GURPS Jade Regent – Tower of Doom 2

We picked up having . . .

just opened up a door into a room full of crystals pulsing with dark light in some sort of indiscipherable pattern. Some of them are magical, others are just full of what we assume is evil black ooze that glows with a black light, as strange as that is. Nothing seems to be moving.  There are other things that look kind of like the control panels at the doors, but several orders of magnitude more complex.

Thumvar: “So, can we grab some crystals for fun and profit or what?”
Staver: “Or do they bite?”

Cadmus: “Someone else can do that. I’ve had my fill of messing with pulsing crystals”

Shiba starts grabbing crystals, and meanwhile makes a Thaumatology roll.
GM: Shiba, you believe this is some sort of thaumaturgic machine. You’re guessing by the dust in this room it’s been here for… several thousands of years. Minimum. It also appears to still be doing whatever it was designed to do. Two crystals about as large as your index finger in different parts of the room are definitely independently magical, and they’re also definetely tied into the functioning machine. You have no idea what the purpose of the machine is, but you’re guessing it’s related to whatever reason this tower was built for. To be clear, they’re independently magical. But they’re tied into the machine’s functioning in some manner that you can’t figure out.
We’re told we have no idea what removing the crystals that are involved in actually operating the machine would do. Maybe nothing. Maybe boom. Maybe make it do something entirely different. 
Shiba decides to pull the crystals anyway. After Cadmus’ trick with the control panel last game, I can’t really object.
Shiba and Staver notice that all the crystals in the room
seem to be vibrating at a VERY high speed. Their edges are blurring, and
there’s a high pitched whine filling the room. Also, the black light seems to
be bleeding out into the surface of a lot of the crystals.
Shiba: Shiba has no compunctions about retreating. He does.
Though he must be stoic – “Pardon me, coming through the door now.”
he pants calmly.
GM: You get within a yard of the door before all the
crystals in the room explode. The fragments seem to be coated in a smoking
black ooze. And there are a LOT of them.
Shiba gets peppered with a lot of shrapnel, and including his armor, he bounces the first 2, take 3 injury on the right arm, 1 on the right leg, 10 on the right leg (and crippled), 3 on the left arm, and 1 on the left leg. He spends a destiny point on a HT-5 roll so he’s not poisoned, blinded, or otherwise awful things. He stagger/crawls out of the room, and kneels facing the door.
Thumvar pulls a Neo and dodges 
Cadmus rushes up to lay on hands, and decides to prime the pump with a Major Healing potion first. Having healed him and others, we decide we just destroyed a major black magic artifact, patted ourselves on the back, and ride the elevator up another floor.
Whether through accident or apurpose, we see a Remorhaz icon in the middle of the new level.

GM: A huge hexagonal hole lies in the floor of this huge hexagonal chamber. Four stone platforms jut from the walls 16 yards up from the floor in each of the cardinal directions. Above these platforms, a pair of open windows in each wall look out over the icy landscape outside. Six large crystals are embedded in the walls between the windows, glowing with a fierce blue radience. High above, a wide hexagonal opening pierces the cieling. Beyond this opening, a massive sphere of blue light sheds a dazzling radiance. Bolts of crackling electricity join the crystals in the walls with the ball of energy. A howling gale sweeps downwards from the sphere, carrying a rumble of distant thunder.

Immediately to the south of the shaft you just rose up from, you see another crystal control panel embedded in the floor.

As you rise to even with the floor, you see a massive white and blue worm. It’s mouth and it’s scales glow red hot. as it snaps around to look at you. It looks angry. Or hungry. Maybe both.

Mark Langsdorf: I’m suddenly reminded of Peter dell’Orto’s recent blogpost about focusing on the important stuff when describing the room. ie, WHAT ABOUT THE COLD LIZARD DRAGON THING?
Cadmus is thinking this is the perfect time for Righteous Fury, but alas, it’s defined as a “per day” power, not a “per session” power. My daughter happens by and asks if I want some of her Power (she’s four). I say yes; I’m going to need it.
There are also four icy wraiths circling the electric blue sphere, and furtive movement on one of the high platforms.
Staver starts off by sinking an arrow into the Remorhaz’ blazing-hot interior. The thing screams, the shaft burst into flame. 8(2) pi damage, and we’ll see how ugly or not that is.
The movement on the West platform proves to be Kayiyanna, a a beautiful woman with blue skin covered in white whorls peek out from over the edge of the platform. She naturally casts a darkness spell at Thumvar, who has taken flight to try and nail her. In a deadly way. We hope. We also presume that she’s the scary woman that the previous shaman was writing bad poetry about. No one likes a bad poet, so Thumvar will kill her twice.
The ‘hoarfrost spirit’ that Thumvar can no longer see plunges downward. 

