The PCs adventured in two delves taking two days starting on 12/15/21. After one day of rest as per ACKS rules the PCs can take actions on and after 12/18/21.
I was just talking with a friend the other day about how it doesn't seem mine players will be taking the PCs back into any dungeons any time soon. "They don't seem to be interested in delving anymore," I lamented. So of course like a day later at the start of Session 39, this session, they inform me they will be delving the sewers beneath the city.
Real D&D is so weird. When you give your players full REAL agency you will be constantly surprised by the choices they make and the goals they set FOR THEMSELVES.
The party gathered up and set off for a manhole cover in the Old District of Cyfaraun. I was scrambling to find my adventure book for this delve and had to research again how the rules worked with regards to the sewer sludge (the stank) which instigates the PCs to make a Save Vs Poison or feel sick and act with -1 on most checks while in the sewer. We ran around the table and about half the PCs saved. I used the honor system of PCs tracking this minor debuff for themselves since I couldn't be bothered.
The mission they gave themselves tonight was to do some mapping of the dungeon for a new Patron they are calling MapGuy, but who is actually named Rene (with a frenchy last name I can't recall).
When this player submitted his Patron idea of being the Map Guy in Cyfaraun I was skeptical it would be any fun. But my decision regarding new Patrons coming into the game since November 2021 was to let them bring something they were passionate about. Some perspective Patron Players have asked me if I "needed" something in particular in the campaign world. Not really. My theory is the passion the Patron brings because it's HIS idea will make for a better campaign world. Whether he's helpful to the PCs or antagonistic is neither here nor there, for me. The Passion and the concept is the thing. MapGuy appears to be having fun so far.
So anyway the PCs were trekking down the sewer platform next to the nasty sludge and taking note of each room and the size of hallways and such. MapGuy was going to give them some gold pieces for each room or something like that. I don't know the details because I don't need to.
Hearticus (PC Cleric Level 1) was in the front line with Aeneas (PC Paladin Level 1) so this was a holy rolling group indeed! Unfortunately I rolled up a random giant beetle encounter and rolled up they were Hostile. The beetles ALSO got surprise on the entire party AND were within charging distance with their horned head attack. So the beetles charged down the sewer platform and gored Hearticus unto death. His player was laughing hysterically at how ridiculous the PCs story had been. Hearticus only made 1 (one) roll in his entire PC career and it was a natural 1 on a d20 on his Save VS Poison. So Hearticus's only scenes in this campaign were him climbing down into the sewer, projectile vomitting from nausea from the sewer sickness, and then getting gored to death by beetles. Hearticus was the cousin of Smarticus (DECEASED PC Mage Level 1) who had a similarly bad single session existence. It seems that PC naming convention isn't very lucky!
Aeneas for his part held the front line very well. Despite having only 1 (one) hit point he simply never got hit. This was helped along by Rapunzel (PC Priestess Level 2) who cast the spell Sanctuary on him. I botched my reading of this spell and we were letting Aeneas attack from the Sanctuary when it's supposed to keep him from being attacked but make him unable to return attack. Live and learn!
The battle was against like 3 beetles and neither side was having much luck landing attacks after the first round. Mickey Mouser (PC Thief Level 1) waded into melee when the front line fell but then had his own face ripped off. The player began rolling up a replacement thief. Dolores (Level 1 Fighter henchman to Laru), the hero who killed BOB in Las Vegas, got hit in the Achilles heel by a beetles horns and she went down with a serious mortal wound. She'd be out of action for a week. And unable to walk since her other leg had the same Mortal Wound from some past session. Dolores has been through alot!
Eventually the PCs killed a beetle and the rest failed their morale check and fled the battle. The PCs decided not to pursue since they were pretty beat up.
The party fled back to the surface streets having only been in the dungeon about an hour of in world time and 2 hours of game time. Our sessions normally go 4 hours or so and the PCs geared up for a second delve and attempt at their sewer mapping mission.
Nubbs (PC Thief Level 1) replaced the dead Mickey Mouser and Harder (PC Mage Level 1) replaced the dead Hearticus. So both players were able to keep on playing. It was easy to explain how they joined the party since the survivors of the first delve just went back to the inn to rest. They "picked up some green horns" for delve 2.
The next day the party went back into the sewers the same direction and passed the abbatoir of the beetle battle. Beyond that was an iron door/gate thing which the party broke down by rigging up and pulling a grappling hook... or something idk. Moving north they came to a section of the dungeon which was away from the nasty sewer sludge and they all started feeling better. The player of Hardar was making jokes about how his openly chaotic (evil) mage was creeping on Rapunzel and celebrating the death and evil he saw around the dungeon. By losing Hearticus the player stumbled upon a PC he seemed to be having more fun with; an unrepentantly evil mage where the player could "embrace his id" and just make bad (good) jokes about being a PITA.
During the course of the dungeon exploration the PCs mapped out a pretty nice section of rooms and halls. During this time a swarm of creeping crawling bugs came upon the party and Rapunzel used Magical Music to put them to sleep. On review of this ACKS Proficiency it seems this does NOT effect Vermin so I was 0 for 2 on my interpretations and understanding of the Priestess's abilities this session. Live and learn!... again!
Some giant flies were randomly encountered as well but their reaction to the party was Disinterested so I ruled they bypassed the party and went to eat the swarm of sleeping bugs the Priestess knocked out. Eventually the party found a wooden ladder and trapdoor exiting out into a Small Cantina in the Old District of Cyfaraun. Laru (PC Thief Level 3) is pretty deep into the underworld of Cyfaraun so I ruled he was aware this Cantina used to be used as a legit front of Liber Faunus's (DECEASED Patron crime syndicate boss Level ???) kaput Argollean Family syndicate.
We wrapped there.
So you'd think the Party would be pretty unhappy about this session right? Very little treasure (they found a crate of wine worth like 200 gp and that's it) and multiple dead PCs and injured Henchman. But thanks to this end of session discovery the PCs were pretty pumped, especially Laru.
A few of the Players began scheming how they were going to take over the Small Cantina (which they named Beetle Juice) and start running their own crime hijinks out of there. And it could be a safe entrance to do further delves into the sewer from a more private and safer entrance. Next session report you'll see how they doubled down on this plan and made a very serious score indeed!
I didn't plan any of this and the PCs certainly didn't play having a juice bar under their control at the end of the session, but that's how real emergent storytelling works in real D&D. Keep reading this blog and follow the #brosr on Tw1tterz and you can learn how to have a Real D&D campaign of your own!
Surviving PCs Present
Aeneas (5% XP Bonus): Level 1 Paladin. 62 XP gained. Total: 62
Hardar (10% XP bonus): Level 1 Mage. 65 XP gained. Total: 65
Laru (5% XP bonus): Level 3 Thief. 62 XP gained. Total: 4,726
Nubbs (5% XP bonus): Level 1 Thief. 62 XP gained. Total: 62
Rapunzel (10% XP bonus): Level 2 Priestess. 65 XP gained. Total: 3,434
Surviving Henchmen Present
Nuria (Rapunzel): Level 1 Cleric
Dorlores (Laru): Level 1 Fighter
Dama (L1 Venturer) played by RR. Current total xp: 75. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.
Darius LeVay (L1 Assassin) played by JB. Current Total XP:451. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.
Donald the Guardsman (L1 Fighter) played by MP. Current Total XP:570. DECEASED. Intra-party justice in Session 3.
Felix (L1 Thief) played by Nicholas. Current Total XP:431. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.
Hektor (L1 Paladin) played by Moai. DECEASED. Cause of Death: goblin warg rider throat removal surgery in Session 2
Leonidas the Inquisitor (L1 Cleric) played by RR.Current Total XP:498 DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.
Mard the Mage (L1 Mage) played by Nicholas. DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.
Yolo Baggins "My friends call me Swaggins" (L1 Gnomish Trickster) played by J. DECEASED. Paralyzed and eaten by ghouls in Session 12. Body not recovered.
Jack Filcher (L1 Thief) played by C. DECEASED. Shot full of arrows by Inthorn's brigands in Session 12. Body not recovered.
Swoleous Maximus (L1 Paladin). DECEASED. Captured then drawn and quartered by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.
Damianus (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Captured and beheaded by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.
Bucky (L1 Barbarian). DECEASED. Became a illegal pit fighter during his downtime. Had two bouts to the death, winning the first and losing the second. Was killed by Young Jack Sparrow who sashayed into the ring, drank rum, and mogged on Bucky before putting a dagger into his ribs, killing him. This happened during downtime between Session 17 and 18.
Broll Wolf-Eater (L1 Barbarian). Current total XP: 1079. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.
Brother Franklin (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Decapitated by a mad cultist of a Lovecraftian slime thing in Session 19.
Felix the Elder (L1 Bard). Total XP 825. DECEASED. Captured by mad cultists and fed to a Lovecraftian slime monster in Session 19.
Templar Flavius Africanus (L1 Cleric). Total XP 7. Killed by the claws and beak of mad harpies in Session 19.
Xendi (L1 Explorer). Total XP 6. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.
Yllmeeton (L3 Shaman). Total XP 4,563. Bludgeoned by the corpse of a bowmen by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.
Longinus (L2 Assassin). Total XP 2,036. Had his face ripped off by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.
Mandonio (L3 Fighter). Total XP 4,779. Charred to a leprous crisp by diseased Dragon breath in Session 22.
Corydon (L1 Joker). Total XP: 0. Burnt to a crisp by chimera breath so thoroughly his corpse wasn't even fit for the crows. Died with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. that's life and as funny as it seems... some people get their kicks, stomping on a dream... In Session 25.
Donny Keebler (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP 2,238. Had his legs burned completely off by chimera fire breath in Session 25.
Marina (L2 Fighter). Total XP: 2,204. Burnt into ash by a chimera fire breath in Session 25.
Gundro (L2 Gnomish Trickster). Total XP: 2,575. Had his mouth and tongue bitten off by a lizardman ambusher in the dank sewers below Cyfaraun in Session 26.
Polydoros (L1 Fighter). Total XP: 0. Had his legs ripped off and eaten by Akira monsters in the dark canopy of the Viaspen Forest in Session 28.
Odrum (L1 Explorer). Total XP: 287. Javelin to the heart from the hands of weird vine goblins hidden in the walls of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.
Garvin the Nutless Wonder (L1 Mage). Total XP: 0. Fell off the side of Ferigno's lair 20 feet to his death in Session 30.
Blackmoon (L1 Assassin). Total XP: 768. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while stealing treasure from Ferigno's dragon horde in Session 30.
Xanthus (L2 Cleric). Total XP: 2,364. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while hanging out on the roof of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.
Lord Zyklon (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP: 0. LORD ZYKLON DISEMBOWLED LORD ZYKLON upon finding himself on the losing side of the Desolation of Turos Tem.
Turin (L1 Cleric). Total XP: 0. Eaten by Wargs in Session 32.
Rat Face (L2 Thief) Total XP: 1,577. Seemingly grabbed in the dark by a Xenomorph in Session 36. In a sinkhole your party can hear you scream!
Smarticus (L1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Captured by a Xenomorph in Session 36 for all the party to witness. Taken deep into a sinkhole.
Hearticus (L1 Cleric) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 after projectile vomiting all over himself from the stink of sewer sludge.
Mickey Mouser (L1 Thief) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 in the happiest place on earth: the Cyfaraun sewer!
Alexa this is so sad play "The Mickey Mouse Club theme"