Friday, August 17, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 69

Attending
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Flying Dampyr Head and zombie body.
Greed – Lvl 6 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter

Henching
Srehn – Lvl 5 Barbarian
Ritzy – Lvl 6 Homanculus

Monsters Mashed:
8 Bugbears – Sliced, diced, backstabbed, and generally murderated.
800 EXP/5 Players = 160 apiece

1 Troll – Magic missiled and coup de graced by Tysus’ acid sweating sword.
600 EXP/5 Players = 120 apiece

1 Giant Tarantella – Whacked like a gruesome, hairy piñata.
135 EXP/5 player =  27 apiece

TOTAL EXP: 307 apiece.

Items acquired:
Granny’s giant cleaver.
Current situation:
Ritzy and Greed squared off with the fearsome Granny Maw, finding her the toughest of tough old broads as she effortlessly parried their attacks with her giant cleaver.

Eventually, she decided the cleaver was slowing her up, so she cast it aside and transformed into the grisliest, biggest monster wolf creature and started attacking with her slavering bite and iron like claws. Greed landed a hit with the big red d30 and did 31 pts of damage, causing the monstrous hag to reconsider her options.

“Gotta go, kids on the stove.” she demurred, and vanished in a puff of blue flames.

 
“Smell ya later, chumpenstiens.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the party, forced downstairs by Granny’s antipathy spell, were met by a squad of bugbears led by a wild eyed troll hopped up on fungus. The magic users blasted it and then Srehn proceeded to do her Xena, Warrior Princess thing on the rest. Tarvinir managed to disarm one by accident, but was protected by his Mirror Images.

The homanculi came barreling down the stairs to join the fight, prompting a cry of “Oh no! Dey got monstas!” from the bugbears, who turned tail and fled at ½ their original strength.

Srehn pursued with the rest of the party in tow, and was jumped by the giant guard spider watching the wine cellar downstairs. After shrugging off the horrible (and potentially hilarious) effects of the creature's bite, she killed it with extreme prejudice and the party finished off all but one of the bugbears.

They pressed the brute for info but didn’t get much beyond knowing there were a couple of nasty giants in the complex as well as an awful thing known as “Bitty Bitey”. Srehn shanked him, then drank a draught from one of the elderberry wine bottles laid in in the cellar, and is now a bit tipsy (instant fail on surprise and last on init for 4 turns)

High on life, and booze, the party charged down the next set of stairs, and found some human prisoners in the cells in the bottom level, plus a bugbear jailer with a mancatcher and a bunch of gnolls chained up to a stake driven into the stone coffin. And that’s where we left off.

Commentary:

Another more in depth recount once again doesn't leave me with too much to comment on. 

Granny Maw started out as one of the lurking villains in the original sandbox campaign I started this whole blog over back in 2009. She was a critter I first encountered in the 3rd. Edition called a barghest, essentially a fiendish goblin/werewolf thingy, although I guess they go back to the original Monster Manual II, which is a book I never owned in the olden days of AD&D. 

She was the leader of that campaign's goblinoid presence, surrounded then, as here, with a brute force of bugbears who she treated like her grandkids. Bitty Bitey (a.k.a. "Pookie") was another, younger barghest who played the role of the spoiled baby of the "family" and ran with a pack of goblin wolf riders. 

The only other bit worth mentioning is that I greatly regretted that Srehn made her save against the spider's bite, as it was a Tarantella, and the resulting dance party would have been epic.

Tune in next week for more sturm and drang.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 68

Attending
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Flying Dampyr Head and zombie body.
Greed – Lvl 6 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter

Henching
Srehn – Lvl 5 Barbarian
Ritzy – Lvl 6 Homanculus

Monsters Mashed:
6 Bugbear gate guards. Fireballed, fatally nut-stabbed, bit, sliced, magic missiled, and awesomely finished off with a handspring/sword thru the throat combo from Srehn
600 EXP/5 players = 120 EXP apiece

Loot grabbed:
Battered silver flagon (400gp) and gold chalice(900 gp) being used by bugbears as drinking vessels.
1300 EXP/5 players = 260 EXP apiece

TOTAL EXP: 380 apiece.

Current situation:
Invisible mini Vlad head scouted the left tower, tried inciting a fight between the 2 bugbears manning it but they were too professional to be duped, so he blew ‘em up good with a fireball. Greed & Ritzy used Tarvenir as a battering ram (Knock spell) to bust down the front door, bashed down inner door of vestibule with simple homanculous heftiness. Fight ensued between our heroes and 4 bugbears with hand weapons and 2 with polearms. A lot of 1’s and nut shot results ensued, with awesome finisher from Srehn on last one that made run for basement. Vlad scouted upstairs, found Granny Maw sitting in a rocking chair by the magic tapestry doing needlepoint on a badly tanned wolf skin. Team charges up, Srehn sliced off her head but found it was all illusion. Granny waiting on ceiling, claws dug into timbers with huge cleaver in her teeth. She drops down in a surprise attack, casts Antipathy, driving all but Greed & Ritzy from the room.

They face off for a fight as session closes.
"Let's dance, meat puppets..."
Commentary:

Toward the latter days of this campaign I tended to get a bit more loquacious in my follow up emails, so there's not much here to comment on that hasn't already been said. They blasted their way into the Keep and fought their way upstairs, where they ran into the horrible blue hag Granny Maw. We wrap up the session with the party's homanculi squaring off for a boss fight. 


Stay tuned for Friday.

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 67

Attending:
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Flying Dampyr Head and zombie body.
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Srehn – Lvl 5 Barbarian
Greed – Lvl 6 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter

Monsters Mashed: 
5 Bugbears:
500 exp/6 players = 83 EXP apiece

Tarvinir returned to “normal” and cast Detect Magic. Led them to secret submerged chamber of Protean Clay, that had magically replaced Srehn with a clay simulacra when she fell into the pool at the bottom of the well shaft. They figured that out, dug their way to the surface to avoid climbing up the slippery shaft, and then hupped back to Castle Von Himmel where the the good doctor kindly transferred their minds back into their petrified bodies from the dead cthonians, built a kiln, and de-petrified the party’s meat shields with a minimum of scalding or suffocation happening. Vlad got his body patched up, functional if not particularly pretty.
Rowr...
We left off with the players stomping up to the gates of the keep. Vlad scouted out some bugbears hiding behind the towers’ murder holes ready to throw spears.

Commentary:

Not all too much to say about this session. They figured out the mystery of the Protean Clay, and schlepped back to Von Himmel Manor with a load of the stuff and got Ritzy, Greed, and Tysis handily de-petrified. 

Now that everybody was all limbered up and put back together, they decided to take another crack at the mysterious hag Granny Maw and her army of bugbears that had occupied their rightfully stolen keep and catacombs at Ghoulardia Pass. The session wrapped up with their initial sortie on the front steps of Cardille Keep. 

