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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The 13th Skull - Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG

The DCC RPG 2014 World Tour shows no sign of stopping here in my game store. But it is getting a little stuffy in there..

Apparently there is some new Magic: The Gathering thing going on. There's some real life plastic axe you can win..? There's a metric ton of humanity packed into the game store as a result.

On top of that, the Pokemon CCG has somehow surged in popularity and they are also running tournaments.

The result is that it is really loud and crowded - not at all an ideal place to be when trying to run a tabletop RPG.

Our heroes lost their favorite NPC last week - captured by Sezrekan the Mad. This week they went to save her. I knew that The 13th Skull was an adventure about rescuing a Duke's daughter, and it was mere child's play to replace the daughter with our miniature woman of extraordinary beauty.

I made up some story about how the villain of this adventure told Sezrekan the location of the Balance Blade in exchange for the miniature woman. With the miniature woman, he could complete a ritual. Her skull - the 13th skull - is the last one needed.

The adventurers tracked down the entrance to the dungeon in some ancient city ruins. In they went...

The Sepulcher: This is a pretty epic room. there's 13 coffins, alcoves full of bones, and tomb shadows. The tomb shadows are an old-timey kind of monster that just can't be hurt by physical attacks. You have to hit them with a spell or try to turn them.

Basically, you look down at your shadow in the torchlight and see that you have two other shadows that aren't behaving at all like your normal shadow. The shadows begin sapping your strength stat, one point per round!

The heroes got a bit panicky and critically failed some spell checks, but finally repelled them with a spell.
They found a secret stairwell in the 13th coffin that lead them down to a vast cavern with a river, a huge column, a hole to hell (!) and some other stuff.

The Stinking Pit of Hell: In the river is a.. hole. It emits noxious gas. Every half-hour, different types of devils come out. It's kind of left up to the DM's discretion. They offer three types of DCC-weird devils, like worms with legs that end in hands, flying black toadstools, and 4-eyes and 4-legged devils that shoot lasers.

I was wondering if the adventurers would jump into the pit. It leads to hell. We're kind of on our own at that point, but I figured I'd read up so much on D&D Hell that I could handle it if it came to it.

They left the stinking it alone.

The River: Every single session, this group comes across a body of water. Every single time, they jump in, forgetting that their plate mail gives them a -8 to their swim checks, almost guaranteeing that they sink right to the bottom!

I couldn't believe it, but it would have happened again if I hadn't given them a reminder. On top of that, the river had a strong current which could send them plunging down a waterfall into a chasm, likely never to be seen again.

Thankfully they took their time and crossed safely.

The Book of Planes: The heroes headed into a hallway that brought them to an awesome room. Here's the deal. There's a 300 pound book of metal. Each page can take you to a different plane - if someone has built a statue to create a guardian for that plane. There are two statues. Did our heroes turn a page and travel to another plane? Of course they dif!

They appeared in the Plane of Water. They left quickly. It's too bad. They appear on an island, and a talking wave is supposed to come up and angrily ask them if there is any news for "The Water Lords". Then, when their answer doesn't satisfy the wave, a dozen more waves show up. Maybe the heroes will go back there some time.
The heroes turned to the other active page... and they went to "The 417th Level of Hell". It's so hot that you take a point of damage each round. There, in hell, a barbed devil had the miniature woman of extraordinary beauty tied up. It was going to sacrifice her.

Well - it would have, if not for a good roll on a magic missile spell that fired one massive plasma beam for 4d12+4 damage! The devil was dead in one shot.

She was rescued. The heroes left the dungeon (they never actually battled the Silver Skull), carrying this 300 pound book with them.

They made plans. They are going to renovate the fortress near their town (the keep from Sailors on the Starless Sea... you know, the one with the well of souls and the huge misty hole in the ground). They are going to place the Book of Planes there, and build some statues (one old PC in town is a dwarven stonecarver, as fate would have it). They want to make portals.

This will work out well. They can make a portal to The Court of Chaos. They will learn that Sezrekan traded the Balance Blade to the court in exchange for a bunch of stuff.

Next week, our heroes are going to go and oppose their old enemies in the court and try to steal the Balance Blade right from under their nose.

It was an OK session. It ran short, and it was very noisy in the store. I'd give it a 7 out of 10.

The adventure is pretty good. I like the Joseph Goodman ones. He puts in some really creative and inspiring stuff. The Book of Planes is a great addition to the campaign.

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