Sunday, September 29, 2013

DF Game, Session 34 - Playing With Statues

September 29th, 2013

Weather: Cool, cloudy

Characters: (approximate net point total)
Chuck Morris, human martial artist (274 points)
Dryst, halfling wizard (313 points)
     Father Hans, human cleric (130 points, NPC)
     Shieldman Zed, human guard (62 points, NPC)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)
Vryce, human knight (373 points)
     Deadeye Slim, human slinger (?? points, NPC)
     Blackbart aka Bort, aka John Blackbart, human beardman, er, swordsman (?? points, NPC)
     Gort of the Shining Force, veteran dwarf adventurer (?? points, NPC)

Still in town:

Borriz, dwarven knight (310 points)
Christoph, human scout (258 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (318 points)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (297 points)

This whole session was spent, basically, playing around with statues.

We started in town, with people gathering rumors and carousing and ordering magical gear. Not much restocking, since there was no combat last session. One rumor in particular annoyed them - some drunk asked Vryce - are you still looking for that gnome? He was here this past week, came down the mountain and bought some stuff and headed back up. Grr.

Once things got rolling, the group picked up some freebie volunteer hirelings and headed out. They got a wild-eyed bearded swordsman with a rusty sword, a young slinger of no means, and Gort of the Shining Force, a veteran dwarven adventurer who came out of retirement to scratch that old treasure-hunting itch.

They headed up, and chose to enter via the bugbear's tunnels (as tight of a fit as that is for Chuck) and crawl into the dungeon, thus putting them close to their objective - the missing head they'd located with Seeker and Trace last time. They were sure it was by the wights, and headed in that direction.

They made it to the gargoyles unmolested, but the gargoyles heard them coming - and got out of the way. Two fled ahead of them, and they effectively herded them into a long room that ended with a half-bricked up wall they'd sealed the wights behind after their first encounter. Something had knocked that wall down, and something (else?) had bricked it up. The gargoyles they'd heard were hiding in the far corner, using their natural camouflage to blend in with the stone. The PCs didn't want a fight, and Dryst refuses to try to capture and Enslave any of them except his "son." Halfling parenting is pretty harsh. So they moved along one wall, and made shooing motions to the gargoyles. The gargoyles took the hint and fled. They're cowardly and the PCs made it pretty clear they can make them dead if they want to.

Dryst put Silence on the wall and used Create Object to give a sledgehammer to Chuck Morris, who charged up Power Blow and Breaking Blow and smashed the wall down. It went down, setting off three embedded flash nageteppo, and a Silence-countered audible spell. Someone clearly set this up.

They quickly headed down the hallway, using a re-cast Trace on the head to pinpoint its location. They moved into the maze of storerooms they'd fought the wights in, and then across the battlefield they'd finished them off on. From there, they found the head was at least 15' beyond the back wall of one of the storerooms. Not wanting to spend time finding a way around (since a quick look told them might not be handy), they decided to go through.

Several (Silenced) Power Blows/Breaking Blows with the sledgehammer and a few Shape Earth spells (and long rests in between), and they'd made a 10' long, 3' diameter tunnel into a similar storeroom facing the other way. In it were a half-dozen statues of various sizes, and the stone head from last trip's magical statue.

Four of those statues were 7' stone men, with two-handed flails, looking exactly like the golems they'd fought several times. So they basically moved everyone in the other room, stationed Dryst in the tunnel, and got ready to pound one of them. Dryst Great Hasted everyone in turn, and once the last guy was hasted, they attacked. It wasn't a fight, exactly. The first "golem" broke up under the massive assault of Chuck Morris. The next Vryce split in two in a second, and the third Raggi toppled pretty quickly. They realized these weren't golems, at least not yet - either from lack of a trigger activating them, or lack of enchantment. Either way, they smashed the last one to pieces.

They moved the big head, but someone had stuck a lidless death grenade under it - and Chuck, Raggi, and Vryce were nearby. All were caught in it, but they all shrugged off most of the effects. They're tough that way.

