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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dynamic Pool, more than just Hit Points-

Long before calling them Dynamic Pool, I was using a player resource normally hoarded as a means for modifying die rolls.  It is a counter-intuitive strategy to expend one's Consciousness metric (and by extension the likelihood of staying alive) to boost one's chance to succeed at action ranging from combat to task resolution and magic.

The DP in Urutsk can be expended on a 4:1 ratio where four points gains the PC 1d6 to be added to die rolls or simply to create that much Elemental matter for a specific purpose.  Harvesting Elemental Crystals in creatures has become a common practise, with PCs sharing the same or related Element getting first pick, then the more Casterly-types using them to convert to more desirable elements at a diminishing rate of return.

The dilemma to use or save one's Dynamic Pool points is one of my favourite to observe, and I take a bit of perverse pleasure in suggesting to Players that the sticky situation could be alleviated by expending 4, 8, or 12 DP to strike a deathblow on an opponent, splitting between Striking and Damage.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Weekend of 1st & 2nd November, '14

Saturday-

The party travels aboard the Gnome's ship and enters Normal Space, only to find they have passed through a one-way warp gate to a rend in the fabric of space.  All sixteen elements are flinging ejecta into this maelstrom of shattered worlds, ruined structures, and wrecked ships.  While the Unseen Servant is out plotting a course through the dangerous mix of elements, the scanners detect a habitable environment: a graveyard with a two towers base to base (like Chess Rooks).
     Weirdness when they land after a hail comes through, assuring the party that although the hosts aren't human, Humans are welcome.  A deep-Shadow dwelling woman zips to the three Shadowblooded and warns against the plans to bum-rush the place as the PCs were wont.  A gateway arch opens for the Gnome, and the Shadow Paladin rushes in, standing astride the locations, and drops a Detect.  "How gauche!" can be heard by the lot of occupants, although only about sixteen percent of the folks detected as evil (with sigils over their heads).  A Hawktapus identifies itself as the caster of the gateway, and begins to chat with the Gnome.  the Aetherblooded Sorcerer (Dr. Who-themed) banters with it and they exchange genetic samples.  Sulk, the Shadowblooded woman races in, and continues to explain that this palce is balanced by population, so that as a certain number of occupants are selected to enter, a corresponding number must be 'exited'.  The dust of the exits are collected by robots.  Sulk explains in increasing Word Salad that the Overmind conditions occupants to forget their origins, themselves, and to think of themselves as part of a system, to be rearranged or removed as the Overmind desires.  She finally flips out and races off.
     The Party is escorted by grey guards to a Purple chamber where they are under the impression that the Overmind determines whether or not their atoms cohere, and that they have no choice but to comply or risk destruction.  Stepping through a White door brings them to a game show style platform with blinding white lights shining down upon them, and not only a panel of judges, but a vast audience in the round applauding and calling for their full disclosure of secrets.  Contacting Lord Hyperion, the Sorcerer is warned against 'Purchase', and 'Teeth'.  the group steels itself with elemental blood expenditures, and half-wakes to find themselves back in their silver spacevan, hearing the voices of their Kherstic League operators speaking about them, while outside stands the reanimated corpse of the Rogue who intentionally snapped her neck.  We held it there.

