Enter the Ghouls

Enter the Ghouls

Time for another installment of my solo game using Dungeon Crawl Classics to run through the adventure included in TSR’s AC3, Dragon Tiles. Spoilers for that adventure below.

This is a long one but I did not want to break the combat over two separate posts.

When we last left our group of peasants attempting to rescue their fair princess, and claim a sizable reward, they had opened the front door and were about to enter the hallway. The Potato Farmer had noticed that something was strange about the far wall. The Tax Collector, who along with the Guild Beggar had taken it upon himself to lead the group had declared that the Potato Farmer would accompany the two of them to investigate the far wall while the rest of the party checked the other rooms. 

I am going to roll randomly to see who is first to the nearest door which is on the left hand wall. Since there are 11 party members left, not counting those already mentioned, I will roll a d4 and a d8 then subtract one from the total to get a result between 1 and 11. Just as a reminder those other party members are the Ditch Digger, the Healer, the Beekeeper, the Ostler, the Herbalist, the Rice Farmer, the Halfling Glovemaker, the Shaman, the Butcher, the Gong Farmer, and the Cheese Maker (who is injured and down to one hit point).

2+7-1=8. That is our Shaman!  Let’s see if they are male or female. Odds, male. He tries the door but it is locked! “Give us some help here!” I will roll two d10 to see who answers the plea, 1 & 4, the Ditch Digger and the Ostler. The Ditch Digger gets there first and along with the Shaman is able to break down the door.

(I didn’t use the Dungeon Crawl Classics resolution system here because the module is clear on this, a combined Strength of 24 or higher is needed to break down the door. The Shaman’s Strength is 12 and the Ditch Digger’s is 14.)

As the door gives way with a loud crack we are presented with more box text!

“Bookshelves cover the entire north wall of this musty library. Many books, their leather covers ripped and rotting, have fallen to the floor. 

A fireplace filled with spider webs and dry kindling stands along the west wall. Two swords draped in cobwebs hang above the mantle. Candelabras stand on each side of the fireplace. None of the candles is burning. 

A sofa and two stuffed chairs face the fireplace, and a large, thick rug lies in front of the sofa. 

A wooden desk stands in the southwest corner of the room. Several bottles and crystal goblets litter the desktop. An inkwell, a feather quill, and a parchment scroll lie between the bottles. A wooden chair stands before the desk.” 

I do not want to leave the Ostler out of the fun so he (I rolled a one, also a male since I’m going odds for male and evens for female) enters the room and is greeted by the sight of a form rising from the sofa. A few seconds later three more rise from the chairs and sofa and all four get to their feet to welcome their guests. The four appear quite hideous, they are beast like and dressed in tattered clothes. Interestingly enough they make no noise whatsoever. The Shaman looking in gasps and then screams, “Ghouls! Help, there are ghouls in here!” (Some may balk at my not making a roll but I think it is fair that a a Shaman living in a high fantasy world would know what a ghoul looks like.)

Time for Initiative!

So I said I was going to run the PCs by DCC rules and the module by BECMI rules, I am going to compromise in this case and roll a d20 for the ghoul’s Initiative. I am only going to roll once for the party and initially only the Ostler, Ditch Digger, and Shaman will be able to act, next round the rest of the party will be able to take action. Since the Ostler is closest I will use his +1 to Initiative. A 16 for the ghouls and a 20 (19+1) for the party, a lucky break!

The Shaman yells another warning as the three PC’s close into battle, “They are said to be able to paralyze their prey, do not let them touch you! Come on, we can overwhelm them!” He rushes forward and swings his mace at one of the ghouls. He needs to roll a 13 and rolled a 9, swing and a miss! Next up is the Ostler who will attack with his staff, sadly due to his low Strength he suffers a -1 penalty to the roll. He also rolled a 9. Not looking good for our heroes! The Ditch Digger is last, with a 14 Strength that is a +1 to the roll. A 13, that is a hit! The Ditch Digger’s shovel is treated like a staff so it does 1-4 (+1 for Strength) and the roll is a 1, so two points of damage to one of the four attacking undead. The module gives Hit Points for all four so I will just roll randomly to see which one it hit. 

Now it is the ghoul’s turn! The Ditch Digger has an AC of 10 which means our BECMI ghouls need a 9 to hit. The Ostler and the Shaman are AC 11 so the ghouls need 10 to hit them. Let’s see how they do, remember BECMI ghouls get three attacks a round, two claws for 1-3 plus a bite for 1-6 not to mention if hit the victim must make a save vs Paralysis! The one struck by the Ditch Digger will attack him. 6, 15, 6 so the second claw hits for 2 points of damage. Sadly the Ditch Digger only had two Hit Points and is killed as the ghoul’s sharp claws tear into the soft flesh of his throat. He falls to the ground and quickly bleeds out unable to even scream.

The second ghoul goes for the Ostler! 6, 12, 10 so one claw and the bite connect. The damage rolls are 2 and 2 for a total of four points which is enough to kill the poor man. The third ghoul attacks the Shaman, 6, 1, 4 all misses! The fourth ghoul will either also attack the Shaman or rush past toward the voices in the hallway, odds the Shaman and evens the hallway. I rolled a 4 so the ghoul moves into the hallway and attacks the closest character, let’s see who the unlucky soul is! It is the Herbalist. Connecting with one claw and the bite the foul creature barrels into Herbalist taking them to the ground and killing them on the spot. 

