Our first day in Vornheim


Hi! I'm new to RPG's and I've just starting running a Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign, after two years reading Zak Smith's blog obsessively and surviving on nothing but 4th Edition and Call of Cthulhu. The second session I ran turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened in my short life. When Zak reposted this from G+, I decided to start Rotten Pulp. 
This is the game I'm running, this is why you should care.

It started at the Beuracradome, which is a public arena where the big political players fight to decide the laws of Vornheim. Whenever someone disagrees with your policy, you both elect champions to fight - good arguments give bonuses to your champion's AC and Damage. Whoever wins forms the precedent.


The party was Matt Rundle and twins who were new to RPG's. They'd been refused some sweet armour by the church of Tittivallia so they were afire with righteous anger about the status quo. (The party elf needed a suit to stop the city's fatally iron-rich smog, but the church was using all their salvation suits against the flesh plague). The party warrior jumps down into the arena unannounced and starts laying into the leaders of Vornheim about their petty feuds, using the greatest speech. When they ask him his name he goes "I am... the Common Man!" (Actual name: Stoner).

The peasant audience goes wild, the nobles get furious. The regent challenges him with a breach of court and goes into the depths of the Beuracradome to get a frost giant champion that would crush him. Luckily, the party thief shadows him and sabotages the elevator to trap him in the Frost Giant's room. When the regent doesn't show, he forfeits and Stoner can get on to the argument proper.

He starts up an even better tirade against the church of Vorn- challenging him out for not helping Tittivallia fight the Flesh Plague. "We cannot sacrifice resources -" spits the Vorn Pope, and he answers "Is not sacrifice sacred in the eyes of Vorn? Do you consider yourself... ABOVE HIM?!"  The peasant crowd's idolizing him like a folk hero now (His 0-level occupation was astrologer, too, so this guy is seriously some kind of warrior-poet). 

The Pope is screaming "My champion is Vorn! We will see who is sacred in his eyes!" and Stoner strikes a pose and yells "My champion is... The people of Vornheim!" 

The whole place goes silent. The announcer stammers "Our next challenge... the great god Vorn VS. the People of Vornheim!" Sudden torrential red rain starts up and the ground starts moving and a giant iron face is barely visible moving down through the rain and everyone starts screaming.

So Sodom and Gomorrah is happening, and the PC's decide the best way to stop it is to go up to very top of the city and bargain with Vorn. Vornheim has two giant towers that look like massive outstretched hands in the middle of the city - the Palace Massive (with the Beuracradome) and the Eminent Cathedral (With the church of Vorn).

The thief (Cray the Slave) goes up the Eminent cathedral, and fights through all the crisis-of-faith shit and throws a bunch of worshippers out of stained-glass windows and the Sister Superior's slit her wrists and he rescues a bunch of nuns and all the gaudy trappings of the corrupt church and brings them to the top of the Spire of Unspeakable Hogs. 

For the Elf (Miserly the Falconer) the rusty rain is like burning acid, so he breaks into the box of a Elf Noble to  steal his airtight Salvation Suit. He finds the noble calling "Attack! Vornheim is weak!" into a crystal and wrestles him down and steals all his clothes. He tries to reactivate the communicator and call off the invasion, but fails a magic check and breaks it.  

Stoner climbs up the Palace Massive. He gets the Popess of Tittivallia to make a fleshy corpse-bridge part-way up, then ditches his plate armor so it won't slow him down and climbs up into the regents quarters in his undies. There he finds seven mirrors, each with a different side of himself (most going "OH SHIT WHAT DID WE DO?"), and the clothes of Wise Lord Thrawl, the missing ruler of Vornheim. He puts the clothes on and gets to the top.

At the top of both the spires Stoner and Cray stand in front of the hollow eyes of Vorn and make the greatest speech yet. Cray goes good cop, getting the nuns to pray, burning the gold and tapestries and going "There is not a single unbeliever left in this city." Stoner goes bad cop, like the church was terrible and Vorn was called down for petty reasons on a people who have never done anything but try and serve him. They finish and the great iron head bends down like a nod and draws back into the red haze. The rain stops, all the water floods out to stain the ground red twenty miles in every direction. The eminent cathedral shudders and twists to become totally filled with iron.

Now the city is flooded, the Flesh plague is worse than before, the elves are marching in to attack. The regent is encased in ice, the pope and almost everyone in the church of Vorn is encased in iron, and "The Common Man" was last seen standing on the top of the palace, turning back Vorn, dressed in the clothes of the missing ruler of Vornheim. 

And that's how the party reached level 2.