Sunday, February 12, 2017

DCCRPG - A Gathering of the Marked - Part Two


Newbs Abound


Even though I allowed four of our players to advance their characters during out last game, with the return of +Paul Go, and +Jonata Sodre joining us all the way from Brazil, we had the opportunity to introduce some more 0-level fodder into the game.  Not only was this Jonata's first online RPG, it was his very first DCC game.  Guiding a 0-level character through a harrowing first experience is the only true initiation into the blood-soaked awesomeness that is Dungeon Crawl Classics!


Our session lasted close to four hours, and we made it about another third of the way through the adventure.  While A Gathering of the Marked won't take us the seven sessions that The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk did, there is certainly a ton of room to make this adventure unique and extraordinary.  I think we'll finish next session, with 6 players and 9 1st level PC's:
  • 3 Warriors
  • 3 Halflings 
  • 1 Wizard
  • 1 Dwarf
  • 1 Thief


I tried something else a little different last night: Mercurial Magic.  While we've used this concept in the game before, typically I just want the Wizards and Elves to roll this up on their own between sessions.  But last night, with Andy's Wizard Nej, I had him roll Mercurial Magic the first time he cast each spell.  I got the idea off of one of the early Spellburn episodes.  Interesting trade off.  On one hand, it was exciting to see what would happen, and how it could affect the group.  In one instance, we thought he had rolled for a rain of potentially damaging frogs.  But on the other hand it slowed the game down a bit during those moments.  


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



At the conclusion of our first session of A Gathering of the Marked each participating player had a single surviving PC.  These four all advanced to 1st level, and I also gave the team access to the four 0-level fishermen that were rescued during the session.  Since neither Paul nor Jonata played last game, I had each bring three new 0-level characters. 
 

  • +Alex Perucchini
    • Gastronomix, Dwarf
    • Eugenix, Gallic Fisherman
  • +Marc Plourde
    • Floyd Pink, Warrior
    • Syd, Halfling Mariner (advances as Halfling)
  • +andrew lyon
    • Nej Sllaw, Wizard
    • Karl, Fisherman
  • +Craig McCullough
    • Garik, Warrior
    • Gordon, Halfling Fisherman (advances as Halfling)
  • +Paul Go 
    • Guido, Caravan Guard
    • Erwin, Elven Artisan
    • Wayne, Wainwright (advances as Thief)
  • +Jonata Sodre 
    • Korlos, Halfling Vagrant (advances as Halfling)
    • Otto, Woodcutter (advances as Warrior)
    • Manard, Merchant

A Gathering of the Marked, Part Two


Following their battle with the Rock Demon, the Bearers of the Mark and fisherman allies notice that six wanderers approach the manor.  Four humans, an elf, and a halfling all bear the same circular mark as the original adventuring party, with the same desire to enter the manor.  While preparing to move forward, Floyd tries to carve off the stony shell of the Rock Demon to use as a shield.  As soon as he cuts into the shell, caustic acid blood sprays out nearly killing one of the new Mark Bearers. 


A quick reminder of the dangers ahead!


You'd think that Floyd would realize the danger of an uncured demon shell, especially after watching that acid blast, but he then tries to shove his own arm into the fleshy gap.  Unwise, as it burns his arm.  Floyd wraps the shell in old rags and sulks.  


Entering the courtyard of the manor, Eugenix takes the lead and discovers an old gypsy cart.  The Gaul examines the cart but is immediately attacked by a trio of severed hands.  Fearing that ranged attacks could risk hurting the fisherman, the party enters melee and takes out the threat.  The cart is filled with cheap ale but suitable wine.  But Wayne has other plans.  The wainwright fashions a chariot out of the wagon parts, relying on Nej's Animal Summoning spell to call forth a trusty steed.  Nej summons a scrawny, worm infested mule... a real sick ass. 


Joined by Nej, Wayne mounts the "Chariot of Wayne" and leads the way to the front of the manor.  Before the party of Mark Bearers can enter the structure, a shadowy girl appears again.  This time she holds up two fingers and then pops off her head, and then shakes her head towards the door.  Then she disappears.  Not taking too much time to think about this, the party enters the structure.


The first chamber is filled with portraits of the Blackwater family, obviously the previous owners of the manor.  Massive double doors lead north, with regular doors to the east and west.  After listening to the doors, and hearing snoring to the north, Syd carefully opens the door using some of the party's oil to lubricate the hinge.  Inside, Syd sees a room full of doors, stairs leading to a second floor, and a sleeping swamp ogre.  Syd tells the party of the ogre, and decides to leave the room alone for now.


The party opens the door to the west, revealing a chamber with busted floorboards and large gaping holes into a murky miasma below.  Rather than enter the area carefully, though, Wayne pilots the glorious Chariot of Wayne into this room, sending it careening down into the roiling mist.  Wayne barely escapes the chariot in time, grabbing onto the door, with Nej barely hanging onto Wayne's kicking legs.  Unfortunately the mule gets sucked down, and entangled by phantasmic tentacles.  Before Wayne can leave the room, however, one of the tentacles reaches out and forces its way into the wainwright's mouth.  Wayne feels something go down his throat but pays it no mind.


Guido leads the team into the room to the east.  This chamber serves as a stable for creepy, scrawny, bird headed horse-things.  They tweet to the Bearers of the Mark, but just go back to eating buckets full of eyeballs.


[Judge's Note:  Want to make the Darkmounts sound awesome?  When they "tweet", just say "tweet tweet" as if you sounded like Barry White.  Both creepy AND super sexy!]


As Guido searches the room, a small human appears, clutching a pitchfork and a bucket of eyeballs.  It introduces itself as Stinky, and wants to know what Guido is doing in the room.  But before the two can establish a dialogue, Stink stabs Guido in the guts killing him.  The party murders Stinky, loots Guido, and examines a door leading further east.  This door bulges outward, and Erwin opens it despite realizing the possible danger.  Fortunately the elf is able to jump out of the way before getting covered in fast moving sludge.  This door just leads up and out of the building.


The team tries circumventing the sleeping swamp ogre again, but when Syd enters the goopy miasmic room full of ethereal tentacles, he falls through the floorboards and swallows some of the sludge.  Realizing that something is inside him, Syd asks Gastronomix to punch him in the stomach so that he could puke up the parasite.  Gastronomix accidentally hits Syd in the nose, breaking it.  Syd then puts his finger down his throat, pukes up a large worm, and passes out. 


Wayne considers barfing up his own parasite, but it's soft, soothing whispers are far too enticing.


After much discussion, the party decides to take on Beauregard the Swamp Ogre  They think he is sleeping, and coordinate an all out attack.  But Beauregard was just feigning sleep!  The swamp ogre leaps into battle with a massive warhammer.  But the combined might of the experienced Bearers of the Mark, coupled with Otto's fearsome scream of abject terror, carries the team to victory.  Raiding Beauregard's swag bag, the team finds some gold and a small statue of a pig clutching a bastard sword with the words "Lil Hammy Shows 'em How" engraved on the bottom.  Nej utters the words, and Lil Hammy steps forward with a salute.  The Wizard gains a powerful construct ally! 


The second level of the building is mostly empty, and impeccably clean.  Empty rooms, empty beds, empty shelves, as if someone was waiting for someone else to move into these chambers.  But there is a stairwell leading further up, and the party's collective marks are all burning.  So up they travel.


The highest chamber in the manor fills the entire floor... and it is a terrifying scene.  A massive chamber, easily eighty feet across by fifty feet wide, cut in half by a pool of burning liquid.  On the opposing side of the chamber, a small robed figure eagerly clutches a dagger.  Lined up in front of the man are a bunch of melons, one for each surviving Mark Bearer.  The man calls himself the "Gibleter", and he declares that the party must choose their weakest member as a sacrifice.  He holds his tagger over Erwin's melon, and waits for approval. As he does this, four archers in a pedestal far to the east ready their bows.


Gastronomix is about to offer up Erwin as a sacrifice when Floyd fires his crossbow at the Gibleter.  A battle ensues! Crossbow bolts rain down on the party's foes while many of the warriors leap over the flaming pool to engage in hand-to-hand combat.  The Gibleter stabs Erwin's melon, and the elf falls to the archers' arrows.  Just before he dies, the Gibleter shoves the dagger into Garik's melon. 


Let the record show that it was Floyd with his epic, incredible, over-the-top, amazing, brilliant martial skill that defeated the Gibleter, critically de-legging the foul cultist in one crossbow shot, whilst pushing the maniacal ass-hat back in a wicked-large mighty deed.  

[There, +Marc Plourde... I included it.  *Mic drop*.]

The battle has some ups and downs.  Lil Hammy gets into the action when Nej tosses his statue up towards the archers.  Karl slays one of the archers, but by touching the pedestal, gains the focus of his foes.  He falls a few moments later.  Once all the cultists are defeated, the party enters a room to the east revealing a great alter containing a hidden passage into the bowels below the manor.


Adventure Notes

  • Beauregard's Hammer: 1d10 damage, Str 16+ to use, +1 AC as Shield.  The adventure doesn't allow PC's to heft this thing, but this seemed to make sense.
  • Lil Hammy:  Init +0, Atk Tiny Bastard Sword +1 (1d3); AC 13; HD 1 (3); MV 15'; Act 1d20; SV Fort +2, Ref +2, Will -5; AL L. SP: Construct.  Follows the commands of anyone who says "Show 'em how!"
  • Wayne's Mind Worm:  The worm that infests the host's body in area 2-6 is just supposed to cause some stamina damage over time.  I thought that letting it take over the poor PC's brain was much more fitting, especially after it started communicating with it's host.  Early in its stay it granted Wayne a point of Intelligence, and later helped the wainwright boost damage by 1d3 points.  In the end, the Mind Worm finished eating Wayne's brain and it took complete control, granting the PC 1d3 additional points of Agility.
       

    Quotes?


    "It's the seven demon backpack!" - Craig's Jansport was made by the same sorcerer who created the six-demon bag.

    "Merde!  They call this wine?  It's rubbish!" - Eugenix the feisty French-Canadian.


    "For an hour you have a sick ass." - The Judge to Paul after the Sick Ass is attached to the mighty "Chariot of Wayne."  


    "If you pick your nose in the room there's a giant!" - Alex made this rogue comment somewhere in the game.  Not sure when.


    "Hey, I'm dead now!" - Manard's epic scream of death.


    "Leave me be, I'm eating right now." - The Mind Worm to Wayne.  Not what you want to hear from a parasite.


    In Memoriam 

    • Guido - Stabbed by Stinky the Dark Whisperer
    • Eugenix - Smashed like a zit by Beauregard
    • Manard - Hammered by Beauregard, smacks leg off
    • Erwin - Peppered by arrows
    • Karl - Peppered by arrows after standing on a platform