Sunday, September 10, 2017

Banished to the Purple Planet - Part One


Under a Weirdling Sun


Barsoom. Arrakis. Athas. All these sandy waste-worlds would be considered absolute paradises in contrast to the Purple Planet. Should the wasting rays of a dying crimson sun not kill you, the rampaging Kith warbands surely will. The Purple Planet is the ultimate proving ground for any Dungeon Crawl Classics adventuring party, so let's test the mettle of the legendary members of THE Free Company.

Peril on the Purple Planet is an epic DCCRPG box set devised by +Harley Stroh. The adventure is a hex crawl, so player characters get to explore a completely open and lush world. Characters must discover artifacts, make alliances, battle terrifying worms, and sustain the deadly sun's rays if they are to ever make their way back home.

I first picked up this beautiful treasure at Gen Con 2015, and to date I've run the 0-level funnel Escape from the Purple Planet three glorious times. But the blasted sands call to me, and my soul craves more Purple Planet... wait... not just more... ALL of the Purple Planet. Banished to the Purple Planet shall be our quest to experience the contents of the Peril on the Purple Planet Boxed Set. It's a lot to dig through, but I think we're ready. 

Care to hear about this week's banishment? Read on!

The Banished





Banished to the Purple Planet


The Purple Planet can only be reached through extraordinary means. For The Free Company, their journey began with their meeting of an old friend: the God Emperor Razoul.

Readers of the Great Sunken City Omnibus Tour may remember Razoul's entrance into the campaign during our fourth session of The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk. Of course, back then he went by the name Ichabod Crane. The Free Company met Ichabod, a lowly cleric who worshipped a Cthulhu-shaped potato (the Potathulhu) after liberating Castle Bellows. Ichabod journeyed with the the company for several weeks before regaining his sanity, revealing that he was actually a psion named Razoul who had gained an alternate, clerical personality after a particularly harsh power backlash. 

Razoul returned to Slither's end and filled the power vacuum left by Mayor Manse's departure, becoming the mayor himself. During the battle with Salissak at Serpent's End, it was Razoul's telekinetic blast that finished off the snake-god. After the struggle, many of the lost townsfolk started to worship Aristemis, through the guidance of cleric Ssof Rehtaf. But there were those that came to worship Razoul and his power... they called him the God Mayor

When Floyd Pink, Lil Hammy, Watson, Screaming Otto, Imric, and Nicodemus all left Slither's End to confront the Mist Men, Razoul stayed behind. Concerned about his comrades' failure to return, Razoul psychically probed time itself, and learned that his friends were lost in time and would not return for hundreds of years. The God Mayor did not want The Free Company to be separated, so he devised a means to put the rest of its members in a temporal stasis so that they could be saved for future use. At first this stasis was mostly psionic, however later it would be through advanced cryo-technology. 

It was important that the God Mayor kept the remaining members of The Free Company safe, for as he gazed into the future he saw that they would play a very important role.

Fast forward five hundred years, and much as changed. The God Mayor rose through the ranks of God-liegehood, from God Lord to God Duke to God King and eventually to God Emperor of all the known lands. From the Great City to the Sunken City (which he un-sunk to the Shudder Mountains to the Eastern Forest. His new empire is ruled through wondrous magic-technology and the God Emperor's own psychically-enabled divine might. 

But controlling an empire isn't enough for the God Emperor Razoul... he wants to control worlds. One such world continues proves to be particularly elusive, and yet full of arcane wonder: the legendary Purple Planet! The greenstones of that world call to Razoul, across all of space and time. The God Emperor wishes to transcend his physical form, but to do so, he needs the power of these greenstones. But there is only one adventuring party powerful/crazy enough to successfully return these gems from the Purple Planet...

... that's right: THE Free Company.

I'm pretty sure that the Realms of the God Emperor are going to be my default DCC setting for quite some time. I seriously love that this campaign has created such a vibrant world and universe that I can use forever! Players of my Shudder Mountains campaign will note that I've mentioned the God Emperor before, and this is him. I'm basing the God Emperor's Great City on the Empire from Final Fantasy VI. The God Emperor himself looks a lot like Xerxes from 300, but with a giant head that he needs aids to keep propped up. Super sexy!

So let's get to the happenings from last night's game.

