16 July 2015 @ 07:29 pm

The game opens with racism, Hitler jokes, and Dragonlance references. Guess which one gets transcribed?

Valan: I expect Fizzban to be the Golbez of this campaign.
DM: The door ahead almost closed shut behind you but you can make out a lot of movement in the room as the doors to the side open up and shuffling is heard.
Aurianna: It’s LMFAO, oh god.
DM: I know I have the stats somewhere… you also hear another sound that isn’t that pleasant.
Valan: The sound of BIIIIIIIIIIIRDMAN!
DM: Strange clopping sounds.
Elkus: Zombie cows.
Tyr: It’s obviously a pony.
Valan: It’s what. Ponies don’t shuffle.
DM: You can barely make one out… it’s very worn studded leather. Some of the mounts still holding a pair of legs of the person who may have rode it one time. How this happened you’re not quite sure and don’t really want to think about it too hard. Unless you do…

Even horse fungus zombies won’t deter our heroes, though… because as Valan says, they need more experience to level. Against 8 human and two horse zombies, Balisar advocates caution, while Elkus counters that these foes seem less able.

Valan: Maybe they’re older-type zombies, that can’t be crit but die when they’re supposed to.
Balisar: “I worry that we may disturb the Hive.”
DM: Shut up.
Balisar: “I worry that these things may have some deeper… it might not be in here, but some source of these spores that is not their body. If we disturb it it may bring all of them running.”
Elkus: “A collective mind, perhaps.”
Balisar: “Besides, if they are still alive, the merciful thing to do would be to put them out of their misery. They’re too far gone for treatment,”
Elkus: “That, we can agree on.”
Valan: Tyr, go get them.
Tyr: Tyr puts on a blindfold to show how badass he is.

In actuality, the telepresence computer is going wild and strobing the video like a lightswitch rave. (There’s something on the keyboard, and the efforts of the group to address this are hilarious in their incompetence. But not in a way that’s funny to transcribe.) Problems fixed, the group arrays themselves to corral the foes, albeit not without difficulty.

Elkus: All of us have an AC of 14, it doesn’t really matter…
Balisar: I have an AC of 12, thanks.
Elkus: That’s why you’re in the back.
Aurianna: My AC is 17, thanks.
Elkus: Why is she not in the front?
Tyr: I’m at 14.
Elkus: I’m a bard!

The discussion immediately derails.

Valan: I’m trying to jam out to the song and it’s like, “Kick – k-k-kick!” No! Knock it off!
DM: That’s the only way to get higher rank, I never understood how to get S Rank.
Valan: I would try it that way and it would tear my score down. “You rappin’ bad.”
Balisar: ‘No way, I’m rappin’ awesome!’
Valan: Yeah exactly, I don’t understand the scoring section…
Elkus: ‘I gotta believe’!
Tyr: I gotta find good games for this thing. iPhone!
Elkus: It’s called ‘trade it in for an Android’.

Hindsight has revealed how mistaken Elkus was, thanks to Fallout fucking Shelter, but the game of the past has no knowledge of that and blissful in their ignorance, the players wander into a discussion of PS sales and Breath of Fire, and thence onwards.

Balisar: “Where the shit did this come from?” I ask myself. I shouldn’t buy stuff off of Humble Bundle…
Elkus: That’s the problem, yeah.
Balisar: I now have 10 games that begin with ‘Star Wars’ in my library…
Tyr: I got the Umble Bun-ung – Hung –Humble – Bumble – yeah, whatever, pineapples and cheese.
DM: As you’ve been discussing your plans silently… quietly. They’ve begun to shuffle in your direction aimlessly. Not purposefully…
Elkus: (discovering a bent mini) Hey, this guy’s doing the limbo!

The DM vows that if they don’t put their minis down, it’s a party wipe and they have to retry. The players and the DM spar for a bit over just how far back this retry takes them.

Tyr: I’ll attempt to solo the whole enemy group.
Balisar: Well, you heard him. –no, Aurianna goes in front, she has the better AC.
Aurianna: I am not tanking this fight!
Elkus: We’re gonna die.
DM: Even the zombies seem confused by the adventurers’ choices.
Elkus: Every day we’re shuffling…
DM: I’ve been watching this anime called Log Horizon. It’s kind of like Sword Art Online, but less gay…

Somehow this lapses into bitching about Squall from Final Fantasy.

