) “I need to secure the depot and start t’figure out what in the Abyss happened, I'll meet up with ya there.”

The party exits the engine and then it moves on into the gated area of the Guild compound, its ponderously whirring clock-work noise fading from the scene. It’s really quiet now and the party nervously looks about. Noticing that there is mounting evidence that there was a riot or some kind of mass hysteria involved in the towns demise. Shutters and doors are broken or off their hinges, windows are shattered. Everywhere is strewn with debris… but not one corpse. The various temples (Ormazd, Shul, Soleth, & Elyr) seem to be intact, but they head into the Silver Cups first. The door was barricaded from the inside by tables and such, but they pushed it open and entered on the tails of dozens of fleeing rats that disappear into holes and cracks in the walls. The cleric of Elyr and Bob the ditch digger hear muffled sobbing, moaning from the cellar; a feeling that someone is in grave need of her ministrations overwhelms the cleric. Bob and the rest are skeptical, but the cleric is on her way already. The rest move cautiously into the cellar and they all find a rather tall, aging gentleman in multi-colored patchwork clothes, stuffed into a cupboard that you would think to be too small for someone of his size. He is unconscious, but is whimpering and moaning occasionally.

It is a testament to desperation that he managed to stash a small supply of water and to safely store his mandolin behind him in the depths of the cupboard. The cleric successfully heals him, but it is obvious that he’s been several days without food. His clothes are hanging from his frame, but he comes to life when they offer him food and water from their bountiful bento box. After a while he is refreshed enough to start talking, “My name is Ffwylldyr, lowly bard and until recently the court appointed entertainer for the Baron of Bli’Hai. Until last year I’d spent 30 years singing sea shanties and attempting to educate arrogant, spoiled lordlings… Then I decided that I needed to take some time off, so I took a leave of absence to get in some fieldwork. I needed adventure to fire my soul once more… since then I’ve been beaten, robbed twice, and spent most of the last month hiding for my life. The last week and a half of which was spent in this closet sneaking out to pee in odd places to throw off the rats. So be careful what you wish for… because sometimes the Gods are listening!” He goes back to eating for a bit while the players absorb this new information. Then he continues; “I got here in the middle of October and the town had a brittle, stressful feeling in the air and it’s the first time I’ve encountered folks who were not happy to see a bard. At times they were downright rude, but never openly hostile. I just assumed it was because I’d arrived right after the mine disaster. Shortly after that, I started noticing that people were disappearing.

The passes closed around the first of November and that is when Laurence Gannu appeared in the center of town and demanded that they surrender to him all that is due to his family, the valley, the mines, the town and everyone in it he reclaimed in his family’s name. Any who surrendered to him would be spared. The mayor knelt before him and handed him the charter for the town. Without time to prepare, the town had mostly run out of food by the middle of Winterheart; but when that cursed star appeared on the same day as a solar eclipse, & on the Winter Solstice… this thrice damned omen broke their will. Many of the town folk who were left, marched up to the old Gannu Family Mine; I’ve not seen them since. The rat swarms have slowly picked off the rest of us and as far as I know I’m the only one left, but the temples sealed themselves off early on...”

The party decides to go explore the Temple of Elyr to see what fate befell them, but not before a rousing debate between the Cleric of Elyr and Dwight the ditch digger about his lack of respect for the Gods and his unwillingness to act without a profit motive. The ranger, not really being that comfortable in cities has faded into the background to “keep watch” while they talk about the value of hunkering in at the Silver Cups verses the dangers of exploring. Bob the Ditch digger is also pulling a “wall flower” routine keeping an eye on everyone.

Eventually they go exploring and as they climb the front steps of the temple the Bob becomes aware of the power emanating from the doors and recognizes it for some kind of warding spell that he won’t be able to handle… he casually slips behind everyone as he pushes the cleric of Elyr forward. She recognizes the warding instantly: in times of unrest the temples of Elyr can seal themselves off from the trouble so they can come out afterwards and start healing folks. She raises her holy symbol, chants a few invocations and the doors opened; that’s when the smell hit them. Putrescence, billowing fumes of death and decay spill out to cover them, but they press onward into a temple full of dead, bloated bodies.

Bob: “Perhaps we should do something to these corpses before they get up?”

Bard: “They’d be up and about already if they were animated, the dead aren’t generally known for their use of tactics.”

The cleric was deeply saddened to see this desecration and decided that since this was the first day of spring, for her devotions to Elyr on this holy day of new beginnings, she re-consecrated the main altar of the temple while the bard and the rest moved the bodies into the crematorium. When she was done she went to examine the bodies and her healers’ skills told her; “That many died of massive trauma from rat bites, the rest died from disease.”

Dwight: “YOU MEAN I”VE BEEN HANDLING PLAGUE BODIES! Wh-“

Healer: Looking him over “You’ll be fine, just go wash your hands.”

Dwight and Bob go to the holy fountains and cleans themselves thinking that this would offend, but that’s what they are for, so the cleric just smiles.

She turns to the bard who is tossing a ruined pair of gloves into the crematorium; “I’ll be fine, I never touched them.”

The ranger was outside “keeping watch.”

They decide to head to the barracks of the Garrison to see if they can find any clues to what happened. The long twilight is coming to an end and the extra light from the tower has managed to clear most of the clouds, but is for the moment a pillar of sunset fire on the ridge to the west. They find that one of the doors to the fort is torn half off its hinges and most of the doors and windows of the forts structures are likewise destroyed. There is still an intact exterior cellar door attached to the barracks that has several heavy chains and locks binding it closed; and the door to the garrison commander’s office is likewise intact. They decide that the cellar doors are probably locked for a reason, and head to the office. Bob checks the building out first; walking the perimeter, checking angles. The building has the typical grated arrow slit style windows and only one door that is locked. After listening at the door for a while, he hears something shuffling and bumping the furniture inside the room.

{when prepping for an encounter I try to think up as many possible ways that the party can decide to act… but sometimes they can really hit you from left field…}

Bob, knocking loudly at the door: “Oy, open up! Anyone home?!” then jumps back and draws his bow! The rest of the party… assuming something had gone wrong went to full defense mode without any further prompting. {so I think to myself… what the hell…} “Roll Bobs luck…” (I set the DC at 12, he got a 13)….

So the zombie guard captain opens the door as part of some vestigial reflex… or maybe it was just hungry: it had 3HD and some armor & a shield, and was armed with a spiked mace… and rolled a 2 for initiative to boot. The cleric and one fighter went on 0, and the ranger went on 1, Bob and Dwight go on 10 & the bard on 18. Unfortunately the bard was still too exhausted and weak to do anything impressive, but he really doesn’t have much power verses the undead. They spend several rounds being ineffective at each other; the cleric was making her rolls to turn, but had not the power to force the creature to flee or otherwise cause it harm. They did little bits of damage, but at one point the thief (Bob) fumbled an attack which resulted in stumbling: loose next attack. When it came back around to his turn James asks; “can I turn the stumble into a tumble and try to get passed the zombie to set up to flank him?”

DM: “are you kidding?”
James: “Nope.”
DM: “what the hell, roll your luck to see if there is enough room for you to get passed him.”
James: “rolled an 15, but got a 3 on the luck die from spending a point.”
DM: “OK, but you still don’t get to attack, and by the way, undead aren’t subject to backstab, but everyone now gets a +2 on attacks.”

The fight didn’t last much longer. They spend most of the rest of the session poking through the office, looking for records. What they find confirms the bards accounts and reveals that the garrison commander had left a suicide note. Mostly it was a summation of events, + the confirmation that the cellar doors are indeed locked for a reason: to keep the rats and the dead garrison troops from getting out. Eventually it leads to a double apology to his superiors for losing his command, and to whoever finds his body, for not being more devout in his worship of Soleth. It is not signed, save for a splash of blood.

By skimming through the captain's log books, they discover the garrison is the center of an elaborate catacomb network of underground listening posts up and down the valley to give warning if something is tunneling in from below. The rest of the defenses are geared for airborne assault and civil patrol. their research also reveals to them that the commander was either paranoid or insane long before the last few months, as he was obsessing over the idea that the Dwarves had a secret tunnel out of the valley, he'd been keeping most of the troops in the tunnels looking for it. They liberate the captain’s keys and decide that this is the best spot for camping. Ffwylldyr and Dwight go to inform Archie of all that they have discovered, Archie talks to them through a slit in the Guild compound’s door. “Sounds like a good enough place to hole up. No one survived in here either!” spits at the ground, “Rats.” I’ll need more time than I thought to clear things up in here, maybe by noon tomorrow I can send Hank with you guys to help out.”

It is the last night of the full moon, and they can see the pink, glaring eyes of rats everywhere they look, always in the shadows beyond the light source. Just waiting. The two of them are walking into the fort’s main compound when they hear the sounds of a syrinx being played in the distance.

That is where we left off for the session.

***

during the session, I decided to award some "brownie points" to Kasi's cleric for not only performing her duty, but for doing it with style. She got 1d6 x 2 points (6) that are able to offset the next six penalties from casting, healing, etc. or spend them for +1 bonus to any roll.

the write up for the bard that ducaster & I made is here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HIf ... t?hl=en_US

I didn't want to play formatting games.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 342
Session 7 report:

Ok… we had another short session again, The Order of Chicken is currently experiencing a mild case of Schedule Flux. This time one of the players has a new job whose schedule conflicts, and another player is being sent out of town on business. While these are wonderful things and I’m happy for their new found bounty, it does mean that unless there is a miracle; no game until November. :cry:

This last session also proved that everyone has an “off” day once in a while… Apparently there was an unconscious agreement on our part that we’d all have an “off” day together. :wink:

For me it started with the fact that I “rolled a 2” on my organize the game materials roll… It doesn’t matter how many skill ranks you have in DM’ing…nothing kills the mood faster than not being able to dredge up the right info at the right time… forcing players to wait. Additionally, with a player caught in cross-town commute traffic, and another player didn’t have their paperwork. The real problem lay in the division of PC’s… the missing player had PC’s inside and outside the building, and the bard was outside the building talking with one of them.

It should also be noted that I have taken some liberties with the module storyline, so some of it will be unfamiliar to those who’ve run this module before. One of the first things I did when I got this module, was to research silver mining and apply that knowledge to the dungeon. The module describes a situation where the mine was at insane production levels then abandoned… no clean up, things left where-ever they fell: and most importantly, everyone was too afraid to go back. What are the challenges and needs of a functional mine…? It turns out that they all need ventilation and drainage once you get below the water table. So I changed the mine to allow for the solutions the Gannu Family put into place, and then made other additions based on how the new occupants are handling these challenges.

As I said, we started late. I’m rather embarrassed too say it, but I kind’a rushed them to the dungeon rather than spend a lot of time in Silverton. In my haste I got some of the scenes out of sequence, but it all worked out well in the end… sort of…

For the convenience & sanity of the readers, the events have been placed within their corrected chronological order.

***the game***

The horrid retching and belching sounds of regurgitated PC heralded the return of Milo (cleric), Balinor (Dwarf), and Thingerlun (wizard) via dieing Trap Door Alligators. {As the DM, I figured that the swarm of rats that I had waiting in the shadows were (in spite of everything else) so hungry that they went for the easy meals rather than mess with the PC’s.} This gave an excuse for all the PC’s to go inside the former captains office. There really wasn’t much to do but wait. So: Hearn the healer and Pat the Green Maiden spend the time in RP with Milo, Thingerlun, and Balinor telling them everything they missed over the last 5 days. The Bard revisited the history of Silverton and the events leading up to the locals marching into the mines with the promise of food. Adding in a little bit more about himself… While he’d been on assignment with the CVN looking for news and interesting stories, he was sent a message that his sister had gone missing. He eventually tracked down the kidnappers and discovered a functional slave market in the Free City of Soulgrave. Ffwylldyr tracked the sale of his sisters slave lot to an anonymous buyer in Silverton, so he hitched a ride on a supply caravan heading that way.


When our characters awake on the morning of the 16th, they find that the light from the sun has chased all the rats back into their shadowed holes. As they are leaving the guard captains office, they see that only tattered skin and teeth remain of the Trap Door Alligators. They stop first at the temple of Ormazd. This temple is a squat 5 story tower standing on top of a large piece of granite jutting out of the valley floor on the southern edge of town. It is made from magically hardened glass and amber that wrap around in a “candy cane” fashion to form the tapering walls, causing there to be very little shadowed space within the tower. Cut into the rock face, are several hundred steps that one must take to get to the towers main entrance. To the noviates of the Sun God these steps are known as “the path of atonement,” due to the fact that punishments for infractions are handed out in laps up and down these steps. Milo, Pat, Hearn, and Bob make it, the rest fail their fortitude saves to make it to the top, or had stayed at the bottom.

Milo notices immediately that this temple, like the others, has enacted extreme protocols to deal with the situation. In this case, the protections are not so passive as the solution chosen by the clerics of Elyr. The party finds several rats burned to extra crispy all along an invisible perimeter 5ft from the walls of the temple. Milo knows that he can approach unharmed, but warns the rest off from getting too close. He begins making invocations to try and open the door, but his training tells him that if there were anyone alive in there, they’d have opened up the doors to greet them already. Additionally, he knows that if he deactivates the wards then he won’t be able to reactivate them the way Hearn did at the temple of Elyr. He & the rest go back down to the valley floor to inspect the great sundial. The configuration of the tower upon the ridge and the temple in the valley create a large sundial that can be seen from all over town, but as this device requires the use of shadows, so there are special seals set in place to keep the grounds sanctified. Finding these to be mostly undisturbed, Milo fixes some of them to bolster the temples power to resist whatever evil has befallen this town.

From here they head over to see Archie at the depot, but he informs them that he found cracks in the hazardous alchemical vats and needs Hank to assist in the clean up and repairs. He does give them access to the provisions that they brought with them (the stuff given to them by the cleric of Thormyr) and gives them a palm sized piece of brass with a turn-key crank inset upon the bottom and piece of quarts crystal sticking out of the top. “This is your half of a ‘Crystal-2 way system’” he says, “It has a range of about 5 miles overland, even in these mountains, but I’m not sure how far the signal will penetrate into the ground. It should be something like 500ft, but there is a lot of lead in these hills, so we won’t know until we try.” He shows them how to use it, and they see that it projects a fist-sized image of the heads of each of the people involved in the conversation, but it is loud enough to be heard by all.

{one of the players piped out with; “cool, now we’ve got our own web cam!” I was thinking 2 way video phones, but either concept is essentially correct.}

They stock up on what they think they will need, and then head out the north end of town. The turn off for the mine is about ¼ mile north of town and then ¼ mile east of the road; 600feet up the side of the valley. Long before they get there they can see that the forest around the mine head is completely dead, with no real underbrush. A trail of mine tailings and hardened lead are seen spilling down from the north edge of the mining plateau like a frozen gray water fall, anchored in place by charred stumps. The mine road is nearly 1.5 miles long of switch backs to bring the grade down to around 8%. Normally the road would be powered, but not at this time. Half-way up the road, there are a series of huge boulders tumbled down into place after the Gannu family started blasting a clear space around the mine head for the processing station.

I gave them some time to formulate their strategy for approaching the mine-head. They decided to take advantage of the boulders for cover and send Pat and Bob to scout on ahead of them. They decide to climb up to the northern side of the plateau, following the trail of lead slag and mine tailings. This will put them on the opposite side of the ledge from where the road enters and they hope no one will be looking in their direction.

{I should probably take a moment to talk a bout the concept of ‘assumed competence.’ By this I mean that a trained ranger or thief should know enough about climbing such that I don’t need them to make 10 or 15 rolls to cover every 10 feet of distance up the hill/wall, etc., but the concept can be applied to the core functions of any class with respect to their individual functions. Clerics only make ‘knowledge (religion checks)’ on the really obscure stuff (DC10+), warriors can quickly surmise the best tactical approach without having to roll to figure it out, wizards know the basics of engineering, and alchemy, legends & lore, etc. I also apply the concept to the monsters and bad-guys… In this case Bob & Pat had a 200ft climb up a 50 to 60 degree incline. I gave them each 1 roll to cover the whole distance, the degree of failure, if any, would determine any ill effects. I.e.- if they miss the target by 1-4 then they weren’t that far up before they fell and take mild damage, if they miss by 5-9 then moderate damage… miss by 10+ and they take severe damage. A natural 1 or ‘Botch’ = death. If they botch or miss the roll by 5+, then they get a reflex save to try and save themselves. I set the DC at 14 for each of them based on the facts that they are both outside their ideal environment, and it had rained within the last 48hrs so everything was a little slick. Bob got a 21 and Pat got a 15. I set the same DC for the Sneak attempt for the reasons above. Bob made his with a 19, but Pat failed hers with a 5.}

When they made it to the top, the first thing they saw was a large muck pit set back about 25ft from the edge of the plateau. The mine head itself is a structure 90ft long by 20ft high jutting out of the side of the mountain and set up so that there is no wall on the side facing the valley {like a loading dock} the road comes unto the plateau and circles around in front of the building where large smelting crucibles and loading equipment have been left to ruin. There was enough cover along the edge of the plateau, in the form of stumps and old rotting mining carts so that they made it nearly around to the mine head before they spot, and are spotted in turn by a rat. This creature is not acting in a very “rat-like” manner at all, and when they see it, the rat scrambles down and tries to flee down the 20ft wide by 15ft high corridor leading straight into the mountain. Bob manages to kill it with an awesome bow shot, but when it dies, it turns back into a goblin. They find this most distressing, and while they are dealing with this, a second rat jumps out and gets nearly out of range down the tunnel.

James: “Can I get a shot at it before it disappears?”

DM: “Roll your luck Vs DC= 12”

James: “15, and a 17 on the to hit.”

DM: “ Damn! Your dice are hot tonight! How much damage?”

James: “4 points.”

DM: “DAMN! It only had 3.”

They made the ware-creature connection, but are perplexed about the presence of goblins. The signal is sent to the rest of the party, and they head into the mines. Confident now that they will gain the advantage of surprise. They arrange themselves to take advantage of Milo’s aura of light, and Bob goes first, but makes a show of not really wanting to be there. Balinor is also at the front of the party, as they travel in a double column down the 20ft wide passage at the back of the loading area. There is a double set of tracks heading down the passage each set is a bout 4ft wide and recessed partly into the floor. It also means that there will be no running etc, in this tunnel. The tracks fan out into a dozen or more stub ends on the loading dock, but they funnel down to just these two sets entering the mine. They take the cautious approach and it is about 45 minutes later that they find the rubble covering the tracks and blocking the passage.

It takes them about 20 minute, but the Balinor finds the secret latch to lift the “faux blockage” to reveal a set of double doors. One of them is slightly open. Not thinking about the amount of noise they just made, Balinor decides to quietly peek into the room, but botches his sneak attempt. {I rule that he instead pushes both doors wide open.} This 40 x 50ft room has an oval of track centered in the room that has a set of tracks leading off under the door at the southern edge of the room. There is also a low wall set up in the center of the room and 8 goblins in ragged, dirty armor standing behind it for cover. “E’rathra!” screams one of them, and the party is subjected to a surprise round in which the goblins hit nothing…

As combat starts, the goblins get the upper hand and 4 of them charge forward and the rest fire their bows. Again there is no effect. Balinor attacks and fails to connect with his opponent, and Hearn fails at her spell, the wizard and the rest set up as a rear guard. When the next round came along, Balinor fails to connect again, but this time Hearn manages to paralyze the goblin fighting Balinor, but too late for it to help the Dwarf that round. Dwight the warrior decides that the 2 goblins in front of him aren’t a worthy challenge. He continues passed them (they failed to hit him) and engages their leader. This is another goblin, but it has a lash, is barking orders, and is in better armor.

Before he attacks, James says: “I want to skewer him and then lift the sword above my head wiggling the corpse of their captain at his former grunts!”

DM: “…so that would most likely be an MdoA on the rallying/inspiring table… right?”

He failed, but still did enough damage to kill the goblin. On the next round Balinor killed the paralyzed goblin and then Dwight made a STR check to fling the leaders body back at the rest of the goblins. The result was the same… goblins fleeing the scene. They managed to take down all of the goblins before they flee to warn the rest of the tribe, but only just barely. Pat managed to skewer the last one after it got out of the room and into the southern passage. I rolled to see when the bodies would reanimate, and no one noticed. The party spends 20 minutes searching the room and Pat finds the secret door, and attempts to find disable traps (part of her luck roll at generation) Bob notices and comes over to check things out. They discover, but are uninterested in going, single file down the narrow goblin hole into the unknown. All the while, no one has remembered that the dead are likely to rise.

{These dead had decided to wait until the best opportunity to ambush the party, and they succeeded in their ruse because they got a +10 bonus due to method acting. There are as yet undiscovered reasons for this leap in strategic thinking by the recently dead.}

As everyone was bunched up searching the area near the secret door, the dead started their attack. The undead goblins managed to do some damage, but with 2 clerics using the turn undead ability it was a simple matter to herd them into a corner and dispatch them. However, Milo botched his first attempt to turn undead, the result of the disapproval roll was that he had to spend an hour praying. It took them so long to deal with all of this, with the combats and the exploring, that I rolled for a random encounter: which came out positive. So while all the searching and praying was going on, I kept telling them about the strong cooking odors wafting down the hall. One of the good things to come out of this search was that Hearn the healer cast detect magic. This gave them a lot of new information; like the fact that they are all decked out in magic weapons and gear (which is how they have managed some of their accomplishments thusfar); they also notice that the muck and filth lining the floors is radiating some kind of dark/unholy magic. They also discovered that the mine walls, floor, and ceiling have a high lead content.

In addition to the cooking odors, I described for them the noxious odor that was emanating from the open southern door. With two former ditch diggers, two former gongfarmers, and a Dwarf; they quickly recognized the stink of an “open sewer” full of goblin muck… and were unimpressed. Yet, it was the interlaced smells of someone cooking a feast that really freaked them out. I let them know that the smell was coming from the other side of a door directly across from them at the other end of the 40ft hall leading from the southern door: along with the sounds of someone cooking.

The party decides now is a good time to discuss strategy, and Balinor (former miner) informs them that following the tracks will likely lead to the bottom levels, as folks don’t usually like to haul ore around on their backs. They decide that there is a large probability that the room on the other side of the door was some sort of dining hall full of goblins. They decide to sneak passed the “kitchen” door to discover that the hall branches to their right (west) and dead ends after 60ft, but 10ft after the turn the tracks take another turn down a southern hall, deeper into the mine. Both Bob and Pat go down passed the southern hall to listen at the door they spotted 20ft down on the north side of the western branching hall. They hear the sounds of scratching and scrabbling and decide they don’t want any part of that room either. Hearn decides to cast the Second Sight Spell, but she rolled a 1. {Then she rolled a 4 on the disapproval chart, James was reading through that chart and started to laugh, “there isn’t a ‘4’ entry… if you ask me that’s a classic chance to treat this as a really bad result!” I looked and noticed that there were 2 entries labeled ‘3’ so I took the result for 5 because it seemed more applicable to the moment. Test of humility: deity requires the cleric to be deferential to all others as if they were superiors for the rest of the day. Apparently Elyr doesn’t like it when her clerics use her magic to make it easier to kill something. {referencing the paralysis spell from earlier}

They take the southern passage following the tracks, but are only halfway down the hall to the next intersection when the door to the “kitchen” opens up and the cook steps out with an odd looking triangular piece of metal in one hand and a bunch of brass chain in the other. He is surprised to see the hallway full of adventurers, but uses the chain and triangle to make a cacophony of noise while yelling something in goblin at the top of his lungs. Within seconds the southern passage is blocked by goblins, and somehow they have flooded the western hall behind the party as well. Trapped in a narrow dirty mine passage, surrounded by nearly a dozen hungry goblins… that was where we ended the session due to time constraints… {we were already a ½ hour passed closing time}
***

Game clock suspended at just after 7pm, Feb 16th, 3200dc:
Hopefully we will resume play on the 10th of November, unless we can come up with something sooner. We’re still going to plan on 2 sessions a month, but in the winter, with all the holidays and festivities it can be difficult to maintain a schedule. I’ll be happy with once a month until the 1st of the year.

Note: on the updated version of the cleric; specifically the new casting mechanism… It seems that we are ‘stuck’ in the ‘cumulative -1’ mind-set. It seems more natural to us and we’ve kept the original mechanic’s; but, I’m using the accumulated penalty to determine the number of d4’s needed for the roll. I.e- if the cleric has a -3 accumulated penalty to casting, they roll 3d4 if they get a 1 on their next use of cleric abilities. We are using the new chart, as the old one seems a bit ‘harsh.’ I’m rather glad we didn’t go with the ‘4’ entry on the old chart…(paraphrasing)… cleric gets -4 on healing attempts until they find and cure a crippled person… would’ve seriously sidelined the game dynamic. Once we go to the 10 level format, I think I’ll switch to the beta version of table 5-5 for clerics of 6 - 10th level; because with increased power, comes increased risks/responsibilities.

For any who are interested, below are links to the sketched maps of the various areas, as well as a player progress map; I’ll try to get the pics of the mini's posted as well.

1. Location for "Portal under the stars:"
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/10/ga ... -post.html

2. North end of the Silver Vale:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/10/ga ... ost-2.html

3. the Town of Silverton:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/10/ga ... ost-3.html

4. the Gannu Family Mine:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/10/ga ... ost-4.html

5. Player Progress map:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/10/ga ... ost-5.html


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 342
OK, so I’ve spent the time since the last game session muddling through several projects… finished painting and photographing several Mini’s and such, re-wrote the first level room descriptions for DCC#1 Mine Level 1 into DCC terms and weaving in elements of the larger story-line from DCC#14, finished detailing the maps for levels 1 & 2, embellished Hand-out B, wrote up rules for black-powder weapons based on some OG Content from Privateer Press, two new wizard spells, 1 new cleric spell, edited and posted all my work on spells (except for Find familiar spell) and photo’s to my blog. Sadly… for all that productivity, my ‘to-do list’ is still choked full of Allies, NPC’s, and the various Hoodlums needed for the modules, dungeon levels to detail, and mini’s to build and paint.

In my spare time… I’ve been doing a lot of Appendix N reading as well as researching the SRD files. Since the Beta test kicked off, I’ve read:

“Sword & Deviltry” (Leiber) Hated it! I may get around to reading some of the other books in the series since I found a decent copy of the AD&D supplement for the City of Lankhmar…

“City of Chasch: Tschai, Planet of Adventure:1” (Vance) Loved it! Not the least because the story has large self propelled cargo wagons armed with Gauss cannons launching sand set side by side with fantasy elements. I guess my version of Áereth is more appendix N than I thought… seriously, I’d never read any of his stuff before a couple of days ago.

I was reading “Dwellers in the Mirage” (Merrit) Don’t know… It took so long for the story to get started that I got side-tracked… but it is very well written so far, and I’ll eventually finish the last half.

I’m well engrossed with “the Dying Earth” (Vance) books that I found in compilation form. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but I really like what I’m reading and it has already sparking off some new ideas…

***

Some additions to the ‘necessary rules’ file:
Here’s what I came up with for how a healer &/or cleric with the healing ‘skill’ functions:

1. Healer may approach any willing recipient that is wounded, roll 1d20 +level+ INT bonus to assess their state of health.

2. If step 1 succeeds, then they can accomplish any of the following: set a broken bone, stop a bleeding wound, apply a potion or antidote, deduce the proper course for treating a disease, or heal 1d2hp.

3. Allows you to “wild-craft” for medicinal plants and the basic alchemy skills to prepare the medicines & antidotes. Roll 1d20+level+luck bonus to find the herbs, and a regular healing check to “craft” the medicine.

4.Tending to the needs of the sick and injured allows everyone to heal at 2x the normal rate when camping
I may have posted this before (if so, then I apologize) but I’ve been letting the characters roll ‘ability’ or ‘skill’ checks using the following formula: 1d20+relevant stat bonus + level of character + misc. Where misc. = situational modifiers etc. This has allowed them to overcome some of their weaker stats. This house rule only applies to situations that aren’t explicitly laid out all ready. Thieves for example; they don’t get to add their Thief levels to Thief abilities… those are spelled out already, but for things like ‘Appraise’ or ‘Tumbling’ they would get their Thief levels as a bonus.

Here's a link to the pics I posted:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/ph ... -guys.html

Well, that about wraps it up for now. At this point I’m working under the assumption that the game will proceed as normal on 11/10… at least, no one has said that they won’t be there. They all seem exited about the game in general, so I have high hopes.

*Shuffles off to the creature lab*


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:54 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 342
Game report: session 8
Game clock resumes at 02/16/3200; 7:02pm…

Link> Photo of the characters starting positions:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/ga ... ost-7.html

Starting right in with the desperate struggle for survival… The goblins press forward and begin their attack from the southern and western halls, but fail to do any damage. Ffwylldyr is closest to the entrance to the kitchen (r1-4) and sees an additional group of Goblins trooping down the hall from the room the party had just cleared… They must have come through the secret door from another room (r1-5). Behind the bard and to this left is Thingorlan, and directly behind the bard is Hearn the healer. Bob is the only one standing in the western tunnel; Pat, Balinor and Milo were leading the way down the southern tunnel following the tracks deeper into the mine with Dwight and Tym somewhere in the middle. Ffwylldyr knew they’d be overrun, so he decides to try his Bardic intimidation power. In flawless goblin he says, “Halt! You shall bow down and grovel before Dwight the mighty, Dwight the slayer of your chieftain’s and lords! You are not worthy to die upon his blade!” but they made their saves so the attack continued from that quarter.

While the goblins advanced from behind, the southern passage began to fill up with goblins as well. Dwight was next up, but because they were relying on the aura of light from Milo, he couldn’t see what was going on behind them and chose to confront the large group of foes coming up the south hall, but is unable to connect with his attack. Pat leaps into the fracas with both weapons flailing, and draws first blood by killing the one in front of her then wading forward to make room for Dwight. The Dwarf flails at his foe to no avail. Tym runs back to see what all the commotion is and engages with the goblins attacking from the west hall with Bob. He does some damage, but doesn’t kill his target. The next round of goblin attacks do no damage either, and the Bard starts to sing… a little song of power known only as Sydar’s Square-dance… and apparently he needs to tune his instrument…accidental parody and the goblins giggle at him as they attack. The fighting continues, Dwight and Pat are keeping their hall secure, but Pat is taking heavy damage, so Hearn starts to head down that way but because of the tracks making the ground uneven, she can’t quite get there.

