Sunday, April 14, 2013

DF Game Session 23 - A Gargoyle Shall Be Born

April 14th, 2013

Characters: (approximate net point total)
Dryst, halfling wizard (253 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (286 points)
Vryce, human knight (341 points)

and later

Chuck Morris, human martial artist (251 points)

Still in town:
Borriz, dwarven knight (310 points)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (292 points)
Christoph, human scout (255 points)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)

We started in town, and got off to a fairly slow start as we weren't actually sure how many players were going to show up. In the end it was four, with three PCs and Raggi in reserve (a 17 on 3d was too high for his 15 or less availability* so he wasn't handy.)

The group paid upkeep, did some shopping (Dryst for some more faerie-made defensive gear, Vryce for a new fine-quality greatsword). They picked up some rumors - one about the legality of, well, anything done underground, another about a group of guys who headed off to search Felltower a few days back who didn't come back, and one about needing a metal key to unlock a metal door. Oh, and still one more about possible meteoric iron-poisoned potions meant to hurt mages.

Still mulling over the rivals that headed up the hill, the group shopped for potions. I dumped 2d each for the minor, major, and great healing potions available. 2, 4, and 12. Wow, not many of the cheaper ones. We instantly decided that the "rivals" must have bought up the ready supply. The dice reflected the rumor, certainly.

So armed up, the group headed out of town, across the stone bridge, past the statue of Sterick the Red on Sterick's Landing, out of the shanty town and slums, and up the mountain.

They took extra time to track, and see if they could see who'd been there before. They found ration wrappers (oiled cloth, basically), flecks from stone (maybe a whetstone), and tracks here and there. Recent rain made it tough.

At the top of the mountain, they found more evidence of their "rivals" - a disturbed campsite. Galen's tracking skills determined that between one and two dozen orcs and an ogre-sized creature snuck up on and beat on a camping group of about 6-8 guys a few days back. They dragged off their kills although they left a few broken arrows and bloodstains behind.

Further tracking showed the orcs staying in the burned-out ruins, in a hidden-from-casual-site campsite, and using the gulley nearby to travel north. This fit with rumors of more orcs in the area, and probably told the tale of what happened to the rival group. Dryst cast Earth Vision on Galen, who used it to spot a series of tunnels heading out from the poison-ivy and thorn covered area they'd found a long time back.

In the end they went to the tower entrance. They found a crowbar by the metal trap door, and signs that people had been nearby. Dryst's Create(d) Servant tried to open the door but was zapped with black energy and was injured. Dryst dismissed him with a wave and created a new servant, and they headed down the well entrance, which they'd destroyed last time. It was open, although the area beneath the well was now filled with debris from the surface, and both secret doors to it were spiked open.

They also started to hear a moaning or groaning noise, and headed off to investigate. They found the "big room" on level 1, and sent in a magical servant with a lightstone. Wooosh. A gout of flame engulfed it, and it dropped with a whimper and burned briefly and pitifully before it disappeared. They sent in the next one, shadowed by Vryce. It was lit up by fire from a red slorn, which Galen promptly shot and then Vryce charged and clashed up. It died in short order.

Having made sure this wasn't behind them, they retraced their steps to the room with the trapdoor in the floor. They passed through the pair of secret doors that separate it from the section they were in. As the second one was opened (by a servant), a flash swung down and smacked the servant in the head and broke. Woooooosh. Alchemist's fire covered the servant and splashed in a yard or so around him in all directions. Galen was just far enough behind for safety. They let it burn down and then, yet again, created a new servant. They started to get really annoyed with all of the traps.

The room beyond was as it was left - four statues. Dryst magically whipped up a sledgehammer for Vryce, who then cracked off the four heads. They gave them to their (rear guard) servant to carry and climbed down into the crawlway and down to level 2. Once again, the servant was used to test the doors for traps.

They dropped down, and went in a round about fashion to the "gong door" as they're calling it. They passed the airlock-like metal door with a six fingered printed hand sign on it they'd found before. They decided to test it with their servant's hand. Nothing seemed to happen. But as they went past, they heard clunking footsteps and clomping of hooves. And then a whoosh. They turned just in time to see two boars, both large as ponies and black as night, charging at them. They ran down the first servant (which disappeared) and into Vryce and Dryst. Vryce was slammed in the groin, but his heavy armor stopped it cold. Next he was able to avoid his, and in fact in a second or two got it to smash into the wall next to him. Dryst got gored in the leg by his, and then trampled. All the while the boars took massive hits from Vryce's sword and Galen's arrows, but didn't drop. Dryst managed to cast Shield +5 on Vryce, which made all the difference in the fight. Shortly after Dryst's leg was slashed again and was dismembered - it just tore off. He dropped.

As this was happening, the boar's master came up from behind. A blue ogre-like figure, with a big wooden club, a stone-headed axe, and a necklace of skulls. It engaged Vryce. Vryce was able to whack it in the leg but couldn't hurt it past its metal shin guards. Its return strike with its club was easily parried, but it sent shivers into Vryce, who needed to roll HT to resist (he did this every time, no failure, so he never found out what he was resisting).

