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Dungeons and Dragon Quest, take 2

Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
edited February 2016 in Saving Throw Gaming
I've got a reasonably high-level student, a fifth grader and big DQ fan, all by himself on Wednesdays for a while. A perfect time to revive my old homebrew roleplay game, says I! Some of this is going to be based on Pathfinder, a lot more (obviously) on Dragon Quest, and probably too much is going to get made up along the way.

D&DQ 1 was structured more like Dragon Quest VII (which I'd just finished at the time), so it was largely vignette-style adventures that were going to tie in together properly if we'd had another year to get through it. Having only half an hour of playtime a week was not conducive to getting stuff done promptly, and we tended to do one big event a month.

D&DQ 2 needs to be different. One student, and I need to hold his attention better, so it will probably take up more of my classtime with him, and incorporate whatever the grammar point of the week happens to be wherever I can shoehorn it in. I'll also be introducing a major villain upfront, with a lot of the action to involve either chasing after him or trying to get ahead of him. Hopefully this will work out more like Dragon Quest VIII.

Last Wednesday, we drew up characters. My student had to choose names (and then I had to work them into something not completely stupid and ridiculous), jobs (based largely on DQ9, since he's playing that now). We did the standard 3d6 rolls to get the parameters down, and then worked out the magic points. Instead of the 3.5e or Pathfinder approach to magic, each character gets a standard 1d6 magic skill points per level (1d8 for magicians; full points at first level), and these points get applied to three elements that the student chose for each character. These determine what spells/tricks/disciplines the characters have.

Our heroes (so far):

Abeil (named after the hero of the anime)
STR: 11 INT: 12
CON: 10 WIS: 12
DEX: 12+1 CHA: 12

earth ** wind ** dark **

Steal - obviously need this
Lukani - essentially the Sap spell, but reimagined as a "find weakpoint" ability
Hide - great for sneak attacks

Gunnar (originally "gunya-gunya", which I don't know but is apparently something stupidly hilarious to fifth-graders)
STR: 9 INT: 14+1
CON: 11 WIS: 14
DEX: 11 CHA: 11

fire ** lightning *** light ***

Mela - shoots a small fireball, one round cooldown
Luxio - creates a light, can blind in battle
Io - BOOM! Once per battle, big AoE

John (he was running out of ideas)
Kung-fu Fighter (i.e. monk)
STR: 15+1 INT: 10
CON: 13 WIS: 12
DEX: 12 CHA: 11

fire ** water ** light **

Fire Kick - Fast and furious! Two round cooldown
Purify - removes poisons and other ill effects. Self only (for now)
Hoimi - essentially Lay On Hands, with a +1 on it just to be safe

Next Wednesday, these three will be hired by the mayor of Phoenixtail Village to climb up the nearby mountain and see what's going on with the phoenix up there. Too much smoke and noise in the last day and a half. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

For his homework, he has to come up with a list of things these guys are wearing. After the way our skills discussion turned out (with him trying to get Blazemore and Explodet, among other things), I made certain to note on the homework page that these guys are LEVEL ONE, so he won't try to give them Falcon Daggers, Blizzard Swords, and Metal King everything.


  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member RPGamer Staff
    Sounds like a really interesting exercise

    28 years of gaming and still going strong
    and now a mostly annoyed Father with first son. And now a father again to a second son :D

    Winner of the 2015-2016 Fantasy gaming Pool
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    We had our first session today! If this class is typical, we'll be doing 45 minutes of homework check, grammar review, and next homework prep, and then 45 minutes of game (where we'll be using a lot of the stuff that we just went over). Next week's homework: describing what his heroes look like, in full sentences.

    The game starts in the little town of Phoenixtail, located at the foot of the famed Phoenix Mountain. Three guesses what lives there. But just the day before, people saw bright lights and heard strange noises coming from the mountain, so the mayor (student correctly guess what this word meant!) has decided to send three brave souls to go check it out.

    I had to lay down the law here and tell my student that he is not allowed to use "run away" as an action in combat unless I specifically say he can. The last time I tried a game like this (with Maikemon), he ran away from EVERYTHING.

