Sunday, March 12, 2017

DCCRPG - A Gathering of the Marked - Part Three


The Blue Fairy's Test


Let us tell the tale of Lil Hammy, who showed the world "how."  In our last play session, the party discovered a bizarre little trophy kept by Beauregard the Swamp Ogre.  As +Jon Marr wrote, adventurers would find some cakes, assorted snacks, a few pieces of gold...

"... and a small silver statue of a pig raised up on its hind legs holding a bastard sword.  A copper plate affixed to the base of the statue says 'Lil' Hammy shows 'em how.'  It's worth 25 gp if the correct sort of tacky art collector can be found."

As I've been trying to toss out small and creepy magical items throughout this campaign, I ruled that Lil Hammy was a construct that could obey orders with the following stats:


Lil Hammy:  Init +0, Atk Tiny Bastard Sword +1 (1d3); AC 13; HD 1d6 (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!"

Somewhere during our conversations I made some kind of statement that Lil Hammy had the soul of a paladin tripped inside.  I seriously don't ever remember making this comment.  Ever.  But everyone said that I did, and that somehow I wrote it down, or they wrote it down, or whatever.  Well Andy took my comments seriously.  In fact, he showed up with Crawl! Issue #6, and had stat'd out Lil Hammy to be a tiny, 3 hit point, paladin construct.  

As you'll read later, Lil Hammy became one of the bravest members of the party.  Unafraid to follow the thief and burglar into combat, healing wounded party members, and protecting his lady Nej Sllaw.  As I finished the play report I realized that this little pig statue was the most "paladin-like" PC that I've ever seen at a game table.  So at the end of the adventure, after the dust settled, the Blue Fairy appeared.  

Yes, the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio.

The Blue Fairy was so proud of Lil Hammy that she turned him into a real pig!  So now we have a three foot tall pig paladin in the party, who worships and fights on behalf of the Blue Fairy.  Thanks +Jon Marr.   

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 



A Gathering of the Marked, Part Three


Following their last battle, the party of the Marked is in a room with a severed statue bronze head on a table.  A note in front of the head says "claim your destiny."  Wayne examines the hollow head, and while doing so the rest of the party notices that he no longer has a mark.  Before too many questions can be asked, Wayne dons the statue head and just stands there.  Keep in mind that Wayne is no longer "Wayne," but instead is a husk of a human being worn by a worm parasite from another universe.  Kind of like the "Edgar Suit" from Men in Black.  


Behind the table is a great picture of a dead tree, and at its center is a portal leading to a ladder going down.  

The party's two halflings, Syd and Gordon, climb down the ladder.  Eighty feet later, they are in a great cavern full of bones.  All of the bones have been picked clean.  As the halflings sort through the bones, looking for something shiny, they are beset upon by a terrible lizard-mutant with an acid tongue called the Boneflenser.  The two halflings battle with the Boneflenser sans backup for several rounds before the rest of the team arrives to help finish off the beast.  

The bone piles are full of gear: some weapons, "...an exquisite full length white leapord coat large enough to fit a burly man, with an accompanying fur-lined hat...", and a golden box.  Floyd grabs the "pimp coat" and immediately puts it on.  Gordon checks the gold box for traps, doesn't find any, unlocks the box, and is immediately blasted by the trap he didn't find.  Inside the box are some magic "Gloves of Esmil the Sharp."  

Wayne grabs gloves and puts them on.  Immediately he realizes that he is being contacted by another intelligence.  Wearing the gloves is a bargain.  Wear the gloves and perform feats of greatness, and be rewarded by greater thieving skill.  Wear them in shame and foolishness, and lose thieving skill.

The party continues traveling down the tunnels to the east.  At an intersection some of the party members hear voices in a tunnel to the south.  Moving ahead, the party's thief and halfling burglar investigate.  Lil Hammy, not wanting to be left alone, jogs along just behind.  While Gordon and Wayne are quite stealthy as they enter a chamber full of opossum men, remaining carefully out of view, Lil Hammy charges loudly into the room.  This just confuses the opossum men, who were playing a deadly game of "catch the javelin."  Before they can react to the tiny pig construct, Syd steps into the room and starts up a chat.  

The center of the room is dominated by a great, golden elevator shaft, although there is no entrance to the inside of the shaft.  The opossum men don't seem too interested in combat, but one of them tosses Syd a piece of fruit, and Syd opts to catch it.  Well, this is apparently how you start playing "Catch the Javelin."  Immediately, three of the opossum men throw javelins at Syd.  And a coconut.  

The battle that ensues is entirely one-sided.  The eight opossum men only have two hit points each, and even Lil Hammy with his teeny, tiny bastard sword takes one out.  When the battle is over, the party grabs the javelins, some of the fruit, and leaves the room.

