Fin waits until the right moment then lets loose and arrow ( called shot to the head...third level dx save.... makes it...in this case, the head shot does not affect the critter differently than a strike to any other part of the body, but i don't tell Fin that))
The arrow is stuck in the creatures head, causing it pain... and ANGER!
it charges forward toward the warriors, its foul smelling body as big around as a barrel, is claws long, dirty, and razor sharp.
Rolling well with a halberd and a longsword respectively, the young warriors have a higher damage total this round, and take 7 points from the scarebear.
but the scarebear has rolled two sixes, and furious over the arrow in its head, the head explodes. I ask for a dex save from both warriors.... passing at third level means no damage.... passing at 2nd level means half damage, anything less will result in full damage from the blast.
Fin doesn't roll a 3, so he passes. jaxxon makes a second level save, but not a third level save. I roll 3d6 and come up with an eleven. Jaxxon takes five points of fire damage. armor is of no benefit.
his face is red and blistered by the bomburst.
our heroes are undaunted and with growing battlelust dive back into the fray.
With Fin now swinging a longsword and jaxxon going totally hack and slash with his short halberd ,the heroes win this round, though it is decided that Fin will take the one point of spite damage scored by the fiend.
the creature takes seven more points of damage ( nine... minus two for its tough, undead hide)
its now entered its death spiral, it WILL die..... but its still dangerous because it still gets 6 dice per round, and at two or more spite it......
again the young warriors are sent diving for cover. Fin, an agile man if ever there was one, is again able to leap to one side without getting scorched. Jaxxon HAS to roll doubles to make the 3rd level save and avoid damage. if he makes the 2nd level save the half dam will weaken him considerably..... possibly even kill him....... failure to make the second level save? well thats a death sentence.
Everyone inhales as Jaxxon's fate falls to the table in the form of two fateful dice......
Double Fours!!!!! He needs 5 more......
so Jaxxon avoids the explosion also, and the boys move in for the kill.
the scarebear doesn't have time to regrow a new head before the young men have sent it to the land of the dead.
"what was that??" my son asked me.
"is that like carebear?" he laughed "yep. just without all the care....... and lots more scare."
"weird." said fin "yeah."
so with adreneline flowing the two intrepid young bucks continue down the ominous path toward Sourcastle, eventually coming to its front gate....... the manse visible now in the distance, with only one window casting a tepid light down into the gardens below.
Last Edit: Jun 15, 2011 6:24:03 GMT -5 by devadasi
"I have tried to be pessimistic in selecting August 2013 as our intended publication date. In actuality, we really hope to have it ready for Origins 2013 in June." Rick Loomis, dT&T Kickstarter Feb. 2013
the gate to the manor is a sad shadow of what it once must have been. A crooked, wrought iron gate stands ajar and ungaurded, affixed to a stone collumn. a second gate, the one on the left is broken, and hangs at an odd angle from its collumn.
to the right are the ruined remains of what must have been a soldiers garrison, or gaurdhouse. it looks to have been cast down long ago. to the left a smaller, less grandiose wooden shelter, is also more recent, though it is also nearly a ruin.... kudzu-like vines have nearly swallowed it, giving it the appearance of some great shambling mound in the moonlite.
walking a couple more score feet, the spooky remains of an overgrown garden begin off to the left, the once jolly plant sculptures now having a deformed appearance. the vines and fruits visible from the roadside are twisted and bizzarre looking and not particularly apetzing.
Some rounded stones are also buried in the garden... like primitive gravestones?
too the right is a small chapel with the symbol of the triforce on its lintel, and from the sculptures surrounding it, clearly dedicated to the archangel Dariel, who is the righteous avenger, and who casts devils into the pits.
the temple is stone, overgrown, though it does not appear to have been defiled. an orange glow... like candles, comes from behind its stained glass windows. from within the sound of a male voice chanting orison "whats orison?" "a religious prayer"
"okay, im going to open the door." "slowly!" fin interjects "yeah, slowly."
"and I am gonna stand in the road outside and aim my bow at the door." fin says
"fin can you make a first level luck roll for me?"
he rolls a five. one short of what he needed
Jaxxon pushes open the door and is greated by a strange sight.
is it the dim light and the incense smoke or does that guy not have a head?!!
A figure is kneeling in front of the altar, chanting, his back to Jaxxon. He holds a tiny flail in his left hand, and every few seconds, between the syllables he is chanting, he swings it over his back and whips himself. his self flagellation has left bloody rhinds of flesh hanging from his back, but strange as this behavior is, it pales next to the appearance.
