Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

AD&D Session 3: The Big Score

Huge turnout for session three. Everyone was super stoked. I warn everybody I am running AD&D by the seat of my pants just making up my own stuff as we go. Nobody cares about that, though. They want to play D&D!

Every other session starts with a tavern scene where a menu of adventure hooks are not so subtly deployed for the players to select from. Not this one! This game we have a little bookeeping to attend to. The characters from the last session take the body of the crystal monster to Zanzel Melancthones as evidence that they have dealt with the threat to the city’s trollop-based financial system. He gladly accepts the body, presumably because of its utility in his magical researches. One of the player characters saves back a few shards of it, though. No way that could ever come back to haunt them!

The players calculate that it will take four days to heal up from their very close call last time. They buy additional gear with the 100 gold each they get paid by Melancthones. The paladin returns the sword of St. Thomas to the church. The two men-at-arms (Gilbert and Sullivan) opt to spend a bit more time with their families in the coming days. Pretty sure it has nothing to do with the thousand yard dungeon stare that now besets them. Meanwhile, some of the player characters buddies have rolled into town after hearing about their modest success. They all want a piece of the action… and they totally get it.

The players head back to the den of the humanoid crystal monster and search it. [DM rolls dice… nods.] Oh yeah. There’s a rotten chest in there with 4000 electrum and 5000 gold pieces. Everything stops. The game suddenly gets very, very serious. Rule books are feverishly consulted. Arguments break out. Gear is exchanged. Plans are devised. The players have to know precisely how much of this they can carry. And given that every combat in the campaign has either resulted in total party kill or else an extremely close shave, the players are very serious about planning for disaster.

They load up on the gold and file back through the runnels to the sewers. [DM rolls dice… smirks] Oh yeah, there are howls coming from the North. It’s about to get real. The players grudgingly drop their sacks of gold and array out in their combat posture. But they have fallen for the treasure madness– they declare that they will fight to the death to protect their loot!

Keebler-Khan, half-elf fighter/magic-user!

The dog men hurl themselves towards the players’ line. And man, they are tough! In a straight up exchange of blows, it looks like the tides of battle can easily turn against the players. One of the magic-users– the swoleceror– flexes and then lets loose with a burning hands spell, which I had never seen used in actual play before. At first it seems awesome, almost like a flame thrower. Then we realize that it only does one hit of damage.

It’s ridiculous. Kind of anti-climatic. But I rule that the dog men’s fur is on fire and that they check morale. They fall back, the players then win initiative and drop a couple of them. I check their morale again and they flee. The players then gleefully used the rule that spelled their doom in session one to mop up the remaining dog men.

The players then haul their loot out of the dungeon, avoiding any undue attention in Harlot Central with the exception a lone foppish dandy. The players buy up plate mail for all their heavies and replenish their supply of flaming oil. The half-elf was going to be out of it for a few days, so he is replaced by a cleric.

Everybody heads back to the sewers. Oh, wait. There’s box text for that:

You head down Electrum Street, turn left on Slum Avenue, take a right on Jewel Lane, and then head straight into Harlot Central. You see a round metal plate about two feet in diameter in the middle of the alley. What do you do?

Yes, we do that every time.

The fighter has bought a pick and attempts to persuade the group to dig down to where the rest of the treasure is. A vote is held and it goes against him. They slosh through the sewer water and make it back to the crystal monsters den. [DM rolls some dice.] Oh, but the eletrum they left behind is gone. Hoo boy, the party is furious! They want to find whoever it was that took it.

The explore the passage near the den a bit further and find it circles around to four pillars. There are runes above a doorway there. Beyond it is a room with two stone boxes. A cleric bashes in the top with his flail and then shoves the stone lid off. Upon seeing a corpse inside, he hastily puts it back. He does not want to desecrate a burying place!

