DCC: Hubris Session 9,10,11,12
Four in one write up? Why Matt? WHY I SAY? Why not? Why are you yelling? The road to Glasturnbury and then to Evernight Keep were fairly mundane so the bulk of the action happened in between all of these and the last session.
-Get their army filled out.
-Get them to come up with a good plan.
-Get them to Eisenbar.
Upon arriving in Glasturbury the team didn’t waste any time getting to business. The met with the Frail, the mysterious immortal husks that run the city, to get some support for their battle against Eisenbar. The Frail would not pledge any of their armies to the cause as they wanted to remain neutral, but they did point the gang in the direction of a few mercenary groups that the Frail could assist financially with hiring. The visit did not leave members of the party unchanged however, as the toxic miasa that flows from the Frail mutated some party members. One got green skin and another got segmented eyes like a fly. The gang took their “donation” and spoke to the aging leader of The Mountain Men, a large and experienced mercenary company. With the promise of free plunder in the great city of Eisenbar the group agreed to support the gang with their attack. The gang then approached the Putrid Damsels for some much needed spell castor support.
While the productive members of the party were hiring mercs and shopping for supplies, one of the members of the gang decided to buy some potions. They walked in the shop that was a dingy back alley place run by an older mutant, and currently had a Lizard man shopping in it. The adventurer told the lizard man to get out and approached the shop keep where he pulled out his flintlock pistol and told the shop keep to give him as many potions as he could fit in a bag. The shop keep obliged and upon realizing the adventurer would leave a living witness to his crime, shot the shop keep in the head. Our adventurer was later chastised by the rest of the gang and sent to fend for himself in the wilds.
The gang also decided to do a bit of dungeon delving. They came to the entrance and bought the appropriate license and entered. There they found some sweet loot.
HOW: Glasturbury reminded me a bit of Waterdeep from D&D Forgotten Realms. A big city built on the ruins of a megadungeon. With any kind of boom town like this, is attracts a level of scummy inhabitants. You can either make it lawless, or tightly controlled. So, like in the Yukon gold rush, I made it tightly controlled. You needed to pay to enter the dungeon, and everything is taxed. The security presence is huge which is why only approved merc groups were allowed to enter at all. The Frail being psychic immortals I feel would have had the forethought to enable these procedures to protect the city. For the Frail mutations caused, I had each person near them make a saving throw then rolled a random physical mutation. It ended up being really fun.
For the mercs the team would hire I just used Table 6-2: Bandits, Brigands and Rapscallions on page 229 to randomly generate both groups.
Now, about the potion shop heist. This was something I didn’t anticipate. His answer to “you’re going to be hunted by the guards” after I explained the consequences to his actions was to leave town. This would mean he wouldn’t be playing with the rest of the group, so I had to help him understand that we are all here to play the game together and that what’s fun for one player isn’t necessarily fun for all of them and he had to think about others when making decisions like that. He’s a young man, and it was a good teachable moment. We retconned the event and continued with the game.
For the part of the mega dungeon they explored, I quickly generated it with the “What are These Strange and Ominous Ruins?” charts On page 253.
With the meeting place set up, and all the armies organized, the gang set out to Evernight Keep for the final showdown. After a week’s journey where they encountered a friendly pixie that sped up their travel, they arrived well ahead of schedule. This gave them time to prepare their plan. They had kept several sets of Eisenbar Paladin armor and paid the blacksmith to fit them all to the gang. Also along their journey they had a barrel filled with a bush of berries that screamed if they were picked, and a barrel filled with a hungry ghoul they had captured. They were going to infiltrate the city with the Mountain Men and the Putrid Damsels and use them as well as the barreled items to cause distractions around the city. This would allow the gang to assault the castle gate houses and lower them for the approaching mutant/vampire armies. They learned that the city was surrounded by a great wall, and the Great Iron Gate of Pain rarely opened except to allow paladins to enter or leave. The gate control were in two towers on each side of the drawbridge and needed to be operated at the same time to open the gate.
After the Gang was equipt they met with the Master of Shadow, the eunuch thrall Yeldan. Yeldan approved of the plan to infiltrate then lower the gates and set their march date for two days. This would give the gang a few days to get their job done, for if they could not open the gate the siege would fail. Yeldan mentioned he had a secret surprise for Eisenbar once they had breached the city. The gang had heard a rumor that Klind were in the basement of Evernight Keep, and even confirmed they were in the city, but didn’t press Yeldan about it, trusting that he had everything under control.
