Monday, December 16, 2013

The Ever Expanding Dungeon : Session 25b

The other day I had a chance to run the actual 25th session of The Ever Expanding Dungeon. Unfortunately, most of the time I had allotted was spent looking for my campaign notes - which is the raw data from which I do these write-ups.

Unfortunately, after a lot of searching, I realized that, while a few scattered sessions were stored in Google Docs, the vast majority of its 100+ pages was stored primarily on the netbook that the burglars took.

On the bright side, since the party had been away from the dungeon for so long in game time, it was quite likely that, although in broad strokes the dungeon's factions remained the same, at the level of room stocking, things would have changed.

What time I had left was quite short, but as it turned out, that didn't matter anyway.

Mythic GME:
Has the dungeon reset? Very likely. 67 Yes
Have all doors been replaced? Somewhat likely. 02, Exceptional yes, all replaced and all locked.
Also, to account for the fact that the denizens suffered a bit at the hands of the invaders (the party), I decided that wandering monsters would appear on a 1 or 2.

At sistr Linkat’s urging, and after a review of the map, the party decides to head towards room 31 and the two unexplored doors there.

Following the lead of several adventures I've read through recently, I rolled to see if anything was encountered on the way to the dungeon with a standard wandering monster check - 5, no encounter
The party made their way to, what on my map, is room 31. 

This is why I wanted my note file - I couldn't recall what was here before, but thankfully was able to piece it together. It was a room that had at one point contained the makeshift gnoll shrine.

Sister Linkast and Sylana each pressed an ear to the door, but neither heard anything within. Sylana gave the door a try but failed to make it budge, but Sister Linkat had no better luck. It fell to Sylana to try again [I ruled that, since they were under no pressure to get the door open, they would succeed eventually. As it turned out, Sylana rolled a 2 and succeeded]

Having made quite a racket opening the door, it seemed almost impossible that the party would be surprised to find the room's sole inhabitant, a bugbear on guard duty, ready for them, and yet it happened.

[ I have a new dungeon generator (go figure) that will be in issue 2 of the zine - at the moment it uses a d10 for room contents. 9 = Monster.

I rolled in the d30 companion = 1 bugbear

I rolled again on my generator and found he was "guarding"

Roll for surprise: party 6, not surprised. The bugbear didn't roll since the party had made a poor showing opening the door. But, I also ruled that the bugbear was automatically hostile since he’s a guard.

Round 1 Initiative. Party 1, Bugbear 6.

I decided that if he's a guard he should have a way of sounding an alarm.

Mythic GME: Does he have a way to sound an alarm? Very likely.57. yes]

Raising a twisted grey horn to his lips, he blew a call to arms and then, tightening his grip on his battle axe, he charged!

Fortunately, his rage got the better of him as his attack was futile in the worst way [i.e. Rolled a 1 to hit. I decided not to do Critical Hits/Misses this session, as a test.] Sister Linkat and Sylana were equally ineffective, and Manchiever, no fool, brought his sleep spell online, just in case.

[Round 2]

The bugbear lifted the huge double-bitted blade again and sent it crashing towards the pair, but his blows were easily dodged. he pair of clerics continued their attempts to smite their foe, and Sister Linkat managed to land a blow [just 3 HP of damage].

[Round 3 was uneventful. In round 4, Sylana and Linkat planned to fall back and Manchiever would cast sleep. Unfortunately, I remembered the alarm the bugbear had sounded.

Mythic GME: does reenforcement arrive? likely. 54.
who? probably either another bugbear or goblins. is it another bugbear 02. Exceptional yes.
I decided that meant it was 2 more bug bears (at 3HD apiece, I wasn't going to inflict more than that on the party).

Two more bugbears similarly armed, crashed into the room and into the fray. One of them managed to connect and did a good bit of damage to Sylana [8 HP of damage] before the clerics could fall back behind Manchiever.

His spell unleashed and dropped the two reinforcements [he rolled to put 6HD to bed]

[Round 5]

Linkat and Sylana prepared to step up and finish the remaining bugbear, but the bugbear was faster and swung and hit the magic-user. 

[Here's where I figured Manchiever was a goner. He has 4 HP after all.

I rolled the damage die and got a 2! Even with the +1 bonus bugbears get, he still survived!]

In the end though, the servants of the Hedonistic Lumberjack won the day. For his part, and caught up in the rage induced by his wound, Manchiever went around and slit the throat of the two sleeping bugbears while looting their coin purse for a less than princely sum of 26 gp.

Sister Linkat, scratched with chalk onto each wall, the Hedonistic Lumberjack’s symbol to serve as a warning to whomever employed the bugbear guards.

After healing spells were cast, the party checked the doors and Sylana heard something through the door the bugbears had entered from.

[Here I decided to use a new decision making mechanism - basically the same one I've been using, but streamlined. Details of this will follow once I write them up.

Sylana wants to go through south door, very likely
Manchiever would rather go back to town and see if they can hire anyone again, near surre thing
Sister Linkat thinks they should bar the south door, and check the north first, given they've already blown the sleep spell. Somewhat likely

Sylana = +2
Manchiever = +3
Sister Linkat = +/- 0

Manchiever rolled an 18 and won

Manchiever, although he understood the zeal that drove both the priestesses, was able to show the two the good sense his idea made, and the party returned to town.

[Rolled for additional encounters, but there were none]

Back in town, Manchiever prepared and hung up signs announcing the job opening, but only 1 replied and he, as it turned out, wasn't interested in the deal. In fact, he was so offended by the offer, he started a negative viral marketing campaign, which more or less rules out the possibility of hiring anyone within the village.
With their prospects of finding another hireling anytime soon slim, the party opted to return to the dungeon before too much more time had passed. There was still much to explore, they would just have to be smarter about it.


  • Sylana started at level 2. I used the party average (4+1)/2, rounded down. She had zero XP to start, however. So by the time she reaches level 3, Manchiever, if he survives, should be ready to level up as well.
  • I will now only keep track of my campaign notes in cloud based resources, with periodic local backups.
  • I was hoping for something grander for the 25th and 1 year anniversary session of the Ever Expanding Dungeon, but, it was a fun session none-the-less.


  1. I was happy to read about another session of the EED . . . and pleased that the party survived.

    As always I will look forward to the next journey into the unknown.

    -- Jeff

    1. Thanks, Jeff! I'm hoping to play 1 or 2 more times before the end of the month - i have a lot of time off coming up.

      Sylana is going to be a big help - with 2 clerics I've got a healing and undead turning arsenal. Although, i'm thinking that one of her spells should be something more combat oriented like Protection from Evil, so she can dive into combat head first.


  2. I second what Jeff said. Sounds like a good fun session. Do you scale the encounters to the party (sounds like maybe you do to some extent)? Otherwise it seems they would do well to really put some effort into finding more party members (not just hirelings, but another equal member or 2, like some sort of thief/rogue and/or a good fighter). Still, I enjoy your reports and look forward to more. Happy dungeoneering!

    1. Hi Fitz-Badger, I use the d30 GM's Companion encounter tables for the dungeon level I'm on. They have a scaling built in - if the creature is not normally found on level 1, fewer appear. In the case of the reinforcements, I just figured 2 would be appropriate, enough that my party's survival would be questionable, but not so overwhelming that the only option would be to run away - so there may have been some subconscious scaling. I have been considering adding a fighter and a thief but thought with the recent death toll, finding willing adventurers might be a challenge!

  3. Fitz,

    I have rolled up a couple of characters for this game and he's used them . . . indeed, Sylana is one of mine . . . why don't YOU roll one up and suggest it?

    -- Jeff

    1. I second this! I'd be more than happy to incorporate a character you create into my campaign!


  4. Sounds like fun. I will do that. Do you want basic stats (str, cha, int, etc.) or just some background, or a bit of both? Other info?

    1. Hi Fitz-Badger,

      Stats + a short background is good - as involved or simple as you wish. Anything that would help me differentiate the character from the others in my party is great. For stats, feel free to use whatever method you prefer. The character starts at level 2 with 0xp.


  5. Still a good story. Bummer about the loss of the notes. Cloud storage sounds like a good idea.

    1. Yeah, the worst part is I have spent almost two decades in IT or IT related functions. You'd think I'd back up my stuff better!

  6. I used Pathfinder to roll stats (4D6, take highest three die, do that 6 times, assign numbers to stats). Also used Rory's Story Cubes for a little inspiration for part of the back-story.
    STR = 16; DEX = 14; CON = 17 (includes dwarven bonus); INT = 13; WIS = 11 (includes dwarven bonus); CHA = 8 (includes dwarven minus)

    Gutzom, male dwarf fighter, at first he seems like the stereotypical taciturn dwarven fighter with big axe and a dislike of goblinoids. That's true, but something few people know about him is he also has a passion for books and reading, always has at least one book with him in his pack or under his armor. Additionally, he has a soft spot for animals, especially cats.
    What nobody knows is that he is writing his own book, based on his experiences traveling the world, exploring, dungeon-delving, etc. The book isn't about him, it's more of a general encylopaedia about places and people and natural history and dungeon denizens and any other interesting knowledge of the world. The book is why he's traveling the world and why he joins the party (to learn more about the dungeon, so he will likely want to explore more, but without being foolhardy about it). Although, ostensibly, as far as anyone else knows, he's there for treasure.

    How does that sound?

    1. Sounds great to me! Thanks!

    2. I like Gutzom, Fitz. I'm glad that you followed my suggestion.

      I roll-up characters a bit differently. Since I like characters that have more "flaws", I don't want to have too many high stats.

      I roll up 7 stats per character. The basic six and one more that will be available to "swap" with one of the others.

      I roll 3d6 but allow the lowest die to be re-rolled if desired. This tends to get "poor stats" if you are used to AD&D, but I play B/X rules, so my system works well for me.

      Please keep in mind that Gutzom's prime task should always be to keep Sylana alive . . . remember that she is shaped fairly like a large Dwarf (albeit lacking the beard). . . . *grin*