Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Dungeon Runs Through It - Palasé Dungeon Crawl 2015, Part 1

Hello, and happy new year! I'm hoping everybody had a great holiday season.

Just as an aside, By Brush and Sword is now two years old! Hooray!

Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog post detailing one of Bob's community games. It was a massive dungeon crawl, filled to the brim with dangerous monsters, deadly traps, and plenty of backstabbing (and frontstabbing) from the players. 

Well, the time came once again when, thanks to the drunken exclamations of a pair of men in a local tavern, word got out that another level of the infamous Palasé Dungeon had been discovered. With the dungeon's predilection to somehow accumulating fantastic amounts of wealth in coins, jewels, important artifacts and magical items, it didn't take long for a number of dungeon-delving salvage crews to make their way down to the newest level. 

The stage was set for another rumble in the dungeon!

Last year's game featured a dungeon with plenty of rooms and constructed hallways. This year's offering was vastly different, and was fairly eye-catching from across the game store. A large part of the level of the dungeon was covered in murky water, whose depths swirled with both currents and things best unseen, flowing from left to right. While the left half of the table did have some of the classical dungeon features, the right side was dominated by a small lake. The level was dotted with a number of boats, whose use would be critical during the game. Bob also had a number of areas hidden from view, which could only have meant they contained important treasures. 

All the familiar faces from last year's game made a return, and now the goblins were options as playable characters.

Both goblin groups began the game afloat, with the pirate crew showing off a rather imposing cannon...

The other groups started in scattered locations all around the right side of the table, some uncomfortably close for comfort.  My Salvage Company Squad began the game close to the shore of the underground lake. 

The game began in a usual chaotic fashion with Lady Clothilde's party opening a grate in the sewer floor. What emerged was a pack (or a lobe?) of grells! The monsters were swiftly dispatched, although now without dealing out a few scratches to the adventurers. 

The dwarves of the Elderberg Expedition used their innate senses (and their eyes, as it was placed right in front of them) to find a pile of treasure near their entrance. However, a ghastly ghost - or a ghostly ghast - appeared and the dwarves fled. 

The Salvage Company Squad found what appeared to be a dock on the edge of the massive lake, with several odd features - a magical rune, a trapdoor and a horn. My mage sensed that some sort of powerful magic waited just around the corner. But not wanting to get his robes wet, he sent one of his lackeys. 

The source of the magic turned out to be a flying shield! Not only was it worth 5,000 gold pieces, but it also hovered around a person, giving him a defensive boost in combat. 

A warband from the Imperial Army had also descended into the dungeon, and their leader's eye was quickly caught by a strange looking fountain that burbled quietly in a dark recess. 

One of Clothilde's men - the Torchbearer, in fact - thought to make his way down the slimy waterfall to reach the lower depths of the dungeon level. Unfortunately, staring at his torch for so long meant the man's vision in the sudden darkness was rather rubbish, and he slipped and fell to his death. Luckily he had passed his torch on to another member of his party, so it wasn't extinguished when his body hit the shallow pool at the bottom. Senator Rudiger and his men watched on. 

The goblins decided to announce their presence by launching a cannonball and a fireball at the Salvage Company, killing their torchbearer! Luckily, his body was useful as a larger torch. 

The goblin's victory was short lived when the Salvage Company's mage cast a Wall of Fire directly on top of one of their ships. While the goblins managed to make it into the water, slight singed, their boat was less lucky. It caught fire and started to sink. Meanwhile, another boat appeared from the darkness, apparently summoned from the horn on the dock. The goblins, sputtering and splashing, couldn't believe their luck - another boat had appeared, ready to be boarded. 

And decided that now was better than never, the Salve Company thief opened up the trapdoor to reveal and man named Brian!

Yes, I know. Bob said he couldn't believe the coincidence either.

Well, that it's for part 1. Part 2 will be up next week, and we'll see how the exploration of the dungeons goes on.

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