Telengard, the season finale (session 32)

As I told my gaming group Telengard is not dead, just sleeping.  My brother wants to run some AD&D for a couple of months (he has a baby on the way and that will give the campaign a deadline!), and I could use a break from DMing,  and I look forward to playing for a while.

So for the final session this “season,” the party was approached by a gnome from the nearby gnomish village (Gnomestead).  I think this may be the first time an adventure in Telengard followed such a stereotypical “hook” as a request for aid, although there have been a few other “missions.”

One of the first Telengard adventures involved exploring an “abandoned” mine that was being worked by gnomes and dwarves enslaved by a fungal disease, and one of the rescued dwarves would become the leader of a rival adventuring party; the gnomes were all rescued and posted an invitation to party on a bulletin board which they never quite followed up on.  But the invitation had turned into a plea for help and the party obligingly went to check out Gnomestead.

I was hoping to make the session challenging and rewarding, and I’m afraid the challenge was not really as great as I thought it would be.  The general set-up was that the gnome mayor has been sending gnomes in the village away to disappear every new moon.  The mayor and his “bully boys” have scared most of the gnomes into silence, but try to maintain appearances of normalcy, and gladly throw a feast for the party, as they’d been promising to do for a few months.  So the party had to figure out what was really going on, and stop whatever evil was gripping Gnomestead.

I tried to incorporate some Norse tropes (tale-telling, contests, and similar feast-hall activities, including the setting of the first part in a “great hall”) so that Gnomestead would feel like a tiny Viking kingdom, but with pointy felt caps instead of horned helmets and woodcrafts instead of feat of arms.  The funniest moment for me was when the players were discussion how a Richard’s halfling would feel in the Gnome village. (Tom: “You’d still be the tiniest guy there” Me: “No, gnomes are no taller than a halfling, just fatter, you’re not shorter, just thinner than everyone.” Richard: “So it’s like being in America then?” Richard is from England.)  The party played along with the festivities but then got to serious investigation, finally beating up all the bully-boys and breaking into the mayor’s room in the hall.

I’ve been on vacation for a week and I can’t really remember all the details of the session, but basically it turned out the mayor had been bespelled by a fire giant, who carved a rune into his chest and controlled him like a puppet.  The gnome victims were worked to death and then eaten by the giant’s hell hounds.  The party decided to impersonate a group of “victims” and defeated, in succession, three hell hounds and two fire giants.  Grumble’s dwarven thrower made the fights very short, and I had abysmal luck rolling for them, so the fire giants never landed a blow.

The party walked off with a reasonably large haul and the adoration and debt of Gnomestead.  Calloo! Callay!

So I see this as the end of “Season 1” of the campaign.  While I have many dungeon crawls available for the future, I’m hoping that the next “season” or two will involve some hex-crawling (or island-hopping, or air ship travels…) and after that, strongholds, mass battles, and “endgames”.  The party is mostly level 5-7 right now, so I have some time.

I still aspire to take the Labyrinth Lord RTF version and use it as a skeleton to develop a document that will contain all my modifications, rulings, and so on, so that I will have single booklet for reference, but since I never seem to find time to work on that.  Maybe this hiatus will enable that. Watch this space.

Published in: on July 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] have already been saved by a band of human and dwarvish heroes at least twice in the past – long ago from a fire giant, and more recently from a witch who enslaved their astral bodies to work a mine in the […]

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