NIGHTWICK ABBEY: The Purple Eater of People, Session 7


Due to the holidays, I was not able to write the prior session up, so 7 and 8 will be back to back.


The Party

Blossom (Rogue 1)
Bertol (Rogue 1)
Mayfly (Magic-User 1)
Gurkle (Frogling 1)
Gelb (Fighter 1) 
Hirelings: Red, Curly, Pavel, Sibet, Assmus, Kunrat

At the Medusa's Head...

In the two weeks sense the last outing the party spends some time patching themselves up. Mayfly takes this opportunity to transcribe a Protection from Evil scroll given it was this spell that saved him from the iron statues in the mausoleum. In addition, Mayfly converted some of his silver into an adornment for his person-- a necklace in the constellation of the Basilisk. 

(Player Note: Adornment allows conversion of coin into XP for a 2:1 basis)

Session 7 Map;
new exploration (purple)
RIGHT TOWER: The party chose once again the right tower as it is the best-known tower and descended once more into Nightwick Abbey.

NORTHWESTERN DOOR: The party creeps through familiar territory and arrives at the southern door to the Reading Room. As a precaution, two previous doors were spiked to allow quick exit.

SOUTHERN HALLWAY: Gelb gets covered in purple viscous fluid after cracking the door trying to get it open. The second attempt was a success and the party could see a long hallway with a door east and west.

BATTLE IN THE SOUTHERN HALLWAY: As the party moves south, a rushling of robe from the north fills the group with dread. The battleline is drawn at the door. The party quickly forms up. Fighter Gelb and man-at-arms Kunrat are in the front rank with Red and Currly forming the second rank with spears. Bertol looks for opportunity while Mayfly and Blossum throw harsh language.

The party sezies the iniative and Kunrat plants his axe deep into the torso of the first cultist-- one down! Red and Gelb send another back to the Pit to join his friend! The scrum shift as more cultist unfazed by death seek to bleed the party and push forth.  Next round, Gleb scores a hit and Kunrat follows with a killing blow. Blood lusted the cultist fight on but zeal does not make up for their lack of skill-- the party takes only a few scapes. Kunrat lands a blow which is followed quickly by spear stabs from Currly and Red yeild anothing cultist corpse! But vengence draws near as Gelb is severly injured in a follow-up attack. At the thought of losing a fellow human to this satantic nest, Red returns Gelb's injury with a killing blow! Howling the cultist continue their assault, but more are laid to rest as the party number has them at a 4 to 1 ratio now.

NOT A MOMENTS REST: The party checks the eastern door, hears nothing, and pops it open-- disturbing to cadavarites who rush the party! Wary from the battle, Gurkle takes a nasty blow from fetid fingernails. Enraged the party responds with force to avenge the favored frog. A few silvers are found in reward (7 SP)

DINING HALL DEPECTIONS OF GOD: The frogling showing no fear encourages the party to press on. Following the loud THWACK! THWACK! the party moves throught the western door. The dining hall is old and crumbling. Tables break and chair desentigrate at the slighest pressure. The only thing not touched by age is a stone base relief to the north.

Like earlier depections of The Lady, this art too is heterical showing the perfect sphere of God as flattened top and bottom like a slightly squished ball. The stone the depiction is made out of almost seems like dull metal and very smooth to the touch. Also odd is that this sphere does not sit on the top of the world as it normally should, but instead sits over The Pit. And enthroned in The Pit is the devil-lord Asmodeus and the crown of many-eyes (picture left).

THE HEAD BUTCHER: As Mayfly concludes the investigations of the art, a vile stench preceeds a thunderous knock at one of the southern doors. Before one can say "sorry we don't want any", the door explodes as a large mass of devilman squeezes its odius bulk through the door. The monsterous clever in hand is more than enough to send the party rushing to the door. Poor Gurkle is targeted due to owning a pair of tasty frog legs-- highly valued to the denizens of Nightwick (RIP Burp Frogling). The attack is vicious but Gurkle is able to make it out alive as the party bolts toward the exit! It was only the poor hireling Sibit who might have been hangstrung by Bertol in order to distract the giant devilman. But who knows?! It was all so confusing with the runing, the screaming, and the eye-watering stench no one could see or think straight.

