Showing posts with label This Week's Game. Show all posts
Showing posts with label This Week's Game. Show all posts

Monday, December 1, 2014

End of Session Checklist


Because I always forget something, when we wrap it up at 2:00AM!

End of Session Checklist
Where on the map did we end (room #)?
What time of the day, in game?
Any Spells in effect?
Heal/Rest yet?
Treasure counted/divvied?
All XP accounted for?
Status of PCs/Party? (current HP, Spells, rations, ammo…)
Any plans for next session?
Can all Players make next game?
Any good ideas during play which I didn't write down?

Monday, December 2, 2013

(d20) Things Adventures/Players/DMs Say

Adventurers/Players
1. Got any Healing Spells left?
2. No one took Identify?
3. It's a Trap!
4. Who's opening the door?
5. I'm not going in there
6. I'm searching for Secret Doors
7. I attempt to disbelieve*
8. Dammit, dammit, dammit!
9. Can't anyone Detect Magic?
10. Try touching it
11. No way!  YOU do it!
12. Is the _______ Spell still in effect?
13. 'Twelve'... no, wait, 'Thirteen'!
14. We can't trust him
15. But... it's written on my Character Sheet!
16. Wait, where are we?
17. Can't I just DO that?
18. Someone read that Clue/Riddle/Note again
19. Hold on a sec, let me look it up... 
20. We already tried that

DMs
1. You can't possibly be carrying all that
2. You tell me... did anyone write it down?
3. (looks around gaming table)  ...Everybody Roll Initiative!
4. Are you SURE you want to do that?
5. When suddenly...
6. Well... it certainly LOOKS like _______
7. Let me see your Character Sheet for a sec...
8. It's not doing anything; it's just sitting there
9. It appears to be empty
10. No, really guys, it's empty, just move on
11.You do realize that's going to: make a lot of noise/take forever/really piss them off
12. _______ isn't flammable; you can't just dump a flask of oil on it and make it disappear
13.  Because: that's just impossible/it will ruin the story/I said so!
14. OK... describe to me exactly how you're attempting to do this
15.*sigh* ...EVERYBODY make a Saving Throw vs _______
16. Are you joking, or does your Character actually say that?
17. They're not there anymore, just some bits of chewed-up saddles and bloodstains
18. Are you keeping track of ______?
19. Hold on a sec, let me look it up... 
20. You already tried that

*don't know how this one ever got started; if there's a Save vs Illusion, I've already rolled it.  I keep telling them that, but no one listens

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Triumphant Return of Bananabis Foster

On a quest to recover missing comrades, through a series of Underdark dungeons linked by interdimensional gateways, my dreddy point man B. Foster had a string of bad times.  He triggered most of the traps, which is kind of his job, but then got rapidly aged by a disturbed Ghost, and became a frail old man.  A wish-granting chamber in one of the dungeons turned out to be powered by some Satanic agency, and a Wish to "Return him to his earlier age" succeeded all too well, reducing him to an even more frail infant!  With no other recourse (one-way Gates; no return), the Party was forced to surrender him to the care of the only 'friend' they had in the place, Flynn the Flind, leader of a pack of Underdark Gnolls, and hope for either a return at a later date, or a happy second childhood for Foster, being raised by Gnolls deep underground.  For a few sessions I played Dolph, a secondary PC belonging to another Player, eventually reaching the next Gateway, which -as these things go- happened to return the Party to the Gnoll Caves, wondrously -as these things go- twenty years further in time from their last visit (though seemingly only a few weeks later), and who should they meet but Flynn, now a bit grey in the muzzle, bearing tales of raising infant Foster as a member of the pack, until he reached manhood!  Apparently, Foster had received a dream vision of a a Cursed City, suspended somehow over a great abyss, and had been compelled to seek it out, and,  along with a small group of Gnolls, he had recently departed to do so...  Pressing on, the Party was later ambushed by a pack of Gnolls, and -as these things go- who should be leading them, but a dreadhead human with a (somewhat) familiar face, yes, Bananabis himself, bereft of his former memories (but returned to his younger statistics, and now fluent in Gnoll speech!).  Having been informed of his prior life and comrades by his Flind stepdad, recognitions were made, the attack was halted before the Party slew the remaining Gnolls, and a weird reunion was held in the bioluminescent lichen-lit transit corridors of the Underdark.  Foster demanded return of some of his former equipment in recompense for his slain Gnoll pals, and then related his tales...  Seems -as these things go- that he and his Gnolls had discovered, through raiding Drow caravans, that the Gateway the Party was seeking was located in the Cursed City which he himself was seeking, and so the Party was again in the company of their former adventuring comrade (more or less), as well his squad of Hench-Gnolls!  Together they trekked to the partially ruined Cursed City, to find the entry guarded by a band of enterprising Drow, who attempted to solicit an entry fee -and purchase the Gnolls!- but the Party was in no mood to bargain, and combat wass joined, soon ending in the slaughter and looting of the Drow, and the Adventure continues, continuity restored, more or less... as these things go.

