Monday, 30 September 2019

Solo Dungeon Crawl #6: Fighting and More Fighting


On the day of Beorwald's and Dewan's funeral the weekly caravan came into Heybrook.   In the next couple of days two of the new adventurers in town presented themselves at the Warreners' bunkhouse explaining that the Factor had advised them that they were recruiting.

Kirgil was a half-elf.  He gave the impression of a strong, well-built human, but with particularly fine features and strikingly bright green eyes.  He was equipped with plate armour and weapons, but no adventuring equipment.  Aldrin was a gnome, short with a long nose.  He had decided to fight against stereotype by being clean-shaven but (perhaps surprisingly given this) still wore a pointed felt hat.  He wore leather armour and around his neck a chain with a large gem attached.

Both were accepted.  They signed the articles of agreement and each paid 5gp into group funds.

By the time Kinfalnar and Egi had healed it was only two days before the weekly caravan was due.  As the healing potions the party had ordered three week's previously were due to be on it, it was decided to wait.  As it happened, Aldwyne's plate armour also arrived.  Each member of the group took a vial of the potion (in the case of the new recruits, the cost of these were put against future earnings) .

The Delve

As we left the Warren last time

As no-one was healing, there were two new members, the party's treasure was under lock-and-key with the Factor and (above all) following the disaster last delve, it was determined that the whole party should set out.

  • Aldrin (Gnome)
  • Aldwyne Wolfbane (Dwarf)
  • Egi Snorrison  (Dwarf)
  • Eril (Thief, Level 2)
  • Kinfalgar (Elf)
  • Kirgil (Half-Elf)

They had hired one of Robern's mules and employed his son, Alhert, to look after it.  As previously agreed, Alhert wasn't expected to enter the Warren, but to guard the mule.  He was kitted out in leather armour and given a sling and dagger from the bunkhouse store.  Kirgil also picked out some basic adventurer's gear from the store.

During the journey through the Tearmoss Forest the party was shadowed by a group of Blink Dogs.  These kept their distance however and allowed them to pass once they proved not to be a threat.  In discussion afterwards, Egi and Kirgil disagreed on how many there were; the majority decided there had been at least four.

On arrival at the entrance to the Warren the party found that the lock they had placed on the door had been broken and entry forced.  There was no sign of who might have done this.  Alhert was left with the mule and given instructions to keep a careful watch.  He was told that if attacked he might consider barricading himself into the Anteroom and shouting for help.

The party planned to try the exits from the room to the east of the Anteroom.  They started by checking the north door.

A flurry of bats flapped through the doorway, their screeching barely audible as they careened past the party's heads. They flapped by harmlessly into the rooms and halls beyond.  At first glance, the room from which they came seemed empty.  As Aldwyne stepped into the room there was a 'Clunk!' as he stood on a pressure-plate and he was struck by a dart, fortunately, any poison that was on the dart must have perished, and had no effect.

Credit: Walter Simon
Eril moved to dismantle the trap while the other members of the party checked the rest of the room.  This search came up with a hidden sack containing 30gp and 300sp.

The door out of this room lead to a short corridor, at the end of which a flight of stairs descended.  Not yet ready to go in the lower sections of the Warren, the party returned to the room west of the Anteroom.  Exiting this room into another corridor Aldwyne, who given his recent experience had been checking the ground before him with his crowbar, triggered a pit-trap.  This was negotiated safely and the party continued on to a t-junction.

Turning southwards, they came to a door.  Eril checked for traps while Kinfalnar listened for anything behind the door.  Neither found any to report.  However on opening the door, there were three hobgoblins in the room.


Three of 'em
The party piled through the door in order to achieve the benefit of numbers.  Arrows from Kirgil and Eril slammed into one of the hobgoblins, killing it.  The remaining two came forward and both attacked Kinfalnar, fortunately without harming him.  In the ensuing melee Eril was wounded, but the hobgoblins were killed by final blows from Aldwyne and Kinfalnar.

Surround 'em and bash 'em

A search of the hobgoblins bodies and kit resulted in a quantity of silver, a bag of gems and a selection of jewelry.

With over 3,000 coins the party were now at the limits of what they could carry.  They decided to return to the Anteroom and check on Alhert and the mule.

However, while doing this they encountered a group of eight Orcs, obviously coming up from the lower levels.

Fortunately, the party were able to seize the initiative and take position in the room before the orcs had entered.  They started combat by focusing on the orc's leader, who was hit by arrows from Egi and Aldrin, and a Magic Missile from Kinfalnar.  Despite all this however, he remained standing,  Each party soon took up battle lines with their heavy hitters to the fore and bowmen behind.

