Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 9 – Land Boat

[The Delvers spend time in the city before heading back to the Moon Manor Ruins.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened July 22, 2019.]

Player Characters:
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dust Academy
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again
Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University
Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University

Non-Player Characters:
Torsten, Fish, Harek – surviving bandits and now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild


Yggsday, October 19th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
[Minor ret-con due to the rapid wrap-up the previous session]
The Delvers packed up additional chairs from the underground facility before returning to Aegea.  They packed out the last 2 chairs from the common room, three chairs with wheels (one each from the corner rooms), and the only four chairs still in sellable condition from the conference room.  These chairs were stashed in the Stalwart family warehouse in Little Wytheford.

Sunday, October 20th, through Magusday, October 23rd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Delvers spent the week attending classes and taking care of guild-related business.  Jala tracked down Batista, a “faculty member” of the Dusk Academy. [Reminder: The Dusk Academy is the loose collection of rogue teachers hidden amongst the stalls of the City Market.]  “Faculty member” term covers a wide variety of sins and sinners at the Academy, in this case it covers Batista, a Locksmaster.  Jala purchased three sets of masterwork lockpicks from him [his entire stock].  She also discussed the advanced lock that stumped the Delvers in the underground warehouse, going so far as to show the drawings of the internal mechanisms she had made.  This intrigued Batista and he offered to do some research she would likely have to pay him for later.  Jala accepted this offer.

After replacing her lockpicks, Jala started searching for a Spellmaster at the Dusk Academy to teach her a shield spell of some sort.  Adventuring was turning out to be dangerous work and she wanted better protection.  Jala was not able to find a teacher immediately and spent the rest of the week tagging along with Nick learning the fine art of trading goods [she wants to buy the Trade skill and is having Nick teach her in-game].

Vorgand spent the week inventorying the guild’s wealth, which, due to the loot acquired, was not inconsequential, and looking for a building the guild could buy and make its guildhall.  She polled the other guildmembers and her list of requirements included:

  • A tower [for Ricky]
  • A cellar to store booze
  • A common room [for parties] with side rooms for privacy
  • Short-term sleeping space for guild members (crash space, not living quarters)

Vorgand and Clarence searched the city for buildings available for purchase and found several candidate buildings.  They need to consult with the rest of the guild to narrow the field.  Vorgand also wanted to get Nick involved with the negotiating as he has the skills for it.

Ricky meanwhile tracked down a book specialist to preserve the High Elven book on gated teleportation the Delvers found under the Moon Manor Ruins.  He eventually ended up in the shop of Jaunti of the Hidden Country, a dwarf bookman operating in the Crafter District of Aegea City.  He looked over the book and stated he could have the book stabilized and safe to read by Cromsday, October 31st.  Ricky turned the book over for preservation.

Zarek spent the week with his muzzle deep in books, researching magic absorption and nullification theory [and making his KS: Magic Circles from cramming last week permanent by spending an experience point on it].

Cromsday, October 24th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Dawn
Early in the morning, the Delvers assembled at the City Docks and caught the morning ferry across Dragon’s Bay to Little Wytheford.  Nick took the time to verify his little brother Les was not tagging along.  The trip across the bay was pleasant and most of the Delvers napped during the crossing.

Noon
The ferry put in at the River Docks at Little Wytheford and the Delvers disembarked along with the other travelers.  The Delvers wanted to haul back some of the heavier furniture from the underground, so they needed more of a cart.  Nick went to talk to Konrad Moonclub, the Stalwart family chief factor in Little Wytheford, and ask for local recommendations.

Konrad sent the group to a reputable cartwright in town where they purchased an oversized, double-decked vardo that needed two teams of oxen to pull it.  The lower level was for carrying cargo and supplies and had steep steps providing access to the upper level via a trap door.  The upper level had hammocks, a small kitchen, a stove, seating, and in front a bench for driving the oxen.  A ladder in the upper level provided access to the roof with covered railing and the ability to set up a temporary framework to support a canvas roof.  [I was inspired by the Neverland Haul, but designed something less Victorian Steampunk.]  The Delvers had to hire four oxen and a teamster [Orm Axethrower] to drive the “wagon”.

With a “wagon” plus the hammer, nails, and lumber the torchbearers requested and all the rest of their supplies loaded, the Delvers left the vicinity of Little Wytheford [due to its height, the vardo could not enter the town proper] and followed the road south.

Dusk
The wagon pulled up to the Moon Manor Ruins as the sun was setting.  The torchbearers had seen it approaching and were both amused and filled with wonder at the unlikely conveyance.  With some effort the oversized vardo was brought into the outer courtyard of the ruins and parked.  The oxen were herded over into the inner courtyard with the goats and chickens.

End of Session

[I finally detailed the loot the Delvers had acquired so far, which took some time as I related it to the players.  Additionally, we futzed around in town taking care of various background activities as I wasn’t completely ready for running the characters through the gate.  As a result this session didn’t get a lot of adventuring done, but it caught us up on the “support” activities around adventuring and got the PCs to the starting point for the next phase of exploring.  Plus I got to introduce the “land boat” vardo.]

[Background note: I changed the name of the Dust Academy (located in Aegea City and named such from the dust that rises in the city market from people walking around) to the Dusk Academy.  I made this change as the player “attending” this academy mis-heard me the first session and thought I said Dusk instead of Dust.  When I tried to correct her later, she stated she liked Dusk better and it was cooler than Dust, so I made the change.  Dusk Academy does sound cooler and it lets me do some story stuff with the instructors.  When the players embroider upon your world, take it.  It means they are getting invested in the game and that is priceless.]

[This blog entry is a week late as my Dayjob and my social calendar have gotten busy and eaten into my prep time.  On top of that, scheduling issues with some of the players is making regular games this month a bit iffy.  I will be posting an updated gazetteer post in two weeks to cover a gap where we aren’t playing as three of the six players will be out of town.  Things should settle down in September.]

Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01
Session 02
Session 03, Part 1
Session 03, Part 2
Session 04
Session 05
Session 06
Session 07
Session 08


Session 10 [Not Written Yet]


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 8 – An Unexpected Passage

[The elf takes his leave and the Delvers wrap-up their second expedition to the complex under the Moon Manor Ruins.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened July 15, 2019.]

