Hidden Suns session 5: Kaboom!

Date: 2018-08-14

Player Characters (342 points):
ESA1000 45460 (4-5 for organics), humanoid engineering robot
Gaichu Koschei, android infiltrator/assassin
James Titus Kane, human legendary starship Captain of the Stewards Navy (retired)
Alva von Kirchess, aasimar diva / Captain of the Knights of Golarion (retired), breach and clear specialist
Julianne Margeurite Sadayo Aletta Mackenzie Kawakami-Rose-Albert III (or just Jill), human brilliant inventor / industry mogul, dilettante adventurer/explorer

At the end of the previous session Gaichu found and disarmed a trap on the eastern door of the room lit by soft magical glow where they found the stone tub and a halfling corpse. Eventually, 4-5 recovered from his water-induced psychodelia, and the group started along the corridor beyond.

The corridor pretty much made a 20-yard long U-turn, and ended in an iron door facing westwards. It was rather atypical for this place, as all doors have so far been made of stone. Gaichu found two long, thin cracks in the wall, one to each side of the door, at neck’s height for an average person. He also discovered a trigger mechanism underneath the plate used as the arm rest while pushing the door to the side for the opening motion. He disarmed the mechanism, but couldn’t open the door as it was stuck. 4-5 stepped up as usual and swiftly opened it.

The room beyond was roughly 12×16 yards across, with no distinguishing features at first look aside from some remains of tapestries on the walls and minor rubble on the floor. A squared archway led into a corridor to the south, while a stone door stood on the west wall opposite the door the group just came through. They spent some time searching the room, but didn’t find anything of interest. Eventually, they decided to go through the archway and explore the way beyond.

As Gaichu turned the corner just beyond the archway, he felt as if he bumped into something big and got stuck seemingly in the air. Stuck of the sticky kind, unable to move. The rest of the group were luckily right behind him as they just entered the corridor, and they opened fire around Gaichu. Jimmy didn’t see any effect from his gauss pistols, but Alva’s gauss shotgun caused the air to “splash” at the points where she shot it. 4-5 and Jill also managed to singe the air with their weaponized plasma cutter and custom holdout laser pistol, respectively. It was a gelatineous cube! What ensued was a slowly retreating curtain of fire against the cube, as it made the slow but steady progress of 1 yard per turn towards the group. Gaichu was stuck on it but in no immediate danger since the cube’s corrosion had a way to go until it would eat significantly into his armor. He struggled to break free, fruitlessly, but managed to free his arms just enough to shoot at it every now and then. At some point, 4-5 didn’t retreat, and the cube bumped into him so he got stuck on it too. Shortly thereafter, the cube absorbed both him and Gaichu into itself.

The whole time, Alva was querying the group via their Tacnet if she should throw a plasma grenade into the cube. Now she has had enough, and finally threw it with a three-second timer. What ensued was a frenzied struggle to get Gaichu and 4-5 out of the cube before the grenade went off. They couldn’t break free from within the cube, but they did manage to hold on to their weapons and shoot the cube from the inside. But alas, it wasn’t enough and the grenade went off with Gaichu and 4-5 still inside the cube. Fortunately, the cube was big, and the grenade was stuck just far enough from them so they only received significant but not mortal damage.

When the air cleared from the explosion, the two were laying scorched on the floor, while the cube was reduced to chunks of gel scattered around the corridor. They themselves were injured, and their armor was damaged by the cube’s acids, so the group retreated back to the ship for repairs and recovery.

