Thursday, March 11, 2010

S&W White Box: Session One, 3/8/10

Well, I found another group of players to try game with. This is a group of people scattered around the metro area, rather than a group of college/high school buddies from the same town. They are a little older and a little more engaged in real life, so this session was just 3 hours on a Monday evening, much better for my schedule than a weekly 8 hour death march every Sunday.

The game system is Swords & Wizardry: White Box, which is a retro-clone of the basic D&D rules from 1974. Essentially, it is one of the products that has come out since WOTC released the open gaming content with 3rd edition. There are a number of retro-clones designed as remakes of older systems, covering the different Basic editions like the 1981 rules, 1st edition advanced, and some mash-ups that mimic a blend of 1e and basic.

This means that you have 3 classes (Fighting-Man, Cleric, Magic-user) and 3 demi-human races that are classes in their own (Dwarf, Elf, Halfling). The DM was awesome enough to write up an after action report detailing the night's events. I will report it here with some of my comments to follow in the next post.

SESSION ONE (03.08.10)
Starday the 5th of Readying, CY 576

[Oscar] Fen Sen the Seer (2nd level Magic-User)
[Drew] Galathos the Warrior (2nd level Fighting-Man)
[Donovan] Old Man Halgron the Adept of St. Cuthbert (2nd level Cleric)
[Anthony] Gloin the dwarven Warrior (2nd level Fighting-Man)
“Frahnk” the hired lantern-bearer

After hearing tales of renewed riches laying in the dungeons below the ruined Castle Greyhawk our stalwart adventurers met in the common room of the Green Dragon Inn in the Free City of Greyhawk. Regaled by the tales of treasure and adventure told by the old-timers our heroes decided to make the short jaunt of one league to the Castle in the morning. Luckily they were able to buy a copy of a map, by one cartographer named Henry Bodenstedt apparently of 330 Center Street, showing the ruined upper works of the Castle.

Shaking off the festivities of the night before, our heroes quickly stock up on supplies at the Outdoor Survival outfitters store and at Arneson’s Arms & Armor on the way out of town. Despite being slowed down by the waddling Gloin, they eventually arrive at the Old Castle Track leading to the upper works. Mounting a hill to the southwest of the Castle our heroes scan their surroundings. Dense copses of trees fills the land to the west of the Castle, a steep hill lies to the east of the Castle, and scattered trees occupy the area to the southeast of the Castle. Not seeing any movement in the lands around the Castle they continue to march up the Old Castle Track to the sunken moat surrounding the Castle.

Unfortunately, not seeing any easy method of crossing the moat, Fen Sen (being the lightest) volunteered to climb down into the moat and create a makeshift rope bridge. After ferrying their gear across piecemeal- Galathos, Old Man Halgron, and Gloin each crossed the moat and rejoined Fen Sen on the far side. Avoiding the front door of the Castle, they crept around to the disheveled western wall and entered the outer courtyard. After briefly inspecting a ruined tower they crossed the courtyard to what appeared to be a mostly intact tower in the northwestern corner to get a higher vantage point. Gloin and Halgron braved the creaking wooden stairs with their armored bulk and inspected the rest of the upper works while Fen Sen and Galathos stayed below keeping watch. The heroes next inspected the dilapidated building in the southeastern corner which turned out to be a decently-preserved stable. After finding an immense sealed door in the central tower they spied two sets of well-engineered collapsed segmented bridges. Galathos, Halgron, and Gloin lugged one set over to the moat to speed up a quick getaway if needed. They then turned to the final building in the courtyard- the black gneiss hall.

Finding dwarven runes welcoming them to the “Hall of the Dwarfish Lords”, Gloin called out a greeting and knocked on the door. Gandalff and his brothers Claag, Alviss, and Siggtrii of the Goldmountain clan ushered the heroes into their humble abode. The dwarves were kind enough to feed the heroes, vaguely explained their roles of protectors of the main staircase, and allowed the weary travelers to rest on their stone floor. The nearly penniless heroes donated what little coin they had left to Gandallathor, the Dwarfish Lord of Gold and Gems, and Old Man Halgron promised the dwarves some of his share of found treasure upon his return to the surface. Early the next morning Claag took the heroes to the central tower and unlocked the door allowing the heroes to descend into the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk. After descending for what seemed to be about thirty feet, the stairs came to a landing. Noting that the main staircase continued further, the heroes decided to step out onto the first landing marked with a sign declaring “the Storage Rooms.” After briefly inspecting the entrance room the heroes surveyed the four doors exiting the room and decided to take the western door out of the room.

With Gloin and Halgron leading the way the party quickly proceeded into a small room. After stopping to pick up some carpentry nails found in a box on a table they took a corridor leading north. Eschewing the continuing corridor leading east and then north, the heroes blundered into a large room surprising a group of scavenging humanoids. The adventurers recognized the scaly doglike wretches as chaotic kobolds. Combat ensued with Gloin, Halgron, and Galathos taking on the eight snarling kobolds; Fen Sen and the lantern-bearer hung back at the entrance of the room content to watch the melee. Six kobolds were dispatched by Galathos’ flamberge, Gloin’s battle-axe, and Old Man Halgron’s flail and cries of “Respect your elder!” The heroes backed the seventh into a corner and the eighth threw him self on the floor, lying whimpering in a spreading puddle. Noting that the kobold in the corner had not dropped his spear, Galathos buried his hand axe in the humanoid’s chest. After quickly bandaging the few injuries that were suffered, the party huddled up and decided to take the remaining kobold prisoner; they would truss the kobold up and would push him ahead of them down corridors and into rooms. Finding nothing but a few copper pieces and a half-eaten sausage in the dead kobold leader’s pouch they continued on.

After checking out the room through the southern door and finding nothing of value aside from various pieces of tarnished silverware the party continued on into the room through the northern door. There they found a large room with empty wall sconces beside each of the two doors out of the room and a large shield lying in the center of the floor. Playing it safe, they sent their pet kobold into the room to drag the shield back to them before proceeding into the room themselves. Galathos inspected both wall sconces and discovered that the sconce beside the northern door was loose. Yanking the sconce to the right broke it off and revealed a false section of the northern wall; the hidden room beyond contained a large wooden chest in the northeastern corner. After a great deal of pantomiming, the party sent their kobold to the chest armed with one of the nails. With some reassuring from the heroes the kobold did his best to pick the lock with the nail; after giving the kobold plenty of opportunity to set off any traps that the chest might have had they hauled the kobold back in. Gloin rewarded the creature with the half-eaten sausage and Fen Sen went to work opening the chest with a hammer and some pitons. Our stalwart adventurers happily found that they have been well rewarded for their efforts with their first taste of treasure. Alongside an ivory horn and a rusty dagger, they found just over a thousand coins; mostly copper and silver but with some gold as well.

The heroes huddled up again, arguing between returning to the surface with their loot and trying to push on farther.

Experience: 80 each (320 total)
Treasure: 169 gp, 242 sp, 791 cp; steel shield with red dragon crest, five-fingered left-handed leather glove, pair of bulky leather mittens, handful of carpentry nails, ivory horn, rusty dagger, kobold sausage
Encounters: killed 7 kobolds, took 1 kobold prisoner
Expended: 2 sections of rope, 4 pitons, ½ flask of lamp oil, kobold sausage

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