Monday, June 5, 2017

DF Felltower, Session 87, Felltower 60 - Crowbar Fight & Lord of Spite

June 4th, 2017

Weather: Warm and clear to cool and rainy.

Currently Active:
Alaric, human scout (250 points)
Dryst, halfling wizard (435 points)
Hasdrubul Stormcaller, human wizard (296 points)
Hjalmarr Holgerson, human knight (304 points)
     Brother Ike, human initiate (148 points)
Mo (his momma call him Kle), human barbarian (316 points)
Vryce, human knight (493 points)

We started in Stericksburg, as usual. Raggi wasn't around (12 or less, Vryce rolled a 16), and neither were the Meeposian Brothers. Rumors were gathered, a lot of time was spent figuring out if ordered items had arrived, potions were bought, etc. One especially amusing rumor was that below two or so worked levels were only levels of caverns and caves, misheard as "taverns." This launched the idea of the Pub Level, and why Felltower neeeeeeeeds a pub level.

The group eventually settled on their goal for the session and set out, intending to raid the Lord of Spite. The worked their way up to the castle, climbed the walls via ropes and Levitation and Walk on Air. They went down into the tunnels, hammered up some spikes on both sides of the pit and strung a rope along the right wall to help people cross over.

Once that was done they moved down to the level with the orc hole, first ensuring they all knew where the trigger for the secret door to the "safe room" before they went down. They moved into one of the rotating statue rooms and tried the door towards the orc hole. No dice. They tried to force it, but again, no - it was clearly barred. So they put up Glass Wall and saw a bar.

Has' tried to use Apportation to move it but it was stuck. So Dryst tried creating a brute servant beyond the door, creating a crowbar for it, and having it try to pry the door. It wasn't strong enough. So they hit upon the only solution that made any sense - casting Body of Air on a stripped-nude Mo, sending him under the door, cancelling the spell, and then having him use the created crowbar to pry the door open.

Naturally, the orcs who garrison the hallways just beyond this point showed up as soon as Mo turned his back. Eight of them rushed him. He turned his back to the door and got ready, as the servant cowered in the corner. As the orcs rushed in, Dryst put up a Force Wall to cut the corridor off where it T'd out. Has' tried to put up a Lightning Wall but failed. Mo engaged the orcs. Has' put up a Stench spell on every hex except Mo's. Hjalmarr started to hack the door down.

Mo fought off the orcs, dodging their blows and swinging his crowbar. He beat a number of them down. Hjalmarr hacked a hole in the door and Alaric shot through it, nailing the orcs in and around Mo. Has' cast Apportation and floated one of Mo's morningtars over to him. He let go of the crowbar and took that and went to town. In a few seconds, it was all over. Mo smashed all of the downed orcs in the skull ("Oh no, this was the Antique Helmets Squad! You ruined our treasure!") and they quickly looted them. Mo put on his loincloth and picked up his shield, they stacked up behind the opaque Force Dome after Stench was cancelled.

Nothing beyond except some oil on the floor. They tried to light it up, but it just burned with oily black smoke - low-flammability oil had been dumped on the floor. So they stationed guards, used Create Earth to make dirt, and tossed it on the floor to make it walkable. Then they formed up and moved down the hallway. Orcs hassled them with thrown rocks and arrows, until Dark Vision let Alaric shoot down the hall to annoy them. He missed on shot and hit once, blocked by an archer's shield carrier, but then the orcs backed off.

They peered down the orc hole and decided to block it off with Create Earth and then casting Earth to Stone to make it a plug of bronze. They moved from there and slowly worked their way to the giant staircase and went in.

They wanted to rest on the stair landing but the door doesn't have a closing mechanism that they can find. So they just had to wait a few minutes for it to close.

They went downstairs eventually and moved to the Lord of Spite's area, halting just short of the room with the Force Dome trap. They heard gnolls coming from behind, so they got ready and send Alaric forward to shoot at them. They briefly saw a gnoll stick his head out from far down the offset hall and then they heard gnoll voices. The PCs charged, but the gnolls had a huge head start and left them behind. So the PCs went to the Lord of Spite's area.

The cave was as before - coins scattered all over, weird smells and sounds. They sent a servant to gather coins, slowly, with a lightstone so it could see. They checked the broken pentagram and sent Alaric ahead a little bit to scout. He moved off in the direction the slime came from and heard a wheezing rattling breath. Then as he got closer he heard a voice speaking in a low register - like he was hearing only half of the noises on the top end - and a pop. Then a creak, a step, and drag-stomp. He ran.

The PCs formed up in the corridor that leads to the caves, a secured door behind them, so they could run or fight. The servant was brought in, destroyed, and his sack of loose change taken.

