Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Dubzaron Session 84: Tuck Duels the Frost Giant King (how mass combat campaigns impact your sessions)

Timekeeping

Spent 1 day in Turos Erin doing Scrying with Gaius's crystal ball. Traveled hills for 4 days. Need 1 day rest. Can take actions again 12/13/22. 

Note: Session 83 was DMed a week previously by a different DM because I couldn't play that night. Maybe he provide session report on his site?

Participating PCs

Billy (L6 Explorer, Lawful)[E]

Edelweiss (L5 Mage Magical Scholar, Neutral)[E]

Gront Coldsky (L5 Barbarian Housecarl, Neutral)[E]

Tuck Dragonbane (L3 Barbarian Pit Fighter, Neutral)[E]

Henchmen: 

Edelweiss: Davien Cruise (L2 Dwarven Machinist, Neutral)

Foreword

During downtime some month or so back some weird reports started coming up from the southern border. Turos Erin was pillaged by Goblin Warg riders and Orc Boar riders on or around 11/14/22 . 
Despite the odds being against him Legate Lammirio the Pure (NPC) took to the field with his garrison to run the beastmen off. He's reported the beastmen were led by a sorceress on a skeletal horse. The Aurans were outmatched in numbers but hit above their weight thanks to their fantastic officer structure. Unfortunately all units fell except for the Heavy Infantry the Legate was attached to. Lammario had sent word via dove to his most local Legates in Turos Telle and Turos Drav before he himself took the field. The Legate escaped back into the keep to defend the walls and the peasants who had fled inside.

The sorceress seemed most interested in prisoners, focusing the pillaging efforts and taking them. Also she used foul necromancies to raise the dead Turos Erin regulars to harry the villages, the keep and local farms, giving her a distraction as the pillaging commenced. The zombie menace keeled over itself, dead a second time, after about a day.

Just as the beastmen and their sorceress leader were finishing their pillaging, Legate Aurius the Bold from Turos Telle (NPC) arrived with all the cavalry he could spare to quickly help Turos Erin. Sadly it was not enough and his forces were decimated and he himself captured. 

This is the backstory thing that my campaign has been moving around since about the middle of November 2022. Multiple Patrons and PCs have been marching themselves and their armies down to the southern border to be apart of whatever is happening. Some of it may be out of fear of the southern border falling to fel powers. Some of it may be for the treasure and glory they'll gain should they be part of destroying an evil host. 

The PCs that played in Session 84 were hoping to get a fraction of the glory by scouting and being able to bring back some info about the evil army and its movements to Legate Gaius (Patron) who decided to lead the forces of Law.

Session Report

The party started out of Turos Erin but we had to retcon back a few days to 12/05/22 where Edelweiss did in fact say she was using Gaius's crystal ball (???) to Scry for the "sorceress". I didn't get around to this in downtime but the PC had timestamped the intention to scry so I allowed it to be done in the past.

Edelweiss scryed on Legate Aurius the Bold who was last seen carried off as a prisoner of the evil monster host. I was able to use my fancy house rules about scrying since ACKS states that how well you know know the object or person will give you a better image or it be murky or something. I use the teleportation percentage rules for that. So someone (maybe Gaius who perhaps met the guy at some official function) told Edeleweiss what the Legate looked like. She scryed and did successfully get a clear image of him. As a pile of ash. He's dead.

Around this pile of ash were mountains Edelweiss didn't recognize and also some strange dark tower some few hundred yards away. She studied the tower then used the crystal ball again (can be done 3/day) to scry closer to the tower itself. Studying the dark stone there were carvings of skulls, skeletons, birds and the like. One such carving of a skull started to generate purple light and Edelweiss fell down in a seizure and began to shake. She failed a Save VS Death and was fading away to the afterlife when she used her Fate Point to get a second Save VS Death saving throw, making it. Needless to say she didn't scry the Tower again.

We moved the clock ahead to the present day of 12/07/22 in Turos Erin where the party met with Gaius and he told them they could use any of the troops he brought to Turos Erin to hunt down the sorceress. He was going to spend the day getting ready to depart and handle the military campaign in downtime. But perhaps the PCs could do some scouting into the hills to the south everyone believed she might be hiding. 

Billy and Tuck and Davien did some rumormongering and found 1 rumor but it wasn't enough to get a good concept about this sorceress lady or her army and they just heard the same stuff that was in the downtime story about it above that she came to Turos Erin about 2 weeks back. The only new info the PCs got is the evil army focused on taking youngling prisoners (Dubzaron is R rated).

Edelweiss spent 12/07/22 trying to scry the pile of ashes and look up at the sky to determine the location of the ashes (and thus tower) by using her Astronomy skill. Despite 3 tries this never panned out and the PCs had no further info where this evil tower might be.

On 12/08/22 they left in the morning with 4 Platoons of Horse Archers and 4 Platoons of Light Cavalry, taking off into the hills. Cavalry platoons in ACKS are 15 cavalrymen each. Infantry Platoons are 30 men each. 

Their initial goal was to return to a place in the mountains where some PCs had been left petrified after tangling with basilisks. But they quickly became sidetracked when their forward scouts reported seeing an Orc warband which was trying to evade them. Billy tracked the warband and the PCs and their troops chased them down. They easily dispatched the orcs and took a prisoner who didn't know much about the sorceress except she was "to the east". The party then trekked easterward. They picked a hex that seemed as likely as any to have the tower and started Lair Hunting there. 

The first lair they came across some hours later was a ruin of the Overlook Hotel from "The Shining". Inside the broken windows and such they could see statues of characters from the film during various iconic scenes. Spooky! Jack Nicholson was sitting at a typewriter which, just under its table, had a trapdoor leading into a dungeon of sorts.

Billy and the Barbarians were ready to go down the place but Edelweiss thought it wasn't a great idea. They instead tried a couple schemes to try and get whatever monster was under there to come out to THEM so they could use their cavalry in a battle. One plan was to "do like in the blood gulch level in halo and ride the cavalry around the place in circles and snipe whoever popped their head out to look". This didn't work. No one popped their head up. Then they dropped a flaming oil into the trapdoor and ran. No one came out. Time to delve! Edelweiss doth protest muchly.

The party lowered down into the trapdoor beneath Jack's psycho break typewriter since they had burned up the wooden ladder leading down into it with their military oil gambit. Below they found a wine cellar with most of the bottles and shelves all burned up and destroyed. No apparent exits so the party searched for secret doors, finding one on the west wall and one on the south. Sliding the stone painted slot aside on the western secret door they came to a small 10x10 closet with fancy expensive wine hidden away for when Jack really wants to throw down, I suppose. (Note to self, I need to put the actual Overlook into a future session rather than a ruin of it.) 

There was a door on the south wall which the party passed through into a long hallway. On the western wall a door opened into the boiler room Wendy was always messing around in while Jack would stare menacingly at the camera. The party kept moving down the hallway as Edelweiss nagged about how this delve was a bad idea, pointing out the Return On Investment of a delve VS them lair smashing. The men rolled their eyes but decided to check just one more door before giving in and going topside. This door was another hallway that went off beyond their light so they said "yes dear" and went back to the wine cellar and their rope to climb out. 

But 3 Medusae were standing there ready for them, apparently having come through the secret door they hadn't checked! Billy slammed the door and pushed everyone back into the long hallway near the boiler room. We made some dungeon chase checks since the Party's plan was to back get all the way to the other end of the hallway and drop a fireball into the small closet when the medusae opened the door. Billy (IIRC) tripped on a doorframe due to failing his Save VS Paralysis for dungeon chasing through doors and around 90 degree turns so he may have been in the line of fire for the fireball drop!

