4Ward/FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 303

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

After re-setting the warmage's broken hands and jaw so that they would eventually heal properly, Adair again lead the party back through the Mistmarsh, more or less retracing the path that brought them to the Twisted Branch lair.

Though they didn't have to worry about lizardmen, a cockatrice ambushed them once they were roughly halfway to the swamp's edge. It bit one of the soldiers in half before they slew it, and Humal had his undead minions drag its carcass along so that he could later animate it.

Night had fallen by the time they returned to Blackwall Keep, which was ominously dark and silent. The front door hung open, and a hastily scrawled sign warned away anyone that might see it.

Humal directed one of his zombies inside, and when it did not return Adair ventured within. Though the place was in disarray there were no signs of conflict, leading them to conclude a hasty evacuation as opposed to an attack. Humal's zombie was also walking into a wall, because as per his instructions it was only to return when it found a creature.

Their investigation eventually lead them to the basement level. Here they found a partially collapsed passage, at the end of which was a solidly barricaded door.

Something was rhythmically beating against it.

Rather than leave mysterious entities to apparently, futilely hammer against a door, Sumia approached and used her dagger to carve out a small slit. When she peered inside a green worm leaped at her face and tried wriggling its way underneath her eye. Fortunately she was able to tear it away, and when she threw it to the ground it melted into a dark green paste.

More worms began pouring forth from the slit, but as before they dissolved moments after landing on the ground. Rather than leave the seemingly contained threat alone, Humal ordered a skeleton to plug the hole, and was shocked to see the worms wriggle about the skeleton and take control of it. They quickly surrounded and destroyed the worm-ridden skeleton, but rather than, again, simply leave the other worm zombies clearly trapped in the room, devised a plan to take them out as well.

The plan fell apart almost immediately.

Adair used his hammer to smash open part of the door, but when Sumia tried lobbing a flask of alchemist's fire into the room it shattered against the outside of the door. A trio of worm-ridden zombies then began climbing out of the room, heedless of the flames.

Adair and Sumia closed in, hoping to prevent more than one from getting out at a time. This worked up until several worms crawled onto Adair; while Sumia helped remove them, one of the spawn pulled Humal's remaining skeleton into the room and infested it, after which they resumed trying to escape their formerly sealed prison.

Humal was able to use his illusion magic to keep at least one detained, which made it easier for Adair and Sumia to destroy the others. They then rested while Humal sustained the illusion, and once they were somewhat less the worse for wear he dismissed it. The last worm zombie crawled free, and with Adair's holy magic they promptly eradicated it.

Design Notes
That wraps it up for the third adventure in the Age of Worms adventure path, which means next week we start up The Hall of Harsh Reflections. As I mentioned in the previous play report, we've assembled a kind of public alpha document, which you can see and comment on here.

Been fleshing out the Necromancer talents. Jacob is enjoying them, as it's giving Humal an offensive option without having to rely on the Evocation tree. He'll need a couple more levels and at least one other talent before he can animate the cockatrice, though.

Here's the stat block for a converted spawn of Kyuss:

Spawn of Kyuss
Level 5 Medium Humanoid (Undead)
XP 30

Ability Scores
STR +4 DEX -1 WIS +0
CON +2 INT -2 CHA 0

Perception +3, Stealth +3

Initiative -1
Speed 10 feet/30 feet
Fort 14 Ref 9 Will 10
Armor 0
Wounds 32

Fear Aura 30 foot range; targets must make a Will check or suffer a -1 penalty to ability checks, attacks, skills, and Defenses.

Slam +5 to hit; 1d6+4 damage; on a 15+ a Kyuss worm is also transferred to the target

Kyuss Worm The worm can be attacked normally: its Defenses are all 10, and it can only suffer 1 point of damage before being destroyed. On the spawn of Kyuss's turn, any worms not removed from characters automatically burrow into their flesh. The worms inflict 1 point of damage for 1d4+1 rounds, after which they reach the character's brain; characters then suffer 1 point of Intelligence damage each round. If a character is reduced to INT -6 they die, only to rise as a spawn of Kyuss 1d6+4 rounds later. Before the victim dies, a character can attempt a DC 20 Medicine check in order to remove the worm.

Also realized that stuff like alchemist's fire needs to scale. Not artificially based on your level, but based on quality.

As I mentioned in the post on non-magical potions, there will be grades for them. So, a baseline mending potion restores 1d8 Wounds, but an exceptional quality potion would restore 2d8. Same deal for alchemist's fire: the better quality you buy, the more damage it deals. Simple, and makes it at least somewhat viable more than a few levels down the road.

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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