Friday, September 8, 2023

Session 115: Surgery with Sledgehamers

Happy Friday, gamers. DM Dubs is back with a session report from DM Brigadine. Worry not dear reader, I returned to the DM seat (mostly) full time again at session 120. IRL chilled a bit around that time. So there are only about 5 more of these reports before you’re back to full strength unfiltered DUBS. 

Until then, here’s another cool dungeon delve session from DM Brig. See his Musings below where he notes how this dungeon was started by my running my kids through Appendix A. The dungeon got kind of big since my kids delved it about 4 times. They had a lot of cool memories there and the level 2 or 3 PCs they achieved by going there have since mostly moved on to other dungeons and POIs; primarily adventuring out of Kyle’s lands lately when they beg me to run a session here or there. 

As Jeffro outlined quite a bit this summer when he was running “tournament” session(s) at a game convention, it can really add some great flavor and new regions to your campaign if you run various tables both online and in irl space. There’s really no reason to dream up a new campaign world for every group of players who want you to DM them. If you pick a spot on your ongoing campaign map and plop them down there, they will add concepts and worldbuilding to that area for your legacy players to riff off of. And you, the Dm, don’t have to prep anything because you should be (if you’re running a real campaign with downtime or braunstein actions) extremely acquainted with your campaign world and the elements inside of it that a new party might get excited about. 

You can also just start telling this “tournament” table about your campaign as they are generating characters and the first story or hook or stupid gonzo inside joke (MUPPETLANTIS BAY BAY) that they laugh or are intrigued by can be the session hook. If everything bores them then you tell them “fine [redacted]’s, y’all come up with something better” while you go pour yourself another mixed drink. 

This type of D&D is without limits. All the things you wished you could have done or had happening in your campaign when you skimmed over the rule books in high school or middle school are possible. And it’s so easy. Emancipate yourself from mental d&d slavery. Only yourself can free your own DM mind. With the BROSR patented D&D gaming methods. And kayfabey.* -DM Dubs 09/08/23 

*(baby.)

Session 115: Surgery with Sledgehammers 
6/14/23 - 6/15, rest 6/16, active 6/17 
PCs: Samson, Edelweiss, Xanthos Henches: Koite, Potami, Ulysses, Frostweave, Davian, Azalea, Lily #ACKS 

We’re back with another thrilling installment of Dubzaron Does Dungeon Delving, this time deploying some big guns in the hopes of gaining precious resources for our fledgling Domain leaders Prelate Xanthos of Turos Telle and Edelweiss the Mage. With an average level of 5 or 6, the boys were stacked. There were hooks to go around but Edelweiss had done an impressive amount of investigation into the location of a source of power crystals, or a crystal refinery, or some other Visitor related industrial shenanigans over several months, leading him to found his domain in the hex that allegedly held the site. In Dubzaron, everything unique or interesting that gets “memed” into the world must be in a dungeon. Prevents solo players from gettin’ silly, not that they would. Anyway, that’s where they wanted to go and who am I to protest?

The first part of the session was the PCs getting organized and traveling. Generally we encourage that kind of thing to happen in downtime or at least pre-session but schedules were wonky that evening so we powered through. In short order, the crew and a boatload of henchmen were at the yet to be named construction site of Edelweiss’s stronghold. 

They struck out and searched for the site of the dungeon using the lair finding rules from L&E, finding the site around lunch time. It was a small island in a small lake with some kind of fort or structure acting as a pedestal for a very tall statue of an elegant, robed woman holding a torch aloft. The torch did not burn and the statue was covered in a heavy green patina. From the bank they could see a door leading into the structure. ACKS helpfully lists the time it takes to build a crude raft in the equipment section of the core book as 1-3 days, presumably depending on material and expertise. If they could produce from their stable of characters a sufficient proficiency throw I’d rule a day, otherwise it’d be longer. No surprise someone had something, engineering or survival I forget, and they put together a raft by mid morning the next day.

They paddled across the small lake with nothing attacking their precarious position of ten adventurers on a makeshift raft. While the party as a whole was large, there were only three PCs, with Edelweiss being elected as caller and Xanthos volunteering to map. I think Samson’s player needed a break from dungeon responsibility as he does heavy lifting in both Dubzaron and Oberholt so for this delve he was acting as frontline muscle.

There was a wooden door banded with rusty iron that led into the structure. Attempts were made to make level 0’s sacrificial door openers but when prompted to make loyalty rolls the crew thought better of it, rotating door opening responsibilities throughout the session. Coincidentally, Edelweiss never opened a door. A stairwell covered in moss and algae led downwards into a dank tunnel of hard packed soil reinforced with timber, almost like a mine shaft or trench. 

