Monday, November 14, 2016

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Old Dungeon Page Found in Dad's attic last week from the early '80s

I was going through the attic at dad's house the other day and came across a single page of a dungeon that I had written up long ago (probably in the early '80s before I went to college).  I was really into writing up dungeon adventures and drawing world maps and stuff before I got distracted by college, my future career, and other related future pursuits.

I'm posting this dungeon page image now because it gave me a chuckle while reading through it, especially with regards to the Grey Ooze trapped in a barrel in room #13 which will only attack the party if they are foolish enough to turn the spigot on on the barrel in the old kitchen just to see what will happen in that event (evil DM chuckles with delight as the players might do something like turning on the spigot which they would be better off not doing... lol)  It made me laugh when I read it and reminded me of how much fun I had writing up dungeons for D&D and AD&D as a kid and how creative I was with writing up dungeons for these game at the time.

Anyway, there's plenty more where this came from and I have the rest of the pages of this dungeon adventure and other dungeons that were written up long ago in my mom's attic and in her house.  I'll try to piece together all of the stuff that I wrote up back then as I recover the old dungeon adventure pages and clear out the attic and will post them here when possible.  In the future given, time I will endeavor to redraw the dungeon floor plans for all of this stuff up with complete write ups, and as complete adventures.  I will probably post the drafts of these adventures for free initially and may even sell them as complete adventure PDFs later sometime in the not too distant future once they have been polished up a bit.  It's a lot of fun rediscovering your childhood with stuff like this, and in the meantime as I make further discoveries of a similar nature, I'll post them here and make some fun blog posts at the same time...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Playing through An Old Classic now with the new re-print - Against the Slave Lords

Sorry for the long absence with the blog but real life got in the way.  My dad died last year and I'm still taking care of my mom's estate in the meantime (she had a stroke in 2007 and I've had my hands full dealing with that for the last six years) not to mention work obligations.  Anyway, I'm not trying to make excuses or anything but I'll get back to blogging about old school games in the near future.  We are currently playing in a B/X D&D game for the "A" series otherwise known as the Slavers series.  Our GM is using the WOTC re-release of that series and we are currently playing the new introductory module that was added to the new book.    We are currently 3rd level or so and are about to enter the Slave Pits of the Undercity.  Stay tuned for future recaps and campaign info updates on the current campaign as it unfolds...

The current campaign is set in our GM's world of Moog in the outlying regions beyond the City of Vermistdadt which was the setting for our previous Swords and Wizardry White Box city campaign.  I'll post more info on the current setting as well as more becomes available in an effort to help the GM flesh out the campaign setting info.  The World of Moog borrows heavily from the old Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing game and miniature combat game default world.  It is a gritty Swords and Sorcery type of setting that reminds me a lot of Fritz Leiber's World of Lankhmar where his awesome Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories take place.  The City of Vermistadt is a lot like the City of Lankhmar but with Warhammer types of gods and denizens (sort of a mashup) and the land of Moog can be roughly equated to Leiber's world of Nehwon coupled with influences from the Warhammer setting as well.  It is a fun setting to play in for a Swords and Sorcery type of game and often includes certain elements that might be considered a bit gonzo which adds a bit of dark comedic entertainment to the setting.

You can read a few older recaps of the Vermistadt White Box games which are posted posted at the blog here
and here

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Averlorn Campaign - Adventure Module X1 The Lair of the Kopru

Recap from 10/26/2012 Averlorn Session

While the other characters were waiting for the four to explore the area beyond the deep water in the large room, and after the water had receded quite a bit when it drained down the stair case, they noticed that what we had previously though was a dead crab in the middle of the room was in fact a very large clam!  At this point they realized that we had most likely found the location of the fabled giant black pearl that we were sent to retrieve – it was likely to be found within the shell of the giant clam!

After the advance group returned to the remaining party members, and Skeorn and the barbarian showed the rest of the group how to circumvent the deep water by going down the other hallway without having to swim, the group descended the staircase beyond the second portcullis at the landing.  When we got to the bottom we noticed that it was very hot and steamy due to all of the water running down the stairs and into the heat of the room below.  We also surmised that there was some sort of natural heat source down here like lava or boiling geysers or something.  So we decided to go back up the stairs for a bit until the steam went away or diminished somewhat, and so that we could give our Monk an opportunity to attempt to extricate the giant black pearl from the maw of the giant clam…

The Giant Clam did in fact contain the fabled black pearl! After using the trademark maneuver "Monkey steals the peach" Amul the Monk snatched the giant black pearl from the giant Clam before it could snap its shell closed upon his hand!  So we succeeded in our primary task of acquiring the gift of the giant pearl for the God King!

