Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Session 44: The Mummy part 1

Session was played on 02/02/2022 with PCs adventuring for 2 days. Needing 1 day of rest as per ACKS rules the PCs can make downtime requests and participate in sessions on and after 02/07/2022.

Foreword

Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return.

Session Report

The party told me they were going to spend a day in the Dubzaron market buying military oil and such. After this, on the following day, they delved into the sewer on their way to the Nethercity megadungeon beneath the streets. 


In the travel through the sewer they got a random encounter with 15 giant rats. Thief Two (NPC henchman Thief Level 1 for MadEye) was quickly killed and eaten by rats since he was walking in the front of the marching order checking for traps. The giant rats then got underfoot of many PCs and NPCs but weren't able to kill or seriously injure anyone else.

Gaius (PC Fighter Level 4) said of Thief Two to "bag and tag the bastard and lets get back to delving". So they did.

They traveled down the sewers without any other random encounters and arrived at the entrance to the Nethercity without further incident. The Nethercity itself is a disgusting place, reached by passing through a wrecked cesspit. Down the waste covered steps they delved an searched here and there. I wasn't rolling any random encounters so the party got pretty deep into the large complex of caves and crypts. 

They found a crypt with an ablution fountain which they investigated pretty closely, particularly MadEye (PC Venturer Level 2) who's template background is a bookish historian type. Oh lets back up. MadEye recently lost the use of both his legs from a Mortal Wounds. So during Downtime he hired two henchmen fighters to carry him around dungeons when he delved.


That's right folks. The BROSR has handicapped PCs delving dungeons just like the wotc 5e community of pibs and weirdos say they really want to do. They put out books for combat wheelchairs and other stupid shill content yet it's the brosr that is actually PLAYING the scenarios that other gamers talk wistfully about doing some day. 

MadEye's henchmen fighters were specially hired for this purpose but also for the purpose of opening the massive stone crypt doors that have been giving the PCs trouble in this dungeon. So the party did alot better getting into crypt sections of the dungeon.

5e talked about this and made this ugly picture
brosr just did it

The first major section they found was a massive gallery with like a million wall graves which Daria (PC BladeDancer level 5) detects as ALL evil. The party said "nah" to this situation (until another session later on... stay tuned!) and exited the massive complex looking for a smaller crypt.

MadEye's fighters were able to get a stone crypt door open and came upon a handful of animated skeletons. Gaius and Daria charged into the room with the fighters and easily dispatched the undead. Before all were destroyed, however, a powerful looking elite mummy came bashing through a side door.

Mummies have this Hammer Horror thing where they scare everyone in the room to freeze in place until they can slowly lumber across the room to rip off someone's face. Most of the party failed this save but not Gaius. He charged at the mummy and was hitting it pretty hard with his magic sword. The mummy was returning serve on the fighter, despite Gaius very nice equipment incluindg a Magic Shield +3 he got from Drakon (Patron Domain ruler of Turos Spen & Turos Aster) a while back for some mission.

Daria shook off the paralyzation and came to help Gaius attack the mummy. She had cast some spells giving her extra attacks or something so it was pretty helpful. Yet the real problem was that Gaius had caught the disease Mummy Rot which prevents any kind of healing, including magical healing, until a Remove Disease spell can be cast on the victim.

Xanthos (PC Cleric Level 2) is pretty powerful but he doesn't have Remove Disease yet. He had braved into the combat fray behind Gaius and Daria to try and healbot them by slapping them on the back like an MMORPG but that was to no avail with both front line warriors catching the mummy rot. Eventually the mummy warlord (they learned later he was a warlord in his past life) felled Gaius to 0 or less hit points. 

After the party realized the mummy couldn't be hit with mundane weapons that left the henchmen unable to actually damage the mummy. So MadEye, during all the fighting, was sitting on the floor with his broken legs directing his henchmen to cover the floor at their entrance with lots of oil. 

The party devised a nice last second strategy of Xanthos pulling Gaius out of fray so the mummy wouldn't beat upon his near dead corpse (pushing him into lower negative HP) and Daria fleeing melee so that the mummy would chase the PCs across the oil and fire that MadEye laid down.

The play worked and the Initiative rolls were in the PCs favor. Gaius pulled to safety. Then Daria fled. Then the oil was touched off. Then the mummy came barreling through all the flaming oil on the floor.  Took alot of damage but didn't quite die. Before he could come through the fire and kill anyone else while he was all singed with flames, Daria made the killing blow.

The session had ran late so I told the PCs they got all the loot in the two crypt rooms and sent them any historical or rumor info in there later in downtime requests. We confirmed that Gaius could get topside to the city and pay for a Remove Disease cast from the Temple in time to be healed and not die the death. He'd still need 1 Week of Bed Rest before he could delve again so he wouldn't be in the next session.

Then we logged.

Afterword

Daria's player pointed out that this was classic D&D play: "no lead time, no adjusting - a random grab bag of characters goes delving and lo and behold, using all of our combined abilities (including a character who had to be carried) we had one of those 'balanced encounters' nuskool gms put hours into prepping".

