Sunday, August 15, 2010

GEN CON 2010 - Labyrinth Lord game.

Okay, so I'm letting history pass me by and I probably ought to say a word about the awesome Labyrinth Lord session I was in on my Friday night at Gen Con 2010, thanks to my primo amigo Paul, who managed to score the tickets. As I said before, I mostly stumbled into official events for this outing.

He's got a pretty good rundown at his blog.

The game was run with aplomb by Kilted Yaksman, who also has a run down here.

I regret that I have no pictures of this event of my own, since my camera had run down on batteries and I had yet to pick fresh ones up at the CVS across the street from our hotel. So enjoy the shots of the action on Paul and Kilted YaksMan's blogs. There pretty much the same shots I would have taken...

So anyway, I chose to play the mighty fighter, Cormak the Veteran, who came equipped with a torch bearer named Burgard and a henchman armed with a crossbow named Ulmore. I apologise for any mis-rememberings or omissions in this account, but that's what you get when you've got my brain and it's making you type things a week later...

We made our way down into the Tomb of the Bandit Queen, having first stopped to loot a bunch of horses we found at the entryway.

At the bottom of the stairs, we found a large room with a big well in the center. A man was standing at the edge of our lantern light, facing away from us with his arm raised above his head. As we approached, we started getting lashed at by tentacles, and it turned out a carrion crawler was attacking us from above. The man was dead, his face kinda chewed off.

After a furious battle, we slew the critter. But the commotion had drawn the attention of a pack of giant rats, so we were soon engaged in battle once more.

Once we slew the rats, we discovered a secret door at the north wall of the chamber. As we started to follow it, a couple of bandits, probably the owners of the horses and friends of the guy the carrion crawler had munched, accosted us from behind with a the usual demand to stand and deliver.

Well, Cormack was a bit pissed off from the rat fight and was in no mood for any buttockry from a bunch of unwashed mooks, so he turned on 'em and threatened 'em with a most excellente and olde schoole beatdowne, and glory be but they failed their morale check and scampered away. It was a nice moment for me.

Following the hall, we came to a room with four statues on pedestals. Our dwarf took his sledge hammer and started bashing open the pedestals, and found some gold in the base of one. This, however, caused two of the statues to animate, and start smacking us around. We fought and defeated them, with the dwarf, I think, being the most effective. A: Because the player was rollin' aces on his dice, and B: dwarves don't take no back sass from masonry.

Anyway, also in this room were two portculli, which led to sub tombs. We pulled the portcullis' open and searched inside.

The one to the south contained two sarcophagi which each contained a zombie. After smacking 'em back down into a proper corpse position, we found a bit of gold, and a couple of potion flasks.

Encouraged, we searched the other tomb, and here we met a zombie and a frikkin' ghoul. This fight was a little more dodgy, with a couple of paralysis' and some close calls, but we beat him, and dug up a nice haul of coinage and a magic sword for our troubles.

Now here, if this had been a full on campaign with us all being 1st. Level, we'd all probably have cut bait, and taken off on our stolen horses. Of course, that wasn't the case, this was a con game, so we forged ahead.

We followed an exit to the east to a hall that led to a rickety rope bridge over a vast abyss. After some strategizing, we decided to send Paul's character, the elf magician, across, since he was light and had infravision. It was nice knowing him.

Turned out, the big crevasse was haunted by stirges, which aren't so much a town in South Dakota where the bikers gather once a year, but these kinda mosquito, bird, vampire bat thingies that clamp onto you and suck out your blood. Which is what they did to Paul's elf, with extreme prejudice, turning him into elf jerky before our eyes. At least they made him light enough to carry.

So, after firing a few arrows into the bloodthirsty little bastards, we managed to get across the bridge without it caving in on us.

We headed down the hall on the other side, and came to a weapons room, where I think we picked up some extra gear to aid in our quest, arming up our henchmen to ISO 9000 standards.

From there, we continued down the hall, and nearly got crushed by a giant rock on a chain that dropped from the ceiling Raiders of the Lost Ark style.

I think we got thru that largely uncrushed. We cut the chain holding the thing up and rolled it into the weapons room to clear the way in case we had to beat a hasty retreat.

Finally, we came to a huge chamber, where a whithered, horrible female creature in rotted robes sat on a throne behind a big pile o' bones. The Bandit Queen, whose tomb we were kind of robbing. Heh... Hi there...

She hissed the usual "who dares" etc. speech and ordered her minions to attack. The pile o' bones scrummed up into skeletons and charged us.

The party fell back to the door to give us a choke point to operate in so we didn't get surrounded. This mostly worked, but then zombies and skeletons started shambling down the hall behind us, so soon we were pinned in. Party members started to fall, to the claws of the dead and the ghoulish Bandit Queen's spells, we were getting whittled down.

So we came to a choice, with only the dwarf and my fighter, and I think maybe Paul's upgraded wannabe archer torch bearer still standing. Do we fight thru the couple zombies behind us and escape with less shares of the gold we'd found to split up, or go for the gusto and gank the ghoul gal?

The answer was obvious. We charged the Ghoul Queen. I'm told we got a couple really good whacks in on her, but sadly, we got chewed to kibble.

TPK! Glorious TPK! Total Party Kill! Whoo!

Which was awesome. That's old school how we do it on the short bus, baby!

So all told, a great time. As Paul noted, it took a little time to get used to a different play style than what we normally encounter, but that's the beauty of con's. It was a load of fun.

Big thanks to Kilted YaksMan for running, and to the rest of the players for making this a fun session. There was one guy at the table who I'm led to believe hadn't played an RPG since the Moldvay/Cook edition came out 20 some odd years ago. I hope he had fun. It's cool to have someone experiencing it for the first time, or coming back to it after being away from it for a long time.

All told, a great bunch of guys, a solid scenario, and a good game.


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