Flashback Friday – Taking A Solo Trip Through The Classic Adventures – Part 3 – B1 In Search of the Unknown
So every Friday I’ll be presenting a game recap of solo play through the “Classic” D&D adventures.
Now, by “Classic” I don’t necessarily mean The Keep on the Borderlands, Ravenloft, The Tomb of Horrors or The Temple of Elemental Evil. I mean the Classic D&D era game modules/adventures. The ones from the late 70’s and early to mid 80’s, Caverns of Thracia, Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Beyond the Crystal Cave…everything I’ve heard of but never got my hands on to play. My own experiences are limited to; The Keep on the Borderlands, Isle of Dread, The Secret of Bone Hill, Secret of the Slavers Stockade, The G (Giant) series and Queen of the Demonweb Pits. There are so many more modules/adventures out there… So, that’s where I’m headed.
So, to start off I’m going to play through B1, In Search of the Unknown, which according to what I’ve read has some OD&D ties but also was used with Classic D&D (the Holmes, Moldvay and Mentzer stuff) and maybe even 1st edition.
We last left the party after they had defeated three skeletons in a storeroom and had secured the secret door leading in.
The party had only explored the underground area for about two hours but Norrin the Barbarian had taken a pretty nasty cut from one of the skeletons and it was decided the party would rest here. The Cleric, Tassit, Servant of St. Cuthbert, cast a healing spell on Norrin and the Barbarian looked much better.
A quick search of the storeroom turned up many materials, mostly building such as; doors, mortar, nails, etc. but Sporragha the Thief did find a nice stash of gold coins hidden among some wooden beams in a small pouch.
The party settled in and Norrin and the torch bearer took first watch. It was an uneventful eight hours and the party loaded up their gear for another foray, Tassit and Presto having regained their spells.
The party found themselves back in the corridor running southwest to northeast, their secret door found half-way down the corridor. They turned northeast, the direction they hadn’t explored yet and set off. After only 30’ the corridor turned east and opened into a 20x20 area with many corridors running into it, a sort of nexus. There was the corridor from the southwest that the party had entered the room from and then a 10’ corridor exiting south and two 10’ corridors leading out of the eastern wall.
The party opted to try the southern corridor. This way they were heading back in a direction they had generally come from, and would make mapping easier, and also they were hesitant to go too far away from the entrance with so much unexplored area around them.
The south corridor ran on for 30’ before it opened up into a 40’x20’ room with a door and a corridor exiting the room on the south wall. As they proceeded through the room towards the southern wall both the torch bearer and Presto called out that they had discovered some well hidden doors. (nice work by the torch bearer!) There was one on the party’s right and a little further into the room one on the party’s left. Sporragha the Thief and Presto, the Elven Magic-User, had a listen at the first door and Sporragha swore he could hear something(s) moving behind the door. They moved to the other door and had a listen but heard nothing behind it. The party discussed the situation and decided to try the first secret door, the one with the noises coming from behind it.
Norrin tried the door but found it locked. With a nod to Tassit they both threw their shoulders into the door but it held and now whatever was on the other side knew they were there. The party froze, listening. Norrin and Tassit both alarmingly told the others that something was moving closer to the door from behind. The party readied themselves… but nothing came through the door and all was quiet again.
The party members grunted in a, “Now we’ve gone and done it,” kind of way.
The party discussed their options; Norrin favored bashing the door open while Presto thought casting Hold Portal on the secret door and moving on was best. Tassit, Sporragha, Sho-Rembo and the torch bearer had no other ideas so the party put it to a vote.
It was decided that Presto would cast Hold Portal on the secret door and the party would move on.
With Presto’s spell cast the party moved on to the other secret door. This one was unlocked and after a quick search for traps the party moved into the room behind it.
The first thing the party noticed was that they were in a room with lots of over-turned tables, save for one, and a few scattered chairs. The other thing they noticed was that they were not alone…
Two reptilian creatures were also in the room and as soon as they spotted the entering party they went on the attack!
