Friday, December 14, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 29

[New companions and more harpies - which are scarier?]

[Also?  SPOILERS!  This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]

PCs (The Revengers)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Curate (4th level Craftpriest)
Daphne – female human Blade-Adept (6th level Bladedancer)
Boris the Fighter – male human Myrmidon (6th level Fighter)
Hrglclxin [pronounced her-gull-klack sin] – male human Guide (5th level Explorer)

NPCs
Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring, hired by Boris
‘Len – professional torchbearer, full name is Morgullen, but he never uses it, hired by Boris
Vorgand – female human porter, a university student earning coin, hired by Daphne
Nolig – male human porter, hired by Hrglclxin
Proximo – male human Robber, Godric’s henchman


Freysday, August 9th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
A messenger arrived in Helix bearing a letter from Adam to the Revengers.  Boris received the letter and it informed him that Adam’s leg was regrown, but he would need bedrest until the 23rd and Verya until the 21st.  Boris tracked down the other Revengers in the ongoing “Grand Party” and gave them the news.  They decided to head out anyway the following day, looking to investigate Barrow 48 [which they had recently uncovered] and then maybe Barrow 34, where they had previously fled from mummies and some form of major undead.

Godric learned that Karl Barrelgut at The Axe and Anvil had a very enchanted Warhammer [+2] available for purchase.  Sadly, Godric did not have the coinage to purchase the Warhammer in question, nor could he work out a deal with Karg to pay the balance later.  Discussing it with the other Revengers, Hrglclxin volunteered to front Godric the balance for repayment later.  Godric gladly accepted the offer and purchased the Warhammer from Karg.

Yggsday, August 10th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Revengers met up with their hirelings at the Mercenary Guild building early in the morning to head south.  They were all sober, knowing how dangerous the expedition could be they had refrained from celebrating too much at the Grand Party.  Daphne brought her charmed giant scorpion, Scorpie, along with here after retrieving him from Quillian’s property.

Along the path through the moors the group noticed a shambling mound approaching them.  Hrglclxin, made use of his skills as an explorer to easily lead the group around the shambling mound and deeper into the moors.

Arriving at the field of barrows, the Revengers headed to the recently uncovered Barrow 48.  Boris spent 20 minutes with the sledgehammer smashing the barrow’s sealing stone until it broke open.  [Surprisingly, this did not attract any wandering monsters.]  Inside the barrow was a 30x30 foot room with a single skeleton chained to the back wall.

After checking the rest of the barrow, including the ceiling, Boris approached the chained up skeleton.  The Revengers noticed that the rusted plate mail the skeleton wore had symbology of St. Ygg on it.  Once Boris was close to the skeleton, it lurched at him but was brought up short by the chains.  It then raised its hands in frustration above its head and spoke to the revengers!  Ready to turn the skeleton, the Revengers instead talked with it and learned its name, Dhekeon, and his story [which I’m not going to repeat here due to spoilers].  Moved by Dhekeon’s need for redemption, the Revengers accepted him into the group.

The Revengers next went over to “The Pit” [Barrow 47] and start climbing down on a rope.  [This is where they diverged from their plan for this session.]  Dhekeon agreed to go down first, followed by Boris, at which point the three barrow harpies that previously escaped attack the adventurers, back by a flight of giant vultures.  Proximo and Hrglclxin attacked with bows, which made them primary targets of attacks.  Proximo went down during the fight, but Daphne was able to bring him back with a couple of castings of Cure Light Wounds.  Proximo ended up losing a couple of teeth as a result of the fight, but considered himself lucky.

After killing off the harpies and giant vultures, the rest of the Revengers descended into the pit.  At the bottom they decided to exit through the door on the northern wall, hoping they might find a back way into the Temple of Set area.  The first room [Room 241] was empty, with a single door out to the north.  [To those following along at home – I know.]  The next room [Room 237] was also empty but presented more options, with two doors on the west wall, one door on the north wall, and a corridor east that clearly had several doors along it.