Short session, but the fight against the cube was hilarious. After the session, I thought that I forgot to take into account the x3 wounding modifier which is applied for internal damage, and that Gaichu and 4-5 would have been able to destroy the cube from within before the grenade blew. But taking a look at the paragraph which describes that case on B415 (Explosions in Other Environments, Internal Explosions), I see that this modifier is a result of treating the damage as an attack on the vitals, which Homogenous targets lack. So it evened out after all, and I learned something.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy campaign prospectus

I plan to run a new minicampaign during some free time I’ll be having soon. A campaign planning form originally from the How to be a GURPS GM book by Warren Wilson has been popular on the GURPS Discord server lately, so I thought I’d give it a go and see how useful it is.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The campaign is no longer a limited run. After the initial 5 sessions, I have decided to continue running the campaign indefinitely. An updated version of this prospectus is available here.

  • Campaign Name: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Dungeon Romp
  • GM: Myself
  • Start Date: ~ 2018-09-22
  • Genre: Dungeon Fantasy
  • Tech Level: Dungeon Fantasy
  • Power Level: 275 points
  • Realism Level (Grittily Realistic / Realistic / Cinematic / Over-the-Top): Cinematic
  • Medium/Technology: Text-only in Roll20. All characters must be submitted in GCS.
  • Campaign Synopsis: A limited-run Dungeon Fantasy campaign consisting of five sessions. The players are a previously acquainted band of adventurers exploring a dungeon in the vicinity of Caverntown. Focus is planned to be equally on combat and dungeon exploration.
  • Format: This is a mini-campaign I plan to run within the span of two weeks with a session every couple of days. Players may attend as many of the sessions as they like and characters can be switched in or out on a per session basis without a lot of fuss (blatant retcons, reinforcements however implausible, etc). Attendance is on a first come, first serve basis – whoever contacts me to sign up gets a slot in as many sessions as they wish, provided those sessions still have slots available. I will also be taking on last-minute players if a session doesn’t have all the slots filled. I’ll take a maximum of 5 players per session.
  • Important Notes
    • Characters must be submitted at least several days before a session so I have time to approve them and request any possible adjustments. In case we can’t agree on a final version of a character in time for a session, the player will play a version of the character with all the traits I objected to simply stripped out.
    • Don’t be late for a session! If you’re not there half an hour after session start, your spot will be given to someone else.
    • Players who join in the last minute without an approved character will be able to choose from a small roster of pregenerated characters.
    • The campaign will probably start in medias res, in the middle of a dungeon or similar. At the time of this writing, I’m not sure if you’ll get a chance to restock or buy gear during the campaign at all, so spend your money as if it’s your last.
    • Spending points will be allowed normally between sessions, except if a session break happens in the middle of a fight. In that case you’ll be able to spend points directly after the battle.
  • Social Contracts
    • I will not support intra-party conflict of any kind besides reasonably roleplayed in-character disagreements. Don’t steal from party members. Don’t pull pranks on them unless you know the other player would like to engage you in such roleplay. And definitively don’t do anything more serious than that. In the best of such cases I will flat out refuse your actions and ask you not to continue that course, or remove you from the game in the worst. The players should work together to achieve a common goal and hopefully have good fun doing it.
    • No solo acts. If you want to wander off and do your own thing without the rest of the party (except stuff like scouting ahead, doh), the result will simply be you missing out on playtime.
    • No rules lawyering. I am willing to hear rules disputes, especially since I haven’t run a GURPS game which isn’t radically house ruled for a long time, but in order to facilitate quick play I will not let such things turn into discussions and waste playtime.
  • Setting
