Lizard and Lunk

The continuing GURPS adventures of eight men who really should find better uses for their time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

We Gotta Stop With These Late-Night Parties

Having successfully ended the whole Freeport mess - cleaning out the cultists, exposing various corrupt nobles, making money - our brave band returned home to the mainland for some R&R. Money was spent, spells learned, skills improved, and a generally good time was had by all, with energetic discussion over the finer points of weapon enchantments (that costs HOW much???)

Then, suddenly, the party awoke to find itself face-down in the middle of a field. To one side stood a seashore, to the other an old, abandoned-looking temple. We all agreed that, while odd, this beats the heck out of waking up in chains on a slave ship, which we've done before.

Checking our stuff (because what do gamers do first but check their stuff?), we discovered that everybody had been gifted with a new and spiffy item of some sort. There were electricity-charging morning stars and shields, an axe sharp enough to do brain surgery with, a Knife From Hell, a spiffy bow, powerstones and other goodies. Each of us, it seems, is now a bit more loaded for bear than we used to be - which was bad enough.

We also discovered that each of us had been branded with four tattoos (I knew we shouldn't have gone into that parlor...) One was a picture of the nearby temple; one a medusa's head; one a crude stone face; and one an eye floating in a bowl of blood that seemed to want to call itself "Hesper". Not what any of us would have chosen for fashion statements, and not especially helpful either - yet.

Oh, and the centaur got a bracelet that will change her from centaur to human and back again. This has the comical effect of making her fall over almost immediately, which the rest of us found amusing.

Not knowing what else to do, once we finished playing with our new toys, we headed up to the temple. There we found a statue of a man-like thing with the head of a vulture, which appears to have been placed there on a pedestal that originally held some different sort of status. Pondering this minor mystery, we noticed the large pile of garbage nearby, and the five pony-sized rabid dogs emerging from it to greet us.

So we got a chance to try out our new toys, which for the most part worked admirably - eyes were poked or shot out, throats slashed, feet removed, spines crushed, spells thrown, all in good order, though the centaur's new barding was not enough to stop a friendly nibble from one of the welcome wagon pooches. They were otherwise well dispatched, and we sat down to rest and consider our next move.

Monday, January 07, 2008

When In Doubt, Go Straight To the Top

Our merry band re-met (finally) and set forth to carry out the plan of assaulting the lighthouse ("Have fun stormin' the castle"). In typical fashion for us, we decided that a direct frontal assault (with the dozen visible guards likely being only an appetizer) was probably not in our best interest. Luckily, everyone in the party can either a) fly or b) walk on walls. So we found a boat (really? in a port city? Go figure...), slipped out to the lighthouse by water, and then went straight to the top, bypassing all the undoubted nastiness in the intervening levels.

We peeked under the construction tarp to see a local Sealord nobleman in deep conversation with an important-looking Lizard Man (Lizards? Again?) This took us greatly by surprise, because we had never known the local nobility to be anything other than upstanding and honorable (when they weren't trying to kill us, that is). While this confab was taking place, several lizardmen guards watched while an assortment of bedraggled slaves worked on the last finishing touches of whatever demon-summoning device this thing really was (I mean, why would cultist lizardmen want a lighthouse.

Predictably, we set our minds to freeing the slaves and wiping out the lizards. First, to soften up the battlefield, Brian stuck his hand in, yelled "Hey! Look here!", then cast Flash followed by Concussion. This not only took many lizards (and slaves) out of commission; it completely shattered the glass dome all of this was taking place under, to interesting effect. If nothing else, it was dramatic.

Having suitably prepared the battlefield, the rest of us charged in. Everything went swimmingly for a while - Craig did his best ginsu impression, Bill hit three eye shots in a row, and Jeff got to go toe-to-toe with a big nasty lizard who wasn't nearly as big and nasty as Jeff. Assorted spells flew, and we were all having a great 'n wonderful time.

Then, just as we thought everything would be hunky-dory, the Big Rock Thing came ambling up the stairs. It was sort of a cross between the rock-monster in "Galaxy Quest" and a Balrog; we tried "Balrette" and even "Balarina" as possible names. In any case, it was made of stone, emitted flames (which Brian, to his credit and with his last fatigue points, found a way to put out), and stood about 12 feet tall. Jeff started dutifully using his pick (a pick! on a rock creature!), taking off small chips. Bruce's centaur weighed in, only to lose a leg (no, wait - instant replay shows it actually took out the Bless ring instead!) followed by some other body part. Lightning was tossed, arrows (yes, arrows - Craig had a small supply of enchanted armor-piercing ones for just such occasions) were fired and eventually we wore the thing down, but not until several rounds of fear for the front-line folks (Jeff & Bruce), who realized that this thing could turn them into tomato sauce in a hurry.

The battle won and the slaves freed (ok, with a few glass cuts - we can heal those up), we officially declared an end to the whole Freeport thing. Up next: Brian and his intriguing request for wish lists for each of our characters. Hmmmm...