Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Dubzaron Session 46: Nine Thousand Skeleton Gallery (and Why the BROSR is Winning)

Session was played on 02/16/22 with PCs needing one day of rest they can adventure and make downtime requests on and after 02/18/22.

Session Report

Back to the Nethercity we went. But this time the PCs had... a Big Plan! A plan so big they asked MapGuy (Patron Mapguy Level ???) to send one of his henchmen with them to do maps and art. The PCs' plan was to go back to the big 30 foot high gallery filled with like a million graves they discovered a week or two back. 


Daria (PC BladeDancer Level 5) had cast Detect Evil back then and the party was pretty sure the place was full of undead. Full to the brim. They also didn't have any sort of Loremaster or Historian with them back during session 44 which would be able to contemplate the glowing orbs all over the ceiling. That seemed like it could be useful information. 

Tonight MapGuy's henchman went to work studying the ceiling and drawing a picture of everything he saw. The Patron himself reviewed the paperwork later and found the ceiling was showing some constellations and predicted some sort of evil cosmic event at some point in the future. Patron play opens up new info gathering and hook possibilities! Add patrons to your campaign.

So what about the wall graves?

The PCs sent Grumms (NEW PC Dwarven Vaultguard level 1) and 4 henchman down into the gallery to carefully lay military oil just along the floor under those wall graves. Check the pic above. Most of the PCs stayed up on that balcony on the top right. Laying out like 30 oil flasks on the floor would take a while. And it should be easy but I decided that each oil-guy would accidently drop a flask onto a grave or bump it or get too zealous in his work. If I rolled a Natural 1 on a d20 for that guy. So 5d20 each turn for like 4 turns to see if a nat 1 hit. It did. In the first turn.

So I ruled that a henchman of Rapunzel (PC Priestess Level 4) heretofor un-named got too zealous and was just throwing the oil down cackling like an idiot. I asked the voice chat for names and we named him Brian. I thought Brian would become a goat. Players loved him instead. There's no accounting for PCs. Insane.

The module said if the graves were disturbed they would ALL open up with skeletons at about 2d20 per ROUND. And like 4 crazy powerful undead (see the background of the pic) would too. The rising began!

Grummz was caught in bad position waaaay at the back of the room like 20 feet from the Big Bad undead. They surrounded and killed him in round 1. Most of the henchmen were close enough to a staircase on the right wall (not in the picture above) that Xanthos (Pc Cleric Level 3) and Daria were holding the threshold of so retreaters could nope out of the gallery floor. Xanthos cast Protection from Evil and I think Rapunzel was up on the balcony with the plan to do Turn Undead up there on the skeltons and Big Bads. 

By now the party has really realized the power of Protection from Evil; making it impossible for undead and evil summoned creatures to approach the protected bubble unless and until the PCs attack out of it. So they used this to make the threshold of the stairs a choke point they could control, undead couldn't ascend to them from there.

Xanthos made a bunch of jokes about how he spent the entire 3 hour combat with the 500+ skeletons just concentrating to Protect from Evil in that one spot.

The skeletons mobbed bigly and climbed upon eachother to form a bone ladder. One of the big bads was able to ascend this and take down MistWeaver (Hench Elven Spellsword for Briarwhisper) during a moment when there was no Protection from Evil on him. The elves were peeking over the balcony just laying down arrow fire and taking down skeletons and big bads.

Rapunzel turned for round after round successfully, like 100 skeletons total jumped back in their graves scared of the holy symbol of Ianna. Daria was casting buff spells on herself for like 5 rounds until she had an I-WIN button on me in the form of Immunity to Evil and Swift Sword (among other buff divine spells) and she went to work chopping down skeletons for like 40 minutes.

There was a bit more fighting with regular round based D&D combat (to the players' loss tbh) but we eventually agreed that Daria could kill all the remaining skeletons with no danger to herself and, with all the other party members in Protection from Evil bubbles. So we wrapped the combat there.

Gaius (PC Fighter Level 4) was there too. And Grummz's player quickly rolled up a replacement Dwarven Vaultguard named Grommz and got XP for it. #WinAtRPGs

After the battle was over Rapunzel used her swan-mae cloak to fly up to the ceiling and poke out all the fancy glowing gems. 