DM: Then he got pussified! Like the American nation.

A thirty second awkward silence ensues. Well, maybe just a long silence.

Balisar: Anyway…
Valan: The transcriber is like, “A thirty second awkward silence ensues.”
Balisar: No, that one’s a ‘long silence’.
Valan: Or is it ‘redacted’?
DM: You can talk bad about America all you want to!
Balisar: Hey guys, good news, we’re on a government watchlist now.
DM: If we weren’t on one already--! I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some NSA agents, like every week, they just got our group. “Okay guys, here it comes!”
Balisar: Hey guys, why’s the webcam flashing? I thought the computer wasn’t on…

The DM dreams of their wayward player’s responsibilities all being canceled by the government. Initiative! Someone suggests Aurianna cast Bane, and voices inevitably ensue.

Elkus: The zombies are like, “You merely adopted the mold. I was born to it.”
Balisar: I guess this game really is a victim of ‘banality.

Extraordinarily long silence. The group tortures the transcriber until the audio breaks; we rejoin our group with Aurianna lobbing spells into the pile of zombies. Whatever it was, saving throws are adequately rolled. Elkus inflicts a Charisma-targetted saving throw on the zombies.

DM: There’s nothing a zombie does better than be charismatic!
Valan: Yeah, aren’t they at -2?
DM: -3! “I would like to go on a date with you, miss!” Jaw falls apart.
Tyr: They’re honestly very nice and likeable. I’m gonna hug one of them.
DM: They all fail.

Elkus had cast Bane, while Valan goes on a massive punching spree to take a wounded zombie down for good and revels in his success. Tyr wades into melee for nine damage.

Elkus: ‘Good news, everyone!’
Valan: ‘I’ve invented a device which makes you read this in my voice in your head!’
Elkus: That wasn’t… Professor Farnsworth.
Valan: Yeah, I don’t watch enough Futurama. That was Regis Philbin impersonating the Professor.
Elkus: ‘Now who wants to be a millionaire!’ (switching voices) ‘It’s time for Bane. …this sounds too much like my Denelos…’

The zombie shrugs off this hit, and one unloads easily-dodged spit into the melee line. The zombies completely fail in melee combat, and one manages to injure its own foot in the process (sadly failing to die). Balisar manages to splash some acid into the fray.

DM: The acid splashes on him but the bones still hold together! He doesn’t want to fall!
Valan: You see under his skin, it’s all shinbones.
Balisar: Are these zombies wearing red, white, and blue?
Elkus: Don’t answer that. Nobody answer that.
Balisar: They’re from Femurica.

An unusually long silence.

Valan: Start making him pay. Make three zombies spawn behind us. “Oh look, pat.”

Elkus: I guess I’m going to use Dishonest – Dissonant Whispers.
Valan: Oh that’s right, you have the spell from Scanners.

Elkus lands his spell, forcing the zombie to run away, and the AOOs from Valan and Tyr annihilate it. Valan starts his punching and kicking!

Valan: I rolled a 2.
Balisar: Then add your Strength.
Valan: 4.
Elkus: Then roll a die, my bardic inspiration…
DM: Your proficiency is +2.
Balisar: As long as you don’t roll a one on d6, you hit.

Valan is baffled and skeptical, but manages to land the hit after all his modifiers are applied. Some long debate over the Versatile property ensues, and then – look, I know I often say the discussion goes in a bizarre or inexplicable direction, but there is usually a progression somehow, no matter how tortuous. This, on the other hand? This came completely out of nowhere:

Elkus: (singing) Can I be a boozhound?
Balisar: (singing) Not till you’re fifteen!


Tyr: I think I’ll attack that guy then.
DM: Now the zombies go, they’re attacking the monk. Actually hit your AC, right on the nose… a whopping two points of damage to you, Valan.
Valan: What? 14?
DM: 2 points.
Balisar: Who’s DMing this? Is it me?!

The zombies inflict trivial damage, and then Balisar comes around to act, while Elkus bemoans his lack of spells.

Elkus: Hmmm. Minor Illusions – look at that!
DM: The first one fails, the second does not – why does the right one always fail!
Aurianna: Sacred Flame again!
Elkus: Aww, I don’t get to go.

Aurianna discovers that radiant damage negates the zombies’ ability to stay upright, while Tyr gets bowled over by a zombie horse, quite unpleasantly. For some reason a horse zombie goes ballistic on another zombie – apparently just out of bloodlust to reach the PCs.

