Friday, January 12, 2018

Factions my players have managed to piss off since November:

Factions and important people my players have pissed off:
The Dukes of Hell
The Vornheim City Watch
The Spider Gang(Deceased)
Ningauble of the Seven Eyes
Thieves Guild of Vornheim
Saspasia, City Father of Vornheim
The House of Barlo

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Update: I did not die.

Hello, good friends! I do apologize for going "dark" these last few weeks. Be assured that more play reports are coming, but they will be coming in bigger pieces and have more detail. We're all on the DCC now. It's been going great, but I have been nicer than necessary. Lots of things in the workings, including the channel which will finally have some content in it. I hope all of you enjoy the 2018 future of the Dice Must Roll!

Monday, November 6, 2017

NaCaCrMo II: The Lockbards

For Eastmount campaigns, one of the most important things to provide the party with is a small political situation they can ignore, make worse, resolve or "win" by murdering both sides.

Before we go too far, it's important to hit one point here: Dungeon Crawl Classics is not the system you want to use for political intrigue, so what's presented is meant to be very simple and provide PCs with easy options.

Rules of Thumb for DCC Political Intrigue

DCC is a system designed for adventure, and the majority of political favors should involve quick, bombastic forays into unknown places. Going to a masquerade ball and talking to people is boring. Going to a magical masquerade ball which involves shape-shifting the PCs into various monsters is more interesting. How do wizards party? Maybe the party goes wrong. Maybe the guests are shunted into various realms, or maybe they're trapped in Elfland and need a timely rescue from the Party That Never Ends. Take your regular intrigue locations, which are things like, towers late at night, prisons that hold political and important prisoners, parties, courts, weddings, funerals...any social situation you can imagine happening among nobility, really and make them more interesting. A bunch of nobles standing around whispering to each other....less interesting. Players can earn favors and prestige in the two Courts by doing adventures for them. You're burying a long time friend of the family, surprise, they're going to try being a lich. You're at a feast, suddenly the guests have shrunk down to food size and your "dungeon" is the table, the walls the sweets and pies and cakes and meats that you were going to eat...and that's when the brownies(not the food, the little goblin things) attack!

Players aren't great, in my opinion, of knowing when people are lying unless it's obviously telegraphed. If a cleric seems like a pious and virtuous cleric of Emir, then you're going to need to find the torture dungeon and a written confession for the players to catch on. I think it's just a thing in media, people were utterly shocked and surprised when Cersei...did not do the honorable thing and leave town just because Ned told her to, were even more surprised when Littlefinger betrayed Ned etc. Sometimes this can lead people to feeling cheated, or maybe that the DM is actively trying to fuck with them instead of creating a fun RPG adventure. So generally, keep all of your information true, and keep character personalities distinct.

Untrustworthy characters should present their non-trustworthiness at all times. They should be unlikable, treat the party with disdain and insults(be careful) and usually untouchable because the fallout for killing them should be ample. Lord Barfbag is practically a traitor, but until you can prove he's a traitor then he's not going anywhere, because he has the most Knights that the baron needs to keep his lands safe. Trustworthy characters should be honorable, likable and generally in difficult situations.

The characters you intend to have the party help or work with should be down on their luck at the moment. Count Lionheart isn't going to need your help if he has incredibly thick coffers brimming with gold, an army of loyal knights and two court mages who will instantly resurrect him if he dies. Give that to his foes, and give him one aged(elder!) Knight, average amounts of money and a mine that has recently been abandoned due to sabotage, and you've got a character the party can help.

If the party wants to help the "bad guys", that's fine, don't panic. Just telegraph it in different ways. If they really want to kill Count Lionheart so Lord Barfbag can extend his fief, make sure you telegraph it to the party as clear as day that this person is a traitor and will likely fuck them over as soon as possible. If they still go through with it, then allow them to, but if they ask you why, oh why they're being arrested and Lord Barfbag is feigning a lack of knowledge of their activities and orders, then make sure you made it clear that this was guaranteed to happen. If Littlefinger tells Player Character to totally run up to Joffrey and stab him to death in front of hundreds of witnesses, and he does it, then he shouldn't be surprised after being warned by Varys, Littlefinger, Maester Pycelle, Jaime, Littlefinger, and Littlefinger that Littlefinger would absolutely fuck him over for it.

Well, enough of that, onto the two factions!

The Lockbards

The Lockbards are a family of people that are unusually adept in the magical arts. They like to have themselves referred to as a family of wizards, but that's not true.

