Saturday, 1 August 2015


Date: 25.07.2015
Beer: Brewdog - Jack Hammer (Scotland)
System: Dungeons & Dragons, Moldvay Basic

Elf of the Speedway (Sexless Level 1 Elf, XP 0) - Ineta

Treasure: Nil
Monsters: Green Slime
Experience: Nil

The Elf is dead. Long live the Elf!

My girlfriend was quite enthusiastically asking to play again, so we sat down for another session.

After being introduced to the Wizard's apprentice, it's pretty clear that the Elf of the Speedway is not after a companion to adventure with. On the contrary, what he wants is some outside support and some insight on how to carry on the exploration of the Putrid Vault, which the Wizard is quite happy to offer. In change of the promise to bring him whatever strange fungus or mysterious item found in the dungeon, among with some information on the architecture of the place, the Wizard shares some wisdom on the Vault. According to the legends, the dungeons used to be some sort of Dwarven mine, abandoned in mysterious circumstances. Bands of Dwarves occasionally wonder back to the Vault, looking for something they've left behind - one of such parties was apparently in town a few weeks ago, and they left toward the mountains not to be seen again. He also suggests for the Elf to hire some mercenaries if he wants to go back to the Vaults, but he refuses saying that he's better off by himself. Satisfied with the information, the Elf leaves promising to come back soon. He spends a few more days in the village healing up completely, and back to the dungeon he goes.

Taking a right turn at the first room, the Elf of the Speedway goes straight down the mysterious stairs descending in the darkness of the underworld. A quick exploration reveals a few twisting corridors and some heavy, locked down doors. He eventually finds an arch leading to a small room: a days old, unidentifiable corpse lays in the middle of the floor, his ribcage wide open like something jumped out of his chest. There's a small sack next to the body. Moving carefully, she slips into the room, just to be surprised by some very slimy monstrosity dwelling on the ceiling. The thing drops on the Elf's head, and slowly digests it to death as he desperately tries to get rid of it. The Elf of the Speedway is no more.

Notes: Needless to say, the girlfriend was really bummed out at the death of her character. There was a feeling of inevitability, a little like "what the fuck! you mean you can just walk carefully into a room and some fucking slime kills you like that? seriously?" yeah, seriously. To be fair, she could've done better with hiring some meatshields and whatnot, but on the other hand she had some complaining about the fact that the village wasn't described quite enough, and it wasn't clear to her what could or could've not be done there. Now, fantasy villages are such a trite trope and my head they're all more or less all the same - yeah, there's probably a grumpy blacksmith if you need one, some guy is likely to be selling ergonomic 10' poles in some weird-ass emporium, and there has to be a local church where you can get holy water and pay for a healing spell. Not so much for her, obviously.

I don't expect to be playing together anytime soon, so in the meantime I decided to take her advice and work a little more on the setting and the lands immediately surrounding the Vaul. It's been a good exercise in style so far, and I managed to recycle some ideas for a campaign I was working on a few years ago. I have about five levels of the dungeon mapped and stocked anyways, and a few more in the works so that should be good for a while.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Date: 13.07.2015
Beer: Alesmith - Speedway Stout (US)
System: Dungeons & Dragons, Moldvay Basic

Elf of the Speedway (Sexless Level 1 Elf, XP 0) - Ineta

Treasure: 500sp, 500gp, Jewelry (250gp), Sword +1, Potion of Heroism.
Monsters: 20 Night Goblins.
Experience: 1150xp

Character creation

Having left the land of Alesmith in search for adventure, the Elf of the Speedway travels north to Bleakwater and hears rumors of a mythical dungeon known as The Putrid Vault. After locating the entrance on the southern slopes of the Crooked Peaks, the Elf wonders underground looking for gold and glory.

In her first foray she encounters an empty room, with signs of a recent battle but no corpses left behind. She decides to continue exploring east, finding an crossing where she goes south and discovers a couple of doors. Uncertain on how to deal with doors, she goes back to the crossing and takes the way north. Here she avoids a trap and continues north, much more careful than before.

Two more doors are found, one of which at the end of the corridor. The Elf of the Speedway carefully checks it out, listening for noises: some loud chanting, which sounds like Goblins. She carefully opens the door just as much as to check out what's going on: a massive hall is illuminated only by a fire in the middle, where about twenty Goblins are busy drinking and slow roasting a couple of Dwarves. A very fat Goblin sits on a rock throne in the far west side of the room, surrounded by riches.

The Elf sneaks in the shadows of the room, carefully considering her possibilities, and eventually shoots an arrow at the closest Goblin. She misses. Alerted by the intruder and incited by their leader, the tribe charges in. She quickly cast a Sleep spell, taking two of them down. Surprised, the Goblins hesitate for a second, giving her time for another shot - this time aiming at the fat Goblin who looks like their leader. Her arrow hits, wounding the King and spreading terror in the enemy lines. Another shot, another dead Goblin. Two braver monsters close in, and one of them stabs the Elf with his knife, just to meet a quick death soon after. Ultimately, one of the Elf's arrows takes down two Goblins in a single shot (CRITICAL HIT), the Goblin King disappears, and the remaining monsters panic and run away from the terrible Elf of the Speedway.

The Elf tries to follow the trail of blood left by the Goblin King, which ends abruptly somewhere behind the throne. She tries to call for him, threatening to steal his treasure, and when she doesn’t hear back she actually goes for it. Among the riches she finds a Magic Sword and a strange looking potion. She then goes back from a different exit, crosses a room converted into a pigpen, finds some stairs going “seriously down in the darkness” and eventually leaves the Putrid Vault to return to Bleakwater.

Once back in town, the Elf decides to find somewhere to get patched up and hit the local tavern to celebrate and make some friends. The Lurid Pony is just starting to fill up with the regular clientele: hardened middle-aged farmers and cryptic travelling types. She joins a table by buying rounds of ale and Trollbrew (the local moonshine), and enquires about a wizard which she hopes will help her identify the mysterious potion she found in the dungeon. As she learns a magician lives on the outskirts of the village, she leaves the tavern to go and look for him.

The wizards lives in a small, crooked hut right outside town, about fifteen minutes walk near the edge of an old forest. He hesitates to let her in, but eventually opens the door: a minute old man with an incredibly long beard, a pointy grey hat, an oversized robe and weird bunny slippers. After a brief chat over a warm cup of tea he identifies the potion, and when the Elf asks him to join her on her adventures he kindly refuses, but offers to introduce her to his apprentice. She ends up crashing at his place, as the night is getting darker and the way to the village is not safe anymore.

Notes: This was the first game of D&D my girlfriend ever played. Turns out she loves rolling on random tables and role-playing in first person, which forced me out of my comfort zone and had me improvising quite a bit as she decided to go back to the village and have a look around. I guess I'll have to focus more on the setting surrounding the Putrid Vault and especially on NPCs and interesting locales, as she showed a lot of interest in what's going on around the dungeon.