Wednesday 16 June 2010

Solo Dungeon Session 3 (or, this dungeon kills parties)

To cut a long story short, you (that is, Old 4 Eyes, Ruarigh and Dungeonmum) committed our brave stalwarts to Death or Glory. Well, to cut a short story even shorter, the next two rounds saw Sanathris and Wulfram ground down by the rats until they fell beneath the furry horde. Nasty way to go, that. Perhaps Garamar should have cast Find Familiar and hoped for a cat...

A week or so later, in town, Bishop Cuthbert summons one of his clerics, Flynn to his office. He informs him that they have lost contact with the colony on LB426...oh, sorry, wrong story, with Sister Sanathris and Brother Algo.

"Your mission, Flynn, should you choose to accept it, and since I am your Bishop" (ooh, another Aliens reference) "you have no choice, is to seek out the dungeon in which they were lost and bring back what is left of them for a decent burial. Right, off you go."

Flynn, a wise but not particularly bright cleric gathers his bits and bobs and sets off for the tavern where he hopes to recruit five brave adventurers for a bit of dungeon-delving. Let's see who he gets to come out and play...

There's Nigal the gnome thief, studded leather and a short sword (well, short for everyone else, that is)

Gavurak the half-orc fighter, longsword, bow, armour class 5

Dirk Average (there's a name I've not used in a long time) AC8 due to bad dexterity, short sword.

Chumley the magic user, AC10, darts and daggers, spells are Read Magic, Enlarge, Dancing Lights and Find Familiar.

Cassis (he says it's pronounced Cass-eese)the half-elf Magic-User/Thief, leather armour, dagger, sling, short sword. Spells are Read Magic, Magic Missile, Shield and Unseen Servant.

Well, that's the gallant party for the latest session. So far, we've lost eight dead in two sessions.

Off they set to the dungeon, two days' travel as before. On the first day (or should I say night) the dice decree an interesting encounter around midnight - merchants. Why, I ask myself, should merchants be skulking around at the witching hour? There's a story there, but I daresay we'll find out later, or perhaps one of you will chip in with a good idea.

The next day, further into the wilds, there are no further encounters. The party arrives at the dungeon entrance. You will recall that Room 1 has a choice of five doors. This being a brand new party, I'll roll to see which one they choose.

3 - a door that has not been chosen before. Let's see what's behind it. A room, 20' x 30', three exits, all on the far wall. Contents are treasure and monsters!

The treasure rolls give us 250gp and 1000sp, which is not bad stash for a 1st level party, provided they can find and keep it. Unfortunately, the eleven kobolds in the room might have other ideas. The party listen at the door, hear voices and decide to plan ahead. They pour oil all over the floor in front of the door and fall back to near the steps, missile weapons at the ready.

They start shouting and banging their weapons and out come the kobolds. The party lets the first six or so come across the oil, then set it ablaze, the final five taking 1d6 damage each. Three perish at once, two are blazing but still alive. They dive back through the door and shut it behind them.

Cassis, Chumley and Gavurak open fire with sling, darts and bow. Two kobolds hit the floor. The kobolds and the party clash into melee.

One kobold hits Dirk and does two damage. Dirk hits and kills his kobold. Everyone else in the melee misses.

There are now four kobolds against four characters - Flynn is hit for 3 damage and falls to zero. None of the party hits.

Round three - the party have much better luck this time, Cassis (coming in to take over from Flynn), Dirk and Gavurak hitting and now there is only one kobold standing, on 1hp. The alignment of the party is predominantly CN, with Flynn more or less out cold, so they dispatch him quick sharp.

First combat and victory to the party! Flynn casts a Cure Light and gets his HP back.

XP earned comes out to more or less 15 per member, except for Nigal, who gets 8. The treasure goes into the party kitty.

Okay, so which door to try next? The party try the far right one and the dice say that there is a passage straight ahead, running for 30' before the next check.

That check tells us that the passage turns 90 degrees and at its end, another chamber, 20 x 30 feet, zero exits and empty of treasure and monsters. Ah well, back to room 5.

A check of the middle door tells us that the space beyond is another room, this time 40 feet by 40 feet. Number of exits is zero. It contains monsters and treasure but a die roll tells me that the treasure is hidden in a secret room nearby. The monster in question is a pack of nine giant rats. Alerted to the furry menace, the party use the last of their oil bombs to fry most and scatter the rest.

