I really wanted to introduce Crimson Dragon Slayer to a group I'd never roleplayed with before... just to make sure my love for the game wasn't solely dependent upon the people I was constantly gaming with. I got my wish earlier today, playing with +Forrest Aguirre, his two friends Tony and Julius, and veteran of the Ultra Zone, Daniel (who made up for Forrest's other friend who was sick and couldn't make it).
Not having time to prepare much beforehand, I decided to use The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence. I've done both 'getting to the purple islands' and 'having been on the islands for awhile' one-shots, so decided to go with the latter.
Here are the characters...
Shade Ivory, a halfling ranger/shaman was played by Julius.
Great Mega Dread, a crystalline wizard was played by Tony.
Little Plasma Bane, a robot wizard was played by Forrest.
Rex Slaughter, a dwarf warrior was played by Daniel.
Everyone rolled 3d6 in order. Daniel rolled an actual "3" for Rex Slaughter's intelligence. He had the option to re-roll in exchange for rolling on the dark secrets table in Liberation of the Demon Slayer. He took advantage of that option... but to raise one of his other ability scores. Daniel is one of the weird ones (which is probably why he feels at home at my table).
Let me see if I can get the backstory we hashed out for his character correct: he started off as the CEO of a successful company, like Christian Grey from 50 Shades of Grey. So, in the real world (before he was sucked into the Crimson Dragon Slayer text-based RPG for the Commodore 64 by Infravision, circa 1983) he was really smart. But then he communicated with Yogsoggoth in the public restroom of his office building. In the stall next to his, there was a demon lord who asked for some spare toilet paper... and was denied. Instead, he got a face full of Yogsoggoth!
"You ask for extra toilet paper, you get a Great Old One!"
The sanity-crush was too much. Rex Slaughter went from CEO to "I like candy corn!" and I think in that moment was ushered into the Crimson Dragon Slayer game. Thule suddenly had a new village idiot.
I won't go into too much detail, but there were several encounters. Some cavemen inside a cave. The savages became a cult under the leadership of Faashko, the Practitioners of the Black Path High Priest (the PCs found a wallet inside his robes). They were sacrificing none other than Kalthalax, the legendary demon slaying sword! Because... why not. I had rolled on the "what are they sacrificing?" table and got relic/artifact (found in How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss). Just so happens that I had brought my newest acquisition, a foam LARP sword that looks like it was corrupted in Hell. So, I slapped that down on the table once the PCs had possession of it. The players were impressed with that bit of visual aid - the kind you can take a few practice swings with.
"I like candy corn!"
Purple also has a personality table for magic swords. It's like the dice new what the Hell they were doing... Kalthalax demanded to be worshiped. So, that led to some interesting roleplaying between the blade and its wielder. "Announcing my presence before I wade into the blood of your enemies would be nice."
Midway through, the PCs fought space invaders... like the video game. As damage was done, their chartreuse neon pixels went out until all three were eventually de-rezed. The fight was only half over before the 8' tall robot went offline for repairs.
More cultists happened by while the adventurers were sleeping. Luckily Great Mega Dread was on watch. Trying to ward them off himself, he cast mesmerizing magenta mist. It worked, but the purple islands can have a strange affect on magic. His spell also conjured 3 small sub-species imps that served him for five rounds. In that time, the little demonic critters offed two of the cultists.
One of the strangest moments was after the new cultists' bodies had been looted. They found a singular gemstone. I rolled on the colors table (also in How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss) and got "color changes based on mood", #82 or something like that. For the robot, it stayed grey, for Shade Ivory's happiness it turned yellow. For Great Mega Dread's frustration I wanted another random color. Believe it or not, I rolled the exact same result!
After a few seconds of thought, voicing my curiosity aloud, and a little back and forth from the players, we determined that the gemstone changed color based upon the mood of the holder, as well as, its own mood determined by how it felt about the person holding it. Weird...
Rex Slaughter wanted to smash it, but being crystalline, Great Mega Dread was determined to keep it safe.
"Dumb is not an emotion."
That's when a damaged tank was found with a working laser cannon. Also, a small, thin rectangle communicator that put the adventurers in touch with Navigator Jones First Class. He was on a space station called Alpha Blue and would pick them up in about 25 parsecs.
Before their rendezvous, the guys felt a tremor along the ground. Seconds later, a giant purple worm erupted from the crater's center. That's when Rex Slaughter slashed at the worm eleven times in a row (my own misinterpretation of badly worded rules regarding fighters being able to attack until they miss). He did 64 points of damage. Little Plasma Bane was back at the laser-tank and shot the thing for about 35 damage. Kalthalax and a spell from the crystalline wizard finished it off after the worm had just about eaten the magic-user.
Alpha Blue descended and beamed the travelers aboard with a soft cerulean light. They were greeted with a bevy of blonde bombshells in sparkly-silver bikinis.
From what I could tell, everyone had a great time. There was some post-session discussion about that warrior's special ability.
In my mind, when I wrote those words, I think I meant that only new targets could be hit, if they were within range - not that a warrior can attack and just keep attacking until he misses. Because if he's going to roll 3d6 for his dice pool, it could be a dozen rolls before his turn ends. That's too much for everyone else to sit through.
Daniel came up with an intriguing alternative. For every extra attack, a warrior loses a point of constitution temporarily. I think I like that better than mine.
Well, that about does it. Thanks for a great game, guys!
p.s. Forrest did his own write-up here.
p.p.s. I came home from the game to find this review of The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence. So, thanks for that, +Bill Adcock!