GM: You spot movement from the northernmost platform and whip your head around in time to see the decayed corpse of a white dragon launch itself from the platform, soaring unimpeded by the wind towards you.
Cadmus: Oh, shit.

The Remorhaz gets another arrow, this time Guided, from Shiba, who’s got wicked imbuements. It does 9(2) pi, though doesn’t penetrate as deeply as Staver’s. It also bursts into flame, and the hardened steel tip melts out of the wound channel.
Cadmus lumbers after them. He really needs higher Move. I note Cadmus is keeping an eye out for threats, and so

GM: Since you specifically mentioned you were keeping your eyes out, as you’re moving towards Shiba’s back you throw a quick glance over your shoulder and notice a second undead white dragon swooping towards the group from the East.

We are so screwed.
Staver fires another two arrows at the Remorhaz, one hits, another dodged, and again hits for 10(2) pi damage, which elicits another shriek. 
Thumvar flies on, and leaves the darkness enshrouding him behind. The GURPS version of darkness isn’t tied to the subject, thankfully for him. He bursts out of the sphere and travels a few more yards. 

This close to her you see midnight blue hair whipping around her head, and wings of blue-black feathers spread slightly behind her. The feathers aren’t being torn at by the wind like you would expect.Her hands sport long silver nails that glint like razors, and she’s barehanded but wearing a steel breastplate patinaed with frost and a shield on her left arm.She quirks her head quizically in your direction, then twists her hand in your direction while jumping forward and down towards the sphere of blackness.

A lightning bolt sizzles down from the sphere above us, narrowly missing Thumvar (he dodged). And with the dark sphere floating in mid-air, things are going from bad to worse to awful pretty fast.
The Remorhaz charges at Shiba and snaps at him with his jaws; missing. 
Shiba: “Rude.”
Now, a howling spirit composed of wind, with a skeletal face, erupts from the sphere and charges at Thumvar, doing a slam. Thumvar blocks with the silvered sharp edge-blade of his shield. It squeals and peels away. 
Thumvar: “Yah, that’s what I thought you wispy wuss.”
Right about then something freezing cold sweeps through him from behind; he takes 1 point of burn damage from the cold, armor doesn’t protect. The cold alerts Thumvar to the attack, and he slaps some silver in the way on his way out, doing thrust damage for the sword. (lucky roll at -4) He manages 9(2) impaling damage (!), which ain’t bad.
Both of the dragons swoop towards Cadmus and Shiba, and one breathes a torrent of black ice. Cadmus flings himself aside, while Shiba uses his magical Peshkali shield to block the attack, and then tries to use Blinding Defense (Shield) vs. the dragon. This imparts a -6 Obscure penalty to Dragon #2.
And two pillars of whirling air approach from the south. Big pillars (SM+2).
Mark Langsdorf: It’s like Nate decided he likes boss fights so he decided to just have a bunch of bosses in the fight.
Shiba shouts “The Caterpillar Grasps the High Leaf!” and stabs the Remorhaz in the eye, extending his energy blade into the creature. It lashes out in defense with one of its many legs, but Shiba spends a Knight! point (his second for this blow) to make the defense go awry. 8 imp to the eye later, Shiba neatly sidesteps as it brainlessly continues past, coming to a sliding stop 
Cadmus rolls away from the sliding beast, invoking Smite for perhaps 6 injury, but the fire is muted, likely by the incredibly Evil vibes from this place.
And the wind spirits arrive at the party. Both slam Shiba, who seems to be the punching bag of this fight, for 10 cr double knockback, so he takes 6 injury and is pushed one hex. He keeps his feet nicely, though he’s cooked a bit (armor protects) by standing too closely to a recently-alive Remorhaz. The second deals 5 cr double knockback, which is ineffective.
Staver takes aim with two Deluxe arrows: Balanced Fine Silver Accurate +2 Puissance. Yow. Emily triggers her Mighty MapTools Macro of Doom:

Fast Draw: 2 Arrows (19-2) result:
by 3 »
Ready (18)
by 10 »

Shoot Bow at Katiyana
@ range penalty -3
by 6 automatic deceptive attack for -2/-1 » -1 to
defend due to DWA
Damage is 11
imp (2) if successful.

