This is a summary of part II of DF Session 126. It was a split session as we'd wrapped up a long fight that stopped us mid-session weeks earlier. The PCs returned to town, time passed to the current, present day in game, and then we resumed.
Galen was added as his player had been at the whole session, waiting out the re-start.
We lost about 90 minutes between the end of the previous delve and this one, spent discussing the previous fight and planning the next delve.
Date: Sunday, January 26th, 2020
Weather: Moderately cold, rainy.
Aldwyn Hale, human knight (278 points)
Astrid Cook, human barbarian (250 points)
Bruce "the Mild" McTavish, Jr., human barbarian (267 points)
Crogar the Lucky, human barbarian (268 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (409 points)
Gerald Tarrant, human necromancer (370 points)
5 Skeletons (~35 points)
Hayden the Ebon Page, human knight (307 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (285 points)
Wyatt Sorrell, human swashbuckler (286 points)
We started off in town - or at least many of the PCs did. Galen and Astrid camped out. Mild Bruce stayed in town, as he had some cash. Many of the others needed to borrow from Gerry, Ulf, and others to pay for upkeep. They'd spent themselves broke getting ready for the draugr.
Hayden earned some money in town declaiming his poetry, and Ulf proselytized. Wyatt scrounged. The group gathered rumors.
The group headed off to Felltower, and chose to enter via the trapdoor in the fallen tower. A skeleton tried to open it, and did so without harm. They climbed down into the dungeon.
They carefully made their way to the GFS, and Aldwyn opened the door. Out rushed a black-and-grey colored pudding! It slammed into Aldwyn, who blocked it and drew his wooden sword and whacked it. A second later it did it again and crippled his left leg. He fell, and the pudding camped on top of him, digesting him slowly. The PCs jumped it. Ulf put Flaming Weapon on Hayden's sword. Crogar chopped it repeatedly with his axe. Gerry moved up, contemplating using Deathtouch. Wyatt sliced it a few times and then backed off, checking his swords carefully against corrosive slime. Someone, I'm not sure who, talked about readying a flash of wine to wash it off. (As you can see, the PCs aren't terribly expert on the varieties of slimes, oozes, and puddings. Crogar called it an "ooze" the whole time. It's a fun variation of Tiger Fear.) They managed to chop it up, but not before Hayden missed a swing into close combat and hit Aldwyn, wounding him badly.
They pulled Aldwyn out from under the pudding and moved on. Gerry wanted to know how the pudding got in there. Wyatt checked the ceiling. They saw no more puddings there.
At the bottom, Mild Bruce again debated destroying the optical illusion floor that makes the stairs seem as if they'll keep on going.
They passed through the metal door at the bottom, and Galen scouted a bit. Gerry created a Wizard Eye to send ahead as well, and they followed only after it moved to corners to check around them. They made their way toward the second GFS.
The stale air only bothered Ulf, who went -1 on his rolls after failing a HT roll.
They reached a room with a black hemisphere of crystal on the ceiling. They were sure they'd destroyed it before, and something was repairing it - maybe for the second time in this room. They sat back and shot at it with arrows from Galen's bow and Mild Bruce's harpoon. As they did, though, weird howl-cries came out, and five gargoyles flapped into the room and attacked. Galen shot one and pierced it twice with arrows. Another one slammed Galen back, wounding him and knocking him backward. It was quickly beat up with non-magical weapons and then killed by Crogar. The others flew away. No one pursued.
They resumed shattering the crystal hemisphere.
From there they made their way towards Phase Snake Junction, and stopped at what they call the Water Magic Room - the room with the deep blue pool of water. The new PCs drank from the pool. No one who drank before drank again. The water turned out to be Essential Water - marvelously filling and delicious. It made no one stronger. Wyatt wanted to jump in, but the others prevented him.
The stale air was still a problem - but again, only to Ulf, who was now at -2.
They moved into the hallway of the obsidian golems, but only after scouting it with the Wizard Eye. They edged up to the first opaque field on the left and cast another eye in it, and found nothing. The same was done on the next one up on the right. Nothing.
At the end of the hallway, Aldwyn unlocked the door by touching the six-fingered palm print.
Beyond they tried to pass the illusionary wall. This was tough - it took a successful Will roll, and failure meant attempts at 1 FP per attempt and a cumulative -1 to the roll. Ulf needed to cast Strengthen Will a number of times to get people by. Down some FP, they continued on and then right to the GFS. Above were painted stars. At the second GFS, Wyatt wanted to know if the stars on the ceiling were the same. He couldn't tell.
They couldn't see very far down, even with Dark Vision. Lightstones dropped down to the depths vanished after a short time, with seemingly shorter lives than expected. They did hear some distant whirring noises. The headed down, single file, along the 7' or so wide steps. Wyatt examined and measured steps to determine the rise and run, and later counted the steps (so the player could justify doing trig to determine depth - he said 180-200' later on after doing so.)
