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Zarlin 1.5: Revengancing of the new crew of deadlantis (Completed and rundown posted!)

So, in order to acclimate my buddies to the world of Urealms, I've decided that rather than throwing them without rhyme nor reason into my Murderer at Sea campaign, I'm gonna throw them first without rhyme nor reason into an early campaign from the show - Zarlin Catacombs. So I'm going about updating the health pools and abilities of the NPCs to see if I can make it balanced.

Big problem tho

I am not good at this stuff. Are there any tips ya'll think I need to properly balance things and update it for the current mod?


  • IT HAPPENED! I haven't DM'd a game like this in years- But it was SUPER fun and it looks like they all loved it! They're askin' for another campaign! *FLAILS AROUND EXCITEDLY*

    I'll post a recap of what happened in our admittedly *very different experinece* in the Zarlin Catacombs soon.
  • I'm very interested! I've been doing my own campaigns for friends recently so I love hearing these stories
  • Alright. So here we go.

    We start off with familiar face Raynel leading/not leading in our four silly fellows.
    Kobold Thane 'Bruf', who has amnesia and a strange affinity for ice magic.
    Black boar beserker Bronk, so yes that's a 2x2 tile who has bearserk to turn him into a 3x3 tile.
    Porc monk 'Porcio' who is obsessed with his desire to eat people, being a cannibal.
    Christian, the keen bandito and party leader - Who was an escaped uhm... Let's say 'servant' from the halls of House Barringster.(I gave the player a brief outline on Barringster antics. It was only afer this that they decided the character needed to be dressed in a maid outfit for the campaign. Goodness...)

    Oh, also, Reynell is wearing bold scalemail for this, as a random piece of gear I gave her. She's still a lil' racist towards kobolds, and now porcs as well, though she did seem to bond with Bronk mainly because he turned out to be kind of the straight-man of the party.

    The man has an exotic nose, what can I say.

    So. Let's run down a few of the big set pieces from Zarlin and how these four goofballs mucked it up.

    1. The first hallway.

    So, as we know, the traps in the first hallway aren't supposed to do anything, right? This did not stop the group from being TERRIFIED of them. Christian decides that, being a coward, they'd do their best to fully avoid the pressure plates by using Petal Pathway to jump over top of them and to the end of the hall... To the end that has the door and the skeleton. They then proceed to roll a 20 on an investigation, so - I have to give them goodies. Goodies that are neither worth the inventory space so, there's now some extra armor and a QUAKE-MAKER laying on the floor. This will come into play later.

    Or at least I tried to make it come into play later.

    The team then proceeded to try to tiptoe around all the traps- Followed by the Black Boar just flat out tripping and landing on one and nothing happening. JUST AS INTENDED, NOT A BUG, BUT A FEATURE, BEENU TRAPMAKING.

    2. Robot guards and the treasury

    The fight went pretty much the same as it did on the show, but for one major difference. Christian was all over the map, getting her ass handed to her not by the robots, but by gravity as she continuously tripped, and fell from whatever she was attempting. But then she got to the big pink robot (We named him Jerry) and of course, falling for the bait that Jerry was deadlier than the the trio, focused her efforts on him.

    By charming him.

    I said no, that won't work-
    Then they got a 19.

    ....Welp. I guess they have a useless robot friend now.

    Jerry promptly proves his worthlessness, and the fight ends as normal. They find a secret passage when Porcio, eager to see if there was any meat left on the skeleton by the wall, stumbles upon the secret path (with a 20 to boot. They hadnt even -looked- at the door yet, this guy just wanted a bone to chew on.)

    They enter the treasury, Porcio gets a pot puppy, they find some new armor to give Raynel (downgrading her by 5 stamina points, well done lads) and we get our first LEGENDARY ROLL!

    Our black boar berserker? Who can bearserk to turn into a 3x3 tile? Yeah he got his.

    So now we've got a 3x3 tile that can turn into a 4x4 tile walking around. He's super strong...

    ...And that's when Bronk gets an idea.

    3. South? I thought you said WEAST!!

    So they exit the treasury, and i make the mistake of saying 'So, where to now' to the party. I mean there's only one path right? Go south, towards the rest of the story-

    "Actually let's go back to that door we couldn't open at the start!"

    Oh god.

    Oh god no what have I done.

    I tried... Setting off the traps. That didn't deter them.

    I tried... Having Bronk slip and step on the quakemaker from earlier,, collapsing the tunnel. That didn't work, they rolled a 20 on evasion. What the hell, dice.

    And I tried to stop them by the door just being TOO DAMN BIG to move- Aaaaaaaaaand Bronk got a 19 on it.

    So here I am, slamming my head into the desk because there's NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ANYTHING THERE. They were essentially trying to bash through the backdrop and walk out into the backstage of the set. I was gonna say NNNNO, THAT JUST DOESNT WORK... But. What are you gonna do, I didn't wanna displease these guys. So.... I made something up.