We continued to adventure in the City of the Ancients to the lower level after camping and resting up for the night. At the bottom of the staircase leading downward, the party encountered an underground steam-geyser cavern containing large pools of boiling mud with walkways leading into it along the edges of the cavern on the left and right of the cavern walls.  As we explored the further, we found that the cavern was very hot and humid as one would expect from such an underground infernal region. Little did we know that we were being watched and stalked by a creature dwelling in the bubbling mud called a Kopru - it looked something like this with a lamprey mouth:

We found out later that the Kopru were heat loving amphibians of great intelligence and power.  This creature lurked in the pool of hot boiling mud and used its spell like abilities to dominate and charm the party! Once the submersed creature cast its spell like charm abilities upon the group, both Narseal the Sun Elf and our Thugee war priest Skeorn began to attack the party with their weapons after having been charmed by the evil creature!  Luckily they were quickly subdued by Lorinar the Wizard with the use of his Wand of Paralysis!  The party quickly tied up the two charmed characters and returned to the canoes outside and the village beyond the lake and Taboo Island.  The two tied up characters were not very happy with their incarceration but after we explained to them that it was necessary due to the evil enchantment that was placed upon them by the Kopru, they forgave us for the transgression.  When we arrived at the village, the local witch doctor dispelled the evil Voodoo Magic that was placed upon them by casting dispel magic and remove curse upon the two affected party members.  It was determined that the island was named Voodoo Island for a reason and we decided it was best to let sleeping Kopru lie as they were a very dangerous and powerful foe to contend with.

After the group rested and healed up from the ordeal, we searched the outer rim of the crater and found the trail that led out of the crater to the north that the tribesmen from Taboo Isle had told us about.  After a few encounters with pteranodons and dire wolves, we found the ravine with the vein of corbitumite that had an estimated value of 25,000 g.p. if we were able to successfully mine the corbitumite vein and ship it's contents back to the mainland!!!  We quickly realized that we could be rich if we were able to organize a mercantile mining and shipping operation from the Isle of Dread to extricate the precious fuel and transport it via in order to ship it back to the mainland so we proceeded with setting up the operation with the means at our disposal.

With the mission complete we decided to return to the mainland in order to report in to the Brotherhood of the Black Crowes and to bestow our gift of the giant black peal upon the God King in order to conclude our quest.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Averlorn Campaign - Adventure Module X1 The Lower Levels of the Temple

RECAP from 10/19/2012 Averlorn Session

We started off by searching the area around the first secret door that we had found previously.  We found spy holes looking out over entry area, rotted ropes and levers that did nothing when pulled.  Ragnar the Thugee War Wizard and Skeorn the Thugee Cleric got a rash from a yellow mold like substance that they touched while searching rubble in the corner.  We also found large stone feet on the steps outside above where the destroyed statue used to be.

The group then opened the secret door and found stairs that led to a platform over the giant stone face in the large room beyond the entry corridor where we had fought the natives in the previous session.  Skeorn pulled a lever and fire shot out of the mouth and set the firepit alight again!  While searching below the stairs, Skeorn fell into a trap door and took some damage.  He was in a room full of statues - four on two walls and two on another wall with a passage leading out of the room.  While searching the statues, Ragnar disturbed a group of four deadly poisonous cobras!  Unfortunately, three of the four bit him and he failed all three saving throws!  (he rolled a 2, a 2 and a 3)  It was only a matter of time before he died but Skorn had memorized Delay Poison and cast it on him to buy him some time.  We got back into the canoes and paddled back to the village of Mantru across the lake to see if there was anything that the villagers could do for him but all the village shaman could do was cast delay poison again which bought him another four hours and then he died.  We gave him a proper Viking funeral and put him in a canoe piled with wood, set it alight and sent it adrift into the lake to burn up and eventually sink to the bottom, so that he could rest in Valhalla with the good graces of Odin.

