Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

AD&D Session 22: Crypt of the Ghoulcromancer

Due to Fluid the Druid and friends being on a fourteen day wilderness adventure, we had an almost completely new lineup this week. The players, inspired by my recent professed boredom with regards to the campaign, opted to explore a crypt in the undead quarter which they have been terrified of for months.

First rank: Pedoface and Droopyboobs (elf henchmen of Chaz)
Second Rank: Rubiest (Cleric), Bob Dobs (Half-elf Fighter/Cleric), Brother Parvus the Wayward (Cleric)
Third Rank: Drizzle Pizzle (elite elf henchman of Chaz), Chaz, Druggo Hairycock
Last Rank: New Monk Character

This session was as close to running an original module as I have ever come during this campaign. The situation was devised just after the players first entered the Undean Quarter many sessions ago. I revised my preparations a bit more when I undertook my big one page dungeon project.

The players went in to the this particular crypt after grilling me for clues about it. They wanted to go to the easier location of two choices and I finally had to just stonewall them on this. I think they were pretending to be pathetic and weak and confused just to trip me up and break the fourth wall as it were. Not this time!

They went in and explored some crypts. They disturbed them because, well, I guess these players will NEVER pass by a known monster because they refuse to leave anything in their wake that can complicate their eventual need to exit.

Anyway, some skeletons come out and and the clerics all try to turn them. All of them fail! The skeletons attack and drop one of the clerics. His player immediately rolls up… a new cleric to replace him with.

The party fights on and soon the skeletons are beaten back. They fail a morale check and back up to a wall, twist a sconce to 90 degrees and the entire wall flips around, Scooby Doo style.

The thieves search the coffins and find a hidden bottom. Inside is a single gold piece. The party searches all the other coffins and finds 25 gold peices in each of the others. WEIRD!

The party heads inside the secret passage and comes to an intersection. They send Druggo Hairycock to explore north and the New Monk to the east. Druggo walks around the corner and overhears voices in a room: “Our outer defense has been breached, master, but I’ll show them! I am warming up the ghouls even as we speak!” Meanwhile the monk finds a room with a weird insectoid idol. The players ask if it has jewels for eyes and I say no, I have already used that trick.

I think both scouts reported back. So maybe Druggo went forward quick again? Maybe I got confused I dunno.

Anyway, Druggo lobs a flaming oil vial and hits this dude that looks like Gargamel dead on. Druggo runs away with this other guy that looks like Eyegore hot on his heels. Initiative is rolled and Eyegore bites it before he even gets to do anything. Gargamel gets charged after this and he buys it while trying to cast a spell. The players’ initiative rolls were just too good this night!

There is a machine with some kind of countdown on it nearby. The players mess with it and/or break it. They then find six ghoul chambers in some kind of lock down. The clerics all go for the turn and one of them makes it this time. The turned and restrained ghouls are now trivially easy to dispatch.

They search around and find Gargamel’s man cave. It is furnished with shag carpet, bean bags, and stripper poles. They find a book case with a book by Marion R. R. Jemison-Delaney that gives a SCIENTIFIC procedure to produce ghouls. One of the clerics pour a vial of holy water on it, but some busybody manages two sell it to Zansel Melancthones for 10,000 gp making this one of the greatest treasure hauls for the least trouble that I have ever done in this campaign.

What was I thinking?!

Eh, well let’s just say the next lair will be designed a little differently. That said, the players hit everything just right this time when in other games they hit everything just wrong. The dice went their way, too. But mainly… having three clerics and two thieves just so happened to completely neutralize the challenge I had prepared many months ago when the players were markedly less elite in their overall play skill.

That’s how it goes. Honestly, if nothing surprising ever happens you’re probably doing it wrong.

The players searched the idol room and found another secret passage that looped back to the main entryway. It was obvious that this dungeon was both designed to fit on one page AND that it was pointlessly and unnecessarily Jaquayed. This was a very good mistake to have my face rubbed in. My takeaway is that this is a good example of why authentic megadungeons sprout large numbers of sublevels as actual play continues.

Very disappointing for me but also very instructive. The players calculated xp values immediately after the game and were pleased to discover that they now had many second level characters to serve as backups for their main characters. Or so they thought, anyway!

Treasure and Experience:

1055 XP for killing monsters. 10326 gold is the take which also counts for XP. (However, somehow Chaz and Drugg each end up with 14 additional XP and gold. No idea how this happened!) I count six PC’s and three henchmen, so the shares are divided by 7.5 with henchmen getting half what the PC’s get. 1376 gold for the players and 688 for the henchmen. 1517 XP for the players and 758 XP for the henchmen.

Cast o’ Characters:

  • Rubiest — Human Acolyte (Session 22 only) Frozen at level 1 until he levels! 1376 gold.
  • Bob Dobs — Human Veteran/Acolyte (Session 22 only) XP at 758/758 with 1376 gold.
  • Brother Parvus the Wayward — Human Acoylte (Delves 19[*F] and 22[*F] only.) Frozen at level 1 until he levels! and 1439 gold.
  • New Monk Character — Human Novice (Session 22 only) 1517 XP and 1376 gold.
  • Chaz the Elven Footpad — Level two thief. [Delve 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 19, and 22] 1250 + 30 + 528 + 362 + 106 + 239 + 1531 = FROZEN AT 2500 XP UNTIL HE LEVELS. Member of the Order of the Knights of Trollopulous. +1390 gold in session 22.
  • Druggo Hairycock — Halfling Rogue. (Delve 22 only) FROZEN AT 1250 XP UNTIL HE LEVELS. 1390 gold.
  • Pedoface and Droopyboobs — Elf dweebs (Delve 22 only) FROZEN AT 750 XP UNTIL HE BECOMES A LEVEL ONE ROGUE
  • Drizzle Pizzle — Elite elf (Delves 20 and 22only ) FROZEN AT 750 XP UNTIL HE BECOMES A LEVEL ONE ROGUE

If my numbers are right, the clerics are short on cash to do their training. Of course Parvus is so weak, he must pay additional tithes and offerings for his well known errors. Bob Dobs has training penalties due to his bizarre sect. (I am willing to count gold spent on spell research as counting for this.)

Druggo could level if Chaz is willing to take the time to train him AND if he is willing to accept less than the usual 1500 gold fee.

Chaz requires 6000 gold for self-training costs. This is tremendous. However, he can spend three weeks game time training his henchmen up to level one thieves, presumably taking 2250 gold from them for the priviledge in the process.

Chaz player suggested the following right after the game: “So Chaz has turned the living room of our spooky house into a thief training facility. Locks and dummy traps for us to pick/spring until they break down from use. Different lighting source types and shadow shapes to practice hiding in. Different textures of walls placed on the outside walls to practice climbing. All items breakdown and have to be rebuilt and re-purchased, using up Chaz’s self training cash. We only go there during the day then leave the undead district for town. The peaceful protests slow down since Chaz isnt around less to rile them up. Chaz will attempt to make a friendship with his necromancer neighbor by offering the trogs to him as servants. And having tea at the necro’s house when he’s taking a break from training.”

Fluid, Rhedegar, Malbert, and Malalip all return to town on the day before the next scheduled session. Time paradox totally avoided!

2 responses to “AD&D Session 22: Crypt of the Ghoulcromancer

  1. Brian Renninger October 6, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    New Monk name is Sauterelle.

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