So true so true.

MadEye is of particular interest to me in this session. This is a PC whose main abilities are about market forces and selling stuff. But in REAL D&D play his info gathering abilities were helpful. I didn't outline it much in the session report but he was checking the grave dates and things like that, working out what this place is and why it's here etc. See, we even do storygaming better than the storygamers.

But then one must consider wotc d&D and this idea that everyone needs to be equally useful in combat and making classes with 9000 combat abilities to assure they can keep hitting buttons on their sheet until the combat is over. Unnecessary. MadEye doesn't have much combat ability and, with his legs all broke, he has nil. None. Zero. But through planning and use of his henchmen he was a major player in a high difficulty combat. Player ingenuity and thinking outside one's character sheet and class abilities likely helped save the day or at least prevented another dead PC.

This is why Real D&D requires henchmen, or allowing players the ability to hire henchmen. And why some gray area in the rules is required so crazy PC schemes can be given a fair shake and the DM can adjudicate the likelihood a scheme will work.

Next session report or the one after I'm going to review the ACKS Module "The Secrets of the Nethercity" which we have been playing and ponder yet again what modular materials mean to Real D&D.

Surviving PCs Present

Daria (0% xp bonus) Level 5 BladeDancer. 1,184 xp gained. Total: 23,159
Gaius (10% xp bonus) Level 4 Fighter. 1,305 xp gained. Total: 16,054 [LEVELED UP TO 5!]

MadEye (5% xp bonus) Level 2 Venturer. 1,243 xp gained. Total: 4,895

Xanthos (10% xp bonus) Level 2 Cleric. 1,302 xp gained. Total: 3,628 [LEVEL UP TO 3!]

Deceased

Dama (L1 Venturer) played by RR.  Current total xp: 75. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Darius LeVay (L1 Assassin) played by JB. Current Total XP:451. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Donald the Guardsman (L1 Fighter) played by MP. Current Total XP:570. DECEASED. Intra-party justice in Session 3.

Felix (L1 Thief) played by Nicholas. Current Total XP:431. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Hektor (L1 Paladin) played by Moai. DECEASED. Cause of Death: goblin warg rider throat removal surgery in Session 2

Leonidas the Inquisitor (L1 Cleric) played by RR.Current Total XP:498  DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.

Mard the Mage (L1 Mage) played by Nicholas. DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.

Yolo Baggins "My friends call me Swaggins" (L1 Gnomish Trickster) played by J. DECEASED. Paralyzed and eaten by ghouls in Session 12. Body not recovered.

Jack Filcher (L1 Thief) played by C. DECEASED. Shot full of arrows by Inthorn's brigands in Session 12. Body not recovered.

Swoleous Maximus (L1 Paladin). DECEASED. Captured then drawn and quartered by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.

Damianus (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Captured and beheaded by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.

Bucky (L1 Barbarian). DECEASED. Became a illegal pit fighter during his downtime. Had two bouts to the death, winning the first and losing the second. Was killed by Young Jack Sparrow who sashayed into the ring, drank rum, and mogged on Bucky before putting a dagger into his ribs, killing him. This happened during downtime between Session 17 and 18.

Broll Wolf-Eater (L1 Barbarian). Current total XP: 1079. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.

Brother Franklin (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Decapitated by a mad cultist of a Lovecraftian slime thing in Session 19.

Felix the Elder (L1 Bard). Total XP 825. DECEASED. Captured by mad cultists and fed to a Lovecraftian slime monster in Session 19.

Templar Flavius Africanus (L1 Cleric). Total XP 7. Killed by the claws and beak of mad harpies in Session 19.

Xendi (L1 Explorer). Total XP 6. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.

Yllmeeton (L3 Shaman). Total XP 4,563. Bludgeoned by the corpse of a bowmen by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.

Longinus (L2 Assassin). Total XP 2,036. Had his face ripped off by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.

Mandonio (L3 Fighter). Total XP 4,779. Charred to a leprous crisp by diseased Dragon breath in Session 22.

Corydon (L1 Joker). Total XP: 0. Burnt to a crisp by chimera breath so thoroughly his corpse wasn't even fit for the crows. Died with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. that's life and as funny as it seems... some people get their kicks, stomping on a dream... In Session 25.

Donny Keebler (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP 2,238. Had his legs burned completely off by chimera fire breath in Session 25.

Marina (L2 Fighter). Total XP: 2,204. Burnt into ash by a chimera fire breath in Session 25.

Gundro (L2 Gnomish Trickster). Total XP: 2,575. Had his mouth and tongue bitten off by a lizardman ambusher in the dank sewers below Cyfaraun in Session 26.

Polydoros (L1 Fighter). Total XP: 0. Had his legs ripped off and eaten by Akira monsters in the dark canopy of the Viaspen Forest in Session 28.

Odrum (L1 Explorer). Total XP: 287. Javelin to the heart from the hands of weird vine goblins hidden in the walls of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.

