John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Shoot First, Loot the Bodies Later

Well, yesterday being the celebration of D&D's 30th anniversary, it's appropriate that we played last night. I once again took up the mantle of DM, and after a rocky few attempts to pick it up again, I think my campaign has finally got a good head of steam again.

When last we left our intrepid heroes, two of them were suffering from level drains c/o a spectre, and one of them was also mentally dominated by a cursed club that wanted him to go forth and slay humans. In a way, this combination served them well, because picking up the club also hit the character with a level drain, knocking him unconscious and effectively preventing him from actually carrying out the club's nefarious plans. However, under the club's influence, the character managed to break away from the rest of the party and flee into the woods, where he encountered a drow cleric on a mission of her own. The scenario began with the rest of the party searching for the escaped character.

Well, I knew the party would be hostile to a drow cleric, but since she was not immediately threatening, just sorta creepy, I figured they'd probably parley a bit, and from her get the various spells they needed to remove the influence of the club, even if they eventually sent her packing when they found out what her mission was.

Nothing doing; they attacked her on sight and sent her fleeing (via teleport from her dark master) with a handful of hit points left. This left the lawful good monk arguing that creepy as she was, she was peaceful and hadn't hit them first, to which others in the group replied that when it comes to drow clerics, you don't need a reason. It also left them level-drained and club-dominated ... but a good DM knows that you should always have a backup plan in case the players don't do what you expect. To that end, I had another cleric (a dwarf, this time, and one they'd be more inclined to be friendly to) in the next town.

(Re: attacking drow on sight, I'm half-tempted to import Drizz't from "Forgotten Realms" just to mess with them. But that'd be mean, wouldn't it? "Okay, you just ambushed the lawful good drow 10th-level fighter 1st-level barbarian 5th-level ranger. Roll your initiatives and hope he goes easy on you. By the way, your alignment just shifted.")

Anyway, that was just the prologue to the actual adventure. Another adaptation from Dungeon magazine (All hail the incredibly-useful Dungeon magazine!), this adventure besets the heroes with a town where the entire population (except for a few holdouts) has been turned into skeletons by means as-yet-undetermined. By day, the skeletons lurch around the town going through mockeries of their former lives: skeleton farmers harvesting badly-tended crops, skeleton guardsmen taking tolls as you enter the gates, a skeleton bartender serving skeleton patrons who promptly splash themselves with the ale because they've got no throats.

Fortunately, the mentally-dominated fighter had the presence of mind to go to the tavern first, where they found a new party member for the time being, the aforementioned dwarf cleric. For a very reasonable price, he burned up a few scrolls and potions to cure them of their ills, and then they went exploring the town.

They never did find out exactly what the drow cleric's mission was, other than it involved the wraith that's supposedly causing the town's odd haunting. A mission she still has, I might add ... we'll see what happens next week!

-The Gneech
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