Sunday, 13 November 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 26: I Want To Get Off Of Mr. Ooze's Wild Ride

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (343 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (329 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (329 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (339 points)

Day 72 (Cont.):
Weather: Who Cares!  You're Two Miles Underground
Date: Coreli 3rd, 2526
Zaxod lifted the portcullis on the far side of the room they were in to see if he could, and noted that there was an intact stone door and another doorway surrounded by stone rubble, but the party decided to go through the iron double doors in the first room instead.

Mor'ath opened one, and found a room with a large, vandalized statue of a dwarf, which Arc identified as the dwarven god Moradin thanks to Theology, four large stone pillars with empty vertical sarcophagi, and five "dwarves", four armoured but without gloves, and one in clerical robes, with deathly pale skin and milky white eyes clawing a troll that was lying on the ground.

Mor'ath, Zaxod, and Aurum moved into the room, and then Arc made spectacular use of his True Faith, forcing the "zombies" to the far side of the room, near another set of iron double doors.  Mor'ath moved up to engage the "cleric" while Zaxod bashed the troll's head in just to make sure it wasn't getting up any time soon.  Aurum started casting Great Haste for Zaxod, and Arc stepped slowly into the room while Concentrating.

The "zombies" opened one of the doors on the far side and started to retreat further from Arc, but Mor'ath approached the cleric, which tried to claw him but fell prone instead, and then stabbed it in the eye (to little effect) before it could escape.  Great Hasted, Zaxod drew a throwing axe, ran up to the cleric, and threw it at him before continuing after the retreating zombies.  Aurum started roasting the troll with a Flame Jet, to make double sure, while Arc continued walking and the "zombies" retreated further.

Zaxod drew his great axe and then followed the "zombies" into the new room.  It was roughly 50'x10', with 3 small alcoves on both the left and right sides.  He caught up to the zombies and cut one in the torso but barely managed to wound it, and, having overextended, Zaxod was encircled by the zombies, who moved into close combat to grab him.  The troll disintegrated into ash, and Aurum started charging a Fireball, while Mor'ath moved on to help Zaxod, and warned Arc and Aurum to be careful.

Noticing that the zombies' hands were unarmoured, Zaxod began severing them at the wrist despite penalties, though they seemed largely unaffected by this.  One managed to touch Zaxod (with a broken, but not dismembered, hand), and though it bounced off of his armour, he felt a chill and lost 1FP as it drew his life energy away.  Mor'ath arrived and started joining in the hand removal, which was suddenly far more effective once he remembered that his saber was silver-coated, while Aurum landed a Fireball and lit the cleric on fire, eventually causing it to burn to death.

Arc continued forward, and the rest of the "zombies" were defeated without issue.  The party returned to the statue room, where Aurum noticed that the statue's eyes were gems and Gizmo'd a dagger to pop them loose.  The party closed the door into the room that the "zombies" had retreated into and rested for a while.  After about thirty minutes, several pale dwarves with rotting flesh and long limbs opened up another door, but retreated away once Arc activated True Faith.  The party withdrew to the portcullis room, and Zaxod lifted it so they could rest behind it.

Mor'ath noted that there was a pit trap in front of the shattered door, and the room beyond contained scattered coins (gold or copper), as well as another iron door on the far side.  After a bit more rest, the party carefully skirted the pit, and discovered that the coins were only copper.  Mor'ath poked the door with his trap-finding pole to test if it was locked, and was surprised when the door swung open, revealing a gaping mouth with dozens of teeth, which clamped down on the pole.

Aurum identified it as a Mimic thanks to Thaumatology, and Zaxod drew his great axe and stepped up to attack.  Before he could, it leaped at him, biting into his torso and slamming him with slimy grey pseudopods.  Still, it was no match for the entire party, and they bashed it to death rather quickly.  Arc patched up Zaxod's minor wounds, and they went back to try the stone door in the portcullis room.

The door was locked, but easily picked by Mor'ath, and opened into a room with worn frescoes of dwarves forging weapons beneath a mountain, as well as two stone slabs with statues of dwarves lying on their backs,  Mor'ath noticed that they were only slightly large than life-size, almost as though someone had covered a dwarf in stone.  After a bit of discussion on whether Remove Curse could unpetrify a person (it can), they decided to head back to the room the "zombies" had retreated into and search it.

