Let's Play #4 4e Goodman Games DCC54 Forges of the Mountain King PCs End NOW WITH PICS OF PCs


Well, my present campaign (see Sig for Story Hour) is sorta on hold- although I've still got plenty to write up so I'll continue with that. Truth be told the campaign has been going slow for a good while, although there's a very good chance we'll get back on with it sometime soon (in 2-3 months probably), and so I was casting about looking for other things D&D to do...

Then it occurred to me that I/we used to play a lot more D&D, before we started the present campaign, mostly just one-off games or else- well, a bunch of stuff- and with different players. Furthermore because I'm an anally retentive bugger I realised I still have all my notes from these sessions- I'm an obsessive note-taker.

So, quick as a flash, I got together another bunch of players and we got back to playing one-off style games, like we did before.

This then is not so much a Story Hour, not in the sense that it's a narrative from the players or DMs POV, but rather a bunch of notes and tall tales, encompassing much of the action, about the games we played- from before we started the present campaign, and since we've been on hold.

I've decided to call this series- Let's Play [Insert Name of Scenario] because it sounds good(-ish).

The other positive thing about me stumbling upon all these notes is that I've also been able to get back in touch with a few players from back then, several of them have returned to the table, odd-shaped dice in hand, ready to kick ass once more.

As always if you have any comments then don't hesitate to get involved.
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

[sblock=Forges of the Mountain King]


Travok, Male Dwarf Paladin of Moradin 1
Morgran, Male Dwarf Barbarian 1
Adrik, Female Dwarf Cleric of Moradin 1
Berend, Male Dwarf Ranger 1
Dumphart, Male Dwarf Sorcerer 1

And so we return to another scenario by those lovely people at Goodman Games, after spending two months in Thunderspire Labyrinth the players wanted a bit of fun and a quicker run. Therefore what follows was my foolish idea- quite simply a world of Dave. And by Dave I mean one of our players is called Dave- he mostly plays Dwarves, he's a nasty piece of work, as are his PCs. So I thought why don't we play a game in which all of the players are Dwarves, and equally as 'Dave', I mean nasty.

At least that was the idea- one at a time I took the players aside (after sessions et al) and got them to swear not to tell the others that in the next game they were going to be taking the 'Dave' spot, and thus over approx. six weeks the following adventurers were born-

Travok Rivet, an irate Dwarven Paladin of Kord, sent to smash. Note the Rivet Clan make rivets... not very glamorous I know.

Morgran Hotpants, a raging Dwarven Barbarian, out to destroy. The Hotpants Clan are a leaderless and Holdless bunch of miscreants scattered throughout the Dwarf nation- they generally stoke the boilers and are responsible for the heating systems within a myriad Clan Holds.

Adrik Paperclip, a belligerent Cleric of Moradin, worshipping with his Warhammer. The Paperclips do fine and delicate work in their forges, creating all manner of paperclips- various colours and sizes.

Berend Shiftit, an in-your-face anti-Ranger, snicker-snack. Note the Shiftit Clan are responsible for moving objects from point A to point B, and maybe back again- that's it.

Dumphart the Accountant, a fiery Sorcerer, about to blow his top. Dumphart belongs to one of the semi-intellectual elite clans, schooled in a closed order he left his clan behind to become... an Accountant.

The backstory is the Dwarves, all scions of the lesser clans (with lesser responsibilities- see names above), are being sent to explore, in an attempt to recover, an ancient Dwarven Hold, overrun centuries past by unknown terrors. A sort of joint operation- five clans were each asked to volunteer their bravest soul to take on the adventure- all for one and one for all, and all that.

However the clans instead decided to send their most annoying member, there is after all a very high possibility that the adventure will prove fatal for some, if not all, of the brave souls… so no loss there then.

Before the game each of the players is asked to come up with a battle cry, which can only be delivered when an enemy dies, it made us all laugh at the time, and for a good while after.

Understand... good, next time meet the Dwarves.
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

The Characters

Battlecry 'Now Die!'
(Played by Becky)
Male Dwarf Paladin of Kord Level 1
HP 27 Surges 11 Speed 5 Init +0
AC 20 Fort 15 Ref 13 Will 13
Str 18 Con 12 Dex 10 Int 8 Wis 11 Cha 14
+5 Saves vs Poison
Warhammer & 3 Throwing Hammers
Plate Armour & Heavy Shield
Trained Skills: Diplomacy +7, Endurance +4, Insight +5 & Religion +4
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Channel Divinity, Dwarven Weapon Training.
At Will: Divine Challenge, Lay on Hands, Valiant Strike, Holy Strike.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Divine Pursuit, Divine Mettle, Divine Strength.
Daily: Blood of the Mighty.

Battlecry 'For Dave!', and/or 'More Dave than Dave!'
(Played by Iain)
Male Dwarf Barbarian Level 1
HP 31 Surges 11 Speed 5 Init +0
AC 14 Fort 16 Ref 11 Will 10
Str 18 Con 16 Dex 10 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 11
+5 Saves vs Poison
Greatsword & 6 Daggers
Hide Armour
Trained Skills: Athletics +8, Intimidate +5 & Nature +4
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Barbarian Agility, Feral Might- Rageblood Vigour, Rage Strike, Rampage, Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade).
At Will: Foe to Foe, Pressing Strike.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Swift Charge, Desperate Fury.
Daily: Rage Drake's Frenzy.

Battlecry 'Hammer Time!'
(Played by James)
Male Dwarf Cleric of Moradin Level 1
HP 27 Surges 9 Speed 5 Init +0
AC 16 Fort 14 Ref 10 Will 13
Str 18 Con 15 Dex 10 Int 8 Wis 13 Cha 10
+5 Saves vs Poison
Warhammer & 3 Throwing Hammers
Chainmail & Holy Symbol of Moradin
Trained Skills: Diplomacy +5, Heal +6, Insight +6 & Religion +4
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Channel Divinity, Healer's Lore, Healing Word, Ritual Casting, Dwarven Weapon Training.
At Will: Priest's Shield, Righteous Brand.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Healing Strike, Divine Fortune, Turn Undead, Healing Word.
Daily: Avenging Flame.

