Monday, 16 August 2021
Quick fill in game
As a different combo of players away we started a new game hopefully to conclude later. So I ran my Thrice Cursed City my sort of big dungeon full of factions under a ruined city.
One character was a mercenary in plate who had been asked to find a youth kidnapped by slavers and while following them met a band of sword order priests and knights visiting the ruined city. While a devoted good man was more into the old ways and druids and such, he was happy to accompany them. They arrived at the explorers guild without incidents.
The other character was a naive young apprentice wizard seeking adventure and met nice fellows who offered him just the chance. Once aboard he was thrown in chains and taken to the ruined city where because of his literacy was sold for several hundred gp to bandits. He managed to sneak away and while crawling in the dark ruins of an ancient library found crumbling tablets to replace his spellbook before finding the Explorers guild thanks to helping from amazon adventurers. Has adopted a servant lad also an ex-slave.
They heard gossip about the ruined buildings in the crumbling walls and saw an inscription about the city curse. Met the three current adventuring parties (sword order, the amazons and that band of wizard hating berserks and by morning were ready.
So they set foot towards a ruined palace and saw bandits prepping an ambush. So as a missile fight started two bandits fell, one fled and was shot and a survivor was charmed. The new bandit pal the wizard charmed proved helpful and familiar explaining they were gonna sell the wizard to the cult they heard of in the centre of the ruins.
Came to the ruin and found signs of urns dug ap and the wizard used detect magic and found a magic tablet and another with a mist that when released formed a skeleton. Fought an ogre and his dogs and a good old grease spell made the fight easier. Met some "pilgrims" who offered wine and food and the mercenary tasted some and resisted the drugs and was suspicious. So they killed the cultists who failed to ambush them and found their masks and medallions featuring a bearded angry face. Also found green robes and the party thought these could be handy. Also found cultists had buried an entrance underground so they of course dug it up. Found a strange googly-eyed man in fisherfolk clothes who was happy to be able to escape and claimed to have been hiding from cultists. The party released him hoping their good deeds will be regarded.
Battled a manes demon which made the wary and the wizard used his detect magic found a gold +1 sickle. With their wounds and ogre gold they were happy to rest. Managed to convince the bandit to join the party without charm as a recruited follower.
The next day on way to ruin saw berserk closing in. This battle went poorly and as most lay bleeding luckily some green-robed demon cults came out to see the fuss and the berserk chased them, two died of blood loss and the party were all unconscious. (I underestimated classic berserk so.....) the party awoke in the slavers' compound alive and chained. After days in this state one night in their cage, they saw half the remaining slavers watching the camp were slain by cult infiltrators and the prisoners used this chance to escape the short distance to the explorers guild. Rested and recovered most of their goods. Discovered the sickle turned a slain person into dust leaving their material goods which all agreed sounded good for trolls. Adopted some of the other escapees and all keen for revenge on slavers and curious about the cult.
Some things worked well like the demon cult generators that will let it play differently or make a new cult if needed. Some of the organisations I will revise and make clearer some time too. But testing my stuff is very useful.
Got AOK health and my box of bacon flavoured powder arrived so week starting well.
Afterthought: If players thank me for enslaving them am I a mean DM or a kind DM?
I realised I had poorly balanced the berserker encounter so I try not to kill players in cases like this. I prefer to kill if players taking stupid risks and failing.