Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

AD&D Session 15: Snakepede Legion

The ranger and the swoleceror were out this week. Brother Payne’s player asked if someone else could run his character as a henchmen and he got a typically longwinded lecture from me on why this is not recommended in Real D&D.

I have to choose how to prep. I can either research rules that nobody seems to have played or else create quick and dirty one page dungeons that the players end up not going to. I did a little of both this time. This week I was shocked to find out that in OD&D, “research by magical types can be done at any level of experience.” Does this carry over into AD&D? Of course it does! AD&D is not a separate game at all. It is an elaboration on OD&D.

Anyway, the players trickle in. Torin the Strider was supposed to be doing daylight scouting missions of the undead quarter. Fluid the Druid was just back from collecting mistletoe in the northern jungles. I decide that Chaz the Elven Footpad would have accompanied Torin on these excursions due to his strong interest in his autonomous zone there. I tell the players that the animals are acting strangely up in the jungles; that Fluid’s Dr. Doolittle routine doesn’t seem to be working like before. Also, the ranger found tracks matching the things that attacked them which lead back from their estate to sort of a mausoleum. Fluid could not persuade the players to go check on his animal friends. And though Fluid pressed hard for the party to convert the Undead Quarter into a nature preserve and arboretum, the players were too wary of tangling with powerful undead to take the bait. I mean, uh, follow up on this lead.

Anyway, after last session the players were concerned about their ability to coordinate during bread and butter dungeon crawl scenarios. They decide to go back into the sewers just to check if they can step up their game.

They head over to Harlot Central and ask about the dude that is loitering over there. Oh, yeah. There is a brute squad currently trying to press him into service. The party is all over this. What is all this about? Well, the demi-humans have been rioting again. They tore down a statue of a Hippogriff. Chaz the Elven Footpad totally supports these actions and makes an Elf Power handsign. Narjhan confirms his suspicion that the homeless guy from previous sessions is part of the thieves guild. Fluid the Druid casts Charm Person on the leader of the brute squad and persuades him to leave a couple of guys here by the memorial fountain so as to cover their exit.

The players go into the sewers and have a new means of handling their bell tripwires. They are going to use resin instead of hammering spikes into the walls. They move very slowly, creating this warning system as they go and scouting ahead. They want to go towards the laughing sound that they heard ten sessions ago.

Sending Chaz the Footpad to scout a sound that sounds like cards being shuffled, he comes back and says that he saw a large mound blocking the free flow of sewage. On top of it was some sort of writhing thing or things. He’s not sure what it is. The players are uncertain about leaving this thing be while the go down a different passage so they send Fagor up in order to take a closer look. Closer and closer… he sees shapes that look like many legged snakes. He gets noticed and suddenly the exact ranges all start to matter. He has to be outside of torch range from the party and he has to be within infravision range to the monsters. Fagor is backing away slowly, but these monsters are FAST!

I roll a crap ton of dice and report that Fagor cries out and then falls into the sludge. The party has to decide whether to leave him to the monsters or else stand and fight. Fagor’s player has to sit quietly while the players debate this. The players win initiative and Fluid the Druid manages to cast entangle in time to slow the monsters. I check the saving throws for them and they are all stuck fast within the spontaneously grown mushrooms and fungoids. Fluid then casts speak with animals. These things are kinda grumpy. Fluid asks how many they are and they say, “we are legion!” He tries to work a favor out of them, but they say, “suck it, two legs!”

Half-beard takes out ten vials of oil. We double check and it turns out that this guy is encumbered from trying to haul 40 vials of oil around. The players never delve too far and they aren’t hauling treasure out, so it’s not really an issue. But still! Anyway, he takes the tens vials of oil and lights up the mushrooms. The freaky snakepedes take some damage but they are freed from the entanglement. It’s roll for initiative time!

The monsters win. One snakepede burns up in the remaining flames as they crash into the players’ front line. Half-beard ends up going down. A new player’s fighter that doesn’t have a name had elected to set his spear. He successfully attacks and then goes down. Two of Fagor’s sword henchmen go down. Fluid the Druid turns his flesh into bark. And Narjhan’s demon rope ties three of these things together.

There is one monster on the loose still. The thieves are seriously debating whether or not to flee. I warn the players that missile weapons will have a chance of hitting the players if melee is engaged. One player swears up and down that missiles come before melee. The game nearly descends into acrimony over this, but it’s all moot as the players win initiative. A bark-encrusted Fluid the Druid wades in with his scimitar and cuts the remaining monster in half.

I check for wandering monsters and one comes up. The players hear signal drums to the north. The players really really hope there is a layer here. Searching around, they find no stacks of coins. No treasure chests. They hope there is something inside the gizzards of the monsters. Cutting them open they find nothing. Last, they hastily search the thing blocking the sewage. It is the carcass of a large winged bull with eight horns and chicken feet. It turns out of have a jeweled collar.

The players recover their downed party members– Fagor, Half-beard, new fighter guy, and three henchmen– and drag them out of the dungeon. An embittered Chaz knocks over the fountain when he comes out.

