Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror ~ 04.07.13

(Note: Oh holy crap. Running for the 3rd time in public - and this time for 8 people, 3 of whom are prior GM's of mine. No pressure.)

Bjorn Bloodshield: Warrior/2
Larry Lightfingers: Thief/2
Groot the Pious: Cleric/3
Gappa: Cleric/2
Elec: Elf/2
Tim: Wizard/3
Bash the Mighty: Warrior/2
Silent Cal: Halfling/3

The last wizard got fried (to put it lightly) the last time Bjorn and Groot got together. So, before they could go e'splorin' further, they thought it best to find some more able bodies...and another wizard...although they may not mention what happened to poor Viktor.

They find Tim.  Tim jumps at the chance to join them.  Tim even has something he'd been looking into: Dellspero the Philosopher had long ago relocated his own workshop to an underground location, and Tim yearned to check it out.  The fact that it may have once been a temple of Chaos lords was unimportant, really...as was the fact that the earthquake burying the area in rubble was probably caused by the Chaos entities themselves in revenge for Dellspero's creation(s) within their depths.

The party chooses to enter from the east, which brings them in directly before the store room, and Bjorn and Larry investigated the hidden alchemical stores. Bash the Mighty barges in and insists on tying the Golden Balloon of Dallspero to his wrist. The vials of a glittering, opalescent liquid are taken for further research.

Then they stumble upon the boneless leech-rats. While these are large and scary -- Tim and Elec immediately Enlarge Bash the Mighty Balloon Holder and Bjorn to protect them, with some hilarious effects -- they are truly ineffectual lumps of flesh that are squished out easily (1 HP each).  The things keep coming out round after round and the party runs in circles around the chamber, stomping as they go.

The moment the coast is clear, they flee into what appeared to be an alcove.  After discerning that the pearly liquid dripping from the barnacle-like growth from the ceiling is similar to that found in the store room, Elec manages to destroy the growth and withstood minimal effects from the fluid. The candles by the statues on either side, however, stymie everyone for quite some time. [This room took up over an hour of play time.] Casting Detect Evil finds nothing. The numbers of candles near the male and female statues are uneven, so they move them around. The candles are all the same color, so now they're mixed. Larry lights what turns out to be a candle of the silver flame. When no visible effect besides the flame itself manifests, he lets it burn down. Elec illuminates a candle of the dark flame, which swallows that side of the room in blackness, and he succumbs to the immediate feeling of bleakness. Gappa splashes a vial of holy water over the candle to extinguish it...and someone bags the rest of the candles (again, all mixed up now).

The "enhanced" boneless leech-rats that greet them afterward are a bit of a surprise, and manage to do a little damage before Silent Cal discovers the crawlspace to the hidden shrine. He comes back for religious reinforcement after finding a skull and a pair of shinbones on an altar in there. Gappa calls upon his deity using Second Sight, and makes the well-informed decision to destroy the remains -- granting him a permanent +1 to his Luck.

At this point, both northward passages the party has found are blocked with rubble from the earthquake, and will take a good deal of time to clear. They elect to go back toward the east, where the hallway is a little more stable. This, of course, leads directly to the grand hall cut in half by the giant rift filled with nacreous fluid -- which looks very much like that they've already collected -- and the home to the Dancing Horror. Unsurprisingly, the wizards join in Enlarging party members: Bjorn, Bash the Mighty Giant Unburned Balloon Holder, and Silent Cal, the halfling -- who is suddenly three times his size for three days -- and the party concentrates their efforts on dismantling the undead horror (Cal trips once while getting used to his new stature). Elec fails twice in a row when attempting to cast Sleep. The Horror doles out a bit of damage, but nothing special.  Groot gets the glory of the killing blow....and first dibs on dodging the explosion of ichor that showers down on everyone in the area.

The resulting Hoardling forms slowly, as to not be noticed while everyone continues the brazen expedition of this former temple.

Biting spiders in the adjacent rooms? No threat. The Hoardling who's shuffled off to the old crypt in search of more bones? Anticlimactic. Examining books briefly but not taking them for future perusal? Too bad for them.  Leech rats under the bed? Jumbo-Bjorn and the clerics break the bed. In fact, the rest of the dungeon is primarily a hurried treasure hunt with little regard for further obstacles.  Even the little tin soldiers who stand guard over the Fellblade of Dellspero are nothing more than nuisances, especially when nobody fails the Will save for the room's Confusion effect. Miraculously, Bash managed to keep the Golden Balloon intact until a tin soldier jumps off a shelf toward it.

[If I run this again in the future, I may block off passage via the route they took, to ensure they visit certain areas first and make sure they get the most out of this entertaining module. Wish such a large group, it was difficult to move them along with their repeated investigations of the shrine candles, and the resulting time crunch meant they missed over 100 GP in loot.]

"Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror", Daniel Bishop / Purple Duck Games

Post-adventure math
Bjorn Bloodshield: +12 XP
Groot the Pious: +13 XP
Gappa: +13 XP, +1 Luck
Elec: +13 XP
Silent Cal: +13 XP
Larry Lightfingers: +13 XP
Tim: +13 XP
Bash the Mighty/Giant/Unburned: +13 XP, +1 Luck

LOOT: 3 vials of nacreous fluid / 6 yellow candles (2 silver / 4 dark flame, indistinguishable from each other before lighting) / small jade statuette of wood nymph (50 GP) / set of horn spoons (12 CP) / silver candelabra (15 GP) / gold & ruby bracelet (250 GP) / Fellblade of Dellspero: +1 lawful two-handed sword, Int 8 (Empathy), SP: Jail the Guilty; Detect Water 40' radius, +4 Strength to wielder


  1. I'm glad you had fun with the adventure.

  2. Oh, definitely! Dave Przbyla was also at the table - just a week before The Waystation came out. He was very sneaky about it!