Sunday, March 30, 2014

A TPK Avoided, But Not Without Sacrifice (2nd session of The Caves of Ortok)

Last week the Saturday Night Swords & Wizardry group had their first session delving into the Caves of Ortok, an adventure soon to be forthcoming from +Jason Paul McCartan . They nearly killed two PC's bungie jumping off of a statue on a small island, killed a giant crab, found the caves, got ambushed and finally held position inside the small cave complex as they and the sahuigan deeper inside decided on tactics. Not bad for a night of gaming.

Last night, the party made their move.

They sent the thief in invisibly to take out the shaman as the magic user slept the front lines followed by the monk (also invisible) and ranger charging in. It was brutal.

The thief rolled a nat 20 on his backstab and opted to take maximum damage for the crit, which was then multiplied by three. Not quite down but severely wounded. Sleep took out 2/3's of the sahuigan front line, but they held. There was no where to run to and they were fighting for their prince's life.

The party won initiative, and the magic user finished off the shaman with a pair of magic missiles. The only problem for the thief is he was now facing the prince and his captain BEHIND what was left of the lines. There would be no help coming anytime soon.

Invisible monk couldn't hit the broadside of a barn those first few rounds, so he remained invisible and his opponent couldnt hit either. Damn near comical.

The thief fell and damn near bled out before the party was able to stabilize him (rubbing ointment and shoving potions down his throat). Actually, the magic user, who wadded into combat like a pro and the monk (finally visible) where each a single hit away from falling. Even the hit point tank of a ranger was brought down by half. It's one of the few times the players truly feared a TPK. Heck, even I started thinking about "the next campaign" ;)

The thief lived, but using the ACKS rules for going below zero HP, he was found to have taken severe damage to his head, mouth and vocal cords. Never again would he speak a spoken work, and thus he retired from adventuring, to be replaced by a cleric.

Yes, holy shit! Both the "A Team" and the "B Team" added clerics for the first time to their ranks. Go figure. It must be serendipity.

Afterwards, the players figured out how to open a secret door they found in the caves, and proceeded into Ortok's chambers.

I'm going to gloss over much of this part, so it should remain a challenge to others who may adventure within, but I literally laughed so hard when the monk traversed a hallway that was presumed to be trapped by literally climbing the walls. Upon reaching the other side and being instructed to use a spike or two to secure a rope high on the far wall so party members could follow suit and avoid the floor, he informed them he had neither spikes nor hammer. Come to think of it, he lacked rope too. Which kind of defeated the party's plan which they had discussed before he made his way across. Simply priceless ;)

Yes, a damn fun time was had by all.


  1. Cool writeup.

    "The thief lived, but using the ACKS rules for going below zero HP, he was found to have taken severe damage to his head, mouth and vocal cords. Never again would he speak a spoken work, and thus he ..."

    "he that's how he became known as Silent the Thief."

    That's the end I was looking for.

  2. First time adding a cleric to this party. I was playing a dwarven cleric/fighter (or let's be honest, fighter/cleric) in the rat king/rappan attuk campaign, and I know we've had other characters who could turn undead... in different parties.


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