Being the Official Discussion Forum for HYPERBOREA®, a role-playing game of swords, sorcery, and weird science-fantasy

Visit us at the HYPERBOREA web site!

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

12/11/2023 2:32 pm  #1

The Chronicles of the House Game!

Hey everyone, this is my first post about an on-going HYPERBOREA 3e game I have running right now with my roommates. We're all good friends, and my bud Hans expressed desire to have game and I volunteered to run one... as long as it was HYPERBOREA! This is actually the 2nd(!) HYPERBOREA game I've run for us which went... poorly. Originally I was going to chronicle that one as it went, and I might do again later, but for now I'll stick to what we have running.

I'm actually very new to HYPERBOREA. I live in the middle of Nowhere, Texas so we don't have a lot of organic interest in smaller games and my good friend who runs the oldest FLGS here in town (over 30 years and still going strong!) didn't want to take a risk on something he thought would by just me and anyone I could rope into playing. Understandable, and I wish him well. With that being said, both myself and my players are still learning some of the subtle nuances of the rules and it shows, so if you guys see something that I'm not doing or doing wrong PLEASE tell me. Like I said before, this is our 2nd attempt at a HYPERBOREA game and my players and I have found that following the rules to the best of our ability really makes for a better experience.


12/11/2023 3:24 pm  #2

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

The Set Up

So the Party consist of 4 players.

First, there's Erik. He's playing our resident CG Greek Monk of Apollo and unofficial party treasurer, Duk Dei. A good friend and naturally good aligned player, Erik really enjoys the RP and the problem solving aspect of TTRPGs.
ST 16
DX 14
CN 12
IN 13
WA 16
CH 11

Next is Michelle. She playing a LG Carolingian Cataphract of without a current Deity named Zoloft. While everyone else is a seasoned veteran, she's only ever played with us, so this is her 2nd game. So far she's been very into the crunch of HYPERBOREA and likes krumpin' enemies with big damage numbers. Also, Zoloft is a man, while she is a woman, just to prevent confusion.
ST 16
DX 11
CN 14
IN 12
WS 13
CH 16

Third up is Hans. He's playing a CG Mu Illusionist named Lexipro. Again, he's a man but Lexipro (or Lexy) is a woman, just to avoid confusion. Hans is the stereotypical "real man". He likes big RP moments, playing a character more than playing in character, and hitting enemies for big damage.
ST 11
DX 16
CN 14
IN 16
WS 12
CH 13

And last but certainly not least, is Ryan! He's playing a Neutral Keltic Scout named Strelock. Despite being the second newest player to TTRPG's, he was actually the using the most competent at using the rules to his advantage and surviving in our first game. He's pretty well rounded on the all three pillars of play and both player areas.
ST 14
DX 16
CN 13
IN 16
WS 12
Ch 11

And for our first adventure, I decided to run them through...
The Late Trapper's Lament!
By David Prata.

I'll update you guys as we go through, but feel free to ask for more info on the game and I'll put it up on here.

     Thread Starter

12/11/2023 4:55 pm  #3

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

Encounter 1: The Late Trapper, or The Late Trapper?

We open our adventure on the Moonday in the year of our Toad 576 CÆ, Tempest (Hare); the fourth year in the cycle and the last year of Spring on the second week of the first month at 4:30 pm as the cog Otherworldly Obelisk docks in the Viking outpost of Ragnarrheim, on its regular trading route from Khormarium to Port Zangerios. The party has secured passage on this vessel all for their own personal reasons, but having little to pay with, they are offered a deal of work for passage. While loading and unloading, Captain Fellkaitos has an exchange with the old Viking wharfinger. The players stop their duties as they are summoned by the captain. "You there, marines! I have a task for you. Come earn your keep, dogs."

He quickly explains the situation. Some of expected cargo has not arrive. A bag of giant ermine pelts are past due by several hours and the trappers tardiness is... uncharacteristic of him. The bulk of the cargo having been moved, he explains that he can't afford to wait more than originally planed and the Otherworldly Obelisk will be leaving tomorrow, Starday, at 5:00pm. "If you’re late, I’ll replace you. If you choose to stay in town tonight, most of my men will be staying at the Dry Dock Tavern. Whatever you decide, just make sure I get my pelts, and everyone will be happy.” Before wandering of to the tavern, along with most of the remaining crew.