    We progressed through four map squares, all recycled from my previous games and lovingly hand-drawn in oil crayon. In the first, his guys took out two little blue Slimes and scared a third away. In the second, they faced down a Drakkee and a Brownie. In the third, his rogue managed to successfully use the cover of tall grass to sneak up on a Metal Slime, only to roll poorly on the sneak attack.

    Then we got to the Phoenix's cave, where the real fun began. The Phoenix was huddled in the far corner, and three monsters stood between her and the heroes: a Drakkee, a Dragon Pup, and a full-grown Dragon.

    John the Kung-Fu dude attempted to do a flying kick on the Drakkee, forgetting that the things are really agile. He missed, but recovered on the landing.

    Abeil used his roguish wiles to suss out the Dragon's weak point.

    Gunnar the Mage finally got to use his BOOM! spell, which as I'd explained to my student was a one-time-a-day spell. He took out the Drakkee AND the Dragon Pup with that.

    The Dragon was hurt, but also a little pissed, so he flamed Gunnar for that. The Mage ended up running around in a panic and landing in a nearby pond. John used his next turn to vault over and lay on some healing hands.

    Abeil finally got to get a good hit in on the Dragon, only for it to miss the weak spot by a hair. The Dragon's tail knocked him arse over teakettle.

    The Dragon was sort of feeling the pain right then, and had to let up his fire attacks to pant. That's when Gunnar, fresh from the healing magic, managed to send a fireball right down the thing's gullet. Massive indigestion attack! Then John did a roundhouse kick into the Dragon's belly, which made it belch out all the fire, and after that it collapsed.

    We were getting to the end of our 45 minutes, so I had to rush the next story section a bit, but it all fit in. Right after the Dragon went down, a weird stranger in a tricorn hat, black cape, and eyepatch swooped in to dispatch it. Then the guy used a magical jeweled scepter to rip a heart-shaped, glowing crystal right out of its body. He thanked the heroes for wearing down the dragon for him, and that now there was nothing to stop him from finishing the job he'd come to do: kill the Phoenix.

    Well, our heroes weren't about to let that happen, so they jumped the guy. Gunnar got kicked into the pond again, Abeil had his every attack parried, and John got a fist in the face. They were obviously outclassed.

    But they did managed to buy the Phoenix some time. Faced with imminent demise from the Monster Hunter, she opted to speed up her reincarnation process a little bit, and rocked that corner of the cave with an explosion. When the dust settled, the Phoenix had been replaced by a human girl. As she was no longer a monster, the Hunter's scepter wouldn't work on her, so he made a quick (and annoyed) exit.

    And... that's where we left off. The student gets to come back next week to learn more about Feena (his new party member!) and just why his three guys are about to go on a whirlwind tour of the continent.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member RPGamer Staff
    Man Gaijin, this sounds really awesome even to me at 33, any way I could be part of your class? (slightly teasing on the latter, totally honest on the former)

    28 years of gaming and still going strong
    and now a mostly annoyed Father with first son. And now a father again to a second son :D

    Winner of the 2015-2016 Fantasy gaming Pool
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Y'know, I've never actually GM'ed an actual game of Pathfinder or anything >_>;

    Though if you'd like an example of what such a hypothetical game might be like, check out my other thread in this forum :)
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    I didn't update last week, but happily last week, this week, and next week make up one adventure arc altogether.

    First, here's the official cast of characters:

    That's John, Gunnar, Abeil, and Feena. If anyone knows of a good DQ character portrait generator that can do different facial types, let me know. The one at Dragon's Den is useful, but a little limited.


    First, my student and I had a little Q&A session where I laid out some basics. The Monster Hunter is on a quest to kill the eight Masters of the World, the monsters who protect the various continents of the world. Why he is doing this, we do not know yet, but the Phoenix was only his first target. The next nearest Master lives in the great forest on the other side of the mountains, which themselves are not an easy thing to cross.

    The best route is through an old system of tunnels, in this game portrayed by a Pathfinder floor card pack. There were a few minor encounters with some Mad Moles, some re-routing around deadfall areas, etc. At one point, the party managed to corner one of those animated bag of gem monsters, along with an evilly grinning rock.

