Sunday 20 March 2022

Prisoners of the Sun: PDEE Pulp with the Chronographic Society (part 3)

The end of the adventure …

Tintin & Snowy, Captain Haddock, and Chang Chon-Chen are now the only surviving expedition members. Tintin was wounded by the Tyrannosaur during the trek across the Hidden Plateau. Chang has been unable to patch him up, for lack of medicinal plants. Maybe he can find some before they face the final challenge.

Exiting the Plateau the party see the ancient ruined Temple of the Sun in the distance. This is the destination of the expedition, where they must rescue Prof Logarithm and return the Crystal of Rascar Capac.

Information gleaned from the field notes of the Sanders-Hardiman expedition indicates the Temple is guarded by the zombified remains of Mayan warriors. Mummies!

The adventurers decide to play it cautiously. They’ll scout the environs of the Temple, starting with the West side, before going inside. This will also - with luck - allow Chang enough time to stock up on medical herbs. 

Tintin immediately fails an activation roll, and a Mummy (all are “Lesser Mummies” unless stated otherwise) pokes its head around the corner of the temple and glares balefully at the intruders. The adventurers press on. After 3 Turns they are moving along outside the W wall. ⬇️

Chang has discovered more medicinal plants. Snowy has had a close encounter with a Mummy, and been wounded, but is now ambling towards Tintin. Another Mummy can be seen in the top R corner of the photo. Surely there must be more? And where is the Professor?

On Turn 4 Chang discovered yet more plants, and also patched up TinTin. While Tintin was being bandaged the three adventurers pooled their limited knowledge about Mummies. Consensus is they’ll be very hard to bring down by shooting. Chang remembers his grandmother telling him they are scared of fire. It’s worth a try. Tintin & Haddock both have safety matches, and there is tinder (dry grass etc) lying around, so when the time comes, they’ll light fires.

By the end of Turn 6 ⬇️ The reconnaissance along the W side of the Temple is paying off. Captain Haddock can see into the ruins, and has spotted the Professor (with butterfly net, behind the High Altar). But the Mummies are beginning to react in greater numbers. Snowy is bating the one who wounded him earlier (Chang has now fixed that wound). A total of five Mummies are now visible.

⬆️ A quick check reveals the wind is from the NW: blowing diagonally across the table from lower L to upper R in this photo.

After 9 Turns ⬇️ Tintin & Chang have nearly reached the Professor and the High Altar, aided by fires that are keeping the Greater Mummy at a distance. Haddock is just out of frame at bottom L, following a panic reaction to one of the Mummies (Roar reaction).

On Turn 10 Tintin failed 1/3 activation dice and was attacked by the Mummy near the Professor, and wounded. But he shot and wounded his attacker, which reacted by moving off (afraid of the fire). Then Tintin skulked into contact with the Altar and the Professor. Snowy passed all 3 activation rolls and skulked toward the Greater Mummy ⬇️

⬆️ Chang also failed 1/3 and the same Mummy lunged at him but didn’t make contact. Chang backed off, the better to cover Tintin’s back, and shot at the Mummy, a lucky shot causing 2 wounds and finishing it off. Last to activate, Haddock failed one roll. The nearest “beast” (the Greater Mummy) moved away, spooked by the fires. And at the end of the Turn, 1/2 fires burned out.

Turn 11. ⬇️ Tintin activated on all three dice (only just, both white dice were ‘2’). He pulls the Crystal of Rascar Capac from the pocket of his trusty Bombay Bloomers, unwraps and places it on the High Altar of the Temple of the Sun. It’s only the back of the altar to be sure, but the scenario doesn’t care. This is a major contingent plot moment: what will happen? 

⬆️ It’s a ‘1’. All the Mummies start to metamorphose into their original living forms as Mayan warriors. Will they be friendly? We’ll know next Turn (all are inert this Turn). But Tintin isn’t done yet. He lopes back towards his companions. The Professor, to huge relief, ambles after him. Snowy starts to howl. Chang and Haddock activate successfully and start the retreat. The remaining fire starts to spread more widely.

Turn 12. ⬇️ Tintin rolls snake eyes to activate. Uh-oh. The Mayans (now classed as Outfolk hunters) are hostile. The chief gets a Predate reaction so heads off to check on his dead warrior (yellow marker). He also loses the wound he accumulated while in Mummy form. The next nearest Mayan, way down in the SW corner, moves away. The professor remembers he left his compass back at the temple, and tries to move back to find it. But as long as he is adjacent, Tintin won’t let him go. Both of them retreat when the Mayan roars (responding to an activation failure by Chang).

⬆️ At this point (end of Turn 12) I ended the game, ruling that the Chronographic Society expedition had achieved its objectives, though at the cost of 50% casualties (not counting hounds). They have passed through the Rumbaba Valley, and crossed the Hidden Plateau. They have rescued Professor Logarithm and returned the Crystal to the Temple of the Sun. They are well placed to exit the table without the Mayans catching them.

Presumably the mysterious convulsions affecting the Sanders-Hardiman archaeologists will now cease - they will no longer be Prisoners of the Sun.

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