Author Topic: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.  (Read 15049 times)

Doug Hare

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So, I got the DW Red Book last week, and was keen to play it, and talked two friends into letting me GM for them at our regular Thursday gaming session.

After a slight mix-up with the playbooks I'd printed out at work (possibly because of differing paper sizes), I had to reprint them using my ink-poor home printer, which might have left them a little hard to read.

Nevertheless, my chums played along, and opted for a Fighter, and a Thief. I wasn't as familiar as I might have been with the character creation, so I was going  through it using the red book on the screen of my phone. But, we emerged at the end with:

Amdor, a dextrous and tough Elf Fighter, wielder of an ornate elven sword (an heirloom of his family, and his Signature Weapon, which is both Sharp and Versatile), lithe and whipcord-thin, with wild hair and eager eyes. Played by Keith.

Shanks, a Human Thief, similarly lithe and wiry, with his wild hair concealed under the hood of his cloak, which also conceals his rapier. Played by Dave. There's a minor rules issue where Dave wonders if Backstab is still based on Strength even if he's using a Precise weapon, and I agree to let him base it on Dex while I find out. So, should it still be a Roll + STR if the Thief is using a Precise Weapon and thus using Roll+Dex for Hack and Slash?.

Both players have eventually opted for the standard equipment bundles, and, because I want them both to survive despite not having a Healer, I let them have their choice of a pack of Poultices and Herbs, or a set of Bandages. They opt for the Poultices, and Amdor offers to carry them, since he envisages himself being more likely to need them.

I explain Bonds to them, and they decide to only fill in one Bond each, but that still leaves them both highlighting a stat for each other. Dave chooses Con for Amdor, and Keith chooses Wis for Shanks. I as GM choose to highlight Dex for both of them, since they're both using Precise Weapons, and will be rolling it a lot. I'm not sure at this point whether XP comes from successful rolls against that stat, or all rolls against that stat. I eventually mis-remember and opt for the former.

Aiming to start a little more in media res than usual, but having tried and failed to link the PCs to either Grundloch, Master of the Arcane Clay, or the Icescale lizardmen, our PCs were heading to the Hall Under The Hill to collect a bounty on goblin ears. We've likened having a tribe of goblins around the countryside firstly to having a wasps' nest in your garden, in that you might not do much about it until someone actually gets stung, and then secondly to having a camp of pikeys camping nearby a town. Only worse, really, because goblins aren't human.

We cut to Andor and Shanks in the back of a cart heading along the trade road toward the Hall, swapping stories with Hawken the skinner. He mentions that he did well in the city of Battlemoor - people are keen for furs and skins since it's been getting colder (foreshadowing the presence of the Frost Heave). Shanks considers using some of the equipment Hawken has in the back of the cart with them to murder him and take his stuff, but eventually gives it up. It's worth mentioning at this point that Shanks is quite Evil, and taking full advantage of the Flexible Morals of the Thief class. Amdor, by contrast is Neutral, Keith having been excited by the idea of a Fighter and his blade adventuring to seek out Worthy Opponents.

After asking Hawken to tell anyone who asks that they actually left his company in the next village (I don't yet know why, but it could just be a natural Thief's caution), the two clamber out of the back of the cart and head off-road to where the Hall is meant to be. They're aware of the Bloodstone Idol, but don't know much about it. I've also mentioned that the Cult of the Idol are largely defunct:

"There's nothing like living in a secret hideout and spending all your time venerating and caring for an Idol to Not Attract Women", says Dave.

So, the characters make their way cross country, down a valley to where the Hill With The Hall Under The Hill Under It is, on the shores of a lake, which already has frosty mist hanging over it (more evidence of the Frost Heave). and as they crest a rise, they get their first site of the main entrance, with the massive doors, slightly ajar, and the lengthy fight going on outside it.

Shanks Discerns Realities and notices that the goblins, who are closer, are better-armed than might be expected, having actual slings with lead shot (instead of stones)and metal-tipped spears (instead of flint). (I've decided to put all the Goblins in brown robes to make them more like Jawas, but the slingers have their hoods back for better aim). Despite their good gear, though, they don't know much about building barricades. Furthermore, he notices enough debris and disturbed ground to know that this fight's been going on a while, and realises that since the goblin barricade is further from the door, works out that the goblins must have a secret entrance.

