Sunday, March 3, 2019

Game log: 3 March 2019: Day of the Triffids

Dramatis personae

Mayhem, short barbarian
Caleb, wizard
Xóran, fox-man swordsman
Ash, squire
Kôštē, cleric (NPC)

Quid occurrit

Kôštē healed Mayhem as the others buried Uruk. Xóran, out of grudging respect, insisted that they bury Uruk with full gear, other than his arrows (which Xóran took) and food (which the others took).

Once they filled the grave in the cave with the draugr, they wandered through the dungeon a bit more. They went back to the room from which they had turned back before, and went through it, taking care to stay away from the basin on the side. They left the room, and Mayhem took care to light the torches in the crude sconces along the tunnel. Once they went down a tunnel without any sconces, and found it to be a dead end. The ogres, while mostly being stupid, didn't waste sconces on dead ends.

They at last made it to a door. Caleb listened at it and, having heard nothing, let the others open the door. Once they did so, they found the bodies of eleven dead ogre women and their five dead children. That wasn't as grim as what else they say: six nine-foot-high green plants walking on three legs. They had no arms but instead three branches, while atop each plant was a funnel with a long lash. The plants were eating the dead ogres with their funnels, and these jerked up when the door opened.

And I really got hot
When I saw Janette Scott
Fight a triffid that
spits poison and kills
These plants were, of course, triffids.

Mayhem, of course, charged into the room. Caleb charged an Explosive Fireball, while the nearest triffid lashed its stinger at Ash, who shot it as he got out of the way of its lash. Another one's lash slapped Mayhem's side, but it didn't hurt him through his armor and tough skin. The others lumbered nearer.

Into the room dashed Xóran to smack a triffid, though it stayed up. Mayhem likewise put his axe into a triffid that didn't fall from the blow. Ash dropped his bow and pulled out his sword, while Caleb kept charging his spell. Three triffids struck at Mayhem, though only the one on his flank harmed him, while two more struck at Ash, not harming him. The last one got nearer to Ash.

Xóran swung both his swords at a triffid, taking it down. He screamed for the others to "help Mayhem" as Mayhem swung his axe and lost his balance, leaving himself an easy target for a triffid. Ash smashed his shield into a triffid. This did nothing, but Caleb's Explosive Fireball burnt one to a crisp, burned another, and made the air near Ash and Xóran hot. The one by Ash moved away, while the three on Mayhem each took a smack at him. Two of them hurt him a bit through his armor, while one got its stinger on Mayhem's eye. Mayhem winced from the burning feeling, but somehow kept his sight.

Xóran moved to help Mayhem, who pulled himself upright again after his bad swing. Caleb started casting Flaming Weapon, Ash charged towards the fleeing triffid and traded misses with it, and the three triffids kept trying to hurt Mayhem though didn't. Xóran made it to the triffid smacking Mayhem's side and cut it badly, while Mayhem took down one of the triffids before his face. Ash and the triffid again traded misses, while Caleb got off his Flaming Weapon spell, making Xóran's magic longsword burn with fire. The triffids fighting Mayhem and Xóran tried to smack their eyes but missed.

The fire on Xóran's sword helped him hurt the triffid fighting him, but it was the other sword that ended it. Mayhem moved away towards the doorway. Ash slashed the triffid he was fighting, while Caleb, now weary, fired up a small Fireball. Kôštē the cleric moved from the hallway to the doorway, waiting for Mayhem, and the triffids missed their foes.

Again Xóran charged with his sword at a triffid, but this time, he dropped it. Mayhem stepped back, and Ash lost his sword when the triffid's stinger smacked it out of the way. Caleb lobbed his weak Fireball at the triffid but, still weary, missed. One triffid's stinger grazed Ash's eyes but he kept his sight, though lost his grip on his shield. Xóran parried the stinger of the other triffid, and Kôštē cast Major Healing on Mayhem for the second time that day.

Xóran, now down only to his magic sword, hit a triffid, while Mayhem moved back to help him. Ash gripped his shield anew, while Caleb lit up another small Fireball. One of the two triffids caught its stinger on Ash's shield, but the other hit Xóran in the eye, and its poison blinded him. Kôštē leaned forward and cast Lend Energy to give Caleb a boost.

Although blinded, Xóran fought onward, though his sword work now was like Chris Davis at bat. Mayhem rushed forward to help him, but also missed. Caleb dumped more might into his Fireball, and the triffid pushed back on Ash's shield bash. The shield likewise blocked the triffid's stinger, but Mayhem was unable to get himself between Xóran and the other triffid, and the stinger smacked Xóran, and its poison this time got into the wound.

Xóran staggered around, and Mayhem at last got his axe into the triffid, bringing it down. The other triffid pushed back on Ash's shield, but that was its last deed—Caleb's Fireball struck true, killing the triffid.

The gang sat around for a few days and healed up, eating triffid oil, until Xóran's sight came back.

Res aliae

Steph, who normally plays Mayhem, was gone this week, so Roman, who plays Xóran, also played Mayhem. Brandon, who played the late Uruk, didn't have his new character ready, so he played Caleb, who is usually the one grandfathered-in "extra" character. (Chris played him, as well as Mayhem. He's easy for almost anyone to handle, and for me, the characters let a little bit of Chris still live on in the game.)

The triffid was a monster that I wrote from the John Wyndham book, and it shows why we playtest these things. As I had written it, when it hit the Eyes, it also did damage. This is not only not how it worked in the book, but it's superfluous. It did 11 points crushing to the Eyes, which I realized was a killing blow, not a blinding blow. When you're dead, you're automatically blind, so the roll to resist blindness was silly. While I don't want to coddle my players, this isn't what I was trying to have it do, so I had the damage instead lower the chance to resist blindness, by 1 for every 5 points of "damage." So, rolling 11 on 2d+1 meant that Mayhem resisted at HT-2. Which he made, while the blow that blinded Xóran was a mere 4 on the damage dice, giving him no penalty. Weird how that works out.

Thankfully, it is now back to exploring and travel again. Since we play short sessions and are slow to get going—really slow today since Brandon was late—we seem to have sessions of combat, sessions of exploring, and sessions of roleplaying.

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