The holiest of days. Football day. A day of rest.
Yep, that sounds about right.
My Sundays are now occasionally filled with at least 50% more adventure. More adventure than the usual grocery run, food prep, or day at the park. A local Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG group meets up about once a month at a local hobby shop and it's my new outlet for being a player.
In most RPGs I gravitate towards the role of puppeteer, dungeon overlord, and game master. The Sundays I spend with DCCRPG are now my new opportunity to be a player and I'm thankful for the judges (DCCRPG DMs) that give me that opportunity.
This Sunday was lauded as "Stroh-tember" as an homage to the writer of the two modules that would be on tap, both written by Harley Stroh. Two games are typically run but when we have a module that'll support all the players in attendance we switch on over to all play in a single game. Onward toward the Black Manse we proceeded, a party of seven.
The Wedding Crashers
Since this was only my second game of leveled play I opted to take a non-spellcaster to keep it simple.. A dwarf was offered and I snatched up a few pre-generated Dwarf character sheets to choose from. My Dwarf''s lucky sign, something that is rolled during character creation, was that he was struck by lightning. Thinking over some slightly shocking names I opted for the classic "Sparky." Thus, the stuttering and ever fearful of the outdoors Dwarf was born.
Our plucky bridal party included a priestess who only wore the tanned skins of her forebears, an ex military wizard, a stout and faithful fighter, an elf with a particularly SEXY eagle familiar, an undead smashing wizard, and a thief who still owes me a gem.
Adventurers for Hire
The adventure started with a grim portent. One of our party was summoned by a long lost relative who requested our aid. This would've normally been unremarkable save for the fact that the letter was dated 500 years prior. Being adventurers in between jobs we obliged to seek out the answer to this mystery.
The mansion and it's gatehouse stood in an eerie swampland and the rain splashed lightly overhead. Sparky, my Dwarf, wanted nothing more than to run for cover and did so at the first chance he got.
The party entered the small gatehouse and a super creepy gentleman referred to us by names that were not ours lauded our hunt that we did not participate in. We all looked at the man, questioned his sanity, and shrugged before moving on.
A Bridge Over Troubled Water
A short walk took us to a long bridge as the storms outside intensified. When we were about halfway across that bridge we quickly discovered the reason our wizard's magical, undead-detecting sword had been warning us of danger. We quickly took to arms as we were beset by undead men-of-arms who were trying to drag us to the waters below the bridge.
That encounter ended up lasting a good hour and a half and the fun didn't stop there. Here are some of the slightly spoilery highlights from our time with the Black Manse:
The bell tolled 9 times.
- The battle of the bridge ensued.
- Sparky showcased his Dwarven strength by using the rope and bag of rocks that were intended to bring him down as an improvised weapon. He whirled the sack of rocks overhead and smashed it into a zombie, crushing it.
- Unable to pull the rope tied to his waist with enough strength to rescue his fellow party members Sparky launched himself off the other side of the bridge to act as a counterweight to pull the others up. Props to fellow player Stefan for coming up with this brilliant idea.
The bell tolled 10 times.
- Inside the Black Manse we waged battle with some flying heads and the headless women that ushered them to us. Sparky tossed his flail over his back in a solid arc to smash the headless woman that was trying to restrain him.
The bell tolled 11 times.
- In a darkened cavern below the manse we came across a summoning ritual, witnessed by 107 skeletons, where our priestess took great pains to banish the link from the demon's world to our own.
- After the ritual was dispersed our thief liberated a beautiful gemstone with thousands of facets that was at the heart of the ritual. It caused her to be overcome with megalomania.
- Sparky, being the gem obsessed Dwarven miner that he was, requested to hold the gem and was stricken by that same bout of Megalomania.
The bell tolled 12 times.
- Upon emerging from the catacombs we came out onto the scene of the wedding and the Archdevil Mammon demanded his bride. Our Priestess of Justice would take no quarter with the foul devil and attempted to banish him but had no success.
- We then presented the gemstone we liberated to the Priestess in an effort to aid her banishment and Mammons true name was revealed. Once more she attempted to banish him but again it was without success.
- On a third attempt the Priestess shouted "DAMMIT ULESH, JUST DO IT!" in a desperate plea to her god.
- A vortex opened to the Mammon's hell and riches spilled forth from a throne room revealed by the tear. Sparky, being the greedy mining dwarf he was did his best to gather up the coin before high-tailing it out of the quickly collapsing mansion. In mere moments the archdevil and his cadre of demons were banished back to the hells they came from and Sparky was a few coins and gemstones richer.
The Bride of the Black Manse was a great slog even though the pacing was a bit rough for us this session. We struggled with the initial bridge encounter but we came away victorious and with no character deaths to boot, though one wizard came VERY close to drowning.
This was the second leveled adventure I've played and the first that took our characters level three. It's been interesting to see how the characters in DCC scale outside of a the level 0 funnel. I enjoyed my time playing as a dwarf and appreciated his hardiness in battle with the sword and board.
I'm eager to head back to the Sunday event this coming October. I hear tell that there will be a special Halloween themed event and I can't wait to dive once more into the depths of Dungeon Crawl Classics.