Brian Wade started wanting a Legolas archer. Dan convinced him he could be a wizard and still be an effective archer on the side. Wade eventually decided not to split his focus and stay mostly wizard. Dan says wizards are the most powerful class. They need to find spells so I suspect he’ll take some group investment to make powerful. I think he can learn healing spells so he may be the cleric as well. His race started as an ancient elf (Norse?) but he switched to a demigod race. Evidently it fit his character concept. It comes with a steep experience chart but he’s the most powerful race. No surprise there. He got one miscellaneous god power off but he thankfully picked a weak one.
Dave Green has a Warlock. It’s sort of an old school sorcerer type mage. He has a small spell list but they are innate and he doesn’t have to research or buy them. Warlocks are linked to elementals and DG chose air. That gives him his spell list off which he gets 3 per level and a few unique powers. When Wade switched from Asgardian Elf to demigod, DG switched to the Elf. That gives him better stats, supernatural strength all be it at 16 and the all-important SDC. Mainly he’s keeping up with the Jones’s.
Brian O’Neill started by using a techno-mage class from a cyberpunk book to create some sort of artificer, but he switched to a more fantasy genre class also from the Rifts book. It is an Elemental Fusionist which is similar in concept to the Warlock except that he combines two elements (fire and water). He’s more of a fighter with spell-like powers and a spell or two than a caster. As usual, he stacked everything well. He is an Atlantian which seems to be a meta-human kind of race. He has a 30 strength thanks to his race, class and skill selection but annoyingly to him, it is not supernatural. Both DG and BTO chaos oriented forces of nature types however Brian’s class actually takes minuses in the city. He then switched to another similar class. He found that the Fusionist was very front-loaded which made him unbalancing in the early levels however he didn’t feel like he got much new stuff in the later levels. The new class is a Spirit Warrior from a Native American genre book.
Dave Shimota has had problems. He started with Summoner mage class. The problem would be that he can’t do summons in combat as it takes too long. Dan says that’s a better NPC/villain class who can set up his lair in advance. So at the last minute, he took Mystic which was suppose to combine Wizard spells and Psi spells however he found that it didn’t get enough of either to be very good. Plus he could not access any damaging spells at 1st level. He also chose the standard Gnome race, figuring he wouldn’t be fighting and only casting. But it seems the “normal” casters in this system are good fighters too so he is way behind at both. Eventually, he was convinced to switch to the demigod race, taking the form of a Gnome. He rolled new stats but didn’t think they were very Gnome like so he stayed with the old ones. What he did get is more hit point and more of the all-important SDC so now he won’t be one-shotted by monsters design to challenge the more powerful characters. As his “god power” he chose a second class. So now he’s an Old One (sort of a wacky old school Druid) and gets the original Mystic for free. The rules are a bit vague on how this stuff all stacks. Dan and BTO making rulings and it’ll be interesting to see what he ends up with. He’ll have a lot of spell options (mage, psi and druid), that’s for sure. Right up his alley.
Jon was added late and only makes the occasional game. He’s an Atlantian like Brian but a Tattooed Man. That class has several interesting options but he chose the most powerful Undead Slayer. Basically they have powers in the form of tattoos which give everything from shape change, magic swords or power packages. Given the number of vampires we’ve encountered, we’re glad to have him along. Each tattoo takes energy (and an action) to invoke so it seems like he’s burning through PPE quickly. Dan assures us his is the most powerful character although with infrequent playing and typically poor Jon rolls, we haven’t seen it.
Dan does not have a character since he’s likely the only GM.
Game 1 ~1/18/2012
The first run and the group identity is as such. We are all slaves for one reason or another. DS and DG were caught spying. BW ran away from being a prince. Etc. We all ended up in the gladiator arena, assigned to fight some big beast in the morning. A minion of a great wizard shows up to spring Wade but it was too late. He promised his boss would be here soon and if he can live through tomorrow, he’d get him out of here. BTO offered to protect Wade and keep him alive if he would free him as well. We all jumped on that bargain.
They gave us our starting equipment for the fight but we had to fight off a troll and two ogres in the cells first. No problem. Our opponent was a Balrog. (At first level?) DG tried to parlay since it was trapped and hurt already. BW or BTO noticed it was regenerating damaged while we talked. Attack! BTO kicked ass doing 5 or 6 d6 plus many using his abilities and spells. He also had a damage shield spell and Wade gave him some magic armor to boot. The rest of us took our shots but mostly played with the minion zombies it created. At one point Dan hit BTO (crit?) for 75+ points of damage which would have killed super raced DG and vaporized DS. Play balance anyone? It was defeated and we stopped there.
We were freed from the arena by a powerful wizard by the name of “Destroyer of Mountains”. He took us back to his home in the palace. He was sure someone had been subtly manipulating the slave market to place us in the arena, presumably so that we’d die without any questions. Our origins are sufficiently diverse such that we could not find a common link between us beyond the ever deadly “player character” label. He was going to look into it further. In the meantime, he had a job for us.
Game 2 - 2/3/2012
Someone was messing around with a powerful gate in the old sewers which lay below the new sewers in the center of the city. Go investigate. The Mover of Mountains sent us to an alchemist who, for a modest price, gave us a map to get into the sewers and then into the old sewers. He was also the top magic buyer/seller in the city which would become handy. We found the entrance and sent down the Gnome on a rope. He was attacked by Ratlings (intelligent rat humanoids that live down here). A brief fight ensued during which one Ratling was knocked out and 2 other escaped. There was debate as to what to do with the prisoner. DG sped the process up by killing it. A decision Dan would hold against him for the foreseeable future.
We pressed into the sewers. Soon we stumbled onto a glue trap that adhered BTO to the floor. They then attacked with ranged spells. (They were low-ish level but using pre-made talismans to cast high-ish spells at us and which required a very high caster to create.) We were doing okay when one of them cast a wind(?) spell that pushed two more players into the glue. Since it was getting hard to close on them, we threw some ranged area spells their way. It sort became a stalemate and they fled into their tunnels. We pressed on and came upon an Atlantian Tattooed Undead Slayer fighting a demon thing. It was, in fact, an illusion spell trap (again, high level). Some us saved and didn’t see it but then couldn’t figure out what was going on. Eventually, those that saved, grabbed those that didn’t and we ran past.
Next, we entered a big chamber with a gate rune carved into the rocky floor. There was a bunch of dead cultists, a bunch of Ratlings and a bunch of Vampires all fighting. BTO offered a truce with the Ratlings and we all attacked the Vampires. We tried to concentrate fire onto a few of them but each side was casting lasting area effect spells so they keep moving. Not even BTO could stand toe to toe with them. The Undead Slayer bravely jumped through the gate to prevent more from coming in. (He could afford to do this because he was an NPC that night as Jon couldn’t make it.)
Wade and DS started trying to erase the rune while we fought. You needed a magic, silvered or wooden weapon to affect them so some of us were more useless than normal. Wade cast a couple of Globes of Daylight which helped keep us (and the Ratlings) alive. After several rounds, we finally overcame one of the Vamp’s 80 hp only to find out that they only became “less effective” and not defeated. One half down and 20+ to go. This could take a while. Sleepy DG whined about this and Dan soon allowed the rune to be broken which quickly brought the fight to its conclusion. The gate exploded and sealed. Some vamps got away and some Ratlings survived. We found a spellbook for Wade (worth $$$$), some magical gear and a journal from the cultists. By the way, the Undead Slayer got back to our side before the gate closed.
Game 3 - 2/17/2012
This was mostly a bookkeeping game, spending the loot we’ve earned mainly by selling the body parts of our fallen foes. By the way, BTO changed his class but not his character. The old class was very front-loaded. He was unbalancing at 1-3 but wouldn’t get much past 4th. The new option is still elemently but more evenly distributed.
We headed back to the surface and ran into the illusion trap again. After some quick rolls, we managed to convince Dan that while the players may have forgotten what happened two weeks prior, the characters would not have forgotten what happened 1 hour prior. So we retroactively analyzed the trap. Mainly, we discussed how the Ratlings get pass it. We needed a bit of Ratling blood, according to our experts. So BTO went back to the chamber to get some. There he talked to a Ratling. They didn’t want the city guards to invade to take out the Vamps and they were impressed by our efforts. So they offered to pay us to clean them out. I’m not sure how much. Probably the standard, you do the work, take the risks and can have the booty. We got a talisman for entry into their realm and promises of scouts when we return. This put getting magic, silver or wooden weapons on the top of our “to do” list.
