DCC: Hubris Session 4,5,6 (Why so many in one report? Fuck you, that’s why!)
So after a vacation preceded by several weeks of shameful procrastination, I’m back with a recap of what the hell is happening with my Hubris DCC drop in game I run at Big Pete’s in beautiful North Vancouver BC.
A reminder that this drop in has players ages 10-40 and I don’t really change much content, though I probably should. If one of their parents ever complained I might kowtow to their wholesome demands or act like an insane grognard to them depending on if I had my Egg Mcmuffin that morning or not. But enough about my personal life you nosy fucks, onto the game!
-Catch y’all up on the story
-Show how I used one of the story hooks to make an entire campaign.
-Show how I created content for a mentioned location that didn’t have a map in the book for it.
The small army of extra dimensional refuges we refer to as “The Team” continue their trek south east to the location the Klind Princess calls “The Ziggurat”. Still being evasive as to exactly what they will find there The Team gets suspicious, especially after the divination that for their own safety, they should kill her. The assassin of the group decided to take matters into his own hands and deal with her before their arrival. He crept into the Princesses tent during his watch at night and was about to slit her throat when she spoke to him. Despite being asleep a voice deep inside her warned the Assassin not to harm this vessel, or there would be consequences. The assassin being selfish asked what would be in it for him, and the voice told him of a specific treasure within the Ziggurat that he might be interested in, The Key of The Lucky Thief. A key that can open any lock in the universe if the user is lucky enough. This information stayed the assassins blade and the team wasn’t the wiser.
On their travels they had met a lot of interesting people that they made friends or enemies with. A few notable ones were the village of mutants that were very suspicious of the non-mutants on the team but allowed them to stay for a few days anyway. Another was a noble they ran into twice, and saved twice, and was a vampire from a city called Shadowfall. This Duke offered them hospitality if they were ever to visit his city. Their slug managed to get itself killed after a fight with some rampaging beast men riding mean cows, but they made it to the Ziggurat in the desert after two weeks of gruelling travel.
HOW: I told you about all the options I gave them way back on Session 2, and they picked the Ziggurat of the Shrieking Princess. They finally got there. I used that random chart many times over the course of those sessions, and just re-rolled when something came up we already got. I never had to re-roll more than twice ever. The Klind Princess was actually the Shrieking Princess using this body to get the characters to escort her, and possibly serve her, and maybe even free her. I also made up that she needs a fresh body to inhabit every so often, so she leads unwitting princesses to her from time to time. I wanted there to be some really nice treasure waiting for them to find so I randomly rolled one religious item the Paladins of Eisenbar would have stuck there, and got that Key. There is also a scroll for the Summon from the Void spell on page 164, and some other random magic item which ended up being a Useless Snuff Box of something something. (I gotta take better notes for this) I would have liked more options to generate actual effects for the items, or a way to get more ideas like the DCC book does for swords, but I managed to just give the snuff box a spell, so it worked out ok. I tried to give it a positive and negative trait. It does this GOOD thing, BUT also this BAD thing. I would love a generator that can do that for me or give ideas. The Snuff Box would cast.. Something, but it would make them woozy for a d4 hours because they were tripping balls. I can’t remember what spell it was. I think it was a cloud of something.
The Ziggurat was mostly buried under the sand, except the tops of a few towers, and the entrance at the very top, surrounded by lines and lines of stone stairs. The Team climbed up the massive stone steps and found a group of pilgrimaging Eisenbar Paladins. They warned the Team not to enter this forsaken place as it houses dangerous creatures and unholy items. The Team, instead of kicking these guys asses, just waited for them to move on then walked back in. The Ziggurat was dark and foreboding, but the Klind Princess lead them down deeper into the depths of it and finally at the bottom she opened a large secret door. Inside the large dust coated chamber The Team saw a dissected corpse strung up in the middle of the room with multiple hooks in its dry skin. Over a dozen long rusty chains connected to the stone walls of the room, pulled tight to hold this body in the air. The sound of the loose chains echoed eerily in the tomb, then the silence was broken but the Princess shouting “I’m home!” Suddenly the chains ripped free of the old withered body and shot out to the Klind Princess. They drove themselves into her flesh and lifted her to the middle of the room to take the place of previous body. After the chains had ripped the skin off her body and she stopped screaming she turned to face The Team. The Shrieking Princess introduced herself as Iszabell and thanked the heroes for escorting her vessel here to refresh her power. She told them her tale of how she fell in love with the demon Gnarl and Drallic the Flayer himself punished her with this curse. She needed champions to bring about her revenge and promised to reward The Team with what they most desired for their service, a way home. As a gesture of faith, she told The Team of the locations of three great treasures locked in her prison and if they wanted them they would have to defeat their guardians. She also let them use the greatest treasure she was keeping, the Dice of Oddy Bodden. She told them that they can roll them only once and could either gain great power or great pain. The Team did this, of course. And gained more power than they ever Imagined. They also rampaged through the Ziggurat and cleared it of its other prisoners. After they had completed their service they were given their quest from Izabell. Annihilate the city of Eisenbar.
