Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

**D.'s Magic-User was also able to converse with the Guardian, after getting a 11 reaction roll. Guardian used a funny voice to talk about how much pain he was in, how long his journey was, how he could never find sleep, etc.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Death Frost Doom part 2

Ok, I drank a glass of whiskey before. They went back to the dungeon, I took the effort to keep track of time with the torches, that was a good move, because they had to pay attention to how much fuel they had, and that was a constant source of tension.

Basically they explored the empty rooms, took the cursed dagger and necklace, didn't touch the organ. I made a mistake: the hanging skulls aren't supposed to have teeth, but I forgot that, so they used a hanging skull's tooth to open the door. They take the flesh golem book, the eyepiece, decide not to explore the crypts, mess around with the Eye of Many Eyes. New magic user decides to take coins, welches on the con 4 penalty after I tell him they're copper coins.

Then they get to the vine room, which I'm a little too tired to describe properly, but I show everyone the included picture. They attack the vine, but flee before it can damage them. End of session.

Notes: shouldn't drink b4 games, fucked up that they got thru that door without giving up a tooth. But this was a real good session.

Good things:
- drawing the map with a magic marker, new room by new room, not to scale, on a larger poster board as they explored:: best way to map I've used so far.
- keeping track of the torch timer and the rations is paying off well, it's a source of tension to go up the mountain. Practically though I haven't found a good way to make sure they're keeping track of encumbrance. For torches I mark 10 min increments off on the map, and for rations I tell them to mark it off on their sheet. Also keeping track of encumbrance means referring to a confusing table I have to distill down more I guess.
(Like maybe I just say, anytime I want I can say "give me your character sheet!" and I'll tell you slow you are, so make sure to not have too much stuff)

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Players have collected lots of money from the Du'van Kan temple in Death Frost Doom: a total of 22,000 silver pieces, and a guide to creating flesh golems.

They head back to The Yellow City, where they make contact with Doc Hog, a unseasonable gentleman willing to pay for the golem guide, who agrees to adventure along with them back to the Death Frost Doom temple.

The Doctor brings his two bowler-wearing, thompson gun handling apes, and the players bring two guards, two wagons, four donkeys, and a great deal of adventuring gear.

At Death Frost mountain's peak, they reenter the cult's lair. Commanding his apes, Hog slays the plant beast, and after one ape sacrifices another upon the temple's altar due to a curse, they begin to loot the Greater Tombs.

During the looting, a Wight animates, and attacks them. During the ensuing combat:
-an ape picks up one player and uses him as a club to bludgeon the Wight
-a ghoul joins the fray
-Doc Hog repeatedly jellifies and shrinks the ghoul, and manages to reverse gravity for his remaining ape, who falls to the ceiling of the 20 ft-tall room
-after the undead are defeated, the player's cleric commands Doc Hog to sleep, and promptly coup-de-grace's him
-the remaining ape, enraged, leaps onto to the party's magic-user, who is brought by the force of the ape's reversed gravity up to the ceiling, a 20 ft drop/lift
-the 20ft drop/lift kills the ape with falling damage, and the magic-user then falls 20ft from the ceiling to his own death

The remaining player Cleric takes stock of the dead's inventories and flees.

He is able to reach the summit of the mountain, outside the temple, roughly 10min before the dead claw out of their graves, awakened as they are by the death of the plant monster
-As his guards nobly remain to hitch the wagons to flee, the cleric leaves the mountaintop, pursued by thousands of ghouls who promptly eat the steadfast guards

The cleric returns to The Yellow City, and hires a guide (a new PC) who happens to be the half-brother of one of the dead guards.

The guide kills the cleric in a single blow after the cleric tells the guide of the approaching zombie hoard, as well as the tragic death of the guide's brother.

The guide goes back to the Yellow City a few days ahead of the Zombie Siege.

As the Yellow City is sieged by Zombies, the new PCs, the guide and an Elf, sell off Doc Hog's twice looted artefacts, and attempt to escape through the sewers.

-No sewer escape is found.

The Yellow City is fully sieged by Zombies around its walls.

The players hatch a plan to stir discontent by capturing a noble, tattooing a crude map of an escape route from the city on the noble's back, and releasing him in a public space.

This plan doesn't really work.

They hatch a second plan to escape by starting riots, and in the confusion, opening the gates to let the zombies in, causing an eventual break in the line of zombies as they filter into the city.

To enact this plan they start several fires in abandoned houses which, due to the lack of accessible water in a siege, become neighborhood-wide and enflame riots.

After further supporting their plan by throwing rocks at a guard outpost near a riot, they are able to take hold of the city's western gate after the involved guards flee.

They let the zombies in, and wait until a break in the zombie hoard develops, and flee west, towards Vornheim.

No XP is gained.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


The PC's walk in on the left side of the map, get ambushed + killed by a pack of ghouls.

New PC's walkin on the right side of the map, meet the Glass Tiger, the PCs decide to wrestle and tame the Tiger. They manage to wrestle and pin the Tiger and bind it with rope, incredibly enough.

They bring the Glass Tiger to the refugee camp, and try to leverage their way into the city. This ends up in a riot and a duel between the Tiger and a PC which ends in the PC's death. There's also a lot of random refugee killing.

After all that, with a new PC, the players go looking for a smuggler's tunnel they heard about. In the process they link up with a gang called "The Bandits" or "The P.I.'s" and after some shenanigans they end up at the Abandoned Farmhouse, which in my version of BTAM, is the terminus for the smuggler's tunnel into the city. After some more shenanigans involving fake zombies (particularly appropriate because of the encroaching zombie hoard) they link up with the OTHER gang hiding in the farmhouse. That's where the session ends.