At one stage Egi was knocked unconscious but Aldrin dragged him out of immediate contact with the enemy, enabling Eril to administer a healing potion.  The two partys were evenly matched and the encounter was a hard slog, but eventually the Warreners' advantage in armour and use of four of their six healing potions won through.  When five of the orcs (including the leader) lay dead the remaining three fled.  A search of the bodies came up with a quantity of gold coins and jewelry.

Fortunately for the heavily-laden group, they were next to the Anteroom, so were able to reconnect with Alhert and transfer all the loot to the mule without any difficulty.  At the last minute, Aldwyne grabbed two of the orcs' short swords and two bows - Alhert's weaponry was upgraded for the return journey.

The return the Heybrook was uneventful.


The haul was counted and appraised.

The one from Hobgoblin combat was
  • 2,873sp
  • A pouch with four gems: Sardonyx (250gp), Tiger Eye Agate (25gp), Obsidian (50gp), Chrysoprase (100gp). Total Value: 425gp.
  • Jewelry: Pendant (10 gp), Locket (1,800gp), Clasp (40gp), Bracelet (30gp). Total Value: 1,880gp.
and from the Orcs

  • 1,817gp
  • Jewelry: Pendant 40gp, small jewelled box, 1,700 gp, Clasp, 200gp. Total Value: 1,940 gp.
  • 2 short swords, two bows (and two quivers of arrows).  These added to the bunkhouse store.
The jewelry was traded to the Factor.  Aldrin took the gems as part of his share.

Aldwyne needed three day's healing, Kinfalnar two and Egi one.  Eril, Egi, Kinfalnar and Aldwyne ordered new Healing Potions through the Factor (60gp and a wait of three weeks).

Today's route

XP and Loot

XP: 6,524 divided between 6 survivors (ie, 1,087/1,196/1,141)
  • Hobgoblins (x3) - 45
  • Orcs (x8) - 80
  • Loot to the value of 6,399gp - 6,399
Aldwyne, Egi and Eril leveled up.  Eril is now a Level 3 Thief; the Dwarfs are Level 2.

  • 1,847gp
  • 3073sp
  • Gems (425gp)
  • Jewelry (3,820p)

For the Wilderness encounter I used the OSE tables for the first time.  My determining roll meant I used the 'Unusual' column of of the designated table.  Hence the blink-dog.  On the Monster Reaction table I rolled 'Neutral, uncertain', hence the chance to avoid them.

In the combat with the orcs I assumed that taking a healing potion was a movement action, ie, one could take the potion but not move, and yet still attack.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Solo Dungeon Crawl: Excursus - Random Dungeon Generator

After half a dozen delves in the the Solo Dungeon Crawl, I thought it might be useful to put my methods together in one spot.

Random Dungeon Element

The initial method comes from this post at Tabletop Diversions.  I have modified it for my own ease.

Draw a card

  • Ace = Stairs up or Exit in X squares (player's choice or roll 1d6. 1-3 Stairs, 4-6 Exit)
  • 2 = Stairs down or Exit in X squares (player's choice or roll 1d6. 1-3 Stairs, 4-6 Exit)
  • 3 = Straight Hallway for X squares w/ Trap (Roll 1d6. 1-3= pit trap, 4-6 other trap)
  • 4 = Straight Hallway for X squares
  • 5 = 4-way Intersection in X squares
  • 6 = Turn Right in X squares
  • 7 = Turn Left in X squares
  • 8 = T-intersection in X squares
  • 9 = Room(draw a door and then proceed to room generator)
  • 10 = Room (draw a door and then proceed to room generator)
  • Jack = Room (draw a door and then proceed to room generator)
  • Queen = Dead end in X squares or Draw Again(player's choice)
  • King = Reshuffle deck and draw again

Add the indicated item to your map (for rooms see the Room Generator).  I plot the map directly onto the online version I have (I use Dungeon Fog).  I only get the pens out when I have an encounter.

Where it says "X squares", roll the appropriate die:

  • Hearts = d10
  • Diamonds = d8
  • Spades = d6
  • Clubs = d4

Keep in mind that you may need to be creative or fudge it a bit if there isn't room or you run into the edge of the paper.

If playing solo, resolve any encounters.


Room Generator

Roll the die specified:

  • If room card is Hearts then d10 x d10 squares
  • If room card is Diamonds then d8 x d8 squares
  • If room card is Spades then d6 x d6 squares
  • If room card is Clubs then d4 x d4 squares
This is a step that I find I have to fudge quite a bit.

