So, we arrived at the long hallway area on Level 2 between rooms 25 and 24 (see attached map). I'd decided not to make it a room in itself, and so there was nothing to detain the party there any longer than necessary. Off they went, around the loop until they eventually came to the door to room 25.
At this point, it’s best if I depart from the usual format and list in detail what was in room 25, for it plays an important part in what happened to the party therein.
As the party enter this room, they will see, against the far wall, two huge statues flanking a stone sarcophagus. Above the sarcophagus is a large mirror with the frame in the shape of a snarling demon, horned head and bat-like wings.
The two statues stand on plinths and their arms are held rigidly as if clasping spears, but there are none to see.
The party, on examining the statues, may notice that there seem to be slight join lines where the body and arm meet. A character of average strength will be able to move the arm up or down. The combinations of arms up and down will produce the following effects (left hand statue arms 1 & 2, right hand statue arms 3&4)
1D 2U 3U 4U Outcome 1 The mirror activates and shows a landscape withered and barren, the sky grey and threatening. In the distance, there appears to be some sort of cloud approaching. As the cloud gets nearer, it can be seen that it is made up of thousands of tiny flying things. The flying things are in fact a horrible swarm of insects who are the airborne equivalent of the 7th level druid spell, Creeping Doom. The party can try to smash the mirror (it will save vs. Normal Blow, a 15 or better means it does not break) or move the arms again but unless they get the second mirror outcome, the vision will still persist. 1d8 turns from the vision appearing, the insect plague will swarm into the room, attacking every living thing there. With the obvious results, unless the party does something.
1D 2D 3U 4U Outcome 2 The sarcophagus slides back into the wall and below it is a skeleton (not undead) wearing what appears to be plate armour. If a detect magic is cast on it, it radiates magic, if an identify is cast on it, it is revealed to be +1 plate.
1U 2D 3D 4D Outcome 3 Trap doors open at all three sides of the sarcophagus and whoever is standing on them is plunged via a chute into a pit below the ground, where a giant poisonous snake is waiting for them
AC5 HD 4+2 1 att 1-3 damage and poison
1U 2U 3D 4D Outcome 4 The statues animate, step down off their plinths and start to walk around the room. They will do no deliberate damage to the party, although anyone standing in front of them may be trodden on. The plinths open to reveal some very nice magical treasures. The party have until the statues return to their plinths to get the treasures out.
1D 2D 3D 4U Outcome 5 There is a hissing and from the statues’ mouths comes a gas that causes the same effect as a ray of enfeeblement to all who breathe it in. It will fill the chamber in 1d4 rounds, affecting those closest in 1 round, those next in line on round 2, those near the door on round 3 and those at the door on round 4. The effects wear off in an hour.
1U 2U 3U 4D Outcome 6 A ray is projected from the eyes of the statues, hitting the party. Whoever fails to save vs. magic is shrunk to 1’ tall (only the person, not their belongings). This effect will wear off in a day.
1D 2D 3D 4D Outcome 7 The sarcophagus opens and out climbs a skeleton warrior, armed with a bastard sword +1 and chain mail (AC5). The skeleton has 12 HP and a THAC0 of 17.
1U 2U 3U 4U Outcome 8 The mirror animates and will show the party at some point in their future exploration of the dungeon. They will be shown getting the worse of the encounter in question, but sufficient detail will be available that they will be able to recognise the room when they come to it. This will hopefully enable them to spot a danger and avoid it in time. So for example, they could see one of their party being sucked into the green slime, or being dragged off by the zombies, or lying dead with wounds in their backs while bugbears laugh, or the carrion crawler dragging off the dead.
1D 2U 3D 4D Outcome 9 The character with the highest charisma in the party becomes endowed with the ability to Charm Person or Monster for 1d4 encounters. He/she will of course not know the number of encounters to which this applies, nor when it will wear off.
1D 2U 3D 4U Outcome 10 The eyes of the statues glow and emit a ray that turns every piece of metal in the possession of the party – monetary, armour and weapons to lead. This effect lasts for one hour, although the party will not know that.
1U 2D 3U 4U Outcome 11 A randomly selected character’s hands glow a violent orange and will continue to do so for 1d3 hours. During this time, anything inanimate that the character touches with their hands will swell, bifurcate and become two identical items.
1U 2D 3U 4D Outcome 12 A glow rises up from the floor and envelops the characters; for an hour afterwards, their every move is accompanied by a loud clanking and clanging noise that will make it impossible to move silently or hide anywhere. Wandering monsters will of course want to find out what’s making the noise.
1D 2D 3U 4D Outcome 13 The weapon of every character in the party begins to glow with the same intensity as if it were under a Continual Light spell. This effect will last for six hours.
In they went, Garazor and Lannius failing their pick locks rolls and the door finally giving way to a shoulder from Alurax. Inside, they saw the sarcophagus, the mirror, the two statues. I thought I described the statues quite well, with mention of the join line between the arm and body but JG still decided to give them a good whamming with hammers and anything blunt. No effect. Finally, he grasped the notion that the arms could move up or down, and, with my encouragement, began to think about the possible combinations. Then they started to experiment. The first result was the one where the statues got off their plinths and walked around the room before returning again. JG and co were very quick about scooping the treasures out and had the plinth interiors cleared by the time the statues got back. The next option they got was the one that released the skeleton swordsman, who leapt out and aimed a blow at one of the three nearest characters - this, decided by a d6 roll turned out to be Zhastar the hobbit.
Excellent! A skeleton swordsman with his priorities right - attack the hobbit first!
