Monday, December 15, 2014

The Ever Expanding Dungeon: Session 37

Scene 1: Down Time
The party returned to town to rest up and buy a 10’ pole. After 3 days and resupplying, the party returns to the dungeon.

[Chaos 5, 1 = Alter Scene
Are they able to acquire the 10’ pole? 08, yes
3 days? yes 18
I decide the most logical thing is:]

Meanwhile, the innkeeper at the Zealous Dagger collects on their outstanding debts (5 gp each for food and board).

Scene 2: Traveling to the Dungeon

[Wandering monster check on way to dungeon: 1
Roll on wilderness encounter table for forest:1 = dragon. Good lord.
roll d10, 7= Wyvern, well it could be worse.

Wyvern(AC 16, Mv 6/24, bite or sting. Sting 60%, poisonous)
Reaction or Does it Attack?: 
 1 yes, and it surprises the party
2-3 Yes, but roll for surprise
4- 5 No but check again, if not, then it flies away
6 = no and it flies away ]

A dark reptilian shaped shadow fell across the party. 

[6! WOO!!!!]

High above a large flying lizard like thing let out a scream, circled, and then flew away, northward.

The party let out a collective sigh of relief and proceeded to the recently discovered entrance.

Scene 3: Obstacle

Maglom and Runolf led the party past the intersection to their right, to the door to the Gnoll Shrine (see map room 31) at which point the party assumed door opening order. Eomond took the torch from Lykidas so Leegand could get to work.

[Detect traps: 8 (no) - but given that they exited this way before, we’ll assume it isn’t.
Hear noise: 4 (yes)
Is the door locked? 80, no, and easy to open

What does he hear? 57, moaning (DMG 1e)]

The party assumed door opening order, with Runolf and Maglom in front, the torch passed back to Lykidas. Everyone prepared for the worst.

The fighters forced the door open and...

Scene 4:  Room 31
The room appeared exactly as they left it. Tapping with the 10’ pole, Maglom hoped to trip any trap that might be set. Finding it safe, the party moved in.

They spread out a bit - with  four ways into the room they had a lot to cover - while Ygg spiked the the North and South door. Both doors on the East wall, which includes the one they came in, were left alone, in case they needed to beat a hasty retreat.

[Wandering monster check: 4, no]

The party formed a semi circle around Leegand and Eomond, who again, holds the torch.  Maglom dropped the 10’ pole in favor of her weapon.

[Does he find any traps? 1, yes (if there is one he finds it), is there any? He does find a trap - the door is the trigger.
Can he remove it? 16, no, he is unable to disable it. Does it trigger?

1 yes and it efffects this side of the door
2 yes but whatever it does is on the otherside
4 no but roll for wandering monsters again
6 no and all is clear

6 WOOO!!!]

The party resumed door opening mode and

Scene 5: The Discovery

The door opens into a 10’x30’ room with one exit in the middle of the south wall.

[I rolled 3 story cubes and got the following contents: Empty, but Shovel, Sad, Empty Fuel Gauge]

On the ground, three more dead orcs, obviously wounded and somewhat emaciated.

Runolf, Ygg, Zilliny and Maglom covered the doors, while Lykidas Eomond and Leegand searched the bodies.

[Do they find anything?
yes but it’s not much - just their weapons and that one of the bodies has a crossbow bolt stuck in it.

Dead awhile? 28, yes

Leegand checks the door:
Traps: 2, is it trapped? (60, door is stuck, 78, lock is not the trap, 37 door is not a trap trigger either)
Eomond gives it a try? 1, yes, 66 Rustlng

Wandering enconter: 2, nothing]

Door opening order and...

Scene 6: Another Discovery

The hallway ends in a door.

[Wandering Monster 4, nope. Change torches

Check door:
Leegand: 8, does not detect a trap,
Listens: 16
Is the door locked? 62, stuck not locked
Door is a trigger

Eomond listens:6, nothing

The door opens and...
1 yes and it triggers on this side of the door
2-3 yes but whatever it does is on the otherside, check to see who sets it off
4-5 no but check to see who sets it off on the other side
6 no and all is clear

5. Damn.

10’ POLE: 1!! ]

Scene 7: Obstacle
The 10’ pole triggered a hidden pit trap on the other side of the door.

Beyond the trap, a set of stairs led down. They opted not to try to get around it for now.

[Wandering monster: 2, no]

Scene 8: RP to decide what to do

The party debated:
Ygg and Zil. wanted to try any one of the stairways down, arguing it’s time for the party to be first for once, with all deference to the memory of the great parties that have gone before.

Eomond and Leegand argued that there are two doors remaining on this level on the existing map and it would forever nag at them if they didn't check them out.