Billy was singed by the fireball flames licking down the hall but wasn't quite close enough to take damage. This was a nice break and this situation and this session showed the advantage of having a fast moving party. This group didn't have any heavy armor wearers clanking around so when they said they'd run for it to regroup it was very feasible. The medusae would have had more movement than your average Plate mail and sword and board fighter so getting enough distance from them for a fireball drop wouldn't have worked in such a situation. Even Billy falling down was something he could recover from since he still had movement enough to burn and was able to get about 10' away from the fireball, despite mine having it push further into the hallway due to its volume having no where to go on the west and north sides of the explosion due to there being no doorways there for it to expand into. 

Two of the three medusae died to the fireball and all the martial PCs and the Dwarven machinist henchman met the last medusa halfway to attack with melee weapons with their eyes closed. I used the rule I remember from 3e where you attack at -4 doing this AND, if you hit, there's a 50% chance you were swinging at nothing. (Note to Self: a natural 1 should mean you accidentally opened your eyes and must save vs paral at the gaze). This made the last medusa much harder to finish off, despite having only like 5 hit points left. These big bruisers had their eyes closed and were smacking blades and spear at the wall as the medusa's snake hair tried to bite them to no avail. Davien the dwarven machinist henchman of Edelweiss's was the first one in the mix and he didn't close his eyes to attack; either because the player didn't think of it or he wanted Davien to have a better shot at connecting. Either way, the dwarf failed his save and he turned into a statue like most of "the shining" statues littering the ruins. Otherwise, the PCs soon downed the snake haired lady.

The Party looted the mini dungeon beneath the ruins of the Overlook hotel which ended up being a decent score, particularly a scroll Edelweiss found which had a high level spell on it. Now that I'm using my ACKSy version of the 1e rule that arcane scrolls only give XP to the Arcane caster who claims it in session, this was a decent XP bump for the Mage. 

The party went back topside and strapped the dwarf statue to some horses or something and kept searching the wilderness for Lairs and the sorceress backstory bad guy. This aspect of the session was kind of starting to fall into the background as players were engaging in the other things they were finding, especially the Frost Giant Lair they soon came across. I tried to be cagey with my description that the place looked like the emerald city from "wizard of oz" made of green ice. But they quickly grokked "this must be frost giants" and approached the place for parley and to study it's walls for a possible mass combat assault.


The effectiveness of mass combat would have slightly favored the party but not as much as it might when we started deep diving the ACKS "Domains at War" rules wherein cavalry unit effectiveness drops by 3/4ths when assaulting walls! I'm going to emphasize this for downtime play as I had forgotten about it and it seems possible some Patrons and PCs were not aware or had also forgotten. I believe this makes for an interesting player agency decision since cavalry move so quickly and are so powerful in the open field, but dealing with monsters hiding behind walls or in a cave on a cliffside, are going to be less effective. 

The frost giants, despite all this and their massive pack of like 40 dire wolves, weren't too high on the idea of going up against like 7 platoons of cavalry. I used the old OD&D rule, from memory, of there being a 1 in 6 chance a random "keep" Pcs coming across having the Lord demand a duel or joust. Made the roll and it came up 1.

The frost giant lord had apparently heard of Tuck the Barbarian with the Gladiator template from his old gladiatorial days and some beastmen and giants keep up with the WGE and gladiator bouts due to Vince McMaximus highlighting beastmen talent(tm) for his sports entertainment endeavor. He wanted to fight Tuck 1v1. The chances of Tuck surviving this were slim and none since he was only level 3. But the Story was too good, perhaps, or maybe Tuck knew his Class Grade would be in the dumps if he said "no". He agreed! 

The bet was for the giants to clear out of the Emerald Keep and give it to Tuck and half their treasure. The PCs wagered Billy's ooze launcher which we analyzed for its cost and it was expensive and interesting enough for me to declare the giants considering it a fair bet. The other PCs went about outitting Tuck with magic armor/weapons as best they could and gave him a Growth potion. The argued to the giants that Tuck was half giant and grew to great heights at Twilight (which it happened to be at that moment) and they seemed convinced. I made Reaction checks for each buff or item the folks gave Tuck to determine if the Giants considered it unfair and decided they'd just go to war instead (or maybe the Giant Lord would go charging at a soft target like Edelweiss since the PCs let him in close by this time...)

The dice were in the Party's favor and the Giants never got angry. The Giant Lord, who we had since named Gale Force (or Gale, very manly) himself was wielding The Axe of Gale Force(!!!) which, when it hit Tuck the first time tried to freeze him in place. The 1v1 bout hit fast and Tuck took one massive hit from the axe, leaving him at 1 hit point, and making ice start to creep up around his chest and body. He shook off the magic effect with a Save Vs Paralysis and but his own smack on Gale as the two giant men stomped around the snow with both sides cheering on their champion!

Gale couldn't get a second hit to connect on Tuck as the barbarian slowly chipped away at Gales hp with solid damage from having Growth cast on him (the effect gives double damage) but Gale had a ton of hit points, apparently. The dice decided to reward the PCs and Tuck's boldness wherein I rolled a 1 on an attack then, the following round, I rolled 2d6 with snake eyes to determine Gale's morale if he would forfeit the match rather than be killed. Despite Tuck standing there with 1 HP and Gale having about a 70% chance of hitting him on his next attack, he called mercy and laid his magic axe down for Tuck and indicated his 3 other Frost Giant brothers and their pack of dire wolves to exit the Emerald Keep. They left half of their treasure inside as promised. The party asked the Giants about the sorceress and they stated she was eastward and over the river. Quite a bit further in that direction than the PCs had been searching so far.

The players knew, thanks to their land surveyor they brought alone, that there were 3 Lairs in this hex so one was left. They kept searching the next day until finding a Stirges lair and quickly destroyed it with their army. It didn't have walls or anything to keep the cavalry from running down the little ratbird things. There was a decent amount of treasure in the place and the party grabbed it up to go back to Turos Erin and cash out. Along the way they had a random encounter which was a Dwarf Lair and the reaction check I rolled was pretty bad. The dwarves had apparently seen the petrified dwarven machinist the PCs were carrying and figured the PCs must have done it to him! They were quite angry and had gathered their warriors to attack the party. General Edelweiss did some contemplation of the Party's chances to win and it seemed they probably would win but maybe lose all of Gaius's borrowed Cavalry and maybe some PCs would get got as well. They decided to Parley and were able to convince the dwarves they weren't' the bad guys. 

By the end of this day the party was home back in Turos Erin and they cashed out with a decent score of xp.

Class Grading Thoughts

Best to worst grades: E, S, F, P

Everyone was mostly on their game by the end of the session. I was a bit skeptical they could come up with great grades since alot of our wilderness crawl sessions with army units tend to get them (and me) in the weeds of unit management and the RP sometimes gets a bit forgotten. 

Billy achieved E since he was bold in the medusa fight and wanting to explore the place in the first place as he figured it could be used for his domain keep one day if he were to clear it out now. Despite mage gal nagging he kept at it. Additionally he was very on his game with the wilderness stuff, always remembering to us Tracking and the wilderness itself in his favor. Good stuff for an Explorer which is like ACKS ranger class. So E.  

Edelweiss achieved E by being cautious (as mages should be as per Gygax grading) and for not holding back on using spells. 

Gront achieved E for boldly going in to melee attack the medusa (not holding back from fear of petrification) and for commanding men. The latter of which aligns with how he and I have discussed the "Housecarl" template which is a guy who would want and expect to have servants and men obeying him. 

Tuck achieved an E for obvious reasons. He boldly ran into fight the medusa just like Gront and he boldly agreed to duel a frost giant that, by all rights, should have squished him to mush. The duel itself being extremely memorable and something one could see Conan doing.

DM Self Grade! 

