Balticon this year offered me the chance to cross two things off of my to do list: meet Jensen in person, and play the Original D&D 3 little brown books (plus Greyhawk).
The cast of characters is as follows:
DM - Chort
Corporal Cosima the Russian (Fighter 2) - Jensen
Al Cohol the Unwise (Cleric 2) - Rodney
Indy the Sneaky (Thief 2) - Ethan
Alfonso the Mapper (Fighter 2) - David
Naric the 3rd (Cleric 2) Jason
“Tim” the Anesthesiologist (Wizard 2) - Patrick
Bull the Amazon (Fighter 2) - NPC
As members of the militia for the village of Eastmark, the PCs jumped into action when a large column of smoke could be seen from an outlying farm. By the time they arrived, the goblins who had attacked had already departed, taking with them a significant portion of the farm’s livestock, and the farmer’s 10 year old daughter!
Following the tracks of the goblins and livestock proved easy, and lead straight through the woods, and right into an ambush! The goblins were quickly overcome, though Indy took some damage that was quickly healed by Naric.
The trail continued on to the ruins of the old castle mound. Very little of the original castle remained, mostly some overgrown piles of stone. But about halfway up the mound the trail went into a rough opening underground. Next to the opening was a large fresh pile of guts. Apparently the livestock had balked at going into the ground, and were quickly slaughtered before being carried in.
Grabbing a large fallen branch the party entered the rough hole, coming shortly to a more worked section of tunnel and stair descending further into the ground. Following the blood smears, the party passed from the entrance room, down a corridor to another room. Feeling nervous the party took to spiking untaken doors. The noise was worth the sense of safety, however illusory it was. The next corridor had a pit trap, which was spring but didn’t manage to catch anyone. The party pulled the trap closed and spiked the mechanism, then carefully crossed one person at a time. The room at the end of this corridor was much larger and contained 2 ranks of goblins in front of some goblin chief with the little girl clutched in his olive-skinned claw.
Tim shocked the rest of the party by taking out both ranks of goblins with a few mumbled words! The lone standing goblin released the now sleeping girl and slammed through a side door. Al the Unwise chased after it, running down the dark stairs screaming something that sounded disturbingly like “"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"...
Unfortunately the goblin archers at the bottom of the stairs were unimpressed and started shooting arrows at Al. Turning tail, he ran back up the stairs, taking missile fire the whole way. The rest of the militia troop, in terror that the chief would rally more goblins (or worse) they slammed the door shut, and spiked it, counting Al a loss before the last arrow pierced his heart at the top of the stairs, pounding on the door for his life.
The guilt at having trapped their fellow militiaman in the dark with murderous goblins was eased by the slaughter of the 10 sleeping goblins, the looting of their corpses, and most importantly the recovery of the little girl!
Bull was tasked to take the girl back to the farm while the rest of the party explored a little more. These plans were quickly revised when Bull came running back into the room with a rattle of skeletons behind her. Naric held forth his silver amulet (a ball of yarn for the local feline deity) turning the skeletons. They ran from Naric, and the party followed through a door they’d previously spiked shut, and into a room with a collapsed stair that once went up. Also in the room was a rather large pile of bones. The skeletons were defeated, and the pile of bones smashed and searched. One skeleton tried to rise out of it, but was quickly pounded into dust. Beneath the bones was a small chest.
Indy tried his best, but the lock proved too much for him in the flickering torchlight. Grabbing the chest, and the girl, the party decided they’d explored enough, and headed for the surface… but didn’t escape before a green slime dropped on Alfonso’s head and back. Thankfully the helmet took the brunt of the attack, and a quick application of a torch to his cloak cleaned the slime off of him. Back on the surface, the girl was returned with great thanks, and the chest was opened revealing a gleaming pile of gold, a mithral dagger, and a flask with an unknown fluid...
Given the late hour at their return to the farm, the party crashed in the now empty barn. This proved a fortuitous choice, as the goblins mounted another attack on the farm! Once again, “Tim’s” arcane might dropped an impressive number of the foul humanoids, causing those still standing to flee for their lives! Helped in this was Indy’s sneaking in the woods and backstabbing one goblin to death with a single blow.
The rest of the night passed quietly, but in the morning the militia chief sent the party back into the dungeon after they returned to the village to find out why the goblins were suddenly much more active.
Taking a different path in the dungeon the party found an ogre waiting for them. Quickly he was taken down by “Tim” and his wondrous sleep spell and promptly dispatched. The next room contained another ogre and the dark wizard Daedalus (Tim’s asshole college roommate), who charmed Tim, then ordered the ogre to attack! Tim, not wanting to die, cast sleep on the orge, while the wizard cast sleep on the party, causing everyone to fall unconscious to the floor. Several hours later, the party and the ogre returned to wakefulness and set upon one another again. The ogre was quickly killed, but the party realized that every coin, the mithril dagger, and the cleric’s holy symbol were all gone!
The party rushed from the dungeon, hoping to catch Daedalus’ trail, but even after getting the local woodsman to help, could find no trace of him. Returning to the dungeon they made their way back to the room where they encountered the first ogre, and discovered that there was someone behind the spiked door trying to chop their way through. They set up an ambush and once the goblins started to come through, hacked them down.
Unfortunately the goblins send 2 small groups of archers to flank them on either side, and the party decided to retreat through one of the smaller flanking groups, slaughtering them as they ran past.
Retiring to the village they re-equipped, getting Bull some better armor, and buying a bunch of oil. Corporal Cosima bought a chicken, Cluckles, and they recruited a new NPC to join them, Liam the Fair (Fighter 1) a stunningly handsome and dexterous (18 Charisma, 16 Dex) swashbuckler and story teller.
Returning once again to the dungeon, the party quickly encountered a small band of goblins, putting their oil to good use on the back half of the group. The front 4 goblins dropped their weapons, surrendering to Corporal Cosima (who spoke fluent goblin!) and negotiated away Cluckles the chicken for a meeting with the goblin chief. The goblin chief agreed to the meeting, and the party headed deeper into the dungeon, down past the 2nd level (full of undead apparently) to the 3rd level, where the chief and about 30 of the remaining goblins waited. A tense negotiation resulted in the goblins agreeing not to raid the surface if the party was willing to deal with the furry monsters (ratmen? bugbears?) that drove them out of their mushroom caves. As a show of good faith, the goblin chief gave Corporal Cosima an amulet that should allow the party free passage through the goblin held areas.
Thus ended our session!
And these were my notes and maps from the session: