Desert Crawling Villagers Getting Killed II
Yes, I know you're not supposed to expect the expected update, but here we are! Welcome to Part 2 of my solo Dungeon Crawl Classics 0-level funnel. Here’s Part 1 if you missed it. Alright, let’s get right back into it.
First off, here’s the “tools” I used for the game:
Last we left the group, the villagers had lost a bit of their number, but met up with some trapped town guards from a different village. So how did the guards come to be trapped here?
They came on a mission with 2 others, who died, from a neighboring village. When they entered there was a similar experience with the boom from the fireplace, but along with the fire golems there was an unidentified (male/female(odd/even): d10(4)) woman! The other 2 guards died and then the group was overcome. They woke up in that room not knowing what the hell was going on. It's been 1d4(3) days since they left town, so they've been down here at least a day.
What's in the chamber?
A letter, scarab, and a sunflower?
Inside the square chamber is something of an altar, or maybe just a statue. It is a flower with a scarab beetle crawling out of it. The writing on the base of the statue is legible, but not in a language any can read.
What does the altar do?
Magnet, clock, and the planet…
Royden and Bazel ask the guards if they know anything about it. They say no, but the guard named Nathaniel seems to be hiding something. Bazel presses him. Nathaniel says that he doesn't know for sure, but he's seen that writing before and he thinks it describes some kind of ritual that must be done at a certain time during a certain season and the entity in the statue will take you somewhere else.
Didn’t write the rolls but Personality and Intellect checks were made in this scene.
Royden, Bazel, and Agnes manage to convince Nathaniel to help them figure out the writing, and as best they can come up with, the writing wants somebody to bring a lodestone to the altar, place it in a special spot around sunset on the summer solstice. The beetle will then transport the bearer of the stone and their companions to a given place somewhere in the world. The solstice is but a month or two away, so they might return to investigate.
As they make to leave the area, they come by the pool and can still make out the glowing coins, but they can't see the manta beasts. Agnes and the others notice the guard Marcellus has a net. After some convincing, Marcellus decides to help get some coins with his net. He has a smoked fish that he tosses in the water, hoping it gets the manta's attention. He tosses the net and lets it sink and drags it back. Just as he breaks the surface a manta snaps at it, but Marcellus is quicker. He pulls it up and there's 1d6(5) coins in there! He decides not to press his luck. He gives Agnes and each of his fellow guards a coin and keeps one for himself. They're an unknown mint and their glow fades visibly after being removed from the water.
The whole group has reached the exit of the dungeon. Do they continue into the ruins or run back home, to let the desert continue to consume their villages?
They continue (d20): 20
They leave (d12): 11
Of course they continue!
The guards, despite having been trapped for a while, feel emboldened and somehow obligated to help the band of villagers. As they go by the fire place the guards are apprehensive as the villagers mention the fight with the golems. Just past the fireplace are two options: some kind of open space just ahead, or a hall to the south. They head straight on.
They enter a chamber of sorts, which has two branches, and mud walls forming a room in it. The north passage is short and a door can be seen. Prudence investigates. It doesn't open at first so Prudence pulls with all her might (15 on STR check) and opens it, revealing a solid rock wall. Dead end.
The other passage goes east a ways but Royden can see it ending in a pile of sand and rubble.
I ignored any off-page passages. I wanted this to be a self-contained dungeon but didn’t come to that decision until halfway through.
Marcellus decides to check out the little mud-walled room. Marcellus isn't very smart and so doesn't think to check anything & as he walks he trips a wire dart trap...
Reflex Save: 18!
Marcellus manages to dodge the darts that shoot out of the sandstone wall. He enters the room, knocking over the remnants of some wooden slat wall/gate. There's ancient rotten remains of a table and cot and chest. He spots something poking out of the rotten chest. Marcellus grabs it, pulling out a fancy +1 sickle!
Enoch seems like he could use it, so he gives it to him silently as he leaves the area.
The whole group makes their way down the south hall and wind up in front of a large locked door. It looks newer than other things here. Agnes decides to try her hand at lockpicking.
(d20 + 1 = 9 vs DC 11)
She is unsuccessful. Royden, a blacksmith, tries to examine the lock to try and help. He finds the weak spot & hits it with his hammer.
(d20 = 13 vs DC 11)
Royden disables the lock and opens the door.
A long corridor stretches before them. The group heads down the hallway, which leads to a large chamber with an old metal grate wall. There is a dilapidated porticullis, half off its track and held with a rusty chain. It's partially open. They exchange looks. They've come this far, it looks like they could carefully step through the porticullis...
Dex Saves vs DC 10
Marcellus: Natural 1!
The porticullis creaks and wavers ever-so-slightly before suddenly crashing down. Everyone gets out of the way, except Marcellus, who is hit for 1d8(8) damage and struck dead. The group decides that Royden can have the sword and his armor. Prudence tearfully collects Marcellus' coins and net.
Yes, I am having fun with the blood splatters.
At this point I was able to take control and decide what they would encounter towards the end here based on what had been rolled up/happened already.
In the chamber, they see a strange, green stone statue that is mostly destroyed, but the pieces lie in such a way that one can discern what it once was. A horrific looking creature, feminine but vile, a mix of beauty and monstrosity, scaly, fiery, and the face and worm-like lips somehow convey an uncomfortable but desirable sensuality. Next to the crumbling statue is a giant pit of sorts, full of loose dirt and rocks. After a moment of observation, they notice the dirt is moving, and alive. Glimpses of the disgusting burrowing creatures are caught here and there. Slowly they coalesce, and the shape of the creature depicted in the statue begins to form from worms, dirt, and bones. The eyes and mouth illuminate with supernatural flames an indescribable sound fills group's heads.
Will Saves vs DC 10
All clutch their ears, but it doesn't help. Enoch and Royden both begin to bleed from their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth as they take 1d4(1) psychic damage. Royden falls face first from his knees onto the dungeon floor, quite dead.
There is no time to mourn or loot, as the creature has fully taken form, disgusting yet lust-inducing. As Nathaniel gets a clear look at its face, he recognizes it.
"That's her! The woman from before, she must have locked us up!"
A terrible laugh echoes from the demon and she advances from the pit towards the group...
Flame Worm Succubus Thing: 11
Prudence rushes forward, screaming and brandishing her sword. A solid strike chops off a chunk of dirt and worms from the demon's arm. Enoch steps forward with fancy sickle and swings but only makes a light cut. Nathaniel comes around and takes a stab at the demon and does the most damage yet, a large worm tentacle is sliced off and falls to the floor wriggling.
The demon has a chance to fight back now, and exhales a burst of flame from its mouth and eyes...
Spell Check = 12 vs AC.
All but Agnes are horribly burned, and Enoch falls over dead, a flaming hunk of meat.
