Monday, September 27, 2010
I must say I've always wanted to use the idol on the cover of the AD&D 1e Players Handbook in a campaign. The current sandbox campaign in Blackmoor provided me with the perfect excuse. I'm using a slightly modified version of The Hidden Serpent from Faster Monkey Games where the party is trying to recover a stolen statue (you can read Grognardia's review here).
So, as I commented here something may happen when the PCs try to take the ruby eyes from the idol's statue. It was something commented by Tamryn the thief but the group hasn't decided on the matter yet. They'll probably do so next session.
I'd like to ask my fellow gamers for ideas about what could happen if they remove those rubies...
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Last session ended with Vanon the cleric separated from the rest of the party. After falling into the pool of water, the gray ooze moved to attack. As the cleric recovered from the fall and cast light on his flail, the ooze slammed and the acid begun to eat his armor. Vanon desperately attacked it and managed to kill it, but had to get rid of the armor before it reached his flesh.
Meanwhile the rest of the group were trying to figure out the ray-shooting statue. Tamryn the thief threw an open sack over the head of the staute and then lassoed a rope around it. Brom the ranger held the other end as Kratos the fighter used the rope as a guide while walking backwards towards the statue. Scarlett the illusionist just standed there coverring her eyes her back to the statue. Suddenly the floor gave in under Kratos but he managed to hold onto the rope and Brom resisted the sharp tug. There was a bright flash of light and two rays shot from the statue's head hit the fighter. After that he felt the floor again and everyone could see a black smudge under his feet. As the danger passed he reached the statue only to see its true for after touching it...
He described it to the rest and Tamryn suggested to try moving the horns. Since it was a good idea and I had nothing planned for the horns (just something really bad if the ruby eyes were removed?), I decided that one of the horns will deactivate the trap.
Kratos moved the right horn (deactivating the trap?) and it slowly went back to the original position. Then Tamryn said to move it again and tie it, keeping it down. So did Kratos (activating the trap again?) and when Tamryn approached the statue the whole thing went on again, but she managed to avoid falling and jammed the trap with a crowbar. They all then gathered around the idol and some explored it while others lowered a torch down the shaft with a rope.
Meanwhile Vanon was exploring the caverns: a passage ful of cobwebs, a passage that led to a cavern with stagmites and stalagtites and a passage with a chasm in the middle. He avoided the cobwebs, explored the cavern only to find it led nowhere, and decided to edge past the chasm. When he was inching his way he saw movement down the chasm and decided to fall back, but a tentacle lashed at him and caught his foot. Luckyly he saved vs. poison and didn't get paralyzed. He tried to no avail to cut the tentacle with the rim of his shield.
When the others yelled his name down the shaft and no response came, Tamryn decided to go down with another rope. The hanging torch illuminated the whole cavern so she was able to see the exit and also the glow from Vanon's ligh. She called for him and, as he cried for help, begun balancing back and forth. She jumped from the swinging rope reaching dry ground, only to see another tentacle grab Vanon and pull him down the chasm. Tamryn rushed to the chasm and saw Vanon desperately trying to resist the monster's pull. She loosed an arrow but missed and Vanon used a rope with a grappling hook to better resist the pull. She them unsheathed her scimitar and jumped onto the creature (behind the screen I ruled the attack as a backstabb) almost slashing its only eye. The creature released one tentacle from Vanon and lashed it at Tam, hitting and paralyzing her. Vanon tried to hit the creature with his flail with mixed luck while it pulled Tam into its mouth.
Up in the statue's room Brom, Kratos and Scarlett begun worrying about the fate of their friends and after no response came from calling their names, the ranger and fighter decided to climb down. In the chasm the creature started eating Tam while Vanon continued desperately to hit it. Upon hearing his name called again he yelled for help and Brom was the first to arrive driving an arrow deep into the creature. The creature released Tam (now in negative hit points) and lashed the tentacle at the ranger, grabbing but not affecting him with it poison.
Then arrived Kratos just as Brom resisted the pull from the creature that continued to munch Tam and pull Vanon. Kratos grabbed his bastard sword with both hands and jumped down the monster piercing it viciously deep and killing it. With the grip from the tentacle released Vanon stabilized Tam and waited for the effect of the poison to pass. As thy waited he searched around the many things around from past victims and undigested by the creature. He casted Detect Magic and found a suit of chainmail armor, a ring with elven inscriptions and a clear crystal wand. He also realized Kratos armor (a suit of plate armor taken from a bugbear last session) was also magical as well as Tam's cloak (also from the same bugbear). After the effects of the poison wore off Vanon cured Tam and they all went back to the pool cavern and climbed back up to the statue's room where Scarlett was almost sick with anguish.