Lockbard Lands

Lockbard lands are generally much safer than Barlo lands, with encounters happening in the wilderness in their borders only on a six, and never in their home city or any of the villages. Lockbard villages are all overseen by a single wizard hoping to be allowed into the family's "inner circle" and be allowed to investigate the magical fonts the family has managed to locate. To that end, much of the family's military and policing forces are made of magical constructs, summoned and bonded demons, and reanimated undead. When entering a Lockbard village, roll on the following table to determine how the peace is kept:

Peacekeeping Actions:
1. Calming and mystical music soothes those who feel aggression. All PCs and NPCs get +2 to attempts to charm, barter, counter-barter, or any kind of positive social activity, but take -5 to any attack rolls, attempts to threaten or otherwise verbally or physically harm another living person. Village wizard is a lazy bardic type, more interested in his lyre than his job.
2. The Dead Walk...and they pick up trash, deliver your mail, lay down stone for nicer roads, the works. Causing a ruckus causes 1d30 (1)skeletons/(2)zombies/(3)revenants to appear and attempt to subdue the party. Village wizard is a gaunt, pale man who reeks of the grave and is constantly in a state of irritation at being distracted from his important work. May simply be trying to raise an undead army without suspicion.
3. The Really Big Guy. There is a man who has been chosen to serve as the village's sheriff. He's been grown to Giant size, and has gained hit dice to compensate. His only action is to promptly pick up PCs and throw them as high as he can in the air, causing 10d6 fall damage in two combat rounds if the PC has no option to slow his descent.(If they're not wearing heavy armor and they describe flattening themselves out, make it 9d6. For effort.)
4. Golems. Large constructs made of (1) Metal (2) Wood (3) Earth (4) Flesh. Depending on what type, the Village wizard is either a muscle wizard blacksmith type, a dabbler in druid arts, a mole-person, or an exceptionally terrifying person that refuses to explain where he got the flesh for the golems from.
5. Bound demons. Devils, imps, etc are constantly flitting around, in ashamed supplication. They will constantly be promising riches and wealth if only they could be freed, and will wreak havoc on the players if actually done so by removing their slave collars. Wizard is a demonologist who takes them far less seriously than he should.

The Lockbards only have one major city, and it's known as Lockbard Towers. That's because the entire family lives inside of a small hex and they all have their own magically constructed towers that they live in relative enjoyment with.

The Fonts of Power

There are four fonts of power in the Lockbard lands that give the Lockbards their magical prowess. Some of these are either historical sites of grave and divine importance, others are just magical mutations of plants that make a potion master hyperventilate once they realize the value of these.
All four of these locations, for hexcrawling purposes, are assumed to be hidden in a small glade. It is simply not possible to find these or make it past the ample sentries the Lockbards put up without their explicit permission, unless the party is so powerful that nothing can keep them away.  Besides the obvious value these locations provide, they also are God-Blind, meaning patrons, gods, and others will not be able to see and have opinions on the PC's activity.
 These are keyed in the map location, but a quick overview of them is thus:

1. The God Grave.
Long ago, a god seems to have died and been buried here. The grave site itself is a rather simple mausoleum, but the body inside seems to have some kind of magical or divine purpose. The Church has not investigated the "god" and his body yet, but the Lockbards have found that the blood of the god still flows freshly and heals wounds, and the hair can be strung into bowstrings that fire arrows that shatter armor, and more.

2. The Shifting Crystals.
There seems to be an odd configuration of crystals that constantly move and change shape to something else. These crystals provide a powerful amount of bonuses to spell casting if chipped off of the larger structures, but timing must be observed, the crystals shift every 7 minutes on the dot. If the crystals shift so that they're impaling you, you will be absorbed into the structure. If the crystals shift so that they're completely engulfing you, then you must make a DC 20 fort save or promptly expire. Surviving means your mind is opened to a new realm of possibilities, and you can choose to instantly learn a spell of the Judge's choosing, but if attempted more than once a month, the DC goes up by five each time.

3. The Mushroom Field
It's a small place, less than a quarter of a mile long, but there are thousands of mushrooms of various shapes and sizes. While not good for edible adventuring, the mushrooms are innately valuable, and can be used as materials for godly sacrifices or crafting magical artifacts and potions. These typically kill everyone that tries to eat them, but throwing them at people can usually have some fun effects!

4. Teaching wall
Inside a cave, there is a large wall that lights up with what seems like a large human face. It talks to anyone who enters, trading knowledge of spells and ancient, lost information in exchange for information on the outside world. It is bored easily, and gets very angry if its repeatedly fed wrong information or the same information.