Player deaths: 4 total

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

ok deep carbon observatory

first part in the flooded town of Carrowmore: they agree to bring Sorla Ghyll's body to her tomb and subsequently forget about that. They also agree to figure out why the dam upriver burst. They also save a drowning mother and interrogate her children. They talk to Kon-i-Gut and accept her warnings about the cannibals. They also somewhat coincidentally kill the leaders of the cannibals, Terbil and Uli, to the chagrin of some naive bystanders.

Other stuff: Theodor Brosen gets saved from a falling beam, Tzani Spillios gets saved from a pickpocket, a separate pickpocket gets discouraged from crime, a bishop is lured down from suicide with false promises of a refugee plan, and a sailor gets lynched.  Also several villagers get killed, along with a PC, being repelled from Snail Shell Zarathustra's ship.

A rival team of adventurers loots the town for any remaining food. Our adventurers trudge off on foot, and meet the rival adventurers catching up via boat on the flooded plain. Our PCs mutilate via crossbow the rival party's Magic-User, receive a crossbow volley in return, and the two parties flee from each other.

Then the business with Behaviour and Koolhaus. A wizard's duel on a sunken bridge. The party detects the presence of the 3-meter pike under the bridge. Spying the wizard's canoe, the party intervenes on the behalf of Koolhaus, who has been shrunk, is flying, and has 8 duplicates around him. Basically the party grabs the boat via grappling hook to avoid the pike, finishes off Behaviour, and finds on his person close to a fortune of 10,000 sp. (they got lucky)

They rope Behaviour's dead body to the bottom of the canoe, and soon use it to distract the lungfish upriver. As Koolhaus descends from flight, the party attempts to assassinate him, but he escapes, jumping off the canoe, swimming to freedom, empty of spells.

They rescue a skiff-- the entrapped electrical eel guarding it cannot defend itself from a spear to the head. Seeing a windmill besieged by climbing crabs, they choose not to help the trapped woman and instead try to light the windmill on fire at a distance using flaming crossbow bolts; they are unsuccessful. They espy the golem of Pollinacrom village, along with the village witch. Finally, they make camp on a dry hill, along with escaped farm animals and peaceful wolves. they are able to get to this hill after one PC, acting as bait, outswims a hunting giant squid. 

1) I'm detecting some of the same situ I had with Maze of the Blue Medusa, where there is just a huge density of ideas, so like around every bend of the river there's some crazy nonsense going on. This maybe will lead to "imagination fatigue" or something; actually so far though it's working out.

2) The table guiding the chaos of Carrowmore worked very well. Also the structure of "you go upriver, you see {this}" is working well.

3) There was a lot of thought, as I anticipated, on how far away Carrowmore was from other towns such that everyone was going to starve. I used Scrap's answer, that it was far enough away that no one without means could make the trip and survive, which is like 200 miles or something... basically a lot of rumination on that.

4) a lot of rumination also on the scale of the flooded plain, and the mechanics of walking or boating on a flooded plain, up a river, and how the river transitions into the flood.

5) ppl were talking about getting out of dodge, like fleeing the zone, which I said is fine: the adventurers can bail any time. they kinda know that everything is going to be a nightmare zone bc of the dm I am, but they decided to stay.

6) pretty much everything was fun, so the ideas were good. clear risks and quick death. No mention of the Crows yet, the PCs are only level 1 so the whole prospect scares me, it's what I'm gonna throw at them next week.

Player deaths: 1

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


First off I had to decide what the Crows did. Essentially: They captured Pollengum village and turned everyone in it into a zombie. This zombie hoard would guard the town which would be their base. Morning of Day 2: the Crows send Zolushika Von Der Linth (for complicated logistical reasons) with a boat of zombies and one bound child to scout upriver.

..After encountering the giant Platypus upriver and losing a zombie to it, Zolushika lays a trap at the river crossroads: the bound infant is tied to a pole above knee-high water. Beneath the water lay the four remaining zombies of the boat. At anyone's approach, the zombies would stand and attack. Also of note is that Ghar Zaghoun of the Crows has induced an eye hemorrage in the bound child which due to magic will allow Ghar to see through the child's eyes using a small mirror.

Zolushika heads back to Pollengum village to report on the Platypus; to defeat it, the Crows will move the entire zombie hoard to confront it, and will reestablish a base at the Platypus's former home. Because zombies are slow in flooded silt, this operation will take 12 hours to complete.

..the cast of players starting in the second session:..

M. plays Sigourney Weaver, a 1st level specialist.
A. plays Cha Male, a 1st level cleric, with two dogs.
R. plays Chad, a 1st level fighter.

..the actions of the players starting dawn of day 2:..

The players wake up on the hill of farm animals and wolves and attempt to escape the squid ceaselessly circling the island. The players, first, tie a rope to their skiff. Then, they fish and hook the squid using a rope, a dagger, and some eel meat as bait. They have tied the line to their skiff; as a result, the skiff is pulled off the hill and begins circling the island with the squid. They are also mostly in the skiff while this happens; Sigourney Weaver, a specialist, ends up in the water, but quickly climbs aboard.

The party's boat is immediately attacked by the squid; Cha Male's two dogs are both captured by tentacles. Cha Male suicidally jumps overboard to rescue her dogs. Sigourney jumps ship too to go back to the island and Chad stays aboard. After a short battle the squid claims Cha Male's life.

Chad steers the boat to beach. He and Sigourney attempt to pull the boat inland so that the squid will be beached as well. However the squid successfully pulls the boat back in the water, with Sigourney inside.

