Friday, October 6, 2017

Escape from the Purple Planet Session Two

Last time our "heroes" were pulled across space and time from the planet Aereth to the Purple Planet. They braved an arena filled with bloodthirsty kith; eventually escaping into the arena underworks and deeper into the dungeon beneath the Purple Planet. 

Below is a session report of the surviving funnel characters delving a dungeon I created with ideas and inspiration from the Purple Planet Companion, a very interesting booklet that comes with the outstanding DCC RPG Purple Planet box set from Goodman Games.

There aren't any spoilers for any official DCC RPG adventures.

Player Characters:

Dennis the Thief (Player: Stephen): Dennis is a bold but unlucky thief. Monsters seem drawn towards attacking him.

Maraj the Elf (Player: Austin): Maraj is an Elf who has Azi Dahaka as a patron. Azi Dahaka considers the elf a valuable asset and emblazoned Maraj’s face with a tattoo of a serpent. Maraj has found his power to cast Burning Hands to be particularly powerful on the Purple Planet. He is chaotic.

Mr. Crowley the Cleric (Player: Robert): Crowley is a cleric of Cthulhu who comes off as calm, capable, and a little bit creepy.

Olestra the Warrior (Player: Anne): Olestra is a chaotic bandit who use to raid caravans in the desert near the player character’s village of Umara (back when they were still Zero Level peasants). Her chaotic nature and bravery (stupidity?) are unparalleled.

Sniper the Warrior (Player: Dominic): Sniper has low strength for a warrior but makes up for it with agility and daring. His lucky weapon is a longbow; now if only he could find one! 


Tio Lizix: He is a strange blue skinned alien viking from across the stars. He claims to have a starship that can escape the Purple Planet but one must remember that he talks to himself constantly. (Retained by Mr. Crowley.)

Session Report

The session began as the characters who survived the funnel came running through a massive iron door that slid closed behind them. They knew they wouldn’t be able to return the way they had come from but were escaping a room with two angry living statues with laser eyes. (Judge Note: This was an additional final exit I added to the “Escape from the Purple Planet” funnel. Players were made aware before going through the door that Session 02 would find them in a lower level of a dungeon; rather than seeking out a space ship to escape the Purple Planet.)
As they entered the large room an unnatural sand storm began to fill the chamber. Maraj saw the face of Azi Dahaka, Demon Prince of the Storms and Waste, formed in the sand, speaking with Maraj and offering a deal. (Patron Bond spell was cast previously, initiated in character here.) Maraj seemed in a trance unable to help his compatriots. A serpent tattoo emblazoned onto his face as he shook hands with the patron.

The rest of the adventurers faired much worse. They couldn’t see Azi Dahaka in the sand storm and, even worse, the sand and harsh winds were slowly suffocating them. Dennis the thief snapped into action and ran for the sole door exiting the room. The door was actually a large purple scarab shell and, strangely, it was locked. Having no thieves’ tools, Dennis began to jam his spear into the door and try to wedge it open. It wasn’t going well. (Judge Note: Pick Locks check failed multiple times.)

From the ceiling, through a portal that Azi Dahaka opened across time and space, fell Mr. Crowley and Olestra to the floor. They had just come from the planet Aereth where Azi Dahaka had swept a similar sandstorm across the desert where Olestra was raiding a caravan of merchants that Mr. Crowley had hitched a ride with. Why the Demon Prince of the Wastes, Azi Dahaka, had chosen them to be sent to the Purple Planet at this moment, is anyone’s guess.

Some of the party started to try and smash down the purple scarab door. Dennis the thief saw a blue metal pipe sticking out of the ceiling with orange roots dangling down so he jumped up and climbed in; leaving his friends(?) behind.

Just as Dennis was going to begin exploring down the pipe, however, Sniper stepped up calmly to the locked purple scarab door and kicked it down with ease. (Judge Note: Player rolled a natural 20.) As he ran out of the chamber he caught himself suddenly as he was about to fall down a deep pit trap just outside the door. Close call.

The party formed up a marching order and began to explore down the 10 foot wide halls of the dungeon. The walls were carved with geometric shapes, primarily hexagons like a large honeycomb. Between the cracks glowed a bright orange light that eliminated the need for a torch or lantern.

