OSR Log 1: Almost TPK
The following is a campaign journal where I, the referee, lead my friends in a game of Lamentations of the Flame Princess. For all of us, this is our first venture down the Old School Renaissance style of tabletop roleplaying. Enjoy!
(SPOILERS for Tomb of the Serpent Kings by Skerples)
EPISODE 1: Almost TPK
The party sets off on a seafaring vessel, The Codfather. After a month at sea, they arrive at Narakib, a coastal frontier port with 300 residents, mostly human. The primary economic export is shellfish. The party consists of the following:
Professor Mallet: a cleric who worships the god of Science.
Harold "Hal" Fling: a halfling whose closest companion is his mule.
Klar: a fighter with a penchant for lying to the wrong people.
Zanzibar the Magician: a magic user who looks like Kazaam
Womble Bond Dickenson: a cultured specialist of a higher social caliber
Mallet, Hal, Hal's Mule, Klar, Zanzibar, Womble
After arriving in town, they set off to the Knave and Riddle, an inn managed by Nisil, a sphinx who can be a little racist towards non-sphinxes. While there, they witness an crab leg eating contest between two patrons, so Womble enters and wins. Nisil confronts the newcomers and gives them a few leads, but hints that if they come back at midnight, a contact of hers can offer them a big payment gig. The party splits up to explore the town before midnight!
Womble, needing work, sees a help wanted sign for a mason. He steps inside and makes a good impression with Wyny Gare, an elder human cleric soon to retire and desiring someone to pass his knowledge to. Womble agrees to an apprenticeship. All is great.
Klar and Professor Mallet seek out Sane, the halfling militia captain. She is busy at her desk, but agrees to hire on Klar since he has the makings of a warrior. She doesn't hire Professor Mallet because just look at him! Through banter, Klar and Professor Mallet realize Sane despises the local sorceress magistrate as well as Nisil, the sphinx. Sane asks Klar to spy on the Knave and Riddle for her, especially since Sane has heard "some shady dealings happen there at night!" Klar takes the job, knowing that a "shady dealing" is happening at the Knave and Riddle that very night (dammit he's a part of it). Klar then immediately haggles for better pay. Professor Mallet finally convinces Klar to leave.
Zanzibar and Hal seek the local magistrate after finding out she is an arcane sorceress named Maly. He enters town hall and finds Maly at her laboratory. He offers her garlic as a cultural greeting. Maly is confused. Zanzibar says he is a magician. Maly is not impressed. Zanzibar casts spider climb and walks on the walls. Maly does the same. Zanzibar considers this as a flirtatious gesture and makes a move. Maly is offended and casts forget, which Zanzibar rolls a natural 1 to resist and forgets the last six hours. Hal escorts a confused Zanzibar out of the town hall.
Zanzibar tries to flirt
Everyone reconvenes at the Knave and Tackle. Zanzibar is surprised that a sphinx owns the tavern. Midnight approaches and Nisil's contact shows up--it's the local locksmith, Arior, a beautiful, silver-haired young woman wearing a necklace of various keys and toting a wooden club and a pouch of darts. She shows the party a gold coin with a snake on one side and an ankh on the other. Amazingly, Klar is the only one to recognize its significance, having sighted a few on his previous quests. The coin belongs to an ancient race of snake people, and Arior has mapped out the location where she thinks the ancient, treasure-filled tomb is. She asks 20% of the findings in exchange for the map. The party agrees, and Arior lets them keep the coin for good luck.
When Arior leaves, everyone believes the free coin is cursed. They consider biting it, but nobody wants to put a cursed coin in their mouth. Zanzibar considers casting identify, but it would take a whole day of research and the only magical lab is in Maly's office, which the party doesn't think he should revisit. They decide to head out to find the tomb the next day.
Before leaving for the tomb, Klar goes back to Sane and reports that "nothing suspicious happened and there was no secret meetup." Sane called him out, stating that there were people there. Klar insisted she was wrong. Klar got fired.
Everyone then set off for the tomb with Hal's mule, and after several hours of travel and searching, they find the tomb entrance. Hal lights a lantern and they enter, finding alcoves with caskets inside. They throw rocks at the caskets and nothing happens. Klar lifts a lid from the casket and sees a terracotta snake warrior. He breaks the statue and a bunch of poison gas leaks out, but Klar passes a poison save and is perfectly fine. They find four caskets in total, and realize that each terracotta snake inside has a mummified dead snake within--as well as a gold coin! They dodge the poison gas by using a rope system to pull the lids off the coffins and break the statues. Everyone is fine!
Except Professor Mallet.
Mallet finds a ring in one of the coffins, puts it on his finger, and immediately the finger grows, bisects in half, and becomes sharp like a pair of snake fangs. Everyone is weirded out.
With money and strange stuff acquired, the party steps up to a door that is barred with a stone beam. Klar, Professor Mallet, and Womble lift the beam and trigger a hammer trap that flies in from the ceiling. All three of them are smashed into the door by the hammer and die in a bloody mess.
With over half the party dead, Zanzibar and Hal make the only reasonable choice, which is to move deeper into the tomb. They find a giant burial chamber with a snake statue and three decorated caskets. Zanzibar and Hal wrap a rope around the middle casket and duck behind a corner while standing in the smashed guts of their comrades. They tug on the rope and pull the lid off. When they peak around, a snake mummy monster is staring at them. The mummy attacks, misses, and the duo flees in fear while shooting arrows in their wake.
Total loot obtained: 2 gold pieces
Materials and Supplements used:
Tomb of the Serpent Kings (main dungeon)
DonJon Fantasy Town Generator (for creating Narakib)
Vornheim (generating NPC's and town amenities)
Lamentations of the Flame Princess (main rule set)