Monday, September 25, 2023

Session 117: Ill Met in Muppetlantis

Session 117: Ill Met in Muppetlantis

6/28/23-6/30/23, rest 6/31/23, active 07/01/23 PCs:

Billy Billiamson (L1 Lawful Barbarian)

Gront Coldsky (L7 Neutral Barbarian Housecarl Template)

Guvnor (L4 Neutral Beserker)

Proteus (L7 Neutral Mage, Soothsayer Template)

Samson (L4 Lawful Cleric), Silas (L5 Assassin)

Standing Mountain (L3 Neutral Elven Spellsword)

Tuck Starfarer (L6 Barbarian),
Henches: Billy: Jeevs (L0) ... Proteus: Nonus (L2 Fighter), Ziggy (L4 Bard)... Gront: Beavis (L4 Mage), Gudvar (L3 Assassin), Hafgrim (L3 Assassin), #ACKS
XP for Hellhound Fight: Billy, Gront, Proteus, Samson, Silas, Standing Mountain, Tuck were included. Nonus was hench included. 15 cuts
XP Pool Hellhound Fight: 520 XP for
Muppetlantis Delve: Billy, Gront, Proteus, Samson, Silas, Standing Mountain, Tuck were included. Also Ziggy
hench 15 cuts XP Pool for Muppetlantis Delve: 1820 Hench XP Cut: 0%: 156 5%: 164 10% 172 PC
XP Cut: 0% 312 5%: 328 10%: 343
Treasure: 1,500 gp in a hidden chest with contact poison on the money. Coins are stamped with the face of The Count of BROvenloft fame.

DM BDUBS here. Well I'm back in the DM chair after a break of about 5 months. I will likely only be part time for a while but it was nice to be the clockwork god again. It went quite well, I thought. The session started out with players having a bunch of questions about the recent Midsommar Dreams campaign event that I dropped on everyone's head last week. Check out the blog post about it for all the info but the bottom line is there is no sunlight during the day and at night there is Weirding Time which lasts 30 days and only fey/fae can move freely in. So the PCs didn't really know where they wanted to adventure this week. Alot of analysis paralysis and DM time bottlenecking happened with the Weirding Time. Adjudicated 30 days each day for like 4 days is alot, eh? So we had to backdate some overland travel for a few folks, most importantly including Guvnor, Tuck and Jeevs the hench. On their way to Turos Tem on the day before the adventure they were surprised by a very angry nixie. Guv and Jeevs failed their save vs spells and went to jump in the Nixie's pond to Respect Women unto watery death. Tuck was not affected by the Nixie's song, however, and tackled Guv on the shore of the pond and tied him up. Jeevs jumped in and swam to her. Then Tuck jumped in to wrestle Jeevs away from her watery embrace around the time Subotai failed his Swim throw and began drowning. The nixie was angry and was stabbing at Tuck with a serrated dagger to no avail as the Barbarbian pulled his hench away and towards air and freedom. But then Tuck failed his swim check. Under RAW ACKS rules this should have meant he and Subotai both began drowning. Upon which the Nixie would laugh then saunter up onto the shore and cut Guvnor's throat. Sadly I ruined my own campaign with a House Rule about diving! 

Jeffro was right about house rules and I hate when Jeffro is right. 

Instead of all that glorious death occuring and me returning to the DM's chair with a bang, mine house rule stated a Diver could swim around and do things for like 6 minutes per CON bonus. So Billy was in no danger at all and I cursed my softness. The nixie rushed up on the shore to try and kill Guv but Tuck chased her off and she turned into a horse and ran into the wilderness quite perturbed. 

The mini party continued on to Turos Tem to meet up with the rest of the party for the adventure proper. From there the party traveled along Drakon's road which runs alongside the Turos Tem canal which drained the swamp some months back. Said swamp is now known as the New Badlands, a place which many party members and Patrons (most notably Madeye the Venturer and Gaius the Legate) had a hand in building forts in to re-civilize the place. The party came upon one such Auran Fort called Krak de Chevalier (sp?) while the fae stars shined overhead during the hours which SHOULD have been daytime. The party made comment on the mic about their worry of running into more angry fae/fey but arrived at the fort, some 30 or so miles away without incident. As what should have been nighttime hours came, the strange mists of mauve and purple cast across the sky and the stars became shy and the moon dropped behind a black curtain. And Weirding Time began. The party would have 30 days worth of game time in the Krak during the 12 hours of mauve and purple Weirding Time. Silas used this 30 days to attempt a spying hijink on the fort to gain info to sell later but failed; not by enough to get caught by the law however. So no PC or NPC was the wiser. The rest of the party didn't know how to use their Weirding Time and just watched the strange skies for 12 hours which felt like days and days. Around the time the "starshine" had been returning, Ammonar (the sun) began to rise in the east as usual. Samson the Cleric and even unaligned PCs were happy to see sunlight after almost a week of none!

