Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wilderlands Campaign write-up, Sessions 2 - 4

Well, it’s been a long time since I posted, which I blame on my return to the university as a student. That isn’t quite true, but it did burn enormous amounts of free time, which were not then available for gaming or blogging. The truth of the matter is that I got out of the habit of it, which is the secret to any writing and most of life.

In the interim we had five sessions of the campaign which I will try to summarize. I am mostly going to comment on how OSR-matters arose during play, but also give some character highlights as well.

2nd session. The second session followed almost immediately on the first, and revolved around a return to the dungeon that I had placed immediately north of Brushwood, in the same hex (Hex 4015 of the City-State map). The players decided descend deeper into the ruins, and encountered some dead bees, as well as a large amount of honey. On the next level, they found some rooms, which they slowly explored. I don’t believe they explored the entire level, but they managed to find a little treasure, and avoided the serious fights. They found a staircase which led to a lower level, with a chill wind emanating from it. Garion (the priest of Mitra) initially said that he would refuse to travel into an area with “undead air-conditioning” and had to be talked into descending further. On the next level, they found an area with metal corridors and metal hatchway style doors, which continued to creep them out.

3rd Session. In one of the first rooms they ventured into, they found a metal desk, bolted to the metal wall, which had various knobs and button on it. On the wall above the desk were various windows, which seemed to be ‘scrying portals’ to other areas in the dungeon. They fiddled with the knobs (of course) and found themselves confronted with a ‘demon’ face, which waved its hand, turning all the ‘scrying portals’ black.

After this episode, they continued to explore the other areas, once again blundering their way into areas where no monsters were.

I had been fairly strict in my timekeeping, rolling random encounters as dictated by the ‘once every two turns’ rule, but I usually chose the result based on what made the most sense to me, in terms of pacing and mood. Much of the time that ended up being a mysterious event, as much as a monster.

During the last encounter, in some sort of ruined kitchen, Freedrick stirred up some yellow mold, but it was poor Thaddeus Silverkin who died as a result.

The first death of the campaign, from a failed save vs. poison. This was a bit of a shock to Thaddeus’ player, as he was I think expecting some sort of way out.

The rest of the characters decide to return to Brushwood, where Thaddeus was from, in order to return his remains to his family.

4th session. As the characters returned, and took care of their duties to their fallen comrade, they discussed taking on new members of their company. Soon, they made the acquaintance of an elf named Lexorus, who stumbled into town with little equipment. He claimed to have been set upon by Goblins to the south, in the midst of the Brushwood. These goblins slew his companion, stole his equipment and left him for dead. He desired revenge, and convinced the other players that the caves of the Goblins in the depths of the Brushwood held much treasure.

This was R’s new character, who decided on an elf before seeing all the details on how I run elves in my game. Basically, I use the Basic/Expert approach, where the elf is its own character class. I don’t allow PCs to cast spells in armor unless they access special elven armor through play. So right now (since he borrowed money from the party for armor) he’s a fighter who can search well.

KY decided that her fighter was a knight, based on my use of the Judges Guild social class tables. Or at least she was trained as a knight, but is not yet a knight, her father being still alive. I mention this because she asked about gaining a follower, which I decided to work into the back ground of one of the other characters.

The High Priest of the local temple of Mitra (and de facto leader of Brushwood), when he hear that Garion had returned, took him aside and questioned him about his recent activities. After hearing about how dangerous Garion found the whole experience, the High Preist said that he had a nephew, who needed work for benefit of his soul, and would KY’s character be willing to take him on as a squire? The characters agreed, and the nephew, Geoffrey was summoned from the inn where he was sleeping of a drunk, pockets emptied from a card game the previous night.

KY had inquired about getting a thief henchmen, and so I quickly generated him on a 3x5 card, and said he was her new squire. To my delight, I rolled abysmally low for Geoffrey’s morale, which I use on a regular basis to figure your what the NPC henchmen really do when they get ordered around.

After rousting Geoffrey, the party proceeded into the depths of the small Brushwood forest, one hex to the south of the village (hex 4016, I believe). Along the way, they encountered some very careful woodsmen, who claimed that they had seen Goblins recently, of a strange grey color. The party also had a rumor card stating that there was a new tribe of goblins in a large hill/small mountain in the middle of the woods. As they approached, I called for bushcraft checks, so they were able to discover to sneak up on the entrance, with two goblins guards outside. They dispatched these fairly easily, and proceeded into the cave complex. Just inside the entrance, were carved warning in elvish about not awaking a sleeping evil inside the cavern. Lexorus recalled that he was told this cave complex was taboo, and that none should enter it. Disregarding these warnings in his desire for revenge, he pushed the party onward.

Of course, once inside, they fell into their first ambush.

More tomorrow. Really.

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