Saturday, January 15, 2011

Castle Amber Recap - Part 3

Our second day of playing the Castle Amber adventure took place on Dec 31st of 2010. I allowed the PC's to make up a few extra characters to join the party, here is a summary of the additions:

Randy Gnarlypath (now deceased) 4th level Neutral Halfling, favored his shortsword in combat, built short but stout and fiesty with his 16 STR, 13DEX, and 14 CON!

Barden Oakfist, 5th Lawful Cleric of Halav, Barden carried the trusty Sword and Hammer of Halav into combat.

Thorn, 4th level Neutral fighter, big and mean, Thorn picked up an enchanted Black Mace +2 and used it with his 18 STR to beat down his enemies in the dungeons under Castle Amber.

Most of the PC's leveled up to 4-5th level by the time they passed through the silver gate into Amber. During this part of our adventure, the PC's passed into the Chapel of the Chateau and ran into the magical statues, tried to work out horrible "misunderstanding" between Charles Amber and his sister Madeline Amber (who Charles had buried alive!!!). Harkindurn the party dwarf was inflicted with malaria from the statues, but this was later reversed by the powerful chaotic demon worshipping cleric Simon D'Amberville in a successful attempt to allay the party's fears against him.

The party was unable to relieve the tension between Charles and his sister. Charles went invisible and slipped away warning Simon of the party's nearness. Madeline, took off through the keep with her trusty war-shield and sword searching for revenge against her brother. The party, unsure of what to do searched around finding a chest full of treasure and some secret doors finally leading to Simon D'Amberville.

Simon first got the party to trust him with some sugar tongued words, the gift of a ring of protection +1, and a remove curse spell. However, he memorized some other spells to deal with the party when they decided to spend the night in his sanctum. He cast a silence spell on a rock and tossed it into the midst of the party as they slept. He then cast several curses on various party members, quested several of them to find the tomb of St.Stephen, cast finger of death - killing the party Halfling Randy, used hold person on two of them who had been the "watch", and then was about to start slitting throats when I finally rolled a random roll for one of them to wake up. Simon decided to err on caution and slipped away quickly through another secret door, while the party woke up to find one of them dead, most of them either cursed or held, and a silence spell in effect. It took them a while and dispel magic, but they were able to remove most of the effects except for the curses and the quest spells. The party then decided to use the trap door to the dungeon (which Simon had explained to them while he was getting on their good side).

During their explorations of the dungeon they first found the alchemy room, where they were "gassed" by some strange purple lotus powder that caused them to have trippy LSD type dreams that became real if they failed their saving throws!!! This actually didn't kill anyone, but the party dwarf almost ended up with wings (which we all laughed about at the table, just imagining a surly dwarf in chain mail with a massive axe and sporting cute whittle pixie wings ;) Also, the party mage gained a level in an instant by failing his saving throw - wow, Tom Moldvay put some serious character altering effects in this adventure.

In the dungeons the party battle hell hounds, stayed the heck away from a hypnotic small child standing in the middle of a pentagram and begging the party to release her (she was a death demon using an illusionary form), the party mage gained 2 points of wisdom passing over the letter square area to nab another key.

The party also fell afoul of the brain collector in area 48b. This was probably the most challenging of all the things they fought, wherein it forces three of the company to roll against the table of death and dismemberment - hitting less than zero HP.

They first took a look at this tentacled monstrosity perched upon crab legs having almost humanlike hands at the bottom, and watched it ingest the brain of a recent victim. The brain slid smoothly under the rubber carapace of the slimy yellow dome that vaguely resembled a head up and then the fish like swiveling eyes of the beast turned toward our heroes! The party slammed the door shut and let the party clerics cast preparative spells to "buff" up our heroes. However, this also allowed the creature to go invisible, and cast a phantasmal force version of itself. The party burst back into the room and did like 60 damage to the illusionary creature, wasting a lightning bolt, all their magic missile spells, lots of arrows, for a couple of bogus combat rounds, which allowed the brain collector to cast haste on itself and then charge the party!!!

They then had a desperate battle where the party fighter ended up with a broken arm, and two others ended up unconscious. However, they were finally victorious and went back up to the unicorn and the maiden where they spent the night. They returned to the dungeon in the morning, battled an amber golem and then unlocked the silver gate to transport them into Averoigne. We stopped the adventure at this point.

Everybody had a good time, and since 1-2 of my players were heading back to Italy on a plane in a couple of days, we decided to try and make plans to finish up the adventure someday on Skype. Everybody had an excellent time, this was everybody at the gaming tables first time playing an edition of DnD pre-2nd edition, except for me. Most of these guys only play 3rd edition, and they were really surprised at how much fun they had. One of them told me he had expected to become really bored with the game considering he wouldn't have a tool-kit of feats to fall back on. However, he remarked at the end of our game that combat really went quick and not having feats gave him the ability to think outside of the box and just try "crazy" maneuvers. I just used on the spot random die rolls to adjudicate things that aren't covered within the rules.

Anyway, this is a really great adventure, and a massive one which is almost like a mini-campaign. We spent about 6-8 hours playing and the PC's have accomplished almost 1/2 of the adventure so far. Hopefully, we will organize a skype game and finish this one up because I have a lot more in store for them if we do (insert evil GM chuckle here)...

1 comment:

  1. sounds amazing. One of my PCs has a bag of purple lotus powder, I keep trying to think of ways to use it, just to see what happens.