Session six is about where I normally reach creative exhaustion with an rpg campaign. The desire to try some other obscure system is one threat that must be overcome. One or two players being on the low energy side could easily sap my will to continue at this point. But AD&D is great. Everyone knows what it is. The campaign can easily handle new people coming and going, sure. But I’ve got to say, it sure seems like people really want to play this. None of us has any clue how any given session will go. And people just really want to go back in. It’s a real enthusiasm that is very hard to say no to.
I am still a bit worn down from the futility of attempting to plan for a session. My brilliant campaign idea went out the window the first session. My lovingly made one page dungeons have sat unused for weeks as the players stomp through my ridiculous campaign world doing random stuff. What can you do in such a circumstance? Oh, that’s obvious!
I open up the session with a flat, “what do you do?” Somebody points out that they have a lot of options. They can go back to the ruins in the jungle that are two days journey to the north. They can check out whatever is going on in the south where a group of large creatures headed some weeks back. They can tackle the dogmen yet again. They can explore the sinkhole that they discovered previously. And they can go investigate the weird laughter that they heard in the northeast section of the sewers. Five adventure scenarios to choose from.
The players decide to go after the dogmen. It’s been seven days since their last foray into the dungeons, though. So there’s no telling what’s going on down there. I make up a quick D12 table with the three outcomes I think are most likely– a 1-3 option, a 4-7 option, and a 5-12 option. I get a twelve and imagine in my head what has happened during the week. The AD&D rule of having one game day pass for each real day creates pressure for the players to complete objectives while they have the chance. Opportunities can just evaporate due to inaction! Which is sorta where we ended up this time. The hostages were all dead by now, for instance. The value of the haul is thousands of gold less and the chance of having grateful first level adventurers joining the party’s retinue is off the table. Ya snooze, ya lose!
The party has mass quantities of flaming oil this time. The had trouble deciding how to carry it all. They spend a lot of time working out the ideal marking order for the sewer section where they can go three abreast. They find a door that they forgot about and try to open it. I dutifully check for wandering monsters. Somebody made a map and explained where they were, though. So they continue on toward the lair of the pug-men.
They send the half-orc Fàgor up to check things out and he doesn’t see anything with his heat vision. The party rolls up to the entrance and see that the pit is wide open. They concoct a scheme to cry out as if they just fell in so that the pug-men will come investigate. They ham it up and I check for wandering monsters– a one! I check my tables and see what investigates.
The party is surprised to have something come up on their six in all this. Before they can really react, the cleric back there took some damage and the two remaining men-at-arms got dropped– the torch in the back goes out! The players wail away on these things and I tell them they are hard. Hitting them makes a clanging sound.
As things evolve, there are two competing plans. One is to throw flaming oil onto the bodies of the two men-at-arms who were each carrying five vials of the stuff. The other is to fall back a bit and (somehow that I can’t really imagine) throw the monsters into the pit. This stops the game as one of the players suggests that we use the grappling rules on page seventy-two. I have never played these things in anger– I’ve never even heard of someone playing these things in anger. But somehow we ended up on the Overbearing Table where it turned out to be rather easy to knock an opponent to his knees and/or knock them flat. There is not much defense for this except to be big and win initiative.
Anyway, I let the player responsible for this narrate it from his perspective, one tweet at a time:
- Real time game report. The thread: I have spent 48 minutes making sure none of the players are culturally sensitive.
- We have purchased 30 oil flasks and are determined to kill Dog men. Furries beware.
- We are hunting the Dog Men in their home. We believe they may be holding men captive in their lair. Which them being furries can mean only one thing: Sodomy.
- We are now fighting a group of Dog Men. We set a trap for them but some snuck up from behind like the perfidious snakes they are. The Henchmen are actually earning their pay.
- TWO HENCHMAN DOWN TORCHES DROPPED ON BACK RANK. CHAOS NOW REIGNS SUPREME.
- My character Funk holds the front with the cleric. The rear guard are now taking on the dog men and are missing. Darkness is rising, fear grows. DM: “These things are hard.” Oh snaps….
- These are not dogmen. These are something made of stone. The darkness has deceived us!
- CRYSTAL MONSTERS IN THE SEWERS BEFORE THE DOGMEN CALL THE PRESIDENT!
- We are luring them towards us with a pit in front of us. We are bringing them to death, flaming oil flasks being sent. Destruction everywhere. The half orc was hit but his momma hit him harder in grade school.
- DM THROWS UP HIS HANDS HE CANT HANDLE THE ART OF TERRY MOTHER F’ING FUNK!!!
- FUNK THROWS A CRYSTAL BOI INTO THE PIT OIL FLASK GOES IN HE GETS BAPTIZED BY FREEDOM!!!! OTHER TWO ARE ON THEIR KNEES TRYING NOT TO GET SOME FREEDOM TOO!
- CRYSTAL BOI DEAD FUNK IS UNSTOPPABLE!