The players then spend a lot of time trying to get the best possible price for this jeweled collar. They check with several jewelers– and there has to be several because every time they go to this dungeon they walk down freaking Jewel Street. They check with the thieve’s guild. The end up going back to this one dealer and talk him up another fifty gold pieces in exchange for their earnest endorsement to all other adventurers.

More intense discussion as we figure out that Narjhan is set to go to level two and Fagor just now qualifies for level three. How are we going to work this?

Also, I almost let it slide but the players end up demanding that they have their performances graded. I rack my brains trying to find something to mark these people down on, but I end up having to begrudgingly hand out top marks to everyone.

Everyone wants to give their plans for the upcoming downtime:

  • Chaz the Elven  Footpad will be spending time hanging out with downtrodden elves that are discriminated against by the thieves guild. Organizing peaceful protests. Also, looking to set yp a counter thieves-guild for demi-humans.
  • Fluid the Druid will be spending the next six days teaching his animal friend dog Petunia to “sick balls.”
  • Fagor the Half-Orc Warrior is setting aside several thousand gold into a special fund. For the next two weeks he will be sleeping in the streets and anyone than manages to punch him in the face will get ten gold. (Incidentally, this scenario answers why the players can’t just immediately try to steal back their gold for training. Take that, players!)
  • The new fighter guy with no name is going to be looking into moonlighting as a security guard.
  • Narjhan has some kind of deal with the thieves guild for training. They get a 40% cut of ALL his take. He has to do gigs for them on the side. Not sure what else.

Heads up, Narjhan and Fagor will not be in play next week due to being out for training.

See you next time!

Cast o’ Characters:

Fagor the Half-Orc [Level 2] [Delves 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 6b, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15] — 2000 + 800 + 734 + 70 + 191 + 528 = FROZEN AT 4000 UNTIL HE LEVELS [His horns have grown incredibly large. Looks frightening and diabolical.] (His name means “astonishing hero” in orcish. For real!) +666 gold from session 12, + 141 gold from session 14, +152 gold from session 15 [Member of the Order of the Knights of Trollopulous]

Half-Beard the Veteran — [Delve 12, 13, 14 and 15] 666 +141 + 152 = 1009 gold, 734 + 70 + 191 + 528 = 1523 XP. [Member of the Order of the Knights of Trollopulous]

Narjhan the Rogue — [Delve 11, 13, 14 and 15] 800 + 70 + 191 + 528 = FROZEN AT 1250 UNTIL HE LEVELS (Has weird ‘weeping dagger’ and a rope that follows voice commands.) (+141 gold from session 14 and +152 gold from session 15.)

Fluid the Druid — [Delve 9, 10, 11, 14, and 15] 2000 + 191 + 528 = 2191 XP. (+141 gold from session 14 and +152 gold from session 15.)

New Guy Fighter aka Rhedgar — [Delve 15 only] +152 gold and 528 XP.

Gilgald, Logan, and Simon — [Delve 12, 13, 14, and 15] Studded Leather and shortswords. 333 + 70 + 76 = 479 gold and 362 + 35 + 95 + 264 = 756 XP each!

Nasty and Dernhelm — [Delve 12, 14 and 15] Studded Leather and shortswords. 333 + 70 + 76 = 479 gold and 362 + 95 + 264 = 721 XP each! (Training for dedicated grappling)

Experience and Treasure:

The players sold the collar for shares of 152 gold each (with 76 going to the henchmen). XP shares are 528 each (with 264 going to the henchmen.)

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

(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

(Day 41-46: Resting)

Days 47-48: The Song of Fàgor

(Day 49-70: In shock from an awesomely weird adventure. Sad!)

Day 71: The Woman in the Ice

(Day 72-76: Resting)

Day 78-79: The Return to Trollopulous

(Day 80-85: Carousing in a besieged Trollopulous.)

Day 86: “You Just Ruined My Story Arc”

(Day 87-92: Utterly exhausted!)

Day 93-95: The Schwérpunkt of the Pig-Men

(Day 96-101: Carousing)

Day 102: A Night in the Autonomous Zone

(Days 103-108: In Trollopulous)

Day 109: The Rave of the Monkey Goddess

(Day 110-115: Scouting out jungle and undead quarter)

Day 116: Snakepede Legion

The graveyard:

Dorkorus — Half-elf fighter/magic-user/thief — [Half brother to Keebler Khan, talked with a lisp!] Killed by a pug-man in the sewers  of Trolopulous.

Dairage — Elf fighter/magic-user — Killed with his shield spell on, 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! — Killed by the pug-men in the sewers of Trollopulous!

Arthur the Gallant (7 hits) [Delves 2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6a, 6b, 7, 8, and 9] XP: 122 + 753 + 351 + 54 + 766 + 8 + 80 + 255 + 0 + 195 = 2584 [Looked like a member of ZZ Top] — Killed in the sewers of Trollopulous while bashing a baby wererat with his shield.

Catskinner the thug — Smashed to a pulp by a white ape in the swamps near Trollopulous.

Aulis Martel the Adept (8 hits) [Delves 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6a, 7, and 13] XP: 753 + 351 + 54 + 766 + 8 + 255 => Just leveled up at 1500 XP. Reduced to idiocy by a Guild Navigator in the basement of the party’s autonomous zone in the undead quarter of Trollopulous.

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