Wasting no time, the party asks the wharfinger about the trapper. Quickly they surmise his name is Úlfr and lives in a cabin with his wife Ásný and son Ullir about four miles away. Ullir, has just recently seen the completion of his first cycle and Ásný, is rumored to be with child. Armed with this knowledge, the Erik and Ryan immediately surmise the best course of action... they must head to the trapper immediately!

Passing by the Viking longhouses and occasional Keltic roundhouse, they leave through the cyclopean stone wall's north gate and follow the well-worn and wide trail as it cuts through the wheat fields as they reach for the last rays of giant red sun. It takes them two hours following the road, as wild patches of elderberries and blackberries crop up sporadically along the road from the grassy fields and slow their progress. The party arrives at 6:40 pm, just after the bloated red star slink below the horizon and see smoke rising from the chimney of a quaint little cabin with crops to either side and a small yard in back fenced into the side of a hill's base.

They look at each other, wondering what to do. Everything seems... normal? Duk Dei swallowed the fear in his throat and knocks on the front door. The party hears a sudden racket inside! Then, the door is flung open and Duk Dei sees a young Viking boy with sandy blonde hair thrust a spear into his face! He demands to know who the players are and what they are doing here, speaking with a thick Norse accent. They see a terrible sight. A sturdy Viking frontierswoman with blonde hair pulled tightly behind her careworn face leaning over an ageing but distinguished Viking warrior with long blond hair and beard by the hearth. She's tending to him with blankets, wet rags, and warm soup but judging from his blue-tinged appearance it doesn't seem to be working.

Strelock speaks up, saying to calm down and gets a spear pointed at his face for the trouble. Eventually the pair convince the boy they are here to help and he quits threatening them long enough to tell his mother in Norse. The part lets themselves in and Strelock, speaking the language, begins conversing with her, despite their differing accents. Ásný says her husband Úlfr went out to check his traps before she woke, just like he always does, even leaving a note and a map (player handouts #1 and #2) which she gives to the players. He came home much sooner than normal, clearly injured, and passed out soon after. She wanted to send for help, but his condition was steadily worsening and she didn't want to risk either leaving him unattended or sending her young son off for help alone.

It's 6:50 pm and the twilight is fading. Suddenly Úlfr grunts. What little color he has left is draining away from him and Ásný begins to panic. He's clearly dying and fast. The players are scrambling, trying to figure out what they can do to save him. Then Erik, finally starts reading the freaking book I bought him and has a breakthrough discovery! Duk Dei rips the blanket off of Úlfr and rolls him onto his back. He feels up and down his spine, looking for the exact spot. He senses it. The man's Chi is blocked! He places his hand on the exact spot, then makes a series of contorting gestures before jabbing the trapper with his index and middle finger! Úlfr crys out in pain, jerking before collapsing again. Ullir rushes over, thrusting his spear back in Duk Dei's face, demanding to know what he did while Ásný clings to her husband, weeping. Duk Dei assures them to wait just a moment. A minute passes. Then two more. Gradually the color and warmth return to Úlfr he wakes up to an elated family complaining about sudden back pain. 7:00 pm and the twilight is gone. Erik had just successful used his Cellular Regeneration ability to cure Úlfr's Zombosis at the very last minute and he didn't even know it. If they had taken any other course of action Úlfr would have died and become a zombie.

     Thread Starter

12/11/2023 6:18 pm  #4

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

Very nice. I ran my group through the same adventure a few months ago, and they had a blast. I don't fancy the party's chances if just the two of them press on though...

"It is all very well to point out that the man lacks facility; as he asserts, sheer force can overpower sophistication."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous

12/11/2023 7:14 pm  #5

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

Encounter 2: Under the Glare of Phobos

It's 7:00 pm and the twilight has faded away and the slumbering, winking leer of stars and other things impossible to describe glares down on HYPERBOREA from beyond the black gulf... The party has just unknowingly saved Úlfr, and by extent his family, from Zombification. Úlfr told them while he was checking his traps as usual, the one to the southwest contained a giant ermine that looked long dead trapped by a broken leg. He though that was odd, but went to collect it as usual... when the dead thing reared up and bit him! After that there was little difference between his and his wife's story. The trapper concluded he must have dropped them sometime after he was bitten. And so, the party set out, looking for the lost pelts in the cold dark of a HYPERBOREAN night...