Player Characters:
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dust Academy
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again
Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University
Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University

Non-Player Characters:
Torsten, Fish, Harek – surviving bandits and now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild
Lester “Les” Stalwart – human male, younger brother of Nick and general tag-along [DNPC]


Freysday, October 18th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
[Resumes where Session 7 left off, about 2:00 PM]
After checking the morgue and finding little of interest, the Delvers had returned to the top of the ramp in the southern passage to get out of the two feet of water flooding the lower area and take a rest.  They discussed their options and what order they wanted to tackle the rest of the complex.  The doors to the fungoid people was still closed and sealed by way of the airlock mechanism, so as much as they wanted to go look in that lab, it was out of their reach.  They discussed the looking into the unmapped area near the stairwell, but Hefhauer, the captive elf, told them it was only a minor storage area.  They eventually settled on checking the third lab, which Hefhauer claimed was a golem works.

The group walked south to the third set of doors on the western wall.  Ricky opened the outer doors and the group entered the airlock chamber.  Ricky closed the outer doors and then Jala pushed open the inner doors so the group could see the room beyond.

The room beyond was 30 by 30 feet square and held several work tables, some of which had things on them.  There were chains hanging from the ceiling, some of which were on tracks and one held a partially assembled metal golem.  The Delvers spread out to search the room with Nick, Les, and Hefhauer hanging back at the airlock door.  Five minutes into the search, a large patch of dust in the far corner started swirling.  Several of the Delvers noticed and Vorgand stated she once read somewhere that this was what happened to golems that were never completed…or were broken and never repaired, she couldn’t remember which.  Zarek made the tone that the clay golems upstairs had accepted.  The “dust devil” [Vorgand’s name for it] opened red eyes and stared at Zarek as it formed.

The dust devil advanced on Clarence, who was closest and, coincidentally, between the dust devil and Zarek.  It enveloped Clarence and then drained most of Clarence’s bodily essence, allowing it to start becoming corporeal.  [It did a 6d6 BODY Drain and rolled a 20, draining away all 10 of Clarence’s BODY.  Per the rules he was still alive until he went to negative his starting BODY, which was a relief to Clarence’s player.]  When Clarence dropped to the floor, withered but alive, the other Delvers attacked to keep the dust devil from repeating that drain on Clarence and killing him.

Zarek, Ricky, and Nick all cast attack spells at the dust devil to minor effect.  Vorgand, who had been folding her attack as she had no magic weapon to hit it with asked Jala for the magic dagger.  Jala, who had done little to no damage to the dust devil with the magic dagger so far, handed it over.  Vorgand used her Steel Serpent martial art with the magic dagger to perform a precision attack on the dust devil, stunning it.  [She rolled maximum damage after the others had repeatedly hit it for small amounts, just getting its STUN into the negatives.]  The Delvers continued to attack the dust devil until they were satisfied it would no longer rise and attack them.  [How permanent that will be is up to me.  Heh.]

After packing up some magical golem-making tools, the Delvers left the golem works.  They decided to investigate the room Hefhauer claimed would let him go home.  Hefhauer’s hands were still tied and his feet hobbled with rope, so the Delvers were confident they could handle any shenanigans Hefhauer tried to pull.  [But they should have checked the elf’s ropes to see if they were actually still tight because Escape Artist is a skill in the Hero System and Hefhauer has it.]

The last room at the end of the corridor was a circular room 30 feet in diameter.  An extremely elaborate summoning circle was inlaid on the floor with three stone plinths arranged around its edge, one each on the north, east, and south sides.  The silvered traceries from the floor extended up the plinths.  About five feet south of the circle was a small pedestal.  The only light in the room was from the Delvers' torches.

The Delvers felt that the circle was busted, but Hefhauer suggested it might just be powered down.  He asked for permission to go over to the pedestal to check.  Suspicious but not paranoid, the Delvers agreed, but Ricky and Zarek followed him over to the pedestal.  Vorgand, Clarence, Nick, and Les stayed at the entrance area while Jala walked around on the room’s walls [with her Spiderwalk spell].

Hefhauer opened a cabinet in the far side of the pedestal [south side] and pulled out an octagonal gem.  Jala recognized it was the same type and cut as the one she found in the warehouse area.  Hefhauer put the gem on top of the pedestal in an octagonal shallow depression on top of the pedestal.  The silvered circle lit up!

Hefhauer pulled a stone cube with symbols on it out of the small cabinet area, looked for a symbol on the cube, and then set the cube on top of the pedestal in a shallow square depression.  This caused a gate to open inside the circle, but they could not see anything in the gate  it was solid black.  Hefhauer frowned.  He pulled a second cube out of the cabinet area, looked for a different symbol, and placed the second cube in the next depression.  This caused the gate to shift and make a “blip” noise before it showed a courtyard in some tree covered ruins.

While the Delvers were all staring at the gate and what they could see through it, Hefhauer slipped his hands out of their bindings and attempted to subtly cast his Sleep spell again on Zarek and Ricky.  Both noticed but only Ricky was able to dive out of the area of effect in time.  Zarek was caught in the area of the spell and fell unconscious.  Before the surprised Delvers could react, Hefhauer acrobatically rolled from the pedestal to the gate and through it.  They could see him continue his roll to the side and out of their field of vision.  [Hefhauer was Speed 4 with DEX 19 and caught most of the Delvers by surprise, so he effectively got 2 actions before the Speed 3 Delvers could react.]

Vorgand, Nick, Ricky, and Jala immediately charged through the gate to follow, arriving on the other side.  The gate on this side was clearly unstable with arcs of blue lightning crackling off the broken plinths.  The Delvers arrived just in time to see Hefhauer drop the ropes from his left arm and start casting another spell.  Vorgand dove for cover, fearing another Sleep spell.  Hefhauer instead winked out, teleporting away to an unknown location.

With the gate getting very unstable and strobing, the Delvers quickly stepped back through the gate to the underground complex.  Vorgand went over to the pedestal and pulled the second cube off the pedestal, switching the gate back to the blackness just as Ricky [the last one back through the gate] arrived.  [If Ricky had any Unluck, I would have stranded him on the other side, which would have been unfortunate for him.]

The Delvers experimented with the cubes a bit and worked out that they controlled where the gate opened.  They could not get the second cube to reopen at the ruins Hefhauer escaped through and they suspected that the gate there was no longer functional.  The gate now opened on a cave.  When Zarek went through he noticed a musky smell similar to the traces he smelled up in the surface ruins.  It made him VERY uncomfortable to be there and he backed through the gate to the underground complex.

The delvers discovered that if the first cube was not in place, the gate stayed open and cycled through a series of six locations: a set of ruins that were underwater, a set of ruins with sand everywhere, a different cave, a relatively small room with stone walls, a stone area with raised plant beds full of dead plants and a black sky, and the solid black area.  They also verified that the gem was some form of power stone and that removal of it stopped the gate from working.  Zarek cast Detect Magic and was nearly blinded by the gate’s magic but he could determine that the gem from the cabinet was much more magical that the one the Delvers found in the warehouse.

After some discussion, the Delvers decided to investigate the room Hefhauer told them was dangerous.  They suspected he had told them that so they would not endanger his ability to use the gate.  They left the gate room and went north to the other hallway on the east side of the passage.  This was short and led to a set of airlock doors.  Thinking whatever was on the other side might actually be dangerous, the Delvers layered three defensive spells on Nick and gave him one set of the communication ear rings [Vorgand wore the other pair].  He then entered the airlock passage.

On the other side was a room twenty feet wide by thirty feet deep.  In the center was a large circular apparatus on the floor.  Floating above the apparatus was what appeared to be a blue sun ten feet in diameter.  Arcs of material looped off it and electricity arced off those when they drifted by any metal.  Just in front of the apparatus was a low pedestal with four octagonal indentations.  Nick relayed all of this to Vorgand through the communications ear rings.

Daunted, Nick approached the apparatus and placed the octagonal gem from the warehouse into one of the indentations.  It fit perfectly.  While he did this, some of the material looping off the blue sun started bending towards Nick and he quickly backed up to the airlock and mostly closed the doors.  As he peeked through the crack between doors he saw the gem start to glow, then glow brightly, then glow painfully bright and start giving off electrical arcs!  Nick stepped back into the room and quickly retrieved the gem.  It was warm to the touch, even through his leather armor gloves, but it stopped glowing and emitting sparks.  Nick backed away from the apparatus and looked around the room.  He located a cabinet in a corner but it was locked.

Returning back through the airlock, Nick told the other Delvers what he had seen and that there was a cabinet that might have more of the gems in it.  Jala’s ears perked up at this.  Zarek cast Detect Magic again and verified the warehouse gem was now significantly more magical than it had been.

After some discussion, several members of the group entered the blue sun room.  Jala attempted to pick the lock on the cabinet but broke her last set of lock picks attempting to open it.  She was very frustrated by this.  The group left the blue sun room and the Delvers decided it was time to return to the surface.

On the way out, they stopped and checked the storage area they had skipped on the way in.  It was empty of anything but the metal shelves.  Disappointed but not surprised, the Delvers started climbing back up the stairs.  They got past the bottom of the waterfall area safely, but at the gap above where the water started falling, Clarence completely lost his grip on the ropes, even with Zarek helping him.  As Clarence fell, he reached out in his panic and desperately grabbed Zarek.  Zarek tried to stop their fall but only succeeded in slowing it enough that they landed on the stairs across the open shaft, two rotations down.  The landing hurt, but Clarence was able to get up and resume climbing the stairs.  Zarek made a point to stay out of arm’s reach of Clarence for the rest of the trip.  [Jala helped Clarence get across the gap.]

Back on the surface, the Delvers discovered that their torchbearers had returned…or at least most of them had – Kol was missing.  Torsten told them that it took longer to get the new supplies than expected and they were sorry they had not got back in time.  The Delvers noticed that there were now chickens in the goat pen with the goats and the “ex-“bandits were currently roasting a pig.  Fairly certain that Torsten and crew had actually raided some place and stolen the supplies but not wanting to confirm that and have to do something about it, Zarek just asked, “Where you followed back?”  Torsten stated that he was fairly certain they had not been followed back.  Leaving it at that, the Delvers settled in.  During the meal that followed, the Delvers talked a bit about the things they had found and fought that day.

Yggsday, October 19th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Delvers rose early the next morning and packed up.  When asked, Torsten requested they bring back a hammer, some nails, and maybe some lumber so he and his men could start patching holes in the roof and maybe make the goat pen a little more secure or build a chicken coop.  The Delvers agreed to look into getting those items.  There was a side conversation between Jala and Vorgand about bringing the torchbearers into Little Wytheford and putting them up in an inn.  Vorgand wasn’t certain they weren’t wanted in Little Wytheford and didn’t want to chance it, partially because she didn’t want to bring more people to the ruins if they had to replace their torchbearers, but mostly so the guild would not be associated with bandit activity.

The Delvers arrived in Little Wytheford before Noon and stabled their horses at the farriers again.  They purchased lunch from some street vendors and caught the Noon ferry back to Aegea.  Back in Aegea they dispersed to pursue their various researches and attend classes.

End of Session

[I assigned experience points for this expedition.  I had planned to turn things over to the Other GM at this point as I need to concentrate on some other personal projects, but the players wanted to keep playing this campaign now, not later, so I agreed to run another session/expedition.  The players wanted to explore the gate location with the dead plants and black sky, so I need to flesh out the notes for that location some more.  Next session will probably be about half in town and half travel to the ruins and the start of exploration.]

[About Hefhauer.  He was a military elf trained as a commando, so he was more points than the PCs and had a variety of skills that helped him escape.  It is not likely that he will show back up...unless the PCs start exploring the gate system extensively.]

Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01
Session 02
Session 03, Part 1
Session 03, Part 2
Session 04
Session 05
Session 06
Session 07


Session 09

Monday, July 22, 2019

Cross-pollination with Adventures in the Green

I'm running a little side project that is partially an Imagi-nation, partially fun with LEGO, and partially amazement at the size of the plants growing in my yard this year.  It's titled Adventures in the Green and is a fantasy story of a chartered adventuring company specializing in work in the over-sized forest known as The Green.  Parts 1 and 2 are up with plenty of photos showing the action.

Strange things are afoot...

I'm developing things as I go, but I have names for the initial round of characters, which puts me yards ahead from my starting point.  I'll probably do a Dramatis Personae page in the next week.  I will eventually do a map once I need to, but for now I'm free-forming it.  I want a bit of the weird in this, so I'm not certain where it will go.  Pop on over and please say "Hello!" when you get a chance.

Later!


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 7 – The Elf

[The Delvers continue exploring the complex under the Moon Manor Ruins.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened July 8, 2019.]

