Tuesday 8 August 2023

[Session] Fauxhammer S03E02: Revelations

With that tongue they can easily
reach your back molars.

We held the second session of our Mordschlag campaign on the 4th of April, with two players present in person, and one virtually - staring at miniatures and maps through a shitty little webcam attached to my table. That's what you get for loitering in Scotland!

Dramatis Personae

Blitzkrieg, dwarf veteran slayer: Half-deaf, naked, and in possession of a magical axe he fished out from the belly of the legendary Moby Squig. He is on his way to Altdorf to find the love of his life: the dwarf priestess Agonia.

Edgar, human [redacted]: The former monster slayer's skin turned black & white after a short trip to the Realms of Chaos, where he saw several of his clones crucified, was granted apocalyptic visions, and obtained an ominous sword. He is also followed by the black and white horse of a former chaos warrior.

Paether von Sternwart, human astromancer: Eager to get back to Altdorf, graduate as an archmage, and put his elven sword back into the daemon prince it was pulled out of.

Session Report

After a hearty breakfast our intrepid adventurers decided that they should visit the nearby village of Weilerberg, to find an old woman who knows one of the suspects of last night's murder: the young druidess. Frau Eberhauer turned out to be a retired elementalist. She told her visitors that the druidess they are looking for is a feral child called Wanda, who appeared two years ago around the Moon Pool. She is in her teens, has some magical talents, and more than likely innocent, because she never wanders far from her territory. She is also respected by the locals, who send her baskets of food in hope of a good harvest. Frau Eberhauer told the party where do people leave their gifts, and even sent a basket of jams.

After plowing through a dark forest the party arrived to the glade they were looking for, then got ambushed by five beastmen. Paether conjured a pair of wings to fall back to a better position, while Blitzkrieg and the Edgar held the beastmen back. A combination of magical windblast, lightning bolts, and steel killed three of the beasts. One fled south along the river, the other fled west into the forest, until he was caught by animated vines. When the adventurers found him they saw it's capable of regeneration, so they dispatched him a swift and brutal manner. It was only then that the druidess showed herself.

The girl was suspicious, but thanks to their valiant efforts shown against the minions of Chaos and the jam they brought the party quickly earned her trust. Wanda lead them to a lake deep in the forest, and told them, that she too has felt that an evil presence appeared lately near Kreutzhofen, and that the waters of the pool will offer them guidance.

Paether was the first to take a bath in the pool. He saw a vision of a sick old oak with six saplings growing under it - but five of them seemed insubstantial, with birds unable to rest on their branches. Then he saw the vision of three blue faces on the sky reminding him of the daemon prince whom he pulled his sword out of a year ago. When the wizard raised said sword to the sky, the demonic faces were distorted by agony and disappeared. When Blitzkrieg took the plunge, he didn't get anything other than wet. When Edgar gave it a shot, the lake catapulted him out.

Without new leads the party returned to Kreutzhofen to investigate Magnus Richthofen, a local landowner whom Bruno, the milita captain, suspects of planning a rebellion. After presuading his two dimwit, labourers the party entered the barn, where they met the landowner. It turned out Magnus was just a selfmade scientist and engineer, who wanted to create a balloon. His plan was to use his invention to ship the guns Bruno confiscated to Mortensholm in the Border Princes, to aid the fight against the greenskins. He offered the party a ride to Altdorf, if they help him recover his guns and join him to Mortensholm.

After the deal was made the adventurers returned to Kreutzhofen to visit Rudolf Fürst, the student whose door got a penis nailed to it last night. There was a storm coming, and far away to the north they saw several lightning bolts strike around the same location. While that was suspicious, they didn't have time to take a detour, because there was another vulgar surprise on the student's door. There was a strange smell in the air and Rudolf's reactions were hostile to the knocking. Soon a Fiend of Slaanesh burst through it, while Rudolf ran up to the attic to start a fire.

Edgar came under the effect of the fiend's musky odour, trying to hold Blitzkrieg back from attacking them, but was pushed aside. Dwarven steel and magic destroyed the monster, who melted into a fragrant rainbowy puddle. By the time the locals came to check out what's going out the house was burning and a hysterical Bruno was brought down by the party. Paether knew that Bruno was trying to incinerate occult books in desperation, yet they told the locals that it was some greasy stuff that caught fire.

While the villagers were busy fighting the flames, Bruno admitted to this captors that he summoned the demon to protect himself from something more horrifying...

Pushing Things Over the Edge

One of the things we are experimenting was throwing out Luck Points, which allow you to reroll tests in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Instead, if you are really not satisfied with your roll, you can choose to push the test. This allows you to make another roll, with two caveats: the second roll is final and you gain a number of stress (which leads to insanity), or corruption (which leads to mutation), or wounds equal to half the units of your final roll. Which one you gain depends on what kind of roll you pushed - e.g. breaking down a door will likely cause some wounds because you bruise yourself, while regaining control over a spell will result in corruption.

Three sessions in this is one of the rules that will likely stay. My players like using it when things look desperate and I'm satisfied with the pace corruption and stress accumulates. I also like reminding them when things go south, and tempting them into using it. That short moment while they hesitate whether they should give in or accept failure is priceless.