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Rob O'Boston
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This week my group finished Doom of the Savage Kings, which features an epic battle against the Hound of Hirot, a vicious creature packing a serious set of claw/claw/bite attacks and that only takes half damage from non-magical weapons (the party had just one). And the Hound may only be permanently slain inside its lair, so they ended up having to kill the same beast twice. Since the party consisted of four 1st levels and two zeros I thought there would be a few deaths for sure.

In both battles the beast rolled poorly, with one exception that I'll detail below. And on the third round of both battles the resident elf rolled fire with Color Spray. The Hound is immune to Charm effects, and I waffled a bit on whether Color Spray should fall under that description. Of course my players assured me that it didn't, and I ended up agreeing with them. Why screw all the illusionists in the world, right? An unconscious Hound is easy to manacle up and decapitate, so hurrah, the good guys won.

I did feel like I let Harley down a little, but I can't help but reward the party when they try unusual tactics or when they roll well with their spells and mighty deeds. The same elf has never cast magic missile successfully. And the party cleric rolls horrendously and is constantly having to grovel and pray and beg for forgiveness. Really, it is frequently a sad state of affairs.

And the Hound did roll well once. He rolled a crit on the party dwarf which would mean rolling on the demon crit chart. I was so excited. But, at the beginning of the same session I had instituted the "shields shall be sundered" house rule from Crawl zine #2, which allowed the dwarf to sacrifice his shield and negate the attack. His life was most likely saved by this very cool house rule.

All the characters lived and all the players had fun, and that's the key for me.

Thanks for the great adventure Harley!

So I had one of those "And when that happens, everybody in the village loses their shit and flees the village square en masse," kind of sessions.

I've been trying to write a proper session report all day but the amount of stuff that happened along with the background of the characters makes it difficult, so here is the main drama.

I'm running Doom of the Savage Kings, and it has been great. The party has just finished the Tomb of the Ulfheonar, and thanks to their use of the secret entrance they get the jump on the hunters sent by the Jarl to ambush them. They kill a few and capture the rest. There was some classic DCC stuff going on in this battle, like the elf crit failing his ventriloquism spell and ending up mute for four hours while his voice is actually projected on another plane where it irritates a demon. There was a 25% chance the demon would show up to silence the elf, but I rolled a 54.

When the party returned to the village, everyone was upset and in mourning. The cleric of Justicia, Father Beacom, had been slain by the Hound. This was a big problem because the party had tricked the hound at the last session (scarecrow, ventriloquism, fresh meat) and it wasn't expected back for three nights. The party has a cleric of Justicia as well and he immediately suspected foul play and begins demanding who in the village had seen the attack.

The Jarl is there with his seer, Sylle Ru, and they are blaming the party and demanding a lottery on the spot. Of course the name he pulls out is the name of the Party's elf (Sylle Ru's wizardly nemesis), the mute guy, and the villagers grab him and begin trussing him up, and the only one that can hear the elf protesting is a demon on level 523 of the Abyss.

The party has a halfling, and he says he is going to sneak up and look in the lottery box. He rolls a nat 20. I tell him that the Jarl is questioning the leader of the hunters that the party had frogmarched into the village (there was a bunch of tension over that too), and isn't paying attention to the box. He's a halfling so he has to shimmy up the pole and he looks down into the box. He sees the second box and immediately puts together the sham.

The halfling wants to tell everybody about this, but the village square is a chaotic place. The party cleric is demanding details about the Hound attack. The villagers are grabbing the elf. Sylle Ru is condemning the party for the Hound attack. I tell the halfling to make a personality check, but he better roll a 20. He rolls a natural 20.

"There's a box in the box!" calls the halfling. He climbs right into the box and shouts over and over "there's a box in the box!" People begin to listen. The villagers hate the lottery, they want to know what's up. The Jarl turns, realizes what is going on, and tries to push the halfling out of the box, but the halfling wins the contested strength check and the Jarl falls on his backside.

Now the way Harley wrote Sylle Ru is interesting. He gave him a "harmful spell" with no save and it does 2d4 damage. But what is it? A couple of days ago I decided that Sylle Ru can make apples materialize inside the throats of his victims. I can't remember where I got this idea, but it works. It is deadly to most people but an adventurer might survive it. It either rips your throat apart, instantly killing you, or you end up spitting out apple chunks and blood for a long while.

Sylle Ru decides the halfling must die. The air crackles as he speaks the words of power and suddenly the halfling is wretching up blood and apple. But the halfling is still alive. The party has a warrior, the actual wielder of the Ulfheonar wolf-spear, and he has been silently watching all of this. Seeing the halfling attacked by Sylle Ru, he runs his spear completely through the wicked seer, lifting his body off the ground before dropping it down dead.

And that is when the villagers lost their shit and ran for it. Even the Jarl's thegns thought it best to get the Jarl up and make a hasty retreat to the great hall on the hill. The party found themselves completely alone in the square.

Eventually they coaxed a few friends out, like Bull Halverson and the acolytes of Justicia. The party cleric examined the body of Father Beacom and found bits of apple in his torn up throat. What was in the pockets of Sylle Ru? Apples. They put their case together for the villagers. And then the thegns came out to negotiate a peace with the party and the villagers, and all sides decide to blame Sylle Ru for bewitching the Jarl.

It was awesome. It was crazy. It was all over Roll20 and Skype which is also amazing. That took forever to write, I thank anyone who reads this far.

And next session? The Hound returns for real...

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Here is my latest (totally unofficial, unauthorized, and just for fun) Roll20 player aid for Doom of the Savage Kings. These are my versions of various members of the village Hirot that the players have met. Per the module's insidious instructions, when the Hound attacks the village, I'll be sure to put a red X through a random portrait. 

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One DM's visual interpretation of the seer, Sylle Ru from Doom of the Savage Kings. 

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I am running the Doom of the Savage Kings on Roll20, and I put together a couple of maps for the players. These are basic copies of Doug's maps that just need fog of war to use. They should be at a good size to be dropped onto a Roll20 without resizing the grid. Just move it around so that the entrance covers two squares across.

I'm sorry I split the dungeon map, but if you line them up on Roll20 it will appear as one map to the players.

3 Photos - View album

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I recently completed running my first DCC adventure, and it was a blast. I used Roll20, and spent three sessions on it, with a mix of three to five players. I ran Sailors on the Starless Sea, which I thought was brilliant. It has just the right amount of detail and background without being a crushing wall of text that I'll never get through.

Anyway, here is my contribution to the DCC community. In Roll20 I had a page set up for the big reveal of the sea itself, but I wanted something for the players to see on screen along with the text description. I thought about mapping out the beach but I was afraid it would distract them from the getting on the ship. So I drew a picture of what I imagined the players would see as they reached the beach. 

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Brooski's wall of desert armor!
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