Lockbard Riches
The Lockbards are not wealthy in terms of gold, killing and looting all of the family would only yield around 1400 gold pieces. Their wealth comes from their crafty nature as adventurers seeking magical knowledge and artifacts.

Lockbard Family Members

Genevieve Lockbard
Genevieve is the current family matriarch. She's quite young for the role, but already a highly skilled sorceress at age 19. It was her that managed to make the family as powerful in influence as they are now, and that is due to her uncanny ability to locate the current magical fonts that bring the family lands.

What her family doesn't know is that Genevieve is actually getting all of her knowledge not from proper observation and study of planetary bodies as she claims, but she has made a pact with a dark god of Chaos - one of the Yemani, Duvan.

Kasric Lockbard
Kasric is not a wizard. He is the oldest Lockbard, uncle to Genevieve and the rightful heir to the fief and family title, but his lack of magical prowess has made him something of an outcast - there wasn't even discussion about who would inherit the land and title. Oddly enough, this has not made him either bitter or resentful, as Kasric has spent most of his mundane life trying to keep his Brother's experiment side effects from wreaking too much havoc to want anything to do with running a family of wizards.

Simon and Samuel Lockbard

Simon and Samuel are the youngest of the Lockbards, younger cousins to Genevieve and deeply resentful of her magical prowess, her wealth, her title, and everything else that comes with it. They are accomplished wizards in their own right, but they lack ambition, merely content to make themselves wealthy and live the life of playboy nobles. That being said, they scheme and sharpen daggers in the dark and listen to whispers from strange creatures that promise them many things.

Lockbards on the Barlos:

When the campaign begins, the Lockbards are currently unhappy with the Barlos on the outside. The Barlo Patriarch offered his son in exchange for a chance to join the houses. A unified Lockbard/Barlo Family might even be able to stand up to Vornheim, maybe establish their own Kingdom and to hell with the Empire, and Genevieve had met them a few times. Two of his three boys are strapping, muscular, red-haired lads with combat skill and social graces. She agreed to the terms of the marriage, as they weren't too terrible. Then, she met her husband to be. The Baron sent his youngest son - a club-footed, halfwit that couldn't speak. This enraged Genevieve, and only further when the Baron insulted her and her family for breaking the agreement. While the family seems united, Kasric has absolutely no interest in the situation, having seen far more insulting actions in his long life as a noble, and the twins are secretly delighted to see their dear cousin slighted so.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

National Campaign Setting Writing Month

It's November 2nd, and I'm highly intrigued by this post over on this blog which talks about running November as the month to, instead of writing a novel, to write a campaign setting and flesh it out for use in Dungeon Crawl Classics.

What a terrifying plan. I must do it.

What to flesh out?

Well, until November is over, I'm going to attempt to:

1. Complete a large country-sized region of the preferred play area. That's one Hex map, according to ACKS rules.
2. Fully key the map with cities, notes on each city, and give each region a unique encounter table.
3. Finish the Cosmology of the pantheon of 12 Chaos Gods, the Yemani and the God Emir, and give them more detail for players to peruse when they need.
4. Come up 10 campaign classes that fit the DCC RPG ruleset.
5. Come up with better names reflecting nobles of the Grand Empire of my setting. (Replacements for the barons and counts of the basic ACKS setting)
6. Write around 25 monster lairs.
7. Roll into existence three different Veins of the Earth crawls, each with about 15 cave systems.

Shouldn't be too hard!

Or I'm a fool and a madman and they'll find me crying, half mad with lust and rage in about four days. What a time!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

ACKS 6b and 7: Death Frost Mountain(Redacted, Mostly)

The Current Party:
Leeroy, Dwarven Craftpriest, interested in plumbing old tombs to gather himself funds to start his own practice. Currently with a noble court position in the court of Artur Barlo, Baron of the Eastmount.
Tiglari, human fighter. Unfortunately named from a Dungeon Crawl Classics naming table, Tiglari seeks gold and riches to form his own mercenary company. Maybe one day he can get back at the company that told him he was no longer needed. Dick and balls were chewed off by a dire wolf. Ouch.
Rynn, human priestess of Emir. Unknown currently, Rynn is one of the few women who have managed to prove that women can in fact, feel the grace of Emir, and steadfastedly believes that Emir's name was in fact, Ymir, and she was an Elven woman.
Boccob: An Elven fighter-mage who seeks adventure in a place openly hostile to Elves.
Vathek: An anti-Paladin who cares little for Emir or Ymir or whatever. Wishes to get more gold to further his plans. Potentially evil, but highly helpful.
Maggs: Lady assassin. Dropped in her very first battle, but survived with some cool scars.
Masala: A barbarian who struck up an unlikely friendship with a bard.
Kasric: A bard who wants to learn the best songs and tell the tallest tales. Also money. By god, he needs money.

