Friday, February 2, 2018

MCC Recap - Things Get Blue

This week I ran the third session of A Fallen Star for All with a ragtag band of seekers trying to uncover the secrets of an ancient stronghold.

Spoilers for the first bit of A Fallen Star for All ahead...

How do you get seven middle aged guys to act like 14 year old boys? An inadvertent comment from one of their wives. As I was recapping the prior session and describing how they had left off after investigating the dark shaft they had found we got an external comment about how "dirty" things sounded. Apparently that was all it took to start the ball rolling because this session got blue as heck.

Cypher, who had been in a stupor for several hours awoke from communing with ACHROMA with a mission to "Prevent the matron from leaving the facility." Whatever that meant.

Descending into the complex the group found a hewn stone hallway, lit via strange glowing stone set into the walls. Piertramp fearlessly started walking and observed as he did that they were not alone, as footsteps in the dust indicated that somebody had been walking around here recently. They came to a room with strange shiny walls and found a control panel of some kind. After trying to use it and breaking a lever off an AI appeared and chastised Piertramp, telling him to stop fiddling with that because "you children were told by your father not to do that." Piertramp rebelliously touched the panel again, and got a stern look from the AI. Apparently that was enough for him to start button mashing and he accidently shut the facility's power off in the process. Plunged into darkness it was Flik-flak who managed, via a more methodical interaction with the panel, to restore power.

Moving on from there Sinclair found that the end of the hall opened into another room, one which now had power and there were shadows moving within. Without pause he walked into the room and discovered seven beast things. The party had previously encountered these aggressive mutants on the surface and combat was joined. Some amazing initiative rolls allowed five of the party to act before the Beast Things and quickly enough three of the creatures lay dead. Including one burned down to a smouldering skeleton by Cypher's overly eager fusion torch.

The remaining four Beast Things were not dissuaded however and attacked!

And missed. Every. Single. Attack.

At this point combat became a rout as the players murdered the remaining Beast Things while chasing them down the stairs leading out of this room. They looted the bodies of some rough spears and a pair of poisoned darts, but decided to continue forging ahead rather than backtracking to search the room.

Ahead proved profitable as they found a room full of tools and supplies and strange machinery. The group found a pair of partially charged C-cells, a fully charged F-cell, and a radshot and a medishot. A decent haul all things considered. Unfortunately Piertramp and Flik-flak could not figure out the machine in the center of the room. Before anyone else could try they heard voices in the hall.

Sinclair, the heavily armored bug-mutant, stepped out of the hall to see and found not more enemies but lost friends. Sinclair and Piertramp had both been traveling with other members of the Tribe of the Golden Frog before being separated from their group after an attack. Standing before them were the remaining members of their band including Rodney the Tiger Manimal.

Rodney, Sinclair, and Piertramp exchanged stories and filled the Clan of Cog members in on the story of their tribe's near destruction by the tibbar. Cypher suggested that if the Golden Frog members wanted to join the Clan of Cog they might be able if they helped to retrieve the D.O.P.E.S.W.A.G. the group was after. Rodney was unfamiliar with D.O.P.E.S.W.A.G. and cypher had to explain.
  • D.O.P.E.S.W.A.G.
    • Deadly Oppressive Pedestrian Equestrian Sensor Wedge Amplifying Gun
As it turned out this was similar, but different, from an artifact that Rodney was looking for, the P.H.A.T.L.O.O.T.
  • P.H.A.T.L.O.O.T.
    • Photonic Hologram Assaulting Triple Luminar Organic Ocular Technology
Yup. Dope Swag, and Phat Loot. We were off our meds last night, but now we have two emergent story goals in the form of strange Ancient tech that the PCs want. We'll see where this goes. The two groups agreed and suddenly one of the Golden Frog members went into spontaneous labor, birthing a mutant that grew quickly to adolescence.