The players search the room and find that the bricks in the wall can be pushed through. The paladin pushes several in and they crash loudly on the other side. Inside there is a spiral staircase. The players check it out and they end up going down a LONG time. Like maybe a couple hours or so. It comes out in this open space and continues down maybe a couple hundred feet more. It ends in a watery expanse of indeterminate scope.

The players head back up and before they can get past this open area, three huge spiders drop onto them from above. They lose initiative and the burning hands spell goes off relatively uselessly. The fighter and the ranger each get bit, but miraculously they make their 14+ saving throws against poison. There’s a scuffle and one of the spiders is killed, this triggers a morale check and the two remaining spiders run away. The players op to let them go as they ran towards the water.

They make their way back to the to the tombs and the paladin checks out the other one. He shoves the lid off and sees the body of the enshrouded seven foot tall being inside. The paladin says he detects evil, and I tell him that he has started to glow.

They go back to the sewers and find another side room to the northwest of their previous battle. They have the jump on the dog men this time and start hurling in flaming oil. Most of them miss and the dog men are panicked, set for a charge. But then, round after round the oil just keeps coming. Finally they realize they have to break out. They take their licks to escape the flames and then are cut down one after another. It’s absolutely brutal.

The players go back inside and they’ve found it– the four thousand electrum pieces they’d left behind the previous day. They load up and exit the sewers, noticing a pair of red eyes down an eastward passage on their way out. The cleric raised his holy symbol and delivered some tough talk and the thing seemed to run away. Or else just close its eyes. But the players have a sneaking suspicion that they haven’t seen the last of whatever it was!

Cast o’ Characters

Arthur the Gallant (7 hits) [Delves 2, 3a, and 3b] XP: 122 + 753 + 351 = 1226

Malbert the Veteran (9 hits) [Delves 2, 3a, and 3b] XP: 122 + 753 + 351 = 1226

Galfroy the Prestidigitator (4 hits, Charm Person, Hold Portal, Message, Read Magic) [Delve 2 only] XP: 122

Henchmen Gilbert and Sullivan, the men-at-arms [Delve 2 only] XP: 61 each

Hans Franzen the Swoleceror (2 hits, Burning hands, Jump, Message, Read Magic) [Delves 3a and 3b] XP: 753 + 351 = 1104

Keebler Khan the Veteran/Prestidigitator (5 hits, Charm Person, Spider Climb, Write, Read Magic) [Delve 3a Only] XP: 753 = 753

Torin the Runner (7 hits) [Delves 3a and 3b] XP: 753 + 351 = 1104

Aulis Martel the Acolyte (8 hits) [Delves 3a and 3b] XP: 753 + 351 = 1104

[Some other cleric] — [Delve 3b only] XP: 351

Experience and treasure:

Delve 2 resulted in one dead crystal monster for 111 xp… plus 100 gold for each character. That results in 122 XP… and presumably half for the men-at-arms.

Delve 3a resulted in 5 dead dog men for 224 XP and then 5030 gold and 46 electrum. That results in 5277 XP split seven ways for 753 each.

Delve 3b resulted in 7 dead dog men for 336 XP, one dead spider for 71 XP and then 4044 electrum and 29 gold. That results in 2458 XP split seven ways for 351 each.

Time:
Day 1: The Hole in the Sky
Day 2: The Thing in the Sewer
Day 7: The Big Score part I
Day 8: The Big Score part II

3 responses to “AD&D Session 3: The Big Score

  1. Wayne's Books April 11, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    >>”One of the magic-users– the swoleceror– flexes and then lets loose with a burning hands spell, which I had never seen used in actual play before. At first it seems awesome, almost like a flame thrower. Then we realize that it only does one hit of damage… But I rule that the dog men’s fur is on fire and that they check morale. They fall back, the players then win initiative and drop a couple of them. I check their morale again and they flee.”

    That’s a great fight, and resolution. I too await a player using Burning Hands.

  2. The Mixed GM April 11, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Hans Franzen the Swoleceror’s spells are as follows:

    Read Magic
    Burning Hands
    Jump
    Message

    (Sorry, I thought I already sent those to you)

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