Onto Death Frost Mountain

The party wanted more adventure. More battle, more gold and such. They'd already been tipped off about Death Frost Mountain. It was a bad place, twelve clerics, etc etc etc. They also had heard of a Tome of Wonderous Pow'r and debated seeking instead the book. 

But they finally relented onto the path up Death Frost Mountain.

The path was creepy and long, and the party was a little worried that it took 20 hours to get up the mountain, especially with the DM rolling every time an hour passed. Twenty encounter checks(no actual encounters are here, its meant to creep you out).

Eventually the party encountered Zeke and his cabin. I went with Zak S's interpretation, a man with skin stretched tightly over his face. The party instantly assumed he was a shapechanger or a skinwalker, so that just goes to show that when you use certain descriptive terms like "his skin looks like it's been tightly pulled over his face" that doesn't mean a creepy looking dude, it means they're a skinwalker. They asked a few questions here and there. What are you doing here, what's in the mountain.

The party was fine, though, to ignore his warnings about not climbing the mountain("you're going to die!") and left him there. Zeke briefly pondered attacking them, but the party consisted of an assassin, a bard, a paladin in plate mail, a barbarian and an elf with a mangled, uselessly dangling hand.

Perhaps it would be better to let this one slide.

Through the Graveyard

The party put little effort into searching the graveyard, ignored the tree, and discovered only the corpse and the well. The well was played with, but sadly, nobody drank from the thing. Instead, they took the corpse and threw it into the well. Kersplash, but alas, nothing happens when you do that, so the party shrugged and then they were off into the cabin.

The Cabin

The Barbarian Masala was intelligent enough to inspect the door, and the Bard, in an act of pointless metagaming, made one of his known languages that of the Duvan'Ku. I mostly went along with this, having made "Duvan" one of the evil chaos gods in my campaign's pantheon. The bard was Tiglari's player, so naturally he knew from Tiglari's side adventure that Duvan's cult was up here, and that all of the Yemani had their own secret language. Sure, dude. Whatever.

So they knew the cabin was warded like a fortress, but all of the enchantments were gone. And yes, they knew of the clerics and paladins that purged the evil from this awful place, but who cares? Malasa looked at the door, and noticed that it was on no hinges, more propped up on the door. He carefully slide it to the side, and when the party was inside, he put it onto its side, so it would make a makeshift little barrier.

Then they started to hear creepy harpsichord music. It was at this point, Kasric, being somewhat skittish, desperately wanted to leave. The party told him to shut up and stay put. If he wanted gold, power, and fame, he had to put up with creepy shit.

So I don't want to give a lot of it away, because it's an EXCELLENT module, and if you want the finer details, you'll need to buy it. But the party found a bag of purple lotus dust and finally, entered the harpsichord room.

When looking at the room, the harpsichord stopped playing, when looking away, it started again. Masala don't like no spooky shit, so he promptly smashed it to pieces.

A loud CLANK CLANK GLONK later, and the DM rolling pretend encounter rolls and nervously checking to see how many spare sheets he had, and the party decided to take a trap door down...down...into the dungeon.

DM Note: There's a handful of instances where the DM is meant to pretend that shit is much more dangerous and terrifying than previously noted. Some DMs have, for example, reported players just saying "yeah fuck this shit" and promptly leaving. This is the smart option. The point of Death Frost Doom, and what makes it so brilliant, is that it sort of fiddles with the trope that "an evil shrine, abandoned to time" should not just have....a shitload of gold and monsters to kill that are balanced to your level. Fuck that. You push the button, the nuke blows up, Wanderer.

Anyway, the first room of the dungeon is a creepy hallway of agonized looking faces on the walls, floor and roof. Oh no. The party entered the next room and started the clock.

Dm Note: In the module, the clock is 12 skulls that start to melt and fall off hanging hooks as soon as the party enters the cathedral. 

The party noted that one of the skulls was melting, and then began to fuck around. Masala played the organ and got the magic items. Vathek, however, took the dagger and necklace, failing a save against magic and becoming cursed to forever make 5e-style disadvantage rolls.

A skull fell and shattered. The party noticed this, said "well, that's some shit." and continued to fuck around. Except for the Bard, who promptly tried to leave, was subdued and handcuffed to the bard. So for anyone who knows the module, please understand you need to picture a bard shrieking at the top of his lungs handcuffed to a barbarian. Wahoo!

Skipping Ahead...

