Yesterday I kicked off a second campaign of Land of the Spirits playtest which uses the awesome Black Hack rules. I was very excited because this group and I hadn’t gotten to play together in nearly a year due to time constraints, schedules, etc.
Omar- Human Shielded Warrior
Fletch- Clan of Tusk Shaman
Nate- Clan of Fang Hexer
John- Barnlig Twilight Blade
A well-rounded group!
Recently strange happenings have been going on in the land of Náttúraheim (Home of the Spirits); water turned to blood, people were weepy and mopey, food spoiled, animals were found on the roofs of houses, etc. The races all believed it the work of mischievous Spirits… However on the night before the campaign started, the moon disappeared. Something was amiss.
The group awoke in a strange and horrific looking room. Sulfuric steam issued from vents while a thick milky-white mucous dripped from the walls.
Crouching on a dais above them was a Spirit with the appearance of a goatman. When the group came to and got their barrings, the goat man spoke. He introduced himself as Baetram and that he was the guardian of the Princess of the Moon. He then started sobbing saying that he only dozed off for a moment! Just a moment, but when he came to the Princess was being dragged by something into these ruins! When he entered he knew he was in a Glemt ruin! He knows they hunger for Spirits, so he dare not go any further.
The name Glemt stirred a memory for Omar and John. Omar recognized them as campfire stories that Spirits have told him while in Ny Berjastad (the human capital). John recognized them as horror stories based, largely, on fact. Thousands of years ago the Glemt came and began killing Spirits and absorbing their energy. He didn’t know how or why they left, but they did.
Baetram pleaded with the group to go rescue the princess! They asked how they got here and he said he used his magics to bring slumbering heroes to his aid and it worked! Then the group asked what it was in for them- Baetram shook his head and bleated, “Can you imagine the world with no moon!? Do you want that! The moon is sad and will not come back without his wife!” That was good enough for the group.
Thus the dungeon dive began
Fighting the black oozes was a good opener. It allowed the players to get the feel of combat, take some damage, lose some armor points, and really see the simplicity of the Black Hack (also getting to try out some of their class/race abilities).
When they got to the Glemt Abomination- this freaked them out (yay) and they took a couple of good hits before Omar critically succeeded and dropped her!
The Glemt boss fight was fun! It emerged from the shadows and threw a vial of green choking smoke. It took two rounds for them to emerge from the fog to get to the Glemt. The Glemt got two attacks a round and could cast terrify each round on a single target (I changed it from once per day, it just felt right to me). The group took quite a bit of damage from the Glemt and Omar and Fletch spent time running away from the creature after failing their WIS test against the terrify effect. Omar canceled it by channeling his spirit animal (the bull)- immediately canceling a fear effect 1x/day.
Finally Omar landed the killing blow on the Glemt. The group had four pathways to explore- they decided to rest and inspect a shelf with several potions on it.
The group got vials of the following: choking gas, 2 healing potions, invisibility, and gaseous form.
After getting some sleep the group ventured down path three and found a pit with a flute in it. John rescued it and it played a soft wavering note when in his hand. He bagged it for later.
Then they went down path two and found… the Princess of the Moon!
She thanked them for rescuing her and begged to be taken from this place. She whispered she never expected to see an actual Glemt!
They decided to venture down path 1 to investigate. They didn’t detect any traps on the door and John opened it. He failed is CON save and in a flash of light was reduced to ash. The group sat there stunned by the sudden death of their new comrade.
Aside: The group succeeded in not finding traps, but this was a magical trap and I had noted earlier that only Detect Magic would find it… So it sucked from the group- but it also highlights that the world is not built around the group. I also had a note that the door could be safely deactivated with the touch of the hand of the Glemt… So John rolled a new character. He stuck with Barnlig and is now a Spirit Master.
The group made it outside the dungeon after that. The princess thanked them for rescuing her and gave them her scepter, the Orb of the Moon. When held it gave off a glow like a torch and protected the wielder from creatures and Spirits made up of shadow and darkness (gives Advantage on abilities of those creature types).
The Princess thanked them and then faded away.
Baetram apologized again for involving the group in his blunders and offered them a bag of 10 acorn-sized seeds. He explained that that when thrown on the ground roots and vines will shoot up and hinder an enemy (movement slowed, and characters gain advantage on attacks. Lasts for 2d3 rounds before drying up). Baetram told the group that it is about 3 days travel from Nobbrelberg, the capital of the Spirits. They should make their way there and see if there is a quicker way to get home to Ny Berjastad. When they get to the capital they should seek out his friend, Jurfen- he’s a Spirit that owns a tavern and bathhouse called Steam of the Wyrm in the Dream District. He may have some work or information.
With that he also faded away.
The group decided to make camp for the night and rest up. As the group set up camp a light appeared in the night sky; looking up they saw the moon was back. The trees of the Twilight Forest parted, allowing the group to see the beautiful full moon. The Man in the Moon appeared, offered the group a smile and a wink and faded away.
We leveled up (the group liked how simple this was as well) and we left off.
It was a great session and everyone loved the simplicity of The Black Hack! This is two groups that have really enjoyed this system!