Sunday, September 13, 2009

First session report: TPK! (almost, basically)

Our first "get together, roll up characters, and maybe get into the dungeon" session was this past Tuesday, and it was pretty great, right people?! We all had fun, even if maybe the characters didn't...

We didn't exactly end up playing OD&D as advertised. Because of various time factors (such as making this blog instead of working on the actual game), I felt woefully underprepared as DM, and thus decided at the last minute not to run "real" OD&D using the LBBs, but instead used the Swords & Wizardry Quick Start rules instead 'cause I thought it would be a bit easier on everyone (myself included) this first time around. And using S&WQS went pretty well, though we'll probably switch to pure OD&D at some point soon, after a bit more study... certainly I think everybody agreed it would be nice to have more than one saving throw number on the character sheet.

The players (Nick, Heather, and Josh) rolled up their characters fairly quickly, though 3d6-in-order was almost too much for Nick, who insisted on scrapping his first try after getting, like, a 5, a 6, and another 5 on the first three stats... Nick had been planning on playing a Magic-User but his (eventual) best roll was for Wisdom so he ended up as the party's Cleric, while Josh made an M-U and Heather rolled up a Dwarf.

So, the party consisted of 3 brave/foolhardy adventurers. The dwarf veteran Mustaine. The cleric acolyte Hammett. The magic-user medium Holdsworth. All of 'em lawful of alignment. We were ready to play!

Originally, I was going to run Jeff Rients' Under Xylarthen's Tower module (which I had run my friends Mike and Giancarlo through a portion of some months previous) but 'cause of opting for the S&WQS rules, I used the starter dungeon in there instead.

Hearing rumors about great treasure lost in the darkness at the bottom of these mysterious, ruined stone stairs out on the nearby haunted moor, the party set out for adventure...

They descended the spiral staircase into the large, columned chamber (smelling vaguely of coffee) where they were confronted with a large statue of a bulbous horned creature holding a bowl of flaming fire, standing in the southern end of the room. The party declined to investigate the statue closely, wary of supernatural danger, but instead listened at the several (3) doors out of the room, W, N, E. Didn't hear anything (I was rolling behind the DM's screen) so, they opted to head through the eastern door.

That took them into a N-S hallway, with a door directly across from them down another short passageway. Their torches sputtering in the dank darkness, they could see the hall to the north turned a corner going east, and went that way... which led them to a 30' x 20' chamber where they encountered a group of apparently cowering goblins! Both parties were surprised, the players won initiative, and decided to attack rather than parley. Or, at least Hammett decided to attack, attempting to smash the nearest goblin with his mace. Mustaine followed suit, and soon two of the five goblins had gone down. But then it was the goblins' turn, and the tables soon turned. Mustaine was felled by one of the goblins (taken to negative 1 hit point, bleeding to death, as I decided that we should use the common house rule of unconsciousness at zero HP, death when below negative one's level in HP). If someone got to him soon to bind his wound, he might survive... but the battle was still on. One of the goblins proved to be some sort of shaman, and followed up a magic missile with a charm person spell, that resulted in a note being passed to Josh telling him that "you like this goblin, you don't want him to die". Hammett was about to attack the shaman, so Holdsworth tried to trip him up and spoiled his attack... Then Hammett was hit and also went down. Things weren't looking too good for the party at that point. Holdsworth, although he was charmed into protecting the shaman, hadn't yet been told not to attack anyone else, so he sneakily sent a magic missile at one of the other goblins, hitting him in the back of the head but not killing him. Then realizing the didn't have many options left, he tried to supplicate himself to the goblin shaman - allowing the goblin he'd just attacked a chance to return the favor, with a sword in the back! Negative HP for Holdsworth ensued.

The goblins proved surprisingly merciful though, and some hours later the entire party awoke, stripped of their possessions, naked and tied up to one another in the room with the scary statue, which now smelled of sulphur. Each character was back up to 1 hit point apiece, and realized that they'd better get out of there asap. Managing with some difficulty (as they were not a dextrous bunch) to stand and hop/drag themselves over to the fire pit, where they managed to free themselves by rubbing the rope binding them on the edge of the flaming bowl. Off they went embarrassedly back to the village where they'd started off earlier that afternoon, where they knew they could find some old barrels in an alleyway to wear...

Since this bunch was entirely destitute and dispirited, we decided to make a new set of characters who would return to brave the dungeon. Rolls went better than the first time, and this Mk. II party consists of another dwarf, as yet unnamed (Heather), a neutral human cleric named Allan Bolin (Josh), and a neutral human magic-user named Ronson (Nick, now finally getting the M-U he wanted).

After the debacle of the original party's excursion into the dungeon (for all intents and purposes a TPK in the second room, after less than an hour game-time of exploration) there's now some interest in acquiring hirelings to beef up the party, so I'll post some rules info on that next, before the next play session, scheduled for this coming Wednesday.

No comments:

Post a Comment