Sunday, September 25, 2016

An XBOX for the Führer - An East Texas University Adventure

It's Been a While

I can't believe it's been nearly a year since our last game of Savage Worlds East Texas University!  Back when everyone in the team lived in Pennsylvania, it was so easy for us to connect once a month... but then Emily had to go and move to Ohio, just so that she could leave all of us great gamers behind.  

Dammit Emily!

With all the planning this week for Friday's Deadlands Reloaded Actual Play, I knew that I would be strapped for East Texas University adventure prep time.  We don't meet often enough to justify dipping into the Degrees of Horror plot-point campaign, and while I considered running a one-sheet, I fell into old habits and just broke out the ETU Adventure Generator.  

Here are the cards' results:

  • Who?  King of Diamonds - Supernatural Creature
    • Creature Table - Ten of Clubs  - Anomaly 
  • What?  Nine of Diamonds - Accident
    • Victim Table - Jack of Spades - Corporation
  • Why?  Four of Clubs - Secret
  • Where?  Jack of Clubs - Pinebox Environs
    • Pinebox Environs Table - Ten of Spades - Wilson Quarry 
  • Complication?  Joker - All Hell Breaks Loose

Adventure Setup

Nazi scientists, using a temporal rift generator [All Hell Breaks Loose], travel to the future in search of advanced technological marvels to help the Third Reich [Secrets].  Unfortunately for the Nazis, their rift opens up in the middle-of-nowhere Texas [Pinebox Environs - Wilson Quarry].  Hoping to still gain some insight, they learn about a store called Best Buy, and hatch a plan to hijack delivery trucks and then offload the products through the temporal rift [Corporation].    The Nazis are using genetically enhanced Brutes as muscle and guards for this project [Supernatural Creature - Anomaly].  Best Buy has offered a $2,000 gift card to anyone with information that can help apprehend the culprits of the thefts.  The biggest clue to what was going on was an accident scene along the main road that ran north from Pinebox to the Best Buy [Accident].

Class of 2019

  • Elle Woods (Jen), the party's "Legally Blonde" Pre-Law student
    • Bruiser, Elle's chihuahua*
  • Abigail (Emily), a nasally voiced Geek studying Psychology
  • Chaz Lannigan (Andy), the socially awkward Computer Science Major who loves to game
  • Cordelia (Jeremy), an "easy" going Cheerleader and all around team player whose parents think she's at ETU to study Meteorology
  • Ezra (Ethan), majoring in Cultural Studies this Activist was ready to fight the establishment

*Andy noted that according to the East Texas University Player's Guide the Edges "Beast Bond" and "Beast Master" were not allowed.  Good thing for Jen that the GM is her husband.  

Session Synopsis

As with all of our games, last night went completely off the rails quickly.  

We opened up the session with the PC's sitting around in Cordelia's dorm room (Whitehall Co-Ed Dorm), watching a Firefly marathon.  Cordelia still had a crush on Chaz, and was trying to learn more about the geeky arts.  There was a brief discussion about trying to solve the case of the missing Best Buy delivery trucks, as everyone could use gift cards.  Chaz was pretty pissed that his pre-ordered new XBOX One never arrived, furthering his interest.

The study group decided that they needed weed.

So we role-played the team digging through Cordelia's roomate's stuff only to find a business card for "Mr. Nice Guy."  The herb was ordered, and delivered thirty minutes later, and since the delivery driver was kind of cute, Cordelia moved in for a make-out session in the back seat of a smokey old Lincoln Town Car.  

While the PC's were getting high in the dorm room, about halfway through the Firefly marathon, they glanced outside and saw a large, hulking figure by the creek.  Of course, this required an investigation, so everyone grabbed their iPhones and went towards the water.  Unable to make out the figure, Cordelia moved closer and extended a "hello".  The humanoid, a Nazi Brute who was searching the area, opened fire!  

The fight with the Brute was a bit of a mess.  Elle sent her Chihuahua Bruiser into the fray, nearly taking out the creature in a single hit!  Cordelia and Abigail started wrestling with the Brute, attempting to take its gun.  Ezra pelted the monster with rocks.  Chaz took off his shoes, tied the laces together, and fashioned a Converse-Nunchuck with his MacGyver ability.  Cordelia eventually called the police on her iPhone, and the Brute knew it was a goner after Abigail succeeded in the disarm.  It pulled out its grenade and set it off, killing itself and injuring Abigail, Elle, and Chaz.  

