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[Let's Play] Blood Sword V - The Walls of Spyte
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:11 am    Post subject: [Let's Play] Blood Sword V - The Walls of Spyte Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Welcome everyone to the Finale of the Blood Sword LP series!



This book, in a slight difference from the previous ones, has a 1st page that displays the sypnosis. The back cover blurb s actually a shorter version of this, so I'll skip that and post the paragraphs in this first page:

Quote:
It is Midwinter's Eve of the year 1000. The Great Fear sweeps across the civilised world. Everyone knows that the Day of Judgement is at hand. It is seven hours to Doomsday.

An arctic wind freezes your bones, but ahead of you lies a smoking chasm that goes right down to the glimmering fires of hell. You stand at the lip of the abyss which surrounds Spyte, the ruined fortress of the lords of Krarth. In the darkening sky above, five ominous stars have come into conjunction for the first time in two hundred years. Out of the vault of the sky they cast their baleful influence across the frozen landscape - unearthly objects, but far from heavenly ones. They are the disembodied spirits of the last of the Magi, seeking to return to the mortal world at midnight and usher in a new era of terror.

You wield the sole force in the world capable of destroying the Magi. The Sword of Life is mankind's only hope - but it is no guarantee of victory. The Magi have had two centuries of exile to plan their reincarnation. Their power has grown immeasurably since they last walked upon Middle-Earth. You will need greater courage and strength than ever before, but you are determined to succeed in your sword quest. You will prevent the Magi from bringing their unholy force back into the world - even at the cost of your own life!


Now, let's quickly run through the things that have changed about our heroes since the last book. First of the all, the default leve-up improvements as our heroes reach the 6th rank:

Warrior:
Damage: +1
Endurance: +6

Trickster:
Damage: +1
Endurance: +6

Sage:
Damage: +1
Endurance: +5

Enchanter:
Damage: +1
Endurance: +5

Nothing impressive.....but we've also gained the unique upgrades for coming back from Hell in the last book!

THE WARRIOR
Quote:


....

Two special rules apply to you:

Ambidextrousness

You can wield two weapons (one in each hand) and make two strikes each Round. Any bonuses due to magical weapons should be figured separately - eg, if one of your swords gives +2 Fighting Prowess, you only get the +2 bonus for the attack you make with that weapon.

Unarmed martial arts

When fighting without a weapon, you do not reduce your Fighting Prowess of damage rolls.


THE TRICKSTER
Quote:
....

Dodging technique

You are very adept at evading attacks. When an opponent makes a fight roll against you, he or she (or it) must roll three Dice (four Dice if you chose to defend for that Round).


THE SAGE
Quote:
...

Healing

You can use this psionic ability at any time except during a combat. When you attempt to Heal, you decide how many points of Endurance you are going to use. You deduct these from your Endurance, then roll 1 Die-1 and multiply this by the number of points you expended. The result is the Healing energy (in the form of Endurance points) that you are able to draw from the Cosmic Flux. These points may be distributed as you wish among the players (including yourself). No player can increase his or her Endurance above its initial score, of course.



THE ENCHANTER

Quote:
....

The attempt to cast a spell takes one Round. It does not happen automatically. In order to cast a spell successfully, you must roll equal or less than your Psychic Ability on one Die. You must add the Complexity Level of the spell to the Dice roll. If you fail to cast it, you can try again the next Round; this time the roll is easier, as you subtract one from the one-Die-plus-Complexity roll. If you fail again, you subtract two from your roll on the next Round. If the spellcasting process is interrupted (for example, you take a Round out to dodge or fight) then you have to go back to stage one.


Our starting equipment consists of what we took from Entasius' island at the end of the last book......but even this book's default staring equipment corresponds to that: 1 suit of +4 Plate Armour (assigned to the Warrior by default), the other 3 start with +2 Studded Leather Armour (even the Enchanter, who normally starts with "Silver Armour"). So it's safe to assume that those Leather Armour will not affect the Enchanter's spellcasting.

Everyone also start with their default bonusless weapon (Quarterstaff for Sage, sword fro everyone else), but there's also the Blood Sword:

Quote:
THE BLOOD SWORD

You have just one magical item at the start of the adventure. However, it is as Aesop said: 'Only one, but a lion!' This item is the Sword of Life, known in folktales as the Blood Sword. It was created by the Archangel Abdiel and has extraordinary powers. The least of these powers is that it adds 3 to its wielder's Fighting Prowess and scores an extra two Dice damage when it hits.

