Bushido!

Tiny Dungeon 2nd Ed. - The Mad Magicks of the Turned God!

Since there haven't been many objections in the poll I ran about posting RPGs, I'm now trying out the free starter quest Mad Magicks of the Turned God using the 3 pre-generated characters: Dhuzmaeg the Brawler (dwarf fighter), Haden of the Order of Spero (cleric) and Aeda Moonloop, Master of Light Fingers (rogue ranger).


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The Mad Magicks of the Turned God


Your party has been brought together by Brother Tigast of the Brotherhood of Spero, a religious order formed to protect the history of this area and provide guidance when needed. They have heard stories of your great deeds and gathered you here to set you on a grand adventure. Tigast says there will be danger. He says there may be doom. And he says you may find fame and glory along the way.


Tigast presents you with a task. You must find your way to the Tomb of Brother Gnura in the Catacombs of Wither. Inside the tomb, in a hidden drawer in Gnura’s sarcophagus, you will find the key to the Domum Oaxus. The Domum Oaxus lies at the center of the Plains of Nuth, an area decimated long ago in a war between two wizards, stopped by the valiant sacrifice of the God of Stillness, Oaxus. Inside the Domum is the place where that final sacrifice was made.


You need the key to determine the cause of the spectral lights occuring above the Domum and the dead now walking and attacking unwary travelers. It has unnerved local communities and those who frequently travel through the area — with good reason.


Tigast provides a map that clearly shows the location of Gnura’s Tomb in the Catacombs, as well as the way to get to the Domum Oaxus at the center of the Plains of Nuth.


At the entrance to the Catacombs, the party finds find a sign: “With kind eyes, look upon the dead within these walls. With glad heart, bear no ill will to these resting souls. Take nothing that you did not bring with you.”


As the party make their way into the Catacombs, they are attacked by skeletons. The first was the largest group with three skeletons and the hardest to take down as the skeletons have an uncanny vitality that allows them to reconstitute themselves. 

The heroes have to knock them down multiple times before the spell of vitality wears off. In the battle, Dhuzmaeg got knocked down as he was the brawler in the front lines. Thank goodness for Haden who is able to rouse him and heal some of the dwarf's wounds.


That was the worst of it and from then on the party is able to deal with the single skeletons that shamble their way.


When they finally make their way out of the Catacombs, the party comes upon Gnura’s Tomb, with a large statue at the entrance. As they walk past, it seems to look at them closely. The door to the tomb is locked.


Aeda Lightfingers manages to pick the lock and for a moment the statue's eyes become rock again.


Inside the Tomb, they quickly locate the hidden drawer in the sarcophagus. As soon as they remove the Key to Domum Oaxus, they hear a grinding sound, like rock moving.


They turn and see the statue move into the room to block the door.


Thanks to the earlier battles with the skeletons, the party is now battle hardened and the statue is slow. They manage to take it down without much difficulty.


Once the Guardian, the heroes find their way out of the Catacombs and start their journey to the Plains of Nuth and the Domum Oaxus.


The Plains of Nuth 


It takes the heroes a several hours to arrive at the edge of the Plains of Nuth, and as soon as the party steps over the border, they are aware something has changed. Haden feels something strange within him, but doesn’t know what it is. 


The Greeting Party 


A few minutes after entering the area, they are set upon by a group of 4 Skeletons. 


Haden automatically tries to cast a firebolt but nothing issues from his hands. “Wha- my magic! What—?!!!!"


“Focus and fight any way you can!" Dhuzmaeg roars. 


Haden cautiously advances into melee range with his quarterstaff. 


In the ensuing battle, Haden kills a skeleton, Aeda manages to kill two and Dhuzmaeg one. Dhuzmaeg sustains 2 wounds after the combat, and they manage to find 2 coin as loot.


As the party walks across the blighted land towards Domum Oaxus. Dhuzmaeg’s natural vitality helps him to heal a little. Haden binds his wounds and heals him fully.


