Sunday: Tradya's Workshop-- After last session with the theatre and the rats and everything, it was about time for a low/no combat session. Which was great, because I hadn't the brain to prepare any stat-blocks for a special encounter or anything, and odd, coz I had no idea where the players would go next, but being that this is a fairly old-school dungeon crawl, the options were limited by the long pre-existing map. So they were pretty much going to go explore the northern part of the first level, which they'd looked at a bit before, or were going to go south and explore the few things that remained down there. This latter is what they wound up doing, which permitted them to get their hands on another one of their quest objects, and had them find the entrance to the hidden library maze. I won't go too deeply into the mechanics of the maze, as they haven't explored all of it yet, but it might sound a little familiar to people who really like, say, Sean Connery in monk robes.
Basically, they found themselves in a large, octagonal room with four doors, one in each wall, and stacks of books of various kinds in concentric circles. They rolled skills to see what sort of books were in the room, and if they found anything particularly useful, and also marked that above each door, there was a letter-- in order, T, R, A, & J. They knew, from the previous adventure, that the dude what owned the dungeon was called Jaylamer Tradya, so they decided to take the J path, and see if the subsequent rooms would have the rest of the letters of his name. And lo, they did! Each room was a trapezoid-shaped chamber filled with books on a common theme, with varying numbers of doors and a letter over each. This was consistent until the room with the final 'R' in Jaylamer, anyway, which contained 2 doors which had no letter. They found some palimpsests (not to be confused with the city of the same name... or were they?); the Avenger was able to create a rubbing to see the note that used to exist on the page. This gave them a couple of hints as to what they could find in each direction, and they decided to go through the one at the top of the trapezoid, which said it led to 'the center'. This took them back to the first, octagonal room, and of course, going back the same way did not work. Alas!
In the course of their searching, I remembered that this was the sort of party where I could give them magic treasure what didn't have any combat application, and so they found the following trinket:
Box of Delicious Creation
An ornate silver box with a lid of black wood, just large enough to hold a mug of something tasty.
Daily (standard): Creates a single item of food or drink, which is wonderfully delicious and comforting. Use of this daily item does not count against other daily magic item uses.
Random, I know, but the players seemed to really like it, and that made me happy.
Also, a couple of other plot advancement items were accomplished that I prefer not to discuss here, but which pleased me greatly.
Shadow Hearts: Covenant-- So, I forget which day it was-- possibly Monday?-- but the day sucked holy ass, and required that I go out to dinner with Shieldhaven immediately, and also buy a video game. Instead of doing so, however, I bought a PS2, and set about playing another run through of my favorite JRPG, Shadow Hearts: Covenant. It's frigging hilarious, and also a festive testament to the Japanese obsession with Jewish Mysticism. Fun!
I also have the first one, but the second added depth and scope in a way that I've only seen in games like Overlord and Overlord 2. Here you have the perfect setup what people ask for-- give me a sequel that's a game changer, keeps what we loved about the original, but does something new and better. The full customization of the judgement ring combat mechanic, having the turn based combat care where you stand for AOEs, and the addition of a combo system were all that is awesome, and I'm enjoying my second playthrough quite a bit.
Pretty much the rest of my whole world is eaten by culture packet writing for Dust to Dust, so yeah. That.