Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Caves of Chaos: Sessions 1-3

Well, with the bulk of the group currently out, I've been playing with my wife and daughter, running them through the ever classic (B1) Keep on the Borderlands. Our sessions have been short due to our daughter's bedtime, but fun nevertheless.

Shamayim the shamaness, Kitty Crystal the elven warrior-mage, and Joshua the fighting man met by chance in the free city of Daruk, called the City of Brass by some. Hearing rumors about a humanoid-infested collection of caves somewhere to the west, they decided to try to win their fortunes.

In the first session, they entered the goblin caves, headed right (west) and ran into the goblin guards adjacent to the ogre. They managed to kill most of the guards, but Joshua was severely wounded before the ogre even showed up. Kitty (my daughter's character, if you couldn't guess) ran after the goblins who escaped through the secret door in back just in time to see the ogre stand up. As already noted, she tried to attack the ogre and got in a pair of thin scratches before her character's meat was properly tenderized for the cooking pot by the ogre's club.

In the second session, Shamayim and Joshua finished recovering in town and set out to hire some additional help to go back to the caves. They recruited Leah Kitty, another elven warrior-mage and hired a pair of freeswords (or rather, a freesword and a freemace) named Frejar and Brennan. The five opted to avoid the goblin caves with the friendly ogre, opting instead to try a cave on the opposite end of the valley.

Entering the cave, they traveled thirty feet before their front two ranks, including the two hirelings and Leah, fell into a pit trap, taking a battering in the process. Immediately, six reptilian dogmen (kobolds) appeared from a nearby alcove and attacked them. Josh leapt across the pit and fell too with his sword while Shamayim lowered a rope to their trapped companions. By the time they were out, the whole party had taken serious wounds, with just about everyone down to one or two hit points, but they nevertheless carried the day and managed to keep any of the kobolds from escaping to warn their kin.

In session three, having found but a few coppers on the bodies of the kobolds, the party took their remaining shields and spears to better equip the hirelings and took off down the left hand corridor, lighting torches to see. They found a room filled with trash and rubble--and eighteen giant rats led by a rat the size of a wolf that wore a silver chain set with gems.

At this point, the shaman needs to be explained. It's a subclass of the cleric, based on the 3.5 ed Kingdoms of Kalamar variant. Among its class abilities, rather than turning or controlling undead, the shaman can turn and control animals. The shaman succeeded in her turn check (aided by the rats' low hit die) and managed to get control of all eighteen. Shamayim started to take the larger rat's necklace, but noticed that her control started to slip (it actually tried to bite her), so ended up returning it. They searched the room before backtracking and wandering deeper into the kobold caves.

They found the kobolds' storage room, but made sufficient noise (Shamayim screamed when they discovered a human arm in the meat supply) that a pair of the kobold chieftain's bodyguards came to investigate. Leah slew one, but the other managed to kill Brennan and make a break for it. The party took off in pursuit and encountered the third guard and the chieftain, who came to support their comrade. Shamayim summoned her new rat friends, who made short work of all three and the chieftain's women. The largest rat bowed to Shamayim before returning with his fellows into the darkness of the cave. They searched the room quickly, found the chieftain's golden necklace, his treasure chest, and a few other coins, and then made haste to the exit.

End result: 1280 gp worth of treasure, split among three PCs (320 gp each), one hireling (160 gp) and one dead hireling's wife and children (160 gp, enough to keep them comfortably for a good few years if they're careful). The party members got about 50 xp for the monsters each, but since xp is principally awarded by spending gold rather than finding it, I won't know how much closer each PC is to their next level until they report their intra-adventure expenditures.

All things considered, a pretty good collection of adventures. Hopefully they'll continue to be fun for all involved and hopefully some more of my regulars will start showing up again.



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