Modeus Falls- Some GM Observations

 

So obviously this will not go into the Books of CrIsis, but I wanted to give everyone some views into not only what was planned, but what surprised me or caught my interest during the final Vegas get together. This is just an info log, so no links.

I created 10 maps for the Modeus scene, from bottom to top. There were 3 pages of lower levels, 3 tower maps, 3 upper tower, and 1 final Modeus lair.

Thoughts on the game-
First, a reminder- these are moments that mostly are not in the official log. Willy and Grignak were by far the 2 leading MVP vote leaders- they tied, and Willy just squeaked by on xp tie breaker! So, much of this is a recording of things that may have been missed, or my own thoughts.

The first surprise was right at the beginning- Torrun broke down a wall, rather than walking closer to the lava and around to the entrance. This was the same area that seconds later the Shedim were throwing the human sacrifices. It was thinking out of the box, but Torrun, Ursus, and Merkl could have saved the first sacrifice by literally running into the Shedim. Omen was a surprise, as I expected her to begin as a beast, but was happy she chose to be a Rahu-Woman. Brent did a great job with a character that he had never played, and had last seen as a level one creation.

Another thing about Torrun going through the wall- due to the fact that the sacrifices were happening, it made the perception check harder to hear, therefore no reinforcements arrived. CrIsis did such a great job at quickly defeating the demons that I decided to focus more on surroundings and making the final battle epic, and threw out the other groups of demons I had originally created to throw at them.

The flaring of the fire literally led all the way to Modeus’ chamber. This way we could do a load of sacrifices, and draw from the power. The pool of blood next to the lava chamber was the blood from those sacrifices. Modeus wanted sacrifices to power his protection in his room- he knew that CrIsis was coming for him, as there were wards in a number of places, one being the entrance from the water pool.

I did catch Dave’s joke as Merkl that the denizens of Hades were so ugly his knives were avoiding him. I actually thought that was why he later moved to pies.
The Order of Light, the Freedom Fighters, led by a Seraph, was straight out of Rifter 41. This was material that Carl Gleba had included in the Hades book that was taken out that I always loved. The leader is a Seraph named Salaya. I didn’t want a 12 hour battle, so I came up with the idea that if CrIsis crushed the stones they would take down the “protectors”, all of the statues, and allow them to just deal with Modeus himself. When Brent/Omen decided to join, it made it a perfect vehicle to have her already friends with the Order, and allowed me to deliver the message as a hint from Salaya.

The Miracle- Wow, what a surprise, having Hell literally freeze over. This took out any other encounters that I was going to throw in, and moved my entire focus to the top levels. Not only was it brilliant, but it was a miracle- without benefit of luck point or ace, Grignak got a roll of under 16%! So while I had said that godly magic was going to be difficult, that was difficult enough! I also was impressed that CrIsis destroyed all of the frozen demons!
The prisoners and their fascination with Elanu, the Star Mage. As part of the Defiler story, there had been a rumor that they would come to Hades and free all of the prisoners. I had shared this early on, actually before most, if not all, of the current players were here. The Defiler quest to free them was to be led by Elanu, and that allowed me to bring him in even if CrIsis never summoned him. I pushed this again while meeting the prisoners with the Elf in the group, Merkl, being mistaken for Elanu, as the history that they believed was Elanu the Elf would free them. Torrun made me laugh with his insistence that Merkl was somehow related- he is not, but it was a fun running joke.
The Alu/Goblin room was fun for me- timing wise I wanted one more fight, and seeing CrIsis deal with a large number of enemies. Willy did an AOE attack that really hurt, and was obviously confident in CrIsis ability to heal.

The traps- wow, what a string of luck! 20 rolls, and not one failure! Only one roll over 50%! Bronze those dice Willy! Merkl’s automatic ability to sense them, and Willy’s extraordinary ability to diffuse them, was amazing.

Modeus and his taunting- What can I say, I love the overconfident villain trope, and it is mentioned over and over about the Demons, so I had to play this up. I really enjoyed the back and forth, and CrIsis’ attitude of “Do you know who we are?”

Famath and the other Ancients- These guys each had been literally kept alive from the age of the Elf-Dwarf war, or even perhaps older.

The Modeus Battle- This was the main focus of the night, and I tried to make it worthwhile. There was one true Modius, and the other 5 were statues of Modeus. The statues of the demon lords were statues. They could only move in a straight line. The classic door tearing of Ursus, even though the door was open, was a great touch.
Surprises here- 1st, the pies! I decided that the statues needed line of sight to move, and many of the pies connected so that they could not see! 2nd the tornado- Who does a tornado in a room with blood and lava? Willy does, and it was effective. 3rd the hydrokinesis- I don’t know what Dream intended with it, but he poured the sacrificial blood into the lava, giving Modeus great strength- this is where I thought CrIsis was in trouble! However, it all turned when everyone started concentrating on the statues and stones. Willy somehow kept control of the tornado when he increased it (made a control roll- forget bronze, gold plate those dice!) Then, when I thought everyone had forgotten 4th the Summoning- Dream summoned Elanu, and he let loose a legendary spell that took Modeus way back. Grignak as the legendary Gecko and Ursus destroyed more statues, and I knew it was time to surrender. However they did not surrender! 5th Turbo Torrun- Forget the Ghimli toss, this one was far more epic.

I loved how everyone had their part, and contributed. I did feel that the tie for MVP, with Willy edging out, was well chosen. Everyone was awesome.

The Aftermath- So as previously set up, CrIsis made it back to Allvice exactly one year after entering, which means they saw the chaos they caused by Modeus’ death. I set it up that the Deevils were blamed, as the rift that Grignak caused set that up perfectly, until the final surprise- Merkl “This was CrIsis bitches! WE killed Modius!” We shall see how, or if that changes anything.
I hope the players had as much fun as I did. I felt this was an epic final piece.

Torrun has the Skull, Willy has the Book of Names, and it is now the morning of Selestra 22, 116- exactly one year from the day you left Palladium for Hades.

 

7 Responses to “Modeus Falls- Some GM Observations

  • Nice insight to the backend of the adventure!

    As a player, I was convinced (by the G.M.) that i’d be unable to strike Modius with the Hydrokinetically-controlled blood. Knowing none of the magical particulars (both in- and out- of character), and not wanting the action to be wasted, I figured flushing it down into the cooled/ reduced lava was the next best thing. That’s the why behind that decision.

    • My bad I do recall your theory as to why you wanted to do it now. I obviously could not tell you whether or not it was a good idea.

  • I’m sure it was a real fandango!

  • I updated my log to reflect the dates you mentioned here. Nice recap.

  • Those dice BTW are a gift from my Daughter Miranda, Thank you Child, it helped a lot. I think every character was being them self to the fullest possible extent and that is what lead to our Victory in the end.

    It was a wonderful journey, now let’s give it an Epic final chapter. HAIL CRISIS!

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