Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Dwarrowdeep #3

Prepping and Running the Game

Once again I am running late and have to combine the AAR and the commentary.

In this session the party (see PC profiles here) was sent along with The Badgers, a fellow group of adventurers, to explore the passage that led northwest from the Lower Halls. When they arrived at the hall at the end of the passage they found signs of a conflagration that had occured a long time ago. The two parties split up, with our PCs exploring the left hand side of the halls while The Badgers explored the other side.

Our PCs fought an Ash Wraith and found an underground lake that was used as a source of water supply by the thaig, as well as docks indicating that the dwarves once navigated the waters. The lake would provide a secured supply of water and some food for the thaig, which would strengthen its chances of success.

Our PCs returned to the rendezvous point but The Badgers did not show up at the appointed time. Following the chalk markings left by them, our PCs tracked them into what used to be a coal mine. After a while they came across the prostrate bodies of The Badgers, bleeding and dying. Bertil rushed forward to aid the closest one of them - Brannoc the Avvar - and simultaneously the party was ambushed by darkspawn from all sides. Zunn and Milgrim used their magic to keep the darkspawn at bay, while Lorca fought his way to Brannoc to drag him to safety, and Boggart cleared the party's route of escape

The party had no means of rescuing the remaining three members of The Badgers, who in all likelihood have bled out by then, and so had to retreat. Once out of danger, they were able to revive Brannoc.

This session had the same format as the previous two: the main activity was combat, with the exploration providing exposition and moving the narrative of the thaig's progress; there was minimal role-playing. This is a major problem with a dungeoncrawl where there are no intelligent monsters/enemies. Hopefully as the thaig's fortunes progress there will be opportunities to explore encounters outside of the dungeons involving the allies and rivals the thaig will make in the future.

I am most of all very impressed by my players' decision to try to save The Badgers. The fight was challenging, and I did not give any indication that they were required to do so, but they nevertheless risked their characters' lives to do so. Had I not told them that they other three members were likely already dead, they may have continued to fight and died.

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