Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Death and Dying

Hrumph. Grumpy. As always. Such a surprise. Do I take it out on my PCs? Not really, surprisingly. However, I also am the type of DM to throw more at them then they by rights can handle.

However, in this case, the adventure I made that the group is currently embarked upon can potentially be a TPK. Total Party Killer. There's some really deadly stuff. And some of it is probably a bit unfair. I changed the way I play. Totally.

I've done things that I don't normally do. Traps. Which I always thought were kinda stupid. I mean who puts a pit trap where you pass by when you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? That's just stupid. This game, traps are tactical. They aren't there just to wear down the party. Where they are set up are intentional to put a difficulty for those who are attacking.

This campaign is more like urban combat rather then traditional medieval combat. Even small threats are more deadly. The Orc in a 10x10 room whomped off half of Megan's HP. I hate to think what would happen if they met up with a clan of Kobolds. Things that are experts at traps and small quarters combat. It would be a bloodbath.

That being said. There's going to be a point where they have to run. Probably two. They might run at the first, which isn't really the point they need to run, the second though, if they stand and fight, they WILL die.

If that happens, well, they get to go back down the hole with new PCs. However, it will be different. I almost always start my PCs off at 3rd level with 2700 GP to spend how they want. However, if I get the TPK, well, then they'll start off with a handicap. Still at 3rd level, but only starting cash. So just starting equipment. Harsh, I know, but if I allow them to kit out, then well, that's WAY too much treasure. So just enough to get started.

However, I doubt any of the stuff that's really useful will still be there though. These dungeons are living entities. Smart critters take useful stuff. And there is one creature that will be exacting revenge. It will take some doing to keep it alive, but it will be fun. Not the Big Bad, but a reocurring villian. Someone to show up and cause problems. Kill someone and run away. Dragging the body with all the treasure as well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finally, A REAL Session!

Finally got to have a bit of a campaign this Saturday. Remember that list of Rumors, Advise, and Things Overheard in the Bar? It is surprising how much of it the group either forgot or just ignored. And somethings they proved from that list.
Starting with #10; Three things to take to Old Crosston, a pickax, rope, and a towel.
So the man took them to the well where the rooster had been stolen. Now, Tom being of sound mind and not knowing too much about Old School adventuring, left it up to me to get his equipment and skills. So I tricked out his barbarian dwarf with lots of dungeon delving skills like mining, climbing, and knowledge (local), and gave him a full kit of spelunking equipment. So what does he do? He decides to climb down the well.

I ask him what he does, and he replies "I climb down the well", and I tell him that due to the five foot circumference and the slippery sides of the well, it would be a DC 20 check. Which given his total bonus of +9, should not have been a problem. Except he rolled a four. Which caused him to fall down into the well taking 19 points of sub-dual damage when he hit the water. If he had used a rope (which he had), or a pick axe (which he had), he wouldn't have needed a towel (which he didn't have). He had to sacrifice his shield to get enough of a bonus to keep swimming until the rest of the group to drop his rope to him.
Which brings us to #2; There are black walls under the city that cannot be broken.
Climbing up Tom found a wall of one side of the wall that was ten feet tall, and made of pure black rock that a roll of 27 masonry check couldn't identify. It was the floor of a room off of the well. The room's floor was made of this material, and all together it was like 900 square foot of black rock.

So the rest of the group decided to climb down the rope which was DC 10 and they all took ten to do it. Po cast detect magic and found that the whole rock radiated a residual magic of Evil and Transmutation. So while they were doing that, I had everyone make a listen check.

Megan passed with a 27, and could hear breathing from behind one of the doorways in the room. So she made a move silently check to sneak over to it. THEN she made a critical error. She stuck her head into the door. At which point I declared SURPRISE ROUND, and smacked her for 14 points of damage. The Oldest of Old School cliches. An Orc in a ten foot by ten foot room. He hid and smacked her with his great ax.

She promptly killed him. And then oddly enough, she moved on. Granted the rest of the group was busy with work stuff, BUT she still ran ahead.

Which invoked #17. Stay away from the muck! I had her make a reflex save, which she did. Again with amazingly high accuracy. She BARELY dodged out of the way of a that old dungeon standby, green slime. Then SHE had to do some work.

The rest of the group, especially Po and Jim were amazed at her suicidal veal. They examined the room at the other end. There was a locked iron door in it. So Jim, playing the rogue searched for traps, and got a 21. Unfortunately, the magic lightning bolt trap had a detect DC of 24. So he took 5 points of damage, as did Megan, who was at the other end of the hallway. She was not happy about that.

They wisely decided to leave the door alone. So they regrouped and decided to push on. Megan, Tom, and Jim went into the next room, which was dark. I had them make a spot check, and none of them succeeded.

Which brings us to #1. New Crosston is a magnet for evil. Tom heard a voice say 'Hey, Buddy, there's a magic item in the room with the green slime, could you go get it for me?' and failed his will save. So Tom walked off. The next round, Jim got hit with something and took 1 point of HP damage, and three points of dexterity damage, and Megan went to tackle Tom.

Round three, Jim ran back to the first room, not wanting to mess with the poisonous thing. Megan tried to tackle Tom and found out that the Suggestion he was under wasn't suicidal, he knew that he had to destroy the green slime.

A few rounds later the green slime was destroyed with Torches and Jim succeeded his secondary damage from poison. Tom and Megan found a spear made of granite that should have weighed much more then it did. Tom took it to the imp, which they could now see. The rest of the group was hanging back in the first room, with the black floor.

Tom gave the Imp the stone spear, to which it replied "Son of a bitch actually did it!" and then walked over to a huge arch.

