What sinister force was behind the meteor crash outside of Shady Hollow and the overnight appearance of the mysterious dome of impenetrable mesh of vine, leaf, and pumpkin? Four brave heroes entered the green doorway to investigate – Brock the pure-strain fighter, Davin the mutant hunter, Slinker the near-human ‘journalist’, and Billy the pure-strain cleric of Law.
Many pumpkin-related shenanigans ensued…
Key accomplishments and discoveries from this session include:
- Vigorous interrogation of Merle the farmer, a simpleton pumpkin-tender. Engaging conversation with Chad the militia guard. Information that some ‘local boys’ had wandered inside and never returned.
- The discovery within the dome of a ‘planetarium’ with stars consisting of miniature glowing pumpkins. An unusually bright ‘star’ was noted in one particular constellation…
- The defeat of two writhing pumpkin vines each with a hardened axe-like leaf. Subsequently, a secret vine door was discovered, leading deeper into the complex.
- A surprise assault on a large pumpkin-beast with razor-sharp vine leaves. Luckily for our heroes, it did not seem to be at full strength (the referee rolled terribly for the creature’s hp).
- The defeat of four spider-pumpkins, and Slinker’s dangerous encounter with soporific blossoms.
- Outwitting the deadly pumpkin thorn-thrower gauntlet of death. Luckily, the group had the foresight to outfit themselves with multiple pint-jars of oil.
- A brave assault on a rat’s nest, followed by the discovery of another secret vine door. Behind was found a giant pumpkin ‘brain’, which launched a kinetic assault as our heroes hacked it to pieces.
- Descent into the lower level, where our heroes first discovered an area lined with ‘coolant pods’ filled with super-cooled liquid, then foul-smelling ‘digestion pools’ with acidic goo. Within the goo, a human skull was spotted – presumably the remains of one of the lads who entered earlier.
- Many minutes were spend picking sweet-smelling blue mini-mushrooms, followed by collection of a syrupy liquid that smelled of pumpkin pie from a pitcher plant. Brock unwisely decided to drink some of this deadly liquid, though the effects were not apparent at first.
- Finally our heroes discovered the crater itself beneath the dome. The Pumpkin Lord himself rose from the pit and engaged Brock in conversation (hoping to stall long enough for the poison took him down). When our heroes attacked, he responded with frikkin’ laser beams from his eyes. A barrier of vines separated Billy from the rest of the party, and both Brock and Davin fell before Slinker finally finished off the Pumpkin Lord with a frenzy of crossbow bolts.
So, from the original four only two survived. Once the Pumpkin Lord was defeated, Slinker freed Billy by hacking through the barrier of vines that separated them. After a short search for loot (unsuccessful), they returned to Shady Hollow to report their discoveries (and claim their reward).
Not much, I’m afraid. The party recovered various pumpkin-related curios (glowing mini-pumpkins, pumpkin leaf ‘axe-heads’, embryonic pumpkin spiders, mutant pumpkin seeds, etc.) but precious little ‘treasure’. Other than a few stray coppers, Lord Brady’s 400 gp reward (split between Slinker and Billy) is the only monetary compensation of note.
(Note that there was a hoard to be found within the Pumpkin Lord’s domain, but our heroes never discovered it.)
Quest XP were gained from determining the source of evil in Farmer Merle’s field and discovering the fate of the missing boys. Combat XP was gained from the various creatures slain, and treasure XP was gained (by Slinker and Billy only) from Lord Brady’s reward. Additional XP was assigned for amusing roleplaying and coming up with clever ideas.
- Brock earned 810 XP, +20% XP bonus for a total of 4,700 XP.
- Davin earned 830 XP for a total of 830 XP.
- Slinker earned 1,050 XP, +5% XP bonus for a total of 1,100 XP.
- Billy earned 950 XP, +20% XP bonus for a total of 1,140 XP.
Players can keep any XP earned from adventures to apply to new characters (in the case of unfortunate PC demise).