Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hubris Recap, Sessions 10-12- Dead Mutilated Hookers- OOO! Mystery! Into the Corrupted Wizard’s Tower

A few weeks ago I put up a wizard’s tower dungeon that I created (using the one page dungeon format) for my players that I am running through Hubris up on my blog.  This recap will recap what happened to my players in it and the changes that had to be made based on their decisions.

 

 

At the end of the People of the Pit module the characters were saved from impending doom by Yelsa.  In return for her actions she charged the group with a quest: whores were getting cut up and having their innards removed for some dark purpose- find out what it is and stop it.

 

The group returned to Craftsman District and fought and killed some guards that were sent by the magistrate to accuse the group of murdering people by burning down the Exiled Noble Tavern (which was the secret hideout for the resistance group Hammer and Sword.

 

They explored the burnt out ruins of the tavern and found a secret passage leading into the basement.  The place was a mess.  They found three fleshy fleshy egg sacks the size of a man in the Hammer and Swords meeting room.  Upon closer inspection they saw Henry (a leading member of the organization) appear in the egg sack.  They cut him out to find his lower body had been fused together and was now a white pulpy consistency.  The group cut open the other two sacks.  One dislodged a cleric of Yelsa (John’s new character after his Ekrask was killed in People of the Pit) and the other a horrific worm-man creature.

XFilesFlukeman-thumb-330x165-26203

Henry speaks final words, “Magistrate is powerful- not what he seems…” Then dies.  His jaw breaks and a worm-like creature skitters out of his mouth.  Stephen (Murder Machine) steps on the gross thing with his massive armored boot, squashing it.

 

Group loots the hideout for anything that they can use.  They ask Cybil (NPC cleric of Yelsa that Liam has been controlling) if there are any other places in the Craftsman District that are loyal to the Hammer and Sword that they might go and investigate what is happening to the whores in the area- she suggests the Lying Lady.

 

Lying Lady is a well-to-do brothel run by Virginine, the Matron Whore (cleric) of the establishment and her husband.

 

The group is told that 3 girls from the Lying Lady have been killed, three independent girls ran by a pimp, Chirand, have been killed, as have 3 girls in the burned out remains of the Skye District (Sara set fire to the district in the first session- thank you carousing table!).
While there the red star in the sky blazed (this is a gateway to Carcosa that my players opened) and several blue, yellow, and one purple man appeared and began attacking anyone in sight.  The group killed them all and Liam got a blaster rifle off of the purple man.

 

The group explored the area- threatening Chirand and poking around.  Eventually they made their way to the Skye District and heard rumors of an area of the district where people were avoiding.  It was in the north western corner.

 

They found a three story house with a strange purple light issuing from the roof.  Stephen (now playing a druid) changed into a hawk to fly up and investigate.  He saw a dark figure in front of a large purple fire- squawked- and fled back to the safety of his group.

 

Into the Wizard’s Tower

Ritual Magic

Here I will just go room by room, in the order that the group investigated, giving a brief recap of what happened.

1Entrance– Lisa (thief) opens the front door- hit with poison needle- dies.  John beseeches Yelsa to heal her and Lisa survives.1

 

3- Great Hall- Group has a vicious fight with the ghoul and three zombies.  Several PC’s are dropped to zero HP.  Group wanders into 2A and 2B.

 

2A-Supply Closet– Group loots what they can.

 

2BKitchen– Group fights the cook zombie- Liam kills it in one hit.  Find the beef stew mold and flee (very brave) and wait for it to come in the great hall.  Liam lights his great sword on fire and stabs the stew, killing it!

 

Group decides to bar themselves in room 1 and make camp.

 

Aside: I had not planned on the group getting so badly hurt in room 3 or deciding to make camp.  My original idea was that the group would arrive on the rooftop while the wizard is casting a ritual and they would have a few rounds to attempt to stop it before the wizard tears open a hole to the Void and releases a bunch of horrors.  However that can no longer be the case.  I had to change things up a bit.  The overall plot is that the wizard had a fake page of the Book of Vile Darkness and it had taken over his mind- commanding him to do this ritual and that it would end badly if he cast it.  Now I had to go with the ritual DID happen- and he released thirty three horrors into Hubris.  This all feeds into a larger plot that I have constructed with the Book of Vile Darkness.