Which is #6. There's more under the city then the city. The arch lit up and the Imp stepped through. So they defeated the imp with almost no combat. They'll still get full XP for it.

They moved to the next room which had a Dire Toad in it. At first Megan, who is playing a ranger didn't want to kill it, but then the rest of the group just said kill it or it will eat Jim who is a halfling.

Room after that was a big bowl with a pool of water at the bottom. There were some firebats in it. Cunningly, they used the carcass of the Dire Toad to feed the fire bats, which then would leave them alone. However, in that room were also Dire Bats. Which they were debating what to do about when we had to end the session. Right now, the thoughts of it are to leave for a bit, heal up and then go tackle the Dire Bats.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some Notes (NSFW)

Well, we have some new D&D news. Starting a new campaign. Saturdays. Again. I'm going to try to go for something long term. To do so, I'm going back in time. Old School. I mean its going to be run on 3.0 rules, but with a First Ed Flavor. There's nothing really outside the dungeon. Well, there's a city. Which I already talked about, but the city is really just Dungeon level 0. Law is provided to anyone who can afford it. Merchants and Guilds rule. There is no civil authority. However, due to a gross miscalculation, there were business at work. So all we really got to do was character generation. And we came up with a list of names for the guild.

So the group is; (Player: Type- Name)
Tom: Dwarf Barbarian- Frumpy Foreskin
Josh: Elf Cleric- Saturday Morning Fever (after the time we usually play)
Megan: Elf Ranger- Hazlet
Jim: Halfling Rogue- Unnamed at this time
Po: Human Mage (possibly necromancer)- Bones

And the Group Names we've come up with.
Fevered Foreskins (after the two target names in the group)
Soldiers of Ill Repute
Guild Of Calamatous Intent
Spelunkers 'R' Us
Guild of Unknown
Knights of IVR (so named after the automated telephone system)
Head Cases
The Longhairs and Josh
Munchkins for Hire
Speedball Express
Wizard and Four Others
Furious Five
Adventurers of the Diamond Oak

Right now the names winning are Spelunkers 'R' Us and Adventurers of the Diamond Oak (although the adventurers might be changed to Dungeoneers).

So while we got that situated for the most part, we also got to the beginning of the adventure. One of my best.

ME: "You are sitting in a crappy inn after having decided to start an adventuring company. A man runs in and yells; SOMEONE STOLE MY COCK!"
TOM: "Where did you last see it?"
ME (as Man with stolen cock): "In the coop"
TOM: "Could you describe your cock?"
ME (as Man with stolen cock): It's a blue grey bantam razor cock.
TOM: What happened to your cock?
ME (as Man with stolen cock): A black shape stole it and flew down the well!
TOM: Can you describe the shape?
ME (as Man with stolen cock): It was black.
TOM: (with a slight bit of aggravation): Ok, so it was a black shape that flew?
ME (as Man with stolen cock): Ayup. I'll give y'all a hundred gold pieces if you go fetch it.
TOM: (with enthusiasm): Each?
ME (as Man with stolen cock): No, total. It's just a cock.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Campaign

So, another new campaign is starting. And I'm going deliciously old school on it. I mean all the way back. There is just the dungeon. And super deadly. No kid gloves. Basically doing a thing of a city named New Crosston built on top of a giant dungeon (Old Crosston). I did some ground work which resulted in the following...

Rumors, Advise, and Things Overheard in the Bar;
1. New Crosston is a magnet for evil.
2. There are black walls under the city that cannot be broken.
3. Dwarves don't like the silt corridors.
4. One of the Merchant Masters is a Disciple of Asmodeus.
5. Evil comes from Deep Holes.
6. There's more under the city then the city.
7. Moaning is the sound of the Drowned Ghosts of Old Crosston.
8. If you leave an unshod horse and a silver piece in Old Crosston overnight, that's one horse and an silver piece that you won't see again.
9. There was a healing fountain in the garden of one of the Merchant Houses, and its water will cause fruit trees to bear fruit even in the winter.
10. Three things to take to Old Crosston, a pickax, rope, and a towel.
11. Beware of Bifton, he's a loose siege weapon.
12. Thieves will be hung up by their Figgin.
13. There's a swimming dragon in the river that calls Old Crosston home.
14. Beware the end of the rainbow, there's gold there, but leprechauns are vicious little bastards.
15. Don't mess with the Masons, they have a medusa who will turn you to stone and then into a wall.
16. In Old Crosston there was a golem made of Gems.
17. Stay away from the muck!
18. There is a tribe under the city that used to be human.
19. There is a place where the Professional Order of Assassins dump the bodies. The alligators have found it as well. Alligators are a myth, its crocodiles down there.
20. The only reason that dwarfs are here is that they are looking for a still that was lost in the flood.
21. Dirty Deeds done dirty cheap, you get what you pay for.
22. Hellbenders can swim through water and earth.
23. The Violet Snake Eats Its Own Tail, Millenium Hand and Shrimp!
24. Mushroom rings is bad, but mold patches is worse.
25. Keep a boat on your roof, just in case.
26. One of the Merchant Houses kept exotic pets, and they've been breeding.
27. They say there's a cult dedicated to rats in the sewers. Not a that the CULT is in the sewers, but they venerate the rats in the sewers. It takes all kinds.
28. Fear the "COWER YA BUGGERS!" for the tortoise monks are attacking!
29. Only fools use bows.
30. The Order of Mystical Arts lost a forge in the flood.
31. Do not cross an elf, for they shall have the greatest revenge, they'll outlive you.