Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Somewhere South: Wetham Days

GMing felt great last night - it had been far too long between games nights. Will have to think about that in the next few months, as there are still times when I'm going to be away. But anyway! On to the AP. I did a oneshot for Patrick a while back that started off in Tales of the Scarecrow and ended up in the city of Wetham. Last night continued the adventure...

We join Orve, Vaskin and Orchard (all Patrick) as they arrive at the bar they've just bought. The bartender is an inebriated Elf named Rowntree (David W), who agrees to keep working for them/join their adventuring party. The party have some problems: they're low on cash, an alchemist named Arvik Bleeve has registered complaints with the city watch about them, and there are rumours that a streetgang called the Chuckles might be targeting the bar.

After picking up a few rumours and getting the lay of the land, they head off for an evening of gambling and sightseeing. They play doubles Flaming Chess against a noblewoman and her companion, and are able to pull off a convincing win with only minor burn injuries. They gamble Orve's magical sword against a jewelled chainmail and win, and are told about a warren half a day's ride north of the city where a demonic rabbit is stirring from a thirteen year slumber.

After a few more hours seeing the sights, becoming worried about the possible powers of Arvik Bleeve (who lives in a cube-shaped house with a permanent lightning storm above it) and finding no trace of the Chuckles, they retire to the bar, and in the morning set off for the warren of the Dread Rabbit!

They arrive without incident, and find a few remains near the entrance which are being picked over by strange yellow worms. Not all of the remains are human... Rowntree has keen ears and hears the sound of fingers down a blackboard - a three-feet high moving statue advances on them, an upturned half sphere with a single eye on top. It walks on four evenly spaced legs, and swings triple jointed arms tipped with stone blades at them. Despite the small size, it is very fast and dodges or deflects most of their blows. Despite serious injuries, the party prevail and crush the black diamond eye, killing the monster.

After finding Elm, cowardly hunter - who was hunting the "wascally wabbit" - they learn a few things about the warren, and then are forced to kill Elm as he turns on them. They find a chest with some strange artefacts in them (including a book of Summoning) and then continue on. The party rush into a pitched battle between half a dozen giant yellow worms - which move end over end like slinkies - and eight psychic ratlings (TU-Rats). The battle is going well, until Orve's magical sword betrays her, striking a ratling and killing it. With the worms killed, the party stand in a room filled with yellow rubbery-ooze and seven angry ratlings who want to take Orve prisoner.

Rowntree breaks the stalemate by casting Enlarge on himself: the ratlings flee. With injuries, treasure and no magic left for the day, the party decide to retreat from the warren - for now at least...

Vornheim: The more I use it, the more I love this book. The inspiration that the random tables throw up naturally weave to create really interesting characters, places, situations - it's the works. Highpoints from random rolls last night were Flaming Chess (which will get a separate post soon), an encounter with a whisper that only one of the party can hear, and which seems to want something from them in the warren, and all of the names that came up - Klaus Griever, Grendzel the Crippled, Wazi Skulk - and two of the best bar names ever, the Cup & Beaver and the Fond Weasel.
Generating the Warren: despite being an idea for at-the-table generation, I saw a lot of value in the tile method from this post as a pre-session generator too. The pictures of tiles really spoke to me, especially as I knew that I was looking for a warren dug through the earth. I rolled a ten by ten grid of numbers on d8s, and then used the tiles to fill in the shapes. In only two or three places did I have to tweak the shape, which I think is pretty good going.
XP Watch: 2918XP in total, half went to Rowntree the Elf and the rest went to Patrick's three PCs, who could divide it as he saw fit. One of the PCs went up a level, but with a very low HP increase.
Summoning Demonic Black Pudding: I ruled that the Summoning book would allow Orchard to try and summon something (with a +5 for evil magicks). His summoning sort of failed, and he didn't get what he wanted, but was then able to dominate the 1HD snake made of blood which appeared. Everyone was terrified. Especially with the descriptions of it.

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