The Revengers decided to check the far door on the west wall first [Room 238].  Inside they found a standing sarcophagus.  They prepared to fight whatever was inside and then Boris opened the sarcophagus.  Inside was a slavering, bloodthirsty vampire!  …Except is wasn’t.  Boris and Godric halted the rest of the group, declaring that what they saw was an illusion.  This allowed the rest of the group to see through the illusion as well [that is, they got another save and made it this time].  Behind the illusion was a human male tied up and gagged.  Once freed, he introduced himself as Sir Pelinore, a paladin in the service of St. Ygg.  He was grateful for being freed and explained he had been captured by evil men and placed here after being captured.  For freeing him, he agreed to serve the group for a year, if they would arm and armor him.  The Revengers readily did so, providing him with a spare sword and shield and an offer to get him more armor back in Helix when they returned.  The conversation around Dhekeon was a bit touchier, with Dhekeon being a revenant and all, but Sir Pelinore accepted the Revengers word on the matter.

While this talking was going on, a group of five gargoyles wandered up [wondering where the harpies had gone].  Boris and Godric were able to bottle the gargoyles at the door to Room 241 and kill them.  This impressed Dhekeon and Sir Pelinore.

Once that fight was over, the group opened the southern door in Room 237’s west wall, finding an empty room beyond with a single door out in its southern wall.  Godric and Proximo carefully checked the room for traps.  Once they declared the room safe, the group proceeded to the door in the southern wall.

The room beyond had five curtained alcoves spread along the south and west wall.  Immediately suspecting ghouls [having heard the story of the demise of the Motley Crew as told by A Loyal Hireling], Proximo and Hrglclxin shot arrows into each of the tapestries to see what they could provoke from across the room.  Anti-climatically, the adventurers were not attacked.  They found a half-eaten corpse, a pile of skulls, a clockwork cobra [hiding under some rags], a magic dagger, and a gold death mask.  The death mask was magic, providing extra damage for undead wearing it.  They gave it to Dhekeon to wear – he was grateful.

Suspecting this area was just a cluster of crypts and did not actually lead anywhere, the Revengers returned to The Pit and tried the corridor heading west.  Boris fell into a pit trap with nine spectral warriors!  He took a good deal of damage from the spectral warriors before Daphne and Godric gradually turned them all.  he then destroyed them at his liesure.

Further down the long corridor, the Revengers found a bashed door to an empty, plus-shaped room [Room 263].  They investigated the next door and found a similar room, but with four hostile gargoyles in it.  After a [disappointingly] short fight, the Revengers searched the room and located a secret door.  Behind the secret door was a plundered tomb where the Revengers found a total of 10 gold coins.

Suspecting the previous room might also have a secret door, the Revengers backtracked [to Room 263] and searched it.  They indeed found a secret door to a short passage with another secret door at its end.  Beyond that was a small tomb with the corpse of an elf and the wraith risen from it.  Daphne turned the wraith, allowing Boris to destroy it easily.  A longbow across the elf-corpse detected as magical [+2].  Hrglclxin requested to use the bow as the primary archer for the group and the others agreed it made sense for him to use it.

After taking a rest [their third for the day] and discussing what shape they were in, the group decided to return to Helix.  They had no encounters on the way back, perhaps the revenant traveling with them scared things off.

End of Session


[So Sir Pelinore is a paladin, a class from the ACKS Player Companion, which is not available to the PCs.  The original reason for this was two-fold: I didn’t own a copy of it yet and as we were learning the game system, we wanted to keep the number of variables down.  Additionally, we were not 100% certain how long we’d be using the system and so making the players get two rule books was iffy.  Well into the campaign now, we are confident in our understanding of the rules and our appreciation of them.  Enough that I’m running a separate, monthly, campaign using the full set of books.]