 

So the group sleeps and they hear terrible noises all night.  They hear scratching and croaking coming from room 3.  They wake up- go back to the Skye District and beg people to aid them.  Each of them gets 1-3 followers.

 

Group heads back into the tower and open the door to room three.  It’s now covered in a thick mist that is at knee level.  Fletch (shadowdancer) goes inside and is attacked by an anthropomorphic frog demon.  Fletch is dropped pretty quickly. Nearly all of the newly recruited minions fail their morale check in the face of this horror and are frozen with fear or running back outside.

 

After a ferocious battle the frog demon is killed and the group decided to investigate the basement.

 

13 Altar of Perversion– When the group saw the altar they went back upstairs and threw chairs into the blood, dumped oil on them, and lit the whole thing on fire.  Then they went to 14.

 

14- Family Sarcophagus– Here they fought the ghoul, but were convinced it was a vampire and dragged its body outside and when it didn’t burn, lit it on fire, screaming “Death to the vampire.”

ghoul

15- Hidden Idol– The group never found this room due to room 13 filling up with smoke.  Shame shame.

 

4- Study– The group then went up to the study and began exploring.  Nate’s red shirt found the treasure chest in the fireplace and critically failed his save against the trap.  The needle hit the red shirt in the eye and caused his brains to blow out the back of his head!  Epic death in the room #1.

 

Stephen (Druid) decided it would be a good idea for he and his red shirt to pick up the heavy ornate couch and throw it at the door leading to room 6.  When they picked up the couch the red shirt critically failed his roll and fell.  I had Stephen roll a strength check, which he failed.  So he dropped the couch on his poor red shirt’s head- squashing it like a bug.  Epic death in the room #2.

 

5- Wizard’s Room– Liam guessed the riddle really quickly and they began searching the room.  Chuck getting clobbered by the wardrobe and Nate (Murder Machine) killing it in one hit.  Stephen was obsessed with the wardrobe and kept searching it for secret passages- a few Narnia jokes were told.  Chuck (Half Demon) found a spell scroll and wet his pants.

 

6- Hallway– It’s a hallway.

 

7- Scribes Room– The fight with the vomiting conjoined twins was pretty vicious.  Fletch (Shadowdancer) and Lisa (Thief) were downed, but survived.  The fight was also hard due to the tight confines of the hallway and having a murder machine blocking the doorway.  Eventually the creature was killed.

8- Grand Library– The group found the slug monster (I had decided early on to get rid of the other creatures in this room) and fought that- taking a bit of damage- but dispatching it easily.

 

The group decided to make camp here and rest and search the library.  I used the book rules from Vornheim to generate the books each person found.

 

Change in the plan– with the group deciding to make camp again and making racket in the library I decided to have the corrupted demon wizard come find them.  He burst through the door right after the slug head thing fight and immediately cast magic missile (+5 casting roll).  He threw 4 missiles at a d6+1 damage.  Dropping poor Fletch and seriously wounding 3 others.

Demon-Wallpaper

The group then got 4 criticals in a row: two of which were kidney shots and stunned the demon for 1 round.  While the players then had not so great rolls in those two rounds- that was two rounds that they weren’t taking damage.

I believe that Lisa and John were both dropped in this fight, but it may only have been one of them.

 

Liam pulled out his blaster rifle and began taking pot shots at the demon and with his last shot, scored a critical and killed the bastard.

 

Emerging from his corpse was a small imp that said he was imprisoned in the pathetic mortals body after the tear into the Void was opened, releasing the horrors.  He asked if they would be his friend.  I know some of my players were hesitant, but Liam and Stephen jumped right in.

 

The Aftermath- See below.

 

9- Dark Hallway– The group didn’t discover the secret passage.

 

10- Sarcophagus of the Mother– The group didn’t discover the secret passage.

 

11- Door to Roof– Group didn’t need to go here.

 

12- Roof– Group didn’t need to go here.

 

The Aftermath– After the fight Yelsa appeared before them and offered congratulations on their completion of the task.  She then granted each a small boon of their asking.

 

Fletch asked to be cured of a curse he got because Nate flashed a unicorn horn at him.

Chuck asked for a new spell to hurt his enemies.  He got a level 1 and level 2 spell.

John got a blessed artifact of Yelsa.

Liam wanted nothing but to be in her service.  He is granted a favor later.