Knowing full well where they needed to go, the party left the cabin and entered the darkness. They wanted to follow the trail, but with the intermittent clouds rolling in the sky above, it didn't take long for them to realize they could not travel by the evil, sanguine glare of Phobos alone. The party checked their character sheets for supplies, debating on touches before Hans remembered that Lexy had a hooded lantern. Lighting it they now had a cone of viability in the otherwise murky, washed-out landscape. Luck for them, Strelock was a scout and could use his Tracking ability to see where they were going. He even had an 8-in-12 chance bonus from his high DX. Unluckily, he rolled a 9. So while they had a map and knew which of the four routes to take, there was still a chance they could become lost. But it was Wheel and Woe and Wheel again, because the mere presence of a scout in the party reduced their chances of getting lost from a 1-in-6 to a 1-in-8. It was a rough start, but Strelock quickly found the worn and low grass leading towards the woods.

Strelock may have been guiding them, but it was Lexy holding the hooded lantern. Scanning the dark a pair of beady orbs caught the light and bored into her from the night, and intelligence lurking behind those eyes. Lexy did the first thing that came to her mind. She screamed. The rest of the part rushed over to her as the clouds broke. She gestured towards the dark where she saw those eyes and the moonlight illuminated a small, lean creature with a big tail darting back into the wilderness completely soundless. Strelock instantly recognized it. "It's only a fox, Lexy."

8:00 pm. The party arrives at the southwest trap site. Lexy waves her hooded lantern over the motionless, rotting, giant ermine, it's white, glazed-over eyes and fangs catching the lantern light along with the large steal trap snapped shut around its broken leg. Nobody wants to get near it after Úlfr's descriptions of events. Lexy sets down the lantern and draws a stone for her sling. She hits with a 14 and the stone slices open its belly for 3 points of damage... the exact amount required to kill it. The weasel doesn't move and neither do the players. Technically, it was dead before. Is it really dead now? Duk Dei approaches with his halberd outstretched. He thrusts at it and misses, before thrusting again, impaling the ermine in its split-open belly for 9 damage. It still doesn't move.

Strelock concludes it must be truly dead and begins searching for the bag of pelts. He doesn't find them. But he does find a large depression where a bag of pelts could have been. He concludes they must have been here and beings looking for tracks. With a 1 this time, he finds the ermine's tracks leading back into the forest... and another pair of tracks leading toward the coast! Theses other tracks walk with an awkward gate - perhaps a limp of some kind - and are a size or so bigger than the trapper's. They come from the forest after the ermine, stop at the depression where the pelts must have been, and head towards the coast in a different direction. This limper must have taken the pelts. But all these signs together - Úlfr's sickness, the seemingly dead ermine, the liming gate - leave the party to one conclusion. Undeath must be involved. Specifically Zombies...

They follow the tracks for another hour before reaching a worn cleft in a rocky hillside at 9:00 pm. Strelock searches for more tracks and it's a success. He finds a second set of large pawmarks heading east and seven pairs of shod feet can be discovered approach from the coast to the southwest and enter the cleft. Strelock doesn't want to follow these new tracks, yet, but there's definitely something - or someone - in there. The party wants to sneak in, but only Duk Dei is capable of successfully Moving Silently. They enter the chamber and a heavy, musky odor emanates from the cleft, which opens to a c. 60-foot-diameter cave with low, 6-foot arched ceiling. And then they see it. As Lexy shines her hooded lantern, not one or two, but three dead giant weasels! Yet they lay still. Closer inspection reveals it must be a pack, a mother and two pups. They are indeed dead, having been bludgeoned to dead and the mother has... a severed human arm locked in her jaws. Nevertheless, those ermine pelts would go for quite a price on the market and there is both a furrier and butcher back at Ragnarrheim. But the cave leads on and down. After debating for a while, the party decided to see where this cave leads first and collect the pelts and meat once they know it is safe.