Look out, Bananabis is back, and this time... it's Person-Gnoll!

Daddy's Home!


Not for Sale.

Friday, April 5, 2013

This Week's Game; 'Fifty-Five Froglodytes!'

The Party has learned from their Neanderthal friends that the area known as The Cauldron is a roughly circular crater, ringed with five Obelisks, each containing a "path to somewhere else"... so they decide to return to the outer rim of cliffs, and circumnavigate the entire periphery, investigating each for a Gateway out of The Cauldron and back to Gnarth proper.

Dave the Caveman is assigned as a guide, although I doubt even his fearsome strength will keep him alive long in his present company... He leads them to a "shortcut"; a metallic pad in the jungle which Teleports to a similar pad near one of the Obelisks.  The Party is reluctant to take Teleportation advice from a Neanderthal, so Dave agrees to go first, if they promise to follow.  He neglects to mention the transport is one-way only.

Parn Mantises attack, but are dispatched w/o serious incident, and entry to the Obelisk is gained via the Magetti Stone.  Inside, a familiar sight: a glossy black pyramid, allowing transport to... somewhere else... just like the one they encountered when they first arrived.  From the darkness, a shuffle of raggedy zombies, Sleestak and Neanderthal, as per my devious plan, they were deemed beneath wasting valuable Spells upon, and were engaged in melee.  Half were downed in the first round, and then the wave of Ravebones (phosphorescent Skeletons, Hasted!) descended!  Dave manged to protect Rusty the Mage (his German Shepherd, Sarge, knew better than to bite these guys), but things looked iffy, so the Zombies were abandoned in favor of bashing their newer, Skeletal foes, but that meant an extra Zed attack on everyone at the end of each round, plus two hacks/rnd from the Ravebones.  From nowhere, a Stinking Cloud Spell!  The only one to Save is Centauri the Mutant Mastermind, who engages his Alter Mass, Telekinteic Arm, and Hypersight, and takes off into the air, seeking the source of the spell.  The Undead are called off of the incapacitated party (you're welcome!), and race toward their master, an Evil High Priest, Centauri Saves vs Paralysis, and proceeds to pummel the mage to death with his mace before his servants arrive, then, faced with all of them, uses his last few rnds of Mutations for the day to bug out... and the Undead, leaderless, simply disperse into the possible infinite darkness of the Obelisk.

The Gateway proves to lead to a post-apocalyptic ruined city, The Party wisely leaves before nightfall, avoiding the CHUD I had planned...

There aren't any noteworthy encounters en route to the next Oblelisk, and Centauri investigates the pyramidal Gateway, informs The Party that it leads to a cavern beneath the earth...  but which 'earth'?!  Is it their homeworld, or a tunnel complex in some asteroid, somewhere?  ...Knowing they can enter the Gate and return, they figure, Why Not?, and investigate, the subterannean chamber is empty except for the pyramid, and worn steps lead upward... The cave ends at a cliff face, overlooking a gigantic natural vault, the floor sprouting with massive mushrooms of varying shapes, bisected by a swift stream, bridged with mortared stone.  The opposite cavern wall features carved steps leading to a pillared cavern entry.

A massive but simple swing arm/pulley series/gondola, with rotating crank, allows for The Party to be lowered to the mushroom forest, but someone must stay behind and operate it, so Centauri volunteers, then uses Alter Mass Mutation to Feather Fall down to his companions.  Among the shrooms, they are soon surrounded and attacked by the degenerate Froglodytes, crawling out from under nearly all of the giant shroom caps.  Rusty the Mage NPC saves the day by casting Stinky Cloud on one side, and Web on the other, so that the Froglodytes can only approach along the narrow strip between the two hazards, rather than completely surround The Party.

