"So you all wake up dead": Dove's D&D recountings

Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by turtleDove, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    So, since I'm gonna want to yell about how D&D went after every session, I'm setting myself up a thread where I can do that without worrying that I'm bothering people about it.

    I grabbed my post from the general D&D thread, so that I don't have to remember exactly what happened first session, and then I'll swing into what happened second session.

    So! Turns out that the idol piece the mayor promised us? It's gotten misplaced or something - he's promised us he's looking for it. In the meantime, we need to go check out the town and then go hit the dungeon the mayor told us about last session - another one of the idol pieces is there.

    We find a church and a couple of successful Insight checks tell the party that it's a building that's been refurbished into a church. Talking with the priestess inside goes...interestingly, because the bard (Sensible Lady) looks like a dead-ringer for the religion's goddess, the moon, who is represented as a woman with long white hair and pitch-black skin; the campfire greeter did sorta warn us about this, and it's probably one of the few situations where being a drow is going to get a positive reception.
    Sensible Lady is now getting a bonus to any Charisma-based checks that deal with the acolytes of that religion, btw.
    So on the one hand, there's the "holy shit, you're the spitting image of our deity", and on the other hand, there's the party's gunslinger being a restless, aggressive jerk and pulling his weapon out to...try and get the priestess to tell us more info, I think? Or tell it to us faster? I'm really not sure what he was trying to do, and Mardred (my character) and Sensible Bard yell him down and tell him to put the gun away pretty quickly.

    We find out that the moon religion is at odds with another religion whose god is trying to expand his domain, and that the normal adventurers who get sent to this place are usually on pilgrimages and "usually aren't as nice as you lot have been", which I'm taking as an implication that the normal adventurers tend to loot and pillage from anywhere that's not affiliated with their deity. There was some joking about murder-hobos (and side-discussion about if you've got a home and are an adventurer, does that make you a murder-renter or a murder-homeowner instead), and we got given a heads-up about Volt, who used to be the champion for the moon religion and is now...basically a murderhobo, from the sounds of it. The priestess asks us to be careful, and to please bring him back alive if we can.

    Immediately after leaving the church, we run into a half-orc lady who's just sorta sitting around, sharpening a sword, and has a massive red scar on her left arm. Successful insight checks: it's a burn scar! Caused by a magical fire! (Cue me snarking privately to Sensible Bard Lady's player that obviously it's a sparkly scar; it was silly, but it didn't feel like a big enough deal to mention in the group chat itself.) Talking with her, half-orc lady tells us that she's at odds with the moon religion's people; she feels that they're too soft. She also tells us about Volt, when we ask about her scar! Turns out, he gave it to her and he's got a group of buddies who're running around being murderhobos with him. She also warns us that he's powerful and rather unpredictable, and then goes "hey, if you bring me his head, I'll give you 200 gold each - 500 if he's still alive".

    Sensible Bard Lady and Mardred are trying to tactfully avoid actually promising anything - after all, we did already kinda promise the priestess that we'd bring Volt back alive if we could and that might be a conflict of interest - when Gunslinger abruptly goes "yeah, sure, we'll bring him back" and holds out his hand to shake on it. He promptly gets his hand crushed a little because half-orc lady is Strong and a bit of a jerk, and he's got 8 strength and failed the check.
    (Mardred is, at this point, debating whether or not she considers herself bound by that promise at all - she's lawful good, but that doesn't mean she's stupid. And the party currently has no idea why Volt attacked the half-orc lady! Maybe he was defending himself!)

    That done, the party heads onwards to the dungeon - which, as we've been informed by the priestess, used to be a temple to the moon goddess. And then it got infested with skeletons. She asked us to clear it out if we could; all we're getting in payment is whatever we can loot, plus the idol piece that's in there. It's not that she doesn't want to give us more, but the church (and the town in general) have been repeatedly referenced by the GM as being dirt-poor; the stuff we're getting is literally all there is that they can spare - this is why we got a house that used to belong to someone who died to bears, instead of any kind of monetary reward, in the first session.
    (I'm not entirely sure if this dungeon is a different one from the one the mayor told us about or not. It might be.)

    So, warned about skeletons, we go in. We manage to wreck the first group we come across, enough that the last one standing starts trying to run away in fear. ("Oh shit they have a cleric" gets heard after Tickling Jerk / Bear Puncher starts casting divine spells, which contributes. Also Cheep Cheep, the chicken belonging to Chicken Worshiper, manages to scare the bejegus out of the skeletons.)
    We consider, decide we're all doing okay, and decide to push on a bit further into the next room. Surprise: more skeletons! This time, with a side of minotaur skeletons! Chicken Worshiper very nearly dies in one hit from one of the minotaurs, and Mardred's useless for a couple rounds because everyone's decided to crowd around the narrow entrance to the room, instead of maybe spreading out a little or backing up once they saw minotaurs.

    Once I do have a clear line of sight, I summon the fuckoff ball of fire again and drop it near a pair of skeletons and one of the minotaurs, right where they'll all be in range to take damage from it. Sensible Bard Lady does what she can (somewhat more than you'd expect, considering she picked up a crossbow from one of the skeletons we wrecked earlier), and Bear Puncher decides to keep living the dream by running up to the skeletons and skeleton minotaurs and casting something or other that has the effect of 'they're all trying to keep the heck away from him, but also now we can't attack them and we have disadvantage on attack rolls against them'.
    The GM asks if he actually thought that one through, but we manage - damage from the fuckoff ball of fire isn't an attack at this point, after all; it's just the effect of being within five feet of a giant orb of fire. And Chicken Worshiper's been gotten back up on their feet and is proving that they don't afraid of anything by wrecking one of the minotaurs (turns out, skeletons take extra damage from bludgeoning! who knew?) and Gunslinger's managing to do some decent damage of his own. That, combined with some judicious acid-throwing, manages to clear out the room and we check for loot and consider taking a rest, since that was a tough fight.

