Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 30 & 31

Attendants:
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 6 Cleric/Vegetable
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User

Monsters mashed:
Werewolf: Stabbed and bludgeoned, then finished off with a bisected skull from Greed
190 EXP

Rael: Subdued after moonstone boulder caused a wolfout.
320 EXP

TOTAL: 510 EXP/6 Players = 85 Exp apiece

Items acquired: Head of the kreuzschlusselwulf, to be delivered to one Professor Scarabus in Kroenenberg at 13 Bettlerstrasse.

Items un-acquired: Gerald the Pony
 + assorted skeletons and zombies.

Tune in next week when Morgus’ Money Mummy says:
 Morgus wants his money!
MORGUS WANTS HIS MONEY!
MORGUS WANTS HIS MONEY!!!

 Creepy crawl correction:
Sorry. It was Vlad who split the werewolf’s head in half with his dagger, wasn’t it?
My apologies.

Commentary:

Whoo. A lot of threads laid down and picked up in this session. 

The party completed their exploration of the Spider Wolf's lair, encountering the moonstone boulder in the deepest part of the webbed up forest that caused Rael to involuntarily wolf out and rampage. They put her to sleep B.A. Baracus style and fought one of the enshrouded werewolves in the multi-legged monster's larder.

I think they put both the couriers out of their misery, rather than go thru the trouble of gathering all those herbs and dire wolf blood and whatnot for a cure. They saved at least 2 silver pieces, plus not having them around to contest where they might have gotten the paperwork and signet ring that gave them the title of Cardille Keep was probably a factor. 

Hey, bein' monsters and monster adjacent ain't always pretty...

Gerald the pony finally had enough of all the terrifying goings on and fled the scene at top speed, dragging Vlad behind him part of the way. Vlad managed to get loose but Gerald got looser, and vanished over the horizon. 

One thing I know from growing up around horses is that these huge animals can spook at the sight of a fluttering gum wrapper. With all the werewolves and giant spiders and death and decay going on around him I'm honestly surprised Gerald's head didn't explode. 

As they finished up and were picking their way out of the horrible webby woodland, they were met on the path by an animated monkey skeleton carrying a brass trumpet that magically played a message from one Professor Scarabus, a secretive wizard based in Kroenenburg, who offered them a princely sum of money to collect and deliver the lycanthropy tainted poison glands from the spider wolf to an address in town. 

So they obligingly went back and sawed the head off the dead kruzeschlusselwulf and bagged it up. There's no way a fast acting toxin that turns people into werewolves could be used for anything but peaceful and socially edifying purposes. No way!

Professor Scarabus was a villain I introduced in the original round robin Wardicon campaign that I participated in back in those distant days when I first started gaming with my coworkers at Genetic Anomalies, which included such luminaries as Paul and Delta

My character at the time was a square jawed, superhero styled paladin named Calvert McCallister, and Scarabus was created as a super villainous counterpart. 

The Professor was always running city wide schemes of horrible, Dr. Phibes style revenge on his former wizardly colleagues or cartoonish mass destruction, like the one time he turned the entire population of Wardicon to stone, or that other time where he tried afflicting the whole city with mummy rot by spreading powdered mummy from a hot air balloon. 

Thankfully, he was foiled time after time, but he was a real rum customer.

In the Creepy Crawl his methodology and style were very much cribbed, aesthetically, from the work of Jan Svankmajer. They never met him in person, which seems to be the only way you can preserve a villain in an RPG campaign. Although even that's no guarantee...

And speaking of remote villains, this session ended at a bit of a cliffhanger a few miles outside of the Kroenenburg city limits, as a hulking mummy with gold coins for eyes blocked their path. Seems the evil sorcerer and rival tomb looter Morgus the Malevolent had figured out who'd stolen Count Gore De Vol's treasure out from under his nose and had begun sending supernatural collection agents after our ghoulish group, furious that they'd stolen the treasure that he'd intended to steal.

Tune in on Friday to see how that particular pecuniary pickle wraps up. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Happy Memorial Day!

And a big thanks to all former and active members of our military.

(With a special nod to all those folks in the armed forces who deploy with a few polyhedral dice stashed in their kit.)

Your service is appreciated. Come home safe.

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 28 & 29

Attendants:
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 5 Cleric/Vegetable
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User

Monsters Mashed:

2 Werewolves, 1 Subdued and chained to Gerald the Pony, and one wrapped up in spider webbing, stabbed and bludgeoned and shot.
               380 exp

Das Kreuzschl├╝sselwulf (aka the Spider Wolf) Stabbity stab stab stabbed to death.
               1260 exp

Loot Acquired:

               500 silver pieces in coffer marked with crest of Brundleheim, Tortoiseshell and gem inlaid walking stick (900 gp), 30 gp from false hump worn by dead grimling,

               Signet Ring of Grand Duchy of Lobo, silver with huge red carbuncle gem bearing wolf’s head crest. (700 gp)

               81 copper pieces, 31 silver pieces, 18 gold pieces, 3 gems (250, 75, 75),

Gold and gem inlaid spellbook with ruined pages (600 gp),

Wand made of row of crystal spheres wrapped in latticed brass.