Player Characters:
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dust Academy
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again
Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University
Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University

Non-Player Characters:
Torsten, Fish, Harek, Kol – surviving bandits and now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild [Still MIA]
Lester “Les” Stalwart – human male, younger brother of Nick and general tag-along [DNPC]


Freysday, October 18th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
[Resumes where Session 6 left off]
Clarence stepped forward to assist the convulsing male elf Zarek had just released from the apparatus in the underground complex.  Clarence’s medical knowledge fled him in the moment and, as the elf’s muscles all locked up, Clarence resorted to using his Healing spell to save the elf.

The elf started speaking in an archaic version of High Elven that only Ricky amongst the Delvers knew.  Ricky and the elf spoke for a bit, but once the elf learned that the facility was in ruins, he apologized to Ricky and then cast a Sleep spell [10d6 EB NND – force field of force wall only].  This knocked most of the Delvers unconscious with the exceptions of Clarence and Nick, who both still had defensive spells up.  [Zarek’s Stoney Skin spell is Armor, so he was affected.]

Nick was calm at first…until he realized his little brother Les was also dropped by the spell, then he got angry!  As the elf attempted to leave, Nick grabbed him and bound up his arms.  Clarence walked over and demanded an explanation [in a language the elf didn’t know].  The elf responded by easily escaping Nick grip [Martial Escape with +15 STR to break a grab] and then he ran to the airlock doors, stepping in and pulling the inner doors closed.  Unfortunately for him, he did not have time to also open the outer doors, locking the inner doors closed.  Nick quickly followed and reopened one of the inner doors, blocking the elf’s escape.

Vorgand and Zarek both regained consciousness almost immediately while Jala stirred on the edge of consciousness.  Vorgand was on her feet immediately [successful Breakfall roll to stand up without spending an action], dashed over to the airlock area, and flipped the elf over herself and back into the room [Martial Throw].  Clarence then walked over and attempted to grapple with the elf, but the elf [Martial] dodged his efforts.  Zarek, still unsteady [he was at 0 STUN and awake only because he made a CON roll], took a chance and sipped a dose of his Potion of Speed while playing unconscious.  This sped him up and he flew into the airlock to block the elf with Vorgand and maybe cast a spell.

Nick tried to use his Lightning Bolt spell to stop the elf but missed entirely.  The elf bounced to his feet [use of Breakfall] and cast two spells – one a defensive spell [Force Field at 0 END] and the other his Sleep spell again.  This knocked Zarek out deeply.  Vorgand recognized the spell and tried to close the door to protect herself but was too slow and her unconscious body completed pulling the open door closed.

The elf tried to take Clarence’s mace but failed at the attempt, which gave Nick and Jala time to sip their Potions of Speed.  Faced with multiple hostiles and having no weapon, the elf opened the other half of the double doors, stepped into the airlock area, and drew Vorgand’s sword from her scabbard.  In response, Nick stepped over, switched his Lightning Bolt to rapid fire, and knocked out the elf with three solid hits from the spell.  The elf was stirring again when Vorgand regained consciousness and she punched him in the face, putting him deeply unconscious [and nearly knocking herself back out burning STUN for END she didn’t have].

Nick tied up the elf while Clarence went around waking people up with his Healing spell.  After a couple of minutes, the Delvers were back up and alert and the elf was waking up again.  Talking with Ricky, the elf allowed that perhaps he’d been hasty in his earlier actions, not realizing how many of Ricky’s group were mages.  Clarence guided the conversation with the elf through Ricky and the Delvers were able to work out a rough deal – the elf would help them explore some areas in the complex and in exchange they would take him to the room that might let him go home.  The elf explained where the other rooms were on this level.  Vorgand speculated that the room the elf wanted to go to either had a teleportation circle or controlled the teleportation circles and would re-activate them.  Clarence is able to infer that the elf was stuck in the apparatus tube for at least centuries, if not a millennia or more.  The elf’s name turned out to be Hefhauer and he would not talk about where he was from or why he was in the apparatus other than he needed healing.

With a rough deal in place, Nick adjusted the ropes on Hefhauer’s legs so he could walk, but did not untie the elf’s arms.  The group left the laboratory [as identified by Hefhauer] and went north to check out the lab the fungoids were in.  At the top of the ramp they showed Hefhauer the two dead fungoids and Hefhauer admitted he had never seen anything like them before.  He was also unhelpful in regards to the luminescent paint adorning the flooded areas of the complex.

When the Delvers arrived at the flooded four-way intersection, Jala peeked around the corner to see what the fungoids might be up to.  She found the outer doors to the lab were now closed, whereas previously the outer doors had been propped open and the inner doors removed to allow water flow into the room beyond.  She and Ricky tested the doors and found they would not open at all.  The Delvers asked Hefhauer about this and he opined that if the inner door mechanisms had not been damaged, they could still be manipulated.  Not happy about leaving enemies behind them but at a lack as to what to do about it, the Delvers went north to investigate the room Hefhauer identified as “the morgue.”

The morgue had an outer chamber and an inner chamber, separated by a wall with a set of propped open double doors.  The water current went through here and into the inner chamber where the Delvers could hear an occasional gurgle.

The Delvers were on guard for some form of undead when they entered the inner room and were slightly disappointed when none presented themselves.  The inner room was an examination room of some sort and the gurgle came from the slow vortex of water over what was likely a drain in the floor.  The north wall had three rows of half doors in five columns [total of 15 half-doors].  Jala, Ricky, and Vorgand entered the room to look around.  Vorgand and Ricky slipped on the very slick floor and fell into the water, Vorgand needing assistance to regain her feet.  Jala and Ricky investigated the half-doors.  Behind each half-door was a dead body.  The upper two rows, out of the water, held dry, mostly skeletal remains.  The lower row of five doors were partially submerged and held bloated, water-logged corpses that gave off a terrible odor.  Zarek’s Detect Magic indicated a fading bit of necromantic energy in the body cubbies, probably the faded remains of a preservation spell.

Tired and needing a rest, the Delvers left the morgue and returned to the top of the ramp to rest somewhere dry.

End of Session

[This session was short in-game, but took the whole play session.  Hefhauer’s escape attempt took up the lion’s share of the session as most of the players were relatively new to the game system, so I explained action options and what I was doing to help teach the rules.  The players had many questions, most particularly how Hefhauer could cast all that magic and do all the stuff with minimal END as he had just woken up.  They eventually worked out that Hefhauer’s spells were all 0 END and movement took little END.  Hefhauer is also in peak physical shape, even after being in the healing tank for so long, something the players never asked about.  I know Hefhauer’s backstory, but several players read this, so I won’t go into it now.]

