Reputation- Seven Associates- update

In the Renown option the DMG tells us that it cannot get lower than zero. I disagree, I think it can reflect an increasing enmity. As I see it, a -5 renown score would lead to a NPC/faction actively trying to hinder the PCs. A +5 renown would be the opposite, helping the PCs as they can.

Here’s how the 7As renown stands after a few more dealings & side quest with Port Nyanzaru’s denizens:

The Princes:

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Zhanti: +6

  • defended the Amnian Fop (+1)
  • Pokor asked for support on behalf of the Chultan Diaspora (common goal: +3)
  • played an important part in capturing the pirate ship The Stirge along with its captain (main interest: +2)

Ekene-Afa: +2

  • freed a spy working for Captain Soshen that had been held prisonner by the Bridgerunners in Malar’s Throat (took side: +2)

Kwayoté: +1

  • exterminated the critters in newly acquired mine (+1)

Jobal: -4

  • have freed a spy working for Captain Soshen that had been held prisonner by the Bridgerunners in Malar’s Throat (took side: -2)
  • the meddling of Pokor in an arena fight, from his spectator seat, led to a scuffle with a pair of affiliated hooligans (-1)
  • killed more Bridgerunners that attacked them, with the help of Purple Hands (-1)

Jessamine: +2

  • secured a shipment of frogmen-made pottery by helping the tribe overcome a crisis (+1)
  • killed Bridgerunners that were encroaching in affilated Purple Hands‘ territory (+1)

Ifan Talro’a: 0

  • participated in many events at the Grand Coliseum (+1)
  • crossed swords against Flaming Fist allies (-1)

Other Factions:

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Port-Nyanzaru’s Populace (+3)

  • participated in the finals of Liberation Day’s Tournament (+1)
  • captured pirate ship the Stirge (+1)
  • killed the pirates in naumachia event (+1)

Flaming Fist: -3

  • killed flaming fists to save a merfolk (took side -3)

Pink Reef’s Merfolks: +4

  • traded with the merfolks (+1)
  • saved a captured merfolk by killing its assailants (took side +3)

Three-Cascades’s Frogmen Tribe: +5

  • saved the tribe from a terrible plague by getting the cure in the Forbidden Valley (+5)

14) Forgotten Crypt

The Chronicles of Borborygm the Brute.

Okay scribbler, do your thing.


I left my tribe… What? Yeah Okay Fine. I was kicked out of my tribe- longstorydontask- and now I give strength of my arms for payment. I am Mer-Cy-Na-Ry. Got that?

Okay so nobody wants lone Inox, too troublesomy they say, so I found lil’ fellows to be reaver-band with. One a Quaetryl, his name Noisy Lucky-Charm. The other, a Savvas, name  Rainbow Poof.

No, not true names you dimwit. Names I give. Suitable names.

Now understand that is first mission for me. One day I will be Hero-Chief. But before that, lots of work, lots of killing and I will collect many scars to appease the Blood God .

But for now, first mission is us three walking with Ghost-Lady to a bone-collecting place. She wants to find a magic censer that someone stupidly left there because they died.

We have to protect her, her dead means a bad name for us, the lil’ fellows tell me. Best way to do it? Kill everything in the way!

Scenario 19

Goal: Protect Hail

Team: Brute (lvl 4), Elementalist (lvl 4), Soothsinger (lvl 4)

Set difficulty: 2

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Where’s the Elementalist? Huh. Could you wait a moment please?
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Brute: “Pssstt… I’ll rush forward and skewer the 2 gloomy-stabbies with one thrust!” Cultist: “We’re right there, we can hear you…”
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Soothsinger: dliiiing dliiiing dliiiing “two coins for me”
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Soothsinger: “and two more!” Brute: “wut? leave some for Borborygm you lil’ bugger!”

Rainbow Poof opens the third room and wants to roast his foes with lightning but all  he gets is a feeble spark (3 curses for his Chain-Lightning!).We all laughed at that, everybody, except annoyed Rainbow Poof

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Soothsinger to Hail: “Don’t worry, I’m here!” *adjusts his lute*

As me and Rainbow Poof fight Dead-Fleshies, the Ghost-Lady is a little behind and  followed close by the non-living. Noisy Lucky-Charm says he will protect her: “I will change tempo suddenly and the monsters will be immobilized”. I mean, *WTF* but it worked…

I push a dead-fleshy into a trap as Rainbow Poof blasts the other with magic and the way is clear for the altar room.

