Friday, 11 January 2019

GURPS DF Free Cities Season 2 Session 19: He's an Acne Cream Entrepreneur

Archer Arrowsmith - Human Scout (260 points)
Elana - Human Holy Warrior of Melora, goddess of the wilderness and sea (278 points)
"The" Lukas Zombanyi - Human Cleric of Bahamut, god of justice and protection (260 points)
Masha Deathfoot - Human Martial Artist (265 points)
Puddin' Noddington - Gnome Thief (292 points)
        Mahk Strawngmussle - Human Labourer (72 points)
Vaelcor Treehippie - Human Druid (280 points)
        Jahn the Bear - Bear (209 points)

Amothius 38th 2546, Kral Aklaz (Cont.)
The party looked around for a place to rest, and some scouting found a room with curtains hung around inside, blocking the Tapestry of Glasswall, another which was lit and probably occupied, and a third which smelled horrific.  They ultimately decided to just rest half in the room with the battering ram and half in the hallway, and were uninterrupted.  Lukas drank another two minor health potions, and they headed back to the "curtain room", which Masha was sent in to scout.  On the other side of the curtains, she found Odo and 5 skeletons.

Odo and Masha had a conversation about whether they'd defeated the ghost and what they were doing, at which point Lukas rushed in and told him to cease his foul necromancy.  Odo claimed that he was just a wizard, but the five skeletons ("I'm just holding them for a friend!") gave him away.  Lukas said that he was under arrest, and Odo came peacefully and "dismissed" his skeletons, though the party agreed to bring his smoking cauldron of "water and some other stuff" instead of emptying it.

The party and their new prisoner headed over to the farm to check out the throne room, and Puddin' scouted to find that Sturri was having some sort of conversation with the giant chief, and that the rest of the giants seemed upset.  Before leaving, they decided to try stealing the chieftain's necklace with the rod segment and gave Puddin' an Invisibility Potion from the Phial of the Mad Alchemist followed by the Flight Potion.  Invisible, she flew into the throne room just as Sturri was leaving, and "Pickpocketed" the giant chieftan's necklace with the rod segment right off of him without anybody noticing.

Once she took the necklace, the chieftain yelled out something in Giant and the other giants charged forward out the main doors, where Sturri killed two before the rest decided to hold back.  He gave the rest of the party a "what the hell did you just do" look, and held his position just outside the throne room as they headed back to the front door.  On their way through the Halfling Hallway, Puddin' found that the tripwire for the battering ram had been reset and (still invisible) pointed it out using Elana's arm to point.

They made it out the front door, where Archer fired a parting shot at a giant in the throne room, and walked back to camp without further issue.  Lukas had Uncle Ruckus take a look at Odo's cauldron to see if he was a necromancer.  Odo winked at Ruckus, but Ruckus confirmed that it could totally be used for a Lichdom Potion, though it would also be a base for acne cream or some other stuff.  Elana took a look around and didn't see any skeletons.  Odo went on about how this proved his innocence, and Lukas cast Truthsayer on him, which confirmed that he hadn't lied in the last 5 minutes.

Contented with that, the party got to splitting up their loot; Thrunvir was dressed in the light plate suit, Mahk and Archer took the chests, most of the pelts were tossed (Masha kept one displacer beast pelt), and everybody was loaded down with spare weapons and shields, most of which they couldn't use.  Thrunvir was asked to read the dwarven books they'd taken, and found that three were a reference manual for the observatory, but one was his journal (the luck!).  As Lukas had lost his light club in the battle with the slime of skeletons, they gave him Archer's old cavalry saber.

That night, on Masha's watch, Odo approached her and asked if he could go back into the dungeon to grab a necklace from his dead mother he'd forgotten, but was denied.  Masha said that nobody ever truly died, as all things carried on in chi form, and Odo warned her against such necromantish thoughts, as her friend seemed very anti-necromancer.

Amothius 39th 2546, Dirhin Mountains
Argua was given the Phial of the Mad Alchemist to regenerate her leg, and it worked perfectly, giving her one baby-smooth leg.  The party set out at dawn, and, though encumbered by their haul, made good time, using the stone path carved into the side of the mountain.  Early in the morning, they saw a "new" outcropping of stone jutting out just off the past with some sort of movement on it, and as they drew closer but lost line of sight, heard singing and frogs croaking.

They rounded a corner and found a young girl made of stone, with literal emerald eyes, singing to toads and trying to get them to sing along; astonishingly, one of the toads did seem to be fairly musically inclined.  Vaelcor realized the girl was an oread (a rock dryad) and mostly harmless.  The party talked to her for a bit, and the oread introduced herself as Taldesa, and then rattled off the names of all her toads in rapid succession.  Elana asked if she knew of any threats, but she seemed to have only very local knowledge and her default response to any dangerous monsters was to "just go into the rocks and they'll leave".

Taldesa asked if any of them could help train the toads, and Masha stepped forward to offer some advice from her expertise with Breath Control.  The toads obviously didn't get anything out of it, but Taldesa seemed to learn a few things, and thanked Masha with an amber gemstone, which Puddin' dismissed as just amber and mostly worthless.  The party said their goodbyes and continued on down the mountain.

