Friday, May 5, 2023

Dubzaron Session 93: The Desperate Battle of Fight 93

they fought gnolls
Happy Friday, everyone. I continued my lazy approach to BROSR style DMing back on 01/28/23 by not even showing up to DM or PC or anything. Personal stuff got in the way and continues to get in the way. Though these days I am running some PCs now and then in Dubzaron and may do some PC Journal style session reports when those sessions come up. Can't wait! 

This session report is by DM JB who is the second (but not last!) co-DM to take the Dubzaron Dungeon Master reigns. I believe this meant DM Brigadine was able to be a PC. Isn't that cool? If you want the best and most effortless campaign, a campaign where players can DM or PC as the needs and moods strike, you need to use BROSR methods like 1:1 Jeffrogaxian time and Patrons. 

I hope you enjoy the session report. I know I did. 

-DM BDubs

Session Report

Hi. I'm JB, the player that runs Daria Vaylas. Since Dubs stepped away I wanted to step up. Daria found a treasure map, so I made a dungeon to explore. This adventure was a good example of patron action generating missions for lower level characters. In this particular case, the depredations of the sorceress queen created a refugee crisis, as Drakon wished to save the lives peasants in threatened domains by evacuating them. I created about 8 pages of rules for handling refugees. Many have landed in Daria's stronghold, Iannavale. Daria is busy curing disease as many have gotten sick from overcrowding. 

Recently, in solo play, Daria found a map to a treasure worth 5d6x1000 gp. Due to many factors, including the refugee crisis, Daria is short on gold, and put out word: adventures who bring the treasure to Iannavale may claim half of it.

On 1.28.23 a group of cleric Baldwinning plus a plus of level 1's took up Daria's offer. They began in Iannavale and spoke to Daria's majordomo, Abacus. (Daria was away on session 91 and 92.)  He loaned then a chain mail armor +2 (2 stone), plus Daria's old light warhose, and 1000 gp for expenses. 

They knew the map the old, but didn't really know why it would be valuable. No one in the party had a way to decipher the writing on it. They just knew it was old and lead to something old.

I was impressed with the shopping the PCs did, but I'll skip that. Travel had a lot of encounters which they easily avoided on light horses. There was one night encounter with 4 Black Dragons which they also managed to avoid. (The dragons were not actually hostile. If there was real charisma based character in the group I would dock him for not parleying. But there wasn't.)

When the PC's arrived at the hex with the lair they did some lair searching in the grasslands. I described this particular bit of grasslands being more like a really large rocky hill. The first thing they found was a pool of water surrounded by a circle of stone, like a miniature "stonehenge." The PCs elected not to approach.

The PCs eventually found the location the map was leading to. The path went up, up, up into a rocky hill and then down so that there were cliffs on either side of the trail. They emerged from the trail into an open valley, about 1/8th of a mile long. Looking northwest, at the far end were 2 sets of cliffs. The first had gentle slopes on the north and south sides. The second cliff was 100 feet sheer and had three stone faces on them with open mouths and tongues sticking out. The middle face was in front of a stone plaza (not visible to the players) with some kind of stone monument in front of it.

The PCs rode towards the first cliff and were surprised by 10 gnolls who fired bows at long range. Braxton the mage was killed in that volley. The PCs were spooked and took off. They spent another hour or two looking for an alternative approach to the valley. I treated this like a lair search with a random chance of finding a trail into the south, west, or north. (They originally entered from the east.) While I grabbed a snack the players planned. When they discovered a trail leading to the southern part of the upper cliff they were thrilled. They assaulted that area.

Unfortunately there were 7 gnolls up there at well. Battle ensured. The players did well with flaming oil and improvised fire arrows. They set a tent on fire which alerted the gnolls on the cliff face below, who begin climbing up a rope ladder while this battle occured. But it also did some extra damage. 

The PCs downed 2 gnolls while taking 1 or 2 losses themselves. The gnolls did a fighting withdrawal. The PCs persued and met the gnolls at the top of the rope ladder, in a semi-circle around the mouth of the stone head. By now the gnolls on the bottom of the cliff heard the commotion and climbed up to assist. There were one or two more rounds of combat. The PCs did well with summoned berserkers but by then half the party was down from arrow fire. 