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Soothsinger: “there’s too many of them!” Brute: “the Blood God will be pleased”

My battle-axe cuts great chunks of dead flesh and Rainbow Poof joins the fun as fire spews forth from his fingers toward the baddies.

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Hail finally gets to the altar and takes Stonecrusher’s censer

Frantic lute-playing Victory Tune!

  • this escort mission was a lot of fun, nice change of pace
  • the soothsinger stacked our decks with bless cards and cursed the monster’s: incredibly useful
  • I did A LOT of damage with those bless and could kill elite living-corpses easily
  • his main song, his level 4 card, gives disadvantage to all attacks from the monsters, that’s amazingly strong
  • at one point we considered doing more vs the monsters behind but we didn’t (except the soothsinger a little) and it proved unnecessary
  • I have to be exhausted for my new Life Goal, I did it but we had to block Hail for 2 rounds (to get the treasure too)
  • the soothsinger looted 9 coins the greedy bastard :p

 

 

Of Stickers and Unlocking (for D&D)

 

My ongoing D&D campaign is set in the jungles of Chult. I have the Tomb of Annihilation adventure book and while I don’t use its main plot *shudders*, I love the setting. I mean, I could very well have done the same thing with the old Isle of Dread module, but I didn’t know of its existence when I bought ToA. Anyway, I feel like ToA grafted a sandbox to something that wasn’t exactly meant for it. The PCs must find a specific location (the tomb duh) and have no real incentives to explore the fantastic locations on their way (not that there’s much of it tbh). More so, the players have this bigass map with the blanks… well unless you have a really dedicated cartographer player, it doesn’t see much use in my experience. Which is a shame.

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In retrospect, what I would have liked is stickers. I’ve discovered the fun of it in my recent experience with legacy-type boardgames (gloomhaven, betrayal legacy).

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From Cephalofair’s Gloomhaven

You’ve found/unlocked a location! Put a sticker!

Nah, really, it’s a thing. I like it.

13) Frozen Hollow

As the Cragheart and I are discussing our upcoming retirement, it came to our attention that we will be remembered mostly as thieves and murderers. In a last-ditch effort to help our successors disentangle the mess we’ve created, we thought it would be a good idea to finally get some advice. Or rather, a sage in town will give us information if we go retrieve some kind of magic orb for her. So here we are, at the frozen hollow

Scenario 14

Goal: Kill all monsters

Team: Cragheart (lvl 6), Elementalist (lvl 4), Spellweaver (lvl 6)

Set difficulty: 4

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I remembered the hounds (from the diamond mine) to be faster that I could ever be and planned my actions accordingly but, maybe those are a little stiff from the cold or something, they weren’t fast at all.

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Spellweaver: “Get up you lazy mutts, my plan depends on it!”

We had to get to them, how inconvenient. Well a Chromatic Explosion ought to wake them up a little! The Elementalist gleefully syphon away elements to craft his own powerful magic and he too blast away.

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The Cragheart bullies the hounds a little while I try my newly acquired Living Torch on those hard-to-hit living spirits. My attack is blessed by the gods and one wraith disappears permanently and the other is damaged.

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Cragheart: “RaaAaah, you icicles will serve the purpose of my battle goal nicely!”

Our tanky Cragheart left us with two hounds as he gets further in the lair. One hound, that just wouldn’t die (damn curses), savaged the hell out of me before the Elementalist finally killed the vicious beast.

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A Song of Ice and Fire and Boulders

Meanwhile, the Cragheart has astutely created a blocus with boulders, but he took a few big hits nonetheless. I hurry myself to patch him up and also summon my Burning Avatar to melt those dangerous frost demons.

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Once again Craggy is on the move and he opens the final area, revealing 2 hounds, 1 Elite frost demon and 4 living spirits.

