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Monthly Archives: May 2010


 

“You won’t talk to me unless I apologize?” said Dandelion is some mystification.

The moonstone necklace said nothing.

“Are you a person, or a piece of jewelry?”

The moonstone necklace said nothing.

“Alright! I’m very sorry I hurt your feelings. I’m just a dumb ogre, you know. How was I to know that you had feelings that could be hurt?”

“There is something to what you say,” said the necklace. “But you should be more considerate of inanimate people like me.”

“I will, I will,” said Dandelion. “Do you mind if I look through this pile of trash while we talk?”

“It’s kind of rude,” said the necklace, “but you might not have much time left, so I don’t mind.”

“Do you have a name?” asked Dandelion.

“You can call me, Min-Kon”

“How did you get to be a necklace?”

“That was a mistake, I’m afraid. Long ago I was an elfin sorceress. I was trying to learn how to hide my soul outside my body. I sucessfully transferred it to this necklace, and when I did, my body died. And I’ve been trapped like this ever since. Take my advice–keep your soul inside your body at all times.”

“Good advice,” said Dandelion. “Um, if I may ask, what happened to your last owner?”

“You mean my last slave,” said the necklace. “She died in her sleep.”

“Why did she die in her sleep? Could it have anything to do with the weird way I’ve been feeling ever since I put you on?”

“Mmmmmmm, could be!” chimed the necklace. “I supply the magic, you supply the willpower. Kremm must come from somewhere to power it, and it comes from you. To be certain that I have enough kremm to cast any spell you want me to, I convert a small part of your lifeforce into stored magical energy. I’m doing that pretty much all the time.”

“Eep,” said Dandelion. “you’re a dead elfess vampiress necklacess?”

“I’m no vampire, you keep all the energy. I just change it.”

“Can you change it back?”

“That happens automatically when–look out!”

Something rushed out of the cave and attacked Dandelion. She barely had time to throw up her arms before a heavy body crashed into her–wings buffetted her, and knocked her off the ledge. She started to fall.

The creature stayed right with her, claws sunk into her skin. Dandelion got the impression that she had been attacked by some form of giant cave eagle. (6 hits to CON in first buffet.)

The necklace flapped wildly against Dandelion’s breast, but the voice continued calmly enough, almost as if it were enjoying the situation. “This would seem like a good time to cast some magic. Would you prefer to fly, fight, or teleport to (temporary) safety?

[What did Dandelion do:

Did she:

  1. cast fly me through the necklace?
  2. cast a combat spell through the necklace? If so, which one?
  3. cast a wink-wing spell through the necklace to get back up to the ledge?
  4. fall like a stone and fight all the way down?]

Dandelion edged along cautiously toward the ledge that led to the cave. At on point, one of her feet slipped from the rock, and she almost lurched into the abyss.

“This would be so much safer if you just flew over there,” said the elfin voice in her mind.

“Don’t bother me now,” thought Dandelion, “I’m climbing.”

In about a minute she reached the ledge and eased herself down on it. It was easily wide enough to support a young ogress.

The will-o-the-wisp spell died. Darkness enveloped the cavern once again. It wasn’t absolute blackness. A little light seemed to be reflecting off the chasm walls from some place further down. As her eyes adjusted, she found that she could see well enough to get around.

She edged her way along the ledge until she reached the first pile of bones and trash. Old belts, pouches, equipment. There seemed to be quite a lot of trash on the ledge near the entrance to the cave within the Caverns.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” thought Dandelion. “Necklace, what do you think I should do next?”

“Hmmmf!” came the voice in her mind. “I’m not talking to you any more until you apologize.”

Apologize to a piece of jewelry! The concept struck Dandelion as more than a little bit absurd. Ogres who talked to rocks were, for the most part, regarded as insane.

[Well, at the moment she had 3 choices.

Did she:

  1. Apologize to the necklace and open a discussion of what to do next. (If so, what questions should she ask?)
  2. Search a pile of trash for treasure?
  3. Go straight into the very dark cave?]

 

“Hmm,” said Dandelion, “an obstacle. It’s not gonna stop me. I’ll just climb down, walk across, and climb back up the other side.”

“You could always fly down, or fly across,” said the elfin voice in her mind.