Unfortunately the die rolls to find a secret door are pretty bad and the party returns to room 1 without having found anything.

Let's try another door. The motto of this dungeon is "There's always another door to try" and we know where most of them lead, don't we?

The d4 with the attitude decrees that the party try door 1 - another untried option. What lies beyond? Well, the dice tell me it's a room, unusual shape and size - how unusual? Will a 2000sq foot oval do you? It has two exits but I'm going to put them on as displayed on the map because they won't really fit anywhere else.

I roll for contents and guess what? Monsters and treasure! The treasure is 1000cp and 750ep in pottery jars, no hidey, and guarding it is a gang of nine orcs!

Yay, mass combat! And we're out of oil bombs!

It might get a bit confused and the figures might go a bit wibbly-wobbly but stick with it and here we go.

Round One, and as the orcs come hurtling towards the party, Cassis finally remembers he's got Magic Missile and fires it for three damage. Chumley hurls a dart and misses. Gavurak (being a half-orc, does he have a conflict of interests here?) fires his arrows, hits with one and does two damage.

Clash! And battle is joined. One orc hits, and does three damage against Gavurak. Another hits Nigal for three damage. Gavurak hits and kills an orc, Chumley wields the dagger like a madman and does three damage, Cassis clips Orc number 6 for 1 damage.

Round 2 - it's all melee now, no chance for missile weapons. An orc hits Gavurak for six damage, knocking him spinning into a pool of blood on the floor. The party fight for their lives, Cassis clipping Orc 6 again for another 1hp, Chumley hits and kills orc number 3, Dirk does 2 damage on the fourth orc. Flynn misses.

Round 3 - Cassis gets the business end of an orc spear for six damage, Dirk does five damage to orc 2 and Flynn follows this up with a footman's mace blow to the head that sends it into the arms of Gruumsh.

Round 4 - an orc manages to get Nigal with a hammer blow that floors the gnome, leaving him on -2. Chumley gets 2 damage against orc 4, Dirk kills orc 7 with five damage, Flynn sends another one to the floor with six damage.

Round 5 - with Cassis on -6, Gavurak the same and Nigal on -3, things are not looking quite so rosy for the party. Still, press on...

An orc knocks Chumley to the floor, reducing him to zero. All three party members miss.

Round 6 - the tough orc who hasn't really been hit yet knocks Flynn down to zero but before that, the doughty cleric has killed orc number 4 (at last). Dirk misses his attack but is determined to do better next time.

Round 7 - Chumley and Flynn crawl across to the fallen party members and start to bring them round for a bit of first aid. Dirk squares up to the orcs and with a 19, he inflicts 4 damage on orc number 1, killing it. For all his toughness, the surviving orc legs it.

Round 8 - with all Flynn's Cure Lights used, the party is now on the following hp

Chumley 0
Flynn 0
Dirk 8
Cassis 2
Garuvak 1
Nigal 0

Party kitty is


XP for the orcs is 20 per party member, added to the earlier totals gives all but Nigal 35, the gnome on 23.

They're not getting any worse but they're not going to get any better for quite a while. The only sensible course of action is to make haste for room 6, where they can rest up, Flynn can pray for more Cure Lights and they can ready themselves for the next session.

So, with no obvious choice for party action this time, perhaps we could have a think as to what those merchants were up to at midnight? All options will be given a good hearing.

LATE EDIT - it being midnight by the time I'd finished the post, I'd forgotten to give you the next two tables in the Random Dungeon Generator. Here they are:


  1. Were the party travelling still at midnight? If so, then the merchants could have been camped for the night. Given their orders, it might make sense for the party to push on hard to get there.

    If the party were camped then perhaps they met a group of merchants, who were indulging in some illicit stag dancing or log poaching. Alternatively the merchants might well have been smugglers or indulging in some other illicit activity.

    It is also possible that their profession is a red herring and they were up to something else entirely. Options might include looking for a lost child kidnapped from their home; urgently travelling home to visit a sick relative; or fleeing from bandits that they had encountered earlier in the night.

    I guess that'll do for now.

  2. I think they were on their way to a secret invitation only auction for something wondrous, which only appears under moonlight.