We wanted to get cleaned up before returning to the palace so we stop at a brothel. 100 gp a person was a little steep but it was a full-service bath. I don’t think anyone partook in any other services but what happens behind closed doors is their business. The spy DG, noticed they were trying to gain information through many questions.
We made it back to the wizard and reported. We got a lot of back history about the gods, old gods, demons, etc in this system which flew past most of us. I’ll try to summarize. The wizard wasn’t so concerned about the Vamps. They show up, from time to time. He said the cultists seem to be trying to gate in an “old one” and that could destroy the universe. Okay, new priority. He gave us the name of a religious guy to help track them down. He also said there had recently been some killings in the government. Oddly, none of the historically rebellious middle kingdoms (of the Western Empire) had been killed. That threatens to destabilize the government. So we’ve got those two plot lines to pursue in addition to our group origin, our individual origins and the Vamps.
We tracked down the priest. He thought that the standard heretics were misguided and not necessarily evil. This was an evil or crazy or fooled splinter group. He gave us some information on how to contact the mainstream heretics on the promise that we won’t go in there, guns a blazing.
The Brians found superior weapons in the book so we headed to the best weapons smith in the city. There, most of us bought the top weapons that had +2 to hit, +2 to parry and +4 to damage. It cost around 3k depending on the weapon. Next, we headed to the magic shop to enchant those weapons or buy other stuff. One problem seems to be that the magic is very melee oriented. There are no magic wands for the spell casters, for example. Wade can spend all his money on new spells. DG can at least fight some so he can make use of a good magic weapon. DS was sort of at a loss. There are magic robes for armor and magic rings that provide spell-like abilities that he should look at. He has a ring of invisibility on order.
As we exited, Wade was stuck in the head with a magicked arrow from a rooftop. Lucky for him, he has lots of built-in SDC and lived. We jumped into action. The Daves ran into the building and up the stairs. Wade armored up since he seemed to be the target. BTO used his super strength to climb up the 5 story building in the blink of an eye. It was a summoned beastie that hid so well in shadows as to be invisible. BTO started swinging and the two of them took out a water tower which delayed the Daves an action or two. He waited for it to strike, timed it and then used TK to grab it and move it over the street. DG hit it with a weak sleep spell and to our surprise, it worked. Wade moved Brian up with a levitate spell and then Brian moved it up higher and dropped it. It landed for 20+ d6 of damage and took it all since he was asleep and not being “attacked” until the moment of impact. We got another 100k of body parts and went back into the magic shop. All and all we didn’t do much so we didn’t get much experience. We’re still at 1st level but getting closer.
Game 4 - 3/2/2012
As we left the magic shop, the Atlantian noticed that we were being followed. The Elf and the Gnome dunked into the shadows and then the Elf grabbed the thug. He used his intelligence skill to question him. He was following the Wizard as someone at a bar was paying for information. The Elf then let him go else we’d spend another two hours as the other characters questioned him. We grabbed some cloaks and head over to the bar. The Atlantian stopped at the Dwarven Blacksmith to check on his blade. The Gnome pressed forward, trailed by the Elf and the Wizard stayed with the Atlantian. This would allow the two spies to do some spy stuff.
Dave’s plan was to use his flute skills to entertain the patrons as he looked for our guy. Unfortunately, this turned out to be an Orc, Orge, etc tough guy bar. The sight of a Gnome dancing between the tables left them stunned. He did spot a man in black in the corner and started over that way. The Elf came in and took advantage of the Gnome’s actions. He sidled up to the MIB and used the Gnome’s odd behavior as a means to befriend/connect with this guy. He said he was looking to find the Wizard before the assassins hired by the family of the gal he was supposed to be engaged to found him. He didn’t seem like much of a spy. More like a butler. The MIB and the Elf headed out the back door as it was obvious that trouble was coming.
About then, the patrons started coming to their senses and drawing weapons. The other two players arrived. The Atlantian went in to intervene for the Gnome but got tangled up with an Orc and the brawl started. The Wizard put up a smokescreen. The Gnome went out the back. The Atlantian was now in the middle of a smoke-filled room, surrounded by angry monsters and the guy he came to save had already left. He did some acrobatics onto the chandelier and then out the front door. The Elf led the MIB out of the alley and to safety. Turns out he was the Wizard’s mother’s butler and the Wizard did not want to talk to him or more importantly, her. The Elf tried to stall him so that the Wizard could talk but Wade ran off instead. As the brawl spilled into the street, we got contact information on the butler and then left.
Eventually, we hooked up. The Atlantian tried to convince the Wizard to met with the guy and make some easy money. The Wizard got paranoid about his new friends and considered fleeing the city. We managed to miss enough rolls to make it interesting but made enough rolls to keep him in the group. We did meet at the mother’s house. The mother was not home but the butler offered to hide him in the country estate which sounded tempting. Eventually, he opted to stay on his own and take his chances. After all, now he’s in an adventure group so what harm could come to him?
We got enough experience to make 2nd. That took some time to sort through since it was a new system. Dan said he would allow characters to pick up skills beyond their class list if you could role-play it. Brian paid a bunch of money to a fighting school to be taught dual weapons. DG talked the palace acrobats into teaching him some acrobatics for helping them with their shows. The Gnome tagged along with that plan. The plan is to let time pass to complete that training, Wade’s spell learning and for our magic items to be ready. Dan also said that he was going to scale back on the money being handed out. He was trying to allow wealth (i.e. magic items) to fill gaps and level the characters a bit. The wizard spent all of his on new spells and the purportedly powerful Undead Slayer has missed out on the cash so maybe it worked.
Game 5 - 3/30/2012
Because this was Jon’s rare opportunity to play, we tried to speed up through the bookkeeping aspects and get into some action since the last time he played; he had to leave before anything really happened. We had to finish leveling up. BTO retreated from his dual weapon training and joined us with the acrobatics training. (He’d be getting that for free at later levels and it would have increased his power level significantly if learned now.) Mostly we just waited for time to pass. Our magic weapons under construction were completed. I’m not sure if any items that were on order came in. I don’t think so. I don’t think our acrobatics training was done either. Wade used the time to learn more spells from the spellbook.
Armed with our magic weapons, we headed down into the sewers to kill the Ratlings’ vampires. (It seemed like a good way to engage the vampire hunter Jon.) We stumbled into that same trap again and spent time mucking with it. We also got attacked by a massive croc who pinned everyone but Dave under it. DG almost went unconscious from mostly collateral damage. Luckily we were near a leyline and Wade could heal us for “free”. We eventually found the Ratling we talked to last time. While talking to him, someone spotted a gaseous vampire hiding in the corner. At this point, we realized we had no way of harming a gaseous vamp. In fact, there seemed to be no way to do it at all. Dan didn’t seem to mind (and wondered why we did) but we didn’t want to go into a fight where the vamps can just float away when they started to lose.
Dave, our mystic found that he could perform an exorcism and we successfully argued that this would at least force a vamp into becoming solid. Unfortunately, it took a lot of time. BTO had a physic force field that could hold a cloud but it took psi points to maintain. So Dave started his trance while the rest of us stayed casual. When the vamp realized what was happening, Brian hit him with the FF. Dave missed his first roll but we successfully argued that it wouldn’t take as long to try again. This time, he succeeded and the vamp transformed.
We all prepared to jump him however his guard duty replacement had arrived during the ritual and he went for help so when combat started, we got jumped by 5 vamps. The room was small so it was tough to maneuver. The daylight spell Wade used so well last time (and Dave now had also) wasn’t as useful here. We beat on them and killed a couple before the rest turned to gas and fled. I think we stopped there.
Game 6 - 4/20/2012
We sent our Ratling friend off to get the scouts he promised as well as some burning supplies as we felt we had a lot of vampire body burning ahead of us. We healed up for “free” since we were still near the ley line. The Ratling didn’t come back. Our tracker determined he had been attacked and dragged away. We pursued. The Gnome bravely went in front aided by his shiny new ring of invisibility. Of course, unknown to him, vamps can see invisible so that didn’t really help. One tried to grab him but his danger sense warned him. We all charged and beat on it. When Wade went (last) he put him in a magic net.
He claimed to be a member of the “old” vampires and they wanted the “new” vampires gone as much as we did. He suggested we were on the same side and said he could provide a map of their current strongholds. DG suggested a temporary truce with the “new” in exchange for his information was as close as cooperating as he’d be willing to go. None of the other players would even go that far. It was killed and we took his map off his body. It showed 3 x’s and one big X near a nexus point in this ruined city under the city.
