Castle Greyhawk - The Boys over 4th of July Weekend
Fathers Day AD&D gaming coupons redeemed from the boys meant a return to the dreaded halls of grodog's Castle Greyhawk! =)
Unfortunately for the dungeon's inhabitants, the PCs plowed through most of them, then retreated back to the City of Greyhawk for healing.
The boys discovered a new entrance to lower levels via a trapdoor, but upon banging around on nearby barred doors, the PCs stir up more orcs, who sounded the alarm gongs, and began pursuit!
Spooked, the PCs bugged out via a secret door (seemingly unknown to the orcs), only to encounter a pair of shriekers in the main entry/exit hall, who in turn attracted a swarm of 20 kobolds. That engagement delayed their departure sufficiently long for the orcs to catch up, which is where we left things off for lunch....
The dragon mini (one of my favorite sculpts!) is a stand-in since I don’t have a black dragon that currently has attached wings, but you can never go wrong with Tom Meier’s work 🙂
The boys met this same dragon IRL several years ago, and fled from it quickly (they were particularly awed by it yelling at them, and the ranks of lizard men in front of it and charging in the PCs' direction!).
This time they were prospecting the dungeon level with a wand of metal and mineral detection looking for more loot, when they happened upon it by chance 😉
Henry's Underground Mansion - 5 July 2020
Nominally set on an uncharted island in the Nyr Dyv, Henry's Underground Mansion mega-dungeon got reopened for business over the extended July 4th holiday weekend as well.
His older brother Ethan and I delved into new portions of the second level that we'd not previously explored, and after running into some trouble there, encountered a red dragon while on our way back to the surface for some R&R!
Thankfully, we managed to extract ourselves from the red dragon and high-tail it out of the dungeon. The orcs that we'd recruited to assist in the battle with the dragon, however, didn't fare quite so well....
Castle Greyhawk - The Virtual GaryCon crew - 18 July 2020
I ran my Saturday night Castle Greyhawk crew last month and will return to it again this coming weekend (I cancelled the in-between session due to work insanities; this game began as a spur-of-the-moment virtual GaryCon 2020 event, and has continued since, although we missed the past few sessions). Only 3 players were able to attend, so they decided to seek out some mercs to beef up their numbers. Unfortunately their regular MaAs weren’t available, having taken on some caravan guard duty between Greyhawk and Dyvers when the PCs didn’t employ them for the past month of game time (we hadn’t played since 23 May!).
They ran around in the city checking in with the Thieves Guild (possible lead/info, for 50gp that they didn’t pay), picked up an Amazonian Priestess of Heironeous at the local temple (Carlos is playing a Keeper of Daern), and checked in with the City Watch for news and possible bounties on bandits (30sp a head for a captured bandit).
They then returned to the scene of the crime to investigate around a bit, and then killed some time hanging around in the first outer ward of the Castle, figuring that the bandits were hitting adventurers on their way back to the City from the Castle. While there, they encountered a group of NPCs exiting the castle, and favorable reaction rolls and some diplomacy assured an easy “nothing to see here, move along” response. The players and the PCs seemed both to have been impressed by the NPCs’ use of an ogre as a porter, and noted the Bakluni holy symbols/raiment of two of their number; they were lead by a female mage named Kelurrin and her brother, another mage; a priestess of Zuoken, and a figure sporting robes of Istus wielding a spetum also stood out to the eye*.
After some further escapades, they tracked the bandits to a lair at the foot of the Castle’s tor, and attacked, capturing 5 and slaying 6 of the group of 12-15-ish foes. The session ended with them preparing to descend into the bandits’ cave to plumb its depths, where they hope to find Melkor’s missing spell book and some more loot.
* Appearing in one of my contributions to the Saving Throw fundraiser zine for Jim Kramer. Guy Fullerton and I were recently emailing about fixing some errata and getting the print version of it finalized.
This was the session summary written by James Hochmuth, who plays Eric the Thief in the game:
Saturday night's game was fantastic! We went into overtime and Allan's ability to keep the game focused with imagery, details and characters meant that the time just flew by without actually noticing how late it was! Thank you for the extra time Allan!
Thank you for hosting the game Carlos on your Zoom account!
A short recap:
Josh is roleplaying Haj, Half-Orc Fighter
Carlos is roleplaying Corin, Human Paladin
I am roleplaying Eric, Half-Elf Thief
The three of us met up to head out to Castle Greyhawk, as it had been a month since our last visit with the giant crabs. We discovered that our reliable Men-At-Arms were not available, out with other work. But their Sergeant recommended someone else we could ask to accompany us. We met at the inn Melchior, a Half-Elf Fighter Mage, who had been waylaid a week past by bandits on a return visit from Castle Greyhawk. He had lost most everything to the Bandits, including his spellbook. We decided that we would help him get his spellbook and belongings back from the bandits and he would offer his services to us in return. After doing due diligence in the City, Eric asking the thieve's guild if the book had been pawned, Haj asking the town guards about bandit activity and rewards, and Corin seeking the help of a Cleric to accompany us. We, as a group of five characters head out to hunt for the bandits and make our way to Castle Greyhawk.
