Okay, several weeks back we we were coming up on halloween and I was totally jealous of all the other DM’s that were running special themed modules for the occasion. I tell you I was dejected. All I have is my big dumb campaign. I don’t get to run special adventure modules because the players can just do whatever they want!
Well, people showed up and they were kicking around what to do this time. They argued over four or five different hooks that had been passed over previously but which they could maybe take on now. But get this, they decided to go back to the undead quarter to look for trouble. What a gift! I can hold my head up high when I’m hanging around the other Dungeon Masters now!!
So the players had this old map that was sketched out by a ranger that died pointlessly a couple months back. On it was scrawled “monster group b.” Nobody had any idea what this could mean at this point because players could care less about the minutia of campaign odds an ends. They just accrue so fast, after all, who can keep up with it?
Well the very same players that had resisted all my dirty tricks– all from enforcing the actual rules, mind– to force them to begin playing multiple player characters suddenly LIKED my insane insistence of emphasizing the campaign over the players. They had enough characters to choose from that they could optimize party selection around their goals for the session. Once again they were fighting undead with three clerics stiffening the ranks.
Now, I had a crappy one page dungeon that was made long ago. And I have to say, running a module straight like I tried to before was just plain boring. The players do everything wrong. So this one… well, I decided to do this one in such a way that I didn’t get bored.
The players roll in to this place and they ask tons of questions. My one page dungeon doesn’t include any description. Thinking about was could possibly be the most exciting undead crypt to explore, out of nowhere I decided that the place was the abandoned Hall of Justice.
The players go inside and find a bunch of junk. It was an empty room, but man… the players just want everything to be exciting and meaningful. I can’t remember what I said was there, but there was a red Michael Jackson jacket.
The players go into one of the doors. There was an argument about spiking it open, but the players opted not to do it because they didn’t want to attract massive amounts of wandering monsters. They go down the stairs and somebody falls into a pit trap. The door that they didn’t spike then automatically closed and locked behid them. Ha ha! Find another way out, dweebs!
This room had two different doors leading out of it and a bas relief depicting Undead Justice League’s heroic exploits on behalf of the undead citizens of Trollopulous.
The players go south and I realize that my map is pretty boring. I conflate several rooms in a line into just one tunnel and describe it as twisting and turning in a geometry defying manner. I compressed the two groups of skeletons into one and the players easlily whipped them.
I carefully checked for wandering monsters the whole game as that was a key part of this dungeon’s premise. The players go to another room with a pit trap. Can’t remember if they found this one the hard way or not. They had two ways to go after this and opted for left-north instead of right-north. Anyway, this is the moment when the big bad crashed the session.
These two things are coming down the halway and I think everyone failed their save versus fear except for Parvus the Wayward and the monk Sauterelle. Parvus opted to hold the line while the monk chased down the party to try to rally them. Parvus somehow manages to survive two full rounds of combat, but at some point this worm shoots out of the eyeball of one of these things and burrows into him.
The party comes backs and then mostly breaks in fear again. I think one henchman was free and maybe one of the clerics. Worms are flying through the air and missing. Peero the Sweeper is maybe going to run explore the other door. Or maybe do something with fire or oil or perhaps Parvus’s vial of e-girl bathwater. Sautrelle suggests that these mummy-looking creatures will be very light weight. He suggests that this is a great opportunity for the overbearing table.
The monk succeeds with his overbearing attempt and shoves one of the creatures into the pit trap. Not sure if that had been enough damage to finish it off or not. Parvus was down for the count and somebody was considering trying to save him, but this one monster was absolutely monstrous. I am rolling for all kinds of horrible bonus attacks and side effects.
Anyway, the monk dealt with the other monster, knocking him into the pit trap with the really great AD&D grappling rules. The players dumped in vials of oil and lit it up to finish the things off.
I can’t do this fight justice as the players could have easily been backed into a corner and then gradually eliminated. Even as it was, the party could have lost several characters with the dice going just a little differently. And then that could have triggered a death spiral for all or most of the rest. Very interesting monster that once again demonstrates the value of using stuff that is way too hard.
The players found this one room with the space jocky from Alien in it. He was wearing a magic hat, had a javelin in one hand, a scroll in the other, and then two vials in his belt. Parvus rolled up a magic user so that someone could get ALL of the XP for that scroll.
A terrible session that was oddly terrifying in its own dumb way.
Cast o’ Characters:
Sauterelle — Human Initiate (Session 22, 23, 24) 2250 XP and 1376 + 330.5 + 807 = 2513.5 – 1500 for training = 1013.5 gold
Tree Fingers the Ranger (Session 23 and 24) 698 + 1097 = 1795 XP and 330.5 + 807 = 1137.5 gold.
Fagor the Half-Orc Swordsman— Level three fighter. [Delves 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 6b, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, and 23] — 4000 + 1816 + 106 + 239 + 698 + 1097 = 7956 XP. His horns have grown incredibly large. Looks frightening and diabolical. Cloven hooves His name means “astonishing hero” in orcish. Member of the Order of the Knights of Trollopulous. (330.5 gold in session 23. 807 gold in session 24)
Logan — Level 2 [Delve 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24] Plate mail and shortswords. 130 + 403.5 = 533.5 gold and 2000 + 548.5 XP
Nasty and Dernhelm — Level 2 [Delve 12, 14, 15, 19, 20, 23, 24] Just a codpiece and a spear. 130 + 403.5 = 533.5 gold and 2000 + 548.5 XP (Trained for dedicated grappling)
Peero the Sweeper — [Delves 19, 20, 23, 24] 53 + 119 + 349 + 548.5 = 1069.5 XP and 31 + 80 + 165 + 403.5 = 679.5 gold. [Note 15 strength and seven hit points!] Has antique monocle from 5th aeon.
Bob Dobs — Human Veteran/Acolyte (Session 22, 23 and 24) XP at 758 + 349 + 1097 = 2204 for each of Fighter and Cleric classes. 1376 + 330.5 + 807 = 2513.5 gold.
Roofus — Human Adept (Session 22, 23 and 24) 1376 + 330.5 = 1706.5 gold – 1500 for training 206.5 + 807 = 1013.5 (looks like buff george carlin) 1500 + 1097 = 2597 XP
Brian’s New Wizard — Maxed out on XP; just needs gold to level!
Treasure and XP:
Total gold is 5650; shares of 807 to each PC. XP for monsters is 583. XP for magic items is 1450. XP shares are 1097 each, however the new magic-user begins the game maxed out to 2,500 XP due to his magic items.
Brother Parvus the Wayward — Human Acoylte (Delves 19[F], 22[F], and 23.) FROZEN AT LEVEL 1 UNTIL HE LEVELS! 1439 + 330.5 = 1769.5 gold. Killed in the Undead Hall of Justice by a worm from a Son of Kyuss.