Monday, July 13, 2020

GURPS DF Session 136, Felltower 105

This session was originally planned as a delve through the "Arctic Gate." However, one player who really wanted to go there couldn't make it, so the group changed to a more general delve.

Date: July 12th, 2020

Weather: Hot, sunny.


Aldwyn Hale, human knight (303 points)
     Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice wizard (150 points)
"Mild Bruce" McTavish, Jr., human barbarian (306 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (461 points)
Gerald Tarrant, human necromancer (374 points)
     2 Skeletons (~35 points)
Hayden the Ebon Page, human knight (307 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (306 points)
Sir Bunny Wigglesworth, human holy warrior (259 points)

We started off in town, with the PCs gathering rumors and buying equipment. The bought two picks and a shovel to dig at orc barriers, and three five-gallon barrels of wine. Once that was done, they headed out of town and up the mountain.

They went down through the trapdoor entrance and wound around towards the stairs down near the orcs. On the way, they stopped to investigate rumors of a ghostly woman in a room. Galen got his bow ready, and Sir Bunny readied his sword and vowed to "put her to rest!" Ulf wasn't sure that was what he was looking for. Either way, the room was empty and Ulf's calls did nothing to summon her.

On the way from there, they stopped and spent 20 minutes examining the pictures and mosaics along one of the hallways depicting cone-hatted cultists involved in ceremonies directed at six-fingered figures that resembles the rotating statues. They specifically looked for depictions of the lenses, but could not find any. Failed Religious Ritual rolls by Ulf and Sir Bunny meant that they couldn't decipher anything beside them having "religious significance."

They continued on and Galen found a trap - a tripwire leading to a crude "crossbow" smeared with a lot of monster drool venom, up on the ceiling behind him. He disarmed it with ease (he rolled a 4 on DX-based Traps). They continued on.

Heyden managed to dislocate his shoulder on a door forcing attempt (he rolled an 18.) Bruce couldn't budge it, then pulled it off with a crowbar they'd recently purchased.

They spent some time, using See Secrets, trying to find a secret door to a safe room, to ensure no orcs were waiting there. They frittered away 20 minutes or so trying to find it, but could not, and gave up and went down.

Now on level 2, they headed to the pit and down to the flooded prison.

There, they retrieved their boat, then called over to Big John and used Levitation to send Galen and Ulf over. Big John agreed to get three things for their three barrels of wine, and told them to go away for 30 minutes while he fished for them. They did, and heard some splashing and clanking. After 30 minutes or so, they found on the docks a high holy symbol, the orichalcum shield they specifically were seeking (aka Rusty's Food Bowl), and an ornate steel corselet. The first and last were Inquisitor Marco's gear.

Big John told them nothing big was left. They thanked him and left.

From there, they made their way up to level one, across it, and down to level two and then down the giant staircase. Inside the staircase they found a cut in the stone and some brown staining - likely bloodstains after something was cut was while down. They headed down. At the bottom, Ulf, Aldwyn, and Galen suffered from the "close air."

From there, they went to the Orichalcum doors. Armed with some knowledge from using Gift of Letters on the key, Ulf used Gift of Letters to read Osiran hieroglyphics on the door. He found they had many phrases, but didn't constitute a story or explanation. They noted what they found, tried touching the key to the crude triangle points and what was inside of them, and then eventually gave up. Oh, they tried some oral commands, using Gift of Tongues, but that didn't help, either.

One of the phrases was "Heaven's Valley." - "I've never been there," quipped Sir Bunny.

Nothing they tried helped, however, including See Secrets and Mage Sight. They revealed nothing.

Heyden opined it was either a clever puzzle door, or a gateway to the afterlife that requires judgement of their souls.

After a while, they decided to check the "dead gates." They checked the first, and found it flickered now and then. With Mage Sight Galen could see it was a glowing, full gate. But Scry Gate showed nothing to Gerry. They decided to move on. The close air got to them again, though, and Ulf and Varmus were affected.

They took a roundabout route to the other "dead gate." On the way, they found one of the black hemispheres had been restored.

So Ulf put up Silence and Galen shot it to pieces.

From there they headed to the room where the gnome used to live. They found it almost totally empty.

They tried the gate nearby, which was in a room with two statues. The gate flickered, again, but never coalesced. They decided they needed to face the statues toward each other. Aldwyn tried, but was zapped for 10 Hp injury and 3 FP from black fire. They gave up then and there, and decided to head off somewhere else.

One the way, Galen - and oddly Heyden and Aldwyn, despite their full-face helmets - heard the distinct scrape-drag of a pudding. So they decided to turn left into the "prison" area of the dungeon.

They checked a room, and Aldwyn was zapped with a bolt of flame and roasted. They found the room empty - they'd expected a blue bottle.

They wound their way around to the far exit from the prison . . . and found no prison exit.

They went back to the opposite side, and found no prison exit.

So they ended up checking the various rooms, seeing all of the bottles in the places they expected except the blue one. So they retreated to a Sanctuary for an hour, hoping that waiting out the time would free them - which is how they perceived their escape via the Pasha - which Galen and Heyden were there for. While in it, Ulf used Diagnosis to try and figure out the "bad air" issue. He figures it's something like hypoxia or too much carbon dioxide. They gradually felt better as they rested in the magically-created space. After an hour they exited but were still trapped in the prison corridors - it hadn't reset.

Heyden suggested putting the blue bottle where their map claimed it should go. So they did so, and found they could leave the circular prison area. So they reached another nearby room, and dealt with some dizziness-causing air in a room. They also found a rune, and decided to study it. Instead, they found themselves teleported to another octagonal room.

A short amount of exploring later they confirmed they were back on level 1. They swung by the temple so Ulf could try Dismissive Wave again - he took 7 injury, and failed, both for the second time - and decided to head home.


- No Skull Spirit, in deference to the holy warrior. The cleric only recently realized that they are Truly Evil. Yeah, they're ghostly assassins made from the skulls of sapient beings. You know, neutral. Hah.

- No combat at all today. Unless you count shooting an unarmed, defenses black hemisphere.

- "It could have been worse" - Bruce, with the Felltower adventurer's motto.

- The group will hire a sage to research the culture of Osiris, based on Ulf's notes.

- the loot was just enough, really. They kept Marco's High Holy Symbol - I think Sir Bunny took it, I'm not sure. He or Ulf has it. They sold his ornate plate corselet, which of course isn't quite as valuable since it was the old, Basic Set cost and weight. Legacy armor is legacy armor - a nice find, but not always so good. It was ornate which helped make it more valuable. So did Lighten 25% and Fortify +1. They sold Rusty's Food Bowl, too - a DB 1 shield, not matter how good, isn't something anyone wanted as much as cash (and thus, XP.)

- XP was 4 each, due to unequal distribution of wealth towards the experienced guys. MVP was Heyden for his idea on how to undo the "circular prison" trap. The question with that is, how did that bottle move, and what happened to the person who moved it?

- Amusingly, one of my co-workers texted me during my session. I said I was gaming, I couldn't talk now. My coworker said, "Sure!! Win!!!" I said it wasn't that kind of game, but also I showed my players the text. They groaned. I say, "My coworker said to win, so . . . " Gamemaster humor.


  1. "Varmus the Hanged"

    I always meant to ask, did Varmus acquire his mystical knowledge from the hanging, ala Odin-style?

    "Heyden opined it was either a clever puzzle door, or a gateway to the afterlife that requires judgement of their soles."

    So they have to be wearing the right shoes to get in? ;)

  2. Who wanted to go to the Arctic Gate? Crogar?


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