Not taking the chance that their intervention might not make both sides focus on them for interfering, and realising at this point that ranged weapons might have been a good idea to bring, the two adventurers make a plan to sneak round and look for another way in. They've spotted the Standing Stones around the top of the hill, and resolve to sneak off that way.

It's at this point I have a problem.  The players want to know how well they've avoided detection, if they have, and I can't find a move that covers it. So, I wing it for the rest of the game, but I really need help with working out what you do if your players are sneaking around. Is it just a matter of it being a soft move? I'd honestly prefer it if it was the dice, and success or failure at a move that means they do or don't succeed at stealth, rather than it just being a decision I as GM make for them.

At the Standing Stones, the two notice a smouldering fire, with a number of items around it, which are the Goblin Chief's offerings to any Planar Ally that might be attracted. There are coins, cups of drink, a haunch of meat, and a shrieking face carved out of a bone. Amdor keeps an eye out while Shanks moves into the circle of stones and Discerns Realities again, and works out that they're offerings to [something or other], and asks "who put them there?". He figures out that the circle  must occasionally link to Other Places from the scattering of various stones, some of which aren't found around these parts. Because the player rolled really well, I mention that one of the stones is a rare piece of elemental earth matter, and Shanks scoops it up and puts it in a pocket. Amdor notices, though, but figures it's just Shanks making up for their lack of ranged capability with a nice heavy throwing rock. Small footprints lead away from the circle, and the two resolve to follow them.

Despite attempts by the goblins to hide their tracks, the two swordsmen find where the secret entrance probably is, hidden by a big bush and stones. After an initial chuckle at the phrase "big bush", the two pause for a second and discuss what to do next.

Now, I've had them find the entrance because if they don't go in, the adventure's pretty much over, so I want them to find a way in. But, I'm a fan of Raymond Chandler, and the closest thing I can think of to a guy coming through the door with a gun in his hand, is a small party of goblins coming out of the entrance. Amdor hears the rustle as the bush shakes and moves, and draws his ornate blade. Shanks takes cover on the other side of the bush, rapier drawn and held low.

A brown-robed figure emerges, and for a second Amdor and the goblin look at each other in an uneasy standoff. Keith checks the Parley move on his rule sheet. I mime the goblin's actions. He extends a hand to gently tell his two companions to get back, Amdor mistakes it as reaching for a weapon, and lunges forward with his sword.

It's the first Hack and Slash of the game, and the dice don't disappoint, coming up with a Strong Hit and enough damage to drop the goblin dead without him getting a hit in. I describe the tip of the sword emerging, bloodied, from the goblin's back, and his spear dropping to the ground from suddenly nerveless fingers. The goblin's companions dash out of the tunnel to avenge their comrade, and Amdor prepares to meet them, blade in hand.

Dave asks if they're aware of Shanks' presence, and because, as a fan of Shanks, I should want to see him stab people in the back, I say they're not. Shanks launches a Backstab at one of the goblins, and succeeds, again with enough damage to kill the goblin in one shot. I describe a goblin suddenly stiffening and coughing out a mouthful of blood before slumping to the floor, and then Amdor uses the superior reach of his weapon to keep the last goblin at a distance before running him through. Again, I mention the goblins' well-made weapons, even if they are a little brutal and too dirty for our heroes' tastes. Both adventurers are happy they weren't wounded by the goblins' filthy blades.

Dave marks off a use from Shanks' adventuring kit to fix a rope to help them climb down the drain into the Hall, and so I give them both a +1 bonus to Defy Danger as they clamber down the tunnel. Amdor and Shanks decide who's going to go first with several coin tosses. Eventually Shanks stops short of saying "All right, best of nine" and reluctantly goes first. He rolls well, and makes it easily to the bottom. I'm describing the smoky, messy, noisy main goblin chamber below as Amdor rolls to follow it, and then rapidly switch to describing a flurry of scree stones and gravel as Amdor loses his footing and slides down the tunnel into the  chamber. Luckily, because there's a battle going on in the next chamber, and the scouting party's only just gone out, there aren't too many goblins paying attention. Still, Amdor loses a couple of hits from scrapes and bruises, and Shanks is knocked off-balance and puts his hand in something squishy while he tries to right himself. The goblins keep their rubbish pile near the exit because it makes it easier to carry out, and Shanks has nearly rolled right in it. I mention how that's surprisingly Orderly for goblins, playing up the influence of the Idol.