The party thanked Ammonar for his return, in which he could be seen kicking The Man From Another Place upon the hindquarters across the sky. They left Krak to travel north towards Muppetlantis, a short jaunt away of only 6 miles which would only take an hour or so on horseback. During the trek, however, they were ambushed by 8 hellhounds breathing fire and angrily burning the face off many a henchman. This battle took quite a bit of game time. I'll not go into every round and detail but some highlights were as follows:
 -Billy charging his horse against a hound, hurting it badly but not downing it. Being surrounded in short order, burned all about his legs, and withdrawing from battle. 

-Proteus blasting a Wand of Cold (cone of cold) with perfect placement between two hench to leave 2 hounds severely injured but not dead. Gront eradicated them in short order.

 -Tuck cleaving through 3 of the beasts to save a hench from certain doggy death.

 -Silas sneaking around the combat to backstab the last two hounds sending them back to the 9 hells. 

Some hench were down and injured greatly after the battle, though only one died the death. So the party's cleric and the henchs' master(s) deemed they must be taken back to Krak for bed rest. The party spent the night there again so Samson the Cleric could get spells back. On the 30th they set out again for Muppetlantis and skirted some motley looking cavalrymen who didn't appear to notice them in the New Badlands travel. The Caller had gone afk for a moment and the gomers who were still on mic almost ALMOST said "charge the cavalrymen!" much to the Caller (Silas's) chagrin when he returned to belay that order.

Upon arriving at Muppetlantis they entered the massive doors of formerly swamp sunken stone which were trimmed here and there with technologically marvelous white plastics. This is a location that was once a dragon lair to 3 lupus dragons which were downed by a PC elf ranger named Briarwhisper and his compatriots months back; it became a dungeon locale once we realized how big and dangerous such a spot must be to house such a threat. Various parties have delved the place over the months, including even me as a PC. "How is that possible, Dubs?" you ask. Well friendo we can trade off DMs on this dungeon because it is fully generated live in place with the Appendix A from the 1e AD&D "Dungeon Masters Guide" (sic). We have a few house rule overlays on the generation of this dungeon such as there being a 50% chance that treasure found here is actually High Tech Muppetlantis gear. Laser blasters, power armor, lightsabers and the like. 

There's also a chance for each room to contain an evil lupus altar. But beyond all that the place is just Appendix A. The thinking was always to give players a reason to want to visit this dungeon rather than another. This is how you run true #zeroprepsupremacy and guarantee DMs without #prepaddiction

If you play with a prep addicted Dm please have an intervention before it’s too late. We’ve seen the best minds of our d&d generation destroyed by prep addiction; yards of filled in hex maps and piles of unplayed dungeon stocking held crumpled in tiny fists. Don’t let this happen to you or your bros!

This session the PCs were here because Silas had a rumor of some fancy sword being in the place at a deeper level. Dubzaron worldbuilding house rules state that truly unique items (like artifacts and such) can only be found in dungeons except by DM fiat. This was instituted to assure dungeoneering would be of interest even as players level into being generals and kings and the like. The party trekked into the dungeon and went east to look for a waterfall they recall leading much deeper into the dungeon. Gront and Billy used their superb climbing skills and Billy's Mountaineering skill to rig special rope ladders that went down the edge of the waterfall and to a landing below at about 60 degrees down along the wall. It took about 20 minutes.

Everyone then descended easily except Samson who fell off the side of the ladder into the pool of strange water breathing with gray mists. The mists turned green after he fell into the pool, taking a decent bump on some jagged rocks sticking up from the cave pool. When he swam to shore he used a Cure Light Wounds on himself. The room itself was a natural cavern which some time ago had been carved with bas relief from floor to ceiling of gothic cathedrals topped with degenerate cthonic symbols. Mists appeared to flow eternally from nowhere on this floor of the Muppetlantis dungeon. The party formed up their marching order and traveled down a 20' wide hallway going south out of the waterfall chamber; the only apparent exit. Before long they came upon a giant lizard of black and silver sleeping along a ledge of the hallway about 10' off the ground. Silas attemped to assassinate the thing using our ACKS version of the 1e in session Assassination rules that I'm pretty sure Jeffro got wrong back in 2020 but which I instituted anyway because it's fun. In this Silas made an ACKS version of an assassination check. He failed his check so the giant sleeping lizard was not killed and Proteus pulled out his Wand of Cold, spinning it in his hand like a flashy movie cowboy, before blasting it up into the sky at the lizard; hoping to miss Silas. He didn't miss Silas and Silas failed his Save vs Breath and took 25 damage. 

Recently as of this posting on 09/25/23, Proteus has blasted his own compatriots with his wand of cold like 5 more times and I find it hysterical. That is now his character. He will blast you in the back with wand of cold. 

Somehow the assassin survived much worse for wear and a bit cross with our Mage friend. Thankfully for them, 25 damage was enough to kill the big lizard.

