Fear of the Dark…
A bit of mood music for those interested…or not. I know Iron Maiden can be an acquired taste for some, so click at your own risk:
If you haven’t guessed it yet, last night saw the opportunity for another descent into the deep dark dungeons and a game of Dungeon Down. After the last delve, Hayden and Brother Roberto decided to part ways with the rest of the party – mostly since the alleged trap-master got lost in the closet of the inn.
Instead, Brother Roberto and Hayden were joined by two new faces in the dungeon. I will apologize now for the terrible pictures. We decided to mess around with the settings on the good camera and had some difficulty in getting the focus to work properly.
Leading the way into the dungeon, Marius spotted a pit trap and calmly kicked a loose stone at the disarm switch while twirling his moustache and discussing the finer points of triple tumbler lock systems. Hayden’s suspicions about the new thief seemed justified – he seemed to be competent. Unsure if he could be trusted, Hayden and Brother Roberto exchanged meaningful glances and the priest took the lead to light the way with his lantern.
In the inky blackness, the lantern banished the shadows to reveal the oddest trio to travel together.
Brother Roberto was stunned to see the other-worldly Grick under the sway of a Dark Spawn Cultist. Oddest of all was the swarm of spiders that seemed enthralled by the sinister being.
Brother Roberto shifted his stance and started reciting holy scripture describing the infernal fate of unholy creations as he advanced. So eloquent were his words that the Grick was struck dead with fear.
Thinking himself safe from harm, Brother Roberto stalwartly prepared to face the vile sorcery of the cultist as Marius failed to fell the abomination with his first crossbow shot. To his horror, the swarm of spiders instead skittered across the floor and brought the holy warrior to his knees with the countless bites.
As a piece of irony, Brother Roberto, Marius and the spiders each scored critical hits. While Marius was able to seriously injure the 3 wound Darkspawn Cultist, the other two critical hits proved fatal.
Stepping to the fore, Jolee steeled herself and began uttering incantations as she strode towards the melee. Her sorcerous will brightly illuminated the dungeon as she conjured mystical fire on the spiders and fallen form of Brother Roberto. No stranger to searing pain, Hayden leapt into the inferno to stare down the spiders. Although the fire singed the barbarian, consumed the spiders were utterly consumed by the mystical flames. Marius’ aim faltered and struck Hayden in the back with his first crossbow shot, causing the berserker to ready her screams of rage as the second struck home and felled the Darkspawn Cultist.
Jolee used her healing potion to revive Brother Roberto who subsequently struggled to heal Hayden in her frothing madness.
Heal is an opposed skill, much like an attack. By sheer luck, Brother Roberto was rolling abnormally low and Hayden rolled abnormally high to resist the healing. In the end the party was fully healed and set out to explore the dungeon.
Staging themselves to deal with any surprises, the gnome calmly opened the door while continuing his incessant nattering about locks and fine mechanisms. Hayden was second guessing this choice of thief when his unending monologue was interrupted.
“You don’t see that every day. Oh, watch-out there is an Ant-Lion hereabouts too.”
Unfazed by the unearthly horrors in the next room, Marius stepped into the room and dropped the gibbering horror with a single crossbow bolt.
“The trick is to shoot them in the mouth.” He responded over his shoulder before switching back to his inane babble on locking mechanisms.
A critical hit inflicts multiple wounds based on the multiple of the defense roll achieved. In this case Marius managed to get over 3 times the defense rolled by the Gibbering Horror, killing the 3 wound creature outright.
Brother Roberto repositioned himself to support the entire party knowing that the Ant-Lion could burst from the ground anywhere. Jolee had a different idea and conjured flame across the floor limiting where the beast could come from without risking mystical flames.
As usual, Hayden roared with fury as she sprinted towards the unsavory Mind Eater. She did stumble as she triggered an arrow trap, but the trap simply sent her into her berserker fury.
It was at that moment that the Ant-Lion burst forth from beneath the corpse of the Gibbering Horror and lashed out at Hayden with chitin talons. Her dwarvish heritage served her well as Hayden finished her charge with a roll that put her below the Ant-Lion’s talons.
The Ant-Lion uses an ability called Ambush, which is a special deployment ability. On any turn it can use an action to deploy anywhere. It can subsequently use two actions to leave the board for a subsequent Ambush movement. The Mimic also has Ambush, but his version is discussed below.
Again, the gnome’s deadly accuracy left the party speechless as he fired two bolts into the massive Ant-Lion, felling the giant predator.
“Whot? You were expecting me to be too busy discussing the tumbler configuration on the deadman’s bolt to kill that?”
Being naught but grey matter, the Thought Eater lasted mere moments against the axe of Hayden. After a quick break of looting the store-room, Brother Roberto again raised his lantern to illuminate what was past the empty junction.
Revealing an undead Pharaoh laughing at the party with the chilling voice of the undead as his servant scarabs and mercenary spikeshell warrior advanced on the party.
Again Jolee trusted to her magical flames and blocked the clear path with flames after Marius wounded the scarabs in the distance. As Brother Roberto moved closer to face down the mummy, his lantern illuminated skeletons down the side passage.
In the midst of the closing monsters, Hayden gripped her axe, ready to hew flesh when a mystical blast felled the spikeshell warrior and skeleton in an instant.
Things looked quite well for the party when the remaining skeleton plunged his rusty sword deep into Hayden’s chest. Instead of the barking laugh of the warrior in a frenzy, a gurgling gasp instead passed Hayden’s lips. The undying hero had…died.
Undying Hero is a resisted roll of Might versus Defense. Wearing no armour, Hayden is perfectly balanced to stay going…unless she rolls a 1. When fatally wounded, and following each subsequent wound, the Undying Hero must resist Might/Defense. This roll is subject to the Rule of One, which means a 1 always fails…in fact with her attributes it is the only time she can fail. Of course my wife accused me of jinxing her rolls when the mighty Hayden fumbled this crucial roll.
As the party quickly dispatched the remaining skeleton and Pharaoh, the treasure around the corner was revealed to actually be a Mimic. With minimal fuss, the monsters were dispatched and Brother Roberto healed the fallen dwarf heroine.
“You know Bobby, I think that thief might just work out ok after all.”
At this point the game was called due to time, but the gnome had managed to show himself to be invaluable. In fact, I may rework some of the skills available to Cunning heroes as Marius is almost too good.
Hopefully something inspired you today, another post will be coming shortly to show-off a bit of work done this week.