Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Portal Under the Stars

First session of Dungeon Crawl Classics last night!

I told everyone ahead of time that we would be creating four 0-level characters for the first session, and spent a little bit of time explaining the high death count, stripped-down rules, and sword & sorcery weirdness that defines the game. I allowed 4d6-L for ability scores, but still required they be in order (no rearranging) and stuck to random rolls for everything else. We even rolled on the random name chart in the back for PC names.

Some of the more interesting characters were Llambachis the orphan with a rag doll flail, Tharaskis the farmer with a hen, and Cambellio the caravan guard in the spider man suit (it might have been just the miniature, we never confirmed in-game).

We ran the Portal Under the Stars from the DCC rulebook. It wasn't as deadly as I thought it would be, but I might have run it a little too easy. Only two PCs died, so I told the players to pick two each to promote to 1st-level for now.

The napalm-spewing statue was fun. I think its supposed to just attack for 5 rounds in a row and run out of fuel, but since I initially described it as rotating slowly (about 180 degrees per round), the party spent a lot of time running around in circles keeping behind the arc of fire. So when somebody tried to disrupt the fire blast with a torch I let that disrupt the trap, but the character got burned to death in the resulting explosion.

Nobody touched the crystals in the pool, which was funny because they weren't dangerous unless they got greedy and damaged the floor too much. The clay army wasn't too difficult because they destroyed the skeletons on the top level, which meant the 7 generals were already disabled.

And they got a lot of loot for 0-level characters! Some quality equipment, and two demonic magic items. I made the snake-demon's horn a link to Demogorgon. The Prince of Demons was destroyed in my Savage Tide campaign years ago, so if they take him as a Patron they'll be able to summon his avatar, a shard of his destroyed form. I made the alien force in the crystal ball Tsathoggua, one of the Mythos gods. He's from Saturn and helps sorcerors apparently out of boredom, it seemed a good fit.

They also freed the crystal people, who returned to life in sunlight. They're an ancient race of humans who will need to adjust to a new world but could be an interesting role-playing opportunity.

I'm going to let several months pass to explain how everyone trained up to their new class abilities, and flesh out the world some more.