Friday, June 15, 2012

Session Report: Spelljammer!

The party completed it's transition from a landfaring, by the book 2e campaign to a full on Spelljammer campaign yesterday, in an epic, 6.5 hour session.  As such, this will be a somewhat long post, so if you're the tl;dr type, move along, move along, nothing to see.  In the event that you do continue, you will find this post conveniently broken up into separate parts, each with it's own Fun Fact!

Part I: Wild, Dark Times Are Rumbling Toward Us
Fun Fact: Heinrich Heine once wrote a poem, Ideen: Das Buch Le Grand which criticized German censors in the following section:

The German Censors  ——  ——  ——  —— 
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  —— 
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  —— 
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  —— 
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  —— 
——  ——  ——  ——  ——    idiots    ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——

I gave the party an hour and a half (real time) before the all life on their planet was extinguished, and ceased to be habitable.  They were flying around on a Galleon, which could comfortably seat 20, but could pack in 40 people in a pinch.  There were already thirteen bodies on the boat - Hemi, Demi, Semi, Quay and Ver - the five Dwarven acolytes that followed Banebeard around, Banebeard's shady relative Scar the thief, Luke Daggerbeard the (alleged) dwarf, Vincent the Militant Wizard, Glacia and her manservant Sir Blaine, Veravum the Githyanki Paladin, and Ber, Glacia's full blooded Yet brother, who had been shaved, trained in eitquette, and now follows the party around in a suit, a bowler hat and a monocle, puffing on a pipe and offering wry criticisms of the poor manners of those around him.  With only 27 spots remaining on the last ship of Earth, the party immediately set off to rescue the clan of Yeti that Glacia had been raised by.  She found 10 of them huddling in the back of a cave, convinced that the earth and fire gods had been angered, and refused to come out of their hole.  Fortunately, due to her runin with the Deck of Many Things, Glacia is exceptionally Charismatic, and was able to convince them to come out of hiding.  They joined the party, and they next set off back to the Human capital to rescuse some of Vincent's fellow mages, now known around the table as the MilWiz Black Ops squad.

Unfortunately, a giant crevasse had opened up between the Yeti lands and had formed a band of frothy, bubbling lava stretching as far as the eye could see.  Navigating it was a bit tricky, and the ship sustained some damage, the bottom catching fire after a particularly active spout of lava licked the underside.  Fortunately Sundallasar was built on the shores of Lake Dallasar, and a quick dunk in the water put out the flames.  Unfortunately, finding the Tower of the Militant Wizards was easier said than done.  The party was not used to looking for things from overhead, and even if they had been, Sundallasar had gone through some pretty extensive geological renovations since they had last been there - buildings were smashed, towers were toppled, etc.  Finally they were able to locate the tower, and found four surviving MilWiz Black Ops, and then there were only 13 seats remaining. 

The team decided to scour the warehouse district to pick up supplies for their space travel.  In their travels to and fro about the city, however, they had attracted quite a bit of attention, and without buildings obscuring their view of the skyline, a large group of people were able to track the boat down.  The party decided to fill out their ranks with randomly abducted people from the crowd below, and Glacia sent her Yeti minions down into the crowd, and four more seats were taken. 

Suddenly, from the roof of a nearby warehouse, a group of armed men shouted at them, claiming that they were commandeering the ship in the name of King Aaloysius.  Banebeard, never one to truck with non-PC controlled NPCs, stone shaped a hole in the roof, sending several of them screaming to the floor beneath.  The remaining let loose with arrows, and the battle was joined.  Engaged in battle as they were, they almost didn't see the grappling hooks attach themselves to the other side of the ship.  Realizing that they probably wouldn't get the supplies they were looking for, they decided that, rather than go down into the crowd again and risk a riot, they would just pull up the six grappling hooks and whoever was on the other end of them would be saved.

And so it was that the party saved King Aaloysius, Queen Amdala and the seven year old Boy Prince Alaric.  Saved them completely unintentionally, but saved them nonetheless.  They, along with three loyal Knights, hopped on board, and the party sped off in search of another place to find food.  Navigating the lava river was even trickier on the way back, and the ship sustained more damage, but they managed to make it back to Meskith, which the original party (much of which had died or ran off since) had visited, way back when.  Luke Daggerbeard, the sole remaining OPM (Original Party Member), remembered that the Meskithites kept a survival shelter by their Town Hall, but upon breaking in, the huddled masses within panicked.  Time was running short, and given the choice of slaughtering the innocents to get tothe food stores or departing, the party left the earth, and watched as it crumpled like a wad of paper, until gravity released it's hold, and the chunks of earth floated slowly away.

Part II: Star Trekkin'
Fun Fact: John O'Connor, who wrote Star Trekkin' while a member of the band The Firm, went on to compose the music for King Of the Hill!

Amidst the debris, though, they spotted another ship headed out.  Following it, they found it was headed towards a blue light, much like the lights the Illithids had used to herald the destruction of their homeworld.  When they tracked it down, they found a midling sized town on an asteroid, with a blue glow  on it's horizon.  They recognized some wooden planks jutting out from the side of the asteroid as some sort of dock area, so the attempted to land.  Not having followed proper docking procedures, they were confronted by a squad of Giff, hired by the Elven Protectorate to ensure law and order was followed on the Rock, as it's known.

After the initial misunderstandings were clarified, the leader of the Giff, Giff-One, invited them to dinner.  The party set about buying repairs and upgrades for the ship, including a prototype weapon designed by the Tinker Gnome dockworkers, who installed it for free (heh heh heh).  Luke Daggerbeard bought himself an arquebus, while Vincent procured a Starwheel (flintlock pistol).  Scar snuck off, finding that the Illithids had also docked, not long before us, and headed across town to stay at an inn which catered their type. 

