Feathers, tusks and moles

I’m not dead yet.

Lot of stuff has happened since the last session report, holiday season, couple of session, me being sick and hellishly busy at work.

Quick recap of the couple of last sessions before today’s session. Heroes tried to get the dragon again, this time they found the lair when the dragon was returning to it and tried to climb up to it. Unfortunately they fooled around with magic and alerted the dragon and the same player lost another character, this time to the dragons fiery breath when he was halfway up to cliff and couldn’t get away. Rest barely managed to make it back to town of Edge.

At this point heroes decided that the dragon was too much for them and they started their way back to civilization. On the way Jenna, who had been making all kinds of shade deals and outright lies had to pay considerable amounts of silver and make even more promises to escape with her pretty face intact.  Heroes returned to East Tinbluff and investigated strange magic deep in the mining tunnels they had detected last time they were there. They found opening to some sort of dungeons and fought couple of strange black flying manta ray kind of creatures. Edelbert died in the excursion and the heroes grabbed bodies of the creatures to take to mages back in the City of the Snakes and left. They went to the city and sold the bodies and made some deals, including hiring themselves as guards to Journeyman Inoke on his journey to map the lands surrounding Cold Lake (located halfway between City of Snakes and East Tinbluff).

The start of the mapping expedition had some minor incidents but the real action started when Inoke’s truck suddenly crashed through the roof of a tunnel dug by molemen. There was a brief battle with the surprised molemen and the heroes but no one was badly hurt and the heroes dispatched the molemen.

That concludes the quick recap of last three sessions.

After the smoke had cleared from the last battle the heroes where greeted by mysterious stranger who happened to wander around and had heard the noises of the battle (one player brought new character to play and we wanted to get on with the game because we had had couple of weeks off). Jenny was immediately asking extra reward for going after the molemen and eliminating them. Inoke agreed and made deal with the heroes. He would pay extra if they investigated how far the tunnels would go and even more extra if they eliminated any threat there was in them.

Heroes decided to investigate the tunnel heading towards the Cold Lake first (other tunnel was leading in opposite direction) from the hole they had made. They set up a dungeon crawling formation and proceeded to the tunnel.

First interesting point was when the tunnel split into two and two other joined it at the same point. Heroes found enough tracks to determine which tunnels had most traffic and even heard faint noises ahead. They continued onwards and spotted light ahead. After quick planning they carefully continued on. The tunnel opened into large cave ahead and lots of noise and the light was coming from there.

At this point things got interesting, Jenna was all for quick assault and murdering any molemen found while others were more cautious. The choice was made for them when the molemen rolled good listening check and one slave came to investigate. The marksmen quickly shot the silhouette that appeared at the tunnel opening. More shouting from the cave and the heroes started furiously to reload their muskets but the molemen where upon them.

First came the shield bearer, they set up on each side of the cave opening. Their tactics didn’t save them form the heroes since Jenna had modern assault rifle that shot right through the metal reinforced wooden shields. In middle of the chaos one heavily armored elite moleman managed to take pot shot with his musket before the hordes of slave moles rushed the party and grand melee began in the tunnel.

This was also the first time magic was used extensively in the game. Two PCs where spellcasters as was the leader of the molemen. I rolled where high local magical field strength (+17) which made all spell casting very hazardous due to excessive magical energy. Magic missiles flew all around and knocked down the elite moleman and didn’t even scratch the PC fighter (Damn traitor dice!). Because the there was excessive magical energy lots of side effect happened when mages failed to control their channeling. Konrad, the new PC and the party’s fighter spontaneously grew tusks after being hit with the otherwise ineffective magic missile. Other highlights included the moleman mages bones starting to glow through his flesh and clothes and his clothes turning to feathers. The other PC mage suddenly got his mouth full of feathers and one torch flame animated as an elemental. Of course there was lots of “no apparent effect” kind of side effects that we might discover later.

In the end the heroes triumphed over the foul molemen even though couple of them were seriously wounded. Only moleman that lived through the battle was the mage that survived a head shot from assault rifle thanks to his Shield spell.

The session ended with some first aid rolls, looting and exploring the room where the molemen had been doing something. The heroes discovered what they think is dam holding back the lake in the large cave with explosives set ready in front of it and another passage leading away from the room. Moles are up to something!

Couple of GM observations from this sessions

  • Dungeon crawling is fun, things went rather smoothy after the PCs finally went to dungeon I set up for them.
  • Magic is delightfully random when the random bonus is high, weird stuff just happens all around.
  • The battle was interesting, PCs had superior weapons and the molemen had greater numbers, couple of PCs almost died so it was not an easy victory.
  • Multiple attack per turn give cumulative penalty die per attack after the first one.
  • Same goes for defense, first defense is without penalties but after that cumulative penalty die per attack
  • The new fighter character seemed rather bad ass, if you roll good stats and use your starting experience wisely you get very competent character. Maybe even too competent.
  • The experience rules need re-thinking, perhaps the character generation as well, we’ll see in the future.
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