Well, as advertised last night, D&D happens. :) Unfortunately, even though we were all at jamesbarrett's house by 10:00, we couldn't start until after 11:00 because I had to reconstruct Theran's character sheet again. For the past three gaming sessions, my binder for this game has had five versions of his character sheet, none of which were the current one -- so I had to build another. Except by the next session, that one disappears! Very frustrating. So this time, at the end of the session, I had Frisk and Camstone both witness that I was putting the current character sheet into the binder and that I wasn't going to take it back out again.
If it's gone again next week, there can be no doubt that something is up.
Anyway, on to the game. The campaign is set in Greyhawk, currently in the human-occupied lands just outside of Geoff, and in this particular scenario we are looking to clear out some sort of nasty that has taken residence in an ancient Suelese temple in a swamp and is corrupting the local lizardmen into worshippers of eeeeevil.
That's not all that's wandering around in the swamp; there was a black dragon (slain last time, and soon to supply Theran with what I hope will be a very cool set of armor), and there is a hag that is performing R-rated atrocities to all the local prettyboys -- which was explained in detail in this scenario's intro handout.
Eeeeew. I need to wash my brain out with soap now. Yuck.
Once the adventure got rolling, it was a pretty standard dungeon crawl. So far it's been light on the encounters and heavy on the set dressing, which is fine. "Real" dungeons crawls would be like that, I would think, rather than having a room full of goblins living next door to a room full of zombies and neither one ever saying "boo" to each other, for instance.
Camstone's paladin was definitely the star of the show when finally hit the big encounter -- a mummy's crypt, which was guarded by a corridor of six ghouls held in stasis until you opened the crypt (so they came at you from behind, keeping you from escaping). For a party of six 5th-level characters, it could have easily turned ugly with just a few bad dice rolls. Ghouls have paralysis touch ... mummies have an aura of fear that makes characters useless...
However, paladins are immune to the mummy's fear effect (go Baylor!), and the paladin's "aura of courage" ability prevented anyone else from succumbing to the fear effect either. (Only five of us could see the mummy rise out of its crypt; one NPC and I made my saving throw, the paladin was immune, and the other two NPCs would have failed, except for the aura bonus.)
Baylor then promptly turned two of the ghouls; the lizardman shaman, who was one of the NPCs aided by his aura, entangled the rest -- basically making the ghouls not a problem long enough that we could take out the mummy.
Mummies don't like fire, surprise, surprise!
Round One: Theran blasts the mummy with burning hands.
Round Two: Theran fills the crypt with a web. It doesn't entangle the mummy, but it does slow him down. Baylor uses his smite evil ability on the mummy, doing a pile of damage.
Round Three: Theran uses his everburning candle to ignite the webs in the square the mummy occupies, immolating it (and doing a pile of damage). Baylor and an NPC whack on the mummy with their weapons. The lizardman shaman uses produce flame on the mummy (doing, you guessed it, a pile of damage).
Round Four: Theran, Baylor, and the NPC whack on the mummy. The lizardman shaman continues to use produce flame on the mummy. The mummy expires. Poor old thing.
Rounds Five and Six: The remaining ghouls (who the other NPCs have been cleaning up) are dispatched in short order, never having once laid a grisly finger on anyone in the party.
Heck, they weren't so tough!
The next morning, Theran contracted mummy rot from the only blow anyone took from the beast -- eeew! (A saving throw of 9 is not enough to avoid catching a cold, much less a magical disease contracted by being attacked by the undead...)
Anyway, by my estimates, we've probably gone through maybe a quarter of the dungeon, based on the fact that we started in catacombs underneath and are now on the below ground level ... our intelligence gathered before making the assault indicates that there are at least two above-ground levels, one of which is full of lizardmen we don't want to kill -- they're the ones we're here to rescue from being turned eeeeevil after all -- and there may be a third "pinnacle" level. (The temple is a step-pyramid.) So far we've encountered statues of not-quite-coatls that stare at us, the memorial of the damned (i.e., the mummy encounter), four-bladed spring-loaded traps (ouch, nice going there rogue), several icons of lost Suelese gods, and a fountain depicting a urinating cherub.
My brain hurts.
Oh, one more note: Theran has learned the familiar pocket spell from Tome and Blood, which means he can tuck Kitty away in a magic container and keep him safe. Being a bit perverse myself, I decided that Kitty's familiar pocket is a little red and white ball that Theran has clipped to his belt. I'll let you figure it out. ;)