Hopefully you all had a good time on Friday, despite the technical issues we encountered. I’m going to split up the island map so hopefully it isn’t too taxing on all your computers. It shouldn’t take too long. During the module there was a lot of enthusiasm, which was great! It was one of those sessions where everyone—both your characters and my monsters—seemed to hit.
1. Session rundown –
After taking a well-deserved rest on the beach, the party wakes up at about noon to continue the exploration of the island. They find a weed-choked dirt path through the jungle, which they follow into a burnt-out village. Before they can explore further, a pack of murderous vultures attacks! One in particular is especially loathsome; its wingspan reaches well over twenty feet long, and its stomach is so engorged with carrion that it hangs in fleshy rolls over its legs.
Despite their battle experience, the party suffers heavy injuries: Star Killer is first to be impaled by the giant bird’s halberd-like beak, and Hrafn falls to the ground bleeding out as the repulsive bird lands a powerful stab. With a sustained assault from all the party members—including Hrafn heroically stabbing up at the bird from the ground and Theodore quaffing his feral mutagen—the avian menaces are eradicated and the party moves on.
Hrafn and Theodore examine a pile of burnt bones and determine the creatures that lived in this village were definitely human. Star Killer and Theodore also examine a crucified skeleton clad in red and black, and find evidence that this village was ordered to be burnt by a Captain Arron Ivy. In addition, an extremely emaciated ghoul crawls through the weeds to grab at Star Killer! With a flourish of his mighty lucerne hammer, Star Killer delivers a coup de grace to the undead, which strangely thanks Star Killer for the courtesy.
This puzzles Theodore, who was in earshot, as ghouls are typically mindless and not prone to communication. The party members keep this in the back of their mind and continue.
The road from the village leads to a burnt out bridge spanning a stinking mire. Little more than timbers remain of the bridge, so the group has to use their skills at acrobatics to cross the marsh. Before any of the seven members can make it very far, a ten-foot long anaconda slithers its way across the swamp! The massive reptile delivers a punishing blow on Theodore, first by biting him with its huge jaw, then crushing the life out of him with its body!
Desperate to save their friend, Banmoril launches an icy assault from the shore with a Snowball spell, and Likour overcomes his innate cowardice to leap across the ruined bridge and heal his allies. Thoka decides to fight fire with fire, and sends her snake to bite and snap at the anaconda’s tail to distract it. Eventually, the creature is destroyed, and the party makes its way deep into the jungle.
The jungle path eventually leads to a large tree, and the path forks to the east (towards a beacon), and south towards something called “The Boudoir”. Banmoril suggests taking the eastern path first, but as the party moves under the tree, the vines seem to come alive and attack! The tree is infested with vine chokers—a jungle variant of the aberration—and they’re out for blood! Though one choker manages to land his vines around Banmoril’s neck, the group of chokers is no match for the party, and they’re quickly dispatched.
With a whoop and a Shoanti war-cry, Star Killer climbs the tree looking for the chokers’ hideout. He finds a small pile of treasure and a strange potion, which he eagerly shows the party before they continue east.
As the sun sets, the group makes it to the path leading to the beacon, but an obstacle hinders their progress: a full-grown dire boar! Tiny Likour attempts to use his Wayang race’s natural mastery over stealth to creep by the thing, but the boar detects him with his keen perception! The boar madly charges with all the porcine fury its nearly one-ton body can manage, and gores poor Likour!
Using an encircling maneuver, the party manages to kill the large beast before it can inflict further injury. Theodore slices off a large piece of the creature for himself for later in the hopes Kroop knows a recipe for primal boar.
Examining a clearing nearby, the group finds a naval uniform, a ceremonial saber, and a box of torches and tindertwigs. A note within the uniform suggests that these oddments belonged to a naval officer dying of ghoul fever who was ordered by the Captain to light the beacon. Theodore examines the medal on the uniform, and deduces that the uniform belongs to the Cheliax Navy. The burnt skeleton at the beacon fire pit, along with a note she scrawled on the back of the letter, suggest that the officer committed suicide rather than let herself become a bloodthirsty ghoul.
The group sees little use in lighting the beacon, so they gather the assortment of items from the clearing and backtrack to the fork in the road to head south.
Night falls, and the party lights lanterns and torches to illuminate the dark and mysterious jungle. Travelling on the southern path, they eventually come to a crude wooden gate. Star Killer uses a technique colloquially known as the “Shoanti Lockpick” to break the gate down, and the group is repulsed by what they find lying in wait for them!
Past the gate, the ghoulified remnants of the ship’s (male and female) prostitutes have banded on the path under the guidance of their now-undead madam, a cleric of Calistria. In addition, their star attraction, a muscular bard named Magic Mikael, has become a murderously-insane ghoul! Far from being mindless undead automatons, these ghouls present a coordinated and intelligent fighting force!
The muscular ghoul uses his bard magic to diminish the party’s fighting effectiveness; first by willing Star Killer’s hammer to be covered in grease, then by inflicting Unnatural Lust on Theodore! Star Killer, not missing a beat, whips out his claws and goes to work dispatching the undead minions. The other members of the party are also under attack: Thoka is on the ground paralyzed after a ghoul claw hits home, and Hrafn is disarmed after an attack from one depraved ghoul! Banmoril’s locked in combat with the Madam, and Likour busies himself with channeling positive energy to counteract the Calistria cleric’s negative energy.
The battle is tough and slow-going, but the tide turns in the group’s favor. The weaker ghouls are ground to dust, and the party’s heavy hitters manage to take down the madam and the crazed bard with powerful hits. Rifling through the reeking brothel, the party members find a heap of jewels and treasure, along with a sorely-needed Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds.
With midnight approaching, there are only 24 hours left to save Rosie!
2. Encounters –
- Vulture pack (3 slightly advanced vultures, 1 giant vulture) – CR 6
- Anaconda – CR 5
- Choker pack (4 chokers) – CR 6
- Dire boar – CR 5
- Boudoir fight (ghoul (whip) fighter 3, (2) ghoul rogue 2, ghoul cleric 3, ghoul bard 3) – CR 6-7
3. Loot –
a. Choker hideout –
- Potion of Water Breathing (glass bottle containing an orange liquid that smells faintly of blood)*
- (3) Silver shoe buckles
- Gold wedding ring
- Silver hatpin
b. Beacon –
- Heavily mildewed Cheliax Navy uniform
- Gold medal of the Order of Asmodeus
- Ceremonial saber with a golden crossguard in a lacquered wooden sheath
- Small wooden box containing 10 tindertwigs and 6 torches
- Slice of dire boar ham
c. Boudoir fight –
- An extremely revealing chain shirt
- A masterwork whip with a pommel shaped like a… nothing in particular.
- A sealed leather hip flask depicting a crocodile
- (inside flask) Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds (a potion that smells like oranges)
- 2 plain daggers
- 1 masterwork dagger with a crocodile tooth on the pommel
- A small rosewood box containing 6 flasks of alchemist’s fire
- 2 bottles of cheap perfume
- A wedding dress inlaid with pearls and set with three tiny rubies
- A whalebone corset set with mother-of-pearl inlays
- A dozen silver hatpins set with tiny obsidians
- A poorly cut ruby
- 60 gold pieces in a black belt pouch
4. Module handouts –
5. Customized monster/character sheets –
a. Burnt out village –
b. The Boudoir –
- Levira, Madame of the Damned (Ghoul cleric of Calistria 3) – CR 3
- “Magic” Mikael (Ghoul bard 3) – CR 3
- Third Leg Thaddeus and “Around the Block” Ariel (Ghoul rogue 2) – CR 2 each
- “Whips and Chains” Annatasia (Ghoul whip fighter 3) – CR 3
6. Base XP/Gold –
- XP: 1865 each
7. Next game –
First week of May TBD
Beginning at the start, or starting at the beginning, we’ll kick things off with a heated debate around No Country for Old Men. Some of us liked it, some of us didn’t. That’s sure to get intense! Let’s watch:
Bob (me) starts out the PPR movie thread with a real barn burner
just finished No Country for Old Men
a pretty decent thriller wrapped around an increasingly absurd center of pretension. by the end of the movie I had gone from “yeah this movie is pretty awesome and intense” to “oh god I hope this fucking movie ends soon or my eyes are going to develop repetitive stress disorder from rolling around so much”
Justin then comes to the rescue and injects some much-needed conflict into the thread, which by this point is growing stale and comfortable
no offense, but you and eric are the only two i have ever heard complain about pretension in no country for old men
as a matter of fact, most of the negative reviews of the movie complain about it being too trivial with no real meaning
Bob rallies back
yes tommy lee jones tell us about your dad. I know you don’t tie into the plot in any meaningful way but please, continue discussing the dream about your father last night to tie up this story. I feel very fulfilled knowing that the last 2+ hours were an elaborate and meandering metaphor for the sense of alienation decrepit fucks like you feel as you attempt to “run email” on your “computer drive”
Justin responds in kind!
saying tommy lee jones’ character didn’t tie into the plot is kinda silly since the entire movie is about why his character retired from being a police officer. also, i thought that the dream metaphors were a good, jarring way to end the movie since there really wasn’t any other way to end the involvement of TLJ’s character. if the movie ended on Chigurh limping away, it would’ve looked too much like a cliffhanger sequel set-up (even though McCarthy never wrote a sequel)
Catching everyone by surprise, Eric now wades into the fray. He’s clean and mean
ok now that ive had a shower~
the frame story with TLJ was pretty weak and felt tacked on to the plot (like multiple things i will go into). iirc, the movie doesn’t start with him, he’s not the main character, its not like he’s relating the story to us or has that much inolvement in the action with chigurghmurgnmen and the protagonist. there’s also drawn out scenes like the one with the gas station clerk (why do we care about this character again). one could argue its meant to reaffirm the chance motif you mentioned i didnt see before, and that’d be ok if it wasnt a rather cliche bad guy routine. another character thats tacked on is the other assassin who doesn’t really add anything to the plot since he ends up getting killed in like 2 minutes.
Bob (me) takes Eric’s comments and run with them
yeah it basically seems that they were trying to tell TLJ’s story through a much more interesting story, with him as one of the tertiary characters. I don’t really buy the “it was all about him because it was all about why he retired” because regardless of what the filmmakers say it was about, it was about the one guy running away from the crazy guy. the kid who gave Chigurh his shirt may have spent that money on a motorcycle and become Evil Kinevil, that doesn’t make his part in this story any more relevant.
also the fact that they killed the main character with so little fanfare, either before or after, was where the movie really started sliding into ‘lame’ territory i m o. I have never seen a movie where killing the main character ends up being a good idea, unless it’s at (or near) the very end. it elicits a powerful emotional response from the audience, sure, but you better have something real good to finish it up with or people are going to start realizing that you just spent an hour and a half building up this character (although the amount of characterization in NCFOM is, to be generous, quite light) to be someone we liked and respect as a resourceful, cool guy, and now he’s dead and there’s really nothing to show for it. “oh heh he wasn’t the real main character even though we’ve shown him for 90% of the movie HERE’S the real main character *points to typical stock sheriff* have fun” is lazy film making
Eric has a little something to say about that though
i didnt mind him being abruptly killed at all, it’s not often seen in movies. what bothered me is that i didnt give a shit about him dying.
Bob (me) has a response to that. An extreme response
I didn’t mind him being abruptly killed, but that so little attention was given to it. the whole movie was (seemingly) building up to a showdown with him and the crazy guy and then they were just like AWW WELL HE’S DEAD NOW LET’S MOVE ALONG and I was stuck wondering why the hell I’m still watching this movie if the primary source of tension no longer exists
And so we reach the end of our first Behind the Screams look at Puppyrush movie review process. I hope you’ve enjoyed this (unusually lengthy) entry! Look forward to more, less interesting entries.
The time is now.
Thus begins the great Puppyrush dot Net Movie Extravaganza. Here you will find deep, insightful reviews of movies the members of Puppyrush have gone out to see and watch, sometimes actually even paying for them in real-life movie theatrical encounters! The best part is, since these are ripped directly from a thread secreted deep inside the throbbing, moist sanctum of the PPR.NET forums, everything is live, unrehearsed, ripped directly from the mouths of babes (posters) and put down here for your truthful enjoyment. Uncensored, uncut, often rambling and nonsensical, with a poor sense of grammar and lack of reviewer’s etiquette.
Also, occasionally a review generated a discussion, and you’ll be privy to that information as well! Are you as excited as you should be to peek behind the veil of Puppyrush and witness the cogs in the machine? There’s no way you are! Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, for he is nothing but a miserable little pile of secrets.