Here's another session report... three players (one returning) explored the weird and sleazy 2nd level of the Cremza'amirikza'am megadungeon.
Even if you hope things go a certain way, you never expect five dark elves to gangbang the willing half-orc priestess of the adventuring party. That's just not something you see everyday... or at all.
After taking minimal damage from a landmine, the PCs were undecided as to which direction they should go. To the northern cave where some great beast slumbered noisily or to the east - a massive cave containing 20 humanoid slaves (wearing high-tech prison collars) and five dark elf overseers.
The slaves were mining little glowing purple crystals called embers. One slave discretely tried to buy his freedom with the embers he was carrying. Meanwhile, the half-orc Yarra was cat-calling the dark elves, seeing if they were willing to go to town on her.
Eventually, the half-orc's filtrations proved too much for the dark elves - that accursed magenta-violet light making those susceptible crazy-horny.
Now that I recall the details, only 3 of the dark elves mounted the half-orc's waiting orifices. The other two tried to maintain some control over their slaves. Too little too late. A slave uprising was at hand!
As the slaves went in all sorts or directions - a few going into the slumbering beast's cave only for one of them to get cut in twain by a gigantic slimy crab-claw - the PCs went to another tunnel and found the resonator.
The first thing Worm the human fighter did upon reaching the resonator was to fiddle with the controls. An invisible barrier stopped him, so they kept going.
The final cave contained a trio of pale, bloated cannibals eating humanoid flesh. Liking those odds, the PCs attacked as the cannibals approached them with hostile intent. Combat at long last!
As per usual, I used Crimson Escalation. This time, I had my rough-draft "visual aid" to help me with the extremely easy task of remembering rounds and crit ranges (rounds 1-3 are dead simple, once you get beyond the 4th round, it requires a modicum of mental energy... unless you have a cheat-sheet).
The battle only lasted 3 rounds (which is pretty normal in these circumstances). The half-orc Yarra teased us with a natural 19 at the outset. However, this being the first round, it was not a critical, but a palpable hit. She nearly killed a cannibal right then and there. The rest of combat, the half-orc healed wounded party members.
One player, whose character was another human fighter named Huck, had never played D&D before. He hit on round one, missed round two, and got his first crit on round three with a 19, doing so much damage that he killed the cannibal that was on him.
When there was only a single cannibal remaining, it seemed appropriate for him to run away. Yarra got one free attack but missed. I think a single parting shot is appropriate when the enemy has to run past foes to escape. Everyone getting an attack seems like overkill, and no one getting an attack seems like not enough. So, that's going to be a new house-rule of mine. Fleeing enemies can be attacked once (per adventuring party)... unless in hot pursuit.
A couple side-benefits to Crimson Escalation which I haven't mentioned yet...
1) It incentivizes larger adventuring parties. Obviously, Crimson Escalation can go against the party if they are swamped by the opposing force. Don't give monsters an advantage - go in with a full-sized party. Use hirelings if you have to... or prepare to use sneaky hit-and-run guerilla tactics.
2) Once crits start flying and the bodies hit the floor (yeah, just try getting that song out of your head now!), it's a great time to roll (or simply adjudicate) morale. During normal combat, when one side takes five points of damage and the other side takes three, and it just keeps going like that, it's difficult to know when to call for a morale check. Not with Crimson Escalation, a few rounds in, after that last crit and bodies drop, you'll know it's time.
[This is the link because mobile blogger is a little bitch!]
So, what did the cannibals have in their cave? Below are the contents...
- The talons of some gigantic hound or bird (11 total).
- Sentient periwinkle slime in a jar (along with some humanoid teeth... for some reason).
- A jeweled dagger with prominently ruby (the ruby has a noticeable flaw in it, but still fairly valuable.
- Half-full bottle of Smoky Jon's BBQ sauce.