Friday, 6 January 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 33

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (355 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (354 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (364 points)

Player Absent:
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (329 points)

Day 76 (Cont.):
Weather: Underground
Date: Coreli 7th, 2526
Everybody dropped their backpacks and shoved in their earplugs as one of the nothics began to laugh, and the other shot a sickly green beam of energy at Zaxod.  Mor'ath ran into the library, while Zaxod drew his axes and Aurum and Arc readied weapons in the hall outside.  Both of the nothics jumped on top of the 8' tall bookshelves, and one hit Zaxod with another necrotic beam.

Mor'ath stepped up to one of the shelves and, despite the huge difference in height, managed to stab the nothic in the eye, while Zaxod climbed up the other bookshelf.  Arc cancelled Gift of Letters and cast Shield 4 on Aurum, who then ran into the room.  The unblinded nothic jumped to another book shelf, away from Zaxod, and swept its necrotic gaze over Mor'ath, who dodged, and attacked the blinded nothic's neck.

Zaxod switched to his great axe, and launched a fatal flurry of attacks at the still-standing nothic, while Aurum cast Flaming Weapon on Mor'ath and Arc entered the room.  Mor'ath jumped up next to the blinded nothic to finish it off with multiple slashes at the neck, while Zaxod cut the other one into pieces.

Aurum figured out what bits of the nothics would be valuable (defaulting Physiology (Aberrant) from Physiology (Magical Beasts)-4), and Arc set about harvesting them with Surgery.  Mor'ath snooped around the room to find the trigger to the moving wall they had been unable to find, and discovered that pulling one of the metal slabs caused it to rotate.  Aurum investigated the slabs, and found that they were covered in strange runes.

The runes resembled ancient dwarven, but all were warped and illegible except for one.  Arc was too busy (and tired) to cast Gift of Letters again, so Aurum made a copy.  Once Arc was done harvesting the nothics (60 minutes total), he threw one of the metal slabs out into the hallway to check for gelatinous cubes, but it just sailed through the air before noisily clattering to the ground.

For some reason, Zaxod then threw five more slabs, which attracted a group of zombies wearing fancy clothing from the hallway to the south.  Mor'ath and Zaxod advanced as Arc activated True Faith, and cut down as many as they could before they retreat in terror.  The zombies taken care of, the party continued their "follow the right wall" policy and headed north.

They jumped over a false floor trap, passed by a thin stone wall with a large cog engraved on the surface, and continued through two doors to a room with several empty stone slabs surrounded by rubble in the center.  Upon closer examination, Zaxod noticed that the rubble looked like part of a thin statue, and figured that something must have broken out.  After a brief look around for a sledgehammer, they continued through another door and heard a sound like pottery breaking to their right.

They followed the sound and found a room lined with ceramic urns, a skeleton lying face down on the floor, and broken pottery scattered around.  Arc started up True Faith, while Zaxod poked the skeleton, but it seemed to be inanimate.  The party turned around to leave, only for an urn to fly across the room and into the back of Arc's skull, knocking him down.  Mor'ath and Zaxod drew weapons and advanced into the room, but couldn't see any attacker.  Another urn flew at Zaxod from behind, accompanied by laughter.

Arc recovered and rolled over to cast Astral Vision on Zaxod and Mor'ath, who suddenly saw a floating, ghostly dwarf in tattered rags.  Due to some confusion about ghosts, Zaxod went for Arc's silvered urgrosh, while Mor'ath's own silvered saber simply passed right through the ghost.  Aurum took an urn to the face, but stayed standing, and began uncorking healing potions to heal Arc, who started up Affects Insubstantial.

Mor'ath took an urn to the skull and went down while Aurum fed Arc two potions.  Zaxod took two urns to his lightly-armoured feet before Arc finished his spell, and Zaxod promptly killed(?) the ghost with four attacks.  As Mor'ath stood up, a single silver coin fell from his hat, and was examined by Zaxod, who fished around in other urns until he found another one.  Upon closer inspection, it was identical, and he put it back, only for Aurum to take it.

Continuing along, they went through another iron door, passed by a rotted tapestry, jumped over another false floor trap, and opened another door.  Inside was a dead-end room with a convex ceiling, going as low as 4' in the center, covered with small white stones.  After a quick look, Mor'ath picked out some constellations, and realized that the stones were arranged to resemble the stars.

Aurum figured they were probably valuable and went to work with his chisel. 30 minutes and six pounds of semiprecious stones later, they returned to the hallway, and continued along until they reached the room with silver runes embedded in the walls.  After a couple of looks at the map (and a crit on Cartography), they realized that they had looped around, and headed back to explore another route.

They found a room filled with about 1" of water, with two doors north, a hallway east, and two stools beside a checkered stone table to the west.  They walked noisily to the east, and went through another door, arriving at the wall of flesh.  More looking at the map, more Cartography, and they decided to go grab the metal slabs from the "library" to batter down the cog wall.

Zaxod grabbed 13, bound them with a lanyard, and noisily went to work.  Though it took over a minute, the wall eventually gave way, revealing 5 hissing, pale dwarves with lanky arms, accompanied by more hissing from the hallway to the south.

It's neat to see taking the proper precautions pay off.  Instead of being at big penalties and incapable of casting spells, the party was unhindered by the nothic's laughter thanks to the earplugs.

The jumping/acrobatics/climbing in the "library" was good, with one problem: I let the nothics jump as a step.  I let Mor'ath do it as well, but in the future it'll be a Move maneuver (or Move and Attack, I guess).

Climbing was one turn of ST-based Climbing+4, if you could reach 8' (which Zaxod can; he's 7'2"), with a preceding turn of Climbing+4 if you couldn't. Jumping was normal (Move*4" vertical leap, doubled for running start), but more importantly, the bookshelves were tightly spaced enough that they could jump back and forth, and roll Acrobatics-4 to add Move/2m to jumps.

Forgot the penalties to Surgery for the nothics being heavily wounded, though I did say that the valuable eye of the blinded one was unavailable.  We use a different rule for harvesting bodies than the ones in DF8.  You get $10xMoS (important magical bits like nothic eyes are substituted for one MoS each, and are worth $50), with $100/lb, regardless of what you're cutting up.  This lets players have a single "Alchemy Bits" section on their character sheet instead of needing a different entry for every enemy.

People keep making noise, resulting in more wandering monsters.  Luckily Arc can take care of just about any undead (Will 14 + Power Investiture 5 + High Holy Symbol = 21 for True Faith).  I'm not sure what the point of throwing 5 metal slabs into a hallway was, though.

It was suggested that there be a perception roll to notice the urns, instead of them being impossible to defend against, because they were coming from behind.  Not sure about this, mostly because of the consequences down the line (Great Haste, All-Out Attack, then All-Out Defend and be immune to backstabs as well).  EDIT:  The first attack is "from behind", but successive attacks are at -6 if the target is invisible, -2 otherwise.

Zaxod marked down "souvenir urn ghost silver coin" in his inventory, while Aurum just added $10.

The players' map is... interesting.  Aurum's been doing the mapping, and he doesn't mark down doors, just marks traps as "DT" (for Deadly Trap, obviously), etc.  The biggest problem is that he got east and west backwards for a while thanks to holding the map upside-down, so some hallways that should go east go west, and vice-versa.  Zaxod has suggested just doing every room as annotated squares connected by lines, which is an interesting idea.

Zaxod figures the hissing from the south is snakemen.

1 for general progress
0 for roleplaying (no disads came up)
1 for combat (Worthy foes, not outnumbered)
0 for loot
MVP went to Arc again, for "totally not helping him catch up after missing that session where we got 7XP"

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