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

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Broken Lands Session 3

Return to the cellars and crypts below a ruined wizard tower along the Road of Tombs.

The Party:
  • Vanuatu the Vegan (Magic-User 2 - now with Sleep and Charm Person)
  • Elu (Elf 1)
  • Steefe (Halfling 1)
  • Plus an NPC retainer - Father Mug (Cleric 2 - from Black Pudding #1)
  • Comtruise the Auditor (Cleric 1) is added for the second trip (replacement PC)
  • For the second trip into the dungeon, the party hired a decrepit porter with a pronounced limp named Ire. The party deemed him perfect for the job as his limp made him the slowest.
The Adventure (aka there will be spoilers below):
Continuation of a slightly modified Tower of Zenopus.

What Happened:
  • Consulting the map, the party decides to continue exploring to the northwest, beyond the partially collapsed room where they found treasure in the sarcophagi.
  • Soon they encounter 2 Fire Beetles with vicious bites. One takes Elu down to 1 hp before they are dispatched. Unfortunately, Father Mug is bitten while trying to cast Cure Light Wounds ruining his spell.
  • Reorganizing their marching order to protect Elu, the party decides to push on.
  • Upon entering a new room, a giant spider drops from the ceiling. Rushing to slam the door shut between them and the poisonous monster, the party loses initiative. Vanuatu (who as a level 2 Magic-user with a good Con bonus now has the highest hit point total), is now in the front and goes down to the poisonous bite of the monster.
  • Retracing their steps back to the entrance, the party encounters 7 scrawny, knee high humanoids whose features combine those of an old man and a rat in the partially collapsed room (taken from the most recent Nightwick Abbey release through Evan’s Patreon - I’m using these to replace the goblins in the adventure). A favourable reaction roll had the little creatures back away carefully and allow the party to pass unmolested.
  • The party returns to town to heal and add another PC.
  • Going through Vanuatu’s personal effects, Elu finds the large gem (the Blood Egg) and now it is his precious.
  • Returning to the dungeon, the party develops a plan to deal with the giant spider. After stalking up on torches and flasks of oil, the party studies the map and decides to approach from a different direction and try to burn it out. Unfortunately, using their rough map they didn’t realize that the distance to the room with the spider was much greater than anticipated and that another room was in between.
  • Entering this unexpected room, the party encounters over a dozen of the small wrinkled rat men encountered earlier. The party flees lighting a pool of oil  behind them to discourage pursuit.
  • The party then encounters Grith the Sorcerer and his bodyguard in a workroom. Parleying, Girth invites them to share any knowledge about the dungeon that they acquire. Also, he offers them a reward if they are able to bring him a large tooth from a monster located somewhere to the northwest telling them, “they will know which monster when they see it.”
  • Deciding not to mess with the Sorcerer, they take their leave and continue exploring until they encounter a giant snake in what is obviously the lower level of a tower. Quickly evading a fight with another poisonous monster, the party decides to try to tackle the tower from the surface level.
  • Unable to breakdown the front door, they throw a rope and hook to the roof. Elu climbs up and, through a narrow window, spies Grith the Sorcerer returned to his tower. Continuing to the roof, Elu finds a trapdoor providing access to the top floor. However, opening it produces a terribly audible squeal from the rusty hinges that alerts Grith to possible intruders. Fleeing back down the rope, Elu narrowly avoids a conical blast from a wand wielded by Grith from a second storey window as the sorcerer screams at them for being thieves. The party then flees back to Jekarra.

The Tally:
  • Vanuatu the Vegan, who just became a level 2 Magic-user, is dead (3rd PC death).
  • Killed 2 fire beetles and took their red-glowing glands.

What Worked Well/What Didn’t Work Well:
  • While this session was not as successful from a character longevity or monetary perspective as the previous sessions, this one was a lot of fun. To me it had more of the sword & sorcery, picaresque feel. It would have been nice if Vanuatu made his saving throw vs poison.
  • I love reaction rolls! A good roll with Grith the Sorcerer leads to an interesting roleplaying encounter and possible adventure hooks. And then another roll leads to a narrow escape for the party.
  • I know that some people find mapping a pain. However, they make the game much more fun as an aid in decision making.
  • I’ve talked to the players about hiring more retainers.

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