Role-playing reviews

Reviews related to role-playing games, with a focus on Gods & Monsters, and a bit of superhero gaming.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

992 9 September 28, 1 AM

Jerry Stratton, April 30, 2016

Dacian Draco: Dacian Drago on Trajan’s Column, in green, from 113 AD. Possibly by Apollodorus of Damascus.; Rome

“A green glow and monsters on the walls.” (Courtesy Radu Oltean, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Eddie, Riana, and Zah Eil

Eddie, Riana, and Zah Eil as you may recall, returned to the ebon demon room; the demon continued to always face Riana. They sent Eddie the giant (lizard) thief out to the temple of Ishtar to scout around. Eddie snuck loudly out the secret door, but fortunately no one in the abandoned temple noticed him. Eddie snuck around the corner where he knew there was a passage, and found himself looking straight at four jackal-headed creatures lolling about some columns that flanked wide stairs leading down. Eddie ran back into the secret room; the jackal-heads were not surprised, however, and managed to fire their arrows at him; two hit. Eddie gained an injury; he converted it into three injuries in his tail, and loses his tail.1

But Eddie managed to get back through the secret door before the creatures came around the corner to see him enter it. Since they hadn’t yet cried out, the jackal-heads at the temple didn’t see him either. Eddie tried to hold the door shut in case they came looking for it; he heard them moving beyond it and talking unintelligibly to each other, but no one seemed to try the secret panel.

They discussed going back down to where the giant stone creature had been rampaging, but Riana decided to become a skink and scout out the area that Eddie had seen. This was her last shape change of the day. She skittered past the four guards and down the stairs, finding a rubble-filled cavern. On the other side of the cavern she found (a) stairs leading up, and (b) a lone jackal-headed guard guarding a door. She scooted under the door and saw seven jackal-headed creatures and one human. One of the jackal-headed creatures occasionally looked out of a small hole in the wall. Riana went out a back door, to the right and to the right again, and saw stairs leading upward. This would be where the creature was looking. She went back out; almost got stomped by the outside guard; went back up through the cavern and up the stairs, and looked in the other passage. There was a man-made structure there, some sort of room, empty.

Zah Eil spent this time reading the tablet of the arts to find information about golems which, because he’s a prophet, is what he expected the stone creature was.

Alvin, Majelica, and Owen

Meanwhile, Alvin, Majelica, and Owen escaped through the secret room behind the altar. The earth elemental tried to grab Owen as they ran through the doors into the glowing blue room, but Owen made his evasion roll. They ran up the stairs into the room with green-glowing columns and statues of Greek monsters.

The flickering lights suddenly exploded in a brilliant light. Majelica managed to shield her eyes, but Owen and Alvin were blinded. Even when the lights died down, they were still blind. Majelica led them past the statues and up the stairs at the other end of the room.

She opened the door. Inside was a thirty-by-thirty foot room. There were stairs leading up to their left. The far wall and the right wall were filled with skeletons with glowing orange eyes. Majelica looked around; then they stepped into the room. And all twenty skeletons stepped forward, raising their swords, and walked toward them.

They ran back through the door and closed it, and braced against it. The skeletons pushed against the door and scratched against it but the PCs held the door shut.

Majelica volunteered to fireball them. But Owen and Alvin were blind, and at the top of the stairs, holding back skeletons. So they decided to move as quickly as they could down the stairs—Majelica said the skeletons were slow—and then Majelica would burn them as soon as Owen and Alvin were at the bottom. So they did this… and the skeletons continued clawing at the door but don’t open it.

After several more minutes, Owen and Alvin began to see again. Alvin went into a corner to avoid as much of the flickering lights as he could.2 Owen deduced that the skeletons can’t get out of the room above, so he went up and carefully opened the door. But as soon as he pulled it, he heard and felt a click—the door was somehow latched shut—and the door burst open as twenty skeletons poured forth. The door slamming open shoved Owen down the stairs; he fell to the bottom, and then continued rolling to get out of the way of Majelica’s fireball.

Majelica fireballed the skeletons; it barely missed Owen, but completely destroyed all of the skeletons who were bunched up coming through the doors. Owen was covered in hot, ashy bones.

The flickering lights flared up again; this time everyone managed to shield their eyes.

They returned to the room where the skeletons had been. Behind them, above the door they just came through, was a five-foot-deep ledge with two gargoyles, each flanking the door below the PCs had just come through.

Beyond the skeleton room, the hallway was choked with thick strands of webbing. They decided to look for secret doors. Owen was suspicious of the fact that the gargoyles had as much room between them as the door below the ledge, and there might be a secret door between the gargoyles. Alvin boosted him up to the ledge, and he walked along it, not touching anything except the gargoyles and looking for anything that’s more obvious close up. There wasn’t.

They pulled out some oil and flint/steel, and lit the webbing on fire.

In response to Caverns of Thracia session reports: I have been wanting to run Caverns of Thracia ever since I saw it—and probably ever since I heard of it, back in the day when Judges Guild was a producer of myth.

  1. This is a specialty that only saurians can take: assuming they still have their tail, they can say that their injuries were incurred on their tail and then discard the tail. They only incur the penalty for being injured when doing things involving the tail. The minimum injury for losing a tail is three, though, so Eddie’s player traded a penalty of one on everything for a penalty of three on tail-related things.

  2. Alvin’s player wasn’t here for this session, and Alvin had no survival or verve; he also had one injury. That’s sort of like being at negative one hit points in D&D. Alvin was in no condition to fight, and likely would have died if he’d taken any more damage.

  1. <- Thracia session 4
  2. Thracia session 6 ->