Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 19

[The Revengers return to the site where their first expedition stopped and press on, getting an idea why it is called the BarrowMAZE.]

[Also?  SPOILERS!  This series will spoil what’s in Barrowmaze, so take that into consideration before reading.]

PCs (The Revengers)
Hrglclxin [pronounced: her-gull-klack-sin] – male human Scout (1st level Explorer)
Daphne – female human Blade-Sister (5th level Bladedancer)
Boris the Fighter – male human Hero (4th level Fighter)
Adam – male human Magician (4th level Mage)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Acolyte (2nd level Craftpriest))

Dergos – male human guide, still sold on the glory of adventuring, hired by Boris
‘Len – professional torchbearer, full name is Morgullen, but he never uses it, hired by Boris
Proximo – male human Footpad, Godric’s henchman

Moonday, July 7th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Godric and Proximo returned from their caravan job to the capitol with news.  The capitol was in a great deal of unrest.  The previous king had died and a new king now sat on the throne.  Rumor had it that King Shurik had died of natural causes…for a king.  This included options like poison, dagger-sprout, or spontaneous sword wounds as well as simple heart failure.  Due to the unrest, the caravan Godric and Proximo were guarding left almost immediately after delivering its goods [mostly recently acquired religious documents sent from the Temple of St. Ygg in Ironguard Motte to the Cathedral of St. Ygg].  This was unfortunate for Godric, who wanted to shop around for some magic armor while at a major market.

Hernesday, July 8th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Wanting the option to avoid unwanted counters in the Barrowmoors, The Revengers took on a new recruit, the difficultly named Hrglclxin, a fledgling Explorer.  After listening to tales of the Revengers adventures, Hrglclxin went to the Mercenary Guild and hired a porter for the next day - unencumbered movement seemed to be very important.  Boris also arranged for Durgos and ‘Len to be available.

Magusday, July 9th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Revengers met up with their hirelings at the Mercenary Guild building early in the morning and then headed south, into the Barrowmoor.  On the way south, the group caught sight of 5 ghouls moving through the moor.  Although Hrglclxin never saw them himself, he was able to route the party around them with easy.  [Hrglclxin was the only one surprised by the encounter, but then rolled a 19 on avoiding the encounter.]

At the field of barrows, the Revengers walked right up to and entered Barrow 12.  They climbed down the rope suspended by the rusty tripod to access the Barrowmaze itself – their goal was to open the secret door they found in the room with four velvet gloves [Room 20, Q2 for those following along at home].  The travelled down the main corridor to the second door on the right.  As this was the source of the steel skeletons, they prepped up for a fight, weapons at the ready, before opening the door.  Inside was a coffer corpse, a monster type they had fought before.  Boris walked in and attacked it with his enchanted axe, dropping it and destroying it in one swing.

That room cleared [again], the adventurers went through the door on the far side of the room and turned right, entering the room there [#20].  There was a faint bitter smell on the air here and a large scorched area around the door in the southeast corner.  Boris explained his plan to lure the rot budding out into this room so the entire group can attack it.  He warned them about the pus that squirts out from wounds made by slashing attacks and then switched over to his bow.  Boris arranged the adventurers in an arc around the southeast door with the hirelings behind the adventurers for their safety.  He then opened the southeast door and backed up.

The rot pudding was still in the small room behind the door and moved forward to feast on fresh adventurers.  Boris and Proximo fired arrows at the monster until it entered melee combat with Godric.  After that they held off their shots, waiting for an opportunity for a clear shot that never came.  Hrglclxin was better at precise shots and able to keep shooting without hitting Godric, who was the monster’s favored target.  Luckily, Godric was able to avoid most of the monster’s attacks [I rolled terrible for it] and was only hit twice before he, Daphne, and Hrglclxin eventually brought it down.

While Daphne cast Cure Light Wounds on, and Adam performed his healing arts on, Godric, Boris verified the room the rot pudding came from was now empty.  Once Godric was mostly healed up, the group went through that room to the next room, the room where they found the four velvet gloves.

Boris moved the funerary boxes sitting on the four pedestals aside, exposing the hidden levers under them.  He then put on one of the velvet gloves and tried moving the levers.  The levers moved freely and reset after he manipulated them, but nothing else happened.  Realizing that all four levers needed to be thrown at once he asked for volunteers to assist.  Eventually Godric, Proximo, and Adam volunteered and Boris handed each of them a glove.  They then pulled all four levers at once and the secret door opened with a loud creak.

The 10x20 room beyond is literally filled with cobwebs and dust.  They can just make out a stone slab with a corpse laid out on it.  They cut through the cobwebs to the slab to look at the corpse.  It was wearing priestly vestments of the Green Man!  They decided to leave the corpse alone, but took the magical cudgel next to it.