The tunnels eventually lead under the river and into a damp, root filled chamber.  On the far side, two robe-wearing guards protect a stairwell, complaining about their job and worrying that the Marked may soon be making their way in another gathering.  Gordon and Wayne try to scout ahead, but halfway across the room they set off alarms and are hit by the guards' stun pollen spells.  Although greatly outnumbered, the guards put up a serious fight, casting Magic Splinter spells that nearly kill two members of the team.  But they eventually fall.

Ascending the next stairwell, the party emerges into the night air.  On the fair side of a muddy and despoiled grove, there is a priestess standing next to a great bronze headless statue.  The priestess points her gnarled wooden rod at the statue and then at the party and then back to the statue.  Most of the group feels compelled to take the hollow bronze head and place it atop the statue's shoulders.  Syd is able to resist the compulsion, and Lil Hammy is obviously a construct (but he serves Nej Sllaw at the moment, who is completely ensorcelled by foul magicks.)  

But Wayne is holding the head, and the parasitic worm in control bears no mark.  A struggle breaks out, with the dominated members of the party rushing the party's thief in an attempt to grab the head.  Wayne is very successful in keeping the head away from his teammates, but eventually Otto grabs it and takes off towards the statue.  Otto then walks up to the statue, puts the head on its shoulders, and ends up staring face to face with a giant Bronze Living Statue!

Once the statue is reunited, the party is freed of their marks and everyone regains their minds.  A grand melee breaks out.  Garik, running towards the statue and priestess, is brought down by four of the cult guards.  Syd successfully steals the gnarled Rod of Mastery from the priestess, only to get beaten to death a few moments later as the priestess cold-cocks the poor halfling in the back of the head and then goes for the "ground and pound."  Lil Hammy and Gordon focus on the cultists, all while getting rained on by acid due to a powerful choking cloud spell courtesy of Nej.  Otto and Floyd do a number on the Living Statue, but the final killing blow comes from one of Wayne's lucky arrows.  Finally, Nej's summoned mountain lion kills the priestess.

After the battle Nej runs forward and steals the Rod of Mastery.  The sorceress then disappears into the swamps, completely overtaken by the power of the artifact.  

Before the party leaves the scene, however, the beautiful Blue Fairy appears before Lil Hammy.  The Blue Fairy is so very, very proud of the tiny construct, and how bravely he healed the injured in combat and took up arms against evil.  The Blue Fairy then touched the tiny silver pig's nose and turned him into a real, anthropomorphic pig-lad!  Lil Hammy clutches his blade, and vows allegiance to the Blue Fairy, to worship her as his deity and perform her will in the Sunken City.  

Adventure Notes

  • Wearing the Statue's Head:  I ruled that it was hollow, so Wayne decided to put it on.  Sure, it makes the wearer blind, but it also confers a +4 to AC, but with a 1d16 Fumble die.
  • Lipton's Bundles:  The 8 doses that heal 1d4 damage, actually heal 1d8 damage if brewed into a tea.  Must be served hot!  Adding a stick of butter increases the healing by +1D, but makes the imbiber nauseous for 1 hour (-1D to all actions).
  • Living Statue: Since I ran this adventure for 1st level characters instead of as a 0-level funnel, I turned that statue at the end of the adventure into a Living Statue (DCC Corebook.)  Sort of like how Conan brought that horn back in Conan the Destroyer.  I used the stats for an Iron Living Statue, which meant an 18 AC.  
  • Nej as a Villain:  At the end of the adventure, I asked Andy if Nej was keeping the Rod.  He said that she was.  I sort of asked again, and again he claimed ownership.  So I ruled that Nej left her party, to seek out mastery of the rod on her own terms.  Now connected with Malloc, Nej will be back, although most likely as a villain!
       

    Quotes?


    "My mouth feels so lubricated right now." - When the Judge's wife gives him a cup of "butterbeer" prior to the game.  Over a tablespoon of butter per cup!

    "Why is my keyboard sticky?" - What's up with the Judge's keyboard?  Apparently Cooper was eating mints while playing computer earlier.  

    "There is no Wayne, there is only worm." - Paul's new character is all worm.

    "Did you die yet?" - Otto screams down the hole.

    "One moment!  One moment!" - Otto's warcry as he climbs down the ladder.  So fierce.  

    "We're not going to sit here and brew tea." - Syd chewing on healing herbs.

    "There's no crying in baseball, and there's no sitting out in combat in DCC!" - With one hit point left, Marc kept swinging.  

    "This is what happens when you steal my head!" - Wayne just stares in amusement as Otto stands face to face with a Living Statue.  



    In Memoriam 

    • Syd, punched to death by the Priestess