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Sidequest Saturday (Lands of Ludolog): Retrieve the Ship!

Retrieve the shipAfter defeating Queen Medusa, the Archon King introduces the party to a short, funny looking little man wearing an orange cap. “This, my friends, is Marcus. I think you will find him very interesting, and believe that he can help you get your ship back and return home.” With that, he and his entourage take to the skies and leave you in the care of this peculiar mustachioed fellow.

Marcus pulls out a very large toolbox—so large, in fact, that you briefly wonder where it came from. He starts to rummage through it, pulling out pipes, wrenches, and other odd items, three of which he gives to you.

  • A shield has a shovel on the front that allows the wielder to move and create tunnels at a rate of 30 feet per round within Ludolog, the 2-Bit Dimension (as augmented mythic burrow and haste; CL 15th).
  • A strange contraption that has a long hose with a small bellows on one end. The hose can be directed at a blokar or fyookie and used to kill them; the wielder throws the hose as a ranged touch attack at one of the beasts within 30 feet as a standard action, stunning it on a hit (DC 24 Fortitude negates). After a single pump the creature is automatically stunned, and with 3 more pumps it dies (a pump is a standard action). If more than one round passes between pumping actions, the hose detaches and the blokar or fyookie returns to normal. This device must be wielded with two hands.
  • The third item is a burrowing ghost mine.

2-bit shieldMarcus leads the party a small ways and stops next to a flower, pointing to a shaft that leads downwards. “Down there you should be able to recover your vessel. The denizens of The Dig have taken it and in order to get it back, you’ll have to find at least two of those there glitched boulders. Tunnel under those things and the vaults will spit the ship out—for a while, at least. Don’t worry about falling, and don’t be surprised when things get less distinct or look stranger than normal. The oldest part of The Dig is extremely old, after all.”

 

SPECIAL MECHANICS

  • Creatures within The Dig may move up, down, backwards, and forwards at their base speed as though it were fly (perfect) so long as this movement is taken in open tunnels. While digging a passage in The Dig, a creature’s speed is capped at 30 feet per round.
  • There are three glitched boulders in each level of The Dig. Tunneling under a boulder causes it to drop one round later (see the trap description here). When two glitched boulders drop, an item appears at the base of the passage where the PCs first entered The Dig. The first four items are pristine xyrx crystals, and the fifth is the party’s airship (which can be boarded immediately).
  • Each tunnel contains a blokar or fyookie (and each level has a maximum of two each). They move towards and attack any PC if there is a line of effect. Otherwise, one of them activates their Ghost Form whenever a “color barrier” in The Dig is tunnelled through, at which point it proceeds toward the nearest PC. The last blokar or fyookie on the map (after the remainder are destroyed) tries to escape, using its ghost form or the nearest tunnel to flee to the surface.

 

Leaving Ludolog
Once the party has managed to retrieve the ship, the new xyrx crystals can be installed into the vessel; it immediately returns to life, causing the world to stretch sideways as a large vortex appears before the PCs, sucking the craft and the party into it! As the ship hurtles across dimensions once more, anyone that makes a DC 18 Perception check can see Aventyr at the far end of the planar tunnel, slowly growing larger and more distinct.

Just before exiting the vortex, however, a large alabaster wing smashes into the ship, causing it to list to one side and spin out of control. A huge dragon flies by, dragging in tow an army of undead that ride on tendrils of pure energy. It shrieks a cry that sounds familiar to you before spreading its wings and plunging into an otherworldy rift with his armed retinue.

The airship plummets towards the ground and at the last second, the vessel brings its spin under control and makes a very hard landing, creating a 100 foot long trench as it grinds to a halt. A quick check verifies that the xyrx crystals are completely expended, and to make matters worse, a mob of undead is rapidly shambling towards the crippled ship!

 

fyookieBlokar and Fyookie          CR 13
XP 25,600
CE Medium aberration
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +20

DEFENSE
AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10
hp 69 (11d10)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +8
Immune magic, weapon damage
Weaknesses vulnerable to air pumped into its body

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee (Blokar) +12 melee touch (instadeath)
Ranged (Fyookie) +12 ranged touch (instadeath, range 15 ft.)

STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +8; CMB +8; CMD 18
Feats Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike (Blokar), Precise Shot (Fyookie)
Skills Perception +18, Stealth +20 (in ghost form)
Languages telepathy 30 ft.

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Ghost Form (Su) A fyookie or blokar can turn incorporeal at will. While incorporeal, the creature may move through solid earth at a speed of 20 feet per round. While in this form the creature may not attack other creatures. Dismissing ghost form is a swift action.
Ludolog Immunities (Ex) Blokar and fyookie are immune to magic (as a golem). A blokar or fyookie ignores any attacks the deal less than 50 bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage but if one of these creatures would normally be required to save against massive damage from an attack, it deflates and dies if it fails the save (otherwise, it ignores the attack as normal).
Variable XP (Ex) Depending upon where in The Dig a blokar or fyookie is encountered, it may be worth more experience. Increase the effective CR of these creatures by one if encountered on the third level and by two if encountered in the fourth (bottom) level.