Battlecry 'Cut Loose!' usually followed by 'Foot Loose!'
(Played by Paul)
Male Dwarf Ranger Level 1
HP 31 Surges 8 Speed 5 Init +1
AC 14 Fort 15 Ref 12 Will 11
Str 18 Con 14 Dex 12 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8
+5 Saves vs Poison
Longsword (x2) & Javelin (x6)
Hide Armour
Trained Skills: Athletics +8, Dungeoneering +8, Endurance +8, Nature +6 & Stealth +5.
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Fighting Style- Two Blade Fighting, Hunter's Quarry, Prime Shot, Toughness, Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade).
At Will: Hunter's Quarry, Twin Strike, Marauder's Rush.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Two-Fanged Strike.
Daily: Jaws of the Wolf.

Battlecry 'Aaaaarrgghh!'
(Played by the 'original' Dave)
Male Dwarf Sorcerer Level 1
HP 24 Surges 7 Speed 5 Init +0
AC 12 Fort 12 Ref 10 Will 16
Str 14 Con 12 Dex 11 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 18
Resist 5 Fire & +5 Saves vs Poison
Cloth Armour
Trained Skills: Arcana +5, Athletics +7, Diplomacy +9 & Endurance +8.
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Spell Source- Dragon Magic, Dragon Magic- Draconic Power & Draconic Resilience & Dragon Soul & Scales of the Dragon, Dragon Soul- Dragon Soul Fire, Implement Expertise (Staff).
At Will: Burning Spray, Blazing Starfall.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Tearing Claws.
Daily: Lightning Breath.
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

Session 1.

Encounter #1 A Monstrous Welcome (Area 1-1a)

[sblock=The Map]

The Monstrous Welcome is played out in area 1-1A & 1-1B on the map (see below).


The Dwarves start forward through a massive cavern, ahead a lake of crystal clear water, before them the ruined remains of a guard station- guarding the way in to the Dwarven Hold.

Berend scouts a little way ahead, takes a brief look inside the ruined building (Perception something like 11), he hears the sound of well… a dull Dwarven choir mid droning dirge- which is of course very odd. More importantly however he sees no enemies. Berend declares the area safe and then wanders in and swiftly falls in to a shallow pit, well about four-or so feet deep- so nearly over his head.

The ranger attempts to extricate himself from the pit before his colleagues arrive- the shame of it, however he seems to be wedged in, with arms by his side and unable to draw either of his weapons, or to get any purchase to escape (after several fantastic skill check rolls including a natural '1' Athletics and a '3' for Acrobatics- not good).

Morgran and Travok wander over to help, although what they actually do is laugh, and not help at all.

It's at this point that two Fire Beetles nose out of the detritus within the ruined chamber and hove in to view, Berend starts screaming, he's at eye level with the beetles.

An excellent start, the spirit of Dave is alive and well.

Bad Guys 200 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Fire Beetle Level 1 Brute x2

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


The beetles are quick, very quick, the armoured insects scurry towards the dwarves- and in particular the trapped Berend. Both creatures unleash gouts of flame as they close- the first blast scorches Morgran only, Travok is somehow unharmed and Berend manages to duck down in to the pit just in time. The second blast hits just as Berend stands tall again- he too is singed, Morgran and Travok avoid the second flame gout altogether.

Adrik comes screaming in, the dwarven priest draws his warhammer and swings wildly at the nearest beetle, holding his holy symbol of Moradin in his off-hand, and muttering prayers- his Healing Strike.

He misses the beetle by a mile.

Dumphart, the dwarven sorcerer, rushes to the doorway of the ruin- sees the upset, and invokes his Blazing Starfall- both of the beetles are struck by the burning radiant light.

Dave, who plays Dumphart, is king of the hill.

Berend attempts again to get himself out of the pit- he fails, again, and so settles for drawing his longsword and getting one arm free (as a Minor Action- I’m a nice DM). He swipes at the nearest insect- and wonder of wonders, hits.

The beetle staggers a little, spewing a foetid yellow ichor from its wound, it’s bloodied.

Morgran grabs out his greatblade and rushes the first beetle with a Pressing Strike- he cuts the creature in two but is too close to charge the other vermin.

Finally Travok wakes to the danger, alas he can’t get in to the action and so he settles for a Divine Challenge on the last remaining beetle.

The beetle takes the challenge and wanders over to Bite the paladin of Kord, thankfully Travok deflects the creature’s attack.


Just as a third fire beetle surfaces- burrowing up in to the midst of the assembled dwarven adventurers.

Bad Guys 300 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Fire Beetle Level 1 Brute x3

The third beetle exhales a great gout of flame- Berend and Travok are scorched badly, both of the dwarves are bloodied- or rather singed; Morgran nimbly dodges the inferno.

Both dwarves take 15 points of fire damage- nice hits.

Adrik does it the hard way- he smashes the second beetle with his warhammer and then prays again- muttering Healing Words, Berend is much better.

Dumphart giggles, then moves back a little and unleashes his second Blazing Starfall, alas only one hit this time.

Berend leaps out of the pit with grace and élan, who am I kidding, he fails to escape the pit, but does however get his other arm free, longsword in hand. He delivers a Twin Strike, of sorts, on the second beetle (with lots of minuses to hit again) and cuts the second beetle down.

Morgran scurries over to the last beetle, goes Foe to Foe with it and cuts hard- game over, the third beetle is cut clean in two (a Crit for 22 damage).

The battle is over; the victorious dwarves… oh hang on.

Travok gets his Second Wind as another pair of beetle’s surface.

The game is still on.

Bad Guys 500 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Fire Beetle Level 1 Brute x5

Both beetles turn up the heat, the first gout scorches Morgran and Travok, the second… well, Morgran and Travok- they’re obviously very popular, and now very bloodied.

Morgarna is reduced to 8 hit points, Travok 2.

Adrik swings heartily, and misses- mutters Healing Words as Travok’s wounds heal over, the paladin however remains bloodied.

Dumphart stays at a distance, he yet another Blazing Starfall in to the fray, again just one of the beetles is hit.

Berend finally, eventually… oh hang on- he rolls a ‘1’, the dwarf drops both of his longswords- they’re out of reach.

Remember Berend’s battlecry is ‘Cut Loose!’, followed by, ‘Foot Loose!’- how apposite.

Berend struggles some more spending the rest of the action escaping the… he fails.

Morgran smashes in to the fifth beetle with a Desperate Fury, almost ends it with one swipe- the dwarven barbarian gets his Second Wind

Travok moves in and cuts the fifth beetle dead (with another crit).