HOW: I had already explained about how the Vampires treated their subjects. They protected their farms and used then as cattle as well. Parasites, but good leaders. Saldov was another good example of the lifestyle in effect. I made the party pay through the nose to get that armor refitted for each of them, but they paid it. I pictured Evernight Keep as a dark industrial castle, like where the vampire counts lived in “Vampire Hunter D”. Yeldan, being a eunuch, had a slightly high pitched voice. This made the players laugh, until I told them about the real life practice of how children in a castrato choir were castrated at a young age so that they would keep their high pitched singing voices into their adult life. They stopped laughing.
The players did a lot of snooping around to get the evidence that the Klind were in fact in town, and even had an encounter with one of them. They never acted on that information though. I cannot wait till they see Yeldan unleash the biochemical horrors he created with the Klinds help onto Eisenbar, and then have those horrors turn on them all as the Klind use their portal in the basement of the keep to take it over while they are out. He he he.
The gang crossed the Plains of Unbidden Sorrow for what might be the last time and soon saw the black smoke of the pyres of Eisenbar. The great iron wall protected the city as well as a great acid moat, but all the farm lands and shanty towns around it provided ample cover for wondering around and gathering information. They only saw the gate open once a day, so they questioned the local peasants for information about other ways inside. They were met with a lot of resistance, but one person they spoke to hinted that there might be tunnels under the moat into the city. The gang set out to find one of these. After a night of searching one of the gang dressed as a paladin found a house by the moat and discovered it had one of these tunnels. The owners swore up and down that they were loyal and had no idea it was there. Before the adventurer could explain himself he misspoke about “loyalty” which caused the peasants to flee, terrified. With a shack all to themselves, the gang entered the tunnel and set out. They traveled for a mile single file in a dark cramped cave. One poor peasant they had with them was killed by dripping acid and several members of the party were killed by attacking giant bugs, but most of the gang managed to exit a sewer grate to an ally.
Having entered the city, the gang checked in at a local Inn under the guise of travelling merchants. They used their filled barrels as proof of their claims, and got some rooms at the Inn. The next night they surveyed the defences of the city and saw several huge cannons on lowered platforms that would be raised to defend the city from invasion. The gang decided to sabotage as many of these as they could before their armies arrived. As with most plans of theirs, this did not go off without a hitch as they made so much noise it alerted the guard and currently several paladins are headed their way.
HOW: Finally they reached the great city! I described it like the city in “Attack on Titan”. Huge towering walls protected by cannons but with an acid moat. They were pretty smart talking to all the farmers without raising suspicion (the rolls were good) and so I threw them a bone with the tunnels. I didn’t make the tunnel walk easy. Most of them passed reflex saves to not get acid dripped, except one poor level 0 who had their skull melted. Once they exited the small cramped tunnel I gave them a huge dark cave with the sewer grate at the end. This place I filled with a few giant centipedes and once they made enough noise I hinted that 10 more would be coming to get them. This encounter was NOT fair, and the players knew it, so they rushed for the grate. One player stayed back with bags of black power and used himself as a living bomb to hold back the centipedes, buying the rest of the gang enough time to get the hell out of there. I was really impressed with his sacrifice. With luck they used their barrels as great tools to convince people they were just merchants and put on their stolen armor to walk around the city without hassle. They used their words to convince the cannon garrison that they were an early relief, but completely failed their luck checks to disable the cannons quietly. So now I have them about to encounter some resistance and next time we will see what happens.
EPILOGUE: We are almost done this campaign. Depending on how they want to deal with all the stuff I have planned for setbacks like the Klind or maybe an appearance from Drallic himself, they might just choose to fuck off when the city falls. I don’t know what they will do, but I’ll be ready. I’m glad I got to teach a young player about teamwork and group dynamics. These are things you can’t really prepare someone for, they just have to figure it out if it happens.
Music listened to: Weedeater “God Luck and Good Speed”
Beastie Boys “Ill Communication”
Nine Inch Nails “With Teeth”
Dungeon Crawl Classics is published by Goodman Games and Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure is written by Mike Evans.