Agnes ferociously strikes at the beast with her sword, and while her strike is true, it wasn't the most effective hit. Bazel, badly wounded and desperate, throws one of his daggers, which sticks into the demon's neck. Terribly, the creature remains up.
Prudence, tears streaming down her face, swings again, screaming. She misses. Nathaniel, feeling futile but determined, also swings with his sword. His strike is true and devastating.
The demon is now a barely held together lump of dirt, worms, and other debris. It physically strikes at Nathaniel, the one who has hurt it the most. A cluster of worms shoot from the demon's arm, wrapping around Nathaniel's face and forcefully entering his orifices. A sickening suck and crunch noise later, the town guard falls down dead.
Agnes wastes no time and makes another strike. Her sword sparks against Bazel's dagger still in the demon's neck as Agnes decapitates the monstrosity. A gushing of molten, liquid fire comes from the neck as the evil thing disintegrates into the pile of filth from which it was formed.
Prudence drops to her knees, in shock, pain, and grief. She sobs. Agnes looks at her sword. The molten blood of the demon melted and deformed the sword into sword into a more deadly looking scimitar. Agnes can almost feel a power emanating from the weapon. Bazel just stands and watches the bubbling mass spread over the pit and statue as it recedes into the earth, the surface is left smooth, glassy, vitrified.
As the group silently stands in shock the remains of the statue begin to crack and the whole thing shatters and falls in a heap. Glittering through the broken green glass is a stash of different golden coins and trinkets from throughout the ages: sacrifices made to the demon from its worshipers. Gingerly, still in shock, the three survivors collect what they can of the gold. Prudence picks up Enoch's scorched sickle. They all, in a haze, make their way back to the surface out of the dungeon.
Prudence decides to go back with Agnes and Bazel to their village. Let her people think she died with her fellow guards. In almost complete silence they make their way home. The ever-spreading desert has already started to recede, some small patches of grass are starting to grow. The survivors are treated as heroes for a time, and even after the initial excitement they enjoy a little extra respect for quite a long time.
They also each receive 1d4 Luck.
As time passes, the three remain in touch in their village. Prudence, in her grief and survivors' guilt, takes to losing herself in books. Eventually she stumbles across arcane notes in an old grimoire and finds herself able to cast magic. Agnes finds herself visiting the temple and the druids' grove more and more. One day she undergoes a ceremony involving a vision quest. When she comes out of the experience, she finds herself possessing a divine connection and powers associated with it. Bazel enjoys the newfound respect, especially from the ladies. He also finds himself training, honing his knife throwing and fighting skills.
After a year or so, they find themselves to be different and capable people. Bazel, with guidance from Prudence, better organizes and trains the town militia. As the next summer solstice comes around, they find themselves anxious. They talk about wanting to try the ritual in the ruin. Their village, a place where they're now somewhat larger-than life figures, no longer feels like home. They've equipped the place to take care of and defend itself. They gather their things, say their goodbyes, and with a lodestone purchased by Prudence many months ago, they head back to the ruins to perform the sending ritual to take them to places unknown...
So! 3/12 survivors, not bad! The last group funnel I ran barely lost half their number, this one was decimated, ha! So I’m looking at a Cleric, Warrior, and a Wizard for the adventuring party in future games. Sheets: Agnes, Bazel, Prudence.
I had a lot of fun doing this, but it was also time-consuming. I’d love to get feedback on this because if even just a couple people enjoyed themselves reading this I’ll plan on continuing the adventure. I mean, I’ll probably continue it anyway, but I won’t go through quite so much trouble if no one cares to read it. Like I said, I had fun doing it, I hope you enjoyed reading it.
See you next time, whenever that will be.
Okay, so updated when you least expect it, right? Been over a year, so it seems like a perfect time to post something!
I’ve really gotten into solo-RPGing (as in tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons), which kind of sounds like a loserly thing to do, but honestly it’s fun and it’s really no more loserly than reading a book or playing a video game by yourself. I usually just sort of make a character for whatever system I feel like playing with at the time in a notepad text on my phone and use random generators (especially the Adventuresmith app) and sort of make a half-assed scenario to frame some dice rolling and play out battles. I don’t really keep any record of anything while I do this aside from little things in the text file. It’s for fun, it’s for me.
However I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of reading others’ logs and “actual plays” on the Lone Wolf G+ Community and figured maybe I’ll share some of my own. I really like it when people include visuals and details into the process, so I’m including map screenshots and character sheets with my play notes. Hopefully there are others like me who get a kick out of all that. Oh, and a note on my notes: They’re half-narrative, half-shorthand. Throughout the game I got into moods where I wanted to be more detailed and others where I didn’t. I honestly didn’t care to do a whole lot of editing either, so I didn’t, lol. Just keep that in mind, these are very much notes and is not meant to be fancy prose.
So, this will be the first in a little mini-series (probably only two or three posts) of my recent solo play of a Dungeon Crawl Classics funnel. I thought it might be fun to include the map and my character’s movements across the dungeon, so hopefully the added visuals help communicate the story/events to everyone. I guess I’ll get into this, right?
First off, here’s the “tools” I used for the game:
The Story Cubes were used for story/content inspiration/generation. If I wasn’t sure about what a room held or what a thing was and I wasn’t coming up with anything cool on my own, I’d roll 3 dice randomly chosen from both sets and interpret. If I had multiple options and wasn’t sure what to pick, I used Miso to make the choice. GIMP was used as a virtual tabletop of sorts, where I used layers to have things move and change on my map. Paint was for easy character sheet management. The sheets were generated by Purple Sorcerer, which is an AMAZING resource for DCC players. The Crawlers' Companion app is also amazing for mobile. Anyway, the whole game was done on my junker laptop.
The Desert was spreading. For as long as memory, it was only a small region, a patch even, surrounding an old ruin. Supposedly it was a cursed tomb, but it was really so old that it had been repurposed for different uses throughout history, none of them all that wholesome. So the land around it was dead, sandy, and arid. People stayed away from it.
The village of Oldtree subsisted a couple days’ travel northwest of the ruin. Over the last year or two the desert has spread out from the cursed place. It’s reached Oldtree. Crops are withering. The grass has browned. Water from the well is sour and leaves a film in the mouth. Something has stirred the evil in the ruin and is cultivating it. Something has to be done. Most of the would-be capable people in the village are sick, weak, and malnourished. The militia is reduced and doesn’t have enough to spare on could be a suicide mission. The elders have had the remaining able-bodied people draw lots to determine a group that would investigate the old ruin and if possible put a stop to the spreading desert. Should they not do something, the entire village would have to permanently evacuate. But if the desert continues to spread, how far can they run, and for how long?
