Sunday, 29 May 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 8: Mindflayer Attack

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (272 points)
Aurum Red Brand - Human Wizard (270 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (276 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (269 points)

Day 9 (Cont.)
Mor'ath walked through the door and towards the purple, tentacle-faced humanoid, while Zaxod readied his axes, and then followed (at half speed due to his injuries).  Arc started to stand up while Aurum ran out into the hallway towards the noise.  The thing launched a flurry of telekinetic attacks towards Zaxod, driving him back into the negatives, and lazily levitated on its disc towards the rune-trapped stairs.

Zaxod was unable to close to melee before it was over the threshold of the stairs, and switched to throwing axes while taking enough psionic lashes to kill any other member of the party.  Aurum started casting a Fireball, and Arc began walking towards the fight, not that he was sure what he'd do with 1FP and a dry power item.

The humanoid used some psionic ability, but everyone resisted it, so it continued to assault Zaxod and retreat.  Mor'ath followed the humanoid down the stairs, and managed to nimbly avoid the runes.  Zaxod missed with his first two throwing axes, while Aurum managed to hit Mor'ath in the back with a 4d Fireball (oops).  Arc continued making his way towards the fight while the humanoid began to retreat around a corner at the bottom of the stairs.

Just before the disc went around the corner, Zaxod successfully removed the humanoid's left leg with a thrown axe, and it fell off.  Arc started charging a free Sunbolt, while the prone humanoid crawled out of sight.  Mor'ath continued following it, and knelt down beside its head.  Just before it tried to grapple his skull and dig in, however, he managed to break free of the mind control.

Zaxod grabbed Aurum and got ready to throw him across the stairs while the humanoid called out in some foul language and then lashed at Mor'ath 4 times, mortally wounding him and leaving him 5 HP from instant death.

While Aurum flew through the air, he saw more of the grey, faceless humanoids arriving with greataxes, slightly before he slammed into the ground and was stunned thanks to the falling/throwing damage driving him down to -8HP.  Zaxod began walking across the runes, was severely electrocuted thanks to his halved dodge, and started attacking the faceless.

Arc landed his Sunbolt on one of the faceless, and it charged up the stairs at him, but was electrocuted on the way and missed horribly.  With its back turned, he landed a hit to the torso, and shortly thereafter landed another hit to the neck, killing it.

Aurum recovered from his stun and retreated away from the greataxe of one faceless, but backed onto the runes, and was electrocuted.  He then cast Levitate to get out of harm's way.

Zaxod began cleaving arms and killed the rest of the faceless, and rounded the corner just as the purple humanoid was taking a bite out of Mor'ath's skull (leaving him with exactly 1HP remaining).  Luckily, he was able to decapitate it before it finished Mor'ath off.

Combat over, Aurum investigated the bronze disc after sweeping one of the dead faceless off of it, and discovered that it had two command phrases in an unknown language etched into it that told it to wait or follow, but no obvious way to have it carry you around, as the purple humanoid had done.  Zaxod then stole its breastplate.

Arc grabbed up all the rest of the team's stuff and then walked around the outside of the building to the hole in the wall, which was right above where the rest of the party was resting.  Aurum Levitated Mor'ath, himself, and Zaxod up after resting for a while to regain FP, while Arc cast Suspended Animation on Mor'ath to keep him from (possibly) dying from his wounds (in 12 hours).  After resting for another half-hour or so, to get everybody back above 1/3FP, the party then began the trek back to the surface, with Mor'ath's body riding on the disc.

The party made it outside just as the sun was setting, and headed to Odwen's cabin.  Arc said that they had slain many foes, but had themselves been greatly wounded, and asked if they could stay the night.  Odwen reluctantly agreed, but then asked how many enemies they had killed, and how many yet remained.  Arc had no idea, but Aurum and Zaxod agreed that they had killed "about 20" things in the tunnels.

Aurum got Odwen to read his etching of the runes above the door, and was informed that they said "something about home" in a very old dialect.

Arc cast Healing Slumber on Mor'ath and Zaxod, followed by Major Healings on Mor'ath and Aurum.