    Y'know how usually in Zarlin, after the robot fight, the players would go south into that room with the bookshelf and the gemling, and get fruit thrown at them by Rosebud? Well, first off, no rosebud in this version, I felt that with the upcoming promise of gender-changing laser robots, sharks that can noclip, and ten story tall warmachines, a talking bear that sells fruit might be a little much for these guys. So, I replaced them...

    They knock down that huge ass door in the first hallway - And who comes slowly stepping out from the northmost of the two rooms back there, than Cherrybomb - A bespectacled kobold fruitseller/war profiteer.

    Dressed in naught but a bath robe, slippers, and holding a coffee. He looks over his shoulder, breaks the fourth wall and states 'I'm pretty sure we were supposed to meet somewhere else in this campaign.'

    I figured okay, we can do the selling thing here! NO big deal- Then Porcio jumped up and tried to eat him.

    Long story short, the irate elemech never showed up, there was a big thing of the group trying to bash down the door of Cherrybomb's digs, there were some charisma checks to stop Porcio from cannibalising the Kobold, and the group walked away with a free rotten apple each, and an explaination as to the stun mechanic they provided. I figured that was their reward for completely taking me for a ride, and getting such good rolls - They didn't need the mechanic to be obscured.

    4. NOW they're going the right path.

    Since they had a 'monstrous' tile porc on their side, I let them take the second of the two paths heading down towards the second half of hte dungeon. The one that the crew didnt take - With the big boulder? Hugeboi just smashed the boulder away. They also passed Jeff the Elemech on the way down, who I had written up a big dialogue thing for explaining why they wanted the fruit blah dee blah dee blah- Point is this was Jeff's momentary cameo before the group got into the 'archive' room, to find the gemling.

    During this time, both Porcio and Christian tried to loot the beenu skeletons. Both of the beenu skeleton heads fell off and dealt 1 damage to each of them because they both got like sub-3 rolls on the investigation. (And Christian was asking for it with how snarky she was being about the porc 'being careless'.)

    I also gave them another legendary roll because I was feeling nice. Nobody got a 20.

    5. The Transverse arena

    So this was the part I was looking forwards to. None of them knew what was going to happen, nobody was prepared for the transverse robots. The reaction to them hoever was honestly much the same as the group. Abilities got replaced, treasures were lost, and Christian, who was feeling a lot like Morganna Marie from the guys run, was highly upset not at a gender change but at a race change. She must have gone through three race switches before it occured to someone to use an apple and stun the robot. 

    So yeah. After that, Christian is a dwelf.
    They probably dispatched the robots a bit too quickly, so, I'll have to take that into account for whatever the campaign is that i do next.

    Now at this point, one of our players said that he had work in the morning so, we had to either pause or finish up in the next little while. I figured, whatever, there isnt a whole ton left, and to be honest - The Glamorshark and Gorgon thing felt really out of place in the original run - So I decided to just skip past it and head on to the Warmachine encounter.

    I gave them their final legendary roll - And Christian got a 20.

    Petal Pathway felt like the ability they were most excited to make use of during character creations, in addition to it having been their means of escape from the Barringsters, so. I felt it was natural that thier legendary be an upgraded Petal Pathway.

    So yeah, the same thing happens. They find the chasm, they see what looks like Cherrybomb's home on the far side of the pit (Evidenced by the massive iron door laying against the wall), and they start preparing ways to get across. What do they settle on?

    Using the Lotuswalk ability to hop across the chasm! Excellent!

    ...One problem.

    6. The Final Encounter

    The Beenu Warmachine rose up - In all of his Yellow-Orange-Red glory. About the same time, Raynel and Cherrybomb appeared on the far side, looking on in horror as the killer robot appeared.

    But before this thing could even strike, Christian launched herself across to the other side with lotuswalk, and used the bonus action to fire off her apple, stunning the thing long enough for everyone to hop across the path of petals and start making a mad dash for the exit.

    Now given that the official run of Zarlin had the fight against hte warmachine take place in the statue room, I took their fleeing as a chance to enjoy some artistic liberties with the mechanics and, indeed, the limitations of the warmachines movement.

    The fight spilled out into Cherrybomb's lobby, into the first hall, and into the entrance room, where the Warmachine continuously destroyed the structure around him, while fighting against Bronk, Porcio, Bruf, Raynel, and Cherrybomb.

    Why didn't I say fighting Christian as well? Because Christian decided to take my earlier warnings to heart about your character not nessecarily having to survive, or even win this campaign for the story to finish - And warped out using Lotuswalk. By the time the others caught up to the entrance hall, Warmachine had smashed down the walls, broken part of the floor, and was now leaning into the room, preventing safe egress to the surface.

    The fighting is fierce, spells going off, attacks being made- Cherrybomb being squished beneath the warmachines hand. It was a pretty epic fight, though again, admittedly, it didn't last nearly long enough for my tastes.

    There was however a very surprising occurrence...

    Bronk pulled out one of his treaures to try and get a hit on the yellow hand - A convoluted composite crossbow... ANd he got a critical fail. The shot instead hit the person between him and the hand. I went to do the damage calculation, and realized *after* I had said it what I had done.


    He only had 37 maximum stamina.

    The crossbow does 99 damage.

    Oooooh boy.

    One brutal death roll later, and I proceed to describe the horrifying sight of Porcio spiralling out into the darkness of the chasm, carried by a 3 foot long metal spike impaled through his leg. Halfway over the chasm, his bag opens, and the pot puppy from the treasury room slides out, looking back to the group with silent disapproval, and waving its tiny adorable paw... While Porcio gets skewered and hangs from the far, FAR wall of the chasm, hundreds of feet away.

    Bronk promptly discarded the crossbow, too little too late.

    The fight continues, they go through the mechanics, the beams come out, start dealing damage, but it's not enough to deter them. They eventually manage to stun and defeat the warmachine, and it falls back into the chasm.

    As a bit of a post credit scenes, I pointed out to people that when Porcio rolled his porc companion passives, one that he got was the Arcane Spirit - meaning that should he die, he'd be reborn as an earth spirit.

    So earth spirit Porcio is floating along, happy as larry, and is promptly smushed by the falling warmachine.

    What has come of all this? Well, Bruf, Raynel, and Christian have survived the Zarlin Catacombs - And Bronk not only has survived, but will live on in a future campaign as a boss fight!

    All in all, it was a lot of fun. They managed to mess me up repeatedly on what I had planned out, and so the story didn't go at all as I was anticipating. But, I loved every minute of it - And they all say they had a lot of fun too, and are eager to have another campaign of Urealms at some point in the future.

    DM's Ramblings - The future for my campaigns?

    I'm taking what they used to do in the shows to heart. The idea that if it's involved in a game, it becomes canon - Well for my own campaigns, they've got their own growing canon to build on the canon of Urealms (Such as there are apparently a species of Seagull that live exclusively in caves), and this goes all the way back to one of my older campaigns. Some of you that know me here know that I've made a few customs in the past, and that most of them took place before the official mod was released - There were four that I had done.

    The first was a basic adventure that involved the introduction of a villain.

    The second was further establishment of the villains plans and the growing of her armies.

    The third took place apart from them, but introduced a creature in an abyss at the bottom of the ocean, that was awoken and started to consume the world (Murderer at Sea)

    And then the final campaign was going to bridge the unofficial mod mechanics, whch I believe were from season 2, to the official release of the mod for season 3. I called it the Exodus - A magical rift had been opened up by Qintara Lotus, to let the surviving mortals hop from this world to the next - Not in body, but in consciousness. Whoever walks through this portal would appear in a new world, untouched by the sea beasts reign, in the body of someone who was already there, but with full knowledge of the Sea Beast and what it could do to the world.

    Those who made it through in that campaign were a number of NPCs and player characters from the first three campaigns - As well as the villain and her associate henchman.

    I planned to just jump into the deep end and play through Murderer at Sea properly with the guys... But now that I think about it - Maybe it's time to bring back the cast and use them as a way to give a new set of characters a purpose. To eventually go under the sea and fight this devil-god of the abyss.

    Well. It's a thought. I'll post more on the forums if I do anything with it.
  • Awesome read! It sound like you did a great job interpreting the dice rolls and the custom legendaries were cool as well. I hope you continue posting your future campaigns.
  • edited June 12
    OH, also - Just so you get to know what i had set up for the other legendaries...

    Porcio's legendary was based off of his previous character in a dnd-like game we had been playing before this. His character was a sort of cyborg priest of a mechanical god known as the Singularity - And near the end of the game, he obtained a weapon that was representative of the gods desire to sacrifice living flesh in exchange for power. This felt appropriate because much like the Porcio of this game, his other character was a ravenous cannibal, and when he died, he came back in another body a short time later. These parallels came out of RNG in character creation, it was not planned at all - So I felt I had to roll with this continuing comparison.

    Bruf's legendary was a replacement cornerstone that would override his 'Lost' cornerstone. As it goes, Bruf wasn't really a kobold at all. He was a gnome wizard out of Abracadab, a genius of multiple schools of magic, but then a rival magician family with some very deep pockets decided they wanted to get rid of him. To keep his knowledge and himself safe, he transformed himself into a kobold, sealed away his memories, and fled Abracadab. If he got this legendary, then it'd mean that the mind-seal spell finally wore off.
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