Round – 1 The torch bearer stood his ground just outside the secret doorway with a close eye on the secret door in the room behind him that Presto had cast Hold Portal on. Presto fired a sling stone and Sporragha let loose an arrow but both missed their targets. The reptilian creatures each circled around a large stone table in the middle of the room and approached the party. The creatures stunk, and stunk bad, but nobody seemed adversely affected by the stench. Sho-Rembo, the Halfing Fighter, engaged one of the creatures but missed with his blade. Tassit, Servant of St. Cuthbert, approached the same one and dropped it with a savage strike from her “Hammer of Humility.” Norrin engaged the other creature but his sword missed its target.
Round – 2 The torch bearer moved through the secret door and into the room to shed more light on the fray. Presto fired off another sling stone but missed, again. The lone reptilian creature swung its claws and tried a bite on Norrin the Barbarian but the man was too quick for him and it missed. Sporragha moved around behind the reptile creature and swung his sword to no avail. Sho-Rembo moved towards the creature and swung his blade, hitting hard, and almost ended the creature’s life then and there but it took a last swing of Tassit’s hammer to finally do it in.
“Troglodytes,” said Sporragha the Thief. “I’ve heard of them and their smell before.”
The party took in their surroundings and found themselves in some kind of workroom with storage cabinets along the north wall. There was also a door in the middle of the north wall that the party focused on first. The Thief Sporragha and the Elven Magic-User, Presto, both had a listen at the door but heard nothing, no movement or sound, on the other side.
Norrin had the torch bearer stand by the secret door they had entered from and alert them to any trouble, especially from the other secret door that they had been unable to open and had cast Hold Portal on. Then the rest of the group began a thorough search of the room. The only items of interest were found in the cabinets, glass and earthenware containers containing an assortment of odd looking liquids and materials, about 40 in all. One unusual, larger jar contained the body of a black cat floating in a clear, colorless liquid.
The party wondered if any of these items might be magical… there were so many! They debated using their last spell, the Cleric Tassit’s, Detect Magic spell on all the items. The party voted and it was decided that they would not use their last spell and that they could always come back later.
So, they all collected themselves while the torch bearer lit a fresh torch and they moved towards the door in the north wall. Sporragha had a look at it for anything out of the ordinary but found nothing. Norrin nodded to the party and pushed the door open…
… into what appeared to be a laboratory when Sporragha screamed from the middle of the party and pointed up as a large shadow danced across the ceiling. The shadow, revealed as a spider almost as big as Norrin the Barbarian, dropped down and nearly landed on Tassit, Servant of St. Cuthbert.
Round – 1 The Spider dropped down almost on top of Tassit, crouched on its long legs and then struck forward trying to bite the Cleric but missed. Presto the Elven Magic-User spun his sling and let fly a stone and hit! One of the Spider’s eyes was crushed by the stone and goo began to seep out. Sporragha, keeping a little distance from the giant creature, nocked an arrow and fired, also hitting the spider. Sho-Rembo, maybe also a little leery of engaging the Spider in melee, pulled out his sling and whipped it around, sending a stone at the Spider but missed. Tassit, with this giant spider literally right on top of her, weighed her options and chose to cast a light spell on the Spider’s eyes. She muttered a quick prayer and pointed towards the Spider where a bright glow flashed out of the Spider’s good eyes. It was blinded! Norrin the Barbarian followed up Tassit’s spell with a devastating blow that sent spider legs flying everywhere and the thing crashed to the stone floor.
The party closed the door behind them and had a look at this new and strange room…
That ends this session and all of the party members are still alive! Tassit, Servant of St. Cuthbert, gets MVPC honors for dealing the final blow on both Troglodytes and for successfully casting a Light spell at the Crab Spider’s eyes, pretty much making it impossible for the spider to hit any party member which could have easily result in a death by poison.