Sunday, September 25, 2022

Dwarrowdeep #4

Prepping and Running the Game

As is now customary, we began the session with a recap of the progress of the thaig so far, as well as the consequences/repercussions of the progress.

The reopening of the West Gate a month prior had allowed the thaig to establish trade with the Avvar, exchanging dwarven tools and weapons for some food. The volume of the trade is not high, but news of it had traveled to the Fereldens, who are occasionally the victims of Avvar raids to the lowlands. Some elements have begun to call for a trade embargo with the dwarves.

Meanwhile, the discovery of the lake has provided another source of food supply, and work is in progress to re-establish the aqueducts to channel the water to the Lower Hall, which will further reduce the thaig's reliance on outsiders.

On the production front, the recycling of the old weapons found in the thaig has progressed slowly on account of a lack of smiths, as well as coal. The reopening of the coal mines has been delayed by a lack of miners, and the complaints from the miners that the mines haunted.

In this session, our adventurers were sent to follow the river flowing out of the underground lake to learn where it led to.

The party - Lorca, Boggart, and Bertil (see PC profiles here) - and the boatman Boran sailed down the underground river, and after some four hours came to a crumbling, dis-used dock right before a waterfall. The dock led to a cavern which was lit by bioluminescent Deep Mushrooms, which Boran informed them were dwarven delicacies.

The party disembarked and began to explore the caverns and its passages, and had to fight off a pack of Deepstalkers - small velociraptor-like creatures that inhabit the Deep Roads. Bertil began to develop a sense of unease and a headache, which he later realised was due to the presence of lyrium ore in the area. It soon became evident that the dwarves had carved rooms and shelves in the caves, and used the area as a sort of warehouse.

Exploring deeper, the party passed through a cave inhabited by a giant spider, which they fought off. Proceeding on, they were attacked by tall, reptilian humanoids. While they were fighting these strange creatures, they were attacked by the animated statue of a demonic form, and had to flee.

On their return through the spider cave they noticed a glint of metal reflecting the light of their lantern. With torches in hand, they set the webs covering the passages on fire and drove off the spider, and found some relics from centuries past: a dwarven axe with a Rune of Paralysis, an elven helm, and an elven lantern.


This session introduced two major plot threads: the discovery of lyrium in the thaig, and evidence of a Dalish Elf mission to the thaig.

Rolf Khunda has taken the decision to try to poach smiths skilled in the mining and processing of lyrium ore from Orzammar. To Orzammar this would amount to a declaration of war, although how this war can be prosecuted will require a lot of thought. The travel time between the thaig and Orzammar means I will have a gap of two sessions to think this over.

The second thread relates to the personal goals of the three Dalish Elf PCs in the group. Two of the players have indicated that they wanted their characters to pursue the Arcane Warrior specialisation. The Arcane Warrior specialisation is a very specific one in the fluff of the game, and it was a bit of a stretch to try to fit that into a campaign set in a dwarven megadungeon, but I think I came up with a believable reason, which will be revealed in the upcoming sessions.


daveb said...

Is there specific mechanism or tracking of how the thaig is improving and what bottle necks they hit? Or is it purely story based and planting seeds for further adventures?

captain arjun said...

Hi daveb,

We are using the actual Organization rules from the Dragon Age RPG.

Under these rules organisations have stats like Might, Wealth, etc., and hit points called Stability.

Each game turn (2 weeks in our campaign) the players make a roll. If they fail, they roll on another table to see what bad stuff happens. If they pass and score Stunt Points, they get to choose from a menu what good stuff happens. If they pass with no Stunt Points, things carry on as usual.

The menu items are pretty vague, and we construct the narrative based on what the rolls say.

For example, after session 2 they gained a Stability point, so we said that the trade with the Avvar gave them more food security.

After session 3 they failed the roll, so we decided that word of the trade with the Avvar reached the Fereldens and they are not too pleased about it.

After session 4 I allowed the players to make a Plot roll in their attempt to bribe some dwarven smiths from Orzammar to join them.