Saturday, December 2, 2017

Family Game Knights - The Emerald Enchanter, Pt 2

Exploring the Chained Coffin

Welcome to Family Game Knights, our regular tour through of the Shudder Mountains and  The Chained Coffin box set.  

For those uninitiated with the Chained Coffin, creative lead +Michael Curtis and the rest of the Goodman Games crew have created a wonderful and vibrant fantasy campaign setting based on Appalachian myth and legend.  During this journey, we'll be dipping into all of the adventures written specifically for the Shudder Mountains, as well as tossing in a few other favorites as well, thus turning this into a fantastic, ongoing campaign!  Special thanks to the DCCRPG G+ community for so many wonderful adventure suggestions.  

Here are our previously yarns:

The Adventuring Party

  • Jen
    • Wize Wizard McBride - Cleric
  • Evie
    • Jefffff - Warrior (she plans to add another "f" after each gained level)
  • Carrie
    • P. Specs - Thief
  • Jeremy
    • Sir Huey, Keeper of the Sacred Door - Warrior
  • Ella
    • Quinn & Kippy - Wizard & Squirrel Familiar 
  • Cooper
    • Graver - Gravedigger
    • Soapy McSoap - Gravedigger

The Emerald Enchanter, Pt 2

Happy holiday season to all you Living 4 Crits readers out there! What better way to spend this festive season than to be together rolling dice with all your favorite folks? That's definitely how we roll here in the Walls residence! 

And to make this season even more special, we received a special package from Goodman Games: our rewards from the Dungeon Crawl Classics Scratch Off Character Sheets Kickstarter. Now, I was planning on keeping these hidden until next month's Norwin Game Knights event, but Cooper was so excited at the concept that he demanded the opportunity to join our game as a player... so long as he could scratch off some characters. 

I was pretty geeked about this. Cooper played in Moonricket Bridge but has been absent since, not showing much interest in joining the group as a player. He's been participating as a monster creator, drawing some random crazy stuff that I've injected into the game from week to week. Now that he's seven, though, I really wanted him to spent more time at the table. Well, the allure of these scratch off sheets was quite strong! 

He ended up with two gravediggers (scratching off the second after the first died.) The first character was pretty decent (14 Agility, everything else between 9-12), and the second was pretty much the opposite. Obviously the second lived. I'm hoping that he wants to join in the next game. We played for about two-and-a-half hours and he stuck it out for all but the last thirty minutes. I think he'll have a better time once he has a character that can stand toe-to-toe with the monsters in this challenging adventure. 

During our last session of The Emerald Enchanter by +Joseph Goodman, the party chose to leave the Emerald Enchanter's Citadel to regroup and upgrade their gear. I thought that this was some wise gameplay last session, and was impressed at the care they were taking to ensure that they would all survive the adventure.

Gameplay was a bit shakier last night. 

I think the fact that we've been away from this particular campaign since early September threw off the group's Dungeon Crawl Classics dynamic. Quinn the Wizard was leading the charge into rooms firing a bow instead of casting spells. Both Jefffff and P. Specs kept trying non-combat solutions to encounters where combat had already been chosen by other player characters. The Wize Wizard McBride couldn't cast a spell to save his... or anyone else's... life. 

Actually that last part is pretty par for the course throughout the campaign.

Eventually the group remembered how to properly play DCC, and they made some great progress in what only ended up being a two-and-a-half hour session:

  • Hall of Anguish: The party encountered a series of weird Ebon Spirits, who at first were very little threat until Jefffff started playing his fiddle. For some reason this really made the spirits mad, and they assaulted the party's spear-weilding warrior! Sir Huey was quick to come to Jefffff's aid, but the rest of the party bickered over whether or not to try and fight. The Wize Wizard McBride couldn't cast a single spell, so no help there. The battle cost poor Graver his short life. Sir Huey was able to light the fiddle on fire, thus quelling the anger of the spirits.
  • Passageways:  Here's where the party got a bit sloppy. Quinn led the team right through a trapped area, which he dodged, but then he led them into battle with an emerald statue. Sure, that fight was pretty easy for the supremely powerful Sir Huey, but the party was by no means prepared.
  • Bedroom: Looting this room led to some great swag! A scroll for Quinn an a statue and cash for Sir Huey.
  • Lounge:  All that great gear in the previous room meant that the party expected it in the next. No luck! Even so, the Judge was nice enough to place a hissing metal cylinder in the room for the team to agonize over. 
  • Library: Now THIS was a fun puzzle! The room contained two teleporting books that traveled around eight pedestals as they were approached. The party needed to figure out a way to first get them to stop teleporting, and then free them from their ledges. To help the team visualize the scene I used dice for the books, and then brought out my old D&D miniatures. The party eventually found copies of "Thesdipedes' Book of Transmogrification" and "The Emerald Enchanter's Blueprints." Quinn could use the former to communicate with the dead, so long as he had enough practice.
  • Guard Station:  After finding the secret door at the end of the Hall of Anguish, the party broke into the next portion of the Emerald Enchanter's Citadel... where the true danger awaited the foolish mortals!
  • Consultorium: Earlier in the quest, some of the emerald statues turned to humans after being slain, each calling out for Thesdipedes for some request. Well in this macabre room the party found the elusive Thesdipedes. All that remained was a mummified corpse leaning against an ancient sarcophagus. Also in the room was a brain in a jar (labeled "Istrobian") and a skull on a wall (labeled "Gobur.") Quinn believed that he could communicate with all of these corpses if only he had an evening to study the books found earlier. So the party ditched the citadel and headed back to Ugly Bottom. 
Hopefully next week we'll be joined by +andrew lyon. He was supposed to be at last night's event, but he took a nap and slept in. Too bad. We really could've used Walden's expertise! 

A Fine Selection of Quotes from the Table

Carrie - "I'm gonna crack open a cold one!"
Judge James - "Don't you mean you're gonna uncork a warm one?"

"If I die, don't rip my underwear off." - The Wize Wizard McBride's requests were modest. 

Campaign Crematorium

  • Graver: Cooper's first 0-level character created using the DCC Scratch Off Character Sheets got murdered by an Ebon Spirit in the long hallway. 

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