Chad swims back to the boat, but the squid is waiting. Attacked by the squid, Chad wrestles with it underwater. Flayed nearly to death, he manages to climb back aboard with Sigourney's help. The squid satiated with 2 dog corpses and Cha Male, begins to idly tow the boat again.

At this point a bushwacking halfling by the name of Glipna arrives. She advises the party to flee their skiff to her canoe. Chad and Sigourney instead cut ties with the squid and the new party escapes the scene.

Glipna attempts to organize the villagers of nearby Pollencrum (not Pollengum, which is on the other branch of the river) to send out hunting parties for food; Chad and Glipna investigate the Golem who is slowly tearing Pollencrum apart. The Golem is apparently trying to build a dam upriver; there is a lot of difficulty among the players and I in describing what a partially working dam in a flooded area would actually look like.

Chad and Sigourney head further upriver past the dam and the nonhostile golem while Glipna hunts fish with a recruit from Pollencrum. Chad and Sigourney discover Zolushika's trap, and fall into it. They approach the bound child by skiff and four zombies stand up out of the murky water around them! Luckily they are able to escape, and in fact lead the zombies off into the river (zombies are slow). They decline to rescue the child, however.

Chad and Sigourney head further upriver and meet the hostile giant Platypus. They flee, and come back downriver to find Glipna, who has not successfully caught anything yet. They all head back upriver, and find Pollencrum attacked by the four zombies from earlier, who must have swum downstream! Glipna attempts to engage the zombies and loses her life as they grapple and bite her.

Fleeing the scene, our heroes head upriver again, giving the Platypus a wide berth this time. They come across the source of the murky smoke which they have seen emanating  upriver this whole adventure: a crypt on some small dry land. Entering they find a father and daughter burning scrolls to survive, along with a Fighter named Roger who holds the family under the iron grip of his violent abuse. None present are able to detect the magical nature of the scrolls, and only two of these scrolls are left.

The party rescues Roger and the father and daughter onto their skiff, and see nearby two more children floating on a grey log. Rescuing these children as well, Sigourney notices that the log is no log at all, but a curiously floating grey length of stone. Briefly taking it aboard they clear off the mud to see that it is indeed an ancient sarcophagus. Wanting no truck with such devilry they dump the anomaly off the ship.

Continuing upriver, Chad spots a gleam of gold under the water. Diving to investigate, Roger sees that there is apparently a large golden statue of some kind almost completely buried under the river's silt riverbed. Unable to clear away the silt faster than the river renews it, the party uses a nearby above-water outcropping to try to pull the statue up; they are unable to do so by their strength alone.

The party hatches a plan; to recover this treasure, they will build a pulley system using the central gear of the windmill they passed yesterday. Returning to the windmill, and giving both the Platypus and the zombie-attacked Pollecrum village a wide berth, they see that the crab-sieged windmill has been overtaken. Large meter-wide white crabs are fighting with each other to climb into the windmill's small above-water window, some are inside already. The woman formerly defending the structure is gone.

After some experimentation, which involves the shameful death of one of the rescued children, the party is able to lure the majority of the crabs away from the windmill using the second rescued child as bait, dragging her behind the skiff. As the skiff is faster than the crabs, the party is able to drop off Roger who climbs the windmill (after some trouble- he finds his weight is enough to pull down the windmill's arm which he has grappled onto).

Inside the windmill's window Roger espies the large metal gear they need along with a scene of bestial horror: 13 white child-sized crabs amok among the destroyed bloody remains of many humans. Unable to get to the gear without crossing the floor of crabs Roger instead uses one of the two scrolls he recovered to set a fire in a crack of the wall of the wooden windmill.

Fleeing before the main mass of crabs returns, Roger quickly climbs aboard the skiff which picks him up. Continuing to circle the windmill, the party watches the structure burn along with the crustaceans and corpses in it, as a team of 87 white crabs follows the party's skiff in an infinite loop.

After some hours pass the party skims by the burned windmill to pick up the needed large metal gear along with some roasted crab which they use to feed the hungry father and daughter.

Bearing in mind the utility of the "army of crabs" following their boat, they slowly (crabs move as fast as a man can walk in silt) head back to Pollengum village, intending to use the "crab army" to defeat the giant Platypus. They swap the role of bait between the remaining sarcophagus-child and the father, who bravely volunteers in stead of his daughter.

When they get to Pollengum village, they discover that the villagers have managed to kill the zombies but not without some potentially infected injuries. Saying better safe than sorry, the party feeds the remaining survivors of the village to the encroaching crabs.

By this time the Crows have succeeded in moving their zombie-hoard-base to the site of the platypus, who likely fled. The session ends as night begins to fall; unbeknownst to either the players or the Crows, an immense battle of zombies vs. crabs is undoubtedly in store.

Player deaths: 2


Everything is working out grand. One important thing to note: the player deaths which occurred happened "fairly", Cha Male was suicidal in her squid-wrestling intentions, and Glibna definitely overestimated the challenge 4 zombies posed. There was a close save too: Chad managed to escape from the squid's grasp at 2hp. Sigourney, unharmed, has apparently has learned how to evade death well.

The idea of clever solutions and large scale power levers like the "Crab army" are well represented in this session. It is even good that the windmill/crab solution seemed plausible; I demanded that it was.

I'm not holding back on the players: the Crow's plan was the most tactical I could come up with, squid/crabs/zombies dealt full damage and used full attacks.

Some criticism: Deep Carbon Observatory's maps do a bad job of representing what water levels are like. This is critical information for understanding the terrain of the game, where everything is flooded. The biggest flaw cropping up today was the golem scratch-build dam, which seemed to pose a difficult visualization problem: how do you imagine a dam which blocks some water, if the area behind it is still flooded? What shape is that?