Shanks lets out a groan of dismay as he tries to find something to wipe his hands on, and this attracts the attention of the nearest goblin, who looks up from his job of basting some joints of meat on spits near a fire.
Amdor takes action and demands "Give me the rock". Shanks demurrs for a second before handing it over, and Amdor bounces it on his palm for a second before pitching it right at the goblin.

Again, the dice fall for a strong hit, and the goblin reels backward clutching his temple as the rock cracks hard against it. He's not out though, and the two adventurers make their way around the goblin cave to finish him off. Another two goblins are attracted by the noise (I feel slightly guilty for saying this, since I'm still not sure about how to handle attempts to remain silent and stealthy).

A brief fight ensues with coals being kicked at one of the goblins, the spit-master grasping a spit from the fire with his thick leathery gloves on and attempting to fend both PCs off with it, but to scant avail. The fight ends quickly.

Continuing to sneak around, the adventurers make their way through the Goblin cavern, noticing a ladder leading to a raised cave section where they overhear the Chieftan arguing with his advisors. I mention that the Chieftan has a deep and loud voice, but then qualify that with the fact that he's still a goblin, so still sounds like Mickey Mouse on helium. They elect not to climb the ladder and go for him now and instead sneak into the Idol's chamber, where the goblins and lizardmen are engaged in a pitched battle around the base of the Idol.

The light source in the main chamber, I've decided, is the Idol, which sheds a dull red light throughout the cavern, which is huge. The chamber has a ruler-straight line along the right hand side, which I interpret as being evidence of it being worked stone instead of natural cave wall, and I describe a large carved fresco facing the Idol. After trying to work out the nearest exit (these two characters seem loath to get into battle with many foes at once, and who can blame them?), they head along the wall, and I call that Defying Danger. The reason for that, and I'm sure of it, is that if they're spotted, they'll definitely be challenged. The rolls are not good, and the two are silhouetted against the wall by the light of the Idol, and spotted by four lizardmen.

Because I want to play up that the lizardmen are also here to find worthy opponents and prove themselves in combat, I have the largest lizardman pull his spear up and point it at both characters a few times, before tapping himself on the chest and assuming a fighting stance.

Amdor straightens up at this and hefts his shield, taking a few preparatory slashes in the air with his longsword. He attempts to slide in under the guard of the lizard's spear before striking upwards into his vitals, but a poor roll leaves him flat on the floor and nearly nailed to it by a downward thrust of the lizardman's spear.

Shanks attempts to Aid Amdor by yelling to distract the lizardman at a crucial moment. He rolls a weak hit, so Amdor gets the +1 Forward, but Shanks gets menaced by hisses from the other three lizardmen, and in no doubt what'll happen if he tries that again.

Amdor tries to twist away from the arc the lizardman's covering with his spear, rolls a Weak Hit, whirls like a dancer to the lizardman's side and lays his scaly neck open with the edge of his blade before the lizardman backhands him across the face with his spear, catching him with the shaft rather than the tip to explain the low damage. Amdor's starting to feel his wounds though.

Shanks shifts position to run if Amdor drops, and a lizardman reminds him not to interfere by hurling a spear in his direction. It misses, but Shanks isn't sure if that was intentional, though. On the other hand, a spear is a good weapon for keeping foes at a distance, so he adjusts his plans to involve grabbing it if things go wrong.

Amdor, meanwhile, aims a lunge to open the other side of the lizardman's neck, and the dice turn up a Strong Hit. The lizardman falls with a burbling hiss as the blade passes through his windpipe, and his fellows salute the victorious swordsman with their spears before motioning them to pass by.

