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[Let's Play]Grailquest 2: The Den of Dragons
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SGamerz
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Joined: 16 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:14 am    Post subject: [Let's Play]Grailquest 2: The Den of Dragons Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List



Welcome to Pip's second adventure in King Arthur's realm! The last we saw of our hero, he was getting his hard-earned loot stolen from him by the local village bully. Sadly, this book does not involve him hunting down said bully to get all his loot back. Instead, we get this:

(From the back cover blurp):
Quote:
A huge and murderous Dragon is rampaging through the Realm of Avalon, leaving a trail of frightful destruction in its wake. The brave Knights of the Table Round are powerless against the beast’s might, and even King Arthur’s court at Camelot is threatened by its fire-breathing fury. YOU alone can free the people from their curse. You alone must seek out and slay the foul reptile in its hellish lair.


Let's hope Pip can hold on to whatever treasure he earns at the end of this one.

As is the usual style in this series, we begin with Merlin presenting us with the info-dump through his narrative:

MERLIN
Quote:
Hallo? Hallo? Is anybody there? Can you hear me? Can you read me?

I'm speaking into a seashell. A conch shell to be exact. Four knights and a Sergeant-at-Arms think I've gone bonkers, but they know nothing about magic. No. No, indeed. When you're a Wizard like me, you can use a conch shell like a telephone (which is just as well, since telephones haven't been invented in my Time).

Hallo? Is there anybody at the other end of my conch shell? This is Camelot calling. Are you receiving me? You. Yes, YOU! The one sitting there reading that 'Grailquest' book. It's part of my magic, that book. Yes, indeed. And a very important part.

You are reading a SPELL--did you know that? I wrote it myself and sent it forward through Time in the shape of a book. Nets it like a fish, I hope. Then I draw in the net, and next thing you know you're in my Time. Your mind is, anyway; your body stays more or less where it is.

You'd like to visit my Time, wouldn't you? It's full of interesting things. Knights. Squires. Jousting. Quests. That sort of thing. It's the Time of King Arthur--the Time of Camelot and the Table Round. Or Round Table as people insist on calling it--wrongly.

I want you to visit my Time. I need you to visit my time: there's a bit of a problem with dragons. Just a small thing--you'll sort it out in no time. You'll find it easy to visit. Just carry on reading this book--that's all there is to it. Turn a few pages and the spell will start to work. That isn't too hard, is it?

Nearly forgot. When you arrive you'll find you've become Pip, the adopted child of a Freeman farmer called John, and his wife Miriam. Pip's been leading a fairly quiet kind of life recently, but all that's about to change.

You'll need to bring dice with you. Ordinary six-sided dice, preferably with spots. You'll need one at least, though two would be better. You'll also need a bit of paper, something to write with, and an eraser. That's the equipment you'll need to get you started. Just go off and collect it now, before you do anything else. Then you can begin.


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THE THREAT TO AVALON
Quote:
There was always trouble when it rained in August. The first two weeks especially. Old residenters would look up at the leaden sky and mumble grimly, 'Rain in August the first week, next year's outlook will be bleak.' And anyone who happened to overhear them would be prone to adding the second half of the ancient saw: 'And if the rain continues on, all hope of peaceful times is gone.'

Well, it had rained the first week of August last year. And the second. And the third. And the fourth. In fact it was still raining well into September, by which time everybody was thoroughly sick of listening to the old residenters mumbling grimly to themselves. Everybody was thoroughly nervous as well. A wet start to August meant a good breeding season for dragons, which in turn meant a plague of the fire-breathers when they reached maturity the next year. The Knights of the Round Table would do their bit in killing off the pests, of course, but when there was a really good breeding season there were never enough knights to go round. So the dragons rampaged something shocking, setting thatch alight, devouring cattle, terrorising villages and carrying off maidens.

But that wasn't the only thing. Last August--the August we've been talking about--there were Omens as well as rain. At least, the old residenters claimed they were Omens. Lightning blasted the Druid oak on Glastonbury Common twice in succession during a particularly violent storm.

'Everybody knows lightning never strikes twice in the same place,' muttered the old residenters grimly. 'That be an Omen, that be.'

Then there was the business with the gravedigger who managed to bury himself in an open grave. When the funeral procession arrived with the coffin, there was no neat hole for it to go in; only a slight indentation filled with loose earth and beneath it the unfortunate gravedigger, now as dead as his former clients. The inquest decided it was an accident, a landslip brought on by all the rain. But the old residenters were far from satisfied.

'Old Silas would never have made a mistake like that,' they muttered grimly, referring to the late gravedigger. 'That be an Omen, that be.'

And so it went on throughout the rainy month of August. A massive thunderstone ploughed a deep furrow through Farmer Gabriel's meadow and killed five of his sheep. A two-headed calf was born in the herd that kept the Abbey monks supplied with milk. King Arthur's favourite falcon slipped its tie and flew off southwards, never to be seen again.

And for once it turned out that the old residenters were absolutely right. The following year was absolutely dreadful. Fresh, vigorous young dragons popping up all over the Realm, with new ones appearing as fast as the harassed knights could kill the old ones off. But that wasn't the worst of it. The plague of dragons could be easily enough explained by the good breeding season occasioned by the rainy August. The Omens pointed towards something else. The old residenters waited patiently, nodding their heads grimly at each new report of dragon damage. 'That bein't the worst to come,' they would say. 'Not by a long chalk.'

The worst to come came in June, on a cloudless day that promised a long, dry summer. On the morning of that day, a carriage emblazoned with ecclesiastical insignia thundered (unannounced) up to the gates of Camelot with quite unecclesiastical indications of haste, and there emerged from it, demanding immediate audience with the King, a portly messenger from His Eminence the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was admitted at once, of course, and despite a tendency towards pomposity, managed to capture King Arthur's attention with the very first words he spoke. The words were: 'Your Majesty, a Brass Dragon has escaped from Hell.'

