So I am not sure what exactly happened during yesterday’s adventure. I think that the players were punishing me for being about 20 minutes late. I tried to be on time, but I needed to go to the bank and get a burrito. There was a long line at the bank, and for some reason, I waited almost 15 minutes in the drive thru for the burrito.
When I arrived, the other players were laughing and talking. Probably scheming against the DM. So we started, late, but we started.
The adventure picked up where we left off last week. Sue and I spent quite a bit of time explaining to Eric / Baa what he missed out on last week. He was off praying to the Yardsale gods, hoping that his nice stuff that his wife sneaked into the yard sale would not be sold before he could secret it back into the house, and hide it well.
The party thought long and hard about what they should do. They had a wolf attack problem – which Sue keeps insisting is a werewolf… meh, who in their right mind thinks werewolves exist? Were mice maybe, maybe even were badgers. Now a were-honey badger would be pretty awesome…
So Baa needed to be introduced back to the party. Gavin / Otto is a Christian German mercenary, and speaks only German. Mike / Winnie and Baa speak future post Apocalypse common from Wisconsin. Winnie speaks only a simian / monkeyish version of future common. Sue can translate the German to Otto, but only so well, since 16th century German is a little different than the post Apocalypse version of German that Sue knows.
Now Otto is already pretty unsure of hanging around a demon (Winnie) and the witch (Sue), and now that a large ax wielding man (Baa) has turned up, and they all speak Demonic… and some of this Demonic language appears to mock some of the words that Otto knows makes for some tension.
Winnie realizes that Otto is not comfortable with the situation. Otto had a fighting chance of killing off the witch and the demon, given the right circumstances. After all, Otto’s soul was in question, hanging out with a witch and demon, but now, there was the new acolyte to the demon, in Baa, and he looks tough. Otto is concerned for how he will save his soul. There will be some serious penance to do at some point.
So Winnie wants to make Otto comfortable, and decides to offer Otto a magic mushroom. Now, imagine a hairy demon, who looks like a caricature of a man, he thumps his chest a lot, hits the ground, goes “ooh, ooh” spews vile sounds out of his pie hole, and worst yet, uses his poo as a weapon. Now that poo flinging demon doesn’t wash his hands, and tries to offer you a magic mushroom. What would you do?
Otto declined the magic mushroom.
Anyhow, the party decided to go to the Baron’s house and have a look around. The large wooden door to the castle was locked and reinforced. The castle was a solitary building, with few windows, none on the first floor. It was a large block building about 120-ft by 150-ft, two stories tall. The front door wasn’t budging on its own, so Winnie climbed up the walls. This was pretty easy since the finely cut stone did have enough cracks and crevices that a monkey could climb. As Winnie climbed, he found arrow slits on the upper floor, not standard windows. It looked like the only entrance was through the stout door.
So Baa decided to knock it down. Quite bit of noise was made, of which Sue was convinced bad things would happen. Eventually, Baa bashed down the door and found a large circular entry room.
This is where things got weird. OK, this is where the party decided to make things weird. Now this group of players has a long history of taking things off the rails. As a DM, my job is to prepare for the game, then run the game. I spend a lot of time trying to put together a series of encounters or events, and then allowing the party to experience the encounters, hopefully making it difficult, yet fun in the process.
This group of players have more active imaginations than I do, and they suffer from the “Squirrel” complex, that is they suffer more from it than I do, and there are four of them.
This means that the adventure tends to be a four wheel drive vehicle running randomly through the sandbox.
Hence, Winnie takes out one of his magic mushrooms, and it is some good shit. Winnie has decided to get stoned in a haunted house. What possible bad things could come from that?
Now the circular chamber is about 20-ft across, is two stories high, and light is coming from the arrow slits on the second floor. There is a door on one side of the room, and a long dark hallway leading away, directly across the room from the entry door.
