Game Results for March 29, 2007

Game session 30 of the Age of Worms is complete. Characters present included Aker Cruven (litorian exotic weapon master/ritual warrior), Eol Seregon (half-elf hexblade), Grot Bloodtunneler (shield dwarf warmain), Lyrin Sinbal (simian warmage), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric) and Valgen (human fighter/rogue).

The party debated their next course of action for some time before deciding to look for a sewer entrance near Brian the Swordmaster’s Smithy. They found an entrance in a back alley and slipped into the stinking tunnels of waste beneath the city. Within, they soon encountered a cluster of carrion crawlers feasting upon a corpse. At the prospect of fresh meat, they abandoned their meal and attacked. The party was largely unscathed from the encounter except for Eol, who ended up paralyzed for a short time until recovered by one of Aker’s potions.

Later, the party stumbled upon a pair of massive dire rats and a humanoid rat-man. All three attacked the party viciously, with Valgen suffering a horrific bite to the neck and shoulders from the rat-man. The group eventually killed the two rats and beat the rat-man unconscious and dying of his wounds. As he fell unconscious, he transformed into a human man. They then stripped, bound and revived him. After interrogating him a while, they determined he may have been under someone else’s control or enchantment, so they sent him running—unarmed—into the sewers.

After a while, they discovered a scuff of glowing fungus, like they found on the boots of the drow the previous session. They dowsed all their lights and let the dwarves lead the group through the tunnels, following the patches and scuffs of yellow. The team came upon an area where the sewer tunnel gave way to natural cave, and the strange symbol they found on the greater doppelganger’s head was painted on the wall in something that glowed only to darkvision. As they pondered this, a pair of drow thralls came out of the caves firing hand crossbows and moving in with rapiers. Despite a few well-placed shots, the drow were quickly overwhelmed and killed.

Looking into the cave revealed a bend ahead, with a faint yellow glow and ground covered by yellow fungus.

Unarmed Attacks

Wizards of the Coast posted part I of an interesting article about unarmed strikes. It is worth reading; it points out a few things I was fuzzy on.

Game Results for March 22, 2007

Game session 29 of the Age of Worms is complete. Present characters included Aker Cruven (litorian ritual warrior), Eol Seregon (half-elf hexblade), Lyrin Sinbal (simian warmage), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Thoril Songsteel (human thug), and Valgen (human fighter).

Valgen led the party into the mirror maze discovered in the last session. Within, they encountered sliding mirrored walls and doppelganger fighters materializing seemingly out of nowhere. After some brutal fighting, the party eliminated all the shape changers. Continuing through the maze, they discovered a door.

Within lay a large chamber split in two levels. The bottom, larger level, was where the party entered, and a large table with a strange metal helmet and bubbling vats of liquids drew their attention to one side. One the other side, two flights of stairs led up a raised platform with a throne in the center. Seated upon it was Delfen “Yellowknife” Ondabar, Lyrin’s mentor! He arose and invited the party to enter and learn the truth of things. Once within, his form melted and shifted, and an unknown mage stood before them.

The party wasted no time moving in as the mage began tracing arcane movements with his fingers. Thoril plunged into a pit trap, falling forty feet but avoiding the nasty spikes. Valgen charged around the pit and moved up the stairs and to the side to pressure the caster. The magic-user’s spell, confusion, caught Eol in its grasp and sent him babbling incohorently around the room and back down the hall. The group edged closer, with the mightily-muscled lion-man (Aker) hauling Thoril out of the pit by a rope. Unfortunately, a slow spell affected Thoril and Valgen, severely hampering two more of the party members. Even so, Valgen kept moving toward the caster, which prompted him to change shape again, into the form of a hulking orc barbarian! He hefted the greataxe the wizard had, oddly, been carrying and struck Valgen with a mighty blow, which sent him on the retreat. Stoic Morak moved up to heal his ally and triggered a poisoned spear trap, which lightly injured him.

The ape-man, Lyrin, continued a barrage of deadly spells, including ionize and lightning bolt to brutalize the shape changer, but he remained standing. Then, the orc shifted back into the form of the wizard and disrupted the party even further when he unleashed a wall of fire to split the battlefield and isolate himself and Lyrin on one side. The simian quickly took a tactical maneuver to seek shelter outside in the hallway of the maze. As Eol continued to run about the maze blathering like an idiot and the flaming wall sent wave after wave of scalding heat over the party, the shape shifter moved down the stairs and performed a devastating maneuver. He shut and locked the hallway door.

Bravely, the battle-hardened dwarven priest uttered a silent prayer to Moradin and marched steadfastly through the blazing inferno! The fires scorched his armor, singed his beard and burned his flesh, but more devastating was the spear trap he triggered as he stepped through. The razor-edged spike drove completely through his body, inflicting critical damage that put the dwarf reeling, but still alive. His burning rage was all that kept him on his feet.