Now this was not, of course, precisely true. Brass Dragons were extremely rare in Avalon--or anywhere else for that matter--and there was considerable controversy about their origins. Churchmen generally believed they were bred in Hell itself and said so dogmatically whenever the subject arose in conversation. But the infernal origins of Brass Dragons had never been satisfactorily proven and there was a body of opinion which held the beasts came from somewhere else. The truth was, no one quite knew for sure. (Not even the old residenters, who thought they knew everything.) What everyone did know was that Brass Dragons were very bad news indeed.

A word about dragons generally may not go amiss here, since not everyone is personally familiar with the breed. Your average run-of-the-mill dragon--the sort that mates in August if it's raining--is a grey-skinned, scaled and ridged-backed reptile weighing somewhere around six tons and growing to a length of five metres. There are two main species--those that move on four feet and are fully equipped with claws, and those which move mainly by means of their two hind legs and use their shortened front legs rather like arms. The latter type, which are generally more intelligent, have claws only on the hind feet. The forefeet have developed into hands of a sort.

Both species are aggressive, vicious, and extremely difficult to kill on account of their heavy scaling which acts as natural armour. Both are meat-eaters, which accounts for the devoured cattle and probably the missing maidens. And both share the curious habit of consuming foliage from chestnut trees during the first hour and fifteen minutes after sunrise. The business with the chestnut leaves have nothing to do with hunger. Leaves consumed at this time do no travel down the normal digestive tract (which does not open until two hours after sleep) but go instead into a second stomach set forward and a little below that which the reptile uses to digest food. Here, in this second stomach, the leaves are converted into sedimentary layers of humus which, encouraged by the dragon's body heat, gives off vast quantities of methane gas.

Methane, as you probably know, is highly inflammable. What you may not know is that once a dragon is four months old, it develops crystalline extrusions on its upper fangs and a thin layer of natural metallic capping on the lower. The result of these developments is that when the dragon snaps its jaws together sharply, it produces a spark. This spark will normally ignite the almost continuous flow of methane from the second stomach, producing the fiery dragon breath which is such a distinctive feature of the breed.

All in all, dragons are very formidable creatures. But Brass Dragons make ordinary dragons look like pussycats. There have only been five authenticated appearances of Brass Dragons in the whole of recorded human history: two in Asia, one in Europe, one in Spain and one which turned up in Londinium before the Romans left. In every instance, the destruction wrought was massive. Three-quarters of Londinium was demolished or ravaged by fire, and seventeen of the very finest Roman Legions completely wiped out before the beast stupidly consumed the entire stock of an ale-house and drowned after falling drunkenly into the Thames.

While the natural history of the ordinary dragon is relatively well known, no one really has the least idea where Brass Dragons come from, what laws govern their abrupt appearance, or how to get rid of them when they do appear. Typically, a Brass Dragon will turn up out of the blue, run riot for several months or years, then simply disappear. (The Drowned Dragon of Londinium was unusual in the way it met its fate.) No one ever succeeded in killing one, neither knight nor commoner. One reason for this noteworthy failure is that there is every indication Brass Dragons may be magic. No wonder the Church considered they escaped from Hell.

'A Brass Dragon?' gasped King Arthur.

'Escaped from Hell,' confirmed the Archbishop's messenger grimly.

At which the pent-up tensions of the Court exploded abruptly and everybody began to talk at once, swoon, scream, run and otherwise react to the news. It was pandemonium. King Arthur had to wait for order to be restored before he heard the whole story.

First off, there was absolutely no doubt about the monster really being a Brass Dragon. Although rare, the species was quite unmistakable. For a start, they grow more than twice the size of ordinary dragons and their colour, far from grey, is a metallic brass, which glints and sparkles in the sunshine. Then there was the magic. Brass Dragons have generally been credited with all sorts of wonders, including the power of speech. No one had heard this particular Brass Dragon talk yet and its wonders were so far confined to the 'now you see it, now you don't' variety, appearing and disappearing without anybody knowing where it came from or where it went to. But this was more than enough to establish that it was magic.

The first reported sighting of the beast was near a forest close to Winchester, where it apparently was amusing itself by demolishing a woodsman's hut. The artisan who saw it had drink taken, so his story was given less credence than it might, even though the wreckage of the hut was plainly there for all to see.

The creature next turned up briefly in Cornwall (although how King Arthur, who had relatives in Cornwall, missed hearing about it was a mystery). Several fishermen, pulling out in pursuit of the day's catch, noticed it clinging to a cliff face. Since they were sober men, as sailors have to be, their word was believed, although a party of men-at-arms sent to investigate could discover not a hint of anything on or near the cliff.

There was what might have been a third manifestation far to the north where something (although no one could say exactly what) had torn huge holes in the remains of Hadrian's Wall, that vast rampart left by the Romans to keep the greedy Scots from marching south to sell the English whiskey.

But the worst of it was the attack on Cerne Abbas Monastery, that ancient seat of learning overlooked by a very rude picture of a giant carved into a hillside in prehistoric times. It was from that very hillside that the Brass Dragon had approached. The survivors claimed it was as large as a castle, with eyes the size of soup plates and a flaming breath more than a hundred metres long. The ground shook with every step it took. Its roar was like thunder. And so on. All greatly exaggerated, no doubt, as these things tend to be, but the fact remained that Cerne Abbas Monastery was no more. The stonework was demolished as if struck down by an army of battering rams. The woodwork was burned to a cinder. All the tapestries, rush matting, curtaining and a priceless library of books, manuscripts and scrolls went up in smoke. The Abbot was burned to death trying to save a relic of the True Cross from the monastery chapel. One hundred and seventy-eight monks were trapped beneath the fallen rubble. Herds of cattle and sheep lay dead and mangled in the monastery fields. Even the kitchen garden at the back was buried under a pile of evil-smelling manure which, unlike normal manure, killed off plants rather than encouraged their growth.

