Friday, September 3, 2021

Critter Gitters: Into the Desert

 We had a pause in the Critter Gitters game back in April.  Not a pause in the game-clock, mind you, but a series of events that snowballed and led to us not playing for a couple months in a row.  Thankfully we're now back at it with some regularity - having a periodic, nicely-scheduled game night is healthy, and keeps the campaign ticking forward in a meaningful way.

So, what's been happening since the sky giant nonsense and the Christmas episode and the housekeeping?

First off, the Gitters walled off the access to the catacombs where the ghouls were, then promptly forgot about the whole thing.

After a short "summer break", the Gitters reconvened in the town of Bitter Luck and decided - mostly Hogan and Pips leading here - that an expedition into the Devil's Desert, to seek the lost Potbelly Mine, would be worthwhile.  If they located and claimed the abandoned silver mine, surely they'd be wealthy; and the trip itself would yield critters and weirdness and things to explore.  So they spend hard-earned gold on some wagons and gear and a ton of food that should last the trip, figuring they'll be gone for several months (and will need to hunt along the way, too).  Oregon Trail time!  Save versus Dystentery.

Now because this group is explicitly drop-in/drop-out, we're basically saying that all the current Gitter PCs are on the expedition, and whoever is playing that night gets to do the "away team" stuff like investigate the weird lights on the horizon, or delve down into that howling cave, etc.  But everyone is assumed to be around, and if for some reason they get in a "lost in the desert with no food" situation, that'll affect every PC.

There's a lot of critter gittin' the first session as they play out plenty of overland travel.  Jossshua the lizard wizard captures a giant frilled lizard and loads it, hogtied, into one of the wagons.  It was a whole thing.

One night their camp (circled wagons and all) is infiltrated by a winged monkey who tries to set the Conestogas alight.  Luckily, recently-promoted roustabout Warwick (ie a new PC) is on watch, and his keen eyes spot the simian arsonist, and he blows the monkey away without hesitation (killing the thing outright thanks to a good roll - there will be no limping off into the darkness for this monkey).  Now the PCs are worried about winged monkeys as a desert threat, and they muse aloud about the thing's intelligence, and was it acting under directions.

During the next day's travel they locate an old stone temple half-buried in the sand, and send a team inside to investigate it.  They best a couple lesser mummies, mess with a trap and a secret door, find a bottomless pit with some THING in it...   and locate the living-space of whatever wizard-priest had been living here - probably the monkey's master, based on the widdle monkey beg and spare fezzes - before they busted in.  They conclude, rightly, that the nefarious caster escaped through the now-shattered magic mirror.  The Gitters collectively shrug, then set to work hauling a golden statue out of the place.

Those of you familiar with X4 Master of the Desert Nomads may recognize that temple (albeit with some changes).  The desert the Gitters are traversing has been seeded with locations and stuff from X4 as well as X5 Temple of Death, so there's the potential that they'll run into more of this stuff, particularly if they seek it out.