Dm BDubs here with another session report from Co-Dm Brigadine. Next week I am back on DMing duties and will deliver the session report for “Ill Met in Muppetlantis”.
You’ll notice this session the PCs are back in the dungeon. It’s funny that Dubzaron had so many dungeon delves in the summer of 2023 when the primary discussion point in the #BROSR hashtag this summer was about overland campaigns and army battles. As I’ve stated before PCs interests in army stuff seems to wax and wane. And in a few weeks the PCs march a big army on Fishton which I DMed. I hated that session. Was it because ACKS Domains @ War mass combat is worse than simply scaling up 1e style? Is it because my players let me down in their #desertswamp #zeroprep ? Or perhaps I was just in a bad mood that night? Stay fixed to this website to find out!
But for today, Dm Brig takes the intrepid adventurers into a dwarf dungeon vault. They’ve been there a few times and I’m jealous of them being able to delve it. This is a very cool and evocative dungeon which, it’s my understanding, was made with a random generator before the session and Brig rolled with the punches in session adding flavor, story overlays on monsters, or just saying “yes” to pc ideas of what they were looking for when they delved
I don’t think this qualifies for #zeroprep but it certainly isn’t #prepaddiction
Enjoy! -DM Dubs 09/21/23
Session 116: VincentLost.gif
6/21/23-6/22/23, rest 6/23/23, active 6/24/23
PCs: Nezra, Aelways, Miles, Standing Mtn Henches: Dwargon, Samwise #ACKS
The boys were back after the Uberscroll, suiting up to delve the cursed vault outside of Azen Radokh. During downtime, the statue of Thane that the party brought back after being petrified was emitting a mental racket to everyone around it. At first the public thought it was a novel thing, chuckling over the bad dad jokes or finding some comfort in the sounds of a dinner party in full swing, but after a few days it started to bother them. The party made note of this but took no action to address it. Standing Mountain the elf arrived, having heard late about the adventure but willing to throw in with the party for success. The Spellsword was big for an elf and wore a very fine suit of plate mail. The others picked up a few replacement henches and outfitted them then went for the dungeon. Brolly the Explorer was absent for this session so Miles took over calling duties, leading the party easily back to the dungeon location. They avoided the shelf that housed some unknown threat that overlooked their usual path to the dungeon by catching a lucky roll. Otherwise DOOM AND DESTRUCTION or something.
Into the wide vault entrance they went, with Nezra’s disgusting partially decomposed fungal zombies in tow. They settled into an SOP for doors and things and kept it moving, reaching the second level with ease. Deciding to poke about more on this level rather than descend to the next, the party discovered a lounge style room filled with couches, chaises, chairs, and the like. The thick carpeting on the ground was dusty and mildewy from the gross nature of the dungeon and concealed a hidden trap door that Aelways narrowly escaped while heading to inspect one of the other doors in the room. The next room over had an iron chandelier with eight flames lit and dancing, none of which emitted smoke. The party chose to return to the lounge which had many exits and choose a different path. A portcullis barred the next choice and despite Standing Mountain’s high strength and success in bashing doors so far, he and Miles were unable to lift the obstruction. Aelways the machinist could discover no obvious mechanical solution to the mechanism so again they chose to go another way.
A stone door etched with arcane runes blocked their path at the end of the next corridor. Some inspection and synergy with one of Standing Mountain’s known spells led them to believe it was magically sealed in some way. They tried to bash it open with no luck and retreated. There were plenty of paths to take so they weren’t going to waste much time fiddling with obstructions. The next bit they confirmed an alternate route back to the stairway. The party also discovered a small room filled with fetishes. Miles was able to detect evil and reveal a hidden ouroboros that only glowed to his divine sight. They very cautiously inspected the room and uncovered a hidden compartment. Inside was a five-headed hydra statuette with gemstones for heads. It definitely radiated evil to Miles but inexplicably he allowed the spellsword to scoop it into his backpack.
As the party continued through the dungeon intent on continuing to a lower level, Standing Mountain heard in his mind a chorus of feminine voices impressed with his strength. To the rest of the party the elf’s audible response of “Damn right” was pretty weird and out of the blue. He made a successful saving throw to avoid… something… and was granted the effects of a Commune spell, three yes or no questions to be asked and answered immediately.
