Posted by : David Guyll May 09, 2017

Cast
  • Dusk (level 1 druid)
  • Elfi (level 1 mine kobold cleric)
  • Mister Tock (level 1 kytheran chronomancer)

Summary
Encrusted with mostly-dried, exploding-diseased-crow-filth, once they arrived in Kaivahl Elfi understandably wanted to hit up the inn and take a bath. Tock didn't need to eat or sleep, but went with her anyway so he could find a secluded corner and read the message they were carrying without anyone noticing.

Inside they ran into Dusk, another member of the Guild. He wasn't currently on a job, but he was looking for work, and given his particular area of expertise would be handy to have around the next time diseased exploding animals showed up. Or just animals in general.

While Dusk and Elfi talked shop, Tock slipped away to read the letter. Apparently someone was attempting to use chronomancy to rapidly age something called "people's brew", but the magic was reacting strangely with the containers, so they were going to try a smoking process involving cambions to some degree that they hoped would keep the wood alive.

Intriguing and risky, though Tock wasn't sure how he could act on this information without making it known that he'd read the letter in the first place. Ah, well, maybe it would come in handy later: with a quick twist of time he restored the letter to its previous state, just as if he'd never opened it.

During Elfi's conversation with Dusk, the innkeeper overheard her mention of a dead man, who after a few questions was revealed to have been a spice trader named Dougan. Initially distraught that Elfi and Tock left his corpse on the road, she offered to pay them if they retrieved his remains and the salt he was supposed to have been carrying. They agreed, but not wanting to have too many jobs on the docket Tock first delivered the letter before they left.

The ambient astral radiance had faded by the time they found the corpse. Unfortunately a trio of boggarts got to it first. Busy stripping it of everything Elfi and Tock left behind, the party was able to get in an opening salvo of magic, divine light, and crushing vines before the boggarts could react: as expected the only survivor attempted to flee, revealing that, like the crows, they were mysteriously afflicted by...something.

At least instead of strange growths and eyes peering out from snaking tongues, their spines were merely twisted about, and they didn't explode when killed. This deformity made it difficult for the boggart to move or fight back, and once it was slain the party searched Dougan's corpse to find that the salt was missing. After confirming that they in fact hadn't already taken it from the corpse the first time they found it, they checked the boggarts.

The boggarts had apparently barely gotten Dougan's shoes off by the time they showed up, which left a variety of unpleasant possibilities: had Dougan simply neglected to bring the salt? Had it been dropped on the way to the forest? Had it been dropped while the boggarts dragged his corpse off the road? Had someone else shown up and looted him before the boggarts?

After an extensive and presumably fruitless search of the surrounding area, Dusk found signs that a small astral craft had landed in the forest. Given its size and speed it probably wasn't going far, but they had no idea where it was going or if whoever was piloting it had taken the salt. They unceremoniously dragged the corpse back to Kaivahl, and informed the innkeeper as to what they'd discovered.

She paid them, albeit less since they hadn't returnd with the salt. Elfi and Dusk booked their own rooms, while Tock wandered about the village, keeping an eye out for any skiffs passing by or landing. The next day they'd do some more investigation, but sooner or later they'd need to return to the Guild and confirm the mission's completion.

Design Notes
Game went a lot smoother this time, in that we didn't have to redo or change anything after getting our asses kicked. Gotta whip up a bunch of druid talents for Dusk, as his player wants to focus pretty much exclusively on the skin-changing aspect.

Currently it works a lot like The Druid from Dungeon World: you declare that you want to change shape, some of your stats get bumped up and down, and then you get to pick another benefit like a damage bonus for natural weapons, an AC/DR bonus from having a thick hide, or swimming or flight.

Additional talents will let you change into bigger and smaller forms, choose more bonuses, and increase what they give you. So, for example, if you choose to have +1 AC/DR, you'd instead have +2 AC/DR. That or you'd get +1 AC/DR automatically, and can choose the option to bump it up yet again.

Only thing I gotta figure out is what to do with Favor, because if you don't have to choose a Favor-spender then you basically have a portion of the class going to waste. Just gotta find something that uses it and makes sense for all druids to have by default.

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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