While knowlege is its own reward, silver is a lot shinier and pays for drink, but alas there was no cutlery to steal this time. But the party did sharpen its swords on 8 cultists and 2 cadaverites (~200 XP)

...back to The Medusa's Head.

IN THE OSR THERE ARE TWO POLES: OSR-V the Revival (Preservation) vs. OSR-N the Renaissance (Principles)

Late anaphase of mitosis (sciencephototlibrary)

I hate when I write a thoughtful response on Reddit and not this blog. So here it is repeated and maybe I am just tilting at windmills. 

Previously I have linked to this interesting series of posts over at the Simulacrum blog about the history of the OSR. Bonus points for Simulacrum using the frog card from Talisman as a graphic. Additional bonus point for editing of one of the new Battletech manuals.

And while the post divides the OSR into four categories, I think the preservation vs. principles divides things most cleanly, and in the end its these two factors that really matter the most:

Old-School Revival (OSR-V) is concerned with access and preservation of old-school D&D (mainly AD&D) as envisioned by Gary Gygax. The focus is on, not system mastery as 3e+, but at least system familiarity; includes non-D&D properties like Call of Cthulhu. 

Call of Cthulhu because, while not compatible with D&D, the system and even new adventure design hasn't changed really since its inception. Like AD&D, the adventures seem to ask players to use system familiarity to navigate tropes associated with the game. Mainly that most CoC adventures are oriented around a revelation not a true investigation.

Old-School Renaissance (OSR-N) is concerned with the re-imagined principles of old-school D&D (mainly BX) as expressed in the Principia Aprocrypha. OSR-N adds new ideas  also about at-the-table utility, layout, and information design (and in some ways 'zine-based publishing); includes non-D&D properties like MOTHERSHIP

MOTHERSHIP because while not compatible with D&D, the system and adventures ask of players similar things to D&D-based OSR-N modules: use player-skill to survive and explore strange environs. 

D&D Compatability is a red herring (?): I am not big on the idea of compatibility being a defining factor. As I alluded to in my OSR-N definition, if two systems are based on the same principles governing what is expected of the game-judge and players (MOTHERSHIP and BX D&D) then their systems most likely will "scale" with the adventures of the other. I think you could run most MOTHERSHIP adventures with BX D&D and vice versa. Also, the same system, like BX D&D, can straddle both OSR-V and OSR-N, so we have to look at the supplement/adventure/'zine/module/megadungeon and/or the DM's approach to play to understand what is intended.

Let's return to Call of Cthulhu for a moment because I believe discussing the OSR outside of D&D helps remove some "emotional baggage" that comes with the discussion. It also allows us a model that really only has, for all intents and purposes, a single edition (1). 

Looking at the rulebooks, CoC is a solid OSR-V because little has changed in rules since 1981. And pretty much all the adventures, big or small, follow a similar path of revelation. Act I established the mystery, Act II introduces the clues and antagonists, and Act III closes with the reveal of eldritch involvement (surprised/not surprised!). Familiarity with the CoC system will allow players to successfully navigate each act. Knowing where to apply Spot Hidden checks for plot-moving clues. Knowing who is most likely the secret cultist among the NPCs or has additional clues to hide. And knowing that while shotguns rarely work, dynamite almost always does. Strong preservation of the traditional method of play: mystery, investigate, then fight/big reveal + going insane.

But you can transmute CoC into OSR-N by altering the structure of the typical adventure from a revelation into an actual investigation. Now with an investigation structure, you achieve something more akin to asking players to use their own skill to explore a hostile landscape (figuratively and literally if they end up on Yuggoth) to solve a true mystery. 

The social landscape of victim(s), suspects, points of interest, and such is now more similar to a Jaquaysed dungeon, with vital points of interest and opposition spread out over a landscape that must be explored. This is very different from traditional CoC revelations which are like linear 2e "adventure paths" with their series of scenes strung together like beads. And the utility and layout required by an investigative style of CoC will also result in a change of art style. This is because the Keeper will have to have rapid access to critical information as players now will come by it through a variety of ways and methods instead of in the manner anticipated by the module writer. 

Summary: As before, I recommend the original series of posts. They cover a great deal of history with a lot of the movers and shakers. But at the core of serval debates of the OSR, I think are the cosmic forces and alignments of preservation vs. principles. Evidence of this is the recent "art-punk" dust-up where the preservationist/Revival faction felt the principle/Renaissance faction had gone a step too far. Mork-Borg being identified as the chaos daemon at the heart of it.

