The Inaugural Celebrity Pro-Am Crawl

Yay! Last night we finally played our first Xcrawl episode, though we used a Savage Worlds system conversion. It worked really well! Everyone was really getting into this sellout x-treme dungeon crawling sporting event. Edmund was GM, and used a ready-made module. We have a few notes on the SGA wiki.

We had six players:

* Tycho, female Gnome barbarian with her pet gator Jepp – Brawler (Peter)
* Frederico “The Saxinator” Rodriguez, male Half-elf bard – Specialist (John R.)
* Grunt, male Half-orc sorcerer – Brawler/Spiritbrace (Cain)
* Ephraim “Shibboleth” Gilead, male Human mage – Blaster (Mark)
* Sherry “Stalker” Goodwine, female Halfling rogue – Specialist (Laura)
* Allie (Alicante) “Bantam” Goodwine, female Halfling paladin of Fortuna – Brawler (me)
* Brad Epstein, male Human fighter – Brawler, team captain (NPC)

Sherry and Allie Goodwine are identical twins.

We’re a team of mostly Division IV Crawlers, some with a little bit of Division III experience (mostly bad) who have been hired by movie star Brad Epstein to form his team for a gala event/charity crawl in Division III. We trained hard for 3 months — a fairly short time for a new team, but training was intense — and finally ship to San Francisco for the crawl. There are various pep talks by Epstein, the Coach, and Epstein’s oily agent. We had interviews with the Empire-1 Sports Network and a gala dinner where we met such celebrities as Archmage Jose Villalobos, DJ Carley Danger and competing team captains Tony Yang and Shelly McFurhman. (Tycho had a hop in the broom closet with a crawler from a competing team, Tony Yang’s Vader Nine!)

Finally, it was the day of the crawl. Most of the team felt uneasy about the fact that the DJ was Epstein’s ex-girl friend and their break-up had apparently not been smooth. He swore they were now on really good terms and he had insider information about the dungeon, but we were skeptical; DJ Danger had been taunting all of us. There was even a wreath from DJ Devastator, responsible for the death of Frederico’s parents, telling Frederico to “Have fun.” The crawl mission objective for Level 1 was revealed: rescue three “fair maidens” (three celeb booth babes).

Sure enough, Epstein’s insider information turned out to be accurate but very incomplete. In the first room, we squared off against three ogres. One targeted Frederico, two attacked Grunt. Frederico shook off all damage and mercilessly taunted his opponent, who was shaken. Sherry “Stalker” Goodwine went into action, dual-swords-style, and soon sashimi’d the one bothering Frederico. Grunt took a bit of damage, but shook off a couple of wounds.

Ephraim and Tycho whiffed against the ogres. Allie “Bantam” Goodwine double-tagged a second ogre with Fortuna’s Curse and a solid attack that put him down for the count (yay me!). Then twin sister “Stalker” Goodwine came back with another double attack on the last ogre and brutally slew him. (Yay, Laura!) Stalker used the opportunity to do some grandstanding and gain a few more Mojo points for the team.

A bit of healing later, we moved on to the next room. Brad’s info said that behind one door were zombies and behind the other was a sabre tooth tiger. We picked the tiger. A short corridor and plastique-trapped door later (disarmed by a hot Stalker), we entered a darkened room. Even those with low-light or infra-vision did not see the tiger until it pounced on Grunt. There was a general melee, and once again, Stalker Goodwine did her mortal magic! The tiger, once dispatched, polymorphed back to a regular house cat and Brad Epstein yelled: “Danish! Noooo!” But after a bit he calmed down and convinced himself this was only a lookalike put there by Carley Danger to rattle him. We agreed in order to calm him down, and Jepp ate the evidence, cutting the discussion short.

We took a few minutes in the break room to heal and use the restrooms — where Epstein found Tennessee white geraniums, to which he is violently allergic. We got back on the crawl track. Another corridor followed, with a bend we found suspicious. Frederico used a mirror obtained from Brad to look around the corner, and spotted eight hobgoblins, but in his effort to be funny with his accent, he made enough noise to alert the hobgoblins. We had intended to have Ephraim “Shibboleth” Gilead fry them with a Burst spell while they were surprised, but now they were expecting us and they had bows.

Tycho and Ally rapidly agreed to pop out and draw the hobbs’ fire, so Shibboleth could then do a snap-shot attack over their heads (a manoeuvre we had specified we’d practice during the training phase) while the hobbs were reloading. It work beautifully; Tycho took minor damage and I took none, but Shibboleth’s spell exploded spectacularly and deep-fried all eight hobgoblins. Shibboleth did a bit of grandstanding, and succeeded at getting us more Mojo points (but they go away at the end of the episode anyway.)

We came out of the first few rooms in good shape, but without having found any of the “fair maidens”…

It was a ton of fun and we all thought the use of the Savage Worlds system made combat a lot speedier and fun than d20. Of course, we generally had good luck with the dice, especially Laura who was seriously on a roll. My initiative luck sucked, though — I had one six, which was still the lowest initiative that round if I recall correctly, then twos and threes for all the other rounds. There were several rounds where Peter, Cain and I didn’t even manage to act because Laura finished off the opposition so quickly! It was… savage.

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