Last night, the boy slept unexpectedly well - so I got to do some unexpected gaming. Here follows the account of the 2nd attempt at the dungeon which I have yet to name:
The party returned to town where they paid for another night of lodging at The Zealous Dagger, divided the loot among the survivors, paid the porter and then went shopping at the provisioners and the weapon shop. After stocking up on things like holy water, oil (for lighting things on fire) and some additional weapons, it was off to the tavern for dinner and to find another torch bearer and some others to join the party.
A few rolls of the dice and they were able to hire Tobor, a 0-level torch bearer, for a 10% cut. They also found a new PC to join the party, Inga Fireforge, F:1, HP 9. I had hoped to find two PCs to replace Theodotus and Irongrim but the dice were against it.
At this point, I noticed I had documented Feldspar's HP as 8, when it should have been 10 with his CON bonus. In any case, he needed healing still, so one Cure Light Wounds from Brother McCleary and he was patched up to his full amount.
Feldspar's high charisma (actually all of my PCs have above average CHR, which is a rarity when I'm rolling the dice) was instrumental in convincing Perceval to rejoin the party. That and we sweetened the deal - we offered 25% of the loot and a sword so he could protect himself if the need arose. He agreed.
The next morning, the party set off for the dungeon again. With map in hand, they quickly headed for the unexplored hallways. As they had been gone less then 24 hours, they only found that one door had been repaired - the one to the hallway with the mural-painting dwarves.
The mural appeared to be of a mountain top observatory either sending or receiving a message from the stars. This lead to some head scratching, but not much as time dawdling is time for monsters to find you.
[One plausible theory is that the dungeon goes up to the top of this mountain, and there is an observatory up there]
In the first "special" room encountered thus far, the PCs found a lone chest in the middle of the room. Brother McCleary (whose motivation is "glory") volunteered to examine it. When he got within a few feet, it opened, burped out a meal of roasted potatoes, sausage and a pint of what appeared to be stout. Like all my clerics, he isn't one to turn down alcohol, and he took a swig which was quickly spat out; it was in fact, a pale ale disguised as porter. He swore to the gods and left the meal untouched.
Further on, a chance encounter with four giant centipedes turned south when Feldspar was hit and failed to make his save, making him extremely sick and unable to do anything but walk at 50% his movement rate. As I had just started, I decided the party would press on, albeit at an extremely slow pace.
The first role playing encounter of the night was with three warrior-types (berserkers) who rounded the corner ahead of us. I was fearful of a combat, especially with Feldspar being useless, but they were more interested in asking us for food than combat. In exchange, they informed us that the left leg of the intersection we approached would take us to an exit to the surface, while to the right we could go further into the dungeon. We thanked them and parted ways.
I suppose I could have exited then, but again, it was still early.
In a fairly large room, we ran into an evil adept patrolling his territory (what I had thought, and still think, might be dwarven-held as well. In any case, I think the adept may be somehow connected to the zombies and skeletons from the first delve), in light of our numbers, opted to demand an explanation for our intrusion. We explained we were just looking around and asked to pass, but he was strangely silent on the matter. Perhaps the fact that we had just smashed down his door wasn't very helpful to our cause. Still, we outnumbered him, so, we did it anyway, and though he didn't try to stop us, he warned menacingly that we were to leave the crystal torches where they rest, or there would be no escape.
I have no idea what that means but I'm sure they'll turn up further into the dungeon.
As the party went to explore an adjacent room, a lone robber attacked and, though he did some damage to Inga and Feldspar ,was easily overcome. Tobor took the thief's sword and the party pocketed the 6 gold they found on his body.
I was getting ready to wrap up, but opted to press on just a bit longer, and of course, Tobor fell in a pit and was killed from the fall.
It's going to be really hard to find torch bearers if we loose one every time we go into the dungeon!
Some giant rats in a fairly large pack (there were 9 of them) convinced me to get the party out of harms way. As the PCs retreated down an unexplored hallway, they found another exit to the surface and this time took full advantage of it.
Time spent in the dungeon: 58 turns (at 6 turns an hour, that's nearly 10 hours)
On turn 27, I drew the fourth king and reshuffled the dungeon generator deck. I drew 17 cards for the remaining 31 turns, mostly due to the extremely slow movement rate. A 30' hallway was 1 turn!
Body count: Tobor the torchbearer
Kills: 4 giant centipedes, 1 robber (2nd level thief)
Rooms explored: 15
Resources used in addition to Labyrinth Lord rulebook: D30 DM Companion, Labyrinth Lord AEC (for special room generation), Risus Monkey's Dungeon Words