That's when the cops showed up, arriving just as Ezra finished hiding the Kar 98 in the trunk of his car.  You never know when college students will need some high-powered, WW2 weaponry!  

To role-play the police questioning scene, since it each witness would be separated from the group, I asked each player to write out their statement.  This was when things got good... for the GM!

Abigail:  We were attacked by this giant zombie humanoid.  It shot Cordelia and came after the rest of us.  Eventually it blew itself up.  Several of us sustained injuries in the explosion.

Ezra:  We were watching Firefly in Cord's room.  Bruiser, Elle's dog, needed to "go", so we took him out.  This thing in the H20 shot at us then blew itself to hell and hurt my friends.

Elle:  Some kid was dressed like a solider for Halloween and said he wanted to show us this cool fake grenade he got at the surplus store and when he reached into his pocket it blew up.  Guess it was the real deal, yo!  Boom, mic drop!

Cordelia:  Big guy with bad skin condition shot me and blew himself when my friends heroically confronted him.  I bet you know what being heroic is like.  You're all strong and muscular.  Your girlfriend must be constantly smiling.  Do you have a girlfriend?

Chaz:  Would you believe me if I told you that we got attacked by an undead Nazi with a rifle and grenade?  No?  Look, we got real high.  I'm not sure what happened, but I do know something blew up in the river.  So don't you people have bigger things to worry about right now?  

Chaz's statement got the entire study group a ride to the police station and a two day stay in jail waiting to meet with the judge on Monday morning.  At least Elle's pre-law skills got the party "mostly" out of trouble.  After a very compelling argument, Elle convinced the judge to let everyone go with nothing more than a fine.  $1,000 per student would be tough to overcome, but it was a small price to pay.  Cordelia got her dad to pay, but it cost her her car.  

Now the study group really needed some money, so they got back to the Best Buy investigation.  Sort of.  Chaz called the local Best Buy and started asking all kinds of weird questions about delivery dates of the next shipment.  This, of course, brought the law back to ETU, as a detective showed up at Chaz' dorm room looking for information about the thefts.  Chaz knew his goose could've been cooked, as he was also trying to hack the Best Buy system on his laptop.  Fortunately, the computer science major was able to pass off his roommates computer as his own, and talked his way past the investigator.  

The study group met up later that afternoon and decided to take a drive up to the Best Buy.  On the way, they noticed signs of a large vehicle crash along the side of the road.  Getting out of the car to investigate, the vehicle had to have been a tractor trailer, and it could be tracked into the woods.  Also, there were spent shell casings nearby matching the rifle in Ezra's trunk.  The study group headed into the woods, following the trail left by the truck.

They followed the trail all the way to Wilson Quarry, discovering a terribly bizarre scene down by the water.  Three Best Buy trucks were parked adjacent to a glowing, swirling, red portal.  Six Nazi scientists stood nearby, examining the Best Buy wares, while eight Nazi Brutes guarded the scene.  The study group believed that they could destroy the portal by running it over with one of the trucks.  

Chaz and Ezra followed Abigail (one of the only characters trained in Fighting) as she charged the nearby Nazi Brute with a bayonet-toting Kar-98 in hand.  With one strike, the geek gutted the beast in a stealth take down.  Ezra and Chaz climbed into the cab of the truck and started it up.  While this was happening, Elle took one of the Brute's hand grenades and directed Bruiser to go and drop it off in front of the Nazi scientists.  Bruiser wasn't very stealthy, however, and the scientists noticed a small, bedazzled chihuahua running up to them holding a stick grenade in its mouth.  

The Nazi scientists pulled their pistols and shot Bruiser to tiny chihuahua bits!

While Cordelia tried to console a screaming Elle, Chaz tried taking out one of the Brutes with the truck but missed.  He then targeted the temporal rift, hitting the gas but losing control of the wheel.  Both Ezra and Abigail struggled to keep the truck on target, and the entire tractor trailer nailed the gate...

... transporting the entire truck, and its three ETU college student passengers, into a Nazi lab in the 1940's!  The whole reason that the trucks hadn't been transported was that they were too large for the temporal rift to accommodate.  So when they came out the other side, they destroyed the gate device, locking themselves in the past.

Obligatory Weird War II mash-up for the next session!


