Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ruins of Zenopus, Session 0.5

Well, my new campaign got started tonight, and things went great. Everyone really enjoyed the visuals the Hirst Arts pieces provided, and I really got a kick running the old school sample dungeon from the back of the Holmes Basic Set in 3D.

I read the background, firmly locating Portown on the 'Wild Coast' in Greyhawk. Gathered at the Green Dragon Inn were The half elf Bard, Killian Sweetongue, the Gnome Rogue Lenora, the Halfing Barbarian, Skitt Runalong, the Dragonborn fighter, Sora, and the half orc fighter, Tempest.

Enthusiastic about what lies in store for them in the old halls of the lost Wizard Zenopus, they climbed through the overgrowth of the hill in town, and descended down the rough hewn stone steps into darkness.

The group elected to turn down the east passage, and took the door to room P, disturbing a couple of foul looking ghouls, gnawing on some poor townsfolk that had been unlucky enough to wander into their grasp. The battle was amazingly short, and the group found 100sp in a satchel hidden in one of the niches. The PCs supposed that the ghouls victim had been using the place to store his coins, and had come to retrieve them, when he ran afoul of the undead beasties.

Anyway, turning north,

led to more catacombs, this room having a collapsed east wall. Small tunnels could be seen, barely enough room for a halfling to crawl through, and hanging at various angles in the dirt were bones from numerous corpses.

The room itself contained more burial niches, and 6 Sarcophagi. Our band indulged in serious tomb raiding as they began to lift the heavy stone lids off of each to investigate the contents within.

As DM this was a bit of fun for me, as instead of rolling a die to determine what contents were discovered, I actually placed the things described in the dungeon pieces. A lot of fun for the players too, as with each new investigation they got to actually remove a lid, and discover what I had placed there. It was like a bizarre 'Christmas gift' opening session, and the players were joyfully giddy about it. For the gas trap, I just pulled apart a cottonball to make it look smokey. For the crown and scepter, I used little doll house gems, and so on. The floating dagger threw them for quite the loop.

Upon opening the gas trap, the half orc Tempest failed his con save and ended up unconscious on the floor. At this point, three diseased giant rats from the tunnels decided to make their entry.
The little rodents of unusual size found their demise quite quickly, and after deciding a certain floating dagger was more trouble that it was worth, the door to the north was investigated. The room beyond proved to be quite troublesome for our wayward band, however.

Now, for those who know this dungeon, Holmes placed a giant spider on the ceiling. I decided to take advantage of the visuals, and placed a spider web in the far corner, and a chest resting enticingly on a pedestal on the east wall.
Certainly this proved quite the enticement, as the party, seeing the web knew something was 'up' as it were, and began chucking, javelins, sling bullets and crossbow bolts at the eight legged monstrosity 'dancing on the ceiling'.

The thing proved to be quite hardy, as it full dodged its way to safety, ultimately scurrying up the western passage, out of line of sight. Seeing his opportunity, Tempest, the Not-so-Bright thought this a good time, to simply run in, and grab the chest off the pedestal, and make away with whatever treasure was within.

Not so fast!!
That's not a treasure chest, that's a mimic!! Its sticky pseudo pod extending and grabbing hold of the foolish half-orc, lashing him for 7 points of damage! Of course, its at this point where our spider returns and casts a web, and ensnares the trapped fighter as well!! Oh no!

You can see where this is going, and its not a place with treasure and a happy ending. A round later, a bite attack with advantage had the orc paying dearly for his bravado (As this DM rolled his only natural 20 for the night) , and into death saves! Of course, the rest of the party was able to save the half-orc's bacon, pulling him out of the fire. The fight was a tough one, but the Mimic was beaten, and our crafty spider, with the mimic ally was sent scurrying into its hidey hole in the ceiling.

At this point, the group realized that they needed to return to town, rest the night, lick their wounds and grab a few additional supplies. Can we say, oil and fire for naughty spiders in hidey holes?

The next day, our group returned, this time, hopefully burning the spider out of its hole, but, the thing, devoid of its ally had since moved onto safer pastures.

Also, learning from their mistakes, our group craftily used the lids to all those sarcophagi to shore up those rat tunnels, not wanting one of the diseased ROUS to make an inopportune appearance.

So.. next door. Heading east, revealed a moderate sized room with a dubious looking demonic statue facing them, and a door for each cardinal direction.

Looking at the set up, the door they had bypassed in the entry corridor appeared like it might connect up with the south door of the demon statue room.

All, the way back around, and 'what's behind door number 1' is quickly answered as the Goblin Adept unleased sacred flame at the meat shield/ door opening dragonborn Sora. Worse yet, a crossbow finished the job, and left the hapless hero sprawled out on the fur heap one of the goblins referred to as its bed.
These newbie fighters really need to learn to take their second wind, but.. you know, its not MY job to tell them these things. Hopefully, they'll live long enough to learn from their mistakes!

Anyway, even though the first round was a tough one, the goblins were no match for the party, and were quickly dispatched, our dragonborn fighter Sora was healed, and they ended up with a captive named Gorfus. "No kill! Me a nice goblin! Be friends, be friends." dropping his crossbow, and attempting to look cute, the hapless goblin managed to buy himself a few more moments of life.

Needless to say, it was 'interrogation' time, and the party discovered that some human named 'Garnath' was paying the goblins to watch for intruders and to dispatch them for him.

The room was sealed, a short rest, and 'till next time' ended the session for now! What a great first game of the campaign!!

1 comment:

Toast said...

What a fantastic session of play that was. I really enjoyed your descriptive writing skills and the photos of the 3D dungeon added immensely. I wish I had been playing that game with you and your group.