Dateline: October 2, 20223, The Ligmatic Cloister of the Bofahearts
With Ronnie Dio recovering from a nasty fall and Meh the archerman down ith a bad case of the deviltape parasite, our party consists of just seven heroes this time out.
The expedition started well enough, with a quick jaunt up the Old Road, but the newly found track to the Ligmatic Cloister revealed a new surprise. The remains of the old road through the Bofahearts is cracked and overgrown, but a few brave merchant caravans keep it clear enough for those that know what to look for. This reduces the chances of a nasty encounter from two checks to one and of course we hit the one.
Seven trolls lay in wait just at the point the foothills give way to mountains, clearly guarding a bridge as trolls often do.A quick roll of the reaction dice and we get the best of all possible worlds. For the mere price f 1gp per person, our heroes can continue on their way. This becomes a permanent and repeating encounter at this location for the rest of the campaign – or until our peeps are strong enough to push the trolls back under the mountains by force of arms.
Glad to escape a potential TPK for the low cost of 16gp, our party heads into the dungeons beneath the Ligmatic Cloister. We have two options to get in, but it doesn’t matter which we take because we’re filling in blank spaces on the map.
Which leads to a brief discussion of restocking dungeon in a solo game. The rule should be easy to remember and implement, and not require extensive information tracking. We have enough of that already, thank you very much. After a brief discussion, we realized that the only real changes possible on our timeframe come from the movement of monsters, which are grouped on Table V.F just after the “Empty” result. Check it out:
If you roll a d20-3, then you get a 75% chance of finding the previously cleared room still empty, 10% the room has a monster only, and 15% chance of a monster and treasure, with no chance of a new trick, trap, or special. Easy peasey, so that’s what we do.
Our first new room proves to be a 10×10 one crammed with seven orcs, whom our party surprises. A quick and bloody combat sees our strongest fighter, Swolgar dropped to -2hp, but the death of three orcs (one of whom is their leader) forces the other five to surrender. Geoff Capes and Sir Argoth strip them of gear, let them carry away their dead, march them to the surface, and watch them descend the mountain trail until the orcs are out of sight. Returning to the scene of the fight, our party finds two clay urns marked with odd symbols.
The magic-users play a quick game of junk-and-pull (aka rock-paper-scissors) and Morcar loses out. [We players know that the markings are a SYMBOL, protecting 1,000sp and an as-yet to be determined magic item. We gotta do it.]
It’s a flash-bang! The entire party is stunned by the noise and light show for 8 rounds, during which we are forced to make a wandering monster check.
Interestingly enough, it’s another squad of orcs. Our paladin’s insistence on mercy pays off, as the orcs don’t find our party staggering around amidst a bunch of their tribesmen’s freshly minted corpses. Confused, the orcs jabber at the party, who are unable to communicate. To resolve this, we make a reaction check, this time with no CHA bonus because the party is so insensate. It comes up neutral, so the orcs poke around a little and go back to the party, slap some sense into them, and we roll a second reaction check.
A natural 97! Very positive!
The orcs, chaotic as always, laugh themselves sick at the weak-kneed pinkbellies, and leave them to their own devices, but not before cleaning out the till. The 1,000sp are gone, but the magic item remains. Our party retrieves a potion of superheroism and counts themselves lucky to get away unscathed.
After poking around through a few more rooms, our party encounters ANOTHER squad of orcs, maybe the same as last time, and decides that they need to get gone while the getting is good.
It’s weird that we rolled three monsters and all three hit orcs. There is a ten-percent chance of that, and we hit it. This will force me to rewrite the encounter tables for the level to feature orcs. We know they are in here, and we are going to face a rougher time of sweet-talking them once the crew we bounced out of there returns with their tale. We will likely face a penalty on reaction checks.
No encounters on the way back to town provides a reprieve.
Total haul: 43XP for the three slain orcs, plus 450XP for the potion. Minus 1gp AND xp, because the characters have to pay the troll toll, which reduces their gp take by one.
Total XP earned is 69xp per surviving character. The three extra XP will go to fallen Swolgar who won’t be available for a delve until October 11th. Swolgar is our resident punching bag, now up to a scant 103xpndue to all his recovery time. If he is that injury probe, those 18/74 muscles might not be all natty.
Everyone else can go on Thursday the 5th, which makes them available to help Aragoon the Loner Ranger go on a weasel hunt.