Bob manages to do some damage, but doesn’t kill his target. Balinor swings uselessly at his target as the Goblins renew their assault, doing some minor damage to Bob and Tym, but this time the Bard nails it with a Strong performance roll and starts off with, “Hi ho, and ignore your foe! Then grab your friend and spin them 'round!” While they were dancing and preoccupied, the party tried to press their advantage, but everyone was having a bad dice night. Hearn tries to make a healing check roll, but in poor light and with all the commotion she fails to render aid. The next round began with the Goblins making another will save, but they continued to dance away unconcerned. This time Ffwylldyr had them start to damage each other, “Heave and Haul, lets start a brawl! Throw your partner into the wall!” By now the little bits of damage were starting to pile up, and more goblins were dieing. Even with their foes preoccupied with dancing, most of the party's attacks failed to hit… (it was impressive, in a macabre sort of way) Though Hearn did manage to get the rest of the way down the hall to heal Pat, but had to resort to using some of the healing cream from her kit. While she was fussing over Pat, the goblin on the floor next to her rose up. The left side of its head was missing, but that didn’t stop it from lifting its axe high for a the fatal blow to the unsuspecting cleric. Fortunately, for her, corpses that raise in this fashion are somewhat limited in that they cannot animate and attack in the same round.

The Goblins made their next save against the effects of the song so they focused their attacks on the Bard as much as possible. He took a fair amount of damage from arrows, lost focus on the song, but managed to keep from getting too much damage. Others in the party weren’t so lucky. Bob, Dwight, Pat, Balinor, and Tym all took damage as well, and for Dwight it was a close call. The Cook had managed to land a successful attack with his spiked chain, but Dwight made his reflex save, so the cook was unable to sever any entangled limbs. Instead, Dwight simply took damage as it rasped and tore at his flesh. But this time when Ffwylldyr picked up the song again it was a true harmonic convergence. This time he pressed the song for all he could and had left artistry behind and was just making them choke and fight each other, but it would still take 2 more rounds of this before there were three goblins left standing with no one to dance with… they were picked off as they tried to run while Balinor continued to be ineffective through the whole combat. Bob had shouted a warning to Hearn, allowing her to avoid the death blow. Dwight managed to get to that end of the hall and mangled the risen goblin back into the grave.

The dieing words of the goblin cook were, “Cook me with capers…”

Game clock ticks over to; 7:03:30pm…

After that the clerics were tasked with “offering respect to the dead” as I call it. {Every Good & most of the Neutral aligned churches have a ritual blessing and a sacred powder that can be applied by even an Acolyte so as to prevent the recently dead from rising again. It takes no real skill or anything, but it does require that someone take the time to perform the ritual... even for ones enemies.} The rest of the party debated what to do next; Bob, Dwight, Pat, & Tym were of a mind to keep pressing on into the mine to take as much advantage of the moment as they could. Thingerlun, and Balinor thought that they should explore the rooms and make sure no one can sneak up on them again. Milo was busy tending to the dead and Hearn was busy being deferential to both sides and tending to wounds… Ffwylldyr was too busy recovering from that much singing to care.

During the argument, they noticed that one of the goblins that was on the ground was just pretending to be dead. As it turned out, during the fight, the goblins had a rather spectacular run of botched attacks. This goblin had slipped and fallen down during an attack, but decided not to get back up and had hoped to be overlooked. The debate switched to: should they kill it, or interrogate it. They decide to see if it had any useful information, but how to persuade the goblin to talk proved difficult. They went into the kitchen (r1-4) to find that there was a cauldron of something noxious with a human arm sticking out of it. The meaty remains of some of the town folk are hanging from hooks on the wall. The fire was already lit, so they started the questioning by making the goblin watch as they piled the bodies of the dead into the pot and set them to roast next to the fire when the cauldron was full. Unfortunately this didn’t have the effect that they’d hoped for… the goblin started to drool and salivate. It turns out that goblins are cannibals.

Not to be discouraged, Dwight then changed tactics. “Tell us what we want to know and we’ll let you eat all you want.” That worked… {I rolled a 3 on the willpower save, which modified to a 2}

· They found out that there are at least 2 more sub-levels to the mine complex.
· They learned that only those goblins who were deemed worthy enough were allowed to serve in the lower levels.
· They discovered that there are strange priests making those determinations and that they are rats that walk on 2 legs.
· They learn that there is someone named Narzy making skeletons mine his silver.

Although when asked how many goblins there are below, he counted quietly with his fingers, “1…2…,” then held up a hand with all five fingers spread out and declared proudly, “10!”

When pressed for details about who is in charge, who runs the place? He told them that his leader was Rez-zomar and when further pressed he pointed in a vaguely south-east direction. Eventually he revealed that the Bard and the rat priests are running things, and that the Bard had left the mines to go into town earlier in the afternoon.

During all of this, Pat decided to wander… she seems to have a knack for finding secret doors, and there was one in the kitchen that lead to the pantry, which was even more vile than the scene in the kitchen, but also meant that the goblins had known about this secret room. But there was another secret door from the pantry that lead into another guardroom (r1-5), because someone wanted to filch food from the pantry. She wandered around in that room and found the other end of the tunnel from the first room (r1-1), but by then the rest of the party had noticed that she was gone, and Bob went looking for her. They determined that they didn’t want to open either of the other ‘proper’ doors leading out of that guard room, so they went back to the kitchen.

After Dwight realized that they had all the info they were going to get, he stuffed the goblin into the pile and told him to eat his way out. Dwight went over to the spice rack and found the capers; then sprinkled them liberally over the pile and left the room. The debate about what to do next got even more intense after they found out all this new information…

Hearn and Milo failed their rolls to recognize the nature of the evil priests.

Nick's dice finally decided to be nice to him and he got a natural 20 on Thingerlun’s knowledge check to see what he knows about these rat-goblin creatures. After getting the rundown on their powers: immune to normal weapons, ½ damage from magic, full damage from silver, bite transmissible, and a very difficult curse to banish. Such a deluge of info also prompted a second roll for the clerics to recognize the nature of the evil before them: fortunately Hearn made her roll, but only just barely. That is when she remembered the old Gnam teaching the lore of the Gods telling her about Narrimunath & Nimlurun the twin rat Gods of Filth and Diseases; wherever you find one, you find the other.

At one point it was Bob who said, “There is this bard, these rat men and their gods, goblins, and some guy using undead to work a silver mine. Will someone tell me why are we're here doing this?”

Ffwylldyr; “I asked for your help, but I can understand if you want to leave, but what I want to know is: if ware-creatures are vulnerable to silver, what are they doing in an abandoned silver mine?”

As the DM to the players I started to play the part of memory/conscience, listing off everything:

Milo: the clerics of the Sun God are the most feared undead hunters in the known realms, and there is a den of nasty undead vermin and evil right under the nose of one of your orders most famous and magnificent temples…

Thingerlun: knows that if he can vanquish 1 or 2 evil wizards then he might earn enough influence to get his luck restored or gain prestige in the eyes of his patron. He’s already found 2 wizard scrolls… there will likely be more powerful spells to be found.

Balinor: this mine has been abandoned long enough that even by Dwarven law it would be up for grabs, and it is nowhere near tapped out. Humans don’t know how to mine mithril, and the secret is that where you find silver; you find mithril. There are probably several hundred pounds of mithral to be sifted just from the slag outside the mine, but to claim it you need to clean it out of any nastiness that may have cropped up in the last hundred years.

Hearn: the Twin Rat Gods embody principles and an ethos that is diametrically opposed to that of Elyr. To refuse to heal the blight they have caused would be as renouncing your vows to Elyr and leave the clerics path.

Dwight: because the ancient wizard told him that he would have to choose wisely when the time comes, and to find out why there is a big key grafted to his chest.

Everyone: The Cleric of Thormyr and a representative of the Transportation Guild asked for your help in gathering information on the problems in Silverton, then to report back to them.

All of you have enough wealth that you can retire for the rest of your days in easy comfort, all 657 of them, because a mad wizard is going to end the world in less than 2 years.

Dwight: “I could have a lot of fun in that time… Well, maybe not… yah ok… Shall we follow the tracks to find the way down?”

No one said anything, but they established a marching order and, taking the southern tunnel, headed deeper into the mines. This passage starts to head vaguely downward, and there are growing signs that the goblins have been tossing the contents of their chamber pots down this corridor. They are glad of the trestles of the rail line; it made them move slower, but they had better footing. Bob was scouting up in front, staying at the terminator of Milo's aura of light. Pat and Milo were at the head of the main group with Thingerlun and Hearn in the middle and the rest of the fighters scattered along the line. Bob couldn’t see very far, but the distortion of the echoes told his ears that it was a long hallway, and that there was a shuffling, squelchy noise coming from somewhere near the other end.

He signaled for everyone to wait, then wrapped some cloth around an arrow head, dabbed on some oil, and lit it. Then he launched it for all he was worth down the tunnel. It streaked through the darkness then skittered along the ceiling as the tunnel continued to descend into the mountain strata. It was only for a moment as the arrow flew between them, but there are several zombies heading up the hallway towards them. Bob lets out a resigned sigh, and then slowly puts his bow away; the arrow is spluttering in the filth-encrusted wall about 10ft behind the shuffling horde; about 90ft away. He turns and walks back to the party, “Monsters.” He says, and hikes his thumb back over his shoulder pointing down the descending hallway.

Pat; “What kind of monsters?!”

Bob; “What does it matter?”

Pat; “Well I’d like to know who we should put out in front?!”

Bob; “Oh. In that case send the clerics.”

Everyone shivers a bit, and then they put Milo and Hearn in front as they move about 20ft further down the southern hallway and call upon the strength of their Deities to turn away these foul creatures. Milo succeeds, but isn’t powerful enough to turn these 2HD zombies, Hearn manages to repel the first two in the shuffling mass.

Game clock suspended at 02/16/3200; 8:15pm…

***
Forensics:

I realized that by 5pm the goblins are stirring to start their day, and by 7pm they are ready for breakfast... Per the descriptors in the module, these gobos on the top level are emaciated and weaker than normal, so I figure that translates to eagerly listening for the food bell when it does go off.

The report above hits all the highlights, but there were a few more rounds where nobody from either side hit anything.

There opposing force: had 18 goblins (nearly 45% of the available combat for this level) consisting of 20HD, had access to 2 special attacks (spiked chain & spice grenades), and managed to gain the advantage of surprise... even if they failed to do anything with said advantage.

The would be hero's: They have been awake since dawn, so that means they're nearing the end of their day... having been awake for over 13 hours now. This is the biggest fight that they have been in, even the battle with the clay soldiers didn't come this close to killing them. Pat had 3hp left, the fighters were all down by about half or so, and the Bard was clinging to life with only 2hp. The adrenaline crash should be fun, and they will soon need to think about how they will handle camping: in or out of the mines. :twisted:
***

The funny thing about all of this is that I started this beta test to answer the question of: can this system handle campaign play? So far so good… this game has all the great parts of any long-term campaign; action, adventure, schedule problems, and players that just can’t get along… yep, that’s a campaign all right. :roll:

Well, the Schedule flu has metastasized into full-blown chaos. The only solution we could find was to switch the game to Saturdays starting 11/19. Hopefully this will give us 3-4 sessions of at least 4 hours each before the end of the year, which will give us a chance to get through the end of this module and on to the next. Unfortunately this solution wasn’t implemented fast enough to keep Nick happy, and he has decided that we don’t care enough about him and his characters so he’s leaving the game. I’d be less peeved about it if it wasn’t for the fact that he had at least an hour of time before the game where it was just the 2 of us (me coaching him through the mechanics for spellcasting for the 5th time) and he never thought to bring up any of his complaints then.

The game started real late because one of the players has a new schedule and can’t get there before 7pm… I didn’t think it was a good idea to deploy the trap-door alligators so I insisted on waiting; this was going to be a major fight scene where the party had been ambushed and I wanted everyone there. Because of this we went late, so we even drove Nick home, which gave him even more time to clear any issues… then the next day: WHAM! I get a couple of the meanest flaming emails and the notification that he’s leaving. WTF?! :evil:

Oh well. I wish him the best of luck… somewhere else. For the record: I’m chalking this one up to vastly different expectations and radically clashing play styles. I was also getting tired of having to re-explain the mechanics to him every session, he just couldn’t handle the 1d20+1d3+STR bonus mechanic. He always wanted to go into every room, loot every body, and open every box and the rest of the party is more interested in chasing the story than looting the dead. The rest of the party is of the opinion that any treasure that is here… will still be there when they clear the dungeon (they’re so optimistic 8) ) so who wants to carry all that crap further into the dungeon only to lug it back out again?

I'm pretty sure that they are operating under the principle of: kill them all and then sort out WTF the bad guys were doing.

here is a link to the updated progress map:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/ga ... ost-6.html

here is a link to more character photos:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/so ... -guys.html


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:00 am 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 342
Game report: session 9:

Fallout: Kasi agrees to take on Milo, Because I need him for the story. James takes on Balinor & Thingerlun for as long as he can keep them alive. Mikki can’t make Saturdays until after the first of the year, so Pat the Green Maiden disappeared just after the surprise round… boy was she surprised by that Trap-door Alligator. We also realized the main reason we’d still been using group initiative is that we all recognized that Nick wouldn’t have handled anything else, he was barely keeping up with the game as it was. So from here on out, initiatives will be per/PC…

(I still reserve the right to roll group initiatives for large numbers of Bad Guys; usually in groups of 5+; same with saves).

{I counted the initial attempts at Turning from the last session as a surprise round.}
{here is a link to the pic of their starting positions}
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/ga ... ost-8.html


***

Game clock resumes at 02/16/3200; 8:15pm…

Because of the terrain there was no possibility of charging down the hall; tracks + muck usually means a head injury for someone. Since zombies always go last the adventurers managed to get down to within 20ft of the zombies before unleashing their creativity upon their foes. Ffwylldyr had failed his Fort save after his performance, so he volunteered as rear guard, as did Bob and Thingerlun. Milo was at the top of the initiative stack, but only because Dwight and Tym held their actions until Balinors turn… they’d had an idea. Milo attempted to turn the zombies and got a 24 (20+lvl+3 PER) and shot a beam of light down the hall and blasted 2 points of damage to the first 5 zombies. {I ruled that since the only way for him to get this result is by rolling a natural 20, that the damage from the beam attack affects multiple targets; and they are uncertain how or if said beam of light will harm the living… And I’m not saying anything until they actually ask…} Then the rest of the result from the roll caused the first two (the ones turned by Hearn in the surprise round) to dissolve into goo, the first 3 of the 5 remaining were now attempting to flee the scene. Hearn failed her next attempt to turn the remaining zombies, but Thingerlun had overheard Dwight and Tym discussing their plan and offered his help… and he successfully charmed the Dwarf into being dazed for 3 rounds. When it came time for Balinor’s turn, Dwight and Tym grabbed him, moved forward a bit more, and tossed him down the hall at the zombie mob.

{Reading and understanding the SRD has really helped me, in that I’ve started to default to some of the rules there for special situations: in this case it was the rules for characters aiding each other in a task.}

Dwight and Tym each rolled an attack. Dwight filed his, but did roll high enough that I ruled he successfully “aided” Tym. Tym had the higher Agility score anyway, so the attack succeeded. This prompted the following question:

DM: “So… Just how much damage does a Dwarf do?”

{What’s really scary is that this isn’t the first game in which I’ve had to ask that question…}

DM: “He’s in Half Plate… and travels 10ft to the targets, so: 1d6+3 (the +3 is from the armor and his helmet horns) and he hits the first 2 in front; who got no saves because they were shuffling away from the clerics at max speed (10ft/rd).

The shock of the situation gave Balinor a second save on the charm spell; for which he got a 20. So I ruled that he was no longer dazed, and when he fell to the floor he came up standing… He did 5pts of damage to each target, but failed to destroy either.

The fleeing zombies in their path prevented the remaining zombies that hadn’t been turned from doing anything.

{And that was just the first round...}

On the next round Milo failed his Turn check, but Hearn rolled well enough on her check that the damage dropped two more of the fleeing zombies. Thingerlun reviews his spells and how they might be used to everyone’s advantage. Tym moves forward and engages the enemy and drops another one of the damaged and fleeing Zombies. Dwight tries to do the same, but there are two many characters in the way, and he has to just stand there and wait. Ffwylldyr continues his vigil, and Bob decides to shoot an arrow at the zombie engaging Balinor.

Bob: “What, he’s in armor!” He missed both targets.

Balinor (who we assumed to be deeply angered, by all of this) was too distracted by the one zombie still fleeing in front of him to worriy about the ill treatment. The zombie that was now before Tym seemed different than the rest… it was oozing pus from all its sores and half-rotted injuries. It has no weapons, and is lashing out with its bare hands; fortunately it missed.

***

On the next round Milo moved up and waited for a chance to get into the action (afraid that the chance of a beam attack result might harm the party), and Hearn failed to turn any of the undead this time. Thingerlun continues to review his options. Bob fires his bow again and hits his target, but this is when they discover that zombies take ½ damage from piercing attacks. Tym hacks into the oozing zombie, expecting it to drop as easily as the others {nearly max damage on the attack} only to see that the zombie was still functioning fine. Dwight decides that he’s done waiting, so he says: “The Dwarf is short, so I swing over his head to attack the gooey one.”

DM: “Don’t miss.”

Fortunately he landed a rather hefty blow to the creature and the players were now quite concerned with the fact that it was still standing and trying to get at them. Balinor drops the remaining zombie in front of him, but then the last of them shambles forward and he sees that it is just as gooey as the one Tym’s fighting… if anything it seemed a bit more burly than the other one. It didn’t miss its attack, and Balinor rolled a 6 on his save. {He may have an 18 STR, but only has a 10 STAM} He starts puking and moves back; Tym is struck by an oozing zombie… and burns a point of luck to avoid failing the save roll that was 1 short of the DC, but still takes 6 points of damage.

***

The fourth round gets interesting because they are now quite sure that they are in deep trouble, so they start looking for more creative methods of attack to improve their odds. Milo spends the round trying to figure out which type of Undead these are, but fails his check, Ffwylldyr failed as well at his check on the same subject. Hearn steps forward and lays a healing touch on Tym and gets a 22. {20+lvl+ 1 PER} Thingerlun, having considered the use of Cantrip, or Enlarge, decides on Spider climb, because Bob said he’d get into the fight if he could find a way to get behind them. The spell failed and was lost for the day.

Tym is still hacking at his target in hopes that the next point of damage might be the one that drops his foe; he does damage, but the zombie is still quite vigorous (for a zombie anyway) and who can really tell how ‘damaged’ a zombie is? Dwight hits and does a fair amount of damage to his opponent. The Zombies both fail their attacks this round.

***
Milo remembers the lore on Plague Zombies: if you fail the save then the subject losses 1 point of Stamina /hr until they reach 0 then turn into zombies. This disease takes 2 dice of healing to cure, but must be applied before they are at 0 Stamina. Even with this extra knowledge she failed her healing check for Balinor, but decided to lay on hands anyways. She rolled high enough to remove the sickness and there were still dice left over for healing, but now Balinor had to wait for a chance to fight, because Tym and Dwight were blocking the hall with their combats. Everyone waited for the results of Tym’s attack, which finally brought the thing down. Then Tym, Milo, and Balinor moved to surround the remaining zombie then make their attacks.

The zombie hits Dwight, but he made his save.

***
It was Balinor that finally destroyed it on the 6th round

{Game clock advances to 8:16pm}

As they were readying themselves to push on they realized a few things…

1- That if they keep letting the weak characters hang back, then soon those are the only ones they will have left {I came close to killing Tym and Balinor}
2- That they were starting to get really tired and needed to think about camping.
3- After both of these fights the warriors had gathered enough experience with their new equipment that they figured out that the weapons and armor they found in the magic bag are magically enhanced {+1}

They press on down the winding passages, climbing upwards for less than 100ft before they turn east again for 30ft; and while the tunnel continues on into the darkness, there is a door 30ft in front of them at the bend in the corridor. A search reveals that it is neither trapped, nor locked; and there is silence on the other side. It is then that they realized that the general noise level of the tunnels was less than when they arrived. They risk opening the door, and see that there is nothing in the room. It is an abandoned mine barracks. There is 1 triple bunk bed on the opposite wall and 2 against the wall to their left. There is a trunk in front of each one. Searching the room reveals that the chests are un-trapped, un-locked, and devoid of treasure. However, Bob did find the hidden sack of gold pieces under his mattress, and managed to swipe it without anyone noticing.

All of the casters and the bard were sent to bed, and Dwight, Bob, and Tym decided to do 3hr guard shifts. In the middle of the second shift (Dwight’s turn) there came a wrapping at their chamber door. It was the sound of some rather angry goblins trying to get back into their quarters. They began to try and bash the door down. Now, prior to going to bed, they had dragged one of the bunks over to block the door… this also served as the ‘guard station’. Additionally, Dwight had salvaged some of the zombie’s weapons to use as a makeshift brace. {there were wall fixtures, but no beam in the room with which to brace the door.}

As everyone was falling in and preparing, they started discussing their best options. The plan they decided on was to open the door at the proper moment so that the goblins would stumble and fall into the room. So they lifted and moved the bed as quietly as they could, then arranged themselves in two parallel lines on either side of the doorway. Thingerlun was the “odd man out” as it were, and so he stood between the lines facing the doorway about 15ft inside the room.

(see photo#1: link > http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/ga ... st-10.html )

They deemed Tym had the best reflexes, so they let him open the door, and it worked beautifully. There were 8 goblins in all, and 4 had been tasked with battering the door down, they failed their saves and tumbled into the room. I figured this was the last thing the goblins would have expected, so I ruled that the adventurers get a surprise round.

Thingerlun casts a Sleep spell that worked, but it caused him to smell of rotting corpses and thanks to Hearn’s aura of health, everyone made their saves Vs nausea; but the spell is still lost for the day. {I decided to use my homebrew spell results for rolls of 9 to 11} The goblins on the floor failed their saves, but the others were unaffected. Hearn had a screaming fit when it was suggested that they slay the sleeping goblins, and grabbed the two in front of her and carried them over to the beds and tucked them in and then convinced Dwight to help her with the other two. Bob grabbed the closest goblin still standing and flung him into the room at Ffwylldyr and yelled, “Catch!” Ffwylldyr did manage to “catch” the goblin with his short sword (killing it), but they both went tumbling down. Tym decided that that looked like fun so he did the same, but tossed the goblin at Milo. Milo has no blades, so he swung his mace like a bat and knocked the goblin 10ft; killing it in the process.

The players then proceeded to win the initiative…

For dramatic flair Dwight lead off the round with an MDoA attempt. He ducked under the mace swing and flying goblin, to charge out and use his shield to push the remaining 2 goblins into the ground. He succeeded, and thanks to the fact that he has a large shield and it counts a +1 magic weapon, he did enough damage to kill one of them. The last one, however, was actually a ware-rat and had a few more hit points. After this, Thingerlun took it upon himself to kill the sleeping goblins anyway, but only succeeded in getting into a polite debate about ethics, because Hearn figured she still had to be deferential to everyone since she hadn’t slept 8hrs yet.

Then it was the Ware-rats turn, and it succeeded at a morale check so it quick changed to hybrid form (the gift of Narrinmunath to his faithful) to increase his attacks and AC… but it did no good, his attacks failed. The others all held back and let Dwight kill it on the next round. Then things got interesting. After they dealt with the dead, they now had to figure out what to do with the sleeping ones; who still had nearly 20minutes left on the spell. In the end they decided not to anger their healer and so they simply gagged and bound the goblins then tossed them in a corner. The guard routine re-established, they managed to get their 8hrs of rest. {I plan some of these encounters, but most of the time I default to a Group Luck roll to determine camping interruptions. There Group Luck is at an all time low: somewhere around 9 or 10.}

In the morning {Feb 17; 8:06am} they made a halfhearted attempt to see if there was anything useful that they could learn from their prisoners. The only new piece of info they got was that the goblin boss on this level of the mine was a ware-rat. They left them tied and gagged as they ventured further into the mines, and are quite content to keep following the tracks through the tunnels as they twist, rise and fall. After about 30 minutes of carefully picking their way eastward down the tracks the tunnel takes a left turn and heads North. They notice that the tracks on the northern side are shinny, from recent use. Figuring that there might be something here that they missed, they search again and Milo finds the trigger to open the secret door.

This 50ft square room is obviously an old mining vault used to store valuables prior to shipping. It is also currently occupied by a number of large boxes with the logos of several mining companies, but little else other than dirt and grime.

(see photo#2: link > http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/ga ... st-10.html )

When it came time to send someone in, Bob said no, so Thingerlun got volunteered. This promptly triggered the portcullis trap, but only Thingerlun was trapped inside and no one got crushed. Unfortunately for them, I’d enhanced the trap to include a Summon Undead spell that created 8 skeletons with weapons and armor. A thick foul smelling vapor issued up from the floor and took on the form of the skeletons. Two of them appeared in the room with Thingerlun and the rest popped into existence interspersed amongst the party. Thingerlun was hard pressed at first, but over the course of a couple rounds, he managed to take the head off of one and then cast Chill Touch powerfully enough to destroy the other. Meanwhile everyone else was dealing with the rest of the skeletons. The clerics were not placed well to turn large groups, so they resorted to melee combat to win the day. Ffwylder and Bob weren’t threatened so they spent the time searching for a release mechanism. The first round went to the skeletons, but they did little damage. The players didn’t do much damage either, thanks to the fact that the Skeleton’s had armor. Ffwylldyr thought he’d found the release, but only managed to trip the stone door into closing up again. Milo did manage to create another beam of light with his turning check and managed to destroy a couple others with his success, but I ruled that the closed door meant the ones in the room with Thingerlun were unaffected. The vanquished skeletons disappeared into the oily purple smoke from which they had formed. Shortly after that Hearn re-opened the stone door & Bob decided to reach into the room to see if he could find the switch by touch. I set the DC at 16 and he promptly rolled a 19. He had to burn a couple of luck points to make his reflex save in order to avoid losing an arm as the portcullis retracted into the ceiling.

With most of the skeletons fleeing they were cut down in short order. After that Bob went in and quickly disarmed the trap and they decided to open a couple of creates to see what was being hoarded. They found bricks of silver packed in oil for shipping, as well as raw ore packed in a similar fashion. Balinor tells them that the oil is to prevent tarnishing during shipping, but that it was odd for the ore to be treated in a similar manner. He also tells them the oil seems a bit odd… it smells funny, but he can’t tell anything beyond that. In spite of this oddity, Bob snagged 3 bricks and tried to wipe them off as best he could then stowed them in his pack, but no one else did the same.

They followed the tracks northward, noting that this hall is fairly level. They also found another secret door 50ft further along the hall, but it turned out that it only opens from the other side. Fearing another ambush they took a couple of iron spikes, and Bob used them to successfully prevent the door from opening. As they continue on the hall turns east again after another 50ft. They note a door to their right 20ft further along. They approach and determine that the door is not looked or trapped, the room on the other side of the door is silent. They open it to discover that this 30ft wide by 50ft long room has been converted into a temple of Nimlurun the Vermin Lord of Filth and Pollution. In the middle of the room there is a section of floor that has been dug out to contain a filthy, muddy pit that seems to be where the faithful sit to offer their worship. On the far side is a carved stone alter and a 12ft tall crudely worked statue of the Vemin Lord staring at them with angry ruby eyes. All around the room are vile tapestries depicting the faithful committing horrible acts to defile the world of nature.

The cleric and its faithful are nowhere to be seen. {They had been involved in services when the party entered the mine, and by the time the hero’s were camping the goblins involved in the services were finishing up and then on their way home to their bunks and then off to guard duty at the mine head} Hearn spends just enough time in the room to determine which of the vile gods this temple serves, and her study prompts her to remember another little bit of lore. The Vermin lords always follow the same pattern when they set up their temples in an area. There will be one solitary temple to each of them, as well as a combined temple dedicated to both gods. She flings holy water on the alter and into the muck, while chanting the liturgy of cleanliness and backing out of the room at which point she tossed in a jar of alchemical fire. They closed the door right as the statue started to scream and crack.

(see photo#3: link > http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/ga ... st-10.html )

While Hearn, Thingerlun, and Ffwylldyr were tending to this, the others were exploring a bit further on. The tracks followed the tunnel as it turned north again 20ft on the other side of the door to the temple, but 40ft beyond that they find themselves with a dilemma; the tracks split of in 3 directions. One heads east, dropping deeper into the mountain; one continues north and is mostly level with just enough down slope to allow some accumulating ground water to travel along the north-east wall of the tunnel; and one traveled west but seems to stay level with the tunnel they are in. They are fairly certain that the descending eastward tunnel is the way to go if they want to deal with the goblin boss, but this new revelation about the nature of the Rat Gods and their temples has Hearn wondering if she shouldn’t be more diligent about searching this level to see if there is another temple in need of destruction. She and the rest turn to Milo who is the nearest representative of Ormazd, the Sun God… lord of Prophesy and Hearn asked him to cast second sight on her behalf.

{This is when they discover that Milo is the go to guy for this sort of thing… he gets a total of +5 on his attempts to cast this particular spell: +1 for level, +3 for PER bonus, +1 because he serves a Deity that is an oracle. She rolled high enough that Milo had a 75% confidence in his answers interpretation… I secretly rolled 46%… so I don’t have permission to lie to them.}

The question: “Which of the passages is the best route to find the closest of the rat gods temples?”
The answer was to leave the tracks and follow the narrow, slimy eastern tunnel upwards.

