Saturday, October 8, 2016

DCCRPG - The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk - Part Six


Gone Mental


Maybe it's just our group, but we're REALLY stretching out +Jon Marr's The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk to the absolute maximum!  Last night marked our six session with this adventure, and we still didn't make it to the very end.  Granted, we're only playing 2.5 to 3 hour sessions at a time, but for an adventure that you can purchase for just under five bucks we've really maxed out the value of this module.  It probably doesn't hurt that this group of players tends to take the sandbox concept to the extreme.  

We also featured the addition of a new class to our campaign: the Psion.  Featured in UX-02 Mind Games by +Reid San Filippo and Shield of Faith Studios, the Psion class has a feel that harkens back to the old Psionics Handbook from 2nd Edition D&D.  Weird supernatural abilities, but with a distinctly non-magical feel.

If you're interested in a full review of Mind Games, check out the video I posted last month:



At the end of the session Marc commented that he was enjoying the new class.  We'll see how it progresses as the campaign moves on... provided he survives!


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


*New class featured in UX02: Mind Games

The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk, Part Six


Poor Nicodemus is quite surprised.  While resting comfortably at Castle Bellows, taking a break from adventuring, Nicodemus is awoken by Mayor Manse of Slither's End.  The mayor holds a deed to The Free Company's practically new fortification, and declares himself "Lord Manse of the Flow".  While Nicodemus is free to trade at Castle Bellows, he can no longer call the place his home.  Nicodemus leaves in a huff, heading to Slither's End to get some questions answered.

He arrives, and immediately receives some unexpected news:

  • The Free Company sold Castle Bellows to Mayor Manse for 17,000 gold pieces.
  • The 17,000 "gold pieces" came in two denominations, 7K in gold and 100K in silver. 
  • The weight of all that money meant that it couldn't easily be carried around the region, and needed to be protected.
  • The Free Company now owned the old, dilapidated Gralk home in Slither's End.
  • The Free Company hired some guards to protect the home.
  • One of the guards, a dwarf named M'gordo, was way too experienced to just be a guard, and in turn was given a chance to audition for The Free Company.
  • M'gordo was on a quest of his own, in search of the Magical Beard Conditioner to make his facial hair silky smooth.  
  • Ichabod, the party's cleric of Cthulhu, had a change in personality and now proclaimed himself to be Razoul the Psion.  His personality shift must've been due to a psionic mishap.  
After reviewing the team's "status updates", Nicodemus gets The Free Company back on track, hunting down Jonas Gralk to save the lost villagers.

The Free Company knows that Jonas Gralk has some kind of hideout east of the Unusually Large Tree, so that's where they head first.  A river runs just east of the ULT, and the party starts looking for a way to cross when their new dwarven guard M'gordo goes rogue.  M'gordo decides that he wants some wood from the ULT, and takes out a club to "beat" a piece of the wood away from the structure.  

All this does is piss off one of the Type I Squirrel Demons guarding the tree.

The Type I Squirrel Demon descends upon M'gordo, with a vicious look in all of the eyes that cover its body.  M'gordo flees, but is captured by the squirrel demon, who "pouches" him instantly.  The rest of The Free Company notices this, and comes to M'gordo's rescue.  Ssof Rehtaf's prays for some paralysis power that stuns the Type I Squirrel Demon, and M'gordo is de-pouched beard first.

Noticing that there is a weird fortification on the other side of the river, the Free Company finds a rocky path just north of some rapids and decides to cross.  Razoul proves his worth by telekinetically connecting a length of rope across the water, and each character carefully makes their way to the other side.  

Nicodemus scouts ahead of the group and notices that there is a small party of workers just outside of the fortification.  Eight guards (three humans and five opossumen) direct twelve Slither's End villagers in a crude lumber operation.  The villagers look drugged.  When Nicodemus reports back to the rest of the party, Ssof chooses to parley with the guards.  As soon the Cleric of Aristemis approaches the work crew, he gets pincushioned by the opossumen's javelins, collapses, and starts to bleed out.       

The rest of The Free Company rushes to Ssof's aid... by ignoring him and killing off the human and opposumen guards.  When the battle is over, Ssof is turned over, and revealed to be alive, albeit with some nerve damage.

