Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sonandra Massone and the Fine Art of Jumping from Buildings to Steal Stuff

Today, I'm spotlighting another NPC for your literary and brainstorming pleasure: Sonandra Massone - Gathoxan transplant, quasi-famous resident of the Berchan Favela, and stoic leader of the Headlong Hurlers. You can find a first-hand account of her arrival in Gathox here. Below you'll find her profile, a brief on the Hurlers and their Friendship Hall, and stats for the Gathoxan Wingsuit.

Sonandra Massone: Pirate, Cult Leader, Extreme Sports Enthusiast.

Sonandra Massone - (Martial Master 5 and leader of the Headlong Hurlers)

    Cues: Speaks with a drawl at a slow, deliberate pace; noticeably bereft of extraneous adornments; her eyes are wide and unblinking, affecting a thousand-yard stare.

    Sonandra arrived with her brother Mokul from a cold, barren world which she never mentions by name. Several years of simultaneously toiling and indulging her worst impulses drove her into a deep depression, amplified by the subsequent death of her brother at the hands of Sha-Benyu cultists in the Kettle. Alone and stripped of all the trappings of her past, she sought salvation in fanatical devotion to The Goddess Who Balances On Narrow Precipices. First training with Pankratz at Kamma Tower, then betraying his trust during the Night of Sighing Clowns and turning the tide in favor of the Powertruthers, she finally committed herself to pursuing empire in the name of Ji’Gin’Jir.

    Sonandra only accepts women into the Headlong Hurlers, her fanatical gang of wingsuited, scraperdiving cultists. She lives, trains, and raids with them in their Neighborhood Friendship Hall, which she received from the Wind Merchants in exchange for the lives of dozens of trade competitors. Sonandra deeply dislikes the Elven Kings and only occasionally preys upon the lesser residents of Berchan. When the whim strikes her, she will deem fit to act upon requests from the poorest denizens of the Favela, although she typically takes liberties when interpreting their desires.

The early years: Kill all night, drink all day.

    The Headlong Hurlers - Originally a skydiving cult dedicated to the worship of the Goddess Who Balances On Narrow Precipices, the Hurlers became an aggressive militant street gang after the arrival of their current leader, Sonandra Massone. Massone armed and organized the cult, emphasizing the shock potential of wingsuiting into the streets to seize whatever they want. Their subsequent successes have led to rapid growth in the Favela.

    The Hurlers have taken control of the multi-story perch poles scattered across Berchan, using them as recon posts and launching sites to dive into the streets. They wear colorful, high-tech wingsuits and brandish two-handed swords, and their bravado matches their skill. They only allow women into their ranks and hope to become the dominant force in Berchan, harboring a deep hatred for the Elven Kings. Protection rackets and targeted raids feed their enterprise.

First concept sketch of the Hurlers.

    Headlong Hurlers Neighborhood Friendship Hall - A single elevator sits at the base of a 22-story windowless tower in the northeastern corner of Berchan, with only a line of odd, abstracted facial expressions carved into granite to indicate any significance about the location. A ride up the elevator takes visitors to the 18th floor, a cold, dim atrium guarded by six of the Hurlers. Those lucky enough to proceed further find spartan dormitories on the 19th floor, common living and working facilities on the 20th, a grand and artless meeting hall on the 21st, followed by an intense training facility on the 22nd. The roof of the tower features retractable climbing poles, which allow scraperdiving access from up to 35 stories.

    Sonandra Massone lives in the common dorms along with the rest of the Hurlers, eschewing the excesses of gang leadership in a show of solidarity with her sisters. The monastic life of the Headlong Hurlers breeds fanaticism, and their dedication to The Goddess Who Balances On Narrow Precipices never wavers. Here the Hurlers plot their forays into the city, and the only reaches of Gathox denied them are those of higher altitude in the Craw. Excess wealth is stored in a grand vault, from which regular tithes to lesser shrines of the Goddess are extracted and delivered in the most athletic fashion.