[I’ve also bought Axiom #7, the quarterly supplement/‘zine for ACKS, which has prices for most of the magic items in the core rules and I think the Player Companion, although I’m not 100% certain about the last part.  It also provides further guidelines for pricing out and constructing magic items.  I needed this due to loot the PCs found in Session 32 (not written up yet but played this week as of my writing this).  It didn’t directly answer my question, but I can make enough inferences to get in the ballpark.  I’m expecting the players’ jaws to drop when the find out the value of the Manual they found.  Heh.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers

Session 22
Session 23
Session 24
Session 25
Session 26
Session 27
Session 28

Session 30 [Not yet written]


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 28

[Scorpions and harpies, oh my!]

[Also?  SPOILERS!  This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]


PCs (The Revengers)
Hrglclxin [pronounced her-gull-klack sin] – male human Guide (5th level Explorer)
Daphne – female human Blade-Adept (6th level Bladedancer)
Boris the Fighter – male human Myrmidon (6th level Fighter)
Adam – male human Thaumaturge (5th level Mage)

NPCs
Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring, hired by Boris
‘Len – professional torchbearer, full name is Morgullen, but he never uses it, hired by Boris
Vorgand – female human porter, a university student earning coin, hired by Daphne
Nolig – male human porter, hired by Hrglclxin
Verya [pronounced Vir-uh] – female human Woman-at-Arms (1st level Fighter) , hired for 1/3 share of any treasure


Yggsday, August 3rd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Flush with coin and a will to spend it frivolously [thereby applying 90% as starting XP for their next character, per ACKS rules], Daphne and Adam hire Tripp to arrange a legendary party.  Tripp looked at the coinage they wanted to spend [11,800 gp and 4100 gp, respectively] and realized there was not enough food and drink in Helix to be bought for that amount for a mere week and recommended a longer party, perhaps until three weeks in length.  That would allow for more supplies to be brought in and word to spread.  Daphne and Adam both agreed to that and entrusted Tripp with the money.  Tripp got busy planning and sending messengers for the supplies.  The Silver Standard Caravan Company was going to make some good money hauling in supplies over the next month, much to Billworth Turgen’s joy and benefit.

The Revengers discussed their plan of action.  Based on Daphne’s divinations the previous week, they decided to try and locate another way into Barrowmaze, preferably from the other side of the portcullis that blocks them.  They looked over their map of the field of barrows and decided to try excavating a Barrow 48.  To do this in a timely fashion, they decided to hire a large group of diggers again, along with guards to protect the diggers.  Adam contributed 15 gp to this.  Boris went to the Mercenary Guild and hired 16 diggers and 8 guards.  There was an additional fee for “missing the party” that was assessed, but Daphne easily covered the additional 2 gp.

The Revengers also contacted their regular crew of hirelings plus Verya, telling them to be ready in the morning to head south.

Sunday, August 4th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
In the morning, the Revengers and their small army of hirelings assembled at the Mercenary Guild.  Around town, other groups were already at work setting up feasting and drinking areas for the “Grand Party” that would start at Noon.  The sweet and savory smells of cooking foods were just starting to waft over the village when the group headed south, into the moor.

On the way south, the group drew the attention of six giant scorpions.  Unable to evade the scorpions due to the large number of people in the group [and the poor roll], the adventurers arranged themselves to face the scorpions.  The fight was tough, with the scorpions being quicker than expected.  Verya and one of the hired guards went down due to poison from scorpion’s stingers.  Two other guards dropped from scorpion claws.  Adam was taken to 0 hit points, but clung onto consciousness.  He cast Protection from Evil, which tilted the balance into the Revengers favor and Daphne cast Charm Animal on the last surviving scorpion, “befriending” it.  The group spent some time performing healing on those they could and bundling up those they couldn’t for eventual transport back to town [this included those dropped by poison and one of the guards ripped apart by the scorpions].