- ANOTHER CRYSTAL BOI TOSSED IN THE PIT BY FUNK THE FUNKER CANNOT BE STOPPED NO ONE IN THE HISTORY OF A D&D IS MORE POWERFUL!
- ROASTING MY IRON RATION OVER THE FLAMING CRYSTAL BOIS SINGING “WHO IS IRELAND’S ENEMY”
- CRYSTAL BOIS ARE ALL DEAD DM FRUSTRATED I’M UNSTOPPABLE AS USUAL.
- They are healing the half orc. We voted to only heal half of him.
- SESSION DONE Lesson for the day is dont trust mute on your mic when talking to your wife. If they DM rolls heavy on you bust out obscure rules and wreck his evening. Godspeed you beautiful animals.
One of the men-at-arms turned out to still be alive, lying in a pool of filth and flammable oil. He is the last one of ten! During the fighting I needed to roll the paladin’s henchman Gilbert’s strength. He got a 17!
The players go into the party room were they fought dog men before. They are all gone. Man, that fight would have been scary if the crystal men were blocking the exit and the dog men were coming out of their caves from the other direction. Some day!!
The players search the party room and Fàgor finds this hidden recess in the wall. There is a pouch in there, but he won’t reach his hand inside. He takes a spear and wedges it out, standing such that any flaming jets of acid shooting out of the wall. The bag falls on the floor. He carefully dumps out its contents attempting to avoid inhaling any strange dust that might be in it. Inside is a bunch of gems.
Two players gotta leave, so their characters escort the surviving man-at-arms to safety, healing everyone else before they leave.
The players explore the other two rooms of the dogmen lair. One is full of skinns and rags. The other has shackles, chains, and an iron maiden. They open it up and there is a body inside that had been there for a week. (I check to see if it is a Swolecerer clutching a spellbook… the dice say no!)
The remaining party heads west in the sewer for about half an hour. They get bored and come back to the door they found earlier. They try to open it. Another wandering monster turns up, this time it’s (rolls dice) some kind of slime that (rolls dice) lands on top of the paladin. One of the players gets really excited about this, pausing the came to consult the Player Handbook. What color is it, he wants to know. I am loath to just say “green”, but finally I tell him. He says the paladin can just cure disease to get rid of the thing. I’m incredulous, but consult the Monster Manual and sure enough… it all checks out. Three combat rounds would have been the end to the paladin’s plate mail, but under these circumstances, he just comes out with a bit of a polish.
Party drops a half-naked Brother Pain down into the sinkhole. He notes two tight passages, one to the northwest and the other to the southwest. The players mull it over and decide that exploring the second level of the dungeon at close to half strength is not a good idea. Nobody bothers them as they head back to Trollopulous.
Aulis Martel the Acolyte (8 hits) [Delves 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6a, and 7] XP: 753 + 351 + 54 + 766 + 8 + 255 => [Frozen at 1500 until he levels!]
Brother Pain the Acolyte [Delve 3b and 7] XP: 351 + 54 + 255= 660
Torin the Runner (7 hits) [Delves 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 6b, and 7] XP: 753 + 351 + 54 + 766 + 8 + 80 + 255 = [Frozen at 2250 until he levels!]
Arthur the Gallant (7 hits) [Delves 2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6a, 6b, and 7] XP: 122 + 753 + 351 + 54 + 766 + 8 + 80 + 255 = 2389
Gregg the Acolyte (10 hits) [Delves 4, 5, and 7] XP: 54 + 766 + 255 =1075
Fàgor — (12 hits) Half-Orc Fighter [Delve 7] 255 (His name means “astonishing hero” in orcish. For real!)
Funk — FIghter — Also worships Issek (at best a saint) [Delve 7] 255
Gilbert (Strength 17) and Sullivan: [Delves 2, 4, 6a, 6b, and 7] (122 + 54 + 8 + 80 + 255) / 2 = 259
One shell-shocked man-at-arms: — (7 hits) [Delves 6a, 6b, and 7] (8 + 80 + 255) / 2 = 171
Experience: 804 XP for killing monsters. Gems worth 1000 + 5 + 50 + 50 + 500 + 50 + 90 = 1745 gold pieces value. Total XP is 2549 divided 10 ways.
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
(Day 9-14 — player characters all carousing¹; Keebler Khan fully recovered) <—- I day of real world time = one day of game time!)
Day 15: The Drums of the Dog People
(Day 16-21: More carousing, fasting, panhandling.)
Day 22-25: Altar of the Beast-women
(Day 26-31: Resting)
Day 32-33: The Pugs of Slaughter
(Day 34-39: Resting)
Day 40: The Overbearing of the Crystal Men
Dorkorus — Half-elf fighter/magic-user/thief — Half brother to Keebler Khan, talked with a lisp! Killed by a pug-man in the Trolopulous mega-dungeon.
Dairage — Elf fighter/magic-user — Killed with his shield spell one, valiantly taking down the leader of the pug-men so that the party could have a chance to escape certain death!
9 Hapless men-at-arms!