AAR 2020/02/12, HackMaster is Back

Games are now on Wednesday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We had an extra large ground beef and mushroom pizza.

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Disclaimer, I have decided to keep this a low information campaign. The party has no idea where they are or what world they are in. Except for Grog the Barbarian who had just moved in as a lone survivor after his raiding party was defeated during after their most recent campaign, otherwise the party grew up in this awful village of scum. Even though the party rolled up middle class characters, class distinctions for this village are rather, well, relative.

While still transcribing character statistics, I thought the group was developed enough to start adventuring. So we have:

- A Barbarian named Grog.
- A Magic User Sole Practitioner (Detective Class) named De-Bo-De
- A Thief named Needles (who has a fear of needles)
- A Cleric (absent this session)

Funny thing about HackMaster Barbarians, they cannot "knowingly" associate with Magic Users at First level. (So Mum's the word on De Bo De. Sssshhhh!)

I "woke" the party up at a small village of lowlife "Scum" on the edge of an unnamed river. Their "Village" being the closest thing to an organizational size one can think of. A collection of "Huts" is more like it. Otherwise known throughout these parts as "Huts of the Scum". In any case the village was raided by itinerant Goblins and all the wimmen folk were kidnapped. All the pretty ones at least, "pretty" for a Goblin is something better looking than the average donkey. Suffice it to say, any female who could disguise themselves as a muckraking boy or were past menopause were left behind.

Afterward, the "village" council drafted our young adventurers. First the Barbarian, only because he was the only one with any fighting experience. Secondly the Thief, so he could bail himself out of the stocks. The Magic User (Detective) De-Bo-De, because a village elder's wife had hired him to find out who her husband was having an affair with. (That Elder is hoping he doesn't come back to file a report.) And the Cleric, because in retaliation, that same wife decided to have an affair of her own with the Cleric and the Elder found out. (The Elder doesn't want the Cleric to come back either.)

After some minor adjustments it was discovered most of the party was so weak they couldn't carry their own equipment. So they transferred the weight to the of a week's worth of Iron Rations to Grog's trained pack goat. Since Goblins were litterbugs and there were no trail-side sanitation ordinances, the party followed the obvious trail to the Goblin's lair, where they had their first encounter.

They heard loud giggling and musical instruments.

Since De-Bo-De's profession was "Detective" they sent him, which was probably better than sending the Thief. De-Bo-De was able to "detect" the source of the noise, and using his specialist ability to use the 2nd level "Detect Invisible" spell at 1st level, he found some nearly a dozen invisible "teenagers", with butterfly wings. Making contact, he convinced these "winged teenagers" with their penchant for petty mayhem, to join them on a raid into the Goblin's lair, (as long as they hid their wings from the sight of Grog and stayed "visible". So they flew over to a nearby copse of trees where they made themselves look nearly human as I said, like teenagers.

After formal introductions with the "teenagers" the party finally made it to the Goblin's lair. Where they found a cave entrance with steps going down, De-Bo-De noisily went first and alone. Of course this alerted the sleeping guard who promptly retreated further inside enough so that De-Bo-De could hear a door slam. Reporting back, the party all went downstairs to a 55 foot square room surrounded by drapes and a double wide closed door to the left, with a rather well done mural of an Goblin face on the doors. The teenagers checked behind the drapes to find a 5 foot wide space behind so the room was really 60 feet square. Thankfully there weren't any Goblins in ambush behind the curtains.

They was however, a pile of garbage in one corner behind the curtains. Searching the pile they were greeted by a voice saying "Hi, how ya doin'?" Digging deeper in the trash they found a talking wooden fish amulet named "Fred", and having got the hint not to inform Grog about any magic, they showed it to De-Bo-De, who promptly confiscated it amid more giggles from the teenagers. "Fred" promptly told De-Bo-De that he can speak any language of his current or former owners, perform a "Change Self" spell for his owner once per day for 6 hours, as well as improving his owner's armor class by one. Fred also said he was fire proof, freeze proof, acid proof, and basically indestructible.

Makes one wonder why "Fred" was discovered in the trash?

The double-wide door with the Goblin mural was the next obstacle. It was easily pushed open however, but as soon as the party passed through it a "Magic Mouth" spell LOUDLY exclaimed "Ho Master, be wary. Enemies are at your door!". The party went through it, and Grog hastily did so avoiding looking at the thing because it was magical. Lastly as De-Bo-De passed by another Magic Mouth spell cast a Detect Magic spell causing a third Magic Mouth to declare (loudly) "Master, they have magic on them." (Grog cringed when he heard that.)

The next chamber was another 60 foot square room built out of white marble and with a lengthwise inlaid black marble steps going up to a landing with six columns of gold inlaid marble in front of parted parted black curtains going up to another room. The walls were covered with bas-relief carvings of soldiers fighting. (Oddly enough, they haven't found any Goblins.) To one side De-Bo-De found a secret door on a catch of one of the bas-relief statues, but the party decided to ignore that for the moment and continue on past the curtains.

This place was obviously built by better engineers and spell casters than these Goblins.

The next chamber was another 60 foot square room surrounded by a circle of draperies so that each corner was hidden by a curtain. In each corner was a brazier with burning incense which to one "teenager's" dismay caused him to fail his saving throw an sent him to a snoring sleep. Thus alerted the party held their breath and put them out.

But more importantly was the huge 20 foot wide circular pit in the center of the room and a throne on a raised dais at one end.

Looking into the pit, our Thief Needles could not see the pit walls any further than 20 feet down, so he dropped a lit torch. It promptly disappeared after 20 feet. (They all made a mental note of that, for later.)

De-Bo-De decided to check out the throne and without further ado, decided it was a good time to relax. So he placed his hind end squarely in the middle of it and made his saving throw versus poison as the trap sprang on his behind. If it had been Needles, he would also had to make a saving throw versus Fear.

All Fred could do at this point was laugh.