Thursday, June 17, 2021

Oohhyeah Punchman and the Butchers of Helix in The Caverns of Archia

Every Wednesday night, Jeff Toney runs a private game of Dungeons and Dragons with yours truly in the mix. It's an Old School Essentials version of D&D, so things are a bit different with this game. In essence, old school essentials answers the question, what would D&D be like if you re-wrote the first edition of D&D for a modern audience?

For example, my character's statistics are AWFUL. Literal trash, BUT . . . in the OSE version of D&D, that isn't as punishing as it would be in modern D&D.  Despite my bad rolls for statistics, I still qualified to create an illusionist. While I was originally creating the character, I cautioned Jeff that I would most likely always being coming in at least 30 minutes late to the game, and he was fine with that.  In fact, we made the joke that I'd always be crashing in late like the Kool Aid man.  Thus, Ohhyeah Punchman the illusionist was born!

My photoshop skills were on point to express this lovely character's attire

Experience gain has been slow going, but consistent.  As long as you show up, you'll receive a bit of exp, and if there's one thing Ohhyeah has going for him, it seems to be consistency. After all these months, Ohhyeah is finally at 2,450 of the 2,500 experience he needs to move on to level 2.

Come to find out, Jeff will also allow you to earn an extra 50 experience if you write up a small "session notes" blurb from your character's perspective, and as I simply need an extra 50 experience to level . . . guess what paragraphs come next?

~~From the personal journal of Ohhyeah Punchman~~

Again we find ourselves plunged in darkness as we search the ruins of Archaia. I'm becoming used to the smell of burning tar from the torch. These days I find myself holding this light more often for the group. I'm not fond of this responsibility as it typically means I'm the first one that the creatures of the crypt focus in on, but I figure at least it helps me control when the group flees and when the group stays.

Archia itself is a large canyon dotted with crypt entrances from a more ancient time. Some of these areas are silent, but as we're discovering, most are crawling with new inhabitants.

The canyon sides of Archia

Earlier we spent a strange, yet adventurous morning in one of these Caves of Archia. We fought off blood-sucking stirges, rummaged through a mushroom patch (where incidentally I found a beautiful spell book off of a poor unfortunate mage's decaying body) and ran away from an angry troll who we taunted into charging at us. Obviously I was the first to run . . . that thing was twice our size and none to happy with the stirge wrapped magic mushroom we threw to him! Luckily we outran the ugly beast, and he lost interest as we ducked into the sunlight. 

This brings us to this evening's adventures. We decided to explore another crypt entrance that was a bit less natural looking. Indeed the entrance led down deep below the mountain, two flights of stairs, into a questionable crypt that is destined to collapse in on itself over time. The mountain keeps rumbling and it is surely a bad omen.

The northern half of the crypt was mostly barren, but as to be expected, someone or "some things" had been here before us. Come to find out, a small band of Kobolds had been roaming the halls and tried to set a crossbow trap in one of the rooms. It didn't work. Eventually we found them lost in the southern most part of the dungeon and our fighter slayed one without hesitation, which led to their surrender, and eventually their help! As it turns out, kobolds will do just about anything for food, including lifting a heavy portcullis and fetching rocks to hold it open.

Subject: Kobold. Name: Tartuccio

I must make a side note here about the kobolds.  Their presence makes me nervous.  Most of them fled, but one has joined our adventures. Our fighter named him "Tartuccio," supposedly after a bard song about a kobold (incidentally, what a horrible kobold name! Leave it to a bard to come up with something completely unrealistic. He looks more like a "Gurk" or "Zok" to me. I think I'll call him "shoe'y" for short). Shoe'y spoke of a winged beast that was mighty and could make the kobolds powerful. I think I heard tale once that where you find kobolds, you will also find dragons.

The western part of the dungeon was full of old death. Beyond the portcullis was a pile of old bones that, despite our attempts at separating the skulls, immediately animated when our barbarian grabbed an ancient, silver goblet from a skeletal grasp. The group again made the smart choice and knocked out the portcullis supports while the skeletons were reanimating and trapped them back in their tomb. (This also was the point where most of the kobolds fled in panic.)

Also in the west we found a room full of motionless zombies of all humanoid races. Sure enough they also animated the moment I threw a torch at one of them and hastily shut the door on them. One thing about the undead: they're none-to-bright and don't know how to use door handles. Fortuned favored us again as a room next door to the zombies had a large desk that our unusually strong thief was able to pull in front of their door to block them. Also fortunate, I managed to dig up an ancient tube of Papyrus from a hidden drawer! It's not of magical nature, but I bet you either Murrion the Magician or Retep back in town will pay us at least 250 gold for this artifact.

A map to the "zombie" crypt of Archia

As I write this note, the last of our evening's torchlight is about to fade. I discovered a secret room here on the Eastern side of the crypt and it will provide perfect shelter. I doubt kobolds or undead will be able to figure out the hidden lever system that was used to disguise the door.  We're safe here, and I'm on first watch as our warriors take a long night's rest to heal from their battle wounds. 

In the morning I'll be using Read Magic to take a closer look at this spell book we found in the Troll Cave. Perhaps something in its pages will spark inspiration in me to write a spell of my own!  I've been having visions of a human that looks something like a pitcher of red liquid with arms and legs, splashing through enemies and making them glow!  Of course, to craft such a spell would take intense research and approximately 100 platinum to devise. Maybe someday my fame and fortune will grow, but for now . . . I'll hold the torch and let my vestments do the smiling.


Tipa said...

"Old-school" D&D, where you just rolled 3d6 6 times and assigned the stats the best you were able and lived with the roll meant you really understood in a deep and satisfying way that running away was often the best strategy and not every problem (or even most problems) could be solved by force. It also meant magic items were transformative, as they should be. A belt of storm giant strength doesn't mean much when your strength was 19 already, but what if it were 9? Game changer.

Loved the story! Don't trust kobolds!!!!

Stingite said...

Even worse, we're rolling 3d6 6 times STRAIGHT IN A ROW. What you get is what you get, and you build a character around it. Ha! Yeah, if I was to get a Band of Intellect, it would be game changing. Thanks for reading, Tipa! One of these days it would be fun to run a one shot dungeon with you, Cal, and spode.

Tipa said...

Just say when! I'm down whenever. Even playing 3D6 x6, assign them as they fall.