Garvin the Nutless Wonder (L1 Mage). Total XP: 0. Fell off the side of Ferigno's lair 20 feet to his death in Session 30.

Blackmoon (L1 Assassin). Total XP: 768. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while stealing treasure from Ferigno's dragon horde in Session 30.

Xanthus (L2 Cleric). Total XP: 2,364. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while hanging out on the roof of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.

Lord Zyklon (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP: 0. LORD ZYKLON DISEMBOWLED LORD ZYKLON upon finding himself on the losing side of the Desolation of Turos Tem.

Turin (L1 Cleric). Total XP: 0. Eaten by Wargs in Session 32.

Rat Face (L2 Thief) Total XP: 1,577. Seemingly grabbed in the dark by a Xenomorph in Session 36. In a sinkhole your party can hear you scream! 

Smarticus (L1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Captured by a Xenomorph in Session 36 for all the party to witness. Taken deep into a sinkhole.

Hearticus (L1 Cleric) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 after projectile vomiting all over himself from the stink of sewer sludge.

Mickey Mouser (L1 Thief) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 in the happiest place on earth: the Cyfaraun sewer!

Aenes (Level 1 Paladin) Total XP: 62. Swarmed by giant flies in the sewer beneath Cyfaraun in Session 40.

Acianus (Level 1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Chopped to pieces in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue from behind and quickly forgotten about by his compatriots who saved MadEye and lamented Hardar instead. But I'll never forget you Acinanu nanu...nanite... nananaa...

Hardar (Level 2 Mage) Total XP: 2,832. Chopped up in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue as he held his Darth Vader Choking Grip spell long enough for his compatriots to escape an unwinnable battle. His dream to become the most evil being in the universe suffers eternally the indignity of being remembered for self sacrifice and laying his life down for his friends.

Alexa this is so sad play "Trollopulous: Gnomes VS Undead" video by Mr Wargaming at this link right here

Friday, February 11, 2022

ACKS Session 43: Going Beserk on Doors! [and why the osr is lame]

Session was played on 01/26/2022 with PCs adventuring for 2 days. Needing 1 day of rest as per ACKS rules they can adventure and make downtime requests on 01/30/2022 and after.

Foreword

Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Session Report

This is going to be a short session report because I don't have much to say on the session play itself except it was very fun and we enjoyed ourselves. 

they can't break on through to 
the other side

The PCs delved the dungeon beneath the city during this session, going deep to find themselves at the Nethercity yet again. We've played the Nethercity module quite a bit lately and I will soon put up a review of the ACKS module. Short review is "it's fantastic". Longer review will go into why. Stay tuned!

The party descended the winding sewage covered steps of the Nethercity and entered the crypt chamber that they had opened months back when they saved Marn (PC Mage Level 4). When they entered this crypt back then they just grabbed him and ran, scared of all the bugs and undead in the place. But there were two crypt doors still in the room leading north to, possibly, more treasure and adventure.

Unfortunately these doors were massive stone slabs and the party was full of a bunch of low Strength weaklings (Explorer, Mage, Cleric, Thief, Priestess...). They simply could not open these doors. They tried for a bit to no avail. 

So they did what any reasonable party of adventurers would do, they had their new mage Hardar II (PC Mage Level 1) use his only spell for the day to Summon Beserkers to take on the difficult task of opening the doors.

Lets talk about Hardar II. Last session Hardar I died in dramatic fashion. His player rolled yet another Mage with Necromancer template and decided that the backstory for Hardar II was that Hardar I was an imposter. Hardar II is the TRUE evil mastermind that will become the most evil entity in the universe... by killing all the other evil creatures. That's how we do backstory in the brosr, folks

When Hardar II did not hit on Rapunzel (PC Priestess Level 3) like Hardar I used to, the priestess started calling him "Gaydar". 

So Hardar II was annoyed to use his spell for something so mundane, and the besekerkers he summoned were pretty angry to be pulled out of Valhalla for this. This assignment was neither shiny nor chrome. 

But they opened one of the doors. Beyond it was another crypt room with a bunch of skeletons that attacked. Rapunzel and Lyxanthos (PC Cleric level 1) turned them easily and the rest of the party beat them to dust. They grabbed the canoptic treasure in this room and were yet again stopped by two more large stone crypt doors.

So they did what any adventuring party would do and went back up to the surface, slept and got their spells back, and came back. This was 6 random encounter rolls. Statistically one should have hit but it didn't. Annoying. Yet 1:1 time marched on so it's fine.

The Beserkers were beyond annoyed to have been summoned yet again to open a door but they obeyed. And the stone door frame trap fell on their head and killed them all. The party wiped their tears and looted the room beyond. 

Then the party explored some of the volcanic tubes outside the crypt and came upon some ghouls. The ghouls surprised the party got a few attacks off and killed some henchmen. Kortes (PC Explorer level 3) was not surprised but he missed his shot with an arbalest at the ghouls. The party's clerics eventually  turned undead them and then killed the ghouls.