A guard is also left alive, and he starts to spill the beans about the fortification and the Gralk family.  He is stopped abruptly by the villager children, who demand that the guard be sacrificed to Salissak the serpent.  The Free Company does nothing to stop this, and the guard is carried away by four young children, screaming.

When the children return, the horrible truth behind Slither's End is revealed.  The villagers of Slither's End worship a dark snake god known as Salissak.  Salissak often demands sacrifices, and so victims are lowered into the swamp via the "speaker's podium" in the middle of the village.  One of these victims was Jonas Gralk's sister, and so Jonas Gralk's mother Clotilda has taken it upon herself to enslave the villagers and force them to work in the ooze pits.  There is something in the pits that Clotilda Gralk covets, and it must be uncovered.  

All the party can think about at this point is "there is a possibility that another fortification can be captured, and then sold on the open 'evil lair' market." 

After reconnoitering the fortification, an taking a guard headcount, The Free Company devises a plan to reduce the number of minions within the ooze fort's walls.  First, they wait for a scouting party to look for the first eight guards.  The Free Company slays all of the scouts, taking their gear and equipment.  Returning to the fort, the party hears Clotilda command her son Jonas to lead a team personally into the swamps to seek and destroy the imminent threat.  

Needless to say, especially given all the experience The Free Company has gained in the swamps surrounding Slither's End over the past few weeks, that Jonas and the guards are easily dispatched.  The guards all die and Jonas is paralyzed by Ssof Rehtaf.  The Free Company heads back to Castle Bellows with their prisoner in tow.     

To be continued in the Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk 7, The Wreckoning... 



Adventure Notes


  • In my mind M'gordo, played by my friend +Thomas Howell, is a dwarven version of the Zohan.  Not sure if this was Thomas' intention, but come on... a quest for Magical Conditioner?  I'll say this - Thomas sure knew how to create the perfect backstory for one of my games!
  • Poor Ssof!  When you roll over a body after combat to see if the PC survived, even if they make it they suffer permanent attribute loss.  Ssof's Agility of 5 dropped to a 4.  
  • I debated pushing through to the end scene inside of the Ooze Fort, but I didn't want to give this adventure a hasty end.  We've already received so much value out of the Sunken City, and an ending to this particular adventure deserves a great ending!
  • I still don't know how the party is going to leave Slither's End with 107K in actual coinage.
  • I'm not sure how we're going to run the next adventure.  A Gathering of the Marked is designed as a 0-level funnel, and although I added meat to The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk to scale it up for 1st and 2nd level, I'm considering doing the next adventure as a funnel.  This would give all of the players a chance to create a "backup" character for later in the campaign.
  • I truly believe this campaign is going to end up being a series of fortress, dungeon, and lair "captures", with their subsequent sale on the open market to evil villains with money to spare.


Quotes?


"Dwarves don't float." - M'gordo is wise.

"So what you're saying is that you'r playing a dwarf hairdresser!" - Marc's reaction to M'gordo's backstory.

"Not in the face, it's my money maker!"  - M'gordo begs the Type I Squirrel Demon.

"Oh man, it has the finest pleather ever!" - Alex talking about the +1 Wallet of Shadiness 

"I'm a psionicist, not a squirrel gynecologist!" - Razoul to the party after being asked to check for some eggs.  I tried adding some of my own rap lines to this, but didn't get that far. I know the next line should be "... apologist for all of this..." but I can't get any further.  Feedback welcome.  

"I think we could make a lucrative career out of capturing places and then selling them.  This is turning into 'Flip My Dungeon.'" - Marc has his eyes set on acquiring the Ooze Pit Fort.

"How goes it?" - Ssof asks the opossumen just before they lob five javelins at the cleric's head.  

"Where's your god now, padre!" - Nicodemus to Ssof, after the cleric gets peppered by javelins.

"Let me die!" - Andy after finding out his character's agility dropped to a 4 after getting rolled over post-combat.

"I'm not rolling a die to see what we do." - Marc denies Alex's roll-off.


In Memoriam 

  • None, but Ssof Rehtaf came REALLY close!