Monday, February 13, 2012

AD&D After Action Part I

On Saturday, we started a new AD&D game. The group was a natural growth of a small monthly thing I put together by scouting for a DM online. I met up with Chris (Flambeaux) Cain and he ran a couple of OD&D sessions for me and a friend, then a session of Flashing Blades (which I wrote about a couple weeks ago.)

Our group needed to grow--we invited a couple of friends from various circles. One had only played some 3.5 and some 4e, but not very much and not for very long. The other newer player was someone I met while playing some Pathfinder--though his primary experience is in the Savage Worlds system. The original two of us playing with Chris DMing, however, have been playing for years and have experience in a broad set of rulesets.

So, we gathered, we discussed playing Chris's OD&D hybrid, but determined the structure of classes and races in AD&D would be more up the alley of most of the players. None of us had ever played a true AD&D 1e game before--one player learned on 2e and played that for years, and one player had experienced some Labyrinth Lord, but none of us had any real experience with AD&D.

Anyway, without further ado, here's an in character summary of the events. We spent about two hours making characters then something like 1.5-2 hours on this gameplay. Primus is my character, and I'm going to use this as an exercise in writing a slightly stuck up character (roleplaying that 6 Charisma and 17 Intelligence.)

Dramatis Personae:

Frank, a human ranger

Mog, a dwarf cleric

Garen, a human paladin

Primus, a human magic user

From the quill of Primus, first Mage of the West Bend order:

I found myself holed up at a keep in what seemed to be the midst of nowhere—I was drawn there by rumours of wondrous lore and the possibilities of ancient magical presences. Unfortunately, I had spent all my time until this point at the keep, trying to learn what I could by talking to those venturing into the nearby ruins, caves, and such. I made no progress for some weeks.

Today, however, my fortunes changed! Several men, and a dwarf, all of whom I had met previously around the keep, decided to make a foray into the ruins, merely a two hour trek from the keep. I hastily accepted the offer to join their party, and we wasted no time in supplying and preparing to depart this morning.

Garen—a holy warrior—negotiated with a man at arms to have him accompany us in exchange for a half-share of any spoils we would find. Next Garen found a young lad willing to help us by carrying equipment and leading a pony with supplies, oil, lanterns, and so on.

We launched forth and, as expected, reached the ruins within two hours. We were greeted by what can only be described as the walking dead. They were neither man nor corpse, and seemed intent upon finding flesh to feed upon. Apparently, we were to be the main course. My compatriots strung bows, readied slings, and loosed missiles upon these foul undead. I was even able to lob a rock at one or two, causing them to stumble. Needless to say, they did not have a feast today.

Beneath the ground the undead were scouring for scraps we found a spiral staircase, made of stone, with wide and deep steps. Treading lightly, we made our way down, passing a brass plate overhead which simply read “Store Room.” Upon entering said room, we found it to store nothing but air, and the oppressive feeling of being unwelcome. After scouring the room, we made our way out, finding a large room with paintings—lovers at play, happy scenes. The middle of the room was home to a fountain, flowing with cool water, and statues dancing in it. All of us were able to perceive that this room felt more peaceful, and calm. Though we could not determine why, there were half a dozen silver spoons in the fountain. I took one for examination at a later date, and Mog the dwarf cleric took the other five.

Before long we pressed on, eager to find the purpose of this subterranean structure. We moved on and rounded two corners before finding ourselves facing a door with four monstrous giant centipede-like creatures crawling out of it. Quickly the party backtracked, hoping to keep the fight at range, while the link boy helped me pour oil on the ground in front of us and light it, hoping to delay some of the beasts. Two of them pursued us, crawling on the walls of the passageway, and attacked the party. The link boy and I quickly moved back, behind the pony, to let the men with swords do their part.

Within moments, two of the creatures had been slain, and I breathed a sigh of relief just in time to notice that I was trapped in the corner when a door opened. Two more of the walking dead shambled out the open door, ready to tear my flesh from my bones. I slashed at one with my knife, barely wounding one of them, and the link boy landed a sound hit with a torch, igniting the undead, which ran away in flames. The other walking corpse was able to swing with its claw-like hands and drew blood from my shoulder. I was quite staggered, and didn’t see much future for myself.

Frank, the ranger, dashed up the hallway and helped us slay the last walker, whilst Mog, Garen, and the hired man at arms dispatched the last two centipedes. (I must note here that, though it only bought time, it was my own quick thinking that cast oil down and ignited it.)

Harrowed but exhilarated, we retired back to the keep, in order to prepare for our next foray into the ruins! Who knows what we may find? Will the fountain in the tranquil room prove to be some sanctuary? Are there more of such things further into this structure? What manner of foul creatures will we encounter and have to vanquish in order to uncover the secrets of this place?

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