Valan: Five damage to that poor bastard –
Elkus: Did you just point at Tyr?
Valan: No! …although that would have been…

Raging (the power), Tyr attempts to strike a horse! And misses. He’s in trouble, while Valan takes 5 from a strike. Balisar ups the game by hurling a Chromatic Orb into the horse for 20 damage, and then Elkus is up.

Elkus: Oh, I get to go this time.
DM: I said Elkus and Balisar.
Elkus: I mean last time I got skipped.
DM: I thought you did something, I said Elkus and Balisar…
Elkus: And then you went straight to Aurianna.
Balisar: You got Brunted.
Elkus: I did. I’m going to Viciously Mock one of them. Wisdom save.
DM: To the zombies or the horse?
Elkus: Let’s do the horse, why not. How much Wisdom can a horse have?
DM: More than the zombies!
Elkus: I’ve made my choice…

Aurianna heals Tyr, despite the DM and Valan encouraging him to resist. The players debate alternate announces for Killer Instinct, such as the ERBOH announcer and Alek Trebek. Valan acts!

Valan: YOU SAW THAT! The 20 just lazily rolled over!
Elkus: Yeaaaah.
Valan: Motherfucker! 8 damage!
DM: He rolls a 16, so he passes.
Valan: 6 more, motherfucker!
DM: He rolls an 18!
Valan: It’s the same one! Take that fucking die away from him! It’s not fair to have zombies rolling on that die!

Elkus angrily mocks the unkillable zombie, and the group rejoices in the gleeful irony if the minimum damage from the mockery kills the zombie. It does not. Balisar lobs some acid into the fray, failing to kill as well.

Balisar: Aurianna! Radiant damage!
Aurianna: I know, but I’m healing somebody!
Balisar: Nobody cares! He’s doing more damage staying alive vs. being dead than he would be if you killed him a long time ago.
Aurianna: I touch Valan for 11 points of healing.
Balisar: God damn it, no one listens to me!
DM: Don’t worry, the horse still cannot get past the zombie!
Elkus: Did he not attack last round?
DM: He’s gonna be at a disadvantage for killing the zombie. You are helping the zombie, Elkus.
Elkus: I know, I did not… really… mean to.
Valan: Why didn’t they just always carry around a bag of senzu beans? Did they only work once a day or something? Where’d they get the bean from?

Balisar, who knows all these anwsers, finally gives up on not interrupting the game and explains all this to Valan, while the horse rips the zombie’s head off somehow.

Valan: Oh. Jeez. Now I’m angry.

Blows are exchanged left and right. Balisar finally resorts to playing the Skyrim theme for power, and succeeds in destroying a zombie, while Aurianna casts Guiding Bolt.

Balisar: Well, you just crit its ass.
Aurianna: 44 points of – 4d6 points of—
Valan: 44! Throw the screen into the trash, walk away! You killed something in the next encounter, that’s how much you did!

The DM bitterly rules that the overdamage wipes both horse and zombie, while giving the players in the frontline a remarkable tan. Balisar inexplicably adopts a Translyvanian accent.

Valan: If you speak Transylvanian the rest of the campaign, I’ll never say another bad thing about any of your puns.
Balisar: (without a second’s hesitation) That’s a lie.
Elkus: It is a lie.
Valan: He’s not going to do it. Just like I’m not going to do it because he’s not going to.
DM: The field is yours, what do you do now?
Elkus: Pick it up and take it the fuck home.

Somewhat battered, and aware that other zombies inhabit other rooms, the group retreats to the main room, where the NPCs are dispatching a wandering a zombie. They explain they were lowering the numbers by luring the zombies in one at a time. The outside ones are reportedly getting more aggressive, while the mist appears to be decreasing and the NPCs are improving!

DM: “Did you guys hear that sound, right after the lights came on? It was like a cry of pain, it was really weird!” You guys didn’t hear anything…
Valan: We didn’t notice any lights coming on, did we?
Balisar: No. We were being puzzled.
DM: “It was like this huge ‘rrrr’, and then the mists receded.”
Elkus: “Ah, the boss battle.” I mean. “What?”
DM: You notice several boxes of sniper rifles and ammo nearby. Just outside of your vision, autosave has occurred. You notice a chest that was not there before. In it is a several healing potions, a tent, and a convenient fireplace you can use the tent at.
Balisar: I set it on the big S.