They seemed to get the "don't rest in a dungeon" thing, except for Aurum, who was all for resting inside the dungeon again.  With one party member mortally wounded and 1HP away from death, another at -44, and both casters almost entirely out of FP.

The entire 3 hours was pretty much one fight.  The lesson here is to stay together.  Aurum and Arc spent the first 4-5 rounds just getting to the same room as everyone else (for the second time).

There was much debate about taking the purple humanoid's head to harvest alchemy bits, but it was ultimately left behind.

The purple humanoid should be better at eating brains.  It failed to penetrate 2 DR multiple times because I didn't give it any Striking ST or something similar.

Zaxod spontaneously spent 4 points on Throwing to make sure he landed Aurum on the far side of the runes.

The faceless had blind-fighting, but had no reasonable way to be able to dodge ranged attacks, nor to avoid the runes.  At least one died to the runes without getting hit by a single PC.

Zaxod rolled HT something like 30 times and never failed.

Aurum almost refused to use the FP in his staff to Levitate people up, until he was reminded that he has Sense of Duty (Adventuring Companions).

2 for success
1 for roleplaying
2 for the hardest fight (the purple and the faceless)
0 for completing quests
0 for loot (a single breastplate)
MVP was Arc for "getting his first kill", though as I recall he already has at least one

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 7

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (272 points)
Aurum Red Brand - Human Wizard (270 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (276 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (269 points)

Day 9 (Cont.)
Zaxod stood his ground at the door and killed one lizardman (the unarmed/sluggish ones who didn't smell as bad) while Mor'ath readied his shield and the maul-wielder went Berserk.  Aurum and Arc started moving/standing towards the fight, two rooms away.

Zaxod de-legged the other unarmed lizardmen, which was finished off by Mor'ath.  The berserker charged at Zaxod and hit him in the skull for just under 30 damage, which knocked him out of the doorway (though he miraculously stayed standing).  Before Mor'ath could plug the gap, the remaining 6 lizardmen flooded through the door and began attacking (though not hitting) both of them.  Aurum and Arc continued moving towards the fight.

Zaxod removed a leg from one lizardman, then another, while Mor'ath missed some eye-stabs.  The lizardmen with legs continued to attack and be parried/dodged, and Aurum and Arc made it to 10m away from the room the fight was in.

Zaxod continued leg-chopping while Mor'ath evaded through a lizardman towards the door to the main hall and then eyestabbed him.  The berserker charged Zaxod again but was parried, almost breaking Zaxod's good axe for the second time in two days, while the other lizardmen didn't succeed at much beyond cutting Zaxod off from the door.  Aurum was finally within range and began casting a Great Haste for Mor'ath while Arc continued moving to back up Mor'ath with his quarterstaff.

The berserker had his leg crippled, and Mor'ath and Arc took out another lizardman, but then the fight took a turn for the worse.  The prone berserker's next attack hit Zaxod in the skull, he failed his dodge roll (despite using one of his Tactics rerolls and only needing a 12), and he fell down unconscious at around -70HP.

Aurum finally got his Great Haste off, and from then it was mop-up.  Mor'ath killed the only lizardman with both functioning legs, finished off the berserker (who continued to attack even after being blinded while prone) after something like twelve eye-stabs, and then killed the rest of the crawling lizards.

Mor'ath now took a look around the room and noticed a hole in the floor, leading to another room 10' below filled with a thick green smog that smelled similar to the "lizardmen" and what looked like random garbage.  The party argued over whether to retreat before healing Zaxod and eventually decided to fall back to the armoury and close the door while Mor'ath stood guard outside.

While they were carrying Zaxod's body across the main hall, Arc noticed a large grey humanoid with no eyes at the bottom of the stairs, watching them.  He greeted it, but it retreated without saying anything.  The party then made it back to the armoury and started healing Zaxod. Two Major Healings, four Minor Healing Potions, one Minor Healing, and 25 minutes later, Zaxod was awake and headed out the door to stand guard with Mor'ath.