There’s just one enemy left.

The remaining fire beetle Bites Morgran’s leg and shreds it- the barbarian is nearly unconscious and screaming fit to burst.

Adrik delivers his Righteous Brand- warhammer style, and slams the foul creature, Dumpharts Blazing Starfall is back by popular demand- the beetle is scorched, and left bloodied.

Berend, oh don’t even bother.

Berend needed a DC 10 Athletics check to get out of the pit originally, he has +8 on his Athletics skill- he rolled a ‘1’ first time, so I ruled the hole was collapsing, so he now needed to make a DC 12 check- that’s a ‘4’ on the dice, surely. But no. After his second critical failure to escape I increased the DC to 15- he needs a ‘7’, he fails twice more this round.

Berend screams like a little girl and smashes his fists in to the floor of the chamber, causing the pit to collapse a little more…

Morgran delivers his Pressing Strike- stabs down and skewers the last remaining beetle- dead.

The dwarves stay alert, adopt combat crouches weapons still drawn, and eagerly watch the ground for disturbances- more beetles.

Well, except for Berend, who continues to wail and flail- and fail to get out of the pit.

Time passes and nothing happens; eventually Morgran lifts the ranger out of the hole.

500 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Fire Beetle Level 1 Brute x5

The adventurers nose around the ruin, looking high and low, and eventually find a +1 Frost Warhammer (I think Travok took this), in the bottom of the pit, beneath Berend’s feet.

They also figure that the droning dwarven dirge is somehow coming from a bunch of statues of dwarven warriors which dot the chamber, they don't however fathom out how or why. After a thorough search, best Perception Check '10', and a Short Rest, they head on out.

Comment: Madness- five Fire Beetles, I get that their fiery but add in a bunch of maniac dwarves, and a hole, and its slapstick all the way.

I worry that none of the PCs have the Thievery skill, but not too much, queue fiendish laughter.
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

Session 1.

Encounter #2 The Gates of Iron and Flesh (Area 1-4)

[sblock=The Map]

The Gates of Iron and Flesh are to be found in area 1-4 on the map (see below).


Berend, again, is sent a little way ahead of the group- he's edging his way along a ten foot wide pathway, to his left high rock walls, to his right an almost vertical drop, a ravine at the bottom of which is a fast flowing river- and lots of rocks. Anyone falling in to the ravine would be... destroyed, it's certainly over seventy feet down, and then there's the fast flowing river and the rocks to contend with. This is why Berend is pressed up against the cliff wall, as far as he can get from the edge of the pathway. The dwarf sneaks on.

And spots a pair of scruffy-looking dwarves ahead, armoured and armed- even now the pair are readying crossbows- the bolters scream and call to something or someone behind them. The noise of the river- and a little further ahead a huge waterfall makes hearing things difficult for the ranger. Berend is about to parley, the dwarf bolters however have other ideas…

Bad Guys 350 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Dwarf Bolter Level 4 Artillery x2

[sblock=The Monster Manual]



Berend looks a little confused as both bolts whiz past him.

And smash in to Morgran who’s following up behind him, ostensibly sneaking, badly as it turns out.

The first bolt pierces Morgran’s shoulder and shoots on through- smashing bone en route, the second thuds in to his leg, and these guys are at long range. Morgran thumps hard against the wall; he’s lost a lot of blood already and is left staggering, bloodied.

The dwarf barbarian screams- a lot.

Morgran is down to 7 hit points; the first attack was a critical hit.

The barbarian sucks up the pain and gets his Second Wind, then runs screaming at the bolters- he has quite a way to go… but revenge is a great motivator.

The other adventurers follow suit, shouting and cursing they trundle forward rushing towards their missile firing enemies, Adrik mutters a prayer and Morgran is back to full health again.

The dwarven bolters were only aware of Morgran up until this point; all of the other adventurers were sneaking successfully. The bolters therefore head back the way they came- at pace, and shouting all the way. Around a corner and through a massive pair of ancient looking copper doors- clearly this is the entrance to the supposedly abandoned Clan Hold.

The adventurers have them on the run- they continue to charge forward in the hope that they can catch up with the bolters and teach them some manners.


An Ogre suddenly lurches around the corner, and stomps forward along the narrow pathway- heading straight for our intrepid adventurers, the players suddenly stop gabbling as I place the mini on the board, an impressive mini, almost unworthy of the name- 'mini', particularly in comparison to the players 'mini's'.

Bad Guys 700 XP Level 2 Encounter.
Dwarf Bolter Level 4 Artillery x2
Ogre Savage Level 8 Brute

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


The adventurers curtail their charge.

The great beast smashes what looks to be half a tree trunk in to Morgran, the dwarf barbarian staggers, bloodied again.

Morgarn however is made of sterner stuff; he swings his greatsword but misses by a mile. Not content he tries again (Action Point) with a Desperate Fury- smashing his great blade in to the monster (a Crit for 27 damage), the Ogre staggers back circling its arms trying to maintain its balance, it teeters on the edge for a brief moment but then regains its balance. Morgran Rampages and cuts at the thing again.

Berend closes on the beast and delivers his Twin Strike- both of his longswords cutting in to the Ogre, it’s bloodied. The dwarf ranger swings again (Action Point) his Jaws of the Wolf attack, a partial success, the Ogre is spiked some more, and once again staggers and sways but somehow remains on the narrow ledge.

Note the Ogre has to make a DC 18 Acrobatics checks every time it is hit for 10 or more points of damage in a single attack. This rule applies to all creatures fighting on the ledge, although the DC is only 15 for medium size creatures. Note the Ogre has +4 on its Acrobatic skill, and has made four checks so far- that’s four rolls of ‘14’+, not bad.

Travok barges his way in to the action, hits with his Divine Pursuit and sends the great beast staggering back to the very edge of the… well, ledge. It teeters for a moment and then falls…

Forward, flat on its face- and still on the ledge.

I actually rolled twice for the Ogre here, once for the forced movement from the Divine Pursuit and the second roll because the attack also did more than 10 points of damage to the creature- it saved both times, although I knocked it Prone because, well- I’m a good guy and I’ve DMed this scenario before, and it’s tough.

Travok is not done- he steps up to the Ogre- who looks up at the crunchy dwarf towering over him (an odd change of perspective). Travok winks and slices at the creature’s hands with his Valiant Strike (Action Point).


