Lucky Fingers the thief finally met a trap he didn’t like. Routine poison needle in the doorknob. A classic, and it got him anyway. Those save or die rolls give players a real scrotum shrinking experience that they just can’t get from girl versions of D&D.
My clever players have been avoiding the earthen tunnels and the goblins that live over thataway ever since they got them all riled up by stealing their goddesses nipples and their king’s throne/shield. They figured the Tomb was a relatively safe bet, since they had sort of depopulated it last time. They had a few easy combats, confirmed that most of the skellies and zombies are still trapped on the far side of a ten by ten by ten foot pit, and then spent considerable time searching the cleared portion of the Tomb for secret doors. The wandering monster tables are pretty light in this section of the dungeon, so they fought one big tomb snake and that was it.
A sliding stone panel revealed a dusty flight of stairs heading straight down to a sub-level. This sub-level, they learned, thanks to a plaque at the bottom of the stairs, is the home of the great and powerful wizard Bocephus. It’s a bit of a funhouse dungeon, but the players didn’t make the connection despite fighting weird versions of themselves that crawled out of the distorted mirrors in one room, the actual circus freaks in another, and running across a narrow ledge while being shot at by giants on the far side of a chasm. Above them hung the bloated bodies of previous adventurers, stuffed after dying in the sub-level. They also engaged in a little light role play with a concessionaire.
What? You never heard of a dungeon with a store three levels deep? What kind of fantasy computer RPGs did you play in the late 80s? It’s standard fare, newb. Just as in real life, the only way to win the game of carnival food is not to play. A few coins lighter, and a few remove curse and cure poison scrolls later they attacked the merchant who rubbed his hands under his chin then vanished back to the promised land.
They found the lair of Bocephus himself, a brightly painted wooden wagon parked in a wide cavern. It was one of a dozen, and they recognized which was his by the bright word “Bocephus” painted on it’s side. How the wagons got there was beyond them. Not a one would have fit through the narrow halls that led to the wide cavern.
No one was home, so they tossed the place. They rushed the job, sacrificing thoroughness for expeditiousness, and it didn’t work. While heading for the exit, who should appear but Bocephus and his henchmen, an unsavory lot of inbred, minimum wage workers used to ineffectually hitting on the pretty local girls for the brief pleasure of getting a rise out of them. My kind of people, in other words.
Bocephus himself was a beefy guy in a vest, with a close cut – yet somehow still scraggly beard – wearing dark glasses and a tall, wide brimmed hat. He kept screaming at the party, asking them if they were ready for some football every time he threw a spell their way.
Caught with their hands in the wizard’s cookie jar, there was no way out but violence. The combatants lined up, the arrows and spells started flying, and what might have been a cake walk had the party left a guard further up the hallway and had time to prepare turned into a fair fight – the worst kind of fight! Things went from bad to worse when the party’s thief failed a save vs charm and was able to backstab the party magic-user. From there things went from worse to dead.
They weren’t ready for some football.
TPK ain’t just an enzyme that can transfer a phosphate group from ATP to a protein in a cell, my friends. Should they ever return with fresh characters, they will find a few new prizes hanging above the shooting gallery.
We finished the evening by rolling up new characters, and wound up with a very cleric and tank heavy party. There’s one dwarf to mix things up a bit, but that’s it. No thief and no magic-user is a bold choice. Much ‘spekt for that decision. They’ve asked to speed up game time so that two months pass before the next session.
Normally, I take the Peter Del’Orko tack of having game time match the time between sessions, but it seemed like a good idea to me. They want to hit the goblins, but don’t want to do it while they are still on high alert. We compromised and called it a year and a week. That way game seasons still match the real world seasons and game weather matches real world weather when we game.
See you next week.