Our gallant party returned to the dungeon and headed straight for the hobgoblin chambers, aiming to see what lay beyond them. I had decided not to restock that particular set of rooms at this time, but kept the option open if the situation arose that the party left the dungeon for a substantial length of time.
A flight of steps led down to a long, wide passageway, running north to south. Unwilling, or perhaps uninterested in what lay at either end of that passage, the party spotted another tall and wide doorway on the far side of the passageway. Its design matched that of the door through which they had just come, namely large carven heads which, as the party stood in the middle of the passageway, animated and began to speak, telling of things such as ‘the sea of doom’, ‘the golden book’, ‘the cathedral’ and such like. Elysia hurriedly transcribed these phrases for later pondering. I was basically using these features for what I term “sandbox bombing”, tossing evocative phrases and ideas into the mix to tempt and intrigue the party and see which way they went. I could then flesh out new features and adventures from the phrase that they had chosen to explore.
The decision was taken to investigate what lay beyond the second Talking Arch. Galzor headed through the arch, down the stairs and into the room beyond without checking first. His reward was to be attacked by not one but two ogres! The rest of the party piled in with the exception of Elysia and Ferros, who was kept out of the combat to ensure that there would be an intact healer available if anyone needed assistance. As it turned out, this was exactly what happened, since with the party committed to action, two more ogres came up from a passage deeper into the section.
It was hard pounding for all concerned and all the more so when two ogres managed to break through the melee and up the stairs into the wide passageway. This break-out manoeuvre could have led to real trouble for the party but it was at that point that Mummy Grognard’s MU, Elysia used one of her spells to cast Magic Missile and chose to use the d30. This was an overwhelming success and the ogre crashed to the ground, dead. A second use of the d30 by another of the party took out a second ogre. The awesomeness of the d30 helps to reinforce the rule in the minds of the players and ensures that they wont’ forget to the big purple one in future games.
A third ogre had been killed in the room and a fourth fled down the passageway up which it had come. Judging that the time was ripe for a tactical withdrawal, the party healed its wounded, picked itself up and left the ogres to brood on what had just happened. It was probably just as well; with healing and spells depleted, although some were held in reserve in case of wandering monsters, the party would not have been well-placed to take on any more of the big beasties.
The party had got lucky on that particular encounter. D30 rolls, just like healing and magic are expendable resources and while their judicious use can tilt the balance in a big way, once they’re gone, they’re gone.
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