Last session, the party started their adventure, went on a nice boating trip, were attacked by bugs, and then ate someone.
This time, we end the first "season" of the campaign with them completing their final objectives. And then they ate someone.
Aemanda Tessier - Dom (only session 3)
Eni Léashvath - Vayra
Arok Tseyvar - Kwub (only session 3)
Erul Avedayati - PurpleCthulhu
Zoma - Justin Hamilton
The players spent some time in Subrayada - giving the Overseer the capacitors they'd gathered, then going on a shopping trip. They managed to afford some more bullets for [PLACEHOLDER]'s new gun, and a knife for Aemanda.
They checked their map - the nearest objective was a Network Anteenna, from Network Station 32-c, only a mile and a half away. They leave, passing through Subrayada's front gate and a massive crack in one of the ship's walls. As they walked, the path in front of them split, over and over, until eventually they marched through a corridor only 10 feet wide.
Then, they stopped. A 20-foot wide stream of corrosive liquid cut through one of the path's walls like a bleeding wound. burning through the floor and vanishing somewhere below.
[Unnamed] was immediately interested in tasting the liquid. When Erul's 10-foot pole (used for depth testing) came up tarnished and smoking, that attitude changed.
Eni decides fire fixed everything last time, and lights a torch, pushing it across the ground towards the stream. The liquid sputters and boils immediately, but does not burn. The party quickly realized that turning the dangerous corrosive stream into a dangerous corrosive cloud really wouldn't help their situation, and pulled out the torch.
Eventually they decide to block the flow with a wall panel. Eni bravely sacrifices their 10-foot pole to the task, and starts prying at the wall. The other PCs hear a pair of footsteps coming up from behind them - their special brand of violent paranoia is (at least time) unjustified, as the footsteps come from a pair of Sworn (Sworn are well-supplied direct agents of the Hierarchs, usually kept for actual wars. Subrayada has a few because of its proximity to a Coolant Sea, and with the rail line down the Overseer is at the top of their chain of command), out here trying to build a perimeter.
The Sworn warn them about the Network Station - traders have returned from there warning of Ghoul attacks. Eni responds with a... less than charismatic reference to Creationist Heresy, leading the more pious of the Sworn to blink in confusion. Luckily, the other breaks the tension, offering the party a round of drinks if they manage to make it back.
Having (barely) managed to talk to a person for 5 minutes without thinking about eating them, the party decide it's time for some lunch, and a test of Sunless Horizon's Rest system - instead of just healing, you get to choose 2 of a list of options (resting to restore Hope, using bandages and other medicine to restore Flesh, Scouting to change the random encounter table, etc.).
[Unnamed] passes their Scout check, and decides to hunt down a group of bandits in the area. Aemanda passes as well, and removes one of the more threatening Obstacles. They start to move, and conceal themselves on one of the bandits' routes. Thanks to my poor initiative system, the fight turned into a massacre - each PC killed the bandit just below them in initiative, so initiative went to another PC, who then killed the next bandit, and repeat. (After this session we switched to a simultaneous system that seems to be working a lot better).
The party loot the bandits, then travel the rest of the way to the Network Station.
Network Station 32-C
The Station is marked by a pair of enormous hydraulic doors, both stenciled with the station's designation. Over these stencils are unknown brownish symbols, scrawled by Ghouls to mark one of their nests.
As the players crossed the doorway, they found a pair of heads on pikes (one Kaiva, one Disciple) staring at the entrance of the nest. Inside this front room is a round shaft leading deeper into the station, and a rusted scaffold drooping into the pit from the ceiling, bearing the antenna at its nadir.
While the players inspect the pit, they see a pair of wet, dark eyes - a Ghoul, staring back up at them. They decide to move down and try to parley - Eni descends on a rope and offers it some food. It accepts, but doesn't understand their language - Eni asks where the antenna is, but the Ghoul assumes they're looking for the last group of Jackals, and points to a small maintenance room on the other side of the shaft.
The rest of the PCs keep an eye on the Ghoul while Eni crosses over, and opens the door to the maintenance room. They are almost stabbed by one of the last Jackals - an Ayir named Alexis, with two broken legs. Alexis begs to be rescued, and the players bring her up to the first floor. The Ghoul they found leaves, crawling through a tunnel.
Then, they decide to descend all the way to the bottom, skipping the 3rd and 4th floors of the pit. At the bottom, they find the Network Antenna, hanging over an abyss. They can see lights blinking back at them from the bottom - it seems like they're miles away.
|Like this, but upside-down. Sure looks safe to me!|
As the PCs make a plan to detach the Antenna without it falling, a Ghoul starts to climb across the scaffolds above, from one room of the 3rd floor to another. As Eni disconnects the Antenna, [Unnamed] uses their duct tape to tape it to Eni's back.
The Ghoul looks down and sees them. It coils and leaps, but [Unnamed] deflects it, sending it into the abyss. Its scream awakens the rest, and 5 Ghouls emerge from the 3rd floor. 2 start to climb the scaffolds to the top, while three descend.
This fight was the first test of the new simultaneous initiative system.
Zoma and Erul both fire, the sound of their guns resonating in the walls. Both shots hit, one caving in a Ghoul's skull, the other puncturing its lung. Alexis throws a spear, stabbing through one of the descending Ghouls.
- Simultaneous combat is definitely the best option for this game.
- The Difficult Terrain system isn't really working how I had hoped. I'm currently debating whether to try a pointcrawl-like Difficult Terrain minigame, or just drop the subsystem entirely. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd really like to hear them.
- The game doc needs a lot more resources to be run by anyone but me - the Obstacle and Encounter tables are all placeholder, there's no guidance for if the PCs abandon the Houses, etc. This is my highest priority for the next version.
- And finally, this is a working concept. Even after all the work I'd put into this setting, I was still (very slightly) unsure if it would work for an RPG.