|Nothing brings people together like a near TPK!|
Jordyn was playing: Laurence the Squire, Cherry Star the Astrologer, Iskamar the Shaman and HuMungo the Grave Digger.
Charlie (not a newcomer to RPGs, but new to DCC) was playing: Baby Dennis the Cheesmaker, Lesley the Cobbler, Fico the Halfling Mariner and Ronnie the Dwarven stonemason.
Alana was playing: Darren the Costermonger, Darrel the Gongfarmer, Dave the Elven navigator and Dan the Ditch Digger.
Will (totally new to RPGs) was playing: Baby Destroyer the Woodcutter, Big Jerry Tea Cups the Trapper, Angeline Gungertoes the Radish Farmer and Mike the Minstrel.
- Setting out from the village of Reed, the party entered the dreaded Eastern Forest and was surprised by a group of maddened and flayed people. Here the party encountered their first death as Darren was torn to shreds. They soon vanquished the the foes and continued to towards the direction of the falling Crimson Star.
- Death Toll: 1
- Reaching an Ancient Keep, they crossed the bridge, ignoring the Head-bat chewing on a crucified corpse, and attempting to open the gate whereupon Head-bats from the battlements pushed over two statues that came crashing down, breaking the bridge. Surprisingly no one fell to their death!
- The party took the right bend on the ledge around the Keep's rock foundation. I asked the players to determine their walking order as follows: Will, Jordyn, Charlie, Alana. As they wound the bend three head-bats, with explosive bottles tied and lit to their... heads?, were spiraling down towards them. Will and Jordyn's characters pushed on to the backside where the ledge widens, but Charlie and Alana's characters couldn't make it in time. Dave the Elf shot one of the fiends down, but the other two exploded killing, Dave, Dan and Baby Dennis.
- Death Toll: 4
- After the explosion Charlie and Alana's PCs found new opening in the rock and entered.
- Will and Jordyn's characters entered through a grate which lead into a dungeon. From there they found a set of keys and moved on to the stairwell that rose to the next level.
- The new cave turned out to be a tomb of some ancient king with elephantiasis bones. Darrel the Gongfarmer found a magic sword laying with the King! They headed up a set of stairs that lead to a secret door which entered a hall of tapestries. Lesley the Cobbler (being of high INT) began studying these tapestries.
- As Will and Jordyns PCs ascended the stairs they heard footsteps and mumbling. Laurence the Squire stuck up the stairs and peeked around the corner seeing several figures in the dim light. He told Baby Destroying, who flew up the stairs to surprise attack whoever it was and ended up almost killing Lesley as he was studying the tapestries.
- Now that the party was back together they entered the only room they could, a library and began searching the surroundings.
- Darrel's new sword began glow as if aflame just before HuMungo was attacked by a naked husk of walking skin that split down the middle and consumed his flesh!
- Death Toll: 5
- The Party attacked the creature and Ronnie the dwarf began through potions from a nearby bookshelf at it! (I rolled a random Potion from Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50 and got one that drained 2d6 STR). Darrel and the Corrupted Flesh were struck by the foul potion that steamed about the room and, failing a Fort save, Darrel's muscles deteriorated and he collapsed on the ground.
- After they defeated the monster, one of the PCs started carrying Darrel around like a backpack until the Shaman attempted to heal him with some herbs and holy water (she rolled high enough and I allowed 3d4 STR healing. Enough to take Darrel from -6 to 1.)
- In the library, Ronnie found a strange tome bound in black feathers, of which he decided to open on the balcony near by. The crows picked his bones from his flesh!
- Death Toll: 6
- The Party also found a box with a girl's face in it. The face was Baby Destoryer's lover Belesa (the first taken from the village) and he lost his mind (losing some INT points from the ghastly reveal).
- While exploring they found a secret tunnel which lead to a strange dug out room. In the room were two iron metal arms. Baby Dennis activated the arms (which would normal encase him in crystal before transporting him to Other Worlds and disintegrating his body, except that he rolled a 20 on his Fort save and survived!) The crystal, however, exploded and sent chucks flying through the room which killed Fico, Cherry Star, Iskamar, Laurence, Baby Destroyer, and Big Jeffery Tea Cups!
- Death Toll: 12
- Skipping ahead the party found a window to the next level just before the Corrupted Flesh regenerated and tried to get them.
- Having heard some evil guy talking on the other side of the door, they busted through and surprise the Butcher Cultist and easily dropped him!
- They evenutally reached the Courtyard and battled and killed with the magic sword the Shambling Flesh monster before heading up the the tower to face the Witch there.
- As they emerged at the top of the tower, the Crimson Star was a huge ball of flames! The Witch was almost complete with her ritual as they attacked and missed in the confusion and blustering winds! The Witch killed Darrel with a brutal stab to the throat!
- Death Toll: 13
- One of the newly saved villagers, Shakia the Elven barrister managed to take the strange fleshly dagger out of the Witch's hands and push her face down into the pool of blood she was standing in.
- On the last round, before the Necromancer would have appeared and sent him all into a Nexus Between Worlds they dragged her body out of the sticky bloody muck and through her off the tower.
- Shakia, who had the weird blade, was a possessed and attacking her fellow party members. Killing Baby Dennis, before they wrestled the blade from her.
- Death Toll: 14
- With a 10ft pole they knocked the dagger off the tower into the deep valley below and "save the day!" sort of...
What did I learn?
- I was using the printed module to run the game and there are plenty of places were I say, "Man, I wish I put a comma there" or "Why didn't I think of this before!"
- I agree with a recently Facebook review that there are too many DC checks for what should be obvious things. (i.e. Dwarf masonry checks, etc)
- I changed a few things (with the chance of a die). For example: the door to the Butcher Cultist is suppose to be locked, but at the time their party only had 3 wounded PCs and I knew there were "fresh" ones on the other side if they managed to kill the cultist. So with a percent die of 50 or less the door would be unlocked and they could just barge in, which they did. I also added one more villager in that room to be saved (there are only 3 in the book).
- Sometimes the players roll well and sometimes they don't. They were able to kill the Shambling Flesh Mass easy. It's hard to judge whether a creature like the Shambling Flesh Mass has too few dice or not. In retrospect I probably should have given it 8d6 HD for the 8 cultists it took to make the creature instead of the 4d10 it has.
In the end there will most definitely be a 2nd or "revised" printing of Sky ov Crimson Flame as I continue to grow both as a Judge and a writer. (Note that I'm not going to "George Lucas" the shit out of it, just add a few things here or there). More than likely this will happen with the printing of my next adventure.