Nate got a magic ring that has a chance to transfer physical damage done to him to a random target.

Lisa got a demonic weapon.

Stephen got a golden seed.

 

I gave out more magic items than I normally do, but all of them are in my Hubris setting and allows me to test them before I publish the book.  So that is a boon!

 

This was a fun couple of sessions!  I told the group that next session I am turning them loose on Fairweather (as we’ve been doing mostly adventure modules and dungeon dives and they haven’t had time to explore and just have fun with their characters).  There is also several plot hooks that they can investigate.  I also suggested that they have a planning conversation as some have expressed interest in going to some of the other territories in Hubris.  We’ll see how it goes.

 

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The Fae of Hubris- The Court of Delirium of the Weeping Forest of Forgotten Memories

When writing Hubris I was very inspired by Mike Mignola and his take of fae and fairies in Hellboy and wanted to channel that in to the Court of Delirium.  Another area that I took inspiration from was Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books (good stuff).  Movie wise I was inspired by Pan’s LabyrinthJim Henson’s Labyrinth, and the fae court in Hellboy 2.

I also to stay true to the DCC philosophy of not burdening a book with too many versions of the same creature.  I scanned through various monster manuals for fae and jotted down notes on powers, abilities, physical descriptions, etc. and made the charts shown below (as DCC did with demons, and I used for Fallen Angels).  I like this approach because rather than having super long winded descriptions about each and every one with long lists of powers and abilities, it can all be done right here.

I also like taking a page out of Zak Smith’s philosophy of Vornheim– feel free to scratch out an appearance, power, vulnerability, etc once it has been generated and create new ones.

 

Anyways enjoy and feel free to leave feedback.

Awesome Mike Mignola fae sketches

Awesome Mike Mignola fae sketches

 

Fae of the Court of Delirium

Hellboy Elf 2

The fae of the Weeping Forest of Forgotten Memories are as varied in their temperament and abilities as they are in appearance.  Most fae belong to the Court of Delirium, loyal to He Who Wears the Yowling Crown; king of the fae.

 

Fae will strike deals with mortals, but the cost can be more than mortal foresaw or bartered for.  Some are playful tricksters that enjoy hoodwinking mortals, others shy away from the greedy leering eye of outsiders, while others have no tolerance the mortal races and show extreme resistance to them entering the forest.

 

Years ago several fae became corrupted by Hubris and became the Wretched.  Krampus, the leader of the Wretched, attempted to gain the Yowling Crown for himself, but was thwarted and banished from the forest.  Now Krampus and his Wretched wander the Great Plains of Unbidden Sorrow causing havoc and despair to all those they come across.  Still Krampus yearns for the Yowling Crown and will stop at nothing to become the king of the fae.

 

The evil Krampus!

The evil Krampus!

 

Fae can be any alignment.

Saytr 2

Fae Rank Abilities Immunities Vulnerabilities Crit Range
Rank I Low-light vision 30’, Animal Summoning (DCC, pg 129) (+2 check), talk to nature, 1 extraordinary power Half damage from non-magical weapons 3d2 20
Rank II Low-light vision 50’, Animal Summoning (DCC, pg 129) (+4 check), talk to nature, 1d3 extraordinary powers Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 2 HD or less. 2d2 20
Rank III Low-light vision 60’, Animal Summoning (DCC, pg 129) (+8 check), talk to nature, 1d5 extraordinary powers Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 3 HD or less. 1d4 19-20
Rank IV Low-light vision 80’, Animal Summoning (DCC, pg 129) (+12 check), talk to nature, 2d3 extraordinary powers Immune to weapons of +2 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures of 4 HD or less.  Natural animals must make a DC 16 Will save to attack the fae. 1d2 18-20
Rank V Low-light vision 120’, Animal Summoning (DCC, pg 129) (+18 check), talk to nature, 2d3 +2 extraordinary powers Immune to weapons of +3 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures of 5 HD or less.  Natural animals will not attack the fae. None 17-20

Hellboy Elf

Fae Statistics by Rank
Rank HD AC Attack Modifier Target DCs for special attacks
I 1-2 9-13 +1 to +3 8-12
II 3-5 10-14 +3 to +6 12-14
III 5-7 13-16 +5 to +10 14-18
IV 7-10 15-20 +8 to +15 18-20
V 10-20 17-22 +12 to +18 22-24

