Recent play and more

shame of the deepguard map

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to run Shame of the Deepguard at Manhattan Minicon V . Thanks again to Lydia, Devin, Dan and Greg!.

The game was a 125pt Dungeon Fantasy objective oriented adventure. It started off in a bar, operated by a couple of the rescued NPC’s from Beneath the Fallen Tower; Wade the merchant (now a mere minstrel after his last venture was robbed by hobgoblins), Ebbet the halfling, and Valdor the dwarf. Playing were Marlo the thief, played by  Lydia, Ofelia the Mage, played by Dan, and an unnamed fighter played by Devin, along with Greg’s returning even archer, Griff. They were met in the tavern by Gillen Whitmore, a one eyed veteran guard and crossbowman, who they all immediately began referring to as Rooster Cogburn.IMG_20190212_0001.png

Originally Noah was supposed to reprise Erik the Cleric of Nodens, but he was at another gaming event at a new FLGS. We need more of those things! As a result, I gave everyone an extra healing potion.

Once Gillen laid out what he needed (brave adventurers to help him retrieve more silver than he could carry) they suspiciously signed on.  As the pregens were already kitted out, they left immediately.  Unlike BTFT, this was to be more dungeon, less hex, so that had one encounter along the way: a hunting party of Hobgoblins, carrying a deer and a boar on two spears.  They got a few shots in, failed to Sleep the 13 HT hobgoblins, and cut them down swiftly, partly enabled by a critical miss that self-disarmed a glaive wielder, and by the combination of the overseer wasting attacks whipping his men forward, and the hobgoblins all out attacking due to a combination of bloodlust and intolerance of elves.

This gave them a taste of what to expect, and when they arrived near the abandoned mines, mostly played out, but still workable buy the goblin slaves of the hobgoblins, they quickly saw the wisdom of going into the mine by way of the hidden back door rather than the front, which was a fortified gatehouse full of archers and a murder hole with boiling lead.

From the back door, which Gillen opened with a meteoric iron key folded up behind his eye patch, thoroughly grossing them out, they fairly quickly dispatched the hobs at the guardpost, taking a little longer to bring down the squad leader. The hobgoblins again tried to dogpile the elf, and he needed two sets of healing potions by the end of the next fight.

The reinforcements from area 4 came after them, and Gillen used his key to open the locked and dusty armory, and they left by the back way and ambushed the hobs.  At this point, Griff’s luck ran out. What a difference better armor makes! This time, a couple hobs were put to sleep.

I passed Gillen’s sheet over to Griff’s player, and let him know about the ulterior motives of that character.

The next move was toward the bridge, where they ran afoul of some foul bats. These were dispersed by sleep and a couple of crossbow bolts and sword swipes, but for some reason they decided to run across in the near dark, and first the fighter, then Marlo fell off the side. He snagged a grip on the edge of the bridge, and then they caught each other’s hand and he made a strength roll to get them both up to the bridge, where they proceeded a little more carefully.

In a cavern across the bridge, they parleyed with some gargoyles, thank’s to Ofelia’s diplomacy skill and the offering of Marlo’s wheel of cheese, and they got some intel on the local heavy, a fire slorn grown from an egg left behind by the departing Deepguard who had cached several one pound ingots of coin grade silver. The hope was that the mine had enough silver in it would deflect Detect Earth Spells, much as the back door was fronted with a thin sheet of meteoric iron to make it undetectable.

Unfortunately at the time, I forgot about the trace silver in the mine and let them detect it.

They beat the slorn by stabbing it in the eyes and dodging its fiery breath just in time for the rest of Gillen’s crew to ride up on them as the con came to a close and the Jersey street library kicked everyone out, so we didn’t get to play through the attack of the Deepguard.

 

Similarly, they never headed south into the mines, where they would have found the goblins slaving away at smelting silver out of lead-alloy, and seen the extravagance of the Hobgoblin women.  and their bears. Bears? Usually AD&D hobs are encountered with Flesh eating apes, but as I made my Hobs to be Hussars, I thought bears would suit better. I hadn’t populated the place with the hobgoblin young,  and if I get around to an OSR release (because I am not a licensed 3rd party DFRPG content producer like Doug Cole (Hey! go pledge his kickstarter. Right now. I will wait)), I will probably flesh that out a bit.

I got to learn a few interesting things aboutsmelting and silver mining from wikipedia, and the addition of a dwarf as one of the pregens was going to help spread some of that out, but the dwarf player backed out along with a few others.

 

right here, you can snatch up my con documents, which should only make you want to go and buy a copy of DFRPG right now, and while you are at it, pick up DF 15 Henchmen while you are at it, if you like 125 point play. If you want to see my templates for 75 point play, check here.

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

 

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The Deep Guard

One of my players brought along a magnificently munchkinized character, a heavily armored ogre who was a weapon master of the dueling halberd, with the Hero Advantage from DF 11. His equipment included ornate heavy plate he referred to as Deep Guard Armor. So who are the Deep Guard? I have had NPC’s immediately recognize him as the Hero he is, but gave little thought to what that actually meant.

The Deep Guard is a royally chartered mercenary group whose primary duty is to escort wagons of ore out of the royal silver mines and to the Imperial mint. The mines are in hobgoblin infested mountains, and the deep guard, accompanied by the Nethermost Flight, perform the escort.

The average member of the Deep Guard is a Brute from DF15 with Weapon Mastery: Dueling halberd and all other discretionary points spent on wealth sufficient to be outfitted with ornate plate armor.  The average member of the Nethermost Flight is an archer (also from DF15) using a heavy crossbow and carrying a mace.  They have the Teamwork perk and wear heavy scale.

Gorgath was able to save his unit and shipment during a ferocious attack by a shock force of heavily armored hobgoblins and gladiator apes that was led by a stratigically minded hobgoblin knight.

What really separates Gorgath the ogre from the rest of the Deep Guard is  that his armor is enchanted and a really fabulous piece of named signature gear known as the DoomRazor, a fine, balanced, , Dwarven, Silver coated, ornate Orichalcum  Dueling Halberd.  It is probably one of the sweetest weapons I have seen designed that wasn’t ludicrously enchanted.

The addition of Gorgath, whose player is actually subtle and funny, to the group has had me to re-calibrate threat and challenge evaluation, but I am still surprised at how quickly he can dice through DR17  opponents.

After the next time his group surfaces, I am going to have some of his mates ride into town.  Sadly, not all of them are heroic…