Saturday, April 7, 2018

Tiny Castle Gargantua Adventures!

Last night we took a quick jaunt into Castle Gargantua using the Tiny Dungeon 2e rules.  It was a short pickup game and quite a bit of fun.

The Characters
  • MARTOG THE GIANT - a grump dwarf who is a failed healer
  • Princess Fey - a fey, apparently of royal blood, who is a failed baker
We did the normal character creation, plus the roll for a failed career (which gave them some starting stuff) and a roll on the "weird stuff" table I've put together. That second one is interesting because players can choose to push into potentially dangerous territory.  These characters ended up with
  • A foil packet of Dubious Sandwiches.  Turns out they were prawn and mayo sandwiches Princess Fey found on a barrel behind a bar.
  • A sack containing a baby poisonous sand lobster. Martog says they are a great snack.
Ducks Heritage
Also, for no particular reason, I added the Duck heritage. There is a table for Ducks and the PDF mentioned was cheap, so I thought what the heck!  Ducks per TD2E rules:
  • Ducks are grumpy cursed beings. They can’t walk well (duck feet) but swim like aces. Ducks are generally unpleasant but stalwart and loyal friends. Most of them worship The Great Egg.
  • HP: 5
  • Magically Influenced: Ducks have the traits Spell Reader and Cursed
  • Ducks begin with 1d2 scrolls
  • Cursed: ducks are more susceptible to magical effects and as such roll to resist with Disadvantage, take 1 extra damage, or effects last longer or are more pronounced. 
  • Instead of Previous Failed Career, Ducks can roll on the Duck Motivations table in the PDF

Rumors
These folks knew a few rumors about the castle. To match  up Heritage to the rumor tables, I made the following table and everyone gets 2 rumors. Also, everyone knows about the Blade Maidens that guard the front gate (they are really mean).

 Heritage
Which Rumors
 1. Human
 Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User, or Specialist 
 2. Karhu
Fighter or Cleric
 3. Fey
Elf or Mage
 4. Dwarf
Dwarf or Fighter
 5 Goblin
Halfing or Specialist
 6. Lizardfolk 
Thief or Duck
 7.Salimar
Magic-User or Duck
 8. Duck
1 Duck and Any 1
 9. Treefolk
Roll 1d8 to choose

But Wait - Why?
The campaign "reason" is that the world has gone terribly wrong (it is ostensibly set in the same world and time as the Sorrow in Haven campaign) and folks things that something in the castle can save them. Easy premise for a free-wheeling game.

Where is the damn thing?
As it turns out, this Castle Gargantua was in the depths of an oceanic abyss.  This would have been Disasterous, except that the War of Others dried up the ocean! SO Castle Gargantua is a day journey through the festering Siltmarsh that was once the ocean bed - thick clouds of stinking fog are rolling about, and it is kind of dangerous to get there.  But once there, the castle sits beyond the Abyssal Moat - some 100' wide and filled with a stranger, thicker fog. Something big is "swimming" in that fog. Also, the Blade Maidens guard the bridge across the Moat.

System Notes
The Tiny Dungeon system lends itself to a really free-wheeling style of play. The tone we set was a bit gonzo/over the top, but that was a personal choice rather than anything with the system itself. There are like 3 rules ... so rulings are the name of the game, which I completely enjoy.

The Adventure!
The party purchased a silt sled to haul their stuff around. Then using clever trickery and the baby poisonous sand lobster as bait (sand lobsters are cannibals) they managed to catch and harness a giant sand lobster (think of a lobster the size of a pony) and use it to cruise across the siltmarsh toward the castle.

They choose to negotiate with the Blade Maidens, who were actually pretty chill.  In the end Princess Fey gave them the Dubious Sandwiches and the Blade Maidens looked the other way for a bit. Their giant sand lobster dug into the silt ... it doesn't like being harnessed.

After dealing with the enormous brass doors that lead into the castle, the adventurers saw a large strange machine that apparently, if you fed it opals, dumped something from a spigot. Ignoring what they decided was a probable trap, they moved on, getting lost in the Escher Stairs for a while, but eventually found their way into another giant room.

Here the party confronted a group of a dozen or so Frunch Soldiers that were mucking about trying to open some huge lead sarcophagus. Attempts at diplomancy (not a typo) failed to convince the soliders that Princess Fey was an actual princess. The SOldiers were on some sort of mission for King Loius-Henri and didn't like the characters ... they were "filthy interlopers".  FIGHT!

The combat was BRUTAL! MARTOG wailed on the soldiers as Princess fired arrows at the Sergeant (who lead from the rear). After a bunch of the soldiers were eliminated and the sergeant fled after being shot by a bow a bunch, the remaining 4 soldiers were convinced to pledge fealty to Princess Fey.  So she got 4 followers which was pretty cool.

Then it was late in real life and we high fived and ended the game for the night.

Summary and Thoughts
This is super fun. I like TD2E and the little bit of Castle Gargantua we actually explored was fun. The entire thing is an enormous improvisation tool that I am in love with.  I might throw some pickup games of TCG at one of my local shops or something. It was a nice break from the heavier Sorrow in Haven game, but I'm also excited to get back to that. I've already got like 100 house rules for TD2E, but that seems like a fine situation - it is so simple house rules are cool and the gang!

Monster Stats
Just some quick notes for anyone interested in the TD2E stats:
  • Blade Maidens: 3HP, Vigilant, Diehard, Heavy Weapons, at least 1 in any group is Spell-Touched
  • Giant Sand Lobster: 5HP, SNIP - lose a limb from a critical hit, Poison - lose 1 HP every round for d6 rounds, cumulative per hit
  • Frunch Soldiers: 1HP, Cowardly - check morale if the sergeant is hit
  • Frunch Sergeant: 3HP, Fleet of Foot