"I saved a spot for you on the bed." - The creepy comments from Jeremy's character (Cordelia) to Andy's character (Chaz) were non-stop.

"Look for a card that says 'Mr. Nice Guy.'" - Jen knows exactly how to find weed in Pinebox, Texas.

"Guys, Big Foot shot me!" - Cordelia was quite surprised when the hulking thing by the creek opened fire.  

"Did you tell them about your shoe nunchucks?" - Ethan to Andy, asking about his character's interrogation with the police.  

"We could Ewok it!" - Chaz believed that the study group can dispatch the eight Nazi Brutes using rocks, sticks, and crude traps.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Unexpected Wedding - Our Actual Play's Adventure

Behind the Screams

To celebrate the Kickstarters for +Pinnacle Entertainment Group's 20th Anniversary Edition of Deadlands Classic and Deadlands Reloaded: Good Intentions, I wanted to throw together a bizarre, "Mad-Lib Inspired" adventure for some of my most awesomest players.  Because I'm such an exhibitionist, I had to live stream the event for all to see... and experience!  Since this was an Interactive Actual Play, we took recommendations from the audience, creating crazy twists and turns in the plot as we moved along.  

Before I get ahead of myself, here's the video of our game:

I should note that inspiration for this adventure came from a GoFundMe created a few weeks ago.  My good friends Brenna and Ethan have had a rough turn of luck recently, but are getting married in just a few weeks.  One of their family members created this GoFundMe page so that they could still have the wedding of their dreams.  I know it can feel weird to give money to strangers, so as part of my contribution I announced that I would write a wedding-themed adventure and post it on my blog.  So if you tossed a few bucks towards Brenna and Ethan's wedding, you got a full adventure out of the deal!  

Damned good deal!

The Adventure!

What I've posted here is the exact adventure that we ran last night in the video posted above.  I've filled in the details, so that you can experience this adventure with your group at home, maybe even during the Deadlands Kickstarter drive!  Professor Vandersmythe is based on the Doc Lightning pre-gen from Pinnacle Entertainment Group, and you'll see that both Shady Doug Liveaux and Father Sam are straight from that same crew.  Gracie Law and Lo Pan are original characters, but maybe I'll post their stats in a future blog post... hint hint, +Darcy Ross and +Craig McCullough.

I should also note that I'm not done posting this adventure.  In the days and weeks ahead you can look forward to the following "editions"... 

  • Did I say "Mad Libs?"  You can expect a version that will give you the opportunity to fill in your own crazy info for your games!
  • Deadlands Classic!  Give me a few days to get myself reacquainted with the Deadlands Classic rules and I'll restat the baddies accordingly.
  • Cypher Edition!  Are you a fan of the Weird West but you are one of my Cypher System readers?  Make a Guts Check!  Grab hold of some Deadlands books (... maybe through a certain Kickstarter...) and your Cypher System Rulebook and run Deadlands accordingly.  
  • Black Powder, Black Magic!  Maybe you are one of my Dungeon Crawl Classics readers who has the Black Powder, Black Magic Zines.  I'll restat these monsters for DCCRPG, which should take all of 5 minutes!

Player Character Roles

(Determine randomly, 1DX based on number of PC’s.  Yes, D5's exist.)  

  1. The One Gettin’ Married:  Professor Vandersmythe,  +Marc Plourde 
  2. The Best Man/Woman:  Shady Doug Liveaux,  +andrew lyon 
  3. The Officiant:  Gracie Law,  +Darcy Ross 
  4. The Wedding Planner:  Lo Pan,  +Craig McCullough 
  5. The Uninvited:  Father Sam,  +William Keller 

Setting Rules

Special Rule - Smitten:  The player character who is getting married is absolutely head-over-heels infatuated with the Monadi husband/bride, and fully intends to go through with the ceremony.  There is nothing supernatural about this love-connection, they just really seem to get along.  To represent this in game, give this PC the Vow (Major) hindrance for this adventure.  This is a temporary hindrance, and can only be removed should the PC be provided actual proof that their fiancee (and eventually spouse) is not what they say they are.  For being a good sport, let this player take an additional Fate Chip during the adventure.  

