Thursday, 25 July 2019

BRP solo - Part IX: „Hätt ich nicht gesehen und gestaunet“

Back in the long corridor, Lycinia continues on until her torchlight reveals its abrupt end in a floor-to-ceiling pile of rubble mixed with old bones [Area 17. - dead end + wandering monster]. She isn't sure if she is looking at the remains of some monster's dinner, the remains of an excavation accident, or old graves falling in from above, so she resolves to try looking out for fractures or structural weaknesses as she continues her exploration, lest her bones be added to such a pile. She turns about to retrace her steps to the door she'd passed by near the blade trap.

[The monster is not so much wandering as hiding, using its Chameleon power. Lycinia needed to make a difficult Spot Hidden (69/2=35%): 34, success. But this was being pitted against the monster's easy Hide (50x2=100%) roll: 53, success. Since both were normal successes, the higher roll wins. She is unaware of the monster until it strikes.

Attacking from ambush is Easy (60x2=120%)]

Lycinia has hardly gone five feet before something heavy and wet thuds into the small of her back, knocking her forward a step [hit in the Abdomen for 1D8+1D4=3 damage; 7 Armour Points absorbs it all]. She feels claws pull at her mail as she wheels about to face her assailant.

A writhing mass of fat tentacles fills half the corridor, all connected to an amorphous blob of mottled grey flesh, the colour of damp stone. It flumps forward to renew its assault on the fairy woman. Lycinia is sure she could easily outdistance this foul abomination [Mov 3 vs. her 11], but the strike from behind has kindled her wrath.

Lesser Demon
STR (3D8) 10   Mov:  3
CON (3D8) 14   HP:  16
SIZ (5D8) 18   DB: +1D4
INT (2D8)  9   Armour: none
POW (3D8) 10
DEX (3D8) 20
APP (2D8)  8

Attacks: Claw 60% 1D8+db (2/round)
Powers: Chameleon, Heat Sight 80% 

Forme : Pieuvre géante
(Ex : kraken, pieuvre géante)
Localisation Mêlée Missile PV
Tentacule 1  01–02  01      4
Tentacule 2  03–04  02      4
Tentacule 3  05–06  03      4
Tentacule 4  07–08  04      4
Tentacule 5  09–10  05      4
Tentacule 6  11–12  06      4
Tentacule 7  13–14  07      4
Tentacule 8  15–16  08      4
Tête         17–18 09–13    7
Corps        19–20 14–20    7

N.B. Tentacles are completely disabled at 0hp. No more than 4 points of damage to a tentacle come off the total hit points.

[Round 1]
Lycinia swings her sword at the unwholesome, grasping tentacles, but the creature shrinks from her blade with alarming rapidity, the tentacles retracting in an instant like the eyes of a slug. But at least it cannot hit back when it pulls away. [Her sword attack hit, but it rolled 07 for its Dodge (32%). Its 'claw' attacks both missed.]

[Round 2]
It contracts again, then lurches for the elf. One tentacle reaches right for her face. Her sword describes a perfect silvery arc, and the tentacle drops to the ground twitching and oozing. [It missed, she rolled a normal parry (no further effect). Her attack was a Special success vs. its failed dodge. Tentacle #7 takes 6 damage, destroying it; it takes only 4 damage to total hp: 12hp left.]

Another tentacle swipes at her, but she reacts just in time to bats it away with the flat of her blade. [It hit. Her second parry in a round is at -30% (so 31%); d%=29, succeeds.]

[Round 3]
The thing comes at her furiously. It is all she can do to keep the heavy grasping tentacles from smashing into her [she missed, but managed to parry both its attacks].

[Round 4]
But in the fury of its attack, it leaves an opening. Lycinia stabs right into the centre of the writhing mass, and feels a rubbery resistance beneath the keen point of her magical sword. The thing contorts and shivers in pain, but does not relent [she hit its nerve centre (head); 5 damage leaves it with 7hp (2hp left in the head location)].

Her bravura is not without cost. As she slips back out of reach, one of the tentacles scraps across her leg, shredding the stiff leather of her trews and pulling away bits of her white flesh with its myriad of tiny hooked claws. [5 damage -2AP; she takes 3 damage to the left leg dropping her to 5hp (3hp in the leg). Its second attack misses.]

[Rounds 5-6]
Lycinia has found the rhythm of her opponent. She steps in a second time, and once again is rewarded with the shuddering contortions of the beast as she strikes its midsection. This time she dances back from its grasp unscathed. It tries one last lunge at the elf, but loses another tentacle for its troubles. Then the fight goes out of it, and it slumps to the ground, pulsating weakly as its fluids drain into a greasy soup at the elf's feet.