2701 exp

Total: 4341 exp/6 players = 723 exp apiece

Additional items: Lifesize wood effigy of St. Hieronymus, Papers and letter from Archduke Eisenfaust of Kroenenberg bearing full title

Commentary: 

I consider this session an achievement in my career as a DM because of how hard I hooked the players into this particular adventure. Like a trout on a fly lure. Heh heh. 


So after the remaining courier had wolfed out, they subdued him with extreme prejudice and tied him up with some chain they must have found around the coaching inn. 

So naturally once that was accomplished the first thing they did was root through his bag and belongings. In the hapless courier's courier pouch, they found a letter and a bunch of paperwork: 
Long story short, this very official missive let them know that if they could get the signet ring, they'd gain ownership of Cardille Keep, the very structure they'd been shooting and looting over the past several weeks. (Obviously, it would be more complex than that, but basically he who holds the ring owns the thing, so to speak.) 

They figured out that the courier that had been dragged off by the mysterious cryptid Spider Wolf was probably the one who had the signet ring on him. So off into the dark pine woods they went to track down the monster and get that little bit of lucre so that they could achieve the great D&D dream of owning a castle from which to terrorize the surrounding countryside. 

For whatever reason, they decided to bring along the other courier, which they chained to the back of the very unhappy, near critically spooked Gerald. (Poor Gerald. Ponies weren't meant to have unnatural slavering predators chained to their backs. I've often noted that a lot of gamers just don't completely comprehend how animals work.)

Following the trail through the night, they found a webbed up thicket in the heart of the dismal pine woods as dawn broke feebly thru the dense trees. 

Vlad, ever the coward, suggested they just burn the woods down. This plan was vetoed because:

A: Contrary to the Web spell's side effects, spider webs aren't nature's oil soaked rags. Especially when woven in with a dank, misty forest. Even with a Fireball it was unlikely they'd get the woods to light.

B: They were looking for a signet ring, maybe an inch in diameter, tops. Try sifting through an acre of ash to find something that size, even provided it survives.

So into the woods they went. And shenanigans ensued. 

I'll also note at this session we gained another player, whose character, Tarvinir, was a scholarly looking magic user who showed up at the coaching inn as they were on their way to hunt for the spidah monstah. (In realistic terms he probably wouldn't have been quite so ready to tramp off into the wilderness with a bunch of freaks he'd just met to hunt down a giant spider whose bite transmitted accelerated lycanthropy, but you skip over some niceties to get a party rolling.) 


Since it's a holiday and I like posting this kind of material, here is the key to the terrifying werewolf and spider themed Lair of the Spider Wolf. 

The map I used was Dyson Logos' Zaelen's Hive turned 90' counter clockwise with the stairs down to the south, and the numbers starting at 1 in the first chamber and then ascending as kind of a reversed question mark, with 3 being the side chamber off of 2 and 10 being the isolated chamber below 9. Wherever stairs down are indicated, there will be a steep incline made slick with wet leaves and webbing, that requires a save vs. Paralysis to avoid sliding down uncontrollably.

(I'm using this cryptic blather rather than just posting the numbered map because I'm not sure if it's kosher to repost Dyson's work when it's not one of his free and clear Patreon funded samples. Just go patronize the man's work, it's hands down one of the best gaming resources out there.)

1: 20X20 Space. Mummified bodies of knight and warhorse suspended among webbing. Armor, sword, lance, and barding rusted and fragile. Saddlebags hold a locked coffer with 500 silver pieces bearing crest from Brundleheim.  Floor has layer of webbing, if stepped on will cause tree branches and armor of knight to rattle, alerting other denizens of the lair.

2:  A second 20X20 section conjoined to this one to the Northwest. There are two sloping exits leading down the opposite side of the hill the copse sits on top of, leading north and northeast. Bodies of various forest animals bundled in webbing and hanging from trees. Mummified remains of a dandy in fine hunting leathers, a human manservant, and a grimling lackey are also hanging here. Their gear is warped, rusted, and ruined, save for a  gem and tortoiseshell inlaid walking staff with three unscrewable compartments making up the upper part. One is empty, one contains a set of thief’s picks, and the third is a flask that holds Oil of Slipperiness. (900 gp) The grimling wears a false hump that contains 30 Gold Pieces.

3: Disassociated bones hang in a haze of webbing in this chamber, which is 20X20. Area works like a WEB spell if entered, with the addition of 1d4 damage from sharp bones sticking entrapped victims. The hall leading to this area is steep and treacherous. Roll a save vs. petrify or slide down.
(Lots of shenanigans happened here. Ever try leading a pony, who's already terrified of the werebeast strapped to its back, into a giant spider's lair on a slippery inclined plane? Poor Gerald. Don't worry, he lives.)

