Saturday, May 18, 2019

Total Party Kill


Art by Paul Bonner




For the second adventure in Hubris, I chose the DCC RPG zero level funnel, Sailors on the Starless Sea.

I chose this one because there were only two level 1 characters left from the last adventure, and I've never gotten to run what many consider to be the "classic" DCC funnel.

Since we're playing in Hubris, though, I had to change some things.

While planning/prepping, I determined that the main bad guys I was going to work with were the Murder Machines, Black Queen, and Floating Island of Terror.

So I changed all of the beastmen from the original adventure into Murder Machines. To do this, I simply upped their AC by 2 and decreased their Hit Points.

I took out the vine-horror monsters entirely.

The final battle on the island within the Starless Sea was changed too. The Murder Machines were taking the kidnapped villagers to the island and throwing them (under the direction of a priest/artificer and his acolytes) into a machine that was powered by magma and magic. This machine converted the villagers into Murder Machines. The idea being that the Black Queen was creating these seeding operations all over the place to cause mayhem.

The high priest/artificer had another trick up his sleeve, though; the Mega Murder Machine! Five victims were transformed into a single gigantic murder machine with a cannon arm.

The two leveled characters were a Cleric of the God of the Terrible Whisper and a regular DCC Wizard.

The rest were zeroes created using the Crawler Companion app.

The players decided to scale the rubble outside the castle rather than go in the front entrance. This led to the first death as the rubble gave way and crushed a zero. They then found the entrance to the cursed tomb of the warlord (being from the area, they knew the story of the warlords of chaos from ancient times. I used it as a red herring) where they slipped and slid and almost died from freezing to death. Eventually they made it back to surface inside the castle. They ignored the stone, the wizard discovered the bonus magical effect of the well.

The burnt church scared them so much they didn't want to check it out at first but eventually figured out the connection between the incense and the ooze monster. They took the incense with them.

They attempted to leave the castle through the front gate but the murder machines above dropped the portcullis, narrowly missing one of them. The wizard cast a spell that made one of the zeroes gigantic, and they lifted the portcullis up, then kicked in the door to the tower, and clobbered the murder machines running across the top of the wall. The other characters entered the tower and were ambushed by more murder machines who killed several of the characters.

After defeating the monsters, they found the bodies of dozens of villagers and even some left alive. Those living villagers joined their ranks as additional zeroes.

They found the skulls in the pool and took some of those with them as they descended down to the starless sea.

Most of them went insane from trying to read the ziggurat, but after being beaten senseless, they summoned the boat and went aboard.

The kraken attacked as they ignored numerous clues I gave them about the incense or sacrificing a victim, etc. Couple more were killed before they did enough damage for the kraken to retreat.

When they made it to the island they were down to the two level ones and three zeroes.

The original adventure has the final battle consist of 20 beastmen, three priests, and a demon. That wasn't going to work here. I dropped the number of baddies to 5 murder machines, a priest, 2 acolytes, and a MEGA Murder Machine.

The PCs managed to get a surprise attack in before the bad guys knew what was going on. After the battle started, things did not go well for the characters. Their zeroes all died almost immediately. Some of the captive villagers got some courage and fought back against the bad guys (two more zeroes for the PCs) but were killed.

Finally, after defeating all of the Murder Machines, the Mega Murder Machine, and the Acolytes, all the player characters were dead except for the Cleric and the Wizard, but the Wizard was unconscious. The Cleric faced off against the evil Priest of the Floating Island of Terror. The priest had already used his black powder pistol and was down to a dagger. The Cleric had a sickle. They both sucked at attack rolls.

Eventually, though, the evil priest hit and killed the Cleric.

The end.

Total Party Kill.

My first TPK in 25 years of gaming.

The interesting thing about it was that the players didn't really mind. They thought the adventure was fantastic and want to play it again!


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Hubris DCC RPG funnel play report

So I ran the zero-level funnel included with the Hubris setting book with three players.

Out of 19 characters, only two survived.

One of those two started with a different player then it ended up with. One player ran out of guys just before they ran into the big boss. So another player with multiple characters left "gave" the character to the other play to use. Then, in the final battle, the generous player lost his remaining characters.

I figure they can work out whose character it is on their own. They're adults.

I don't really want to give away too much of the adventure for those who have yet to play it.

My players had a blast and want to play again, so Hubris gets my ringing endorsement.

Since only two characters survived to become level 1 classes. I think I'm going to run another funnel, probably Sailors on the Starless Sea, and allow those level ones to play as well. Surviving zeroes will get to be level one, while if the level ones survive, they still won't have enough XP to go to level 2 yet.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Hubris - a setting for Dungeon Crawl Classics

I've decided that the next game I run will be DCC using the Hubris setting.
To start with, I'm just going to use the funnel adventure in the Hubris book, of which I have the softcover version. Looking forward to running it in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

I asked Mike Evans, creator of Hubris, for some clarification/guidance on some issues I had with character creation and he was nice enough to give me some pointers.

I'm still playing in a Savage Worlds game set in the Sundered Skies that has gone on for half a dozen years now. It's a great campaign that will be concluding soon. My character is a drakin, basically a humanoid dragon baby, who is on a quest to become a real deal gigantic dragon with a huge treasure horde!

The growing into a dragon part is going well, but the treasure horde part has so far escaped me.


On Tuesday's we have been recording ourselves playing Magic the Gathering. We play Commander/EDH format, which is new to me having been out of the Magic scene for a decade, and then only briefly. I still have all my old cards from High School (3rd edition, The Dark, and Fallen Empires, mostly) and most of those are GREATLY outclassed by the cards nowadays.

Those bastards at WotC really know how to squeeze their audience for cash.

Anyway, I am currently using "Moldrotha, the Gravetide" as my commander. It's the first deck that I've won with since I started playing again back in November. The last game I played it saw me using a Nevinyrral's Disk to board wipe everything except lands, then used Torment of Hailfire like 12 times (it has an X cost) to do 36 damage to the last remaining opponent; Chuckleberry Finn.

It was a good win.

The more we record, the better the recordings get. We hope to get a podcast up and running very soon. It is tentatively titled, "Timmy and the Kid"

The podcast will be centered on gaming. Witty banter while playing a game, and actual-play broadcasts of RPG sessions. Edited and formatted to be informative and fun for the listener.

I know I sure as hell skip the 4 plus hour podcasts that consist of a bunch of nerds giggling at Princess Bride quotes. Ugh. No thank you.

So I'm Timmy, and Mike is The Kid, and sometimes we have special guests who we interview while we game.