Friday, September 5, 2014

TJ5 Sometimes Even a Dragon Requires Help... Part 1

My experiment in using modules for older D&D versions continues. This time an adventure module from the old German RPG magazine ZauberZeit #2 (Auch ein Drache braucht mal Hilfe). I've DMed this adventure several times already, once with the D&D Rules Cyclopedia and twice with Tunnels & Trolls.

Notes: The full Player's Handbook is used together with monsters from D&D Basic for DMs V0.1.

Cast of Characters:
  • Aethelric, male half-elf warlock (criminal/spy)
  • Bangrimm, male hill dwarf cleric (acolyte)
  • Bjarne, male human fighter (soldier)
On his travels from Rakurstada to Knuivigi, Bangrimm meets two other adventurers: Aethelric and Bjarne. Together they continue their travels to find safety in numbers this close to the Weathered Heath. In the evening, they arrive at Knuivigi and decide to rest at the Dancing Boar Inn. The locals tell them about a sighting of five dragons near the ruins of Castle Raven's Aerie. The next day, the three adventurers leave for the castle.

As they arrive at the castle, they don't see or hear anything out of the ordinary. Just a ruined castle standing seemingly abandoned on the Weathered Heath. Cautiously they investigate first the outer, then the inner courtyard. As Bjarne moves into the inner courtyard, he is attacked by a vicious brown bear and heavily wounded. During the battle, Aethelric discovers a sleeping green dragon resting in the adjacent courtyard.

After defeating the black bear, the three try to leave before the green dragon notices them. But they are unsuccessful. Aethelric withdraws into the outer courtyard, but Bangrimm and Bjarne are detained by the green dragon. Reluctantly Aethelric moves back in. The dragon explains that he needs heroes to investigate a crypt. He is too big to fit inside, and the first party he sent in failed to return. The green dragon is looking for the Scepter of Yragael, a warlord who lies buried in the crypt. He points them to three healing potions and then herds them down into the crypt. Besides the entrance to the crypt, a temple to Celos, god of the sun and wisdom, sits in the smaller courtyard and adjacent to it lies a small graveyard.

The adventurers enter the crypt cautiously. The find a big entrance hall, where three doors lead deeper into the crypt. Each door guarded by two skeletons. After a short discussion, Aethelric attacks one skeleton with an eldritch blast. All six skeletons start moving and attacking the adventurers. A pitched battled ensues. The tide only starts to turn when Bjarne goes from a purely defensive stance to the offense.

After the battle the group investigates the door to the left and find an old chest containing two jewels. Aethelric investigates one wall and finds two indentions. They put the jewels there and find a hidden room. There, they are attacked by two giant centipedes. After defeating them, they find some more treasures.

Then they listen at the door to the right and hear squabbling squeaky voices. Entering the room, they see eight kobolds engaged in a heated discussion. Another battle is quickly finished, when Aethelric casts shatter in to the room. They find nothing of value and decide to take a short rest before proceeding into the dungeon.

As they continue their explorations, Aethelric discovers a suit of armor that animates as he tries to retreat. As reward for defeating the animated armor, Bjarne takes the jeweled greatsword that the armor was wielding.

Then they arrive at a staircase that leads down into the lower levels and a big double door that leads into a further room. There they discover a strange dimensional door that deposits them right outside the courtyard again. The green dragon ushers them down into the crypt again, as they tell him that they don't have the scepter yet.

The staircase down to the next level is filled with cobwebs. They proceed through the cobwebs and reach a room with a fountain. The fountain bears a small inscription: "Drink and forget all your sorrows forever." Somehow the party doesn't want to be relieved of all their sorrows and continues onward.

Bangrimm falls into a trap where he's attacked by a giant poisonous snake. Aethelric prevents the trapdoor from closing, and Bjarne rescues Bangrimm from the snake. His dwarven resistance to poison definitely helps him survive the attack. While in the pit, he has spied two scroll cases stuck in a skeleton, but didn't manage to grab them.

The group presses on into a large room where a bronze double door leads onwards. First, the decide to take another short rest. Then they try to pry the door open. It is stuck, and won't move. Aethelric has an idea: they use torches to heat the metal and then cool it rapidly with water from the fountain, thus turning the bronze brittle. After that they successfully force the door open.

Behind the door, a corridor filled with spider webs stretches into the dark. They decide to be more careful this time and burn down the webs. Out of the burning corridor they are attacked by two burning giant spiders.

After defeating the spiders, they decide to take a long rest.

To be continued...

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