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Foul Machinations Friday: Lands of Ludolog III

2-bit daggerThe Lands of Ludolog (the 2-Bit Dimension) are strange and many players are going to be disoriented with the fundamental changes in game design involved with the shift to only depth and height. In the first part of the month we explored the specifics for playing in this world, then proceeded straight into gameplay. The party encounters more gaff robots after the first few falling platforms, but these are overcharged and even deadlier! After making their way across even more treacherous instadeath spikes and floating platforms, the Megaman inspired miniworld is wrapped up.

Next the PCs head into a Kid Icarus-themed level, learning about Skyworld from the Archon King himself and receiving wings of the archon to better traverse the vertical. To save this miniworld the party must enter the Sky Tower, braving defying orbs that negate magic in a fixed space and the tempting cursed black pomegranate found within the fortification. At the top of the level they finally fight Queen Medusa, and the exultant Archon King tells the PCs of a possible means to return to their home dimension through The Dig.sky tower

[In the meanwhile, Justin Andrew Mason’s Meta Thursday deals considers the trials and tribulations of designing for a 2D world—chutes and ladders, trick doors, and multi-level rooms are just some of the topics covered for vertical dungeon design. -RT]

This part of the AaWBlog Adventure Path comes to a close in a Dig-Dug-inspired world, a place where the party might be able to recover their ship (seemingly destroyed in the collapse of the first miniworld). The Archon King gifts the PCs with three burrowing ghost mines before revealing a secret chamber beneath Skytower that leads to The Dig. There the adventurers are made to tunnel through the earthy underworld of Ludolog, avoiding glitched boulders and the dreaded half-inflated blokar haunt.

Check out tomorrow’s Sidequest Saturday to see just how the PCs make their way out of the Lands of Ludolog—along with foreshadowing of just what sent them on this myriad quest (from all the way back in Aventyr’s Disputed Territories) in the first place!

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Story Locale (Lands of Ludolog): The Dig

The DigEach miniworld in Ludolog is connected to one another by the Nexus, but deep down beneath the surface of each is “The Dig”, a strange phenomenon known to link the demiplanes together through hidden lateral channels. Entrances to these hidden channels appear at random near the end of some miniworlds, and others might be hidden throughout a given level. Little is known of the oddity, but it’s thought that The Dig was originally created by the rulers of Ludolog as a means to escape from their realms. As time passed and these sovereigns remained unchallenged, however, The Dig fell into disrepair. Passaged collapsed, burying stashed treasure and other wonders of the 2-Bit Dimension.

After the fall of the boss Equatorial Frost, several of the rulers decided that re-opening The Dig was necessary, hastening to refit the old tunnels. Contracting the services of Ludolog’s resident plumber, Marcus, they developed a small, hand-held device to swiftly burrow through the ground. Armed with this contraption, the sovereigns sent out their minions to create a new network of escape tunnels beneath the miniworlds.

The minions did not return.

In its centuries of abandonment and neglect, The Dig attracted new denizens—blokars and fyookies [check them out on Sidequest Saturday! –RT]. These creatures inhabit small tunnels in The Dig, constantly treading back and forth until a living being chances upon their domain. When an intruder is detected, they become incorporeal (able to pass through the earth) and pursue the life force relentlessly, heading towards the tunnel that contains it to materialize and attack. Blokars deliver an instadeath touch attack while Fyookies deploy an instadeath breath attack of cold flame. Both of these creatures proved invincible and faced with deadly foes that could not be killed, The Dig was abandoned once more. In response to these dangers beneath them, the bosses of several miniworlds fortified the areas around their entrances to The Dig, and in many cases relocated their lairs to the same location to pool their resources.

Marcus wasn’t content to sit still, however, and he began to study The Dig and its denizens on his own. To traverse the tunnels and earth quickly he created a small, portable digging device that allows for the rapid quarrying of passages in Ludolog’s underworld. Skulking about The Dig in tunnels of his own creation, Marcus began to unearth ancient artifacts and even more important discovery: hidden within the earth itself were weapons that could destroy the blokars and fyookies. glitched boulderOne of these weapons was little more than a magic air pump, full of replenishing gas from from one of the three-dimensional planes. Air from this pump stuns a blokar or fyookie, and with successive use, could inflate and eventually kill the impervious creatures.

He was also the first to discover glitched boulders, capable of killing the beasts but also freezing parts of The Dig, or cause random treasures to appear in the middle of the current level for a small amount of time. The persistent plumber began to recover and catalog these treasures and as his collection grew, Marcus noted a pattern—all of the treasures were items stolen or scavenged from the other miniworlds. With stories of these discoveries rampant across Ludolog, one has reason to think that perhaps the PC’s ship is hidden away in The Dig, waiting to be found…