Reminder: You can link directly to any of my posted solo sessions from the Campaign Logs page.
This is part four of my Pits and Perils solo campaign featuring Garret the fighter. Last time, Garret pursued an escaped thief into an abandoned temple. This time, he’ll aim to somehow recapture his fugitive, recover the testimonies of the villagers (session 2), and get back his purse of coins.
Garret, Level 1 (Neutral) Intelligent-Fighter-Woodsman (0/200) HP: 13/10[+3] Weapon: Long Sword Weapon: Long bow* (20) Armor: Chain and Shield Coins: 47 Inventory: 1) Long sword 2) Long bow 3) Arrows (20) 4) Rations (7) 5) Waterskin 6) Tinderbox 7) Bedroll NPCs: -Army companions (wounded) -Prisoner THREADS: -Recover prisoner
The current chaos rating is 6.
Scene: Find a way to get access to the temple and reach the thief.
Chaos Roll: 7 vs 6. No chaos.
Is there a wall surrounding the temple compound? +2: yes, but…
Garret stands at the edge of the temple compound, crouched beside a tumble-down wall of stones. Time has worn the wall away in many places, and large stretches of it are now scattered and hidden beneath the overgrown grass. Within the courtyard, he can hear the faint rumblings of the dead–the grasping hands he’d seen groping for the fleeing thief.
Is the compound large? -4: No, but… + event
The yard between the wall and the temple itself is small, just a few dozen yards, and it would not take Garret very long to sprint the distance. As he leans against the wall, trying to work up the courage to sprint across the accursed ground, the rumbling sound from beside the temple grows louder.
Suddenly, an old tomb–one of the few still standing within the yard–shudders, and its rusted gate crashes to the ground. A growl, and then a shape emerges from within. One of the risen dead freed itself from its bondage!
Does it come for Garret? +3: x-yes
Its fire-red eyes cross the dark courtyard and fall directly where Garret hides. With a hiss, it lurches forward, moving faster than he would have thought possible from the decaying thing.
Garret lunges backward, trying to draw his sword before the abomination is upon him.
Skill check: 8 vs 7 (success)
Garret manages to swing his sword and shield into place before the dead man reaches the wall, but it’s a close thing.
Is the zombie wearing armor? -2: x-yes + event
Zombified Dark Knight: LVL 2; HP 2-6[+3]; MV 20; ATK: +0; FEAR: Save or flee
Up close, Garret can see that the undead is wearing a suit of jet black, spiked plate armor. He can feel a menacing heat, a vicious and raw hate radiating from the dead man’s burning eyes.
Save vs fear +0: 9 vs 7
Gritting his teeth, Garret refuses to give in to the nagging voice in his head telling him that the undead is going to drag him down into the very pits of hell.
Initiative Rolls: 4 vs 4 (tie goes to monster)
Unfortunately, the zombie is able to take advantage of Garret’s momentary terror, and it swings a heavy, two-handed sword as Garret tries to pull himself together.
Enemy attack: 8 vs 9 (miss)
Garret’s attack: 9 vs 9 (hit)
With barely a moment to spare, Garret finally shakes himself free of the zombie’s malignant aura and ducks the coming attack, then strikes back with a quick slash that chips hard against the enemy’s armor.
Enemy health -1 (minimum 5, no roll for survival)
They trade blows again…
Enemy attack: 4 vs 9 (miss)
Garret’s attack: 13 vs 9 (critical)
Garret finds a pattern to the powerful monster’s repetitive swing, and he’s able to avoid the awkward blows with ease. He finds an opening and jams his blade deep between a crack in the monster’s armor. Although it doesn’t howl, he notices that it begins to move more slowly after the powerful attack.
Enemy health -3 (minimum 5, no roll for survival)
Does anything unexpected occur? -4: no
Enemy attack: 11 vs 9 (hit)
Garret’s attack: 7 vs 9 (miss)
Confidence builds in him as Garret gets a feel for the zombie’s rhythm, but it lapses into overconfidence. Suddenly, a surge of the zombie’s fear aura lances out at him, and a heartbeat’s hesitation is all it takes for Garret to miss an obvious dodge. He throws his shield up to catch the worst of it, but the thud of the knight’s greatsword sends a creaking ache down the length of his arm.
Enemy health -3
Garret’s health -1
Enemy attack: 6 vs 9
Garret’s attack: 10 vs 9
Rallying himself, Garret returns the blow, severing the last strap of the monster’s armor and sending it falling to the ground.
Enemy health -4
Garret’s health -1
Does the monster continue fighting? +8: x-yes
Does anything unexpected happen? -4: x-yes
The zombie is unfazed by his foe, though it becomes ever more clear that Garret is going to easily defeat the foul beast. Just as he aims to finish off the now-vulnerable undead, the door to the ruin swings inward…
Does the thief try to run away? +2: yes
…and the thief darts out into the night. Cursing the man’s shiftiness, Garret quickly decides whether to stay and finish the fight against the zombie or to try and pursue his escaping quarry.
Knowing he can outrun the undead but doubtful that he could catch the thief in a short sprint, he decides to finish off his foe and the follow the thief as far as he can before losing the trail, and then it up again in the morning.
Enemy attack: 6 vs 9 (miss)
Garret’s attack: 9 vs 9 (hit)
Enemy hp: -5 (hp check: 8, he survives)
Garret hp: -1
Enemy attack: 5 vs 9 (miss)
Garret’s attack: 12 vs 9 (critical!)
Enemy hp: -7 (hp check: 5, he dies!)
Garret hp: -1
Panting, Garret lowers his blade as the undead man’s head comes clean off his shoulders and the monster drops to the ground, still.
EXP + 20 (my first kill!)
Winded, but little worse for the wear, Garret examines the body.
Is the plate armor usable? -4: yes + event
The cruel, spiky armor that the zombie was wearing appears to be in a reasonable condition despite its age, although the split leather straps would make it unusable without a smith’s touch. Besides, he wouldn’t trust it without a magician’s opinion–too much hate had dwelt within it for too long.
As he packs the bulky armor [takes up two encumbrance slots] carefully away, a noise startles him–the crusted old fountain in the middle of the courtyard suddenly starts to flow, and the low background rumble of the buried dead softens to a whisper, and then to nothing.
Garret stands up and breathes deeply. Now what?
Chaos -1: 5 (lowered because of the seeming pacification of the profaned church, and because Garret slew the zombie so easily)
What an adventure! My first combat, some loot (a possibly cursed set of plate, but maybe it’s good!), and either a thief to pursue or a temple to loot.
Playing a fighter in Pits and Perils is shockingly different than a first level fighter in Swords and Wizardry. I would have fled from a 2HD zombie if I’d been your bog-standard 0e fighter. An interesting variation, although I’ll be curious to see if that is more or less fun in the future.
I’m not sure I need to be blogging every round of combat; a simple overview/summary may be enough. Let me know if you have any opinions!
Garret, Level 1 (Neutral) Intelligent-Fighter-Woodsman (20/200) HP: 12/10[+3] Weapon: Long Sword Weapon: Long bow* (20) Armor: Chain and Shield Coins: 47 Inventory: 1) Long sword 2) Long bow 3) Arrows (20) 4) Rations (7) 5) Waterskin 6) Tinderbox 7) Bedroll 8 & 9) Zombie's plate armor NPCs: -Army companions (wounded) -Fugitive THREADS: -Recover prisoner