Hubris Sessions Recap- Starting With a Hack- Using a Ravenloft Module, Having a TPK, and Discovering Dungeon Crawl Classics (whew)….

A few months ago I decided that I would ATTEMPT to write a cohesive RPG setting done in ways I find useful (because I rarely find RPG setting books to be done in a way that are usable at the table).  I had already run a couple sessions in my Hubris world and had a bunch of shit written for it.

And you know what…  It was good for running a homebrew game or even a Con game, but not as a published product.  I felt it was too ho-hum and run of the mill. I’m really into weird/horror fantasy and I like that brutality and threat of PC death that is steeped in OSR tradition.  So I set about re-writing Hubris to fit that mold even further.

So far it is going well.

My map of Hubris (I'll pay someone with more skills to draw a better one)

My map of Hubris (I’ll pay someone with more skills to draw a better one)

When I had a ROUGH outline of the continent I gave my players a few choices as to where to start.  Eisenbar, the Gothic area full of Hellboy shit, and vampires, and fae, and Scandinavian style people; the swamp that is inspired by Cajun tropes; Fairweather, which is ruled by an inbred king who worships a god who preaches purity of blood, or an unsettled expanse where they would be basically mapping it out and foraging.   They chose Eisenbar.  Cool.

Only problem is I haven’t run a REAL Gothic style campaign in a really long time.  I skimmed through my campaign setting books of Ravenloft and turned to that expert of Gothic Horror, Jack Shear (his awesome blog), and ask what Ravenloft module would be to use and run to get me back into that feeling.  He suggested Night of the Walking Dead.  I found it and was excited to see I ran this way back when I first got into RPGing.  Jack was also a gentleman and provided me a link to his blog where he gave his thoughts on it and how he ran it.

Aside: It was cool to reread this and have flashes of gaming memories I forgot.  Not to mention I was excited to see how these players handled the scenario VS the original group I ran it for.

I will just highlight how this module went, and unlike Jack, mine took three sessions (with quite a bit of bullshitting).  During the first three sessions, we were using my OSR hack rules.

Session 1- INTO THE MODULE

Players:

  • Fletch- Kenku
  • Liam- Mutant (with batwings)
  • Nate- Kenku

Group is going through the Weeping Forest of Forgotten Memories.  They come across an alter (I used my instaregligion generator).  Fletch touches the alter, develops a giant tumor on his back (-2 to his Dexterity).

Two humans wander out of the underbrush and, al la Aliens, beg for help and tentacles burst from their stomach and they bend over backwards and start attacking.  I used a monster from the awesome Teratic Tome.

Aside: I had warned them that this was going to be a brutal style of play and only the smartest would survive.  This introduction proved just that.  Nate went down in the first round, unconscious and bleeding out.  Fletch went down two rounds later.  Liam flew into the air and took pot shots with his bow, eventually downing them, but not before he accidentally hit Nate, taking him further towards death.

 

Like Jack I cut out the encounters of the swamp.  I had my alter encounter and left it up to chance for them to encounter the group of gypsies, which they did not.

They encountered Luc, and I upped the banjo playing as jack did.  My players got creeped out and kept trying to fiddle with him to figure out what was up.

Eventually they went to the town and saw the funeral.  I played up the preacher as a sort of Puritan style dude who is mad with grief at his failings.

Left off there

Session 2

Players:

  • Fletch- Kenku
  • Liam- Mutant (with batwings)
  • Nate- Kenku
  • Stephen- Mutant

Group learns of the villages plight.  Met the crazy Mordu, who is my favorite character in the module (aside from Luc- he’s just pure fucking gold).  For Mordu I took inspiration from Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys and had him be a 1st level Sorcerer and wearing a tinfoil hat.

Group sees murder- does investigating- no one dies.  When people drop dead in inn everyone flees.  Stephen rushes back in and tries to fight.  Group follows, sets fire to inn..  Puts it out.

Session Three

Players:

  • Fletch- Kenku
  • Liam- Mutant (with batwings)
  • Nate- Kenku
  • Stephen- Mutant

Players do more investigating.  Fight mad murder who is killing people for his brother to eat (since he’s a zombie lord).  They fight him and figure out that he was going to the old cemetery so they went to investigate and died a horrible fucking death…  all of them.