Flying Wombat Armor/ Gathoxan Wingsuit - This suit of ultra-light armor features a woven mix of kevlar and carbon fibers, sewn into the form of a 'onesy' jumpsuit. The most incredible feature of this new, cutting edge technology is the wings and tailflap sewn between the limbs, allowing for high speed controlled falls. Basejumping parachute included. +2 AC, 1 enc, 800gp. Armorless versions are available for Mentalists for the same price.

*Operation: Without training, the wingsuit requires a 5d6 vs. DEX check to operate successfully; with verbal instruction, 4d6 vs. DEX; with 5 or more successful jumps, 3d6 vs. DEX. The check must be made when first jumping and when significantly altering course. If jump and course-change checks have been made successfully, there is no need to make a check for pulling the parachute cord; however, failing either of the jump or course checks will necessitate an exploding 2d6 vs. DEX check to deploy the parachute.

*Death from falling is the number one killer in Gathox. Flying Wombat Manufacturing assumes no liability for accidental, incidental, coincidental, ironic, karmic, or purposeful injury or death due to the use of Flying Wombat Products.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gathox Sessions #13 - 17: Binge and Purge!

In the spirit of catching play reports up to speed with our current Gathox game, I'm compressing the next ten or so play reports into a few posts. For those that enjoy session recaps, this'll be like binge-watching, only it won't eat up your whole day.

Session #13: Lucky Dungeon Day

After a pared down team of Firestarters took out the Fisherman, the team returned the following week in hopes of mapping the rest of level 1 of Ce-C'el. The group decided to tackle the northwest quadrant.

First crossing a railless bridge over a wildly windy chasm, the team met encountered the Birdman, his eyes and mouth sewn mostly shut, tending an innocuous flock of rare birds. Emboldened by this relatively safe room, the team proceeded into a museum-like room, complete with a pristine Hemicuda:

 Do you know where this is going?

a ponytailed ice cream man in stasis:

Yes, yes you do. 

 and various accoutrements of 80's badassery: leather jacket, leather gloves, chains, and sweet shades. The team liberated much of the goodies from their preservation cases while leaving the ice cream man behind, and proceeded north.

Unfortunately, they encountered The Lanky Gent:


Accompanied by his murderballs:

Oh yeah!

And gravidwarves:


A heated battle ensued, and the Lanky Gent was driven from his room into other corridors. The hell-like arena of the room faded:

Cramming the entire Phantasm series into one room . . .

It was apparently nothing more than a cheap projector deceit. Facing the end of the session, and unable to locate the Lanky Gent, the Firestarters stole a chandelier and the projectors and returned topside.

The Take:

485 xp each; wingmen 230
285 gp each; wingmen 140

Session #14: Save Tents and the Curmudgeon

Returning to Ce-C'el in hopes of mapping a southern section of the dungeon, the players crossed a series of short but dangerous chasm-spanning catwalks. The team mused on how to best find The Gardener (rumored to live down in these parts), and proceeded to the most likely room of the map. unfortunately, the doorway was guarded by a deadly, 15-foot tall Crystal Goblet:

Badly injured but triumphant, the team continued into the southeast quadrant, killing off man-sized sunflower plants and generally pissing off The Gardener, who refused them succor. Passing compost heaps and stealing expensive-looking portraits of old-timey mutants, the team mistakenly ran into the Mi-Chiw turtle cultists. Here, the party nearly experienced a TPK, as Steve the Manglefaced Psychic died by throat-slit, Goron the Eater of Duck died by skull-smashing, and the hireling Mutant Freak known as T-Bone and Rex (two-headed dogboy), died in terrible magic fire.

It was like this, more like this than you would think.

Upon escape, Steve's body was taken to the Catwalk of Private Vicissitudes, where the remaining team performed the ritual of reincarnation. An hour after completion, Steve reincarnated as Neve, bursting forth naked (and opposite gender) from the mud.

Not pictured: anger, sadness, resentment.

Neve was very confused as to why he had been wrenched from the just and equitable land of the Anti-Gathox and, ". . . into this godforsaken hellhole. Neve hates it here. You people suck." The team was happy for the gift which Providence had provided, and went home to lick their wounds at Needle Point.