Seeing Morak move into the flames, Aker scooped the slowed Thoril up and ran through the fire. Valgen slowly marched toward the flames as well. On the other side, Aker and Thoril flanked the wizard, who immediately shifted into orc form and laid waste with his axe. Valgen and Morak began their approach as Aker unlocked and open the door to the maze, allowing Lyrin to return. Outnumbered and pinned down, the shape changer met his doom at the end of the thug’s longsword.

After ransacking the room and the secret chamber behind the throne, the party dug in, nursed their wounds and had some much needed rest. They analyzed some clues, telling them something is going down in the sewers, and they then headed toward the surface. In the flood room, while trying to maneuver a magic mirror back up to Sodden Hold, a surprise came upon them. A secret door flashed open, and a pair of drow warriors moved to attack. Stepping out of the shadows with them, a tall many-tentacled creature—a mind flayer! It unleashed a mind blast, which crushed the will of Aker and sent him reeling. The mind flayer then left, and the party massacred the drow soldiers.

Now the party stands in the flood room knowing a mind flayer is on the loose, they have to try and get out of this area through a flooded hallway, and there is something untoward happening in Waterdeep’s sewage system.

D&D FAQ Update

Wizards of the Coast released the latest version of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Edition FAQ this morning. It is basically a compilation of the answers to the Sage Advice column in Dragon Magazine and the online Sage. It can be very useful in answering questions to “fuzzy” parts of the rules. Click to view the FAQ.

Mimics and Other Classics

In a recent session of our Age of Worms campaign, the characters encountered a trio of mimics. For many of the players, this was their first encounter with these truly old-school D&D monsters. That is one thing I’ve particularly enjoyed about Age of Worms, it exposes the party to some of the classic monsters that us veteran players were fighting against back in our youth. We’re in the fourth adventure now and have already encountered chimeras, doppelgangers, elementals, ghouls, grimlocks, invisible stalkers, kobolds, lizard folk, mimics, skeletons, trolls, and zombies, just to name the old-school critters.

Recently, Wizards of the Coast published an article discussing the evolution of the mimic (and other shapeshifters) through the various editions of Dungeons & Dragons. If you are interested in such, it is worth the read.

Game Results for March 15, 2007

After three hours of excitement, game session 28 of Age of Worms came to a close. Present characters included Eol Seregon (half-elf hexblade), Grot Bloodtunneler (shield dwarf warmain), Lyrin Sinbal (simian warmage), Valgen (human fighter), and one of the Character Pool characters, Carn Fodelfex (whisper gnome cleric).

Carn opened the night by casting water breathing, allowing the party to descend down the water-filled barrel shaft. Approximately 75 feet down (35 feet down the shaft to the water surface, 40 feet of water), the party discovered a passageway leading into a large room. Within they battled a giant octopus who was eventually slain by vicious stabbing and a number of magic missiles. The group found a lever to raise and lower the water level in the room, along with a platform accessible when the water and central lever-pillar were at their highest level. Carn and Valgen remained on the platform trying to get through a door, while the rest of the party drained the water and searched the room below. After busting down the door with a portable ram, Valgen found himself bull rushed by a doppelganger. He flew backward and tripped over Carn, plummeting 40 feet to the floor below. Fortunately, he just missed landing on Eol. The casters made short work of the doppelganger, and the group raised the water level back up to get to the platform.

The group moved into a hallway lined with numerous iron doors, including double iron doors on each end. They tried the doors, finding them locked except for the bathroom and a planning room behind the first set of double doors. Within a pair of doppelgangers attacked the front line, but Lyrin blasted them with a fireball, which also destroyed the paper contents of the room. The group found a secret door, but it only held a scattering of cloaks within. The team moved toward the other double doors, but Grot discovered (by plunging into it) that a large pit trap lay before the door. Carn used fly to investigate, while Eol attempted to climb down and Valgen feather fell in. Grot was not a the bottom of the 30-ft.-deep pit, but Valgen quickly discovered the floor was false, and he fell on through. After some doing, they found that the false floor hid another 30-ft. of pit, lined with spikes and a silence effect. As most of the party tried to climb ropes out, Lyrin stood looking over the edge. He was caught completely unaware and nearly bushwhacked by a pair of doppelgangers. He spun about as the second doppelganger untied the rope holding up Eol. As the half-elf skewered on a spike, Lyrin defensively cast his second fireball and turned his two adversaries into crispy critters. Unfazed, he turned back and helped his allies out of the pit.

