Gameplay: Crypt of the Everflame with SimpleDnD

Recently we had a couple of brand new players to RPGs. My parents. Being in their 60s, this was a brand new experience for them from their exciting game nights playing Monopoly. They came over about 4:30 and by 4:45 we had them setup as a Thief, Lisette and a Wizard, Max. They joined my twins a Dwarven Cavalier, Bran and an Elven Wizard, Angelina. The party was a little off balance with only one tank, but I adjusted the combat encounters to compensate. The Crypt of the Everflame is an excellent adventure to start any new players into most RPGs. If you are playing Pathfinder. If not, then a little tweaking to the checks would be needed.

First, all checks would need to be reassigned to ability checks. Knowledge to Intelligence, Search to Wisdom, Fort to Constitution, Will to Wisdom and Ref to Dexterity. Other than that the DC settings go unchanged and we are ready to play!

The young rag tag group has finally come of age and has been selected to collect the Everflame from the great hero Kassen’s crypt. The flame is said to ward off evil and protect the village through the winter. The dwarf, Bran, steps forward and accepts the ceremonial lantern from the mayor and the party accepts the quest. The also receive a number of basic supplies and start on the road out of town.

After about two hours of travel, they encounter a fallen tree blocking the road. As they get closer, three green skinned, tusked monsters attack! The orcs fight and trade blows with the thief and the fighter. That is until the wizard realizes that the monsters are illusions created by the village elder wizard. Upon dispelling the illusion the elder wishes them luck on their quest.

That night, they step up camp and eat dinner. A howling floats in on the wind. A quick Intelligence check lets the players know that their characters know that sound. The sound of wolves! As the wolves close in, the party does some Wisdom checks to come up with some options for dealing with the starving animals. The decision is made to feed the animals before attacking. They throw out half of their meat from their dinner rations, which the animals quickly eat up. The vanish into the dark.

The next day they hike until they reach the Grey Lake. With some lucky roles they find a dead body and determine that the person was killed by a large bite, he is a stranger from the capitol, and that he has been dead for about a month. They take notes and continue on.

After a few more hours, they arrive at the top of hill and can see the entrance to the crypt. A cool rain begins to fall just before they make their way down. Unfortunately, the rain has make the hillside slick, three of the four full down the hill. The dwarf actually slid all they way down and fell off a small cliff for extra damage.

After taking a few minutes to heal from the fall, the party arrived at the entrance to the crypt. Doing a quick search (Wisdom vs DC15) they uncovered some dead ponies hidden just outside of the cave, underwhich there were a  number of skeletons. Even more odd, were the pillows they found in the saddle bags. The proceeded inside.

A quick search by the dwarf revealed the age and some of the paintings on the walls. The party lit their torches and entered the first chamber. As they searched around, a group of skeletons surprised the party (skeletons roll d20 +4 vs the parties highest wisdom roll). The skeletons quickly attacked the wizards first, sending both into negative hit points. The dwarf on the other hand, with some great rolls, dispatched all skeletons single handedly.

With no healing potions, the thief and the fighter are forced deeper into the crypt to look for help. Upon exiting the main champer, they are confronted with a maze of pillars and floor traps. After a number of falls through the floor, onto spike traps that have been covered with more pillows, they figure the way through the maze and come to a locked door. Here they are stuck, with a little DM magic, and some thief insight, they figure out how to open the door, and follow a wailing coming from further down the hall.

The wailing is coming from behind a locked and baricaded door. The thief picks the lock with a great roll, and the dwarf attempts to push the door open, only to be the target of a cross bow bolt from behind the door. After a quick exchange with the man behind the door they are let in. The learn about the undead stalking the crypt and are given healing potions to revive their friends. He rants about keys, water and ancient evil. He even shows them how to open one of the locked one-way doors. The only catch, the party must find and rescue his sister who has been kidnapped!

They return to the main hall, revive the wizards, who are itching to get back into the game after nearly an hour of not being involved (they went to get food). They move to the next chamber to find a pool of water. The new player Max, casts Detect Magic and finds a glowing key in the water. After a successful swimming attempt (Dex vs DC10) the recover the glowing key, but it doesn’t fit any of the doors they’ve encounter so far. The spend the next hour (in the game not in real life) trying a pile of keys on the door without success. They deside there must be another way through the doors and return back by the wailing man.

The find that they missed a passage way and they take it. They open the door to a giant beetle eating the body of a villager from their town. Angelina casts sleep and they easily dispatch the monster. By this time most of the party has leveled up to level 2. Good thing because the next room has a SHADOW monster inside.

The shadow knocks out Angelina, and the thief kills the shadow with a magic dagger. They recover another magically glowing key. Returning to the pool room they unlock one of the doors. This leads to a hallway of sword wielding statues. With a great search roll, they uncover a trip wire trap about half way through the statues. A very poor roll to disarm the trap causes the trap to go off, hitting everyone for a few more points of damage.

Now the party is alive, but now more aware of some of the dangers in the crypt. They are being a little more causious as they open the next door. Inside is a large wooden statue holding two large shields. The wizard, Angelina, movie in closer for a better look at the statue (failing her INT check vs DC10) and thinks the statue is harmless. That is until the statue comes to life and tries to kill everyone. The party flails around until the other wizard, Max, places one of the magic keys into a keyhold he noticed in the statues platform. The key deactives the statue.

At this point, we all look at the clock and it’s been two hours! It’s well past my kids bed time and we call it a night. The next day everyone is talking about traps, monsters and magic statues – this is the main reason I love playing RPGs.

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