OSH Journal (session 3): The Crypt


Leaving Wilfred the lizard above ground with Fitzgerald the troll to guard the entrance to the kobold lair and the dragon, the group headed down into the dark.

How often do you expect to read that sentence???

They descended down a flight of stone stairs and found a small chamber with steps leading into another room. Let me tell you, here you could really see the old school come out in the players. They began peeking around the edges to see into the room. I was using the “fog of war” to hide the next room and the guys were overly cautious as they explored the dungeon…classic old school exploring. It was great.

They were right to be cautious.

The next room held two statues ominously guarding a sarcophagus. Behind the sarcophagus, a hole had been torn in the wall, leading to a dark, damp and scary tunnel. It reminded them of how a rat might claw its way through a wall in your house.

Now, it must be said that old school guys JUST KNOW those statues are going to come alive and the players went forward with that idea by checking the statues. I am pretty sure Zev even placed herself to prepare to the eventual attack as the rest of the group messed with the sarcophagus’s lid.

They removed the lid and discovered an elven lady, perfectly preserved underneath a thick layer of dust. She wore an inlaid fancy silver breastplate over equally fancy and a perfectly preserved silken gown. Across her chest, point to her feet, was a fancy blade. Zev quickly snatched it up, which, of course, led to…

The statues!

Hey, can you blame me? I mean, they were right there, obviously guarding the tomb of the elven queen! Only a fool would….oh wait…

So the statues came to life, at first it was just the one, and the group descended upon it. Stanley chose to hide behind the sarcophagus for most of the battle while the others hacked and slashed against the strange creature with a name no one could pronounce, including the GM: Kereokt.

Hey, it looks good on paper, YOU try to pronounce it!
I made the statues a little tougher, instead of a simple minion as I had used thus far, I gave them a AC of 12 and a health of 4. This proved much more difficult to defeat for the players, that higher Health really messes with them when they are used to the baddies dropping after just a single hit. The main unfortunate circumstance here is I think Stanley’s player has fallen into the old D&D-born trap of a magic user only being a cast-once-monkey. After his spell was exhausted, he seemed to want to hide in the rear and let the other players act.

Just as the group was about to vanquish the first statue, the second began to spring to life, slowly transforming from stone to…something else. Kray deftly jabbed a sword into the cracks forming in the statue and immediately halted the transformation, albeit losing his blade in the effort. The group then turned to the tunnel after Stanley reported hearing noises in the darkness.

We stopped here, one player was under the weather and it was getting late, so I decided this was a good stopping point. A short session, but another good introduction to the combat system. We ended the session with a short discussion on the use of Awesome Points and how they can affect the game, I think this was good because in the next session we saw much more AP use.

More thoughts on OSH: I have read that the game fails when put into use in an old fashioned dungeon crawl, I only sort of agree with this statement.  Done right, and with the right group, I think it performs fine. Of course, that could be said of any system I think. I can see some faults in the system when broken down to just a simple combat in one room. Though one could argue that by creating multiple arenas in the small room would have corrected this problem.

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