Halloween Hootenanny XVI – Dread Roleplaying Game – Return to the Cabin in the Woods

Game summary for October 28, 2023, Return to the Cabin in the Woods campaign, Dread Roleplaying Game, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Angelino Gambino (Human played by Peyton Harmon), Cory Bennington (Human played by Preston Harmon), Elijah Sutton (Human played by Parker Harmon), Jack Williams (Human played by Josh Jenkins as secondary), James Robertson (Human played by Peyton Harmon as secondary), John Nelson (Human played by Casey Scruggs), Loretta “Fancy” Walker (Human played by Katy Jenkins), Paulie DiMarco (Human played by Andrew Renfrow), Thomas Jensen (Human played by Shane Bradley), and Victor Wolfe (Human played by Josh Jenkins). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The group arrived at Myers & Krueger Cabin Retreat in upstate Vermont during early October.  The retreat, nestled in the remote woodlands, had been converted into an off-the-grid rehab retreat for online addictions.  For this particular group, online gambling.  They were impressed by the expensive cabin with its large logs, massive windows, enormous heated pool.  A nearby boathouse sat on edge of Crystal Lake, a stable and maintenance shed lay behind the main structure. 

Their van driver, Clive, dropped them at the entrance, and a bubbly, attractive, middle-aged Asian woman named Alma Katsu came down to meet them.  She was so excited to welcome them.  So excited!  Meanwhile, Clive drove off to get another group from nearby Eden, Vermont. 

The guests began getting to know one another, picking bunkmates, and exploring a bit.  Fancy went to the stables and fed one of the horses, which got her yelled at by the maintenance man, Abraham Stoker.  Paulie and Cory decided they would bunk together.  The group looked around a bit and met Mary Shelley, the culinary expert.  She was cooking some kind of stew with the secret ingredient, no meat!  Several of the group went on a short hike in the woods.  Thomas found himself a large staff, and Angelino found himself a smaller stick which he used a rock to shape into a stake-like object.  While in the woods, they saw several deer and a rabbit.  Meanwhile, Fancy went to soak her toes in the pool, and several others at on the porch and relaxed.  Some of the group roamed around and seemed to collect some apparently odd things. 

They regrouped in the main hall as storm clouds came rolling in and rain began pattering down.  Alma found a weird rubber hamburger on the table, which perplexed her.  They had dinner, talked, and the power went out.  The storm raged, and the power went out.  Alma said it was strange because most of the power lines are underground here but there is a generator in the shed.  They thought perhaps Abraham would fire it up soon.  They searched around and found a candle inside.  In a while there was a horrendous volume of cries from the stable, perhaps from the horses?  They sent Alma to investigate.  A few minutes later she returned drenched in blood.  She collapsed on the floor, and they looked her over.  To their shock she was bleeding from what appeared to be a shark bite? 

They found some first aid materials and tried to patch her up and found a way to light the gas logs to keep her warm.  Looking around they found two other awkward items in the room they swore were not there before.  One was a plastic pumpkin, and the other was a Native American headdress.  Some of the group went to shed to try and get the generator running and look for some means of communication.  Inside, they found Abraham, dead.  He had been scalped and throat slit.  They fired up the generator, turned on the radio, and tried to call for help.  They collected several tools and returned to the group. 

The group began seeing and being chased by weird monstrosities.  One was a large black bull with glowing red eyes.  When it opened its impossibly wide maw, it revealed row upon row of shark teeth.  Another was a ghostly Native American woman who wore a headdress over her scalped skull and carried a wicked knife.  Finally, there was a scarecrow-like figure with a jack-o-lantern head. 

Several of the group began revealing they knew about the supernatural forces at work here and needed to enact some kinds of rituals to banish these entities.  They revealed they needed to collect several different items, some of which they already found, and needed willing assistants to complete them. 

Victor, Angelino, and Paulie, fled to the boathouse and started to enact Angelino’s ritual, which required the final ingredient of mammal excrement.  Angelino popped a squat to get that last ingredient as the shark-bull crashed through the wall and bit him in half!  It ran off with half his corpse.  The other two rushed to try and finish the ritual, which in part required crushing salt and glass together and snorting it.  Victor completed the ritual and gained some sort of horrid connection with the bull!

Meanwhile, the group sought to gather the materials for John and Fancy’s rituals.  They completed John’s, which seemed to weaken the power of the spirits.  Emboldened, they completed Fancy’s ritual as well, which seemed the wrong thing to do.  The scalp taker appeared, merged with Fancy for a moment, grabbed John and ripped into him.  She scalped him and stabbed him repeatedly before hurling him through one of the windows!  The spirit then left Fancy who seemed to not know what happened. 