There was another Thugee barbarian warrior that had recently arrived at the village from the ship and he joined the group in Ragnar’s place.  So we headed back to Taboo Island in our canoes and resumed our search of the Temple of the Gods.  Several party members climbed back down into the room below the trap door and resumed the search.  Amul the Monk used his speak with animals ability to talk to the cobras and asked them if it was OK if we searched the statues and they said it was OK as long as we didn't bother them.  Besides, they said we were too big to eat and they were sorry they killed our friend but that he had startled them and they were merely acting in self defense. 

So after searching the room, one of the elves found a secret door in one corner of the room but we didn't open it right away.  Also, Skeorn had set off a pressure plate or something that caused a portcullis to fall over the only other portal out of the room.  The fighter types combined their strength to try to lift it but couldn't get it to budge.  Skeorn opened up a door in another corner that had a puddle of water on the floor around it and sure enough, just like we feared, the room quickly filled up with water which flooded down the hallway past the portcullis and we were forced to wade in waist deep water from that point on since the entire floor was now flooded.

So we opened up the secret door and came out into a hallway at a three way intersection.  This entire area was now flooded as well.  We traveled down one of the branches of the hallway with Skeorn the Thugee War priest and our new barbarian comrade in the lead.  The corridor went on for a ways and then we went up a short flight of stairs to a landing and down a short flight of stairs to a continuation of the hallway.  Once he got to the other side of the hallway beyond the second set of steps, he felt something brush up against his leg and then was attacked by three normal sized crocodiles!  After a brief melee, the three reptiles were killed by the two warriors with some help from the monk and one of the elves wielding spears and afterwards we resumed our search.  At the end of the long hallway was another flooded room in which there was a very wicked looking mace hanging on the wall!  Skeorn picked it up and kept it since it was even more wicked looking than the one he had and looked like the kind of weapon that would suit a Thugee War priest of Odin!

The group searched the room and the barbarian found a small purse with some gold coins in it and a couple of small coral statues that appeared to be worth a decent amount of money!  Aside from these items though, there was nothing else in the room.  We resumed our search and back tracked back to the three way intersection and went down another passageway.  This hallway was lined with a group of cell blocks on both sides with wrought iron bars from floor to ceiling and locked gates designed to keep prisoners in, though it had long ago been abandoned.  At the end of the hallway we found a torture chamber that was similarly abandoned and there were old decayed and rusty implements of torture lying about.  So we went back out into the hallway and down at one end there was a door that Skeorn opened. 

Beyond was another flooded room but this one was very large being some seventy feet square.  As Skeorn waded out into the water, he realized that he was on a landing that had stairs off of it going down deeper into the water!  Realizing that the water was very deep, the Thugee cleric and the barbarian stripped off their armor so they could swim and left their armor hanging on the statues back in the first room to keep it from sitting in the murky water and rusting away. Skeorn swam across to the other side of the room.  There he found a wide passageway in the middle of the one wall with a 20’ wide set of stairs leading up.  Unfortunately, the stairs were blocked with rubble from a cave in, and it looked like the entire staircase area had suffered a cave in long ago and collapsed.  So he couldn’t go up that way.  He swam across to the other side opposite the original landing and ended up at a shallower area which appeared to be a another set of semi circular steps in the water below, leading up to a quarter round dais landing at the highest point before finally reaching another portal that led out of the room.  

As he started walking up the stairs through the continually decreasing depth of water over them, he was attacked by two very large giant crabs that swam up out of the depth of the water of the room and tried to maul him with their four giant pincers!  So Skeorn had no armored protection aside from his shield and during the fight, they managed to cut him up a little, but fortunately, he had help from the archers and wizards across the room on the landing on the other side who pin-cushioned the giant crustaceans with arrows while the two wizards hit them with magical missiles.  We managed to kill one and hurt the other badly enough that Skeorn was able to finish it off with his mace.

Once the crabs were defeated, he was joined by the barbarian, the Monk Amul and Lorinar the Elvish wizard and the four swam across the room after him searching the deep water briefly.  While swimming across the water the barbarian spotted what looked to be a giant dead crab on the bottom but didn’t think anything of it so the three continued across to join Skeorn in the hallway on the other side.  With Skeorn leading the way, the group made its way past some apparent rat tunnels in the walls and to another door at the end of the hallway.  Skeorn entered the room with the barbarian and it appeared to be empty so he started heading to the door on the other side of the room. 

