Monday, 24 August 2015

Holiday Games: SESSION RECAP

This is a long one - buckle up, or just read the fun, hacky ruleset at the top.

So I was on holiday recently like a month ago I took so damn long to write this up oh my lord. Obviously the Thing To Do was play some rpg games with my two cousins: Lucie (14) and Jack (18)

We played two games, using my AP system for both. 4AP and 6 Health to break among as many characters as you want. I couldn't find my d20, so we used a coin instead, totally winging an entire ruleset as we went. Basically, hard things had a 25% chance of success (two heads), easy things 75% (one head in two flips). You get it. Lack of dice also meant we didn't use normal damage. Instead, people trained in a weapon did 2 damage a hit, the untrained (or weak monsters) did 1 damage. You could probably simulate 1d2, 1d4, 1d8, 1d16 with this, but doing binary at the table is not my favourite thing.

First game was run by me, the second by Jack. His first ever DM experience too! gj Jack I am so very, very proud. I will continue to weep openly as I type this.

If I ever write a DnD sitcom these will be the stars
Two white dudes. Because I fucking suck. 

The games went like this:

GAME 1: Something's Fucked in Generic Village A

The party consists of:
  • Two elf women, who will be renamed Sneaky and Hippy for the duration of the adventures. Both have 3 health. Hippy's AP are spent on: Charm Person 1/day and being a deeply calming person (positive reaction rolls always, unlikely to be attacked first in most situations), and having a bow + arrows. Sneaky is, uh, sneaky. Also carries two swords, Legolas style.
  • A dwarf with four health, iron daggers/climbing pitons, actual decent armour (critters need two heads in two flips for a hit) and a solid iron beard that we completely forgot about two seconds after character creation. She's also a grumpy piece of shit with a huge chip on her shoulder, and Jack role-plays magnificently.
  • A 2 health Murloc with a shitty lute. That's the whole damn character what more could you even want.

The party's sent out to investigate Karnheld, a wheat-and-potato farming village in the middle of nowhere. There are odd rumours flying in from the few people that have actually passed through the town, though those passing along the outskirts have reported that everything looks pretty normal. When the party turns up they see the same. People walking around on the one street, a few farmers in fields, normal shit. Looks a bit overgrown though, and there are no farm animals in sight. Huh.

The absolute first thing to occur is that the murloc wanders off to find a puddle to play in. Once that's clearly established, the actual adventure begins. In investigating the town, the party find a glassy-eyed, unresponsive populace and a complete lack of anything metal, or of high-value. It's not long before an elf gives up and pokes somebody with a sword, causing them to bleed straw while the other townsfolk turn in unison towards the party and start marching at them.

The party runs and hides out in a cobweb-filled root-cellar while the town tromps overhead. They fight a really big spider and find a local caught up in the web, delirious and close to death. Botched medical procedures kill the unfortunate, but not before the highly spooky pronouncement of "dark wings dark wings gurgle gurgle die".

When the dim-witted townsfolk cum scarecrows forget what they were doing the party sneaks out, intent on searching the ancient granary dug into a local hillside. The path to the granary is guarded by a few more scarecrowpeople. After everyone stabs them all mightly, the murloc turns up in order to dig around in the straw-filled skins of the dead people. It's super gross, but also nets the murloc an incredibly shiny coin from each corpse. 'Shinies' has now become the murloc's most important stat.

The party gets into a fight with itself (this dwarf is such a dick) and spends a little while resting and fixing their broken noses. The murloc wanders off again. When they've cooled down, the elves and dwarf crack the doors to the granary and wander in. There are half a dozen rooms to the granary, with a good share of scarecrows and bottles of potato wine spread within. After some very poorly planned searching, the party discovers two wide tunnels boring further into the rock, with a third shabby passage cleanly ignored by all. At some point to dwarf falls into a pit trap and gets a pungi stick through the foot. The elves laugh while the dwarf kicks to death another giant spider, this one legless.

