Saturday, September 6, 2014

S&W in the Southern Reaches: Session 8 - Castle of the Mad Archmage 5 - Screaming Kobold Skeletons and Rainbows

Our last session was 7/18/14, almost 2 months ago. Naturally, Doug "I'm blogging as we play" Cole has a complete summary up, and I'll write my perspective on what happened here.

Minister "Quantum" Morale-Breaker, Half-elf 3/3 Cleric/Magic-User (Tim Shorts)
Mirado Beetle-Battler, Human 5 Fighter (me)
Rul "Rainbow Warrior" Scararm, Human 5 Fighter (Douglas Cole)
Joe the Wizard*, Elf 5 Magic-User (Joe the Lawyer) * I don't know character's name.

We started out on level 3 of the dungeon, our GM handwaving the whole climb down in levels. Why not, after all, if the real game happens below?

We put our two fighters in from, Mirado on the front left, Rul on the right, slightly refused (armed with his bow), and Minister and Joe in back. Ironic, because they have better AC than either Mirado or Rul.

We immediately moved to the lizard man area we'd pillaged last trip, looking to see what had transpired and what we missed. Not a lot - a larder was found, but otherwise nothing. Exploring the area further, we stumbled across a pair of lizard men armed with whips and swords and tethering eight velociraptors. They loosen them, and we loosed a pair of Sleep spells. That did for the lot of them. Magic early and often was our mode tonight. We slew the sleepers and kept one lizard ma alive for questioning. His broken common made communication possible, but he had little to tell us. We tethered him up as a trap-triggerer and pushed him ahead of us.

The next area we found turned out to be the beetle complex. It had phosphorescent mold on the walls and boring beetles munching on it. We attacked the first group without hesitation. Rul handled initiative rolls, so we actual won initiative often.

Joe decided on Monster Summoning I, but it turns out it's a terribly weak spell in S&W, so Tenkar let him retcon that and use Web instead. That did it. We shot the beetles up for a bit with arrows and then lit them on fire. Our lizard man burned, too, which Mirado kind of felt bad about.

We found several more rooms of beetles. The next room has 6, which Joe blew up with a fireball. Three survived to attack him, but he fended them off and slew them as we charged up, with Mirado killing the last one. We found a charred corpse with some platemail (we took it, but it didn't turn out to be magical), a burned scroll, some gems (we lost two to the fireball), and a nice mace. And a few melty gold coins.

Naturally, there were a few more rooms of beetles, and we trashed them without magic. A dead elf gets use some gold, two potions (Levitate, Invisibility we later learn), and a glowing magical longsword that Rul eventually ends up with.

From there, we found a teleporter corridor (pretty easy to spot, actually, since we were a little spread out) and signs of more annoying map-busters to come. We found something like 100 pounds of silver coins, too, in a chest. We took them, naturally. So we moved back to explore some doors we'd discovered but hadn't gotten too.

We hit a mish-mash of rooms, including:

- a room with old dusty covered furniture. My brain immediately went to my Italian relative's houses with the plastic covered furniture in the living room, the stuff you never sat at anyway because the kitchen and dining room is where life happens. In it we heard crying, and found a kobold skeleton. Turning it and smashing it did nothing. We shortly found a doll, Minister gave it to the kobold (as Joe and Mirado moved way the **** back), and it stopped crying. Aww . . .

- we found a room with a bas relief of clowns that felt spooky. We left it, after bitching that spooky stuff should be "cthulhu" not "Ringling Brothers."

- we found a room full of moldy furniture. We immediately closed the door. I don't walk into mold-filled rooms in real life, and real life doesn't have violet fungi or yellow mold.

- A room with a bunch of skeletons, which Minister turns into dust with a 20 on his turning roll. Mirado checked out a chest in the room "carefully" but I rolled a 1 on my INT roll, so "carefully" meant "hit it with my crowbar." Poison gas enveloped us, but saving throws were on our sides (and Joe D had positioned himself "way the **** back" and was safe).

- we found a series of colored rooms. After green we found blue, realized it was a rainbow, and sought out the rest. One room we stumbled into was bright pink and caused 3d6 damage, no save, from pink. Sigh. We solved the puzzle of the rainbow rooms and earned +1 HP permanently each.

- we found a mated pair of gargoyles. Mirado was so happy the room wasn't pink or rainbow colored or full of moldy clown that we said "Hail friend!" and talked to the gargoyles while we checked out a neighboring room. Had they been lounging on a pile of gold, it would have been different, but as it was, Well Met Underground Stoners.

- we found an empty, unkeyed room, which put Circle of Iron into my head. Think, Zetan's book.

- naturally, we found a big empty room. I guessed "teleporter" but it was an elevator. It ground down to what we estimated was level 6 or 7. We just sat in it for 24 hours and waited for it to go up, sleeping in shifts, standing guard, healing, etc. because we didn't have a way back up from level 7.

After the elevator, we hit one more room (it had some useless broken jugs in it, which we did nothing useful with), and then headed to town.

It was a pretty good haul, Mirado and Rul both made level 6 (as did Joe, and I'm pretty sure Minister is either 4/3 or 4/4 now). We got some nice stuff, too, and the game was fun as usual.


We bs'd away a whole hour at the beginning. Fun, but next time I hope to only bs a half hour before we start killing. I like chatting with the guys but I like playing with the guys more.

I have a whole post coming up on COTMA and what I think of it. Suffice it to say, the Dungeon Robber aspects of it are getting to me a little. Not just me, either, but more on that latter in the week.

We usually keep left, and choose left over right. But someone compared Tenkar to right-wing talk radio so we decided, screw it, today we're going right. Solidarity with the GM, man.

We still need a thief. As I've said here and elsewhere, we're getting away without one with careful play and lots of HP, but it's a sub-optimal solution.

Joe did a spells memorized and magic item info dump on us. That was very useful. I'll do that next time, too, so other people know what tools we have. We don't want a "Why didn't you mention the holocaust cloak and wheelbarrow?" kind of situation here.

Once again, we found a better magic sword for Rul, that glows, is +2, and has a hidden special ability. So he's got a spare Longsword +1, +2 vs. mammals you can ask him about. I have Woundlicker, and it's unlikely I'd "upgrade" unless something vastly better came along. Having injuries be "just until I get into the next fight" is amazingly useful. Mirado took the Potion of Invisiblity to go with his Boots of Elvenkind, Rul now has three magical swords, and Joe took the Potion of Levitation. I felt kind of bad Minister was so useful this session but got little besides money to show for it, but it happens. Had we found a magic item he could use, he'd have gotten it.

I'm pretty sure the exit was part of a deal with the GM. We decided to sit and wait in the elevator until it went back up, and probably because it was nearly midnight I think Tenkar let us do it without consequence. After all, we were all looking to just head out, not continue play. If it was 9 pm, maybe he would have just said, suck it up and open the door, but it was late and the game changes as it gets late.

I made a completely inappropriate remark about the gargoyles that made everyone laugh, and earned 1000 bonus xp. Not bad. Not repeatable, really, or funny out of context, but in context, it crushed us with laughter for a while. Good times.

It was a really fun session, overall, and the bonus XP for exploration in the monthly game meant we're always getting better and can face more dangerous stuff each week without a grind. That's nice because we'd play more if we could, but honestly, we just can't.

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