Time for Initiative again! I will roll twice, once for the Shaman and the three ghouls in the room and once for the rest of the party and the single ghoul in the hallway. The Shaman wins with a natural 20 against the ghoul’s 6 and in the hallway the ghoul wins with a natural 20 against the party’s 10. Since the Shaman gets a +1 to Initiative I will have him go first, then the ghoul in the hallway, then the party and finally the three ghouls in the room. 

The Shaman swings at the wounded ghoul whilst hollering, “In here, to me my friends!” He rolls a 10 which is not good enough to hit. He hopes his comrades come to his aid before the ghouls tear him to shreds. 

The ghoul in the hallway lunges for the Butcher. 4, 18, 6 the claw does three points of damage which is enough to kill the Butcher.  

I am going to have three other characters attack the ghoul in the hallway and the rest will go into the room. The three that attack the ghoul are the Rice Farmer, the Halfling Glovemaker, and the injured Cheese Maker. DCC does not have any dedicated mechanics for flanking or ganging up on opponents that I have found so I will just make use of the die chain and bump them each up to a d24 for this roll. In order their attacks are 17, 7, and 6. The Rice Farmer connects with their pitchfork which acts as a spear doing d8 damage. 8! The Rice Farmer sinks the pitchfork deeply into the creature’s face, the tines coming out the other side, ending it’s miserable existence. “They can be killed, have heart!” 

The Healer, Beekeeper, Tax Collector, Potato Farmer, Gong Farmer, and Guild Beggar rush into the room to see three ghouls starting to surround the Shaman. They break into groups The Healer and Beekeeper going after one, the Tax Collector and Potato Farmer another and finally the Gong Farmer and Guild Beggar after the last. 

The Healer fumbles with a 1 but the Beekeeper hits with a 17! The Beekeeper’s staff does 2 points of damage to the monster as the Healer’s incompetent blow makes them the laughingstock of the party but otherwise causes no damage. (I rolled a 1). 

The Tax Collector and the Potato Farmer are attacking the one by the Shaman so I will bump their die up one to a d24. The revenue man misses, 8, but the Potato Farmer connects, 19, with their pitchfork doing 1 point of damage. 

Finally the Gong Farmer and Guild Beggar both miss the last ghoul, 8 and 2.

The ghoul’s turn!

The first turns and attacks the Healer, 18, 3, 3. The claw that connects does 3 damage which leaves the healer with 1 Hit Point! Let’s see if the Healer makes their save, luckily ghouls are in DCC and require a DC 14 Will Save so no ruling is needed on my part. The Healer rolls an 11 and fails failing to the floor unable to move. 

The second ghoul strikes at the Potato Farmer, 1, 11, 13. Three points of damage total which is enough to kill the valiant Potato Farmer. 

The last ghoul will attack the Gong Farmer (I’m rolling randomly to see who is attacked) and connects with one claw (9, 6, 1). 1 point of damage and the Gong Farmer fails the save falling to the ground.  

Round three! 

I’m just going to roll once for the PCs and once for the ghouls this round. 5 and 18 so the undead will act first! 

The ghoul that just struck the Healer now attacks the Beekeeper, 11, 9, 14 doing a total of 7 points of damage which is plenty to ensure those bees will need a new keeper. 

The next ghoul turns it’s attention back to the Shaman, 3, 5, 15. The bite only does 1 point of damage but sadly that is enough to end the Shaman’s career. 

Our last ghoul attacks the Guild Beggar 16, 15, 15 for 10 total points of damage ending his aspirations of leadership forever. 

As the Rice Farmer, Halfling Glovemaker, and Cheese Maker enter the room they see one ghoul standing over the Healer and Beekeeper, one facing off against the Tax Collector with the Shaman and Potato Farmer at its feet and the last standing over the immobile forms of the Guild Beggar and Gong Farmer. They run in and attack the last one but only the Cheese Maker hits with his cudgel doing 3 points of damage to the fiend. The unfortunate Halfling rolled a 1 to hit and then a 3 on the Fumble table which is turned into a 4 due to his -1 Luck which gives a result of, “Your weapon is damaged: a bowstring breaks, a sword hilt falls off, or a crossbow firing mechanism jams. The weapon can be repaired with 10 minutes of work but is useless for now.” He sees the swords over the mantle, a long sword to a human but the equivalent of a bastard sword for him. 

Speaking of long swords the Tax Collector swings his at the ghoul in front of him but just misses. 

Time for Initiative, this will decide the fate of our heroes. The party gets a 9 which beats the 5 the ghouls rolled, they get to attack again!

The Tax Collector makes another desperate swing and with a 13 hits! He rolls 6 damage and gets a +1 due to his birth sign for a total of 7 damage which is enough to cut the ghoul down! Only two more to go…

The Halfling decides against trying to climb up the fireplace to retrieve a sword and picks up the fallen Gong Farmer’s trowel and attacks alongside the Rice Farmer and Cheese Maker. Sadly they all miss. 

The ghoul goes after the Halfling hitting with one claw for 3 damage which kills the poor Glovemaker. The last ghoul goes for the Tax Collector also hitting with one claw but only doing 1 point of damage, that leaves the Tax Collector with 1 Hit Point but the poor man failed his saving throw and drops to the ground. Now we have two ghouls vs two adventurers. Things are not looking good.

The party loses Initiative and both are cut down. Let us draw the veil over this sad scene so the ghouls can feast in peace.

I’ll be back next week with thoughts on this misadventure and to discuss what is next for the blog. Be excellent to each other! 

Comments are closed.