“I’ll keep that in mind for an emergency,” thought Dandelion. “Right now I’d rather trust my own hands and feet. Who would believe an ogre could fly?”

The lighting was poor. Handholds were not numerous. Dandelion had to be very careful when she climbed. (Level 4 SRs on STR and DEX to go down successfully. Rolls 7 and 11. Makes both of them for 28 and 44 a.p.)

About halfway down she found herself coming to the opening of a huge cave. The smell of decaying meat and long dead things wafted out of it. There was also a bit of a breeze coming up from below.

Looking around, Dandelion saw a wide ledge that she could reach with a bit of sideways climbing, and the ledge led to the cave. Decorating the lege was a lot of bones and some trash. It looked like, over the years, many creatures had come to grief here.

“Hmmm,” thought Dandelion. “A cave inside a cave. I wonder what’s in there.”

What did Dandelion do?

[Did she:

  1. get over to the ledge and investigate the cave?
  2. bypass ledge and cave and continue climbing down?]

“This is wild,” said Dandelion as she watched half a dozen fist fights break out among the hobbs, and heard them chanting “Fight, fight, fight!”. “I bet I could slay a lot of them before they remembered to gang up on me, but could I take them all? Probably not.”

Having reached this conclusion, she slipped out through the north door, and shut it behind her. She found herself in a dark corridor that went only a few feet before turning sharply to the east. A bit of light seeped in from the crack under the door of the room she had just left, but when she turned the corner, all she saw was a faint line of light on the wall. The path ahead of her was pitch black–too dark even for ogre vision.

“This is too dark even for me,” Dandelion said. “I wonder if I know a spell to bring some light.”

“Of course you do,” said the sweet voice in her mind. “A will-o-the-wisp would do.” Dandelion briefly saw a pattern of light in her mind. She projected it out in front of her and there was a dancing ball of light casting a flickering blue illumination around her. The light didn’t go that far, but it was enough to enable her to walk briskly along, which she did for more than 200 feet until she came to the chasm.

Even with the will-o-the-wisp shining down into the pit, Dandelion couldn’t see the bottom of the chasm. It was nearly 20 feet wide.

“I could probably jump across this pit,” Dandelion said to herself as she appraised the situation.”

“Of perhaps you could fly across,” said the voice in her mind.

“Or maybe I should climb down into it and explore the pit,” she thought.

Or maybe I should just go back and wait. Perhasps the hobbs will depart when they don’t see me in the room.”

[What did Dandelion do:

Did she:

  1. leap across the chasm?
  2. use the power of the necklace to fly across the chasm?
  3. climb down into the chasm?
  4. turn back to the room she left about ten minutes ago?
  5. try to fly down to the bottom of the chasm and explore it?]

Adventures of Dandelion, part 17.5
Khenn Arrth via Trollmail
Tue, 03 Jan 2006 21:32:11 -0800

From here on, I will probably be posting Dandelion’s attributes with every blog.  Pay attention. This is important. Watch Dandelion’s CON–her Constitution attribute. If it reaches zero, she is dead.  Why did Dandelion find the necklace on a corpse? eh?

STR - 75
CON - 33
INT - 70
WIZ - 23
LK  - 40
DEX - 55
CHR - 10
SPD - 35

The cool metal settled on Dandelion’s breast, and her mind began to spin with magical possibilities. She heard a cool elven voice speaking in her mind. It said: “trust me! You can handle these vermin.” A complex pattern formed in her mind–a pattern where every cool blue line of fire was broken by a dripping red gash. “Project this upon them!” said the imaginary voice.

Dandelion projected. (Firestorm of Protest) She could almost see a thousand red particles of discord scattering through the room and striking the hobbs.

“That’s my gold piece,” whined a hobb.

“I touched it first,” said another. “So nyah nyah nyah!”

“They are all mine,” said a big one. “I’m the leader, and I get all the treasure.”

“No you’re not!”

“No you don’t!”

“Yes, I do!” he insisted. “And I’ll hit anyone who says different.”

“Not if we hit you first!” Bam!

“Ow! You hit me! And I’m your leader.”

“No, you’re not. I knocked you down. I’m the leader.”

“I’d be a better leader,” said a new voice.

“No! Me! I’m the real leader type around here.”

“Ha! I got more gold pieces than the rest of you,” said another hobb.