As he was walking through the waist deep water, he stepped over a tripwire and suddenly a gout of burning oil gushed out of an opening in the wall into the room and the hallway beyond burning the four characters with an oily substance that stuck to their skin!  (kind of like Napalm!)  As the four retreated to get away from the burning oil floating on top of the water, they continued getting burned until Lorinar realized that going under the water actually helped to put the fire out.  So the four party members were burned a little but not too badly.  After a few healing spells were cast, the group resumed their search.  This time Skeorn swam over the trip wire to get to the door beyond and didn’t set off the trap again.  When he opened the door, all of the water that had recently flooded the hallway and the other areas beyond rushed out and flooded out into the hall knocking Skeorn off of his feet, and he was pushed into an iron portcullis 10’ down the hall beyond.  He was a little bruised and battered but otherwise all right.

After the water drained out of the hallway we could see that beyond the portcullis was a stair leading down and another door on the left at the top of the landing.  We could also clearly see the trip wire on the floor that set off the burning oil trap which we could now simply step over.  He opened up the door and in the hallway beyond was what appeared to be a well going down further into the earth with gouts of heat and steam billowing up from it!  Whatever was down there was boiling and hot and best to be avoided.  The barbarian easily jumped across the well and Skeorn carefully went around it hugging the walls.  Beyond the well was another really long passageway which the two followed until they came to the other portcullis at the other end in the first room with the statues in it!  So they retrieved their armor and put it back on and went back around to the rest of the group that was still waiting in the larger room above the large flooded room that the others had previously swam accross.

While the other characters were waiting for the four to explore the area beyond the deep water in the large room, and after the water had receded quite a bit when it drained down the stair case, they noticed that what we had previously though was a dead crab in the middle of the room was in fact a very large clam!  At this point we realized that we had most likely found the location of the fabled giant black pearl that we were sent to retrieve – it was likely to be found within the shell of the giant clam!  So Skeorn and the barbarian showed the rest of the group how to circumvent the deep water by going down the other hallway without having to swim and the group descended the stair case beyond the second portcullis at the landing.  When we got to the bottom we noticed it was very hot and steamy due to all of the water running down the staircase into the heat of the room below.  We surmised that there was some sort of natural heat source down here like lava or boiling geysers or something.  So we decided to go back up the stairs for a bit until the steam went away or diminished a bit and our allow our Monk to attempt to extricate the giant black pearl from the maw of the giant clam…


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Averlorn Campaign - Adventure Module X1 The Monks Finest Hour: Fists of Fury!

RECAP from 10/13/2012 Averlorn Session

I have to say that was the most enjoyable battle we've had since switching over to AD&D - it was very cool. I was thinking about it a bit today and Amul really made the difference in that fight - first, he rolled a 20 to catch an arrow in mid air and knocked another one out of the air away from him while still in the entry tunnel after the two fighters had charged up the stairs to the left of the tunnel to engage the archers. After realizing that the arrows were poisoned, he fired the one that he caught from his bow and hit one of the tribal leaders that was charging towards the rest of the group at the tunnel entrance. This warrior failed his save and his eyes rolled up inside of his head and he started frothing at the mouth and dropped to the floor twitching and spasming in convulsions. Shortly afterwards, Amul finally turned invisible from the potion of invisibility he had taken previously, and ran up the stair with Narsil the Elf and Tobin's Ranger heading towards the archers on the balcony above. Before the two armored fighters even made it up the stairs they got swarmed by the warriors on the floor from below and had to turn around and fight them to fend them off. Since Amul had finally turned invisible when the natives reached the stair, he managed to quickly slip away from the fight up the stair past the two fighters onto the middle of the balcony overlooking the large room below. He fired his bow and managed to kill one or two of the archers on the balcony and became visible while the rest of the archers repositioned themselves further down the balcony and around the corner so they could get shots at the rest of the group and at the monk. 

In the following round, Amul realized that the shaman on the bottom of the stairs was about to cast something really nasty on the two fighters (Tony told us later it was hold person which could have been game over for those two guys if they had failed their saves since they were being swarmed by warriors) so he picked up a quiver of the poisoned arrows from the archer he had just dropped and fired two of them at the Shaman! The first one missed but the second one hit its mark before the spell was completed, and all of a sudden the shaman went all glassy eyed and dropped onto the stair with white froth coming out of his mouth and started twitching convulsively! Meanwhile, the battle below raged on with the two clerics in plate mail holding the hallway against a large group of warriors with Lorinar the Elvish Wizard behind them. Lorinar managed to cast his sleep spell and dropped all of the natives on the floor outside of the tunnel (including Skeorn, our Thuggee Cleric), except for the ones that charged our guide Quoyoga who suddenly turned visible in the middle of the room next to the central firepit as he was trying to cast sleep on the rest of the archers on the balcony! 

