Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga

Well, it has taken us a year but we finally finished the Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga.

I made some changes to the adventure to have it fit in better with the overall arc of the Dragonslayers in their quest to stop the rise of Tiamat.  I also foreshadowed events of my Come Endless Darkness and War of the Witch Queen campaigns.

In the process of this adventure the characters began roughly at 20th-24th level in 3.x, converted over to 5e and they are leaving the adventure as 1st Ed characters.  In the course of the year they leveled up in the Hut so now everyone is about 29th level.  This is the reason for the switch to 1st ed since I think it handles 20+ levels better than 3e or 5e.   Also in the course of the last year I took bits and pieces from the Dragon Magazine (1st Edition) version of the Hut and something I found for 4th edition.

They fought the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The last Rainbow Dragon.

The dragon is supposed to be this dragon:

And finally, a re-ensouled, and very, very pissed off Kostchtchie.

For Kostchtchie I used an idea I had read years ago in White Dwarf #15; the Russian Nesting Doll monster.  Though I flipped it and started with a kobold, then a goblin, orc, hobgoblin, ogre, hill giant and then finally Kostchtchie himself.    Freaked the kids out that each time they hit him he got stronger.
Yes, that is one of the old ogre figures from the AD&D action figures line.

I mentioned in my review of this adventure that it is more plot driven than the other S series adventures. Baba Yaga is more of a defined character than say Acererak or Drelnza. In fact, she is presented in much of the same manner as Strahd was in Castle Ravenloft. Though there is the assumption that the PCs won't be so stupid as to attack her. Could the right group do it? Sure, but that is not the fun of this adventure. The fun here is investigating her magical hut and finding things that might be unique in your world. The Hut itself is almost a mini-campaign world, complete with it's own rules of magic and control over the daylight and nighttime hours. It does recall some of the "funhouse" dungeons of the S series in terms of what is being offered but there is some logic applied to most of the rooms. Others, unfortunately, feel like filler.
It was a fun adventure, but not one that really lives up to the S legacy or the potential of Baba Yaga herself.

Now given the levels the characters are at I will need to start looking into some of the really high level adventures for them.  Though really they should be ready to retire.

I did add Baba Yaga as a fully stated out monster thanks to the Baba Yaga Boss Stats (5E) from 00Games. But thankfully the kids did not piss her off enough to attack her.

Up next...are the Dragonslayers ready to stop the rise of Tiamat?


Jonathan Linneman said...

The Kostchtchie looks great and sounds awesome in play.

Sean Robert Meaney said...


The rifles cracked as thunder across the Carpathians.
Their men were dead. The women of this muddy village of hovels screamed and retreated from the violence of this trespass as though their clay and straw huts would protect them from devils.
A groan came from one body of a man.
“Not dead?” Kershov signaled to his companion. Ilam approached the body.
“This one doesn’t want to die!”
“So?” Ilam lifted his rifle.
“No.” In a few simple blows, an axe split the narrow shape of a small tree, felling the leaves and branches, and then shaping the trunk to a point.
“Now?” asked Ilam.
“Now!” replied his companion. Ilam hoisted the living corpse in the air and dropped it down on the stump. The corpse choked and died.
Suddenly they became aware of something. No longer were there sounds coming from the ruin of this dirty hole of a village. They investigated the huts for potential victims. They were gone. The fear of their violence was gone from it. It hadn’t been that long. They had killed the groaning man in a breath of seconds.
Kershov and Ilam struggled about the grey clay mud with their rifles at the ready.
Movement caught Ilam in the corner of his eye.
“There!” An old woman had pushed quickly across the gravel and descended into the darkness of a hut at the very edge of the village.
“Not getting away!” Kershov made for the opening and descended into the darkness. Ilam almost fell in behind him.
What struck them instantly was the scale of it on the inside. They had entered the simple hut through a small doorway. The hut interior was deeply dark. Underfoot the floor scraped as metallic. Kershov struck up a light and applied it to his tallow-lamp.
"What is this?" The room of the hut was deeply circular. The floor, the wall, and ceiling were iron. The Ceiling most of all was low and dark. They would have to bend to avoid bumping their heads. The doorway behind them snapped shut.
"No!" Ilam and Kershov threw themselves against the sealed entrance. It was solid iron.
There had to be a release somewhere on it. Both companions struggled for the indiscernible catch that would release them from this wolf’s trap.
A grind of Metal came from the room behind them.
The Ceiling was a large clock face, the iron hands moving. Each tick echoed through the walls, ceiling, and floor. A minute on the clock passed. A Door on the far wall was grinding open.
What entered was a distortion of everything they thought of as human. The deformity moved slowly across the chamber until it stood at the centre.
"Interview you, Baba Yaga will." It examined them both with its diseased eyes. It couldn't possible see them. The deformity retreated to its doorway and the iron door sealed behind it.
Overhead the clock continued.
Kershov was whispering something to himself. Ilam stared at his companion. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Praying", answered Kershov.
Ilam realized he had never seen his companion pray in the six months they had been murdering and pillaging their way through these mountain villages.
"Why?" Ilam looked at the movement of the clock.
"Because when she is done cooking our corpses, she is going to torture our souls." Ilam stared at his companion.
"You are insane!" Segments in the wall opened and steam sprayed into the room.
The two murderers began to scream.