4: A 20X20 chamber with an opening to the northeast. A gnawed wooden effigy of St. Hieronymus (The patron saint of monster hunters.) lies against one of the thorn bushes woven with webs. Close examination reveals his mouth is slightly open, wide enough for a coin to pass through. It jingles slightly if moved. Contains 600 Silver Pieces and 300 Gold pieces in hidden compartment in chest. Breaking it open will bring on a curse -1 per 50 gp claimed to hit lycanthropes and undead.

5: A 30X30 chamber lined with webs Lair of Spider Wolf. The creature is here wrapping up the other courier. (Signet ring in pouch on belt (700 gp)) Courier turning into werewolf.  Assorted pouches, packs, and satchels from prior victims scattered around clearing, tangled in webbing and thorn branches. Contains total of 81 Coppper Pieces, 31 Silver, 18 Gold.


I half rotted backpack bearing the crest of the Occluded College (an eye with a hand covering the pupil) contains a small pouch with 3 Gems(250, 75, 75) an old spellbook with a gilded, bejeweled cover whose pages have rotted and are illegible (600 gp), and a wand constructed of a series of crystal spheres bound in a latticed tube of brass (Wand of Illusionn (9 charges)) (The Occluded College was an organization of sages and mages. It proved to be a really good plot hook for the newly arrived Tarvinir.)

6: This smaller 15X15 chamber is cocooned with web, which forms  a natural funnel to the treetops overhead. A constant, eddying whirl of leaves and debris is constantly spinning in here, rattling the trees, which can be heard from 5. Another slide trap waits in the corridor leading from the northwest dumping into 9 (save vs. petrify)

7: The spider wolf’s larder, a 30X30 chamber with a sloping entrance from 5. (Same as 3) Large, wolf like bundles line the wall, feebly writhing and whining or growling. There are 4 here : HD: 4 HP: 11, 14, 25, 21. AC: 5, Dmg: 2d4, Save F4, Morale 4

When the party enters, the strongest of them will tear free of their prisons and attack, although they will be last on init. If possible they’ll release the others and try to escape if unimpeded.

8: The bones of five werewolves, some full wolf, some human (but recognizable via pointed teeth) some mid transition are shoved aside in this 15X15 cubbyhole. One of the spider wolf’s earlier shed carapaces is draped over them, which will look like another monster in the dim light.


9: A giant, smooth boulder made of Moonstone sits in the center of this 30X30 chamber. It weighs a ton and cannot be moved. It glows faintly, and any lycanthropes will instantly transform if they fail a save vs. spell, and they will be savagely violent.

10: A large egg sac hangs from the boughs of a large oak that makes up part of this chamber It takes 28 hp to destroy. A wolf skull lies on the floor beneath it.  (Better destroy that sac, if you don't want this area to be renamed Kreuzschl├╝sselwulfsylvania.)


Enjoy!


Friday, May 25, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 27

Attendants:
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 5 Cleric/Vegetable
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr

No combat per se, but some stuff acquired:

A pony named Gerald.
One syrupy green potion that smells vaguely of cut grass.
1 treasure map with an X in the middle of Lake Moguera in the foothills about a days travel south of Strangledorf on the road to Kroenenburg.
A cryptic warning from the bitten Imperial courier as he hideously transforms into a werewolf:
“The Spider Wolf”
Beware…
Commentary:

So having made the decision to head east to richer pastures in the port city of Kroenenberg, the party heads back to Strangeldorf to kit up and get on the road. 

Vlad buys a pony, and names it Gerald. Yup...

And off they go. They spend the rest of the day tramping down dilapidated roads in fairly pleasant weather, all things considered, as they come down out of the mountains into the foothills and onward to rolling, forested lowlands. I'm kinda blanking on where they picked up that map and potion. (Sorry, it's been almost five years and sometimes the emails were very terse and to the point.)

Anyway, as night falls they find themselves at a deserted coaching inn, where they decide to bed down. The only other occupants are a couple of Imperial Couriers heading in the opposite direction. 

We're dashing! That means we dash everywhere we go! Huzzah!
Once again my ephemeral memory eludes me as to whether they interacted much with these guys, but seeing as the couriers were on official business I don't think they wanted much to do with a bunch of freaky creeps and creepy freaks from Strangeldorf, and thus bedded down in a different room and locked the door.

Naturally, in the wee ours of the night our heroes awoke to the sound of horrified screams from the two men. Rushing into the room, they get there just in time to see something large and hairy dragging one of them out the window and vanishing into the night. 

The other was left writhing on the floor with a painful bite, lets say on his leg. As the party tries to give aid and find out what's happened, the remaining courier starts going all fuzzy and toothy and only manages to gasp out that cryptic warning before he starts foaming at the mouth and growling. 


Tune in next week as the party gets entangled in something new and horrible.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 26

Attendants:
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 4 Cleric/Vegetable
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr

Loot Acquired (from the hanging cauldron from Cardille Keep)
               1100 GP and 1600 SP, all stamped with the ancient crest of the Duchy of Lobo.
               1260 GP Total/5 Players = 252 Exp apiece

Also acquired: 10 skeleton ladies in fancy dresses and a healthy fear of trolls, based on Alexi Von Himmels’ stories about his very late Uncle Stanislaus.

