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Hack For More

WEEK 9: 04/22/04

by Edward McEneely
May 04,2004

 

Hack For More

WEEK 9: 04/22/04

BEFORE WE BEGIN, A BRIEF NOTE: A few of my readers have said that either Erich or I or both of us should apologize for the way we behaved towards each other. Well, that's not the sort of men we are. Instead, we agreed to meet upon the field of honor, slowly advancing a quarter-mile towards each other as we hurled brickbats. At least, that was what I heard. Erich thought I said "bric-a-brac", so as I advanced, flinging masonry, he threw Precious Moments figurines at me; at about the same time as I clobbered him with a particularly well-aimed chunk, he hit me in the head with---ironically enough---"Boy Throwing Stones". After the paramedics left, we shook hands like men do and that was the end of things. Onwards!

Ah, sweet sweet gaming. You were missed.

Erich, Seth (The New Guy), Laura and I all met up to hack away for the first time in a while (several years for Seth, several weeks for the rest of us). This week, I decided to undertake my first serious rules alteration, and deleted the twenty-hitpoint "kicker" that all monsters received. In general, I'm opposed to monsters that have more in the way of HP than EP, and this nicely eliminated this problem and gave the PCs a fair shake. Borrowing a page from Feng Shui, I've decided that only "named" bad guys will get the kicker, thus keeping them forces to be reckoned with.

Laura reprised her role as the lame-duck illusionist, Erich rolled up a brand-new Cleric variant called "The Chosen One" (causing me to constantly hum the Darkest of The Hillside Thickets' song of the same name), and Seth played a marooned Asian-style whaler (basically a fighter with the harpoon proficiency). They formed up outside the same dungeon they've been plugging away at for weeks now, accompanied by two pack goats ("Toothgnip" and "The Other Goat") and a pack mule ("Donkey").

The PCs traveled into the dungeon, exploring a not-terribly logical roomful of random traps and easily slaughtered six goblins, although Laura managed to get hamstrung by a lucky critical hit and had to be healed up by Erich, who did a total of five points of additional damage to her, between cauterizing the wound and sewing it up.

Then, it was time for a reprise of my best monster ever. The subterranean War Moose is my personal good luck totem; wherever it goes, amazingness follows. There's something inherently funny about a moose (if Invader Zim has taught us nothing else), and underground albino moose (mooses? moosies?) are---mathematical fact---twenty times more amazing than a normal moose.

Even without the "kicker", a War Moose is a dangerous beastie. With one bite, it reduced Erich to a single hitpoint (22 points of damage!) and severed his ankle. Erich then managed to reduce himself to zero hitpoints trying to cauterize the wound and was only saved by the intercession of Seth, who cashed in a "1d12 points of healing" coupon to save poor Erich's bacon.

Laura cast an illusory wall of flame, befuddling everyone else, who failed to disbelieve the illusion and marveled at the incredible power of the first-level magic-user. Seth ran the moose through with his harpoon, eviscerating it and bringing its reign of terror to an end.

The players searched the lair of the moose, turning up some fancy-looking Orcish moose-barding, a scimitar, a dagger, and moose food. Seth quickly gathered up most of it as trophies, assisted by Erich and Laura, and then the trio beat a hasty retreat towards the surface.

Behind them, they could hear an enraged howl as an Orc discovered the loss of his mount, and they returned to the nearby town to heal up while Seth traded moosemeat for a puppy and found himself healing under the stars to save money on lodgings. This put him in the perfect position to see a shadowy figure toss a flaming brand at the inn, just in time for the session to end...

Next week, Seth is off on a business trip, but Erich and I plan to try out Brikwars, a lego-based wargame. So that should be interesting.

Oh The Things They Said:

Laura (singing): Oh the zombie and the cowboy should be friends/Oh the zombie and the cowboy should be friends/One man likes to eat some brains/The other one gets some saddle pains...

Ed (On the uses of Mind-flayer heads): It's an evil tetherball, though.

Erich: It was self-defense! I missed!

Seth: Is the moose obviously hostile?

Erich (desperate): Can my donkey heal me?

Ed (non-sequitering, full speed ahead): It's, ah, like Reservoir Dogs walking past a moose.

Seth: Yes, I am nearly as cool as a moose. Ed: Not many men can make that claim.

Ed (Discussing the spoils of war): Where are the antlers going? Seth: I strap one on each of my goats. Ed (singing): You're a mean one, Mister Grinch...

Ed: If you were a moose-man, you'd be doing very well. If you had a potion of Polymorph to Moose, you could drink it. If you were stupid.

Omnes (Seth has rearranged the antlers of the moose to make a new animal): THE LAND WALRUS!

Ed: This is a Subterranean War Moose! They breed 'em light!

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What do you think?

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