As if Amul hadn't already done enough to swing the battle in our favor, he was left with a stark choice - go through one of the doors off of the balcony to get out of site of the remaining ten or so archers on the railing, and effectively withdraw from the battle, climb down to the floor and risk being peppered by poisoned puffer fish venom arrows, or engage the remaining archers on the balcony in hand to hand by himself so they couldn't shoot him with their poisoned arrows! And wisely, he chose the latter option and luckily for him initiative was tied on that round! So instead of his usual two attacks with his fists of doom, since his weapon speed was 1 and their weapon speed was 4 (they were using clubs) he got to make four attacks in the round against the four guys around him! (when there is an initiative tie in AD&D you use the difference between the two weapon speeds - in this case it was 4 - 1 = 3 which meant that his attacks were three times faster than the clubs so he got two extra attacks!). And of course, one was a crit so he did damage and rolled his stunning attack and stunned one guy right before killing him, and the other three hits resulted in three more archers going down! It was like Bruce Lee just opened up a can of whoopass on a bunch of mooks and they were dropping like flies! 

Meanwhile, Rollo joined the fray on the stairs after charging the mob of natives there that were attacking the fighters and kept them from fleeing while the two fighters kept pounding on them from above on the steps. Narsil and the Ranger eventually managed to slay their leader after a fierce melee - Tony said he was a 7th level fighter after the battle! Meanwhile, Amul, I mean Bruce Lee, started Karate chopping the rest of the archers on the balcony and a few more went down and the rest started climbing down the large demon head statue at the end of the balcony to the floor below to get away from his fists of fury. Prior to that, the guys that had ganged up on Quoyoga had him outnumbered five to one and managed to drop him since he became visible in the center of the room before he could get his sleep spell off (he was lightly armored like our opponents). Seeing his plight, our Thugee War priest Skeorn, who Lorinar had awakened, single handedly charged them to try to save our guide. Two engaged him in melee and the other three started climbing up the rope to try to make it out through the hole in the ceiling along with some of the archers that had climbed down to the floor by this point.

Lorinar fired a few times with his bow and missed but Amul decided he was going to try to bring the lot of them down in one shot and aimed for the rope! It was a thick rope so it wasn't an impossible shot (Tony gave it an AC of 2) and he managed to hit it with one of his arrows! Then Tony figured out the rope's hit points after it failed an item saving throw to see if it actually took enough damage to break, and Allen rolled maximum damage or close to it and it did! Then Tony rolled to see how many guys took a d6 damage from the fall (they probably had less than six hit points) and he rolled a six! So one guy sprained his ankle and the rest of them were killed in the fall! Afterwards it was mop up time and Lorinar managed to kill one of the guys fleeing down the face of the statue with his bow and finally, the rest of them, seeing the futility of the situation surrendered! All of their leaders were gone, their children had managed to escape up the rope but the remaining archers, women combatants and warriors (only about 15 left out of 40 initially) had had enough and laid down their weapons seeing that they could not prevail. 

After the battle we found a +1 spear and a +2 longsword amongst them and a bunch of gems, a potion of flying and a nugget of Corbitimite around the leader's neck on a string! We asked the survivors where they had found that and they said that only the leaders knew where the corbitumite vein was located but if we could find it and successfully mine it, we would all be rich! Corbitumite is the fuel that powers the fires that drive the Dragonships and is a very valuable commodity. So we brought our prisoners back to the island and the villagers of Mantru were astonished that not only were their enemies not demons like they believed (they were all wearing scary demon masks), but they were in fact humans like themselves, and they were even more amazed that we managed to prevail against them and bring what remained of the tribe to them for judgement! So after they debated their fate, they had the remaining evil men amongst their enemies summarily executed (they were evil cannibals after all) and kept the women as slaves. We went back to the island afterwards and searched the big central room which served as their lair and found a couple of secret doors. Also, there was a tunnel leading through the big statue's head in the main chamber opposite the entry hallway that went straight for a ways and then turned to the right but since it was late we called the session there.