    Here's where I discovered that I'd printed off the wrong version of the Bombcrag, because my student assumed the thing was a Lifecrag (which uses the Sacrifice spell to restore other monsters at its own expense) instead of the usual suicide bomber monster. I'd wondered why he was so chill about taking down the Jewel Bag first. Abeil even successfully made a steal attempt on the thing, and then rolled high enough on the loot outcome that I decided he'd successfully plucked the monster's bejeweled heart, for an instant KO. Then my student realized just what he was standing next to (i.e. exploding rock), and the party ran like heck.

    At the end of the tunnels stood a broken gateway, with two guardian monsters still watching over it. These were played by my little blue Shiisa figurines, originally part of a keychain that my wife had gotten me in Okinawa two years ago. Once the party got through them, we ended the session with the discovery that the path through the mountains actually led straight across the front doorstep of the ruins of the Temple of Dharma.

    Homework assignment: come up with questions about the temple.


    My student was late today. Like, really late. But he had his questions ready to go! After I went over the correct grammar with him, I wrote out the answers in his notebook.

    1) Who is the owner of the Temple? --and-- 3) Who built the Temple?
    -- The Temple was built by the great priestess. She lived there for a long, long time, until her death in the great war of a thousand years ago. (This would have been the big climax of D&DQ 1, had it lasted that long)

    2) What is in the Temple?
    -- The Temple is now mostly in ruins, but there is a big, magic door that no one can open. (Bonus points to my student for correctly intuiting what this meant. Magical seals aren't too unusual for the genre, at least)

    After we went over the grammar in the questions and answers, I assigned him a workbook page and then got to gaming. We had maybe thirty-five minutes at this point, but we managed to pack a bit in.

    First encounter, one Metal Slime and four regular blue Slimes. His guys got some good hits in, and even managed to KO the Metal Slime this time. It dropped some weird jelly bean-like things that I will explain to him at a later time. Feena roasted the last two slimes with a Geelah (fiery line attack) spell.

    Then they headed up towards the entrance, along a sandy area where the stone tiles of the temple had all broken. Living in the sand were two pairs of Goopi monsters, which threw mudballs at the heroes. When John tried to get in close to punch one, the hands almost pulled him down, but he was able to break free. We then determined that John has an intimidation skill, because hey, his eyes look creepy.

    While all this was happening, Abeil tried to hide behind a column, only to discover there was a Wyvern (DQ variety) perched on top of it. He and Feena had to take that one on while John and Gunnar worked on the Goopi.

    Finally, the party made their way across the main floor, in front of the sealed door. Nearby, there was a dais with a statue on it. As soon as my student heard the word "statue," he made sure everyone was sneaking. He figured it was probably a Golem, but he was wrong. It was a Living Statue. Still, everyone rolled exceptionally well on the sneaking -- except for Feena, who tripped on her shoelaces and fell on her face. Lucky for all, the Living Statue rolled low on reaction, which is to say it didn't notice them. They made it across to where the next section of tunnel began.

    That's about when the floor fell out from under them and I had to say goodbye to my student because time was up for the week.
  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited March 2016
    That's John, Gunnar, Abeil, and Feena. If anyone knows of a good DQ character portrait generator that can do different facial types, let me know. The one at Dragon's Den is useful, but a little limited.

    I don't know anything about Dragon Quest, but this seemed pretty cool:
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2016

    Hm, that one tends to turn out a bit more on the girly side, with no options for face shape, but I think it looks pretty good. It also has some options that I was wanting to use down the line as well.
  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited March 2016
    Yeah, I figured that would be an issue. I kept looking for a gender option while using it. It's great for girls though.

    A search for Dragonball face generators turned up some promising options too.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Unfortunately, upon looking through those I find that most of the DBZ generators are mainly good for churning out clones of Son Goku.

    On the plus side, I can use that DQIX face generator to make my own version of Guess Who? easily enough.


    So, two Wednesdays ago, our heroes passed through the ruined Temple of Dharma en route to other locales, only to fall down a big hole into the darkness. This Wednesday past, they had to deal with some of what lay in that darkness.

    First there were the Horks, four of them, in pretty close quarters so Gunnar couldn't blast to his heart's content. It didn't take long for John and Abeil to dispatch the rotten things, though.

    There were things moving in the greater part of the cavern, so my student wisely decided to take a side route, where our heroes found three treasure chests (represented by Monopoly hotels). Two of them had some decent treasure in them, but the third... that was probably not the best time for Abeil the rogue to roll a 2.