    It is decided that we're not taking a short rest. (We cannot take a long rest, since we haven't cleared out the dungeon; it's not safe.)

    We head down the next corridor, skirt around a hole in the floor, and come into the next room! Which appears to be an altar room of some sort, with a guy in a hooded robe standing near it. The three people who first enter (Chicken Worshiper, Sensible Bard Lady, and Bear Puncher) all get asked to roll for stealth - Sensible Bard Lady and Chicken Worshiper pass flawlessly, but it doesn't matter because Bear Puncher fails terribly and his clanking armor catches the dude's attention.
    Oh hey. Turns out, we found Volt! Turns out, he's holding one of the idol pieces we need. And he's not really interested in sticking around either - his first response is to cast Darkness (which Bear Puncher counters by casting Light), and he then keeps going "eh, yeah, you guys want it but I need it too and you can wait a bit for it" in response to us trying to talk him into giving us the idol piece. He nips out through the corridor we came through and promptly falls into the hole we all carefully avoided.

    Which is handy, at least, because hey - he's not going anywhere, right? And Sensible Bard Lady swings back into trying to convince Volt to calm down and maybe give us the idol piece, and hey, we can help him out of the hole, that'd be a good exchange, right? But he keeps insisting that he doesn't need our help getting out of the hole, and then Gunslinger promptly wrecks any hope of us managing to get through this without a fight by pulling his gun. Again. After Chicken Worshiper had already tried to mitigate him doing that by using Minor Illusion to make it look like a chicken. So on the one hand, to Volt? It looks like Gunslinger's trying to threaten him with a chicken. On the other hand, Gunslinger is definitely trying to threaten him and the rest of us definitely want to get the idol piece off of him - and then Sensible Bard Lady tries to cast Charm Person to convince Volt to calm the fuck down and give us the idol piece.
    It fails. Because, as it turns out, Volt is a sorcerer; he succeeds the Charisma check easily, and then responds with a sonic attack that shoves half the party down the hall and away from him and then mass magic missiles the other half of the party.

    And then he vanishes.

    "He can't have gone far, he was in a hole!" Bear Puncher cries out. About that - turns out, the hole leads into a whole different section of the temple. Gunslinger is champing at the bit to get after Volt, but Sensible Bard Lady, Chicken Worshiper, and Mardred overrule him; the party's in no shape to go chasing after a pissed-off, possibly invisible sorcerer who, as it turns out, cleared out the rest of the dungeon on his own. (Turns out, we came in through the back entrance!)
    Checking out the altar room turns up a donation box full of money and a talisman that's related to the moon goddess; Sensible Bard Lady argues (with Mardred backing her up) that we should turn these over to the priestess, since we did get a fair bit of money out of the skeletons and also we could really do with building some goodwill in the town, considering how we just completely failed at getting Volt and half-orc lady might be a bit pissed off about that if she finds out. (It is also pointed out that we should probably not mention seeing Volt to the half-orc lady, if we can avoid it.) We could also do with helping to counter the general image of "adventurers are murderhobos", too.

    On the way back to town, we encounter what looks like a small child up a tree - it's the mayor's daughter. (The mayor, for reference, is a halfling. So's his daughter.) She's very eager to know if we came out of the dungeon, and if we found anything in there. There's some hedging and then Sensible Bard Lady asks if she means the talisman (showing it to the girl); the girl goes "yup, that's mine" and a successful insight check indicates that yes, she's telling the truth - it really is hers, so Sensible Bard Lady turns it over.

    The girl is really eager to know if we did a lot of fighting, and if it's fun being an adventurer, and we decide to set up camp for the night. Gunslinger and Chicken Worshiper teach the girl a bit about how to fight (turns out, the girl is in fact 16! And a level 1 rogue!) while most of the rest of the party settles down to sleep.

    End of the day, Mardred's turning out to be a bit more paranoid than I was expecting - she doesn't really trust that getting the idol pieces will really help the party get back to where all of them belong (and she's on the fence about going back anyways - her main reason for leaving is that maybe she won't have to be around Bear Puncher and Gunslinger any more), and she's pretty sure that Gunslinger is going to get them killed if they don't find a way to make him settle down.
    She's also considering Sensible Bard Lady, the drow, to be one of the only other sane people in the party.
    • Like x 6
  2. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    Third session! We get woken up at noon by the young girl basically kicking us all awake and going "wake the fuck up, it's noon"; questions about how she even knows that, considering that it's perpetually night, and it turns out that the people of this plane tell time by watching the constellations and stars. Watches aren't really as much of a thing here. We get back on the road and it's not long before we're back at the town.

    Or rather, back at what's left of the town - it's just a smoldering pile of rubble now.
    The party makes a lot of investigation rolls, but we don't turn up any survivors. We turn up the mayor's remains, and the girl's understandably distraught and busy grieving (we've now adopted her and promised her we'll help her get vengeance). We also scavenge a bit of money from the rubble (and Cheep Cheep finds the shiniest, cleanest stick), and discover that 1) the fire was started magically (and then spread organically), 2) not everyone died of the fire - some people were stabbed to death with a sword first, 3) all the people who were stabbed? wearing the same moon talisman that the girl has. Current speculation is that it's either the worshippers of the god who's trying to expand his domain, or Volt (although Mardred's not really sure what reason Volt would have to torch the entire town, considering that the priestess seemed interested in getting him back alive), or possibly the half-orc lady we met.

