When we last left our intrepid heroes they had just completed essentially an entire “lap” around the perimeter of a single floor of the crashed spaceship from Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. And nobody died! Perhaps our heroes will not be so lucky this time.
If this is your first time checking out our little D&D Adventure Blog, you might want to check out this post that explains the setup and format of the game. You can check out all “Big Fish” content on this nifty landing page.
Keith (me, Jim Clocks) is writing again this week, and just like last time it’s going to be a little fast and loose. I’ll be in black, Jon (our DM) is in blue.
This is a Bonus Adventure where Jono takes old classic modules and updates them for 5e. It’s a fun chance for all of us to play versions of some of the classics.
The Expedition Continues
As we mentioned at the end of our last entry, Jon has decided to give us the option at the end of each session we spend in the Barrier Peaks to either abandon or keep going in the quest.We decided as a party to stick it out and spend more time in this funky 70s sci-fi nonsense. So the burning question was this: Do we venture down into the lower levels of this strange building/dungeon/mage tower (spaceship)?
The answer was: No.
Instead we decided to spend even more time exploring the first floor.
I think it more or less paid off.
This entry might be a little shorter than the rest, because really at is core, it is simply the three members of the party who showed up (Jim Clocks the Rogue, Jaxxo the Lizardman Monk and Tidus the Triton Cleric) fighting vegepygmies.
Lots and lots of vegepygmies.
With grenades and laser cannons.
Because Gary Gygax!
The Veggie Grenadier
So we decided to head down a corridor that we had previously avoided out of fear of vegepygmies and vegedogs. I’m not going to lie, Jim Clocks was feeling pretty confident. After all, last time those little dudes were encountered a gust of wind sent them scattering.
This should be fine.
The entire area is kind of overrun with vegetation, more so than the previous areas that have been explored. This is vegepygmy territory, no doubt.
We head off into a side room and chill out for a few minutes (giving the Cleric enough to time to cast the all important “Detect Poison”). As soon as we open the door to head back into the main corridor a little egg-shaped device flies into the room, flung by one of a small army of vegepygmies that has flooded the hallway.
With a dexterous move, the Monk catches the projectile and flings it back out into the corridor, the automatic door sliding shut again.
Outside in the hall the Cleric detects a lot of poison.
When the poison disperses, the party heads back outside into the hallway to find a whole lot of dead vegepgymies.
Poison gas grenades man.
Do you remember the chests in Tomb of Horror that had a 50% chance to have snakes in them? There’s like this Schrodinger’s Cat situation here. Let’s say the grenade is a gas under pressure which is released when the thing is detonated. Ok, so Detect Poison will get that for sure. But what if the gas is the product of a chemical reaction between non-toxic reagents? And the trigger mechanism for the grenade only starts the reaction. Would Detect Poison identify the grenade? If they did then everything would register as poisonous, right? Everything is poisonous in the right dose.
Why does shit like this keep me up at night? Detect Poison.
The Veggie Canon
Back out in the corridor the party runs into yet another squad of vegepygmies. I think I should point out that I feel vaguely racist both saying and typing ‘vegepygmy” so often.
This squad is a little different though. Most of the time these guys just have little spears and stuff. And for the most part, this squad is no different.
What they also have is a leader. A leader with some kind of a weird shoulder-mounted screen, handle apparatus that he needs two other guys to help him carry.
An apparatus that he points at Jaxxo and, even though Jaxxo succeeds on his Dexterity save, deals 5d10 damage.
Jon, I think you will delight in telling us what would have happened if he had not saved?
Well instant death should come as no surprise. What should surprise you is that all of your worn equipment must then also save or be destroyed. Even if you can get a raise dead, your +2 Armor of Real Shinyness cannot be raised from the death. Gary’s ‘fuck you’ transcends death.
Side note. In the original DnD hps kinda stopped advancing past level 10. Every level past 10 you got a flat 1, 2 or 3 hps depending on how tough your class was. You also didn’t apply a full con bonus to your hps unless you were playing a fighter. Numbers were just smaller back then. So when in the text the big laser cannon does 5d6 damage (on a successful save) that’s a huge hit. I changed it to d10s to scale.
