Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Numenera - The Devil's Spine - Session 1



The Devil's Spine Campaign Log


Welcome to our group's campaign log for The Devil's Spine, a mega-adventure by +Monte Cook for the Numenera campaign setting.  This is my second crack at this terrific module, my first taking place over two years ago, back when I first started GM'ing Numenera.  I've learned quite a bit since then, and have thoroughly enjoyed so many of the enigmatic and peculiar aspects that can only be found in the Ninth World.  But something about this adventure continued to call to me.  I really wanted to circle back and give it another go!

I'll be perfectly up front with you all: this is going to just be a simple campaign log.  Don't expect too much commentary at the beginning of each session report.  Initially I was just going to do one, massive log that I updated week after week, but I got a little nervous of deleting the entire thing by accident with continued editing of the same post.  I also don't want you to expect any high-quality writing here... this is pretty much just going to be an information dump session after session.  

If you have any questions or remarks about The Devil's Spine adventure, our campaign, or anything else Numenera related, please feel free to leave a comment below!


Characters


Okay, I said no commentary, but I need to add a little commentary when it comes to my players and the characters they created.  I absolutely adore each of these imaginative designs.  During last night's session we spent the first hour ironing out descriptions and backgrounds, and creating connections between each of the characters.  That way, when we started the actual adventure, there actually appeared to be real relationships between the five Numenera hunters.

So here's our crew:


Belmodan, a Resourceful Seeker who Wields a Whip, played by +andrew lyon 

  • Description:  Short.  Wears an anachronistic hat and leather jacket.  Carries an energy whip.
  • Background:  Discovered a synth time capsule, found a strange exotic laser disk of an explorer being chased by a gigantic boulder.  Decided to pattern his own appearance after this person.  Now he travels the land with his energy whip and the laser disk, in search of adventure.  
  • Connection: Keane always seems to be getting in Belmodan's way, and is frequently struck by the Seeker's energy whip in combat.  

Keane, a Rebellious Glaive who Likes to Break Things, played by +Craig McCullough 

  • Description:  A big, strong, well armored anarchist, who doesn't like the government.  
  • Background:  Keane is a biomechanically modified warrior, created by the nobility of the Pytharon Empire for reasons unknown.
  • Connection:  Keane promised PL4T0 to break the first thing that he is commanded to.  This opportunity hasn't quite presented itself yet.

Nero, a Mad Nano who Travels Through Time, played by +David Howard 

  • Description:  A crazy, muttering man dressed in eclectic assorted fashion styles.  Many of his garments seem to be from impossible time periods.  Constantly plagued by deja vu. 
  • Background:  A bearer of forbidden knowledge who does not remember his past per se.  Nero has multiple memories of his past, but with chunks of missing time.  Occasionally he blacks out only to not remember who he is.   Nero is convinced that time itself has rewritten him.  
  • Connection:  Nero is a distant ancestor of Ruun.  Ruun anchors Nero to the present.  

PL4T0, an Artificially Intelligent Jack who Resides in Silicon, played by +Marc Plourde

  • Description: A tiny, floating 5" dodecahedron wearing an aviator cap.
  • Background:  A helper-bot-droid-thing created by a prior world's civilization.  One part extra hands, one part knowledge database.  PL4T0 has a multitude of skills programmed into its memory bank, but many are not accessible because it's been in a low power state for quite some time.  
  • Connection:  PL4T0 picked up and activated by Nero after a long dormancy.  Nero did not realize that PL4T0 was a self aware entity at first, but is learning this over time. 

Ruun, an Exiled Glaive who Gazes into the Abyss, played by +William Keller 

  • Description:  A 7' tall, lanky, late teen.  Very greasy and dirty, with a feral  appearance.  Covered in deformities.
  • Background:  Ruun was a normal kid until around ten years old when he was abducted from his village.  Ruun does not know who or what abducted him, but occasionally has flashbacks to bright lights and experimentation.  Six weeks later he returned, but started to change physically.  Ruun grew abnormally fast, freaking out the rest of his village.  Eventually he was driven out of the village, and learned his fighting abilities on his own.  
  • Connection: Keane and Belmodan know that it's beneficial for Ruun to occasionally eat a creature every few days.