    We do not find the idol piece, despite some pretty thorough searching, and we eventually get back on the road because it's pretty obviously Not Safe here. The girl, Plucky Orphan, guides us to the next town - larger and better-established, with walls surrounding it; we're met at the gates by the guards, who're a bit suspicious of us. Not because we just came from the town that burned - they don't even know about that till we ask if any survivors made it here; just because we look like a pretty scruffy, ragtag bunch. To be fair, we have been digging around in the burnt-out remains of a town. We talk a bit with the guards and ask if we can come in, and they're...honestly not sure for a bit, till one of the other guards walks over, very annoyed.
    Awesome Guard: "Oh my god, do I have to hold your dicks for you when you piss?! [to us] Are you lot planning on causing any trouble?"
    Sensible Bard Lady: "Nope. We're definitely not planning on trouble."
    Awesome Guard: "That's what the last, what, seven groups said. Guess what happened? They all caused trouble. ...but as long as you're not with that Uruk fellow [the god who's pushing to expand his domain], I suppose you can come in. Are you merchants, adventurers, or traders?"

    Most of the party answers with 'adventurers' and Mardred goes "well, I'm not currently set up for being a merchant, so - adventurer" (she was a member in good standing with the Brewer's Guild before she died, and she sees no reason why she shouldn't still be) which leads to Gunslinger trying to claim noble (since he owns a town in the world we came from), and Chicken Worshipper overruling that with "you're not in that place any more. do you have a city that's in this world? no? okay then, you're not a noble here" and then simplifying it to "are you here to sell stuff, buy stuff, or do adventurer stuff?"
    We get let into the city, and Awesome Guard mentions that we might have a hard time finding somewhere to stay if we're planning on renting - the city's full of merchants right now, it's the beginning (possibly middle?) of the trading season so everyone's in town for that. But hey - we have a lot of money from that dungeon, and now we don't have to give any of it to the priestess (who presumably died in Burned Starter Town). Which means that we've got enough to buy a new house if we want to! And hey, having a secure place to stay, where we can stash our stuff, would be a really good idea. (Especially since our old house burned with the rest of Burned Starter Town.)

    So we buy a new house - it's a nice house! And it's been vacant for a while, although we're promised that it isn't haunted when the question comes up. It's got enough rooms for everyone (nearly - Sensible Bard Lady and Plucky Orphan are going to be sharing a room, with Sensible Bard Lady going "well, I don't really need a bed anyways, I trance"), and it's got a workshop and a study, and a kitchen and living room - it's a really nice house, honestly.
    So why's it been vacant so long? "Well, there is one thing - there's a basement, and we're not sure if it's a wine cellar or a sex dungeon." Awesome Guard heads off to go give the local mayor a heads-up that the place has been sold and get all the fine details there hammered out, and we go down into the basement to find out if we just bought a sex dungeon.

    Turns out no, we just bought a wizard's workshop. Full of magical items and scrolls! Mardred immediately calls dibs and there's going to be an infinity of arcane checks in my future next session, I suspect.

    The cleric, Bear Puncher, then heads into town and looks around to see if he can get his ancestral plate armor repaired. You'd assume that he'd go find the smithy and find out how much it cost first, but no, he does things in this order: 1) pawn his chainmail armor without haggling over the price, 2) go find the smithy and find out that it's going to cost over 400 gold to repair his plate mail, 3) refuse the GM's offer of going back to get his chainmail back. (And this is after he bought a grandfather clock for the house, which he just sort of hauled around with him till we got there. He managed to exactly balance out the cost of that with pawning his chainmail.) So our cleric now has an AC the same as our bard, and is going to be one of the squishiest people in the fight.

    Meanwhile, the GM has promised (after hearing that Mardred was planning on going down into the town again to check if there's anywhere selling spells and scrolls) that both Mardred and the party's alchemist (who hasn't really done much yet, because her player has missed everything but the first session due to RL busyness and lack of reliable internet, both of which should be solved after the 8th of this month) are going to be very happy with what they find in the city. And I am planning on doing so many arcane checks to find out wtf is in that workshop.
    • Like x 1
  3. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    So, fourth session: we talk with the mayor and get the sale finalized. Turns out, the mayor is Rock Lee. (He's not named that, but he is totally Rock Lee, the GM isn't even trying to hide the reference.) We don't get a whole lot of information - possibly a little bit about how some of the survivors from Starter Town have holed up in one of the other areas of the city, we might be able to go down there and find them.

    Bear Puncher has talked with the GM, he's got functional armor again - he reforged the plate armor into a breastplate. (In the house's kitchen fireplace.) He's at least no longer squishy, so no one's really objecting.

    We go down to the town and find some of the refugees from Starter Town! Chicken Worshipper stalks them, and I roll high on persuasion to get them to tell me where they're hiding. And they are sort of hiding, because it turns out that worshipping deities other than this one storm goddess is illegal in the city, so they're trying to keep it a secret that they've set up a shrine to the moon goddess. We get to the hiding place, and the priestess from Starter Town is there! A lot of talking later and a few persuasion and insight checks, and we've found out that Volt...probably didn't do this - he tried to keep the priestess safe, and he was inside the temple when the fire started, rather than outside trying to fight anyone. Half-orc Lady was also there, Priestess is not sure if she was fighting on the town's side or not. The group the priestess suspects most is Uruk (the god trying to expand his domain) and his followers.