EDIT: And just for the record, I'm in the OSR-N camp. I prefer the weird, phantasmagoric, surreal, fey, apocalyptic, fairy-tale and dream-like over preservation of Gygax's exact vision of D&D.

(1) CoC is on its 7th edition, but it varies little in each of those editions compared to D&D's 5 editions plus basic lines.

CAVE EVIL: Random Thoughts on Barrowmaze Campaign ft. PC as Cultists


S. Poag bringing it as always for the older BARROWMAZE cover

Despite running Archaia, I think Barrowmaze might be the stronger of the two modules. Here are just some random thoughts I had post-Christmas while flipping through my copy. Would it be more fun if players were either Acolytes of Orcus (clerics) or Necrolytes of Set (magic-users) instead of regular adventurers? 

  • Mono-Faction Play With All PCs Would Be Part of One Faction: Sorta a Cave Evil vibe meets The Venture Brother's Monarch. Each group must be on the lookout for a specific set of magic items,  objectives, and the Tablet. And of course, kill the other guys.
  • Different Classes for Each Faction: Maybe even different character classes for each faction, nothing too different, but more like a reskinning. Or maybe just use KNAVE.
  • Hide From the Normies: Basically, you can shop in town, but don't let the law or the church find out what you are
  • Carousing Ritual Table: Going with a baddies campaign, instead of a carousing table, characters must participate in a similar mechanism that gives them supplies, gear, and undead minions for the next session?
    • Must do this at the end of every session-- draw upper-level cult leadership ire if you don't make it on time. Yes it sucks, but you're in a not nice cult.
    • Have results ranging from "mildly useful" to "YOU are the sacrifice!"
  • Spread the Faith: Using some bits from my "cleric campaign" maybe an objective would be to set up shrines to Nurgle and your faction to win favor. Add a sorta area control element to the greater dungeon. 
    • Maybe have some Chainmail level dust-ups when things get slow. Just have the players fight a battle for some portion of the dungeon
  • Dungeon Weather: I'd certainly want a Barrowmaze-specific Overloaded Encounter Die
  • Undead Monster Parts: Maybe also each faction has a use for some pieces of undead they kill: salts, biles, and ectoplasm

Necrolytes of Set

Acolytes of Orcus

HOW COSTAL WIZARDS PLAY BX D&D: House Rules From 5e Designers

Sidney Sime

I was looking in my "Shared With Me" folder on my Google Drive and came across what appears to be a file by that Mike Mearls outlining his house rules for BX D&D- one of his favorite editions. I reproduced them below.

The context for the rules seems to be tricks picked up from 3e/4e experience and applied to BX D&D rather than house rules that arose at the time he might have played BX. I think.

Points of interest:

  • Save throws as just d20 DC checks
  • Theif skills are DC check but with a bonus based on the BX % divided by 5. So "open locks" in BX starts at 15%, by these house rules it would be a d20 DC check with a +3 bonus
  • Starting HP = Max HP + half CON score (which on average should allow 1-2 extra hits)
  • Looks like race-as-class is split to "race" and "class" but with a few bonuses. For instance, you could be a dwarf magic user which would allow you to increase your HD size one step (d4 --> d6), use "find/remove traps" as a thief, and have infravision
It is interesting that the changes are centered around "classic problems": 
  • Standardizing resolution mechanics (d20 4 eva) and removing % rolls and I'm sure X-in-6
  • Increasing survivability by increasing HD size and HP amount
  • Increasing player options by expanding access to magic, weapons, and starting character combinations (16 combinations vs. 7 BX classes) 

Mike Mearls 1981 D&D House Rules

Ability Mods: We use the 3e/4e convention (+1 or -1 per 2 above/below 10)

Saving Throws: These are ability checks, DC determined by DM

Attacks: Ability check, plus a class-based bonus

Fighter: +1 every odd level

Cleric/Thief: +1 at level 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18

Magic-User: No bonus

Thief Abilities: These work a bit differently.

  • Open Locks, Find or Remove Traps, Pick Pockets, Hide in Shadows are all things only thieves can do. Hide in shadows is literally that - hide in situations where other people can’t. The thief makes a check with a bonus equal to the % listed on page B8 divided by 5.
  • Move Silently, Climb Sheer Surfaces, Hear Noise are all things that anyone can try. The rogue has the advantage when he tries any of them.

Advantage: Roll an extra d20, take the highest result. If you get advantage more than once, take an extra die.

Disadvantage: Roll an extra die, but take the lowest. If you have advantage, disadvantage zaps one die per instance of disadvantage.

Hit Points: Upgrade everyone by one die type, you get maximum hit points at level 1 + half your Constitution score.

Hit Dice: You can use your hit dice to heal. You get hit dice equal to your total HD, spend them when resting, each die gets a bonus equal to your Con modifier.


  • Dwarves: Increase class’s hit die by one size. Infravision 60 feet. Can use Find or Remove Traps in underground locations.
  • Elves: Can alternate between magic-user and any other class, have infravision 60 feet.
  • Halflings: Can Hide in Shadows as a thief, get a +2 bonus to AC, but use an HD one step smaller and can’t use two-handed weapons.
  • Humans: Gain a +1 bonus to any two stats, or +2 to one stat (maximum 18).

Weapons: d4, d6, d8, or d12, class access based on die size

Fighter: All

Cleric: d6, bludgeoning d8

Thief: d6

Magic-User: d4

HOLE IN THE OAK PLAYTHROUGH: A Fairy Tale of Murderous Whimsy

Once Upon A Time...

There were four brave adventurers Desmano the Cleric, Grom the Fighter, Rodu the Illusionist, and Tadu the Thief, who descended into the shimmering depth of the Incandescent Grottoes. 

But this story will not be about them-- because they all electrocuted themselves mucking about with some levers and an electrified portcullis. Instead, this story will be about eight brave adventurers...

The Dwarf brothers Abo and Bo, Carl the Thief, Don and Rex the Clerics of the Seven Sisters of Sorrow, Changar the Fighter, Melf the Magic-User, and Plexa the Elf,

...descending into the mysterious Hole In The Oak.

(DM NOTE: Basically the party TPK'd so I grabbed the next closest book to me which was Hole in the Oak. The fantastic formatting allowed us to just jump right in.)


01. BOTTOM of the SHAFT: The party's first problem was how to get all eight of their members down. Since they randomly rolled for equipment, the magic-user's rope was tied off on some rocks at the top and Carl the Thief secured the other end. After dropping a torch down to the bottom and confirming nothing was amiss, the party descended.

02. JUNCTION & 3. GRABBING ROOTS: Their first choice was turning east and running into a snarl of roots. A spear was the first item quickly lost to the grasping things. That won't do. The party attempt to cut through the roots losing a few more pieces of gear. After that, they decide to head west because it was the least amount of trouble.

10. TRIGGERED ILLUSION: The party is brought up short by the illusion of a wizard with a white-whiskered beard. The pause proves unfortunate as it allows a crab-spider to creep up from behind. Father Rex in the back holds the line as the dwarves and Changar the Fighter push back in rank to slay the beast!

11. TELEPORT CIRCLE: After a few spider-crab claws are taken for later roasting, the party pushes north into a room dominated by a wide round rug. The players, themselves being vets of old-school play, are immediately are suspicious. The probe again with their trusty 10' pole which- poof- vanishes! They also watched as a group of frogs hopped over the rug and turned north- many disappeared in the process. The group formed-up tight and moved to the west door. Theif picked it and they were inside. 

12. TINY PEOPLE: The party finds themselves perplexed by the jars of tiny dead people. A few a crushed in the investigation process and ultimately some tiny burials are performed by the clerics (DM NOTE: Gave them +1 on any next roll in response). They grabbed the spell scroll, left, and continued north.

15. TREASURE & PIT: Piles of gold and silver chalices spur Carl the Theif to leap the pit. Precious minutes are spent eyeing the treasure pile in an attempt to see if there are any traps. Players decide to go for it only see the illusion vanish leaving being a single foot-high wooden chess piece. They take it. Could be useful later. It's also at this juncture the players come across the phantasmal form of Bozurah who curses them all with mustaches!

(DM NOTE: Ended session 1 right here. For non-megadungeon adventures, I generally don't require exit from the dungeon. However, maybe that is an overall good rule for all dungeon adventures because it allows the players to take stock of what they've experienced and adjust.)


