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 [Not Written Yet]


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]


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 5 – Water

[The Delvers return 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 June 24, 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
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
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
Lester “Les” Stalwart – human male, younger brother of Nick and general tag-along [DNPC]

Unavailable Players
Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts


During the week of October 13-16th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
The Delvers spent the week attending classes and training at their various institutions of learning.  During their time not studying and attending classes, they researched different topics or sold off loot to fund the guild’s search for a guild house.  What little extra time this allowed was spent at The Library [a student bar], drinking and telling stories of their exploration so far to other students.

Zarek made use of his lab access at Monarch University to study the wands and magic earrings retrieved from the ruins.  He was able to determine the activation words for the wands [in Augmic, the language of magic] and discovered the function of the earrings.  He dubbed them “Earrings of Covert Communication” – they allow the wearer to communicate with someone wearing another set of the earrings and are enchanted to not be seen unless looked for.  In addition to this research, Zarek also crammed on information about monsters, hoping to be a little more prepared when the guild returned to the ruins.  [Narrator Voice: He was not.]

Ricky spent his spare time researching magic circles.  He was not terribly successful, but was able to confirm the silver-inlayed circle and the circle in the above ground ruins were both teleportation circles and likely attuned to each other.  He had no luck with the circle inscribed on the black stone in the “Common Room.”  [See notes for Session 3, link below.]

Vorgand and Nick worked out the value of the non-magical jewelry and sold it off, explaining their reasoning for the evaluations to Jala [who was tagging along to pick up the Trading skill].  They also asked around about buyers in antique elven furniture.  They located a few buyers, who tried to blow them off, explaining there was a huge difference between what was antique for humans and antique for elves.  When Nick showed these buyers some of the ancient elven coins the Delvers had found, the buyers were suddenly politer and more interested.  Without the chairs in hand, the discussions did not last long, but Vorgand and Nick were able to determine there was a market for the elven furniture and it might pay very well.

Near the end of the week, Vorgand was selected to participate in a field exercise The Tested [the royal military academy] was running and would not be available to join the guild when they left on Cromsday morning.  She expected to make the Noon ferry and would catch up with the guild on Freysday, around Noon.  [The player was out of town chaperoning a church youth group trip and missed the game session.]

Cromsday, October 17th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Early in the morning the Delvers assembled [some still slightly hung-over, some having not slept at all] at the City Docks and boarded the morning ferry to Little Wytheford.  The passage across Dragon Bay was uneventful and most of the guild members napped.

The ferry put in at the River Docks at Little Wytheford.  After disembarking from the ferry, the group went to the nearby farrier and picked up the horses and pack mule they had stabled there the previous week.  They arranged to leave one of the horses for Vorgand, who was expected to arrive that evening on the Noon ferry from Aegea.  Once they and their gear were arranged, the Delvers rode across the eastern river bridge and followed the Moofolk River south for three hours before turning east on the far side of Faemount Mountain.  An hour after that they rode into the ruins themselves.

The Delvers were expecting to be greeted by their ex-bandit torchbearers, instead the ruins were empty – even the goats were gone.  The Delvers looked around.  Zarek floated into the chapel the group had been using as a campsite and found a folded piece of paper held down by a rock.  Slightly paranoid, Zarek cast Detect Magic to verify the paper was not a trap of some sort [it wasn’t] before opening the note.  In a poor scrawl the note said “We had to go for other supplies.  Be back soon.”  It was dated two days previous.  There was a short discussion about whether or not the torchbearers had actually gone for supplies or fled the service of the delvers.  The majority felt they had fled and were not entirely surprised at this turn of events.

The Delvers made camp and set watches for the night.  On the third watch [Zarek and Nick], Zarek was sitting on top of the remaining gatehouse and observed a wildcat approaching the ruins.  It seemed to be heading towards the goat pen area.  Once it got closer, Zarek spooked it by striking the ground in front of it with a Lightning Bolt spell.  The light and noise of the spell startled Nick, who was unaware of the wildcat, and jolted awake Ricky, Clarence, and Jala.

