Demons and survivors

About a year ago, my Wuxia DF group fought a bunch of conjured petty demons. As they had a celestial in the party, the demons attacked the BBEG’s troops in order to get through to her.  Di San Ge Er Zi, also known as Number three son, is one of the hardened guardsmen who survived the fight and quit working for his evil boss, becoming ronin. This is one of those cases of an NPC rolling exceptionally, and being found to have been underestimated, as per page 31 of DF15. I first discussed the Battle Hardened template for guards here,  and this is how he turned out, later making a bit of an alliance with the PC’s, and another group of PC’s who dealt with the effects of the unleashed toxifier reanimating all of the salt packed corpses…

Di San Ge Er Zi

125 pts
ST 13 [30]DX 12 [40] IQ 10 [0] HT 12[20]

T/S 1d/2-1 naginata 1d+2 imp or cr/ 2d+2 cut or 2d+1 cr
Hp 12 per 10 will 10 FP 12 DR 3 overall
Bs 7 mv 6 [5] dodge 10 parry 10
ADV:
15 Combat reflexes,
10 High pain Tolerance
4 Hard to kill +2
5 Higher purpose, slay Demons
1 Sacrificial Parry,
1 teamwork
1 Guild membership
Cultural Familiarity: Sahudese
0 Sahudese Native/Native
1 Aralaise Spoken only, broken.
DIS:
-15 One Eye
-1 Distinguishing feature (scars accross forehead/cheek)
-10 Social Stigma: Minority (Sahudese)
-10 Code of Honor: Soldier’s
-10 Enemy: Akira Aku No’s men

Brawling 1 12 wrestling 1 11 knife 1 12
Naginata (Polearm) 16 16
2 handed sword 8 14
staff 8 14
shortsword 2 12
Tactics 2 9
Armory: melee weapons 1 9
Carousing 1 12 gambling 1 9
Demon Lore 1 9
Climbing 1 12

Equipment:
Jingsah (DR 3)
Lamelar Armor DR 3 (Torso, arms, legs)
Cheap shortsword
basics in a pouch.
boots DR2

This is a survivor of a Demonic attack. Two demons faced in play included a Not-so-petty demon, who was gravely wounded by a couple of axe blows by one of the 125 point characters, who fled the fight by becoming intangible, and then was chased off with a turn spirit spell cast by Razakeel. (it later re appeared and was slain)

demon2.png

Not so petty demon
St 15 dx 12 iq 10 ht 12
Hp 18 per 12 will 10 fp 15

T/s 1d+1/2d+1

Claw 2d cut
Bite 2d cutting

Im to met hazards im to mind control high pain threshold
Very rapid healing
Night vision 5 sharp talons sharp teeth, striking st+2

Monstrous, bully, callous, sadist, bloodlust
Cannot harm innocents, selfish, social stigma monster
Intimidation 14 brawling 15

Can assume spirit form (intangible )for 10 min for 5fp

Affected by True Faith, Pentagram.
Speaks in backwards Armenian

(All of my demons can speak the language of whoever has ever summoned them, and can do so backwards.) At this point, he probably has the one eye disadvantage as well.

Dodomeki

In folklore, Dodomeki or Birds eye women, were a type of oni who had been thieves in life, and have hundreds of bird’s eyes on their arms as a punishment reflective of the small square holes in the center of coins, also called bird’s eyes.  In Northport, the Sahudese use large  quarter size copper coins with small holes, worth $4 each. The Aralaise locals use dime size coppers wort $1. A string of cash is consists of 20 of these coins looped on a copper wire, and are worth $80, the same as a gold coin.

