Telengard session 13: Snake surprise!

Not turducken

Last night one more player joined the group, a guy named Matt who has apparently played 3rd ed. D&D once or twice but is otherwise new to the whole RPG thing. He’s the guy who saw my flier at Panera, so that worked out very well (I was hoping to find some nontraditional gamers for my game — people who either haven’t played in a long time or never played before). Overall I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how accommodating the three younger players in my game have been about trying out a version a game that is older than they are. (For some reason I assumed younger people would just want to play the newest version of the game. Not so!)

Anyway Matt went with a fighter for his new character, and in the chaos of starting things up, I didn’t do anything explicit to get him “in the party,” although I did take a couple of minutes to catch him up on the campaign so far. That’s cool with me, though, as roleplaying the introduction of new PCs has never been something I found all that fun.

So, the party, now six strong again, hired a pair of lantern bearers (Stabby John and Schnozzi Thonarsson) and re-entered Telengard, looking for that gorgon again. In the “snake” side of the level two they fought their way through a giant constrictor (which they surprised and took out in the first round) and some more snakemen who emerged from another room, alerted by the sound of combat. Checking out the room the snakeman guards came from, Swinlow the thief discovered a secret door and decided to sneak a peek inside as the rest of the party continued down the corridor. To his surprise, a naga was lurking in the passage, and very luckily he saved versus the naga’s Hold Person spell, so the thief fled back to the hallway and warned the party a monster was on his trail — just as the lanterns revealed snake man archers ahead in another chamber. The party managed to defeat the monsters on both fronts.

Pressing onward, the party found large altar room with a curtain closing off a large alcove. They correctly surmised that the gorgon must be behind the curtain, and planned a clever trick of waiting for the gorgon to come through the curtain and pull it down atop her, so that they would both cover its face (nullifying its petrifying gaze) and be able to tackle and pin her to the ground. This went successfully, apart from the fact that another gorgon was still inside the alcove. In the ensuing melee, Grumble was bitten early on and missed his Poison save. Still the party managed to defeat the monsters and recovered the largest treasure yet — thousands of gold and hundreds of platinum pieces. The naga’s treasure held a potion and another magical club (the possibly over-powered Club of Thunder from 100 unique magic weapons. I really ought to read the descriptions before placing items I roll up! But I really like the notion that every magic item should be unique.) Grumble rolled well on the Death & Dismemberment table, though, so he was just knocked out (and at 0 HP, naturally) but not dead.

Taking their loot to the surface, the party found that most of them gained a level or were on the verge of leveling, so the Carousing rules finally came into play. I simplified things a little (roll d8 x 150 for GP spent, and roll under Wisdom; if you overspend or fail the Wisdom roll, you roll on the mishap table. Otherwise you gain XP equal to gold spent). Only the new guy failed his roll, and so he’s fallen in love with a married woman he met while partying. I’ll have to work out the details next week, but my gut reaction is that she’s married to a very jealous and violent member of the Hellbrand Fireguard. 🙂

The party then decided to check out that weird orc-faced carving on the cave entrance higher up Mt. Telengard. I didn’t really expect that but luckily had squirreled away an appropriate One Page Dungeon just in case! They found their way blocked by a large pit trap, and Sparky the elf began hammering spikes into the wall to create foot and hand holds to bypass it while the rest of the party debated how best to get around the obstacle. This worked out fine, apart from the fact that all the hammering was heard by the orcs guarding another room, who sent most of their number to attack while one stayed back to bang a gong and alert the rest of the complex. Soon the party was bottled up in the hall with the pit and a large locked door to their backs and about a score of orcs and goblins between them and the entrance to the dungeon. A sleep spell and the “Earthquake” power of the Thunder club dispatched these fairly nicely. The party set to looting the bodies and dumping them into the pit when an owlbear on a leash and a group of hobgoblins attacked. Grumble killed the owlbear after drinking a growth potion which doubled his already considerable damage, and the hobgoblins retreated after failing a morale test. At this point we had to call the game, as it was after 10 and some of the players really needed to get going. Even so, that was two delves and four fairly large, rolling encounters in three hours. Everyone seemed to have fun, and the new guy says he’s coming back.

The only problem for me was having to wait around upstairs for the new guy, which meant I could not gather my notes and get ready for the game (that’s my fault, I should have had Tom or Richard wait for him, since they had met him earlier, and in any event it was not a big deal,as I’d cleaned up the basement the night before and everything was as well-organized as I get). Also I was really hoping the party would go through the damn portal. But in the end, going after the gorgons got the party much-needed loot and levels, so maybe that is for the best.

Overall the session was very hack-n-slash, but we need that sometimes. I should work on incorporating a little more roleplaying though. The carousing mishap should help with that.

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 11:22 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Cool, sounds like a good introduction for the newer player.

    I have to admit I’m still mourning that interesting statue npc 🙂 might have to have one show up in my campaign.

    • Thanks!
      Don’t feel too bad for Grettir. The reality was:
      He was a living statue that rolled a good reaction to the party. On the spur of the moment I decided he had forgotten that he was just a guardian construct and believed he had once been human. (They actually took him with them up to town and the sage wanted to study him. In town Grettir did not recognize anything, which led him to conclude he’d been in the dungeon longer than he thought.)

      If he ever did get to drink the gorgon’s blood, it would have had no effect 😦 except that he would have had a 50% chance of going berserk and attacking the party.

      He was the perfect rust monster exterminator, though.

      OK now that I think about it Grettir is kind of tragic. And they just left his rubble in the dungeon where he fell. Maybe those sprites on the first level will decide to rebuild him. 🙂

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