A group of eight was selected: Royden the Blacksmith, Elisha the Locksmith, Bazel the Minstrel, Lewis the Boatswain, Oscar the Jester, Franklin the Armorer, Chastity the Barber, and Agnes the Outlaw. Character sheets: Group1 and Group2. They packed what the village could spare for provisions and set off towards the desert ruin.
Now, after two days’ journey they have come to the epicenter. The Desert stretched out nearly as far as they could see in all directions from this spot. The entrance was a half-buried stone archway of strange design. Ancient stairs led into the darkness. As a group, the villagers descended.
I liked the idea of having fog of war for the adventurers on the map. I just used the first letter of each character’s name as their “mini.”
So they’ve entered the dungeon. There’s a giant, roaring fireplace. Strange and unidentifiable carvings cover the walls. Suddenly…
A roll of Story Cubes gives me a box truck, a running person, and an explosion. Hmm, okay.
I interpret the results as a group of enemies arriving in an explosion, from the giant fireplace. But what should it be? I decided to replace a Story Cube with a d6 to determine just how many of whatever shows up, shows up.
Clayface, a Bat-Fist, and there’s 5 of them. I’m thinking Flaming Rock Golems?
BOOM! An explosion from the fireplace leaves the group face to face with five large monstrosities, burning rocks in the vague shape of humanoids. Their large fists look ready to swing at the villagers.
The rocks represent the Golems, if it wasn’t obvious.
Group 1: 13
Group 2: 4
Lewis attacks a golem and crits a crack to the head! Royden runs and hits one, as does Elisha, but a different one. Bazel decides to help the girl.
Agnes is pissed, runs up and stabs the one Lewis is fighting. Franklin doesn't trust Agnes, runs up to help in the attack, misses. Oscar moves forward, takes aim and throws his dart, causing the golem Elisha and Bazel were fighting to collapse into smoldering ash. Chastity, being injured, falls back to the steps.
Lewis' golem fights back, punching Lewis in the head, sickening crack of his neck as he dies. Royden's golem attacks but misses. A golem still emerging from the fire a moment ago swings at Bazel but misses. Another golem from the fire punches Elisha, half decapitating her; dead.
Bazel is horrified by Elisha's grisly demise and adrenaline forces him to jump over her corpse, climb over the ashes of the destroyed golem and stab her killer, severely injuring it. Royden weakly swings his hammer and makes another small chip in his opponent.
Oscar runs to help Royden and smacks the golem with his lantern, turning it to a pile of ash. Franklin crits to avenge Lewis, smashing the golems legs out from under it as the rest of it collapses into ash! Agnes swings and misses. Chastity decides to help her fellow woman and comes from hiding swinging her chain. She manages to lasso the golem and drag it the ground, only lightly damaging it but causing it to be defenseless.
One of the remaining golems, the one by Royden and Oscar, decides Oscar is the greater threat and punches Oscar's spine thru his back; dead. The one Chastity chained manages to struggle to its feet as the chain falls to the ground.
Bazel, in a fit of fear, instantly stabs the rising golem with his dagger, destroying it. Royden steps over the ashes of a defeated golem and crits on the remaining one! His hammer goes right into its eyes, destroying it!
Bazel collects Elisha's belongings, Royden grabs Lewis'. Agnes strong-arms her way to collect the coins and fine clothes that were Oscar's. They throw the bodies in the fire, which immolates them all too quickly. They decide to try and smother the flames with dirt and rubble from the cave in nearby. They cover it up, and it seems like it's dying down, but some glow can still be seen.
Chastity makes her way back to the stairs, the others slowly follow. When it seems like she's ready to leave, Agnes grabs her by the arm and convinces her that they should continue exploring. Surely those were the guardians of this place, and they defeated them, right? Besides, Franklin thinks he hears water down there and is thirsty.
I didn’t take notes for this, but there were Personality checks involved between the characters here. Agnes succeeded.
They enter a large chamber, dimly lit, although the source of light is unseen. There is a pool taking up most of the middle of the cavern. Franklin, thirsty and dumb, runs to the shore of the pond and begins to drink... He makes his Fort save.
Hmm, what kind of encounter can we have here?
Money bag, bat plane sub thing, and cop car…
I decide the money represents, well, money, the bat vehicle will be some mutant manta beasts in the water, and as for the cop car… I think I need some replacement 0-levels. These ones are not going to get very far. I generate a sheet of 0-levels from Purple Sorcerer, but based on the cop car, decide they will all be town guards from another village and edit their sheets. Character sheet: Guards. The group will find them soon. Back to the action:
As Franklin drinks the group notices that the light is coming from within the pool, countless coins litter the bottom of it, and they are glowing.
Chastity, seeing no harm come to Franklin and all the money, decides that Agnes must've been right and begins wading into the water to collect herself some coins so that this trip and her injuries aren't for nothing. She's waste-deep, dips down and gets a handful of coins. Then, suddenly...
1d6(4) giant manta beasts emerge from the depths of the pool!
Group 1: 20
Group 2: 9
Manta Beasts: 20
Chastity screams and Bazel runs over and chucks Elisha's dagger at one of the beasts closing in on Chastity. FUMBLE! His grip is bad, and the dagger falls, almost stabbing his own foot. Royden runs over to the manta beast near Franklin and takes a wild swing with his hammer that misses.
From the north side of the chamber, voices can be heard. "Let us out, open the gate, we'll help you!"
The beasts make their move. The one closest to Chastity makes for a bite but misses. Another one next to it, however, is successful and bites the poor barber girl in half; dead. A third manta manages a bite out of Royden wading in the water, and the fourth devours Franklin head first as he was drinking. Now he's dead.
Agnes runs over to where she heard the voices calling. There's a large porticullis with what appears to be 4 town guards trapped on the other side. They look ragged. Despite her poor relations with the law, she figures they need all the help they can get and quickly finds and begins turning the crank to open the gate.
Bazel picks up the dropped dagger and shouts, "ROYDEN GET OUTTA THE WATER MAN!" as he runs to help Agnes. Royden follows his advice and makes his way to the porticullis as well. Agnes continues to turn the crank.
Two of the mantas, to the group’s horror, begin to emerge from the pool, but moving very slowly on the cavern floor. The other two stay in the pool, munching on the dead.
At this point the porticullis is lifted enough that the group of guards can duck under and they emerge, swords brandished and advance on the crawling manta beasts.
Nathaniel is the first guard out and stabs at the manta coming to finish off Royden. He misses. Marcellus comes up beside him and scores a solid stab on the beast. Next, Enoch charges out and stabs the other manta crawling across the floor. Finally out comes Prudence, the one female guard. She goes to aid Enoch but her strike misses.
Royden, already severely injured, decides to fall back behind the porticullis. Bazel is feeling a little bolder and goes to aid Marcellus and Nathaniel. His dagger strikes true and the manta beast deflates in death. Agnes decides to help the other two guards and kills the remaining beast on land.
