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Friday, 28 April 2017

GURPS - Watery Grave - Session 1

I'm going to be running a series of GURPS games based around sailing out to various towers in the middle of the ocean filled with traps, treasure, monsters, and impending doom. This will involve the PCs gathering a crew and occasionally fighting other crews.

Fantasy setting with gritty & realistic optional rules and 100-point characters, with each surviving character getting 10 points at the end of each session.

Session 1:

Flink - Goblin Hunter; archer and survivalist - 100 points
Vils Mageblood - Human Wizard - Necromancy, general magic, and falchion - 100 points

The northern elves have recently granted free passage into an area of ocean they'd previously guarded. Those who went to investigate discovered hundreds of stone towers that extend seemingly endlessly into the ocean. Inside these towers were elaborate traps, strange noises from further down, and obscene amounts of gold. Bands of sailors and adventurers have since been setting out in droves to try and conquer these dungeons, and a resultant boom in the weapons/dungeoneering  economies have resulted in a whole market dedicated to selling equipment for the towers and buying the treasures found within.

Flink is a goblin hunter who occasionally comes down from the mountains and his tribe to live among men and gets by on pickpocketing and poaching. Vils 'Mageblood' is a budding necromancer obsessed with achieving immortality, and has a strong feeling he'll find it within these ocean structures. These two have come together after a fisherman offered to rent out his two-man boat to adventurers in exchange for a cut of whatever they find. They eventually agreed on a 10% cut for him, and headed to the markets to gather some equipment before heading off.

They both purchased a leather chestplate, Flink opting for a cap as well; goblin armour isn't overly common, even in these dungeoneering markets. Vils bought a backpack to carry treasure and a lantern, along with enough oil to last a few hours. Flink bought ten yards of rope and wrapped it around himself. They returned to the fisherman who informs them that two men are waiting for them with food at the tower he's sending them to, to get other potential looters to leave it for him, and they set off.

After a few hours of jolly rowing, the tower comes into view. Towering a solid 80 feet out of the water, it was made of thick stone and looked rather unfriendly. Moving a bit closer, they saw a large-ish ship docked against a 10x15 foot platform that jutted out of the tower, and gave access to an open double-door, leading into a corridor. Skeptical that the ship would be manned only the fisherman's two staff, the party docked and stepped to the platform with their hands on their weapons.
"Finally!" they were greeted by a man clad in rough rags and two hatchets tied at his belt. He told them the other man was inside the ship, preparing their equipment for them. Still cautious, they followed him on to the deck and Vils cast Sense Danger, informing the man he'd heard a funny noise. Vils detected 11 hostile men within the cabin, and proceeded to run for the platform. Flink drew an arrow before being grabbed by the man, who had drawn a hatchet, who yelled after Vils, "Come back or this one gets it! We've got a deal for you!" Vils stopped running, but drew his shortsword to parley with the man. Flink, who was not feeling quite as generous, decided to drive the arrow he was holding into the man's thigh. The man gritted his teeth, "Heh. Come now, we've a peaceful offer!" Vils started moving back towards them with the intention of bargaining, but Flink, still rather upset, brandished his aptly-named 'Large Knife' and proceeded to violently cripple the man's hand, which was enough encouragement for him to let go and collapse, screaming.

At this point, the noise of the fight had alerted the men in the cabin, who emerged with two respectably-clad sailors, presumably the fisherman's friends, at axe-point. They explained they were pirates who'd come here to find riches within the dungeon, but their captain and a group he'd taken with him had been last seen entering the double-door several hours ago. If the party delivered the captain and any treasure they find, they, and the two sailors, would be allowed to live. They complied, were handed the sailors (who were given shortswords), and pushed to the double doors.

The double door was open, leading to a dark corridor of descending steps. Fresh blood had been splattered on the door and around it; the sailors said a pirate had triggered some kind of trap when opening it. Vils cautiously began walking down the passage, Flink and the sailors close behind. There was a blood trail from the door leading to a severed arm and the rest of the corpse, bloody footprints led on. After about 20 feet, the stairs ended at a crossroads. The left passageway was blocked off by heavy rubble, the right went straight for 10 feet then turned left, and in front was a closed double-door, similar to that at the entrance. Not wishing to share the pirate's fate, they opted for the right passageway. After the turn, there was a spike-filled pit on the right, and another left turn after 20 feet. Vils' inspection of the pit revealed no apparent victims, and a passageway leading straight up from the pit, presumably for people to fall down. Leaving the pit and poking their heads around the next corner, they saw two pirates chatting 10 feet away on a T-junction. Vils confidently presenting himself as the crew's saviour proved to  not be a particularly good move as the pirates drew their hatchets and rushed the intruder. The fight lasted a few seconds with Vils managing to avoid injury while Flink pressed his back to the opposite wall and shot down the two pirates. The sailors hadn't gone out of their way to contribute, which Flink found rather annoying. 

A left turn led to the double-door they'd just bypassed so they headed right. After a couple of bends they came to a sheer drop into 15x15 foot room with passageways to the East and South. Two pirates and someone who was clearly the captain were inspecting a pit in the East passageway. There was a piton driven in with rope tied around it, presumably put there by the pirates, so Flink stealthily and gracefully climbed down, before aiming at the closest pirate while he waited for Vils. Vils, unfortunately, is not an expert climber, and immediately fell down and crippled his leg, whilst also alerting the pirates to their presence. The pirates turned and readied hatchets, the captain wielding a finely-made throwing axe. Vils managed to heal himself and his leg with Major Healing while Flink dropped the pirate he'd been aiming at. Flink drew another arrow while Vils stood up to be greeted by a thrown hatchet, which he shot right back at the pirate with Return Missile, critically hitting him in the skull! The captain jumped into the pit to escape the inevitable bowshot. The two sailors had finally climbed down at this point, and they all had a look around. The South passage was a staircase filled with water, and the East was a pit that was about 15 feet across and 10 feet deep, with a gold statue on the floor, and a pile of gems at a dead end on the other side.   

Vils managed to convince the captain of their good intentions, and climbed into the pit with him to fill his pack with the gems. He then climbed back up and prompted the captain to join them. The captain threw them the surprisingly heavy statue and grabbed on to the top of the ledge. The moment the captain's second foot left the pressure plated-floor, the entire block of ceiling above him fell into the pit, crushing him to paste with his arms poking out of the top of the pit. "He was 'armless anyway," commented Vils. They were going to investigate the stairs when they noticed the water from them was rising, so they all sped up the rope and out of the tower, only narrowly outrunning the water.

The pirate ship was gone when they emerged, so they sailed back to the docks with all their treasure in hand. The fisherman was upset that the dungeon had been flooded, but was less upset at his 10% cut. Flink started back for the mountains to gather some of his tribe for an expedition, while Vils headed to the docks to look for more opportunities to explore the towers...

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