The Evil NPC adventuring party advances onto the dungeon the Badgers are defending. Black Hogus & Shasta the Disasta make their move, attacking the party from behind. Hogus triggered readied actions from both goblin ghoul adepts, who cast burning hands at him as he broke cover to cross the hall. Even half damage could have killed him, but thanks to his evasion and two successful saves he took no damage at all. They return the favor, lobbing alchemist fire and bombs at the close packed adventurer party. Meanwhile, the evil ghoul barbarian has impetuously ‘bled’ another ‘encounter’ by charging down the hall. Soon he is flanked and out of range of their evil cleric’s undead-healing magic. As GM I mimic the Evil Party’s ‘players’ calling for healing from their cleric and arguing with the ‘DM’ about how unfair that all was. I keep it up throughout the fight, acting out the ‘players’ openly discussing strategy at length in the middle if sword swings and getting into arguments and bitching each other out as the encounter begins to go against them (which was a lot of fun!)
The Badgers ponder what to do about the evil adventuring party that’s invaded the dungeon they’re defending, as it becomes clear not only is the scenario a role reversal, so is the power balance!
The goblins were fought off relatively easily by the Badgers (who were defending a village dungeon in a special Role Reversal event). However, when the party of Evil NPC Heroes sent by the Black Son to get revenge on the Badgers broke in, their prior experience with the goblins made them initially underestimate the threat the ‘adventuring party’ posed. Turned out the players ran their own dungeon much like ‘boss monsters’ when it got invaded by ‘PCs’. After the evil adventuring party ‘cleared’ the first encounter, the noise ‘bled’ a second encounter of a rouge & wizard team, but, despite the alarm being raised and despite the two being well overmatched by the invading party, the rest of the dungeon defenders stayed put.
Luckily for Black Hogus & Shasta (the rogue & wizard) they did not follow the usual mode of dungeon monsters and suicidally engage the evil adventures when they saw the threat they faced, rather managed to pass their stealth checks and remain unnoticed behind the secret door.
As the attacks came, the players (this time defending a dungeon rather than being the delvers) often kept their party split and people at their posts, despite the alarm being raised, because they saw the group on the scene often able to handle an attack themselves, and it turned out more important to keep areas defended than to focus everything on every potential threat…. Even if this meant they might lose a group of defenders.
So, ‘never split the party’ ended up totally discarded, and their strategy became very similar to how dungeon monsters are often run.
In groups of 2-12 like parties of adventurers, the goblins start to break through the trap doors to the basement in villagers’ homes, to invade the dungeon the players are defending.
The players placed themselves and NPC allies to get best notice of where the attacks are coming from. This made their deployment look a lot like dungeon encounters.
Dungeon Days is a loose format dungeon exploration campaign with about 20 or so players, that plays about once a week. Different players attend depending who can make it, with a limit of six players a session. Each session is a self-contained adventure, but what happens in one session impacts what may happen in the next. The action is set in the Pathfinder setting location of Sandpoint, while the dungeon is Quasqueton from Mike Carr’s 1978 basic D&D module In Search of the Unknown, adapted for Pathfinder and by the story the players are creating through their actions.
I’ve also just started Pathfinder’s Rise of the Runelords adventure path with two players, run straight from the book in the conventional sequential format. This campaign is also set in Sandpoint, and exists in the same universe as the Dungeon Days campaign.
The two campaigns will run parallel in the same world in real time. While the Dungeon Day players will create the story of Quasqueton through their actions, the events of the Rise of the Runelords campaign will define what’s going on in the rest of the world the Dungeon Day characters are living in.
I’d planned on making this tumblr strictly a photoblog of just the Dungeon Day campaign, but have started including some other kinds of posts that relate in some way to the players or the campaign, and may now sprinkle in some Rise of the Runelords from time to time.
Erica the Clerica,
Savior of the Badgers, who brought the grace of Desna to the dark places and quieted the restless dead of Quasqueton.
Thanks to her, The Badgers did make it to the shrine in time to cast the spell of consecration which cut off the dark powers fueling the haunts of Quasqueton and sent the ghost of Rolf Greybeard to his eternal reward. The badgers owe her much, some owe her thier lives.
….But in the caverns below, the dark power of Rolf’s child, he who is known as the Back Son, still waxes in the power of Kabriri. He warned them not to do what they have done. He warned them that he knows where they live, too…..
The cleric and the goblin ghouls-
They had creeped around behind the Badgers, and taken them by surprise. Only Gerard and Erica the Cleric(a) noticed them soon enough to act. She confronted them with the holy power of Desna!
…. But to no avail. In a moment they had swarmed over the Badgers, biting with filthy little teeth, and clawing with filthy little claws. Every one of of the Badgers felt thier muscles seize with a living rigor mortis.
They were all paralyzed. All helpless. Would this be the end of them?
Erica could not move, but she could think. Her muscles were no longer hers but her will was her own. She focused her mind on the symbol of Desna in her hand, and opened her heart to the grace of her god. A nimbus of light grew from her, the power of life itself washed over the darkness of death.
If only there was more time…
Dungeon Day 8/13
-The Cleansing of Quasqueton-
Despite threats, bribes and even an assignation attempt by The Black Son, the Badgers resolve to end the hauntings on the upper level of Quasqueton by consecrating the shrine to the dark god they defiled, thus cutting off the unholy forces feeding the haunts.
Yes, they are only four. Yes, the scroll they bought might be too difficult to use. Yes, the ghost of Father will be reformed. Yes, the ghouls of the Black Son will be lurking in the dark…..
Ghosts, ghouls and dark gods be damned! We’re going in!!