TL; DR: Weird Sh!t


Sunday-

The PCs asked the Computer what they could do to facilitate her regaining control of the various dead levels of the ship complex, and apart from confronting the Wraith King on the levels above them, the PCs were told that some Sorcerers and Warlocks were tapping into the Computer's link to the CHAIN and were using it to contact their Patrons and other Higher Minds; there was a possibility they were in cahoots with the Wraith king.  The PCs agreed to confront the 'locks.
     The same player playing the same Shadow Paladin is in both games, and he and Eleis travelled from the hippie encampment down the slopes of the artificial mountains to the valley below.  From there, they made their way into the jungle surrounding the artificial caves.  They were ambushed by an _enhanced Panther (2x HP, and d8 Bite and d6 Claws; Claw/Claw/Bite routine)_ which nearly dropped the Paladin, until Eleis shattered it with a Frostlightning bolt.  They harvested a 6-point Shadow crystal from it and the Paladin swallowed it.  The mate was confused and when confronted with the Paladin, perceived its mate's lifeforce inside him, and submitted to his Animal Handling attempt.  Now with a Frost Fox and a Shadow Panther, the Party pressed on into the caves.  All the typical pro-caving difficulties were there (as a form of recreation for the Vrun on the starship in centuries past), but it was handwaved as taking 10's and 20's (I was thinking of OSRs screaming at me I was doing it wrong).  Eventually came came time and a giant centipede attack, but, Frostlightning.  Then Bone Naga, and Frostlightning and sword.  Collecting the elecrystals from both and the spells from the bone Naga, the party pressed on.
     A fork in the caves and a broken synthwood sign informed of a "___ World ___ ___ Park" up the cave or continue on towards certain uncertainty.  they took the path and it lead to an artificial stone arch bridge over a icy, swift-flowing river; the far side had an adobe-style building.  An Undead Construct in Qhetannian (ancient Aelbaan Urutskan culture) garb blocked the way until Eleis remembered her History and they were allowed to pass on to the main portion of the very designed locale.  Meeting more Undead Constructs going through their centuries long routine of reaping non-existent wheat or spinning non-existent pottery, etc., the Party pressed on to another arch, this time over a vast chasm, leading to a building in a stalactite.  Greated by another Undead Construct who covered herself in Semblance of Life; a lovely Khem-Yirinn.  Their things were catalogued and wrapped in oiled skins while the Party were treated to bathing and oiling and scenting, and other beautification.
     Partaking of an oily-cakey brown bar, Eleis had a rush of power and genetic memory flood over her, submerging her beneath her ancestors in a cascade like toppling dominoes going back to the 'present' in which they travelled from thousands of years in the future.  This wave crashed into her 'living' ancestor; a Mummy-Lich who instantly became aware of her and opened a scrying window to her location.  The Paladin and Eleis' apprentice rushed in to aid her, but the boy, overcome with awe, simply knelt.  Paladin was ready to jump through the Scypane and engage the Undead, but Eleis waved them both away.  The Khem-Yirinn gave all of them a potion which temporarily increased their [Cha, Wis, and Int] enough to communicate respectfully in his Majesty's presence.  Whisked away on chariots, they travelled through streets with kneeling Undead-Construct peasants/subjects and arrived at the Glass and Gold Pyramid Tomb-Palace guarded by cadre of elite U-C warriors.  Bowing before her ancestor, Eleis was lifted up by him as he marvelled at her beauty and power.  Drinking of her blood in a force chalice, the Mummy-Lich reclined as Golden Steam settled like a cloud over him; reviewing her recent life and the links of ancestors back to him, he was saddened by the degeneration of the Empire and the vast number of hybrids (such as Eleis) the Aelbaan bred, settling to be second rate terrestrial empire of merchant fleets.
     The concubine or wife of the Mummy-Lich took the Shadow Paladin to a room where he was shown an empty black mirror, told that they had captured a creature within it.  Suddenly Sulk from the Saturday game appeared to him and warned that the Saturday crew was in terrible danger, and that his tie to the past would aid them in freedom.  She then asked him to smash the mirror, and he dropped a Smite and Sacred Weapon on his gauntlet, breaking it.  Sulk then thanked him and shattered.  He was left with a lot of 'splainin to do.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

25th & 26th October, '14

Saturday-

The party set off into the corrupted Dragon's Spine hyperspace conduit in their  cargo-van-sized craft and almost immediately were found by those pesky Shorrannin (who knew through a precog-scan they would return after first visit).  The nutso pilot, pyromaniac Western Isles Vrun, Silt-blooded but Fire-worshiping Cleric (!) was the first they approached, but she was not to be swayed.  Next came a Monarch-conditioned SRA victim (gun and explosives-freak) mute (backstory: her voxbox had been 'torn out' to silence and punish her after she survived a slaughter of her unit in wartime).  She was told the voice contacting her was that of her Mistress (Abyss?) and she literally jumped out of the craft onto the petrified-wood/bone terrain, and was proptly picked up by the Shorrannin.  The party called it no big loss, and flew on without one descenting opinion.

