Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Quattro con Carnage - Session 6 - Savage Worlds


More Savage Awesomeness


One thing I've noticed throughout this Quattro con Carnage experiment is that I feel a little disappointed during each game system shift.  For sure, I truly enjoy each of the systems that we are playing, but it seems that as soon as our group gets into the "groove" with the character builds, we make the next big change.  Session 6 marks the 3/4ths point in QcC, and the last Savage Worlds adventure.  While I'm excited to take these five characters through the Cypher System, I am sad to leave behind all those unspent bennies. 

For this adventure I dusted off a map from +MonkeyBlood Design called "The Black Rent" to represent the Lost Chasm.  While I love just about every map that Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design does, I'm absolutely enthralled by his side-view maps.  As a Metroid fan, the idea of dragging characters through a side-scrolling adventure is both innovative and nostalgic at the same time.  I'm was taken back to Simon Belmont and Castlevania when the party was exploring the caverns, and delighted as the group had to deal with all of the vertical challenges.  Put a one-hundred foot drop on a traditional top-down map and its hard for players to truly appreciate the distance down.  But if you show them the side-view, their mouths fall agape! 

It was a lot of fun, especially when I "dropped" the into the finale!

Dramatis Personae con Carnage


Umbrin, played by Jeremy
A guard-for-hire from Tannryth once in the employee of a wealthy Archon
  • Attributes:  Agility: d10,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d4,  Strength: d8,  Vigor: d8
  • Edges:  Mighty Blow, Frenzy, Combat Reflexes 
  • Hindrances:  Bad Luck, Cautious, Greedy
  • Skills:  Fighting d10, Gambling d4, Healing d4, Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Riding d4, Shooting d8, Streetwise d4
  • Spells/Powers/Signature Gear:  Battle Axe (one handed again!)

Lomman Senan, played by Marc
A devout crusader of Ogmios looking enforce some "justice healing"
  • Attributes:  Agility: d6,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d10,  Strength: d6,  Vigor: d8
  • Edges:  Arcane Background: Miracles, Power Points, Holy Warrior
  • Hindrances:  Vow (Ogmios), Pacifist, Quirk (Constantly thinking about Elven ladies)
  • Skills:  Faith d8, Fighting d8, Healing d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d8, Knowledge History d4
  • Spells/Powers/Signature Gear:  Healing, Smite, Deflection 

Rydian Ornitiar, played by Andy
An Aarenian relic-hunter who longs to recover a lost family artifact
  • Attributes:  Agility: d6,  Smarts: d12,  Spirit: d8,  Strength: d4,  Vigor: d4
  • Edges:  Wizard, Rapid Recharge, Power Points
  • Hindrances:  Lame (using this for the "weakness" afflicting Rydian while under the effects of the Queen of the Ever After's Quest), Vow, Quirk (gives bad advice)
  • Skills:  Fighting d4, Spellcasting d10, Knowledge Arcana d8, Shooting d6, Investigation d8, Persuasion d6, Notice d4
  • Spells/Powers/Signature Gear:  Bolt, Armor, Elemental Manipulation

Jorin Everlast, played by Craig
A pilfering initiate to the Embrace who just "made bones" 
  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d6,  Vigor: d8
  • Edges:  Thief, Assassin
  • Hindrances:  Wanted (Major, the Embrace), Loyal, Quirk (Hates big people)
  • Skills:  Notice: d4, Climb d6, Lockpick d6, Stealth d8, Fighting d8, Shooting d8, Streetwise d4, Throwing d6
  • Spells/Powers/Signature Gear:  Short sword, short bow

Drogos, played by Andreas
Dwarven blacksmith, last survivor of Happenstance, and holy convert to Ogmios
  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d8,  Vigor: d8
  • Edges:  Hard to Kill, Arcane Resistance, Arcane Background (Miracles)
  • Hindrances:  Curious, Greedy, Vow (Minor)
  • Skills:  Gambling d6, Fighting d8, Intimidate d4, Repair d8, Streetwise d6, Throwing d8, Blacksmithing d6, Faith d4
  • Spells/Powers/Signature Gear:  Trusty Hammer, Spells: Smite, Summon Ally


A Savage Intrusion



Our brave heroes Umbrin, Lomman, Rydian, Jorin, and Drogos had faced the horrors of the Ever After and finally found themselves standing in front of the Lost Chasm.  The tear in the muddy landscape consisted of massive hole in the ground with a thirty-foot diameter.  A single nearby stream worked its way into the drop, creating a waterfall cascading into the seemingly endless void. 