They had no tracker surprisingly, but they could tell that the center of the steps were worn from traffic by the differing thicknesses of moss through the center and along the edges. They descended carefully, some of the scrub hench holding lanterns and torches for light, into a long tunnel with a couple branches. They have a habit of choosing a direction in dungeons and just going, which helps with decision paralysis I think, so here they chose west and kept at that most of the night. They busted open a stuck door, but this one was steel. Unfamiliar to some of the hench and Samson but Edelweiss and Xanthos had seen some shit in Dubzaron’s weird ass dungeons so they knew steel when they saw it. The room was empty though, with more doors leading in each direction. West!

The next room they came to was a bit larger and supported by four heavy wooden posts carved in what Edelweiss recognized as Visitor runes. The mage cast a spell to read the language, learning that it was some kind of manifest or log depicting delivery or production. It was hard to parse in its current format but given a few days he was pretty sure he could recreate it on paper to learn more. I have no doubt the fastidious player made a note of that before they moved on. 

The hench Davian acted as their thief this session, listening at doors and searching for traps. At the next door he heard bubbling water but no threats so they entered, finding a large pool of clear water bubbling away in the center of the room. There was no coping or lip to the pool, the water seemingly right against the dirt, but it wasn’t muddy. They didn’t investigate the pool any further, assuming it to be some kind of ore rinsing installation or something, and carried on. The party traveled through a few dead end hallways, eventually discovering a small room filled with crude stone containers. As the crew started investigating them, they realized they were filled with treasure! We love treasure! Oh and Potami died. Contact poison. But look, silver pieces!

This weren’t Xanthos’ first rodeo, so he calmly cast delay poison and then neutralize poison, curing the henchman and leaving him at 1 hp. High level magic can cover up some blemishes on the session for sure. He might have cast a heal spell too I don’t recall, but he was taking care of business.

They took their loot which was clearly too primitive for Visitors and split it out for weight, continuing on. The next room that they encountered was small, and unlike the rest of the muddy dungeon was walled in red bricks. Seemingly at random, some of the bricks were gilded in Visitor runes, shining golden in the light. Samson chose to touch the runes of two bricks at once, triggering a flash of light that struck through him to his core. It results in raising his dexterity score by 1 point but forcing a roll on the Tampering with Mortality table. This resulted in an affliction that causes him to mutter to himself and impedes his initiative when casting spells (he’s a cleric). While the party collected themselves to continue, Samson muttered to himself about them being cowards for not touching the bricks. They laughed at him, he enjoyed his higher dex score, and a good time was had by all. 

The next room was smallish, with a smelly cot in one corner and a few exit doors. The party poked around for secret doors while Samson checked the cot. Out sprung a startled wolfman ready to fight, biting the cleric despite his high AC. A fight ensued, eventually the summoned hero Mandonio and spiritual weapons puttin’ a whoopin’ on the creature who could only be hit by magic or silver while Samson just kept getting bit. A failed morale check had the creature throw his hands up, surrendering, and he and Samson immediately began to argue, Samson denouncing the fiend for biting him and the wolfman claiming Samson was rummaging for his unmentionables. A few minutes of this and some discussion about what to do with him led to the creature trying to escape. Mandonio the summoned hero pursued but the party was uncertain of the results.

Samson took petty revenge on the creature, pissing all over his cot and breaking his mess kit and various other small embarrassments, while the party finished searching and chose a different door to leave from than the wolf had. Xanthos cast cure disease on his fellow cleric, certain that the creature was a werewolf and concerned about Samson contracting the foul taint of lycanthropy. Running low on session time they chose to investigate one more door before leaving, discovering a small 10x10 room with a little hidden tunnel towards the base. It was very small, such that a female or elf or something would have to attempt to crawl through it. They opted not to risk it and extracted, crossing the lake uneventfully and resting at Fort TBD.

Musings: This session was driven by another of Edelweiss’s goals. The players seem happy to indulge him so hey rock it out. This dungeon was a randomly generated Appendix A dungeon originally discovered by Bdubs and his sons in their own sessions offline, so I had a hand-drawn map and some horrendous scribbles that allegedly were notes of some kind. It was fun to put my take on it and poke fun at the OG for his handwriting on the Discord later on. This is another dungeon that we are able to hand off back and forth because it’s generated live. There’s no fore knowledge to be compromised so multiple DMs can have a hand in it. It also ties in offline games and our Dubzaron games within the same campaign which is pretty interesting. 

Session 115
Xp from Kills:
Xp from Loot: 996
Total XP: 996
Cuts: 13
PC: 0% 153 5% 161 10% 169 Hench: 0% 77 5% 80 10% 84

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