Joined by their new zero-level followers the party continued deeper into the complex where they found a bedroom filled with metal boxes and decorated with a strange glowing crystal. Agutter managed to activate the crystal with seemed to contain a mute AI of some kind. Meanwhile The others rummaged through the boxes and found a great many body parts for living metal creatures. Cypher attempted to assemble a working robot but instead caused a minor explosion.

Piertramp, took the damaged torso and fashioned some armor from it, though the sharp edges, heavy metal, and pinching fit made it a dubious gain. (Robot breastplate AC +4, Fumble Die D16). With no desire to further fuss with the remaining robot limbs the party continued and found a strange bedroom for holographic children with electromagnetic screams. Apart from a pair of sunglasses there was little to be gained and they soon moved onward to a room full of tables and cabinets with screens showing various things. Cypher started to take one apart and managed to salvage three partially charged c-cells while Piertramp got one working and played a fun game that rewarded him with some strange sweet fruit pellets which he shared with the group.

With more than enough for another session I ended the game there. Next time we should wrap up and hopefully have time to cover downtime.

Least shocking thing we learned about MCC:
  • Ugh, the swinginess of the dice! Seven Beast Things accomplished nothing because of poor dice rolling. Nothing but dying at any rate.
Most interesting behavioral change:
  • Apparently good manners survived the apocalypse, or at least that is the conclusion I take from Flik-flak's admonishing of Piertramp for his rude manners when yoinking some loot to try and build some armor. 
Thing that my players didn't see coming:
  • At session's end I gave them Experience and several had enough to advance to 2nd level. Cheers were uttered. And then I broke the news that they could not level mid-adventure and needed to have downtime to train in order to level. A great many teeth were gnashed in my direction, but I just grinned my Judge's Grin. 
In Memoriam: 
  • Sadly death was on vacation
Absurd Words Uttered 
  • "James gets a pizza delivery he won't soon forget, next on Spice." 
    • Alex breaks the group with a well timed trip down memory lane.
  • "God damn fruit." 
    • Sinclair has a new arch-villain

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - R is for Relics

R is for Relics

Relics can take many forms, from items of significance to preserved body parts, each has special significance, and possibly power, to the followers of a god or patron. These relics are often easily identifiable to the faithful or the service-bound but not always. Some may have intrinsic value in materials, historic value, or even value as items of power. Consider the Ark of the Covenant, the Shankara Stones, or the Holy Grail. Consider the Hand and Eye of Vecna, the One Ring, and possibly Excalibur.

For each relic roll once on each of the following tables.

