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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Planescape - Blood War XVI. The Prince of Beasts

Planning for this one was not hard. I am more interested in the goofy stuff than the actual adventuring, which is a problem. If I can't get excited about Baphomet's maze, how can the players?

I had the group go through the Lyktion, which is the weird name for Baphomet's palace. I decided that the inside of the Lyktion was a maze, one in which Baphomet would hunt the group in. The old adventure Throne of Bloodstone has a whole section his mazes, so I took those and used them. They're fun, but I didn't develop them enough.

It was a good session.  I shouldn't have broken up the maze into two sessions. The maze I made last week went really well and I was really happy with it.

During this adventure, I had the group go a few rounds with Baphomet, whose stats are in Out of the Abyss. It was pretty cool, it felt like a demon lord should.

The heroes were going through Baphomet's maze, looking for a way to shut down the portal that connected Baphomet's realms to Thanatos.

The Party

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

Right before going in, I reminded them that they have 3 NPCs with them:
  • Bovina the cow lady
  • Eravamont Glask (Sean Connery)
  • Eo Kaplan (gnoll Michael Jackson). I declared when Eo died last session, he rose up as a Maze Demon, a 4e demon type created when... someone dies in Baphomet's maze! Fits pretty well, right? He has a power called "phantom assailants", which I modified so that he can summon shadowy figures to do this dance right here.
Plastic Surgery: Later I did a thing where Eo talked to Dr Stein, the guy who makes golems, into giving Eo a nose reduction and skin grafts to make his skin lighter. He's also looking for a hyperbaric chamber so that he can breathe pure air when he sleeps.

Eo has one other power. When he grabs his crotch and yells "OHHHH" all glass in a 30 foot radius shatters.

Maze #1: This was a traditional maze with stone walls infused with lightning. There were pit traps full of kalakas, a 4e demon type that spits acid. Bidam fell in a pit trap and got mauled. The group was barely able to pull him out.

Later, Baphomet turned the corner, stomped his hooves and charged. He came right at Bidam and rolled a natural 20. Bidam took something like 60 points of damage in one shot! Baphomet kept running and disappeared into the maze.

My idea for this was to have Baphomet show up, do one round of stuff, and then go away. 
Maze #2: The is a field of flat octagons floating in outer space. Not actual outer space - you can breathe normal and there's gravity. The walls were invisible, but Theran's robe of eyes lets him see invisible.

Bovina is linked to Haagenti, the mother of minotaurs, and she now has an innate maze-sense. She led the group through. About halfway through, Baphomet appeared above them. He was standing on a floating octagon. He cast reverse gravity on the group. Only Bidam made his save. Bidam grabbed Bovina's ankle and stopped her from falling up.

The spell sends you up in the air 100 feet maximum, so Eo, Eravamont and Theran were all hovering high above the maze. Baphomet flew up and hacked into Theran with three attacks at +17 to hit. Theran went down. Baphomet took off to maze #3.

Theran's silent imp sidekick, Barbagg, fed him some of the group's healing berries and he was revived. Theran cast fly, and safely got the NPCs to the ground.

Maze #3 - The Hexagon Maze: This one has teleporting rooms. I handled it in a very abstract way, where basically the group had to make three checks to get through the maze. A failure meant that they teleported into a room that Baphomet was in. They failed their first check and appeared before the demon lord. He cast Mirage Arcana, making them think they'd appeared on a crumbling tiny island in a sea of molten lava.

Theran immediately realized it was an illusion and the group snapped out of it. Baphomet was gone.

Maze #4 - The Pentagon Maze: This maze is full of 10-sided rooms with walls of darkness. In each room, only one of the 10 walls can be walked through. The rest of them do damage and destroy inanimate objects.

Bidam had a good solution - he chucked money at the walls. When a coin went through a wall and hit the ground, he knew where to go next. The group ran into Baphomet here and ran from him.

The Tower of Science: They'd made it through the four mazes, and found themselves in the Tower of Science, a place where Baphomet makes different types of demons, does experiments, etc.

They met a friendly succubus/scientist wearing slacks and a D&D lab coat. Her name was Felryss Prober. She was having a problem with demon breeding. The demon embryos were growing at a slow rate.

Bidam runs a demon breeding farm and knows the solution to her problem. Would he share it with the scientist? Bidam cut a deal with her. If she showed Bidam where the room that controlled the portal was, Bidam would fix her problem. The scientist agreed.

The solution involved an in-joke that might make no sense to you. I like to joke around/fake brag that I know a lot about the female anatomy, and then I purposely call a body part the wrong name. Usually it involves the "unerus" (rather than the uterus).

In this encounter, I was able to make the unerus a thing! In order to maximize demon breeding, you have to apply pressure to the unerus. That's now official in my campaign. Demons have a unerus. I assume you know by now that my campaign is stupid.