18. DROWNED CORPSES: The party makes its way north and falls into the waiting ghouls' trap. At first, the party attempts to offer some of the tiny bottled humans they collected from Room #12. However, too dry and crunchy, but the ghouls offer them the option to fetch them fauns for dinner or become the dinner.

(DM NOTE: To better simulate this following, I just replaced "spoor" or "clue" on my Overloaded Encounter Die table with "Ghouls following PCs". Made it easy to remember and its a way to ratch up tension with the PCs).

16. TROGLODYTES: Reversing south our 8 heroes examine two locked doors to the east. Carl the Thief is able to pick the second door. Noting the foul stench and seeing the 3 reptilian figures hunched in the dark, both clerics call for an attack. Bursting through the door the party gains surprise! Carl's first swing is a miss, but Plexa the Elf follows up with a brutal sword through the heart of the smallest monster! A melee ensues, with the foul stench (of innocence perhaps because these monsters were just eating fish) choking the PCs, the monsters (maybe defending their home) were able to land some solid blows. But the melee prowess of cleric, dwarf, elf and thief proved too much!

The party made a thorough search of the room, discovering the three faces on the walls and the secret room therein. Avoiding the poison-trapped chest, the party made a nice discovery of a treasure worth 2000 GP + a 400 GP bracelet. Melf took the bracelet, but the party thought it too much to carry and vowed to return.

(DM NOTE: I've been trying this game the whole 2-in-6 for all thief skills and I like it. I think the X-in-6 matches a lot of BX adjudication and helps provide a bump in the starting skills. The X-in-6 thief class variant is also used in the Nightwick Abbey game I play with similar satisfaction. I also got a lot of good laughs out of the players' "guilt" over this fight. I really hammed up how these trogs had their dinner interrupted by some murderous band of burglars led by zealots.)

19. GHOUL BAY: Hauling the trog bodies back to the ghouls, the party hopes to make a deal that this fulfills their obligation. And with some luck, it does! (DM NOTE: Good RxN roll). The PCs quickly deal with the half-torso ghoul here and make a search of the driftwood and bones pile-- finding yet more treasure:  They discover a sack full of gems worth ~2000 GP total and a crystal dagger (+1).

20. FISHING BAY: Back south again as the ghouls were finishing their meal. After eyeing the party up, the ghouls repeated their want of faun flesh before slinking away. The party scurried back to Room #16 and locked the doors behind them. They then went through the east door in the room and up to Room #20- the fishing spot of the trogs. Finding nothing they turned south again to an unexplored hallway.

22. THE HALL OF KINGS: The party enters this hall of six statues of past kings. And are presented with quite a few options here: south archway, west archway, and to the east- four doors. Of the eastern doors, they find two locked but behind one is a loud rumbling snore-- they don't want to mess with that one. After some deliberation, they travel south to the archway.

(DM NOTE: I just had the players make up a few names and one notable deed.)

14. THE BLADE TRAP: The players knew something was up the minute I described an archway with skulls carved in it. That got a big chuckle. The dwarven brothers and thief kicked into find the trap mode and worked out the pressure plate. They spiked it to not depress and looted the skeletal body there. Then continued south then to the west to Room #4.

04. FACES OF THE DEEP: The party arrived at this early archway and were struck by the faces formed out of roots. In a gravelly unison, the root-face collective outlined how to receive information. The party laid out 10 GP for information and was told the location of a lost tomb and about the remains of an underground temple.


33, 34, 35. BATS, PILLAR, & FACE DOOR: With new information in hand, the party turns east toward the cave complex. They take note of the two entrances to the north as they march east through the cave complex to arrive at three doors with faces on them: bull, jester, lion. 

And to their delight, they find the 10-foot pole (1-2 frogs as well) lost to the rug that was teleported here! They listen to each but decide the snorting bull is the way forward.

42. DRIPPING GROTTO: The players carefully navigate this room but continue north.

43. HOLES AND CREVICES: Surounded by holes in the natural rock that would just comfortably fit a human hand, the players decide to not risk going after anything they see sparkling. North they go!

44. LIZARD'S DEN: On their walk north, they players do take note of the hallway to the west which opens into a chamber containing a nest with several large eggs.

46. LIZARD SHIRNE: The players find out what laid those eggs. And unfortunately these giant lizards did not like the intrusion and took an immediate and aggressive stance ((DM NOTE: Bad RxN roll)! As the party took up their fighting formation and locked eyes with the lizards, strange visions of erotic lizardfolk rituals overtook most of the party's vision... which was really unfortunate as the fighter was quickly bitten in half! The three other "pets" of an era long past, launched into the remaining members. Each beast in turn obtained a mouthful of hero! 

