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Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Twenty idiots with more greed than sense. rss

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Kevin
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Into The Outdoors With Goat and Pitchfork

Last night started off our DCC campaign. The GM let us know:

- this is going to be a megadungeon type of thing.
- this is going to be a sandbox, so it is (in theory) possible to run into things which are way over our ability to deal with.

Those two things sound awesome to me. There were five players including myself. We did the traditional funnel of four 0-level characters apiece, so twenty PCs. They were the usual motley assortment. I don't remember everyone's of course, but there were a few demihumans, a blacksmith, a cutpurse, etc.

("What kind of names are you looking for?" asked one of the players. "Whatever," said the GM, "just nothing silly." "Okay," the player replies, and promptly names his characters Huey, Louie, Dewey, and Donald. Another player immediately names his characters Peter, Gene, Paul, and Ace. I think the GM decided to pick his battles.)

Mine were:

- A dwarven ratcatcher with 8 Strength and 4 Agility, which is a -1 to hit and damage, and a -2 to AC. Obviously not long for this world.
- A radish farmer with a pitchfork and a pet goat.
- A scribe with a dart. He rolled an 18 Luck! The only one in the party with an 18 anything; the next highest stat was a 16. For his birth auger, he also gets a +3 to all saving throws. SCORE.
- A gravedigger with a shovel.

We are (all 20 of us) members of an impoverished rural community, facing hardscrabble lives of despair, drudgery, desperation and toil. The game starts with a visitor from far-off lands: a herald from some noble muckity-muck announcing that there are rumors of an ancient and enchanted war-banner, and anyone who finds it will get a reward of 200 gold! This is more money than any of us have ever seen. Of course we couldn't spend it in town, since no one could afford to make change, but still.

The banner is rumored to be up in the old haunted fortress several miles out of town. All 20 of us decide we will go check it out, for fame, glory, and a chance to escape our miserable lives. The herald, as an afterthought seemingly, mentions that there is a standing bounty on bandits, 1gp each. Now this is something we can get behind, having been repeatedly despoiled by the bandits over the past several years.

We travel up the overgrown path for a few hours until we catch sight of the fortress. It's up on a mesa. The only path is a winding series of switchbacks. Or we could try scaling the cliff, but 20 0-level characters with 1d4 HP, making climb checks, sounds like a great way to have 75% of the party lie in a broken heap at the foot of the mesa. While we are contemplating, we hear a series of hoofbeats coming from the direction of the fortress! We all dive into the undergrowth. Soon, a group of six horsemen thunder down the path. They are presumably the bandits, wearing leather armor and wielding shortswords, so we are totally outclassed. They ride past us and disappear in the direction of town.

Debating how to deal with this, we eventually decide to make some traps for the bandits on their return. We dig some shallow pits, cover them with branches, and then lay some rope across, ready to be pulled taut and dehorse the riders.

It takes us a couple of hours but we eventually get everything ready. Our elven forester, who was up in a tree, alerts us that the riders are returning. We wait until the last minute, then pull the ropes! The horses stumble into the pits. Some of them go down. The others rear. Some riders fall, one dies. A general rush and melee. My dwarven ratcatcher actually does something good, by throwing his net at a rider. We eventually finish them off. I think we managed to escape without fatalities.

We capture one of them alive, and notice that he (and the other bandits) all have a curious tattoo of a flaming serpent on their right arm. One of the halflings realizes that this would be a great way to collect the bounty, so he starts cutting the tattoos off and putting them in a sack. My gravedigger starts to interrogate the prisoner:

"What's your name?"

"Torin."

"How many of you are up in the fortress?"

"I'm the only Torin up in the fortress."

Oh, a wise guy, eh? I tell the halfling to start cutting his tattoo off. The halfling obliges, and does 1 HP of damage to Torin, which kills him and ends the interrogation.

By this time it is dark and pouring rain has started to fall. Do we go back to town and regroup, or not? We decide that we will press onward and impersonate the returning bandits. Six of the humans don the leather armor and cloaks, and we all ascend the path, leading the horses by their bridles.

Coming up to the gate, we see that the outer wall is a little crumbly but still intact. There is a broken portcullis lying off to the side, which used to cover an archway going through the wall into the courtyard. On the other side of the archway is an intact portcullis, and we see murder holes in the ceiling. Torchlight and low voices drift over the wall. "Hey," the gravedigger says. "It's Torin, open up. We have bacon!"

The greedy guards excitedly raise the inner portcullis and the six disguised humans pass through. The rest of the part hides outside the outer wall. Luckily rain helps to obscure our faces. "That's a lot of loot," says a bandit, "You'll want to report that to Goresnatch." GORESNATCH?!? That is a really unfortunate name. No wonder he's a bad guy -- a boy named Sue ain't got nothin' on a boy named Goresnatch.

Anyway, once inside, we put a spike in the portcullis' chain, blocking it open. We set upon the bandits! A general melee ensues, with the rest of the party streaming in. We lose a few characters but are grimly victorious.