    We then head further into town, stopping off at the storm goddess temple to pay respects, and then head down to the market to go check if there's anything we want to buy as far as supplies go - we're told that there's a merchant selling exotic goods, so we might want to check that out especially. We immediately get dropped into a bit of trouble, because one of the merchants - a short young man who's very obviously not local - runs and hides behind us while three other merchants are chasing after him, waving a wooden leg. (It's the guy's prosthetic, as it turns out.) With a bit of difficulty, we get things sorted out: the trio is angry, because they blame short guy for their stall getting blown up - he sold a customer a spell scroll with an explosive spell on it, the customer immediately went over and used it on their stall. It's explained that they can't actually blame the guy for what happened, they need to go after the person who blew up their stall and get him to work for them till his debt's paid off. (They're surprised when we all go 'yes' in response to "would you want someone who wrecked your stuff working for you?") We get the guy's leg back, and he's pretty grateful to us - turns out, he's the exotic goods merchant, and he's got a lot of weird stuff of varying usefulness.
    Among the contents of his shop: chicken soup; a scroll of chicken speech; a scroll that gives a level 9 spell slot (but not the ability to survive casting a level 9 spell if you're underlevelled); a gun; and a bin of discount cantrip scrolls. The discount cantrips are all reskins of regular cantrips, and the GM hasn't actually made up a list of what's in the bin (so I can't actually get anything unless I want to come up with stuff on my own. I probably will later, having a bunch of reskinned cantrips could be useful.)

    The merchant tells us that there's actually a temple outside the city, full of mercenaries. He thinks there might be some valuable stuff in there, but he's not really sure - he wasn't able to get in and take a good look, on account of the mercenaries. He's offering 30 gold each if we go clear it out. We take the deal (except for Gunslinger, who recognizes the symbol the mercenaries were wearing as the one from the group that killed his family, and whose thirst for vengeance makes him go "nope, I'll do it for free"; we end up having to argue with the merchant to get paid at all).

    We go head out to the dungeon, and yep - it's the mercenary group that murdered Gunslinger's family. We kill the guards, and the group in the first area of the dungeon - not so easily that it actually feels like we're steamrolling them, to me? But we mow through them way faster than the GM was expecting, and Bear Puncher's player has Bear Puncher go down on purpose (despite the GM going 'nah, you don't have to') when he crit fails trying to cast a harm spell. This makes things more difficult, and Chicken Worshipper nearly dies as a result, but we make it through and take a short rest.
    (Bear Puncher's player thinks that the GM needs to make things a lot harder. No one else really agrees - the current difficulty is just high enough that it feels pleasantly challenging and fun. I've basically decided that I don't want to be in a game they're GMing, because they'd make it painfully difficult.)
    (Also, this is now two fights in a row where Chicken Worshiper has nearly died. Her player isn't making as much use out of her mobility as the GM's been expecting; she's built for darting in and out of combat, not sticking around to tank blows.)

    After the rest, we head on to the first boss fight! And...accidentally steamroll it, because all of us (except maybe Bear Puncher) go "hey, that last fight was pretty tough, and now there's this one guy in the next room, with a sword. We really shouldn't hold back." Luckily, it was actually a two-boss fight but that doesn't...actually extend things by much, because we're still taking things seriously and Chicken Worshipper can hit like a truck when the dice are letting her hit.

    We then head into the next room, and it becomes clear that it's not just me making assumptions - the Fox Legion, the mercenaries we've been fighting, really are a barely-veiled Metal Gear series reference, because we're flat-out facing Ocelot at this point. Things turn into basically a cutscene - Ocelot's booby-trapped the room (because the GM doesn't want us steamrolling him too), and he and Gunslinger have a brief duel; Gunslinger gets shot in the heart, Ocelot gets shot in the arm and then jumps out a window chanting "cool exit cool exit cool exit".
    Lucky for us, Bear Puncher's got this and heals Gunslinger. But Gunslinger is dying just long enough for Kiki to pull his spirit into a pocket dimension for a couple seconds (from everyone else's perspective). Kiki is...some kind of spirit entity? Possibly a god! Possibly not, we don't really know. They offer a trade: they take a tiny bit of Gunslinger's soul, put it in his gun, and give it a shiny new magic power that'll get stronger as Gunslinger does. In exchange, "at the end of your journey, you give your item back to me and I get to keep it."

    So Gunslinger now has a new magic power, and tells us all about what happened once he's not dying any more. We loot the place, get (I think) one of the idol pieces finally, and we all level up. We also go back to town, get our reward from the merchant, and go home to rest; I can just barely afford the 9th level spell scroll, but I don't buy it this time around. Maybe next time - it would wipe out most of my money, right now.
    • Like x 3
  4. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    I'm looking forwards to your write up of the latest session >u<
  5. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

  6. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    Fifth session! Sensible Bard Lady's player is absent this week, but we soldier on bravely, with Bear Puncher and Chicken Worshipper getting a few things done before the day really begins - Bear Puncher brews up some beer and I think gets a nat 20 on it, making a really excellent batch, while Chicken Worshiper is making chicken feed for Cheep Cheep. The day starts with us being sneak-attacked by bugbears in our own gotdang house, so we're obviously already at a disadvantage from her absence. Gunslinger's player controls Sensible Bard Lady for the duration of the fight. It's difficult, but we make it through; the bugbears hit hard, but Plucky Orphan gets in a couple hits and I think manages to take one down, and we manage to clean up the rest. Alchemist finds a note on one of the bugbears afterwards, telling them to kill us and take our stuff. Obviously someone wants us dead, although we've got no idea who.

