The Murderhobos and the Abandoned City, Session 1

(Last Saturday I started running a campaign. What follows is a summary of  the first session.)

 Dramatis personae

Magrur - a Magic user going through financial hardship
Prince Charming - a Fighter of great Strength
Rosie - a non-haughty Elf

What went on

The PCs all started out with a debt to the city of Zotanga* (I made them roll 2d6x10 after obtaining initial equipment). The backstory was that they had chosen to participate in an expedition explore an abandoned ancient cliff city rather than go do hard labor in the debtors' prison.

After the expedition airship had arrived and deposited the participants on the ground, the PC decided to look up some advice and ended up talking to a scarred ancient elf with a missing eye. He advised them to look for magical materials and artwork and warned them to stay clear of the yellow mold.

After surveying possible entrances, and witnessing some other explorers having to deal with some vicious shrubbery at one of them, the party decided they'd prefer a method of ingress at about third floor. Using Prince Charming's grappling hook and succeeding to climb up the rope, they found themselves standing on a parapet with two closed doors leading inside. While all windows were arrow slits, the wall had crumbled between a couple of them, providing some slight view of the interior to the cautious Magrur. The coast seemed clear, so Prince Charming tapped one of the doors with the ten foot pole and after all seemed safe, opened it up.

Inside things seemed safe enough, and after exploring a couple of rooms, filled mostly with debris, the party finally stumbled into one containing a painting. Since it was too unwieldy to carry around they left it behind and looked at one more room. the room happened to be a home to a shrub much like those at the entrance. The party proceeded to strap a torch to the ten foot pole and light the shrub on fire in relative safety. They decided afterwards that they were too paranoid about the other exploration teams afterwards and returned for the painting, which they took down to the expedition's camp. On their way to turn in the painting to the officials, a young female halfling tried to chat them up about the painting but the PCs found her to be suspicious and brushed her off. After arguing over the worth of the painting with one official and then another, they managed to convince one of them to accept the painting for a 100 silver** deduction to their debts by including a bottle of wine as a "gift".

Emboldened by their previous success and hoping to quickly get the rest of the debt money the party returned to the dungeon cliff city, this time using the second of the parapet doors for entry.

They were initially met with a small swarm of glass butterflies, which they ignored as being harmless and proceeded down a corridor to a room where they found a small pile of coins covered with the yellow mold the old elf had warned them about. Luckily, it seemed to retreat from fire and they started packing the money away to one of their backpacks. Less luckily, they were attacked by a couple of stirges while doing so. A dagger slash from Magrur and some well placed shots from Rosie's longbow quickly dispatched the creatures and the PC quickly finished packaging the loot and retreated back to camp, hoping the coinage to be sufficient to cover their debts.

Upon exiting, they noticed another party returning from the ground floor - seemingly hauling some loot of their own and in good spirits.

Returning to the official who had taken the painting off of them, they were pleased to find that not only had they covered their debts but also had a bit of the money left. The official noticed that while they were free to go now, they could also stay and keep exploring, as long as they sold off artifacts to him or his colleague.

(Here the play stopped since one of the players had to leave. All in all, the players got lucky and pretty much explored one of the safest parts of the dungeon. We'll see how they fare further on.)

* I only realized later how much of a rip off of Burroughsian Barsoom, or, more precisely, Zodanga, that name is. None of the players had read the books in question so they didn't mind.

** The game world uses a kind of silver standard.