All I have to say is that Allen had the game of his life playing the Monk who was in his element against numerous low level lightly armored foes. That situation was really the best kind of fight for a mid level monk who is fast and has multiple punch attacks. I'm pretty sure he single handedly killed or poisoned like 15 or more of them out of the 40 (poisoned leader down below with arrow, killed another archer on the balcony with his bow, poisoned the shaman, killed another six or so archers by himself on the balcony, shot the rope that killed another six!) and I may have missed one or two in the count - it was a really fun and eventful session... 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Averlorn Campaign - Adventure Module X1 The City of the Ancients

RECAP from 10/5/12 Averlorn Session

Note: this recap was mostly written by Allen who was playing Amul the Monk at the time with edits and supplements at the end during the combat with the natives.  He posted the original recap on the Battlebuddies RPG Forum which was created and is run by our GM Scadgrad.  Allen's original recap can be found at the forum here:

We camped at the base of the mountain. The party needed a day or two to process all of the meat we acquired from killing several elk during a hunt that occurred during the session before (our rations were low and we were supplementing our food by hunting - elk and Pterodactyl jerky needed to be made). The party was accosted by a dino-armadillo creature during the third watch that did some damage, but we were able to put it down in short order.

The following morning the party climbed the mountain using the rope of climbing - it was a near vertical climb!  After a brief encounter with some Pterodactyls while we were climbing (we batted them away) the crows reached the summit and found out that we were on top of a volcano!   The party spent the night in sub- 0 temperatures which resulted in frostbite damage for everyone - it was perhaps the coldest night we have ever spent!! In fact it was colder than......

The following day, we ascended into the Caldera valley.  Here it was very warm and tropical on the valley floor and the crows spotted a village on the floor of the valley below. We guessed it had about one hundred or so island natives as inhabitants.  The village was set up for fishing the large lake at the center of the volcano.  They seemed hostile at first, but after figuring out we were friendly they accepted us - and, I mean accepted us!  They had no concept of personal property - simply put, what they had was ours and what we had was theirs!  The characters were all assigned to live with different family groups and we were one with the community!

Amul mentioned to the village community that 'our sister' Paladin Sierra was an unmarried female (a nice military-style practical joke since she was a Paladin!)

People of note:

THE CHIEF - a small stone statue - (this might be a god idol), but we were to respect it and talk to it as if it was a real person.

Oo-lot - "the talking chief" seemed to be the leader and was very old, friendly, and scarred.

Fon-o – the Village Shaman was an old leader type who worshiped the "Sky God".

After staying for a while to rest up and replenish our nourishment and supplies, the group found it had been totally befriended by the village.  At this point the village elders asked us to destroy the "Devils" that lived on the island in the middle of the lake.  The island was called "Taboo Island".  According to the elders these devils regularly hunted, captured, and preyed on the villagers.  After agreeing to help them in this matter, the party set off across the lake to attack the “Devils”. Upon our arrival, we found some "ancient ruins" which was what we had been seeking - the fabled City of the Ancients!!!

We crossed the lake from the village to the island in the middle in canoes provide to us by the villagers for the assault.  After an initial investigation of the old temple face on the edge of the lake, we went up some steps and found a hallway leading into darkness.  The hallway was filled with rubble so we could only proceed single file.  The crows began the advance into the hallway and suddenly, the Paladin in front was attacked by five spear men.  They were defending the "choke point" at the end of the tunnel so we couldn't really bring all of our forces to bear - only two people could fight at a time including one with a spear behind the Paladin. These spear men then raised the alarm alerting their companions beyond the entry.  During the initial melee, three spear men were killed and then the guards fell back into what appeared to be a large room beyond the entry corridor.  More natives charged in to block our entrance into the room, but we beat them back and finally cleared the choke point and they left a rearguard of two natives behind to cover their retreat who were finally overcome.

During the melee we wounded one of their leaders (a spear guy) who took 17 hits and fell back with the rest of them.  When it was over, Sierra was up front with Narsil the Sun Elf behind her and Rollo the dwarf was behind him with the rest of the party following behind in single file.  The Paladin could see many more in the large room beyond including archers, and it looked like they were waiting for us to charge into the room in order to let loose with a volley of arrows and spears - and that's where we left it.  We also thought that these devils were nothing more than evil humans in 'devil' costumes.   No gold or items where found but we did find a nice village and what seems to be the "City of the Ancients" so it was a productive session.  The next session is looking like a scrum from the get go and should be exciting... 


