Sunday, June 11, 2017

DCCRPG - Lair of the Mist Men, Part One

The Adventures of Nutbiter the War-Shih-Tzu

I love animal companions, and the more bizarre the better.  I've had players with wolf companions, bear companions, and even raptor companions.  But never have I ever had a player with a war shih-tzu companion.  I have to hand it to Marc, he certainly had no problem sending that little doggie into combat.  Sometimes players keep their animal companions in the back of the action, perhaps serving as a rear-guard.  But not Marc.  "Nutbiter" was right in the thick of the action for most of last night's game.  

Here's hoping the little bastard survives the rest of the adventure!  

All kidding aside, I can't believe we're down to the last adventure in the Sunken City Omnibus!   This monthly campaign has been going strong for over a year now, and most of the players have a character up to level 3.  I guess we must be telling a pretty decent story to keep everyone interested.  

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 

  • +Marc Plourde
    • Floyd Pink, Warrior
    • Bleh, Herder
  • +andrew lyon
    • Lil Hammy, Tiny Pig Paladin Statue (advances as Paladin)
    • Rikard, Woodcutter
  • +Paul Go 
    • Imric, Elf
    • Ralph, Weaver
  • +Jonata Sodre 
    • "Screaming" Otto, Warrior
    • Borrado, Gongfarmer

Lair of the Mist Men, Part One

The Free Company arrives at Korik's Heart, supposedly the lair of the Mist Men, in search of a way to defeat the fell threat.  At the base of the great mountain, they find a primitive cult conducting a sacrifice of a goat, in an attempt to appease the godlike Mist Men.  The party approaches the cult, and opens up a dialogue with their leader Elock-tad.  Through clever use of words, and an air of fear brought on by Lil Hammy's spellcasting, the team is able to avert a direct confrontation.  

After gaining the trust of the "Greyfolk", the party is taken back to a nearby hidden village.  In return for some scouts to assist them in gaining access to the Mist Men lair, The Free Company offers to introduce the Greyfolk to Razoul, the God-Mayor of Slither's End.  Screaming Otto helps to seal the deal, by telling the tail of the party's mighty victory over Salissak just a few days prior.

Elock-tad selects four of his finest scouts to join The Free Company:  Rikard, Ralph, Borrado, and Bleh.  Bleh was accompanied by his feral War Shih-Tzu: Nutbiter.  Elock-tad also gives a silver torc to Imric, stating that it will help open the portal to the Mist Men lair.  

Once ready for the trek, the Greyfolk scouts lead the team up along the eastern trail of Korik's Heart.  Near the top, the party is beset upon by great boulders.  The Mist Men were aware of the intruders!  While Screaming Otto and Borrado take cover, the rest of the team leaps into action.  Bleh is the first to charge into combat, but he is cut down by blaster fire emanating from the Mist Men "tube" weapons.  But little Nutbiter avenges his master, tearing into one of the Mist Men viciously.  

The rest of The Free Company eventually joins the combat, after "Squire" Rikard creates a shortcut to the platform above using his master's rope and a grappling hook.  Eventually all of the Mist Men are defeated.  Floyd Pink leads poor Nutbiter away, promising the dog future vengeance.  

The opening that the Mist Men guarded leads to a glowing green door.  It seems that there are multiple ways to open the door, either using Imric's silver torc, or by firing at them with the Mist Men tube blasters (just like Metroid.)  Otto offers to enter the portal first, and Lil Hammy ties a rope around his partner's waist, just in case.  But as soon as Otto steps into the portal, he is completely sucked through... as is the rest of the rope and Lil Hammy!  Figuring that they would eventually have to go through the door, the rest of the team follows along.

After passing through the portal, The Free Company finds itself in a circular room with another portal on the opposite wall.  In the center of the room are three black squares painted on the floor.  The chamber has a strange effect on Otto and Ralph.  Otto becomes obsessed with broken toenail clippings and Ralph keeps muttering about "beefy barmaids."  Rikard tries stepping onto one of the painted circles, and immediately falls through the floor. He pops out of the ceiling, falling on top of Floyd.  

Floyd Pink decides that he's done with the chamber, and moves on to the northernmost door.  The rest of The Free Company follows.

As soon as the party enters the next chamber, they are greeted by a beautiful desert scene. The large, circular room shows a panoramic image of a dune-filled sandy waste.  It's gorgeous, until the dozen scorpions appear!  

