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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dead Gods - Crossed Swords

This adventure is part two of the second storyline in Dead Gods. If you remember, part one of "Into the Light" was about a temple that some factions were fighting over. This scenario is very short, so I added in some of my own material.

The Heroes

(Jessie) Bidam - Platinum-Scaled  Dragonborn Fighter
(George) Theran - Drow Wizard

Downtime
  • The adventurers had been away from Sigil for a while, and they were very happy to be back.
  • They made a bunch of money off of their business, the festhall.
  • Theran made and sold a few javelins of lightning.
  • The sentient Razorvine known as "Patch" said it wanted Theran's demon amulet (he got it way back in the great modron march). The heroes didn't get involved in this. It was meant to be a clue as to the secret of the razorvine.
The ABCs of Planescape


Somewhere around here, I ran a really messed-up side adventure. If you are squeamish you should skip this whole section.

I saw this movie called ABCs of Death. It's a collection of five-minute horror movies. One of them is about this secret game.

Basically, a bunch of people in masks gather to watch two guys are strapped to a chair. The guys in the chairs have a masturbation competition. The guy who finishes last is killed, impaled on a spike that shoots up through the seat of his chair.

They have to pleasure themselves to what is presented in front of them. So in the movie, this one guy keeps winning, and each time the thing he has to watch is more and more messed up. The woman running the whole competition takes a liking to the guy, and helps him get through it by titillating him.

I had to turn it off because it got way too horrible for me, but I thought the basic idea was awesome. I had already established that the daughter of my Donald Trump NPC was a crazy, spoiled lady, so I figured she'd be perfect to run this competition.

I added another layer to it, by having her dress up in a Lady of Pain costume, which is exactly the kind of thing that the actual Lady of Pain will kill you for.

So basically, my idea was to invite the heroes to this secret party and see what they did with it.

Now, when it comes to D&D, Jessie like to dive right in. As soon as she saw the set-up of this competition, even before the rules had been explained, she signed up!

You should have seen her face once Bidam was strapped into the chair and the rules were explained. Theran was up on a balcony, frantically using magic to help Bidam survive each round (Bidam had to make constitution checks). Bidam's poor rivals were impaled and killed over and over.

Gronard Flumph's daughter, Srivlanka Flumph, took a liking to Bidam and also helped him as the competition wore on.

Bidam finally lost. Flumph walked over to his chair to activate the impaling spear. Theran fired off a spell at Bidam's chair, freeing him. Theran jumped down, took out a dude, untied Bidam and they fled as the party-goers howled with rage.

Sensory Stones

Bidam had his revenge. Bidam is a member of the Sensates. He can "record" his memories in a sensory stone, which is kept in the Sensates sprawling headqarters. Lots of people come there to experience the stones, it's sort of like watching tv .

Bidam put his memories of that entire competition in a stone, hoping people would recognize that it was Srivlanka Flumph and see her dressed up... mocking... the Lady of Pain. Bidam even made sure to have the stone featured prominently on a pedestal so as many people as possible would use it.

Bidam's plan worked. Srivlanka fled Sigil to the gate town of Tradegate.

But during this downtime, Srivlanka wanted revenge. She hired an Ettin bounty hunter to kidnap the heroes and to bring them to Tradegate. She wanted to use them as "living furniture".

The Ettin, named Killigan, sent a message to the heroes through Planescape's most popular tout, Kylie. Killigan knew Flumph was a bad person, so he wasn't overly enthusiastic about this job. He held up a sack and told them to get in. The heroes decided to pay him off, and they did.

With all that out of the way, we got into this adventure, which was extremely short.

Daniphe

 
The heroes were approached by a silver-haired woman named Daniphe. She told the heroes that her sister was crazy, and that she was going to spread a plague in an area conveniently near the temple.

This is a lie. Daniphe is trying to get the heroes to spread this rumor so there will be chaos near the temple. This way, Daniphe and her fellow members of the Sign of One can get inside the temple under the cover of chaos.

Daniphe is a member of the Sign of One. The Athar has a blockade up around the temple.

Daniphe is also a foxwoman with an innate charm ability.

This is an exhausting amount of details for yours truly to keep track of. I barely kept it straight. It's also extremely difficult to run someone who innately charms people. Theran was extremely suspicious of her, trying to figure out what type of elf she was.

Our heroes go around with Daniphe, questioning people about this fictional plague-bearing sister. People freak out and a riot breaks out at the temple. The Athar guards blame the heroes and try to arrest them. Daniphe sneaks away, meets her friends, and they rush the temple.

Each round of this battle with the Athar, I added a chaotic element that got in the way of the battle - NPCs stumbling around in the crowd, trying to get to safety.
  • A guy with a tray of urine samples.
  • Dustmen with a cart full of dead bodies (the Dustmen collect the dead bodies in Sigil).
  • A dabus holding a pair of hedge clippers.
The adventurers defeated the guards. They saw Daniphe and her Signers run - they had failed to get into the temple.

Stalemate

That leads us to the meat of the adventure. The Signers are holed up in a tavern - The Ubiquitous Wayfarer. The Athar are outside, demanding they come out. There are a bunch of innocent bar patrons in there.

So it's kind of an open situation, here. This standoff could be resolved in many ways. The patrons might become hostages. What would the heroes do?

Well, my group snuck in through the cellar and killed every single member of the Sign of One, especially the foxwoman. A few tried to flee through the windows and the Athar cut them down.

Problem solved!

I'm not sure I really get why this whole secondary adventure is even in this book. Maybe it will make more sense when I run the final part.

Click here to read the next chapter of Dead Gods.

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