Saturday, February 16, 2013

Arcis Enumre Play Report- GM-ing From The Heart And Ass

Menda is a Crocman named Smave. She is recreating a character she played before but she has sex with me. Joshua is a Gnome named Roddi. Raven is a Halfling named Galanno and 2HP (gotta love Constitution adjustments). Claude came in late and got shitty stats but played a Fighter named Steve.

They buy gear. "Can a Crocman just wander into a store in this world?" No they cannot, so I guess they're outside the city dealing with a peddler. "Who's blind." Actually yes that sounds perfect. I can always use a return of the Honor System peddler.

They get the lowdown on their place in the local political clime, their best chances at fortune and glory, but I stress that anything can and does happen. What do you want to do? "March into farmland and do good deeds!" Fuck now I need to think of something interesting to do on a farm. Um..

"You see some elves in a field with some purple cows." The fuck did I say purple cows for? This sets of a 3 second discussion about the relative normalcy of purple cows and a 3 minute discussion about stealing or eating them, or eating what comes out of their udders.

"Let's find the farm with the most cows and help them." "Or chickens." Chickens? Now chickens I can work with, Medusas breed their pet cockatrices with normal chickens and it's possible that, say, a Hag might also keep one for eggs for spell components... "No, we're doing cows." Shit.

The next house doesn't have any farmland attached apart from a small garden. It has one goat. "Okay we're doing goats now." Shit. Long conversation through the door with old man who refuses to open up for the Crocman who keeps threatening to eat his goat. Party half-convinces selves old man inside is the door when a little hunched old dude pops out of a back window and runs off through the field, even odds he's bringing back cops. Claude arrives late, so I let the digressions drag a little while I help him construct a character on the side. Three minute discussion about whether to take goat or eat goat. Three minutes discussing whether to leave the poor old man an apology not with the goat or on the goat but in the goat, shaved into its fur. A message of goat, or in the medium of goat. Smarter heads prevail and they head on.

Third house is quaint cottage with old woman who takes forever to answer the door and a cat. Crocman left outside to watch road for trouble. Old woman assumes other two are the authorities here to help her search for her missing spoon she reported. Still not sure if she's magic or has something magic or terrifying in the house. She brings them in to search for clues and totters off to can. Gnome expends Favor but gets no real result, instead I direct him to silverware drawer full of other spoons and forks and knives and shit, so he thinks he still had an effect. This works and he's proud of himself. Old woman taking forever in can, I realize, and it clicks what to do. Where's my B/X Companion I got on RPGNow? Flip flip ah, here we go, stats if I need them...

Old woman on floor. Dying. Says she cannot go on apparently, that it will have to be THEM now. Crocman hears commotion and enters, demands old lady's attention. She summons him forward, reaching up as far as his junk before thrusting all her magical essence into him. Red smoke erupts from Smave's mouth as member of County Watch comes through door investigating disturbance of peace the previous old person reported. Mist flows over everyone in the house as the house pitches and shakes. Then the house stands up on long, sinewy, viscous pink and green tentacles and begins slithering down the road. Newcomer cop is swept up for the ride, good way to integrate him into a party he's initially at odds with, see every action movie ever. Random Encounter roll finally comes up, so the PCs in the house, still unsure what's going on, slither past a group of highwaymen on the road. "Fucking magic houses!" they barely hear.

Cat reappears. Cat talks. We're an hour in, not counting creating 4 characters on the spot in 30 minutes. I love old-ass-school games.

Talking cat explains the house has a great destiny, one bestowed upon it so many owners ago that nobody really remembers what it is. However it must have tenants, because the house has to belong to someone, with the party now bonded to the house with Smave as head of the household. Talking cat is part of package deal, effectively a familiar-like being the house makes within itself as a kind of user interface. Gives me a way in-game to talk directly to the players about the stupid or awesome decisions they make and second-guess all their actions. Also I figured everyone would like the talking cat, and Menda hates my talking-cat-voice so that lets me antagonize her, which makes her stay in character if only to argue. Similar trick with Claude and threatening to kill innocents and letting Raven correct NPCs. Cat does a lot of exposition but it goes by quick and everyone stays in character. Awesome.

TARDIS jokes started already as have Howl's Moving Castle jokes. Cat has been renamed Housifer. Must zag on them: house isn't bigger on the inside or magically expandable but does stretch and add stories and rooms as needed. Room of Requirement mention as a speedbump but now we're back on to "holy shit walking house." Everyone takes a room and they sleep. Wake up in morning in forest clearing, surrounded by burned out houses. Houses are investigated. Swarm of bees encountered. Manage to get through entire bee fight without Eddie Izzard reference, a sign they're diggin' this. Bees sting the gnome to death, they drag him back to the house.

At this point I've a decision to make. I'm big on the whole shields-shall-be-splintered, everything-shall-be-splintered thing but this game is humming right along and I want to be sure they know the ropes and the kinds of consequences their actions have before chucking them in the real deep end. So I come up with a plan. A brilliant plan, one of whose potential outcomes includes a mobile dryad sex party living upstairs in the house. I put this plan in the hands of Raven. Raven does what Raven does which means he falls for the obvious hook given him by the cat but also falls for the equally obvious trap set by dryads, and now he's gone forever, unless I take drastic action.