Tiglari found himself at the base of Death Frost Mountain while the party enjoyed many of the zany traps and let skull after skull fall to the ground and shatter. I could go into more detail, but I really want you to buy the module, and discover it's joys for yourself.

Anyway - Tiglari enters. Tiglari has made a big mistake. See, he recently did a thing, got into a mirror magic, and now he has to sabotage the party. I'm not telling him yet.

He storms into the party's presence just as the final skull falls...and nothing happens. Very scary! The party decides to move past the tooth door, and manages to find...the sacred parasite.

Tiglari charges forth and starts trying to kill it. The rest of the party decides that this sure is a great idea, and joins them. They do so with little resistance.

DM's note: I actually love the sacred parasite, it really feels like a dark souls boss.

Not a good one. A gimmick one. Like the Deacons of the Deep. But I like those.

The ten thousand undead that are buried in the top of Death Frost Mountain immediately awaken and start clawing their way up. Tiglari does not notice this, but reads the inscription on the base of the altar the Parasite was guarding. He then fails his save, and so does Maggs. So he tears her heart out while she willingly tears her shirt off on the altar.

Sorry, Maggs.

So Vathek is a little confused. And angry. He just watched the guy that betrayed them MURDER his little assassin friend.

New objective: Kill Tiglari.

Vathek chases Tiglari through the complex but fails the saves needed to make it, while Tiglari skedaddles, telling me he "rides his shield all of the way down the mountain like link in that new zelda game, on his shield" while shouting "fuck you, Vathek!" He manages to make seventeen paralysis saves in a row, so the DM concedes that he is able to snowboard down the massive mountain without falling or being torn apart by zombies.

The party, not dealing with undead yet, decide to see what the sacrifice unlocked, and come to the Avatar of Duvan. Boccob sallied forth, and was instantly dropped to a single hit point, and also his genitals exploded.

Lore Note: Of the 12 Yemani, each of them possesses an Avatar. Essentially they cannot usually take mortal form, but this allows them to. It's also a big "oh holy fuck, we're fucked" moment for everyone and everything within the nearest 500 miles. It's never happened before. This one is damaged, rotting away, and dying. It really needed that statue to gain it's full power and give Duvan form upon this world.

The rest of the party escapes Death Frost Mountain, realizing that trying to fight a monster like that isn't really worth it, and so they all beat feet, rushing past Zeke as he's torn to pieces.

Now that we're safe, let us be unsafe

So they've unleashed a Zombie horde. So they're in a lot of trouble with the Church of Emir, the City Father Saspasia. What do?

Snort magic purple cocaine.

Vathek permanently becomes a turboracist, needing to save against magic or attack until killed other races. He takes another toot, and gains two days of invulnerability, so he decides his best course of action is to run back up Death Frost Mountain.

It's my fault, really. I told them the effects unless otherwise stated like injury or death are two days. They argued that fatigue is a form of harm. They explained that Vathek could get thousands of attacks off by then. And so, I gave up, because whatever.

Boccob took a snort. His hand healed! Masala took a snort. Actually, three. Nothing happened the first two times and on the third time his left arm rotted off.

The party put away the magic purple cocaine.

Tiglari seeks sanctuary

Tiglari found himself at the church of Emir in Vornheim. They were flipping the fuck out, understandably, as an evil satanic thing was visible from the mountain and slowly heading down.

Good work! As they started making plans on what to do, the City Father Saspasia burst from the wall, ostensibly to discuss tactics. The church's wards were useless! Two more city fathers arrived! The Church grew extremely nervous. While Saspasia tends to show herself off as a young girl, the other two were less pleasant to look at. One was an inky void inside a robe, nothing visible but large teeth, and the other was a man with hundreds of small plants and insects in his flesh, feeding from him. The relations between the church and the fathers took a massive nosedive.

Tome of Divine Power, aho!
"Fuck Vathek." said Rynn.
"Huh?" Asked the rest of the party, confused and annoyed.
"Let's go look into that tome we were told about." she added.
The party agreed.

They spent a day or two travelling down into Lockbard territory.

Unlike Barlo territory, which is full of starving people and misery(and thousands of undead), the Lockbards live in relative comfort away from the ravages of war. The party noted none of this and found the village where they were looking.

If you've read The God That Crawls, you know exactly what happened, and after the party was unceremoniously booted into the pit to die horribly, the DM called it for the night. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ACKS 6a: To Death Frost Mountain we go!

