Monday, September 28, 2009

Chuckles' Revenge: A T&T Actual Play Report!

"Let's do an old-fashioned dungeon crawl!" said my wife, not just spontaneously and for no real reason but rather because we were having friends over yesterday but hadn't planned on entertainment shenanigans. "We haven't done one of those in a while." She's right; we haven't.

Eventually our friends showed up: Leaky Pete, The Jake With No Nickname and Party Gorilla. We sat around and jaw-jacked a while, hem-hawed about something to do and finally I said, "Screw it, how about I run a dungeon crawl with Tunnels & Trolls?" No one tried to punch me for suggesting it, so I handed out some papers and clipboards and grabbed my copy of 7.5.

In short order we had some characters rolled up:
  • Jake rolled up Zando, a 2nd-level Dark Elf Wizard (remember that in T&T 7+, characters can begin at higher levels if their attributes are high enough!) with a low tolerance for other kindred;
  • Leaky Pete again played Snot, a (very annoying) 2nd-level Goblin Rogue and possessor of Herschel the Crab-Slaying Hammer (not magical, but quite storied);
  • Nerdy Girl -my wife- rolled up Meraana, 1st-level Human Rogue with no spells; and
  • Party Gorilla created Glorkk, 4th-level Wolf-Troll Warrior, with an ungodly appetite and ungodlier Strength of 46.
[A fifth character was rolled up -- by my 5-year-old daughter. That, my friends, is a subject for a post all its own.]

The game began in the town of Elminster's Privy -- which was quickly changed to Rathelmet [pronounced "rat helmet"], because my wife thought i twas funnier. The players were alone in the Mopey Fish-Head Tavern, availing themselves of the wares (Glorkk picked up a whole cask of ale, tugged out the cork with his teeth and downed the whole thing, prompting Meraana to exclaim, "He's drinking straight from the bunghole!") when the door swung open and there, silhouetted in a sudden flash of lightning, stood the stubby form of a dwarf.

The Dwarf strode in and eyed the party. He wore a purple hood with a yellow tassel, which I described as looking like he had a Crown Royal bag on his head. "Are you adventurers?" he asked, at which Snot ran up and said, "Yes! There are Snot's Adventurers!"

He justified this by pointing out that he is Snot, the rest of the party travels with him, ergo they are Snot's adventurers. Well enough; the dwarf, who introduced himself as Grubble Hooch-hood, declared that he needed adventurers for a dangerous mission from which they might not come back. Grubble produced a map showing the Winter Mountains and the Valley of the Unknown Oaks. He explained that in the Winter Mountains was the ancient Dwarven Hall of the Mystic Heroes, long since lost to time, blah blah blah. Within its shadowy depths lay The Hammer of the Gods, and he needed it back. The PCs could keep anything else they found but the hammer was for him only. You know the drill.

Right away, Zando posited that they didn't need Grubble -- they could just go get the whole kaboodle and be done with it. Grubble insisted on coming with them, at least to the foot of the mountain, and hinted that if they skipped on him it'd go bad for them. They accepted the quest anyway; they promptly stole a wagon and two mules and were on their way.

Yes, it was that kind of game.

They rolled out of Rathelmet and were halfway to Bungleston when Zando, the wagon-driver, fell asleep and ran off the road -- and straight into a bandit ambush. There were 7 bandits, each with MR10; 3 had bows and were ready to shoot. The bandit leader help Zando at sword-point while the wily Dark Elf immediately sold Grubble out. "There's a dwarf in the back. He has a treasure map. You can have him; just let us go." One of the bandits went to check the back of the wagon...

Glorkk made his Luck roll and woke up in time to see the bandit pull open the flap -- and thus did the troll quickly put into use his Ignite Belches Into Fireballs With A Spark From Flint And Steel In The Fingertips Of His Glove talent, rated at 27. He rolled doubles.

The bandit exploded into flames, and ran off screaming into the night. The other bandits then attacked.

Here's where T&T combat breaks down a little for me. The bandits had MR10, but they had bows; missile attacks are made with a Dex SR (Saving Roll). So what's an MR10 bandit's Dex? I just called it 10, because whatever. Their three attacks missed, and Zando was scot-free. He cast "Hold That Pose!" on the bandit leader, while Glorkk went into melee combat...

By himself, Glorkk generated a huge Hit-Point Total -- more than enough to wipe out the 5 bandits who were still able to participate in melee. He hopped out of the back of the wagon, waving about a huge metal club with spikes on it, and flung bandits hither and yon while their leader stood with sword in hand, blinking absently, trying to remember who he was and what he was doing. Soon, he was trussed up and threatened to be fed to Glorkk.

The bandit bought his way out of indentured snackitude by agreeing to lead the party to his hideout. He led them to th-- well, actually, Glorkk held him out in front of himself ("Medieval GPS", quoth Mr Party Gorilla) and thus led them to a clearing in the forest, where stood a ruined villa and the bandits' hideout. In a cellar, they found treasure: a crossbow with 20 bolts, a set of 5 golden stud earrings with inset crystals, and a mithril ring with an onyx stone -- which they couldn't identify until Meraana made a successful Roguery SR, and then she and Zando argued over it until she claimed it by putting it on. Ha!

Glorkk, meanwhile, found treasure all his own: under a loose floorboard in the cellar, he found some jerky, a cask of wine and a trussed-and-gagged 17-year-old girl, who woke up, began to scream, and made it very hard indeed to enjoy his fortuitous repast. The bandit sheepishly suggested that he was "done with her" and that she could be set free...but Glorkk had other ideas.

He decided to make her his pet, and to call her Chuckles.