Our party splits here. The elves sneak along the north west passage while the dwarf goes east. The elves find the local meat dungeon (yay!) where all the local animals are being cut up and smashed to pulp, drippy flesh bits in one corner, bones in another and whole animal chunks in one larger pile. An eastern passage is carpeted with gore, and a southern route looks like not instant death. Edging across the smoky corners past some smarter-looking scarecrows, the elves head south to a natural cavern, roof thick with roots, with a stone door in one wall, leering face poking from the centre.

Meanwhile, the dwarf finds the lair of the spider queen, and is actually kicking the shit out of her. It devolves into a Mexican stand-off, with the dwarf throwing knives, rocks and a broken plate in an ineffectual effort to crack open a barrel of poison stuck to the last person to try to clear out the lair. Eventually some babies come up to help make dwarf stew, taking our poor hero by surprise. The dwarf hits 0hp from poison damage, and is sewn into a tight ball of web for later consumption.

The murloc finally turns up, and, led by Jack flipping coins, causes a cave-in at the shabby western passage before finding the elves staring hard at a door. At this point I realise that I forgot to come up with a riddle, and for the five seconds it takes me to come up with "Juice of the fruit of the earth, the water that drives men mad" it then takes about three seconds of solving. Vodka potato wine is poured into the stone mouth, and the door cracks open, revealing a small, potato-themed shrine. The great urn in the center of the room upends itself at the sound of soothing murloc music, and out pours a cow-sized Root Titan, ready to serve.

Elves and murloc go squash a bunch of scarecrows in the meat dungeon, finish off the giant spider and manage to wake the dwarf up (she pisses on the spider corpse and sets the room on fire). The party has it's shit together, so it's time to jam. They coat their weapons in spider venom and set off to the obvious lair of the big bad. Carrying a chunk of nondescript animal parts through the meat dungeon's eastern passageway, Hippy encounters the elephantine, 'orrible crow running this show.

Crouched on a heaped pile of everything shiny and nice from the town, the six-eyed, ibis-beaked, baby-hand-footed crow is attended by the town's ex-mayor, a scarecrow of much keener intelligence, this close to its master. The crow instantly clues into the still-breathing nature of Hippy, but a desperately cast Charm Person ensures it's more enraptured than hungry. The part rushes in, root titan at the fore, and starts beating the shit of of the crow. The battler is fierce. The crow tears an arm off the root titan, and beats the PC's down to 1 health apiece before it gets a hold on the murloc. Failing a save vs death, a long beak is forced down the murloc's throat and straw vomited into it until fishy organs spew out the other end and the murloc hits the ground, super-duper dead.

The party is deeply upset at the loss of their mascot. Weapons are thrown at the crow, a la the Blue Rajah, until the dwarf can sprint up the side of the beast, grab onto a sword stuck in its shoulder, and pop off the entire wing with a well-rolled crit. Crow goes down, party winces and cheers and cries a little. Everybody goes home rich and mentally scarred.

You weren't picturing this the whole time?
You fucked up and now you have to read it all again
heee heee heee heee heee

GAME 2: Something's Fucked in Generic Village B

Party consists of:
  • The two elves from before, improved by the level-up of one more health and an extra AP each. Sneaky can now straight-up go invisible once per day, Hippy has learnt some very important lessons about first aid.
  • Bodric, Priest of White Flame. Bodric is old, fat and insistent. Also surprisingly good at getting people to believe in his god. He has two health, and can cast Wall of Force and Autocombust once per day.
  • Carrot and Fish, the quiet, slightly dumb farmboys that Bodric has recruited in the service of their lazily un-named god. Carrot wields a poorly-balanced halberd, Fish has a bident. Bidents are great.
The town - which we also forgot to name - has had some spooky disappearances lately, and a slightly larger number of crazy people running out of the wilderness. The local god is Bodric's, hence him and da boiz coming in to look around. The elves are sent because that's their job now. Thus does it begin.

The elves and the fireboiz walk in from different sides of town. They run into each other and Bodric says some hot shit about seeing a vision of them all in the holy flames. They decided the plot's simpler life's easier if they sort this out together, and so set off!

