Tag Archives: RPGs

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Five, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth – Seventh Session

Baphomet1

Baphomet Hisself

Seventh Session (6 page pdf) – Baphomet himself appears and tries to kill us! Someone gets decapitated… Read on to find out who!

So we know he’s coming and we pull out all the stuff we’ve got – prismatic spheres, globes of invulnerability, heralds of various gods, a Runelord… He brings a fistful of balors and some minotaurs.

We killed him once on Nocticula’s plane (well… we helped) and now if we kill him again on his home plane then he’s dead for good and it’s no more sicko minotaur sex demons ever. A noble goal.

I don’t want to ruin the ending, so go on and read already!

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Five, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth – Sixth Session

slimy demodand

Slimy Demodand

Sixth Session (6 page pdf) – We go kill the prison’s torturer, turn a giant mythic linnorm to stone, and then go stick the heart back into the corrupted Herald of Iomedae. Grappling to the rescue!

We fight the dungeon’s torturer and some more demodands.  Calanthe’s mythic flesh to stone claims another victim.

The Torturer’s worthwhile equipment is a +4 wounding adamantine hammer and a Subway card that is one clip away from a free sandwich. They throw away the BlockBuster Xtreme card and a masturbatory device. Shawanda claims the hammer.

tarnlinnorm

Tarn Linnorm

Then we use the ball of twine to find the Tarn Linnorm.  I think Paul ad-libbed the ball of twine (some kind of Baphomet artifact we found)’s ability to do a find the path kind of thing, but I ended up using this thing all. the. time.

Annnd Calanthe turns a giant ass linnorm to stone with another mythic flesh to stone.  “Oh.  That was easy,” we say. Then the mythic minotaur guy the Ivory Hunter shows up. I take him to -235 hit points.

So just to say it out loud- Paul is actually keeping us under-level of what we’re supposed to be, and we are way way too OP for this AP.

Anyway, we find the corrupted Herald of Iomedae, we fight him, I grapple him and stick his heart back in while Trystan hits him with like 3 atonements, and finally we un-flip his evil switch!

Next time – a rumble with Baphomet himself!

More One Shots!

Well, we’ve been doing one shots this whole year since Wrath of the Righteous wrapped up.  In February I reported on the first few in One Shots!  Since then we’ve played (I may be missing some):

The Gaean Reach, by Bruce.  A GUMSHOE game based on the writings of Jack Vance – yes, of course it’s authored by Robin Laws.  I missed this one, sadly.

Firefly, run by Paul.  I got to play Kaylee!  Trad system, but fun.

Monster of the Week, run by me. Another Powered by the Apocalypse game, went down well. Meant to be like Supernatural or X-Files or whatnot – you know, monster of the week!

Lasers and Feelings, run by Paul. A free one-page game where basically you have two stats, Lasers and Feelings, and they both add up to 6 so one goes up at the expense of the other. Fun, but very freeform.

Fiasco, run by me.  An interesting very narrative game where it’s more about building the story than looking out for “your” character. We did the wild west playset thing and everyone ended up sad and/or dead.

Nain for Reign, run by Tim. Reign is Greg Stolze’s current One Roll Engine game, and Nain is a Gormenghasty setting for it. We enjoyed this too.

Paranoia, run by Paul.  Who doesn’t love Paranoia!?!  I’m hazy what rules we used for this, or if we just used one of the random light systems we’ve been using for many of these one-shots.  In fact, I think maybe it was Cypher System.  Yes, yes it was. Good times.

Alternity Dark*Matter, run by me. We played a big Alternity campaign so everyone knew the system already.  I ran the demo adventure “Exit 23” and murdered nearly all the PCs.

Shadowrun using the Cypher System, run by Paul.  Everyone likes the idea of Shadowrun, no one in their right mind wants to bite off its huge rules system. (Even they have realized this and just rolled out some more rules-light engine for it.) So we did it with the Cypher System from Numenera et al, and it worked out well.  I’m mildly concerned whether that scales to a campaign just because of the “one-shot” nature of the cyphers… Shadowrun is usually aggressively sim.

