DM Screen 37 – Rock the Dinosaur

This set of DM Screen notes are a bit shorter than usual as, like the Dracula battle way back in Westeros, this episode was intended to center entirely around a single fight with a big, tough enemy. Both Godzilla and the psychic parasite are very tough customers, and I wanted the players to alternate between attacking these two targets.

The fight ended up going a bit faster in the actual episode than I had estimated, but I had actually thought that might be the case and so I set up a little epilogue scene with Doom and the other Praetors that helped to foreshadow the upcoming end of the Phyrexia arc. That’s been something I’ve realized over my RPG experience: it’s often difficult to predict just how long a given scene or encounter will take, and combat encounters can often be especially tricky, especially if the system you’re using allows for critical hits or other ways of suddenly swinging the fight dramatically in one direction or the other. Realizing that volatility and building in contingencies can be a way of ensuring that you maintain the desired length and flow of a game session.

As the episode opens, Godzilla has noticed the heroes and Mordin is still unconscious. The best idea for the heroes at this point is to shift into the Metaverse to take out the Phyrexian parasite that represents Godzilla’s indoctrination. Once they shift over, their environment changes around them.

As you shift from the physical world into the Metaverse, your surroundings change in a series of dark ripples. What was a huge fortress made of stone and metal, shot through with metallic roots and branches, has been replaced by a towering white and red striped tent, its roof coming to a single point hundreds of feet above your heads. The room you are in has become lined with many rows of wooden benches stretching up in tiers away from a huge empty circular area in the middle of the room. Godzilla stands in the center of this ring, tethered to the ground by means of a massive chain, each link the size of a sedan, leading up to a metal collar around his neck.

Godzilla himself has changed, too. He’s still unmistakably the same creature he was before, but now he’s wearing a ruffled collar, a pointy hat topped with a pom-pom, and white and red clown makeup. These traits on his monstrous form are less comical than they are bizarre and genuinely sad.

And there, wrapped partly around Godzilla’s neck and cradling his head, is the Phyrexian parasite. It looks very similar to the parasite you saw on the side of Azula’s head: a creature somewhere between a snake, a leech, and a spider. But where the parasite on Azula was the size of a housecat, this one looks closer to the size of a semi-truck.

F: Rm
A: Ex
S: Un
E: ShZ
R: Ty
I: Gd
P: Gd

Health: 650         Karma: 26

Multi-Attack: Godzilla may take up to three attack actions per turn. Once reduced to half his Health, he breaks his chain and may instead use each of his below attack actions once per round (Claws twice).
Claw (1 attack each, can perform up to twice per turn): In damage
Bite (1 attack): Rm damage and target must make Strength check or be caught in Godzilla’s mouth. This allows Godzilla to automatically apply Bite damage to the target every turn.
Stomp (2 attacks): Un damage to one target
Atomic Breath (3 attacks, useable only once every three rounds): Un damage to one area

Phyrexian Parasite
F: Ex
A: Rm
S: Mn
E: ShX
R: Pr
I: Gd
P: Rm

Health: 275         Karma: 44

Attach: While the Parasite is attached to Godzilla, it is at -2 CS to be hit by ranged attacks. It can be hit with melee attacks only if the attacker is able to get to Godzilla’s head. The Parasite will detach from Godzilla if it takes 75 damage or if Godzilla takes 200 damage. This will stun Godzilla for two rounds and leave the Parasite vulnerable to attack, but also enable the Parasite to attack. The Parasite will return back to Godzilla after two rounds and drain enough Health from Godzilla in order to replenish its Health to full.
Claws: The Parasite attacks with all six of its claws. It hits with two on a Green, four on a Yellow, or all six on a Red. It deals 10 damage per hit, but hitting with all six deals an additional 20 damage (80 total).
Acid Vomit: Am damage to one target. On a Yellow or better result, the target takes an additional Rm damage the next turn.
Psychic Pulse: All enemies must make a Psyche check or be (G) stunned or (W) mind controlled.

This fight should ideally be big and nasty, with the heroes struggling to keep knocking the Parasite off of Godzilla. Additionally, there are some Shadows elsewhere in the giant circus tent—they look like clowns and may attack the heroes should the battle spill out of the initial area, but are much more likely to get caught in the crossfire between them and Godzilla. Here are the Shadows in the circus tent should they be needed:

Rangda (2) (from the waist up, a red-skinned woman with a demonic face, a huge mane of black hair, and fingernails that stretch into claws more than three feet long. She apparently has no body from the waist down, just a trail of ribbons and orbs hanging from her belt.)
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Ex
E: Gd
R: Gd
I: Gd
P: Rm

Health: 50

Repel Physical: Any physical damage that would be dealt to Rangda is reflected back
Eigaon: Am darkness damage to one target

Skadi (2)(a floating woman apparently made entirely out of impenetrable shadow, her only features are her dark eyes and mouth, and two spikes of white hair jutting from her head. She wears a long gold and green cape that trails on the floor beneath her)
F: Ty
A: Ty
S: Gd
E: Ex
R: Ex
I: Ex
P: Mn

Health: 42

Bufudyne: Am cold damage to one target, freezes on a Red result
Evil Smile: All targets in one area must make a Psyche check or be frightened
Ghastly Wail: All frightened enemies must make an Endurance check at -4 CS or be reduced to 0 Health

Norn (2) (what appears to be a giant black clock face surrounded by a trio of winged women carved from brass)
F: Ex
A: Ex
S: Gd
E: Gd
R: Ex
I: Gd
P: Rm

Health: 60

Garudyne: Am wind damage to one target, or Mn damage if that target is on fire
Ziodyne: Am electrical damage to one target, stuns on a Red result
Diarahan: One ally is completely healed

I didn’t end up using the Shadows as the fight more or less stuck to one area and, I felt, was complex enough as it was.

Once the Parasite has been killed, Godzilla roars in pain and anger before slumping over, landing on the ground with enough force to send cracks splintering through the ground and knocking everyone from their feet. His Shadow self seems to dissolve away into motes of light.

Back in the physical world, Godzilla lies panting on the ground, his eyes focused and calm despite some obvious physical discomfort his body is going through at having the Phyrexian plague removed from him.

At this point, the heroes may negotiate with Godzilla either in the physical world or the Metaverse. Godzilla isn’t able to communicate with them directly and only has a strong intuitive sense as to what they’re saying to him, but he knows that he’s been used by Phyrexia for some time and that these tiny creatures just set him free. He’s willing to cut them a lot of slack at this point.

Unfortunately, Morgana isn’t able to bring Godzilla with them into the Metaverse—he’s just too big. The nearest extraction point is some distance away and will require everyone to cross through the Vicious Tangle and back into the metropolitan area of Phyrexia.

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