“That’s not fair. Let’s make him share.”

“Yeah!”

“First you gots to catch me.”

“You’re ugly.”

“You’re uglier.”

“Uglier than what?”

“Uglier than an ogre.”

“Let’s ask her.”

“Hey, ogress, who’s the ugliest around here. Sneerffle, right?”

“We don’t need no ogress telling us who’s ugly.”

“Yeah, we can see for ourselves. You’re the ugly one.”

“Oh, yeah, well, you’re stupid.”

“I might be stupid, but I’m the leader.”

“No, you aren’t.”

“That’s my gold.”

The bickering came fast and furious.

 

A firestorm of potest breaks out among the hobbs.

“Wow,” thought Dandelion. “That is a pretty awesome spell. I wonder if they could even defend themselves when bickering like this.”

[What did Dandelion do?

Did she:

  1. attack the hobbs?
  2. leave through the north door?
  3. leave through the west door?
  4. leave through the south door?]

 

The moment her fingers touched the Moonstone Necklace Dandelion had this almost overwhelming compulsion to put it on. Part of her mind said “you could smash a few hobbs and escape”, but it was like a dozen other voices were clamoring for her to put the necklace on.

As it settled in place on her breast, with dark hobbs still scrambling around trying to pick up the gold she had thrown to them, it seemed to her as if she knew a great many spells, and the urge to cast one overwhelmed her urge to fight and run. She had never cast a spell before. What would it feel like?

Three spells suggested themselves to her. They had the quaint titles of “Oh Go Away”, “Hidey Hole”, and “Firestorm of Protest”.

Dandelion saw an intricate pattern in her mind; she began to twist the fingers of one hand through an elaborate series of gestures, and she cast:

[What spell did Dandelion cast?

  1. Oh Go Away
  2. Hidey Hole
  3. Firestorm of Protest]

 

“Ulu! Ulu! Ulu! Ulu!” howled the black hobbs as they spread out to surround the ogress. They waved their flensing knives menacingly, and advanced in tiny steps.

“STOP!” bellowed Dandelion at the top of her lungs. (Charisma saving roll here. She rolls 6 and 6, then 4 and 1. CHR = 15 + 17 = 32. Good enough for 3rd level SR. Dandelion is a level 7 rogue at the moment, I think, and if we add in the level bonus that’s 39. Good enough for a L4SR. 68 ap for Dandelion.) Four of the little monsters actually blanched, wet themselves, dropped their knives and turned to flee, but were grabbed by their partners before they got far.

Still, it bought her a moment to think. At that moment she wondered if magic might not be a better tactic. Of course, Dandelion had never done any magic in her life, but ever since she picked up the moonstone necklace she had been having an uneasy feeling that something was wrong or right or changing. Maybe she ought to try putting that necklace on.

It was in the sack, and so were the 51 gold pieces. Black hobbs were notoriously greedy little buggers–she had an idea.

Scooping out a big handful of coins she tossed them up and to one side so that suddenly gold coins were raining down on the hobbs. And she followed it up with another handful to the opposite side. “Stop and have some gold!” she bellowed.

When the hobbs saw gold coins falling around them, they forgot about the ogress and dived for the money. Still, Dandelion knew this would only hold them for a few seconds.

Then her hand inside the sack came into contact with the moonstone necklace, and a kind of chill shot through her body, almost as if she knew something she couldn’t quite remember.

[What did Dandelion do?

  1. Did she use the momentary distraction to try dashing through the hobbs and escape? If so, what direction, north, south, or west?
  2. Did she use the momentary distraction to make a surprise attack on the hobbs? (1 combat round unopposed.)
  3. Did she put on the moonstone necklace?
  4. Did she hurl the necklace away from her as a further bribe to the hobbs?]

Having backed away from the slightly broken magic box, Dandelion bumped into the rope hanging down from the ceiling.

“I wonder what this does,” she said. “Only one way to find out. Oh, what a pretty bell!”

She pulled strongly on the cord.

“Rong! Rong! Ronnnnnnggggggggg!” The iron tones of the bell filled the dungeon caves with sound. She heard echoes. “rong. rong. ronnnngggg!”

“Wow,” said Dandelion, “that was loud! But nothing seems to have changed.

