December 28th, 2014
Weather: Unseasonably warm, cloudy.
Characters: (approximate net point total)
Al Murik, dwarven cleric (262 points)
Dryst, halfling wizard (386 points)*
Father Keef, human initiate (125 points, NPC)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)
Vryce, human knight (464 points)
Gort of the Shining Force, dwarf adventurer (unknown point total, NPC)
Antonios, Demitrios, Leonatios of Meepos, human spearmen (unknown point totals, NPCs)
* Joined late.
Still in town:
Asher Crest-Fallen, human holy warrior (250 points)
Bern Brambleberry, gnome artificer (265 points)
Mark Strawngmussel, human laborer (62 points, NPC)
Borriz, dwarven knight (308 points)
Chuck Morris, human martial artist (303 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (372 points)
Galoob Jah, goblin thief (256 points)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (302 points)
We started in Stericksburg. Since the last session was so light on treasure and costs, there wasn't a lot to do except pick up some volunteers and pack up to go. Father Keef's stipend was officially ended. Since Al Murik is a regular, they decided to just take their chances each session he'd be around as a daily hire. Luckily for them, he was. It'll be a die roll issue each time. Gort and Raggi were around, and so were the Meeposian brothers.
They heard a few rumors - there is a magic key that can open unopenable doors, that some ghosts can kill with a touch ("Stupid ghosts." "Beware hugger ghosts." "It's Casper."), and that there is a library of death spells in the dungeon ("Those are mine" - Dryst), and that the snakemen of Morthand hate orcs. Also, that there is a cursed statue in the dungeon that turns you into a Throttler. Al Murik talked to an ancient, tiny, 7-foot bearded old priest about the doors in the cavern area. He told them they are forbidden, don't ask about them, don't open them, and don't ask about them. So, naturally, he didn't, and the old priest coughed up some more details about how forbidden they are and encased a great evil. And no more questions, because he won't tell you anything!
The PCs headed up to the dragon cave mouth, observed it carefully for 30 minutes, and then headed in.
Condensing down a lot, they found a lot of nothing. They ran into the shrieking fungi again, and carefully scouted around fixing their map. That took - literally - hours of mapping. Eventually they erased parts of it, starting marking all exits and tunnels and branches with numbers (from 1 - 50 or so), and ensuring they linked up their whole map. This was probably worth the effort, all things considered.
They now think there are six cube-shaped rooms, and six pairs of double doors. If that's correct, then they feel each pair of doors is linked to a room, and you'll get teleported back when you try. They aren't sure how to get into the central area, though (and Earth Vision was neatly blocked between the doors). They think it might be try until you've tried them all, but that this seems too easy, and maybe each time just dumps you back and that's that unless you've figured out the trick to get in.
Somewhere in here they found a fungi-filled cave, and were attached by a giant lizard lurking on the ceiling. It snagged Leonatios of Meepos, but Raggi chopped it and stunned it, Al put an axe into it for heavy damage, and then Vryce ran in and cut it into three pieces. It didn't have anything of value, but it turned out to be valuable later when they used it to bribe the "behir" for passage.
Past the "behir" they found and fought perhaps a dozen stirges, killing eight. Nothing like the storm of dozens and dozens they'd dealt with before. But this time they tried to exterminate them, and searched the areas they laired in. In one, they found a dessicated hobgoblin gone partly skeletal, wearing moldy and ruined leather armor, a rusted pot helm, and clutching a rusted broadsword. A servant picked up the helmet and sword, and Vryce searched the corpse for extras. When he pulled off the gloves, a ring fell out. It was silver, but also magical (it later turned out to be Protection, +1)
Past there, they climbed up and investigated some areas they never did finish checking - the partially finished corridors (checked with Earth Vision, but nothing was found), the golem pedestals (enchanted with a variant, focused version of Repair, which explains the undamaged golem guardians), a trapped room (a nonsense glyph trigger and Stench and a stone door - checked with a servant and a Wizard Eye), and a few other dead ends. They also used the crystal ball room to scry the surface and see the orc defenses. Pretty much, the orcs have sealed the castle completely, even blocking the gates permanently. Presumably, they climb down the walls to go raiding, and don't care about/don't need supplies from outside.
Eventually they gave up and headed up to the surface. They decided the caverns are a dead end/side dungeon, and don't connect lower down (except maybe via the "stirge hole" they blocked up) or up aside from into the small level that leads to the orcs. What this means for the next trip isn't clear.
The broadsword and pot helm were Repaired and sold. Dryst rolled a 4 on the sword, which was nice - it was a fine, balanced broadsword, which is why they got enough loot to pay their hirelings and Gort. They gave the repaired helm to Gort, who sold it for beer money.
Only three guys today, all of whom have played games with me going at least back to '95. The newbies were all busy.
Not a lot to write about, since it was mostly mapping. Still, it was something the players wanted to do, and megadungeons are all about the immediate and the cumulative.
No snapshots of the maps today, because our photographer was out and my camera isn't up to it.
MVP was Vryce, because his player mapped while Dryst's player took a break this session. I threw Vryce a break and only gave him -1 for insufficient loot, since it wasn't zero and would normally be enough wealth for an adventurer to make a profit.
Speaking of Vryce, he's got HT 15 now, for stats of 20/14/10/15 with 30 HP and 14 Will. He's a mere 10 points away from Basic Speed 7 and Move 8 (since reduced Speed is part of a Knight's disad pool.)
Rumors were oddly clustered today, because I forgot my dice bag (I'd removed them from my backpack to use it for work, and didn't put them back.) So, no d30. We did 1d20 + 1d10, which weighted the chances to the middle.
Ring of Protection? +1 to all resistance rolls. No armor or defensive benefits. Just resistance rolls. "For now" they gave it to Al Murik.
The group is still debating ordering 2 x number of players water breathing potions, at 600 each, so they can swim under the Silver River and up into the water that flows out of Felltower. They are convinced they can either adventure underwater or find a new way in. I asked them not to raid the orcs, since I got a new job that's eaten all of my free time so I don't really have the time to sit down and draw a map. Maybe on vacation I can set my mind loose and doodle up some possibilities.