Barrowmaze – Session 8

I haven’t used this blog for anything useful in a very, very long time (arguably ever), so I might as well use it to store my session recaps for the lunchtime D&D game I’m running at work. I’m using The Black Hack with Labyrinth Lord along with The Race Hack and Additional Things to run Greg Gillespie’s Barrowmaze Complete. I’m doing something like open table, since not everybody can show up every week.

Adventuring Party:
Kärl – Level 1 ShieldBreaker Dwarf
Wollus – Level 1 Sensitive Conjurer
Nine-Toe Jimmy – Level 1 Dungeoneer Thief
Sven – Level 1 Pit Fighter Warrier
Grancis – Human Torchbearer
Inghas – Human Man-at-Arms
Balde – Human Man-at-Arms
Geoffrey – Human Man-at-Arms

The party’s first course of action was clear – they needed a plan to evade the approaching tomb robbers. There were eleven of them (one of the group being better-equipped than the rest) and only seven combatants among our adventurers. The decided that a misdirection was in order. All but Wollus agreed to be sealed in the burial chamber, and Wollus would seal the door, scrawl “ZOMBIES!” on it, and run out screaming. And that he did! The approaching tomb robbers found Wollus rushing out of the tomb, flailing his arms and screaming, unarmed and unarmored. The leader questioned him as to what had transpired, and Wollus informed him that his compatriots had been dispatched by the monsters inside the tomb. Kärl produced some convincing sound effects, and the leader of the rival party was sympathetic to Wollus’ plight. He offered to give him protection on his way back to Nexus, but Wollus declined, said that he’d rather stay in the Barrowmoors, and started covering himself with mud. Convinced that the conjurer had gone mad with grief, the tomb robbers went off into the Barrowmounds to seek fortune elsewhere.

With that taken care of, Wollus returned to the tomb to free the rest of the group and resume their excavation of the mound. They found another secret door behind the rearmost statue and opened it, revealing the glint of gold beyond, but noticed something moving in the darkness between. They were able to dispatch the discovered skeletons without issue, and went about searching the room for traps. Jimmy noticed a trap door in the floor, and Sven decided to intentionally set it off using the remains of one of the dispatched skeletons. As the bones landed, they reanimated, but not before the trap door fell below it and it fell to the bottom of a 10-foot-deep pit. The other skeletons reanimated as well, and landed some blows on Kärl before being taken care of, this time crumbling to dust. Within the pit, the party discovered a mechanical cobra moving among the now-shattered bones. In the back of the room, they found a black altar and two solid gold couchant jackals. Jimmy was able to expertly wrangle the cobra into a bag with Kärl’s aid, and Wollus very carefully collected the jackal statues, once he determined that they were non-magical.

Back to the main entryway of the mound, they were determined to collect the black opals from the eyes of the last statue. They wrapped 100 feet of rope around it securely to ensure that it would be immobile if it came to life, but neglected to check the statue for mundane traps. When Jimmy and Wollus pried the gems from its eyes, a poisonous gas shot out of the statue’s mouth, all but killing the two adventurers. Wollus’ men-at-arms saw this as an opportunity for wealth, and Geoffrey grabbed the coin purse off of the immobilized conjurer as he and Balde ran for the door. Sven lunged at Geoffrey and missed the tackle, while Kärl scored a clean hit with his handaxe, right into the scoundrel’s neck, killing him on the spot. A spray of blood filled the exit to the tomb, and Balde escaped with his life. Kärl decided that this was a golden opportunity to send a message back in Nexus, and finished beheading the corpse of the man-at-arms. As he collected his grim trophy, the gem removers finally stirred back to life. They decided that they had had enough of the place and set out to leave.

As they exited the tomb, they saw a form moving slowly in the mist outside. Jimmy got a clean hit on it with an arrow, and it fell to the ground. The party approached to investigate, and as they did, the decaying, zombified body rose, suffusing the area with an aura of supernatural fright. All but Wollus were shaken to their cores, and most dropped what they were holding and ran. Wollus considered grabbing the dropped gear as he followed, but in his poison-weakened state, ruled it imprudent. As they high tailed it back to Nexus, they ran into a small group of more zombies moving through the swamps. Jimmy sneaked past, while the rest of the party ran, and all but Kärl made it through quickly enough to avoid pursuit. Kärl was bitten and scratched as he departed, but was able to break free of the monsters and rejoin his group as they returned to town.

H.H.R. Huffenpuff was more than happy to purchase the jackal statues off of the party for a sizable amount of gold, and valued the gems out as well. He was, however, unwilling to deal with the mechanical cobra, so the party went to Mazzahs the Magnificent to see what he had to say about it. When they approached this time, an illusion of the wizard appeared to talk with the party, and he informed them that these creations were the works of a collaboration between the gnomes and the elves, used as guard animals without control. He offered to buy it from them, but Jimmy insisted on keeping the “animal” as a pet.

Kärl went to the Mercenaries Guild to talk to Osen about Geoffrey’s treachery, and to set up his “warning”. Osen let him know that, in spite of his attempts to make sure that only quality men and women were offering services through his business, he couldn’t account for all of them. He assured Kärl that he’d talk with the mercenaries to make sure that the death of Geoffrey wouldn’t raise the going rate, which seemed to satisfy the dwarf. Osen also let him know that Balde had never returned from the Barrowmoors, and, knowing the area, he probably wouldn’t be showing back up again.

In spite of the guildmaster’s guarantees, Kärl still went ahead and mounted Geoffrey’s head on a stake outside the Mercenaries Guild as a warning. Unsurprisingly, the stake was already out there – this was hardly the first time this had happened.

4 thoughts on “Barrowmaze – Session 8

  1. Is there any explanation on how you use Labyrinth Lord alongside TBH? Or are you just the fact that Barrowmaze is using stuff from there?

    1. I’m using it mostly as a compatibility layer to TBH. Experience and levels, starting gold, monsters, treasure, equipment prices, and over-time healing are coming from it. The whole thing is pretty hand-wavy from a mechanical perspective, since they’re short sessions and I’m trying to keep things moving as much as I can. I’ll post up the rules doc that I’m using tomorrow.

      1. That would be fantastic! And possibly quite useful for me. I currently like the idea of using a leveling rubric for The Black Hack that gives out levels depending on the players achieving certain in game things. But I also love me a good dungeoncrawl, and an XP table would be great!


        1. The XP table is straight Labyrinth Lord. I’m using The Race Hack with race-as-class to keep that in line as well. Like I said, nothing too fancy.

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