Sunday, February 28, 2016

Neoclassical Geek Revival: More actual play from a GM in the wild

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

"The mighty halfling barbarian is gone, having returned to his own lands. Or maybe he was just lost in a crowd. Either way he is gone, and has been replaced with an unbelievably old elven mage. He is, like, so old. He sometimes tells rambling, slightly incoherent stories that would have taken place before man came to these lands, and he seems like he might actually be that old.

The party was also joined by a mystical kung-fu monk from far away lands. He speaks excellent English, though his clothing and mannerisms seem very foreign.

Badger had a job about recovering naughty portrait of a local noble's daughter, but that sounded like a lot of creeping around people's back stairs and didn't interest the party.

Instead they intended to travel back to the dwarven ruin, so that they can re-forge the broken symbol of the monk's monastery. Or forge a new challenge symbol out of some meteoric iron. Or something involving the monk needing something forged, it wasn't quite clear yet but it was something that required the monk to work with the dwarven smith priest.

They stopped at the Maze and Tower inn again. The ancient elf has a platinum level membership at the brothel, and this week the party didn't bring the dumb-ass that killed their chickens, so there are no problems getting in. The elf claims to have known the wizard who originally had the tower built, and states that he's going to move in. None of the workers at the inn are bold enough to tell him no, but do make him promise not to break anything. Having a wizard nearby is always handy, and he has always paid his bills. Besides, the matron isn't convinced the Giuseppe (the name of the wizard who owns the tower) is ever coming back, it's been a long time. She still pines for him, remembers his soft hands, his delicate touch. She went on to an uncomfortable level of detail on the subject.

The front door of the tower is singed, but still very sturdy.The heavy padlock does not stand up to the dwarven smith's skillful hands, and the door is quickly opened. Inside is dark and covered with a thick layer of dust. There is a spiraling staircase going up to the next floor, some tables, chairs, and other furniture, and a fireplace. Sitting on a chair against the far wall is a massive teddy bear. Sitting there, looking quite out of place. The noblewoman (which is apparently what the backstory was settled on) decides that the teddy bear is the best thing ever, and gives it a big hug. The elven wizard is oddly wary of it, and the other two party members don't seem to care about it at all, and make their way up the stairs. The next floor is a well appointed bedroom. There is a large 4 poster bed, dresser, wardrobe, and bookshelf. There is a painting on the wall. It is very well done, but extremely pornographic. The books on the shelf include such classics as "The busty farmer's daughter", "Fifty shades of light black", and "The washer-woman's sapphic secret". The third floor is a kitchen and eating area, and the fourth appears to be some sort of work area, but it appears to have been recently ransacked, and is missing all equipment. While the rest of the party goes up the stairs the Elf stays behind and slashes open the teddy bear. Thrusting his hands deep in into the stuffing he searches. He knows that Guiseppe must have a hidden stash somewhere. A small backup, backup stash of snuff is eventually found in a teacup in the kitchen.

The party decided that the maze would be interesting to investigate, if for no other reason than they will be setting up in the tower and don't want anything sneaking out at night. The one window in the tower overlooked the maze, and one of the party had the brilliant idea of making a map. From this vantage point they were easily able to see all of the points of interest in the maze, and path a route to the center of the maze. Which is good, as none of them thought to bring a magical ball of thread to get them back out.

Venturing in, it quickly becomes apparent that the maze is infested with goblins. The first two points of interest in the maze turn out to be nothing but middens, piled high with broken pieces of armour, goblin shells, and other garbage. At one point the party is ambushed from behind by a trio of goblin archers. Their initial attack was even more pitiful than normal, as it's hard to make a good bow when you can't find any straight wood. The wizard was able to summon another wall of thorns to block the goblin's retreat, and the warriors made quick work of the would-be assassins. One of the goblins was captured, and interrogated for all that he knew. He quickly spill the little information that he had. He does tell of the monster at the center of the maze, though he has no details. With that the party is able to quickly get to the center clearing, no more goblins dare to attack them. The clearing is littered with fallen bodies, and crushed suits of armour. Across the way is a figure in plate mail, sitting on a throne, with a large hammer at it's side. As the figure slowly stands, the wizard encircles it with ring of thorns. How long with the brambles hold up against that mighty hammer? At this point, almost a dozen goblins pop out of their various hiding spots and attack. Unfortunately for goblins, without the armoured figure they are quite outmatched, and are quickly slaughtered. As the figure emerges from the wizard's brambles, the party is now waiting for it. The monk deftly plucks it's massive hammer from from hands, and the armoured dwarf is impervious to it's clumsy punches. A surprisingly deft stab from the elf sneaks through a crack in the figure's plate, piercing a vital spot. The figure collapses, revealed to be nothing more that group of goblins.

The lead goblin had a necklace made of gold coins and a handful of more coins are found in a chest. The haft of the figure's large hammer was made from flying rowan, a material with magical properties. The elf makes a necklace of goblins ears, and the party retires to the inn to celebrate. The matron throws them a small party to thank them for killing some of the goblins, a common nuisance for them. The dwarf sets up a lab on the top floor of the tower and inspects the blue powder that was previously recovered from the dwarven ruin. He is able to determine that it is indeed a magical material, but hasn't yet determined what it can be used for.

The party then debates what to do next as the evening concludes. Is there anything more in the labyrinth? Will they go it back to the dwarven ruin? If so what terrors did they awaken in their previous delve?"

1 comment:

  1. Hey Zzarchov, thanks for the writeups. I'd love to read how the rules and dice rolls influenced play, as a sort of extended example of some of the neat rules in NGR...