Then they took their modest treasure back up to the surface and we finished for the night. 

Afterword

This was more of an exploration session for the party. Last session they had a treasure map to a nice haul but it seems they were exploring the possibility that this dungeon, right beneath the city, might have some more good hauls. Yet they'd have to look around a bit to see. 

They came back to the Nethercity in subsequent sessions so, despite this treasure haul being pretty small compared to last session, it must have been enough to fish them back.

For my part I'm very happy for this development. The downtime actions of PCs and Patrons is starting to really stack up and it's a bit stressful here and there. I've got multiple Patrons these days who are marching armies around and sending me requests and questions. I'm enjoying it fine but everything involved is so BIG and IMPORTANT that I was very happy to have a simple dungeon delve for the session proper this week.

This is one way in which Real D&D delivers all kinds of gaming; even creating a sort of break for the DM to chill out for a delve now and then. Nu-skool 6e and osr style gaming can't do this naturally.

I said a while back that the OSR is done and that the battle for the heart of True D&D is between nu-skool 6e fans and the BROSR. This last week it seems to have come to a head. Alot of former OSR dudes like rpgpund1t are aligning with the woke 6e folk. Why?

It seems the weaker dudes among the osr are mad that the BROSR refuse to take a subjective stance on gaming (or anything else). I coined the hashtag #ObjectivelyCorrrect about a a year ago because we are, in fact, objectively correct that our D&D campaigns are better. 


It's not a subjective question of aesthetics or a utilitarian question about whether or not we're having more fun or whatever (though we are) it's that we more closely align with Gygaxian campaign standards. We also are creating living fantasy worlds similarly to something Tolkien did before writing his books. Now, our worlds are stupid nonsense compared to Middle Earth but that's because it's shaped by a bunch of bros with divergent interests and/or inside jokes trying to crack eachother up.

This aspect happens in fake D&D campaigns, of course. But it's on a lower level wherein the jokes are just about the dungeon being delved that weekm, or the NPC everyone is mad at that night. The campaign concepts the players may create together then get frozen in time since they're not using real time (Jeffrogaxian) timekeeping. The ideas and milieu is stuck with those 5 or 6 PCs. It will never expand and begin to live as BROSR campaigns do. It can't do so, using yo-yo timekeeping.

Real BROSR D&D campaigns are anti-fragile. We keep throwing crazy ideas and crazy ways of interacting with the campaign that SHOULD NOT WORK but somehow they do work. Then the ideas take over and the campaign state changes not just at our table but in the actual breathing game world.

These are objective facts, not subjective claims or theory crafting (like an old dusty osr blog) about what might work or what might be fun. We have over 100 session reports proving it. My campaign alone has done dozens of things I never would have thought D&D could do. 

Subjective ethics and subjective metaphysics is a loser's game. No one truly believes in either because everyone has their opinions which they think are correct; or they wouldn't hold them at all. Fake D&D fans want to apply subjective standards on D&D because they've already ceded much more important territory in their lives to subjective ethics and metaphysics. Once you can no longer say what a man or woman are what does it matter what a game truly is?

osr and 6e be dnd be like
Enemies of the true and the beautiful browbeat good people, generations ago, into embracing subjective outlooks with the claim that hard stances were mean, unsophisticated or lacking humility. "You can be wrong, right?" Sure. No one but megalomaniacs think they can NEVER be wrong. But that got twisted into "well clearly there is no definition of truth", Pilate style. BROSR refuse to cede any ground at all.

The osr are going to continue to side with the nu-skool 6e dnd fans because that's all they can do. Sadly though ttrpgs are shrinking market. w0tc d&d economics isn't really about the books but about the merchandise and y00turb channels and such. OSR dudes can't get paid off of that stuff because no one cares about repping their merch or licensing ideas from their 6 session long campaigns. 

But nany in the osr still want to sell their gaming books and don't want to alienate any of their more moderate audience. To that I have this revamped quote from the fantastic film "A Man For All Seasons" to offer: 

"Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world.. but for PDF sales?"

Surviving PCs Present

Hardar II (10% XP bonus) Level 1 Mage. 494 XP gained. Total: 494

Kortes (0% xp bonus) Level 2 Explorer. 448 XP gained. Total: 4,447

Lyxanthos (10% XP bonus) Level 1 Cleric. 494 xp gained. Total: 494

Nubbs (5% XP bonus) Level 2 Thief. 470 XP gained. Total: 4,017

Powerslave (5% XP bonus) Level 1 Elven Spellsword. 470 xp gained. Total: 470

Rapunzel (10% xp bonus) Level 3 Priestss. 494 XP gained. Total: 7,408

Deceased

Dama (L1 Venturer) played by RR.  Current total xp: 75. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Darius LeVay (L1 Assassin) played by JB. Current Total XP:451. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Donald the Guardsman (L1 Fighter) played by MP. Current Total XP:570. DECEASED. Intra-party justice in Session 3.

