Monday, 27 June 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 11: Leaving Carda

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (297 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (291 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (283 points)

Player Absent:
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (276 points)

Day 10 (Cont.)
Arc cast Suspend Animation on Aurum to keep him from bleeding out, while Zaxod cleared all the corpses in the room to one side.  Mor'ath took a look around and found a large maul, with a gold and silver inlay of a flaming hammer.  Zaxod took a look and confirmed that it was worth some money, so they chucked it and Aurum on the levitating disc, which they set to following Arc.

Arc took his blanket and wrapped up the lizardman wizard's tunic of darkness, to be destroyed later, and after a quick look around the room noticed that the altar was cursed and dedicated to the demon lord Orcus.  Zaxod and Mor'ath stood guard while Arc successfully Exorcised the altar, during which time Zaxod felt some magic effect start rotting him from the inside.

The party headed back up to the surface, this time without anybody trained in Navigation or Cartography, but made it just fine.  Along the way, Zaxod's right hand started to rot but was stopped by the Blessing he still had active.  Eventually, they made it back to Foreman Odwen's shack, where Zaxod unintentionally scared him by knocking on his door loudly and yelling "We killed them all!".  Arc asked if they could stay the night, but was refused, so Zaxod Intimidated the dwarf into letting them stay.  Arc cast Stop Bleeding followed by Remove Curse on Zaxod, to get him to full health and keep him from rotting from the inside out.

Day 11
Weather: Windy
Arc started the day with a bevy of healing spells on Aurum, cast Awaken to get him moving, and then the party headed back over the river, and through the south gate into Carda, taking a little more time than usual due to the heavy winds.  They sold some loot and resupplied, Aurum insulted the only enchanter/alchemist in town and then left a valuable magic item with him to be identified, and Arc ritually burned the tunic of darkness with his church.

With their coinpurses full, the party returned to the Jovial Unicorn, where they were handed a sealed letter from the same messenger they had sold the wyvern head to, who quickly left to go handle some other errand for the duke.

Zaxod read the letter aloud and discovered it was a summons to meet the duke the next day, and the proof they'd need to gain access to the ducal palace.  After being nagged by the innkeeper about the ungodly racket, Zaxod went out to the barn to work on modifying his greataxe, while Aurum outlined the basics of a spell to turn earth into gold, and Arc started brewing some potions using the valuable organs they had acquired.  A while later, Aurum went to go retrieve his wand from Bruno and was informed that it was a Wand of Lightning, but required the user to be able to speak the ancient dwarven runes carved into it before using it.

Day 12
Weather: Good
The party woke early and walked to the ducal district, past the 4 large churches to Avandra, Erathis, Melora, and Pelor and the many people there for morning prayer, and up the hill towards the ducal palace.  At the top, they were halted and debated about what to call themselves (The Sabretooths was turned down for being too "animal-y" and The Sons of The First Spell was turned down for being too "wizard-y") while more guards, as well as a paladin of Erathis, were gathered to escort them.

They continued on to the entrance to the main hall, were relieved of their weapons, and entered the hall.  A herald introduced them as "Adventuring Company, here to see Arthund Vynce, Duke of Carda and Baron of Vynce", and they walked to the base of the elevated seat of the duke.  To the left of the duke was a fat man with a large moustache, in a cloak apparently made of spun gold.

The duke gestured to the wall behind him, which was full of wonderful trophies from various animals, and explained that the wyvern head they had sold him (which was badly scorched, and missing both eyes and all the teeth) was clearly not up to snuff.  He explained that he would appreciate it if they would be willing to repay him half of the $1000 they had been given, for restoration of the trophy.

Aurum was against it, but Arc didn't care, and Zaxod eventually grew impatient and gave a servant 5 of the hexagonal gold pieces from the lockbox in the dwarven ruins.  Aurum then attempted to sell the duke the Nexus of Creation.  When asked what it did, Aurum claimed "it can create the universe!", and despite this obvious lie, the duke made an offer of $40,000 after conferring with the fat man.

Though it was tempting, Aurum turned this down, believing the artifact to be worth far more.  The party left the palace, was given their weapons, remembered to grab their payment from the Adventurer's Guild, and returned to the Jovial Unicorn.  Arc left partway through the day to go create food and water for the poor.

Day 13
Weather: Good
As the party ate breakfast in the Jovial Unicorn, they were approached by Gylium, the dwarven spice trader who had originally hired them as guards, who informed them that after some delays, he would be ready to leave the next morning, and would pay them the same fee ($2,000) as before to escort him on the same route (Carda->Kral Narthis->Cosium->Adusia).  The party agreed, and spent the rest of the day theorising, crafting, Blessing those who had used theirs, and purchasing some more supplies.

