Kill Acererak 4: Dragonslayers & Lich-destroyers

Kill Acererak 4: Dragonslayers & Lich-destroyers

In which the Sigil 6 slay a Black Dragon and dissolve Acererak’s Soul Jar in the dragon’s acidic drool.

PIC: The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

TEXT: The Sigil 6 are in a nameless bog just east of the Free City of Greyhawk. They have made this journey to... KILL ACERERAK.

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

When the Sigil 6 gathered in Sigil to share a magical meal created by Shepherd, their Cleric, they had no way of knowing that this last merry meal would offer a magical effect, making them immune to fear effects, would make what could have been a difficult battle much easier.

They had no reason to know that Acererak had arranged to have Āeksio hen lōz Tegun (the King of the Swamp in Old Valyrian) lair in the archlich’s tomb so that any who came here to attempt to destroy its Soul Jar would have to contend with a dragon and its kobolds.

Aeksio hen lōz Tegun lasted 1.5 rounds. The Sigil 6 was on point. Crits were rolled, good decisions were made and the dragon’s kobold guards did not make it in time. Bugwump stuck the final blow, though he was reticent to take on any fancy titles like dragonslayer or the King of the Swamp.

Orune, their wizard friend from the Free City of Greyhawk, died in the battle. Shepherd raised dead, using a diamond from the dragon’s hoard. I asked Shepherd’s player to describe the hour-long ritual and he did so, offering vivid details. He described the diamond, placed on the wizard’s brow disappearing.

I said, “You can see a pale, ashen angel of death with black bone wings taking the diamond and putting it in a satchel, filled with such diamonds. From the satchel on its other hip, it took out Orune’s soul and put it back in his body. ‘We have watched you and your friends face down death time and time again. Know that from here on out your enemies will grow far more dangerous…’

“In-game, that totally happens. Out of game, I’m going to make an effort to make the combat encounters a bit more difficult. I’m not going to be a jerk about it but I’m going to try to raise up the challenge level a touch.”

I’ve asked some strategic minded friends to join a small FB group to help me brainstorm about these kinds of fighty encounters. I’m not frustrated the the players won. I wonder if I could have made some of these fight encounters a more fun challenge.

How are we counting up the dragon hoard? Like this:

Text:
	The coins you swept off the blood-stained floor coated with acid, pryed from the scales of the dragon's corpse and dragged out of the swamp are not only coins. They are a catalogue of civilizations destroyed by the dragon’s greed. Spending this kind of ancient coinage attracts attention. Your dreams have been strange since acquiring it, as if the dragon's arcane blood has seeped into the gold.
	When you spend money from the the Dragon's Hoard, tell the DM what you want to buy and in what marketplace you are trying to purchase this item. The DM will set a DC if it is possible to find such a thing in the marketplace. If not, the DM will let you know who the merchants' gossip networks say might have such an item or a map to a tomb where such an item could be found. If the item is common, the DM might just ask you to check off a gold coin or two (maybe three if it is really opulent) without a roll.
	When you roll, mark a gold piece off of the fortune below. You may add +1 for every gold piece you mark off of the fortune.
	If you succeed, you purchase the item without a problem.
	If you fail the roll the player may choose to take on the Dragon Greed:
•	Spending from a dragon's hoard puts one in touch with terrible greed. The character becomes obsessed with whatever they purchase.
Or the DM will choose one more more:
•	you draw attention from a dangerous faction
•	purchase an item/service that has a complication attached to it
•	the merchant demands an exchange of services, wanting the skills that adventurers are known to possess.
	1 Gold Coin = 1 month room & board in most cities for 6 adventurers.
	
Dragon Rampant and 10 rows of 4 gold coins to check off.

Next Game: The Sigil 6 will party, from the Free City of Greyhawk to Sigil and deal with some of the fallout of their amazing actions.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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Kill Acererak 3: Just South of the Cairn Hills

Kill Acererak 3: Just South of the Cairn Hills

In which the Sigil 6 get to the Free city of Greyhawk and purchase a flying carpet to head to the swamps south of the Cairn Hills.

PIC: The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

TEXT: The Sigil 6 are in a nameless bog just east of the Free City of Greyhawk. They have made this journey to... KILL ACERERAK.

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

They made solid rolls in getting out of the negacano, avoiding the 48 Days Later Frost Giants and the grasping undead hands. Gord the Rogue took them to a portal under a bridge that led to the Free City of Greyhawk. All they know is that in a swamp east of Greyhawk City is Acererak’s tomb – this is where they can destroy the lich’s Soul Jar.

