Posted by : David Guyll March 20, 2015

Cast
  • Darwin (3rd-level cultist)
  • Hordac (3rd-level vampire)
  • Mihara (3rd-level oni)

Standing on the outskirts of a little village called Edenvale and the aptly named Castle of Ten-Thousand Screaming Souls, the party opted to head to the village first in order to hire, depending on who you asked, some sacrifices, food supply, or both.

That was their first mistake.

The only person willing to go with a band of complete strangers offering the dubious promise of unsubstantiated wealth within the Castle of, and this cannot be stressed enough, Ten-Thousand Screaming Souls, was a mentally deficient youth named Kip, who was capable of haphazardly swinging a sword and little else.

They then spent the night at the inn, because counting the new hire, half of the party had to sleep.

That was their second mistake.

Once everyone else had fallen asleep, Hordac slipped out of their room, transformed into a rat, and snuck into the innkeeper's room so that he could murder him for...reasons. Unfortunately he was married, which meant that Hordac had to take out the wife, too. Being a vampire this was pretty easy, except that he opted to exit the room by hurling the innkeeper's blood-drained corpse out of the window, before transforming into a bat and flying away.

This attracted the attention of a few guardsmen and a priest, which was especially bad for Hordac since he was vulnerable to sacred items. Since Hordac had not informed them of his intentions, when Darwin and Mhara were awakened by the noise they went to investigate. The guards were already there, and after briefly examining the scene Darwin explained to them that the innkeeper had apparently stabbed his wife, the force of which caused her head to propel off of her body and knock him out the window.

They didn't believe him until Mihara, being invisible, picked up the wife's corpse and in her spookiest voice confirmed Darwin's assessment. In a panic, one of them cut the corpse in half before they both fled. Darwin and Mihara then returned to bed, casually telling Kip that his parents had killed each other, and that their blood had seeped through the ceiling of their room, and dribbled onto his face.

When they went downstairs the next day, the common room was filled with people including the priest from the night before. They'd just seated themselves when the priest approached and began questioning them about last night's incident. Darwin tried explaining that the innkeeper and his wife had murdered each other, but the priest's holy symbol was too much for Hordac to bear, and he transformed into a bat and flew out one of the windows.

Mihara revealed her true form, assuming that at least Darwin was prepared to throw down, but while everyone else was distracted he conjured a tentacled horror and pretended to flee from it in terror. One of the warriors quickly dispatched it, but Darwin continued to run while needlessly explaining that he was too irrationally afraid to stop.

Surrounded and abandoned, Mihara turned invisible, crept upstairs, and jumped out of the shattered window. Unfortunately she landed in a large mud puddle, which revealed her presence to the very warrior that had just killed the monster Darwin summoned. Since the priest and guards were exiting the inn she legged it, but was unable to outpace the warrior.

She ducked behind a building, and when the warrior rounded the corner possessed him. His mind was far more...chaotic than she anticipated, and she was unable to maintain control long enough to throw the others off. The moment her form materialized they set upon her, and a lucky sword blow cut a deep gash across her leg. Blood spurted from the wound, which would reveal her location should she try turning invisible again.

From the treeline at the edge of the village, Darwin and Hordac could see that Mihara wasn't going to last long. Darwin summoned another monster and had both it and Hordac feign pursuit, so that he could distract and hopefully catch one of them by surprise. The warrior again swiftly slew Darwin's beast, but at least this time it was able to wound him.

While Hordac went to Mihara's aid, Darwin tried to strangle the warrior using his own tentacles. Unfortunately the warrior was much stronger than he anticipated: he managed to drag Darwin close enough to hack at him with his axe, and by the time Mihara and Hordac had crushed and/or torn apart the rest he was able to finish the job.

All alone Mihara was easily able to possess him. She forced him to throw away his axe, and when she reappeared bashed in his skull with her metal-banded club.

Will Mihara and Hordac ever make it to the Castle of Ten-Thousand Screaming Souls? Will they conveniently run into another party member? Maybe. We'll have to wait until Chris runs another game.

Behind the Scenes
Two players couldn't make it tonight, so we decided to just do a one-shot. Even better I was able to actually play, and after some brief class consideration settled on The Cultist (in hindsight I totally should have rolled up a mummy). Shane went with a vampire (he's been itching to try it for a while, now), and Melissa was kind enough to give The Oni some playtesting.

Everyone had fun, and we learned that some of The Oni's moves could benefit from a bit clarification (which if nothing else I can always add in the Director's Cut chapter). Otherwise I think otherwise it's fine as-is. Shane loved the vampire, and even suggested some new moves to add to the Director's Cut. Given that it's the second fastest class I've written and it saw no playtesting what-so-ever, I was pleased with how well it worked at the table.

Same for The Cultist. I mean yeah, I died, but that had pretty much everything to do with a lengthy string of incredibly bad luck. I didn't track XP since it was a one-shot, but I'm guessing I could have leveled up on miss XP alone. If I were to do it all again, I would have opted for Terrifying Revelation instead of Alien Insight: there were numerous cases where I could have used the former (including the warrior while he was stuck), and the latter never once came into play.

Not sure if we'll continue this. Chris asked us some questions about the Castle, and I'd like to, you know, go there, but we'll see what happens next time we have an open game night. If we do, what would you like to see me play?

A Pirate's Class For You!
DriveThru RPG's GM's Day Sale might have ended, but for the rest of the month we're marking down The Pirate (which is a Best Silver Seller, so you know it's good).

As I mentioned in this post, The Pirate boasts our new character sheet layout (which you can also see on The Cultist): let us know what you think!

Mind you this is in addition to the "classic" sheet, so if you don't like the new one you can always stick with that one (though we'd like to know what you don't like about it).


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