I have been busy lately, and haven’t had a chance to keep up on the blogs. I started this a week ago, and then got derailed by some new RPG books that I got… The Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition came in for me, along with the Hollow Earth Expedition book for Mars and FINALLY, I got the Savage Worlds Weird War 1 books in the mail. All that and work, family, dogs, etc. Something had to give.
So two Thursday’s, we met again. This time, the table was extra packed. Robert came also, and created a wizard to help balance out the party. Now that assumes that anything can be done in DCC to create an optimal party. It really can’t.
The adventure didn’t get too far. The party investigated a couple of new tents, but most of the time was spent trying to figure out what they should do next. Things like someone would say “We go to the whack a mole tent”, while someone else simultaneously says “We go to the hall of mirrors”. It is pretty hard to take 12 players and get something consistent out of them. Especially when every player realizes that they are in a bad situation, and there is no good solution, every one sucks.
But that is DCC.
The party decided to take out the projector, and the slides. The slides formed a type of story, telling about a jester who made decisions, and became more and more angry.
The story started out with a jester who was very popular, and always played for orphanages and hospitals with kids. As his fame grew, he started performing for royalty. He met a woman who became part of his show, and they fell in love and had a child. He was happy being a family man for a while, then he missed the smell of the crowd and the roar of the grease paint, so he left them. He became lonely. He finally went back to his wife and child, only to discover that his wife and child had burned to death in their home the night before he got home. Despondent, he took some of his belongings, and his wife’s belongings and went out to the forest to kill himself. He was rescued by a unicorn. The unicorn became his friend, and eventually, he started to perform again. After gaining fame and reputation, he went to a prince’s castle, and performed. During the performance, he mocked the prince, who was a general bastard, and the prince locked the jester in the dungeon. The prince had the jester tortured in more evil and hideous ways. The night before the prince was to have the jester executed, the jester was visited by a dark god, who traded the jesters soul for eternal power, but with a price. The jester took the power, along with having the ability to continue to mock the prince during his death. The next morning, the prince had the jester’s fingers cut off, then the jester was dismembered, all the while, the jester continued to mock the prince. With the jester dead, the prince had the last laugh, so he thought. The dark god came and sewed the jester back together and gave him unlife, which was good for the dark god. The jester killed the prince and everyone in the castle, and left.
See how DCC works? It starts out all nice and Disneylike, and turns bad faster than Star Wars Episode 1. Only they don’t mess around with presenting a Jar-Jar Binks. No. They get right to the awful stuff.
But anyway, the party thinks about that, and goes “meh”. Now keep in mind that this party started out in one small town, and were completely un-phased as their townspeople were murdered, mutilated and generally killed around them. They simply thought about how the reduction in little Bobby, or sweet Joni will mean a larger cut for them.
So seeing a heart wrenching story about a good jester who was lured into evil was not terribly, if at all problematic for this crew.
So off they went, looking for more things to kill.
They went to the Whack-A-Mole tent. As they entered, half the party decided that they should enter, the other half of the party wanted nothing to do with this. Once again, the part outside probably was thinking… “Total treasure divided by 11 is a bigger cut than total treasure divided by 12.” I don’t know for sure, but that is what I believe after watching them over the last couple of months.
So half the party enters the large tent. The other half stands outside.
Now the tent is huge. Really huge, like 150-feet across type of huge. The inside of the tent has a canvas ceiling at about 15-ft above the floor. All the way across the tent is a table with shiny stuff on it. The tent is brightly lit.
Andy, thinking he was one of the smart ones, takes his dwarf around the tent to about where he figures the table would be on the inside, and he cuts out the tent fabric to try to be a thief (he is a dwarf, not a thief), and bypass the fun in the tent. Now, this is not fun. I let Andy cut the tent fabric, and then he makes a will save as he stares at an abyss that yawns forward out of the hole in the tent. Andy fails miserably. Like badly miserably. He falls into the abyss, and needs a new character. The rest of the party at the table says “What did he see?” and “What happened to Andy’s dwarf?” Since no one followed Andy’s dwarf, no one sees. Rather than making Andy roll up a new character, I let him create one of his six other brothers and (insert 8-bit video game sound here) up pops Andy Rev 2 dwarf.