[I feel I need to explain the Potions of Speed all the players have.  Zarek knows a lot of alchemy and has a formula for a potion of speed per the Fantasy Hero Grimoire.  He can make 18 units per week at 4 doses per unit, which is a frightening amount and would potentially break the game, so I made a deal with the player - he would have one unit of potion per player and the rest were considered sold in the city to meet his living expenses.  This gives the players some options but doesn't break my game and everybody is happy.]


Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1 
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01
Session 02
Session 03, Part 1
Session 03, Part 2
Session 04
Session 05
Session 06

Session 08

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 6 – Fun Guys

[The Delvers continue exploring the complex under the Moon Manor Ruins.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened July 1, 2019.]



Player Characters:
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dust Academy
Zarek – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts
Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University
Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University

Non-Player Characters:
Torsten, Fish, Harek, Kol – surviving bandits and now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild, currently MIA
Lester “Les” Stalwart – human male, younger brother of Nick and general tag-along [DNPC]

Unavailable Players
Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer


Freysday, October 18th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Earlier the same morning, back in Little Wytheford, Vorgand left the inn she spent the previous night in.  She caught the Noon ferry from Aegea the previous day and arrived in Little Wytheford last night.  Today she had plenty of time to get to the ruins and join in the explorations with the other Delvers.

At the farriers she found a teenaged human boy attempting to talk the farrier into giving over Vorgand’s horse.  Vorgand claimed her horse and asked the teenager why he was trying to steal it.  The teenager claimed he only wanted to borrow it as he had a vital message for Nick Stalwart.  Slightly intrigued, Vorgand offered to take the message to Nick herself as she was heading that way.  The teenager insisted that it was a confidential message that he had to deliver personally to Nick.  With a shrug, Vorgand agreed to take the teenager to Nick and rented a horse for the teenager, expecting Nick or his family to cover the cost.  The teenager’s name turned out to be Les.

Vorgand and Les spent the morning riding south along the Moofolk River and then around Faemount Mountain to the Moon Manor ruins.  When they got close, the magic earrings that she and Jala were wearing started working and they could talk to each other.  Jala explained where the Delvers were and how to get to them.  After tying up their horses, Vorgand led Les into the complex under the ruins.  After half an hour on the stairs down they reached the flooded area in time to hear Ricky trigger the shriekers.

Noon
Jala announced to the rest of the Delvers that Vorgand had arrived just as Ricky triggered the shriekers.  Jala threw her magic dagger at the extremely noisy purple fungi, slicing it from the wall.  The shriekers fell into the two feet of water and went quiet, slowly floating down the north passage from the intersection the Delvers were standing in.

Nick looked back down the east passage and saw Vorgand with a torchbearer.  This was curious as all the torchbearers had fled while the Delvers before the Delvers returned to the ruins this weekend.  Then he realized the torchbearer looked familiar…very familiar.  The torchbearer was his younger brother, Les Stalwart!  The two brothers talked while the rest of the Delvers brought Vorgand up to speed on what had happened so far [see Session 5].  The “important message” Les claimed to have was just an excuse to join his older brother on an adventure.  Nick asked Les if their parents knew he was at the ruins, but then realized they probably didn’t know he, Nick, was there either and it would be best if they never found out [or at least best for Nick].

As this was being resolved, the Delvers noticed surges in the water indicating something was moving through the water in the room to the west and seemed to be approaching the corridor.  This prompted the Delvers to quick action and then went south to the ramp out of the water.  The ramp was a shallow slope, so at the top, nearly ten feet higher than the flooded areas, they were on dry footing but could still see the flooded intersection.  The southern corridor continued past the ramp and their torchlight illuminated the entrance to a side passage on the west wall.  Zarek and Ricky went to go investigate so nothing would sneak up on the Delvers while they dealt with whatever was in the flooded corridors to their north.

The side passage was short and ended in a pair of double doors.  The something in the water to the north turned out to be two humanoid shapes with mushroom cap heads, one of which carried a spear of metal.  While the others dithered as to what to do, Jala threw her magic dagger at one of the things and hit it.  In response, one of the two let off a spore cloud and then both advanced on the Delvers.  In the ensuing fight, the fungoids proved hearty and took a lot of damage before they went down.  Their hides were tough enough that Jala’s dagger was clearly barely doing any harm and they could also release a nauseating cloud of spores that threw most of the Delvers into uncontrollable retching fits [CON-based Entangle].  Vorgand had much more success with her sword and Steel Serpent fighting style [one of the martial art styles I use in my Fantasy Hero games] once she got her nausea under control.  In the end the fungoid with the spear was killed and the other driven deeply unconscious by Zarek’s fire magic.  Then Vorgand performed a coup d'grace on it.

The Delvers caught their breath and verified none of them were seriously injured.  Those able wiped spores off the faces of those still retching.  Just as everyone recovered, four more fungoids came around the corner of the intersection.  The Delvers attacked with their strongest range attacks.  Zarek used fire magic while Nick used lightning attacks that blossomed out in the water, hitting all of the fungoids at the same time [although never for as much as he hoped].  When one of the fungoids fell to the assault, another released a spore cloud and the three standing fungoids picked up their comrade and retreated back around the corner.  The Delvers were greatly relieved, fearing another spore attack.

Choosing to not pursue the fungoids, the Delvers instead moved south to the next side passage.  The double doors opened easily enough, revealing a 10-foot length of corridor with another set of double doors facing them.  Those doors would not budge.  Suspecting the inner doors would not open while the outer doors remained open, all the Delvers but Jala and Ricky [who both have the Shadowstep spell] stayed in the 10-foot area between the two sets of doors.  The outer doors were closed, which allowed the inner doors to open.  Jala and Ricky reopened the outer doors and told the rest what they had discovered.  The Delvers chose to explore whatever was beyond the sets of doors.

On the other side of the inner doors, the Delvers discovered a an eerily lit chamber, 30 by 30 feet in size.  Four large apparatuses whose primary components were 5-foot diameter, 10-feet tall glass tubes.  The glass tubes of the right two were broken, with large shards on the ground and standing in the apparatus.  The third apparatus was completely full of something that seemed composed of eyes and mouths on shapeless flesh.  The fourth apparatus was filled with a liquid and semi-floating in the liquid, held by a harness was an elf.

