Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Ever Expanding Dungeon: Session 9

As Feldspar led the group into the next room, an invisible force suddenly ripped his sword upward and out of his hand. With a clank, it slammed flat against the smoothly cut ceiling tile.

After some stunned silence and then a brief discussion, B prepared to climb onto Feldspar's shoulders to grab the sword. 

[roll vs. B's Dex, fail. For someone with a 14 Dex, she sure does fail a lot of checks]

In the event, she slipped  
[Mythic do they suffer any damage? 50/50,exceptional no] and knocked Feldspar to the ground. She, on the other hand, landed squarely on her feet.

On their second try, B succeeded in reaching the sword but she was unable to break the bond which held it to the ceiling [failed a roll vs her Str of 8]. Feldspar grasped B’s legs tightly and then pulled while dropping his full weight to the ground - [passed his roll vs his STR of 18] bringing B and the sword hurtling to the ground

[Mythic, do they fall and hurt themselves this time - Likely, no]

Pressing onward, the most fortuitous of events - a four way intersection one arm of which lead to a dead end. A dead end abutting a room near the original entrance the party took those many days ago.

A frantic search for a secret door began .

[My dungeon crawl rules note that on a roll of 1 there is a secret door and then I roll to see in which direction it goes. ]

Cries of joy erupt from the party - a secret door has been found and it appears to allow passage in both directions.

[It seemed to me that, as much as I wanted them out of the dungeon and safe at the inn, the characters might have other ideas. 

Mythic, be the PCs, do the players follow the secret door?  Very Likely, No]

Against all odds and common sense, Feldspar managed to convince the party to explore a little further, "After all, we know where to go to get out now."

In the next room, they encounter some giant rats snuffling about who have no interest in the party. 
[Mythic, does the party go back? I decide since they've already avoided the easy way out, it's Unlikely, no. ] As the feeling was mutual the PCs slipped quietly past and then forced open one of the two other doors in the room.

Although the party was diligent in trying to listen through the next door, they were surprised to when they forced open a door into a room with two adepts wearing symbols of evil deities discussing the finer points of ritual virgin sacrifice.

[I use LL rules to check the adepts' reaction - hostile, immediate attack. Awesome.]

The adepts charged the party and both chose Trulhammar as the target of their violence. Battered (4 HP of damage), he managed to stay on his feet.

[Here I rolled initiative, party 6, adepts 4 Phew!]

Perceval forced  his way up front, as Feldspar and Trulhammar side stepped the adepts to make room for him, thus allowing all three an attack. Sister Linkat and B turned to face the hallway to prevent any ambush.

The adepts had bitten off more than they could chew and both were killed as Trulhammar and Perceval struck home with their blades. 

Although a search of the room and their bodies revealed no treasure, a secret door was found on the wall abutting the first room they ever entered.

[Mythic, Do they go through?With Trulhammar badly injured now as well, I reset the odds back to 50/50. Exceptional yes, they will go through and head straight for the steps out

Mythic, do they encounter anything in room 1? 50/50, exceptional yes. Roll Rory's Story Cubes, get lightning bolt and magic wand, probably two magic users. Reaction is friendly.

Mythic, are they the friends of Chrontiphar, whose body the party has been dragging around?Unlikely. 33, yes and, random event, pc positive, "recruit magic". ]

Disappointed to see their dead friend, they noted, as they assisted the pcs with the body, that they now had an opening in their merry little band of mages and if she is interested, B would be most welcome, and they would teach her the art of wizardry.

Ever wary of the unwanted attention of old men, she replied that she'd think on it.

The party, weary and thankful for the help with the body, made their way outside where a a pyre was built for

As the flames lapped skyward and the sun began to dip below the horizon, the party and the mages hustled back to town.


  • My heart was in my throat when the party opted to continue exploring even though I really wanted them out of there. All thanks to Feldspar's thrill-seeking ways (see below). I've never been so happy for a party to survive!
  • Combat this time was handled with the same manner i used last time. It is most definitely my preferred method.
  • Before the session started, I went back and decided to generate some motivations and a single personality trait for each member of the party so that I can begin to better differentiate the characters:
    • Feldspar - A thrill-seeker, motivated by a general thirst for knowledge of the strange and fantastic. In his former life, he was a lorimer.
    • Perceval - Prior to offering his services to the original party as a porter, he was a huntsman in the woods around the village. Known among the villagers as an honorable man, he seeks to earn a reputation that extends beyond the village tavern.
    • Sister Linkat - A wanderer since childhood, she ran away from her small fishing village to head inland where she found religion. Now she wanders to spread her gospel. She is a bit naive although her experience in the dungeon is opening her eyes.
    • Bomgoster Boof - Born to a struggling blacksmith widowed not long after her birth, B and her 11 siblings made a game of who could steal the most for the family. As adults, they are all thieves of one kind or another. She is driven into the dungeons by sibling rivalry, hoping to score a big haul.
    • The Mysterious Trulhammar Gax - He's an NPC but I thought he deserved some fleshing out. The dice must have known it was he I was rolling a motivation for: he's seeking knowledge of something, something he doesn't talk about.

