Eff Around and Find Out- Session 4 of OSE

Last night we had a third round of The Brass Bell of Dunmore.

Players included Stanley, and Ryan of the THAC0rpg blog.

Characters present included Abbyey Softpaws, cleric 3, And Ruben, fighter 3, along with retainers: Lance, fighter 2, Drucilla, magic user 2, and Annie, cleric 2.

The group avoided a TPK because three of their members were wearing plate mail.

After meeting, and deciding to recover the treasure of the coffer corpse, the headed out, having no encounter in the farmland, but two the next day; they met a nameless cursed man with a huge nose and one leg shoter than the other, covered in manure and pursued by bees. This poor unfortunate had shot and killed a sprite and had been repeatedly cursed by a group of its friends.

Later on they met a group of halfings “hunting kobolds” (on a tour of local taverns), and spent the night with them before approaching the brigand’s tower.

After suitable old school saftey measures were taken, they found out that the treasure had been ransacked, cast sleep on some giant rats and dispatched them, and used dead rats and a rope to try and disarm what turned out to be an alarm (tin plates tied behind a barrier of old crates) . The alarm of course notified the goblins living below, who all took defensive positions.

From the storeroom with the rats, they descended into a narrow set of low ceilinged corridors, and found a stairway down, open into a large natural chamber. Unfortunately, they did not check their 6, and once on the stairs, they were in immediate range of goblin archers on the upper tier.

A lone goblin told them, rather Negan like, to drop their weapons and half their shit. When the party opted to “F*ck around and find out” as the alternative, a hail of arrows descended upon them, and they beat a hasty retreat up the stairs, but not before Drucilla and Abbey were each struck.

Plate mail saved the others as they retreated, and ran for cover, only to be flanked by the goblins. Drucila cast protection from evil on Rubin, and Abbey on herself. U fortunately it doesn’t defend against missile weapons, so the cleric was hit again.

There was a lot of whiffing, as the goblins were useless against anything better than AC 3, and Annie sat on a goblin who rolled a 1 and tripped, and beat him to death with his own club. Soon after, enough goblins were killed as to cause those remaining to fail morale and surrender.

They rounded up the prisoners and found them to have been subjected to torture, at the hands of hobgoblins, who also had their families held hostage in order to extort tribute. The hobs were scheduled to arrive the next day, and were ambushed with a pair of sleep spells upon arrival, with the exception of Gimibya, a hobgoblin woman very disappointed with the idea of extortion instead of honest raiding. She defected and will join them next time when they go to raid the hobgoblin lair.

For now, they headed back to the Brass Bell.

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goblinoids for BX, using the B/X Options: Class Builder

due to my love of point buy systems, and my love of near humancharacters, I have statted up some goblinoid peoples for pC use, using The Welsh Piper’s book

all of these created using BX Class Builder by Erin D. Smale


prime requisite is DX 100

HD: d4 400

Armor: any, limited by size 100

shield: yes 100

weapon limited by size 100

languages: kobold, goblin, common 300

Combat: as Thief 200

Save: as Thief 200

Infravision 60′ 200

Hide in dungeon 2/6 100

Detect stonework traps 2/6 200

find/set/remove traps as Thief 50

Hide in Shadows as Thief 50

Move Silently as Thief 50

Backstab 200

size (small, as halfling) -100

Stronghold: at lvl 5 -500

Max Level: 8 -600

base xp 1150

level 1 0

level 2 1150

level 3 2300

level 4 4600

level 5 9200

level 6 18400

level 7 36800

level 8 73600


prime requisite: DX 100

HD: d6 600

Armor: any, limited by size 100

Shield: yes 100

Weapon: limited by size 100

languages: goblin, kobold, hobgoblin. orc, common 500

Combat: as Thief 200

Save: as Fighter 200

Infravision 60′ 200

Detect stonework traps 2/6 200

Listen at doors 2/6 200

Backstab  200

Max level 8 -600

DX minimum 9 -100

-1 in bright light -100

Stronghold at level 5 -500

smaller size (as halfling) -100

basic xp 1600

level 1 0

level 2 1600

level 3 3200

level 4 6400

level 5 12800

level 6 25600

level 7 51200

level 8 12400


prime requisite ST 100

HD: d8 800

Armor: any 200

Shield: yes 100

Weapons: any 200

languages: goblin, hobgoblin, orc, common 400

combat: as HD 500

Save: as Fighter 500

+1 to hit vs elves 200

infravision 60′ 200

Max level 8 -600

Stronghold at 5th level -500

ST minimum of 9 -100

Basic XP 2000

level 1 0

level 2 2000

level 3 4000

level 4 8000

level 5 16000

level 6 32000

level 7 64000

level 8 128000

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Session Recap of Beneath the Fallen Tower Playtest at Manhattan Minicon 3