Felix (L1 Thief) played by Nicholas. Current Total XP:431. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Hektor (L1 Paladin) played by Moai. DECEASED. Cause of Death: goblin warg rider throat removal surgery in Session 2

Leonidas the Inquisitor (L1 Cleric) played by RR.Current Total XP:498  DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.

Mard the Mage (L1 Mage) played by Nicholas. DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.

Yolo Baggins "My friends call me Swaggins" (L1 Gnomish Trickster) played by J. DECEASED. Paralyzed and eaten by ghouls in Session 12. Body not recovered.

Jack Filcher (L1 Thief) played by C. DECEASED. Shot full of arrows by Inthorn's brigands in Session 12. Body not recovered.

Swoleous Maximus (L1 Paladin). DECEASED. Captured then drawn and quartered by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.

Damianus (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Captured and beheaded by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.

Bucky (L1 Barbarian). DECEASED. Became a illegal pit fighter during his downtime. Had two bouts to the death, winning the first and losing the second. Was killed by Young Jack Sparrow who sashayed into the ring, drank rum, and mogged on Bucky before putting a dagger into his ribs, killing him. This happened during downtime between Session 17 and 18.

Broll Wolf-Eater (L1 Barbarian). Current total XP: 1079. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.

Brother Franklin (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Decapitated by a mad cultist of a Lovecraftian slime thing in Session 19.

Felix the Elder (L1 Bard). Total XP 825. DECEASED. Captured by mad cultists and fed to a Lovecraftian slime monster in Session 19.

Templar Flavius Africanus (L1 Cleric). Total XP 7. Killed by the claws and beak of mad harpies in Session 19.

Xendi (L1 Explorer). Total XP 6. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.

Yllmeeton (L3 Shaman). Total XP 4,563. Bludgeoned by the corpse of a bowmen by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.

Longinus (L2 Assassin). Total XP 2,036. Had his face ripped off by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.

Mandonio (L3 Fighter). Total XP 4,779. Charred to a leprous crisp by diseased Dragon breath in Session 22.

Corydon (L1 Joker). Total XP: 0. Burnt to a crisp by chimera breath so thoroughly his corpse wasn't even fit for the crows. Died with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. that's life and as funny as it seems... some people get their kicks, stomping on a dream... In Session 25.

Donny Keebler (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP 2,238. Had his legs burned completely off by chimera fire breath in Session 25.

Marina (L2 Fighter). Total XP: 2,204. Burnt into ash by a chimera fire breath in Session 25.

Gundro (L2 Gnomish Trickster). Total XP: 2,575. Had his mouth and tongue bitten off by a lizardman ambusher in the dank sewers below Cyfaraun in Session 26.

Polydoros (L1 Fighter). Total XP: 0. Had his legs ripped off and eaten by Akira monsters in the dark canopy of the Viaspen Forest in Session 28.

Odrum (L1 Explorer). Total XP: 287. Javelin to the heart from the hands of weird vine goblins hidden in the walls of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.

Garvin the Nutless Wonder (L1 Mage). Total XP: 0. Fell off the side of Ferigno's lair 20 feet to his death in Session 30.

Blackmoon (L1 Assassin). Total XP: 768. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while stealing treasure from Ferigno's dragon horde in Session 30.

Xanthus (L2 Cleric). Total XP: 2,364. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while hanging out on the roof of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.

Lord Zyklon (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP: 0. LORD ZYKLON DISEMBOWLED LORD ZYKLON upon finding himself on the losing side of the Desolation of Turos Tem.

Turin (L1 Cleric). Total XP: 0. Eaten by Wargs in Session 32.

Rat Face (L2 Thief) Total XP: 1,577. Seemingly grabbed in the dark by a Xenomorph in Session 36. In a sinkhole your party can hear you scream! 

Smarticus (L1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Captured by a Xenomorph in Session 36 for all the party to witness. Taken deep into a sinkhole.

Hearticus (L1 Cleric) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 after projectile vomiting all over himself from the stink of sewer sludge.

Mickey Mouser (L1 Thief) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 in the happiest place on earth: the Cyfaraun sewer!

Aenes (Level 1 Paladin) Total XP: 62. Swarmed by giant flies in the sewer beneath Cyfaraun in Session 40.

Acianus (Level 1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Chopped to pieces in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue from behind and quickly forgotten about by his compatriots who saved MadEye and lamented Hardar instead. But I'll never forget you Acinanu nanu...nanite... nananaa...

Hardar (Level 2 Mage) Total XP: 2,832. Chopped up in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue as he held his Darth Vader Choking Grip spell long enough for his compatriots to escape an unwinnable battle. His dream to become the most evil being in the universe suffers eternally the indignity of being remembered for self sacrifice and laying his life down for his friends.

Alexa this is so sad play "hooker with a p333nis" by Tool

Thursday, February 3, 2022

ACKS Session 42: Grab Undeath by the Balls

This session was played on 01/19/2022 with PCs adventuring for 2 days. With 1 day of bed rest needed as per ACKS rules the PCs can adventure and make downtime requests on and after 01/22/2022.

