Saturday, May 8, 2010

The New Old Campaign - Session 3

We begin with the party camped in Room I of the Holmes basic started dungeon

Apprentice Red: Horace the Dwarf, Drazier the Elf, Skullduggery II the Magic User
Apprentice Blaster: Apollo the Elf, Logan the Fighter, and Steven the Thief

The group forms up and moves into Room L, where they find more of the underground river and a lot of glowing mosslike fungus. They tried all kinds of things with the fungus like smearing it on their swords or putting a patch of it on their shoulder, all kinds of crazy stuff - I love having new players - but it didn't really accomplish anything.

Then they step into the river and the giant crab lurking in the water attacks. Combat ensues, and in round 2 the crab scores a crit on Drazier the Elf (I go with max damage on a natural 20 for crits) killing the demihuman instantly. The rest of the party gangs up on the beast and kills it in round 3.

Pausing after the battle the groups strips the dead elf of valuables then tosses his body in the river and watches it go away (?! there's a city right over their heads ?! - new players!) then they skin the crab trying to figure out what they could do with the shell.

After this brief rest they move into Room K, a large room with more river and a pile of junk on one side. Apollo the Elf investigates and finds a skull with a dagger embedded in it, which he removes (Dagger +1, gold hilts, blue gem in pommel (100gp value) shaped more like a Bowie knife more than a regular dagger being a large single-edged weapon - probably Sea Elf work). Clearly fate is favoring him over his fellow elf in the party. The rest of the party starts looking for magical daggers too but finds nothing else of value.

Moving on, the party enters Room M and finds an underground lake, a beach, and 6 pirates digging a hole. They assume a hostile stance once they notice the party, which happens when the dwarf has another "Do you mean us harm?" moment as he calls out to them. The party says they just want to pass through the room As they can see what looks like an exit on the far side of the beach. The pirates are having none of this and refuse to let them through, telling them to "go around" and "this is our beach". Showing the beginnings of true old-school player attitudes, the group decides that no NPC is going to talk to them that way and charge! A 5 round combat follows (one of the longer ones we have had) and daggers are thrown, punches are thrown, magical weapons are used in anger , and no PC's die. New treasure is discovered, along with a hostage and some new house rules! Lemunda the Lovely, daughter of a noble in the city above, is freed and taken into the custody of Horace the Dwarf who intends to seek a reward. There is some argument over how to divide the treasure but it is quickly settled. After this the party decides to head back up to the surface to count their loot and level up.

DM Notes:

  • I love having new players in the game. The fascination with the glowing moss was one example where an otherwise mundane detail caught their attention for 5 or 10 minutes trying to find cool things to do with it - no game mechanics, no skills or attributes, just some kids imagining what they would do if they found this cool stuff. The giant crab was the same way - we have this giant crab the size of the kitchen table - what can we do with it? let's try and do something cool - can we make armor out of its shell? Can we eat it? Should we throw it back in the river? Red was determined that his dwarf was going to make some armor out of it. I finally told him that armor was tough since he already had plate mail anyway, but he could have a shield made out of it in the city and that made him happy.
  • Red was a little upset about his elf getting crunched but he's getting that 1st level characters are very fragile and that's why he's playing with 3 of them, so we're good.
  • I added the magic dagger because with 6 characters we only have the 1 magic weapon so far and I wanted to get one more into the party. With 6 characters there is a lot of room for items and if Lady Blacksteel jumps back in I'm not sure which characters will be in play.
  • Lots of house rule situations came up in that pirate fight. I decided a punch does 1d3 (that way it's not nothing but it's still less than any weapon) because one character was using a bow and ended up with a pirate in his face and didn't want to drop the bow or take the time to pull a weapon. He asked about punching and that's where we went with it. There were a lot of discussions of shooting into melee, shooting while meleed, and moving away from a melee attacker and we probably got some of it wrong but it all worked out.
The party may be done with the starter dungeon as there was some talk of moving on. If they do they will be heading for the Keep on the Borderlands, east of Dragonport, near the Great Barrier Peaks. If not, they will probably find their way to the Crypt in the starter dungeon which should be a lot of fun.

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