Next, we encountered a cultist chanting in a magic circle. Evidently he was a member of the misguiding cultist that opened the gate a couple of games ago. He had been turning into a vampire but has been managing to keep the vamp spirit from taking him over, leaving him insane. DS performed a ritual to block it long enough so that we could talk to him. He said that they had a powerful wizard making talismans for them and they had turned a giant and it was leading them. (The big X.) He said there were at least 8 other vamps with them and suggested a frontal assault would be doomed. At his request, we killed him and went back to the chase.
We caught up to the vamps with the Ratling. We’re all fast and they had a body to carry. A fight ensued. As usual, their talismans were the real threat. BTO was put in a magic net and it would take rounds to hack him out. Luckily he could still use his psi powers to pick up heavy beams to whack them. All of us were put in a sticky floor spell although we argued as to whether that area could be a non-rectangle shape. And they cast a couple of sleep spells that effected DG and BW. DS got knocked out as well. BTO was doing massive damage with those beams and they avoided attacking him since he was in a net. DS asked if they could put him in a net too. It seemed safer. We took out two and two others fled.
We couldn’t chase because we were still stuck to the floor. BW used the fourth talisman to dispel the spell but it took 3 tries and all its charges. We pursued again and caught them again. We then took them out. BW used a bunch of spell power to heal us up. He then used a spell that converted SDC into PPE. I think that put him near full-on PPE and down to BTO levels on SDC. We disposed of the bodies. We need to figure out what happens next. We could go home and recharge. Attack the other 2 x’s in hopes of bleeding their numbers or at least eliminating their reserves. We could attack the big X sneakily but directly. We could come up with a less direct approach.
Game 7 - 4/27/2012
We discussed strategy with the Ratlings. We decided to take out the two small vampire encampments prior to attacking the main one. We hoped that would bleed off some strength from the core. In addition, hopefully, our wizard would be in attendance next time and we’d all be 3rd level. Seemed wise. The wizard and a group of Ratlings went to the encampment we took out to pick off any that came to investigate. They could then mount a diversionary attack on the main encampment at the right time. The Ratlings provided a bunch of talisman including a couple of sending so that we could coordinate at a distance. Each player got 2 talismans plus we got a pile of healing ones. I think Dan was being generous to entice us into attacking without our wizard.
We used the Ratlings knowledge of the underground to find a good trap spot. We set up a carpet trap and an illusion trap. BTO went forward, allowed them to spot him and ran back. That was very effective. As usual, the main threat was their talismans. DG, at DS suggestion, used his silence spell (must be centered on him) to silence three vamps stuck in a carpet. (He took advantage of a talisman to fly above them.) This prevented them from dispelling or attacking with spells. They had no choice but to go misty. A couple got away but we chased them down.
The second camp was about the same. A couple of vamps stayed back and shot spells which made it a bit tougher. In both battles, the vamps saved poorly against the carpets (dispel) and illusions (saves). A few got away, but again, they were chased down. I think we were good hit pointwise but some were getting low on PPE and ISP. JC, in particular, was low since his abilities take a lot to power. There was talk of retreating to the surface to recharge PPE and ISP, especially by JC. I don’t think that would be wise. Will they still be there in a couple of days? Better to press ahead. If JC is unavailable next time and BW is, maybe they’ll switch positions so that BW can join the main assault. We all made 3rd level but were too tired to do the paperwork that night. BTO is unavailable for 3 weeks so we’re likely to try again when he’s back.
Game 8 - 5/18/2012
We spent several hours at the beginning leveling up to 3rd. Jon had still not leveled up to 2nd. BTO at least tried to get his attack, parry and dodge up to date. Shimota finally succumbed to pressure and upgraded his race to demigod Gnome. His SDC certainly went up but in addition, he added a second spellcasting class which gave him another spell list. All totaled, he went from the least powerful character to perhaps the most powerful.
We debated about how to attack the last vampire's stronghold. We agreed we should press ahead and not recharge on the surface for fear of losing our chance to finish them off. We rested a few hours to get our batteries charged. About then, a ratling scout arrived with news that their wizard was working at some sort of seal, a distance away from the rest. This spurred us into action. One, it would be nice to take on one part of the final nest alone. Two, we worried about what he could be up to.
As we moved out, the warlock sensed an air elemental heading towards us. He greeted it as a friend but unfortunately, it was under the control of their wizard and had to report back. Our warlock managed to convince it to continue searching slowly before reporting. This was aided by the warlock bond, the fact that the elemental didn’t seem that happy about serving this vampire and it wasn’t that smart. We found the wizard and attacked.
We hit it with a globe of daylight, a silence field and several attacks. Its first action was to activate rune which cut current spell durations in half and made new spell impossible to cast. His spells were unaffected, of course. This limited our options. In particular, the newly powerful Gnome was mostly negated despite all his spell choices. At least our wizard was strong and could wield a sword. The Gnome eventually gave up on trying to find a way to cast and started removing the other talismans the vampire had pre-prepared. The villain acted like 8 times a round which helped overcome our numbers advantage. He kept leaping out of the silence and activating powerful spells. No flanking or attacks of opportunities in this system so we could not stop him from moving about freely.
It was suggested that we just grab him. He had supernatural strength and a high strength. The Daves had the first but not the second. BTO had the second but not the first. Jon and Wade had both but Jon had wrestling. He had much success, boring as it was to keep repeating the same actions. The main thing was that the villain had to use his actions to break out of the holds. And then BTO used his psionic bubble (not a spell so it worked) to contain him and the players, except the Gnome who was not in hand to hand. Now the vamp was in trouble as he couldn’t get to his runes. The elemental did show up late but his first action was to cast which didn’t work. The vamp went out despite 2 force fields, SDC and HP.
As we disposed of it, we looted the body but I don’t think we found much. The one thing he did have was an artifact by which he was creating and controlling the air elemental. That went to our Warlock, who now that the Gnome was a demigod, was at the bottom of the power curve. It provides some persistent powers like SDC to get him on par with the rest and a list of “daily powers” that could be useful and/or powerful in the right situation. The main thing, however, is that it allows him to summon and control a minor air elemental more or less at will rather than a 15% chance per day. That seems to be the Warlock best ability so it’s a good way to power up him and keep him within his class.
Game 9 - 6/1/2012
We discussed our plans for the final assault. We agreed that the Warlock should merge with the Air Elemental and report that their wizard was under attack. He’d draw them back here at which point the Ratlings would scatter with a reasonable approximation of the wizard’s body. Dan said he only wanted to do one battle tonight so that chase would happen “off-camera”. The Warlock would then use the AE’s super speed to rejoin the group before the assault from the opposite side. Dan made DG make a bunch of rolls, most of which he missed, but it pretty much worked.
We faced a vampire Cyclops and a half dozen vampires with annoying talismans. The Warlock used his silence but sadly he was the only one to miss the 90% roll so no surprise action for us. The same 3 spells, carpet, net, and negation were tossed about by both sides early. We “won” that exchange as our negations rolled better. The air elemental engaged the Cyclops in hand to hand with the silence in place. They simultaneously struck. The AE rolled well and did 45 points. The Cyclops critted and did like 400 points. That would have killed anyone else but it only used up all his SDC and most his hit points. Yikes!
No one was eager to engage it after that so most attacked the other vampires. On the AE’s second action, it cast a massive lightning bolt and then fled into the amulet since it was down to 20 hps. Unfortunately, Cyclops are immune to lightning so it did nothing. The Cyclops also tossed lightning javelins which didn’t do as much damage but still plenty. Those with Armor of Ithan took half. Sadly, had we known that “all Cyclops use lightning”, the AE had the immunity to lightning spell which it could have easily cast on everyone.
The undead slayer stepped up next but he couldn’t last long either. After 2-3 hits, he was on death’s door as well. This thing did so much damage that any blow against a weakened foe could be fatal. The New Gnome was effective and pulled out a heavy-duty “damage to vampires” spell. The Undead Slayer was soon out of PPE and SDC and was pulled from harm by the wizard using a cool time stop spell. The Atlantian did lots of damage using his TK and a massive beam. The Warlock used a daily power from the artifact to invoke a wind punch power that did decent damage at a safe distance. Apart from the constant threat of instant death, we eventually outnumbered the boss and took him down.