At the conclusion of our last session, only two player characters remained conscious after Cedric the Skull Knight and Right Hand of the God Emperor gassed the party: Watson and Floyd. Cedric ordered the characters to breathe deep the gas, so that they could be properly subdued. When asked why this was happening, Cedric declared that although Razoul would be happy to see his former compadres, the Skull Knight had concerns that The Free Company would do the right thing. Cedric still remembered calling out to Watson for aid, five hundred years prior when he was stuck to Mingus' shoulder. 

Realizing that there was no way out, Floyd and Watson gave in to the inevitable. 

Four members of The Free Company awoke at the same time: Floyd, Lil Hammy, Otto, and Watson. Their room was pristine and they each found themselves in beautiful beds. At each bedside, a robed woman waited with a cup of a steaming hot beverage. The characters each got out of bed, drank the tea, and were dressed in special robes covered in calligraphy. Strangely enough, each character's robe's writing told of their tales of glory. The attendants admitted that the God Emperor thought they would like the robes, as their stories were probed from their minds while they slept. 

"One moment... you did what?" Otto shouted after finding out what had happened. The women simply smiled, all in unison (they did everything in unison), and led the characters out into a hallway. They all traveled down the hall, onto an elevator, and then to the throne room of the God Emperor himself. 

The God Emperor Razoul seemed pleased to meet the awakened members of The Free Company. He assured the characters that their friends were indeed safe and secure, carting in Nicodemus and Imric (strangely enough still asleep), as well as some frozen cryo-pods containing the rest of the team: Gastronomix, Ssof Rehtaf, Gordon, Garik, Korlos, Wayne, and StarRider.

Lil Hammy asked if the God Emperor still had the dreaded Potathulhu, the Cthulhu-tainted potato from Ichabod's past. Razoul stated that he did, and when it was carted out in its own, much smaller cryo-pod, Lil Hammy charged over and stabbed it through the glass. The God Emperor looked pleased, and offered Lil Hammy something magnificent: the chance to worship him as a living god. Lil Hammy knelt down and said the words.

"I pledge to worship the God Emperor Razoul and all his interests."

With that, the God Emperor reached into Lil Hammy's genetic code, and made him "lil" no more. The pig knight grew in size and stature, becoming the size of a full-grown human. 

The God Emperor then explained his need for The Free Company to the party. He talked about the greenstones that he needed from the Purple Planet, and said that he had sent other adventuring parties across time and space, only for them to not return. He offered gold and glory should they return with the magical gems... as well as great gifts before the party departed that would aid them on their quest.

Not having any reason to say "no", The Free Company agreed.  Since Hammy had destroyed the Potathulhu, the God Emperor proclaimed that there would be a great feast of potato au gratin that evening. At dinner, the God Emperor bestowed his boons to the remaining members of the party. 

For Floyd Pink, the God Emperor revealed that he had worked with Yuri the Blacksmith to forge the long sought after Rock Demon Shield. For Otto, the God Emperor gifted a seashell that, if screamed into, would allow the warrior to cough out a magic axe made of pure "scream". For Watson, the God Emperor gave the wizard the three components necessary to form a patron bond with Aquilia, the great eagle: a guava, a meercat, and a golden halberd. 

Some of the part members enjoyed the potathulhu au gratin, albeit with bizarre side-effects. All those who ate of the starchy goodness found themselves bolstered physically (1d3 permanent hit points), but with weird physical abnormalities (minor corruption.) 

After dinner, the God Emperor declared that the party would leave in the morning. While walking back to their bedchambers, Screaming Otto tried putting the moves on one of the weird female attendants to Razoul, but his advances were rebuffed. Poor Otto!

The next morning, the entire party was taken to a great room filled with a raised platform. The God Emperor Razoul gave Watson a golden rod, and told the party that they were to step on the platform and...

... and Hammy stepped on the platform and disappeared. 

The God Emperor laughed at the Pig Paladin's enthusiasm, but admitted that there was more to say. They were to step on the platform and they would be teleported to the Purple Planet. There was supposed to be an identical platform on the other side, complete with a control panel that would accept the golden rod as a trigger to bring everyone back home.  One by one the members of The Free Company stepped on the platform, and the sleeping bodies of the other members were tossed on by the attendants soon after.