Investigating the broken devices, the bottom of each was full of elf bones and skulls.  The Delvers did not like to look of whatever was in the third device and so left it alone.  Zarek, Jala, and Ricky investigated the controls of the fourth device and after discussing it amongst themselves [assisted Deduction roll], Zarek worked out which button would release the elf inside and indicated this by pressing that button.  This caused the liquid inside to drain away through attached pipes, some of which leaked.  Ricky and Nick gathered samples of the leaking fluid for later study.

Once all the liquid was gone, the glass walls of the containment tube sunk down into the floor, exposing the elf in the harness.  The elf stirred a bit and then started convulsing in the harness!

End of Session

[Ended on another cliff-hanger for suspense and so we could delay what happened next until the following session when Clarence’s player would be able to show up.  As he is the party’s healer, he is the one with the appropriate skills to do things next, so I wanted him to be at the game.  It was close to our normal stopping time, so the timing worked out well.]

[I’m also happy I finally worked Les Stalwart, Nick’s younger brother and DNPC into the session.  I’ve forgotten to do so for the last two sessions, so Vorgand showing up late to the adventure was a perfect opportunity.]


Delvers Guild
Session A, Character Creation Part 1 
Session B, Character Creation Part 2
Session 01
Session 02
Session 03, Part 1
Session 03, Part 2
Session 04
Session 05

Session 07

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

RPG History – Session 1 – Dungeons and Dragons (1974)

[Switching gears for a moment.  Delvers Guild will re-appear next week.  This allows me to stop scrambling to get the session written without having to skip a week.]

This series logs a sampler campaign one of my ex-co-workers is running for a small group, playing early role playing games to get a feel for where modern RPGs come from.  We will play 10 early RPGs about once a month, playing a different game each month.  I’ll provide session notes for the game and then discuss my thoughts on the game system afterwards.

This session happened June 29, 2019, and we played the original RPG, Dungeons and Dragons (1974).  We used books I through III and Supplement 1: Greyhawk.  We might have pulled some material from Supplement 2: Blackmoor, but I don’t believe so.  We used the 2010 PDFs put out by Wizards of the Coast, available through online retailers.

The DM ran us in The Dwarven Glory by Wee Warriors, the second stand-alone adventure ever published and before Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) started publishing their own.  The adventure was distributed by TSR although not an official D&D product.  The Dwarven Glory is a fallen dwarf city that now exists only as a series of caves opening on the walls of a box canyon…which might sound familiar as a theme from a famous later product put out by TSR.

Player Characters:
Axetar – Human male – a 3rd level Fighting-Man
Sugoi of the Gray Hollows – Elf male – a 3rd level Magic-User
Felos – Hobbit male – a 3rd level Thief
Jill – Human female – a 3rd level Cleric [I never caught her full name – sorry Cathy]


Non-Player Characters:
Jermija the Mongoose – a Man-at-Arms hireling, hired by Sugoi
Gremian Clubweilder – a torchbearer hireling, hired by Sugoi
Lars – a valet hireling, hired by Sugoi 
[Lars is a bit of an in-joke with my regular group – he will re-appear as often as I can get away with it in this series of games]


At a gaming table, sometime during 1977
A small group assembled at the entrance to a small canyon, home of The Dwarven Glory, a fallen dwarven city or town, overrun by Mortok and his 10 orc tribes centuries in the past [or so my memory tells me - I didn't get all the exposition into my notes].  The adventurers were here for unspoken reasons, but all were interested in exploring the ruins and acquiring loot.

Having never been here before, the adventurers started by entering the first cavern on the left.  This cavern was large, between 30-50 feet in width.  There were two passages out the back of the cave, one on the left and one on the right.  Beside each of these passages was also a door, providing four paths to explore.  Felos listened at both of the doors carefully but heard nothing from the other side of either.  By group consensus, the adventurers chose the left door to explore and Felos pushed it open and entered.  This triggered a crossbow trap and Felos was hit!

The room seemed to be a sleeping area for a dwarf [based on furniture size and height], with a bed, a desk and chair, a bookshelf (empty), and a chest in the far corner.  With a newly instilled sense of caution, Sugoi used his 10-foot pole to prod the floor ahead of him as he slowly walked across the room to the chest, Felos following.  Felos investigated the chest and pronounced it safe.  He then stepped behind Sugoi as Sugoi used the 10-foot pole to lift open the chest from a distance.  Inside was a roll of cardboard rectangles with a hole punched in the center of each [a roll of tickets].  Sugoi picked up the roll and put it into a large sack he had for loot – the adventurers could work out the value of the cardboard rectangles later.  Felos moved the chest around and checked the bottom of it.  He found a gem hidden under the chest.  The gem also went into the loot sack.

After searching the rest of the room [and taking the crossbow from the trap], the adventurers exited the room.  They walked across the cavern and investigated the other door.  Sugoi used the pole to open this door.  The room beyond was some sort of theater, with short stools in the center and a curtained stage at the far end.  The adventurers cautiously searched the room and found little of worth.  Axetar attacked the wooden stage with his two-handed sword [no, I don't know why - fighting-men...].  A chest behind the stage held the rotted remains of costumes and a search under the stage by Felos was fruitless, so the room was abandoned.

The adventurers picked the left-hand passage and started walking down it.  There was a side area, off the passage, so the adventurers investigated it.  At the back was a stone door in a worked stone wall.  The room beyond the door was kidney-shaped with the door at one end.  The far wall had a table with two stools next to it and the far end of the chamber could not be seen from the door [it was around the bend of the kidney shape].

The adventurers entered the room.  Sugoi and Felos checked the table and stools and Sugoi found a gem on the floor behind it.  The gem was etched with a dwarven profile and tingled in Sugoi’s hand, suggesting it was magical in nature.  The gem went into the loot sack.  From the table, two chests could be seen sitting on the floor at the other end of the room.  Sugoi tried to opened one of the chests with his 10-foot pole, but it had a catch.  Felos investigated it and found a lightning trap attached to the chest, which he disarmed.  He found a similar trap on the other but failed to disarm it safely and took damage as it discharged into him.  Inside the chests were found a book of accounting from a dwarven gemcutter and two uncut gems.  After a brief inspection of the book [nothing but sales and purchases], the book and uncut gems went into the loot sack and the adventurers left the room.

