Wednesday, August 22, 2018

'Yon of Ofaz Session #7

Talking Like Peter Lorre On An Opium Kick or YES, IT'S A TRAP:

The troupe L to R: Mortimer, Squire, Oda, DurBurDuke,
Topper, Fred, Chris-Tle, Olga and Lyn.
It seemed like ages ago that this group was sipping garlic wine from ceramic tiki glasses high above The Wall on the Razorbait. A few days of adventuring somehow seems stretched into weeks. No matter, the fateful words of the server who brought that last fateful round of adult beverages now rings out “...oh look down there, that’s the City of Diamonds beyond The Wall, a vast unexplored place of riches from which no one has ever returned”. And now here it it is, gleaming brightly on the horizon, twinkling like a tired sequin on Liberace's blazer. A few short hours of trekking brings it full on, or at least the red glowing triangles that surround its perimeter. It’s been a long night, even the Urks are anxious to heal back a few personal health points the old fashioned way. The fabulous riches can wait.

The morning brings the bounty of a few PHP for everyone. As the sun rises the red glow is suddenly replaced with the stark white light rebounding off the polished metal surfaces of the triangle farm surrounding the cities base. The heat is palpable, small winged creatures which fly into the area are instantly microwaved, some of the carcasses plummet and disappear between the triangles, others simply vaporize instantly. The heat wiggles it’s way upwards around the massive featureless gray pyramid. Halfway up the pyramid is a 200 foot diameter rotor. It swings around the circumference like a derelict ceiling fan. The air is thick and no one has moved for at least a full deca-nuta, staring at this monstrous bland structure. It is featureless, mostly because it’s been a long adventure and features take a certain amount of energy to describe.

Cyclone Werks
Suddenly, without even a quick text to speech, Topper rockets upward on mechanical wings. Picking up speed the hat circles above the pyramid and then swoops down and disappears into the massive structure. Sadly, what transpired will have to remain secreted away within the minds of those involved. After several deca-nutas Topper returns to the troupe. Normally DurBurDuke and the hat are able to share what they see and say via patented Schwartzpunk technology, however while inside the structure Topper turned off the signal feed. Some things are just private, I guess. 

Some more awkward prodding from the group and it’s becoming clear that the hat lives inside the structure to serve the master there. She explains that “bipeds can’t go inside the way I do, but there is a path”. The group works its way around the edge of the triangular mirror farm and indeed, there is a gap between the mirrors wide enough for a single person to squeeze their way through. One would think the excitement of the vast riches of the “city of diamonds” would elicit excitement from the group, instead they all look as if they are being forced to watch all 90 minutes of Strange Brew. 

I think I "unremembered" this part
The Urks look nervous, the group taunts them in the usual manner (manhood, Urkhood, creepyhood, etcetera) but the social pressure is not enough to get them to go any further even for the “looting and killing”. With promises to meet in Urkey and have some soup, they quickly leave the area. A few members of the troupe begin the single file march at 1/10th their normal walking speed into the mirror farm. It only takes a few missed Nimbality checks and laser ray blasts from automated sentry boxes to encourage the group to not try to get in that way. Chris-Tle, discovers that the Arcanist spell Invisibility actually allows light to pass through the affected creatures body, so it would seem this side effect of the magic would negate the negative harm of the sun’s rays in the mirror farm. After some quick computations the Arcanist calculates that he has enough MERP to cast the spell on everyone for at least a full deca-nuta, certainly long enough to move the 100 feet or so to the base of the pyramid. After a few rude hand gestures, the whole troupe is invisible and individually making their way into the mirror zone.

