Dungeon Mastering By Dummies
Fourteenth Sessionby NotYetMousse
Dungeon Mastering By Dummies
Fourteenth Sessionby NotYetMousse
The tunnel collapses, Thomas barely making it out, with a few bumps from falling rocks, while Jaj is transformed into a pile of bloody rubble (not to be confused with Barney Rubble) and his owl flies off screeching. After removing and healing Jaj, Thomas leads them down the stairs. A loose stone leads to tripping; tripping leads to falling; falling leads to a cantina full of goblins.
Jaj's player did confuse what I said for Barney Rubble, I'm was inclined to take him up on the pun, but thought it better not to reveal things just yet. I'd asked for an unspecified roll, hoping to induce paranoia, but natural ones occur at the damnedest times. I'd like to think the somewhat unique encounter ahead was superior to a few paranoid eyes looking my way.
The goblins perform a cooperative spit take at the sudden intrusion, and subsequent injury of "Lucky" before staring in abject stupefaction. A few alert goblins toss their coffee in the direction of the twin tumblers, splashing each once. Angered by the espresso assault Thomas smashes a goblin's head in, the body flying end over end into the wall. Jaj comes very close to cursing as he lets an arrow fly directly into the earthen wall. Showing disgust at his own terrible aim he tosses a Ray of Frost at the same goblin, giving him a very painful snotsicle. Batter up! Thomas pops a goblin head off it's corpse and across the cantina. Jaj casts Magic Missile, causing the iced goblin to sneeze snow. The goblins arm themselves. Thomas hits a third goblin, bloodying his face. The goblin retaliates with a hard blow to the chest. Another goblin tosses a javelin Jaj's way, narrowly missing his spleen. Thomas is downed by a morning star to the cod piece, wielded by an irate goblin. In this exceedingly dire situation Jaj slugs down a thick potion. It's a Maple Syrup! The resulting rush of power overloads the sorcerer's fragile little mind, causing Magic Missiles to spew forth from various magical ports in his body while he spins, flailing about like a top. This causes all the remaining goblins to splatter messily, and Jaj to crumple to the floor in a useless, but heroic, heap.
*gluglug* Jaj's shining moment stems from a joke, a reference, and an expenditure of his accumulated 'luck'. In his moment of desperation Jaj drank a potion no one had identified, which was going to be Delay Poison till Thomas' player joked about it's contents after hearing it's description as a thick amber liquid. Taking cue from this, and to sweat the group a bit I heartily agreed it was maple syrup. After a beat or two I'd told him about a spontaneous flurry of magic missiles as I swipe a couple cards from his accumulated deck.
Thomas, Hikaru, and Jaj, hung over, all awaken in an, unfortunate, situation. Bound, stripped, and suspended by a chain, (well technically the chain didn't strip them, most likely it was a goblin) they dangle over a big black cast iron cauldron filled with a foul stew, the chain leads upward to a pulley, then back down to where it is bolted to the wall. After a look around they find their missing equipment, but not their missing clothes, in a corner.
First thing I heard after saying stripped was a question about 'how' stripped the characters were. I'd make a comment on the maturity and self control of younger people these days, but the comment came from our eldest, and obviously loneliest player. So I said that all involved has their undies on. This week Hikaru's player had come back, and was awake all session long. Having resolved the sudden loss of Hikaru last session the start of the night and the above as a clumsy way of getting the lot together after planning to cancel the session.
Thomas begins the effort to swing them to... something. After a bit of swinging Hikaru manages to grab the length of chain directly connected to the wall with her legs. Trying to "walk" up the chain Hikaru notices that the wall bracket is quickly losing it's grip on the earthen wall. Thomas spots an entering goblin as Hikaru shouts a warning about the imminent fall. Thomas taunts the goblin, which tries to slice them with it's cleaver, standing on top of the proverbial X. The trio fall, squashing the goblin into a disgusting paste.
Their first idea was to swing. That's it. I was tempted to have them beat down with sticks wielded by blindfolded children, but didn't want them killing children. Hikaru's player came up with an idea to hook her legs around the chain to pull the group away from the boiling pot, but no one had an idea for escaping. Admittedly I was going to do the whole Bond bit with Zigblot slapping them around a bit before leaving to gloat about a plan to overrun the dwarves. After which he would leave them with Rube Goldberg style escape mechanism which could be triggered by pushing a button after swinging to the wall. Since they wanted to skip to the chase I went with it.
Hikaru manages to grab the cleaver from the goblin's corpse, cutting her hands free, drawing a trickle of blood from her wrist. Hikaru manages to wiggle free from the chains, leaving enough slack for the other two to slip free with ease. They arm themselves, aside from Hikaru, who's always got her arms (and legs), Jaj taking the cleaver for some reason. Thomas heals, while Jaj explains what happened with them and vice versa. Thomas takes time to restore his spells. Hikaru tries a bit of the stew, immediately returning it, along with the rest of her stomach contents, to the pot. Deciding to leave they exit the way the cook had come.
'Tastes like chicken' is overused. I just had to come up with a description of how rotten and putrid the concoction was. I'll spare you the details, but I had more leftovers than in the previous several weeks.
Upon entering the room Jaj notices his familiar hog tied and sitting within a small kitchen guillotine. Jaj hastily trips in an effort to reach his pet, Hikaru saving his, and his pet's, bacon. Surveying the room they find another, smaller, stew and something that's been roasted. All try the stew, not minding it's taste. After the sampling Hikaru finds her lost spice, albeit with a portion missing. Passing through the previous room they peer into the darkness.
Since there is no analog to a food processor I was pretty hard up to come up with a situation which would have Jaj's familiar there, bound, and alive enough to rescue. I have absolutely no idea why the party decided to try the second stew. I think it may have been to force me into another description in hopes I'd make myself sick, but I'd rather think they weren't capable of actively messing with my head.
Jaj proves himself by casting Light. They continue down the tunnel, pausing as Hikaru hears running water from somewhere about them. The tunnel widens and forks right, our heroes choose to stay down the established path.
I tried to describe the right path as the correct path. I described odd tracks, including an unbroken line in the dust as if a full sack had been dragged behind. I made certain that the sound of rushing water was coming from within the tunnel. I tried I tell you! They just didn't want to have anything to do with the plot. So instead of missing the evil mastermind on his way in and being chased out...
Jaj hears a weapon being drawn and retaliates with some of the same, whiffing madly. Jaj's quite surprised to see a slash across his chest, nearly downing the befuddled mage. Hikaru and Thomas attack the figure. Their enemy, Zigblot, retreats shouting "attack!". Six well armed goblins step forth as Jaj fires a Magic Missile at the scythe wielding goblin.
Lord help me, they're going to fight a larger, better armed, and most importantly fresh force.