Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First Attempt at DMing

I've been wanting to try my hand at playing the role of Dungeon Master for a while now, but simply didn't have the means to do so. Having recently semi-completed my long project of building a dungeon set, I thought I'd give it a shot. I decided to try it out on my teenage nephews first, as I was lacking a little in the confidence department...but now that I've got one under my belt I feel confident enough to invite my buddy Joel over and maybe another adult or two. But to start with, I figured if I was going to screw it up I'd rather it was with the kids...
So here goes...We used a mix of rules between Song of Blades and Heroes, with bits of Tales of Blades and Heroes mixed in where appropriate. My oldest son and four of my nephews played the parts of a Paladin, Wizard, Adventurer, Assassin, and Dwarf. I orchestrated the scenario and controlled all of the dungeon dwellers.
The lead in story was that a wealthy merchant's daughter had gone missing in a village near an evil castle. The castle was suspected to be the home of a murderous vampire. Too old (or cowardly) to attempt a rescue himself, the merchant sent out word that he was looking for men brave enough to search the castle...Enter our five heroes. Only one man in the village was any help...he had once been held prisoner there, but had somehow escaped. He provided the heroes with a rough map of as much of the castle as he had seen, and told them of a secret tunnel that would bring them into an anteroom of the main entry.

Along the way to the tunnel entrance, an old man who seemed quite mad warned them of the evil of the castle and told them to was said that the vampire who lived within could control your mind!

After coming up through the tunnel, the heroes are met in the main entry my several skeleton warriors. The Assassin and Dwarf lead the charge.

An overall shot of the initial part of the scenario.

The Paladin (in white) charges in. His paladin special rule made him lethal against undead, which proved very effective.

The big Heroes...from L to R, Levi (standing), Hunter (sitting), Robert, Connor (standing), and Colton (sitting)

After dispatching the main entry guards, the Paladin rushed up the stairs to the Great Hall and flung open the door...a decision he instantly regretted. The Great Hall was filled with skeleton warriors and a gargoyle!

The guards rushed to the door and a battle for entry ensued. The Paladin and Assasin jammed up the doorway and took on all comers as the skeletons mindlessly flung themselves at the heroes. The gargoyle flew over the top of the melee, but was knocked to the ground and dispatched.

Once the Great Hall was cleared, the heroes headed down a stairway into a dining hall. Finding it empty, the Wizard thought it would be amusing to eat a bit of the moldy bread found on the table...which earned him an upset stomach.

Past the dining hall, a short corridor split towards two guard rooms. The Assassin and Paladin went to the left while the Wizard took the right. The Dwarf and the Adventurer spent a good deal of time falling down in the corridor and didn't have a major impact on the skirmish that ensued.

The guard rooms on either side revealed four skeleton guards.

After clearing the guard rooms, the Paladin went tearing around a blind corner without searching the hallway in front of him. He found himself entangled in Dungeon Moss for a turn or two...not deadly, but a major irritation!

The following heroes were more cautious and make successful jumps across the moss..

The heroes initial goal was the prison at the back of the castle (sorry, forgot to take pics there. It got a little intense!). Not finding the young lady there, the old man from the road appeared and opened a portal. He offered them passage to another part of the castle where he thought the lady could be found. They chose to step through the portal and found themselves in a room with a sort of ceremonial well. The old man immediately disappeared and the portal closed behind him.

Almost immediately, a wraith appeared from within the pool and begin attacking. The Paladin attempted to converse with the hostile spirit, but was almost killed for his efforts.

The heroes had a hard time defeating the wraith as no weapons seemed to be effective against it. Finally the Wizard summoned a torch and the screaming wraith retreated into the pool.

Charging headlong down the hall, the Assassin fell right into a spike pit. He immediately lost a point of Quality, and would have died had he not successfully climbed out within three turns. After struggling a bit, he finally made it. The other heroes were able to attempt to jump across it, but three more fell in with terribly unlucky die rolls. All of them made it out alive though!

The Wizard steps up to the steel door where they are sure the vampire is located, but finds it sealed shut and locked tight. After several spell attempts to open it, the Paladin finally finds a key in one of the lower bedrooms off the hallway.

The Paladin is the first to enter (is anyone surprised at this point?) and finds the vampire and the missing lady. To the heroes' surprise, the vampire backs away and the lady launches an attack at them.

Trying to keep from killing their quarry, the heroes manage to simply knock the lady down. The vampire rushes to her, scoops her up, and carries them both through a portal in the wall. The heroes quickly dive in after him!

Coming out on the other side of the portal, the heroes find themselves back in the Great Hall, surrounded by the vampire, the hostile lady, another gargoyle, and four skeleton warriors. Things don't look good...

The Dwarf bravely charges the vampire, as the group has now determined that the lady is being mind controlled and that they must destroy the vampire to break the spell. He knocks the vampire to the ground, but wait...

Unbeknownst to the others, the Wizard and the Paladin failed their Quality checks when entering the vampire's room. He has also gained control of their minds, and they begin to attack their comrades! Chaos ensues!

I didn't get as many pictures as I'd like at this point, as things went crazy. Essentially, the remaining three heroes had to fight for their lives. They managed to kill the vampire (he had the Tough special ability, so it took them three times) and the remaining skeleton crew crumbled to dust. The lady and victimized heroes returned to normal an all was well.

Overall, this went great! We played for about four hours and made it through the entire scenario, and that was with only myself being very familiar with the rules. The heroes earned enough points for a basic increase to combat, so I'll see to it that they face more difficult foes and traps next time out! Hopefully, they'll find a new travelling companion if Joel is able to join us!