The Third Adventure

Mushgnome's Hobbet-centric PBP

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Post by mushgnome » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:40 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

Kiplyn gazes to the southwest. The way appears to be clear for at least 30'. The tunnel is about 10' wide and tall enough for a human to stand upright. Kip doesn't hear any unusual noises (from the southwest).

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Post by ehiker133 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:16 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

Dougal holds a finger to his mouth in the universal sign for everyone to keep quiet. Trying to regain his composure, he checks the passage NE of the pit to make sure it is safe.
Oh yay! And... oh. Already on my second step towards insanity. :D
Dougal Blackfoot (MV 9", AC 6, HD 1, HP 5/5, FC 1 Man) leather, short sword+main gauche

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Post by mushgnome » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:42 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

Turn 16

Our heroes spend a turn scouting each of the exits from this central "hub," to the 30' limit of lamp light. There is no sign of immediate danger down any of the tunnels. It looks like the north tunnel opens into a larger cavern.

The Voice from the Deep continues to moan plaintively for water in the secret language of Innsmouth.

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Post by waysoftheearth » Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:18 am

Re: The Third Adventure

Tet squints in an attempt to mask the irritation to his ears.

That piteous thing down there sounds hungry, he eventually whispers. D'ya think we should toss it some food?
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]

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Post by kipper » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:22 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

"The poor dear," Dame Simonetta clucks. "I haven't got a waterskin, I'll bring one next time. I hate to say it, but I think he's been down there a long time and he'll still be there when we return."

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Post by ehiker133 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:24 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

Dougal frowns, "Something tells me it isn't really water it wants, Dame Simonetta. But we could experiment with it, if you wanted."
Dougal pulls out his water skin and uncorks it, but waits to see what everyone thinks before pouring any down into the hole.
Dougal Blackfoot (MV 9", AC 6, HD 1, HP 5/5, FC 1 Man) leather, short sword+main gauche

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Post by mushgnome » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:37 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

Dougal guesstimates that the pit is 50-60' deep. (The party's lantern light penetrates 30' range.) The well walls are thick with some kind of dark, slippery vegetation. Now that Dougal is up close, he is almost overwhelmed by the labored, heaving 'Darth Vader' style breathing from the thing below. This rhythmic inhale-exhale was the sound that the party earlier heard echoing through the tunnels. Dougal's hair blows back and forth in his face as he stands at the rim with his unstoppered waterskin.

Hello? Is someone there?

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Post by mushgnome » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:06 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

Noh is curious about the runes and takes a closer look at the chalk circle with his learned Druid's eye. Some of the symbols he recognizes from a magazine article about whaling: they are ancient good-luck charms that the mariners of Kingsport and Nantucket would carve on their ships to ward against sea monsters or perfect storms. Other, fresher chalk-markings are modern, plain-English warnings like: Pit of Insanity, Don't listen to a word It says, Its Promises are Poison, or Adventure Club Members Please for the Love of All You Hold Dear, don't LOOK at It!

Occasional drops of salt-water drip from the ceiling like slow water torture. One of the drops falls on the back of Noh's hand, and Carc shivers at the near-miss of his own feathers. Out of instinctive curiosity, Noh licks the liquid from his skin. It tastes salty, viscous, and full of minerals. It reminds Noh of one time he was a kid and got his nose busted up by a bully. He licked his top lip and got a mouthful of blood, snot, and tears. The feel of this primal cave-soup in his mouth gives Noh a flashback to that childhood moment of shame and defeat.

Noh estimates that the slow percolation of sulphorous mineral-water from the cavern roof, would be the bare minimum to sustain the life functions of a large, amphibious creature trapped down the well. The subject would not thrive or be comfortable, but neither would its skin completely dry out. Hobbet hydrologists couldn't have engineered a better system, to sustain an aquatic prisoner at death's door for a long, long time.

As Noh ponders all of this, he notices that Dougal's big toe is right up to the edge of the protective chalk circle. "Uhhh.... Dougal?" he warns out loud.

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Post by mushgnome » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:42 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

That is so on-brand that @ehiker133 is the first PC to fail a Sanity check. I love it!

If @waysoftheearth or @mgtremaine are sad about being at 0 Mythos and are feeling peer-pressure to join the Insanity Club: Try lowering a light source down the well and have a good look-see what lives down there. Go on, I dare you! The interesting thing about being MYTH 0 is that you can't possibly succeed at a Sanity check. Even if you roll a 1 (the "sanest" possible roll) it's still higher than your current total of 0. However, I'm going to stick with my policy for the time being, that our Sanity mechanic is an 'opt in' system. I want Mythos to be a conscious, deliberate decision, that the character ignores the warnings, pushes past the danger signs, and chooses to eat the forbidden fruit.

Since Noh is currently trusted to my care, I'll choose to keep him at MYTH 0 as long as possible. Having the party's only druid flip to a dark-side NPC is too daunting a DM challenge for me. I'd rather keep him in a calm and supportive role for now. Therefore Noh heeds the warnings and ignores whatever entity is trapped down the well. He is a landlubbing forest druid and does not answer the Call of the Deep.

Don't worry; there will be plenty of future challenges to our heroes' sanity. This is only dungeon level 1!

A final word about our new Mythos mechanic: This game takes an abstract, lighthearted, PG-rated approach to mental health. I use the phrase "sanity check" because it is a commonly understood game mechanic (like "hit points" or "armor class"). But I don't want this campaign to turn into a dark character study like Joker. I don't want to go down the road of fetishizing specific, real-world mental illness or refereeing a player-vs-player backstabbing contest. That's not what we're about here at Hobbet Heroes! The 1st edition of Cthulhu Dark used Insanity as the main stat. In the 2nd edition, they changed the name to Insight. I want to take that one extra layer of abstraction and use the name Mythos. This I think really emphasizes that it is a two-edged sword. Also I think it slightly changes the flavor of rolling that "snapping point" moment, when you roll a 6 on your final MYTH check and your PC becomes an NPC under the DM's control. In a Call of Cthulhu game when you fail your last SAN check, the Keeper might rule, that they go insane and try to murder their former allies. It's framed as a moment of failure. In Hobbets of Hornpipe, I want to frame it more ambiguously, like that could also be seen as a moment of success: The PC has transcended the life of an Adventurer, and now they serve a different agenda, a "higher" purpose. At the DM's whim, they might oppose their former allies, but they could just as plausibly slip out of active play, maybe to go read books in some library. There's no malice in reaching MYTH 6 and becoming an NPC; it's simply that you've realized how insignificant your little Pancake Adventure was, and now it's time to step up and serve the Cosmic Masters. Also remember that MYTH 6 is a temporary and reversible state, so it shouldn't cause a PC to act irredeemably, in case that character comes back into play in a future session!

Any fun suggestions what we can call the "Cthulhu epiphany" when a character reaches MYTH 6 and becomes an NPC under the DM's control, in service to the Mythos? (Since we don't want to call that moment "going insane.")

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Post by acodispo » Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:26 pm

Re: The Third Adventure

Willie steps forward & grabs Dougal's shoulder!

"Dougal! I've got a bad feeling about this... I think maybe we should leave ... that Voice alone for a while."
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf, F3/MU2 (M 12", AC 9, HD 4+1, hp 14/14, N) cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe; light, colour spray (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, F1/T1 (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L) gambeson+helm, shield+warhammer[/f]

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