The Current Party:
Leeroy, Dwarven Craftpriest, interested in plumbing old tombs to gather himself funds to start his own practice. Currently with a noble court position in the court of Artur Barlo, Baron of the Eastmount.
Tiglari, human fighter. Unfortunately named from a Dungeon Crawl Classics naming table, Tiglari seeks gold and riches to form his own mercenary company. Maybe one day he can get back at the company that told him he was no longer needed. Dick and balls were chewed off by a dire wolf. Ouch.
Rynn, human priestess of Emir. Unknown currently, Rynn is one of the few women who have managed to prove that women can in fact, feel the grace of Emir, and steadfastedly believes that Emir's name was in fact, Ymir, and she was an Elven woman.
Boccob: An Elven fighter-mage who seeks adventure in a place openly hostile to Elves.
Vathek: An anti-Paladin who cares little for Emir or Ymir or whatever. Wishes to get more gold to further his plans. Potentially evil, but highly helpful.
Maggs: Lady assassin. Dropped in her very first battle, but survived with some cool scars.

Nary a tear

The party shook off their wounds from Idimmu and marched back to town with their mighty spoils. They hid about 4,000 GP, declaring 4,000 gp and paid the tithe to the Baron. He was less than pleased that he lost 15 bowmen(a valuable and difficult to "grow" resource) and only got a lousy 3000 GP. That being said, since the party had already made him many times richer over and over and over he was inclined to let it go.

Things were looking up. Vathek and his companions were getting very famous. Mostly because they kept coming back to town with an absolutely horrifying amount of gold, more gold than most people thought possible every few days, and now Vathek was calling himself a Dragonslayer. Which he was, to be fair. A large feast was thrown in his honor, as well as the rest of the party. Leeroy had many ladies of the court interested in the exotic Dwarf and his bulging pockets of gold(not literally. He wasn't that kind of idiot) and his favorable position in the Baron's court.

The Baron was not present, he waiting anxiously for new of his son. Who was currently being murdered by an assassin the party hired. Wiktus was nervously shredding a piece of paper into strips and eating very little, mostly looking very concerned. When they confronted him about it, he told them it wasn't much of a deal, just that the Imperial Blade was coming into town tomorrow and he was generally known as an extremely unpredictable person.

The party shrugged it off, what happens, happens. Their biggest concern was "what do we do with the dragon corpse?" The party needed to find someone to do something with it before it was completely rotten, and strove to set off doing that in morning.

The Blade

The Party stood with Leeroy on the morning that the blade arrived.
With him, came two camp followers: a bard named Kasric, and a Barbarian named Masala. They'd been following this Imperial pain train up for weeks, getting work when possible or performing. They'd struck up an unlikely friendship, chatting and laughing with one another and rolled into town to meet our murderhobos.

The Blade himself was not as tall as expected, and he had short black hair and bright blue eyes. His face was hardset, and he immediately contacted the Baron. They spoke at length, and then he ordered his men to strike up camp. He quickly spoke to Leeroy, mostly to meet him, as he was the first Dwarf to hold a court position in the Eastmount...ever. The Blade also spoke to Vathek briefly, giving him a once-over assessment of his strength and then seemingly satisfied, rode off.

The Blade is a busy man.

With that, the party - I'm going to cut this short, because the party did nothing interesting for an hour and a half:

They arrived in a nearby, much larger town, ran into a wizard that Tiglari had tipped off about there being a massive temple of gold(the asshole), hired a group of butchers, apothecaries and blacksmiths, went back to the temple, looked for the wizard and his henchmen, found nothing, shrugged it off, and picked the dragon's corpse clean. Meat for eatin', eyes for brewin', bones for snortin', organs for divinatin'.

In any case, the party tried to contact the Blade to learn more about him, but he was far too busy. Leeroy also got bored and annoyed and demanded to finally be taken to his awesome workshop he'd earned some weeks ago. Traveling to the Baron's home base, Bluefort, the party was very impressed with the level of quality of the Dwarf's new workshop - right up until the party was informed that it belonged to an alchemist, who, unable to produce the gold he was being promised, had been broken on the wheel.

Gotta make sure you don't promise shit you can't deliver.

With that, Leeroy decided to bow out of the next adventure: Where the party would go to Death Frost Mountain to see what the fuck Tiglari was doing with that statue.

Monday, October 16, 2017

ACKS 5b: Tiglari betrays the party, and some boss monsters die.

Dead and retired characters here.