Commentary: 

So after parting company with the Von Himmels, the party hied back to Ghoulardia Pass to do one last sweep through Cardille Keep. 

Since he was back up to 5th. level and able to cast Animate Dead again, Arongoth animated the skeletons in their fancy finery that were lounging around in the late Lobovich's conservatory. I guess he just wasn't comfortable unless he had an entourage of shambling undead following him around...

They made it up to the top turret, now that the fires had gone out, and cracked open the giant cauldron that had been hanging there. Inside, they found Lobovich's treasure, a hefty pile of gold and silver. 

It was a good start, but they were itching to increase their cash flow, so they decided it was time to leave Strangeldorf (this time without a torch & pitchfork waving mob behind them) and head out for the big city of Kroenenburg, where they could sell the bigger ticket gemstones and maybe make some more moolah as they went. Or at least attract a better class of mob to run them out of town. 

Tune in Friday as our merry miscreants make their preparations and set out on their journey.


Monday, May 21, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 25

Just drink your tea and don’t say anything about her surgery scars.
Attendants:
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 4 Cleric

Henching:
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr

Monsters Mashed:
1 Ghoul – Cut down with Greed’s awesome sword of undead slaying before its scabrous brethren nearly TPK’d you all.
               47 EXP/4.5 players = 10 EXP apiece

Arongoth attained the second mandrake root and ate it. Is now an ambulatory plant with green, mottled, potato like skin and other unknown effects.

Party nearly TPK’d by ghouls (frikkin’ ghouls) and rescued by Alexi Von Himmel and his wonder dog Rex before being eaten.


Have struck a deal with Deiter Von Himmel to obtain some troll blood in exchange for reduced rates for homanculous upgrades.
That's Doctor Von Himmel, I didn't get my degree just to be called Baron.

 Commentary:

This is the session where the weirdness of the campaign began to gain some real momentum. 

The party sought out the other mandrake root that they knew about from Bark Eatin' Ted's woodsy wisdom, and found it in a patch of greenishghoul, which is a sickly whitish green plant known for attracting the undead. (I got that herb list for Rael's wolwelf cure from Abulafia btw. Best use of a random table I've ever done.) Which it had, in the form of a pack of frikkin' ghouls. 

Well, ghouls are pretty nasty, even for a bunch of 4th. to 5th. level characters, so the party came really close to getting TPK'd. Claw/claw/bite plus paralysis and a lot of blown saving throw rolls often makes for a bad time. Frikkin' ghouls... 

But lo! Galumphing through the woods astride his faithful reindeer Snowflake was Alexi Von Himmel, adventurer, nobleman, and gentleman hunter, with his amazing hunting hound Rex (a german shepherd with a human arm grafted to his back armed with a flintlock pistol, a gift from his elder brother). Between Alexi's hurtling hand axes and his dog being a crack shot, the ghouls were sent packing and the party was saved. 

One tangential historical note, Alexi was a character my brother created and played in a kinda gothic 2nd. Edition D&D game back when we were sharing an apartment in Cleveland while going to school at the Cleveland Institute of Art. I'd say back in 1993-1994, if I'm doing my math right. He was cossack inspired, and we were using the A Mighty Fortress campaign sourcebook. 

We'd decided between us that the Von Himmels were an Addams Family style clan of aristocratic oddballs and misfits. In a lot of ways that old campaign was the buried corpse that the deep roots of the flowerbed of bizarre that was the Creepy Crawl campaign drew it's nourishment from. I brought the Von Himmel family back in a big way for this game, and the rescue from Alexi was my golden opportunity to slot them into the campaign.

Von Himmel invited the party back to his family estate, an imposing castle in the next valley over from Ghoulardia Pass. There they were introduced to his elder brother, Dieter Von Himmel, the greatest mad scientist in all the land, and Deiter's lovely wife Hyacinth, a velociraptor in a dress with a barely noticable surgery scar running across her cranium under her blonde wig. (A result of a tragic trip abroad that the Von Himmels decline to discuss. The poor dear gets so upset and starts lacerating the throw pillows... and the servants...)

Over tea, I got to introduce one of the campaign's best patrons, and also gave the homanculus characters something to strive for. When they found out that Dr. Von Himmel could do any kinda modifications their artificial little hearts desired, if the price was right, right then and there they knew what their goal in life was gonna be: earning enough bling to pimp out their chassis.

I tried dangling the troll blood discount thing in front of them to get them to go back to the cave where they'd gotten the mountainroot morels, but they didn't bite on that. Their adventures were soon to take them further afield. 

Finally, Arongoth got himself back up to 5th. level after eating the second mandrake root, but it had started to... change him. 

It never came up in play, but in addition to his plant like complexion, he was also capable of regrowing severed limbs. (Although the process would be rather... fraught, in many disturbing and inconvenient ways...) 

And he wasn't done yet. This... change made him wonder what would happen were he to acquire more mandrake and consume it without needing to replenish his levels.

Like I said, here's where it really starts to get really, really weird, and I'm lovin' it. 



Tune in on Wednesday, group, as we proceed.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Thousand And One Tales Yet To Be Told

So over the past month I've been working on the first of a series of books about my Thousand Year Sandglass campaign. It's progressing nicely, and I just recently got the written part of it mostly roughed out.

The base rule set is Labyrinth Lord. It's got four new classes, sections about monsters and treasure, a whole chapter dedicated to randomly generating adventure and intrigue in the grand old city of Kalabad, and eight fully mapped and keyed scenarios of varying sizes for a teller of tales to drop into their own game.

It's essentially a toolkit for building an Arabian Nights themed sandbox, and following books will provide more features and scenarios to expand on this unique world. 

Now I've just got the interior illustrations, the cover, a few more textual extras, and a whole big heap of proofreading and editing to do.

So this post is mostly a progress report and a little bit of a waving the flag to get folks interested. It also makes it harder for me to procrastinate if I announce it publicly, so if you hear the faint sound of a whip cracking fear not, that's me on either end of it.

Were I to put on my fortune teller's turban and make a prediction, I would say it'll drop sometime in June. July at the latest.

So watch this space, O gentle readers, and try not to get any sand in your eyes.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 24

Attendants:
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 3 Cleric

Henching 4 Evah:
Richard Darkmagic – Lvl 5 Magic User

Casualties:
Richard Darkmagic – Face exploded by mandrake scream. Requescat en pace.
Silver lining: Arongoth has eaten the mandrake root, and has now attained 4th level

Commentary:

Gather 'round, boils and ghouls, and let me tell you a tale of a mandrake harvesting gone awry. 

So the plan the group cooked up was for Vlad to cast Levitate to get up to the high cliff where their prize awaited while Arongoth cast Silence 15' Radius on him to ward off the sonic doom it contained.

So they do, and up Vlad floats, about 50' up the cliff face, while the party all stands around below watching him. 

Vlad pulls the root in question out of the dirt on the high cliff ledge and it starts screaming, but it's fine 'cos in the 15' sphere of silence nobody can hear it. 

Except the thing is shaking and vibrating like crazy in Vlad's hand. So I make him roll a Dex check, which he fails. So he loses his grip and drops the silently screaming mandrake. 

Well, the party stares up in horror for a second while it falls in cinematic slow motion, then they scatter, running for their lives as the terrible tuber drops out of the 15' spell radius and here comes the scream

I make everybody roll saves vs. Death, I think, and mercifully they all make it except for poor, henchy Richard Darkmagic, who takes full damage, which puts him past 0 HP so I roll on these dreadful dismemberment tables that I'd gotten from Paul a while ago to use with a critical hits system he pioneered that I've adopted. (Ironically to make the game less lethal. Heh.)

The same tables that Paul used in his Restenford campaign, that had a non-trivial percentage of the party limping around with missing limbs and delving dungeons looking for ways to re-grow them or build magical prosthetics. 

Based on my records and looking at the charts again, that means a 94-96 was rolled on the d100 for Location, which is Face, followed by a 6 on the d6 Severity, which equates to Severed, which all adds up to X = Instant death. 

And that's how the very late Richard Darkmagic wound up getting his face exploded by a screaming mandrake. 

That'll happen...

Tune in next week for more screemy shenanigans.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 23

His bark eatin' has really gotten out of control...
Attendants:
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 3 Cleric

Henching 4 Evah:
Richard Darkmagic – Lvl 5 Magic User

Monsters Mashed – 6 Stirges – All but one Sleep spelled and fell to their death. One kerploded with magic missiles
96 EXP/5.5 Players = 17 EXP apiece

The conditions of Rael’s condition:

Wolf Form: AC 6, Mov 150(50), Bite 2d4, +2 to save vs. Breath Wpn, 60' Darkvision.
+30 to Move Silently. May bite as backstab. Cannot use Climb ability. Make Save vs. Petrify/Paralyze to change 1/day and back.

Commentary:

So, after brewing up the worwelf cure as perscribed in their research in Doctor Von Rattschmid's library, Rael held her cold, wet nose, swallowed a silver piece, and then downed the nasty concoction. Then she rolled a save vs. Poison...

And made it. When her character was done gagging, I explained to her player that now she could control her wolfly transformations, more or less. She could only shift from person to wolf and back once per day, and if she blew either save vs. Paralysis she'd be stuck in whatever form she was in until the next day.  

In a normal campaign I'd probably be more inclined to play up the curse part of lycanthropy, what with the random transformations and the gnawing on comrades and whatnot, but in a schlock horror movie styled game like I was runnin', it seemed more apropos to just have it be part of the party's skill set. And thus the enweirdening of the party began...

So having solved Rael's problem, the group turned their attentions to helping Arongoth get over having almost half of his levels drained by the vampire Lobovich. 

They sought out the herbal advice of Bark Eatin' Ted, the mad druid of Ghoulardia Pass. Ted manifested as a face on the side of a tree, and they had a splintery conversation about what could be done. B.E. Ted suggested they rustle up some mandrake roots, which were known to be a restorative. In short, if Arongoth dug up a mandrake and ate it, he could get a level back. 

Of course, picking mandrakes is supremely dangerous, what with the killer scream they emit when pulled from the ground. S.O.P. was to get a dog and tie it to the root, toss a ball or a stick or something, and then run for the hills as the dog pulled the mandrake loose and got sent to heaven.  Since Rael wasn't too keen on volunteering for that gig they had to come up with something else.

Ted hipped them to the locations of a couple of the deadly tubers in the woods around Ghoulardia Pass, so they thanked the plank and headed off to do some more herb harvesting. 

The first mandrake they found was growing on a high ledge on a cliff that was also home to a nasty colony of stirges. They bested the little bloodsuckers with a Sleep spell, and then prepared their clever plan to get up there and pick that mandrake. 

Tune in Friday, to find out how they planned to do it, and how it all went horribly, horribly pear shaped. Heh heh heh...

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 22

Attendants:
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 3 Cleric

Henching 4 Evah:
Richard Darkmagic – Lvl 5 Magic User
Ivan Fedyeka – Lvl 2 Ranger Hireling

Monsters Mashed –
4 Dire Wolves – 560 EXP. / 6 players = 93 EXP apiece

1 Gallon (plus) of Dire Wolf blood successfully obtained.

Commentary:

Today's session was a quest for soup stock. Having obtained all the various poisonous and otherwise obnoxious herbal ingredients for Rael's wierwalf cure, as well as a nice copper pot to cook it all up in, they needed some dire wolf juice to really meld the flavors. 

So they hired Ivan, an NPC ranger, to help them track down a pack of the big beasties and went tromping about the pine forests around Ghoulardia Pass lookin' for trouble. Since that particular neck of the woods is crawling with wolves, dire and otherwise, they scored the necessary bucket of blood and headed back to the hunting lodge and got cookin'. 

I think they had the wine covered from an earlier looting haul, and contrary to his general MO of making shambling undead minions out of every corpse he could lay his hands on, and despite his reduced level from the battle with Lobovich, Arongoth could Purify and Bless enough water for the recipe's requirements. Or maybe they just left the holy water out. Or maybe they substituted a bottle of cheap vodka and some tomato juice. My records on this are vague, and my memory even vaguer.

Tune in Wednesday to find out how the medicine went down.  

P.S.: Of course the song is stuck in your head, it's stuck in mine right now. Here's the video, 'cos I love my readers (if there are actually any of you out there) and don't want to force you to have to search YouTube yourselves. 

You're welcome. 
Doo doo doodoo doo doodoo doo doodoo doo doodoodoo doooo.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 21

Attendants:
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 3 Cleric

Henching 4 Evah:
Richard Darkmagic – Lvl 5 Magic User

Casualties:
Top battlement of Cardille Keep:
Loot Acquired –
Fancy gold stringed, semi-precious stone inlaid balalaika – 700 gp
               700 EXP
Monsters Mashed –
8 Giant bats – Stabbed, shot, and then awesomely exploded via Fireball
               160 EXP

Experience award total:
               860/5.5 Players = 156 Exp apiece

Commentary:

 As you'll note from the note in the attendance card, the player who ran Richard Darkmagic was unable to continue playing with us due to an uptick in his work schedule, so his magic user was converted to a permanent henchman. 

Well, permanent might not be the best word, as you'll soon see...

Anyway, our friendish fiends continued their looters tour of Cardille Keep, making their way up to the upper floors. 

One of the rooms was a conservatory where the skeletons of several elegant ladies, as could be determined from the moldering silken finery the bones were bedecked in, sat on dust covered couches. There they found the fancy balalaika, which Rael the Werethief claimed for keeps. (I love it when players take a personal interest in treasure they find rather than just marking down the gp value and cashing it in at ye olde fantasy cheque cashing and payedaye loanes establishmente.)

From there they made their way up to the top of the tower, where they were attacked by Lobovich's squad of giant bats. (There are just some features that come standard in a vampire's castle, although I guess the old boy sprang for the deluxe option here.) The party fought them off, punctuating a death sentence on the leathery beasts with a Big Red d30 fueled Fireball! BOOM!

Leaving the top of the keep in flames, and resolving to come back and check out that iron cauldron hanging from chains in the topmost battlement after the fire had died down, our party of pyros quit their castle casing for other pursuits. 

Stay tuned, group. It just gets more oofty mcgoofty from here. 


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 20

Attendants:
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 3 Cleric

Henching:
Richard Darkmagic – Lvl 5 Magic User

Monsters Mashed – 10 Doom Guards – Kerploded with magic swords and magic missiles, backstabbed in the neck, bludgeoned or arrowed and quarreled into rusty bits, bone shards, and dirt.
               350 EXP/5.5 players = 63 EXP apiece

Commentary:

In this session the party made their way up from the dungeon levels of Cardille Keep and found their way into the great feasting hall, where a troupe of Doom Guards (super old super dead guys packed into super antique rusty platemail with a bunch of grave earth as filler) stood guard. Then they didn't, after our gruesome group laid an old school whuppin' on their creaky kiesters. 

Not much more to say about this one, just one of those all fightin' kinds of sessions. We only had an hour to play over lunch, so often that's how things would go down. After four years I can't really recall much of interest. Dice were rolled, fun was had, lunch was eaten, and we all went back to our desks both satisfied and hungry to take it up where we left off next time we sat down to game.

Stay tuned for the next installment, where things will heat up a little.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 19

Attendants:
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 3 Cleric

Henching:
Richard Darkmagic – Lvl 5 Magic User

Monsters Mashed –

Carpet of Rats descending staircase in catacombs. Slept then stomped.
               89 exp/5.5 players = 16 EXP per player

Acquired:
1 Nice copper kettle, some shields, some phat lewt via pickpocketing, and 1 ominous possible threat from maybe the gypsies.

Commentary:

Not all too much to report from this session. A lot of it took place in town. In addition to some other necessities they bought a clean copper pot to stew up all the strange and deadly herbs they'd acquired for the wurwilf cure, although they still needed a gallon each of holy water, fine wine, and dire wolf's blood as a soup stock. 

Rael practiced her thiefly craft just to keep her hand in (as in hand in pockets of wealthy looking chumps) and did pretty well, but at the end of her larcenous lark she found something had been slipped into her own pocket: a chicken foot with a black ribbon tied around it. This was the equivalent of a red card from the local gypsies for horning in on their territory. (Alas, this plot thread didn't get to go much of anyplace, 'cos they didn't hang out in Strangeldorf for too much longer. Que sera sera.) 

Unsettled, the party headed back out to Ghoulardia Pass to finish exploring Cardille Keep. They ran into a wave of rats coming down the stairs as they were going up, which they dispatched handily. (Or footily, with their hulking homanculi heavies doin' the flat rat flamenco.)

Tune in Wednesday as the mayhem begins to escalate in that foreboding fortification. 'Til then, keep them toes a tappin'.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 18

Attendants:
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus

Henching:
Richard Darkmagic – Lvl 5 Magic User
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 3 Cleric
               Fritzy zombified rat creature minion

Casualties:
               Fritzy the zombified rat creature minion. Spine ripped out by Troglodite, partially eaten by Troll. Alas, Fritzy, we hardly knew ye.

Monsters mashed:
               12 Troglodites – Variously arrowed, crossbowed, stabbed, slashed, beheaded, and generally murderated. Several chased off as well.
               456 EXP

               1 Troll – Successfully bribed to sit out combat and gnaw on fallen combatants, and then further bribed to obtain Mountainroot morels.
               100 EXP

               TOTAL: 556/ 5 players = 111 EXP apiece

Lycanthropy cure ingredients acquired: Mountainroot Morels.
               All (herbal) ingredients are acquired.

Commentary:

This session found our horrid heroes in pitched combat with a stinking tribe of troglodites with their claw/claw/bites. Things might have gone very south for the group, especially when the trog alpha sent an emissary off with a throat sac full of gold to call on the mercenary assistance of the trio of trolls living deeper in the caves. 

Thankfully, Vlad somehow tweaked to what was going down and made a counter offer to the troll when it showed up, buying it off before it could pull any of his friends' arms out of their sockets. With their erstwhile ally happily munching on the wrecked corpse of Fritzy the musclebound rat zombie and watching the party slitting them up a treat, the trogs cut bait and retreated into the depths of their cave. 

With a bit more negotiation and some more gold crossing its warty, rubbery palm, the troll happily lumbered off into the fungus caverns and came back with the morels of the story. 


Their mission accomplished, our merry mob of morel midgets hied themselves back to Strangeldorf.

Stay tuned for morel next week. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Creepy Crawl Chronicles - Session 17

I’m amenable to playing this Friday to catch up on the session we missed on Monday.
Who farted?
Attendants: - Full House!
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Richard Darkmagic – Lvl 5 Magic User
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 3 Cleric
               Fritzy zombified rat creature minion

Monsters Mashed:
7 Troglodites – 266 exp/6 Players = 44 EXP apiece


Commentary:

So having cleared out the cockatrice, the party delved deeper into the mountain cave. They pushed thru a chamber full of the stony death chicken's petrified victims, and ran smack dab into a large settlement of troglodytes. This whole session was pretty much just lumpin' on lizards.

The cave complex was based on one of Dyson Logo's wonderful maps, which was my go to source for on the fly dungeons for this wacky campaign. In this case, the map I used was The Reeking Hole. You can find it in his first Dyson's Delves compilation, which is where I found it.

In fact, since I'm feeling magnanimous today, here's the key I did up. I think this was one of my better extemporaneous dungeons, and it's a good random delve for a mid to low-mid level party, IMHO.

 I leave it as an exercise for the reader to match the numbers to the chambers, since I'm not sure if it's okay for me to post the map here. The trolls and toads were in the north passage, the trogs were to the south, and all the fungus amongus was in the central channel that went under the connecting cave between them.

01: Cockatrice: HD: 5, HP: 27, AC: 6, ATK: Beak 1d6, Petrify (Save vs. petrify), Sv: F5, Ml: 7, Mv: 90(30)

02: Gallery of petrified victims. 1 dire wolf, 2 woodsmen, a grimling, a horse. All covered in slime molds and reeking of troglodites in 3.

03: Troglodite lair.
    32 Trogs, HD 2, HP: Alpha[14] Bodyguards[13,13] EggGuards[11, 11, 11,11,11]
    Warriors [12,5, 9, 10, 10] [12, 10, 6, 10, 7] Guards[12, 4, 7, 7, 4, 9, 5] Hunters[12,5, 4, 9, 9, 6, 8]
    AC: 5, Atk: Claw/Claw/Bite 1d4/1d4/1d4. Alpha: Axe 1d8, Bodyguards: Spears 1d6
    Save: F2, Morale 9, Mv 120’(40’), Surprise 1-4/d6, Stench Save vs Poison or -2 to atk.
Flat rock in alcove where alpha and bodyguards sit. Eggs kept in underground pool. Stinking carcass pit with giant puffballs occupies center of cave. Alpha has key to treasure room in throat sac.  Has defense pact w’ trolls in 13

04: 2 Crudely Carved Bas Reliefs of ancient kings, one set in gothic arch that is clearly a doorway. Leads to small hallway (5’x10’) with second, locked stone door. Inside is troglodite treasure in stone bowls,  total: 50 GP, 2000 SP, 200 PP. Many empty bowls. Lime encrusted skeleton w’ heavy crossbow (20 bolts) in sw corner. Murder Hole in mouth of other carving alcove in 3.

I envisioned the carvings all looking kinda like this.
05: Weak floor drops anyone who walks across it 20 ft down into 7. Floor looks cracked like dried mud. Leaves 10‘ pit

06: Walls glow with bluish light, puffballs around crude, stepped incline that goes down 20’. If puffballs burst by touch, will coat all in chamber and affect them as with faerie fire for 4d8 rounds)

07: Yellow Mold Patch: 2 HD, 11HP, Acid does 1d6 dmg to flesh, leather, or wood. Spore cloud on contact 3 in d6. Fills room. Save vs. poison or die in 6 rounds. Only fire affects, 1d4 per strike from torch. Secret passage around mold hidden by fungus membrane.

08: Fungus Garden: Plenty of mountain root morels, as well as a bizarre sampling of other fungi. 1 Shrieker wanders here, HD: 3, 17 HP, AC: 7, Sv:F1, Ml: 12, Mv: 9(3), If senses move in 30’ or light within 60’ will shriek for 1d3 rounds. 3 in d6 chance attract monsters from elsewhere in complex. 1-4 trogs, 5-7 giant toads, 8 troll.
    
09: Wraith: Half rotted corpse of thief in fetal position around small coffer. Will manifest if chest touched.
    HD: 4, HP: 19, AC: 3, Atk: Touch 1d6 + Lvl Drain, Save: F4, Mo: 12, Move: 120(40), Fly 240(80)
    Silver does 1/2 dmg. Incorporeal to normal weapons.
    Contents of coffer: 6 gems (25 gp, 100gp, 25 gp, 25 gp, 75 gp, 75 gp), 30 Platinum Pieces

10: 3 Crude statues of ancient kings carved from stalactites. in corners. Heads knocked off.     Stalactites thick, 1/2 mv in area

11: Giant Toads HD: 2+2, HP: 6, 11, 11, 11. Surprise on 1-3 on d6, AC: 7, Bite 1d4+1, Tongue: 15’ roll save vs. Paralysis or get disarmed/de-shielded. Save: F1, Ml: 6, Move: 90’(30’) Can speak, will give prophecy.

Giant Toad Prophecy Chart: Roll d20
    01 It is certain
    02 It is decidedly so
    03 Without a doubt
    04 Yes definitely
    05 You may rely on it
    06 As I see it, yes
    07 Most likely
    08 Outlook good
    09 Yes
    10 Signs point to yes
    11 Reply hazy try again
    12 Ask again later
    13 Better not tell you now
    14 Cannot predict now
    15 Concentrate and ask again
    16 Don't count on it
    17 My reply is no
    18 My sources say no
    19 Outlook not so good
    20 Very doubtful 


12: Tears of the Seeress fountain.

13: Troll Lair: 3 Trolls, HD: 6+3, HP: 37, 35, 25, AC: 4, Atk: Claw/Claw/Bite 1d6/1d6/1d10, Regenerate 3/rnd, Sv: F6 Ml: 10, MV’ 120(40)
Treasure: 3 gold crowns worth 1200, 1100, and 800 gp worn by the trolls (most valuable on the smallest) A golden statue of a chicken worth 700 gp, and 300 GP in an egg shaped stone chest.

And now a good chicken to counter the bad chicken.