The Ogre goes over the ledge- and smashes in to the rocks below.


Travok is still not done, the paladin of Kord wanders over to Morgran, slaps the barbarian on the shoulder, Laying on Hands, and states-


He elaborates-

“Ogres are pansies.”

Adrik meantime whizzes past the three warriors.

“Come on…”

He urges. Dumphart holding his robes in his hand- revealing wire thin incredibly hairy legs also rushes by.

The pair get to the great copper doors- the two crossbow toting varmints are in the process of shutting the great portal.

Dumphart’s Blazing Starfall hits both of them.

Both of the bolters continue however to swing the doors shut, one of them even has the nous to fire its crossbow- the bolt misses Adrik by inches.


The doors close.


Morgran rushes past Adrik and Dumphart and charges in to the doors- pushing them back open- slightly.

We move to opposing Strength Checks, a skill challenge (if you like), the guys need to get four opposed successes before three failures.

Berend arrives on the scene and slams in to the portal, Travok follows- as it turns out too close to Berend, the paladin only succeeds in pushing his fellow adventurer over, although the ranger is quickly to his feet, after using his body briefly as a wedge come doorstop.

Adrik clangs in to the portal and… the doors suddenly fly open.

There are a set of stairs beyond- which means everybody gets to make an Acrobatics check or else fall down them, luckily there are only six or so steps, so no damage accrues, only the prospect of being left prone- and red-faced.

One of the bolters ends up on the floor in a heap with Adrik, the other bolter and the remaining adventurers (save Dumphart who’s not in the push and shove) manage to keep their feet.

The adventurers are standing, or lying, in a smooth wide passage, they barely have time to look around, if they did this is what they'd see- to their left is a huge iron grate (on the wall), to their right the corridor continues off in to the darkness. Opposite is another set of steps leading up in to a short passage- there are lights up there.

[sblock=The Map]

The guys are in area 1-6, the grate is at 1-6A, and the lights up the stairs are in area 1-8.​


The first dwarven bolter shuffles back a little, towards the stairs opposite and the light- screaming all the while-



The dwarf’s crossbow sings and buries six inches of steel in Travok’s right leg, the bolter backs up some more, spilling the crossbow and unleashing its warhammer.

The second dwarf staggers to its feet, crossbow already abandoned and warhammer in hand- it smashes the weapon in to Travok, again- the paladin sags, and staggers back a little, bloodied- almost unconscious.

Morgran is swiftly in to the battle- his Pressing Strike slashes at the closest dwarf cutting the creature badly (another critical hit), he swings again on the Rampage, but the dwarf somehow brings its warhammer up just in time to parry Morgran’s blade.

Berend charges in to the same dwarf, a Marauder’s Rush, but again the attack is thwarted.

Travok calls out to the first dwarf- the one retreating to the stairs, he issues a Divine Challenge and then with his warhammer shimmering with radiant light smashes the squat humanoid with his Holy Smite, his enemy staggers- bloodied. Travok sucks in air, grimaces and gets his Second Wind.

The paladin however is still suffering; Adrik the cleric is quick to his feet- muttering Healing Words, Travok’s wounds all but disappear.

Dumphart moves forward and motions and points with his staff- great Tearing Dragon Claws suddenly shape and form in the air, rip at the second dwarf shredding its armour and scouring its flesh, but the effect soon fades- the other dwarf is left unharmed.

The bolters come again- still screaming back up the stair, still trying to edge back when they can. The first hammers at Travok but the paladin easily defends, the second slams in to Dumphart, the sorcerer grimaces.

Morgran tries again with his Pressing Attack- manoeuvring deftly around his opponent to get an advantage, clearly not enough of an advantage- the barbarian’s aim is off.

Morgran has only 10 hit points and he's already used his 2nd Wind.

Berend slices with his Twin Strike longswords, and the second dwarf is at last bloodied also.

Travok delivers a Valiant Strike to the first dwarf, the humanoid’s head rocks back as the paladin’s warhammer connects, it slumps to the floor- dead.

Adrik manoeuvres behind the remaining dwarf and smashes the creature while muttering prayers to Kord- his Healing Strike, his enemy staggers- almost falls but somehow manages just to stay on its feet. At the same moment many of Morgran’s wounds instantly heal over.

Dumphart chokes out dark phrases and a Burning Spray ignites all before him- although there’s only one dwarf bolter left standing, the squat humanoid becomes a living torch, although not for long, the smoking remains of the dwarf flop to the floor.

The adventurers take a very brief moment to grin at each other.


Up the stairs ahead a portcullis suddenly crashes down- the passage is blocked.

“What the…” Adrik exclaims.

At this point I ask the first PC what he’s going to do, we’re sticking to initiative order- so it’s Morgran, he has ten seconds to decide- I begin to count. I tell all of the other players that they will also get ten seconds when it comes to their turn. This is how it played out-

Morgran scans his surrounding, looks up and points-


The barbarian is pointing at an arrow slit high above the grate, there’s someone or something moving beyond the opening, and what’s that?


Morgran declares, and points at the grate, which is indeed dripping liquid.

“The portcullis.”

The barbarian concludes and rushes in to the passage.

Berend, the ranger, takes a moment to look around.

Actually Paul who plays Berend said something like- ‘Dungeoneering check, it’s a trap- loads of water comes out of the grate and washes us away…” Then he rolled a ‘20’.

Berend thinks aloud- “Water. Grate. Smooth passage…”, and then looks down the passage in to darkness.

“Trap!” The ranger yelps and takes the stairs three at a time, to the portcullis in the blink of an eye, he reaches down and…


Lifts up the portcullis, no bother, and slams it back in to its up and open position.

And that was Paul/Berend’s follow up Strength Check, he needed a ‘20’, which is incidentally exactly what he rolled- another natural.

'Through here', Berend screams and points the way.

Travok obeys and rushes up the stairs at full speed, the paladin of Kord skids to a halt at the top of the stairs.

:):):):)!” He whispers, and then screams back- “ORCS!”

This kind of thing seems to happen a lot in Goodman Games scenarios; personally I love it, although my players may have varying opinions.

[sblock=Travok’s view ahead]


Travok is in a huge chamber, the ceiling must be easily sixty feet overhead, to his left is some sort of temporary encampment, a trio of grunting Orcs sprawl at rest. Ahead a set of ancient, but once ornate, stone stairs that twist and turn up to a balcony at least thirty feet above.

