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

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Broken Lands Session 2

The greedy adventures saw opportunity in raiding the cellars and crypts below a ruined wizard tower along the Road of Tombs.

The Party:

  • Vanuatu the Vegan (Magic-User 1)
  • Elu (Elf 1)
  • Steefe (Halfling 1)
  • Barak (Fighter 1) - I think I may have this name wrong
  • Plus a retainer - Father Mug (Cleric 2 - from Black Pudding #1)

The Adventure (aka there will be spoilers below):

The Tower of Zenopus from Holmes Basic. I am: 1) making some cosmetic changes; 2) adding a sublevel accessed by the hallway going north in the top-left corner of the map; and 3) Since this is no longer located on a body of water, the sea caverns will be changed.

What Happened:

  • Before adventuring, Van decides that there is no way he would be willing to sell the huge gem, the Blood Egg, that they pillaged on their last adventure. They then hire Father Mug as a retainer.
  • Descending the stairs into the cellars below, the party heads south at an intersection - using the always turn left mode. They enter a chamber and quickly overcome 4 skeletons.
  • They proceed through an empty room and enter a gloomy room with piles of rocks and rubbish. They defeat 3 giant rats and then find a silver dagger and a bag containing 50 ep.
  • Cautiously exploring a hallway going north they are surprised by two ghouls that attack them from the rear (a wandering monster). Father Mug failed his turn attempt, but the ghouls are defeated thanks to the halfling’s low AC and the elf’s immunity to ghoul paralysis.
  • Proceeding into the next room, the party finds two more ghouls gnawing on bones from smashed coffins. Again, Father Mug fails his turn attempt but the ghouls are defeated with abundant missile attacks.
  • The party next explores a huge room where the northern wall has collapsed scattering stone sarcophagi into the room. Ransacking the sarcophagi, the party first deals with poison gas, an animated skeleton, and then an animated sword. They find a magic sword, a golden coronet, and jewelry.
  • Deciding that this was a good haul they decided to head back to Jekarra.
  • Taking the magic sword to a sage they learn that it is Bittercut - a sword forged from the tears from a forgotten goddess.

The Tally:

  • Killed/overcame 4 skeletons, 3 giant rats, 4 ghouls, and an animated sword.
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Bittercut the magic sword (yoiked from Black Pudding #1)
  • Vanuatu the Vegan advances to 2nd level!

What Worked Well/What Didn’t Work Well:

  • The old school practice of map keeping is working well - one of the players is keeping a rough map. During this session it helped them modestly by planning the quickest escape route (thus limiting wandering monster checks) once they decided to head back to the city. However, in session 3 it became quite valuable for decision making.
  • Wandering monsters are working well - I just used the tables on page B53. They provided uncertainty and tension. The fact that they resulted in ghouls just before a keyed room with ghouls was just a nice coincidence.
  • I replaced the magic +1 sword with something that has a bit more mystery/backstory/interest (but in the hands of PC's not much of a mechanical impact. Go get Black Pudding if you haven't already!)
  • I made a mistake on the conversion of types of coin to gp for experience point calculations. For some reason I couldn't find the table on page B47 at the time. We rectified it by the end, but I told the players not to revised their XP reward (I over awarded them).
  • I am using reaction rolls to determine who and how many retainers can be hired at any time. However, I think that the players aren't aware of my mental process when we roll so I may have to walk them though it. This really impacts session #3.

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