Swords and Wizardry B-Team Strikes Back

We gathered after a long hiatus, mostly caused by real tragedy in +Erik Tenkar.

We all wake the the same dream. Skeletons, charging a village called Aberton, a skeletal foot crushing a signpost.

Hmm. No cleric. Crap. This will end badly, and we just woke up.

+Peter V. Dell’Orto and I both have a vision of a glowing blue longsword – just for added push.

We shake down a character who isn’t there for the potions we picked up (Extra Healing), for some reason Peter bought us all horses at 25gp a pop – but the fighters are flush, so we’re good.

We arrive at Aberton, to find the sign we dreamed about covered with a black rag, a sign of plague and death. We joke about just saying “OK, too bad we can’t stay.” One +Joe D suggests we loot the town, and we joke he’s “Neutral Good . . . at looting things.”

We backtrack over a hill that looks like a feature we all dreamed about.

We hear flapping and thrashing as we go, and Mirado Ogre Slayer readies his head-mace. We discover a thrashing zombie, and Rul (me) puts two arrows into it to kill it. (Rul only needs 156XP more; I joke if I can kill him five more times I can level up).

We look at him. He’s been dead a while, dressed in rags. We can’t tell if he’s been dead for hundreds of years or days, but he’s been gone a while.

+Jason Hobbs checks out Mr Twice-Dead Zombie; nothing cool. Looks like he’d wandered off the path and stumbled into brambles.

The pathway opens up, and we see a mine entrance, with a partial collapse going on. Even without getting too close, we can tell that the collapse was pretty recent. We check out the area around the mine entrance. We approach, dismounting from our horses, and disturb a bunch of skeletons.

We win initiative, and start shooting. A crossbow from Joe and an arrow from Rul put down a skeleton, and Mirado and Irbin wade in and drop another two, one with a cleave.

Irbin steps up and hits a skeleton, finishing the last one. Four up, four down, and that does it. They’ve got nothing good, so we move on. We finish the perimeter search, and head for the area subtly marked “1.”

We have to clear the debris. The fighters volunteer to stand guard while everyone else clears rocks. That suggestion is . . . not popular.

The cave opening smells like death. Mirado posts the man-hours rule: 1 person takes 2 hours. 2 take 1 hour. 2 + supervision = 3 hours+.

Mirado gets caught in a minor cave-in for 2 HP of damage, and uncovers about half dozen non-animated skeletons. As we’re done, we all have to Save vs. Poison for the stench of death. We all more or less make the saving throw, except Jason, and Irbin is at -1 due to being nauseated.

Naturally, we put the thief with the lowest hit points in front.

There’s a chorus of moans in the darkness ahead – we decide it’s not a porn movie, more like a wheezing guy asking for food. You can’t see undead with darkvision, so we know stuff’s ahead. Rul and Mirado head forward, Mirado on the left, Rul on the right.

Five zombies coming at us. Of course. An arrow from my bow hits for 6, one charge of a magic missile wand leaps out for 3 HP, leaving the zombie still up.

Mirado steps up to attack and hits for 6, cleaves for 11. He takes down three zombies in one turn. There are two zombies still standing, and they come for me and Jason. Zombie misses me, and whiffs totally.

Irbin and Rul both hit in melee, and we total 5 and 4. Mirado comes back, and has used up all his skill in the first attack, and whiffs.

The zombies do minor damage, and then get hit a lot, killing one. Erik keeps rolling an actual 0 for initiative – we kill ’em all.

We search them, but this time, though they have no valuables. They are dressed in town guard uniforms. Hmmm. They would appear to be from a nearby Abbey. We head North through the narrow cavern.

We see silouhetted against the wall, in the shimmering light of nasty phosphorescent glow, a skeleton in plate armor wearing a shimmering sword. Four more skeletons rise from the areas on the floor that glow.

We cast a web spell, and then set the web on fire. All creatures in the web take 2d4. They all take a bit of damage, but not enough. We have to pull out some old AD&D rules to adjudicate this one. The King Skeleton doesn’t make his saving throw.