Best to worst grades: A, B, C, D, F

I was happy with the ideas and images I was able to come up with from the random results of the hex crawling. While "ruins of the overlook" was Billy's idea I feel like I ran with it quite well and gave some nice images on what everyone saw there, including statues of "the shining" characters from various iconic scenes. I think the place probably spooked the players although they did work out there was probably a petrification creature or creatures there from seeing the statues. I did forget, however, that most Treasure found in lairs of petrifying creatures should be frozen in the statues themselves. So they shouldn't have easily been able to grab up all of the "Lair Treasure" of the medusae since it should have been stoned out in Stone Jack's pocket or inside Statue Wendy's jacket or something. Also during this session I decided that just grabbing up the petrified statue of your pal and carrying him 40 miles home to get "Stone to Flesh" cast on him in town isn't it. I didn't stop the PCs from doing it but this is the 2nd or 3rd time this type of thing has happened. I think it makes the medusa and basilisk special attack not as devastating if it's just a matter of "well my friend is made of stone I guess that will cost me some money when I carry him back to town and find a Cleric to cast Stone to Flesh". I debated with the Players the next day that it's possible to get their statue pals back home but the statue could take some damage during the travel. Mine argument being that IRL you transport statues in special Fragile this side up type packaging, which players wouldn't have. I made some house rules about this where there a chance from breaks or cracks in the statue which align to how rough the terrain is. Pretty happy with the rules for next time this comes up. 

Lastly I need to start reading some more pulp fantasy since most of my ideas are coming from film these days. That's fine but DND is a pulp fantasy generator not film school improv game.

DM Grade: C

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.

Nubbs (Level 3 Thief) Total XP: 4,017. Swarmed by scarabs which bored into his ears and brain in Session 45.

Grummz (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultgard) Total XP: 0. Ripped limb from limb by a throng of skeletons and their undead golem leaders in Session 46.

Grommzs (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultguard) Total XP: 2,168. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in session 48

Rapunzel (Level 4 Priestess) Total XP: 11,540. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in Session 48.

Schizo (Level 1 Mage): Total XP: 0. Frozen to death by an assassin's guild ruffian bard wielding a Wand of Cold in session 54.

Marteen (Level 1 Thief): Total XP: 0. Fell to his death in Lamalla's Temple upon a pile of dragon horde gold. Corpse eaten by Sheila the Beautiful, an Ancient Blue Dragon in session 56.

Ambrose (Level 2 Cleric): Total XP: idk. Strangled to death by cursed octopi in a canoe on Lake Laman claiming the Sinister Stone of Sakkara for Law and eventual destruction in session 63.

Traiticus (Level 9 Fighter): Total XP: alot. Head split in half by Froggo's bronze magic "Fren Axe" during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Alina (Level 7 Mage). Cut in half at her belt line by Froggo's bronze magic "Fren Axe" during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Olgar McKenzie (Level 5ish Barbarian). Soul eaten by Stormbringer wielded by the Manson the mad assassin during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Celeste (Level 7ish Witch). Soul eaten by Stormbringer wielded by the Manson the mad assassin during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22. Said Ancient Soul caused a backfire effect and blasted Manson's face off leaving him dead in the sea foam.

Allen A'Dulles (Level 1 Bard): Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

Cyfaraun (Level 1 Elven Spellsword): Eaten by basilisks in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

Tamryn (Level 1 Elven Spellsword):  Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66

Allen the Bard (Level 1 Bard): Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

UnNamed Venturer (Level 1 Venturer): Killed by astral demons and sucked into the vacuum of spacetime in Session 66.

Major Garland Briggs (Level 1 Explorer): Killed by the crossbow bolt of an angry thracian in a dormant (?) volcano dungeon called Queens Rest Mountain. Then his body was eaten by giant chameleons as the rest of the party made their escape in Session 73.

Autumn Leaves (Level 1 Elven Spellsword): Died to lizardman crossbow bolts to the tears of her adventuring compatriots who tried to revive her after absconding with her corpse just outside Queens Rest Mountain in Session 73.

Xanthos (Level 6 Cleric): Cut down by a flaming blade by a very powerful thracian lizardman below Queens Rest Mountain in Session 74. Ressurected about two weeks later.

Stormin' Norman (Level 1 Gnomish Trickster): Captured by the lizardman tribe below Queens Rest Mountain whilst trying to use illusionist tricks to steal a magic spear. Was subsequently fed to their Giant Chameleons for being an annoying gnome in Session 74.

Kortes (Level 5ish Explorer): Captured and pickled by Blind Pew and the 4 purple dragons of Muppetlantis sometime during downtime in late October or early November.

Alexa this is so sad play "Main Title (The Shining)" from "The Shining" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Dubzaron Session 82: The Battle for Muppetlantis (more thoughts on class grading)

TimeKeeping

This session was played on 11/23/22 using one day for adventuring and one day of rest. Actions can be taken again on 11/25/22.

Participating PCs

Baldwinning (Lawful L1 Cleric Crusader)[E]

BriarWhisper (Lawful L8 Elven Ranger)[E]

Daria (Lawful L7 BladeDancer)[E]

Hanzo (Neutral L1 Thief, Tombraider)[E]

HollyFelled (Neutral L2 Elven Nightblade)[S]

Xanthos (Lawful L7 Cleric, Mendicant)[E]

Hench: HollyFelled: 2 Level 0 men.  Daria: Roc Hudson (a giant roc) and Floyd Pepper (animal trainer specialist)

BriarWhisper Hench: SureLeaf Spellsword/5[E], MoonWeaver spellsword/5[E], SunDancer spellsword/5[E], Brightthistle spellsword/2, Snapdragon spellsword/2, Brightelm spellsword/2, Surefoot horse/4, Thistlemane horse/2, Thunderhoof horse/2, Shadowfeather owl/2, Moonwing owl/1,Bright eye/1

Foreword

This session happened during Muppet November in the Dubzaron Campaign setting. "What is Muppet November" you ask? Well it's where every biped in the campaign world woke up one day and they were a muppet version of themselves. "Dubs I have questions... firstly, why?" Well I can now reveal why this happened since it would be common knowledge in the world by this point.  


Vince McMaximus is now a good guy! He had a full heel to face turn. Seems impossible the guy who has been running the underworld and black market in Dubzaron and who led the evil forces of Eddie in Brovenloft could turn Lawful (Good). But nothing is impossible with Wish!

Of course, monkey paw style backfires are also possible with Wish. It was quite an Ask to use Wish and have Vince not only change to opposite alignment but also become human. He was a demon boar with the ability to appear human, before! 

So to change him human the monkey paw backfire was based on those goofy memes you see only where they ask "what film would you like to see with all the characters as muppets except one? And who would the one human actor be?" 

Well Dubzaron became a muppet film where every character was a muppet except Vince McMaximus (based of course on Vince McMahon). The whole idea made me laugh so the Wish went off and Vince was a good human but the rest of the campaign suffered the muppety consequences. 

Some players were annoyed. Some were excited and laughing like hell. And Jeffro was sniping on the twitters about "dubs used to call MY campaign too gonzo". 

So keep in mind as you read the session report that every PC, orc, goblin, and anything that walks on two legs is a Muppet. Somewhere Vince was walking around towering over them all.

Session Report

The PCs gathered at Fort Apache in the New Badlands with a bunch of cavalry troops and like a gazillion hench elves. During downtime one (or a few?) of the players did some Lair hunting near the fort to eventually clear the land and expand Gaius's territory into it. During this like 3 crazy lairs generated, hitting on the same 6 mile hex. Myself and the player involved ruled this might be a dungeon complex. The lairs were 4 purple dragons, some wraiths or something, and another big bad I can't recall.