HOW: There is no map for something like the Ziggurat, and I’m glad there isn’t. I didn’t think the random ruin generator was going to work for this because I had a feeling it needed to be more of a classic dungeon crawl. I googled “RPG ziggurat” and found a simple map of one and used that. As I described the halls and rooms I rolled a d6 to see what would happen. On a 1, there was a bad guy, on a 2 there was an environmental hazard or trap, and on a 3 there was a specific clue. 4-6 was nothing. I placed the treasures in the secret rooms on the map and noted where the Shrieking Princess would be. Each of the three treasures had a specific guardian that I got to hint at as they went through the halls. The snuff box was protected by all the embalmed entrails that came together magically as one creature. So, all the funerary jars in the temple were broken, and all the random encounters were undead with all their guts missing. They loved getting attacked by all the guts lashing about. I even had it chase them around a bit, it was gory and great. The second guardian was a sand ape. I used the 4-armed ape monster from the DCC book but made it out of sand and made it do sand things. I had a trail of shifting sand follow them till they opened the secret door and then it formed into this huge ape. The third guardian was a doozy. I wanted it to be a fallen angel, so I had them roll a d6 for its power level, and they got a 6. So, this was basically one of the most powerful creatures on the planet, stuck in a pristine tomb in this dungeon. I rolled all its powers and descriptions randomly, and thankfully it’s motivation was to simply get home to its own dimension. Instead of fighting a creature with an AC of 25, they made a deal with the Shrieking Princess and she sent the angel home. I’ve basically made the Shrieking Princess a patron for the party. Pssst Mike, you should make her a Patron for your next book. The Oddy Bodden dice were fun! Nothing super weird happened, which made me sad. Most of them got levels ups or something cool. No one got just RUINED by their rolls.
With this quest in hand The Team brainstormed ways to be able to accomplish this grand feat. Some of them had met the Murder Machines and wanted that power, but to retain their minds after the conversion. Others learned about the enemies of Eisenbar. The Vampires of Shadowfall had a keep they maintained to defend their lands from the followers of The Flayer, and The Team happened to be friends with one of their elite. Also, they knew that mutants were strong and were hated, so they wanted an army of them. They knew of just a place with a large community of them, the village they stayed at before. On their way to that Village they found several fat horse demons with slaves building a keep in the rocky side of a hill. Some of these slaves were mutants and The Team thought freeing them would be a good peace gesture to the Village. They murdered all the demons and brought the freed people to the Mutant Village. After some negotiation they were welcomed in and are now waiting 30 days to heal spell burnt ability scores and the arrival of Skeletal Gunrunners from the Floating Island of Terror to learn more about gaining weapons and Murder Machines for their upcoming war.
HOW: Once again the random location charts sent me a blessing of the slaves on their way to that village, and the DCC demon chart made them not too powerful to encounter. Fat horses were just funny. I found that showing 10-year old’s that they can be robots with chainsaw hands was a bad idea as now they all want to be Murder Machines. And I’ll let them, but they gotta do the work to spare their minds. One of my players wanted a machine gun, and I told him a solid “nope” but we worked together to come up with a shotgun idea for him. A blunderbuss with limited range, but two attack rolls 1d20/1d16 that would do 1d6 dmg on a hit to the same target or two targets if they were 5ft from each other. I didn’t think that would be too OP.
Afterthoughts: The players are going to have a level 1 Alchemist, Shadow Dancer, and Ekrask for next session so it will be cool to see how those play out. Plus, I’m glad they are leaving the Stone and Mire land so I can use another chart for things. After 6 sessions it’s still giving great ideas, but I think it’s time for a change.
Next time: Fuck if I know! I make this shit up as I go.
Dungeon Crawl Classics is published by Goodman Games and Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure is written by Mike Evans.