So I haven’t posted on the blog for a few weeks. We have met and played games on Saturday, but they were Zombicide games. After a while, it can get a little old writing about Zombicide. I like the game a lot. A lotta lot. But writing about the things that happened can get repetitive.
On Thursday nights, I have been playing Pathfinder instead of running Call of Cthulhu. Daron wanted to run some more Pathfinder. The last few Thursdays, I have been busy, so I haven’t attended that game.
Sue came back. She came back from Oklahoma. We aren’t too sure what Sue was doing there, but we think she was on a special secret government mission to determine if liberalism could survive or even prosper in the bible belt. This is the second time that she has disappeared from the Pacific Northwest, on missions to Oklahoma. She talked about going a third time, maybe for another month.
There are several possible reasons that she is going there. The reason she talks about is that she is going to visit her daughter. That is all fine as a cover story, and it seems to hold up under a less than critical review. Why would anyone leave the beautiful Vantucky urban area to go fly three quarters of the way across the country to see Oklahoma. I mean if she just wanted to travel, she could travel the same distance and go to most of Texas (including Dallas), Kansas, Missouri, Iowa or possibly Minnesota. Now, I have been to each of those states, and for my money, I would rather go to my FLGS and spend the same amount of money on games, miniatures and maybe dice than go to any of those states. QED, family must be the reason.
But for extended periods of time? That doesn’t make sense. Mike went the first time with Sue, and I think that Mike just washed out of the program, and he couldn’t take it there in Oklahoma.
I mean, I would go batshit crazy if I went somewhere and this happened every morning at dawn.
Now, searching for Vantucky on Youtube I get this. I am not sure if this is better, or worse than Rogers and Hammerstein, but then, I don’t know.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Sue was back.
Molly, my wife asked why Sue went to Oklahoma. I told Molly the “story” about how Sue was going there to spend time with her daughter. Molly said that we could always bring Sue in electronically, and play with her via the Internet. I told Molly that I don’t think that Oklahoma has high speed internet yet.
As you can see, Ferdinand, Rocky and Frida are excited about the prospects of the balance being achieved in Vantucky. Well, actually, they just got through with a long stay at the dog park, and are happy to be going home.
What do my dog pictures have to do with Sue being back, or possibly Oklahoma? nothing. I just like my dogs a lot, and want to put pictures of them all over the Interwebs.
So Sue showed up on Saturday, wanting to bring us something that included the feel of Oklahoma. She brought meat sticks. Now, I am not an expert in meat sticks. I like to eat them occasionally. I also know that you should not eat meat sticks while drinking root beer. Other than that, I did not know that there were other types of meat sticks than regular, spicy and teriyaki.
I never imagined that you could have meat sticks made from feral swine.
I wanted to put something pithy, or witty about feral hogs here. But after looking around the Internet, I realized that they are a real problem, and there is nothing pithy or witty to say about feral hogs.
Well, aside from that buzzkill, we did bring a new member to the party. I saw a stuffed owlbear while searching the Interwebs. Roy was able to get it for me, so it is now in attendance at the table.
We tried to figure out names. Many names were versions of President Trump’s moniker. We ended up with naming him Scrotus. As near as I can tell, this is a combination of the words Scrotum and POTUS.
I am still not sure what President Trump has done to deserve such indolent disrespect from taxpaying Americans.
But, Scrotus it is. I was thinking “Barney” or “Phil”, or maybe “Ralph”, but even without Eric’s presence, the group decided he needed to be named Scrotus.
In other news, we still have the red wire. The best red wire going from the transformer, across my neighbor’s driveway and lawn to the splitter that feeds both of our houses.
Hopefully, we will have new wires installed soon. This red wire, the best red wire, the red wire of amazing tremendous tremendousness is responsible for carrying one of the 120 volt AC feeds from the transformer to each of our houses.
But then. I digress. Again. I will probably digress again, and again, and again.
The game started out, and Mike brought out this refrigerator magnet. Little did anyone know, Mike had President Obama doing the Dolnitzer all the time.
Upon placing the refrigerator magnet on the table, the entire world got seriously more chilled out. Ferdinand was happy. But then, Ferdinand is always happy. Except for when I go to work. Then Ferdinand is really upset.
Rocky, on the other hand, was convinced that even with President Obama to the rescue, something bad was going to happen. No good comes from needing to wake up and get out of bed. Ever.
Frida, on the other hand, was probably going to be OK, as long as there were ample belly rubs and other things like treats, snacks and goodies. The presence of the President Obama refrigerator magnet did not change her desire for treats, snacks, goodies and belly rubs.
So the party tried to figure out what to do. It had been four weeks since we played D&D, after all, we didn’t want to play D&D while Sue was on her Special Forces Recon mission to Oklahoma, or wherever she really went…
After a while, the party decided that they remembered what they had done, and I did not agree or disagree with them. I let them remember whatever they wanted, in whatever way they wanted to remember it. At no time, did they ask me if they were correct, so I felt pretty comfortable in not correcting anything that they got wrong, nor leading them down any false trails with red herrings.
