Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Curse of the Faceless Coins

I'm two session reports behind and thought I might catch up.  Today seems appropriate because I'm thankful that I have such a large group of smart, funny people to game with.

So, two Fridays ago the crew looked like this:

Gail MU
Mollie DP
Alamon DP
Toral DP + hirelings
Darius F
Yestlick MU

Knowing that the latter three in that list had been cursed by removing some faceless coins from the Sodden Temple, and that they had spent them all over Nidus, the party set out to get them back. They offered a 2-for-1 deal on gold coins and drain much of their wealth in exchanging for the coins that were brought in that way.  But . . . that didn't bring in all the coins, there were still some missing.  So they sought out one of the vendors.  On arriving at where his shop used to be they encountered what turned out to be funeral music.  Seems this armor vendor would go down into the Maw, into some catacombs and collect armor there to sell.  This time he didn't come back.

So, the party went down into the Maw, into the catacombs and found his body with some of the coins still on him.  On the way in, there was an abandoned golden chalice that Darius picked up and put in his bag.  And near the vendor's body was a large, heavy-looking chest.  Putting a dagger into it and shutting the lid made the dagger disappear.  One of the clerics asked their god successfully where the dagger was and they got the sense it was far away. There was a little back and forth where the party had to prevent Darius from getting in the chest.

Back in town they heard another vendor had left town on a sea voyage.  Asking the gods about the location of the faceless coins again gave the result they were far away.

They made a trip into the Sodden temple and deposited the coins they managed to collect back into the brass urns.  That room also contains the rotting carcass of an elephant and the party was attacked by huge maggots with some human features (an ear on the back, a human tongue).  Gail was rendered unconscious, and Darius splintered a shield saving his life.  He unfortunately took damage in the battle that will not heal until the curse is lifted.

Next Session:

Derek F +hireling
Sarah MU
G F + hireling
Z F + hireling
Hugelina F
And a MU whose name escapes me

Derek has found out that he too is cursed.  He, though, spent almost none of it.  So the plan is to re-enter the Sodden Temple and put the cursed coins back in the brass urns.  The journey is rather uneventful, they did rescue some prisoners and fight a few rats.  They found a well that led down to a lower level and at one point the party was strung through 4 rooms trying to decide what to do.  Caution finally prevailed and they made it back to town safely.

Some Thoughts

One problem with session 1 was we had an additional player I didn't know was coming until an hour before.  He's played some 4e but never been in my game before.  The party was already immersed in their own storyline of trying to lift the curse and he seemed left out a little. If I'd know he was coming I would have tried to design a perk or something to make him important for the night.

An interesting thing, the human features that the maggots had was a player's suggestion!  I rolled with it and they were duly creeped out as one of the maggots licked Mollie's shin with a human tongue before biting.

You can never predict what players will do. I thought, having learned they had spent the cursed gold, they would make a list of the vendors they spent the coins at and try to track each down.  But perhaps the time that had passed and the shifting nature of Nidus made that seem unlikely to them.  So, their scheme to buy back at 2-to-1-- a huge money sink!  I think most of that party is flat broke now.

Interesting to say that party, because inadvertantly, it seems there are enough players to make up two parties. I would have never predicted that.  The last session, because of some miscommunication, I found out the day of the session that our normal host was in Vegas!  So a quick change of venue led to two of G's roommates playing with us.  It was also Derek's player's birthday so his wife agreed to come try playing.  So, in that session, 3 of the 6 players had never played before.

This time I knew the birthday boy's wife was coming so I prepared to make her a ship captain.  I printed out several images of ships and named them in different languages.  But at the last minute I didn't give one to her because as they rolled up characters there was talk of going back to the temple and I didn't want them to think they had to go to sea. Also, there was plenty for her as a new character to think about.

Most of these trips back to the temple have been pretty uneventful.  But they party has remained mostly on level one of what wasn't too dangerous a place.  It is almost too little danger though, might need to make sure they encounter stiffer opposition next time they enter or they'll start feeling bored.

I am currently trying to work out a rough sense of my world, ships, and, ocean encounters because I imagine the next step will be for them to follow the last few coins. But then, who knows, maybe they'll climb into that chest or go down into the maw again.


  1. So two things: Does the chest lead to where the person that's at sea is heading, or near it? And, do the characters have to replace all the coins or simply the ones they took out?

  2. Well, I don't want to ruin anything for my inquisitive players who may be reading this, but 1) that would be a very big coincidence in that the two vendors-- the one off to sea and the other found by the chest-- didn't seem to know each other and 2) I think the party has reached this conclusion because they are about 65 coins shy (there were 800) and the characters that took that gold out of the temple are still not healing.

  3. Hmm. You know that 2-for-1 deal may not have been a good idea. What if some of the people faked theirs? Did they cut them to see if they'd actually gotten the cursed coins?