Monday, November 26, 2012

Castle of Death - Chapter 3

The Ghostly Dagger

Sir Geoffery was ready for the off again. Once more into the breach and all that. He had a new rope and had been practicing hard with his new enchanted bonesplitter. It hadn’t been easy to find undead volunteers to test those special properties…

He had also done a fair bit of praying while kicking his heels at home and he rather felt that this had lead to the apparent improvement in all three of his khremm resistance, his intellect and his charisma. Worth wearing out the knees in his favourite breeches.

The villagers did not discourage him this time. Having seen the swag he had returned with last time, there were actually a few volunteers to accompany him but he did not want to see them smeared all over the castle flagstones – well, not much…

Nothing looked different when he got back to the great skull gate. This time he settled on a full frontal approach (possibly remembering his cousin’s lobotomy) and he picked the lock in the small side door and squeezed through to find himself looking at the other side of those great doors.  The intrepid knight was just beginning to survey a courtyard when he heard a noise above – some lowlife was attempting to empty a bucket of boiling tar on his nicely smoothed barnet!

Jumping aside and cursing, he made his way northwards and went through a gate with a family crest emblazoned upon – De’ Ath! – to find another overgrown courtyard. In the centre was a fountain, now choked with weeds. That looked worth a decent gander, he was thinking, when…

A decidedly woe-begone dragon dive bombe him from nowhere. Its look proved to stem from it not being alive anymore. An undead dragon. How annoying! The bonesplitter seemed to howl as it split the air before cleaving through the decrepit beast. It might have kept the sparrows off the lawn but it wasn’t keeping de Boyks from his date with destiny! In one minute flat, he had fragmented it diligently.

He was quite pleased to notice that his bubble shield had kept the heat of the dragon’s fire from inconveniencing him. He had an extra spring to his step.

Although intrigued by the fountain, he acted the good scout and searched the courtyard thoughtfully. He was soon rewarded. The increasingly affluent Sir Geoffery found another 6,000 gold pieces in a badly concealed pit and what made this treasure trove even better was that it was in a sack that reduced it’s weight to a mere 50wu. Nice work if you can get it, he mused.

Now – back to that fountain. It seemd to approve of him, although he understood not why nor how, and all of a sudden it began to flow – fort h first time in years, he felt certain – with fresh water. Khremm exploded about him and his charm and good looks were vaulted skywards (an increase of 11!). Then he decided to drink. Well, you have to speculate to accumulate, he ruminated happily. Bingo! Very nice and it would have restored any lost STR or CON but he was thus far unscathed.

Pressing on, buoyed still further with conviction that he was a man on a mission, he passed through a doorway to the north which was flanked by two towering statues of mighty warriors. He repressed the urge to chop their limbs off a la the Venus de Milo but could not help but spit  at their eyes, hoping that the wind would not change.

Now he was through to what once must have been a splendid great hall, complete with a massive table ringed with high-backed chairs. Once again, he put on his searching pants and unearthed another chest. This one made his face breakout in a huge lopsided grin for it contained a dagger. And not just any old dagger! This one was a ghostly dagger of undead control (or so he surmised, intuitively). It became invisible in his hand and, as a highly accomplished evaluative warrior, he calculated that it was enchanted to get him 2d6 +3 adds with his entire attack, including his personal adds (now +152). Woot!!! This little baby had more zip than the big brute of a bonesplitter.

Now he had a conundrum to solve – should use sword and dagger and fight two handed? Noooo! That would mean strapping the still mysterious buble shield to his back. What was a chap to do? He sat down to think, vigilant but picturing a third arm. Where to place it though if the dream came true and how might it go down with the damsels?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Castle of Death - Chapter Two

The Sarcophagus

Sir Geoffery did what he could for his wounds (aha! First aid talent  - +6 on INT and I’m going to rule that he can heal 1d6 per level of saving roll made each day) – rolls 4 and 3, INT 18 + talent 6 +dice roll 7 = 31 so makes L3 and heals 3 points of injury – CON up to 73) and then grimly pressed on…

The knight felt he was due some treasure after taking out two powerful fiends.He searched the now decayed room but found nothing more than a way out of the castle, given that he had 100’ rope with him and the drop was only 40. His magi-map took care of the details. ‘Gadzooks!’ he muttered, addicted as he was to these archaic expletives.

