Telengard session 7, feat. lessons learned

I totally forgot to post about the last Telengard session (which was Tuesday the 21st). The regular crew all made it, although Tom either deliberately left his halfling behind or forgot him, so there were only five PCs, and we all forgot about one of the NPC hirelings (Jack the torchbearer). The party had some loot to identify from the last dungeon expedition, and while they were in town I whipped out this “billboard” handout I’d made a couple weeks ago (Billboard.pdf) after seeing a great post at Gothridge Manor. (Lesson #1: make extra copies of these so everyone can read them at once!)

Richard was interested in what he assumed would be easy pickings (the missing pet), while Tom wanted to try getting pumped up (the Gordo post). They decided to check out Gordo. The Citadel of Chaos turned out to be considerably less impressive that its name suggests, as the gates were guarded by a pair of wannabe chaos warriors (punks in a Road Warrior get up), and the courtyard around the dilapidated tower was filled with trash and filth. Gordo emerged from the tower, bald, well-muscled, and sporting a handle-bar mustache, (I was thinking, Tigerman from the Buck Rogers TV show)

but my players immediately filled in the gaps to mean he was a “leather daddy” sort of gay biker.

(This image was commissioned by someone at the linked blog)

(Lesson #3: D&D is a Rorschach test.  Lesson #4: If you must Google Image Search “leather daddy” you will probably want to use “safe search”.) In the end only Rumble the Dwarf took Gordo up on the offer to get stronger (Gordo dismissed the magic-user’s puny physique and opined he could only make him “look like a woman”). Gordo’s regimen involved two days of rigorous exercise and beatings and, finally, a small pill.

While the dwarf was being trained (+1 STR!), the rest of the party decided to investigate another posting regarding a missing merchant. This led to a series of forays outside of town, where they stopped in at Puddington, the halfling town they saved in the first session of campaign, and then onwards to a roadside inn where they spent the night (and instigated a pair of rolls on the infamous “random harlot table” from the DMG) and finally Porttown. The trail grew cold there, and it was obvious that the merchant had gone missing between the inn and the port, so the party decided to go back for the dwarf and investigate the Salt Fens which they’d heard were a shortcut to the port but also stalked by a troll. In the Salt Fen the party found a strange pit, fed by a small waterfall and with a mist-covered pond at the bottom. Several huge lily pads (connected by fallen logs, stepping stones, and floating debris) connected what was essentially a dungeon with no walls. The mist blocked all visibility beyond 10′, but only over the open water, so effectively the pads were “rooms” and the stones and logs were “halls”. I will post the whole thing including my crude map after I’m sure the party is not going back, as they did not explore the entire dungeon (which is particularly aggravating because they completely bypassed the flail snail!) In fact they navigated the whole thing in ways I didn’t expect, which is keeping things very fun for me. Anyway they managed to find and rescue the merchant, and haul off a huge hoard of treasure, although the lion’s share of the treasure was secreted by thief Swinlow, who pocketed fabulously valuable jewels, a magical ring, and some gems. I still divided up the XP among all the players, but Swinlow got a little bonus and when I introduce the “Wine, Women, & Song” rules for spending cash for XP, he’ll benefit from all that extra scratch.   His player asked about buying a house in town with his proceeds, which I’ll need to figure out the pricing for tonight … we play again tomorrow! (Lesson #5: Give some — any — thought to what your players might do with all that loot.)  I’m very happy that a player is interested is “investing” in the game world like that.

The funny thing is that the entire session was very much improvised. Because I’ve drawn up a handful of dungeons and also keep a binder full of OPDs and other quicky scenarios, I could react easily to whatever post on the billboard they found interesting, despite the fact that I had otherwise done nothing to prepare. I might have developed a better trail of clues and false leads for the missing merchant hook but then I’d be tempted to railroad the party into following that lead rather than some other one. There is no “adventure path” in my Telengard setting.

I think I will need to build a stock of NPCs, though, to pull out when the players decide to stay in town rather than stick to the dungeon. In fact I thought they’d probably go back into Telengard rather than take up any of the silly billboard postings. But I like being surprised.  Next session I think there will be one or two of the new guys coming, so maybe we’ll work out the details of Swinlow buying new digs while they roll up their characters.  Hm, I should probably print out some character sheets now.

Published in: on December 28, 2010 at 8:52 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. D&D is a Rorshach test…

    I agree:

  2. […] holed up there after the carnage last week, and a pair of wights on another level, one of whom was the infamous Gordo the Strong from the first campaign.  The dwarf ‘borrowed’ the assassin’s magic scimitar so […]

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