Typical Notes
No plans were made beforehand on coordination and since nobody can see anyone else, it’s every creature for themselves. Mortimer discovers a gigantic Hairy Mormon wearing a black and white striped shirt on his way in. The creep can’t see him, but taunts him using a ridiculous accent. Mortimer is able to easily avoid the monster. A giant partial carcass of a flying whale is also discovered and avoided. After a few mi-nutas everyone has flattened themselves around the perimeter of the gray stone pyramid. Again, even close up it is pretty featureless, no windows doors, cracks, ornamentation or gross textures. Some attempts are made to scale the 40 feet up the severe incline to the rotor gap, these pretty much ended poorly. The Arcanist moves around the perimeter and discovers a single seam running from the ground upwards. DurburDuke dons his jet gloves and boots to fly up to the rotor opening. At the same time, Topper zooms out and flies around the pyramid top to signal her master to open the door so everyone can go in.

Where the Arcanist discovered the seam, a colossal 40x40 foot door crawls upward. Now visible, everyone hastens to get inside. Everyone is on the ground floor other than DurBurDuke, who is hovering in the middle of the machine choked space. On the ground level a giant conveyance with 40 foot wheels lays folded up, above the exposed mechanism of the rotor. Green bolts of energy fly off metal balls mounted on the arms up into metal grid work chamber where the masters silhouette can be seen. There are many other humanoid figures about, all moving oddly. All are dressed the same, red and black Michael Jackson leather motorcycle suits, boots, gloves and helmets covering the whole head. As they stand taking this in the door slowly reverses itself and Topper flies straight to the master to perch on her head.

If you were another Crypt Lord I might say at this point “the hook has been set”. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. No one seem at all terrified. No complaining, or crying, indeed not even one short huffy sigh. Sometimes the world is perfect.

At this point, everyone had questions of the master of this place, questions answered obliquely using NPP voice type 0, described as PLOOK or “Peter Lorre On an Opium Kick”. (This can be found on page 5 of the core rule book). Not much was learned...the masters name is MaMiss, the place is called the Cyclone Werks, MaMiss is happy to entertain guests but far too busy to interact with them. In between all the rambling answers imagine a short high pitched laugh, not unlike Smedley from the Wacky Racers, but much slower and menacing. MaMiss was a surprised that the hat has friends now, this certainly is a new development! The master then jets back up into the apex to join the giant brain suspended in the clear globe and a version of herself moving at nearly x50 times faster than normal to operate various devices. Insert some exposition about being inside MaMiss'es Mind Shack. That's against the rules, right?

Put on the back of a player
The humanoid minions then appear with soft robes and pillows and start yawning and pantomiming sleep. There is an elevator, inside 6 identical buttons, Fred pushes the bottom most. Immediately red lights and klaxons sound...but no one looks particularly bothered. Fred and Topper ride the floating egg shaped elevator down to the forbidden floor. The door open to reveal a small round smooth chamber dominated by a large cylindrical object in the center surrounded by four shiny pipes that connect it to the walls. The other players seem nervous, Fred and Topper walk around, get back in the elevator and go to the next button up, the “Fun” room. This room is much larger with spa stations, alabaster fur rugs and settees, dessert stations and a disco ball in the center. The gravity in the room allows those inside to walk on any flat surface. After a while poking around, followed by minions with drinks and a GQ magazine, Fred finds a bleached hume skeleton in one of the spa machines. Chris-Tle uses his skill Gut Feeling to ask me if this room is a trap. I had to take a breath here, after a moment I said YES. YES, THIS ROOM IS A TRAP. There wasn’t any hurry, everyone left the room so find accommodations in one of the many empty staterooms on the other levels. Chris-Tle stayed in the work area above and played Canasta with three minions. DurBurDuke constructs a gas detecting unit so he can sleep. Mortimer builds one for Fred. It’s been a long day...eventually everyone falls asleep.

Again, one never assumes, but the perfect moment (see above) ended up being stretched much longer than I thought. I like to imagine a large pink bubble of chewing gum slowly expanding…

Almost looks like a Jacque Louis David painting...
A huge thanks to these amazing players. Well played, huge fun, and lots of laughing about the oddest things. Sometimes I forgot that I had been playing for over 30 years. This was the last big hurrah for most of them before they start college. One of them is my oldest, going to Indiana somewhere. My hope is when they are back, they may still want to play. There will always be a place for them. 