They were not at all happy about that… single file up a 25% slope and every step and handhold covered in vile polluted ground water. Using the climber’s rule of “you’re only as good as your weakest climber”; This means that I had them pic their worst character in terms of Agility, and had them make their rolls using that one's modifiers. I had them make 5 roles to get all the way to the end of the climb because i was so difficult. They barely made the first check, then promptly rolled two natural 20’s in a row, so I ruled that they didn’t need to roll again and made it safely to the landing at the top. When they get there they see a long 10ft wide corridor heading due west and even though they’re light sources (Milo’s aura + a lantern) don’t penetrate far down the hall, there is apparently an exit somewhere ahead of them, because there is a faint glow of sunlight dimly illuminating the shadows. There is a lot more water here as well, and they can make out the vague outline of a spiral staircase at the far end of the hall.

{Game clock suspended at 02/17/3200; @ 11:36am}

Other news to report:

The players hate the healing rule of “1hp/ night of rest,” so I amended it to 1/level per night… this doesn’t help at the moment, but it promises better for the future. One of the players suggested that the rule be changed to: each player gets 1 die of healing per night of rest. So a Wizard gets +1d4hp for one nights rest, and a fighter gets +1d12hp, but no other increases as they gain more levels. So a 10th level fighter is still only getting +1d12 for a nights rest. I would only amend the idea with the following: “A full days rest doesn’t double the rate of healing, but the character may add their Stamina bonus (if positive).” It seems like a good idea to me, but I’d like to bounce the idea off the folks at GG as to weather this is a good idea or not.

A note on the turn undead ability: I’ve always operated under the following rule for undead and other targets of turning attempts.

If the targeted creature has say, 3d10HD at the start of the fight, they count as 3HD undead for turning check. However, for every 10 points of damage the target takes, I then count it as a 2HD undead when calculating the DC of powers/spells and how they are treated with respect to the turn check. I have found this helps to improve the odds of survival for low-level groups and doesn’t really imbalance things later in the game. Plus it means I don’t have to be as fussy about ‘balancing’ the encounters. It’s also a bit more cinema graphic in presentation. With two clerics on the table, I need to throw masses of undead at them for it to be a challenge anyway…

And lastly, Here is a to the newest player progress map
link > http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/11/ga ... 10_23.html


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:54 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 342
Starting positions for session 10:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/12/ga ... st-11.html

***

{Game clock resumes at 02/17/3200; @ 11:46am}

… as Bob finishes his sweep of the immediate area for traps he notices that this hallway has barely recognizable frescos and they surmise that this hall section was likely to be an old tomb. The silence is broken by a horrid squelching noise as Pat is deposited in the hallway at the back of the line of adventurers and then the way down is nearly filled by the body of a dead Trapdoor Allligator.

Balinor: “ Hey, you’re back! So would you like us to fill you in on what’s been going on?”

Pat: “No…no, it’s OK. I’m sure I can work things out fine, I just want to get as far from THAT as possible!” pointing back at the carcass as she works to move everyone forward.

DM (as Balinor): “Yah, you hear folks talking about them and you figure they’re blind drunk or insane or both…”

They slowly made there way down the hall and came to a door that was neither locked nor trapped as far as they could tell…

{Prior to them entering this part of the dungeon, I’d worked out that since one of these rooms was the bedroom of the twin rat clerics; the cleric that had been leading the services for the band of Goblins was sleeping in here… it is the middle of the day after all. He failed to hear the party approach, but was saved by the room trap that he and his brother had put in place.}

Bob, Tym, Hearn, and Milo open the door just enough to see that the inside of the 20ft wide by 40ft long room is a macabre display of severed heads and body parts hung artistically about the room, and that there are 2 bed/nests along the long wall to there right. The nest furthest from them was occupied by snoring lump of fur. Bob tried to sneak into the room and kill it before it woke up (and before Hearn found out) but as soon as he stepped into the room all the dead heads and limbs started to moan, rattle and shake; including the half eaten, undead Halfling pinned to the wall between the nests. The sounds and sights are disturbing enough, but together with the unholy prayers, they create an area effect fear spell. This effect caused Tym to run at top speed up the stairs and out; Hearn, Milo, and Bob made their saves. The ware-rat cleric was immune, but it gave him enough time to change to rat form and dive under the bed.

Bob, and Balinor were able to toss some flaming, oil soaked rags at the bed. This being made easier by the fact that Hearns healing kit provides an endless supply of clean dry bandages (they just didn’t tell her what they were for) and some oil poured from the reservoir of Balinors lantern. Pat tried to enter the room to see if she could help, but when she stepped close enough to the doorway she failed her willpower save Vs fear and off she went to go hug a tree. Milo stepped the rest of the way into the room and used his turn undead ability to deactivate the spell animating the body parts. Then the Ware-rat made his break for the door. {Clerics of the Rat Gods are inherently cowardly and only fight when cornered… it’s cornering them that’s tough.} This one dives past all the attackers in its path, but the way down was blocked so it was forced towards the stairs. They lost it in the gloom and couldn’t tell if the critter went up the stairs or turned the corner at the end of the hall and headed south.

Milo advanced on the undead Halfling and proceeded to beat the thing back into oblivion before he and Balinor left the room, retreating from the growing heat and smoke from the burning bed. As Bob followed them he noticed that there was something gold and shinny lodged with in the gooey remains of the Halfling.

Bob: “Ooo… Shinny!”

Braving the heat and with great distaste, he managed to find the object and then fled the room. Outside in the hallway he was somewhat disappointed to see that it was just an ornate brass key.

Bob: “Dwight! It’s for you.”

Dwight: “Yah, whatever… lets get that ware-rat before it can escape.”

Mean while… at the back of the party… well away from the fighting and stubbornly mobile bodyparts; Hearn casts Detect Magic so well that she gets the complete rundown on all of their magic gear, and Thingerlun spots the secret door to another room.

Everyone decides to follow down the hall after the rat creature, but they all came up short of both the stairs and the southern bend in the tunnel because of all the filmy, slimy puddle that filled the last 10ft of the hall. Apparently, this is where most of the water gathers before it heads off down the hall. They were reluctant to cross, thinking that it could hold anything beneath its opaque surface; but then they remembered that Tym had run straight across it and suffered no problems.

(meanwhile… in the great out doors) Tym recovers rather quickly and is able to find Pat and help her calm down. By the time the rest of the party had plucked up their courage to cross the puddle to check out the next turning in the tunnel, Tym and Pat were back down the stairs and confirmed that no rats had passed them.

Crowding down to the turn in the hall, they saw that the turn to the south was actually just a 10ft deep alcove that contained a half open door. Dwight kicked the door the rest of the way open then stepped aside, but the ware-rat had holed up in another shrine to the Rat Gods and had been preparing for them. A 10ft tall, rough-hewn granite statue of a humanoid-rat creature stands directly opposite the door of this rather tiny, 20ft square room. At the base of the statue the Ware-rat was sitting upon it haunches on a, goo covered altar. It had already summoned up a dozen rather large rats {think dire rats} before anyone could react, the ware-rat jumped down amongst the rat pack and was lost in the confusion.

With help from Hearn and Balinor, Pat tried to set fire to the altar with a burning arrow on the off chance that the goo might be flammable, but the fire spluttered and failed. Bob decides to see what this whole “dagger of returning” is all about and throws it at one of the rats, half fearing it would boomerang around back at him… but he missed his target. The dagger then disappears. Bob is despondent, and begins to mope. Dwight and Balinor moved forward into the room, and both failed to spot the correct rat, but each manages to kill a rat with their attack. There really isn’t that much area for them to fight in side the room, so everyone else is left to mill about in the alcove and hallway.

Pat gets into the last available space and put both her swords into play, but only kills one rat, Hearn makes a knowledge check on what else she might know about ware-rats; thinking that they might be aberrations, and so she’d be free to attack. She then remembers that they are counted amongst the diseased, and so technically they might be cured. It is a difficult ailment to treat, especially after they subject has transformed, but it may be possible to save them. So she spends the round pleading with everyone to have mercy on the rats, they are living creatures after all. Bob is relieved when as he is reaching for another dagger to throw, the magic one appears in his hand; this time his attack succeeds, but merely wounds the target. Balinor fails to hit anything, and Dwight spends the round setting up to toss alchemical fire at the rat pack.

The rats swarm out of the room and into the puddle, splashing about and mingling about within the area occupied by the hero’s. Miraculously, only one more rat died, and no one had yet succeeded in spotting or hitting what they all now assumed to be a ware-rat cleric. The rest of that round pass without any rats getting killed, but Dwight manages to spot the right rat and delivers a fair amount of damage. The players manage to take out a couple more rats before the rats turn, and they managed to bite everyone except Tym and Dwight. I was so happy… I finally got to use my disease table. Everyone made their saves, but Bob had to spend 2 points of Luck to make his fortitude save Vs Nausea.

***

Disease Table: roll 1d100

Hamster pocks (01-10): Fort save DC=12, as nausea, but in 1d12 hours the subject breaks out into furry, animated hamster head- pimples. These pimples are of various sizes and will bite anyone (including the host) that gets close enough some of the largest (20% chance on each attack) can do 1pt of damage, regardless of damage, anyone bitten rolls a Fort save DC=10 or contracts the Hamster Pox in 1d12 hrs. If the person bitten already has the H-pox, then they simply get a new pimple at the wound sight. This condition persists for 2d4 days or until they receive 3 dice of magic healing to cure or a heal check Vs DC=15; either way the subject is horribly scarred.

Nausea (11-40): Fort save DC=9, or in 1d10 minutes the subject develops the symptoms, ½ speed, and actions, -1 AC, and on all attacks and damage. This condition last for 2d3 hours or until the subject receives 2 dice of healing or Heal check Vs DC=12 to cure;

Belly fire (41-70): Fort save DC=10, or in 1d6 minutes the subject develops symptoms, ¼ speed, and 1 action every other round, -2 AC, and -2 on all attacks and damage. This conditions persists for 1d24 hours or until the subject receives 2 die of magic healing or healing check Vs DC=13 to cure;

The squirts (71-94): Fort save DC=11, or in 1d6 turns the subject develops symptoms, speed reduced to 10ft and they may only make 1 action per 3rounds to move or attack in order to avoid explosive diarrhea, no Agility bonus to AC, and -4 on all attacks and damage. If the person fails to avoid soiling themselves (or doesn’t care) then they regain Agility bonus to AC & they suffer a -2 on everything including AC until they can clean everything. If the subject fails more than 3 rolls a day then they lose 2 points of Stamina. This condition persists for 2d3 days or until healed with 2 dice of magic healing to cure or a heal check Vs DC=14;

Wasting sickness (95-100): target rolls a Fort save Vs DC=13 or as Belly Fire, but in 1d4 turns the subject begins to lose 1d3 points of Stamina score every hour until the are cured or die, 2 dice of magic healing to cure or a heal check Vs DC=15.

As with all diseases, they last until they are cured or until the disease has run its course; the subject
gets a new save every 24hrs. Every 3 days of the ailment, or secondary failed save causes the DC to
go up by +1.

***

They managed to keep track of the ware-rat cleric and do a bit more damage to him; though, at one point Hearn, reluctant to touch the ware-rat with her hands, managed to pin it down with her booted foot and then said, “BE HEALED OF THY AILMENTS!”

DM: “You did not just say that? Excuse me Mam… may I see you pun license please?”

{Insane giggles all around the table… and at the table next to ours.}

In the end, all she did was restore some of its HP and then he managed to get away and scamper off into the gloom and down into the mines. The remainder of the rats, who were now bereft of leadership and too disorganized so they eventually they scattered; the rest were killed… in spite of Hearn’s fervent words to the contrary.

After the battle, Hearn and Pat went into the room to search for anything of interest, and to study the evil altar. Pat found a Scroll that Hearn identified as an arcane spell of some kind, as she still had the effects of her detect magic spell to aid her inspection. Pat leaves to take the scroll to Thingerlun, while Balinor pours oil from his small 4 gallon barrel onto the altar while Hearn chants clean thoughts at it. She’s the last one in the room and uses another firebomb to ignite the oil soaked altar, but this time she is close enough to distinctly hear the statue screaming in agony as the heat cracked its stone body and ruby eyes.

Hearn and the rest then decided to get some air and so headed up the stairs. Bob was the last to leave, lingering in the alcove staring into the flames, and in a tiny, plaintive voice he said: “B-b-b-bu-but… rubies…”

When they cleared the stairs, they found themselves exiting a natural looking cave at the center of a few rounded boulders set in a circle. Hearn made several healing checks and healing folks as she realized just how much of them is covered in this diseased slime they were fighting in she suggests they use some of their water to clean up a bit. {Each of them now has a water skin from the provisions they got from the cleric of Thormyr, and Hearn has a jumbo sized skin that holds 3 gallons, but they still get their drinking water from their magic box.} Still, they conserve as much as they can and send Pat to search for a spring or creek, but there are only rain washes and muddy, viscous puddles.

They are about 200ft directly above the sludge pit, just north of the mine head, but this part of the mountain is a rounded bulge roughly 250ft at its widest point. The circle of stones and the cave are near the apex of this bulge and there is enough soil to allow for a scattering of small trees that are healthy and showing the first buds of leaves. They figure only Bob and Pat had any real hope of climbing down from here so they head back into the mines to investigate the secret door.

Bob found that it had a complex lock, but for some reason was unconcerned with checking more closely and called Dwight over to try the new key… which promptly set off a nasty spear trap. 5 spears flung from various points in the hallway, all designed to pass through the 10ft space in front of the secret door. Each spear does 1d6 damage and has +6 to attack. 9 targets, so I roll 1d10 with 0= no one is hit. I hit with 4 of them… and Bob got hit twice, and the door remained stubbornly locked. They decided to take a closer look and realized that there was an indentation just above the key-hole that Ffwylldyr determined to be an impression of the Gannu family seal.

Slightly frustrated, they regrouped to heal and think about things a bit…

{Game clock paused at 1:18pm for table break}

As they head back down the narrow passage, they find that the alligator carcass blocks the way down. They wait for a bit to see if it will attack them, but it just sits there, venting gas as it decays. Thingerlun makes a knowledge check and figures that it isn’t a natural critter, so it probably won’t re-animate. There is enough room for everyone to squirm passed the block, but Dwight and Balinor will need to take off their armor to fit through. They refuse, so everyone spends some time hacking it up and dragging it out of the tunnel. There was a flurry of discussion about whether or not to tThanks to another set of natural 20’s, {the stars must be in a funky alignment} They make there way to the bottomr and save any of it as food, remembering that the old stories say that Trapdoor alligator meet is quite delicious, but Hearn figured it had been sitting in the muck too long to risk it. They get back into the mine proper, and Milo tells them that it is 4 hours passed mid-day. Pat finds the trail of a fast moving rodent coming from the narrow passage and leading to the tracked passage that leads down further into the mine, but the trail ends there.

{During character generation, Pat ended up with a 10 agility and a 14 luck, and rolled fox’s cunning on table 1-2. Player likes to play thieves, but couldn’t commit to 100% to the schedule and there was already a thief in the group. I ruled that the role gave her access to just finding and disabling traps. Her check is 1d20+agility bonus+1 Luck+ level. Even if her luck & agility bonuses were +3 and she had 10 levels, there will still be thieves out there with fewer levels who will be better at it than she will be, so it balances out eventually. Besides, I figure it’s a good idea to have someone in the party that can act as a back up on these skills.}

Pat discovers that there is a trigger plate across the entire hallway with a modified roll of 19, and lets everyone know about it. Bob, who was at the back of the group rolled a search check and found that there was a hollow section of wall directly across from the tunnel’s entrance. A couple of knowledge checks later and the figure it to be a rolling boulder trap. Pat rolls to disarm the trap before Bob can get down to the trigger, and for a moment everyone else is slightly panicked… but with a natural 20…{It’s got to be a pestilence of some kind!} Onward and down, eastward into the mines for nearly 200ft of tunnel before they run into a branching of the tunnels. Both heading to their right, or south, but separated by 30ft of hallway. Pat moved up to the first tunnel and listened… {nat 20… spooky} She could faintly hear the sounds of cooking and possible of singing and or screaming, and there was a general panic in the party that they had somehow gotten turned around. They asked Milo to use his second sight to tell them which tunnel would take them towards the signet ring.

With great confidence, he said the tunnel furthest from them was the direction they must go. 140ft of twisting tunnels later, they were at a dead end hall facing east. There was a door at the end of the hall on the right (south) side of the hall. They hadn’t really been making any attempt to sneak, or hide there approach, so I rolled a listen check for the goblins in the room {and got a 1} so obviously they were having some sort of party and otherwise oblivious to any danger. When Bob rolled his listen check, he heard all the noise and surmised what was going on… Bob also checked the door to see if it was locked and his luck roll said that it was unlocked, and he couldn’t resist taking a peek. What he could see of the inside of the room was decked out in floor to ceiling tapestries lining the room. There was a slightly raised dais in the middle of the western wall, upon which is a throne made of scrap. It is occupied by an angry goblin shouting at the other goblins in the room. Directly across from the door was a gaggle of goblins sitting on top of dirty, bloodied cushions and pillows gathered close around a brazier that was billowing a strange, slightly pink cloud. They were the ones making a jovial ruckus… {they failed the spot check I gave them…} and then Bob closed the door.

The party stopped for a moment to strategize. They convinced the Dwarf that he was really awesome and effective when they use the Dwarf-tossing tactic. So this time it is Tym and Bob who throw Balinor after Fwylldyr kicks in the door. The goblins were grouped up in such a way that only two of them got knocked over by Balinor’s trajectory. There was no damage this time due to all the pillows and Balinor failed his reflex save and tumbled down the far side of the pillows to a prone position against the southern wall roughly halfway into the room. Everyone rolled initiative, and Tym moves into the room, but can’t get to one of the prone goblins. His attack fails. The goblin on the throne shouts a command and then shifts form as he runs towards the attackers.

That is when something tears its way our from behind the curtains and descends upon Balinor’s prone form. A huge, two-headed rat had been less than 10feet from him when it charged from some hidden side compartment. The thing was nearly 5ft tall at the shoulders and was at least 12ft long without including its leathery, spiked tail. He didn’t have magic armor. He had had the mithril chainmail, but gave that to the wizard and scrounged some half plate in town on the way to the mine. Each head managed to get hold of Balinor 2x (1d6+2) damage, and since both attacks hit, it got to use its rending ability {just like a trolls attack in 3.5e} for another 2d6+4… total damage= 18. Balinor has 12hp and failed a Fortitude save… so he and his armor are torn in half. The party members that are in the room and Ffwylldyr relay this horrible news to everyone in the hall.

Dwight: “Finally! Something worth fighting!!” with a feral glint in his eyes.

It was also Dwights turn in the initiative, but he was too far away, and he couldn’t charge and make a “u” turn while running down the hall and into the room. Instead he tried to do something mighty. He moved as far as he could, while readying to shoot his bow. Shooting from 20ft away, he tried to “staple” the rat’s heads together. Sadly… he failed and the arrow shattered somewhere in the darkness beyond the tapestry curtains. Then Thingerlun steps into the room, looks around at everything… he raises an eyebrow and all of the goblins and both heads of the rat fall into an enchanted sleep for 6 days…

{The mercurial result for his sleep spell was ESP, and a natural 20 was rolled…which became a 24. confirming that the laws of probability had been abducted, beaten, and last seen being dragged into a back alley somewhere in Kassantia’s wharf district. I ruled that it had all happened so fast that the ware-rat chief skidded and bounced to a stop; which is how they know it’s an enchanted sleep.}

Pat dashes forward and carefully checks behind the curtains to see that there is a 10ft wide by 30ft long alcove hidden there. Inside there is a giant winch wrapped in old chain that, judging by the tracks on the floor, seems to be rigged for the giant rat to turn it instead of an ox or a donkey. There appear to be no other hostiles. Bob is busy checking out the throne and finds another locked box, which he quickly dealt with to find that it held more silver bars. As he stands up, he accidentally shifts the dais a bit, that is when they discover that there is a vertical shaft covered over by an elaborate silver grate that is obviously too fine to be goblin work. They search the chief to see that his armor and his ax are of very fine quality, and that he has a silver key wrapped in 2 bags. Pat tries to pick up the ax, but it burns her to the touch and she drops it before it can do any damage to her.

Hearn was busy tending to Balinor’s body, so they wouldn’t have fight his risen corpse.

Dwight: “GRAWR! I finally get something worth fighting and now… sleeping… hrumph!” then starts storming and pacing around the room.

Ffwylldyr starts to grab the sleeping goblins from the pillows and that’s when everyone realizes that the burner had been knocked over, and everything over there was starting to smolder. As the pillows go up, all but Milo and Pat failed their Fortidude save Vs the smoke and will be rendered dazed and -2 on intelligence and agility-based rolls for the next 3d3 turns. {50 minutes}

{Game clock suspended at 02/17/3200; @ 5:30pm}


Pics of the Bad Guys:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/12/ga ... -guys.html

Player progress map #4:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/12/ga ... st-13.html

Map reference for the new mine exit:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/10/ga ... ost-4.html


***

We’d have gone further, but the shop was closing down. Next game scheduled for 12/17… but the deal for us getting to have Saturdays is that we might get bumped for other, larger events. After this game I checked the schedule for the 17th, and things look pretty busy, but we’re going to try anyhow.

It’s funny, when I got home from the game, I didn’t really feel like we’d gotten that much done, but after looking back, I see I was wrong. I also got to check one of the things off of my “DM’s to-do-list” which was to get them interested in the contents of the secret vault room 1-15. This is where I’ve stashed an important hook for the epic side of the story; I don’t want them to get into it yet… hence the addition of the complex lock. They have passed up several rooms and some of the rooms have been dangerous, but this is the only room that they haven’t been able to get into. I was rather pleased when the signet ring became the subject of their latest augur. Just looking for that will propel them nicely towards the rest of the clues I’ve stashed around the dungeon.

The stats for the Goblin Chief I copied (in order) from those listed in the module then gave him one level of warrior.

The stats for the large rat:

Large Rat:
STR 5; AGIL 17; STAM 16; INT 4; PERS 10; Init. +2; Attack 1d20+3 bite for 1d3 points of damage +
disease; AC 15; HD 1d6+1; Act 1d20; Move 25ft land or swim; Special Powers- Swarming-
rats gain +1 to Attack and damage per 5 rats (cluster) it takes 4 clusters to equal a small
swarm. Disease DC= rats starting HP +the damage dealt in the attack by rat. Filth Fever-
failed save= roll 1d7+7 for the onset time in days with a -1 per point of damage done by the rat
attack. Once the disease begins victim has -1 on all Actions, AC, Saves, etc. as they suffer
nausea, chills, headaches and fever. The save is re-rolled with modifier every 24 hours with
failure moving the penalty up by +1. Success= lowers penalty by -1, when penalty is 0 then no
longer afflicted; SV Fort +2, Reflex +2, Will +0; L. Rats roll 1d4/ table I; Alignment C;
EXP Value= 1/HP

The stats for the Giant 2 headed rat:
STR 13; AGIL 13; STAM 16; INT 7; PERS 10; Init. +3; Attack (2) 1d20+1 bite for 1d6 points of
damage + disease; AC 13; HD 2d6+2; Act 1d20/1d20; Move 30ft land or swim; Special Powers-
Swarming- rats gain +1 to Attack and damage per 3 rats (pack) it takes 4 packs to equal a small
cluster. "Thrashing" If the rat scores a bite with both heads on the same target, then they
get a free attack that can pull subject in different directions to do extra damage. The target of the
attack gets a Fort Save Vs DC+ Rats original HP+1, or take 2d6+2 damage. The target of this attack
gains +1 for each category of armor weight, Disease DC= rats starting HP +the damage dealt in
the attack by rat. As with any 2-headed creature, each head has a full set of move and attack actions;
SV Fort +1, Reflex +3, Will +0; L. Rats roll 1d4/ table I; Alignment C; EXP Value= 4/HP

The one in the game has Max hit points because it has been well fed. Its Mutations are extra head, and strength boost

Here’s my chart for mutating rats…

Mutations:

Any rat can be mutated, the process varies with the tastes of the experimentor... A rat may have
1 mutation per 4hp. Here are a few of the results one can expect to see:

[if random, roll 1d10]

1. Amphibious: [rats with this mutation have no fur, and must be kept moist] swim speed = 2x land speed, and absorbs all the O2 it needs through its skin.

2. Blindsense: These rats have no eyes at all, not even sockets. they have blind sence 40ft and can sense invisible and etherial creatures with no penalty.

3. Elemental: Roll 1d6 to determine which element; 1= Spirit (-), 2= Air, 3= Fire, 4= Water, 5= Earth, 6= Spirit (+); this rat has been mutated to gain a 1d4 elemental breath weapon attack in a 10ft cone. Target gains reflex save for 1/2 damage with a DC= the DC for the rats disease ability.

4. Extra Head: this rat counts a two rats for the purposes of movement & actions, and gains +2 on spot and search checks and +3 INT (18 is still max).

5. Extra Limb: 1 extra limb- it is humanoid and sprouts from the rats back and grants the rat some facility with tools and weapons. (-2 all attacks with arm)

6. Extra Limbs: a pair of extra limbs grows. there is a 25% chance they are humanoid with hands & are attached to a humanoid torso granting tool and weapon use. If legs, the rat gains +50% to speed.

7. Tail strike: the rats tail has been modified in some fashion to allow a standard attack that does damage = bite +3 (from spikes etc.)

8. Flight: The rat gains a a fly speed = 5x land speed, and it may both run and sprint while flying there is a 20% chance that the flight is telekinetic and therefore the rat has no wings. fly speed= 100ft fly speed/ accel = 20ft (vertical= ½);

9. Transparent: The rat is completely transparent in skin viscera and fluids, It gains a +5 on all hide attempts unless it has eaten or covered in other substances to reveal its presence

10. Stat Enhancement: roll 1d5 to determine which stat is increased by 1d10: 1= STR, 2= AGIL, 3=STAM, 4= INT, 5= PER. 18 is still maximum.


***


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Tortog wrote:
"Sword & Deviltry” (Leiber) Hated it! I may get around to reading some of the other books in the series since I found a decent copy of the AD&D supplement for the City of Lankhmar…
Bummer. The F&GM stories are among my favorite Appendix N tales. Sorry they aren't your "thing." :( The stories are sort of dark and sort of comedic. I'd say they were almost somebody's D&D campaign log only they were written well before D&D was published. :lol:

Tortog wrote:
I was reading “Dwellers in the Mirage” (Merrit) Don’t know… It took so long for the story to get started that I got side-tracked… but it is very well written so far, and I’ll eventually finish the last half.
Agreed. I read it over the summer and had a similar reaction. I started, did something else for a while, came back because so many folks here liked it, finally finished the book. Some neat ideas but kind of slow early on.

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:31 am 
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@finarvyn>

I finally finished “Dwellers in the Mirage” (Merrit), and I definitely think the authors original ending is better than the one the publisher insisted on using. Very well written, and once the story gets going things are really interesting. I realize that at the time he was writing, he was using the 'cutting edge' research, but as a long time student of anthropology and the origins of humanity, I found some of what he was doing to be... a bit hard to take. It was definitely entertaining and so far, of the recent Appendix N reading I've done, has the best developed characters.

Lieber's work just irritated me. The world he created is interesting, but from a technical standpoint it isn't that well written, and I find the characters to be 2-dimentional. I will be the first person on the band-wagon to declare that "barbarian" does NOT ="stupid" but the rocket propelled ski-jump over the ravine was a bit of a stretch. I've been looking through my copy of the AD&D Lankhmar supplement, and it has brief descriptions of the various adventures of F&G. Some of them look kind of interesting, so maybe I'll give the books another try. Perhaps folks could point me in the direction of some of his better works?

I picked up a collection that has all (or most) of Vance's Dieing Earth stories, and I really like his work. I can totally see it's influence on early D&D. I can even name some of the spells that were later developed from Vance's work: Pocket Dimension, Sphere of Invulnerability, etc. What I'm not seeing is the influence of "Vancian" magic on DCC... Vance's wizards seem to have a really good idea of what the spell is going to do when they cast it, and they get the results they were expecting... at least from the spell anyway. I haven't read the stuff about Cudgel yet, so maybe I just haven't read the right stories.

The one thing that is a distressingly common thread running through these books that I've read so far is that female characters rarely ever do well, and are either submissive, or cruel. I realize that some (or most) of the works that are in appendix N were written back when women were only allowed to cook, clean, and breed; but you'd think one of these authors would give them a little freedom every now and then. I'm hoping this trend will fade as I read more of their works... but it's a thin hope...

Thanx for reading,

***

in general:

My other post was getting to be too long, but I did forget to put down a couple of things that I feel that I need to call attention to.

1. James told me after the game that the demands of more than 2 characters was more than he could deal with, not because they were too complicated, but because he felt he didn't have time to perform all of them to a sufficient quality.

2. This resulting difficulty is what led him to start eliminating PC's. When he had Balinor thrown the second time it was in fact a deliberate attempt to remove the character. That the events (dice and character positions) supported Balinor's demise in such a cinema graphic manner was just icing on the cake.

3. I found it interesting that he chose to get rid of a character with an 18 stat. He also has control of Thingerlun now, but after this last game, I don't know if he will be so keen to give up on that character.

4. I'm fairly certain that they will keep Milo; and that's fine by me, because I hooked a large chunk of the story onto that PC.

5. Apparently the secret to getting your players to role play is to give them at least 2 PC's each. It turns out that if a player can control both sides of the conversation then their characters are quite chatty. These folks are really responding to the story and dialoging with their PC's and each of the characters are starting to take on unique personality traits and quirks. This in turn makes it easier for the NPC's to jump into the conversation.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:47 am 
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Tortog wrote:
Lieber's work just irritated me. The world he created is interesting, but from a technical standpoint it isn't that well written, and I find the characters to be 2-dimentional. I will be the first person on the band-wagon to declare that "barbarian" does NOT ="stupid" but the rocket propelled ski-jump over the ravine was a bit of a stretch. I've been looking through my copy of the AD&D Lankhmar supplement, and it has brief descriptions of the various adventures of F&G. Some of them look kind of interesting, so maybe I'll give the books another try. Perhaps folks could point me in the direction of some of his better works?