Just as Zaxod opened the door, Mor'ath felt a strange compulsion to walk over to the main hallway, so the half-orc followed him.  He felt a similar compulsion but resisted it, and noticed a tall purple humanoid with tentacles instead of a mouth standing on a levitating bronze disc.  Noticing the dazed look on Mor'ath's face, Zaxod yelled out "Arc and Aurum HELP".

Mor'ath has Impulsive from being an elf as well as Overconfident, so he didn't really have much choice but to push on.

Forgot probably 1/3 of the stench rolls, and the only failure was Luck'd by Mor'ath.

One of the lizardmen managed to roll a critical success on an attack, which was then re-rolled by Zaxod, resulting in another critical success.  Sadly, he missed on the third roll.  RIP lizardman #4, you were the luckiest NPC I've ever seen.

Zaxod loves him some leg cuts.  Maybe too much, because most of the attacks on the legs would have one-shot the lizardmen had they been to the torso.  It was sub-optimal for the berserker, who still managed to almost kill him while crippled.

Attacks to the skull are scary, as the group found out when Zaxod took damage that would have auto-killed anyone else.  Zaxod says he plans on getting a better helmet, which I wholeheartedly recommend.

The group's decision to rest in the dungeon ultimately came down to two characters having Overconfident and both casters being very low on fatigue.  It might have worked better had Mor'ath not stayed outside and been vulnerable, or they might have been horribly ambushed.  Who knows.

1 for partial failure
1 for roleplaying
1 for the hardest fight (lizardmen outnumbered them 2:1)
0 for completing quests
0 for loot
MVP went to Zaxod for removing the legs of 5 lizardmen, crippling the legs of 2, and killing 1.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 6

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (264 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (262 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (251 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (256 points)

Day 8 (Cont.)
Zaxod and Mor'ath tried the stone doors, but were unable to open them with brute force, and realized that with a rope all four of them could probably open one.  While the rest of the party debated different options (like Aurum casting Water Jet on the other side, pointed towards the door), Mor'ath noticed that there were narrow passages to either side of the wall, and explored.  The left side led to a dead end, but the right passage circled around behind the structure to a hole in the back.

With their stones of Continual Light, they were able to see a long hall (about 8m wide, and probably 20m long) that went into darkness.  The floor behind the front doors looked flat, and there was a stone door on either side of the hall at that level.  Stairs down started after about 10 feet, down to another landing directly below the hole they were looking through.  Luckily, Aurum got a look through the hole before anyone jumped in, and noticed that the stairs were covered in Lightning runes.  After some debate, and calculating how far Zaxod could throw Aurum (18m), the party returned to the surface, grabbed their backpacks from Odwen's shack, negotiated for an additional $500 now that the job was more complicated than originally thought, and headed back to Carda.

Before heading back to the Jovial Unicorn for the night, Arc asked around and found out that there was an abandoned dwarven empire underground that had fallen over a thousand years ago,  Mor'ath bought some 3/4" rope, and Zaxod bought a great axe, long knife, and raw steel to repair his axe.  Back at the tavern, Aurum won $100 by Gambling on some dice, and Zaxod disturbed everyone's evening by using Armoury to repair his axe.

Day 9
The party got up at sunrise (Arc is rather insistent that he be able to praise the sun each morning) and headed back out the south gate, over the old bridge, and towards the mines.  The party stopped off at Odwen's shack for Zaxod to drop off some gear, and then moved back underground.

Multiple failed Navigation rolls (and 5 hours) later, the party finally arrived back at the dwarven structure.  They noticed the Hook Horror corpse (and all of its blood) was gone, and then tied a rope to one of the front doors and tug-of-war'd it open, making a horrible scraping noise.  Cautiously, they moved into the main hall.  After checking it for traps, Mor'ath opened the door on the right, revealing a small hallway, with one door on either side.

They chose the right door, and saw 4 lizardmen-like creatures, with stone-like skin instead of scales, 2 with ancient iron maces ready, standing in a room full of weapons and armour scattered uselessly on the ground.  Mor'ath tried negotiating, but they responded in an unknown language and then attacked.  As they moved into melee, Mor'ath noticed that they smelled absolutely repulsive.

