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SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS OF THE S.F.A.B.C. - Fantasy Gamers
The S F A B C Fantasy Gamers meet on the second Saturday of most months from 1:00 - 5:00 PM in the basement of the GameMaster, 26-13 Broadway (Route 4 West), Fair Lawn, New Jersey (201) 796 - 7377. At the moment, the game is at capacity, with eight regulars and a few additional occasional players. Interested parties are welcome to contact us and attend a session. If they like the people and the style, they can get on a waiting list for future openings.
A brief history of the club's game appears below. Further down is an account of one of our recent adventures chronicled by Anthony Di Prima.
There have been a number of people in the Association who have played Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy role-playing games for around twenty years. By the winter of 1991, there was little gaming going on among our members. The most recent games had not been Dungeons & Dragons and had usually been short-lived.
Philip De Parto proposed a plan to revitalize the gaming contingent. William Molendyk, the group's most experienced DM, was asked to design a continent-sized area in a fantasy world. William, Philip, Charles Garofalo, and Thomas Purdy all agreed to run campaigns in different sections of this "continent" and coordinate matters with each other. A person could be a DM in one campaign and play in another. Player and non-player characters could move from one campaign to another under certain conditions. The April 1992 Starship Express announced the plan and published a map of The Hidden Lands and a list of Dungeon Masters and players for each campaign.
We ran into problems almost immediately. Thomas Purdy's schedule changed and he was never able to actually get his campaign going. Philip De Parto ran a scenario that lasted about 8 months, but ultimately folded due to time and experience problems.
Charles Garofalo did launch a campaign which survives to this day. It runs on the third Saturday afternoon of the month before meetings of the New Jersey Science Fiction Society. It is a very small group, and Chuck & Bill Molendyk are the only ones in it who belong to the Association.
Characters for the "Official" S F A B C Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game were rolled up before the April 1993 meeting. The first actual game was played on May 8, 1993.
Four players took part in that first adventure. Only one of the four was present the following month, although three other people joined the game. This began a pattern of chaotic attendance by an ever-changing group of players that continued for two years. Players would come by, get involved for six months to a year, and then drop out. Since only a few people were ever present at a time, the absence of a couple effectively scrapped the game.
The months of March, April, and May of 1995 marked the influx of four new regular, and one occasional, adventurer to the group. When added to the group playing before the influx and the couple of others who have joined since then, we finally have a decent-sized group which shows up consistently.
It has become easier for Bill to plan an adventure and a whole lot more fun to play. In June of 1995, Anthony Di Prima began a journal of the group's adventures. One of his accounts appears below.
Game Date: 03/09/96
Attendance: Char. name: Daniel Adler Lazaroptidus (Human 1Wild-Mage/1C) Anthony Di Prima Jonathan Gold (Elf 1F/1M/2T [Infiltrator]) Charles Garofalo Skellen (Halfling 2f/3C) Donald Mc Farland Shamus (Dwarf 1F/1C) B J Pehush Erik (Human 1F) Sharon Roberg Del (Delighla) (Half-Elf 1F/2B) Scott Schmitt Damrod (Half-Elf 1M/1C)
Player absent, character [possessed] played by DM
Philip De Parto Gil [Demetrius] (H 1C)[? Cleric of Usamagarus]
Player absent, character not played
Joel Ryerson Balik Dwarf (1f/1C) John Santamaria Aladar (Human 1F [Marmadon])
NPC's played by DM
1 NPC Canadius (H Cl of "Gorm") 4 NPC's no names (H F [Brotherhood of Gorm])
Main Incidents: The Pyramid Exploration (continued):
Two 15 foot Pythons:
The party and the "Gorm-People" exterminated two 15 foot pythons in a room that contained a table and a lifeless female in a rabbit mask. The "Gorm-People" held the pythons at bay with their spears and the rest of the group used ranged weaponry. The nobly alleviated the corpse of its possession which consisted of: a gold necklace, water pouch, small pouch of mushrooms and a rabbit mask.
The party and the "Gorm-People" entered a room which contained a large heavy desk in the room's center, sculpted lion heads that protruded from the walls, large wax sealed urns in each corner, and a door in the center of the adjacent wall which was flanked by 2 gargoyles on pedestals. Damrod, the cautious, upon inspecting the two gargoyle statues, discovered that they were real as one bashed him upon his head, decorating parts of the floor with blood.
One gargoyle remained near the door and was fought by: Damrod (using his magic spear), Canadius (using a spell to enchant his club), the other "Gorm- People" (not much help at all without magic weapons), and [Demetrius] who stayed back and assisted with spells.