Foreword

I apologize for the crass title of this session report but I promised my players I'd make this silly pun.

Session Report

The PCs all started the session in the city of Cyfaraun and wanted to delve the sewers... again. They entered the sewers into a deceased syndicate leader's former hideout where they scored big recently. Their main plan appeared to be to finish mapping out the hideout so Laru (PC Thief level 4) can eventually use the space for his own syndicate shenanigans. Laru's Player wasn't even adventuring this session so this really was the other players helping him out and helping to move the thief's long term goals forward. 

My players are givers. Very helpful, fellas.

The sewer dungeon hideout thing is a pretty big place. They had mapped out about half of it the last couple sessions and went about wrapping up the rest tonight. I was using my rules for ReStocking on the Fly since the PCS were through many places they had already been. This ended up meaning quite a bit more hits on the random encounter chart.

By the time they decided to finish up this delve and were happy with their map, they had fought a clutch of giant centipedes, a green slime and a rat swarm. The swarm gave them the most trouble and it was as they were leaving to go back up to the surface. Hundreds (or thousands?) of rats came barreling down the dank hallway crazily and knocked down Odilia (hench to MadEye, Fighter Level 1) and ate her face. 

The PCs went to hacking up the rats and eventually killed enough of them where they were no longer a threat as a swarm. Odilia wasn't killed thanks to Olivier (PC Paladin level 1) and Rapunzel (PC Priestess level 3) healing and saving her from oblivion. But Odilia was going to need a week of bed rest before making further adventure. They carried her up to the service and found her a place to rest and also rested themselves.

The next day Rapunzel wanted to lead an expedition into the Nethercity. This is a dungeon BENEATH the sewers beneath the city. They went there to save Marn (PC Mage Level 3) a VERY LONG TIME AGO back on May 21, 2021. They were in and out of the dungeon as fast as possible and have showed very little interest of ever going back. 

But, thanks to Patron play, they had a treasure map into the place that they had bought from who they are calling MapGuy; Rene (Patron Controller of a Syndicate Map Finder ...place... or something). The treasure map was believed to lead to treasure of around 3,000 GP in value iirc. that would probably be in this evil chapel.

the players clown on my maps but
my maps are awesome

Rapunzel's player actually took the lead as Caller, which isn't the normal social makeup of our virtual table. I suggest trying this with your table; having the most gung-ho player for that session's goal take the Caller lead. Rapunzel the PC was more animated in laying out the goal and plans than a less emotionally invested Caller might have been. More fun session thanks to it.

Anyway the Party got through the sewer without any deaths or random encounters to the entrance into the Nethercity. Descending some stairs in an old busted up elf gazebo which now resides under the Old City latrines, disgusting sludge cascaded in front of the Party so they hugged the wall.

The stench had a few of them feeling sick (-1 to attacks and such) but they kept on, eventually coming to a series of natural caverns snaking through the earth. Most were pooled with the sewer sludge and very large swarms of vermin were feeding on it. Some DMs have told me this Module is too slow because of all the vermin everywhere being a slog to fight through. But I normally rule that if some bugs don't have a hostile reaction they're probably not going to get bent out of shape and attack some humans that are just moving through their room. Unless their nest is disturbed or whatever.

So none of that happened and the Party got through the vermin caves without any combat, ascending to a natural balcony overlooking the long chamber of sludge. Gross.

They moved north, following the map and entered a temple complex thing. There were tiled black floors and plaster walls. Bas reliefs (HPL says "avoid!"), murals, and wall graves were everywhere along the passages. They came to a chamber with a black stone status of a god or demon or something with 6 arms. MadEye (PC Venturer level 2) identified which deity I think, but I don't remember the details. 

The party did not approach the statue or touch it. Instead they passed through the room to the Warlord's Chapel. What warlord? idk. THE Warlord, pal. Don't worry about it.

Here there was black marble flooring at a gallery that opened into an apses. Carved stone column supported each corner of the transept near a four stepped dais in the middle of the apse. There was a gray marble altar stained with black drippings and marked by cuts and slashes. On either side of that sat statues of 2 black jackals.  

The players started searching around for treasure since this is the room the map apparently led to. Rapunzel cast Protection from Evil on the assumption the jackal statues would come to life and attack. Hardar (PC Mage level 2) and Nubs (PC Thief level 3) pushed the altar and found that it was designed to slide and reveal a hidden compartment below full of treasure. Looting began and the Lawful PCs like Olivier (PC Paladin level 1) and MadEye were working on defacing the altar to nab some sweet XP for cleansing the place of altar style evil.

That's what made the stone jackal things inevitably wake up. They started moving about and seemed to no longer be stone. They had a halo of fire around them and seemed to be able to control it to attack freely on top of their normal scratch and scrapes.

But they couldn't attack at all as long as Rapunzel concentrated on Protection from Evil. So the Party finished defacing and cleansing the altar with no interference. This seemed to weaken the creatures who Rapunzel had time to study and realize were undead. Then she dropped the Protection from Evil spell and the party attacked.