The Story So Far 

(Read to players)

Your characters are experienced heroes, varmint slayers, abomination hunters, and well-known do-gooders in the Weird West.  Your most recent exploits had you up in the town of Snakebite Junction working for Sheriff BichonSheriff Bichon had a problem with a troupe of Intelligent Devil Bats masquerading as Clowns.  Your posse cleared out these creatures easily.  The terrible abominations had been keeping local Railroad Foremen’s as victims in a hidden basement, surrounded by vats full of sludge, beneath their Sweat Lodge lair.  Unfortunately none of the victims survived.  At the end of this exploit, however, one member of your team, Professor Vandersmythe, took a liking to a self-described Snakebite Junction local: Anna Kendrick.

The two met shortly after the battle with the Intelligent Devil Bats, while both just happened to be shopping at a local Dirty Dicks Guns & Ammo Store.  This chance meeting soon became a more formal courtship.  Anna Kendrick said that they worked as a Lawyer in Snakebite Junction, but was always dreaming of leaving for bigger and better things.  

The two have been inseparable ever since, although Anna Kendrick came with a bit of baggage:  the entire Kendrick family (about thirty in total)!  They followed their kin and the rest of the posse to the next town, carting with them all their belongings and a wagon full of Whiskey, the Devil’s Water, barrels… the only source of the Kendrick family wealth.

After arriving in Dodge City the two decided to tie the knot.  Professor Vandersmythe proposed by offering a very fine Golden Pocketwatch filled with Lead, as well as a giant box of Peyote PopsAnna Kendrick loved candy.  The two lovebirds have set a date (today), and have a romantic honeymoon planned in Old El Paso where they plan to spend a full week horse racin’ to the railroad crossin’.   Gracie Law agreed to perform the ceremony, with Shady Doug Liveaux agreeing to stand next to Professor Vandersmythe so long as they get to dance with Anna Kendrick’s Kissing Cousin.

Lo Pan has spent several days putting the finishing touches on what will be a beautiful ceremony at the Post Office, and an exciting after-shindig to be held at the local Bath House.  

For some reason, perhaps it’s because of their most recent game of Musical Chairs, Father Sam was not invited to the wedding.  

The Real Deal

(For the Marshal)

Unfortunately for Professor Vandersmythe, Anna Kendrick has a deep and dark secret: they are actually a creature called a Monadi.  Part of a collective of sentient unicellular creatures that once dwelled deep beneath the bowels of the Earth, the Monadi first came to the surface in the Maze during the Great Quake of ’68.  The Intelligent Devil Bats had discovered the Monadi while traveling through California, and found them of great interest, especially in how they could don the flesh of other creatures, importing some of their memories in the process.  The Monadi were captured and kept in great vats and transported all across the West.  Many of the Monadi died during the trip, unable to consume the copious amounts of sugar necessary for their survival.  It was a sad few years.  

When the posse killed off the Intelligent Devil Bats, this freed the Monadi.  The unicellular creatures knew enough from their dealings with their masters to make no attempt to let their true form be known to outsiders.  Anna Kendrick is the leader of the Monadi, a truly ancient creature, and hijacked the body of a local twenty-two year old traveler eating a giant, obnoxious lollipop in Snakebite Junction named Sam.  From Sam, Anna Kendrick learned a bit about the traveling posse of do-gooders in town.  The Monadi leader targeted Professor Vandersmythe, distracting them (and in turn the rest of the posse) while they went around town taking on the bodies of about thirty more souls.  

The Monadi were shrewd to only take on travelers and vagrants in Snakebite Junction, and knew they needed to move on to another town.  Unfortunately about half of their number still remain in the vats (disguised as whiskey barrels) once kept by the master abominations.  The Monadi plan to celebrate the nuptials of the two “love birds”, and during the shindig that follows, use the cover of cake and liquor to lure the guests and participants of the wedding back to the vats so that the rest of the unicellular creatures can find human hosts.  

Adventure Outline

This adventure should play out as a nice, big wedding celebration, ending of course with the attempted murder of the PC’s and all of the wedding guests.  Immediately after reading the The Story So Far take the adventure to the ceremony location and describe the scene.  Given that this is going to be cooked up on the fly, try to focus on a similar looking area and map from a previous experience or game.  Since this will be something “communal”, most likely the players will choose a church, saloon, restaurant, or perhaps even a barn.  Try to describe this scene as best as possible, especially noting the following folks at the scene:

  • The PC’s:  This is a great time to point out who is taking on what role for the adventure, especially the officiant.  The PC getting married should be getting a little nervous.
  • The Fiancee:  The Monadi husband or bride to-be is not in the building, and most likely would be very hard to find if anyone searches for them.  Just before the ceremony they are assisting the rest of their family in preparing the barrels of other Monadi for taking over the PC’s and their guests.  
  • The Guests:  Whoever the PC’s invited to the wedding will be sitting around, just waiting patiently for the ceremony to begin.  They may be pacing, perhaps they are drinking.  Maybe they are just whining, depending on who was invited.
  • The Monadi Family:  Some of the family members are helping the fiancee with the barrels, but a few others (at least six) are sitting in the communal building.  All of the family members are waiting nervously.  If approached or questioned, the family members won’t say much, except how excited they are for the wedding.  If asked about their relation to the bride/groom, they will say that they are a “cousin.”  As for names, all of their names begin with the letter “M”.  

The adventure should play out in three sequences.  First, start with Cake Nightmare, which highlights the very first “glitch” in the wedding, as the cake is missing.  The next sequence, No Objections covers the wedding itself.  Finally Shindig features the last encounter, with the PC’s discovering the terrible truth about the Monadi, hopefully before anyone dies.  Somewhere in the middle, the GM is invited to run one or more of the optional encounters that will make the ceremony a bit more interesting.  

Cake Nightmare 
  • It’s just a few hours before the start of the wedding, and one of the fiancee’s family members (a Monadi in hiding) named “Maureen” comes into the place of the ceremony screaming.
  • Maureen claims that she was just at the site of the Shindig, and the wedding cake is missing! 
  • Maureen will demand that the PC’s do something about this situation, and that without the cake the wedding will be a disaster.
  • In truth, the wedding cake was stolen by some of the husband/bride’s family members (Monadi) and will be used to force-feed the future hosts of the unicellular creatures.  
  • Depending on the size of the town or city, feel free to make this encounter as difficult as you would like.  
    • In a small town the baker (let’s call him Buddy) may be completely out of sugar.  This could also be the doing of the Monadi.  Buddy will claim that he tried to get sugar from the local general store, but the price tag was far too high (also do to the Monadi).
    • Set the general store price to be something exorbitant.  $100 for a sack of sugar sounds fair.  This should set the characters into a tizzy.  Let them intimidate or persuade the general store shopkeeper (Expensive Daryl), but should they try anything too aggressive bring in the law.  
    • In larger towns/cities, the lack of sugar will be less of an issue.  The baker could still be out of sugar, and maybe the general stores are all closed.  It’s a holiday.  Totally up to you.  
  • Once the baker has the sugar, they will promise the cake.  Hopefully this is the only hiccup during the wedding.  

No Objections
  • Time for the ceremony!  At the Post Office!
  • Weapons and gear… seriously?  Make sure everyone is very clear about what they have with them for this part of the adventure.  They shouldn’t be armed, at least not with anything heavily.  If one of the posse members has a gatling gun this is a problem.  
  • Alright, alright... If a PC wants a bigger weapon make them spend a Fate Chip and they have to describe how it is being hidden.  Long arms cost a red or blue Fate Chip.
  • If the PC’s have not said who they were bringing to the wedding as guests, now is the time to ask them.  Try to get each player to bring two guests.  Let them make up anyone they want.  Mom, dad, maybe just a friend who is in town.  Whatever.  The important part is to have between 12-18 total guests attending the wedding besides the PC’s, and to have them on some kind of list.  Maybe index cards.  This could be important later.  
  • If the PC getting married is the groom, have them waiting at the front of the ceremony, in front of the officiant.  If the PC getting married is the bride, they will be obviously outside.  Whatever the case, have the Wedding Planner describe the dress for everyone as the bride walks down the aisle.
  • Once everyone is good to go, have the officiant start the process:
    • Brief introduction
    • Objection!
    • An exchange of vows
    • Man and Wife

Sam? (Optional Encounter)
  • The fun isn’t over when the PC’s go outside.  So there should be the whole scene with the bride and groom walking down the aisle, with the guests hitting them with rice outside the community building.  Well, while this happens, someone start’s yelling “Sam!”  
  • A man or woman (GM’s choice) calls out to the PC’s new husband or wife, insisting that their name is Sam.  This is Pat, who was in love with Sam back in their home town, and has been tracking them down across the Weird West.  Pat doesn’t know that “Sam” is dead, and there is only a Monadi inside the human skin.  
  • Unlike the objector, Pat doesn’t want to back down.  Pat is flanked by a trio of bounty hunters who helped them find “Sam”.
  • While this scene doesn’t have to end in violence, the Monadi family members keep out of the way, and everyone looks to the PC’s to find some way to deal with this.  Keep in mind that the PC’s should NOT be armed, save for pocket pistols and or knives.  