The Take:

771 xp
308 gp

Session # 15: A Level In Full (or not)

Our protagonists returned, yet again, to Ce-C'el, grim in their determination to map this first level and claim their reward from the Dohjaks. Retreading some old territory, the team cleaned up the remnants of the Fishermen, stole their carbon fiber throne, and proceeded to defuse a shadow lamp trap which had imprisoned Thla the Heedless. The trap ate up most of the session, leading to a paltry haul but also a markedly less deadly foray.

The Take:

190 xp
160 gp

Session #16: Takin' it to the Edge!

As the team continued to explore the perimeter of the first level, they found need in returning to the northwestern quadrant, former home of The Lanky Gent (by this time referred to by the party as The Curmudgeon). Knowing what they were in store for, the team girded their loins for battle against more gravidwarves and murderballs.

The Firestarters located the Gravidwarf chamber and managed to save a shrunken Dohjak from full conversion into evil servant of The Lanky Gent.
They then severed the hands of a number of others, stole mutagen and other chemicals, and proceeded east. They were once again taken by surprise at a reverse gravity room, although they fared better than their previous experience with it's like. The next room featured tanks storing gravidwarves in stasis, with a strange control panel in the middle. Brother Saget first deciphered the controls backwards, releasing a number of the little beasts before getting the controls right.

The Firestarters scavenged magnets from the bases of the tanks, and headed north beyond some double doors. There, they found a passage from Ce-C'el far across the city and into the basement of a strange but eerily familiar temple to the Goddess Who Balances On Narrow Precipices. Tired, low on supplies, and eager to see the light of day, the team only managed to find a few meager jeweled sex toys during their mad dash to the surface. Lo and behold, they emerged from a trap door in the Dohjak's new Herbarium, recently refurbished after the fire at Kamma Tower . . . caused by the Firestarters! The team had stumbled upon an underground connection between Ce-C'el and the very first dungeon they encountered at Kamma Tower, a.k.a. the Mudling Mansions.

'Tis sweet, after so long in dungeon pent . . .

The Take:

565 xp
387 gp

Session #17: The Big ToDo

Before entering Ce-C'el, the Firestarters learned by way of the weekly paper that the Kermen, their long-hated alien foes, had issued a formal bounty on their heads. Conflicted, they still chose to enter Ce-C'el, the smell of impending success goading them onward.

Having mapped their way into certainty that only a few rooms remained, the team headed northeast to take on the remnants of the Lanky Gent's minions and claim full victory over level 1. First, they wiped out an entrenched pack of Vulzari chicken-men and their thralls, celebrating by cooking and eating their unhatched eggs.

 Delicious and nutritious!

Next, they crossed a bridge to the north, entering a mausoleum where the Cryptkeepers clearly stored bodies for later consumption. The Firestarters defeated the gravidwarves and lead murderball guarding the place, although at the cost of Mike the Handy Mutant's alien hireling Goobooboo.

With one last room to investigate, the team found corrugated metal stairs leading up to the door. The stairs were clearly marked with yellow hazard stripes. Thinking nothing of the obviously marked trap, Thla the Heedless lived up to his name and dashed up the steps, which immediately collapsed into a chute which shot him out the side of the dungeon and into the chasm, 10 stories below.


Thla miraculously made his saving throw to cut 10d6 worth of falling damage in half, and rolled sufficiently high on the Death and Dismemberment table so as to experience a few more moments of life. At negative seven hit points and bleeding out, things didn't look good for the Heedless One.

However, Mike and Brother Saget managed to use a combination of the Falling Leaves spell and some rope and ladder to get to the bottom of the chasm. They bound Thla's wounds just in time (end of the round at -9 HP) as huge forms lumbered toward them in the darkness. Using the strength of the topside team to haul up Thla's broken body, the group managed to get up to the first level before meeting the massive, slavering beasts of the pit. The final room contained, much to the joy of Brother Saget, a substantial arcane library with some choice tomes for the pillaging.

Dodging as many random encounters as possible, the team eeked their way through the level toward the exit, dealing death to a Surdite bug colony who wanted to eat Thla's body. Exiting to the Dohjak Neighborhood Friendship Hall, the Firestarters had finally mapped level 1 of Ce-C'el.

Now, they merely have to deal with that bounty on their heads . . .

The Take:

703 xp; wingmen 312
308 gp; wingmen 137