As the session went forward I tried to imagine what this place could look like or be. I tossed the idea out to the players like "ok what's here? Why is it so big and sprawling?" A couple seasons back Drakon Drained The Swamp(TM) thus creating "The New Badlands" where this strange point of interest resided. One player suggested this complex was beneath the muck and water, hidden until the swamp was drained. That made us all think of Atlantis. But it's Muppet November so it became Muppetalantis. And just like that, with a couple suggestions and some workshopping with players and DMs, we created a Megadungeon that I'm extremely pumped to run in the future. Muppetlantis!

While Muppet November was scheduled to end in November, Muppetlantis is a weirding place where the Muppet curse (or blessing, depending on your view) remains. Some time before in a different age the muppetlanteans became too prideful. Their technology spat on the faces of the gods themselves! The Lawful gods were angry at their Muppety pride but the Chthonic (evil) gods the muppetlanteans now worshiped refused to protect them because they had also become annoyed by the muppetlanteans constant showtune singing. 

So they were buried beneath the rains and swamp, frozen in time until the swamp waters were removed. Deep in Muppetlantis is a cursed sinkhole where Marley and Marley scour for souls to eat and losers to heckle. But brave adventurers might delve into the technological ruin of Muppetlantis for spaceship parts, dylithium crystals, lazer rifles and the like. Is it worth the risk? Lets find out.

The Lair the players set their targets on during this session was one with 4 evil purple dragons. Some time after Muppetlantis was revealed these dragons came, pulled by the evil magnetism of the cursed Marley and Marley sinkhole. They claimed the massive glass and chrome entry hallways and rooms of Muppetlantis.

As per my house rules it was generated they were being served by a beastmen village, in this case hobgoblins (randomly rolled). The dragons commanded the muppethobs to hold the wall against any intruders of their new Muppetlantis lair.

The PCs had many companies of cavalry and infantry on loan from Gaius's Fort Apache. You may notice many of the original PCs came back for this session looking for a big score of 4 dragon hoardes and the promise of leading armies into battle against great odds. 

The party and their host approached the altantean style techno walls which were manned by muppet gnolls. I started to say one of the dragon launched a fireball at the Party's troops but got some pushback of "why no initiative?" and things like that. I recanted the "surprise" fireball and decided we'd go into mass combat. This is the weird sort of transitional gray area a DM needs to consider when dealing with a shift from DND style skirmish combat to Mass Combat which is troop focused.  Jeffro will quote this part of my session report to gloat about how I should just "scale up" and "no one runs ACKS Domains at War" or something.

For Mass Combat I decided to use the middle difficulty style which ACKS has. There is a very simple abstracted Mass Combat from Domains At War:Campaigns which translates eveything into Battle Rating (BR) and this BR attacks are rolled and applied simultaneously. With this smaller strategies like which buff spell to use or positioning on field are not important.

ACKS also has a full on hex and chit wargame in Domains At War: Battles which we've yet to use for anything. I will on day! Tonight the "Medium Difficulty" was used which still doesn't use hex field positioning and abstracts army attacks. But it also has the armies go through various Phases of Missile (archers etc), then Skirmish (Light Cavalry and Light Infantry), and Melee (everything). As the armies close the distance in Theater of the Mind (TOTM), various units become usable. This also limits the Heroic Forays PCs can be apart of. If they attach themselves to a unit as a General or something and that unit is in Missile Phase, then that PC can only do a Heroic Foray when the Missile troops are being used. 

This is what happened in the first Heroic Foray wherein Daria (welcome back!) was teamed up with some of Briar's elves, including Sureleaf (link to Arganos session here). The elves used sleep and fireballs or something (iirc) to kill a bunch of muppet gnolls while Daria waded in and sliced through a bunch as well. The dragons were not part of the Foray since they were too scared to position themselves as Missile units (flyers can do this). Daria and the elves were slicing through the hobs until the gnoll champions and subchiefs were able to close the distance with the elves and take some down. I don't remember all the details. Eventually, however, Daria and some of hte elves fell. The good guys did squeak out a win of the Heroic Foray with only Moonleaf so they were able to secure the good guys' bodies and try to heal them and such as the Mass Combat raged on.

By the end of the Foray and the first Mass Combat roll, all the hobgoblins were dead. General Xanthos ordered his army to Advance and soon the Skirmish units were going at it. The dragons, who were positioned as Skirmishers, forced a Heroic Foray where 2 of them (an Adult and Mature Adult) attacked just about every good guy skirmisher on the field. Xanthos, Baldwinning, and Hollyfelled (iirc) were part of this Heroic Foray.

The dragons were very effective and I don't believe the PCs or troops even laid one attack on them. The main strategy used was a dragon with a Fear Aura flying over the entire 45 or so troops the PCS had at their disposal in the Foray and scaring them enough for them to run away. So it ended up being just the dragons VS the PCs. The PCs didn't have much in the way of Missile Attacks so the PCs decided "Run Away" was the best strategy. Xanthos fell and Baldwinning bravely pulled him out of the combat. Things were looking bad for the good guys as most all of their troops were dead or fleeing the battlefield from the magic dragon fear. 

it's me, blind pew!
But lets slow down and talk about the thief, Hanzo. The player realized that he would be unlikely to get a good class grade if he just stood by and watched a mass combat. It's just not really what thieves do. It's not that he'd get the WORST grade but he certainly wouldn't be able to achieve the BEST grade. So during all the mass combat madness he decided to sneak around the whole army battle and go inside Muppetlantis and see if he could secure a bag or two. Inside he passed under a large arch with "Welcome to Muppetlantis" in neon letters and traveled down a 20' wide hallway the dragons were using to enter and exit their lairs.

Now this was a bit difficult to adjudicate since here I am in the middle of (poorly) running an extremely complicated mass combat thing and the thief wants to essentially dungeon delve at the same time. That's what this type of gaming is about, though. I introduced class grades the PC wants to try and fulfill their Class Role. So what's a DM to do? 

I don't have time to go grab a module and say "this is muppetlantis and its maps and room contents". I don't have the mental energy to just make it up on the fly. Remember, we just invented this megadungeon and its theme at the start of the session itself. But what I do have is a 1e DMG and it's amazing random dungeon generator Appendix A!

I determined the dragons would need 20' wide hallways to get in and out of the place. I determined it would need some distance so the PCs wouldn't have been able to see inside from their vantage point outside. So I made 60' long and 20' wide muppetlantean hallway with no clue what was at the end and then I started rolling on Appendix A as Hanzo explored.

This hallway went into the place at least 100 feet before coming to a T intersection. Unfortunately for Hanzo this is when I rolled a random encounter hit and he failed on his sneaking. I checked the DMG in AppendixA and some weird monster hit that I've never heard of. I didn't have time to go find my 1e Monster Manual and Fiend Folio so I flipped to the back of DMG where it has the AC, HD etc for all the monsters on its charts. Turns out this creature has psionics. How to do psionics in ACKS? Charm Person spell ability!

So I decided the closest thing to a weird mind control monster in Muppetlantis would be Blind Pew from "Muppet Treasure Island" fame. So here came my stupid french accent.

I rolled Reaction Check and Blind Pew was Friendly towards Hanzo. He informed the thief he was a servant of the dragons and one of his jobs was to assure enough vinegar to pickle the people the dragons liked to eat. Hanzo is now obsessed with bringing vinegar to Muppetlantis for his new best pal Blind Pew. Everything else that happened between the thief and muppet is unclear to the other party members but Hanzo came out of the dungeon with a nice Magic Short Sword which Blind Pew gave him. I can't imagine what could possibly go wrong. 

Back at the mass combat Briar had taken over as general since Xanthos was down. The army was mostly trying to flee the field and Briar was doing opposed Strategy rolls vs the dragons to try and disengage. He failed one of the checks which actually turned out to have been a saving grace since it allowed Briar to do a Heroic Foray with his Dragon Slaying arrows, which is what he had been trying to position himself to do all along; but the Medium Difficulty mass combat rules had him (or others?) mixed up a bit and they couldn't quite get Briar where they wanted and when. Briar won initiative and, having drank speed potion, 2 shotted 2 dragons with dragon slaying arrows and they died. The good guys won the day!

At this point the players were trying to decide what to do. They had some major PCs down and hurt and unable to go on. But they wanted to gather up the dragon lair treasures they assumed weren't too deep inside the dungeon ahead. So Baldwinning grabbed a Miracle scroll of Xanthos's flailing near dead body and called on the deity Turas to "completely heal all the hurt/dead compatriots in the field". Turas thought that was pretty cool and gave Baldwinning a thumbs up. But he also gave the cleric a Quest to go "help out Vince McMaximus with 1 Lawful job he deems you to do". Seems weird but ok?

The hurt/dead party members magically stood back up and they delved into the dungeon leaving their cavalry to watch the door. It didn't take too deep into the dungeon for them to come across Hanzo who pointed out where the dragon lairs were, with big piles of gold and the like. Hanzo was cagey about what he had seen and only mentioned Blind Pew in passing. 

I've forgotten to mention through this whole session report that Kortes the Explorer, a PC of I think level 5 or 6, was captured by these dragons during downtime. That was another of the reasons the PCs were interesting in claiming the place. They were hoping to save the Explorer and their friend. Sadly they found parts of his dead body pickled in large jars for the dragons to enjoy as a snack later.

The party and their mercs grabbed everything up from the stacked dragon hordes and went back to Fort Apache and we wrapped. 

Grading Thoughts

Best to worst grades: E, S, F, P

Baldwinning the Cleric risked his life to try and save Xanthos's fallen body from the Foray against the Dragons. I'd say that aligns with his Alignment and "uses all healing spells" as per Gygax's cleric grade conception so E. 

BriarWhisper's grading criteria is a bit less clear, being a class not in 1e. But since 1e Ranger is a subclass of 1e Fighter I'd say "be bold etc" works fine. Briar was bold and had no moments of trying to save his own skin so E.

Daria additionally is a weird class being a Cleric but a fighting cleric so the "be bold" criteria might apply as much or more than cleric's "use all healing spells". She was certainly bold so E. 

Hanzo was quintessential thief, hanging his companions out to dry to try and score something for himself. Also being a Tomb Raider as per his ACKS class Template, he most certainly raided a tomb. So E. HollyFelled is an elven nightblade which is an assassin/mage. I didn't see cowardice (a good thing for thief grading) and the mission itself (mass combat) wasn't very thiefy so S. Xanthos got E as usual primarily for seeking and destroying evil dragons and for using every healing spell he could.

DM Self Grade!

Best to worst grades: A, B, C, D, F 

I wasn't super creative on harnessing the Muppet November concepts to make for an interesting session at first. I started out slow mentally and creatively, even forgetting to mention every one's a damn muppet at all! Thankfully the Players helped spur on creativity when I asked what this dungeon could be and said it was sunken beneath the swamp. Then that turned into Muppet Atlantis (Muppetlantis) and the whole Blind Pew stuff. The only failing on this part was my forgetting about Hanzo and Blind Pew for too long and not going back to that scene more. A new interesting mega (kilo?) dungeon and a fun new NPC means creatively it all came out solid by the end. Mechanics wise was much worse. Getting bullied into pulling back on the dragon fireball was meh. Should have either stood my ground or have more clarity on said rules. After hearing my thoughts on this a player said I made a good call because they should also get to missile fire or something. But players always like rulings that favor them so I take that with a pound of salt. 

Additionally I should have ran reaction checks at least to see if the dragons kept pursuing at the end. I had already ruled at least 2 of the dragons were super smart and they may have thought better than trying to pursue an elven ranger in missile phase (where they'd be at a major disadvantage). Gygax states that really smart NPCs can be played to basically know what the DM knows and I had a pretty good inkling Briar was ready to off my monsters with magic arrows. Overall the execution of the Medium Difficulty Mass Combat was a bit clumsy. Much room for improvement. DM Grade: D

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.

Nubbs (Level 3 Thief) Total XP: 4,017. Swarmed by scarabs which bored into his ears and brain in Session 45.

Grummz (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultgard) Total XP: 0. Ripped limb from limb by a throng of skeletons and their undead golem leaders in Session 46.

Grommzs (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultguard) Total XP: 2,168. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in session 48

Rapunzel (Level 4 Priestess) Total XP: 11,540. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in Session 48.

Schizo (Level 1 Mage): Total XP: 0. Frozen to death by an assassin's guild ruffian bard wielding a Wand of Cold in session 54.

Marteen (Level 1 Thief): Total XP: 0. Fell to his death in Lamalla's Temple upon a pile of dragon horde gold. Corpse eaten by Sheila the Beautiful, an Ancient Blue Dragon in session 56.

Ambrose (Level 2 Cleric): Total XP: idk. Strangled to death by cursed octopi in a canoe on Lake Laman claiming the Sinister Stone of Sakkara for Law and eventual destruction in session 63.

Traiticus (Level 9 Fighter): Total XP: alot. Head split in half by Froggo's bronze magic "Fren Axe" during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Alina (Level 7 Mage). Cut in half at her belt line by Froggo's bronze magic "Fren Axe" during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Olgar McKenzie (Level 5ish Barbarian). Soul eaten by Stormbringer wielded by the Manson the mad assassin during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Celeste (Level 7ish Witch). Soul eaten by Stormbringer wielded by the Manson the mad assassin during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22. Said Ancient Soul caused a backfire effect and blasted Manson's face off leaving him dead in the sea foam.

Allen A'Dulles (Level 1 Bard): Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

Cyfaraun (Level 1 Elven Spellsword): Eaten by basilisks in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

Tamryn (Level 1 Elven Spellsword):  Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66

Allen the Bard (Level 1 Bard): Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

UnNamed Venturer (Level 1 Venturer): Killed by astral demons and sucked into the vacuum of spacetime in Session 66.

Major Garland Briggs (Level 1 Explorer): Killed by the crossbow bolt of an angry thracian in a dormant (?) volcano dungeon called Queens Rest Mountain. Then his body was eaten by giant chameleons as the rest of the party made their escape in Session 73.

Autumn Leaves (Level 1 Elven Spellsword): Died to lizardman crossbow bolts to the tears of her adventuring compatriots who tried to revive her after absconding with her corpse just outside Queens Rest Mountain in Session 73.

Xanthos (Level 6 Cleric): Cut down by a flaming blade by a very powerful thracian lizardman below Queens Rest Mountain in Session 74. Ressurected about two weeks later.

Stormin' Norman (Level 1 Gnomish Trickster): Captured by the lizardman tribe below Queens Rest Mountain whilst trying to use illusionist tricks to steal a magic spear. Was subsequently fed to their Giant Chameleons for being an annoying gnome in Session 74.

Kortes (Level 5ish Explorer): Captured and pickled by Blind Pew and the 4 purple dragons of Muppetlantis sometime during downtime in late October or early November.

Alexa this is so sad play "Rainbow Connection" by Kermit the Frog and the Muppets in "The Muppets Movie" original motion picture soundtrack

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Dubzaron Session 81: Settling the New Badlands

Timekeeping

Session was played on 11/16/22. PCs adventured for 7 days and need 1 day of rest so they can take actions again on 11/25/22.