Day 14
Weather: Good
Gylium and the party loaded up and set out early in the morning, with Arc, Mor'ath, and Zaxod on foot, and Aurum riding on the disc behind Arc.  Around noon, they came across the mercenary group the Dragons of Carda, in the same spot as last time.  Their leader, Luccio, allowed the party passage, as they had already proven themselves worthy of respect.  As the party left, one of Luccio's lieutenants, a goliath, argued with him over whether he should keep letting people go.

As the sun became low in the sky, it became clear that they wouldn't quite make it to Kral Narthis that day, and decided to make camp slightly off the road.  Everyone had tents except for Zaxod, who ate the 1FP for sleeping without shelter.

Day 15
Weather: Good
Around noon, the party arrived in dwarven town of Kral Narthis, where they decided to spend the night in the Silver Axe tavern.  Aurum was challenged to dice games by Lucky Vismar, a dwarf who recognised him from his last stay, and won $100 over several hours while an elven troubadour sang dwarven folk-songs.

Day 16
Weather: Good
The party made better time on the well-maintained roads and arrived at Cosium several hours before nightfall.  Zaxod noticed that the palisade wall had grown by about 2 feet in height since they had last been here.  Gylium went to look after the horses while the rest of the party headed to the Wench and Flail inn to rest for the evening.  Inside, however, was a confrontation between the halfling guard they had passed on their way through town last time and a drunk farmer.

The halfling claimed the farmer had been "lookin' at him funny", while the farmer yelled nigh-incomprehensibly.  Zaxod took up a defensive position in case the halfling drew one of the morningstars on his belt while Mor'ath moved away from the crowd to a corner to brood.  After the halfling (apparently named Trugal) failed to be calmed by his friends, who were holding him back from tearing the farmer in half, Arc moved in and managed to persuade him to back down.

This worked, right up until the farmer called Trugal a little bitch, to which the halfling replied "Nobody calls me SHORT!", at which point he lunged at the farmer and grabbed him by the skull.  Zaxod moved to push Trugal off the farmer but the halfling kept his grip, while Arc tried to back off and Aurum debated helping.

Trugal slammed the farmer's head into the bar repeatedly, then tossed him over the bar, while Zaxod managed to grab hold of him and hold him over his head.  Arc was struck by another drunk farmer, and returned a blow, stunning the man.

Zaxod then threw Trugal into a nearby table to "calm" him, but the halfling landed nimbly and only managed to break the table.  Arc knocked out one of the farmers, while the other took a long swinging kick at Zaxod's groin, but luckily missed.

Trugal rushed Zaxod, but was turned aside, and then Zaxod overextended himself on a grab and was flung over the halfling and landed prone, while Arc took out the other drunkard and Aurum laughed.  Trugal jumped on Zaxod and tried punching him in the face but was parried, at which point the swordswoman tried to grab the halfling, but was also flipped, and landed partly on top of Zaxod.

After some more ground fighting, Zaxod finally managed to grab Trugal and throw him into a wall, knocking him out.  He then got up, dusted himself off, and paid the barkeep a gold piece for the table.

Surprised Aurum didn't sell the Nexus.  Apparently he wants "quintillions".  Zaxod pointed out that for somebody who supposedly hates merchants, he's doing a lot of merchant-y things.

Arc has a bunch of spare time saved, but doesn't want to spend the 1k on a Backpack Alchemy Lab, so that might be wasted time.

Players who don't make it have two options.  Mor'ath chose the former.

1) Your character is played by me, their skills can be used by the party, they get a share of loot, but they are in danger


2) Your character mysteriously disappears to the Nega-Zone!  They are completely invulnerable, but cannot be used in any way and don't get a share of the loot.

Random Encounter and Weather rolls were pretty good to them; only bad weather one day with a very short trip.

2 for success
1 for roleplaying
0 for the hardest fight
0 for loot (not enough to qualify for the bonus)
1 for quest completion
MVP went to Zaxod for successfully beating the Mad Halfling

Sunday, 19 June 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 10: Necromancer Battle

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (288 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (288 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (276 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (283 points)

Day 10 (Cont.)
After some debate, the party headed back through the worm room, and into the storeroom where they climbed up the barrels to the second floor so they could explore the pit of miasma.  As they arrived at the room they noticed that the door on the right was no longer barred, so they decided to take a look through.  Mor'ath opened the door, revealing an oddly clean empty room with stairs going up to a worn door on the far side, and 3 black blobs hanging from the ceiling.