The transformation over a week's time in the Hiveship had the players a bit grossed out, such as being pulled/pushed through a corridor filled with bugs of every conceivable size, as if flowing through a living fluid.  Subcutaneous chitin beign implanted; as well as the PC beign impregnated with a further buggified clone of herself (reincarnation).  Caressed by the unseen queen in dark chambers with moist breath, slimy tentacles, and tender mandibles comforting her.  As the PC had self-described herself as a Ritual Abused-inducted child, this attention was not unwanted.  The Shorrannin Queen informed the PC that she was aware of a future event in which an egg/device should be retrieved by the PC, allowing time to be transcended.  The PC took this to mean that the present was when the egg would show up, and forced her way upon a ship to be be described now...

The crew of the alien DHL van ;) was overcome by the monotony and vastness of the realm, and the intrusion of the psychic technology of the craft, and tried to gain mastery of its systems outside of combat.  Initial performance during a salvo of torpedoes/missiles during the first encounter was wanting, and so they set about to do some preemptive weapons fire when a contact was made on the sonar-like energy scope sensor.  A craft was detected a long ways off and the group, travelling stealthed, continued to observe it.

This craft was piloted by a Gnome native to this Shorrannin-corrupted Dragonspace realm, only occasionally having exited into that bizarre and frightening black void dotted with distant specks of light.  His craft looks like a metallic green horseshoe with a black 'nucleous' set in the crook of the shoe, bridged only by a Dim-Door.  It is house-sized, mostly used for cargo, with the nucleous as bridge and living quarters for the Gnome.  As a Wizard, he is able to utilise all of his known spells through the craft, and carries a pistol-wand, and a rifle-rod for personal defence.  This craft could detect energy output in the environment, but couldn't pinpoint it (I used the quantum, either speed and not location, or location, but not speed, example), and after hours of approach and scanning and counter-scanning, interacted with the PCs.  First the energy bridge was extended, but the Party docked inside the horseshoe.  Almost immediately, the buggified PC, riding a rolling energy vortex (torroid), tried to enter the ship, only to encounter the ship's Shield.  She used her Void teleport, sacrificing her clone baby to breach the defence, and steamingly appeared in a hold, dripping black baby ichor.

Killing herself through a combination of her exertions and a ricochet, the party members burned her body to spell components and flushed the rest out into Dragonspace.  The player appeared a bit flustered, and no one else spoke of the event; we ended the session there.

TL; DR: PvP = Party versus PC.


Sunday-

The small turnout saw those present travelling through a dead level, encountering and dispatching a Wraith.  The next level had two Wraiths, and one had to sacrifice most of its Dynamic Pool (HPs) to affect the Western Isles Vrun Frost Wizard (now with an apprentice), while the other broke off and disappeared.  Soon thereafter, a flaming skull came and introduced himself as the herald of the Wraith King, and proceeded to F'them up, but was taken down in about three Rounds, after the Frost Wizard had to turn off the Frost-tag on her spells.  The Paly Player joked about dropping a Smite on his canteen to make Holy Water, which I allowed.  The FS was destroyed.  Later, the Shadow Paladin (played in the Saturday sessions, too ... to receive only half-XP in each day's adventures) received a vision of a Wraith King promising his wrath upon them should they not submit to him).  Lady Arctise could barely be contacted, and she seemed very worried her agents were in great peril, mouthing to 'get out of there'.  She flashed ice-blue light in the unpowered lift shaft, and the PCs jumped.  Falling until the Vrun encoutered the working levels' field, the Halbean (WI Vrun) rode an Ice Slide down until they spotted vegetation.

This was the top of a multi-level biodome, and the dippy-hippies welcomed them to go through decontamination before joining the population in the Idyls.  It became clear that these folks worship a dynamism of Lord Worm (Silt), and Pant the It (Steam) as the Greenman and Goddess.  We held it there.

TL; DR: Undead and Deadheads

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 18th & 19th


Saturday-
:: 7 Players

The exploration of the mine continued and a startling discovery was made: The Goop dissolves organics, leaving inorganics unharmed.  It also turns rigid when exposed to sub-microwave energy and acts as a filter/cap.  Lowering the Justifier-armoured Paladin below the goopcap exposed travel through an open gateway.  The new place is a pervasive darkness lit with varying degrees of light in the grey tones.  Illuminated are paths of what look to be a combination of bone and calcified wood, going off in long wild coils, or out of sight.  Sensors and samples indicate that this is a Draconic construct corrupted by Shorrannin; and may be a Draconic equivalent to the Human Hyperspace network of pre-Imperial days.  The group had earlier uncovered a vehicle which required Vrun genetic unlock to operate, and was based upon alien technology.  The Kherstic League invited them to explore the place in the hopes of reaching a different star system.  They'll be using the newly uncovered vehicle to explore this space.


