Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 35

[The first adventuring season comes to an end with the arrival of the rainy season.]

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

PCs (The Revengers)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Prelate (7th level Craftpriest)
Adam the Hesitant – male human Sorcerer (7th level Mage)
Boris the Fighter – male human Epic Hero (8th level Fighter)

NPCs
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
Nolig – male human porter, hired by Hrglclxin
Verya [pronounced Vir-uh] – female human Exemplar (5th level Fighter), hired for 1/3 share of any treasure
Vorgand – female human porter, a university student earning coin, hired by Daphne
Dhekeon – a revenant seeking redemption

Out for Bedrest
Daphne – female human Blade-Priestess (8th level Bladedancer) [Out until 6 September]
Hrglclxin – male human Pathfinder (7th level Explorer) [Out until 20 September]
Scorpie – charmed giant scorpion following Daphne [Out until 13 September]
Sir Pelinore – male human Paladin, bound to serve the Revengers for 1 year [Out until 12 September]


Yggsday, August 31st, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
With nearly half the team down for bedrest and Adam needing time to memorize new and higher level magics, the Revengers decided to take a week off from adventuring.

Hernesday, September 3rd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Late on a very warm day, clouds started moving in from the southwest.

Magusday, September 4th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The clouds were still moving across the sky, but on this day bands of light rain moved across the area.  The locals spent the day preparing their homes and bringing in those crops ready to harvest.  This bemused those in town for the final days of the Grand Party who instead party with greater intensity and abandon.

Taking a hint from the locals, Tripp had additional anchor lines added to the outdoor pavilions.

Cromsday, September 5th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Late in the morning heavy rains moved in, along with strong winds.  Any unanchored tents were blown over or away, some with people and belongings still in them.  Rainy Season had arrived and Boris made a respectable amount of gold coin on the betting pool [he bet 212 gp on the first week of September at 2:1 odds, earning a total of 318 gp on his bet].

It will continue to rain for the next several weeks at differing levels of intensity.  Portions of Helix become very muddy, especially the public areas as the temporary residents [those only in Helix to attend the Grand Party] hire carts and wagons to get out of Helix.  Their goal is to get to at least Ironguard Motte where lodgings that are not tents can be acquired.  Gradually the rains make the roads in the Duchy of Aerik difficult to travel.  The run-off from the rains drain into the Barrowmoor and it quickly becomes impassible any but the frog people and lizardfolk.

Late in October the rains let up as winter sets in.  The roads in the Duchy of Aerik become passable again, but the moors are too full of water to traverse.  It will take several months for the waters to recede and the land to dry out enough for travelers to enter the Barrowmoor and start up Adventuring Season again – but that is a story for later.

End of Session

End of Season 1


[So that’s it for Season 1 of Barrowmaze using ACKS.  I’ve been very pleased with both ACKS as a rule system and Barrowmaze as a dungeon.  I recommend both products highly.]

[I will be compiling the blogs of session notes into a single PDF and posting it for download.  This might take more than a week as I fix any dating errors or other consistency issues that might have crept in.  I’ll also create some record blog pages for Season 1 and post links on the sidebar of the blog, similar to what I did with my Traveller campaign.]

[The group will be taking a break and playing Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok for the intro adventure Fafnir’s Treasure.  I’ll be playing in that to get some time in as a player and post similar session notes here.  Depending upon how long that runs, I may start Season 2 of Barrowmaze using ACKS with the experienced Revengers resuming their adventuring careers (and the plundering of Barrowmaze).  I need to spend a little time updating Barrowmaze and Helix in light of player activity this season - so if FOTN: Ragnarok doesn't take enough time, there might be another short campaign before Season 2 starts.]

[That’s it for now.  Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for my next blog post where I talk about creating characters for FOTN: Ragnarok.  Later!]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers

Session 22

Session 32
Session 32A
Session 33
Session 34


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 34

[The Revengers finally get some revenge on some mummies, find the back way in to the Temple of Set, get cocky about it, and then regret doing so.  Near-TPK experience ahead!]