This game will continue in a week or so…

Monday, August 20, 2018

'Yon of Ofaz Session #6

Yes, 3,000 minus 1 equals 2,999:

We pick up moments after the fray from last session. Because Fred smells funny/good to the Urks, they have decided that he can come along with them to Urkey. It is unclear if this is a good thing. The two fallen Urks are revived. We learn that the leaders name is Kelso and that his mom Svengoolie makes good soup. Goo Gloptcha and the Gnyll host are nowhere to be found. Fred uses the power of persuasion again to get the Urks to take a detour and visit the “City of Diamonds” for the expressed purpose of “Looting and Pillaging”. What Urk could pass this up? They agree to this, but also mention they need to go get the last six of their group who are at the neighboring farmstead (the Slortts) holding them hostage. 

DurBurDukes is still bothered by the loss of his trusty hat and decides to fashion a “Hat Radar” to tell him what direction it is in. The device is constructed quickly within his Mind Shack and passed through the opening. When activated it immediately gives off a really strong signal...the hat is within 10 feet! In fact its in Lyn’s pack, having filched it off his head at the beginning of session # 4. The hat is returned without comment. DurBurDuke builds a pair of goggles to allow three way communication with both his RoButler Squire and Topper.

It is also discovered that during the melee that one of the Beese rolled a critical miss and accidentally stung one of it’s Beese comrades, stirring up the much labored subject of the total number of Beese, their weight and volume. One less Beese brings the total to 2,999. (BTW the physical volume of 3,000 Beese is the equivalent of a small british motorcar or 3 standard sized oxen at sea level).

Meanwhile coming up the road on a Morton Bumley’s steam scooter is a 4 foot tall humanoid figure wearing a trench coat. This creature introduces itself as Mortimer Shaw, and is looking to develop properties in the area. Fred wants tomato paste and ketchup all the sudden, Mortimer is an expert in robotic vegetable creation, so he pulls some from it’s mind shack for Fred.

At this point the group splits up, Olga, Chris Tle and Lyn start trekking north to the “City of Diamonds” while Fred, Topper, Mortimer and the 16 Urks (led by Kelso) make their way to the Slorrt homestead. This farm is in a sorry state, Skrum Weevils have eaten away everything that has potential food value. The Slorrts have resorted to making 240 proof moonshine in a tiny still chained to the back of their  shack. Inside the three Slorrt brothers and their zlog are tied up guarded by six Urks. A pitchfork with a long handle rests against the body of the zlog and the handle protrudes out the window. This is a convenience so that a hostage can be dispatched from the outside.

Slorrt Homestead in the desert of Aanssk
The Urk leader (Kelso) explains to Fred that he needs to “level up” by standing outside the hovel and thrusting the pitchfork through one of the hostages. Fred instead promises to kill all four instantly with a single push of the fork handle. The Urks all nod.

Fred talks his way into the tiny house where the Slorrts are tied up. Topper has 50 Beese fly in and reposition the pointy end of the pitch fork so that it is resting against a large tomato paste bomb procured from Mortimer earlier. Fred goes outside, spits on his hands and thrusts the handle into the window. The bag of paste explodes sending bits of red goo everywhere. The Beese in the building spell out “play dead” (just in case the Slorrts don’t follow through). A roll is made to see if they can read (one can) and after a long pause perfunctory sounds of gasping and dying are heard exiting the window. Outside there is another pause as this sinks in and the Urks all clap in unison in admiration. Fred is definitely one of them.

The group then collects itself and heads north, meeting up with the others, who have been playing cards. Oh look, something shiny! The “City of Diamonds” beckons...