1. Keep in mind that Leiber intended these stories to be a bit of a parody of some of the early Swords & Sorcery stories like Conan. That may be what annoys you about them.

2. In general, the earliest ones written are considered to be the best ones. I have a list somewhere and will get back to you when I find it.

It may be that Fafhrd & Grey Mouser just aren't your thing. 8)

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:27 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
1. Keep in mind that Leiber intended these stories to be a bit of a parody of some of the early Swords & Sorcery stories like Conan. That may be what annoys you about them.


I didn't know this, and that does indeed cast the work in a different light. I must confess; it's not that I have a problem with F&G per se, its just that "pulp" style work is not my usual medium. So in that respect I'm trying to expand my boundaries and willing to give it another go.

I'm doing the same thing with Conan as well, since doing a bit of research into the life of REH. My wife got me a 2 volume set of what is supposed to be his (and only his) versions of the stories. It's pretty good so far.

Anyhow... Perhaps I should get on with it... :D

***

{Game clock resumes: 02/17/3200; @ 5:31pm}

The fumes in the room were starting to get a little thick, but Pat and Milo found the door.

Pat: “Where’s everybody?”

Milo: “In there, wandering around in a circle giggling for some odd reason. Perhaps we should go back in there and get them?”

Pat: “No… You should stay here. You’re the only cleric that can still think straight; I’ll go.”

{Each afflicted character was given a will power save Vs DC=10 to decide to leave the room when she asked them to follow her out}

Pat managed to convince Dwight and Hearn right off, but by the time Fwylldyr, Bob, and Thingerlun had been escorted out of the room, she had succumbed to the fumes as well. Fortunatly for all of them, the lure of the Bountiful Bento Box proved irresistible, so they did eventually find their way out.

{During all of this I was making random encounter checks, but Fate had other things to say. It wasn’t until everything wore off that trouble arrived.}

Earlier, Pat had been correct when she heard someone cooking down one of the other passages; but this time it was Milo’s sharp ears that heard something approaching. Bob was first down the hall and spotted a gaggle of runtlings being herded by a beefy looking goblin with a sharpened metal xistera in one hand and a tray in the other. The food had arrived to a party that was already over.

{Runtlings are the lowest form of goblinoid life. They are just large enough to be dangerous in numbers, and the ones that manage to escape the cook-pot will grow into goblins; the goblins that live long enough can grow into orcs. Orcs in turn must eat quite a bit, but if they live long enough they grow into ogres. If at any point in this sequence they can add a steady diet of magic users then they can start casting spells and eventually become ogre magi.}

Bob was lucky enough to have one of the remaining alchemical fire pots, but it cost him a couple more luck points to make it hit the target; which was the gaggle of 2ft tall ‘adolescent’ goblins which had been pressed into service. They failed their save, and having only 1hp each they were quickly barbequed, but their burning corpses were also an excellent barrier. The goblin dropped the tray and loaded something into the basket of the xistera and flung it with great force, but missed.

{so ended the surprise round}

Bob was first up, and in an odd moment of bravery decided to stay put and use his bow to take a shot of his own, but missed. Fwylldyr tries to intimidate the goblin but it just laughs. Dwight finally makes his way to the action; he wants to jump over and tackle the goblin but doesn’t have the movement left. So he uses his bow and does nearly max damage to the goblin. Staggered, but rolling a 19 on its willpower save for morale the goblin fights on. Failing to hit with another hurled stone, it begins to curse and swear violently. The rest of the characters decide they are going to hang back because the fire in the hall doesn’t leave much room. Bob does some damage with an arrow, but it was the sight of Dwight charging forward and leaping over the flames that made the goblin panic. Apparently avenging his chief wasn’t really that important. Dwight’s attack failed, but his ancillary attempt to ham-string the fleeing goblin delivered enough damage to kill it.

While he is waiting for the fire to die down, Dwight decides that he has no way to keep it from raising up again as a zombie, so he just leans back against the wall and starts to clean and sharpen his axe. The risen creature never got beyond a convenient kneeling position. Then he starts rummaging through its pockets. He found jars of chili oil, and black pepper, in jars that are designed to break on impact. He also finds some gold coins, but it is the xistera that has his attention. It is a vile weapon, it is an elongated metal basket or spoon with raggedly sharpened edges. His warriors training told him that it would have a shorter range than a sling, but would deliver significantly more damage to the target from a larger, faster moving stone. In close is where this weapon is really dangerous because it would make a huge, ragged wound that would continue to bleed after the weapon is pulled back from the target. Or worse… if left in the victim it would cause massive bleeding.

{DM: “Dwight’s a neutral character, so he can use it without moral qualms, but over the long term he would develop a dark reputation.”}

Dwight had to think about it for a while, but in the end he decided not to aggravate Hearn and left it for the ages.

After the fire died down they decided that they’d had enough for one day; and set up in the chief’s audience chamber after tying up the goblins and the rat for good measure. They set up two man watches of 4 hours and their luck held through the night, so no attacks.

{game clock advances to 02/18/3200; 4 am}

In the morning Thingerlun succeeded at memorizing the magic missile spell from the scroll Pat had given him. {Player rolled a 20; but with a Luck of 1, I simply gave him a -3 instead of the -5 that I’ve been using because his Patron is pleased with the change in his performance; so the spell causes an energy burst that delivers 1d6 to enemy within 10ft of casting.} Dwight figures that the chili oil and the black pepper are non-lethal, and gives them to Hearn.

They organize and decide to head down. Bob is confident that there aren’t any traps on the grate or its lock, and Dwight has the key so he opens it.

{DM: “Roll a reflex save.”

James: [groan] “Rolled a four so I doubt I make it.”

DM: “Don’t be so sure. What does it modify into? You only needed a 5…”

James: “Hey! He gets a +1 on that from being near enough to the Cleric of Elyr!”

DM: Great, you don’t drop the key as the grate disappears.}

As the grating fades into silvery sparkles a series of silver ladder rungs seem to push their way quietly out of the wall. The path leads into deep darkness, so they back off for a bit to form a plan.

{Since I added the ladder I figured there shouldn’t be a roll for climb, just stealth unless they didn’t care about that. I was only going to make them roll if they were in a hurry to get to the bottom, and the DC for that would be 10.}

Bob: “But how do ware-rats get up and down a silver ladder? The key they can hold with a cloth, but that seems risky on a ladder.”

Ffwylldyr: “Maybe that’s what the winch and chain are for? I should think they could climb that easy enough.”

Tym: “Let’s break it so they can’t get up and down as easily!”

20 minutes later they finally managed the task by popping the winches axle out of the floor, and had found various other ways to vandalized it. Bob listens at the hole in the floor, and can generally make out the sounds of a group, some dice, and what sounds like goblins cheering and cursing. From this he deduces that they are gambling or otherwise occupied. He also figures that the tunnel down is no more than 60ft based on the noise. {Rolled a 19 on listen} They decided that Bob and Pat are sneakiest and should go first in staggered intervals.

Before they set out Bob said, “We should have a signal or something to let you know if it’s safe or not.”

Hearn: “One arrow means ‘keep coming down quietly’, and two arrows means ‘hurry up there’s trouble’?”

Pat: “Let’s reverse that. If I’ve got something attacking me I don’t want to try and make two shots.”

Bob: “Good idea.”

They ghosted their way down to the next room and sent the signal for everyone to start coming down quietly. The Goblins don’t have much light, just a candle and are so focused on the cash in front of them that they don’t notice anything else. Hearn is next, and then she stands next to the ladder going out of her way to assist folks as they get to the bottom. Ffwylldyr failed his stealth check and since he had the goblin’s attention he tried out his intimidate power.

Ffwylldyr: “HA HAA! We have snuck up on you! You, who are unworthy to bleed upon the steel of Dwight the Mighty! Flee into your filth!”

Four of the six goblins panicked and headed for the door, but had to fight and fumble the bar out of the way before they could open it. The other two fired crossbows but missed, so they threw them down and charged forward.

Bob and Pat had been holding action against discovery while the others moved down, they triggered their actions {and a surprise round for the party} when the goblins charge. Bob seriously wounded the goblin charging at him, but Pat succeeded only in occupying the attention of the other goblin.

{Meanwhile, at the top of the ladder…}

Dwight: “I guess there’s no need to be quiet anymore.” As he starts hurrying down the ladder after making his climb check with a 20. I let him make an attack on one of the goblins, so he attacked the one in front of Bob… killing it.

Tym thinks this is a great idea and follows suit, but isn’t so fortunate. {I had him make a luck roll Vs DC= 10; success means that he was close enough to the bottom that there is no damage, but the character is prone. He failed that one as well with a 4, so I figured he was about 30ft up when he fell. I ignore the first 10ft, so 2d6… and… 2pt damage.}

Thingerlun makes his way down in a stately manner and positions himself 10ft from the goblin attacking Pat.

{so ends the surprise round}

Hearn patches up Tym with a quick healing check, and Tym runs forward and nearly kills one of the four goblins trying to flee the room. Milo takes his time since he’s in full plate. Thingerlun is next up and he rolled a 23 to cast his magic missile spell. He managed to kill 3 out of the 4 goblins stuck at the door with his barrage of sparkly meteors, and the arching bolt of electricity killed the goblin harassing Pat. Then it was the goblins turn and he managed to get out into the hall beyond the door in a doomed attempt to bolt. Dwight wasn’t about to let it escape so he took off after it, but his attack failed to hit the goblin, as it was already dead on the floor with an arrow sticking out of its chest. Dwight had no time to think about it, because he had to throw himself against the far wall of the hallway, narrowly avoiding the arrow whizzing passed him.

There is just enough light spilling out of the room from the lantern and Milo’s aura to allow Dwight to see the hallway turned left not too far away, and there was arrow slit in the wall facing him. Rather than dive back into the room, he decides to wait until whatever it is fires again and then in the next instant charge forward to try and catch whatever was behind the wall by surprise. At the least he could block the murder hole with his shield. He discovered that this section of hallway is heavily fortified. In spite of the terrain he got to the arrow slit, but the wall to his right contained a second murder hole from which an arrow issued and struck true. Somewhere at the end of the hall that continued off to his left there must be a third arrow slit; but thankfully, the arrow from this one didn’t hit him. With no other choice, Dwight plastered himself against the wall in the corner between the two arrow slits and hoped the third murder hole was too far away to see him properly.

During all of this, the rest of the party was in the room seeing to the dead and checking to see if anyone needed healing. Tym poked his head out of the door with a torch just in time to see Dwight charging down the hall and getting stuck there.

Tym: “I think Dwight needs some help…” and then went on to describe the scene to the rest.

Thingerlun tried to use magic missile on the off chance that he could hit the target, but the spell fizzled without any results. They debate the possibilities for a while and Dwight decides that since he is there anyway, he all of a sudden lunges his sword through one of the murder holes in hopes of at least damaging the goblins bow. {20…}

DM: “You are surprised when your sword feels like you’ve skewered someone.” He tries it on the other side, but they are wise to him now and the trick doesn’t work on the other goblin. It just laughs and taunts him (in goblin) for his efforts.

In the end Dwight figures he’s just going to have to run and hope for the best. As he’s psyching himself for this, Hearn casts sanctuary on herself hoping for a good enough result to affect others. {Not realizing that she couldn’t actually roll that high; her max spell check is 23. She got a 19.}

Realizing that the compulsion which the spell places on others would allow her to act as a human shield; she strode confidently down the hall and rescued the big burly warrior. They continued to rely on the hope that the shooter from the third arrow slit was too far away to get a clean shot, and using the pacifist for cover they both make it back to the room. Since the spell lasts for 10 minutes, Hearn stands in the hallway and provides cover for everyone else to slip out of the room and down the hall in the other direction. Fortunately for them there was another turn in the hall allowing them reprieve.

{Hearn had a very smug look on her face as she tended to Dwight’s wounds, and I don’t think she’ll ever let him live this down.}

They hole up for a few minutes to debate the merits of each direction; the tracks go off in the direction of all the heavy fortifications, so they figure there is something worth protecting to be found that way. Dwight and Bob want to go that way, but the rest are more than happy to explore the other direction. They also take a moment to orient themselves with respect to direction and realize that Balinor had been providing most of that info…

Milo always knows where he is in relation to the Sun, so he can reliably find east. As near as they can tell, the section of hall that they are in is 50ft long and runs on a north-south axis. That means the hall behind them, with the first arrow hole, is on an east-west axis. Bob takes the lead heading south and is diligent in checking for traps now, which is what saves him from falling into a covered pit trap just after the hall turns east again.

Dwight, with some excitement in his voice: “Looks like we have to go the other way, ‘cause most of us won’t make it over that.”

Ffwylldyr: “We have rope and iron spikes, maybe we can work our way over with those?”

Bob: “How big was the table the goblins were gambling on?”

Ffwylldyr: “They weren’t using one, they were on the floor.” Then after a moment’s thought, “We do have a door…”

Dwight: “We could use that as a mobile barricade for getting down the hall!”

Hearn: “There are arrow slits at both ends of that hall, and there is no guarantee that I’ll be able to do that again.”

Pat: “We could use pieces of the door lashed together as a bridge over the pit, maybe?”

They all agree to try that plan, and Bob and Dwight dash back for the door. The goblins nearly got Bob on the way back into that large room where they entered this level. On the way back they heard the thunk of an arrow shattering on the planks as they made their way back. A half hour later they had lashed pieces together in a manner that they felt would work.

{I ruled that Milo, Dwight, and Tym need to roll a balance check because they are in medium or heavy armor. Ffwylldyr needs to roll, because he is actually rather substantial now that he’s had a few regular meals and some exercise.}

Tym makes it, Milo makes it in style {20}, Dwight fails his balance check and reflex save, so he falls into the 20ft spiked pit trap {2d6 damage= 4pts}. Ffwylldyr makes his roll, but only just barely. On his way across, he asks, “Dwight, you OK?”

Dwight: “I’m bleeding.”

While Tym and Bob are lowering some rope, Dwight notices that the spikes aren’t in the ground very deep, so he takes the time to kick them over. Mumbling to himself, “That way, when I fall the next time I’m passing through it won’t hurt so much.”

Patching up, they press on. Twenty feet past the pit the hallway twists northward, but then turns again and heads east… deeper into the mountains. They are facing a door. Careful searching by Bob reveals that it isn’t trapped, but it is secured with a bar on the other side. Listening reveals that there are at least five goblins on the other side.

They discuss their options for a bit and since the door is either goblin made or over 100 years old Bob asks if there is enough room to get his dagger in there to lift the bar {a luck roll of 16 says “yes there is,”} so they decide to have Bob try to “pick” the lock.

{20… I think I’m going to buy new d20’s for my players. :) }

Bob Skewers the board and then manages to set it on the floor quietly.

Ffwylldyr, with a grin and a nod to Dwight; “Shall I announce your presence my liege?”

While Dwight was busy being confused, the bard kicked the door in, yelling; “You have the privilege to die by the steel of Dwight and Company!” {the DC for his intimidate power is only 10, the goblins just keep failing their save rolls.} The room is 50ft long and 40ft wide and dimly lit by a couple of candles.

There are 8 goblins in here; five scrunch themselves into the south-east corner of the room and then prepare to defend. The other 3 dive into a rough tunnel on the floor, mid-way along the north wall and slam a door shut.

{This is where we suspended play, as we didn’t have time to get into it. Game clock suspended at 02/18/3200; 7am}

***

The players have decided that there should be the equivalent of a "Taking 10" rule... fine by me. :mrgreen:

When I started this endeavor, I never entertained the idea that we’d get all the way through to the end before the product release. In fact, without the modifications I’ve made to healing we never would have made it this far at all. While committed to the quest, the players and I have agreed for various reasons that we will resume some time near the end of January. All of us here wish all of you a safe and happy Winter Holiday of your choice.

Here are the support pics:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/12/ga ... st-14.html

I would like to leave you all with a special thank you… so here is a little something I wrote the other day:

http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/12/ju ... hanks.html


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:23 pm 
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By the way, the Fafhrd & Grey Mouser tangent got me off on another track. I had intended to compliment you on the awesome write up.

1. I like the number of pictures and links that you've included. It takes a while to wade through them, but you have some really cool stuff prepared here. 8)

2. I like the fact that you've made comments about rules and shared some of the tables. As a perpetual GM, the "behind the curtain" stuff is like gold to me. 8)

Any thoughts about dumping all of your stuff into a single Word file or PDF so we can access it without having to follow the links?

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:57 am 
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:oops: thanks for the feed back. :oops:
It all starts with the great material in the module (thanx Jeffrey Quinn). It also helps that I've run this module several times, and each time I add a few more rats and goblins to the painted pile. :D

Oh... and for the record, most of the minis I use are from Reaper. I'm not affiliated with them, I just like their stuff. Some of the rats are Warhammer mini's, and the 1cm scale figs are from a defunct German gaming company who's name eludes me for the moment.

finarvyn wrote:
Any thoughts about dumping all of your stuff into a single Word file or PDF so we can access it without having to follow the links?


I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this last part? :? :D For that mater... which stuff? The stuff at my blog? Or did you mean one big word file of this game that included the pictures with the text? Or some other meaning that is probably obvious to everyone else?

As far as computer skills go... I have precious few. Half the reason I started the blog was because I couldn't get the pics to upload to this board. :) The other reason was because I got tired of printing it off all the time for new players. It saves me some time and its better for the environment. I have to admit that it feels kinda neat to see the players using their digital equipment at the table to refer to it when they have a question.

One of these days I'll see if I can convince one of my 'techie' friends to help me with it, but at the moment its 2 or 3 levels down on my 'to do' list. :wink: For now it's more of an archive.

If you can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong on the posting pics to this site, that would be great. I'd be more than happy to stop cluttering up the blog with "game support posts"... :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:42 pm 
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Tortog wrote:
If you can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong on the posting pics to this site, that would be great. I'd be more than happy to stop cluttering up the blog with "game support posts"... :mrgreen:

1. If you look at the buttons above the message box there are 10 that include bold, italics, underline, quote, code, list, list= [*], image, and url.
2. When you push the Img button you get something like this: [ img ] [ /img ]. (I added some extra spaces so that the computer wouldn't try to insert an image.)
3. In between the first set of brackets and the second you type or paste the url for the image you want to post. It needs to be online somewhere, such as in your blog.

That help?

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
Image
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Tortog wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
Any thoughts about dumping all of your stuff into a single Word file or PDF so we can access it without having to follow the links?
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this last part?

I was mostly thinking about the maps and such that you have posted on your blog, but I also like rules additions and/or some of the charts like the "Mutants" one you have in the thread. (Maybe it came from another source? Anyway, I found it interesting.)

_________________
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
Image
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:34 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
Tortog wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
Any thoughts about dumping all of your stuff into a single Word file or PDF so we can access it without having to follow the links?
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this last part?

I was mostly thinking about the maps and such that you have posted on your blog, but I also like rules additions and/or some of the charts like the "Mutants" one you have in the thread. (Maybe it came from another source? Anyway, I found it interesting.)


Addressing both points:

About the url thing- I was following those steps precisely, my wife helped me figure out where I was screwing up. I thought I was supposed to use the info from the address bar... :oops: But even when I copy the location of the pic then drop that in the [img] structure, all I ever get is techno-gobbldy-goop; and no photo. :?

Be that as it may, I don't have a server of my own so to post the pics they have to go to the blog first any way... I'll do my best to figure this out so I can streamline things.
---------------------

As to the mutation table and other such that I'm using: its all original content; minus the DCC RPG, the module material, and I've heavily modified the modules. There are a couple of other things that aren't mine; noted further down in this post. The mutation table presented here (in all of its unedited glory) represents the core from which I built the chapter on mutations in my Creature Catalog that I'm writing up. I certainly wasn't referencing anything else when I wrote it, but if you've seen something that is similar, please let me know. I have no interest in stepping on anyone else's toes.


Here are a couple of new mutation entries that I came up with:

8. Weird Eyes: This creature has a strange quality to one or both of their eyes. If humanoid roll 1d2 for the number of eyes affected. If creature has multiple eyes then roll 50/50 chance for each eye to determine if it is affected or not. Affected eye is, roll 1d10: 1. at the end of a tentacle of 2d20 inches; 2. Cat’s eye (functional); 3. Blind; 4. odd color; 5. Iris has an odd shape; 6. Low light; 7. Dark Vision 30ft; 8. Spectral (sees into the astral plane); 9. Detachable (functional to 10ft/HD); 10. Sees invisible (20ft)

and


11. Odd Skin: The creature has something other than their normal covering; re-roll any result that doesn’t change the creature. {i.e. if it has scales and you roll scales, then re-roll} None of these mutations is beneficial, they all cause a -2 Personality score. Roll 1d6; 1. hairless, 2. translucent, 3. excessively hairy, 4. feathers, 5. scales, 6. oozing pores



Notes:
I should say that the 'life-cycle' of a green skin that I use and presented here, is kind of an homage to my old Warhammer table-top days. I wasn't planning on going to print with that, but it has been a part of my game world for a long time and it makes the "ecology" of orcs and goblins easier to deal with. Though in my setting 'green-skins' are a mammalian humanoid species rather than a fungus that emulates intelligent life. :mrgreen:

Sadly, the 'trapdoor alligator' concept is not mine either. It was created by R.K. Milholland over at Something Positive for his comic strip. I just like using them in the game... it puts a surreal twist on things. It's a bit of whimsy that I use at the table, but I'd never go to print with it unless I had permission. Which at present, I do not.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:43 am 
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Figured it out!

Image

Meet the Trapdoor Alligator... This is another example of my sculpting handiwork. The white 'halo' is from where I photoshoped the background out of the picture. I figure no one's interested in the clutter of my painting table. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:35 pm 
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WE'RE BAAAAACK!

I've spoken with the game shop and the players and the quest resumes on 1/28/12. We'll be posting soon after, but I thought I'd let everyone know that one of the players has filed a Request for character elimination form, quantity 1 XXXXXXX; request is for an ironic death. Stay tuned and find out who gets voted out of the dungeon... :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:10 am 
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Game clock resumes at 02/18/3200; 7:00:03am…everyone rolls initiative.

{My critters never rolled higher than 8 for initiative all evening… truly embarrassing… Fortunately two of my players were breaking in new sets of dice because they forgot to bring their dice from home, so they weren’t rolling so well either. Here's a reference pic for the starting positions.}

Image

I could give you a blow by blow description, but frankly it was nearly 18 rounds before they managed to dispatch 4 of the 5 goblins. Fairly early on, Thingerlun cast charm person on one of them {18} and sent a moon beam of light straight into the goblins face… {I always roll saves in secret, because you never know when a critter will try something clever, like ‘pretending to be charmed’, but this time I rolled a 1. So obviously it is now a disciple, and will not be able to break the charm without divine intervention Thingerlun just doesn’t know it yet. It’s a goblin, and it’s never had a friend before.}
There was a lot of missed attacks on both sides, and Milo swung at a goblin and landed flat on his back at one point. Things didn’t start getting really interesting until near the end. The following conversation started taking place while Ffwylldyr, Milo, Dwight, Pat, and Tym were doing their best to kill the last goblin.

{here's a shot of the fight, right after Milo fell and just before the conversation started}
Image

Thingerlun {in flawless goblin speak and translating for the others}: “What is your name, and do you have any problem with killing other goblins?”

Grub: “Me am Grub, um, nope. We taste good! Not eaten much in two days…”

Thingerlun: “Excellent, you are now my personal body guard, you kill anything that tries to kill or eat me.”

Grub: “Me get to eat what me kills?”

Thingerlun: “Sure.”

Hearn was suitably horrified, but Bob interjected with, “Hey, it gets to earn its keep and we don’t have to feed it. Bonus! Maybe we can make it walk out in front.”

Hearn: “Maybe it knows something about the mines?”

Thingerlun: “Good idea! Hey Grub, do you know anything about these tunnels?”

Grub: “Me born here.”

It was at about this point that Dwight and the rest join in while Milo tends to the dead.

Thingerlun: “Grub, go help Milo dispose of the dead before they get back up again.”

“Yes boss!” and Grub runs for the nearest corpse and starts to devour it with gusto.

Hearn: “Can we trust it?” as she was making the rounds healing folks. Tym had gotten the brunt of the damage this time.

Ffwylldyr: “Probably not, but Thingerlun seems to have control over it for now. Speaking of which, any idea how long it will last?”

{I told the player that if Thingerlun had been affected by the spell it would last for at least 24 hours. The real question is: how smart is a goblin? In my game world they are more like the storybook goblins that are quite clever at building traps and devices of war and other evil crafts, but otherwise they’re dumb as a bag of hammers. I list them in my notes as having INT=13.}

Thingerlun: “At least three days, then we’ll need to start paying serious attention to him. Hey Grub, what can you tell us about what’s over in that direction?” Pointing roughly back towards the room with the silver ladder.

Looking up at them and absently chewing on some intestines, “Um, Down Sector.”

“And over there?” Now pointing vaguely north-east-ish.

“Oh, dats Stinky Sector.” Surreptitiously slipping a piece of spleen into his mouth.

Now Thingerlun was pointing roughly south-east, “What’s that sector?”

Folding his ears back, and generally cowering, “scary…”

Dwight: “Ask him what’s on the other side of this door.” Kicking the tiny door that the other goblins had bolted through.

Grub: “Snipy-murder-holes.”

Dwight: “We should get in there and take them out.”

Ffwylldyr: “You’d never fit in there, and if you’re not going, then I’m not going.”

Hearn: “Wait a minute, let’s get some sense of this,” pointing back down the way they had come from (back over the pit) “Which sector does that lead to?”

Belching wetly, “Uuuh, Down sector.”

She then points to the only other way left to them. “Dare I ask, but what is this way?”

Visibly losing his appetite, “Dat leeds to the scary sector.”

Ffwylldyr: “Aha! Certain Doom! Dun, dun, dunnnn…”

{incredulous looks from the table, and the one next to us}

Ffwylldyr: “What? Someone had to, and I’m the Bard… it’s my job.”
---

{About this time we took a quick break, as things turned out my wife was the only one left at the table. When I got back I found the she was arguing politely with someone at the next table about how we were most definitely NOT beta testing the new D&D v5; and most humorously in the position of extoling the virtues of the system and why it’s way better than D&D3.5 and the rest. I spoke with him at length and when he finally got the idea of 0D&D,h is comment was: “…but that’s just basic D&D.” He was quite dismissive about the way he said it too. I said yah, but you can turn it into anything you want without all those feats and laborious skill sets getting in the way. By then our players were coming back to the tables so we left it at that.}
The heroes start off down the tunnel deeper into the mines, with Bob and Grub leading the way after Grub promised to help them find all the traps and snipy-murder-holes. With everyone else tagging along in a gaggle about 30ft behind them. He warned them off of the goblin dug tunnel on the north side of the hall, as a dead end. Then they held up while Pat examined the collapsed tunnel {21} she determines that the tunnel actually heads off to their right, and if they had a day to spare, they could excavate it and shore it up so it would be safe enough to pass. They opt for the easier southerly tunnel that eventually twists its way back around to the west and a doorway in front of them while the tunnel heads off south again.}

Thingerlun: “Grub, do you know what’s in this room?”

Grub: “Hmm, Me think it’s a guard room.”

Thingerlun: “ You don’t Know?”

Grub: “Not part of my section.”

Bob: “I’ll go check it out.” He snuck up to the door and listened, but after a few seconds he calls for Pat to come “check his work” between the two of them, they think they hear some mumbling and chanting. They both step aside, and Bob gives a ‘thumbs-up’ signal and bows like a butler to let others pass.

Dwight volunteers to charge through the door and sets off running before anyone can really get organized. He plows through the door but fails to hit anything. He finds that the room is lit from within by the flickering light of a small dung fire in the center of the room. There are two rows of goblins squatting on the floor and facing something in the corner to his right and one goblin further into the room tending to the fire. He also sees that there is a door in the center of the opposite wall of the rather long and narrow room. They have red colored arm bands and grim expressions as they stand in unison to fight.

{here's the scene just after Dwight busts the door down}
Image
{again the players get the jump on the initiative… and the goblins are going on 4.}

Tym, Milo, and Pat all file into the room, but they do little damage in the first round. Hearn is the first one into the room who has a chance to see an altar to a monstrously powerful Goblin hulking in the corner, but it is the broken bodies of the slain human children that capture her attention. She spends the rest of the combat tending to their bodies and ‘desecrating’ the altar. Thingerlun decides to go through his spells as he and grub move closer to the action, while Ffwylldyr volunteers to keep watch on the tunnels with Bob.

The goblins on this level are tougher than the others, and by the end of the second round only a couple have fallen and Thingerlun casts enlarge on Grub and sends him in to fight. Much to Dwight’s shame, the goblin was the star of the fight. There were a lot of fumbles in this combat as well. Most of the rolls were so poor, that this combat dragged on. It was long enough that there were corpses that Hearn couldn’t get to rising up and re-joining the fight. This is when the players discovered that taking an extra attack or two on the corpse after it is dead renders it incapable of rising. {The idea being that tiny bits or mush won’t re-animate.}

One of the last two goblins panicked and headed for the door, which was barred. This obstacle held it up long enough to allow Grub a chance to kill the goblin, but he had shrunk down to normal size by then and couldn’t do enough damage, so the goblin escaped out the door. Though not fast enough to avoid Pats deadly blades. The other goblin chose to fight on {and had nearly max HP} Nearly two minutes after the fight began, the last one fell (again). Everyone helped Hearn tend to the bodies of the fallen and to destroy the vile altar. Then Pat went to check up on what was beyond the new door. She discovered that it was an exceptionally long, north to south hallway with the southern end being somewhat shorter. {It’s amazing what happens when you roll a 22 on a listen check.}
Now they are stymied for the moment; having three different directions to choose from, so they took a few moments to think about where they needed to be versus where they would like to go…

Hearn: “Well we could keep going the way we were, to the ‘scary sector’ as Grub calls it. Hey, just what exactly makes it scary? What does a goblin think is scary anyway?”