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He manages to slay 3 living spirits, but the hounds attack him and are relentless.

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Cragheart: “Must… Lay… Down…”

Well it’s up to the squishy duo to finish the damn thing, isn’t it? The 3 remaining monsters offers me a straight line for my Impaling Eruption, killing the hound and softening up the frost demon, and yet more with a Flame Strike.

The living spirit is impervious to my attacks but the Elementalist jumps in and Chain-Lightn… 

-No, no, wait, says he, I can’t do that… I need time to loot the treasure!

Halfassed Chain Lightning!

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With only one monster left, it’s now officially time for treasure-hunting! It takes a while, as the Elementalist has to step into a stun-trap to get it while being pursued (albeit slowly)  by the frost demon. As for me, I’m smoking a cigarette in the back, of course.

Victory!

  • We played this scenario at hard difficulty (by mistake) and we managed to win. Now, we’ll see how it goes with 2 new characters next session…
  • Hounds and Frosties have retaliate, better to have good ranged attacks (or a lot of hp)
  • Living spirits with 3 or 4 shield (but low hp) can be hard to deal with. I used my piercing bow with the first 2. Fortunately, the Cragheart was here for the 4 in last room.
  • Speaking of which, the Cragheart was an all-around efficient and versatile character, in Math’s hands at least. We’ll miss him.

12) Temple of the Elements

Killing the Colorless in the Temple of the Eclipse has boosted our confidence and we’d decided to try our luck at retrieving a powerful artifact from yet another temple.

Scenario 22

Goal: Destroy the 4 altars

Team: Cragheart (lvl 5), Elementalist (lvl 3), Spellweaver (lvl 5)

Set difficulty: 3

The altars are as far to each other as possible and each one gives strength to the temple’s demonic guardians (with 4 altars: +4 hp, +4 att, +2 mov, +2 range). As if demons weren’t dangerous enough…

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But demons aren’t the only inhabitants, there are pesky cultists too.

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If they’re not very dangerous by themselves, we can’t leave them alive as they can quickly fill the place with an army of summoned living bones. However, with the situation mostly in control in the center, I decide to open a first altar room. And if that isn’t 2 Flame Demons, right there!? Even more powerful than usual with the altars’ power. Well dammit, I hurl fire orbs at them and I’m not messing around: piercing bow, eagle-eye goggles, minor power potion; with a satisfying result (6 and 8 to FDs and 5 to altar).

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Spellweaver: “Burn FLAME DEMON! Huh, as long as it works I guess…”

I lose 2 hp because of the annoying ranged retaliate, which bypasses my frost armor. The Cragheart throws a boulder and finish one Flame Demon. He kills the remaining cultists with the Elementalist, who then moved to open the treasure chest but all he got is a magical explosion in his face.

The two then go to the next (upper left) room while I finished cleaning the room I’m in. They find a lone but dangerous (very rangy) Wind Demon. The Cragheart deals with it, as the Elementalist briefly helps me in the third room occupied by a Frost Demon.

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There’s two Earth Demons in the last room. The Elementalist is exhausted but the Cragheart is fooling around to get more xp. I indulge him before finally destroying the last altar.

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The artifact is retrieved and… is sad. No, really, it is. But it’s not our fault (this time!) as it has been corrupted by evil, and being kinda sentient, well, it knows it… So, uh, that’s not very useful to us but, hey…

Victory!

  • The cultists must be dealt with as quick as possible.
  • The demons are not numerous but very lethal in this scenario, cards to prevent damage are incredibly useful.
  • Splitting the party is necessary at some point.
  • I brought 2 AoE (out of 4) and it was enough.

11) Temple of the Eclipse

We’d recently avenged our defeat at the hand of the city’s guards military’s lackeys. Triumphant, we now aim at correcting another setback, less our reputation stays tarnished forever…

Scenario 81

Goal: Kill the Colorless

Team: Cragheart (lvl 5), Elementalist (lvl 3), Spellweaver (lvl 5)

Set difficulty: 3

Taking out the demons… Huh, can’t remember for the life of me what we did exactly in the first room. I know we took our time, like 4 rounds, but without spending “loss” cards and we rested before opening next room’s door, knowing what we’d find behind.