Griff's new Persona

Sunday, August 19, 2018

'Yon of Ofaz Session #5

Dromader is NOT Polish for Camel (I think):

Might actually be better to walk
After a few pedal turns on his trusty bike, DurBurDuke changes his mind and decides to rejoin with his troupe of comrades: Fred his owner, Chris-Tle a fellow performer in the Chef Boy-Ar-Dee circus, Lyn the Wolfoid Gnyll, Olga the silent warrioresse and the newest addition to the motley group: Topper a flying sentient hat. They have sheltered the mighty storm, winds, plasma, rain and tarnodos. On either side of the lane are overturned sleds, some filled with this seasons korn bounty, others fallow. No one sings songs, being cooped up with each other, a three eyed smooth talking zlog and the Blorgs made the idea of marching into the maw of certain death not completely unpleasant. Look, there is the gate, marking the boundary of the Blorg homestead and the road beyond!

Typical Homestead in Aanssk Desert
The main road runs north-south, the former leading toward the “City of Diamonds” and the latter to the wall to keep civilization safe from the marauding Urks of Urkey. Just north of the gate a six wheeled articulated wagon pulled by a mangy Monodromader sits bogged down in the runoff of the storm. Two heavily cloaked figures stand next to it, arms bent, fists to their sides. The troupe yells a greeting of help, the figures look up, but ignores them. DurBurDuke realizes at this moment that his hat (apparently the first thing he ever made as a Schwartzer) is missing. He turns immediately, dons his jet boots and gloves to fly back toward the homestead to see if it fell off.

The rest of the troupe are left standing at the gate near the road. Topper decides to break away from her swarm of 3,000 Beese to fly into the back end of the cloth covered wagon. Inside she discovers five Urks with their Three Jaw Toothless Shivs drawn, ready to burst out and attack. They are not able to grab her as she zooms through. Once outside the hat exclaims “Monsters*”! Fred decides to get a better look by approaching one of the robed figures and pull its hood down. It turns out to be the massive head of a wild full-blooded Urk! In a flash the other robed figure throws its robes is none other than Goo Gloptcha the Gnyll leader thought to have been left for dead in the Aanssk desert! The five Urks waiting in the wagon leap to attack.

*Note, the only "monsters" in CNC are the players, the correct term she wanted was "Creepazoid".

Urk Weapon Types
For several Na-nutas a wild melee ensues. Five more Urks jump up, hidden in the nearby feild under upended korn sleds. Oda the terracotta warrior and Fred perform a flipping attack on the Urk leader, a might creepy with a 25 muscle power. Their attack is well performed, but in the end the mighty Urk fells Oda with one blow of his mighty Six Jaw Shamglurk. This signals a turning point in the battle, not a good one, as it looks like the troupe has met its match with these mighty Urks. Hearing sounds of a fray, DurBurDuke decides to turn around and returns just in time to see 3,000 mad Beese attack the Urks. Within seconds their leader falls and it looks like the end. Fred decides he has enough senseless violence (or thinks that the Beese will not be enough to save their sorry hides) and uses his best sideshow barker voice to get all the combatants attention and hold their weapons still while he talks. Things are suddenly quiet as Fred explains that there are a “bunch of Gnylls under their control that could show up any na-nuta know”. One of the Urks steps closer to Fred and draws in the air around him, tasting it in his nasal passages. “You smell...funny. I like you. You come with us to Urkey!” After a pause Fred says “looks like I’m going to Urkey!” 

Urk Six Jaw Shamglurk

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

'Yon of Ofaz Session #4

"I found a thing and put it in my brain"

We find our beloved troupe hiding within the Blorg homestead. Bowling ball sized raindrops hammer the tin roof. There is much squabbling, in spite of the fact that Dorta has removed herself to the barn. A barn which is home to the troupe’s unwanted retinue, 50 Gnylls. Back in the 10x12 foot abode of the Blorgs, DurBurDuke rediscovers the cinnamon smell behind a tattered curtain of the WC. He scrambles up the wall and finds a strange twisted object that is the source of the licorice smell. After gently testing its tensile strength, he opens the tent flap to his "mind shack" and hands it off to his inner self to be hoarded with all the other junk that will presumably become inventions someday. An hour or so more passes and the storm gives way to a dead calm.