For their second raid on Akira Aku No’s holdings, the Wuxia adventurers made a raid on his casino, which is in the basement of his restaurant, which I made very similar to the one in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They caused a bar fight for diversion, and made the trip to the casino down a hidden stair accessible form the balcony level.  There, after a ninja led bit of surveillance, they discovered that there was a “box” area where customers exchanged cash and coin for paper betting slips and painted ceramic tiles, and could cash out. Periodically, a team of naginata wielding guards accompanied by a pair of dragon blooded brutes would wheel out a meteoric iron strongbox with a one way lid (like a mailbox), and collect the receipts from the box. From there the loot was taken back to a counting room.  The dragon men had keys to the box room, and to the shackles worn by the women in the counting room, and to their quarters. The magic proof strong box and a larger puzzle chest, also reinforced with magic proof locks could only be opened by the keys held by the supervisor of the counting room, a Dodomeki. Within the room, the money from the strongbox was counted and tied into small bag, and then transferred to the large chest. Eventually, Akira Aku No and his men would come through the undercity to collect the week’s receipts and haul them off with a large party of armed men.  The chest was a puzzle, the kind that needs either direct instruction or woodworking 20 to open, much like the puzzle box in Lost Inheritance.

My stats on the dodomeki are a little limited, as her HT was barely of consequence due to the highly specific means needed to kill her.

Dodomeki, Demon

ST 12 DX 14 IQ 12 HT 12

HP 12 WILL 12 PER 17 FP 12

DR 0/4 on hands MV 6

Claw 1d+1 impaling

Shriek: causes 1d6 sonic damage, affliction:Deafness, resisted by HT
Must have eyes put out and be be decapitated and wrapped in red silk
or have all of the eyes covered with pierced coins to be killed

Traits:

Immune to metabolic hazards, immune to mind control, high pain threshold,
Very rapid healing, Penetrating voice, 360 vision,
weakness to touching coins. (Takes 1d Fp/second when in contact with them)
Compulsive behavior, counting small things, Bully, Callous, Sadist, Cannot Harm Innocents. Affected by True Faith, Pentagram. Truly evil, will not negotiate.

Can only be killed by having her eyes put out and her bird eyes wrapped in red silk. This will kill it, but will cause the body to erupt into two hexes of starlings, doing damage as a swarm of strix.

 

Gang Agley

The best laid plans of a GM are often befuddled by die rolls, player agency and the preponderance of spellcasters with Weirdness Magnet in the party.

Four of my juniors have it; Jareth Mooncalled, a weird sage (with a Clarence Montague, a torchbearer and Charlene LePoire, guardswoman. Yes, henchmen with henchmen. love me some DF15); Razakeel Shadowcloak, a goblin apprentice necromancer; Jocelyn Lemru, apprentice wizard;and Ludlow the Munificent, another apprentice wizard. A (normal) dungeon crawl became something more when affected by the reality warping influence of this crew.  Ostensibly, the gang consisting of Grimbo the goblin killer and jugger player, Mario Crowfoot the archer, Nodwin Zideqick the initiate of Vejovis and the leftover hirelings of a player who left,( Jocelyn Lemru, Brodak the orc brute, and Mellarill the psychotic elf archer), had stopped by for the guild with their License to excavate (bought from an endangered Acolyte of Hades who lost at gambling) to recruit a guide or spellcaster as backup.  I offered both Razakeel and Ludlow as respondents, and they accepted both.

The group was originally aimed at dealing with the social unrest created by tensions between goblin and orc jugger teams created by the goblin quick running off with an orcish cheerleader, but they ignored that hook, and ended up trying to use their license for the purpose intended; hunting members of the Saturnine cult which two other groups had already tangled.

Jocelyn and Mellaril had been part of a large expedition into a ruined and desecrated temple where cultists led by an infernal halfbreed summoned a demon of old, a succubus and squads of doomchildren.  The assorted cultists had spent time with the succubus, also sacrificing their little toes to her, which led to an unpleasant box of treasure, and the group had also fought a demon from between the stars, and sold off the demon’s chain to one of the juggers.  The main thing they were hunting, was a stolen puzzle cabinet that served as an oracular tool for the temple of Minerva in another country. The cultists actually had quite a bit of divination equipment, most of it spoiled, and all of it stashed in a mana free zone, in addition to killing the local oracle, a nymph dedicated to Eos.  As of yet, none of the players have bothered to ask what the cult might be trying to prevent the divination of…

Ludlow, meanwhile, had been making excessive uses of a piece of chaos magic, the spell Whimsy, something that had been a plot staple in Northport when I first ran the game back in 2002 over on Playbyweb. Back then, a 100pt mage had cast it during a proficiency run in the proving grounds, and accidentally teleported herself out of her designated play area into an admin corridor in another area being run through by a different group.  The spell was also the primary weapon in the arsenal of my character Greely, whose story I hope to publish at some point.

