Free RPG Day Goodness from Goodman Games!
Tumare the Round - Cleric/2
Arrgo the Axe - Dwarf/2
Nederom - Dwarf/2
Ulfuric Stormcloak - Warrior/2
Spiffle Wonderkin - Halfling/2
Mephisto - Wizard/2
Phillip J. Smith - Thief/2
The group gathers after a long, hard, dirty adventure that's netted them zero treasure. They wearily head back into their hometown, grumbling and dragging themselves to the pub for a much-needed fortified beverage to lift their spirits. The villagers they greet along the way scuttle out their way, muttering about a "bearded star" or scream crazily in their faces about abominations and plagues and the end of days. Now they really need that drink. But before they can relax in the pub, a trio of woodcutters burst in breathlessly, pointing toward the weird ray of light pointing skyward from a tower of some sort that just .... appeared in the forest earlier today. The beam is easily confirmed, even in daylight, but having been burned by the last expedition, the party holds out until the local constabulary offers a grand total of 50 GP for the services of investigating the weirdness -- and hopefully ridding the village of any issues that may arise from it.
They beeline for the beacon, but are interrupted by a wide, dark lake. "This was just a forest yesterday, right?" The jagged, glossy black stones making up the beach are mistaken for black diamonds and collected for later trade. They make their way around and quickly find the largest blister-like opening of the tower/structure before them. The odd, organic appearance of the tower doesn't deter them much; in fact, the swirling thunderheads above encourage them to find a way to plunge inside. (Or, rather, "permeate" - but that was declared a bad word by the wizard.)
The prehistoric atmosphere makes them cautious but does not heighten their awareness of their surroundings, and they are quickly jumped by the pair of Green Spitters in the Arboretum. Much "amok" ensues and Ulfuric is the only one landing blows until Mephisto steps in with Color Spray. Not about to go home empty-handed this time, Phillip frees 4 teeth from one of the spitters, as they're certainly rare goods. Tumare's deity disagrees with his desire to heal his cohorts...repeatedly.
Of course this skirmish gives the Ape-men above a heads-up, so there is no breather when the party emerges from the ramp onto the next level. Mephisto Enlarges Ulfuric to two times his size, evening the fight considerably. The Cerebraleeches only succeed in stunning Tumare, which seems fitting. Arrgo and Nederom make a good team, with Spiffle sliding in to dispatch the primates by hitting them in their "ape-ly bits". Phillip....not so good. When all is finally settled...
Tumare: "I'm gonna try to heal the thief."
Phillip: "Oh crap!"
When they discover the Antehuman pen, Mephisto comes to the rescue with Comprehend Languages. I'm still not sure if they were being kind or chaotic by setting the Antehumans free, directing them toward the village.
Climbing up to the next level, the foodstuffs are bypassed (especially after looking at the raw meat swarming with flies that the apes had been munching on) as are the caged rodents. While the party discusses keeping the rat-like things as pets -- or bringing them back for the Antehumans as pets -- H'lisk's voice sounds. The party is disrespectful as a whole, resulting in radio silence as the Sibilant Wonder proceeds to attempt to arm himself with protective spells -- and fails/loses every single one. Phillip and Spiffle rush up the next ramp -- the one time Phillip doesn't check for traps -- and trigger the rampway trap. Little Spiffle takes the brunt of the explosive damage. The door at the bottom of the ramp now weakened, Ulfuric (still twice his size) muscles it out of the way. They're stuck by the door at the top of the ramp long enough to arm the electric charge [due to time concerns, I put the door puzzle at the end of the trapped rampway to make sure we'd get to use the fun tiles posted here] and Ulfuric howls in pain as he insists on bashing through that door too (finally succeeding).
The standoff in the beacon chamber with H'lisk is embarrassingly brief. Not a single spell goes off for the poor snake-dude. The ape-men do a bit more damage, but the group's combat strategy is pretty sound. Once no foes remain, their first goal is to deactivate the beacon. Tubes are pulled from the three Antehumans, killing each instantly. No heed is paid to the strange, fleshy bladder-like contraption against the wall, for better or for worse.
The serpentine-lined door already used, the final chamber is easy to enter, and the Giant Trilobites (I found this as a reference) delay the party only momentarily before they get to ransack for any remaining loot. Not sure what else to do with this structure (see above re: ignoring the fleshy contraption), they snag the gold and call it a day, limping back to town as fast as they can in hopes of finding someone besides Tumare to heal them. Toward the opposite end of the forest, they hear a mechanized hum as the void-craft misses its target by a few miles.
"The Tower Out of Time", Michael Curtis / Goodman Games
No post-adventure math this time around... definitely one-shot characters.