There is much discussion on individuals either relieving themselves inside or outside. Sadly.

A strange honking sound, like the plaintive bleat of an old bicycle horn is heard approaching in the distance. The troupe (DurBurDuke, Fred, Oda, Gwen, Crys-Tle and Olga) go outside to watch whatever it is slowly fly closer. A spyglass reveals the object to be a large top hat with wings. Behind the hat is a large swarm of bees.

"Topper" and 3,000 Beese
The majestic accoutrement of fashionable men’s outerwear glides gently down in the eerie silence and lands nearby. Fred approaches and reaches out to possibly put the hat on his head, but is slapped by one of it's robo arms. Fearing random uninvited wearing, the hat hops up to perch on the corrugated tin roof. Painfully it begins to dawn on the troupe that this hat is not just another mindless fashion accessory to be placed on one's head! The personas all start asking questions to which the hat answers by gesticulation and honking a horn. Meanwhile, the Schwartzer of the group begins work on a new all metal door (to replace the wrecked one of the hovel) and a mechanical squawk box designed to enable the hat to talk. As a stopgap a pad of paper is produced and the hat writes out it's name: Topper.

Garlic flavored Kool-aide?
The eerie silence silence is broken by the distant sound, not unlike a freight train. After Chrs Tle the Arcanist counts the bees (there are 3000), on cue everyone decides to cram themselves quickly back into the tiny house. Added to the host is Topper and 3000 Beese. The owner of the house, Muk Blorg opts instead to run outside to take his chances with the approaching tarnodos. Of the owners, only the pet Zlog remains. DurBurDuke installs his new metal door. As he opens the tent flap into his “mind shack” Topper scoots inside to see what sort of junk he has hoarded. In the collected junk she finds a licorice main spring and decides to appropriate it. Ramone, the mental version of DurBurDuke that lives within the “mind shack” looks on. Ramone and DurBurDuke have some issues and have learned to avoid each other.

All the while the homestead has been lifted aloft by the raging winds outside, only a stout chain secured to an ancient rock keeps the one room hovel from being consumed by the mighty winds. After what seems like ages, the house gently settles back to urth, one can hear three bird-oids chirping, clearly a signal that the storm has passed. Outside all the troupe finds of Muk is his indeterminately left or right shoe. Topper tries out setting on the Schwartzers head, there is some fear that he may be engulfed or menaced by the hat’s unknown interior. In the end nothing goes amiss. DurBurDuke pulls out a ratty looking multi-seat bicycle and starts peddling off to the south, towards The Wall, and hopefully, eventual freedom. The rest of the troupe cannot resist the shiny diamond twinkling of the unexplored citadel to their north east...they begin walking that way. Neither party looks back, or yells out a sarcastic farewell.

Welcome to the newest drinker of the Garlic Kool-aid and until next time!

Here be the rest of the mighty troupe:

Quiz to session #4:

1: What is the drink of REDACTED?
2: Which Blorg has access to the kitchen?
3: What do all intelligent animals do?
4: What does BEM stand for?
5: What do I like (Me, the Crypt Lord)?
6: When Fred told the Gnylls to “fetch” what insults did they yell at him?
7: What is the volumetric equivalent of 3000 bees?
8: What phrase was thought to be trademarkable?
9: The Wall bisects what two countries?
10: Name three things we know the precise numbers of:

Answers (no peeking!)
2: Muk
3: Poop outside
4: Bug Eyed Monster
5: Metagaming
6: “Get a job”, “Get the mail” and “Go shave”
7: A “car” or three oxen
8: “It’s an Arcanist thing”
9: Bim Tuck Boo and Urkey
10: 3 birds, 2 bits of korn and 3000 bees.  

Go to Session #5...


BACkWARD to session #3