Session 1 


Day 1

A reckless band of numenera hunters recently came to the city of Uxphon, just north of the Steadfast.  Two of the wanderers, Keane and Belmodan, had been friends and companions for the last five years, exploring all along the edge of the Steadfast and the Beyond.  Three months ago, during a jaunt into the Beyond, the two compatriots met Ruun, a young barbarian with a wild temper and feral appetite.  Not long after, a bizarre man named Nero approached the party, with a strange interest in Ruun.  The last member of the crew, PL4T0, was actually discovered by Nero during a numenera hunting excursion, with the nano believing the small hovering bot to be an artifact from the prior world.  

After a month of learning the in's and out's of Uxphon, Keane offered his team up to the local rebellion efforts.  Keane's contact with the rebellion was a man named Doomi Laast.  The rebels sought to overthrow the local oligarchy, and free the people of the Uxphon.  For their first mission, Keane's team was to ransack the home of Baron Tichronus, and keep any interesting pieces of numenera or information that could be useful to the rebellion.

The team broke into the home and started their search.  One of PL4T0's cyphers showed four occupants: one on the main floor, and three in an area below the estate.  Upon entering the home, Nero popped a reflex-improving cypher.  The chemical inadvertently gave Nero a vision of being in this place before, but in a prior world when it the Earth was part of the Grand Galactic Empire of [an unpronounceable guttural noise].  Nero made several loud comments, drawing the attention of Dorial, the house's butler.  Dorial wasn't ready for visitors, but before he could call the guard, the butler was cornered, threatened, and told to stay quiet and out of the way.  

The party then started searching the house.  Along the western side of the estate was a great, circular, two story library.  PL4T0's cypher showed that there were three human sized creatures below the library, so Belmodan and Nero began going through the books.  Eventually they found a set of buttons with weird symbols.  Collectively using their skills, abilities, and pieces numenera, the trio uncovered a secret chamber below their feet.  But when they triggered the right combination of buttons, the floor disappeared, and everyone tumbled down thirty feet.  Everyone but Ruun, who was busy in the kitchen eating pickles.

The secret chamber was full of purple eggs, with weird slithering creatures moving around the fallen adventurers' feet.  At the edge of the chamber, three naked humans with black spines huddled together.  PL4T0 went to investigate the humans, but the rest of his human companions soon learned that the weird slithering creatures were not so mundane.  The creatures crawled up their legs and took root in the numenera hunters' backs.  Belmodan and Keane removed their garments, revealing that they now had black spines of their own!  

The PL4T0 tried helping its companions remove the parasites, but when the bot attacked them, the naked humans rushed into combat.  A brutal combat ensued, with Belmodan ripping off several of the naked humans' legs with his energy whip.  Ruun eventually came to investigate what was going on, but was pushed into the hole by Dorial.  Ruun caught the ledge, lifted himself up, and then pushed Dorial down.  Then Ruun jumped down thirty feet onto Dorial's head, killing the butler.  

When the naked humans were killed, the party heard two things.  The first was a woman's voice above, in the estate foyer, calling for the Baron.  The second was the scratching of a stone woman's form, sliding out from a fleshy passage in the southern wall of the pit. 

Quotes

"I call reverse dibs." - Marc on getting murdered.  

"I was here before the hills were made!" - Nero started stating loudly upon entering the Tichronus Estate.

"I'm going to cup him in the face and say 'I'm going to kill you in a moment.'" - David (playing Nero) to Dorial.

"I'm just thinking Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark would've ended really early if there had been a laser whip." - Marc commenting on Andy's character Belmodan, and all of the leg-ripping-off action going on.