Stay tuned for more mayhem on Wednesday.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 66

Attending:
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Flying Dampyr Head and zombie body.
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Srehn – Lvl 5 Barbarian

Henching
Greed – Lvl 6 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter

Monsters Mashed:
2 Wyverns: Magic missiled and punched out of the air.
2280 exp/5 players = 456 Exp apiece

Experts consulted:
One Professor Svengoolie, diviner, lecturer, a member of the Occluded College and general sage of the strange, based in the near ghost town that is Strangledorf.

Directed players to a plateau in the Kragnarian Alps north of town, where there was a well where they could obtain Protean Clay, which when used to cover a petrified body and baked to hardness, could cure Greed, Ritzy, and Tysis’ state of stonedness.

The party found the well, fell down the shaft, got led into an explosive trap by will-o-the-wisps, destroying Tysis’ borrowed cthonian beast body and putting most everyone else in a bad way. Tarvinir trolled out and nearly beat the rest of the party to a pulp, but was subdued.

Commentary: 

With their pugilistic pals petrified, the party perambulated over to Strangeldorf to consult with an expert from that brain trust of the bizarre, the Occluded College. After getting their marching orders, they trudged into the mountains, fought some wyverns on the way, and then got neck deep in trouble down in the fabled Well of the Protean Clay. 

Stay tuned for next week when they overcome the setbacks described above and break out of their sticky, stony situation. 


For this dungeon, I used Dyson Logos' map titled The Sunken Maw, mostly due to its sunken, maw like qualities. The cave entry is (1), the shaft is (2), and (3) is the pocket cave reachable if you dive under the water at the bottom of the shaft. From there, the numbers go from (4) to (8) left to right, with (7) being the larger room connecting (6) and (8). Then the next row of rooms down is L to R (9) to (11), then the bottom row of rooms L to R from (12) to (17), with (14) being the larger room that overlaps (10) and (15) and (16) being the two rooms to the S. I wish I didn't have to do this wacky descriptive thing, but once again I don't feel right putting the esteemed Mr. Logos' maps up on my site. Go to his site. Buy some books. Patronize his Patreon. He's one of the best gaming resources out there, IMHO. 

1:  There’s a 10‘ wide ledge leading down to a small cave with a dark hole to the S over a 60’ drop into water. If you fall, take 4d6 subdual damage from hitting the murky watter below. The ledge is made of crumbly clay, and there's a 1 on d6 chance, +1 per person walking along, that it will crumble and cast them into the pit. The cave is 20‘X30’ and has a primitive carving of a grimacing face in the N end, with a steady stream of water flowing over its tongue and down the E side of the shaft. 

2: The walls of this 80’ shaft are slick with wet clay, with a stream of water running down the E wall from 1. Roll a Dex check every 10’, with a cumulative +1 penalty every 20‘, to make the climb up or down.  

3: A pool of watery clay lies at the bottom of the shaft. If players fall in, they will be magically replaced by a simulacra of animate clay that is indistinguishable from the original. (Note: gargoyles are immune.) Their real bodies are pulled to the hidden cave at the other end of the subterranean tunnel where the Protean Clay is. There are skeletons with rotted clothes and rusted weapons in here. If a clay simulacra comes here their mind will return to the original body. The Protean Clay you seek is here, and will glow brightly under Detect Magic. Clay simulacra will do the same.


The clay bodies: Same as original, but will lose 1 point from stats per day as they dry out. If a stat goes to 0 the simulacra crumbles to dust. Cannot be healed by magic. The body will start to starve after 1d4 days, make a con check each day after the 4th, or lose 1d4 hp. 


If a simulacra is killed, the character's mind will return to their original body. Hand them this text on a slip of paper:  

You wake up in a clammy, dark chamber half flooded with water. The walls sparkle faintly with a dim, cool light that’s just bright enough to see once your eyes adjust. There are some skeletons scattered around the edge of the pool. Some wear archaic armor or carry bronze swords. Everything on them is rusted away or rotted. You have all your equipment with you.

4: A winding 20’ path heading E is dimly visible behind the curtain of the waterfall from 1. You can see faintly glowing lights moving about in the depths. These lights are Will O The Wisps, that will try to lead you into the fire trap in 5 or the collapsing ceiling in 6. At the end of the tunnel there is a set of huge stone doors with a grinning figure with a pot in its hands from which stylized flames are issuing. The doors require a Str check to pull open using two corroded bronze rings set in the surface (Roll a 1 on a d6.)


Will O The Wisp: HD: 9, HP:52, 51, 50, AC: -8, Atk: 2d8 Electric Shock, Mv: 180(60), Sv: F9, Ml: 7, Immune to all spells except magic missile, maze, protection from evil, Become invisible for 2d4 rounds. 

5: The walls and ceiling just beyond the doors are blackened with ash. In alcoves to the N and S of the corridor beyond you see two primitive sculptures depicting figures with wide open mouths holding their big round bellies. There‘s a faintly chemical scent in the air. If the party crosses the threshold the will o wisps will spark and set off the flammable gas, doing 5d6 dmg to everything in a 20’ radius. There‘s an archway to the S 20’ past the alcoves leading to 9, and a heavy stone door leading to 11 (1 on d6 to open) and then a pair of doors like in 4 leading to 6. The walls past the first S hall are lined with shelves, which hold clay pots and urns of all shapes and sizes. They all contain a flaked residue of long evaporated wine at the bottom. 


6: The doors lead to a 20‘X20’ space with bas relief carvings of primitive figures harvesting grapes in a vineyard.  If you look up, you see a mosaic with clay oozing between the tiles. There is a wide set of steps leading 10‘ down to the high ceilinged room in 7. The ceiling of this area is prone to collapse, and each time someone crosses thru they must roll a Save vs. Petrify or suffer 2d6. After 3 such collapses this room is blocked off. 


7: This large, high ceilinged chamber shows signs of having been a bath or pool of some sort. There are a few half crumbled clay figures lying about on the stepped area in the mosaic decorated floor. There is a large cone of clay in the NW corner, which is in fact a Roper, that will attack characters who enter this area.  (Surprise on a 1-4 on d6). On a small shelf spanning the NE corner sits a leather satchel. If emptied, it will be revealed to be holding 10 lbs of powdered clay, and 5 small idols made of platinum worth 10 gp apiece) There is a stone door with no handles save for a bronze knocker in the shape of a grinning face with a ring in its teeth. leading into 8. 1 on a d8 to open by force. 


Roper: HD: 11, HP: 48, AC: 0, Atk: 6 tentacles, 50’ drag victims 10‘ increments per round, bite in maw 5d4 Mv: 30(10), Sv: F11, Ml: 8
1 on d6 to escape tentacle, 1/2 dmg from cold, immune to electricity, -4 save vs fire

8: If the knocker in 7 is used, the door will open and the clay golem inside will step out and patiently await orders. If the door is forced it will rise from the stone seat at the S end of the room and attack. There is a small alcove in the base of the golem’s seat with 2 clay tablets set into the stone which can be pried out (Roll a Dex check or they will crumble to worthlessness) one contains 2 spells (Shield & Polymorprh others, One contains a treasure map indicating that it leads to a cache of 3000 gp. Use one of Dyson's maps and key up an adventure!)


