Sunday, January 31, 2021

GURPS DF Session 147, Felltower 113 - Orichalcum and Moon Doors

Sunday was the latest game in our DF Felltower game. For more notes and summaries, check the DF Felltower campaign page.

Date: January 31st, 2021
Weather: Cold, then very snowy.

Aldwyn Hale, human knight (313 points)
     Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice wizard (145 points)
"Mild" Bruce MacTavish, human barbarian (320 points)
Crogar, human barbarian (326 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (490 points)
Gerrald Tarrant, human wizard (420 points)
     3 skeletons (~35 points)
Heyden, human knight (307 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (306 points)
Wyatt Sorrel, human swashbuckler (326 points)

We started in Stericksburg, with the PCs gathering rumors. They got some about the yeth - they cannot be killed, only banished, and they're always the hounds of some greater being. Also, the hero Atrugex used to hunt them for their pelts.

They headed out soon after. Their original plan was to go to the Ape Gate, and talk to the apes. They realized after a while that they didn't have sufficient things to do there, so they decided to make that a backup plan. Instead, they headed to the orichalcum doors.

They made it to the castle, then down to the levels below and the doors without encountering anything. They heard some scratching and squeaking, though, on level 2, but never saw what made it.

Once down on the level they wanted to be on, they set up around the doors and began to puzzle them out.

They spent a few hours of game and real time on the doors, even in the close, stale air of the level.

They tried the following:

- pressing on symbols.
- tracing symbols.
- pushing and pulling on the doors.
- checking the hinges and gaps.
- knocking on the door (Wyatt).
- trying to sit back and find patterns.
- repeated uses of Gift of Tongues to speak possible passphrases.
- repeated uses of Gift of Letters to read combinations and seek patterns and so on.
- trying all sorts of things around the white triangle some folks had painted onto the doors in the past.
- trying to search the walls in the room for a different keyhole or trigger.
- Levitating Ulf up to the level of folks sized for 18' x 9' doors to look for a keyhole.
- drawing an ankh on with crayon (wax pencil; Heyden).
- scanning for specific pictographs associated with heaven, and combinations with birds, dust, and other symbols also on the key.

Eventually, after hours of this, they gave up. Lucky for them, they mostly made their HT rolls and nothing wandered up to bother them.

They headed next to the "moon gate" area. They checked that gate, and found it unchanged. Wyatt marked inside the door with chalk dust ask a giveaway for anything that comes along.

Next, they confirmed that a nearby door was to the Lord of Spite's cave area. Galen went in to scout, and picked up a few loose coins and came back. That turned out to be 3 sp once he was under actual light instead of Dark Vision.

After that, they checked the yeth hound corridor. Ulf's Sense Evil showed nothing, and they confirmed that with sight. From there, Galen scouted the rooms ahead before the group joined them.

The silvery doors were the next stop. Wyatt tried to push on the doors - nothing. He tried to grip the narrow raised band and pull - no effect. He knocked - no effect. They decided the way to pass the silvery doors was to touch the current moon phase. It was waning gibbous, so Wyatt touched that - nothing. He touched the "thumb print" (a small depression) and the doors swung inward.

Beyond was another elliptical corridor, ending in another pair of identical silvery doors. Wyatt touched the moon, and then the depression . . . and disappeared. Unbeknownst to the players, I started a stopwatch. 11 seconds later, Bruce touched the depression . . . and disappeared. Then at 16 seconds, Aldwyn, then Varmus, then a second or so later Ulf, then Galen right after that. At 24 seconds, Heyden. Crogar and Gerry waited. Gerry decided to buff up. He took his time figuring out what to do, then put a couple spells on and they went . . . at 2 minutes for Gerry and at 2:02 for Crogar.

Then we resolved what happened.

Wyatt found himself in a room facing a semi-circular wall - he was in a circular room around 35' in diameter. A humanoid shape of darkness and shadow with glowing star-like eyes faced him. He passed his Body Sense roll and Dodged the attack of the being . . . and retreated into two Waiting beings. They touched him and drained some life - they were Demons from Between the Stars, although he didn't know this.

He backed off at another angle, trying to ready a potion - his Fast-Draw was blown, so he spent a second readying it. They kept attacking, and he wasn't ready to stop them all. They quickly got him to negative HP . . . and he blew his roll and fell unconscious. (Later on, his player realized he forgot he had Luck. Oops.)

