Thursday, April 23, 2009

Playing the Dungeon of Voorand - Goblins galore

Having done an attack on a temple of amphibian abominations, the players tonight got involved in some scuffling in close quarters. After realising that the way to the temple had closed, they decided to explore some of the parts of the map of level two which still was mostly stubs of hallways unexplored. Having picked a direction the wandered off. I remember how one thing often mentioned in discussion threads about good dungeons very often was how fun it was to give the players a hint of stuff to come, and then force them to take a long exploratory route to get there. I liked that, and have used it at some points in my own dungeon. This time I think I was too obvious about it, though. So, after seeing arrow slits in the wall, and hearing snoring noises they didn't just take note and move on, they smashed down the nearest wall to get to the source of the snoring!

Now, I had put in a dead end in a corridor a bit away from the room with the snoring and guess where they brought out the hammers? The first one to stumble through the rubble of mortar och stone yelled at the top of his lungs, and since behind him were a wolf troll, a centaur and a dwarf and a very martial looking fairy, they actually paused. Then someone made a wrong move, and the slaughter began.

So, in a very crowded area 15 goblins and five delvers tried to kill each other. I called for DEX SR just to be able to made a successful attack, and our wolf troll decided he contributed best by sitting on top of a bunch of the goblins. Even with that limiting the fight a bit, it took fifteen combat rounds before it was over!

Compared to other nights I've played T&T it was slow slogging, and not all that smooth. We almost every round tried to do things like running away, tripping and pinning opponents and maybe that was why. I liked the idea of evening the odds a bit by grappling and pinning opponents. I let it happen as a plain CON based Saving Roll, and let as many opponents as the level be pinned and subtracted them from the Monster Rating. Even subtracting those goblins it was a fight where we regularly rolled combat totals in the 300-400 range. I'm beginning to think that the fact that armor in modern editions is not ablative might have contributed to the long time this fight took. Almost every point of damage dealt was spite damage!

After delving for a while my players have now almost run out of things to spend their money on. I haven't been that generous, but they still have armor values in the 20-40 range and then it becomes kind of hard to do anything but spite damage. It would be interesting to hear how other T&T game masters have handled that.

Finally I brought in the golem from the next door, since it seemed likely that he would be disturbed. He was not much of a hindrance, though, since all of my players seem to prefer blunt weapons! A couple of whammy's later and he was down and they brought him out of the dungeon and sold him for scrap metal. Pure entrepreneur spirit in my players. I like that.

So, now is the question if I keep ramping up the opposition or try to bring them decent challenges some other way. We will see next week.

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