Monday, March 16, 2015

A quick shot from yesterday

I had meant to include this with the log. It's a picture of the gaming table, right after Caleb got off his Blast Ball but before Anêr dropped the hobgoblin.

Chris, who plays Caleb and Mayhem, has his hands in the shot. The minis are his. For a guy who has well over a thousand minis, he sure likes those Wizards of the Coast plastic ones.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Game log for 15 March 2015

Dramatis personae:

Anêr, swashbuckler
Mayhem, barbarian
Yémos, cleric
Caleb, wizard


Kúflaug, orc slave

also wik

Likháfrikh, dwarf engineer

Quid occurrit

The battle started (in room #38 for those who own the original adventure and are keeping track at home). Three hobgoblins with greatswords came through the double doors make a wall, and a fourth followed them with a longbow and an axe. The bowman, a hobgoblin with thin lips (if anyone knows how hobgoblin lips look, of course), nocked an arrow. The heroes also made a wall, with the spellcasters behind, and both moved slowly past the trash pile to meet. Yémos cast Shield 3 on Anêr, while Caleb tried to cast Blast Ball, but instead it made a big flash of light.

The two groups moved slowly towards a corner to meet. The hobgoblin bowman let loose an arrow that hit Likháfrikh. Still, all crept forward, and Yémos cast another Shield 3 on Mayhem, while Caleb started to cast Sunbolt. After another second, Caleb lobbed his Sunbolt at the bowman, wounding him. Then the hobgoblins moved to the corner, and the heroes met them there. Another hobgoblin, with a metal tooth and a morningstar, stepped through the door.

In the corner, one hobgoblin with unkempt hair swung at Anêr, who got out of the way. Then another hobgoblin with a circle shaved into his head swung at Likháfrikh, who could not swat away his blow. Likháfrikh staggered while the hobgoblin with the morningstar moved to behind the line and the bowman kept aiming.

Yémos got out his paut, and Caleb cast Blast Ball. Anêr stepped forward and swung his rapier, but could not hit the hobgoblin before him, much as Kúflaug did with his axe. Mayhem planted his axe into the chest of hobgoblin with the shaved pattern in his hair, while Likháfrikh passed out from his wounds.

The hobgoblin having a bad hair day smote Kúflaug, who could not parry his blow, but stayed standing. The guard, another hobgoblin with thin lips, swung his sword at Mayhem, but Mayhem got out of the way. The bowman let his arrow fly at Anêr, who stepped aside, and yet another hobgoblin, this one with an axe and a bad shave (well, maybe he plucked his facial hairs badly) stepped into the room.

Yémos drank his paut and Caleb got off his Blast Ball afore the hobgoblin by the door, singing him, the bowman, and the one with the morningstar. Anêr twitched his rapier past the sword of the hobgoblin with the wild hair and into his side, dropping him to the ground. Kúflaug stepped back but otherwise stood pat, and Mayhem smashed his axe into the side of the thin-lipped guard. However, the guard stayed standing.

The hobgoblin with the wild hair started to stand, while the one with the circle in his hair barely missed Mayhem with his sword. The one with the axe came forward, and the bowman nocked an arrow while the others held their ground.

Yémos stepped forward and cast Major Healing on Kúflaug, and Caleb fired up a Sunbolt, luckily a mighty one. Anêr stuck his rapier in the neck of the hobgoblin on all fours, killing him. Kúflaug heeded the words of Yémos and picked up one of the big swords. Mayhem swung at the thin-lipped guard, landing his blow and killing him.

The hobgoblins slowly took two steps backward, while the bowman aimed his bow. Yémos pulled out an alchemist's fire flask, planning on handing it to Anêr, who put his rapier in his left hand. Caleb took a step and let loose his Sunbolt, which was so nasty that it killed the unwitting bowman. (Aside: Chris rolled a critical success to get the spell off, which I ruled meant automatic maximum damage. Then he rolled a critical success to throw the spell, and got double damage on the critical success table. After DR, it was 18 HP of damage to the bowman. Pretty good for a 1d Sunbolt.) Anêr reached for the flask, while Kúflaug got the big sword. Mayhem rushed forward and swung at the hobgoblin with the odd circle shaved in his hair. He landed his blow, killing the hobgoblin.

