Tuesday, November 19, 2019

[Actual Play] A Foray into the Transformed & Generated Land

My neural network generated hexcrawl is closing completion!! I ran a short play-test today for two players who happened to be available, with random characters. Procedures and mechanics still need work, but overall it was FUN, gonzo, but playable!

The characters were "strangers in a strange land" - people who were randomly transported from their home dimension into the Transformed & Generated land.

The first one up was Little Timmy, Specialist 1 (one-legged urchin from London). I had him roll for the starting hex. He woke up in the middle of a wide grassland. It was snowing, and quite cold. He discovered a musky smelling tunnel leading underground - but decided not to enter it just yet. Instead, he moved to the nearby forest. He couldn't recognize the trees, but was happy to see that they were fruit-bearing - or rather, there were some big fungoid-type growths on them. He harvested a couple. While he was picking the "fruits", a woman dressed in dark robes appeared. She seemed to be looking for someone. She approached Little Timmy, and asked something - but the two of them didn't share a language, so she resorted to pantomime. Little Timmy gathered that the woman was looking for her child (or other short person), but couldn't help her. Then she asked, using signs, whether Little Timmy was planning to eat the "fruits". Timmy nodded, and the woman stepped back and started shaking her head. Another pantomime followed, which could have meant that whoever eats the fruits turns into a monster. So he dropped them. The woman left.

Little Timmy continued exploring the forest, and entered another area, where the ground was covered with a thick mat from the roots of the trees. The air was full of snowflakes, but also tiny fleeces just floating in the air. Forest creatures were moving under the intertwining roots.

Suddenly, another visitor showed up - Sally Mason, Magic-User 1 (sorceress who prefers Floating Disc to walking)! The two of them decided to travel together. They only had a couple of rations on them, so decided to hunt in the eerie forest. They noticed a turkey-like bird, and fired arrows at it - when hit, the bird turned into stone...

Disappointed, the duo moved out of the forest, and towards the wasteland/grassland to the south.

Around sundown, they met two groups of people, who were clearly in the middle of an argument. They were brandishing guns and other weapons. Timmy hid behind a rock, but Sally floated forth and approached them. Luckily, one of them was also a "displaced" person, and could speak Sally Mason's language. He explained that they were arguing about some food that the other group took from them, and they were ready to fight over it. Sally offered her own rations instead to keep the peace. The people accepted the offer, and parted in peace. Three of them stayed behind, and invited Sally and Timmy to their camp, especially that night was rapidly approaching, and a thunderstorm was gathering.

The group camped, and Sally and Timmy learned some things about the lay of the land and about the dangers that are everywhere - monsters along the river, monster along the sea, and insect overlords in the north-east area...

In the morning, the weather got even colder.

Sally and Timmy traveled further, and soon they heard voices and distress calls in the distance. They investigated, and found a man and a woman stuck inside a split tree... The woman spoke a language they all understood, and told about how she and her husband climbed the tree to escape dire wolves, but the tree broke, split, and trapped them... They offered some apples and potions in exchange for help. Sally lit a torch, melted some snow, and used her soap and the water to lubricate the stuck people. This way, they could pull them out, and the tree snapped back together.

The woman told them that she got the potion as payment for work from a witch who lives in a small village in the swamps to the west. However, she couldn't tell what the potions were for. Timmy tried one, and instantly fell asleep! Sally put him on her Floating Disc, and they continued the exploration.

After a half day of travel through the prairie, they noticed a centaur who was busy digging the half-frozen ground. Timmy sneaked closer, and realized that the centaur was digging up corpses!!! The centaur noticed him, and got all defensive - he was digging up the bodies to eat them, and was not about to share this precious food with anybody. Timmy retreated, and the duo waited while the centaur finished and moved on.

Afterwards, they arrived to the seaside.

Sally wanted to create a raft or a boat, but without much success.

Timmy fished in the sea, and caught a strange fish - but got attacked by a huge, neckless and eyeless toad creature!! The monster caught him by surprise, and almost instantly killed him! Timmy retreated and tried to staunch the bleeding, but didn't succeed. The toad monster attack Sally, but Sally proved to be quite the swordfighter and defeated the toad monster. However, it was already too late for poor Timmy, who bled out...

The toad monster's body twitched, and a human crawled out from it - Mathilde the Warrior Princess, Fighter 1 (a barbarian who got turned into a toad monster by an evil witch). She joined Sally, and they decided to go and look for the "insects overlords" of the north-east, because Mathilde had sworn an oath to defeat the "ant people". Sally wanted to travel on her Floating Disc, but her spell misfired (risky casting!). The Disc materialized, but cut off the sorceress's right arm (I was using my lovely miscast result tables)!!!

Anyway, the new duo traveled up to the north-east, and eventually found a cave that was guarded by drooling flying monkeys... When they approached, the monkeys sounded an alarm, and some insect people came out from the cave. They turned out to be almost friendly, and invited Sally and Mathilde for their monthly religious festival. They even assured them, that they won't be in any danger, as this month's sacrifice (a huge lizard creature) was already secured. The feast would take place during the full moon, three days later.

Sally and Mathilde decided to camp nearby for one night, then go and hunt to replenish their stocks.

In the morning, however, they got all the rations they needed, because it started RAINING FROGS!

The duo waited for full moon, and entered the cave of the insect people. They were shown to a huge cavern, where an insect person statue stood on a gold pillar. At least a hundred insects were present. They sacrificed a dinosaur-like creature, and the feast began. Everybody got a small chunk of the lizard meat. Sally and Mathilde also partook in the feast.

When Sally inquired about a way to grow back her arm, the insects told her about a brutal half-goat half-man monster that lives up north and is rumored to have the power to regenerate itself.

In the meantime, they noticed that a young humanoid girl with insect wings was also present. She just observed the feast, didn't take any of the meat. A huge yellow toad was following her around.

Sally asked one of the insect people about the girl. At first, the insect person was not eager to talk about the girl, but after some convincing, she told Sally that the girl is the queen of the insects, a powerful being who can predict the future.

And this was the end of the session.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Two magic items

Arachnid Servants of Hypnos

Four silver spiders in a velvet bag; when the bag is opened, the spiders swarm forth and envelope up to four willing creatures with their webs.
The cocooned creatures fall asleep for 1 hour. Their dreams are sweet and filled with the sounds of the wind playing the web’s strands as a harp. The creatures are completely unaware of their surroundings and cannot be roused by any means. This 1 hour sleep mechanically counts as a full rest in terms of healing, spell memorization, etc. Furthermore, each affected creature regains 1 HD worth of hit points.
After the 1 hour, the webs dissolve, and the four spiders crawl back into the velvet bag.
However, there is a flat 1-in-6 chance for each affected creature to fall into a week-long coma (and possibly gain a spiderific mutation). Delay Poison grants a save vs. poison to counter this effect.

Soap of Absolute Cleanness

This inconspicuous bar of soap removes all curses, diseases and similar ailments if someone washes themselves with it.
However, each time it also scrubs away one of the seven layers of the skin of the user. Repeated use leads to serious consequences as the person’s skin is eroded. This can only be healed by miracle-level restorative magic. The soap is good for 1d8 uses.
Layers of skin left Effect
6 No effect yet
5 Can no longer wear armor heavier than leather
4 Can no longer wear any armor, -1 on Reaction and Loyalty rolls
3 Double damage from fire, acid, and similar sources
2 Can no longer wear clothes; skin now almost completely transparent;
double damage from any kind of attack
1 Uncle Frank from Hellraiser
0 Death