Our Cast of Characters:
Marthanes the Summoner, (level 4 Mage)
Tancrede, a level 4 cleric of Typhon (henchman)
Wulfengard,a level 4 dwarf fighter
Drev, a level 5 bard
Bud, a level 3 dwarven cleric
Bart, a level 4 fighter
Mumford, a level 3 fighter
Malthena, a level 3 thief (henchman)
Arethusa, Mage 3
Kawku, Mystic 2
I just finished some course work for my master's degree, and have the chance to get caught up on some blogging. I'm way behind on game reports, but had this partially written (and unposted) from a month or so back.
A few game sessions ago, the players had ascended to explore a hidden level in Dwimmermount, the level 0 "Divinitarium". It seems targeted at 6th level characters, and they're level 4, so there was a lot of fleeing and dying. But the players escaped with a treasure trove of lost works describing the secret origins of the gods of Dwimmermount. While the players shifted back to exploring level 4, they were reading the books on the side, so I gave them another chunk of Dwimmermount's 'secret history' at the start of this game, representing the results of reading in between sessions. They learned the gods were golem-like servitors created by "the Ancients" to channel divine power; over time, their metallic exoskeletons grew and the gods blasted off for orbit. I picture them like Marvel's Celestials. In time, all knowledge that the gods were originally man's creations was lost, and they were worshipped as divine beings . These are major revelations! But the sources were suspect, so one of the main characters, Marthanes, began to wish for more scholarly works with similar information… and this search for knowledge would drive the action in this next game session.
Last time out they allied with some wererats on level 4, and assaulted many of the wererats' enemies among the minotaurs, including the Minotaur King. The first thing the players did this session was to guide the wererats out of level 4. Their dialogue with the rats involved forming an alliance, and then educating them about the surface world, since the tribe had been trapped in Dwimmermount for 200 years. The players agreed to get the wererats en masse to the city of Adamas so they could infiltrate the underworld and become wererat gangsters. (One scene had the pirate Drev flying to Adamas on his magic carpet, surrounded by a dozen wererats in rat form, like some Pied Piper in reverse).
The players also gave part of their library of Dwimmermount books to the Seekers, which they'll rue by next game, and we also did the typical morale rolls for henchmen in between adventures. They had a guy named "Sloth the Mook" who decided it was time to head out on his own… partially because his patron was Wulfengard, who has a 5 Charisma. A new PC joined the group in Muntburg, a monk named "Kwaku the Mystic", taking the place of Utor, the elf enchanter PC who died last game when he became a slime zombie.
After sufficient "town time", the players returned to Level 4. From the wererats, they knew about a library on level 4, and another library on level 5 (but fiercely guarded). They decided these two libraries made good targets for the night's adventures.
On level 4, the players first encountered a "cloning chamber". Picture a mad scientist's laboratory with two capsules, one for the source character, and one where the clone would be created. Arethusa, the ancient mage they freed from stasis, knew how to work the chamber, and Wulfengard immediately volunteered to become cloned. Right before flipping the switch, they noticed a fly buzzing around the chamber with Wulfengard! The younger players had never seen the horror movie, "The Fly", so they don't know how close they were to cloning a hybrid blood-sucking fly-dwarf monster. Instead they got a level 1 clone of Wulfengard.
The real comedy started when they found a nearby 'alteration chamber' and Wulfengard agreed to put his Wulfen-clone in the bed for some alterations. In short order, the Wulfen-clone was turned into a dwarf woman, then she was turned blue, a smurf, but eventually had her color changed to a deep brown. Keep in mind, there are no female dwarves on the world of Telluria - all dwarves are made male, so the Wulfen-clone is pretty unique as the world's only(?) female dwarf. I laughed for 5 minutes when she got turned blue and I realized they made the world's first Smurfette. But the player got very upset at the notion of playing Smurfette, demanding that the folks controlling the alteration table give it one more spin, and was happy when his dwarf lady got turned brown instead. After a series of attempted names - Wulfen-mook, Wulfen-clone, Wulf Jr. Wulf-Daughter, Mini-Me, and Baby-Garden, he settled on Baby G for the new character. She would go on to be generated as a level 1 dwarven barbarian - the alterations of gender and color changed the cloning process so her attributes could vary a little from Wulfengard, and barbarian fits her bad attitude.
Game 19 concluded with a massive battle. The players found the stairs down to level 5 and discovered the Great Library, a location they learned about from the wererats. Unfortunately, it was the lair of a powerful demon and a horde of manes demons. The demon was one of those ultra-magical Type 6 Marilith types with a massive armor class (AC 15 in ACKS terms) which meant most players needed a 23 or higher to hit. However, the simplified conversions in Dwimmermount didn't include Magic Resistance, and that was decisive. The players had two magic users with multiple Magic Missile spells, including a Wand of Magic Missiles, and they were able to take down the demon through magic. Along the way, the demon kept cloaking the players in Darkness, with clerics using Light spells to try and cancel pockets of darkness. Wulfengard, Bart, and Mumford were all dropped by the demon, and Mumford and Bart were badly injured - their adventuring days were over, barring Restore Life and Limb.
Level 5 and 6 of Dwimmermount is where the players start running into really tough fights; I need to keep my eyes open to see if anyone else is running into those areas as well. I'm way behind on game reports due to work and school priorities, although we've still kept playing every few weeks; for instance, we just ran game 28 even though I'm only reporting game 19. I may just compile a bunch of capsule reviews and try to get caught up before the next summer courses kick in. Over halfway to my Master's degree, only about 5 more months to go.