Monday, August 15, 2016

Session Report [T1] Where exploration and taking chances pays off?

This is the first full-fledged face-to-face session of the Dawn of Eradu.  It was UNBEARBLY HOT in the nerd loft, so I'm really excited for fall to get here so we can game in comfort again.  It was a good session but only 3 players (which was probably good for heat-related reasons).

The Party
Two returning characters and a new soul awake in the horrors of the underworld ...
  • Ian: talks to folks who aren't there and isn't really sure of using his pristine great axe
  • Proximo: from the Gladatorial Pits he comes ready to wreck things with his sweet cestus
  • Blotch: freshly minted this fellow sports both a blood-crusted warhammer as well spectacular boots lined with the fur of the vicious gorilla-snake
Action Highlights
This might get a bit long ...
  • The party awoke in the familiar cavern only to find that in their absence others had made changes.  After much loud debate on how to best scale the cliff and piling up sand, the indiscretion and a really bad watch roll brought about a terrible thing ... the Brul
  • The brul scampered down the cliff, huge wads of flesh piled atop each other and held together with tight leather straps and held aloft by terrible multi-jointed legs.  It split open in strage places, rows of wicked teeth biting and gnashing.  At one point Proximo was completely consumed, a moment later Ian's axe split the thing in twain, taking part of Proximo with it.  The thing's rotting citrus musk stank up the joint ... the party looted the leather straps and got out of there.
  • Atop the cliff they found a multitude of statues of what appeared to be adventurers.  Those closest to the cavern were worn with age, but as they moved father away the weathering was less, until they found from whence the Brul came.
  • The party found a large room with a huge summoning circle in the floor.  They also found an white marble statue of a wizard standing partially outside of another smaller summoning circle. Wanton destruction ensued and the statue was broken apart - it bled a thick black goo from the wounds.  Parts were tossed in the big summoning circle.  In the corner was the Brul's nest.  Examining it proved difficult as it was caustic, but some strange goods were looted.
  • A bit more exploration and there was an incident with a strange fountain.  [Details are left out for other players to encounter just in case they are reading this].  Blotch met an untimely end.
  • Redhook: with a mighty flintlock pistol his strut and swaggar, and of course his accent, marked him as a pirate of high renoun! He missed his best friend, Priate Dog.
  • The party recovered from the incident and a new character added, the party discovered a large room where pipes from the ceiling poured water into a pool with a channel that flowed out of the room.  There was also a door and a strange alcove with ... Green Devil Face!
  • As the party approached, they encountered some semi-invisible ladies in the pool clothed only in mist and a lack of shame.  Redhook threw down a magnificent courting ritual.  Shenanigans with Redhook, Proximo, and the water ladies while Ian and his "friends" examined the Green Devil Face.  Apparently it was breathing.
  • Behind the other door was a strange thing that was trapped.  [Details withheld].  While Ian attempted to rescue it, Redhook removed that possibility with a single shot from his flintlock.  "Better the devil be dead than plaugin' us later.  Aye".  There was much frustration.
  • During the "shenanigans" the water had splashed a bit more than usual and a secret door was located.  The party went in and after fiddling with dials and levers and knobs (Redhook blindly jabbing and dialing asking "Be this the dial, Ian?") the water turned off ... and the screams of three ladies being washed away filled the air.
  • With the water turned off the party made they way down the channel, which sloped downward and led to a metal ladder.  So they choose to descend.  At the bottom they hear the sound of something wicked tearing apart the water ladies.  They see some sort of huge cat-like thing prowling around sharp crystals and licking its bloody green chops.
  • There was swashbuckling rope (made from torn pants that now left Proximo wearing short-shorts) firearms, vicious claws, strange powers, and in the end three characters facing the black gates of death as the creature fell and died.  As fate would have it, Redhook was the only one that didn't quite make it.
  • VanDamage: A halbard infused with the power of Light, a sack of M.R.E.s, a pair of foil blankts, and a full-tilt karate attitude of super-bro awesomeness topped with a corn-cob pipe and a brown bottle shaped like a woman with a dead pixie in it.  Sudden Death was quoted.
  • The party rested a bit and then continued on, evnetually encountering a squad of bug-men in power armor doing some sort of chanting on top of a large ziggurat.  There was a bit of a standoff, VanDamage attempting to encourage the "Little Bro" to get some respect, while Ian began communication.  It was tense, the beg-men has pistols of some sort.  In the end, the bug-men were able to communicate, asking "Whom do with you band?" repeatedly.  There were mentions of the wicked "Fire Thieves", some fey tribe called the "Gutterhumps" and the abominations these folks called "The Brotherhood of Sin."
  • We had to shut down because of the time and the heat, but it was a fine session! Bonds were made, memories recovered, and a good time had by all.

Updated Memory Recovery Rules
The rules have been updated from the first posting.  These have been used in actual play.

When a character attempts to recover a memory, Roll+XP Spent:
 Result  Effect
The referee will ask a question that you get to answer to recover a lost memory.  Gain a memory and move toward remembering more of who you are.
7 - 9
The referee will ask another player a question about your character.  The player of the character the memory is about may choose to accept (the character gains a memory) or not accept the memory (no memory is gained). If the memory is less than flattering or creates a hindrance of some sort and you accept it, that player that stated it gains 1 XP.  If the memory is negative and you declare it false, you do not gain the memory and the referee makes a move.
6 - 
The referee will ask about something terrible and the outcome must be terrible as well; the referee may adjust the results. The character gains either a point of Darkness or a debility (player’s choice).  If the character eventually comes to terms with the nightmare the character removes the nightmare and gains 1 XP. Do Not Mark XP for rolling a 6- for this move result.  The nightmare does NOT count as a memory

GM: How long were you imprisoned and why?
Ian: 3 years - because I was involved in a sacrifice ritual where we bled out a child to gain power.  It didn't work.  Of course I'm completely innocent of this crime.

What the fuck?  Awesome.

We got the first 7-9 result, so I asked another player about Proximo
GM: What is Proximo's best memory from childhood
Vicious Player: When his aunt would beat him because she was the only one who could stand to look upon his shameful existence.
Proximo: that is simply untrue!

The XP was spent and none gained anything.  I felt this was a solid memory for a gladiator's life and could get some serious role playing opportunities, but players' choose as they do.  That is why I made it optional.  

GM Notes
I feel I need to work on 2 things:
  1. improving the flow of the game.  I think that now that some folks are deeper into the environment things will naturally start happening, but I need to add a little motivation to give the players more than just "figure this shit out".  It works great in concept, and maybe it was the heat, or maybe that we come from your classic style of D&D play, but I felt it was a little forced from time to time.  I have some ideas - some very Dungeon World ideas.
  2. I need to get better at making dangerous foes dangerous.  I fell into the D&D hack and slash trap - the battle with the giant tiger-thing should honestly have been a LOT more difficult - as in some Lost Souls should not have been able to beat it without more clever tactics.  Again, this is entirely on me as I'm learning the system.  It'll get there.

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