Pat:  Agility d6,  Smarts d6,  Spirit d4,  Strength d6,  Vigor d6, Skills:  Fighting d6, Notice d4, Shooting d4, Pace:  6, Parry:  5, Toughness:  6, Gear:  Baton (Str +d4), Colt Army Revolver (2d6+1), $50.

Bounty Hunters (3):  Agility d8,  Smarts d6,  Spirit d6,  Strength d6,  Vigor d8, Skills:  Fighting d8, Notice d8, Shooting d8, Tracking d8, Pace:  6, Parry:  6, Toughness:  6, Gear:  Knife (Str +d4), Colt Peacemaker (2d6+1).  Third hombre has a double barrel shotgun (1-3d6) in addition to the other gear.  Each bounty hunter has 3d8x10 dollars.

  • When the PC’s and the rest of the wedding party all arrive at the location of the reception let the wedding planner describe the scene.  Specifically make them state the following:
    • The decorations
    • The spread
    • The drinks
  • If the Wedding Planner can’t rattle these off within a few moments, there’s a complication.  Use this as an opportunity to have one of the guests go missing.  Let one of the guests offer to help, but they never come back to the party.
  • The baker should show up with a cake, if that part of the adventure was resolved.  Everyone claps.  So sweet.
  • This is a great time to use the Strung Out Quartet optional encounter.
  • While most of the guests are just drinking, eating, and enjoying each other’s company, what’s going on behind the scenes is rather terrible.  One by one, as the PC’s and their guest are drinking, the Monadi flesh-suit wearers are taking guests into a storm cellar or basement bellow the building, stuffing them full of cake, and then forcing them to swallow Monadi.  
  • Every few minutes have one of the guests disappear, and then eventually the players will go hunting.  It shouldn’t take them too long to figure this out.  Of course, by this point, the husband/wife of the PC will be trying to distract them.  Some options could be:
    • “Let’s dance!”
    • “We need to cut the cake sweetie!”
    • “How about we go outside for a quick kiss?”
  • After six guests disappear, some of the guests will begin to question the circumstances.
  • Once the PC’s find the basement, they have to get past a pair of Monadi family members, trying to repel the PC’s from the scene, but not too violently.  Allow there to be some kind of window or rear entrance into the basement or cellar, so that the terror can be witnessed.
  • At this point, there should be around fifteen Monadi upstairs, and five downstairs at work with another ten out of the barrels, forcing themselves down the throats of poor guests.  At least the transformation takes a few hours!  
  • Frontal assaults will be devastating unless the PC’s get to their weapons.  If this is the route the PC’s take, the PC’s new spouse will bring a few of their family members to assault the PC’s before this can go down.  
  • The new spouse will try one time to persuade their love not to do anything rash, and may even give up the story so long as the family is allowed to leave.  
  • At the end of the adventure, however this goes, the marrying PC will probably be a widow… or perhaps not.  If the PC’s are persuaded to leave the family of Monadi alone, they eventually move on to another town to live out their lives.  The Monadi are vicious, but not evil.  

Strung Out Quartet (Optional Encounter)
  • There is supposed to be music at the shindig, but when they arrive they are far too drunk to play.
  • The new spouse demands their favorite song to be played: “My Wild Irish Rose.”  
  • The PC’s need to find someone in town, quickly of course, to play for the family.  


Anna Kendrick
The Fiancee
  • Always Interrupts 
  • Missing Pinky on Left Hand
  • Lawyer 
Attributes:  Agility d8,  Smarts d10,  Spirit d8,  Strength d6,  Vigor d10
Skills:  Fighting d10, Notice d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d8, Tracking d8
Pace:  6, Parry:  7, Toughness:  7
Gear:  Knife (Str +d4), any other weapon they can get their hands on
Special Abilities:
  • Tap Out:  A Monadi in human form can make a Spirit roll at a -2 difficulty to forcibly eject themselves from a human body about to die.  They take on the unicellular form and are immediately Shaken.  
  • Weakness (Cold):  Cold-based attacks cause +4 damage against the Monadi. 

