Saturday, January 10, 2015

Southern Reaches: Session 10 - Castle of the Mad Archmage 7 - Three Sought Adventure

Last night we played a session of Erik Tenkar's B-Team game. It was a long break since last session because of Erik's job. For a probably more complete summary, check out Doug's summary over on Gaming Ballistic. You can also read Tim "Minister" Shorts's explanation of why he rolled so few ones over at his blog, Gothridge Manor.

Minister "the Tick Master", Half-elf 5/4 Cleric/Magic-User (Tim Shorts)
Mirado Music Critic, Human 6 Fighter (me)
Rul "Woodknocker" Scararm, Human 6 Fighter (Douglas Cole)

Only three of us made it to the session, and I was late (actually, I was early, but G+ didn't pop up any of the invites to join the Hangout, so they sat in the background even as I messed around on G+ looking for the invites.)

We discussed the arena level but decided we weren't too excited by it. Also, that there was too much risk of encountering a group of lethal, organized foes without having Joe D's fireballs to help us out. Deeper was even riskier. So we went back to level 3 (the level of "damaged by pink") and decided to play explore-the-unexplored. The more doors we kick down, the more loot we find, the more XP we gain.

So we went right down to level 3 and started poking around places we'd missed before.

We blundered right into a group of duergar - grey dwarves. We surprised them and plowed right in, quickly putting one down and wounding more. But even as that happened, the doors on either side of the room opened up. To the right were six duergar with light crossbows, ranked to fire. To the left was a plate armored boss duergar. Minister immediately put the six to the right to sleep, and Rul and Mirado continued to melee the group in front of us. The boss duergar attacked Minister, who tried to use Hold Person on him . . . but to no avail. We tripled up on him and generally missed a lot, as did he. Eventually we landed a few blows and put him in a bad way. He tried to shapeshift into a larger form, but just as he did so we finished him off. He melted into a pile of half-shapeshifted goo.

Mirado, who'd been wounded several times in the fight, slit the throats of the sleeping foes. (Tenkar suggested he may have to revisit non-combat kills for Woundlicker, Mirado's sword, and if so I'll wake them up one by one next time and kill them in single combat if I have to. Personally, "I can kill this sleeping dude to get 1 HP back" seems exactly what blood-drinking swords are supposed to do to your sense of right and wrong.)

These guys has a lot - 50 gp but also 23 gems! Even if they're only around 100 gp each that's a sizeable haul.

We left them after taking the loot and the leader's weaponry, just in case, we headed to new areas. We found a room with three dessicated corpses. Minister went in to look, and a giant tick dropped on him and bit him. We jumped in and helped by attacking it, but it kept sucking blood out of poor Minister. Erik ruled that we could attack at -4, or risk hitting Minister on any 1s. We attacked straight-up. Once it was dead, Mirado ripped it off of Minister along with a chunk of Minister's flesh. Oops. Mirado is not Mirado the Healer.

From there we found a secret door, and opened it up. A spiked ball swung to head level for Mirado, but he ducked it with ease (I think I rolled a 20 on his saving throw.) Inside we found a chest. We looped a rope around it and dragged it out, making a hell of a racket. It attracted a "verlang giant," which based on its combat stats I think may have been what Joseph Bloch is calling a Verbeeg. It attacked, and we slugged it out with it. Rul put an arrow into it, Mirado slashed him twice (and took a hit in return), and then Minister unloaded the 7d6 Lightning Bolt spell we'd found on a metal scroll last session. Zzap. The giant rolled a 20 on his save, but that spelled 14 damage to it. We finished off the comically charred giant and looted him of the basically nothing he carried.

We couldn't pry open that chest, and later failed to kick down innumerable doors despite three tries at STR 17. Yes, we're all STR 17. We figure Minister spent his time in the Academy of Magic's gym working on his squat, dead, and bench, and put the smart kids in headlocks and gave them noogies until they agreed to teach him spells and do his Magic Missile homework.

In any case the chest resisted all of our opening attempts, so we hammered off the lock with Mirado's pick. Inside were 8871 sp, which is 88.7 pounds of silver. We divvied it up and moved on.