But then, I don’t ever feel any twinge of guilt when I lead the players down false leads or red herrings. Funny. I wonder what sort of psychopath that makes me? Madman, maniac, lunatic, psychotic, sociopath; loony, fruitcake, nutcase, nutjob, psycho, schizo, head case, sicko, screwball, crazy, kook, loon… maybe a combination of some or more than some of these?
But where was I? Oh yes…
After much deliberation, the party decided to send Meepo, the monk and the white dragon wyrmling off to the Kobalds. The rest of the party wanted to continue in the dungeon. Now the monk was not there this week. Neither was Eric’s gnome fighter, but the party decided to keep the meat shield anyway.
The party discussed going back and trying to figure out what to do in all of the areas that they haven’t explored yet. They teased the warlock for his ability to take hits from the mephits. They fussed for quite a while about how to make it down the 80-ft shaft. They knew that things were happening down there. The area was lit with a soft green and purple glowing aura. They could see several skeletons walking around down at the bottom of the pit.
After an extended period of time trying to figure out who had ropes, how many ropes they had, and whether the left their ropes somewhere else, the party discovered that they had a grand total of one 50-ft rope. They would have to rely on the plant vines to allow them to climb down to the lower level.
For some reason, the other people at the table thought that I would do something that would end up with them having problems. Go figure.
Well, two of the party members didn’t make their climb rolls. Now I like to run a game more rules light, so I told them, make it a strength check, dex check or acrobatics check, to climb down the rope, whatever is best for you. I figure that each character will try to figure out the best way to descend. If they have high strength, then they will brutalize their way
Yeah, you were expecting something with a splat, I am sure. I thought that Santa being exposed was pretty funny. An no gore. However, you could see how this could have ended badly, with children screaming, traumatized for life. This falls under “What were they thinking” when they decided this would be a good way to bring Santa into the mall.
Anyhow, Two of the characters didn’t make their climb checks. The barbarian and the Warlock fell and got seriously hurt. The rest of the party members dropped down and landed amongst a group of skeleton farmers, all hoeing their crops.
What to do?
Well, there are a lot of things that you *could* do when you land in the middle of a bunch of skeletons gardening glowing fungus and mushrooms. This could involve… I don’t know, maybe waiting a tick and seeing what is going on… But do these murderer hobos do that? No. They attack.
The cleric turns undead, which chases off three of the skeletons. The skeletons respond to being slashed and bashed by hitting back with their rakes, hoes and shovels. It isn’t a pretty sight. But after a few rounds, three twig blights come into the fight, and cause more serious hurt than the skeletons did.
Scrotus was no help. Not even emotional help to the party. Scrotus was happy to watch as the party got hurt.
The party ended up killing off all the baddies. They decided to go look up the shaft which was on the north side of the room. The bard and the cleric went into the room and found … a bed. Well, it was more of a pallet than a bed, but there was a pallet bed with furs on it, along with two nests, like bird nests. Above the pallet bed was a bunch of weapons. They were all hung with care on a board. The weapons were not particularly good in quality, but they appeared to be a collection of some type. Could they be trophy’s? Could they be reminders of lovers long lost?
The party will never know. Since during the initial encounter, the occupiers of this room had a 75% chance of being in the room, and if they were in that room, they would have come into the room with the twig blights and the skeletons on the third round of combat. You see, I asked which player felt lucky, at the beginning of the third round… They all looked at me kind of scared except Collin. Well, maybe they were not scared, maybe they were trying to figure out what the hell I was on to. But I will go with scared. Collin took the Dolnitzer prize, and said “I got this”, and rolled an 85. I made tisk tisk tisk sounds, and started to get ready to release three more bad guys into the fight, and Collin decided that he would roll again, by turning in his coin… He rolled a 20. So the party will never know who was in that room.
That being said, Collin and Mike decided that they should leave everything along in the room. Now as far as murderer hobo parties go, the party has the murder part down, but they don’t search for treasure. If they don’t search, it doesn’t do them any good. No search, no find. Who knows, there may be a +4 vorpal tweezer somewhere in the dungeon. Maybe a wand of charcoal briquette starter. Maybe even something useful, like a wand of acid. But no, the party doesn’t search, so they don’t get what they don’t search for.
Now the lack of searching thing may be something that they have learned. So far, when they searched the giant rat corpses, they got fleas. When they searched the goblin corpses, they got a couple of copper coins, some string, a mouse head and a few scraps of rotten meat.
Now, just because they got those things, it appears that the party has decided not to bother searching anymore. But really, why would the good stuff be near the entrance of the dungeon? Everyone knows that the deeper you go in a dungeon, the harder the monsters are, and the better the treasure is. Right?