Rydian figured the quest was nearly over, so he grabbed the Iceshard Wasting and the Horn of the Ice Demon and cast both into the hole, just as the Queen of the Ever After had instructed.  Unfortunately, as the items fell alongside the rushing waters and into darkness, a loud cackling came from the hole.  The maniacal voice seemed intrigued that these two items were tossed down, and continued to laugh as it faded away.  Rydian soon realized that his curse wasn't broken, and that the effects of the quest spell were still causing him great difficulty.  It looked like the party was going to have to do this the hard way and descend into the pit. 

After affixing a rope to a nearby tree, Drogos was the first to enter the pit.  The central chasm descended farther than anyone's eyes could see, but there were several passages jutting off of the main drop.  Climbing down thirty feet to a small tunnel, Drogos used his infravision to scout ahead.  The next chamber was full of beautiful crystal stalactites, and ended with a passage heading deeper into the cave complex.  Drogos moved across the cavern, but when several stalactites started to drop upon his head, the dwarf had to tumble out of the way.  Soon Rydian, Jorin, and Umbrin were nearby, getting ready to run past the falling stalactites as well.  But when the team looked at each other they noticed that someone was missing. 

There was an old rope attached to a piton at the mouth of the crystal cavern entrance, and the rope headed deeper down the chasm.  Lomman seemed drawn to the depths, and while the party explored above, he delved further below.  In another cave complex, Lomman heard a soft and creepy voice call out to him.  Goaded and toyed with, Lomman finally submitted to the voice and entered a barren chamber, awash in a blue glow.  The crusader never would've taken the bait if not for being offered a certain book: the Iceshard Wasting.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team followed the path to the main focus of the crystal caverns: a beautiful garden of blue crystal stalagmites embracing an enchanted sword.  Fearful that the stalagmites might fire up at the party, Drogos used his power to summon an ogre into the room.  The ogre moved towards the crystals, but soon started talking to something.  

Then the ogre exploded in a blast of blood and viscera as a dozen crystal spears machine-gunned into the humanoid's hairy chest.

Unfazed by this, Drogos summoned a second ogre, to the exact same effect.  The party discussed leaving the chamber but Umbrin really wanted that sword!  So the human warrior entered the chamber and moved towards the blade.  To his delight, the sword introduced itself to Umbrin as "Sashiria."  After a brief conversation, the sword invited Umbrin to carry it away.  With one grip of the blade, Umbrin found true love.  When Umbrin announced his new friend's name, Rydian seemed concerned.  The elf announced that the name "Sashiria" was associated with an ancient demon named the "Faeripper."  Even though Sashiria rebuked Rydian's words with a very clear disdain for elves, Umbrin wasn't letting his new lass go. 

Lomman really hoped his friends would come soon, since the spirit holding the Iceshard Wasting was continuing to toy with the crusader.  The spirit declared that her name was "Suzanne" and this caused Lomman to chuckle.  This greatly angered the spirit, and when Lomman stated that he was simply surprised that the spirit's name was so short, Suzanne demanded a longer name.  The two went back and forth and finally, after being pressed, Lomman said "Suzanne" aloud.  This was some sort of ghost-trick, as once the spirit's name was muttered Lomman transitioned to an ethereal world! 

When the rest of the party finally found their cleric, he was a faded image just like the ghost, and was being absorbed into the glowing chamber!  Springing into action, Jorin distracted the ghost while Rydian blasted several bursts of fire at the undead entity.  The elf's magic softened up Suzanne enough so that Umbrin's new blade Sashiria could obliterated the mischievous spirit.  Everyone turned to Lomman, who was still coming out of his ethereal phase shift, a bit poorer.  While in the ether, his ancestral hammer's head was turned to glass by Suzanne. 

The party acquired the Iceshard Wasting, but still needed the Horn of the Ice Demon.  Returning to the chasm the party saw another passage twenty more feet down, and directly below the crystal caverns.  Coming up a bit short on rope, the party considered summoning ogres and using Rydian's elemental manipulation spell to dig their way into the next chamber, but this plan would've taken days worth of spellcasting power.  Rydian was reminded by his team that his elemental manipulation spell could still create smaller depressions in the walls of the chasm, possibly creating handholds. 

