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[Let's Play] Blood Sword V - The Walls of Spyte
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Healing roll = 3x10 = 30 END regained.

Warrior is now at 39 END.

Trickster is at 38 END.

Quote:
The hut is close to collapse. Inside, a shriveled corpse lies on a rudimentary bed. A few pots and pans are stacked on some shelves along with the rest of the paraphernalia one would associate with the life of an obvious hermit. There is nothing else of interest, save an amulet around the corpse's neck. Three coins hang from it: silver, copper and gold. You may take it if you wish.

Will you go back to the shrine and examine it in more detail or go back to the barge and continue on upriver?


Unfortunately, the inhabitant of the hut is in no condition to tell you anything, even if he were inclined to do so.

Do we want to rob the dead again? (Note that the Trickster has no slots left, which was why he didn't get the Horn.)

And do we brave the shrine now?
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well there doesn't appear to be any prompt for taking it so I'll take it.

Check out the shrine.
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Check out the shrine.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
The shrine has some dried and desiccated food, obviously an offering that has long since decayed. It is carved to represent some gigantic sea creature, a Kraken. It has a long finned serpentine body which rises up to form a humanoid torso from which sprout several arms and tentacles. Its head is a mass of teeth and eyes. Three of the eyes have been picked out in gold, silver and copper.

Will you examine the shrine in detail, investigate the hut, if you have not done so already, or place an offering of your own on the shrine?


Take a closer look? Or pay our respect?
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Examine.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Examine. I'm guessing the missing eyes are the coins on the necklace I looted.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Darth Rabbitt wrote:
Examine. I'm guessing the missing eyes are the coins on the necklace I looted.


The eyes aren't missing. They're just made from the same materials as the coins on the amulet.

Quote:
You notice that the three eyes of the Kraken, of gold, copper and silver, are in fact buttons. Tapping the shrine reveals it to have a hollow section at the back, below the buttons. It looks like there is a safe inside the shrine, opened by pressing the buttons. Which will you press first? The gold one, the copper one or the silver one?

If you just want to go back to the barge and head upriver, turn to 282.


You can give me the complete order in which you want to press all three buttons now, if you prefer.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Silver, Copper, Gold, the order of the amulet.
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

^ This.
(inb4 plot twist: the amulet was hanging wrong side out!)
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
You press the silver button - click! Nothing happens. Which will you press now? The gold button or the copper one?


Strangely, we can't just choose to quit and leave here.

Quote:
You press the copper button and then the gold one. A panel springs up in the side of the shrine, revealing a small cubby-hole. Inside is a vial of clear liquid. There is enough for every person to have one sip each, and only one. It is an elixir of health and will cure any disease you may have or restore any Endurane permanently lost as the result of disease or poison. It does not cure ordinary wounds.

You can place an offering on the shrine if you haven't done so already or carry on upriver in the barge.


Turns out to be a pretty straightforward puzzle.

Do we want to offer something in exchange? If anyone wants to volunteer, you might as well let me know you wish to offer as well.

Also, who wants to carry the Elixir?
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

We didn't get a gift from a divine entity, we raided the dead priest's stash. I suggest we don't try to attract the attention of an unknown deity whose priest we just robbed (although everything depends on the all-important section number). We're historically bad at fighting Krakens.

SGamerz wrote:
Turns out to be a pretty straightforward puzzle.

It's meant for a physical book, to test the reader's attention to detail. The precise order can easily be lost within three sections.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'd avoid any offerings.
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah... let's get back on the boat.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Since there was no volunteer, the Elixir goes to the Warrior, since she was the first to suggest the combination.

Quote:
You pole your way up the dark riverway. The slapping water echoes all around you, and you eye the murky, oily waters distastefully. Is it your imagination or did you notice something moving in the depths? A little way ahead, the tunnel mouth looms invitingly. You begin to feel vulnerable and exposed on the open water. Nameless fear begins to rise in your heart.

If you docked at the island and put an offering on the shrine there, turn to 216. If you saw the shrine but did not leave an offering, turn to 236. If you didn't dock at the island, turn to 144.


No, we are far too cheap wise to offer gifts to strangers.

Quote:
You have more sense than to place any offering on the altar of a pagan god. You trust in the Almighty to protect you in this, the last hour of recorded time. And your devotion is repaid: though you sense a lurking evil in the depths below, it does not dare emerge to confront your pious might!