I'm also worried about the area behind the dam proper which isn't exactly well described. Moreover, the larger geography of the maps: are the vague lines to the left and the right of the rivercrawl map the coastline? Also, the larger geography of the plateau: is it surrounded by a mountain ridge or something?

I'm also confused about what the exit from the top of the dam looks like.

The criticisms of the maps are an old criticism of the module though. Things have worked out well by using the vague orientation of the river for my players. I think that the approach to and through the dam will also make sense.

It seems like the approach of "throw 1st level PCs at an adventure full of powerful monsters" is working well. smile have to say being very clear about imminent dangers, and about the expectations of this kind of game, is probably the most important factor, after finding players who actually want to do this kind of thing.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Last note: I rolled at least 6 random encounter checks due to all the travel downtime, didn't get a single 1

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Joining us for this session: Jackie, an elf, who has been in the boat all along.

The Crab-vs-Zombie battle: blending in with the zeds, the Crows watch as the Pcs approach with their army of crabs. As the
crabs meet the zombies in battle, the Crows flee in their skiff to a safe distance to watch; the PCs see the Crows fleeing but decline to chase.

The zeds defeated, the crabs victorious, the PCs gather the crabs and lead them upriver to the area of the buried golden heaven-ship. Around the large rock outcropping upriver floats some bits of crab shell not yet washed away. Realizing they have to sleep, they being to circle the spot of the boat's burial, sleeping in shifts, avoiding the crabs who endlessly pursue. During their circling Chad sees a floating crystal of ambergris some yards off. He brings the boat over, reaches for the crystal, and is snagged by a 3-meter pike waiting underwater. Unconscious, he is almost dragged from the boat if not for Roger grabbing him. The party flees from the pike who relents given the encroaching crabs.

During second shift, Sigourney hears an approaching Golem. She independently makes the decision to have the (sleeping) party abandon its position, and its crab army. They float downriver, through the (cleaned out, due to zombification) town of Pollengum, back down to Carrowmore.

In Carrowmore Snail-Shell Zarathustra, a hearty captain of 30, has brought some civilization back to the town. He gladly welcomes the party, and has his ship's doctor attend to wounded Chad. Interrogating the party, Zarathustra pays them 500sp for their knowledge of the river, and furthermore, offers them a position as guides. They accept.

Two days pass and Chad is fully healed. They party guides the ship and its crew upriver. The lungfish which guard the initial fork in the river are unable to climb the steep walls of SSZ's ship. They head up past Pollengum village, and find that they must breach the golem's scratch-built dam to pass. The party, "guides", advise against this. The ship heads back downriver to the fork, and camps for the night.

Up the other side of the fork, the party sees a few sights that they advise the captain to ignore: a house-sized horeshoe crab*, a strange log with several people frozen upon it, and a tree of knotted bodies, some of which are apparently undead. They come across a sight no one can ignore: a golem stands in the center of the river, unmoving. To pass it, the large ship would have to basically scrape the side of the creature. No one wants to do that, so the party is sent in their skiff to investigate.

The party discusses several tactics and settles on pretending to talk to the golem. The come up close and wave at it as if to dialogue; however, their foolery attracts the golem's attention! It begins to walk towards the party's skiff. The party flees downriver, as it passes SSZ they tell him that they've successfully dialogued with the golem, it's going to be friends! SSZ calls for his men, "to arms!", unfooled.

The party escapes the ensuing battle wherein the golem destroys SSZ's ship from below using his drill-hand. Sailors leap overboard. The party departs from view.

The party in their regained skiff (it was carried on ZSS's ship) goes back up the river on the other side of the fork, past the golem's scratch-built dam, to the buried heaven boat. Finally having all the tools they need, they set up a pulley system to dredge the ship.

This pulley system seems physically dubious to me, so we draw a real tub of water, manufacture a boat w/ pulley, and sink a buddha statue to test out the physics. Pulling on a thread that runs over the boat (a bowl)'s pulley (a carved carrot) to the buddha, my friends are able to draw the sunk statue out of the tub. So I rule that the plan works with the heaven-ship too.

Unfortunately, as they draw the heaven-ship on to the rock outcropping, and see the treasure's value and beauty, a huge crab falls out of the sky and crushes half the party to death. Jackie and Sigourney are able to jump off the rock in time. It seems a Roc uses this rock to crack the shell of giant crabs. The roc feasts on its exploded prey as the remaining party members recover their skiff. The heaven-ship slips off the rock back into the muck.

This was one of those "lamentations" moments. I felt pretty bad.

The party retreats to Carrowmore. Many mercenaries have arrived in the flooded town. New party members are recruited. Large buoyant barrels are obtained. One new party member, Eddy, decides to start killing people and harvesting their bladders. Having succeeded on one poor soul's life, Eddy is rebuffed by Sigourney when he offers the dead man's organ. Rejected, Eddy makes plans to burn the entire inn full of mercenaries as the session ends.

*Roger attempts to draw the Horsehoe Crab in a chase similar to the crab army's, but SSZ declines.


I had some wandering monster rolls that actually came up with monsters this time, thus the horsehoe crabs, several of the golems, the pike that almost killed Chad. The Crows have by this time breached the dam, using the crabs that the party abandoned as a means to take down a golem. probably.

Given the amount of days that have passed, the Crows have probably or are about to make away with their book of Psychology.

So from this point forward, the adventure is going to be about dealing with the profusion of mercenaries that have arrived at the Drowned Lands. Maybe the lands will become less drowned over time. The Observatory is still (mostly) unexplored.