They reached a landing with a silvery metal door with a six-fingered handprint on it. As they did, the whirring got louder - and out of the darkness shot a pair of large spheres with four arms ending in scythe blades. The speeding blades blew past the party and attacked at random on the move. They moved up and down like saws, slashing at the PCs. So the PCs clumped up in twos and threes. Galen shot at them, damaging one. One swung a blade at Galen and injured him - and another slashed at Astrid . . . who rolled an 18 on her Dodge roll and fell. She was in the middle of the steps, so I gave her a flat DX roll to grab on and not fall off the ledge. She blew that roll fairly badly as well, and over the edge and down she went.
Gerry immediately stabbed out his staff and cast Levitate. She was a bit more than 10 yards away, and he had spells up, for a net -15 off of his 21 skill. He rolled and failed, then used luck - and then failed . . . and then rolled the 6 exactly. He halted her motion on his next turn.
Meanwhile the waiting PCs managed to hit the spheres, despite a lot of dodges early in the fray, and drove them berserk. They slashed crazily at the PCs but eventually got hacked down. In their frenzy to hit the agile spheres most of the attacks were Deceptive and one was followed by a Feint. (The players were way off of their game for dealing with Berserk foes.) Aldwyn disabled one with some stabs, and the other was smashed down by Hayden and Aldwyn. (IIRC)
The two spheres crashed down but neither landed on the stairs below - they dropped into oblivion. "There goes our loot!" was the consensus. They'd been planning on bringing them to Black Jans - although some others were opposed to doing that.
On the landing they opened up the door and found a similar setup to the level above - a short corridor to a 30 x 30' room with exits in all four directions including theirs.
In the center of the ceiling was a hemisphere of black crystal. A quick look by Wizard Eye showed them corridors in the other directions. Ulf cast Silence and Galen got to work shooting the crystal to pieces. It took some time but he destroyed it. The Silence was expensive so they dropped that soon after.
Galen crept ahead to scout. As he stepped into the room, he felt a tearing pain wrack through his body, and he took 11 HP of injury. He backed off. They tried the floor several times, with a skeleton Levitated into the middle of the room, a skeleton standing on a shield laid down on the floor, and so on. Nothing worked. Aldwyn tried, since he'd touched the handprint. Nope, injured (also for 11, if I recall correctly - it was a common number on the 3d I rolled.)
Eventually they decided it was time to cut and run. So they sent the Wizard Eye to explore the right corridor first. It passed a pair of 10' alcoves and then reached a room with oval windows through which streamed green and blue light. Flying out of them, the eye spotted a cave with no obvious exits. Its walls had jutting out crystals glowing blue, green, or a mix of blue and green in the same crystal formation. The room jutted out and over the cave like a balcony.
The eye was sent out of an exit to the left, and saw a balcony area ahead but disappeared when it got close. Destroyed? Dispelled? Who knows?
Another eye was sent but was destroyed or dispelled as it reached the niches.
The PCs had enough. They headed upstairs and out, and eventually wound their way out of the dungeon.
I hadn't generated rumors since I'd expected the whole session to be Draugr II. It was not, so I hastily wrote up a couple more to fill out a list of 12 to use for the session. I had maybe 9 ready. Now I've got maybe 5 . . . I have a lot of writing to do for next session.
Wyatt's character needed Instant Regeneration - priced at $2,500 using the price guide from Kromm. Regular Regeneration would have been much cheaper, but would take a month to recover. The current game date was just a bit short of a month from the previous one. His player asked if they could wait around in game for a few days. Nope. The game date is the real date unless in-game play forces it to be otherwise. I once allowed the group to go back home and come back the next day to get a specific scroll, and I didn't like how that went, so that won't repeat.
Wyatt successfully rolled Scrounging and found a crystal vial. That's been his go-to. I decided enough was enough - it's boring for a skill to be mostly "roll to find a crystal vial" with something better on a crit. I decided it had to be something different each time. That's much more fun.
No, I don't allow oozes to be Zombied. Mimics, yes, but they're an exception. It's not clear if they are "ooze" anyway. Amusingly, after my ghost post, someone suggested casting Affect Spirits, and others opined that blows only did 2 HP of injury maximum. Homogeneous and Diffuse creatures are really different, and Affect Spirits isn't useful except against a very small subset of creatures. I'm not sure why it's become a generic "Make my weapon kill things that are hard to kill with weapons" spell.
Once the session time was almost up, I was really surprised that they chose to fiddle around with the area they'd discovered. I'd have guessed they would have climbed down the stairs more. But they were concerned about the light-eating effect and weren't willing to see how far down it goes.
Speaking of stairs, the player of Wyatt is a former architect, which is why he's all about measuring and determining depth and so on. He's likely to pick up on errors I've made in depth, size, etc. due to me just freehand drawing on graph paper and not having the mathematical skills to determine depth between levels, require size of supports, etc. I just winged it; actual math is likely to turn up numbers that make perfect sense but don't match previous castings of Seek spells, correctly line up levels, factor in length and depth of stairs, etc.
Also speaking of stairs, Astrid's player wasn't feeling well and stepped away from the table for a bit. Her GM rolled for her on the dodge and DX rolls that would have killed her except for Gerry. Oops.
XP was 1 each for exploring a new area of significance (the bottom of the stairs - I don't count looking with a Wizard Eye as exploring.) In any event they weren't close to 10+ areas of significance. MVP was Gerry for the save.