Telengard session two: separating PCs and their gold

As I mentioned in the last session report, I followed the treasure guidelines in the mini-module “In the Ogre Chief’s Grasp” which handed the party ALOT more treasure than they really ought to have found in the hands of a few ogres.   So this time around I thought I should give the party some expenses to help correct the error.  Back in Skara Brae, the party reported to the Adventurer’s Guild that they were successful and in their mission and  they were invited to join the guild.  The sign-up fee was 450 GP, plus the 5% tithe I described in the guilds post earlier.  The other guilds offered slightly lower fees but the Adventurers’ Guild made it clear that they might have trouble at the dungeon entrance if their papers weren’t in order, and the party finally relented.

At his point the party decided they’d best try out the dungeon to see what kind of loot they they could find.  I had several adventures in and around Skara Brae planned, and have not actually begun keying and mapping the main dungeon, but I had several One Page Dungeons and similar ready to pop out if they went to the dungeon so I wasn’t too unprepared.

Outside Telengard, they found a number of pavilions set up but other parties (I imagine something like the knights’ pavilions that surround a tournament), as well as a peddler offering ropes, poles, and torches at a high markup.  They were directed by a Guild steward to the lowest mine shaft on the mountain as the others had more senior adventurers already in them, and they noticed he snickered to himself as they went but they pressed on, undeterred.

Inside the mine they found that the shaft lead to a natural cavern with two huge quartz crystal pillars.  When Swinlow the thief investigated them, he found nothing unusual until he walked between them, whereupon he disappeared!  The rest of the party dithered about what to do, but finally followed him to wherever the crystal gate took them.  They found themselves in the Maze of Namcap (the OPD itself is at the end of the links post).

I hadn’t picked a guardian for the maze ahead of time so I pulled out a box of figures and the rust monster, a Grenadier figure from their old AD&D line, caught my eye.  The fact that it is one of the very few nonlethal monsters in D&D, and the fact that most of the party is running around in plate mail, made it irresistible.

In their first encounter with a guardian, the party used torches, arrows, and flaming oil to take it out fairly quickly, but Tumble the halfling, who was clubbing the thing with his torch, took some damage from oil splashes when other party members lobbed flaming oil into the melee.

The party was near the “respawn” point when they finished off the first rust monster, so they quickly discovered that the guardian respawns.  At this point they came up with some clever ideas.  Big Mac the fighter held the rust monster at bay with his 10′ pole while the others attacked the thing with oil and the leather-armored halfling fought it in hand to hand with a torch, and once the rust monster was driven off (I made them check morale after taking 1/2 HP), they stripped off their armor and other metal items and left them suspended in a bag, spiked to the ceiling.  The party was then more or less free to find collect the four keys and gold lying around the maze.  But they also got the idea to capture the rust monster!  Longine the fighter held an iron spike as bait and when the rust monster approached again, he tackled it and the party managed to hog-tie the thing.  They intended to turn it loose on the steward who suggested they try that mine shaft but found that it was not transported out of the maze with them.  They then began to plan naked forays into the maze to collect more gold, since rust monsters are harmless if you don’t have iron, but they wondered if there would be a rust monster the next time they entered and how long the gold might take to replenish.  Back in town the Adventurers’ Guild confirmed that this was a known dungeon area and the guardian is different every time, so they gave up on that idea.

We still had more than hour of game time left so I threw Elrin and the Restless Mausoleum in their path, and the party decided to try to help him.  (They even turned down his offer of gold, which made me feel a little bad about the fact that Elrin is tricking the party to feed his ghoul family, but only for a moment.)

The party was fairly cautious, leaving a fighter outside the doors to guard the entrance, so Elrin was somewhat thwarted in his plan to trap the party inside.  The “shields will be splintered” rule saved them from two early ghoul hits and the party managed to defeat the ghould and zombies as they emerged from the coffins.  Elrin, who had been waiting for a chance to lock them all in, tried a “Hold person” spell on the fighter standing guard but he made his save, and the gig was up.

So this time around the party had most of its gold depleted but gained some booty, including several minor magic items from the Mausolem module.  Should they ever step foot in a tavern there are some other non-dungeon encounters and adventures ready for them but I think that by next week I’ll have some real dungeons stocked so they can take on Telengard for real.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, although one of the players began discussing his ideas for a game he’d like to run!  I suppose I shouldn’t worry too much about that, since two of the players are so used to DMing, but it does make me wonder.  On the one hand it will be great to have three games going but on the other, I don’t really think I can compete as a DM with either Tom or John.  The upside, though, will that we be all seem to have our own niches — Tom runs heroic fantasy, John is talking about a post-apocalyptic setting, and I will still have the market cornered on the semi-gonzo megadungeon…

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Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 6:00 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Nice write up – sounds like a blast!
    I wouldn’t be worried by players wanting to DM after your session. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I’d say they were impressed by your session and inspired to run their own. Finish your adventure ‘arc’, then maybe take a break as a player.


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