June’s Dungeon Crawl saw us head “back to the dungeon” in an homage to the old school feel of D&D Next, the new version of the game recently released for public playtest. What does that mean, you ask? Less heroic, more…opportunistic. Adventurers searching for treasure, not fighting evil. Deathtraps and fiendish monsters around every corner. And a Dungeon Master who really is out to kill all the players!
Oh, and for some reason, an awful lot of swearing and sexual innuendo. You have been warned.
Our fortune and glory seeking party were:
- Michelle Nussey as the mighty wizard Fred Tanya, who in the tradition of early editions only knew three spells, each of which could be cast once: Detect Magic, Polymorph (frog), and a spell to summon a Bobcat. After a little deliberation with the audience, it was determined this was a Bobcat tractor, and so the DM ruled the spell was called Summon Farmer’s Ally I.
- Sean Fabri as Rolex, a thief and graduate of the academy of conflict, where he was supposed to have learned anger management and conflict resolution. In reality, though, he’d put all his skill points into passive agression.
- Amanda Buckley as Buttermilk, a cleric of the Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson. Apart from the usual holy powers, Buttermilk also knew how to make a mean white sauce.
- Xavier Michaelides as Pundor the Barbarian, so named because when he announced his issue with “premature ragelation” – he always goes into a bezerker battle rage slightly before it would be useful – the players declared he had opened “the pun door”. And he certainly had.
Our brave adventurers arrived in the town of Boon, where an “old man” (he was 21, but the village was full of five year olds) told them of the treasure hidden in the Caves of David Boon, high in the Fucking Hills (located just beyond the Rooting Cassocks). The party set off, finding the large “entrance” to the “long cave” and unleashing a horde of sexual puns, spurred by Pundor rubbing some of the cave moss growing there on his genitals. (It was a bad idea.) For some reason they thought the cave mouth was barred by a door until the DM reminded them it was a cave, and they entered. Buttermilk created some of her white sauce, putting it on Fred Tanya’s staff so that it’s brilliant whiteness could light their way. The magic worked – but the light alerted a bunch of goblins (well, all right…a pair of goblins) to their presence, and they rushed to menace our heroes!
Rolex’s gambit of declaring “we come in peace” fooled no-one – least of all the head goblin, who stabbed him with a surprise attack! Battle was joined, but during the first round Buttermilk healed Rolex, and Pundor wasted his turn drawing his enormous greatsword, sheathed – as is traditional – on his back. Fred Tanya however saved the day, using her Polymorph spell to turn the leader into a surprisingly large frog, which fled deeper into cave! This display of mighty magic convinced the other goblin to flee. They looted the goblin’s axe, which seemed magical, though Fred Tanya was loathe to use up her Detect Magic spell so early in the game. They experimented with it, and when used to attack Pundor, he noticed it hurt slightly more than it should have. Success?
Newly equipped, the party plunged deeper into the dungeon, and came across a filthy smelling chamber – filled with the stench of troll! The troll seemed less inclined to eat them than was traditional, and was persuaded to let them pass with the promise of some delicious cooking. They looted his chamber and acquired a disgusting blanky, which Pundor takes great delight in carrying around.
Faced with two exits from the troll’s lair, Fred Tanya cast Detect Magic, figuring that the most powerful magics would be protecting the treasure. While the goblin’s axe glowed faintly, proving it was indeed magical, the plan also worked: the wizard detected magic down one of the paths. They followed that steep tunnel into another with a disgusting fetid water feature – and a giant frog! Yes, it was the previously polymorphed goblin: Fred Tanya’s spell had detected her own magic. The now larger and bolder frog proved a challenge, and the ensuing action awoke the blanky – which turned out to have been a dormant cloaker, a large, flat monster! Rather than trying to fight both of them, Pundor threw the cloaker over the frog, and it devoured the amphibian before being stabbed to death by the party. They continued down the tunnel.
The even steeper passage now featured steps carved into the rock, and halfway down the stair (it’s not at the bottom, and not at the top) they encountered…another adventurer! Climbing from the depths, he was wearing an amulet which Fred Tanya’s spell detected as magical. They tried to convince the adventurer that he should take the amulet off, since it might change him into a horse, but he was unimpressed, and stabbed Pundor, taking the magical goblin axe. Thankfully Buttermilk invoked the motherly aspect of the Domestic Goddess, and her admonishments about “using your silly brain” allowed her disarm the adventurer – buying Pundor the time to draw his sword and attack. They took the adventurer’s amulet and dagger, and managed to save Pundor from dying due to his wounds.
The party continued to the bottom of the stairs where they found a room mostly bereft of treasure, clearly ransacked previously – except for an unopened treasure chest. Rolex checked for and discovered no traps, and so Pundor opened it – only to find it was a mimic, a shapechanging creature disguised as a chest to trap unwary adventurers! With Pundor helplessly tangled in the mimic’s sticky psuedopods, and taken out of action with a swift punch to the balls (a running theme of the campaign), Fred Tanya uses her last spell, and a Bobcat tractor appears – driven by Bobcat Goldthwait! It smashes and kills the mimic – and, unfortunately, also Pundor. The rest of the party do not pause to mourn him, though, and trawl through the mimic’s innards to find a bunch of treasures belonging to its previous victims. Fortune and g(l)ory at last!
It was a glorious night – and you can relive it through the amazing photos, below, taken by Dungeon Crawl’s regular photo wizard, Robert Young.