Greetings, fair reader, and welcome to session 1 of my Dungeon Fantasy game, which in MY mind at least, and hopefully forced into the minds of my players, is seen as an animated series, perhaps just not for children.. Or the elderly.. Or people in general.
Alright folks, it’s time to play our game. Let’s meet our players, shall we?
*Catchy Theme Music*.
Cast of hundreds –
Jianjun- Cleric of Erlang Shen, an eastern and mysterious God of War, here from the Old World to spread the blessing of his lord, and his cleansing fist, to the Demons that inhabit this land. He is somber compared to his teammates, but more that willing to mix it up in combat, if only to spout his catchphrase “Do you accept The Blessing of the War God?”.
Grognak – Barbarian of the wild north, in the the new world to find his fortune among the lost and unknown land. Most recently invented the Chokeslam and became a thing of fear among the goblin tribes. He is, however, well liked among the group, as long as he’s hitting someone else.
*Note: we have no affiliation with any major or independent game company, nor any of their affiliates. The opinions expressed herein are simply the ridiculous notions of nerds and their imaginary friends.*
Frau Blucher – Dwarven Holy Warrior of Hanseath, a Dwarven God of both battle and ale. Think patron saint of bar fights…but better. Frau is mostly interested in spreading her faith through potent dwarven spirits & proselytization and returning the restless undead to their reward via massive head trauma. Both of which impress her new friends. With The Frau, as always, is her trusty mount-
Gunter – A freed circus bear she liberated before leaving the Old World, who has taken a keener interest in fine ale than he has his juggling career, but Frau holds out hope.
Everynne, The Red Lady – Recent graduate of *mumble mumble* Wizard’s Academy in the Old World, she is come to this untamed expanse to hone her skills in the Arcane… and Burn Things. Typically the latter over the former. Perhaps slumming it a bit with this crowd, she’s fitting in well as long as she has something to burn.
Zen – A shady Thie- *cough cough* – er, Pirate, about town, Zen has little in the way of motivation aside from keeping both her bank account and her coffee mug filled. Zen seems to get along fine with her new friends, but mostly because they have nothing she wants. Because she swears she never found anything on those bodies…
Our episode opens on a mighty sailing ship, bound for the New World, more specifically a town known as Tembladera, yet still a few days good sailing from their destination, when they were set upon by a dastardly white dragon, and their tiny ship was tossed.
When the black was replaced by sight once again, the members of the party were awakened by a young priest of Mishakal; Elan, who had barely escaped the shipwreck himself, and had been able to save only the 5 of them using what he swears is a new type of first aid, and NOT just open-mouthed kissing, despite Jianjun’s suspicion.
Lost, alone, hundreds of miles from their intended destination, and with few supplies, our intrepid adventurers agreed to assist Elan, who was headed to a nearby town, intending to deliver a parcel and begin his service to the local church. Yeah, it was a ready-made plot point, but come on, it was the first session, and i hate the “you meet in a dark pub, the man in the corner says he has a job you might be right for..” thing.. that’s for session 2!
Grognak was undaunted with the deep wilderness (think the landscape they encounter in The 13th Warrior) and quickly found an old game trail, leading away from the coast, in the general direction Elan assumed the nearest town was.
After a number of hours blazing trails, Grognak smelled the faint whiff of wood smoke and, assuming food, quickly changed direction towards his new goal, leading the group to a small clearing and face to face with a goblin, busy gutting a dear.
The lone goblin seemed less than astonished by the approach of the loud and unprepared group trundling through the woods, but was taken QUITE surprised to have Grognak lead the charge in his direction and grab him by the throat. A newer player, he was excited to play a brawny fighter, and didn’t care about spending time to draw his big, oversized warhammer, he asked “can i run up and grab him?” And sure enough, he made a roll at 9 or less, and had the little green bastard in his grip. Just as all hell broke lose.
With the rest of the party in quick pursuit, several more goblins sprung into action, one dropping out of the trees onto Grognak’s back, while several rushed the group from their hiding spots in the bushes, and one tried to shoot Zen from his sniper position in a tree. This turned out to be a poor idea for Goblin Bob, as he failed to do any real damage to the Rogue- PIRATE, she’s a pirate, and instead was just enough to sprint towards the tree, leap into it like a hippy in the park, and kick him in the chest, knocking him out of the tree, and flat on his back, stunning him.