Entering the Domum Oaxus 


Along the way, using the key from the Tomb of Brother Gnura, Haden can once again feel a connection to the source of his power, but he feels an uneasiness he cannot explain. 


The Doomed Faris


As the party gets nearer to the Domum Oaxus, they encounter the ragged spirit of a woman in a wizard’s robes. With a wave of her hand, 2 Skeletons rise from the ground around her and attack.

The party attacks and manages to wound the Ghostly Necromancer but she raises another skeleton from the ground!


“We must kill the Ghostly Necromancer else she will overwhelm us with undead skeletons!” Haden dodges an attack. 


Aeda downs a skeleton but it’s not enough as the Ghostly Necromancer raises another skeleton… then with a wave of her hand she turns insubstantial. 


Dhuzmaeg swears. “We can’t touch her!” 


“Go for the skeletons!” Aeda’s bow sings. 


The party whittle down the skeletons to two. Aeda takes a light flesh wound in the process. 


Haden manages to cast a spell… but it’s strangely weak and even though it hits a skeleton, it doesn’t blast it to smithereens as it should. 


"My magic! It’s… odd! Something’s happ- aargh!" A skeleton wounds Haden. 


Suddenly the Ghostly Necromancer turns solid again and the party focus their attacks on her. 


Haden chants the words of the firebolt spell… but heals Aeda instead! "What the-?!" As the magic user tries to grapple with what is happening with his magic, Aeda and Dhuzmaeg both wound the Ghostly Necromancer! She’s on her last legs. 


Before she can raise another skeleton Haden - face contorted in furious concentration - gets off another spell. This time, the power blows the Ghostly Necromancer apart! The remaining 2 skeletons crumble into dust. 


Haden stares at his trembling hands. 


They find 3 coins from the corpse of the Ghostly Necromancer.


As the party continue on their way, Haden experiments and discovers magic does not quite work as it should here, and his intentions may manifest in strange ways. His spells are uncertain… some are unexpectedly strong, others weak and some even go awry. He even manages to heal himself with a spell, even though he normally cannot do that. 


The Warped Ydel


Closer still to the Domum Oaxus, the party encounters another ghostly, robed figure, this time with the torso of a man and a mass of eight writhing tentacles he uses as feet and extra hands. With a wave of his hand, he summons 2 Tentacles from the ground.


"What deviltry is this?" Dhuzmaeg roars and swings at the Ghostly Tentacled Sorcerer. He lands a hit!


Not trusting to his magic, Haden is similarly successful with his staff but the Ghostly Tentacled Sorcerer raises another tentacle!



“He’s just like the other wah - aaahhhhh!” Distracted by the sight, a tentacle grabs Dhuzmaeg!


The Ghostly Tentacled Sorcerer cackles and quickly turns himelf ghostly!


“Aaaarh!” Frustrated, Aeda swings her bow from the Ghostly Tentacled Sorcerer to the tentacle that has gripped Dhuzmaeg. The arrow embeds itself in the greasy flesh but doesn’t kill it. 


Haden aims his staff at the tentacle gripping Dhuzmaeg. “Oy! Not that! Him!" The dwarf points at the Ghostly Tentacled Sorcerer. 


Haden shifts aim and swings his staff twice and manages to land a blow. Dhuzmaeg tries to finish the job but misses as he’s all tied up. A tentacle lashes at him. He dodges a blow but is unsuccessful with a second. Blood flows down his face. 


Aeda cooly draws her bow, takes careful aim… and scores a hit! 


As the Ghostly Tentacled Sorcerer goes down, the tentacles follow suit and disappear like mist in the sun.


Oaxus Reborn!


When the party get to the center of the complex, they find a marble table with a body that looks very far from dead. If this is Oaxus, he is staging his own resurrection. And Oaxus, god of stillness, is far from still. 


Every moment, a wave of raw magical energy pulses from the god’s prone body, causing strange events to take place. Each pulse is as though a stone was dropped in a pond, creating outward ripples of wild effects. And the party can see his eyes dart wildly beneath closed eyelids, as though he is suffering a nightmare from which he cannot awaken.