Ygg suggested that they haven’t ever explored that part of the dungeon and so, in effect, it is unknown to them despite the few notes scribbled on the map about a mad king and evil priest.

[Does this sway the rest?25 yes.] 

With Lykidas, Runolf and Maglom agreeing that it might be more rewarding to explore an area untouched by the previous delves, the party chose to carefully work their way past the pit trip to take this new flight of stairs down to wherever it may lead.

Lykidas lit a new torch and they proceeded to the pit.

Scene 9: Crossing the Pit (obstacle)

To be continued....


  1. At least they are all still alive . . . so far.

    -- Jeff

    1. This party has survived more delves than any other to my recollection. Part of it is that all but my character are 2nd level, but another part is the ability to bind wounds that's part of the rules as written (which i rather like). It isn't as powerful as Cure Light Wounds, but it often gets the party out of a jam. I dare say, S&W:Whitebox is less deadly than B/X. And that doesn't even touch on death at negative level rather than 0; which is a suggested optional rule and which has saved more than 1 character.

  2. After all that good luck... I'm waiting for the axe to drop hard on the party

    1. you and me both! I think my reputation for having a killer dungeon early on has imbued every delve with a sense of foreboding. Which is great from a drama perspective - not so much for an ulcer free existence!

  3. Just read all of the ever expanding dungeon posts and im sad to be at the end. Great write ups and your little solo campaign sounds like a blast.

    I actually run a DCC private solo campaign using for record keeping and your games have inspired me a lot. What do you use for random monster tables because I dont have any pre 3.5 books and id love to have a table to refer to for if my party engages wandering monsters.

    Ive been using a module thus far but things are about to branch out of that due to a likely TPK so I want to try and match your randomization of maps and monsters while also not overloading myself.

    1. Hi Aaron,
      Thanks for your comment; always happy to hear others enjoy my write ups.

      For random monster tables, I use any of the following:
      D30 DM's Companion (inexpensive), the tables in B/X (i think the rules are $5 each on DriveThruRPG, Labyrinth Lord wandering monster tables (free), 1e DMG (Available for a song on ebay if you don't need collector quality).

      You clearly don't need all of them. I'd start with the free Labyrinth Lord, and for a purchase I'd go with the D30 Companion, which is good for its many other tables as well.

      The rules I'm using currently, S&W:Whitebox, don't include wandering monsters for dungeons so I rely on all of the sources I can find.

    2. Okay cool I will definitely check out those resources and the D30 companion sounds interesting. That and since im into DCC I have a pile of D30s at my disposal.

      Now I just need to go finish my current battle and see if a TPK comes as im expecting it to.

  4. "Nag, nag, nag. Remember that door we left behind?" :-)

    And bless whoever invented the 10' pole!

    1. if something terrible happens, or they find nothing of interest, i'm going to make sure to use "Remember that door we left behind?"

  5. Yay for stairs down! More danger = more treasure. Unless everyone falls in the pit.

    1. Don't jinx them! I am kicking myself for not just handwaiving the pit crossing, but i couldn't do it in good conscience. I know i'll roll a natural 20 for someone, when i'm trying to roll beneath their dex!

  6. Best opening line! ha ha

    Another tense delve, waiting for the other ax to drop...

    And ending in a pit hanger?

    Speaking of random monsters (and monsters in general) - I'm on the lookout for lists or recommendations for "level-appropriate" lists or other info. Trying to create some random tables/dungeon generators using Schweig's template for such. I want to be able to customize to my own tastes. Many monsters, especially the more outre and/or non-traditional monsters don't fit into my personal mythology/fantasy world preferences. That probably means my lists will be shorter than most lists/tables I find.

    1. Until I get a better set im going to combine Labyrinth Lords lists and DCCs in the book lists.

      Then for special encounters I may use existing stat blocks but im going to create a monster with the "Random Esoteric Creature Generator" which I highly recommend.

    2. For bog standard fantasy, Labyrinth Lord is a good free resource of tables. As I mentioned above in my reply to Aaron, I'm a fan of the D30 DM's Companion (you don't even need an actual d30 to use it.). The way the tables are set up, you roll 2x to find the encounter. Once to find out whether the encounter is with something of the same level as the dungeon or from a different level, and once to find out what the actual creature is. It even includes appropriate number appearing for both halves of each table.

      Of course, making up your own encounter tables has been part of the hobby from the beginning, so nothing wrong with creating shorter lists to your own liking. I do this all the time in my social games. They are usually 6-10 items long, one of which is to roll on the standard level table in b/x (or labyrinth lord). When I do this for solo sessions, I include a few "Trap" encounters - pits, darts, flaming oil, etc. just to spice things up.

      I have the Random Esoteric Creature Generator but haven't used it yet. I really should - it allows for the creation of something very unique if needed.