Saturday, April 14, 2012

Searchers of the Unknown

Last night we were missing half of the Old School Group, as I call them.  One had a gaming conflict because of a 5th Friday which got us out of sync with his Pathfinder group.  Another was recovering from an onslaught of the flu and possibly strep.  And a third was celebrating Orthodox Easter. 

Unfortunately, we couldn't start on time because one of the core group was tardy because of a birthday party for his surrogate son through foreign exchange.  While waiting to begin, we had an interesting discussion about various editions of D&D, proof vs. faith, and dynamics of group play.  Besides much beer being drunk and eating a wonderful pizza (if you have a Papa John's in your area, you must try the Buffalo Chicken pizza.  It's to die for!), I presented the one page of rules for minimalist D&D....Searchers of the Unknown.  The immediate response?  "One page? Huh!  I like it!"  Character creation literally was rolling 1 dice and making 3 decisions. 

Once our tardy member arrived, I popped open Tomb of the Iron God by Matt Finch (or if you prefer pdf).  It worked very well with the minimalist rules.  The group had heard stories about a temple of monks destroyed by their own god for their avarice.  Rumors swirled about how much gold and jewels must be buried in the pile of rubble that was once the Temple of the Iron God, a local deity of death and justice.  The group asked around in town about any news of the place but after hearing of the gold present, they immediately took off.  Arriving a few hours later at the pile of rubble, they began to look around.  The only thing left standing was a 15 foot tall iron statue of the Iron God, holding an upright urn in one hand and a staff in the other.  Behind the statue was a set of stairs leading down into darkness.  They lit a torch and began to go down the stairs. 

Spoiler Alert - if you plan on playing in this module, don't read further!

The stairs ended in a large room.  Another statue of the god was present, but this time he was kneeling down and the urn was leaning toward the stairs.  The opening of the urn was easily 3' to 4' across.  In the center of the room was a goblin head with symbols and marks carved into it.  One of the group picked it up and it spoke to him in a loud voice.  He decided to keep the head, so he put it in a bag.  Another of the group dropped a copper piece into the urn and they heard it roll and slide down a ways before making a pinging, bouncing sound.  Looking around the room at the carvings on the walls and the two closed doors, they found a secret door behind the statue and opted to go through it.  It was a ramp down into another room where they found the copper piece. 

To speed this up, they explored about 8 rooms, encountered two sets of skeletons, one zombie and about 9 goblins.  They started using doors to go over pit traps, then as weapons.  Some of the best lines of the night?

Goblin: "Surrender!"
Charlie: "Okay!"
Dewayne: "I drop the door on him."
Roll to hit, sucessful...damage, 9 points....smashed goblin.

Charlie: "I jump in the pool of holy water and start splashing the zombie and skeletons."
me: "Roll to hit"
rolls....sucessful....
me: "they start to melt"
Jim Bob (because Dewayne was injured into unconciousness): "I jump in the pool of holy water and baptize Dewayne".  Splash!
me: "okay, sure he heals ...(roll d4) 3 points"
Dewayne: "Woohoo!  I'm alive!"
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