So we were down one player and that left us with an Elf and a Dwarf for the first Moldvay lunch hour crawl.
We are using a dungeon I put together as a training dungeon (which will now become a proving ground for new characters)
I already forgot the elf's name sooo Elf it is. The player that has the dwarf wisely named her Dwarf.
Library - This is one of those libraries that people whisper about.
Long ago the local folks got tired of their books being burned by whatever raiders came through or current religious fad was sweeping the city states. Something more permanent then books were needed. So they used people. Whenever someone uncovered lost lore, witnessed a great event, and learned a beautiful poem, the librarians hunted them down. The book was killed, bound with chains and powerful spells of undeath. The books were stacked in libraries like this one. Some librarians became lazy and only took the heads, in places you will find stacks of peeling skulls. Because of this horrible treatment many of the libraries have dead that walk free and are vengeful.
You can delve underground to seek out lost knowledge.. Be sure to bring something of value to place in the mouths of the dead. That is the only way they will speak what they know.
The ruins above the library are crumbled and worn from rain. Elf and Dwarf crested the hill and spied a natural staircase winding down into the dark. Since it was just two demi-humans no torches!!! Weird. They descended the staircase in the cold, darkness. I asked what information were they seeking that they didn't want others to know about. Elf is trying to recover some missing memories and Dwarf wants information about the slaughter of her clan. They scanned the passage running south and could see a pillared room covered in dried leaves and grass. Beyond that a well made stone staircase heading up. Elf and Dwarf stopped to to look around and listen. Immediately to their north was an alcove with a figure cover in candle wax and offerings. They promptly ignored this. The only sound they heard was the shifting of the leaves in the room to the south. The cautiously crept in and poked around suspecting trouble. All the found was names carved in the pillars of all those who came before.
They decided to climb the stairs. Elf drew out his sword and shield while Dwarf readied her warhammer. Halfway up the stairs they heard skittering, clawing, and tapping sounds. Both stopped. Dwarf crept forward with a mirror in one hand and the hammer in the other.
As Dwarf reached the top of the stairs a swarm of skeletal hands tore at her and pushed pass rushing down the stairs. Dwarf elected to swing her hammer defensively to fend off the hands. Dwarf beat the hands off but was stranded at the top of the stairs, now separated from Elf by the swarm. Elf hunkered down behind his shield and watched has the claws broke over his shield. Elf managed to shrug off the damage and advance halfway to meet Dwarf.
The swarm turned back on them and called more hands to battle. At this point Dwarf and Elf decided to push through the swarm deeper in the Library. Using shield and hammer they waded into the room. Alas the hands tore their backpacks open, spilling contents everywhere. Dwarf and Elf made it to the next room while the hands made quick work of disappearing the fallen gear.
The Thief joined the party just after the hands made off with most of the gear. Luckily the Thief is del stocked! And she (he?) has torches. This drops the range of vision to 30ft for the whole party! I forgot to house rule away infravision. BLEH.
Thief, Dwarf, and Elf entered the next room. The stonework is similar to what they have seen before. Very clean lines, well fitted, and free of debris. Their torch light shows a medium sized room with four rusty metal urns. The urns are large 3-4 feet tall. After some discussion Thief sticks her head into one of the urns. A sound like dry leaves and howling bellowed forth. A cloud of ash with teeth and claws everywhere attempted to rip the face off of Thief. Elf threw up his shield. Dwarf hesitated and then dove for cover. The ashen cloud raked over the party and then dove into another urn. Stunned the party didn't know what to do. The cloud of teeth and claws sprang out of the urn and attempted to batter down Elf's shield. The fury of the attack wounded everyone. At this point the party ran for it. Unfortunately they ran down a set of stairs that was a dead end. At the deadend they immediately ran away some more, pushing further into the Library.
Running down the hallway, torches blazing, they stumble in a trap room. Rocks rain down from the ceiling. Dwarf is on one side, Elf and Thief are on the other. They spend awhile digging away rocks luckily no monsters hear them.
The party sublimes across the "card catalog/librarians" for the Library. This is a group of talking skulls who apparently get really excited about light. Awhile is spent talking with the skulls trying to get information out of them. The party is given directions to the room they want and a warning about something dark stalking the halls.
In game time: 100 mins Real time: 45 mins
Status: One torch burnt through, only five left. Water and food are low. Basic dungeon supplies, minimal. All members are wounded
Does sound like fun. By the way, there is an "Around the Campfire" section for folks telling tales of derring-do. I may move this over there eventually.
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
Our brave party (with Thief on auto-pilot) dove into the next chamber. They encountered a room constructed of big slabs of stone, no longer the fine stonework from before. Wriggling on the floor just out of torch light, several bodies convulsed. The elf threw a sling stone at one. They immediately popped up and shambled (jerked) their way towards the party. All the Elf and Dwarf could hear was a faint buzzing and clicking sound from inside the bodies. The spastic movement combined with the buzzing noises worried the party greatly. The elf threw a lit torch into the corner of the room hoping to attract the skin bags. It work. With the lights out the Dwarf and the Elf grabbed the thief and barreled into the next room...
Only to find the floor giving way to a water filled pit. The dwarf went for a swim. The elf and the thief rigged up and rope system to pull out the dwarf. Somewhere will floating in the deep the dwarf saw a faint blue light. A faint current tugged on the dwarf pulling towards the light.
