After reading the Haunted Village adventure before-hand, I'd come up with a few ideas to help out Jojo's two adventurers this mission. I will pop down a few extra chests containing healing potions somewhere if their hitpoints start getting low. And depending on how well she deals with the skeletons in the first room, I might pop up the skeletons one at a time instead of all of them at once. With that in mind, we set up the next adventure - The Haunted Village.
Stain-Free Boots: Don't leave home without them
"So Mialee and Lidda travel to the haunted village where the Magic Orb of True Seeing is supposed to be. This here is the gate house where they need to enter first to get into the village itself. What do you want to do, Jojo?"
Jojo points at a trap-door picture on the dungeon floor. "I'll open this trap door!"
Since the previous adventures, Jojo has gotten into the habit of observing the pretty details on the boards. And then she interacts with them. So far, she's gotten Mialee's hair singed by the torches on the walls, and Lidda's boots covered with green slime (which apparently drips right off because the girls are wearing Magic Stain-Free Boots). She also insists on opening every trap-door picture on the ground. I've decided early on to play along.
"Lidda opens the trap-door, and several frightened mice scurry out -Squeak! Squeak!-"
"Dad, the next trap-door we open, can we find baby snakes?"
They open the door to the first room which contains four treasure chests... and nothing else. Jojo walks Mialee right in, and opens the nearest chest, springing a Choking Mist trap.
"The moment the chest opens, there's a sound like this (loud flattulent sound. It takes a few moments for Jojo to stop laughing). Oh, what a horrible, horrible smell! Mialee is spluttering and can't even breathe! She loses 1 Hitpoint! Luckily Lidda is not in the room yet, so she doesn't smell anything."
While Mialee is recovering, I point at the artwork of some skeleton bones nearby. "And then suddenly, these bones start moving, and a skeleton gets up! With a creaking sound (I think it hasn't moved in a long, long time, Jojo) it starts moving towards Mialee!"
|Mialee faces her first creaky skeleton
"Oh, I know why, dad! It's because the arrows went through the holes in the ribs!"
One day, this girl is going to be an unholy DMing terror on her hapless players.
Bleeding Obvious DM strikes again
It takes both Lidda and Mialee several rounds to finally reduce the skeleton into a pile of bones. They loot the rest of the chests and make their way to the next door. Of course, Jojo doesn't search for Traps at all, and Lidda steps into one of the Evil Resurrection Traps which brings back to life a previously killed opponent. I modify it to mean that another opponent of the same type appears.
"There's another creaking sound, and another skeleton pulls itself out of the ground over here. It sees Lidda and rasps like this - Gaaaaa!"
They battle the skeleton into a pile bones, and then Mialee steps into another Evil Rez Trap and another skeleton pops up, facing the wrong way. After a few confused moments, it turns to face the girls. By the time they smash it down, they were both down to 1 HP each. Still, they open the door to the next room.
By now, I was getting a little worried. The next room had a bunch of traps, and Jojo hadn't shown the slightest inclination to search for any Traps so far. It'd be a very short adventure if they both died now, so I put on my "Bleeding Obvious DM" hat, and set up the next room with two special chests in the corner (that contain those healing potions), and a very dead goblin on one of the traps.
"You see two green goblin feet sticking out of the ground nearby; it looks like this goblin fell right into a Pit Trap! Hmmm... I wonder if there's any more..."
Thankfully, Jojo picks up on the paranoia I'd lovingly instilled in her. "Lidda will search for Traps!! And Mialee too!!"
Earlier, Mialee had picked up a magic Pendant that allows her to search for traps. Funnily enough, Mialee finds all the traps in the room, while Lidda rolls a big fat Hand. They loot the treasure chests and drink the very handy Cure Light Wounds and Cure Medium Wounds potions they find inside. whistle The next room contains a single unguarded chest ("Find Traps!! Find Traps!!") which the adventurers loot after skipping around the traps.
|The only way to play this game is to wear pink penguin pajamas
"You hear goblins shouting at each other, 'Look for the Orb! It's got to be here somewhere!'. One goblin sees the treasure chest and goes, 'I found it! The Orb must be in here!' He then looks up at you both and goes, 'Hey! Who're you!?'."