Eureka! 

The party all moved across the chasm and down into the next chamber.  But when they entered the very large and open cavern, the smell of death and decay washed over everyone.  A low, rumbling voice called out to the party, asking for food.  Just a "taste" or a "morsel" the voice promised.  Soon the creature revealed itself to be a large lizard-like form. 

It was the legendary, yet previously unheard of Mad Drake

The Mad Drake told the party that just happened to be in possession of the Horn of the Ice Demon, and would happily trade the artifact for the flesh and blood of a man.  The characters started talking amongst themselves, trying to figure out the best way to make the deal.  Drogos could summon some humans, but the spell had a very limited duration.  The Mad Drake didn't seem to want any trail rations, and the party didn't have anything else to trade. 

Actually, the entire sidebar conversation was taking too long, so the Mad Drake just breathed fire on the entire party!

Lomman was quick to put up his shield and walk towards the beast, while Umbrin and Drogos charged its flanks.  Rydian immediately started summoning bolts of flame to set the beast ablaze, but after the smoke cleared the elf realized that not only was his magic ineffective, so were his teammates weapons!  Even though the party could easily hit the Mad Drake, they couldn't get through its tough hide. 

After Drogos fell to the creature's claws with his chest ripped open, Jorin the Halfling chose a new tactic.  The little Halfling carefully aimed one of his arrows at the Mad Drake's eye and let loose.  Bullseye!  The Mad Drake reared back in agony as it was now blind in one eye.  It would only take a moment for Rydian to follow suit and lob a bolt into the other eye.  Now completely blind the Mad Drake couldn't see as the party grabbed rushed forward grabbing the Horn of the Ice Demon and Drogos' pitiful body.

Leaving the Mad Drake's lair, the party prepared to climb back up to another level.  After a quick healing spell for his dying friend, Lomman tried to carry Drogos on his back.  But as the cleric moved from one carved handhold to another, his fingers slipped.  With a loud crash both the cleric and the injured dwarven blacksmith fell one-hundred feet into a pool of dark water.  Umbrin, Rydian, and Jorin could only stare in disbelief as there two fellow party members disappeared into the depths of the chasm.  They stared so long that they didn't realize that a nearby spirit was lurking.  The spirit shrieked, momentarily jolting the three adventurers and forcing them to lose their grip.  Three more adventurers fell one-hundred feet into the pool.   

Umbrin, Lomman, Jorin, and Rydian were still in shock, but not because of the fall.  Wading next to Lomman was a wounded but reinvigorated Drogos. 

"The water woke me up!" Drogos exclaimed.

That dwarf sure was "hard to kill"! 

Most Notable Quotations


Jim - "I'm gonna have to start throwing a lot of my games together to get through that stack I've got."
Andreas - "Isn't that what you normally do?" 

"I can provide all the light that you need." - A spirit of the Lost Chasm talking very eerily to Lomman.

"I think the first thing I'm thinking of us Ghostbusters." - Andreas had some plans for that spirit.

"You have an ogre?" - Andy didn't realize that Drogos always has an ogre. 

"So… would you be adverse to me going ahead and… taking that?" - Umbrin talking to the sword Sashiria.

"Did Umbrin just ask a sword for a date?" - Marc realized that Umbrin was talking about taking the sword. 

"Let go of the rope." - Another spirit of the Lost Chasm
"Are you sure about this?" - Drogos was trying to decide how far his Curious hindrance would take him. 

Jim - "You're just gonna wait?"
Andreas - "Yeah, I'll watch this one out.

"I'm lookin' for a beef and cheese sandwich." - Lomman was a man on a mission. 

"I would say that if it was a deal of fighting a twenty-foot dragon or giving up some trail mix, I'd be okay with giving up the rations." - Jeremy didn't quite believe that the Mad Drake was going to back down for some trail rations, but was open to the concept.

"I just exploded my 12." - Jim felt really bad when the Mad Drake's d12 damage die exploded.  Twice. 

"Go for the nards!" - Lomman's new war cry.



Behind the Schemes

As I mentioned before, if you like the idea of side-view maps, or just good damned maps in general, go check out +MonkeyBlood Design either on Google+ or at his website here.  Also, the "Black Rent" was available on Map Monday at OSR Today, so go take a look!  Changing your players' perspectives can offer a pretty interesting twist to the boring dungeon crawl.

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