I had, when I arrived, no intention of playing Labyrinth Lord, I knew it would make me sorely miss my little Gnome Mage from our previous Dungeons and Dragons game, and I did not even bring my dice. I have special dice, of course, special to me that is. But the best laid plans of mice and men are wrought for nought when someone says ‘’Awh go on, you will!’’. They did not even need to use the Mrs Doyle voice, and I was suckered. So I was in, though I did make my best stab at note taking while we played. First however I feel there is no other or proper way to start this than to straight-up thank Andrew; the young man that dived into the deep end down at Loaded Dice offering to DM a game for a bunch of strangers. A brave and heroic leap, considering a few of us were totally new to it and some fairly new. And he pulled with off with grace, charm and good humour, so thank you Andrew for the night’s banter and laughter.
We were -as I gathered it- playing Labyrinth Lord with the advanced rules, which is a close clone of DnD First Edition, though without the advanced rules the game is closer to the 1981 basic edition. Technical gargon aside, and I am sure someone will correct me if I have noted that wrong; we were doled out character sheets, pre-made for convenience and the set-up looked like this:
Chris – Durin Stronginthearm Dwarf Fighter
Sprat – Bolbo Halfling Theif
Ross – Morlin Human Mage (Morlin’s beard it attached with string around his ears. See image)
Katie – Arana Harroway Human Thief
Kenny – Kendor Mason Human Cleric
M – Erza ‘Donkey’ Dragoneel Human Fighter
“So before we start. Can player characters kill other player characters?”
“Does anyone have any d20’s?”
And with the above we are off to a flaming start. We’ve been travelling for weeks to the east from the duchy of Wallinwall. Resting in the Jackal’s Head and given free lodging, free drinks and meals. They want something, right? Yeah, they obviously want something. Something that is likely to kill us, we wager. None the less, free booze, food and beds. Can’t turn that down. We are woken too early by a twelve year old messenger boy with the message that Priest Farrengrey has requested our presence in the the Temple. This will be about that almighty favour we now owe him after the dwarf drank them out of house and home.
We’re in process of asking this kid directions when the Halfling decided to get chancy and rob him. Yes. Robbing the messenger boy. After a specular roll fail, he is caught red handed with his chubby little Halfling hand down this kid pockets and is hauled off by the dwarf before accusations start getting thrown around with abandon and we get run out of town.
Off we trundle to the Temple, our cleric Kendor Mason enlightens us on the way that this place is a Temple of Ashane the God of healing and death, and guardian of the dead. Symbolised by the jackals head, hence the pub name, right, right? Religious folks in this town. So this priest, who let’s be honest, was probably less than impressed by the Halfling rather obviously casing the joint since we first set foot in it begs of our help with a little situation. Apparently some Tazamac the Red fellow has a manor on the hill and the priest had dreams of terrible, awful, nightmarish things leaking down to the village below. And regardless of all my characters protests that nothing has actually –happened- yet, and was he sure he was just not eating too much cheese before bed, he was adamant we had to go and check it out. Oh and you know as an aside, this guy might be a Lich, but you know, no big deal, right? It’s fine. Totally cool.
He lends us his acolyte Dilwin to guide us to the manor, and the halfing promptly sets to enquiring after his dead parents. Manners. We have them. So, acolyte and two healing potions, which are apparently like gold dust inhand we trundle of to Finwin’s Whatchamacallits Supply Shop. Which was an experience in itself. I have, for your pleasure saved you some glorious snippits of dialogue.
Bolbo: ”I need a stick and some string. About this big.”
Shopkeep: ”Well I only got a stick this big(bigger), but I’ll see you this ‘ere saw too.
After buying 50 meters of hemp rope and ten foot pole, the halfing thief sets to writing his name on all his belongings, in case of thieves. You know. Like him.
Morlin: ”Do you have any wizard staves?”
Shopkeep: ”Yes I have this one that is very potent and magical; Bargol’s Staff, I will part with it for twenty gold pieces”
Morlin, baulking: ‘’Do you have any -normal- staves? Maybe his acolyte had a stave?’’
Shopkeep: ”No, sorry”
Morlin: ”Hmm. What about a broom?”
Shopkeep: ”Sure, I will sell you this broom for two silver.”
Morlin spends a farther ten gold pieces on a Very Fine Robe and Hat and sets to shaving the broom bit off his new ‘Wizards Staff’
After a trip to the Smiths to balk at the price of arrows, and picking up a ladder (we’re not sure why we had to have a ladder, but ti seemed important at the time), which we made poor ‘Donkey’ carry we head off to the manor. A large white stone house with a silent horde of topiary monsters in the surrounding gardens. It seems to glow in the half-light, the white stone almost luminescent and an orange glows from the top right windows In the front garden there is a stone statue of a terrified gnome, on seeing which the Halfling promptly ties his ‘seeing around corners mirror’ to his forehead.
Kendor the cleric throws up a detect evil and Arana climbs up onto the balcony on the upper level, the left windows have the curtains drawn and the right show a tidy and untouched bedroom. No evil is detected. Morlin grows bored with all our attempted caution and beats on the door with his staff.
While the halfling and the fighter bicker, which they do, a lot. Morlin calls out; ‘’Hellooooooo.’’ And Kendor’s player has to run to pick up someone in the realm of the real world, Chris/Durin takes over his sheet until he returns, assuring us it is fine, he can just read the sheet. Right? How hard can a cleric be? Right?
Check out part 2 here: Part 2