Clay Golem: HD: 11, HP: 50, AC: 7, Atk Fist 3d10, Mv: 60(20), Sv: F11, Ml: 12 Sharp weapons do no dmg, blunt magical weapons only dmg clay golem. If obedient, it will follow the players, but each exposure to sunlight will cause it to dry and crumble, losing 1d10 hp a day. 

 
9: This large, vaulted room is 40X40X50, with a large set of stairs dominating the W side and leading to the archway into 13. On the E wall between two archways is a towering bas relief of an earth goddess with large green gemstones for eyes (100 gp apiece) set 50’ up the wall in her smiling face. The archway in the NE corner leads 10’ to a stone door with a 1’ hole about waist level and no other handles. The SE one is a 10’ alcove with a crown shaped coffer atop the head of a sculpture of a grinning, kneeling dwarf. It contains 1000 silver nuggets


10: This chamber is 20X40. Across from the door is another door with the same hole in the middle, but with a corroded buckle that looked like it had a leather strap in it. There is a 10’ deep pit trap between the doors, hidden by tiles. (1d6 dmg from falling) that will catch anyone who crosses the space. In the S end of the chamber are a collection of broken clay statues in various stages of completion. 


11: This chamber is lined with marble slabs. There is a  small platform in the rounded SE corner atop which stands a 7’ tall crystalline statue of a humanoid female. It is missing its head, and on closer examinaton you see that the neck is hollow and leads to a heart shaped space in the center of the torso. There are three alcoves in the wall behind it. Two contain heads that would fit on the statue, one contains a clay flask in the shape of a heart. There is a syrupy deep brownish purple liquid inside. (Philter of Love) If poured in the chamber and a head placed on the neck, the statue will animate.  One of the heads has a snarling, angry expression. If this one is placed on the statue it will attack everyone except the one who placed the head. One of the heads is smiling. If it is placed the statue will grab the one who animated it in a crushing embrace that won’t release until the head is removed (Called shot). 

Living Statue: HD: 3, HP: 20, AC: 4, Dmg Fists 1d6/1d6 or 1d6 per round crushing 1 on d6 to get free. Mv: 90(30), Sv: F3, Ml: 11

 
12: Down a short flight of stairs from 13 you find a 20’X30’ room with a small platform in the middle. There are scattered human bones on the floor around it, as well as stone debris and gravel. and about 1000 gold coins with an amphora stamped on one side and a dog on the other. On the platform sits a stone chest carved into the shape of two kneeling, crowned figures grasping hands. The lid of the chest is carved to resemble heaps of grapes and fruit. This elaborate carving is actually a Mimic in disguise, which will attack as soon as the chest is approached. 


Mimic: HD: 10, HP: 40, AC: 7, Dmg: Bludgeoun 3d4 Glue (sticks until mimic is dead), Mv: 30(10), Sv: F10, Ml:8


13: This 30’X30’ chamber has two archways leading to stairs down, E & W. The walls are decorated with bas relief carvings of figures making pots, firing them, and using them in farming or commerce. The floor is made up of tiles with holes in the center. If examined, the holes reveal there’s a space under the floor. If the floor is walked across, the party will find that the floor is a pair of trap doors that will open, dropping them 10’ (1d6 dmg) and then closing above them. There is a 2’ walkway around the edge of the pit, and a hidden lever in the NE corner hidden in the hand of a potter figure that will cause the springs that hold the trap closed to release, creating ramps that can be climbed to safety. 


14: The door on the N wall is one with a hole and a long rotted leather handle (1 on d8 to open) Inside you find the long neglected remains of a potter’s workshop, with several wheels and a long dried out stock of normal clay. Along the N wall there is a corroded bronze hatch that leads down a chute to 10. Along the E wall you find what looks like a large potter’s wheel attached by corroded chains to a smaller wheel. There is a shelf full of figures beside it, each made of a strange, glittering stone and about palm size. The figures are: A man, an ogre, a panther, a duck, a goat, a horse, an eagle, a wyvern, a scorpion, a snake, a fish, a dog, and a medusa like creature. If one of these figures is placed on the small wheel, and a person stands on the large wheel, the wheels will start spinning and the occupant will be transformed into whatever the statue depicts. 


15:  There’s a small alcove next to this door that contains a clay brazier and a corroded bronze pan full of crumbling, calcified beeswax. You see evidence that this was applied around the edge of the door. This room is 20X15, and contains several empty shelves and tables. Along the N wall by the door are three amphoras stoppered with a large lead plug with a handle. If the handle is removed, a billowing whitish gas will flow out and fill the room. Save vs. petrification. If failed, the body of the victim takes on a whitish, marble sheen, and they are slowed. 1/2 move, 1 atk or spell every other round. Party members swapped out by the protean clay pool will be petrified, and will awaken in the cave in their own bodies. 


16: This room is empty, save for a large stone throne shaped like intertwining serpents against the S wall. The walls are decorated with bas reliefs of figures kneeling with eyes covered or recoiling  in terror from tall female figures in flowing robes with snakes for hair. The throne contains an arrow trap, which will fire at those in the room if someone sits down on the throne. The arrows fire from the mouth of the uppermost snake. Atk as Ftr 3, 1d6 dmg, 1d8 shots per round. 


17: The ceiling in this chamber is 15’ high, held up by 3 pillars that are each covered in 333 silver pieces. The room is covered in bas relief carvings of eyes with faded ochre red daubing each pupil. There is a single silver piece laying on the floor between the middle and S pillars. If it is picked up, the one who did will find it’s attached to a bronze chain, which will activate a 20’ pit trap. (2d6 damage)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 65

Like... cow impressions. Moo!
Greed – Lvl 6 Homanculus
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Flying Dampyr Head and zombie body.
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Srehn – Lvl 5 Barbarian

No loot acquired, no monsters mashed. The door was opened, the gorgon released, it breathed a blast of petrification gas up thru the hole in the decanting room, and the rest is fossil record.

Life changes undergone.
Greed, Ritzy, and Tysis have been petrified by the gorgon’s breath. Their minds have been transferred via electro-impulse waves into the silicon based skulls of three of the gargoyle things you fought down in the cave while the Von Himmels try to figure out how to de-petrify them. Blutarch has suggested pulverizing the bodies with explosives and sifting the remains for organic matter to regrow in the tank, but this idea isn’t currently in favor. What the group’s next move is is still up for grabs.
Commentary:

Well, in this session the party went in for the triple dip on the Vault of Draco, but sadly things went kinda bullish (actually, sorta bearish) for the poor lambs as they released the ancient gorgon from its storage container and got chased into the cave under the basement of Von Himmel manor. The bovine beast breathed its petrifying gas after them as they escaped up the rappelling ropes to the good Doctor's lab, and three of them wound up as lawn ornaments as a result.

With the entire party's offensive line out of commission, the rest of them put their heads together with their patrons the Brothers Von Himmel to work out a solution. 

Through a strange quirk in cranial lithographic thought transfer, Doctor Von Himmel was able to transfer Tysis, Greed, and Ritzy's minds into the corpses of the primordial cthonic monsters they fought on Draco's doorstep. Thus installed in at least combat ready donor bodies, they were ready to go forth and figure out how to get their expensively modified physiques out of rock mode. 

(This was a very much on the fly solution on my part to having 3 players suddenly without viable characters. I think it suited the kinda gonzo tone that had developed, rather than just having them roll up 3 disposable randos to wander up to the manor and volunteer to to help out 3 total strangers, two of whom were multi-armed monster murder machines.)

I should note some other changes to the party lineup here:

 Arongoth's player had tired of playing a half cleric/half vegetable with a penchant for necromancy, and thus had decided the potato priest should wander off in search of further adventures in auto-hydroponics. His replacement character was a female barbarian warrior princess named Srehn, who had a knack for flamboyant finishing moves and acrobatic sword combat. Pretty awesome!

Somewhere around these sessions Vlad's player decided it was safer if his bat winged head was actually bat sized, and concocted a permanent Shrinking potion in Von Himmel's lab, thus upping his AC and arranging for a birdcage to be installed on the neck of his zombified body. If anybody could make that look work it was Vlad. 

Tao the Druid may have been henching for this last session, as her player had left the company we all worked at, but after this she also wandered off to commune with nature. 

Stay tuned for Friday as the party begins to search for a cure for their stony situation.

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Megasession 64

Attending:
Greed – Lvl 6 Homanculus
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Flying Dampyr Head and zombie body.

Henching:
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable

Monsters Mashed:
10 Dragon Men – Slashed and Bashed, gnawed by pillbugs, magic missiled, and lightning bolted
3500 EXP/6 players = 583 EXP apiece

1 Sapiad Lorekeeper – Stabbed and otherwise beviolenced.
2400 EXP/6 players = 400 EXP apiece
Draco the Terrible One – Stone cold jacked up with magic missile.
3100 EXP/6 Players = 516 EXP apiece

Loot acquired:
2976 Gold in little reptile headed humanoid figurines
4624 Silver in little fish headed humanoid figures.

3438 GP/6 players = 573 EXP apiece

Additional loot:
Sword +1 (+3 vs Regenerating Creatures) Black hilted blade with greenish white, acid sweating blade
Strange silver amulet inscribed with concentric circles on silver chain
2 Obsidian spell tablets with: Ventriloquism, Light X2, Magic Missile, Plant Growth, Telekinesis, Arcane Eye, Locate Object
Potions of Growth and Fire Resistance in canopic jar type containers.

Life changes undergone:
Tarvenir got his feet and shins burned off by dragonfire and molten bronze, got them grown back via injection containing troll blood. Feet now warty, splay toed, and purple. Tarvenir will “hulk out” into full rampaging troll form if he takes too much damage.

So long, [Tao's Player]! Thanks for playing!

Commentary:

So this was the final grande sized Friday evening session for this campaign, after which we bid farewell to Tao the Druid and the late Rael the Thief's player. 

After a bit of medical treatment from Doctor Von Himmel (mostly getting the assorted bits of Vlad patched up as well as getting Tarvinir back on his feet, if you will), the party went back down into the cavern beneath the good doctor's lab and staged a second sortie into the lair of Draco the Terrible* One. Alas, Draco got taken down by another Big Red d30 monster killing Magic Missile. Lots of ancient, scaly goons got put to the sword or slaughtered by sorcery. A lot of loot was scooped up.  A good evening's rampaging was had by all.

So I'd like to think Tao/Rael's player went on her way a satisfied customer. 

Stay tuned for more shenanigans soon. They aren't out of the para-dimensional monster box yet!


* "He wasn't that terrible." 
No, I mean terrible at soaking up Magic Missiles.
"Oh, yeah. I guess he was..."

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Sessions 62 & 63

This will account for both sessions, ‘cos it’s all in the same encounter space.
Attending:
FULL HOUSE
Greed – Lvl 6 Homanculus
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Flying Dampyr Head and zombie body.

Monsters Mashed:

10 Cthonic Guardians: Smashed, bashed, zapped, used as projectiles, and disenchanted.
1000 EXP/7 players = 142 EXP apiece

Draco, the Terrible One: Stabitty stab stabbed, then finished off by a critical crossbow bolt from Arongoth.
3100 EXP/7 players = 442 EXP apiece

The Bronze Destroyer: Slipped up, bashed in the face by hurled Cthonic Guardians, and Magic Missiled.
2125 EXP/7 players = 303 EXP apiece

Total: 887 EXP apiece.

Notable damage: Vlad’s body’s down for the count with a charred crater where there used to be a hip. Tarvenir has lost feet and shins to hot plasma and molten bronze respectively. Vlad’s head’s back to bein’ pretty but took a bit of a beating from the molten brass as well.

Jumpin' Jupiter it's the Dragon Men!

Commentary:

After getting Vlad patched up (more or less) the party descended back down into the cave to investigate the big circular copper disc studded door thingy. They observed that the center of the door was a silver disk that appeared to have been charred and scored by a Lightning Bolt. Taking the hint, Tarvinir cast the electrifying spell and caused the portal to start spinning, faster and faster and then fading away into an open gate between the cave beneath Von Himmel Manor and the extra-dimensional stronghold of an ancient draconic entity and its reverently chanting primordial minions. Of course they charged in and started stabbing things and wrecking stuff, and got a little wrecked themselves in the process. 

I don't often get the chance to throw an actual dragon at my players, I think in all my years playing Dungeons & Dragons I've only fielded about 2-3 of 'em, and of those Draco was probably the closest to the platonic ideal of a big, mean, magical monster lounging on a pile of gold. 

As you can see, the party did poor ol' Draco quite a mischief, but he would soon bounce back as would they after they scampered back to Von Himmel for more emergency surgery. 

Stay Tuned.

The Vault of Draco:

For this scenario I used Dyson Logos' Skyrae's Oubliette map. Once again, I don't think it's cool to post his stuff here without permission, so you'll have to figure out the key numbers based on the following description: The 80'x30' horizontal room to the S is room 0. The big central room is Draco's throne platform at 1. The room on the W side from the hall leading N is room 2. The long hallway along the W side is 3. The 45º angled room is 4. The room above it with the door to the S at the top of the curved stairs is 5, and the room above that with the hall leading E to room 1 is 6. The three rooms above 1 are 7, 8, & 9 leading E, and then the small rooms in the SE corner of the map are 10, 11, 12 going from N to S. Confused? Sorry. Can't help ya more than that.