More significantly, any undead creature struck by the Blood Sword must roll two Dice. If the creature fails to score equal to or less than its Psychic Ability it is instantly destroyed by the Blood Sword's holy power. The reincarnated Magi would count as undead, so you can see how important the Blood Sword will be to the outcome of your adventure.

It also has other properties. You may discover these in the course of your quest. For now, decide which player is to wield the Blood Sword. (A piece of advice: if the party includes a Warrior, he or she is the one who's likely to make best use of it.)


The book advises that the Warrior should hold the Blood Sword, but she's also the one who doesn't need any FP bonuses....so it's up to you to decide who to hold it!

Sage and Trickster also start with (non-magical) bows and full quivers (6 arrows).

Unlike previous books, there's no map provided at the beginning. There's no Glossary either, (maybe they're assuming that the readers should be familiar with the setting by his point0, but there IS an "Introduction":

Quote:
INTRODUCTION

It has been many years since you were given your quest by a mysterious troubadour whom you met in the forests of southern Krarth. As he lay dying after a murderous attack, he told you of the entities known as the True Magi, sorcerers of ancient times who died in the cataclysm of the City of Spyte. They became the Five Stars, small luminous objects visible in the night sky, and since that far-off day they have laid plans for their return to earth at the end of the millennium. To the ruins of Spyte they will return - ruins that have stood dark and deserted these last two centuries - and from there they will spread their despotic rule over the lands of men, encircling the world in a sorcerous thrall that none can escape.

To help you in your quest to prevent this, the troubadour entrusted you with the holy relic known as the Sword of Life - the Blood Sword. Its power is the only thing that will be able to destroy the reincarnated Magi. Its power ... and your own steadfast courage.

Now it is the year 1000. After many years of wandering across the world, you have returned to Krarth to fulfil your destiny. In all the lands you have travelled through, plague and famine have cut a swathe through people's lives. It is the time of the Great Fear. Everyone has become lethargic and terror-stricken, for it is known that the world will end at midnight on Midwinter's Eve. Then, as the clerics and theologians foretell, God will summon all the dead back to life for the Day of Judgement.

Only a week ago, you met a trader on the road who was frantically giving all his furs and silk gowns to the poor. 'Sic transit gloria mundi!' he said to you, eyes frantic with the thought of the judgement to come. 'By distributing my wealth now to these wretches, I make myself a pauper and secure a position in Paradise. At the same time, by enriching them I disqualify them from entry. This ensures that those of us who are admitted to Paradise will not have to tolerate the company of unworthy peasants.' His sentiments were typical of the venality and selfishness which many people are giving themselves into in the extremity of their fear. You sense that God's judgement of such individuals has already begun.

However, you have also encountered good people. As you journeyed northwards across the ice-locked wastes of Krarth, many poor peasants have given you shelter and shared what little food they had. One told you of the Krarthian folk tales concerning the Magi: 'Since the Blasting of Spyte the world has been in a deep sleep. The dread gods are still there, and they will bring their Sacerdotes, the True Magi, back from the heavens. We will awaken then back into the nightmarish tyranny of reality. All this will happen at the midwinter festival of this year, which is the three thousand, one hundred and twenty-fifth year of the Old Calendar. So it is written.'

Another way of looking at things. The people of Krarth are not of your faith, but many of them live virtuous lives all the same. The details vary in their belief, but all are agreed on the final outcome: the world will end at midnight on Midwinter's Eve.

And that is tonight ...


And with that, we head straight to the first section.....let's sort out our equipment before we begin! And most importantly, who will carry the Blood Sword?
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
It is seven hours to Doomsday.

We still had two years when we nabbed Icon. Apparently, we're treating the end of the world like a highschool essay. Way to go.
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I don't mind carrying the Blood Sword. But I'll also grab an extra quiver from Entasius, just in case.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'll also grab an extra quiver but I'm not going to carry the Blood Sword. Pepito's a healbot, plain and simple.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As yet, I still think the Trickster is the best man for the Blood Sword. If it turns out to have secret Warrior-only procs, I'll bring up the subject again.
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'll take the studded leather, a sword, and a quiver.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Shiritai wrote:
I'll take the studded leather, a sword, and a quiver.


Playing pack mule to the archers? Big Grin

I guess there's no rules against carrying extra copies of the same items, and it was stated that Entasius' island had multiple sets of everything besides plate armour. The party sets off with a total of 5 full quivers and 30 arrows!

The default starting equipment listed in Book 5 also starts off by giving each player the standard amount of starting gold....but there's nothing said about adding more gold after completion of previous books, so I guess the Heroes are still broke after returning from Hell. That's probably why they took this long to travel here. They probably walked the rest of the way after leaving Entasius' ship.

I'll give everyone back their money pouches in case we find more gold to loot, but right now they're empty. You can, of course, request to drop them any time.

And now, we proceed...

Quote:
There is no place more desolate in all Creation than where you stand now, before the ruins of the City of Spyte. And there could be no more inauspicious time to reach this place, for today is the eve of the midwinter solstice and the year is 1000 in the reckoning of your faith. A millennium ago, God came to earth in mortal form and sacrificed Himself for the sake of Man. Now He is about to return and pass judgement. If manking has earned eternal Paradise, God will bring this blissful state about on earth. But if the canker of evil is found to be strongest in men's hearts, evil will be left to rule the world forever. The return of the True Magi would assuredly tip the scales towards evil, so you must prevent their reincarnation for the sake of all mankind.

Before you is a chasm that completely surrounds Spyte, like a moat which for two centuries has checked the spread of malevolent ghosts that must surely inhabit those baleful ruins. Men call it The Cauldron, and say that at its bottom it touches the very roots of the earth. From its entrails, choking yellow plumes of sulphurous smoke pour up into the slate-grey sky. A savage howling gale whips around you, blowing stinging snowflakes in your eyes and cracking your lips with the cold.

Your fingers close on the Blood Sword's hilt. If you to win victory at all it will only be by the strength of this holy blade, forged by an archangel and tempered in the blood of the Saviour. The sword seems alive, singing with energy. Does is somehow sense the proximity of the Magi? Your eyes scan the heavens. The sun lingers low on the horizon, having climbed only half-heartedly into the sky during the day. Soon the Five Stars which are the Magi's unearthly incarnations will rise above the northern hills. Dusk is just a few minutes off, leaving you with perhaps no more than seven hours to find your way into the city and locate the scene of the Magi's resurrection.

You have one other problem to think about. A group of hunters you met yesterday told you they had seen another party heading towards the Cauldron. These others were led by five wizards clad in the colours of the True Magi, and they carried strange instruments of sorcery. Even more sinister was the news that they had five slaves in chains whom they dragged behind them. You are sure those slaves are intended as sacrifices, and the wizards and their entourage are the mad 'disciples' of the Magi who are travelling to Spyte to be on hand for the return of their masters from the heavens. Now, as you approach closer to the dismal place, you see new-laid tracks in the snow. They seem to peter out before the edge of the chasm. Somehow the disciples found a way across to the ruins ahead of you. No doubt they have taken full advantage of their lead to lay traps for you there.

Your eyes sweep across the tundra. Curiously, some of the wretched animals that inhabit this arctic wasteland have made their way here. You see the huge Ice Bear, with its fierce porcupine quills of ice that can penetrate metal armour; the Basilisk, whose gaze freezes its prey to death; and the Razor Birds, whose wings and talons are honed to a perfection of sharpness that the finest Crescentium steel can hardly match. These and less formidable creatures - small rodents and birds - have all congregated at the lip of the Cauldron. Whether they have been drawn here by the simple need for warmth or by the magic of the solstice, you cannot tell.

You turn to face the ruins. Spires and pinnacles rise beyond the walls of splintered basalt, perched atop a crag of fused rock in the midst of the smoking Cauldron. How will you get across? Even as you ponder the problem, you become aware of a preternatural blue haze that has permeated the fading daylight. The first of the Five Stars has risen: Blue Moon, the principle of unreality ...


Nice! We've been feeling lonely since losing our pet raven. Let's go catch that fluffy Ice Bear to keep us company!

Quote:
The blue twilight fills you with unease. You remember with hideous clarity the events of a single night in the Drakken Woods many years ago - the night you began your quest. Blue Moon was the first of the True Magi to become aware of you, and his sorcery almost cost you your life. Dwelling thus on the events of your callow youth, you momentarily forget the years of battle experience you have endured since then. A chill runs down your spine.

Suddenly the Ice Bear off to your right screams as if enraged. You turn quickly to see it rear up on its hind legs and stamp the ground frenziedly. The Razor Bird is flapping about, shrieking madly, while the Basilisk's eyes are slowly opening. They seem maddened by your presence. As you back away, they turn and watch. Then the Basilisk lets out a piercing howl and the others take it as a signal. They are coming straight at you!