Twenty or so minutes later the dwarf is up top. The party maneuvers around the ledge to get to the southern door. As they crept down the stairs two rotting hulks of two gigantic beetles rushed out of the darkness smelly faintly of cinnamon. The group flees back to the pit room where the beetles can't get at them.
Here is where we leave our brave adventures.
Dungeon time: 80 mins Real time: 45 mins Everyone is still injured. Resources: down to 4 torches, one wineskin, 7 days of food
Dwarf - Only has armor, a mirror, and a hammer Elf - Sling, shield, armor, and a few misc items Thief - Fully stocked minus 2 torches
Edit: Cleaned up some grammar a little and added a line or two
So last week our players became dungeoneers and so did their characters.
The three brave (errr crazy) adventures decide to not tangling with the rotting hulks of the beetles to the south. To the west a passage lay in darkness..
DM note: The player's looked at their resources and realized that pretty much everything was low. They made the decision to press one always thinking that they were dead no matter what.
The thief cautiously search for traps, nothing yielded. The thief did notice the floor was pitted and dissolve. All three look up and to their horror a clear slime was stretching out to greet them. With a trust of the Thief's torch the slime rains down on the party. Armor hissing and boiling, the party flees madly back east to the water pit trap. In they dive. Much scrubbing, bathing, and long discussion of tactics ensues.
The party continues to doggie paddle (the dwarf was elfie paddling) for awhile until the thief decides to dive (with the rope tied around the ankle). Thief takes the plunge and heads towards the blue light. After a short distance the their breaks water in a large, tiled reflection pool. The pool is surrounded on all sides by torches lit with blue flame. The thief spied several figures in the far corner murmuring. She dove back to the party and a discussion ensued on how to proceed.
The thief dives and sinks in the water (like many a good dwarves swimmers). She makes it back but brings with her a horde (actually 3) undead. Rotting grasping arms rend at the dwarf while the elf and their climb to safety.
The thief launches herself off the wall back into the waters with dagger drawn. BELLY FLOP. The dagger sink into the deep and the dwarf is dragged off underwater.
The dwarf is flung up from the reflecting pool and lands in a pile of gooey bodies. The three beings advance on the dwarf. The elf and thief debate for a second before deciding to rescue the dwarf. Our first combat. The dwarf scrambles around trying to get a footing but fails. The undead dressed like Egyptian priests crossed with Knight's Templar cut across the dwarf's rib cage. The knife bites deeply.
A chaotic battle begins. The dwarf tries to put the bodies between her and the priest/knights of unholiness while swinging her hammer. Failure on all accounts. The dwarf slips and the hammer goes flying out of reach. The elf casts Floating Disc and charges in full speed with the disc as a battering ram. The thief disappears into shadow and silence. The elf batters down the warrior priest and the thief drives her sword into the head of another. The dwarf takes this moment to gather her hammer and throws it at the nearest one. It shatters under the dwarven hammer of some unpronounceable stone deity. The elf keeps one ancient warrior pinned under the disk. The thief finishes off the other.
GM: Lost track of who took what damage but the whole party is near 1 HP each at this moment.
The gooey bodies were looted for coin, armor, and scroll. Several blue torches were stolen as well.
GM: My first successful wandering monster roll.
As the party loots the boots they hear a buzzing and clicking sound. Behind them shifting bags or naked flesh barely conceal the swarm within...
Grabbing what they could the party fled west around the edge of the pool. Jumping across the small gap in the floor the flesh bagged swarm buzz and click behind them. The dwarf, elf, and thief sprint for the northern staircase. At the last moment they realize their ropes are still in the water. The elf and dwarf distract the buzzing corpses while the thief dives into the water to retrieve the ropes. The thief climbs out of the pool with two water logged ropes. The elf (with the floating disc) charges into the buzzing abominations but cleaning misses them. The thief and elf grab one rope is use that to clothesline the beings into the pool. One ducks out of the way and claws at the elf, rending armor and pale skin. Splash, the pool rolls and bubbles with the angry, buzzing skin sacks trashing around. The party watches them sink into the depths. This pool exit is now blocked.
The northern staircase is the only way. They cautiously creep up, a bright flash of light blinds all but the dwarf. So the dwarf guides the party to a four way intersection. The elf and their recover their site as supplies dwindle. Some discussion starts about camping overnight in the Library (all party members are at 1 HP now, plus they have treasure). They soon realize that they are surrounded by graves set into the wall. Inscriptions in an ancient language hint that this is a burial ground for an old empire.
Out of the darkness guardians of the tomb hunt for the intruders. Their skeletal remains gleam brightly in the torch light. The party runs for hit, heading west. The sound of armor grinding and bone on stone is close behind our fleeing adventurers. The party runs into a t-section and flees north into a tangled mass of tree roots, moss, and cool breeze. Behind them the skeletal warriors hack away at the roots. Have they found an exit to the surface where ale, food, healing and sunlight wait? Or did they stumble upon an unmarked level of death by plant and fungus?
Dungeon Time: 40 mins Real Time: 45 mins Resources: Almost out
At one point our mapper overlaid her 1st level map and second level map to figure out roughly where they were at and predicted where an exit might be. Pretty cool. I'll post the maps later.
Well they made it out. A brief fight through tree roots, mud, and moss brought our brave adventures to the surface. From there they could see a landscape of limestone canyons covered in spare trees and dried grasses. The sun goes faint. Our party marches out towards town a half day away.