Sunday, October 10, 2010

HackMoor XVIII - Conclusion of the Palace of the Vampire Queen

HackMoor XVIII - Conclusion of the Palace of Vampire Queen
Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:11 AM
From: "Tracy Johnson" Add sender to Contacts

Cast of Characters:

Absalon: A Human Enchanter
St. George: A Human Defender of Heironious
Jon: A Human Doobie Friar of Heironeous
Thor: Human Captain
Arioch: A Half-Elven Male Knight of the Shifting Sands
Sreighin Thorn: Pixie Sprite Sigil of Primus (Sidekick of Arioch)
Lace: Drow Fingersmith (Female Albino with Male Pattern Baldness)
Grumpy: Human Altar-Boy of Loviatar
Lucius: High-Elf Bravo
Bill: Veteran (recently deceased, but corrected.)
Crystal Kross - Human Mortician and several Zombies

This report covers several sessions.

Because the Blackmoor area isn't canon Greyhawk I'm more free to make up stuff. The timeline is per the DA1 modules, but I use Arneson's map.

The party that stayed behind from the previous session waited a sufficiently long
time to ensure that whatever was going to happen had completed. Emerging from
their hiding place in Room 16 they found the hallway empty. They take the long
way around to get to the next staircase.

(To fit the time line, this is the time the new Vampire recruited Party members are coming up the stairs. Going the short way opposite the party, they check out
where the party was hiding and find them not. Meanwhile the main party is going
down the stairs and close the soundproof doors behind them.)

Seeing the Hallway unguarded and armed with the Player maps, they set their two
strongest characters at the lead, taking no chances to make a beeline for the
lowest level. They whack the few Orc guards at the bottom of the stairs from
Level 2 to 3. To their credit, the guards were careless for their own safety and
bang the gong alarm, dying at the only stroke.

The Ghouls that populate the immediate vicinity will pop out two rounds later from
a nearby room. They are told of scrambling footsteps coming from beyond
double-doors. Not wanting to deal with threats on this level, they take a left
turn and close the door behind them. Finding themselves in another short hallway,
they duck behind another door, and get spat several times by a Giant Slug.*

* This is OD&D, so it is not unusual the type of random monsters they threw in for
no apparent reason.

Frying the slug with some fire-based solution (I forget if it was a spell or just
oil,) they head through two double doors to a 'V' intersection with a chest there.
Not resisting temptation, they open it only to be a attacked by a Wight. The
lead character fends off a close call attack while another Wight pops out the next
round. The smartest one of the Players gathering the hint, makes a dive for the
chest and closes the lid, thus making the Wights disappear. Whew! They thought
they would have to at least fight the remaining Wights.

Backing out of that corridor, the party skirts the edge of this level and their
Elf thief detects the secret passage to the next level en passant.

This time they were mindful of the Gnoll Guards and use a ruse to trick them so
they can't sound another alarm. Past that, they pause in the room with the
Lammasu statue but decline to investigate and continue on, skipping all doors to
the next staircase. There they encounter 6 main Vampire Guards and finally take
some hits. It took some serious spell casting (and aim) by Absalon with his Magic
Missiles of Skewering.

(Forgetting Vampire combat parameters, I only docked the players one experience
level when hit. When my error was noted to the other players next session, I
decided to let it go rather than backtrack the experience loss.)

It was after this skirmish that Players realized Vampires can only be hit with
Magical Weapons. They reallocated hoarded weapons accordingly.

Taking the obvious route on the map on the last level, they head for the BIG ROOM,
pausing to take in scenery afforded by passing doors. Behind door #6 they run
into a Flesh Golem, so taking a cue from an old movie they set him alight with
some of their oil and leave the area, where cries of "Fire, ... Bad!" fade in the

(In the time line the Vampire Recruited party members on Level 1 get the alarm and
head back to this room. I roll a 20 sider and it tops at 16, I start decrementing
that number of 1 minute rounds it will take to get here.)

Lastly, they make it to the BIG ROOM, crash the door down and defeat the next six
Vampires using hand to hand combat and the last of Absalon's Magic Missiles and
their Wand of Fire from Castle Amber. Their superior armor class let the higher
members of the party avoid hits, but Lucius takes a hit and goes to -1 and dies.

The 20 sider is down to 9.

Worrying about Lucius later, the party goes in to the next room with 4 Vampires
and uses the last of their Scatterblast Fireballs to eliminate them.

The 20 sider is down to 5.

In the next room the party sees a Female Vampire reclining across a gold plated
coffin with a slight smile on her face. The party exhausted, decides to take a
breather and backs out. Wondering what else to do, they discover another secret
door behind them and retreats in there and close the door behind them. SUCCESS!
This is the Dungeon's treasure room. Absalon, using much needed time to
rememorizes lower level spells, has the party block the door and takes a rest
while he studies.

The 20 sider is down to 0 and the Vampire Recruit reinforcements arrive.

Taking stock of the treasure room, they find a pile of money of course, a Ring of
Undead Utilities (the closest thing in Hackmaster to the original Ring of Undead
Control,) a Scarab of Death, Eyes of Charming, and one of their goals, the Pinball
Machine of Wishes (Saonuihun's Speeding Sphere Game from the Book of Wondrous

Meanwhile on the other side of the door, entrapment bars had slid down to keep the
intruders in the Treasure Room (killing one reinforcement Gnoll leaning against
the wall.) This worked out to the advantage of the Main Party. Thor on the other
side of it took several minutes to Break the Bars so he could attack his own party
on the other side.

The Pinball Machine has been recently refurbished as it had been taken by Baylor
Island's Mechanical Dwarfwerks for Maintenance so it ran in tip-top condition
without any of the usual adverse reactions. Waiting for the bars to be broken,
they had plenty of coins in the room so they decided to play. They got as far
Absalon memorizing 3 spells and gaining Two Wishes when they decide to sortie.
The first wish de-webs the Player from the Machine.

As soon as the bars were almost broken through, Grumpy 'warns' the enemy to leave
the room or die. The Thralled party members take the hint and back out. The
party fireballs the next room and crisps most anything left. Next, Grumpy uses
the Ring of Undead Control, takes control of the Ghoul reinforcements and has them
turn about and fight the 'living' reinforcements. Both sides cancel each other
out with low level monsters leaving the Thralls and the remaining true Vampires.

Using the Ring of Undead Utilities again Grumpy takes control of the Vampires and
uses the 2nd Wish to de-Thrall the party members. Thus armed, he storms into the
room with the Lady Vampire. This vampire, seeing which way the wind is blowing
simply says, "Hey, I'm just the decoy! The Real Vampire Queen is in the next room
behind another secret door."

Though the next secret door they find the Vampire Queen. She turns out to be a
wuss and attempts to flee in bat form. A lucky swat knocks her silly to the floor
and she is dispatched without further ado, wooden stakes, decapitation, and
whatever else is required.

Obviously, there will be much Experience Awarded for this event. There is still
stuff in the Palace that needs to be cleaned up. The party has to decide to do
this or let the Dwarves finish the job when they re-occupy the Palace.

-- BT

Tracy Johnson
Justin Thyme Productions
Ye olde free telnet games at:

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