They settle in for a short rest, with Elkus playing healing music and much discussion of HD-spending mechanics. By the time their rests ends, they hear only low thuds, and then a roar.

Valan: It’s an owlbear skeleton!
Elkus: (listening to Balisar attempt to sing like a shuffling zombie) You can’t hit those high notes anymore anyway.
Balisar: (promptly hitting a surprisingly high note)
Elkus: Oh wow. Can you actually hold a note with it?
Balisar: (high but not very nice) Nooooooo!
Elkus: At least you’re honest.
Balisar: I can’t even hold a note in my NORMALvoice.

The DM calls for them to set up their minis, then an interesting mechanic – they have a Perception roll to figure out where the sound came from, then get to move.

Tyr: Critical hit! 20.
Balisar: I gotta perceive!
Aurianna: I got a 20, natural 20.
Tyr: Well I got a natural 20 as well.
Valan: Well I got a natural 20!
Tyr: My natural 20 is better than your natural 20!
Balisar: I got a rock.
Elkus: I got a natural 10.

The heroes argue for a while about where the hell they’re going to stand based on their excellent hearing, just in time for the monster to smash through the wall!

Tyr: I’d like to reload my save.
Elkus: Yeah, I wanna go back to the autosave where we actually entered the area.
DM: Did you guys remember to save right before the sneaking section?

The DM reveals a picture from the Monster Manual –myconids! The group quickly wades into the fray, with Tyr the first to act, followed by Valan.

Valan: My quick-kicks are always good for a follow-up for no – four damage.
Aurianna: Sacred Flame on one of the mushroom guys – the middle one, I guess.
DM: Dexterity? It sadly passes.

The myconids spew poison into the fray, with one blowing it so incompetently he blinds himself with a cloud of dust. Valan rejoices in not playing a caster.

Valan: I don’t have to comb through my spell lists. Or flitter around saying, “Anyone need healing?” I’ll do that the next campaign that gets started. Since the hurricampaign is dead I’ll roll another healer. And not play them like they’re a fighter. That’s recorded now, so I can’t back out of it later.

Spoilers: he did not. The transcriber plots to misattribute the quote anyway to screw someone else over. A huge orange cloud abruptly engulfs most of the PCs!

Elkus: I fist-bump Balisar.
DM: You feel odd, but none of the effects from earlier.
Valan: Do I get a Fortitude save?
DM: No, this is a little different.
Valan: You don’t get a save!
DM: There’s nothing to save against. You feel odd, as the thoughts of your comrades, the thoughts of the zombies, the thoughts of the spores, and the thoughts of the large one… “Join us. Be one with the spore.”
Valan: “Come along… you belong. Feel the spore.”
Elkus: Of Koo-koo Cola.
DM: Balisar, it’s your turn.
Balisar: “This will be one of MY specialties!”
Valan: Oh no… Acid Splash!
Balisar: No!
Valan: No, okay…
Elkus: No!
Valan: No!
Balisar: I’m going to drop a Silent Image of a giant fog cloud in this 15x15 cube.
DM: A mist so dense it knocks figurines over.

With that subtle hint cluing in his allies to the illusory nature of the cloud, they see through it. Elkus mocks, while one of the NPCs whiffs with an axe (I think?) Tyr delivers a mighty blow, Valan accomplishes little, Aurianna’s foe ducks away from Sacred Flame, and then the little enemies attack! One promptly ties himself up in his own gear.

DM: This die has failed me MISERABLY, oh my god! “MOOOOORE!” You watch as the mist coalesces into more—
Balisar: So we have to kill the big guy, I think that’s pretty explicit at this point.
DM: Have I sent that message yet? Have I sent the message enough yet? You can barely make out the bodies on the ground, the zombies, have turned into those things. Valan, give me a Constitution save.
Tyr: (who heard about a quarter of a specious side-conversation) You know, for some reason I thought one of you guys said your natural enemy is a can of Pringles.

Valan passes and fights off a mind-affecting green mist!

DM: For a moment you thought you saw visions of your allies dead, horrible hallucinations, but you willed them away.
Balisar: They’re replaced with reality! All of us dead.
Valan: I’m not sure that’s all that important to Valan at the moment.
DM: Balisar, your turn.
Balisar: (dramatic gesture) Boom!
Valan: Acid Splash!
Balisar: No!
DM: Acid Ball.
Elkus: Acid Beam.
Tyr: We’re gonna assume all of his attacks are Acid Splash until told otherwise.