This ends the session, as Amdor and Shanks look around for a quiet and safe place to hole up for a few minutes to tend their wounds. There being only two players, the task of "pick another player to increase Bond with" is simple, and I'm gratified when Keith and Dave say they've enjoyed themselves and are keen to continue next week.

noofy

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 11:38:52 AM »
Lovely mix of story and mechanics Doug! Awesome AP! Welcome to the adventurer's guild :)

Anarchangel

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 02:08:03 AM »
Hooray for Chandler!

So, Highlighted stats aren't in the latest version, but for the record, you get XP for an roll, not for a success.

Sneaking is usually handled by GM moves (or non-moves) or Defy Danger (Dex). So if the Thief is sneaking around, I'll let him get away with a lot (i.e. give him a lot of rope...) before I call for a Defy Danger roll, but if it's the armoured Fighter, she'll be making a roll almost as soon as she could be seen or heard!

Doug Hare

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 07:08:25 AM »
Thank you for your clarifications, Anarchangel!

So, that only leaves one last question to resolve before tomorrow's session:

can a Thief use Dex instead of Str for Backstabbery if he's using a Precise weapon, or is this a conscious decision to prevent Thieves relying on Dex too much?

Many thanks,

Doug.

Anarchangel

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 06:59:43 PM »
Ah yes, I've run across that one quite a few times. I don't think the written rules help here.

I usually assume Sage and Adam considered that thieves would just about always be using precise weapons and chose STR for Backstab as a deliberate design decision.

I would naturally incline the other way and make it based on DEX for precise weapons (or amend precise to say "when you attack with a precise weapon..." (instead of "when you Hack and Slash...").

I'm not sure if my ruling at the table is consistent on this one.

Doug Hare

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 07:23:29 PM »
I'm with you, Anarchangel, but I'd be interested to hear the design philosophy behind why it's a STR-based roll.

Doug.

Ludanto

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 07:50:48 PM »
I don't have a quote, but I believe Sage has said that the Thief is very DEX-focused, so Backstab uses STR just to mix things up a bit.

Doug Hare

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 09:09:22 PM »
I'm still going to have a hard time convincing my players that a Thief's main ability, of quick reactions and finding the enemy's weak spots, of niftily hitting just where it'll do the most damage or have an additional effect, shouldn't be based on Dexterity. Or, at the very least, Intelligence, for spotting the openings and reacting quickly to take advantage of them. Actually I think we're back to Dex again.

I think I'm just looking for arguments to have in my quiver when they query it, since it was the first thing Dave, the chap playing Shanks the Thief, asked last session.

Doug.

Doug Hare

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2012, 10:53:24 PM »
A short session tonight, with a late start and an early finish because of matters external to the game. I shall write it up tomorrow afternoon for potential entertainment.

Our first Death's Door roll resulted in exactly what I'd been hoping for, a Bargain With Death!

More soon.

noofy

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2012, 11:08:08 PM »
Remember that everything you and the players do in Dungeon World comes from and leads to fictional events. So always begin (and end) with the fiction. So I would address the character Doug, and ask questions of Shanks, using the answers...

I backstab the Goraxx!
Cool, what do you do?
I hold desperately to its scaly dorsal fin, then plunge my punch dagger deep into its spinal cord, behind its ugly head!
Awesome! Roll+..... Hmmmm. Hang on Shanks, do you think its more about your precise skill at sliding your dagger between its armoured plates, or simply brute power as you hammer down?
Oh, definitely, my mighty thews! I raise my dagger gripped in two hands above my head and slam into the beast as hard as I can!
Cool! Roll + STR then.
Oh dear. 6 *gulp*
Well, your prized dagger is well and truly embedded into the Goraxx's amoured scales, [use up resources] but you have done naught but anger it immensely! You most certainly in melee with the fearsome fishbeast now as it drags you deep, down to the depths of the icy pool [put them in a spot]..... What do you do?

Anarchangel

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 12:32:29 AM »
That sounds like a good way to handle that sort of ambiguity, noofy.

Doug Hare

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 04:17:32 PM »
And here, if you will, is a Roll+Charisma based Backstab:



D.

noofy

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 12:52:39 AM »
Exactly :)

Doug Hare

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 02:56:35 PM »
And now, as promised, the report from Thursday's session.