The giant crab killing half the party: pretty much a huge "fuck you" but I think a fair one, it's pretty funny I think, it'll probably seem that way among everyone sooner or later

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

video of the physics experiment discussed above...

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

after some thought and reflection on my medusa campaign I decided to retcon the new 28 mercenaries arriving to carrowmore. The pcs head upriver with a bunch of barrels tied behind their skiff.

Notable: the water levels have begun to drain, so navigating outside of the river is harder to do.

They get back up to the site of the heaven-ship. Another roc is perched on the rock, chewing on bits of crab. The precious boat is no where to be seen. Hesitant to approach, the send a swimmer underwater upstream, and sight the golden boat wedged under the silt near the roc's rock. The swimmer ties a rope to the end of the boat and their skiff.

They try to loosen the boat from downriver by rowing against the weight of the half-buried heaven ship, but fail to dislodge it. Meanwhile, Slasher, one of the new pcs, circles around to approach the roc. Slasher throws a spear at the roc! He misses.

The roc squawks at Slasher. Slasher squawks back. The roc picks up Slasher and flies away. Exeunt Slasher. The roc's rock is now unoccupied.

The gang makes their way closer to the boat, and digging and pulling, they manage to dredge it back up. Then, using the air-filled barrels, they float the golden boat, and begin their way downriver.

Coming downriver: they see one of the golem's from earlier, who has used the remains of Snail Shell Zarathustra's ship to modify a water-wheel into... something else. Nervously, the PCs try to pass by unnoticed. The golem turns and notices them. But it only offers a friendly wave. Bizarre...

Next up, a 3-meter pike attacks the craft. The skiff is badly wounded as the pike attacks from below. A brief combat ensues, and Sigourney Weaver drives away the pike with her crossbow.

Further downriver, they navigate past the lungfish without much issue. Then they get to Carrowmore--- the remains of Snail Shell Zarathustra's crew are there! Luckily the PCs are able to sail past them too, not stopping, and sail off to deliver their golden payload to the Yellow City.


Using the enormous sum collected (50,000 sp) from the sale of the heaven-ship, the party purchases a river-galley, and recruits some 20 sailors, a captain, a navigator, a cook, as well as 20 mercenaries! A return expedition is in order.

As well: Brigette, a Magic-User, and her Crab Man slave are recruited.

Back upriver to Carrowmore, after about ~2 weeks of prep and ~1 week of travel: the galley distributes food relief to Carrowmore. The survivors are very grateful. Further upriver the golem is dead next to his water-wheel. They collect its head. Further upriver, they finally come to the Dam proper.

The Dam is described: they scout the perimeter, and find another dead golem and head. They use these heads to breach the flow-tubes of the Dam, and climb to the ledge inside it. They take stock of the crack from which the water leaked, and begin to explore the Dam's interior rooms exposed in the crack.

In the second room to the left: Brigette and her Crab Man enter first, and for mysterious reasons, destroy a scale model of the Dam. Although a search returns several scale models of the Golems, no further progress can be made.

In the right path's room: nothing in the first room, in the second room the party investigates the false heavenship and other false treasures. The PCs bring their archers with them I should note, and are using a 10 foot pole to check for traps. Through a trapdoor they come to a room painted to depict hell which has 6 statues that look like guards. Inside the statues are jars. Brigette smashes one of the jars, and the statues animate! The session ends.


This worked out pretty well. Moving around a 1-tonne ship underwater and stuff was a series of physics problems that I didnt really plan for. It was cool that they could put together an expedition relatively quickly using LOTFP rules, and hiring mercs too.

The Crows have left by this point. The flood has drained completely, there's just the river that's navigable now. Snail Shell Zarathustra was defeated, so the PCs were the first ones to report back to civilization. Ahead, in the profoundal zone: most of the dying things will be compeltely dead and rotted by this point. The people of the reeds will have been overrun by Kapeks. Yadda yadda.

I always misunderstood that room 8 of the Dam was supposed to only be visible on top of the Dam. I missed my chance to bring Gruta into Carrowmore. When they get back tho...

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


M= her character, Sigourney Weaver, has never died
R= has a 2nd lvl specialist
J= new player, joins in halfway thru
A= her characters are trying to subvert the party constantly and also risking death constantly, current character has a crab man slave

The party has a force of 22 archers they've hired for the expedition (all, due to high payment, have 12 loyalty), they also own a river galley docked at the base of the Dam

M,R,A and 6 archers are embroiled in combat with 6 Canopic Guards. In the combat:

>5 archers die
>a floating brain shoots some archers
>A tries to grapple the guards with a grappling hook to no success
>A casts Summon, summoning a 2HD fungus monster that tries to kill her
>A and her Crabman are killed by Guards
>R sacrifices himself to trigger the boulder trap he has deduced exists. All the Guards are heavily damaged by the trap. The surviving party members (M and her archers) flee.

THEN THERE IS MUCH PUSSYFOOTING AROUND between M, her archers, and the remaining Canopic Guards. The party uses a cannon to try and bombard the Guards, to mixed success. Eventually, after A's character charges in and dies, the force of 17 remaining archers charges in and kills the rest of the guards.

IN THE REST OF THE DAM: The room of black and white squares, faces with tubes, and soldier statues gives everyone a lot of pause, but they eventually move through.

THE ROOM WITH THE SALTED BEAURUCRATS TRAP: R activates the trap with his backpack, and the Beaurucrats are picked off from above.

Levering aside the Dam door, the party finds itself above the drained-lake/valley. This version of the valley is mostly dead, the formerly blue bacterial mat has rotted to brown, the pufferfish exploded, te Kapeks hide in the destroyed village of the Reed People, fat with corpses.