While Zen was busy climbing trees, Frau made good use of her mace, sending one goblin on to his final rest, as the priest and wizard charged and flung their magic downfield, and felled two more.
Once Zen had her prey on the ground, wondering why the world just spun around on him like late on payday, and why he couldn’t breathe, Frau Blucher spotted a familiar bottle of booze on his belt, and pinned him to the ground with her boot to relieve him of it. Sadly for the Frau, it turned out to be a potion of some kind, and not stout liquor, as she’d hoped.
Grognak was displeased with the hitchhiker and grabbed yet another goblin by the face, ending up holding one in each hand.. What IS a barbarian to do, but smash them together, turning both into piles of loose goblin pudding.. This earned an extra XP point for the session, long referred to as the “Cool Point,” voted on by the players, not the GM, and normally given for an extreme act of heroism, or, more often, dying, or nearly doing so..
The last goblin was relieved of his worldly goods and luckily spoke a few words of the Common tongue, and was happy to help them best he could, in exchange for his life.. sadly, a few words wasn’t enough to get more than that he would lead them to either a church, or a man, or something.. But it was enough, and they were off. Note: the other goblins DID speak, but only in their own language, Goblinstani, which none of the party spoke. the only word heard repeated sounded oddly like Gargamel..
With Elan armed with some leather armor and a short sword from a goblin who had… discarded it.. Grognak decided to finish field-dressing the deer, refusing to leave good meat behind, at which time the party eyed me suspiciously, “Goblins don’t use poison arrows, do they?” I replied “not to HUNT with…” *cue ominous music*
Gob Rob lead the party, tied up on a leash but alive, along a more well-traveled path, to a small rise with a cave opening cut into a hillside. “Well, this looks safe, let’s go on in..” and in they went.
As the group followed a small corridor, they entered a larger cavern, with an altar at one wall, to some unknown but clearly fiendish lord. In the cavern were a number of other goblins, several around an upturned barrel playing dice, and one, in a garish robe, at the altar.
The Goblin on the leash immediately began talking to the robed goblin in rapid Goblinstani, causing alarm to both the goblins in the room, as well as two larger creatures, hobgoblins, who entered from a partitioned area of the cave.
The combat lasted all of 4 rounds, with The Frau and Grognak taking out a stout Hobgoblin each, Frau with a shield bash followed up with her crushing mace, Grognak impaling it on his warhammer and hardly bothering to yank it free before he turned on a trio of goblins who were foolish enough to close with him.
Jianjun focused his attention on the obvious demon worshiper, and delivered his holy wrath, though fell before his spell had charged fully, the long blade of Zen stuck deep into his kidneys, who had snuck up behind him, as is her way. No one seemed to notice Zen pocketing the evil priest wicked-looking dagger as he fell, the group simply being surprised later that he had change in his pockets later when they searched his body.
The Red Lady, who had stayed in the entryway to the cave flinging Fireballs as goblins charging to their flaming deaths, barely dodged an arrow that flew past her, very pleased to have it miss, would find moments later that it had taken Elan in the leg, and carried an apparently lethal dose of poison.
Foes defeated, the party lamented the loss of the young priest, think 12 year old Haley Joel Osment, decided to deliver both his parcel, a bundle of expensive incense and holy oils worth a small fortune to the party, as well as his body, to the local church, as would have been his mission. But first, a good night’s sleep..*there’s the music again..*
Deep in the night, as Jianjun sat his turn at watch, cleaning his staff, and deep in conversation with his god, spotted the fur covering the cave entrance being pulled aside as a man dressed in dark leathers and a heavy cloak entered the room and locked eyes with the priest.
The would-be intruder called out “Don’t forget to tie up the horses!” and promptly drew and threw down a smoke-bomb.
The party all awoke to the shouting and leapt to various levels of action, with Jianjun praying for his magic, Grognak and Frau coming to stand, Zen vanishing into the shadows. The Red Lady, not wasting time to stand, cast an illusion over the makeshift campsite of goblins sleeping.
Before the smoke could clear, two dim-witted yokels entered the cavern through the smoke, one carrying a lantern, the other a heavy bucket held in both hands. Both looked confused and stopped dead at the sight of a somber campsite of goblins and the 7 foot tall barbarian that came thundering out of it.. This was a bit of miscommunication which actually worked out fairly well, mainly because i assume that if your GM is dying in laughter, random yokel henchmen are going to be confused for at LEAST a round.. Which, i’m more surprised to say, they both survived..
