Where a great big axe gets a wonderful name. This is Part 2 of “Brubax and the Abominable Snowman”.
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Keith (me, Jim Clocks) is writing this bad boy up this week, I’ll be in black, Jon (our DM) is in blue, and Eric has a few cents to chip in, he will be in red.
Obviously it might be a good idea to check out Part 1 of this adventure. Where were we? Oh right.
Upon entering into one of the side rooms of the tomb, there was some kind of a grooved floor and hand holds that were clearly Goliath height. Brubax hems and haws some more about what to do so Jaxxo just gives it his Lizardman Best and fails miserably. Brubax finally mans up and goes for it and with a Strength check of over 20 manages to drag the entire room revealing a tomb.
What was the backup plan if Brubax failed the test of strength?
No axe. No point to challenges if there is no cost to failure.
An Axe By Any Other Name
Sitting within the tomb atop a stone throne was a massive Goliath skeleton clutching an enormous axe of bad-assitude. The disruption of the entrance caused the skeleton’s head to tilt and the hilt of the axe shifted and angled towards our emo Barbarian. Calling to him.
Almost reluctantly the Goliath took a hold of the axe. It was once named “The Obsidian Divide” and now, it is his. Pressed to name it by the petulant Rogue he internally botches his “name axe” roll and proclaims:
“I shall call it… Sharon.”
That’s now canon.
Almost reluctantly? After explaining Danger Sense to him again, and threatening to take it myself he still had reservations.
Armed with Sharon, the heroes booked it down the mountain towards the village to face whatever evil lay ahead.
Were there alternate paths into the tomb? I kind of liked the idea that if Brubax failed the strength test we would need to assist him by like wrapping our arms around his waist and helping him pull, which would be a thoroughly emasculating way to pass a strength test. I also liked that the “tailored to Brubax” puzzle was to just pull a big heavy thing. Playing to the character strengths.
My plan was no axe. The wolfwere could have been defeated if you did his full HP value in a single round, which you might have accomplished by tying him down and chaining crits. Alternatively you could have bargained with him or something.
I dig that emasculating solution to the puzzle though, that would have been fine. Honestly when you have Enhance Ability and Guidance in the party, skill challenges rarely are.
Where There are Wolves
About halfway down the mountain, the bodies of the missing hunters were found. They were ripped up pretty badly, but someone noticed that the cuts and gouges in the bodies are a little too small to have been done by a yeti.
One of the corpses suddenly twitched. It twitched again. It started sprouting fur.
It’s a Wolfwere!
Hahaha, Wolfwere. Stupid Dungeons & Dragons. “No no, it’s totally different from a werewolf. Werewolves spread the curse of lycanthropy, but wolfweres are wolves that polymorph back and forth between humanoid forms.” Get out of here D&D, you’re crazy.
Jaxxo punched that fool in the mouth. The wolfwere fully regenerated. Brubax hit it with Sharon and felt like a stone cold killer. Then the Rogue one-upped him up by rolling a critical hit with his sneak attack and slicing the thing’s head clean off with 35 damage. But Brubax would soon win the game of one upmanship in our finale.
Critically Acclaimed Climax
Brubax declared that the party had to make it back to the village immediately, no time to rest. He ran them all straight through the night. Multiple members of the team picked up a level of exhaustion.
Back in the town they tracked down the source of the attack from the day prior. It was a home, with no signs of forced entry, but a grisly scene inside all the same. The attacker was likely someone the family know.
Someone like… the Sheriff.
Did I miss something? Because in my notes it says we went to a morgue. There was a “village morgue?” In a small Goliath village in the mountains of a fantasy setting they had a morgue? Stoplights and morgues. Goliaths man.
Goliaths are all about their ancestors I figured they would have elaborate post death rituals to complete.
I guess that makes sense. Both I, and my character, know very little of Goliaths.
The Sheriff started getting extremely antsy when the party putting it all together and pressing him about the attacks. Tidus cast “Locate Creature” looking for Wolfweres and straight up called him out. Then Jaxxo bit him. Lizardfolk, you know?
Now, I don’t want to get overly technical here, but now that I’ve read about D&D wolfweres I’ve got some questions. It seems that you gave Slow-Hand the Wolfwere an infectious bite, evidenced by the corpse coming back to life as a wolfwere. That seems like the spread of lycanthropy, a trait of werewolves. But from what I’ve read they are entirely different things. Explain yourself Jon.
Wolfweres are more scary when they can infect you with magic zombie lycanthropy. I thought that ordinary wolfweres which regenerate all of their hps every round were not scary enough. I kind of liked the idea of this guy who basically thinks he’s immortal (which he sorta was) and just moves into town with his hat of disguise, sows chaos for a while, infects people, and then moves on. Like a force of nature. Abominable.
I have about three lines of notes about this fight it went down so quickly.
Our Warlock threw up a giant zone that exhausted all creatures within it, and Jaxxo immobilized Sheriff Wolf-Hand. The zone nearly crippled a few of the party members but it did keep the big bad in the zone and prevented the wolves from running wild.
Brubax took a running leap over the defensive line of wolves and into the zone, chopping into the wolfwere. He crits.
His second attack also crits. Sharon has some serious stopping power.
With those two strikes he more than bloodies the beast. This was Brubax in his purest form. Swinging his axe with such force and precision that this monster is nearly instantly slain.
Jaxxo bit him (probably, he’s always biting people) again and it’s over.
We saved the town and got some loots.
The wolves scattered, no longer the minions of the wolfwere and the town returns to peace.
Minus a few townsfolk who got eaten by a wolfwere.
But we never met the abominable yeti. I’ve got questions about this. There definitely was an abominable yeti somewhere in those mountains from the howls in the night. Or was that the wolfwere pretending to be a yeti? If so, he tricked the Ranger about his favored enemy? Where was the sasquatch Jon?
Well now answering this one might be spoiling something of a surprise. There was a less outdoorsy route to the wolfwere that involved some city sleuthing and that might have gotten you some more information. I mean, the wolfwere was the abominable snow-man. The snow was part of his backstory.
This whole session I think was one of our best. High adventure and moved along at a nice quick pace.
Yeah this was pretty great. I think part of me regrets starting with the classic “walk into a bar and get a quest” even though that was sort of the point of the night. I really like my more cinematic starts even if I lose the thread half the time. Starting the game off running is more of the tone I want. Regardless, this was indeed a good one.
What’s next? Well, let’s just say that the Ne’er-do-well Cads are about to go on a very strange expedition…
Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.
Eric plays a Triton Cleric in Big Fish and also once went to Otakuthon for us and interviewed Hamlet Machine.
The post Big Fish D&D: Brubax and the Abominable Snowman – Part 2 appeared first on 9to5 (dot cc).