With a few external matters slowing the players down, and brand new Beta character sheets to transfer things over to, we got off to a slow start.

Amdor and Shanks take a moment to lick their wounds after Amdor's duel with the lizardman, using up one of their two doses of Poultices and Herbs.

While they're doing this, Grundloch achieves a measure of control over the idol, and in a burst of red light and a sensation of tingling, it's power bursts out throughout the central cavern. Amdor and Shanks both feel it pass over them, leaving silence in it's wake. They both speak at once, and are relieved they're not deaf, but their voices carry in the newly quiet cavern.

Looking out, they don't hear the noise of the battle further down the cavern, nor any cries or hisses from the participants.

In fact, what's happened is that all the goblins and lizardmen in the cavern are paralysed for a short time. I remember from reading Michael Moorcock that the ultimate aim of Law/Order is stasis, without any change at all, and so that's what I imagine might be the easiest thing for the Idol to do to them if it's not fully under control. Grundloch's come to the conclusion that he'll need to command the denizens of the Idol's resting place if he's to win it over, and this is his next step.

Amdor and Shanks only know that the fighting's stopped. Shanks reckons now is a good time to shiv up the participants and take their stuff, but Amdor counsels caution.

Shanks Discerns Realities, rolls well, and works out that the Goblins are a tribe, so anything they've got that's worth having is probably held in common in their cavernous den. Although I've been stressing with every encounter that the Goblins are suspiciously well-equipped, when I mention that the Lizardmen were too, it starts to set off alarm bells.

"Why would someone arm both sides of a conflict?", muses Shanks.

"For greater profit?" offers Amdor, and he's so very right that I could hug the player.

With this suspicion in mind, the two head off for more answers, up the scree-laden slope to the Entrance Hall. They're both moving with their weapons out, so when those weapons start to glow and heat up, both adventurers are, naturally, concerned.

Even the daggers kept in their boots for emergencies are shedding radiance like flashlights, so they take a moment to sheathe weapons and muffle the light. They work out that the big double doors at the top end of the hall are the entrance they didn't come in by earlier, and sneak up to see if the fighting's going on out there, still, which it is. They opt to continue on out of the hall via the last unused exit.

They haven't got close enough to the main doors to trigger the magical effect that announces visitors to the hall, because they've been very careful about their positioning (they've told me this), so I decide a few things on the fly.

One: they've both suggested that Amdor and Shanks are not their real names, partly because there's a habit of people taking up the adventuring life and taking new names as they do so, or perhaps because Amdor's real Elven name is significantly longer than the one he's using. Thus, I don't want to blow their covers this early.

Two: since they haven't come in the entrance, and because I don't want the magic in here to be able to divine their real names without them offering them, I'm going to have it resort to it's default, which is to call them both "stranger".

So, when they head out of the south exit, an image appears behind them of an indistinct male figure, wearing the Order's symbol on his robes, calling out "TWO STRANGERS LEFT THE ENTRANCE HALL!".

This spooks them both, and they both whip out weapons before remembering the magical effect from the other room, and then being reassured that it's not happening here beyond the archway.

Amdor takes a step back into the Entrance Hall, and is announced "A STRANGER ENTERED THE ENTRANCE HALL", before turning back round again, and being similarly announced to have left it.

Now, at this point, I missed a trick. I did want to have a couple of lizardmen pursue the PCs through the place, and spring out when things got either hairy or dull, and possibly for the PCs to have fair warning by overhearing the automatic announcement as the lizards left the Entrance Hall. I even had a good place for them to make an appearance; just down the steps while Shanks was dealing with the lock to the Vault.

Amdor ticks off a use of his Adventurers' Gear to have a light source, and the two proceed on down the increasingly unsafe stairs to find the Vault doors looming up at them from their left hand side as the stairs turn downwards.

Shanks is of course a Trap Expert, and reassures himself there aren't any on these doors, except for the fact that they're big heavy iron doors. He realises that previous Goblin attempts to pick the locks have left them damaged and hard to open before entertaining a brief plan to uncouple the hinges of one door and swing the whole assembly like one big door, before a quick audit of his (STR 10) and Amdor's (STR 13) muscles leaves him less than confident of their ability to pull that off. So the two continue down the stairs to the cavern where the fireflies are.

