May 26, 2024


This week I read:

Roleplaying Games

I picked up a copy of The Monster Overhaul:

The Monster Overhaul by Skerples

The Halls of Arden Vul

This week we had an extra-long in-person session: one player was away, the other visiting for the weekend. It was great! We got through quite a lot.

Firstly, the party secured the goblin / beastman peace treaty, after first talking to a beastman deserter they met last session to get a sense of their culture. The infodump confirmed a few rumours (which gives bonus XP in my house rules), but it didn’t answer all their questions. I left some dangling hooks.

Along the way the party met Deino, the “mother” of the beastmen (and were warned to be careful of what they drink in her presence); Trisko, the ratman leader of the Long Ranger Cavern Patrol who the party will likely be interacting with going forwards; Rizzit, the prophesying demon the goblin king uses to determine if foreign policy decisions are good or not; and various assorted rank-and-file goblins and beastmen.

Secondly, the party decided to get back to some good old exploration. We did a bit of a whirlwind tour of a few easily-accessible locations: they tried out the two teleporter addresses they knew, confirming that one went to the Goblin Halls (as they knew) and one went… somewhere else, next to an underground river. In that somewhere else they rescued some lost adventurers wearing strange armour. Then they rushed down to the Troll Market to check out what’s available and just to get a sense of what’s going on with the acknowledged strongest faction of Arden Vul. There they found wonderful items and services (if you have the coin), interesting gossip, and another of the mysterious Sun-Scarred Knights.

All in all, the party didn’t actually find any treasure. But they did complete a bunch of feats of exploration, earning quite a lot of bonus XP. They also made progress in diegetic ways:

  • As reward from the Goblin King for establishing the treaty they were given guest rooms in the Goblin Halls, so they no longer have to sleep on the floor of the common area, and also one session with Rizzit, the prophesy-demon.

  • As reward from Count Skleros and Deino for the same, they have been granted free travel through the Beastman Halls to the Great Cavern beyond (with the stipulation that any “cloud cap mushrooms” the party finds must be sold to the beastmen).

  • They finally got a Troll Passport, giving them access to the Court of the Troll Thegn and the Troll Market. This is the major hub of activity in the lower levels.

  • They got some more adventure hooks from the beastmen and the trolls.

There was one big mechanical win too: Ethelflad, the party cleric and sole survivor of the original PCs, finally hit level 6. So now his Turn Undead can kill ghouls. The players were waiting for that before going to try to recover a bunch of magic items lost in an earlier fight.