[sblock=The Map]

The guys are in area 1-8, the stairs lead up to area 1-8A, the balcony above.​


Bad Guys 1225 XP Level 5 Encounter.
Dwarf Bolter Level 4 Artillery x2
Ogre Savage Level 8 Brute
Orc Berserker Level 4 Brute x3

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


The Orcs are quickly to their feet and grabbing for weapons- greataxes as it happens, although they’re still a little bewildered by Travok’s sudden appearance.

Adrik follows on, rushes up the stairs and straight past Travok- “For KORD!” The cleric swings hard with his warhammer but the Orc simply steps aside, and grunts at the flailing dwarf for good measure.

Dumphart is next up the stair, although he hangs back a way, takes in the situation and then launches his Blazing Starfall, alas only one of the Orcs is burnt by the power’s radiant beams.

Back down the stairs, in the corridor, there’s a great CLANKing sound followed by a wheezing shuddering, juddering continuous growl- things are happening, bad things.

Water begins to pour from the grate.

Back up the stair the three Orcs suddenly begins shouting and screaming, a face appears from just around a corner, near the encampment- another dwarf, the squat humanoid stops for a moment- temporarily dumbfounded.

A chugging, juddering, shuddering sound suddenly starts up from the dwarf’s direction.

The three Orcs charge at Adrik, in seconds (two hits) the cleric of Kord is smashed and cut to the ground.

Boy do greataxes hurt, Adrik is reduced from 27 hit points to 11 and then down to -6, he’s dying.

Morgran, Berend and Travok all rush up the stairs and in to the action- the trio smash in to the closest Orc; Morgran cuts, Berend slices and Travok brings his Blood of the Mighty (Daily power), all three are on target- the foul humanoid is left staggering, bloodied and battered.

The guys dish out 51 points of damage, including 27 from Travok’s daily- it’s not enough.

Dumphart steps up to the plate- the sorcerer’s Blazing Starfall lances out radiant light- two of the Orcs are singed, but not alas the fellow left staggering by Morgran, Berend and Travok.

“Damn!” Dumphart hisses, and closes the distance.

The sorcerer breathes in, and then out again- a ragged wreath of lightening, Dumphart’s Lightning Breath, and again only two of the Orcs are in the storm but now all three are bloodied and staggering.

Dumphart’s daily there with a Critical hit- 30 points of damage on one of the Orcs, and 25 on the other.

Suddenly, from below comes a horrendous smashing, crashing sound- the sound of water, much too much water in a very confined environment.

Back down the stairs in the smooth passageway a tidal wave surges and scourges, the bodies of the dwarven bolters are sent spinning away with the wave.

The adventurers take a moment to thank their lucky stars that they're inside and in the warm, and being savaged by a bunch of nasty Orcs.

The noise silences all other sounds, and when it’s gone- nothing.

Friend and foe stand around, momentarily brought to a standstill by the stone shattering roar of the trap below.

The spell however is soon broken, and by a new voice.

A screaming, jabbering, screeching, yelping sound- a goblin, high up on the balcony ahead, capering and pointing down at our friends the adventurers.

Berend looks up, spies the miscreant, the creature seems to be in excited conversation with someone or something out of sight.

“Look UP!” Berend screams to his friends.

Just as a pair of mean looking dwarves, formerly operating the water trap, stomp around the corner to join the fracas

Bad Guys 2225 XP Level 9 Encounter.
Dwarf Bolter Level 4 Artillery x2
Ogre Savage Level 8 Brute
Water Trap Level 8 Elite Warder Trap
Orc Berserker Level 4 Brute x3
Dwarf Guard Level 3 Soldier x2

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


While it's not looking good for the PCs, I want you to know that the guys are at this point screaming for joy- absolutely loving it. I know, and I think they do too, that if they can pull this one off then... well, they'll probably never have to play D&D again- they will have beaten the game.

It gets worse, the closest Orc’s wound seem to heal over, or at least some of them, the Warrior Surges and slashes at Morgran- the barbarian, thankfully is too quick.

The second Orc lashes out with its greataxe, only this time the victim is Dumphart who is… decapitated.

Yep, you read that right, Dumphart was on something like 12 hit points, the Orc Berserker crits for 29 points of damage, that’s down to -17 hit points, which is greater than his negative bloodied value- Dumphart, played by Dave, is dead.

And the room holds its breath, however Dave takes the news remarkably calmly, grins a lot and goes and makes a soothing cup of tea- he’s soon back to hear the rest of the action.

The third Orc smashes its greataxe in to Travok.

To give the PCs a chance I elect to allow only one of the Orcs to use their Warrior's Surge per turn- that's the kind of nice guy I am.

The two dwarven guards, previously operating the water trap, draw their warhammers and smash in to Morgran, the barbarian keeps them both at bay, and then… goes crazy. Morgran enters the Rage Drake’s Frenzy and smashes in to the closest, very wounded, Orc- he smashes the creature down, not as he intended but by somehow contriving to trip and fall head first in to his enemy.

Morgran rebounds, somewhat out of sorts- dizzy from the collision, he swipes at the next badly wounded Orc and misses by a mile.

Sorry, just to explain- Morgran rolls a ‘1’ on his first attack, I allow him to inflict half-damage anyway but in a comedy style, he attacks the second Orc and rolls a ‘2’. When the dice are against you…

Berend and Travok take on the two remaining Orcs, desperate to get rid of the wounded terrors; one of the creatures is left staggering- only just alive the other fends off the paladin.

Adrik meantime lies still and bleeds profusely, having failed his first Death Save.

To make matters worse a pair of Goblins leer over the balcony above and make ready to hurl Javelins down at the three adventurers still standing.

Bad Guys 2475 XP Level 9 Encounter.
Dwarf Bolter Level 4 Artillery x2
Ogre Savage Level 8 Brute
Water Trap Level 8 Elite Warder Trap
Orc Berserker Level 4 Brute x3
Dwarf Guard Level 3 Soldier x2
Goblin Javelintossers Level 2 Artillery x2

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


A pair of javelins are flung down in to the mix- Berend is wounded, and then hit again as the Orc facing him connects with its greataxe, the ranger staggers- bloodied.