Stoned Winnie sees lights down the dark hall and goes down to commune with the lights. No one else sees the lights. Winnie rolls around the hall, captures the lights, coos at them, plays with them, hoots at them, and generally looks like he is either casting a spell, or summoning more demons. As such, Sue pretty much says “yup, I been married to Mike for 33 years, and this is what I would expect”. Baa says “does anyone have a torch?”. Otto is concerned that the demon is casting some sort of spell.
Winnie decides to offer Otto another mushroom. At this point, Otto realizes that he is in a 16th century version of the Twilight Zone, and decides it couldn’t get any worse, so he takes the mushroom.
Gavin rolls really well, so the mushroom is really, really good. I mean really good shit. So I go to the trusty tubes of the Interwebs, and find a table to determine what the outcome of the hallucination would be.
I find one on the Tubes and it is a d10 roll, even better.
1d10 Hallucination/Confusion Table -all affects last for the duration of the spell/poison, or if not listed, 1 hour
- The Horrific Visage: the character sees one randomly chosen individual as a horrific monster and will charge and attack them blindly
- The Paranoia: the character will lash out at anyone or anything that gets too close and will constantly search their surroundings for danger
- The Voices: the character yells and babbles at the voices coming from beyond, losing all other actions
- The Trail: the character sees a path and seeks to follow it. Will go in a random direction (d8 for compass direction) for the duration
- The Swarm: the character sees a swarm of insects on and under their skin. 1d6: 3-6, the character spends the duration swatting at the visions. 1-2 the character attempts to flay themselves alive to get rid of the creatures.
- The Betrayal: The character will curse its allies for their betrayal and will attack them with full force and rage
- The Secret Self: the character will constantly change their appearace (hair, clothes, masks, etc) in fear of being recognized
- The Mutation: the character will see themselves mutate and will attempt to cut off the affending region of their body
- The Cold of Ages: the character will imagine themselves frozen and will not move, and will stop themselves from breathing
- The Animal Within: the character will believe themselves transformed into a randomly determined creature, and will proceed to act as such
And Gavin rolls a 10. He starts snuffling around on the ground, and likes having his ears scratched.
Now Baa and Sue are concerned. They have entered a haunted house dungeon, and now half the party is stoned. Baa decides to feed two days rations to Winnie and Otto, since that should help, right. Otto and Winnie eat, then nap. They are out for three hours.
Sue and Baa sit and wait. Resting.
After three hours of waiting, Baa says “do we have any torches?” The answer was “no”. So instead of getting torches while the stoners were carboloading, they decided to wait until everyone was back. That is ok, nothing bad happened. The castle was very quiet, except for the occasional grunt of contentment from two very full sleeping adventurers.
Now that the party has torches, and are fully rested, they decide to check out the single door in the round entry room. Upon opening the door, they find an empty room.
This where Sue takes out her +3 finger of wagging. She asks “So, there is nothing in there, right” I respond “No, there is air, dust, and darkness, and there is a puddle of water in one corner” She wags the finger at me. It almost affected me, but then I realized that I was the DM, not some wimpy NPC, and I just smiled at here.
She need to save the +3 finger of wagging for Tuesdays at 10 AM.
After some looking at the puddle, they decide there must be a leak in the roof, since the puddle is quite shallow, like less than half an inch. Too shallow to support a red herring or two.
So, what to do? Well, there is only one door that they have not entered. It is at the end of the dark hall. With a lit torch, they proceed down to the door. It is unlocked. OOOHHHH, spooky!
Opening the door, the party finds a great room. The room is very large. IT hosts a long table in the middle, along with chairs scattered around the room. The table has the remains of a long abandoned meal. Candelabras with guttered out candles are on the table, a large platter with the rotted remains of a roast boar is in the center of the table. There is desiccated rotted food on plates. It looks like things have been here for a long time.
Along the walls are rusted old weapons mounted. Nothing bad here, right?
