Posted by : David Guyll May 29, 2016

Cast
  • Humal (level 5 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 5 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 5 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
While Humal and Corzale investigated the mage's guild, Sumia and Cenric were busy scouring the Foreign Quarter, docks, and slums for anyome that knew anything about Filge.

Several districts, taverns, and awkward conversations, and 100 sp later, Sumia found herself at Filge's hovel, which as she expected was nestled in the squalid outskirts of the city.

Filge was surprised to see Sumia, even when she explained that they had originally traveled to Dovin to speak with a sage named Eligos, but then decided to pay him a visit because they had plenty of free time.

Eventually Sumia offered Filge a job to help them out with the whole Kyuss worm issue; Filge not only accepted, but had a job that as it happened could benefit from Sumia's particular skill set. Sumia agreed to help, and told Cenric to meet her back at Stonehome before following Filge into the sewers.

Sumia returned to Stonehome just after Humal and Corzale, and when asked what Filge needed help with, explained that he wanted someone more alert and agile than shambling zombies to help move bags of arcane materials around the sewers. He had been concerned about oozes and other bizarre monsters, but thanks to her they were able to avoid any trouble.

With evening approaching and nothing else to do, the party decided to celebrate for the first time, since they both had more than enough money and didn't have to worry as much about getting mugged. Seeing as she was fresh out of the sewers, Sumia opted to first bathe and get a change of clothes.

The rest of the characters were several mugs in when Sumia returned, drove one of her horns into the eye of one of the kobold servers, and fled back upstairs. Humal and Corzale pursued her, along with a crowd of enraged patrons. They first checked her room, but when they found it vacant headed to the bathroom. There they found Sumia, still bathing and just as confused as they were when the patrons accused her of murder.

They tried to puzzle it out until the watch arrived. Initially they intended to imprison Sumia and question Humal and Corzale later, but then Humal made it a point that the whole debacle could be explained via magic, even going so far as to demonstrate that he could weave an illusion of the watch captain waving a knife around.

This probably had the opposite effect that Humal had intended, as in the end each of the characters were imprisoned. Stripped of their possessions, Humal concocted an escape plan. Their meals, if they could be called that, were delivered by a single guard: Humal would use his magic to render them all invisible, and when the guard returned, assuming he panicked and opened a cell to investigate, they could ambush him.

Unfortunately, the next day when Humal and Corzale woke they found themselves in a different location. They were still imprisoned, but the walls, ceiling, and floor were made of wood, and the floor covered in filthy straw. Humal suspected that they had been drugged, and once they were unconscious for some reason moved to another location.

Sumia was in a cell across from them. She was conscious, but had obviously been severely injured. She told them that after she found Filge he claimed to need her help moving various materials, but when she followed him into the sewers she was ambushed, captured, and brought here, which explained why "she" would use one of her much-coveted horns to randomly murder a stranger.

Furious, Corzale began tearing up floor boards until she was able to wriggle underneath her cell door. A pair of men in an adjacent cell warned her to be quiet lest the guards arrive, so she grabbed some boards and went to jam the doors leading out. But, once her back was turned the men drew swords from within their bodies, opened their unlocked cell door, and moved to strike.

Humal shouted out a warning, and Corzale was able to whirl about and defend herself long enough for him to charm one of the men. With his help, they quickly beat and stabbed the other man to death. The charmed man then apologized profusely to Humal, before producing a key from his body, freeing Humal and Sumia, and then directing them to their possessions.

Design Notes
Holy hell this session went flawlessly.

When it comes to doppelgangers, the DM advice I'm familiar with is to either clue one of the players in advance and have them play along, or just let the group know what's going on, and try to make sure they properly "role-play" through the whole scenario. I opted for a third method: lying.

I just told Melissa that Filge had a job, and when she agreed and followed him into the sewers, more-or-less handwaived that entire part, reasoning to the players that I didn't want to spend a lot of time simply focusing on what Sumia was doing, which would involve maybe a fight that with Filge and his undead she would surely overcome.

Melissa had no idea what was going on, until they found her beaten and bloodied: then I told her what had really happened, and it was an awesome revelation for everyone.

Here's the (current) doppelganger stat block:

Doppelganger
Level 3 Medium Humanoid
XP 15

Ability Scores 
STR +0 DEX +2 WIS +2
CON +1 INT +1 CHA +2

Skills
Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Insight +3, Perception +3, Stealth +3

Defense
Initiative +2
Speed 10 feet/30 feet
Fort 11 Ref 12 Will 12
Armor 1 (leather armor)
Wounds 10 Vitality 7 Total 17

Shapechange: A doppelganger can assume the shape of any Medium-sized humanoid. This shape can include clothes, though they will feel fleshy at the touch.

Offense
Shortsword: +2 versus Reflex; 1d6+2 damage

Sneak Attack: If the doppelganger strikes first or attacks a flanked creature, it deals +1d6 damage.

Equipment
Shortsword, leather armor

There's various origins for doppelgangers in FrankenFourth: some are fae creatures particularly skilled with manipulating their glamor, others are undead spirits, or perhaps some sort of demon.

These ones are the product of a very skilled transmuter, grown in a flesh vat to serve their creator (perhaps using bits from a mimic). They can manipulate their bodies to create internal pockets, and even "grow" clothing, but it still feels like flesh when touched (I'm thinking more like Jake from Adventure Time).

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

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 Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

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).

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