As the smoke began to clear, the original interloper stepped out of the shadows to stab the Frau, only to trigger the waiting Zen, who ran him through, rifling through his pockets before his cold body hit the floor.
Giving up the fight easily, Goon 1 and Goon 2 were keen to drop their weapons (or buckets of rusty caltrops, in this case), but the smarter of the two seemed to think actually spilling their guts was over the line. Frau kicked him squarely in the.. lower.. abdomen, and took a step to the left, and offered the 2nd good a chance to make good.. And he did it in spades.
The goonsquad were recent hirelings of the now-dead thief Rhengar, who was on his way here to collect his cut of loot from a recent caper, and then, Goondar Jr. was quite clear, to give them their share! When Rhengar called for his non-existent horse to be tied up, it was a code that meant either; A, he was under attack, or B, he needed light, so they brought both.. really, one made his IQ roll barely, the other failed. BADLY.
The party decided that if the now out-of-work Goonine-Mac would give them the route to town, and leave them to their devices, not calling for other help, they would give him whatever his partner had been carrying, which amounted to a dagger and a handful of coin. He accepted greedily, pointed in a direction Grognak called Northwest, and fled, thanking various deities as he went.
Curious as to the “loot” Goonie McGoonums has mentioned, the party set to a thorough search of the cave, finding, among a few small odds and ends, a cleverly hidden gilded chest, buried in rubble from a cave-in at the far end of the cave. After Zen made short work of the cheap lock, the party found… a wedding dress meant for someone larger even than Grognak, though not nearly as tall.. enclosed was also a pouch of coin, worth a few hundred dollars, and a note congratulating “Lady Penelope”on this, the day of her wedding. Even my newest player was hip to how this works, “this is a quest right? we have to take this back? ” “Well, that or dress the barbarian up for his Debutante Ball…” so the group made for town, pocketing the cash and tucking the dress back in the chest, then hoisting it onto Grognak’s back.
With a few hours’ walk, the party did indeed find a substantial town, Arica, and set about trying to find out who this Lady Penelope was, and where she could be found, so a plan was made. Here, the party got to use their social skills, hoping to find some sort of lead. However while plans were offered up, Zen’s player said “streetwise? i just tolled a 3…” and that’s all it took. 30 seconds later, a secret handshake with the first person she saw, and the party was directed to a large manor house at the end of the street.
The group, sans Grognak, who was invited to sit in the garden to be fed tiny sandwiches with the bear. Once inside, due mostly to Zen’s honest, fresh-faced ,new-to-town look, the more civilized members were given tea and cookies before being given audience with the Lady Penelope herself. A young lady of great..stature, the Lady Penelope was indeed to soon be wed, and was overjoyed at the return of her unique Elf-Made wedding dress, but was saddened to learn that the bandits had made off with the pouch of coins that the note mentioned would be included as well. Along beside Penelope, was her young husband-to-be, Emry. A tiny string of a man, he wore a pristine military uniform, but seemed to fight just to stay upright in it. Emry Never spoke, just sat meekly, nodding along as Penelope talked.
In return for their help, Lady Penelope offered to pay for their week’s room and board at a local Inn, the Salacious Unicorn. The group was wished well and ushered out.
I had decided to modify the normal quest mechanics for DF, giving a point of XP for completing the quest itself, and an extra point if the party managed an optional quest, in this case, return the dress for 1 pt, and the cash as well, for an additional point. also, it should be noted, that Elan and his quest were another set, with the return of his parcel for 1 xp, and getting the young priest back safely, for another. So, for this game, they got 50/50. in the future, I’m assuming they will weigh extra cash or prizes, over an extra XP, here and there.
The next stop was the local Church, to deliver both the parcel and the wrapped body of Elan. The church praised the group for the return of their lost son, as well as the important parcel that is important for reasons. Each member of the party was given a holy healing potion for their troubles, and an invite to Sunsday mass
After selling the loot taken from the recently deceased, each member of the party netted $353 dollars. A tidy sum, for homeless murder hobos who almost died a day ago, i’d say.
Well, that’s Episode 1, longer than i imagined, but hopefully not too long as to lose your interest. stick around next time, to see what manner of trouble the party can get into when Grognak wrestles a rowboat, and Zen learns an important lesson about sharing when a new friend comes to town, looking for love! – Note: none of that is true… OR IS IT.