Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 9
After a month off, just because of business of life, we were back again with Tower of the Gods. And we’re back with a surprise, we have had a fourth player join our group, not taking over as Parrag, but as a “transfer” student into Strawgoh.
His name is Kippington Thumble Elf-Hater, Kentish Bughammer, Kip for short. He’s a gnome who upon coming out of the tower had been given the skills to become a rogue. However, at this other school, there was an unfortunate incident, all alleged, involving a cake he may or may not have made that may or may not have been poisoned. Oh, and he has an untrusty squirrel friend named Karl, who mainly hangs out for food.
Upon Kip being introduced by Assendial, Bokken goes up and introduces himself, to the squirrel. Assuming that Kip is the squirrel, it nibbles on Bokken’s finger but gets bored pretty quickly. Kip doesn’t bother correcting Bokken on anything. The group catches up Kip on what has happened at the school, including Bokken outing Addrus and Parrag as spies, much to the dismay of both of them as the group had promised to help keep their secret.
It comes time for their final and Parrag comes down with the mumps so Kip has to join them, and Karl. The groups are brought up to the 2nd floor of the tower one at a time with their start times staggered by 30 minutes. Assendial gives them directions, they have to get through a series of rooms and to the teachers. Each room resets after 5 minutes, so they have a limited amount of time. They get scored based off of damage to their group, how many times the room has reset, and if they have caught any other groups who were in there before them. If they do catch a group, they get to go ahead of them and that group has to wait for another time for the room to cycle.
The first room that they enter looks like a foyer to a house. There is a fire place that is lit with a couple of torches in sconces by it, a book shelf filled with a number of books, and a chair with a table and some books on it. There is no door, in or out, once Assendial closes the door they came in on them. Bokken looks around the room hoping to find some scotch and finds a hollowed out book with a bottle of scotch and some glasses in it. Bokken pours himself a drink and sits down in the chair. Barrai thinking that there must be a hidden door looks around the shelf to see if there is anything, like an out of place book or something that would open a hidden door. He finds an out of place book and pulled it out. It causes the chair that Bokken is sitting in, and a part of the wall to rotate around, so when they look there is just a skeleton of an elf that is there. After Kip and Thrain investigate the bones and determine that these are in fact real bones or a real elf, Barrai puts the books back and removes it several times, this causes the wall to spin again several times, but they end up with Bokken back on the side they want. Bokkens next idea is to try and remove the torches, but he just ends up with two torches in his hand. Thrain investigates the sconces realizes that they aren’t attached as they should be, so he pulls on one and door frame appears in the middle of the room with a door in it. Eventually, after some more investigating they go through it.
They find themselves balanced along a ledge in a room with floating stones and lava on the floor. it looks a bit like a grand hall as there are chandeliers above it. They try and figure out how to get across the rocks that are floating there. Barrai is able to use mage hand to move one over, but it takes about minute, and then, after spending a bunch of time in the first room, the rooms reset and the rock goes back to where it was. They decide instead to use a grappling hook that Thrain has an 250′ of rope that Bokken has and Barrai mage hands the grappling hook up around the first chandelier which was just in range, it was 32′ form the ledge where they were standing. Smartly, though, I don’t know if the players were thinking about it, they decide to run the rope between the chandeliers and completely avoid the rocks and lava, as compared to their plan to swing on the rope. With the lava 4′ down from the ledge, a swing from one towards the middle would have most likely dragged them through lava, or at least caught the rope on fire, neither which is ideal. They manage to make their way across after a bit of a scare from Kip who loses is grip mid way across the rope, but is pulled back to safety with Bokken’s help.
