Ruins of Undermountain — Game Session — 009

Game summary for November 28, 2015, Ruins of Undermountain campaign, for Harm Incorporated. Session included: Boran Gibbs (Human Cleric played by Chris Harmon), Kalil Bakran (Human Sorcerer played by Parker Harmon), Paddy Brandywine (Halfling Bard played by Preston Harmon), and Rumbald Shieldcracker (Dwarf Ranger played by Peyton Harmon). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The team, now hopelessly lost in Undermountain, came upon a trio of ogre adventurers. Naturally, a fight broke out. Kalil fired off several area of effect spells, including fireball and lightning bolt. Boran, Paddy, and Rumbald engaged in melee. Boran caught several clubs to the face, and Rumbald’s slug companion, Flash, licked an ogre to death. The fighting was violent and quick, and the ogres were defeated. The team investigated a chest the ogres were poking at and triggered a fireball trap! The did recover some treasure from the remnants, however.

The team moved into a winding hallway where they encountered a pair of gricks. The tentacles on the worms lashed and grasped, but they proved little challenge for the characters. On the far end of the hallway, they discovered a chamber full of Dekanter goblins! The massive creatures’ rhino-like horns proved an interesting challenge as the creatures charged back and forth into the team. Kalil stepped forward and used his medusa mask to petrify and destroy one.

Finally, the group went through a rough opening and found a sprawling cavern. They were horrified to find a beholderkin within! The monster phased in and out of the cavern and fired eye rays all around. It inflicted wounds and shocked the team with deadly rays. Paddy setup an ambush with invisibility sphere while Kalil used wall of fire to shape the battlefield. Boran and Rumbald began landing telling blows, and soon the team conquered the beast!

Savage! — Game Session — 005

Game summary for November 24, 2015, Savage! campaign, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Night Watcher (Ogre Martial Artist played by Casey Scruggs), Spirit Walker (Naci Human Assassin played by Andrew Renfrow), Standing Bison (Giant Soldier played by Peyton Harmon), and Wolf Spirit (Kompache Human Priest played by Chris Harmon). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The crept through Tocatlmayana avoiding patrols as best they could. They captured a Keeper and interrogated him. They learned of a tlamacazqui (lama-cause-kwee; a high priest) named Tocatlpilli who has offered a bounty of 10 slaves for the heads of the party! The team made their way through trapped corridors and avoiding falling boulders. Eventually, they rescued a slave boy named Hopping Dog and earned his trust. He informed them he has seen Tocatlpilli with a map depicting a sequence of levers to pull to open a secret chamber. However, the map is always guarded by a two-headed ogre! The group came to a ravine where they had to convince a pack of giant spider steeds to allow them to ride in precariously attached saddles to the other side!

On the far side, they entered a room and were soon attacked by a massive gray widow spider! Spirit Walker charged in and was nearly killed in a single blow! Wolf Spirit’s wolf companion dragged him to safety as the team fell in around the spider. Standing Bison landed a crushing blow, and Night Watcher reached in and ripped off its head!

Looking around the room, they found a lever, which Wolf Spirit flipped. It opened an overhead hatch that dropped a cobalt jelly onto the team! Its acidic touch burned, but it was quickly taken down. As the group proceeded through a doorway, a mob of ettercaps attacked! The team came back through and brought the fight to them. In short order, the spider men lay dead and twitching.

Savage! – Game Session – 004

Game summary for November 17, 2015, Savage! campaign; PCs included Blazing Sun (Kau human sage), Singing Mammoth (elf soldier), Standing Bison (giant soldier), and Wolf Spirit (Kompache human priest).

The party followed Paqpopoca’s directions and found Tocatlmayana. Within they became trapped in a large mural-lined chamber filling with poison gas! They had to discover the correct combination of powders to pour into an altar to stop the trap. Fortunately, Blazing Sun speaks (but does not read) Tlacatecollehi and was able to puzzle through a word or two on the walls to help figure out the puzzle. The team struggled a bit and activated a fireball trap and sprung a pit trap in their efforts, but soon they were able to get free of the chamber.