I don't remember the details of the fight but no one died. It ended when Rapunzel successfully Turned Undead on the jackals and then the other party members beat them to smithereens. Easy.

While the party finished looting the treasure MadEye made a point that he wanted to study some Blue Orbs that were found because they might be magical and useful in this section of the dungeon or something. The players started calling them Blue Balls and you can imagine how the jokes went from there.

There was alot of other jewels and gems and coins in the treasure horde. On the way out to escape the dungeon with it is where things went sideways. The evil 6 armed demon statue thing came to life as the party tried to pass through its room on the way out. It didn't surprise them as per the rules but it did get a pretty high initiative and attacked the party from the back.

It easily dispatched Acianus (PC Mage Level 1), some henchmen of Rapunzel (RIP) and MadEye. Most all the PCs fled the room and barred the door to the next room shut, Olivier holding on to the handle to keep the 6 armed abomination from getting to them. Normally PCs would have cut their losses, poured out one for their lost homies, and left the dungeon. 

But MadEye had the Blue Balls. And Nubbs saw the monster take them back off the Venturer.

Debate raged. Should they go back and save MadEye (meaning, acquire the Blue Orb treasure they assumed was valuable) or should they just leave it. The monster had them spooked. 

bapbook out how long?
Eventually they had a harebrained plan and opened the door as suddenly as they could. Nubbs slipped into the room under the legs of the monster while Olivier stood and fought it in melee. His plan was "to grab the monster's blue balls". I sighed. 

But Nubbs rolled a Pickpocket check to try and nab the Blue Orbs off the monster... and rolled a natural 20. "I've got the blue balls!" he declared proudly as he slipped back into the marching order of the party and to safety from 6 armed attacks. He posted this picture in the chat and I grabbed a drink while the players laughed uproariously for like 8 minutes.

Hardar cast Choking Grip on the monster and amazingly enough it failed to save. This would keep it paralyzed for as long as Harder concentrated or until the creature succeeded at a saving throw chance at the start of each combat round.

Some PCs made attacks on the creature and realized it could only be hit by magic weapons, which this party had zero of. Oh no. They started to plan their retreat. Someone pull MadEye's body to safety and ran off with him on their back. Nubbs was long gone with his Blue Orbs laughing and planning his evening of revelry like Gray Mouser or Cugel the Clever.

Hardar tried to hold the Choking Grip spell long enough for everyone to disengage from battle and get out of danger. Unfortunately, that's when the monster made it's saving throw. The last thing the fleeing adventurers saw was Hardar getting chopped to bits by the six armed demon statue thing as they closed the door behind them and hoofed it through the dank sewer dungeon and back up to the service 

The rest of the party escaped with the treasure and the balls and we called it a night. It was a solid haul despite two PCs losing their life and one other (MadEye) taking a serious Mortal Wound wherein he lost the use of his legs completely. He'd need two weeks of bed rest to adventure again (with a combat wheelchair? Check back and see!)

Afterword

In my campaign we use randomly rolled Class Templates from the ACKS Player's Companion. Hardar's template was Necromancer so the player decided to play him up as the most evil Mage possible. After dying so the other PCs might escape the 6 arm demon thing the players started to realize he may not be evil after all. But in fact be the most Good of them all!

But Hardar's master and arcane teacher, Zealotor (NPC Mage Level ???) did NOT agree! He had an opulent funeral where he invited "those who knew Hardar to come forward and share reminiscences of this malicious and cruel soul". So beautiful!

He went on that "Hardar's lust for life (both living and taking it) will not be forgotten... Hardar could not realize his dream to become the most evil being in the universe (by murdering all the other evil beings. This saddens me most of all."

This beautiful tribute where many PCs and Patrons shared their memories and hate of Hardar can be found in its entirety on the tw11tters at this link. Be sure to bring some tissue for those misty eyes.

Surviving PCs Present

MadEye (5% XP bonus): Venturer Level 2. XP Gained 1,048 + 105 for evil altar destruction. Total: 3,652 [LEVEL UP TO 3!]

Nubbs (5% XP bonus): Thief Level 2. XP gained 1,048. Total: 3,547 [LEVEL UP TO 3!]

Olivier (5% XP bonus): Paladin level 1. XP gained 1,048 + 105. Total: 1,170

Rapunzel (10% XP bonus): Priestess level 3. XP gained 1,097 + 110. Total: 7,408

Deceased

Dama (L1 Venturer) played by RR.  Current total xp: 75. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Darius LeVay (L1 Assassin) played by JB. Current Total XP:451. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Donald the Guardsman (L1 Fighter) played by MP. Current Total XP:570. DECEASED. Intra-party justice in Session 3.

Felix (L1 Thief) played by Nicholas. Current Total XP:431. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.

Hektor (L1 Paladin) played by Moai. DECEASED. Cause of Death: goblin warg rider throat removal surgery in Session 2

Leonidas the Inquisitor (L1 Cleric) played by RR.Current Total XP:498  DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.

