Swords and Wizardry: The Mad Overlord is Donkey Kong

Joined +Erik Tenkar+Peter V. Dell’Orto., +Tim Shorts , and +Chris Maler for some Swords and Wizardry Mad Overlord action.

First thing is we pick up Bello the homeless Dwarf. He’s been tying his shoes for a while, we decide. We put him in front so he can detect the wheelchair-ramp slope of 5%.

We set up a marching order, get going, and immediately fall into a pit trap. Mirado goes in, and hits the damaging bottom, but misses the poison spikes. We pull Mirado out of the trap, and remind ourselves that we used to tap in front of ourselves with a spear. Oh, right. Mirado asks to borrow my spear, and after the puerile humor dies down, we give the spear to Mirado and continue. 

Tapping away with the spear, we reveal another pit trap, which we navigate around and move onward. We “honor the arrow” and ignore the one-way door on the map. We check the door – which looks like every other door in this place – so it’s probably “save vs. poison or die.”

We arm up, and note that we don’t have a Thief. Well-rounded party we’re not, but we have strong guys with lots of hit points, and healing potions, so let’s rock the house. Mirado opens the door, and nothing explodes or anything. We go left (east), and bend around a narrow corridor . . . and we’re in a maze of twisty passages, all alike. We continue through until we hit a door, which we tip-tap our way through, then kick it in. No issues, and we keep moving. Bending around, we look for doors. Doors have monsters, and monsters have treasure. Specifically, rooms with numbers on the floor have monsters and treasure. Booyah.

We find a door, leading to four undead dogs. They bark and roar silently at us. They make the sound of claws on a wooden floor.

Mirado attacks first, and in four rolls gets a 1, a 20, and a couple of intermediate results. We make short work of them. The largest dog has a 25gp leather collar with semi-precious stones on it. 

We open a door, and three oil-soaked barrels come rolling in our direction. We comment how some traps are attacks, and some are hit rolls. Mirado gets nailed with another natural 20, and gets barreled over for 4 HP. Bello gets hit by these remarkably precise barrels for 1 HP. 

Once the barrels pass, we see 36 barrels arranged on shelves, arranged to roll out. We detect no evidence of a small Italian dude named Mario. Maybe the barrels are on the honor system – once you trigger the trap, if you survive you have to replace the barrels for the next adventuring party.

We’re tired of meaningless traps, and head back to the area with many doors, which we feel might have better loot potential. First room is basically a barracks room, with 12 bunks in a 20×30 room, which is worth a fortune in New York City.

We proceed to the next door, which appears to be locked. We spend a full minute to pry open the door, making ten tons of noise in the process. A mist rises, and dissipates, but nothing seems to be an issue.

Great. We’ve probably been sprayed with monster musk or something. The room is covered in mouse skeletons. We look up, around, etc. There’s a trap door 30′ above us.

We exit the room . . . and we’re not in the same place we were. Guess that mist was a teleporter, but our Dwarf senses it immediately, so we’re good. We kick in a door, and find a bunch of broken boxes and crates. Rul finds a loose flagstone, undernearth which is a book of spells! We give it to the Minister, and he gets a bunch of stuff. ESP, invisibility, strength, and a few others, some of which he already has. Not bad.

We plunder on, and kick in another door. There’s an inlaid silver summoning circle, polished, in the floor. We estimate that the silver is worth 75gp. so not enough to risk waking a demon or something. 

We continue on opening doors, and this one has a colony of giant rats among the rags and cloth. Within the filth there are . . . exactly 2,000 copper pieces ( +Erik Tenkar waives the three hours and rat crap). Bah. Not worth it. We kick it in, and room 69 has what is hopefully a happy ending.

We open the door and see what appears to be a mage. An angry mage. With two fighter bodyguards in mail wielding longswords.The fighter bodyguards attack, a natural 20 hits Mirado’s AC 18 and hits him for 9 HP. Mirado rolls another 1 for initiative. They hit him again for 4 HP. The mage disappears.

Mirado attacks the guy who just hit him, attacking and doing 4 HP. The dwarf misses, but Minister casts Sleep for 4d6 HP . . . and the side door opens up. The two fighters fall. and we chase the fleeing invisible wizard. Hrmph. If he ran, we don’t know where he his. We poke around the floor, so presumably he got away. 

From somewhere else, we hear “F********K.” We surmise he’s just discovered we stole his spellbook, and charge in to the room. Something crashes into Mirado, but he fails to grab on . . . but he falls on top of the sorcerer. Rul grabs at the invisible area, spends a luck point, and I grab his hair. Mirado and Rul whip out daggers, and bring the magic user to an inglorious end. We drag the mage back, kill the bodyguards, and look for loot.

The magic user has some bracers, and we find a chest. And 13 arrows. The unlocked chest (well, nothing physical). We throw a bedsheet over the chest, open it up, and hear coins fall onto the floor. Inside we find 354gp, so not bad.

We keep looking for loot and numbers on the floor. We win initiative, and find a bunch of New Yorkers. No? Norkers. There are six of them.