Several rnds later, all usefull Spells, and most of the Party's HP are gone, along with most offensive and defensive Mutaions for the day... In desperation, Rose sounds the Horn of the Valkyrie (only 1 charge left, now!)... a glamorous, gleaming massacre of the final Froggies. Only Rusty escapes w/o injury, having hid in his own Webs.  Fifty-five Froglodytes meet a bloody end, but everyone except the Mage is infected with Froggy!

(In a gracious mood, the Valkyrie does not depart immediately after combat, as usual, but instead flies up to the cliff balcony, lowers the gondola mechanism, hauls up the battered Party, then departs with a wink!)

10GP Gems:
- Undead Swarm + Stinking Cloud Spell (the Undead are not, of course, affected) = Near TPK!

- Stinking Cloud is also useful to avoid being surrounded, and if worse comes to worst, one can always risk the dice and try to ditch enemies by running through it

- 'Evil High Priest" (EHP) Fill a few Spell slots with Magic-User Spells; it freaks out the Players!

Froglodyte:
Batrachian, subterranean humanoids, 4' tall, may either be degenerate savages, or slightly more advanced, speaking, weapon and armor using, a la Lizardmen.  Bite may cause Froggy Mutation.  Cure Disease applied immediately negates, otherwise, only Mutation-reversing tech, or the shroom-brewed antidote of the Froglodytes will reverse, and the smarter ones will use this to advantage.
(AC 7, HD 2, D BW or bite for 1d6, Save vs Poison or gradually develop Froggy Feature(s)(d4) in 1d4 days: 1 = Warty, 2 = Bulgy eyes, 3 = Squat and hoppy, 4 = Compulsive frog tongue)
  

Friday, March 15, 2013

This Week's Game, "The Cauldron", pt 4

The continued trek through the jungle, being lost, unsure where to go, what to do... has had it's desired effect, and The Players are getting restless... however, I am, too!  We both miss operating around a clearer objective!  Figured the Random Encounters would have resulted in The Party gaining more information by now, myself...  They have not yet encountered any Neanderthal, I think I'll have to insert one at the outset of the next session, so that they can gain some allies (hopefully!) and some info from my Rumors/Clues table.  Since they seem to have no plans to go back and check on the Lost Boys of Troop 51, I'm thinking that maybe the Neanderthal have found and rescued them... maybe they have been following The Party from a distance for a while now, and are ready to reveal themselves...

I did manage to roll on one of my favorite subtables:

From the Skies; a meteorite impact or spacecraft re-entry… (d4)

1. Releases Something Weird… maybe a Garthok with a Magic nose-ring (torc)
2. Showers area with debris, contains rare ore/gems, everyone takes 0-9HP dam, finds 100+ 1d% GP worth of ‘free’ treasure
3. Spaceball of unknown metal, one meter in diam, in bottom of small crater.  How it might be opened, and what it might contain, is unknown at this time… humming of machinery can be faintly detected (come up with something for next session!)
4. Explodes in a 90-yard Fireball, 1d% yards away, damage increases toward epicenter;
0-10 yards = “Ground Zero” 12d6,
w/in 30 yards = 9d6,
w/in 50 yards = 6d6,
w/in 90 yards = 3d6,
beyond 90 yards = “Whew!”
(I don’t mind ruining a Character’s day, but this is a dickish way to kill one; rule that anyone killed by the blast is alive with 1d4HP)

...I rolled #4, the Fireball, and gleefully described the entire entry (sometimes it builds suspense when they DO KNOW all the terrible consequences facing them)... and then... rolled a 90!  Everyone made Save and took 1/2 of 3d6.

Session ended over the carcass of a Hydra, near the base of the great volcano.  I must be doing a decent job of populating my Sword and Planet campaign with the weird and unknown; The Party is comprised of both native Gnartians and the remnants of the PCs from my fantasy world of Calantos who originally found the Gateway to Gnarth, when I said, "Hydra," the Calantosi responded eagerly, "A Hydra?  Here?  Oh, we got this..."  They did!