I had planned that on round 1d8 the elf mage in the stone head would emerge. And so he did on round 7. He destroyed the berserkers with a spell and moved to parley. The PCs used the time to check their fallen comrades. 

Turns out the elf mage really didn't care about the loss of two gnolls. Edit: the PCs will remember after the fact that the gnolls were not happy about this. He asked why the PC's were there and how they found the place. The PCs showed him the map. He asked if anyone knew ancient lore. They did not. He offered the PCs 1000 gp if they would bring someone who did. He revealed there was treasure here because it was the location of an ancient "tollhouse." He did not elaborate further. 

The PC's took the deal and returned to Spen without further incident.


Baldwinning the Crusader Level 2 lawful cleric. Fought bad guys and healed friends: E.

Dante the level 1 Mystic. Used mystical powers to fight worthy enemies: E.

Silas the Infiltrator. Level 1 Neutral Assassin. Failed to infiltrate. When the party returned only an hour or two later, of course the gnolls who were positioned on the top cliff were ready. I gave both sides a bonus to surprise and rolled a 2 for each. I think he could have looked for a still-higher approach to observe the enemy's pattarns or waited to do a nighttime attack or snuck in by himself to assassinate someone or at least observe their patterns or just wait a few days to do give them a false sense of safety. Instead he used himself like a fighter against an opponent that knew he was coming. However, searching for the alternative approach was a good idea. Grade: S.

DM Grade A/F:  I knew the players would search for an alternative approach. I knew they would fight the gnolls. I knew they would take a deal. Does this mean I was really good at planning or does it mean I railroaded the players? I honestly don't know. (The elf mage had a reaction of 9 but I didn't factor prior violence. Looking the rules for diplomacy... if he didn't consider the gnolls to be his friends then his behavior was still within the rules.)

PCs involved:

Baldwinning the Crusader Level 2 lawful cleric.

Silas the Infiltrator. Level 1 Neutral Assassin.

Dante the level 1 Mystic. 

Crowbait level 1 fighter.

Braxton level 1 mage.

Waylon lvl 1 mage neutral.

XP Earned: 

2 Gnolls: 40 xp

0%  13xp      5%  14xp   10%   15xp

1.28.23 - 2.3.23 Total, including rest

1.28. Begin in Iannavale. Talk to Abacus about mission. Get map. Travel to Tem. Do some shopping. Copy map. Leave map in Tem. Travel to Aster. 

1.29. Begin in Aster. Travel to hex 28.37.

1.30. Begin in hex 28.37. Travel to hex 33.33

1.31. Begin in hex 33.33. Travel to hex 33.37. Lair search for 1 hour. Find miniature circle of stones around a small pool.

2.1. Hex 33.37. Lair search for two hours. Wander into gnoll camp. Retreat. Lair search for 2 hours for alternative approach. Attack gnoll camp again. Talk to evil elf wizard.

2.2. Force march to Spen.

2.3. Rest

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Dubzaron Session 92: Return to Lamalla's Pool

does lamalla look like this?
This is the second session where I was not the DM. This was DM Brigadine once again from the world famous Brigadungeon

Time: 1/27/23 Delve 4 hours, 1/28-1/30 Travel, Rest 1/31, Active 2/1/23


Tuck, Barbarian 4th level Pit Fighter

Daria Vaylas, Bladedancer, Lvl 8, Lawful, Bringer of Mercy  

Bob the Mariner L1 explorer. Lawful.

Vince McMaximus Pugilist L11 Lawful 

Neutralio Neutral Fighter guard Level 4 

Bulwark Adieu, L1 Paladin (Temple Guard)

Edelweiss Mage Magical Scholar lvl 6 


Dina Fighter L5 Lawful

Torquemada Paladin L4

Julia Thief L5, Lawful 

Davian Cruise Neutral Dwarven Machinist Engineer lvl 2

Lily Lawful Bladedancer Bringer of Mercy lvl 1 

Azalea Neutral Shaman Druid lvl 2

This session the group was committed to continuing its attack on Lammala. After Session 91, they had camped topside with the troops and some of the loot that they had pulled off of the sharkotaurs. The PCs were fairly sure they were zeroing in on the target, they just weren’t exactly sure what the target might be.. Some of the PCs thought there was going to be an altar to destroy, some that they were going to kill Lammala herself. 