The Monadi
(Unicellular Organism Form)

Attributes:  Agility d6,  Smarts d6,  Spirit d6,  Strength d4,  Vigor d8
Skills:  Fighting d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Tracking d8
Pace:  4, Parry:  5, Toughness:  8
Gear:  None
Special Abilities:
  • Enter Orifice:  On a successful Fighting roll Monadi can violently enter the nose or mouth of a living target.  Once inside, the target takes 2d6 Acid damage each round.  Armor has no effect.  The target must make a Vigor roll at a -2 penalty to vomit/cough forth the Monadi.
  • Flesh Suit:  Once a target “dies” from the Enter Orifice attack, and after 1d4 hours of rest, the Monadi can take control of the body for 1d4 years.  This can only be done under two conditions.  First, the target’s death must be caused by the Monadi’s acid damage.  Second, the target must have a significant amount of sugar in their body.  It is for this reason that Monadi tend to lurk around bakeries and wedding receptions.  
  • Slow:  Monadi roll only add a d4 when “running”.
  • Toughness:  The thick cell membrane of the Monadi grants +2 Toughness.
  • Weakness (Cold):  Cold-based attacks cause +4 damage against the Monadi. 

The Monadi
(Flesh Suit)

Attributes:  Agility d6,  Smarts d6,  Spirit d6,  Strength d6,  Vigor d8
Skills:  Fighting d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Tracking d8
Pace:  6, Parry:  5, Toughness:  6
Gear:  Fist (Str), Knife (Str +d4), Chair leg (Str +d4), anything else that could be found at a wedding
Special Abilities:
  • Tap Out:  A Monadi in human form can make a Spirit roll at a -2 difficulty to forcibly eject themselves from a human body about to die.  They take on the unicellular form and are immediately Shaken.  
  • Weakness (Cold):  Cold-based attacks cause +4 damage against the Monadi.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

DCCRPG World Tour Weekend

World Tour Planetary Romance 

This weekend we explored two very special Dungeon Crawl Classics planets for the +Goodman Games 2016 World Tour: Venus and the Purple Planet.  Here are our stories!

Cry Freedom and Let Slip the Bat-Men of Venus

For our first Road Crew event of the weekend, I ran Cry Freedom and Let Slip the Bat-Men of Venus, a Crawljammer adventure by +Tim Callahan, for the Norwin Game Knights open game night.  This was not my first time running this fast and delightful space romp.  Last December I reskinned the module for DCC Star Wars, titling it the Mynock Men of Sunev.  Had a lot of fun then, and had a lot of fun with the adventure last night as well.  Since Judge Evan (Lord Old Man Legolas of Ikea) was running his own adventure, I ran this as an "Away Team" mission for some of the other crewmembers of the Starship Tentanic.

The Post-Apocalyptic, Time-Traveling, Space Buccaneers 
  • Seamus the Clogging Cleric - Cleric (Level 3), played by Craig
  • Scrooges McDucks IX - Thief (Level 3), played by Dylan
  • Fenrir - Robot Cleric (Level 3), played by Alex
  • Pickle - Warrior (Level 3), played by Michael
  • Lithium Shield - Halfling (Level 3), played by Jeremy
  • Fred - Tentacle Bard (Level 3), played by Andy
  • 0-Level Minions - played by David
    • Bob the Grave Digger (RIP, killed by Laser Cat)
    • Scavenger Guy the Dwarven Scavenger
    • Corny the Corn Farmer

In our play session the away team met up with weird, bright yellow humanoid aliens, and agreed to save their princess from an evil splinter cell of their species.  The space pirates went for a frontal assault on the evil Zanist treetop lair, disarming traps, freeing lasercats, and taking a guard hostage.  After interrogating the guard (made easier by Fred the Tentacle's bardic abilities), the party learned of the princess's whereabouts and went directly the holding cell.  Blasting a hole in the door, the space pirates tried negotiating with the jailor.  When that didn't work Seamus used a cleric spell to command the jailor to open the door, deactivate the cyberdogs, and jump to his death.  Winning. 