Balisar’s Chromatic Orb does a massive burst of damage. The main enemy looks much the worse for wear!

Balisar: As the four-inch sphere of acid punches through his chest and out the other side.
Valan: You can’t flavor-text your own attacks!
Balisar: The DM wasn’t doing it! Someone’s got to.
Valan: You’re right. I approve.

The DM rolls terribly, and Elkus trades him a die that immediately rolls a 20. Tyr misses! Valan does not miss!

DM: You took him down to 0. Two strikes to the knee, you raise the kick up straight to its head, and it collapses. A roar, a fatal cry out, and all the other spores burst. Old rotting bodies seem to fall to the ground.
Elkus: Cop de grassy!
Valan: Oh, this pleases Valan immensely.
DM: And slowly but surely, the spore mist seems to leave the area.
Balisar: With a dramatic gesture I… stop concentrating… on my Silent Image, dismissing the fog!
Valan: Is it still passing for living! I’m gonna coup de gras the shit out of it.
Balisar: Come on, Valan! (slapping his elbow)

With the victory theirs, the players lapse into complaining about Final Fantasy XV for no conceivable reason. Studying the creatures, Balisar determines a clean difference between animated corpses and fungus creatures, perhaps unsurprisingly. The group goes all CSI on this, trying to find the source of the spores on the creature, but they also find that the creature was already burned, possibly by the magical lights.

DM: Just as you go to the back, just behind the spine is this huge empty sack. It’s flattened now.
Valan: It’s a huge whoopee cushion.
Elkus: Take it back?
Balisar: Yes!

An NPC with infected wounds begins to go a bit crazy, and they quickly knock him out. With little recourse, they spend a couple of hours in laborious stitching and wound-cleaning. As the spores fade, they find that collections still lurk around holes large enough for a human to crawl through. They check the area, with many checks being rolled.

DM: You determine the bodies in the amphitheater are probably closer to 100 years old. You wonder how these bodies even managed to stay enough, but you think the spores may have been keeping them preserved much longer than they should have been. Investigating a lot, you can tell that this was probably the outpost city of a civilization. Much like yourselves, they discovered this land, discovered the bird-people, and attempted to make friends, making a small city of sorts. But something befell it, probably this spore mess. Hit them a lot harder because of their numbers. The spore zombies outnumbered them all and eventually killed them.

The group realizes that with this news, they ought to postpone their efforts to explore further – taking the prince back and reporting on their findings takes priority. With sundown almost upon them, they elect to camp for the night. Overnight, the large body deteriorates incredibly fast.

DM: By morning it is completely gone.
Elkus: Is my sack gone?

A very long pause, before everyone remembers he’s referring to the body part they cut out of it.

DM: No.
Valan: Not HIS sack.
DM: If light touches it, it almost seems to burn.
Elkus: My sack inside a sack.

The group prepares to leave, which of course involves rounding up the NPCs as well.

Balisar: “Your Highness—“
Valan: (laughing) I’m picturing a dragonborn doing that bow.
Balisar: I’m a noble, thank you.
Valan: A noble dragonborn.
Balisar: Yes! Why the skepticism!?

The prince promises them a reward for saving him, since out-of-character the GM needs to roll the loot – but the players, remembering the elven king and his promises of rewards, are horrified! They also bury the adventurers who did not survive, and make it back to town without any encounters or much trouble.

DM: You are greeted with much hurrah.
Valan: Hurrah?
Balisar: Hurraaaah!
Elkus: Horray!
Aurianna: Hurraaaaaaaay.
Valan: (slow-clapping)
DM: Okay, Operation Delta.
Balisar: No, it’s Formation Delta.
Valan: Operation Wolf.
Balisar: Operation Water on the Knee.

They return, dropping off the sack with a lot of bombastic exposition, and explain their actions and what had happened. They anticipate a few days of downtime before their next adventure, and Elkus quickly attempts to write the song of their actions to take back home.

Elkus: 11. Well that one sucked, let’s try again.
Balisar: Fungus! Dunga dunga. Fungus! Dunga dunga.
Elkus: That’s a 1.

With a whopping 500 experience each, the players ding to 3 – signaling the end of this session, and the beginning of the METAPLOT!