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

PCs (The Revengers)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Prelate (7th level Craftpriest)
Adam the Hesitant – male human Sorcerer (7th level Mage)
Boris the Fighter – male human Epic Hero (8th level Fighter)
Daphne – female human Blade-Priestess (8th level Bladedancer)

NPCs
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
Verya [pronounced Vir-uh] – female human Exemplar (5th level Fighter), hired for 1/3 share of any treasure
Vorgand – female human porter, a university student earning coin, hired by Daphne
Dhekeon – a revenant seeking redemption
Scorpie – charmed giant scorpion following Daphne

Out for Bedrest
Hrglclxin – male human Pathfinder (7th level Explorer) [Out until 20 September]
Sir Pelinore – male human Paladin, bound to serve the Revengers for 1 year [Out until 12 September]


Cromsday, August 29th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Revengers spent the day healing from their last expedition to Barrowmaze.  Daphne cast Restore Life and Limb on Sir Pelinore to restore his damaged knee.  The casting was intense and Sir Pelinore needs two weeks of bedrest to fully recover from the experience.

Freysday, August 30th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Revengers gathered their hirelings and followers at the Mercenary Guild building and then headed south, into the Barrowmoor.  Along the way, the group noticed a wyvern circling overhead.  Not wanting to mess with it, they took evasive action and eventually left it behind.

At the field of barrows, the adventurers decided it was finally time to get some revenge on the mummies and whatever was in that white marble sarcophagus in Barrow 34.  [Revenge for what?  Making them flee in terror.]  The group headed over Barrow 34 and entered it.  Little had changed since their last time in this barrow.  Godric cast Bless on the group before Boris opened the door to the partially flooded room that was their target.

The mummies that attacked them in the past were leaning against the wall to the right of the doorway.  The white marble sarcophagus was closed again.  After some hushed discussion, Boris, Daphne, and Godric waded across the room and climbed the stairs to the dais the sarcophagus lay on.  As they approached the white marble sarcophagus, the three mummies reanimated and moved to attack.  Ready for this, Godric and Daphne presented their holy symbols and turned one mummy each.  Before the third mummy could reach them, Godric turned it as well.

Meanwhile, Boris and Daphne were waiting for the sarcophagus to be opened by its occupant.  When that happened, Boris struck it and nearly destroyed the barrow mummy inside the sarcophagus.  The barrow mummy activated Platinum Neshralk Funerary Figure buried with it [which grew into a golem and attacked] and then pulled the sarcophagus closed again and Daphne turned it.

Boris quickly dispatched the golem while Daphne and Godric handled the mummies.  Boris then pushed open the white marble sarcophagus and ended the barrow mummy.  The group looted the barrow afterward, recovering a Platinum Death Mask in the form of a skeletal raven, a Terra Cotta Funerary Figure, and four Ivory Canopic jars with gold lids in the form of mythic creatures.

Feeling properly revenged, the Revengers left Barrow 34 and went over to The Pit [Barrow 47].  There they climbed down into Barrowmaze and started exploring to the north again.  Just past the now-collapsed enormous chamber [Room 256] was a door on the right-hand wall.  Boris opened the door and found a triangular room.  On the far wall was a door out, flanked by two tapestries.  Both tapestries were in good condition, making them the best tapestries the group had ever seen in the dungeon or any of the barrows they had explored so far.  Suspicious of things that hide behind tapestries, they threw a rock at each tapestry to see if they could provoke anything that might be hiding behind the tapestries.  When nothing happened, Godric approached one of the tapestries to investigate it.

[At this point, Boris’ player joked that it was really a mimic and its tongue rolled out to attack Godric.  Both players laughed.  Godric’s player even referenced the meme about “I laughed, the bartender laughed, the table laughed”.]

As Godric lifted the left tapestry aside to see what was behind it, a large pseudopod rolled out of the mimic and it attacked him.  [The expression on the players’ faces was priceless.  Actual jaw-dropping surprise!]  When Boris stepped up on Godric’s right to help him fight the mimic, the other tapestry also attacked, it also being a mimic.  The fight was intense but short as the adventurers quickly cut down the mimics.

Boris opened the door the mimics had been flanking and discovered an empty room with two other doors leading out.  He immediately closed it and said, “Nothing worthwhile in there.  Let’s go back to heading north.”  [He recognized a distraction when he saw one.]

The Revengers were about to turn back as the corridor they were following turned east ahead, which was not the direction they wanted to go.  They decided to at least take a peak and found there was an intersection just around the corner that offered a path north, so they continued in that direction.