After an expedition into the forest of eels that results in a lot of eel bites, and some business with the fake gold boats and undead inside, and after meeting the (evasive) Kapeks, (and after seeing the buried army and picking buds off them), [[and after J's Child-cleric picks up a crab and has a crab friend now]] the party decides to descend into the sun-pit.

Seeing the door open, they feel worried.

They descend into the Observatory. They head through the Fulgarlium to the Mirror Room, and an archer spots a ghost. Then they head partway down the outside stairs, before deciding to ascend. J's character, a small child-cleric, stays behind to pray.

J's character, alone in the underground mirror-room, notices a white hand the size of a car sneaking up on her. Behind the hand, a hallway full of flesh. She flees down the stairs and hides in a box full of crossbows. After a minute, she feels a presence outside the box. And then the box opens up and she's grabbed and its game over.

Above, they deduce some theory about why the Dam broke, what escaped from below, and a good Architecture roll confirms the deal about the light defence system above the hole. They go back all the way to their boat (through the Dam again) and camp.

Coming back in the morning, they descend into the dungeon again. They head to Nightingale Hall, take a look at the chain + wheel + trapdoor, and fix up the chain mechanism and cause it to turn again, for a while. They use a rope + lantern to explore the pits, then end the session bunched up at the bottom of the weights room.


1. I'm not really describing the experience above, just what the characters did.

The dam itself was a trip, R figured out they were going through a dungeon backwards, and the fake-trap room was a great red herring. Also the fake-carved door outside was funny.

The valley floor- most of the interesting content was already resolved by the time they got there, like the war between reed people and kapeks and the disintegrating roc bridge. I did this bc 3 weeks had passed since the adventure started (so, environmentally, all the decay decayed) but also bc I wanted to speed into the observatory.

The observatory itself: reallly good. Like as soon as they got to Nightingale hall, everyone got really quiet, it was some creepy shit. They started piecing together what had once happened here, they figured there were probably slaves, it was a shared thing.

The cave giant itself: tremendous potential to kill everyone, I'm pretty sure it already is at the top doors of the room theyre in.  V scary.

There's also a subplot where one of A's characters goes back to the river galley alone and tries to tell the ship's crew that everyone died and that they need to flee. After conflicting reports come in from other staff, A's character convinces everyone she's insane and they put her in the brig.

Player Deaths:
R's 2nd level specialist sacrifices self to trigger rolling boulder
A's Wizard/Crabman dies to Guards
A's second character dies to Guards
A's third character imprisoned in the brig
J's child cleric

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

This is really disheartening. We had one player, A., who first off decided to run into the plant-bed room and smash one of the weird plant jars. I'm like, OK, I can't quash everything this person wants to do, I gotta let them have some agency, me knowing full well that if they smash the jar it's going to kill everyone in the room. So I ask for initiative, and who's in the room. Everyone is in the room and A. wins initiative. Everyone fails the save vs. Breath Weapon, TPK.
Luckily they have a warband of about 15 archers with them, downstairs, so they can play the Sergeants. They quickly roll some lvl 1 fighters, I ask for CHA scores and get new loyalty rolls.
So when the time comes to go down the next ladder into the next little cavern, A., the smashy player, tries to get one of the NPC archers to go down there. Well A. fails her loyalty roll, so the archers refuse. A. and R. decide to bring it as a point of violence against their soldiers despite me telling them that soldiers will literally kill them if they attack their own men. Meanwhile M. has gone downstairs and sees a centipede-like Tapestry Wraith or whatever.
So a little combat starts up. A. throws some of the Cervit into the face of some of the archers, I'm like, ok, that might blind 2 of them, it does blind 1 of them, 7 other archers stick their swords into A. and she's dead. M. trades misses with the Centipede Monster below. R. escapes the combat by swinging on a rope into the room of the Tox-Men.
I should mention-- after sighting the centipede-skeleton-tapestry for the first time, they went and got the other chemical plant bomb and threw it on the monster, so it was heavily damaged at this time. So I suppose it wasn’t all bad with the chem-bombs.
The centipede tapestry kills M., but B. who has now joined as one of the archers kills it. R. goes back up the way they came and is waylaid by the Cave Giant and killed instantly.
So now everyone is playing the sub-group of archers minus the Sergeants, a new party essentially. They find some valuable silks in the hall of the centipede monster, only a few silks damaged by the chemical blast.
They hang out with some Salt Dryads for a bit, these Dryands r kinda pleasant, sorta annoying and cryptic, they end up translating some Stygiographs for the party. Everyone talks about sex, Dryads included, but no one has any.
Then they cut a path through the rest of the Observatory, ending up at the Tektite Lens. On the way there they release a bunch of Azimoths, unknowingly, but they do notice their vomit keeps disappearing. 4 of the NPC archers decide to head back for the surface on their own (they are waylaid and eaten by the Giant). They sight through the Lens and see some cool stuff.

Seems pretty clear that the high-risk gameplay LotFP provides means that players like A will result in a lot of TPKS. There were basically 2 this session, basically another her fault last session with the Canoptic Guards.
I mean, A earlier even tried to steal the boat they came on for no reason. It's sort of a thing.
Anyway I get the feeling I usually do whenever everyone dies in the first 5 minutes which is like, I'm looking around my living room, everyone is going through a little mini-trauma, I begin to question myself and the whole awkward social situation. BUT none of my players would say that it really matters, it's just a game, they had fun.
BUT THE CONTENT OF THE OBSERVATORY ITSELF: the Tektie Lens was fun, so were the Dryads, the Azimoths also (for me). The Cervit was also fun bc it was just a foreign material they couldn't tell if it was valuable or not, it wasn't explosive, it was kinda "normal" in a good way. Some of the mini-halls of stuff kinda bogged down in description, like after the TPKs the core samples were a bit much. The view of the abyss below was also fun.

