DCC: Hubris Session 1
The background of this first session is I gave each player 4 level 0’s from regular DCC, and had them go through the level 0 adventure in the book “It came from Outer Space”. At the conclusion they went into the escape pods which launched them through time and space where they crashed on Hubris. Each player ended up with two level 1’s at the end of it, except one of them who just loved to have his peasants put their damn hands on everything. 5 players, 9 characters. DCC Core rules, 4 hour sessions every two weeks with a 10-15 min break in the middle.
They crashed in the Land of Perpetual Stone and Mire. Specifically, they landed just south east of the Bleeding Mountain That Pierced the Sky. I described the surroundings. A grim, grey place with petrified trees, bogs, and tar pits, all with some swirling mist around them. The only visible landmark they can see is a huge mountain that is so large they can’t see the peak. I jumped forward in time a week so give then a story reason to have levelled up. They made their patron bonds, communed with their gods, etc. Now they have run out of food and need to explore to find some.
HOW: There are 10 territories in the table of contents, so I rolled a D10. I got a 6, so, Land of Perpetual Stone and Mire. I then took a print out of the world map and I dropped two d4’s on it. I drew lines from the facing numbers and where those two lines intercepted in TLoPSaM is where I had them start. It worked great. I wanted to embrace the randomness of DCC and Hubris, so I thought this would be a good way to do it.
The first day they emerged to travel I had the crows cawing at them. I hinted that their noises wanted to pierce their minds and give them prophecy. One of them said “sure” so he got a prophecy about sleeping on a bed of silken sheets and attracting a princess. They were intrigued, but no one else took the risk.
HOW: They said “yes” when I asked them if they wanted dangerous prophecy. They passed their save and I rolled a “4” on the Prophecy of the Rabid Raven chart. Simple.
The team decided to travel toward the only landmark they can see, the huge mountain, in order to find food. On their first day they walked into a smelly bog and found a broken alter to a forgotten god. It had the veiled face of a beautiful woman. Surrounding this altar were five humans. their skin shrivelled and clumps of rock pierce their flesh. Their eyes are sunken in and black ichor is leaking from their mouths. The team tried to make an offering by throwing some copper coins over to the altar. This didn’t have any effect. They wanted to search it, but got attacked once the blind humans sensed they were there. They kicked the human’s asses and had a look around. They didn’t find anything, but the wizard used mend to fix the altar. He was given a blessing from the forgotten goddess for this act. A cleric used Second Sight to divine of they were going in the correct direction to find food. The fates said no, and directed them toward the south east.
HOW: The hubris map doesn’t have any hexes or travel time or distance, so I just rolled a d20 and that’s how many days it would take to reach their destination. They just wanted food so I thought a nearby village would have it. I figured two “hexes” a day so two landmarks or encounters. I ended up rolling a four, so at least it would be a short trip. I figured I’d roll lay of the land or encounters or both depending on whatever mood struck me at the time. I rolled up the altar on the Lay of the Land chart, thought that there should be more here, so I rolled up an encounter. They fit together well. I then flushed out the alter using the suggested tables on page 244 and what might be around here. I did roll up a possible underground temple here, but the group didn’t find it after murdering the human mutants. I thought the mending was really impressive to I gave him a blessing from the same forgotten demigod charts on page 224. No idea why the Cleric didn’t use Second Sight BEFORE they wandered off, but hey I got to direct them away from the bleeding mountain. I figured nearest food would be either a village or the Klind city. They of course didn’t know that would be just as dangerous.
After leaving the alter they came across a tar pit. They played with some ideas like making a raft, making a bridge, etc. But the tar pit was too vast, so they decided to go around. The cleric cast Second Sight again to see if a raft would be a good idea, which the fates responded with a resounding “no”. (They never knew it was deep. They never tried) They next approached what appeared to be a gaping wound in the very land. A wizard had his familiar try the seeping liquid from the wound and the familiar died after eating the acid blood. As they walked by it, there was an eruption of a pus geyser and they all got sick, but moved on. They camped for the night to no effect.
HOW: All were random from the Lay of the Land chart. The tar pit made them detour so I added some time to the journey overall. The wound was also a Lay of the Land issue. Now here’s a problem I had with it. It says it makes them sick, but there isn’t a “sick” condition in DCC. So, I just gave them a -1 for the next day since they went too close. I figured the wizard lost his familiar so making it worse might be a tad bit dickish. Also for camping at night I used the “So you decided to make camp” chart. There are five players, so I rolled a D6 every night and if it was a 6 nothing happened, if it was a number something happened to that player clockwise around me. One night it was fine, but the next two nights I got to fuck with someone. It was great.
Next day the wandered into a grove of trees with agonised human faces that whispered secrets to them. They heard the secret “She wants to end them. She sent the metalphage” over and over again. They also saw something interesting. A Giant slug with a ramshackle shack sitting on top of it heading toward them. The Cleric spoke to the fates again to determine if they were safe to talk to, the fates said they were safe to approach, so another Cleric decided to have a chat while the others hid in the trees. After he made his presence known he was immediately attacked by three goblins with one large petrified eye in each of their skulls. They fought the goblins and won. The slug lost its reigns and was “running” away as fast as a giant slug can go so the team decided they wanted to live on this animal. After some sliding down slime and some smart tactics from the animal wrangler they calmed down the slug and claimed it. Discovering the shack on the top was literally a shit stained hovel, they opted to just ride the creature a few at a time.
HOW: I didn’t read the Lay of the Land entry I rolled carefully and thought the trees just said secrets in general instead of personal secrets. So, I gave them a hint as to a world problem, the Black Queens metalphage. I know it’s ambiguous in the book as to who caused it, but that theory makes sense. And I guess “She” could be anyone and I can use the Black Queen as a red herring too. I wanted an encounter, so I got toll roll Shriveling Eye Goblins! And thankfully the Clerics spell had an 85% chance of being right, and I roll a 90%. They had no idea. One of them almost got petrified. It was close. They failed a ton of luck and untrained skill checks to get up that slug so I made it hard for them. They won with some good ideas. Using rope, using occupations etc. We have an animal wrangler and a caravan guard.
After a mysterious theft of a hex doll that night they moved on. The encountered a patch of barbed grass that the Slug would not go near, so they had to detour again. They then came across a wounded priest of an unknown faith. He wielded a barbed whip and was wearing spikes on his robes. He was also carrying a book of text bound in human skin. He seemed friendly enough after they healed him till he saw the halflings and dwarf and called them mutants. He wanted to “purify” them, but one Cleric bluffed that he was going to beat them later and the priest believed him. The priest told that Cleric to seek him out in Eisenbar, and that he might make a good servant of Drallic. As he was walking away they murdered him with magic missile. Looting his body, they figured out the language of the book he was carrying and learned about the teaching of Drallic the Flayer; the tenements. They didn’t question killing him after that.
HOW: Rolled a group of explorers on Lay of the Land. Rolled Eisenbar, thought it would be a good idea to have them learn about one of the terrible religions of Hubris so I made him an injured priest. I rolled a d4 to see how many, and I rolled one. I figured he was part of a killed crusade, the last one left after being killed by god knows what out here. Probably Orcs. He saw the halflings and dwarf as mutants, which they hate, and got all dickish on them. So, I got to share some world info without making it too obvious. Success! I laughed so hard when they killed him after one of the players calmed him down. They pocketed his barbed cat-o-nine-tails too.
Next day after another night of losing the second hex doll, they saw a huge battle ahead on a dry rocky plain. A group of armed warriors were fighting some other armed warriors and some weird monsters. They didn’t need to consult the fates about this one, and decided to go around. Finally, they reached a town. A tiny village called “Rejoice”. All the buildings were built on what appeared to be bird’s legs. In the centre of town were four cages with dead bodies in them. They were greeted by a big strong man who said he was the Chief. He happily showed them to the local Inn “The Squished Fox” and took their slug to a barn to be tied up. He was impressed that they were able to beat a group of Shrivelled Eye Goblins. The Inn had only two people in it but a group of bards playing music. The patrons were a robed figure sipping the local drink Fermented Fly Spit, and a high priestess of Drallic the Flayer who is the lone survivor of the battle they avoided the day before. Through her they learned about Eisenbar, The faith of Drallic the Flayer, and the surrounding lands. They also learned where they were, the island of Hubris. Some members of the team spoke to the one eyed toothless bartender and learned the town had been suffering from demon possessions and needed help. This also coincides with the appearance of a castle that came from a mysterious mist a few days ago. After learning all this stuff, we called it a day for that session.
HOW: Lay of the Land got to give me a reason for the injured cleric, a big battle between Eisenbar Paladins, the Klind, and Orcs. This works out great. After that I’ve got 30 mins left in the session, so I have them hit a town. I roll it up completely randomly from the Instatown/Village generator. Get tiny village, so I figure this place has had a lot of shit go down, so I roll up the reason in the Adventure hooks section and got the people getting possessed option. I then roll up the Political structure get strongest guy in charge, Interesting feature was the corpses with the lady spirits that are the judges for the village, and layout was the birds legs. The Inn I also rolled up completely on the spot using the Taverns and Inns generator. Patrons inside, Smells, Games/Music, Barkeep, and Interesting patron. Got High priestess so I thought they can learn even more about Drallic, For the village interesting person I roll an exiled princess! Perfect! Just like the prophecy rolled earlier foretold. I decided to put her in the Inn as well to fill it out. It’s a small village. I plan on having them sleep on the silk sheets and have that princess wake up with that guy. What I’ll make her I have no idea right now. I’ll make it up when it becomes relevant or I get a great idea. I had this high priestess be a bit more forthcoming because of the lost battle she feels weak. They didn’t really ask more about that, so they didn’t find out. We will see what happens next time. Oh, for the Tavern I also rolled up the Second Job and Specialty drink. They were not interested in the fly spit. Too bad, I would have given them some more health if they were. For Second Job I got the dilapidated keep and thought that was a perfect source for the cause of the possessions and for more adventure!
-The best compliment I got at the end was that “everything seemed so flushed out”. That was just me tying the ends together between the randomness. Everything worked really well. Excited for next time.
-Goals, introductions to the setting
Music Listened to: Ghoul “Dungeon Bastards”, “The Witcher 3” Soundtrack. Carpenter Brut “Trilogy”
Dungeon Crawl Classics is published by Goodman Games and Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure is written by Mike Evans.