 

Appearance

1)      Goat legs and ram horns

2)      Fat belly, covered in thick coarse hair, jolly laugh

3)      Humanoid; Extremely beautiful

4)      Human appearance with animalistic eyes

5)      Anthropomorphic animal

6)      Pixie Wings (fly 20’), tiny stature

7)      Wings (fly 30’)

8)      Humanoid with bark-like skin

9)      Flowers grow where fae walks

10)  Small goat horns

11)  Ram horns

12)  Blue skin and completely bald

13)  Human body with animal head

14)  Animal with super intelligence and ability of speech

15)  Body covered in bubbles and glitter

16)  Pink skin and purple hair

17)  Sentient tree with a trunk that can split apart to become legs

18)  Finely chiseled features, as if sculpted, with long pointy ears

19)  Human looking with white hair and golden eyes; intricate ritual scarring of the history of nature all over body

20)  Covered in red and orange hair.  Ability to pull their body apart and use parts in games of play.  Loves dancing and sing.

 

He Who Wears the Yowling Crown

He Who Wears the Yowling Crown

Extraordinary Powers

 

Roll Extraordinary Powers Effect
1 See in the dark See in dark (even magical) to a distance same as fae’s low-light
2 Spells Can cast 1d5 + rank of the following spells with a  5 + rank check: (1) Cantrip (DCC, 130), (2) Charm Person (DCC, 131), (3) Color Spray (DCC, 134), (4) Darkness* (DCC, 258), (5) Sleep (DCC, 155), (6) Ventriloquism (DCC, 158), (7) Invisibility (DCC, 172), (8) Invisible Companion (DCC, 173), (9) Mirror Image (DCC, 182), (10) Phantasm (DCC, 187), (11) Scare (DCC, 191), (12) Dispel Magic (DCC, 208), (13) Gust of Wind (DCC, 219), (14) Paralysis (DCC, 264)
3 Darkness Can cast the Darkness spell (DCC, 258) with a 10 + rank check
4 Illusions Can cast Cantrip (DCC, 130) with a 15 + rank check
5 Plant control Ability to control small plants to do fae’s bidding (attack, grapple, etc)
6 Change appearance Can cast Polymorph with a 10 + rank check
7 Tree meld A fae can meld into a tree and appear in any other tree in the forest as a movement action
8 Forest stride While in the forest the fae moves at 40’/rnd and is not hindered by thorns, brambles, or thick underbrush
9 Grow large claws The fae is able to grow claws that do 2d3 damage
10 Charm person Can cast Charm Person (DCC, 131) with a 10 + rank check
11 Insect affinity The fae is able to get insects (any size) to do their bidding.  Insects must succeed a DC 18 Will save to attack the fae
12 Stunning glance The glance of the fae freezes those their gaze falls upon.  The target is frozen until they succeed at a DC 16 Will save
13 Enchanted arrows A target hit with a fae’s arrows is 1) petrified; 2) slow (-4 initiative, MV 10’); 3) charmed; 4) in love with first person they see; 5) asleep; 6) hallucinating
14 Animate trees The fae can animate any tree within 180’.  The tree will uproot itself within 1 round and fights for the fae.  +2 attack branches (x4) 1d8 damage; AC 16; HD 3d6; MV 10’
15 Speed The fae is fast.  Increase speed by 20’, +4 initiative and Reflex saves
16 Telepathy The fae can communicate with any creature in a 180’ radius with their mind.  Target must succeed a DC 12 + fae’s rank to avoid having the fae read their mind

 

 

Roll Vulnerability Effect
1 1) Cold iron; 2) steel; 3) silver Takes extra 2d3 damage
2 Unholy creature Suffers -4 to Will saves to be turned by a cleric (who can turn fae)
3 Rooted The fae lives in a sacred tree and must remain within a certain distance of it: 1) 50’; 2) 100’; 3) 500’; 4) 1 mile
4 Habit The fae has a habit such as always speaking in rhyme, needing to kidnap sleeping children from a local village, be out only at night, dance naked under the full moon, etc.
5 Ritual The fae can be bound by a ritual.  They can either be made a slave or bound in a prison-like state.  The full name of the fae must be known and 100 x fae’s rank in gold must be spent.  The ritual takes 24 hours to cast and a successful check must be made: Rank 1- DC 12; Rank 2- DC 15; Rank 3- DC 20; Rank 4- DC 22; Rank 5- DC 25
6 Salt A line of salt creates an impassable barrier for the fae.  A fae surrounded by salt is imprisoned until the salt is disturbed and the circle is broken.  Salt thrown in the fae’s face stuns them for 1d5 rounds (no save)
7 Fire Fire does an additional 1d6 damage.  The fae catches on fire in a 2 in 6 chance rather than 1 in 6
8 Weak resistance The fae suffers -2 to Fortitude, Reflex and Will saves

