The devils that we know


Major apologies are due. This post is about a session three weeks ago. But what with work and someone fiddling with my Net connection I’ve had little chance to update.

To tell the truth, I’m posting this from my mobile phone.

So, where were we?

Statting it out

I was planning on five players, tops, for D&D as that had been the week that I had intended to run Star Wars. Took me ten minutes to work out what I wanted in the dungeon as well as a wee bit of story expansion about some sort of third party in this war of Humans versus Elves. And this party, of course, is none other than the Lord of the Nine Hells himself Asmodeus. He didn’t make an appearance, yet a lot of cultists as well as one of his acolytes did.

Problem is, I did not have five people, I had eight. Pretty much every person in the group except one. Maybe I should have run Star Wars after all…

Encountering Encounters

The task was really about getting there first, and I knew straight off once I set the party on the road there had to be an encounter. Strange when you get these feeling for unplanned encounters, and more on those in a later post, but I threw a basilisk on the road and with it took away half the encounters in my planned dungeon and may have had something to do with the fact that we were still there past eleven.

But running the basilisk was rather fun.

Teleporting Tieflings

Now, it was rather unfortunate that the one person who was missing that week was a Tiefling! So encountering cultists of Asmodeus who burned down villages and kidnapped people for sacrifice would not have had an impact as if he had actually been there.

But if he had been there, I would have run Star Wars and not have a story to tell now.

These guys were pretty cool to run, as when they’re hit with a melee attack they teleport immediately as an Immediate Reaction though still taking the damage from the attack. I had five of them, and the players were at it for hours. Particularly how I could make them target the spell casters.

A Lesson in Manners from Lord Dustbin

Now I have studied Medieval history, as well as knowing more than a bit about the customs and manners of the Middle Ages. Such as this: it is customary to disarm when entering the house of a lord who is recieving you as his guest. The reason being that it is the duty of this lord to protect you, and retaining your arms says that you do not trust him to fulfil this.

Try and explain this sentiment to gamers. In the end I had to invoke Rule 0, and I very rarely have to use the DM Fiat just to get players to sit down and shut up.

For the record, my lord which I named Lord Despin (they had to give him a letter which I sealed with wax to stop them reading it) was shortly nicknamed Lord Dustbin. Somehow I think he may get a following similar to Dave the Stormtrooper.

When All Else Fails, Call Indiana Jones

So my dungeon was cut in half due to necessity, after the fight with some gargoyles I had to speed it up to the final encounter. But first I could not resist having my homebrew Indiana Jones-style trap.

Yes, you know what sort of trap I mean.

Incidentally, I found it the other day in DMG2 and you can’t out run it and then duck down the side of a wider corridor as was done in the game to the correct theme music hummed by everyone at the table, including me.

A pity, as it does rather make sense in a way.

Useless Useful Ability

So, I get to my final encounter with the boss…whom I had been waiting to used and was pleased to find out that she was of an appropriate level for the players. One of my favourite inhabitants of the Nine Hells which goes back to when I was playing the first Diablo game in the late 90’s. The Succubus.

And I have to admit, that I re-installed Diablo and have started playing again just so I can watch those hussies die. It never gets old.

Now, according to tradition Succubi were the living incarnation of sex and lust…but is just so happened that the two male characters in the party are Undead (Revenants if you recall) and are immune to the effects of her charms. And I could not just have her trying to seduce the female members, as I felt it a little out of character as that is the province of Incubi.

I would like to say that this was the reason that I didn’t run her as well as I should have, but that would be lying. Had I been able to be successful with her Charm powers, it would have been better. But I didn’t run her as she should have been and had her too much in the front lines.

As it was, she took ages to kill, much longer than I thought it would and we were there very late. Actually later, as we went to the pub afterwards.

Maybe I should have found a way to stat Bloodstar, that would have at least been satisfying. At least she died like a true Diablo Succubus.

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~ by katanageldar on May 21, 2010.

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