athornton: Angry.  Drunken.  BOFH. (Default)
Today we played a bit more in the ongoing Vornheim S&W game. Today started again in Gaxen Kane with the party still trying to locate a presentation copy of Anatomy of the Goblin Races.

This led them to the National Archives where their letter of introduction got them to an appropriate archivist who let them know that four of the twelve copies were in state collections (one of which was there, and which they viewed). He then told them that the copy owned by the dissolute heir to the Barony of Chalk was likely to be the easiest to get, as Harry, the baron, was a dissolute rake who would have no idea of the book's value (500-5000 gp, depending on condition), and that the archivist would much rather see it in a collector's hands, albeit in Vornheim, rather than moldering away neglected in the library of a never-visited country house.

The party went off to the noble's townhouse, arriving just as a wiry little goblin fished a ring out of the cesspool and presented it to him. This turned out to be Nas Foullurker, a professional mudlark, played by our out-of-town-but-we-hope-recurrent-guest player. Anyhow, the drunken Harry told some barely-coherent story about his librarian being eaten and that the party was welcome to the book if they dealt with his little infestation.

His butler, Albert, provided the party with three sealed letters explaining their presence, a spider-drawn coach to the manor, and a brace of duelling pistols.

The manor, upon arrival, turned out to be Tegel Manor (and I appear to be running it from a not-yet-documented second-and-a-half printing, where the Booty List goes to 35 rather than 30 or 37; I will scan this for the Acaeum soon). The party went for a circumambulation first, and had a shouted conversation through the Hermitage door with Rabury the Recluse ("Go Away!") that led to their learning that there were two libraries on the premises, one in the east wing, one in the southwest wing, each on the second floor, each at the south end of the wing.

Nas attempted to climb the southeast tower; near the top he disturbed the bats and quickly lost three of his four hit points, before Ber tossed a Light spell on him, which dispersed the bats. He entered the level with the silver bell through the window, started to climb up, heard "witches" hoping he was going to go up and provide them with a meal, headed down (the inhabitants of the room with the chest deciding to leave him alone for a bit because he was glowing), opened the next trapdoor, triggered the Symbol Of Fear, and hightailed it out the window and back down.

After some healing, it was determined that the southwestern wing looked the most hospitable.

The DM's failure to read the map allowed the secret door into the wing to be found too easily, and then there was a little skulking, a fight with a giant frog (this was the one nerfing concession I made: 1d6 rather than 1d10 bite damage, and a 6 would mean swallowed whole, 1d4/rd), and a discovery of the armory (and a case with four blunderbusses, one of which Palalladin took).

Then they realized that the chimney from the Butler's Room would take them up close to the library. They emerged in the Seance Room, gave both the cards and the ball a wide berth, and discovered the wight behind the curtain. They got lucky fighting it (although I did use 3E-like damage resistance of 5 rather than just cannot hit with non-magic weapons), and it didn't drain any levels.

A bit more reconnoitering and they came into the Maid's Quarters, where the werewolf Lucy was knitting and watching her four children play. They gave her a sealed letter; she examined the seal, agreed that it looked legit, and waved them through into the library, warning them that Wally hadn't been himself lately.

True enough, Wally's having been swallowed by a giant frog (he survived, evidently) hadn't done his stability any good, but he accepted the seal as genuine, and provided them the book they wre looking for. When the party apprised him of Harry's plans to auction off manor contents to pay his debts and suggested that he tell them of small but valuable items that Harry could use to forestall a wholesale rummage sale, he pointed out that the crystal ball (which he called "she") and the cards were both very valuable. The party, treating them like plutonium, grabbed them and tied them up without looking at them and hightailed it back to town.

All in all, near-perfect reconnaisance mission by the party. I didn't want to TPK them, so Tegel Manor's inhabitants were open to negotiation, but mostly they want to be left alone, and it's in everyone's interest that Harry raise some money without much disruption. I gotta say, Tegel Manor is so old-school that after the session I had to pass around the module to show that yes, there really is a Deck Of Many Things guarded by a 3HD monster. That's gonna be worth some coin and some XP when they unoad it.

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athornton: Angry.  Drunken.  BOFH. (Default)
athornton

July 2016

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