Sunday, March 14, 2021

YAGH one-shot: Crypt of the Cowboy Spider

On Saturday, I ran a Yet Another GLoGhack! one-shot for three players, two of whose characters were the best burglars on the planet, and yet they didn’t have a good thief among them. It was a blast, the system is really great, and here’s the adventure I ran for them, with some session report stuff sprinkled in. At the bottom I have attached a picture of the prep I’d done for the session, because seeing GM notes is nice. I also use the Monster AI stuff I’ve talked about before on some monsters here, so you can see how it sort of works. I hope this post is useful to someone.


SIMPLE YAGH! MONSTERS

Choose their LEVEL. Use it as their bonus to every roll/TARGET they’re actively good at, and a penalty to any roll/TARGET they’re actively bad at, and just use the flat dice/10 for anything they’re neutral towards. They should have health equal to five times their LEVEL. It takes a minimum of a LEVEL 3 creature with multi-attack capabilities to prove a real challenge to a LEVEL 1 party (in my very limited estimation), so you have permission to really go to town when assigning LEVELS.


INTRO: DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THE KID NAPPING?

The party is approached by two poor farmers, Boris and Anir. Their daughter, Melody, was recently kidnapped by a woman named Anthelia de’Cloven, and taken to the de’Cloven family crypts. They remember seeing a strange necklace around Anthelia’s neck, a spider with some strange wide-brimmed hat on… They will give the characters their life savings, 100 silver shillings, if they can get Melody back safely.


(At the table, my shortsighted brain didn’t plan these NPCs, so they got names after the game had begun. Anir was Annie… damn heteronormative improvisation. They took the bait.)


THE DE’CLOVEN CRYPT

Built into a hill, this family crypt has recently seen foot traffic from 3 entities (Mork, Klarg, and Anthelia). The only dilapidated, ivy-choked door inwards leads into ROOM 1. The inside is marked by maggots and roots tumbling out the holes in the ancient masonry- bricks can easily be pulled free from the walls. (A fact my players exploited no less than 7 times.)


ROOM 1: MERCENARIES BY THE FOUNTAIN

In this room, a Goblin with low self-esteem named Mork (LEVEL 2) and a skeptical Orc named Karg (LEVEL 2) are playing cards. Klarg is slated to win when the heroes enter. The two are poorly-paid and not terribly bright mercenaries hired by Anthelia as guards. If too much noise happens, Anthelia comes to investigate. Against the far side of the room is a stagnant fountain, filled with…

1 Deceptively water-like acid

2 Scummy water, a de’Cloven ghost asks the heroes to get her necklace back

3 Flammable yet drinkable liquid

4 Healing potion

Passages lead away to ROOMS 2 and 3. The passage to ROOM 2 contains a pit trap that all inhabitants save Melody know about, so they hug the wall when passing by.


(I gave Mork a New York accent and Klarg a deep cockney. The party snuck in and one pretended to be a wizard, taking on Mork as an “apprentice”. They then used the flammable liquid in the fountain to light Klarg on fire while alive.)


ROOM 2: ANTHELIA’S ABODE

Piles of old de’Cloven bones lie scattered around this room. In the middle, a circle of runes bearing an eye motif surrounds a candle-laden lectern bearing Anthelia’s grimoire. The grimoire contains a Ritual of Communion with the Cowboy Spider (granting a Level in Spider for every sacrifice performed) and a scroll of...

1 Super Fucked Up Brain Hemorrhage

2 Bones to Paste

3 Doorway to Hell

        4 Diminution (irreversible shrinking to mouse size)

Anyone crossing the rune circle is blasted backwards unless they close their eyes or look away as they pass into the circle. Anthelia (LEVEL 4) is here at the start of the adventure, reading her grimoire. Each round, she…

1-2 Fires a bolt of eldritch lightning (d10) at the nearest character

3 Emits an Arcane Scream (MND or d8) to hurt all close to her

4 Attempts to flee as quickly as possible

5-6 Revives the nearest corpse into a Zombie (LEVEL 1)

Corridors in the room lead back to ROOM 1, which still has the pit trap in the hall, and ROOM 4.


(They barely went through this room, and no one bit at the Ritual of Communion. Gotta try harder next time!)


ROOM 3: THE COFFIN CENTRIFUGE

This room is composed of a small ledge (about 4-5 inches wide) around a ten-foot pit, the bottom of which is packed dirt instead of crumbling masonry. On the opposite side from the entrance is a stone “door” with a green devil face, mouth agape, on it. This is actually just a piece of stone set into the wall- reach into the devil’s mouth and there’s a switch that opens the secret door right next to the “door”, leading to ROOM 4.

When someone hits the dirt, ancient machinery starts to rumble, and the entire floor of the room (including the ledge, but not the walls above the ledge) begins to rotate faster and faster, like a centrifuge. Each round, the TARGET of all checks increases by the number of rounds the centrifuge has been active (i.e. round 1: TN 11, round 2: TN 12, ect.). If the centrifuge can be stopped, a difficult task as all the machinery is hidden, this effect ends.

Finally, and perhaps most fiendishly, the walls of the pit are made of large 10-foot stone panels with carvings of people in repose, presumably old de’Clovens. They are not secure, and if they are pulled out of the way, perhaps as an attempt to climb out of the pit, they fall away, and d4 Skeletons (LEVEL 1) emerge. One of the skeletons, at random, carries a random Spell Scroll. Roll on the Anthelia’s grimoire table to determine what it is.


(When I ran this, I forgot it was a centrifuge! Silly me… could have really ruined the hero's days with that one. Well, not gonna lose too much sleep over it.)


ROOM 4: SANCTUM OF THE COWBOY SPIDER

This large natural chamber is dominated by a titanic jet black-and-red arachnid, a chitinous structure atop its head resembling a cowboy hat (LEVEL 5). Piles of rusty and dusty loot lies about for the taking, to DM discretion. In front of it is a sacrificial altar, upon which is tied a terrified Melody. Passages lead away to ROOM 2 and ROOM 3. The spider is currently in a state of slumber. If it wakes up, every round, it…

1-2 Six-shooters

3 Poison bite

4 Web

5-6 Chow down! Say goodbye to whatever’s on the altar.


(The heroes substituted Mork for Melody in a deal with Anthelia. Then they ambushed Anthelia and left without disturbing the spider.)


*notes incoming here*

Thanks for reading, and happy gaming.

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YAGH one-shot: Crypt of the Cowboy Spider

On Saturday, I ran a Yet Another GLoGhack! one-shot for three players, two of whose characters were the best burglars on the planet, and ...