The party engages the scorpions, that are easily vanquished but incredibly deadly as they attack en masse.  Imric notes that a raised platform in the center of the chamber holds a trio of control stations.  The elf dashes to the platform and manipulates one of the controls.  Instantly the scene changes to that of an area in the Sunken City, and all the scorpions transform into the evil wooden pirate-puppet Commodore Teak.  

"Wrong fuckin' move!" all of the puppets declare at once, as they slaughter Barrado.  

The battle rages on, with most of the puppets falling to either Floyd's polearm or Otto's axe, until Imric turns another key and shuts down the entire room.  Although the scorpions and wooden pirate-puppets were illusions, their attacks were real.  Poor Barrado the Gongfarmer was dead.  Imric gets the team to all climb atop the platform before engaging the third toggle.  This one opens up four weapon storage lockers, each one holding a two-handed sword, javelin, spear, and mace.

With two portals to choose from exiting the room, the team takes the one on the left, leaving the training room.  

The scene in the next chamber is greatly disturbing.  An enormous, two-armed machine fills half the chamber.  Each arm clutches a poor, wretched creature: in one an old human, and in the other a chicken.  On a table in the center of the room lay another ragged human, screaming while two Mist Men performed a perverse experiment.  A third Mist Man on the opposite wall laughs maniacally while unleashing a pair of exo-pigs (beetle hog hybrids) on The Free Company.  There is a loud pop, as electricity surged through the two arms.  The chicken and old man were now gone, and the man on the table was significantly older, and sported a chicken head from the side of his neck.

The Free Company was not about to let this grotesque experiment continue.  Floyd Pink charges the Mist Men at the table and Screaming Otto takes on the two exo-pigs.  In one fell swoop, Floyd polearm sunders one of the Mist Men while fatally pimp slapping another.  But before the great warrior can continue his onslaught, he's carried off by one of the giant arms.  Fortunately the rest of the party provides covering fire with their silver tube blasters and arrows, allowing Otto, Lil Hammy, and Nutbiter to slaughter the exo-pigs.  The last Mist Man is a bit more of a challenge, but he too falls to the ranged attacks of the party.  

Once free, the human experiment on the table states that his name is Saynen, and that the Mist Men are doing all kinds of terrible experiments.  Despite having a chicken head sticking out of his old neck, the man wants to fight.  

Welcome to The Free Company.

Adventure Notes

  • Nutbiter the War Shih-tzu:  Init +3; Atk bite +2 melee (1d4); AC 13; HD 1d8 (5hp); MV 30'; Act 1d20; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Wil +1; AL L.
    • Special:  If the master of Nutbiter takes a move action to say the command "Nutbiter, sick balls," Nutbiter's attack, damage, and critical die all improve by +1d.  
  • Players and Judges who've already explored Lair of the Mist Men may not remember the silver Mist Men tubes opening the portals like in Metroid.  I've been wanting to toss that mechanic into a game for a while, so I chose this one.  Oh, I also added that silver torc.  No reason, just wanted to put more swag in the game.
  • I also added the weapon racks in the holographic training chamber.  I figured that the team could use a little more firepower, especially since there were only four players.  The last two 0-level characters were only wielding weapons that could do 1d4 damage as well.  This could be a great addition for anyone looking to run Lair of the Mist Men as a 0-level funnel as well.  


    "You are cowards!" - Floyd Pink scolds the Greyfolk.

    Floyd Pink - "Come, join us in our quest!"
    Screaming Otto - "... and pay your taxes!"

    "This is for Bleh!" - Otto the Screamer charges the Mist Men.

    "Anyone wanna go first?" - Paul sure wasn't going to volunteer.

    "I'm going to pick up the Shih-tzu with one hand, put my polearm on my shoulder, and step through." - Marc's statement embodies all of the reasons that I love DCC and this adventuring party in one sentence.  

    "He died as he lived... covered in shit." - Marc about Barrado.  According to Jonata, "barrado" means "covered in poo" in Portuguese.  Google Translate doesn't seem to agree, sir.

    Andy - "I lay hands on Floyd's knee."
    Paul - "Wouldn't that just be 'lay on knees?'"

    "Man, I am a man of history... I don't make math!" - Jonata tries to justify not being able to figure out his attack modifiers.  

    In Memoriam 

    • Bleh - killed by a silver tube
    • Barrado - killed by a holographic pirate puppet

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