Feb. 21 is Auger Appreciation Day

Ten foot pole?




Rope and grappling hook?



Che–wait, what?

In the C&C campaign my gaming group is playing, we’ve been enjoying a return to “old school” gaming. It is not constant dungeon-crawling, although we’ve uncovered two dungeons so far, and at least one of them has at least two levels, and we have heard of another dungeon. About half of our sessions have involved dungeoneering, and we lost our thief after our first foray into a dungeon so we’ve been getting very cautious and playing a lot smarter than we have in ages. I already described some of our baby-steps with hirelings.

When we realized the dungeon level we last raided is infested with were-rats and giant rats, we had silver weapons made, as any party might do. Then we bought all the cheese in town, and mixed it with a generous helping of poison. We sprinkle the cheese wherever we expect to find giant rats. Not a huge tactical innovation, but for a group of players who haven’t played that way in a long time (if ever), it is incredibly fun to figure out ways to beat the baddies without relying on awesome stats, feats, powers, and ubiquitous magic items (I’m looking at you 3e, 3.5e, & 4e!)

One of the critical pieces of our dungeoneering equipment lately has been a simple auger or hand-drill my character uses to peek through doors. It is slow but quiet and so far the DM hasn’t had a medusa or basilisk staring back through the hole (jinx!), but we use it judiciously, partly because we don’t want to invite wandering monsters and partly because we don’t want to wear out the idea.

Last session we knew a wight was locked below a trap door, and we wanted to lay him to rest both for in-game reasons (an NPC asked us to) and because we were hoping the basement had another way out of the room. We had time to prepare, so we bored a small hole in the trap door and placed a funnel in it. Then we agitated the wight by shouting and knocking on the door, and when he came to pound on it, we doused him with three flasks of holy water. That wasn’t enough to defeat it, and we still needed to go down and finish it with combat, but it illustrates the sort of “outside the box” thinking that makes old school play so fun.

We’ve also had lots of occasions to use pitons to spike doors and traps, mirrors to peek around corners, and all kinds of other miscellaneous equipment we had no need for in 3/4e.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 1:42 am  Comments (12)  
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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “so far the DM hasn’t had a medusa or basilisk staring back through the hole (jinx!)”

    Man, I hadn’t even thought of using an auger to drill through holes, but that is a GREAT idea. And if my party ever thinks of it, using a basilisk is ALSO a great idea ;-). Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

    • Hmm, my DM reads this sometimes, so I’d better be careful.
      Thanks for reading & commenting.

  2. […] Appreciation Day. You missed it, didn’t you? Don’t worry, Mr. Monaco has your back! Don’t miss his post on racism. We all know that those damned dwarves are trouble, and Elves […]

  3. Mike,

    I have to admit our session last week was a lot of fun. Now if we could have just kept paladin’s interest a little more so he wasn’t sitting off reading your gnome book it would have been perfect!

    I am looking forward to tomorrows session and I hope our DM continues to play along with our outside of the box thinking and playing. It has certainly added a lot of flavor to the sessions other than the usual get task from townsfolk, go kill something, return to townsfolk for reward endless loop.

  4. Endless Loop? Well maybe but you guys are getting to the end of the loop. EGG once said something like a character’s background is what happened between levels 1-6 then the real adventure begins.

    • Tom, I think Chad is referring to the “standard D&D campaign” where the Endless Loop is the norm (more or less mirroring CRPGs, and the WotC “Adventure path” modules “guaranteed to take your party from level 1 to 20 or your money back”) — that hasn’t really been the case with this campaign at all.

    • Mike hit the nail on the head. There have been so many different tasks, quests and options for us to uncover thus far. I have yet to get bored with a session in this campaign.

      Though last night was the first night that I really disagreed with an action we ultimately decided on. This being to stay at the town in hopes of giving the refugees more time to escape. I think I do enjoy more of the tactical battle thinking and look toward others when it comes to the dealings with the townsfolk more often than not. In my mind I just couldn’t wrap my thoughts around how staying was any benefit. But again, this kept things interesting and to a point a little more realistic.

      Our party of adventures are not always going to agree 100% on what we do. However, we do spend some time going over options and taking the one that the majority of the group decides on. It has worked so far for the life of the game!

  5. […] of raising the dead lives, and we also resupplied ourselves with oil for buring trolls, a brand new auger, and so on.  Although I couldn’t find extra fuzzy slippers on the C&C equipment […]

  6. […] There plan to deal with one of the wights, who was trapped in the basement, rather surprisingly echoed what we did almost exactly a year ago in Tom’s C&C campaign.  But the new players came up with the idea without any intervention at all from Tom, Richard, or […]

  7. […] to do most of the thinking for the party.  That illusionist probably used flaming oil, rat poison, and an auger more than […]

  8. […] I guess I’d point to the auger, again.  Already said all there is to say about. […]

  9. If any of the players in my dungeon are ever clever enough to start drilling holes in doors, I will create a 1 in 6 chance of a goblin lurking behind that door with a rusty awl just waiting for someone to drill a hole. If the goblin sees the drill bit tip come chewing out of the wood of the door, he will wait a judicious amount of time after the bit is withdrawn and then jab the awl through the hole and run away. There will be a lot of one eyed characters I suspect.

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