Gord told them a bit about the Free City of Greyhawk…

The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

“Do you have any pterodactyls? Flying zebra? War Ravens? What is going on with this place?”

The Sigil 6 were not interested in hoofing it. They checked the harbor for flying ships and when they saw none they sought out other flying options.

They bought a flying carpet from a smug wizard from the Society of Magi for a small fortune from their Ravenloft Fortune. As they were leaving an earnest wizard who had had a run-in with a vampire wanted to know about the coin they used to purchase the carpet. Orune the young wizard hitched a ride with them. Everyone is trying to figure out, is Orune a Red Shirt or is he the survivor who shares the Sigil 6’s story with the world.

The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

A Roc came out of the clouds, grabbed a Froghemoth from the nearby swamp and fly northward to drop the creature against the hard rocks and eat the remains. They circled the skull hill within which was the Tomb of Horrors. One of the entrances was collapsed with adventurers’ corpses. There were discussions of using Rock to Mud to get into the tomb, digging until they hit a room. We had a few missing party members, so we decided to end there and start at the entrance to the tomb next week.

The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

Next Game: The Sigil 6 will enter the Tomb of Horrors.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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Burning Greyhawk, Comic Strip AP, Episode 6

archer-and-hawk

MP3

After Session Thoughts

I was hoping for some time to let the Range & Cover mechanics breath a bit, have some arrows and fireballs flying around the back-alleys of Greyhawk but the dice decided and death was swift.

Accererak is in the mix! I was excited when I heard that the Tomb of Horror‘s demi-lich was back in action in Tomb of Annihilation. This episode pre-dated that announcement by a few weeks.

Thanks again, Rich for the wonderful editing and playing.

What is Comic Strip AP?

Comic Strip AP started as a short, 10-15 minute actual play of Dungeon World at the end of every episode of Discern Realities. It is like sprint training for GM’s, really making me think about how I manage a 15 minute time range.

I wouldn’t want to play every game like this but it is a fun weekly exercise.

If you like this, you might like the Sorcerer game Rich and I played, where demons are buildings in New York City.

20151025_215411

 

Art

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Buteo Cooperii, California Hawk.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1860. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5741-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Franc-archer, archer de la garde : 1460.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1910. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-4971-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Burning Greyhawk, Comic Strip AP, Episode 5

Burning Greyhawk, Comic Strip AP, Episode 5

gloam circle

Episode 5

MP3

greyhawk-castle-border

Threads

Reading about Greyhawk in old school forums is kind of like reading about a religion with many different sects. I have found it fascinating and often inspiring.

Dragonsfoot: Talk to me about Gloams

In the Gord the Rogue books, specifically in City of Hawks, Gord travels to the Shadowplane and encounters evil beings known as “gloams”. The leader of these monsters, called Imprimus, is referred to as a vampire lich.

Does anyone know anything more definitive about Gloams and specifically Imprimus, such as a monster description and/or stats?

Dragonsfoot: About Vecna

Vecna’s not from Greyhawk.

Reddit: Greyhawk synopsis from the upcoming Tales of the Yawning Portal

Greyhawk, the pinnacle of D&D settings, is reduced to a few blurbs here and there in WotC’s new supplements.

Sad state of affairs, really.

greyhawk-castle-border

NPC’s

Mavis, Tanday the Gloam-walker’s apprentice

Harkhim, Tanday the Gloam-walker’s lost apprentice

greyhawk-castle-border

Art

Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Diagram of an eclipse of the sun, with the moon casting a shadow cone.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1260. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e574-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
British Library. “Castles and their Heroes…With Illustrations, etc” British Library Flickr. 1891. https://flic.kr/p/hWA5wk
Burning Greyhawk, Comic Strip AP, episodes 3 & 4

Burning Greyhawk, Comic Strip AP, episodes 3 & 4

Copy of Greyhawk

Episode 3

MP3

greyhawk-castle-border

Episode 4

MP3

greyhawk-castle-border

NPC’s

Gazer of Homlet is played by Felicia Pearson

Kieren Jalucian is played by Rami Malek

Tanday the Gloam-walker is played by Forest Whitaker

greyhawk-castle-border

Thoughts

One thing I’m looking for in between episodes is how much freedom I have as a GM to frame the scene. Did we end on a cliffhanger that means we have to start in the very next moment? Was Rich taking his character into motion, going about the next item on his task list? Is there a way I can prod at a bunch of beliefs all at once? Is there a consequence to an action that should hit the table?