Out of this whole disaster, only two young monks escaped with their lives. (They had been sent off on a ten mile hike as penance for talking in Chapel, which just goes to show it doesn't pay to be good all the time.) And the only artifact saved was a stained-glass window depicting the Holy Grail. since this should certainly have been broken, its survival was seen as confirmation that the destruction was the Devil's work--the Devil being unable to harm anything as holy as the Holy Grail.

This was a catastrophe of almost unimaginable proportions and there was no doubt a Brass Dragon had been involved. Although the two young monks saw nothing of it, the creature's rampage had been witnessed (at a safe distance) by no fewer than eighty pilgrims from Londinium who were travelling to Cerne Abbas to view the same relic which had been the death of the Abbot.

When news reached the Archbishop who was usually the last to be told anything due to his fiery temper, it produced a predictable reaction. His language was so extreme that one churchwarden was heard to remark he would personally have preferred to face the dragon any day. But sharp tempers are quick to abate and the Archbishop was no fool. He realised that if a Brass Dragon was on the loose, something had to be done about it--and quickly. Thus, when he had regained control of himself, he dispatched a messenger to Camelot: the same messenger who now related the whole sorry tale to King Arthur. And the King, who was one of those firmly convinced Brass Dragons were magical by nature, in turn dispatched a messenger of his own. That messenger was instructed to find the Wizard Merlin.


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IN MERLIN'S CRYSTAL CAVE:
Quote:
You open your eyes groggily. Light flickers and flashes in mad patterns as if you had fallen into a giant kaleidoscope. Colours shimmer and dance, blending into delicate traceries and patterns. Your right cheek stings as if someone had been slapping it.

'Come on. Come on. No time to waste.'

A white-bearded old man is leaning over you, his pointed hat askew. Behind him, the dancing colours form a rainbow halo.

'What...?' you ask, stupidly.

'Come on, Pip,' the white-bearded man says crossly. 'Just pull yourself together. And don't pretend you don't recognize me. You do. Or you will. Merlin. Got that? Merlin. Say, 'Merlin'.'

'Merlin...' you echo, frowning.

'That's it--Merlin. Good. Fine. We're making progress. And you're Pip.' He points a bony finger at his chest. 'Me Merlin. You Pip.'

'Me Pip. You Merlin,' you repeat, feeling a bit of a fool. You sit up. You are in the strangest place you have ever seen: a vast cavern of pure crystal. Crystal stalagmites rise up from the floor. Crystal stalactites hang down from the roof. The walls are rough, unworked outcrops of crystal. The roof is crystal. The floor is crystal. You have been lying on a large, rectangular slab: that too is crystal. The cavern is well lit by torches--how many torches you could not begin to guess, for each one reflects and reflects again in the crystal, making it impossible to count. You turn your head slowly. Portions of natural crystal have been worked and cut into shapes: there are crystal tables, crystal benches, even what looks suspiciously like a crystal throne on a crystal dais. Even the cabinets and chests are crystal, so their contents can be seen easily within them.

'Merlin?' you say again. 'Is it you?'

'Yes, yes,' Merlin mutters impatiently. 'Quite definitely me and in grave danger of having my pension docked. Dreadful business. Are you properly awake?'

You nod, dumbly, still three-quarter ways entranced by your surroundings.

Merlin catches your look. 'My crystal cave,' he explains. 'Interesting, isn't it? Very few people have ever been here, you know, except for me. Very few. I brought Atilla the Hun once, but he broke some of the furniture. So I don't do much entertaining here now. It's mainly used for magic. The crystal focuses earth energies, you know, and that makes magic easier. Now, are you properly awake?'

You nod again; properly awake or not, you are still quite confused.

'Well,' says Merlin, 'now, you're here, I'd better tell you what the trouble is. A Brass Dragon. That's what the trouble is. Wiped out an entire monastery, monks and all. Probably deserved it, of course. Can't stand monks myself--always creeping around in cloisters instead of doing anything useful. But the Archbishop was annoyed and the King wants to keep on the right side of him, so my pension will be docked unless we do something about it. Unless you do something about it, Pip. Definitely a job for a fighter this. Somebody who knows about getting rid of Brass Dragons. You do know about getting rid of them, don't you?'

You shake your head. 'No.'

'Never mind, you soon will. The trick with Brass Dragons is to kill them before they kill you. That's all there is to it really. Except for closing the Gateway, of course.'

'Gateway?' That was you again, thoroughly confused.

'Gateway,' Merlin says. 'You aren't one of these idiots who think Brass Dragons come from Hell, are you?'

'No,' you say warily; although in truth you haven't the faintest idea where Brass Dragons come from.

'Good,' says Merlin. 'Because they don't. They come from the Ghastly Kingdom of the Dead. Every one of them. Yes, indeed. Without exception. The Ghastly Kingdom of the Dead is what you might call their natural habitat. And a very nasty natural habitat it is; but that's a different story. So when you find a Brass Dragon wandering round Avalon--or anywhere else on Earth for that matter--it follows that one of the Gateways to the Ghastly Kingdom must be open. Otherwise the dragon couldn't have got out, could it? So we--you, that is--must kill the dragon, then close the Gateway. Nothing else for it. If we--you--leave the Gateway open, heaven knows what else might get out. Brass Dragons aren't the worst you'll find in the Ghastly Kingdom of the Dead: that's why they call it "ghastly". So off you go now and get this mess cleared up. I'll trot off to Camelot and tell the King that everything's in hand.'

'Just a minute!' you protest.

Merlin holds up one skinny hand. 'You're right. You're right. You need LIFE POINTS. Can't do much in my Time without them, can you? No, indeed. Right. Now, roll your dice. Two dice once, or one die twice. Doesn't matter which.'

You roll the dice while Merlin watches with a gimlet eye.

'Now add the scores together,' he tells you. 'You won't get less than 2 and you can't get more than 12. That's the way it is with LIFE POINTS. With your LIFE POINTS anyway. Now multiply your answer by 4,' Merlin says. 'That's your LIFE POINTS. Write them down. Quickly, now.'

