This time we had a Meat Lover's pizza with the pepperoni removed and the substituted with with the same meat they put in Philly Cheese Steak submarine sandwitches. (One of our Player's won't eat pepperoni.)
Games are on Tuesdays sometime around 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.
++++ PROLOGUE ++++
Players have taken an excursion in to Hell on the second layer of Dis and are currently in the Tower of Dis looking to steal the Holy Avenger Sword currently in the possession of Dispater the Arch-Devil (a.k.a Vorgaal'Lad in HackMaster). For the record we are using the Planescape module "Fires of Dis" with a modified plot.
Error correction: A couple episodes past, an enslaved Thief named Rubio was redeemed from a work gang by the by Huang. He was apparently enslaved in Hell but NOT dead. He is now one of Huang's Henchmen. His contribution was minimal and hence not mentioned heretofore (nor even this episode except in the roster).
++++ START OF SESSION ++++
Last episode we left our players on a large wide spiral staircase with sounds of whispers coming from above and the sound of running water coming up from below.
The Players decided to send Numrendir up using his Phantom Steed spell. Huang was going to follow on foot. But before they went up I had them check their surroundings more carefully. An intelligence check had them find that each step had a one by two inch brass plaque under each step. Further checks against read language skills found the inscription to be written in devilish format using the Times New Roman font saying "Built by Escher".
(Only the old-timer Player got the joke. Plaque not part of original module.)
Numrendir went on ahead with his steed and arrived at the rear of the Party 11 minutes and 15 seconds later. Huang following as aforesaid arrived in 14 minutes and 26 seconds later. For the duration of this exercise, nobody in the party heard any increase or decrease in volume from the aforementioned sounds.
(The original module source said it would take three turns or 30 minutes for the roundabout to occur. This is prorated for increased speed.)
The party decided to peel another petal off the flower showing a different rune and applied it against the curved wall of the staircase. Stepping through the hole the party found itself on a clear platform 999 miles up looking down at the "infinite" city below. Lawful characters had to make a save versus Paralyzation or be stunned by the impossibility of the view. They all made their saves. A Spiny Devil teleported onto the platform at the same time, it was easily dealt with and its body tossed over the side. (It was a combination of some good hits by the party that was the lowest hit points I had ever generated for a 8 hit die creature.)
Unpeeling another petal they found themselve on a floating rock in a thousand yard wide chamber. They were relatively close to one wall with a platform with six intervening floating rocks spaced four to six feet apart. They could hear inhuman shrieks from above.
Numrendir again taking the lead with the Elefus' Gargoyle sidekick carrying him took the lead. Huang and Honda followed by leaping from rock to rock as it was easy for them. As soon as Numrendir and the Gargoyle were over the third rock they were attacked by flying heads with wings.
Luck was with the GM this day. A 20 was rolled and the potential for a critical hit was upon him. I chose my "cheese" method (see footnote) of critical hit determination instead of the official HackMaster method. I played a card adding +5 to this roll of 18, making it a 23 (same as a 20), which should mean instant death. To save himself, Huang returned with the "only a flesh wound" card for a six sided die subtraction of this roll and rolled a 1. For almost a minute the Player was suffering, because he thought his character had died. To the rescue came the Player for Numrendir saying, "No", followed by, "Anything higher than a 20 is still a 20, therefore your 1 subtracts to a 19." Huang's character still suffered for another few seconds. Meanwhile we trying to make the point Numrendir's Player was right. "Don't argue with it, we all said, think about his logic and live!"
Otherwise Elefus' Gargoyle sidekick was killed and carried down below for lunch. Numrendir was also taking severe damage. He took a Diminution potion at full strength in order not to be noticed, instead he was swallowed whole but at least the monster that ate him was killed. Since he was eaten by nothing but a flying head, he was retrieved forthwith.
After the flying heads were defeated it came to healing time. Elefus cast his best Cure Light Wounds spell to no effect on Numrendir. It seems these things had a poison that prevented healing, as Numrendir had failed his Poison saving throw. Even as the GM I played a "Re-roll" card that would normally have been played hostile. Numrendir failed that roll also. I think Elefus' Player played a card because they left it at home in absentia. So I agreed to it and left it at that.
For one hit die creatures, these flying heads were amazing.
After they made it to the platform, the peeled one more petal from the Flower of Holes and found themselves in a Library with bookshelves as high as they could see. Numrendir tried reading a book and the pages came out over his face and tried to suffocate him. It took three other character to pull it off him. The other books did offer clues to the meaning of the runes on some of the other petals.
Just then a Barbed Devil teleported in and asked them to leave or else. Pretending to offer a bribe or some other deal the Party attacked and killed it.
Reading further on the party found a book in the Biography section containing an entry about Elefus, right up unto the moment he found the book. (Like a newspaper in a Harry Potter movie the text was advancing has he read it.)
Just then two more Barbed Devils popped in, seeing the body of their fallen comrade they attacked.
End of session.
Footnoite: My personal critical hit table called the "Cheese Crit" well, because it is cheesy. I picked this up almost Forty years ago from some magazine or other. I've seen it in other forms essential if you roll a 20 on a 20-sided die you roll again with the following result:
1 to 14 no additional effect, take damage as normal
15 max damage.
16 double damage
17 double max damage
18 triple damage
19 triple max damage
20 instant death
(With the advent of HackMaster I had to decide that the max damage results do not assume penetration follow-on rolls.)
++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++
++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++
(Double spaced in the eMail version, due to webmail eating carriage returns.)
Count Elefus, Human Male Abbot
Sir Huang - Superior Master Monk of the Stone Tiger Order
Dame Honda - Human Datai Samurai
Numrendir - Human Ensorceler
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional
Twitch - Human Treasure Hunter - Deceased.
Gargoyle - Elefus's sidekick.
Rubio - Redeemed Thief
MISSING or CAPTURED CHARACTERS (PCs or NPCs)
Junkbot Jackson - Tracker/Adept
Gerry Castagere, Human Fingersmith, and ever loving devotee of Elefus
Fundisha - Half-Elf Swordsperson
Sir Weasel, Human Guild Soldier, Enchanter, & Champion (Stayed behind in Blackmoor).
Nine Pilgrim Henchmen of various levels. (Left back in Blackmoor with Weasel.)
++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++
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