    We head out to go talk with the guards - or at least, with Awesome Guard, because she's the only really competent one. Turns out, bugbears attacking people in the city and stealing their stuff has been a recurring problem and the guards have no idea why the heck it's happening. They do have a bugbear in jail that we can talk to, though! We manage to get information out of him - he's not behind it, he's got no idea who is, but he does know that someone's paying bugbears to attack people, and he gives us the location of the bugbear town, which isn't far from the city; bugbears come to the city to try and get jobs and improve their lives a bit. Classic immigrant story, really.
    There's also attempts at intimidating the bugbear, and Chicken Worshiper attempts to intimidate and convert the guy. It doesn't really work, but the bugbear does sorta like my character, on grounds of "she's the only one advocating that maybe we don't attack a prisoner, seriously guys".

    Sensible Bard Lady stays behind as we head out to the bugbear town; her player can come up with a reason, but arguably "to make sure our place doesn't get pillaged while we're gone" or "this feels like a trap". Because when we get there, the whole place is empty. No one in the streets, only one building with lights on. So we head into the tavern (the one lit-up building) and try to be casual, and Bear Puncher orders the group a round of beers. The bartender (a bugbear) serves them up, and the tavern seems pretty empty otherwise - just a handful of bugbears at the back, watching us. Bear Puncher and Gunslinger both drink, while Mardred and Alchemist sniff at the beer first; Chicken Worshiper is wearing a mask which prevents her from being able to easily drink, and she makes the motions without any real success.
    Turns out, it's dirt beer. Beer made out of dirt and grass. It's really awful beer; Bear Puncher and Gunslinger have to make Constitution saves for having drank it at all (one of them barely succeeds, the other does not), and Mardred and Alchemist need to make Charisma saves to keep their composure - Mardred succeeds, Alchemist is visibly a bit grossed out. The bartender is, naturally, a bit insulted and he gets moreso when Bear Puncher starts chewing him out for how awful the beer is. And then a barfight starts, because the rest of the bugbears are insulted too.

    Remember how the tavern seemed mostly empty? Turns out, not so much. There's bugbears everywhere, actually - they were all hiding. I don't think we even got offered a perception check when we entered the place, so possibly they were just that well-hidden? idek. Anyways, bugbears keep popping out of everywhere - two of them turn out to have been disguising themselves as a single bugbear, there's bugbears unfolding from behind support columns and under tables, the GM has "Hall of the Mountain King" playing as he's describing how there's increasing numbers of bugbears. Mardred and Gunslinger manage to keep their feet in the sudden sea of bugbears, and we're all swept through the remains of one of the walls, to wake up in jail!

    We've got an audience with the Bugbear King, who is frigging huge. Fifteen feet wide, proportionately tall. He's a bit upset with Bear Puncher, and asks if Bear Puncher's got a problem with the beer. Bear Puncher immediately spits out, "Yes, it's awful." Bugbear King glares down at Bear Puncher and gives him a chance to take it back, but Bear Puncher will not - he doubles down, in fact. And so Bear Puncher gets half-crushed with the Bugbear King's giant club.

    This is enough of a near-death experience that Kiki grabs Bear Puncher and makes him an offer. The same one Gunslinger got, actually: piece of soul into item (Bear Puncher's breastplate, in this case), and the item will travel with Bear Puncher and get more powerful; at the end of the journey, Kiki gets the item. Bear Puncher accepts the offer, although Kiki's got some difficulties actually getting Bear Puncher's soul to do anything.
    Kiki: "You've, uh, got a very stubborn soul, don't you?"
    Bear Puncher: "You having some trouble there?"
    Kiki: "No, no, it's fine, this isn't my first time doing this."
    Bear Puncher: "If it's too difficult, you don't have to."
    Kiki: "Shut up, I can kill you. I'm not going to, I obviously want this power, but I want to make it clear that I can."

    Then we wake up still in jail. The first thing anyone notices: there's no locks on the jail cells. (We're also all in different cells.) The reason for that is, the cells don't actually have any doors, the bugbears just bend back the bars when they want to put someone in or take someone out. There's two bugbears down the hall, going through our things, and none of us have any weapons on us.
    Bear Puncher decides to just bend the bars and get out that way, and he manages the Strength check to pull it off. Gunslinger hurts his hand trying it, Chicken Worshiper also gets out, and Bear Puncher gets Alchemist out. I decide to have Mardred investigate the stonework around the bars, since I'm reasonably sure that her Strength score isn't anywhere near enough to get a decent roll on bending the bars and I'd rather not wait around for someone to get her out; she successfully finds that one of the bars can just be pulled out, the stonework it's set in is rotten, and that gives her enough room to wiggle out of the cell.

    Then it's a matter of taking down the bugbears. Chicken Worshiper wades in, and Alchemist's able to get to her stuff so that she can start throwing bombs. Mardred's casting Chill Touch (acid splash is her go-to cantrip, the way things have been turning out so far, but that might splash acid on our stuff or one of the party), and Gunslinger manages to grab his rapier. We get the bugbears taken down pretty quickly, honestly, although they're doing some damage with the maces they've got, and just as we finish up, Plucky Orphan bursts into the room, all "here I am to rescue yo--oh." Mardred tries to cheer her up a bit by being obviously thankful that she did come to rescue us, and that she can help us find the way out. "Well, it's not that hard, really - just down this corridor."

