In Honor Of Gary Gygax, 1938-2008

It was thanks to Gary Gygax that I have most of my current friends, so in his honor we played Basic D&D last night, kicking it truly old skool. The group rolled up the following party (3d6, in order):

Happy Brandybucke Halfling N (Paul)
S:12 I:6 W:10 D:16 C:12 CH:16 Lvl 1 HP3 AC2 Short Sword

Obediah Elf N (Dan)
S:17 I:10 W:10 D:11 C:8 CH:12 Lvl 1 HP5 AC4 Battle-Axe

Steve Magic-User N (Mike)
S:9 I:11 W:9 D:11 C:11 CH:11 Lvl 1 HP4 AC9

Cleric of Doom C (Wendy)
S:12 I:10 W:16 D:5 C:6 CH:14 Lvl 1 HP4 AC5 Mace

Joe Shakyhand C (Doug)
S:12 I:10 W:11 D:13 C:14 CH:14 Lvl 1 HP 2 AC9 Bow

As is traditional, the group met in an inn: The White Cow, in the town of Stonebridge. After inquiring as to the entertainment available in the viscinity (greased-pig wrestling, goat racing, drinking, dicing, and fornication), the party was approached by a loquacious local wanting to know if such a (relatively) heavily armed group was planning on trying to rescue the missing heiress, Lemunda the Lovely, rumored to have been kidnapped by bandits and worth a pretty penny in ransom. Local folk have speculated that the bandits that have been preying on the caravans that pass through town may be holed-up in the… dun Dun DUN! Haunted Keep, though opinion is that they’d be pretty crazy to do so since it’s well-known that the ruins are….dun Dun DUN! Haunted!

The group, recognizing a plot-hook when it hits them in the head (all except Mike who kept blathering something about “evidence”) agreed that they would go take a look, particularly when they found out that the keep was easy to find, being visible from the road through the hills to the South. In the morning they set out.

A fine mist descended as they approached the ruins, concealing their approach, and they beheld the ruins of a keep. Two towers and a gate-house between remained standing, the rest was a burnt-out over-grown rubble. After reconnoitering the vicinity, but seeing no signs of habitation, they decided to approach the West Tower entrance. Joe Shakeyhand found no traps, and heard nothing… not that he had much chance of either as a 1st level Thief, and so they entered. Spookily, the door didn’t creak when they opened it, indicating it had been recently oiled or at least well used. After a short corridor, there was another door, which they opened after the Thief did his stuff, and gained surprise on five bandits, standing around the room and arguing with each other.

Noticing that there was an alarm horn on the wall, the intrepid adventurers made good use of their surprise round. The Cleric of Doom charged into the room and crushed the skull of an unsuspecting bandit; and Obediah the Elf hacked another into two pieces with his mighty battle-axe. Happy Brandybucke missed, and Joe–after determining that there were no rules to prevent him from firing into melee past his companions crowding the door–let fly with an arrow and also missed.

In the first actual round, the party won the initiative, and dispatched another bandit, and on their action one of bandits ran to grab the alarm horn from the wall, while the other–cursing his luck that the morale check wouldn’t happen until the end of the turn–attempted to stab the Cleric of DOoooom… coming up with a roll that wouldn’t have succeeded even if she were naked as the day she was born. He then failed his morale check, and booked it down the corridor.

Once again the party won the initiative, and before the hapless bandit could draw a breath to sound the alarm, the party descended upon him like wolves. A quick mace to the skull followed by an arrow to the throat, and he breathed his last. The final bandit, running away down the corridor, had the misfortune to run straight into Steve’s dagger, and expired.

A search of the room revealed a pair of statues (noticed but unexamined as they charged in for battle) of a man and a woman, both rather buck-toothed, and three exits doors besides the one they came in, one on each wall. The party decided to take the large brass-bound horn, both as a precaution and as loot, and examined the remaining doors. The North door opened onto an East-West corridor, with an alcove on the far side and an open door, through which Joe glimpsed a goblin. Nothing was audible at the West door, but they heard laughter and jeering of three or four people through the East door, and proceeded through, happening on a group of three bandits engaged in tormenting a large (fist-sized) spider in a wooden cage. The fight was brief and bloody, as Obediah smote one so hard (getting 5 times the damage needed to dispatch him) that the DM ruled he got an attack on the guy standing right behind–who he also hit and dispatched instantly. A quick mace to the head followed by an angry Hobbit to the groin, and that was it for the bandits. That bandit had a gold earring, which the party pocketed. After some arguing with the cleric, she decided not to release the fist-sized spider.

At this point we decided to break for the night.

XP for the session: 10/bandit = 80 xp / 5 PCs = 16 xp each.
Treasure for the session: 1 brass-bound horn (10 gp), 1 gold earring (20 gp)