Another Saturday night, and I don’t got no…respect for writers who constantly fall back on song lyrics to start their blog posts. That’s a cheap gimmick to establish false rapport and pad the word count using somebody else’s words. Don’t do that, writers, it’s cheap and it’s lazy and it’s not clever.
I’ll tell you what is clever. My players, that’s what’s clever.
Elfo McGayFace stayed away tonight, the poor dear still smarts from being handed a valuable lesson in not blowing a credible ambush with a bunch of “muh motivations!”. That made for the regular five with two ‘plus ones’ in the party. The two plus ones are a kid torchbearer and his cleric uncle, a good call paying that old guy a few extra shekels, given that they were making their first real foray into The Tomb. Two clerics, even if one is an NPC, can make a real hash of a sealed tomb rife with the walking dead.
And boy howdy did they!
My players waltzed through the tombing turning more tricks than my Mom did when I was growing up. They’d walk into a room, turn half the shamblers, and kill the rest. Then they would root, loot, and scoot to the next set of guardians.
They got dinged a few times when the thief blew a few Find Traps rolls. The traps in these old halls held rusted and busted gears and cogs that meant Drummer Hoff only fired off 50% of the time. In other words, miss finding a trap, and half the party coul dwalk through it before it finally triggered harder than @Jack reading my Twitter feed.
One of the two tanks took a spear to the gut that killed him, and the player grabbed Old Man Turner, the NPC cleric, for the rest of the night. The odd trap situation got so bad that, during the middle of the session, there was talk that the thief had gone renegade and was hoping for a bigger cut of the loot by letting a few characters shuffle off the PC coil.
Cray crayest thing they did though: they spiked a couple of pit traps open. These are big 10 by 10 affairs that span the hallway, so the party was cutting off their options for retreat. The party didn’t get it, but the magic-user insisted. Not my place to judge – well, I mean, it is my place to judge, that’s kind of the DM’s role, but you know what I mean – it’s not my place to judge their tactics, only to judge what happens next.
Meanwhile, old E. Reagan is sitting behind his screen growing nervous as the turned undead started piling up in the back rooms. They don’t stay turned forever, you know. As the players sacks got heavy, they seemed to get more and more cocky. Their move rates dropped, and they were running out of room in the Tomb. Sure, they had killed a few of the low level types, but that left a whole lot of pain in their forward firing arcs.
Wandering monsters aren’t likely in this part of The Dungeon. It had been sealed for so long that the only potential critters were a few vermin, ghostly effects, and the like. That probably saved their bacon, because eventually they did run out of dungeon to plunge in. They blundered into a back room and found somewhere around 20 skeletons and a like number of zombies waiting for them. With nowhere else to go and done being turnt for the night, the whole mob bum rushed the PCs, who were ready for them.
They hoofed it back to one of the open pit traps, and the magic user blew his scroll of Tenser’s Floating Disk to magic up a lily-pad that they could leap frog across. They hustled the last tank over, dropped the spell and stood jeering and mooning the frustrated dead for a moment before exiting The Dungeon down a man but up a great big pile of gold and long lost forgotten lore.
I love it! Smart play makes for levelling up. These guys are having an easy time now because they are still monkeying around on the first level of The Dungeon. Once they open that big, heavy, solid metal trapdoor that they found leading down to Level Two (actually Level Three, but they don’t know that) things are going to get a lot more interesting for them.