Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Surfeit of Lampreys, session 7

So last night Kirk, Dane, Charles, Carl, Ryan, Joe and I gathered once again at the Armored Gopher for some D&D action.  For the third session in a row the party tromped about James Maliszewski's "Ruined Monastery" and for the second session in a row they explored Gabor Lux's "Tomb Complex of Ymmu M’Kursa".  Both are from Fight On #1.  Jamie Mal's dungeon is one level with stairs down, so when I needed another level I just turned the page to Gabor Lux's level.  They work pretty well together, if you don't mind the fact that some of the monsters in the "Tomb Complex" are wicked hard for the second level of a dungeon.

For example, the big fight of the evening was with RAMM, a centuries-old vampiric entity whose mind has wandered too long among the voids between the stars.  He had eight hit dice and the ability to pretty much kill a party member each round.  Fortunately the party had a couple of advantages against this wicked awesome dude.  First off, this wasn't one of those modern type parties with one PC per character and that's it.  No, these guys run around as an old school dungeon clearing mob:  Some people run multiple characters, a few have hired spear-carriers and Wat Tyler the bard has these four skeletons he charmed.    Not that many of them could harm RAMM, who is only affected by magic. Still, between Kirk's changeling throwing magic missile and the Phalange of St. Gaxyg (a relic from "The Ruined Monastery" that I souped up a bit) and Dane's recently-purchased Holy Symbol of St. Thurstan and the kickass magic sword Tailbiter they were able to put the hurting on him.  My favorite part was when Dane's snooty French paladin garroted RAMM with the chain from his magic holy symbol.

Poor Fenchurch didn't make it though.  She had started life as a hireling bodyguard for Charles' MU but when that didn't quite work out and the MU bit the dust, she was promoted to full on PC.  She was also the first character to blow a carousing roll in this new campaign, so I will always remember her as the Drunken Loutess of Christminster.  Her failure to debauch safely was overshadowed a bit by Wat Tyler blowed roll, who woke up in prison, with 6,000gp in fines, damages and bribes needed to get out.  Dude rotted in the pokey for three days until he was able to use his bardish wiles to charm his way out.  Returning to his residence, he found the rest of the party there, sitting around, drinking his beer and half-assedly discussing jailbreak plans.

That's just the way these guys roll.


  1. Ah! I was looking for something to throw under that monastery! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I've been reading your blog for a while, and it was only after I moved away from CU that I saw you post about Armored Gopher.

    Anyway, I lost my job where I'm living now and I'm moving back to CU now. I've been running a lot of games of late, but I'm actually looking for a game in which to play, instead of GM. Any chance you have a possible opening, or know someone with one? I'm not particularly picky about the system.

  3. @Adrian:

    You might also want to talk to Loquacious.

  4. I think, anyway. You're saying you'll be moving back to the area that the store referenced is in, correct?

  5. Adrian,

    I run an open game. If you show up, we'll make a spot for you. The only qualification is that I get to be the biggest jerk at the table. You can be a bigger jerk elsewhere, but you have to tone it down when playing.

  6. Great news, Jeff! Can you give me details on how it works? Do people just bring in a toon they rolled up, or do you have pregens? Also, exactly what system are you using?

    Oh yeah, when do you run?

  7. Next run is a week from Wednesday. That's April 6th, I think. You could bring some sort of character, but most folks just generate one at the game since. Bringing a pencil and some dice would be cool, but not required. The name of the game is Dungeons & Dragons.

  8. Bah! Of course it's the same night as UI's MTG club. Do you always run on Wednesdays?

  9. Yes, I always run on Wednesdays. There are games going on at the Armored Gopher all the time though. Hit up for the schedule.

  10. Ha! I have just read this entry; cool to read how other people fared in the tomb-complex.

    Actually, tomorrow, I am also running Ymmu M'Kursa on the second Hungarian old-school game convention (as part of the Khosura undercity, so they'll have to get there first... and get out afterwards), with six fourth-level characters.

