Saturday, October 23, 2010

Return to the Sodden Temple

We return to deep in the Sodden Temple where we left our party.  They had just finished a battle with a group of fly cultists.  Hurt, magic spent, and numbers reduced they had to decide what to do.

Only 3 of the 7 players from last session could make it.  I couldn't think of anything creative to do with the missing folks and didn't want to run their characters with them gone.  So, I just handwaved them away.

The party:
Toral (unconscious cleric)
    his two hirelings Tori and Lorea, both fighters
G fighter
Z fighter

I literally had the questions from this post in my hand.  But I waited and they did a good job of deciding what they wanted to do without my intervention-- basically get out alive.  G only had one hitpoint and Toral was out already.  They finally decided to put on the silken robes of fly cultists.  They also each cut off a cultist fly arm and held them in their robes as if they were their own.

They cautiously decided to head back the way they'd come in.  Entering a room that had doors and a ledge a level above them G decided to throw a grapnel up and climb to the ledge.  The ledge was slippery and muddy and he had to try and force open the swollen door while balancing.  He fell, but in a supreme feat of lucky dexterity managed to flip over backward and land on his feet.  This helped the party to decide to leave the ledge and continue back the way they originally came.

A corridor and some stairs and they were back in the large room where they had killed the Brundlephant, the room's floor covered with copper coins.  G filled his quiver, Z grabbed the backpack off of the body of a hireling that had died in this room and filled it with coins and they made their way back towards the entrance.

Through four doors, they found themselves at the entrance of the temple and (with some lucky reaction rolls) walked right past fly cultists milling about there waiting for interlopers.

Back to Nidus, they managed to find a room to stay and commenced shopping and exploring the city's wonders for about a week.  G and Z both managed to acquire the services of guilded hirelings.  G's hireling speaks no common whatsoever.  Party healed up, they headed back to the temple cash poor but sack rich.

With no one about in the entrance they made their way to the room with the pedestal.  They couldn't remember how to open the door they needed to get back to the coins!  In trying every combination G was struck with temporary amnesia and an unbearable lust.  After causing some problems with the hirelings, his lust was abated when Toral asked the Allfather to intervene.

The proper door opened, they headed back into the copper room.  To their consternation they surprised a single fly-headed figure.  Dressed in the robes of the cultist, this is the first they've seen with a fly head.  Remembering the fiasco with the Brundlephant, Toral said cautiously "I start grabbing coins."  Everyone laughed. Then G who had shot the Brundlephant in the eye, remembered he had amnesia and said "I shoot it in the eye."  Probably the best line of the night.  We all laughed.  He missed.  Toral took a swing with his mace and scored a natural 20.  I described the effect: The creature flew back, its hand snagged one of their sacks and filled it with coins as it came to a stop.  They thought that hilarious.

Thousands of coins in tow, a few wandering rats dispatched and back to town they went.  They seemed quite happy.

Some Thoughts
I don't know that I've ever had to make so many rulings on the fly.  But it went alright.  I tried to say yes if I could, or have them roll under their attribute, or roll dice for reactions to see what happened.  I don't think anything came off as arbitrary.

One huge change was I decided to switch to a silver economy.  I'm too tight a DM.  I'm always trying to save gold and big treasures for the big scores, knowing there is nowhere to go up from there.  But then players never feel rewarded.  This seemed to work well.  Every thing costing silver meant the copper coins were worth fooling with.  I also adjusted so that every silver piece spent is equal to one experience point.  My long time player was very happy he has more XP than he's ever had.

Encumbrance was becoming an issue.  I think my idea of having coins slop across the simple encumbrance lines was a good one, otherwise you end up with hirelings toting 300 pounds of coins around.

Rolling to open stuck doors was somewhere between annoying and comical.  There were a few spots where the party loaded with treasure, almost had to turn around and try to find another way out.  That might be worth keeping the OD&D idea of all doors being stuck, but I'm not sure.  It could get tedious.

Searching in Nidus is interesting, but, like the doors, might become a chore.  G said the wonders made it interesting.  And they did see some weird stuff.

Now this subset of the original party has four fighters and a cleric in plate with shields!  I think they will be better able to challenge the temple or whatever they choose to explore.


  1. "I don't know that I've ever had to make so many rulings on the fly."


  2. Right on, Telecanter. That sounded like a really fun adventure. I hope some of the other players make it back for the next one.

  3. @Spawn of Endra: I didn't catch that, ha indeed :)

    @Christian, thanks. It was fun, and as I get better at handling all the nitty gritty, I think it will get more compelling for players too.