Lycinia backs away, but it is evident that the creature is not feigning. She looks to her bloodied leg, binding her wounds with strips cut off her now-ragged tabard [Physik (23%) roll; d%=17, restores 1d3=3hp, back to 8hp]. The scrape smarts, but a little pressure soon stops the bleeding.

She continues back to the end of the long corridor, through the room with the chest in the magic circle [15], the long dusty room where she fought the energy beast [14], the tiny room before it [13] and into the corridor of the scything blade. She crouches low as she walks, though she is certain the blade trap did not extend very far into it, until she reaches the door. She pushes it open with rather less caution than she ought, and slips inside.

The door is recessed about 5' into the wall of the rectangular room [Room 18 - Skill Challenge only]. Another door is similarly recessed in the opposite wall. The room seems otherwise empty, save for a 10' square depression filling most of the eastern half.

[Challenge: Climb (difficult) obstructs Swim (normal)]

Lycinia approaches the depression slowly, and her torchlight revels it to be a deep shaft. How deep, she cannot say, but it's farther than the torchlight can illumine. Her curiosity is great, and her torch has burnt down rather far, so she lights a new one and throws the old torch down the shaft. It falls for some hundred feet before landing in scummy water.

Lycinia is reminded of the time she nearly drowned in the flooded oubliette beneath the Foehrenfort ruins, and her curiosity suddenly evaporates.

[I rolled skill challenge only, but there would definitely be something interesting in the water if explored. However, our heroine is on a mission, so...]

She leaves by the door in the northern wall. It leads north for about 30', then turns to the west at a right angle. [because it's so much easier on graph paper, and after 30-something years of playing solo dungeons I still can't draw a credible bend. Hell, I can't even draw straight diagonal corridors that don't look wonky.  Anyways...]

The passage empties into a vast colonnaded chamber [Room 19. - Skill Challenge only]. The vaulted ceiling is some 45' above the floor, though the Doric columns do not actually support it, stopping several feet before it. Lycinia walks amongst the double row of columns, half marvelling at the strangeness of it all, half on the lookout for demons lurking in the shadows.

[I rolled Side Passage, but I'm treating the space as a Chamber.

Challenge: Climb (normal) reveals Scribe Magic (normal)

Q: Does anything make Climbing an obvious thing to try? 50/50 (4+): O4 C8 - yes. (with a Spot Hidden roll. 'yes, and...' would have made it an Easy roll. 'yes, but...' would have been Difficult.)

Spot Hidden (69%): 61, success.]

Lycinia notices a glow coming from the capital of one of the columns. After a moment's hesitation, she removes her sword belt, backpack, tabard, and mail. The mail she heaps into a little mountain on the floor, and plants her torch into it upright so she needn't climb in near darkness. She briefly considers bucking on her sword, but thinks better of it. She swings a good length of the rope round the column to brace against, and taking her miséricorde in her teeth, begins the ascent. [Climb +10 for the rope (61%) succeeds]

At the top of the column, she finds the source of the glow: several lines of rune-like characters and magical figures are incised into the stone. Her eyes' glow nearly matches that of the inscription, as she gazes in wonderment at the sigils. She slides down the column and retrieves her pack, then ascends anew. She has just enough room to sit atop the column and copy the inscription onto a blank parchment scroll.

[Scribe Magic (37%): 11, success; counts as the beginnings of spell research for later.
Q: Any problems whilst she's up there? 50/50 (4+): O1 C6 - no.]

More than a little satisfied with her discovery, she slides down again, re-arms and armours herself, then proceeds out the chamber's only door. Immediately beyond is a large, roughly hexagonal chamber, empty save for bits of detritus. A plain door leads to the north, but Lycinia is scarcely aware of it, for another door is set in the eastern wall. Light flashes brilliantly from behind it, an unnatural luminescence that makes the elf's hair stand on end. She feels a wave of revulsion as she comes closer to it, and scents a subtle odour of decomposition. Lycinia is bathed in a cold sweat just standing before it, yet she is certain she must face what lies waiting for her on the other side.

Next post: the secret is revealed

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

BRP solo - Part VIII: "From the darkness dread and drear"

The passage stretches some thirty feet past the blade trap [T]. Lycinia passes by a wooden door, swollen with damp, set into the north wall about halfway down, and is confronted with another at the passage's end. This door seems like it will open more easily, and indeed it does. The space beyond [Room 13 - Skill Challenge only] is only 10' square, but the ceiling is almost twice as high. A rusty metal door is set into the north wall, and the metal frame continues above it, with a grille at the top.

