Hopefully I won't miss any important details in this report. I had four players at the Armored Gopher last night, returning campaigners Carl, Christy and Sonoma (a.k.a. Snow) and joining us for the first time was Tim. He played in at least one of the demo games I ran at the end of last year, so he had a pretty good idea what he was getting into. Good guy.
While Tim diced up his character (a halfling, no less) and Carl bought equipment for his gnomish henchman I spent a little time messing with Christy and Sonoma. Their characters were approached on the street by three stinking, filthy peasants who wanted to join the party. I had generated these dudes using the Thrall class from Knockspell #1, so they purposefully sucked but they were also useful in their own limited way. But the ladies were put off by these lowclass types, so they offered to let them in the party if they brought back the head of an ogre. The poor schmucks packed off and haven't been seen since. Since they don't know what an ogre looks like or where to find one, they could be gone a while.
So a party consisting of a third level magic-user, his gnome sidekick, a second level thief, a first level elf and a first level halfling continued the plundering of Stonehell. At some point I think Carl will be tempted to some wilderness adventuring to track down more spells for his magic-user, but for now the dungeon just outside of town is too convenient to pass up. Once again the party stayed on the first level (1A and 1C for those following along at home) but at least they found a set of stairs down this time. Previously the only known access to a lower level was a big ol' hole that would require ropework or levitation magic to get down it.
The session was short on loot compared to the last run. The biggest haul of the night money-wise was three suits of platemail they hauled out and sold. That wouldn't amount to much under many old versions of D&D, but in Labyrinth Lord the armor prices are inflated along the lines of the modern trends in such things. A new suit of plate costs 900gp! But the real treasure of the evening was the discovery of the secret mage's lab. The spellbook there had two magics previously unknown to any PC in the campaign: magic missile and web. That perked Carl right up, let me tell you! He almost missed the opportunity to get ahold of these spells, as Amyanna the Elf found the spellbook and tried to conceal that fact from the party.
Once Amyanna's deception was discovered rather than make a big deal about it they went back to town with the new spells. Reginald Featherweight (Carl's PC) had been investigating sources of new spells in the area but up until now didn't have much he could offer in exchange. He arranged for an appointment with Gwenavery the Alchemist (adapted from Iridia #53) but the reaction roll went poorly. We agreed that Reginald went in there and talked down to Gwenavery as if she were a small-time elixir witch as opposed to the retired adventuress she really is. Amyanna visited Gwenavery and the reaction dice went much better. She aquired copies of mage hand and Tasha's uncontrollable hideous laughter. And the two had a nice little spot o' tea.
The dungeon exploration itself involved a good mix of monsters (giant toads, orcs, a dead fire beetle, kobolds, and a giant ferret off the top of my head) and some traps (a bigass magnet, a flamethrower, a teleporter and a green slime nozzle). Johann, the gnome NPC rescued last session and turned into the MU's sidekick, negotiated with both the kobolds and the giant ferret (it's a burrowing mammal, after all!). The gnome actually tricked the party into slaughtering the non-hostile kobold mushroom farmers, just because he doesn't like the scaly little buggers. On the plus side, he talked the giant ferret out of using the party as chewtoys. NPCs are fun.
One of the neat things about the session is that the party is starting to interact a little bit more with the inhabitants of their base town. It's leading to me making some on-the-fly decisions that are growing the setting organically, like adlibbing the fact that the smith overcharges for custom items, but if you pay in advance he'll throw in a little something extra. And I like the fact that the only alchemist in town likes on of the PCs but thinks another party member is a big jerkface. Since the group is so keen on working on Stonehell, I'm going to try to spend the time before the next session fleshing out the town a little bit more.