Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last Night in Kickassistan, I Dreamed of Muppets

Last night was the weekly Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad game on Google+ hangouts via Roll20, and it was the strangest yet. If you read my "What Happens When I Eat the Space Tentacle?" post last week, you know about where these guys started the night. After suffering heavy losses at the hands of the ape men in the forgotten temple deep within the jungle, the adventurers took refuge in the jungle, hiding from the ape men and licking their wounds. Several of their comrades had died on the initial foray, and so the adventurers were a little disheartened. It was about this time that Denny Smed, one of the group's two thieves, suggested that they eat the tentacle. "Give me a week, guys," I said. "I want to do this right."

So, when we finally got rolling last night, the first thing off the bat was "how much tentacle are you guys going to actually eat?" Edgar Johnson's cleric of the Metal Gods, Kormaki Lemmisson, was experiencing a fairly high degree of disfavor and it was decided that he could wipe away all of that by eating four doses of the Purple Meat (as we're calling it, in homage to Uncle Bill). Not to be outdone, Bear Phillipe's armorer-turned-tank warrior, Vane, stepped up and decided he was going to take five doses. And that's when things started to get out of hand. Only one character took a single dose, everyone else took multiples. My original rules called for no additional rolls on the "permanent effects tables," but these guys apparently wanted weird and I resolved to give it to them.

We did everything procedurally, with each player stating how many "doses" of the Purple Meat they were going to ingest and then rolled 1d3 for each dose to determine how long they were going to be out of their damn skulls. We treated it sort of like initiative, where the person with the lowest number of hours for their trip went first, then the next lowest and so on. They would roll their permanent effect first (but not necessarily know what it is), then make a Will save (vs. "bad trip"), then roll their hallucination, then get to find out what their permanent effect was. If they took multiple doses, I let them roll multiple effects.

I am not going to tell you every result of every die roll. Here's the cliff notes version.

Almost every goddamn one of them hallucinated that they had turned into muppets, that all of the their allies had turned into muppets and that the whole lot of them we gallivanting about the jungle in crazy antics and musical numbers. The aftore-mentioned Kormaki Lemmisson, despite being a cleric of the Metal Gods, saw R'Lyeh and Cthulhu in his drug-addled state and woke suddenly from his reverie as he felt the God Who Sleeps' icy tentacle wrap around his leg and pull; he awoke with that leg 3 inches longer than the other. Someone else (I can't remember who) hallucinated cosmic visions of his own significance and caught the merest glimpse of the beings that might actually cosmically significant. Many people were worse for the wear, but some folks ended up being invigorated by the experience, growing in Personality and connection to the universal will of ultimate truth (or, they gained some Luck; however you want to see it). During the process of all these hallucinations running their respective courses, something went horribly dark and people started taking Luck damage, attracting psychic parasites and having terrible, terrible trips; I can only imagine how all the muppet-hallucinations suddenly went south. I picture a sort of Lord of the Flies montage ending the muppet trip, where each PC-muppet turns on the others, some sort of muppet goat gets sacrificed and all muppet hell breaks loose. No one's quite the same after that.

Having been psychically and physically devastated, the adventurers decided that they were done with the jungle for the time being and hiked the two days back to civilization. Once there, it was time to hire some replacement cannon fodder (they ended up with a gambler and four -- FOUR! -- rutabaga farmers) and some dogs for support. "Did you say dogs, Adam?" Actually, it was Edgar's idea, but yes, yes, I did. We dug up Zak's rules for dogs and thus discovered that the local dog merchant had on hand a halfling riding dog, a North Wessex egg-sucking hound and a war pug. Edgar bought the war pug and Wayne bought the egg-sucker. The war pug needed to be awesome because, well... war pug. So, war pugs have +1 AC (from being little buggers) and can choose to make 2 attacks on their turn, but do so with 1d14 action dice (their action dice entry should read "1d20 or 2d14"). Bear bought a bunch of crap for his team of miscreants and then it was time to head back to the ruins.

There's something about this team of misfit adventurers that have been assembled for this game: they seem to like to take a straightforward combat encounter and make it as crazy as they can. Maybe I put the rooms full of ape men too close together. Maybe the idea of calling in reinforcements into a dungeon isn't as well-used these days as in days previous. Maybe they're just nuts and think that unless they're fighting ape men by the dozens (dozens plural), then they're not playing the game correctly, that odds that aren't stacked _completely_ against them aren't odds worth taking. Whatever the case, these guys shoot first and decide who they're shooting later. It's really kind of awesome. Regardless of the root cause, it's like they insist on attacking everyone but that one ape man headed to the gong to announce the presence of meddling adventurers, whatever it takes to bring in more ape men. They're not the fight => stop => loot => sneak => fight => repeat sort of adventurers; they're fight => fight => fight until there's nothing left to kill anymore => run out of time in the session but remember to loot at the very last second sort of adventurers. And it's a fucking blast.