Aside:  Several things went wrong in this fight.  One the Ju-Ju zombie is fucking lame…  He doesn’t do ANYTHING that warrants the name Ju-Ju..  At all.  End of story..  

Second my players RUSHED to the cemetery.  I think this was a reaction to Pathfinder/3.x, to which they were used to.  That “we are able to beat whatever with our powers and our saves and our good looks…”  Which is NOT the case with OSR style gaming (in my opinion).  They knew that they were fighting undead and that they didn’t have a cleric in the party.  They didn’t go to the temple and ask for holy water, scrolls, or even to BEG the cleric to come with them. 

Now that they have been taught this valuable lesson they have been MUCH more cautious and smart.

Third they rolled terrible.  Quite a few critical failures.

When they first walked into the crypt with the zombie lord, 2 of them failed the save vs his aura and developed bad things.  Liam crit failed and died instantly.  

The group fought valiantly, but Nate when down fighting the Ju-Ju zombie.  The NPC constable went down like a bitch to the zombie lord.  Fletch attempted to summon a demon from the Hells to fight with them, critically failed on the summon and died instantly as the demon came through the portal and merged with him to form a giant half-rat/half-kenku like creature.  Which promptly went into the fray, killed the ju-ju zombie, then Stephen, and then the zombie lord…  

And that ended session three.

Dungeon Crawl Classics and Session Four

I had read DCC right before I ran session three and KNEW it would be a perfect fit for Hubris and what I was going for.  So that is what I will be using when I attempt to publish this bitch (whenever that is).

I had each player roll up a level 1 DCC character (yes yes I skipped the funnel this time).  Here’s the roster.

Players:

  • Fletch- Cleric
  • Liam- Wizard
  • Nate- Mutant
  • Stephen- Fighter

This time I started the group off in Shadowfall and decided it would be fun to allow the group a little meta-payback.  They were hired to go to the town they all just died in and find out why there hasn’t been any contact in over a month and to locate a merchant who was to deliver an important item to Genieva the Deranged, the vampire queen of Shadowfall.

The group planned for undead this time and THOUGHT they were ready for anything…  Which shows I’m a prick and am not kind, because if your players aren’t terrified, you’re not doing your job.

Highlights

Party gets to town- only 30 people of 300 survive.  All holed up in the temple to god of the Terrible Whisper.

Priest has asked for his gods aid, which he gives.  One day of safety per one year of life he takes from the priest.  Priest does this until he is dead.  He lost 55 years of life.

Zombies have been corrupted by something.  All have green throbbing pustules on them that burst when hit.

Find out its the rat-kenku demon.  It has kidnapped most of the town before they could make it to the church.  Players say they will fight it.

Go outside and find it on a throne of humans that have been merged together (Human centipede style).  The throne and demon, after some threatening, charge at group.

Behind it are eight people standing on one another’s  shoulders- making an arch.  The top two people are facing one another holding hands- their faces and hands melded together.   The intestines of each is hanging out of their rectums and into the mouth of the other.  Swirling black smoke is in the arch.

The demon is attempting to get his true body back and summon his minions.

Group fights valiantly, all almost die again, but Liam takes a gamble, spellburns a shitton of Attributes, and casts Color Spray.  Kills all the level 0 chars with them and knocks everyone else out.

Stephen makes his luck roll to not die.  Rolls a 20.  No permanent injuries.  Huzzah.

Group finds the shit that Genieva wants and heads back to Shadowfall.

They are now getting ready to head to the Bogwood swamp because they heard of a magic relic that helps fight corruption when using magic (Liam’s already suffered a few corruptions).

Totally throwing Challenge of the Frog Idol in here and my town of Blatherblab that I created for Hexenbraken.

That is the recap for the last four sessions.  I’ll be better about recapping and not letting it build up so long.

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About wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn. View all posts by wrathofzombie

2 responses to “Hubris Sessions Recap- Starting With a Hack- Using a Ravenloft Module, Having a TPK, and Discovering Dungeon Crawl Classics (whew)….

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