Thursday, October 3, 2013

Playtesting Actual Play Happy Fun Time

I inherited a group of (mostly) high school players from my friend, Jacob, when he moved off to start his Master's program.  He found them by being a councilor at a local band camp.  I started playing with them on and off a few months ago, and have stepped in to run things for them.  Most of them have never played before.  However, we have all been busy, so we couldn't all make it this past Sunday (or the two Sundays before that, but that's another story), and only Allen and Tim could make it.  I've been hacking together a super simple version of D&D for them, and finally got it done nearly enough for them to start playing.  We set it in my world, so they could choose from my four classes (Warrior, Specialist, Priest, and Arcanist) and seven races (Human, Dragonman, Tiefling, Aasimar, Kenku, Horned Dwarf, and Wood Elf).

Both rolled up Warriors.  Allen was a Horned Dwarf.  Tim was a Dragonman with an ice breath weapon.  Allen chose a greataxe as his weapon specialty and Tim chose a flail.  And then I started them off stripped to their tunics in a meat locker.  Specifically, they had started off in a small town, but had been chloroformed and woke up with crazy headaches.  They felt around in the dark, found a low bench (and the dead body of someone else), and used the bench as a battering ram to break out of the meat locker.  Afraid that they had attracted attention, the two skulked out into the hallway, finding a room full of canned goods and boxed foods.  Allen put some cans in a burlap sack and made a makeshift flail.  Tim poked his head out of the room and found himself face to face with a dog with giant, slavering jaws that rushed him, bit onto his arm, and then the jaw locked and would not let go*.  They finally killed the dog, then used a can opener to cut off the lid of a can then used the sharpened lid to cut the dead dog's mouth off of Tim's arm.

Kinda like this, but with beartrap mouth.  

They snuck on, grabbing torches off of the walls as they went.  Taking a fork in the hall, they stumbled across a feasting room full of dead goblins and hobgoblins**.  They all appeared to have killed each other off in a fight.  They started searching the room, and Tim woke up a merely wounded hobgoblin.  Allen and Tim got initiative and quickly dealt with the hobgoblin before he got a turn in.  Newly geared up with a mace and a short sword, the two of them headed off, finding their way into a kitchen.  A frightened goblin cook threw pots and pans at them, and Allen took a point of damage from a flying teapot.  They talked the goblin down then locked him in the kitchen before heading on.

Yup, goblin cook.

Shortly thereafter, they broke into a locked room which turned out to be an armory.  There they found the armor and gear they'd bought with their starting gold, and geared up even more than before, they set out with more confidence.  That confidence ended when they sneaked into a throne room and found themselves face to face with another goblin beartrap mouth dog and three hobgoblins.  The dog missed, it's jaw locked, and it was out of the combat.  After a series of four crit fails in a row (two by the hobgoblins and one by each player) they finally got down to business of killing the hobgoblins, although Allen went down to 2 hit points after a taking a few hits.

They searched the throne room and found a hidden passage behind the throne that led to the king's bedchamber.  Among some coins and jewels, they found three potions. Two were green and one was magenta.  I forgot to tell them what colors the potions were until later.  They threw their loot into pillow cases and continued.  After venturing out of the throne room, into the main hall, they found the main entry.  However, upon trying the door, they found it blocked by something large, sleeping, and alive on the other side.  They decided that they wanted to live, and did not bother finding out what it was or waking it up, and moved on back into the castle.  This was a good idea***.

They took the first door they found, which turned out to be a library.  Neither of them were interested in books.  Luckily there was another door in the library, and on the other side they found another hallway.  They broke down another door, just in time for Allen's axe to magically heat up from a spell from whatever was in the room, burn his hand, and cause him to drop it.  He went to 1 hit point and ran out.  Tim didn't know what to do, they entered initiative, Allen went first, and he decided to chug a random potion (the magenta one) in hopes that it would be a healing potion.  It wasn't, and he aged back down to being a teenager ****.  A brilliant flare of magic blinded them both, and something ran past them and off into the castle down a hallway they hadn't gone down yet.  

Figuring, again, that they didn't want to deal with things that could possibly kill them, they went the other way down the hallway after Allen discovered that the other two potions were healing potions (and quaffed one).  They found a door that led to a staircase which led outside of the castle, then decided to go back, grab food, and kill whatever had cast magic on them just in case it tried to track them down.  They discovered the goblin queen in her child's room, and had a very confusing, highly dramatic, and hysterical conversation with her as she hid Jeffrey, her little goblin baby, from them underneath her hoop skirts.  They also found out that they'd been captured by the hobgoblins as tasty treats for the goblin feast and that goblins don't really care what they eat as long as it doesn't brandish a mace in their faces.  If maces get brandished they become indignant and apologetic and start sobbing uncontrollably.  

Forget the Magic card, the picture is of the goblin queen.

They decided to say fuck it and left the queen and Jeffrey to their own devices, grabbed some food, and ran off into the wilderness, realizing that they were probably about a day or two from town.  That is where we ended the session.  This coming Sunday hopefully one or two other members will show up and I can add them to the mix.  I am excited to torment them with old school, madcap, goofy D&D antics.  

*Goblins in my world breed dogs that have mouths that lock shut when they bite and automatically do damage every round.  Goblin shamans know a pressure point massage technique that unlocks the dogs' jaws.  It's a thing.  
**Goblins take over castles.  They are also dumb and gullible.  Hobgoblins are smart and usually let the goblins take over, propose peace, then kill the goblins at dinner.  They let some of the goblins get away, wait for them to repopulate, then continue the cycle.  
***In slightly unrelated news, I bought a Black Dragon miniature.  
Mine is not painted this nicely...yet.  It is the first miniature I've ever painted, but I'm going slowly and making sure I do it right.

****The goblin king, who's body they'd found in the dining hall, was old, but he liked getting young and frisky from time to time. 

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