With this new vision of blood shed replacing the lizard-induced one, the remaining party members turned and fled. But first they took eggs from the lizard's nest in Room #44 and made their way out of the oak (suprisingly forgetting to go back for their hidden treasure).

...the end!

In a sorta epilogue Carl the Thief, Father Don, and Melf the Magic-User (and his man-servent) returned to Cliff's End to sell the lizard eggs to two different nobel factions. 

(DM NOTE: For the selling of the eggs I just used the Retainer Negotiation table and we role-played out the deal. It was a lot of fun watching the players come up with reasons why selling potentially giant erotic-vision-inducing lizards was a good idea. There was often mention of a "giant-lizard gap" in the nobel's army they wouldn't want to fall back on.

I also had the players come up with defining features of the nobel houses. And if the game had continued I would have just used the Encounter Reaction table to determine the relationship of the nobel houses to each other. 

If I were to pick this adventure up again, I might just have the new players pick up from where the old player left off. A nobel house wants their own giant lizard eggs ["There is a strategic gap in our military."] and has hired the party to retrieve them. I would use some standard restock methods and maybe a new treasure to re-balance the total amount.)


Shaded areas are those the party explored in
Session 1 (yellow), Session 2 (pink), & Session 3 (blue)



HISTORY OF THE OSR: And 1st Level Adventures to Get You Started

Kieth over at Simulacrum has a nice multi-part history of the OSR. This link jumps to the portion (part V) I am more familiar with and roughly marks my entry into the OSR.

Also on the blog is a very nice list of starting adventures with notes. Several I was not aware of and Lair of the Lamb being the only notable omission.

COMBAT MANEUVER: Or Can You Shove A Werewolf Off A Cliff?


There is a lot of kudos going around about maneuvers in D&D made simple by a very nice rule brought to light on Odd Skull from an earlier post on Tales from the Rambling BumblersThe gist of the rule is this: 

Attacker declares a maneuver. If the to-hit roll is a success, the defender can choose to either accept the maneuver OR take normal weapon damage.

Very elegant, easy-to-understand rule. Which is the reason its caught fire in the D&D think-space. And I like it too. Now, the Odd Skull post acknowledges that this rule most likely will not allow a PC to shove a full HP opponent into lava. The opponent will always accept the damage. 

But this brings up some questions for me: 

(1) What about opponents who are immune to normal damage? A werewolf would then accept all damage from non-magic, non-silver weapons bringing it to 0. So effectively the PCs would be unable to maneuver the werewolf off a cliff. But being able to maneuver such opponents can allow low-level parties to overcome or defeat them. Like lassoing them to a rock which you then push over a cliff. Or pinning it with a couple of pitchforks.

(2) If you can't force the maneuver during a critical time, like shoving the full HP werewolf off a cliff when you are at 2 hp-- then how much utility will you get out of this system?

The alternative to this rule, up to this point has been something along the lines of: 
If the attacker rolls a successful to-hit, the attacker can perform a maneuver in lieu of dealing damage to the defender. That maneuver is constrained to weapon type and other fesibility.

And I think it might have to stay with the attacker. It does take away agency from the defender, but that is the point of a maneuver in lieu of damage- the ability to manipulate your target without them being able to interfere. In the asymmetric, combat-as-war realm of classic-play D&D this can really help the PCs overcome otherwise indomitable threats. Sand to the face, blinds, and allows the PC to run. Dis-arming prevents the gnoll captain from landing blows with the two-handed sword. The wizard and the thief tackling a vampire might allow the cleric to stake it.

But if the option remains with the defender, then the DM might choose to negate any of the advantages of the maneuver simply by taking the damage. And if PCs can build up enough damage that the DM would choose the maneuver then they most likely didn't need the maneuver anyway.

Another more minor problem that is created is that because the DM knows the HP totals of all combatants and therefore has complete information the PCs don't have, the DM needs to come up with "rules" for which opponents will choose a maneuver all of the time, some of the time or never.

This might have to range over humanoids, animals, insects, fay, dragons, talking animals, oozes, puddings, skeletons and ghouls etc. In the end, if the decision is back on the attacker to call damage or maneuver most of this is reduced down. These attacker-decided maneuvers were demonstrated in this battle I ran.