Vince was calling again. They got organized and went back into the portal, acting on intel acquired from a captured sharkotaur that the action seemed to be to the north in the dungeon. They carefully approached a large stone door carved with scenes of predatory ocean animals which Tuck eventually heaved open with his Power Suit. He stumbled into the room beyond with others of the front line to reveal a whole heap of fishlocks (morlocks with gills) and white apes.

Battle ensued with the enemy trying to keep them hemmed up in the hallway, but super high ac and some overruns and cleaves opened space for the boys. Daria in traditional Daria fashion cut a hole to the leader in the back while the rest did the work up front. Cleaving was designed for this fight and was on full display, the fighter-heavy group choppin’ and stabbin’ their way into the room and eventually winning the day. They found some meager loot, rested, and then carted it back to the portal. On their way back, the gently rolling ocean wave of the floor turned suddenly violent, disordering their march and tossing them all about, a few people taking damage from twisting ankles and such.

At this point Vince established a breaching formation for tackling doors. They followed a hallway off of the fishlock room and found a door to practice on. Bursting through, they were met with an opaque red mist and a much warmer environment than the cold, clammy rest of the dungeon. 

They backed out after hearing some snuffling sounds to discuss options. Edelweiss the mage cast invisibility on Vince and the high level pugilist crept along the walls in the room due to miserably poor visibility, eventually nearly tripping over some emaciated giant boars in one of the corners. Daria dropped a speak with animals spell and the PCs foolishly waited for me to affect a silly animal voice like they make Bdubs do. I live to disappoint.

After some discussion with the hungry animals, they led the boars back to the portal and out. There was an attempt made to corral them outside but the terrible weather and lack of enthusiasm from the mercs allowed them to escape. Vince thought they might have been his captured henchmen but it was just a hunch and they let them go.

Another rough storm surge tossed them about but they kept on, breaching the next door that led into a hallway beyond the fishlock room. There was a door to the left, hallway to the right, and another opening off of that hallway. They crept up and peeked the corner of the opening, revealing a large room with a crushed sand floor. Two excessively oiled cloud giants in neon green speedos were wrestling while a dark shadowy figure of some kind watched from the watery ceiling above them. They wore old school football leather helmets and had crazy sickly green magic over their eyes.

The party huddled up and discussed fighting, evading, or trying to dispel whatever was affecting the giants. Eventually they settled on dispel. Daria presented and Ianna was able to lift the magic veil from the giants’ eyes long enough for them to toss off the helmets. Unfortunately they also tore off the speedos, leaving the party faced with a couple of Dr. Manhattans.

Vince stepped up and let them know that he was kind of a big deal with the WGE and all, but a minimum roll on reaction made the giants pretty apathetic. They just brushed past and looked around, eventually asking where the exit was. The party escorted them out so that there wasn’t a bloody one-sided battle topside. The giants thanked them for freeing them and offered them ½ of their lair treasure at some hex number far to the south east. The party just had to go get it. Bob the Mariner tried to tag along with them, but another poor reaction roll meant that they just ignored him and left.

Back in the portal, back to the giant hallway and they continued north down a long corridor. Took another offshoot hallway leading further north and ending with an unoccupied guardroom. Tuck explored it first and eventually the crew stacked in, noting the awful smell but nothing else of note besides some boring low level government furniture. The large party piled into the next hallway, following it even further north until it started to curl in on itself.

The last branch of the corridor pointed south and sloped downwards, with clawed marks in the sand on the floor as though something or someone was dragged down and thrown into the gaping portal at the end of the hallway. It was the pitch black of squid’s ink and burbling with the same kinds of bone, gore, and screaming faces as the evil pool that the party had dispeled in session 91.