Clarence and Ricky grabbed their weapons.  Jala, a light sleeper and so the most awake, called out “Is it dead?”  Zarek replied it was driven away and so Jala went back to sleep.  Ricky walked over to the entry gate area and saw the fleeing wildcat before attempting to go back to sleep.  Clarence sighed and put away his weapons before returning to sleep himself.

Freysday, October 18th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
In the morning the Delvers got up and fixed their breakfast.  After eating, they geared up and walked over to the entrance to the underground complex.  Jala examined the concealment she had set up before they left the previous week and announced it looked undisturbed.  She carefully moved it aside, exposing the stonework the Delvers had smashed open and dropped the anchored rope into the entry room.  Ricky and Nick lit torches and volunteered to be the torchbearers for this expedition.

After the Delvers had climbed down into the entry room they made their way to the stairwell on the far side of the complex.  The walked north past the “common room” area, stopping briefly to verify there were still two chairs in the common room for them to haul back.  Then they followed the corridor east, past the oval-shaped room, and entered the narrowing hallway to the stairwell itself.

Initially the stone steps were safe to walk on, but once past the crack in the wall where water flowed in, the stairs became slick.  Zarek avoided this problem as his flight spell made walking unnecessary.  Jala preferred spiderwalking on the walls [and regularly creeped out Clarence when she ate a spider to activate the spell each day].  At one point, Clarence slipped and fell in place.  At the same time, Ricky [right behind him] completely lost his footing.  Nick [in the back] was able to grab ahold of Ricky as Ricky slipped and fell, but was not able to keep his own footing and the two fell together and plowed into Clarence.  Luckily, Clarence was able to halt their fall at the next landing.

Another revolution around the open stairwell and the group found a flight of stairs missing three steps in the center.  The gap was further than anyone felt comfortable jumping [and jumping up it on the way out would have been impossible], so they hammered in pitons and used rope to get past the gap.  The stairs past the gap were dry as the water cascaded down the gap, so adventurers took a rest here.

Down another level of stairs the waterfall from the gap above threatened to put out their torches when they had to pass under it.  Ricky and Nick handed their torches to Jala who spiderwalked around the stairwell shaft [and over one of the flights of steps] to ferry the torches to the other side of the waterfall.  Shortly past the waterfall they reached the bottom of the stairs.  The last steps descended into about two feet of water that covered this level of the complex.

The doorway out of the stairwell here was propped open, allowing the water to slowly flow out of the stairwell.  Ricky was the first to notice the slow current and the group followed it into the next room.  There were two doorways from this room, a set of double-doors to the west and the south.  The ceiling of the north corner was a shaft going up.  Zarek borrowed a torch and floated over to look up.  At the edge of his torchlight he could make out the jammed platform that had blocked Jala’s explorations from above.

Looking through the open double-doors to the south, the Delver’s torches lit enough of the passage to see it turned west ahead, with another set of doors o the far wall facing them.  They also saw luminescent swirls and dots on the corridor walls down at the corner.  Intrigued, the Delvers slowly moved south to investigate.

When they got closer, they could see the luminescent lights were on the walls.  Thinking they might be some form of monster, they threw a rock at one of the walls to see if anything happened.  Nothing did.  Ricky checked the water current and determined it went down this corridor, so the group advanced to the corner and looked around it.  The corridor went west for quite a way and was completely outlined in the pale luminescent colors, which seemed to get denser the further down the corridor one looked.  Jala scrapped at some of the luminescent spots on the wall near her and the color came off onto her gloves but did nothing else.