We recovered some treasure (10k gold each) and burned the body. It was big so that would take some time. Two groups of vampires came into camp but we were still mostly buffed up and they were dealt with quickly. One group was dressed as palace guards and had the princess in a sack. She was most grateful for her rescue. We were not leaving until this thing was burned up. I don’t believe we’ve left yet but will (hopefully) be headed for the palace soon. SDC and HP can be recovered in an hour on this nexus point but PPE will take a lot more time. We’ve been down here for months in real-time but only a couple of hours in-game time. We’re certainly more powerful than when we came. Typical. You leave the keep for a dungeon crawl and return more powerful than the lord in charge of the keep.
Game 10 - 7/13/2012
We finished burning the head vampire, grabbed our treasure and the princess and headed out. We got some low quality but high volume magic components that Dan deferred pricing in addition to the chest of gold. The Wizard revealed his true name to the princess. We avoided the Ratlings because we didn’t want the princess (i.e. the government) to know how many were down here. At one point the Warlock dropped back and talked to some of them. They offered their thanks and their information-gathering network. The Warlock had forgotten they had agreed to pay us as well but Brian hadn’t. He intends to go back later to discuss. Before we emerged into the city, we cleaned up using some spells.
We found the city in an uproar, searching for the missing princess. It was noted that some houses were being searched and some skipped. The princess surmised they were using the “usual suspect” list. We put a cloak over her out of fear that they might “shoot first and ask questions later”. She really would rather not be seen here, with us, in her current state anyway. As we neared the palace district, we hired a big cab. The Atlantian sped ahead to make sure the palace was still safe for her. It was. As we neared the gates, we were attacked.
Once again, the Wizard was struck from afar with a nasty spell. The few that had the skill to analyze magic, failed their rolls. The Gnome leapt onto the horses and spurred them on towards the gate. The Vampire Hunter tumbled onto the roof and looked for the shooter and didn’t see him. The Atlantian urged the guards to open the gate and then aided them. The Warlock stayed in the coached with the stricken Wizard and the princess. Next, a shadow fiend popped out of the shadows inside the coach and started to attack the Wizard.
The Wizard and Warlock attacked but it was tight quarters. It was obvious that the Wizard was the true target. The Undead Slayer swung back in to help. About then, someone cast a 7th level fire Warlock spell of lava river between the coach and the safety of the palace grounds. Much debate ensued and many ideas were thrown about. Eventually, the Wizard used his time stop spell to get him and the princess out. Unfortunately, this left the Warlock with no actions left. Luckily the Undead Slayer had one. He grabbed the Warlock and dove out the window. The Gnome had tried to turn the horses but there wasn’t enough room. He too, lost actions due to the time stop spell and was heading in. The Atlantian used TK to grab him just in time. (Good thing he was under 100 pounds.) Unfortunately, our treasure tumbled off the coach and into the lava. On the next action, he TKed it but we lost the worth of the equipment Dan didn’t want to calculate. (We each got 10k.)
Once out of the coach, the Warlock searched for our sniper aided by his artifact that allows him to see invisible. He and the similarly aided Atlantian succeeded in spotting him in an upstairs window across the street. The Wizard saw to the princess. The Undead Slayer continued to attack the shadow beast. I’m not sure what the Gnome did but he was just happy to be alive. Probably attacked the shadow guy. The Atlantian moved to attack the shadow beast on his way to the sniper. The Warlock conjured his elemental and sent it after the sniper. Everything was quickly resolved from there.
The guards took possession of the sniper. We met with the Slayer of Mountains who recognized the spell used on the Wizard and the fact that it only affects demigods. We had a good night’s sleep and recovered most of our PPE/ISP and then had lunch with the princess. They got a lead from the sniper and she asked if we’d be interested in being hired to follow up on it. We agreed, once Dan has a chance to figure out what that might be. We still have to deal with the cultists that are risking the end of the multiverse with their ill-conceived plans.
Game 11 - 7/27/2012
Most characters resumed their acrobatics/gymnastics training with the court tumblers while we recovered our PPE and ISP. The Gnome borrowed PPE from the two other casters and created a permanent protection charm. Several characters spent their money on magic items or put in orders. The Wizard studied some new spells. I think he’s exhausted the spellbook he got early on.
The Spirit Warrior asked the Slayer of Mountains if he had a map of the ley lines of the world. He was looking for a fast way back to the northern reaches so he could go on a spirit quest for a new item as allowed by his class. The Slayer did not have knowledge that far north and our Warrior is still trying to figure out how to do it. It was pointed out that a god could grant the boon so it could occur here, if the gods so desired. It was also pointed out that the Gnome was now a nature god of sorts and might be able to do it although admittedly that would be a little odd, a player granting a divine boon to another player. But we’re an odd collection of races.
On the shopping trip, a disguised beggar was spotted. He turned out to be an Asgardian Elf that the Warlock knew. The Warlock went off with him, followed discretely by the Gnome. This guy was assigned to watch this plane by the Norse gods because it is a prison for the Old Ones and needs to be monitored. His tour of duty was 100 years and wasn’t too happy about it. He asked if our Warlock would like to take over. It’s a tough spot for the Warlock. His character concept was that he was marooned on this plane and was just keeping busy until he could get home. Now what? He offered to take over for a year so this guy could go home and visit his wife figuring he’d be here a year to finish off the current tasks. He gave him access to a room with a magic map, a magic radio and a magic lock on the door. Any sign of trouble, like our main plotline of cultist trying to free an Old One, he should “call it in”. He also mentioned a cache of magic gear in a distant city that might be worth checking out. Then the Warlock started researching travel times like the Spirit Warrior. Unfortunately the 3 locations (here, north and cache) are about as far from each other as they could be.
The tumblers were to perform at a state function. The Wizard, being of noble birth was invited as a guest. Someone spotted a letter being slyly passed between a “man of action” and a “spy”. Both were watched but the performers were limited as to what they could do because they couldn’t very well mingle with the guests. Someone was stabbed and killed. The Gnome and Wizard headed to the nearest exit, figuring the assassin would be headed that way. The Spirit Warrior went after the spy who headed out another exit. The Warlock went to the body. The Spirit Warrior grabbed the “spy” with his TK and managed to spin him enough so that he could use a scroll to escape.
The Wizard hit with punch simultaneously as the assassin critted with a nasty dagger. The Gnome shot a magic rock at the fleeing assassin, missing and hitting an innocent party guest. The Warlock cast Cloud of Slumber and the assassin failed his save. The Wizard tried to pocket the assassin’s cloak but didn’t get away with it. The Gnome performed first aid on the innocent. The Warlock tried to calm the people in the crowded hallway with his Charm and Public Speaking skills. He rolled poorly the first time and a 00 on the second, much to the delight of everyone. (Critical failures are even better than critical successes.) After half the crowd fled into the Cloud of Slumber and the other half panicked in the other direction, the guards showed up and took charge. We assume it was another middle kingdom assassination plot.
Some experience was earned but no treasure. (Everything was evidence.) We still have two choices, the middle kingdom unrest (and Wizard assassins) or the cultists awakening the Old One. Both will finally get us out of this city.
Game 12 - 08/31/2012
We spent hours discussing which path we should pursue first. Despite the threat of the destruction of the whole universe, it was decided to pursue the middle kingdom unrest. There were two main reasons. One was that the trail was hot. The information extracted by the empire’s mind mages from the guy caught at the party would probably be only useful for a limited time. The second was that one of our party, the mage, seems to be targeted every other game so it would be nice if we can stop that. That assumes these are political attacks and not just his mother.
We talked to the princess and signed up to help. I do not recall if there were any payments discussed. The Undead Hunter did express the desire to take no money so we would not be beholding to them. She sounded very much like a spymaster during those discussions. The assassin’s mind was crushed during questioning. The noble was in bad but better shape. They had determined that there was “evidence” at his estate in the city. They wanted us to get it. If caught, they could not be implicated. The hope was that it was not the middle kingdoms because the empire did not need a civil war right now. Several characters would rather they had that civil war instead of expanding eastward.
We asked to interview him for ourselves. Much discussion and skill rolls ensued. Basically we got the name of his seneschal, captain of the guards and a password to identify us as friends. We then talked to the princess and got a rough layout of the compound and the likely building in which his office was. We also talked to the Slayer of Mountains who advised caution. If a civil war was started by our findings, he would have to rely on us more heavily during the predicted troubled times ahead. The Atlantian took the Slayers supply of middle kingdom cash so that we could frame them, if we decide that was the right decision.