Dr. James Robertson, a survivor of the apparent crashed van of other guests, stumbled up to the door.  He seemed to be aware of Angelino’s ritual but claimed it didn’t work right because the wrong person completed it.  He said they needed to do it again, but it must be him.  They dodged the angry spirits, and Victor, Paulie, and James ended up back in the boathouse.  Victor was able to somewhat control the shark-bull and keep it at bay, but they were still under assault from the scalp taker and pumpkin carver.  They started working on the ritual and were viciously attacked by the scalp taker.  Victor drowned himself in an effort to break the link to the shark-bull and hopefully send it back to hell.  It didn’t work.  The other two were able to dodge the scalp taker long enough to enact the ritual again, linking James to the shark-bull. 

Meanwhile, the pumpkin carver was wreaking havoc at the cabin, hurling spiked pumpkins and covering the cabin in vines.  Thomas had had enough, and he set his staff on fire and smashed it through the face of the pumpkin carver, dismissing it back to the netherworld!

They then tried to enact Fancy’s ritual again, which seemed to summon another monster!  A wicked blue-haired clown appeared and transformed into a giant mosquito!  It buzzed around and eventually crashed through a door and used its proboscis to impale and drain Elijah’s bodily fluids until he died!  Several of the group fled down the road and ran into another crash survivor, Jack Williams.  They all turned and fled to the van where they found all the passengers and Clive dead.  The van had been rammed by the shark-bull.  The scalp taker appear in the mirror and slaughtered Cory while the others fled!  The rest of the group left the cabin and were chased by the clown mosquito.  It buzzed down out of the sky, and they beat it with oars, wooden spoons, and their bare hands until it was ripped to pieces!

The groups were able to meet up back at the van, and Fancy was able to summon the scalp taker with her apparent link to it.  It would not attack her, but it also refused to let the others go.  It wounded several but the group discovered that although their attacks went through her body, when struck on the head, her skull shattered and banished the demon!  

As the sun began to rise, the group realized those left standing had survived the night and fled down the road!

Chronoshift: Spelljammer — Game Session — 060

Game summary for October 17, 2023, Chronoshift: Spelljammer campaign, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Edonna Match Wushu Lu Klighke (Dragonborn Oracle played by Casey Scruggs), Hekera Nephera Mawhesk Vyk’sebekenka (Sebek-ka Fighter played by Preston Harmon), Helg Ingvar (Aasimar Cleric played by Chris Harmon), Jiraiya (Hurwaeti Freebooter played by Andrew Renfrow), Khesen Pavel (Human Brawler played by Parker Harmon), and Neko (Half-Orc Magus played by Peyton Harmon). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

Departing the ethereal wooden island, where they had valiantly confronted the colossal chimera, the intrepid team sailed deeper into the boundless expanse of Coliar, the enigmatic air planet. Their destination: an icy island rumored to be the abode of a formidable dragon. After a day of tireless searching, their keen eyes glimpsed a potential candidate. They anchored their vessel a prudent distance away, opting for stealth as they disembarked near a cavern entrance.

Preparing for the challenges that lay ahead, Helg invoked two communal protection from energy spells, warding against the frigid embrace of cold and the searing fury of electricity. Edonna, ever the beacon of divine favor, cast bless and divine protection spells upon the entire group, bolstering their resolve. Neko, a master of arcane arts, ensconced himself behind a shimmering shield, ready to fend off magical assaults.

As the party approached the cavern’s frozen maw, a chilling tableau unveiled itself. A half-dragon aarakocra sorceress, her scales and feathers a mesmerizing sky blue, took a commanding stance. Flanking her were two winged gorillas, their powerful frames wielding falchions with formidable expertise, and two menacing flame drakes.

The battle ignited with a fiery burst, as one of the flame drakes, breaking formation, unleashed a searing fireball over the tightly clustered adventurers. Fortune favored Jiraiya, who agilely rolled free of the fiery inferno. Yet, the party remained scattered, struggling to close in on their monstrous adversaries. In the midst of the chaos, Helg, imbued with divine might, invoked the righteous wrath of the faithful.

The aarakocra sorceress, in a calculated maneuver, conjured an obscuring mist that shrouded the battlefield in a veil of secrecy. The other flame drake followed suit with its own fiery breath, compounding the challenges faced by the party. Meanwhile, a winged gorilla, a fearsome derhii, hurled a javelin, but it missed its intended mark.