A bit of asking around at the local pub reveals that everybody's super racist against elves and that the only people that might know anything are up at the nearby monastery. Also there's a store with a guy selling only owl-based merchandise and it's one of the highest quality stores I've ever been to, would recommend.

Our party spends the night at the local inn no thank you Jack we would not like to camp out in the wilderness please stop looking so hopeful. In the morning they all trek up, get attacked by some black-eyed crazies, and find the monastery almost completely abandoned. Only the head-priest remains, jittery and insistent on serving tea while he talks about how everyone else ran off.

Bodric and Hippy pretend to drink while Sneaky and da boiz head off 'to pray'. They pretty quickly find the entrance to the basement, wander down to find a bunch more crazies lit by torches of blue flame, and just start murdering people left, right and centre. Bodric and Hippy say their goodbyes and leave, then immediately turn around and climb in a window. They find the stairway down before the head priest shows up, and now the gang's back together!

Wandering around aimlessly nets the heroes a encounter with a deadly beast of pure shadow. It fumbles like every goddamn attack roll, but the way it drains the light from their torches makes everyone super nervous about being underground. Bodric Autocombusts himself and starts hitting the shadow thing with a stick while everyone else jabs it with torches. Eventually the damn thing pops and they can all relax. The nearby doorway, which this beastie was guarding, contains a locked vault (soon cracked open) that holds the monastery's one relic, a sword of white flame. Hooray for useful treasure!

A little more wandering leads to the deathpriest dormitory, full of all the 'missing' priests and lots of spookyshadowgod memorabilia. Clearly inspired by their earlier brush with incipient death, the party sets fire to all the beds, waking up like 20 angry shadow priests. A wall of force and some toppled bunk beds make for a temporary barrier while everybody gets the fuck out of dodge. They don't learn a single damn lesson.

Having retreated back upstairs, totally beaten to shit, the party discovers that night has fallen. Unwilling to trek through dark wilderness, they barricade themselves in the chapel and actually get a decent night's rest, through all the chanting and swirling darknesses. In the morning they immediately head back to town to get some hired swords. These people ain't dumb. Everyone in town is, hilariously, gone. Guess we escalated somebody's evil scheme. Whoops.

After stealing a necklace from the owl store, it's time to finish things. A few more crazies are fought on the way to the monastery, but once their it's found that all to shadowpriests are gone. They're probably off cutting up all the townsfolk in the woods somewhere, but at least they aren't cutting us up here! The party heads downstairs to dig around some more and, after some hilarious comedy encounters in the mimic room, the Boss Room is discovered. It's contains lots more blue flame torches and, of course, the Boss.

The head priest met earlier is, obviously, super evil. Intent on ushering in a new wave of darkness and anti-light yadda yadda yadda time to die. While his two side-kick priests start charging fireballs he fireports over to the party, whips up a blue firesword and firecuts Carrot right the fuck in half. Everyone starts swinging metal at the Boss while the more forward thinking Bodric readies wall of force. When the two side-kicks launch their fireballs, the wall pops up right in front of them. Boom. The blast kills one instantly, and leaves another open to an absent-minded spear toss.

Bossguy takes a little more hitting. It costs Hippy an arm before Bodric Autocombusts both himself and the newly acquired magic sword. Crits and full-damage rolls pop Bossguy like a meat balloon, and the day is won. Clearing out the rest of the dungeon, the party find the actual dungeon. It contains a few of the remaining townsfolk. Most importantly is the owl-based merchandise salesman. He is deeply precious to all of us by this point, and is freed and cuddled immediately.

Having (mostly) saved the town and (probably) defeated the evil menace, our heroes' work is done. Fish quietly mourns his brother and we all put down the pencils and stop playing this game. Good hustle.

idk why this is a result for 'blue+flame+priest' but I'm glad it was there

All the dm notes, btw, looked like this:

Map of Village A
Characters in Adventure A
Buildings in Village A

Monstars in Adventure A
Dungeon in Adventure A

Dungeon in Adventure B 
Monsters in Adventure B
Characters in Adventure B

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