Grub assumes the cowering position again and in a small voice says, “Gruftus the inquisitor. He loves to be making much pains on everyone.”

Thingerlun: “Anything else over that way?”

Grub: “Ummm, Me think dats where the jail is.”

Dwight: “Jail! Who do they have to jail?”

Grub: “Fresh meat.” Drooling slightly he wipes his chin with the back of his hand.

Pat: “Do you think he means the townfolk?”

Hearn: “Oh dear!”

Dwight, turns to Milo, Can you divine for us, which of these tunnels will take us there directly?

Milo: {max roll of 26} “Sure, we go that way.” Pointing back through where they entered from, “ and then to the south.”

They barred the door to the long hallway before they left the room. Heading south for a few dozen yards or so, the tunnel swung eastward again. Bob and Grub leading the way, but it was Bob who spotted the tripwire and pulled Grub to safety just before he triggered the trap. A few minutes of searching reveals that the wire is attached to a spring loaded arm bristling with spikes just around the corner. It is set to kill anyone traveling on the east side of the hall as they rounded the turn. They decide it is safe enough to trigger the trap; with no one in the danger zone, the contraption shatters against the wall. They move on down the hall as it twists around until they find themselves once again facing a doorway as the hallway continues on, this time the hall is heading eastward and deeper into the mountain.

Bob: “Should we skip it or check it out, it doesn’t look like a jail door.”

Hearn: “We should at least listen.”

Bob thinks he hears some small commotion on the other side and gentle testing reveals that the door is neither trapped nor locked. He stands aside, and again gives everyone the all clear signal. This time it is Pat who leads the charge, managing to bash the door in and taking the occupants (a couple of goblins sitting at a table eating a grand meal) completely by surprise. It’s too bad her attack missed, otherwise it was pretty impressive. The players won the initiative again {just one of those nights I guess} and Milo is the next to charge into the room; crushing the life from the ware-rat even as it is shifting forms and rising to meet him. Dwight pulled the same maneuver, but fumbled the attack. Thankfully he had a magic weapon so it wasn’t shattered. Tym was the next one into the room and he succeeded in attacking the large rat on the table, but did little real damage.

Then it was the rats turn; the one on the table transformed and took its attacks at Pat and did minor damage. The other scored a bit of damage on Dwight; everyone else decided to wait in the hall to keep an eye on things. Milo missed his next attack, while Dwight kills his opponent with much violence. Between Pat and Tym the last rat didn’t live to make its next attack. Noticing for the first time that the room is full of loot from the various raids into the town, they take the time to look for anything useful. Particularly ammunition for Tym and Bob, who were starting to get nervous about their dwindling supplies of arrows. Nobody rolled high enough on their luck roll to find anything interesting, so they pressed onward.

{The scene just before they kill the last Ware-rat.}
Image

This time it was Bob that discovered the pressure plate which lay across the hallway, but he could find no evidence of what it triggered. He called Milo up to shed more light into the hall beyond the trigger, but could see nothing obvious, so he went back down the bend in the hall and started searching. That’s when he found the false wall and after a few moments remembered the rolling boulder trap they avoided earlier. There is no way to disarm this trap, as it is too unstable to tinker with, so they all step nimbly over the plate and keep going. Eastward and deeper they go, but after a few dozen more yards the hall turns southward briefly before jogging back to the east… marching deeper into the mountain. I was going to give everyone spot checks as they rounded the turn, but Pat had decided to take a turn scouting and was out in front with Bob trailing a bit behind her… {20}

Pat: “Hey, what does this button do… (click)” with great crashing and rumbling, a section of stone wall drops into the floor to reveal a long forgotten vault of some kind. It has a thick layer of dust covering everything. The light Milo sheds reveals that there are 7-8 mounds on the floor, but what they are is obscured by all the dust.

{here's a pic of moment just before Pat calls Thingerlun forward to cast his spell.}
Image

Thingerlun takes a look and says, “I think I have a spell that might help here, but it’ll need to be a powerful casting for our needs.” {casts cantrip: hoping to blow away some of the dust, but only rolled a 12.}

DM: “Thingerlun, two thing happen that will be of interest to you. One, the closest the spell gets to what you want, is to produce the sound of a bilious fart from somewhere in the room.”

Thingerlun: “And the second?”

DM: “You undergo a primal reversion. For X number of rounds you lose the ability to read, write, speak in anything other than a grunt. You get the brow ridges and everything to go with it except all the muscles.

Player: “Well… that’ll teach me not to read a character sheet. Note to self: NEVER CAST CANTRIP AGAIN!!!”

{with only 5 minutes left to play, we held it up there until the next session. Game clock suspended at 02/18/3200; 11am.}

{player progress map}
Image


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:23 am 
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Game report for session #13

A couple of things before I go into the game…

I was so busy last time that I forgot to add a few things to the report; like the fact that I decided to accelerate things a bit by using the new EXP system from the final draft. I went back and re-read the reports and tallied up the EXPs based on the new model and found that they qualified for second level. I was quite pleased, that even with this many characters (one of which is experimental) it only took just under 10 minutes to do all the paper-work and then double check it. That’s awesome! I don’t think I’ve had a level up session in D&D3.5 take less than 30min. for fewer PC’s.

Second, we added a new player to the table today! Goddess bless, but somehow I ended up with and RPG virgin… Phil is a friend of one of the other players, and his only experience with D&D is playing WOW, Neverwinter Nights, & Baldur’s Gate; so at least he understands the basic concept of what we are doing. We pooled our dice so that he didn’t have to buy any. Since I was still busy getting things set up, James (the other regular DM at the table) stepped in to help explain the system, and he summed it all up in about 10 minutes and didn’t miss a thing… He focused on how to play a Warrior, and left everything else out, and I chose to leave off with the major world stuff for now. I know that new players are supposed to start off with a gaggle of 0-level PC’s, but since he’s so new at this that felt a bit like throwing a lamb into a lion’s den. After all, whatever happens at this session is going to form his initial opinions on table top RPG in general. He felt that he’d be happiest with 1 character for now, so Kasi let him have ‘Tym’.

Game clock resumes at 02/18/3200; 11:00:01am.

As they were coming to grips with the fact that Thingerlun was not himself, they realized that he was also blocking a door. Tym managed to go first, and went up and looked over the wizard’s shoulder into the room and reports skeletons rising up from the floor. Pat panicked when she heard the word skeletons and decided to close the door. Thingerlun was too stupid at the moment to realize that he was in danger; fortunately he still has all his survival instincts. {no changes to saves} He managed to jump out of the way only to find himself in the dark… the dead creeping up on him. The rest of the first round was pandemonium as everyone else tried to figure out what had happened. Thingerlun did the only thing he could: the +1 staff was still in his hand and it made a rather useful club as he started to spin in circles. He had destroyed 2 of them before the door opened again.

{Thingerlun has a Strength score of 17 to go along with the Intelligence of 18. While the devolution was in effect he totally played up the ape-face and grunting thing… it was great!}

Tym had won the highest initiative he was the first one through the door when it opened and he decided to lead the charge with a mighty deed: he wanted to use the momentum of his charge to help him chop through two opponents. He failed to hit entirely, but was undaunted none the less. Milo was next, but rather than resort to turn unholy, he waded into the melee and crushed a third. After Dwight got far enough into the room, he tried to fling his shield Frisbee-style to take out multiple targets, but failed to connect and had to hastily pick up his shield in the next round. Everyone else stayed in the hall for a while, but the skeletons landed several good hits on Dwight and Tym in the next round, so Hearn ran into the room and doled out some of the magic healing ointment she’s been hoarding. Pat and Tym each destroyed one, but Thingerlun was unable to distinguish friend from foe, so he attacked Tym…

This could have gone badly, but Tym did move to the other side of the room to get out of range. At the Dwight and Thingerlun managed to put down a skeleton each and Hearn finally decided enough was enough and turned away the unholy wretches. Tym decided to end the combat the same way he started, by attempting to take out both of the remaining skeletons with a mighty cleave, but only dropped one. Dwight managed to smash the other one.

When it was all over they saw that there was still one skeleton on the floor that never rose up; a quick search reveals both the amulet of Soleth {God of Death} and the hastily scrawled note clutched in his dead hand. {Handout “E”; slightly tweaked to fit the situation at hand}

I fear that my time grows as short as the candle stub by which I write this, my final act in this world is to impart a warning. Even as I write this I can feel the hand of Soleth upon me. Soleth be praised… and may he forgive me my sins. I was one of the first miners to break through into the old and forgotten tomb that held the terrible undead monster. Do not make the same mistake as we made when we reached the deepest level of the mine. Do not be as greedy as we were. Now we are going to pay for our greed in death. For this beast can raise us from the dead to serve on in undeath, as my fellows discovered too late. I can hear the death rattles of my companions as their unholy wounds take their final toll. Soon they will arise as more than the untended dead, they will be her creatures… her will shall fire them. I take solace only in the fact that we found this forgotten hole and we shall be sealed in here and unable to roam freely. Now I shall partake of Soleth’s Mercy, and trust that he shall grant me peace. Pray for us.

They couldn’t get out of there fast enough… and shut the door behind them.

They remembered from last session that they needed to head south and east, so off they went. After about ten minutes they come to a point where there are two southern tunnels. Milo’s divination spell had come to an end…

Thingerlun: “Hey Grub, which way to where they’re keeping the townfolk?”

Grub: “Fresh food’s that way boss.” Pointing to the tunnel on their left.

Hearn: “What are you talking about, fresh food? Those are people!”

Grub: “So? They still taste good whatever you call’em.”

They head out and quickly see that at there is a door in the southern wall as the tunnel continues east again. Grub tells them that that is the door they need to open. Bob moves forward checking for traps, finding none he examines the door more closely and sees that it has a poison needle trap: 2 points of luck burn later he managed to avoid the needle. Showing his resolve, he stays there and listens at the door and hears some shuffling and moaning and the general sounds of people in misery. Then faintly he hears someone singing weakly; it is weak but otherwise flawless.

Bob: “Oh man, that’s way too creepy! I’m outa here…” And made his way back to the rear of the party, telling them what he heard.

With an exasperated sigh, Hearn went over and carefully opened the door. The room was about 20ft wide and maybe twice that in length with eight cells carved into the walls. The ones alone the long walls were about 7ft by 7ft and stuffed with 4-6 people; the one on the opposite wall was 15ft long and covered with a couple of stretched ox hides. They were closed off by rusty bars, and at the far end of the room there was a console with nine levers on it; the type where you have to squeeze the clutch lever to make them move. There was suffering to be dealt with, but Hearn knew better than to just walk in there. “Hey Bob? Is it safe to go in there?”

Bob: “Ya, the door’s safe. I checked it.”

Hearn: “I know that, but what about the room on the other side?”

Bob (sighs): “Fine.” He walks over and starts to go through his routine. 20 minutes later he declares the room clear of traps. {at no point did he say he was searching the console, but he didn’t roll high enough anyway.} Some of the cells are full of townfolk that have died and reanimated, the rest were full of weak and starving townfolk; too weary to rejoice at their deliverance. She then positions herself near the door but between the first two cells and invokes the power of her Goddess to turn the unholy. The 4 in the first cell stampeded each other to get to the back of their cell and 2 of the undead in the 8th cell turned to dust.

From there, she goes to where she thought the singing was coming from only to find a cell with only one occupant who appeared to be unconscious. This cell has a single occupant he is naked and on his stomach, face turned away. The man has a birthmark on his butt that looks just like the one on Ffwylldyr. She knows this from the very first time they met the bard, when the checked him for injuries after they found him in the closet. {I passed this information to her in a secret note, but for some reason the fuss at the large cell at the end of the room. The info never went anywhere after that…}

Bob goes over to the hides on the wall and after checking twice for traps manages to work up the courage to look behind the hides, but as he gets close enough to try, he is aware of the smell of thistles and open fields. Three tries later he called Dwight over to try and free the hides. Two more tries later, and Thingerlun finally goes over and yanks them down. That is when the meet Thistle the Thorne. The Thorne are a race of sentient plants that none of the party have ever seen or heard of before. It is withered, brown, and most of the color has faded from his purple crest. They thought it was dead until it responds to the light of Ormazd as Milo gets closer.

“Ormazd be praised!!” it cries out feebly {Because all plants worship the sun… naturally. This is the main plot hook from the end of chapter one: the Eye of Night from DCC #14, Dungeon Interludes by Jason Little. This is the module that I’m using as the backbone for the main storyline.}

It seems to lose consciousness after that and Hearn hasn’t got a clue how to heal it; so she hoses it down with her oversized water-skin through the bars and keeps Milo standing close. They question the inmates, a bit to find out that they’ve been kept alive as playthings for the Inquisitor. They only know one thing about the levers: the one farthest from the door opens the first cell on the right as they enter the room. The players designate that lever and cell as #1. Bob pulls it and the door opens, allowing Milo to destroy those 4 skeletons with the power of the Sun God to burn away the unclean dead. Then Bob confidently pulls levers 2 & 3 releasing those captives: total of 8. This normally paranoid wall flower then skips to #5; which he figures will open the large cell, but it was the one right behind him instead. This let 4 zombies out of their cell. Dwight and Tym had drifted into the room by then and sprang into action. Tym won the initiative again and charged into the action, leading with his attempt to hack through two at once. Still no dice, but he did manage to hit it for some damage. {by now I’m calling it his signature maneuver} Dwight destroys one, Bob got a ‘1’ on his initiative, so I figured he was so engrossed in the ‘lever problem’ that he didn’t even notice what was going on behind him. Hearn was next up and got a ‘20’ when she invoked Elyr to lay the dead to rest. The beam of light she generated hit Dwight, so I gave him 1 die of healing, but she managed to obliterate the remaining dead from the rest of the room.

Bob blithely pulls Lever #4 and lets four more people out of their cell; now there are Four levers left for three cells. Bob is starting to hesitate a bit with the levers, but still doesn’t think to check for traps as he pulls #7 and it goes nowhere. Fortunately for him he still had a few points of luck to spare, otherwise he’d have lost his hand as a blade scythed passed the lever from somewhere inside the console. Figuring the trap was sprung, he went to #8 and pulled it, but they were all puzzled when the cell to the left of the entrance opened. Still unwilling to admit fear, he pulls lever #9 and it stick in place as a clamping device springs out of the console and tries to grab his hand. A couple of luck points later and he managed to avoid this one as well. Then he figures the two trapped levers needed to be pulled at the same time; and he was correct. There are two doors for this cell and the rumbling of their mechanism rouses the plant from its torpor.

In a barely audible voice, he says; “I’m Thistle Thorneblood, keeper of the community of Fariweather and I failed to protect them. The reapers came in the night and murdered everyone they could find. I ran away to my shame, but I am its guardian and must keep it safe. He must not get hold of it.” It pauses for a moment then continues, “I have run my course for many months, striving hard to reach the Temple of the lasting Sun. Where the Silver is mined; but autumn is short in the mountains and winters bite debilitated me so greatly that I was easy prey for these loathsome creatures.” In a burst of energy, it tears open its chest and grabs a large topaz roughly the diameter of a large hand.

Thrusting it out to Milo, and in a pleading voice he says, “Take the Eye of Night. I am its keeper, but I cannot bear its weight any longer. It will be the doom of us all should Skullshank find it.”

Things that happen as he takes hold of the gem:
1. Thistle dies as the last of his life is expended to deliver his final words.
2. Milo’s aura brightens to the point that everyone must look away and floats into the air.
3. The voice of Ormazd issues from Milo, full of the warmth of a fresh spring afternoon with the following Prophesy.
+++
In the time of madness, when Dread Moon and Silver burn the mind,
Then our brightest hope shall we find.

The suns bright orb along winding course it runs,
Scrabbling through the muck until darkness comes.

Wilted flower in vile darkness the suns fruit shall bear,
To the ones who for the world still care.
Only then dream of hope, shall we dare.

If all is lost, and hope doth not the bright future make,
The Great Enemy shall the Rod of Heaven take,
To slay the Great Lovers and the world unmake.

Love is lost and Void’s rage unbound;
Darkness covers all, and tears abound,
When Daenthar’s beard is shorn.
The gears will turn ‘round,
As new hope is found,
When the Golden Child is reborn.

+++

The parts in bold are taught to all clerics of Ormazd, as they are from the only known fragment of the great book of prophesy set down by -Al Hajduk the mad, in -644DC. They are concerned with finding another copy in order to hear the entire piece. They know that the line ‘Great lovers’ refers to Ormazd and Lady Shul, the Moon Dragon. Anything that concerns the slaying of their deity and his greatest love is terrifying to them. Not knowing how or why is equally vexing, as their Lord refuses to speak to them on the matter; charging them with the task of wandering until they find their answers in the proper course of time. As to the rest of the snippets of information that they do have, they have had no luck in deciphering anything else.

When things return to normal, they set about eagerly discussing it for a moment or two and then they realize that they haven’t released the last prisoner, so they correct that oversight. As they resume pondering how all of this could be interpreted, they realize that Daenthar is the God of the Dwarves, and no one really wants to think about trying to separate him from his whiskers. They also realize that Skullshank must be that same wizard they saw in their vision, and that the first part of the prophesy must be referring to them. As they struggle with the deeper meanings of this new information, Hearn is tending to the last person who is gaining consciousness again.

Dwight; “Hey! Why are we struggling to work this out? Where’s Ffwylldyr gone off to?” As he starts to head back for the hallway.

The rest of the party was still clustered loosely near the console with the last guy they let out. From the floor at their feet they hear a croaking, much strained voice say, “I’m hear.”

{Jaws hit the floor all the way ‘round the table. EDIT: In fairness, I'd been slowly backing off on his participation over the last couple of sessions. Letting him hang at the back of the group, and only fighting or doing something when asked directly.}

DM: “Everybody rolls initiative.”
{Tym, Thingerlun, Pat, and the new Ffwylldyr all go before the supposed imposter. The new Ffwylldyr goes first for dramatic purposes.}

Thingerlun is the one who won the initiative and decided to Invoke the name of Aristimis the Battle Maiden. He wanted it to be a general call for aid, rather than looking for a specific result on the table I wrote. {he got a 15, and in Her eye Thingerlun is much improved of late; so She decides to make a tactical move, and invigorates the true Ffwylldyr. The other thing that casting this spell does for him, is that for the next 4 rounds he has a +4 bonus to casting from his intense psychic focus}

Throwing all his remaining strength into it, Ffwylldyr pulls himself up using the bars of the cell and with a trembling hand points to the bard out in the hallway and in a cracked and parched voice says; “Stelithex, defend thyself!” Then he collapses to the floor again. The other bard, who is even now starting to strum the opening chords of Sydar’s Square Dance, suddenly finds himself dealing with an angry instrument. The neck and tuning head of the mandolin have transformed themselves into the likeness of a serpent; with drops of varnish dripping from its fangs. He disappears around the corner wrestling with the instrument and trying to avoid being struck.

Tym rushed forward in time to see him fading into the dark ranting about not letting them interfere with the ritual. The last thing he sees is the fleeing bard stepping on something on the floor. In the distance there is the sound of something large rolling their way. He lets them know what he saw, but then turns to the peasants and has them scoot back to avoid getting hurt. Pat and Dwight hastily start chattering out some kind of plan with each other, then she takes off running and tries to follow the imposter, hoping to dodge past the boulder. She failed, and was unwilling to burn that much luck. Pat got 10 points of damage and a crushed leg when the boulder hit the wall and caused a minor cave-in that separated her from the rest of the party. She sees the mandolin, still frozen mid-strike, and grabs it with the intent to smash it to pieces, but it begins to writhe as soon as she touches it so she backs off.

Everyone else rushes forward to investigate the blockage and finds that it is still passable, but only one person at a time may scrabble over the debris pile. Bob is intent on chasing the villain down, convincing everyone that they had to find out what this ritual is all about, but Hearn reminds him that they now have the 13 refugees to look after. {She was tending to their wounds and distributing food as she reminded him} before any real resolution on what to do could be worked out, Thingerlun strode forward and attempts to invert the casting of his Enlarge Spell. {with a +9 to casting, the need to use a D16 wasn’t an issue} He surmised that since there was room to clamber over the top, the roof must be fairly stable, so he “reduced” the size of the pile of rubble. {fortunately for them the tunnel made its save} Bob goes running down the hall trying to figure out which way the imposter had fled, but it had been too long, and he doesn’t know how to track. Hearn went swooping in to check on Pat and seeing how grave the situation was, she opted to experiment.

Kasi: “What happens if I use the healing cream and the clerics healing ability at the same time?”

DM: “Well,,, each application of the cream is equal to a roll of 12 on the lay on hands chart, so… +12”

Hearn was able to restore Pat to full health. {plenty of dice to fix the leg and dice left over to bring her to full health.}

Bob: “Hey Pat, do you think you could track him down?”

Pat: “Possibly, but it will be difficult.” {The funny thing about Pat, is the only thing she gets a bonus on are Luck rolls, so for her everything is pass or fail on the die roll. I set the DC at 15, and she promptly rolls a 19.}

Pat: “Sure, he went that way.” The two of them set off running. Neither of them were too concerned with traps, and Pat made her next two tracking rolls. They figured they could follow in his footsteps… literally, and be reasonably safe. They still stopped at one point to check for traps anyway, just because they were getting too nervous about the growing distance between them and the rest of the party. The direction that they had gone was leading them closer to the temple of the Rat Gods, because the shrill sounds of their ceremony were too loud to ignore. Neither could they ignore the ever increasing stench being brought to them on the strongest current of air they had felt since they climbed the spiral staircase.

Bob: “We should go back and get the others, that sound’s big and nasty.”

Pat: “But… Outside…” stomping her foot petulantly.

Bob: “Later! We need to get everyone over here and see if we can stop that ritual.”
Pat: “Fine.”

There was some quick debate over what to do with the refugees. Hearn decides to try her best with sanctuary, hoping for a grand result, but only succeeded in affecting herself. Undaunted, she then called upon Elyr for aid. {Hoping to cash in on some of her store of ‘good karma’ from the work she’s been doing. Elyr is quite pleased and decides to ad 1d20to her last spell check result; taking it to a 28.} Hearn informs everyone that so long as they abide by the peace of Elyr, they will come to no harm so long as they remain in the room with her; if they leave the room, they are no longer affected. She knows that the spell is solid for the next 7 days, but Dwight stays with her as everyone else sets off to crash a church social…

30 minutes later the party find themselves facing a decision… Pat fails her tracking roll, so she can’t tell them where the imposter bard went, there is a great stench down one tunnel which they figure could be the place of the ritual: these Gods being so into filth and such. Or, the noisy corridor could be the ritual they need to interrupt; but in the end, the air flow, plus the smell leads them to the conclusion that this is probably just an open air sewer for the tribe. They follow the noisy tunnel until they find the source of the sound behind a stout door on the west side of the north-south hallway. Bob just checks it for traps and tests it lightly to see if it has been locked or bared. To everyone’s surprise, it is neither and opens inward. Thingerlun decides to try the sleep spell trick again, he signals Bob to slam the door open real fast. The sight of what was on the other side of the door was not something they expected.

This room, used to be a secondary smelting room, and there was a 15ft diameter crucible in the floor at least 20ft from them on the opposite side of this rather large room. Its fires are stoked and the evil clerics have co-opted it to brew a large quantity of some malevolent potion. In either corner of the room and flanking the crucible were matching statues in granite, each positioned so its ruby eyes set in a lidless glare at the door. At the base of each statue is an altar stained with vile ichor and a wear-rat in hybrid form chittering and squealing to some kind of odd rhythm. The party has opened the door just in time to see one of them turn and with a triumphant exuberance tosses Balinor’s head into the bubbling brew. An instant later potion starts to froth and boil. There is a double row of wear-rats in armor facing the door, and they have orders to kill anyone or anything that comes through that door: nothing is to be allowed to interfere with the ritual. {total of 7 wear-rats, one has 3HD, the rest have 2HD; clerics are 3HD each}

Thingerlun only managed to affect one target, so he chose the cleric on the left, but it made its willpower save. Milo tries to understand the nature of the ritual, but all she can determine is that they are 99% complete; based on the nature of the reaction. Bob was next up and he managed to bury his magic dagger into the same cleric an instant later. Tym is next up and his PC is at the back of the group, but he has enough movement to enter the room and engage with one of the wear-rats. {His reasoning when like this and was shared with us all: “I’m sure I’m safer out here in the hall, but I think it’s gonna be more fun in there.” Hey Mikey, I think he likes it…} He switched to just trying to hit one target, but failed to kill it. Pat was next into the room, her attack managed to drop one of the wear-rats. Then it was the Rats turn to do some damage. Thingerlun had backed out of the doorway after casting the spell, so that left Tym, Bob, and Pat clustered around the door to take the brunt of the assault. Only minor damage for Pat, and the clerics are still screaming at a frenzied pace tying to complete their ritual.

Thingerlun: “Milo, do you have any holy water?

Milo (after furiously searching through the inventory, manages to find 1 flask) hands it over.

Thingerlun: “Grub, I have a job for you.”

Grub (cowering and drooping his ears a bit): “Um… whats youse wan me to do?”

Thingerlun: “I need you to take this,” hands him the flask, “and dump this into that cauldron in there; think you can do it?”

{Grub is already a disciple; but I made a show of him failing his save so they won’t know yet, and they are asking him to betray his tribe. Fortunately the roll was low enough that I didn’t need to blame modifiers.} Grub reveals himself as a wear-rat by shifting into hybrid form. “Sure,” grabs the flask, “I much faster now.” Then he takes off running into the room, dodging behind Tym and trying to circle clockwise around the room.

{I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look of excitement on James face when I revealed that little snippet. “Oh Man! Grub’s gonna make an awesome minion!”}

Bob holds his hand up and his dagger appears, clean and fresh for another throw; but he decides to try and take advantage of the fact that the clerics still seem to be casting. He sneaks passed Pat and into the room, but his attack fails to hit as the gyrations of the ritual movements carry the evil cleric out of harm’s way. Tym managed to drop his injured wear-rat, he has abandoned finesse and is hacking away for his survival, and Pat drops another one, clearing more room for others to enter.

The rats hit Grub with a couple of attacks; but their weapons are neither silver, nor magic, so they do little to slow him down. Tym avoids getting hit, but Pat gets hit for a fair bit of damage and the remaining wear-rats move in closer to the door. The clerics continue their chanting. Thingerlun tries his sleep spell again, but it fails so he backs out into the hallway. The only spell he has left for the day is Enlarge, the rest are spent & Invoke Patron is a 1/week deal. So he fades into the background, but Grub manages to squeeze behind the statue and get to the make-shift cauldron and successfully tossed the holy water into the mixture… {they were expecting something grand or explosive; they were all leaning forward and on the edges of their seats. The brew simply turned a horrible shade of pink. Somehow this bothered them even more than a pyrotechnics display and the combat continues.}

Milo calls upon the power of Ormazd to heal Pat for a few hit points. Bob manages to wound the second cleric, but not nearly as badly as he could have… The ritual was over, and the rat had turned to face him. Tym guts another wear-rat and turns to see Pat miss her attack. The two wear-rats that had been after Grub turned on Tym and scoring terrible wounds upon him. {I rolled a 20 for each attack… fortunately for Tym, I’ve just been using ‘x2’ damage for monster critical hits, but it still cost him 20hp between the two hits. By the end of the round he only had 2 HP left} The cleric that was subjected to Bob’s first attack heals himself, the other one summons up 2 rat swarms; one has 1HD the other has 2HD.

Thingerlun continues to hang back, but Grub (lacking any further instructions) gives in to his inner nature and just scurries to the space behind the statue to hide. Milo invokes the power of the Sun God again and manages to heal Tym significantly, but he still bares grave wounds from this battle. Bob attacks again, but misses his foe. Pat seriously wounds another wear-rat, but then the tide of battle turns in favor of the rats. Pat is swarmed by rats and fails her fortitude save against disease. The other, larger swarm heads towards Tym. The rest of the wear-rat attacks missed, but the second cleric summons up another rat swarm.

{Game clock suspended at 2:10pm; 02/18/3200: We only had a few minutes left before closing. }
It never ceases to amaze me how fast this system moves and how much we can accomplish in a session. We only average about 2.5 to 3 hours / session, though this one was nearly 4hrs, but we spent the first 30 minutes teaching Phil the things he needed to know. He needed some coaching all the way through the session, but by the end of the session, his questions weren’t about how to run his character, they were about the system and how other parts of it work. He seemed to have fun and I think he’ll be back.

We’ll be meeting again on the 25th to find out who lives and who dies…

Sorry, no charge in the camera battery this time, so all I have is the progress map:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:02 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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:oops: I had to make some edits to the last post... most notably the 'bold type' for the ode to the Phoenix lord orated by Milo. I forgot that the formatting doesn't hold when I past these entries in here. :oops:

Second; that last post was starting to get long, but I wanted to post some of what is going on with Dwight, Hearn, and the refugees. Since Phill opted not to use any of the 0-levels, I decided to draw 12 random NPC's from the deck of 75 that I made from the random PC generator over at- http://jmarrdesign.com/dcc/

Here they are w/ their 2 most notable stats (over 12 or less than 6)
    Humans
    Fortune teller {18 STR, 16 AGIL}
    Squire {18 AGIL, 18 STAM}
    Grave Digger {5 STAM, 16 PER}
    Ditch Digger {14 INT, 14 PER}
    Ditch Digger {13 INT, 5 LUCK}
    Orphan {13 PER}
    Minstrel {13 PER}
    Caravan Guard {13 STR}

    Elves:
    Forester {18 STAM, 16 AGIL}
    Sage {15 AGIL, 16 LUCK}

    Dwarven Blacksmith {15 STR, 16 AGIL}

    Halfling Gypsy {15 AGIL, 15 STAM}

Third: When I started running this module and story-line, the time-line set down in the module needed to be expanded in order to have it fit more fully within the context of my game world. I also greatly embellished the Gannu Family story to better stitch some of the module elements, and to leave no doubt in the players minds that the Gannu Family is truly despicable and loathsome. I actually have the history of the Silver Vale written (in time-lime style) all the way back to its founding 688 years ago... the info is framed in various levels of detail and scattered throughout the dungeon. Some is attached to the existing handouts, some is available in 'data cashes' in various rooms in the dungeon where books have been looted from town and stored by various NPC's. Freeing prisoners from r2-13 (or getting captured and tossed in the cells) were just some of the ways I have for getting the info to the players.

