The sixth (wow yeah count them) of our open gaming sessions happened on the 21st, a week late because of huge scheduling conflicts - in the end, the rest of the players decided they'd rather have it at another time so that I could DM, rather than anyone else volunteering to run a game. Next month we're going to have to change things again, as our usual venue will be occupied - the Leicester Comedy Festival is on in February and most of the places we could meet in the city will be hosting gigs. So, we're having a night off from meeting in public (I know that kinda defeats the point of an open gaming session but it's only one month) to meet at one of the players' houses.
Anyway, the session started in the inn frequented by adventurers coming to Rift City. There, Sven the Dwarf, Frost the Fighter, Gwynthor the Cleric, Gibbet the Thief and Poly the Magic User were breakfasting and discussing their assault on the caves when they were approached by Berg, another Dwarf and Cnut, another Fighter, asking if they could join the party for a bit of dungeon-delving.
While they were still breakfasting, they were also joined by Galen the Elf, who (being a bit richer than the others as the only PC survivor of the successful raid at the last session) had decided to take up more salubrious accommodation and had taken a room at the Scoundrels' House, a more up-market place all together.
I also supplied the players with a map of the main parts of Rift City; apart from their inn, I've marked on four of the main drinking establishments, the main market area at 'The Circus', a couple of temples and a few other locations of note. Some of these turn up in the large rumour-table I have (100 rumours culled from a variety of sources - the inns and rumours are bound together if you get them from the Donjon site, but not from Inkwell Ideas - which is fine, I need more than six rumours per inn). Some of them have adventures attached all of their own. I won't say which.
|Rift City map, including several sites from various random rumour sources...|
So anyway the party got itself together at last and set off for the caves. They decided that they might as well go after Orcs - rescuing the poor enslaved Gnome had obviously touched the conscience of... well Galen probably, he was the only PC to have gotten out alive, but he must have been dashed persuasive.
So, they ventured in: they passed the body of Bob the Fighter (who died in sight of the exit last time); no Kobolds this time but in one of the rooms that had been emptied last session, a Crab Spider attacked Galen.
Galen is approximately as armoured as the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. His nose may count as a vulnerable location but I'm not sure. Whatever, even with dropping from the ceiling with surprise, the Crab Spider was unable to bite Galen before the rest of the party made it into Spider jam. Polly was desperately trying to save any interesting parts to take back to the wizard in town who's collecting such things, but couldn't really identify enough bits in the mush to be of use.
A bit further on - Ghouls, two of them. There are a lot of them around, in 6 sessions there have been at least 3 encounters with Ghouls. Gwynthor tried to Turn them but failed, and they moved to attack. Again, 8 party members made short work of them. No-one was bitten. No-one was paralysed. They were lucky.
They were lucky with Wandering Monsters too. I kept rolling high. No monsters.
They pushed on, looking for the Orcish slavers. But they found some Elves, three of them, a party like themselves out for the killing of monsters and the liberation of treasure - for noble purposes of course. Not only was Galen an Elf, but Sven the Dwarf also speaks Elvish, so the Elves weren't immediately hostile. Some information and wishes for a successful quest were exchanged, Sven was declared to be a noble comrade who would be remembered in the stories of their people, and then as the Elves went past, Gibbet pick-pocketed them, gaining a handful of coins for his trouble.
Several empty rooms, recently cleared - by the party, 'yesterday' in fact. There was some discussion about whether to turn left or right at the furthest point - they turned left but just to do one last room before turning right for home again. And the room happened to be one in which there was some actual treasure. A locked chest, with a poison needle trap - and Gibbet managed, the dice-gods alone know how, to get it open without killing himself. The loot was counted and divided - 300SP, 20GP and two huge gems - and the party decided to high-tail it to the exit.
And then, in the distance, more figures. This was it turns out another NPC party. The only wandering monster in the whole session was basically friendly. They propositioned Berg (the leader of the other pary was a male Dwarf, and Berg a female - they arranged a meeting later that evening), wished the PCs luck, and warned them the Orcs and Skeletons lay between them and the exit before heading off to the south-east, further into the cave system.
Indeed, a few moments later, the PCs found the cave where the eight Skeletons were. Gwynthor again began trying to compel them by the power of Yrt (a god who mostly manifests himself through pine-cones, or this at least is what Gwynthor believes). Gwynthor shouted at them and commanded them by the power of Yrt not to resist; the rest of the party then battered them to death... or, more to death.
One more room and one more room... after the Skeletons, who were disappointingly short of treasure, the two Dwarves entered another room, that smelled bad and had piles of droppings on the floor - from bats, probably. But the party didn't care, they were treasure-hunting. Unfortunately Sven set off a floor-trap and fell 10'. Lowering Gibbet down on a rope to see how Sven was, the PCs realised their Dwarven comrade was going to soon bleed out. Alas, Gibbet was unable to staunch Sven's wounds and the noble Dwarf died of a broken beard (or something).
Then... the party decided to argue for ages about how to divvy up all the loot. Eventually I rolled a few dice and said "your argument is interrupted by an axe smacking into the wall above you". The Orcs they'd been looking for, merely a few tens of yards up the corridor, had come looking for them having heard the commotion. But, the Orcs were attacking superior numbers of better-armoured foes. They threw their hand-axes as they charged, but they never even made it into hand-to-hand. By the time Polly used her 'Sleep' spell on them more than half were already dead. The rest had their throats cut and their possessions looted, and then it was off home to sell the weapons and gems and divide up the gold, another successful day of murder-hoboing accomplished, the only fly in the ointment the death of Sven Olafson, noble Dwarf and friend of Elves, not to mention wolves everywhere.