Monday, April 26, 2010

Scene Three Part A: Along the Waterfront...

Scene Three - Part A: On the Dock

Chaos Factor: 5

Characters: Jimi, Eddie, Mrs. Rosse

Threads: Find out who killed the dead guy. Investigate the Salvage Company.

Wow this scene is long overdue!!! I roll 1d10 for scene setup [5] so this is an altered scene. I was planning to have Jimi interview the Salvage company folks and I’m not sure how I would like to alter the dock scene I was planning so I will try a couple of probing questions to get things rolling...

Q: Does anybody start off shooting at Jimi? [50:50, No]

Q: Is the place deserted? [50:50, Yes]

Rolling up to the dock where this salvage company is located I think about what I found in that file. There were definitely some discrepancies but nothing that jumped off the page and screamed out to me. There is a clue in here somewhere, I just haven’t figured it out yet. My alcohol riddled brain is probably starting to fail me already. Hope not, I’ve got a long time before retirement.

“Well, lets see if anybody’s home,” I say as I get out of the car.

Coming up to the door I note that there is a closed sign in the window. I peek through the windows and don’t find much, some desks, some filing cabinets, lame calendars, pinup girls, pictures of men holding fish and treasures hauled up from the deep, guys drunk at bars wearing wigs and the like. Pretty typical. I don’t have a warrant to start kicking in the doors so I’ll try the other way, for now. I note the security camera that is trained on me as I turn around.

I walk back to my car and decide to take off. I head out a couple blocks an find a nice Italian joint, a couple of subs later and a box full of coffee and I’m swinging back around to the neighborhood near the docks. I find a shitty hotel near the sea and purchase a room, I ask for a room that overlooks the sea. I take my camera with the telescoping lens, the subs, a notepad and a couple of magazines.

Yep, they were expecting me and pulled a dodge. A couple of hours later they show up in a white Ford truck with a cab on the back. Two of them. Then a couple more hours later a small boat comes into the dock, their ship must be somewhere off shore near the coast. I watch them buzz around and take shots of them. I’m far away but with some touch ups the boys in the lab will be able to make an ID if they had a criminal record.

It goes that way until dark. Then thinking about the fact that I have the room for the rest of the night I decide to call for some company. I know just the girl. I tell her to bring a bottle.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dark Acolytes of Elder Gods

I threw these little acolyte guys against my PBEM group - stats are based on Castles and Crusades but could easily be morphed into LL or S&W:

No Encountered: 2d6
Size: Medium
HD: 2+ (d8)
Move: 30ft
AC: 10
Attacks: by weapon
Special: (see below)
Saves: M
Int: Average to High
Alignment: LE
Type: Human
Treasure: 2
Exp: variable

Description: Acolytes serve the wishes of elder beings from the outer reaches of space and time. They frequently develop religious ceremonies, sacrifices, accouterments, and relics/objects that they feel connect them to their chosen "gods" but the beings that they worship think of them as lesser servants or sometimes as crunchy little snacks :) The acolytes are granted no spells from their worship of these gods, but over time the cult will develop methods of emulating true religions.

For example when encountered if there are over 4 acolytes present at least one of them will be have 3HD and will be carrying some kind of special object, examples include:

1. Lotus Dust(they will blow a pinch of this powder in the face of intended victims, enemies, and sacrifices) it will cause intense hallucinations for 2d6 turns during which time the victim cannot easily concentrate and receives a -4 penalty to all attacks and saving throws.

2. Healing Salve (they use this to simulate divine healing) it is a blend of herbs, fungi, oils and essences of strange plants and from the dark places of the earth. An application of this salve will cure 1d6 hp overnight.

3. Harmonizer - this device can create stunning audible noises when a master employs it by creating a very loud humming noise into one end of the device. If the correct pitch is hit, the device will amplify and harmonize the sound until all creatures with hearing with 60 ft of the device are beset by crippling headaches and stunned unless they pass a saving throw vs. paralyzation.

