Swords and Wizardry B-Team with Eric and Peter

I joined +Erik Tenkar‘s B-Team for Swords and Wizardry, which is basically DnD. +Peter V. Dell’Orto  hooked me up.

We entered into the ruins of an adventuring guild house that both exploded and imploded. We immediately start looking at barrels, and Rul (me) and Mirado (Peter) guard the open corridor. There’s a ghast in it – and I kill the ghast with a good hit and a max-damage roll with the spear. We recover, all told, a gold chain (150gp), a few barrels of alchohol, backpacks, 6 suits of leather armor, and a shirt of mail.

Continuing on, we enter into a room which has coffins strewn about, as if they fell from above. One coffin is a huge, marble, ornate thing. Sounds like a rhythmic scratching is coming from inside. This can’t be good.

We start looking through the fallen coffins, and hit ’em up one by one. First has a thin gold ring worth 25 gp. The second one the guy looks sucked dry, and he turns to dust. For the rest, 1 silver chain, 20gp. Platinum ring worth 125gp.

Is all that’s left now is the heavy marble coffin. With the “stronger than what we just fought” cue in it. We decide to live to fight another day, and leave the BBEG alone for now.

We gather at the original entrance, and pour a bit of water next to the door, it runs inward. We decide to pop the lock, open the door, and then fling Holy Water inside the door, just to keep them away in time for  . . . ah, hell. Nothing there anyway. So we waste a vial of water, and move on.

Rul and Mirado continue in the lead, exploring the place, and see four straw mattresses on the floor, and also 4-5 Zombies walking away from us, towards some sort of light. They’re ignoring us. We shoot arrows and throw stones at them, and then they notice us. We continue to mess with them.

And they mess with us back. Bandorous ( +Ray Case ) and Ellis ( +Paul Wolfe ) are both hacked at to negative HP as we struggle for a bit, then crunch the zombies down. All of the zombies look remarkably similar, even if dead.

We search the pallets, and find a flattened-out parchment under one of them. As Starlander Beck ( +Joe D ) grabs for it, it bursts into flame, defending itself. Starlander makes his saving throw, and retrieves a second-level Invisibility spell.

We wander north a bit, and find a large silver mirror standing in the room. We check it out, and as Irbin ( +Jason Hobbs ) looks into it, he sees himself – pulling off a piece of his own flesh. He quickly steps away from the mirror, but five Irbin Zombies shamble out of the mirror.

Starlander flings a Web spell at them, enwebbing them. We throw oil at ’em and light it up. That takes care of them; Irbin actually feels warm as his zombie selves burn. His ST increases by 1, and his Charisma decreases by 1. The mirror itself flashes and slags; whatever enchantments were on it are no longer.

However, the mirror itself is worth about 200gp.

The elves look for Secret Doors, and one finds one! Irbin checks for traps and listens at the door. Nothing. We use a wand of detect undead. Nothing there either.

Brave Sir Irbin opens the door and bravely runs away. The walls of the room are decorated and festooned with any weapon one could possibly imagine. We Detect Magic, and find one dagger that detects positive for magic. Ellis grabs a heavy crossbow, Mirado snags the composite bow. The dagger glows with light in a 15′ radius, and it has engravings of fish on it.

Peter says: dagger, +1, +2 vs. goldfish, carp, and koi

He also runs back, and finds that the marble coffin detects something strongly magical within it. Hmm.

We pop open the unlocked door, and find a corridor, that eventually slopes down. Rul leads, and hits a flooded underground passage, The chamber is about 8′ tall, and the moat, for lack of a better word, is about 20′ across. There’s a slight current and brackish water, maybe 8′ deep.

There’s a ladder, kinda rickety, but not too bad. We try and toss a grappling hook across, but dump the entire kit in the water, where it gets hung up. We all yank on it for a few turns, and it’s not comin’ out.

Starberry (or whatever) takes his fish dagger underwater and assumes it’s a water-breathing thing. He proves that theory incorrect. He chokes, sputters, and recovers the tattered remains of his dignity. The hook is well and truly stuck. He climbs out near the end of the ladder.

Coming out from the opening are five goblins, flinging sling stones, and trying to overbear the naked elf. They succeed, and dogpile him. We yank on the rope, and he flies through the air. One goblin falls into the water, the other lets go, and Starnekkid is wet again.

Three sling bullets come out and miss. We reel Starfish in, and those with ranged weapons manage to kill a goblin, despite a -2 penalty.

Irbin runs across the ladder, trying to hide in shadows, but Elis manages to miss a rung and get stuck on the ladder.

We Christen this room the Room of Lost Dignity.

We all go across, and find a decent sized irregular cavern, with a defensive position that’s unoccupied. We go into the room, and see an extended corridor, and see flickering light, and smell cooking meat, up ahead. There’s an abandoned cookfire, but nobody’s there.

There is a wild boar and some fish; we discover that the knife actually does have magic powers to fillet fish. Who knew?

We proceed down the corridor to the north, in standard combat formation, and enter a very large room. There’s a statue of a crab, in front of which is a huge Ogre, 11-13 goblins, and he speaks to us with a Russian accent. “Pay the tithe and leave,” he says.

We start flinging missile weapons. And a sleep spell that downs 11 of 13 goblins.

Mirado chucks an axe for light damage, and readies his bastard sword. Irbin jumps into the water and hides among the drowning goblins. Joe, Mirado, Rul, and Ellis are up close and personal.

