Sunday, 10 January 2016

[RPGs] A Funny Thing Happened while Down in the Dungeon

In a wave of nostalgia, my friend John started running an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D) game just before Christmas. Now, none of the Usual Suspects had played AD&D in upwards of 20 years, so it seemed like a good opportunity to introduce John's son, BJ (10 years old) and my wife, SJ, to the fun.

An Otyugh - the Orcs affectionately call him "Crapeater" 
The early sessions were a bit of a disaster from an experienced player's point of view - we all had heaps of fun but we had forgotten all the munchkinny things we used to do in dungeons to survive and make off with heaps of gold. We are, however, relearning these tricks. So far, we have met orcs, trolls, rats, spiders, skeletons, skeleton orcs, an otyugh (who nearly cleaned all our clocks!), more skeletons, some more trolls, some more orcs and .... some more freakin' skeletons.

Last night's session was a case in point. Having defeated two trolls, and having got messed up a bit, we decided to find a safe room and rest up for a day or so. On our way to the safe room, we met another troll whom we defeated, but not before he messed us up some more. We then staggered out of the dungeon and headed off to the temple to get BJ's character resurrected. After much financial shenanigans and robbing Pedro to pay Pricilla, we ended up back at the tavern to rest up for a few days.

Heading back into the dungeon, we checked out a hall near where we had defeated the two trolls, only to discover some nasty jelly things on the floor. Bayern the Ranger said, "Let's not go near these, they're nasty" and convinced us to try another corridor.

We looked into the large room and saw serried ranks of ...
 We headed down the corridor and opened a door and looked into a large room. In the middle distance we could make out humanoid forms, covered in dust and cobwebs, and standing in serried ranks. Bayern the Ranger fired an arrow at one, knocking off the dust and revealing ... a skeleton warrior!

Kane, SJ's Magic User/Cleric, attempted to Turn Undead and succeeded in making ... one ... skeleton turn and shamble away into the gloom.

The skeleton warriors attack!
The remaining 44 skeletons shambled towards us with hostile intent. Bayern the Ranger and BJ's character, Asinger the Fighter, held the doorway (as they had the best armour) while Kane the Magic User/Cleric and Arloc the Fighter/Assassin cowered behind their doughty friends and prepared flasks of oil to use as fire bombs.

Asinger (L) and Bayern (R) hold the door while Arloc (L) and Kane (R) rain firebombs on the Skeletons
 The warriors' blades went "snicker, snack", and the fire bombs went "wheeee, wumpha", but as soon as we drove the skeletons back, they would charge in against our line again.

The Skeletons surged in to attack again.
 As the room and hallway filled with dust and smoke and the smell of burnt bone, we could see the number of our foes dwindling. But our stocks of fire bombs were dwindling faster, and every wound our warriors took was one wound closer to seeing us over run.

And then ... there were two!
  At last, our firebombs all spent, our warriors weary and wounded, there were only two skeletons to stand against us. "Whack!", "Smack!" went the swords, and the last two skeletons were cloven in twain.

After that, we picked up some loot and found a corridor swathed in darkness and a Magic Mouth on a wall advising us to "Go Back".

At that point, it was nearly midnight and we oldies had to go home to get some sleep. I think BJ would have happily kept playing, given half a chance. Best moment was when BJ said "That was epic, Dad" and gave John a big hug.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed AD&D. It's great to be playing it again. Thanks to SJ for the photos, taken on her phone.