In a spectacular display of speed and skill, Jiraiya, his flail crackling with magic, streaked through the air, colliding with a flying derhii and activating his flail’s confusion-inducing power, throwing the bewildered foe into a state of disarray.

Edonna, assailed by fire and magic, was forced to retreat into the enigmatic mists, where she mended her wounds with potent healing spells. Hekera, the fearless warrior, advanced on one of the drakes, and with a mighty swing of his blade, brought the creature low. Switching to his bow, he began peppering his adversaries with arrows from a distance.

Helg, undeterred by the chaos, charged headlong into the fray, engaging the drake with fervor and landing several telling blows. Jiraiya, still grappling with the derhii, found himself often in single combat due to the creature’s confusion. Khesen joined forces with Helg, confronting the remaining drake while Neko, repositioning for optimal spellcasting, prepared to contribute his arcane might.

With a triumphant blow from Jiraiya’s flail, one derhii met its demise. Neko, now in a strategic position, conjured scorching rays, searing the derhii but finding the flame drake immune to his arcane assault.

Jiraiya, drawing upon his heritage and unparalleled leaping ability, engaged the aarakocra in mid-flight, grappling her with unmatched audacity. The aarakocra, taken aback by the sudden altercation in the air, tumbled to the ground as the two clashed. Neko, seizing the opportunity, invoked a forbid action spell, silencing her spellcasting. Hekera’s arrows found their mark as the tussle continued.

Jiraiya wrested a magical wand from the aarakocra’s grasp, prompting her to unleash her electrically charged cold dragon breath upon the party, unaware of their enchantment against such effects. Neko manifested a magical warhammer and delivered a crushing blow, felling the sorceress and bringing an end to the battle.

With the sorceress vanquished, the group swiftly looted her belongings, their magical wards still holding strong, and readied themselves to venture into the cave, prepared for the challenges that awaited within.

Chronoshift: Spelljammer — Game Session — 059

Game summary for October 10, 2023, Chronoshift: Spelljammer campaign, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Edonna Match Wushu Lu Klighke (Dragonborn Oracle played by Casey Scruggs), Hekera Nephera Mawhesk Vyk’sebekenka (Sebek-ka Fighter played by Preston Harmon), Helg Ingvar (Aasimar Cleric played by Chris Harmon), Jiraiya (Hurwaeti Freebooter played by Andrew Renfrow), Khesen Pavel (Human Brawler played by Parker Harmon), Komorebi (Kitsune Bard played by Josh Jenkins), and Neko (Half-Orc Magus played by Peyton Harmon). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The team diligently followed the trail through the woods, tracing the path left by the dragged corpse. Evidently, the tracks hinted at the presence of a colossal chimera, a formidable adversary they were determined to confront. As they approached a cavern entrance of significant size, they engaged in a brief but intense debate on their tactics.

Ultimately, the group reached a consensus: Komorebi would cast an invisibility sphere enveloping them, followed by an attempt to mimic the sounds of an aarakocra, hoping to lure out the chimera. Despite Komorebi’s uncertainty about the exact sounds an aarakocra made, the plan moved forward. Upon hearing the sounds, Edonna, shrouded in invisibility, inquired if there was an elephant nearby. The creatures within the cavern were pondering the same question.

To their astonishment, a variety of unusual beings emerged from the cave’s depths: two sky blue draco-wyvern beings, a forest drake, a formidable giant black chimera, and a white chimericore.

Taking advantage of their element of surprise, the team launched into action during the initial round of combat. Neko unleashed a fiery blast with a fireball, Komorebi inspired the group with courage, Jiraiya utilized dirty fighting tactics, Helg provided communal protection from energy, Edonna cast a prayer spell, while Khesen and Hekera embarked on a relentless melee assault. Caught completely off guard, the enemy suffered devastating injuries in a matter of moments. The giant chimera was swiftly dispatched before it could mount a defense. The drakes and draco-wyverns managed to land several hits, but Hekera boldly charged the chimericore. Despite the creature’s fierce resistance with claws, horns, and teeth, it couldn’t deter Hekera’s determined onslaught. After a series of devastating attacks, Edonna delivered the final blow with a voidmote spell.

Even Helg, not one to be left behind, joined the fray. With the advantage of surprise, the party maintained a dominant position throughout the battle. While they did sustain a few minor wounds, they demonstrated their capability to secure victory in the end.

Following the intense battle, the group discovered the lifeless remains of the aarakocra and a substantial mound of treasure. Without hesitation, they collected the gold, jewels, and a selection of magical items, including a valuable dragonbane scepter.