As the stranger turns around his sickening deformity becomes apparent. ( both warriors quickly pass 1st level base Con roles to avoid nausea).
the head of this man seems to have sunk..... almost like a malleable glob of warm wax into his chest! Neck and head have disappeared, but a hideous mockery of eyes and mouth remain!
"who are you?" Jaxxon asks incredulous.
"I am Otto Van Hexxen...... once Lord of this manor."
"Fin, can you make a second level strength check?"
"fin, something jerks your leg SO HARD that it slams you face first into the dirt. its pulling you now... away from the chapel and towards the garden. make a 2nd level dex save to retain your grasp on your bow"
he doesn't roll a three. he passes.
"Okay, there is a vine,.... thick and ropey, with some thorns for good traction, that has wrapped itself around Fins leg. It is dragging him toward one of those rounded rocks in the garden."
"can I cut the vine off my leg??!" fin asks "not with a bow in your hand!" "Jaxxon runs out of the temple and cuts the vine with his halberd!"
the Malignant Tuber was once a potato or yam, that due to exposure to infernal energies or chaos tainted earth, has mutated into a giant carnivorous version of its former self, BENT ON REVENGE! Like most potatoes and yams the malignant tuber can have many "eyes" though the eyes of the tuber are real eyes and give the creature its ability to see as though it were an animal. They typically remain buried to their halfway point, with a wide toothy mouth filled with wooden splintery teeth close to and running parrallel to the earth.
they can send out as many tendrils per round as they have combat dice. each tendril requires a dex check to avoid. ( or luck, as the gm dictates given the circumstances). If the check fails, a second level strength roll is required to avoid being dragged ten feet toward the maw of the tuber. The tuber will attempt to get multiple tendrils restraining a single victim if possible so that it can pull them in close enough for an unanswered bite from its gaping maw.
Jaxxon's halberd cuts cleanly through the hairy vinelike tendril, it spouts a reeking green fluid all over Fins leg.
But the creature isn't finished yet, not by a long shot. Five more vines spout out of its top uncoiling from inside the freakish creature.
"Jaxxon, three of them are gunning for you, I need three first level dex checks."
Jaxxon fails the second. One tendril has wrapped around his buckler arm. He makes his strength check tho, and holds his ground.
Fin dodges both tendrils and moves in to cut the vine from Jaxxons arm. Thanks to Fins high dex and fair dice rolls with his sword, Jaxxon is freed also... with more stinky green fluid shooting through the air.
"okay Fin, you attack the vines, and i will rush up and beat the body with my halberd."
"Fin you may fight off as many tendrils as you are able to pass in levels of dex roll...."
Fin makes a fouth level dex roll, and is able to keep four tendrils occupied.
I decide that the monsters dice come from its maw.... but that its adds come from tendrils when it comes to combat. therfor it can have only 1/5 of its combat ads against jaxxon this round. it will roll 5 dice and have only five ads.
This strategy is working so well after the combat round in which it was initiated that the destructive duo decide to stick with it the following round.
Two rounds later, we have a dead tuber that failed to even score a hit of spite damage.
the boys are celebratory...... then turn back to the human mockery that stands in the door of the chapel.
Last Edit: Jun 14, 2011 12:33:47 GMT -5 by devadasi
"I have tried to be pessimistic in selecting August 2013 as our intended publication date. In actuality, we really hope to have it ready for Origins 2013 in June." Rick Loomis, dT&T Kickstarter Feb. 2013
Otto van hexxen bids the young swords to be seated on one of the simple pews in the chapel.
nervously, they sit.
"what is going on here?" Jaxxon asks.
"the family van hexxen is cursed and doomed. we will fade into ignomy and be infamous for the rest of our days i fear."
" but why?"
"because of the arrogance and foolish pride of one man." he takes the small flail and swats his raw back with it a few more times "it is all my fault.... it is i who brought this misery upon us."
" In my desire for forbidden wizardly power, i summoned and made a pact with a demon lord. He remains an unwanted houseguest in the home even to this day. now the souls of all who reside within are tainted, their forms twisted from the natural to the unnatural, even the very walls have become poison. the foulness of the demon has seeped into the soil, the water, the minds....... the very essense of everything on the estate. And it will affect you too....... go home. leave this place and never return."
"but what about your daughter Gabriella? don't you want her to get away too?
"she is a van hexxen. her life is forfiet. think no more of her.... she resides in the house.... that is all you need to know. Some things are best left alone...... some things are best left alone."