Finding the effect somewhat eerie, the Delvers decided to check the door at the corner before continuing down the western passage.  The double-doors were propped partially open and gave access to a warehouse, now mostly empty.  There appeared to be an enclosed office space to the left of the entry and the shelves to the back left were enclosed in fencing with a gate.  The shelving units themselves were 30 feet tall with shelves at five-foot intervals.  When the adventurers entered the room the entire ceiling lit up, providing source-less, even lighting everywhere.  Jala sourly noticed that this lighting did not cause shadows, eliminating the usefulness of her Shadowstep spell.

The Delvers split up to investigate the warehouse.  Jala and Ricky went over to the fenced in area and found the gate locked.  She set to picking the lock, but the lock was very high quality elven work and defeated her first attempt at picking it, breaking one of her picks.  Undaunted, she pulled out a replacement and took her time for her next attempt.

While Jala was doing that, Zarek floated up to check the higher shelves to see if anything had been left behind.  He spotted a couple small crates scattered on the highest shelves and went to investigate the closest.  When he got close to it, the chest extruded a pseudopod and attacked him – it was a mimic!  [Narrator: Which he immediately recognized...after it hit him.]

The other Delvers noticed Zarek’s yip of pain as the mimic stunned him with its first hit.  Clarence cast his Holy Flame spell but missed the mimic.  Ricky tried to cast and failed [blew his magic roll].  Jala flung her magical dagger at it, striking the mimic to little effect [she rolled low damage].  The mimic was quick, hitting Zarek again and nearly knocking the fox out.  Ricky was able to get a spell of and drained much of the mimic’s life essence.  The mimic flattened itself as a result so those on the floor could not see it anymore, but it could still attack Zarek.  Nick responded by modifying his lightning spell [variable advantage] to affect a seven-foot area and cast it where the mimic was, shocking it.  Jala walked up the side of the shelves to get another shot at the mimic and hit it [to little effect].

The shapeshifting of the mimic gave Zarek the reprieve he needed; he flew sideways to get safely away from it.  With no immediate prey and its current location no longer safe, the mimic oozed along the shelf and then flattened itself further to blend in with the shelf itself.  Jala lost track of it when it did this, but Zarek did not and cast his Lightning Bolt spell at it, hitting it squarely, and killing it.

In the aftermath, Zarek floated down to Clarence for some healing.  Jala returned to her attempt at picking the lock to the fenced area but Ricky decided to check out the enclosed office.  The door was not locked and open nearly on its own as the two-feet of water he was standing in pushed the door open and flooded into the room.

The room had a desk that was nice but not as nice as the Delvers had seen in the corner rooms upstairs.  There was a scroll rack, the lowest level of which was now in water, and the tattered remains of wall hangings.  Ricky tried to save the scrolls that had just been submerged, but they were already fragile and went to pieces in his hands.  The scrolls still above the water line were also shambles, with faded ink and went to pieces as soon as they were touched.  Ricky was very frustrated by this.

Zarek cast Detect Magic and scanned the room.  He expected to find a tripped security system on the desk drawers but was being thorough.  Instead, he found the security system in place and untripped, meaning the contents in the drawers were still in one piece.  He excitedly relayed this to Jala, who just finished failing to open the gate lock, again.  Frustrated herself, Jala waded over into the office and examined the desk lock.  It was another tough one, so she announced she was going to take her time working this one [she decided to take 20 minutes to get a +3 on the roll for going 3 steps down the time chart].  The rest of the delvers climbed up on shelves in the main room to get out of the water and waited.

Twenty minutes later Jala called out in success as she undid the lock and disarmed the magical trap [the player finally rolled better than just making her pick locks skill, making the roll by 8 with the time bonus].  The Delvers shuffled through the water back into the office.  They immediately started discussing whether they should lift the desk out of the water before opening the desk drawers in case they were water-tight and not flooded.  After a short debate they decided it was a good idea and Clarence and Ricky lifted the desk.  Jala pulled open the lowest drawers and discovered they were not water tight – they were full of water with paper bits mixed in.  The other drawers were not flooded, but all the papers in them were mostly disintegrated from age.  They did find two cut gem disks, each about three inches in diameter, and an oddly shaped key, mostly a tube with the keyed parts inside the tube part.  The Delvers then searched the office thoroughly before taking another rest [again up on the shelves so they were out of the water].