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Die! You moderately inconvenient demons!
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Spellweaver (for the seventh time): “Now, remember what we said. We jump over them.” Elementalist: “Not even a lil’ chain-lightning?” SW: “No! No attacks! Just jump dammit!”

I used my ride the wind to go all the way up to the 3 ancient artillery. They happily fire in my face but, no worries,  my frost armor deflects the cannon balls! The Cragheart has a moment of self-doubt as for once the Mindthief isn’t there to convince him that he too can move fast…

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Stone Golem: “Give me 4 more rounds and I’ll get you!”

Time to boast!

Spellweaver: “It worked! I told you it would work, didn’t I!

Cragheart: “Yeah, yeah, shut up already.”

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Ahhh we’ll miss the Cragheart’s boulders when he’ll retire…
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Actually, we should be called “colorless”, not him!

Half-remembered Victory!

  • Did I mention that jumping over the stone golems was my idea? :p
  • I  used the bottom of my 5th lvl chromatic explosion to help the Elementalist, but I was sad that I did not play the top (infuse all elements at once)
  • The Elementalist got exhausted  first again, he needs to buy energy drinks!
  • I used the bottom of Frost Armor for the first time and I liked the feeling of not worrying if I’d get attacked.

Session 14b – Vandalism & Tomb-Robbing

Disclaimer: This play report is my own take on The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (the 5e version from TofYP). Lots of spoilers below but it’s not  a “standard” playthrough of this classic module by any margin.

Characters:

  • Shin (level 4), Tabaxi Fighter (Arcane Archer), Outlander; big-game hunter, has no patience for weakness
  • Flyzus (level 5), Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Rufb (level 5), Half-Orc Barbarian (berserker), Mercenary Veteran; captured by pterafolks, his fellow mercenaries killed, seeks riches and glory

Ziggurat’s Middle Tier

Map Room (1)

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The PCs got out of the shaft and landed inside a large room. The tiled floor was, in fact,  one big mosaic that showed a detailed map of the Chult Peninsula, divided in 5 distinct areas (West Valley of Mist, Central Bleak Marshes, South Peaks of Flame, East Black Jungles, South-East Great Plains) with dotted features that revealed many secrets. An incredible find for explorers but, unfortunately, dust hid most of it and taking a closer look proved a difficult task as the entire room had all kind of magic traps. Shin had the odd idea to use a Swarm of Spiders to remove the dust and it did part of the job until the spiders got in the “Great Plains” area and refused to leave the place (2).

Gibbering Mouther

A door in the map room opened on a small room with a few items lying on stone  tablets in the back (a dried heart amongst them). In the middle of the room was a big pile of dirt, or it looked like it  before eyes and mouths started popping open everywhere. The adventurers evaded disgusting spittle attacks and killed the aberration before looting the place.

Ooze the fairest?

Exiting the map room, the PCs weren’t fooled into taking a suspicious-looking pile of gold coins heaped at the far side of the corridor. They did found a secret door that led to a room with mirrors  and no other doors. Rufb looked into one mirror, his reflection kind of misty, and an Ochre Jelly detached itself  (revealing an opening behind) and attacked him! The Barbarian was even more surprised when his powerful axe stroke split the jelly monster into 2 perfectly functional smaller ones. The Tabaxi resolved the conundrum with a well-placed explosive arrow that sent jelly matter everywhere! Flyzus, wiping away jelly from his face, dared looked into another mirror and was disturbed by a vision of his own death as his reflection was assaulted by some horrific wasp-like monster that pierced his face with a large sting.

The PCs had enough of the room and cautiously entered the secret passage. This led to a smaller lozenge-shaped room with a strange statue of an octopus, with a large red stone on its forehead. Seeing the glyphs on the statue and its creepy appearance was enough to send the PCs back to another part of the dungeon.

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They found a stairway going deeper into the ziggurat but they activated a complex trap: a stone statue of a dragon let out a gust of steam on them but, fortunately, the 3 adventurers managed to evade most of it, were only lightly burned, and they dashed forward before the next gust.