We cased the place. We found magic runes all over the place. Only the mage could see them (with a skill roll that he kept missing) and no one had the means to disable them. (The Undead Slayer invoked a tattoo to get a detection roll too.) He did say we might be able to fool some of them with the blood of the noble which we retrieved. It was much like our preparation for fighting the vampires when we realized we had no way to fight them in mist.
So the plan was to pose as being sent by the noble to secure the “evidence” before a possible raid. We used the password (confab) to get from the captain of the guard to the seneschal. He let us into the entry room at the office building. He then left to check something. We used the blood to move into the main room (with a save) but again were confronted with multiple runes we could not defeat. We decided to stick with our story in hopes the seneschal would open some doors and/or show us where to look. We went back into the waiting room.
The guy returned and said he could check on the master remotely. He led us into one of the two secured rooms where there was a scrying fountain. It was obvious the noble was in a prison and in bad shape. The seneschal concluded that our concerns had already occurred and declared the evidence must be destroyed ASAP. We assumed he’d lead us to it but to our surprise, he said he could destroy it remotely from this room. He moved to destroy several glass orbs on a stand. We acted.
Unfortunately, he beat all of our initiatives. We argued that since we were “ready for action” we should have gotten a surprise round or at least bonuses. We compromised and our top initiative (Atlantian) was allowed to act first. He threw up a TK bubble so that no one could reach those spheres. Unfortunately (part 2) this guy had psionics and used TK through the shield to knock them over anyway. Next to act was the Warlock but he was trapped in the bubble. Dan allowed Brian to drop the bubble as a free action even though he had just put it up. The Warlock rolled a natural 20 (plus his high dex) and managed to save 3 orbs including (we hope) the one that destroys the evidence.
Combat ran for one action and we called it a night. One globe activated a gargoyle in here and one out there. The Undead Slayer pulled out a sword. The Gnome cast a Carpet of Adhesion on the two opponents. That probably won’t worry the TK guy but might limit the gargoyle. The Wizard magically locked the door so that it will be 5 against 2 next time.
Game 13 - 09/14/2012
The Gargoyle defeated the Carpet of Adhesion by turning the stone floor into mud. This limited our mobility but it was already tight quarters and only the melee Atlantan was inconvenienced. He then turned the floor back to stone, trapping our feet in stone. That trick ate up some actions as people cast spells or simply beat on the stone. The Mind Mage empowered a dagger with a spell and attacked the Atlantian. The GM subtly indicated he should dodge rather than take it. Basically we concentrated fire on the Mind Mage. The Gargoyle tried to get at the Atlantian but he was too good to hit.
Things were progressing slowly until the GM subtly reminded the Warlock about his elemental. Dave had the impression this was a small room and didn’t think there was room for a 10-foot tall tornado in here. It was pointed out that the gargoyle was 8+ feet tall (he is?) and was fitting fine. Basically we need not worry about the realities of the space. The elemental’s second strike was a crit on the Mind Mage, finishing off his force field and knocking him down. The next round then started and several beat his initiative and pounded him before he could get the force field back up or stand up. His body got carried around from then on but he never regained consciousness.
The Gargoyle again turned the floor to mud; deep mud into which it dove. Everyone cast something to keep from sinking. With no targets left, the Warlock suggested the Mage unlock the door (turn off his spell) and the Warlock flew out. In there was a smaller gargoyle posed to strike, one fighting the Undead Slayer in the corner, and some black jelly all over the floor. The Gnome cast a turn to mist type spell with the intent of getting through the other door but was informed that the rune was still there and might destroy the evidence if triggered. The Warlock had a similar plan. The elemental came out to help his master. The Atlantian saved the unconscious mind mage from the mud. The wizard dove into the mud in hopes of swimming/tunneling through the floor and into the next room.
The large gargoyle resurfaced and turned the mud back to stone, thus trapping the wizard. It tried to tackle the Atlantian into another mud puddle but he put up a force field. They basically then continued to nullify each other. The wizard used his godlike shape change to get smaller then used his godlike strength to tunnel into the next room with his bare hands. The Atlantian still thought he was trapped in stone and stayed in the room trying to entice the gargoyle to turn that part of floor back to mud in order to save him. The rest were unaware.
The Warlock and the elemental beat on the gargoyle. The Gnome tried to figure out how to get into the room but could not. Eventually, the black jelly managed to climb up the gargoyle and attack the Warlock, the only thing in the room with a heartbeat despite flying on the ceiling. He didn’t realize that was happening until it was too late. Our monster lore told us it had thousands of hit points and could only be effected by extreme cold or heat. The Warlock and his elemental had nothing but luckily the jack of all spells Gnome had a frost spell for killing crops that worked after several actions. The Warlock suffered several attacks directly against his hit points (i.e. no SDC) but lived.
The Wizard faced another gargoyle in the vault. He decided to just grab the safe and the map on the wall and crawl back out rather than fight it. Once out, he busted the safe open and grabbed the evidence (and loot). We grabbed the desk for good measure and went out the back window. We then triggered the destruction rune and the whole building came down. We used that distraction and successfully ran away.
The evidence was as expected. The middle kingdoms were indeed plotting to revolt. The Atlantian also mind-melded with the unconscious seneschal and got some information as well. We debated on whether we should tell the empire, thus triggering a civil war, hide the evidence, thus delaying the war until something else came up or some middle ground with false information. I think only BTO was advocating for delay and everyone else was wanting of telling and letting the chips fall where they may. I believe we voted that way so that Dan would be able to plan the next game accordingly. We haven’t returned to the princess to have that conversation yet.
Everyone leveled up with the possible exception of Jon. None of that paperwork has been done. The Gnome needs downtime to commune with nature and construct his magic staff. The Atlantian needs downtime to create a class item as well. The Wizard wants to switch classes (multiclass) to Mind Mage so will need downtime to find someone to do that with. I think the Atlantian is also multiclassing. The Undead Slayer could probably use that time to get some new tattoos. The Warlock has no such needs but might try to pick up an extra skill in that time.
Game 14 - 10/5/2012
We thought Jon could play on this date but we didn’t hear from him. We leveled up. Dave asked to shift which spell list he got all spells and which he got some. Since it lessened his power level, Dan agreed. I didn’t quite follow it. They also discussed ways to make his current classes more AD&D Druid like. I’m not sure they agreed on anything. We did not role play Wade’s pursuit of the Mind Mage class. He only asked that we do it prior to 5th. Dan said level progression will be slow enough so that wouldn’t be a problem. The only issue for DG was the interpretation of the 4th level Ball Lightning spell. We all could agree it was vague. Dan and DG eventually agreed that 3D6+4 was too weak and 3*(3D6+4) was too strong. Dan came up with an arbitrary middle ground. Since it’s a thrown effect, it can be parry. Depending on the thing being used to parry, 1, 2 or 3 balls could be countered. So a sword parries 1 and a shield does two. Since its attack roll is poor (no weapon bonuses), it’s not that great but better than merely 3D6+4.
We went into the wilderness to do the Gnome’s nature meditation. He quickly realized something was out of whack. We looked into it. We discovered a zone of death where living things were breaking down on the molecular level. (Radiation poisoning) It got worse as we walked towards the center. Luckily our regen could keep up with the damage at first. (Two gods and one guy with an amulet. Good thing the Atlantians didn’t come.) Eventually, we came to a cave that seemed to have been blasted out of a small hill. The walls glowed with an eerie light. We came to a thick metal wall (bulkhead) with small cracks and holes in it. While the demigod mage could have pried an opening, the Warlock brought forth the elemental who was stronger and did it a bit faster.
We entered what turned out to be a ship from the future. We encounter an iron golem (robot) that declared us intruders and attacked. The Gnome put up Armor of Ithan. It fired a light beam (laser) at the mage and did 100 points. The Warlock put up an electric field (Ball Lightning) since we had no meleers with us. It did extra damage from the nearby ley line and from all the metal in here. Unfortunately, its area was also increased and the players were also in it. Luckily we all had AoI and took much less damage. The Mage cast the standard fist and the Gnome cast the standard cannonball. It went and seemed to have been empowered by the field. That bolt did more damage but luckily the Warlock dodged it. The Warlock then dismissed the field and cast the Balls. It did not attempt to parry and all the extra damages took it out.