He looks around him furtively, as if he might be worried somebody was listening, then leans forward and whispers something in your ear: 'If you don't think you have enough, do the whole thing again. You can do it three times, if you want, and pick the best score. But not more than three times. More than that interferes with the spell and we don't want that, do we? Not when my pension's at stake.'

Merlin straightens up and goes on much more loudly. 'Now, fighting. There's going to be a lot of fighting, I'm afraid. But at least it's not as painful as fighting in your own world. You just roll dice, for you and your opponent. Quite easy, really. Two dice each time. Look--I'll make it simple for you.'

'First, you roll dice to see who has the first strike. Roll for your opponent, then for yourself. Highest score gets first hit. You always do that unless surprise comes into it. And if it does, you'll be told at the time, so that's all right.'

'Next, you roll two dice each time a strike is made. If you're rolling for your strike, you have to roll a 6 or better, otherwise you've missed. When you're rolling for your opponent, you'll be told what he, she or it needs to hit you. If it isn't mentioned, take it that they need a 6 as well. Anything you roll above the strike figure counts as damage. Damage is subtracted from your (or your opponent's) LIFE POINTS.'

'That's how you fight. At least that's how it goes with a fist fight. If you're using weapons, you do more damage. If you're wearing armour, it cuts down on damage. And since you'll be using this, you'll generally only need a 4 or better to hit somebody...'

This turns out to be something rather interesting. Merlin takes a wooden case from beneath one of the crystal tables and opens it carefully. Inside is the most beautifully made little sword you have ever seen...

If you have read The Castle of Darkness, turn to 1.
If not, go to 2.


Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Yes, unlike many other series, we don't import our character from prevois books completely. We need to roll for new Life Points every book!

Rolling for Pip's Life Points:

First roll = 8
Second roll = 9
Third roll = 8

9 was our best roll, so Pip has 9x4 = 36 Life Points to start with in this book! Well, it's a better start than the last book!

And since we've just finished Book 1, we know exactly what Merlin's about to give us....

Quote:
'EJ!' you gasp. 'You've kept EJ!'

'Hallo, Pip,' says Excalibur Junior, the talking sword which accompanied you on your adventure through The Castle of Darkness and played such a sterling part in doing down the wicked Wizard Ansalom.

EJ's reappearance is good news indeed, for it means you will only need to throw a 4 on two dice to hit an enemy, when you're using him. What's more, EJ scores and additional 5 points of damage above what the dice shows each time he strikes successfully. (The bad news is, of course, that he talks too much, but you're just going to have to put up with that as you did last time!)

While you're reminiscing with EJ, Merlin takes something else out of the box--the neat dragonskin jacket you wore in your last adventure: the one that deducts 4 points from any damage scored against you. These are two very important items, Pip. They could mean the difference between life and death on an adventure.

Now go to 3.


If we didn't play Book 1,
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Quote:
If you have previously adventured through The Castle of Darkness you may have picked up some useful items there. You are allowed to bring these with you now, but only if you actually found them in the Castle, and only if you still had them when you completed that adventure. The following list will remind you about the items which were hidden in the Castle of Darkness. And no cheating, otherwise you'll break the spell!

1. Luckstone. This allows you to add, or subtract, 3 points to or from any dice roll you may make.

2. Double-headed copper coin. This is useful if you find yourself in a gambling game since it allows you to cheat like mad and win every toss. How many gambling games you're likely to get into in this adventure is quite another matter, but you never know...

3. The Tinglering the Zombie wore. So far nobody has quite figured out what a Tinglering actually does, but it certainly seems magic, so it may be worth taking.

4. The Globule Wand from Ansalom's Laboratory. This fires a luminous green glob which messes up an enemy so completely you can hit him four times before he gets a chance to hit back. Roll one die to find out how many globs are in the wand for the present adventure.

5. The magic duck given you by the Poetic Fiend. This little wooden duck will switch off any magic being used against you (or around you for that matter) so that, for example, a Fireball would fizzle out, or an invisible creature becomes visible. You can use the duck once only during any adventure.

6. Scroll of Healing. This is a spell which, when read aloud, will restore you to full LIFE POINTS. May be used once only during an adventure.

7. Scroll of Teleportation. This spell will take you back instantly to any Section you have previously visited. May be used once only during an adventure.

8. Scroll of Death. This spell will kill anything--including you! You read it and throw two dice. If you score a double 6, a double 3 or a double 1, you're dead. Score anything else and the spell kills your opponent, however powerful he, she or it may be.

NOTE: Items 6, 7 and 8 may only be taken if they were not used in The Castle of Darkness.

9. Scroll of Hypnotism. You must throw a 5 or better on two dice for this spell to work. If it does, your opponent will fall into a trance and you can safely ignore him. Does not work on dragons, unfortunately.

10. Scroll of Poison Antidote. Can be used to cure yourself of poisoning.

11. The Crystal Ball in Ansalom's Laboratory is now broken. You can take it with you if you like but it won't work.

12. If you had any Firefinger Bolts or Fireballs remaining after your last adventure these may be added to the ones available to you through your spells in this adventure. They work a bit differently this time though, as you'll discover.

13. You may take up to 10 PERMANENT LIFE POINTS earned in The Castle of Darkness and add them to your total in this adventure.

Now go to 4.


We had Items 1-5 and also item 7. We used up our Fireballs, but can carry over our remaining 8 Firefinger bolts from the last adventure! Finally, we also carry over 1 Permanent Life Point, which means Pip starts with 37/37!

We also need to roll to find out how many charges the Globule Wand has for this adventure.

Dice roll = 2 Sad Fortunately, we can use the Luckstone to modify that to 5. Merlin must have been playing with it while we were gone and wasted 3 charges.

Quote:
'Is that it?' you ask frowning.

'No,' says Merlin. 'No, indeed. Mustn't be impatient. Sometimes you'll find that a creature isn't as evil as it looks and that it doesn't want to fight you. To find out, roll one die once for your opponent and one die three times for yourself. If you score less than your enemy, he has given you a Friendly Reaction and you can continue on your way.