Now the hobgoblins still alive broke for the door. The spellcasters sat down to rest, while Mayhem and Anêr ran to the door. They peeked through, and saw the hobgoblins pushing a man in tattered clothes to the door, whom they pushed to the other side before shutting the door. Caleb yelled out to the man, who understood nothing. Anêr listened at the door, hearing nothing, before Yémos got up and handed a mallet to him. Anêr started hammering a spike into the door when the man in the tattered clothes started babbling wildly at him. Kúflaug said that the man wanted to be with the hobgoblins—the man was speaking Goblin.

Hearing the pounding, the hobgoblins pushed the door. Anêr and Mayhem tried to hold it shut, while the hobgoblins pushed them aside. They burst through, and both Anêr and Kúflaug missed blows at them. Mayhem smashed the metal-toothed hobgoblin with his axe, knocking him to the ground. The hobgoblin with the axe and the bad shave missed Anêr, while another hobgoblin with a cleft lip missed Mayhem. Caleb's Sunbolt did nothing to the hobgoblin with the bad shave, and Kúflaug missed with his sword, but both Anêr and Mayhem landed blows on the hobgoblins with the bad shave and the cleft lip, killing both. Behind them was another hobgoblin with long earlobes and a big sword, who turned and ran to a door on the other side of the room.

The metal-toothed hobgoblin stood, but Anêr stabbed his weapon hand, making him drop his morningstar. Anêr held the hobgoblin at sword point, and bade Kúflaug to interpret for him.

  • "Who is the man?" "He's our bitch! We've had him his whole life." (No, not THAT kind of bitch.)
  • "Who is your leader?" "Grotch, the mightiest of warriors!"
  • "What do you do down here?" The hobgoblin chatted with Kúflaug, who said something back. Anêr asked Kúflaug what he said, and Kúflaug told him that the hobgoblin asked Kúflaug why he was helping the heroes. Kúflaug said they were better than goblins.
  • "What do you do down here?" The hobgoblin laughed.
  • "What's on the other side of the door?" "Our mighty leader, Grotch!"

Mayhem checked the bodies for slave brands, and three did have them, as well as the hobgoblin still alive. They looted the bodies for their 33 copper farthings, and then looked at the room the hobgoblins rushed out. There was a bunch of trash on the floor, but not as much as the first room. On the wall to the right, they saw a hole in the wall. They peered through, and saw stairs going down.

Caleb and Yémos waited for their strength to come back. As they waited, they could hear some scuffling, clanking, and shouting behind them—the din of battle. Yémos at last got his strength back, and healed Likháfrikh, whose eyes fluttered open. Anêr killed the last hobgoblin, while the man in the tattered clothes wailed and babbled in Goblin.

Anêr, Kúflaug, and Mayhem moved out to the cavern, and saw the fight between six lizard men and six men, whom Mayhem thought to be warriors of a small hill tribe. As they watched, one of the men stuck his spear through the eye of a lizard man, which led the others to break and run up the stairs. The barbarians ran after them.

The heroes rested in the hallway between the room where they fought the hobgoblins and the cavern. Likháfrikh looked through the trash and found another four farthings, and after about a half hour, they heard the door in the guardroom open. The gang moved around the corner into the cavern, and saw five hobgoblins and two lizard men walk into the room. Four of the hobgoblins had greatswords, while the fifth had a broadsword and shield.

The foes made it into the hallway and spotted the heroes. Anêr lobbed the alchemist's fire before the foes, who had the lizard men in the fore, and the hallway burst into fire. The heroes ran, though Kúflaug didn't want to drag the man. None of the foes followed, and they made it out of the dungeon.