We pressed on and found a bulkhead with a door. Inside there was the source of the death (control rods) and we started taking hit points of damage. The room and the whole back half of the ship had been cleaved off by a rift at the back of the cave. Now what? The Gnome got out of the ship and started to commune. He ran into a legless robot which shot at him. He wanted to know if the hill was containing the stuff and perhaps we need only seal the cave entrance. (Turned out to be mostly true.) The Warlock found a uniform that was in decent shape on a body and put it on. The wizard mended it and cast the charisma spell. The Warlock then went to talk to the legless robot. It was damaged enough for the ruse to work.
We asked him if there was some way to contain this stuff. We carried him around so he could assess the situation. This room is shielded. Is there another room? In the other half. Can we repair it? With material and tools in the other half. (The Warlock’s experience ordering elementals was helpful here as these things had the same literal minds.) The mage disguised himself and we picked up the invisible Gnome and went through the rift. That was a future world where high tech guys were fighting flying Balrogs. Some city called Chicago. The half on this side was more damaged. The other half of the room was underwater and glowing worse. We instructed the robot to order 4 others to help. We grabbed the metal plates, tools and the few pieces on this side and went back.
The robots fixed the room. They figured it would hold for 100 years. Best we could do but at least it’s above the water table and in this cave. The Warlock blew a bunch of rolls to reprogram them to accept the other players as crew members. A few more potshots. Eventually, we succeeded. The mage grabbed some radioactive books and had them build a safe to carry them. When that was done, we ordered them to seal the cave behind us as we left. I’m not sure if we are still radioactive.
Game 15 - 10/19/2012
The 3 players from the last game returned to the palace with radiation poisoning. (An invisible cloud of death about their aura.) Their regeneration was staying ahead of it but the people in the palace also started becoming ill. The Spirit Warrior needed to go on a spirit quest in the sort of astral plane and consult with the big time spirits. He hoped they would know how to cure this problem and everyone agreed to come along. Our bodies were left in the Slayer or Mountains’ meditation room and we crossed over.
We were met by a fox who guided us to the millennium tree. Dan gave us a lot of back history of the multi-universe as the Spirit Warrior and demi-nature god Gnome conversed. The Gnome was enlightened with the knowledge to construct the magic item afforded the Spirit Warrior by his recent leveling up. It could not grant the knowledge of how to be a mind mage (Wade) or a new psi power (BTO) but did show a mind mage in the capital that should be able to help. It did show someone trying to contact the old ones from our plane. The Warlock jumped on that and asked for more information that was received and will likely be the launching point for the next run.
Last on the list was to cure our affliction. The players missed it but the tree spirit blows the anti-life out of the players and concentrated it in a monster which then attacked. That, the players noticed. It was a big boss that never missed, only the Spirit Warrior had a (small) chance of parrying and did 2D6*10 damage per hit. The Gnome tried to apply his anti-undead spells but this was anti-life and not undead. He boosted some ally’s defenses and cast his standard magic rock. The Wizard had the nerve to have the largest ISP and was attacked first. That blow knocked him back where he stayed and did his standard crushing fist from a safe distance. The Spirit Warrior tried to draw its fire and beat on it. The Warlock called forth his Elemental and both of them did considerable damage. It turned its attention to the Elemental and after 3 hits, its SDC was gone and most of its hit points. It did a massive haymaker and then went back into the amulet. The monster was dropped soon after but ...
It then started to reform, one per player. The Warlock cast a Gust of Wind spell but only managed to stop one of them. 3 more were there. They still did the same damage but theoretically had a lower to hit and certainly fewer hit points. The Warlock hadn’t bothered to cast Armor of Ithan since the original beast would blow through an AR of 18 like it wasn’t there. Before he could go, his beast critted with maximum damaged rolled. That 12*10*2 or 240 points. He was killed instantly, by a considerable margin. Dan mysteriously said that the Warlock dissolved into a mini whirlwind and then disappeared.
The fight continued. Fire was concentrated as much as possible and several stalling spells were used to minimize the damage dealt. The players were victorious. The Gnome said he had a spell that could raise the Warlock but must be cast within 3 hours. With the weird time flow of this plane, there was no time to lose. They traveled back to their bodies on the prime plane. There, they discovered the Warlock had reformed (an as yet unknown power of the amulet, evidently) but was in a coma. With the aid of the Gnome’s psi surgery and the Warlock’s decent Con, he needed to make 2 out of 3 70% rolls to wake up. He missed one and revived. The two interested players visited the Mind Mage and start the process of Wade switching classes. No treasure, some experience and hopefully the end of character side quests so we can get back to saving the world next time.
Game 16 - November 2012
We came back fully healed from the radiation but we needed some time to get back our ISP, SDC, HP and PPE. With some research we determined a spell that would help the sick people at the palace. We continued to train with the acrobats. As we walked the halls, we noticed some guards running for the gate. Everyone reacted in various ways and started heading in various directions. Basically there were packs of dangerous dogs that suddenly appeared and were terrorizing the city. We took to the air to see if we could help. They were “devil dogs” or some sort. Like Hell Hounds. We found evidence that they had been killing innocents so when we finally tracked a pack down, we attacked. For some reason, Dan was surprised by this action since the dogs weren’t currently attacking anyone.
They were seriously tough but they couldn’t fly so we quickly took to the air. The Atlantian lost all of his SDC before that, trying to be the hit point buffer. We started hitting them with what few area effects we had. Then a giant dog appeared over the rooftops. Some saw a normal-sized dog, some saw the giant dog and some didn’t see it at all. Depended on their heritage and enhanced sight. The Atlantian recommended we head back to the palace, figuring we were going to need some high powered help. No one but the Warlock listened. It quickly spotted the Wizard and it was obvious it was he it was seeking. (As usual.) It attempted to swallow him in its gaping black hole maw but he managed to dodge it. It and its minions then gated out. Those of us that know Norse lore were supposed to recognize it as a serious Norse god. There’s more to this wizard that meets the eye.
The Wizard started his Mind Mage training. The Gnome created the magic item for the Atlantian. The Warlock reported the dog to his spymaster back in Asgard. We then examined our notes on these cultists bent on releasing an “old one”. We decided to focus on the misguided splinter group since they were in the city. We went to their headquarters and watched it. We determine an important person and half of us followed her. The other two, Gnome and Wizard, broke into the place and look around. Not much was found and they did determine that their members have been disappearing.
The VIP was being followed by someone else. The Warlock rolled poorly but good role played tactics and help from the Atlantian kept them from being spotted. Soon she was attacked. They rightly guessed that he was bent on capture. He bagged her and headed towards the docks. When they were certain as to his destination, the Atlantian swooped in and took him out. They decided to bag the guy and return the unconscious lady back to her people to get in good with them. After initial suspicion, they started talking. I don’t quite remember what was said. I think the next course is to sneak into the bad guy’s lair.
Game 17 - 12/14/2012
No one could quite remember what information we got out of our captive. The Atlantian did remember he was insane and therefore couldn’t use his psi powers on him. He used his psi disguise to pose as our captive. They wrapped the wizard in the carpet, figuring for some reason, he was most likely to be mistaken for a woman. They headed in. Lucky for us, the guards were hired hands who thought they were just guarding a warehouse so they didn’t ask any too many questions. The Warlock flew/snuck onto the roof of the warehouse and worked his way down the ducts. Among the crates was a magically hidden, magically trapped trapdoor. The hidden part was no problem for the two characters with true sight rings. The wards were not so easy. Once again, we needed the blood of a guy to get past them. (You’d think we’d remember that by now.) The Atlantian argued that given the amount of damage he did to the guy with his flying kick hours earlier, there was probably blood on his boots. An excellent alchemy roll, aided by an excellent trapping roll (the best skills they could muster) succeeded. It was a good thing too because we’d need that surprise.
The Warlock joined them as they walked down to the next level. The scale was big, 20 feet per square, a fact that came into play on several occasions. There were 5 rooms. We started in a room with the stairs and some crates. To the north was a room with seals on the floor and guys chanting in them. To the west was an empty room. North of that was a room with a jail cage with some “misguided cultists” and 2 (soon to be 3 guards). South of that was a barracks with many sleeping guards. We decided to take on the awake guards first, figuring the chanting guys might not notice a commotion. (Divide and concur, when possible.) The Warlock cast his silence spell on himself but with the large scale, it didn’t do much good. The wizard cast a Seal spell which should work on a house, but with this scale, could only get the barracks door and the door to the stairs room. That was critical however as it allowed us to split the combat into two fights.