Ziggurat’s Lower Tier

In a large room (6) full of rubbles, Shin found some valuables and a short sword, with a crocodile etched on the serrated blade, that he later gave to Flyzus.

Chop Chop

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The PCs got across a long corridor with only corroded metal bars to cross over a pit with spikes (3) at the bottom. Rufb’s axe was a lot more efficient against next room’s guardian, a magic statue made of wood (4). A powerful axe’s blow chopped it in two and that was it (5).

On the far wall, a huge stone visage suggested some kind of secret entrance. Careful inspection revealed a keyhole in the statue’s eye. The platinum key they had found earlier fitted perfectly and opened a door inside the mouth.

Vandalism & Tomb-robbing

Rufb opened a set of double doors, broking a seal made of gold in the process, this triggered a trap: 5 heavy crossbows shot at him but only one bolt actually hit the Half-Orc. Next room was the most impressive area to date, lavishly decorated, with all sort of unusual features, the most outstanding being probably the copper coffin put on a raft shaped like a dragon.

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Pyramid replicas, lots of urns, the coffin, terracotta warriors; the room was chock-full with things to meddle with. Of course, by now the PCs were a little wary of traps and other hazards. Flyzus, in particular, as since he was wounded by the Crocodile Mummy he couldn’t be healed by any means, not even with magic (7).

Rufb didn’t like the look of the terracotta warriors and decided to bring them, one by one, and thrash the whole lot at the bottom of the spiked pit they had crossed earlier (8).  This demanded considerable efforts and it also attracted a Swarm of Bats.

But afterward, Rufb felt more secureand inspected the pyramids. Those were in fact chests, the top could be removed. Some were trapped but, proceeding carefully (9), he managed to loot a substantial treasure all in all. And, the coffin…

None of the PCs could read the writings, was it dire warnings? All they could guess was that some kind of high priest, most likely from Zotzilaha’s cult, had been laid to eternal rest there. They removed the coffin’s lid and they could see a desiccated corpse, in full regalia, and many unusual items carefully placed around it.

Zotzilaha

The defilers weren’t that surprised when the priest’s corpse reacted to their avidity, sitting straight and regaining some semblance of life by the second. They also understood right away the urgency to slay the thing before it was fully in combat shape and gave their all. With the Ranger and Barbarian slashing and hacking and the Arcane Archer shooting powerful magic arrows, the Vampire Spawn barely had the time to take his frightful form before vanishing from the surface of the world, this time, forever…

Near dead himself, Flyzus, in desperation, resolved to drink a potion found with the priest. It turned out very well for him as he felt liberated from the atrocious mummy’s rotting curse/disease (10).

That monster on the cover of the MM?

In another part of the dungeon, the PCs opened a door and saw something spherical, with many appendices on top, floating 2′ from the floor. An arrow from Shin made the Gas Spore explode, freeing its spores in the room. The PCs waited for the spores to deposit on the floor before going through.

Rolling Stone

Even further in the complex, the air was more intensely acrid than before. The PCs had several set of stairs in front when they activated a trap: a huge rolling stone threatened to crush them! Fortunately, the 3 PCs are formidable athletes (if very bad at deciphering things!) and they all managed to evade the incoming rolling stone. Passing them, it finished its course at the far side of the corridor, breaking through double doors with incredible ruckus… This stirred up some local residents, fire beetles, easily dispatched by the adventurers.

DM’S notes

  1. I’m rather happy with the stuff I added as the original room, as designed, was entirely pointless…
  2. Nonetheless, this revealed many locations on the map, options for future expeditions!
  3. Shin got across and earned  an inspiration point by… not caring how fared his companions (his flaw)!
  4. Wood Woad. I didn’t care much for the petrified werejaguar that turns to flesh, for some reason, as soon as the PCs touched something
  5. With a critical hit from Rufb, nice!
  6. Removed the encounter there to soften the dungeon a little.
  7. That meant assured death in a few days if he couldn’t find a solution. Pressure!
  8. Funny, as it wasn’t a threat at all and just fluff!
  9. Or one time, by just throwing a big rock inside. That did the job but damaged the goods.
  10. He was lucky that it was an Elixir of Health!