Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tomb of Gadra: Actual Play Summary

Recently we were able to run a second session for our friends who had their first adventure just outside the village of Kridlist. This time we started off safe within the bounds of the camp set-up by Gnosiomandus. After a good night's sleep the party did an inventory of their loot and considered where they might want to go from there. The old man and his two companions were headed off to Wermspittle with the newly-captured tiger (the same one that the party had managed to avoid previously). Since it turned out that the tiger was in fact pregnant, Gnosiomandus was in a good mood and offered to barter with the group to help them get themselves together so they would be prepared to face whatever lie ahead of them. Q took advantage of the opportunity to unload some of the bulkier items he was lugging about and was interested in acquiring a good short sword or something along those lines. When J's character, a run-away from one of the three circus families in Wermspittle, offered Gnosiomandus the little pouch of White Powder she had recovered last time, he was in a tremendously good mood and offered everyone their personal choice of any three weapons or what-not contained within his traveling fold-box panoply (literally a tesseract-container fitted-out as an arsenal filled with all manner of weapons, devices, mechanisms and such-like).

While the group did a bit of shopping, the winged-monkey that they had found earlier took off to go scout a number of limestone formations in the vicinity that might have caves or some other sort of explore-able locations in, on or around them.

In short-order the group finished-up their various transactions, said farewell to the sleeping (and very pregnant tiger), and headed off to a likely looking location discovered by the winged-monkey, who led them to the spot, pointed it out, and left to rejoin its master Gnosiomandus who was in the process of trundling down the closer spiral of the yellow brick road on his way back to Wermspittle.

The location in question was none other than The Toxic Tomb of Gadra, an adventure that has been in dire need of some play-testing for a good long while now. Oh, to be sure, there were several other possible locations available, but this was the one the group settled upon, so it is where they went. The only rail-roading around here is underground as part of the Unter-rail...and they have not yet found a way down to that yet...

So...here are J's notes:

Here are my raw notes for Gadra. They're numbered to make them a little easier to follow.

1. Gnosiomandus's flying monkey scoped the area for us and pointed us to the outcropping where we found the tomb.
2. On the way there we went through some ferns and avoided a poppy field.
3. We found a cave opening that had been sealed with glazed yellow bricks. Most had been removed and stacked to the side.
4. There was an inscription at the entrance that said Gadra and the words for "toxic" in Pruztian, Franzikaner, and Achuin. They glowed purple.
5. There was a pit with spikes that had already been released. There was a dead child's body.
6. There was a chamber with a vent shaft to one side.
7. The corridor went down and up. We used R's pitchfork to trigger another pit trap and used rope to cross it.
8. New chamber. Walls have been scraped clean. Floor did have mosaic tiles. Three spiral mounds. One mound chipped at the top. Chipped area has had something removed.
9. R (the Archer) found a gold and silver pendant with a teardrop pearl. Pearl has a purple sheen. Chain is unclasped. She keeps it.
10. We opened a mound. It's a Minken barrow. Bottom falls out, no one hurt. We pull the casket out. Dart trap sprung. Each person takes 1hp damage. Open the casket. Spider-hand symbol on inside of lid. N thinks it's moving. We move the body. Casket has a false bottom. We count 14 hand spider eggs in it. 7 are crushed in extraction. R has other seven eggs.
11. We hear second party come in. We wait to ambush them. They get as far as the gas trap. They trigger it. Two looters dead, the kid leading them leaves quickly (Scared). Gas sinks, is heavier than air, leaks through cracks in lower walls, revealing a chamber below.
12. Open third mound. Uncover then open an ornate casket. Smash another nasty hand spider. Take six more eggs.
13. Come to a spinnable door. Room behind it is weird, "feels bad." Door shuts once we're in. Open chamber, painted white, metallic under dust. Cinnabar carvings, mercury dripping from ceiling. We break through a wall section. Air quality in here is really bad. Something in the walls hurts our eyes when we look at it, especially N (the spell-caster).
14. Chamber with pool of mercury and a man-sized sarcophagus. Q figures out how to drain pool and raise sarcophagus. R's pearl necklace is pulled toward the sarcophagus. We decide not to open it and it's too heavy to take with us but we have info to sell.
15. Tomb is spirally. Use rubble in final chamber to build ramp to entry corridor so we don't have to go back through everything, then re-seal hole in corridor wall and leave.

As you can see, this place included some nasty traps, some of which were already set-off by previous explorers...and one of which was set off by a trio of opportunists who followed the party into this place.

The level of mercury fumes in this place varies a bit, but no one can last for very long before showing signs of mercury poisoning. Luckily for the group, they managed to open some ventilation and moved past the worst of the traps--even avoiding a couple of deathtrap situations by using good, common sense and a bit of intuition and strategy. For first-timers and newbies, this group played more old school than I've seen in ages and it was truly grand. They managed to get a lot of loose low-end loot here and there, which made the Thief-in-training very happy, but they also managed to acquire some very valuable information regarding this tomb that they can now sell to some interested party, including a rough map outlining the known hazards, identified traps, and the spots best left alone by the next group...unless they come prepared with gas-masks and hazard-suits.

Now I am at work revising the adventure a bit to take advantage of the group's feed-back to make things run a little more smoothly in places, and to incorporate some of the changes they've made into the final version of the manuscript.

Thank you to all the members of our little adventuring crew. I hope you all had as much fun as I did exploring Gadra's Tomb!

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