Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Rift City - Session 18

We've reached 18 sessions now with the Rift City campaign.

At this session, the party consisted of:

Berg (1st Level Dwarf)
Galen (2nd Level Elf)
Gene (2nd Level Fighter)
Gwynthor (2nd Level Cleric)
Karensa (1st Level Elf)
Marl (1st Level Halfling)
Shazam (1st Level Elf)

The PCs decided to head back to the area they're calling the 'Bath-house of Blibdoolpoolp' - where, previously, they've encountered Kobolds, Orcs, Fire Beetle, Rats, Bats, Undead and Harpies. The Harpies had left the place in a bit of a state, with smashed furniture and guano all over the place, but as there was no fresh guano, it looked like the surviving Harpy hadn't returned since the last session.

Instead, the PCs found that the entrance rooms had been taken over by Bugbears. There were 5 of them and these proved quite tough for the party, as Berg (who was on point) found to her cost, taking a nasty sword-to-the-head that did 7pts of damage rendering her quite poorly. However, the superior armour of the PCs won out pretty quickly, as the Bugbears found it hard to make their attacks count, and the party butchered them (the Bugbears having passed morale tests that might reasonably have seen them flee). Gwynthor immediately healed Berg as best he could with his clerical magic, but she only got a few points back. She spent the rest of the session a bit more in the middle rank after that. Searching the room and the corpses, the party found some coinage, gems, jewellery and a shiny shield, that Berg claimed.

Heading south out of the Bugbears' room, the party crossed a corridor and barged down another door. Inside they found a Snake but managed to dispatch it without incident. It was a very weak snake I have to say, it only had 1hp. I don't remember putting that snake in that room, but I must have done... I wonder now why I did it. Searching around the room, the PCs found an exit taking them down to the second level. Leaving that for another day, they headed back to the areas that they'd already seen.

Coming out of the snake-room, the PCs encountered some Dwarves, who were also on an adventure. Taking the lead, Berg told them about the stairs down. They seemed quite pleased at that and headed in that direction.

Going the other way, the PCs headed for the waterfall that they discovered at the last session. The corridor beyond was dark, so the water acted a bit like a mirror, not giving them much clue as to what was beyond, or how thick it was. It was also cold and not susceptible to infravision. Marl volunteered to find out how far the waterfall extended, and holding his shield above his head like an umbrella, pushed his way in and found out is was little more than a hand-span wide. The rest of the party adopted the same technique with their shields, and they made it through the water-curtain easily and only a little damp around the edges.

Beyond it they discovered that the corridor branched into three, to the right (north), the left (south) and straight on (west). Opting for the right-hand passage, but unable to see the end of it, the party ventured along it until it reached a left turn. After that the corridor continued westward again.

The next room that the party encountered was large, and dark, and had pillars. The party (who mostly have infravision) worked out it was a square with a kind of balcony or gallery round it. Not knowing what was lurking up there, the demi-human PCs tried to cautiously creep around to see if they could find a staircase, while Gene and Gwynthor waited behind out of the way. After a short while, however, there was a shout (though none of the party speak Kobold, they've encountered plenty in the last couple of weeks and I told them it sounded like a Kobold shout) and arrows started to come from above as the party had been spotted. Judicious use of magically-induced sleep, however, rendered the Kobolds comatose and the PCs, finding the spiral stair in the corner, ran up and began slitting their throats. There wasn't much looting to be had however, so collecting their lantern-using colleagues, they pressed on.

Another room, this one apparently empty, and then a third room since passing through the waterfall that was a bit of a puzzle. There was a large and impressive doorway, monumental even, with carved and tiled sections, but unfortunately it was on the inside, and also pretty large. There was no obvious way to take it down or apart in order to get it back to the city to sell as looted art. While they were puzzling about it, some stinky lizardy humanoids wandered in - Troglodytes! Luckily the PCs made a lot of saves v poison (I don't think anyone was affected at all) but one PC (Marl I think) was injured. However, the Trogs were disposed of fairly rapidly and the PCs consoled themselves with looting the bodies before high-tailing it out and back to town before anything else nasty found them.

I don't think anyone went up a level at this session but I may have just forgotten. We shall have to see what the next session brings, when we shall take our annual holiday from our usual venue as February is the time of the Leicester Comedy Festival and paying punters will be using the room. We're decamping a couple of miles away to the abode of Galan and Berg, who have kindly offered up their dining-room table for the evening, so thanks muchly to them.

In other news, I'm a bit astounded that we have kept this going to be honest, 18 months is not the longest I've played in a campaign but probably 18 sessions is the longest I've managed to keep a campign running! This has happened once a month for a year and a half in a public place (except for when we have to vacate in February) as an open table and I'm quite impressed that we have managed to do that - hurrah for us, and thanks to every one of the 20 or so players who've been involved, whether you've been to one session or 15 (I know I'm the only person to have been to every one)! I'll say here's to another 18 months - and certainly I'd be very happy if the Wandering Monster Table keeps going for another 18 months or more. Whether that will necessarily be the Rift City Campaign I don't know but the experiment in 'public-access gaming' I think has been pretty successful so far, and Basic D&D seems a really good game for this format - so long may it continue!


  1. I know we are enjoying the retro gaming and have found some more recruits. Once a month I think is a key part, along with the one-shot style of each adventure. With busy (family) lives few people can commit to the once a week style of play.

    The lost time taken getting back to our location in the dungeon may be come a factor when we descend to level 2 as there does seem to be a lot of re-population in the 12 hours we are absent.

  2. Glad you are enjoying it. It does see to be working as a format and I'm enjoying running it.

    As for the travel-time, if you're planning an expedition to level two you have some options - there are cave-entrances on the right (downhill) side of the road for instance. There are also some entrances and/or exits that haven't been explored, and maybe more to find. There are definitely more connections between Level 1 and Level 2 that you haven't found. But I agree, if you're relying on the single staircase you've so-far identified that might not allow much time given that you have possibly have to fight your way through a couple of rooms to get to it.

  3. Yes, it was Marl that was injured! I've really enjoyed playing in the sessions; just sad I can only make it infrequently. Once a month certainly works and in a way a public place helps as with the 75 minute trip I have I often get there a bit early and can sit and have a pint whilst I wait :)