We trust in the benevolent protection of our God while we piousy steal from the dead in His Almighty name!

Quote:
You reach the tunnel safely. Ahead you notice that the river is ringed by a strange light. The current forces you on towards it. Inexorably you draw closer, until you resign yourselves to plunging into the refulgent golden glow ahead. As you do so, you feel a gut-wrenching sense of dislocation - you are being teleported again. You find yourself in a round chamber with windows onto a fell night sky. You recognise the portentous conjunctions of the stars and the shattered city beyond the windows. It seems you have been transported further up the tower of Spyte. A spiral staircase leads upwards.


Quote:
You make you way up through several rooms and passages until finally you enter a large domed chamber. A spiral staircase winds up from the mosaic floor into the centre of the dome. As you ascend, you notice that the dome is painted with astrological symbols. Did the architects of Spyte foresee this fateful day when the dome was built, even though that was many centuries in the past? It would seem so.

If you have the codeword ROUT accompanied by a number greater than zero, turn to 478. If not, turn to 130.


Nope.

Quote:
The stairs go up to a polygonal room with faces in high relief glowering from the walls. There are several exits from here. Selecting one at random, you pass along a curving passage and enter a gallery that runs around the outside of the tower.

Claustral windows overlook the city. You go over and take a breath of cold night air. Looking down at the ruins, you find them stark and unreal amid a jumble of five-fold shadows. You have the sudden impression that the Five Stars are now lower in the sky. They are descending to earth! Have you lost track of the time? Midnight is barely fifteen minutes off - you must hurry to find the chamber prepared for their reincarnation. You know that for just a few seconds, when they first return to human form, the Magi will be disorientated and vulnerable to attack. If you are not on hand to take advantage of that moment, all will be lost.

'All is lost anyway,' says a husky voice from behind you.


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Quote:
You whirl, cursing the momentary lapse of concentration that allowed this newcomer to take you unawares. Backed up against the weathered parapet, you could hardly imagine a worse place to make a stand. Facing you are two figures: a sinsterly smiling woman whose body is covered with intricate tattoos, and a tall robed swordsman of the Ta'ashim race.

It was the woman who spoke. How did she know -

'- what you were thinking?' She gives a deep laugh. 'I ama Zara the Mantis, Reader of Minds.'

You have heard of her: an Emphidian enchantress of awesome repute. Some say her tattoos contain bound demons which she can call forth to slay her foes.

She nods. 'You will never know that for certain, though. I have a much better plan in mind for dealing with you: the Incantation of Fulminant Death. In seconds you will be but a pile of smouldering ashes, a form in which you'll pose no further threat to my masters' re-embodiment.'

She raises her hands. Flickering grey-white occult energy gives her gloating face an unholy cast. There is no way you can reach her before she unleashes the spell. Behind her, the man is drawing his sword - but from what you know of Fulminant Death there will be nothing left of you for him to fight ...


Why didn't we just throw a Nemesis Bolt down her throat while she's busy giving us details about her deadly spell?

Quote:
You close your eyes in prayer. At least, dying now you can hope to enjoy eternal afterlife as the reward for your efforts.

The blast of searing pain you were expecting never comes. Instead there is a soft swishing sound and then the crack of something hitting the marble floor.

You open your eyes. It takes you a split second to take in what has happened. Zara's headless body sways and then topples forward. The Ta'ashim warrior wipes his sword on a square of silk and sheathes it. Zara's head is lying on the floor by his feet.

If you attack him immediately, turn to 343. If you ask him why he killed Zara, turn to 371.


OMG, he just stole our kill! Unforgivable! We must get those Exp point back! KILL HIM!! KILL HIM BEFORE HE STEALS OUR LOOT TOO.....

....or not?
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Talk. I'm willing to at least listen to someone who just killed a boss who was attacking us.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yes, talk to the assassin who is totally here as a rep of our buddy from the last book.
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
'First, I must introduce myself. I have the honour to be Karunaz Ustad Husain, youngest son of the Grand Master of the Marijah Assassins. My father ...'

'... is Hasan i-Sabbah.' You nod. 'He was there when the Blade of Life was recovered.'

'So he has told me,' answers Karunaz. 'On that occasion he meted out Allah's justice to the evil Prince Susurrien. Subsequently you took the Blade of Life, and my father acquired the Blade of Death - this very weapon that I now wield.' He holds up his sword for you to see. It is indeed the Blood Sword's dark twin.

'When we last met, he hinted we might meet again.'

Karunaz shakes his head sadly. 'It is not to be. My father had been planning our cult's opposition to the Magi for many years - even before you began your quest. However, two years ago he was grievously wounded in battle against Jomo Mahadur, leader of the Pansigar Assassins. As this wound proved incurable it has slowly taken its toll on my father's health. He is many centuries old, as you may know, and his age is much more apparent now. He could not undertake this quest himself. Thus he charged me with the task of infiltrating the secretive disciples of the True Magi, and since I have mastered the techniques of takhim qaba - 'the concealment of thoughts' - I was able to fool even the haughty seeress Zara, who made it her duty to interrogate all among the disciples.'

You detect a note of bitterness in Karunaz's voice. Obviously, as a Ta'ashim he would resent having to keep up the pretence of subservience to a woman. Ta'ashim society is very much male-dominated.

'Thank you for slaying her,' you say, remembering that his swift action probably saved your life. It reminds you of the way, swift and silent as a snake, his father killed Prince Susurrien that night more than two years ago.

He bows. 'My pleasure, I assure you. But this is no time for us to be exchanging courtesies - only minutes remain before the fateful conjunction of the Five Stars. You and I have travelled here to oppose the return of the Magi, who exist in my faith as devils just as they do in yours. Tonight is the eve of the End of All Things, as we know from our sacred books. It is time for Ta'ashim and Gatanadean, easterner and westerner, to stand together against those who would bring about damnation for all mankind.'

You join your voice with his. 'Aye, Karunaz. For too long the madness of the Holy War has led our two peoples to live in conflict when instead they should embrace each other as brethren. History's last few grains of sand are now running to the bottom of the glass. If we are to die, let it be against a foe whose evil is absolute and whose destruction is richly deserved.'

Together you raise your swords in a death-vow: 'God grant us the strength we need to slay the last of the Magi!'


That explains it.....he probably inherited his father's habit of kill-stealing. His dad still owes us all that exp he got from shanking Susurrien!

Quote:
Add Karunaz to the battle order. You will need to make a note of his characteristics, which are:

Karunaz
Fighting Prowess: 13
Psychic Ability: 10
Awareness: 11
Damage per blow: 9 Dice
Armour Rating: 0
Endurance: 100

These values include the effect of the Sword of Death (which, like the Blood Sword, gives +3 to Fighting Prowess and +2 Dice to damage). Also like the Blood Sword, it slays any undead creature it hits if the creature fails to make a Psychic Resistance roll.

If Karunaz gets killed and you have to take the Sword of Death yourself, turn at once to 40 to find out what it does. Make a note of this across the top of the Character Sheet you have filled out for him. Before turning to 40 you will have to mark your place in the book, as 40 will not guide you back there.

Now turn to 440.


No, there's no option to try and kill him now so that Kiki and go on to dual-wield the Swords of Life and Death.

Quote:
Karunaz takes you along the gallery to another flight of stairs leading up to the roof of the tower. As you proceed, he fills you in on what he knows of the Magi's plans: 'My father discovered that the cataclysm which destroyed Spyte was no accident. Piecing things together from some documents found at the Magi's castles, it seems that five of them planned a disruption in one of the ancient rituals. The demon god which was being summoned by the ritual was slain, unleashing a blast of unholy energy that cracked the very walls of Spyte. The five did not transform themselves into stars to flee this disaster, as is often supposed - it was the energy given off which enabled them to become stars. That was their intention all along.'

'Become stars? To what earthly purpose?' you ask. You are tensely alert to danger, feeling and fighting the fear that is beginning to gnaw at your insides.

'No earthly purpose,' whispers Karunaz in answer. 'It allowed them to listen to the music of the spheres, which no mortal ear has ever heard. The secrets they have garnered under the eaves of heaven have increased them far beyond the power they wielded as mortal men - and, heaven knows, that power was great indeed! If they succeed in returning to earth now, they will reincarnate themselves as beings nearer to gods than to men.'

You have reached the bottom of the last flight of stairs. Up on the roof above, you hear the sound of low, eerie chanting. The Magi's disciples have begun the ceremony of reincarnation!

Karunaz opens a compartment in his ring and takes a pinch of aromatic snuff from it. 'Kaif!' he whispers to himself. (If he was wounded, those wounds now disappear and he is restored to full health.) He sees the look in your eyes and says: 'Regretfully, I cannot give you any of this powder. It is the sacred charas of our cult, but its effect on outsiders is rarely beneficial.'