0:At the top of the steps the 20’ circular door is set with 11000 copper discs bearing some kind of ancient pictograph. In the center you see a circular plate of some silvery metal that is covered in a fine patina of ash. If this plate is struck by a Lightning Bolt spell, the door will crackle with electricity and then begin to turn, faster and faster until it  blurs out and vanishes. Metallic armor will spark harmlessly as the portal is passed thru.

1:  When the portal is opened, you see a large square chamber, 60’X60’ beyond. It is lined in worked bronze streaked with black corrosion. The sound of a deep bass chanting, repeating the phrase “Draco” echoes into the cave and this chamber. On a 2’ high, 50' diameter circular dias in the center of the chamber is a large creature lying, apparently asleep, on a pile of gold and silver figurines of humanoid creatures with reptilian or fish like heads (79000 silver, 40000 gold). It is built like a huge panther, with a serpent’s head on a long neck and a long, whip-like serpent’s tail. It’s scales are grey like dully polished steel, and a red glow flickers from behind its eye sockets and the corners of its mouth. 


Draco: HD: 13, HP: 55, AC: -1, Claw/Claw/Bite 1d8/1d8/4d8, Breath Weapon 3 times/current HP dmg, Mv: 90(30) Fly 240(80), Sv: F13 Ml: 10. Spells: Charm Person, Ventriloquism, Shield, Hold Portal, Detect Invisible, Phantasmal Force, ESP, Detect Good, Protection from Normal Missiles, Hold Person, Haste


Surrounding this tableau are 10 bronze sculptures each about 5’ tall, shaped like robed figures with the bone plated heads of the creatures you fought outside. The chanting is coming from them. If the party approaches the dias or the alcoves, they will rotate and attack with a sonic wail until intruders flee. 


Cthonic Guardians: HD: 3, HP: 20 each, AC: 2, Atk: Sonic Wail: 60’ range, 30’ wide. save vs. spell or suffer the following effects each round. R1: Deafening -2 to hit, -25% move. R2: Stunning -4 to hit, 50% move R3: Paralyzed, R4: Save or Die Mv: 30(10), Sv: F8, Ml: 12


There are three alcoves on the N, E, and W walls, 20’X10’ deep, each containing a bronze surfaced, marble altar with an artifact atop it. 


W: 2 Jars, one with a reptilian head on the stopper and the other with a cthonic head (Growth, Fire Resistance) and 2 Obsidian tablets. 1 contains: Ventriloquism, LightX2, Magic Missile, Plant Growth, and Telekinesis The other contains Arcane Eye and Locate Object. 

N: A black hilted blade of greenish steel that stings when you touch it. +1, +3 to regenerating monsters. 

E: A flat silver medallion on a chain, inscribed with concentric rings. (Medallion of thought. Read thoughts of beings within 30’ after concentrating 1 round. Save vs. Spells to avoid. Roll d6, on a 1 the user transmits their own thoughts to all within 30’ instead) There are two cylindrical keys on the chain, one to the gorgon creche, one to the sword lock on the bronze golem, and one for the unbreakable door between 10 & 8.

2: This 30X30 chamber is dominated by a large, translucent amber block 10X10X10 containing a massive jawed reptilian skull with one glazed red eye still remaining in its left socket, hovering a foot off the floor. It moves easily when pushed. There is an alcove off of the main room containing a sort of circular, black glass mirror set in the wall with a small bronze plate and a striker hanging beside it. If the gong is rung, the mirror will begin to scintillate with arcane patterns and the skull can be asked questions in the fashion of a Commune spell if the user can speak Primeval. 


3: This 80’ hallway is hung with large bronze plates intricately inlaid with geometric patterns. The gravity varies every 10 feet. Roll 1d4 1: Down 2: East 3: West 4: Up Roll each time they step from one plate to the next. A complete opposite result will require a Dex check or the subject will fall for 1d6 dmg. Half turns will result in a Dex check with a -4 bonus and a fall for 1d3 dmg. The hall can be tested using pebbles or the like. If the direction of gravity is known there is no danger of harm. 


4: The circular door to this room is a plate of solid bronze hinged at the apex and openable by two handles jutting from its face. It requires a 1-2 on a d6 to open. Inside, mounted on pedestals are 13 large glass globes, each containing a swirling, yellowish gas. The bottom of the spheres contains 300 silver dodecahedrons (x10) or 300 gold figurines of serpent headed humanoids (x3). The spheres will break with 10 pts of damage. If exposed to the gas save vs. poison or be gripped with primal terror,
dropping all held items and fleeing for 1d8 rounds at full speed. (Total treasure: 3000 SP, 900 GP)


5: This room can be opened if a sapiad‘s hand is pressed into a hand shaped plate by the door, otherwise it can be forced open with a 1 on a d6. If the doors are forced, they are trapped by a guillotine style blade the requires a save vs. paralysis or it does 1d8 dmg. Beyond is a room occupied by 10 floating discs, each holding a large craniumed reptilian skull atop 200 silver figurines and 100 gold ones. The discs can be moved but will drift back into place if left alone. If taken from the complex they will become inert past the portal.


6: The walls in this room are a reddish patina’d bronze, with thousands of little peg holes along the curved NW wall, each containing a quartz cylendar marked on the end with a glyph. Hovering among them and sorting them is a wizened, reptilian humanoid with a huge head and large glowing eyes seated on a hovering bronze disc. If confronted it will use its charm gaze on the strongest looking intruder.


Sapiad Lorekeeper HD: 9, HP: 45, AC: 4, Atks: Spells. Charm Gaze: Save vs. Paralysis or be charmed indefinitely. Spells: Magic Missile, Shield, Mirror Image, Cause Fear (Save vs. Spell or flee 2 rnd), Cause Light Wounds (1d6+1)

There is a stand that supports its disc, and in the base you find  46 SP in the shape of fish headed humanoids, 31 PP in the shape of dragon headed humanoids, 1600 GP in the shape of lizard headed humanoids, 3000 EP shaped like a heavily armored cross between an ogre and a crawfish. 


Next to the stand is a complex apparatus of silver and crystal that has two pads that will stick to a users head. If one of the cylinders is placed in a slot in the device, it will place you in the mind and memories of one of the ancient creatures stored here. Roll a save vs. spell when initiating contact, otherwise the user will be trapped in the life recording and unable to move or interact with reality. If the pad is forcibly removed, roll a save vs. paralysis or else 1d4:
1: Struck mad, permanently under confusion. 

2: Body taken over by ancient mind 
3: Body goes inert, both minds stuck in crystal, which will shatter in 1d4 turns 
4: Body shared by ancient mind, will take over when character goes unconscious or sleeps if save vs. spell is failed each night.

7: The door to this chamber is locked requiring a 1 on d6 to open. In the center of this 20x20 room is a crystalline tree with octagonal stone leaves, hung with geodesic golden berries. Roll on the chart if any of the berries are eaten. (Here I was probably referring to the Random Characteristics Chart on page 149 of the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion. Or the Potions chart in the Treasure section of Labyrinth Lord)


8: A large lead box occupies the center of this room, with large, oily metal cylinders extending from the walls to the E and W sides. If the lock is opened, the pistons will retract and a creature resembling a hulking bull with metallic scales and glowing white eyes will be revealed. It will attack any intruders on sight. 


Gorgon: HD: 8, HP: 32, AC: 2, Atk: Gore 2d6 (2x dmg with running start) or gas cloud 10’X60’ save vs. petrify or turn to stone. Mv: 120(40), Sv: F8, Ml: 8


9: A massive stone crucible occupies the center of this room, its base scorched by an ancient inferno. There are claw marks on the edge, and a metal runged ladder leading down the sides, inside and out.


10: An 8’ figure of bronze in the shape of a massive humanoid with an articulated neck and a draconic head fills the archway before a door that leads into 11 at the base of the steps. It has a gleaming sword formed of a flat helix of two interweaving, razor thin blades leading from a heavy basket hilt that is locked into the fist by a hinged cover that can be opened by a key from the horde room. Around the corner is a heavy, lead plated door that cannot be broken down, and requires the key from the horde room to open. 


The Bronze Destroyer (Golem) - HD: 10, HP: 40, AC: 0, Atk: Sword+1 (+3 vs Dragons) 1d8+1/Claw 1d10, Molten Metal Breath Atk: 3d10 Mv: 90(30), Sv: F10, Ml: 12 


11: There are two solid doors of bronze in the N and S walls of the W end. They can be opened with a 1 on a d6.The E end of this chamber is lined with brass sarcophagus standing against the walls. Ornate sets of black armor and obsidian edged bronze clubs (1d6+2 dmg) hang from the front of each one, and on a tray beneath the armor there are 100 silver figurines (Total 1000 SP). 

There are 10 sarcophagi, 5 each on the N & S walls. There is an alcove in the E wall containing an assortment of cylinders, a cylinder reader, and two cylindrical flasks, one containing a Potion of Sweet Water and one containing a Potion of Animal control. If any sarcophagus is opened (requiring a 1 on a d6), all the others will open as well, awakening the fearsome dragon men inside. They will summon the bronze golem outside to cover for them as they don their armor (1d4 rounds per dragon man). Otherwise, they will cover for each other, 5 attacking and 5 armoring.

Dragon Men: HD: 5, HP: 20 apiece, AC: 5 (3), Dmg:  Claw/Claw/Bite. 1d4/1d4/1d8 1/day Breath attack 3d6 dmg. 1d3: 1: Acid, 2: Flame, 3: Electricity


12: The walls of this chamber are plated in lead. A large apparatus occupies the SE corner, in the form of two large coppery spheres connected to a bathtub like affair by spiral tubes, behind which crystal tanks full of a translucent whitish green liquid stand. The tub/coffin seems to be carved out of a solid block of brushed steel. There’s a depression in the bottom that appears to accommodate the shape of a humanoid with a long tail. A smaller depression lies in the middle of that that is about the size of one of the gold or silver figurines found throughout this complex. There is an ornate knife switch on the wall next to the apparatus. If a body, living or dead, is placed in the tub and the switch thrown, the tanks will crackle with lightning as the tub fills with the liquid. In 1d4 rounds, the body will compress into a metallic figurine. 


The higher the intrinsic magic, the more precious the metal. Grimlings = Lead, Humans = copper, Homanculus = Electrum, Dampyr/Mage = Gold, Clerics = Silver. If one ofthe gold or silver pieces is placed in the tub and its activated, it will be transformed into a Sapiad (gold) or a Cthonite (silver), which will be revived by an electrical pulse after they’re reconstituted. Sapiads will attack, Cthonites are docile and will obey whoever revived them, unless there are dragonmen or sapiads present, in which case they will obey them. The same goes for Dreadnoughts.

Sapiads (evolved lizard men): HD: 2+1, HP: As rolled, AC: 5, Dmg: 1d6+1 or by weapon. Mv: 60(20) Swim 120(40), Sv: F2, Ml: 12, Spells: As lvl 3 magic user


Cthonites (fish headed servitors): HD: 1+1.HP: 9 apiece, AC: 8. Dmg: 1d4/1d4. Mv: 90(30) Swim 120(40), Sv: F3, Ml: 7, Spells: As Lvl 2 Druid 


Dreadnought (ogre/crawfish hybrids): HD: 5, HP: 20 apiece, AC: 2, Atk: Claw/Claw/Bite 1d10/1d10/2d6, Move: 90’(30’) Tunnel 30(10) Sv: F4, Ml: 10 can sense vibrations in total dark.




Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 61

Attending:
FULL HOUSE
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User

Henching:
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable

Temporarily Deceased – Beheaded by chthonic beast
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Dampyr

Monsters Mashed: 5 Cthonic Beasts – Hacked, stabbed, magic missiled, and chomped into oblivion.
2500 EXP/5.5 players = 454 apiece (except to Vlad, who was dead)

Loot gained:
5000 silver dodecahedrons = 500 GP/6 Players = 83 EXP apiece (including Vlad, who’s not dead now)
+1 Banded Mail
+1 Shield
Scroll with Magic User Spells: Sleep, Ventriloquism, Infravision, Polymorph Others and the Cleric Spell: Flame Strike

When I asked Vlad's player what he looked like he said Vlad resembled Jack White.
Life Changes undergone:
Thanks to Dr. Von Himmel’s expertise Vlad is now a bat winged head bossing his reanimated corpse around. His head has 4 hp, and is AC 5, which can be uparmored and will gain HP as you level.
His body is HP 20 and will remain so. Keep it away from sharp cornered furniture, open flames, and Krenshaw Powder.


 Addendum:
Seeing as [Tao's Player] will soon be escaping leaving us, she’s proposed we meet sometime over the next  week for an extended game session. I’m flexible enough, so if you guys can get enough of a quorum I’m happy to run another long game.

Commentary:

Oh, I've been so looking forward to telling you all about this one, boils and ghouls. This is my all time crowning achievement in weirding up the party!


As the party rumbled with the dunkleosteus headed gargoyle creatures in the newly discovered cave under the basement at Castle Von Himmel, poor Vlad ran afoul of a critical hit from one of the cthonic beasts' claws as well as my dreaded Dodecahedrons of Doom tables. Lets just say when his coin got flipped it came up heads.

Well, the party managed to finally stomp the ancient creatures down and then picked up the pieces for a hurried transport back up to Doctor Von Himmel's laboratory. (They also managed to pick up the loot off the skeleton on the steps as well as bust open the monsters' pedestals, which is where I think they got all those silver dodecahedrons. Hey, Vlad wasn't goin' anywhere, really. Not like the Golden Hour means much when they've already croaked.) 

Honestly, there are few places it's better to be decapitated by a primordial monster than in the basement of the greatest mad scientist of the land's laboratory. Thanks to the good doctor's ministrations, Vlad really came out ahead

Stay tuned for more terrible jokes and terrible things on Friday. 

I'm shakin' with antici... 




pation!

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 60

Attending:
FULL HOUSE
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Dampyr
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable

Monsters Mashed:
Double Barreled Bulette – Stabbed repeatedly then plummeted thru floor in Von Himmel’s decanting room.
2000 EXP/7 players = 285 Exp apiece.

Discovered mysterious cave below the sub-basements of Castle Von Himmel. Currently battling stone gargoyle/dinosaur/fish monsters after trying to approach the steps to loot the armor & shield off the skeletonized corpse lying there.

Commentary:

Well, it probably comes as no surprise that they beat back the bad Baron's birfuricated beastie, but in doing so they cracked a huge hole in the tiled floor of Von Himmel's lab and revealed a vast cavern in the dark depths below. 

Rappelling down, they discovered a vast, circular, door-like contraption set with 100's of copper disks at the eastern end, fronted by a set of steps silently guarded by a quintet of gargoyle-like creatures on pedestals with the heads of my favorite scary predatory primordial fish, the dunkelosteus. The party was lured in by the promise of loot from an armored skeleton lying on the steps. Of course the statues started moving, and the battle was joined. 

Stay tuned for more on Wednesday, as the sub-subterranean shenanigans continue.

P.S. I evoked these monsters in miniature form very recently. I think I have a tendency to do that, recreate monsters I've used in play as minis long after I've fielded them at the table. Guess my mini OODA loop is a bit backwards. Ah well, s'fun either way.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 59


FULL HOUSE
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus 
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Dampyr
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable

Henching: Mr. Exeunt, a Lvl 8 Homanculus whose torso has been grafted centaur-style on the body of a gorilla.

Monsters Mashed
Von Himmel’s proteanoid: Ripped up by Mr. Exuent, stabbed, and shot.
790 EXP/7.5 Players = 105 EXP apiece.

Monsters being managed… maybe?
A double ended bulette, now currently under the effects of a permanent Speed potion.
Good luck with that on Monday.

Double the pleasure, double the fun, double the reason to scream and run!
Commentary:

Back at Von Himmel Manor the party was asked to descend into the basement lab levels once more to help corral a specimen that had gotten loose from its big glass tube. I'm afraid I'm not 100% certain what Von Himmel's proteanoid was, 'cos I can't find reference to it in my notes. I probably just went with a flesh golem or some kind of ooze. Maybe a dopplelganger. Or maybe a flesh golem crossed with an ooze or a doppelganger. I dunno. Anything was possible in Doctor Von Himmel's laboratory.

While that was being dealt with, with the help of Von Himmel's lab level doorman Mr. Exeunt, the good Doctor's rival Baron Ünterlöb sent another one of his custom built bulettes to attack the very heart of Von Himmel's operations, and this one was equipped with jaws on both ends like a pushmi-pullyu gone even more horribly awry. 


They fought the beast in Von Himmel's potion mixing room, attempting to use the mixing apparatus to wage some magical/chemical warfare on the burrowing monstrosity. Alas, when you mess with devices and especially potions you don't understand, you usually wind up making things worse, like giving a double headed bulette a permanent Speed upgrade. 

And it was here that we wrapped up, with the next session coming preternaturally fast on the party's heels. 

See you on Monday. 

Bonus: 
Here are the stats for Von Himmel's loaner ape bodies, that the party's homanculi were forced to pilot around as disembodied brains in jars for many of the prior sessions goofing around a mad scientist's mansion: 

Loaner Apes: HD: 4, AC: 6, Atk: 1d4/1d4, use character’s attack rolls -2, Saves: Breath Wpn: 15 Poison: 12 Petrify: 14, Wands, Spells as character. Mv: 120(40) On a natural 1 in combat or natural 20 on an attribute check, roll save vs. Wands or the brain jar pops loose, requiring a round to reattach. Brain jar is AC 4, and takes 10 pts of damage to shatter. In that event roll save vs. Death to see if the brain survives long enough to be transferred into another receptacle, preferably one filled with a sterile solution of healing chemicals laced with painkillers. Handle with care.

Brought to you by Medical Monkeys, LTD.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 58

Session 58
FULL HOUSE
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Dampyr
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable

Monsters mashed:
1 of Baron Ünterlöb’s landsharks: Stabbed, magic missiled, and pinned to a rock with an awesome sword strike.
1000 EXP/7 players = 142 EXP apiece

Madmen met:
The Von Himmel brothers’ great great great great great great great Grand Uncle Nukus. He’s a spry old bird.
Commentary:

On the journey back to Von Himmel Manor, the players were confronted with the sight of a scrawny little old man clad in a nightshirt and furry hat, pelting furiously toward them up the trail with something huge and horrible burrowing hot on his heels.

As the sprightly senior citizen rushed past them, giggling madly to himself, the party were suddenly thrust into battle with a bulette that burst up from the road and attacked.

After defeating the creature with a measure of difficulty interspersed with a couple natural 20's, by the look of it, they headed on toward the mansion. The old man didn't speak beyond gleeful cackling and rude gestures, but they allowed him to follow them as they continued on their way.

They were met at the edge of the estate by Alexi Von Himmel, who introduced them to his Great Uncle Nukus. Mad as a bucket of beetles, but also a 20th. Level Fighter, Uncle Nukus liked nothing better than to seek out the biggest, scariest monsters infesting the woods and mountainsides and getting them to chase him.

The aggro he'd pulled when he'd met up with the party was the product of one of Dieter Von Himmel's rivals in the mad science biz, one Baron Ünterlöb. Whether this was a random encounter, or the beginning of a new subterranian assault, was yet to be seen.

Tune in Friday to see...

Note: The picture above is the monster Gabora from episode 9 of the original Ultraman TV series. I am firmly convinced that it was the original model for the little plastic toy monster that Gygax & co. turned into the bulette back in the early days of AD&D.

Jeff Rients covered the history of this monster pretty well in his classic 2005 article on the subject. Look at the picture he's got of the first bulette, look at Gabora up there, and tell me I'm wrong.

Shuwatch!

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Sessions 56 & 57

Retaking Ghoulardia pass from Granny Maw and her bugbears. (Attempt 1)
  
(Image may not be 100% Accurate)
Attending:
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Dampyr
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable

Monsters Mashed:
3 Bugbears – Zapped thru the battered chunks of the siege machine
300 exp/ 7 players = 43 Exp apiece

1 Hill Giant – Ingloriously magic missiled to death.
560 exp/7 players = 80 Exp apiece

1 Troll – Autobeheaded, pinned to a cave wall and roasted to death in burning Web spell. Head now in stone urn, not happy.
600 exp/ 7 players = 86 Exp apiece

Total: 209 EXP per person.

Commentary:

This pair of sessions saw a sortie back to Ghoulardia Pass to attempt to liberate the catacombs and Cardille Keep from a new set of interlopers, the horrible hag Granny Maw and her army of goons. They didn't really follow thru, for whatever reason, preferring to just harry the defenses a bit before they trekked back to their new patrons, the Von Himmel Family.

They made a frontal assault on the Keep, and tangled with a bunch of bugbears at the gate who were manning a ballista. These they killed, but backed off when the resistance didn't show any signs of weakening.

They also used that confounded Big Red d30 to one shot kill a hill giant that was stationed on top of the tower. (Honestly, I'm still ambivalent about this rule. The players loved it though... Feh.) 

Finally, they tried entering one of the crypts in the graveyard and ran afoul of a troll that had been set to guard the underground chamber beneath (where the giant rat creature had once been kept by Doctor Von Rattschmidt). They snicker snacked its head clean off with one of their magic swords and torched its body after immobilizing it in a Web spell. 

They took the loudly complaining head back to the Von Himmels in a stone urn, probably hoping to cash in on his prior offer of money for troll blood (known for its uncanny (and nasty) healing properties). The juice from this cranky cranium would come in handy in future sessions (in a certain liberal definition of the phrase.)

The journey back was a bit fraught, as you will soon see...

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 55

Attending: FULL HOUSE!
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus – Temporarily installed in donor monkey.
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Dampyr
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus – Temporarily installed in donor monkey.
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable

Monsters Mashed:

Mongo Ritzy: Monkey rushed, silenced, and subdued.
500 EXP/7 players = 71 EXP apiece.

Abilities gained:
Ritzy has gained Lvl 3 spellcasting (2 1st lvl, 1 2nd lvl, starting spell: Charm Person)
Greed & Ritzy have both gained improved armor class and 4 arms.

Arongoth has continued taking Mandrake powder, and has gained rubbery, boneless arms that can extend out to 20’ and some sharp toothed buds that bite for 1d4 and may grow bigger over time.

He’s also learned the recipe for Krenshaw Powder, which requires a copious amount of Greenishghoul plant, sulfur crystals, powdered bone, and over a pint of the user’s own blood if they wish to wrest control of the undead abominations instead of just making them murderously free willed.

Commentary: 

Back to normal, hour long (give or take) sessions, in this one the party, now full strength due to being rejoined by Arongoth and Tarvinir, tracked down Ritzy's errant body and took it down with as little damage as they could manage. Arongoth used the old standard spell-killer Silence 15' Radius to keep the battling body from casting its Charm on them, and they wrestled it into submission. 

They took the inert hulk back to the operating room, where Doctor Von Himmel got back to work and hooked up the safeguards that would keep Mongo, the Terror of Belgravia, from ever taking Ritzy's body over again. (Probably. It didn't come up again in the campaign, alas. But believe me, it would have...) 

Arongoth explained his absence the prior megasession was due to both doing research, and downing a couple more doses of Mandrake Powder. The resulting mutations were striking, to say the least, and to this day I'm pleased with the progressive en-weirdening I got to pull off on this character. (Not the weirdest, though. Stay tuned for that in the future. Hee hee hee.) 

He also did some research in the Von Himmel family's extensive library of forbidden and obscure lore, discovering the recipe for the horrible green powder that had been used to such dreadful effect against his mini-hordes of shambling skeletons and zombies in the past. 

Consider adding Krenshaw Powder to your campaign, DM's, especially if you've got a cleric or mage who likes to abuse Animate Dead. Just a pinch will turn basic, automata style undead like zombies and skeletons against their users. (Or against everybody if the user hasn't mixed in the requisite pint of blood.) Whether more powerful concoctions of this formula exist that could turn created undead minions of vampires, ghouls, wights, and specters against their masters, and just what grisly ingredients that might entail, is an exercise best left up to a more sinister mind than mine...

Heh heh heh...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Megasession 54

Will YOU be Mongo's Friend?
Attending:
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus – Temporarily installed in donor monkey.
Tao – Lvl 5 Druid
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 5 Dampyr
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus – Temporarily installed in donor monkey.
Tysis – Lvl 5 Fighter

Indisposed:
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable
These characters were not active participants and thus do not get EXP for this session.

Monsters Mashed:
Fire Elemental – Blasted and banished.
2800 EXP/ 5 Players = 560 EXP apiece

Nurse Oso – Werebear – Restrained and knocked on the head.
1070 EXP/5 Players = 214 EXP apiece

Grimling work detail – stomped, run off, and threatened with a blunt excrement
80 EXP/5 players = 16 EXP apiece

The Cleaner – Hosed, burned, magic missiled, and stabbed into loose plasma.
245 EXP/5 players = 49 EXP apiece

Total: 839 EXP per attending player.

Commentary:

This session is notable because we scheduled it as a Friday night long play session after work, rather than the usual lunch hour play typical of this campaign. I recall it was a blast, literally. 

Wouldn't you know it, in an appallingly ironic (heh heh) bit of timing while Greed and Ritzy were de-brained and under the knife of the horribly skilled mad scientist Doctor Dieter Von Himmel, just as the good doctor was connecting the spellcasting shrunken head of Mongo, the Terror of Belgravia, to Ritzy's nervous system, something in Blutarch Von Himmel's slowly exploding attic lab exploded extra quickly, releasing a Fire Elemental onto the roof of the manor house and shaking the foundations of the building all the way down to Dieter's basement laboratory. 

With the slightest tremor of Von Himmel's scalpel, the wrong nerve was connected, and Mongo awoke, took command of Ritzy's body, burst the straps on the operating table, decked both his surgeon and an observing Tarvinir, cast Charm Person on the attending Nurse Oso and suborned her to its cause, and escaped into the maze of corridors and labs under Von Himmel Manor. 

Meanwhile, the party was up above having tea in the conservatory, while the Greed and Ritzy waited in the recovery room as brains in glass jars mounted on anencephalic gorillas. The party hastily assembled at the sound of the tremendous BOOM, their first order of business was to keep the rampaging Fire Elemental from burning the whole place down. 

They did battle with the creature using the Hydro Pump, and I think they summoned a Water Elemental to fight it with the Hook (I guess it still had some charges) that took forever to slush its way up the side of the manor house.) I think a few spells were tossed and desperate gambits were attempted as well.

Once the fiery foe had been extinguished, Doctor Von Himmel staggered up the basement stairs dragging an unconscious Tarvinir (who's player was absent), and told the party the bad news about the little peccadillo on the operating table.

The rest of the session played out as a hunt thru the catacombs under the manor house, searching for Ritzy's powerful new body, now under the control of a wily shrunken head with magical powers. 

They fought several of the Doctor's servants, including Nurse Oso, who had been ordered to attack anyone coming down the stairs, a squad of Grimling diggers expanding the east wing of the facility, and The Cleaner, a tame gelatinous cube that routinely scoured the hallways outside the labs. 

The session concluded before they laid eyes on their quarry, so tune in Friday to find out how they corralled Ritzy's crazed, customized corpus.