Meanwhile they're finally searching house. They find a few potions and a few books and a few other things. Don't tell them what potions are but give them clues. One of the books becomes a recipe book with three non-food items written in an Arcane dialect; Yummy Juice, Upsy-Daisy Juice, Little Big Juice. Can't just blindly give them a resurrection potion though, let's see what that potion doubles as...."Summon Dragon" looks good. They feed potion to gnome. Sense of doom drawing close as gnome awakens.

Party interprets this as the halfling's return, because he's possessed by a treant by way of a magic acorn in his throat. Giant trees have surrounded house. Still trying to get them on line for dryad sex party but no dice. Decide to make treant sound pitiful and impotent since I feel his pain. Would have him manifest physically and smash house but I forgot to write up house stats during the bathroom break earlier and the game is starting to drag so I don't want to pause. Have treant make fun of them and show them how to VAGUELY work the house. One of the books discovered earlier becomes a map book marked with the house's favorite places. Menda is drunk by now and says "Take us to the beach!" Beach is where I put most of my dragons. Halfling spits out control acorn and is hale and hearty. That's two Mulligans I've given, third strike and these dudes are out.

Party flips out halfway there re: dragons and decides to play it safe and go find some treasure. House changes course. We take a brief break for some pizza and for me to roll some hit dice. They just want to go get treasure? Ok then.

House has settled again the next morning. Pitch black outside. Musty. Cave. Halfling and gnome go exploring with single lantern, Steve the Guard chooses to read the party's small library, Smave the crocman drinks a potion, the "Little Big Juice," and shrinks. Rides around on a severed zombie hand (do not even ask at all) like a mighty steed for a while and rolls to find a secret door. Finds one. What can she find at her height? Probable a lot more hidden places. Ok how's this: mouse hole with tasteful front door. Mouse is polite and his room is extremely spare, just bedding, no thimble teacups. Talks a little bit about how he's also part of the house, package deal, there's a lot of secrets and creatures living inside this house, which is itself a creature.

Outside Roddi and Galanno hear trickling water, scurrying bugs, and the unmistakable clinking of coins. Clink clink clink. Greed gets better of them and Gnome finds pile of treasure. A long scaly tail slithers out of the light. He widens the lantern's beam. Saving throw time. Woops! Three strikes and Roddi's out. Roddi and all his equipment turn to stone, including the lantern, leaving Galanno in darkness with a basilisk bearing down on him. If he turns on a light, basilisk will find him and he runs risk of petrification. If he stays in darkness, basilisk MAY find him and absolutely slaughter this 2 hit point Hobbit. Ray chooses to use his Halfling hiding powers and barely escapes the basilisk's wrath. He opts to go and hide in the treasure as the basilisk skitters off looking for him.

Inside Menda tries in vain to get Claude re-interested in game, climbing up on book she's reading. He closes book on her, nearly killing her PC. She's very drunk right now but coming down and I've rarely seen her so sad. She does survive without my intervention, though, and heads off to find more tiny-sized secrets. Rolls perfectly again, finds a crack behind bookcase leading to empty room with Alice-sized door in the floor. Knob too big to turn while tiny, door too small to fit into while normal sized.

Raven partly buries Galanno in the basilisk's hoard, sending the basilisk scurrying back. Has an arrow ready. He fires two perfect shots at the basilisk, even with a blindness penalty, before the basilisk closes the distance. Then, with both a blindness penalty and a negative strength modifier, proceeds to stab the basilisk in the face with an arrow, repeatedly. Basilisk keeps biting at him but the halfling keeps either avoiding the bites or making his saves and manages to entirely outlast the creature. It fails a morale save with 3hp remaining and runs away to bleed to death. Galanno calls out for Steve's help and over the next several hours, with adequate lighting and caution, they haul the treasure on board the house. Some characters have enough swag from just this raid to level past 3 but I only level them to 2; anyone who survives next session levels to 3 automatically. They get a ton of coinage and jewelry and some scrolls and potions.

Smave has returned to full size and opened the door in the floor. Tempted to go in a Locke and Key direction here but instead fill it with multi-colored aquarium sand, general all-purpose magical ingredient, by-product/waste product of house, they can use it for spell and ritual and potion components. Smave sets it on fire. Ok hell, let me give them a random potion, why a youth potion, I randomly roll. Smave takes a couple doses and looks 20 years younger, as much as a crocodile can. Housifer appears and acts all smarmy about this and to provide exposition (such as the material takes about a week to regenerate enough to be useful). In fit of impotent rage Smave forcefeeds Housifer some potion, turning him into a kitten. Smave smashes out through wall and bookcase and then helps Galanno and Steve drag the statue of Roddi inside. House begins to walk out of cave system.

Not bad for a session 1 with about 4 minutes of planning.