Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Killed the Party!!!

Killing the party is not always the best thing, some GMs have it out for the party from the get go, always looking for weak spots and testing the players. But I like to have adventures that everyone can enjoy without always looking over their shoulders. My mistake. My players have gotten sloppy, or maybe I never realized they were always sloppy, either way I had to teach them some basic lessons about dungeoneering and adventuring, and what better way to learn than through personal experience.

Lesson 1:
Don't touch the shiny thing til you know it's safe, and don't put it on until you know what it does.
I covered the second part of this basic tidbit of common sense, the first part I hope will not have to be taught after this.
The previous session the party had 'assisted' Firesh(the fire god Ignus's servant in the mortal realm) in slaying a swarm of Windwing Drakes, Firesh did most of the killing and took most of the hits. Firesh left, without them asking him any questions(a lesson for another day), and they entered the drakes lair. Without checking the surrounding cavern the party dove into splitting up the loot. I had been pretty frugal with treasure up until this point, mostly because the treasure chest tables and complete lists of 'things' were not finished. There was a lot of good stuff in the horde, a couple shields, some armour, a few accessories, and a lot of gil. They methodically went through everything and split it up, then went to the treasure chests and had a bit of fun there. Among the loot was a bronze bangle, the player who found it immediately put it on so that the other players wouldn't claim it. At that moment an ogre appeared in the cave, at least that is what it looked like to the rest of the party, who, as intelligent creatures, ran away. Craedon, the Gigantos character who put the bangle on saw his friends fleeing and quickly followed, as did the ogre. There was a little bit of running back and forth before the players decided to make a stand against the foul beast, and if one of the players wouldn't have rolled a 1 on their damage die the ogre/Craedon would have died. After seeing his friend attack him for real he screamed out, causing a bit of confusion and ultimately resolving the mistake and taking off the bangle, which ended the illusion.
It was difficult to pull off, but in the end everyone had a good laugh about it.

Lesson 2:
Don't run toward the treasure before first checking the room for danger.
I have tried to teach this one before with trap doors and the like, but I have never been so ruthless, I hope that is the key.
After returning to the cavern and collecting the horde, Kato a moomba character noticed a discrepancy in the cavern wall(an illusion placed there by Firesh to keep them out of the dangerous caverns beyond). But the moombas night vision and a high perception roll identified it. Together the party pushed through (at least they don't wander off alone anymore) and came to a joining cavern with a small pool fed by trickling water, and stalactites and stalagmites, and large mushrooms growing around the edges. The cavern continued into another passageway and Craedon noticed a shiny box in the torch-light. As usual he ran straight for it to claim it as his own, disturbing the mushrooms as he passed, awakening them from their slumber.
Now, in the videogame Fungars are not the most deadly monster to face, but when you look at it tactically, being able to put characters to sleep and poison them in one action is pretty deadly. I modified them for the P&P game, because of the grid they had a definite drawback for movement and range, spores can't float very fast, and inflicting 2 status ailments with one action could only be balanced 2 ways; 1 lowering the success rate, or 2 separating it into two actions. I chose the latter, here is the selection for the Fungar, the party faced 4 in total.

Fungar - Type: Plant/Fungi
Level 6

HP: 220 - MP: 30 - TN: 12 - Move: 2 - Jump: Na - Ini: 11
Str: 7 - Int: 11 - DmgR: 20 - M-DmgR: 30

Accuracy: 4k3
Evasion: 4k3
Perception: 4k3
Spellcasting: 4k4

Exp: 70 - AP: 4 - Gil: 50 - Drop: Sleep Powder- 15%
-Immune: [I]-Elem, Root, Sleep, Stun, Zombie.
-Weak: [F]-Elem- 50%, [A]-Elem- 20%.
-Poison Spores, Action: Radius 3. 40% chance to cause Poison. 4 Ticks.
-Sleep Spores, Action: Radius 3. 50% chance to cause Sleep. 4 Ticks.
-Bite, Attack: 2d4 ATT. 20% chance to cause Drain. 5 Ticks.
-Flame, Spell: [F]-Elem. 2d6 ATT. CC 8 Ticks. Cost 10 MP. 14 TN.
-Expel, Response: When this creature is Ko'd it disperses all it's spores at Radius +1 and +10% chance to cause Poison and Sleep. 45% chance of success.

Two of the characters, Kato and Craedon, died right away, the other two, Kenji and Wawlimus survived until the sleep wore off, they made a few strategic errors so I was nice to them, but in the end it was Kenji alone and asleep, I let him get away and he pulled it out and saved his friends. The encounter was designed to kill them, and it succeeded, whether they learned anything or not is yet to be seen. Hopefully it was more educational than tedious for them.

The next lessons they need to learn are to talk to people and to not trust everything everyone says. It is hard to punish the absence of action, but a few sessions of wandering around aimlessly might make them a bit more cooperative.



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