Here is the email that I sent to Dwight and Hearn's players:

The stories of the Elves, Dwarf, and Halfling will need to be role played (so far they have about 40 minutes worth of time question the refugees); but the grave digger, ditch diggers, fortune teller, and the orphan are the last of the townfolk that were being rotated through the jail cells as they were used up by Gruftus the Inquisitor. The ‘true’ Ffwylldyr remains unconscious, but the following tale is related to you by the minstrel that refuses to leave his side. It takes about 15 minutes to gather all of this info from them.

“Ffwylldyr arrived in the Free City of Soulgrave in mid-September of 3199, and his search inevitably led him to the activities of an evil human dwarf named Narzy. The wretch is gathering slaves in free territory then transporting them back to Silverton to use as a labor force. The problem is that slavery (and everything else) is legal within the free territory and there is a lot of money to be made, so Ffwylldyr got ruffed up by the local ‘trade association’ and told to get out of town. That is when he hired the caravan guards (10) and myself for protection; I was traveling with them, so he had to hire all of us.

By the time we had gotten to the last known location of the Slaver, he and his cargo were two days ahead of us on their way back to Silverton. The season was late enough that there was only one more caravan left in town. Most folks are too afraid of the Veltoni {Halfling Gypsies} and their strange ways to even dare to ask for passage; but the desperate tone to Ffwylldyr’s plea struck a chord with them and they allowed our small troop to travel with them on their way to spend the winter in Silverton. They have their own reasons for traveling this late in the season, and they kept quiet about it; though they were in a hurry, which suited us just fine.

Ffwylldyr’s activities came to Laurence’s attention because he was looking for a way to infiltrate the Veltoni Caravan. They had refused to hire him or allow him passage with their troop, citing his lack of talent the first time, and the second time on the grounds that they already had a Bard and a Minstrel and they needed the room for useful & or paying cargo… Laurence was too cheap to pay, but sometime before we left Soulgrave, he managed to subdue Ffwylldyr and somehow steal his likeness; keeping the real bard in a strange pouch that his mother had given him. We hadn’t noticed the difference, as we hardly knew him in the first place.

We, being the company of Ffwylldyr, the caravan guard, and myself, arrived in Silverton on the 17th of October, 3199 with the caravan of Veltoni Nomads. We were attacked by goblins on the edge of town, all but that old grandmother are dead. They and their dogs all sacrificed themselves to keep her alive; I suppose that’s why the goblins keep her. Curiosity, fear maybe, I don’t know; and the Elves have been in a trance state ever since they got here… nothing seems to phase them, and Gruftus is determined to get their secrets. Everyone who survived was thrown in here: including Laurence. As soon as the goblins threw us in here, the pretender somehow turned himself into a rat and scampered out of his cell and into the darkness. Then a long while would pass, but he would always return before anyone noticed he was gone; that continued for days. Sometimes one of us would be dragged off by Gruftus to be tortured; he never wanted to know anything, he just likes to keep his skills as sharp as his knives. It wasn’t until much later that we figured out that Laurence was subduing the goblins by turning them into wear-rats, eventually he was able to take over the tribe. The day he threw the real Ffwylldyr into the cells; that’s when we learned the truth of things.

After that, the torture continued, and the days wore on; then one day there was a tremendous amount of noise. For three or four days the tromping of footsteps pounded passed the door, we were fed, but otherwise left alone. When Gruftus finally got back around to us he was giddy about all of his new toys, so much so that he couldn’t contain himself… three of us died that day on his new device. He called it ‘the gate to hell’.

Through all of this the real Ffwylldyr sang to us, whenever the guards weren’t around. He lulled us to sleep so that we need not feel our hunger, or the touch of deaths cold hand. While I was on the rack, I heard Gruftus say something about the ‘tyranny of silver’ to one of his underlings; the only other things we ever heard about the ritual or the purpose behind the wear-rats actions is this: they are brewing some evil potion, we don’t know what, but it requires the bones of the innocent and the blood of a hero. I know naught else. The non-humans have kept to themselves, so you’ll need to speak with them for their stories.

As for the story behind the Gannu family… I’ve heard the entire tale told in fragments by hundreds of doomed voices, I don’t think I shall ever forget it.

3099 D.C.: The Patriarch of the Gannu Family discovers the richest vein of silver ore ever found in Imperial history… even veins of pure silver are being found. The Gannu Family is convinced now that they are chosen people of the Gods… they order the mines worked 24hrs a day and ignore the fact that miners go missing. It was the crown jewel in the Gannu Family hegemony.

3100 D.C.: [100 years ago] Many of the folk of Silverton are slain by whatever has been wandering the Gannu Family Mine. The only thing anyone knows for sure is that whatever it is, the bodies of the dead were never found. The deaths continue to mount, but Jasper Gannu continued to order more laborers accompanied by garrison troops, but this did nothing to slow the mounting casualties.

02/08/3101: The folk of Silverton take a stand. A coalition of the clergy and the guilds refused to follow his orders. They refused to send anyone back into the mine, or support anyone who did. Jasper calls a halt to operations, but inexplicably stalls the investigation for several days.

02/18/3101: The first group of clerics went into the mines to investigate… never to be heard from again.

02/22/3101: The second contingent went in looking for the first… they were to stay for only 10 hours then come back and report.

02/23/3101: Second group is presumed lost and the guilds declare the mine closed. In a fit of legendary rage, Jasper Gannu ordered the miners back to work; threatening to use the garrison troops to enforce his will as Lord Mayor. The guilds and the laborers stand firm.

02/24/3101 D.C. The Night of Blood:
The folk of the Silver Vale revolt against the Gannu family when the garrison was loosed upon the citizens with orders to arrest the heads of all the guilds and to place the clerics of the temples under house arrest for meddling in civic affairs. Things quickly became bloody as the citizenry refused to go quietly. The rage of the people of Silverton is such that they overwhelmed the troops by force of numbers; many of the soldiers actually disobeyed their orders and joined with the Vale Folk. In the end they cornered the Gannu family in their mansion; and a standoff threatened to get ugly as the mob considered burning them out.

In the end Jasper and his family surrendered, but the apoplectic citizens kill its patriarch Jaspar Gannu on the spot. They nearly do the same to his pregnant wife, but for the timely arrival of a delegation from the Temples. The High priestess of Justica declares the lady Athia Gannu and all her descendants banished under pain of death; and she is driven off to the south. The folklore says that an angry widow spat upon Lady Athia and cursed her and her kin such that they can never abide the touch of silver. The Gannu Family Estate were searched then burned to the ground; but the legendary Gannu family wealth was never recovered.

02/25/3101: The mines were abandoned, but never sealed because no one was willing to get that close after only one of the priests from two expeditions finally came out. His only message: “…it is contained, but still it hungers.” He died a few minutes later and had to be cremated quickly, as he started to rise up again in spite of the rituals to prevent such things. He had very little left, but the two silver keys he carried were given to the Garrison commander for safe keeping. The citizens, their anger unquenched after close to 250 years of being manipulated by the Gannu family, planted a thorny hedge around the estate borders. The spiky fence on the hillside is a visible reminder of the pain and anguish in the hearts of the people of the Silver Vale.


Fourth... I don't think the players have figured this out yet, but now they have an 'HQ' on this level that (so long as Hearn remains in room 2-13) renders them invulnerable to detection: as long as they can maintain the piece of Elyr within its walls for the next 7 days. The fact that there is a stockpile of 0-lvl PC's and tow of the original characters, makes this room the closest thing table top RPG ever gets to a "Save Game".


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:49 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Game report session #14

Well, Phil sent a message that he had a wonderful time, but that he didn’t have time in his schedule to continue. This time we had another friend of their show up, but she was happy to be entertained by everything and more interested in watching all the activity.
To be honest, I wasn’t having the greatest day. Everyone was a little late for starts, then I realized that I’d left my computer at home… so we got a late start. It was just one of those nights when you feel just a little bit off, and you can’t quite figure out why.

{I remembered my camera this time, so I snapped this pic as we were starting the session off}
Image


{Game clock resumes at 2:10:01pm; 02/18/3200; near the end of round 4 of the combat.}

First Pat, then Bob, and then Tym are overcome by an inexplicable madness… they lose the ability to determine friend from foe as they succumb to wild hallucinations and the sounds of the Rat Gods whispering promises and garbled words of power into their minds. Thingerlun fails to cast his sleep spell and loses it for the day and Milo attempts to use word of command on one of the wear-rat clerics, hoping to interrupt it summoning spell, but fails. Grub finds some shred of bravery and tries to attack the other cleric, but he doesn’t have a magic weapon, so he barely does any damage at all though he does get the clerics attention.

Pat takes damage from the swarm covering her, and then the largest of the swarms covers Tym with their filthy mass; he panics and takes off running… {the combat pauses for a moment as I take Tym’s player aside to explain what happens next.}

In his panic Tym runs down an eastern branching and into new dungeon territory; ignoring the growing stench and clawing desperately at the rats still clinging to him he doesn’t see the monstrously large dung beetle squatting in the room that he is heading into. He also doesn’t see the beetle grab the 5ft wide ball of dung and fling it with great force at the intruder to its kingdom. The last thing Tym ever sees is the ball of dung, oozing and chocked full of sharp debris an instant before it envelops him, and slams him against the wall, where he suffocates before he can bleed to death.

{death by dung beetle… ironic death for the gongfarmer: checked off my DM’s ‘to do’ list…}

Meanwhile, back at the main combat…
The wear-rat cleric of Narrimunath stabs Bob with its dagger of diseases, {and he promptly fails his fortitude save and acquires a bad case of belly fire fever, in about half an hour or so} Pat thrashes about wildly with her weapons, but hits nothing, same for Bob. Milo, however, manages to cast word of command and points at a cleric and commands it to “dispel” the rat swarms. The cleric failed its save and the two rat swarms covering Pat disappear. Thingerlun reaches into the room passed Milo and succeeds at casting his last useful spell: Chill touch. He manages to kill it {thanks to the randomly rolled HP of 3 points} The remaining rat swarm is slow, so it can’t quite reach anyone, and most of the remaining wear-rat troops converge on the doorway to attack the spell casters, but two fail miserably and the other fumbles and drops its weapon. The Cleric of Nimlurun stabs Grubb for damage with its dagger of corrupting; Grubb fails the save and his face distorts grotesquely. Pat drops one of the wear-rats, She is trying desperately to cut her way to the door… she knows there is an exit around here and she really wants to find it…

Bob and Milo both miss their next attacks, but heartened by his previous success, Thingerlun tries the Chill touch spell again. This time he rolls well enough {modified 21} that the spell gives him a bonus to hit, and does extra regular damage plus strength damage and lasts for 10 minutes. He hits one of the wear-rats and damages it and weakens it, but not enough for a kill {1 point, plus 2 points of STR damage}. Grubb fails to hit the cleric with his attack, and the wear-rat troops that are left surge forward doing damage to everyone, and cause serious problems for Bob who is both jabbering insanely and lashing about with his magic dagger {down to 1hp, and now suffering from the early stages of Hamster Pox}. Pat manages to cut another one down and moves a bit closer to the door. Bob finally hits the cleric of Narrimunath and does some real damage.

Milo sees how bad off Bob is, so he quickly disengages from his opponents {who failed their free attacks} and moves close enough to heal him, though not nearly enough to restore him to full health; and Bob is still very sick.


Thingerlun then proceeds to roll a natural 20 for his chill touch attack…

{Player: “Can we just say that it’s dead?”

DM: “No, I want to see how this plays out.” I may have mentioned it before, but if not: I should say that I never know how many hit point each of the enemy troops have until someone succeeds at hitting one of them; then I roll its HP to see what happens. This target had the max possible of 12… “Roll for Crit table I…”}

Thingerlun delivers the attack with a vicious jab to the wear-rat’s eyes, blinding it, weakening it to the point where it could no longer stand, but it is still alive. {10pts damage, failed fort save Vs. blindness, and 4 points of STR damage: so I guess it’s a good thing that I take the time to fully ‘stat’ my monsters… BTW, wear-rat goblins have STR 8 and are one of the many critters in my Creature Catalog along with my rules for Lycanthropes.”}

Grub fails to strike the cleric again and is starting to become fearful, so he dashes away to hide behind the statue again, and the Cleric fails his attack at the retreating traitor. Milo had failed to cure any of Bob’s ailments, so he focuses on ‘praying for the dead’ to make sure that they don’t rise up and start complicating matters. The Cleric attacking Bob misses, but its twin succeeds in casting a darkness spell that yields a 20ft radius of effect centered next to Milo. {There were questions about how Milo’s aura interacted with the spell, and if he could use his own spells to duel with the other cleric, but I pointed out that they were ahead of the wear-rat cleric in the initiative, so Milo was out of luck on that score. Then there were questions about how Milo’s aura interacted with the spell, so I allowed him to make a willpower save Vs. the clerics casting success; he failed.

Darkness engulfs most of the room; though there is still some murky light illuminating the southern part if the room coming from the fires heating the cauldron. It is barely enough to see by considering they had to leave the lantern with Hearn and Dwight and had been relying upon Milo’s aura. Pat, playing up the fact that she’s completely nuts at the moment, decides to use her bow to shoot in the general direction of where she thinks the caster must be… {I warn her that this is dangerously close to rational thinking, but Since you are enveloped in darkness I’ll let it pass for ‘crazy’; with a -6 on the attack from insanity and darkness.} Pat missed, so I rolled to see if she hit Grubb; and she only missed by one. Everyone hears grub cursing loudly. Bob is in darkness, but he stops for a moment to get a sense of things. {1d20 + INT + Thief level -2 for insanity against a DC of 15. He nailed it with a roll of 14 which modified up to the 15 he needed: he has INT 13 and is 2nd level. He then proceeds to roll a 20 on the backstab attempt and even accounting for the insanity it is still sufficient to hit the clerics AC of 15. Horribly wounding it with his strike; the wear-rat cleric has barely any life left in him, but this is hidden from everyone by the darkness.

Milo succeeds at dispelling the darkness {rolling 1d16 to reverse the darkness spell; ‘cause I figure it’s a good mechanic for wizards so why not use it here for clerics. In the future I think I’ll just default it to a willpower save for Milo to ‘assert’ the influence of his aura.} Thingerlun has this rat swarm about to clobber him and he has no area effect spells or weapons; he briefly considers shutting the door. In the end, he decides that he doesn’t like the idea of someone beating up and generally thrashing his favorite pet, so decides to leap over the rat swarm and rush the cleric of Nimlurun while its back is turned {having just tried to strike Grubb} Thingerlun makes the leap {by rolling exactly the number he needed} and scores moderate damage and the cleric of Nimlurun visibly weakens and now turns to face Thingerlun. Which of course leaves his back wide open to Grub, who succeeds in his attack, but without a magic weapon he only does 1 point of damage. Pat, surprised to see her bow in hand and sight restored, shoots at the group of creatures she sees in front of the other statue (Thingerlun, Grubb, and the wear-rat cleric) she misses everyone, but only just misses Grubb again.

Bob manages to kill the Cleric of Narrimunath, in looking for another victim; he rolls randomly to see if he attacks Milo, Pat or the other wear-rat cleric… as they are the only ones he can reach. Fortune favors the party and he sneaks up on the wear-rat {player rolls a modified 19 for sneaking, cleric gest a 5 without modifiers on listen check} The attack succeeds, but he rolled a 1 for his check on the ctrit table so the damage to the cleric wasn’t that impressive. Milo takes a swing at the last of the wear-rat troops, but fails to connect. Thingerlun fails his attack against the Cleric, but Grub hits again for all of 1 point of damage. By this time some of the dead wear-rats that were too far away from Milo were starting to rise up again, but their attacks against Pat are naught but a sad joke. The Remaining wear-rat cleric fails his attempt to skewer Thingerlun with his dagger of corruption, and Pat drops her bow to return to her attempts at hacking a trail to freedom. She succeeds in slicing up one of the newly risen dead.

Bob gets a rather spectacular result on his backstab of the cleric and even though it is mortally wounded, it fights on {made its morale check even though it only had 1 HP left. The player was most chagrined, when I said that it was still not dead. It’s not my fault that it went most of the combat without really being hit for much damage, and it had managed to heal itself from some damage early on in the fight.}

Milo is still trying to kill the last of the wear-rat fighters, but the task is proving to be too difficult as he swings and misses again. Thingerlun and Grubb both miss their attacks and are then swarmed by the rats that had finally managed to creep up on them. They both took considerable damage considering that neither of them has much in the way of HP. The remaining undead wear-rat strikes Pat for a couple of points of damage. Sensing that the path to the doorway is nearly clear Pat destroys the last of the undead and starts to head out of the room. In a fit of insane rage Bob manages to finally kill the cleric of Nimlurun in a shower of arterial blood. {rolled a 20 on the backstab attack and the crit resulted in an arterial bleed…}

Milo finally hit the last wear-rat and squashes it to jelly.

{Combat ends Game clock advances to 2:11:51pm; 02/18/3200}

Pat tries to head for the door, but Milo places a hand on her shoulder and manages to channel enough divine energy to remove the curse, but not the disease she contracted from the rat bites. {rolled a modified 23 which allowed for the 4 dice of healing needed, but none left over for restoring hp or mitigating ailments.} Bob keeps stabbing the dead cleric until they pull him away from the mess. Bob is still quite loony and he is feeling decidedly queasy, but unable to communicate this to anyone. They realize how tired they are; they started the day at @ 4 am after all. After a moment or to recover, Pat tries to secure Bob with some ropes, buy pretending it’s a game. He lets her tie him up, then casually slips out of the bonds and attempts to instruct her about the art of binding someone, but it comes out as total gibberish. Finally, Pat distracts Bob: allowing Milo to cast Paralysis on him. They gather the scrolls from one of the altars and use the last of the oil to set the altars and everything on fire, hoping this will suffice for a cleansing.

Carrying the statue of Bob they retrace their steps, but not without noticing the tracks of Tym heading off in another, easterly direction.

Pat: “Those are Tyms boot prints, shouldn’t we try to find out where he is?!”

Thingerlun: “We have to hurry and get this lump back to the cells before he regains mobility, we don’t have time.”

Milo: “He’s a stout lad, I think he’ll be alright for a little while, and we know we can help Bob.”

They manage to get almost halfway back before the spell wears off. Pat doesn’t even try to hold on, so Milo and Bob begin to tussle, but it is Milo who wins out in the end with an unarmed attack roll of 20. Pinning Bobs arms behind his back and force marching him the rest of the way back to the cells. {During all of this, I nominated Thingerlun to be the one to roll the random monster encounter checks with his luck penalty included; sadly he kept rolling really well on those rolls, so they make it back to the jail room without being further accosted.}

{Game clock halts for these party members at 2:31pm; 02/18/3200. It is then rewound to 2pm in order to relate the events from Dwight and Hearn’s perspectives. By this point they’ve had about 35 minutes to listen to the minstrel telling them the prisoner’s story and have roughly 20 minutes to interview the Halfling gypsy, the Elves and the Dwarf. To further set up this scene I must relate the following details: 1. That the Elves and Dwarves have a deep distrust of Humanity after several attempts by the Old Nimorian Empire at Elven and Dwarven genocide. There is also a prejudice on the Human side because they don’t trust anything that can live forever, and it doesn’t help that Elves delight in cataloging Humanities mistakes and follies in great detail; 2. That the players kind of caught me with my pants down on this one… I had fully expected to see most of these prisoners turned into new characters, so I didn’t really flesh them out story wise. I roughly knew the info that I wanted to convey to them via the Sage, but I had nothing for the Dwarf. So for the interview, I was having to seriously ad lib my way through it and got most of the names wrong, and in the end I just tried to pass things off with the fact that the prisoners were all a bit befuddled from their long confinement. What follows is the slightly edited version of things that will get emailed to the players for their review.}

Dwight is apparently a traditionalist with regards to Elves, but less so with the Veltoni and the Dwarf, so he handles those interviews.

Hearn: “Are you injured? May I know your names?”

First Elf, dressed in the rags of green leather armor, and the general demeanor of someone who knows how to fight. “Who we are isn’t important really. As a cleric of Elyr I think I can trust you and your motives for helping us, but after this ordeal I don’t know what is real anymore. I’m not much more than a guard and escort for my elder companion here.”

Hearn: “Why are you in here; did they torture you and your elder companion?”

First Elf: “I don’t know really. We can’t have been much fun for Gruftus, as I and my companion are able to enter into a trance state that rendered us immune to his blades and potions. He’s trying to starve us now, but he’s finding out that we don’t eat much either. Mostly we were just hoping to outlast what was going on in here.” He nudges his companion who wakes and sits up abruptly.

The Older Elf is dressed in tattered robes that seem to have been quite fine: “Well, this is a strange turning of events.”

Hearn: “But you were unconscious…”

Older Elf: “I’m a Sage, and have learned many secrets in my lifetime. My body was still, but I assure you that my mind and senses were roaming about the place while you were speaking with our friend Thistle. I am not inclined to trust Humans, but as you’ve done us a service and from the events I’ve now seen… I suspect our paths are to be intertwined. So I shall tell you this: we are from the forest of Mystenmere, north of the kingdom of Morain. Our lady has seen dire portents within the movements of the stars; she has tasked us to make contact with one of our southern enclaves within the Warderwood, along the southern coast of Crieste. We are to consult their records. We were to be transported beyond the intervening lands via powerful magics, but we landed not in the forest of our choosing. Only later did we realize how far off our enchantments were thrown, by then we’d been surrounded by zombies and skeletons and dragged into the dark.”

{Kasi says she tells them [the Elves, and the rest] the cliff notes version of how and why they are in the dungeon, but we didn’t bother with a recital… I asked if she includes the information about the vision they’ve had about the ending of the world, and she said ‘yes, but not all of it.’}

Older Elf: “I am trained not to dismiss any information without first attaining its veracity, but what you tell me is the antithesis of everything I’ve been taught. My parents died in the fires that consumed
Ahna-Vithyre and I do not want to believe the things you say.” He pauses to think for a moment, then continues, “I shall have to think upon your words, and I hope that I might be given a chance to partake of these visions first hand.”

{I figured all that story telling would eat up a fair bit of time, so I switched over to Dwight walking over to interview the Old Veltoni Gypsy woman. The players are told that the Veltoni Nomads (Halflings) are a strange folk by Imperial standards, they truly have no homes save those they travel within: yet they wield tremendous political power. This is due entirely to the fact that they helped the Engineers Guild scout out the routes for the new Imperial roadways; all the Veltoni asked in return was an eternal irrevocable right to travel duty free upon those roads. Within a century they had created a trade empire that stretched from the icy waste north of Valfores Bay all the way around the Lirean Sea and south past the great city of Punjar, capital of the Southern Province.}

To say that she is old and wrinkled is something of an understatement, and her clean brightly patterned but rumpled clothes are at odds with the dank and dirty surroundings of the cell that she is still perfectly happy to sit within. The door is open, like all the rest, and as Dwight gets to within 10ft, he sees that she is wearing a plain brown handkerchief tying down her silver hair. She is sitting so that she has to turn her head to see him, and the look from her deep brown eyes pierces straight through into his brain. {failed his willpower save versus a being with full mastery of the evil eye. She is squinting a bit, and looking not at him, but rather, through him. In either case, he is reassured to realize that she was “pulling her punch” as the saying goes, but he is more than willing to be compliant with her wishes.}

“That’s quite close enough,” she grabs her cane and uses it to slowly lift herself up off the stool she was using and turns to face Dwight. That is when he sees that there isn’t any signs she’s been tortured, or even mis-handled in any way. {There is no longer any question as to why Gruftus left her alone; she wears power like an old comfortable scarf.}


Dwight: “Ma’am, may we ask you some questions? Your name?”

Old Gypsy: “Zollana, you may call me.” And she seems to focus her gaze upon his chest, “Yes. I suspect you have a great many questions, but there is no time now to go into the answers.” She starts to hobble forward and he unconsciously backs out of her way to let her through as she explores the room for the first time. She lingers by the cell that still houses Thistles body she looks on with sadness openly on her face, “Terrible shame that. Though he seemed content at the end, and you don’t often see floating clerics.” She then heads over to where Hearn is still distributing food from the bountiful bento box while she is talking with the Elves; “Well, I think that it’s time we all had a bit better than trail rations.” Zollana reaches into the rather tiny box and pulls out a whole roasted chicken and hands it over to the crowd, then begins to distribute fresh fruit for everyone. It was right about then that they all were made aware of something strange indeed.

A rippling wave of force seems to traverse quickly through the room and passing through all of them and leaving a chill tingle crawling up their spines. Hearn however, ended up with a mild head ache as some great malevolent force strikes the sanctuary as if it were a giant bell; the resonance fades and the sanctuary holds. In its wake there seems to be a palpable change in the feel of the room. Something in the very walls is emanating a very dangerous feeling. Zollana looks around with wide eyes, “That may be the most powerful curse that I have ever seen in my life.”

Hearn: “Has the sanctuary fallen, is there something wrong?!”

{DM: “No, it just seems that there is something very different and ominous about the walls.}

Zollana: “I doubt it; you have a strong connection to your Goddess… no, I suspect that this is something bigger than all of us. One of the ditch diggers panics and starts to scamper about; accidentally touching a small tendril of mostly pure silver running along a crack in the wall: he goes stark raving nuts. Zollana moves slowly towards this poor damaged soul and lays a hand lightly upon him. He calms immediately, shaking his head and moving carefully about the room. Hearn inspects the place on the wall that the poor man had touched, and is shocked to see that there are some sort of black striations in the silver, almost like cracks in ice or mud. The markings don’t appear to be on the surface of the metal.

Dwight: “What about Ffwylldyr, will he be OK? Is there anything you can do for him ma’am?”

Zollana: “I should think he will recover eventually, but it may take a while. There is nothing anyone can do, his soul is spread a bit too thinly is all.”

Hearn: “What do you mean his soul is spread too thinly?”

Zollana: “Day after day, he would use his bardic power to sooth us, and help to ease off to sleep. Even after Gruftus had worked him over Bards use the power of true speech and the language of the Gods woven into their songs; you cannot do what he did under these conditions and not lose a bit of himself to the process. He needs rest and some good food is all.”

{The rest of the time is spent interviewing the Dwarf blacksmith: he is a member, and perhaps the last living member of the local enclave of Imperial Dwarves. I remind the players that like Elves, the Dwarven people were deeply affected by the sinking of the Isle of Lirea. They too lost most of their leaders and the greatest of their crafters, and artists. Unlike the Elves who remain scattered, most of the Dwarves banded together in the Ul Dominor Mountains: but not all joined with their brethren. Many among them (especially the Hill Dwarves) chose to become Imperial citizens; sharing many of the secrets of Dwarven crafting. This is a large part of the strife between Hill and Mountain Dwarves.}

Dwight, approaching cautiously: “Might I know how you came to be here?”

Dwarven smith: “I have lived in Silverton for my whole life, and I remember the night of blood, the minstrel over there tells the truth of it as best I can recall. I understand and will abide by the peace of Elyr, but Like the Elves over there I have trouble with the visions you spoke of. I wouldn’t mind getting a chance to examine that axe you’re carrying. It has an ancient look to it, and I should like to know how you came by it. ”

Dwight: “It was carried by a friend of ours; he died well. I carry it to honor his memory.” Dwight hands him the weapon.

Dwarven smith, after examining it for a bit: “As I thought, the crafter that made this was lost when the Isle of Lirea sank into the sea… this axe is on the lists of the lost weapons.”

Dwight: “We’re good swimmers.”

The Dwarf just grunts and grudgingly gives the axe back to Dwight. Before anything else can be discussed, the relative calm of the sanctuary is shattered by the return of the rest of the party. Bob is the first one in, as he is being marched by Milo. The rest follow, and it is obvious that they have been through quite an ordeal. Amid half shouted summaries of their encounter at the temple, they tried to figure out how they were going to observe the peace of Elyr with a crazy person to deal with. They decide to put him in one of the cells, but the only one they can remember how to operate is the double levers to operate the cell with Thistle’s remains. They are at a loss as to how to get Bob in the cell without violating the peace of Elyr until Dwight tosses a small gem into to cell. Bob takes off after it, and the doors are shut behind him.

{DM: “Bob, they have shoved you into a cell that reeks like a wilted salad. What do you do?”}

Bob eats salad with gusto.

Zollana: “Oh dear, you’re all in sorry shape. Let me see what I can do.” And she starts with examining Bob through the bars. {Most of the story that I’ve attached to Zollana is that she is a renown healer/mystic of her people. I had originally planned to have her travel with the group, and use her Halfling luck ability to help them out a bit with the luck burning. But, they were so messed up from the last fight that she decides to repay her debt to them by removing some of their afflictions: only 2 from each, leaving Bob with a case of Hamster Pox that will blossom in about 24 hours.}

It is about this time that they realize they still haven’t gone looking for Tym. They discuss things for a bit and finally decide that they are in no condition to mount any sort of rescue, so they set up for the night. Hoping and praying for Tym’s safety. While they were making ready for camping, Hearn spent some time studying the scrolls retrieved from the temple. She deduces the following {rolled a modified 18.}:

All silver ever mined from this facility, no matter how small, would have become a seed of corruption. This seed would spread its dark energies out from it to infect all the silver of Aereth causing the silver to be useless in magic wards, runes, and any creatures normally vulnerable to silver would no longer suffer from its touch. Furthermore, any other living creatures that came in contact with the silver would be sickened by a form of incurable madness that is transferable by touch.

She and Zollana deduce that the addition of the holy water will change things, possibly limiting the curse somehow. They have already seen that the madness isn’t transferred via touch, so they are relieved; but Zollana suspects that this is much larger in scope.