The other mantas, having finished their meal and seeing their brethren slaughtered, disappear into the depths of the now bloody pool, not wanting to meet the same fate.
Introductions are made as they pile the two manta corpses near the water. They go into the chamber where Royden had run to and the guards came from. Agnes stayed outside with the guards, chatting.
How did the guards come to be locked up?
Find out next time for Part 2 of desert crawling villagers getting killed!
If you’ve read all this, thank you. I welcome any feedback, let me know what you think. I’ll post Part 2 in about a week. Again, thank you for reading, hope to see you next time.
UPDATED WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT: BAM!
Okay, so here after many months is the narrative recap for session three of my wife’s Doctor Who Anew campaign!
In case you missed it or don't feel like finding them, here's Part 1 and Part 2.
Episode 3: The Sea Devils’ Carnival
The Dude, amnesiac-savant-who-is-actually-an-old-Time-Lord, played by D.
Doc Mox, biologist, played by G.
Professor Frazier, adventuring archaeologist, played by me.
Fattius, shapeshifting alien, played by M.
The Doctor, everyone’s favorite Time Lord, played by K.
Left stranded on the space station that would eventually become Satellite 5 after sabotaging much of its communication infrastructure, the Doctor and company ran for their lives. The Doctor had managed to discover that the Tardis had traveled to early 20th century Earth, and locked it to prevent any further travel. However, they were still stuck and running from and fighting Smilers. Fattius, the shapeshifting alien, had broken pieces of his old vortex manipulator, and with the Doctor’s and Mox’s help, planned to rig it up for at least one trip.
In the brief reprieves gained from Professor Frazier firing off rounds from his revolver and blasts from his squareness gun, the others managed to assemble a haphazard vortex manipulator. The Doctor was confident it would work, but only once. Doc Mox helped Frazier hold off the latest wave of Smilers while Fattius and the Doctor finalized the device.
“It’s ready, we need to go, now!” the Doctor yelled to them.
Mox and Frazier turned and bolted to their two companions holding the hastily assembled vortex manipulator. A blast from a Smiler knocked Mox off balance, injuring his leg. As the attackers closed in, the group managed to all get a hand on the device just as it activated.
A gloomy day. Afternoon. The party found themselves in a cemetery. The Doctor surmised that they’re on Earth, in the mid 1920s, apparently somewhere in New England. A quick scan with sonic revealed the Tardis in a not-so-populated corner of the graveyard, but the way there was blocked by a low wall with a gate, and a roped-off crime scene. They found police officers, and a pair of shoes with feet still inside of them, unattached to any legs. Most of the group found themselves disturbed by this. A flash of the psychic paper allowed them to pass, with Frazier helping Doc Mox limp along. They could investigate this later, but first they needed to check out the Doctor’s Tardis, now visible on a hill.
They entered the Tardis, relieved to be reunited with their transport. To the party’s alarm, colorful confetti exploded from all around them, and they saw colorful streamers and a banner strewn across the walkway.
“Welcome Home!” it read.
With no other surprises forthcoming, they investigated the console room. Some quick readings of data showed that about six months had passed since the Tardis landed here. Everything looked okay, but everyone was still uneasy.
“Who would steal the Tardis, only to bring it here and leave a surprise welcome banner?” asked Doc Mox.
“Well,” began the Doctor, “There are very few beings who could have piloted the Tardis, and even fewer who would dare to steal mine, and even fewer who would leave such cheery decorations about.”
As the party milled about, a noise from the door drew their attention. It had been left ajar, and a man had barged in! He was garbed in tactical gear and pointing a weapon that was far too advanced for the 1920s. Professor Frazier, who had still not quite let his guard down, instantly drew and fired his squareness blaster at the intruder. The Doctor cried out and tried to stop Frazier, but the archaeologist had been too quick. As the man in the doorway collapsed, the Doctor looked disapprovingly at the professor and Fattius quickly shut the door, making sure it was secure.
After a very brief examination, it was clear that Frazier’s aim had been a little too true, and the man was quite dead. As they checked the body for identification, its form began to shift into something not human.
“Graske!” the Doctor shouted. “Again? Or, before? Why would they be here? Does this have something to do with those shoes?”
He began fiddling with the console, trying to pull up any relevant data.
Mox and Frazier come to the conclusion that the Graske was some kind of mercenary or bounty hunter.
“But who would he be after?” asked Frazier.
Everyone looked to Fattius. His form began to shift into that of a Graske.
“My people put a bounty on me a few years back,” he said. “Looks like they’re starting to catch up to me.”
Fattius explained, rather vaguely, that he had been involved with an espionage organization back home until he was given a job that pushed what morals he had too far. Having intentionally botched the job, Fattius had been on the run ever since.
“I was helping a friend,” he said.
That seemed to be enough for the group, especially since Fattius had done nothing to harm them in their travels together.
Being that they were in a cemetery, the group thought it would be okay to simply put the body in some bushes nearby. What else could be done?
With the whole group back inside the Tardis, the Doctor continued checking logs on the console. The others milled about, chatting with Fattius, who had shapeshifted back into his chosen human form. As they did so, a strange holographic image popped up on the display. It was a tobacco pipe that seemed to have buttons on it.
“Since when did you smoke, Doctor?” asks Professor Frazier.
“I enjoyed a pipe here and there a long time ago, but this is a sonic,” he replied.
“It’s a sonic, and a pipe?”
“Yes, yes, and apparently it was made not all that long ago.”
“You made a sonic... Pipe?” asked Dr Mox.
“No, the Tardis did, and not under my control, whoever stole my ship new how to pilot it and how to program it to grow a customized sonic device,” the Doctor paused in thought. “The only sort of person who could do that would be-”
He was cut off by a sound at the door. A polite knocking, and then the door slowly opening.
“Hello hello?” came a voice.
The Doctor put his hand on Frazier’s shoulder as he reached for his blaster.
In walked an older, well dressed, ginger-haired gentleman. He held a tobacco pipe, identical to the one being displayed. Aromatic smoke drifted lazily from it and also flowed from his nose and mouth as the man spoke.
“How’s everyone doing? Took you a while to get here,” he said. When the group responded with nothing but confused stares, he continued, “I’m sorry about taking the Tardis, Doctor, I just had to get away for a while, you know.”
“Who are you?” asked the Doctor.
“It’s me, the, well, I guess I look a little different now, but, I am the Dude.”
“You were a Time Lord? All the while?”
“Yes, but, well, I had forgotten. Chameleon Arch and all that. Also what happened to me in that installation you found me in all that time ago scrambled the noggin a bit, too.”
“You stole my Tardis!”
“That you yourself stole, Doctor! Turnabout’s fair play, besides I gave it back, decorated it all nice.”
The Dude exhaled a large puff of pipe smoke as he talked.