While exploring they came upon a group of humanoids… sorts none of them had ever heard of or seen before. These odd creatures had the torso of a human (but with odd wiggling horns) but the body of a dark chitinous beetle with five legs. The creatures carried spears and looked angrily at the party, lifting their spears to attack. (Judge Note: Trillimites from the Purple Planet Companion)

He looks friendly.
During the initial moments of combat the creatures spit green acid at the party, aiming it at the unlucky thief. Dennis kept his cool and dodged out of the way of the steaming liquid. The warriors engaged with the beetle men, getting in their face and chopping them down with axes and polearms. Crowley called on the power of Cthulhu to heal some of the party who were taking damage, small tentacles forming out of his palm to sew up their wounds.

The battle ended with all of the weird humanoids dead in pieces on the floor of the dungeon; oozing with white guts. Olestra ripped a handful of antennae off the dead creatures and formed it into a gaudy crown. Bandit Warrior Princess status confirmed!

Exploring deeper into the dungeon the party came to a chamber filled with gnats. Buzzing about the room the gnats were forming themselves into runes and seemingly trying to communicate. Dennis was more interested in getting at the apparent chest they were swarming around so he tossed his bag of gongfarmer, um, accouterments into the corner of the room. The gnats swarmed that instead.

Runes on the glove: just start hitting buttons!
The chest was ebony stone carved into the stone floor. It had three blinking lights on the top. Dennis approached it and was able to unlock it. Uncertain if it was trapped the rest of the party backed out of the room (to give the thief room to work, I’m sure). When he opened the chest it began to beep and the lights blinked faster, focusing energy into the center light and zapping a laser at Dennis. The laser beam attack missed the thief. (Judge Note: damn.)

Inside the chest shimmered with gold chunks shaped into various geometric shapes; 250 gold polyhedrals worth about the value of 1 gold piece each. Olestra dug in and claimed her cut immediately. Bandit Warriors have no need of waiting to count out cuts.

Also in the chest were silver plated thieves tools (Dennis), a nicely made short sword with a gold plated pommel, Leather armor studded with odd pale green stones (Maraj), and a strange glove inset with lightly glowing runes (Maraj).

The party exited the gnat filled room and further explored the dungeon, eventually coming to a river of green sludge. The flow of neon green liquid moved in strange swirls and formed into statue like shapes on top. The “statues” began a play-act of everything that happened to the party in the first room of the dungeon; showing them a macabre sludgy performance if their escape from the sandstorm chamber. The party collectively scratched their heads.
The Green Flow

 Sniper egged Dennis on, encouraging him to drink the green flow. Dennis bowed partially to peer pressure but judged it better to test the depth of the flow with his 10 foot pole instead. It was at least 10 feet deep and his 10 foot pole shook and emblazoned with the words “Drink of Me” down the shaft. Dennis laughed and thought better than doing just that.

The party intended to walk along the coastline of the green flow but a neon green tendril slid from the river and wagged at them like a disapproving finger. Mr. Crowley prayed to Cthulthu the Uncaring about whether or not this was a safe passage. (Judge Note: Minor Divine Aid) In his third eye he saw a likely future of the neon green tendril choking Dennis the thief and pulling him beneath the sludgy river. Crowley pondered whether to warn his compatriots but eventually did so, rationalizing that Dennis the thief is Neutral in alignment so could be a worshipper of Cthulu one day.

Meanwhile, Olestra found a flight of stairs and balcony that jutted out over the green flow, many orange vines hanging from the cavern ceiling. This seemed, to her, the perfect place to swing across the vines to get to the other side of the river. She did so with little difficulty, touching down in a massive chamber filled wall to wall with the beetle humanoid creatures the party had dispatched previously. She had found the brood. Crystal mushrooms hung from the cavern ceiling and insect eggs were stuck to the walls here and there. The leader of the brood stepped forward, the Brood Mother. She took one look at Olestra’s crown of antennae and asked with exasperation in the common tongue: “WHAT are you wearing on your HEAD?” The brood attacked.

Olestra fled quickly running for the beach of the green flow. The party had found a long rope that was crossing the river and Maraj was shimmying across it. He saw the massive brood chasing the bandit princess and yelled out to the remaining party on the opposite side of the river. He shimmied back the way he had come.

This whole time the party had been avoiding touching the Green Flow but Olestra ran towards the neon river with the intention of swimming across and having the party pull her on the rope. Swimming wasn’t necessary however as just as she took hold of the end of the rope and leapt as far as she could, the party pulled hard on the opposite end, some 30 feet away.

Tio Lizix was the hero of the day as the blue skinned alien and retainer to Mr. Crowley pulled with otherworldly might and Olestra came flying across the river and rolling onto the beach next to her party. (Judge Note: Natural 20 was rolled for retainer’s pull of the rope.)

She dusted herself off as the party realized thirty of the beetle men were climbing along the cavern ceiling to cross the river to chase Olestra down. The party fled back the way they came.

The party was moving as fast as they could back through the orange lit hallways of the dungeon, taking a passage they hadn’t explored. Sniper jumped backwards after stepping on a flagstone that compressed, the walls making the sound of grinding stones. The left and right hallways smashed together just missing Sniper and Dennis who were in the front of the marching order. Dennis used his thiefly knowledge to figure out which stone was the one to avoid and the party travelled on.

They opened a door to their right quickly and ran inside. Dennis used his thiefly skills again to lock the door without a key, hoping the beetle men would be held up from catching them. None in the party could imagine fighting more than thirty of the strong creatures since fighting four had been dangerous enough.
This but blue

As Dennis locked the door, four hexagonal stones in the floor jutted up as weird blue moles popped out of the floor and tossed their flagstones (now hats) at the party. A fight ensued with some party members getting his with the missile attacks and some taking gopher scratches; but our heroes(?) prevailed.

The purple scarab door began to shake as the humanoids were outside the chamber trying to chase the party down. Their only escape was a blue metal tube that stuck out of the back wall filled with orange vines. The party had to crouch and walk in single file but they all fled the room into the tube jutting from the wall. A smash of stone on stone was heard as it was obvious the beetle men had triggered the deadly hallway trap the party had narrowly escaped unharmed.

In the tube the party came to a dead body up ahead. Olestra scurried forward to investigate. Weird furry spiders started to pour from the rotten corpse like a swarm, filling the cramped metal tube and attacking the party from all angles.

Each party member had to contend with the cramped space and were only able to wield small weapons. Dennis and Sniper passed a buckler shield back and forth to smash the freakish rat spiders against the wall. Maraj nicked his ear with a dagger to spellburn and bring back his ability to cast Flaming Hands, blasting flames at the ceiling trying to avoid friendly fire.

Crowley tried to turn the disgusting swarm but only managed to anger his god, catching a harsh disapproval where Cthulu refused to heal anyone but neutral worshippers of his for three hours. More fire filled the cramped tube as Maraj shot flames about. Olestra clanged a dagger against the walls in attack, the swarm jumping and biting about.

Crowley tried again to turn the swarm, holding up his oddly shaped tentacle holy symbol, and the swarm took flight in fear. He chased them back the way the party had come, intending to swarm them into the room where the beetle men had chased them. The room was empty and the swarm cowered to the corner of the room, beginning to feed on a blue gopher corpse. The battle was finished.
Imagine a swarm of these... 

The party continued to explore, coming to a new chamber and climbing out of the cramped blue tube. This chamber had a massive red flower with orange vines growing from it everywhere. Red fruit shaped like an infinity symbol hung from the vines, four good fruit in total. So, of course, four party members ate it.

The fruit made Sniper feel weak, his Strength being sapped from him. Dennis felt the same effect, his stomach also feeling empty like a pit. Crowley and Olestra, however, felt better and stronger than ever. Their strength grew and they no longer felt any hunger.

The party decided to rest in this room and Crowley drew a magic circle on the floor with blood from the rotted fruit to convert Dennis and Sniper to be worshippers of Cthulu. They wanted the elder god to heal them. Dennis was also convinced of the wisdom of Cthulu’s priests when Crowley explained his religion thusly: “All I know is I’m too stupid to understand.” Dennis the thief said “Sold!” and converted on the spot.

Now three of the five party members were official worshippers of Cthulu. (Judge Note: what could go wrong?)

Exploring deeper into the dungeon, the party came to a massive chamber with a big group of strange humanoids. The humanoids were hairless with pinkish skin and large milky white eyes and crooked claws. In a massive chamber filled with crystal mushrooms climbing towards a high ceiling, the humanoids were engaging in a ritual where more than 20 of them were in a circle around their leader.

The leader, strangely enough, was a tall handsome human man with long blue hair. Psychic energy bled from his packs’ foreheads towards his. With his arms raised he was projecting some image on the back wall of a man he called an Ascended Master. “This is who we shall find, my friends. But first we must dispatch of Kyrion’s Children who block our path!”

The party surprised the pack but decided to speak rather than attack. They learned that Kyrion’s Children was what the pack called the humanoids with the bodies of beetles. The pack of weird milky eyed humanoids called themselves the Houseless, eventually admitting that they were kith that had lived under the purple planet for generations.

The party agreed to help them dispatch of Kyrion’s Children… next session.

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