Friday, March 29, 2013

Averlorn Campaign - Adventure Module X1 the Isle of Dread

Recaps from 9/14/12 and 9/22/12 Averlorn Sessions

Part I - the Voyage

The Brotherhood of the Black Crowes had a new assignment for the group.  A map had recently been found by some adventurers and it was discovered that when heated, the location of a distant jungle island called the Isle of Dread showed up on the parchment.  There was also an account that indicated that a vast sum of riches and even a huge black pearl were hidden in a long lost City of the Gods located somewhere on the island.  We were assigned by the Brotherhood the task of finding the huge black pearl to give to the God King as a present, but were allowed to keep other treasures where found there minus 10% for the Brotherhood for arranging passage and setting up the whole expedition.  Several of our group were not used to sea travel and were ill for the first few days but eventually found there sea legs.  During the sea voyage, the ship was attacked by a very large bird of prey that killed a few sailors before the group finally managed to hit it with several magic missiles and arrows and finally, Ragnar’s sleep spell which brought it down.  Afterwards, we made it to Harbor Reach without any problems. 

The group brought aboard a quantity of trade goods to trade with the locals at the island upon our arrival.  When we boarded the ship the Golden lass, we noticed that Captain Jerran Colbertis had similar ideas, as he had stashed aboard the ship a large quantity of wine to trade in the port cities along the way since otherwise, the ship would have been empty sailing from port to port which would have been a wasted opportunity to trade some goods and make some money.  So once we arrived in Harbor Reach we decided to do likewise since it was known that good wine was made in that city but not necessarily in our next port of call which was the City of Zarathus.  Zarathus was another coastal city within the Kingdom of Ertris further to the south of Harbor Reach.  So when we finally arrived in Zarathus, the group managed to find a buyer for the wine and both the group and the Captain sold their wine to some merchants in a deal arranged in the Crippled Ape Tavern, a quiet little inn frequented by traders.  Once there, we made some inquiries as to what might be available in the islands and what they might want in trade, and used the profits from the wine sale to buy even more trade goods to trade with the natives of the island.

We sailed from Zarathus and had to outrun a violent storm by tacking along its edge but eventually made it to the Isle of Dread unharmed.  The isle was located in or near the Great Banks to the southeast if Zarathus.  When we arrived, we found the natives of the village of Tonnora to be very friendly and eager to trade with us.  We found out that they had ample supplies of ivory, coffee beans, and a beautiful and rare type of teak wood with a bluish purple color to trade, but they really lacked raw metal ore and glazed pottery and were eager to try and set up some sort of regular trading between our peoples.  We offloaded the trade goods and they loaded up the ship with about 5,000 g.p. worth of the ivory, rare wood, and coffee beans that they could gather or had on hand which we could sell for a tidy profit once back home or on the way there.

The other thing we discovered was that the natives had a matriarchal society – the women ruled the tribes but the men were still the warriors and held positions of authority like their spokesman Augma of the Hawk Clan.  There was also a witch doctor that eyed us suspiciously but we didn't really converse with him.  The village was one of many on the main island and nearby islands, but this one in particular was located on the southern tip of the main island in order to guard a massive stone wall across a narrow peninsula of land that separated the human inhabitants on this end of the island from the many dangers further inland.

The wall looked like it was a thousand years old and the natives said it had been built by the gods.  The wall had four huge seventy foot tall by a hundred foot square towers interspersed at regular intervals along its length, and a massive gate straight out of the movie King Kong, and was built to protect against the great beasts and rampaging humanoids found further to the north of the island.  The area beyond the walls had been cleared for a ways to allow archers to keep the wandering creatures from the island from getting too close to the walls and assaulting them.  Beyond that was another line of defense which had often helped to keep the larger predators away from the walls – the tar pits.  Augma also said the villagers regularly visited the tar pits in order to collect the tar for waterproofing the thatched roofs of their huts and for other uses, but rarely ventured any further than that.  When we asked him to pinpoint the location of the City of the Gods on our map, he pointed to an area in the northeast of the island before the island narrowed down to a point further to the north and east.