There was a door on their immediate left once they turned north again.  The room beyond the door was empty except for some piles of rubble along the walls.  There were no other exits, so the Revengers closed the door and continued north.  They ignored a side passage to the east, but took the passage to the west just beyond it.  This passage turned north again and they could see there was a lighted side passage ahead.  As the only self-lit portion of the dungeon they had found so far was the Temple to Set area, this excited them.

At the T-intersection, the long corridor to their left was lit by torches while the corridor to their right led to darkness.  This seemed to match up with part of their map, enough so that Adam started repeating his new catch phrase, “Set commands and I obey.”  Part way down the lit corridor, a secret door popped open in response to Adam’s words.  The adventurers grinned.

Beyond the secret door was a 10x10 chamber.  The secret door on the other side opened when Adam said the code phrase again and the group entered a lit hallway.  A short passage to their right ended in a doorway, while the passage ahead went a short distance before turning left.  The adventurers went right and Boris opened the door.  The door led to a 20x30 room that was the bedchamber of a necromancer of Set, who was in the room and very surprised by the adventurers entering his private room!  [Room 214A]  Boris talked with the necromancer, asking after mongrelmen.  The necromancer told Boris he knew where the mongrelmen were, but there was an issue.  It was an issue easier to show than explain and he offered to lead the adventurers to where the mongrelmen were.  The adventurers were suspicious, but accepted this proposal.

The necromancer led them past a curtain to another door.  He opened the door and entered the room, closely followed by Boris.  This room was the private room of another necromancer who was present.  Being closer to the door out of this room than Boris or the other necromancer, this necromancer quickly ran through the door behind him.  The captive necromancer offered to go after him and quiet down any alarm he might be raising and Boris responded with, “Yes, please.”  The captive necromancer calmly walked to the door, but once through could be heard crying out, “Alarm!  We are invaded!” as he ran away.  Boris sighed.

The adventurers proceeded forward, through the doorway the necromancers had fled through.  The next room was more of a three-person barracks, but no one was present.  [Room 219]  The doorway on the far side of the room was partially open and Boris could see a corridor running left and right beyond it.  Pressing forward, Boris went through the door, looking both ways to see if he could determine which way either necromancer had fled.  To the right, the hallway made a turn to the right.  To the left the corridor went a long distance with a couple doors on the left side.  Boris could hear commotion behind the first door, which was only a short distance down.

Boris led the adventurers to the left and opened the first door.  Behind it was another barracks room with four necromancers hiding behind an overturned bed in the back corner.  They immediately cast magic missile at Boris and he was struck by four missiles.  He, Dhekeon, and Godric charged into the room and Boris cut down all four necromancers with cleave attacks.  Daphne and Adam were still in the hallway when two necromancers in very ornate robes came around the corner behind the group [Nathalas and Thala-Kul].  With these necromancers were two steel skeletons, two brass jackals, and six black skeletons, all ready for battle.

Asking for healing when it became possible, Boris quickly stepped from the room he was in out into the hallway, stepping between Adam and the necromancers where he waited for the skeletons to attack.  Godric followed Boris, taking position next to him while holding forth his holy symbol to turn some of the skeletons.  He was only able to turn two of the black skeletons, which was slightly disheartening.  Daphne cast Sword of Fire to arm herself for the coming fight.

Before anyone else could go, the necromancer High Mage cast Minor Globe of Invulnerability, protecting both himself and his number two from any spells of third level or less.  Adam cursed and fled back into the room where Boris had slaughtered the four low-level necromancers.  The most effective spells he had in his repertoire were third level or lower and the High Mage had just blocked him from casting them on the necromancers.  [Adam would spend the rest of the fight in the doorway, leaning out to snipe skeletons with his spells.  This turned out to be very fortuitous for him.]

The remaining four black skeletons advanced to engage in melee with the Revengers, allowing Boris to use his saved attack on the first one.  Despite the impressive damage dealt, the black skeleton kept standing and attacked back.  The brass jackals and steel skeletons stayed back with the necromancers, protecting them.  

Then the lesser necromancer cast Lightning Bolt.

Luckily the bolt was relatively weak, but it struck Scorpie [clinging on the wall by Boris to help fight the black skeletons], Boris, and Daphne before racing down the corridor and expending itself.  Adam received a very close view of the bolt as it raced past him, but being in the doorway took him outside the bolts area of effect and spared him the damage.