[Challenge: Climb  (-10%) makes easier Listen (normal)
so, successfully Climbing up to the grille would make the Listen roll Easy (skillx2)]

There is an indistinct sound coming from above. Lycinia stands still and listens intently [Listen 44%: d%=13, success]. The crackling and buzzing coming from the space beyond is like nothing the young elf has ever heard before. She tries to detect a pattern in the sound, but it is wholly without rhythm. she is certain only that whatever the source of the sound, it is probably inimical to elvenkind. She tightens her grip on her sword, and pushes the door open. It swings inward noiselessly, the hinges having been recently oiled.

The room beyond the door [Room 14 - Monster & Skill Challenge & Treasure] is some 20' wide and longer than Lycinia's torch can illuminate. The ceiling is again very high. The chamber is almost completely bare of furnishings, though intermittent piles of grey ash are scattered throughout, some containing metal fittings, nails, and the like. But what arrests Lycinia's attention is the source of the buzzing. The creature is made of pure energy, or perhaps some unusual form of matter pulled from another universe with laws wholly unlike any dreamt of by the wisest, or even maddest, of sages. The shifting and uneven colours are unknown in the world of mortals, but put Lycinia instantly in mind of the magical disaster that attended the experiment of poor Itragad. The image of the thing burns into Lycinia's eyes, but at the same time the light of her torch passes through it as if it were a mirage.

The buzzing becomes louder and the crackling more pronounced as it scurries, lizard-like, towards her.

Lesser Demon
STR (1D8)  3   Mov: 6
CON (2D8)  7   HP: 11
SIZ (2D8) 15   DB: +0
INT (2D8)  9   Armour: 7-point non-terrene matter
POW (3D8) 10
DEX (1D8)  8
APP (1D8)  2

Attacks: Gore 120% 1D8+2, +db if charging
Powers: Snout, Portage, Knowledge INT x3%

[For Form, I rolled 'lizard', but due to the non-terrene matter result I decided it doesn't have hit locations in any normal sense.]

[Round 1 - Lycinia easily wins initiative]
Lycinia lunges at it right before it closes with her. Her sword encounters surprising resistance, being turned aside as if striking a steel breastplate. [1d8+1=3 damage, not even close to getting through its 7-point armour. I was generous/lazy and gave it unmodified DEX x2 (16%) Dodge; it failed all its dodge  rolls the whole fight.]

It in turn tries to pierce her with a long 'horn' (at least, it seems to project from the beast's 'head'), but having felt its solidity under her blade, Lycinia is able to easily parry the attack.

[Round 2]
She stabs it again, but again her sword cannot pierce the crackling exterior of the creature [7-7=0 damage]. It rears up high on its hind 'legs', taking the elf by surprise. She thrusts her sword upwards at the last instant, catching the 'horn' in the crossguard, before it can pierce her neck through the centre. It grazes her ever so slightly, but the flesh it touches comes away as if shredded by a fistful of razors, leaving her cheek and halfway down her neck a raw and bleeding mass of tissue. [It rolled a Special success; her parry succeeded, reducing it to a normal hit. 1d8+2=6 damage to the head drops her to 10hp (2hp left in the location).]

[Round 3]
Lycinia's rage redoubles with the shock of pain, and she wheels her blade round the horn, plunging the tip into the beast's own head. This time it bites deep, and the creature flickers and contorts as the silvery sword passes deep within it. [01, Critical hit. 9 (maximum) damage, ignoring armour, leaves it with 2hp.]

Its feeble riposte is easily blocked.

[Rounds 4-6]
The two begin to dance back and forth. Lycinia gets a couple hits in, but her blade cannot find another weak spot. The creature's attacks are fierce, but the elf's swordsmanship saves her from harm.

[Round 7]
Lycinia finally starts to really feel the sting in her face, and with the distraction comes her first real mistake. An inelegant uppercut goes well wide of the mark [miss], and she can't bring her blade back down in time as the thing ducks in low [hit, parry fails]. The 'horn' scrapes across Lycinia's thigh right above the knee. The stiff leather of her trews is shredded by the coursing energy, and her skin beneath comes away in a red arc. [1d8+2=4 damage to the right leg. 2AP (stiff leather) reduces it to 2 points, leaving her with 8hp (6 in the leg).]

[Round 8]
She's angrier at herself than at it, though the shriek she gives out carries enough spite for them both. Her sword cuts in a vicious arc, slashing right through the beast. [hits, (1d8+1=)9-7=2 damage, disrupted (0hp)] It loses all cohesion, and flickers into nothingness even as Lycinia's next stroke passes through the empty space where it had just now been.