Dinnertime arrived, and they met with Giff-One for a delightful meal.  He introduced the party to some of the basics of Spelljamming, there were debates on the proper placement of salad forks which turned into Etiquette Battles (which the Yeti ended up winning), and Giff-One inquired about the party's travels.  They revealed that they were only able to escape due to their possession of what they referred to as, "The Beer Stone", which they had recovered from the recently cleared Dungeon.  Turns out it can turn any ship into a spacefaring vessel, and as such is a prized artifact, known all throughout Wildspace and beyond.  The party was advised to be more discreet in the future regarding their possession of the artifact.  The party was asked to investigate the blue light, which Giff-One had sent a squad to look into.  Unfortunately, they did not return.  The party was glad to investigate, especially when Giff-One said that the squad would be indebted to the party, were they able to rescue them.  He did insist, though, that the party bring back the Illithids alive so they could answer the charges of Planetary Genocide that the party was raising.  Reluctantly, the party agreed.

Part III: The Last Argument of Kings

Fun Fact - the phrase, Ultima Ratio Regum (The Last Argument of Kings) was enscribed on every single cannon used by King Louis XIV's armies! 

All was going swimmingly, until King Aaloysius stormed into the dining hall, demanding to know why he was not part of any negotiations, as the highest ranking person there.  The Giffs apologized profusely, thinking they had broken some primitive land-based protocol, and promised to consult only with him in the future.  Slightly mollified, the King retired to the ship, where a confrontation brewed.  The King wanted control over the direction the Ship took, Banebeard refused.  Glacia, overhearing this, took the King's demands to mean that he wanted control over her tribe, and challenged him to combat.  His Knights objected, and lines were drawn.  Vincent, Kaye's character, was drawn into combat on the King's side, along with the 3 Knights and the 4 MilWiz Black Ops, vs. the rest of the PCs, and the squad of enraged Yeti.

I would say that a vast and terrible battle ensued, but... not really.  Glacia attacked the King, all his allies attacked Glacia, and the Scar backstabbed the King for 75 points of damage, ending the reign of King Aaloysius.  Everyone seemed rather relieved, with even his Knights muttering something to the effect of, "Thank God, that guy was kind of an asshole", and then much louder, "LONG LIVE KING ALARIC!" 

The Queen asked that they find a proper kingdom for her and her son, and seemed much less of a jerk than her husband, so she was allowed to continue living on the ship.

Part IV: Before We Were Interrupted

Fun Fact - "Chitin" is pronounced like "Kite-In", not "Chit-In"!

With all that unpleasantness settled, Giff-One approached the party, horribly embarrassed, explaining that they had been protecting what they thought was the rightful ruler from an insurrection, an action fully in line with their role as the Law and Order on the Rock.  Now that King Aaloysius was deposed, and a new King was in place and everyone seemed okay with that, the Giff were hoping that the party would still go look for their missing squad. 

The party agreed, and they set off across the silent, craggy plains of the asteroid.  They almost missed a trap door with a tunnel headed back to town, but decided to leave it unexplored, and headed farther out towards the glow, where they came upon a strange installation, made of metal and with a radar dish attached to it, surrounded by a fence.  Kaye, once more proving that he doesn't truly understand how mages work, decided to touch the fence, which promptly shocked him and knocked him off his feet.  Almost immediately, three Umber Hulks attacked them.  Umber Hulks are friggin tough.  Between their claw claw bite (3d4/3d4/1d10) attacks, and their two pairs of eyes which replicate the effects of a Confusion spell, it was a tough bit of combat for the party, and it was touch and go for a bit, especially when two party members succumbed to the Confusion spell.  They triumphed in the end, though, and HOLY CRAP Umber Hulks are like Money Vending Machines on Legs.  Massive amounts of gold  and several magical items spilled from their split cavities, and that, combined with the damage taken, convinced the party to head back to town. 

After resting up, the party headed back out again, but this time decided to check out that trap door, not eager to face more Umber Hulks.  Following the tunnel below back into town, they found that it ended in another trap door, leading up.  Kaye decided to use a mystery scroll in the event that it would help, but instead found himself polymorphed into a mouse.  Taking it in stride, he offered to use his newfound size to scout the area above.  He found himself in an empty bedroom.  Scurrying around, he found that there were other bedrooms, with sleeping figures in each, but he was unable to determine anything else due to his size.  Coming across a set of stairs headed down, he leapt down into the front room of an inn, where a Bugbear worked behind the bar, and a goblin lounged in front of the fire.  Figuring he'd seen enough, Kaye tried to go back up the stairs, but found he was too small.  The goblin got up from the fire, and started heading upstairs, so Kaye tried to hitch a ride, leaping onto his shoe.  Unfortunately, the polymorph wore off at an inopportune moment, and the goblin found himself being tackled by a naken human male.  Kaye got up and started running, the Goblin and the Bugbear hot on his heels.

There was a tense standoff as Kaye made it back to the party, still huddled below the trap door in the bedroom.  The Goblin cried for Justice, and the party told it to shut up.  The Bugbear was more angry at the Illithids that were staying in the room for creating a tunnel and causing damages, and pretty much forgot about Kaye.  The party investigated the room, and found a scrap of paper in the Illithid language, which they took with them as they left, promising to crack the Illithids' skulls for the Bugbear Barkeep.

Aaand that's about where we left things.  Tune in next time for more adventures of the Post Apocalyptic Refugees!


  1. Kaye 'offered' to help. Ha. You are very diplomatic. lol

    - Ark

  2. This sounds fun! An impression I never got from reading Spelljammer supplements.


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