The slightly more sober group arrived at the field of barrows just after Noon and made their way to Barrow 48.  They set the diggers to digging and arranged the rest in a defensive ring around the barrow.  The diggers were highly motivated to be quick at their work and cleared away the dirt and debris from the barrow entrance in just two hours!  [I rolled low enough on the time and there were enough diggers that it would have only taken one hour if the minimum time was not set at two hours.]

Rather than explore the barrow immediately, the Revengers decided to excavate another covered barrow while they had the diggers here.  They went over to Barrow 47 and discovered that the mists had tricked their eyes – this barrow had collapsed into a sinkhole sometime in the past!  [The actual error was on my part as the map showed it as collapse but diggable, but the text explained it was a hole all the way down to the Barrowmaze.  I should have checked the text as the map indicates it is a Barrowmaze entrance and those should always be looked up.]

Curious to see if this let them into the back area of the worshipers of Set, the Revengers anchored a rope on the surface and then started climbing down, one at a time, Boris first.  As Daphne was climbing down [with her giant scorpion friend “Scorpie” climbing the wall next to her], a flock of barrow harpies dived out of the overcast sky and started attacking the adventurers and the hirelings.

Down in the sinkhole, the adventurers fared well against the attacking barrow harpies, but then the harpies injured Daphne’s pet giant scorpion.  With a battle cry of “For Scorpie!”, Daphne proceeded to kill one barrow harpy after another, cleaving through them multiple times [with repeated Natural 20’s on her die rolls no less].  Boris had to work to keep up.

Up on the surface, things were not going as well.  Adam went down under a pile of harpies almost immediately.  Hrglclxin lasted a little longer until the barrow harpies screeched, paralyzing him and many of the guards and diggers [barrow harpy “song” causes fear-based paralysis, not charm as standard harpies do].  Luckily, Daphne’s ferocity allowed Boris and her to climb back to the surface before the barrow harpies slaughtered too many of the guards.  [Boris climbs slow due to encumbrance, Daphne is quicker.  She could have reached the surface a round earlier if Boris had let her go first.  This was "discussed" at the table for a bit between the players. 😉 ]

Once the last of the barrow harpies were driven off [not killed, driven off], Healing checks were made and Cure Light Wounds was cast several times.  Adam’s leg was heavily damaged and lamed, but some of the guards died, so he considered himself fortunate.  Boris, Daphne, and Hrglclxin spent time searching the walls of the sinkhole, suspecting the barrow harpies nests were there.  They were correct and found a good deal of loot, including several magic items [see my notes below about this].  Hrglclxin claimed the 8 +1 arrows and Daphne the +2 sword [which turned out to be just barely sentient, see also below].

The Revengers decided to not push their luck any further and returned to Helix.  Back in town they sold two of the magic items found, but held onto two others [a +1 shield and a scroll of Invisibility, 10-foot radius].  They then split the loot, paid off the death benefits for the hirelings, and enjoyed the beginning of the Grand Party.  Boris contributed another 5200 gp to the party fund, extending the party to the end of the month.  Scorpie was “kenneled” over at Quillian’s place, back behind the graveyard and, most importantly, outside of where the townsfolk go.  Daphne cast Speak with Animals to explain the situation to Scorpie and brought it some food.  This satisfied the giant scorpion.

Moonday, August 5th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Adam traveled with Verya’s corpse to Ironguard Motte to get castings of Restore Life and Limb done.  Adam went first, using the only available casting on this day and the spell failed!  [He rolled very poorly on the d20, but well on the d6.]  He had to wait.

Hernesday, August 6th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Verya received the casting and was restored back to life, but now frightens horses due to the arcane energies inside her.  [She will bond well with Boris who suffers the same.]  She will need two weeks of bedrest.

Magusday, August 7th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Adam received the casting again and again it failed to work on him!

Cromsday, August 8th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Third time’s the charm – this day the casting takes and Adam’s leg is restored.  He will need one week of bedrest to be fully restored.