Player Deaths:
Sigourney Weaver, who survived everything so far, killed by chem-bomb
R's Specialist killed by chem-bomb
A's Old Lady blown up by chem-bomb
A's New Sergeants, also M's and R's, killed by her soldiers, by centipede-tapestry, and by Giant respectively

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Does it seem like this will always be her behavior or will she learn another way?

Could you have private chat with her about not making the game "un-fun" for the other players?

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Solon: it's something I'm gonna work out privately most likely. Not sure if anyone's making the game "un-fun" either

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

final deep carbon observatory sesh

the pcs start at the deepest part of the observatory.

they come up to the radiolarian room, and examine its contents, beufuddled.

next they come up the ladder, and see bright green light shining from a crack in the wall. open it to find a pool of liquid: in pool: green glowing baby statue, weird-metal (not steel) sword, and silver tongue. The grab sword: it alights, awesome green flaming sword-blade.

they grab baby: I say, underwater, it's warming like a hot pan on the stove when you move it, and the skin on the baby statue begins to pucker and tear. They still remove it, and a flash of radiation kills everyone in the room. In their last moments they see the baby grow into a child and then adult all the wile clutching its face and screaming, kicking, eventually its features grow old and it falls apart into melted black pieces. then they die.

7 more soldiers below. 2 new characters for M. + J. and also R who lived. they retrieve flaming sword and silver tongue. R. feels the urge to cut off his own tongue, but resists it. Using wax from a candle, some pool-liquid, and a water-tight scabbard, they make a suitable sheath for the flaming sword.

Do some more exploration, minor Azimoth shenanigans, find reflectors but can't figure it out.

They find the 10 metal chests with weaponry inside. Everyone gets crossbows, knives, polearms, and special blades, all of which are designed for climbing. They also find some 2 strange bomb like things and some weird lanterns.

They decide to leave. They go up stairs. At the top of stairs, R., then M., is grabbed and instantly crushed to death by huge white hands. M. sees briefly a huge face with half-lidded eyes and a trunk-sized mouth full of teeth.

5 soldiers left. They retreat. Conundrum: monster at top, what to do? Check out that bomb they found, try to arm it. Fail on first one (it's a dud), second one they figure out how to arm and use with a timer. This they throw into the room where the white-hands-monster was!

bomb goes off, no explosion, all the stone around them starts turning to mush. retreat down stairs as stairs collapse. Can't go that way up anymore.

No way up anymore, (monster blocking other way, too) they decide to, instead, climb down the giant chain going down into darkness. Begin climb down, each link half a man size.

Soon they are out of sight of the structure above them, there's only the chain and the blackness. We elide time.  They have to use the bathroom off side of chain. Climb continues. Stop to eat food. climb goes on. start to get tired. Still only chain and darkness. Reach decision point: go back up now or dedicate to keep on climbing. They decide to keep going down.  They realize they're going to run out of light so they begin to climb in darkness, slower to not fall.

Get tired, rope selves up to chain to sleep. Whole body hurts. Wake up some time later, some ppl r still asleep, v. sore, eventually all organized, keep climbing. Only sounds are the motions of comrades, twisting of chain, sound of air.

After second day of this they run out of food, almost all water. Madness of reptitive motion. Everyone hurts. More time passes. Progress slows considerably. The climb back up would kill them. Still more chain.

We end on that note! We're taking a few weeks off for holidays.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

ok ran death frost doom for my dnd group on an off week

they snuck past Zeke, made their way thru the graveyard, checked out the cabin's big book, found the trapdoor, went down, ended up in the chapel. H's character grabs the dagger, is cursed, whatever. D with the help of his goblin friends starts dissembling a big copper door in order to tow it through the trapdoor and down the mountain.

O plays the organ, they and R make their save vs. death when yellow mold sprays out. Then there's the matter of the tooth-door. Eventually D summons a wolf and knocks out one of its teeth and drops it in the basin. This opens the door.

They raid one of the crypts, grab the manual of flesh golemry, grab the translating eyepiece, make it near the singing plant-thing. At this point, the begin battle with the singing plant thing. However, D casts "wind wall" to effectively end the combat; D defends all monsters as a character trait.

After this point O casts "gaseous form" and descends into the pit the plant creature emergeth from. Well I warn them that there's a powerful intake and outake of air blowing out through the pit and that'll effect their ability to traverse it, but I'm a softie and it comes to nothing. D manages to dissemble the copper door and get it out of the cabin. Everyone else gets bored and leaves.

Gaseous O descends all the way down into the giant's nose. She walks around, finds some booger-ruins. A little while later she stumbles upon the city of Vornheim. We elide the action a little; she talks to some locals and arranges for travel back to her home base. I say "after many adventures and travails you end up back home", the cool part is its implied that she has to take a boat from inside the giant and that like works somehow? and O jumps in and talks about a romance with a cabin-boy (actually a cabin-girl in disguise) to fill out the genre feel here.

Anyway back in civilization D is building a flesh golem out of summoned deer and wolves. After C, a dragonborn, shocks the golem with lightning to give it life 19 spectres and wraiths attack and kill D before he can do anything. that's all she wrote

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


Friends asked me to run a squicky horror one shot. I look at the shelves. Death Frost Doom? Not enough squick. The Monolith Beyond Space and Time?- fare for campaigns. Death Love Doom occurs to me sometime later.

