Here’s my list of what I bring to the table when running the Vaults of Ur.
1. Red Tide.
2. Chronicles of Future Earth
3. Basic Labyrinth Lord
5. Moldvay Basic
But pretty much it’s Moldvay Basic.
In case anyone’s curious about what’s been going on with the Vaults of Ur, Dennis has been doing a stellar job writing up play reports.
Dennis (AKA Thidrek the Sleestak) has done a writeup of the last adventure over at What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse. And for a full expose of Thidrek in all his greenness checkout this picture by Jeremy/Oxide (AKA Ripper). Good stuff. Now I need to think of something for them to do this weekend when they once more head into the ruins.
So last night, there was an impromptu session of the Mao Tse Tiger wing of the Kanga Rat Murder Society, mostly ‘cause one player’s leaving Korea soon and wanted to level before he goes.
A bug priest showed up at Fort Low, hoping to find the “great heroes” who defeated the stone devil a few weeks before. Since all but one of those guys died last adventure, the priest had to make do with Thidrek the Sleestak and his new companions, an Orc named Ripper and a mystic named Attius.
The priest’s story: a few days back while digging a new foraging tunnel for the Hive, the diggers entered a cavern where the Great Tunneler had come and gone. They would have explored the cavern but were attacked by some monster. Now they want the “great heroes” to lead a hunting party below and kill whatever might be lurking in the darkness.
There was also some mention of payment in “bright stones”, but what adventurer ever thinks about getting paid?
So the adventurers agreed and went into Hive territory where they could admire the efficient construction techniques of giant insects that
keep humans as slaves live in symbiosis with humans. They reached the new tunnel and met up with their hunting party: two bug tribesmen, two beetles, and their leader who was one of the guys they met in the swamps and called himself Forager, because when in doubt steal from the best.
Down they went into the darkness.
The Nuts and Bolts
I told the players they’d get the XP value for each of the hunting party they brought back alive.
They were cautious from the start, though a bit quick to attack everything they saw such as a trio of lizardmen who’d been trapped in the cavern for days hiding out from the real “monsters”. The lizards had no interest in fighting the party, but took off running the moment they showed up. The party mistook this as a “charge”…
Meanwhile the real monsters, four greater rhagodessa (see picture at top), began moving about in the darkness, setting up their own ambush. The lizardmen got away, and a lucky roll from one of the hunting beetles alerted the party to the fact that something was up.
Did I mention that Thidrek right before leaving Fort Low decided to buy four live chickens? That was one of those moments where the GM asks no questions but says, “Huh? OK, player. You now have four live chickens in a sack inside your pack.”
The party sent a chicken down the passage to determine if something nasty was down there, and sure enough there was, so the party setup their own ambush using oil, a spear wall, and whatnot.
The waiting game started. Or would have except the rhagodessa had more room to maneuver and outflank the party.
By now my map had started to look like one of those football play diagrams with little arrows and scribbly marks on it tracking movements. The party was forced down the passage where the other two waited, but the party was able to protect their backs with a wall of burning oil, so neither side had an advantage.
You know what’s funny? It’s funny when you’re explaining the game rules to someone and say, “Oh, you can do X if you want to.” And the person you’re telling this to says, “Why would you ever not want to do that?” And you just narrow your eyes and shrug, knowing that before the night is done not doing X is going to look like the best idea ever.
Thidrek saved his sleestak-bacon by sacrificing another live chicken. One beetle got gobbled, the other rolled for crap, one tribesman died when his arm got severed, the other survived, the party got bloodied but no one else dropped, except Forager who was saved by a spell from Attius. They succeeded in killing three of the four rhagodessa, the last scuttling away into the darkness. Ripper searched amid a pile of bones but found nothing more than pocket change, because stingy DM is stingy.
The Hive was pleased. The party got paid, and the night ended happily for everyone.
Here’s a brief write-up of the latest expedition into Ur. Names have been removed to protect the innocent.
