So yesterday we had session #6, which was notable in a couple of ways. The first is that my buddy TW showed up to play. Now, TW has been gaming with me since, well, forever. We met in Junior High School, and he has been around pretty much since the beginning. In fact, he started playing with his character “Gimilot Greyleaf” in what is now a few thousand years ago in-game history in pretty close to the same area that the group is playing in now. Gimilot eventually became a minor lord of Chaos in his own right, and has been both a blessing and thorn in the side of player-characters ever since.
TW hasn’t played much with us lately, he was one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children for a while, got out and tried his hand a civilian life, and recently re-enlisted in the National Guard, so his time can be a bit limited, but things are kind of clearing up for him (at least for a bit it seems), so he’s joining for at least a few game sessions here.
But I decided that just like I rebooted a couple of old NPC’s to see where they would end up in a new group and a new time-frame, I could do the same for Gimilot and he could have fun playing a “new” version of his old character. So, stripped down, “Greyleaf”, a chaotic neutral, psionic, half-elven sorcerer/thief (1/1), essentially popped up during the game, with no real memory of where he’d come from, but possibly coming from someplace far, far in the past.
But back to the actual game…
When we last left our group, they had retreated back up the stairs to regroup and re-study and get ready to clear out the last of the ghouls – plus to investigate the monolith-obelisk-waystone-thing in the room at the base of the stairs. They buffed themselves up, moved into the new marching order (with the two elves in front), and made their way down the stairs…
And then Tier (my son’s character) decided that he would need some light and decided to use his Lights psionic discipline to cast a Light effect on the obelisk (since that would fill the entire room.
Now, I had decided that the obelisk was going to be an Old School McGuffin, one of those things that would do random things to your character – from raising stats to granting odd abilities – but at some sort of other neutral to negative change to the character. I drew up a random chart and had people roll the numbers themselves. The idea was that when a character interacted with the obelisk by touching it, they cause an effect, though just one.
So, of all goofy things, I hadn’t thought about people “touching it” with their mind in some way and I decided on the spot that this counted – and also drained a great deal more psychic energy than anticipated while *not* generating the light. But Tier rolled, and soon enough he was four inches taller (now he’s 6’6″) but with a bonus of +1 to his Constitution (making him an elf with a Con of 18). There was much shredding of clothing in true Hulk-ish fashion, and them having to cut himself out of his boots because they made their save, and the party muddled about for a bit trying to decide what to do.
Frater Nikolai, Arvid, Tier, and Gryphon all happened to be outside of the room in the stairwell when Ketzl touched the obelisk in the process of checking for traps. Again, rather on the spur of the moment (and because I wanted to have a really dramatic intro for the new character, Greyleaf) I decided that the combination of “priming the pump” psychically, plus the physical touch, plus “Greyleaf” spitting his way into the world via what was obviously some sort of waystone or leygate meant that everyone in the room was effected. The obelisk turned the deep black of the midnight sky and then filled with stars that shone out in beams of blazing light as Greyleaf entered the world.
Let’s see here, some people had really great results, and some had decent but nothing special results.
Roland the Proto-Paliden gained the ability to Detect Magic at will within 5′, but suffered a -1 to Constitution (from 18 to 17) – kind of interesting, and as a cavalier he’s able to work up his Constitution again anyways.
Vesna the Mage gained a +1 to Intelligence (15 to 16) and suffered a -1 to Strength (10 to 9) – a trade-off she felt was more than worth it.
Mikus gained a +1 to Dexterity (bringing it to 18), but suffered a switch in sex from male to female. This was role-played very well by KT, and provided a fair amount of comic-relief for everyone – especially since I got my old copy of the Judges Guild Ready Ref Sheets back – with table for generating “vital statistics”.
Illya the Warrior-Monk gained something which would have been kinda cool for anyone else, but something that was massively cool for him. His hands became +1 weapons! The down-side is that they also have a “Power-Fist” nimbus of crackling energy in combat that is impossible to hide and makes stealth a bit iffy.
Similarly, Kyril the Mage was given a +1 to Power (taking it to 19!) but now has an eerie nimbus of pale white fire that dances over his hands – perhaps over the rest of his body as well. It doesn’t seem to damage anything, but is sure going to freak out the mundanes.
Lastly, both Astrin the Elf and Ketzl the Gnome gained a level (her in Diabolist and him in Illusionist), and suffered a transformation their eyes – the pupils of which are now black and filled with stars. They both have pretty much the same opinion that this was certainly worth it. Though it is certainly going to freak people out a bit if they notice.
Plus the naked form of Greyleaf appeared in their midst. Some interesting role-playing later, with the party managing to avoid killing him but them quickly figuring out that he was either a bit touched, or had been “locked up” for a very long time…
It would have been nice if the party had left it there, but this is a group of adventurers – such was not to be. They spent some time investigating the three adjoining rooms of the main chamber. There was a single large stone sarcophagi (or something that looked like them) in each, but despite a busted prybar and the best efforts of the party they could not open any. Though Mikus, Greyleaf, and Tier each got a magical-ish, electric tingle from a different one in the process of touching them…
It remains to be seen what, if any, the effect of that is.
Then they decided to mess with the Obelisk again.
They had a handful of the characters down there, and after some limited discussion Tier grabbed the Candlestaff and touched the Obelisk with the flame from the candle. Now, if you remember who all of those old Old School random granting thingies, they generally were cool as long as you stopped messing with them after one pass.
So there was a flash of bright light and everyone in the room had to make saves vs. magic. Three characters blew it – Roland, Tier (how appropriate!), and Kyril. Another couple of rolls later, and we discover that Roland has been physically transported to the Realm of the Dead, Tier has been sent to Shadowlands, and Kyril has merely ended up someplace else here in the Mortal Realms. The party pretty quickly decided to move onwards away from the location before anything else bad happened…
So, a half days journey away they decide to camp for the night. They manage to avoid anything nasty along the road, and most of the night until I roll up one of those crazy sort of encounters that crop up occasionally. With some helpful suggestions we switch it from one of the three major Lords of the Maelstrom (aka Chaos) and switch it to Gorden, the Grand Duke of Soahc – nominal head of these lands and a rather powerful minion of Chaos in his own right (and a former PC of a now long-gone player).
CB, the player of Arvid, also managed to have her current character threatened with death and dismemberment and almost killed by her former character, Chantal, who is now an NPC servant of Gorden. But after a short discussion, nobody died, though Gorden did not seem to exactly be thrilled with the party and what they were doing messing with what he called a “half-way house”. He did confirm that at least Tier and Kyril were still alive, though he didn’t know what happened to Roland – or wasn’t willing to find out once he found out Roland was a member of the SOL.
And that is pretty much where we left it!