Sunday, 7 February 2010

Under Xylarthen's Tower

A few weeks ago, at a camp, I managed to run Jeff's awesome Under Xylanthen's Tower.

It was very awesome. Did I say awesome already?

Aaaannyway... The PDF of this nifty old-school dungeon crawl is here, while various things about it can be found here. We played using my own slightly tweaked version of Microlite20, with all the party being level 1. Of course, an M20 character at level 1 is rather more tough and competant than an old edition character, but the dungeon is meant for levels 1-6, so I figured it'd work out okay. The party almost entirely consisted of Rogues and Mages, and the general line-up changed a bit over the course of a few playing session, but particular mention goes to John (Pseudo-Arabian Assassin), Other John (Half Orc Cleric), Angus (Weasel-Attracting Human Rogue), and Margaret (Elf Mage).

For the first time, i actually forced the party to do the mapping themselves, and felt unreasonably gratified when they actually started making guesses about the layout of rooms they hadn't got to yet based on the map they had. It was even better when these guesses were wrong due to inconsistencies in their mapping.

The party explored most of the northern part of level 1, starting with setting fire to the room full of rubbish while trying to detach two weasels that had attached themselves to Angus's posterior. Margaret carefully incribed her Arcane Mark (her free-to-cast spell) everywhere they went, in case there was any surprise teleporting. They battled the Ogre Wight, and stole its necklace. Angus took responsibility for selling it once they returned to town, and I gave him the opportunity to misrepresent its value to his companions, a larcenous chance he took with great glee (although he did start feeling guilty later, and kept shouting people supplies he got "cheap" due to his "contacts").

The group found the hidden ladder to level 4, and they threw a stone with a Light spell down it. When one of the white apes (christened on the spot as "Barry") stuck its head in the chute to investigate, Angus carefully drew his shortsword, rolled a 20, and killed the rather surprised creature with one hit... from a shortsword dropped 2 stories. After hearing the enraged growling of the other white apes, the party decided that they should probably find the long way to level 4, and continued on.

They discovered the Hobgoblin urinal, and decoded the orge password. I personally foud it hilarious when they knocked on the door to the ogre's room, saw it wrenched open, timidly offered the password, and then weren't quite sure what to do when the ogre let them in. Eventually they decided that attacking an ogre while he was drinking a cup of tea was not on, and headed down to level 2.

They then tried to ambush the hobgoblin guards who demanded a toll, stuffed up spectacularly, and had to flee the level under a hail of crossbow bolts.

The one further expedition after that just discovered the petrified genie on level 1. I suspect next session, whenever that is, will probably focus on trying to find the genie's missing hand.