ICONS, run by me. Random superheroes! The heroes did quite well in beating a time-travelling enemy, Tempus Khan, from  the RetConQuest adventure.

Gods of the Fall, run by Paul. More Cypher System, I missed this one.

Demon: The Descent, run by Tim. Some World of Darkness 2.0.  We had fun demoning it up, but as with all WoD games it’s more like superhero combat.

Unknown Armies, run by Paul – the third edition that we Kickstarted and got an early version of! Always fun, and we all had some magick. We got to play New Inquisition agents mainly because I love the Lawyers, Guns, and Money supplement for 1e so much.

Only War, run by me.  The Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard game!  I used a Free RPG Day quickstart adventure.  We ran out of time at the end and they got killed by Naval orbital barrage, which everyone agreed seemed fitting.  IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE THERE IS ONLY WAR.

Savage Rifts, run by Paul . OK, some people manage to bother with the real Shadowrun system, but RIFTS?  Good lord. Luckily, there’s now a Savage Worlds version and I’m happy to report it’s very playable!  We had a glitterboy, a juicer, a cyborg, and a mystic knight and we romped on our opponents (the juicer died of generally being a juicer, but not till the end).

Paul kept trying to run Dramasystem but never got enough people to show (I missed once but not because I was avoiding it).  So, we didn’t get hands on that, but we got to mess with a lot of the cool new systems – Cypher System and Powered by the Apocalypse were the favorites.

We talked and said maybe we should get back to a campaign soon.  So after a 5e one-shot, Paul said he’d be interested in running:

  • Shadowrun using the Cypher System
  • Savage RIFTS
  • Dungeon World, using a Paizo AP

After some talking, the “Paizo AP” part swung us over to Dungeon World.  Pauls ent out a SurveyMonkey to vote on which AP and results will be in soon. We’re interested in how it’ll play out without the “level 10+ turns to shit” syndrome of using Pathfinder itself, and how we’ll balance being player driven with having an AP plot around. Feel free and share, if you’ve done so!

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Five, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth – Fifth Session

RunelordAlderpashFifth Session (12 page pdf) – A brief vacation back to Drezen and then into the prison again. We beat up the two-headed marilith warden and go and convert a Runelord lich to the cause of good.

There’s a big setpiece fight against the warden, Aleshka, who’s like a double marilith.

Antonius hits Aleshka so hard she loses two hours of her memories, in addition to an incredible ocean of hit points. He also learns that she is (like all demons) immune to electricity and poison. Tabregon explains that this is because demons are traditionally employed in the Facilities departments of semiconductor fabs – they need the electricity immunity because they need to be able to work safely with 13kV transformers, and they develop the poison immunity because semiconductors require the most toxic chemicals at the highest purity possible.

If only this were a joke… Bruce works in semiconductors and is more than pleased to inflict lengthy dissertations on semiconductor minutiae upon us.

I (Antonius) have what I consider to be the best power ever, the mythic champion path ability Imprinting Hand.

By touching a foe, you can gain knowledge about it, including its weaknesses. To use this ability, you must first successfully hit a foe with an unarmed strike, natural weapon, or melee touch attack to make contact, then use this ability is a free action. As long as the target remains within 1 mile of you, you always know the direction and approximate distance to it. If the foe has any weaknesses or vulnerabilities (including a mythic flaw), you immediately know this information.

You can maintain this connection with only one creature at a time; if you use this ability on another creature, your connection with the previous creature is lost.

So not only is this super Irori-ey, but it means we get to find out backstory that is otherwise just wasted space in the AP.  So after we finish running off Aleshka Paul gets to just read her history and background to us!  Makes him feel good, gives us more appreciation for the critters we whack…  My favorite mythic power.  Second across all powers ever only to Gobo the gnome’s moonlight bridge ability from Jade Regent, man that was a good power.