9:10 pm. Strelock attempts to Determine Depth and Grade by throwing a small pebble down the cavern, but rolls a 3 on his 2-in-6 chance. He knows it goes down, but that's about it. As the party descends down the tunnel they see the littoral caves partly have eroded naturally from the basalt bedrock and partly have been worked by hand. Duk Dei sneaks ahead with a successful Move Silently check into the next chamber as the rest of the party follows close behind, staying at the entrance of the corridor. As he enters, Duk Dei sees an obese, one-armed zombie standing in the center of the chamber! Motionless and breathless, the zombie doesn't see him and has no reaction. Duk Dei returns and informs the party and they get ready for a fight!

Last edited by Samus Brigandine (12/11/2023 9:22 pm)

     Thread Starter

12/11/2023 9:21 pm  #6

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

Encounter 3: The Curse of the Pirate's Treasure

It was 9:20 pm and the party surprises the zombie. Both Erik and Michelle want to engage in melee, but Duk Dei has the higher DX so he goes first. Duk Dei rushes toward the zombie, strikes at it with his halberd, then rushes back to the narrow entrance to hid behind Zoloft, his shield, and his armor. He has just enough movement to do it, but in his haste Erik rolls a 10! Just shy of the needed AC, he stabs at the boated carcass... right where his left arm used to be! At this point Ryan offers Erik (who, in his hubris, left is dice in his car) a new set of dice to use instead of borrowing a set from me... again. After all, everyone knows dice based superstitions are real and the jumbo dice I lent him are better weapons than random number rocks. Michelle was up next and she wanted to rush the zombie, but the rest of the party thought it was a bad idea. We looked over the Combat Options on page 269 and she decided to Parry and Block, bringing her THAC0 to a nice 0. Next was Ryan, who had Strelock pop off 2 arrow shots with his short bow in rapid succession before diving behind the nearest stalagmite. Both hit and he did a hearty 11 points of damage as the arrows stuck into the zombies swollen belly before the release of gasses started sucking them in. Last was Hans with magic. He went for the spell Prismatic Orb and rolled a 6... violet! Lexy launched a glowing sphere that illuminated the cave as it shifted between colors as Hans rolled well over the required AC. He rolled a d6 for duration and got a 5. That was the first time we did magic and there was a bit of confusion whether a zombie could be affected by a mind altering effect. I checked the stat block and... well, it didn't say no? So the zombie could only circle the room dazed and confused for 5 rounds.

We rolled for initiative. I rolled off against Erik and the zombie won, 3 beating 1. And the zombie... wandered around the center of the cavern, dazed and confused. Erik oped for melee again and Charged the zombie! The added bonus from Charging being just enough to hit and Duk Dei clipped the zombie's jaw for a whooping 5 points of damage, splitting his mouth open and twisting his head around as the zombie continued to wander around the room. Michelle rushed in with her long-sword with a Reckless Attack easily hitting and stabbing the zombie in the gullet for a devastating 7 points of damage as the living corpse split open and guts spilled out in front of her. The zombie fell to the ground, very dead and in several large pieces.

The party began searching the room as Strelock recovered his arrows. They found a chest of rotted wood and bronze banding, open and empty save cobwebs near the back of the cave, but no pelts. Strelock searched for secret doors, but I rolled for him behind my referee screen. It was a 4; he failed. The way I run mystery elements is you can roll, and if you roll well, I give it to you or if you explicitly look where the clue is you get it. Nobody explicitly pressed on the walls, so I didn't give them the answer. Ryan mentioned that they've been awake since early morning and haven't eaten since before they docked. The party agrees that since there is no obvious path forward, they should go back to the tavern and rest before it gets far too late and they become exhausted, famished, or something worse. Erik was concerned with dealing with the body so it won't get back up and lit it up with Duk Dei's tinderbox. It worked, but the once musty and damp room now smelled like burnt death. It's 9:30 pm and the players leave to collect their pelts... only for Erik to just realize the sink of smoldering zombie in the next room will definitely waft up to their current chamber.

