Play Report: The Lost Dwarves
Time for a play report! I read this and put it out as a podcast first, so if you’d rather hear my voice recount this tale you can do so on Odysee or Youtube. Thanks for reading, listening, or however you want to consume what I put out.
I am hoping this will assist newer dms in showing them how I improvised scenarios that the adventure didn’t cover, and how I implemented ideas that came to me as I ran it. I don’t believe I’ve ever ran any of my adventures the same way twice. Inspiration will usually hit me as my players muck about and I have a cool idea pop up.
Starting from the top, my players immediately foiled the cool “locked in here” aspect. Which was awesome and I’m happy with their solution.
After dealing with the airlock skeletons they opened the door to the intake room. They saw all the carvings on the wall. While everyone else went in to look around and check for traps I had one player state his character Halfthor was a little spooked and stood in the doorway. I imagined the one-way door being one of those doors that have a mechanism to ensure they close. These doors usually have some force to their closing so I had him roll under his Strength ability score to see if he got bumped in.
He didn’t, and realized what was happening as the door assaulted him. Another party member, Knat, came and jammed his tower shield in the doorway while they devised another solution.
They decided to attempt to move one of the stone seats from the waiting area to jam the door open, at the cost of possibly tumbling over it when trying to escape.
Door Boss (as they called it) defeated. They then gazed out over the platform and saw a crowd around the “building that extends to the ceiling” but unable to see exact numbers. I told them they think its between 10 and 50. Unsatisfied with the vagueness they sneaked in closer around the alleys of these buildings to the West.
Getting a more solid number of 14 and seeing the giant forge they launched some sneak attacks, then flung a Molotov of oil using some bandages as a wick for their oil bottle.
After starting the light show they retreated up the stairs, believing they could toss the creatures off into the streets below if things got too hot and heavy and allowing them to only engage 3 at a time. Forming a line with the melee to protect the ranged and mage they fired off rounds at the approaching hoard.
After mowing through a little over half of the creatures with little to no damage Halfthor took the first blow and failed his Save vs Paralyzation so as the claws rent his flesh he felt his muscles seize up.
Adjusting the defensive line to cover Halfthor they hacked the creatures down to 2 remaining and they failed their morale roll causing them to flee. This is the second improvisation I made. Thinking these devout and brainwashed creatures would call on their god to help them I had them cry out. Rolled a 1d6 and determined 1-in-6 for the Hyptnoic One to hear. Each round they will cry again and the chance increases. The ranged party attempted to hunt them down and the 3rd cry was heard. They heard the return roar of the Hypnotic One and the party decided to GTFO. Picking up the paralyzed Halfthor they made a break for it. Halfthor shook the paralyzation off mid right before they hit the door and was able to help them un-jam the door as they saw The Hypnotic One barreling towards them. The door slammed in its face and made a meaty thump.
Limping out of the airlock they explained the situation to the two party members waiting with the mule as Halfthor writes “BAD INSIDE” on the outer door with his blood.
Heading back to town they decide to warn the townspeople and leave well enough alone. Until one of the hirelings who waited outside piped in “Hey didn’t you guys say there was a forge with a chimney going to the ceiling? Doesn’t that have to exit somewhere?”.
Swearing in unison the party decided they had to go back and finish the job. The next day at the tavern they spoke with another adventurer party who has been in town for a few days. Their plague doctor thinks he could rig up some explosives, so they spent the rest of the day getting supplies while he worked on that.
The next day the Plague Doctor revealed his invention. Some herbs that react to water secured to the top of a wine barrel as the town produces great wine. Everyone agreed they’d drop the barrel and try to collapse the forge chimney.
Hiking back up to the mountains and searching for most of the day they finally found the vent. Cutting down some trees and using some of their numerous feet of rope they improvised a pulley system to lower the barrel and then smash it into the side to activate the impromptu explosive
Seeing their handiwork they camped for the night to ensure nothing came out. After hiding from some giant hawks that came in the night they woke up the next morning and discussed further plans.
Not wanting to risk whatever that thing was getting out they decided to go back down and finish it for good.
They prepped the two hirelings, Jack and Grimald, on the emergency procedure: Do not open unless the code is knocked. They descended once more into the city.
Inside they sneaked around the forge and checked out the riddle square. “Hang an anchor from the sun. There are many lights but it knows the one” was inscribed on the statue. A few minutes go by and they discover the solution: Go into the house where the anvil points.
After picking up their reward for solving the riddle they decided to bait out the Hypnotic One. They found one of the remaining servants and beat on it until it cried out again, alerting it’s god.
The Hypnotic One came out of it palace, ensuring that it’s rage was felt with an unearthly roar. It immediately engaged the group in melee.
The party was waiting for it though as they launched their ranged and magical attacks. Bloody, but undeterred the old monster let loose it’s gaze upon 3 of the melee fighters. Knat failed his save, leading him to be transformed into one of the creatures. The rest of the group hacked at The Hypnotic One while trying to keep Knat away, eventually holding him down and tying him up as Halfthor finished the Hypnotic One beating it’s skull into mush with his great maul.
However Knat did not return to his normal dwarven form. They tied him up even more and stuffed him into a large sack in order to keep him hidden while they head back to town and discuss how to heal him.