Sunday, February 28, 2010

Expedition to Stonehell: Session 2

The second session of my OSRIC game went very well. While creating characters was a pain the first week, the game plays very well. I only went with the OSRIC rules for now with the optional shield rules and entourage system in place. I did not add in weapon speed or weapon v. AC. Combat moved fast, by my count we got in six different combat encounters.

We started the session off with the characters getting off the boat from The City State of the Invincible Overlord in Magnus Aquila, the colony city. They didn't hang out in town very long because the place was a mud-ridden, depressing dump. They hired two torchbearers and a boat and headed for the dungeon.

That's right, there were 4 players, each with a primary PC and a favored henchman, and two torchbearers. If you are keeping score at home that makes a party of 10 characters, and we managed to get done 6 combats in about 5 hours of playing.

When they arrived at the Stonehell canyon they dove right into exploring. They decided to not go through the gateway and went around through the hole in the curtain wall. They did a quick survey of the valley and they decided to explore the gate house starting from the north entrance.

They made quick work of the goblins in this section (room 2 and 3 if you are playing along at home) without even taking damage. They then ventured into the Former Magic User's Quarters (#4). The dwarf fighter was caught alone by the giant centipedes and surrounded. I had decided to give the centipedes paralytic poison instead of death poison before the game started and I am glad I did. Even with paralytic poison they came whithin a hair of a TPK. The mages used two sleep spells to put everyone, other party members included, in the room to sleep. The mages and the torchbearers then ran around and coup de grace'd the centipedes. Thanks to their quick thinking they managed to avoid any deaths. They uncovered a secret door and found a magic umbrella and cloak.

Having narrowly escaped death they decided to barricade themselves in the cleared North Watch Post (#2) and rest. During the night a Green Slime oozed its way through an arrow slit and attacked. Oil splattering, torch throwing hijinx ensued and the dwarf fighter had to throw himself into the fire in order to avoid loosing his leg to green slime.

Recovered, the party decided to push on to the second floor. Here they encountered a flight of steps leading up to the roof and a wine cask and satchel with a nasty looking wasp nest suspended above them (#11). They decided to head up to the roof. The ranger volunteered to scout the roof for them and headed south towards the hole he could see.

As he approached the hole the roof gave way beneath him and he fell through. When he hit the floor below (#9) it too broke and he fell back to the first floor. He found himself in a room with several ghostly adventurers (#5). After a few tense moments he decided they were harmless and the others pulled him up to the second floor (#9) with a rope. They joined him by descending the stairs.

With the party reformed, they dealt with the goblins in The Upper Gallery (#10) and the stirges to the south (#8), getting a nice gem as a reward. They descended a spiral staircase and checked the remaining areas, finsing nothing of interest.

The party decided to head back to the wasp room and get the satchel. They wanted to have Hans, the torchbearer, retrieve the satchel for them, but he refused to do it for less than 5 gold. The ranger retrieved it and got badly stung. While retrieving the satchel he noticed that the cask had its seals intact. There was some very old wine in there. They decided to find a way to retrieve the cask later.

All told the session was a lot of fun. The players seemed to enjoy the style of the game and the faster paced combat. I am VERY happy with my decision to not include a thief class. I think it paid dividends in the very first game in the way they played. For the most part I stuck with the roll 1d6 to resolve everything except for a few things directly derived from attributes. I am using roll-under-the-score ability checks.

By my calculations they should gain a level every 4 or 5 adventures. This may accelerate slightly when they are in the dungeon proper because there seems to be more loot down there for XP. I am giving XP for magic items based on the values suggested in Unearthed Arcana.