Saturday Game Night

Back to the Caves of Chaos!  The group had to head back to the Keep to reprovision.  The kobolds in the previous encounter used some rather nasty tactics that took their toll on the party.  No one died, but they were very battered after the experience and wisely chose not to forge on as they probably would have all been killed.  The kobolds retreated when necessary, fought running battles, went for reinforcements, etc.

This time, the party chose to enter the goblin section of the caves.  It went a little better for them but the goblins did put up a good fight.  The party managed to clear several areas.  The goblins were less organized but they did employ some tactics (such as sending a runner for reinforcements).  At one point the party came to a room with a closed door.  A couple of goblins from a previous encounter had retreated to here and were anticipating the party's arrival.  The party members did listen at the door and decided to go gangbusters and bash the door in.  They had the hirelings in the front ranks throw open the doors.  Being no dummies, the man at arms threw open the door and then fltened himself against the wall so as to not bear the brunt of any goblin attack.  The PC ranger immediately behind the hireling caught a crossbow bolt to the soulder.  The party immediately shut the door but had enough time to glimpse several goblins in the room and a prisoner attached to the wall.  The party earlier had tried to play on bravado and cow the goblins into submission, taking a Clint Eastwood type approach.  The goblins weren't buying it (this is their home afterall).  To show the PC's that they were not impressed, they began to torture the prisoner.  Again the party chose to be brash, believing that the goblins would relent.  The party firebombed the door with oil.  This of course turned out not to be the wisest decision.  The party waited a the door burned down enough for them to rush in.  The goblins had retreated further in and killed the prisoner too boot.  Feeling abashed, the party retreated back to lick their wounds.  We ended the session there.  All felt it was a good learning experience.  They learned that the dungeon dwellers have their won agendas and won't simply roll over for a lot of bluster and saber rattling.  The party also learned that actions have consequence.  They now have to live with the fact that they probably could have taken a different tactic and saved the prisoner. 

I've added my own touches to the Caves to make them fit more squarely into my campaign world.  Mainly, my world is very humanocentric and humanoids/demihumans are rare.  So how to account for the caves and all of the various humanoids?  Well, it is part of a program by a secret cabal to modify humans for their own ends (something like Sauruman and his orc hords).  I have several possible ending to the caves, but they will lead one way or another to the Warrens of Polstrus Lev, an adventure that I'm working on.   

So far, the group has come together well.  We're playing OSRIC but I am pretty flexible and allowing the party members to do things like multiclass much in the same way that 3.x does.  There are also some other changes so this isn't straight old school but a nice blend to keep everyone entertained.  I am learning along the way as well as I get my DM chops back.  I let the party make their own decisions but might subtly hint at courses of action.  I don't believe in being a killer DM, but at the same time, I don't want to reward stupidity so they are learning that if they want to try and be Billy Badass at first level (or any level), that those actions will have impact.  I'm looking forward to next Saturday game night.  Hopefully, we'll get a bit farther in and the gang will start to put together the clues as to who is behind all of this.  Mostly, I look forward to getting back to the saddle and rolling the dice!

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