Sunday-
:: 6 Players

Now one level lower after having bridged the isolated computer with lower level connectivity, the Party discovered that a population of roughly 600 cannibalistic warriors controls not only this level, but also two further down.  Rather than simply use the automated defence systems with override authorisation to kill them all, the new paladin of Shadow suggested approaching them in peace.  The group compromised by having the AI address the warriors, who complied with the peaceful meeting.  TL; DR: The warriors are the remnants of a the last line of Security forces securing the retreat of the crew and colonists deeper into the ship complex, and had adapted to their unusual role and circumstances by eating their impaired.  The Paladin healed a few of their diseases, but also introduced both fungi and algae to their diet.  The good relations allow the Party to travel through to more civilised areas of the complex.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Urutsk D&D 5th: 11th and 12th of October, '14

Saturday-

The group consisted of three PCs, and they found a hoverbike and watched its operator, off bike, being chased down by thin and lithe tiger-sized wolf-like things.  Recognising the colours as the Kherstic League, the tech-Ranger sniped the figure.  Turned out to be a female Yirinn, likely Void- or Nega-Lightning Blooded by her extensive and dark-themed tattoos covering her body.  They looted her clean and stole the bike, towing a Qemrin flying saucer they had blown up real good earlier, when only two PCs were present.  They were quickly met by the KL drones which they promptly shot down after getting hosed by 3d6 rapidfire guns on the basketball-sized devices.  Captured, one PC dying, they were released into a psychward looking room, and their dying friend wheeled in, head shaved, and speaking in a lower voice.  Psychics or via implants were dismissively insulting them in their minds, and were telling the near-dead female PC she was now a 'he', named Bahb instead of Betti.  Said PC snapped her own neck rather than live in that torment.  The other two climbed into the ventilation shaft and 'escaped' only to realise they were being led up the garden path, as it were.  Asked if they were ready to stop fighting their capture and simply work for the KL doing what they had been scamming, namely recovering Ancient technology from the mine.  They continued to plot revenge, apparently not caring that their thoughts are an open book, as it were.


Sunday-

Four PCs this time, with more expected next (this) week.  Waking up from Cryosleep, Eleis, the Western Isles Frost Wizard, chatted with the AI and started to understand what had transpired in the intervening 873 years (when they were supposed to wake every 50 years or so).  Learnt that a collapse in morale by those Vrun born to the survivors of the destruction of the Sphere of Stars led to Elemental Factionism along Caste lines.  Eleis then learnt how to create a Frost Font, drawing power from the ice and snow as a Temporary Dynamic Pool she can use in all the ways her DP (that is to say in D&D terms, her Hit Points), including to cast at higher level slots.  The first solo fight with a mutated Rhemoraz (sp?) went well, but only because these critters aren't immune to Cold.  Waking up the Monk/Data Tech, and the Barb/Pally/Ship's Superstructure guy and his Assassin/? ward, the group now numbered double digits looking to the PCs to fix their miserably cold situation before they froze to death.  Nearly 600 years ago, the glacier sitting atop the ship complex broke through and this level was completely abandoned, and it was cut off from the mainframe AI.  A series of three or four other combats with the mini-Rhemies went in the Party's favour.  Now everyone is looking to descend to lower levels of the ship complex.  It is believed that these Rhemoraz are Shorrannin sub-species.

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 4th & 5th, '14


Saturday-
(7 Players)

     The Ranger with ball droid, and the Technical Rogue in ninja HUD suit are guided by Snow Leopardoids to a location where unpleasant creatures are doing unwanted things on Snow Leopardoid tribal lands; a backwoods Ranger type is there as well.  The big cats go diving into Sneers and munching on Humans, and blow the infiltration plan.  Meanwhile, a mining operation with Sneers uncovers an ancient vehicle, which a Red Sneer illustrates its defences are still active by blowing up.  This explosion is what the prompts unprofessional Vrun guards to open up on the Sneers.  In the crossfire is a Vrun Warlock of Princess Nyx, who should have got hit, and later had holes in her clothes, but showed no injury.  The Champion Fighter had fetched the Gangster Moll who promptly fell unconscious, hitting her head and gone into a light coma.  The Rogue and Ranger infiltrate and fight their way into the CF of a situation, while the Champion brings the bosslady to the mess.  The mess hall has the Khem Warlock who administersw a healing potion bringing her out of hte coma, just before the Ranger blows the Moll's brains out. [...]  A Durnsman takes the party down to a slime or pudding at the bottom of the mine shaft.