Mard the Mage (L1 Mage) played by Nicholas. DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.

Yolo Baggins "My friends call me Swaggins" (L1 Gnomish Trickster) played by J. DECEASED. Paralyzed and eaten by ghouls in Session 12. Body not recovered.

Jack Filcher (L1 Thief) played by C. DECEASED. Shot full of arrows by Inthorn's brigands in Session 12. Body not recovered.

Swoleous Maximus (L1 Paladin). DECEASED. Captured then drawn and quartered by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.

Damianus (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Captured and beheaded by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.

Bucky (L1 Barbarian). DECEASED. Became a illegal pit fighter during his downtime. Had two bouts to the death, winning the first and losing the second. Was killed by Young Jack Sparrow who sashayed into the ring, drank rum, and mogged on Bucky before putting a dagger into his ribs, killing him. This happened during downtime between Session 17 and 18.

Broll Wolf-Eater (L1 Barbarian). Current total XP: 1079. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.

Brother Franklin (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Decapitated by a mad cultist of a Lovecraftian slime thing in Session 19.

Felix the Elder (L1 Bard). Total XP 825. DECEASED. Captured by mad cultists and fed to a Lovecraftian slime monster in Session 19.

Templar Flavius Africanus (L1 Cleric). Total XP 7. Killed by the claws and beak of mad harpies in Session 19.

Xendi (L1 Explorer). Total XP 6. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.

Yllmeeton (L3 Shaman). Total XP 4,563. Bludgeoned by the corpse of a bowmen by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.

Longinus (L2 Assassin). Total XP 2,036. Had his face ripped off by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.

Mandonio (L3 Fighter). Total XP 4,779. Charred to a leprous crisp by diseased Dragon breath in Session 22.

Corydon (L1 Joker). Total XP: 0. Burnt to a crisp by chimera breath so thoroughly his corpse wasn't even fit for the crows. Died with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. that's life and as funny as it seems... some people get their kicks, stomping on a dream... In Session 25.

Donny Keebler (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP 2,238. Had his legs burned completely off by chimera fire breath in Session 25.

Marina (L2 Fighter). Total XP: 2,204. Burnt into ash by a chimera fire breath in Session 25.

Gundro (L2 Gnomish Trickster). Total XP: 2,575. Had his mouth and tongue bitten off by a lizardman ambusher in the dank sewers below Cyfaraun in Session 26.

Polydoros (L1 Fighter). Total XP: 0. Had his legs ripped off and eaten by Akira monsters in the dark canopy of the Viaspen Forest in Session 28.

Odrum (L1 Explorer). Total XP: 287. Javelin to the heart from the hands of weird vine goblins hidden in the walls of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.

Garvin the Nutless Wonder (L1 Mage). Total XP: 0. Fell off the side of Ferigno's lair 20 feet to his death in Session 30.

Blackmoon (L1 Assassin). Total XP: 768. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while stealing treasure from Ferigno's dragon horde in Session 30.

Xanthus (L2 Cleric). Total XP: 2,364. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while hanging out on the roof of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.

Lord Zyklon (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP: 0. LORD ZYKLON DISEMBOWLED LORD ZYKLON upon finding himself on the losing side of the Desolation of Turos Tem.

Turin (L1 Cleric). Total XP: 0. Eaten by Wargs in Session 32.

Rat Face (L2 Thief) Total XP: 1,577. Seemingly grabbed in the dark by a Xenomorph in Session 36. In a sinkhole your party can hear you scream! 

Smarticus (L1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Captured by a Xenomorph in Session 36 for all the party to witness. Taken deep into a sinkhole.

Hearticus (L1 Cleric) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 after projectile vomiting all over himself from the stink of sewer sludge.

Mickey Mouser (L1 Thief) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 in the happiest place on earth: the Cyfaraun sewer!

Aenes (Level 1 Paladin) Total XP: 62. Swarmed by giant flies in the sewer beneath Cyfaraun in Session 40.

Acianus (Level 1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Chopped to pieces in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue from behind and quickly forgotten about by his compatriots who saved MadEye and lamented Hardar instead. But I'll never forget you Acinanu nanu...nanite... nananaa...

Hardar (Level 2 Mage) Total XP: 2,832. Chopped up in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue as he held his Darth Vader Choking Grip spell long enough for his compatriots to escape an unwinnable battle. His dream to become the most evil being in the universe suffers eternally the indignity of being remembered for self sacrifice and laying his life down for his friends.

Alexa this is so sad play Luke Bryan "Drink a Beer" in honor of Hardar. so looooooong my friiiiend till we meeEEEeet agaaaaaain

RIP Hardar the Evil Mage
2022-2022


Dubzaron Session 64: Return to the New Badlands (and Operation Muscle Thunder)

Session Played on 07/06/22 and ending on 07/16/22. Actions available again on 07/18/22. Session Report The party was able to secure many tro...