What happened next I did not expect. The players decided to take the giant ermines back to Ragnarrheim to be process. By hand. Granted, none of them had the proper secondary skills to skin them, so, I guess it made a sort of sense. I will admit though, I was worried. Last time this group of players tried something like this... well, let's just say that's why this is the second house game of HYPERBOREA. But I personally don't like to dictate to the players what they should or should not do. And the random encounters on Sea-Wolf Island were much less dangerous than the Zakath Desert. So Lexy and Strelock took up one giant pup each while Duk Dei and Zoloft snatch up a pair of legs each and dragged the mother between them like a stretcher, sagging heavily in the middle as her belly rubbed the ground.

Several hours pass and it's 12:30 am. The players have passed the trappers cabin when Strelock, carrying the lantern, saw a brown, web-winged creature fly right at him! It dove right toward him and peeled away. The party all dropped their various animals and took up arms. Then the creature dove at Strelock again, a peeled away once more. He sat the lantern down and backed off, watching the creature dive into the light and off again and again. The players quickly realized it's a bat hunting the bugs that gathered in the light. Strelock spent a turn gathering a handful of bugs to feed the nocturnal hunter. He crushed them up and placed the guts on top of the hooded lantern. The bat dove at the meal and I rolled the first natural one in the whole adventure! BANG! The bat slamed into the top of the lantern and sent it careening through the air before disappearing into the ruddy dark. I rolled again to see what happened. The lantern skidded across the ground and... landed safely, if perhaps, having a little less oil.

The party continued, but at 2:40 am and only a mile or so away from the village, they saw something in the dark. Lexy held the lantern now after her companion "almost lost it". A pair of giant creatures darted around the edge of their light from tall grass to berry bush to the odd hole in the ground. I didn't take long for her to get a good look and see they were exactly the same shapes the monk and cataphract were carrying. Nerves tensed. Now came the question, where they dead, or alive? They seemed to have no interest in the party. Unbeknownst to them, they were living and hunting rats and hares. Any fortune they might gain from slaying and skinning them seemed fruitless, considering their current burden. So the players took a turn and made a wide breath around the hunting ermines.

Now at 3:50 am, they finally returned to Ragnarrheim and rest at the Dry Dock Tavern. The party haggled with the night staff, but secured rest in the common room for a meager 4 coppers each and left their prizes outside the tavern, hoping they'd be there in the morning, and collapsed at 4:00 am. They slept for a solid 6 hours, and woke well after the red sunrise at 10:00 am, Starday morning with only 7 hours left until the Otherworldly Obelisk left port.

     Thread Starter

12/12/2023 12:33 am  #7

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

Encounter 4: The End of the Story?

10:00 am, Starday. The party woke up, stomachs rumbling. At the price of 2 silver each, they were treated to the fine local cuisine of Ragnarrheim and Sea-Wolf Island. Chicken and duck eggs with bacon, beard with blackberry and elderberry jams, and a tall flagon of beer each. Heads rested and bellies full, they exited the Dry Dock Tavern and found... their animals had not been stolen! First things first, they took them over to the furrier and negotiated a price. Normally 25 gold for the adult and 5 for each pup, he offered 30 gold total after labor and the wear of the animals. The players agreed and head over to the butcher, look to extract as much coin from the animals as they can. A similar deal was struck, this time for 20 gold, but after the several hours it will take the furrier and the butcher, the players realize the Obelisk will be gone before they can collect. They debated, if it was worth it, but decided they must get those pelts first.

At 10:30 am they set back out. The trail to the cleft is much easier under the bright beams of the crimson sun and mauve sky than the inky cotton of night. After several hours, they arrived at the pirate's cove at 1:30 pm. The players lit up their lantern again and descend once more into the hillside. Everything is just as they left it, reeking of overcooked rot. If anyone had noticed their actions or entered since their bout, they hadn't left a trace. Entering the lower chamber Strelock was hit with a wave of salty air and the scent of low tide coming through the cave. Once again I rolled a hidden Detect Secret Doors check for him, and he passed with a 2 on his 3-in-6 chance. Strelock investigated the wall where the fresh air was cutting through the stink and it gave way! A portion of the wall spun in place. At this point I gave a closer look to the chamber's description of the door and, oops! Turns out it was rather easy to find with the salt build up, at a 4-in-6 chance for most classes, but a 5-in-6 thieves and their sub-classes. Well, I guess that who weasel fiasco was my fault. Clearly, this was Xathoqqua's punishment for not reading the module again before playing.

