Monday, April 23, 2012

D's Common Dungeon Crawling: In the Heart of the Minotaur

What ho!

The regular group didn't get together to continue White Plume Mountain this weekend so I DM'd for my buddy and his lady friend who had never rolled the dice before.  We played the new Dungeon CrawI Classics RPG.  I don't even have the hard copy yet.

I pulled out the Heart of the Minotaur one page dungeon.  Beware of spoilers for this sweet little dungeon.  These one pagers are really great for one shots and quick games.  You can have a nicely wrapped up story in a few hours.

The characters were an Elf and a half-elf Thief.  Both were Chaotic.  The thief was tracking the gremlins that had abducted his sister and step mother.  I described these gremlins as little guys with green stocking caps, long pointy hears and big mouths with pointy teeth.

The thief approached a bored sentry at entrance, feigning ignorance, and the gremlin thought maybe he was a tranny kook, but the elf let fly with a wayward arrow and the gremlin scampered back into the cave.  The two gave chase and encountered three more little dudes.  This fight got ugly quick. The elf took a hit which spoiled her Sleep spell (-3 to the roll for getting hit while casting).  Luckily some failed Morale checks went their way and one gremlin was back-stabbed while running away.  Both would-be heroes were fighting with knives.

Further, there came a room with a glowing pool of water.  Gremlin voices could be heard echoing around the many cave exits.  In the pool was a large blue diamond set into the stone, giving off bright blue light.  The jewel was magical and the water was warm.  The elf dislodged the gem and held it up.  The gem changed from blue to red as the water drained away.  The gem pulsed at an ever increasing right, getting warmer and brighter, so they threw it down the hallway and ducked as it exploded! causing a cave-in.

Later, a portcullis trapped them and forced them into a strange stone duct, crawling along to escape a lowering ceiling.  They came upon a break in the floor and looked down into a cathedral cavern where a ritual sacrifice was taking place!  From their vantage directly above a massive minotaur statue they watched a shaman shove a bound human woman into a crevasse!  After waiting a prudent amount of time for the congregation to leave, the thief and elf rappelled down, ignoring the golden eyes of the statue and pursued the sacrificial victim.  Slipping down a pile of cow and goat bones into ever descending damp limestone passages, the partners came upon a beach with a rowboat, and large hoofprints in the sand.  They rowed across and slipped into the Lair of the Minotaur unannounced!

The thief burned all kinds of Luck to sneak up behind the Minotaur as it raised its sword over the cowering woman, his mother.  His critical hit found the bull-man's kidneys, stunning him.  The elf shot it in the back.  Now the monster raised its curved sword and hacked the thief, who knew he could not survive another blow.  However the monster missed its next strike and the thief brought it down with a dagger strike to the leg.

"Mercy" growled the Minotaur as its medallion glowed golden.

"Why? When you showed no mercy to my mother?"

"I was only... I was only..." the monster's voice was strangled and it stuttered, finally repeating "Mercy."

The thief hesitated the player said, "I grab the medallion!"

The bull snorted and tossed its head, goring the thief and tossing him in a bloody heap.  So ended the life of the brigand posthumously named Welbeck.

Now the minotaur asked for mercy of the elf, who's arrow pointed at his eye.  She showed none, and pierced it's brain.  Then she claimed the medallion for herself.

The woman screamed, "Now YOU are the monster!"

And the Curse of the Horned Lord continues...

So, a TPK, but entirely of the players' own devising.  I'll note that they really needed a Warrior.  If I had rolled differently for wandering monsters, or if they had explored any of the more dangerous side passages, they would have been in big trouble.  Also, they didn't use their Luck.  The new player was totally new to RPGs so the spellburn rules were a little much to absorb  as it was, but the thief was very reluctant.  He is coming from Type IV D&D and seemed to consider this another resource that he was very wary of depleting.

Anyways, a fun evening.  I'm totally digging these DCCRPG rules, including my houserules.  It's interesting how much different it is to play than IV, just having a simpler character sheet and less toys on the table focuses everyone's attention on the imaginary world a bit more directly...