NIGHTWICK ABBEY: The Purple Eater of People, Session 6



The Party

Blossom (Rogue 1)
Bertol (Rogue 1)
Mayfly (Magic-User 1)
Gurkle (Frogling 1)
Gelb (Fighter 1) Hey! A new player arrived due to my post about what 1st level MU can do after they cast their only spell.
Hirelings: Red, Curly, Pavel, Sibet, Assmus, Kunrat

At the Medusa's Head...

Perhaps due to further fall out from Deceivios' bad dealings, Bertol was anxious about getting out to the Abbey. Something about a forced dinner. The party assembled themselves as Bertol dragged the newest member, Gelb, out the door hurriedly explaining the situation with Nightwick Abbey.

Villainous Nightwick Abbey

RIGHT TOWER: The party chose once again the right tower, reasoning that it hasn't killed them so far and they know it the best. The left tower was where Blossom was the only survivor. So down into Nightwick again.

STATUE ROOM with FOUR DOORS: Bag still on its head, but slowly disintegrating the most disturbing way possible. As if whatever inside the statue is trying to hate its way out. The party once again hits the southeast door of this room. No sounds mean to go on through!

GOBLIN TOLL: The party is brought up short once again by a booming goblin voice demanding a toll. Discussion breaks out about if we could take these guys? Maybe too risky at this point? Mayfly ends up paying the toll in silver instead of blood (- 10 SP)

(PC NOTE: I actually really like this. While players hate tolls/taxes near towns, being in a dungeon makes it seem like a way better deal. A troll or ogre on an important bridge in a low-level dungeon is a great way to bleed off some money)

POOL HALL: Scurtting the edge of the pool the party notes again: The water reflects the ceiling's image but in a malevolent fashion. Dregs have yet to return. South door again, but more cautiously because behind this door were possible members of the Cult of the Lady-- who previously killed Dominic.

The Cult of the Lady
sable four blood drops gules in full

THE ROOM OF THE  LURID LADY: The party cautiously made their way into this room. Again, their eyes were nervously drawn to the lurid depictions of The Lady. The true founder of The Church. But here the Sword Brothers have let their adorations for the teacher and not the teachings run wild. Too wild by church standards. Three doors in this room: West is the dinner party the party "rudely" interrupted with Mayfly's scroll-cast Fireball. East & South were unexplored. East yielded a purple slime-covered "closet".  No secret doors so the party turns South.

SACRIFICIAL HALL: Excitement and dismay in equal amounts. Positive: Several rooms, a couple of hallways, and silver bowls to be pilfered. Negative: The bodies suspended above each bowl, throats slit, and blood draining into them. Hmm... let's grab those bowls! While the goblin and Deerman bodies are not very interesting the other two do highlight some new factions in this cursed place. One body contains a cloak of a single eye with green and blue flames and missing a left eye. This is a symbol of the cult of Asmodeus. The other interesting body was a pitiful creature composed of many animal parts- a wretched soul. Interestingly, its blood seems to not mix but instead was separated like oil and water: "No doubt this will have alchymikal properties!" chirped Mayfly as he collected it. 

The Cult of Asmodeus
argent a eye green & blue vert in full

Once the four bowls were collected (blood poured out; +400 SP), the group decided to investigate south of the hall. This yielded a more scabrous purple slime wall. So the party turned East down the stairs.

NEW LEVEL (?): While the party thinks they are walking down the stairs they end up feeling like they've been waking up for several hundred feet ("Where is that dwarf to ponder this?"). The party arrives at a new level.

(PC NOTE: Our DM rewards finding a new level with +200 XP, which is a nice bump. And tempts just-one-more-room risk-taking. Evil.)


My thoughts as a player...

The party scored pretty big with 400 sp looted and an additional XP bonus. As it stands, our rogues are about 100 xp away from 2nd level. Mayfly is currently 1100/2500, so that was a good delve and better to leave than risk death.

As a player, I think the next big thing is figuring out how to survive longer in the Abbey. We need to spend time thinking about equipment, party composition, and tactics. Also, I think it's important to see if any big factions, The Church or Halfdan the Mage, want anything specific from the dungeon that will multiply its value in both SP and XP.

Here's to the next delve!