Monday, 6 December 2021

Play Report - Slime Baroness (Session Three)

This is the third session report for my game where I ran two players through Slime Baroness and the Lady of Unterbranch Keep, a dungeon of my own making. Click here to see the other play reports as well as my series detailing my full dungeon process for creating the dungeon. 

During Session One, my two players entered the Keep for the first time and explored the upper levels, discovering the Slime Baroness herself. In Session Two they explored the main level, and almost got dispatched completely by some flying pots and pans (RIP Henrietta the hireling). 

Now, in Session Three, they suited up with a new retinue of hirelings and descending into the lower levels. This is where the true fun began. 

My two characters were a Garden Wizard and a Butcher/Warrior. 

Highlights from Session Three: 

  • I started the session by having them overhear some villagers outside the Butcher's house discuss the diamonds. These were found by the players in Session Two in the pocket of an undead brigand, but they hadn't sold them off for profit yet. 
    • This was Rumour #3: the diamonds had been stolen by the brigands from the village hetman (leader) and the village needed them to pay off back taxes to the Baron. 
    • The players bit this hook and immediately went to speak to the hetman (an NPC I had to make up on the spot) and suss out more information. 
    • I said that the Baron desperately wanted the back taxes, and implied that anyone caught selling diamonds anywhere in the Barony would be investigated, as the theft had been long-reported since the Brigands' original arrival a month ago. 
    • The Baron would be arriving in the village with his retinue in three days time. This was to kick their action into overdrive by putting a time limit on some stuff, and to force them to make a decision about the diamonds. 
  • The Butcher and the Wizard then descended back into Unterbranch Keep, heading for the last bit of unexplored ground-level, i.e. the Armoury and Vault.
  • They loved the severed-hand trap on the door to the Vault. 
    • Access was granted by cleverly using the severed hand itself, covered in sticky slime leftover from the Horse-Skin Rug and a spear haft to open the door without getting sliced. 
  • They found the Dog Kennel very creepy, and were scared all session of running into a pack of zombie dogs. 
  • They did some finagling between keys in the Prison Cells to pick the lock to Cell #7, revealing the magic sword Sonslayer
    • The Butcher picked up this sword and was eager to unlock secret magic powers with it, so I need to have a think about what powers there might be to unlock. 
  • In Session One the players had tricked a goblin into eating some poisoned jerky. They left his body laying there long enough for his goblin buddies to find him dead, and long enough for me to update my encounter table to include a goblin funeral procession of 10 goblins.
    • They rolled this result while searching the Prison Cells, and the goblins could be heard in the next room just as they were picking up Sonslayer, the white glow of which betrayed their presence. 
  • The goblins cautiously entered the room and demanded the players identify themselves and the reason for their trespass. Thus ensued a long stand-off, with the players trying to simultaneously keep the goblins from attacking, and also trying to get more information about the Keep. 
    • The goblins eventually stopped buying the bullshit and attacked. Between the two players and their three hirelings (two warriors and a young torchbearer), they made quick work of most of the goblins, helped by their strategy of retreating to a doorway which only two goblins could rush at a time. 
    • Once 6/10 goblins had been slain, the rest failed a morale check and surrendered. 
    • The leader (wearing a blue hat) remarked on their great strength, positing that the party might be able to defeat the ogres on the lowest level, of whom the goblins were very frightened. 
    • The party agreed to make an attempt at ogre-slaying, if only the goblin would show them around and guide them safely to the lowest level. The goblin agreed and they made haste downstairs. 
  • This kicked off a totally unexpected part of the session where they sneaked their way downstairs and rolled incredibly well on all the encounter checks, bypassing huge sections of the dungeon. They found lots of curious things that they wanted to return to, but kept pushing downward. 
  • Once they reached the lowest level (Black Altar) the goblin in a blue hat refused to go any further. After a bit more arguing, they let him go. 
  • While investigating the Robing Room they rolled the Animated Spool of Black Thread on the encounter table, which began slowly unspooling its way towards the slumbering form of the Lady Unterbranch (unknown to the players). 
    • This completely captivated the Butcher's player and he dropped everything to follow this black thread. It led them past the Dark Chapel and the Black Crack, and up north towards the ogres. 
    • Despite hearing ogre noises up ahead, they continued following the spool of thread until it led them straight into the Ogre Trophies room, sparking a huge fight (and drawing three more Ogres from the next room) which the party barely won. 
    • Unfortunately, the Wizard took an absolutely crushing blow from an Ogre club and failed his Strength Save. He began dying.
    • The Butcher used his Rally/Rout ability to scare off the final ogres, and then picked up his companion to try to rush him around from room to room, searching for healing tools or magic. 
    • But with nothing at hand, the Wizard expired dramatically, his quest for treasure and knowledge unfulfilled. 
  • After a couple minutes of mourning and mantle-transferring (the Wizard's player took over the archer-hireling as his character for the rest of the session), they followed the black spool of thread through one final door. 
  • This revealed the False Tomb, and behind it, the trapped door to the real tomb, the Sorcerer's Capsule. They decided to hike back out, rest up, sell some treasure, maybe level up, and roll up a new character for the wizard's player. 
Black spool of thread


Thus ended Session Three. This one was a ton of fun, and my players continue to surprise me by never going where I expect them to. That is the fun of D&D for me; you never know exactly what will happen. 

I am really enjoying this dungeon. I am proud of all my encounters, and my players are having lots of fun too. Running the adventure straight from my printed copy of the book continues to be such an ease. I can't imagine running one of my own dungeons in a different format ever again. Having the map right at hand on each page has been invaluable. 

Additionally, the treasure manifesto page has been excellent. I find that the 'name' for a piece of treasure in my dungeon, and the 'name' that the players write down in their notes based on the description I give is often totally different. So being able to reference all the treasure in one place and sort of calculate the total value of all the disparate pieces they picked up is super easy. Much better than flipping between every single page of each room they traversed in a given session. 

I am also really enjoying getting some testing in of my Into the Odd/Electric Bastionland/GLOG hack Catacombers. The speed of Into the Odd combat is addictive. I also love the simple Saving Throws. The Wizard enjoyed his two spells, but I think both players will be happier when they level up and gain a bit more power and choice in their special abilities. 

For Next Session

We will open Session Four with the dramatic return of the stolen diamonds, and a confrontation with the Baron. My second player will need to roll a new character, which he may draw from the Baron's retinue (like a knight or a court wizard or something). I plan of having the Baron be impressed with the Butcher's abilities, and offer a deal: if he will take a handful of the Baron's retainers with him into the Keep, and clear it out once and for all, there may be a Knighthood in exchange. 

I can see this involvement of the Baron leading to follow-up adventures. I guess I'll also see what the Butcher asks of the Baron as well, and we'll see what new character the other player wants to play. 

1 comment:

  1. Great session report! Especially fun after seeing how you built the dungeon from scratch.