Further down the main passage was a fork – the adventures took the left path.  They came upon a door on the left wall and could see another down on the right.  Inside the door on the left was a small room that was empty…except for a massive metal vault door that made up the far wall!  The adventurers entered the room to investigate further.  Jill and Jermija [the man-at-arms hireling] kept watch on the door while Sugoi and Felos examined the vault door.  Sugoi was looking for a possible place to insert the magical gem, hoping that it was a key to the vault and the treasures on the other side.  Felos was just working out how he was going to defeat the lock and open the vault door.  Neither was successful.

When Felos finally touched the door to try and manipulate the locking mechanism, the exit door slammed shut on its own and the entire metal wall started sliding forward.  If the adventurers did not escape fast they would be flattened!  Felos tried and failed to pick the magical lock on the exit door.  Axetar attempted to use brute strength to open it and also failed.  Sugoi and Jill tried separately as failed as well.  Then Sugoi suggested all three try together and they were just successful.  The adventurers and hirelings scrambled out of the room at the last minute as the metal wall pressed flat against the wall.

Sugoi hoped that the metal wall was thin enough that perhaps it would be possible to slip behind it and access the vault that way.  Unfortunately, there was a trailing side wall [or it was VERY thick] and there was no way to get behind it.  Disheartened but glad to be alive the adventurers continued down the main passage.

Further down, the passage ended with a last door on the right wall [as seen previously by the adventurers].  This door opened into a room with a raised stage in the center that had a ramp to walk up to it, two tables with some low and comfortable chairs, posters on the walls advertising in Dwarven the best go-go dancers in the land [because the ‘70s were classy that way], and a second door across the room.  Sugoi was mildly scandalized as he could read the posters, the other not as much and were happy not knowing what exactly they said.  One of the tables had six bottles of wine on them, the other a deck of dwarven playing cards.  Sugoi carefully investigated the cards [dreading what images might be on them] while Axetar grabbed the wine bottles on the other table.

The playing cards were [luckily] just standard cards.  Five of the six bottles appeared to hold normal wine, but one had a greenish tint to it.  Sugoi asked Lars [his hireling valet] to sip the greenish liquid.  Trepidatious but willing to follow orders, Lars did so.  He reported it was pleasant in taste but was tingly going down.  This suggested it was magical, but there were no obvious effects.  The bottles were distributed amongst the group to keep them from getting broken in the loot sack.

Sugoi checked for secret doors at the end of the passage, but none was found, so the group backtracked to the fork in the passage and went down the right-hand path.  The found the other door into the go-go lounge in this passage and then noticed a change in the quality of the walls, suggesting they were entering a different section of the caverns.

Down this path they came across another fork in the passage, taking the left fork.  A door on the left wall opened into a larger chamber with a pit in the center of it.  Felos and Gremian [hireling torchbearer] went over and looked into the pit to see what was in it.  Both felt a wave of compulsion to jump down into the 20-foot pit, but Gremian was able to shrug the compulsion off.  Felos stated he was going to jump into the pit and Axetar had to grab the hobbit to keep him from doing so.  Some slaps to the face later and Felos was able to escape the compulsion.

Looking around the room and avoiding the pit with their eyes, the adventurers saw a door on the far side of the room and one on this side.  They made their way over to the far door [studiously avoiding looking at the pit] and opened the door.  Beyond was a pile of dead bodies, apparently failed adventurers based on the clothing and gear upon the corpses.  The smell was terrible and the inside of the door had scratches and grooves on it from those inside trying to escape…and failing.

Not wanting to get trapped in the small room beyond the door, the adventurers decided to bur the door.  Sugoi poured some oil on it and then lit it from the torch.  While it burned, the adventurers went back to investigating the pit.  Felos had a rope tied around him so he could be lowered into the pit and yanked back out if the compulsion overcame him again.  It did.  Repeatedly.  Over the better part of an hour until Felos was finally able to shrug off the compulsion and report on what was in the pit.  The pit’s contents were more dead adventurers with their weapons.  The adventurers pulled up the weapons and shield and looked the mover, keeping a few to sell back in town, including a shield bearing the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Tyler.

By this point the door was burnt, but sparks had ignited the pile of bodies beyond and those had burned up as well.  Some lumps of semi-molten gold were found in the ashes and collected by pouring water over them to cool them off.

The adventurers then opened the door on the near side of the pit and found a room with skeletons chained to the walls and a bobbing point of light.  The point of light seemed to take notice of the adventurers and then flew past them and out the entrance door, turning left and heading down the passage.  Thinking that the light was some form of alarm spell, the adventurers quickly left the pit chamber and returned to the hallway.  They backtracked to the fork to avoid running into whatever the light might be alerting and took the right path.

This path forked as well and the adventurers kept left at the fork.  A small alcove on the left wall had a door in it and the adventurers investigated it.  The long narrow room contained a pool of clear water that appeared to be a well as there were instruments for drawing water hanging on the wall next to it.  Felos and Axetar moved forward to investigate and a giant tick dropped off the ceiling, right onto Felos!  Before the tick could start drawing blood, the other adventurers attacked it with Axetar killing it.  The bite area felt warm to the touch to Felos, so he poured some wine on it to clean out the wound.  It stung fiercely at first but stopped after a bit.  [We later learned that if no treatment had been done, the bite included a disease that would have killed Felos in 2-8 days, so it was very good that he flushed the wound with alcohol.]

At this point, Sugoi noticed that Lars was a full two inches shorter than he normally was.  Lars got very nervous at this point, but Sugoi calmed him down, congratulating Lars on discovering the greenish wine was actually a potion of shrinking.  Sugoi assured him that the effects would eventually wear off and he would resume his normal size.  Sugoi’s confidence encouraged Lars and he resumed his normal calm.

Done searching the well room, the adventurers continued down the corridor.  They walked past a side passage on their left that appeared to loop back to where the pit room was, so they avoided it.  A little further down they found a barracks room on the right side.  A quick search of the mattresses turned up a small cache of 20 gold pieces and little else.

Past that the adventurers investigated a room on the left of the corridor that appeared to be a mess hall of some sort.  There were three tables with chairs, but squatting at the far table was an ogre [we think] contemplating moves on a chessboard.  It noticed the adventurers and invited them to sit and play chess with it.  There was an implied “or else” with the request, so Sugoi sat down across from the ogre.  While the ogre set up the pieces, Axetar also took seat at the table next to Sugoi.  When the ogre was finished setting up the pieces, he had a full set of chessmen while Sugoi only had a king and a single pawn!

