Game Date: 1/23/22
Aldwyn, human knight (360 points)
Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice (180 points)
Gerrald Tarrant, human wizard (420 points)
3 skeletons (~35 points)
1 tough skeleton (105 points)
"Mild" Bruce McTavish, human barbarian (340 points)
Wyatt Sorrel, human swashbuckler (378 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (366 points)
We started out in Stericksburg. The PCs picked up a few spellstones - they must have spent many tens of thousands on them by this point - and headed out. After a long discussion they decided the best bet was to try the area beyond the repelling doors again. They don't have all of the answers but they were sure they could get enough answers to advance their cause.
Basically, they headed right down to that area. The dungeon is largely abandoned on the upper levels at this point and even random encounters are vanishingly rare.
Once there, they used Hide Thoughts to get into the area. Gerry used blood to open the first doors.
They then summoned an air elemental in the Chamber of Breezes to open more doors. They found the Chamber of Passion - a fire elemental. They summoned one and opened more doors. They found their way to the Chamber of Illumination. That took light - Gerry tried Light but failed, so he tried Continual Light at maximal brightness. That worked.
They found another chamber - the Chamber of the Soul. It had a skull on a glass pedastal. In its mouth was a 10 carat (!) sapphire. They decided it must be a Soul Jar and left it alone - especially because the doors in this room were all open already.
In the "end" chamber they found a 8 x 4 x 3 metal box floating in the air. It had its own call for activation but they couldn't figure out what to do with it.
They moved back to the Chamber of Tears. They summoned a water elemental but nothing happened. They asked it to open the doors for them. Nothing happened. They re-read the runes for clues but there wasn't one.
Then Ulf asked Varmus to punch him, "not too hard," in the nose. Varmus hit him as hard as he could and rolled 2 damage. Ulf teared up from the pain, and flicked the tears into the summoning circle with the water elemental. The doors opened.
They found the Chamber of Strength, but couldn't summon an earth elemental.
It's around now they gave up and headed home, having gathered a good amount of useful information.
Short session - we wrapped up around 2-3 hours earlier than usual. But there wasn't anything to do that wasn't a big "to do," and nothing small worth doing.
Ulf's player made some comment about "keeping this information secret." Sorry, not in this game. Well, maybe I can let them, but then it's off-limits for any PCs not currently present to know this stuff, and there will be no rumors or in-town support that comes from people hearing about the stories and talking about them. It's not a good precedent and has more downsides than upsides for the PCs, but I may allow them to do it if it's really important to them.
So no one could map, but people instead took meticulous notes about room locations, relative positions of doors and hallways, etc. Sigh. So, mapping except in name. It's not like people tried to remember where everything was, they literally told me what they expected to find in rooms complete with locations of all exits and navigated that way. Should I basically just say, hey, it's virtual, you're all welcome to map out-of-game and use the map in-game even if no one in-game is mapping? I'm okay with notes to remember things, but this felt like it crossed a line. At one point I told the guys navigating that I was talking to the tops of heads on Zoom as they looked down and talked me through their path. All glyph readings are taken down word for word, too. Maybe I should require someone in-game to be taking time, have hands free, and let it go from there. I'll have to think about this because it feels like people are violating what's meant to be a central conceit of the game - you can't have maps or rubbings or copies of things unless your PCs make them in game.
There was a brief discussion of going to the weird altar on level 2 and hoping Varmus could touch it, have 1d30 of his silver coins converted to gold, and that would be loot. That was shot down - it's only a 1 in 6, and then they'd expect Varmus to split his coins with the party, who'd want to give all of them to one non-Varmus guy to ensure someone got at least 20% of loot threshold. That's both extremely unlikely and ridiculously gamey. It's not Varmus wouldn't share but even a maximal roll would have meant very little actual money and not enough to go around . . . and it would take everything to go right for that.
The plan for next time? Go for the draugr. It would have been today but Galen was out sick and Crogar had plans with his other friends, so they want to go when they're back. We spent a good ~30 minutes on the usual "We can use Create Fire and Alchemist's Fire and then a miracle occurs and the draugr do whatever we want and we win!" planning. I dropped out of it after that. Heh.
XP was 1 each for exploration and 1 xp for Ulf for the tears idea.