Standing Mountain the elf noticed a portion of the cathedral bas relief near the top of the lizard's ledge appeared loose. Billy climbed up there IIRC and pushed the thing, which fell out to reveal a compartment with a small steel chest. He brought it down and the PCs debated who would open it; certain it was trapped! Guvnor became bold and insulting towards the partys' cowardice and he himself opened it up to see it was filled with gold coins pressed with the profile of The Count of BROvenloft. "I laugh and rifle through it" he mogged the party. "Make a save vs poison" I said to him. Upon failing his save for the CONTACT POISON on the coins he fell onto his back in convulsions and his skin began to turn light purple and felt, and he began to grow fangs.

Silas said to himself "not no but hell no!" and took Guvnor's magic sword to chop of Guvnor's head ASAP. Samson the cleric tried to stop him but the assassin was naturally faster than the cleric so off came Guv's head. The decapitated head began to talk in a ridiculous Transyvanian accent saying "1, 2, 3 PCs who are going to pay! 5, 6, 7 PCs who I will kill! hah hah hah...". Silas drove a stake through Guv's heart and the counting ceased. What kind of poison/place is this?! Guv kept asking "am I dead yet" which greatly confused me. What PC is eager to die? I'll tell you. A PC who back in March made a Wish with a very strange contingency. "When I die I want to ressurrected immediately as a Nobirian Champion". A Nobirion Champion is kind of like ACKSworld's Atlanteans or gods touched folk. Very hard classes to roll. What a weird Wish. Have you seen a contingency based Wish before? It all seemed a little gheee4y4y to me but I ran with it. It was pretty late in the night by now and my creativity was certainly not peak but I did have a few things going for me in my living world. 

-Guv recently, during the Midsommar Dreams event, spoke with The Man From Another Place about wanting some super magic item. The Man agreed but at a price which was a Geas to do something of The Man's bidding later. 

-Wish spells very often have a monkey paw aspect to them. So I considered saying "sure you're back as a nobirion champion... in Vegas!" or "enjoy being a Nobirion Champion on Arrakis! (Dunc for you dilletantes)." Or sending Guv to Twin Peaks in BROvenloft. But the Champion class has no decent 1e parallel so I scrapped all that and kept him on the Dubzaron plane. He was ressurected in the podunk town of Fishton with a Geas to get a rumored to be nearby spaceship for The Man From Another Place. Thus seeding a living world hook for later. The rest of the party, for their part, chose to simply watch The Man's little jazzy dance and not interfere.

Silas ended up with Guv's magic sword since Guv was sent far aflung with all the items on his person; thus not his sword. 

This annoyed Samson who spent much of the session annoyed with the more neutral and shrugging sorts among this very neutral and shrugging party. Discussion and griping continued as the party successfully extracted from Muppetlantis and with no random encounters and back to Krak de Chevalier with no overland random encounters. We ended there.

Class Grade Thoughts:
Billy Billiamson (L1 Lawful Barbarian): He was a bold barbarian. He tried to save people who seemed doomed, which is good for Lawful sort. So E.
Gront Coldsky (L7 Neutral Barbarian Housecarl Template): He was a bold barbarian and a housecarl leader of men. So E.
Guvnor (L4 Neutral Beserker): No grade because he died and was rezzed. If I were to grade him it would be very poor as his Wish is nonsense, character and role wise. A beserker is intrisically Chaotic (see "The Broken Sword") and a Nobirian Champion intrisically Lawful/Good (see Aragorn). So it would be like the Joker making a Wish to be Batman.
Proteus (L7 Neutral Mage, Soothsayer Template): He didn't use many spells but he was ready with his Wand of Cold and never failed to give it a shot when it might help. Since he's Neutral I don't care if he blasted his own compatriot. If Lawful it would hurt his grade. If Chaotic it would hurt his grade if he DIDNT try it.
Samson (L4 Lawful Cleric): Samson was on top of making triage for hurt party members, pointing out the needs of the Lawful gods, and didn't hold back on using healing spells. In short, excellent cleric play. E.
Silas (L5 Assassin): He avoided stand up fights, used backstab successfully, and attempted an assassination. Excellent assassin play. E.
Standing Mountain (L3 Neutral Elven Spellsword): I'm generally going to grade these weird dual classes harder and SM was in danger of catching an S for not using an impactful spell during the hound fight, but he successfully used elf skillz to find the treasure chest, which offsets it in this case. E.
Tuck Starfarer (L6 Barbarian): Tuck was a bold barbarian who did not flee from battle. So E.

DM Grading the DM! (A through F scale) I was happy with how I ruled on most everything. The nixie was a pain. The hounds were legit insane and random in their attacks. And I liked how the new level of Muppetlantis was coming off and felt. I made two mistakes in Muppetlantis with my random generation. Firstly, all random encounters must first be checked to see if they're undead. Muppetlantis's overlays indicates this done before a normal random encounter is done. So there's a bit higher chance of undead in the place. I missed this. I'm also supposed to check for an altar in each new room. Whiffed on this too. I doubt it seriously changed the complexion of the session but one never knows! Grade: B

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