Being on the front line, Godric had to attack with his enchanted hammer, which kept him from casting for several rounds.  As the adventurers slowly destroyed the black skeletons, the steel skeletons moved forward.  Godric took a chance and cast his lone Flame Strike spell on the necromancers.  The divine column of flame dropped the lesser necromancer, destroyed the brass jackals, and injured the High Mage, but not fatally.  The High Mage dropped a Stinking Cloud to little effect [everyone made their saving throws], but followed it with a Lightning Bolt of his own that dropped Scorpie, Boris, and Daphne in one go.  Once again, Adam missed being hit by the spell because he was in the doorway and not the corridor.  He counted his blessings.

Godric responded by casting Cure Serious Wounds on Daphne to get her active again.  Adam took his own chance and cast his last spell, a Fireball he dropped on the steel skeletons.  He slagged the steel skeleton that had been previously injured, the last black skeleton, but not the second steel skeleton.  In response, the High Mage summoned a fire elemental that filled the corridor in front of him.

In a desperate ploy, Dhekeon and Godric charged forward around the last steel skeleton, through the flames that comprised the fire elemental [getting burned by doing so], and attacked the High Mage with their weapons.  Their combined attacks were enough to kill the High Mage, releasing the summoned fire elemental while Verya held the last steel skeleton at bay so Daphne could heal Boris and then Scorpie.

The battered adventurers dog-piled the last steel skeleton to bring it down.

Knowing that the rest of the necromancers would show up soon, the adventurers quickly looted the bodies and fled back the way they had come to the surface.  There they took some time for additional healing [using healing proficiencies and finally rolling on the Mortality Table].  Boris ended up losing 2 fingers, Daphne lost her left hand [needs one week bedrest], and Scorpie lost one of its eight legs [needs two weeks bedrest].

They then marched north into the Barrowmoor and back to Helix.  Along the way they had to evade a manticore as none of them were in any shape to fight it and all of their spellcasters were depleted of spells.  Once safely back in Helix, those still injured made donations to the Shrine of St. Ygg for additional healing.  Lots of additional healing.

End of Session


[The fight with the necromancers went long, so after it was done we wrapped up.  This meant we did not assign experience or work out the value of the treasure they had, something we’ll do at the beginning of the next session.]

[Minor Globe of Invulnerability is in the Player Companion and not the main ACKS rulebook and would not normally be available based on the campaign rule of “only the main rulebook”.  This rule was instituted when we first started as none of us had played these rules before and we wanted to reduce the number of variables we had to learn.  I’m running Barrowmaze as-written, so I did not change the spell when it came up, despite it not being available to PCs.  I’ve decided that I’m going to introduce the Player Companion spells as the players find spell books containing them, representing those spells as lost lore.  The group of us are familiar enough with the ACKS system now that I feel comfortable adding things from the Player Companion.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers

Session 22

Session 32
Session 32A
Session 33

Session 35 [Not yet written]


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 33

[The Revengers spring an obvious trap.  Rocks fall – Hrglclxin dies (plus 2 NPCs)!]

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

PCs (The Revengers)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Rector (6th level Craftpriest)
Daphne – female human Blade-Adept (7th level Bladedancer)
Boris the Fighter – male human Champion (7th level Fighter)
Adam the Hesitant – male human Enchanter (6th level Mage)
Hrglclxin [pronounced her-gull-klack sin] – male human Tracker (6th level Explorer)

NPCs
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
Nolig – male human porter, hired by Hrglclxin
Proximo – male human Rogue, Godric’s henchman
Verya [pronounced Vir-uh] – female human Hero (4th level Fighter), hired for 1/3 share of any treasure
Vorgand – female human porter, a university student earning coin, hired by Daphne
Dhekeon – a revenant seeking redemption
Sir Pelinore – male human Paladin, bound to serve the Revengers for 1 year
Scorpie – charmed giant scorpion following Daphne


Hernesday, August 27th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
While the rest of the Revengers were retrieving the library from Barrowmaze, Daphne stayed in Helix, taking a turn at the first aid station for the Grand Party [drunk partiers still do dumb things, even after three weeks of partying].  She also cast Divination to see if the Mongrelmen leaders were still alive.  The response she received was, “Yes, but soon.  Sooon.”  [This is a bit of retcon, but it is reasonable that she would do this and I’d actually been waiting for it, so I allowed it.]

