Monday, January 7, 2019

Ynn episode 2 - The fall of Alfonso.

Tower amidst the floodwaters
I'm getting the hang of this, and was looking forward to seeing how Alfonso and Serena manage their trip into Ynn.

Reluctant to travel in the dark, the pair of travellers decide to rest in the (assumed) sanctuary of the gazebo. Upon awakening they find themselves still in the depths of a chill night. They decide to consolidate their belongings, as well as making some makeshift torches from the legs of the weatherbeaten furniture in the gazebo. Over a leisurely breakfast they decide that going back so soon would be cowardice. The bugs were not that scary, and they have light now.

PET showing its value again. Both the travellers decided to head deeper, at least until they can find something that will prove they have been somewhere truly otherworldly. They have the wine bottle, a small unmarked vial of liquid, Also three more iron rations that Serena had brought along, some rope, and 4 bottle of lamp oil. Feeling a little underprepared.

The push on through the darkness. The gardens are strangely silent and empty, with old broken seats and overgrown flower beds everywhere. But they are stopped by a drastic change. The ground has become broken - islands of floating paths and hedges. At the edge of the torchlight they see the shape of another gazebo.

  • Dex check to jump across the botomless abyss - No stress yet, so I am assuming a failure means that they cannot bring themselves to cross.. Alfonso goes fine, Serena, not so much
Serena remains waiting on the "shore" while Alfonso goes to examine the Gazebo. Only old furniture and a stoppered vial. Again he takes the time to break apart the furniture for some torches as the very very long night is worrying him. When he gets back he hands over the vial. They decide to take another path and head back to where the Bug-man had been killed.

The ground roiled and groaned. Cracks spread around the travellers. Retreating to the Gazebo they watched in horror as black waters seeped up from the now broken ground. Before long the gardens were knee deep in clammy water.

They walked deeper into the Gardens, and almost felt happy when the water became shallower - but instead it became colder as they came across an ice-rink! Both began to shiver and decided that exploring this area was not in their best interests, and tried to hurry onwards. But their luck changed drastically for the worst.

A Basilisk. Luckily for the travellers it was merely curious - I supposed the intense cold was making it more sleepy than anything.
  • Do they know anything about Basilisks. I reckoned an int check would suffice. Turns out Alfonso had heard about the dangerous gaze. The Player Emulator told me that Alfonso was being inept - allowing emotion to get the better of him. I decided panic would be appropriate.
"Quickly quickly! Before the beast sees us and turns us to stone. Run! Run if you value your soul!" He prodded Serena into a panic-filled rush through the trees and over hedges. They only slowed when the water had again pooled around their knees. Still no sun, but the darker shadow of a tower loomed above, with flickering fire-light showing from the upper windows.
  • At this point they are lost. Running in the dark through gardens that all look too similar is not a recipe for remembering where you went... I honestly have no idea if it is even possible at this stage for their door to be found again. And it has a time limit the characters don't know about.
  • Providence or fate. Again with the flooded locations! This time a tower. I actually messed up here and mis-read the entry. I was rolling randomly for each floor as the pair explored, and didn't realise that the top floor was meant to be significantly different... So I ended up plunking an extra floor on top... But I still feel bad as the encounter only happened because I didn't read properly...
The pair are overjoyed at the sight of a real building (that might be inhabited!). They slowly enter and look around. The bottom floor seems to be an abandoned kitchen, with another strange vial of liquid left in a cupboard. The next floors are full of dilapidated furniture, and then a storeroom filled with preserved foods! Serena nibbled at some (rather delicious) fruitcake. There was enough food here for a lot of people. But the flickering light was now visible coming down the stairs. Alfonso paused to check the powder of his arquebus, then took the lead up the stairs. Serena noticed the trails of wax on the stairs...

CandleGirl by JennyEight

The figure turned to look at the pair coming in the room. A giant animated candle. It paused, trying to work out exactly what it was looking at. It seemed to slowly decide that the arquebus pointed at it was not a friendly sign. Serena meanwhile looked around the room. What looked like a suit of armor stood at one wall, except it was a mass of leaves and vines waiting for someone to step inside. Alongside it was the finest sword she had ever laid eyes on - encased in a scabbard likewise covered in vines (or just a fine work of artistry).

  • Here the Player Emulator showed the way again. Serena is "on point" and the seed that comes up is "destroy" - so I take that to mean she has worked out the weakness of the candle golem (weakness to fire) and knows how to take advantage of it (flasks of oil?)
Serena yells "distract it" and makes a run for the armor. Alfonso fires the arquebus, leaving a gaping hole where the creature's head used to be. But that doesn't seem to impair it as it comes forward swinging.
  • Gah! I need to do something about the AC to-hit tables from B/X D&D. the math feels backwards to me. Roll D20+target's AC. I was referring to the tables on every roll. I guess I just got too used to "roll over enemy AC to hit". It is easy enough to do the math to swap...
Alfonso gets lucky as he runs around trying to avoid being hit by the Candle Golem. As he's running around he digs into his satchel for the lamp oil and is throwing them back at his pursuer. The sudden blasts as the oil ignite leave hot wax splattered around the room.

  • Throwing flasks of oil at a creature with fire already there to ignite... yes it is deadly! 
Meanwhile Serena leans into the Leaf&Vine armor. It moves and embraces her, sending rootlets into her skin. She grabs the sword and draws it from its scabbard - fire streams along the blade as she salutes her enemy.
  • Seriously, this armor and sword were random, but oh so very good!
The candle golem finally manages to corner Alfonso and slam a fist of fire and hot wax through his chest. Serena tries to cut it down, but the shock of seeing her recent companion impaled and burning is too much. The other fist lashes out at Serena and strikes true....

But of its own volition her arm swings the flaming sword and slices the candle golem in twain. To her horror Serena feels the Leaf&Vine armor cooling the burns and knitting together her wounds - it is as if the golem had never struck her... 

And it gets worse... the armor will not come off.

Serena goes to a window and looks out over the gardens of Ynn. She has lost her only companion, and has no idea which direction lies the door back to her home. At least she has shelter and food for the present - but that is only a slower way to die unless she can find a way out.

The Gardens of Ynn are getting better and better for me. I will see about getting a new companion for Serena as this place is frikken lethal! Emmy Allen included a new class, the Stranded Changeling, which looks interesting. 

The lookup tables to work out if the characters (or monsters) manage to land a hit is REALLY annoying. I'm used to d20+mod > target AC. In this version of D&D it behaves more like d20+mod+target AC > thAC0. I really need to do the math and write down the conversion from descending AC to ascending AC. Because that extra check keeps making me doubt the roll and need to double check with the lookup tables in the book...

Although I might get used to it <shrug>