'If it all gets too much for you, you can try getting some LIFE POINTS back by Sleeping (you can do this any time except when actually in battle). Roll one die. If you get a 1,2,3, or 4 you must turn to Dreamtime at the back of the book, where you might lose even more LIFE POINTS. If you get a 5 or 6 you have slept successfully and can get back two dice rolls' worth of LIFE POINTS. It's a bit of a gamble, really. But generally you'll be far too busy fighting to sleep. So you'll need your equipment and weapons--'

'And magic,' you say quickly, wondering what you are getting yourself into.

'--and magic. Won't get far against a Brass Dragon without magic. Right. Take this.' And from the depths of his robe (a powder-blue robe, not his usual white one) he pulls out a scroll, which he hands you.

You unroll the scroll which, like most of Merlin's scrolls, is written on excellent quality parchment, but marred by blots. Although you may have hoped it to be a magical scroll, it is not; however it does have your name on it.

You look up at Merlin, frowning. 'What's this?'

He seems embarrassed and does not meet your eye. 'Your shopping list. Just a few items you might need.'

'But why does it have the cost beside each one?'

Merlin coughs. 'I'm afraid you're going to have to buy your gear. Since the King docked my pension, I can't afford to equip you. So you'll have to buy your own.'

'But I don't have any money!' you protest.

'That is quite true,' Merlin agrees. 'And it might be a real problem if I hadn't foreseen it.' He opens a small crystal cabinet and takes from it two transparent cubes which, on close inspection, you see to be dice. 'Magic dice,' he explains shortly. 'They convert enthusiasm into money. Can't use them myself since I haven't much enthusiasm left after the King docked my pension. But a young person like yourself should have lots of enthusiasm.' He hands you the dice. 'Throw them firmly on to the ground.'

There's nothing else for it but to throw the dice, Pip. As you do so, they explode in a silent flash of golden light. But just the explosion, you could see the score. Roll your own dice to find out what it was. Every point scored represents a Gold Piece. And 1 Gold Piece is equal to 10 Silver Pieces. Looks as though you may be able to afford some equipment after all.



Merlin coughs again. 'Weapons too. And armour, if you want it.' He produces a second scroll. ''Fraid weapons and armour are quite expensive these days...'



You look at the two parchment lists, then look at Merlin with a distinctly sinking feeling. This is going to be some costly mission. What you must do now, Pip, is spend your money wisely to equip yourself for the adventure to follow. Remember, all prices on the list are given in Silver Pieces and there are 10 Silver Pieces to 1 Gold Piece.

Take a little time to decide what you might need. Obviously a weapon of some sort is a high priority for those times when EJ is unco-operative, or a different weapon is more suitable than a sword. You can't use more than one weapon at a time though. If your LIFE POINTS are low, it might be worthwhile investing in some armour, although it is very costly and buying some means you will have little or nothing left for other necessities. If you have adventured through The Castle of Darkness and have the magical dragonskin jacket, you can put armour on top and have extra protection.

Don't forget you may have to travel a long way to find this rampaging Brass Dragon, so a supply of food might be a good idea unless you plan to live off the land. But it's entirely up to you what you decide to buy: just so long as you have the gold to cover it. Write down the things you're taking on your Quest Journal and remember that if it isn't on your list during the adventure, then you can't use it. If you have any money left over, write that down too. Money can come in very handy on a long journey.


We've never tried sleeping in the last book, and after we got the Luckstone, it's actually worth the risk now since we'd only go to Dreamtime on a roll of 1!

Now for the money: we roll a 6! Thanks to the Luckstone we get to add 3, leaving us with 9 GP, which equates to 90 SP!

There's more instructions after this, mostly involving magic spells, but I'll let you guys do the shopping first while I take a break from the walls of text! Tongue

Remember, the book says additional armour bought can stack on top of the Dragonskin jacket, but I assume that they don't stack on top of each other (not that it maters in this instance, since we can't afford 2 of those armour anyway). Also, all the non-magical weapons are inferior to EJ and they don't stack, so any extra weapon you buy will strictly be backups....

What does Pip buy?


Last edited by SGamerz on Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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SlyJohnny
Knight-Baron


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

One of everything on the equipment shopping list, except no spare clothes and no lute, and 10 days of food, five healing potions, and a warhammer for backup/when we need a blunt weapon.

I could be persuaded to shuck some of the gear for leather armor or more healing potions. I don't think we need to be carrying three musical instruments, and I only see spare clothes helping if we get wet (and I feel like hypothermia won't cost us more than three healing potions).


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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: [Let's Play]Grailquest 2: The Den of Dragons Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SGamerz wrote:
There was always trouble when it rained in August. The first two weeks especially. Old residenters would look up at the leaden sky and mumble grimly, 'Rain in August the first week, next year's outlook will be bleak.' And anyone who happened to overhear them would be prone to adding the second half of the ancient saw: 'And if the rain continues on, all hope of peaceful times is gone.'

Well, it had rained the first week of August last year. And the second. And the third. And the fourth. In fact it was still raining well into September


Huh...timed it well starting this now, it seems. Sorta topical.

I've got this book (somewhere) and played it before, so I don't know if I should participate in this one. If not, I'll skip this one...but only on the understanding that other players make sure to kill the Brass Dragon and to close the Gateway in my absence. There's a pension at stake, after all.
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ashimbabbar
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

let's see…

backpack=1
rope=2
2xtorches=2
climbing spikes=1
let's add an axe and carpentry hammer just in case=1+1

That's 8sp, now 50 for a leather armor, leaves 32. I'd say 9 doses of healing potions + 1 harp because the idea of Pip dragon-hunting with a harp strapped on his back is awesome. But if you prefer a lute and 1sp of something else it's ok with me.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
'Well now,' says Merlin, 'all set, look you, Bach?' (Lapsing into his native Welsh in his impatience to get you going so he can reclaim his pension.)

'I think so,' you say uncertainly. 'Except that I don't really know where to go...'

