Monday, February 18, 2013

The Ever Expanding Dungeon: Session 12

[Q6. I had no idea what was going to be the challenge for the PCs with this question and then I rolled "levitating", "slime" and the frown-y face story cube, well there you go then, a floating 6' tall face made of slime]

As the party attempted to figure out just what to do, now that things had gone from bad to a whole lot more bad,  a hidden door slid open and through the passage flew the 6' tall twisted visage of a man’s face in dripping green slime, laughing maniacally. [AC 6, HD 3, # att: 1 either touch or vomit, all damage as ordinary green slime, MV: 60', F:3]

[I was starting to worry about the party's chance of survival and I opted to give Gelfat a chance to know that green slime can be damaged only by flame. After all, he's a few hundred years old and had plenty of time to study such things back in elf school right? In the event, he passed his attribute check.]

Gelfat recognized that it might be the kind of creature which can only be wounded by fire, but before he could tell anyone, the floating slime-face projectile vomited towards Perceval.  The slime blast landed far short and even with the splash, it did no damage.

"Everyone grab a torch!" yelled Gelfat.
The battle was quick and went to the party but as the last bit of the slime burned away, they could hear a laugh coming from the passage the floating green head had come, a laugh that sounded identical to that of the slime. 


With surprise so far removed from the realm of the possible and with no way to exit the tower, the PCs pressed onward with Perceval and Feldspar in front, Sister Linkat close behind, followed by Gelfat, the worst armor of the bunch , torch in hand, just in case.

[ Will the wizard be in this room - near sure thing, 86,yes]

Seated in a carved stone throne, a bald man with a long white beard, dressed in a hooded black robe glared at them with white, pupil-less eyes. To a one, the PCs were suddenly thrown into doubt about the very nature of this evil.

“This is fun isn’t it?” he smirked. 

From behind the throne stepped four abominations clad in gilded armor, with the legs, lower torso and arms of a man and the yellow-green chitinous head with glowing red eyes of a mantis.

[I decided for ease of stats to treat them as orcs but with a morale of 12.]

Gelfat dropped his torch (the room like the previous rooms was lit) and shield and prepared charm person, while the rest charged the mantis-men, doing their best to stay out of Gelfat's line of sight.

Things started out well - Feldspar cleaved the first mantis-man in two, but then the party faltered. Sister Linkat and Perceval both failed to do any damage, and although Gelfat had a clear shot at the wizard, he was unable to charm him. [the wizard was 9th level and just barely made his saving throw. Victory was so close. So very close.]

The wizard had seen enough and disappeared behind his throne and up the stairs.

Meanwhile the building was still shaking and debris continued to fall, [There were a number of tests to see if anyone on either side was hit, but no one was.]

The savage melee continued - Gelfat was badly wounded and then, in a shocking turn, Feldspar was run through and dropped on the spot. The natural leader of the group, the party's strongest fighter, dead. It was a lot to take in.

[Here I had to pause. The loss was real - he had been a key part of my stable of PCs for two months. Even when he was laid up in bed thanks to the giant centipede bite, I made sure to check his status each session. I'm glad he went down fighting and not falling into some spiked pit trap or succumbing to poison gas. He was the last PC from the original party to die - Perceval was an NPC to start for those who are new to the story]

Several tense round of combats followed - a slogging match of close calls and near misses, until Gelfat too was slain. That he died giving his all to save a small village of strangers, and the lives of his new found companions, will be remembered by all who tell the tale of this quest to slay this evil wizard.

[Now I became truly disheartened. Bluebear Jeff had imbued Gelfat with just enough personality that I could run with him and easily put myself in his shoes, without feeling hampered by a complicated back story. I was sad to lose him so quickly. I'm glad he went down swinging and not like a chump.]

Enraged and desperate, Sister Linkat and Perceval fought on until the mantis-men lay in heaps upon the floor. 

Without missing a beat, they raced behind the throne and up the stairs to stop the wizard and end this madness.

[Q8  and what a costly bunch of Qs it's been!]

[My random generator gave me giant, mirror. And I immediately knew where this was going.]

