Monday, April 15, 2013

The Ever Expanding Dungeon: Session 17

[We rejoin our party in the dungeon, where we left off last session. ]

Kroyden, having regained his sight, scouted ahead to an intersection to his right ,a door, to his left, a 10' passage to a four way intersection, which he scouted as well. There, he found steps up to the north, and doors to the East and South.

The party started with the first door, and although Perceval heard a drumming sound emanating from within, the room turned out to be empty. There were no visible exits, but Dleggit thought the North wall might connect to a previously explored hallway. Hi search proved fruitless and he was unable to find any such door. 

At the "East" door from the four-way intersection, Perceval again heard something within: this time, footsteps. Kroyden searched for traps and found none, nor was he able to pick the lock. [I really wonder why I bother doing this except that it's his job in the party, and he gets XP for trying.] 

Perceval again forced the door open. The party was greated with the the smell of rotting and five giant centipedes swarming about eating whatever it was. [Since I rolled giant centipedes, when i checked the Is the Monster in Here? table, I rolled at -2. I rolled a 2.]. 

Again the room appeared to be a dead-end, and so, Perceval, remembering the disease brought to the late Feldspar by the bite of a centipede, told the party to turn back. 

They approached the "South" door and this time heard nothing behind the door. 

While Kroyden searched for traps, Sister Linkat - who was covering the party's rear during listening/lock picking - spotted a war band of 8 kobold's coming around the corner.

They were not overly hostile, but they were confident as they approached [I rolled that they were on patrol], and they seemed to be without fear. The apparent leader of the group hollered something in Kobold.

Dleggit, gifted with knowledge of the language, translated for the party "They want to know if we've seen a giant snake, covered with thick armor plates moving through here. It was headed this way and they lost it when it went around a corner."

He replied they had not and an exchange began between the party and kobolds, with Dleggit acting as translator:

[The kobold speech content was generated by Rory's Story Cubes]

"You seem to be far from home. This place is full of traps and disease. It would be best if you leave, " said the leader.

Sister Linkat put down her mace, and stepped toward the kobolds with an open hand and had Dleggit tell them the party meant them no harm and that if they needed healing, if her god ordained, she could provide. 

[Rolled reaction - they were indifferent]

"This place is our home, and you seek only to invade it and take what is ours."

It's hard to argue with the truth, so Perceval offered them 10 gp as a sign of good faith,and promised that the party would avoid the kobold's lair, provided that the leader would tell them its location.

The leader hesitated and then accepted the offer. He indicated on the party's map the region they kobold's use for their lair [in game terms, this means my party won't be mapping that section at least while Perceval is alive]

Kroyden meanwhile had found no traps, and began to pick the lock. He succeeded, but his success was accompanied by a small explosion which sent shrapnel of the lock through his eye and into his brain. 

He was dead on the spot. [It figures that I finally roll well for the pick locks check, and he becomes the 18th victim of the dungeon]

After Kroyden's body was loaded on the mule, Perceval argued that the party should return to town, while Dleggit and [to my surprise] Sister Linkat argued that Kroyden was dead and that forcing their way in could be an act of revenge in his honor. Perceval was convinced.

[I used my group decision mechanics to play out the discussion.]

Perceval forced the door open - [I rolled the room contents: Monster. I then rolled up Dwarves, followed by a check on my Is the Monster in Here table with a 1. ] in an instant he saw two dwarves tending to an injured third [I rolled a 12  for their reaction - hostile,to say the least] and then those first two were charging him, weapons drawn.

The two dwarves attacked Perceval [they won initiative and I then checked to determine if they could see Dleggit, in hopes that would stave off the attack. But Mythic was adamant that they could not ,I rolled exceptional No. In fact they were in a blind rage and it wouldn't matter anyway].

The attacks were useless, and Perceval moved aside for Dleggit to join him at the front and shout that they meant the dwarves no harm.

It fell on deaf ears.

[the party won initiative  6 to 5]

Without an alternative, Perceval struck the dwarf nearest him, cleanly killing the dwarf in one blow. Dleggit landed a solid hit on his target, and though he did not kill him, the fight was over [dwarves failed morale].

"I am too tired for this" uttered the dwarf.

The party forced their way in and then Sister Linkat, as she had done for the kobolds, had Dleggit translate her offer for healing. The dwarves refused but she was not satisfied with that and finally they conceded. She healed both to full HP.

And a long discussion began thereafter where the party [and I] learned the following:
  • The dwarves tunneled into this complex and don't live in the mountain/ridge but rather live down deeper.
  • The mural the party (well, Perceval) saw early on was a celebration of the unveiliing of a new observatory on top of the mountain.
  • The Dwarves are at war with the Goblins who lair in the dungeon.
  • The Goblins are powerful - they have a Bugbear contingent, wolf riders and are actively negotiating with other humanoids in the dungeon, the Orcs in particular.
  • The Goblins recently turned their attention to recruiting the Gnolls on the 1st level but so far it has not panned out.
  • The Kobolds keep to themselves mostly and the Goblins do not consider them a threat.
  • Some Gnomes have been exploring lately and that is sure to bring conflict with the Kobolds.
  • The Dwarves don't consider the Kobolds a threat but if the Gnomes sue for an alliance it's quite likely they'd have to go to war against the Kobolds.

Before they leave, the dwarves teach the party a hand-signal that identifies them as a friend of the clan, in order to prevent future "accidents".

With no healing spells left and Kroyden dead, the party opted to abandon the dungeon for the day. They returned to town where they built a funeral pyre for Kroyden and wished him well in the After.

Kroyden's death was disappointing. I thought for sure he'd make it to 2nd level. Oh well, such is life in the dungeon.

Perceval crossed over to 3rd level and Dleggit is within 27 XP of 2nd level.

The increased HP is a nice buffer - but I'm still looking to avoid combat encounters as much as possible. 

I was particularly happy to learn a bit about the factions in the dungeon. All of that was facilitated by asking Mythic questions and interpreting replies. This might help me build 9Q adventure sessions which follow a more story-oriented progress.


  1. It's honestly really great to get to see your dungeon blossom this way.

    1. Hi Rush,

      Thanks! I'm really enjoying the experience.

      I'm trying to incorporate the complexity into the dungeon that i think often gets overlooked by when dungeons are dismissed as a hack-and-slash-only experience.


  2. Hopefully Dleggit will survive the next crawl and make it to 2nd level.

    -- Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Given the party's careful approach and new found respect for the ability of the dungeon to kill them, barring something unexpectedly terrible, I'd put his odds at least at 50/50. Given the parade of dead PCs, that's a pretty high chance of survival.


  3. Well, that was interesting; especially all the new information about the various factions and all.

    1. Hi Fitz-Badger,


      I'm trying to taking advantage of opportunities to show the dungeon as a living place with interactions that offer additional opportunity for the PCs beyond hack-and-slash (which I happily admit to enjoying, but it is not all I enjoy).