They investigated the rest of the statues - a pair of praying hands in marble (smallish, but 165 lbs), a clay statue of two women embracing (big, and 665 lbs), a porcelain statue of a leaping dolphin (50 lbs), and a wooden statue of Baron Sterick (160 lbs). Long story short, they examined the Sterick statue closely, and found it good but not perfect (and clearly chiseled from a single piece of cedar), but with its base marred. Nothing was under it, and an Ancient History spell didn't reveal anything too interesting, just that someone had deliberately axed Sterick's name off the base.

They went back the way they came, lugging the head (and the dolphin statue, just in case they couldn't make it back for the rest of the loot). They passed (and scared away) the gargoyles again. They made it to the statue room, and placed the head on top. It glowed, and magically sealed itself back together. Dryst (temporarily run by Vryce's player) realized too late that Identify Spell might have been revealing. Ah well. The statue then spoke to them, saying something to the effect that, now they needed to find the other seven heads. When they did, they would be rewarded by the "Seven Saints of Felltower." There are seven more heads missing, and they picked one and used Seeker and located it - a bit further down, at least two levels down, they decided (since it was like 45-50 feet below them, give or take.)

They headed back to the statues, to take them as loot. They scared off the gargoyles, again, and went back to the statue storage room. They searched around outside the room, but found nothing of interest in the nearby rooms. They couldn't find a way out, either, although they found a secret door leading to tunnels much like the bugbear's, behind a cunningly crafted tunnel cap. No one besides Dryst could fit in after a short distance, so in he went accompanied by a similar-sized magical servant. Dryst used Seek Earth and located silver and gold, in a chest, buried in rock nearby but also about 50' below. No way to get to it, so he headed back.

From there, they widened out the tunnel between store rooms, and lugged out the statue of Sterick, the dolphin statue, and the praying hands statue, and headed to the main entrance.

They hadn't been that way in a long time, but they used some caution. Good thing, because as they tried the door into the main entrance, the "pillbox" arrow slits opened and arrows shot out. Deadeye slim took a shot and went down, poisoned (he'd live, but barely.) As the group tried to deal with the threat, Chuck used Power Blow to yank the metal door open and succeeded. Dryst tossed a Concussion into the room, after spying some orcs - the source of the arrows. It blew off and hurt (and stunned) them, but then he realized Create Fire was better and started in on that. As the group pushed into the entrance, Dryst lit the "pillbox" on fire, and Chuck and Vryce lifted the portcullis.

What was beyond it wasn't encouraging - the pillbox was largely neutralized but a big squad of orcs, backed by some evil-looking dogs, came down the stairs into the dungeon and assembled on the far side of the pit. They realized they'd had to fight their way across (via Walk on Air and a frontal assault by Vryce) while they deal with orcs shooting at them from behind. Dryst was all for this, but Vryce thought it was foolish to bet they could beat them and risk a disaster for little benefit. This would mean leaving the dungeon via the bugbear tunnels, which mean leaving the Sterick statue behind. So they did that - they retreated back, as well over a dozen orcs, backed by big brute orcs, shaman, dogs, and at least two ogres came down into the dungeon. They went back past the (now surely terrorized) gargoyles, found a room to stash "Wooden Sterick" in, and did so - only to find the door was trapped with an oozing doom grenade. They avoided it thanks to Chuck forcing the door so hard it set off the trap away from him, not on him, and stuck the statue in anyway. They decided they'd come back for it, and check it for traps when they did.

They crawled out of the bugbear tunnels, with Raggi trying to hide their tracks as Dryst masked the way out with an illusion of a blank wall. They heard a lot of commotion at the ruins - similar to the orc horns they'd heard in the dungeon.

They did manage to make it back to town, though, and sold off their loot - it amounted to a mere handful of coins, as the statues sold for 40% of their list cost. They ended up having to dig into their previous loot to pay off their henchmen (only Father Hans, really).


Not a profitable trip, but they got some stuff done.