Participating PCs

Billy (L6 Explorer)(Neutral)[E]

Edelweiss (L5 Mage, Magical Scholar Template)(Neutral)[E]

MadEye (L7 Venturer, book nerd template)(Lawful)[E]

Tuck Burgidsen (L3 Barbarian, pit fighter template)(Neutral)[S]

Hench:

Edelweiss: Unnamed (L2 Dwarven Machinist, Engineer template)[S]

Tuck: Sihon (L0 human)[E]

Session Report

The PCs waited in the capital city of Dubzaron for two days for Billy and MadEye to arrive. They discussed some available hooks including saving Kortes the Explorer who was recently captured by green dragons while he was scouting out the New Badlands for Lairs for (Patron_ Legate Gaius. On 11/18/22 they left dubzaron with a few units of only cavalry mercs so they could travel fast; but they still hadn't agreed on a hook. Another hook was in the New Badlands to deal with a Chthonic cult but the PCs were worried they didn't have Xanthos or any cleric to deal with possible undead.

They traveled south past Turos Quelle and to the Fairy Forest just south of it passed mostly without incident, with the random encounter rolls being primarily animals which weren't hostile. They attempted to find some Treants MadEye was friends with in the Fairy Forest but they failed their Find Lair check. Seems the Treants, though slow, are always moving a bit. 

Heading east into the New Badlands the party traveled to a forward operating base of sorts that was being built there for Gaius and MadEye. It was being led by Gaius's henchman Lancelot. He was THE Lancelot from the Aurthurian tales. He thought Kortes was simply out scouting but upon hearing the Explorer was seemingly captured he loaned out 2 or 3 platoons of Cavalry to MadEye and the gang to "go save Kortes!"  The PCs set out the next morning with their merc numbers doubled as we tried to clean up the Order of Battle and assign commanders and Lieutenants properly. That's when I rolled FIVE vampires on random encounters.

Normally I'd just shrug and say "well it's 10 AM so there's no way the vampires can approach and attack the PCs. They must be watching them from a nearby cave. Oh well lets keep moving." But no! With the Curse Of Lamalla raging on, one of it's features is monsters normally hurt or slowed by daylight are not. The rest mists and blood rain clouds block the sun enough for said monsters! These vamps could operate with impunity. 

The Vampires' reaction was pretty bad but not auto-attack bad. First there was a baying of wolves that weren't actually there. They approached the party as red mist (gaseous form) trying to get close to surprise the party and spook them. But the party had 3 PCs who are hard to surprise and it didn't work. The head vampire revealed himself with a grin as he flew around saying all the party needed to do was pay them off and they could go on their way. The party instead chose to run off in like 8 different directions so they'd be harder to chase in a Wilderness Evasion and maybe they'd also have someone, anyone, survive! 

The head vampire took chase of MadEye and caught up with him and demanded 7,000 gp value as a bribe. MadEye, being a venturer & quite well off figured "better that than dead!" and gave the vampire a +2 shield which said monster sniffed and said held Chthonic power. He was impressed by the gift and allowed MadEye to go safely. MadEye, perhaps a bit foolishly asked for more info about the shield, being a curious cat, but the vampire was more bemused than annoyed with the line of questioning. 

Elsewhere in the New Badlands a vampire wench took chase of Billy and caught up with him intending to eat him and all of the 15 cavalry he was commanding. She succeeded in killing the brave cavalrymen by punching them off their horses and draining their life until they looked like dead wood, but Billy wielded a magic sword against her and hurt her enough that she turned to red mist and flew away.

The party eventually found themselves back to Lancelot's base but it seemed 3 more platoons of cavalry, sent off without a PC to command them during the mad scramble to flee, may have gotten killed by the other vampires. Or captured. At this point the PCs realized they didn't have enough troops to go at the green dragons who they believed to be holding Kortes. Said dragons were served by a village of gnolls and the PCs needed troops to hold them off or kill before going at the dragons (or sneaking in).

So the PCs decided to head off northwest from Fort Apache and simply look for Lairs to knock down or at least map out for Gaius (or themselves) later. MadEye retired, feeling very bummed having to part with such a lavish gift to save his skin. The party quickly found an Orc lair with a single warband which was a bunch of mud huts without a wall of any sort. PCs, finally finding a target for their units of cavalry, attacked angrily and immediately. I made a Morale check to see if the orc Chief and his champions would run a Heroic Foray (dnd combat) at the PCs rather than letting them easily sweep over his troops. But Chief Cowwork decided to instead run away. Not the best move as, with so many cavalry at their disposal, the PCs were able to easily run down the chief, his shaman, his witchdoctor, and his 5 or so champions. Sad. 

The PCs took about 30 orc prisoners back to Lancelot at Fort Apache since beastmen like ogres and hobs were being used for hard labor to build the palisade there. The amount of treasure in the small Orc village didn't knock the PCs socks off, and another player needed to log for the night, so we simply ended the session there.

Grading Thoughts

Best to worst grades: E, S, F, P

This was a weird one to grade since not much of anything actually happened as far as the standard Gygaxian grade impact pressure points. Billy was a proper explorer trying to use his navigation and escape skills to save the units he was commanding. So E. 

Edelweiss did not hold off on casting spells when the opportunity arose. She also farmed orc bodies for magical parts and was greedy about the orc witch doctor spell book. So E. 

MadEye was curious about the magic item discussion and also leaned on a financial solution to the problem. E. 

Tuck was the hardest to grade and did nothing bold so that's 1 flaw so S.

DM Self Grade!

I'm adding a new feature to my session reports where I grade myself based on school grading (A, B, C etc). 

I was not on my game on Session 81 as far as story and interesting scenes. We had long periods in Dubzaron (2 days!) which I should have given some flavor and rolled a couple of city encounters for interesting events. Additionally, I was uninspired by the random encounters that hit on the way to Lancelot's base and didn't give them any flavor or story hook for the PCs to riff off of. "Ok some hawks fly over..." is not the way a DM inspires players to greatness. Even with the Vampires I got so deep in the weeds with how to parse their reaction I didn't give them any descriptions or names. Later I tried to add that Billy's combat was with the head vamp's wench but it was too late. No description hook. 

Also I messed up mechanically in a few ways: 1. the vampires should have gotten an attack routine as the PCs tried to flee. One must be at least DOUBLE the monsters moving speed away to Wilderness Evade with no attack received. The vampires were right on top of them! 2. I shouldn't have allowed Edelweiss to use Military Strategy / Quagmire rules to scout and approach the Orc lair. Those rules are to speed up downtime play. Session play should have your standard PCs schemes and shenanigans to approach and put eyes on a Point of Interest. This leads to fun moments. Lost opportunity. DM Grade: F

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.

Nubbs (Level 3 Thief) Total XP: 4,017. Swarmed by scarabs which bored into his ears and brain in Session 45.

Grummz (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultgard) Total XP: 0. Ripped limb from limb by a throng of skeletons and their undead golem leaders in Session 46.

Grommzs (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultguard) Total XP: 2,168. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in session 48

Rapunzel (Level 4 Priestess) Total XP: 11,540. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in Session 48.

Schizo (Level 1 Mage): Total XP: 0. Frozen to death by an assassin's guild ruffian bard wielding a Wand of Cold in session 54.

Marteen (Level 1 Thief): Total XP: 0. Fell to his death in Lamalla's Temple upon a pile of dragon horde gold. Corpse eaten by Sheila the Beautiful, an Ancient Blue Dragon in session 56.

Ambrose (Level 2 Cleric): Total XP: idk. Strangled to death by cursed octopi in a canoe on Lake Laman claiming the Sinister Stone of Sakkara for Law and eventual destruction in session 63.

