Thursday, March 12, 2009

World O' Cinder, Session #5

Last night was another rousing game of Labyrinth Lord. I had five players total: Carl, Christy, Squirrel, Wheels and newcomer Snow. This was Snow’s first go at the Game, though she indicated that she was familiar with other roleplaying games. When I asked her if she understood the basic deal of dwarves and wizards going on underground adventurers she answered sardonically “I’ve seen the Lord of the Rings movies.” Sometimes I forget that I no longer have to explain to most people what an orc is. Thanks, Hollywood! Snow ended up rolling 9 for Strength, 15 for Charisma, and 10 for everything else. After mulling it over with some of the other players she opted to play the first elf of the campaign, a polearm wielding adventuress named Amyanna Isis.

The group ended up pretty well exhausting the adventuring possibilities in level 1A of Stonehell and began conquering section 1C. Nearly all the foes of the evening were orcs, which worked out really well for the party. The two magic-users and the elf all had sleep memorized and got a lot of mileage out of the spell. Amyanna Isis got ‘realistic orc mask’ as her item from the Deck of Stuff. Combining that with her high charisma and ability to speak orcish allowed them to trick the orcs a couple times. A brief transcript:

(orcish arrows pepper the party)
Anyanna (quickly pulling on mask): Wait! Don’t shoot!
Orc #1: Who are you? What tribe are you with?
Amyanna: Uh… the Oonga Boonga tribe!
Orc #1: Hey, Lenny! Are we at war with the Oonga Boonga tribe?
Orc #2: What tribe aren’t we at war with? Mort, you ever heard of an Oonga Boonga tribe?
Orc #3: Can’t say that I have.
Reginald: Sleep spell!
Other PCs: Stabbity stabbity!

Later Amyanna was in a spot where some orcs asked why she was associating with a bunch of humans. Snow’s PC coolly explained that they were her slaves, but she didn’t have a ready reply when the orcs inquired about buying some of them. Some of the players seemed to genuinely take offense at the offer.

Poor Bethany Shadowalker (Christy’s thief) joined the ranks of the campaign dead alongside such worthies as the dwarves Old Salty and Basaltbeard, the halfling Sly Mishchivin, and Deric Holyborn. I thought the party was going to make it through the old kitchen without a hassle, but Bethany managed to unleash the green slime. She held on quite a while but no one could figure out how to get the stuff off of her face. Her replacement character was also a thief, named Sylvia Corvine as I recall. With better kills and more loot this session, Sylvia made level 2 even though she entered play partway through the night. In fact, everyone at the table leveled except the elf, of course. Wheels is now an MU 2, Sylvia a thief 2, Reginald Featherweight made 3rd level (which I misreported as happening last session) and Eric Holyborn achieved an astounding fourth level of clerictude.

Now that Carl’s dude can cast 2nd level spells he noticed that the spells available for him to pick from are pretty weak. I explained that he has only the starting PC spell array, as per my house rules, but there are more spells in the Labyrinth Lord rulebook and other spells in the campaign at large. He indicated that between now and next run his character would be following up on sources for new spells. I love that sort of wizardly seeking after knowledge so I’m working on a draft list with a bunch of possible leads. Some of them are in town, others are on the Wildlands hexmap (from Points of Light) and still others lead to additional campaign regions.

These leads are part of my sneaky plan to lure the party into some wilderness adventuring, but I only want them to go where they want when they want. So, for example, I gave Wheels a rumor he picked up in a tavern, about a magic cup hidden in a ruined castle. The party opted not to follow up on that one, at least not yet. And that’s okay. The wilderness wandering monster charts are pretty brutal, so sticking with dungeons close to town is probably the smart thing to do at this stage of the campaign.

Towards the end of the night the party rescued a lost gnome adventurer that was suffering at the hands of orcish tormentors. Reginald showed Johann some kindness so he offered to serves as the magic-users henchman. So now I need rules for Gnome adventurers. Here’s my idea: start with the Halfling class, remove all the special abilities except the AC bonus versus big monsters and put in some infravision and some languages, including the ability to speak to small burrowing mammals. Working off of an established class saves me a bunch of heartache compared to building the class from scratch. Part of me is tempted to add some illusionist magic or techno aptitude, but I’d really like to push that small burrowing mammal thing as the gnome’s big special ability. “I can talk to prairie dogs” doesn’t seem all that great compared to the stock halfling stuff, but I’m not that interested in making the class better (or even as good as) the regular options.

I forgot to post the picture from the previous session: