Wednesday, May 29, 2024

They Met at a Tavern 4: Another Visit to the Temple of Dynss

Had some unscheduled time during the long holiday weekend, so posted up a last minute Meetup one-shot session. Fell back on OSE as the Game of Choice for the evening. I had four participants, one of whom was a Repeat Offender from the "Atticus Stumps" session.

Who did we have?

  • Varric the Dwarf (Jema)
  • Father Seva the Cleric (Alex)
  • Robert the Mage (Max)
  • Faldo the Fighter (Tom)
We rolled for Random Headgear (both the dwarf and cleric received Fancy Top Hats), asked a few roleplaying questions to get into the minds of the characters, and were off.

I had my usual sheaf of potential scenarios and decided to run another play-through of the Temple of Dynss, since I had softened it for the 1st level Deathbringer play-through, and wanted to see how the "intended" character levels fared.

The party was hired by the local Council to check out the temple, per usual. The dwarf insisted on a down payment for expenses. Thus fortified, the party made their way towards the temple. The only event of note en route was encountering a very large viper that was, fortunately, put down without mishap. But that was a really large viper...

Upon finding the temple, the party accessed it via the main stairs, sending the dwarf first to check out the dark space. Finding nothing, she called the rest of the party in. They were impressed by the size of the space and the toolmarks where the chambers had been carved from the bedrock.

They spotted the tapestries covering the accesses to the western chamber. Varric considered their possible sale value while Father Seva recommended that, as depictions of Chaos, they must be burned. The tapestries were set aside for future conflagrations.

The party inspected the western chamber and its rusted door, but didn't probe much. The dwarf wandered out into the western landing, where she spotted the statue. (Here's a later-edition player moment - the question of can I roll perception to see if it's trapped? Let me describe the statue first - then you can decide. Well, there are scorch marks around the statue, what do you think?) The mage offered his 10-foot pole, which the dwarf used to poke the statue. ZOT! and the dwarf now holds a 7-foot pole. She picked up the loose change from the alter.


At this point, the mage and dwarf got into an argument whether the world was round or flat. Which allowed the party to be surprised by a pair of patroling lizardfolk guards. Faldo took a mighty hit from one, and after a brief debate, the mage decided that there was no time like the present to use his single sleep spell. Thus disabled, the party bound the two guards. The Dice Gods were kind, and both were carrying a potion of healing. Faldo wasn't sure that he wanted to test out some sketchy lizardfolk potion and saved it for later. 

Waking one guard, Robert attempted to interrogate it. The guard responded by spitting blinding venom in Robert's eyes. Varric gave the guard a good punch. Bluffing that the poison was ineffective, Robert continued to question. The party learned that the guard followed a shaman who was raising "old warriors" to force rule over the tribe. While the guard spouted praise of the shaman, Varric wandered over to the rusty door and pried it open, finding a jade idol within. 

Tiring of the guard's ranting, the party coup-de-graced them and returned to the main eastern chamber, finding the stairs to the lower level. Thankfully, Robert's vision began to clear, as well. The party wisely(?) threw down a torch. It sputtered at the foot of the stairs, but flared enough to illuminate a bit of lower chamber. Again, Varric the dwarf descended first to see what might lurk below.

And was set upon by the two guards left by the shaman. The dwarf laid to, and a well-aimed flaming oil from above dispatched one guard. The party charged the remaining guard and exchanged blows. He stood his ground til death, and at the end of the affair everyone was injured, with Faldo zeroed out, but revived by Robert. I guess we try those mystery potions after all (one guard had a third, thank the Dice Gods). After the quaffing, everyone had seven hit points.

Charging further into the necropolis, the party could hear the shaman chanting to raise the Old Warriors. Movement was beginning in the catacombs, and time was of the essence! Fortunately, Father Seva had light, and cast it upon the shaman's eyes. The shaman's reptilian gods were not on his side, and he failed his save. The party dogpiled him, and all was quiet. 

Loot was gathered, and the interred warriors were burned, because Chaos. The party took the shaman's head as proof of their deeds, and returned to town, heroes. 

DM Notes:

A second good test run of the scenario. I'll need to go back into my recollection of descriptions and responses to player questions to see if I want to make any minor content changes. I find that I fill in blanks during play, and need to make notes of those details to improve the usability or consistency of the adventure.

The group was good and played their one-offs with personality. As I noted above, we had a moment of roll-playing questions regarding searching for traps, vs picking up on the description/telegraphing of the scorch marks. In spite of it, they poked at the statue. So be it. 

There were close calls with the damage dealt by the upgraded lizardfolk guards (two attacks/round: macuahuitlx2 or macuahuitl+spit). 

I have also noticed that the last few one shot groups have been a mixed bag on stealth  with some door-kickers, and some slinking about. It may also be attributed to whether players select stealthy PCs. This party realized, as they quaffed their recovered healing potions and accounted their diminished hit points, that sending the dwarf alone into the dark wasn't always the best choice. The final assault on the shaman was with a bit more strategy...

Overall, a good session, with everyone having a moment to RP and act. Touch and go at the end, as the hp diminshed at the same rate as opponents.   

The Usual Suspects will be back at it on Sunday, back home in Neuforde, headed into a direction unknown. I should probably make up some notes...

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