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HackMoor 2018/05/24 The Party is Robbed!
Games are on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We had a meat lover's pizza with the pepperoni removed.

Map repeats with nothing new from last week and therefore not attached.



The two dozen Dwarfs were evacuated from the large chamber with the big Devil in it.  The entrance was closed again and the Dwarfs were fed.  

I then took about an hour of game time to perform maintenance and a designated Player made some die rolls.  The primary issue being religious control of the two dozen Dwarfs.  Gnomex who was the party's Cleric, took the opportunity to convert them to his gawd, Gaerdal Ironhand, (the most Dwarflike of the Gnomish gawds).  Aerys on the other hand, being a newly minted proselytizer of Id attempted to convert the the Dwarfs to her new gawd.  Without making die rolls (I'll probably do that offline) I simply judged Gnomex converted 75% and Aerys 25% of them.  Dwarfs have good feelings vis-a-vis Gnomes whereas they have antipathy towards Fairykin like Aerys.  Although her Charisma and Comeliness scores of 20 each counteracted the antipathy a bit, no doubt Aerys' Dwarf converts simply have the hots for her.

The party also took this opportunity for maintenance of spells and healing of minor wounds glossed over from prior encounters.  Since the Dwarfs had just eaten their first big meal in years they slept soundly.

Aerys took watch.

Seven hours later (one hour before wake up time), Aerys sounded the alarm as several medium dog sized creatures were headed down the rearward hall the party originally came from.  It was hard not to be alarmed, as their hides were made of steel and it made obvious crashing noises as their bodies brushed along the walls as they came down the hallway.

In matter of game mechanics, there was a point of contention.  The Party's figurines disposition were on the table, which is a huge white board laid flat.  The room's dimensions where previously drawn, with entrances, walls, doors, et. al.  So one of the Players, as was his wont, picked up Huang's and Honda's figurines and placed them in at the entrance in front of the approaching beasts.  Also rather automatically, the Player for Huang stated he was swinging with his +2 Footman's Flail and Honda's +3 Warhammer.

"As you reach for your favorite weapons," I told them, "you discover that they are missing."

Apparently his characters had been robbed during the night, despite Aerys being on watch.  (We'll get to that later.)

"Whoa, whoa, WHOA!", said the Player and declared he wasn't going to fight.  So I put the figurines back to their starting positions.

Other Players thought the Player's reaction to his new reality was a little harsh.  (Although to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”)  

So we interrupted the combat so characters could make a spot check on their equipment, with the presumption we would resume as soon as it was determined Party members could also reach their alternate weapons.

We discovered every party member was missing a weapon or some piece of critical equipment, and the rescued prisoner from two sessions back was also missing.  It is now assumed that rescued Fighter prisoner, instead of being a half-starved miserable wretch, may actually be a high level Thief.  

Accusations flew.  

Firstly, how could Aerys fail the watch and let the Party get burglarized, and secondly, the point was made by another Player (our resident rules lawyer), that the "Pick Pocket" skill only applied to small items, not large weapons.  Lastly the argument was made that party members sleep with their weapons, like similar to U.S. Marines in the field, (e.g., "I Love My Rifle More than You").

In regards to the first point, Aerys said she was watching the two entrances, not the Party and she didn't pay attention to the "sleeping" party members.

In regards to the second point, the argument could be made, how do Thieves steal vast treasures in the first place if their only means of pilferage is the Pick Pocket statistic?  I had to admit to the party the culprit must have been a really high level Thief.  Thus the Thief skills of Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, and other Talents lend themselves to a good heist.  I told the Party they should be glad he wasn't an Assassin.  They'd be dead THEN he would have stolen their stuff.

Aerys is now viewed with suspicion.

In regards to the third point, I contend the party is not that disciplined.  They can't even make up their minds on marching order, much less who takes point.  To argue they are close to their equipment, I'll only concede that none of them has ever removed their armor once to even take a dump.  Enemies should make a saving throw vs. smell or go into convulsions as if the party were fighting Troglodytes.

Aside from the first two items mentioned above, almost every member lost something.  Grok lost his plus 6 short sword, Gnomex lost his plus 5 Warhammer, Aerys lost her plus 2 dagger of climbing (the Thief must have been extremely adept to target Aerys while on watch.  Or it was in her large sack while she looked the other way?), and Numrendir lost his Communicator (from Module DA3).  There may have been other items stolen, but there was not enough time for a full inventory in the middle of a fight.  Only Junkbot, Fundisha, and the two dozen Dwarfs were spared, as they had nothing of value.

Anyway, they all had alternate weapons and fought with that they had.  These creatures were a special variety not from HackMaster, but one of the BlackMoor (which I misinterpreted highly), in any case they were an effective side excursion to the evening.  The monsters had a special  power called "Toughness" as effective as the "Stoneskin" spell (must have been their steel skin), with which they cannot be hit with weapons, only by spells for a certain number of hits based on a four sided die plus 1.  So the party ends up whacking them.   Whack, whack, whack, for no reason if only to decrement the required number of hits until the power loses its effect.   

After defeating the beasts, the party got a burr up its collective butt to track down the Thief.  So the party went back and made cursory checks in each and every room to see if that guy was there.  They went up all the way up to the Steel Elemental at the beginning to ask if anyone had gone this way.

The answer was an effective "No".  

Gnomex also asked if it knew "Anything about some other steel-skinned creatures living down here?"

"You mean Fido, Rover, Spot, Benji, Buddy, Patches, and Checkers?", replied the Elemental.

"Oh, never mind." said Gnomex, "I must be mistaken.", and departed.

They even went across the hall to the Wood Elemental (the one the Steel Elemental told them not to talk to).  Nobody had come this way, either.

Lastly, the went upped to the trapped staircase where Orc was posted awaiting their callsign.  Nope, nobody had come up the stairs.

Aerys, using his mighty SIr Arthur Conan Doyle powers of deduction ("Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." ), suggested that "The thief MUST have gone through the other entrance where the big Devil was."  So the Party made their way back down the where they started and saying the prepatory phrases, opened the doors leading to its chamber.

Before them, glowing orange on the floor as wide as the entrance, was a big huge Rune.  (I had marked the table with an orange Sharpie).  This stopped the party at the open doors as they pondered the meaning of it.  At they stood there, a ball of flame coming from the other end of the cavern hit Huang for a mere three points.  Luckily his clothing made its saving throw as he had no armor.  A big booming laugh came from the other end of the cavern.






Grok the Dwarf, a third level WitchRanger (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Adept of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class).  RETIRED
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief).
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage Second (a Protege of Jacko).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.





This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.
Tracy Johnson



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