Bruce found himself in the same room, and in the same ambush, but only from two beings that attacked him from behind. He was hurt, but not badly (I rolled a lot of 1s, doing 2 injury.) He spun and readied his sword and fought back. He saw four of them around Wyatt - three touching Wyatt and one just trying to get in on him. Bruce started to back off as the DFBTS pressed him in close combat. He sliced them a couple times but inflicted poor damage right back. They eventually got him to the wall and he punched one . . . hurting himself and the DFBTS as well. He'd tried to retreat and walked into one Waiting, who struck him.

As this happened, Aldwyn appeared. He was attacked from behind by waiting DFBTS and turned to fight them. Varmus appeared behind them, and cast Itch on a couple. Ulf was next, and he tried to Rebuke Evil but failed, as the room was Low Sanctity.

Bruce eventually slammed his way free and then readied his sword. Alwdyn killed one, and Bruce another, in short order. The DFBTS healed themselves a bit from strikes on Bruce and then Varmus, who was hit twice but only took a total of 5 injury. Galen appeared, and since he has Acrobatics-16 and Absolute Direction he was fine despite the teleport. He showed up and immediately put several arrows into a DFBTS approaching him. It was wounded, and it attacked him viciously. He killed it a second or so later. He then turned and killed the one bothering Varmus. Bruce and then Aldwyn cut their remaining foes down, too.

They checked on Wyatt. (I rolled all of the damage he'd suffered right them . . . a totla of 21d+21 for 98 damage. He used luck and dropped it to 95 . . . still enough to be at -5xHP but well short of -10xHP. He was badly dessicated but still able to be brought back from the dead. After a minute more, Gerry showed up along with Crogar. The skeletons did not, despite having been ordered to do as Gerry and Crogar did.

In the room they found a moonsword, five moonstones, and some other salvagable gear from some other victim of the DFBTS.

They searched the room and found a "secret door," but no way to open it. They found some writing, which turned out to be in common, directly in the line of sight of those teleported in. It said, backwards, in block letters, "You must touch the right moon phase to get through the doors." Gift of Letters helped, kind of, but it was really just a simple writing trick.

So they tried to set up as if they were in the shadow of the waning gibbous moon. No effect. Same with the light part of it. So Ulf suggested they cover all of their lights. Bingo. The "door" was gone, according to Galen (who was under Dark Vision). They exposed a light, and the door was back. So they covered their lights and exited. In short order, they found they were in the hallway to the oracular pool.

They went back and opened the silvery doors. They saw the skeletons still pushing the door, to no avail. Gerry called them over and they headed back up to level 1. They stopped on the way to stick the key into Wyatt's "mummy-like" hand to touch to the orichalcum doors. No, that didn't work.

Ulf took them to a high sanctity area to rest and pray, and then to the temple he's been trying to Exorcise. He did his run, wave . . . and it worked! He removed the curse of the temple. But he was still taking injury. He ran back.

They puzzled over it a bit but then eventually just left. They trekked home in the snow and back to Stericksburg. They had Wyatt Resurrected, successfully, and then sold everything they found to just manage to make loot thresholds for most of the group (and Galen partially.)


- Fun session, but mostly trying to figure out the puzzle of the doors. Lots of good ideas, but then we had a lunch break . . . and people just weren't able to generate a good idea after that. They tried, though. They know there must be a keyhole somewhere, according to the oracular pool, but can't find one. And tried non-keyhole solutions, too.

- I expected the Demons from Between the Stars would possibly mess someone up, but I didn't expect them to kill Wyatt. I thought he might get beaten a bit, but probably to kill them all before the others arrived. Nope. Dead. His player really struggles to remember to use Luck. He'd sell it back if I'd let him. (I won't.) The massive amounts of light the PCs bring with them really does help out. The DFBTS just had nowhere to hide and couldn't manage to keep their momentum up as more PCs arrived. Having 9-10 people is a problem but also means you can overwhelm with numbers.

- MVP was Wyatt for taking the big risk. So he traded $15K for 1 xp, I guess.

Interesting session.


  1. What's a moonsword? Where is it from?

    Wyatt needs to take his place of honor in graveyard and get a shirt!

    I wonder if Galen will overtake Vryce?

    1. Someone referred to the green meteoric sword from last session as being a "moon sword" or a "moon gate sword" or something . . . so, moonsword. This one was of the same size and type (but not identical - someone asked.)

      Galen is very likely to overtake Vryce, as he's both active and quite hard to even hit, nevermind kill.


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