Traiticus (Level 9 Fighter): Total XP: alot. Head split in half by Froggo's bronze magic "Fren Axe" during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Alina (Level 7 Mage). Cut in half at her belt line by Froggo's bronze magic "Fren Axe" during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Olgar McKenzie (Level 5ish Barbarian). Soul eaten by Stormbringer wielded by the Manson the mad assassin during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Celeste (Level 7ish Witch). Soul eaten by Stormbringer wielded by the Manson the mad assassin during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22. Said Ancient Soul caused a backfire effect and blasted Manson's face off leaving him dead in the sea foam.

Allen A'Dulles (Level 1 Bard): Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

Cyfaraun (Level 1 Elven Spellsword): Eaten by basilisks in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

Tamryn (Level 1 Elven Spellsword):  Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66

Allen the Bard (Level 1 Bard): Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

UnNamed Venturer (Level 1 Venturer): Killed by astral demons and sucked into the vacuum of spacetime in Session 66.

Major Garland Briggs (Level 1 Explorer): Killed by the crossbow bolt of an angry thracian in a dormant (?) volcano dungeon called Queens Rest Mountain. Then his body was eaten by giant chameleons as the rest of the party made their escape in Session 73.

Autumn Leaves (Level 1 Elven Spellsword): Died to lizardman crossbow bolts to the tears of her adventuring compatriots who tried to revive her after absconding with her corpse just outside Queens Rest Mountain in Session 73.

Xanthos (Level 6 Cleric): Cut down by a flaming blade by a very powerful thracian lizardman below Queens Rest Mountain in Session 74. Ressurected about two weeks later.

Stormin' Norman (Level 1 Gnomish Trickster): Captured by the lizardman tribe below Queens Rest Mountain whilst trying to use illusionist tricks to steal a magic spear. Was subsequently fed to their Giant Chameleons for being an annoying gnome in Session 74.

Alexa this is so sad play "Dracula's Wedding" by Outkast

Friday, December 2, 2022

Dubzaron Session 80: Killing a Kangsta Wrappa Fan

Timekeeping

PCs adventured for 1 day starting on 11/09/22 and need one day of rest. So they can take actions 11/11/22.

Participating PCs

Gront Coldsky (L4 Neutral Barbarian, Housecarl template)[E]

Hanzo (L1 Thief, Tomb Raider template)[E],

Hollyfelled (L1 Elven Nightblade, Duelist-for-Hire template)[S]

Proteus (L4 Mage, Soothsayer template)[S]

Tuck Burgidsen (L3 Neutral Barbarian, Pit Fighter template)[E]

Session Report

Hanzo and Hollyfelled were new PCs so the Party launched out of Dubzaron and were on hand for (Patron) Prefect Drakon's wedding to the daughter of (Patron) Jarl Kyle's daughter. It seems these two Patrons were working together to form an alliance and this wedding was the culmination of their plans for same. I can only guess what each planned to gain from such an alliance but it again proves that with 1:1 time and Patrons the macro world of a real D&D campaign is always moving.

The patrons also worked privately to do a write up of the daily events, how everything looked and such like Module Box Text I was handed prior to the session; since the wedding and party happened on the same day as Session 80. It was a nice big event for a historic session number in the Dubzaron campaign and I really appreciated it.

It set the tone for what the session would be and the party wanted to be part of it somehow, deciding that giving Drakon a wedding gift would be a good personal session goal and maybe make a name for themselves with the prefect. Read on and find out what gift they decided on...

Hanzo and Hollyfelled watched the procession and events from the crowd like so many others, noting Drakon and Kyle took special care to have tarps and pavilions set up outside so the wedding party would be out the Curse of Lamalla blood rains. Hanzo decided he wouldn't try to pickpocket the many nobles and drunks around since his ACKS template is Tomb Raider; I agreed that being a bit less sticky fingered wouldn't hurt his grade due to his template. 

Hollyfelled is a new ACKS template for us, a Duelist-For-Hire which we brainstormed and decided was an assassin duelist type whom nobles hire for duels so they themselves don't get hurt. If you're running ACK you simply must use Class Templates. Hollyfelled considered trying to get a meeting with Drakon to be his personal trainer but there was simply no way Drakon was going to meet with a random level 1 elf on his wedding day.

As the wedding proper ended the wedding party was moved to the palace and a massive party began.  Prefect Drakon was allowing any one who attended to have free food at an outside pavilion, not necessarily within access to the High Table since he's usually quite careful with his own personal security in the palace.

This party went deep into the night wherein the legacy PCs who were on the road traveling to Dubzaron (the rest on the list above) arrived in town and went straight to the party. Gront wanted to make a showing for (Patron) Jarl Kyle whose Patronage he seems to have taken on so he, Gront, can have training available as he levels up. Also Kyle ransomed Gront from the Temple of Doom lizardmen a couple weeks back so Gront may be thankful for that. Kyle was a bit busy to meet with the younger barbarian, however. Unlike Don Corleone he wasn't holding council on the day of his daughter's wedding.

Players debated what hooks or concepts to take on. Some shadier hooks were discussed which I won't place here for the PCs' privacy from prying eyes. But they eventually settled on delving the Nethercity kil-dungeon to look for a wedding gift for Drakon so they could make a big splash with their newish PCs. This dungeon hasn't been visited since session 61!

Problem is it's kind of hard to get into the Nethercity these days as Daria (PC Bladedancer level 7) owns the only known public entrance and she's notoriously difficult to work with. The party met with Xanthos to try and make an introduction.

BUT DARIA WASN'T THERE IT WAS NOT DARIA the Bladedancer. I actually, during the session, decided to make it Daria since the player had retired from the campaign until a couple days after this session. He came back to me after and informed me Daria couldn't be there because she was out at an elf fastness in the woods or something. So it seems it was some sort of Daria imposter! The PCs have taken and run with this idea in the last few weeks dreaming up their own hook for what it all means. Maybe they can unmask the imposter and Daria will reward them? So my goofy mistake has made for a more interesting game world.

The Introduction went fine but Notdaria was sure to make some insults towards the lower level PCs as she opened up the Shrine of Ianna's Nethers to let them delve into the entryroom of the Nethercity. As she walked away with Xanthos the party could hear her discussing with him which of the PCs would die first. "Probably the elf. New elves always die." 

The party descended some natural stairs and came to the guard room with like 10 heavy infantrymen inside. Their job is to hold this room from the three doors that enter into it. Two of the doors were installed by Rapunzel long ago and the third was a massive stone circular crypt door on the west wall. The party decided to leave the southern door alone since the guards stated the last PCs to adventure in this place went that way and Xanthos got level drained. The party wanted none of that. They checked the western crypt door and noted that room, a tomb of sorts with many wall graves, appeared to have been fought in and raided/looted long ago. So to the east they went whose door opened into a natural volcanic tunnel hallway. On one wall was a double bronze doors which they bypassed. Coming into the next room after a bit they found a huge hall/room cavern which ran west to east with them coming in at the north wall. They crossed this room to a double bronze doors on the other side to check it out and were attacked from their eastern flank by troglodytes who got Surpise on them. Some PCs were hurt but no one fell and the barbarians sliced the trogs to bits. 

Opening the door they found an antechamber and the they got nervous and had Hanzo check for traps as they crossed the medium room to the matching double doors on the other side. This opened into a gallery with wall graves and a crypt door on the west side. They looted the wall graves as fast as they could and found trinkets and eye coins worth about 97 gp. Meh.

Continuing down the gallery hallway there was a hallway with natural stairs ascending on the west wall and the hallway continued on ahead of them past their light. A gray ooze slimed its way down the stairs by Gront surprised the creature and decided to push the party back and avoid combat with the thing. There was discussion about trying to capture the gray ooze for Billy the Explorer to use in his Ooze Launcher Gun but they couldn't work out how they might do it. 

