Last night we had our third D&D session, still exploring the tunnels beneath the ruined tower of Zenopus; tonight, we had session four. It is "midwinter break" for my kids (a five day weekend, including the Presidents Day holiday tomorrow), so bedtime has been extended deep(er) into the night than usual...last night's game lasted until midnight, and tonight's would have as well if I hadn't made the children go to bed by 11pm.
But the details of these sessions will have to wait till a later post...I still haven't written about our second sojourn into the bowels of Portown's ancient catacombs. And I want to make sure I am chronicling these in sequential order.
While our first excursion presented the basic tropes of dungeon exploration (starting with character generation and equipment purchases) and featured several combats and treasure gathering, our second (played out last Saturday, if I remember right) introduced concepts of role-playing to the children...that is, interacting in character with non-player characters.
[the first session only saw encounters with ghouls, skeletons, and giant rats, none of whom are great conversationalists]
First up was Brubo the Bearded (...er, Hooded) and his giant mastiff of a dog. The kids were quite surprised to find him guarding the ruins when they returned for more looting; apparently, they'd just missed him on their previous excursion. He informed them that ruins were off-limits by order of the Town Master, and that trespassing was expressly forbidden and punishable by law. Unable to bribe the old man, they decided to try to talk their way into acquiring some sort of permit from the local administration.
Unfortunately, none of their arguments found any traction with the Town Master (a rather busy man and annoyed by the antics of these would-be treasure hunters). Despite giving it a good shot (and possessing excellent charisma scores), the Master of Portown remained unmoved from his stance that the ruins were best left undisturbed.
[thinking about it today, I started to get the feeling he may have some knowledge about the pirate activity in the sea cliff caves; i.e. he may be in on the deal]
The adventurers were likewise undeterred from their quest (for more gold) and determined to find a sneaky way into the dungeon. Dissuading them from outright murder of a town constable, I reminded them of the elf's charm person spell and the beginnings of a plan were hatched. First, though, they went about hiring some more muscle...another daunting task after the resident mercenaries at the Green Dragon Inn were informed of the deaths of Flint and Match, the party's last two hires. However, a stout young lad (and Ot-nay Oo-tay Ight-bra) was willing to accompany the party for a share of the treasure and a kiss from the elf (her offer!); ecstatic, they garbed young Bryan in a chain hauberk and returned, re-provisioned, to the site of the old wizard demesnes.
Thoughtless of mapping (again) the party wandered the dungeon in a roughly circular manner, at one point being trapped in a strange room with a metallic statue (an appeal to mama for help proved to be useful here in figuring out the means of egress), before finally stumbling into a barracks of goblins. The rowdy creatures were none-to-happy about trespassers in their home and attacked, only to be murdered quickly by our intrepid adventurers. The last goblin surrendered, but when proffered an offer of servitude to the slayers, decided death was preferable (a very poor reaction roll here) and attacked, actually managing to wound the burly fighter before being handed his head.
Battered, bloodied, and now loaded down with goblin treasure (a backpack of silver and a chest of copper), the party quickly (and luckily) located the stairs up and out of the ruins where they happily found neither Brubo, nor the town watch. Still several hours before dawn, they made their way through twisted and empty city streets only to be stopped by a patrol of three guardsmen (wandering monster roll). The dice were on the party's side (again) and these particular guards were NOT out hunting for the adventurers who had slain old Brubo's dog. Even so, the inevitable shake-down occurred when the party made the mistake of displaying the treasure they were carrying (lying that they had just come from a ship moored at the Portown docks). Negotiations with the watchmen proved successful, and the guards agreed to porter the crates to the Green Dragon Inn in exchange for a rather large "silence tax" that cut substantially into the group's profits.
Okay...now we're caught up (at least, till yesterday). The kids are really starting to get sucked into the game (as, you know, new D&D players tend to), so we'll probably end up playing tomorrow too. But I just can't keep my eyes open right now...I'll try to post the further adventures of Daniel the Brave and Maddee the Elf tomorrow.
[writing all this up, I can't help but be reminded of John Eric Holmes's stories of Boinger the Halfling and Zereth the Elf no doubt based, in part, on his own runnings of the game for his children. What a racket this D&D thing is...]