New Minotaurs: The group got a look at some new minotaur types. They're from the 4e monster manual 3. They're half-minotaurs, half-something else:
  • Pale Bloodfiend: Half-vampire
  • Cinderhoof Trampler: Half nightmare!
  • Ironskin Warrior: Half-gorgon! I love this one.
  • Shardhorn Hunter:Half-unicorn!??
The Control Gems: The group was brought to a room that had a panel of magic gems. Touching certain gems brought up images in a massive, demonic mirror.

With the gems, the group could look at two types of thing:
  • Spies: They could look at Baphomet's spies throughout the planes.
  • Portals: They could see the location of every portal in the Endless Maze, and where it went to.
They saw that if they shattered the correct gem, the portal to Thanatos would be destroyed.

The group went through and looked at the spies. They learned that Baphomet has a spy in the Velvet Realm in Graz'zt' Palace (where Graz'zt keeps some of the most beautiful people in the multiverse). Baphomet also had a harpy spy in the court of Pazuzu, demon lord of the 1st layer. Pazuzu is on good term with the group, presently.

Those were the two most notable ones. I wanted to see what the players would do with them. They had no immediate immediate idea. Maybe it will come into play in a future adventure.

I also established that Baphomet had three spies in Nocticula's realm. Baphomet seemed to have a particular interest in her (she's the succubus demon lord of assassins and shadows).

Baphomet stomped into the room. The scientist vouched for them. The group made a deal with Baphomet, agreeing to help his breeding program and hooking him up in an alliance with Nocticula if he would let them shut them shut down the portal.

The group doesn't even know Nocticula, but I've been dying to work her in to this campaign.

The group destroyed the portal to Thanatos, and used another of the maze portals to go home.

Back in Sigil

The first thing they did was to finally get some magical protection on their buildings that they own. I had written up all of the spells they might want to use: arcane lock, glyph of warding, and guards and ward being the big ones.

Ultimately, the group used arcane lock spells. They got 4:
  • One on the office that Bidam that lives in.
  • One on Bidam's bedroom door. Bidam's bedroom has a portal to Burningwater (Bazuuma's abyssal realm) in it.
  • One on the wizard lab where Theran lived.
  • One on the door to the room that he kept the sphere of annihilation in.

Waffle Crew: With that done, I had my alternate universe version of the waffle crew (heroes of the Chris Perkins show "Dice, Camera, Action") pay the group a visit. The Evelyn character in my campaign is a paladin of the Raven Queen. Right now she's a living toy/real doll, which my group found hilarious.

Diath paid Theran to examine his sword. Diath got this sword on a recent episode where, if he puts a key in a keyhole on the hilt, it summons Shemeshka, an enemy of Bidam and Theran.

I did this mostly because I wanted to see if the players had any cool ideas on what the deal with the word is. I also did it just so the group could see real doll Evelyn, as I knew they would find it funny.

They couldn't figure out the deal with the sword. Bidam and Theran asked around town, trying to learn about Shemeshka. They were successful, learning that she secretly runs 5 different organizations, including the guild of the touts (city messengers) and another organization that is a front for thieves.

I'm using Shemeshka as a side-foe in this campaign. She's a fairly prominent part of Planescape, so I want to use her so that the group gets the full Planescape experience.

Counterspell: I had Theran's apprentice, Selinza the cat lady, talk to him about Iggwilv's spells. She pointed out that there's two ways to get around counterspell:
  1. Have two casters cast spells at her in the same round. She can only only counterspell once per round.
  2. Theran can learn counterspell himself. You can actually counterspell a counterspell.
I just stopped and looked it up to make sure that's true. It's in here.

Someone on twitter last week mentioned the "Crotch of Vecna" to me and I knew that I had to work that into this game ASAP. The group learned that Kas the Betrayer has it, and that he's currently a general in Lamashtu's demon army.

This involves a long story involving old campaigns. The heroes of one of my 4e campaigns stole a chaos ship from Orcus and stole the Sword of Kas, so Kas and Lamashtu are working together to take those two things back.

We did some stuff you probably don't want to hear about involving tighty whities and a gnome... and another thing with a githzerai guru/sensei trying to teach Bidam how to take command of the power of his demon balls.

Then the group went to Theran's floating castle in Graz'zt's abyssal realm. They saw something in the sky heading their way. It was one of Graz'zt's chaos ships, getting ready to open fire! On deck was Rule-of-Three, an enemy of the group and the son of Graz'zt.

That's where we stopped. Graz'zt wanted the group to help him invade a layer, but they refused his request numerous times. He's decided to ruin them. That should play out next session.

1 comment:

dickjitters said...
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