Is the Sage here? If so, he or she should turn to 382. Otherwise, you will either have to fight the animals or else run for the edge of the Cauldron.


He's here! He'll be an expert on Monster-petting too, right?

SAGE:
Quote:
Illusions of Blue Moon no longer bother such an old campaigner as you. The animals are merely images: the real animals remain staring impassively at the rising stars, oblivious of the presence of humans. Reassuring your companions (if you have any), you walk on to the edge of the chasm.


Awww....I was hoping we could get some new pets!

Quote:
You are on the very edge of the Cauldron. Looking down, you can just make out a few licking sulphurous flames thousands of metres below where the single basalt block upon which the ruins of Spyte are built emerges from the dense cloud of belching steam. The stench of hellfire is overpowering and you step back, covering your nostrils with your robes. You cast around for ways across the chasm as you slowly make your way around the vast perimeter of the Cauldron.


Quote:
You stand on the lip of the Cauldron and consider the features surrounding it. There are five, arranged equidistantly around the pinnacle on which the ruined city stands. If the Sage is here, turn to 506.

On the edge of the chasm is perched a large statue of a bird fashioned in sparkling white metal. If you want to investigate it, turn to 262.

Below, through the clouds of steam, you can see the mouldering cadaver of a titan. If you clamber down into its mandibles, turn to 417.

A narrow gold bridge stretches across to the ruined city in the centre of the Cauldron. If you want to cross it, turn to 420.

You see a blue shimmering in the air nearby. It has the look of a dimensional portal, and on the ground in front of it is a pile of weapons, armour and equipment. If you want to investigate, turn to 532.

There is a pile of red gems strewn on a platform that juts out over the edge. Each gem is the size of an egg. If you want to take a closer look, turn to 42.

Once again, Pepito has something to share:

SAGE:
Quote:
Obviously the five features correspond to the five True Magi. The mechanical bird is a device of White Light. Plague Star must be responsible for the giant's corpse. The golden bridge puts you in mind of the devious stratagems of Gift Star - it seems like a gift indeed, this easy route across, but the gifts of this Magus are rarely as pleasant as they seem. The dimensional portal is obviously connected with Blue Moon. The colour of the gems betrays their association with Red Death.

Now turn back to 448 and decide what you are going to do.


Which deathtrap entrance do we choose?

Adventure Sheets:

WARRIOR:
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TRICKSTER:
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SAGE:
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ENCHANTER:
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Last edited by SGamerz on Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The bridge is a trap. The portal probably is too, as is the pile of gems. And I don't think it's a good idea to climb into a dead giant's mouth.

Which just leaves us with the bird.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I vote for the dead giant, it's unpleasant and therefore probably the correct choice.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Good point. Changing my vote.
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's probably the best or the worst choice, so sure! Let's do some extreme dentistry.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

All five sound terrible. If I were playing solo, I'd establish that I Wasn't Making A Choice and look at the options in order. No vote.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Darth Rabbitt wrote:
The bridge is a trap. The portal probably is too, as is the pile of gems. And I don't think it's a good idea to climb into a dead giant's mouth.

Which just leaves us with the bird.


angelfromanotherpin wrote:
I vote for the dead giant, it's unpleasant and therefore probably the correct choice.


Considering each of these entrances represents one of the True Magi, chances are they all contain something unpleasant. Wink

Quote:
You scramble down a ridge of rock towards the dead titan. The closer you get, the less humanoid you see it to be. It is really like the carcass of a huge bipedal insect or crab. Its segmented jaws are the size of a cave. Since the carcass is wedged across a narrow part of the Cauldron, with the creature's tail resting in a gulf in the ruined city wall, you could enter the jaws and cross to the city through its innards. Inside the exoskeleton, you would presumably be protected from the chlorine and sulphur gas rising out of the volcanic pit below ...

No doubt it makes logical sense, but the idea of making your way through the inside of the carcass is still revolting. If you do it, turn to 248. If you want to choose another route, turn to 448.


Now that we're seeing it up close, are we sure we still want to go this route?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm suspecting this is an attempted fake-out. Keep on truckin. Even if it does come to life we have an anti-undead sword that should be able to keep it from munching us.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Keep on truckin. This second paragraph made it seem way less of a trap.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Steeling your nerves, you crawl gingerly between the titan's gaping mandibles. Instead of the rank odour of decay you were expecting, there is just a slight mustiness in the air here. It reminds you of frankincense.