Monday, March 11, 2013

This Week's Game, "The Cauldron", pt 3

Returning to The Party after an unexplained absence, with a loud "pop!", Quinn "the Medicine Man (or Woman)", Thief extraordinaire!  Rusty the FNG/NPC wants to know who this guy is and where he came from, but the others just shrug and say, "Sometimes he does that."

The Party discovers a squat but large stone structure, a single archway leading into a 30x50' chamber, 15' high, with a circular pool, 10' across, at the far end.  Tarkas Traptripper (of course) investigates the pool, and is attacked by slime tentacles the moment he turns his back.  Rose casts Purify Water, and a convulsing Slime Creature vomits forth and attempts to retreat, is cornered, and despite the ineffectiveness of Tarkas' continued edged-weapon attack, a few Magic Missiles from Rusty the FNG/NPC, and some flaming oil from Quinn, soon cause it to shrivel and dissolve.  Centauri uses his Telekinetic Arm to lower Skully the Talking Stone Skull into the pool, and a 1'diam mirrored sphere is found, and eventually retrieved.  Zy's Psychometry shows visions of an obviously shifty Wizard of sinister aspect depositing a velvet bag into a mirrored bowl, which promptly "grows" into a sphere, completely encapsulating the bag.  The Wizard cackles evilly and plops the sphere into the pool, and slimy tentacles draw it under...  Quinn taps the sphere with the pommel of his short sword, activating his 1/day Knock Spell, and the sphere shudders, then cracks open like an egg.  Rusty Identifies the contents of the velvet bag as a Necklace of Fireballs the following morning.

Pressing further into the jungle!  Centauri has taken to Altering Mass in conjunction with Telekintic Arm, to "lift" himself, like Levitation.  If his Mutations are still available at the end of ea day, he does airborne recon, and keeps the Party more-or-less on track.  For some reason, they have decided to attempt to discover how extensive the jungle is by heading steadily deeper into it in one direction (happens to be North)... at the center is a cool volcano, but they haven't reached it yet.  The next encounter in this pan-dimensional space/time nexus was with another band of Lost Boys like themselves... kinda.  A troop of six 9-12 yr old Boy Scouts from an ill-fated alternate dimension camping outing!  Moral complications ensue...!  The Party, even to me, the guy that threw them into a world which is specifically designed to engender ruthlessness, was surprisingly callous, calling for simply abandoning the boys to their fate in the dino-infested jungle!  Rose, and Rusty the NPC, convince them to trek back to the structure with the Purified Slime pool, and set the scouts up with some rations and a barricade, and dubious promises to return ASAP...

Next day, more trekkin... skirting a ravine, the Party reaches the stream at its base and is preparing to cross to the other side and resume course when a stampede, basically, of man-sized giant tarantulas jump them, and surprisingly, after dispatching massive carnivorous dinos, Paralyzing Pillars of Flesh, Primordials with rayguns, Psionic Psiclops... the nearest to TPK Gnarmageddon thus far has been this cast-off Random Encounter.  Zy's Lucky Mutation allows multiple Poison Saves, and Rose's Poison-Neutralizing Gnarn Stone allow a minor edge, but everyone rolls horribly, rnd aftr rnd, except myself!  The poison is 'all or nothin'; Save for 0 Damage, but Fail after Fail occurs...  Quinn goes full Owlbear and uses his cloak to transform into the ravaging beast, managing to crush his tarantula in a hug before biting off it's head.  Rusty gains intitiative and scrambles up a tree, desperately holding off his foe with Magic Missiles until someone can help... Gorn and Tarkas doggedly hack and slash, taking more and more damage... In desperation Centauri fires his Sonic Blaster on 'Brown Noise' setting; although it does no damage, the spider is held off for a few rnds of explosive diarrhea, which must have been quite a sight.  Gorn the Reptilian says "Damn the poison" and augments his axe with his bite attack, and he and Tarkas dispatch their attackers, freeing Rose to rush about Healing Centauri and Zy, both down from flesh-eating venom... Quinn is too wounded to engage, but does a flapping Owlbear dance to distract the tarantula menacing Rusty, perched in his tree.  A revived Zy pulls the pin on one of his Fireball Necklace Globes, a small one, and the blackened arachnid attempts to flee, and is gunned down by a volley of vengeful arrows.  Battered and incredulous at their terribly poor performance, and terribly surprising survival, they stagger into the ravine, find a narrow cave with several branching side passages, each ending in a small nest of webs.  All remaining Healing Spells are expended, and Gorn and Tarkas guard the narrow entrance as the others rest and recover.  Three more Giant Tarantulas are spotted descending the opposite cliff face some time later, and all ranged weapons are brought to bear, as no one is comfortable with their HP totals!  The spiders flee, but return at dusk, this time descending the cliff face above the cave to avoid long-range detection, but being previously wounded, and unable to bypass Tarkas and Gorn in the narrow passage, they are slain, one by one.  This time the dice rolls were not extreme on either side, and the supposedly dire Tarantulas were proven to be largely dependent on luck for success.

