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Hack For More

WEEK 29: 10/27/04

by Edward McEneely
Nov 09,2004


Hack For More

WEEK 29: 10/27/04

[NOTE: I have a massive sinus infection right now, so forgive any incoherence beyond the normal.]

Having cleared out the lower strata of the dungeon, the players were ready for some healing before striding up to the final floor to fight the Boss Monster. Once again, theSpatula of Healing was trotted out and used to recharge everyone's hitpoints, although Laura was by this point becoming worried about how many charges it had left.

We were fortunate to begin early---well, early for us. We were all assembled and ready to go by 6 PM, which was good, because the evening saw a certain amount of tangenting that would have been ruinous if there was less time available to us.

Readying themselves for the inevitable, the party liberated several large wine casks from the partially flooded cellar after first determining that they were indeed still loaded with rich intoxicating goodness. Not wishing to be encumbered when they stormed up the staircase to the second floor, the PCs left the casks at the foot of the stairs, planning to return for them if things got dicey.

The spiraling staircase to the second floor was still littered with the bodies of freshly-dead orcs, obviously left to rot by the encroaching lizardmen. The PCs were a little nervous, perhaps expecting an ambush, but they made it up the staircase fine.

They were confronted with a long hallway terminating at a pair of immense oaken double doors, with a smaller wooden door on either side of the hallway. As per usual, the players made for the door on the left side of the corridor, but sadly the NASCAR rule failed them here, as it was the resting place of four elite lizardmen guards. Ha HA!

The guards had originally been ordinary Joe Schmoe lizardmen, but I had worried they might not be enough of a challege that way, so I gave them the full 20-HP kicker, longswords, and nice armor.

Now, don't tell the PCs, but I way over estimated the strength of the part on this one. The party was hammered, and I mean hammered. The penetration die rule in HackMaster adds a level of almost Rifts-esque overkill to the game. (For those of you unfamiliar with it, anytime a damage die rolls maximum damage, it's re-rolled and the next roll -1 is added to the total damage, bypassing armor. If you keep maxing out, you get to keep on rolling.) Erich was quickly reduced to zero hitpoints by constant maxxed out rolls, and only an emergency Cure Light Wounds spell kept him fighting at all. Seth was a little luckier, but the two of them were both in pretty bad shape by the time they had dispatched the guards. Cleverly, I had made it impossible for Erich to use his Wand of Poor Thinking On The GM's Part by keeping the action in the relatively close confines of the narrow hallway; Laura, undeterred by the close quarters, had stepped out of melee range and lobbed in Sidewinder Fireballs (much to the chagrin of the boys---Sidewinder Fireballs are area effect spells) and the odd Magic Missile.

Battered and bruised, the party rested up a spell before kicking in the other door, whereupon they found a quartet of cowering young lizardwomen. Erich tried to communicate with them, and failing that, set them free, but Seth and Laura (beware the perfidious neutral alignment!) callously slaughtered them as they fled, so that they would be unable to tell other monsters. A certain amount of mild recrimination was exchanged betwixt members of the party, but then it was back to business as usual.

Swinging open one of the main doors, Erich neatly dodged behind it to avoid a flurry of arrows. Seth wasn't so lucky, and was mightily feathered by lizardmen armed with bows and arrows, losing a decent number of HP. ("In a castle?" you ask, "Why would anyone have bows and arrows in a castle?" To that I say: "Shut up.") As Erich leapt to close the door, a gout of acid sailed towards him; he only just dodged it, but it left a half-moon hole in one of the doors.

Quickly retreating downstairs for the booze, the players charged back into action as Erich and Seth cooked up a little home-brewed napalm and sent a cask sailing into the room, followed by a fireball from Erich's now-ubiquitous wand. There was a colossal blast of fire and smoke, and then Erich and Seth charged in like the SAS at the Iranian Embassy to do some serious room-clearing.

Seth made full use of his 18 strength and lobbed another cask at what appeared to be a small blind monkey in a cage at the foot of a throne. The monkey retaliated with a jet of acid that annihilated the barrel, and Erich nuked it with the wand, incidentally catching the Lizrdman King in his area of effect. Undeterred---not to mention remarkably uninjured---by the fireball, the King lobbed his trident into Erich's shield arm and charged to melee range as Erich did the same. Seth tried to work his way into a flanking poisition whilst staying out of the way of the King's bastard sword, but became seperated from the fight in the smoke.

Erich and the King thundered into close range, and Erich rammed his Sword of Quickness deep into the bowels of that unholy creature. Unfortunately, Erich also rolled a 1. The fumble chart showed he chipped the sword on the monster's spinal column, reducing the amount of damage he could hope to do. In return, the now badly-wounded Lizard King beat Erich nearly insensible, only to have Laura take the top of his head off with a well-timed spread of Magic Missiles.

As they gathered their loot, wrote a letter home to their apprentice (Erich, seeing the grim spectre of mortality looming in the distance, has rolled up a Paladin protege that his character mails EP to at the end of every session), and generally contemplated what to do with the keep now that they had that crucial 9/10ths claim on it, the PCs heard the sounds of soldiers. A quick peek out of the windows revealed a veritable legion of Southern Orcs marching on the keep...

Erich Has A Laptop Now So He Keeps The List:

Ed: I like Blur. They look like a bunch of pub regulars. You know, the ones that would take the quizzes. All of them.

Laura: Sidewinder Fireball does d6-3...
Ed: It looked so great in Chuck Yeager's Air Combat! What happened here?

Seth (pretty beat up in the AC department): I need some new fucking armor.
Ed: Is fucking armor what that guy was wearing at the beginning of Excalibur?

Erich: So, what else is in this room?
Laura: A dead hooker.
Erich: Then Ben Affleck was here, right?

Ed (reveals the real secret of the tricorder): Spock's sinister view-master porn addiction is out of hand!

Laura (to Lizardwomen): Hey, can we borrow some eggs?
Seth (wayyy too cheerful): Yeah, we know they can't be fertilized!

Erich: [Looks at Seth] Seth: WHAT?

Ed: That's not the first time the female member of the party turned around and found the male members chasing after hookers.

Seth: I hate Hamburger Helper, but my roommates would not settle for anything less.

Ed (planning a hit during GenCon 2005): Mr. Salvatore, I was just wondering... WHY YOU MUST DIE!!!

Seth: I have delicious sailor sausage--and that's not a euphemism for anything!

Erich (explaining that murder is wrong): Look, who's lawful good? Trust me on this!

Erich: He is the Lizard King!
Ed: The Doors rock, baby! Whoo!

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What do you think?

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