4Ward/FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 111

  • Adair (level 4 elf war cleric)
  • Humal (level 4 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Sumia (level 4 elf rogue/ranger)

Since there were still prisoners that needed rescuing, the characters resolved to continue exploring the lizardmen lair.

They'd just finished arming the soldiers when a lone lizardman entered the chamber, and with a single rap of his staff both entrances were suddenly clogged by a tangle of thick roots. Prepared for a fight, they were surprised to discover that not only could he could speak Common well enough, but he elected to do so instead of fighting.

The lizardman druid told them that it knew why they'd come, and offered to exchange the remaining prisoners, help them escape, and cease hostilities against Blackwall Keep if they would slay the current chieftain. When asked why, he explained that their chieftain had been recently changed by a dragon, both physically and mentally, which had spurred their tribe into what the druid considered to be needless conflict.

Knowing that this would ultimately lead to their destruction, the druid had been seeking a way to eliminate the chieftain, and it believed that the characters were more than capable of doing so (and if they failed, the druid wouldn't be to blame). The characters agreed, and were led to the druid's personal chamber, which housed the other two bound and unconscious prisoners. The druid explained they had been drugged with a sleeping poison, but were otherwise fine.

The chieftain's chamber was nearby, so Sumia tried sneaking in to scout it out. It was too dark for her to see clearly, but the chieftain could apparently sense her just fine; whatever the dragon had done to him had increased his strength substantially (and enabled him to breathe acid). Fortunately, he only got one hit in before the rest of the party came to her rescue.

Once the chieftain was slain Sumia asked the druid about the dragon. He didn't know why it had offered to help them or where its lair was, but it had left an egg with them as a gesture of good faith. The party wanted to take the egg, each for their own reasons. The druid wanted nothing more to do with the dragon, and fully intended to relocate the tribe elsewhere in the Mistmarsh, so told them where their hatchery was as it also had a passage that would lead them outside.

Carrying the unconscious and wounded soldiers, they traversed a mostly submerged tunnel that eventually emerged into the hatchery. The dragon's egg was easy to identify: it was considerably larger, black, and seemed to loom over the rest of the eggs. When Adair went to examine the egg, he noticed several partially buried chests surrounding it.

They debated on what to take, wondering if the chests belonged to the lizardmen or dragon (or were gifts for the hatchling), and whether either party would notice or care if they were gone. Eventually they settled on just taking everything, figuring that the lizardmen wouldn't bother trying to track them down, but when Adair tried picking up the dragon's egg it tore in half.

It was filled with Kyuss worms.

The worms spilled out of the egg, sluggishly crawling towards the lizardmen eggs. The characters and conscious soldiers frantically smashed the worms and carried eggs to safety. Only one worm managed to wriggle its way into an egg, and moments later a gruesome, mostly-formed lizardman hatchling tore its way free, only to be immediately crushed by Adair's hammer.

Once they were sure the worms were dead and no more lizardmen hatchlings would be zombified, Sumia returned to the druid to tell him what had transpired. The druid thanked her, she returned to the party, and together they following the other passage outside and began the trek back to Blackwall Keep.

Design Notes
We've assembled a kind of public alpha document, which you can see and comment on here. It contains enough information (races, classes, monsters, etc) to play for at least the first three levels, though you could pretty easily bullshit at least a few more beyond that point.

We're mostly interested in hearing feedback about the mechanics. In particular we're really curious what people think about the cleric and wizard, Vitality and Wounds, and armor. I've been gradually tweaking Vitality and Wounds, trying to get it to a point where characters are a bit more durable than their D&D counterparts, because I think it's silly for a cleric to run around poke-healing the rest of the party x times per day.

We're also trying out the abstract armor rules, because Adair's armor of 6 (5 from plate, +1 from Abjurer) makes him feel too safe. Gonna see if reducing it to 4 (3 from heavy armor, +1 from Abjurer) makes him actually worry about getting hit, without making him too easy to take him out.

Chris, the player of Adair, needs to drop out for at least several months: if you're interested in playing, lemme know. You don't gotta play his character (and we'll give you access to all of the stuff we've made), we'd just like at least one additional player to round the party out.

We've added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library!

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Ghost has manifested!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Lichfield is available for public consumption. If you want a concise adventure with a Silent Hill feel, be sure to check it out! Primordial Machine is also out, so if you want to catch a glimpse of A Sundered World<

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