Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dwimmermount with Middle Schoolers: Frosty vs the Dead

DM: "So, do you guys want to go back after the Spawn of Arach-naca?  It killed both your elves but you forced it to retreat last time ..."

"Nooooo!"

"We're going to go to level two so we can find some more old books and stuff and sell them and level up!"

"Hey, I have this new Blindness spell in that spellbook I found.  How does it work?"

DM: "Well, it works like your Blur spell did.  It affects whatever creature you cast it on."

"So, if I cast it on myself I could blind people."

DM: "Um, no.  Remember last time?  The Blur spell?  You cast it on the big spider-thing and it got all blurry and hard to hit?  It works just like that.  Whatever you cast the spell on is affected by it."

"Right, so it kind of blinded us?"

Image result for three blind miceDM: "Well, no.  Blur made the creature you cast it on appear all blurry--it got harder to see it."

"So if I cast Blind on myself, it'll make me really hard to hit!"

DM: "N ... you know what? ... You can try it out if you want."

After a quick vote on party leader and a bit of shopping (which included the purchase of a couple flasks of alchemist's fire), the crew of seven climbed the Dwimmermount and began their delve.  Lately they've adopted the habit of hurrying through previously explored halls at a jog and ignoring / avoiding anything that isn't obviously treasure or which isn't on their planned route in hopes of not getting sucked into encounters with wandering monsters:

DM: "Alright, below the Red Gates, in the entry hall, you notice a trail of fresh slime crossing the ..."

"Ignore it!"

DM: "When you turn the corner, you spy a pair of spectral guardsmen ..."

"Ignore it!"

DM: "In the next room there are six, short, marble pillars with polished plates of ... "

"Ignore it!"

Their focus paid off and the group reached level two without meeting any creatures.

"Where should we go to find treasure?"

"How about here?"

"No, the map shows us places we've already been!"

Once they (more or less) grasped the concept that the map they had made reflected locations that they had already been (perhaps confusion on this point is an artifact of video game play?), the group set out to knock open some new doors, stumbling right into a group of deadites (I always avoid using "the Z-word," which for some odd reason feels too culturally-specific for D&D, but this is entirely in vain since my players pretty much classify all undead as "zombies" or "walkers."

The leader of the ancient dead showed a spark of intelligence, so we had a genuine negotiation on our hands!

DM: "Why hast thou ventured into these halls?"

"We want treasure!"

DM: "Removest thee in haste for I will not that these chambers be despoiled by mere ruffians."

"Okay.  I throw my javelin at him!"

Image result for snowmanA running battle with dead things ensued.  The party's wizard, who charged ahead, was shortly laid low, but she was recovered before bleeding out.  The party's kitten (who has six lives yet remaining) found a treasure stash, but rather than withdraw they gambled on advancing another couple rooms and were ambushed by a wight.  Ferdick the Goon, the party leader, was hit twice and lost 4 hit points permanently (I dock max HP vs levels to reduce bookkeeping without reducing the fear factor).  The group's snow golem, however, saved the day.  I had described the wight's rage as being fueled by the icy blackness of the interstellar void.


"Hmm ... icy blackness?  Does that actually heal me then?"

DM: "Um ... well, okay, it doesn't actually harm you ... and you haven't been wounded yet."

In the end we decided that the snow golem's skinny little dead-branch arms would decay and crumble, but that he was immune to the wight's dreaded energy drain.  Armless, he wrestled and blocked the raging undead until the rest of the party could escape with the loot.

Overall, quite a successful little delve!