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Dungeon Mastering By Dummies

Ten, Eleven, Twelve

by NotYetMousse
Mar 31,2005


Tenth Session

As we left our poor protagonists a group of zombies had just arisen from their impromptu graves to feast on brains. This was met with a collective 'aw crap' with the exception of Thomas' player. This session happened to start pretty late with the snack run before play, and players needing to leave early for work the next day, so it turned into a big race to remember the combat rules.

Roll initiative! Jaj fires his crossbow, as Hikaru leaps into the pit, knocking loose the small zombie's cranium. Thomas calls upon his patron god Pelor to destroy several zombies after Hikaru takes a quick mauling.

The head popping off sparked a discussion about how descriptions like the above don't mean an undead is in fact, well, dead. I agreed that normally knocking the head off a zombie does not mean it's automatically destroyed, but noted a remarkably high damage roll which did indeed confirm one less zombie to worry about.

After a couple turns of picking at the trapped zombie horses, Hikaru jumps back into the pit for another mauling. Two zombies fumble, one destroying another, while the remaining zombie horse lunges at Hikaru only to be thrown aside, landing on top of Jaj.

This was easily breaking several rules: jump checks, trip attempts, and charging to name a few. But it just fit so well I couldn't resist! Zombie becomes a real challenge, Jaj takes some damage like the rest of the party, and it moves combat closer to an end.

Stuck under a rotting pile of horse meat Jaj lies limply. Hikaru jumps the zombie, riding and pummeling it with her fists. Hikaru defeats the horse, which promptly lands on Jaj, proving that a man, or in this case Jaj, can be beaten by a dead horse. After being dragged back to town all are healed and procure rations for the next journey.

Turning a phrase on it's ear and turning Jaj into a gooey mess. This memorable moment was joked about ever since. Yes, the players did completely forget to grab rations for their trip ahead. I'm trying to convince myself it was that they wanted to hunt for food and not that they completely forget they need to eat.

End session.

Eleventh and Twelfth Sessions

These two sessions are another large combat, sandwiched with some plot running.

Thinking the time has come to mosey on out of town (or in this case out of tucky), our intrepid heroes move southward.

South was an interesting direction. The party had gone north to the river, and west to the cave, and had come from the south to Rivertucky in the first session. With no map, compass, or even a star chart the group was certain to become lost in the coming winter blanket.

Having been so long since any had come this way, they naturally get lost in the swirling colors of the dying autumn. Turned around as they were, the group manages to head due west hitting the mountains in no time. In an attempt to recall their previous path they follow the mountains north. One night while Jaj was keeping watch some outsiders (technically goblinoids, but who cares) appear, intent to have some human stew. Alerting the others Jaj spies the number of goblins to be around sixty!

Aren't I the cruel GM for chucking so many goblins at a resting camp? It gets better from here.

The trio find themselves under a massive Magic Missile attack two rounds in a row. Barely surviving, with a handful of hit points between them, they fight on! Thomas cures, Hikaru splatters goblin all over, and Jaj is mostly useless. Jaj casts Shield on Hikaru, saving her from a Magic Missile cast by the goblin leader. Towards the end of combat Jaj is incapacitated, still fighting the goblin horde in his mind. In his dream state he slays four goblins, severing one's head with a powerful crossbow bolt.

This had no effect on combat, but at least Jaj got to be a hero in his dreams. He also rolls much better in them it seems.

Back in the real world, only one goblin remains, which Hikaru and Thomas double team. The goblin licks the blood from his lip after taking a shot from Thomas' mace. With a sneer the goblin looses a bolt of flame upon Hikaru, throwing her back several feet. Rushing the goblin Hikaru lands a swift series of blows, the final punch breaking through his collarbone, spraying Hikaru down with blood. After defeating the goblin menace, they discover that most of the terrible goblins were illusions. Among the remains are a bunch of spell component pouches, one remarkably purple and velvety.

Really there were about half a dozen goblins, each casting a minor illusion to scare the party away, leaving behind their loot. Didn't work, but I wasn't expecting it to. I just wanted more zombie fodder. The purple and velvety pouch was *supposed* to be a reference to a pouch I keep many of my own personal items. It was mistaken as a reference to something else entirely. I downed a few shots of IHOP syrup during the night, which may explain the wacky action the latter portion of this column.

End session.

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