"Well someone that loves her has paid us to get her out, so we have to do that. How can we kill the demon lord?"
"kill the demon lord? my boy, i pray with all fervor that you never so much as lay your eyes upon the unspeakable thing, for it will try to trick you into thinking it is something else, and will not let you see its tru appearance until it is far too late."
"can we fight it?" "to enter into combat with it would be suicide....... even.... for an army."
the players look at each other.
"which room is it in, so we can stay away from there?"
"second floor.... middle room.... south side..... my labratory."
"we have to save your daughter. How should we go in?"
"i retain only a basement key..... the tomb of my great ancestor lies there...... the lord of a noble clan, and alas see what i have brought us too."
"Can we use the key?"
"its all for naught, but I am in no position to refuse. you are either doomed, or angels.."
the boys take the key.
"Come with us, and show us where everything is."Jaxxon asks
"No. I cannot....... my soul has been completely d**ned..... should i step out of this hallowed space, my fate will be sealed and i shall be dragged to the abyss and into eternal torment."
"maybe if you do something good, god will forgive you."
"the evil i have worked can never be undone my boy. Never."
"kit leave this guy alone. he's not coming, hows he gonna help us.?"
"can i make a charisma check?" kit asks
"sure".make a third level check."
no doubles. fail.
"okay. lets go!" says Fin
the warrior continue stealthily toward the house...... purposefully avoiding the garden. to their right they pass a mossy, fungus laden well wall, but ignore it.
there is still one light burning in the second floor window.
"I want to climb up and look in that window" Fin says
"we should just go to the basement.... we have the key." jaxxon replies.
"it might help us alot to know what inside." fin reasons.
a second level dex roll gets fin up the ivy covered cobblestone wall, and he is able to stand on a narrow lintel above a first floor window to see in. Jaxxon, not having the same kind of dexterity, requires Fins assistance to pull him up the final few feet.
What they see is shocking to say the least. the goings on at Sourcastle van hexxen are troubling indeed.
Last Edit: Jun 14, 2011 13:53:56 GMT -5 by devadasi
Inside the window is a pretty young woman in one of those high backed antiquey looking wheelchairs. Also present is the coal black skinned hobbitess, and a gaggle of grey, ratty looking rabbits, which hop about calmly on the floor of what appears to be a lavishly decorated bedroom.
"Sadie, can you help me get ready for bed?" the pretty girl asks
Is this Gabriella? they have heard nothing regarding her being cripple. ?
the nasty little black hobbit takes a stool from the corner and sets it up behind the wheelchair, then climbs up and begins UNSCREWING THE GIRLS HEAD!!! in a counterclockwise motion.
She removes the head..... which has a threaded metal collar attached to the neck! there is no blood.
the black hobbit takes the head over to a lage case and slides open a wooden panel. Inside are numerous human heads!!!! all look real, and all once belonged to beautiful young women!!!
..... all save one.
the hobbit places the pretty young head alongside others in the cabinet, then takes out a hideously puckered and wrinkled old woman's head..... threaded in the same manner..... and brings it over to the wheelchair and screws it into the neck!
"thank you sadie..... my ring?"
"yes lady van hexxen." the hobbit goes and gets a ring..... and slides it onto the ancient womans paralyzed finger.
the crone's long silvered hair begins growing.... nearly a foot every thirty seconds, and soon five or six long hanks of hair are reaching out to carress the dusty bunnies hopping about on the floor.
"oh my babies.... my sweet little babies.." croons the hag to the bunnies.
"man this place is crazy" fin says, leaning back in his chair and looking at me with his head thingyed.
"yeah" my son laughs..... a little uneasily.
they climb down, jaxxon first/
I ask Fin for a luck save to see if the nightcrawler which climbs around the house has spotted him.
"what was that?"
"okay. we go back to the chapel."
"okay." " we ask otto who the heck that lady is"
otto:"unfortunately that is my wife." he sighs "desperately jealous of young beautiful women she began killing them... all at the promtings of her hobbit servant girl. My son, who continues on with my mad legacy found a way to use magics obtained from the demon to retain a semblance of life within the heads..... so that my wife could WEAR them..... like the latest fashions. the boy loves his mother"
"so thats not gabriella?"
"no. thank god for that."
"lets go!"said Fin
"wait.... take these...... the Archangel, in his kindness leaves me food and holy water each day to nourish myself. take these three bottles of holy water, there are no doubt dark things in the house which will recoil from its purity."
