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Ruins of Random Dungeons

Ruins of Random Dungeons

Normally I post a random table on Thursday for my Random Thursday post. Today I’ll be talking about some of what we did with random tables this week.

We sat down the other day to play some quick B/X D&D. Three players (one playing as both player and semi-DM… we were going to run this as a random crawl with basically cooperative DMing for the dungeoneering experiences), six characters, 3D6 in order, roll up four sets of stats and play two of them (so a little friendlier than true 3D6 in order and suck-it-up-buttercup). I’m drawing the maps for this game, and will post them at the end of each session – a mix of pencil and ink as we explore the various areas of the ruins.

Out of 12 sets of stats we had no natural 18’s, but one natural 3. And of course, in the theme of random tables, names were created with various web apps for translating names into various racial names, and finally we rolled on the awesome Random Headgear table.

The Party:

  • Gillian Boffin of Whitfurrows (Rock-tosser extraordinaire; wearing a masked helm in the design of a bearded king, with a brush on top) – Halfling – S13, I10, W9, D15, C11, C9
  • Gliran, Hammer of the Mountain (Surly and daring, if not always clever; wearing an open-faced samurai helmet) – Dwarf – S15, I10, W4, D6, C13, C7
  • Alaenoic Evenstar (Youngest and least wise of the fair folk; wearing an iron beanie, err, skullcap) – Elf – S16, I15, W3, D11, C16, C11
  • Eonwe of Three Hills (Sorceress and leader of our team; wearing no hat, and with grungy hair hanging in her eyes) – Magic-User – S9, I15, W10, D9, C13, C15
  • Hunter (Our guide, and probably the most likely to survive; wearing a dark brown wedge-shaped hat) – Thief – S11, I16, W14, D18, C14, C11
  • Daern the Dark (Worshipper of Insane Alien Gods; wearing a sky blue fur-lined hood) – Cleric – S17, I9, W14, D13, C16, C7

The game begins with the six characters broke and desperately trying to win a greased pig wrestling contest so they would have the money to pay off their bar tabs. Seriously, we started the scene already half-naked running around in a pig sty trying to catch a nasty piece of pork covered in lard, because the grand prize of the competition was 10gp.

It’s the Spring Festival in GravelThorpe – and this year the town is over-run with adventurers here to explore the recently uncovered ruins of the dwarven citadel of Urul-Dar. Last summer, the glacier that had covered most of the city retreated far enough that parts of the ancient city were discovered. Throughout the winter the word spread through the lands, and as spring settles in over the mountains, many a treasure hunter has arrived seeking their fortunes.

And of course, GravelThorpians were quick to see how to turn this into a profit for their small community by rapidly expanding the annual Spring Festival (and running it 3 weeks earlier than normal – so it would happen before the pass was completely open).

(We used the Greased Pig Wrestling rules from last Thursday.)

Hunter got the first grab at the pig, making his grab, but failing to hold it down. Everyone else scrambles after the pig, missing except our sorceress who grabbed it also, and almost managed to hang on for the run. On the second round Alaenoic manages to grab hold and drag along behind the pig for a few seconds but just can’t pin the porker down. On the third round (by this point everyone in the group is laughing our asses off) Hunter scored the grab, but couldn’t drag it down or hang on, Alaenoic again gets hold, makes the Strength check, but again fails the Dexterity check, and finally Gliran the surly clumsy dwarf manages to keep hold, even with his Dex of 6.

In a rare show of camaraderie, Gliran of the 7 Charisma bought the whole crew of pig wrestlers a round of drinks. Eonwe took advantage of the scene to ask if anyone in the six of them had a crew for the run to the ruins. By the end of the evening, the team had formed and were getting ready to head through the pass to the dwarven ruins the next morning.

After a quick look around the surface ruins (an old dwarven surface city with ruined towers jutting through the retreating glacial cover), we identified a point of access that didn’t seem to have any other explorers heading in through.