Sister Linkat and Perceval bounded up the stairs only to find themselves standing at the top of the shaking, collapsing, tower on a large circlular open-air deck. An intricate wrought-iron railing being the only thing between standing on the tower and free falling to the ground below. 

Before them, a great glass lens of enormous proportions, mounted on a complicated brass and copper machinery appeared to be pointed at Woodsbridge [I decided the village really ought to have a name], barely visible in the distance. 

Standing behind the lens was the mage.

“You seem to have forced my hand. And here i was going to give the village 5 days of terror to meet my demand. Too bad for them that you decided to take this approach.”

He began to move his hands and speak the words of some ancient spell.
[Before I rolled initiative, I had to find out some stats for the wizard. He had to be 9th level for some of the spells I imagined he had access to. I also figured if he'd survived this long, he must have a ring of protection and a decent DEX. I rolled his DEX as 6 + 2d6. 15, and gave him a ring of protection +2. AC 6, not bad for a guy in a bath robe.)

[Perceval planned to charge the wizard while Sister Linkat would charge and try to smash the lens with her mace. I rolled the dice, and the wizard won: 6-3]
The wizard cast his spell at the lens and a bolt of electricity shot from his body, slammed into the lens and was immediately amplified to many times its power. A split second later the entire destructive force was released upon the village.

Or it would have been.

Unfortunately, the lens wasn't quite as accurate as the wizard hoped, and it exploded in a shower of trees and earth. [curiosity, which, as they say, killed the cat, forced me to ask, first if the device was accurate. I set the chances at 50/50 and rolled 63, a "no". Then if the dungeon had been hit.  I gave it a 50/50 chance and sighed with relief when I rolled a 73 which is also a "no."]

"Damn gnomes," he cursed under his breath.

Perceval charged and struck the wizard [10 points of damage,but the wizard is 9th level and quite 

Sister Linkat attacked the lens with equal success. 

[To determine the roll to hit for the lens, I asked if the lens had an  ac of 5 and got a no, so I asked if it was higher (i.e. better or in reality, lower)? 22, Exceptional yes. The ac is 2, and random event!  ambiguous event, elements, vengeance.]

As the lens cracked, the sky began to darken, lightning flashed and then thunder roared - the sky opened up and rain poured down.

[In the next round, I gave the wizard a chance to have a wand, since, as I take it, if he's engaged in melee he can't cast a spell. I figured it was very likely and got a yes, and rolled up a wand of illusion. I asked if he also had a magic dagger, and got exceptional yes, which I decided was a +1 dagger with poison on the blade.  To see which he'd use, I ruled 1-3 = wand 4-6 dagger, rolled 1d6 and got 6, dagger]

Perceval was lucky the wizard missed, he didn't realize how lucky, nor did he have t he time as he was already swinging. He struck
 the wizard again [a whopping 4 points. 14 points total and  he remained on his feet].

[I then asked Mythic, does the wizard stay in combat? 50/50 80, no]

The wizard took stock of the situation and decided to fall back to the railing to give himself some space.

[He then won the initiative and I asked does he cast as a spell or try to escape. I figured one doesn't get to 9th level as a magic-user without knowing it's better to live to fight another day, plus it makes for a possible recurring villain.
1-3 spell, 4-6 escape, rolled 1d6 and got a 6, escape]

With a flourish he hurled himself over the edge. 

Sister Linkat and Perceval ran to the railing to watch the wizard's fall, but as the peered over the edge, they were met by an incredible flash of light and the wizard was gone.

There was little time to stand around and puzzle out what they had just seen, for the building began to crumble at an increasingly fast rate.
[Mythic, is there anyway for them to escape? 50/50 (you might scoff at those odds but it's an action adventure, surely the hero has a chance to escape certain doom. Otherwise, this would be Call of Cthulhu) , 36, yes.]

Perceval grabbed his rope, tied it to the railing on the side of the tower closest to ridge and he and Sister Linkat climbed down to safety. They continued running down the ridge as far from the tower as they could get, well, as fast as anyone in plate mail really can run, looking for a place to take shelter from the storm. 

Behind them, the tower collapsed into a spectacular pile of rock, dust and flame.