Aurum took a look, used Thaumatology to identify them as black puddings, and informed the rest of the party that they were highly acidic, to the point where they could easily melt weapons and armour on contact.  There was some debate over whether to cast Purify Air on the pit of miasma or to fight the slimes, and Zaxod became bored, switched to his wooden axes, and charged the nearest slime.

It leapt from the ceiling, but the half-orc managed to dodge, and combat was afoot.  Aurum cast Flame Jet and Arc started charging a low-strength Sunbolt while still riding on the levitating disc; Mor'ath refused to risk his saber and just dodged attacks as they came.  The second slime jumped at Aurum, but critically missed, and slammed into the ground taking some mild damage, while the third was dodged by Zaxod.

Zaxod struck, managed to take out one slime, and partially melted his first wooden axe, while Aurum and Arc wounded another.  A slime slammed into Aurum, melting his cloth armour entirely, while a second hit Arc, vastly reducing the effectiveness of his mail shirt.  Zaxod pretty quickly mopped up, but ended up partially melting his second axe.

The party then rested and headed back to the pit of miasma, where they noticed the bodies were gone, and then the casters rested for 35 minutes, and Mor'ath locked the door.  Meanwhile, Zaxod scouted up the staircase, opened the ruined door, and found himself on the ramparts, with another, locked, iron door to his right.  He went back, Mor'ath unlocked the door, and then they both went to go look.  Mor'ath peaked through the door's lock and was able to see that the room was lit, probably by candles, and motion, but no more detail.  With that, they decided to head back.

Once done resting, Aurum cast Purify Air and the party looked down into the pit.  It appeared to be a garbage pile, full of muck and detritus, but they decided to check it out anyway.  Aurum found a magical wand of some sort, with rune engravings, while Mor'ath found an urgrosh (a quarterstaff with an axe-head and butt-spike), and a lockbox full of several hundred hexagonal coins, including very rare platinum and electrum pieces, which they loaded on the disc.

That done, the party decided to go back up to the "final boss" door, in varying degrees of stealth.  Mor'ath picked the lock, then Zaxod opened the door.  Inside was a room full of stone pews, with an altar and tapestries at the front, decorated with some unholy sigil.  Spread around the room were 8 zombified lizardmen, 6 dwarf-sized suits of armour wielding axes and shields, and some wizard-looking lizardman wearing a tunic apparently made of purple darkness was standing over a dead, legless lizardman lying on the altar.

The suits of armour held in a phalanx near the wizard, while the zombies rushed Zaxod.  Luckily, none were able to grab him, and shortly thereafter he closed the door so that Aurum could start an Explosive Fireball, and Arc could prep True Faith.  With both casters ready, he opened the door again, and was immediately shot with a purple energy beam, which he dodged.  The zombies, fearing the light of Pelor, were driven away, but not as far as they should have been.  Arc realised that the entire room must be low sanctity due to the altar, and continued concentrating on turning the undead while Zaxod and Mor'ath moved in and Aurum fired off his 8d missile, melting one zombie and badly scorching 3 others.

With Arc successfully driving the zombies away, Zaxod rushed down the middle of the room and started fighting the suits of armour, though he had difficulty landing a hit as they all blocked for each other.  Mor'ath killed zombies, and Aurum started another Explosive Fireball while stepping into the room, resulting in the levitating disc blocking Arc out of the room.

Aurum launched his second spell and took out one of the suits, causing it to collapse, revealing bones inside, and wounded 3 others, opening a hole in the lines and allowing Zaxod to break through and target the wizard directly.  The wizard cast Sickness, but Zaxod resisted, so it went back to firing off its purple energy beam.

Zaxod parried one zombie to death, and Mor'ath mopped up the rest.  The wizard retreated back up onto the altar, and Zaxod followed, resulting in a Quick Contest HT roll against something, which he won, and then crippled one of the wizard's legs knocking it prone and half-off the altar.  The suits started using their Shield-Wall Training to successfully block for the wizard, while Mor'ath moved in on the flank.

The wizard rolled back over, used some sort of ability and his skin became iron, just before Mor'ath stabbed him in the eye, resulting in no damage.  Zaxod continued working away at the suits but they blocked for each other just as well as for the wizard, and he made no headway for quite some time.

Arc stopped concentrating and moved into the room, and then began concentrating again, accidentally driving one suit of armour away from the main fight and towards Aurum, who cast Flame Jet and burned through most of his mana in 4 seconds.  Zaxod eventually landed some nice crits to the wizard's groin, and managed to force a death check which it crit-failed.  Mor'ath targeted eye-slits on the suits to do some damage and took one out, while Arc advanced.