Realising she's vanquished the unearthly creature, Lycinia pauses to take stock of her injuries. Her leg she can probably bind; the wound is mostly superficial. Her face and neck are another matter entirely. She fishes the silver mirror out of her pack to get a look at the damage, and utters a most un-princessly oath when she sees the extent of it. She presses the cloth of her tabard against it to try to stop the bleeding, but she's fairly certain that only magic could repair such an injury. [I ruled that the unusual nature of the damage would require a Difficult roll against Physik (23/2=12%) for first aid; she didn't make either roll.]

When she finally turns her attention to the room, she finds that the monster has destroyed most of the furnishings in the room -- everything, in fact, that was not made of metal. An black iron coffer is the only interesting item which remains. Lycinia opens it, and is rewarded by the glitter of coins in her torchlight. She spills it out onto the floor, and amongst the coins finds a few chain necklaces. These she pockets, and is about to leave the rest when she realises she may soon need to pay a healer to fix her torn face. She digs through the pile and extracts all the gold (10gp) and a handful of silver (20sp) before leaving the rest upon the cold stone floor.

[the monster was TF15,  + 1d4x10=30, for a total Treasure factor of 45: 344cp, 783sp, 10gp, costume jewellery (32sp).]

Lycinia examines the room. The walls are dry, bare stone, any mould having long since been reduced to dust by the creature's strange emanations. She finds another iron door set into the north wall. She is about to open it, but...

[Challenge: POW (difficult) reveals Spell Lore (normal)

Difficult POW ((12x5)/2= 30%): d%=30 exactly]

...just as her fingertips are about to touch the metal, she feels a wave of cold energy chill her soul.

[Spell Lore (47%): d%=18, success.

d20 random trap (CR10) from donjon (link), using the first magical result

Energy Drain Trap: Energy Drain, 17th level wizard, 2d4 negative levels for 24 hours, DC 23 Fort save negates

So, match POW vs. 17 on the Resistance Table or take 2D4 damage, and for 24 hours suffer a penalty of (damage x5%) to all skill rolls.

and out of curiosity--
Q: Is it a false door? Likely (3+): O1 C7 - No.]

Lycinia knows not to touch the door in any way, not even with a 10' pole (were she the sort of elf to carry such an item), lest it wrench her very spirit from her body. And since she lacks appropriate measures of a magical sort, she decides to turn back and return to the corridor. But as she crosses the room, her torchlight reveals a third iron door, in the south eastern corner.

She puts her hand as close to the door as she dare, and only tries the door once she is absolutely certain the chill she feels is just cold metal, and not another life-draining enchantment.

The door opens into a 20' square room [Room 15. - Skill Challenge & Treasure]. In the exact centre of the floor sits a small wooden chest, round which someone has taken the effort to inscribe an intricate magic circle in blue, green, and white pigments.

[Challenge: Spell Lore  (+10%) - separate from - Read/Write Other (easy)]

Lycinia studies the design for a few moments, but it's like none she's ever encountered in her years of study [Spell Lore (47+10=57%): 77]. She decides to leave it alone. Above the door in the south-western corner she spots [Spot Hidden] a series of incised lines, which she recognises as the Ogham of the hill folk. Their tongue is otherwise unknown to her, so she begins the recitation of the charm which will make it plain.

[Slowly (+1 round) casting Comprehend Languages (36+16*=52%): first roll fails (-1MP), her second go is a success (also  costing 1MP)

* should be +INT / 5 dex ranks (+48%!)... oops.]

As the magic eddies round her, the words of the inscription coalesce in her mind: "Disturb not the rest of the dead". [Mythic: find / Ghost]

Lycinia decides to leave by the other door. Beyond it, a passage leads off into the darkness. She advances down it cautiously, wondering when --if ever-- her torchlight will reveal the end. She comes to a wooden door set into the wall, and decides that, rather than continuing in to the endless dark, she should see what lies beyond.

[Room 16. - Skill Challenge only

Challenge: either/or
Blasphemous Lore (+10% = 23%)
Religious Lore (Easy: 8x2=16%)

Blasphemous Lore it is: d%=21, success!]

The room once served as the sewer-workers' shrine to the earth goddess. A motley assortment of benches are laid out in rude imitation of the more grand churches of the surface world. The altar is of simple bricks, though the goddess' image is fashioned from good marble. These both have been recently defaced, bearing the marks of claws or perhaps swords, and all over scrawled with the insignia of the Mother of Carrion in red paint.

Lycinia had intended to avoid the altar of a human goddess on principle, and seeing the defilement only increases the distance she walks round it. She finds and iron door leading to the south, but [Idea roll (80%) succeeds] recognises it as the door bearing the life-draining enchantment. Everything about this room makes her skin crawl, and she hastens back into the long, dark corridor.

Next post: the dungeon continues