So the party continues on. Deciding not to go through the natural cavern to the north, they go to the door on the east side of the room. Through this door is a long chamber, that is about 100-ft long and about 40-ft wide. There are multiple columns of stone each carved with dragons swirling up the columns. There are three doors on the north side of the chamber and three doors on the south side of this room. This chamber is full of shelves with jars of herbs, plants, fungus, mushrooms, and other things like that. The tools are all sickle shaped. No one clues into what that means…
As the party goes around and looks in all of the rooms. None of the doors are locked. Every party member wants to look in each room at the same time. Now the party isn’t technically splitting, but it is getting pretty damn close. Close enough to drop a few gelatinous cubes on them…
But then, I digress.
Of the six rooms, they find one that is empty. One has two snoring goblins on bed pallets (with another 11 empty pallets), one is an armory, with poor quality weapons and another door exiting. One has three goblins with a giant rat tied down spread eagle on it, there are pustous sores and weeping wounds on the rat. It is squealing piteously. The warlock, who is wounded asks if the goblins can help. The goblins give the warlock a glass vial of swirling greenish orange liquid, and say “help! help!” and pantomime that the warlock should drink it.
The warlock makes his constitution saving throw, and he manages to keep it down. Little does he know, it will transform him to have the same type of tumors, wounds and puss spewing horrors as the rat on the table. But that doesn’t matter now.
The bard and the cleric find some goblins in another room making goblin wine. They barter to get some, watching the goblins stomp the mash of fungus and turnips (for flavor) into the thin liquid that they bottle. The bard and cleric both get some wine for their wineskins. It is the best goblin wine that they have had all day. This is vintage 11 AM goblin wine.
The last room is empty, except for a large crack in the wall leading to a rift in the ground, that extends south and west from the room. The party went down the crack (no bad jokes here, please), and the crack opened up to a rift. As the party went down the rift, they found that there was a passageway mined into the earth, which appeared to line up with the south door on the skeleton garden room. The mined passage crossed the rift in the earth at about a 70 degree angle. They could continue due south, in the mined shaft, or continue southwest further in the rift. They decided to go southwest.
As they continued southwest, in the rift, they found that the rift ended, and there was a cavern near the end. The cavern glowed with a light. The warlock, feeling slightly queasy decided to investigate. Now notice the minis, in the rift.
The warlock is the brave one. The bard (in the yellow sombrero) and the cleric (with the green tentacle hands) are standing back. The barbarian (with the pigtails) is standing around, probably picking her nails with a dagger. The rogue, at the far end of the map, is standing back, trying to nonchalantly allow the rest of the party to “discover” what is ahead, with the intent of helping out when it damn well pleases her.
This is a continual thing for the rogue. Now I am not saying anything here, but the rogue is played by Sue. She let others check for traps, and let others try to break down doors. She was playing the “I am gonna live through this damn adventure” thing really well.
So the Warlock continues towards the glow and heat. And he finds… a giant lava snake. Maybe it is a fire snake. Some sort of glowy hot snake that wants to eat him for dinner.
“Snake?” says the barbarian, and she runs in. The snake promptly constricts around her, and she goes down. Then the snake went after the warlock. The warlock wasn’t so lucky. He died. I mean died. Hard.
Most of the time when a character dies, he can make the death saving throws. This party is actually pretty experienced at making death saving throws. But in this case, the warlock took so much damage from being bitten and constricted, along with fire damage, that he outright died. the snake ate the warlock, and then slithered off.
Now Bill was trying to come across as though he wasn’t upset about losing his warlock. He had another half dozen characters already made up, with backstories.
He decided to play his new favorite, Winston Obert, or something like that. His friends call him Win-O, and he is a hippy type.
Wrapping up, the party goes to the last room in this part of the dungeon. This is a room with a large iron statue of a dragon. The statue is holding onto a large metal tray. On the tray is a trussed up humanoid, named… you guessed it, Win-O.
By the way, when you go to Google and look for “torture truss”, you get no hits on shopping. It isn’t often that I get absolutely no hits on a Google search. I find that mildly amusing.
However, when I change the Google search to images, this woman’s picture comes up a lot of times.
And so do pictures like this… ewww.
I get the truss part, for the bridge at least. I don’t get why this bridge would hit on “torture truss”.
The party sees WinO tied up, like a Christmas goose. on the tray held by the dragon. For some reason, they are concerned. Maybe it is a trap. Does the rogue offer to check the iron statue for traps? Nope. Does the rogue even bother going into the room. Yes, but just to look for loot.
The barbarian eventually decides to exit the room, and poke the new guy with a javelin, to see if she can roll him off the tray. When he falls to the ground, the barbarian takes WinO’s tin cup.
With that, the adventure ended for that day.
Now, it is July 4, and I am looking at all of the other possible things that I could do, besides writing my blog. I pull out the new Epsilon City module for Metamorphosis Alpha. I don’t plan to run MA, but I want to use the Epsilon City book as a basis for an upcoming GURPS game.
The Epsilon City module is awesome. I love the Goodman Games artwork.
and it looks like a lot of fun to run and play.
And of course, my helpers are ready to assist.