    So for the next few rounds, the Mimic had its jaws firmly clamped on Abeil's hand while everyone else was trying to beat the thing over the head. Thankfully this was a DQ Mimic, not a D&D one, so he probably won't lose the hand, but it took the rest of our (limited) playing time to defeat it.

    Next Wednesday, we get to go through an expanded version of the cavern and have some real fun. :)

    Still need to determine just what he got out of those chests, though. The sword, shield, and belt were on a really high roll, while the boots and the ring were on a medium-good roll. Any suggestions for how to really mess with this kid? I haven't told him what exactly he's got yet.
  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    Depends. What do you mean by "mess" with him? Just hype him up a bit or really tease him?
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Hype him up and maybe have one or two unforeseen side-effects. Like, maybe Boots of Bunny-Hopping? Hm, okay, decided on the boots, but the other four are still up in the air.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Well, we didn't quite get out of the cave this evening, mainly because there was only about ten minutes left on the clock when he was ready to head to the ending area. That fight should last all of next week's session, hehe.

    The action this time around isn't much to write home about. One battle with four Horks, and another with two Horks and a Mummy. The most interesting thing to note is while this kid has played all the DS remakes and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and items therein, he does not appear to have played any of the Rocket Slime games. Because of this, he's consistently surprised by stuff I pull from those games, like the Horks' tendency to pile on one target, the Slime's ricochet skills, or the Mummy's magic traps.

    As for the magic items, we have determined that his guys now have one pair of Bunny Boots (huge jump bonus, but a little hard to control), one Monkey Belt (provides the wearer with a prehensile tail), and one Melami Ring (boosts Feena's fireball attack by a lot). Still haven't determined the effects for the sword and shield yet.
  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    Well, you can mess with his expections. The sword isn't a sword, for example, but the head of a mystical spear of great power. Awesome item to be sure, but first you have to get the rest of the spear. And this spear is SO awesome, there have been legends sung about it for ages. Everyone knows about it. People will often comment about the "sword" when they see it.

    You can drag him around with quests to recover spear parts for ages with that.

    Or you can have the sword transform into something totally not sword-like. It's always amusing to see players swing around a sword only to discover it's more suited for spellcasters, or it needs to be thrown, or it only works on one particular creature (make it slimes and call it the Jelly Sword...wait, there isn't already a Jelly Sword in the franchise, is there?).
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member RPGamer Staff
    There is not already a Jelly Sword, there is the Liquid Metal Sword which is though

    28 years of gaming and still going strong
    and now a mostly annoyed Father with first son. And now a father again to a second son :D

    Winner of the 2015-2016 Fantasy gaming Pool
  • TGBarighmTGBarighm Member Full Members
    edited March 2016
    Jelly Sword is funnier, or make it the Jelly Knife. :)
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Time for an end to the cave series of encounters! Everyone was very successful on sneak checks coming through the two tunnels to the last area, so they could scope out the monsters from both sides first. My student was a bit resigned to seeing yet another squad of zombies, a little worried about the skeleton warrior and mummy, and then a little freaked by the Wight Priest and Death Knight.

    Then I staged a scene where the Wight Priest was apparently giving a speech to his minions, only everything was "Rar, graar, gragh, graar..." Silly fun times.

    Feena and Gunnar rolled high on initiative, so they got to blast stuff first. Between the regular magic use bonus, the sneak attack bonus, and a bonus from her new ring, Feena actually managed to hurt some stuff (because otherwise her roll would have been pretty pitiful). On the other side of the field, Gunnar successfully blasted the area around the mummy, hitting the Death Knight and two of the zombies in the same explosion.

    The zombies, as expected, never got to do much in this fight. Too easily fended off, especially with Abeil taking a defensive stance to protect Feena. The mummy spammed his trap spells until Gunnar could hit him squarely with a fireball, at which point he panicked for the next two rounds and then accidentally stepped on his own trap, sending him head-first into the ceiling.

    Abeil's hand hurt enough to prevent an attack or two on his part, but on one attack against the skeleton warrior, he rolled a 20. That's when his sword's special power activated. Since I knew I was piling it on a bit deep on this battle, I decided to be nice and make the sword a Zombie Slayer. Any roll of 15 or higher (bonus-inclusive) activates the Zombie Slash power, which pretty much destroys most undead. I didn't even bother rolling for damage against that poor skeleton; the dude was dust.

    Not long after, a similarly high roll activated the shield's power. There's a little blue slime icon on the front of it that expands into a huge airbag-like thing that bounces attacks right off.

    The Wight Priest's first move was to use a magic barrier on all of his minions, so direct magic attacks weren't so good for a while. So instead, my student had Feena use her Luxio spell on Abeil to make him super-bright and shiny (and thus hard to hit). Later on, she rolled a 20 on another Luxio, absolutely wasting the two nearest zombies.

    John went back and forth with the Death Knight for a few rounds before unleashing a high-roll Fists of Fury attack that left the thing reeling. One final uppercut took off its helmet, with its head following right after. Through it all, he rolled fairly well on his jumps over traps, so I never got to have fun with Bunny Boot mishaps.

    Gunnar tried to get around the remaining traps, only to roll a 1 -- and then the trap rolled a 20. He was officially KO'ed for the rest of the fight.

    The Wight Priest had summoned up a couple of skull bats, and the remaining zombies had gathered around him. Seeing as there was maybe three minutes left in the class by that point, and the student's mom had just pulled into the parking area, I had the priest cast Lula (the teleport spell) and zap the entire cadre of undead out of the battle. Looks like we've got a recurring enemy now...

    Next class is in April, at which time we'll be starting some forest adventuring. :)
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    TG Barighm wrote: »
    Well, you can mess with his expections. The sword isn't a sword, for example, but the head of a mystical spear of great power. Awesome item to be sure, but first you have to get the rest of the spear. And this spear is SO awesome, there have been legends sung about it for ages. Everyone knows about it. People will often comment about the "sword" when they see it.

    You can drag him around with quests to recover spear parts for ages with that.

    Or you can have the sword transform into something totally not sword-like. It's always amusing to see players swing around a sword only to discover it's more suited for spellcasters, or it needs to be thrown, or it only works on one particular creature (make it slimes and call it the Jelly Sword...wait, there isn't already a Jelly Sword in the franchise, is there?).

    Both fun ideas, and I shall have to save that first one for another time, but limited time and scope of comprehension in English make it so I have to keep things fairly simple.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Time for a bit of catching up! We started the next leg of the adventure last week, entering the vast and mysterious forest to the southeast. Near its center, visible for leagues around, is a massive tree that my student immediately decided must be a World Tree. It wasn't meant to be, for all that I'd just drawn it in three minutes earlier on a whim, but now it is.

    He was tired and squirrelly last week, so we barely got one encounter in, but it was a good setup for this next week. Right after entering the forest, the heroes come across a girl (represented in-game by a picture of Serena from DQIX) who is being menaced by monsters. A lot of time was lost just getting the kid to commit to actions besides "run away" and "leave her" (as I said, tired and squirrelly), but eventually he took out the Wolfman, the Bunicorn, and the pair of Wild Slimes.

    The girl introduced herself as Roux Gallou, and said she lived with her grandmother in a cottage a bit farther into the woods. She doesn't really know anything about the Master of the woods, who Feena refers to as Qubit, but her grandmother might.

    This leads us to tonight's game, where the student was much more amenable to actually doing anything.

    So, moving into a new map square, the heroes see an obvious path between two bushes, and a pile of dirt where something has (just as obviously) been buried. Abeil sneaks around the bushes, not taking the path, but rolls a 2 on his sneakiness check. He promptly steps on a twig, which breaks with a loud -snap-. Two Bopping Badgers pop out of the bush right in front of him, while a pair of Bodkin Archers appear in another bush farther away. Before anyone gets to roll initiative, the Badgers hit Abeil with a huge dose of silly-smoke, and he starts dancing like there's no tomorrow.

    John attempts to bat at the badgers with his clawed glove, and takes the first one out. But the other badger's next in the turn order, and it tells Abeil in humorous animal noises that he really should try to give his pal a friendly whack with the sword. Luckily Abeil completely blows that attack roll and lands on his face. Also, John provoked an attack of opportunity by the archers, who manage to stick one arrow into him.

    Feena runs up past everyone else and aims a Geelah spell at the archers. I can't remember what this one's called in the English translations of DQ, but it's effectively a flamethrower. The archers get out of the bush only slightly singed, but they have to circle around for the next two turns before they can hit anything again.

    While all this is going on, a pair of Bunicorns pop in on the previous map square, where Roux and Gunnar are still standing. Roux screams and runs up towards Feena, while Gunnar manages to zap them both with his new lightning spell. On their next turn, the two scorched hares perform a cross-strike combo on him for eight damage, taking him perilously close to a KO.

    John tries to snap Abeil out of it with a pat on the shoulder. I have to inform the student that a pat isn't nearly strong enough, and we get to go over a few other appropriate verbs before settling on "slap him upside the head". This does work to clear Abeil's head, but unfortunately on the very next action, the remaining badger hits BOTH of them with silly-smoke, and they both fail their saves, so for the rest of this segment they're doing a line dance.

    It's okay though, because Feena manages to peg the badger with a fireball, lighting its tail on fire and scaring it away for good. Soon after, Gunnar manages to roll above 20 (with casting bonus) on a light spell that dazzles the Bunicorns and lets him run away. The bunnies wobble off on the next turn, once their eyes clear up and there's no one within direct line of sight.

    The archers tried to get one more barrage, only to roll really poorly, so the first arrow triggers the enchantment on Abeil's Slime Shield, which inflates its happy slime face like an airbag and catches the second arrow as well. Abeil and John never miss a beat with their dance. The archers decide to give it up as a bad job, and scamper off.

    Once everyone's been slapped back to sensibility and then healed a little, the heroes dig through the pile of dirt to find... Well, I need to get an actual loot table sometime. The student rolled fairly low on the first die (not equipment), then moderately well on the second (mixed utility), and then really high on the third (MAGIC!). So what he got was a pretty, rounded, flat rock. Abeil took one look at it and threw it away. Then the rock hit him in the head on the rebound. After a moment's experimentation, it's determined that this rock will always return when thrown. We shall see if we can put this to any use in the future.

    Roux leads the party through the next map square, running ahead a little in anticipation of getting back home. She doesn't notice until too late that there's one more tree along the path than there should be. The Tree-Face monster grabs her before anyone can react. Then it summons a trio of Mad Apples and a pair of Funghouls to back it up.

    The monsters get some really good initiative rolls, so the Funghouls billow up a big cloud of sleep gas to block a flanking zone on the Tree-Face.

    John tries to poke out the eye on the nearest Mad Apple, but he blows the dice roll and ends up with a fistful of Apple-eating-his-arm. One point of damage and continuous damage for the next few rounds. Feena's first action is to use Bagi to wipe out the gas cloud (completely the student's idea, and it was a good one). Gunnar torches one of the Funghouls soon after.

    While Roux is screaming in the Tree-Face's grasp, Abeil leaps to the rescue. Or at least tries to. His jump falls short, but he manages to shear off one finger from the monster's off hand. Then he lands right on his face in the dirt. The remaining Funghoul has a move next, so it waddles over and farts sleep-gas right in his face. Abeil spends the rest of the battle asleep.

    The other two Mad Apples have (completely on my whim) laser beam eye attacks, which they focus in tandem on John for eight damage. This is enough to put him dangerously low at this point, but he soldiers on, punching the Tree-Face right in the face with the apple that is still trying to gnaw off his punching arm. Damage to the tree is minimal, but the apple gets KO'ed. Feena and Gunnar manage to take out the remaining Funghoul as well.

    For the next (and final) round of actions, the Tree-Face successfully grabs Feena, squeezing her tightly to keep her from reacting in a dangerous manner. The Mad Apples try to flank John and bite him, but they flub it, giving him the chance to punt them over the horizon. For his own turn, he rolls really well, and with the aid of the Bunny Boots, he's able to jump right into the tree's face to deliver multiple hits.

    Now, because we were at this point almost into overtime for the class, and I could hear the mom's car in the parking lot downstairs, I let the number of hits be 3+1d6 (coming out to five in all) and then rolled the damage in quick succession. Eighteen points of damage wasn't quite enough to send the tree toppling under normal circumstances, but as I said, we were really out of time, so down it went!

    So next week, the heroes get to meet Grandma and hear more about Qubit, the forest, and this violent monster that Roux says only appears on the night of the full moon.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Well, it's been a month since the last game session, for unfortunate but obvious reasons, and a lot of the available time this week was spent just catching up on lesson work before we could even start playing.

    The exposition part got really rushed, in an effort to save time, so my student was quickly introduced to Roux's grandma. Roux herself was quickly rushed to a little room on the side with a big old lock on the outside, which prompted a good Q&A session with the main cast. Also, my student got to learn the meaning of the word "cursed". The long and the short of it was that Qubit (the Master of the forest whom we're looking for) cursed Roux when she was a little girl, and now she turns into a fearsome beast on the night of the full moon (with that night being the last for the month). Grandma thinks that a World Tree Drop could help break the curse, but Qubit's lair is right by the pond at the foot of the World Tree, and she's never dared go near.

    But hey, now there are some adventurers here who also want to speak with Qubit, so she's happy to show them the way. By this point, we had time for one real encounter, which I decided would be a pair of Funghouls and a pair of Bopping Badgers. The monsters all won initiative by a huge margin, so the Funghouls put up a sleep gas barrier across the path. Characters had to roll really well to pass straight through, and any fumble that was even slightly close to it resulted in a very sleepy hero for at least a round. It ended up being Feena and Gunnar attempting to shoot fireballs through it from one side, while Abeil snuck around through the bushes and John took advantage of his bunny boots to leap over the area.

    That left the Badgers, which like before had ample amounts of silly smoke on them, plus an ability to temporarily vanish from sight. Everyone spent time either knocked out or high on this adventure. In fact, at the very end Abeil got a critical fumble on his save vs. silly smoke, and ended up dancing and divesting himself of all equipment (two things that can happen in DQ games), and by the time Feena managed to push through the remnants of the sleep gas, he was down to his underwear and yelling about how he loved EVERYTHING, MAN! Then he tried to hug Feena and she kicked him in the balls.

    Battle ended with the last badger deciding he didn't want to face John's fists anymore, and with Abeil curled up on the ground and crying.

  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Last week, we entered the endgame for the forest story. First there was an encounter with a Cat Mage, backed by some Bat Cats, Bunnicorns, and Badgers. That took a little longer to work through than expected, so we had to carry over the next bit to this week as well.

    So, for the next bit. The heroes (plus Roux and grandma) arrive at the foot of the World Tree to find Qubit sitting on his stone in front of the pond. Grandma is the first to notice that something's wrong, because she's seen the beast before, so she knows that Qubit is missing part of his left ear and at least five of his tails.

    That's when our shadowy villain dude steps out and explains that Qubit was a tricky thing, put up a good fight, but you know what? He's missing his heart. And the heroes were just nice enough to bring it to him. The villain takes a stone out of his pocket and throws it up in the air and BOOM there's a bright circle glowing in the sky.

    Proof positive that my student hasn't seen much Dragonball: his first reaction is not "oh crap."

    It's his second reaction, because that's about when I swap out Roux's chess piece for an enemy marker. No, I didn't make her a werewolf. I chose a different animal to go with.


    For backup, she got a rhino, a mad ram, and a monster anteater. This was fun. The anteater kept messing up John with paralyzing lick attacks, until John got a good counter in, grabbing the thing's tongue and swinging it around like a yo-yo. The rhino and ram kept charging at things, often missing, but the ram also had a healing wool ability that I added just to mess with my student a bit.

    Roux took a lot more hits than any boss he's seen so far, and she was far more mobile. Several times, she played hopscotch on Gunnar's head, which is how he got KO'ed on this one. Eventually the heroes whittled her down to size and knocked her out.

    Then we finished up with a bit of exposition from a dying Qubit about how he hid his heart inside the girl, right before the shadowy villain popped in to extract Roux's second heart while no one was paying attention. When Roux woke up a few minutes later, she was no longer a crazed beast, but she hadn't actually changed back to normal either. The bunny ears, tail, and temper are all permanent now, and she's pretty pissed off. She can't really remember what happened, either, so the heroes blamed her injuries and headache on the shadow villain.

    Congratulations, we have a barbarian bunny girl on the team now.

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