Shoot Bow at Katiyana (20) @
range penalty -3
by 6 automatic deceptive attack for -2/-1 » -1 to
defend due to DWA
Damage is 8
imp (2) if successful.

Pretty cool, eh? Alas, the nimble minx blocks both.
The blue lady of darkness is mid-sphere, so cannot be seen by Thumvar, so he Heroic Charges past Hoarspirit 3, chopping at it with a Deceptive Attack, then jinks down to 1 yard above the ground. He spends a Knight! point to hit, and since it’s back is to Thumvar, it is cloven nicely in two.
Katiyana reaches one taloned hand out to Staver, her eyes flashing. Staver spends 1FP on a Feverish Defense, and critically succeeds. A lightning bolt flashes down, again, from the glowing sphere above, slamming down with a resounding crack. She then moves. Fast. 
A hoarfrost spirit charges through Shiba; another charges through Staver, to the backs of both. Shibas shows great sense, disappearing through the floor. Maybe out of range of Cadmus’ Smite maybe not.
The dragon that was close by Cadmus keeps going swooping into the black sphere. The other hits rather a lot of us with another strafing run. Katiyana is too high to be affected; everyone else is immune to cold. Shiba blocks with his magic shield, and Cadmus dodge-and-rolls out of the way. Lucky.
Shiba: Step back, shout “The Bell Tolls!” (Project Blow, Knight) and “The Termite Undermines the Pillar” (Penetrating Blow, Knight), and chop Dragon 1’s neck from a distance result:  «succeeded by 1 » and result:  «failed by 3 » taking the maximum DA penalty possible from by skill of 19 for 9 cu damage. Naturally he spends a Knight point to make this attack succeed. The dragon defends successfully, however.
A wind elemental gestures at Cadmus, unleashes a bolt of lightning, which misses, and another fires one off at Shiba, 
And the almost-see-through surface beneath Cadmus and Shiba’s feet flickers out of existence over a chasm 120yds deep.
We end there.

Session Notes

Cadmus was more or less not active this game. Got in one smite, one heal, and mostly a lot of nothing because he’s slow, has no ranged combat ability, and is generally ineffective on flying creatures. Also, some discussion was had about Righteous Fury, which is by the rules a per-day ability (in-game day), but I’d like to make that the 0% switch to per-game-session, because there are lots of other coolness things, like the supply of Destiny Points that enhance a character’s utility, that do work on a per-session basis. Also, RF is self-limiting – since I can’t keep it up when I Smite or use Protection from Evil, in fact, by letter-of-rules it dispels the RF effect, whenever I’ve got RF up (and therefore am toe-to-toe with some bad guy), I’m off my status as “guy who can bring wrath to the undead” for 3d seconds.

We’ll see what the GM says.

5 thoughts on “GURPS Jade Regent – Tower of Doom 2

    1. Also, Im curious about the multi-colored hex template thats in the 2nd to last screen shot. Im assuming thats the dragons breath attack? Exactly how was that cone done in Maptool. I would like to use something like that!

    2. It's something Emily made; it's a full size character/object token. I think she has a script somewhere to produce it but I don't know if it's publicly available. I think it was at one point but I'm not sure if it still is. You could ask Bruno on the forums.

      In the next session, Cadmus and Shiba are going to stage an involuntary retrograde movement down the center of the tower, so I'm hoping our two flyers will join us in finding a more favorable space to fight. I'm pretty sure Shiba has the ability to rescue Cadmus (and if I do it right, look awesome while doing so) but it's definitely going to take half (well, maybe a third) of our offensive firepower out of action for a bit.

  1. That's exactly what I'm talking about, Mark. "Oh, and there is a giant monster in the middle." I think it's fair to say that might draw the eye. Sort of like how you notice Godzilla before you notice what neighborhood in Tokyo he's standing in.

    1. We use MapTools which has typing indicators. So after Nate got finished describing the faint peals of thunder in the distance and I could see that he'd stopped typing for a minute or two. That's when I made the crack about your article. If he'd just continued typing, I'd have blamed the lack of prioritization on the module text.

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