Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Recap: Tools of the Trade

Ah, chaos magic. Is there anything it can't do?
Chaos Quest is back! We had a much faster turnaround this time. Not sure why, other than people just being available at the right time. And it was our first game with all the characters present in a while, too. I decided to use this opportunity to run the group through White Plume Mountain, a classic D&D module.

With a few chaotic changes, of course.

This story is part 7 of a series. The campaign is complete.
Previous Campaign | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 |

Campaign of Chaos: Tools of the Trade

Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Shannon: Cressen Juhl, Fallen Aasimar Trickery Cleric of Ralishaz, hates their dad Pholtus
Cody: Myst, Tabaxi Rogue, likes the shiny and shoots the arrows
Quinn: Jakky, Darkling Shadow Monk, sneaks into places to do a murder
Wade: Agne, Kobold Warlock of the Great Old Ones, killed his family for creepy powers
Cait: Anna, Human Brute Fighter, pretty ditzy but very strong and interested in chaos
Wes: Magic Man, Drow Transumation Wizard, kind of creepy, teaches magical life lessons
NPC: ArtoriusVoid Dragon Wyrmling, hangs out with Agne

When we last left the crew, they had completely ransacked the city of Garton, gaining tons of followers and destroying several key figures in the city's system of law and order. They had just rejoined their leader, Mr. Lizard (currently wearing a giant robot suit that caused most of the damage), and were about to head back to their skyfortress. However, an aspect of the God Pholtus (Cressen's dad) had showed up to punish them for their actions.

Pholtus began by offering Cressen a chance to turn away from the deceptions of Mr. Lizard and join the path to justice. Cressen told Pholtus to shove it, and the crew went wild. The god-like being sighed, and told Mr. Lizard to take off the ridiculous costume so they could fight properly.

Mr. Lizard shrugged, and told everyone to yell out a random place. The entire crew, including the allies and lackeys they had picked up along the way, yelled different locations. With a wink, Mr. Lizard cast a powerful teleport spell, shuffling the locations everyone had said and sending them away from the battle field. Unfortunately for him, Jakky had picked this exact location (just 3 feet to the left), and Mr. Lizard ended up directly in front of the Deity.

Meanwhile, everyone else was teleported off to various places in the multiverse. One of Anna's lackeys was sent to the center of the planet, and died instantly. Anna herself was sent to the living room of a lackey they picked up named Chet. Chet was a fairly boring and normal guy, and Anna just grabbed a beer and relaxed for a bit. Cressen and Agne were sent to terrible places that shouldn't be mentioned in polite company.

Myst was sent to the roof of a school building, where a holographic schoolgirl from Magic Man's dating sim was waiting to confess to him. Magic Man ended up at a sunflower seed shop, so he bought some seeds. Jakky was sent to a dark palace where he had to fight and kill a roguish phantom in front of an eldritch king. The "king" gave Jakky a message: "Tell him he is doing well." Jakky didn't understand and didn't bother remembering it.

After about 10 minutes, the crew and most of their lackeys appeared in front of a huge mountain, which had white smoke pluming out of it. Built into the mountainside was a massive temple, carved with images of monks and holy men.

A voice echoed in their heads, the voice of Mr. Lizard: "Hey kids! I'm having a tough time fighting this guy. There's 3 powerful chaos weapons and a wand of pure chaos sealed away in the back of this temple. Mind grabbing them for me? You can keep the stuff once I'm done with it!" The entire party readily agreed.

The OG Dungeon of the Mad Mage
They stormed the temple, killing any monks in their path. The monks were well-trained in magic and combat, wielding swords that glowed with pure radiance. But the overwhelming power of the chaos crew was unstoppable. They cut their way through these monks, learning that this was a Temple of the Knights of the Order, a group dedicated to law and justice. Not that they needed another reason to murder them, of course.

At the end of the temple, the monks began calling out for Javala Naas, their chosen leader, to smite the heroes. She appeared, wielding lightning and soaring through the air. However, the chaos crew combined their powers and dealt blow after blow, bringing her down with rotting energy, magical arrows and knives, and a bolt of their own lightning.

With the chosen one defeated, the group pressed onward. There were still a ton of monks left to kill, but they decided to leave it to their allies and lackeys (which, as a bonus, meant they didn't have to split up the treasure).

They entered the deepest sanctum and came up against a magical wall of force, behind which sat a sphinx. She seemed awfully bored, and told the group they needed to answer a riddle in order to pass. Myst and Magic Man, still giddy from their collective dating sim experience, decided to flirt with the sphinx instead.

She seemed coy at first, but they learned that she had been captured by the Knights of the Order and contracted to guard this location. With little convincing, they managed to turn her over to the ways of chaos and got to answer a much easier riddle to bypass the magical wall. Once that was done, the Sphinx ran off to join the other lackeys in kicking some monks' butts.

The crew carried on, bypassing some acidic green slime with the clever use of rope and flight. They came to an intersection, where one door was very clearly trapped and optional, and the other door was plain and lead further into the temple.

They went through the trapped door and were immediately locked into a small room.

Hanging above them were several glass orbs. They tried breaking the orbs, revealing false keys to the door and various treasure or threats. They defeated an air elemental, Magic Man nearly swallowed an acidic Grey Ooze, and Cressen obliterated some living shadows with his unholy radiance. They finally found the real key in the very last orb they checked, as well as a strange magic ring. Myst snatched it and put it on.

Of course, the great magic powers of the ring were just a prank, which the crew appreciated despite being the victims of it. It seemed the chaos weapons and wand were not the only chaotic items the Knights had stashed away in this vault.