We walked down one corridor and found ourselves teleported to another. Some exploration off of that found us a way back to a familiar area, but also some new rooms. One section had some giant rats - we quickly slammed that door shut and moved on. Unlikely the rats have anything worthwhile, and they aren't worth much XP either.

We did find a room that looked like a doctor's waiting room gone bad. We joked that there were old magazines with a misspelled name on the label ("This one is to Mack Archmage.") At the end of the hall where this chamber was situated was another door, which opened with ease.

We opened the door and in it was a doctor's office looking room, with a bat-winged horned red skinned woman wearing a skimpy little "sexy nurse" outfit. Mirado immediately said, "Helloooooo Nurse!" It had about the same effect as when Yakko does it.

She asked if we had an appointment. We said no. She said we could make one now, and even as Mirado was backing out Rul said his name was "Lurr, with one err and another err." She said we could see the doctor now, and another door opened. Mirado kept backing out even as Lurr cancelled his appointment (despite clear threats of penalties from his insurer, Metal Cross Metal Shield) and we closed the door and took off.

We had a brief debate about whether she really was a succubus. Someone asked, would you put a succubus on level 3 of the dungeon? I said, "Yes!"
Mirado coined this rule:

Mirado's Rules of Megadungeoneering #73: No one puts a fake succubus in a "sexy nurse" outfit.

And this one:

Mirado's Rules of Megadungeoneering #74: The deeper you go the stronger the "megadungeon goggles" effect.


Mirado's Rules of Megadungeoneering #11: A wooly rhino on level 1 is an illusion.

A little more exploration from here put us into a large room with a five-piece band of skeletons playing flutes, lyres, harps, etc. with a hat. Buskers. Undead buskers.

Mirado attacked, putting the flautist down. The others fought back, and managed to club Minister with a harp before Rul put down the remaining four with a single swipe of his undead-slaying sword.

We kept on, and found a room from which we heard partying noises. I joked it would be four groups of 99 berserkers.

Close. It was 50 berserkers partying it up with endless mead and a cornucopia roast boar served by 8 blonde shieldmaidens.

What an amazing fight that would be.

It wasn't to be. Mirado waded right in and asked for a drink and some boar. Brothers! He yelled. We're here!

That defused any potential problems, except when they mentioned a band and Mirado said he'd killed them. The berserker didn't want to let that go, but Mirado explained that a) the band had a flute player, and thus had to die and b) I love you man! I'm sorry! You're the best bro! And hugged the guy.

That worked.

We drank up for a bit and then left, seeking more treasure.

We eventually found it, stumbling across some ghouls. One slashed Rul and he resisted paralysis, and then we killed the bunch of them.

We did a little more exploration after this, but wound it down as it was getting late.

Good, fun session. We need more firepower to go deeper. We found a few flights of stairs (circular and normal) up, in case we want to visit level 2 again. And once we get more people on a delve we have a way down to level 4 or 5 or possibly deeper.

We took home 8504 xp (and 2095 gp) each, putting Mirado about 10,000 xp short of level 7. Maybe another two trips or one spectacular one.


Editing later: I forgot we also fought some giant blue-bottle flies, had a Magic Mouth spell riddle at us, and found rooms with rat dung. It was late and I was tired on Friday, so some of it didn't stick out so much.


  1. Is this literally a castle full of mad stuff?

    1. Pretty much. It's, AFAIK, an homage to the "anything goes" Castle Greyhawk of Gary Gygax's first games.

  2. Probably makes more sense than me coming up with a 'good' background story for a mega dungeon. At the moment I'm envisioning a world overun by reality quakes so I can justify a overun city with stacked up with treasure that hasnt just been reoccupied by the dominant army.

    1. The funhouse dungeon can be fun, but it also means a whole lot of this.

    2. Yes well I've coming up with one as a challenge, but Im more comfortable with mission/quest or investigation adventures rather than the mega dungeon sandpit.

      It seems to me one good way would be to take all the maps to all the dungeons that youve played in and use them again and again indifferent campaigns with the changes updated and and so on. There will be loot that was never discovered, monsters that won, adventurers that never made it out and so on.
      Once you are running the mega dungeon you slot them together and they will have the appearance of being a dungeon thats been inhabited.

      Or you start from scratch...

  3. Rul needs a new nickname. After last game, perhaps "Succubait." But that's not really any better than Woodknocker, when I think of it.


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