After our Total Party Kill a few weeks ago, we started a new game for our third D&D session, all playing new characters who entered the scenario in the aftermath of the previous game.
This time I’m playing a ranger, and I even have a backstory consistent with the world we’re playing in. [I should perhaps add that my backstory, hastily scrawled in a cafe over eggs and coffee that morning, comprised all of five dotpoints... Others wrote three pages... Nonetheless!]
This is our party:
- My ranger, pretty handy with a longsword and not too shabby on the skulking.
- An ‘innkeeper’s son’ who has no fighting skills whatsoever, but nonetheless seems to make things happen. (We suspect he’s a renegade mage/sorcerer.)
- A cleric with both longsword and oh-so-useful healing spells
- A rogue with a hidden agenda that appears to involve zombies…
Once again, our mission is to liberate the copper mine for the local lord — but this time there are rumours of an evil worse than mere goblins. Now the undead seem to be involved as well.
We meet the four idiots
In fact, by the time we barge up the river, swim across a tributary, and fend off walking skeletons, we’re pretty certain we know the fate of those four idiots who preceded us into the mine. Because our next challenge is to defeat three zombies — one wearing bardic robes, another looking remarkably like a druid, and a third appearing rather roguish. (We haven’t come across the undead ranger yet.)
In each of these skirmishes, my ranger took point and thankfully I rolled much better and actually managed to take some of them out. Huzzah! Methinks the longsword serves me much better than a few bardic spells and bow and arrow. (Although I would rather like a bow as well…)
And so we reach the mine, where all the goblins seem to be vanquished, and we see a dim light glowing down a tunnel, and hear a fell moaning on the air.
And a sleeping plainsman
My ranger sneaks down the tunnel and discerns a sleeping plainsman and a ward of protection. (I guess someone, maybe me, rolled a good spot check to see the latter.) We decide to immobilise and not kill him with the assistance of a sleep spell from the ‘innkeeper’s son’, and the plainsman proves to be somewhat informative once we win him over.
[The Game Master later revealed to us that in not killing the plainsman, we passed a test and so benefited from his information... He also revealed that he thought he might need a 'non-playing-character' (NPC) to get us novices out of a fix later... Yep!]
Turns out this plainsman has restrained a bunch of the undead behind a ward in one of the tunnels, and we persuade him to accompany us to explore another tunnel that seems the source of the moaning. Turns out there’s a shaft down into a lower chamber (with a fear spell to be combated — and a ghoul to be vanquished with a very stylish roll and thrust manoeuvre by my ranger). Turns out in this lower chamber there’s a chest with a poison needle in the lock (negotiated successfully by our rogue). Turns out there’s a statuette (source of the fear spell — which we smash to pieces) and some chain mail (acquired by our cleric) in the chest.
We open an urn with dire consequences
Turns out there are also several urns in the chamber, one of them containing magic (detected successfully). Our rogue wants to open one of the other urns… I’m reluctant, not because I think anything’s going to happen, but because I don’t think there’s anything to find. Nonetheless, she opens it…
Turns out a flash of LIGHTNING takes out THREE of us and we’re losing hit points every second.
Sigh. At this point I’m envisioning having to roll up another character.
But this is where the plainsman NPC comes in handy. Because he has healing spells. Thank the ranger-gods for that.
And that, more or less, is where we called it a night.
My highlight for the evening (aside from the shimmy down the rope, roll and thrust manoeuvre to kill the ghoul) came as we contemplated using bandages to bind-up a minor wound. The Game Master looked incredulous and said: “Nooo. The standard thing to do would be to use a healing spell…”
We laughed and laughed. Maybe you had to be there.