Thursday, 22 June 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 52: Exploding Sabatons

Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (299 points)
          Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (154 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (296 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian (298 points)

Player Absent:
Locke Landen - Human Bard (294 points)

Day 169 (Cont.):
Amothius 9th, 2526
Weather: Clear
Locke cast Glasswall on the wall on the other side, and Morgan tried to confuse the arbalester there by dropping another tapestry on it with Telekinesis, and succeeded at distracting it long enough for Virgil to run around the corner and chop it in two.  The rest of the party entered the spire, and Morgan tore down the rest of the tapestries on the ground floor before his Telekinesis ran out, revealing a raised bit of stone hidden behind the one closest to the stairs.  A closer look also noticed a trap door at the base of the stairs.

Sindri and Virgil flipped the table and moved it over the trap door, and Sindri and Morgan headed up the stairs.  They made it halfway up when the stairs converted to a slide, and Sindri clanged down to the bottom in his plate armour, while Morgan was able to Levitate.  Morgan pressed the raised bit of stone, which turned the slide back into stairs, and Sindri headed back up, refusing to let any of the casters rest.  Maurice was ordered to hang back and press the stone if the stairs turned back into a slide.

Unable to make anything out through the keyhole, Sindri opened the door to the second floor, and suddenly found himself surrounded by fire, so he stepped further into the chamber, at which point a Force Wall sprung up behind him.  The room was hexagonal and slightly narrower than the first floor, with stairs on one side and five bunk beds on the others.  Four orcs in plain robes with wooden staves stood halfway across the chamber, and an 8' metal humanoid statue wielding two tower shields stood on either side.  Morgan identified the statues as Shield Golems, but was unable to recall anything about their weaknesses, as they activated and charged at Sindri.

Neither managed to actually injure him, but one of the wizards cast Explode on his right sabaton, sending shrapnel directly into his foot and crippling it, knocking him prone.  Maurice moved up the stairs and started casting Dispel Magic on the Force Wall (which would take 6 turns, because he didn't want to stand in the fire), while the orc wizards cast Stench and then Create Fire, covering most of the room.

This would have been dangerous, but Sindri has high HT from being a Knight, and has Damage Resistance (Fire) from being a Tiefling, so he didn't care much, and downed two orcs with non-fatal blows to the skull thanks to Slayer Training.  The Shield Golems continued to harrass him, inflicting mild wounds, and some of the orc wizards smashed him with their staves, but Sindri was largely unharmed, despite being prone and on fire.

Eventually, Maurice finished casting, and Virgil squeezed past the others on the narrow staircase and charged into the room, holding his breath to avoid the Stench, while Morgan moved just into the entrance and began firing of PK Lashes at the orcs.  Locke hung back, as he was unwilling to run through the fire and his abilities were worthless against constructs.  One of the shield golems turned after Morgan, and forced him back onto the stairs, while Sindri finished off the other, and Virgil tried to flank one of the orcs.

Virgil was attacked from behind by two of the orcs he had ignored, and took some mild head trauma as a result, but was otherwise fine, while the orc he had attacked cast another Force Wall to keep himself safe in a corner.  Suddenly, the stairs turned back into a slide, sending Locke, Maurice, and Morgan down into a pile at the bottom, followed shortly by the Shield Golem, which Morgan managed to mentally parry with a defensive PK Lash before it fell over from a failed consciousness check.

Upstairs, Virgil finished off the last surviving wizards, and threatened the orc behind the Force Wall, who was yelling "I surrender!" in Giant, which Morgan barely overheard downstairs.  The party reconvened in the second floor, and Morgan searched the room (finding some coinage and two necklaces) before intimidating the orc.  With enough threats, the orc was convinced to help draw his master, Zargothrax, the Iron Mage, into an ambush; however, when the wall dropped, Virgil cut the orc down the moment he turned his back due to Bloodlust.

They rested for close to two hours, Sindri and Virgil were healed, and Sindri found that his foot had recovered fully, then Virgil went through the door to the third floor with sword drawn ("Stealth?  What's that?" -Virgil).  The spire continued to narrow, and the third floor appeared to be a library, with a great many books, written in several languages, on a wide variety of subjects, including some spellbooks.  There were also several bookcases seemingly made out of iron, with elaborate locks, which were ignored.

The party continued up the stairs to a door, where the spire had narrowed almost to a point, and opened it, revealing a lavish atrium beyond.  A set of elaborately-carved double-doors stood at the top of a grand staircase, while there was a smaller, less-fancy door on either side of the ground floor.

The button/stair-slide trap was handled quite well.  They found the button, and neutered the trapdoor with the table anyway.

Everywhere in the tower has so far been lit by chandeliers enchanted with some sort of Light or Continual Light spell.

It's not clear how much fragmentation damage Explode should do; I ruled it to be the same as the dice used to damage the object.  Didn't roll to hit the other people in the room, which I definitely should have done.  I thought that the damage suffered range penalties as for explosions, but they don't, so that should have damaged the orcs in the room.  On the plus side, Sindri didn't take any more wounds, so I guess it all balanced out.

Got the times for holding your breath right (HT/2 seconds if you don't take a Concentrate maneuver), but forgot to include the suffocation for Stench.  Sindri would probably still have been fine; he has 13FP and doesn't spend much.

We finally found the real use for SM+1 weapons when Virgil was able to parry an SM+1 Large Shield, which weighs 28lbs, without checking for weapon breakage.  I'm also going to add the Reach multipliers from Low-Tech 2 to provide another boost.

During the pile-up at the bottom of the stair-slide, Locke noticed that the table which they had used to block the trap door felt warm.

Bard abilities (and, for that matter, Cleric/Holy Warrior/Druid abilities) are probably going to get an FP cost associated with them pretty soon, as just about every other magical effect does.  I have to discuss this with Locke.

Some racial power-ups for Tieflings were discussed:
-Damage Resistance (Fire) [2/lvl] up to 10
-Dark Vision (No Limitations) [25]
-Prehensile Tail: Extra Arm (Extra-Flexible, +50%; Long 1, +100%; Weak (1/2), -25%) [23]

2 for general success
1 for combat
1 for roleplaying to Virgil (Bloodlust)
MVP went to Sindri for holding the line for 6 seconds against 6 enemies while crippled

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