Four members of the party enter the tent. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to have some fun. Eric, Matthew, Jason, and Jeremy entered the tent. As soon as it became obvious that no one else was going into the tent, the trap sprung. The entire floor lurched, and rotated. Now the tent had an array of circles that were about 3-ft across. Each hole immediately opened up into a small pit as soon as the floor lurched. Matthew failed his save, and fell into a pit. The floor popped up to the ceiling, which was an illusion. The three characters who made their saving throw, well, they found themselves glued into place, spinning wildly. Matthew was “safe” in his little hole. The rest of the party observed flashing lights, an audience of giggling, laughing, snarling, clowns.
It pretty much looked like this… except there was more grease paint and fewer lobbyists.
The tent rotated faster and faster, and then they saw it. Two giant moles with large mallets coming to the edge of the spinning disk. Now the moles had really bad eyesight, so they whacked at the spinning disk, trying to hit the party members that were glued to the ride. Each turn, the party members made a strength roll, and eventually would be able to break free of the glue trap. In the meantime, the moles would whack. Now the saving grace for the party was that the moles rolled a d14 action die. They didn’t do much other than mess with the party. Eventually, everyone got out (except Matthew) and the party killed off the moles. The ride stopped and the floor dropped down again.
This wasn’t a very deadly encounter, but it did do a good job of confusing the party, and making them wonder why exactly they were here. Most of the parts of this adventure are PITA things. The fun in this is that they are pretty messed up. But that is what I like about DCC. It is more messed up than anything else.
So the party did a little healing. Now this is where it gets fun. Since Mike and Loren have had some failures, they are getting concerned about their healing saves. The more often they fail, the more likely that something bad is going to happen.
So they went into another tent, and found an old tattoo artist working on a hideous clown. Beside the clown were two smaller clowns playing accordions. Now, the rules didn’t call for it, but the accordion music should have made everyone have a -4 or so on willpower saves against sanity. DCC didn’t call for that, but I could make a pretty strong case for it. It if had been Call of Cthulhu, the party would have taken some pretty serious sanity loss for listening to clowns playing accordions.
What to do? What to do? Need I even ask? ATTACK! that is what to do. Like the typical band of murder hobos, the party goes in and wants to kill the clowns. Who knows, maybe the clowns are good, maybe they are willing to help. Does the party of murderer hobos stop to ask, no. That is OK.This is DCC. Usually it works out OK.
So the party attacks. The clowns get right into it.
So I couldn’t decide which picture to use to show a creepy clown picture… so I decided to use both. I hope you don’t have too much trouble sleeping tonight. 🙂
So the party attacks and the tattoo artist retreats. Robert performs color spray, and blinds one of the two smaller clowns. Blindness doesn’t stop the clown from attacking. We discussed how a blind clown should attack. Based on the rules, he attacks with a negative, but more importantly, how does he charge blindly? We decided the best way to deal with the blindness was to base it on a roll from a D8. Determine a direction that is “1”, and then rotate clockwise from that. Guess what. The blinded clown didn’t attack the party, he charged right into the giant clown, and started cutting him to pieces.
This is where Loren came into her own. She remembered that she had a magic red ball nose which gave her a +1 fighting clowns. She waded in and started wailing on the big guy like a boss.
That worked pretty well, until the fighters in the party closed in on the big clown. Now the melee members of the party started stabbing, clubbing and slashing but the blinded clown started randomly attacking anyone within reach, which included the big clown, Andy’s dwarf, Daron’s fighter, and Eric’s halfling. It wasn’t pretty. It was pretty much a blood fest, and everyone took some damage.
Robert and Matthew decided to work together, and boost a paralyzing spell, then Matthew went forward and stunned the giant clown. That pretty much was the end of the big guy, but it took a couple more rounds to kill off the blinded clown.
So what happened to the third clown, you are asking. Well, he was cut down by arrows and magic. But just before he died, Robert came forward and sacrificed the poor clown to his patron. Robert cut off the clowns head and raised it above him, bathing himself in the clown’s blood. Then Robert went and massacred the giant clown in the same way, to build up patron points. It wasn’t pretty, but no one puked.
With the clowns dead, the tattoo artist came back and thanked the party, and gave everyone who wanted it a magical tattoo. Everyone got a different tattoo. The tattoos ranged from being able to shoot a d14 magic missile once per day, to being able to heal 1d6 hit points per day, to +1 to an attribute check (willpower etc). The book said that the roll was supposed to be random, but I selected tattoos for each character which should help them in their quests.