"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Northern Marches Session - Back to the Ruined Castle

I am a little late with this post as I have been away on a family camping trip. A week ago three intrepid adventurers (Konrad the Swordsmaster, Dolanic the Warrior and Ellorin the elven Veteran-Medium) and one retainer returned to the ruins of Castle Hareth. The story of the wraith that was encountered way back in session 2 has kept PCs from returning to the castle.

Some notes about the session:
1. It was the first time I had run a session at The Sentry Box. We played on the mezzanine level on a sunday afternoon and we were the only game going. I have booked table space there for every sunday afternoon even though I will likely be spotty in scheduling a game there through summer.

2. The PCs returned to a storeroom they had found previously and rolled out a number of barrels of ale. I love treasure like this. They had to make a couple of trips in and out of the castle to get all of the barrels out and had a number of wandering monster checks pass by uneventfully until the very end when they were discovered by a patrol of orcs. Now they have to figure out how to get a bunch of extremely bulky and heavy ale barrels back to New Hareth. Will they find a way to get them back all at once or will it take a bunch of trips? If it takes a bunch of trips will anyone take notice of what they are doing?

3. The final encounter of the afternoon was with a large group of goblins. The action was fast and furious and a few unusual maneuvers were executed. The encounter ended with Ellorin dead and the rest fleeing. Afterward we had a discussion about tactics and what had worked and what hadn't during the fight with the goblins who outnumbered the adventurers 3-to-1.

4. I tried the "Lucky Number" idea from the Unofficial Games blog but no lucky numbers were rolled during the session. I will try again next time.


  1. Since B/X doesn't have Attacks of Opportunity, are you just treating the lucky number as a free extra melee attack?

  2. So far the plan is to just let them take another attack/action but with the caveat that it cannot be with their weapon. So some examples from the Unofficial Games blog:
    -Punching someone with a free hand.
    -Tripping someone
    -Kicking a chair between their legs
    -Tackling them into a grapple
    -Throwing a mug of ale from the nearby table
    -Having the arrow you fired miss, but hit a pipe full of steam and scald them instead.

    The exact mechanics for each will be determined on the fly but will be done using mechanics already in the game - attack rolls, saving throws, etc.

  3. Why bring the ale back to town? Sell it to thirsty monsters or other delvers! :)

  4. I like the barrels conundrum. That kind of planning and logistical problem is what makes dungeoneering so special to me.

    Great writeups!

  5. I really love treasure such as the barrels of ale. It highlights resource management, problem solving and gives a sense of a living world.

    Other types of treasure I like to give is art work and personal items. These can be used to tell a story or reveal something about the world. For example, in a previous session the party found some tapestries in Castle Hareth. Not only were they big and bulky and difficult to transport but the pictures depicted contained clues.

    Much better than giving them a chest full of gold coins.