"no boy. Ive told you...... DO NOT attempt to battle the demon."
the warriors head around the back of the home to the basement door.
A nightcrawler, having spied them earlier also heads toward their destination..... though it stays hidden in the ivy and detritous that proliferates on the stone walls.
Using the key entrusted to them the boys access the damp and mildewy smelling basements.
jaxxon lights a torch leaving the door ajar behind them they walk ten feet down a passageway and try a door on the left. the room is filled with gardening equipment: buckets, rusty rakes and hoes, an overturned wheelbarrow, a broken wagon wheel... and cobwebs..... to the right is another room containing what looks to be much the same.
Back out in the hall jaxxon passes a first level luck roll and notices something moving, crawling along the cieling in the light of his torch. when he holds the torch out for a better look it hisses hatefully.
the monstrosity looks like some sort of giant centipede. but its legs are the arms and feet of human children, and its contorted face, with the exception of its ant like pincers and its mossy green fangs, is the face of a human being.... no older than a toddler.
it hisses again and presses foeward with the attack while the warriors are almost too stunned to move.
special damage. 2/poison
another of rudolf van hexxens terrible experiments is his human centipede ( not nearly so awful though as the centipede in the movie with that name). created from the bodies of ugly children stolen from ooglytown, the nightcrawler is a hideous form of undead.
the nightcrawlers mandibles drip with manbane paste, as rudolf believed the creature was not deadly enough without it. it can crawl up wall and across cielings with ease. Manbane paste does 2d6 con and takes 1d6 from each of the victims other two strongest attributes.
the warriors lash out at the thing in panic. fortunately for them it can't hold out against the onslaught of whip and sword. it lasts three rounds..... and never rolls any spite damage.
the warriors look at the still twitching, writhing thing on the floor. Fin hits it with his sword again. it makes a sound like a collicy infant, wheezes and dies.
"that was a baby." jaxxon says. my son is disturbed by this
the piece of art that inspired the nightcrawler:
Last Edit: Jun 14, 2011 17:27:33 GMT -5 by devadasi
the ring of dreadful locks is a magical ring originally thought to be manufactured by a pack of wild elf wizards. How Otto Van Hexxen originally obtained it is anybody's guess, but he WAS a man of means.
In any case, it was a gift to his wife on their thirtieth wedding anniversary shortly after her "accident". the ring gave her a sense of mobility and competance again, but it did not prevent her going mad.
the ring, when placed on the finger instantly grows long thick hair from the users head. the hair can mobilize itself in accorance with the ring bearers thoughts..... forming six "arms" each of which has a 9 strength and a 9 dex. these strands can weild weapons or wash the dishes... as the user commands. each lock has a con of 8.
each time the ring is removed and replaced an entirely fresh set of "lox" will grow from the users head.
jaxxon and fin begin a door by door search of the basement... eventually deciding to bear right when another passage breaks off at a right angle.
the stairs go down a flight to a stone door, then continue down another flight to a subbasement below. standing next to the door is a statue of Nihilel... the archangel of death and sleep, who guides the righteous dead to their places on the upper planes. nihilel holds a sickle in his left hand and a lily in his right, and his face is always completely shrouded by a drapery.
Fin tries to open the door, but its rusted shut. Jaxxon however, makes the second level strength roll required to open it, and it creaks open. Inside, illuminated by a hanging lamp with a permanent will o wisp cast behind its green glass, is the sepulchre of the van hexxen family.
most of the tombs are drawers built into the walls.... but the oldest looking is a sarcophagus occupying dead center of the room beneath the lamp. In the crossed hands of the lord carved into the lid is a sword, which unlike everything else here has collected no dust whatsover. the blade seems to hum.... like a ringing in the ears.
Both warriors dive for the blade at the same time, and an argument ensues.
"i got to it first!" Fin says. ( wow. this is a moment straight out of '82)
"fin, give me a second level strength roll"
fails. Fin has dex coming out his ears.... but a 13 strengh makes anything above a first level strength roll a longshot.
"my turn!" Kit protests. Fin looks irritated.
jaxxon whose strength is now 17.... just makes the roll with an 8.
"it wiggles a bit. then comes loose. it feels almost alive in your hand. it is the size and weight of a greatsword, and yet it feels light as a feather. it has runes on the blade near the hilt and these seem to glow from the inside with a holy energy."