End of Session


[So the barrow harpies should not have had any of the treasure I gave out.  I handed out standard treasure for barrow harpies, Hoard Class: XX in Labyrinth Lord, as I could not see anything in the barrow description that said otherwise.  I think I found later that all their treasure is in a different room.  Also, other forces should have intervened in the fight, which might have tipped the balance, plus I missed the part about the pet vultures during the fight.  I remember reading about it during game prep, but forgot by the time the fight was happening.  This happened because the encounter description was split between two parts of the book - the barrows and the actuat dungeon and ~75 pages apart from each other.  I think I would have liked a complete encounter description in one place or the other with the other location saying "See page XX for this encounter."  It would also have been good to mention potential reinforcements in the encounter description in addition to the rooms the reinforcements come from.  The GM would know/be reminded to look for it.  This is an editing issue.]

[That said, the players were happy for the loot received and several of the items rolled up were exactly the kind of things the players were looking for.  Looking at the Sentient Weapon rules for the first time in a while, I had the players roll to see if any of the magic weapons they had just scored made the cut.  None did, but we were all curious what would have happened if one did.  Daphne rolled closest on her attempt, so we used her +2 sword as our example.  She rolled INT 7 (Empathic), Lawful, a low EGO (I don’t remember the actual number), and it Detects Metals.  This was not overpowered, seemed like it might provide some interesting role-play opportunities, and the other players were OK with it, so I decided to allow it into the game.]



The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers

Session 22
Session 23
Session 24
Session 25
Session 26
Session 27

Session 29

Sunday, December 2, 2018

OTE Decks 3: Burgers Inc., Psychic Street Gangs, Local Security


This is the third post about On The Edge CCG decks, specifically, what is in the ones we were using the last several CCG Days I held.  The format is the deck’s name, followed by the cards in the deck. 

Note: These are not necessarily the most optimal versions of these decks as I don’t have an unlimited number of cards, just a lot of cards.  You may be able to improve on these by adding rare cards I didn't have or didn't have a lot of.  Early distribution of cards was pretty awful.

Burgers, Inc.
This deck is based on using Burgers with an Entrepreneur flavoring to provide Pull.  A smattering of other characters provide some utility powers that are handy to have.  I think this deck is a bit heavy and could stand to be trimmed by at least 10 cards, but the person who plays it likes “more options”.

Name
Card Number
Number of them
Al Amarjan Friends
12
1
Armada
21
1
Bellow
35
1
Bitter & Herb
38
1
Mikhail Borisov
44
1
Mihaly Cieznick
56
1
Concealable Weaponry
60
2
Dumb Luck
81
2
Friends in Arms Barrio
93
3
Friends in Broken Wings Barrio
94
2
Friends in Golden Barrio
97
3
Friends in Sunken Barrio
99
2
Gang A-Gley
102
1
Good Luck
105
2
Deborah Grierson
107
1
Barber Hammock
112
1
Hank Henderson
114
1
Kunigunde Himmelsbach
117
1
Karmic Assassin
129
1
Latent Hero
136
1
Latent Strength
138
1
George Lazarus
139
1
Lee G’won Foo
140
2
Giovanni Mancini
146
1
Mantra
147
1
Money Talks
155
1
Dr. Fürchtegott Nusbaum
170
1
Oppenheimer Contacts
172
2
Polymer Clothing
177
2
Dinesh Rajpal
189
1
Smear Campaign
224
1
Vibe Valiant
258
1
Melinda Amduat
A12
1
Triple Henderson
A71
1
Eileen Pitchford
A114
1
The Centipede
C14
1
Eunice Rae Hopner
C36
1
C. A. Radford
C69
1
Claude-Lucien Rouvier
C76
1
Ajay Obalago
D68
1
Seiji Ogata
D70
1
Gayth Silver
D83
1
Underworld Contacts
D102
2
Great White
D108
1

Psychic Street Gangs
This deck uses Aries and Glorious Lords cards as its core – the psychic element is to make use of the Tulpa.  This deck is heavily defensive, stalling the other conspiracies until it can get its big pullers out (Chikutorpl, Monique D’Aubainne, Akorra Encombi, or Horus Redwell), using the Tulpa to hedge against another conspiracy getting one of these into play first.

