So last week was the ‘penultimate session’ for this ‘season’ of Telengard – that is, the campaign will go on hiatus for a while after the next session. So there is a little self-imposed pressure to end things on a note where there is both some feeling of accomplishment worthy of the party while also not tying up too many loose ends (I don’t want this to feel ike a series finale, but a season finale … although I actually despise the whole RPGs-following-story-arcs-like-TV-shows meme).
A player we lost last year, right before I took up the DMing reins, came back this time and rolled up a cleric. This was helpful as we let go the two newest players last week for various reasons. This then makes the fourth acolyte that the Bishop sent to accompany the party! Only one has been killed in the line of duty, but this may strike the observer as a bit over-eager on the Church’s part, except that the party has performed several services to the Church.
So this time the party completed the main ‘quest’ related to the dwarven crypts. After fighting a pair of greater grues and trio of fairly tough dwarf mummies, they found and re-buried the bones of the four ghosts in the cathedral, and then performed the rites necessary to bury the traitorous dwarf in the crypts. (I’ll post about grues more later. The dwarf mummies were just B/X mummies by the book, with a few more HD, which play significantly different that the AD&D mummies they’ve fought before.) So, mission accomplished!
But then Grumble noted that the incomplete map he’d gotten from the dwarves also noted many other rooms, including a ‘treasury.’ So after mucking around in some other chambers, the party decided to try one last room, especially since the map called it a treasury! Grumble noticed an obvious deadfall trap over the door that he couldn’t disarm but which he could bypass by not opening the door. So he cut an opening in the door, which was a pretty good solution to the problem.
Inside there was a huge pile of gold, a throne, and six fine stone statues. After cautiously examining the room, the party entered, and Grumble sat upon the throne. At the same time, Garmin could not resist grabbing a magical dagger he saw on the treasure pile (a few sessions back he learned about the magical qualities of certain evil wizard parts, and he ate a gland that allows him to detect magic for a limited time).
All hell broke loose, as the six statues sprang to life and attacked, and the treasure pile turned out to be resting atop a black pudding. The party beat a retreat, hoping to use the doorway as a bottleneck for tactical advantage. But…the gargoyles knew about the trap too and at their first opportunity sprang it on the party! No-one was killed by it but the party found themselves cut off from the treasure!
The dwarf was determined and began chipping away at the block of stone, sending Garmin, Quinly, and the new cleric back to town to rest and recover as the block would take a *long* time chip away, while the three fighter-types (Grumble, Matrim, & Mac) stayed in the dungeon.
Cue mustache twirling. Swinlow, the thief-cum-hobgoblin nemesis of the party, had set up a small ambush on the perilous mountain trail, and Garmin’s judicious use of a sleep spell knocked out most of the ambushers. This was actually a diversion to give Swinlow a chance to sneak up and pick pockets, but he could not resist backstabbing the magic-user, who was using the Ring of Animal Control to have the pack-ape toss the sleeping hobgoblins off the mountainside. This knocked Garmin to zero HP (but a lucky death & dismemberment roll saved his life), and Quinly managed to push Swinlow off the ledge, in a weird meta-game situation where Richard’s current PC confronted his former PC…
The party tracked Swinlow’s trail, but he’d already boarded the stolen airship and was fleeing. I don’t bend the rules to let villains get away (altohugh I’d have been tempted in this case, because Swinlow has a lot of much dirtier tricks up his sleeve!) and in this case, the time spent using Mac’s Survival skill to track Swinlow cost the party a lot of time. I may been to get a little more concrete about how often rolls are needed and how much time they take, though, because in principle it should be possible to track someone who only has a few minutes lead and my current rule that all skill rolls (except Hear noise and in certain cases Search) take 10 minutes may be a bit much.
Here we stopped playing so Tom could get us started on our AD&D characters for his game. More on that later.