While the group rested, Zarek had an idea on how to open the caged area.  When the rest was over, he floated over to the cage door and announced he was going to lightning bolt it.  The rest of the Delvers, who had just climbed down into the water, climbed back up out of the water.  Zarek cast Lightning Bolt at the gate itself to zero effect.  Puzzled, he cast Detect Magic on the gate and discovered that the metal the gate and fencing were made from appeared to absorb magic!  He now very much wanted some of this metal as he suddenly had all sorts of ideas on how to use it, if only they could separate it from the fence.  Nick came over and modified his lightning spell to be extremely difficult to dispel and cast it at the gate.  The gate was completely unphased by this, which confirmed to Nick that the metal was absorbing the magic, not dispelling or suppressing it.  Frustrated as a group, the Delvers decided that they just weren’t going to be able to access the fenced off area this trip.  They consoled themselves with the knowledge that no one else was going to be able to access it either.

The Delvers decided to explore more of the complex and return to the warehouse later.  They exited the warehouse [after a bit the lights went out on their own] and headed west down the corridor.  Forty feet down the hallway they reached a four-way intersection.  The passage north is the direction the sluggish current flowed and led to two sets of double-doors – the outer doors were propped open and the inner doors were missing their lower halves, allowing the water to flow freely.  The passage west went through a similar set of double-doors, but the inner set here were missing entirely and the chamber beyond was lit with the luminescent light.  The passage way south led to a ramp up and out of the water.

While the others were looking down the passageways, Ricky noticed some purple toadstools growing in a cluster at the corner.  He stepped closer with his torch to get a better look, which triggered the shriekers!  The intersection was immediately filled with piercing sound which caused physical damage to Ricky but not the other Delvers who slapped their hands [and paws, where appropriate] over their ears.

End of Session

[I was supposed to have the details for the jewelry the PCs had found ready this session, but I forgot in the press of other projects I’m working on.  I would have rolled them up at the beginning of the session, but the person with the exact list of what they had was also the person who missed the session due to a trip, so I hand-waved it and said that the task was done and the money was set aside for the purchase of a building to be the guild house for the guild.  This was a good in-game action for most of the PCs handing over an experience point for buying a group base as an out-of-game action.]

[I’m going to list out the game stats of the magic items the group finds during the adventure.  If folks show interest, I’ll create a separate post for the monster stats as well.]

[Earrings of Covert Communication: Radio Perception/Transmission, LIM: Only to attuned sets; IIF: set of earrings enchanted to not be seen unless known about (PER at -4)]


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 06

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session 4 – Lump and Shades


[The Delvers finish exploring the upper level of the underground complex.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened June 17, 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
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
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
Lester “Les” Stalwart – human male, younger brother of Nick and general tag-along [DNPC]


Freysday, October 11th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
[Resumes underground, ~3:00 PM]
After a short discussion, the Delvers decided to finish exploring the level they are on before descending the stairwell to the lower level or levels of this complex.

The group backtracked to the large oval-shaped room, checking an empty side room along the way.  They went to the far end of the oval-shaped room, which they had not paid much attention to earlier [being distracted by the silver inlay on the magic circle and the body behind the desk].  The hallway out of this end of the room went south and they could see it turned west at the edge of their torchlight.  However, immediately to their left there was an odd configuration of wall in the oval-shaped room.

The wall here was only three feet high and there was a room beyond it.  The weird part was the full sized door with door frame in the middle of the low wall.  Zarek floated over towards it so he could see inside the room.  It was a 20 x 30 foot room with a large oval ring of a table.  There was glass scattered on the floor on the other side of the low wall, suggesting the low wall once had a glass upper half.  In the corner of the room to his right he could see two corpses, plus he saw a third corpse in the far, left-hand corner.