'Don't worry about that,' Merlin says. 'I've been following up that stupid monster on my crystal ball and I know where it's hiding out. Dragon Cavern. Quite obvious, really. Most of them hide out in Dragon Cavern between bouts of pillaging and so forth. The place is full of dragons of one sort and another. And maidens, of course. But only one Brass Dragon, which is the one you want, so don't waste your time hacking at the other dragons. Unless they attack you, which they probably will.'

'I don't know how to get to Dragon Cavern,' you protest.

'Not to worry,' Merlin says cheerfully. 'I'll draw you a map.'

'You said you'd teach me magic,' you say bluntly.

'Magic!' Merlin cries, striking his forehead a resounding blow. 'Yes, magic. Of course. Good thing for you I remembered. You won't last long in the Dragon Cavern without a bit of magic.'

Stumbling on the hem of his powder-blue robe, he half runs (in his impatience) to a crystal bookshelf from which he takes down a huge, leather bound tome entitled

MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS

He begins to thumb through it hurriedly. 'Sit still,' he says. 'Don't fidget. Got something to write with? Good. Then write this down:

RULES OF MAGIC

Rule 1. Every spell you try to cast will cost you 3 LIFE POINTS whether it works or not!
Rule 2
. No spell can be thrown more than three times in any adventure. Once thrown, it is used up whether successful or not.
Rule 3. No spell works at all unless you score 7 or more with a throw of two dice.

You nod, busily writing down the Rules of Magic. they seem simple enough, except for one thing. 'But I don't know any spells,' you say.

'Of course you don't! Wouldn't have to learn them if you did. I'm going to give you a book of spells. Not this one, don't worry--too heavy to carry. A little one that will fit into your backpack. Just a few spells, a very few spells, but well chosen. You can have a quick look through it before you start off, if you like.'

Pip's First Spell Book

Pip's Armour of Nearly Impenetrable Coruscation (P.A.N.I.C. for short) Throws a shimmering, spinning wall of light around the user. This light acts exactly like plate armour, subtracting 4 points from any damage scored against the user. What's more, this effect is additional to any deductions made for actual armour, dragonskin jacket, etc.

Pip's Outlandish Wallop (P.O.W. for short) Adds +10 to the damage caused by the next blow delivered by the user. This is additional to damage shown by dice and weapon damage.

Pip's Instant Levity and Laughter (P.I.L.L. for short) Causes the user's opponent to fall about laughing so heartily that he/she/it misses three consecutive turns during combat.

Pip's Attacking Dart (P.A.D. for short) Allows user to launch a magical dart against an enemy out of combat range. The dart never misses provided the spell is properly cast and causes 10 damage points. An enemy so attacked cannot immediately strike back unless he has some long-distance weapon such as a bow or spear.

Pip's Immunity to Poison (P.I.P. for short, oddly enough) If cast before poison is taken, the spell renders the user immune to its effects whatever results are shown by the dice. The spell DOES NOT WORK if cast after the poison is taken. It comes in useful when the user wishes to sample some unknown substance that might be dangerous.

Pip's Instant Neutraliser (P.I.N. for short) The use of this spell counteracts the effect of one (only) spell placed on an object (not a person or living creature). It is useful for opening magically locked chests, doors, etc.

Pip's Immense Rapid Repeater (PiRSquared, for short) During combat, the spell enables the user to move twice as fact as usual, enabling him/her to get in TWO blows in succession each time his/her turn comes round throughout a given combat.

Very Special Spell
INVISIBILITY (I.N.V.I.S.I.B.I.L.I.T.Y. for short) This very special spell may only be used ONCE per adventure at a cost of 15 LIFE POINTS... and even then only in certain sections of the adventure. (The sections where Invisibility is possible are labelled as such, so don't waste LIFE POINTS trying it anywhere else.) The effect of the spell is to render the user totally invisible.

Firefinger This causes a bolt of lightning to emerge from your finger and zap 10 LIFE POINTS from an enemy. This spell gives you ten Firefinger Bolts in all. Once cast successfully, the spell may not be used again.*

Fireball Creates a giant fireball in the palm of your hand which you can then hurl at an enemy to cause him 75 points of damage. This spell gives you only two Fireballs, one for each hand. Once cast successfully, the spell may not be used again.*

*But you can keep any Lightning Bolt or Fireball you don't use right away and use it later.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT NOTE:

Except for INVISIBILITY, any spell you have can be used in any section of your adventure. It is up to you to keep a note on your Quest Journal of what spells you have used up and what spells you still carry.

It is also up to you to remember to use them!

'That's it,' says Merlin. 'That's your magic. That's your spells. You can use each one three times only. Unless you find another copy, of course. That sometimes happens during an adventure, so keep your eyes peeled. Not much to magic, really, so long as you remember the basic rule. Never use a spell when you're nearly dead, otherwise the loss of LIFE POINTS will kill you. Make your roll to find out if the spell worked. If it didn't, it didn't and there's nothing you can do about it, unless you want to try again. But not more than three times. A spell thrown is used whether it works or not. Precious things, spells. That's why you don't find many Wizards about. It's a very frustrating profession, fraught with all sorts of trials, tribulations and dangers--like getting your pension docked.'

And here he withdraws a parchment scroll (stained with age or possibly tea and displaying familiar blots) from the sleeve of his robe.

'Finally,' he says. 'Your map. This is a copy of a very rare and ancient map which I made myself. The copy, that is, not the ancient map. Don't lose it, otherwise you won't know where to go, will you? It shows you how to get to Dragon Cavern. Not many people know how to get there. In fact, I think I may be the only one. But now you'll know the secret too. Prepare for your trip carefully, so far as you can afford to. Then follow the map. Once you're in Dragon Cavern, I'm afraid you'll have to fend for yourself. Nobody's ever managed to map it, so you'll have to make your own way once you're in there. But use this map to get you there. Off you go, now.'

And Merlin, who (for all his bumbling and foolishness) is still the greatest Wizard in Avalon, waves his arms in a magical gesture. Slowly, but with an awesome inevitability, both he and the crystal cave begin to fade completely away...

