Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Playing an OD&D Solo Game with my wife - fourth (and ongoing) session

We continued our solo game last night, having paused it from Sunday night because we both just got too tired to continue. And, like Sunday night, we had such a good time that the two hours passed very quickly. I decided to pause it yet again in the dungeon, as we had to take a time out to resolve a mapping crisis.

On Sunday night, Aeli (my wife's character) dragged the two bodies of the dead hirelings to the temple in Westport for a proper burial. [-- I had a chance to introduce more NPCs and a bit of flavoring of the campaign - the Goddess of the Sea and her temple. (The picture is approximate to what I described, except that at the temple, there is the large statue of the Goddess in the center of plaza, arm outstretched - this picture shows part of the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA). ]

Once she'd been ushered inside by the lower priests, she met the main priest - Worlale - who questioned her and Tironell about the deaths of the hirelings. He emphatically told her to stop "messing with things that are best left undisturbed." He asked Aeli to cover the cost of the service for the two, which came out to about 40gp. She paid, at which point the priest's attitude towards her changed. He even told her about a vision he'd had of her, given by the Goddess to him. [ -- This was based on her backstory of the evil mage who had betrayed, then slaughtered her family.]

Afterwards, she arrived to the inn to find the hirelings celebrating (Ales and Whores, baybee!), even after being paid a platinum to "keep their mouths shut." Aeli ended up carousing with them, and spent a few gold herself. After a restless night of sleep in which she had her own vision of the dark figure and blood on her hands, Aeli woke, restocked on her light supply and the party returned to the dungeon.

Well, at this point, I'd had several NPCs tell of a rival adventuring group that was looking for the entrance, so Aeli and her party tried to take a roundabout, Family-Circle-style back to the entrance to the Tower. [ -- I finally drew out a rough map of what the area looks like. ] Unfortunately, a well-armed party of tough looking adventurers finds it hard to skulk around a busy port during the middle of the day, and they realized they were being followed when they suddenly doubled back and saw someone take off running away from them.

They uncovered the entrance, entered, covered it back up as well as they could from the inside and proceeded back into the dungeon. After a bit of retracing their steps through some familiar areas, Aeli sauntered casually down a long corridor into a four-way intersection, thinking about whatever PCs think right before... "Make a Reflex roll" [-- I'm using microlite74ish rules so some of the D20'isms still apply, including the 3 types of saves: Fortitude, Reflex and Will ]

At this point, my wife gets a slightly "ohcrapnowwhat" look on her face, especially after she fails the save. An embarassed Aeli was pulled out of the pit with some rope and they continued on - with much poking of the 10' pole ahead to see if anything else would happen.

They ventured into an area that smelled of musty and fetid, and after some walking down this long room, realized they were in a burial area with ten sarcophagi in the middle. A random giant rat shot out of one of of the holes in the wall and attacked the party, who quickly dispatched. Amazingly, though, Aeli crept through the room and out of it without disturbing any of the sarcophagi. [-- When I told her later that I was very surprised, she said "I just knew there'd be a monster in there and I didn't want to run into more of those corpse eaters." Heh. Fear. I like that. ]

They left the room and down the corridor, they found the remains of several poorly dressed men. These were the bandits that Aeli and her party had killed on Day 1. [ -- At this point, we paused on Sunday night, and picked it back up Monday night.] A bit more exploring took Aeli through another room they'd been before on Day 1, the room where the grey humanoids eating dead bodies had been. A walk into the next room, and the party happened to surprise two bandits about to open a door.

One turned, tossed a dagger at the party while the other yanked open the door and took off. Aeli gave chase, charging the one that had paused to toss the dagger, and skewered him into the door. She then took off, running like mad to catch the other bandit. A run around a couple of corners took her into another familiar room, a room full of garbage and dead giant rat bodies. (They'd been here on Day 2). She killed him as he was trying to yank open another door to keep fleeing. [-- It's a good thing she didn't end up like Han Solo did when he chased two Storm Troopers... ]

Exploring through a room full of debris (from when Zenopus's Tower full) brought Aeli to a door where she heard a human voice muttering and the sounds of paper rustling on the other side. She cautiously opened the door and peeked in. She saw 3 extremely detailed statues of men, a heavily armed man and a table. Opening the door and walking in, she saw a robed man behind the table. He looked up, snarled something at the players and then ordered the fighter to attack. "Get them, slave!"

I'm going to pause the recap here, since this has gotten quite large and I don't want to make too long of a single post.

I was thrilled that my wife was having a lot of fun. She had fun dashing through the dungeon and I'm starting to get the hang of how combat works when someone is chasing another. She learned a lesson about traps and she made an interesting choice NOT to plunder the sarcophagi, because she was worried. I liked seeing her play that way, as it meant she was thinking. Risk versus reward...

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