28 September 2020

grodog's Castle Greyhawk - Campaign Journal 25 September 2020

We had an excellent Castle Greyhawk session last night, with some really fun roleplaying among the PCs and goblins in particular, which setup the rest of the session's action very nicely!  



After exploring into some waterway areas in Castle Greyhawk's level 1 dungeon, The PCs headed back to investigate a door under the entry stairs, discovering what may be a one-way door (the hard way).  Afterward, they explored a bit off of a Y intersection, and then met some local goblins in the other Y, and got in good with them through some judicious role-playing (and a charismatic half-orc and MU able to speak goblin).  It helped a lot that the PCs mentioned that they were a) a part of the Horned Society, and b) that they had recently routed a bunch of kobolds (back in March at the start of the game), which the goblins had been following up on.  

The goblin captain (Captain Nieder, pronounced like Needa ;) ) asked them to bring him the head of the Kobold King (who is now likely be be anagrammed from Yuri Gagarin, since "Bring me the head of Yuri Gagarin" is the title of an old Hawkwind bootleg from the Space Ritual era), which they agreed to do, at which point Captain Nieder will take them to meet the Goblin King ("down below").  

Now allied with Captain Nieder and his goblins (of the Moon Flayers tribe), he still wouldn't allow them into their "Echo Base" goblin territory, but did agree to take them through blindfolded to the eiger toll keepers (eiger = ogre in Greyhawk alternate races parlance), which would then allow them back south to go back after the Kobold King.

After blindfolding, the PCs were spun around, etc., and the long trek through the dungeon halls to the toll keepers was 250-400 feet or more.  The PCs were hands-free, and had a goblin hand-holder with each, and two additional goblins (including Nieder still). When they got to the eiger toll keepers, Nieder advised the PCs to be respectful.  And this is where things got very interesting:  the first WM check on the way passed uneventfully, but the 2nd came up positive (I had the PCs rolling the checks, including the actual monster and # appearing), as a 17 kobold war party coming into this section of the dungeon to (obviously) raid upon the goblins!!

A chaotic three-way battled ensued:  kobolds attacking everyone, ogres attacking kobolds (and perhaps goblins/PCs?), goblins and PCs attacking mostly-together vs. the kobolds.  And these were not your run of the mill kobolds either:  several leaders were garbed in strange carapace armor (from giant crabs slain near their lair earlier in the year by the PCs!).  

Round 1:  PCs have initiative but mostly hold actions, unsure what's going to happen; kobolds act 2nd, and charge everyone:  five of them significantly wound the first ogre, nearly kill the second one outright! (I rolled some very high damage rolls for them vs. the L-sized ogres), and nearly kill the PC MU (who's AC 10 and is now at 2 hp!).  The goblins and ogre kill a kobold or two.

Round 2:   Kobolds have initiative, coup de grâce the severely wounded ogre, hit the other one again, but miss the PC MU, wound another PC or two lightly, and fail to hit any of the goblins.  The surviving ogre acts next, kills a goblin and bellows for help---at the end of the round, 3 more ogres are coming to join the fray!  The goblins and PCs simultaneously act last, and battle kobolds while shifting position (goblins in response to a command from Captain Nieder) into a more defensive formation, but the PC MU misses with his shocking grasp attack on his kobold, too!

Round 3:  PCs act first, and drop some more kobolds (but none of the giant crab armored ones); the ogres kill 2 more kobolds---however the biggest ogre, while it hits one of the carapace-armored kobolds, it fails to kill it (!); the goblins kill some kobolds; the kobolds act last in the round, and with ~12 dead, their morale breaks and they flee (with only one fleeing-from-melee kobold being hit, and that not killing it).  

Round 4:  the goblins and kobolds act first (kobolds are now completely out of sight and retreating toward greener pastures!); at a command from Captain Nieder, the goblins shift into Sardaukar-like triads, with 2 set spears defensive and 1 ready to throw; the ogres are pissed of still, smash some dead and/or wounded kobolds, but do not attack the goblins or PCs (after some quick reaction response checks to Captain Nieder's speech); the PCs sheathe weapons and stand down.

After calming down a bit, and negotiating new toll rates with the "hoch eiger," the PCs exit the same way that the kobolds entered/fled, and the ogres close the portcullis, effectively cutting the PCs off in a completely new section of the dungeon, with no idea where/how to connects to what they've known to date.  

And that's where we left off :D


19 September 2020

grodog's October 2020 Convention Greyhawk Events


I'm running events at both Virtual GreyhawkCon and Virtual TsunamiCon in October this year!

I've already written about my Virtual GreyhawkCon events, which will feature two playtest sessions for The Iounic Vaults---the concluding portion of my Iounic Caverns level from my version of Castle Greyhawk, as well as one session in Rob Kuntz's classic Bottle City level from Castle Greyhawk:

Bottle City level - poster map from Three Line Studio

My TsunamiCon 2020 Virtual Con events are submitted!

At TsunamiCon (16-18 October 2020) I'll also run two AD&D 1e playtest sessions in The Iounic Vaults (the conclusion to my unpublished Iounic Caverns adventure in Castle Greyhawk), as well as one session of Tom Molday's classic, (mostly) unpublished Morandir Trilogy of adventures (#2 Seren Ironhand was published in 1986).

- Iounic Vaults on Friday 6pm, Sunday 1pm
- Moldvay Morandir on Saturday 1pm

I also registered to play in my friend Matt Harrop's End of the World game (which uses Jenga for its success mechanics), as well as Justin Wilson's Delta Green game =)

17 September 2020

SYFY Article on Castle Greyhawk

SYFY article artwork
Fans of Castle Greyhawk will find Matt Bassil's latest article, "Castle Greyhawk, the lost dungeon that kicked off Dungeons & Dragons, still inspires players today" of interest: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/dungeons-dragons-castle-greyhawk-lost-dungeon
I was interviewed for the piece, along with Rob Kuntz, Bill "stratochamp" Meinhardt, and Patrick Wetmore of Anomalous Subsurface Environment fame!