Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Playing SAVAGES in the Underdark. Our first 5e.

We have been testing a bit of 5e using +Patrick Stuart 's Savages Rules, which I made up into little A5 booklets with pictures for the team and handed out.  They go really well with the neat A5 5e booklets that were on G+ a while ago but I forget who put them up.

What?  You mean we can play Orcs and Goblins?"
Players are often easily pleased.

The setting was made up very quickly. We will play a city game based on relationships between NPCs/PCs and factions.  The PCs will have a home dungeon.  They will go on missions to suit the episodic nature of this 'filler' game.

To generate the NPCs and their relationships I am using +Jeff Russell 's Middenheim hack, the 'Vornheimed Middenheim'.  I am using Vornheim too.  I can't wait for the suckers to meet Eshrigel.

The location is a massive underdark city with a planescape feel.  Inhabitants are mostly Goblin, Orc, Drow and Human.  Slavery is fully part of life and your ability to stay 'free' is largely a matter of who your friends are, and your ability to enforce your freedom.  

Most of the surface world is contested by any one of a number of demon armies in service to several competing demon lords.  

Picture 1.  Demon Armies war for the surface.  Some are led by Demon Lords and Princes directly, others by powerful Warlocks who regardless of their race are widely reviled as traitors.

Many surface dwellers have headed below as refugees, many of whom have joined gangs or formed gangs of their own, or else become slaves.  On the surface, the fey Goblin Kingdom is largely untouched, and it is rumored the ranks at the Citadel of the Goblin King have recently been swelled with child-refugees.  

Player Characters:

Krak Zappa:  Creepy Goblin Shaman, Dungeon Background.  
Dream Killa:  Cunning Orc Fighter, Dreams background. 
Shaggy Shiv:  Tricksy Goblin Thief.  Underdark background.
John Smith:  Brutal Orc Hunter.  Man Society background.

Last session we generated the home dungeon using the dungeon poker rules Patrick gave us here.  More about the results of that another time maybe. Once the Dungeon was finished and before the DM could set them on a mission, the PCs set about murdering the dungeon boss. Then when NPCs arrived to give them the adventure theymurdered them too.  Then the DM said that's all folks.

Session Two:  The dead NPCs' boss and 'friends' arrive with an offer the PCs can't refuse.

So six orcs and two bugbears led by local crime boss cunning-orc Gutrippa Jizza turn up to set things right and make certain the PCs understand their place in the pecking order.  

Picture 2.  These guys turn up looking pissed.  Hmmm, six orcs and two bugbears verses the PCs - two orcs and two goblins.   Yeah, I'd listen to what they had to say too.

Realising that murdering and looting the messengers last session wasn't such a good idea now they all agree "We certainly do understand our place in the pecking order".  They are informed that in addition to the task which is still required of them, they now owe double, for murdering GJ's henchman. Gutripper informs them to satisfy the first favour they owe they must find out who or what has been intercepting the furry fungus shipments along Furry Fungus Way, do the culprits in, and return with the furry fungus.

Picture 3.  Gutrippa Jizza - Not a happy Gang-star.
The PCs head to Snot Grotto, a creepy goblin ghetto just off Furry Fungus Way where they are informed that a gang of rat men are operating out of an old well in an adjacent cavern.  Not being a threat to Snot Grotto the locals haven't seen any reason to do anything about it.

The PCs foolishly head straight down the well.  Okay that's actually a bit unfair mostly because they did do some investigation, they did look around a little, they discovered a chimney which comes out of the ground nearby and that muffled repetitive singing can be heard down the chimney ("nom nom nom, I like stew, nom nom nom, get in my belly").  John Smith found ratmen tracks leading to and from the well.  Then, assuming that today I am a much nicer DM than history would seem to attest, they head straight down the well.

Why do players behave like this? 

Next Post, the hijinx down the well and and one long scramble to not all totally die in The Log Fall, a very fun one page dungeon from Matthew Adams, found in the pay what you want 2014 One Page Dungeon Compendium available here.  Seriously players reading this, when in the heavily trapped lair of guerrilla tactic fighters don't split the party.     Just don't okay.  We'll see why next time.

I found the pictures here:
Picture 1:  charlottecarrendar.com-tag-darkness
Picture 2.  guardian.com.october.2013
Picture 3.  paperspencils.com2012-02-orc11