This is kind of what I was talking about in the first entry. Gary loaded up his PCs with crazy gear, so some of the lethality of these crazy campaigns would stymied. He had to come up with new ways to attack their gear.
Jon hypothesized that the reason this blaster cannon looks the way it does is that Gary expected players to put their face up to the screen and blow their faces off. Ha ha!
Jaxxo then makes the mistake of trying to teleport to safety.
No Teleport Zone
Exactly what happens when teleportation magic is attempted is nutty. Something about being stretched out through space and the pain of being in two places at the same time in between reality. I think Jaxxo takes even more damage just from the attempt to teleport?
What gives with the teleportation magic? I guess Gary just didn’t want people leaving?
Here’s another one where this would be spoiling mystery yet to be revealed. But in game reasons aside consider it from a game design perspective: short range teleportation can bypass any kind of gateway mechanism. Keycards aren’t ever going to be meaningful with Misty Step or Dimension Door available. Usually not too big a deal in DnD but for a ‘trapped’ type of scenario…
I’m kind of excited that we have another old school D&D item that might come into play at some point. The Sphere of Duo-Dimension!
Jim Clocks whips out his stun blaster and pops off a round into the fray. The Cleric goes back to the trick that bested them earlier and casts a massive gust of wind.
They begin to retreat! I am very sad that Jono didn’t invest in vegepygmy minis. Because they exist.
But Jaxxo wants that canon thing. He wants it badly. He gives chase.
He gets hit with another grenade and he is asleep for 1 hour. The rest of the party thinks he might be very dead. This is not helped by the fact that the vegedogs start eating him.
A few well placed Sneak Attacks and some more spells burned by the Cleric and the veggie-friends retreat down another hall and into a room at the other end. We manage to revive our sleeping, very nearly dead Lizardbro.
Kill ‘Em All
We’re fairly certain (based on the hallways that we know of) that the veggie-men are in a closed off room, so we come up with a plan.
The Cleric essentially holds an action, the trigger being that whenever that room’s door opens up he will unleash the holiest of holy spells in his repertoire. The Rogue and the Monk occupy themselves by trying to prop up a few corpses of veggie-mites to act as a kind of momentary decoy when the door finally opens.
When the future door slides open, the Cleric unleashes the fury of Deep Sashelas and smokes every single last one of the veggie-persons inside.
It’s glorious. And we get that shoulder cannon off the electrocuted veggie crisp that tried to kill our lizard.
We also obtain a red key card.
Before venturing further down into the ship the party decides to double back and unlock a couple of the doors that were protected by a glowing red keypad.
On a hunch, Jim Clocks even tries to hold up the red key card to the robots protecting the “Militia Station” and guess what? It works!
We figure that hiding out in this room, under the protection of those robots might be a good way to take a long rest. And it was!
Things are finally looking up for the Ne’er-do-well Cads lost in a spaceship! (Note to self: name of ska band).
A very intimidating looking police robot (see below) informs us not to go any further into the ‘Militia Station’ because “even though you are a general, the king has decreed that none shall pass this point”.
Which I mean is fine, it’s probably just a bunch of poison passed that point anyways knowing Gary.
Things get even better when we do a little more looting (I mean exploring) in one of the chambers that requires a red key card to access.
We find a wonderful crystal liquid that Tidus cautiously drinks a half ounce of. It’s delicious.
But then he begins to dwell on every doubt he’s ever had about himself or Deep Sashelas.
He just suffered ½ of the effect of a potent truth serum. Future truth!
We also find what are basically two Starfleet uniforms and a mirror that is probably worth thousands of gold.
Guess who’s carrying around a mirror for the rest of the adventure?
I hope you guys put the jets on the money is in the lower levels. I’m kinda feeling like we’re getting to the end of this little expedition and there’s so much nonsense yet to be seen. What’s a Shedu?
I don’t know, but I want to know.
The party decides to venture even deeper into the spaceship.
How much more can we take? What sci-fi grooviness awaits?
Tune in in two weeks when we continue “The Expedition to the Barrier Peaks”.
All Images from “Expedition to the Barrier Peaks”, copyright Wizards of the Coast probably.
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.
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