"This is what happened to our seers! I can feel the sheer power coming off from Oaxus," Haden grits out through clenched teeth as he attempts to push forward.


"What do you expect? He's a god!" Aeda is also trying to do the same with a bit more success.


Suddenly a blast of freezing air accompanied by hailstones hits the party!


Aeda, being in front, bears the brunt of it while the others are battered and bruised.


Haden sees the blood flowing down Aeda's temple and focuses. He succeeds in healing Aeda. Or at least, the blood stops flowing although she's still battered and bruised.


Undeterred, Aeda forges forward, Dhuzmaeg by her side.


Oaxus convulses on the marble table and a blast of agonisingly hot air hits the party... this time from the rear!


Being the rearmost, Haden bears the brunt of the fiery heat. Haden uses some of the supplies that he's carrying to salve some of the burns. The pain diminishes and he feels better... enough to successfully use his magic to heal Aeda a little bit more. 


She now strides forward a bit more confidently together with Dhuzmaeg.


At the same time, Aeda is beginning to have an inkling of a suspicion that something is not quite what it seems. But... what could it be? 


As if in response to her thoughts, the party floats into the air! Everything that isn't rooted to the ground also floats in the air... rocks, pebbles... 


Haden floats above everyone else but despite his disorientation, Haden uses the opportunity to heal Aeda. She's almost recovered from her injuries now.


"Dhuzmaeg! Haden! This isn't right!"


"You think?" Haden shoots back.


"Just... let me... get my feet back on solid... ground and..." The dwarf cuts a ridiculous figure as he struggles to 'swim' back down to the ground. If their situation wasn't so dire, Aeda would've laughed out loud.


Haden manages to concentrate enough to use his magics to heal Dhuzmaeg and then applies more healing salve to himself. He's feeling like normal now.


"Look!" Aeda points at the sleeping god. "Do you see that? Every time every time Oaxus’ eyes move... something happens to us."


"Yes!" The dwarf looks around. "But everything that's happened is so random ... it's as if... as if he doesn’t have any control over what’s happening!!!"


Just then, they feel the weight of their bodies again... just before they crash down to the ground!


Groaning, Haden tries to heal Aeda... but the pain is too great.


Despite falling the shortest distance, Dhuzmaeg falls awkwardly on his head, stunning himself.


Aeda ignores the pain of the ankle that she twisted as she fell and hobbles closer to the figure twitching on the marble table.


As if the party didn't have enough troubles, Oaxus shudders yet again, and the marble floor that was so solid abruptly turns into a mud-like substance!


Haden instinctively casts a healing spell on Aeda... then realises he's stuck in the sticky, gooey muck!


Dhuzmaeg manages to pull himself free of the clinging goop and stands up. The muddy substance is only a few inches deep. Something about that makes his eyes light up. "I’ve got it!" He roars. "Oaxus is dreaming… or having a nightmare! And as a god... anything he thinks can come true! We have to wake him up!"


"How?" Haden groans. He feels he should know this... but the pain throbbing through his head makes it difficult to concentrate.


"I don't know!" 


"Shake him awake?" Aeda looks doubtfully at the figure on the marble table.


"He's a god!" Haden groans.


"You have a better idea?" Suiting her actions to her words, Aeda feels the effects of Haden's healing. Her ankle is no longer twisted and she moves lightly through the sludge, closing in on the half-asleep, half-awake god.


Oaxus twitches yet again and the floor returns to its normal marble state, unfortunately trapping Haden!


Shrugging philosophically the priest uses more of his healing supplies on himself. It's a pity my magic doesn't work on me. Then, he starts chipping away at the stone floor.


Dhuzmaeg takes the opportunity to move further into the chamber, fighting against the waves of magical energy still emanating from the centre.


He pauses. He's passed the elf. He looks back. She's rooted to the spot where she last stopped. What the -?


Another blast of fiery air smashes into the party!