The Lord of Spite slowly walked up, as Mo taunted him over and over. Alaric shot one of his skulls (he had three, again), putting a bodkin arrow right through the bone, but it didn't break it. (Piercing vs. homogenous = poor choice, it penetrated but wasn't close to forcing HT rolls for breakage.) The Lord of Spite stopped for a second and chuckled. Alaric shot at him again but narrowly missed him - clearly a Missile Shield. Then the Lord of Spite put up a wall of darkness behind him that even Dark Vision couldn't penetrate. Has' threw a 6d Explosive Lightning into it but had no idea if it affected anything.

The Lord of Spite marched up to the PCs and Vryce took a swing and smashed one of the skulls. The Durak unleashed his Unholy Utterance and blasted the PCs - almost all of them were deafened, and stunned, while Has' and Brother Ike dropped into comas. Dryst alone resisted, thanks to Luck and a critical success.

Someone, I can't recall who, got off an Awaken spell stone and woke up Has' and Brother Ike, while everyone else besides Vryce became unstunned. Then the boars slammed into the group, one goring Vryce for 27 injury. The other was shield-checked by Hjalmarr. Mo skull-cracked the first boar but it wasn't impressed with severe brain injury - they are demonic and boar. Within a couple of seconds the first boar trampled Vryce and hurt him, Has' rolled away from the trample, and Brother Ike was trampled and hurt. The boar wrapped around to come back. Hjalmarr cut the second one in the neck and caused a lot of bleeding but it was still up.

As that happened, Mo got his right arm nearly lopped off by the Lord of Spite's axe. Then a second later he lost his right leg entirely to an axe chop and was stunned by a blow from his club. Has' got off a Spark Storm but it would take three critical seconds to spin up to speed.

In those three seconds Dryst Great Hasted himself and Vryce. But behind the boars came two devil maws pirouetting up followed by first of what turned out to be 8-10 doomchildren. As the devil maws got in close lightstones - magical and holy - winked out, cancelled by their light-eating effect.

Vryce slashed a devil maw from the ground but it deflected his blade with a multi-arm block, then clawed him five times - he stopped one, critically failed on another and averted that with Luck, and then critically failed the next. He'd used Luck earlier to avert real disaster on the Unholy Utterance.

Seconds later, the fight was a disaster. Mo down, Vryce getting trampled and mobbed (and a doomchild jumped nearly into his lap and tried to cut him apart), Hjlamarr got slammed from behind by the first boar, Alaric was trying to fend off oncoming foes . . . deaf Has' used his ring and Wished that the party - and their limbs - were back on the Old Stone Bridge.

They appeared there, in mid-day traffic (which is kind of sparse on Sundays, but still exists), bleeding and fighting. The order of the day here was quickly healing people, carrying Mo and Mo's leg to the church for Instant Restoration, etc. It took many minutes before everyone could hear, people realized dropped weapons were still in the dungeon, etc.

In the end the PCs sighed with relief. They'd almost gotten destroyed by the Lord of Spite, but the timely wish saved them.

Here is an image from one of my players's Instagram:

We chose unwisely. The Lord of Spite defeats us again. Ring of Wishes to the rescue.

A post shared by Thomas Pluck (@thomaspluck) on


I've ruled that Glass Wall is cast on the object, not on a specific subject, and is visible to all, both directions. I think it would work better as spell on a specific subject that let you look through single-ply barriers, but still, this works. It might be interesting as either/or - one barrier both ways, or one subject any barrier as long as it's a single barrier.

Mo dodged really, really well against the orcs, even given full defenses and his Beefcake Protection. He should have a Dodge 12 in those circumstances (Base 3 + Speed 6 + 2 nudity + 1 Combat Reflexes). It turned out later he'd mixed up his dice, and was using ones marked 1-5 and a symbol on the 6, instead of his usual ones marked 2-6 with a symbol on the 1. Only a few turns in did he notice this, when a symbol and a 1 came up the same time. He probably would have gotten hit a couple more times, since some of those 1s he rolled were 6s. Sigh. This is why I hate cutesy dice - ones you can't read easily, ones with symbols instead of numbers, etc. There is no upside to them except being cutesy.

Again we had some issues with "is that one still up?" I used to roll HT rolls for consciousness right away, just to get them out of the way. What that did was let someone knock out a foe through accumulated HP of damage and then have the next PC know who to move on from, or the same PC move through that hex, etc. The best way to drop a foe was a lot of damage to force rolls, not major wounds to critical locations. We stopped that a while back but people still kind of expect to see foes drop right away from heavy torso hits. They will, but you need to kill them dead or physically knock them down to put them to the floor if you want it to happen immediately. It works in the PCs' favor many times as well, when they get hurt, but old habits die hard.

The Lord of Spite once again mopped the floor with the PCs. They only ever had him on the run once, and even then he carpeted the floor with dead orcs and crippled PCs. He's a demon lord, he should be tough. This time the PCs were ready for him but their tactic of channeling the enemy into a narrow killing zone actually put them in a narrow killing zone vs. foes easily capable of mass-area attacks and plowing through formations. What to do next time? It isn't clear. There isn't a huge percentage in "sneak up and steal a small percentage of his loot before he comes and forces us to use a Wish to escape."

The PCs only netted around $800 or so but divided it only amongst the lower-point guys so they all hit their $200 minimum for full XP. It was 4/0 for loot, and everyone got a +1 Awesome Bonus because they chose not to chop down a door, but to send a naked barbarian through with Body of Air to pry the bar off the door and then Force Wall in the barbarian with some orcs and put Stench on all of them. Seriously, that's the most weird dungeon delver solution to anything. Therefore XP was 5 each for the lower-point guys, 6 for Mo (MVP for the naked crowbar fight), 1 each for Dryst and Vryce. Exploration was 0 - they literally went to no new places at all.

This was a lot of fun. The PCs narrowly avoided disaster with a timely Wish, second session in a row. But it was just a huge amount of fun. Laughing, silliness, groans at good and bad rolls, etc. - it all was enjoyable. We were nearly in tears laughing at some of what happened. And we've got a pub level now. I told my group, "My game is great. And it's all thanks to you guys."


  1. Despite (pun intended) getting clobbered again this was a great session and lots of fun. And I can't wait for the tavern level. Ghost taverns, troll taverns, beer waterfalls, succubus barmaids... Valhalla... So much to play with. And good reason to buy alcohol tolerance and carousing!

    1. There might be a gate to the tavern world, but yeah, it's going in.

  2. My mega dungeon has a tavern level

    For real.

    Also combat encounters in said tavern just as an excuse to use bar room mini furniture

  3. Replies
    1. I honestly expect them to never go back to the druagr.

    2. I would love to go to the draugr room but I feel like we're short on ideas as to how to combat them effectively without melting all our loot.

    3. Metal melts at a much higher temperature than undead.

      I feel like there's a sweet spot there.

    4. Oh, sure, but gold jewelry is worth much more intact that lumps of melty gold, and Explosive Fireball doesn't come with a temperature gauge.

    5. Gold has a higher melting point than bronze.

      I'd be very concerned if an explosive fireball (say 12D) reaches the temperature to melt bronze. That's a max 72 damage quite likely leaving Vryce alive, but a hypothetical bronze object molten. I'm going to say the gold will be fine after one on target 12D fireball.

      That's 12 to 72 minus armour doubled after the vulnerability.

    6. I'm not going to look at heat of any fire spell, but at HP of damage, and apply those to the targets. Their loot is part of those targets and will suffer accordingly.

      Nevermind all the issues of being on target, of how many you'll need to fight 33 barbarian-sized undead, that their main wizards aren't that into fire magic so I'm not sure they even have Explosive Fireball, etc. etc.
      It's not so simple as "burn the undead without harming their treasure" in this game.

  4. Sounds like might have been just as well for the Meeposians they weren't available

    1. Yeah. The thing about numbers is that they don't help against difficult to resist crippling area attacks, they just increase the casualties. All those orcs did last time was distract a boar for a while, and they died almost to an orc.

    2. I don't know how often The Lord of Spite can use those abilities.

      Or how big the area is for that matter.

      There is the possibility of engaging him in two, or more, waves.

  5. Oh yeah the druagr! I'll push for the druagr. At least we know they have treasure, and ideas of their numbers, powers, etc. The gnolls/ogres we can kill, but we don't know if it will yield loot.

    1. You know their exact numbers (33), and how tough they are, and even have someone in town willing to offer a reward for the loot of one specific one at above-market rates. They're very tough, however, so no one ever feels ready to go and deal with them.

  6. I'd love to see Mungo Rematch sometime

    1. Now is the time to do it, they still have one Wish left . . .

    2. If they make enough maybe they could exhumed and res Keef, they could use another healing buddy

    3. They'd be better off just Wishing for him, Resurrection is -1 per day.

  7. I have a die with a 1, two 2s, two 3s, and a symbol. It was made for a specific boardgame.

    I think just designing your game around regular dice works better. One of the reasons I can't get into Fudge/Fate is that it means internalizing an arcane way of reading dice, far different from just "roll high" and "roll low".


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