Tuesday 30 April 2024

[Session] Fauxhammer S03E04: Dead Zeppelin

Red guy turned out to be
a red herring.
The rest of the family was out of town for a week, so I seized the opportunity to hold a fourth session for our Mordschlag campaign on the 4th of April. I used the last few months to digest player feedback and overhaul the core system to something closer to WFRP1e in feel. The most significant changes include transitioning to twelve attributes instead of ten, using the units of the attack roll to determine hit location, rolling d6 for damage, introducing Mythras-like special effects, and a experimenting with a freeform skill system. The feedback was surprisingly positive, so I feel I'm on track now and not just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks.

I'm a big fan of train levels in first-person shooters. We had one in the last season, where the party attempted to escape a speeding skaven train. It was one of the most memorable adventures in the campaign. I thought it was time to try another adventure where they are confined to a small enclosed space with something dangerous - this time, in air!

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] (cameo): The former monster slayer's skin turned black and 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.

Ruben Schultz, human mercenary captain: Downtrodden Sylvanian noble on his way back home from a Breatonnian trip. He firmly believes there are no vampires in Sylvania. 

Rudolf Fürst, human ex-daemonologist (NPC): Former student who summoned a herald of Slaanesh, caused some trouble, and was beaten into becoming Ruben's squire.

Session Report

The party concluded the last session with their balloon hanging from the nose of a dwarven zeppelin. Following a short rescue mission they met Roli Balderson, the wheelchair-bound captain of the ship. They learned the airship is carrying passengers between Araby and Marienburg. Roli offered the party a free trip to Altdorf as compensation for the accident. However, he cautioned them against visiting the city. Since the incident at the docks there is a sickening green smog hanging over the streets, weird folks are gathering there, the decent ones are leaving in throngs, and the emperor is dying.

In the first half of the session the party got to know some of the crew and passengers.

  • Squinting Skegi was the half-eyed navigator of the ship. He was rarely seen out of the map room or away from the window with a telescope on his remaining eye.
  • Mighty Margit was the leader of the stevedores. She had the lovely voice of a long-time smoker and whiskey drinker. She had a crush on Blitzkrieg since the moment she met her.
  • Hardy Harald was the dirty chef with a permanent scowl on his face and froth leaking from the corner of his mouth. He showed a surprising amount of respect towards Blitzkrieg because his brother was also a slayer - one who died early in his career.
  • Benjamin Hill was a halfling stand-up comedian. It was a miracle he wasn't thrown out of the airship earlier for his jokes.
  • Rüdiger von Kopfsmerz and his family were the quintessential irritating imperial nobles who thought the world revolved around them.
  • Alfonz Verpacken was the Kopfsmerz family's valet. They didn't bother booking him a room, so he travelled in the storage with the luggage.
  • Faqir al-Gebra introduced himself as an Arabyan envoy. In reality, he was a Strigany charlatan trying to rip people off by gambling. His latest victim was Rüdiger, who lost some money and family jewels while playing with the "envoy". Blitzkrieg tried his luck against him. The dwarf lost a small sum and couldn't prove the "Arabyan" was cheating.
  • Professor Heinz Burgsch was an academic from the Altdorf University specialized in Nehekharan archaeology. On his latest dig, he discovered an undisturbed tomb in the Land of the Dead. He packed a few sarcophagi containing the remains of a priest and some of his warriors on the airship. Paether had a long discussion with him about his discoveries while Blitzkrieg was gambling.

Skegi discovered that a green cloud was coming from the direction of Altdorf, which they didn't have the time to evade. Roli told everyone to return to their rooms and prepare for turbulence. Paether started getting headaches from the warp dust cloud.

Far from their tombs
they still guard.
The adventurers, of course, didn't heed the captain's warnings. Ruben and Blitzkrieg wanted to search the sarcophagi, fearing that the cloud would raise the dead or cause some magical bullshit. They even bought garlic and salt from Harald at a ridiculously high price. Meanwhile, Paether realized they haven't seen Rudolf for a while, so he went looking for him before he caused any trouble.

They all met at the storage room at the back of  the gondola. They didn't find any sarcophagi, but they saw Benjamin getting ripped apart by a pair of red arms that disappeared into the darkness with a bang coming from above. Among the boxes, they found Rudolf in the middle of a protective circle. He told Ruben that he heard some weird noises from above, panicked, and summoned a Bloodletter of Khorne to protect himself. Then he lost control of the daemon. After Ruben disciplined his squire, they all climbed up through the trapdoor to hunt down the daemon.

The adventurers found themselves in a huge labyrinthine cargo bay full of crates. Claw marks showed the creature's path, but the adventurers had no time to track them as the shambling corpses of the dwarven stevedores attacked them. After beating them down, they scrutinized the corpses and realized that they weren't killed by the daemon.

While Ruben and Blitzkrieg held back another wave of zombies deeper in the cargo bay, Paether zealously followed his daemon-slaying elf sword's light. He found the Bloodletter climbing up a crate in an Exorcist-like spider-climb. Paether killed the daemon with a single strike, but then acid started spraying from the screaming corpse. The acid burned the wizard, but Ruben pulled him out of the acidic stream's path, which kept flowing for a minute before stopping.

After the last wave of zombies, ancient khopesh-wielding skeletal warriors showed up. While the two warriors quickly dispatched them, the skeletal remains started to move again. While they were busy destroying them, a cackling voice called forth a cloud of scarabs, gravely wounding Ruben and slightly wounding Blitzkrieg. They followed the caster to the other end of the cargo bay, where Paether stunned another bunch of undead stevedores with a stormblast, then climbed down through another trapdoor to the entry hall, and burst into the lounge, where they finally met the mummy wielding a Scarab staff and a meteoric iron khopesh. In a quick and brutal battle, Paether disarmed the mummy's staff-wielding hand with a magical blast. Literally, Ruben was gravely wounded, but in the end, the adventurers prevailed.

Once the danger was over and they left the cloud, the professor got a bitchslap from the captain for bringing dangerous cargo on the ship, Blitzkrieg received special treatment from Margit, and everyone got a warm handshake for saving the day. As the airship reached Altdorf, Margit visited the adventurers to give each one of them a backpack 

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