The Doctor waved his hands to clear the air.
“Is that really necessary?” he demanded.
“What, you never seemed to mind in your younger days!”
“Who are you, really?”
“I abandoned my old names and aliases, Doctor. There’s a reason why I used the Arch.”
“I imagine so.”
Throughout this, Professor Joe Frazier was becoming very nervous. His only encounters with Time Lords other than the Doctor had not been pleasant. Years ago he found himself on an adventure with the Doctor and another companion, a rock musician.
The musician was the top billed rock star of his respective time, and went only by the name Rock. Rock, Frazier, and the Doctor had some rather dangerous and fun times together, until they accidentally stumbled into a scheme set in motion by none other than Rassilon himself. Through a series of subtle manipulations they had acquired the old Time Lord’s artifacts, and Rock had become possessed by Rassilon! Professor Joe Frazier watched as his friend and traveling companion tried to kill him and the Doctor, and Frazier had to physically fight Rock! The Doctor wound up having to cut off Rock’s hand to remove an artifact from him, and Rock was restored. They wound up dissembling and scattering the artifacts into different black holes across space and time.
That was a long time ago, things had worked out, but it left Frazier with the impression that, while the Doctor was alright, other Time Lords were a force to fear.
While the archaeologist was lost in his reverie, the Doctor and Dude were engaged in something of a philosophical debate. The other companions were simply in disbelief, but seemed to take the situation as it was.
After a time, in which neither Time Lord had really succeeded in getting anything through the other’s thick head, the Doctor finally asked the Dude, “So, what have you been doing for these past six months, and why did you pick this place and time?”
The Dude smiled, and puffed his sonic pipe.
“Making some friends, and something of a life for myself. I own a couple night clubs, speak-easies as it were. As for why I picked this place, well, when I was being held and experimented on, I remembered overhearing about how several strange stories seemed to connect to Arkham, Massachusetts. It interested me.”
At this the Dude seemed to look off into the distance.
“Strange things have been happening here of late,” he said.
“Like those shoes with the severed feet in them?” asked Dr Mox.
“Yes, it really has the authorities baffled. I must admit, it’s a little strange to me, too. I’ve been looking into it a bit, seems like a lot of things happen at the carnival.”
“The carnival?” asked the Doctor, typing some input into his computer. An image of a ferris wheel and tents appeared on the screen. “Not far from here.”
“Not far at all. I was on my way there to follow up a lead when I noticed you lot heading into the Tardis,” said the Dude.
“What lead was that?” asked the Doctor.
The Dude pushed a button his pipe and pointed it at the Tardis console. Data appeared on screen.
“Hm, well, yes, those sorts of readings shouldn’t be coming from anything around here in this time period,” said the Doctor. “Why don’t I accompany you in your investigation? If people are dying, I should probably do what I can to help.”
“It’d be a pleasure, Doctor,” replied the Dude.
Professor Frazier piped up, “Are you sure that’s a good idea, Doctor?”
“Joe, I understand your unease, but you must admit, severed feet in shoes is quite odd. Perhaps you’d like to come with us?”
“I suppose so, give me a moment,” Frazier said and headed off to his quarters.
“Maybe we can talk to the police, get some info?” suggested Dr Mox.
“Maybe, I’ve tried, but they’re a little clueless and not very helpful,” said the Dude. “They might not even talk to you, being you’re civilians and all.”
Fattius shapeshifted into a man in uniform.
“Well, you could always do that, too.”
With that, the party split. Dr Mox and Fattius made their way to the police station, while the Doctor, Professor Frazier, and the Dude made their way to the carnival.
Frazier kept his hands and fingers ready to pull either his revolver or his blaster should the Dude misbehave. As a human, the Dude wasn’t exactly an upstanding citizen. Now, as a Time Lord, Frazier expected even worse.
So he trailed behind as the Time Lords scanned the area, following readings from their respective sonic devices. It had become close to dusk, the carnival oddly empty and more than a little creepy.
On the other side of town, Doc Mox and Fattius went to the police station. Between Fattius’s disguise, some psychic paper, and some serious fast talk, the duo managed to requisition a police truck. They stocked it with various supplies, and made their way back to the cemetery where the Tardis was parked.
At the carnival, the two Time Lords seemed a little stumped about where to go.
“How about the fun house? It’s supposed to be fun!” suggested Dude.
The Doctor agreed, and to the fun house they went. Frazier wondered if this could get any creepier. Once inside, it did. They managed to locate a secret door. A strange smell, somewhat familiar to the Doctor, and reptilian? The secret door opened up to a long hallway, steeply sloping down. A figure stood in the shadows, silent. It turned and moved slowly down the hallway. As the Dude, the Doctor, and Professor Frazier all exchanged looks, they followed.
At the cemetery, Doc Mox and Fattius sat in the police truck, parked in view of the Tardis.
“I’m sure they’ll be back soon,” said Fattius.
*cue sting & outro music*
Session 4 coming whenever I get around to it! =D
Yeah. So November really beat me up this year. There was some positive stress, but some seriously negative stress too. I feel like I spent the whole month busy as hell with nothing to show for it.
I decided to try out NaNoWriMo this year, for the first time. I never had any expectations of making the 50k word count, but I did hope to get at least halfway. Unfortunately, November is way too busy, between my job and other stuff, for me to accomplish shit. I got almost to 19k by the third week before I had to stop and move on to other things. It's doubtful that I'll do NaNo again because of how busy November is for me, but I think I'll give the Camp NaNo thing a shot in the summer. Apparently it's a lot like NaNoWriMo, but you can set a custom word count goal and it doesn't take place in November, which is apparently the worst fucking month of the year for my life. Goddamnit November.
I do plan on continuing work on the novel, however, it's just not going to be at such a breakneck pace. The story is based on a Star Wars Saga campaign I ran a while back. It lasted I think about four sessions but kid number 3 was born and we had to take a break and never got back to it. I loved what was going on, though, so I when I was struggling to come up with a subject for NaNoWriMo, I decided to use the material I made for the game and my session notes to write the novel. The setting was drastically changed, though, just in case I ever finish and try to publish this thing, I don't want to have to worry about copyright infringement.
In Doctor Who news, I have a few sessions' worth of notes that I need to type up into narrative recaps for the blog here. We are loving the campaign my wife is running. Our group plays other games and settings, but my wife's Doctor Who games are the ones that turn into "long-term" campaigns that we continually come back to. Some rather interesting things are happening, plot and character-wise, and I'm excited to share the story with all of my Schrodinger's readers =).
I think that's about all for now, hopefully within the next couple of days I'll have time to turn my notes from Doctor Who Anew Session 3 into something readable for everyone.
Whoa, time got away from me there. However, we did get around to that second session, and a third! Here’s the recap of session two of our most recent Doctor Who game.