The one thing that frustrated me though was that I kept touching mythic foes hoping that one day one would have a mythic flaw and not be just “do lots of hp of damage to me”… And it never happened.

Then we meet the Runelord Alderpash, and in a very super heroic set of interactions, I get him to accept atonement and convert to the side of good!  Most of the others just wanted to leave him to rot in his prison. I kept at the guy, and made some psycho rolls, and bing!  Good Runelord lich on our team!

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Five, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth – Fourth Session

IvoryMinotaur

Ivory Minotaur

Fourth Session (8 page pdf) – It turns into Mazes & Minotaurs as we get closer to Baphomet.  And we find a ball of twine that ends up being the best magic item ever. Plus a heart to unlock the next plot portion. This AP is… very video-gamey.

For some reason Chris starts calling our allied Solar Sargona “Belinda Sargona.” And sometimes “Beverly Sargona.” We get our entertainment where we can.

Most of this session is a giant puzzle room, which we make good headway on solving until Trystan decides “run around like a butt monkey and just trigger it all” is a better plan. Sigh. We could have done that without all the commune spells and planning and stuff. Paraphrased from memory:

“I open the door that obviously summons minotaurs!”
“A minotaur appears and attacks you.”
“I open it again!”
“Another minotaur appears and attacks you.”
“Dude, what the fuck is your problem?”

 

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Five, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth – Third Session

waxberry

Waxberry

Third Session (6 page pdf) – We venture into the Ineluctable Prison in the Abyss to fight demodands and oozes. Then we are confronted with three cells, one with a demon, one with a devil, and one with a halfling… What to do?

Well, so funny story… We finished up this AP and then I forgot to post the remaining summaries!  So here you go, some Paizo mythic AP goodness.

Mainly, we fight demodands.  And more demodands.  And we find out there’s a Runelord about, which is bracing.  That’s about it for this one!  Chapter 5 of each AP may as well be called “The Interminable Dungeon.”

Reavers on the Seas of Fate, Season Five, Fourth Session

Fourth Session (13 page pdf) – “Ra-ha-DOOM! Part II” – Planning, a hard boiled egg eating contest, and a prisoner escape – Port Godless has everything!

Habib_Al_Talib

Ahbib Atomy

Crewwoman Zorzi has been bought by a local man obsessed with green eyes. The PCs have diva Octavia Selene, who also has green eyes, and they try to broker a swap but my random roll decides Atomy’s pretty happy with the current deal.  The “two women with green eyes” thing, as you might surmise, was ad-libbed as a Big Trouble in Little China reference (the whole slaver thing was made up on the spot due to bad shore leave rolls). I considered spinning it into a bigger Lo Pan kind of thing but in the last season I had asked how in depth the PCs wanted each leg of the journey to be, and they said “not much Rahadoum.”  They sure got into it once they were there, but I respected their earlier vote and didn’t go too nuts.

They hire a navigator to get them to Ilizmagorti, secret island of the Red Mantis!  Well, not that secret, it’s a big port.  But secret, they destroy all maps!  Somewhat confusing in the lore, so I decide that maps are out but navigators who’ve been there before are in, and a valuable commodity.  Also, high level crewwoman Kitty the Cantankerous came down pregnant from a bad shore leave roll months ago and absents herself on pregnancy leave.

rambam

Rombom the Sage

They go to a sage named Rombom to research the black stone egg they cut out of a xill survivor.  I made that shit up off a random roll in the first place so I had to scramble, off a random Google I decided it’s related to a nalusa falaya, a Choctaw shadow-type spirit. They were into it enough I decided that having it in you (embedded, swallowed) would protect you against inhabitation by the nalusa falaya and related stuff, like say the recurring shadow demon villain who likes to possess the PCs. So Serpent swallows it (using his serpent transformation to make that feasible).

After this the session took a turn for the increasingly more hilarious.