Dwarf: “If the effect is limited to just the silver from this mine… well… this mine produced coin grade silver since the late 2800’s.” The enormity of the problem then set in and they recall some of the lines from the prophesy about when the dread moon and silver burn the mind. The older Elf tells them that ‘the dread moon’ probably refers to the second moon of Aereth. He unconsciously begins to lecture about its eccentric orbit, but then trails off when he realizes what he’s doing. One of the last things that they try to figure out is what made Tym, Bob, and Pat lose their minds. {the players wrack their brains for a moment, and then I let them make intelligence checks against a DC of 15, Bob makes the connection: all of them had taken silver bars from various cashes in the dungeon. Tym and Pat took bars from behind the throne in room 1-18, as did Bob; who also took bars from other locations as well.} They examine the bars after dumping them out of their bags, only to find that in the refined state: the corruption of the metal is more pronounced. Bob is deeply angered that these rats have made it that much more difficult for him to get rich.

Dwight and Bob sort of keep watch, mostly out of habit, but the funny thing is that they never let Bob out of his cell, tough he did take the time to pocket the gem Dwight used for enticement. It was while Dwight was on duty that everyone was woken by the angry shrieks from Gruftus the Inquisitor: “MY TOYS!!! Someone has taken my lovely toys away from me! Fifi! Come, sniff them out! You useless cur.” Kicking the creature into the room. It is a human crawling about on hands and knees, head bent to the ground snuffling like a hound. Everyone is shocked, but the prisoners are too conditioned to fear, or loath the wretched human to move or make a sound. Dwight recognized the tattered remnants of a uniform insignia on the man. This sorry broken man was once a Knight-lieutenant with the garrison {4th level warrior} who now thinks he’s an abused cocker spaniel.

Gruftus, striding over to the cell with Thistles body: “Someone has ruined my garden experiment!” Then he takes a closer look, “SOMEONE’S BEEN EATING MY GARDEN EXPERIMENT!” He rushes over and pulls both levers to open the gates. Then rushes back with Fifi in tow to examine the bite marks on the wilted corpse. Bob casually slips out of the cell and pulls the levers to lock them inside. Gruftus is both furious and terrified. Because no one has as yet done anything to violate the sanctuary spell, they are all still invisible, though Grubb starts to laugh.

Gruftus: “WHO IS THE COWARDLY WELP THAT DARES TO LAUGH AT GRUFTUS THE INQUISITOR!” In his panic, Gruftus decides to beat the knight to death in order to sooth himself; but before he can even start, Ffwylldyr starts to sing. So softly that everyone, even Gruftus is forced to strain to hear the sounds. The first try fails, but he manages to succeed at a second attempt to use a lullaby to put Gruftus to sleep. Then he loses consciousness again.

They sleep until 1am on the 19th before setting out again. {if they only knew what was going on one level beneath their sleeping heads…}

This time they send Bob, Pat, Thingerlun and Grubb to track down what happened to Tym. They retrace their steps quickly to the still smoldering room with the remains of the temple; Tym’s trail is easy enough to follow in the muck upon the floor and it leads them towards the exit. They know they are heading for an exit because they can put out their torch and see the filtered light coming through from somewhere. There is also a lot of air moving around them; unfortunately it carries a powerful stench as well. Then they see the massive ball of dung plastering Tym to one of the walls… His limp limbs are all that can be seen sticking out at odd angles from behind the mass of debris and fecal matter. There is stunned silence from everyone, except for Kasi, who just smirks and giggles a bit.

Bob: “I guess Tym got the runs.”

{I could go on at length about what happened next, but it just got worse from there. So to preserve the sanity of the readers we will simply say that the only thing that separated us from the monkey cage at the zoo was the fact that we were only lobbing puns. I think it is safe to say that: a ‘punny’ time was had by all and that the crown for the worst pun was passed around faster than a burning bag of poo. After a while, we returned to the game…}

In a series of sneak peeks around the corner, they put together the following picture. Grubb wasn’t kidding, this is where the goblins and such on this level bring all of their waste, but there is no immediate clue as to what is being done with it. They see that there is a giant dung beetle being herded by a few goblin runtlings with spears; their tactic seems to be to hide in its blind spots and use the spears to cause pain in selective ways. The result being a rudimentary control over the critter; which they are using to gather up the waste and move it about according to some unrecognizable plan.

Pat: “OK, we found him. Can we go outside now?” {she’s not so Dung-ho about all of this…}

Bob: “No, I don’t think we can kill that thing without some help.” {party pooper…}

Thingerlun (with a fresh reload of spells): “I think I can help with this.” He looks around the corner and casts a Sleep spell strong enough to knock out the runtlings {got a 19} They discovered that the bug is immune to such charms, but free from the painful menace of the runty spears, it realized that it was time to escape. {It only has an INT score of 1, but it rolled a 20 on the check to realize its good fortune.} The dung beetle rolls the sleeping goobers into the dung ball and unfolds its wings and flies with its trophy down the large tunnel to the east.}

{Here is a shot that I've entitled: "Death of a traveling gongfarmer." It was taken right after Thingerlun cast his spell.}

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The scout party follows behind at a discreet distance, noticing that underneath the thick layers of fecal matter, this is a fairly recent and rather large tunnel. They emerge into a hidden valley on the other side of the ridge from where they entered the mines. {No, James, there isn’t a little ranch around here somewhere. Now cut it out, or I’ll have to take your beer away…} There is a spring farther up the steep sides, They cannot see it, but it flows strongly enough to be heard after the rather loud drone of the beetles wings fades in the distance. Their noses are assaulted by the stench from the festering mass of dung, garbage and stagnant water that has built up here before it flows into the creek that eventually flows down into the Silver Vale to the south of town. They have no light, and what they thought was sunlight was the bio-luminescence from the pools of rotting sludge. By the time they get back to the others they are encrusted with waste, and glow slightly in the dark. They clean themselves as best they can with water from the bountiful bento box while they relate what they found to the rest. There is much debate about where to go next, and what they should do for the refugees. In the end, the former prisoners refuse to stay in the prison any longer, especially with Gruftus whining and trying to cajole them into violence. They all seem to have formed a bond of camaraderie despite their backgrounds and all of them are concerned with tending to the exhausted bard. They agree to wait for the adventurers at the temple of Elyr back in Silverton.

The party heads back in to the sanctuary to decide what they want to do next.

{Game clock suspended at 3am on 02/19/3200: we'll be meeting again in 2 weeks :mrgreen: }

{And here is the sessions progress map}

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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:43 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
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Game report for session #15:
Sorry for the delay in posting, I lost several hours of productivity yesterday to a power outage…

early spring blizzard: 1
Tortog: 0

***

Well… I woke up to get ready for the game thinking that 2, maybe 3 sessions and these guys will have this module all wrapped up. Then we got a text message saying that two of my players wouldn’t be there because they were having furniture delivered and the only window of opportunity was right in the middle of the game. Rather than cancel, they invited us over to their place because they refused to miss out on game night. The main benefit to this, beyond a huge rush of blood to my ego, was that removed of the time constraints we managed to cover quite a bit of ground. I shall endeavor to be concise, but there was nearly 6 hours to account for. Sadly there was much more dialog than I was able to get down in my memory banks, but I’ll do my very best to render the important bits and the spirit of what was going on.

Towards the end of the last session, as sometimes happens in a campaign, the players were discussing what they were going to do next. As far as they can determine, there shouldn’t be any more rat temples. {Hearn & Milo both have been doing well on their ability checks concerning what they know about the Rat Cult.} They were trying to recollect why they were in the Mines, and hard pressed for a reason not to run screaming… They figured they had enough info to make a good report for the cleric of Thormyr; they had freed a bunch of prisoners, and beat the snot out of a bunch of evil clerics and their henchmen … and they were feeling triumphant, but a little lost…

{Game clock resumes at 3:00:01am on 02/19/3200} The following conversation takes place in the characters head.

Milo: “I need to know what time it is, how long is it until sunrise?” Invokes his ability to know the position of the sun.

DM: “About 4 ½ hours, why?”

Milo: “I have been thinking about the Prophesy, and I have this growing fear that the sun will not rise today.” To the rest of the party, “I think we should head outside for a bit.”

Pat, with obvious excitement: “OK!”

Then most everyone is carried off on a side trip to lala land. {the following missives were handed to players via notes, so they could read them and role play their responses.}

For Dwight:
As you are heading back into the mines to cogitate upon what to do next you are suddenly overcome by the feeling of falling at a tremendous rate of speed, the sensation lasts for only a fraction of a heartbeat, but it is enough to leave you a little woozy. You are not in the mine shaft any longer; you are back upon that great grey expanse where you traveled after presenting the ‘key’ in the room of the guardian.
Behind you are the sounds of battle, closer now than before. Hearing it raises the hackles of your soul, but you know it is best not to look upon those horrors never meant for mortal eyes. Before you stand’s not the guardian of the tomb from your last trip to this place, but instead there stands a tall man girded with a coat of steel rings of the finest quality. He wears a simple grey woolen cloak about his shoulders and a broad black belt; a sword on his left hip and a golden bugle at his right hand. His coif of rings is thrown back to show tussled, raven black hair and a few days growth of whiskers giving lie to the youth of his face. But it is the power in his gaze that has you transfixed. Jade green and piercing, he closes the small distance between you in a few casual strides. His voice is gruff, but not unpleasant; “Dwight of Grenvec, I have been watching thee.”

Now that he is at arms-length from you can see that for all the quality of his attire, there is a battle-worn weariness to all of the man’s equipment and features that speaks of hard use and long campaigning. The engraved sigil of a bugle and sword upon the clasp of his cloak declaring him better than any herald: Thormyr, the Watchmen. Legends have it that he was once a simple guardsman, keeping the town watch, but he witnessed a terrible crime; his love and faith in justice drove him into the very Kingdoms of Hell where he rescued a cleric of Justica who’d been abducted by a powerful devil. For his service the Gods elevated him to the status of Demi-God patron to town watchmen, garrison troops, and caravan guards and all those who would place themselves between the innocent and harm.

He continues, though he is already beginning to fade away; “Ditch digger no more… You chose to stand watch over the weak, the vulnerable, and the sick: you have chosen wisely Dwight, keeper of the Key to the Palace of Kan’harook. I speak now unto you a plea for mine own aid, in hopes that truly have I found a worthy man. Find the ring and open the vault… return that which was stolen from my temple before the shadow of darkness falls upon us all.”

With that you find that you are falling back into yourself again…

***
For Milo:
As you are heading back into the mines to cogitate upon what to do next you are suddenly overcome by the feeling of falling at a tremendous rate of speed, the sensation lasts for only a fraction of a heartbeat, but it is enough to leave you a little woozy. You are not in the mine shaft any longer; you are drifting in the heavens, bathing in the radiance of Ormazd. You fly and swim through the jets of fire, cleansed and reborn by their gentle touch. Presently a voice quietly enters your mind and says with reassuring tones: “Thou hast done well to have found what was lost, but drawing nearer is the hour of our greatest strife. The battle for the fate of Aereth begins here: go forth and bring light into the darkness of this place, let not the minions of Ahriman and Lasheeva win this day.”

For Hearn:
While the rest of the party was leading the refugees to the exit; you find yourself floating in a half dream, and everywhere you find meadows of heath and wild flowers. Far in the west there are golden mountains catching the last, the last rays of a setting sun casting them in a halo of crimson fire. To the east, night is falling over an ancient forest; but it is the gentle weeping from the south that draws you onward, deeper into the endless meadow of flowers. Someone suffers terribly, their sorrow evident and proclaimed for all in the sobbing tones. Your trek brings you closer to the forest, where a figure in linen robes may be seen kneeling upon the ground gently prodding something out of your sight. The person hears your approach and turns towards you lifting a small broken form. You recognize the face of Elyr instantly as she shows you the dead rat cupped gently within her palms. Between her sobs she says; “Save them… not all are as they seem… break the silent pipes to end their plight... the vile servant of Lasheeva … he holds the salvation of silver within his cauldrons.” And she turns back to her contemplation of all the rats strewn about at her feet.

The return of your companions brings you back into your body before you have a chance to inquire further.

***
{Game clock advances 3:02:00am on 02/19/3200}

So they were listening to Hearn tell them about her vision, when something bizarre happens. {Aristemis forgoes anything like a vision… opting for something a bit more practical}

An ethereal arrow streaks down from on high; straight into Thingerlun’s brain-pan and pinning him to the nearest wall… The arrow fades into sparkles, leaving him with the following thought: “for your record of excellent service your esteem and worth has been revalued.” Thingerlun may now Invoke patron up to 2x day and his luck is restored to 5. {The original total for the Patron bond spell was 18, which granted a mark of favor and the ability to cast Invoke Patron 1x/ week. I told the previous player that as a battle wizard, he would be rewarded for taking down evil wizards and clerics: so for participating in the vanquishing of a cleric of Narrimunath, Thingerlen gains +1 to his patron bond result. For directly and near single handedly dispatching the cleric of Nimlurun; Thingerlun is awarded one point for each of the clerics HD; +3, bringing him to a total result of 22 on his patron bond result. The Luck boon is mostly for style and role play, and because I’m tired of dealing with the ‘1’. I never thought I see the day when a player was thrilled to have a ‘5’.}

Hearn: “Are you OK?

Thingerlun, grinning like the cat that got the canary: “Doing just fine thanks!”

Hearn finishes relating her vision, when Pat jumps in with: “That sounds like we can find a cure for the silver problem in here somewhere.

Before anyone can do anything else, Pat (who is closer to the door) notices something is looking at them from around the corner further along the northern hall. She recognizes it as the ‘snake head’ of Ffwylldyr’s mandolin. It wanders off making odd thrumming noises and all but Hearn start to follow after it. They see that it resembles a wooden turtle with a very long neck that it swings about, it is looking for something. They follow along until it leaves the mines and starts heading off to find its master. They hesitate in the main chamber, not wanting to get all covered in muck and a debate breaks out over which of the bards has the pipes that need breaking. They recollect that Ffwylldyr always played the mandolin as far as they knew, but that bard had been an imposter so they weren’t sure how much of his act was real.

In the end they ask Milo to call upon his Second Sight to guide them, but all he could determine was that they should go through the door on the north wall. That is when they notice the rail tracks circling the room under the muck and heading out under the door. Bob heads over and listens, and hearing nothing; he opens the door to see the hall heads north for maybe 40ft and ends in another door. There is a side hall to the west about 10ft away and the tracks head in both directions.

They decide to continue north on the idea that this was thin direction last indicated by Milo’s Second Sight. Bob heads off to check the door with the rest following behind. He searches for traps and finding neither lock nor trap; he listens at the door, but everyone is making too much noise for him to hear anything. On his next try he thinks he hears the scratching and shuffling of a rat, muttering to himself “Rats… always rats.” He lets everyone know what he heard; the door opens outward so he pulls it open quickly. He sees 3 things before all hell breaks loose:

1) someone has piled boxes nearly up to the ceiling restricting the path forward to a single file passage for a dozen feet or so then turns to the east; deeper into the room.
2) there is a rather large brown and grey rat running as fast as it can down said narrow passage and disappearing out of sight.
3) a lurid green bolt of energy is streaking from somewhere deeper into the room to land a bout 15ft from where he is standing. Then Bob and Pat, being the only ones in range of the spell; fail their saves. Bob by a little, Pat rolled a 1. Bob starts taking acid damage, Pat collapses to the ground coughing and taking acid damage from a powerful choking cloud of gas that obscures their vision.

Bob yells for someone to grab Pat as he dives back out of the way. Thingerlun sends in Grub to pull her out, and he does so… by the hair. He’s still angry about being shot at. From inside, somewhere deep inside the room they hear evil giggling; “You will fear the G’zogah!!! Ahahahah!” {I have everyone roll initiative. I won for a change.}

Not knowing exactly where they are, he queries his rat familiar for info; the rat informs him {successful listen check} that the rat killers are not advancing into the room. G’zogah moves the cloud ten feet further out into the hall: catching Pat, Bob, Dwight, and Grubb. {Pat didn’t get a save, and oddly enough, Thingerlun was the only one to make the reflex save to avoid it.} Thingerlun pulls Dwight and Bob out, Grubb walks out dragging Pat, who is barely conscious at this point. On their initiatives, they all scramble back to the last junction, and proceed to wait out the spell duration. More evil laughter, “I am the mighty G’zogah!!! Grovel like dogs!”

Pat recovers while they are waiting the 40 seconds or so that it takes for the spell to dissipate. Then, in a surprising act of bravery, she runs into the room, down the narrow hall, and deep into the box maze hoping to move fast enough to find cover before the wizard can cast again.

Bob; “Grubb, you should run in there and find us another exit.”

Grubb, sneering a bit and looking skeptical; “Wa you say boss?” turning to look at Thingerlun with adoration.

Thingerlun; “It’s a good idea, go for it.” Grubb transforms and skitters into the room while Thingerlun spends the round trying to think up the most effective way to knock the boxes down: domino style.

Milo strides into the room and then tries to cast sanctuary like Hearn did, hoping that they could then use the immunity to search the maze of boxes, but only managed to affect himself for a few seconds which caused his light to appear as if it were moving about on its own. Bob then tries to sneak into the room only to fail miserably, turning to Pat, “SHHHH! I’m being sneaky!!” Dwight tries to climb the boxes to get a better look, but his armor prevents him from succeeding. They have had a chance to get a better look at the room now that there is a disembodied light bouncing about. This room was originally a huge load of silver ore, long since mined out; leaving a hollow chamber that must be 40ft high at the center and at least as wide on its narrower north-south walls. It is somewhat longer than that on the east-west axis, but they really cannot tell how far it is from their vantage point. The crates are piled up nearly to the ceiling in what must be the center of the room, with the ‘walls’ of the maze getting lower as they get closer to the edges of the room.

Image

G’zogah and his familiar spend the round maneuvering into position to spring their next trap, but they failed their sneak checks. Most of the party as clustered within the first junction of the maze, a wall of crates between them and their attacker and trying to decide left or right. Bob hears the rat scrambling off to their left, and the wizard is somewhere off to the right and tries to communicate this knowledge silently through a series of pantomimes and gestures. {And that’s when the great sign language debate broke out… There was no need for dice to determine that the message was not received.}

Pat wanders off to the right and finds the ‘passage’ ends against the wall, but there is a small goblin tunnel going further. She fires an arrow into the hole and hears it scraping along as it follows the tunnel off to her left. She decides it is better not to try and squeeze through, and walks the 15 feet back to the junction.

Pat whispering quietly: “Nothing down there I want to check out, maybe grub can do it.”

Giving up on the sign language, he whispers back: “wizard is to our right and the rat is somewhere over to the left. We should stick together so we don’t get lost.”

Thingerlun thinks about invoking the reverse of his enlarge spell on one of the lower boxes, but decides that there is no way to guarantee which direction they will fall. Then it hits him that G’zogah appeared to have used indirect fire for his spell. He attempts the same on the theory that his sleep spell can affect an area if he casts it at sufficient strength. {I figure that the theory is sound, and if he really wants to risk losing his spell attempting it… fine. I find that I rather like the idea of wizards lobbing spells around like mortar rounds. If nothing else, it is guaranteed to increase the carnage! :D }

Thingerlun succeeded at casting a truly powerful version of the spell and stated that the G’zogah must sleep until kissed buy its true love while in the throes of passion, but there were no immediate signs of anything happening. {I rolled the save for the Goblin in secret and got a 19 on the die without his bonus for wizard level. The player looked at me expectantly, I just sat there staring at him for a moment, then said; “Think about for a second, it’s a sleep spell. Even if he failed his save, how the hell are you gonna know?” }

Thingerlun, muttering; “Note to self: must research fireball at earliest convenience.”

Grubb gets lucky, sort of. He finds the exit {he made a search check and followed the tracks to the other door while climbing over the boxes with ease} but there was another rat waiting there to deliver a chill touch spell for its master. Grubb used up his round searching and moving; and the familiar had already done the same so they just sneer at each other. Milo; “Fire in an enclosed space is not a good idea.” And then wanders off to the left and then east, deeper into the maze of crates with Bob and Dwight following. G’zogah managed to get line of sight on Milo and fired a magic missile at him from his wand. {When I was converting the NPC over from the module, came up with the following idea: magic wands should be as quirky and cantankerous as the wizards who made them. So the wand probably performed quite well for its dead former owner, but when G’zogah tried to use it I rolled the spell check again and only got a 13. The wand therefore produces a 1 point magic missile on command; once per round. Furthermore, any time a rod or wand transfers ownership there is a chance that its properties and powers can change. The wand delivers damage any time it is used, but there will undoubtedly be a price to be paid… as soon as I figure it out I’ll let everyone know.} Then G’zogah ducks back and starts sneaking into another location.

His familiar misses his attack on Grubb. Since everyone is traveling single file and there are no targets for them to attack everyone holds action until it is Thingerlun’s turn. He lowers his gaze to the floor and slaps his forehead and in a hoarse whisper; “I’m an idiot! Pat! How’ed you like to climb the walls with the ease of a spider?” His invocation is so powerful that she doesn’t even need to take her boots off to make the spell function, but she’ll need to wait until it is her turn to act before she can put it to the test. Grub transforms back to a hybrid form and cuts the familiar in half…

G’zogah; “GACK!” They see him falling from high up on the boxes in the middle of the room, clutching his chest. He hits the ground with a wet thump. {Ya gotta love that suicide switch for wizards… Unless you happen to be one. The rat had 6hp, but G’zogah only had 1d6-1 and 1d4-1 for Hit Dice and had a total of 11hp including 6 from his familiar.}

Everyone is confused until Tingerlun explains the bond between wizard and familiar to them. “… and you can see just how dangerous it is. Note to self: when I get a familiar I need to ask for a 30ft tape-worm so no one can kill it.”

{Game intermission while the DM is rolling on the floor laughing for a while…}

Taking advantage of the spider climb spell they take the time to survey the room and find the dead goblin wizard and the exit. They looted the body of the wizard and found the wand a few feet away, he had pair of glasses that only had one lens (etched with runes) and a couple of gold rings, but neither are the one Dwight is looking for. Thingerlun picks up the wand and it starts to hum.

DM; “Roll Thingerlun’s Luck against a DC of 11.”

Thingerlun is disappointed when he channels power into the wand it only does 1 point of damage to one of the crates. {I’ve never been too keen on the whole command word idea, even though I used it to full advantage. I figure that since someone saw the wand used, and he has the magic missile spell, then he needed only to invoke the magic missile spell through the wand to use it. Things would have gone differently if he didn’t have the spell; though having the wand to study would eventually have led to him learning the spell.}

Pats ceiling walk also let them find what they suspect is the other end of the goblin tunnel she found earlier and after much debate they are too paranoid to risk letting something sneak up on them send in Grubb to scouts the tunnel. All they hear is a snap and a hideous squelching noise as Grubb’s scream is cut short. {Not a familiar, not a character, and they were getting far too much use out of it…No save. Dead. In all fairness, I’d been planning for the possibility of this particular death for Grubb ever since Thingerlun charmed him. Thingerlun hesitated before acquiescing to the party when it came to sending Grubb into the hole so I wasn’t sure it would happen; but when it did, the look he gave me... You’d think I shot his dog.} There was nothing else they could do; Milo couldn’t fit in the hole to give last rights. The characters all stood around in silent grieving for a lowly goblin for a while, and then slowly left the room.

The tunnel twists and turns for a bit but they stop when Bob finds a secret door {r2-22} In a fit of carelessness, Bob simply activates the door. Realizing how lucky he was this time, he calls milo over to shed some light into the narrow room. They see that the room is about twice as long as it is wide on the east-west axis and filled with debris from an old cave in. Bob, extremely cautious now, starts searching the room, but fails to notice the hole in the floor. He teeters on the edge for a moment, but seeing that it is a chute and not a pit, he decides to let himself fall in. {Rolled a total of 18 for search, too bad he needed a 20 to notice the chute. He then missed his reflex save by 1 point, but he decided to take a chance and conserved his luck.} Tumbling in the darkness for a time, then out into free fall to land on something that felt decidedly like upright barrels. He is unharmed; save for his pride, he then gives silent thanks that no one was around to see it. He estimates the chute at about 50 to 60ft. {average roll on his ability check}

Milo, having not heard anything from Bob peeks into the room. Noticing that he is gone Milo only steps over the threshold. His voice echoing down the chute: “You dead?”

Bob says nothing.

Milo, a little louder; “I’m not lowering a rope unless I know you’re down there somewhere!”

Bob, aggravated; “I’m fine, but it’s dark down here. Now throw me a rope!”

Milo, having followed the sound of bobs voice, finds the chute without falling in; “We can’t find the rope, we think we left it with Hearn!”

Bob sighs, thinking that they are probably correct, and the other 50ft is in his back pack. Since Milo moved closer to the hole, there was just enough light filtering in to let him make out the crack in the wall 5ft above him. To anyone who didn’t know, it would simply look like a crack in the wall. He is also just barely able to make out a door on one wall and the vague silhouettes of equipment in barrels. He can smell the canvas, leather, and oiled metal quite clearly. He listens at the door, but Milo shouts back down again; “Do you want us to go back and get it or not?”

Hearing nothing, he tries again, and thinks he hears the faint sounds of battle. Pulling himself up into the crack he sees that he slid down a smooth water cut channel; it is easy enough for him to climb back to the party: following the sounds of their debate as to the feasibility of the use of spider climb on Milo so they can get some light down there. A few minutes later he was back where he started and telling them what he found.

Milo, tauntingly; “Way to go Trap Master! Some thief you are; didn’t check the door and fell into a hole.”

Bob, indignantly; “Who are you calling thief?! I’m no thief, I’m a Ditch digger, and proud of it too!”

Milo; “Well you seem to be able to find traps and such well enough, most of the time.”

Bob, proudly; “If you dig around in the dirt long enough, you’re bound to run across things others would rather keep hidden. It’s an occupational hazard.”

They manage to find a secure location to tie off. Bob goes first muttering and swearing. He sighs in resignation when his get to the end of his rope… Still abut 15ft left to go including the drop at the end. Fortunately the chute was fairly level at that point and he was able to exit easily enough. Considering sparking up a torch, he stops and pops the bung off one of the barrels first. His nose tells him that it is fairly high grade lamp oil, so he decides to feel his way around the room; shovels, “ouch” picks, sacks, rope. Makes his way back up and splices it on and calls back for everyone else to head down. The growing light confirms his assessments, and he spends some time examining the locked door. The ‘ditch digger’ picks the lock while Milo looks on and just shakes his head.

Opening the door cautiously, the sounds of battle increase. {I made sure that the inflections of my tone carried the idea that this was not just a couple of goblins squabbling over dinner, but an actual BATTLE.} And this time they can faintly make out the whining of a set of pipes amongst the clashing of weapons. Milo informs them that they are facing east, the hallway starts from the door and spirals around to their left and then off down a long stretch heading south. They proceed closer to the sounds of battle, the noise hiding their approach, the ditch digger out in front making sure the passage is safe. Thanks to the geometry of the tunnel intersection, they were able to get fairly close, but stop well short of seeing (or being seen by) any of the action.

{I should say that for the rest of the night everyone referred to Bob as ‘the Ditch Digger’; with special emphasis. I should also say that I had put a fair amount of time into setting up the battle field the night before the game, rolling certain results in advance, so I could simply go with a description of events. I thought that if the evil bard was going to fall on his face then I wanted to be able to convey this to the party with the description; so they could factor the results into their plan of action. Fortunately Laurence was able to pull off a strong performance. Roll modified to 19; 1d20+bard level (2)+ PER (3)+1 for magic pipes - 4 for the duration of play. Danderval’s Distracting Ditty is a pernicious medley that gets into your head and won’t let you concentrate on anything. It is particularly potent versus wizards and clerics, but at sufficient levels of power, it will affect everyone with a -2 on all actions, including initiative as the victims are too distracted by the endlessly looping tune. They got lucky and chose to stop just outside its effective range, the echoes causing problems for everyone. Limiting the range of the songs effects from 75ft down to 25ft while they were in the side tunnel.}

That is when they stopped to debate the possible tactics. This was a very long dialog, and I can’t quite recollect every permutation that they went through, but there was one particularly funny moment after they had gone through two ideas and discarded them for being too cruel…

Milo; “Cleanse them with holy fire.”

Pat; “You were there when Hearn had her vision; she said the rats have to be saved.”

Bob, shrugs: “We have plausible deniability.”

Thingerlun; “I suppose I could use the sleep spell, and then we let whoever is attacking them do the work for us.”

Milo: “We have barrels of oil…”

Pat; “But Hearn will get mad at us, and we left the other ones sleeping up top.”

Bob; “Hearn’s not here: I won’t tell if you won’t tell. Besides they’re easier to kill when they’re sleeping.”

Pat, horrified as she realizes what he is implying; “You didn’t!”

Bob, grinning; “I won’t tell if you won’t tell. Besides I didn’t want them sneaking up on us.”

The conversation was interrupted by the sound of wet and irregular footsteps from behind them.

Milo, intuiting what was about to happen next; “Oh no…” There, revealed by the light of his aura was the shuffling form of Grubb: one ear missing, one eye bulging out, and apparently missing one foot.

Grubb, reaching out for them; “FRRIIEennnnd!” {As opposed to: Braiiiiins!” If looks could kill I think I’d still be in intensive care right about now. He was most put out by this turn of events, and then he got real quiet. Suppressing a grin, the player turns to me and says; “Thingerlun is visibly seething with fury.”}

Milo, turning to Thingerlun; “You know we’re going to have to kill it again right?” Then prepares to smite the abomination.

Thingerlun: “NO! I will not rest, nor stop at any cost to have my friend resurrected!” He then ducks around the corner and sees that the hall is packed with wear-rats, goblins, and rats who appear to be waiting their turn to enter the fight in front of them. He casts sleep, and manages to drop a couple of the goblins. However no one failed to notice the huge swan-like wings that enveloped the victims, and the goblins start calling for Laurence to come help them. They don’t notice Thingerlun in all the confusion.