The Delving was going slow with the party discussing going back out of this temple complex and checking the natural volcanic caverns. But Gront decided his give the crypt door near the front of the complex a good heave. If he could open it in 3 or 4 tries, he decided, it was meant to be and they would explore that way. As per usual in the Nethercity, doors were one of the main villains confounding PCs! Well on the 3rd try Gront hoofed the crypt door open by rolling a natural 20. Nice! 

Inside was a weird sarcophagus on a dais and a shrine of sorts to Kangsta Wrappa (of #BROvenloft fame!), with a CD of his prominently displayed on the back wall away from the PCs. But between them and this apparent score was an angry looking mummy elf with lizard skin and his pet mummy baboon golem... thing. The pet had a bobblehead of Kangsta that spun around and broadcasted his beats and rhymes. The mummy's got surprise on the party but not the two barbarians. The main mummy tried to cast Bloody Flux on Tuck but failed. The barbarian felt his guts heaving up to puke out but he made his save vs death and it didn't work. I should have cast mirror image instead! The Mummy's spell repertoire wasn't amazing for combat, sadly. Though he did cast Ogre Power on himself before the party got the door open so when he smacked Gront it hurt. Hollyfelled chucked a holy water at the mummy and got a direct hit so the thing was melting... meltiiiing. With two rounds of 1d8 damage. Nice.

The combat raged with the barbarians mostly holding the front rank and getting very hurt but not quite to zero or below hit points. Proteus cast magic missile from a scroll and Hanzo laid military oil on the floor to set off in case he had to run away make a daring escape. Eventually the party downed both weird mummy creatures with a combination of holy water, magic missile, Gront's powerful magic glaive and Tuck's magical blade. 

They looted the room and found the mummy in question was Kangsta's biggest fan. They grabbed the CD from the back wall display and the Sony DISCman(tm) and Beats(tm) headphones from the mummy himself (he was vibing).

Hanzo and Hollyfelled checked out the room as the others watched behind them. They ALMOST forgot to check for treasure inside the sarcophagus and then ALMOST forgot to check for secret doors. Thankfully Hollyfelled, being an elf, is very good at finding secret compartments and found the one inside the sarcophagus which had a rolled papyrus spellbook and a bunch of scrolls inside. Proteus and Hollyfelled debated and hashed out which of them should get which as the party made their way out of the dungeon. 

This debate over scrolls has become a thing in my ACKS campaign since I've instituted the 1e AD&D rules about arcane casters getting the whole value of scrolls and spellbook XP to themselves, not sharing it with all party members. But my house rule is that the Arcane Caster(s) must claim it in session or it has no XP value to anyone at the end of session.

Proteus cast magic mouth on a rock or debris to use as an alarm system if "any non human footsteps get within 40 feet". When the party came across 3 white apes checking out the bronze door in the first room Proteus tossed it at their feet as a distraction so the party could make their escape without further combat. Both barbarians were down to like 1 or 3 hit points at this stage and the party wanted no more combat.

The guards in the entry room opened the door very quickly, I made an initiative check vs the apes to see if the guards were asleep at the wheel but weren't. So the party closed and locked the door behind them and left the Nethercity and the Shrine of Ianna's Nethers to treck back across town to gift Drakon with the Kangsta CD, DISCman, and Beats headphones. I rolled reaction to see if Drakon was delighted or offended... 11 out of 12 reaction. He loved it! He thanked the PCs but then retired from the party with his bride as the revelry continued deep into the night and then sunrise the next day. Kyle's bards took turns listening to the DISCman and were able to get the beat and melody so they started performing covers of Kangsta's "16 Inspiring diss tracks" for those party goers who intended to stay until the red sun rose. PCs were among those.

Grading Thoughts

Best to worst Grades: E, S, F, P

Hollyfelled the Elven Nightblade caught S rather than E for not really engaging with nobles and party goers in any meaningful way which we both agreed would kind of align with his template role. For the delve and such he was in his role well. 

Proteus the Mage was graded an S rather than E for being slow to bring spells to bare in the life or death combat vs the mummies. He eventually did start spell slinging but the initial balking could have got the barbarians killed. 

Everyone else received an E grade with Gront being bold (despite initially looking as though he might flee! but he was trying to set up a charge line), Tuck being similarly bold as well. 

Hanzo the Thief wasn't as sticky fingered as he might be in the dungeon but no easy opportunity for some extra scratch presented itself so a grade docking wouldn't have been appropriate. If there would have been a way to access the room during the battle to thief it up I may also have lowered his grade; but there wasn't. He was otherwise Excellent as he stayed out of melee combat and prepared an escape.

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.

Nubbs (Level 3 Thief) Total XP: 4,017. Swarmed by scarabs which bored into his ears and brain in Session 45.

Grummz (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultgard) Total XP: 0. Ripped limb from limb by a throng of skeletons and their undead golem leaders in Session 46.

Grommzs (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultguard) Total XP: 2,168. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in session 48

Rapunzel (Level 4 Priestess) Total XP: 11,540. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in Session 48.

Schizo (Level 1 Mage): Total XP: 0. Frozen to death by an assassin's guild ruffian bard wielding a Wand of Cold in session 54.

Marteen (Level 1 Thief): Total XP: 0. Fell to his death in Lamalla's Temple upon a pile of dragon horde gold. Corpse eaten by Sheila the Beautiful, an Ancient Blue Dragon in session 56.

Ambrose (Level 2 Cleric): Total XP: idk. Strangled to death by cursed octopi in a canoe on Lake Laman claiming the Sinister Stone of Sakkara for Law and eventual destruction in session 63.

Traiticus (Level 9 Fighter): Total XP: alot. Head split in half by Froggo's bronze magic "Fren Axe" during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Alina (Level 7 Mage). Cut in half at her belt line by Froggo's bronze magic "Fren Axe" during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Olgar McKenzie (Level 5ish Barbarian). Soul eaten by Stormbringer wielded by the Manson the mad assassin during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22.

Celeste (Level 7ish Witch). Soul eaten by Stormbringer wielded by the Manson the mad assassin during Operation Muscle Thunder on 08/09/22. Said Ancient Soul caused a backfire effect and blasted Manson's face off leaving him dead in the sea foam.

Allen A'Dulles (Level 1 Bard): Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

Cyfaraun (Level 1 Elven Spellsword): Eaten by basilisks in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

Tamryn (Level 1 Elven Spellsword):  Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66

Allen the Bard (Level 1 Bard): Petrified by a basilisk in the Meniri Mountains in Session 66.

UnNamed Venturer (Level 1 Venturer): Killed by astral demons and sucked into the vacuum of spacetime in Session 66.

Major Garland Briggs (Level 1 Explorer): Killed by the crossbow bolt of an angry thracian in a dormant (?) volcano dungeon called Queens Rest Mountain. Then his body was eaten by giant chameleons as the rest of the party made their escape in Session 73.

Autumn Leaves (Level 1 Elven Spellsword): Died to lizardman crossbow bolts to the tears of her adventuring compatriots who tried to revive her after absconding with her corpse just outside Queens Rest Mountain in Session 73.

Xanthos (Level 6 Cleric): Cut down by a flaming blade by a very powerful thracian lizardman below Queens Rest Mountain in Session 74. Ressurected about two weeks later.

Stormin' Norman (Level 1 Gnomish Trickster): Captured by the lizardman tribe below Queens Rest Mountain whilst trying to use illusionist tricks to steal a magic spear. Was subsequently fed to their Giant Chameleons for being an annoying gnome in Session 74.

Alexa this is so sad play "Relics of the Kangsta" album by Kangsta Wrappa

Dubzaron Session 141: Dazed and Confused

Session played on 02/21/2024. Participating PCs:  Daria: L9 Bladedancer, Lawful. George of the Jungle: L4 Beastmaster, Neutral Reaver: L5 Ba...