Another sunday, another Labyrinth Lord session and another evening well spent. We were still down a Ben, as he's on holiday, but he should be returning very soon. In the mean time, the rest of the players were there (Mike, Chris, Joe and Nick) and a good time was had by all. During this session, we experimented with different initiative systems and also applied the Strain Point spell variant system to the Elf from an early Dragon magazine.
The players started by getting a consensus to leave the tomb they were currently exploring, believing that it must be too challenging for them after the initial carrion crawler battle. Instead, they headed for a nearby cave where previously they had dug a pit and killed some kind of zombie kobold with it. This was a long time ago now, probably five months of real time, but they remembered the location and finally had decided to explore it. After a little travel, this time through the day, they arrive at the correct location and venture inside. They descend about forty foot, the initial passage leading down at a sharp thirty degrees, into the bowels of the earth.
A short battle against some giant rot grubs and a giant fly occurs a inside, during which the elf fumbled. After this, the party discover that they are in a fairly large cave complex. The first thing of note they see is that the cave is both dripping wet and the interconnecting passages are narrow and winding. They often drop to only five feet in height too, not a problem for most of the characters but definitely a problem for the Gnoll.
The second thing of note that the party came across was a series of handholds, in a large vaulted cavern, that led fifteen feet up to a ledge. They ignored this and carried on down the passage way instead, noticing a number of cracks in the walls of the passages. Much searching is done for secret doors by the elf at each of these, but alas for him, none are found.
The party pass an area with broken weapons and arrows scattered around. A battle must have been fought in that place, a long time ago. Beyond this, they stumble into a vast cavern that extends well beyond their lantern light. Venturing forwards, they see much of the cavern is flooded and the flooded area is so large they cannot see where it extends to. As they are circling it, shambling figures stumble into their torchlight, advancing towards them. The party backs up quickly, into the passage way. There is a splash as one of the figures enters the water. Moments later, the figures are spotted again and the party readies itself for battle.
The slow moving figures turn out to be a hardy form of zombie - but not hardy enough as their slow movement translated to them being peppered with arrows and sling bullets until their battered rotting bodies fell to the ground in bits, twitching. During this battle, the elf fumbled.
The party ignored the water pool and pushed forwards, finding a corridor whose roof dropped to only two and a half feet above floor level. They diligently crawled through it, passing equipment to each other as they went. However, the passage way led only to a dead end, which the elf searched for secret passages and found none. Down another passage was a small grotto containing a chest; opening this, the gnoll discovered some jewelled chainmail and a pouch containing four dried frogs.
This left the party with a choice: wade through the pool and see where it goes, or climb the ledge from earlier. The party choose the latter.
They found themselves in another cave. Following one of the passages out of it took them to a mysterious room. A strange mystical symbol is painted on a wall, below which lies a large stone slab with metal hooks in each corner of it. Around this are arranged a number of stone 'seats' - for want of a better description. There is dried blood on the central stone. The wizard took a sketch of the painting, presumably to have it checked out later.
Backtracking a little, the party discover that the corridor suddenly takes a very steep decline and the gravel and loose stones scatter down into the darkness in front of them. A rope would be required to take this route safely - but alas - the party does not have one! I'm going to have to get the players onto a basic adventuring course over this oversight!!
The party turned back and decide to explore the pool of water instead. Relighting their lanterns on the way, they decided to wade into the smelly liquid, discovering that the cavern walls narrow and then widen again, effectively taking them into a new cavern. Out of the underground lake, they spied a boot with a leg bone inside it. Near that, was a helmet with a skull and near both was a breastplate, still worn by only a rib cage. Bits of flesh stick to each. Whatever did this, was something nasty...
Warily, the group continued.
They came accross a number of dead rats that had been spiked into the ground and tiny little footprints in a jumbled, confused mess. Whatever had put these rodents here had left its dinner in a hurry...
Still, the brave heroes continued.
They make out figures at the edge of their torch light and instantly went into battle. They were up against a zombie (like before), the skeleton of a wolf, a skeleton with worms that move around its skull and two giant bats. An epic fight began. The party's real muscle is Ginsese, a half orc woman they hired a while back who fights with no fear of her own death. Which suddenly, she came almost face to face with, as her brain was ripped out of her head by the zombie. She sank to the floor and begins reciting tavern songs. She was promptly dragged away by the wizard who force feds her a healing potion - her head healed up and she jumpped back in to the fray! During the fight, the elf fumbled.
The enemy were finally defeated and that wrapped up our game session. We tried out two different intiative systems (a modification of our continuous initiative system and the default labyrinth lord one) and while both work, we weren't really happy with either. So more experimentation is to come, methinks.