Additional Room Exits

Roll 1d4. Subtract 1 from the result. This is how many additional exits are in the room.

Place randomly or wherever makes sense given the dungeon's layout.

Room Content

There is a useful generator for room description here at the Thieves' Guild.

Tabletop Diversions Method 

  • 1-2 Monster
  • 3 Trap
  • 4 Weird/Unusual Stuff (talking statues, magic fountains,etc.)
  • 5-6 Empty 

Old School Essentials Method

  • 1-2 Empty (chance of treasure 2 in 6)
  • 2-4 Monster (chance of treasure 3 in 6)
  • 5 Special (no treasure)
  • 6 Trap (chance of treasure 2 in 6)

'Special' indicates Weird or magical features of an area, including tricks or puzzles.

OSE has its own tables for monster generation, but these are not yet on-line.  I use the Labyrinth Lord generator at Mithril Mages as LL is a close match to OSE (it also generates the treasure suitable for the monster).  Other generators are available that specify

If no monster is present, OSE suggests the following for treasure

  • Level 1: 1d6 × 100sp; 50%: 1d6 × 10gp; 5%: 1d6 gems; 2%: 1d6 pieces of jewellery; 2%: 1 magic item.
  • Level 2–3: 1d12 × 100sp; 50%: 1d6 ×100gp; 10%: 1d6 gems; 5%: 1d6 pieces of jewellery; 8%: 1 magic item.
  • Level 4–5: 1d6 × 1,000sp; 1d6 × 200gp; 20%: 1d6 gems; 10%: 1d6 pieces of jewellery; 10%: 1 magic item.
  • Level 6–7: 1d6 × 2,000sp; 1d6 × 500gp; 30%: 1d6 gems; 15%: 1d6 pieces of jewellery; 15%: 1 magic item.
  • Level 8–9: 1d6 × 5,000sp; 1d6 × 1,000gp; 40%: 1d12 gems; 20%: 1d12 pieces of jewellery; 20%: 1 magic item.

Random Encounters

OSE suggests rolling once a day in the Wilderness (I roll once for the trip out and once for the trip back) and every two Turns in the dungeon (or if the party have done something that might reasonable attract attention).

To determine what one meets, one could use the generator at Mithril Mages, but the d20 Generator at donjon had the advantage of letting one specify the terrain, so I have been using that for wilderness encounters.

OSE has it's own tables of course (8 pages of 'em), but I still find using pdfs fiddly, so I've been waiting until I get my hard-copy.  However, on reading the tables, I like the look of the Wilderness options, so I may give them a go.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Solo Dungeon Crawl #5: Oh the Magic-Users!

With Kinfalnar still recovering from his centipede bite, it was decided that it was his turn to stay behind in Heybrook.   The party was thus to consist of Eril (Thief), Aldwyne and Egi (Dwarfs), and Dewan and Beorwald (Magic-Users).

This caused some grumbling when plans were made the night before the delve.  Aldwyne pointed out that the elf was one of the stronger members of the party and that going into the Warren with two magic-users ('stand-at-the-rear liabilities!')  meant that most of the work would fall to the 'poor bloody dwarfs!'  Eril snorted.  Beorwald and Dewan exchanged glances and began murmuring.  A Magic Missile started to circle Beorwald's head, causing Aldwyne to drop his tankard and trip over his chair as he tried to get under the table.  Dewan put him to Sleep, and the party left him there as they went to their bunks.

It was an early start the next morning.  Aldwyne swore that his sore head was down to Dewan's magic rather than the ale he'd been drinking.  The trek through the Tearmoss forest was becoming familiar now.  It passed without incident.

The main entrance to the Warren was locked, as the party had left it.  They had considered whether it would make sense to use 'the anteroom' as an advanced base, to cache equipment and as a place to rest.  Eril had pointed out that there were obviously other entrances and that cached material might not be safe.  The party decided to keep this under consideration: as they moved deeper into the Warren they might need somewhere to camp overnight, but this certainly wasn't the case yet.

Exploration to date
The initial plan was to head out of the Anteroom by the west door and check the northernmost door from the room with the trap-chest (on the basis that it would fill a gap in the map).  They could then head either west or north.

When they reached the chest, Egi asked whether this wasn't what they needed for their cache.  Eril got out his thieves' tools and examined it closely.  After some consideration he decided that it was beyond his current skills to reset the traps in the chest and that there was no advantage in using it.  He could work with Exard the Heybrook blacksmith to create similar chest, but that would take some time and be expensive.

As expected, the northern door led to a right turn.  At the end of a short corridor a door opened into a room.  The carvings on the wall were magnificent, but twisted in nature.  Scenes of death, both violent and peaceful, were on every wall framed by grinning skeletons and ghoulish forms in ragged cloaks. 

Of more immediate interest however, were the two large hobgoblins, who turned and faced the adventurers as the door opened.  The slightly smaller was carrying a polearm, the other (which had a distinctly blue large nose) a curved sword.

The hobgoblin with the poleaxe was killed by a well-aimed arrow from Egi, but attacks from Eril and Aldwyne missed.  Dewan called "Your bird!" to Beorwald, who summoned a Magic Missile, which hit the hobgoblin squarely between the eyes, felling him.  "And that's how a Mage rumbles!" he smirked to Aldwyne.

Hobgoblins bite the dust
A search of the room reveled some graffiti ("The ranger has betrayed us") and an open chest, which the hobgoblins had been rummaging through.  This contained several bags of gold coins and a small bag of gems.  This amount of loot was all the party could carry, so they withdrew from the Warren.

The heavily-laden party made slow going back through the forest.  Perhaps because of this, they weren't paying too much attention to their surroundings and Dewan stumbled into a nest disturbing a swarm of spiders that attacked her, Beorwald and Egi.  As they weren't wearing armour, the magic-users were particularly badly affected, and Dewan was unable to cast the Sleep spell that would save them.  As Egi cast around him with his sword, Eril and Aldwyne unsuccessfully tried to light torches.  With horrific shrieks, Dewan and Beorwald collapsed.  Eril finally managed to light his torch, which was sufficient to ward the swarm off as Aldwyne dragged their colleagues away from the nest.  It was too late for the magic-users, who were clearly dead,  covered in large boils and lesions.   Egi was unconscious, but as Eril kept the swarm at bay, Aldwyne was able to remove the clinging arachnids from him and stabilize his condition.

It was clear that Egi needed to be taken back to Heybrook as soon as possible.  Eril and Aldwyne cached the loot and took him back with full speed.  Eril took Egi for medical attention, while Aldwyne went to see Robern the Miller.  At the cost of 2gp, he hired two pack mules and two of Robern's sons to go back to recover the bodies and the loot.  Fortunately, they were able to do this without any trouble.

Total extent of exploration

This delve


Despite the large haul, the party's mood after this delve was grim.  Aldwyne was particularly hit by the loses.  Beorwald and Dewan were buried alongside Kinlee.  In the weeks the party had been in the village, Beorwald had become a feature at Efril's Place and Dewan was a cheerful and cheery figure.  Several of the villagers turned out to mourn.  Their equipment and the loot they had earned on previous delves were absorbed into party funds.

In Memoriam

Egi took three days to heal from the wounds sustained from the swarm attack.

A count of the gold coins taken after the fight with the hobgoblins come to 3,000gp.  The gems were taken to the Factor, who identified them as a Citrine (100gp), a Star Rose Quartz (75gp), a Smoky Quartz (100gp), an Eye Agate (50gp), a Blue Quartz (25gp) and a smaller Eye Agate (25gp). Total Value: 375 gp.

Eril visited Exard the blacksmith and started planning how a trapped chest might be constructed.

Aldwyne bought himself a bow and has decided to upgrade his chain-mail to plate armour.  He accordingly put an order in with the Factor.  If there is dwarf armour available in Ucham it should arrive in the next incoming caravan, due in seven days.

It was determined that for future delves one of Robern's mules and sons would be hired on the understanding that the son wouldn't enter the warren and would be provided with leather armour and basic weapons.

XP and Loot

XP: 3425 between three survivors (ie, 1142 or 1199 with 5% bonus)

Hobgoblins (x2) - 30
Spider swarm - 20
3,000gp - 3000
Gems to the value of 375gp - 375

Loot: 3,375gp divided between three survivors (ie, 1,125gp)

3,000gp - 3000
Gems traded to the Factor for 375gp


Solo gaming

Eril leveled-up!  He's now Thief Level 2.

The bit of fluff between Aldwyne and the magic-users came first: a reflection on my own concerns.  But I have a timeline running for these delves, and it seemed unlikely to me that they party would wait the full ten days for Kinfalnar to heal.  It was handy that the fight with the hobgoblins turned out in a way that tied in with the conceit.

(I wrote that paragraph before things turned pear-shaped and the magic-users were killed!  But it adds a dark shadow on Aldwyne's 'story' for those who like that sort of thing.)

Equally, the question about caching was one that I'd been considering.  I honestly hadn't thought about using the chest they'd found until the party re-entered that room.  As it was, Eril failed his thief skills roll.  The amount of treasure recovered has highlighted the need for some cache or transport.  We'll see how the pack-animal idea works.  It has it's potential dangers.

Monsters and treasure have upped in the last two delves (well they have got further into the dungeon, haven't they?).  The real reason is that I have found a random generator that uses the Labyrinth Lord tables.  This is the OSR ruleset that most closely matches the one I am using (Old School Essentials).  OSE will soon have its own resources on-line following its Kickstarter earlier this year.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Solo Dungeon Crawl: Excursus - Heybrook

As previously explained,  Lord Hamar has decided to bring Civilization to the southern reaches of his domain.  The government has appointed several Factors in the region to facilitate this and in addition, the Church of St Ygg is sending missionaries bringing word of the One True Religion.

One of the sites selected for a factory is the village of Heybrook, due to its position where the Northern Road skirts the Tearmoss Forest.  Eventually, forestry licences will be sold by the administration and the nobles who buy them will have access to labour from the population earmarked for resettlement.  Once these bonded laborers have cleared the forest and worked off the costs of their relocation, they are expected to establish farmsteads, paying their landlords for the privilege.
The Factor and staff
But that is for the future.  Currently the Factor is concentrating on establishing trade routes and clearing troubles-spots.  He has centralised the existing timber and fur trade.  Licences has been issued to three adventuring parties: one, Barry's Boys are acting as caravan guards on the trade route from Heybrook to the county seat at Ucham (where the Factor's boss, the Sheriff is based); and secondly, Marteph's Mercs are tasked with dealing with the brigands operating out of the Ingwick Gap.  The third party is our group, the Warreners, who have received the licence to clear out the dungeon that lies beneath Stone Hill, locally known as the Forsaken Warren.

Hitherto Heybrook had been a typical marches village.  The population of about 250 is mostly human, with a smattering of dwarves and halflings.  It doubles during the two week-long festivals (the Sykes Week in Spring and the Panks Festival in the Autumn) when the trappers, woodsmen and outliers come into town.

These festivals had established Heybrook as a centre for local trade and were one of the reasons the village was chosen as the site for a factory.

However, the establishment of the factory, which seeks to put trade on a more 'regular' footing, and Brother Greward's work towards rooting out 'pagan practices' put the future of the festivals in doubt.

Our group has hired a bunkhouse, which they are in the process of improving.  Eril, Aldwyne and Beorwald claim to be trying to win local hearts and minds by frequenting Efril's Place, the local alehouse.  They have become chummy with Robern the Miller.

Heybrook People

The Factor.  Male human.  40s.  Ambitious.
Herbert Brieheard - his assistant.  Male human. 25.  At the bottom of the slippery pole (but not for long).  Will stay in the Factor's service until he can do better.
Hammon - their dogsbody.  Halfling male.

Brother Greward - Missionary of St Ygg.  Male human.  35.  Believes what he preaches.

Robern, the miller
Witha - innkeeper.  Female human.  42.   Proprietor at Efril's Place (nobody remembers who Efril was).
Robern - miller.  Male human.  60.
Exard - blacksmith.  Male human.  44.
Narder - carpenter.  Male dwarf.  78.
Cece - harness maker.  Female human.  28.
Ernard Gill - butcher.  Male hafling.  67.

Exard and Narder are the local leaders of the Old Congregations.

Mother Elix - wise woman/crone (depending who you speak to).  Female human.  Nobody knows her age.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Solo Dungeon Crawl #4: Bats, Centipedes and (Finally!) Loot

It was Beorwald's turn to stay behind (polishing his wand, washing his hair or some such), so today's party consisted of Aldwyne (Dwarf), Dewin (Wizard) , Kinfalnar (Elf) , Eril (Thief) and Egi (Dwarf)

The journey through the Tearmoss Forest was uneventful (Dewin was looking out for those sprites so she could introduce them to Mr Magic Missile).  The entrance to the Forsaken Warren was still padlocked as the party had left it; however, the 'Keep Out!' sign had been defaced by fae hands...

The Warren as we left it last time

The party continued on the route it had taken last time, heading toward the west and north.  It became apparent that the northern corridor was the same as the one spotted from the anteroom, so the party headed east.

At the end of the corridor, the party came to a room that had obviously once been a study.  A desk stood against a wall, smashed bookcases and their contents littered the floor.   There was an earthy smell: paper rotted in mold-spotted heaps and shattered wood grows white fungus.

A thorough search of the room came up with a dog skull engraved with secret signs, two books still in usable condition (The Tome of Terrible Plains and A Complete Compendium of Halfling Heraldry), and a scroll in a case marked with the symbol of the full moon.

The party took the westward door from this room, and as they did so there was a large 'TWANG!'.  Aldwyne had triggered a trap, and was was struck by an arrow!

As explained by Walter Simon

As Egi moved to give Aldwyne first aid and Eril dismantled the trap, three giant bats came out of their roosts, completely surprising the party.  In the ensuing fight two were killed by Kinfalnar (one with his bow, another with his sword) and the third by Egi.  Fortunately, Eril's bat-attracting cologne had been consigned to the bin.

Rather like the previous one, this room was strewn with the smashed remains of rotting furniture. It looked as if it once held a bed, a desk, a chest, and a chair.  As search found a couple of stone urns containing 1.110sp and 1,100cp.

Following Aldwyne's experience, Eril was tasked with being especially careful checking the only other door out of this room.  He found no traps, and none were triggered when Kinfalnar entered.  However, he was attacked by a giant centipede

Kinfalnar collapsed, poisoned.  Reasoning that the party was already weakened and that with Kinfalnar down they would soon be heading back, Dewin cast her spell for the day, causing the centipede to Sleep.  Eril decapitated it.

The party then realised that this room was just the thing they'd been looking for.  Niches were set into the wall within which stood clay urns. One of the urns had been shattered, and its contents have spilled onto its shelf and the floor. Amid the ash it held, were blackened chunks of something that might be bone.

Systematic looting followed, reaping 10gp and three gems: a large ruby, a diamond and a blue stone.

The party then decided to withdraw and, taking the more direct route, exited from the Warren without any further encounter.  Similarly, the return through the forest the Heybrook was uneventful, if slow.

Extent of exploration to date

Today's route

Scene of action


For once the party has some goods to offer to the Factor.  He valued the gems at 500gp, 100gp and 10gp.  The two tomes he bought for 75gp and 25gp.

On examination the scroll proved to be one of protection from lycanthropes.  The party were unsure whether to keep this.  On consulting the locals (first discretely checking how hairy their knuckles were), they were assured that no lycanthrope had ever been sighted in Heybrook or the Tearmoss Forest.  The scroll was therefore sold to the Factor for 350gp.

One of the considerations in choosing to sell the scroll was that the Factor reminded the party that in his official capacity he had access to various potions and other items that could be of use to Licenced Adventurers.  For example, he could provide healing potions for 50gp (plus a handling fee of 10gp).  Feeling flush, the party ordered six.  They were told to expect a wait of three weeks.

Aldwyne and Eril healed from the wounds caused respectively by trap and bat.  After 10 day's bed rest, Kinfalnar recovered from the effects of the centipede's poisonous bite.

XP and Loot

XP: 906 between five (ie, 181/190/199)

Bats - 60
Centipede  - 5
10gp - 10
1,100sp - 110
1,100cp - 11
gems - 610
tomes - 100

Loot: 238gp 2sp each

Gems (sold for 610gp)
Tomes (sold for 100gp)
Scroll of Protection from Lycanthropes (sold for 350gp)

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Solo Dungeon Crawl #3: Back to the Warren


Following the debacle of the adventurers' first delve, they resolved that it was better for an exploration party to consist of five rather than four members.  They decided to learn some of the local lore about the Forsaken Warren, and began to term themselves The Warreners.

They also recruited a new member, Egi Snorrison, a second dwarf, as Kinlee's replacement.

Beorwald the Mage remained in Haybrook.  Kinfalnar the elf, Eril the thief, Dewan the wizard, Aldwyne the dwarf and Egi set out for the Warren.

On the way through the Tearmoss Forest the party spotted a group of sprites flitting among the trees.  Advised by Dewan that they were rarely hostile, but that encounters tend to be troublesome, a detour was made.  However, as they did so, they heard a cry of "Run away wizard girl!".  For the next two days Dewan dribbled uncontrollably.

The Delve

On reaching the Stone Hill, the party fixed a padlock on the entrance to the Warren and a Keep Out sign, endorsed with the Factor's official seal.

As we left it last time

The party took the west door from the anteroom.  They bypassed the trap that had killed Kinlee and  came to a door.  In the room beyond a skeleton dressed in moth-eaten garb lay before a large open chest. The chest appeared empty, but two needles were projecting from the now-open lock.  Dust coated something sticky on the needles' points.  The skeleton had a backpack containing rope, a hammer and stakes and rotted rations.  A pouch contained 90gp.  Eril examined the chest, but didn't find anything of note.

Taking the door to the southwest, the party entered a room only to be surprised by a giant crab spider which dropped onto Aldwyne.  Unfortunately it was able to get two bites in (though he successfully resisted the poison) before Dewan cast Sleep on it and Egi dispatched it.  The exit out of this room lead to a corridor so, in accordance with their policy of not getting too far ahead of themselves, the party returned to the room with the trapped chest.

The other west door lead to a short corridor with a side passage.  As the party went through the door, a group of kolbolds came down the corridor.  They swarmed around the corridor, but were unable to hit the party before a bow shot from Aldwyne, a Magic Missile from from Kinfalnar and a stroke of Eril's sword reduced their number from seven to four.  Nevertheless a number of attacks left Egi down and unconscious.  The remaining Kolbolds were quickly dealt with.  Looting the bodies recovered a lot of tat and 102cp.

Egi being unconscious and both Aldwyne and Kinfalnar injured, it was decided to return to base.

On the return through the forest, a group of wild boar were spotted, but in good time to avoid them.


The party healed up within five days.  Dewan stopped drooling.

XP: 151 (divided between five)
Loot: 90gp, 102cp

Monday, 23 September 2019

Solo Dungeon Crawl #2: Initial Game

I had written  a long and involved post about how I was going to generate random rooms and corridors, but then I found this method, and decided to try it out.   I played two games yesterday and it served me well.

If you're into thinking about the methodology of random dungeon creation, I can only suggest you read some of the posts on The Nine and Thirty Kingdoms blog.  The methods proposed there can be a little complicated, but it's an interesting discussion.

The reason I chose not to go with a dungeon generator or geomorphs is that they all tend to produce either suites of rooms or whole dungeons.  I want the feel of not know what's behind a door until I open it.  In future I may provide a 'found map', for which I'll use one of those methods.

To Re-Cap

Lord Hamar  (Artist: Nate Hallinan)
Lord Hamar has decided to bring Civilization to the southern reaches of his domain.  Unfortunately, his predecessors haven't been so enlightened and allowed the South to operate as a number of semi-autonomous communities.  He has a large number of dissents waiting to be relocated and employed in agrarian pursuits, but before the expensive resettlement programme begins, various trouble-spots need to be cleared.

The government has appointed several Factors in the region and have made it known that they will give adventuring parties licence to clear out a such trouble-spots.  Bounties may be paid, and adventurers will be allowed to keep any loot they acquire through their licenced activities.

The approach to Heybrook
A factory has been established in the village of Heybrook and our party has acquired the licence to explore the dungeon that lies beneath Stone Hill.

The Factor and his assistant
The Game

Of our six adventurers, four set out from Heybrook: Eril the thief, Kinfalnar the elf, Dewin Hud the wizard and Kinlee the cleric.  Aldwyne the dwarf and Beorwald the mage remain to sort out accommodation and various issues with the Factor.

In their initial dealings with the villagers, the party had heard many fanciful rumours about what they had learnt was locally known as The Forsaken Warren.  The Factor had insisted that 99 our of 100 of these were false, but which one was true?

The two-hour journey out through the wild forest to the Stone Hill was uneventful.  On reaching the entrance, it was as had been described to them and led into an ante chamber.

The doors to the chamber were ajar and from the amount of rubbish and debris, it had been open to the elements and used by various wild creatures as a cave would had.  Indeed, on entering the chamber, the party were attacked by three giant bats.  

This first encounter demonstrated some weaknesses among the  new adventurers.  Although Kinfalnar was able to skewer two of the bats with his arrows, the third prove particularly agile and resilient.  In addition, Eril seemed to have used some sort of aftershave that attracted the beasts, and took the full brunt of their attack.

With Eril severely weakened, the party considered returning to Heybrook.  Their inexperience won through however, and they decided that it would be foolish to give up at the first hurdle.  Dewin suggested that Eril be left to guard the entrance while the rest explored, but he was adamant that he would not be left alone.

The party decided to try all three doors in this room before delving further into the dungeon.  

The north door lead to a corridor terminating in a T-junction.  

The east door to a room lined with shelves with broken casks and bottles.  As expected, this room had been thoroughly looted.  However, an intensive search uncovered 30sp wrapped in a cloth and hidden in the bottom of a cask.  These were cached in the anteroom to be picked up on the way out.

The west door led to a corridor.  Almost immediately, Kinlee triggered a pit-trap, the fall being sufficient to kill him outright.  His colleagues recovered his body (and equipment) and returned to the anteroom to consider their position.  With Kinlee dead and Eril very weak, it was clear that nothing more could be done.  The silver pieces were recovered and it was determined to take Kinlee's body back to Heybrook where he could receive the rites appropriate to his religion (he had been an Acolyte of Silvanus).

Fortunately, the journey through the forest again proved uneventful.


A poor showing.  The party returned to Heybrook in a depleted state and with nothing to report to the Factor.  Many of the locals are followers of the Old Gods (the imposition of the Church of Ygg is one of Lord Hamar's civilising aims), so Kinlee was buried as he would have wished with an oak tree planted at the head of his grave.  There was much shaking of heads and many knowing looks from the villagers.  Eril took five days to recover from the bat attack.

Kinlee's kit and equipment were stored for future use (as per the Adventuring Agreement) and it was resolved to recruit a replacement.

Loot: 30sp
XP: 63 divided among three survivors.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Solo Dungeon Crawl #1: Concept and Prep

For domestic reasons I've been unable to go along to our RPG group for a couple of months now, and am unlikely to be able to in the near future.  I even had to abandon the Call of Cthulhu session I was going to run, despite having had quite some fun with the prep, which was a great disappointment to me.  But such is life.

So I'm going to try some solo gaming (in part inspired by the Roleplay Rescue Podcast, which I've been following for some time).  A lot of the most fun bits of RPGs can't be done solo of course, but some can.  I'm going to concentrate on an old-fashioned dungeon crawl.  .

I'm going to try a randomly-generated sandbox (so no theme - 'Temple of the Red Lich').  I've no idea if it will work or not.  It may just turn into "You walk into a room and see Monster X", but even that will be some practice at combat and will occupy me for a little while.  It may make me think a little about what lies beyond dungeon creation.

As regular readers will recognise, my initial thoughts are heavily influenced by my experience of Barrowmaze.


Lord Hamar  (Artist: Nate Hallinan)
Lord Hamar has decided to bring Civilization to the southern reaches of his domain.  Unfortunately, his predecessors haven't been so enlightened and allowed the South to operate as a number of semi-autonomous communities.  He has a large number of dissents waiting to be relocated and employed in agrarian pursuits, but before the expensive resettlement programme begins, various trouble-spots need to be cleared.

The government has appointed several Factors in the region and have made it known that they will give adventuring parties licence to clear out a such trouble-spots.  Bounties may be paid, and adventurers will be allowed to keep any loot they acquire through their licenced activities.

The approach to Haybrook
A factory has been established in the village of Haybrook and our party has acquired the licence to explore the dungeon that lies beneath Stone Hill.

The Factor and his assistant

The Adventurers

Now I could create a party of mid-to-high level Heroes, well-matched and kitted out with all sorts of singing swords, but that isn't my style of play.

I like the idea of PCs not being heroes, just people who for their own reasons (possibly heroism, who knows?) are going in search of experience and treasure.  If they survive, they may eventually be what we term as heroes, but at the moment, they're just getting by.  I rather like the concept of the Dungeon Crawl Classic 'Funnel' - that is an adventure where each player starts with a stable of 0 Level characters (butchers, bakers and candlestick makers), most of which are expected to die, but one or two of whom will survive and graduate to Level 1.  I may incorporate some DCC features into my solo gaming, but not yet.

So what I've done is to roll six characters using the B/X Essential rules (I'll graduate to Old School Essentials - the upgrade - once I get my hard-copy).  I've rolled 3d6 in order with no point transfer then chose classes based on the results.  I know that's harsh on the character, but I think that the inevitable weaknesses generated fit in with the 'ordinary Joe' concept.

I intend to keep a pool of six adventures, and for each crawl to (randomly?) select four.  When a character dies, I will roll another for the pool.  For the initial pool I stuck with the basic B/X Essentials classes.  I know I ran the risk of getting six consumptive magic users, but in the end I ended up with a cleric, a dwarf, a thief, an elf and two wizards.  Not a bad mix.  When a character dies (and regular readers will know that I experience that a lot), I will roll a new member of the pool.  With these new characters I will have the option of adding Advanced Classes.

Our starting characters

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