Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Neoclassical Geek Revival: Actual play from a GM in the wild

Here is a play report from the campaign of one of the blog's readers:

"Our game started in a large walled city-state. Being fairly large, it had both nice areas and slums. The streets are cobblestone and clean, like a movie around rich people. People are dirty, but it's obviously painted on dirt; they were still able to do their make-up and blow dry their hair in the morning. The dominant race is human, but elves, dwarves, halflings of all sorts, and probably any other race a player whines about playing exists. Sticking to most common stereotypes; the dwarves in the city are generally craftsman, while the elves are nobility or rich merchants mostly.

The party consists of a dwarven mage-priest to some kind of smithing god, a half-sized barbarian priest (riding a hunting goat), a bard who is trying to get more animals for his travelling show, and one player is playing lady warrior of some sort in-between extensive doodling. She hasn't figured out exactly who she is yet.

The party accepted a job contract from a direct copy of Badger (still named Badger). In short, their mission is to go to an ancient Dwarven ruin and retrieve some aetherium that is rumoured to be there. Badger doesn't know how much is there, or really what it is. He will pay its weight in gold, and has a map to where the ruin is.
The party asks for him to cover travelling expenses, he refuses, but gives them an old mare and crappy wagon to shut them up, and get them out.
The ruins were a 6 day trip away, mostly over well-traveled roads. The Bard is attempting to catch whatever small animals he sees on the side of the road, and fails. He got pretty close to catching a racoon one night, but the skunks just briskly walked away from him.

Two days out of town they came across the Maze and Tower Inn. It is so named because of the abandoned wizard's tower and the nearby hedge-maze of thorn walls. They learn in the inn that the maze contains a mighty undead dwarven warrior who guards his treasure. The inn is oddly busy, with a few mixed travellers, and at least 20 women working at the inn. The women are profoundly ugly. All of them. Like, supernaturally ugly, yet very friendly. The party either has no money, or is unwilling to spend any, and is unable to stay at the inn. The bard is spending his time trying to get the chickens to fly, and get the pigs to wear pants and walk on two legs. He does manage to kill a chicken in his attempts (angering the bartender), but does get pants onto the pig. The barbarian tries to convince the rest of the party that the women in inn must be some manner of monster as they are so ugly, and that they should burn down the inn. The rest of the party is slightly less psychotic, and decline to murder everyone in the inn. After that fails, he sneaks off alone to climb the tower. He finds the tower is indeed abandoned (at least the top level) where he steals some lab equipment, and a loose piece of paper with a spell (wall of thorns). He throws some lit candles around, then climbs back down and sets a fire in front of the wooden doors of the tower. Meanwhile the dwarf is chatting up a woman working at the stable. She hasn't had a dwarf before, and takes him inside to show him how a brothel works. She isn't impressed. The barbarian has just finished setting the fire, and convinces the rest of the party to leave now. The bard is unable to steal a pig as he has accumulated a crowd with his antics.

A few more days of travel, and the party arrives at the ruin. There is a path leading to an entrance in a cliffside, the large doors have long since been hauled away or otherwise lost. Right inside the door is foyer/staging area, with a camp with two bedrolls. They have been here for at least a couple of months. The immediate halls are well lit by gaslights, on the top level the party discovers two rooms labelled 'Security', each containing 7 large metal spheres, about 5' in diameter. The spheres are ornately carved in geometric patterns, and are not solid. The party spikes the opening mechanism for those doors. Also found on the first floor are several rooms with stone beds and shelves, and forge room, well stocked with all sorts of tools, and various bits of metals. They load their cart with everything they can move. In one of the hallways was a charred corpse - the party deduces that there was a gas leak that was ignited by a torch. There is an elevator at the end of the main hall on the first floor, which the party has quickly identified, because the players have figured out that this is a Skyrim Dwemer ruin ripoff.
The next floor is unlit, but the dwarven wizard priest casts the light miracle on his armour. The party encounters a natural cave, where the raw aetherium was mined. They do not explore the cave. The next room is a processing area where material is extracted; the party gets some traces and takes some more lab equipment. Further on they encounter a barred entrance. Oddly, the bars are too widely space to stop a normal sized person. Beyond the bars is a large shape, almost like a squatting giant. The dwarf wizard's bat familiar scouts around, and finds there is another room beyond this, with shelves. The wizard removes his armour to better cast a wall of thorns around the figure, and rest of the party sprints into room with shelves, and grab three metal canisters, each about the size of a mason jar. The spell seems to have awoken the figure in the room, but it is not able to break through the wall of thorns before the party is able to retreat back past the bars. They make it back up the elevator, deciding not abandon the dwarf who is refusing to follow until he carefully puts his armour back on . They quickly leave the ruin, the spiked doors are able to contain whatever the spheres in the security room turned into.

Since the player of the Dwarf Wizard Priest had to take his kids home the party fast-travelled back to Badger, where they turned in two of the three canisters for payment, the wizard keeping one. The party is back in town where they have a cart full of scrap metal and tools, as well as a horse and cart that they need to store or sell."

No comments:

Post a Comment