Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Barrowmaze Saga: Reports 1-12

Here are the 1st dozen session reports, playing the Barrowmaze megadungeon with roll20 and my homebrew simple d&d system.  It has been ruthless and great.  Many character deaths.  One yellow mold massacre I almost feel guilty about.  They dungeon is slowly revealing itself, which is really great.  So is being able to run the thing virtually prep free, on the fly.  I'm surprised all the time.  Some subplots have developed, mostly based on carousing rolls in town.  There are two recurring villains, a bandit who keeps robbing the tomb robbers, and a necromancer named Necron.  Can't wait to find out what happens next.

SPOILERS abound for ye old Barrowmaze.

Session #1: 90xp for Lalo the Elf Wizard, Cricket the Halfling Thief, Asaf the Fighter, Yazhu the Dwarf Rogue, Berg the Fighter, Hannibal the Cleric Loot: Helm, weak  skull shield, Runic Tablet of Insanity (-2 Wisdom, +4 HP, Full of Manic Vigour!  No sleep!)  Foes: Sapphire Skeletons (did not keep the gem fragments) 

Session #2: 160xp Barrow Mound #21, Silver Dagger, Three Scrolls, LOTS of digging and wandering monsters: Coffer Corpse, toads, stirges etc

Session #3: Asaf the Fighter died.  Magic shield found.  Much carousing. 2nd level.  Vargas the bandit camps in the Blackened Woods with 8 men.  The woods are infested with giant spiders and territorial boar.  He robs tomb robbers.

Session #4 Cricket the Halfling was slaughtered by skeletons. And there was much carousing in his honor.  Runic tablet found.

Session#5  2 Wizards, Warrior and Cleric with 6 hirelings found a Bag of Holding, fought and 5 Carnivorous Flies, 6 Huecuva, then much carousing wherein Wizard was told of Necron of Nergal the rival of Mazzarin who has the Blue Chantrel and cleric befriended the local priest.

Session #6-7 Cleric, Fighter, Wizard and hirelings entered the maze from the center of the Moor.  Encountered Necron.

Session #8 Encountered a lonely corpse on the road.  Hand like an iron vice. Severed hand and enlarged cleric escaped and saved a sore throat.  Then entered by the secret stair.  Found a mausoleum.  Battled a king who would not die.  Fled with a crown and jewels.  Went to Ironguard Motte to seek arcane armaments but ended up partying the time away as the long hot summer days sweltered, it felt as though the treasures of the barrow were real indeed.  The funereal pyre of the departed torchbearer belied that joy.

Session #9 Revels completed, Hannibal, Berg and Rashford were joined by an Elf Wizard, Elf Cleric and a broke Warrior, plus a handful of bowmen and torchbearers.  The first expedition was driven back by Sapphire Skeletons who slew many hirelings.  Cleric nearly lost his leg.  They returned weeks later, explored to the East into the “Haunted Tombs”.  Chased Beastmen through secret doors in the maze.  Confronted by Beastman Chief and Wizard who accused the explorers of serving the Necromancers of Set.  Both Elves and beast know how to play with fire!  Mutual Burning Hands explosions slew most of the employees and beastmen too!  Treasure was discovered, including a Magic Staff of Secrets and two KEYS: Pentagram and Book.  Escaped through a stairway into the hidden tomb of a warrior-priest.  In town much carousing occurred.  A fellow maze survivor gave one hero a golden skull to pay off a debt, shivering at the cursed runes of Set carved upon it.
Session #10 Into the Easter, newly discovered entrance, following mysterious booted footprints, re-visited the lair of the beastmen, fought risen shadows, carnivorous flies and succumbed to lung filling Yellow Mold, which claimed the lives of stout adventures Rashford, Berg and Hannibal as they collected trinkets from the ancient burial alcoves.   Wand of Wonder found.

Session #11 The second generation dares to delve.  Traveling to the easternmost barrow entrance they descended, flanked by two torch bearers and a war dog.  It was two fighter and two clerics.  Defeated fossilized skeletons, robbed some burial alcoves and gave a tax to Tomb Robbers of Vargas (Vargas’ Vanguard), and retreated in the face of a hulking golem made of glowing runic tablets.  Made it home alive, went drinking, and were summarily robbed again by the agents of Vargas the Vagabond.
Session #12 The elf died quickly.  The world was always unkind to him. He fell in a pit and ravenous dead ate his face.  The others recovered his treasures and burned the dead, filling barrow tunnels with smoke.  Trapezoidal alcoves were explored and looted.  Golden scarabs found.  More of the unliving dead came searching for flesh.  A warrior lost his ear.  The thief discovered a trap on a door.  A trip wire slammed a stone door down.  It would have separated the group as debris and flagstones gathered to form a fearsome manlike creature.  The warrior cried “SHAZAAM” and the thing vanished, only the ghost of its form lurking about as another burial crypt was looted and gold gathered while something lurked in the darkness beyond.  A hidden door to the north was found, and, as they searched the corridor beyond, the delvers heard the sound of the flagstone golem crushing some other unwary intruders.  Exploring further, stairs descended into dank dampness.  Beyond a mysterious door was a large massive crypt with a pool of water.  Giant leeches slain, burials looted, a hidden crypt was found where lay a crumpled knight, his winged helm still gleaming in the dark.  As the cleric reached for the holy helm, a ghost knight appeared.  He called himself Sir Guy the Betrayed, for he had been of a company of holy warriors tasked with destroying the Pit of Chaos (northwest) opened by the evil presence of Nergal.  Only he was betrayed by his companion Dhekeon, and the Font of Chaos was lost.  “Find the holy orb, or chosen ones, and prepare for a battle unlike any ever known in these unquiet tombs.”Leaving the holy ghost, the group hastened, for their torches were low, their prayers tired, but they knew golem lurked the way they had come, so they tread east, finding crypts whose doors had already been smashed by other robbers… then something dropped from the ceiling.Foes: 9 Ravenous dead, Flagstone Golem, 3 giant leeches, unknown lurkers.Treasure: Helm +1 of Sir Guy, Horse Shield +1, Scarab of Protection, much gold.  600+ xp each