Aurum, meanwhile, lost his fight and fell unconscious.  With Arc blocking the suit's way back to the fight, it took free hits on Aurum's body, forcing a death check which he passed.  Zaxod and Mor'ath then mopped up the rest of the suits, and saved Aurum.

Forgot the Hardened DR for the puddings, so they died pretty quick.

The lockbox is the first instance of bonus XP for looting.  It's worth just over $20,000, which is $5k each, for 2XP.

Forgot about Low Sanctity affecting True Faith for about 10 rounds, so that was incredibly powerful for a while.  We're also using a houserule where, if they have nowhere else to go, undead can retreat as far as possible and then take actions at a penalty equal to the difference between how close they are to the source of True Faith and how far it extends.

Forgot the lizardman caster's stench aura.

Forgot quite a few Bad Footings from bodies in the big fight, but at one point just said that anyone around the altar was suffering it because of at least 5 bodies in close proximity.

Kept referring to Shield-Wall Training as Sacrificial Block, confusing everyone, including myself.

2 for success
1 for roleplaying
1 for the hardest fight (outnumbered by fodder enemies)
2 for loot (21k from the lockbox)
MVP was Arc, because Aurum was disqualified due to not having the details on his spells written down.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 9

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (287 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (278 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (276 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (283 points)

Day 10
Arc got everybody back up to full health by casting a crapload of spells, and then the party headed back to Carda to grab some more supplies.  Zaxod bought some spare materials to work on upgrading his greataxe, Arc recharged his symbol at the church of Pelor, Mor'ath sold some spare goods, and Aurum sold his greathelms (which weren't worth much), refilled his power item, and bought some more potions.  Arc used Gift of Letters and found out that the dwarven runes Aurum had copied said "Way to Home".

The party then headed back out the south gate, over the river, and down into the mines.  They made it to the ruins and then Aurum used Levitation and the floating bronze disc to ferry people across the lightning runes on the stairs so they could explore the lower floor.  They checked the large, broken doors, and found that they led to another descending staircase in a narrow passage, which dead-ended at a cave-in.  Before heading back, Arc checked for runes over the door and used Gift of Letters to figure out they said "Way to Sky".

With Mor'ath on point, the party then followed the left passage, skipped two closed doors, rounded a corner, and found another side-room with a pile of dead bodies, a desk, and a table with some scroll cases, stone tablets, and a large (2'x1') blue-ish metal tablet with a single large rune on the face.  When Arc and Aurum entered the room, they both instantly noticed the tablet as magical, and Aurum realised that it was a Nexus of Creation, an artifact left behind by the gods.

Aurum hastily put it on the disc, and the party continued on around the next corner.  There was another open door, which lead to an old mess hall with a door to the north and a pile of dead bodies missing legs, which they reasoned to be the ones they had killed recently, close by.  Mor'ath moved to check the door for traps, and then a group of large, grey worms jumped at him.  Thanks to a Blessing from Arc, though, he was only deeply wounded and stunned, instead of being knocked unconscious.

The fight was short (though one worm managed to grapple and lightly mangle Aurum's face), and after some more healing from Arc, the door to the north was opened, revealing the store-room with the barrels they had found earlier.

The group then headed back over to the two doors, and realised that one of them would be filled with nauseous gas, and got ready to have Aurum cast Purify Air. After finding that it was blocked from the other side, Zaxod tried to force it, but was unable to.  They tried the other door and found a room full of ruined furniture.  Mor'ath picked through it and managed to find a bottle full of some bright-red non-magical, non-toxic powder, and a silver bracelet with some gems.

Wasted a bunch of time with the shopping.  I should try to do that outside normal game time in the future.

The Nexus is a mystery.  Nobody knows what it does, if anything.  Aurum wants to sell it and use the profits to fund his Obsession (Create A Flying Wizard School out of Gold).

Because having Forced Entry beyond DX+2 is pointless, I'm using a neat suggestion I found online and using the better of ST or ST-based Forced Entry to force doors.

They had an idea to have Aurum melt the door (which is made of iron), but they never tried.  Heat might take a long time, but it'd be interesting (if energy-intensive).

Most doors in the ruins have hinges with stone moulded around one side, so there are no screws/bolts to undo.

Zaxod tried a running start to force the door, but the hallways were narrow, so he only got +1 and took half fall damage (based on his move), but I'd probably give +2 normally.  Still wasn't good enough, because the door's tough, and either barred or blocked.

2 for success
1 for roleplaying
0 for the hardest fight (the worms were easy and didn't outnumber them)
0 for loot (none sold yet)
MVP was Aurum for providing general magical help.