Friday, January 7, 2022

ACKS Session 40: Hideout Heist [How to Restock Dungeons on the Fly]

Players adventured for 3 days. With one day of rest, as per ACKS rules, they can take downtime actions and play in Sessions on and after 12/24/21.

Foreword

Forty Sessions! I'm very thankful to all my Players and Patrons for helping me achieve this amazing milestone. It's not easy being the longest running and best documented #brosr campaign running with Jeffrogaxian Time and Patrons but I will soldier on, keep running sessions, keep posting session reports, and keep adding to the dead pool.

Thank you for reading.

Session Report

To celebrate our 40th session the players went back to the sewer. 

the pcs, basically

They were openly discussing their goal on the mics and what I remember is they wanted to clear out the rooms they found in the sewer which were away from the stanky sewer sludge. Maybe they wanted to make a hideout there? I didn't quite gather that part. It was clear also, however, that they were still hoping to bring their maps of the sewer to the Patron Player Rene (also known as MapGuy) who was offering them cash for good maps of the sewers.

The PCs entered the dungeon from their recently claimed cantina which they had named "Beetle Juice". Laru (PC Thief Level 4) was building the old cantina back up and planned to live and work at the Beetle Juice. Laru was already in talks with Vince McMaximus (Patron Gladiator School Owner and Possible Mafia Don Level ???) to use the cantina as a front for thieves guild stuff for Vince's syndicate. Or something. I'm not really sure. Players don't even tell me about these deals with Patrons it just happens and I'm told about it later.

The PCs explored the sewer rooms beneath the Beetle Juice towards the east first. The party had 2 thieves, Laru and Nubbs (PC Thief Level 1) and the Caller was making good use of them by having them check separate rooms for traps and treasure just away from the main adventuring party to save time. Rapunzel (PC Priestess Level 2) was helping by holding a light source for one thief or the other as needed. 

They explored about 5 sewer rooms, finding nothing of particular interest. Delving deeper I rolled a random encounter with 5 Giant Flies. Rapunzel was unable to use her Magic Music ability on these since, unlike last time, I had properly researched that Vermin are not able to be targeted with said music. So the fight was on!

Most of the flies attacked the party's front ranks and easily killed the level zero henchmen MadEye (PC Venturer Level 1) had brought along. Sad!

For dumb creatures like flies I randomly determine the targets they attack. For small flying creatures that can fly past the PC's front ranks I weight the chances they attack the closest enemy as follows:

Roll 1d3: 1-2= attack first rank. 3=roll 1d3 again
Roll 1d3 again: 1-2 = attack 2nd rank. 3 = Roll 1d3 again etc

This creates a situation where certain enemies in the dungeon can't be completely held off from attacking the mages and thieves with a stout front line, though it's still weighted to not be super likely that these sorts of creatures (stirges, bats, flies etc) always get into the middle and back ranks.

best actor

It was actually the attacks on the front ranks that were the biggest threat, however. After getting through MadEye's mercenaries the flies were swarming Aeneas (PC Paladin level 1) and were able to find a weak spot in his plate armor. Unfortunately the paladin only has 1 (one) hit point and one fly bite was enough to knock him down. He went down screaming from a tear in his abdomen. Nuria (henchwoman Fighter Level 1 for Rapunzel) was also swarmed and killed by the giant flies.

Nubbs stepped up to try and fill in the front line and he too was knocked down by the flies and apparently dead. After the PCs eventually turned the battle in their favor and won the new paladin which joined the party this session, Olivier (PC Paladin Level 1) used lay on hands to help Nubbs back to his feet.

The party left the dungeon so Nubbs could rest for the 1 day necessary to get back on his feet and join a second delve. Oliver's player had some irl concerns so he and his PC retired for the night before we began delve 2. It's a shame for him because Delve 2 went much (MUCH) better.

