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HackMoor 2018/04/12 BlackMoor Dungeon Level 11 Begins
Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.


Instead of a pizza and since I had only four players (they are kind enough to SMS ahead of time if not showing up), I got four Whataburgers with accompanying fries.  It ended up being about the same price as a pizza.  The burgers were better than the most, if not any chain establishment I have known.  At first I was dismayed by the appearance of crinkle-cut fries, but they turned out to be made from real potatoes, not pressed potato powder.  (You can tell if some of the fries have a curvature, as if from the end of a potato.)



When the party reached the bottom of the stairs, I avoided the rebus puzzle and accompanying trap from the text.  I deemed it a rather Sophomoric yet still above the ability of my group.  Maybe I should have used the trap anyway and not tie it to the puzzle, but that would have been unfair.

They came to a short thirty foot pillared hallway followed by a four way intersection.  The party turned right and entered a tunnel adorned with silver and copper chunks as they followed the tunnel it opened up to a large chamber occupied by "Matt", a large bipedal metallic looking creature that once again the party needed a one-way Comprehend Languages spell to understand.

"Matt" seemed friendly and warned them to stay away from his arch-enemy across the hall named "Woody"

Taking their leave as best they knew how, the party inadvertently took Matt's advice and turned right again and went further down the hall.  (I can't claim if the party actually gave a damn about the warning or were simply following protocol by always turning right.)

After another thirty feet down the original hall, the party was "greeted" by an mouth attack by a Purple Worm, swallowing the lead Goblin whole.

Oh, I neglected to mention the Goblins, they were an escort granted by the Goblin "El Jefe" two levels up.  Since the Honor Duel with the Orc Stratra one level up, they were under Strata's protection and not killed outright by the Orc Kingdom.  Anyway I think there were originally four escort Goblins granted by "El Jefe", but when I asked the Party they only remembered two.  Perhaps they were simply taken in by feminine Orc buxom charms and stayed behind?  

Anyway the Goblin was soon dissolved by the Purple Worm's gullet.  

Next either Huang or Honda fought the creature who was also swallowed whole.  This caused a minor rules check because one of the Players said that since the character was swallowed whole there was no "bite" damage only the gullet damage counted.  Not in a mood to argue, I said "fine", notwithstanding I recalled several movies where some giant creature still takes one or two gulps to swallow whole, which would tell me it would also "bite" in the process.

Ignoring the bite damage (2d8+12 in d20 system) or (2d12 in HackMaster), this brought the disparity between the stomach of a BlackMoor (D&D d20 system) Purple Worm, which does two 8 sided dice plus 12 points of crushing damage plus 8 points of acid damage per round verses the stomach of a HackMaster Purple Worm which automatically kills in 6 rounds.  I chose the d20 system method.  Either way the character fought its way out from inside the Purple Worm in time and also killed it.

They explored the cave the one the Purple Worm came out of.  All they found were some brownish soft rocks which turned out to be Purple Worm shit.  The other cave opposite across the hall turned out to have some dead gophers, ostensibly Purple Worm food.

Going back out they turned right (again) and followed it fifty feet to a thirty by thirty foot square room.  It was full of billions of little beetles (or so said the module text).  Numrendir was temporarily in charge (mainly because another Player went to the can), and backed the party out.  Upon return of the other Player, they decided to fireball it.  

This brought another rules discussion.

According the HackMaster, each beetle should have been worth at least one Experience Point per beetle even if they were so small to discount the hit point kicker.  So there was some fantasizing about all the Party members going up by infinite levels.  I had to kill that idea, I even got my HackMaster Smartass Smackdown Table handy, in case it got serious.  

The beetles were not the problem of the room, they were simply meant to be a clue.  The writer's of this module thought is was a good idea for the party to "observe" the beetles and see if they notice them crawling into and out of a crack on floor of one side of the room.  The Fireball eliminated that.  So I reversed the clue and had the party "notice" more Beatles were entering the room from the crack instead.  

It was a hard gamemaster's night.

Of course this meant the party found the secret door they had not bothered to check for.  Since they were preoccupied with beetles.

Opening the secret door and following it, the Party found it narrowed down to 2 feet in width, so they had to continue single file.  The remaining lead Goblin started to fall into a pit trap filled with spikes fifty feet down.  But Huang just behind him, managed to pull back the hapless little Goblin just in the nick of time.

Next they entered a twenty by twenty foot chamber containing six upright sealed stone sarcophagi.  Gnomex, (think it was Gnomex anyway) detected something "evil" inside one of them.  Naturally being one of the curious sort, he attempted to strike it with his trusty magic Warhammer.  As soon as he hit he, he disappeared.  Gnomex found himself inside of of the sarcophagus he attempted to hit, and also under water, dirty water at that in a tight fit, even for a Gnome, with hardly any room to maneuver.  

The Party on the other hand only heard the tinkering and "mummphfl-flmmfs-gurgle" coming from inside the selfsame sarcophagus.  So they struck it down.  (Good thing the magic Teleport only worked once on that sarcophagus.)  The water and Gnomex, spilled out, along with a dagger which was apparently the source of the "evil".  So the party wrapped the dagger in some cloth and put it away. (They'll have to remind me who has it.)

Last thing on the agenda, the party exited this chamber, being mindful not to touch any of the other sarcophagi, turned a corner to the right and found themselves in a ten foot wide hallway with fourteen doors (seven on each side) spaced every ten feet.  Each door was adorned overhead by the statue of a gargoyle.

Session to be continued on 26 April 2018 if there is a quorum.

Map of Party's travel's this level, click to expand:







Grok the Dwarf, a third level WitchRanger (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Adept of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class).  RETIRED

Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief).
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage Second (a Protege of Jacko).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.





This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.
Tracy Johnson


Quote: I deemed it a rather Sophomoric yet still above the ability of my group.


However in my experience, it doesn't matter the intelligence of the players, any puzzle will be above the group's heads. Usually because the author of the puzzle isn't as clever as he thinks and writes a poor puzzle with misleading clues. Also: I don't know about anyone else, but puzzles in dungeons annoy the crap out of me, both as a player and a GM. Why I keep trying to write the damn things, I don't know.
Getting me free admission into gaming conventions for a decade

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