Mor'ath dropped his trap-finding kit and drew his saber while Zaxod switched to his great axe.  The lizardmen were unable to land a hit on Mor'ath, who parried deftly; Aurum began casting Great Haste on Zaxod, and Arc cast Shield 2 on Mor'ath, elevating his Parry to 17.  Mor'ath held the door and continued to attack, lightly wounding one of the lizardmen, while Zaxod used the great axe's Reach 2 to attack over him.  The unarmed lizardmen picked up more maces and moved to join the fight, but really only managed to prevent their allies from retreating.

Nobody was able to land a successful hit for a while, thanks to the enemies retreating and Mor'ath now being untouchable.  Aurum finished Great Haste and started charging a 2d Fireball while Arc charged a 3d Sunbolt.  Zaxod switched back to dual axes as prep to move into melee, and then Mor'ath stepped aside, letting the half-orc into the doorway.  

Once Zaxod was in the fight proper, he killed two immediately, and a third the next second before becoming nauseous due to their foul stench.  The fourth tried to run away, which resulted in Mor'ath being sickened and Arc vomiting uncontrollably, but it was quickly boxed into a corner and finished off.  The group rested until Arc finished retching, and then checked for loot.

Zaxod noticed that there were six suits of dwarf-sized plate but only five helmets, and inspected the arms and armour to find that they were all too ancient to be of good quality (because he failed his Armoury).  Aurum examined the weapons and determined that they would be priceless (crit-failed Merchant), and so stuffed two greathelms into his backpack, which was now full to bursting.

Mor'ath checked the room across the hallway, and found a stone desk with 3 bottles on it, a stone bed, and a large hole leading down to a room filled with rotten wood.  Zaxod scouted the room through the hole and found two suspiciously intact barrels full of a dark brown liquid while Aurum checked the bottles and discovered they were extremely aged dwarven ale.

Zaxod moved a barrel, which managed to hold his weight, and climbed back up.  Aurum called him a slave and demanded he pick up the bottles, so Zaxod threw one at the wall over Aurum's head.  Aurum then grabbed the two remaining bottles and put them in his potion belt.  Arc decided to continue to rest a bit while the rest of the party explored.

Zaxod took point, headed back to the main hall, opened the door on the left side, and found a similar small hallway with one door on either side, though the one on the right was crudely barred from this side and made of iron.  Zaxod opened the one to the left and failed to dodge a tripwire-activated maul, which alerted the five lizardmen inside the room.  One of them had the missing greathelm and a maul from the armoury, and two were unarmed and moving very sluggishly.

Signature Weapon working as "I tell you if your weapon has a chance to break to this attack" seems to be fair.

I actually forgot the stench effect of the "lizardmen" for about the first 3 rounds of the fight.  It might have gone differently had Mor'ath been retching uncontrollably.

The fight took quite a while because Mor'ath was effectively untouchable and the PCs didn't use serious deceptive attacks/feints for a while.  Once they started, the lizardmen died in 3 rounds.  I should probably not have fodder enemies retreat, just to save on time.

Zaxod was surprised to realize that his great axe needed to be readied in between attacks.  I have a feeling he's going to set off down the road to ST18.  The long knife was bought as a "parrying dagger", so I assume he's going to pick up Main-Gauche.

I was somewhat surprised nobody took any of the weapons/armour.  Maybe they plan on picking some up on their way out.  Both Mor'ath and Zaxod rely on being very low encumbrance thanks to fencing/acrobatics and dual-wielding unbalanced weapons, respectively.

2 for success
1 for roleplaying
0 for the hardest fight (the lizardmen)
0 for completing quests (they negotiated up but didn't turn it in)
0 for loot (none cashed)
MVP was Mor'ath, for holding the line and not being sickened thanks to GM error.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 5: Into the Mines

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (264 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (264 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (251 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (256 points)

Day 8 (Cont.)
The party headed to the Adventurer's Guild and got the briefing for the mine job from the halfling, who was initially very happy when Zaxod said "we'll take it", assuming he was referring to the wyvern head that was slowly rotting in the corner.  A group of miners had been massacred by some beast, and now others were refusing to enter.  There was one survivor of the attack, a man named Nebbit, who could probably be found somewhere in the Miner's District.  Before going into the mines, it would be a good idea to talk to Foreman Odwen, because he could point out where to start looking.  Pay is 20gp.

