Today’s session of Watchfires & Thrones saw three of the characters deciding to foray into Stonehell to earn cash and experience while everyone else trained for next level. What was intended to be a simple sweep of the gatehouse turned into them getting dragged into the middle of the great Orc-Goblin War of Stonehell Dungeon.
The three 1st level characters (a fighter, magic-user, and fighter/cleric) led an attack into the orc lair, urging their war band of seven goblins (including their newfound friend “Schnot” from the gatehouse) and a mangy wolf against the orcs’ superior numbers. The result was fourteen dead orcs, six dead goblins (including their newfound friend “Schnot” from the gatehouse), one dead wolf, and one PC reduced to zero hit points. The orcs won the battle, resulting in the two mobile characters dragging their unconscious friend towards the exit of the dungeon. When one last wandering monster turned up SOMETHING coming their way, the PCs dodged into a side room where they are currently praying that whoever’s coming down the hall passes them by.
We’ll pick up with them next week to see if they escape the dungeon and meet up with the returning players’ alternate characters, or if they too will be rolling up new characters to play. Their reward for the brashness: 100+ silver pieces and slightly more than 500 experience points each. Two of them made second level due to their brashness—provided they make it out alive.
This was one of those classic sessions where I had no idea what to expect going into it and I was just as surprised and entertained as players while we watched the day’s events unfold before us. And it all hinged on a single reaction roll and the fact that the dice determined that one of the goblins spoke Hobgoblin, allowing the PCs and monsters to communicate. This session was one the best we’ve had so far. It had humor, suspense, PC-NPC interaction, funny voices, a big fight, and not a single railroad track in sight.
I love it when the dice know what they’re doing.