Game session of 8 January 2010
Clem - Human Mutie (Henry)
Clyde - Human Mutie (Henry)
Max Plissken - Normal Human (Nikos)
Marcus Truman - Normal Human (JY)
Zed - Human Mutie (Doc Ben-g)
Albus - Human Mutie (Doc Ben-g)
Spielmeister - deranged Mutant Lord
After succesfully defeating the buggems in Jeffton, our heroes return to Sanly Bowitts for a few days of rest and recreation. Based in their old hangout, the Strontium Ninety Inn, they indulge in rumor mongering and gossip to get a feel of the local state of affairs.
Amongst the things learned after guzzling dozens of drinks in the bar are the following:
1. Stories of a great and powerful wizard who has set himself up in the Iron Fortress. The latter is said to be an ancient citadel somewhere up north just short of the Barrier Peaks.
2.Mysterious disappearances from outlying villages to the south of Sanly Bowitts have increased. It is said that recent slaver activity from the southern desert is responsible for such disappearances.
3. Horrifying tales of golden statues attacking merchant caravans and travelers of the wasteland near the lake area are spreading. It is still not known what these golden statues are, or where they came from. The militia though, has recently taken an interest in this matter.
Led by Max, our adventurers pay a visit to the town's University, in the hopes of seeking sagacious advice from its leaders. They eventually gain admittance and befriend Oric, an apprentice to the Sage Melfis. After disclosing their identity as those who earlier made a generous donation to the University in the form of a carcass of giant reptile, Apprentice Oric identifies some of the more sundry items they retrieved from their past travels.
ML's note: Much to Oric's (and the ML's) amusement on such item was a miscellaneous pouch containing sterile syringes no-one could figure out how to open. Oric easily pulled the tab of the pouch's zipper thus opening the item for all to see. Nonetheless, all this lighthearted roleplaying was a a lot of fun for everyone after a toxic week at work.
They managed to gain audience to two of the University's sages - the Excellencies Melfis and Ultan. They were bid to return to the University in a few days as Master Melfis expects to have a proposal to make to them at that time.
With this, the group stocked up on provisions and munitions and hitched their trusty wagon as they headed out into the wilds. It was previously agreed that the party will now return to the Mine of the Brain Lashers with a view towards retrieving the functioning Regneration Tank they left behind in a previous adventure.
After crossing the Lesser Azure river north of the fortified town, the party proceeded north on a dirt track. It is end of summer and the journey to the north was most agreeable and peaceful for the most part.
ML's note: I kept getting negative rolls on my random encounter charts so most of the land travel was uneventful. That is, until....
The beginning of the third day in the wasteland found the party what became a familiar stretch of desert west of the Poison Forest. Save for the waves of midday heat and a lignering nausea for Zed and Albus, the party now finds themselves nearer to the riverside entrance of the Mine.
ML's note: Eventually, my players figured out they were at the smaller tributary of the Lesser Azure, a part of which was radioactive desert which took a toll on the party in Episode Two.
Just at this point, Clyde alerts the rest when he sees four sinister giant scorpions advancing upon them. The party lets loose with a fusilade of bolts, a few bullets and the Plasma Pistol now being fired by Zed. Three a killed before they could come to grips with the adventurers. Max recognizes the critters and yells that these are most dangerous beasts: one sting is enough to kill and unlucky adventurer!
ML's note: Earlier this week, I circulated a GM's assessment questionnaire to my players. One noteworthy response was my players' apperent fear and dislike for 'save or die attacks/traps'. Keeping this in mind, I decided to toss them a lifeline and make Max (the group's brainiest warrior)make an INT roll (which he succesfully made by a large margin). I then hinted to them (in very strong terms) that these scorpions had a 'save or die sting'.
Surprisingly, perhaps my players chose to conserve ammo (even if each one had a gun to fire by this point) and use crossbow bolts instead. They soon realized that crossbows weren't that effective against AC2 giant scorpions. Thus it came to this:
The last scorpion closed in for the kill and pounced upon the hapless Clem. Although he already triggered his Damage Turning Mutation, this did not stop the poison from coursing through his veins after being struck by the scorpion's nasty sting. And right in front of his horrified mates, the intrepid Clem simply shuddered and... died.
As if this was not bad enough, the scorpion remained alive and pressed its attack -this time against a frantic Clyde. The unfortunate Clyde took the full force of the scorpion's stinger on his chest while frantically grabbing at the attacking critter. Once more, the poision proved too much, killing Clyde. By a stoke of irony, Clyde's Dermal Poison Slime also killed off his attacker. Clyde's dying rush at the scorpion smeared it in turn with the slime, whereupon it promptly died.
ML's note: This was a sudden reversal having two of the party's more potent Muties die suddenly from one remaining wounded critter that refused to die. Henry (who played both Muties) appeared to be in shock after losing both characters in the space of two melee rounds. I noticed thereafter that my players were more liberal in using their newly-acquired firepower.
At the end of the battle, the group is confronted by a grisly spectacle. Clyde lies dead, impaled by the scorpion's sting while clutching the likewise dead scorpion in a poisoned deathgrip.
With the loss of their much loved companions, the party pushed on to the north, finally coming upon the forested areas near the entrance to the Mine. Even as it was getting dark, everyone agreed to push on until they gain the lake outside the underground river's entrance to the Mine.
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