Mirado swings, and its, and then Rul manages to kill four in a row with a giant cleave. Bello scores another dual-cleave and we finish them all off. Knock ’em down like bowling pins. 

These guys are worthless. They have clubs and nothing else. We search the room, find nothing, and move on to the next door. 

Neither of us are surprised, and the players neither, and we find four more norkers. This should be fast again. Mirado misses, Rul hits for little damage, and Bello misses. One attacks each of us, but we have great AC, so they all miss. Minister also misses, returning the favor.

We win initiative the next round, and Mirado makes up for lost time, killing one, and Rul “Norker-slayer” finishes off the next three. Minister’s elvish hearing detects 10 more norkers comiing for us from behind, and he slings a Sleep spell, dropping three of them. The rest make a break to the east, their morale being broken. We give chase. Oh, we can’t map when we chase? Nevermind.

We keep a wary eye out, but search around and search their stuff, finding 5,680 sp, which again ain’t bad. We move on, again cautiously, farther west.  

We continue to open up doors as we go, and decide if we get stuck down here, the mage and three fighter types could live down here. Of course, then some band of adventurers would kick down the door, and kill us all with spells.

The room is filled with mannequins, in various stages of disassembly. There’s also another tiny door, and we can squeeze through and it leads to a hallway. With a door visible, and a parallel corridor. And another door. Tiled, with bathtubs, and a water vessel above a firepit. All dry.

We’re not surprised by the two large camel spiders, but one bites Rul for 2 HP anyway. Mirado and Rul attack and fail, and the elf and dwarf both whiff as well.

One bites Mirado for 5 HP, but he also saves vs. poison . . . and fails, taking 9 HP of poison damage. Yow.

Peter gets even, rolling a natural 20, selecting double rolled damage . . . and gets 10 damage on the one that bit him. He’s still up! Rul swings, misses, tries luck, and misses again. Gack. Bellow fells one, gets a cleave which misses. The final spider swings and misses Rul, and Mirado hits one. Rul must be scared of spiders. He misses again. The dwarf hits with a natural 20, hits for 12 HP, and we finish off the spiders.

Creepy. We loot the room, and find 4 gems, worth 50gp, 50gp, 200gp, and 400gp each, for a total of 700gp. 


We keep moving, heading north and west. We pass a bunch of alcoves, and then come to a door. Opening it (Bello nails it), and we see a group of horsemen and hounds hunting a unicorn through a forest, in bas relief. 

OK, boring. Onward, up, left, push on. We keep pushing and find a long corridor, ending in an angled area, and passing another dwarf-door. We check it, it’s locked, we break it open. A few d12 rolls later, and as we kick the door open, we break through a rusted iron gate behind it. We try to clear out the grate, and even more d12 rolls later, we’re ready for all sorts of pain.

I put my foot down and hear an audible click. I dive out, but nothing happens. We decide to foolishly push through – Rul first, since this crap was his idea. 

As we make the turn, I hear another audible click. We keep going . . . and see another short door. We force it open, and hear something glass breaking from behind us. We hold our breath, and shove forward into the hallway. 

We find still more doors, go through, and see a large wooden sarcophagus, which isn’t our concern, but the four badass skeletons are. Rul hits one with his undead-slaying sword, hits for 8 HP, but it’s still up.

Minister tries to turn undead, but it doesn’t work. Rul gets hit by one skeleton for 4 HP. 

We all crowd through the door, and they win initiative. Minister gets hit with a natural 20 for 9 HP, leaving him with only 6 left.

We’re each being attacked by 1 skeleton. Rul nails one for 13 more HP, so his foe drops. Bello scratches one for 3 HP. Minister rolls another 1 for healing, the GM feels generous, and heals for 6 HP.

We win initiative this time, Mirado drops one more, and Rul drops a third. Attack on Minister misses, but Minister retaliates and hits for 5HP, dropping the last one.

Each was wearing a golden gorget, encrusterd with jewels worth 150gp each plus some magic bracers worth 1200gp, and we still have that sarcophagus to deal with.

Inside, naturally, is a dessicated mummy wearing a large golden necklace and a pair of boots. Mirado grabs for the boots . . . and fails the saving throw. They’re boots of Elvenkind, but he’s contracted a rotting disease. Time to beat feet back to town. On the flip side, the necklace is worth 500gp.


We drive north, trying to hook up to the way out so we can get Mirado to a cure disease. We do hook up with the way out, and exit back to town. It’s going to cost Mirado 1100 gp to cure his turbo rot.

As we climb the stairs out, we pass the slain bodies of the teenagers we passed on the way in, four stairs down from the opening. Their throats were slit.

We mark two slashes in the dirt on their behalf.

Total cash and prizes haul was 2747 gp, plus boots of elvenkind and a cool spellbook. We each get 987 when all is said and done. Total party experience is 3,870 each, plus gold. Total XP is 5,585 including 10% for the writeup and 5% for ST bonus.

Rul goes to Level 5, nails 8 extra HP for 37 total, and his bonuses to hit are racking up.

Nothing too cool for loot, but a good delve nonetheless.

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