Thursday, May 19, 2011

Super Dungeon - Session One

Super Dungeon – Session One
For those of you that have been following along you already know the character creation guidelines that I allowed and a little bit about what I am trying to accomplish here and for those of you who do not I suggest you read this thread.

When the Nightlord was defeated, the Shadovar returned and the world stone was sundered forcing the worlds to collide forming one giant mega-world. Players can travel from Faerun to Athas to Grayhawk and back to Krynn before stopping by at Ebbron. This allowed me to allow the players to be from anywhen or anywhere. It also allows me to use any villain or critter I want.

Introduction to the Idea

 When I started this project, I decided that I would keep it completely random.  I decided I would use random tables from the DMG while in the dungeon and random name generators for encounters and such.  Oh do not get me wrong – I’ve used random elements in my games before. In fact, some of the most fun elements of games – for me as the DM - have been random, and I have run off the cuff before. The trick is though that I have never told the players that – they never asked. This time, however, everyone knows that this is all coming from the deep pool of imagination that we have collectively and I get to shape as the DM. So far it has been a lot of fun and I can only expect that it will become more so as time progresses in the game.

Cast of Characters
Tyne –Female Moon Elf (Faerunian) Expert/2, Rogue/1 played by Rob. Tyne is suspicious and honest. She enjoys good song and good fortune. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, Tyne also enjoys knowledge almost as much as she enjoys a treasure hunt.

Sigrid – Female Human (Faerunian/Chondathan) Expert/2, Fighter/2 played by Mel. Sigrid is a warrior through and through whose signature weapon is the greatsword passed down to her from her family. She enjoys a good laugh but not as much as she enjoys a good fight. Sigrid has a good if not fiery heart and she will lend her sword arm where she can.

Meghan (Elation) – Female Human (Grayhawk/Noble-Born) – Aristocrat/2, Special/1 played by Don. Meghan is an up-front and honest. At one point in the game when they were discussing business with the magistrate she told him that she would explore the mines at no charge since the town was small and did not appear to have many resources and when she learned of the little girl who died in the mines she felt a call to action. Meghan has a strong connection to Mystra and is training as a Paladin but has darker ties that she must overcome first.

The First Setting (A Town and a Mine)
Welcome to the Thorp of Fairhaven located somewhere on the very outskirts of Faerun. Keep in mind that all of this was rolled randomly and I came up with quick explanations and put it all together during the course of the game. It was a wonderful exercise in creativity! What follows is a bulleted list of a few of the key elements of the town.

·         Fairhaven is a small saltpeter mining frontier town that exports timber and grain to other parts of the Barony. The main source of income is from the Black Mines but they have been shut down since the accident. Fairhaven boasts a population of  40 men, women, and an assortment of children, chickens, dogs and small rodents. The town square map by Paizo was used in conjunction with the latest Inn map to serve as Fairhaven.

·         Magistrate Joris Van Reede – Aristocrat/3, Warrior/2, Fighter/2 is a charming fellow who has a rural genteel approach to handling political matters. At one time in the game the party came to hear him fighting with a man who locked himself in the magistrate’s office because Van Reede had his wife locked up on prostitution charges. When he demanded that she was just trying to be friendly to the guests, Van Reede agreed to let Jorl’s wife Melody go. He then had the two constables he was with lock up Jorl for breaking and entering and disturbing the peace, namely HIS peace. The party members appear to like Magistrate Van Reede very much.

·         Reede’s Guards - Town Militia 15 members mostly men that report to the Magistrate – (5) War/1, (2) War/2 , (2) War/3, (1) War/4, (3) Ftr 1, (1), Ftr/2, (1) Rng/1

·         Establishments:
o   Spinning Rat – This large building is located just within the town walls and boasts defenses of its own. The original overseer of the mine, Evert Van der Wildt, has converted this blockhouse to a large tavern.  Evert Van der Wildt has a giddy personality. We used the latest Paizo map as this establishment. A cute fake rat in a spinning cage was magically enhanced to permanently spin by a passing adventuring party is an oddity that greets guests as they pass the threshold of the tavern. The party was put up here for a week as part of their pay once they accepted the mission to explore the mines.
o   Oakes Smithery – Part of the Spinning Rat’s complex the Oakes Smithery is adjacent to the stables. Carlyle Oakes, the blacksmith usually prefers to shoe horses and mend lumbering, farming and mining tools but is able to repair damaged weapons and armor as well. Carlyle Oakes has an authoritarian personality.
o   Rimmer’s Goodes – The proprietor of this quaint general store, John Rimmer, is a battle-hardened individual who also serves on the militia. Rimmer’s Goodes has an assortment of stock that seems to change almost daily and you never know what is there until you look.
o   Clucks – The chicken butcher Leigh Porter is a pacifistic middle-aged woman who believes that the world powers brought the problems of the Nightlord and later the Shadovar on themselves. She used to live in Waterdeep and had a very enterprising business setup on Dock Ward until it was destroyed during the Sauhaugin attack so she moved to the frontier to start a new life. Unfortunately, she picked a town to setup shop that was adjacent to a haunted mine.
o   Bierd’s Millhouse & Hops – The local granary ran by Ian Bierd, a practical joker and very proficient miller who enjoys brewing almost as much as telling bad jokes.
o   Black Mine – Salt Peter mine within a four-hour walk through the Fairhaven Woods that is rumored to be haunted.
o     Wet Dragon – Eating hall and small inn located within Fairhaven owned by Pierce Webb.
o   Temple of the Lordes – A multiple deities temple dedicated to the good deities. Father Eion Magee of Torm Clr/4 is the only resident priest.
While in Fairhaven one can pick up an assortment of rumors.
·        -  Black Mine is haunted by spirits of the dead miners
·         - Whatever is in the mines doesn’t die when you kill it
·         - Allison was the daughter of Evert who died while playing outside the mines. Her mother Amber died of a broken heart a few months later.
·         - Brigands have taken up residence in the woods to the south.
·         - The mountains to the north are rumored to be home to a tribe of fierce ogres.

The Session
After spending some time in town getting to know everyone and taking the job from Magistrate Van Reede, the party set out on foot through the Fairhaven Woods towards the Black Mines.  The four hour journey was uneventful and they were not harried on their travels.

When they reached the mine they could smell something sweet and they could see that the mine entrance was boarded over and several mining carts were overturned.  The mine also had a 40x40 building that served as a combination miner’s hall/cart house and stable. 

Tyne headed toward the miners house followed closely by Sigrid and Meghan. Sigrid went around the back and encountered a dead horse standing upright. The horse looked to have been dead for some time. She also saw some more mining carts. She heard a loud bang followed by beating of wings.

Rushing out she saw Tyne who was looking into the opened door of the miner’s house in which the door had fallen off its hinges attempting to leap away from two very large black bats whom they had disturbed. The bats flew off within further incident.

Inside the house was a table with a stack of papers, two shelves within mining equipment and a small chest with a lock on it. On the table was a key and a monstrous scorpion sat on the key and appeared to watch the party – even managing to dodge an arrow shot at it from Tyne’s bow.  After a few moments of thought, Sigrid was asked to dispatch the scorpion with her greatsword. This sent five smaller scorpions rushing at the party.

After a short battle in which Meghan was stung but not injured and some clawing up of the party they had dispatched the scorpion’s babies. Rummaging through the papers learned that the papers on the table were deeds to the mine for the miners, some inventories and a few crude maps of the mines themselves. Using the key Tyne was able to open the door to the chest but had to dodge a poison dart trap that contained the same scorpion’s venom. Inside the chest was 6,000 copper.

They then went around to the other side of the house and saw the dead horse and two dead miners and stacks of saltpeter sacks. They recovered the swords from the dead miners and used the wheelbarrows they found to load four sacks of saltpeter into each of the two wagons and brought the saltpeter and the swords from the miners and the money back to the town.

The Magistrate told them to keep the money and he took the swords and deeply thanked the party for returning the swords of what had to be miners from the town. He would make sure that their owner’s families were given the swords. They vowed to return to the mine the next day and spent that night enjoying themselves in the town.

Because of the goodness of the party and the great roleplaying and adventuring, I decided to award XP in this fashion.
·         Encounter XP Total = CR 1 x 3 (Scorpion, 5 Tiny Scorpions, Dart Trap) = 900xp
·         Bonus XP Awarded
o   Swords returned to miners = 50xp
o   Papers returned to Magistrate = 50xp
o   Copper returned = 100xp
o   Saltpeter returned = 8 bags x 10xp bag = 80xp
§  Total Session One XP Awarded = 1180 / 3 = 393 each

I look forward to session two – when they meet The Fallen -


  1. whew! I just finished reading this. Very well done, sir. I respect the amount of care and effort you've paid to the details of the town and its inhabitants.

  2. Thanks Christian and to think it was all randomly culled from my imagination and the DMG I and DMG II tables along with my random generators available from my yahoo site. Wait for the next session!