Mialee rains a few arrows on the goblin while Lidda boldly stalks right up to him and sneak attacks him. The goblin is down before he can even react. The other two goblins come around the trees ('I found apples!') and rush towards the girls. Jojo surprises me by drinking an Initiative Potion to swap Initiative cards with me, making me go last in the next round. Lidda and Mialee manage to defeat the goblins, while taking minor damage to themselves.
The next room has two chests (which they loot), a Pit Trap (which Mialee falls into), and a trap-door picture containing baby snakes (which they adopt). They open the door to the room with the skeleton and the gnoll.
"You hear a very strange voice coming from this creature in the room. He's going 'Nice skeleton! Good skeleton!' to the skeleton. His voice sounds like this (I make a high, yippy laugh). Can you guess what sort of animal-man he is?"
"No, it is NOT a chipmunk!" Indignantly, I make a better second attempt.
"Yes! The hyena-man is called a gnoll, and he sees the both of you at the door. 'Hey! Look at that!' he says to the skeleton and points at you. The skeleton turns and sees you both. Gaaaaaa!"
The gnoll lets the skeleton fight the girls as he slips behind a pillar. After Mialee dispatches the skeleton with her Magic Missile, the gnoll fires his crossbow at Lidda who's trying to get to a treasure chest. The adventurers and the gnoll play 'chase-around-the-pillar' a couple of rounds before Lidda finally knocks him out with a sneak attack. By now, they are both low of HPs again.
First adventurer knock-out. DM Dad-1, Adventurers-58!
The final room reveals a bunch of 4 chests in a corner, and a scared-looking goblin in the middle. Again, Jojo's priority list of 'Treasure first. Fight later.' kicks in, and Mialee uses her Shadow Ring (she found another one in the previous room, much to her delight) to immediately get herself to the chests. The goblin doesn't see Mialee and advances straight to Lidda. Soon, the both of them are duking it out while Mialee loots treasure and steps into another Evil Rez Trap.
"A sound like an alarm horn goes off! Another goblin comes rushing up from the last room with the pillars! He whacks Lidda from behind!" I roll, and the damage takes Lidda down to 0 HPs. "Oh no! Lidda is knocked out! What is Mialee going to do now!?"
Mialee had picked up a Potion of Greater Restoration (restores 4 Hitpoints and 3 Spell Points to a downed hero) some time back, and being the railroading DM that I was, I was confident that train of logic would take its course. Of course, it de-rails and Mialee decides to loot more Treasure instead. It takes some effort to persuade Jojo to get Mialee to rescue her downed friend before the goblins knock her out too. Eventually, Lidda is back up again with 4 HPs, and just in time too as another Evil Rez Trap calls in yet another goblin. After a tough fight, the adventurers defeat the goblins. This time, they both search out all the Evil Rez Traps in the room before opening the final chests.
Plot Hook Super Glue
"And in the last chest, Jojo, you see a wonderous orb glowing pearly white. You've found the Magic Orb of True Seeing!" Amidst the cheering, my tale-spinning side suddenly gets a crazy plot-fixing idea. The original plot is that the adventurers find a ransom note detailing that the "Sheriff is near". I ditched that idea and told Jojo, "Hey! Why don't you use the Orb to find out where the Sheriff is?"
"Won't that make it dissappear?"
"So what? At least you'll find out where the Sheriff is! So what do you say to the Orb?"
"Show me the Sheriff!"
"Aren't you supposed to say, 'Magic Orb' first?"
"Oh yeah! Magic Orb, Magic Orb, show me the Sheriff!"
The Orb glows even brighter, and then the mist clears inside the Orb. The adventurers see that the Sheriff is locked up in a cell inside an evil watch tower.
"She's been in here for days, Jojo! They haven't even given her food or water!"
Jojo is aghast. "Oh no! She'll starve!"
"That's right, Jojo! And you also see who locked her up!" I pick up the Ogre figure and show it to her. "It's a mean, hairy, smelly Ogre! Not a friendly one like Shrek, but a really, really bad one!" I frown worriedly. "I think it's too dangerous for the girls, Jojo. I mean, look at him! I think you better throw in the towel right now. Are you going to give up?"
Jojo detects false dissuasion as well as any other kid. "Noooo! We must go and rescue the Sheriff!"
And so onward, to evil watch tower!