My online party gathered Friday evening for out sixth session as a group. One of the players was unable to attend, and since the party was about to finish the first adventure of the War of the Burning Sky campaign and move into the second, I thought it was important to have everyone there. I called an audible and ran a side quest.
The party had finished the previous session by battling a gnoll and some hyenas in a tough battle outside some ruins. They began this session by looking for an extended rest (it was night time at this point) and decided to delve into the ruins to get out of the snow. I had decided that the published adventure missed an opportunity here by not fleshing out the ruins at all, so I created a two-room dungeon down there.
The first small room was the gnoll’s hideout with a pallet and some rotting meat. The door between this room and the rest of the ruins was barricaded with broken wood and stones, and a warning was scratched into the door: “Grave robbers beware: It’s not worth it!” The party bedded down there for the night, then woke up and robbed a grave.
On the far side of the door, they found lots of dead bodies and a suspicious looking pit. All was well until one of the party members got too close to the edge of the pit and it attacked. Yes, this was a trap, and when it went off the dead bodies got up (zombies, naturally) and started fighting.
I’ve attached the PDF of this homebrew encounter here, but the general idea is that we have three big zombies and six two-hit minion zombies, all of which had some push and/or slide abilities to try to get the players back to the stairs or into the pit. The pit attacks anyone who lands in it or ends their turn adjacent to it, damaging them, grabbing them and pulling them deeper into the pit. The zombies and pit are animated by a dark tome that is in the coffin in the northern chamber – reading it is dangerous, destroying it is safer. The encounter was fun (for me at least) and led to some cool role playing upon discovering the tome.
After this encounter, I had the party be greeted by Gary Sidequest, a dragonborn who invited them to solve the mystery of the organized kobolds. This is one of the Living Forgotten Realms adventures that I’ll be running at TactiCon – specifically TYMA2-1 Old Enemies Unite. I skipped the skill challenge and went straight for combat. The first combat with organized kobolds was pretty threatening – who knew that kobolds could be scary when they fight smart? The second combat, in a chamber of traps, was just boring in my opinion. I’m not sure how I’m going to jazz it up for the convention, but I’ll come up with something.
There’s still one more encounter in the LFR module, and I figure that we might as well run through it when we regroup, but after that we’ll be heading into the Fire Forest of Innenotdar – the second adventure in the War of the Burning Sky. We’re taking this weekend off, since I’ll be at TactiCon using my new projector setup. I’ve also signed up to run an LFR game tomorrow evening at my local store, just so I can try out the projector before I go to the convention. Wish me luck!