Sunday, September 22, 2019

DM Report: Return to the haunted Tower - with guest player

  The players have not been back to the village of Richacre and the Haunted Tower in 5 years (real time). First level characters on their first adventure played.

Jack - a half-elven thief
Sam - an elven fighter
Nick - a human cleric
David - a dwarven fighter

  David is a family friend who has not played AD&D 1e in 25 years and hasn't played any version of D&D in 4 years dropped in.

  His wife and 7 kids came along and we had a ton of fun starting with a buffet brunch, lots of cartoons for the little one, video games for the older kids, and AD&D for the rest. And my wife got to talk to an adult woman at length. Tons of fun.

 The band of doughty adventurers went looking for the reward offered by the headman of the village of Stowanger.
  The headman had reported to the Count that there was smoke from the Haunted Tower and the ruins of Richacre to no reply. The local hedge mage had pledged 150 g.p. to whomever could prove they had investigated the village and town.

  After a few days travel they arrived in Stowanger and learned:
  -No one admitted to going to Richacre since it was destroyed
  -Bold boys would go to the edges of the orchards for apples and cherries, but they felt watched
  -The snoke had been seen 4 times in 4 weeks

  At dawn they set out and in two hours (slowed by the muddy roads - there was a heavy rain the night before) they entered the blasted, empty ruins of Richacre. While scouting they met a half-mad hermit who ran off after warning that the Briars were accursed and the tower was a source of evil.

The pressed on to the tower and the party thief (Jack) scouted, finding a pit trap near the stairs in and a kobold on guard - and asleep.
  He knocked the miscreant out and dragged him to be interrogated. At first the kobold was dismissive. After some negotiations the kobold swore an oath to go to Stowanger and thence to Goblintown. The captive said that he was part of a group of survivors of the Ice Dagger Tribe that had been taken over by a surviving sub-chief of the goblin tribe that had served Ol' Knobby. They had wandered until they met a pair of Magma Cultists that had brought them to the tower in search of 'a hidden power'.

  The party sent him on his way and returned to the tower. Again the thief scouted and decided they should smash open the interior door to the tower.
  The first attempt failed.
  The second attempt failed.
  The third attempt worked and the party faced 8 kobolds ready for a fight.
  The dwarf and elf surged into the room and began dropping kobolds. The thief began edging toward the stairwell and the cleric was blocking the door. As they fight continued the goblin boss came down the stairs and fought the thief. The fight took a while, but the humanoids, denied a chance to flee )the thief/goblin fight blocked the exit!) fought to the last. The dwarf was hurt but the cleric got him mostly well.
  The party began clearing the upper floors but a foul cultist surprised the party and almost slew the dwarf with an accursed touch (the dwarf, with a good AC, good HP, and good saves, kept taking point). The cleric, again, got him close to full and they continued.
  Hearing a rumbling they dove into a room as a boulder came rolling down the spiral stair. The thief exited throught a window and climbed to the roof, eventually ambushing and slaying a hedge mage cultist on the roof.

  They descended into the basement, this time with the elf in front, and encountered an armored zombie (a seargeant of Whitehill!!) in the vaults. After a tough fight they slew it and searched.
  A hidden tunnel led to a large room of much more ancient construction than the tower. From it they found
  -A secret tunnel to a nearby cavern
  -a secret niche with the skeleton of a winged reptilian humanoid within
  -an iris valve to a strange corridor.

  They investigated the valve last.
  After a long tunnel they entered a large cavern covered on all surfaces with back moss. There is a 15' diameter hatch in the floor: it is made of cold iron and had a pentagram made of silver inlaid on its surface. The edges had been sealed with lead, obviously poured on when hot.
  Deciding the sealed hatch should stay sealed they investigated the walls and eventually found a ledge. The theif climbed to it, finding a large alcove, hidden from below, with another round door. He lowered a rope and the party joined him.
  They opened the door, went down a short hallway to a small room. The ceiling flickered and lit with a soft, white light revealing a panel with 144 colored buttons, a glass plate with writing, and a slot.
  The glass plate read:


David's character immediately pushed a random button. The panel changed to:


  They tried writing their name on a scrap of parchment to no avail.
  So he pushed another one. The panel changed to:


  So they stopped pushing buttons and left.

  The party returned to town, got paid, and split their loot (which included a magical helmet the party had missed in 2014)

  A great time was had by all and David's oldest child (12) will almost certainly be joining us next time.


  1. #6! That means there are several of these emergency controls, right? Wow!

  2. Fun game! Especially since Dad and Son were able to share the fun together.