Magusday, August 28th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
With a sense of urgency as Adventuring Season neared its traditional end [September 1st, but really until the first heavy rains arrive and make the moors to muddy to travel through], the Revengers formed up at the Mercenary Guild building with their usual crew of hirelings and followers.  The group headed south into the moors.  Along the way to Barrowmaze, another [or possibly the same] empire of owlbears started following the group.  After some time, the Revengers were able to lose the owlbears and arrived at the field of barrows a little after Noon.  [The players failed their initial evade check, but the owlbears failed their pursuit check.]

The Revengers made their way to The Pit [Barrow 47] and climbed down to the dungeon itself.  They went west, down the corridor, and then turned right at the first intersection.  When they reached the complicated T-intersection, they took the left jog in order to continue north.

Part way down this corridor, they came upon a side hallway, 20 ft. wide with a ceiling the rapidly rose to 40-feet high.  At the end of the hallway was an immense set of wooden double doors.  Intrigued, the Revengers decided to investigate.

Boris pushed open the immense double doors.  Beyond was a 40-foot tall very large chamber, its ceiling supported by numerous pillars carved into the shape of armed warriors.  Spread between the pillars were numerous unopened sarcophagi.  In the center of the room was a giant bronze statue of Nergal [Room 256].

Now the Revengers knew a trap when they saw one, but the lure of treasure was strong.  Boris stepped into the room carefully.  When none of the pillars nor the statue animated, he carefully sidled up to the nearest sarcophagi to investigate it.  The rest of the group stayed back at the doorway, where they could see Boris, but were not actually in the room.  Boris opened the sarcophagus by pushing its lid off, which triggered the double doors to the room slamming shut in the faces of the rest of the Revengers.  Then the bronze statue of Nergal animated…

Outside the room, the Revengers first tried to push the doors back open, but the doors were held shut by magic.  They then attacked one of the doors, hacking away at a section where the two doors met, desperate to get past the doors and help Boris.  [During this effort, Proximo accidentally hit Daphne.  She mostly shrugged it off, which kept Scorpie from attacking Proximo to defend its friend.]  It took nearly 30 seconds before they were able to hack away enough door that they could start sidling through, one at a time.

Meanwhile, inside the room, Boris learned a few valuable lessons.  First was that the bronze statue could hit hard.  Very hard.  [Its first attack was a natural 20 on the die, doing max damage per house rules, for 30 points of damage or slightly more than half Boris’ hit points.]  Second, attacking the statue with an edged weapon, like his sword, caused the statue to spray the molten metal that was its core on the attacker.  This burned.  Boris dropped his sword and kept his shield up, using it for defense and to attack.  Luckily, Boris’ high defense [and my crappy rolls] kept the giant statue from landing attacks every time it swung.  Unluckily, several of its swings shattered adjacent pillars, burying nearby sarcophagi in the rubble.  [If there were frogurt here, it would be cursed.]

With a gap hacked into the four-foot thick doors, the rest of the Revengers started entering the fray.  Hrglclxin and Pelinore made it through in the first round, but Daphne’s gear got caught up in the narrow gap and she temporarily held up the others.  Based on Hrglclxin’s suggestion, Daphne called for Vorland to dig the Horn of the Dead out of her gear and pass it through.  

Hrglclxin started firing his small supply of enchanted arrows at the statue, wounding it repeatedly.  Once Daphne was in the chamber, she cast Protection from Evil, which Boris quickly stepped into and started chugging healing potions [he was down to less than 10 hit points at this time].  Godric and Proximo followed Daphne into the chamber, Proximo stepping out of Daphne’s protective magics to shoot arrows at the statue [he accidentally shot another PC at this point, but I don't remember who], but Dhekeon got stuck in the door gap, blocking Adam and Verya from entering the chamber.

Vorland found the Horn in the pack she was carrying and passed it to Dhekeon.  Once Dhekeon got through the gap, he passed it to Hrglclxin, who blew on it, summoning 15 Viking skeletons to attack the statue.  The next person to attempt the door gap was Adam, but he got stuck.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for him.

The statue, unable to attack Boris anymore, switched target to Hrglclxin [who had stepped outside the protective sphere so he could continue to attack the statue], nearly killing Hrglclxin in one blow.  The combined attacks from those in the chamber finally brought down the giant statue, but its final flailing attack knocked out another pillar, causing most of the ceiling to partially collapse [meaning, there was not an opening to the sky, but a lot of stone and dirt came down on everything], immense stones smashing everything they landed on.  The displaced air popped Adam out of the door gap and back into the corridor beyond, where Verya caught him.

