The Undercity: Session 2


Pacing change: My goal for this Undercity post is to keep it moving much faster; this is a delve-style solo game, so I’m going to try leaving a lot of the action summarized or unstated. I’ll leave the greater narrative focus for above-ground adventures that use Mythic. I do aim to use Mythic during the delve to help create an ongoing story/mythos that I can explore in overworld adventures, as well.

Rules change: After reading LL’s magic-user creation rules, I’ve decided to allow Gadroom to select his starting 3 spells instead of rolling for them randomly. Instead of the useless Light, Read Languages, and Protection from Evil, he now knows Sleep, Read Magic, and Invisibility (2nd level). These should prove much more handy going forward.

Begin the Game

Following the party’s successful (though not profitable) first delve into the sewers beneath the City of Spires, they decided to return to the surface and spend some of their remaining coin hiring additional men-at-arms and recuperating from their wounds.

Without recovering any treasure in the ruins, they are unable to upgrade any equipment and decide to avoid spending the time and risk exploring the City to find new goods.

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The Undercity: Session 1

Following the quick end to my last Undercity attempt, I’ve decided to roll up another party and get straight to business, filling in their back stories only if they survive.

Thudok, Fighter 1 (hp 9/9); Abilities: 16-12-13-7-8-12. Inventory: 112gp 8sp, bedroll, waterskin, iron ration

Gadroom, Magic User 1 (hp 5/5); Abilities: 4-9-10-13-8-12; Spells: Light [], Protection from Evil, Read Languages; Inventory: 67 gp 8 sp, Spell book, iron ration, waterskin, bedroll

Horatio, Cleric 1 (hp 8/8); Abilities: 10-9-14-8-16-11; Spells: Cure light wounds []; Inventory: 142 gp 8 sp, Bedroll, waterskin, iron ration

Xevius, Thief 1 (hp 7/7); Abilities: 9-14-13-7-7-8; Inventory: 92 gp 8 sp, bedroll, waterskin, iron ration

Per the Ruins of the Undercity rules, I’ll be starting them with virtually no equipment except for my house-ruled minimal gear, which each PC paid 7 gp 2 sp for. Everything else, they’ll have to buy in the City of Spires!

Undercity Dungeon 1: Session 1

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S&W Solo: City of Spires (Session 2)

Last time in this campaign, Alindor, the main PC, was hired by a young woman to look for her father in the Underdwell (renamed), the labyrinthine sprawl beneath the City of Spires. Unfortunately, the girl herself was kidnapped before they had a chance to descend, and the only clue pointed to the Iron Hand, a local criminal game of some power.

Alindor is now racing towards the inn where he first met the girl, and the knight who was going to lead him to the entrance to the sewers.

Does he reach the inn without incident? +0: yes, but…

The streets are already bustling this early in the morning, but no one notices him as he passes. However, when he arrives the knight is nowhere to be found.

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S&W Solo: City of Spires (Session 0)

Reminder: You can link directly to any of my posted solo sessions from the Campaign Logs page.

I don’t know if it’s a good idea to create a second campaign while my Pits and Perils solo campaign is still ongoing, but I’m going to give it a shot since I’m itching to try out a multi-character delve into a randomly generated dungeon.


Theme-wise, I’m aiming to explore a sprawling, forgotten undercity in the vein of Tekumel’s Jakalla, inspired by Dyson Logo’s awesome My Private Jakalla maps (although I won’t be using premade maps). In essence, this will mean an almost infinitely large, flattened dungeon with numerous exits to a thriving city (the City of Spires, whose founding and true name were lost before history began) above. I hope for the campaign to feature primarily dungeon game play but feature some above ground political adventuring, job seeking, etc.

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Poisons–Do your worst

I don’t like save-or-die poisons. Here are a couple of quickies that give your PCs a little more time to act or react.

Choking Poison

Save or collapse on the ground from loss of breath. Target will lose 1 HP each round until dead. A Save is permitted at the beginning of each round to end this effect.

Choking Poison may be applied to a bladed or piercing weapon or consumed.

Crippling Poison

Save +2 or be -1 to-hit and AC until one hour after the last dose of Crippling Poison was received. This effect stacks if hit by more doses.

Crippling Poison must be applied to a bladed or piercing weapon.

New Spells from the Nightmare

I’ve been coming up with new spells for both clerics and magic-users for use in the City of Nightmares. The dungeon is based on a jailed god, the Waking Dreamer, and a cult of necromancers trying to gain control of the subterranean complex. Clerics gain spells dealing with the realm of sleep, while magic-users can begin the study of necromancy. Two samples:


Cleric, Level 1, Touch

The target of the Dream-Lock must Save -2 or be knocked unconscious. The target will be trapped in a labyrinthine dream for as long as the cleric maintains contact.

Summon Imp

Magic-User, Level 2

A magic-user who desires to study necromancy should begin with the ability to Summon Imp. For one hour, the Imp will serve the at the MU’s beck and call, but if the MU does not take three minutes to undo the summoning before the end of the hour, the imp will turn on his master.

Gem Valuing

Over at Gothridge Manor there’s an excellent post on valuing gems. In a comment, I replied with my own (admittedly simplistic) version of gem valuing for S&W. If you’re interested:

Emerald Ring
Um...I'll give you like, 35 copper for it.


Whenever a player tries to value an art or treasure piece, I secretly roll a d10. For every number BELOW 5, they undervalue it by 10%. For every number ABOVE 6, they overvalue the object by 10% (this can make for some regretful discards when they players are trying to decide what to load onto their mule). A 5 or 6 means they get the real value.

Tim adds the character’s INT bonuses and many social factors (style, etc.) into the equation, but I simply am not a fast enough thinker on my DM-feet to do this (plus, we play S&W, so there’s no INT bonuses). If a player has 15+ INT, I will adjust the d10 roll one closer to the 5-6 sweet spot (I do not tell my players this rule).


When the players go to sell in town, they will receive the price they ask if they are undervaluing the object (I don’t allow haggling in my game unless the players are buying or selling something story-related or epic in value, such as a warship or keep). If they overvalue the object, the shopkeeper refuses and will only give them the correct value of the object.

If players suspect that the object is undervalued, they can pay an appraiser 10-15 gp to analyze an object in any town with at least 1,000 people in it.