We scout the terrain looking for possible ambush spots, look over the area that Melchior was ambushed and eventually head into the outer walls of the Castle, to have "Lunch". It is what adventurers do right? Have lunch inside Castle greyhawk! It was in hopes that we would then either find the Bandits moving about the area, or lure them out to attack us when we leave injured after several hours within the walls. However a mighty group of adventurers were exiting the castle as we were leaving. When I say mighty... They had an Ogre as a porter. We parlayed with the group, ensuring our safety as they left the castle and headed back to the city. We watched them travel into the woods and lost sight of them with no obvious signs of bandits pursuing them.
When we decided it was time to head out and see if we could convince the bandits, should they be watching, that we were easier prey and ambush us we made our way back towards the city. Later on the road we ran into the fallen bodies of bandits, having been foolish enough to attack the previous party with the Ogre. This gave us an opportunity to track their movements as wounded individuals had fled. With some time we discovered their hideout in some woods and prepared our own ambush. In the end two bandits fled and we took prisoner five individuals and learned that they have a cave not far away where they keep their loot, guarded by others.
As we make our way to the cave, we see that the entrance has been disturbed, presumably by the two bandits that fled the fight. We enter hoping that what we seek, the spellbook, is still deeper in the cave.
I hope everyone had a great weekend! I enjoyed this session and look forward to others!
Wichita Greyhawk - The Now-Virtual Crew
Our other "regular" local game also got skipped the previous weekend due to work insanities on my party, but I hope to get us back on track the following weekend, too.
In the meanwhile, I started working up a detailed drill-down hex map for the central Flanaess surrounding the Nyr Dyv, which should keep me occupied for another two or three decades or so.
Bill Silvey's Monday Night Greyhawk Campaign - 20 July and 10 August
Our characters, after one beating too many, have decided to take a break from Bill's version of Castle Greyhawk (I suppose I should post some updated maps from our explorations there sometime, too!), and are pursuing a vision quest in the Abbor Alz, where a sage informed us that a legendary magical ring of invisibility might lie.
Here's a summary of that session, from Steve Smith, another player in the group:
Played in DungeonDelver's game on Monday, and it's heating up. In the previous session the party went to a sage looking for hints/legends of lost treasures that might contain a ring of invisibility, to add to our capabilities. We got a lead on a ransacked dwarven stronghold in the Abbor-Alz, and agreed to map and info gather for the sage while we were there. In that previous session we inflicted some blunt force trauma on the goblins and looted the chief's rooms before retiring with our encumbering gainz back to the men-at-arms and base camp.
So this session we were heading back to finish of the goblins and map the place, but of course in the day lost the remaining tribe had pepared some hasty defenses. Looking to find a way around them rather than waste hp on the strong point, we took another path and encountered a subterranean pond that we crossed on small boats. The next chamber was filled with mushrooms to the right, and ahead to the left there was another path that looked like it might circle around to a backdoor into the goblin area...but it seemed like there might be a crevice beyond the mushroom stand.
Checking that out we found some stairs heading down. That seemed more interesting, so we took that route. Halfway down we found a heavy bound door with dwarven runes conveying a warning to let what is beyond rest, lest unleashing a terrible force. The paladin of Wee-Jas detected for chaos and received a strong ping back from beyond the door.
We left it alone, at least for the moment, and continued down the stairs.
The stairs finally terminated in a deep underground cavern paved in cobblestones. It was far larger than our light sources would outline, and as we prepared to find the boundaries the group was ambushed by a group of displacer beasts! The heavy infantry out in front traded blows with the beasts, while the two illusionists in the group plumbed into their bags of tricks. My illusionist took out a viper carcass preserved in a bottle of strong brandy and, using an improved phantasmal force, began "stretching" it into a Conan-class serpent, throwning it among the cats in the following round - hoping (sort of) that these beasts would be familiar with/wary of gigantic snakes. The other illusionist cast a phantasmal killer spell at the cats.
The spells successfully wrecked havoc with the cats and broke up their attacks, causing them to break and run the next round. One died to the faux-bite of the viper, the phantasmal killer spell was likewise deadly, and the infantry scored more kills with their back attack bonuses.
With that resolved, we found some ruins farther up the cavern and investigated one, finding some inscriptions in the walls in old suloise, telling us they'd succumbed to some horror unleashed by themselves. That was the end of the night.
Looking forward to next week.
This is what I wrote after we played last night (10 August 2020, and I missed the 3 August session due to continuing work insanities): Two weeks ago we discovered a lost city of ancient Suloise deep under the Abbor-Alz. It dates from the time of the Great Migrations, and our PCs were chased from it by a shoggoth! My paladin of Wee Jas will attempt to commune with the Ruby Queen to discover how to restore this site to her people....
I'm enjoying the many games, even if it's a bit hectic to juggle at times, along with the work insanities (which seem to be increasing in frequency rather than abating, as I reflect on this past month of gaming).