If you demand some of the powder, turn to 201. If you accept his explanation, turn to 273.


Do we want some of the dope?

Oh, and if you guys want to re-arrange the Battle Order now that there's a new guy with us, this is the time to do it. If there's no suggestion, then Karunaz automatically goes into Position 5.
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

No dope, no reason to think he's lying.

Put him in position 1, stay out of the next fight and take the sword once he gets killed.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Just say no to drugs, kids. Even if they do give you stats like you're blowing the author.
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Given that his dad is literally the founder of the assassin cult I'm pretty sure Karunaz is just blazing up before a battle.

Accept his explanation.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

angelfromanotherpin wrote:
Even if they do give you stats like you're blowing the author.


If you're referring to Karunaz's stats.....they may look overpowered compared to the 4 of you, but remember, this book can be played with a solo character, and by this last book, the solo PC will be at Rank 20. I think he's meant to be seen as some who's close to being an equal of the solo PC. If you take away the bonus from the Sword of Death (leaving him at FP 10 and 7d6 damage), he's actually the equal of a default solo Trickster with 20 less END. That's not taking into account of the other upgrades the hero could have already picked up in previous books.

Quote:
You mount the steps to the flat roof of the tower, where a large area has been marked out for some sort of summoning. In the centre of an inscribed pentacle you can see a group of terrified captives cowering inside a circle of many-coloured flame. At each point of the pentacle stands a robed wizard - these five are the supreme disciples of the Magi, and you can be sure that their occult powers are great. They glance at you with hatred in their eyes, but make no move to attack. 'You are too late to stop us,' screams one. 'It is the end of the world; the era of the Magi is at hand!'

They begin a low chanting. Instantly the shrieking wind drops, enveloping the roof in dead silence. Then you hear an eldritch melody joining the chant. It sounds to be coming from far off, but it is getting nearer. A flicker of rainbow light shines down on the area of summoning. You look up into the sky. The Five Stars hang right above the tower, each aligned with one of the points of the pentacle. They seem so close you could almost reach up and touch them. The unearthly music comes from them - the music of the spheres, the celestial harmony, knowledge of which has turned the Magi into gods!

'We must hurry!' says Karunaz, seizing your sleeve. 'The summoning is not yet complete. However, we must take care not to kill the disciples after thay have stopped chanting, as their deaths then would only serve to add power to the sacrifice.'


And here once again the authors display great economical use of the numbered sections by dedicating one entire section to these options below:

Quote:
If you wish to use an item, turn to 411. If your first thought is to free the captives intended for sacrific, turn to 329. If you leap forward to attack the disciples, turn to 96.


Btw, regarding the Battle Order, I'm not sure whether Starmaker's suggestion to put Karunaz at the front to deliberately get him killed was serious, and no one else had said anything. Do the rest of you agree? And does that mean the rest of you wish to be shuffled back one step, or is there some other new formation you have in mind?

Adventure Sheets:

WARRIOR:
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TRICKSTER:
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SAGE:
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Captives surrounded by a burning rainbow? Time to use the Gjallarhorn!

Also, I second Starmaker's suggestion; let the DMPC lead the way.


Last edited by Shiritai on Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Shiritai wrote:
Captives surrounded by a burning rainbow? Time to use the Gjallarhorn!

Also, I second Starmaker's suggestion; let the DMPC lead the way.

Agreed on both counts.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yes, use Karunaz for fodder. It's not like 'in melee' isn't his best use by far. I'm down with at least seeing the item list, and I'll support use of the magic murder trumpet if available.
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SGamerz wrote:
If you take away the bonus from the Sword of Death (leaving him at FP 10 and 7d6 damage), he's actually the equal of a default solo Trickster with 20 less END.

Since the authors ask the player(s) to fill out a character sheet for the DMPC, they should've gone all the way and made him a classed character of the party's average level.

SGamerz wrote:
Btw, regarding the Battle Order, I'm not sure whether Starmaker's suggestion to put Karunaz at the front to deliberately get him killed was serious, and no one else had said anything.

It's not serious, and the battle order is primarily a question for Kiki to decide, because of "first character in the battle order" function calls.

SGamerz wrote:
And here once again the authors display great economical use of the numbered sections by dedicating one entire section to these options below:

I think the "use an item" option redirects here and the authors considered it good design to avoid redirecting to a deja vu text dump.
Use an item.
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