Thursday, January 28, 2010

Series 2: How Not To Play D&D - Episode 1

All hail Srub-Shiggurath! My name is Skinn. Doctor Skinn, in fact, and I've decided to keep a personal log so as to record mine and my sister's quest. We set out recently to spread the word of the gods Srub-Shiggurath and Ehlonna.


As you may have noticed, this isn't Balthazar. We're running two campaigns at once now. I was going to only record the main campaign, but when I saw how brilliantly this one was turning out, I decided to record this one as well. In case you're wondering, Srub-Shiggurath isn't a made-up god, but rather a made-up name for an existing D&D god. Skinn isn't terribly stable.


We stopped by a town whose name I can't be bothered to remember, and soon fell into the company of a cloaked stranger who had another, smaller cloaked stranger riding on his back. These seemed like exactly the kinds of people that a wandering pair of Chaotic Good clerics would want to associate with, so I immediately sat down and struck up a conversation. Evidently they're hiding their faces because they're secretly a bugbear and a lizardman on a quest to gain more respect for their people. This seemed like a wonderful cause to me, and I immediately endorsed it whole-heartedly. The subject of religion came up, and they informed me that they are both worshippers of Hruggek, a god whose name I've never heard of but whose philosophy of picking off one's enemies in small numbers seems exactly like the kind of pragmatism that keeps people alive on the battlefield.

The conversation had moved to the center of town as I set out to set up a local cult to Srub-Shiggurath. "People of...Um...This town! Hear me!" I shouted, "Srub-Shiggurath shall protect his faithful and bring them wealth and prosperity! Stand in temperance by him and you shall be made wealthy in the end!" The people were immediately enthralled, and were soon lining up to have Srub-Shiggurath's symbol engraved upon their clothing. Then a strange, dark cloud fell over the town, completely blotting out the sun. "Fear not!" I shouted, "Srub-Shiggurath shall preserve!"

The people scattered like mice as a strange breed of goblinoids advanced out of the darkness.


These were some obscure things from the Monster Manual III. Evidently our DM couldn't find any of the other Monster Manuals.


Four of them surrounded our group, and we all drew our weapons, except the lizard man, who jumped off the bugbear and bared his teeth. The bugbear had a massive battleaxe, which made my mace seem kind of lame in comparison. Regardless, it didn't take long to mop up the enemies. A band of townsmen carrying torches to light the darkness came to us and promised to explain everything if we followed them. We did. Once there, we found a butcher who doubled as the town's doctor. My little sister immediately began yelling at him (she isn't fond of meat-eaters), but I was able to clap my hand over her mouth and calm her down before she summoned a Celestial Monkey to claw the butcher's eyes out.

Evidently the goblinoids are regular raiders of the town, but are not the source of the darkness. They saw the darkness, which was caused by a cult of necromancers, and decided to make an attack of opportunity. The bugbear began making a deal with the town's militia leader. The terms were simple. On the militia's end...

1) They would pay us as large a sum of cash as they could spare.
2) They would make known that a bugbear and a lizardman saved the village.
3) They would heal up the lizardman, who'd been wounded in the fight.
4) They'd provide us traveling gear for free for our journey.
5) They'd build a temple to Hruggek.

Naturally, I added in that they would also need one to Srub-Shiggurath, and my sister quickly piped in to add Elohnna to the list. On our end of the deal was...

1) Find the necromancers and kill them.

All in all, it seemed fair. On the way out, a wandering priest offered to heal the wounds of the lizardman, and after he did so I converted him to Srub-Shiggurathianism, setting him up as the town's religious leader. The bugbear also picked out a bar patron he was fond of and appointed him the town's political leader, leaving pretty much the entire thing under our control.


It makes a center degree of sense that a cleric, even a crazed one, be handy with his Diplomacy checks, so I gave him a few ranks to reflect this. The bugbear is just really good with the dice.


We set out to find the necromancer's tower and found that it had been built without a door, which was something of a blunder on the architect's part. Regardless, we had to find a way in, and when someone started yelling at us at the top, we all reacted differently.

The lizardman jumped on the bugbear's back.

My sister began meditating.

The bugbear began climbing up the sheer, smooth obsidian.

And I attempted to convert the man.

Fortunately, I also climbed onto the bugbear so that he'd carry me closer to the man and we could discuss religion more comfortably. Unfortunately, the man wasn't terribly fond of religion, so I ended up swatting his head off with my mace. This promptly drew the ire of the guard's friends, who were almost immediately cleaved in half by the bugbear.

I looked down from the tower. I noted that it was a 500-foot drop, and that I had only fifty feet of rope. I noted that my younger sister was at the bottom. I noted that the tower itself was still potentially chock full of hostile entities. This, I decided, was not my most well thought-out plan.

We entered the tower, dodged a few elementally themed booby traps, and arrived at the bottom, where the necromancers were waiting with an army of skeletons. Which I promptly rendered so much dust by making use of the divine powers entrusted me by Tsol'Kaa, while meanwhile the lizardman wrestled one of the casters to the ground and bit his eye out, the bugbear cleaved two of them in half and converted the other Hruggekism, an exchange which went something like this.

"Worship Hruggek."




"Hey, look what I found, a converter!" At which point he unsheathes his axe, which was bigger than the necromancer.

"Hm, I'm beginning to see your point," the necromancer conceded.

By the time we'd arrived back at the town, makeshift shrines to all three gods had been constructed, and the four of us set off, determined to make this divine triumvirate the new power in the world. Soon, all of mankind shall know the name of Srub-Shiggurath!

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