Episode 2: Construction of the Satellite
Cast of Characters:
The Dude, amnesiac savant, played by D.
Doc Mox, biology-specialized scientist, played by G.
Professor Joe Frazier, adventuring archaeologist, played by me.
Fattius, a near-human, shapeshifting alien, played by M.
The Doctor, everyone’s favorite Time Lord, played by K.
“What do you mean, imploded? Like the moon just crumpled in on itself and turned to dust?”
“No, it’s not a true implosion, it’s more like… What’s the word for when a raw egg’s shell breaks apart and sinks into the gooey bits?”
“Uh, a mess?”
“No, no, that’s not the word, but yes, yes it is essentially a mess.”
After the events on Emicar IV, the Doctor and companions decide to let the fate of the Dude be a mystery. Although the Doctor did perform a scan of the ships surrounding the imploding moon and had a rather knowing look as the group debated their actions. They decided on going after the source of the problem: the Lugs Corporation. After a bit of research, the Doctor feels like he knows where to go, and sets the Tardis on a course.
The Tardis lands on level 39 of an under-construction space station in orbit above Earth. Scans reveal a striking similarity to Satellite 5, which, since they were in the era of the Third and Great Bountiful Human Empire, shouldn’t really be active for quite some time. There is outdated technology present, far behind what should be available in the current age. With something of a shrug, the group steps out.
Fattius is instantly uncomfortable on the well-populated satellite. This is his home era, and his people are on the lookout for him. He doesn’t say anything to the group, but becomes somewhat paranoid and constantly eyes the people around him. Fattius notices that the security around here is obviously subcontracted out to a mercenary company. This, he points out.
As he does so, Doc Mox’s smartphone begins jingling from his lab coat. He pulls it out, and receives an update and news bulletin, giving the group confirmation that this is essentially the headquarters for the Lugs Corporation, and also a breakdown of what’s on each level of the station. The lower levels (25 downwards) are recovering from a recent Sycorax attack, Dalek ships have been spotted in the area, there are some levels for temporary refugee housing (starting on level 98), the communications array sits on levels 120-124, with the security team HQ on level 125. Oh, and there’s a food festival going on level 58! Sounds fantastic!
They mill around level 39 and the group notices some down-trodden workers about. Professor Frazier approaches one, a woman who identifies herself as Nancy. He engages her about the injustices committed against her and others by the Lugs Corp, but she seems to accept her lot in life. The professor extends an invite to the Food Festival, but is turned down with an odd look.
Fattius decides to shapeshift into the form of one of the mercenary guards, and sneaks up on the guard and chokes him out and steals the merc’s stun gun. Frazier notices and hurries on to join the Doctor & Mox, who are making their way to the elevator. Fattius manages to catch up as well, but Joe pretends to not be associated with the shapeshifted alien.
* * *
Meanwhile, the Dude, having teleported away last episode, wakes up and finds himself strapped to a table. There are intravenous needles and tubes stuck in him. The teleports on Emicar IV were not from benevolent saviors, but Saturnynians, and he is being prepped for transformation into one of them! Thinking on his feet, the Dude manages to pull some paper clips and rubber bands from his clothes and clamps the IV tubes shut, stopping the process. Not feeling well, he still wriggles out of the bonds, only to be confronted with a Saturnynian nurse or guard, it’s hard to tell which.
Dude puts up a fair charade of being partly through the process, but it is only a matter of time before talking is not enough. Despite some rather impressive stunts using paper clips and rubber bands, he is eventually beaten down, as more of the vampiric fish aliens enter the room and assault him.
As his last breath escapes his lips, a terrific memory fills his mind…
* * *
Back at the Satellite 5 construction site, the Doctor and companions partake of the food festival. While the Doctor and Fattius each find something tasty, Professor Frazier barely keeps his sample down and Doc Mox can’t even swallow any future alien food. The group doesn’t dally long, though, and after some research on Mox’s smartphone, they discover the executive branch resides on level 174. Wanting to confront the CEO of Lugs, they head on up in the elevator.
They are somewhat waylaid by security and secretaries, even with the use of psychic paper, but eventually they get to the closed door of the executive office. Fed up with being delayed, the Doctor and Frazier storm in Mox and Fattius in tow. Within, the CEO can’t be more apathetic. Professor Frazier lays into him, expressing sheer outrage at the crimes committed by Lugs. The executive all but laughs at the group, and goes on about the amazing communications array on the satellite, enabling them to control what comes in and out, media-wise. He says that it doesn’t matter about the wasted planets, they supply refugee housing and all that.
Fattius, Doc Mox, and Professor Frazier all exchange looks.
“Hey, Fatt, stun this motherfucker and let’s go to communications,” Frazier says.
“I’m calling security!” the CEO cries as he slams a panic button.
Before anything else can happen, the Doctor sweeps out his arms and guides the group towards the elevator.
Inside, Mox asks, “Where are we going?”
The Doctor turns toward him, straightens his coat, and says, “Communications, of course.”
Fattius nods, and shapeshifts into a spitting image of the CEO.
“Nice,” remarks Doc Mox.
Between Fattius’s looking identical to the CEO and a couple wallets of psychic paper, the party manages to get to level 120 without incident, and is even given unfettered access to the communications array. Quickly the Doctor, Fattius, and Mox begin running diagnostics and searches, looking for planets that, statistically speaking, are close to “implosion.” Just as quickly they send “official” orders that all mining on all planets is to be stopped, and the “near-death” planets are to begin evacuations.
Unfortunately, the group then realizes that these commands need to be manually processed through the entire array. There are four other consoles they must access on floors 121-124 above them. Security is looking for them, and time is of the essence. Keeping their wits about them, they formulate a plan. The Doctor will go to 124, Mox to 123, Fattius to 122, and, since Professor Frazier has little to no knowledge of this level of tech, whoever finishes first will handle 121. The plan is to not only relay the messages, but to also disable the array so that no contrary orders will be sent soon and set the Lugs Corporation back a few steps in their agenda. The timing has to be perfect.
With Joe Frazier staying at level 120, milling about and pretending to be busy, the techies of the party head up the elevators to their respective floors. In a cinematic montage, they each send their messages and disable their respective consoles, with Fattius bringing up the rear and handling level 121. After a few moments, Frazier begins pacing nervously, deciding that he will use his “squareness gun” to delete his console out of existence, but only until he sees at least two of his party come from the elevator. Doc Mox and the Doctor are first, gesturing to Professor Frazier to “do it now, come on, now.” With a quick look around, Joe fires the blaster, leaving a clean, square section of empty space and smoking wires where the console once was.
Rapidly they enter the elevator to find Fattius waiting. Back down they head to their Tardis on level 39 to make their escape. The lift dings as they arrive, and upon exiting the elevator, an alert rings out over the intercom, and the elevator deadlocks shut behind the group. Unconcerned, they rush to the corner where the Doctor parked the Tardis.
