Friday, November 18, 2011

Gothic Greyhawk, Game Report 47 - Ravenloft Finale

Cast of Characters:
Mordecai, a Cleric-6: Adam
Forlorn, an Elf-5 (1): Bo
Mister Moore, Magic User-6: Mike
Shy, a Fighter-6 (3):  JR
Leonidas the Paladin-5:  Nogal
Digit, the Elf Thief-6:  Z
Konstantine, Magic User-4: Smitty

Henchmen:
Phat Kobra, a Dwarf-5
Grumble the Smug, Halfling-5 (3)
Donavich, Cleric-4
Boris, Druid-1
Gregor, Ranger-1

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AD&D 1E, I6 Ravenloft
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Boba Fett died like a chump, Darth Maul got chopped in half while gloating, and Strahd got wasted by Dispel Evil before rolling a single attack die in his own moment of truth.  No matter, the surviving vampires in Castle Ravenloft have been able to wage a guerilla war against the invading adventurers, dragging the module on for… 6 months!  And now it's finally over.

The important part of the session began when the group started sweeping the southern crypts the following day; the Paladin would pause momentarily before each crypt, and use his Detect Evil to determine if there was evil dead lurking on the far side.  After detecting an evil presence behind one of the first new crypt doors, the noisy group spent time discussing what to do right there in the hall, then decided to finish sweeping the long line of crypts in the current passage.  By the time they finished the sweep, the evil presence was gone from the other side of the crypt; this caused no small amount of consternation.

While they groused about this turn of events, the ranger, Gregor, noticed the sound of bats, skittering and moving along the ceiling, just to the edge of the party's globe of continual light.  "This can't be good".  The druid cast Speak with Animals and learned the evil ones were forcing the bats to move in on the characters - there were hundreds of them just beyond the light, waiting for the signal.

The Paladin felt the evil presences closing in.  "That's right outside the door!  Man, this is a big fracking signal.  They're in the room with us".  Copious Aliens quotes as the Paladin detected multiple evil presences moving into attack position just outside the light sphere.

The decisive moment went like this:  the characters knew that once the bats attacked, they wouldn't be able to cast spells because of the fluttering swarm.  Mordecai made a fateful decision to burn the Dispel Evil scroll (Dispel Evil creates a radius around the Cleric and lasts an entire turn).  The party made a crucial initiative roll, and won it over the incoming bats.  Mordecai cast the spell.

From multiple directions, vampires screamed out of the darkness baring fangs, but then they would hit the invisible globe of Dispel Evil and burst into flames.  Gertrude's skull rolled to rest near the character's feet, a pair of vampire fangs sticking out of the top jaw.  Top Hat Man's hat fluttered to the ground, the rest of his body reduced to ash.  Cheers from around the table as the vampires missed their Saves.  The last standing vampire was Helga, who got a shot in on Gregor (killing him), but who ended up fleeing the carnage in mist form.  The druid cast Faerie Fire on the fleeing cloud and the group followed it through the dark crypts back to the starting point - Helga's crypt was the first one they had found!  She was cornered and destroyed.  All the vampires left in Castle Ravenloft were part of the ambush, and they were all destroyed.  Total party win.

The only other battle worth mentioning involved clearing a demonic presence from one of the castle rooms.  After entering, it looked like a normal office, albeit with dark shadows beneath the furniture and bed.  Seriously dark shadows.  The Paladin concentrated… there - under the bed is the demonic presence.  Someone handed him the gold coin with a Continual Light spell on it, and he carefully rolled it under the bed from a safe distance.

Immediately, the bed exploded upward as a Shadow Demon burst upright, splintering the bed to avoid the cursed Continual Light.  The magic users called out spells, and the Paladin side-stepped, creating a clear path and jabbing at the Demon with his magic spear.  Mister Moore's Lightning Bolt had no effect on the inky monster, but the clerics had been sitting on Light spells and cast them at the creature's eyes.  (Unbeknownst to the players, Light spells do fireball damage to a Shadow Demon).  They watched in delight as it screamed in agony from the Light spells, and Leonidas quickly finished it with his spear.

That effectively ended combat operations in Castle Ravenloft; I don't mind "scooping" when the monsters are beaten, and there's no need to play out the details of bashing a few zombies skulking in closets and that kind of stuff.

When we resume, we'll be skipping a few months of game time to ensure all injuries are fully cleared, the winter will be waning down, and the group can start their next thing in the early spring.  They've been discussing options via email during the week.  So far it looks like they'll do a handful of mundane things in Barovia during the downtime, such as rebuilding the church, fixing up the castle, and patrolling the valley.  When the mountain passes clear, they'll send a group back to the dwarf hold of Stone Gate to open up trade, gather news about the lowlands, and then press on to find Mordecai's witch and have a reckoning.