Amothius 40th 2546, Dirhin Mountains
The party was getting down into the lower parts of the mountain, but as they day wore on, a wind pushing off-road got stronger and stronger.  Later in the day, it started to snow further down the mountain... but the wind didn't carry it the way it was blowing.  Vaelcor realized that this unnatural storm was the Spirit of the North Wind trying to force them in some direction, and, after informing the others that this kind of nature spirit were defenders of the material plane and had good intentions, they agreed to follow its lead, back uphill and off-road.

In the distance, thunderclouds loomed and, after nearly two hours, they came into sight of a mountain peak just as it started to rain.  At the peak were a handful of strange creatures; a living storm cloud, and six humanoid, armoured clouds of lightning and wind.  Vaelcor identified the cloud as a living storm elemental, and the humanoids as storm archons, a type of elemental given more stable form by its armour.  They were all vulnerable to wind magic (which nobody had), but homogenous and would shock any who touched them.

Everybody dropped off their excess loot and spare weapons, and Puddin' and Mahk decided to stay back behind the treeline with Odo.  Masha argued against fighting them, worried she'd be electrocued when she kicked, and Lukas offered to cast Resist Lightning, which she accepted.  Instead, he cast Bravery, and, filled with courage, she charged up the hill, just as parts of the peak broke away and hung suspended in the air.  Archer stayed behind the treeline and loosed an arrow at one of the archons, but was dodged, and Masha continued charging into melee range.

One archon had a sword and shield, three had heavy spears, and the last two had no obvious weapons and were more lightly armoured.  The two archons without weapons shot lightning out of small batons at Lukas and Masha, but both dodged out of the way.  The rest of the party followed Masha's lead and ran up the hill as best they could.  Archer hit her next arrow, but it pinged off of the mail of one of the casters.  The spearmen tried to overwhelm Masha with Deceptive Attacks but she dodged them all with ease.

In return, Masha launched a Rapid Strike of kicks on the sword and shield, knocking it back and badly denting its armour.  Masha dodged a retaliatory Deceptive Attack -5 thanks to their only Tactics reroll from Elana.  Lukas blocked a lightning bolt with the small shield with a lightning bolt insignia, and it absorbed the attack harmlessly.  Jahn the bear slammed into one of the spear archons destroying it, and the now-empty armour clattered to the ground.  Lukas, thinking that Masha's defenses weren't high enough, cast Shield 4 on her (putting her Dodge at 21).

The living storm swooped into Masha and pushed her back, then emitted a thunderclap that, luckily, nobody was affected by.  One spear archon stabbed Jahn in the vitals, but the other critically missed and was torn asunder by Jahn.  Masha kicked at the living storm, but it had little effect.  One of the casters fired a lightning bolt at Elana, who slipped towards it successfully, while the other fired at Archer, who dove prone.  Elana activated her Holy Might for +10ST, +6DX, and 13 seconds duration.

As whatever ritual the archons had started continued, everyone around the peak felt lighter as gravity gave way.  Jahn got stabbed in the vitals again and was driven into the negatives, while Masha crit-failed an attack and was knocked badly off-balance.  To capitalize on this, the sword and shield archon All-Out Attacked deceptively from the high ground, but Masha retreated, easily making the dodge roll despite the -6.  One of the casters hit Jahn from behind, lightly singing him, while the other missed Elana.

Elana moved up and finished off the sword and shield archon with a pair of Rapid Strike tip slashes to the neck, and the armour gently fell to the ground thanks to reduced gravity.  Jahn finished off the last spearman as Archer regained her feet and took a shot at one of the casters which dodged.  Masha jumped onto one of the loose floating chunks of rock and the casters fired lightning bolts at Archer and Elana but neither hit.  Elana figured she was incapable of jumping up as high as Masha and just All-Out Defended.

I made the Pickpocketing roll to steal the necklace too easy.  It should be -10 for a worn item, while I gave -5 for a worn item and -2 for weight.  I'm pretty sure Puddin' would have succeeded either way, and he failed his Perception roll pretty bad.

Now that the party has left the dungeon, I can relay some things they missed that I find funny:
  • They were one unlocked door away from the domesticated riding gryphons at one point.
  • They ended up stealing the necklace with the rod and key to the vault anyway, so Puddin' didn't need to have her hands mangled repeatedly.
  • Duelling the "DUEL ME" dwarf would have put its spirit to rest, and they'd have gotten its sick magic hammer.
  • The room with the pot of gold trap had an actual pot of gold that they missed in the search.
  • The glowing circle in the far corner of the office in the wizard area was a permanent portal to somewhere in Isserno aka the city they're going to.  It would take the Control Gate spell to use, but Ruckus could totally have learned that with 2 points.
  • There were two undiscovered exits, one of which was past the relief of Moradin outside the vault.

Some of the players think the bear is a fine substitute for a full melee character like a knight.  While it has decent skill and hits hard (Brawling-20, 4d cr), it's more of a meatshield, consistently taking 50+ damage every fight due to its poor defenses (Dodge 10, DR3).

Should have had the archons fight in the air the whole time, for that sweet +1 to defenses and -1 to their opponents.

XP was 4, MVP went to Puddin' for stealing the rod segment.

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