It is gone!
While Professor Frazier blows some holes in, and Fattius disables the wi-fi of, some Smilers, the Doctor performs a scan with the sonic. The Tardis is nowhere on Satellite 5. He manages to hone in and put a lock on his box, stranding it between Satellite 5 and its new location, which the Doctor determines to be roughly early 20th century Earth…
* * *
The Dude, lying on the floor, feeling his blood pool around him, begins to feel something else. Something he had forgotten. Something he has not felt in a long time: he remembers his life, and who he is. Left alone in the bunk next to the bed, golden energy begins to swirl around his body. A bloody grin crosses his scruffy face before it contorts into a scream as the energy envelopes his entire body. As his long hair burns and his skin changes, Dude focuses and is able to send this energy throughout the Saturnynian ship, miraculously, and horribly, forcing every other living being into cardiac arrest.
As the energy dims and clears, the Dude’s form becomes visible again. No longer is he a long-haired, disheveled man of middle age, but an older, more attractive, and ginger-haired man. He stands up, dusts himself off, and walks over to the nearest terminal. All the memories flooding his mind are almost too much, but he focuses enough to operate the computer. The Saturnynian ship has docked with an orbital space station, currently under construction.
Casually and confidently Dude strides through the now-ghost ship, stepping over dead and dying Saturnynians. He exits the air lock, onto the station where his ship has docked. He breathes deep, closing his eyes, as if sensing his surroundings. His renewed senses direct him to level 39. There is a blue box in the corner. Dude walks over to it, runs his hands over the doors. He pushes, trying to open them. They don’t budge. Using his regained memories, he pulls out his remaining paper clip and manages to jimmy the Tardis lock, and enters.
Remembering how confounding the console was to him, before, Dude smiles. Not anymore. He is a Time Lord, awakened, aware, and capable. He manages to set a course and takes off…
*cue sting and outro music*
Well, unfortunately my “season premier” (from last year, wow!) did not produce any further “episodes,” but we have not been without game nights! I’ve been so busy that I didn’t bother to type up any recaps, but since things have slowed down, I have decided to get back at it.
For this most recent game, my wife, V, ran Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space, a favorite in our house.
Episode 1: Race to the Beginning
Cast of Characters:
The Dude, amnesiac savant, once again played by D.
Doc Mox, biology-specialized scientist, played by G.
Professor Joe Frazier, adventuring archaeologist, played by me.
Fattius, a near-human, shapeshifting alien, played by new player, M.
*cue theme music*
Opening scene is the Tardis landing in a cave. With little hesitation, the companions all step out as the Doctor is fiddling with the console. The instant the last of them exit, the Tardis’s alarms ring out & it begins to de-materialize, with the Doctor shouting through the doors:
“It’s the defense system, it’s heading towards the surface! I’ll try to reset it but make your way there!”
As the whooshing of the Tardis fades, the companions try to take in their surroundings, but the walls & floor of the cave begin to shake. Rocks rain down from above. A particularly big one landing on Joe’s leg, nearly breaking it! I had to spend a Story Point to prevent it! Bad rolls right off the bat! Shortly after all this, a tell-tale ding from an intercom system & a female voice announces something to the effect of:
“Attention inhabitants of Emicar IV: All mine tunnels have collapsed. Moon destruction in 2 hours, 45 minutes. Final evacuation shuttles lift off in 2 hours, 30 minutes. Thank you from the Lugs Corporation.”
After that, things became a little frantic. An underground (& essentially abandoned) city was found. A remaining native Emicaran (who were a near-human species) was quickly packing up the last of his belongings. From him, they learned a little, but only a little. Another quake ruptured a gas line, poisoning most of the party. After the vapors cleared, the native was nowhere to be found.
Quickly the companions found their way to an elevator. Fattius, being the only one of the companions familiar with this level of technology, had to use his Engineers’ Mate to access & operate the elevator. Despite this, they only made it up one floor. Outside the elevator was a control room full of computer consoles. The intercom dinged, counting down the time & noting that life support systems in the lower levels were failing.
Fattius was able to pull up a map of the complex & stabilize the life support systems, but for how long no one could be sure. The party was on level 5, & they knew where the stairs were to get up & out.
As they struggled against the shaking walls, floor, falling rocks, & poison gas in their system, the party eventually made their way up. Save Dude, who had decided that infiltrating the air vents was a wiser choice.
As the rest of the party struggled with broken elevators & quakes, Dude made his way up crumbling air vents.
The intercom dinged again, less than an hour left and now Saturnynians were abducting fleeing natives as they tried to reach the evacuation shuttles!
“Please do not resist the Saturnynians. Thank you from the Lugs Corporation.”
After some miracles (& a lot of Story Points!) the group made their way to the ground floor. The surface, sky, & presumably, escape, waited outside.
It was chaos. Families with nothing running towards shuttles, workers competing for space, and horrible Saturnynians kidnapping others. Some people were being teleported away as well.
The party spotted the Tardis in the distance in the chaos. All made for it, save Professor Joe Frazier & Dude. Joe was conflicted (due to his Code of Conduct bad trait) about just leaving the women & children to fend for themselves in the chaos. Dude was more self-involved, and was able to time a teleport just right and shoved a young woman out of the way while he was beamed away.
Joe ended his short reverie and ran for the Tardis, firing off a shot and distracting some Saturnynians so that some people could escape. The party got in the Tardis, Joe pleaded with the Doctor to help the people. The Doctor sadly and regretfully said that there was nothing they could do, the planet was about to completely implode in minutes. They were already dead.
As the whooshing of the Tardis began, the group realized Dude was missing. Joe explained what happened, and the group stood silently. They wondered where that teleporter had taken Dude, and if they should even bother trying to find out.
*cue sting & theme music*
Overall a fun game. A second session is planned, will post a recap when/if it happens! =D
Well! As I am wont to do every other year or so, I forgot about my "blog" here. Not a big deal, I'm sure. To be fair, I was busy having a new baby and buying a house. Living the dream, hooray debt!
You're waking up now... In a... Field? There's a breeze, it's daytime. You're getting up, walking. I don't know. I don't know! How am I supposed to know, you didn't look! Yeah, you're still walking, towards some trees? There's, there's... No, it just looked like... What... Uh, well, you're... No, no, nothing like that... No.
No, no, I'm sorry, I'm really sorry. I'm not going to tell you that. No. No, I'm really, really sorry. I know, I- I know, and I'm sorry but what I'm seeing... No, no.
I'm sorry but no one should have to hear that about themselves from a complete stranger like this.
Sorry, I... I have to go. Bye.
