23.) Chitonous Skin Grafts
The alchemist Rahnklauhm was a strange sort with an intense interest in all things insectoid. He was fascinated by their abilities to do such things as fly, carry heavy loads, weave cocoons, and make stunning transformations. He spent the bulk of his time searching to understand these things on an alchemical level and became well known for producing concoctions of great power. After his death, his library was much sought after.
One of his strangest discoveries was a way to grow skin grafts out of insect carapaces. A graft was created by rubbing a thick, black cream over the affected area (such as severe burns or injuries.) The cream would harden over the course of a week into a dark grey substance similar in composition to exoskeletons. The new skin provides hardened protection and increased healing. The grafts, while effective, are rarely desired due to their bizarre appearance, something which Rahnklaum was oblivious to.
Angry goddess yields angry tree stump. :)
This is one of those subs that just begs to be used in a game. It is a simple, straightforward idea but it tickles the evil side of me as a GM.
I can't seem to get to The Queen of the Dark Wood sub, though. I get eaten by a Grue when I try to go there. :(
This is very well written, very dark and gruesome, and seems to me to be a prime example of the 5 Room Dungeon. The only departure from the formula appears to be room 3, which is focused solely on combat and doesn't seem to be much of a setback. Perhaps if Xaggarng released some spores during the battle that weakened any characters unable to resist, making it more difficult to face the final battle, it would fit the mold.
The language is excellent and successfully paints a picture of ghastly horror. I mean, how much cooler can you get than fighting a monster that uses its own intestines for extra attacks?
And the prize at the end seems like such an opportunity to further abuse the heroes by giving them land already inhabited by some other horror.
This is the first CaptainPenguin sub I've read, and now I think I'll go find more.
The Broken-Winged Ambassadors were once four, but are now three. They refuse to forget their fallen comrade but also do not speak of her to others. When asked why they first referred to themselves as The Four Ambassadors, they simply reply, “We represent four ideals: Community, Prosperity, Knowledge, and Wisdom. We hope to share each of these with you.”
The reality is that they were involved in an unsuccessful coup on Toaie. Their fourth member perished in the attempt. Too powerful and revered to be executed, they were instead humiliated by having their wings publicly broken and then exiled.
New Town is a perfect place to recuperate. It is off the beaten path enough that spies would be obvious and little effort was required to get in good with the locals. More than that, the town is located near the resting place of He Whose Name Has Been Stricken. A fact which fell into obscurity until one of the Ambassadors found references in an ancient text.
He Whose Name Has Been Stricken was long feared as a warmonger and tyrant who nearly crushed the entire moon of Toaie under his heel. A grave miscalculation on his part cost him victory and he fled, taking with him the great war machines which had given him such an advantage over his adversaries.
The Ambassadors hope to recover his remains, once the local technology has progressed to the point where this will be possible. Once in command of the old war machines, they plan on conquest, gaining absolute power over the pitiful human civilization and then taking the fight back to Toaie.
The Broken-Winged Ambassadors live for the day when they will do the wing breaking.
This feels like it is missing something. The end seems rather anticlimactic. After all the searching the PCs discover that nothing is really wrong and they can go home. Making reconciliation with their respective parents part of the adventure would help, but then it wouldn't fit in with the 5 room dungeon.
Perhaps trying to force this into the 5 room dungeon mold is the problem. The 5 room dungeon is set up in such a way to include puzzles, fights, and role-playing, the various styles of play that different players gavitate towards, while this adventure is much more about heavy role-playing with a little puzzle-solving and no need for combat.
If I were to run this, I would drop the 5 room dungeon template and expand it. It doesn't need combat or a climactic scene. It needs resolution. (Also, players who will enjoy it for what it is, rather than looking for things to fight, because otherwise the real gems in this will be lost in the bloodshed.)
I would love to give this a 5/5 because I really like the core idea, the descriptions, and the characters. The servitor imps are a nice touch, as is the locked door that they must talk their way through. Having the other party there to "rescue" the boy could be a fun scene to run if done correctly. I think there's a lot of potential for indepth role-playing here.
I can picture a few dastardly uses for this armor.
Desperate warriors needing to hold a pass long enough for reinforcements to arrive. How to decide who will wear the armor?
The villain pays off a few unwitting villagers to hold off the PCs for a time, neglecting to describe the full purpose of the armor being "gifted" to them.
I love subs that get my mind working on all the possible applications.