Something is nudging you in the back, Pip. You turn and find yourself staring into the soulful brown eyes of Wandering Wanda, your favorite cow in the small herd now owned by your adopted parents, Freeman John and Goodwife Mary. And if this is Wandering Wanda, then the pasture in which you are now standing must be the back field of the farm on which you live. How on earth did you get here? Only Merlin could say. But as you glance down at your feet, you find the various items of equipment you decided to spend your gold on in the crystal cave. More to the point, clasped in your hot little hand is a tea-stained scroll on which has been drawn a map.

Isn't this the oddest-looking map you've ever seen in your life? Not at all like the maps they plaster all over the walls in Geography class. Just dotted lines that might be roads (or might not). And section numbers. How did Merlin know where you'd be when you started the map? Not even Merlin--he said it was a copy of an ancient map. How did the ancient mapmaker know where you'd be? Or that Wandering Wanda would be nudging you in the back? Yet there you are, marked with an 'X'. And there's Wanda, large as life. (Well, a bit smaller than life actually.)

Still, it's all he's given you, and the crystal cave has disappeared, so you'd better use it. Simply pick a route and follow it until you come to a numbered section. Then turn directly to that section and find out where you are and what's happening to you.



Don't forget to take your equipment and weapons. (And spells!) You'll notice that the entrance to Dragon Cavern isn't actually marked. Perhaps because it's a secret. But it must be there somewhere, maybe in one of those sections. You're just going to have to travel and find out, Pip. Because wherever it is...

The Adventure begins!


Pick a route to begin our search for Dragon Cavern!

Also, we need at least one more vote on which shopping list to use: SlyJohnny's or ashimbabbar's!
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'll vote for Sly's list. Also to go to 155, because it's closest.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ironically I'd vote for ashimbabbar's list(although I will change my vote to break a tie.) Agreed on 155 though.
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, first time you use Firefingers it costs you 3 lifepoints? Does that apply to the ones carrying over from last book?
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SlyJohnny
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

155

I feel like we should bring at least some food, even if we go minimal gear:

"Don't forget you may have to travel a long way to find this rampaging Brass Dragon, so a supply of food might be a good idea unless you plan to live off the land."

I also feel like we'll probably get armour off of some human goon we fight, at some stage.
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thaluikhain wrote:
So, first time you use Firefingers it costs you 3 lifepoints? Does that apply to the ones carrying over from last book?

How are you getting that? We have a spell we can cast that costs 3 life points and, once successfully cast, gives us 10 more firefingers. Or sets our number of firefingers to 10 maybe, I'm not sure. Either way we can definitely use up our existing firefingers without having to gamble with our life points.
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White people are basically just horrible...The entire Reagan Revolution is just white people voting to destroy their own social safety nets because they'd rather fucking starve than let black people eat.



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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Omegonthesane wrote:
Thaluikhain wrote:
So, first time you use Firefingers it costs you 3 lifepoints? Does that apply to the ones carrying over from last book?

How are you getting that? We have a spell we can cast that costs 3 life points and, once successfully cast, gives us 10 more firefingers. Or sets our number of firefingers to 10 maybe, I'm not sure. Either way we can definitely use up our existing firefingers without having to gamble with our life points.


I was reading it as it costing 3 points to activate the Firefingers, and then there'd be 10 plus leftovers from last game, but your interpretation makes more sense, yeah.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Changing my vote to Sly's list.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thaluikhain wrote:
Omegonthesane wrote:
Thaluikhain wrote:
So, first time you use Firefingers it costs you 3 lifepoints? Does that apply to the ones carrying over from last book?

How are you getting that? We have a spell we can cast that costs 3 life points and, once successfully cast, gives us 10 more firefingers. Or sets our number of firefingers to 10 maybe, I'm not sure. Either way we can definitely use up our existing firefingers without having to gamble with our life points.


I was reading it as it costing 3 points to activate the Firefingers, and then there'd be 10 plus leftovers from last game, but your interpretation makes more sense, yeah.


Yeah, this is another one of those Brennan-style ambiguities. I, too, interpret it the way Omegonthesane does, so Pip have 8 active bolts to begin with without having to cast another spell.

Anyway, Pip spends all his gold on the gear listed in SlyJohnny's list and begins his journey to the first checkpoint on the map, section 155......

Quote:
It's a dead end! Would you believe anybody could do a thing like that? Fancy putting a complete dead end on a map! And you've trudged miles to get here. Afraid there's nothing else for it but to trudge miles all the way back again and try another route.


Not the most auspicious start our quest, but at least it's harmless. It doesn't even require Pip to put on his spare boots for all that excess walking!

Where do we try next?

QUEST JOURNAL:
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Try 58, since it's the next-nearest.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
You seem to be approaching a town, Pip. Well, a village, really. The first thing you see is the steeple of the village church, then later, as you continue trudging wearily along, the thatched roofs of the cottages come into sight.

The only thing is that however far you walk, you don't seem to be coming any nearer. You walk and walk without avail. The village is still there, but still distant. This has definitely the smell of magic, Pip. Better roll your magic dice to find out if there's some way in.

Score 2-4 and go to 9.
Score 5-8 and go to 13.
Score 9-12 and go to 19.


(This encounter is again random and neither the highest nor lowest score are necessarily the best, so the Luckstone probably should affect things either way.)

Dice roll = 6.

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Quote:
What's this? It might be a heat haze, except the weather isn't all that hot. And a heat haze doesn't behave like that.

It's a shimmer in the air ahead of you. But a shimmer with clear edges, two metres high, more than a metre wide. It looks like a doorway. A shimmering doorway. Beyond it stands the village, distant as ever.

Will you enter the shimmering doorway? If so, go to 10.
Will you carefully walk round the doorway? If so, go to 33.


Enter the doorway?
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SlyJohnny
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Go in.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
A blink. A flicker. You are in the village, Pip. No doubt about that. Right there, without walking another step. How strange. It's a pretty village; small but pretty. Thatched cottages... a village green... a picturesque little stone-built church. And not a soul about. Not a living soul.

