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April 3rd, 2004

Shameless Plug!

Cool bloke and awesome artist _litho_ is auctioning a commission! Check it out! His work is very good -- and the fact that a lot of the pics in his sample piece are SJ-related doesn't color my opinion in the slightest. ;P

(See also his currently-hiatused comic "...Dream")

-The Gneech

And So Then camstone Rolls a 1...

Alas, my poor players, battered and bruised and rolling badly all over the place...

After getting themselves kicked all around the dungeon by a chimera in the last session, and having the group's most badass fighter mind-controlled by an evil club bent on world domination, this week the group spent the session trying to deal with the club problem, and going up against a spectre.

A spectre? Hold on a cotton-picking minute, what level was this scenario written for? Huh, it says 4 5th-level characters, this group has five. (Of course, they were all 4th-level last time, but still!) They should be able to handle it, right?

In a nutshell, it was ugly ... but the uglier it got, the better a time they all seemed to be having. Maybe I just have masochistic players? There was one horrible moment when I thought jamesbarret's fighter (who was still dominated by the club and therefore taking confused actions at best) had been slain by the spectre ... which not only means permanent death, but also means rising in a few turns as a wight, an ignominious death for a character who has added a lot of fun and color to the group. Fortunately, it turned out to be bad math on the part of the player. Instead of -18 hit points, he had -8 ... just enough for somebody to shove a potion of cure moderate wounds down his throat.

So anyhow, the characters eventually defeated the spectre and partially looted his lair (although they left some perfectly good sellable shwag behind, I've never seen a party so determined not to take the monsters' valuables), but the fighter is still dominated by the club (although he's been separated from it and is now mostly wandering around in a daze) and now has four negative levels to boot, Camstone's ranger has two negative levels, and everybody's a bit shell-shocked.

I will admit to a bit of fudging this time, in that I wasn't as ruthless as I could have been regarding the club's domination, nor did I have the character slain instantly when he picked the club back up and gained another two negative levels, putting him at -1. Characters reduced to 0 levels or fewer are supposed to croak on the spot, but that would have been massively un-fun, so I had him fall comatose instead. Is that weak of me?

All in all, I had fun with the scenario, even though it left the party looking like something run through the shredder and then taped back together. I threw in some stuff of my own to pad it out to three sessions, particularly the gnome sage Digglet Pindernipper and his unusual house, and the wilderness encounters with the displacer beasts and the blink dogs who hunt them, but most of this adventure I ran straight off the shelf (or specifically, out of Dungeon magazine #93). It's nice to have 90% of my work done for me. ;)

Oh! That reminds me, Code Monkey Publishing says that the E-Tools 3.5e datasets are due out early next week ... I'll believe it when I see it, but I'm hopeful!

-The Gneech

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