Saturday, August 27, 2016

DCCRPG World Tour 2016 - The Singing Tentacle


A Hesitant Judge


When I got home from work last night I wasn't in the mood to run a game.  I gave serious thought to letting one of the other game masters take the lead, so that I could sit back and zone out.  Due to some unplanned work travel I didn't have time to finish preparing Escape from the Purple Planet (a 0-level funnel) for our monthly Norwin Game Knights club event.  I certainly didn't have anything prepared for our semi-regular Crawling Under a Broken Moon campaign.  

Fortunately for my player characters, I have a wife (+Jennifer Walls) who doesn't let me hang up my Judge's Screen when I'm whining.  

With only ten minutes to spare before heading over to our monthly event, I collected my Dungeon Crawl Classics stuff, some Rory's Story Cubes, my big, printed Future Armada: Cygnus map, and my D&D and Star Wars miniatures.  Our last adventure ended on the deck of a starship, far above the fantasy world of Caribdus.  Not exactly a typical starting off point for a fantasy RPG.  

I was gonna wing it... and I'm so glad that I did.  





Fast-forward to the end of our session, and my players were walking away from the table grinning ear to ear.  

"Now THAT'S how you play an RPG" and "Best. Game. Ever!"  were two (of many) positive comments that I overheard while packing up.  In less than three hours I went from "ending a bad day" to "starting a glorious weekend."  

This is why I love our hobby.  






Dramatis Personae 


As a Goodman Games World Tour event, we must always be ready to bring new players into the fold.  This month we introduced new PC's as prisoners of the wicked Visitors.  

The Post-Apocalyptic, Time-Traveling, Space Buccaneers 
  • Lord Old Man Legolas of Ikea - Elf (Level 3), played by Evan
  • Lisrayten - Mutant (Level 3), played by Carrie
  • Scrooges McDucks IX - Thief (Level 3), played by Dylan
  • Fenrir - Robot Cleric (Level 3), played by Alex

The Visitors' Prisoners
  • Craig's 0-levels
    • Seamus the Irish Clogger (advances to Cleric class)
    • McGyver the Halfling Mechanic
    • Epipen the Mutant Pharmacist
  • Michael's 0-levels
    • Pickle the Robot Cook (advances to Robot class)
    • Stigma the Radish Farmer
    • Harambe the Dwarf Researcher
  • Andy's 0-levels
    • Billson the Gongfarmer
    • Tedford the Corn Farmer
    • The Next Rufus the Beekeeper
  • Ryan's 0-levels
    • Squishy the Halfling Armorer (advances to Halfling class)
    • Dr. Phil the Halfling Nurse




Fred the Unlucky Tentacle (a.k.a. "Fredtacle"), played by +andrew lyon 

Let's talk about Fred.  I used the Rory's Story Cubes for adventure inspiration, and what I came up with was that the Visitors (carnivorous aliens from another world) had discovered a prized intelligent tentacle.  During the course of the game, due to the death of all of his own 0-level characters, Andy took on the role of "Fred, the Unlucky Tentacle."  I let Andy roll 3d6 in order for stats, and 2d4 hit points.  To make Fred really special, we gave it the following abilities:
  • Fred can cast Magic Shield as an Elf or Wizard.
  • Fred can perform a tentacle lashing for 1d4 damage.
  • Singing:  As an action Fred can start singing.  This grants an additional d3 in damage on it's next attack roll.  Fred's player must sing for this to work.  If Fred's player can get other players to sing too, Fred gets +1d for every singer up to a maximum of a d8 in bonus damage.  
    • Fred singing: 1d3 extra damage
    • Fred +1 singer: 1d4 extra damage
    • Fred +2 singers: 1d5 extra damage
    • Fred +3 singers: 1d6 extra damage
    • Fred +4 singers: 1d7 extra damage
    • Fred +5 singers: 1d8 extra damage.
Needless to say, it was a very loud, song filled evening last night.  Here's how it sounded:






The Singing Tentacle


The Visitors are carnivorous alien lizardfolk who masquerade as humanoids to infiltrate their worlds and harvest their people for food...

... yes, I've now stolen from Star Trek, Star Wars, and V...

... On a recent mission to the world of Caribdus, the Visitors discover that a small team of space pirates (the player characters) unexpectedly teleport into their port cargo bay.  The Visitors send in their space marines to handle the space pirates, as well as some escaped captives from the world of Caribdus.  During the clash, the space pirates meet a singing tentacle named Fred, who proves to be a valuable asset.

After defeating the Visitor space marines in a terrible battle that costs many lives, the space pirates start exploring the starship.  They find a central chamber with twelve escape pods.  Although escape is briefly discussed, the adventurers decide that they would rather capture the vessel and keep it for themselves.  




Moving up to the second level of the ship, the space pirates fall into a trap!  The Visitor captain and his crew attack the pirates from all sides.  Through strength of will, and quick thinking the space pirates fend off the Visitor crew, while Lord Old Man Legolas of Ikea and Fred (singing loudly) chase down and kill the Visitor captain.  

After commandeering the Visitor starship, the space pirates rename their new vessel the Tentanic.




Adventure Notes


  • During our last session I claimed that the PC's were on the deck of the USS Enterprise (J.J. Abrams version.)  I'll admit that I retconned that story during this adventure.  My original plan was going to involve a holodeck version of People of the Pit, but with 3rd level PC's we may attempt an early visit to the Purple Planet this fall.

  • Visitors:  As Lizardmen, but armed with light blaster pistols (1d6 damage).  Visitor Marines receive two hit dice and are armed with blaster rifles (1d10 damage).  

  • At one point in the evening I mentioned the phrase "Go ahead, make my day."  Carrie asked me where this was from, and I told her it was from Dirty Harry.  "Is that a 'South Park' thing?" she asked.  I have failed as a parent.  


  • In case you're wondering, +andrew lyon is going to be making up Fred as a Bard using Crawl! #6.  I think a Tentacle Bard is just what this campaign needed.



Quotes?


"He's already dead?  We didn't even start yet!" - Michael's not used to the short life-span of 0-level characters.

"I once died opening a door.  DCC can be like that." - Carrie explains the beloved themes of the game.

"Look at me!  I'm the captain now!" - LOMLOI to the Visitor Captain.

"I'm pretty sure this is the best game in DCC history.  It had singing tentacles!" - Carrie uses the "singing tentacle test" to compare all DCCRPG adventures.  


Created by +Evan Blenko

In Memoriam 


  • The Next Rufus - eaten by visitor 
  • Tedford - shot by visitor
  • Harambe - shot by visitor
  • Epipen - shot by visitor
  • Billson - hit by Pickle, who was aiming for Fred
  • McGyver - bayoneted by visitor
  • Stigma - shot by visitor
  • Dr. Phil - shot by visitor