Sometimes a GM preps an adventure and the PCs decide to go to do something else. I can roll with that. PC autonomy is a cornerstone of role-playing, so you have to play along when they go off script. But last night was a new one for me. I made the wrong adventure. I thought the PCs ended the previous session planning on visiting the Magical Town of Many Times, the home of the planetary ape menace. They were all certain that they had planned to do anything but that, with consensus last session coming down on the side of the visiting the dwarves, the dire enemy of the apes. So I felt kind of stupid for spending all my time on Retro-Land, the amusement park that had been refurbished by the apes, when I could have been doing more to ready the Siege of the Dwarf Fortress.
Despite this initial setback it turned out to be a hell of a run. One player literally gave me a standing ovation at the end of the night and another sent me a thank you email. It's awfully nice to get a little feedback like that. Sniderman over at The Savage Afterworld deserves a big share of the kudos, as I was swiping material from his World of Thundarr supplement, particularly his adaptation of the Thundarr episode where ape men activate a robotic King Kong. I changed the movie studio to the aforementioned Retro-Land, gave the Kong-bot laser eyes and a flamethrower mouth and made the leader of the apes into Triplex the Over-Ape, a psionic dude that looks like three ape-men fused together at the back of their heads. Also, the main elements of the ape army were kitted out based on the area of Retro-Land they hailed from. The apes from Olympus wore togas and carried spears, the guys from the Wilden West had shotguns and cowboy hats, etc.
Anyway, the dwarves have no real allies in the area so the apes had no effective plans to defend against a counter-attack behind their siege line. Scratch the Two-Headed Porcupine rode down many ape soldiers from the back of her ostrich-like riding bird while the rest of the group hid behind the shielding of their Battle Wagon (a pick-up truck bed/siege mantlet/chainsaw/crossbow monstrosity that could only be built by 40K orks during an A-Team montage) until they were well within asskicking range. Eventually Dane's three-armed freak with a girdle of giant strength seized a ballista and started shooting through masses of apes, just 'cause he could. The PC onslaught was rather spectacular and the ape morale broke completely. The dwarves unleashed their giant gecko riders to mop up.
As things started to quiet down the dwarvish Captain of the Guard invited the party inside the fortress, where they were feted as heroes. Dane's mutant made inquiries about getting his own war-gecko and the Master of Lizards even gave him a primer on riding the beasts. Scratch tracked down a learned old dwarf who could teach her to read, an arcane knowledge she's strongly desired for several sessions. Carl's dwarf, as the local boy hero, was all lined up to be presented with the same gold medal Luke and Han got after blowing up the Death Star, but that's when robo-Kong showed up. Minus a right hand. In the previous session the party foiled the apes' attempt to secure the last piece of their god/doom machine, so instead Triplex had a bigass crane scavenged for it's hook.
The battle against the 80' tall robot ape was freakin' epic. On round one it smashed through the previously-impregnable front wall of the fortress. The players were firing laser beams, electromagnetic pulse guns, ballista missiles with pipe bombs attached and anything else they could find. Scratch and Jynx the Demon were climbing all over the beast Shadow of the Colossus style. Bruce the Stormtrooper shot out one of Kong's laser eyes, quickly followed by Dane's PC ballista-impaling the other one. Jynx used his prehensile tongue like Batman's swingline to drop a Rambo exploding arrowing down the mouth-mounted flamethrower, exploding the head and setting the remaining stump on fire. Meanwhile Kong fumbled an attack with his giant pirate hook, getting it stuck in a nearby stone tower.
At some point the PCs noticed Triplex and his bodyguard up on the nearby ridge where the ruins of his siege still smoldered from the previous day's battle. Robo-Kong was pretty well finished at this point, so they turned their attention to the mastermind. That's when Triplex and four of his six bodyguards disappeared into their Invisible Flying Saucer. Bruce fires three shots with his special laser rifle, putting one of the blasts to the left of the invisible hatch, one to the right, and one right through the door and into one of Triplex's torsos. Dane was on top of a giant gecko at this point and charged right toward the place the baddies had disappeared, plowing past the two remaining apes while dodging their grenade launchers. He ends up inside the saucer, fighting bodyguard apes wielding light sabres with his three-armed combo of electro-whip, chainsaw and his new Stormbringer-style soul-sucking ubersword. Meanwhile his gecko eats one of the apes.
Dane is ridiculously low on hit points by now and well in over his head, so when his electro-whip shorts out he clongs an ape with his Gong of Deafening, stunning everyone in the ship. But not before he rolls a natural 20 and drives the blade of his evil sword right smack dab into Triplex's tri-lobed uber-brain, killing him instantly and stealing his soul(s). Jynx finally arrives to help, sees a light sabre on the deck (dropped by a stunned ape), picks it up with the tip of his prehensile tongue and slices the owner clean in half. That, my friends, is how you end a fight.
Session LXXXVIII: Two Ettins Too Many
48 minutes ago