Saturday, October 20, 2007

An adventure completed

Recently I had the fortune of finishing up Legends are Made, not Born, which marked my return as a Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master (DM) after some 17+ years since my last DMing experience. And what fun it was!

As you can read about in a previous post, the players in this module are effective "zero level" PCs, or normal townspeople who decide to become heroes by doing battle with an ogre that has kidnapped two townspeople. The PCs gathered information and purchased supplies in the town of Dundraville, then made their way to Skulltop Hillock, where the ogre lives. Sneaking in via a little-used back entrance, they battled their way through some cave denizens, including giant centipedes and a ghoul (the corpse of a long-dead warrior-king), before encountering the ogre Blogg.

After a PC sprang a log deadfall trap which awoke the drugged and sleeping ogre, an epic fight ensued. In the end, one PC was knocked out by the ogre's massive club, but Blogg was dead and the day was saved. Or was it?

The PCs soon found out from Blogg's sniveling captive hobgoblin servant Gurt that the "real master" had charmed Blogg and ordered him to capture the two townsfolk. The master--Suto Lore, a "power thrower," lives in the tunnels below Blogg's cave, said the terrified Gurt. The adventure was about to get a lot bigger and more sinister.

The PCs pushed ahead and made their way down a trapped ladder and a past a trapped hallway to Suto's quarters. There they found Suto's diary and uncovered a diabolic plan: Suto is seeking to locate the Codex Ilyium, a book of great and evil sorcerous power, but can only find it by summoning the demon Frogroth. Suto has created a demon summoning circle and is only a day away from his final preparations.

After battling Suto's enchanted broom(!), the PCs made their way to the temple. Alerted to the PCs presence after they set off a screaming shrieker, Suto prepared himself with a host of spells, including mage armor, obscuring mist, and levitate, and cast summon monster, summoning a fiendish spider to drop on the PCs as they entered the chamber.

Soon a pitched fight began. Suto was well-protected, and all the PCs could see of him was a billowing pillar of smoke. Several arrows were fired too low and went under the levitating wizard. Bec, the party's muscle-bound fighter, was bitten by the spider. Although the PCs slew the critter, it slowed them down enough for Suto to summon a small fire elemental from a brazier in the room. This thing proved nasty, as its blows inflicted both bludgeoning and fire damage.

Soon two PCs were down. Suto then cast hold person on Bec, who was frozen to the spot, and the fire elemental burned him alive (sorry Bec). Three PCs--half the party--were either dead or unconscious, and I was worried that my first time DMing in almost two decades would result in a TPK, or total party kill!

But the PCs proved both heroic and resourceful. Lord Casimir, a snobby son of a nobleman, bravely charged past the elemental and into the billowing smoke to thrust and cut wildly. Even though he was blinded by a glitterdust spell, he ran Suto through with a sword-thrust that had about a 1 in 20 chance of hitting. The few remaining PCs finally wore down the elemental with arrows and magic missiles, and the fight was over.

Truth be told (and if you're reading it here, players, its your bad), the PCs never found the "voice below" hinted at in Suto's diary, a small demon (a quasit) that was in league with Suto, and resided in the bottom of the pit in the summoning room. Of course, we didn't finish until 2:45 a.m. so everyone was tired at that point, including me, and I probably could have done a better job tipping the players off. Ah well, perhaps this could lead to another adventure...

Regardless, the PCs had defeated the evil wizard, rescued the two prisoners, and returned to Dundraville as heroes. The town welcomed them with cheers and kisses, and old Tarik one-arm, a retired fighter who lost his arm battling Blogg years ago, clapped them on the back over a cold ale at the Merry Riot Inn, and had this to say:

"As I've always said--legends are made, and not born, and you have taken the first step on a much larger journey, lads and ladies."

Overall, it was a fun night and a fine example as to why I love this game. The adventure--both the module itself, and my own--was complete.


MojoGM said...

Ah, I was incredibly brave of course, even though I wasn't there.

But I see Lord Casimir was played well...

Hope we don't have to wait 15 years for the next one!

Rick said...

At the rate we play, 15 years might be soon.