The Current Party:
Gharim, human barbarian. Gharim was a quiet sort of man, rippling with muscles and dragging a mighty sword. He was given absolutely no personification whatsoever, and had assumed the role of being a nonspeaking murderous brute. Charging blindly into battle, he slew three of the brutes before they damaged his internal organs to the point where he can still fight, but not very well. 
Leeroy, Dwarven Craftpriest, interested in plumbing old tombs to gather himself funds to start his own practice. Currently with a noble court position in the court of Artur Barlo, Baron of the Eastmount.
Tiglari, human fighter. Unfortunately named from a Dungeon Crawl Classics naming table, Tiglari seeks gold and riches to form his own mercenary company. Maybe one day he can get back at the company that told him he was no longer needed. Dick and balls were chewed off by a dire wolf. Ouch.
Rynn, human priestess of Emir. Unknown currently, Rynn is one of the few women who have managed to prove that women can in fact, feel the grace of Emir, and steadfastedly believes that Emir's name was in fact, Ymir, and she was an Elven woman.
Boccob: An Elven fighter-mage who seeks adventure in a place openly hostile to Elves.
Vathek: An anti-Paladin who cares little for Emir or Ymir or whatever. Wishes to get more gold to further his plans. Potentially evil, but highly helpful.
Maggs: Lady assassin. Dropped in her very first battle, but survived with some cool scars.
Elhonna: Elven Courtier.

The Battle Against Zikiti

There would be no parlay with Zikiti. The party wanted blood - and the statue. Zikiti immediately charmed Gharim and told him to begin to murder his friends, telling him that they were enemies of the party - skinchangers and dopplegangers!

Tiglari and Gharim engaged in a battle of blades while the rest of the party began to cross the large chamber to fight Zikiti. Zikiti's first action was to summon a large undead snake to begin to take shots at the party. The snake trapped them in a large circle and began to do just that.

The various characters all rushed at Zikiti, using full "charges" to rush at the woman. Most of them got close, but not enough to engage in melee, and being a wizard, Zikiti would not be letting them do so. She fired off a choking grasp, which hurt Tiglari somewhat but didn't incapacitate him, while Rynn Turned Undead, rolling a nat 20 and causing the snake to let out a hiss(a uh, bony hiss) and slither away from the young priestess.

Things seemed to be going well in hand, and it was unknown how much stronger Zikiti would be, until for some balls-ass reason Boccob decided to try his summon spell.

Summon, in this case, is the spell from LotFP. It can backfire heavily, kill the entire's not a great option to be presented with. So Boccob using a desperation move when this is not a time to use a desperation move was a really big mistake on his part!

And it backfired! Instead of summoning something small, dangerous and manageable, it summoned a black, shadowy winged thing which he managed to get a domination roll on. Now, that's all good and fun, but he was warned his control was weak, and not perfected.

The shadowy thing obeyed him enough to begin to feed on Zikiti, who promptly dropped the tactical wizard act and began shrieking as her life force(and that of everything around her that the shadow touched) was rapidly aged. Tiglari stepped in and began looking the thrashing, aging woman, making all of the vs Spell saves he needed to not die. He pulled off a ring, a spellbook and a few other items from Zikiti and then left before he would need to roll another save.

Sensing the battle war over,  Boccob politely asked the shadow-beast to please fuck off quickly, as they no longer needed its services. That's not how summon works, especially when the GM houserules fuckups.

Rynn decided to step in herself. Clearly, a good old bless spell would easily fix this issue with no real problem. She stepped into the shadow beast's form, failed her save, cast bless, and then dropped to zero HP. She also rapidly aged until she was forty years old, with flecks of grey appearing in her black hair. Whoops! Vathek knew he had to save the little Emirite and stepped in, easily made his saves, and then the party fucked off. It was good, because it finished turning Zikiti into a pile of dust along with her undead snake, it took off after them.

Run from Boccob's major fuckup! Run! Run!

The party stormed past the battleground of the cleric with their hobgoblins in tow and stepped out into the area with the blood pool. Vathek lowered the still-dying Rynn into the blood, and she revived with 3 HP. This would have been cause to celebrate, but she promptly mutated and had the same glowing blue eyes like Tiglari.

The party began to scrabble up the rope. There was a lot of them, and even more hobgoblin minions. These poor little guys also had to contend with Rynn's wandering army of zombies she'd turned towards this area, but man, did they believe in Vathek so much!

Vathek left them all to die at the hands of the shadow monster. As they watched, the creature was incapable of climbing the rope, and instead began to absorb all of the blood, kill the zombies, the hobgoblins, and the flesh tree, turning everything in cracked and aged versions of itself. The ground became unstable and porous.

DM's note: The summoned creature then, unable to find a way up to the tasty and young adventurers, merely swarmed all over the ground and the enemies in the second level, only finding the way up(and to Idimmu) just as it was pulled back from whence it came. Also, it managed to destroy most of the treasure on the second floor. People were not happy with Boccob.