The Swords & Wizardry Continual Light game I just released, Beneath the Fallen Tower had a warm reception when I ran it two weeks ago at the Manhattan Gamer’s Guild event. Players included Erik Tenkar and his wife Rachel, Noah Green, Miguel and Patrick. Miguel rolled a spectacularly average halfling thief, even though we were playing with all three suggested house rules (max hp at first level, bonus clerical spell for high wisdom, and humans swap their lowest stat for 15). Because there aren’t really ability checks, or ability based skills like GURPS, and no penalties for low stats, the character, a ratcatcher working for Keela at the Wayside Inn, was very successful.

Patrick played a swashbuckler. Swashbucklers are usually a prestige class, with an extra cost for experience, but are no different in ability from thieves at first level, as everyone has the same basic hit bonus of 0 when starting. Nevertheless, his play style made the Dashing Swordsman very effective. We opted in a quick ruling from SW Complete for dual weapon use of giving the attack +1, and he made full use of it.

Rachel played an elf ranger with 15 Strength, and stacked her anti goblin bonuses effectively.  Her character was our tank, but unfortunately was cut down by the goblin chief.  I allowed a save vs death, and her character lived but was out of commission until magically healed on the way out of the dungeon.

Noah, having read the blurb about a necromancer, played a cleric of Nodens. The route they took did not end up giving him an opportunity to use his turn undead ability. A few more hours of play certainly would have done so, and his one cure wounds spell gained from a high wisdom score was very important.

Erik played a magic user, armed with the “Death spell”, sleep. He also rolled the highest stats, and being human snared an additional 15, which left him a combat monster with 15 Strength, 15 Dexterity, and 14 Intelligence. pretty much everyone took Charisma as a dump stat. When I used to play AD&D, I used Len Lakofka’s 5% tables from The Dragon, that disadvantaged sedentary types at low levels, and made fighters more effective, and the DF lite stats I worked up pretty much echoed that frame of mind. Erik’s character would not be a 75 pointer, but something closer to 150 points, and far more effective in combat because of the flatly even attack rolls everyone had.

I was calling the group the Champion Wiffle Ball Team because of the sheer amount of low die rolls going on. Erik disarmed himself at least twice during the game, and the only advantage was that their opponents were largely in the same boat.

Due to low charisma, very few rumors of use surfaced, and the group was focused on rescuing Wyatt.Wyatt0001.png Wyatt Ferris is a gamer who left us far too soon, and in this game, he was a merchant and 1st level bard, who attempted to take his four retainers and 3 mules laden with goods through the long abandoned north road through the forest, instead of taking the long way around. The group had a lot of fun flashing his wanted poster while holding their hands over the part that spelled out a reward.

Their trip up the road led them to encounter the Duke’s men, who were only satisfied that they weren’t bandits when they partially displayed the poster. They ran into the deer being chased by the wolves, and lost a mule to them. Then they encountered the pilgrims, who were going to “hasten the arrival of the god who comes” but avoided hostilities with them, even though they suspected them of being evil cultists, partly because they also ran into the fleeing peasants and some elves who gave them elven rations. both groups had suspicions about the shrine, and a little interaction between Noah’s character and the pilgrims confirmed the bias.

One thing about SWCL that I really liked, is that there is no alignment. While this certainly promotes conflict free murder hobo behavior, it also promotes a lot more parlaying, and makes things like wholesale slaughter more morally ambiguous.

They also encountered the young ogre, who they fed and added to their party.  He proved himself useful punching out wolves in the dungeon, and successfully returned him to mama on the way back.

The route by which they entered the dungeon proved very fortuitous; out of the three possible entrances, they took the covered well used by the bugbears. Now there were multiple ways in and out, but I had them all drawn fairly close to each other, so I cannot say that the dungeon was well Jacquaysed. Janelle Jacquays does a lot in her designs to avoid railroading and creating quantum ogres, and my dungeon pretty much led directly to the goblins no matter which way you entered, but there was a certain advantage to sneaking in the back way; it put them two doors away from the prisoners and let them achieve their objective with minimal combat.  On the other hand, they used their one sleep spell to get rid of the Bugbears who were attacking them in the secret tunnels and their one healing spell immediately afterward, and had to rely on their wits from that point.