Now, they haven't killed a goblin since last session, which was a week ago, so my mention of the fireflies communicating through "high pitched whistling sounds" goes right past them, and they attempt to split up to get past the fireflies.
Neither of them knows much about insects, especially orange-glowing, cat-sized, fiery phlegm-spitting ones, so they don't know that killing one might cause it to release chemicals alerting the others to it's death, and making them more aggressive. This then happens when Amdor stabs the nearest firefly to death.

The two split up to give the suddenly aggressive fireflies two targets. Amdor goes left, and blocks the only spit of glowing hot mucus that's on target with his shield. Shanks goes right, ducks and rolls. His Defy Danger dice turn up badly, and I describe a spatter against his lower legs that leaves them covered in painful hot spots and lose him HP, and a whoosh that goes past his hair and ear but doesn't seem to hurt him.

Amdor looks over and notices that, in fact, Shanks' back has caught fire.

A certain amount of panic ensues. Amdor launches himself through the fireflies to defend Shanks with his shield while the two of them get out of the cavern quickly, noticing as he does that his shield is now marred by a small hole where the superheated firefly spit has melted through it.

The fireflies continue to advance, and Shanks throws himself down into the muddy, squelchy floor of the passageway to put his flames out, scraping his back (lose more HP) as he does so. Coated in sludge as he is, his heat is masked, and so Amdor is left to face the two fireflies who started closest to him and are still pursuing. He drives them both back with ferocious thrusts from his longsword, keeping himself mobile to avoid any flaming spit attacks.

Shanks finally comes to rest, coated in sludge like Arnie's character near the end of Predator, and next to him are some crude buckets, some full of water. (the goblins left these here to soak their robes with when they have to pass through that cavern). He seizes one, and Volleys to throw it all over a firefly. He rolls a Strong Hit, and the cold water chills the firefly, cracking it's carapace and reducing it's core temperature to where it can no longer fly. Amdor finishes the fireflies off with quick thrusts, and the two continue on.

Shanks is wounded and filthy, but not so wounded that he wants to use up their last dose of Poultices.

The two make their way into what would have been the cavern of Grundloch's illusionary menagerie in the scenario as written, however, I've changed it. My version of Grundloch's been described as more of a master of animating and clay-based magic, so instead of an illusionary menagerie, I describe their lantern light dimly illuminating a writhing mass of snakes, which, as they get closer, they identify as;

the writhing tail of a hooded Basilisk,
the multiple serpents on the head of a Medusa
and, in between and around both of them, sinuous Cobras with mesmerising Emerald Eyes.

Now, because they've not spotted any decent treasure so far, I am stressing that all the eyes of these beasties are, in fact, gemstones. Even though unaffected by the magical gazes of any of these constructs (yet), the two adventurers freeze solid, and, through gritted teeth, try and work out what to do next.

At this point, I have a small group of Mesmerised Goblins attack.

Four goblins, two with sizeable flails, two with shields and javelins.

Shanks tries to get out of their line of sight and circle round unspotted behind them, but rolls a weak hit, so I rule that the flail-wielders might have stopped paying attention to him for a moment, but at least one of the javelineers was keeping track of him. A javelin narrowly misses him and he makes his way back up the passageway to comparative safety.

Amdor, on the other hand, chooses his ground and prepares. He calculates the distances and angles, and positions himself where the javelineers can't get a good shot without risking hitting their fellows. As the flail wielders close, he rolls a Strong Hit and drives them both back, pinking one hard in the shoulder and slashing the other one across the arm, robbing their swings of momentum as the goblins shriek in pain.

Shanks hears the screams, and, sticking close to the wall, makes the shadows his ally as he swiftly moves back to the fight. He moves in closely behind one of the flail-wielders and tries to run him through. A weak hit leaves him open to attack, and the javelineer's readied shot finds it's mark in his thigh.

"That leaves me on 0 hp", announces Dave, and I narrate Shanks' sudden surprise as his legs buckle under him and he goes down.