Other neat ideas are: greek fire, smoke bombs for evasion, strange mirrors with foul effects, etc...

Also, if the group of acolytes exceeds 8 members there will typically be 4HD+ acolyte who will also have access to at least one of the relics described and also will have 1d2 arcane spells. Typically these spells are not the standard spells from the players handbook but are devious black magics of the GM's imaginings. There is only a 50% chance that they will be carrying a spell book if encountered outside of their "church".

Example Spell:

Exquisite Horror - Level 1 Wizard Spell:

CT: 1, R: 100ft, D: 1 hour/level, SV: Intelligence Negates, SR: yes, Comp: V,S,M

Exquisite horror will imbue its victim with unshakable fear and horror. If approached the victim will try to run and hide from any moving creature they notice and if cornered will faint or freeze up with paralyzing fear or attack every being in sight. Victims already suffering from the effects of Lotus Dust will not be allowed a saving throw against this spell.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Recent History and Strange Observations

If anybody is still checking in on this blog... thanks. I've been massively overwhelmed in the last several weeks which has impacted my previous schedule of ~12 posts per month. Alos, my PBEM Greyhawk game is really taking off. My players have descended another level, finally acquired a bit of treasure from their adventuring :) and found an albino cleric. This albino cleric cannot communicate well with them for lack of overlapping languages but through miming and pictography they have decided they are on the same team for now and are now following this cleric down into the depths of this dungeon.

This albino cleric worships a god Ishu, which is the symbol of a three fold woman (bearing some resemblance to Istus) and they seem to be at odds with another group of clerics who have now captured the half orc assassin. There seems to be a battle of sorts occurring somewhere underground and the PC's found their albino cleric nearly fatally wounded lying on a bed in the dungeon. After quite a bit of debate about whether to heal the man they finally did and he awarded them with some treasure (by showing them how to use some golden masks to make their way past mechanical wasp guardians armed with death poison to pilfer some gold and gems).

But during this encounter I noted something quite odd about PC's. They will sometimes obsess over really strange things that you would have never guessed about. Take this description as evidence:

As Geodine and Esmeralda approach the wounded man he looks up apprehensively toward your strange ensemble. Geodine examines the man from a closer and closer distance noting that his stomach wound will be fatal without magic aid. As Esmeralda comes close to the man and takes first his club and then tries to grab at his Emblem he knocks her hand away and yells out something sharp and quick in his strange tongue.

As the torches draw near and he whips his arms about you note that his skin is pale, he must be one of these albino people you have heard about. Looking closer, his eyes seems to have dark brown pigment, so he is not a true albino - perhaps his skin has not seen the sun... ever. His dress is very simple, dark thick padded armor pants, thick boots, and he is shirtless except for his bandages. His hair is a long mass of brownish yellow and held back with a yellow tie. He has a bit of wispy beard upon his face but it doesn't grow thick.

Nau Gui addresses the man in two languages but he doesn't seem to recognize any of it. Instead he speaks once more in a non-sensical tongue, "Curthag unkthatack arosthack!"

A little later I posted this:
In the chests there are some thin metal masks (maybe steel) covered in gold
paint (you can see where it was scraped off in some spots. Also in the chests
there are more pants, shirts, bandages, a jar of what looks to be a salve of
some sort, and a light cudgel.

The rest of the room is bare except for a deck of cards on one of the small
tables. There are two doors in the back of the room one on the wall to the left
and one on the far wall. Esmeralda hears a slight buzzing noise on the other
side of the door to the far wall.

While some of the pc's focused on the dying man or the strange buzzing noise, and the chests full of strange thin metal masks... other PC's decided it was wiser to spend the next week of PBEM time examining the deck of cards that was mentioned in passing. They got into a minor in game argument over who would keep the deck calling each other grabby among other things. PC's will focus on strange things and forget about your obvious clues, I don't understand it, but it is true :)