Thursday, November 19, 2020

Chronicles of the Adventurers Guild #5

On the 27th Day of Lenzin,

Guild members Erik, Tamira, and Leowe (see PC profiles here), with the bearer Lennard in employment, explored the following barrows: 

#25 - Returning to the barrow they had explored the day before, the party overcame the skeletal undead in the burial chamber with the aid of Kellos' blessings, and recovered the grave goods therein.

The two other chambers within the barrow contained traps, which caused guild member Leowe to be wounded.

#35 - Exploring the barrow to the north of the Guild's lease, the party found it to be occupied by at least six men not of the guild; they were able to evade capture by the men with clever use of distraction.

#37 - A large mound, within a single large chamber with many burial alcoves. The inhabitants within reanimated when their grave goods were taken, and the party retreated as there were too many undead to do battle against.

#38 - A mound with a long corridor and a single chamber within; the corridor contained a cunning trap of swinging stone pillars, which wounded guild member Erik. Within the chamber the party recovered grave goods.

The hour being late, the party returned to the Guild.

Grave goods recovered were valued at 70 Gros, of which 24 Gros were disbursed to the members according to the terms of the contract.


Jeras, Guild Chronicler

Addendum: The matter of the unauthorised robbers being reported to Guild Master Hassel-Hoffa, the Master commanded that Guild Rangers be despatched to the mound the next day, and the intruders be expelled.

Prepping and Running the Game

A rather straightforward session, with the players spending some time in the first barrow trying out the Turn Undead power: they learned to hem the skeletons in with the spell, then picking off those on the periphery.

The session also featured a few traps, which I imagined to be of all-stone construction, mostly of the counterweight type, with the trigger held in place by stone doors or flagstones. In all the cases I gave the players enough clues as to the presence of the trap, and then when they still triggered the traps I used the 'click' rule and asked what their character did upon realising that they triggered something. This worked quite well, and I am likely to continue doing this in the future.

The second barrow they chose to explore caught me a little off guard. This barrow holds the entrance the Death cultists use to enter the barrowmaze, and I have it guarded by several cultists at all times - a hostile encounter with them would likely have caused several deaths, and if the remaining PCs fled then there would be no chance of the characters left behind surviving; in fact, they may be raised as zombies by the cultists. Fortunately for my players and I, they chose stealth, and despite Lennard (i.e. me) botching his stealth roll, the party was able to use a cantrip to sow confusion, and then roll really well on the 'run away!' roll.

This encounter brought up a pet peeve of mine in the fantasy genre, when the players asked if the men were "dressed like cultists". The depiction of cultists as people who wore a uniform, or some form of jewellery or tattoo as a form of identification always struck me as being stupid: these people are trying to hide their allegiance, not advertise it! Except for my VSF cultists (whom I take are depicted in their lair), I have always used 'civilian" figures to represent my fantasy cultists on the tabletop.

The third chamber held too many skeletons for the party to take on, and I was secretly glad that the players contemplated coming back with the other characters, or even a temporary alliance with 'The Fearsome Four', the rival party in the guild who were operating nearby; this shows that they see the game world as something that exists outside the immediate tactical concern, with people they can interact with.

The cultists having their entrance discovered by the guild certainly throws a wrench in their (and my) plans, and I will have to evacuate the barrow and find another one as their entry and exit... this will be interesting.

No comments: