Tryouts: Gold & Glory Dungeon

Posted: 28 October 2017 in Tryouts
Tags:

“Why are we in a swamp?” asks Abelard. “It’s alright for you, Carlesha, you humans are tall enough to stick out of the water. The half-folk an’ me, we’re like to drown.”

“Stop whining, Abelard. See yonder gazebo? That will be dry, and inside are the stairs leading down into the Serpent Shrine.”

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the stairs go down below the water level. Stands to reason that shrine’ll be flooded.”

“Have faith, Abelard. Have faith.”

“Didn’t do the priests much good, did it?” Abelard mutters under his breath.

I’ve selected the Snake Shrines dungeon for this trial, because I love the idea of getting into it through a stone gazebo in the middle of a swamp. That suggests the first room below ground should be in the center of my graph paper, or in this case Dungeonographer grid, which I have arbitrarily made 30 x 30 squares. I decide that since my main focus this time is the dungeon generator, I shall use the Savage Worlds Quick Combat option. I note that in the Snake Shrines, there are no doors.

First room; I draw three cards. 9 of diamonds, 7 of spades, 3 of clubs. That tells me the first room is 9″ x 7″, has one exit, and has treasure in it, specifically a one-foot snake idol worth 200 gp. That’s a pretty big room, so I roll a d12 and a d20 for features; 6 and 10, respectively. After a couple more dice rolls, that resolves as a chasm, 6″ x 4″ and 30 yards deep, and a flooded floor. That’s how it works, so now you’ve seen it once I’ll speed up. Here’s the final map, with the room details below.

Room 1: The stairs end in a chamber 18 yards by 14, the floor covered in water leaking into the Shrine from elsewhere which pours into a chasm 12 yards by 8, and draining away who knows where… “Aha!” cries Abelard, plunging his arm into the scummy water and pulling out a golden snake statue a good foot long. “Floods aye, but gold too!”

Room 2: North of the party is another chamber, 16 yards square with two exits; but at Abelard’s cry of triumph, three hideous snake-human hybrids turn and glare at him from the shadows. As they charge the party, Abelard’s dwarven eye is drawn to the golden snake torc around the leader’s neck, worth a good 100 gp in his estimation. Then the burly mutants are upon them, and a fierce melee ensues.

Time for some quick combat. A witch and two rogues against what are effectively three Uruk-hai? I think they’re outclassed, so roll at -2. Neither side appears to have a tactical advantage, so that’s the only modifer. Carlesha rolls on her Spellcasting d8 and gets a 3; she fails and collects a Wound, and it takes two bennies to soak it, so she only has one left. The dwarf and the half-folk each roll on Fighting d6; both succeed on a 4, and get through the fight unscathed.

Abelard, elected mule by virtue of being a dwarf, adds the torc to his bulging backpack. Now the party’s loot is worth 300 gp. Looking up, he sees a big chunk of the ceiling has fallen in; this explains where the water is coming from. On one wall is a delapidated wooden shelf with a couple of mouldy candles on it, but this is of no interest to treasure hunters.

Room 3: East of the snake mutants’ lair is another huge chamber, 20 yards square, with two exits. Spiralling columns provide some cover, but within stands a regal snake-woman, towering over a pile of bones, who points at them and commands: “Leave! Or die!”

“Just going,” says Carlesha, and the party backs away. “But… but…” stammers Abelard. “Look in the next room! Beyond the corridor!”

Room 4: Actually a corridor running south, the raiders can see this has two other exits and a very large snake coiled up on the floor. It watches them lazily as they withdraw.

The connection between rooms 4 and 5 isn’t created by the rules, it just made sense to me given that both rooms have an exit which can only really be in that place.

Room 5: Whether a wide corridor or a narrow room is unclear, but as the adventurers retreat they can see a long room, lined with a double row of statues of standing snakes, many of which have gemstones as eyes. The floor appears to be covered in deep mud.

Room 6: The party moves through the snake-mutants’ lair into a corridor with two further exits, and Carlesha pauses to run her fingers lightly over an inscription on the north wall: “Scales of the Three Moons, Bless Us! Blood Snake, Give Us Strength! Soul Snake, Give Us Wisdom!” she reads aloud. “Hmm. I wonder what that means?” But before she can work this out, a small, venomous snake darts out of a hole in the carvings and tries to bite her. Panicking, she blasts both it and the carvings to smithereens with a bolt of energy.

I can’t help but embellish the raw table entries, hence the hole in the carvings, but more Quick Combat here… Carlesha rolls on Spellcasting, no modifiers, and gets a success with a raise, recovering one benny and comprehensively frying the snake.

Room 7: At the end of the corridor on the north side is a further chamber, centred on a 10 foot tall stone snake idol, with massive ruby eyes. The floor is again flooded, and there are empty torch sconces on the walls. The dwarf boosts the half-folk up, and between them they quickly remove the statue’s eyes. Total loot so far: 700 gp. Assuming they can get out alive, that is.

Room 8: Opposite is more of an alcove, a priests’ robing room perhaps? Whatever it was, the walls and ceiling are visibly unstable, and the entire floor has collapsed into a pit 20 feet deep. Abelard can see coins at the bottom, but also a number of snakes, and the bones of the last person to try recovering the coins. “Let’s give that one a miss,” he suggests.

Given that they don’t fancy mixing it up with the Snake Queen, that’s it for the day, and they emerge and make their way back to town. Here, they fence their 700 gp of loot; they agree to buy two units of bandages and balms against future need, and take 200 gp each as their personal share. While the two rogues go Carousing, Carlesha embarks on some research; they each make a roll on the appropriate activity table and I decide they each take one advance, which at this stage of their career costs them 50 gp each, leaving them with 150 gp in savings. Our dwarven friend draws a joker, which lets him draw two more cards; he hears a rumour about another dungeon, and gets a Tarot reading which temporarily grants him the Luck Edge. His half-folk rival parties hard, and gains Charisma until the next time she is out on the town. Carlesha’s research means she learns a new power permanently; however this is actually one she already knows, with a new trapping.

As I don’t currently intend to play these guys permanently, I won’t bother with the advances and new power. I could have bought them another couple of advances each, but you can only draw an activity card once between sessions, and besides it doesn’t feel right, although it is only likely to happen in the early stages of a hero’s career, since there is a steady rise in the cost of advances.

GM NOTES

This is a very enjoyable little game; it does the best job I’ve seen yet of making Savage Worlds feel like an Old School dungeon crawler, and I’ve tried that several ways now. I intend to use it to create dungeons for the Hearts of Stone group, although I will probably create my own monster, treasure and feature tables – or more likely, borrow them from some OSR game – to avoid giving you too many spoilers from Gold & Glory.

Incidentally, I’ve played a few sessions off-camera, and this particular dungeon had some unusually large rooms. Notice though that you do get some long narrow ones which act as corridors.

Quick Combat worked pretty well too, so I’ll add that into the toolbag for future solitaire games. While I’m playing a combat-heavy group session most weeks, I can afford to cut some corners in solitaire gaming without suffering skill fade.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Seems like fun! Quick Combat surely is a good choice for playing solo, and even when in a group, but I would switch to regular combat when enemy Wild Cards are involved, so that players actually take risky combat decisions in the more dangerous encounters!
    Looking forward to reading about dungeons of your own design! I guess you’ve already seen the Dungeon Template we released last week, haven’t you? That’ll come quite handy 🙂

    • andyslack says:

      It was, and I have seen the template. I’d use full combat playing with a group, but one advantage of Quick Combat for solitaire play is that it subsumes tactical decisions when I’m both sides.

  2. Brass Jester says:

    I really like this – excellent work GR! I’m going to use it for a series of FtF 13th Age Games I’m scheduled to run for the Gallant Band of Manic Strangers (ie. Ben and the others).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s