THE PARTY ENTERS THE HOUSE, EASILY KILLS SOME MONSTER/VICTIMS: the nanny and the fetus/mother. Finding a baby with an implanted clock, they throw a sheet over it, which causes the clock to start spinning. All the dead monsters resurrect. They break the clock (and baby). The monsters fall back to death.

GRANDMA WITH PRUNING SHEARS shows up. She hacks one PC's head clean off! In a sustained battle, they grab her with a mancatcher and sprinkle holy water on her.... it digs into her like acid... she dies.

Upstairs, the GRANDMA's granddaughter hangs from the ceiling, bodily mutilated into a chandelier. A rescue is mounted... and interrupted by a howling man with a monstrous cock. The PCs flee the site, with hardly any loot at all.

Everyone says, good job Pete with the horror!

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules



The team enters after some hesitation. The lightning bolts that strike the outside of the tower are imposing.

Inside, it's more comfortable. A foyer and dining room. Some old wine in a cabinet.

One PC, Jonah, drinks some of this wine. It's spoiled, and Jonah gets sick...

Under the dining room is a storage room full of human bones. And next to it is a gruesome laboratory. The laboratory has a strange, magic elevator.

The elevator leads down to a treasure room. A puzzle involving forcefield and levers protects the treasure. The PCs fail to solve the puzzle. They leave this room.

The elevator takes them up. There they find the wizard. He is trapped in a salt ring in his own bedroom. He wants them to brush the salt aside.

Our heroes are hesitant, and soon the wizard loses his patience. However, inside the salt circle, the magus is impotent. Even his spells cannot penetrate the barrier.

So, the PCs snag a nearby gem (worth 5,000sp!) and, deeming this a good load, leave.

Jonah, however is worse by the minute, and has to be dragged back to the Inn. He worsens, seizes, and dies... a terribly spoiled wine.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


What an interesting session!

Players were tasked by "The Duke of Burgundy" to figure out a mysterious valley that had appeared in the Duke's lands. The players travelled to the valley.

The valley was surrounded by rocky hills and contained a lush woodland with a pool of fog in the center. A forest unusual in the arid region of the Dukedom. Not so cautious, the players travelled past some rocky hills into the valley.

Within the valley: forest only, but they stumbled quickly across a single traveller. The traveller looks familiar to each player character; the traveller has features drawn from each one of them, he has No-hat Logan's haircut, Spackle's facial features, etc.

They engage in some hostile conversation before our heroes overwhelm the doppleganger with magic missles. They take all of the extra equipment the amalgam had; he had copies of all of their stuff.

They travel for a few hours more before realizing that they should have crossed the valley by now. One player character climbs a tree and sees infinite forest surrounding them in every direction. Clearly this is a spacially distorted forest. They decide to head further in, after backtracking a bit to see if they could find their way back (they can, their wagon wheels leave tracks).

They travel for 5 days inward into the green infinite forest. They find nothing but forest. They become aware of a strange power dynamic in the group; certain player characters can command other player characters in some kind of supernatural psychological hierarchy. They dont make much use of this weird power though.

Nothing appears to be happening in this giant empty valley. They retreat back out of the valley in an uneventful 6 days more travel. They come back after a quick restocking trip with supplies for a month's journey, selling the extra equipment gleaned from that weird guy they killed.

Returning back into the valley, prepared for a long empty journey, they immediately stumble into a nudist's commune. Several hundred beautiful people are engaged in extensive and continuous sex; and they are very friendly and inviting. The PCs decline.

They proceed past the commune to a wall of fog. They go in; at the point in the fog's depth where nothing is visible but fog, they are attacked.

Some invisible thing bites the party's pointman. In a panic, everyone retreats, regroups at the commune, and then proceeds into the fog again. A wizard PC is bit this time. They retreat out of the fog, try a little sexual experimentation that involves their supernatural psychological hierarchy, then leave the valley entirely. They send a report to The Duke of Burgundy and the adventure is concluded. Their reward: 2,000sp.

No XP is gained.


Genuinely a fun time, we were able to appreciate the module's distortions. The players were smart and were able to suss out the strangenesses, for instance they identified each PC's qualities in the amalgam/doppleganger.

THE DISTORTION OF SPACE: I rolled ASTRONOMICAL UNITS for the unit size of the valley the first time in, and then FEET the second time. The players appreciated the extreme distortion of travel because there was a very low chance of a random encounter: 1/6 per day. I rolled none the whole game, and thus the huge amounts of travel took little time to simulate.

The HIERARCHY distortion, which I rolled both times they went in, also provided an interesting distortion of the game space, though they only used it during the sexual experimentation.

In retrospect, I probably should have let the players come within viewing distance of the Monolith before having the Guardian bite them; seeing the Monolith beyond the fog would have been nice.

Each part of the module excells at distorting the game.

The elements of the Valley are sparse but well spaced. The distortions blend well, a little chaotically but not overwhelming. So much variation is possible!

Illustrating the visibility in the fog, the range of the Guardian's attacks, and the range of the Monolith's effects could be easily done with a simple diagram, it was a little hard for me to parse from the text.

I applaud Raggi for the effectiveness of these game elements. Good module, will run again, they'll see the Monolith next time I bet.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Writ up a Veins of the Earth campaign, got a semi-fresh player group involved. They had just had a near-TPK last time in the Maze of the Blue Medusa. Well, in the Veins, they had another TPK at the hands of some bandits they tried to talk to. I let them respawn and this time they found an underground forest down some hallway full of screaming harmless ghosts. One of them got pecked to death trying to steal a baby bird from a nest of Lamenters. Players were super enthused by the end of this, same expression of disappointment I have seen a number of times now

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules