Friday, 6 June 2014

Dwellers of the Forbidden City + Blackhawk Campaign

A classic dungeon module (I1) by David Cook has (rather loosely) inspired the latest adventures in the world of Blackhawk. I haven't blogged much about the campaign. I guess I prefer playing to writing. However, here is a vague account of the last two sessions, filled with plenty of holes.

I started the players off in the heart of the steaming Amazonian jungle, not far from the Medusa road. Their characters were all mercenaries, hired to protect a caravan making the journey back north along that trade route.

Unfortunately a blowdart ambush left them at the mercy of cannibal frogmen. Naked and caged, they awoke to find their captors leaping about a fire, feasting on their fallen comrades. I was impressed at how quickly the players turned the tables on the frogmen. For the most part, they managed to flee, flank and equip themselves before engaging directly. Though not without cost. They lost two characters in the process. An incident with a cauldron full of sticky-purple-juice left Dave feeling rather heroic. After defeating a dozen frogmen and a huge duckbilled purple lizard-like creature (which fell in a single round of critical blows), the party looked like this:

Bold, a ranger from Fartown.
✠ Boldel, an elf that fell to the frogmen.
✠ Boulder, a dwarf that fell to the frogmen.
Fireskull, a dwarf who carries his grandfather's skull.
Deathman, a silent knight.
Gandalf 'The Great', a wizard of unusual powers.
Milo, a hobbit.
Dave 'The Dog'. A heroic dog who follows Milo.
✠ Bric, an elf that fell to the giant jungle spiders.

Leaving the huts of the frogmen behind them, the party hurled themselves west into uncharted territory. Of course, this was the opposite direction of the trade road. After a few days they found a stream* that led to a waterfall and a lost valley. Everything they encounter is giant-sized. Bugs, trees, fruit. Discovering a hidden swing bridge, they descend into the tree canopy of a rift. Below them they can make out a huge pyramid**.

They are being watched. A Runkey (rat-monkey) attempts to stab Deathskull in the back but is itself slain by a silver-tipped arrow. The arrow is collected, the runkey looted and the descent continues. At ground level a small tent town is inhabited by elves. Friendly, generous elves, who guard the Forbidden City. Bold speaks with the elves in their own tongue. Healing draughts of delicious Mountain Dew are passed around. The characters are warned of the dangers underneath them and told about the mysterious demon-men and their unmentionable demonic deity, that according to legend is trapped in the subterranean depths.

This information is enough to convince the characters to load up on supplies of elf-cheese. Taking up the call to adventure, the group decide to accept an offer of help from Silverleaf, the owner of the aforementioned arrow. She is excited to join them on their journey below the great pillars, as it's her first descent.

Stairs lead down a winding passage, past a lavafall and molten pits. Soon they are confronted by gates. Nasty looking gates that proved to be trapped and guarded by spear wielding serpent-men. Half a dozen fall in a furious melee. One flees and the party gives chase...

Ok, so I left out a lot. It's often difficult to put the 'funny stuff' from a game session down in words. Suffice to say, there was a lot of 'funny stuff' and a lot of laughs. I look forward to the next session.

Giant jungle spiders from the $2 shop.
*They found a stream and were attacked by giant jungle spiders. This was a missed opportunity to try out the blowpipes (and Purple fruit, porcupined with needles) they had taken from the frogmen. However, cutting giant leaves from the trees to make an escape downstream was an excellent example of using initiative in the face of certain doom.

**The Pyramid is actually an enormous octahedron (d8-shaped) spacecraft that fell from the heavens. Half of it is buried underground.


  1. Sounds fascinating... must admit I recall many hilarious Rpg moments in the past, usually after a few drinkies too to help the merriment... I like the plot twist of the spacecraft at the end...

    1. Yes, I expect they may work that out later.