They returned to the un-trapped door. Inside were several stitched-together flesh golems, who presented a riddle for the group to solve. Jakky figured it out almost immediately, and one of the golems joined the crew as a lackey. Due to the number on the golem's chest, they dubbed him Lackey Number 9. In reality he was number 15 or 16.

The next few rooms presented little challenge for the group thanks to their ability to sit in Myst's portable hole and fly through the rooms, carried by Cressen or Artorius. They arrived at a tunnel that lead into a magically darkened room with a human-sized box in it. Jakky, with his blindsight, was the only one who could tell anything about the room. He crept in cautiously, and was surprised when an undead human came out of the box: a vampire!

The vampire attacked ruthlessly, but Jakky was fast enough to avoid damage while calling back for help. Cressen used his holy symbol to Turn the vampire, Jakky unleashed a flurry of blows that stunned him, and Magic Man lit up their foe with a Faerie Fire spell. After a few rounds of arrows and magic from Myst and Agne and a massive blow from Anna's sword, the vampire was history, vanishing into thin mist.

Under his coffin, they found a huge haul of gold and items, notably a throwing hammer crafted by goblins that Jakky picked up. The hammer told Jakky its name was Whelm, one of the magic chaos weapons held by the Knights of the Order. It was made to kill dwarves and giants, and seemed eager to help Jakky and the crew.

The crew made their way back to the magical wall, and decided to turn towards the next hallway. Along the way, Whelm told Jakky about a secret passage under a nearby water grate, and he seemed interested in following it. With Anna's help, they pried the grate up and found a door hidden under the flow of the water.

Inside, there was what appeared to be a wizard's workshop, guarded by two beefy red-skinned horned men. Myst dropped down, turned invisible with the aid of Cressen's magic, and slinked across the room to a pedestal where a wand was waiting in a glass case. He expertly slid the wand into his portable hole and made his way out without making a sound.

The group examined the wand, which appeared to be the wand of pure chaos Mr. Lizard had requested. They decided to give it to Magic Man, the wizard of the group. He took it gladly, ready to put the wand's power to use. They pressed forward, now halfway done with their task.

In the next room, they were attacked by a pair of seaweed monsters. Magic Man immediately tried using the wand, and (as chaos goes), nothing happened. However, magic Man believed that the most epic magic of all time was happening before his eyes.

Meanwhile, Jakky used Whelm to deal massive blows to the monsters, and in a fit of chaos, the hammer summoned another one of the Chaos weapons to aid the group. Anna grabbed the massive shining black sword, which called itself Blackrazor, from the air and used it to cleave the monsters in twain.

Now with added Chaos!
The group kept moving forward, opening a series of thick stone doors and entering a magical bubble in the middle of a boiling geothermal lake. They could see their final prize: a trident sitting atop of a pile of treasure, guarded by a massive crab monster. The group steeled themselves for battle.

However, Cressen decided to simply Polymorph the crab into a harmless seahorse. They plopped him into some water, grabbed the trident, and went on their way. The Trident's name was Wave, and although Myst learned about the weapon's properties, none of the crew was able to properly use it. They decided to save it for Mr. Lizard. This was a bit opposed to Wave's wishes, who was worried about a prophecy made that said it would kill a God of Chaos. The group said Mr. Lizard wasn't a God, so no worries.

Speaking of which, Mr. Lizard hadn't called them back yet, despite the crew gathering all the weapons and wand. They decided to go see how their lackeys were doing in the meantime, and headed back out towards the temple.

However, they were stopped on the way by the wizard and the two beefy red-skinned men. The wizard declared that he was the keeper of the Knights of the Order's vault, and he wouldn't dare let a group of miscreants leave with his treasures. He ordered his bodyguards to attack!

However, Myst and Magic Man were still in the mood to recruit some lackeys. They stopped one of the bodyguards by flirting with him, then attempting to convince him to join their cause. The Horned man seemed interested, but his companion wasn't. Anna, Agne, Cressen, Jakky, and Artorius all began to stab, bite, and fry the bodyguard with magic.

The bodyguard proved to be a powerful foe, however. He placed a Wall of Fire among his attackers, dealing out burns to everyone except Jakky, who leapt out of the way. Meanwhile, the other bodyguard was being seduced by Myst, who leapt through the wall of flames without so much as a burnt whisker.

Finally, just as Jakky stabbed the violent bodyguard to death, Magic Man pulled out his ultimate weapon: the sunflower seeds he had purchased earlier that day. By the power of chaos, that was enough to convince the man to join the crew, and he threw himself at Myst and Magic Man.

The keeper of the vault was flabbergasted, but not for long. Anna ran him through with Blackrazor, absorbing his soul into the blade. The group cleaned themselves up and went back to collect their lackeys, just in time for Mr. Lizard to summon them back via teleportation.

They, and all their lackeys new and old, appeared in the skyfortress. Mr. Lizard was slightly battered, but he said he had managed to win against the aspect of Pholtus. Everyone, especially Cressen, was quite impressed. The group asked what they were supposed to do next.

Mr. Lizard smiled. "How do you feel about outer space?"

We stopped there for the night. I have to say this was one of the best games so far in Chaos Quest. Just giving this group a location to explore and demolish is loads of fun. It's particularly useful that I don't really plan too much story or event structure ahead of time. They ended up skipping a 3rd of he dungeon because of their chaos magic... how do you plan for that??

The answer is: go with the flow, play the world, not the game, and don't be afraid to let your players seduce an efreeti.

Thanks for reading!

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