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, 3 PM

Jerry Stratton, May 14, 2016

Tyrannosaurus Rex head: “A stylised illustration of a T-Rex done in Photoshop.”; dinosaurs

“Oh, granny, what big teeth you have!” (MattGlen, CC-BY-NC 3.0)

During this session Owen, Majelica, and Alvin had players; Zah Eil, Eddie, and Riana, did not. So, of course, the player entrusted with Zah Eil’s character had Zah Eil lead them in crossing the second bridge; I am thus honor-bound to remind them that at the end of the last game Zah Eil had planned to look for and displace any huge bats likely to swoop down onto Owen’s magical light. There were in fact huge bats, so they shot arrows into the swarm, which swooped away from the stalactites and off into the distance.

They crossed the bridge and turned left on the crossing bridge. There were stairs. And light coming down! Not much, but some light, and it looked like sunlight. The stairs went up about a hundred feet.

Someone was moving on the other side of the rope bridge. Owen covered his light. There was someone moving across the bridge, crouching down1. Everyone climbed the stairs. At about 60 feet, the stairs turned into a smooth slide. Riana, Majelica, and Zah Eil grabbed onto the rough broken-plaster walls. Alvin, Owen, and Eddie slid all the way back down, and Eddie took 2 points damage.

Owen was blasted with some sort of foul, choking stench. He evaded it.

Eddie climbed up, easily enough being taller and a good climber.2

The top of the stairs came out onto some sort of stone platform. The opening was horizontal, covered in thin roots and dirt, which Eddie easily pushed aside. Eddie tossed Riana’s divine rope3 all the way down the stairs, tying it to some stronger roots, and it expanded to the necessary length. Everyone climbed up the rope, except Riana who became a bird.

They looked around the stone platform and found themselves in a clearing in a jungle. Hot, humid, and lots of broken stone lying around from ancient structures, and a swamp a bit to the north.

They discussed where to go. The sphinx said to go north to the road. They were also worried about the slug creatures, who they thought had a city around here. And they were thinking they could take a shortcut if they could find a crossroads teleport pad rather than walking a thousand miles.4

Suddenly, a huge lizard rose from the swamp. They could tell by its actions that it had their scent; it swiveled toward them and began charging. It roared, displaying huge sharp teeth. As soon as it came in range, Majelica cast great ball of fire. The huge fireball engulfed the creature—and does not even completely surround it. The creature must be 50 feet tall.5 Owen and Majelica took the rope back down and climbed down twenty feet, sticking to the wall. Eddie just climbed down the wall, as did Zah Eil. Riana flew back down.

Alvin returned last, and fired an Elven arrow into the beast. It had no effect. Alvin jumped down at the last minute, holding to the rope. It’s like Land of the Lost, the tyrannosaur roared its huge head into the stairs, throwing the clumps of dirt and root away (the rope held). Its head couldn’t fit down the seven-foot-wide opening, fortunately.

It roared for a bit, and then they could hear it still moving outside.

  1. Alvin talked to the people on the other side of the bridge. They were more worshippers of the “deep lord”. The PCs were welcome to come through—if they became novitiates of the deep lord. Alvin put off that decision.6 According to the deep lord worshippers, the only way out is up the stairs. The best time to go is “when he’s eating someone else”.
  2. Riana, still a bird, flew off outside and looked around the city. There was a bigger set of stairs in another part of the ruins. She flew down it and, before it got too dark, saw a large columned underground hall filled with (normal) bats. On returning, Owen estimated that exit must be behind the deep lord’s worshippers.

So, Owen activated the belt of walking and disappeared. He crossed the bridge—walking ethereally doesn’t affect the bridge, so the guards didn’t get to see him—and explored beyond the guards. Besides the two people at the other side of the bridge, there were three armored people just around the corner of the hall. There were torches around the corner, too. There was a circular room with a curtained-off area; it was dark inside. There was a basin in front of the curtains. It looked like it had water in it.

Off to the west, there was a columned balcony overlooking a chasm, and a hallway leading north off of it. At the end of the hallway, two more armored men, guarding some doors. He went through the doors, and there were two guards inside a room; four torches, and between each pair of torches a chest. Beyond this room—a cave with a bear.

To the northeast, there were stairs leading down, and a secret door to another cavern, but it was too dark to see. He returned before the belt’s power wore off.7

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. According to Eddie who, as a saurian, had underground vision.

  2. Eddie should have had at a penalty of 3 due to the lack of a tail, which would have required a roll, but I forgot, and since Eddie’s player wasn’t there, there was no one else to remember.

  3. Beathachord, a rope with permanent helpful hemp, from Dowanthal Peak.

  4. Which was entirely true, but they would have had to recognize a crossroads teleport pad, and also know where they were going or have some way of controlling it. They were in a very Dorothy-like situation here.

  5. Forty-nine feet. The fireball did 21 points, and this is a Tyrannosaurus Rex, with 94 survival.

  6. But Alvin was considering sacrificing an offering to Ishtar, which brought some approbation from Owen—they are all Christians except Riana and Zah Eil.

  7. The belt’s effects only last about 30 minutes.

  1. <- Thracia session 6
  2. Thracia session 8 ->