Monday, June 13, 2016

DCCRPG - The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk - Part Two


Support Your Friendly Local Purple Sorcerer!


As we continue our "Sunken City Omnibus Tour," let's take a moment and chat about the great and powerful Purple Sorcerer himself, +Jon Marr.  If you are a Dungeon Crawl Classics aficionado, you probably spend a lot of time at PurpleSorcerer.com, home to an incredible assortment of character generators, free tools, and the Crawler's Companion app.  Whether you're making a stack of 0-levels for an upcoming funnel, or customizing your wizard's grimoire, the Purple Sorcerer has you covered.

I should also point out that this is a great place to find awesome adventures, from the Sunken City Omnibus that we're playing here, to the brand new Carnival of the Damned (can't wait to play that one!)

All this "free swag" does come with a cost, however: the time and talent of +Jon Marr.  Jon spends countless hours producing these brilliant tools and products, and he's looking to devote even MORE time... but he needs our help.  Let us answer the call!

Right now the Purple Sorcerer is conducting the 2016 Free Tools Pledge Drive.  But this isn't just a simple donation!  You can get awesome downloads and products for supporting your "FLPS" (friendly local Purple Sorcerer).  Just $25 gets you the PDF of the Sunken City Adventure Omnibus & Guide that we are using for the Great SCOT, as well as possible random rewards from other Purple Sorcerer supporters.  There are other support levels of course, so make sure you check out all of the options.  

So please, please, PLEASE help our incredible Purple Sorcerer in the quest to continue bringing us amazing, free tools for all of our Dungeon Crawl Classics games!



The Great SCOT Continues


The Free Company, our adventuring party happily enjoying the Great Sunken City Omnibus Tour, completed Perils of the Sunken City and last month moved onto the The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk.  If you're interesting in starting this story from the beginning, here are the previous tales:
This is an open door campaign, so we can always have new players join our group.  Here are our only rules from game to game:
  • Schedule five players for each event
  • Hold a sixth seat free for last minute additions
  • Players who complete an adventure have "dibs" on joining the next adventure
  • Players can bow out, and rejoin later with living or new characters so long as there is a open spot at the virtual table

As always, Die Rodney!

The Free Company Roster



The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk, Part Two


The Free Company meets Grumstein, a dwarf who just survived a terrible journey into the Sunken City with another adventuring company.  Grumstein is the sole survivor of an encounter with the Dreaded Grunglax, a crocodilian beast that spawns and fires hatchlings from its back.  Grumstein agrees to join up with The Free Company, and is quickly brought to speed on the group's quest to aid the mayor in finding Slither's End's lost children.

Ssof Rethaf wanders the town in search of rumors of the missing children, as well as the missing Jonas Gralk, the town's notable gravedigger.  A passing townie tells the Cleric that he saw two figures resembling Jonas and his mother Clotilda leaving their home several weeks earlier.  Another interesting rumor, and potential quest, is that "Redhelm" leads a gang terrorizing the river to the north.

Hoping to find the whereabouts of Jonas and his mom, the party investigates the Gralk home and adjacent cemetery.  Inside they discover a strange shrine to a girl's painting.  On the back of the painting was the name "Miranda."  Outside in the cemetery The Free Company comes across a half-dug grave, with a broken and rotting empty wooden box at the bottom.  

At the end of the investigation, a young boy approaches the party claiming that one of Grumstein's lost compatriots is in town looking for the dwarf.  The party heads to the fairground, where a figure (wearing "Tyrone's" robes) is standing under a tent.  The figure pulls back the hood, and reveals itself to be the 20' long Dreaded Grunglax!  The party battles the creature and all of the spawn that it fires from its spiny back.  A holy paralysis prayer by Ssof quells the terrible beast.  Nicodemus lands a deathblow with a very well placed backstab.

The Free Company gathers up the Dreaded Grumglax carcass and takes it to Django, Slither's End's tanner.  Bellows has a fine Grumglax shield crafted while Cedric makes Nicodemus pay for a wallet.  While speaking with Django, the party shares a picture of "Miranda" and learns that it is the long dead daughter of Clotilda Gralk, who was "lost" during an "incident" involving the town's cage platform in the center of Slither's End.  

Convinced that Jonas may return, the party performs a stakeout of the Gralk home.  Nothing happens during the evening, until a drunk Onus One Arm catches Nicodemus hiding in a bush.  Onus One Arm is confused by Nicodemus' second skeletal head, and orders the thief to leave.  Nicodemus runs off, circles the house, and hides in the bush again... but Onus is ready for him.  Onus cuts down Nicodemus with a broken bottle, but is quickly slain by Bellows, who surprises the man.  The Free Company carves up Onus and tosses him to the gators. 

Ssof heals the dying Nicodemus, but gains terrible disapproval from Aristemis for laying hands on a chaotic man with a zombie head growing out of his shoulder.  To regain his goddess' favor, Ssof must go on a quest to heal the crippled.  Nicodemus promises to start worshiping Aristemis, but the next morning the thief backs out of the conversion ritual.  