As the dust settled, the Revengers started digging each other out from under the rubble.  Hrglclxin was dead [crushed heart and lungs per the Mortality Table], as were Pelinore [crushed knee] and Proximo [a red stain and shards of bone].  Daphne healed Pelinore and cast Restore Life and Limb on Hrglclxin [his soul is marked and outsiders hate him], but Proximo was lost.  Boris and several others consumed healing potions or received cure light wounds spells from Godric and Daphne.  Once the healing magic ran out, most were still wounded from the fight or the collapse but mobile.

Not wanting their efforts to go for naught, the Revengers searched the chamber.  Only five of the sarcophagi were not crushed and destroyed by the collapsing ceiling.  One of the sarcophagi contained a very angry, but still drowsy vampire.  Godric slammed that lid shut before the vampire could respond and Boris used spikes to seal the sarcophagus.  The other four sarcophagi yielded a magical hand axe [+4 dwarven thrower], a Jasper [minor gemstone], a scroll of ward vs. lycanthropes [1st level spell], and a potion [eventually identified as a potion of delusion, so worthless].  The magical hand axe made the effort worthwhile to the Revengers and the battered and bruised adventurers decided to call it a day.  They returned to the surface and headed back to Helix.  Many drinks were raised in memory of Proximo.

End of Session

[It was late, so I didn’t roll for an encounter on the way back to town to save time.  It would not have gone well for any attackers anyways – Adam never got to cast any spells, so he was full up with fireballs and magic missiles and itching to use them.]

[I have determined when the rains will arrive, so I know what date the moors will become impassible.  It will be sooner rather than later.  I think it will be less than 4 sessions, but definitely before Hrglclxin finishes his mandatory 23 days of bedrest.  Once the season ends, we are going to switch campaigns for a bit so I get to play and someone else gets to run.  I think we are going to do Pathfinder, which will be a huge gear change after the more rules-light ACKS, but it might be the HERO System.  We talked a little bit about it but nothing definite that I recall.  I’ll post more info as I have it.]

[Please note, we will return to Barrowmaze using ACKS for Season 2.  We’re just switching GMs for a bit so I can recharge.  Plus the real-time gap will help simulate the in-game gap in time between seasons.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers

Session 22

Session 32
Session 32A

Session 34 [Not yet written]


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 32A

[Don’t have a library card?  No problem – just pack out the entire library!]

[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 Guide (5th level Explorer)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Vicar (5th level Craftpriest)
Adam – male human Enchanter (6th level Mage)

NPCs
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
Nolig – male human porter, hired by Hrglclxin
Proximo – male human Burglar, Godric’s henchman
Verya [pronounced Vir-uh] – female human Hero (4th level Fighter) , hired for 1/3 share of any treasure
Dhekeon – a revenant seeking redemption
Sir Pelinore – male human Paladin, bound to serve the Revengers for 1 year


Hernesday, August 27th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Wanting to go back and collect the rest of the library they had discovered, Hrglclxin, Godric, and Adam hired 20 workers and 10 guards for a trip out to Barrowmaze.  With the Grand Party now in its 21st day, a number of the locals were up for something different and signed on through the Mercenary Guild.  The hired townsfolk were a bit dubious about Dhekeon, but had grown a bit blasé about who the Revengers were keeping company with.

On the way south, a warg caught scent of the group and came to see about a quick lunch.  The adventurers squared off with it and Godric got a small bite for his troubles before Hrglclxin and Adam killed the beast with a combination of bow fire and magic.

When the large group arrived at the field of barrows, they made their way over to The Pit [Barrow 47].  At the bottom they saw nine giant ants picking over the area for food.  They were mostly clustered around the harpy bodies, so Adam dropped a fireball on them, roasting them all.  The expedition then descended using several ropes [otherwise it would have taken all day just to get nearly 40 people to the bottom].

Using planks to bypass the pit trap, the adventurers led the expedition down the passageway west and around the corner to the library.  There the workers spent four hours packing up the scrolls, tomes, and books while the adventurers stood watch with the guards.  Two necromancers of Set showed up near the end of the packing process and attacked.  Godric went to attack first, but his bowstring snapped as he drew [he rolled a “1” on his attack roll].  The necromancers each cast magic missile at Hrglclxin and Godric, disrupting Godric’s spell casting.  This turned out to be a poor choice on their part as Adam cast magic missile in return and was high enough level to get two missiles from a single casting.  He directed one flaming missile at each necromancer and killed them both!

After that bit of excitement, the expedition hauled the library up out of the dungeon and headed back to Helix.  An empire of owlbears [four of them, group name supplied by Sage Advice] started following the expedition through the Barrowmoor, but Hrglclxin was able to lead the expedition away and evaded the owlbears.

Back in Helix, the contents of the library were sold for a tidy sum, especially only split 3 1/3 ways [remembering that Verya gets 1/3 a share of loot].

End of Session


[This was a short session to essentially run something we could have blue-booked via email if we weren’t all too busy to read our email with any regularity.  I didn’t run it as a formal session and few dice were rolled, so we talked it through for the most part.  Overall it took us barely 45 minutes to work this minor expedition out, afterwards we played Junk Orbit, a board game by Daniel Solis that I highly recommend.  Plus, it got Godric and Hrglclxin enough experience points to level as they were both very close.]

The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers

Session 22

Session 32

Session 33 [Not yet written]


Friday, January 4, 2019

Session Report – Barrowmaze – Session 32

[The Revengers talk with a chatty dungeon resident and get better directions.]

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

PCs (The Revengers)
Godric – male Dwarven Craft-Vicar (5th level Craftpriest)
Boris the Fighter – male human Champion (7th level Fighter)
Adam – male human Enchanter (6th level Mage)
Hrglclxin [pronounced her-gull-klack sin] – male human Guide (5th level Explorer)

NPCs
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
Nolig – male human porter, hired by Hrglclxin
Proximo – male human Burglar, Godric’s henchman
Verya [pronounced Vir-uh] – female human Hero (4th level Fighter) , hired for 1/3 share of any treasure
Dhekeon – a revenant seeking redemption
Sir Pelinore – male human Paladin, bound to serve the Revengers for 1 year


Sunday, August 25th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Adam spends the day in bedrest while the rest of the Revengers party, waiting on him to recover from the previous expedition.  Luckily for them the Grand Party is still in full swing.

Moonday, August 26th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Revengers [and their hangovers] gathered at the Mercenary Guild building and then headed south, into the Barrowmoor.  On their way south, they noticed a shambling mound approaching them.  Having heard bad things about these monsters, the group decided to avoid this one and Hrglclxin routed them around it.

The group arrived at the field of barrows a little before Noon and made their way over to The Pit [Barrow 47].  They climbed down to the dungeon using a rope, just like their last several trips, tense for an attack.  For the first time they were not attacked by harpies or vultures during their descent, much to their relief.

Once they were all in the dungeon, they decided to head west, down the corridor as far as they could go, hoping that it would either connect to the back side of the Setite area.  They ignored several side passages until the corridor stopped at a T-intersection.  The north passage went off into the darkness, but the south passage became another T-intersection, one passage continuing south and the other heading west again.  This is not what they were hoping for at all.  After discussing options and where they might be in relation to their primary map, the group chose to continue south.  They passed a bricked entrance on their left and then rounded a corner to the right.  The passage ended at a door shortly past the corner.

Boris opened the door [while Adam was back cowering around the corner] and the death-stench of the room beyond [Room 265] rolled over the group, turning their stomachs.  Sir Pelinore lost his breakfast, but the rest were able to get their stomachs mostly under control.  A number of undead occupied this room, including one ghast woman stirring a pot containing things the adventurers did not want to think too hard about.  Godric pulled out his holy symbol and turned a four of the ghouls in the room before the ghast woman, Grizelda, admonished him and told him, “Stop that, it’s rude.”  This forced a conflict between the adventurer's Righteousness and their Manners.

Having learned that some things in Barrowmaze can be reasoned with, Boris stepped up and started talking with Grizelda about where they were located and where the temple of Set might be.  He drug out the conversation as much as he could, buying time for Sir Pelinore to concentrate and detect evil [all of the adventurers wanted to be certain the undead were actually evil as Dhekeon, who travels with the group, is clearly undead but not evil].

As it turned out, the Revengers were heading in entirely the wrong direction to get to the Temple of Set.  Grizelda suggests they backtrack and take the first passage north along the western passage from The Pit as what they sought was generally north of where they were.  [She actually pointed to the passage on their map, which was much more clear than what I typed.]  A sharp intake of breath drew Boris’ attention over to Sir Pelinore, who was visibly pale in the face and resting his hand on the hilt of his sword.  With that confirmation of the alignment of the undead in this room, the undead that outnumbered the adventurers easily, Boris decided to wrap things up and get out of there.  On the way out, he asked Grizelda if she knew the answer to the sphinx’s riddle.  Grizelda admitted she did know it and agreed to tell it to Boris if he came back and told her when the adventurers killed all of the Setites [with strong indications that the bodies of the Setites will go into her larder].  Boris agreed to this and hustled the paladin out of the room before anything untoward was said or done.

The adventurers retreated back to the first plus-shaped room [Room 263] to rest.  After the rest, the group followed Grizelda’s directions, pausing to check an empty room along the way [Room 259].  Past that room was a complicated set of T-intersections, providing multiple paths north.  Rather than try that tangle of passages at that moment, the group backtracked to the bricked-up passage near Grizelda’s chamber [Room 260][There was some meta-planning going on here - it was getting late and they felt they could clear one more room before we had to call it a night.]

It took 10 minutes to knock down the bricks.  As the wall finally collapsed, a group of hasted crypt knights attacked from the other side.  The sight of the crypt knights triggered something in Sir Pelinore and with a cry of “No!  No!  Not again!” he turned and fled back to the surface.  [He was the only one to fail the save versus the crypt knight fear effect.]  Boris fought the crypt knights with Dhekeon at his side.  The rest of the adventurers moved up as they could due to the relatively tight quarters.  As the first of the crypt knights finally dropped, Boris was hit by multiple magic missiles cast from further back in the room!

Adam maneuvered to where he could almost see the enemy spell casters and then cast fireball in their vicinity.  The explosion of fire was effective and reduced the number of incoming spells.  Boris and Dhekeon finally killed the last of the crypt knights and Boris charged in to slay the enemy spellcasters.  Boris also discovered that the room beyond the bricks was a library of sorts and that Adam’s fireball spell also set one of the five aisles of tomes and scrolls on fire.  Boris, Godric, and Adam fought the fire to save the remaining books and scrolls, losing about half the row before they put it out.

Once the fire was put out and Boris received some healing, Boris and Hrglclxin backtracked to the surface to find Sir Pelinore.  Adam and Godric searched the remaining library while Boris and Hrglclxin were gone, locating several scrolls and tomes of great value.  When Boris and Hrglclxin returned with Sir Pelinore, the group had to take a rest.  After the rest, they finished their search of the library and started packing up the remains of the burnt row, spreading the books and tomes across all of their available backpack space.  This activity took a while and they had to take another rest before heading back to the surface.

On the trip back through the Barrowmoor, a pack of carnivorous apes caught the scent of the party and moved to attack.  Adam cast fireball on the pack, barbecuing all of the apes.  The rest of the march was uneventful.  In Helix, the adventurers sold off most of the books and scrolls they found, but not the Manual of Martial Skillfulness.  Much debate went into whether to sell that or use it to no resolution.  [I had to do research to work out a value for it.  It turns out to be worth quite a lot.]
End of Session


[Point of note: fireballs in ACKS are smaller in radius that I was expecting.  I was expecting the entire library to have been torched, but the effect was quite limited - only a 20-foot diameter.  I’m more familiar with 1E D&D than Basic/Expert, so I don’t know if this is new to ACKS or fireballs in B/X have always been localized.  Lucky thing for the players either way as they almost burned up all the loot for this run.]

[I noticed I had not upped Verya’s class title as she has leveled and corrected that at the top.  She has been 4th level for a couple expeditions.]

[Next session was very short as most of the group was not available.  I ran a very simplified session that covered an expedition to pack out the rest of that library.  And then we played board games.  I'll still write it up, but it was not big enough to get a separate number and I refer to it as Session 32A, making it a continuation of this session.]


The Motley Crew
Session 1: The Start

Session 11: TPK

The Revengers
Session 12: Rise of the Revengers

Session 22
Session 23
Session 24
Session 25
Session 26
Session 27
Session 28
Session 29
Session 30
Session 31

Session 32A