|The party was joined by a giant ferret. I think it lived.|
Dyson Logos is a giver. His blog is full of maps that beg to be used. Dyson does this for free which is why he's a champ. I figured I would show my appreciation and bought his book Dyson’s Delves. I ran the micro dungeon from this book last month at Good Games. Playing at Good Games meant we only had 3 hours. It was another frantic paced AD&D fest.
- Mallaga the half-orc assassin and Leif the halfling warrior, fresh from raiding the Caves of Chaos, recruited Sprite Zero the gnome illusionist and Aide Powers a human cleric of the dark and terrible god of carbonated beverages. They set off for the Unnamed Caves.
- Mallaga pointed out that most of their hirelings die. The gnome made the point that he and the cleric weren’t like most hirelings and should instead be treated as equal partners. Mallaga promised to try not to treat them like fodder.
- Arriving at the Unnamed Caves the players promptly gave the location a mundane name so that henceforth they would be known as something like Bunnings.
- The caves lay beneath a ruined tower. The surrounding woods were searched and a midden heap picked through. Goblin, ferret and rat droppings provided a clue to the foes that lay ahead.
- The first level was full of goblins dressed in ratskins. The gnome snuck ahead and was spotted by guards. He was lucky not to have been hit with a spear and killed in the first few rolls of the game. Scouting with a lowly mage is a rash move and one that Sprite would repeat.
- Goblins were killed, tricked with creative accents and overcome. The hobgoblin leader was blinded by a timely light spell. He was later coerced into helping the group telling them what lay ahead.
- The blinded hobgoblin boss lent the band his remaining forces which unbeknownst to him amounted to no more than two goblins and a giant ferret. Together they would assault the Beetle tribe in the level below.
- Their rat tribe allies perished in an early skirmish and the momentarily masterless giant ferret was then adopted by Sprite the gnome.
- The group sought the Beetle Tribes leaders and slaughtered them in the dungeon corridors. During the battle their adopted ferret battled the Beetle tribes own ferret in a duel to the death. Fortune favoured the party and their ferret prevailed.
- Leif and Mallaga were puzzled by the ease with which they dealt with their foe and sought greater danger and reward in the lower levels.
- On the way down they encountered a grizzled goblin survivalist who tried to set them on fire with burning oil. The party butchered him and gleefully took his oil.
- While exploring a lower crypt level the groups ferret raced ahead chasing rats. They were then set-upon by ghouls that burst from alcoves. Once dispatched party robbed some tombs and set off a trap or two.
- Heading ever deeper they dismantled an obvious gas trap before battling a manticore and its mate. The first manticore went down under a hail of flaming oil flasks <sigh>. The second beast put up more of a fight. Leif, normally a sturdy fellow, had been seriously mauled and was close to dying. I think the group has finally run out of burning oil!
- Low on everything including time the party headed out. Before doing so they went back to retrieve the blind hobgoblin and proceeded to prod him ahead to set off traps which he duly did. A blade trap severed his arms and he rapidly bled out. The group then placed his head (still glowing from the light spell) on a 10’ pole and used it to light their way. His severed arms were thrown ahead into rooms to see if a) they attracted monsters or b) set of traps. Even in death the hobgoblin leader found ways to be useful.
- On the way out the gnome spotted some unsafe ceilings to avoid. The group also ran into some zombies. The black hearted priest seized control of the undead through his turning attempt. His mindless slaves were pushed ahead and were promptly crushed by falling rocks before they got to do anything interesting.
- The band made it to the surface laden with treasure and XP. Success!
We managed to cram all of the above plus character creation in 3 hours. To keep things quick I write which monsters are in which room directly on the map. That way you can tell who is where and have them join in any battles at a glance. I heartily recommend Dyson’s Delve, it gives you just enough information to wing a memorable dungeon expedition and the maps are gold!