Dhuzmaeg somehow manages to avoid the brunt of it, as does Haden who's lying low on the floor. It's Aeda, standing stock still, that takes the most damage from the super-heated air. Despite her injuries, she doesn't respond.


Haden tries to heal Aeda but is too exhausted.


Dhuzmaeg forges forward. He's almost at the centre... when he feels himself floating again.


"Arghhh!!!" He roars. So close...!!!! 


Still stuck to the floor, Haden focuses and manages to heal Aeda somewhat.


"Aeda! Wake up, girl! What's wrong with you?!"


The dwarf's roaring voice shakes Aeda out of her trance. "I... I... I think I was... seeing a bit of Oaxus’ dreams... I..." She shakes her head. "What... oh no...!!!" She groans. She's floating above everyone else.


And just as suddenly as it disappeared, gravity returns with full force, slamming her to the ground! A loud snap is heard.


Ignoring his rump that's still rooted in the floor, Haden focuses and manages to knit Aeda's broken bones together. The bones are still fragile, but she's in no immediate danger now.


Despite her pain, Aeda grits her teeth and crawls determinedly forward.


Seeing her determination sparks something in Dhuzmaeg, and he manages to fight his way forward, and reaches the marble table in the centre of the great chamber. His hand moves forward... then stops just shy of the twitching deity.


"Go on! Touch him! Wake him up!"


Dhuzmaeg takes a deep breath and touches Oaxus' shoulder.


The dwarf's touch is like something more than just the physical. It seems to root the god back in reality again. Oaxus stills. His eyes no longer move under his closed eyelids.


Haden exhales. "You’ve done it, you old warrior!" 


Indeed, the god of stillness is now still and at peace. The balance in the area is restored and all is well with the world. 


Aeda just rests her head on the hard marble floor.


AFTERMATH


The dwarf and elf free Haden from the floor. The priest recalls something he learned during his divinity classes in the temple and encourages them to leave immediately and not stick around to look for loot as they normally would. "You don't want to mess with a god... especially this one. Do you want to send him into the dream world again?" The others reluctantly agree and the party leaves Domum Oaxus, their mission from Brother Tigast of the Brotherhood of Spero complete.


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That was unexpectedly fun. I picked up a very rules light RPG called tiny Dungeon 2nd Edition from DTRPG when it was on sale a few months ago. I think it was going for 90% off normal price and I bought a whole batch of stuff from Gallant Knight Games.


Anyway, the system is simple and light yet flexible enough to manage all kinds of situations. While the initial encounters I had with my party of heroes was mostly combat focused, the finale wasn’t. I had to figure out ways to play that session solo, and some bits from Blades in the Dark came to the rescue, primarily the concept of “countdown clocks” to denote the passage of time or the accomplishment of an objective/project.


Then there’s lots of (free) solo aids available where you make a fortune roll to denote if something happens or not. There are also what is known as “oracles” that have you rolling for 2 pictograms and trying to make something out of them.


There’s also the concept of not just a straight “yes” or “no” roll, but varying degrees of successes/failure.


So perhaps the number of successes needed is 2 for a full success and you roll 3 dice. If you only get 1 success, you might get a “yes, but…” denoting a partial success BUT a complication happens. Say you need 2 successes to pick a lock but you only get 1. A “yes but…” result means you manage to pick the lock… BUT your lock pick is stuck inside and you can’t get it out or your lock pick breaks, leaving you without a lock pick for the rest of the adventure, or until you manage to replace it somehow.


And combining RPGs that tell a story with tabletop skirmishing satisfies me with where I am currently in my gaming journey. Instead of looking for a pre-made campaign, I can come up with my own, and the resulting storyline can surprise me as well as it turns in a way I didn’t expect and wasn’t outlined in the “script”. Example: in one of my later RPG games with a sword & sorcery bent: the party inadvertantly faced a necromancer’s spirit (treasure was involved) and the resultant combat had the spirit possessing the body of my fighter PC! My rogue PC managed to knock him out and tie him up and they now have to figure out what to do next. Me too!


That’s my initial steps into the world of RPGs. Let me know what you think.

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