Sunday, August 13, 2017

Labrys Lamia

Simon Bull, 2006
The Maze of the Blue Medusa has always been a place for dangerous and unwanted things: in its halls exist malformed children of unholy unions, deadly art and architecture, and worse. Its mysteries beckon adventurers from all over; today, four have answered the call. These children of gods, brought together by chance, each seek their own answers within the maze. Little do they know that while many of its inhabitants were brought here due to the changing tides of culture, some of them are turning out to be quite deserving of their imprisonment...

I've been wanting to run this since it was released in 2016. Maze of the Blue Medusa, written by Patrick Stuart and Zak S., is a megadungeon set inside a massive labyrinth. It's a bit Stonehell, a bit Tomb of Horrors, a bit Painted World of Ariamis, and a whole lot of the weirdness I've come to expect from Patrick and Zak. Suffice it to say, I'm a fan.

The module is system-neutral, which I have decided to take full advantage of by running it in Kevin Crawford/Sine Nomine's Godbound system. In it, the characters play demigods, and the sort of world-rending power usually associated with high level play -- resurrection, shaping earth, making oneself immune to damage -- are available from the start. In most other dungeons, this would be a disastrous upheaval of the power dynamic (there's a reason all the Godbound modules I found were sandboxes), but I've found it works incredibly well with the weird, pseudo-godlike nature of most of the creatures within the maze.

That being said, I have had to make some changes to allow for a tighter dungeoncrawl experience. For those familiar with the system, this is what I've done:
  • Fray dice have been removed, as have Influence, Dominion, and the Apotheosis word
  • Each character gains 1 HP from a short rest, taking approximately 10 minutes. Random encounters are rolled during this time as usual.
  • The dungeon resets every night, so here is no sleeping within it. All characters must be outside by the end of the session or die (this is less severe than it sounds, as the dungeon is for the most part laid out on a single level).
During character creation, I asked each player three questions about their prospective demigod: who is their divine parent, how do their character normally interact with mortals, and what does their character seek inside the maze. With that, let us meet our prospective heroes...

Kellen Nancy, child of Anansi. Words are Endurance, Luck, and Passion. Born of the spider gods dream, he has made it his mission to find and help the worlds most hopeless person. He has reason to believe he (she?) resides within the maze.

Eizen, son of Atlas. Words are Earth, Might, and Sun. A thrill-seeker who has spent a lifetime travelling the world in search of fun and profit. His journey in the maze was sparked by boredom, and a lust for unique sights and experiences not found in our world.

Nemora, son of Apollo and an unnamed Titan. Words are Earth, Endurance, and Sword. Trapped in a cave by his parents at a young age, he befriended Gaia, who eventually freed him. Since then, he has wandered the lands, training in every style and stance. He has entered the maze seeking a sword with the power to kill his parents.

Kali, daughter of Hades and Persephone. Words are Death, Fertility, and Health. Born in Erebus, she knew her mothers touch only four months out of every year. After earning her freedom, she set out on a quest to find a way to give her mother the same.

Stay tuned for the next installment, dear reader.