June is a busy month, so I lost two players from last session and gained a new player (with whom I've gamed a lot over the years).
The PCs: Sir-Yut the human ranger (female), Iron Fist the dwarven fighter, George the human druid, and Bel-Vadren the elven magic-user.
So much stuff happened that I'm going to give the highlights (in no particular order)...
- Finally got to use The S'rulyan Vault map from last year's Kickstarter. It really made the game come alive - without using a terrain map and miniatures that could disrupt our theater of the mind approach.
- Before returning to Dwimmermount, the party acquired a new hireling in town - a 1st level human thief named Barret. He mostly keeps to himself, usually stays out of battle, and charges 5 gold pieces per day.
- I remembered to whip out the massive DCC tome in order to get the mercurial magic table for all spells cast. There were a lot of interesting results! The rat-like demons who crawl out of the wizard's sleeves to fight alongside him was possibly the best.
- The PCs discovered several steel cylinders containing azoth - a rare and potent sorcerous liquid that can be used to enhance magical properties. Instead of black, as Dwimmermount describes it, I went with a luminous yellowish-green, like Predator blood... and Mountain Dew (seemed appropriate).
- I realize that more than ever, I should be rolling for the amount of noise being made in the next room, especially when characters are actively listening for it. This is what I came up with.
- They fought gnolls, goblins, humanoids wearing dead spider parts, crab-men, a hollow-man from the DCC bestiary, and a gelatinous green troll based on a normal troll but given a little gin-sequoia via the Monster-Palooza random table in How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss. The only death was at the end with the green slime troll - Barret was hit, failed his save, and melted into a pool of slime.
- The PCs ransacked a forbidden library - all the books, save one, fell apart in their hands just like that scene in the original The Time Machine film. The remaining book was magical and contained the spell Flaming Claw of the Demon!
- A wand was discovered hidden under a lip of some marble altar the crab-men were using to sacrifice one of the spider-worshiping dudes. "Tastes like crab, talks like people." Wands are interesting because they expend charges in order to make magic. This particular wand had three spell-like abilities and each one used up a different amount of charges. The wand was almost dry, but Bel-Vadren had the idea of soaking it in the azoth - turns out he was right! The wand was fully charged again.
- One wooden door was carved with a triangle within a circle and that symbol had been glazed with azoth recently. It was also trapped, as it happens. Barret doesn't do so well with magical traps. Luckily, George got in the habit of knocking on each door with his ten-foot pole after Barret's check. It went from a ten-foot pole to a nine-foot and nine-inch pole as a sorcerous scythe swiped down and took three inches off it.
- I used a really old homebrew gemstone random table. Wanted to use my translucent green Kort'thalis Publishing dice with the demon/dragon logo in pace of the "6." First time I rolled the percentile dice, it came up "100," that made one of the found gemstones a star stone (aka sorcerer's crystal) which effectively doubled the potency of a wizard's spell once per day.
- Another time I rolled on the gem table one of the diamonds came up cursed. To differentiate that diamond from the others, I had Harold roll on the color random table also from How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss. The diamond had eggplant coloring with amethyst veins. The cursed gem was simply bad luck. Using the wand to remove its curse, the purple diamond became good luck, giving the owner a +1 to any roll he wished, once per day.
- They also picked up a magic weapon - a short sword +1, +3 vs. wizards; it detects the presence of undead with a sparkling black jewel in the hilt's crosspiece - it glows unnaturally when undead are within 30'.
- There was a dimly lit room where several robed cultists, chanting, sat around a feebly glowing shape set into a stone presentation area in the middle of the chamber. It was faceted and semi-translucent, it's glow was faint because of all the caked-on dirt, grime, dust, and cobwebs covering it. One of the cultists was about to pour a decanter of azoth upon the weird glass object. The cultists were killed, with the pourer dying first.
- Bel-Vadren attempted the same trick as the cultist pouring azoth. The azoth trickled upon an ordinary spider which turned it monstrously large and mutated. It bit the magic-user's face which made him nauseous (with vomiting), but also gave him 4 arms. After the spider was killed, George decided to smash one of the facets with his nine-foot and nine-inch pole. I rolled a saving throw for the ancient vessel of magic and rolled a "1." Bye bye, demon containment unit! Luminous steam rose from the glass-like object and a malevolent presence entered George. They now share possession of George's body and soul.
- In a circular chamber sat a large, hairy, corpulent demon upon a throne, attended by a variety of demonic humanoids. There was wine and Iron Fist rolled a natural 20 to sneak up to the cask of wine and drink himself silly. In exchange for a piece of jade found earlier, he let the adventurers pass through, after George negotiated with him in private, allowing them to head down the stairs to the next level of the dungeon, if they so wished (they did not).
If you're saying to yourself, "Hmm, this doesn't sound like the Dwimmermount I know," well... I've definitely made it my own. There's a passing resemblance, but no other GM will mistake his Dwimmermount for mine. It's been Vengerized!
We're all looking forward to next month's session #3. Until then, I've got a bunch of exciting new content for this blog and Draconic Magazine. Stay tuned.
p.s. Want your own (possibly) giant old school dungeon map? The S'rulyan Vault II kickstarter is still happening.