Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Dwimmer-Campaign Game 3

Third installment of the player's exploration of the legendary Dwimmermount.

Game 3 started with a few new drop-in players joining for the night as we played at a neighbor's house.  The players started at the Muntburg tavern, the Flask and Scroll, and discussed their next delve while peering at the map.  Mook 3 (who left their service at the end of last game) had been spreading horrible rumors about Dwimmermount in the intervening time - full of monstrous spiders, death, and beastmen - and word was starting to get out of Muntburg that the dungeon held dangers and treasures.  "I knew we should have knocked off that mook in the dungeon", complained Marthanes' player, as they considered options.  "By the way, new guys, what kind of characters are you, and what do you do?"

"I'm a paladin!" declared Priscus.  "Surely you were kidding about that last comment, murdering your poor ex-retainer?"  Marthanes' player, who nearly spit out his chips, glared across the table - "Seriously, you had to pick a paladin, dude?  So much for my reign of chaos - I guess we're  going to have to act "lawful" from now on".  Meanwhile, the other new player was Parquas, an elf nightblade (a magic user\thief).

The characters for this session:
Marthanes, an exotic sorcerer (mage) from the sultry south
Malgrim, a fighter
Priscus, a paladin
Parquas the Duelist, an elf nightblade
Plus two henchmen - Wolfengard, a dwarf fighter, and Father Tancrede, a priest of Typhon

The Great Porfirio, the finest alchemist of the majestic city of Adamas, had come to Muntberg with his entourage as soon as he heard the dungeon was open, to hire adventurers to retrieve rare reagents for him from the dungeon.  "Texts from the time of the Termaxians identify a 'moon pool' right on the first level of Dwimmermount where the mages of the old empire recovered 'True Water'", declared Porfirio.  "I will pay handsomely if you can discover the truth of whether such a pool exists, and even more if you're able to retrieve some True Water.  Of course, if you don't want the job, I can hire those other guys, the Five Delvers…"

I'll talk about this more during a formal review, but there's a neat tool called the Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker over at RPGNow; each level has a table of 1d6 interesting quests on the tracker - exactly the type of thing I've done for my home brew megadungeons.  Porfirio is the embellished result of a quest... 

The players bought some empty flasks, but when they went to the bond-house to see if there were any mercenaries looking for work, they learned that all of them were recently hired away by a new party, the Five Delvers.  "That's it, we're going to find these guys and have a talk with them - we'll double the pay and hire the mooks away!"

The Five Delvers are a newly formed adventuring party preparing for their own first trip to the dungeon.  The recently hired mercenaries were outside the cottage laying out gear and sharpening weapons.  Priscus started making an offer to the mercenaries about coming to work for the Muntburg Broncos (the spontaneous name the players just picked for themselves) when Asceline, the lithe and attractive leader of the Delvers, burst out and declared that no one was hiring away her mercenaries.

After sizing up Priscus, she looped her arm in his and walked him down the street to 'work out an arrangement'.  She agreed to letting the party hire away a couple of mercenaries by doubling their pay (as long as she could pocket the difference) and all the while was trying to use her pick pockets skill to rifle through Priscus's belt pouch.  "What do you need the empty flasks for, did you find something like a pool?"  Priscus realized what she was doing and pushed her away.  "We're going to find that Moon Pool for the alchemist", he declared.  "Not if the Delvers find it first!" she retorted.  The players picked two of the mercenaries to change teams, and they headed back to the inn to get ready.

Despite an hour planning to find the moon pool, what they really did when they got to the dungeon was go to a vault with a locked iron door, to test out the "rod of opening".  The door creaked open and then slammed against the wall with a deafening clang.  The vault groaned with an inward rush of air, and a cold chill of undeath washed over the party.  A hollow voice called out, "This treasure is mine.  Mine!  You shall not have it…" and rising from the floor was the gruesome shape of a wight!  (The players didn't know it was a wight, but I described it in such scary detail that the two youngest kids were quaking in their very chairs!)

The party had loaded up on holy water last week, so they immediately started pulling out vials and tossing them at the undead horror, with its life-draining talons reaching for their necks.  Meanwhile, the elf nightblade, using acrobatics, stealth, and the skulking proficiency, had skirted around the vault to the backside of the treasure pile and was creeping up on the wight from behind.  Once he realized it was a nasty undead, he figured his regular sword wouldn't damage it, so he scanned his eyes over the treasure pile, figuring there was a fair chance for a magic item.  The hilt of a sword stuck out of the pile!  Hoping that it was magical, he withdrew the sword and attempted to backstab the wight once it moved forward to claw at the front rank of characters.  It was indeed an enchanted blade, and the thief ended up doing close to 20 damage on the backstab, splitting the wight's skull from the rear.

The mercenaries stood watch while the players sorted and catalogued the wight's large treasure pile, and packed it into sacks for transport.  It was so much that they aborted the rest of the delve to haul the loot back to Muntburg right away, heavily laden with bursting sacks and full backpacks.  There was no keeping a low profile now; word spread from the corporal of the watch that the adventurers had returned with a load of treasure, and the players were barraged with offers from merchants and people in town plying wares and services.  They spent the rest of the night negotiating the purchase of a stone cottage in the outer bailey to use as headquarters, and a bunch of large chests, locks, and some trained war dogs to help with security of their new headquarters.  They even talked to the captain of the guard about keeping a closer watch on their house.  Success has come quickly for the Muntburg Broncos!

My neighbor's wife came home early from shopping and declared it 'time for kids to hit the sack', so we packed up.  His kiddo seemed to enjoy D&D so we'll see if we can get them in another game in a week or so.