Sugoi asked where the rest of his men were and the ogre said that was all Sugoi got and then rested his hand on an immense club.  Axetar pulled out two wine bottles, placing one bottle of dwarven wine next to Sugoi and the bottle of the slightly green wine next to the ogre.  The ogre read the label and found the claimed vintage to his liking, thanking Axetar for it.  He then proceeded to take a long pull off the bottle and allowed Sugoi to make the first move.  Sugoi suggested that Axetar had already made the first move as the ogre noticeably started shrinking.  Fast.

The ogre noticed and flipped the table before making a break for the door.  Sugoi cast his Sleep spell, but the ogre, in his panic, was not effected [made his save versus spells, darn him].  By this point he was only human sized.  The adventurers ran ahead of the ogre to try and cut him off and by the time they got in front of him, the ogre was only dwarf-sized!  The ogre surrendered and kept shrinking.  He stated that his name was Malvo and asked that the adventurers tell his brothers to avenge him.  He was now the size of a fly.  When asked where his brothers were, his final reply was, “Down the hall…” before he was too small to see or hear any more.

Sugoi cautiously looked over at Lars, who was now sweating profusely and about an inch shorter than when they talked at the well.  Sugoi apologized to Lars for being wrong earlier but said that they could fix the problem.  Sugoi told Lars that after the group slept for the night, he would cast Dispel Magic on Lars, which would stop the shrinking.  If that failed, town was close enough and they would find a cleric who could cast Remove Curse and save Lars that way.  Lars, possibly grasping at straws, accepted this reasoning and calmed down some.  [I rolled really well on a hireling loyalty roll.]

Leaving the mess hall, the adventurers continued down the corridor and found a small side area with a door.  They could easily hear slurred orcish speech from several speakers.  Sugoi asked for the group to wait before attacking.  They agreed and Sugoi pulled a set of leather armor out of his back pack and put it on with Lars’ assistance [hence the need to bring his valet to the dungeon].  Sugoi then separated a shield that was hanging from his backpack and put the backpack back on.  He then readied his shield and nodded to Axetar that he was ready to attack the orcs [having improved his armor class by 3 – see the notes later for my thinking on this].

Axetar kicked in the door to the room, smacking one of the orcs with the door.  Sugoi successfully threw his sword to the ground in the surprise round [I rolled a 1 on a d20 and Sugoi fumbled his weapon].  In the next round the orcs won initiative, but who attacked first broke down to weapon lengths, with longer weapons attacking first.  Axetar beheaded an orc with his two-handed sword.  One of the orcs attacked Sugoi with a sword and missed [rolled really bad].  Two other orcs attacked Axetar and Jill, luckily missing.  Sugoi countered the attack on him with two punches [weapons a lot smaller than an opponent’s weapon may go last, but they also get additional attacks], both of which missed.

And then the game ended because of time.

End of Session


[So several things to discuss.]

[I got a ton of use out of that 10-foot pole, much more than I expected.]

[Magic-users wearing armor in original D&D apparently just kept them from casting spells.  As an elf, Sugoi could still cast spells if he had magic armor on, meaning there was nothing to keep him from wearing armor other than it blocked his spell-casting abilities.  Once he was out of attack spells he had no reason to not wear armor, so he put it on before the attack on the orcs to increase his chances of surviving the fight.  I hadn’t thought of this until an hour before the session started, so I spent my leftover gold to buy the leather armor for Sugoi.  I would have bought him chain armor, but the additional weight would have encumbered him and slowed him down if the party had to flee a monster.  I didn’t want him to be the slowest adventurer there if we had to flee something.]

[There is no Find Traps skill for Thieves in OD&D, just a Disarm Traps skill.  The players would have to describe looking for a trap, getting precise and detailed in what they had their character do.  Once a trap was located, then a roll happened to disarm it.  Later editions modified this to be a single Find/Remove Traps skill, changing a reliance on PLAYER knowledge to the use of CHARACTER skills.  We ended up doing a mixture of this, mostly to save time.]

[Combat uses Chainmail’s process of rolling for initiative and allowing the winning side to chose to move first or last, then ranged attacks happen, then melee attack.  Ranged attacks are done in initiative order (fastest to slowest) and melee is resolved in weapon length order.  This took a bit to work out in the final fight as we were all used to rules that said higher initiative moves and attacks before the next combatant went.]

[Having played this version of the rules for the first time, I can see why people still use these rules – they were fun to use!  I can also see why house rules and alternate ways to play developed as these rules have gaps in them, failing to explain things they hint at.  For example, elves are stated to be superior in finding secret doors in Supplement 2 – but there are no rules for finding secret doors at all.  Unless they are somewhere in Chainmail, which I have not had time to completely read through.  We didn’t have time to go looking for them and winged it using rules we know show up later in AD&D.  I’d be willing to play these rules for a campaign, grafting in things from other systems to fill out the gaps or add things that I like and would fit, most notably the Mortality Table from ACKS.]

[Oh!  Multiclassing or switching between classes was something that could be done freely between adventures, especially for elves who could freely switch between Fighting-Men and Magic-Users.  I need to find out how it worked for humans and others, but at least for elves it was really easy to do.  In all later editions is became harder with many penalties to doing so.]

[One last thing, the writing/layout of these rules was obviously at the hobbyist level.  You regularly have to go flipping through the books to find all the relevant rules for combat and for several of the classes.  Groupings of text were done on the “relevant rules” level, not the “topic” level, meaning that for example, the Thief is introduced in Supplement 1 with an overview early in the book where they expanded upon the descriptions of the various races and classes in the game, but tables for leveling and thief skills are in a section dealing with miscellaneous character skills and there is a side note for what saving throws thieves use (they use clerics of the same level), and things like that.  There are also issues of what we’d now call copy and paste errors.  There is a table for to hit modifiers for weapons per armor class.  At the bottom is a list of missile weapons that was clearly copied from Chainmail, because the last row is for the arquebus – which is mentioned nowhere else in the D&D rules, but IS in Chainmail where a table with the same information has the same list of ranged weapons, also ending with the arquebus.]

[I’m actually fine with this as it creates a back door for gunpowder weapons in the rules.  They have a very low rate of fire, but whatever they hit they kill.  Simple.]

[That’s it for now.  Session 2 will be a Boot Hill game but the date hasn’t been set yet.  It might be late July, but more likely early August.]



History of RPGs
Session 1, Dungeons and Dragons (1974) [This session]

Session 2, Boot Hill [Not Yet Run]