Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cypher System Fantasy - Dragon Hunt

Now With 50% Less Verbiage!

Regular readers of Living 4 Crits, especially those who have been following our Cypher System Fantasy campaign, take note.  

What you have before you is my "new and improved" session report blog format.  A few days ago I asked for, and received, some feedback from the community regarding my blog format.  While I enjoy going back to read my old adventure summaries and play reports, actually writing these documents became incredibly time consuming.  On a good day it would only take one hour of writing for every hour spent in game.  Often that ratio would balloon out of proportion.  

Skipping these recaps was not an option.  This blog started out as a home for my play reports, and it will remain as such... until the end of time.  

But I needed to do some trimming.  

I have adopted a format similar to what I've been using for my Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG World Tour 2016 events: some play notes and a bunch of interesting bullets.  In addition, and by popular request, I've kept the "Quotes" section, and expanded that content.  

So read on and let me know what you think.  

Living 4 Crits Presents

Cypher System Fantasy/The Strange Campaign

Gabriella Winter and the Dragon Curse of Ardeyn


  • Zamani, a Spiritual (Ugallu*) Explorer (Magic) who Masters Foot and Fist**, played by Andy
  • Shenuesh, a Rugged Adept (Combat) who Wields Two Weapons at Once, played by Jeremy
  • Yaren, a Foolish Warrior who Stands Like a Bastion, played by Craig
  • Verrenn, a Spectral*** Adept who Casts Spells, played by Marc
  • Gabriella****, a Charming Spinner who Works the System, played by Frank
* Ugallu is a race option from Broken Immersion by Ryan Chaddock Games
** Masters Foot and Fist is from Worlds Numberless and Strange by Monte Cook Games
*** Spectral is a new and original focus written by Marc Plourde and featured on his blog, Inspiration Strikes
**** Formerly a Charming Speaker who Works Miracles on Ardeyn

Episode 12: Dragon Hunt


Gabriella Winter and her associates from the fantasy recursion of Ardeyn travel to Western Maryland to investigate the Bradley Cooperative.  Unable to truly integrate themselves into modern Earth society, the party has some strange interactions with the locals.  They even had the opportunity to participate in a fantasy roleplaying game in their hotel room with some country-folk.  After locating the Bradley Cooperative's headquarters at Wisp Golf Course, the party showed up looking to play a round of golf.  Verrenn used his ability to turn invisible to locate Verity Bradley's secret office.  

The Bradley Cooperative staff asked the party to leave, and ended up overhearing some of the comments between Zamani, Shenuesh, Yaren, and Gabriella.  The staff pulled their weapons, and a brutal combat opened up in the clubhouse.  At the end of the fight, four staff members were dead, as well as a Golf-Pro Ninja, and Verity Bradley.  Grabbing Verity's tablet computer, the party quickly fled the scene in a stolen SUV and were pursued by a Bradley Initiative helicopter.  Gabriella drove the vehicle into the garage of a rental property, and the party took refuge until Verrenn could use a paralysis ray cypher to incapacitate the helicopter pilot, causing him to crash.  

Notable Moments

  • At the start of the adventure I asked all of the players to describe what their characters were wearing.  Andy noted that Zamani was dressed in an outfit resembling a burka that one could purchase at Hot Topic (my words, his description).  When the party arrived in Deep Creek, I brought out the GM Intrusion.  Zamani had become obsessed with the concept of "bacon" and wandered over to a nearby McDonalds, finding himself in line for a breakfast sandwich.  I didn't realize that Zamani's social skills were spectacular, as the cat-man talked his way out of the restaurant with a full belly.
  • After getting his food, Zamani was accosted by a townie outside the McDonalds.  The guy mistook Zamani for a foreigner, and followed him back to the Motel 23.  Zamani told the rest of the party that he had been followed, and the townies eventually knocked up for the group.  Somehow the discussion of "dragon hunting" was mentioned, and I decided to make these townies a bit interesting.  The two guys talked their way into the party's hotel room, and started setting up for something involving dragons.  The exact term "chasing the dragon" kept coming up, and there was a briefcase involved, so the players thought this was going to be some kind of drug operation.  They were all surprised when the one townie (Jeff) started handing out character sheets for a pickup game of Dragonlance.  The characters played D&D into the early hours of the morning with these two guys, and then they left.  
  • After a game of D&D, why not some golf?  When the characters learned that the Bradley Cooperative had a base of operations at a local golf course, there was a lot of debate on whether or not to lead a daylight assault or a night mission.  The group voted for a daylight reconnaissance, including at least one round of golf.  If we had more time I would've allowed this to be role-played, but I kept with my original adventure design that the golf course only appeared to be in operation, and wasn't actually a working business.  
  • During the combat scene there were three types of combatants:
    • Bradley Operatives Masquerading as Golfers:  Level 4
    • Titleist Hat Wearing Pro-Golf Ninja:  Level 6, Katana (6 Damage), 18 Health, 2 Armor
    • Verity Bradley:  Level 7, 25 Health, Crippling Wu Tang Strike (8 damage, reduces opponent movement by one level for next round)
  • The image of a golf pro ninja guy in a sword fight against Zamani was pretty wicked!  I really wish I could've had that scene captured on video somehow... maybe get it animated.  Cat-Monk versus Golf Ninja!
  • The Pro-Golfer's sword was a Hattori Hanzo blade (from Kill Bill, obviously):  Level 5 Artifact, Heavy Weapon, 7 damage instead of 6, 1d20 depletion (on the roll of a 1 the blade needs to be resharpened, a difficulty 7 task).   He also had a golf club cypher with an explosive blast (Level 7).
  • That paralyzing ray emitter cypher used by Verrenn on the helicopter pilot?  It was a putter!  The party found it in the golf pro shop and put it to good use.


"Wait, are there wizards in DC now?" - Andy wasn't sure if he would translate into a wizard should he take his bracer of.

"I do not understand this ride.  Why am I moist?" - Marc as if he were Verrenn in Disneyland... because the party discussed going to Disneyland.

"We're all in trench coats.  Trench coats and hats."  -  Craig's outfit description.

"I already look like the Big Lebowski anyway.  I'm walking around in an arcane bathrobe." - Marc had the perfect gear.

"I'm here for bacon... I'm gonna get some!" - Zamani.

"So Andy is playing Zamani who is playing a girl in a burka who is playing Tasslehoff Burrfoot?" - Frank had a pretty accurate understanding of where this game was going.

"Do we go back to the Estate now and report that we won?" - Zamani thought that the D&D game was the entire purpose of the mission.

"The problem is that every single person playing golf may be a member of the Bradley Cooperative." - Frank, in a phrase I've never imagined hearing uttered in a game.

"Yeah, let's go play golf, that would be awesome." - Gabriella

"I'm assuming I couldn't carry a sword into a golf course." - Craig

"What strange form the dragon has taken!" - Verrenn describes a helicopter.

"I would hope to god that the police have better than a one hour response time for a helicopter machine-gunning a house." - Jeremy, after someone in the group figured that the local police couldn't get to the scene any sooner than the Estate.

"I think we drive away with the exploding thing behind us." - Andy

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