{JACKPOT!! I’ve been looking for the opportunity to involve Thingerlun in some kind of Arcane peccadillo. Oh the things I’m going to do to this poor wizard… :twisted: :twisted: }

Thingerlun; “They’re calling for Laurence, and I don’t think that will last long, so we should take advantage while we can.”

Pat, failing to stop him and the others from striding forward; “Wait! You said they are calling for Laurence… isn’t he that Gannu fellow? We should wait for him to come to us.” {It was a good, solid plan… in theory, the problem was that it brought them all within range of Danderval’s Distracting Ditty. The willpower DC was 18; only Thingerlun made his save, Grubb didn’t need to roll. Everyone rolls initiative: Pat botches her initiative by rolling a 1, which modifies to a -1 because of the song effect.}

Milo fails to bless Dwight. Dwight decides to be mighty and using his bow he tries to break the pipes, but misses completely. Relying upon the lingering effects of his song, Laurence switched songs, to something barely audible that drives the rats into a killing frenzy and they surge forward. Thingerlun sends Grubb out first telling him to attack, and then the draws the wand out.

{James: “Can I fire the wand and cast in the same round?”

DM: “Hmm, well there are no rules for wands yet, and according to the rules it says that it is possible for wizards to cast more than one spell in a round. It’s at higher levels, but I should think that casting from a wand would be much simpler than going through the normal routine, or there wouldn’t be much use for them. Sure, but he can’t move or run away if something goes wrong.”}

Thingerlun then uses the wand to shoot the syrinx in the bard’s hands, which then failed its save and exploded. The destruction of the pipes causes a terrible curse to be lifted, and most of the rats transform back into half-starved and half-crazy townsfolk who stampede down the hall away from the characters and killing several of their former tormentors in their frenzy to flee the scene. Thingerlun then he follows up by casting a mighty flurry of magic missiles down the hall. {He gets 1d4 missiles, plus 1 at 4d12. He had to read the spell description twice before he was willing to believe that he could do that much damage.} He kills 2 of the remaining goblins with missiles, and 1 with the electric discharge from his mercurial magic results; and then lobs the big one at Laurence, who ends up exploding into goo. {After taking nearly 3 time his hit points in damage.}

A pic of just before Thingerlun unleashed arcane hell:
Image

Bob steps out into the hall and in front of Thingerlun to protect him, and Pat starts dancing along with the tune in her head, ignoring everything that is going on. All but one of the remaining goblins and wear-rats panic; and then run off in the same direction as the peasants. The Ditch Digger manages to gut one of them with a vicious dagger swipe. Dwight, somewhat amazed by the turn of events holds action in case he’s needed. Unsatisfied, Thingerlun vents his anger again {rolling the same result as the last round!!} he unleashed 6 normal missiles as well as the big kahuna at the 5 goblinoids that have the audacity to still be standing, hoping that he could clear more room for Dwight and Bob, because Milo was tending to the dead, and Pat isn’t reliable at the moment.

DM: “The remaining goblins turn into glowing silhouettes and disappear as if they were hit by high intensity phasor beams.” {James starts laughing so hard we have to take a break.}

The Ditch Digger skulks forward down the hall to the ‘T’ junction that their carnage has revealed to find one terrified goblin hiding just around the corner to his right. He slashes its throat with his back stab, because it didn’t see him coming; but when he looked to his left, his face paled {literally} when he saw that that hall was packed full of skeletons with picks and shovels and calls for Milo. {When I set up the minis and called for initiative again, I reached into my bag of plastic skeletons and dropped a hand full on the table. Fortunately for them, these skeletons are in shabby condition, and are last in the initiative… I figured it was the least I could do for them, considering how many they were going up against. I love the fact that I can follow the story where ever it leads and not have to endure ‘game balance’ lectures from my players.}

This pic is poor quality, but it give an idea of what Milo and Bob saw:
Image

Grubb starts eating the brains of one of the dead goblins. Disgusted, Milo strides forward at Bobs frantic calls for him; seeing the mass of skeletons he raised his holy symbol and calls forth the power of Ormazd to lay these poor souls to rest. Only 3 of the skeletons are turned, but they are sufficient for the moment to slow the advancement of the others. Grubb is in range, so he runs as well, but stops after about 50ft {the nature of his reanimation gave him a second save} Pat continues to dance for a while. Dwight runs forward and destroys one that is still heading forward. The skeletons manage to move forward a bit, but none of them can get attacks on the party.

On the next round Bob heads back to get Pats help, the Ditch Digger Has had an idea. Milo fails to turn any more undead. Thingerlun casts magic missile again, but only gets one missile this time, though it still manages to pop one of the skeletons. Grubb tries to get back to Thingerlun. Dwight tries to use one of the trampled goblin bodies to knock down a skeleton, but failed, so he moves back. Pat and the Ditch Digger head back to the store room for a barrel of oil. With everyone else holding action until the others bring back the barrel, Milo takes another chance on turning undead. {natural 20, but since they all were still under the effects of Danderval’s Distracting Ditty, the total roll modified below the ability to destroy any of the skeletons. Though 11 of them, plus Grubb, ran away.}

Now the mass of skeletons is moving in slowly in the opposite direction, knocking over some of the few still trying to attack, and everyone waits for Bob and Pat. When they return, the barrel is opened and they go bowling for skeletons, but even with Thingerlun helping, the barrel only made it halfway through the bony horde. Then Dwight lit the trail of oil and dove around the corner with everyone else. {everyone made their reflex saves.}

The corridor erupts in flames and is effectively blocked for a while. Milo tries to invoke his second sight, but incurs the displeasure of his Deity and must now go on a quest to heal the sick and injured: until he completes this quest, he is at -4 on all attempts to heal. All of them still suffering from the annoying tune in their heads, start back up to the holding cells hoping that the effects of Laurence’s song will eventually wear off, and they do by the time they reach the base camp. {they got a little lost in the maze} Though, now that it is around 9am, Milo insists on heading out to see if the sun came up and is both relieved and perplexed that it has risen. When they get back to the sanctuary, the Ditch Digger begins to itch all over, and that sensation is replaced by the feeling that he is being eaten by a thousand angry fleas. The Hamster Pox goes into full zoster. {Given Milo’s need to aid to aid the sick, I figured that I could accelerate the onset of Bob’s condition: but it was Hearn that insisted on treating him.}

The hamster headed boils (complete with teeth, hence the biting) are most difficult to treat, as any bites cause the infection to spread. Hearn caught them before managing to use magic, and some of her magic ointment to cure Bob and herself.

{Game clock suspended at 9:45am 02/19/3200}

When we resume, there will be some radical shifts… for starters, they were so busy dealing with the Ditch Digger that they haven’t realized that Thingerlun committed blasphemy against Elyr by bringing the undead minion into the sanctuary.

Also, I think they will get a call from Archie, because they never checked in with him. From his vantage point there is still a lot of strange goings on. Smoke pouring out from various parts of the mountain top, then every piece of silver in town tarnished instantly, refugees, then all the rats turned into half-starved people and he really wants to know if he’s supposed to help them, or if they have revealed themselves as wear-rats… he’s more than happy to slaughter them if needed. Especially since some of them seem to be quite insane.

Oh yes, and then there is that little detail about how they ran for cover and left the peasants to their fate on level 3… So much for Deific good will. 8) 8)

As always; the player progress maps, both of them:
Image

and:
Image

We meet again in 2 weeks.

Oh yah, and for those who are interested, there are more pics of the bad guys at the following link:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2012/03/session-15.html

Just scroll down to the bottom to see Gruftus, G'zogah, and Laurence Gannu.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
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Game report for session #16

{Game clock resumes at 9:45am 02/19/3200}

A number of things happen all at once… As he crosses the threshold into the sanctuary, Grubb falls over dead… again. Thingerlun is not amused; Hearn feels the sanctuary spell drop, and Gruftus starts screaming at them. Thingerlun stands over Grubb, lamenting the loss and notices two things:

1) there are the tattered remains of a spell book in Grubbs hand that looks as if some ‘trap’ spell destroyed it and Grubb in the process; there were two pages left intact.

2) That there was something shiny glinting at him from deep inside Grubb’s cranium.

James: “You’re gonna make me dig that out?!”
DM: “You could have someone else do it… {thinking to myself: “Dude, you’re the one who used him for a meat shield!”}

He finds a thick platinum ring with a signet carved into a ruby, and showing it to the rest prompts Dwight to divulge that he too had a vision. It told him to find the signet, but that’s all he would say and they gave it to him to carry. Hearn pushes some food and water to the prisoners, which actually shuts them up for a bit. In the strained silence as they are trying to digest everything that had happened since they woke up this morning; a strange melody chirps out. The strangely melodic tone is muffled from within Dwight’s back pack. He is honestly confused, but digs through to find whatever is making the noise; he pulls out the strange device that Archie had sent with them. Its gem was flickering kaleidoscopically through the spectrum while it continued to make that noise… which was actually rather grating now that it was out of the bag. He taps the gem the way Archie had shown them rather reluctantly, but was only somewhat relieved when his spectral head hovered above them all.

Archie, scowling; “What in the 13 kingdoms of hell is going on in there!! By the Gods! There is smoke pouring out of both sides of the ridgeline!!! When the first column appeared I was a bit nervous, but thought that you all were making progress, but then all the rats in town turned into people! Are they wear-rats?! Should I be slaying them? Some of them are quite crazy you know! Aand if that wasn’t enough, there are now refugees coming out of the mines. I demand some answers, you are Guild road marshals after all.”

Dwight and the rest synopsize the events and answer his questions. Archie, less angry; “Well that explains a few things; I’ll get set up helping these folks out. I sent Hank into the mines yesterday, has he arrived yet?”

Everyone; “Ummm, no…” but before they could get all worried about it they spot Hank shuffling around the corner and then enters the room; announcing himself with a little dance and a wave of his hand. The bundles of ropes from which it was made were set to creaking and rustling inside its leather coverings by its motions; a smile on its blue porcelain face. It was covered in filth and the gore of several battles.

Bob; “Scratch that, he’s here now.”

Archie; “Good, keep me informed. Now go get the rest of those townsfolk and then we’ll deal with the rest.”

At this point Milo has an epiphany concerning the vision he was given. He suddenly realizes that he is on the front lines of a great battle. There are minions of Ahriman the lord of shadow and his daughter Lasheeva, the Queen of the dead making evil mischief somewhere down there and that this was the first of many battles to come. Like any protracted conflict, who wins the first battle has a keen effect on morale for both sides: and is often the most influential battle of any conflict. What has him greatly concerned is that his God was telling him he has until the end of the day to deal with the problem, or they would likely lose this first battle.

He relates this to them and then looks a Dwight and Bob expectantly, “We need to get back down there and deal with whatever unholy creature is down there and fast!”

Bob, indignant; “Why are you looking at me?!”

Milo Shrugs; “You’re good at getting into things… and we need to get back to that hole you found.”

Bob and Dwight both mutter something about not knowing how to navigate in a mine, then one of them pops in with; “Milo could always use his Godly insights to find our way…”

Milo, nervously: “You know that I can’t always glean anything useful from those interactions, right?”

Hearn pipes in with; “From what you’ve described to me, I don’t think they could make it up that rope, tunnel thing you spoke of.”

Pat, thinking of all the things she learned from talking with Balinor; “Well I think I can track our way back…” {rolls a 1}

{Thingerlun trails behind the rest for enough time to set Grubbs remains on fire.}

They were all so intently focused on following their expert tracker that they all walked right passed the doorway to the “poop” room and stop when they come to a rock fall that they don’t remember. There are no other ways out, so they back track and eventually find their way back to the hallway just outside the room with the hole to the lower level. Milo: “Now would probably be a good place to invoke second sight.” {Fail’s with an 8. We really tried to do things the new way, but it just seems more natural to us to just increase the target threshold for successful casting.}

Pat tries repeatedly over the neck half hour to figure out which way they need to go, but eventually notices that there is only one direction for them to go. They know it isn’t behind them, and the hole is not an option. The set off again, this time with the Ditch Digger out in front and twenty feet down the corridor his paranoid eyes spot a second secret door. He goes up and gently checks for traps, and finding none he carefully listens at the secret door. {DM: it’s a stone wall…} Then Bob tries to quietly push the door open. {DM: you can push the button you found.} Closing his eyes and gingerly pushing the button, straining to leap at a moment’s notice. The door rumbles loudly up into the ceiling. {DM secretly rolls for the integrity of the room’s structure: 18} Milo steps forward to shed some light on things, and reveals a large room covered in old debris. Apparently this part of the mine isn’t very stable.

Then Bob spots something shiny glittering in the dirt on the opposite side of the room; one of his eyes twitches as he sees that it is a diamond encrusted map case held in a skeletal hand. He cautiously enters the room and makes it to the other side and examines it more closely, hoping the dead hand won’t start hitting him with the case. Then he remembers that so far, every time they have managed to do enough damage to something; it has failed to come back. He searches for any kind of traps and sees that while no one has built one, the natural precariousness of the rock fall and debris will collapse the instant he pulls out the case.

Hearn and Milo both express impatience with Bob’s greed, but he counters with; “Ya, but I think we may need what’s in there… it seems to be a map case.”

Hearn casts a rather powerful detect magic spell and starts scanning the room and sees that while the case is not magical, there are quite a few items buried within the rubble. She heads back into the hall to gather some things she needs and is momentarily blinded by all of the magic radiating from Hank, when she recovers she starts to use strips of her endless supply of bandages to make little flags and setting them out to mark the locations. Bob is visibly twitching by now, as she lists off what is there: “That’s sword shaped, that’s a big blobby thing, there’s a few sets of armor… So what do we do know?”

Bob is developing quite a facial tremor and glazed eyes; “Well as soon as I pull that,” points to the case, “all of this comes crashing down. Everyone out!” He lightly grabs the map case and then pulls for all he is worth. {makes the strength check} then gets most of the way to the door before the room falls in on him. Hearn was closest to the door and dives back in to grab for Bob in an attempt to save him. She managed to grab onto him, but failed to pull him out. When the dust settled all they saw were Hearn’s boots and the hem of her robes poking out from the rubble. They both get clobbered pretty hard, but manage to survive the collapse, and they get pulled out after Hank digs them out. Hearn manages to heal herself first, and then works on Bob while he and Pat are puzzling out the map case. Bob sees that it has a complex lock, but no traps. He opens it with a deft touch of his fingers. Out pops a couple of sheets of parchment.

***

One is a map, with scribbling on the back. The other is an accounting of the one attempt that was made to “cleanse” the mine of evil. A party of soldiers accompanied by a cleric of Thormyr, a cleric of Soleth, and a Cleric of Ormazd were sent into the mine, none came out again. Scrawled on the back of this (in human blood) is and accounting of what the second group of clerics found, and what they did.

A second group was sent in by Jasper to deal with things, and to keep the clergies of the various temples from causing problems.

I, Brother Corvis, do transcribe and witness the last words of Jandar Harbrin, the dead garrison wizard of Aristemis. His restless spirit is now at peace.

“We found the lowest level; it is not entirely a mine, several parts having been previously constructed from blocks of pure silver. The debris from the break through must have been the “nuggets” the miners spoke of. The attempts to recover the silver were apparently interrupted by some unholy demon. We encountered a silver gate blocking our path to the fourth level, we thought we’d have to turn back, but Brother Corvis recognized the warding spell which had been used to guard the portal as having been cast by another Priest of Thormyr. His holy symbol and a simple prayer let us pass. Upon our discovery of the grizzly remains of the first expedition, I ordered Brother Corvis and a small detachment back through the gate, ordered it sealed and for him to create another blocking the way down from the first level. He left us with a silver key, apparently received from on high. I expressed concern and refused the key, but he assured me that evil will not abide its touch any more than they could touch the blessed gate.

What little we saw seems to confirm the accuracy of the miner’s map, but we lost everyone but myself and the cleric of Ormazed trying to put that foul she demon back into her crypt.”

***
{This was my rework of hand out “D” with personalization’s to the game at hand, Weeks ago, when I realized that they weren’t likely to travel through the southern or western sectors of this level, I decided to swap some of the rooms around in order to increase the likelihood that they’d find some of the important clues… They seem to have a pathological, and near mystical ability to avoid the important rooms. Oh well, how’s that poem by Robert Frost go? “…and I- I took the path less traveled by,…”}

Pat manages to notice that there are cryptic mine notations on the map and that it is very old and cobbled together by several folks. It tells her that it covers the fourth level of the mines. When they get to the next intersection Milo tells them that they are traveling west and the branching tunnel headed off to the south. Milo fails to invoke his second sight ability again; apparently Ormazd is tired of being pestered. Pat eventually notices that the tracks are shinier in the southern tunnel and they all follow her that way. Right up to the point where she failed her search check to notice the two goblin murder holes. She did not fail to notice the arrow piercing her side. I have everyone roll initiative.

Pat goes fist and manages to crawl under the first one, but gets hit again from the other side of the hall. Milo rushes over to block one of the holes with his shield, and Hank walks over to the first and takes an arrow to the chest, which barely scratches him and then extends a bunch of rope from his hand into the dark… a few seconds later there was the audible crunch of something’s neck. Everyone else holds back, and a couple seconds later the same thing on the other side; and they continue to follow the tracks to the south. The hallway continues southward, and the tracks are kind of shiny, but the tracks to the west are a little shinier. It takes Pat about 20 minutes to figure this out, but off they go, ignoring the secondary northward tunnel ten feet along this new corridor. Nearly one hundred paces further along, they see that while the tracks continue on to the west, the shinier tracks turn north down a short tunnel that spirals around to the east. They can see that 15ft or so down on the west side of the corridor is a door, and directly opposite from where they are standing is an open arch that leads into a chamber of some kind.

The area is fastidiously clean, and Bob smells oiled metal and the ever so faint rustle of chains. They volunteer Hank who looks concerned, but moves forward with Pat on his left. As soon as they set foot into the tunnel, a dozen skeletons appear out of swirling purple smoke. {Initiative}

Hank kills the first one, Thingerlun kills one with his wand {1 HD skeletons, and bad rolls by the DM} and Bob steps back into the shadows to let everyone else deal with things. Milo fails to turn undead then the skeletons miss their attack on Hank, but one skewers Pat for max damage. It is at this point that Hearn realizes that in her horror over what Hank did to the goblins; that she forgot to heal Pat. Dwight sees how bad off she is and in a mighty deed of strength manages to lift and move and trade places with Pat fast enough that the skeleton misses its free attack on both of them. {He had to burn luck to use pull it off}
They all spot something new; it is a loathsome mass of nothing but arms flop-rolling into view through the archway.

Hank kills another one, Thingerlun manages to do the same again with the wand… and then the ‘spell cannon’ goes off again. {for some reason the dice hate me today}

{Nat 20: At this point the game breaks down into the closest thing to a rules argument that we’ve ever had in this beta test… Believe it or not, James said the following: “While the player in me is more than happy to take this spell result, the DM in me thinks we’ve been mis-interpreting this entry on the spell table.”

“24-27 – As above, but you hurl one extremely powerful missile that does damage equal to 4d12 + caster level. Range is increased to 1,000’, provided line of sight is maintained.”

He thinks that the ‘but’ means the other lower entries don’t apply and that there should only be one powerful missile. Otherwise the ‘as above’ lead in means that the wizard should get the results from ‘every entry’ that leads up to the actual result. I pointed out that the ‘as above’ refers to the information in the first entry about the missiles flowing unerringly on a LOS trajectory. The problem is that you have to read the entire entry to keep the context correctly placed; with each level adding more damage and more missiles.

James; “Maybe, but it still seems WAY too powerful. As a DM I’d have to find some way to limit this, otherwise it’s broken.”

DM; “I tend to agree, but I think you’re forgetting that this system is actually designed to take everybody from 0 to 10th level in an afternoon of heavy gaming. I must admit, it’s making things difficult to judge how powerful to make the critters. I keep play-testing some of my stuff; but I can’t tell if my monsters are too weak, or if it’s the magic that is too strong?”

James; “Your monsters are great, it’s the magic that’s overpowering them. So we’re going with this result?”

DM; “Yep, it’s what we’ve been doing so far and none of you would be alive at this point without this kind of spell power. I do agree that we’ll be making some changes for later games. I’m thinking of leaving it as written, but with the following change: no longer unerring. Magic missiles will get targeted like any other ranged attack.”

NOTE to self: for campaign play tone down the magic a notch or three… Though I never thought I’d ever have a player argue for less power. Way too surreal for my comfort. I know it isn’t any of my mods: Thingerlun’s power comes from the fact that he has a +5 on spell checks from level and intelligence bonus. He succeeds on a 7+ and has a bad habit of rolling 14+ for his magic missile spells.}

Screaming ethereal eagles fly forth from his hand and destroy everything in their path… including the new horror that had the misfortune to show itself at the wrong time. {James likes to roll the ‘manifestation’ new each time.} After the goo stops dripping from the walls and ceiling they explore the area a bit. The room beyond the arch way houses a massive spool of chain attached to a winch with a long wooden handle. They ignore the closed door, but are happy to see the elevator that leads down into the next level. They discuss what to do next.

Pat; “What about this door over here?”

Dwight; “Leave it, we need to get to the townsfolk and we can check it out on the way back.”

{Such confidence, plot avoidance system engaged… again}

They assume that since it’s been hauling ore much heavier than themselves, there isn’t a problem other than the fact that not everyone will fit. They divide themselves and Pat suggests that a fighter go down in the first trip, but no one listens. They load up with Bob, Thingerlun, and Hearn with Balinor’s lantern. Hank was told to operate the winch. {Poker-face… must… maintain… poker-face in view of the delicate s**t blossom unfolding right before my very eyes. They forgot to see to their healing as well…} The elevator clanks loudly as it slowly descends: it will take them 5 minutes to travel the 50ft to the next level.

While that was happening Pat decides that she absolutely must see what is behind the door. Examining it the way she has seen the ditch digger do things, she determines that they door is locked but not trapped. She informs Milo and Dwight, but they tell her to leave off they were too vulnerable. She tries to pick the lock, but fails utterly. Frustrated she kicks in the door {19 on strength check} to find that the large room is empty except for boxes along the back wall, and a desk covered with books. She walks back to everyone else and says; “Hey, I found a bunch of books in there.”

Dwight; “What did they say?”

Pat, shrugs; “Don’t know, I can’t read.”

Milo, indignant; “What do you mean you can’t read?”

Pat, getting indignant as well; “I never saw the point. I grew up in the forest, and I can hunt and track and commune with the trees. I can dig through a pile of scat and tell you when it dropped and what they ate for breakfast. But reading… nah. That’s for wizards.”

Dwight just shakes his head. That’s when the screaming started echoing up the elevator shaft at them. It was the rest of the party panicked and begging for them to lift the elevator again.

Milo; “Maybe we should read the books?”

Hank has to throw the break and reset the gears before he can lift the elevator. This is how things happened from the perspective of the folks in the elevator; the ones who have no hope in hell of sneaking up on whatever might be down there waiting for them. Between the light and the noise, they were an easy target for the wear-rat ogre and his undead cohorts. The wear-rat ogre leaps for the elevator platform, it is made of steal and rather durable, but the chain is protesting with painful shrieks and creaks. Everyone in the elevator fails their save and is knocked prone, but the chain holds. {initiative}

Thingerlun casts magic missile again but only does 1 point of damage. Bob manages to get a good throw with his dagger and does enough damage for the critter to get mad. The cart starts to lift slowly, but the wear-rat ogre is successful at snapping the chain this time and he flings the cart and everyone in it to the ground. Fortunately they were not that high up so I gave them a reflex save to avoid any damage from the fall. Thingerlun failed and took 2d6 damage, but he made his luck roll to avoid contacting any of the contaminated silver that is lying about the room. He also ended up with the remnants of the elevator platform on top of him forming an 800+ pound cage. Bob and Hearn end up on opposite sides of the room, and the lantern in a third corner by itself. Being a dwarven mining lantern, it lands both safely and in an upright position. He takes advantage of the relative safety to try and hastily read and cast the new spell he has. If he understands it correctly, it will let him lift heavy things and move them around with magical force. The spell fails and his face breaks out in horrible and incurable pustules {His mercurial magic result was 1, and so he only gets 1d14 for casing. He rolled a 1 on the casting and now suffers from pustules and lowers his PER stat by 1, I’ve decided they express their contents at random intervals.}

The Ditch Digger sneaks up on the Wear-rat ogre and back stabs it for normal damage, but got a second strike. {This brought on a minor discussion about whether that means it is a normal attack or another back stab. I figured that with the intended lethality of the system, that means yes to the second backstab.} Bob runs up the critters back and slices the critter for more damage and removes an ear for a trophy; he then uses the rest of his movement to get back to his side of the room. {the folks up top get to roll there initiative to see when the can join the fight, assuming they can figure a way down} The wear-rat ogre decides to go for Hearn, as she looks like a much easier target than whatever just did all that damage to him. His claws rip through Hearn and nearly kill her {Down to 3hp, and I must confess to a DM faux pas: I was so excited by the fact that one of the monsters lived to the second round that I completely forgot about the other undead in the room. We also keep forgetting about the extra arcs of electricity from each of Thingerlun’s casting of magic missile.}

Hearn tries to heal herself and fails. Pat, hearing the desperate screams of Hearn, runs to the edge of the elevator shaft and looks down; she can’t see anything but the over turned lift platform.
{Mikki; “Can I get down there in one round and still attack?

DM: “Well its 50 feet, you can make a climb check and if you succeed then you can have a luck check versus a DC of 15, sure.” 15 on the climb check and 19 on the luck check.}

She draws a bead on the wear-rat ogre and let’s an arrow fly… just in time for the wear-rat ogre to step out of the way and let the arrow impale Hearn. She drops to her knees. {1hp left, Pat rolled a 1 on her attack. I figured there was no need for a chart roll on this one. Pat got a 17 on her attack to hit Hearn, but only did 2 points of damage.} Thingerlun the spell cannon goes off again {spell check 24} and the wear-rat ogre evaporates in a fine pink mist and arcane sparks. The remaining missiles manage to take out 1 of the 3 skeletons, they were much burlier than any of the others they have fought so far {3hd} Then he lets out with a maniacal laugh {he actually did it} when he realized that he had actually ended up inside of an impromptu bunker. Dwight then decides to be mighty. He looks down and sees Pat standing on top of the ‘bunker’ looking horrified.

{James; “I want to use my magic weapons to clamp on to the chain as I slide down.”}

Taking his magic sword and magic shield Dwight attempts to use them to break line and repel his way down the shaft. The sparks flying from the grinding metal get in his face and he is forced to let go of the chain and his over hot weapons. Pat made her listen check and managed to dive out of the way as Dwight lands face first on top of the ‘bunker’. {I told him he needs a 15 or better; there was silence around the table as he makes the roll and fails by 2 points. Since he got so close I figure he wasn’t that far up when he fell; but he still takes 2d6 damage, and manages to avoid death and broken bones. There is no saving his dignity after what happened next though.}

Milo looking over the chaos of the last few moments sighs warily at the idea of climbing down, as he gets ready to try, Hank comes over and taps him on the shoulder. Pointing to Milo’s armor, and then pantomiming the act of climbing; Hank then makes the motion of dragging his thumb over his throat. Milo understands the translation well enough as; “It’s suicide!” Hank then extends rope from one hand and lashes it to the chain and securing the other about Milo’s waist; lowers him gently to the room below.
Milo then charges forward and smashes one of the skeletons, and Bob creeps forward and manages to destroy the other. Hearn manages to heal some of her injuries, but not all of them. Everyone else helps to extricate Thingerlun from under the lift platform. Hearn examines him and says there is nothing she can do for him other than give him some bandages; something foul has corrupted him.

Hearn weakly asks; “How are we going to help the townsfolk out of here now?”

No one has any magic to fix this mundane problem. Then Pat pipes in sheepishly; “Maybe Archie can help?”

Everyone agrees that is probably the best solution, so they dial him up. A few seconds later his head is floating above them; “That was fast. What’s up now?”

They explain the problem and he is surprised by their tale, but he says he knows the spell they need and starts barking instructions to Hank. Before Hank is willing to follow his instructions he goes over to Hearn and points at her over large water skin emphatically. It takes a few seconds for her to understand what he needs, but hands it to him with a confused look… an homunculus doesn’t need food or water. She gets her answer soon enough when Hank up-ends the container and pours half of it over his head, chest and arms, getting everything all sopping wet. He extends his rope to grab the dangling chain and then pulls himself and the chain fallen chain back up close to each other and waits for Archie. Archie mutters a few words of power and then a flash of light pops out of the air near his head and streaks to the chain. A few moments later there is a spectral arc welder patching up the chain good as new.

{Game clock suspended at 12:45pm: 02/19/3200}

We meet again in two weeks

I did have one really off moment during the game when someone walked up and started asking questions... I admit to being preoccupied with running the game. When I told him that it was D&D with out all the feats and complex skill sets, he seemed really disappointed about that and said: "But I like Feats!" And wandered off. Oh well...

I forgot my camera this week, so rather than wait for them to get sent, I figured I'll post those later this week. Here are the player progress maps for this session:
Image

and

Image


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:39 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 342
Well, I still don't have the shots from the game taken by the players, but here are some more 'mug shots' of some of the critters they've fought.
Here's the giant dung beetle:

Image

and here's "Fido" the first installment of the 'constructed dead' (aka Frankenstein type critters) It didn't get much use this time, but that's OK there're more roaming the 3rd level of the dungeon... :twisted:

Image

Both of these are in the Creature Catalog, as well as the construction data.

We meet again on the 7th, but just in case this thread gets archived before then, I just wanted to say thank for reading along. This has been a lot of fun and I look forward to many years of fun and exciting gaming with this system! :mrgreen:

PS- I got into a rousing debate with one of my editors today over the term 'wear-rat' she swore up and down that it's a typo... I said that I see your point, but I did it on purpose. I have always felt that lycanthropy is a curse in which one creature is forced to 'wear' the form of another during the night of the full moon. Hence the term wear-rat, or wear-panda, etc... :wink:


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