TL; DR: Death


Sunday-
(5 Players)

     Lady Arctise gains access to the Emperor's Elevator and she sends the PCs back to First Winter.  There they explain how to save more Vrun, and how they come from the future, meaning the plan succeeds.  They cryosleep for 873 years into mid-First Winter and then crawl out with 3 'Str' and try and figure out what they should do next.  The Barbarian 3 is now Palladin 2; the Rogue Assassin has been de-Nyx'd after he met with Lord Shadow, and can now Alter Self 3x/Day; the Monk is likely going to add K'en Unai (somebody's Jedi/Sith 5e writeup) next level.  The Warlock of Mystress Abyss met his ancestor and together they get 125% more folks in cryo to ride out the hard radiation bath that was riding out ahead of the Starshock.  Ellieis, the Western Isles Frost Wizard Lady, reconciled with Arctise and the little Frost Fox received a damage upgrade.  I've promised them a big combat next time.

TL; DR: Time travel

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 27th and 28th '14

September 27th & 28th

Saturday Game-
(4 Players)

^ I fixed the problem we were having and the Ranger and Rogue hooked up, were given a 'Golden Opportunity' to jump into a con-job dealing with Snow Leopard-like humanoids in the Tshabishan Mountains north of Qerzyk...

^ A clan leader of the Snow Leopard-like humanoids was whisked-off in a Kherstic League Grav Vehicle back to Qerzyk, but it was intercepted hours out by the Ranger and Rogue posing as KL reps who were there to seal the deal of expansion into nearby territory.  Now, the KL is really trying to establish relations, but a criminal syndicate boldly decided to steal the reins and get into the area fast.

^ The KL Diplomat's Military liaison spotted the hinkiness and quietly cut herself in for 50%.

^ The Technical Rogue retrofitted the PC Snow Leopard Barbarian's Great Sword with 1d10 Electrical damage, and a +1 to Edged/Slashing damage overall.


:: TL;DR Playa's got game; kitty's got boltz ::


Sunday Game-
(7 Players)

^ Entered the Demiplane of Death and found treasure, much of which was cursed or very 'dark'

^ The Yaesh Rogue/Assassin no has a dagger that buries itself in his right arm ready to eject at will, and only cost him a permanent loss of 3 HP.  He made out with and was bitten by the Social Media savvy Princess Nyx, the Negative Lightning Patron and leader of vampires, gaining the Spider Climb ability.  He also found three daggers in a thigh sheath that look like resting bats.

^ The Undead Barbarian found an Imperial Era, Truenamed Sword which negates one of his Negative Levels while holding it, and is anchored to the CHAIN galactic network, providing the Khark access with his Astrogation DataSlate.

^ The Vrun Warlock of Mistress Abyss met Her and was levelled up to 4th (gaining roughly 400 XP), and was gifted with an animated Scourge/Bullwhip that Poisons on a Critical.  Th Mistress was seated on a living throne of contorted submissives and the whip was drawn out of one of their mouths.  Abyss gifted the Western Isles Vrun Frost Wizard with, 'Black Ice', a version of Grease that still falls under her Ice/Frost tag, and is the gateway to darkness, obscurement, and other spells.  Abyss shared that all of the Elemental Patrons are related, and that Frosty didn't need to worry about offending Lady Arctise by accepting the spell.  Princess Nyx stopped by to complain that Game of Thrones was disappointing, but Abyss countered that Nyx should keep watching through at least the Red Wedding episode.

^ A Vrun Cleric of Life tied to Prince Donner of the Positive Lightning Plane was freed by the Khark, and has joined the party.  He gained an extra Channel Divinity use per day.

^ The party exited via an elevator the Emperor installed traversing the 16 Elemental Planes.  The railroady stop they took was to 'Basement 1', an artificial Plane that had many doors leading elsewhere; while there all Elemental Patron powers were cut-off or suppressed.  The exit they chose opened to a stone floored but metal walled corridor.

:: TL; DR: Awesomness ::