The other gargoyle advanced towards the center of the room and was engaged in combat by: Del (wielding her + 1 magic long sword), Shamus (with a + 1 mace), Erik (the poor fool, using a + 0 magic sword given to him by Lazoroptidus which was totally useless), Jonathan Gold (utilizing wind splitter, his mighty bow to fire his + 1 arrows), Skellen (using his crossbow of speed to fire + ? magic bolts), and Lazaroptidus (who stayed back and assisted with spells). Erik realized after several rounds of combat that his short sword was ineffective. His last conscious action was jumping off the table onto the gargoyle.
The party had one casualty from the combat, which had lasted about four or five minutes. Erik had been beaten into unconsciousness. The party loaded him into Lazaroptidus' wheel barrel and continued onward. After the gargoyles were destroyed and their horns taken, Jonathan Gold inspected the desk for traps and picked the combination lock to reveal the treasure which consisted of: a gold mace, a tiny urn, a large clay bowl filled with silver beads, and a small bowl with 18 gems (each gem worth 100 gp).
Pit with Spikes:
Canadius and the other members from the Brotherhood of Gorm continued to lead the group to their underground city. Along the way, the group came to a four-way intersection formed by the crossing of two ten-foot corridors. Within the intersection was a spike pit trap that was sprung when [Demetrius] and one of the members of the Brotherhood of Gorm passed over it.
Disaster was at hand. The falling "Gorm-Person" was pushing the wheel barrel.
Acting with lightning quick reflexes, Jonathan Gold saved the wheel barrel from falling in and being damaged! Erik was also saved in the process.
Lazaroptidus was extremely happy and thanked Jonathan for saving his wheel barrel. The brotherhood member took 9 out of 10 points of damage. Jonathan's save of the wheel barrel had saved his life and possibly that of Erik and Gil/ [Demetrius]. [Demetrius], who had only spoke sorcerer king, reverted temporarily back to Gil, probably as a result of the trauma caused by the fall onto the spikes. The group then helped the two unfortunates out of the pit and performed first aid and cast healing (CLW). Skellen restrained a few zealous party members who had offered to try to bring back [Demetrius] by bashing Gil on the head.
The party and the "Gorm-People" entered a room which contained the ruins of a temple dedicated to the deities: Gorm, Usamigaras, and Madarua. At the toppled statues of the three deities were what had appeared to have been two people, one male and one female, with fox masks.
The two masked strangers charmed Damrod, Del and Shamus and began to pickpocket them. Jonathan Gold noticed the pickpocketing, alerted the uncharmed members, and proceeded to stealthily work his way behind them to attempt a backstab. The stealth gambit failed when he failed to move quietly enough. Standing at the sight of the toppled statue of Usamigaras and deeply troubled, the persona of [Demetrius] reemerged and cast a dispel charm. As the masked couple tried to flee, Jonathan Gold and Shamus each grappled with one of them. Jonathan put the male into a head lock and Shamus put the female into an arm lock behind its back. The rest of the party then attacked the creatures. The two masked strangers started to become very hairy, then hairier, then full blown beastly hairy. It became apparent that they were werefoxs.
[Demetrius] stands at the sight of the topple statue of Usamigaras. He is deeply troubled. He watches as the two masked strangers walk among his cheerful companions as they fleece them of their hard earned gold. He begins to chant, "Oooo whaaa taaa naaa fooo Iiii ammm." As he finishes the chant, his companions realize that they had been charmed.
The masked male stranger removes his gold-filled hand from the pocket of Del and turns as he hears a stone scrap the floor several meters behind. He sees his opponent: a black-hooded cloak partly conceals its face. Two swords, on long, one short, protrude from under the cloak.
The two masked strangers, upon hearing [Demetrius'] chant, realize that their ruse has been foiled. Combat is immanent. They attempt to flee.
A voice, a soft male voice, calls out from under the hood of the black hooded cloak. "Leaving so soon?" The soft spoken male tackles the male stranger and grapples the stranger into a head lock. "Leaving, with only a few gold coins? How pathetic. I'll give you now a treasure that you'll wear around your neck for the rest of your life." The soft voiced male tightens the head lock. The stranger opens his mouth and gasps for air. "For, you, my dear sir, I give to you a necklace of Gold, Jonathan Gold!" Pearly white teeth are proudly displayed as Jonathan smiles. He is in a very giving mood. "Shamus, grab the other one!"
"So, lassie, ye hast itchy fingers that find their way to me gold! I'll be taken those back, and teach ye a lesson, I will, never to steal the gold of dwarves!" Shamus, uncharmed by [Demetrius], grabs the female's arm and jerks it behind her back, locking it into a nearly inescapable position. Two gold pieces are flung from her hand and drop onto the dark gray stone floor. Clank, clank, the coins ring out, letting their dwarven master know that they have fallen. Clank, clank, they call a second and a third time; but master Shamus is busy, oh, so busy is he, for now he teaches a dwarven lesson of gold.