You are standing on a patch of beaten earth, a little rutted and muddy as if it was used fairly often. There is a long building to the north-east of you, and due east the oddest garden you have ever seen--all the plants seem to be made from stone and there are statues of monsters dotted through it. Beyond the garden are cottages and beyond the cottages you can see the church spire. The entire village is enclosed by a stout wooden stockade, very sturdily built and, by the looks of it, extremely difficult to climb. To the south-east are more cottages and a high stone wall.

Turn to the map of the village at the front of the book, Pip. You are free to explore as you wish. Go anywhere, see anything. The buildings and a few other places are all numbered, so you'll know which Section to turn to as you explore each one.

Oh, one more thing, Pip... Have you noticed there isn't any way out?


Here's the map of the village. Please pick a location to begin your search:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Anyway, I try to avoid this most of the time, but here's a little advanced spoiler:
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

69, obviously.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Go direct to 41.


Yeah, this takes us straight to the same number section as another cottage, so we encounter the exact same thing in both.

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Quote:
I say, Pip: what's bright green with purple teeth, stands upright on two legs and carries a dagger in each hand? No, I don't know either, but there's one of them in this cottage. It's got 15 LIFE POINTS as well and it's looking at you hungrily.

I don't suppose you brought any spare rations, did you? If you've got one food pack, it's no good offering that since you'll only starve later. But if you have a spare pack, the thing should have such indigestion by the time it's finished that it won't trouble you again. If you don't have any spare rations, you're into another fight, I'm afraid.

If you win, you can keep the daggers and the 10 Silver Pieces you'll find in the thing's pouch. (Could it be a sort of green and purple dagger-carrying kangaroo, do you think? Or a magic platypus? Or a very old wallaby? Or an Australian cricketer in fancy dress? We'll never know... You can also return to your map of the village and explore somewhere else. If you lose, it's back to 14.


Ok, this thing is so puny that I'm sure there's no point wasting a spare ration on it. Much more profitable to kill it for loot and Exp:

COMBAT LOG:
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Back to the map. Note that there's nothing stopping us from entering cottage 41 for another free kill, if you guys want.

Where does Pip search next?
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Try 24 next.
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SlyJohnny
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Let's grab the free XP at 41 and then hit 24.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'll proceed to 24 first since there're 2 votes for that:

Quote:
This is like no church you've ever been in, Pip. At least it is, but it isn't. There's an aisle and pews and an altar and an organ and a pulpit and a lectern and all the rest, right down to the stained-glass windows. But the whole kit and caboodle is covered think with dust and cobwebs. They're everywhere. They brush against your face as you move, and the dust rises in little clouds from under your feet.

This does not look like a very religious community, Pip. You step forward and...

Da-da-da-boom!

That's an organ! The church organ has started to play! You start, and swing round at the sound. Your eyes sweep upwards towards the organ loft, but the cobwebs obscure your view.

'Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Maniac laughter! It echoes throughout the entire building as the organ music stops abruptly. You drop your hand involuntarily to your sword hilt, which is just as well, because swinging from a rope high above you is a cloaked and masked figure carrying a glittering blade.

'Beware!' it screams as it lands only a few metres in front of you. 'Beware the Phantom of the Village Church!' With which it lunges at you viciously with its sword.

This is definitely a fight, Pip, whatever you may think. The Phantom has 30 LIFE POINTS but wears no armour, so you score full damage each time you hit. As against that, it's good with the sword, so it only needs to roll a 5 or better to hit you. Its sword does +3 damage.

If the Phantom kills you, go to 14.
If you kill the Phantom, go to 87.


We can probably beat him, but do we want to use any magic/item to reduce the damage he may inflict on us?


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SlyJohnny
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

We should Firefinger him as soon as doing so would finish him off. I think we should cast the spell, rather than use our existing supply, just in the interests of getting them loaded ASAP.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SlyJohnny wrote:
I think we should cast the spell, rather than use our existing supply, just in the interests of getting them loaded ASAP.


We can cast the spell any time we want, so there's no need to cast it during the fight, because it'll take up one round (ok, this isn't an explicit rule in the book, but that's how I run it). If you guys prefer, I'd cast it after this fight so that we'll have 17 bolts ready.

Anyway, the Phantom rolls 3, Pip rolls 2+3 = 5. Pip gets first strike!

COMBAT LOG:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Quote:
That is certainly one dead Phantom! By the time this adventure is over, everybody will be calling you Pip the Phantomslayer. If they aren't calling you Pip the Dragonslayer, of course. They might even be shaking their heads and saying, 'Poor old Pip. Did rather well, but the monsters got the best of it eventually.'

But enough of this. There's a church to search. And search you do, but there's not a penny or a sovereign or a sixpence to be found anywhere, not even in the collection box. There is, however, a ring on the finger of the Phantom, which you carefully remove and put on your finger. It tingles as you do so. A tinglering? A magic ring?

You have no way of telling. Just be glad you got it and hope it may come in useful later. (It had better: you can't get it off your finger now.)

Press on, Pip! Press on! Return to your map and explore some other part of the village.


Another Tingering.....we already have one of those, but unlike this one, there was no mention that the one from the zombie in Book 1 can't be removed. Hmmm.......

Before I move on, anyone agrees that we should spend 3 LP to cast the Firefinger spell now (and maybe another 3 on the Fireballs, too) so that we don't need to have to spend a round casting them in the middle of ombat later?

Also, if there's no majority vote for searching any other location before my next update, Pip will proceed to 41 next as voted by SlyJohnny.

QUEST JOURNAL:
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Last edited by SGamerz on Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If we're going with the interpretation that we can have 17 firefingers, then get them in place while out of danger.

Proceed to 41.
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As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.

FrankTrollman wrote:
White people are basically just horrible...The entire Reagan Revolution is just white people voting to destroy their own social safety nets because they'd rather fucking starve than let black people eat.



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