The second Orc left standing screams and with a Warrior’s Surge smashes Travok down.

And that was another Critical Hit with a greataxe for 23 points of damage to Travok, he’s on -9 hit points and dying.

The two dwarven guards concentrate their efforts on Morgran, the barbarian is bashed, but only a little. Morgran however is still intent on ending the Orcs, his Pressing Strike cuts one badly- Berend finishes the creature off and then gets his Second Wind.

There are more screams and shouts from above, the two adventurers left standing don’t have time to look up- if they did they’d see that the balcony is now home to three javelin flinging Goblins and a burly Hobgoblin similarly armed.

The latter is in charge- he co-ordinates the next volley.

Bad Guys 2800 XP Level 10 Encounter.
Dwarf Bolter Level 4 Artillery x2
Ogre Savage Level 8 Brute
Water Trap Level 8 Elite Warder Trap
Orc Berserker Level 4 Brute x3
Dwarf Guard Level 3 Soldier x2
Goblin Javelintossers Level 2 Artillery x3
Hobgoblin Lieutenant Level 5 Soldier

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


And we've just hit the magical Level 10 Encounter, that's PC Level +9.

Just to let you know that I've been ruling the adventurers have partial concealment from the Javelin throwing artillery- it hasn't made a sod of difference, I keep rolling high.

The javelins rain down, well- four of them anyway.

Berend stops three of the missiles, doing a very brief impression of a pin-cushion, the ranger flops to the floor- dying.

Morgran helps out with the last missile, the barbarian is very bloodied.

All four of the goblin artillery rolled 17-19 on the dice, and the rolls were made out in the open for the players to see- Dave is laughing so hard...

Just the Raging Morgran who, let's face it, is not going to surrender now.

The last Orc strides up to Morgran, swings, and cuts the dwarf barbarian in two- at the waist.

That’s another critical hit for 28 points of damage, reducing Morgran to -21 hit points.


Comment: And the players loved it... that's not right, they... I'm going to have to think about the word/sentence, they were so involved in events that their characters deaths were- appropriate perhaps, glorious certainly. Months later, writing this up, I can still see them sitting about grinning like chimps- glorious is the right word.

Hurried phone calls are made- significant others are told lies, this has just turned in to an extended session of D&D, someone orders pizza, someone else orders chinese food- it gets multi-cultural, cuisine wise. Someone else goes for beer- it just got serious.

The story goes a little like this- the first group of dwarfs, see above for their curtailed adventures, was just a reconnaissance patrol (although no one told them this), the real heroes are on their way. The players are given an hour, that's approx. twelve minutes each to create new characters- more dwarves.

This new group knows that a reconnaissance patrol has been sent in to the lost Clan Hold; their job is to join with them, if possible, and then to explore the ancient abandoned dwarf hold (basically the same task as the first lot).

Out of game your friendly DM states that the three dwarfs still alive- Travok, Adrik & Berend are to be sacrificed, one per day, for every extended rest the new group takes another dwarf (chosen at random) is killed. I, of course, neglect to say who will be doing the sacrificing, or where the killings will take place.

The players are heading straight back in.

Also, Goodman Games, I've said it before, I'll say it again- I wuv you. I realise a Level 10 Encounter is just a terrible thing to do; we talked about it afterwards- while others built their characters. It came down to this- the PCs clear out of the room with the huge water trap in it if they back up a bit then they're okay, but if they head on- well, see above.

Through no fault of their own, and we've made a pact to play these scenarios as RAW as we can, the PCs triggered four encounters in a row-

Enc#1 Ogre Savage & 2 Dwarf Bolters 700 XP Level 2
Enc#2 Water Trap & 2 Dwarf Guards 1000 XP Level 5
Enc#3 3 Orcs Berserkers 525 XP Level 1
Enc#4 3 Goblin Javelintossers & Hobgoblin Lieutenant 575 XP Level 1

That's the way it happens sometimes, I could have... but I didn't, and they didn't want me too, and nor did I. This has been by far the happiest TPK I have ever experienced, and for the players- seemingly, a joy to be part of.

In truth there was no way out for them (except retreat, of course)- a Level 10 Encounter, that's PC Level +9- that was just so unfair of me, and yet, it was glorious. One of the most funny and enlightening (and motivating) moments of D&D I have ever experienced. The players, and me, are charged.
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

The New Characters

New PCs-
Tordek Dwarf Fighter 1
Grimm Dwarf Avenger of Moradin 1
Fenchurch Dwarf Bard 1
Ragnarr Dwarf Rogue 1
Koda Dwarf Monk 1

Battlecry 'To the DEATH!'
(Played by Becky)
Male Dwarf Fighter Level 1
HP 31 Surges 12 Speed 5 Init +0
AC 19 Fort 16 Ref 12 Will 10
Str 18 Con 16 Dex 10 Int 10 Wis 11 Cha 8
+5 Saves vs Poison
Battleaxe & 4 Throwing Axes
Scale Armour & Heavy Shield
Trained Skills: Athletics +7, Endurance +8 & Intimidate +4
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Combat Challenge, Combat Superiority, Fighter Talents- One-Handed Weapon Talent, Dwarven Weapon Training.
At Will: Combat Challenge, Weapon Master's Strike, Tide of Iron.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Steel Serpent Strike.
Daily: Villain's Menace.

Battlecry 'He's Dead Dave.'
(Played by Iain)
Male Dwarf Avenger of Moradin Level 1
HP 31 Surges 8 Speed 5 Init +0
AC 15 Fort 12 Ref 13 Will 15
Str 10 Con 12 Dex 11 Int 14 Wis 18 Cha 8
+5 Saves vs Poison
Greatsword & 6 Daggers
Cloth Armour & Holy Symbol
Trained Skills: Heal +9, Intimidate +4, Religion +7 & Streetwise +4
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Armour of Faith, Avenger's Censure- Censure of Unity, Channel Divinity, Oath of Enmity, Toughness.
At Will: Focussed Fury, Radiant Vengeance.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Oath of Enmity, Whirlwind Charge, Abjure Undead, Divine Guidance.
Daily: Thunder and Echo.

Battlecry 'Dave not forsake oh my darlin', on this our Slaying Day.'
(Played by James)
Male Dwarf Bard Level 1
HP 28 Surges 10 Speed 5 Init +0
AC 17 Fort 13 Ref 12 Will 15
Str 10 Con 16 Dex 10 Int 11 Wis 8 Cha 18
+5 Saves vs Poison
Longsword & Wand
Chainmail & Light Shield
Trained Skills: Arcana +5, Athletics +4, Diplomacy +9, Dungeoneering +6 & Nature +4
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Bardic Training, Bardic Virtue- Virtue of Valour, Majestic Word, Multiclass Versatility, Skill Versatility, Song of Rest, Words of Friendship, Ritual Caster, Implement Expertise (Wand).
At Will: Guiding Strike, Staggering Note.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Majestic Word, Word of Friendship, Shout of Triumph.
Daily: Sprightly Rhythm.

Battlecry 'Stabby! Stabby!''
(Played by Paul)
Male Dwarf Rogue Level 1
HP 25 Surges 7 Speed 5 Init +4
AC 16 Fort 12 Ref 16 Will 10
Str 14 Con 13 Dex 18 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 8
+5 Saves vs Poison
Dagger (x lots & lots)
Leather Armour
Trained Skills: Dungeoneering +7, Intimidate +4, Perception+5, Stealth +9, Streetwise +4 & Thievery +9.
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, First Strike, Rogue Tactics- Brutal Scoundrel, Rogue Weapon Talent, Sneak Attack, Weapon Expertise (Light Blade).
At Will: Clever Strike, Deft Strike.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Torturous Strike.
Daily: Blinding Barrage.

Battlecry 'Hai-Aaaaarrgghh Karate!'
(Played by the 'original' Dave)
Male Dwarf Monk Level 1
HP 24 Surges 8 Speed 5 Init +4
AC 16 Fort 13 Ref 15 Will 12
Str 14 Con 12 Dex 18 Int 10 Wis 11 Cha 8
+5 Saves vs Poison
Cloth Armour & Flip-Flops.
Trained Skills: Acrobatics +9, Heal +5, Stealth +9 & Thievery +9.
Feats & Class Features: Dwarven Weapon Proficiency, Cast Iron Stomach, Encumbered Speed, Dwarven Resistance, Stand Your Ground, Monastic Tradition- Stone Fist, Unarmed Combatant, Unarmed Defence, Weapon Expertise (Unarmed).
At Will: Stone Fist Flurry of Blows, Dancing Cobra, Five Storms.
Encounter: Second Wind, Dwarven Resilience, Open the Gate of Battle.
Daily: Spinning Leopard Manoeuvre.

And so, they come again, and this time two of them have got good Thievery skills...
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

Extended Session 1.

A Monstrous Welcome (Area 1-1a), again.

[sblock=The Map]

The Monstrous Welcome is played out in area 1-1A & 1-1B on the map (see below).


And so the second group of dwarves, the strike team- the A Team, head on in. We’re back in the ruined guard chamber recently rearranged by the previous adventurers - there are lots of dead Fire Beetles about.

“They came this way.” Tordek grunts.

The adventurers examine the statues of dwarves dotted around the chamber, vexed by the chanting sounds they seem to be making. Grimm points out the statue’s mouths have been blocked with stones and detritus, he clears them out- the chanting grows louder, much louder. Martial prayers and chants in praise of Moradin.

“That’s better…” The avenger states.

Note all of the dwarves receive a plus 1 bonus to attacks and damage on their next attack, which continues while they can hear the chanting.

Grimm is not finished, he points out that one of the chanting dwarf statues is pointing in a different direction to all of the others- it points to an empty spot on the cavern wall. The wall is carefully examined, alas no discoveries are made, however Grimm searches the statue again and finds a moving part, a button- he presses it. A secret door in the wall springs opens.

Within, down a dusty and cobwebbed corridor Ragnarr discovers a set of Masterwork Thieves Tools, while Grimm finds a scrap of paper, on which is written-

One click sinister, then shun both extremes.
Keep to the centre; keep your life.

There's also a locked coffer within, Ragnarr gets it open and finds several bags of... iron fillings? Several Arcana Checks later and the adventurers are still not sure what they are, they decide to take them anyway.

Then they move on...
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

Extended Session 1.

The Gates of Iron and Flesh (1-4) again.

[sblock=The Map]

The gates of Iron and Flesh are in area 1-4 on the map, note area 1-2 that’s the secret entrance. (see below).


The adventurers head along the precarious pathway, on the right the ravine and the raging river below, to the left a wall of stone- Ragnarr & Koda lead the way, the other dwarves hang back.

The pair sneak a good way down the ledge path, all the time on the look out, they come to a halt- Ragnarr points to a bunch of Orcs dead ahead- they seem to be guarding some sort of entrance, perhaps the way in to the clan hold.

The dead dwarf bolters and the Ogre have been replaced.

“How’re we…” Ragnarr goes to ask, Koda points- in a different direction altogether.

At first Ragnarr doesn’t see it, then- slowly he makes sense of what he’s looking at, there’s a staircase, of sorts, in the cliff face, it leads up to a darker patch- an opening, a secret way in perhaps.

Ragnarr grins and signals for the other adventurers to make their way forward- one at a time. Koda keeps a close watch on the Orcs; Ragnarr motions the other dwarves up the stair- one by one.
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

Extended Session 1.

Encounter #3 Ogre Lair (area 1-3)

[sblock=The Map]

The Ogre Lair is up the stair shown in area 1-2, and in to area 1-3 on the map (see below).


The dwarves creep forward in to a dank, dark chamber- light flares as a sunrod is expended, the area is at least twenty five feet across, a natural cavern that twists and turns- there are several, seemingly shallow, pools of crystal clear water. Ragnarr points out an opening- the cave continues, a narrow passage snakes away to the north.

Koda and Ragnarr take charge again, as quietly as they can they lead their companions to the exit, and vainly stare into the darkness beyond- there’s nothing to see alas, only…

“It stinks!” Fenchurch offers, and is shushed in to silence.

He’s right though, it smells bad- of rot, and ruin, and… worse.

Koda and Ragnarr head off again, the passage is mostly single file, although a short distance in it divides in to two passages- both heading north.

Koda nods to Ragnarr, Ragnarr nods back- the pair creep their separate ways.

Koda’s not gone far when…

“Urp!” Koda declares.

Standing before the dwarven monk is a massive brute of a humanoid, an Ogre- or at least an ex-Ogre, the battered creature looks to have already been killed once.