Mor'ath noticed a loose bit of floor in front of one of the alcoves, and started searching them for loot.  He found only loose scattered bones and some rotted garbage, but as he searched, the bones began to move on their own and reattach.  The party regrouped at the door, and Aurum started charging an Explosive Fireball as the skeletons walked out of the alcoves.  Some fell into the pit trap Mor'ath had noticed, and another one he hadn't, when Arc used True Faith again, forcing them back.  Aurum destroyed a cluster of seven, and Mor'ath and Zaxod wiped out an alcove's worth each.  Aurum then fired off two more Explosive Fireballs into groups of cowering skeletons in alcoves, heedless of if it would destroy any treasure, and the "battle" was over.

Zaxod and Mor'ath checked the alcoves for secret doors, and after wasting 10 minutes trying to activate one that didn't exist, Mor'ath found that one of the alcoves continued into a narrow passage.  The party headed down, and found a stone slab with a skeleton in tattered rags wearing an amulet lying on top, with an axe and shield at its side.  Mor'ath asked Arc to take a look at an amulet it was wearing, but as he leaned in to confirm that it bore the symbol of the dwarf god Moradin, the skeleton sprung to life and its hand tore into his throat, almost knocking him over and infecting him with grave rot.

Aurum, Mor'ath, and Zaxod all quickly destroyed it while Arc chugged a healing potion and then patched himself up and cast Cure Disease.  Aurum noticed that the axe was magical, and Zaxod investigated the equipment.  Both were extremely aged, and would require work to make fit for combat (effectively cheap due to age), but the axe was of solid dwarven make, and had a cluster of tiny gemstones in the pattern of Moradin's Forge, as well as a large gem in the hilt.

Mor'ath searched the room, and found a sliding stone door behind one of the tapestries, but couldn't figure out how to open it.  After 10 minutes, Aurum cast Shape Earth, and the former door opened into one of many narrow alcoves branching off of a dead-end hallway.  Mor'ath checked for traps, and pointed out a pit-trap with one half of the cover fallen away in front of the dead end.  He then went back and began checking all of the alcoves, and found another sliding door that looked to be jammed with a spike.

They decided to check the rest of the alcoves first, though they didn't find anything until Mor'ath noticed a translucent gray blob clinging to the ceiling.  It leaped at him, but he dodged out of the way, and then swung his saber at it, only for it to simply pass through, like cutting water.  The ooze continued attacking, and was held at bay with parries, until Aurum launched a Fireball at it.  While the fireball didn't seem to have much damaging effect, it succeeded in causing the jelly to change targets.

Arc wasn't sure exactly what kind of ooze, slime, or jelly this was, and Aurum tried to Levitate away, only for it to move up the walls and onto the ceiling after him.  Zaxod tried attacking it with his new axe, but his weapon began to melt, much like the party's morale.  Arc suggested trapping it in a pit, but Mor'ath hit it and started running away, luring it after him, and they all noticed that it was constantly regrowing.

Zaxod followed, while Arc and Aurum kept their distance.  Mor'ath closed a door to hold the slime at bay, but Zaxod forced it open after attacking the slime so it would follow him.  The pair retreated further towards the entrance (which led to at least an hour and a half walk through dark tunnels), closing doors all the while, while Arc and Aurum hid from the killer ooze.

The jelly slid under the doors with some difficulty, but quickly gave chase.  It was able to outrun Zaxod, and quickly caught up as he and Mor'ath began the long retreat.

True Faith w/ Turning is incredibly strong, changing what could be very difficult encounters into an almost automatic win, and that's WITH nerfs.

Aurum used Flame Jet on the immobile troll instead of Create Fire, which was probably a waste of turns.

We only noticed that Mor'ath's saber was silver-coated when I ran him while his player ordered pizza.

There was some mild graverobbing, but they are still showing restraint.

During the fight with the "zombies", Zaxod said that the rest of the party didn't need to rush to help him, because they only did 1 point of FP damage, so he had about 10 turns before he was in trouble.  I then pointed out that I had rolled a 1, and he got slightly more worried.

Aurum doubled his total kills, thanks to the skeletons.  He's making a notch on his character sheet for each kill.

The party is hilariously terrified of the "slime", because they tried hitting it and throwing fire at it, and now they're out of ideas.

Arc's plan of trapping it in a pit didn't make much sense, as it was clearly capable of climbing walls.

Arc: "Maybe try using Panic?"
Aurum: "I don't think it knows fear."

Both Mor'ath and Zaxod forgot that it took them about two and a half hours to get to the bottom of the mines with a navigator (well, cartographer, anyways) and compass.  I'm sure they can make the IQ-11 or so roll no problem.

1 for general success
1 for good roleplaying
1 for the hardest fight (the cleric and armoured "zombies")
MVP went to Mor'ath for trying to lure the ooze away.

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