Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dwimmermount, Session 31

Last weekend's session of the Dwimmermount campaign was a good, solid one, even if it felt a little underwhelming compared to the previous week's revelations. Brother Candor decided to forgo the question of how to deal with Xaranes' request to him, waiting until he'd had more time to think about the matter. Furthermore, he felt that the party should explore more of Dwimmermount itself before making a decision. So, they returned to Muntburg, connected with Iriadessa and the hirelings and henchmen, and re-supplied themselves before heading back into the dungeon.

One of the terrific things about the detailed maps Dordagdonar keeps of Dwimmermount is that the characters know very well what avenues of exploration they have no yet taken up. Though the sub-levels associated with the Temple of the Iron God had been fully explored, there were many other areas the PCs had not yet entered. One such area was reachable by a set of stairs the characters had avoided earlier in the belief that it led to a level of the dungeon too difficult for them to handle at that time. Now, months -- and experience levels -- later, they felt better equipped to handle what dangers might lie ahead and descended into the depths.

According to Dordagdonar's maps, this new level was beneath the azoth processing machine they'd encountered some time earlier. Sure enough, the first room they entered included an elaborate mechanism that seemed to be an azoth "pump" of some sort. The pump was connected to a series of metallic tubes that ran along the ceilings of all the chambers and corridors of this level. These tubes had crystalline tops, allowing the characters to see inside of them and, from the looks of it, they once -- and recently -- contained azoth, as there was obvious residue of the magical liquid in the tubes (and in the pump itself). Every so often, typically in corridor junctions and large rooms, the tubes were fitted with devices that looked as if they were intended to "mist" azoth into these areas, like water sprinklers but with much finer nozzles.

Seeing that the pump and these devices were no longer functional, Brother Candor surmised that the Thulian vampire Cyrus may have been involved. He'd learned earlier that Cyrus had returned to Dwimmermount in order to effect some sort of revenge against the cult of Turms Termax responsible for his state of undeath. He also learned that Dusty and the other cats inhabiting the dungeon had seen the vampire heading down into lower levels, although for what purpose they did not know. Originally, the PCs thought he might have been heading into the azoth-filled caverns they never explored, but now there was evidence that he might have headed into this level instead (or in addition to).

The small section of the level the party explored was very odd, feeling slightly warmer and more humid than they expected given its depth. They found evidence of molds, fungi, and lichens running riot throughout the place -- all in unnatural colors and shapes but seemingly harmless. They also came across dead or dying "mutant" plants, including mushroom people, who attacked them with great ferocity under the leadership of a strange tree-like being, who escaped the PCs' onslaught. These creatures gave some evidence to support the notion that someone, whether in the past or the present, had been using azoth in order to warp the development of plants in unwholesome ways. Needless to say, this concerned the PCs, who had long been wondering to what end the azoth still being processed in Dwimmermount was being put.

The session concluded as the party entered what seemed to be the room of some sort of magical supervisor of the azoth experiments, judging by its contents. They were attacked by an animated statue of Turms Termax, which acted as the room's guardian and which they dispatched comparatively easily. Grabbing the contents of the room, they PCs decided to return to Muntburg and then possibly to Adamas in order to decide what to do next.

6 comments:

  1. Love reading these sessions.

    How do you handle mapping in your games? Do you verbally describe the layout and let your player draw the map based on that? Do you battle-map the whole thing? And do you help or correct the player's mapping?

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  2. Man, I haven't had a player do mapping in around 15 years. I is for sure a lost art amongst my current gamers.

    Word Verif: hummers. It ain't just a gas guzzling SUV.

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  3. Mutant plants. Love it!

    It does seem impossible to find players that map out where they've been.

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  4. I think there are a lot of younger players who never experienced mapping--after all, most computer RPGs these days have auto-mapping. Still, they should eventually figure out the necessity of having accurate maps after the 10th time of running into the same trap or getting lost and decimated by random monsters, etc. Another way to encourage the skill is by having a town-based NPC offer to pay the PCs for bringing back an accurate map . . .

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  5. "Another way to encourage the skill is by having a town-based NPC offer to pay the PCs for bringing back an accurate map "

    That... is... brilliant!

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  6. Mapping the dungeons has always been for me one of the most enjoyable parts of the game. Even to the point that I dislike overland adventures because the maps are harder to make.

    During the course of the game I make the map on a pad of graph paper with pencil and straight edge. later if I have the time and inspiration I convert the maps to Campaign Cartographer.

    My ambition right now is to take all the maps I've created so far and import them to AutoCAD and build a 3d model of the dungeon. then I can import that into 3DS Max and make a revolving Quicktime movie of it with proper lighting and all.

    So far the project has been stalled due to the enormity of the task of getting AutoCAD set up for making a map of this sort and all the tools I'd have to build.

    Word Verification: reedle. The annoying sound that small imp like inhabitants of certain websites make to annoy game reviewers.

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