    So we head down the corridor, and oh hey did someone order more bugbears? Because there's more bugbears. Half a dozen in the entrance of the hall Plucky Orphan led us into, and another half dozen over at the other end, around the throne the Bugbear King's sitting in. It seems the GM has taken Bear Puncher's player's complaints into account (and the fact that we, uh, steamrolled the last two bosses he threw at us) and ramped the difficulty up a bit.
    Alchemist throws a tar bomb, and Bear Puncher summons Spiritual Weapon, and the combination successfully sets a couple of the bugbears on fire (which is only 2d6 damage per round, but it'll help), and makes the area difficult terrain. Chicken Worshiper and Bear Puncher deal with another two (which involves Chicken Worshiper being a glass cannon), while Gunslinger, Alchemist and Mardred work on the remaining two - which is slightly more difficult than you'd expect because one of the two that trio is handling is a bugbear chieftain and he's got better armor (which makes hitting him with ranged spells difficult). Plucky Orphan steps up to help out, and the GM points out that she's level 1, we really shouldn't be letting her take part, but there's not really any way we can get her to leave without it provoking an attack of opportunity from the bugbear chieftain (and it's bad enough if we're getting hit, she's got no chance of surviving a hit) and prior experience means we all know that she's going to argue every step of the way if we try and keep her from participating in the fight, on grounds of 'I can handle myself', and she'll probably wade into more than she can handle. At least right now, we can cover her and focus down the chieftain before it starts noticing her.

    So of course she manages to get the killing blow on it. But hey, she's going up a couple levels just from that, because it was twice her challenge rating.

    Once we've managed to clear most of the initial group, the Bugbear King starts growing restless and complains that things are taking too long - so he throws another minion at us, to try and speed things up. It might've helped, too, if he hadn't ended up throwing the poor guy into one of the pillars in the room, managing to knock ten HP off for us. Instead, the poor bastard is somewhat dazed - not so much that he can't get in a good hit on Chicken Worshiper, when she charges at him, but we manage to take him down pretty quickly, and I've summoned the fuck-off ball of fire by this point, since it's a Concentration-based spell and it'll keep going for the whole combat, and I can move it around up to 30 feet a round as a bonus action - so I can just wheel it around and smack it into enemies or slowly ease it over towards the Bugbear King so that I don't aggro but I do have it ready to help take him on once we're ready to start the boss fight.
    Another minion is thrown in, and this poor bastard bounces off of Chicken Worshiper and into another pillar - taking damage along the way, of course. He manages to get Chicken Worshiper near-death, but Alchemist tosses a healing potion and gets her back up. (The GM notes that he's not doing the Kiki bit just then, because we're running tight on time as it is, and Chicken Worshiper's player agrees that it's better to save it for later.) We keep going, managing to take out all the minions as they're thrown at us (well, mostly at pillars - the Bugbear King is getting some terrible rolls on his throws here), despite the efforts of Bear Puncher to try and aggro the Bugbear King. The efforts don't work, fortunately, despite Bear Puncher managing to take a quarter of the king's health off in one spell (which...well, it'll help - the dude has a massive health bar).

    After what feels like a very long while, Bugbear King finally gets fed up and comes into combat himself, complaining that this isn't fair and he's supposed to be winning.

    So, we knew the Bugbear King was big. He's fifteen feet wide, with his token taking up three squares by three squares (with one square equating to five feet each), and the GM has an aura activated around him too. "What's the glow for?" Gunslinger's player asks. "That's to indicate his reach," the GM answers, "if you're in that glowy area, he can reach over and grab you."
    The aura extends a full two squares out from his token in every direction.

    Naturally, Chicken Worshiper charges back in to take him on and immediately gets punched for it. She manages to get a couple good hits in, but she gets splatted. Bear Puncher gets her back up this time. (We're still not doing the Kiki interlude.) Bear Puncher doesn't bother getting out of range, but I go park the mobile fireball over by the king and scoot a bit closer into range before tossing an acid arrow at him. It misses, but it still does half damage on a miss so that's something. Gunslinger empties his gun into the king, and Alchemist is tossing force bombs. Plucky Orphan edges up closer, and we decide that we're going to try and get her the final blow again - she needs more levels, if she's going to accompany us and survive it in situations like this.
    So those of us who can do non-lethal are doing so, while we whittle his health down, and Chicken Worshiper does the penultimate blows so that there's no risk of Plucky Orphan not getting enough damage to take the king out in one blow - all she needs to do is hit, and she succeeds.

    And the king's down! But he's big enough that it turns out, we didn't actually manage to kill him (which is probably for the best, because now more bugbears are pouring out) but we did knock him down and kick him bad enough that he really doesn't want to fight any more. So instead, Bear Puncher goes up and goes "look, your beer's still awful, here's what good beer is like" and shoves a bottle of the beer he's brewed down the king's throat. The Bugbear King actually appreciates this, and comments that it's good beer - Bear Puncher shares out a chest full of beer with the rest of the bugbears, and they decide that they don't want to kill us any more or take our stuff - they don't care how good the money is that they've been offered.
    We find out that Uruk hired them and that he wanted them to get the totem piece off of us. We still don't know why Uruk wants us dead, but this is definitely a thing now.

    End of the day, Bear Puncher manages to hash out a treaty of sorts with the Bugbear King and his clan - they'll be our allies, in exchange for good beer. They're also now nominally allied with the city we live in, but pretty much only because we're with the city.

    (I really need to start doing more with Mardred's brewing skills too.)

    Once we get back to the city, Chicken Worshiper takes Plucky Orphan out to get them a new weapon and some chocolate to celebrate that they've leveled up so quickly, and Kiki visits Chicken Worshiper in her dreams that night. Chicken Worshiper is distressed that Cheep Cheep is not present (because Kiki didn't bother creating a dream-version of the chicken), and threatens to get violent if Cheep Cheep isn't given back to her; dream!Cheep Cheep is summoned, Chicken Worshiper gets distracted with cuddling them. Kiki drags her back on-task, and offers her the same deal he gave to the other two, and Chicken Worshiper is...not really interested; she's more interested in talking theology and how Kiki should really do more with the nothing-space he's been using to talk to people in. Kiki's getting frustrated and eventually goes "look, if you weren't so powerful, I wouldn't be still here, I'd have walked away from this, I just want you to know that". Chicken Worshiper is still bouncing around like a nutter, but the deal gets done although Kiki's really annoyed by this point.
    So Chicken Worshiper of course asks if she can stick around for a while. "I would say yes, but you're an awful guest, so no," Kiki responds. Chicken Worshiper ignores this and starts a pot of tea, despite that Kiki is bluntly asking them to hurry it up and get over with it so that this can be done with because "I don't like you." Chicken Worshiper squints at him and goes "you're not one of the people I'd like either" (or something to that effect); GM: "Roll for intimidation". (It does not succeed.)
    Chicken Worshiper's player tries to protest this, because "it's not that I'm trying to be intimidating, it's just that I'm trying to tell him that I'm going to find a way to kill him." Your guess is as good as mine for how that's supposed to translate to 'I wasn't trying to be intimidating', but it apparently makes sense to them. Kiki isn't intimidated, but he does glare at her so hard that it actually does damage and causes her to wake up. She complains that he's a poor sport when she wakes up, and he does another 6 damage on top of what he already did.

    Turns out, he's listening.
    Chicken Worshiper is now planning to take advantage of this and tell him all about Gallus.

    Meanwhile, I'm planning on what Mardred's going to do when her turn comes up, and oh my god, she's going to be a shitlord. (The GM has been warned of what she's going to try, but. She's going to try something really stupid and I really want to see how it turns out.)
    • Like x 5
  7. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    So, sixth session! Sensible Bard Lady's player is not present, because of travel hangups; she was expecting to be late, but the session ended before she could get home and on her computer. (It was a shorter session, this week.)

    We've been investigating the idol piece, and we've discovered nothing about it. Like - we flat-out cannot figure anything out about it, we don't know where it's from, why anyone wants it, nothing. So we decide that we're going to go down and see Exotic Goods Merchant, in the hopes that maybe he knows something about it because he deals in really weird shit. And this idol piece definitely qualifies as weird shit. Before we head out, Chicken Worshipper uses her potion of chicken speech and has a pleasant conversation with her chicken.
    We get to the shop (bringing the idol piece with us) and it takes us a bit to notice, but Exotic Goods Merchant is really uncomfortable with us having the idol piece out in the open. He's especially uncomfortable with us having it out where it can be seen through the windows or the doorway. And the idol piece keeps getting twitched slightly, so that Alchemist isn't holding it in a way that puts it in plain sight. It takes us a while to get any information out of him and we initially suspect that someone's replaced him, because he's acting weird.

    Turns out no, he just knows enough to be really uncomfortable about the idol. He knows it's got some kind of importance, but he has no idea why the hell anyone would want it. He gets even more uncomfortable when he finds out that Uruk wants it bad enough to send people after us for it. He's got no idea why we would be sent after it, and he doesn't know anything about the Old Man who met us when we first arrived in this dimension.

    The party tries to push for more information, and Exotic Goods Merchant finally gets exasperated; he's been putting on the persona of competent-but-sorta-dorky merchant up to now. But until this point, a good part of the party didn't realize that this was a persona; I want to say that Mardred suspected at least, because she is a merchant and she knows how much work it is to do that sort of thing competently and at a profit. And Exotic Goods Merchant sells really, really weird shit that doesn't have any real function - his primary seller is reskinned cantrips, and useless little things like potions of chicken speech and really snazzy pants; however dorky he looks and acts, he's got to be on the ball to be breaking even at all, with his inventory. (But honestly, there's plenty of reason for her to have not even really thought much about it - there's been a lot of stuff going on.)
    Exotic Goods Merchant goes "okay, you wanna have a discussion about this thing that I would really, really prefer not to discuss, or even have in my shop? Instead of doing literally anything else, like buying some of my lovely goods? Fine. We're doing this on my terms" and draws a rune circle on the countertop in marker. Then he uses this to shift us into a pocket dimension, where we're in a different version of his shop. Turns out, 1) he's scary-competent (he's the reason why the idol piece kept getting twitched around - he was using sleight of hand to rearrange it without us noticing), and 2) he has a side-business that does good enough to warrant setting up a pocket dimension, in selling weird, powerful, and primarily cursed objects.

    We find out what he knows about the idol - as previously said, he really doesn't know a whole lot. He knows that a lot of scary people want it, he's got no idea why they want it, he has no idea what it does (if anything); he does know that one of the local nobility has another piece of it, though. He also offers to keep the idol piece we have, since a pocket dimension is one of the safest places to keep a valuable item that you don't want someone to steal; "how do we know you won't steal it from us," Gunslinger goes. "I don't want this thing," explains Exotic Goods Merchant.

    Having found out about as much as we can about the idol for now, we start exploring the shop. Mardred is careful not to touch anything - this dude specializes in weird shit, and anything he's keeping in a pocket dimension shop (well away from average customers) is probably weird and dangerous and thus should not casually be touched. Chicken Worshipper, however, just goes up and picks up a monkey paw and goes "what's this do?" Exotic Goods Merchant explains that it will grant wishes - five wishes - and it is also cursed; he tries to explain that it will twist the wishes, but he uses a weird metaphor involving sacks of money and sacks full of bees. Or possibly he's trying to warn us that the paw only gives bees. It's kinda hard to tell. Anyways, Chicken Worshiper nearly sets it off, possibly by accident, while speculating about what would happen if she wished for a bag of money, and it's only prevented by Exotic Goods Merchant keeping the finger from successfully curling; he promptly takes the paw away from her and puts it behind the counter where she can't get at it again, and explains that it'd be over 500 gp to buy it. Chicken Worshiper sighs that that's very expensive food and assures Cheep Cheep that one day, they'll save up and buy that paw.

    Yes. Chicken Worshiper just wants it so that she can feed it to her chicken. The chicken eats fingers. This is a thing now.

    There's a couple of other things in the shop that are actually useful - a flute that would let Sensible Bard Lady work better when playing Song of Rest, and some bracers of communication the GM made special for us that he really wants us to get. Mardred buys the flute for Sensible Bard Lady (because I'm not about to risk that the GM won't let her player get it later, and that bonus would be really helpful), and everyone in the party buys one of the bracers. Mardred double-checks that the flute isn't cursed before buying it, and the rest of the shop gets examined a little. Gunslinger buys a reach melee weapon he really doesn't need, and examines a set of tiefling horns.
    This cues the GM to make a note for himself that about here is where a conversation between Exotic Goods Merchant and Sensible Bard Lady should go, and he'll just fill that in later when he can talk to her player.
    It turns out, the horns will let you cast more spells. But they are cursed. I'm not sure if Exotic Goods Merchant explains what the curse is, or if the GM explains; I think the GM explains, to make it clear why Bear Puncher's player does not actually want to get these for Bear Puncher. (The curse is, any spell you cast is inflicted on yourself as well. So if you cast something that does damage, you take the same amount of damage the target did.) Exotic Goods Merchant does mention that the tiefling who originally owned the horns was really not happy about giving them up, and Bear Puncher goes "she was parted with them by force, right?"; Exotic Goods Merchant points out that he was trying to be subtle, gj ruining it.
    (The horns and the convo are a plot-hook for Sensible Bard Lady, who is looking for her tiefling girlfriend.)

    Having nothing else to do in the shop, Exotic Goods Merchant returns everyone to the regular dimension and shoos us out of his shop. I'm about the only one who's really interested in trying to follow up on the lead the GM's given us on the next idol piece, and even then, I'm mostly going "well, Mardred would go down to the market, she needs to buy about 10gp worth of stuff anyways so that she can do the 'summon familiar' ritual, so there's no reason she can't ask around about Lord Whosit while she's down there"; Bear Puncher's player is really, really disinterested. Gunslinger is trying, at least, but his character is not well-suited to investigation-type stuff.
    Despite these obstacles, we manage to find out that Lord Whosit is throwing a party tonight! A masquerade party, at that! And this is a regular occasion, and he invites all the nobility to come. So we all get masks and costumes of varying degrees of fanciness, although everyone gets a pretty decent one that'll pass muster - Mardred dresses as a dragon, and Chicken Worshiper doesn't do anything special besides adding a gauze curtain as a robe. (Chicken Worshiper wears a mask at all times. She's used this to avoid having to actually drink the dirt beer.)

    We head up to the manor, and expect that we're going to have some trouble getting in - we do not, after all, have invitations. This may require a lot of stealth checks.
    Or possibly not, because three-quarters of the party manages to find a dude who goes "yeah, sure, I'll count you guys as my guests!" and Bear Puncher just gets waved in by the guards. So does Mardred, we find out as the party makes their way inside. Turns out, Lord Whosit is a dwarf and has (apparently) given instructions that all dwarves get free entry to the party if they show up. Mardred and Bear Puncher get slightly swarmed by other dwarves and nobles, and they're given warm welcomes; Mardred copes well enough, but Bear Puncher (or possibly Bear Puncher's player) isn't comfortable and tries to get free of this as quickly as he reasonably can. Lord Whosit is not immediately visible - on questioning some of the people, we find out that he's in one of the back sections of the room, holding court with the upper-crust; we can't exactly see him, because he is a dwarf and thus shorter than the people surrounding him.

    We do, however, see Volt. Who none of us expected to see here, and who is also surrounded by nobles! He's less than pleased by his groupies, and he's really unhappy to see Chicken Worshiper march up to him and ask him to dance. (Chicken Worshiper is easily recognizable, because she's wearing the same mask as always, and also there are only so many giant bird people around; the second part gets some more leeway considering masquerade.) The two talk a bit, and a meeting is arranged outside in the gardens.
    The party heads out into the gardens, which are fortunately not crowded! And we start to talk with Volt. He is not happy to see us - he's less happy when he finds out that we weren't even actually looking for him, we just got lucky ending up at the same party. There's also an effect when we look him in the eyes - everyone (except possibly Sensible Bard Lady, who wasn't present for any effect to be described) feels sympathy for him and like he's been through some shit. (This is an effect of the 'Haunted One' background.) And then we end the session, since most of the party is going to be asking a lot of questions.

    Once the session's over, Bear Puncher's player starts expressing frustration and boredom with how non-combat oriented this session has been. Gunslinger, however, points out that it's good to have a bit of change and to have some non-combat sessions where the characters who are more socially-oriented can shine, and that he really enjoyed things - especially since we've been doing about one encounter a session up until now. I think Bear Puncher's player might just be frustrated since his character is really not built for social stuff at all - so this is a session where his character couldn't do much of anything useful. But on the other hand, he didn't really even try? Like, the GM really wants us to engage with the plot, he's making it really easy for us to find the plot hooks and get hold of them - if Bear Puncher had started asking people about Lord Whatsit, he would've gotten answers. idek. I'm looking forward to Sensible Bard Lady being around again, next session.
    • Like x 4
  8. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    For fun, I've been doodling bits from the sessions
    Alchemist Kamika smelling the dirt beer

    Volt and Swashi the Chicken Worshipper meeting at the masquerade. According to the GM and Chicken Worshipper's player, there is a pretty significant height difference between the two, so them dancing must have been fun to watch
    • Like x 2
  9. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    I can't resist commenting, but Chicken Worshipper is hilarious and will flirt with anything that would be remotely funny to flirt with.
    • Like x 1
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