Table R1: Reason for Relic Status
  1. Item belonged to the Outer Being. Proceed to Table R2.
  2. Item belonged to a saint, grand wizard, or other revered follower of the Outer Being. Proceed to Table R2.
  3. Item received a powerful enchantment or blessing marking it as a relic. Proceed to Table R2
  4. Item was formed from a body part of the Outer Being. Proceed to Table R3.
Table R2: Relic Item
  1. Preserved body part of a former follower. Proceed to Table R3.
  2. A weapon.
  3. Jewelry.
  4. A worn item.
  5. A symbol of the Outer Being (see also H is for Holy Symbol). Proceed to Table R7.
Table R3: Preserved Body Parts (roll 1d20 then proceed to Table R7)
  1. Finger 
  2. Toe
  3. Hand 
  4. Foot
  5. Forearm
  6. Entire Arm
  7. Lower Leg
  8. Entire Leg
  9. Humorous
  10. Femur
  11. Preserved head 
  12. Skull
  13. Crystallized Eye 
  14. Dried tongue
  15. Leathery ear
  16. Alchemy preserved still beating heart
  17. Scalp with hair
  18. Section of skin with a unique tattoo
  19. Entire Skeleton
  20. Mummified corpse
Table R3: Weapons (roll 1d10 then proceed to Table R7)
  1. Dagger
  2. Short Sword
  3. Longsword
  4. Mace
  5. Staff
  6. Flail
  7. Battle Axe
  8. Hand Axe
  9. Shield
  10. Greatsword
Table R5: Jewelry (roll 1d20 then proceed to Table R7)
  1. Simple copper ring
  2. Plain silver ring
  3. Jeweled silver ring
  4. Plain gold ring
  5. Gold signet ring
  6. Jeweled gold ring
  7. Bronze amulet
  8. Silver locket
  9. Jeweled necklace
  10. Gold necklace
  11. Bead bracelet
  12. Iron torc
  13. Copper bracer
  14. Simple leather thong with ... something ... threaded onto it
  15. Woven leather headband
  16. Golden crown
  17. Skull and feather necklace
  18. Carved amethyst ring
  19. Carved jade hairpin
  20. Turquoise diadem
Table R6: Worn Items (roll 1d10 then proceed to Table R7)
  1. A fine cloak
  2. A ragged cap
  3. A dented steel helm
  4. Immaculate scale mail armor
  5. Chainmail formed from a blood red steel
  6. A mantle of strange green fur
  7. A short cape seemingly woven from starlight
  8. A scarf of black velvet
  9. A pair of gloves made from a monster's hands
  10. A pair of boots that look like lead but feel like wool felt
Table R7: Relic Powers (roll 2d6-1)
  1. Cursed fragment of the Outer Being's power. The relic contains a fragment of the great power of the Outer Being but is is twisted and cursed. A wise servant will appeal to the Outer Being to reclaim the tainted power and (with luck) cleanse them of the curse.
    1. Clerics lose 1 die step when casting through the relic item. Additionally the Cleric's disapproval range does not reset each day while under the effects of the cursed relic, only via proper penance may they reduce their disapproval.
    2. Wizards (and elves) lose 1 die step when casting Invoke Patron, and any Patron Spells through the Relic. They must also Spellburn 1 point to cast these spells without any resultant benefit. 
  2. Power Battery. The relic is a power battery of sorts. Roll 1d20. The relic stores this result and at any time the bearer of the relic may exchange their die roll with the roll stored within the relic. 
  3. Weird power. The relic contains a strange and unique power. Referees should generate this strange an unique ability however they see fit.
  4. Solidified spell. The relic is the physical form of a spell. Once per day the relic may be sacrificed to cast the spell as a 1st level Cleric or Wizard after which the item vanishes only to reappear in the possession of the owner at dawn (50%) or dusk (50%). Roll 1d3 to determine the level of the spell, and then randomly roll to determine the spell contained.
  5. No power. The relic is an item of mundane significance to followers of the Outer Being.
  6. No power. Also it's a fake. The relic is worthless to anybody but the most foolish.
  7. No power. The relic holds no power of it's own but is key to unlocking secret knowledge of the Outer Being if properly researched or meditated upon.
  8. Lucky item. The relic contains a strand of Fate. It acts as a point of luck that replenishes every day at dawn or dusk (50%/50%) that the bearer of the relic can spend as normal.
  9. Favored item. The bearer of the relic gains a bonus of +1d3 (rolled at each use) on appropriate spell checks (Cleric spells and abilities, Wizard and Elf uses of Invoke Patron and Patron spells)
  10. Spell sink. The bearer of the relic gains a bonus die step on any saving throws against spell effects as the spell's energies are drawn into the relic. 
  11. Minor phylactery - the relic contains a minor portion of the deity's or patron's own soul. This item allows the holder to channel power directly from the Outer Being with greater efficiency. 
    1. Clerics gain +1 die step when casting through the relic item. Referees should roll 2d3 secretly when this item is created. Each time the Cleric receives disapproval when casting through the Relic this number is decreased by 1. When it reaches zero the Deity arrives to retrieve the phylactery. They may not be pleased with the Cleric.
    2. Wizards (and elves) gain +1 die step when casting Invoke Patron, and any Patron Spells through the Relic. When doing so any failed result garners the wizard (or elf) automatic Patron Taint regardless of the roll, and in addition to whatever normal cost of failure they would receive.