The group found themselves in a large room with two additional exits. Going through one, the team fought against a vicious ettercap! The spider creature tried to poison Blazing Sun but ended up being skewered by Wolf Spirit. They found a wooden lever on the far side of a coal pit behind iron bars. They tried to use a rope to pull the lever and ended up singeing the rope instead. They went back through the other doorway and were attacked by a swarm of spiders. A quick but bloody battle ensued and no one was poisoned by the spiders.

The room contained a second lever, and pulling it raised the iron bars back in the previous room. The team went back used water from a fountain to quench the burning coals! They then pulled that lever and opened a secret passage guarded by a macuahaitl-wielding ogre! The creature bloodied Standing Bison but could not withstand the team’s onslaught of attacks. Beyond the slain ogre stood a door deeper into the complex.

Savage! – Game Session – 003

Game summary for November 10, 2015, Savage! campaign; PCs included Blazing Sun (Kau human sage), Night Watcher (ogre martial artist), Singing Mammoth (elf soldier), Standing Bison (giant soldier), and Wolf Spirit (Kompache human priest).

The team made plans to ambush Paqpopoca and set a snare trap. They hid among the coverage and awaiting the approach. A Keeper warrior sprung the trap, but the knot failed! The party did have a surprise round though, and they tore into the warriors. Standing Bison clubbed soldiers viciously while Wolf Spirit scared off the enemy mounts. Blazing Sun rushed in to engage alongside Night Watcher as Singing Mammoth peppered the battlefield with arrows. The masked Keeper the party assumed to be Paqpopoca tried to flee, and Singing Mammoth fired and arrow at him. It lodged in the throat causing a quick, bloody, thrashing death. Night Watcher and a Keeper wounded each other grievously with macuahuitls, but the man was no match for the party’s combined might.

In the aftermath, the group discovered the masked figure was not Paqpopoca but a young lass! They found a Keeper who was mortally injured but capable of speech. The group learned they had killed Tepecot, Paqpopoca’s daughter! Realizing they could not get the information they needed here, the team traveled to the dreaded City of Bones!

Under the cover of darkness, the group crept in and found the home of the merchant. They interrogated him and found the location of Tocatlmayana. To make sure no one followed, they put an end to the miserable Paqpopoca and slipped back over the city walls to head toward the fearsome dungeon!

Halloween Hootenanny X – White Wolf Storytelling System – I6: Ravenloft

Game summary for October 31, 2015, I6: Ravenloft adventure module; present characters Dr. Aleksei Abramovich (physician), Arabella Hillebrandt (crossbowman), Dirk Osterhagen (grave robber), Eryk Sikorski (cleric of the Morninglord), Georgi Serebrov (circus performer), Haimrich Eckard (rogue), Kelemen Czako (woodcutter), and Kirsztina Mullner (paladin of the Morninglord).

This was a one-shot game for our six-hour Halloween Hootenanny gaming event. We converted the classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure module I6: Ravenloft to a White Wolf Storytelling System adventure and made fantasy characters using rules from the Mirrors supplement. For magic use, we used a very basic mana point system and limited range of spell effects pulling a few things from Mage: The Awakening with an eye on very, very fast play.

In the interest of time, the players were read a backstory of how they ended up trapped in Barovia and that destroying Count Strahd von Zarovich was their only recourse. The game began with a reading from Madam Eva to be followed by a search through Castle Ravenloft for the items to destroy the vampyr, and then, if they had not found him yet, they knew Strahd would find and attack them when only one hour of game time remained.

The fortune reading went as follows:

This card is a symbol of great power.  It tells of a powerful force for good and protection against the forces of darkness. This is in the mother’s resting place. There is a very good influence there.  If you are there, the powers of good will aid you.