He went out into a dismal rat-infested corridor and went east to a door that took him into what was a surprisingly well maintained chapel. His hackles rose – what sort of deity would be worshipped in a place like this? He examined from a distance a leather bound book on a lectern and decided that the serpent depicted on the cover swallowing its own tail was a sign of something terrible to come, should the book be unlocked. Instead, he choose to examine the scene on the stained glass window which showed a knight and a girl illuminated by bright light from behind the glass.

He rather fancied that he should have such a girl fawning on him but was startled out of his reverie when the glass shattered and a hook-beaked demon fell upon him. It was only his armour that saved him from shards of glass. Pretty tough but he made short work of the evil monster with the yellow eyes, suffering one more point of spite damge. He kicked its corpse petulantly just before it dissolved in foul-smelling steam and seeped through the floor.

Now he did get a reward. Behind the glass was a chamber with a small chest tended by the ghostly figure of the knight in the picture. He was quite obviously grateful that the demon had been disposed of and Sir Geoffery found 6,000 GPs in the chest along with 3 gems and a diamond bracelet set in silver. He figured this was as safe a place as any to leave his booty as he was not going to lug the chest around this death-trap of a castle with its vicious denizens.

He left the chapel and back out into the corridor he found a rusty yet sturdy ladder leading up to a thickly webbed ceiling. After testing his weight on the lower rungs, he ascended slowly, expecting arachnid attention at any moment.

None came. He was lucky. He emerged into a musty dark chamber which his lantern could hardly penetrate. Again, he thought, this is an omen of malevolence ahead. He moped his brow and investigated, scimitar in hand. What he discovered were a number of small chests and a sarcophagus – and something moving about in the darkness!

de Boyks did not hesitate. He made for the sarcophagus and opened the lid. Maybe he could get anything inside to fight with the lurker. The lid was lifted easily and he made out some sort of weapon inside. The creature somewhere in the darkness did not attack and in a rush of blood Sir Geoffery reached for the weapon! 

Suddenly from the gloom a large clay golem chose to attack him! The knight swung into battle mode and chopped away like a lumberjack. The golem did not damage easily. Even though Sir Geoffery was on top, the thing would not go down and it took him 4 solid minutes of hacking (8 rounds) to reduce it to little lumps of mud. He had taken 26 (!!) points of spite damage in the forging his way to victory and de Boyks blood spattered the room. His CON was down to 46 – he was still going to be hard to kill but he was feeling powerful sore.

Back to business. Despite the webbing, he searched the three small chests and found a ring in each. With no magic to asses them, he blindly slipped them on, one after the other. The first added 3 to STR (yay! Back up to L6) and the other two added one to CON and SPD. Sir Geoffery was satisfied – his scars would be worth it! Not content with this, he retrieved the weapon from the sarcophagus – a mighty bonesplitter, getting 21d6 plus 18 (double against the undead) – woo hoo! Although the sword was intended as a two-handed weapon (house rule) as Sir Geoffery had more than double the STR and DEX required he could wield it effectively in one firm hand (house rule: he doesn’t ye tget his warrior’s bonus of an extra dice per level as he has not yet mastered the new weapon).

To make a good day great, he finally uncovered 2,000 gold coins in a sack that made them weigh only 50! Party on, de Boyks!

The big treasure haul coupled with his wounds determined his course. Sir Geoffery retrieved the other chest with the 6,000 gold pieces and made his way out of the castle with the aid of his silk rope. The only downside was having to cut it as he could not untie it at the top. He intended to return so he severed the silk at waist height and hoped there it would stay. He still had over 60’ of good quality rope.

The villagers feted him on his return. He was not slow to put money behind the bar but did not get drunk enough for anyone to be able to take advantage of his celebrations. On his return home to his modest cottage, he lamented the lack of a maid such as the one in the stained glass. He also rued that a knight of his prowess did not count a castle as home. His resolve to return to the scene of his latest adventure stiffened, as did his thoughts of a damsel, and he schemed of taking proprietorial rights over that fiend-ridden fortress.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Castle of Death - Chapter One

In which Sir Geofery starts killing things...

After an arduous journey, Sir Geoffery arrived at the Bright Stag tavern. Here although he dined very nicely and enjoyed sampling the local ales, he was met by a host of locals, mainly aged, warning him to turn back, whilst arming him with protective trinkets (no charge). The brave Sir Geoffery was undaunted.

He continued on to the drear castle and immediately fumbled his very first saving roll, thus running into a dragon!  Fortunately his charming manner and good looks convinced the dragon that he was cut above the native riff-raff the dragon normally devoured. It soon transpired that he really needed to speak at least a little dragon. I hadn’t considered languages but as his INT is 18 and his experience (L6) is not inconsiderable, I decided that he could manage a bit of pidgin dragon. In this way he learned that he should not be hasty to take decorations from bony types – cryptic!

Making his way on up to the castle, he was confronted with a seemingly unopenable skull gate towering above him. He ignored this and also a side door but I was caused to consider talents. I  hastily took both lock picking and climbing to be on the safe side, keeping 4 more in reserve for later. 

The valiant knight then circled the castle, first to the left (finding a sinister shape that he shied away from, taking a hint of its potential for destruction) before going round to the right and uncovering a secret door. Ah, what keen eyes you have, Sir Geoffery!

This took him into the castle itself whereupon he was confronted by a ghostly apparition, intent on his immediate demise! Despite despatching the spectre in one brief round of combat, he suffered a loss on 1 STR and 1 CON for being in contact for a round and also suffered 3 points of spite damage. The STR point, I reluctantly realised, took Sir Geoffery down to 59 and so to L5, with the giddy heights of L6 a rapidly fading dream!

Then he found another secret door and made his way upstairs to a room which clearly had once been grand to the point of luxury but which now was in decay. This room, Sir Geoffery now discovered, was home to a nasty, disguised fiend! Once the deception had been penetrated, it took the bold Sir Geoffery two rounds to smash this evil one – again he suffered 3 points of spite damage. He declined a quick exit from the castle via an open window and then uncovered another secret door – this one back downstairs but, alas, not to treasure. He was determined to press on.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Castle of Death by AR Holmes


The international postal services made successful saving rolls at both ends ( and so did I, I suppose) and the package from Andy Holmes arrived this weekend from England to New Zealand (good old colonialism!).

Goblin Crag, The Dungeon of the Death Mage and The Castle of Death. The first is THE most awesome GM dungeon, which my son cut his delving teeth on, the other two solos are new to me.
Taking a leaf from the Trollgod’s book, I am going to chronicle my adventure in the castle and hope it is not well named…

First off, it’s a 5.5 adventure. No problem, but I am going to have WIZ and SPD ratings because I want this character to survive and adventure elsewhere. The guidance notes (tick for that!) tell me no higher than L6, no more than 160 adds and it is best for warriors although there is a magic matrix.
I have no such character in fictional life so I am making one up.

Here are the stats for the human warrior, Sir Geoffery de Boyks:

STR – 60, WIZ – 20, INT – 18, LK – 45, CON – 77, DEX – 53, CHR – 29, SPD – 38.  By good estimation, he has 148 adds so Sir Geoffery is at the high end of the ‘permitted’ characters and by 7.5 reckoning he is L6 (I shall add 6 into saving rolls if needed).

Characters are allowed to have any weapons, armour or possessions and here is the list Sir Geoffery has accumulated:

·        Enchanted scimitar 10d6+8 plus (house rule) 1 extra dice per level as he is a warrior so 16+8
·        Bubble shield – 28 protection for warrior plus as yet unspecified bubble properties
·        Mail armour – 14 protection for warrior
·        Death stars (12) – 4d6+2 each
·        100’ silk rope, compass, lantern and oil, pition hammer & 10 pitons, grappling hook, curare
·        Magi-map (automatically creates accurate map)
·        Cloak of Silence
·        Healing potion – 1d6 healing, 6 doses
·        Sack of Capacity – holds 10 times normal capacity with no weight to carry beyond empty sack. 

      I shall see about talents, languages and gold as we go along.

Will he survive his first thrust into the castle? We shall find out soon…

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Question - Warriors

My question is:-

Do warriors get enough of a bonus for all their training by getting one extra combat add per level?

Does that give them the edge over rogues and wizards in a fair fight? Does that make them the natural fighting leaders for a party of dungeon delvers?

Answers appreciated!

Khaghbboommm (Mark)

Thanks for all the answers!

 My take remains that they need one whole dice per level as a bonus not just one add to make them stand out as fight leaders after all that training...

Still attracted to the WG selling khremm boosting amulets to give them help against the dominant wizards of G'noll's Trollworld...