As the two masked strangers are held, they begin to become very hairy, then hairier, then full blown beastly hairy. They are werefoxs! The rest of the party falls upon the two beasts. Del slashes with her magic sword, "I'm going to nail your paws and tail to the wall!"
Customer satisfaction is the name of the game and Jonathan Gold maintains a strict quality control over his necklace of Gold. "Why do you struggle? Gold is what you treasure, and now Gold is what you have. Or rather, Gold has you. Ouch. O, grandpa, what big claws you have."
Jonathan is struck twice by the creature's claws. He calls for clerical assistance and is healed by one of his companions.
Del draws her sword back high above her head. "I'm a musical kind of gal and I've been told that music can quiet a savage werefox." In a golf-like stroke, she swings the instrument of her song. The up-swing follows the creature's right leg and strikes the key that causes a high- pitched harmony that is the mortal lullaby of this hairy stranger. "Oh, look, new golf balls." Jonathan releases his grip as the creature slumps to the floor.
The female held by Shamus severely gorges the dwarf's left shoulder. Blood shoots forth into the stale air of the ancient chamber. "Aaaahh!!! Canadius! [Demetrius]! Some body heal me today." Shamus' call for help is answered and he is healed. "Ah, me friend, may your beer be cold and may ye always have a wee bit extra for a friend."
Lazaroptidus, using one of the silver beads found earlier, fires his sling, striking the female creature in its' abdomen. Damrod's long magic spear penetrates deep into the throat of the she-fox. Her final growl is muffled by her blood-filled throat.
The creatures reformulate back into heir original human forms. Del looks down at the corpses. "I wanted their tails and paws, but I'll have to settle for nailing their hands to the wall." She loops off their hands and picks a spot in the chamber to be the receptacle of her interior decoration. "Well, I guess that will have to do."
Jonathan strolls over to the bodies. "Del, my musical friend, let's nail their asses to the wall. It will make better material for a song and we will be able to honestly say, we came, we conquered, we nailed their asses to the wall."
As the party ventures towards the exit, Canadius looks back at the far wall containing two sets of asses. Below each ass are a pair of hands with all the fingers closed in, with the exception of the middle fingers which point to their asses. He thinks to himself, "I haven't seen my in-laws for a long time."
He also thinks to himself, "These adventurers are excellent allies. I'm glad these are on my side. I don't ever want to piss them off. I will kiss their ass so as not to have mine nailed to that wall."
The party slew the two werefoxs with no fatalities. Shamus had received serious wounds that will warrant the casting of a cure disease. Jonathan Gold was clawed twice but was healed during the combat. Del had wanted to nail their tails to the wall, but settled for nailing their hands to the wall. Jonathan Gold took the sentiment a slight bit further and, utilizing great surgical precision, removed their buttocks and affixed them to the same wall. Jonathan did it not as a symbol to show that "we were here," but rather as a childish gesture so that it could be told in stories that he "nailed their asses to the wall." Five gems totaling 900 gp were found.
Stories on the Wall:
On the wall of one chamber is the story of how the ancestors of the "Gorm-People" came to live underground. It told how they originally lived on the surface, but fled during a great cataclysm. Both their language and the pictographs indicate that this during the great wars that ended the reign of the Sorcerer-Kings. As the centuries passed, their eyes enlarged as they adapted to the underground darkness.
The pictographs were only discovered because the human adventurers needed light to move comfortably around. They are not visible with infravision or the faintly glowing light sources used by the "Gorm-People." Both the pictographs and other evidence like statues, make it clear that Gorm, Usamigaras and Madarua were originally worshipped as one pantheon. The cults of the individual gods drifted apart and later warred. The Cult of Zargon has seized control in recent years with its strange allies and traffic in the ecstatic drug, tannose. The old religions have been marginalized, dwelling in the nooks and crannies of society.
The "Gorm-People" and [Demetrius] have been struggling to reconcile this new information with their traditional inter-cult rivalries and hatreds.
Arrival at the Underground City:
The party arrived at outskirts of the Underground City at the close of the session.
Money: none Magic: none Other: gold necklace, water pouch, small pouch of mushrooms, rabbit mask, gold mace, tiny run, large clay bowl filled with silver beads, small bowl with 18 gems (100 gp each), 5 gems (900 gp total)
Treasure Accumulated and not Distributed:
Other: 9 Fire Beetle Glands Other: 4 gems (room # 3) Holy Symbol and robes of [Demetrius]
* * * end of 03/09/96 game * * *
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