Thursday, August 6, 2015

Rock Lobster Part I

We finally rejoin our heroes as they continue their adventures in the wastes of Pitchblende Flats. It's been ages since anyone played my tabletop game. But I've finally been able to gather everyone together, pile them into the Steam chat and remind them why they all left in the first place.

When we left off, the players had just finished murdering a clan of Gnolls living in the desert. This came on the heels of another crime spree of theirs; releasing all the prisoners from jail and burning down the town of Trinity. The Bristlefur clan had befallen the players and their psychotic leader, Wilfred Sanddrinker one too many times and they had resolved to kill the innocent unassuming miners. Thankfully, the clan's matriarch sacrificed herself to buy her sons enough time to escape. Not so fortunately, one of those sons took that time to climb inside a bulldozer and ram 0M-4R-U, Obtuse Goose's character.

The last-ditch attack did nothing to harm the giant robotic monstrosity. Omaru smashed the bulldozer into pieces with a single blow, turning the driver into a thick red paste in his seat. Only a single Bristlefur gnoll made it out alive that night, last seen fleeing into the glowing desert to the north.

After the battle, the players kept going west. They heard a rumor about a powerful enchanter living on the edge of the mining claims. So, with no other quests or obligations, they set out to find Urmon's tower. After a day's hike through the desert, they found it; perched on a clump of fresh dirt and grass, the massive stone tower was leaning precariously to one side as if it materialized from another part of the world and fell on that spot.

Standing outside to greet them was Urmon's apprentice Karlo, who had been ineffectually sweeping up all the dust and sand kicked up by the tower's sudden appearance. He tried to say hello and welcome the players inside, but all he managed to do was offend them and make himself sound prejudiced against kobolds and robots. Thankfully they didn't kill him right away, more on that later.

Urmon himself and his fellow spellcaster Kelly were better received. The only problem was that Nick pointed out that the voice I put on for him sounded exactly like Dr. Orpheus, so it was basically impossible to get through any kind of conversation with the guy and have them take it seriously. Nonetheless, the players were adamant about getting their weapons enchanted and were willing to spend a large sum of gold to do it.

"Alas" The wizard explained. "I can't help you, not since those filthy crab people and their metal box stole all my enchanting materials." Thankfully, everyone pieced two and two together and realized the wizard's tower was actually raided by the Kretak, a group of alien miners who only bore a resemblance to crab people. Finally, something like a plot was starting to form again. After killing the pie lady and burning down the town the players had been wandering more-or-less aimlessly, looking for something to kill. Now one of the most successful mining companies had gone off the grid, stolen magical artifacts they couldn't use and had gone missing somewhere in the wastelands to the north. I expected Wilfred, Minamillion and Omaru to start asking themselves the hard questions and touch on the larger conspiracy at work.

They didn't, but we were getting somewhere.

And with that, they had their new mission and were back on the road. As a parting gift, Urmon gave the organic members of the party his own specially brewed radiation resistance potions, the side effects of which are still unknown to them.

Next stop: the Glowing Pond, the last known location of the Kretak miners.

First, something needs to be said about Wilfred's personal minions. Travis Splinterpeak, elven car mechanic and Mikial Kalwilsko, gnoll wizard. The players met Travis back in Trinity when they were trying to engineer a rotary Gatling-style shotgun for Omaru. By that point, everyone was terrified of the ten-foot tall robot and the only mechanic in town who agreed to help them was Travis. From the outset it was clear he was way too enthusiastic about building their newest superweapon and clearly had some issues he needed to work out. Wilfred agreed to bring him along since they were planning on burning down the town anyway. And Travis was a pyromaniac.

Later, when the group was fighting the Bristlefur's Tiger tank, Travis leapt into the crew cabin (while it was on fire) and started headbutting all the gnolls inside. He was unfortunately knocked unconscious but managed to distract the crew long enough for the other players to hurl fireballs into it's radiator. From then on, when he wasn't being knocked unconscious Travis's role in the party was either getting into fist fights or carrying Wilfred around on his shoulders.

Then there's Mikial, who's been with the group longer than most of the players. Originally the court mage for a backwater swamp kingdom, he had recently tried to feed Wilfred to a pack of sandworms after having second thoughts on the direction his life was taking. Wracked with guilt, he had been a faithful yes man ever since.

Now everyone was ready to brave the dangers of the Glowing Pond, the most polluted body of water in Pitchblende Flats. But we had a guest player that week. Obtuse Goose invited his friend Twitch to join the game to see what he'd think of my setting. Rather than have him make a new character I lent him Mikial. It seemed like a good choice, since Mikial was a big coward anyway and spent most fights hiding behind the bigger members of the party. To me at least, it seemed like a safe place to put him. More on this later.

My sister rejoined the game around this time too. Her character Devereaux was a journalist by trade, like Wilfred, and had her own minion she picked up in the swamps: Johan Axegrinder. Johan had been a guard in the king's gatehouse until the players framed him for terrorism. He joined them when it became clear his whole homeland was going to be destroyed in a civil war and had been riding in Devereaux's backpack ever since. He's easily the least evil member of the party and spent most of his time up to that point trying to find a peaceful way of resolving whatever crisis faced them. Part of the reason he doesn't gel well with the rest of the group is that he's the only one who hasn't committed any kind of murder, wanton or not.

Finally, everyone was gathered together again. They faced the poisonous wasteland ahead of them with nothing but steely determination. A larger conspiracy was brewing just beneath the surface. But with luck, they would accidentally stumble upon it on their next great unrelated killing spree. But little did I know I would be facing the greatest disaster of my gaming career. We didn't know it, but the session was about to take a turn for the worse and the game was about to enter a much darker place.

Tune in next week for Part II, where the players explore the ruins of the dam, meet the Kretak and ruin more lives than you can possibly imagine.

Finally, here's Slithers:

1 comment:

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