Back at the camp, Péllē offered Kúflaug to the heroes to make up for some of the money she had promised earlier.


Do hirelings get mightier as they adventure? I haven't chosen if and how. It seems like they should. It makes a difference in whether or not the take a slave as payment.

I gave out 7 character points for the last few sessions. There was some discussion of what skills will help, and whether or not there are secret spots of the dungeon they've missed (well, duh!). Forced Entry was the skill I recommended. Why? On a successful Forced Entry door, I let them open a stuck door without a check for random encounters. Without it or failing the roll, I make the check. The striges came on such a check.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Murder-hobos bumming around town

A short post, especially since we couldn't game last week since one of the players had to go to a tea party. No, not the political kind, rather the equally dumb but more boring kind that have old ladies. For his sake, I hope they were MILFs.

As I said last time, I have been working on an urban crawl in my sandbox. It becomes a fight between my wont to add all kinds of details and hooks and the need to keep things loose for improvisation. One detail I did add was that each tavern and inn now has a chance that someone robs the PCs while sleeping, and the truly scummy taverns and inns also have a chance that the PCs get a disease.

How this works is that if the PCs stay in a tavern at night (which they usually do), I roll three dice and compare to a number, like a frequency of appearance, with 6 being normal. Inns, which have rooms, might be a 3; scummy taverns a 9; sleeping on the street a 12. That's why inns are pricier for a stay. If one shows up, a cutpurse (GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 10: Taverns, p. 6) picks a PC at random to target first. He gets +10 against a sleeping target, but is going for money, which is presumably in an inner pocket or something, so -5 there, making his effective Pickpocket skill 17 vs. the higher of the PC's Perception or Streetwise skill. Success on the Quick Contest means he gets the PC's money; critical success means he also gets his gems, if any, which are presumably better guarded and less expected. Critical failure wakes the PC. The cutpurse moves from PC to PC until he loots them all or he wakes one. They're not going to go for big items like magic swords, which are harder to steal and lug off without someone seeing it, so some PC items are safe.

In a truly scummy tavern, the bedbugs might bite. The chance for this in a scummy tavern 3 or less on 3d, or 6 or less on the street. If one bites, it might spread the Aching Ague or an akin disease if the PC fails his HT roll. Remember to apply the Hygiene modifier of the settlement (GURPS City Stats, p. 6) to the HT roll. If you don't know it, set it to 0 in a village or to -1 in a bigger settlement, like a town or a city.

Aching Ague

Bedbugs spread it, or rats and fleas on the street.

Statistics: Blood Agent (Bedbug bites); HT to resist; 1d-2 day delay; 1d-4 HT damage; 12-hour cycle with 6 cycles. Symptoms produce stomach problems, which is the Nauseated condition (p. B428) after losing 1/3 HT; after losing 2/3 HT, doing anything stressful like combat or moving more than 1 yard a second means a Retching (p. B429) spell for 2d seconds; resist HT to keep from retching. Not contagious.

Slumming it a longer layoff gives a flat chance of robbery. While GURPS Dungeon Fantasy murder-hobos are specifically mentioned as not being able to have Status lower than 0 (Pyramid #3/58: Urban Fantasy II, p. 13), they can try to live like hobos who do not murder anyone. Living at Status -1 gives a robbery on 12 or less on 3d, and a disease a 6 or less, but costs only $75 a week. Living at Status -2 gives a robbery on a 15 or less on 3d, and a disease on 9 or less, but costs only $30 a week. Living at Status 0 or better gives plot immunity from robbery or disease during layoffs. Think of it as making enough extra money to cover any robberies. If someone suffers the aching ague during downtime, just rule he starts the game down 1d HT.

Oddly enough, the murder-hobos at our table won't come into contact with these rules unless something truly bad happens, as Yémos always casts the Watchdog spell before going to bed.