The delvers entered the room to look around.  Jala and Clarence investigated the pair of corpses on the right.  Zarek dropped his Stoney Skin spell to cast Detect Magic and floated around the room looking for magic.  Ricky searched the body over on the left while Vorgand and Nick kept watch.

Clarence was able to determine that the two elves were killed by magical violence, which was not a surprise due to the apparently exploded open glass walls.  Jala found some jewelry still on them, but it appeared that the bodies had been searched previously, long ago.  Zarek found a wand in a holster strapped to the underside of the hollow oval table – he also found a fourth corpse on the floor in the center of the hollow oval table.  That body was also searched.

Having thoroughly searched that room, the Delvers went south to explore the corridor exiting the oval-shaped room there and hopefully circle back to the entrance.  They investigated two open doorways on the left [east] and found they both led to empty rooms.  The turned back a bit to check a closed door on the west side of the hallway.  This door was locked, had no keyhole, but had an odd panel beside the door.  Jala held the keys she had stolen from the cleaning golem to the panel and heard a click from the door – it was now unlocked!  On the other side of the door was the cleanest privy the group had ever seen.  Tile and ceramics were on every surface.  Impressed, but finding no easy loot, they moved on.

As they got closer to the corner, they could see a pile of…something in front of the door that probably led to another corner room.  The pile or lump was about five feet high and eight or so feet square.  It was covered with dust and seemed translucent.  Zarek borrowed a torch from one of the torchbearers and moved to one side of the lump.  Jala, working out what Zarek was doing, moved to the opposite site to see if she could see what was inside the lump.  Not wanting to touch it, she used her dagger to scrape away the layer of dust resting on the lump.  It gave a bit.  Suddenly the entire lump shivered and then attempted to slam Jala against the wall!  Jala noticed its movement just in time and dove out of the way, landing on the floor in the hallway.  The lump [a desiccated gelatinous cube] continued to attack.

During the fight, Clarence failed to cast his Sacred Flame spell twice in a row.  Vorgand tried a lunge and a series of rapid attacks, discovering that the lunge was by far the more successful attack as the series of quick attacks barely injured the thing.  Zarek and Nick both cast lightning spells at it, which healed up the wounds Vorgand had inflicted!  She was not pleased.  Ricky used his Dark Leeching spell on the lump to great effect – great enough that it started attacking him.  Ricky was able to dodge its attacks just long enough for Vorgand and Clarence [who finally got his magic working] to kill it.

Most of the lump's liquefied innards oozed out of the slash marks Vorgand had made and the group could see the glint of metal in what remained inside the hardened shell.  Zarek climbed inside and cast Detect Magic, locating a magic dagger and a pair of magic earrings.  At this point a cleaning golem walked up, carrying a mop, and the Delvers wisely got out of its way.  Zarek floated over to the privy to clean the gooey innards from his paws and fur.

While the golem mopped up [and once Zarek returned, wet but clean], Jala and Vorgand unlocked and opened the door to the corner room.  Vorgand was just taking a breath to remind Jala about the bad air likely to be inside when Jala opened the door and the bad air flooded over Vorgand, who passed out from being unable to breathe.  Zarek quickly floated in and pulled Vorgand all the way down the hallway to the west until he arrived at the entry room, where there was good air.  The rest of the delvers followed [after opening the other closed door in the vestibule] and took a rest while Vorgand recovered and the closed rooms aired out for a bit.  Zarek took a moment to fly back up to the surface to get and idea what time it was and discovered it was later in the afternoon than he thought.

After the rest, the Delvers returned to the corner room they had just opened.  The air was still a bit iffy, but they explored anyway.  They found three elven corpses, two with crossbow bolts to the heart and one next to the crossbow and with a bolt to the throat.  The crossbow detected as magic when Zarek cast Detect Magic, as did the tripped security magic on the desk drawers.  Jala checked the desk drawers to be thorough [and found nothing but ashes], while others relieved the corpses of their jewelry.