I got the job of mapping the dungeon using the random mapping system from the DMG without a strict adherence to the system there, trying to make it a bit less… random dungeon feeling.

We’re stocking the dungeon with a set of d6 rolls slightly modified from the B/X rules -

1-2: Monster
3: Trap & Roll Again (treat trap again as nothing)
4: Special & roll again (unless a special monster)
5-6: Empty

We re-roll specials on the following table.

1-2: Special Monster
3-4: Stairs
5-6: Funky Special (roll on AEC Random Features & Random Characteristics tables on pages 148-149)

Ruins of Urul-Dar - Level 1, Day 1

Ruins of Urul-Dar - Level 1, Day 1

Level 1

1 – Empty

2 – Secret door, Special Monster – Noble. 1 Level 3 Noble, 1 Level 2 Squire, 8 Level 1 Fighters.

Wow, unpleasant folks. We lowered our weapons and greeted them, and they rushed us. And took out our team leader on the first round of combat! We ended up running away from this encounter, minus our Magic User.

3 – Trap, Monster & Treasure – Spiked Pit (3 in 6 that each rank falls in). 5 Skeletons. Skeletons have no treasure type, so we roll on the unguarded treasure table. 600 sp, 5 gems (10 gp, 50 gp, 100 gp, 100 gp, 1,000 gp). Fortunately between the dwarf and the thief, we spot the trap before walking into it. We head that way, because a pit has to be protecting… something? Right?

4 – Special – Stairs – Down to dead end – Unguarded Treasure – 500 sp, 10 gp, scroll of protection from Lycanthropes

5 – Trap, Monster & Treasure – Elevator Room (5a) descends 1 level, won’t return for 20 turns. 4 Killer Bees. Since Killer Bees don’t normally have treasure out of the lair, once again it is on to the Unguarded Treasure Table. 300 sp, 20 gp (loose).

5a – The elevator room to level 2. 

Suddenly we were regretting not going home to replace the Magic User before getting stuck on level 2!

Ruins of Urul-Dar - Level 2, Day 1

Ruins of Urul-Dar - Level 2, Day 1

Level 2

1a – Elevator room to level 1, will not lift until 20 turns after descending

1 – Pit trap, 10 feet, 3 in 6 fall in

2 – 2 Draco Lizards

Oh holy crap! 4+ HD monsters? On level 2? And nowhere to retreat to? Stunningly, no one died during this fight, except for the Lizards. Multiple max damage sling stones from the halfling made a big difference in the fight, and the dwarf looks good with 1 hp, right?

3 – 1 Ghoul, Treasure Type B (1/8). 375 ep, 1,000 gp gem

4 – Trap – 3 Arrows. 600 sp, 10 gp, in an iron trunk.

5 – Flaming oil trap – save vs magic or suffer 2d6 damage (1d3 if save is made)

6 – Nobles! Argh! More Looters! Only 4 this time. Treasure type Vx3 = 12 rolls on V table. 22 sp, 88 ep, 67 gp, 72 pp, 5 gems (2 x 10 gp, 2 x 50 gp, 1000 gp)   

Our second encounter with Nobles had us on our toes (after a frightening encounter with Draco Lizards and really starting to worry about our chances to get back to the surface). So instead of giving them a chance to parlay, we jumped right in on them, catching them completely by surprise and butchering them to a man. Once that was over, with very few hit points left and finally having gold pieces in the triple digits (this was a concern, it just doesn’t feel like a successful run with only double-digit gold coins), we stumbled back to the elevator room (since we were so close anyways) and returned to the surface, thankfully having no random encounters on the way.

The big money for this run were the THREE 1,000 gp gems. Two of which we found on the lower level. Those are going to keep us going, and pay for maybe a henchman or two for the next run. Oh, and to attract the attention of a new Magic User. Without the leadership of our Charisma 15 Magic-User, leadership has fallen to Hunter, our “ranger”.

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