Yesterday I kickstarted a new Hubris campaign (we will alternate between Hubris and my Savage Worlds Shadowrun game– rules here). I knew only two of my players would be able to make it, so I really didn’t want to go all grandiose in planning (in case we had to cancel outright), so I figured I’d run something quick, easy, and fun. I choose the Portal Under the Stars level zero funnel adventure in the back of DCC.
I used the awesome and handy Purple Sorcerer level zero generator to create 2 sets of 4 level zero characters. I printed them out and then used my own occupation list for Hubris to give them that Hubris feel. In the end one player had a poet, miner, pea farmer, and a tick breeder. The other player had a slaver, ex-slaver, smuggler, and a teacher (who incidentally had more HP than any other level zero character).
I am going to attempt to keep this as spoiler free as possible- however it won’t be fully spoiler free, so if you want to play this AWESOME module, then read no further!!!
I’m going to break this down room by room (without giving too much away) and what was interesting here.
Portal Under the Stars
1-1 The front door- The front door is trapped, player decides to open it without checking for any traps. There’s a flash, smell of burnt clothing, but he is ok (he made is save). They decide to proceed with more caution.
1-2 In this room we had fun with the spear trap and lost 2 characters (the one who kicked the door open) and almost another. They used the teachers big book as a shield (her starting item) and managed to make it through the room.
1-3 This room… Oh this room. The brunt of the adventure was spent in this room. I apologize, but I will be spoiling this room a bit, so read on if you don’t want it ruined.
This room has a pretty devious trap. A giant statue throws fire up the ass of anyone who attempts to leave the room. There are four exits (N, E, W, S). My players just did not pick up on the cues/hints that the fireballs were only happening when one attempted to leave the room.
Three characters and a pig died in this room while they attempted to figure it out. Eventually they did and we were able to move on.
This really was an ingenious room and when I was reading the adventure had an inkling that this would be a deadly room for any adventure group.
1-4 My players completely skipped this room. It’s a good thing too. I know it would have been a TPK with only three people left.
1-5 This was a fun room full of rattling bones. My players became paranoid and threw all the bones out into room 1-3, which was fortuitous because they unwittingly affected the situation in room 1-8.
1-6- I completely forgot about the monster here, but oh well.. my players had suffered enough in here. They saw the pool with the glittering rubies, licked their lips greedily, but pressed on to room 1-7.
1-7 Not much in this room, but I had added to eyeball sized marbles that were warm to the touch and doing a orange/red lava lamp type thing. The players pocketed them and went back to room 1-6. Standing at the edge of the pool one of my players threw one into the water. These rubies did 2d6 damage in a 30ft radius. Sadly the throwing player was in the radius and was turned into toast, but it did crack the floor and send the water cascading into the depths below.
Liam had no characters left and Stephen had two, so I had Stephen give one of his chars to Liam.
1-8- The final battle here was not the TPK it should/could have been. Thanks to the completely lucky happenstances that occurred in rooms 1-5 and 1-7 my players were only facing the big bad and one general. Lucky them.
They saw that there was a large pool of water and that all of these clay statues were melting/crumbling in it and when they saw these two enemies coming at them they jumped in the water themselves. Stephen started throwing as much water as he could on the enemies to get them wet and hopefully damage them, while used his crossbow (with only 6 bolts) to bring them down.
Eventually Stephen’s last character was struck down by the big bad, but not before he dealt with the remaining general. The next round Liam dropped the BBG and Liam moved to the last room.
1-9 In this room there was all the items listed in the DCC book. I also added a silver knife, a book covered in spider webs and small spiders crawling across it that is the Patron Bond Spell for the Spider Goddess, and a scepter of the Void.
There was a journal kept by the BBG that this item could rip open the fabric of reality and call forth others from far distant realms.
I created this device for my players to engage in Flailsnail activity on G+. I wanted to put the power in their hands and tell me when they want to have a whacky/zany time mixing it up with different races/classes from all over the multi-verse.
After Liam looted the room he found a portal that transported him back outside the dungeon and that is where we ended it.
Next time we play Liam will be level one (looks like Cleric) and Stephen will have four fresh level zero red shirts.