Blow me if he didn't miss by one (yes, even with the bonus). Up stepped Elise, rolled to hit and did so. JG chose this moment to claim the session's roll of the D30 - mainly out of novelty, methinks, but he was delighted when he rolled 16, the lucerne hammer smashing the skeleton to bits. No-one thought to check that the sword was a +1 bastard sword, but they had little time to worry about that because the next option they got was the one that showed a possible future for the party, and the one I showed them was the party being overwhelmed by kobolds with an ogre taunting them with the stone token in his hand. While they were still pondering that one, there came the sound of shuffling footsteps, followed by a banging on the door. Then more banging. And growling. JG and co spiked the door shut and prepared for battle. The door shook. The door shivered. The door splintered and in poured the ghouls. Garazor and Elise (I think Zhastar was skulking at the back - what a hero!) stepped forward with their holy symbols and did the turning speech. I paraphrased it for JG, in a bid to increase the role-playing aspect of the Training Dungeon thus
"Back, shambling corruption, grave-spawned minions of darkness, I banish you and command you return there at once, in the name of [insert your deity's name here]" And yes, I did that last bit in brackets as well.
Well, blow me if they didn't roll 17 and 19 respectively. The ghouls retreated. I rolled to see how many rounds they were gone for and decided that for that many, it would be more likely that they would return to the wandering monster table. JG did one more try with the arms and managed to get the sarcophagus to slide back to reveal the skeleton in its suit of plate. He had no idea what it was, but deduced that it could be magic armour and put it onto Alurax, bravely so since I could have given it any number of curses. But no, Alurax was now AC1, although he didn't know it since I didn't give any details, just informed JG if any attacks hit or missed. The party decided that they had chanced their luck enough now with the figures and set off down the long passageway towards room 16. At the far end, they saw a shadowy figure at the entrance to a big room, and Hruthnor got his crossbow out and shot the figure dead with no questions asked. Good job it wasn't friendly, just a kobold sentry. His dying rattle gave his colleagues time to grab weapons and head for the doorway just as Team Adventure came charging down the passageway.
I had visions of it being another meat-grinder like the battle at the crossroads, but JG had Alurax and Hruthnor at the front and the kobolds were falling like ninepins. They did manage to get some blows in and the thing about kobolds is that they don't do much damage with their hits but slowly and surely, those hits wear you down. Such happened to Hruthnor in the end, but before that, Lannius had lit and lobbed an oil bomb in and Elise had cast Affect Normal Fires. I ruled that this did double damage on the first round, and the impact managed to wipe out four kobolds. Team Adventure sent some arrows in to the waiting kobolds (JG getting a double 20 with an arrow, which probably meant the kobold got it straight in the eye or something) then - once the oil had burned down - they charged in.
By now of course, the ogre had come in to see what was going on and pushed his way to the front. He launched his attack on Alurax who, despite having AC1, got hit and badly so (8 damage), which took him down to -6. He was dragged out of the melee by Lannius who decided that he wanted to try the armour. Akurath stepped into the breach. Now yes, Lannius is a thief and so I decided that he could wear the plate (albeit taking three rounds to get it off Alurax and onto him) but could do no thiefly activities in it. Because of the AC of the plate, and his DEX bonus, he was at AC -3, which mean virtually unhittable. But JG decided to send him in against the kobolds, rather than the ogre. Hmm.. anyway, the ogre made some truly crap rolls, three rounds without getting over 10 on a d20 (!) Bit by bit the ogre was whittled down, until at last he fell (he had 20 hp to begin with and Akurath got some good damage rolls - 7, 5, 3 and 8 if I read my notes correctly).
At that, the remaining kobolds fled. I can't remember which of JG's characters decided to fire at them as they went, but Garazor and his sling and bullets took down a couple.
I decided to end it there, as we had gone over time because I wanted to get the melee over. JG had a very good session, the party had turned undead, magical treasure had been found and he had his first ogre kill.
I'm beginning to think that Team Adventure in the 'real dungeons' might have to be limited to six characters, for two reasons - firstly that eight might be a little overpowered for 1st level dungeons, and secondly that, as I've already said, JG has trouble sorting out the paperwork for eight. With the lack of other young players, this situation seems likely to continue but what other option is there? He's getting a lot more familiar with his character sheets and the ways in which they can be used (so score one to the Training Dungeon) but sometimes the disarray is obvious and it's not fair on him to expect him to keep track of 8 lots of information. Still, we'll have to see what comes of it.
Benbo, 3rd level Fighter/4th level Thief - he who dares.
Galzor, 4th level cleric - mysteriously disappeared along with the Third and his coffin.
Zanurax, 3rd level thief (recovering from being partly eaten by a lion and has now gone to join Merlin)
Olaf, 4th level dwarven fighter, now returning to his clan halls
Merlin, 3rd level thief (called away on the business of the Thieves' Guild)
Adthar, 4th level fighter - currently both an Ettin and a statue
Elador, nth level magic-user - called away on special assignments but will act as mentor and adviser to the team
Galadeus, 2nd level ranger - drowned and then eaten by a shark.....aaaaaand he's BACK! aaaaaaaaand he's dead again.
What I'm DMing for 6 new junior players
Old School Links to Wisdom
Give your d12...
...some Old School love
Call of Cthulhu - visit our wiki
That's what Old School means to me
"These rules are flexible and open to interpretation - designed not to cover all conceivable situations, but to allow good Referees and Players the freedom to create and play games of their own design."
from the Lulu download page for The White Box S&W from BHP
"This game is unlike chess in that the rules are not cut and dried. In many places, they are guidelines and suggested methods only. This is part of the attraction of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons"
Over halfway to 90, I started playing AD&D when the Police were a cool band and Punk was wild. I am a father to a ten-year-old Junior Grognard and have now managed to establish a five-strong gaming group made up of him and four of his friends, ages ranging from 10 to 11. Solidly Old-School.
High fives and natural 20s to you all!