The boars were finally put down by Galen shooting them in the vitals and eyes. But then the blue ogre-like creature spoke a mind-ripped utterance which deafened and stunned Vryce and put Galen straight into a coma. So it was only Vryce vs. the thing. They dueled extensively - Vryce kept backing off and it kept advancing. Vryce was able to hit it repeatedly - eyes, torso, legs, hands - but it unfazed and only slightly injured. A full-on stab to the eyes only bothered it a little, and while some block ichor leaked out it didn't even blink. Vryce tried to attack its weapons and managed to knock its stone axe out of its hand with a very powerful shot. But it kept coming, and occasional stopped to try and cast a spell, forcing Vryce to pressure it more to keep it from concentrating. Finally, realizing he wasn't making any headway, and that this stumpy, clunky, noisy bastard wasn't faster than him, and that his Shield spell would run out soon, Vryce back up. It started to cast a spell . . . and Vryce ran. It followed. Clunk, clunk, clunk. Vryce ran in what was eventually a big, big circle, through was he (fortunately correctly) remembered to be a big circle back to the fight scene. He did it, pursued all the while by the big thing. It was slow on the corners, though, allowing Vryce to get some space.

He eventually made it back to the original scene of the fight, tired and gasping for air (Fit or not, he's running in plate armor wearing a closed helm). He went past the fight the long way, and took a quick look - Dryst in a pool of blood, Galen unmoving and gazing sightlessly at the ceiling, boars motionless . . . and behind the "airlock" door was a big circular chamber, and the top landing of a set of stairs spiraling down to the left.

Vryce heard the monster coming, so he ducked into one of the "illusion of luxury" rooms and hid behind an illusionary couch. He heard it clump around, and waited. A good five minutes later, it clumped around again. After a while, and some more clumping, and then silence. He waited a good 15 minutes before he came out. The boars were gone. So was the thing. The "airlock" door was closed and its stairs no longer in view. Lucky for Vryce his two companions were as before. Galen in a coma (although Vryce didn't know that, just that he didn't seem dead) and Dryst miraculously alive** despite his wound.

Really lucky.

It was also very, very quiet in the dungeon. Normally they hear rat noises, metal clanking, doors opening and closing, squeaks and drips and groans. But for a while after that thing went by . . . nothing. Nothing was out and about while the blue guy was.

Which helped keep the party alive.

Vryce grabbed an Awaken stone from Dryst and crushed it near both. Both guys woke up, and Dryst immediately quaffed a potion of major healing and Galen just woke up, unharmed. Dryst created a magical crutch for himself, packed his leg into his backpack, created more servants, and then went for Chuck Morris's petrified form.

They found him, using no lightstones except one on a Missile Shielded magical servant sent up the other side of the hallway from where they were (to distract the fire-men). They got into the medusa room through the connected privies, un-petrified Chuck, rested (for a long time, something like almost 90 minutes), and headed back out. No wandering monsters, because nothing goes near the fire-men.

They decided to just head out. This all took a long to play in the real world, and they really had no reserves. They went back to the first floor.

There they started in on un-petrifying the statues of the cultists that attacked them last time. They started with the wizard. No problem. He turned to headless flesh, which gouted blood (as did his head, which un-petrified along with his body, sympathetically). They searched him and found some silver and gold coins, and a silver (edged?) scimitar. Nothing else of note or value. Hmm. How about the woman with the axe? Dryst tried to cast his Flesh to Stone. Missed. Missed. Critical failure - 18. And he's got Weirdness Magnet.

So he instantly turned himself to stone, and at that moment a crunching noise was heard from the wall behind the woman's headless statue form. Hands burst out from the wall, and horns grew out of it . . . and a gargoyle stepped out of a brand-new niche in the wall, shaking off loose bits of stone. It lunged at Dryst, making odd noises. Vryce stepped and whacked it with his sword, leaving a big dry gash-like dent in it. It howled and ran down a blind corridor. Chuck Morris followed, bringing the head-bag servant with him. He decided to play nice, and offered it one of the stone heads.

The gargoyle took it, looked at it for a bit, and dropped it. It held out a claw. Chuck offered it two heads. It took the pointy-hatted one (not the woman's) and played with it for a brief bit before it dropped it. Then it sidled up against the wall and tried to go around them. They let it go.

And it ran/flew (flapped-ran?) down the corridor to "map north" and away from them.

With that, they finished up their plans. Chuck Morris went down and smashed the "gong door" in the open position, so it couldn't easily be closed (maybe not at all) and it was gonging continuously. Now, as Vryce put it, it's someone else's problem to fix it. They left the dungeon and headed back to town, hearing the gonging noise all the way to the surface and a bit beyond the entrance.

Back in town, they got Dryst fixed up (he's crippled for a month, which is tricky if we play in two weeks) and sold the sword, which luckily turned out to be silver, not silver-edged, and worth 4,000 sp sold. So they made a profit after all, even if they (barely) explored anything and found no real new territory.

* Raggi is around on a 15 or less, base. Otherwise he's off carousing, sleeping off a bender, or roughing it out of town. The more money Raggi makes on a trip, the lower his availability. In other words, if you score big with Raggi he's less likely to be around next time as he's still under a table somewhere. If he's broke, he's more likely to be sharpening his axe and getting ready to go dungeoneering!

** I gave him HT-5 not to be dead from blood loss. He made it easily.


- Vryce bought Luck this session, and needed it for at least one roll.

- Poor Dryst has now ended two consecutive sessions petrified. He needed to expend 1,010 sp ($) on magical restoration, used a few hundred worth of potions, and needed to recharge his power item. Ouch.

- Yeah, that's one of the ways you can get new gargoyles.


  1. It is interesting to see how other people explain the origins of monsters. I like gargoyles being composed of stone as opposed to being a flesh and blood humanoid. I have gargolyes originating from evil temples where gargolye statues are carved and then evil spirits bring them to life. Wizards can also bind evil spirits into gargoyle statues with magic spells.

    1. My gargoyles are elementals, so no evil spirit needed. The reversed effect critical failure/accidental gargoyle formation was pure Weirdness Magnet in action.

      Poor Dryst was having a hard, hard day.


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