I rolled random encounters for the time that took and for the trek back. The 60ish magic gems were worth an absolute ton of money and in downtime MadEye (PC Venturer Level 2) brokered a deal with the Tower of Knowledge (mages guild) to sell in bulk.

Everyone who survived Session 46 leveled. 


What is it about BROSR campaigns that has so many folks excited? For one you look at the above and think "well I've never done that sort of thing in my campaign i bet it was exciting". But it certainly wouldn't be impossible to do that session in fake dnd. Big combats with hundreds of guys probably happens in OSR games now and then in a dungeon scenario.

But the osr on the whole is NOT having successful campaigns. They post about the new books they've bought as if consoooming product is gaming. It's not. They wax nostalgic about the one-shot game they played in at a convention back in 2017 (before they got terrified of the flu and hid alone in their loft) as if one-shots are real D&D. It's not. And yet they come at the BROSR on tw1tter to criticize us, as if they have any expertise about how to run successful campaigns. They don't.

So why is the BROSR running successful campaigns?

Is it me? Well yes I am an #Elite DM. 

But these days I don't do much more than make rulings about the ACKS rules and gives a thumbs up to ridiculous downtime actions and Patron schemes. The above session report just needed a quick ruling on whether Daria's spell cocktail meant she could fight for like 40 minutes and slay 400 skeletons with no danger to herself. Because Ima a be real with you chief, I ain't rolling all that. I got work in the morning.

And when Rapunzel says she's building a shrine above the megadungeon on dowtime to save travel time? I say "ok sounds good". When a Patron Legate says he explored some woods just outside his territory and found some orcs he subsequently slaughtered and looted I say "ok, put it in your treasury and calculate the XP". 

I trust them.

So that's the secret. BROSR gaming is high trust gaming. It's the sort of trust that comes when you believe in your friends to do the best they can for your campaign and to not rip you off or cheat the campaign as a whole. Because they are your friends.

OSR is low trust gaming. It's why osr dms never want to leave the dungeon. It's easier to control PCs in small enclosed spaces. It's why osr dms are stingy about giving out magic items. Low trust in their players. It's why OSR dms lament high level PCs. It's easier to kill low level and HP mooks when they are making it too hard for the dm to live out their power fantasies. 

BROSR DMs instead laugh and celebrate all the madness that will come to their campaign when a PC (or Patron) achieves high level, when a PC cops a powerful magic item, when Patrons run roughshod over the wilderness with armies. 

There is a real brotherhood in these games (despite some of my players' weird tendency to rp as chicks...) of wanting everyone to succeed and wanting the CAMPAIGN to ascend to great heights. To go down in history like the campaigns of old. Greyhawk. Blackmoor. Trollopulous? 

We're winning because the men involved are not only great REAL D&D players but they are great men.

And we run rules as written.

Surviving PCs Present

BriarWhisper (PC Elven Ranger Level 4)

Daria (PC BladeDancer Level 6)

Gaius (PC Fighter Level 5)

Groomz (PC Dwarven Vaultguard Level 1)

Rapunzel (PC Priestess Level 4)

Xanthos (PC Cleric level 2)


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.

Acianus (Level 1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Chopped to pieces in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue from behind and quickly forgotten about by his compatriots who saved MadEye and lamented Hardar instead. But I'll never forget you Acinanu nanu...nanite... nananaa...

Hardar (Level 2 Mage) Total XP: 2,832. Chopped up in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue as he held his Darth Vader Choking Grip spell long enough for his compatriots to escape an unwinnable battle. His dream to become the most evil being in the universe suffers eternally the indignity of being remembered for self sacrifice and laying his life down for his friends.

Nubbs (Level 3 Thief) Total XP: 4,017. Swarmed by scarabs which bored into his ears and brain in Session 45.

Grummz (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultgard) Total XP: 0. Ripped limb from limb by a throng of skeletons and their undead golem leaders in Session 46.

Alexa this is so sad play "bone bone bone" by Bone Thugs n Harmony

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