Done with the corner room, the Delvers investigated the door across the vestibule.  This led to a set of two rooms connected by an open doorway.  The first room had a couple of desks, but not as fancy as the desks the Delvers had found in the corner rooms.  These had no magical security, but their paper contents had long ago rotted and just touching the papers turned them to slime.

In the adjacent room, the delvers found four corpses lined up against the wall.  Clarence and Ricky investigated the corpses [Ricky for loot and Clarence to determine how they had been killed].  Just as Zarek floated in to check for magic, Ricky and Zarek noticed a shadow moving against the torchlight.  Two of the corpse shadows detached and started attacking Clarence and Ricky!

In the ensuing fight, Clarence was drained heavily by one of the shades.  Ricky was able to avoid the same fate, but at the cost of casting no magic [he kept blowing the magic roll or having to abort to a Dodge].  Nick cast defensive magic and then a rapid-fire lightning attack that obliterated one of the shades [and cost Nick some STUN from the autofire attack using up all his END and then some].  Vorgand pulled the magic dagger from the loot bag and attacked the remaining shade with it.  The other shade was ended by the Delvers before it ended Clarence, but it was a close thing.

After checking a last room [and finding another amazingly clean privy], the Delvers decided that they were done exploring for the day.  They returned to the “commons room” and packed out 10 of the wooden chairs from there, hoping to sell them in Aegea as elven antiques for a profit.

Once on the surface, the Delvers made a deal with the four ex-bandits to wait here for them and keep an eye on the goats and they would pay them for being torchbearers as their exploration continued.  The ex-bandits [somewhat terrified of the capabilities of the Delvers] agreed to this readily.  [The players were going to take the ex-bandits with them to town as guild employees until it was pointed out that the torchbearers had no horses and if they all walked back to Little Wythford, the Delvers would miss the ferry back to Aegea and therefore miss classes the following day.]

While dinner was being made, Jala took an hour to conceal the entrance to the underground area, moving plants and brush to obscure the stone opening.  It was getting dark, but she was satisfied with her efforts.


Yggsday, October 12th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman
Early in the morning, before the dawn, the Delvers packed up their gear and the antique chairs on their horses and pack animal.  They rode west then south to get around the mountain and back to Little Wythford.

The Delvers wanted to load their chairs directly onto the ferry, but the captain wouldn’t allow it, stating they needed to be in crates and not just loose on deck.  The Delvers didn’t have time to do that and still catch the Noon ferry, so they rented some warehouse space from Nick’s family and stored the chairs in Little Wythford before returning the horses.  They put down a deposit for horses next weekend and then hustled back to the ferry, getting there just in time.

The ride across Dragon Bay was uneventful and the ferry docked at Aegea a little before sundown.  The Delvers made their way to The Library, where they ordered drinks and dinner as celebration of the first successful expedition by the Delvers Guild.  They discussed over dinner what each needed to do during the week [in addition to attending classes and training sessions].  Zarek will research the wands to determine their command words and do some craming on monsters, Ricky will research the magic circles and cram on them, Vorgand and Nick will work out the value of the loot the group secured and ask around about prices on elven antique chairs, and Jala will follow Vorgand and Nick to learn better value evaluation [Trading skill].  Clarence will spend time recovering from the shade attacks.

Additionally, the group decided it was time to start pooling resources for a guild house.  They will keep an eye out for a good location and report back suggestions at the next guild meeting.

End of Session

[So I awarded 2 experience points for this outing and everyone but Clarence’s player donated a point to a group base of operations (the guild house).  Clarence spent his two points on raising his Recovery so he recovers as much END as he spends with his holy armor spell running each turn.]

[I rushed to get the lower level sketched out before the game as I thought the PCs were going to descend, but then they decided to finish the first level.  I knew what I wanted, but hadn’t actually written it out yet due to other projects I have going.  This will give me time to flesh out the lower level and detail the room descriptions better.]


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 05