She spoke too soon, because before she could decide what to do next, and before the echoes had entirely died out of her skull, she heard the slap of many running feet on stone, and into the room burst small monsters! Dandelion looked in bewilderment at 14…

hobbs! Not one of them was more than 3 feet tall–they barely came up to her knees.

But they didn’t look like any hobbs she had ever seen before. Their skins were a fiery red color, and they dressed in ragged loin-cloths. They carried knives and forks and other implements of destruction, and they all looked very hungry.  Dandelion sensed that her usual line of snappy patter wasn’t going to mean much to these guys.

They made a howling noise “ulu ulu ulu ulu!” They looked hostile. One group of five came from the north, another group of nine came from the south. The doorway to the west, by which she had entered was clear.

 

[What should Dandelion do?

  1. Throw down her weapons and surrender?
  2. Attack the group to the north?
  3. Attack the group to the south?
  4. Yell stop! in her loudest voice and try to get a parley going?
  5. Run for her life to the west?]

Trollwalla commentary

Mahrundl said… “Oh dear! I think we chose ‘Rong’…”

Gimor Ironfang said… “‘rong’ indeed
See Dandelion.
See 14 black hobbs.
See Dandelion run.
Run, Dandelion! RUN!!”

Dandelion the Ogre said… “Okay. There’s a bell in a room filled with deadly artifacts, in a dungeon, and if I ring it, hostile critters come running and surround me brandishing weapons. Stand up if you’re surprised by this. Now hold still. I’m going to use you to practice playing Whack-A-Mole, because I’m obviously going to need the skill.”

Tmuwo said… “But Dandelion, the bell was hanging with the comfy chairs! Obviously the hobbs are there to kill *for* you, not kill you. Just sit down and relax. You’ll see. ;^).”


 

Dandelion started toward the magic box with crowbar in hand, inserted it’s pointy edge into a crack in the machine, and then caught sight of a line of skulls grinning at her. A guilty feeling came over her, as she looked at the lever in her hand. “I broke it enough,” she said. “What shall I do now?”

[Dandelion’s choices:

  1. leave through exit to the west.
  2. leave through exit to the south.
  3. leave through exit to the north.
  4. pull on the rope and ring the big bell haning from ceiling.
  5. sit down in a comfy chair and rest a while.

(No, taking the magic box along is not an option. It seems to be attached to the wall. and is too big anc clunky for even an ogre to carry around comfortably.)]

Ken’s note: I have found that when running an online game for players at Trollhalla that decisions often come very close together. In face to face play that keeps the game moving along at a good clip. In play by email play, that breaks the game down into unbearably short segments and actually slows things down. The good part was that I got through each segment quickly and could get on with other things–and there are lots and lots of other things in my life. The bad part is the game slows down and future readers like yourself get just a tiny snip. I’d run parts 12 and 13 together except that I’m hoping Greywulf will forget about the problem of rendering a slot machine and go on with the problem of rendering a horde of horrid hobbits that is coming up very soon.


 

The little pictures whirled past, and the pictures revolved with a marvelous racheddy racheddy noise, but the handle also came off in Dandelion’s hand.

“Oops,” said Dandelion. “Don’t know my own strangth!”

Then the pictures stopped and locked in place. Three glittering diamonds!

Klang! Klinkety, klankety, klinkety klink klink klink rattle rattle, click. Many gold coins spilled out of a kind of spout into a tray located down around Dandelion’s ankles.

 

 

“Wow,” said Dandelion. “It gave me money.” She started scooping the coins into the bag and counted them as she did so, There were exactly 50 of them.

“That was kind of fun,” said Dandelion, “but I think I broke it.”

“Hmmm,” said Dandelion. “Money came out of the funny box. I wonder if there is a lot more money inside the box still.”

“Hmmm,” said Dandelion. “I have this nice crowbar that i found, and I bet it would be really good at helping me open up the box to see if there’s more money inside.”

“Hmmm,” said Dandelion. “I wonder why the box has all these little skulls on it. Skulls generally indicate dead people. I wonder if the box might have killed me instead of giving me money.”

“Hmmmm,” said Dandelion, setting down her big club and sack of loot and slapping the crowbar back and forth in her big paws. “Should I do it?”

[What did Dandelion do? Did she:

  1. use the crowbar to open up the box?
  2. leave the box alone?]