*cue sting & outro music*
lol, Joe's player just happened to blurt out, "Now he looks like Patrick Swayze!" & it instantly became canon. RIP, Mr Swayze, absolutely no disrespect.
Hey hey! Been busy. Was playing around w/Publisher today, made some stuff.
Specifically, character sheets for playing Futurama using the Vortex system! For those unfamiliar, Vortex is the system used by Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space, Rocket Age, Primeval, & I think maybe one or two more games. Anyway, my wife & I decided that it would be the perfect way to play a Futurama RPG!
Below is a PDF of the character sheet. There's also a zip file containing it & 5 others, each w/a different caption, a la the show's opening sequence.
So, last night I had a couple friends over. One of which, let’s call him M, lives a few hours away, so I don’t get to see him so much, the other, G, lives relatively close by but due to being super busy I haven’t seen him in a while either. Being the geek-types that we are, we decided to get a table top game going. I was thinking something casual, maybe Munchkin or some Magic: The Gathering. Then, my wife chimes in:
“Or, we could play some Doctor Who,” she said, referencing the RPG published by Cubicle 7. We have a newborn, so I would be the one running it.
I was immediately apprehensive. Not because I don’t enjoy the game, quite the contrary. My favorite campaign of all time was a 4-6 session Doctor Who game ran by my wife sometime last year. I was apprehensive because it was nearly 10 pm, meaning I had to leave for work in a little over 2.5 hours, & I had nothing prepared, I’d never run this system, & M had never played table top RPG’s aside from some dabbling several years ago.
Despite this, I didn’t make a fuss & the let my friends cast their votes. G, who had played in the aforementioned campaign from a year ago, was all about some Doctor Who adventuring. M, who was always curious & willing to try new things, was also all about it. So, I said:
“I guess I’ll put my improv skills to the test,” to which my wife reminded me that I tend to be a much better GM when I improvise as oppose to planning. Go figure.
Anyway, I was a little excited, because I had just picked up the 2nd Doctor Sourcebook at my FLGS during a Free Comic Book Day sale on May 3rd. It’s a great product, new traits, gadgets, & many 3-4 page adventure seeds using serials from Patrick Troughton’s reign as the Doctor. I, being put on the spot, chose the Tomb of the Cybermen adventure, because no one else present had watched those episodes & I have.
So, I pulled out some of the pre-gens from the box set we already had (the 11th Doctor version) & let them all pick out some. My wife chose River Song, G chose Rory Williams & M chose “The Alien,” a generic pre-gen suited for Subterfuge & Coordination. After a quick rundown of the rules & his character’s traits, M seemed more than ready to go. I skimmed the adventure seed & tried to fill my brain with my memory of the episodes from the serial, & we were off!
I’ll say right now, of course the story did not at all follow the episodes, but was still most entertaining. The Vortex System which powers the Doctor Who RPG is a brilliant piece of work & is, in my opinion, a perfect balance of complexity & simplicity, & what follows is a brief recap of the game, which I feel is a testament to the greatness of this system.
I had the Doctor be something of a background NPC & allowed my players to drive the action. M, who decided his character was a Silurian named Jym, stealthed his way about rather successfully. G’s rolls did not help Rory much, while my wife played River pretty much how one would imagine River being in this story.
They met up with the expedition & got into the tomb, after Jym allowed a man to be electrocuted to death from touching the door, which Jym knew had a lot of juice flowing to it (thanks to his gadget). River’s squareness gun removed the need for a strength check as well. Inside, Jym hacked the system to open the hatch down into the Cybermen’s labyrinthine lair, which River, the Doctor, & 2 NPC’s entered. Rory & Jym stayed above with the distrustful scientists & managed to access the rest of the tomb. Instead of exploring, Jym stole a datapad from one of them, but was caught by their security officer, & a fight ensued.
Down below, River convinced the 2 men to head back to the hatch, while she used her technology to map out the maze & made her way to the Cybermen’s central hibernation chamber. Between her & the Doctor (& a fair use of Story Points) they managed to short circuit the hibernating Cybermen’s brains, although the Cyber Controller survived & emerged, stumbling & glitching towards them.
Meanwhile, upstairs, a tussle took place, with some blaster fire going off. Jym & Rory ran down separated corridors. Jym triggered a fire defense system & lost his pursuer, while Rory used speed & stealth to lose his. Jym, being able to shapeshift, took the form of one of the other workers exploring the tomb & made his way back to the control room. Rory stuck to the shadows & remained out of sight but within earshot, but not before finding a Cyberman transmitter & mercilessly beating a conversion chair into pieces with a hot pipe, which burned his hands rather badly. Jym managed to fool to scientists about his identity & went down the hatch to catch up with River & the Doctor.
He found them running for their lives from the stuttering & malfunctioning Cyber Controller & eventually made their way back to the other 2 NPC’s who became lost down there. Due to River’s poor navigation, they all remained lost down there for quite some time, but eventually found their way back to the hatch. The NPC’s, being horribly confused as to why their friend (whom Jym had taken the form of) was speaking to these outsiders like he knew them, confronted the group, only to be socked in the face by River Song.
“She hit me! Why did you hit me?”
At this point they made it back up to the control room, only to be held at taser point by the scientists. River told a pretty convincing story (aided by the sounds of the damaged Cyberman below) & most of the staff ran out, confused & overall just over the craziness. The two main scientists remained, unswayed. They wanted the Cyberman, they wanted to harness the technology for their own purposes.
Rory, hiding in the background, managed to silently signal River with his transmitter & mobile phone. River made an educated guess & sonic’ed the devices from across the room with the quickness. Claxons roared out, & blast doors began closing up the only exit from the tomb. A hasty escape was needed!
Throughout all this, Jym was casually assembling a bomb using jiggery-pokery.
They all escaped (Rory having to spend a couple Story Points), just as the self-destruct sequence began. They ran down the mountain side back to the expedition base, hardly stopping to hear the questions of “What about the other 6 or 7 people still in there?” Jym, as casually as he made it, tossed the bomb at the expedition’s ship as the party escaped to the TARDIS, safe & sound as the entire expedition lost their lives to a self-destructing Cyberman tomb & a Silurian homemade bomb.
*cue Final Fantasy victory music*
It got a little rushed at the end, because I was going to be late for work otherwise, but it was an extremely fun session. This game was a blast. Zero prep, one inexperienced player, a GM not entirely familiar with the system, & a time crunch. Thanks to the system, these didn’t hurt the game at all. M had no problem grasping the rules, I had no problem running it & many laughs were had by all. I never would have expected such a fun session to come out of a zero prep game. Granted, I had more than fair knowledge of the scenario, but other than that, that’s it.
I just really wanted to share this because it was such an awesome, unexpected, Game Night.
RPG materials & musings, along with some fiction, poetry, & other randomness. Updated when you least expect it. Original content released under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0