The Atlantian walked in the jail room-friendly like and when one of the guards started to question him, he gutted him with a knife. He noticed a 3rd, more dangerous looking guard we couldn’t see before. The first guy was finished off by the silenced Warlock and the Wizard. (The 2nd guard got hit early and fled into the middle room only to discover both doors magically sealed.) Then the super guard went. He had major armor, a giant major sword and a major empowering spell. The net effect was that our best meleer, Brian, had almost no chance to parry nor getting past his parry. That left the rest of us in even worse shape. The Warlock, dropped the silence since it couldn’t cover everyone anyway and hit him with a lightning only to discover his spell made him immune to all energies as well. And +10 on saves. Uh oh.
The Atlantian is the “hit point buffer” due to his large parry which this guy had no trouble with. The wizard cast a spell to give him some SDC without an AR but only lasted one massive hit. The Warlock summoned the AE but, while his damage is high, his attack is low and had no chance to hit this guy. The Atlantian resorted to simultaneous attacks in order to hit him at all. (Desperation tactic.) We scanned the books looking for some obscure option to use. (Something the Gnome and Shimota excel at but he did not attend.) At the end of the round, the Wizard did a time stop and put out all the sources of light, hoping the super guard did not have night vision like the rest of us. This did help and shaved a few points off him.
It was the Warlock of all people who came up with the tide turning spell. He cast Wind Rush (3rd level) which is design to knock over groups. The way it’s written, it takes an 18, 19 or 20 roll to save so all his bonuses didn’t help. Dan tempered the effects a bit, including the multiple round duration, but it did knock him off his feet. The AE and the Wizard then hit him with haymakers now that he couldn’t parry and he didn’t last the round. So he went from untouchable to out. Whew. We rescued the prisoners. We could hear the wizards blasting at the wall in this room. We couldn’t figure out why they weren’t blasting at the door in the other room. (Turns out they didn’t want to leave the circles.) The AE smashed a hole in the ceiling and the prisoners fled. We came back down the stairs, ready to start the real fight. (By the way, the other guards were still locked in the barracks.)
There were 3 or 4 wizards inside 4 circles. Our wizard blew several magic skill rolls (we miss the Gnome) so we weren’t sure what they were doing. Eventually, the Wizard cast a know all languages spell and could read the runes. They had a teleport circle, a power circle, a force wall circle and a connection circle. (Dan forgot to include the most powerful circle. The screw all supernatural players circle.) Anyone that got too close was at ½ everything. ½ hit points, SDC, spell power, spell range, spell duration, etc. (The Air Elemental too.) The large scale meant most of our spells couldn’t even reach them, even at half power. They let loose with some lightning that did many dice. Luckily the Warlock and the AE had AoI on for half damage.
The Warlock asked the Wizard if his dispel barrier would work. He missed his roll. The Warlock decided to chance it, with no other good options and it worked. This made them at least approachable. The Atlantian started TKing debris at them from a safe distance. The AE followed suit. The players were still outgunned. The Atlantian, who was unaffected by the spell being a mere (tough-ass) mortal, bravely ran into the room and started breaking one of the circles. The AE was ordered to join him. This started freaking out the wizards mainly because it happened to be the escape route teleport circle they were working on. (The Wizard hadn’t figured them out at that point so that was lucky.) The Warlock came in and hit them with a diminished Wind Rush and knocked two out of the circle. One pulled out a scroll of black hole creation but was dropped before he could attack with 2d4x100(?). Once they were out of the circles, they were finished off. So for the second fight we went from totally ineffective to over in a round. Certainly exciting.
We gathered some magical gear. The super armor was badly damaged and not worth much. There were some crates with booty. The Atlantian used his psi mind meld and now knows where these idiots are trying to wake the god. In the old country across the continent. We got some good exp but still not close to a new level. We even finished our gymnastic training which is good since we’re leaving town. BTO is unavailable until mid January. DG is unavailable for most of January and into February. So it is not certain as to when the next game is.
Game 18 - 1/25/2013
Dave arrived very late but we mostly did bookkeeping and hadn’t really started when he made it. The mage purchased some more spells. The spirit warrior got a new class item. The 3 characters doing the acrobatics training adjusted their stats accordingly. The treasure from the last game was divided. It was some gold but the big-ticket item was the armor the head guard was wearing. Turns out it had 300 SDC with no AR and self-repairs at a modest rate. It was also light enough for a spell caster to wear without penalty. Since it won’t fit the Gnome and the other two were not interested, the Warlock took it. The modest funds from the guard’s sword were used to change the motif from that of an evil Set worshipper to a neutral spy. The Warlock split his cash, no small amount, to the other two in compensation but it still came short of it’s worth. Like that spell book the wizard got early, sometimes things just can’t balance but the group as a whole benefits.
We decided to pursue the lead from last time and seek the cultists in the Old Country. To shorten the trip, we consulted the Slayer of Mountains for the nearest nexus point. I believe he provided the mage with a spell to allow us to travel there and a spell so we can call for the army if things go awry. Once at the village on the border, we realized it would still be quite an overland trek. It was decided that the elemental could carry the group if the proper vehicle could be constructed. A boat was started with a pivot joint to dampen the inherent spinning of the elemental. Poorly suited skills were employed as well as the local blacksmith and rolls were made. It would take a couple of days.
During that time the village was attacked by a squad of trolls (think hill giants) lead by one that had been supercharged by spells. It quickly became apparent to those who could understand troll that they were sent looking for us. Two players went to defend the village defenders and two met the main force. The elemental was sent to engage the giant troll. Attacks were made. The lack of decent area effect spells were felt again. We did damage and took damage. The warlock used his wind gust to knock a couple off the map. The elemental missed often but did delay him. Eventually, they were defeated. The two off the map fled. The warlock left the end of the fight to track them down before they could report our location. Dan was surprised we didn’t choose to follow them back. The spirit warrior was confident he could follow the tracks 20 trolls and one giant one. That’s where we’ll pick up next time as it was very late by that point.
Game 19 - 3/1/2013
We tracked the trolls back to a temporary camp some distance away. There was evidence of some sort of teleportation magic which we figured they used to arrive at that point. The local experts knew they were local talent based on what they were wearing but otherwise this was a dead end. We returned to the village and finished off the boat. They threw us a party and gave all 1000 gps. Everybody but the Elf spent that money on local goods and gained more goodwill. The Elf was cash poor at the moment and figured everyone hates him anyway so screw them. More vaguely relevant skill rolls were made. The Spirit Warrior did a “see the possible future” thing and foresaw the boat being attacked by a dragon and then it being shot with arrows while entering a large camp.
The elemental was summoned and we were off. Dan felt we did not adequately design for the aerodynamics of the flight and the boat spun a bit in the wind. We rigged up a sail with some blankets to lessen that effect. As is usually the case with skills, you can have lots but it’s never enough. No sail making skills, for example. We did have enough navigation skills to stay on course. In the first evening, we were attacked by a dragon. It was trying to burn through the chains that held the boat to the elemental so that it would fall into the Orc army below. And there was an Orc riding it. We correctly surmised that the dragon was being forced to obey and the Spirit Warrior offered to remove the Orc. The dragon said he would be most grateful.
So the Orc became the target. Fly spells were cast. The gnome decided to ride the broken chain over to the dragon in a death-defying feat of acrobatics. The Warlock cast flight on him soon after. The two leg straps holding him secure were broken and then the Orc was knocked off in relatively short order. We freed the dragon with a variety of skills and he promised to help us on our current quest as a thank you. We got some treasure.
We stopped for the night in a safe clearing. We did our best to conceal the location. We decided to just leave the boat here and go the next day with individual fly spells to avoid the second part of the vision. Based on our information, we were heading for a large camp in the middle of the wild Old Kingdom filled with adventurers, miners, trappers, etc. Among them we think are the cultist whose dig site is nearby. We decided, rather than try to sneak around, we’d just pose as another adventurers group and will tell anyone who asks to mind their own business. We may try to disguise ourselves but I’m doubtful we’d be able to fool anyone who’s looking for us for long.
Game 20 - 3/15/2013
We attempted to disguise ourselves but as we suspected, our racial makeup made us pretty easy to identify. The camp sits on top of a mountain plateau where there are various entrances to the Dwarven ruins below. Every sort of faction is represented. We did the typical and headed to the bar. We encountered a drunk who had just been tossed. He had some information. We talked to the bar owner who seems to have been here a long time. The Undead Slayer suspected he was a trapped demon or other powerful being. He did seem to know what we were up to. He encouraged us to proceed and warned us that there was a reward out there for us.
