Day 14 RPG A Day is meant to describe a failure that became amazing. I can’t think of one so I am going to tell you all the tale of last Wednesday night game where the party suffered a total party kill (TPK). This was in the Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed of the roleplaying game (RPG) by Modiphius. It was a very cool story and the TPK was a mixture of my role as the games master (GM) and a player’s curiosity.
Story to Wednesday
One of the player’s was seeking a rival by the name of Carrie Numbers. Another player had incurred a bad reputation (The Harlot of Nemedia) and they happened across a lord in the Borderlands. The lord was seeking to have a ruined keep in the mountains (Keep Winterbloom) restored. Unfortunately, the workers he had sent to the keep came back in fear of the ghost of the Bloody Red Baron they encountered there. Lord Horseblossom offered to assist the group with their problems if they could clear the keep of the ghost or prove it did not exist so the restoration could occur. The players accepted the deal and headed to the badly damaged keep.
Dealing with the wildlife
At first, the party found the keep was inhabited by a den of winter wolves. A great battle in the snow drove the wolves away as they battled against a horrid blizzard. Exploring the ground floor of the keep revealed little of a ghost and eventually, they managed to make their way to the second floor. The second floor was in much better condition and better protected from the elements. On exploration, they came to a grand hall where they were surprised by the appearance of the ghost.
Bloody Red Baron
They battled the ghost only to find it a fake. A pirate, hundreds of miles from the sea, suspended from wires. An amulet hung from his neck causing his etherealness. The player’s slaughtered him and the crew that sought to defend him. In the battle, there was word of a shrine below and the players in earnest went searching for the dungeon of the keep.
Well repaired and hidden by a snow drift the players found the door to the dungeons. Descending into the darkness they were beset on from traps through the narrow corridors. As they came to the first chamber a blind watchman from the Red Brotherhood confronted them. In a twist of fate, one of the players revealed themselves as a member of this piratical brotherhood but before anything could be done another killed the blind man with his poleaxe. Creeping ever forward they found a room filled with seawater and a creature made of water arose to battle them. The churning waters unsettled the combatants but they were victorious over the beast.
Pushing further into this strange dungeon they arrived at a large room where humans were being transmuted into fish men. A sorcerer approached the group to determine their purpose and to revel in his own achievements. The conversation turned sour quickly and a battle was formed. Magic from the players and the sorcerer clashed. The sorcerer threatened the players with his sorcerous might and the Harlot of Nemedia fell to irreparable madness. The sorcerer of the group was knocked unconscious by one of the fishmen as the final player killed the vile sorcerer. She turned and threatened the fishmen who returned to the water in the room for fear of her might.
Curiosity killed the party
As she turned and considered leaving this place she saw a door. Ritualistic carvings of a fish head surrounded the portal that was deep in the water. She could not turn back now. Alone she was determined to find the shrine before escaping. Centipedes, summoned by the party sorcerer began to arrive and feast on the corpse of the sorcerer as she waded into the water. The fishmen became agitated by her approach and she yet again sought to scare them away. This time the fishmen were resilient and attacked her in the water.
She managed to kill one but the other was too fast and she fell to its blows leaving blood in the water as a marker of her last stand. The feasting centipedes eventually found the unconscious sorcerer who summoned them and devoured his unconscious corpse. The Harlot of Nemedia disappeared, mad, without a trace in that deep dark place.
The group made new characters that night. We all agreed that the tale of their downfall was a grand one though. The player that was seeking Carrie Numbers was so intrigued with her that he made her as his next character. It was a great game, tense to the end. Keep rolling!