The party busted open the other doors to find sleeping quarters for the doppelgangers. They then discovered a strange black-mirrored room filled with chairs. Manacled to the chairs were the members of the entire party screaming against their gags for freedom! They ungagged the bound Valgen who began swearing up and down that the Valgen with the party was an imposter and that he was the real Valgen. So, Valgen gagged him back. Riddled with doubt and suspicion, the group further tied up the manacled people and eyed one another warily. They discovered a secret door and decided to move on and deal with sorting out who is who later on. They then found a mirror maze whose reflections make the maze appear to go on endlessly.

The party now stands at the entrance of the maze looking back at their own reflections. Running through each of their minds is the thought that any number of their allies could actually be tied to a chair and ruthless doppelgangers walk with them waiting the right opportunity to plunge a dagger into their backs!

Game Results for March 8, 2007

Game session 27 of the Age of Worms is in the books. Present party members included Aker Cruven (litorian ritual warrior), Eol Seregon (half-elf hexblade), Grot Bloodtunneler (shield dwarf warmain), Lyrin Sinbal (simian warmage), and Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric).

The game began with the party finding Sodden Hold in the Dock Ward. After examining the building for a few minutes, they tried their key in the front door and found it unlocked the entry. The group discovered a room full of barrels, crates and chests piled about. Three closed doors appeared to lead from the room, and a catwalk overlooked the far wall. Once inside, the party was attacked by a trio of mimics disguised as crates and barrels. The gang quickly discovered that mimic glue is impossible to resist and several of the team was stuck fast. Grot remained mobile and laboriously hammered away at the shapeshifters, peeling his hammer free after each blow. Aker tore into the creatures with his razor fangs while Eol cursed two of them with his hexblade vexings. Enraged by the audacity of the mimics to grapple him, Morak went into a rage and struggled furiously in an effort to free himself. From the doorway, spellslinging Lyrin peppered the monsters with magic missiles. Despite taking a beating, the team eventually killed all of the mimics. There was some concern at the amount of resources Sodden Hold had already depleted when Morak burned charge after charge from his healing wands in order to revitalize his allies and self.

Once the mimics were slain, the group examined two small rooms, including a cluttered office and a room with a rickety ladder up to the catwalk. The group quickly found the ladder would not hold weight and collapsed part of the catwalk and the ladder on their heads. Grot then moved to the last door, and the party gathered close around for a quick entry. He bashed the door with his hammer and triggered a trap which dumped the entire party except Morak into a 40-ft.-deep spiked-filled pit. Using a rope, Morak helped extract his impaled and bleeding comrades.

Eol and Morak stacked crates and went up to the catwalk and found footprints leading right up into a wall. They could find no secret door, so using finesse, they knocked the wall down. Eol led the way down a flight of stairs behind the newly exposed secret door. He found a locked door and a hallway with a couple of closed chests. He bashed one open and found a blue cloak, so he opened the next to find a bag of holding full of gold and a periapt of health.

The group then proceeded through the door and found a dungeon with several cells. One held an elven woman who would not come out of the cell for fear of being beaten. She indicated hundreds of people had come through this hallway and she was through with their games of giving her false hope of escape. Another cell held a pair of male humans who accused the party of being part of whatever group was holding them captive. The last cell held what they thought was a corpse but turned out to be a badly injured man. Morak healed him, and the man proved to be stark raving mad. The party offered to let the prisoners go free and indicated they could either flee or sit there, they didn’t care. Part of the group then opened the next doors while Lyrin and Grot remained behind, keeping an eye on the prisoners.

The next room was in shambles. Most of the floor had rotted away and fallen into the harbor, exposing a webwork of slippery timbers and supports up 10 ft. above the water. Within the water were numerous corpses as well as rusting blades and spears jutting out at all angles. Eol and Aker walked out on the timbers and were soon both bleeding in the water. Aker climbed a support post and got back on the timbers, while Eol threw a grapple up and pulled himself to a section of flooring. As Aker arrived on the same landing, something unseen attacked him viciously. Soon, Aker and Eol were engaged with unseen enemies in a fight for their lives. Morak cast godspeed and hurtled out across the beams, slipping and sliding, but at great speed. He balanced on the beams and cast healing spells on the injured half-elf and litorian. Then, in an amazing display of strength (and odd display of grace, for a dwarf), he lept across a five-foot span over the water and spears to land behind his allies and engage the invisible enemies.

Soon, the three battered and killed the two invisible stalkers and claimed the landing as a “safe” area. Using ropes, they assisted Grot and Lyrin in getting across. Once there, the went through a door into another room. Within, they found a strange situation. An opening in the floor led into a 10 ft. by 10 ft. shaft that plunged down 35 ft. to water. Bobbing in the water was a large, man-sized open barrel. A crude rope ladder descended along the side to the barrel. Using a rope, Eol was lowered into the barrel, which did nothing but bob about. After raising him back out of the shaft, the party realized they are now presented with a puzzle.

How will the heroes navigate the shaft and barrel conundrum? Check back next week.