Recently a group of robed humans (likely our cultists) recruited a large group of ogres and trolls and then disappeared. The assumption is that they went down into the ruins. On our way to look into that, we stumbled upon some runes plowed into the ground. From the air, we could see they covered most of the camp and were in Asgardian. Our spell casters thought it was some sort of time reset spell. Very powerful but we couldn’t figure out what it was doing so we left it alone.
Much time was spent but eventually, we decided to follow the ogres down the entrance in their camp. Aided by immunity from fire from the Gnome, the Spirit Walker triggered about 100 fire traps. We next came to a pool which the SW swam through to the passage on the other side. We also have seen lots of ogre bodies which seemed to have been used up along the way. On his return, he was nearly hit by falling underwater debris which seem to “reset” once he dodged it. We’ll have to avoid that trap on our next game.
Game 21 - 4/12/2013
The Air Elemental cast Breath Without Air on those who were interested and we swam past the collapsing ceiling trap without issue. As we entered the next chamber we saw images of a past battle of Elves and Dwarves aided by some demons on both sides. No one was sure as to what to do. Eventually, we decided to avoid getting involved in the battle and just speed through the room as fast as possible, hoping that they will “lose interest” in us once we got past. The Spirit Walker moved towards one exit but found it was actually sealed. The Warlock had the AE grab him and the Gnome as speed them across the room. Unfortunately, despite its massive speed, he was only able to reach the far edge of the battle map. This placed them in the middle of a bunch of guys. He also chose the most direct path which made many combatants aware of them. Lastly, there were more dwarves down the exit corridor.
The Wizard cast a psi invisibility. The Undead Slayer moved in with the SW. The NPC dragon was forgotten but caught up eventually. The 3 who ran, took some damage but ran further down the corridor, past everything, then turned and started battling the demons who they could not outrun. The rest tried to catch up. Most of the party was turned to stone by one type of demon but luckily that only lasts a few minutes. Attacks were made and damage was done and taken. After the completion of the first round, everything reset and we were past the trap.
Next, we came to some Dwarf ghosts. The Gnome communed with them and convinced them that our purpose was not to intrude but to stop the cultists who were intruding. They agreed to let us pass. Next, we were stopped by a blocked corridor. It appeared that a stone to mud spell had been used to pull the ceiling down. The Gnome and AE started to dig over the blockage. The Gnome was then engulfed by an ooze that had been trapped in the pocket above. Evidently that was the true purpose of the spell. He cast a “Power of the Grasshopper” spell from within and super leaped out. Once freed, the SW cast his TK sphere to contain the ooze. The diggers finished the tunnel and the ooze was left behind for the next adventure group to fight.
We next came into an underground city with canals and ruins. More dead trolls and ogres were found along with mutated humanoids who we believe live here. The mages felt that there was “bad auras” here, much like the radiation from a couple of weeks ago and that we should limit our exposure. We were already in a hurry to save the universe so that wasn’t new. Tracking rolls were made to figure out which way to go but it was tough given the lack of dirt or roads. The Wizard talked to the frogs in the water and managed to infer some clues as to which way to go. We will need to employ those techniques and any others to stay on their trail next time.
Game 22 - 5/17/2013
We flew through the underground network of tunnels and chambers. We occasionally saw some mutants who fled, probably because one of us was riding a dragon. We questioned one. He said that someone had been killing people heading that way and that their main village was the other way. He also said most of them were adventurers who made it this far but could not get back up. They assume anyone who tried was killed along the way however if someone did make it out, they’d not likely return to brag about it. We made vague promises about trying to help them after we saved the world.
We headed to the “ledge” which was an immense chamber into which the water in the canals eventually drained. There we spotted some nasty green slime that seemed to have been recently burned back to allow access to the pit. Just over the edge, we spotted a Troll. He had been infected by the slime and left behind, trapped on a narrow ledge. We helped him get off the ledge with a very long rope. He said the trolls and ogres were unaware that the cultists were planning on waking an Old One, that they had some sort of hold over the lead troll, that there were about 10 cultists, that the main guy was a powerful summoner and that they had a big gargoyle with them that sounded much like the one we faced in the spy’s house. Evidently the cultists had been behind the spies from the middle kingdom and attempts on Wade’s life, all designed to slow us down. The visions we’ve been getting to stop them, they’ve been getting visions that they needed to stop us from stopping them. We let him go and advised him to stay out of trouble since he was all alone down here with a bunch of ex-adventurers he and his friends had recently been killing.
We renewed our fly spells and headed down. This chamber was so big, we could not see the bottom nor the other side. We searched for passageways in the cliff face to be sure we didn’t go past the cultists. Along the way, the vampire detectors went off. We debated whether we should be distracted by this. The Spirit Warrior cast a vision spell and saw us fighting the cultists and some major powered vampires. We decided that intelligent major vampires would not knowingly destroy the universe so we ought to try to parlay with them. This was a tough option for the Vampire Slayer to say the least.
We walked into the lay of a vampire named DamnYou. (As in, Dan what’s his name. Damn you. Good enough.) He lives here and feeds off the mutants above. Other vampires lived down here too and they had been here a long time. We convinced him and he said he would try to persuade Malice and the others who were working for them but wasn’t sure he’d be successful. He recommended we talk to the head vampire but first, talk to a rogue vampire that he could cast a truth spell on us. We went to her, who was trying to deny her vampireness and convinced her.
Then we went into the throne room of the main vampire. Much dirty looks and snide comments were tossed about. With the help of the first two and recasting of the truth spell, we convinced her. She agreed to put her weight behind our argument. However, she wanted a geas casted on us so that we could tell no one of the vampires down here. Needless to say, this was a mess. What exactly were we promising? Can we trust them? Can we come back and kill them, just not talk about it? That could have gone on forever. It was basically a choice of fighting many vampires here, expending our resources and risk being too late to save the universe or take a chance. As a hedge, the wizard cast a spell, aided by the Spirit Walker’s distraction, to inform the Slayer of Mountain of our situation. That way, if we were blanked, he could re-inform us. The die was cast.
To no one’s surprise, the Old One was at the bottom of the big chamber. DamnYou and the reformed vampiria came with us. I think she may help but likely DamnYou would stay neutral. We found the vampires and the gargoyle (and maybe the trolls?). Dan spoke to himself, DamnYou to Malice, although he wasn’t very convincing. We had the head vamps staff which was supposed to help. We think the vamps were convinced and will at least stay out of it. So we’re poised to fight the gargoyle (and trolls? And hopefully not the vamps). Hopefully, the cultists will be a separate fight. I’m also sure Dan will use this fight to justify the summoner configuring the next battle to his liking. So hopefully the next game will be straight to the action and saving the universe.
Game 23 - 5/31/2013
We moved and cast empowering spells. The Air Elemental was sent to attack the Gargoyle. No-one attacked the vampires until we saw what they’d do. Malice rejected our transferred authority and vowed to take over the leadership of the vampires with the power the cultists had promised him. The other 3-4 did nothing and eventually wandered off. Damnyou did nothing as well. The trolls half heartily fought but as they started to drop, mostly from collateral damage from their “allies”, the last of them fled. Once Malice became an enemy, The Undead Slayer and the Gnome attacked him. The Warlock and Elemental attacked the Gargoyle. The rest picked and chose.
Both villains were annoying. The Gargoyle used his rock to mud and mud to rock ability. Only the NPC reformed vampire was trapped as the rest were flying, having already fallen for this trick. She got halfway stuck but was able to cast heals from there. Malice critted the Gnome and did serious damage. The Elemental absorbed lots of damage from the Gargoyle but missed often. The vampire summon bats and did damage. Once he went down, the Gargoyle grabbed the Undead Slayer and pulled him into the floor. Several dug him out while we waited for the Gargoyle to resurface. When he did, the dragon grabbed him and flew him up while people took shots at him. He turned the ceiling to mud, which fell and coated everyone in mud and then turned it back to stone. Luckily those with magical flight could stay aloft so only the winged dragon crashed to the ground. He was mostly unhurt. That was the Gargoyle’s last trick and it was just another couple rounds of beating on him.
Due to the ley line, the “reformed” vampire could heal up our SDC and HP for “free”. Our ISP could not be as easily recovered. We’ll be heading into the next fight, low on ISP. Most of us made 5th level which I suppose is good timing, prior to the climactic concluding fight. This may be the last run but it was unclear when that could occur.
And it never did so I guess the heroes failed and the universe was destroyed. And there was much rejoicing. Yeah.