Within the town itself, we noticed that there was a central pyramid and four mounds at each of the cardinal points surrounded by a circular wooden palisade.  We were told that the ancestors were buried within the mounds and that there was one such mound for each of the clans (such as the Elk clan or instance).  We asked Augma about the ancestors but he didn’t want to talk about them – he said something about bad juju.  When we asked if they had had any recent visitors from the mainland the leader said some other visitors had arrived earlier in the spring that spoke a different language and also said that they had been forced to land because their ship had been damaged in a storm.  He also told us that there were cannibals living on some of the outer islands as well and to be wary of them.  When we asked him about the City of the Gods he said that his people believed that the gods actually lived there and built the place.

Part II - the Isle of Dread

So after the trade goods had been distributed and loaded aboard the ship, we provisioned ourselves and prepared to set forth further into the island beyond the great wall.  The villagers agreed to provide us with some porters and a guide for a nominal payment and we loaded up and set forth into the teeming jungle.  About halfway to the tar pits we set up camp for the evening and shortly into the first watch there was trouble.  Lorinar and Rollo were on the first watch when the camp was attacked by a large group of Rock Baboons!  We did our best to alert the camp but they were on us before everyone could even wake up and defend ourselves.  Several of the characters were wounded and four of the six porters were rent by the savage beasts limb from limb and killed in a grisly fashion.  Lorinar somehow managed to get a sleep spell off and managed to stay unscathed in the fray, but nearly everyone else in the group was wounded by the time we managed to slay the last of them.  At this point we found out that our guide Quyoga had some healing abilities since he also helped us to treat the wounded.  We also noticed that he wasn't quite like the other natives – he was Sea Blooded! (from Realms of Crawling Chaos).

So on the following day we resumed our journey and eventually made it to the tar pits…

Next session…

It was a fun session.  Tony rolled up a Sea Blooded fighter/cleric/shaman dude to play so we we would have a bit of healing - he turned out to be our guide which made it believable.  The first potential encounter was at night during one of the watches when a group of zombies came close to the camp - Quoyoga went into the woods and said he would take care of it and Lorinar saw him leading the zombies away!  At that point we were thinking they really were into ancestor worship because he said the "ancestors" are restless or something along those lines.

We continued our march through the hills and eventually into the jungle again and on another night, the group was nearly attacked by four gigantic bears (the biggest ones in the monster manual) so we decided to flee that encounter after Lorinar and Ragnar managed to slow them down with Stinking Cloud and Web spells.  One failed its save and was incapacitated by the cloud and the others had to go around or through the web but the spells bought us enough time to get away.  Unfortunately, our hasty withdrawal meant we lost a week or so of rations which were left behind, though that was better than becoming bear food ourselves!  These bears were huge and probably would have run us over and tore us to shreds!  So after that we kept going and entered an area of limestone hills that had caves everywhere and our guide told us not to go into the caves.  He said there was a tribe of white apes somewhere on the islands that drove the original inhabitants out but we weren't sure what was in the caves so we heeded his advice and continued on.  After that, we had another encounter during our watch with a pair of saber tooth tigers that were also huge and very hungry!  This time they were on us before we could get our stinking cloud and web spells off and it was a tough fight but we managed to slay them and only took a few wounds. 

After that we kept going and eventually hit a mountain range which we decided to cross.  On the other side we came to a deep canyon (like the size of the grand canyon!) with a river way at the bottom.  We noticed that off to the left was a rope bridge across it straight out of an Indiana Jones movie or something!  So the monk cautiously crossed the bridge and made it about halfway across, but then suddenly three Pteranodon's appeared in the sky above and started diving down towards him!  This was their hunting grounds apparently and they were hungry for some monk meat!  Fortunately, monks are fast (they move 15") and he quaffed half of his invisibility potion, turned invisible and made it back to the side that the group was on before they got to him.  So the Pteradon's swooped in on the party and a fierce melee ensued.  Lorinar cast magic missile on one, the paladin, Quoyoga and Narsil killed another, then Ragnar cast sleep in the comical finale and slept another one, put the Paladin and Abscondias to sleep, but not before Abscondias got off a magic missile spell and killed the third one on the way down and then the wizard hit the ground for a dirt nap afterwards, since both spells went off in the same segment!  That was pretty funny but that's where we left it.  We can see the plateau where the City of the Gods is supposed to be located beyond the canyon and the only thing between us and it is the rope bridge and the river gorge.  It was a fun and exciting session - I have to say that this module is pretty cool!  It has a very Indiana Jones/King Kong/Rudyard Kipling story feel to it...