This wasn't our most focused session. I blame me - I didn't really stay focused on the game and keeping people moving, so things moved pretty slowly. Started slowly, went slowly. Picked up near the end, but I think I need to start getting back to putting on the music, getting the ball rolling, and forcing the pace a little. Not that it wasn't fun, but I feel like I took too long to get things developing.

All-Out Concentrate worked really well for Chuck Morris, who used it for a couple of out-of-combat feats of strength with Power Blow and Breaking Blow. One turn of AOC for a +4 reduces the penalty for Power Blow to a mere net -1 (-5, +4). This really let him go for it and multiplied his value out of combat. And his value out of combat for breaking stuff and feats of strength is already pretty high. ST 13 seems low until you realize he's casually throwing 1 FP and making that ST 26.

In response to a question from Vryce, I announced that yes, meteoric iron sling bullets are available. But while lead is $0.10 a shot, iron would be $1/shot, making meteoric $20/shot. Not a bad markup for the meteor dribblings they can't turn into other things, and cheap enough. Beware, wizards, of anti-mage slingers.

Gort got his name and title because Vryce's son was playing a Sega game called Shining Force, and met Gort, a crusty old adventurer in the tavern while they were looking for cheap hirelings. So naturally I threw him in, and made him a dwarf (using an old Citadel mini I got pre-painted, I don't remember by whom. Off eBay, surely, maybe as a throw-in with some orcs I got about 12 years back in an auction.) Gort tells a lot of stories, and answered any and all requests with stories about his adventuring past. "Is this new construction?" "Oh yes, it is. Back in my day we dwarves were all about new construction, and sloping passages. Could have just used a marble, instead." "What's a marble?" "A dwarven sloping passage detector." Anything - "Back when I used to guard the rear, we used to blah blah blah." And so on. Lots of fun. And who or what is the Shining Force? Well, pull up a chair sonny, this is a long story. It was back when I was a young adventurer like yourself, and, in those days we'd have to walk uphill both days to and from the dungeon. Oh, wake up there young fella, you started dozing off . . .


  1. Create Fire makes pillboxes death traps if a wizard can get close enough. In one of my DF campaigns, the wizard "M"'s procedure for clearing pillboxes is to: 1) turn Invisible, 2) Air Walk to the opening (if it is elevated), 3) cover the area inside with Create Fire, 4) add Fast Fire, and 5) if they really pissed him off, add a Stench to cover the area inside. This is followed by a Paut toast and some resting quietly.

    1. Yeah, for sure. Those pillboxes (and the whole entrance, in fact) would have been a much more formidable obstacle back in its heyday - archers or crossbowmen in the pillboxes firing across the pit, summoned monsters or sacrificially placed troops to keep enemies in the killing zone, and Fireproof and Purify Air spells to counter attacks on the pillboxes. But the heyday of the place is long gone, so it's merely dangerous and not murderous. A pillbox is really effective only if you can keep people at range, and that's not the case any longer - or if the attack is coming at the fortifications backwards, as in this case!.

  2. A couple of times you mention Raggi as being with the adventurers, yet he's listed as being "Still in town"...

    1. Oops, I forgot to move him up to the in play list. Thanks!

  3. Looks like a safe trip down the dungeon - aside from the traps someone left for them nothing really threatened the group.
    The PCs can't be too happy about their loot this time though.

    The volunteers on the other side: One almost dead from the one time someone fired at them.
    I wonder if that was enough thrill for Gort to be contented for a while. To relive the good old days of dungeon-exploring it was probably enough - going underground, meeting monsters, magical statues, some loot and a huge force of Orks. Depends if he planed to die in battle - or drunk in a bar telling his tales of valor from long ago.

    1. Yeah, it wasn't profitable. They found the head, but took a while about it and spent the whole session mucking around just under the surface. Not surprisingly after 30-odd sessions a lot of the easy loot has been picked over already.

      As for Gort, he was fun to run, so he'll probably be back!


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