Choose Your Language

Saturday, 5 January 2019

The Adventure Continues .... 15. The Halls of the Goblin Kings. (Rune Lock Fix - Performance)

Another successful session with minor interference. (My favourite session to date.) In fact there was only a single hiccup in the last session to do with the Rune Lock puzzle, which has been fixed for future encounters with such. In any event, the problem was so minor it did not inhibit the heroes progress. Apart from that and the odd typo, everything else went smoothly, and we had an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

The List of Fixes

1) RUNE LOCK PUZZLE: During the adventure, the PCs will encounter Rune Locks, which the player resolves as a puzzle. This appeared to work fine at first, but when a second player used the puzzle (to attempt it instead of the first player), it thereafter appeared to lock the first player from trying again if the second player handed the process back. I addressed a localint that allowed the lock worker to be stored and returned more easily, and now the lock works fine in a MP environment. Furthermore, in testing the lock to ensure it worked, I noticed a memory leak when it started (related to an XML call), which I have now also fixed. Also adjusted the vigour penalty. (NOTE: v2.33b also allows slightly quicker clicking on the runes.)

2) SEBASTION RELATED TYPOS: There were a couple of conversations surrounding the Sebastion conversations that have now been fixed. i.e Bewilder > Rewilder. Heroin > Heroine and Sword > Axe (when Sebastion offers to ID the weapon found).

3) GAME BALANCING: I adjusted some of the encounter levels to help balance the game.

A Floating Book Speaks With The Party!
Goblins Attack!
But Helden and Flint Hold The Ground!
Animated Weapons Attack The Party!
A Door Without A Handle?
The Way Out Perhaps?
The Adventure Continues ... 15. The Halls of the Goblin Kings.

Living The Dream!

NB: Contains spoilers for Option 1 background.

Helden awoke from a groggy dream in which Myara spoke about calling her new sword "Stinky", he had spoken with a book that had cried upon knowing its author was dead, and he was in the process of trying to rescue some maiden because the story had to end right. Then, as he surveyed his surroundings and spied a nearby wall that was blocking a way ahead within the walls of a chamber ... and the distinct smell of goblins, he knew it had NOT been a dream. "Yep! Definitely "Stinky Sewer Sword" said Myara, as if reinforcing to Helden the fact it had not been a dream. Helden reflected upon the events that had brought them to this point ...

It all started the previous evening, after Sally had left the heroes to go and speak with her husband, who had apparently locked himself within his art studio. It should have been a relatively straightforward task, but things went quickly off-track after that. For starters, even gaining access to the studio required the heroes to work a special dwarf Rune Lock. Thankfully, between Myara's skills and the use of Life Essences, the heroes managed to bypass the lock after a few attempts.

Once inside, they confronted Sebastion (who still appeared quite well, albeit with a strange blue sheen about his body), but his responses were very strange indeed. Subsequent conversation revealed that this was not the real Sebastion, but some sort of Simulacrum, which ended up attacking the heroes when it ran out of options for conversation. The heroes had tried to remain passive until it was obvious the copy of Sebastion was not going to stop. It took only one reactive defensive blow from Helden to disperse the Simulacrum to nothingness.

The problem was that during the earlier conversation, the magikal being had somehow made the door to the room disappear. The entrance to the room had now simply gone. Helden remained calm and set about organising a search of the room. What stood out immediately was a book that floated within the room, which when approached, started to speak with the party. What strange magik was this? Further searching of the room and conversation with the book revealed that Sebastion had purchased a magik pen, which had the ability to bring into existence anything that was written with it. Sebastion, the aspiring artist that he is, had determined to make a new work with this pen, much against the warnings not to from its previous owner. To this end, he had started to write the adventure story entitled, "The Halls of the Goblin Kings". This was the nature and story within the floating book, which encouraged the heroes to join in.

After a little negotiating with the book, and overcoming the need to pay for the privilege, the magik of the book transported them into the goblin realm around which the story revolved. Upon arrival, the heroes were met by another Simulacrum of Sebastion, but being more wary this time, the heroes simply held their peace until the Simulacrum led the conversation up to the point when the heroes were told that they now faced the adventure story of the Halls set to a deadly level. Something appeared off with the Simulacrum narrator, which the heroes realised was the real source of the malevolence behind the story ... and the force referred to itself as The Editor.

After the Simulacrum departed, the "adventure" had officially begun. With no obvious lead, Helden set about leading the group into a search of the immediate area: It was some sort of underground labyrinth or dungeon, and the place they had arrived at was some sort of central chamber with four large statues of goblins, whose nearby plaques revealed them to be the Goblin Kings of the story's halls. The central chamber itself had a number of passages and doors leading off, and after determining which doors were locked, the heroes eventually started to make their way cautiously along one of the passageways.

Throughout the rest of the night the heroes faced a number of goblin attacks as they opened up various chambers. They also experienced tremors throughout the region, brought on by some unknown activity. Eventually, however, the heroes discovered a chamber in which they found the real Sebastion being kept captive in a jail cell. The heroes spent some time speaking with this Sebastion making sure he was the real thing, and learned more about what had transpired with respect to his writing of this world. In the end, it was decided he should tag along with the heroes, especially as he was the world's creator, and that he may be able to offer some insight as they continued within its realm.

There were more encounters with goblins, but nothing too taxing for the heroes. However, in one chamber, the heroes encountered a dark spirit that briefly appeared and immediately disappeared again before some nearby weapons leapt to life and attacked them. This had been the second time the dark spirit had briefly manifested itself, and Karasten reasoned that this may be the source of the malevolence that was behind this edited world. The battle with the weapons was more difficult, as they appeared to resist the blows of the heroes own weapons. Eventually, however, even these animated objects fell to the blows of Helden and Flint.

It was in this same chamber as the animated weapons that the heroes found the Greataxe of the Halls, a living weapon that the Editor had tried to conceal from the heroes. Karasten had earlier concluded that the world Sebastion had created could only be partially changed by the malevolent source that called itself the Editor. Therefore, it was possible that both boons and success could be possible (which was the nature of the story), but could be made more difficult by the alterations of the Editor.

The heroes continued their search of the dungeon, fully aware after speaking with Sebastion that the Halls currently comprised three levels, and that the exit to the next level should be nearby. Eventually, as they turned yet another dark passageway, the exit came into sight, and the heroes cautiously approached it, now tired from the adventures and combats of the night. However, as Myara approached the open gateway with the steps that led to the deeper dungeons, a large wall suddenly appeared blocking their way, and a loud voice boomed "No!". The Editor was at work again.

Myara took a closer look at the newly created wall and recognised it to be a magikal lock, which Sebastion was the key. She told Sebastion, as creator of the story, that he needed to be assertive with the wall and insist that he and his fellows be allowed to pass. Stepping up to the mark, Sebastion took on board his role and attempted to make his demands. As he spoke, the heroes kept encouraging him to be more demanding or more persuasive until the poor man was quite exasperated. However, on his last attempt, he managed to build up enough gusto to make the wall break down .... well, not fully, but it had changed, as if a compromise had been made. Hopefully, this would be enough.

"This can wait for now", said Helden. And this is the point at which the heroes decided to make camp and grab some rest, as they were all beginning to suffer from lack of vigour. Within a few minutes, the camp was made and every one in the party grabbed the rest they needed. When Helden awoke, he thought it had all been a dream.

GAME TIME SINCE START: 25 Hours 55 Minutes.

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