Saturday, August 22, 2015

DM's Play Report: The Mice Men

  Son #3 has been asking for a quick solo adventure for some time so today we did it.

  The Good Guys:
  Godfrey, 4th level Human Scout (one of the classes from Far Realms)
    his henchman Karl, 2nd level Human Scout

  Margurlward the Magician, NPC that is paying for the mission

  The Bad Guys:
  24 Mice Men warriors
  6 Mice Men archers
  3 Mice Men thugs
  1 Mouse Man Witchdoctor
  The King of the Mice Men

  The Setup:
  I took the basic premise and setting of Ulo Leppik's great one page dungeon named Teeny Tiny Dungeon and modified it a great deal.  I took his idea for little humanoids, crossed it with some of the ideas of Tarzan and the Ant Men (a book I read 4 times as a young teen) and slapped it on the edge of the Briars.
  Margurlward has a sturdy stone cottage on the edge of a thorn spinney on the verge of the Briars. He had long noted that small objects went missing, especially if dropped on the floor. A year ago while preparing scroll ink he had spilled a pouch of gems (meant to be crushed for the ink) and most had vanished. Things escalated recently when he dropped a jewelry case, scattering a handful of magical rings and he saw a few of them dragged away by wee men who took it through a tiny door by his fireplace!
  Margurlward had done his best to block off the door and has brewed a set of Potions of Diminution and is looking for an intrepid band to recover his valuables.
  Unfortunately, everyone he speaks to think he has lost his mind!
  Luckily, he met Godfrey and Karl in a tavern in Esber, just a day from his cottage. The two men concluded that there was nothing to lose to investigate for themselves and went to the cottage.
  After arriving Margurlward removed his barriers to show the entrance, just 1 inch high. Godfrey removed a 5 g.p. gem from his pouch and tossed it near the tiny door and was amazed to see a band of tiny men rush out, grab it, and run back into the fireplace!
  The two scouts secured bandoleers of 4 diminution potions to their bodies and Godfrey drank one, telling Karl to remain behind, full size, while he scouted.
  Godfrey carefully entered the unsecured door and found a series of tunnels and caves (to him 5 inches looked like 30 feet!) within the river stone and mortar chimney and hearth. Some of the tunnels led to mouse tunnels (carefully sealed off and blocked with toothpick barricades and stout little doors). Others to a store room full of coils of stout rope (thread), mighty iron poles (fork tines), fist-sized chunks of iron (filings), etc. He also burst into a room with 8 of the creatures - they looked like broad-shouldered, muscular men dressed in mouse-hide boots, breechclouts, and cloaks armed with iron-tipped toothpick javelins and battle axes. While they appeared otherwise human their hair was more akin to mouse fur and their eyes were solid black.
  Godfrey surprised them, allowing him to slay two immediately with well-placed arrows. He killed another with arrows, but was wounded by javelins. He fled along the twisting corners, losing them long enough to set an ambush near an anti-mouse barricade.
  He was able to use his Scout ambush ability to kill 3 more of them with arrows and killed the rest in melee, but was very close to death and almost out of arrows. He dragged himself into a storeroom to catch his breath. He recognized a scent coming from a huge drum an, wrestling off the massive lid, found enough Keoghtom's Ointment for 2 doses ( in his present size). Healed up (and with a backpack full of the second dose) he left the fireplace warrens and had his henchman join him - bringing 80 more arrows!
  They re-entered the tiny tunnels and immediately faced a flurry of javelins (minor damage to both) before the band of warriors fled. They followed them very carefully, avoiding a second ambush and being ready for the mouse that was released into the tunnels behind them! After fierce fighting Godfrey and Karl used potions and continued exploring, finding a large room where another band of mice men were being rallied by a huge mouse man covered in tattoos and wearing a mouse skull helmet. There was a wizened, old mouse man leaning on a staff next to him and three doughty warriors with handlebar mustaches and whips guiding a warband at them!
  The two scouts used a bend in a tunnel to shield themselves from javelins and their bows made the cost of closing with them very high. Godfrey's broadsword held the tunnels while Karl fired at foes beyond. Over matched, the mice men fell back while Godfrey and Karl sought a place to catch their breath and use the last of their potions. Reinvigorated, they took up positions at anti-mouse barricades with good fields of fire and waited.
  Eventually the last of the mustachioed thugs led a strong band of warriors into the kill zone and, once again, the scouts achieved surprised, activating their Ambush abilities. The thugs went down in the first salvo and half the warriors lay dead before those still on their feet got into melee. Within a few rounds Karl was collecting arrows and Godfrey was using the last of the Keoghtom's to heal up.

  Penetrating deeper they encountered 4 archers firing from a platform with a gold rim - they were firing from inside a +1 Ring of Protection! As Godfrey and Karl killed the archers a group of warriors attacked them from behind and the old mouse man cast a spell that resulted in a ghostly rat biting Karl, injuring him badly. The two heros cut down the warriors as the old man fled, then began to roll the ring out of the tunnels. This led to the King of the Mice Men rushing them while their bows were away.
  The duel between the king and the heroes was hard fought and almost caused Godfrey's death, but they prevailed. Luckily the king had more salve in his possesion, so both could heal up.
  The few pitiable survivors surrendered soon after. Godfrey and Karl tied them up, then continued to explore. They found a portal to the fireplace that opened through a Ring of Fire Resistance; they found the magician's missing jewels, hidden within a Ring of Invisibility; the king's, throne was inside a large ring with a diamond; and the king's bed was within a Ring of Warmth.
  As they entered the king's bedchamber the mouse mage struck, casting a spell that caused spectral weasel jaws to snap shut on both Godrey and Karl; Karl was reduced to 1 hit point, Godfrey to 8! Godfrey leapt forward and was just able to kill the mouse mage before his next spell!
  The explorers spoke with their captives and founf they were exiles from a distant land where there were many men like them, mouse men who warred with the bee men. This land was deep in the Briars. Feeling pity, Godfrey made them swear an oath to never return and released them through a hidden door to the garden and watched them vanish into the spinney.

  The two removed all of the loot, grew to their normal size, and received their reward - 300 g.p., the rings, and the sole remaining Potion of Diminution. Marlgurlward negotiated and paid them 500 g.p. to also get back the diamond ring.

  33 said he had great fun!

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