Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Flashpoint: Pyrophobia, Ophidiophobia, and Arachnopohobia

The invisible voice in the Observation Chamber had just congratulated them on completing the Hematophobia Test and offered them a greater prize were they to complete all of the tests without resting. Proteus chose Pyrophobia as the least dangerous of the next two tasks as several of them had methods of protecting themselves against fire.

Pyrophobia Test

A thirty foot wide room with a domed roof that is thirty five feet high at its greatest point with a grilled chimney in the middle and a series of little tubes protruding from the roof around the edges.  Lhye went to grab the flame-like gem in the middle of the room (which was as sharp as the last one) and the door hissed shut and locked behind them.  The hoses started hissing and the group suggested setting it afire.

They dallied for a short period of time before Lunjun cast a Snapdragon spell which set it afire before too  much gas entered.  Seeing how it had seemed to pool low, Proteus and Lunjun realised the gas had been carbon monoxide - so they were lucky in their decision as if they'd waited to see if they could smell it they would have simply passed out.

While the jets of flame that pointed down by the walls heated the room, the escape hatch for steam, smoke and heat meant they had more time than they otherwise would to avoid being cooked.  They soon didn't have to worry about that so much when two orange gems appeared on either side of each other - and a scorching way appeared between them!  The ray darted across the room (much like a lazer) and everyone had to make a Reflex Save or take 3d6 damage (no damage on a successful save).  It did this twice and then a second ray appeared ... then a third.  By this time Lhye was on his way out and Proteus was struggling to keep folk healed.

So Archer strode into the middle of the room, ready to take the full onslaught when the fourth one appeared, as they all first crossed in the middle.

Ophidiophobia Test 

Similar in size to the previous room but this one has a spiraling snake carved into the floor with its head poking up from the middle, jaws open, green gem poised between them.  The snakes carved into the walls with a vertical up and down design whose heads come out from the gap between ceiling and wall had open mouths as well.  Archer took the gem, the door hissed shut, and the open heads began hissing.  Little did anyone realise, but it was a hallucinogenic gas!

Well, I say little did anyone realise but soon enough Proteus figured it out as he was the only one who made his save and a Knowledge Nature roll.  He perched up on the spot where the green gem was before and watched with interest as illusory snakes dropped loose from the open mouths of the stone snake heads and his friends began to hallucinate - hallucinations that would help convince them that those illusory snakes were real.  Proteus knew that this was a test and that if he were to simply explain the situation then none of his allies would pass.  I didn't yet inform the players of the hallucination - figuring I'd frighten them with real hit point damage and fake ability score poison damage.

Lhye immediately cast Calm Emotions, hoping to calm down the snakes, which had the very beneficial result of turning their bad trip turn into a good one.  Then Archer told Proteus he should charm the snakes with his singing.  Proteus figured that was a good enough result and so did so but instead of singing he used Perform Oratory to do a Distraction that would help the PC's break through the illusion - which they promptly did.  It didn't stop them from hallucinating snakes but at least these were regular nonharmful hallucinations.

Lunjun also managed to roll a 20 on this new check and was able to both 'trip' and also to know which bits were from the trip and which bits were real.  That made it quite an odd experience but at least he got to enjoy the trip without being confused by it.  Archer simply sat down to tea with his snake hallucinations while Lhye imagined that Proteus' had many waving arms.  After about five minutes of this they were allowed to pass the test.

Arachnophobia Test

This test was quite a bit different to what they expected.  Thick slightly sticky web hung like hammocks from the ceiling, obscuring the hole beyond it, and there was a grille across the floor with darkness beyond it.  Lunjun refused to take the lilac sphere as he needs a gun in one hand an off hand for spell casting so having a sharp sphere dig into his hand wasn't his idea of a fun time.

So, contrary to expectations, rather than spiders immediately appearing when the door slid shut, instead dozens of needles jabbed up through the grille holes again and again - each one tipped with poison.  They came out in waves and patterns so Archer managed to flip about and dance around their sudden eruptions.  Proteus leapt up onto the gemstone pedestal and out of the way.  Lhye immediately started floating.  And Lunjun?  Lunjun pulled out his wooden chest from his Bag of Holding and sat on it.

Poor Archer thought people were stabbing at him and kept trying to hack at the needles with his sword.  Lunjun thought the needles jabbing against the underside of the chest sounded like morse code but he also knew it was likely to be a hallucination.

Lhye floated up to the 'soft hammocks' and soon found himself entangled.  His weight tore at the webbing and he hit the ground - getting jabbed and poisoned for his efforts.  Naturally he failed his Fortitude save and took maximum Con damage on a 1d4.  The webbing fell heavily on Lunjun, knocking him half down and poisoning him (max damage) before he could scramble back up onto his box.  Proteus managed to stay on his pedestal.  Archer wasn't in the way of the webbing.

From the hole that had been obscured above them, they see a giant spider ready to fall and surrounded by a swarm of tiny spiders!  Archer fired a dragon's breath round which saw off the low CR spider swarm and a few shots by the others took out the giant spider before it could attacked.  The needles stopped jabbing at them.  The door slid open.


The invisible voice revealed herself to be ... a succubus!  The scandal!  The very illegality!  No wonder she had been invisible for so long.  If anyone knew then the old mayor (and likely each and every one after) would be ruined!  She offered herself as a reward, which Proteus took her up on with sadistic pleasure and abandon.  He gained her favor and used the attribute bonus on Charisma.  Lhye used a Major Curse to give the succubus a delusion where she would believe herself a Calistrian Vengeance Demon - changing her alignment (for now at least) to Chaotic Neutral.  Proteus punched him for stopping him mid-act but Lhye still gave his lecture on Calistrian principles to the demoness who now thought herself brainwashed by the Abyss.

Meanwhile, Lunjun made a house out of magic using a spell while Archer made tea for himself and the floating cat (who appeared to be wavering indistinctly to him).  The Naiad watched them all with curiosity and seemed pleased - in a distant kind of way - with Lhye's actions toward the succubus.  In the magic house, the cat slept at the foot of Archer's bed (ignoring the cat bed Lunjun had designed for it), the eagle perched on the edge of the cat bed (ignoring the bird perch) and only Proteus' monkey enjoyed its hammock and swing that had been custom built for it.

Everyone then retired to bed.

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