Naturally, there was an immediate plan to use a keg of oil to attack the goblins, but they used it to block their pursuers instead of risking catching the ogre in the flames.

They suspected Wyatt of having colluded with the goblins, until they realized he had just charmed the jailor in order to hold out until the ransom was paid.  I had included other prisoners Keep of the Borderlands style as potential replacement characters, but with only one near fatality, and a short time to play, they weren’t needed.

On the way back, they met with Mama ogre, the tinker, and a bunch of bandits wearing the soldier’s gear, who they promptly Slept, and took back to town as prisoners for a reward. All totaled their main loot came from the reward money, with only a few coins pocketed along the way; a good thing I wasn’t calculating out experience based on GP.

This adventure was set up with 4 different boss level fights, but the group only dealt with one, the bugbears, and avoided conflict with the ogress by returning her son safely. As to Aurelia and Melchior, they never met them.

As an added note, I really have to thank Mike Badolato for helping me with the vast amount of editing that had to be done after my initial passes through spellcheck. the late stages of the manuscript for the adventure had oodles of GURPS references in them ( like 1d-1 instead of 1d6-1) and all kinds of formatting issues that came about because I had used google docs on phone, tablet, chromebook and Word on PC to edit. I don’t recommend that to anyone. There were some issues I could not repair, like the unfortunate placement of a 2d6 table in location 12, that made location 13 conform to the formatting from that section… Word whatever are we going to do with you?

Grab the game, and enjoy it!

Gadgeteering for fun and profit

One of my players, who started the game early last year with a goblin priest of the hunt named Zeelzeel Shadowspear, has decided to play an Artificer.  Zeelzeel was a lot of fun, and when the player went on hiatus, he served as an NPC in a vouple of groups, and introduced his cousin Razakeel Shadowcloak, a necromantic apprentice. Zeelzeel also brought the kobolds of the guild back to the faith of their ancestors, reintroducing them to the worship of the Erl King, and wooing them away from the gentler faith they had bothered from a local human church. Father Robard, a goblin priest of the same, despite his pacifism, was quite wroth with Zeelzeel, who had impressed the kobolds by rescuing one of their young from a Triger that had escaped it’s charmed enslavement by wandering across a no-manna zone.

The introduction of the Artificer came soon after I had some of the other PC’s wander into some artificer trolls. As it is a point of courage an honor to work with fire for the highly flammable trolls, all of the males that are tested by fire and lose the vulnerability (usually bought down by lowering their appearance from ugly to hideous from the scarring from being burnt) usually become troll smiths.  So what kind of gadgets do trolls like to build?

Traps. Trolls like to build traps. Yes, being fireproof makes it easy to work the forge, but with ancestors like Grimtooth, there is a lot of pressure plate and dart work, to say the least.  What else do they make? My first priority as a member of a species prone to combustion would be a fire extinguisher. So using the example of the crude flamethrower, they combine a barrel and a bellows to make a backpack water jet cannon. Not proof against stone missiles, however.

Second order of business is fireproofing, in the form of spiked archer’s blinds, covered with waterlogged leather from the primary source available. By Crom, my trolls wear a lot of leather armor, and they live deep underground, so whence the hide? Some of it comes from Slorn, which are used for meat, mounts and tool making, but more of it comes from the larger and ridiculously regenerative Andersonian trolls, as found in DF Monsters and are kept in chains by the trolls found in The Next Level, who are more or less what Aethelbert the sage refers to as “Common Least Trolls.” He calls the big guys from Monsters “Common Greater Trolls” which gives me space in the campaign world to incorporate things like Giant Two Headed Trolls.

One of the PC’s is an elementalist and a bit of a pyromaniac, and usually wanders around with a cluster of Fire Elementals, so traps like buckets of sand over doorways and baited traps, like alchemical fire tossed under an iron cauldron propped up by a stick like the classic rabbit box trap, are employed when she is around with her flaming friends.

During the challenges the other group had to pass when negotiating with the other tribe of trolls, the party wizards had to figure a way of disposing of a flaming skull that had similarly been trapped, and the trollsmith had rigged a weight driven clockwork timer to raise the cauldron from the imprisoned skull spirit. Naturally, one of the wizards, a spell archer, thought that destroying the mechanism would count as a win, and one disintegrate spell later, he got to learn a few choice words of trollish.

At the moment, the new Artificer is designing some spiked slorn proof doors to be installed in a part of the dungeon that the guild is expanding into, but I am going to have to be on my toes to allow for maximum fun through inventing .