The party made two excursions into the ruins. Their goal was to find the “zoo” mentioned in the journal of Mad Alchemist. The first expedition went well. They stumbled upon an outpost of the Spiked Circle and held the line against them and their carnivorous ape pet.
Three characters went into the ruin, four returned (though one was carried out).
They went back to Fort Low, healed, restocked their supplies, and went back into the ruin. After some encounter avoidance they found the zoo. They also found some mutant undercity dwellers, who decided to make lunch out of the party. Two members fell to paralysis, the third fled.
Three characters went into the ruin, one returned.
So back on Sunday there was another Vaults of Ur session. Five players went into the ruins and five returned. The party encountered some bug-people and an ancient war golem. Dennis over at What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse (his character’s Thidrek the Sleestak) wrote up the expedition. After the game I realized I missed an opportunity to engage in mayhem near the end — but it was getting late and after a few hours of babblebabblebabblerollaD6 my brain’s pretty fried.
Second session of Ur went like this. . . shit, how’d it go?
OK OK OK, it went like this.
Kris the fighter, one of the survivors of the first session, gathered together a stalwart band (Holy shit seven players! I’ve never run a game with this many people before. OK, shit, why not, let’s see what happens) and set off for the three-story building he discovered in the ruins last time. Along with him went:
- Kullpetal the Orc
- Thidrek the Beastman (though more a Sleestak)
- Nooquist the Sorcerer
- Goron the Stoop, a Beastman architect
- Father Karl
- And… Geh the Goblin-in-a-sack (as drawn by Jez Gordon)
Things that happened:
- Once again the flowers flew, only this time the party had sharp pointy seedpods shot at them.
- Seedpod riddled corpses are a good sign to be on your toes.
- Funky smelling rooms are best handled with oil, torch, and a prayer you don’t burn out the rafters and have the ceiling collapse on you. (Funky sounding rooms have yet to be encountered…)
- Slamming doors on the heads of giant insects will invoke a Ringo Starr reference from the DM.
Ringo Starr reference for the uninitiated:
- The door opens onto a corridor/10×10 room that looks like blah blah blah. You search and find nothing.
- The door opens onto a wasps’ nest. You set it on fire.
- These dead guys appear to have armor made from giant beetle carapaces. Loot!
- AHHH! It’s a shoggothy slime creature wearing a mask. Run away! or, Fight and die! or Fight/run away, survive, and loot the dead!
And that’s what happened. Kris and Nooquist got subsumed into slime. Everyone else survived.
Next game in two weeks. Maybe. I might have to reschedule.
I can’t imagine writing a report for every session in the future, but it’s fun for now.
Your world lies in ruins.
Ur, City of the Golden Pyramid, once the jewel of the world, now a ruin. Ur the Great, known by many names: Urceb, Uulro, Baalbel-Ur…
Ur, the first city, and the last.
Some say the ways of the populace grew so abhorrent as to offend the very gods. Others say it was destroyed by a plague that came from the stars. Eight hundred years ago Ur disappeared. Soon after, the world was wracked by the Cataclysm. For centuries life was a desperate struggle, and only in recent decades has some semblance of civilization returned.
Then three years ago Ur reappeared, a devastated city, altered by its passage between worlds.
The Tenfold Empire has established an outpost, Fort Low, on the edge of Ur. It incorporates one of the original cyclopean gatehouses. Imperial control ends just beyond the walls at the Broken Obelisk. Adventurers flock to the ruins eager to explore and find what secrets lie hidden beneath the rubble.
You are one of them.
Some color for the B/X game I’m running via G+. No RPG experience necessary. Next session will be this Saturday at 8PM Seoul time.
From the Strangest Thrill-Drama in All History! “Delinquent in Outer Space” at Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blog.
Last night was the first session of the Vaults of Ur. It went pretty well. A wee party of three set off into the ruins: Aditi the Thief, Kris the Fighter, and Meya the Outlander. They reacted to the weird with appropriate paranoia and killed things. Loot was light, molotov cocktails were fumbled, but they all came back alive even if Aditi had to be carried out.