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

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Nightmoor Abbey - Session 2 postponed

Due to recommended social distancing we decided to shelve this past week's Nightmoor Abbey game. Unfortunately, it will likely be on hiatus for a while.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Nightmoor Abbey - Session 1

How do you do this again?

We sat down for the first session of Nightmoor Abbey a few evenings ago. The first while was taken up with character generation which took a good while, as I knew it would. It has been quite some time since any of us had played 1E AD&D. Once characters were created we had a party made of:
  • Miroslav - Human Cleric of Law
  • Kazimir - Human Cleric of Law, brother of Miroslav
  • Thane - Human pagan Ranger
  • Thessia - Human Druid, sister of Thane
  • Sir Saptac - Human Paladin
  • Zi-bert - Frogling Fighter/Thief

What happened

  • After collecting a handful of rumours, the party approached the ruined walled abbey from the north (the direction of approach from the village of Nightmoor). Laying between them and the crumbling walls was an old graveyard with tombstones and a small mausoleum overgrown with vines, weeds and other growth.
  • Carefully investigating the mausoleum they found a sealed stone sarcophagus. Careful to leave the sarcophagus alone they discovered a narrow well in the back of the mausoleum that descended into darkness.
  • Zi-bert used the vines covering the walls surrounding the abbey to climb up and reconnoissance the area inside. The walls made a large rectangle with ruined towers at the four corners and a gate house occupied the center of the eastern wall. The thorny vines left his webbed hands raw and inflamed.
  • Seeing nothing too worrying, Zi-bert returned to the party and the group circled around to the east where the gatehouse and a crumbled section of wall provided two avenues through which to enter the abbey grounds proper.
  • In the abbey grounds were the large stone cathedral, another well, and the old remains of a wooden stable. The cathedral was obviously once a large structure but much of it had fallen into ruin but had bits of surprising restoration. Dropping a lit torch down the well, it fell approximately 30-40 feet and landed with a hiss in water. However, they thought that the well shaft might open up before reaching the water.
  • Next checking out the old stable, Thane the Ranger caught the sent of a bear den. They were careful not to disturb anything that might be laired within.
  • Circling to the south of the cathedral, they found the main entrance - two large iron bound doors that appeared to be more recent additions.
  • As the party prepared to open the doors a wandering monster check indicated that the black bear in the old stable was approaching. Thinking fast, Thane the Ranger was able to scare the bear off.
  • Entering the cathedral, the party found themselves in the nave and choir. Graffiti covered the walls and one written message caught the party's attention - "Beware of spiders". On the desecrated altar was a severed half rotten goat head and two spent black candles. Laying on the floor in front of the altar was a severed hand. The Cleric brothers tried a simple ritual to reconsecrate the altar. Investigating the altar further the thief found a hidden compartment and discovered that it was likely trapped. He was then able to safely trigger the scythe trap that likely left the five-fingered memento laying on the floor. Inside the hidden compartment was a small sack of gold coins.
  • Investigating a few more rooms, the party took notice of a graffiti
    Graffiti Symbol
     symbol and the party was attacked by 3 giant rats which were quickly killed.
  • The party then found an archway leading to stairs descending down to the first level of the dungeon. Me not being afraid of cliche, the message "Abandon all hope" was scrawled above arch. This is where we called it a night.

The tally

  • Killed 3 giant rats
  • Scared off 1 black bear
  • A small sack of 50 gp.

What worked / what didn't work

  • I'm pretty happy with how the first session went. We were rusty and unfamiliar with some of the intricacies of 1E AD&D since we haven't played it in so long. This caused pacing to be a bit slower than I would prefer but it will pick up as we get more familiar with the rules.
  • I used a reaction roll to see what the Black Bear did when Thane tried to scare it off. I love reaction rolls. However, and I am likely going to say this a lot, I prefer the simplicity of the Reaction rules in B/X to 1E or 2E AD&D. That being said, it worked well, rewarded Thane's player for some quick thinking, and likely saved the party from a tough fight. 
  • We only had the one combat. I envision the first few combats taking a while as we walk through the procedures and my interpretation of how the rules will be applied. For the combat against the giant rats we walked through:
    • Closing to Strike - DMG pg 66
    • Initiative Ties - DMG pg 63
    • Who Attacks Whom - DMG pg 70
    • Missile Discharge - DMG pg 63 - specifically firing missiles into melee
  • We did Surprise wrong which I will have to correct next session.