The ogre swats at Rul with a very large mace, and hits him for 5 points of damage. The ogre wins initiative, but rolls a natural 1 to hit. So here we go. Mirado crits, Irbin hits, and we wind up doing 30 damage cumulative to him  We get 7 gems: 150, 200, 75, 250, 500, 750, and 500 gp! Plus some coinage and a big-ass mace.

Mirado takes the head, He plans on turning into a skull helmet, like the Kurgan. We search for nasty stuff and don’t find any. The statue seems crabby, but normal.

We check out the stairs that we see, but can make out only a sliver of light. We form up and head up the stairs. There seems to be some sort of thatch cover. We throw off the thatch with spears . . . and we’re outside in blinding sunlight. In a wooded glen area outside the population limits, between two large trees and a small mound. Huh.We actually go back overland to the stairs, and enter the first room, and go to the north way we didn’t go before.

We Detect Undead (nope), and the thief tries to pick the lock, which pops open for us, falls to the ground and we stare at it. We kick in the door and go looking for trouble.

Four 3′ tall toy soldiers bang their spears on the ground, and a portcullis drops behind us. Someone cuts loose with a pair of Magic Missiles for 8 damage. Mirado does a dual-weapon attack: bastard sword and ogre head. He hits the one that’s  damaged, and nails him . . . and the cleave rule cuts in. He nails the second one too.

Rul also rolls very well, and downs 1 and injures the other. Three of four down in one set of rolls. The next round, after Rul takes 1 HP of damage, Mirado also hits again with the Zaphod maneuver, and destroys the last one.

We look at the chest in the middle of the room. Yep, blade trap. Irbin goes for disarming the trap, and can’t. We trigger the trap, which hits Irbin for half damage (4 points). He takes it, and picks the lock – unsuccessfully. We crowbar the thing open after all.

Inside is a man-sized suit of leather armor, a cloak, a bow, three potion bottles, sitting on a bed of coins. The potions say “Healing,” “Extra Healing,” and “Flying.” The mix of copper, silver, and gold is about 3,000 coins in total, we guess about 1,500 cp, 1,000 sp, and 300 gp.

We decide to loot the area completely, go back to town, heal up, shop if we need, then come back for the BBEG.

The total stuff from room 1-1 is about 200gp. The vile smelling potion is extra healing. 30gp for the Dwarven chain. The magic dagger winds up being a +1 filleting dagger on 19-20 crit, with 1d6 on a crit instead of 1d4, which goes to Irbin.

The huge supply of weapons nets us 700 gp. Mirado keeps the ogre’s mace; the leather is +1 and the Cloak is +1 to AC and Saves – that goes to Starfish. Rul claims a +2 longbow. The other three potions are as labeled. Rul takes one, Mirado takes the other, and the final healing potion goes to our thief.

We consider how to stomp on the critter we learn is some nasty evil fighter with a blood-drinking sword. Mirado will open the coffin, we will cast Protection from Evil and then Web, nail him with Holy Water, and then sprinkle him liberally with ranged weapons.

When we pop the lid, it literally pops. The room fills with a deathly chill. A warrior wielding a terrible sword, looking brittle, comes from the sarcophagus.

Irbin goes first, and hits for 5 points of damage. The undead warrior misses . . . giving us an opportunity. The Magic Missiles from Starfish slam into him for 10 HP – max damage. A crit on a bow attack delivers 12 points, and Ellis hits for 3. Bandorus casts Faerie Fire, and so all are +1 to hit.

Irbin nails another crit, and scores 10 HP, at the same time the warrior misses him.

The rest of the party lays in 9 HP more, and kills him. We pour Holy Water on him to permanently lay him out . . . and collect the sword as loot. It’s called Woundlicker; +1 Longsword, but any hit by the sword heals the user for 1 HP. But if you roll a natural 1, it drains a HP from you. It’s not an intelligent weapon; any alignment can use it. It goes to Peter, who will wield the longsword and the ogre head.

Total loot: 4343 gp, for a 723 gp, 8 sp each. Plus the magic stuff. For adventuring and combat, we get 880 XP. Total 1604 XP. +10% for this blog post and 5% for attributes. Total 1844, and that puts me at second level in one adventure! just 156 XP short of level 2. I roll 5 HP, +1 for CON bonus. Booyah.  For some reason I thought Fighters leveled up at 1500 XP. Alas.

Good session!

5 thoughts on “Swords and Wizardry B-Team with Eric and Peter

  1. Enjoyed the recap and the "Star" name jokes…

    Serious question: since you've also played Pathfinder, I'm wondering what you felt the key difference in play experience that resulted from using the consciously old style rules of Swords and Wizardry vs. the more modern Pathfinder rules, as both are D&D-derived.

    1. I've played S&W precisely once, so any initial impressions will be pretty tentative. Plus, Erik has a small handful of house rules that might alter a strict RAW comparison.

      But . . . overall, Pathfinder is more technical and detailed (for D&D). Much more precise and tactical, in that you have things like reach and threatened squares, attacks of opportunity, and all sort of more realistic options. S&W is much more basic thus far (one adventure at first level). You have your paper man. Only supremely awesome stats really matter (no +1 for every 2 levels over attribute of 10). We had a case where a charging ghast won initiative, and therefore the fact that Peter and I were both ready and braced with spears was irrelevant to the outcome – ghast went first. So I get a more "the pointy end goes into the other man" feeling (The Mask of Zorro) rather than the more tactical feeling of Pathfinder, and even more so in GURPS.

  2. I feel like I've got a decent mind for old-school dungeon delving but I can't seem to figure this one out.

    "We gather at the original entrance, and pour a bit of water next to the door, it runs inward."

    What are you checking for here?

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