Monday, June 10, 2019

DnD: Clearing the First Level... Maybe... Part One

All right, so:
  1. It's been a full month since the last time we played.
  2. This was not just the resumption of the Midday Saturday D'n'D Games, but also Firstborn's D'n'D Birthday Party.
  3. Some of the cousins (my wife's sister's kids) are in town and the oldest (age 11) joined us for the party/game.
  4. I tried to run it for three hours instead of two, because Birthday party.
...So on the whole, it's really no surprise that this game got off to a bit of a rough start.

At the end of the last game, the group had finished killing some kobolds and collecting their stuff. I ruled that they had then left the dungeon in a surfeit of caution, and that Lord Aldenmier had been pleased enough with their work that he'd called in a favor and provided everyone in the group with a potion of healing. I didn't bother updating the party treasury or giving them a chance to go shopping; there were about four different conversations going at once, and I figured if we didn't get down to business we'd never get finished.

Lord Aldenmier had also added a Dwarf Barbarian -- a woman named Jak -- to the company, on a trial basis. (She would be played by Firstborn's oldest cousin.) We hadn't done much background on her since she won't be a regular part of the campaign, but she's armed with a battleaxe and a shield (no armor - BARBARIAN!!!) and is pretty sure that violence is the solution to every problem.

So, the group returned to the dungeon, and retraced their steps from the last expedition. First they half-opened the door to the room with the webs and spiders, and set them on fire again. Upon investigating, they found that while the bronze shortsword had been replaced, the statue of the cat had not. They then went on and faced the kobolds again, with the monk moving up to kill one and nearly kill another, the dark elf rogue following to finish off the wounded one, and the Dragonborn sorcerer maneuvering to wipe out the remaining three with his breath weapon. (Fwoosh!) They again claimed the weapons and treasure; this time they also went through the next door, where they encountered another kobold who cast some sort of spell and then took shelter behind a statue.

It... really didn't help. The monk moved into melee range, and... well, Kobold sorcerers just don't have enough hit points to survive that. "I... will have... my revenge..." he gasped as he died.

We then spent probably ten minutes of verbal digression on whether or not to try to take the statue, despite the fact that it was
  • not magical
  • a full size statue of a human woman, and therefore rather heavy
  • attached to the floor
They finally decided to leave it, and having discovered nothing else they retraced their steps and took the other passageway, towards two doors they hadn't tried.

The first room held a gem, which was magically suspended in the air at the center of some sort of energy field nearly a large as the room itself. The sorcerer retrieved it with Mage Hand, which caused an enormous flash of light as the energy field disappeared. The characters who had any knowledge of Arcana made some quick checks, and decided that the gem itself probably wasn't magical, the bright flash from the energy field probably would have done some damage to anybody inside the room, and the gem was probably now safe to touch.

At that moment, the small cat statue that they had retrieved from the spider room last session began to purr. The Dragonborn decided that it was because of proximity to the gem, and immediately whipped out a hankerchief and tied the gem around the statue's neck. That was when they heard the footsteps; behind them, another banner company had come down into the dungeon. Ignoring them, the other group turned and walked down the other hall to the room where the kobolds had been.

Discussion immediately ensued as to whether to pursue them with the goal of "teaming up". (I reminded them that the six banner companies with access to the Dungeon of the Mad Mage are incredibly competitive, and that this group had almost certainly been at it longer than they had.) And when I say "discussion immediately ensued" what I mean was that the kids had an enthusiastic verbal argument, with the Dwarf Barbarian arguing in favor of following the other group back to the statue of the woman to see if the cat statue and/or the gem reacted to it. It got, um, "enthusiastic" enough that somebody went and fetched one of Secondborn's plushies, and basically declared it the Stick -- effectively re-inventing Robert's Rules of Order on the fly.

Despite the Dwarf's passionate arguments for following the other group, the party voted to continue exploring other rooms and just stay away from them, reasoning that they could always go check out the statue once the other group had gone. The other group, meanwhile, still hadn't emerged from the rooms with the kobolds, and the cat statue had stopped meowing but continued to purr.

So, following the majority decision, the group decided on their prepared actions, and then opened the next door along the corridor.

This was a single room, with three ogres at the far end. Two of them immediately stood up, pointing their spiked clubs at the monk and the barbarian, and roared.

Unfortunately, everyone had prepared actions (and I need to do more research on that -- I think I'm being a little too lenient in how I'm letting the PCs use those). So the Sorcerer, the cleric, and one of the rogues immediately attacked the ogre who was still lying on his furs. They injured it, but not nearly enough.

...And then we stopped for ice cream and cake, and after that a walk around the block. So when we pick up again, everybody needs to roll initiative as we begin fighting the ogres. (And I should handle the Dwarf until we get them back out of the dungeon.)

Meanwhile, by my count, the party has a shared treasure of 161 GP after the last session. They also have:
-Six daggers (from last game)
-Two Javelins (ditto)
-A Bronze Shortsword (spider room, claimed by the Barbarian)
-five shortswords (this game, the kobolds)
-five more javelins (ditto)
-another 38 GP (kobolds)
-another 45 GP (kobold sorcerer)
-a silver dagger, which they're keeping for equipment - currently held by the Dwarf.
-a small bag of herbs which smell delicious (also kobold sorcerer)
-A ruby worth 150 GP which they have tied around the neck of the cat statue using the sorcerer's handkerchief because they think it's part of some sort of puzzle.

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