This card tells of history.  Knowledge the ancient may help you understand a foe. This is in a place of dizzying heights that all loathe to travel.  The road winds ever upward and the rocks themselves live here! The diamond blesses your skill there, but bodes poorly for your protection.

This is the object of your search!  Ah!  I see darkness and evil behind this card!  It is a powerful man whose enemy is light, and whose powers are beyond mortality. This is a very bad sign.  This is in the very heart of darkness; his home, his source.  It is his center and his life.  It is the one place to which he must return. The diamond blesses your skill there, but bodes poorly for your protection.

This card is good for you.  It is a card of power and strength, the victor’s card.  It tells of a weapon of light, a weapon with a vengeance. A king’s throne is the place to find this. The spade is a dark shadow of evil cast over that place.  You fight under its influence here.

And here is the root card.  Out of darkness and chaos, this card finds the reason and foundation for darkness and chaos.  This card shows the purpose of all things.  It is the key to life and death and else beyond. Not yet, but soon, one who appears to be your friend will become your enemy.

The party entered Castle Ravenloft and followed the sound of organ music. They encountered Strahd in a great dining hall! Kelemen hurled a helmet at him and discovered it was an illusion. The torches went out, and they could hear all the doors, gates, and portcullis slamming shut as well as the drawbridge raising. The group discovered a secret door behind the organ and learned someone had used a mannequin and mirror trick to project the illusion. They proceeded to a stairwell leading up and down and descended further below the castle. Down in the depths, they were assaulted by a mob of skeletons swinging rusty maces. The team made short work of the undead and pressed on.

They discovered a stairway up, and found themselves in a large wide tower. The group started up when suddenly halberds darted out of the darkness and the entire tower seemed to come alive! It bucked and twisted, trying to hurl them into the darkness as a loud rhythmic thumping filled the air. The halberds hacked and slashed, and Haimrich found himself hurled from the stairs! He plunged to the bottom and was badly injured. Dr. Abramovich tried to go to him and was hurled off as well. Before long most of the party had fallen, but some made it to the top and discovered an enormous beating heart! They killed it, and the tower settled down. At the top of the tower they found and read the Tome of Strahd!

They then returned to the main entryway to find a different way up and were attacked by gargoyles! The fighting was intense for a few moments, but the team took them out. They then ascended the grand stairs and sprung a trap of flailing armor. Moving on, they ascended to the throne room and were stunned when an old metal sword hilt sprang up and merged with the blade carried by Haimrich! They had found the sunsword.

From there, the group proceeded down a wide hallway. At the end they saw double doors, and Arabella decided to charge into and through them. Her momentum carried her through the doors, passed two thrones, and over a railing down into the darkness below! Two Strahd zombies rose up from the thrones and attacked the party. The team was horrified to find as they chopped the zombies up the various pieces continued attacking! Before long the hallway was filled with ambulatory limbs all attacking the team! Meanwhile, Arabella used a grappling hook to climb up. They ended up tying up all the parts and leaving them behind. The group took the rope down into a large chapel.

As they started to explore, Strahd came into the room and attacked! The team took several hard hits but dealt a lot of damage of their own. Suddenly, a crossbow bolt from Arabella slammed into Strahd’s chest, and his features began to melt and shift! As he died, he took on the form of Haimrich! Horrified, the group turned to Haimrich who laughed and shifted into the form of Strahd! He hurled the sunsword through the stained glass window and attacked in earnest. He snatched up Georgi and drained him of his blood! The team was under an onslaught as Eryk jumped through the stained glass and found the sunsword out in the yard. He ran back in and gave it to the paladin Kirsztina. She dropped her blessed sword (picked up by Kelemen). The two engaged Strahd with their holy blades. Meanwhile, Dirk took his shovel and snapped the handle. Taking the makeshift stake, he plunged it through Strahd’s chest, paralyzing him! Kirsztina then decapitated the vampire lord!

The group looked out over the town of Barovia as sunlight filtered down on a new day, the people freed from the oppression of the wicked undead.