2019-01-31 Game Prep

Preparing for the game, fifteen minutes before people start arriving. And I still have time to take a picture, of course. 🙄

In this session the players approached a lake that had been inhabited by a lake witch and her singing (charming) babies, which had then been eaten by a giant shark that been summoned. So they assumed the water’s edge to be safe.

But the witch had been killed a few weeks ago. The site of the old temple was still there. Children had still died. Undead were still guarding the place. Of course something evil had returned!

Half the party approached the water, a baby head bobs up and starts singing. Some of them are charmed and start walking. The rule I used:

  1. if you’re charmed, walk into the water
  2. next round, if you’re in the water, start diving
  3. next round, if you’re underwater, save vs. spells to break free of the charm because you’re drowning
  4. if you’re still drowning, save vs. death or die
  5. next round, go back to #3
  6. also, if you’re in the water with metal armour, you’re automatically drowning: save vs. death or die every round
  7. shoving mud into your ears prevents the charm from working; this takes a round

We had an elf cast sleep spells at the party to prevent them from walking into the water. But half of the victims were already standing in the water, so they would all start drowning next round and there weren’t enough non-charmed people to save them all. Luckily most were able to save themselves.

We had one main character and one retainer drown in the lake, however, and a frogling retainer who could breathe underwater had to roll multiple times on the Death & Dismemberment table and lost consciousness again and again. I told them that in the end, he woke up in an Alien-like cocoon stuck to a rock wall at the bottom of the lake, for the monster to brainwash and use for nefarious purposes. Also, I said that he kept hoping for a rescue but that his friends had decided to abandon him, left him for dead...

The Lake Witch

This monster is a bit like a charming hydra: it waits under the water surface until enough victims have approached and then it sends its stalks up to the surface. Every stalk ends in a little, sharp-toothed baby head with two tiny arms. These things will sing and whoever hears the baby sing must save vs. spells or be charmed and walk into the water. If you make the save, you are immune against the singing of one head only. You can still be charmed by the singing of another head!

To stop somebody who’s charmed requires a dispell magic, a hold person, or bringing them down to 0hp (and they are not helpless so a roll to-hit is required).

The next round, charmed victims start diving and drowning. Each round, you can save vs. spells again to break free of the charm. If you break free and you are not wearing metal armour, you can return to the surface. Every round, if you’re still charmed or wearing metal armour, save vs death or die.

If you’re not charmed, drowning or not, you can fight the lake witch with stabbing weapons: daggers, short swords, spears, tridents, but not long swords or axes, for example. If there is somebody fighting the lake witch under water, the baby heads retreat and join the melee, preventing them from singing and charming more people.

Each baby stalk counts as a separate organism. The lake witch itself is a huge blubbery body from which these baby stalks grow, with a huge mouth big enough to swallow victims whole. Once swallowed, a simple raise dead will no longer suffice as the bodies are utterly crushed. The lake witch leaves all the fighting to the baby heads, though. It only swallows the dead and the helpless under water. When her baby stalks are all dead, the lake witch retreats deeper into the water and only now will it use its bite to defend itself.

1d8 baby heads HD 2 AC 4 1d6 F2 MV1 ML6 XP200; charming song (range 60ft)

lake witch HD 9 AC 4 1d10 F9 MV1 ML6 XP900

Last minute prep

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Comments

This lake witch reminds me a lot of the Duck Tales Sirens. Hydra like charming heads attached to one big mouth. (https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/The_Sirens From 1987)

– Sterbl 2019-02-04 23:25 UTC


Hah, beautiful! Sirens_74.jpg

– Alex Schroeder 2019-02-05 10:39 UTC


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