We hear sounds of feasting and partying coming from inside the castle area. A door off the courtyard has a holy symbol of law on it, which has been defaced and painted over with a really weird looking symbol that makes us feel sick and greasy when we look at it. We decide not to go through that door.

Inside the castle we poke around while avoiding the great hall. It's an abandoned castle; nothing looks too terribly unusual. We surprise one guy who was on the privy -- the farmer tries to run him through with his pitchfork but fumbles and runs the pitchfork into the wall, snapping it in half. Thus ends the party's best weapon. Fortunately the rest of the party made short work of him.

We finally rush the dining room. Luckily they were drunk, unarmed, and unarmored, so though we were almost outnumbered we killed them with only several fatalities.

Leaving, we have a debate over whether or not to open the last door. We decided to get everything ready to go, so we can run down the mountain with our baggage train of loot if it turns out to be the lair of Goresnatch, and he/she/it is as terrifying as suspected. One of us grabs a cauldron and stands on the parapet over the door -- perhaps Goresnatch is vulnerable to cold iron.

We open the door and Goresnatch comes out.

Goresnatch is humanoid, male, about ten feet tall. Purple skin, covered in large blisters. Each blister has a spike growing out of it. His eyes are flaming and smoking. About half the party starts sprinting down the mountain.

He is advancing quickly. In fact if we continue to hold back, he will be out of range of the man on the parapet with the cauldron. So, someone needs to step up and engage him in combat. We look around nervously.

Finally the dwarven ratcatcher hoists his net and his club, and sets his jaw firmly. He's had a lot of success slowing down various bandits with his net. He throws the net and misses wildly. Goresnatch swings a club and suddenly the dwarf's head isn't there any more.

The rest of the party starts retreating, covered by the archers. The arrows that hit stick in him briefly, then ooze back out the way they came and clatter to the ground. Cauldron man chucks the pot, which hits Goresnatch and actually knocks him down. More flights of arrows. More retreating. Goresnatch's club is winnowing the party like so much wheat for the scythe.

Finally one final arrow is launched into Goresnatch and he staggers, then explodes in a gout of blood and flame. The swirling clouds in the sky dissipate. We slowly, shockingly, make our way back to the fortress.

Some cleaning up and final exploration is done. Holy water is poured over a desecrated altar in Goresnatch's lair and the chaotic influence is lifted.

The eight survivors are now first level. Now what?

(For posterity, the next session is here.)

(For a complete list of our DCC adventures, please see Idiots Adventurous.)
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Jeremiah
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That sounded like a ton of fun, great write up!
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Brandon Holmes
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Enjoyed this and sounds like it will be a fun campaign.
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omnicrondelicious
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Loved it, sounds like great fun.

One quibble:
dysjunct wrote:
Oh, a wise guy, eh? I tell the halfling to start cutting his tattoo off. The halfling obliges, and does 1 HP of damage to Torin, which kills him and ends the interrogation.


Not a fan of DMs being overly literal with weapon damage and lethality. Common sense should have been applied here.
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Kevin
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I thought it was hilarious.
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Brandon Holmes
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omnicrondelicious wrote:

Not a fan of DMs being overly literal with weapon damage and lethality. Common sense should have been applied here.


Yeah this jumped out at me too. Definitely a questionable ruling on his part but we all make mistakes like this when we are DM'ing from time to time. Still sounds like a campaign I would gladly join though.
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Ryan Shellito
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no, not the Hollister on the tee shirts. that place does not exist.
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I bought DCC, and this session, more than anything else, has made me determined to get it to the table.
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Freelance Police
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Any chance of a post by your GM about designing zero-level adventures? I know TSR published one or two, but they're not the meat grinders DCC advocates.

As for the tattoo, the halfling's hand slipped and cut something important. Let's face it -- folks weren't that healthy those days.

What Goresnatch really should have attacked the villagers with: kittens.
http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=22903
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?252498-D-amp-D-Stat-the-...!
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Billy Compton
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That was epic! Keep the stories coming!

Can't wait till my local group gets going now.
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Kevin
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Sam and Max wrote:
Any chance of a post by your GM about designing zero-level adventures? I know TSR published one or two, but they're not the meat grinders DCC advocates.


I asked him and will pass on any design tips he supplies. Or maybe he'll make an account and post, who knows?
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Ryan Colby
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Sam and Max wrote:
Any chance of a post by your GM about designing zero-level adventures? I know TSR published one or two, but they're not the meat grinders DCC advocates.


Hello, Kevin passed on your request so I created an account and put my response here.

Let me know if there are any further questions.
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Ryan Colby
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bholmes4 wrote:
omnicrondelicious wrote:

Not a fan of DMs being overly literal with weapon damage and lethality. Common sense should have been applied here.


Yeah this jumped out at me too. Definitely a questionable ruling on his part but we all make mistakes like this when we are DM'ing from time to time. Still sounds like a campaign I would gladly join though.


What was omitted from the post above from Kevin was that this particular bandit had been beaten with a club, pulled from his horse by a net, and stabbed already. They had barely managed to wake him up to ask questions before the blood thirsty halfling (Who was not carefully removing his skin, I might add) started cutting into the arm as painfully as he could.
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