In the next room there are two imps guarding two doors. As they walk in, one imp says “Welcome to our room, sit, stay a while. One of us tells the truth and the other lies.” The other imp says “Both of us tell the truth.” Thrain, the dwarf, immediately asks both of them if he is a dwarf, and they both say “No”. Doing an insight check on both of them, he knows that the second imp for sure is lying, but the first one might actually believe what he is saying. They ask them more questions trying to figure out a pattern or if maybe one tells the truth some of the time, but they eventually decide to try and restrain one, which gets them into combat. They kill one and get the other restrained and they open the doors. They had previously been told by the imps that one door had a dragon behind it and one a pit of acid, but all they see are two empty rooms. They toss the imps, one alive and one dead, into both empty rooms and they both fall through the floor, but they don’t hear the crunching of a dragon or the splash of an imp hitting acid. Attaching a rope to Thrain, and with Bokken holding on, Thrain is lowered through the floor, below he sees what looks like a forest, with a lake in the middle and an island in the lake, which he recognizes as the first floor where they’d taken their previous mid-term. He gets pulled up and goes down through the other door and sees the same thing just form a few feet over. The room resets and there are two imps in there again. This time they forgo much of the talking, and after a little bit of fighting, as Bokken opens up one of the doors and an imp tries to push him through it, Barrai puts them to sleep with the sleep spell. They spot rings on the imps fingers, so they look at them, however, they just look they are school rings from an infernal school and it doesn’t change the rooms or add any doors. Kip wakes one up and asks them a question along the line of “What would you do to not leave this room through a secret door?” to which the imp answers, “Kill us”, so they kill the imps humanely and a door appears between the other two.
This leads them into a room that I had intentionally created for the players. I’m going to write it out briefly the description that I gave them, but there are five pillars that are shooting flame, one in each corner and one in the middle of the room. The one in the middle of the room starts shooting flame backwards, while the others start from front left shooting along the left wall, the front right shooting along the front of the room, the back left shooting along the back of the room, and the back right shooting at a diagonal into the middle of the room. From there I explained how they move, basic idea is that you need to follow the right side and then take a step to the left to let the back door open again. One of the players, paying attention to what I was saying, was able to figure it out just from hearing the description once, which was awesome, so they breezed through that room.
In the next room, and final room, there is a Bearded Devil sitting at a table that magically has four other chairs appear around it. He motions for them to sit and says, “Come sit and enjoy some tea.” They sit and he pulls out what amount to a tasting flight of four teas for each of them. The first is a red tea with a fruity nose, the next is black and smells bitter, the third is a herbal green tea, and the fourth has a yellow color and smells of citrus. The Bearded Devil tells them that they have to try them in the right order and that the order is important. The players think about it and they assign a tea to each season, black for winter, green for spring, yellow for summer, and red for winter. They start with green, and Barrai takes a bit of poison damage, Thrain tries yellow and then red, taking poison damage for both. They offer the Bearded Devil some scotch even though they don’t have some, because Kip thinks scotch solves most problems. The Bearded devil says that sounds great, but he prefers Bourbon before Scotch. Bokken drinks the black tea and isn’t poisoned. He then tries the yellow tea and takes some poison damage. The Bearded Devil tells them that they have one more try or they’ll be fighting him. They think about it and decide since bourbon is earlier in the alphabet than scotch, maybe they should try alphabetical, which works for them and they are allowed to pass into the next room.
In that room they find the teachers waiting for them and the group who had gone ahead of them fighting as Narius and Castillia are debating how yellow or orange that last tea was with Narius insisting it was orange. At that point the session ended and the players leveled up.
Behind the DM’s Screen
This one I actually planned a bit more for sometimes. And I actually had two ways to bring in the new player. They suggested that transferring in made sense, so we went with that route. Otherwise I was going to somehow have Parrag end up rotating behind the wall and into stasis with Kip being brought back out and joining the group.
I also really enjoyed the creative ways that they tried to solve the problems. Could they have just jumped between the rocks, probably, but I wanted to see what they would come up with, and the swinging, while a bad idea was an option, but even better was climbing along the chandeliers. So you can have a room that is very dangerous, fire bad, and just let players problem solve, you don’t need a perfect solution, just give them options.
The pillars and fire room, that one, like I said, i wanted the players to puzzle that one out themselves. It took the time of me explaining it for one of them to figure it out, but I’m glad that didn’t take too long. For a puzzle like that, just running through would have been possible, but it was dangerous, so I wanted to make sure there was a good away through that made sense.
How does that session sound, is it one that would be fun for you to play in?