    I'll write a battle report for you when we are done. :D

  11. Well, the party didn't even find Ymmu's sublevel in spite of being given a rather useful handout map, but the game went interesting enough. We had 6 PCs:
    * Gadrik the Seer, a violent fighter-cleric of the amoral Kang the Thousand-Eyed (god of adventurers)
    * Orkogus the Barbarian
    * Negoro the Sailor (named after the treacherous cook in Jules Verne's The Fifteen Years Old Captain)
    * Rufus the Ram, a fighter
    * Subotai the Thief
    * Targus the Magic-User

    They were all 4th level characters with basic gear and one draw from a deck of 12 magic item cards - a cleric character drew a cursed -2 flail, but there was also a book of divinations, and the party barbarian got the best item, a fully loaded laser pistol (in my game, these are very powerful since they ignore AC and do 2d10 damage, adding additional damage dice on 0s).

    The characters followed one of the detours marked on the document, a well leading from the city through levels I and II to the lake on level III, drawn to the sound of zither music. Since they did not have enough rope to descend to the lake surface and really did not want to go swimming, the M-U cast Tenser's floating disk to cushion his fall and travel down.

    On the shore, he encountered an old beggar sitting at the base of a small step pyramid and playing his zither; greatly annoyed by the intrusion, he cast spells, surrounding himself with a fiery aura and turning into mist (fire shield + gaseous form, a deadly combo). After some tense negotiation, he eventually agreed to let the party pass in exchange for a book of divinations the character had, and the others were ferried down as well and to the shore. However, further communication went badly especially as the thief tried to steal a copper box of stones, and combat broke out. The old man summoned a 8-headed hydra from the depths of the lake, and started casting really high-level fire spells like wall of fire and flaming sphere while his gaseous form also morphed more and more monstrous (revealing himself to be a demonic entity - an efreet). The party could not even hurt him, especially as he was hovering high over a body of water - only the barbarian had a chance with the laser, and even so, his rate of damage didn't match the efreet's and hydra's (who severely mangled a PC as he fell into the water). It looked like a sure TPK. Then, in the last moment, the barbarian shot the gas cloud - and rolled 6, 0, 0, 0, 8 in succession for 44 points of damage, totally blasting apart the efreet in one hit. Whoa! I have never seen anything like that before. :o

    After this lucky break, the hydra was also defeated, and they came upon a lot of treasure, both in the lake and the small step-pyramid - a super-valuable holy symbol of Ishtar (2000 gp, the price of a small keep), and three amphoras full of silver, electrum and gold coins. The rest of the expedition was spent getting out from this low level, which I will not get into in detail.

  12. The expedition was followed by shopping in the city - at the Temple of Fedafuce (basically the god of money and greed), they sold off their loot and invested it into the most profitable derivative bonds Fomalhaut could offer (as a low-ranking cleric noted, "Even influential and wealthy city states have chosen to invest the majority of their treasuries into these puppies, which will no doubt usher in a new era of growth and prosperity."), a crystal prism that could shoot prismatic rays as a wand, and on the slave market, a fighting slave they named Torgar II after they could not afford the real (and more competent) Torgar after their shopping spree.

    However, Torgar II proved his worth at the end of the second foray, when he showed remarkable luck in a battle with flying animated swords. There was another tense situation here, as a bunch of bandits (guys with scimitars, baggy pants and tourbans) prowling in the corridors planned to ambush the PCs after their battle. However, Targus the M-U spotted them, and using a hypnotic pattern spell, held up half a dozen and made the rest run. In the end, the men were spared, and made an offer to join the party for better pay than their past master could offer - which they accepted.

    Since this was a convention game, we had to end the session here with a "and who knows what else awaits our heroes in the dungeons!", and Ymmu's tomb-complex (as well as the sub-level of the accursed Tellamek Than, which they also found, but did not explore) undisturbed, but it was a lot of fun with plenty of surprises, turns of luck and plain old-fashioned exploration.