Name
Card Number
Number of them
Astral Wisdom
28
3
Bellow
35
1
Mikhail Borisov
44
1
Chikutorpl
55
1
Concealable Weaponry
60
2
Monique D’Aubainne
71
1
Duro-Trench
82
1
Akorra Encombi
85
1
Friends in Broken Wings Barrio
94
2
Friends in Great Men Barrio
98
2
Good Luck
105
1
Barber Hammock
112
1
Saxolf Hermann
115
1
Hans Knudson
133
1
Lee G’won Foo
140
1
Lope
143
1
Negative Energy
166
1
Dr. Fürchtegott Nusbaum
170
1
Polymer Clothing
177
2
Psychic Sensitivity
183
3
Seklut Poison
213
2
Shreds
219
1
Slag
222
1
Per Solgerkvist
227
1
Total Taxi
246
1
Tulpa
250
1
Guglielmo Vigneto
261
1
Tomek Bereszowsky
A25
1
Ross Dowden
A47
1
Flooding Nile
A56
1
Triple Henderson
A71
1
Athena Iakatos
A73
1
Iron Skin
A74
1
Blush Quay
A121
1
Horus Redwell
A122
1
Madeleine Svora
A138
1
Raul Trevino
A145
1
Ur-Master
A146
1
Protoplankton
C62
2
Annie the Rib
D10
1
Atavism: Priestess of Mu
D12
1
Eel
D27
1
Friends Under the Street
D38
2
Shake ‘Em Out
D82
2
Gayth Silver
D83
1

Local Security
This deck uses the Aries and Dog Face factions, which provide security to Flowers and Four Points barrios, respectively.  It has a few solid hitters to attack opposing conspiracies until the relatively weak pullers can acquire enough Influence.  The big puller for this deck is Mircea ? with Inspiration, so use Veronica Sellers to smack down opposing pullers and keep those other conspiracies in line!

Incidentally, this deck sparked the idea for the Atlantean Baboon Cannon deck and can perform the same way, it just doesn’t have as many baboons, so use some of your other hitters instead.  But never Veronica – she hates that and it tends to lead to an android uprising.  Your mileage may vary.

Name
Card Number
Number of them
Amok
18
1
Aries Ambush
20
1
Bloodlust
41
1
Body Double
42
1
Concealable Weaponry
60
1
Friends in Broken Wings Barrio
94
1
Friends in Flowers Barrio
95
2
Friends in Four Points
96
3
Frank Germaine
104
2
Erik Gudne
108
1
Hypno-Disc
122
1
Inspiration
125
1
Intelligence Contacts
126
1
Hans Knudson
133
2
Molly, Queen Mother of Baboons
154
1
Abdullah Mustafa
159
1
Mutant Sympathies
161
2
Patrol Baboon
174
2
Pistol-Grip Chain Saw
176
1
Polymer Clothing
177
1
Randy Rogers
203
1
Thor Runestone
208
1
Veronica Sellers
215
1
Sneak
226
1
Peer Solgerkvist
227
2
Wheeler Stein
232
1
Malak Suzier
240
1
Total Taxi
246
2
Vibe Valiant
258
1
Eugene Krebbs
A79
1
Mircea ?
C48
2
Abbas Nadjafi
C53
1
Andrew Banks
D14
1
Ace J. Cirrus
D19
1
Roz Fernseh
D31
1
Hack-Master
D46
1
Hand Out to the Lost
D49
1
Smack Back Attack
D86
1
Aniela Stansky
D89
1
Wrench
D110
1
Omni Yushka
D114
1

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