    • General Info: The campaign will take place around Caverntown, a fortified underground settlement and hub for adventures in the surrounding dungeons and subterranean tunnel networks. The town is a cosmopolitan center where many kinds of folks mingle, focused around a service industry catering to adventurers.
    • Currency: GURPS $, keep it simple
    • Major Centers of Power
      • Caverntown
        • Ruler: The Mayor. Owes fealty to The King.
        • Population: ~50000, 3/4 of which taken up by humans, dwarves and gnomes in equal measure. The remaining 1/4 is “everybody else”, including a wide range of exotica.
        • Terrain: Cavern
        • Hygiene: Clean (public sewage & plumbing)
        • Mana: Normal
        • Languages: Common, Dwarven, Gnome, Halfling
        • Literacy: Mostly literate
  • GURPS Books Used
    • Basic Set
    • Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventurers
    • Dungeon Fantasy 2: Dungeons
    • Dungeon Fantasy 3: The Next Level
    • Dungeon Fantasy 7: Clerics
    • Dungeon Fantasy 11: Power Ups
      • Every single power up will need to be individually approved by the GM.
        I do not recommend to base your character concept on a power up or otherwise get emotionally invested prior to approval.
    • Dungeon Fantasy 12: Ninja
    • Dungeon Fantasy 14: Psi
      • Instead of essentially producing random encounters when a Psi fails their 6 or less roll after using their powers, they must instead roll on the Fright Check Table as if they failed their Fright Check by 5.
    • Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Barbarians
    • Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown
    • Low-Tech
    • Low-Tech Instant Armor
      • Only the armor tables, and only for hit locations from Basic Set. Armor must cover all of a hit location but front-only is ok.
    • I’m willing to consider Dungeon Fantasy related stuff from other supplements if asked nicely, well in advance, under the condition that the material in question would not slow down play.
  • Optional Rules
    • Extra Effort in Combat, B357
    • New Options for Extra Effort in Combat, Martial Arts p.131
      • Heroic Charge only allows movement in a straight line towards the enemy
    • Dual-Weapon Attacks, B417
    • Last Wounds, B420
    • Telegraphic Attack, Martial Arts, p.113
    • Quick-Shooting Bows, Martial Arts p.119
    • Tricky Shooting, Martial Arts p.121
    • Cross Parry, Martial Arts p.121
    • Defense While Grappling, Martial Arts p.121
    • Fencing Parries, Martial Arts p.122
    • Limiting Multiple Dodges, Martial Arts p.123
    • Parrying with Two-Handed Weapons, Martial Arts p.123
    • Multiple Blocks, Martial Arts p.123
    • Retreat Options, Martial Arts p.123
    • Rapid Strike, Martial Arts p.127
    • Random hit locations can’t intentionally be targeted
    • Evaluate gives +3 for first turn, no extra bonus for additional turns.
  • Character Creation
    • Starting Points: 275
    • Disadvantage Limit: -50 and -5 from quirks
    • Suggested Character Concepts: Appropriate for Dungeon Fantasy. You’re a band of adventurers seeking fame and fortune.
    • Profession Templates: Templates from listed Dungeon Fantasy books must be used. They will be strictly enforced for the first 250 points. The extra 25 starting points may be invested in any traits appropriate to Dungeon Fantasy, including off-template, but all of those 25 points must be listed on the character sheet in a separate section to make character approval easier for me. Disadvantages on the profession templates count against the disadvantage limit, but you are allowed to swap them for disadvantages not listed on the template. You are limited to the Suitable Disadvantages list on Dungeon Fantasy 1 p. 15-16, however.
    • Racial Templates: All racial templates from Dungeon Fantasy 3 are potentially allowed with GM approval, except Ogre and Half-Ogre. Those are off limits. You may buy them using the discretionary template points and the 25 extra points. Disadvantages on the racial templates do not count against the disadvantage limit!
    • Attributes and Secondary Characteristics: As per Dungeon Fantasy.
    • Social Traits:
      • Low/High TL: off limits
      • Status Levels: min 0, max 3
      • Rank: Only Honorary Rank
      • Wealth Levels: no min, max Very Wealthy
      • Starting Wealth: as per Dungeon Fantasy
      • Cultures: not relevant
      • Languages: as per Dungeon Fantasy
    • Advantages: As per Dungeon Fantasy.
    • Disadvantages: See above (Profession Templates).
    • Allies/Contacts/Patrons/Enemies/Dependents: off limits
    • Magic/Psionics: as per Dungeon Fantasy
    • Trading Points for Money: up to 5 points may be traded