At that point I told them the effects of fatigue were begining to be noticeable unless they rested properly, but it was their call. At that point we decided to call it a night and continue next session.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The first session of our monthly Maure Castle campaing finnaly took place! It was a couple of weeks ago but I've been with little time to post.
Denar, High Priest of Heironeous, returned to the city of Greyhawk victorious from the crusade that liberated part of the Shield Lands from the gasp of the Old One. He came along with Kammar, the Myrmidon/Kensai, who is in search of his mentor supposedly taken by mininons of Malcanthet the Queen of Succubi. While in the city they met with Quinath Leafholder, the elven Warlock/Defender/Bladesinger and Knight of Luna, and Kentsui Inowe, the Master of Autumn, who were resting from their last adventure: retriving the Tome of the Black Heart from the dungeons of Maure Castle and killing the evil wizard Eli Tomorast. Since they all have motives to return to Maure Castle, they wind-walked back to Quinath's tower in Urnst to plan the next incursion to the castle dungeons.
Most of the session was used to finish some details of the Kensai, put the party together and recap what their characters knew about the castle. Thay also did some exploration of the Statuary looking for ways into other levels. The Guardian Shields are giving them a hard time.
It was a long time since they last played, but now they are on track, excited and hoping gather again soon.
Untl next session!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Last session ended with the party defeating their ambushers and capturing its leader. The new session started with the party questioning the prisioner about who he was and what were he doing. After stripping him of all valuables and discovering a brooch with the shape of a serpentine dragon bitting its tail and a letter, they knew they were on the bandit's track. The prisioner tried at first to deceive them but ended giving information for his life after making Vanon, the priest, promise they won't kill him. Meanwhile Scarlett, the illusionist, told Phillipe, her hireling, to kill the prisioner but he refused and told her she hired him to protect her, not to kill helpless prisioners. (I ruled that and the player didn't like it. Perhaps I should have let it and see how things unfolded. )
The next day the party let the prisioner free and they proceeded through the woods until they reached the hills where the bandit's lair was supposed to be. After some searching and tracking by Brom, the ranger, they found a trail leading to a lonely hill. At that point Scarlett told Phillipe to leave and go back to inform Baron Fent about their progress so far. That decision took the party aback and a brief discussion ensued that put at risk the party integration. The priest said he had found the job and in a way hired all to fulfill it, and that included Scarlett's hireling. The illusionist wanted then to leave but the rest talke her out and they all continued forward but not before Scarlett left Phillipe guarding the horses and cart.
Night was already falling but they insisted on following the trail uphill. Scarlet found the illusion hiding a cave entrance and they went into the tunnel. Upon reaching a pair of wooden doors the gained entrance since the priest beared the brooch and they've got the watchword from the prisioner. They killed the orc guarding the gate and proceeded into the compound. They explored it a bit without finding anyone (I rolled no1's on the 1d6 for random encounters!) until they found a empty room, next to a locked one, to rest for a while.
After resting they went out again only to hear grumbling voices down the corridor. They quickly ran back to the room. They heard the voices passing and entering in another room, and also the jingling of keys and a door being opened and closed. The group then gathered outside the locked door and the priest knocked. A booming voice was heard, keys jingled again and the door opened only to show a huge sleepy bugbear demanding who was bothering. The priest handed the letter and as the bugbear trid to read it they all pushed inside knocking the humanoid down. They ganged on the bugbear as Scarlet closed and locked the door. The large humanoid was subdued but not before yelling for help. Help that came too late and was ushered away by the fighter faking the bugbear's voice.
Since the bugbear was not dead they tied and gagged him, and waited for him to wake up. Meanwhile Kratos the fighter took his platemail and Tamryn the thief ranscked his pouch and chest, taking some coins and a cloak. After the brute woke up the interrogated him about Rogan and Zeglin (the fighter and wizard leader of the bandits), the statue they were looking for, and other things. After knocking him unconcious they proceeded into the wizard's rooms.
There they met with a series of magical door that ended with the priest and illusionist separated from the rest of the group. They managed to get past the doors and found and octogonal room with the statue they were looking for. When the priest got closer a pair of rays emerged from the statue's eyes and struck him. A flash of bright light followed immediately. After that, to the eyes of the illusionist, the priest was only a black stain on the floor. It took a while dealing with the magical doors for the rest to get all together. Unknown to them the priest have fallen down a shaft into a cavern with a pool of water and a gray ooze...
Until next session!