Thursday, January 18, 2018

Game log 14 January 2018: Idols need to redecorate

Dramatis personae

Kim, thief (John)
Ash, squire (John)
Xóran, fox-man scout (Roman)
Grymálkus, war cleric (Roman)
Caleb, wizard (Roman)
Mayhem, barbarian (NPC under John)
Áttikos, holy warrior (NPC under Roman)
Kôštē, cleric (NPC)

Quid occurrit

As they moved past the giant toads, they heard a skittering of claws down the hallway they had just left. Regardless, they kept going down the hallway, and, after some twists and turns, came to another room. This one had a stone chair with no back (though it still had slits for wooden slats for one), with a jade idol on it.

Upon seeing this, Grymálkus said, “We are here to clear the tomb, not raid it. Touch no valuables until all the monsters are destroyed, lest the wrath of Punšástor be upon you."

Everyone else rolled his or her eyes.

A loud, Wizard-of-Oz-behind-the-curtain-like voice came from the idol: "Bring me the workdesk from the scriptorium, and I shall ward your necks."

Grymálkus, without any bidding from or chatter among the others, said the group would bring it the idol. Everyone else groaned.

The idol spoke again: "The penalty for breaking your word is body-wracking pain of the gods."

This seemed like fun to no one, but now that they had chosen to bring the workdesk to the idol, they set out to find it, taking the only other way out of the room.

After walking down the hallway for some time, Kim saw that the wall on the right side was odd. After a few pushes, the wall opened. They walked down the hallway beyond the door, which ran alongside the hallway in which they had been, until it slowly sloped downwards.

The hallway opened into a room, and, rather than keep walking through the other side of the room, they chose to turn and walk a bit outside. After some wandering through the tightly-packed rooms (the rooms before had long hallways between them), they found themselves in a room whose only way inside was the door through which they had came.

In the room were some small holes, and scratch marks about knee-high on the walls. Xóran took a sniff, and found that he did not know the smells in the room or in the holes. So there they chose to make camp. In the middle of the night (or whenever it was), Xóran heard some odd bumping and buzzing on the door. He woke the others and watched the door, but it did not open.

The next day they opened the door and twisted through a few rooms, then went into a room with two small children, albeit with wide eyes and squashed mugs. Upon seeing the murderhoboes, the doomchildren rushed them with knives.

The blows missed Kim and Xóran, but when Xóran slashed one with his sword, it blew up, with its sharp bone shards flying at everyone, including the other doomchild, which also blew up and had its bone shards cut the group; Kim and Xóran also got singed a bit.

The gang took a short time to heal each other, though Grymálkus's Minor Healing spell on Kôštē fizzled, leaving their good healer in pain from bone shards. Kim took the cheap knives of the doomchildren.

After healing up, they set forth again, and found themselves at a door. Kim heard nothing, though Xóran smelled carbon. As two doomchildren had blown up not long ago, they thought nothing of it, and opened the door.

Behind the door was a room with no other doors or ways out, and two doomchildren.

Kim shut the door again. The gang set itself up near the door, and sure enough, they could hear the doomchildren walk up to the door and pull the handle.

What happened was much the same as the last time they saw doomchildren: the demons blew up, and the bone shards wounded the group. Both Kôštē and Kim fell from their wounds, but this time,Grymálkus's Minor Healing spell went off and healed Kôštē. She was able to heal everyone else, but for all of them, she said that later healing wouldn't work as well. Caleb spent the time binding Kôštē's wounds as well, to not much help.

They left the room, and walked over to another nearby room. After hearing and smelling nothing beyond the door, they opened it, and saw an empty room. Kim and Caleb went into the room to look for traps, and found none, though in the far corner each could hear a loud whisper: "I was once a dwarf like you but I wandered too deep in these halls!” They could find no spring from which this whisper came, but, as it called them each a "dwarf," they knew it lacked eyes.

Rather than keep going onward, they chose to backtrack. Stumbling back towards the room where they spent the night, they came upon two big centipedes. The gang made quick work of them, but the din of fighting brought a grey goo, flickering in and out of the world.

Xóran and Kim peppered the pudding with arrows and Caleb smacked it with a Fireball, but all passed through it. So the gang fled. The pudding kept up for a bit, but stopped to become solid and eat the doomchild knives, which Kim dropped.

Res aliae

Three points. Maybe a little high, though at this point, I'd rather have characters that can handle things. I'm starting to appreciate a higher starting total, though 250 is still too rich for my blood; 150 might be best. In spite of the array of characters, I'm one for one character a person, though folks seem to be able to pull this off. Roman argues with himself; Xóran doesn't like Grymálkus.

The players are starting to hoard points for bigger-ticket powers. Mayhem and Caleb are nearing 250 points, so it’s time to bring their supporting attributes in line with the big boys.

I really should have had the pudding drop on them, but I didn’t think of it until I had already said they could see it. Of course, that’s a TPK, so maybe I shouldn’t have done that, or stuck with a black pudding. Kudos to John for thinking out of the original Dungeon Masters Guide and dropping the knives to throw off the pudding. It failed its IQ check to not stop and eat.

I've been fiddling with a new way of handling dynamics in the dungeon. Instead of saying there are 8 doomchildren in a room when you get there, I say this is the lair of 8 doomchildren and when they get there, there will be something like 2d-4. If it's less than 1, they're all out wandering (and my wandering monster tables have rooms of origin). If it's a lone monster, it's there on a 4 or less on 1d.

I've also taken to rolling for wandering monsters each turn, which I define about 10 minutes, moving through rooms at turn at a time. They show up on a 6 or less on 3d, with a 7 a clue if moving.

I’m off on the 28th for a 12-year-old’s birthday party. My daughter picked Snapology, which is nerdy enough and lets her play with Legos and robotics (a love of hers). Roman will run Rifts while I’m out.

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