Monday, December 1, 2014

Sailing the Seas of Weird

Got to play!  Yes, that's right, after a four month break for fatherhood duties, I finally managed to work in a session of D&D last Saturday!  It felt a bit rocky at first, partly because Jeremy (who was the DM) was starting us in a new game world and partly because I'm feeling a bit rusty and was sometimes distracted by my family duties (they didn't stop just because I was gaming, you know). 

Anyway, Jeremy's pitched this idea a few times in the past, so I know he's got this idea fairly well developed (or at least he appears to).  I played Uwynn Glynddwr, a Psychic (sort of a Cleric with combination MU and Cleric spells), while Dean played Friar Little Sparrow (a Specialist, sort of LotFP style, devoted to scholarship, music and herbalism) and Justin played Storm (also a Specialist, devoted to scouting and ranged combat).

We are agents working for Jarl Knute in a post-apocalyptic fantasy realm where the various islands have been separated by a sea that is now part Astral, and haunted by weird psychic threats and mutation-inducing agents.  We piloted a bathysphere to an allied island that we'd lost contact with, and commenced an investigation/salvage operation. [Hey, they may be allied, but if they've been wiped out, Jarl Knute could use whatever's left over!]

The beginning of the session involved me making a lot of piloting rolls of which the purpose/consequences were murky [constructive criticism to Jeremy, as I'm pretty sure you'll read this: too many rolls.  Encounter/mishap rolls may be best done behind the screen rather than forcing them on the players.  I didn't feel "empowered" by all that rolling, nor did I get a sense that the outcomes of my roll had much to do with my character's ability to pilot the craft]. 

OK, complaint finished.  When we reached the island, things went more smoothly.  The place was deserted, and plants were dead and brittle to the touch.  A purplish tint colored everything in the place.  Not a purplish light, everything's color had shifted towards purple.  And there were moving objects watching us from the orchards that surrounded the 'castle.'

The castle itself was a reclaimed apartment complex, and the Jarl of this place had a penthouse suite as his throne room.  We had to penetrate the orchard, make our way into the complex by defeating a raised drawbridge/moat.  Luckily, Dean's character, the Friar Little Sparrow, had an artifact digging hand that gave him burrowing speed.  He used it to dig our way past the barely seen entities in the orchard.  Then, either Justin or Dean (Justin I think) had the idea that I could try to reverse my Hold Portal spell to open the drawbridge (yes, on the fly conversion of a L1 spell to a related L2 spell).  Jeremy had me roll an Int check, which I passed, and the drawbridge came down.

Now, Justin was worried that we'd be trapped inside.  I was worried that the things outside would try to come in.  So our next order of business was to deal with the drawbridge.  Justin wanted to jam the works so no one could close it behind us.  I suggested we raise it to about a 20 degree angle first, then jam it.  That would give us about a 30' drop, roughly 5' away from the normal far end of the drawbridge when we wanted to leave.  Enough to keep baddies out, but allow us to climb down easily enough.

Getting there was the tough part.  There were two towers flanking the drawbridge (apartment towers, not medieval style castle towers, remember).  As we went up the first, the way was blocked by a large fleshy thing.  It turned out to be some sort of six-limbed mutant bear, which was too tough for us to fight.  After engaging it and getting sorta beat up, we retreated and tried the other tower.  In the second, we ran into a mutant wolf thing (beat it), and some undead children (the things that had been lurking in the orchard).  Luckily, my starting "artifact" was a mace with advantage vs. undead.  Little Sparrow and Uwynn both took a fair amount of damage, but we managed to defeat them.  Also, I forgot that the wolf thing had some sort of funky biomechanical bracelet, which Uwynn took and is hoping will give him an corrosive breath attack like the wolf mutant had.

We were pretty beat up, and hadn't fond the drawbridge mechanism, but needed to rest.  We found an apartment inhabited by an old withered woman, a survivor, and after Justin managed to successfully negotiate with her, we were able to use her apartment to rest and recouperate. 

It was a fun session, and Jeremy definitely has a gift for creating interesting weird-punk settings.  I'm looking forward to playing more of this, and hopefully getting my GamMarvel World game going soon as well.

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