Above the room around three sides is a hallway gallery, where the party can see a walkway with a pony wall, blocking their view of what could be lurking above… Could there be were-honey badgers? Honey Badger don’t give a shit…
At the far end of the room is a circular staircase. On the staircase, are two skeletons. One with a sword penetrating through his spine. The other evidently was the being who thrust the sword through the first skeleton’s spine. The skeletons are wearing rotted clothing, and some nominal armor. The armor and clothing are spoiled by the goo of bodies rotting and spewing nastiness.
Sue sees that the skeleton who has the sword stuck through his spine was the Baron, the Baron who wanted silence.
Now from somewhere in the game store , Lisa, the co-owner of Dice Age Games says “boobs”. That distracted the poor DM, and it took quite a while to get back on track. For some reason, when a person says “boobs”, the train of thought is derailed. Can’t imagine why.
Now this is where it gets bad. The party still thinks in terms of frontal assault. That ended badly for the party. It wasn’t a TPK, but it was pretty close.
As the party approached the staircase, ten swords jumped off the walls, animated by some horrific fell magic. I am sure that Otto thought that the Witch and Demon were responsible. The effect of the battle probably convinced Otto that if the Witch and Demon were responsible, they wanted to die at the hands of their own magic.
The swords fly through the air and attack. Now I won’t go into a lot of detail about the battle, as it was particularly chaotic, and ended badly. The result of the battle was that the flying weapons were very hard to hit. The weapons ganged up on the party and did nasty things. Gavin was the first to go down. Multiple injuries, he became incapacitated, and rolled on the tables, and received a permanent injury to his guts, reducing his vigor die by one die type.
So Winnie is surrounded by the flying weapons, and he decides to go for height. He climbs up and away from the weapons, and goes for the raised gallery… and finds piles of bones on the gallery. He notices that the bones start moving, and that makes him pretty concerned. He drops back down, warning the party that there are skeletons up there, and they are coming to life.
Baa tries to hit the weapons, but they are too quick.
Then the weapons do massive damage to Winnie. Now Mike rolls on the injury table and finds that he gets a permanent hit to the nether-regions. Winnie is now one-nut Winnie. He is alive, but he walks kind of funny now, and when the weather changes to cold and wet, Winnie gets awful cranky.
Then the weapons take out Baa. Now Baa was not so lucky. Once you are “incapacitated” in Savage Worlds, you roll a vigor die against a table to determine how bad the injury is. Rolling a 1 is never good. Now, since Baa is a character, he also rolls a second wild die, to offer better odds.
Baa rolled two ones.
Now, Snake eyes may be good in other games, but Savage Worlds, you don’t want to roll two ones on a vigor roll against death. You are dead. No other end result. Dead. dead dead dead.
Baa didn’t survive.
Sue was then taken out by the animated swords, who also got a gut shot, which reduced her vigor die by one die type.
Once all of the party members were incapacitated, the weapons went back to their niches in the walls like nothing happened. The party members groaned a lot on the floor of the room, and pulled themselves out to safety, except Baa.
As an aside, it is hard to die in Savage Worlds. The rules are set up to give you extra chances to live, maybe with a major wound. Over time, you can use your experience to make up most of the wound issues…
There are ways to die in Savage Worlds. One is to piss off another party member, and have that party member take his mechanical jaws and bite your throat out while you sleep. Another one is to effectively die by being left behind by the party… But outright death is hard to happen. It can happen because you roll snake eyes on the vigor roll, or it can happen because you are grievously wounded, and your party doesn’t come to your aid before you bleed out.
I will say, the game didn’t go as planned, because the party took the game where they wanted to. I like that. I want the party to take the game where it ends up, and I simply try to keep up. Everyone laughed a lot, and said that they were looking forward to the next session, next Saturday.
I did make sure that the party understood that a full frontal assault may not always be the best option. Afterwards, I asked the party what they could have done differently. They thought about it, and decided that the weapons only attacked when they tried to go up the stairs, maybe they should net the weapons, or break them before they animate…