Quickly I switch to Amdor, who's beset with goblins now. The two javelineers have both used up the ammunition they brought with them, and are rushing forward to provide cover with shields and daggers to allow the flail-wielding goblin to strike a fatal blow. Amdor sees the fallen Shanks, and realises he either has to draw the goblins away or take them all down now if he's to save Shanks before he bleeds out.

Happily, Keith's dice are on fire tonight. His second 12 of the session allows Amdor to deal a crippling 16 damage to the goblins, as he happily accepts the chance of getting attacked in return for more damage. The flail-wielder takes his weapon in both hands and raises it above his head for a huge swing, before Amdor takes a step forward and slashes his point across the goblin's wrists, separating both his hands from his body. He kicks hard against one of the other goblin's shields and runs his point over the top of the shield until it sinks into flesh, and then whips the blood-flecked blade round to point at the last goblin, who, suddenly alone and outclassed, freezes for a fatal second before Amdor runs him through.

Meanwhile...

Shanks finds himself unwounded in the Cavern of the Idol, which is eerily silent. The Idol seems more human in front of him and he feels himself drawn towards it. (actually, he's been mortally wounded in one of the caverns that leads to the Idol, and the newly-hungry Idol is keen to absorb his soul)
Behind him, he senses something, and whirls around to see a female figure standing there. Clad in a thigh-length white garment (I describe it as a Greek-style tunic), she's wearing long strapped golden sandals, and carrying a sheaf of wheat close to her torso with her left hand, and a vine-wrapped staff in her right. Her hair's quite short, but she's looking slightly away from him, so he can't yet see her eyes.

Then her voice, her beautiful voice, rings out, with something he's not heard in a long time: his real first name.

She tells him he's not made much of the life they granted him, and he sputters in incomprehension.

She goes on to warn him that his path in life would lead him from her to the Black Pit, and even though I can't pronounce the Capital Letters in the name, I say that she certainly can, making the Black Pit sound a most unappetising place.

You would be among the lowest of the low in the Pit, she says, and Shanks begins to stumble over pleas that he's tried to be good, he really has, and so she turns her head to look fully at him and Shanks' voice dries up at the sight of her eyes, which are golden. Not golden coloured like humans have blue-coloured eyes, but golden all the way across, and Shanks remembers a tiny fragment from his education that "No God or Goddess, whatever form they take, can disguise the nature of their eyes", and suddenly Shanks realises what's going on here.

(actually, what's going on is that Shanks' education was conducted by a priest of this god, whom I shall let Dave the player fully define later, and the last real blessing that Shanks has ever had was in her name, hence she can intervene here)

The goddess tells Shanks he has a month to do three good deeds, or his fate, The Black Pit, comes due. Blinding white light streams out from all around and Shanks coughs and comes to back with his back cold against the cavern floor, and Amdor frantically trying to shake the life back into him.

Shanks is still gibbering as Amdor patches him up with the last of their Poultices and Herbs, and after a break to regain their composures, eventually Shanks is ready to continue on.

They stalk onwards through the cavern, electing not to interact further with the moulded clay menagerie, gemstone eyes be damned, and, taking precautions to shield their gaze, continue into the Stone Parliament's chamber.

After some close study, Shanks asks Amdor "What shall we do next?", and they're both surprised as the Parliament takes this as an opportunity for debate. The room is abruptly full of chatter in booming voices as the carved Dwarven statues recommend everything from leaving right now to continuing on to glory and all points in between.

Abruptly, the two adventurers realise what a marvellous alarm this would make, and hasten southwards where the passageway opens out into the library, and, bent over a table in the middle, the two of them catch sight of the well-robed, well-muscled, bald figure of Grundloch, Master of the Arcane Clay...


Doug Hare

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Re: Actual Play Report - DW/Bloodstone Idol - The Tales of Amdor and Shanks.
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 02:59:14 PM »
PS - I've already decided that Grundloch and his assistant, Cassius, who I've also decided is the Brawn to Grundloch's Brain are in the main cavern with the Bloodstone Idol . This is just a simulacrum moulded from clay, but it will trigger the alarm spells in it if it's messed with. And the PCs might also get the chance to read some of Grundloch's notes about what's really going on here. We shall see....soon!