Skully the Talking Skull is set on a stick at the entrance, watching with Sarge the German Shepherd, as the Party rests in the spider cavern.

Monday, March 4, 2013

This Week's Game, "The Cauldron", pt 2

Party continued to stumble around aimlessly, still unsure where they are, and an encounter roll of 'Primordial w/captive NPC' was converted to 'Insert Magic User Here', allowing for the appearance of Rusty Saturn, a boyish Mage of level 4. 

Our wary adventurers wisely -perhaps- chose to watch an odd ritual of the Elder Things play out, resulting in the summons of a Byakhee, which rode off again into the sky with two of the four Things (and some loot... but they wouldn't have taken down all four; they barely managed to deal with the remaining two!).  After a tough struggle, the Party slew the Primordials and claimed their weaponry, a Sonic Blaster and an Electro-beam Rod.  The plastex cargo box discovered behind a tree contained... A Multi-Phasic Concatenation Coil, which is a piece of alien super-science technology, entirely useless to the Party.  Their unconscious captive rose from a drug stupor the following morning, told his tale of being abducted along with his mentor and other members of a merchant caravan... none of which he has seen since, and next thing you know, he's being traded along with some weird space Coil for a locked metal box. 

Embarassingly eager to hook up with the Party, Rusty's Identify and Read Languages Spells have provided much-needed info; they are trapped in a time/space nexus, an ancient construct of the Primordials, but a way out has not been hinted at.  The Sonic Blaster has four settings: Disruption (3d6 dam, no Save), Stun (1d3 r, Save negates), Deafen (24 hrs, Save vs Wands negates), 'Brown Noise' (lose 1r of action to involuntary explosive diarrhea, no Save).  Rusty was unable to determine how many 'charges' remain in this alien energy device. 

A brief discussion of returning to the Armored Vehicle previously enountered, this time with Rusty's Knock Spell... ended unresolved as the Party made camp for the night.

GAINS: Sonic Blaster, 'Pentacle Rod' (metal rod topped w/plasma globe and pentacle, discharges electric arcs and lightning bolts), and most importantly, an NPC Magic-User!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Week's Game, "The Cauldron"

The Party (I think they need a Gang Name)
Rose, Human, Knight of the Mystic Order of Gnarth, the Healer
Tarkus Traptripper, Human Fighter, "the one with the AC"
Xy, Green Gnartian, Mutant Mastermind, psychic visionary
Gorn, Reptilian, Fighter, he bites
Cenaturi, Purple Gnartian, Mutant Mastermind, telekinetic bowler...
------------
Paranoid, the Party avoided all encounters while attempting to return to Ognar, thereby missing opportunities to learn about the local legends, incl the one about the mist that engulfs whole caravans, and disappears, leaving nothing behind... and during a night encampment, guess what happended?  Everyone has been capriciously and vindictively active in blaming Gorn for this blatant DM hook, as it occurred on his watch!

The Party awoke an unknown time later, scattered at the base of a glossy black 10' pyramid, itself within a metallic obelisk.  Objects, and even the intrepid Centauri, were found to pass though the sides of the pyramid, as though it were liquid, only to be instantly spat out the opposite side, unharmed.  The Party cautiously exited the obelisk, discovered it to be standing near a vertical cliff wall, at the edge of a rocky, sandy, pockmarked wasteland.  Xy used his Psychometry Mutation to attempt to discover the function/use of the Obelisk itself, and had blurred visions of Primordial Ones, long ago, coming and going, performing arcane rituals... No sooner was a nearby cave entrance spotted, than a hungry, chomping, multicolored, plumed, bipedal dinosaur emerged, immediately rushing the Party.  A few horrible wounds were inflicted, but the Gnargosaur was dispatched within a few rounds.  They entered the cave, were Surprised by the charge from the darkness of the second Gnargosaur, but this one fared even more poorly than its mate.

A draft through a narrow crack led Gorn to squeeze through into the base of a 10' diam vertical shaft.  A leather satchel was found badly concealed under some rocks.  Found to contain a small plastex box, with a Hyposyringe and several differently-marked glass ampoules, as well as a leatherbound book, and a metallic (?) white tetrahedron, 4"/side.  Still lacking a Magic User, they had no other means to identify these items.  A search of the dino lair revealed only a possibly viable Gnargosaur egg, which the Party smashed, after a pointless discussion.  Returning to the obelisk, they found no doorway, only an outline of it, but the white tetrahedron was drawn to this area, and when touched to the Obelisk, the doorway area dematerialized, allowing reentry.  The book was yet another 'hook', designed to provide some info and background re The Party's current situation... but no one has yet examined it!  Perhaps they fear it is a dangerous Spellbook, but it is a journal, describing another unfortunate soul's entrapment by the mist, and various encounters he had experienced in this weird place, and clues as to how to escape...  I'm gonna have to drop some hints, I think they're getting frustrated about wandering aimlessly in dangerous terrain, without a clue as to where they are, or how to get back!

The Party decided to skirt along the base of the cliff wall, to avoid getting lost by setting out aimlessly across the wasteland.  An encounter with a large group of Parn Mantis proved to be a major one, with Centauri momentarilly downed, and all, even Tarkus, taking major damage.  Later encounters with a Psiclops and a Landsquid were overcome, and in a reversal of former procedure, they decided to strike out aimlessly across the wasteland...

...an abandoned 20th(?) century Armored Car proved tantalizing, but the Party could not gain access to its potentially fabulous cargo*... although an Adder in the cab nearly killed Rose, the only Healer, but she happens to bear a Gnarn Stone which Negates Poison; only a few charges left! 

...a swarm of Displaced Dolm Ants heavily drains Rose's Healing and Offensive Spells, and seriously messes-up everyone, Centauri employs his Telekinetic Arm to drop a bag of bowling balls to squishy effect...

...truly bizarre quasi-living Pillar of Flesh provided extended shenanigans, as various Party members fell under its Hypno-lure and decided to hug it and get slowly absorbed, while those managing to resist either spent their time detaching their comrades and dragging them out of the effect, or launching missile weapons to dubious results.  Every few rnds, someone would be freed, someone else would succumb, and once again, whomever were left standing would alternate the drag-someone-to-safety/fire-all-missiles routine.  After using up way too much of their valuable ammo, the Pillar eventually collapsed into a pool of bubblin' goo. 

...a sealed Crypt is opened with the white tetrahedron, now understood to be a key of sorts, but a Shoggoth is revealed, and the Party barely manages to reseal the doorway before being slaughtered to a man...

...still wandering around, they decide to head for the dark cloud seen off in the distance, and after being dive-bombed by Pelgrane, eventually make their way to the base of a rocky plateau, topped by a dense, steamy jungle.  An entire day spent in this densely populated area yields, againt all odds, absolutely no encounters whatsoever.
-------------
1)  Somebody needs to check out that book they've forgotten
2)  Two Mutant Masterminds, two kick-ass Fighters, and a Mystic Knight (Gnartian 'Cleric') make a good combo... but w/o a Mage, they're doomed.  Haven't rolled any NPC encounters yet, but the next one is likely to be a lower-level Mage!
3) The Party is already completely lost, but don't know it

GAINS: Magetti Stone (4" tetrahedron), Field Journal of Alphonso Magetti (unread!), Drug Kit (contents yet to be determined), Psiclops' bag (three bowling balls, a Sleestak skull (?), various potentially edible tubers and dried giant insect legs)
KILLS: 2 Gnargosaur, 4 Parn Mantis, 2 Psiclops, 12 Dolm Ants, 1 deadly poisonous adder, 1 Landsquid, 1 Pelgrane, and a Quivering Column of Flesh
LOSSES: Several close calls, but everyone lives! 

* Gold bars, lots of 'em.