The party discussed this for a bit and settled on the following: "Is the scroll on the third level or lower?" Yes "Is there special danger with the door with the runes to the east?" No "Will you attack us if we try to retrieve the scroll?" Laughing no I think this reaffirmed their position to delve deeper since the scroll was the goal after all. Off they went down the stairs, burning some fresh spider webs on the way but finding no spiders. On the third level, a door that was previously scrawled with arcane runes could now be inspected by an arcane caster who determined that the language was more a shorthand for notes in some weird cipher than actual spell material. They noted this and moved on. A lever activated portcullis blocked their way forward, but as the party poked around the room, Standing Mountain discovered a false wall that lifted like a small rolling overhead door. The group proceeded through and into a room that resembled a workshop of sorts, with an old kiln and a coal bin along one wall. To the north was scrawled, “Praise Sinmabi” in common on the wall. Standing Mountain was able to recall that Sinmabi was an orcish warchief that was a footnote in the history of Auran expansion. He should be dead in battle for many hundreds of years.
Again they poked around, again the elf found a secret compartment, this one sliding open to reveal a huge statue of a troll archer set within the wall. The group immediately identified that trolls are not typically archers and found that very strange. Aelways carefully examined the statue and discovered that the arrows in the quiver were freestanding rather than having been carved as part of the whole. By removing one he gained a silver tipped arrow and activated a mechanism that caused the statue to pivot, opening a narrow passage into the room beyond. This room was dominated by a huge pile of broken glass. It also had spiderwebbed cracks all over the ceiling. Some of the group carefully poked through the glass with spears which took quite a long time, but this was one of those sessions where random encounters just would not hit, so eventually they discovered a pile of treasure underneath. One of the satchels was quite heavy so the two henchmen were detailed to tag team it. While trying to open the lock on the next door, Aelways’ picks became stuck and broke when he tried to free them. Standing Mountain was able to force the door open anyway, revealing a corridor and another locked door. Without lockpicks Aelways could offer no solution, so the spellsword again tried to force the door, this time triggering a javelin trap that shot out to inflict a solid hit on him. Miles quickly healed the damage and the party was up one javelin but down one pathway, opting to backtrack and take a different path.
In the next chamber, the group found a fountain of three dwarven women holding jars over their heads. On the fountain’s basin was scrawled “4, 10, 2, 10”. They didn’t really have anything to go on for what the numbers might mean but took a note anyway. Then Nezra the Sporecaster cemented my hatred of the class by regaling us with a description of how he was “secreting” into the fountain to foul the waters and potentially convert other creatures to fungal zombie thralls. Just disgusting. They rapidly left that room for another that smelled faintly of patchouli which the elf recognized immediately because elves are the closest things to filthy hippies we’ve got. On the northern wall the phrase "Lukhak fell here, her song has ended" was scrawled and another magically sealed door like the one on the level above blocked their passage forward. They turned back to regroup for the next delve, again finding no random encounters while moving out of the dungeon and back to town.
Musings: Weird session with no action, but we abide by the dice. I was surprised that the crew didn’t go directly for the lower level but it led to some interesting discoveries. First time we’ve broken some lockpicks. Had some challenges with mapping. I’ll endeavor to be more clear in my descriptions but without the Mapping proficiency it’s all gotta be verbal and if there’s confusion well, it’s a dark and dangerous place down there. This will be the second blatantly evil item this group has picked up. Starting to wonder about that Paladin. And finally, I hate Sporecasters. Grades: Nezra - Just. Whatever. Gross. He did the thing but I don’t have to like it. E Aelways - Thief-ish role that was played straight E Standing Mountain - Weird dual role of fighter/mage. Upfront and assertive as fighter, curious about arcane stuff, super intrigued by weird statue. E Miles - Only aberrant behavior is abiding the evil item for the sake of greed. Would expect more assertiveness in the future for blatantly chaotic things. Otherwise up front, leader/caller, laid on hands when needed, S.