With that knowledge, the party went and found Nebbit (who seemed to have permanently blackened skin from working in the mines for so long) after several hours of looking around, and asked him about what had attacked.  From his vague description, Aurum was able to figure out it was probably a bulette, also known as a land-shark.  Now that they knew what they were in for, the group headed out the south gate, over an old bridge, and to the mines.

At the top of a large strip-mine like pit was a small shack, where they found Foreman Odwen, a very stressed dwarf.  He showed them roughly where the miners were killed on some maps, which Aurum copied, and gave them a brief overview of signs miners used to indicate hazards (ex. skull-and-crossbones in a circle means poison gas).  Arc cast Continual Light on his amulet/holy symbol, Aurum's staff, Mor'ath's hat, and Zaxod's back banner.  Everyone except Arc left their packs/sacks with Odwen, and then the party went down the pit and into the mines.

After about 45 minutes of navigating in the dark, they found several shredded bodies and 3 2m wide holes in the walls (1 on the left, 1 on the right, 1 on the ceiling), all of which carried on a short distance before turning away.  Mor'ath did some scouting, and then they debated what to do next for several minutes.

Several minutes later, Arc and Mor'ath felt a rumbling, and the party fell into back-to-back formation.  The bulette came out of the ground below Zaxod and Aurum, smashing into Zaxod and breaking his good (Dwarven, Balanced, Ornate, Weapon Bond, Signature Weapon) axe, while Aurum was able to successfully dodge.  The rest of the fight went smoothly, with Zaxod crippling both of its legs and Mor'ath landing multiple eye-stabs.

As the land-shark slumped over, Arc heard a faint clicking in the distance, further into the mines.  The party proceeded, and found the tunnel extended by a bulette hole into another chamber.  They moved in cautiously, and stepped over a pile of ancient bones to emerge into a large cavern with carved stone stairs and smoothed floors leading down to a 3m high crenellated wall with two large stone doors, and some strange writing above it.

At this point, Arc was able to make out the source of the clicking: a large black shape clinging to the ceiling.  Mor'ath and Zaxod moved in closer while Arc prepped a small Sunbolt, at which point the beast let out a shriek, fell from the ceiling, and kicked at Zaxod with its talons.  It had the head of a chicken, scythe-like talons instead of arms, and a beetle-like carapace on its back; Aurum identified it as a hook horror.

Zaxod crippled both of its legs, at which point it began backing away while continuing to shriek.  Nobody pressed the attack, fearful of its talons, and both casters missed multiple missile spells while it continued to retreat (and made about 8 HT rolls in a row to stay conscious).  Eventually, Arc landed a solid Sunbolt and knocked it down, at which point it was quickly dispatched.  Upon closer inspection, Aurum realized the writing above the doors was in Dwarven, though he did not know what it said.

I told Zaxod outright that parrying a slam from something so big could break his axe because he has Signature Weapon, but he parried anyway.  He seems confident he can repair it with Armoury, and deliberately brought a spare axe in case.  For now, he's dodging, because none of his other axes are Dwarven.

On another note, because the bulette weighs more than his BL, he shouldn't have been able to parry it at all, but I forgot that rule at the time.

They were lucky that Arc cast Continual Light at the max level.  Without it, they would have had -3 to see the hook horror, and it would likely have ambushed them.

2 for success
1 for roleplaying
1 for the hardest fight (the bulette)
1 for completing a minor quest (the wyvern quest, which I forgot to give them last time)
MVP was a 4-way tie, but I rolled and gave it to Mor'ath for doing about 80 damage with eye-stabs against the bulette.  The other option was Arc for his lights, which made the fight a lot easier.