Blackmoor Campaign pt. 5.

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William
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Blackmoor Campaign pt. 5.

Post by William »

During the session on Saturday the 24th of February the players managed to finish their quest to find the magic crystal.

They continued with their search of the Keep's first floor, stumbling almost by chance upon the chaotic Cleric and his three Acolytes. A battle ensued within which the PCs turned and fled, but not without two fatalities and a loss of morale inflicted upon the enemy who also fled to a refuge elsewhere within the Keep. They also managed to stumble into an encounter with another set of Archer Bushes, this time at the other side of the Keep and growing around the base of a turret. They wisely avoided the bushes, spending their time searching for the magic crystal to take back with them for Sildonis ("The Wizard of the Wood"). Whilst searching they made their way round the northernmost part of the first floor, including a temple room; a library (which, unlike the laboratory, only contained works of common reading); a dining room; two bedrooms; a games room; and the living quarters for what must have been visiting nobility or royalty.

Whilst in the living quarters of the nobles and royals they wisely searched for secret doors and came up trumps. They had made a number of searches before and either failed, or succeeded in making a successful search roll only to be told that they have successfully determined that there are definitely no secret doors in the area. It was obviously pleasing to them to finally find an actual secret door, and it took them onto a short corridor leading to the secret room containing the magic crystal (the other secret door was in the throne room containing the four living Crystal Statues, easier to find but with a dangerous battle to endure). Whilst in the living quarters they uncovered an infestation of Yellow Mould, and the moulds were spread around the floor covered by a layer of dust. Unfortunately Gregor Williams (the Fighter) was caught in a spore release whilst making his way across the room, and also unfortunately he failed his saving throw, creating the first (and only) fatality of the adventure. Lacking a decent amount of medical skill, and also not realising that there is no cure short of a Wish or Resurrection spell for Yellow Mould spore ingestion, Gregor choked to death six rounds later.

All of the remaining three successfully made their way back out, carrying Gregor with them (primarily Kay Rocklin and Stefan Paske, as Ari Wildfellow is a bit too short being a Halfling), taking great care through the living quarters, and sticking fastidiously to the safest route known to them from their mapping of the Keep. Luckily a wandering monster check came up with no result, and they made it back out safely. Once outside they gave Gregor a cremation by funeral pyre, using wood from the grounds of the Keep drenched in lantern oil and lit by their Tinderbox.

They safely made their way back to The Elf Road, travelling through the dry day and getting lost only once. They were put back on track by one of Sildonis' familiars - a Weasel who stayed with them to The Elf Road before disappearing into a dense mass of plant growth. They had no problem picking up on its signals as they were expecting animal help should they get off track. Luckily there were no wandering monster encounters on the journey out of The Northern Downs, and once on The Elf Road they made their way back to the town of Blackmoor.

Sidonis was there to greet them with condolences upon reaching the edge of the Super Berry Woods. They were rewarded 2,000 gp which they spread around themselves as 600 gp each plus 200 gp to Abbie Megarry for guarding the horses and gear (unbeknownst to them the money actually came from King Uther in Blackmoor Castle, a man who will eventually become their patron as well as Sildonis). This money, combined with the treasure that they found in the hidden treasury within the Keep, and experience points from what combat encounters they won, is enough to shift them up to the 2nd level of experience, just one experience point below 3rd level. Unfortunately one of the players will have to generate a new character, but they are now 100% fully aware of the potential lethality of OSR gaming.

At the next session we will be taking a short break from Blackmoor to play boardgames, but the campaign will continue with a classic adventure, the (originally) setting generic B2 Keep on the Borderlands. I have ret-conned the adventure to fit in The Stormkiller Mountains, a region that is a longer distance from Blackmoor town than The Northern Downs are, and which is occupied primarily by Dwarves and Orcs (who frequently fight). I have done my own Caves of the Unknown (which is what DMs are supposed to do with the module) to add to what adventure material is already provided (a small wilderness area, The Caves of Chaos, and the titular Keep on the Borderlands), and I have provided The Caves of the Unknown with a specific Blackmoor flavour that I will reveal as the campaign reports continue.

Bill
Last edited by William on Sat Mar 02, 2024 3:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Swords & Wizardry....in Blackmoor!
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merias
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Re: Blackmoor Campaign pt. 5.

Post by merias »

A great set of sessions, Bill. I hope the players aren't put off from OSR gaming by the PC death, my own experience with exposing 5e gamers to OSR play left them surprised that a PC could actually die...despite my warnings and telegraphing the specific danger repeatedly. PC death is just not something that happens a lot with the more modern games. But obviously we know it's a lot of fun if you embrace that play style. Something like the OD&D inheritance rules can also help lessen the shock.

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William
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2023 8:28 pm
Location: England

Re: Blackmoor Campaign pt. 5.

Post by William »

No they haven't been put off which is good! They came to the conclusion that they should have been more careful crossing the royal/ noble living quarters, and that next time they will be more careful around dusty areas (LOL).

In the next series of adventures they are going to get an opportunity to create a base for themselves in the Keep (this time not a ruined one but the one from B2), so it will be interesting to see how that goes, plus how well they do mapping and spelunking in caves (the caves of the unknown will require some climbing skill).
Swords & Wizardry....in Blackmoor!
AD&D 1e/ OSRIC
Conan
Greyhawk (1e)
Lankhmar
Ravenloft

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