It should be noted that nothing on the other side of the portal appeared to look ANYTHING like what the God Emperor stated. The party popped out of the space-time tunnel into a dusty old room. There was no platform, no control panel, no sign of anyone else being in the room for ages. Just dust, foul air, and a pair of staircases leading to giant, leaden doors: one up, one down. 

Hammy searched the door to the south, and managed to push it open with his piggy might. What was revealed was completely alien.

The party stood atop a platform, on a pyramid reaching two-hundred feet into the pink sky. A great, purple and pink sandy waste lay before them, grimly illuminated by a weirdling, crimson sun. Craggy mountains rose in the west, and a bizarre forest appeared in the east. At the base of the pyramid, a pair of screaming, feral warbands of cat-beast humanoids prepared to go to war with each other. 

The party decided to let the warbands "do their thing," and refrained from choosing sides. They closed the door to the pyramid platform and hid inside, waiting for everything to blow over. Eventually only nine bestial humanoids remained, and they ascended the pyramid in victory. When they opened the door at the platform, they laid eyes on The Free Company.

Hammy stood forward bravely, raising his long-sword and proclaiming the holy might of the God Emperor Razoul, hoping to turn the beastmen away. It didn't work. The humanoids took this as a threat and charged. 

The creatures fought with inhuman strength, nearly slaying Hammy and Otto. One member of the tribe, the warlord, had an insane ray-gun that could disintegrate matter itself. He tried using it on Floyd, but the dark energy blast missed the warrior. By the time The Free Company found itself victorious, reality washed over them all one-by-one: this new world was truly a vicious land!

Just in case there was important information to be learned from prisoners, the party kept two of the beastmen (sleeping from Watson's spellcasting) as hostages. 

After searching the corpses, the party tried the stairwell to the north but the door was locked. Instead of a key hole, there was a pad of eight runic buttons. It took several minutes, but eventually they figured out the right combination to open the doorway. On the other side, a long dead figure sat on a chair, their head raised high and mouth agape. Silvery tendrils of light ascended from the figure's mouth into the blackness above. At the side of the chair was a pedestal, and on the pedestal a cracked green gem. 

Was this a greenstone that The Free Company was searching for?

Who was this man on the throne, and what are the wisps of silver coming out of his mouth?

Who were those beast men, and are there more of them?

All shall be answered for those BANISHED TO THE PURPLE PLANET!


Adventure Notes


The Rock Demon Shield: An artifact created by Yuri the Blacksmith, who was also employed by the God Mayor Razoul for a time. The Rock Demon Shield is a modified magical item forged from the Rock Demon's Shell. It functions as a Large Shield in some ways.
  • +3 (+2 natural, +1 magical) AC Bonus, -2 Check Penalty, Speed -5', d12 Fumble Die
  • Being struck by the Rock Demon Shield causes the "Touch of Whimsy". This can be done through either a Shield Bash or a roll of a 4 on a Deed Die when the PC makes an attack roll. 
  • The Touch of Whimsy unbalances the target for 1d3 rounds, in which their actions suffer a -1D penalty.

The Axe of Pure Scream: Looks like a seashell to start. To get the axe, Otto must scream into it. He then coughs out a magic axe. An artifact created by the God Emperor Razoul, made from Screaming Otto's own screaming. 
  • A +1 magical Battle Axe that has the power of Scare, a 2nd level Wizard spell. 
  • The wielder makes a spell check at their level + 2 + Intelligence modifier to cast Scare.
  • This can be done as many times per day until it is lost, and is still subject to Corruption rolls. 
  • In turn, Corruption may be used to imbue the Axe. Otto must scream into the Axe once per day.


Quotes



"So... he's fully skeleton, and somewhat sassy?" - Marc after seeing that Cedric looks a lot like Papyrus from Undertale.

"He's the adventurer formerly known as Lil Hammy now." - Craig's title is better than just "Hammy."

Jonata - "It's for probe?" - 
Andy - "It's one seashell, not three."

"Hammy now can fly?" - Jonata after Andy's character Hammy gained a minor corruption giving him big elephant ears.

"I don't want a porn." - This is how Jonata described his advances on the attendant. I guess he didn't want the Judge to go into details. 



In Memoriam 

  • None this game