Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monster Monday ...a day late

Undead resulting spontaneously from a fatal spaceship re-entry, or purposely created by Evil Wizards, faintly green-glowing.  Attack by Cold-Flaming Hands doing automatic 10 HP/rnd, which can be split among two opponents, ea doing 5 HP (no saves), or by Wail of the Void, 3x/day, once per 3 rnds, causes Save vs Mind-Affecting Spells or the agonized wail of the Astral Zombie echoes continually in the victim's head, rendering Spellcasting and any form of Mental or Vocal communication impossible, and disorientation resulting in -2 to AC and TH until the creature is destroyed.  May possibly possess advanced tech weaponry or gadget, often clothed in tattered, ruined spacesuits &/or bubble helmets with cracked visors.  Possibility to exhibit Mutation &/or Psionic ability.

(AC 1; HD 6-8; AT/DAM Spcl; SD 1/2 damage from blunt weapons, req. +1 weapon to hit; MV 15")

Monday, August 8, 2011

Strolling Down Memory Corridor...

Some favorite D&D moments:

-Psionically Blasting an evil PC Wizard's familiar during an encounter with Mind Flayers, and affecting him with Dipsomania.  It really doesn't get any better than role-playing an alcoholic Quasit!

-Hearing the dying cry of  Alremas the Evil Monk, "See you in Hell!" after severing both his karate-chopping arms with a Vorpal Sword.  Even better?  Rounding a corner in the Iron City of Dis in Hell, years and XP levels later, to be confronted by an oddly familiar-looking guy in an armless kimono, who pointed a scraggly toe at my Dwarf and said, "YOU!!!"  Our epic second combat ended with my character staggering away from his inert body with two HP... but then the sonovabitch jumped up from Feigning Death and killed me with a spinning roundhouse kick in the back!

-In one of my earlier DMing attempts, the Party fled from a riverside encounter with angry tribesmen, rafted downriver, then asked if they were being followed.  "No, they don't have missile weapons,  nor apparently a boat or raft."  "What are they doing?"  "Jumping up and down on the dock, and yelling in frustration!"  "Really?... I Fireball them."  Killed them all, and taught me to be more mindful of distance and range!

-Rexx the Cleric was handed from player to player as members left/joined our group, and saved the Party countless times... until we foolishly decided to climb a glacier en masse, without any scouting.  We reached a huge cavern entrance, and just stood there, admiring the view, I guess, until the entire party made it up to the ledge.  Then the lurking White Dragon surprised us all with an icy blast, killing Rexx and half the party before anyone even got to roll initiative!

-When it was my turn to unleash a White Dragon on the party, I did so as they were sailing across open water.  I don't know what would have happened if the Party had fled below deck, but the Dragon made a pass, saw lots of foolish humans milling about on a tiny deck, each loaded with shiny stuff, and decided to attack.  He made three more passes, unleashing his BW each time, while the PCs remained huddled together, trying in vain to successfully spellcast, and firing largely ineffective missile attacks, until the entire craft was encased in ice, which the Dragon (presumably) landed on afterward, and leisurely began picking apart for tasty moresels and treasure!

-Getting angry with the party for not paying attention, and deciding to let their inattentiveness and "fooling around" take its toll...  An unlocked dungeon door opened onto complete darkness, a "void dimension" in which time was suspended.  Perhaps I hadn't been challenging them, I can't recall, but when asked what was beyond the door, I said, "Apparently nothing; its completely dark," the ENTIRE PARTY decided to enter the room(?) anyway!  "OK, everyone is trapped in a dimensional void where time is at a standstill."  Silence, as the reality set in... "Everybody roll up new characters, we'll start again at the surface entrance, and maybe the new party will discover your old characters as they explore."  ...Eventually, they did just that, but for months afterward, any empty room described as containing "Nothing" was met with cautious inquiries of, "Nothing, or Nothingness?"

-After defeating a Remorhaz near the entrance to the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, discovering a Ring of Wishes, and after much deliberation beyond earshot of the DM, declaring, "I Wish for all magical items within a 100 mile radius to be arranged neatly on the floor of this ice cavern, right now!"   The DM's absolute refusal was met with all manner of outraged argument (including, "We'll still go on with tonight's adventure - just to kill everything"), until he finally said, "No.  There isn't any good reason for me to deny this, but the answer is still no.  Because I'm the DM, that's why!"

-Inspired by The Hobbit, I placed a Magic Ring in a largely unused dungeon corridor, just simply laying there in plain sight, waiting to be picked up.  An inordinate amount of Real Time was spent trying to cope with this.  Cautious investigation revealed that it was magical, but no traps, illusions, or evil were revealed.  Theories were advanced ("It's cursed!"), arguments ensued ("Just sitting there, without any guardian?  No way!"),  and the party actually decided to WALK AWAY without picking it up!  Someone eventually went back and scooped it up, and when I was later asked to please just explain this encounter, even if the answer couldn't be considered "character knowledge", no one would believe me when I said, "I dunno... maybe some other adventurer just dropped it there by accident!"  "Bullshit!  What's REALLY going on?"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Screwing with the Players

Just some misc ideas from the past few sessions...

-a pit with a metal ladder attached to the side.  At the bottom, a Secret Door was detected, but no one could figure out how to open it, even though the entire party eventually descended and examined the circular walls and the entire floor surface.  As every character repeated the same actions as the last, I repeatedly said, "There appears to be nothing in this pit except the faint outline of a Secret Door, and of course the ladder."  ...The mechanism for opening the door was located on the underside of the lowest ladder rung!

-a series of Continual Light "nodules" spaced every 10'  along the corridor walls soon became commonplace.  One of these was apparently "burned out", and did not glow, and although I mentioned it in passing each time the party trekked up and down this corridor, no one bothered to mess with it and discover that it was the mechanism for opening yet another Secret Door!

-although a character used Psychometry (Object Reading) to reveal that a peculiar metal door could only be opened by the sound of a particular tuning fork, no one realized that the protruding tongue of a serpent idol (a "forked tongue", mind you) was detachable!  (It was also trapped to deliver an electric shock)

-two magical mirrors in a certain chamber were determined to be Teleportational doorways, each connected to an identical counterpart, one in a nondescript cavern, the other in some sort of cellar or basement.  Fearing that a fleeing enemy had used one of these to escape and might return with reinforcements, an ingenious player suggested detaching one from the wall and propping it up facing the other, so that anyone attempting to enter the chamber from either the cave or the cellar area would pass through both mirrors, and find themselves emerging in the wrong area!  This one really screwed with me!

-the floor of a dungeon corridor abruptly dropped down five feet, but then continued onward from there.  After puzzling over this odd design feature, the lead character decided to hop down to the lower part of the corridor,  triggering the concealed pit trap which lay immediately after the drop-off, and his five foot drop abruptly became a 25 foot drop!

-no one could find the key to a certain locked chest, because it wasn't on the person of any of the dungeon inhabitants, nor was it in any of their private quarters.  It was hidden inside the skull of the "prisoner" who had apparently died within the (oddly) unlocked holding cell!

-knowing that an evil Wizard was likely to repeat his use a Wall of Fire spell in order to escape from the party once again, a Resist Fire was cast on the Fighters so that they could possibly pursue him when he was again encountered.  However, the Wizard instead chose to cast the Wall of Fire to split the party, casting it on the entrance to his chamber, and had his minions engage the leading Fighters while the party's Magic User fumed outside in the corridor, unwilling to risk the life of his 15 HP PC by braving the flames!

-the evil Wizard mentioned above, after barely escaping the initial encounter with the party, had become quite aware of a certain PCs "secret weapon", a cloak made from an Owlbear hide (complete with a beaked hood that made him look like Hawkman!) which allowed him to Polymorph into a death-dealing Owlbear (1/day), and so chose Charm Monster in preparation for his second encounter.  The party's table-turning Polymorph maneuver was nearly turned back upon them with what would surely have been disastrous results, but of course the lucky PC/Owlbear managed to make his Save... by one pip of the d20!