For delve 2 the party went back the direction towards the flies and beyond the location of that battle. Nubbs noticed a t-intersection which looked to have wet concrete on one wall. The players correctly deduced this to be a gray ooze so they easily killed it with missile weapons before it could slime its way into melee with them. From this t-intersection there were two seemingly empty rooms and that direction of the dungeon was dead-ended.

Backtracking towards the sewer sludge portion of the dungeon the party came to a locked door. Nubbs picked this with a natural 20! 

So I promised to tell you how to re-stock a dungeon on the fly. I was forced to do that with this section of the sewer because it was actually the hideout for Liber Faunus (Deceased Patron Syndicate mafia boss Level ???). It became clear to the players recently (or some of them) that Liber was assassinated and much of his syndicate resources (men, turf, illegal fronts etc) were claimed by some other mafioso sort of dude. I had to assume that much of Liber's hideout (this dungeon) were looted and the now empty rooms were left for dungeon monsters to possibly take up residence. 

But I had no way of knowing when or if the PCs would ever come to this place so I wasn't going to pre-roll the dungeon restocking. I make it my business to not do prep I won't use. 

So I used this Re-Stocking System as players came across new rooms:

Empty Room: roll 1d6 with 6 = random monster. Check Lair chance to see if the random monster claimed that room (and possibly that section of rooms if necessary for space) for a Lair with appropriate lair treasure.

Rooms with Treasure: Roll 1d6. 2+ = someone already took all the treasure. Unless that room was locked then see the next entry:

Locked Rooms/Sections: roll 1d6. 5+ = someone already got through and claimed the treasure etc in that part of the dungeon. That makes this room/section into an Empty Room and should be rolled on restocking as above. 

That's it. It's that easy. Most re-stocking advice tells you to roll once per week but, thanks to Jeffrogaxian Timekeeping, my players can only delve once a week anyway. So I'm free to just check at the time they go to that room during the course of delving. 

What this essentially did for Session 39 and Session 40 was add a few extra random encounter rolls to this section of dungeon. But it also meant that whoever offed Liber Faunus and looted his hideout may have been unable to loot every thing there, leaving some of this ill gotten treasures for PCs to claim during delving.

That's just what happened this session!

I checked to see if the section beyond the locked door Nubbs opened with a Natural 20 had been looted. "No". Ok then. The PCs traveled through this section mapping along and eventually came to a door with a very nice lock indeed. I rolled to see if its contents had been previously found. "No". Ok then. So the previous items etc in that room are still there, no restocking.

Nubbs was unable to pick this lock so MadEye stepped up with a crowbar and was beating down the door, ripping the wood from the frame. This took him about 20 minutes so I rolled a random monster encounter. "No". I think at this point the party was waiting for the other shoe to drop on random encounters since they hadn't seen one since the gray ooze. There was alot of comments about "we're watching our back ranks as we go"... But nothing came.

Beyond the door was what looked like Liber Faunus's office. Jackpot!

Laru started going through Faunus's desk and paperwork and realized there were thousands of gold worth of blackmail material written down for all manner of folk in the city of Cyfaraun. 

Nubbs was checking out a chest and Rapunzel cast a spell to check and see if it was dangerous or something? The answer was "yes". The PCs have seen some serious traps in my campaign so they cleared the room of everyone except Laru (iirc) who tried to remove the trap and open the chest. Poison gas filled the room!

Laru got out of the room safely but then something crazy happened. Nubbs covered his face with a handkerchief and ran into the poison smoke filled room! The party was aghast but Nubbs made his Save Vs Poison and looted two star sapphires from the chest worth 750 gp each. Nubbs thus assured he'd gain level 2 simply from doing what thieves do: ripping people off (bravely... stupidly?). The Party was none the wiser although the other players were aware of what Nubbs did and cheered on his dedication to roleplaying a grasping, conniving thief.

I made a random encounter check to see if anything appeared during the 20 minutes the party waited for the poison gas to disperse. Nothing (damnit). The party then looted the room of about 18,000 GP worth of books, gems, and blackmail material, and left the dungeon. It was a MAJOR score and some players noted this was our session before Christmas and thus was a Christmas present to their PCs! Every single PC and Henchman who was part of Delve 2 leveled up.

Afterword

It occurs to me that I might be giving away a bit too much to my players about my methods of restocking above. But I've had a few friends ask me how I restock dungeons and I figured this information could be helpful to the brosr blogosphere. 

Additionally I have the best players, just tops. I couldn't have gotten to 40 sessions without them and I won't be able to get to 50 or beyond without them either. 

Surviving PCs Present

Hardar (10% xp bonus) Level 1 Mage. 2,767 XP gained. Total: 2,832 [LEVEL UP TO 2!]

Laru (5% XP bonus) Level 3 Thief. 2,641 XP gained. Total: 7,367 [LEVEL UP TO 4!]

Nubbs (5% XP bonus) Level 1 Thief. 2,641+1,500 xp gained. Total: 4,203 which caps at 2,499 total because PCs can't level more than once in a session. [LEVEL UP TO 2!]

MadEye (5% XP bonus) Level 1 Venturer. 2,641 XP Gained. Total: 2,977 which caps at 2,499 total because PCs can't level more than once in a session. [LEVEL UP TO 2!]

Olivier (5% XP bonus) Level 1 Paladin. 17 XP gained. Total: 17

Proteus (5% XP bonus) Level 2 Mage. 2,624 XP gained. Total: 5,405 [LEVEL UP TO 3!]

Rapunzel (10% XP bonus) Level 2 Priestess. 2,767 XP gained. Total: 6,201 [LEVEL UP TO 3!]

Henchmen

Marcia (MadEye) levels into a Level 1 Fighter and stays on to work for MadEye

Ophilia (MadEye) Levels into a level 1 Fighter and stays on to work for MadEye

Yuno (Proteus) levels into a Level 1 Fighter and stays on to work for Proteus

Deceased:

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!

Aenes (Level 1 Paladin) Total XP: 62. Swarmed by giant flies in the sewer beneath Cyfaraun in Session 40.

Alexa this is so sad play "Money" by Pink Floyd

3 comments:

  1. Hey, great stuff as ever.


    I started using Patron Players after reading about them here and on Jeffro's blog and they really are magnificent. One of our core players moved away and I immediately recruited him as a Patron Player. He took to it like a duck to water and fleshed out the Dark Wizard controlling some of the goblins off in the forest in ways I would never have thought of. Yesterday and today he and I fleshed out a site that the players visited a few months ago but failed to clear and that has been taken over by his goblins. It's superb and ready for use immediately now in a completely changed form since the players last visited it, thanks to my awesome Patron Player. (over at https://wilderness-hexcrawl.notion.site/2421-Altar-of-Nomog-Geaya-cb8fd5b00fca4fba99eb1c1040e4efa1 if you want to check it out)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  2. BTW I wouldn't worry about the players knowing about your restocking rules. If you don't do it between adventures. I haven't had any issues with my players being aware of my procedures or checks. Most of the time I have them roll wandering checks, for example. I don't say, roll for wandering, but roll a d6. Especially if they do something loud.

    I used to switch up the magic number but no longer bother, since reaction and distance rolls sometimes result in no immediate encounter. Still keeps them on their toes.

    I roll ALMOST every roll in front of the players, even hit points of wandering monsters. I think it adds to the anticipation of it all. I have started using a system for secret door/thriving checks of the PC rolling 2d20 then secretly rolling a d6. If I roll 1-3 then the lower roll counts. If I roll 4-6 the higher roll counts. That way the PC has SOME idea if they were successful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Make that thieving skill checks

    ReplyDelete

ACKS Session 40: Hideout Heist [How to Restock Dungeons on the Fly]

Players adventured for 3 days. With one day of rest, as per ACKS rules, they can take downtime actions and play in Sessions on and after 12/...