You proceed with caution. The throat is a tunnel in which you can almost stand upright. It is seemingly composed of interlocking rings of hard shell or chitin. There is no trace of decayed flesh: the creature must have died a very long time ago.

Reaching a bulbous cavity inside the throat, you are presented with a choice of routes. If you go up a narrow dorsal passage that could lead to the brain cavity, turn to 414. If you take the wider tunnel down toward the thorax, turn to 469.


Which part of the thing's anatomy do we want to explore?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The previous paragraph said we need to go through the tail into the city, so let's do that. The less we stay in this thing, the better.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Down through the thorax.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
There are small apertures all along the walls of the main passage. They might have served the function of valves, since they are sealed by clusters of chitinous membranes that overlap like flower petals. You cannot guess at the purpose of such things in a living creature.

You reach the upper thorax and crawl through into a spacious cavity which is partly open to the outside. Peering through the gap in the exoskeleton, you can see that you're now almost half way across the chasm. Far, far below, the volcanic fires of hell glimmer redly up through the mist filling the
Cauldron.

If you wish to emerge on to the outside of the carcass to proceed from this point, turn to 471. If you choose instead to follow one of the passages through the abdomen, turn to 349.


Do we want to stay in the carcass?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It doesn't sound like we're at the city yet so keep on going through the abdomen.
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Agreed.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Staying inside seems sensible, but I think a change of scenery would be more cinematically satisfying. Go outside.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stay inside. I don't want to roll vs. falling off that thing.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
The abdomen consists of three major chambers and a number of subsidiary ones. You soon find a route through to the oviduct that leads along the articulated tail to the titan's egg-injecting stinger. Crawling along this on your hands and knees, you break through the chitinous bulb at the end and emerge into open air. You are standing at the very edge of the ruins, where the titan's tail is wedged into a huge breach in the city wall. When you glance back, it makes you shiver to see how precariously the giant carcass spans the chasm. If you had dislodged it while making your way across, it would have become your tomb . . .

This is not the time for such thoughts. You must find a way into the inner citadel which dominates the centre of the ruins. You start to investigate the nearby buildings for a way in. Most of the porticoes have fallen in long ago, but you find one whose entrance you are able to clear of rubble. Inside, there is a wide stairway leading under ground. Reasoning that there ought to be subterranean passages linking with the inner citadel, you descend.


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You enter a vast natural cavern that stretches upwards into the darkness as far as you can see. The opposite walls are lost in gloom, and the only illumination comes from sudden flares of yellow sulphurous flame that flicker around crevices in the rock walls. You are, you think, on the foundation rock of the ancient city of Spyte. Beyond the rock walls around you is the howling pit of the Cauldron, and above the route that leads up to the citadel. Even in these lower regions of their fortress the Magi have made their presence felt. A strange desolate garden of desiccated plants and crumbling statues occupies the centre of the chamber. Here the gases seeping through the wall crevices create an eerie rustling noise, unpleasantly reminiscent of a den of rattlesnakes. The centre of the garden is lost in gloom where brittle-leaved cypresses rustle their withered boughs. Next to the garden you can see a deep pit cut into the floor of the cavern. A roaring gale hurtles upwards from this hole, occasionally throwing up heavy bits of debris: whole chairs, ornate shields, boulders. These whirl around in the upper region of the cavern like autumn leaves before falling back to the cavern floor with a crack. You can dimly make out a prone body lying by the hole, its black cloak flapping incessantly in the air current. To the south you can see a shadowy trellis work of rickety wooden stairs, zig-zagging up into the darkness above. Occasionally the structure groans with the buffeting of the wind. On the north side of the chamber there is a wide set of ceremonial stairs leading up to a bronze door.

What do you want to? Investigate the garden? If so, turn to 386. Search the body lying by the air shaft? If so, turn to 106. Take a look over the edge of the air shaft? If so, turn to 445. Go up the rickety set of stairs to the south? If so, turn to 327. Go up the wide set of stairs to the north? If so, turn to 403.


Which way to go now?
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Darth Rabbitt
King


Joined: 05 Feb 2009
Posts: 5790
Location: Anywhere but here.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Search the body.
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-The Reverend Sir Professor Darth Rabbitt
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Starmaker
Duke


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 2287
Location: Redmonton

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I so hope it's a hub. Search the body.
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