Regardless, it was now 2:40 pm and the players wanted to explore. The whole party rolled to Move Silently, but only Strelock and Duk Dei succeeded. They deiced to move ahead while the big guns stayed back and waited to be called upon. The tunnel went south and deeper into the earth before forking. To the southwest came a noise of clinking metal and gently lapping water while to the east was a rhythmic sound of stone grinding on stone. The whole party debated, but it was Erik who deiced to take Duk Dei down the easterly path. Again it forked. To the north was the sound, but due east was a larger chamber of some kind, curving north again. Again Erik took the initiative and the pair of explorers headed north. There they found a collapsed tunnel with a pair of zombies! The zombies seemed oblivious to their presence and toiled away at the cave-in before them. The zombies toiled tirelessly, but for every stone they moved, another one fell in its place. Satisfied, the players left them to their perpetual fate and returned westward where they came.

Another turn passed as the grade rose back up and fell back down while the pair explored the other direction in the fork. Their they found the light of a campfire in the center of a large chamber with a raised ledge on one side and metal roots poking out the other, with the sound of lapping waves coming from deeper beyond towards the south. And in the middle were a duo of figures counting coins by the fire... along with their bag of pelts! The players were were getting those pelts and after all this danger they weren't about to ask nicely. 3:00 pm now. The explorers had returned and relayed their findings. The party had gathered at the entrance to this lit chamber and prepared for combat. Strelock went first, Moving Silently into the chamber and hiding behind a stalagmite half way through, followed by Duk Dei as he stalked up on the the two men. One was a bald-headed Viking ecclesiastic of Kraken with drooping red mustaches while the other was a stout, clean-faced Viking youth with bushy, unkempt blond hair in scale armor with a bastard sword at his side. Once again, Zoloft and Lexy waited for their que. Duk Dei bashed the bald Viking with a powerful Pommel Strike to the back of the head. The combination of new dice and the +4 from the maneuver hit and was well beyond the 5 over the target's AC need to knock him senseless. He was stunned for 2 rounds and Erik was ecstatic.

Combat began in earnest and we rolled imitative. Hans rolled a 3 and beat my 1. Duk Dei continued his onslaught, trying to strike at the other Viking. But with a much lower AC and a much lower roll, he spun in place and rose to his feet. Drawing his sword, he caught Duk Dei's halberd with an overhead block. Zoloft Charged next and stuck the Viking with an overhand blow to the opposite side of his guard, slicing his neck for 6 points of damage. Then Strelock fired a pair of arrows at the warrior, but a duo of bad rolls had them fly overhead and they bounced off the cave wall. He must have been more worried about striking his comrades than hitting his enemy and pulled his shots. Lexy closed the distance, half way between the entrance and the melee, and raised her hands in a cone pointed at the Vikings. It was magic time and Hans had chosen Prismatic Spray an excellent spell and caused Erik to remake on the vast number of prismatic spells in the game. A strobe of flashing colors lit up the cave as the warrior rolled his saving throw. But what the players didn't know was hes wasn't an ordinary fighter! He was a warlock and his +2 bonus against sorcery save made the difference and allowed him to pass the spell, having shielded his eyes with his free hand. But the priest wasn't so lucky... His save was abysmal, and he went limp, unconscious instantly. Out of the frying pan and into the campfire... Next up was the warlock. He was critically injured and failed his moral check, searching for a way out, the only way he saw was through. He pointed his hands toward the other warriors and licks of fire leaped from his fingers! Burning Hands inflicted 2 points of damage to the monk and 1 to the cataphract, the damaged reduced by his armor. After this he made a beeline for the entrance... right past Lexy.

There was only one way this Viking could make it out alive, he had to win initiative. But my roll off against Ryan resulted in a miserable defeat of his 5 beating my 3. Lexy went first with her DX 16. Drawing her dagger, she stabbed him in the back of the neck for 3 points of damage as he ran by, sending spinal fluid leaking and diminishing spurts of blood everywhere. Combat was over.