(combined session 8 and 9 totals)
Body count: Fargle Blim (H:0), Chrontiphar(M:1)
Killed: 1 bugbear, 2 evil adepts

Loot: 600 sp
Rooms explored: 9


  1. Ah, good. I didn't know if you'd seen my (late) last comment on your previous Crawl post about motivations. Apparently you did (or arrived at it on your own) and that it helps.

    I look forward to reading more of their explorations.

    -- Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Sorry, I thought I replied to your comment! Yes indeed, I took your advice and broke out the D30 DM Companion and some other sources to randomly generate motivations and previous professions.

      It's already starting to impact the feel of the game - which is just what I had hoped.


  2. Since you're using Mythic to determine PC actions, group-based questions might become less desirable now that there are expressed individual motivations. Situations could have different "levels" of likelihood depending on PC background differences. Any idea how you might approach that?

    1. Hi JF,

      Good question. The difficulty, I think, is not just accounting for differences in motivation, but also the degree of a PCs aversion/desire to take a given action, as well as the persuasiveness of a given PC on the group at large. Never mind group dynamics (PC A will always side with PC B, unless PC B stands in opposition to PC D, but not if they didn't get enough sleep last night).

      One method might be to test each character individually first to see where they stand and just use majority rules, which I've seen used by enough social gaming groups to know that's not an infrequent method of settling differences of opinion. Persuasiveness of a given PC though is lost.

      Another option, a little more complicated to describe, but perhaps speedier to implement at the table, would be to treat the descriptors on the Fate chart as steps away from 50/50. If someone is Very Likely (3 steps "below"50/50) and another is Very Unlikely (2 steps "above"50/50),the test would be against Somewhat Likely (1 step below 50/50).

      That misses the persuasiveness portion of the equation again, as well as the individual variations from expected behavior being accounted for prior to the decision being made (as when it's a Near Sure Thing and you still roll a No) but accounts for the degree to which each PC cares about the decision at hand.

      I might just knock it all down to a 1d6, 1-3 = no, 4-6 = yes, and sum +1/0/-1 modifier for each PC and take the result + modifier total. It's simple, easily accounted on the fly, and I can add or subtract additional modifiers as I see fit in the spur of the moment.

      Since no one is going to throw their hands up and go their own way once they're in the dungeon (they've seen way too much death for that), no matter the case, the group all takes the same result.

      Out of the dungeon, particularly when they're preparing their next attempt, that may not be the case. In fact, I'm thinking that B may abandon this whole enterprise before the next trip in- the loot hasn't lived up to her expectations.


  3. I would probably use the following quick and simple solution . . .

    Add up the Charisma scores for each option and use the difference as a modifier on the FATE chart.

    -- Jeff

  4. If you do lose B, might I offer the following character (via D30)?

    Gelfat is an elf . . . but he's a bit on the short side and rather rotund (well, for an elf that is) so has been the butt of jokes and jibes his whole life.

    Because of his size, his family refused to allow him to train with the (usual) long sword; but made him learn to use a short sword and shield instead . . . leading to further ridicule.

    He seeks respect and admiration . . . he wants to be honored and loved, not constantly belittled (pun intended). In part because of this his favorite spell is not magic missile or sleep but "Charm Person".

    His shape did not lend itself to elven chainmail so he only has leather armor (and shield) to go with his short sword.

    Armor Class is . . . 5
    Hit Points are . . . 7

    Str 16 (+2 hit/dmg)
    Int 14
    Wis 13
    Dex 14 (-1 AC)
    Con 13 (+1 HP)
    Chr 9 (no respect . . . *sigh*)

    -- Jeff

    1. Jeff,

      Thank you for the character!

      Even if B doesn't decide to pursue other avenues of entrepreneurship, I will most certainly bring Gelfat into my gaggle of adventurers. He has a distinct personality which should make it easy to make decisions in character.



  5. Jeff and JF,

    I was originally thinking of factoring in Charisma, then dropped the idea because I had started imagining people who are physically charismatic, but are also terrible at explaining their points or are just jerks.

    However, seeing Jeff's suggestion made me rethink my decision, and I decided to look at the rulebook to see just what was intended by Charisma. It explicitly cites persuasion in the definition of the attribute.

    My example above would be accounted for by a score closer to average. So, I will definitely include it as a factor.

    In the next session, hopefully sometime this week, when there is a conflict over what to do next, I'll try Jeff's suggested method starting from a 50/50 base and using a difference that favors those in favor to subtract from the resulting die throw, and a difference favoring those not in favor to add to it.

    If I'm really not sure how a character might act, I'll roll for them individually before lumping them into the overall pool for yes or no. It's a little extra rolling but it allows for those surprises that Mythic is known for.