They talked a bit about how scary this looked until Daria started buffing herself and jumped in the portal. The braver members of the party followed, with Neutralio threatening to throw Edelweiss in again. They buffed and jumped in, where they were deposited in the air in front of 8 Aspects of Lammala, each different and representative of whatever Lammala looks like in other BROSR campaigns. They were all screaming into the void of a large dome overhead where scenes of the various tragedies caused minute to minute by the Curse flashed overhead.

Hard to see against the scenes were dozens and dozens of captives held in sickly green magic bubbles with strands of neon green fishing line stringing them together through their cheeks. As the party floated down they watched a handful of elves sacrifice themselves to the foremost aspect of Lammala, a giant sized humanoid with a too-large mouth full of shark teeth, leaving behind piles of offered treasure that were being slowly absorbed into the black volcanic sand of the floor.

Lammala lowered her head and fixated on the adventurers, materializing a shadowy flickering aspect of the demon blade Stormbringer and smiling. She tried to speak, but the party only heard the jarring static of an off-air TV channel.

Battle was joined, but the party’s high AC and my poor rolls put the enemy behind early. Her devastating attacks were likely one shots to most of the party between her poison bite that was save or die and Stormbringer’s massive damage mod in this form. She only connected once on a paladin henchmen, killing him with poison, before the uberbuffed party wore her down. The lighter/lower level members of the group were focused on rescuing captives rather than punch above their weight while the heavy hitters beat her down with their buffed attacks.

On the killing blow, she fell and exploded in a wave of crackling black lightning, dealing damage to everyone and I think knocking someone down. The large party split duties of rescuing as many captives as they could while securing what loot that they could, including quite a bit of magic items and gems but leaving a ton of coins behind due to weight and the fact that the entire complex was roiling ominously.

They rushed through some interesting rooms filled with loot on their way out but had no time to investigate, reaching the final portal as the entire realm collapsed. They were violently thrown outside to land in the blood-mud of the torrential downpour that had been happening for days. The pool itself turned into a geyser that went on for quite some time before petering out.

The group immediately noticed the mercs standing around staring at the sky where the ever present rain had stopped, leaving behind an ominous overcast of blood red clouds and heat lightning. They took stock of their situation, having recovered Vince’s missing henchmen and a few of the other captives, Lawful elves of the Istrith forest who had their Eamon Aure holy symbols nailed to their chests with iron stakes. They performed some triage and shared out the load for their stockpile of loot between all of the mercs who were happy to stow it just to get out of the creepy location.

Some uneventful travel back to Turos Spen followed, where they ended the session to lick their wounds. There are rewards on offer, but there’s also a war on and two of the primary entities offering rewards are leading bits of the army. 

Grading: Dubzaron runs a class grading system ported over from AD&D. I look for aberrant behavior from the class’s obvious role within the party.


Tuck, Barbarian 4th level Pit Fighter Bold, frontline, aggressive E

Daria Vaylas, Bladedancer, Lvl 8, Lawful, Bringer of Mercy Versatile, proper application of spells, warrior. E

Bob the Mariner L1 explorer. Lawful. Bold, engaged with the fights, E

Vince McMaximus Pugilist L11 Lawful Bold, leader, E

Neutralio Neutral Fighter guard Level 4 Bold, engaged, E

Bulwark Adieu, L1 Paladin (Temple Guard) Perished, no grade.

Edelweiss Mage Magical Scholar lvl 6 Cautious, utilitarian use of spells, E


So ends my first dungeon run for Dubzaron and online. All in all I think it was a success, with solid feedback on the vibes of the place. I think I underestimated the power level of the party when generating it, but that’s part of it. I don’t particularly believe in “balance” in a BROSR dungeon. What’s there is what’s there. But I would have liked for it to be a little more challenging for the party for this once in a year, multi-campaign event. Ultimately it came down to the dice during the Lammala fight. It could have truly been devastating, so I’ll call it fair play and a win for the good guys. (edited)

Session 92

Xp from Kills:    6930

Xp from Loot:    67514

Total XP:    74444

Cuts:    18

PC:    0%    8,272    5%    8,685    10%    9,099

Hench:    0%    4,136    5%    4,343    10%    4,549

Dubzaron Session 148: Lights in the Dark

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