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... 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.