Yes, as in the title of this post.

Chuckles eventually passed out, and the party rested. (The bandit, by the way, took several punches to the face from Meraana, and was tossed under the floorboards in the girls' stead.) Snot took first watch, and was witness to a mighty battle between a bear and a beehive. The beehive ended up being flung at the hideout, prompting Snot to make a Luck SR so as to avoid getting hit...
...on which he rolled a total of 40.

Well! Needless to say, Snot dove for cover, an act which caused him to unwittingly kick a snake high into the air; the snake hit the beehive, wrapped around it, changed its trajectory and sent it rolling downhill to a nearby stream.

That's some luck, right there.

The next day, the trip continued. Chuckles alternated between screaming and passing out, then finally begging and pleading to be fed -- but of course no one could understand her, because she was gagged. Glorkk picked a squirrel off a tree and tried to feed it to her; the squirrel's wild clawing ripped her gag off, allowing her to scream "LET ME GO, YOU SONS OF--" at which point Glorkk squeezed the squirrel a little to hard, spraying, uh, squirrel all over her.
He then gagged her and licked his fingers. ("Squirrel fruit good!", he remarked.)

He then tied a bit of rope around Chuckles' neck -"For walkies," he explained- aaaaaaaaaand that's when I said, "Okay, make a Luck save."

He failed it. He failed it with a brittle, wet crack.

My wife shot me a look that said, "Did you HAVE to go that far?!" I replied, "Don't worry, I have a plan."

They tossed Chuckles' inert form into the wagon and kept moving until evening, where they decided to stop at The Buxom Strumpet in a town called Three Chickens.
(I was making this up as I went along. Can you tell?)

At this point, Grubble silently decided that he'd had enough of this group of reprobates, and announced that he'd take care of getting Chuckles buried proper. Meraana tried to go with him, but he refused to be accompanied. Naturally, she let him go on his own...but tailed him.

She watched Grubble Hooch-hood walk over to a nearby temple and go inside. He came back out with a priest and motioned back down the road towards the tavern. The priest went back in and Grubble walked off; the priest re-emerged with a pair of acolytes and hurried towrad the tavern. Meraana then tried to pick up Grubble's trail, but a roll of 3 on a SR attempt is a fumble in T&T, so...the dwarf was gone.

Back at the Buxom Strumpet, the head priest (a man who looked like cross between Clint Eastood and a block of granite) walked in and started asking questions about the dead body out in the wagon. With deftness and good rolling, Zando and Snot pinned the rap on Grubble Hooch-hood -- and the priest bought it. Matter of fact, he even placed the Blessing of Paladar (whoever the hell THAT is; I just rolled the name up) upon the party of liars, murderers and thieves!

Ah, well. Dirty little thrills.

The priests went off to do some buryin', and Meraana caught up with the others and told 'em that Grubble was MIA. No dwarf, no map; no map, no booty. They decided that Grubble needed to be found.

Glorkk fell asleep and had an ominous dream. His usual reverie of ale rivers and clouds made of floating turkey legs was shattered by a scream and the horrifying countenance of an emaciated human female. Hmmm...

Zando cast a spell on Snot -- one called "Where'd You Go?" or something like that, which would cause Snot to feel a jab of pain if a dwarf came within 100' (the base is 50', but Jake rolled real good so I doubled it). I called for another Luck roll from Snot, which also rolled real high -- so high, indeed, that although he heard "Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off To Work We Go...!" approaching the tavern, he also heard, "I hear the beer's bad!" and "I ain't goin' nowhere the beer's no good!"

That, too, is some luck. Right there.

Meraana stayed at the tavern to rest while Glorrk, Snot and Zando went looking for the dwarf. It was nighttime now, and they got to the outskirts of town when they heard a terrible wail coming from the woods. They followed the wail, and found a little trail with a sign next to it -- the sign read "Cemetery", but Snot and Glorkk couldn't read so Zando told 'em it said "Spa".

They went up the trail to the cemetery, where they found a freshly-turned grave. "Maybe that where Chuckles went," said Glorkk --

--when Chuckles herself appeared.

As a banshee.


I hauled out 22d6, because that's what you roll in T&T for a banshee.

Zando summoned up a skeleton to fight for him, and the party rolled up a respectable Hit Point Total of 100 or so. Cordelia the Banshee, however, got...I think 184. Anyway, the skeleton did little more than to fly into pieces and suck about 18 hit points off the toatal, laeving the other three to eat the rest. Glorkk's armor absorbed a goodly chunk of his portion, but he still lost some Con; Zando and Snot weren't so lucky. Next round, Glorkk made a stellar Speed roll and hot-footed it back to town with the other two jokers in his grasp. I gave Cordelia the chance to roll 9 sixes on her 22D6 to see if she could cast Death Spell #9 on them, but alas, she rolled only 4, so the bast--uh, protagonists got away.

Jake had to go home then, so we called it done. I gave out extra XPs and put the game away.

I gave out lots of XP in 10- and 20-point hunks for good and/or amusing roleplay and banter. This of course encouraged more of same, so we had a lot of funny quips flying around.

RESULT: A great game of T&T, as you might agree. If you don't, then to hell with you. Come back later, I'll post somethin' different.

It bears mentioning that my players never play bad guys; I don't know if Jake does, but the other sure don't. And anyway, these guys weren't so much evil as they were unprincipled, or maybe just stupid. Meraana herself was meant to be very loyal to her friends, which is the only reason she put up with these shenanigans (and anyway, my wife was taking care of our daughter while we played, because Lily wasn't feeling too well and was just lying on the couch watching Clone Wars).

Wow! Long post, huh?