Most of the characters from that game on playbyweb found their way into being NPC’s in the current iteration of the game.  Ludlow’s group had faced cultists that reanimated the inhabitants of a tenement street after slitting their throats, and had doomchildren and lesser demons with them.  They had been in the middle of a summoning ritual that was supposed to convert a captive child with wild talent into a demonologist, and Ludlow tried to stop the ceremony, but blew the roll, creating a gate into the nether realms that sucked in the remaining cultists and collapsed the street, after the party rescued the talented child and escaped.

 

Desirous of some interaction with cultists, the new crew entered the back way that Ludlow had escaped through, although he hadn’t been too specific about what exactly he had done in relation to the street collapse.  Not all of his castings had had negative effects; some exploding alchemist’s fire was dealt with by the spell summoning a water infused being with water jet at will. (He was called HoseA). Once they did realize what he had done they felt a lot more uncomfortable about the spell being used, and about Ludlow in general.

After creeping through an opening in a wall created by the street collapse, they fought off some ghouls, and a Ghast, both of which were incidentally nerfing the ridiculous firepower of Mellarill and Mario by virtue of being unliving, the presence of four weirdness magnets began to affect the plot of my dungeon.  My ghouls all are jumpers, with the limitation that they can only leap to and from the Vale of Pnath into or out of piles of bones (at least three bones from different sources) and have been variously walled up near mass graves on the upper levels of Northport’s undercity. Ghasts as I run them (think ogre sized with bad smell and a stench attack, iron hooves, teeth and claws that remain after the body dissolves when killed) aren’t jumpers. I find myself agreeing with Needles of Swords & Stitchery about undead.

So in the next room they party found a recently activated gate.  Some fairly foolish experimentation lead to the discovery that the gate lead to the underworld of the dreamlands, in addition to noticing that both necromatic and standard mana levels were elevated near it.. Now remember Ludlow’s accidental  hellgate opening? Someone else showed an interest:

Ymid and Yr-go0001

Yep, a Ymid, from +JGarrison‘s adventure Clatterdelve over on Hereticwerks, along with another of James’ creations, the Yr-go and my earlier post on them.

I was completely ready for combat, had a nice selection of spells laid out for it (Acid jet, Frostbite, Sickness) and some cool gear laid out… and the very curious Ymid rolled a 15 for reaction, and let them hold his tablet while he investigated a magic item belonging to Jareth (Jareth incidentally has no magery, but may end up working toward a mentalist lens after this mess).  Secret rolls a plenty went down as three weirdness magnets looked at the thing,  with its glowing orange notes written in Dark one shorthand (Eldrich in Northport) hovering over it’s purple glass screen.  it is kind of a TL7+2 technomagical device, and the Ymid was kind enough to advise them not to press the red button, which would have discharged built up electrostatic energy from the device’s dynamic battery… damn good thing none of them had unluckiness or klutz.

As it was, they were lucky, activating a Windows 93 pipeworks screensaver, and accidentally opening an email from a Dark One minister of finance in need of a bit of help embezzling ingots of trade metal in exchange for some stable currency… Thankfully, I din’t roll for an accidental opening of some elder thing nudes. That would have led to a few failed Fright Checks… and probably someone hitting the red button.

They ended up having to allow Ludlow to demonstrate Whimsy (effectively teaching the spell to the Ymid… sure that is a safe idea), but I let the party vote on what he was attempting… and he got a box with a comb containing hair dye for men.  The Ymid asked for the hair product after Ludlow used it to dye his once white hair and beard (resulting in a change of avatar in my little pbp game) and then left them to continue investigating other Elder thing events.  It also left the dreamlands gate open.

Naturally, I have been scrambling through mythos wiki’s and illustrating friendly encounters for them (see this post) and plotting what sort of thing I would implement to depict the Tower of Koth. Naturally, the players intend to  destroy the gate and investigate other areas. Thankfully, I always have a backup plan for dealing with new areas of what’s under the streets of Northport.