DF Whiterock Session 80: The Bleak Arena Nosebleed Seats




Unseasonably warm, session entirely underground

Player Characters:

Elias, Wood Elf Cleric, 392 points
Garreth, Half-Orc Fighter, 458 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 458 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 452 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High Elf Wizard, 463 points

Significant NPCs:

2 Ettins
7 Duergar warriors

After once again defeating the duergar in their guard room, and not finding the hobgoblin vampire anywhere, the PCs again started searching the top level of the Bleak Theater.  They didn't find anything new, or any other occupants.  Zaber and Polly played with levers for a while, raising and lowering portcullises, while Garreth smashed things in an attempt to make the arena unprofitable for the duergar.

Eventually they decided to go downstairs.  They found a workshop, full of tools and building supplies.  After stealing some tools, they continued, until Zaber heard some noise behind a door.  After some discussion, he unlocked and opened the door, and there were two ettins and a bunch of invisible duergar on the other side.  Only Zaber had See Invisible, so he yelled a warning to the others.

Polly shot an ettin in the eye and knocked it unconscious, and then for variety shot the other ettin in the eye and knocked it out too.  She then fired a third arrow hopefully, but it didn't hit anything invisible.  An enlarged duergar appeared and swung his axe at Polly, but she used her Luck to avert a critical hit, then made her Hearing-2 roll to be allowed to defend at -4, then successfully sprung away with an acrobatic, retreating dodge.  He followed up with a second swing, but by then he was visible and easier to dodge.  Garreth drew his katana and then deceptively rapid struck the duergar, causing enough damage to slow him.  Elias charged to get behind the duergar and spun around to face his exposed rear.  Seépravir gave Polly a See Invisible.  Polly saw several more invisible duergar, but didn't have clear shots at any of them, so she shot the visible one in the eye.  This somehow failed to kill him (just missed -5 * HP for instant death), but knocked him out.

Unfortunately for Elias, when he turned his back to surround the visible duergar, he exposed his back to two more invisible duergar.  He was defenseless, but Garreth was facing them, and got a chance to Sacrificial Parry for him.  He did that, four times, as the two duergar each took a Rapid Strike at Elias.  A third invisible duergar went for Seépravir, and Garreth parried the first strike at her too, but then failed to stop the second.  (He actually rolled an 18, but used Luck to turn it into a non-critical failure.)  Seépravir used Phase to momentarily be Somewhere Else when the axe flew through her position.  Yet another duergar went for Seépravir, missing with his first strike, but placing the second one accurately enough that she had to dodge it.  The final duergar in the main clump went after Garreth's face, and Garreth rolled a 17, so he fell down trying to dodge.  This left a large mark, but didn't stun Garreth.  He smacked Garreth in the face a second time for good measure, this time stunning him, but the total damage was not enough to inflict a death check.

Elias tried to flail two of the duergar.  Both parried.  Then Seépravir dropped a Mass Daze on the 4 remaining duergar in the immediate area.  3 failed to resist.  She used Rapier Wit to stun the one that was still moving.  There was another one farther back, trying to run around behind the PCs to flank them, but Polly shot him in the leg and knocked him over and stunned him and made him drop his axe.  That ended the competitive portion of the combat.  While Garreth chugged healing potions, Elias and Polly started finishing off dazed and stunned and unconscious enemies.  Seépravir Entombed one, for some nefarious purpose.  
When searching the bodies, Zaber found a key and a magic crystal.  At that point the group started running around, flipping levers, hearing portcullises go up and down, and smashing levers.  Eventually they found a door onto the main arena floor, with a slot for the crystal.  Zaber inserted the crystal, and then the arena's force defenses went down.  This allowed flying up to the two concourse levels above the arena floor.

Before flying up, the group circled around the arena to the south and east, opening more doors.  They found a few more storerooms full of unexciting stuff, and one armory full of weapons.  They took some weapons and put them in their Bag of Holding.

Doubling back to the arena, they searched for secrets, didn't find any, and flew up to the lower concourse level.  They opened a door, leading to an empty room.  They opened another door, leading to an empty apartment.  They approached another door, and heard a chittering sound behind it.  Everyone formed up, ready to fight.  Zaber unlocked and opened it, and inside were some duergar, some drow, and some bug-like creature, charging at them.

We stopped there for the night.  We'll resume with that combat, next time.

GM's Comments:

Maybe, due to having two heads, ettins should be harder to knock out with a head blow than most creatures.  Maybe you should have to knock out both heads.  I didn't think of this when giving them GURPS stats, though, so it's not how they work, at least not yet...

Lots of exploration time this session.  Much of it re-exploring already trodden ground, so not that exciting.  But the PCs finally figured out how to get past the force fields in the arena to the concourse levels.


  1. Didn't you give the ettins Extra Head (p. B54)? It would require you to knock out both heads on the ettin, not just one.

  2. Yeah, that's the correct advantage, which I forgot to write on their sheets even though they obviously have it.


DF Whiterock Session 81: The Other Bleak Theater Guard Room

Date: 2019-01-10 Weather: Unseasonably warm, session entirely underground Player Characters: Elias , Wood E...