Boccob felt fairly bad, and Elhonna was extremely angry that an Elven spellcaster would do something so insanely stupid and dangerous, like a god damn human would do.

The party trudged back to Zikiti's resting place to see if the statue was still there.

It was! Also, lots of that awful mist with the little worm creatures inside, and all of the treasure in Zikiti's hoard, which was piled up around the statue. It seems the statue's evil could not be undone by extradimensional best alone! Rynn threw her last bless spell for the day, and the party moved on their way. back to town.

On the way there, they found one of their surviving little hobbos. The creature had managed to be healed by the blood pool a bunch, and then crawl away, but it meant that its hands had become mutated hooks(natural weapons, woohoo). It was less happy with Vathek, and would likely be a highly unreliable mercenary from now on.

And the party returned to town with a boatload of gold!

Begging the Barlo give em Bowmen.

With THIS, the dungeon was almost cleared. There was little left to do, but bring the fight to Idimmu, who would likely be a better fight than Zikiti. After forcing Boccob to agree to not summon anymore game-breaking-but-also-PC-munching monsters, the party took a night off, and the spoke to Artur Barlo in the morning.

The baron was having a heart to heart with his only son, a tall, handsome and athletic version of his father. He was off to battle, to meet Genevieve in the field for a special mission: Capture her and bring her back, thusly forcing her to surrender her forces and end the civil war.

The party shifted nervously where they stood and Maggs had difficulty meeting his eyes.

The party promised a much larger share(all of it) to the Barlo if he could spare even fifteen bowmen. The lord relented, expecting his son to bring the war to a close, and also the gold being promised would help keep him out of debt once the war was over and buildings needed rebuilding, fields reploughing and sowing, and so on.

The fifteen bowmen were given to the party as hirelings, and the party set off.

Except for Tiglari.....

Tiglari fucks off.

Tiglari had been talking to the statue.

"Take me up that infamous cursed mountain, Tiglari." It said.

"Throw me into the well inside of the cabin at the top of it, Tiglari." It said.

"I will grant you endless boons, Tiglari." It said.

Tiglari thought long and hard about the pros and cons of trusting an evil chaotic god.

He thought some more.

Then, he nodded.

"Okay." He said. He snuck away from the party(fuckin' nat 20's) and disappeared from their midst.

When the party awoke, they considered going after the stupid asshole, but decided not to bother, because, eh, fuck him. Even Rynn was curiously okay with someone walking around with an evil statue of one of the Yemani, but that was mostly due to the fact that her body lacked much of the spry youth of it and she was still getting used to it. Waking up one morning with the beginnings of arthritis in your knees? Not the best feeling.

Let's go get that Dragon!  

So the party marched to the dragon with twenty hobgoblins and fifteen bowmen, borrowed from the Baron.

Moods were jovial, and the party chatted amongst themselves and sent the archers to stand on top of the temple complex.
The temple did have various large holes for shafts of light to shine through from, and Idimmu's chamber had the biggest shaft of them all. The party had the bowmen take position against the dragon above it.

The party split self into two, having Gharim and the two Elves on one side and Vathek, Leeroy Maggs and Rynn on the other.

The party went over the plan one last time and oh god damn it Maggs was trying to sneak up to Idimmu.

"I can backstab." said Maggs, failing her stealth roll and waking up the dragon.

Idimmu wakes like Conan does - fully alert. He looked around the room and the ceiling and noticed he was surrounded. First and foremost, he leaps down the Ziggurat and breathes a fetid gas onto Boccob, Elhonna and Gharim. They fail the save. Damage: 6d6. 20 damage rolled. All three drop to the ground gasping and dying. Gharim's arm corrodes and shrivels against his body. Elhonna loses control of her legs. Boccobs left hand fuses shut, destroying his ability to cast spells.

No summon spell for you, mother fucker.

The archers open fire. 12 of them miss, two of them crit and one of them does half. Vathek charges forward with Rynn who tries to save one of the downed team members. They do not have the movement needed to cross the entire chamber. Idimmu lets out an angry shriek, climbs halfway up the wall and uses another breath attack on the archers. They all die. Oh well. Idimmu makes a check to stay on the wall and fails, fslling tp the ground and almost crushing Rynn and Leeroy.

Vathek charges forward and rolls a fuckton of damage against the anti Paladin.

Idimmu feels like he may die soon - he tries to run, but Vsthek's quicker, beating him in initiative a critting the bastard.

Vathek has become a (baby)Dragonslayer! Hurrah!!