[Smarting off to a huge reptile that spits lightning bolts turns out to be a bad idea.]
[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement. This session happened August 31, 2020.]
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy
Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University
Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts, and Guildmaster of the Delvers Guild
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer
Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University
Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now The Torchbearers for the Delvers Guild
Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wythford
Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo
Yggsday, November 2nd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Standing in the doorway of a second-floor room in the ruined building the group was exploring, the head and neck of a huge blue reptile, crowned with horns, had risen through the hole in the floor from a lower room. The delvers had just defeated three of the glowing skeletons, Zarek having taken out the last one with a Burst Lightning spell. The monster challenged the group with a bellow of “You dare!?”
Several of the Delvers made quick quips to its declaration [which I sadly did not write down]. In response to this lack of deference, the monster released a line of lightning from its maw [Area of Effect: Line], striking at Vorgand, Clarence, and Nick. Vorgand and Clarence were able to dive out of the way [abort to Dive for Cover], but Nick was slow to leap and was hit as he leapt [he failed the DEX roll necessary to get out of the way before the attack happened]. Nick was stunned by the lightning, but not quite knocked unconscious, and hit the floor. His Wave Break spell [a force field spell] dropped as a result of being stunned.
The monster looked around for the source of the lightning spells that had awakened it. Seeing a red fox floating in the air, it decided that Zarek was the most magical being it could see and must have been the source. “You? You dared use the sacred fire!? DIE!” it bellowed. It attacked Zarek by biting at him. Eyes wide, Zarek attempted to dodge the bite but was caught anyway. Luckily Zarek’s Stoney Skin spell [an Armor spell] kept the monster’s teeth at bay, but the force of the bite stunned Zarek, dropping his Flight spell and Zarek fell to the ground.
Jala pulled out her vial of speed potion and drank a dose, doing her best to appear non-threatening. Ricky pulled his vial as well but took the opportunity to move deeper into the hallway and away from the monster so he was not as exposed to the its attacks. The furious monster bit again at Zarek, but again did little due to Zarek’s Stoney Skin spell.
Jala shadow-stepped to the lower room, thinking to attack the body of the creature [away from its mouth]. She discovered the creature had four sets of legs [eight legs total] and that there was a second creature like the first down in this room, listening to the fight above and waiting. Jala immediately shadow-stepped back up to the second floor, out in the hallway, arriving next to Nick [who was back on his feet by now and at peeking into the room around the door jamb]. Jala immediately called out, “There is a second one downstairs!” The other Delvers groaned at this piece of information.
Vorgand rolled to her feet and moved around behind the monster to strike. Here rapier was a dragon slayer and should have easily pierced the creature’s hide, but it didn’t. This meant the creature was not actually a dragon and she shared this information over the earrings of communication to Jala, Ricky, and Clarence. The monster turned and bit at Vorgand [her attack had done no Body, but it had done Stun and so hurt]. It bit her arm and failed to harm her due to her defences [studded leather armor and a protective spell from Clarence]. Unfortunately, the bite yanked her slightly off balance and she fell through the hole in the floor to the lower room. Clarence, still prone on the floor, pulled out his vial of speed potion and drank a dose.
Nick switched his Poseidon’s Fury spell from a lightning spell to a fire spell but failed to get the spell off [he made the Magic roll to change up the variable advantage but failed the roll when he went to actually cast it]. Clarence attempted to attack with his Holy Flame spell but missed completely, scorching the ceiling instead. The monster did not like another spell caster and climbed further out of the hole, exposing six of its legs, and released another lightning bolt, hitting Nick and Clarence and blasting a hole in the hallway wall, into the courtyard. Nick was [barely] knocked out, but Clarence was knocked deeply unconscious and out of the fight. Zarek recast his Flight spell and drank from his vial of speed potion.
Vorgand rolled to her feet again and drew out her vial of speed potion. She held off drinking it and instead went to attack the monster’s lower parts. The second creature saw this and interrupted her attack [using a saved action], rapidly flowing forward on its eight legs and wrapping her up in its coils, crushing her [grab followed by a squeeze]. Vorgand’s defensive magic was gone due to Clarence being knocked out [he had cast the spell on her, so when he went unconscious, all his spells dropped], so the squeeze hurt, but it did not stop her from attacking and she hit the tail of first monster.
With two members unconscious and Vorgand trapped in the lower room, Zarek decided to try something different: make it angry and then lead it away on a chase. He flew out across the hall and into the courtyard area, then turned and cast his Burst Lightning spell at the monster, hitting with all three blasts. The physical effects were minimal, but it really angered the monster.
Vorgand finally drank from her vial of speed potion, but was still grabbed by the second monster. It squeezed her again and Vorgand fell unconscious. Upstairs, the first monster roared and charged at Zarek, using its sharp claws to grab into the building’s surface and cling to the walls to get closer to Zarek. It failed to fully close the gap, much to Zarek’s relief. Jala shadow-stepped back downstairs, appearing next to the unconscious [but recovering] Vorgand. She grabbed Vorgand’s unconscious body and attempted to shadow-step back out of the room, pushing the spell to carry a second person. She was successful…to a point. She and Vorgand passed through the shadows, but reappeared outside the building and not back in the hallway like she wanted. Still, away from the monsters was good.
Ricky used his shadow-step spell to leave the building, heading toward the portal back to the Moon Manor. Nick woke back up and used the wand of wind to move the still unconscious Clarence to a safer nearby room, discovering the three Torchbearers [the NPCs] clambering out of a window in this room as they fled the area. Zarek led the first monster away, flying for all he was worth as the monster chased him. He ducked around a far corner of the building and into a nearby window, attempting to lose the monster, but the monster was too familiar with the building and followed him inside. When Zarek popped out of the building right in front of the portal, Ricky waved him off, calling out that the others were still in the building. Zarek sighed and then taunted the monster some more, continuing the chase.
The Torchbearers and Vorgand [who was now conscious again] ran for all they were worth back to the gate. Jala shadow-stepped back inside the building, looking for Nick and Clarence. She found them in a side room, Clarence still unconscious and Nick waiting for Clarence to awaken or someone to carry Clarence to safety. Jala went to Clarence and pushed her magic again to shadow-step them as close to the gate as she could. This freed up Nick to use the Escape Button to teleport himself to the gate, appearing right next to Ricky.
As the Delvers made it to and through the gate, Zarek nearly trapped himself inside the building by flying into a room with no other exits. The monster was right behind him, but had not yet blocked the only door, so Zarek reversed course and squeezed past the monster and into the courtyard. He then flew up and over the building with the monster following closely. Seeing Ricky waving him to the gate before stepping through himself, Zarek sped directly there. As he passed through the gate, Vorgand pulled the power crystal off the control panel, deactivating and closing the gate, preventing the monster from following.
End of Session
[So this write-up was a little incoherent as I take terrible notes when I’m running an action sequence in order to keep things flowing. I know I dropped a few things from the narrative because I could not remember exactly when they happened in relation to things I do remember. Zarek being chased by the monster lasted longer
and included Ricky waving Zarek off once because the rest of the group was not safe yet. At one point Jala accidentally teleported outside the building before her attempt to rescue Vorgand.]
[To fix this problem, I’m now offering a small experience point bounty to players who turn in typed up session notes to me within two days of the game happening. I’ll let you know how that plays out in practice.]
[And for those who are curious, the monsters in questions were behir that I translated over from Pathfinder. They are blue and reptilian and if all you see is their head and neck they can easily be mistaken for a blue dragon, especially as both monsters use lightning breath weapons and live in deserts.]