Figuring that they should leave town to deal with Redhelm and his bandits, The Free Company heads north to a series of pontoon bridges.  Crossing the bridges is perilous, as there are flying piranha that attempt to eat anything walking on the pontoons.  Everyone crosses without dying, but Nicodemus takes some more damage in the attempt.  Finally the thief agrees (for real) that he will start worshiping Aristemis.  But when Ssof performs the ceremony, the effect is the same as a "Turn Undead" ritual.  Cedric the zombie head, that had been growing into Nicodemus' shoulder for several weeks now, withers up, re-dies, and rolls onto the ground.  

Adventure Highlights


  • Since this was Kevin's first game with our group, I asked him to introduce his character to everyone.  I also asked what terrible creature Grumstein's original adventuring party faced while in the Sunken City.  When Kevin mentioned the name "Dreaded Grunglax", I knew I had to stat the beast!  I asked Kevin what the creature was, and he said it was an alligator that fired its own spawn from its back.  Sure enough, this only took me a few minutes to create.
  • Dreaded Grunglax
    • Init: +1; Atk bite +5 melee; Dmg 1d7+4; AC 15; HP 4d8 (24); MV 20'; SV Fort +5, Ref -1, Will +0; AL N.
    • Special: Every round a Dreaded Grunglax can fire it's "Spawn" into the combat.  It launches 1d5 Grunglaxlings into the encounter that gain their own initiative order immediately.
  • Grunglaxling
    • Init: +0; Atk bite +0 melee; Dmg 1d3 AC 9; HP 1; MV 20'; SV Fort +0, Ref -1, Will +0; AL N.
  • We don't deal with magical items all that often, but when the party comes across special materials I want to make sure that great things come of the discovery.  Following the defeat of the Dreaded Grunglax, I let the player characters carve the creature up for swag:
    • Grunglax Toothed Shield:  Offers +1 additional damage to shield bashing.
    • Grunglax Leather Shield:  Offers a +1 bonus to Reflex saving throws when a shield would be of logical assistance.
    • Grunglax Leather Wallet or the Wallet of Shadiness:  Offers the user a +1 bonus to negotiating illicit payments for illegal goods or services.
  • As our evening progressed, I noted that Alex was talking more and more from Cedric's perspective instead of Nicodemus'.  Each time he did this I made a note of Cedric's "skull" taking more root in the thief's shoulder.  Eventually this would turn into some kind of second head, with its own repercussions.  When Cedric was "turned" by Ssof's ceremony, I almost felt bad for the poor skull... as well as Alex!  It was like he lost a character.  
  • Marc insisted on a proper stakeout, and when he couldn't "rent a van", his character Bellows rented a wagon so that there was the same effect.  
  • This game was a TON of fun, and many scenes left the entire virtual table roaring with laughter.  This session was a shining example of why I love being a DCCRPG'er.  The crazy charts and tables, especially poor Andy's disapproval dice, left the perfect mark on this evening.  I had such a great time, and it's killing me that we have to wait six weeks until our next event!


Quotes?


"I think I need to switch my religion to the goddess of pizza, that sounds awesome.  If you're going to go to mass every week and get communion, it might as well be pizza." - Marc speaks wise words about religion.

Marc - "What is the signature pizza of the Free Company?"
Alex - "Pepperoni, jalapenos, and pineapple." 

"Undead only come out at night, guys." - Grumstein tried to reassure the group about exploring the graveyard.

"Hey idiot, let us in!" - Bellows to Nicodemus, after the thief climbed into the Gralk home by himself.

"Why ya'll so far away?" - Kevin was nervous about approaching his old friend Tyrone, and wanted moral support from the group.

"DIE RODNEY!!!" - Nicodemus leaps out and backstabs the Dreaded Grunglax.

"Take that Tyrone!" - Nicodemus walks away from the dead heap of the Dreaded Grunglax.

"Man, The Free Company has some weird ass rules.  Our bylaws read like some Mad Libs." - Marc speaks truth.

"Tyrone did look like a 20' alligator, now that I think about it." - Grumstein.

"I'm gettin' a new god..." - Ssof Rethaf had a really hard time with his rituals.

"Too bad we just took out the one-armed man." - Kevin, after the group found out that Andy needed to heal a crippled person to regain favor with Aristemis.

"I have 'duck' written on my sheet.  I'm not sure where I got it, but I have it." - Craig sums up DCC in one sentence.

"Excuse me father, I think my friend here is maimed.  He's missing one of his two heads." - Marc, after Ssof performed the conversion of Nicodemus.


In Memoriam 

  • Cedric - This skull had been slowly taking root on Nicodemus' shoulder.  But when the thief converted to Aristemisism, Ssof's ritual acted like "Turn Undead."  The poor, lying skull rolled off of Nicodemus' shoulder and onto the ground dead... again... for now.