 

Sample Fae

 

Bumblepan, Hinkletink, Skrunkle, Ramble, and Nittlebonk- the Grove Guardians (rank 2 fae): Init +3; Atk club +5 melee (1d6), shortbow +5 ranged (1d6), AC 14; HD 4d6; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP fae traits, 4 vulnerabilities, 3 extraordinary powers; SV Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +2; AL N.

Fae 1

The five grove guardians live in a sacred grove in the Weeping Forest of Forgotten Memories.  All are covered in fiery red and orange hair and have the strange ability to pull their limbs and head off and use parts in games of play.  The brothers love dancing and sing.  All the brothers must sing and dance around their sacred tree, a large 1000 year old oak, every full moon for the entire night.  The Grove Guardians are linked to their tree and are unable to travel more than 100’ away from it without become extremely weak.

 

In combat the Grove Guardians will pelt their foes with arrows from afar, and then use their clubs, which are crafted from fallen branches of their great oak.  The Grove Guardians are able to see in complete darkness (even magical) up to 50’.  The Grove Guardians love to use illusions to trick and misdirect their foes (or just play tricks on others), and can cast Cantrip (DCC, 130) with a +17 to their check.  Those that incur the wrath of the Grove Guardians may find themselves transformed into a less than desirable form for the brothers are able to cast Polymorph with a +12 check.  Sometimes they like casting it on themselves to turn into beautiful women or men and trick those foolish enough to come across their path.

 

Due to their nature the Grove Guardians take an additional 2d3 damage from cold iron and suffer -4 to Will saves to resist being turned by cleric’s who’s god deem them unholy.

 

The Grand Ol’ Oak (rank 5 fae): Init +10; Atk branch x2 +15 melee (2d8), stomp +12 melee (3d6), AC 20; HD 18d8; MV 20’; Act 3d20; SP fae traits, 6 extraordinary abilities; SV Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +10; AL N.

Fae 2

The Grand Ol’ Oak has always been and always will be, so long as the Weeping Forest of Forgotten Memories stands.  The Grand Ol’ Oak is a sentient tree with a trunk that can split apart to become legs.  He traverses the forest and knows its secrets, probably better than any other fae alive.

 

In combat the Grand Ol’ Oak is a terrible foe that attacks as if fueled by the very wrath of nature itself.  The Grand Ol’ Oak is able to attack with two branch attacks and stomp on a target that is at his feet, effectively crushing them.

 

The Grand Ol’ Oak is able to animate any tree within 180’.  The tree will uproot itself within 1 round and fights for the fae.  The tree has +2 attack branches (x4) 1d8 damage; AC 16; HD 3d6; MV 10’.  The Grand Ol’ Oak is also able to control small plants and bushes to do his bidding (attack, grapple, etc) as a movement action.  When in trouble the Grand Ol’ Oak uses illusions to beguile his opponents, casting Cantrip (DCC, 130) with a +20 check.

 

This massive tree is also able to cast several spells with a+10 to their spell check: Ventriloquism (DCC, 158), Scare (DCC, 191), Color Spray (DCC, 134), Invisible Companion (DCC, 173), Dispel Magic (DCC, 208), Sleep (DCC, 155), Mirror Image (DCC, 182), Phantasm (DCC, 187), and Charm Person (DCC, 131)

 

Creating a Wretched

Use the same rules to create a fae that has become tainted and corrupted by the world of Hubris, with the following additions:

  • All Wretched are chaotic (evil).
  • Their appearance is marred by lank hair, mold, sweat, pus, and despair.
  • Feel free to add some Wizard Corruptions (DCC, pg 116-119) or mutations (pg XX).
  • All have jagged claws (1d6 damage) and needle-like teeth (1d4 damage)
A Wretched Saytr

A Wretched Saytr