Interesting Facts about Venus
  • Venusians speak Spanish not English.
  • On Venus, instead of gold pieces, dollars, or credits, the common currency is Sears Gift Cards.  Unfortunately, there is no Sears located on Venus.
  • During the adventure the party uncovered a cache of Laser Cats:
    • 1d12 Damage
    • +1D to Attack Roll (d24 instead of d20)
    • Range: 70/140/210
    • When handling for the first time, the PC must have a treat in hand.  If no treat, PC makes a Reflex save (DC 15) or they get shot.  If a treat is offered make a DC 15, to gain the apparent loyalty of the Laser Cat.  The Laser Cat isn't really being loyal, they are just tolerating the user.
    • On an attack roll of a 1, the Laser Cat explodes causing 1d12 damage to everything in a 10' radius.
    • On a damage roll of 1 or 2, another loyalty check is required (+Doug Kovacs)
    • If the damage roll equals the Luck stat of the PC, something bad happens.  Roll 1d4 (+Doug Kovacs):
      • 1 - Laser Furball:  Built up laser hair causes damage in radius to enemy, and potentially anything else adjacent, including allies.
      • 2 - Laser Cat Pee:  Burns the user.  Fortitude Save DC 15 or take 1d5 damage.
      • 3 - Laser Cat Diabetes:  Must give Laser Cat 1 dose of insulin for each use of Laser Cat as weapon.  Laser Cats hate needles though, so each injection requires a new Loyalty test.
      • 4 - Laser Cat is pregnant: 1d13 new laser cats appear next month.

Escape From the Purple Planet


For our second event, Evie and I joined +Michael Bolam and the rest of the DCC RPG Pittsburgh crew for a Sunday afternoon of gaming at Phantom of the Attic in Oakland.  I've been staring longingly at my Peril on the Purple Planet boxed set for several months now.   So it wasn't hard for me to pick the 0-level funnel Escape From the Purple Planet for my players.  As a little twist, and since I've been in a Weird Western mood ever since Pinnacle Entertainment Group announced the 20th Anniversary Deadlands Kickstarter, I used the Purple Sorcerer character generator to throw together a whole mess o' Black Powder, Black Magic 0-level characters.  

  • Evie
    • Jenny McGee, Butcher
    • Britney Spears, Elven Barrister
    • Medal Moe, Wainwright (RIP, clawed by Kith)
    • Eliza Schuyler, Brewer (RIP, beaten to death with a halfling corpse)
  • Laura
    • Toby All, Porter
    • Bunnie, Midwife (RIP, legs broken trying to break free of chains)
    • Dr. Cod, Physician (RIP, clawed by Kith)
    • Sudz, Elven Brewer (RIP, bashed by Coward)
  • Stefan
    • Tila, Mutant Guard
    • Ram Man, Dwarf Pharmacist
    • Man E Faces, Photographer (RIP, neck broken by Kith)
    • Adam, Sawyer (RIP, grabbed by the Maur)
    • Orca, Clothier (RIP, grabbed by the Maur)
  • John
    • Crazy Carl, Peddler
    • Mycroft, Mutant Researcher
    • Dr. Pink (RIP, slain by Coward)
    • Frank, Pumber (RIP, bitten by Kith)

Twelve ordinary folks from the Weird West, minding their own business at Hubble's Bar in Deadwood, help Agent Earl investigate a crashed purple meteor near the saloon.  Exposure to the meteor teleports all twelve poor souls to a Kith arena on the savage Purple Planet.  After getting free from their bonds, the earthlings make their way through the subterranean passages beneath the arena, facing Kith, Cowards (giant kith), and a terrible creature known as the Maur.  If not for the weapons they found along the way, along with a bunch of mutants and future-folk from the land of Umerica, they wouldn't have made their way to a crashed Cthulhu-folk space-faring long-ship.  After freeing the Cthulhu-folk captain, the adventurers returned home to Earth  
Interesting Facts about The Purple Planet
  • You'll often hear a DCC judge poll the players to find out who has the lowest Luck score before dishing out some kind of terrible event.  I've found that this query tends to eat up time, so I tried something new this game: The Unlucky Squirrel.  A painted lawn ornament, covered in fake blood, the Unlucky Squirrel is given to the player with that special character just waiting to die.  As a judge it's really easy to just look for the squirrel, and then dish out pain.  Love it!
  • Our replacement PC's from Umerica were created using the Crawling Under a Broken Moon occupation list.
  • While I was judging the Purple Planet at one table, +Michael Bolam was running the Free RPG Day DCC Lankhmar adventure The Madhouse Meet.

Extra Pix!

Illustrations by Evie!

Illustrations by Evie!

Illustrations by Evie!