Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Barrowmaze #26: Goo for the Goatmen and the Discovery of the Font of Law

Deep in the catacombs of the Barrowmaze...

The cave pool was a viscous pearlescent.  After much hemming and hawing, the apostate cleric filled up a bottle with the stuff, thinking to try it out on an underling.  Turning back and exploring east, the group found a harpy corpse, dungeon graffiti, and suffered an ambush from a lurking crustacean, a Cave Fisher (had to scramble to figure out what this was.  Not in the LL books or the BMC book.  Found it in Tome of Horrors a little late to do the fishing shtick).

After cracking the carapace, they tried eating the meat.  Made them sick.  One of the fighters explored the ceiling above, climbing above to find a victim of the cave lobster, a dead elf with a mysterious scroll and some very nice suit of leather armor.  While attempting to quickly don the new duds, growling and bleating was heard in the darkness.  Soon a small herd of beastial goatmen crept into the edge of the light, growling in the Dark Tongue.  Aliontus replied in kind, praising Orcus: "Blood for the Blood God!"  "Skulls for the Skull Throne!" The beasts replied in kind, holding up the severed head of a trio of Necromancers of Set.  After some tense negotiations, the two groups of explorers agreed to go opposite directions, though not before they were given a tithe of a few gold coins and bottle of the pearlescent goo.

A tomb was discovered.  A different style than before, hastily excavated.  A sarcophagus and three warrior statues looming.  The cleric surged forward to assess the stone box and the barrow guardians stepped forward to confront him.  In the ensuing battle, the tomb robbers used their sledgehammers to smash the stone guardians of Ygg, though not before one of their number received a mighty blow that he only survived due to the grace of some higher power.

After the battle the tomb robbers opened the stone box to discover the holy orb called the Font of Law!

I continued to use the Doom dice, based on the Hazard System developed at the Necropraxis blog.  They have a glowing magic sword which negated the attrition of torches part, but exhaustion, dungeon dressing and discoveries played a part.

The Combat Doom table was used in place of initiative.  I suddenly remembered and introduced it mid-stream, but it was great.  There was less tension in terms of who goes first each round (I had been using side initiative), but it was useful for expiration of spells, exhaustion and even a lucky break!  I gave an extra action to the party on a roll of 6.  The 4 roll was interesting.  I had to think about how to change the environment.  I decided to change monster tactics each time.  These rolls were good prompts for me to think outside the box during combat.

Finally, the new "Fallen in Battle" table got a roll out.  This is a 2d6 death and dismemberment table. I had been using a d100 table from the DNDWPS site, but this new one is based mostly on the Trollsmyth blog.  The roll was very positive, 12 (+1 due to a Bless spell) which gave the character a surge of adrenaline that allowed him to stay fighting and even take another hit.  This certainly makes it harder to die, which is ok I think.

Tables Used

Dungeon Doom Die
Roll on Encounter Table and Distance
d6: melee 1, short 2-3, medium 4-5, long 6 & Surprise (2 in 6)
Weary. Rest & eat food or Exhausted (-1hp all rolls); roll again
Spells & potions expire
Torch & Lantern
A fickle torch or candle gutters & burns out; ½ flask of oil has burned
Signs and portents.  A clue, secret or premonition of nearby danger
Dungeon dressing, curious event or useful provenance

  1. Setback Opponents act first, reinforcements or additional encounter
  2. Fatigue: All suffer minor harm (1 HP) if engaged in melee
  3. Expiration :Spells, light, burning, etc)
  4. Locality Shift battlefield (or other local change)
  5. Clue regarding dungeon or next encounter
  6. Advantage: Extra action or other boon

Fallen in Battle
Horrific Demise!  You are decapitated, torn to pieces, disemboweled, or crushed.  Allies make Wisdom Saving Throws or stunned for 1 round
Fatality (gutted, stabbed through lung, broken back, etc.) Unconscious. Die in 1d6 rounds
Severed limb: die in 3d6 rounds unless tourniquet, cauterized, potion or 3rd Order Heal is used.  Does not restore lost hp -1d6 DEX/STR, limb restored by Make Whole spell
Broken bone  -1d6 DEX or STR, 2d4+9 weeks to heal, unless healed by 3rd order prayer
Lights out.  In a coma.  Constitution Save each day or die.  Alleviated by 2nd Order prayer
7, 8
Knocked out for 1d6 turns. With helm, stunned for 1 round
Bell ringer.  Stunned for 1 round, unless wearing helm
Knocked down, but not out.  Must use an action to stand
Someone is watching over you, and doesn't want you to die yet for some inscrutable cosmic reason.  Roll a die.  Even it is a benign or benevolent being, Odd it is a creature of Chaos...  You have 1 Hit Point... but you aren't alone anymore.
Surge of adrenaline returns 1d4 hp per level.  At the end of the combat, the adrenaline drains away, hit points are reduced to zero, and the PC faints for 2d6 turns