The egg thing “inspires” the PCs to hold a Cool Hand Luke style egg eating contest to gamble with the locals about. I forget the exact mechanic I used, but it was like a Fort save that got incrementally harder with each egg eaten… It couldn’t have been more than +1 because Billy Breadbasket managed to make it to 23 eggs and defeat all comers.

Drunk and full of eggs they wander back to the ship.  Crew craftsman Karomander had gotten a good shore leave roll and so got something… I don’t remember how “clown puppet” made the list but it was probably stolen from something a player said.  So Karomander decides to put his new clown marionette guarding the ship’s gangplank.  To a crew of PCs, ‘creepy clown figure’ is just another day in the life, but typically, they start ultra botching the fight against an inanimate object. Wogan nearly shoots Serpent in a panic when the clown jumps on him.  Good times.  I gave it 50/50 whether Sindawe would murder the man, but he was so impressed with its ability to inspire incontinence in potential boarders he gave his approval to the whole scheme.

argentatebladesAnd then, having a Chelish diva on board leads inevitably to DRAMA!!!  So the Argentate Blades, a bunch of swashbuckling do-gooders from the Rival Guide, come to spring her! Sindawe’s the only one who notices a noise on deck and goes out there…

They exchange blows while Sindawe yells, “Boarders!”
From the map room, Wogan yells back, “Charge them rent!”
Serpent yells, “Hoarders?!? The bane of every tidy ship!”
A caster hidden by the fog shoots a blinding light at Sindawe that dazzles him for a round, then Estella stabs him. Then she steps back into the mist.
Serpent charges out and seeing no one else demands, “Captain! Settle a bet. What did you yell – boarders or hoarders?”
Sindawe grits his teeth.

So the Blades fight with the three PCs, with the swordswoman Estrella giving Sindawe a run for his money, their little halfling mom popping out of the mist to cast spells, and…

A voice rings out, “Haha! You are too late!” A man wearing light armor and hot pants is standing on the rail with Octavia clinging tightly to his torso. The man grabs a rope and swings them to the pier. Wogan shouts, “How did we see that? There’s fog and darkness!” The man yells back from the pier, “I used my cloak to swish the fog away. Drama!”

Wogan keeps trying to find the halfling in the dark and mist and he just keeps rolling so badly, I couldn’t keep from punking him…

Wogan finally hears the stealthy halfling and slaps her with a held cause critical wounds. But it turns out to only be the ship’s clown doll, Mr. Smiles. “Come on!!!” he laments.

So Billy Breadbasket, as careful readers of the summaries may note, has been eyeing Pirro for a while, and Pirro is pretty drunk right now; they didn’t quite make it back to the ship but as the fight moves to the dock…

Serpent runs after them only to slam into the partially naked figures of Billy Breadbasket and Pirro who are emerging from behind the crates to figure out what the heck is going on. All three pirates go down in a heap.

I’m a big fan of “the dice are often more right than I am.”  Sindawe demands to know who was supposed to be on watch when these goons got on board.  I roll randomly on the crew table and it falls on a couple crewmen who died, but no one took them off the Word doc we use as a crew list.  So I decided that in-game, too, no one had noticed that the people who were supposed to be on watch weren’t around any more.  The group found that immediately plausible. “The bane of every pirate – paperwork!!!” They updated their list.

And we end with a civilized sit-down and deal with the Argentate Blades.  It’s really, really hard in D&D to pull off the otherwise common trope of fighting someone and then befriending or at least dealing civilly with them; usually it just puts them on the ETERNAL IMMEDIATE HATE MURDER LIST so I was proud of me and my players that we managed to pull it off.

This whole session was pretty much driven off a couple random rolls and whatever the PCs got it in their minds to do and me brainstorming ways to make their lives interesting while in port.  It was a very successful session, from my side of the table it seemed at least! It’s these kinds of sessions that get us these 13-page summaries, whereas combat heavy ones are just like “and we fought something, done.” There’s a lesson there somewhere.