( the blade: Goldenthorn gets the dice and ads of a two handed broadsword, but is light enough to be held in, and used with, one hand. in addition it is magical and can hit creatures immune to non-magical weapons. It gives half again the weilders normal combat ads when fighting undead creatures.)
My son is about ready to do a little dance. i can tell by looking at him.. but he doesn't. He is undeniably happy with his find however....... Fins constant dex check successes had been making Jaxxon/kit a little jealous I think, and now finally, a strength check was called for and Jaxxon had the upper hand.
having obtained the magic blade of Gareth Van Hexxen, a crusader of reknown in the golden age, the warriors exit the tomb.
"We go down the stairs."
I think i raised my eyebrows at this. i mean, i,ve logged thousands of hours of gametime with other experienced gamers, and as a general rule, sub-basements are the kind of places that adventurers will generally avoid if at all possible. they are considered by old timers to have a poor risk to reward ratio. the boss, after all, is seldom in the basement unless this is a lovecraftian campaign.
given that sub-basements are out of the way, forboding places, the ancestral occupants of sourcastle saw the sub-basement as a good place to bury the familie's gold bullion. According to my map key its all there. partially buried and forgotten.
But the glint of gold covered in dust is not the only thing of interest in the room. there is also the naked woman, dirty, matted hair, head down, crying.
the boys look at each other.
"Gabriella?" jaxxon says.
the crying stops.
Jaxxon approaches. cautiously.
its a ghoul! she hisses, a long raspy tongue comes from her mouth and whips at the air.
"i KNEW it!" yells Fin
but Jaxxon weilds goldenthorn.
failing to produce any spite damage that might paralyze one of the warriors, the ghoul woman falls quickly to the gleaming blade.
the boys turn the attention to the gold.
"why would the GM leave this much gold here so easy to get? Somethings wrong here!" fin says suspiciously.
but I really keyed this thinking NO ONE would go to the subbasement.
"yeah" jaxxon says.... looking at 20 bars of gold.... each one weighing nearly a thousand dinars "and otto said everything was corrupted."
Cripes! these two are just going to walk away from 20,000 gps!!!! wonders of gaming with kids.
"well," i say, not wanting them to pass it completely by " gold is difficult to currupt... being so pure.... i bet if you used some of your holy water, you could clean off say, four bars.... and still have some holy water left."
"yeah!" they say in unison. soon they each have two gold bars stuffed into their packs and they are once again making their way up the stairs.
a sign back out at the intersection points the way to a "boiler room", but the warriors decide to go up the stairs toward the ground floor instead.
the service stairs ascend to a door located under the grand staircase in the entry hall.
to the left is the magnificently appointed open hall with chess board tiled floor. a heavy crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling. looks like it hasn't been mopped for years. the front door is on the north end of the hall, flanked on either side by enormous stained glass windows. some panels of the windows are broken. Vines worm their way in through these openings.
another smaller door is to the east.
the halls only furnishings are the bust of a stern looking ancestor on a pedestal, a dead plant on a small table and above a large fireplace on the south wall, a portrait of a stern looking woman. the eyes appear to have been removed from the painting.
to the right of the door under the stairs appears to be a hallway leading to a burned out wing of the mansion
the two pause, and hear the voice of a man saying,
"where is that damznable cur?!!"
in the next room an overtall, overthin, man in servant livery with a jaundiced complexion walks past a doorway and is spied by the boys. a first level luck roll leaves them unseen. did that guy have four eyes?
"ah. there you are." they hear the voice say
then a womans voice.... though slurred and slow "he was in the smokehouse going at that zombie pig again Lurch.!"
"Bad boy!" Lurch scolds "an OGH! you're breath!"
"I will finish the cooking now sir?" the slurred voice asks.
"yes, that will be fine Unice, that will be fine."
the warriors bypass any examination of the entry hall and instead head straight to the room from whence the activity emerges.
the tall mans back is too them when they enter, but the mangy, ripped, two headed pit bull in the room spies them quite quickly. Foam coats his lips and fangs and sprays from his mouth as he barks once then charges.
special damage: two heads: spite damage is doubled poison on the fangs is curare poison ( 7.5 version.... though feel free to use ANY sort of poison.... the damnable cur poisons according to the specifications of the demonic power that helped create it)
the damznable cur is a dog, mutated by exposure to infernal energies or high levels of supernatural chaos. the process of going from pet or wild hunter to hideous fell creature is very painful for the animal and its mind becomes very warped. it will still serve a master if it was previously trained however. Generally a damznable cur will grow multiple heads... spite damage can be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled because of this