The adventurers cut their way through the cobwebs to the door to the south and entered the hallway beyond it.  They observed signs that the mongrelmen they chased off last time came through here, from one, blank, featureless wall to another.  Heavily suspecting secret doors, they checked the wall to the south and found one.  They opened it, finding the 10x10 room beyond with no exits, but a small bag of silver coins.  Again suspecting a secret door, they searched and found one on the left wall.  They opened that secret door and found themselves in the back of a small crypt.  Looking at their map, the one door at the other end of the crypt most likely opened on the nauseatingly smelly room with the corpses speared to the wall.  They decided to backtrack at this point and take the other secret door, which opened to a short passage that ended in a door.  That door led to the room where Boris had killed a mongrelman while rest of the mongrelmen fled [23B].  The body was still there.

That room had a door to the south the adventurers had not explored yet, so they did.  Beyond was a short corridor with a turn to the right.  There was a door at the corned and one at the far end.  After some debate, the adventurers decided to try the one at the end of the hall first.  Beyond that door was an apparently empty room with a rubble pile in the southeastern corner of the room.  Suspicious, the adventurers searched the room and found two things: a secret door in the southeast corner and the “rubble pile” was actually a cache of equipment camouflaged with a tarp.  The Revengers availed themselves of some arrows [restock for Hrglclxin], 4 vials of oil, and a Potion of Healing!  They carefully re-hid the cache before opening the secret door.

The walls of this crypt behind the secret door were carved with the likenesses of six armored knights, six feet tall, and six feet apart.  The “heads” of these knights were recessed into the stone walls and in each niche sat a skull.  A 3x3 foot stone bowl stood atop a pedestal in the center of this room with an empty bronze water jug next to it.

This layout provoked a great deal of debate.  The Revengers have learned that many statues activate in the Barrowmaze, so they’ve learned to be very cautious when they find statues.  Once satisfied the carvings were very unlikely to animate, they turned to discussing the bronze water jug and stone bowl.  Eventually, Boris poured most of his waterskin into the water jug and then poured that into the stone bowl.  It was enough water to put a shallow puddle in the stone bowl with no other reactions.  The adventurers estimated that it would take close to 10 waterskins of water to fill the stone bowl and they had only half that.  They decided to leave well enough alone and left the room.

The group backtracked to the short corridor with a turn and investigated the door on the southern wall.  This door opened on a 20x20 room with a skeleton face down in the middle of the room, a wisp of some sort floating above it, and a hallway out on the east wall.  The walls were lined in alcoves, each with a clay burial urn in it.  The adventurers moved in and suddenly the wisp caused one of the urns to fly out at them!  Godric identified the wisp as a poltergeist, which required an actual magic weapon [something better than a sword with Continual Light cast on it] or a silver weapon.  Boris had a silver dagger and used it to eliminate the poltergeist.  The adventurers then searched the alcoves, but only came up with 164 cp.

The adventurers carefully went down the corridor, checking doors as they went.  The first door [on the left] opened to a 20x20 room with alcove covered walls.  They spent 30 minutes searching this room and came away with 150 sp and a tooled buckle [worth 25 gp].  The next door down the corridor [on the right] opened to a 30 ft hallway that then turned left.

Feeling they were running out of time for the day, the adventurers decided to head back to the surface at this point.  On the way out, they picked up the corpse of the Green Man priest to take back to Helix for re-burial.

On the way through the moors back to Helix, they encountered a group of six lizardmen going about their business.  Both sides politely acknowledged each other and moved on.

Back in Helix, The Revengers turned over the corpse of the Green Man priest to Quillian [who was of that faith] for proper reburial.  They did not turn over the cudgel, but sold it for coinage.  Adam then spent his share on a celebratory party and gambling at The Foul Pheasant.
End of Session

[So while working on a map for a different campaign using ACKS, I re-learned that outdoors movement and range scales are in yards, but with the same values as indoor/dungeon scales.  I had forgotten this and had it obscured by the encounter ranges table which uses feet for determining encounter distances for both indoor and outdoor encounters (it just uses a lot more dice for outdoor locations).  This explained my frustration with encounters in the moors starting at an average range of 44 yards.  At indoor ranges, this allowed the PCs 3-4 rounds of bow fire, which seemed wrong.  That’s because it was wrong.  With movement outdoors being in yards, that only allowed the PCs one round of ranged attacks before the opponents were on them.  I think this would have been clearer if the outdoor encounter ranges used the same number of dice as indoors encounters, but measured in yards instead of feet and forcing the GM to convert the scale.]

[Microsoft Word trick in case you are curious about how I keep Hrglclxin from being tedious to type every time: To avoid typing and retyping difficult words (like Hrglclxin) or phrases you can use Word’s AutoCorrect feature to make it easy.  

  1. Go into File/Options and then the Proofing tab.
  2. Click AutoCorrect Options.
  3. Under “Replace text as you type”, enter a shorter or easier term (like “Hrgl”) under “Replace:” and the full word/phrase under “With:”.
  4. Click Save.

Now you can just type Hrgl, and the AutoCorrect feature will replace it with Hrglclxin as  you type.  There is more you can do with this feature (like auto-numbering figure captions with fields and providing consistent formatting), but that’s the basics.]

The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17
Session 18

Session 20


  1. Allways looking forward to your regular session posts. Thx for all the work!

    1. You're welcome! And thank you for reading and your comment - both help greatly!