Monday, June 17, 2024

Summer Games, part 2

A second session complete!  This log is brought to you by the letter B and Dragon's Milk Stout.

We ended last session with an encounter rolled but unrevealed, so this week we played it out.

Our intrepid band had stepped into the entrance chamber to find that another party had just entered the dungeon themselves.  This was a larger party, led by a knight of Osha, Sir Gerrard Capashen (DM note - the thief named after an MtG character made jokes about my using MtG character names...) who asked the party if they could direct him to a large room with double doors, as Osha himself had sent a vision to Gerrard, questing him to guard that chamber for a full year, and to put down whatever came through those doors.  Honestly telling him that they hadn't found such a chamber, the party moved aside as Sir Gerrard and his party - which included squires, a chaplain, several men-at-arms, some lantern-bearers/linkboys, and a muleskinner and his mule - headed down the way the PCs had come from.

(DM note - this encounter illustrates and reinforces that there are multiple adventurer groups in play, negotiations are often safer than immediate combat, the players can hire help, and that supplies for a prolonged stay might prove useful; in addition, I cannot control when or if the PCs pass through those double doors, but if they do, well...).

Observing that Sir Gerrard's company had left a makeshift ramp on the entry stairs, no doubt to facilitate the mule, Varda declared that counting out the contents of the chest would be a good plan, and the others agreed, so they began counting out the coins in neat stacks of 10.

In the dungeon entrance room.

As might be imagined, this took some time, which meant a roll for an encounter, which came up a 1.

Okay, this is technically a scene from Moria as painted by the late, great, Angus McBride, but the sentiment is the same.

While they were counting, they heard pounding from the far door by the bloodstains.  A thump followed by a clang as the first spike holding the door closed fell to the floor.  A second thump and clang as the second spike fell.  The third thump saw the door fly open and three angry hobgoblins stepped through, armed with wickedly curved scimitars.  

The largest of the three took in the situation, pointed at the party, and called out, "BREE-YARK!" which is goblin for 'time to pay your taxes'! Both Dave and Varda understood them, which influenced their actions.

Our heroes took action at the first thump and clang, with Dave and Roro readying bows, Brother Frank raising his mace and shield and standing next to Dave, Varda standing up from counting and drawing her sword, and Dack bravely moving to the rear - to protect the treasure, no doubt.

By the time the door burst open, our heroes were ready.  At the first call of Bree-Yark, Dave and Roro fired their bows, missing wildly, and the fight was on!  Varda followed up the arrows with a Magic Missile (now her permanent 1st level spell), slaying the first hobgoblin.  The other two hobgoblins passed their morale check and continued the charge.

Face-to-face, the two sides exchanged blows, with an end-state of the hobgoblins being dead - one by Dack's dagger - through the ear! - and the other from an arrow through the eye, courtesy of Roro.  

Realizing the folly of counting coins in the dungeon, the team loaded up sacks, both with the loot from the chest, and the small loot from the hobs, to include a necklace made of silver coins strung on a leather thong, which Varda claimed.  

As the coins were being picked up, it was decided that beheading the corpses and placing the heads in the chest would be a funny prank to play on whomever next opened the chest.  Furthermore, the chest and the bodies would be pushed through the hole in the door where the snake was believed to lurk.

They tasked Brother Frank to do the beheading, to which he exclaimed "clerics cannot wield edged weapons - it says so in the holy book!" and then he pulled out thin tome with red leather covers, and an image embossed on the front of what appeared to be a wizard and fighter battling a dragon of some sort.

While Brother Frank showed his work, Dack filled the chest with heads.

(DM note - During this entire first hour, I asked at least multiple times specifically about the chest.  At no time did anyone search it for a false bottom or false top.  Their loss.)

They began to move the bodies through the door when a slithering sound was heard beyond it.  Presuming it to be a giant snake, our heroes opted to head back to sunlight and safety!

At the top of the stairs waited Sergeant Bruno of the guard, his men-at-arms, and the magic-user/scribe Halaster.  Guards began exchanging money, and the party learned that bets are made about various dungeoneers' survival, and having heard the fight below, the bets ran high - against the party.

The PCs also learned that in addition to an entrance fee, there is a tax on found treasure.  After a tense moment and words with Bruno, Varda grudgingly handed over the coin necklace as payment for the group and team headed off to the Green Dragon to spend their filthy lucre. 

Hopefully the rumors about other entrances are true.


Safely aboveground, it was time to divvy up the treasure, and more importantly, the XP.  After math, each PC received 454 xp, with additional amounts of 5% or 10% going to some for high prime requisites. 

The total cash value was 30gp per PC (mostly silver in that chest).  Enough for a few days of careful living.  Or a blowout party.

I then introduced the group to proper carousing rules, ala' Jeff's Gameblog.  From experience, though, I have scaled down the "fire" option, because I enjoy having a city not in ashes.  That said, here is what carousing brought them:

Only Dave, Dack, and Brother Frank opted to go carousing.  Being more dignified than their human companions, Roro and Varda found a full-service spa.

Dave rolled a 2 and failed his poison save, becoming known as the life of the party here in Skara Brae, which means all his future carousing rolls cost twice as much.

Dack rolled a 5 and also failed his poison save, and it seems that while drunk, he made lewd advances towards a witch, who turned him into a swine.  (DM note - I am guessing it was Circe out slumming, having tired of her island home in the Aegean Sea).

Brother Frank rolled a 6, but made his poison save.  Praise Avrae!

None of the three had enough cash for the die rolls, so now all three owe money, conveniently from the same person...

In the morning, a messenger from Frankie Breakbone was waiting for them.  "Now that you're all awake, my boss, Ms. Breakbone, wants to have a word with you.  Given that she loaned you three money, she expects you after breakfast.  I'll wait."

Varda and Dack both recognized her name from their dealings with the underworld

And that is where we left off: 4 bipeds and a quadruped (on a leash) being escorted to meet with one Frankie Breakbone, loanshark, businesswoman, and all-around not nice gal.

At the end of the session, it was determined that Dack was the MVP, so received a bonus 250xp award.  As a thief, Dack is close to leveling up - provided he can become un-swined. 


Yes, the principal deities this time round are Osha, God of Law; Ikea, Divinity of Neutrality; and Avrae, Goddess of Chaos.

Perhaps this game takes place in the far distant future of our world, but not quite Dying Earth distant.


Bonus news! As a Father's Day gift, I received this from my eldest.  It's only a matter of time before the PCs run into it...  I promise I am not lifting ideas directly from Delicious in Dungeon.

Gargantuan Red Dragon

But only after its painted.  Luckily, I know a guy.

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