Early that evening, they arrived safely back in Woodsbridge already well involved in a joyous celebration - the villagers had seen the smoke from the collapsed tower and the explosion that tore up some of the pastures outside of town (no sheep were injured). The two were rewarded for their efforts, and for the loss of their companions, with free lodging as long as need be and each received a small sum of gold (10gp) as a token of the villagers thanks.

As a result of the threat they faced, however, anti magic-user sentiment will become prevalent in the communities within 10 miles of the ridge, as the story spreads of the fate that almost befell the small logging village.

And, of course, there’s no evidence the wizard was killed in the fall.

I have a lot to say about these two sessions, but I'll save most of it for another post.

It was gladdening, after so much loss, to see that both PCs earned enough experience to push them into 2nd level. Finally!

That it was a Pyrrhic accomplishment does detract from it a little bit, but only a little bit.


  1. Ah well, I'm sorry to see that Gelfat fell . . . (I wish the "Charm Person" spell had worked) . . . but I just checked and I'm not bleeding anywhere (and it is hardly my first character to die, I've been gaming since the 70s) so no real harm done.

    And you've now established a good villain for the continuing adventure. Might I suggest (from your description) that they start calling him "White Eyes" (since they don't know his real name).

    I'll see if I can come up with a new character for you . . . probably a Dwarf fighter (I've always liked those) . . . but I need to think of a bit of background for him first.

    -- Jeff

    1. Funny, I kept thinking to myself after I posted the write-ups that we never did learn his name. "White Eyes" it is.

      Admittedly, I was happy he escaped, as I like the idea of some kind of recurring foe to pop up from time to time to give the PCs a bit of trouble. Not to mention that the survivors will most definitely be willing to engage him (far more cautiously perhaps).


  2. Okay. Since you use D30 to roll up your characters, I used it for a B/X Dwarf (although I think the rolls are a bit high . . . but given the lethality of your ever-expanding dungeon, that's okay, I guess).

    So we have Dleggit. I rolled "avoiding responsibility" for him . . . so his father is a master smith (one who even makes magic weapons) and Dleggit is his eldest son, who is expected to take over the smithy eventually.

    But Dleggit doesn't like smithing. He's not bad at it. His work is of Journeyman quality (well, low jouneyman anyway). He made his War Hammer as well as his shield and plate armor . . . and they are quite well made (but nothing special).

    However, whenever he was tasked with helping his father making any magic weapons, things would go wrong and the weapon would be ruined . . . which resulted in many recriminations.

    Dleggit doesn't seem to be able to gain the finer points of smithing and doesn't like it . . . but he's supposed to take over the smithy.

    He IS very good underground and loves exploring caves . . . and finally he had enough of his father's criticisms and ran away from home to join the circus.

    Well, actually a wandering band of adventurers . . . isn't that close enough?

    Unfortunately he was tasked with holding the horses while the rest of the party went off to explore a tower with a great circular thing on top.

    He waited for them to come back for several days . . . but they did not.

    Then there was some sort of explosion in the woods nearby and the tower collapsed. So he has headed for the village nearby with the party's six horses . . . maybe someone there will want to buy them.

    Dleggit's stats:

    STR -- 17 (+2 to hit/damage)
    INT -- 9
    WIS -- 13 (+1 to some saves)
    DEX -- 13 (+1 to AC)
    CON -- 16 (+2 to HP)
    CHA -- 11

    AC = 1 Plate, Shield and DEX
    HP = 9 War Hammer

    Motivation = Avoiding Responsibility

    Use him if you like. . . . (or don't)

    -- Jeff

    1. Thanks again! Dleggit will definitely find himself part of the party when they venture in next!


  3. I've been following your blog for a while and I've especially enjoyed these solo RPG write-ups. Lots of fun to read.

    And I DEFINITELY think you should try that one idea you mentioned where you could 'follow Malazar's journey in the "herafter", the outer planes if you will. His soul, cursed because he was killed by a ghoul, is trapped in the Abyss, or Hell or some such, and he must find a way to cleanse his soul in order to pass into Valhalla, the 7 Heavens or what not'. I'd love to see how it turns out.

    1. Hi Rush,

      Thanks for commenting and I'm glad you've been enjoying the write ups!

      Malazar's journey is definitely on the horizon - just need to make some time on the schedule.