Wrath of Gruumsh

As the party delves deeper and deeper into Veznor’s dungeon, the characters learn that there is more to this orc alchemist and his black dragon companion than meets the eye. What could have possibly occurred to join dragons and orcs in the same unholy alliance, both working towards the same fiendish goal?

Many questions have risen throughout the course of this campaign, and as the threshold to the dungeon’s third level has now passed, only more mysteries await. Who are these dragonmen, depicted in statuary scattered throughout the dungeon? Is Vlaxxinaar trying to start a new dragon religion with him at the head, or is he yet another pawn in some larger conspiracy? Lastly, what does all this have to do with an ancient prison erected millions of years ago by gods to sequester dark and evil creatures? As the party rounds 4th level, the answers will only bring more questions.

Tonight was a wonderful session! I think that, for the most part, the group forgot about using their action dice when they would have helped the most (myself included). Nevertheless, as we get used to having them there, I believe they will be a great asset to the game, as well as an excellent tool for rewarding players. Here are a few of my favorite moments from the adventure:

  • “Show your strength, show your might.” Although the puzzle was solved with a hint (a good use of action dice), it was still a nice change from our typical “enter room, destroy monster, steal treasure, wash, rinse, and repeat.” It gave the group pause and got those thinking gears grinding. I expect to add more puzzles like that in the future.
  • “What are you doing? Those don’t belong to you!” Will’s new character, Beau, brought fresh challenges to a party that’s used to pillaging and plundering. When Aramil started to root through that footlocker and Beau stopped him, it was a great moment in roleplaying. Fortunately, Gunther was on hand to save the day with an, “Oh! Look! I found something evil,” which was enough to distract the paladin. It was a wonderful bit of in-game and out-of-game cooperation. Also, the revelation that Beau is Lidda’s twin brother was a nice little moment.
  • “I take the piton and hammer it into the holy symbol on the Gruumsh statue.” I’m not sure what made Kevin think that that would be a good idea, but it sure made the adventure exciting from that moment on. Pissing off… well… whatever that was really shot the session into high gear. Also, a great bit of roleplaying on Paul’s part—he really dragged the PCs’ collective asses out of the frying pan. Now with the holy symbol of Gruumsh burnt into their chests, the PCs have made an enemy out of someone pretty powerful. Gunther already hated orcs—maybe this will spur him into finding an immortal foe in Gruumsh?

I’m looking forward to the next game, that’s for sure. Check out the pictures from tonight’s session.

In other news, don’t forget that March 4th is GM’s Day. What is GM’s Day, you might ask?

The GM is often the unsung hero of a gaming group, keeping up with all the latest releases, and spending hours preparing the next gaming session to make it truly memorable for his players. In appreciation for the thankless task that he toils through in order to provide hour upon hour of entertainment for his players, March 4th has been officially designated by the publishing community as GM’s Day—now in its third year. Let it be decreed that every player in every gaming group at least take a moment on that day to say thank you to his GM by either word or gift. Show your GM how much he is truly appreciated.