The party quickly tied up the priest and looted both men for all they were worth, finding pirate treasure and the much more valuable bag of pelts in the process. Tallying up their spoils, Erik realized the large bag of 31 giant stoat pelts worth 25 gold each were easily more valuable than anything either of the Vikings had on them or the collection of coins they had found. Knowing the coming interrogation would take them until at least 4:30 pm, the players came to the conclusion they "had" to take possession of these pelts, seeing as there was no way they could make it back in time. Then a voice broke the stillness and the Kraken priest woke. He demanded to be released, but Lexy and her brand new silver dagger against his throat persuaded him otherwise.

Duk Dei began questioning him. It didn't take long for the priest to confess being behind the zombies. He and his former companion were on Sea-Wolf Island for the rumored pirate treasure of Dain Deep-Thought, which they found and the players now had. He told them about the zombies and how they worked like flesh automatons, but was completely unaware of Úlfr. Frakki had come back with the pelts after on off his patrol with a few zombies. Honest. He told them about his map of the pirate caves, the temple within, and asked if there was anything he could do for his life. The players said no, but were willing to offer him a swift death. After disposing of him, Strelock inspected the "metal roots" Ryan quickly determined they were wires despite my attempts at obfuscation. He also noted that they sparked occasionally and that meant there was still power coming from somewhere deeper within.

Now armed with the crude map of the pirate's lair and no way back to the Otherworldly Obelisk in time the players needed to make another decision. Should they press on to the temple within or leave and find away to chart another form of passage?

     Thread Starter

12/16/2023 1:46 pm  #8

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

rhialto wrote:

Very nice. I ran my group through the same adventure a few months ago, and they had a blast. I don't fancy the party's chances if just the two of them press on though...

They're all participating. It's just that some of my players are more invested than others. But yeah, that level of participation is what led to the TPK in our first game. Oh well, I guess we'll see.

     Thread Starter

12/16/2023 1:48 pm  #9

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

So I was preparing for our game tomorrow and I discovered... weather.


Oh well. I'm still learning and so are the players. I'll just write off the "nice" weather they've been having as Referee Fiat. But expect weather updates in the posts from now on. Like, a lot of weather updates.

     Thread Starter

12/16/2023 5:27 pm  #10

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

Samus Brigandine wrote:

rhialto wrote:

Very nice. I ran my group through the same adventure a few months ago, and they had a blast. I don't fancy the party's chances if just the two of them press on though...

They're all participating. It's just that some of my players are more invested than others. But yeah, that level of participation is what led to the TPK in our first game. Oh well, I guess we'll see.

I realized, once I saw the updates after the first post, that they all four pressed on, so my mistake. Fun read!

"It is all very well to point out that the man lacks facility; as he asserts, sheer force can overpower sophistication."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous

12/19/2023 2:28 pm  #11

Re: The Chronicles of the House Game!

Encounter 5: Not so Deep-Ones

Weather update, it's currently 4:30 pm and 28 degrees outside with light precipitation and a light breeze estimated for the next 6 hours and the players are still in the pirate's cove, wondering what to do next now that there is no possible way to get back on the Otherworldly Obelisk in time. Realizing they had not searched the room, Erik has Duk Dei climb up the ledge on the western side of the chamber. He easily succeeds and finds the protection scroll: lycanthropes stashed in a crack in the wall. He returns and the party decides to divvy up the loot to better serve them on their adventure. Most remains in the treasurer's list for later, but Lexy receives all the scrolls and spell book while Strelock gets the gauntlets of dextrousness, being the one who can benifit from them the most, along with a falcata for proper swordplay and increased backstabbing. Alas, none who can use the scale armour needed it.

The party decides to head south, further into the cove and find out more about this temple their late captive spoke of and where these wires come from. They walk down the rampart and hear the storm raging out to their right and see the cove continue on to their left. The monk bravely decides to scout forward... and falls right into the water! He sinks, but does manage to see among the ruin debris a chest with the real pirate's treasure. Sopping wet he swims back out and tells the party, only to be ambushed! 2 giant crabs attempt to pincer him to peaces but he evades all four surprise strikes! I recommend that Duk Dei thanks Apollo properly after this encounter and Erik heavily considers it.