We roll for initiative, and tie. DEX for the win, but the crossbow misses.

I take 6 points of damage from one of the skeletons, Joe gets hit for 4, and someone else gets nailed for 4. Four more skeletons rise from the ground.

I kill the skeleton in front of me, while Mirado hits for 7 damage and hits for a cleave, killing another. And a third! We are left with four skeletons and the king in the web.

We burn the web, doing slight damage. Peter rolls a natural 20, and rolls twice for damage, doing 11; he gets to cleave again, and again rolls a 19, killing a second one with 11 HP. Hits the third, and another 11 damage slays the third. Only one stands.

Three more skeletons rise, and another stands. Rul takes 4 more and is unconscious. The King starts to stride forward.

The skeletons all miss; the King Skeleton comes after Mirado, and misses vs. his AC 15.

We magic missile the King for 6 HP . . . having burned him twice, and hit him with two magic missiles, he falls to the ground.

Mirasdo continues to be a machine, hitting and killing two.

The remaining skeleton attacks Mirado and hits, really pissed. Does 5 damage, and hits me up with a healing potion for one dose at a time (d8+1). Two doses of three fixes me right up. The mage steps up and rolls another natural 20, killing the final skeleton.

We go loot the King. Usable but battered plate armor. Shield. Wielding a shimmering longsword, which Rul picks up, since the magic user that killed the king can’t use it. It’s a +1 longsword, +3 vs undead . . . but always glows when unsheathed in a 15′ radius.

Peter takes the plate armor, and we circle around and head south at a fork.

We realize that we’re playing one of +Tim Shorts entries from the Manor. Sweet.

A ton of goblins start shrieking at us in bad Ferengi. They disarm themselves. “We have not much in way of goats.” They give us 15 cp and 5 sp. “Dead. Dead. Dead. They try to makes us Gobs blackendead. I see. They take Gobs, they kill, they go black, and they throw away.”

The other goblins look pretty darn ill. Peter wonders if he stabs each goblin lightly, if he gets 1 HP back from them? No, the blood-drinking sword likes combat. He’s looking for Strormbringer and Mournblade. We decide he’s wielding Sighblade.

Goblins are likely infected with plague. Peter is morally opposed to flambeing sleeping goblins, but he has oil and flint and steel. We promise each other that this is for the Greater Good. We are become Nazis.

The Goblin we captured, who we’ve named Raymond, points down the passage and the “black-maker” and the “black lord” are ahead.

This former coal mine area has 8 skeletons with longswords and black shields rise from the ground. They form up like a bad Sinbad movie

Peter and I form up at the bottom of the ramp, with the magic user and thief at the top.

Three skeletons attack; one on Peter and two on me. One misses huge; the other barely misses. The third misses Peter as well.

I use my magic sword against the undead, and manage to hit and kill two; 1d8+5 vs. undead kinda awesome. Our mage decides to whittle down skeletons for easier cleaving. One dies, another wounded for 3 HP. Jason’s up, Irbin misses.

We lose initiative, and the remaining five skeletons come for us. We all attack at once with +1 to initiative from DEX. Peter and I both take a hit; me for 1 HP, 5 HP for Peter.

I take out one, Peter nails another. Only two left. Irbin gets to go, and nails one for 3 HP. Rul nails two more with a cleaving strike, finishing off what is likely the foot soldiers.

Last one standing, and he misses . . . and then Peter and I both roll natural 1s (as did Jason). Here comes the mage to show us how it’s done, and he whiffs too. The comedy of errors continues, and the skeleton hits me for 1 HP.

Rul finishes off the final skeleton, and Peter takes two doses of an extra-healing potion. Nothing on the skeletons other than longswords and shields. We look around, and find a collapsed passageway.

We kick off a big pile of undead off to the northwest of area 5. We follow around and come to the area we know has undead in it. The creature comes from the side, like a living shadow.

Irbin goes first, hits for 8 HP; Rul uses his undead-slaying sword and nails him for 9HP more, and he falls. We generally acknowledge

We find 63 gp and a crude amulet with a symbol our mage does not recognize etched into the metal. We take it, carefully putting  . . . “what are the possible negative effects from wearing it, and why are we not putting it on the goblin?”


The amulet has no chain, so the goblin doesn’t want it. We put it back in the sack, and head back to 5 to journey on.

We enter a naturally-formed cavern. The walls are worn smooth by water, black banners, piles of skulls, and a pool sits at the north end of the cavern. A horrific creature is draped over an altar. Two skeletons are there. A hunched figure comes out, whispers “Kill Them” and most of the room falls into darkness. Two skeletons, two non-undead, then.

Only Rul, with the +3 undead-killing sword, can see. Joe detects undead, and they light up like radar. He blasts one with two magic missiles. Jason casts detect magic to try and find the lantern, and he succeeds.

Depressingly, that’s all we can do. Those who can, press themselves against the wall.

Two skeletons attack Joe; both miss. He magic missiles two-on-one again, hitting and killing one.
Peter wades in and nails the final skeleton with a natural 20, falls in with 10 damage; the final skeleton is still up. Attacks Joe again, and misses; we can hear booted feet charging towards us coming from the north. Rul puts the final skeleton down.

Joe does detect magic again, and sees lantern-boy swinging a mace at his head. He’s tagged for 6 HP of damage. In response, he fires a magic missile wand at the lantern. Instant house rule; saving throw at -1 for each 2 HP of damage done. Two missiles, he has to save at -2 . . . he’s angry, but fails to drop the lantern.

He continues to go after Joe, and nails him for 7 HP. He’s at -4 HP.

We try and attack Black Lantern in the dark, and miss; he attacks me and misses. I hit him with a natural 20, 9 points; Peter does another natural 20, for 11 HP. 25 HP and he’s still standing.

Lantern-boy just misses attacking Peter. Peter hits and kills him. We heal up Joe.

We loot the lantern. The cleric is wearing magical +1 banded mail (AC +5); the mace is magical, also +1. The lantern is magical, but we can’t use it because we have to be a cleric.

On the altar is an Otyugh. We feather it with arrows from a distance.

We find 250gp and 10 small gemstones worth 50gp total. We find a leather-strapped necklace with a bloodstone set in gold worth 20gp. We destroy the magical evil lantern to earn 2000 XP.

108 gp and 1138 XP each. 1309 for me with this blog post (+10% bonus! and the 5% for attributes).

Parting Shot

This game was true proof that the OSR is pure fun. Lots of good banter and gaming, a couple off-the-cuff rulings, and lots of felled undead. Rul walked away with AC 18, +1 banded mail, a +2 longbow, and a +1 longsword which is +3 vs undead. As a 2nd level fighter.

Not too shabby.

I should note that with GURPS Horror, GURPS Zombies, and maybe Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1, this mini adventure from the Manor #3 would be a complete cakewalk to do with GURPS Dungeon Fantasy (or GURPS anything, really. Amp up the monsters and you could make this Monster Hunters or Black Ops without trying hard).

8 thoughts on “Swords and Wizardry B-Team Strikes Back

    1. Not only would this work in any OSR or DnD themed game, it'd be a cinch to convert to GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, especially if one had GURPS Horror, DFM1, and GURPS Zombies handy.

      Which everyone should.

    2. "OK. Fine. You approach the cave mouth."
      "Great. Holy Warrior up front for the skeletons!"
      "Out of the mouth of the cave rolls a choking, blinding fog. You hear the heavy thud of what sounds like booted feet. Very large booted feet."
      "Hey! What happened to the skelt—"
      "What? What? What happened?"
      "The skeletons are gone. They were killed by another adventuring party. Looks like something else moved in. And you hear wet squishy sounds from where the Holy Warrior was standing."

      "You repurposed the dungeon."

    3. That's basically what Peter does with his megadungeon anyway, so I could totally see this happening. Coolest thing about his megadungeon is the way that he makes it into a living ecosystem of creatures with their own motivations and agendas.

  1. So the GM gives you a bonus to XP if you write an adventure summary and post it up on your blogs? That's a pretty cool incentive if that's the case.

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