Friday, September 10, 2010

Once More Into the Unknown

Two weeks ago, my brother and I sat down at the Baranof to play a little D&D. Since then we have met on subsequent Thursdays, including last night. This appears to have turned into a "regular thing" for us, surprisingly. Surprisingly because there have been so many years since we actually gamed together, surprisingly because how we've both grown and developed over the years...and really surprisingly as I thought he'd totally sworn off table-top gaming altogether.

But appears both of us have matured over the years somewhat, though I am still gleeful at getting the opportunity to F with his characters, and he still takes delight in needling me and my wanting to be "more serious" in the game. We seem to have reached a happy medium of gaming.

And the beer helps, of course.
; )

We'll have to see what happens when we have a couple new people join us. Steve-O really wanted to show up last night, but it was his roommate's birthday and they were hanging out in Mountlake Terrace (a far northern suburb). He even asked if there was any chance we could game later this weekend, but my schedule was pretty well booked except for today and he's working a 24-hour shift,, maybe next week.

Nearly pulled a change-up to Top Secret (1st edition only, please) last night, in fact, seeing as how we'd originally planned for two players and were down to one. However, my brother was late in meeting me last night and I completely forgot this idea as we headed out the door to the bar.

Now those who read my post last Saturday know that AB's newly created character was a magic-user named Shmutzy. And I'm sorry I never got around to posting Part 2, but wine tasting and general relaxation took as much out of me as the driving back-and-forth to Yakima thing. Here are the notes from LAST WEEK's adventure in Castle Q.

- The five party members set out for Castle Q: Shmutzy the Sorcerer, his wife Lady Troya the cleric (6th level), Zaras the Magnificent (7th level MU), Carey the Clever (6th level Halfling), and Grouch Stonehelm (6th level dwarf). Shmutzy was determined to correct prior mapping errors and get some real treasure, his appetite having been whetted by the 1000 or so gold coins found in the owl bears' nest.

- But his FIRST order of business was to collect the dwarf's plate mail armor which had been dumped into a pit/pool of water trap. Recall the party had previously been upended into a pool of water by a false door trap, and that the dwarf had disrobed to save himself from drowning? Well, for whatever reason (possibly because AB forgot about it until they'd reached the caves), they did not bother replacing the plate mail back at town. So AB was determined to fish the armor out of the pool. And anyway, he DID have the spell Water Breathing (recall I made him roll spells randomly? This was one he felt was useful enough to keep).

- Now for those who missed it, remember that I had previously decided all false rumors/legends were now TRUE, and all true rumors/legends were now FALSE. One (previously false) legend in B1 is:

(F) The treasures of Zelligar and Rogahn are safely hidden in a pool of water.

I had already previously decided that the water trap was the pool in which the villains' treasure was hidden...about 70,000 gold pieces worth.

But AB had no knowledge of this.

- I tried (honestly!) to dissuade my brother from searching the damn pool, but he was totally insistent...all because of being penny-pinching (I remember now) about the dwarf's damn armor. So they cast water breathing on the halfling and lowered him into the pool, forcing him to dive in the dark searching for the armor while the party suspended a lantern over the water by means of their rope. And what do ya' know...the halfling starts coming up to the surface with handfuls of coins and jewels.

Oh, man...was it on.

- The adventure quickly changed from a "dungeon exploration" adventure to a "treasure recovery operation." Through a rapid design of ropes and cooperated man-power, they strung up lights, and the bag of holding (looted previously from Meaty's corpse) and put the halfling on "dive duty" bringing up a steady stream of (tiny) handfuls of loot.

All I was left to do was roll for wandering monsters.

- I'm trying to remember exactly the order in which monsters appeared. Overall, there were four wandering monsters encountered before the bag of holding had been filled and the halfling being mercifully hauled up to dry. There was a wandering owl bear "guard," a pair of kobold "servants," and a pair of ogre "guests," before the final encounter (a gelatinous cube sweeping the hallway). One of these first three encounters (the owl bear or the ogres) managed to surprise the party and Shmutzy, being a might jumpy blasted the thing with his wand of fireballs, inadvertently singeing Grouch and completely smoking Zaras due to their placement. After the death of one of their own, the party was more active in setting a guard while the salvage op was in full swing, and the other monsters were dispatched without hitch.

- A word about gelatinous cubes: what the hell? Despite having a guard set, the thing still managed to achieve surprise (they have a higher than average chance of surprise anyway), but how does a thing that fills the entire 10' x 10' corridor sneak up on you? And how exactly does it "attack" anyways?

Well, it DID achieve surprise and it DID successfully attack Grouch. I described this as "suddenly, Grouch gives a gurgle and you see him suddenly suspended in mid-air, apparently caught in some sort of clear, jelly-like substance filling the corridor." Shmutzy hit the thing with three magic missiles and the damage was enough to absolutely destroy the thing, dropping Grouch to the floor.

- After completely filling the bag of holding and realizing there was (literally) tons of treasure still underwater, the party decided it was time to head back town. Rather than burying their treasure or storing it with a local merchant (or trying to exchange it for gem stones or something) they invested in houses, buying a mansion-sized stone building and a normal wood building. Talk about capitalism...AB wanted to make sure the "re-sale" value would be good and was somewhat wary of getting into the "real estate market." I explained that it wasn't 21st century U.S. economy we were talking about here, and he finally pulled the trigger on the purchases...sheesh!

This transaction also led to a party altercation and the near-death of Shmutzy at the hands of Grouch. Grouch was already peeved with Shmutzy for a variety of reasons: hitting him with a fireball and frying Zaras, looting his best friend's body (Meaty) and keeping the best magic items and/or giving items to his wife (the cleric), as well as generally talking down and heckling the dwarf and his Charisma of 3. After buying the houses, he announced that Shmutzy, Troya, and Carey would live in the big stone mansion while Grouch would be relegated to the wood house, "so as not to stink things up when we throw parties and such." Grouch had finally had enough and after rolling a quick Reaction roll and coming up snake-eyes, hit the sorcerer with his axe!

Rather than retaliate, Shmutzy played the Gandhi/pacifist card and fast-talked his way into Grouch letting him live. A few concessions were made and the party was once again a whole (if slightly dysfunctional) family. However, the "curse" of Castle Q seemed like it was still in effect...another False rumor was being proven true with each visit to the dungeon:

(F) The place is protected by the gods themselves, and one member of any party of intruders is doomed to certain death.

Two visits and two party deaths. But AB had no knowledge of this legend (and even if he had, how would he know whether it was true or false?). The rest of the treasure was used to buy a wagon and a pair of draft horses and (after hiring a new magic-user: Selma the Witch) the party was ready to head back to the mountain stronghold for a new session of looting.

That trip would be resolved in last night's session.


  1. Well, they are clear (or translucent at least), and in dungeon lighting I suppose they could sneak up on him.

  2. > Grouch would be relegated to the wood house, "so as not to stink things up when we throw parties and such."


    Awesome. I like the cut of your brother's jib.

    1. Yeah...I was reading though these old B1 posts as part of my prep for running the adventure again (for my current players) and these were good memories.

      Unfortunately, my brother has fallen off a cliff since 2011 or so. Really unfortunate.

      But those were some fun games. Once upon a time, AB was a pretty sharp cookie.

    2. I am sorry to hear that. :/