session recap, 10/10/2013

Gutboy the Cleric (6), his henchpeople Trezgar the Elf (2) and Bunny the Thief (4), and his blink dog Rufus II
Pai Mei the Wu Jen (3) and his stuntman, Colt "Rottweiler" Seavers the Type III Bounty Hunter (2)

Gutboy - last seen in the Livid Fens, mourning the death of Mongo - reappears.  He and his remaining henchmen fled the giant tank known as the Red Demon in the flying stone head, but the unusual vehicle ran out of power halfway to Denethix, falling into the swamp.  Fortunately, a group of froghemoth hunters nearby came to investigate, and he was able to return to the city with his loot.

And what loot it was!  The bulk of the treasure from the Red Demon was sold off, with Gutboy only keeping an argonium shield and a robotic repair spider.  Trezgar and Bunny snorted their share of the profits, while Rufus II wined and dined his human concubine Candy.  Gutboy had no time for those sorts of shenanigans - instead, he visited Fitzy's in Chelmsfordshire, who had a newly-acquired license to sell heavy armaments, and purchased a machine gun, a drum of 100 bullets, and a drum of 100 silver bullets.  Having a bit of cash still burning a hole in his pocket, he blew the rest of his earnings on an engraved gold ring.

After some investigation, he discovered his companion Razoe had headed off west with an inscrutable Oriental wizard and a professor of astrophysics from the Academy.  A few days journey, and he stumbled upon the petrified cabin where Pai Mei stood inspecting a deep shaft in the floor.  Razoe and Boxer stepped out to take a leak as Gutboy entered.  There, continuity, happy?

The duo investigated the harpsichord room once again - there was music behind the door, and they opened it to see Boxer the quantum henchman playing.

Pai Mei:  "Who told you to come in here?"
Boxer:  "Razoe"
Pai Mei:  "When was that?"
Boxer:  "Just a few minutes ago"

Tired of harpsichords, they headed down the shaft.  At the bottom, a corridor led to a great bronze door, the lock carved into a skull with a key sticking from the keyhole in the mouth.  The walls, floor and ceilings were carved with screaming faces.  They unlocked the door, and found another room with ten tables, each holding a skeletal left hand, and a large bronze doorway on the east wall with an odd circular symbol on it.

Gutboy:  "So what are we doing here?  We're supposed to get zombies?  I could animate some for you"
Madame Prepin:  "We don't need the tyranny of the gods!  There are potentially 40,000 Funeral Friends here for us to exploit, and you want to involve the temples?"
Gutboy:  "OK, so where are the zombies?"
Madame Prepin:  "Look, I need a name that's more kid-friendly.  I'll offer a 1,000 gp bonus to the man who can come up with a better name."
Gutboy: "Goonies?"
Madame Prepin: "Hmm, I like it.  That'll do for a provisional name, I'll see if somebody comes up with something better."
Gutboy:  "And 40,000 of them?  Won't they smell?"
Madame Prepin:  "We'll all be flying above them in our air cars while they work the fields!  It will be a paradise!"

Pai Mei ordered the grad students to open the door, and they did so once Madame Prepin threatened that their grades would suffer if they didn't obey.  Beyond was a great chapel with marble pews, an altar inside a giant stone skull, an organ made of bones, a pair of stone basins next to a knob-less bronze door heading east, and a "normal" bronze door heading north.

The grad students were ordered to approach the altar - on it was a bowl containing a gold dagger and ruby necklace.  The grad students each picked up an artifact, and began shaking and complaining of being cold.  They placed them into a pouch, which one of the nameless students shoved into his belt.

The party then approached the stone basins - they were full of black water.

Pai Mei:  "Go wash your hands in that.  It'll probably clear up the shaking"

One of the grad students cleansed himself in the black water, and came back up with a fistful of human teeth.  They fell from his still-shaking hands back in the water.  "That didn't help at all!  This assignment sucks!"

The other student was ordered to play the organ.  He walked over and pressed one of the keys - a cloud of yellow spores bellowed forth from the organ, and an onyx bowl and a jewel fell from under the organ where they had been hidden.  The student began choking and soon collapsed to the floor.  Bunny approached carefully, stepping over the wheezing student, and scooped up the loot.

As the student breathed his last, Bunny extended Mongo's old 20' collapsible pole, and began banging the keys some more.  The first hit sent up a small clouds of spores, but the second flooded the room with the yellow death.  Bunny successfully held her breath as everyone fled the room.

Once the spore cloud settled, the party re-entered the chapel, and headed through the north door.  There were several deserted rooms beyond it, including a pair of dungeon toilets.  The only item of interest found was a copper ring among some debris, which Gutboy pocketed.

And there the adventure ended for the evening, cut short due to an extended session of Grand Theft Auto V.

Gains: Cursed gold dagger, cursed ruby necklace, onyx bowl, sapphire, copper ring
Kills: None
Losses: Grad student


Murder hobos meet Death Frost Doom

If you read the session report I posted last night, you can see why a lot of James Raggi's modules will never, ever work quite as he intended when I run them - there's no way to build mood with guys who view every NPC as a pawn in a quest to acquire XP.  Yes, I could change the way I run the game to penalize that sort of behavior, but that's not what I want to do, and my players wouldn't stick around if I did.  This is pretty much how we play and how we like it, not a request for suggestions.

So back on point - something like Death Love Doom would fall apart completely, and even the Monolith with its murderous host of brain invaders would just be an opportunity to wreak havoc.  Poor Zeke never stood a chance.  He didn't even get off his one-liner, because he was gagged and I foolishly didn't anticipate his murder at the time he was tied up.

The players have really been all about doing random wilderness adventures lately, which means there's no pressure on me to actually work on the dungeon levels.  You can blame them if you're wondering why ASE4-5 isn't out.  I'm too lazy to do anything without a deadline.

Anyhow, if you're wondering about the hiatus, I spent a whole lot of time working on designing guitar amps and watching Breaking Bad start-to-finish instead of playing D&D.