What happens next is either some of the sorriest combat or most unfortunate rolls I have seen in this game for quite some time. I won't bore you with the blow-by-blow with this engagement, as most of it is the party finding out the hard way that Giant Crabs have equally giant shells and therefore equally giant AC repeatedly for several rounds of combat in a row. The monk managed to miss every sing one of his pole-vault style charge and retreat attacks and I begin to question if Erik's dice are cursed or if he personally did something to offend whatever supernatural forces influence random number generation. He does have a habit of rolling triple 6's on rolls of 3d6... Anyway, Hans as Lexy was the exact opposite. The illusionist managed not one, but two natural criticals on the same crab during the fight. Albeit, with a sling, but two crits is two crits. Hmm, if perhaps critical fails are Xathoqqua's Woe, then perhaps the inverse is Thaumagorga's Rage? This display of brutal slingmanship was almost enough to slay one entire crab. But Ryan with Strelock was on point. with his new falcata he was able to skewer a crab from behind with a backstab for an insane 42 points of damage! But perhaps the most turbulent experience went to Michelle as Zoloft the Catapracht. Zololft managed to slay the last giant crab, but only after receiving a pinch on the buttock for 8 damage. I rolled the max and Michelle's character was almost the first to die, mirroring our last campaign.

After this, Erik had Duk Dei heal Zoloft for 2 health before diving in for the treasure. He figured that since he was already wet, it might as well be him. The party tied a rope around his waste (just in case) and hauled it to the surface. Afterwards they stopped to dry off and warm up by the bonfire. Michelle insisted on them cooking and eating the crabs for some reason, the who endeavor taking well over an hour.

5:50 pm and it was still pouring outside. The party decided to return to the boat cove with Duk Dei scouting once more. This time, he stuck to the edge of the cavern instead of walking straight into the murky, brackish, and dark water bellow. At 6:00 pm they found another, smaller cove, this time with a ledge and the golden doors to Xathoqqua's temple covered in effigies of himself. The monk once again climbed the ledge, struggling but catching himself, find nothing but a large bat colony. Thankfully for him, he made his reaction roll and they were indifferent, even after the required second roll. But this left the party with only one option... the temple of Xathoqqua!

Strelock was a mixture of cautious and curious. A good combination for HYPERBOREA. There were no traps on the door that he could find. The players entered and saw the magnificence of the temple. The massive, flooded circular chamber with its arched ceiling depicting the ruined frescoes of crude copulation and Xathoqqua's stellar escapades, the treble of massive basins of green-black ooze, the statue of Xathoqqua holding and iron idol of Xathoqqua surrounded by albino toads, and a hole in the wall worn away after eons. Immediately I rolled for the secret door check and the scout failed. Not this time, it seams. Strelock inspected the oozes and didn't like what he saw. He had the sneaking suspicion that while that idol was worth a lot of money to the right people, he didn't think he should take it until they left. His hunch was right, but I wasn't going to spoil the fun and tell him. Upon that revelation, the party decided to check out the hole in the wall.

6:00 pm and the hole was a passageway leading northeast. The party accessed, finding a fork in the path. They want north and found a perfectly made stone wall. Here? Underground? No-one seemed to question it after the temple. So they returned and went east. It lead to the back of a secret door! Strelock exited and found... it was the other side of the stone wall. Disappointed, they trekked north as the elevation rose, encountering a cave it almost to the ceiling. The party found they could move it with six long and grueling man-hours of back braking labor. But they decided that wasn't worth it, remembering there was another path they had not yet explored.

They decided to head back, finally reaching their destination at 6:30 pm. Past the zombies at the cave-in that was refilling itself as they worked, they found another cave-in being worked by zombies. But this one was different. It looked like they were actually making progress. And it would only take them... six more hours. With this information, the party decided to return to the bonfire, lick their wounds, and rest for those six hours until the zombies had done the dirty work for them.

     Thread Starter

Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

© 2009-2024 North Wind Adventures, LLC. “HYPERBOREA” is a registered trademark of North Wind Adventures, LLC. “Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea,” “AS&SH,” and all other North Wind Adventures product names and their respective logos are trademarks of North Wind Adventures, LLC in the USA and other countries. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.