Friday, December 1, 2017

Barrowmaze play report: Dogs of War and Chicken Feet

Woof! Woof!
Our extremely lucky dwarves discovered the joy of leading war hounds to battle, and even defeated a mummy! Almost dying in the process several times. Below is their incredible story.

We are using ACKS rules, with three house rules so far:
  1. Thieves and thief-like characters (e.g. Dwarven Delver) add their Dexterity modifier to Move Silently, Hide in Shadows, Open Lock, Pick Pockets, and Disarm Traps rolls.
  2. War dogs take Henchman "slots" and are limited by them.
  3. War dogs get Mortally Wounded and may be stabilized by a character with Animal Husbandry. This, of course, entails a roll on the Mortal Wounds table for the poor hound.

The Lucky Dwarves:
  • Boulderson the Lucky - Level 1 Dwarven Craft Priest - Eliran
  • Rufus Chikenfoot - Level 1 Dwarven Delver - Itai
  • + Angus the Cleaver - Level 1 Dwarven Fury - Rufus' henchman
  • And dogs, Lots of dogs.

Revised Barrowmaze Map.
The Story so Far

After resting in Helix after last session's heavy fighting, Angus bought a war dog and equipped it with leather barding; Rufus already had a hunting dog. With the hound in tow, the three dwarves made their way back to Mound 16, the Skeleton Mound, where they previously found a magical sword, nearly got wiped out by skeletons, and discovered a secret stairwell down to the Barrowmaze itself. They knew of the Fossilized Skeletons hidden below, and decided to slay them.

Thus they entered the deep chamber (Area 81 on the Barrowmaze map). Rufus stole his way through the chamber, contemplated backstabbing the skeletons (is that possible at all?), then re-positioned himself and his henchman Angus for the fight. Boulderson tried to invoke his ancestral spirits to banish the undead, but alas - they did not answer his call. The skeletons, on the other hand, attacked. Thus three dwarves and two dogs found themselves facing no less than seven massive fossilized skeletons with bones as hard as stone!

Eliran and Itai with Mrs. Stellagama who came to visit.
The fight was intense and very long. A skeleton took Rufus' hunting dog and crushed the poor pooch on the wall, brutally killing it. Then, they heard a commotion from the nearby door. Rufus and Angus tried to block it from opening, but a massive Bloodthirsty Spider leaped out of it and tried to suck Angus out of his blood! Luckily, it was soon dispatched.

Boulderson, once again, fell to 0 HP from skeletal attacks, just like last session. Rufusused his Healing proficiency to stabilize the Craftpriest. The latter was, again, incredibly lucky on his Mortal Wounds table roll, and after a short ghastly hallucination of the entire party being brutally dead, he awoke with 1 HP.

Rufus and the warhound then proceeded to smash the skeletons, gaining victory!

All characters, however, emerged with serious war wounds (low HP).

This was followed by searching burial alcoves and briefly visiting the nearby room, easily crushing the two spiders who waited there as well. Laden with gold and a diamond ring, they continued down the hall. However, Rufus, who was leading the party, failed to notice a pit trap and fell to it, almost dying in the process and screaming in pain. After he climbed out, the dwarves continued carefully, but then heard whispering voices out ahead.

These were eight tomb robbers - unsavory characters, heavily armed by lightly armored. The party - not the most charismatic dwarves in the world to say the least - managed to roll a Neutral reaction, and the robbers parlayed. However, the intrepid heroes were very uncouth, even more than the ruffians, ending up with Rufus yelling SHUT UP! at the criminals - which led to them attacking the heavily wounded dwarves. Heroes that they are, they decided that discretion is the better part of valor and ran back around the pit. Rufus, however, stood there, on the other side of the pit, and taunted the tomb robbers. They shot him in his foot with a crossbow bolt, and he fell, mortally wounded. Angus and Boulderson grabbed his bleeding body and ran out through the secret stairs, then stabilized him.

The great diplomat ended up losing three toes!

Thus they went back to Ironguard Motte to get healed and sell loot - they had gold aplenty and Helix lacked a powerful enough cleric. There, Rufus rolled well on his 1d20 throw on the Mortal Wounds table... But rolled poorly on the 1d6. This ended up with his brand-new foot...

Replaced with a chicken's foot! The Ancestors must be jesting.

After two days of rest and travelling on the main road at a leisurely pace, rested and healed, they walked back to the Barrowmoor. This time around, they bought as many war dogs as their Charisma allowed them to lead. Once again, they lucked on the random encounter rolls and the trip was uneventful. However, when they approached the mound, hoping to catch the robbers unaware, their dogs barked. Soon after, the heard an insufferable croaking sound from inside. They entered the mound to find three Giant Toads feasting on five of the - now dead - tomb robbers!

The fight, luckily, was very easy - except from a dog briefly digested inside a toad's belly and surviving the ordeal, none was injured. Emboldened, they returned to the Barrowmaze itself. They found some burial urns and a little stash of electrum pieces where the tomb robbers once hid. Then they entered one defiled tomb. There, a large, pristine, sealed sarcophagus stood. While Angus disliked the idea of disturbing the dead, Rufus managed to open the sarcofagus without his consent, and from it sprung...


The Dwarves did not run. They unleashed their dogs at the undead horror. Only a few were paralyzed by fear. They fought hard. Luckily, the mummy rolled very, very low on its damage rolls (1d12), so none fell. While Boulderson and one hound contracted Mummy Rot, they won the fight.

Year, you read it right - they have SLAIN A MUMMY. At level 1. By blind luck. With a little less luck, they would have been cut down like weeds.

The lucky band, with its pack of wardogs, returned to Helix and then Ironguard Motte, victorious and with the mummy's treasures - a magnificent bejeweled scepter and a golden circlet, sold together for 2,400gp. They also paid to get Remove Curse cast at Boulderson and the dog to cure the mummy rot.

With sacks of gold, both Angus and Boulderson are now Level 2!

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