Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Playtest Report: Magical Miscreants & The Curse of the Elf Whisper Part 3

Artwork from Dungeon Adventure Elf Whisper
Titanic Wizard Battles to follow.

We returned for the final segment of the adventure as the PC's were conversing with the Three Elven Sisters of Illumenine.  Not quite trusting what they were up to or believing that Illumenine was the one responsible for Ygwannach the following happened:

Lance:  "I cast Damning Silence after her last statement."
DM:  "The sisters glare at you but make no noise."
Aldehyde: "Hell with this I think we found the real culprits.  Blood for the Blood God!"
DM: "Your surprise attack (and subsequent critical) nearly slays one of the sisters.
Completely aghast the illusion on the other two fades away, the bodies of elder hags are revealed misshapen and foul, their mouths are frozen in agony but no sound yet escapes.  Between them they clutch a giant glass eye that seems to resonate with Lances Amulet."
Aldehyde: "If I play a Beholder will I find them beautiful?"


Lance casts Vaporize on Witches' shared eye.
Magical mishap occurs when blowing up the magic item 50/50 blind, affects witches.
Resonance cascade blows up eye-amulet in Lances possession.
Laments not throwing it like a grenade.
Aldehyde finishes off a sister.
Lance casts Haunt on the remaining two sisters.
The curse on Illumenine (their victim) cannot be broken by ordinary magics so a magical mishap occurs.
Instead remaining two hags haunted by their dead sister.
Lance proposes casting Ghostly Gatekeeper to permanently trap Sisters spirit in karmic revenge.
Aldehyde proposes casting Mirrored Dangers so the room is flooded with multiple haunting images of recently deceased sister.
Players are horrible people.

Spellcasting breaks earlier Damning Silence.  
One hag is a crying heap, the other is in a blood rage.
Casts Mime's Imprisonment on Aldehyde and Befuddled Train on Lance.
Both vastly exceed Saving Throws.
Another round of slashing death.
Wounded Crying Hag casts Pellucidity tries to sneak off.
Party hacks away at fleeing hag.
Monstrous hide turns aside mortal weapons for the turn.
Raging Hag Casts Strange Metamorphic Hex on Aldehyde
Another landslide Saving Throw
Chooses to assume the form of a Jaguar whose scent will track the invisibility.
Player's proceed to forget about invisible hag.
Invisible Hag proceeds to flank and get numerous free hits in on Lance.
DM forgets Witches have been blinded.
Jaguar Aldehyde casts Apparition's Armament summoning a ghostly naginata which rain poltergeist punishment from above, flanking with the visible hag.
Lance makes use of Cherubim Aegis to avoid sudden death from the Invisible Hag.
DM continues forgetting Witches have been blinded.


"Conan don't need no magic sword rule" continues to run roughshod over Hags otherworldly armor class.
Players are victorious.
Loot the rest of the empty cavern (due to mishap evacuation spell) find a magical hide armor, and two headed battle axe.
Also find Illumenine's harp over an acid bath, Whiskers of Whimsied Flight takes care of that.
Player's rest up and prepare for the inevitable ascent from mud-hovel where the entire dungeon contents is presumably waiting.
Fortunately, the dungeon contents were not very friendly with fragile alliance held together by Hag dominance.
Water elemental, Crocodiles, Sea Trolls, and Black Pudding do not survive the conflict.  Crafty Naga is the victor.
Naga surprises party on the way out.
Naga by Yoshitaka Amano

Party beats hasty retreat before casting (Aldehyde) Glyph of Paralysis and (Lance) Befuddling Beheader.
Not foolish enough to waltz into a trap the Naga taunts them from the other side and unleashes its own spells.
Double casts Audacious Whimsy to waltz out of the cave (Save Ignores) followed by Dracula Vision to come closer (Save also Ignores).
Aldehyde casts Mirrored Dangers of the pendulum guillotines.   
Naga casts  Occipital Tunnel of Consecutive Force
Laser vision proceeds to wipe out illusion and blasts party.  
Lance's Shield is splintered and uses Cherbim Aegis to save Aldehyde.
Naga follows that up with the Graviton Charm of Uninterrupted Attraction targeting Aldehyde and the oscillating guillotines.
Two can play at that game
Aldehyde casts Apparitions Armament, creating a ghostly battering ram.
Naga is hammered into into Guillotine Paralysis death trap.
Naga does not survive.
Party dines on roast Naga.

Party returns to Illumenine and breaks curse.  Ygwannach is summoned, the forest withers away as the blighted titan of shambling vines emerges.  
Not sure if DM is still awake, probably sleep talking.
Lance gets grappled but casts Holy Circle before being squished.
Unholy Ygwannach's desecration aura dispels the Holy Circle at the end of the round.
Lance casts Call of the Wild and summons an Elk to ineffectively eat the horrible plant monster.
Elk unsurprisingly gets the hell out of dodge.
Party resorts to hedge trimming.
Lance casts Befuddling Beheader on nearby tree.
Guillotines whirl horizontally in lazy arc of of bushwacking
DM rolls lots of dice blearily.  Party badly wounded.
Team water wizards regrets not choosing Fire.
Ygwannach is defeated.  Probably.  DM was clearly asleep those last five minutes.

Playtest Results
Setting Saving Throws equal to Caster Ability Scores encourages balanced characters but a weak stat guarantees an easy Saving Throw Success.
Proposed Solution: Roll a number of Intrepid Dice to create the number to be on Saving Throw as a substitution.
Monster Hide being mostly impervious to ordinary weapons is fairly successful.  "Conan Don't need no magic sword rule" easily circumvents it but I'm curious to see how it turns out in play when the party is exclusively wielding one-handed weapons who will then have to rely on Critical Hits.
If a monster is not given an armor class, but effectively has armor, i.e. Hag, Ygwannach, treat as if unarmored but without the ordinary bonus.
Rather than limit Holy Circle to simply undead, determine which monsters classify as unholy and prevent them from entering as such.  Ygwannach the corrupted forest guardian is not an undead-plant monster but can still be repelled (if only briefly)
Blind, Incorporeal and Invisibility all deserve another mechanic resolution.  Even and Odds are not compatible with the Rule of Three.
Invisibility refresh requires you to move.  Otherwise you will hamstring one-handed weapon damage.  Can auto-disengage while Invisible.
To avoid additional rolling or generating attack bonuses the Ghostly Weapon has become exclusively a flanking partner.
Nagas are ancient accomplished spellcasters.  They may cast twice in a round and wield powerful Arcana.  Nagas make for very tempting hunts for Wizards looking to expand their scroll collection.

Oh hell, DM forgot Double Weapons cannot counter-attack.