[sblock=Zombie Hulk]


Bad Guys 350 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Zombie Hulk Level 8 Brute

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Koda goes chop-socky crazy. He Opens the Gates of Battle, a highfalutin’ way of saying he head butts the Ogre Zombie in the groin area, the terrifying undead monster gurns and clutches at the spot.

Koda’s attack is a critical hit- for 35 points of damage, which is indeed the maximum damage he can do to a creature on full hit points- just wow.

How about that for an opening, and it's Dave of course who’s playing Koda, he’s a little uncontrollable for a while from this point on- apparently he can do more damage with his little finger than any of the other dwarves with their myriad spells and weapons, he delights in telling us this at volume 11. Personally I had Monks pegged as quiet chaps with funny haircuts- tonsures, not this one...

Ragnarr dodges back in time to throw a dagger at the creature, quite a Deft Strike- see what I did there, and already the massive zombie is bloodied.

Both Dwarfs scream at the top of their voices..

Fenchurch sprints to catch up, the dwarf bard screams- don’t worry, it’s only role-play.

Grimm steps in, holy symbol waving, he Abjures the Undead beast- scorching a massive hole in the creature’s chest with his radiant light, and pulling it closer- in to a more convenient spot, the ex-ogre finds itself immobilised and in severe pain.

Tordek rushes in, Koda and Ragnarr swing and swat, the three dwarves attempt to take the zombie down, two of the guys have combat advantage, and yet all of their attacks come to naught.

The hulk smashes its fist down on Tordek, bloodying the fighter and leaving him sprawling on the floor with a terrible headache.

And from the second passage the second Zombie Hulk lurches in to the fray, the creature staggers up behind Koda.

Bad Guys 700 XP Level 2 Encounter.
Zombie Hulk Level 8 Brute x2

Then slams Koda on the head, the dwarf manages to stay on his feet but only by clutching desperately at the cavern wall and clinging on for dear life. Koda is bloodied.

Fenchurch sings, a Staggering Note, but clearly off-pitch; the bard instead has a Majestic Word for Koda- the dwarven monk looks much healthier.

Grimm shuffles back a pace-or-two, and then Charges like a Whirlwind in to the already battered hulk- smashing the thing down dead.

Tordek gets his Second Wind and then manoeuvres in to action against the second zombie hulk- slashing the thing with his battleaxe.

Koda tries to add to the foul undead brute’s hurt but the monk is still clearly out of sorts, Ragnarr’s aim however is true- his Clever Strike packs quite a punch.

The hulk lashes out but Tordek is much too quick this time.

Fenchurch starts yelling, a bit too cocky too early, the dwarf’s Shout of Triumph alas proves to be a whimper.

Grimm gets in to the fight with his greatsword, he brings his Radiant Vengeance stabbing the thing through its gut, and the second zombie hulk is bloodied.

Tordek and Ragnarr scrap and battle- both alas to no affect. Koda’s Dancing Cobra however is on target, he adds a Flurry of Blows and the remaining hulk staggers some more.

At which point the first zombie hulk the adventurers killed gets back up again, and smashes Tordek over the head, the dwarf fighter is back to being bloodied.

And that wasn't in the script, and I'm getting some funny looks from the players, particularly as several of them have realised, very quickly, that the zombie hulk they’re at present fighting will also need killing twice.

The second zombie does the same- that is smash Tordek on the head, the fighter stays on his feet, but by will alone.

Tordek is on 1 hit point, but not for long…

Fenchurch has some more Majestic Words- Tordek’s wounds heal a little, he’s still bloodied however.

Grimm and Tordek swat ineffectively at the newly risen zombie. Koda, who is stood between the pair of hulks- alongside Ragnarr, lets loose with his Five Storms, smashing at both of the giant undead.

Ragnarr stabs the second ex-ogre in the back, the thing is almost dead, and yet it has enough life left in it to lash out, both of the zombie hulks do…

Koda is crunched the monk is left prone, bloodied and almost unconscious.

Tordek is not so lucky, the fighter flops to the cavern floor unconscious- dying.

No, I couldn't- two TPKs in one session, that'd be... hilarious.

And it needs to be said that neither of the Zombie Hulks have managed to recharge their Zombie Smash power, which does almost twice the damage of the Slam attacks they’ve been using.

Fenchurch’s Guiding Strike is way off target, the bard seems to be having problems with his lines. Grimm is on hand however to cut the second ogre zombie down with his Focussed Fury. Not done the avenger rushes over to Tordek (Action Point) and stabilises his friend.

Koda and Ragnarr get their breaths back, get their Second Winds, and then unleash… nothing much.

The zombie hulk still standing smashes Grimm.

Fenchurch’s Staggering Note does indeed stagger, Koda thumps the remaining hulk in the face with a roundhouse kick- splattering the undead beast’s nose.

The monk looks very pleased with himself and winks at Fenchurch- just as the second zombie hulk rises again and smashes Koda down- the monk is dying.

Grimm delivers his Oath of Enmity on the already battered hulk but only manages the faintest of blows.

Koda slicks up a pool of blood- failing his first Death Save.

We've been here before...

Dave looks like thunder, although several of the other players are trying desperately not to laugh.


Fenchurch the bard tries again- directing operations with his Guiding Strike, the remaining hulk lurches and staggers, the bard grins and completes a little bow.

He’s then smashed in to the cold stone floor.

He’s dying too.

The last hulk manages to recharge its Zombie Smash power and then delivers a massive hit to Fenchurch, a critical hit, for 37 points of damage. Fenchurch is on -9 hit points.

Did I do a bad thing?

Grimm swears another Oath and stabs the hulk, skewers it- it staggers again but stays upright.

Ragnarr, desperate, tries twice to land his Clever Strike (after an Action Point) but alas fails both times, which means…

The hulk slams its fist in to Grimm, the avenger staggers- bloodied and battered.

The avenger however is far from done; he avenges himself and cuts the giant undead creature down.

Nothing moves- except for dwarves scrambling to help their fallen friends.

Fenchurch is quickly to his feet, soon after all of the dwarves are in much better shape.

The adventurers take a well-deserved (short) rest before heading out to search the remainder of the cavern.

Buried in a mangy pile of furs, in a ‘lair’ of sorts, is a beautifully crafted greatsword, Fenchurch determines that the weapon is a +1 Thundering Greatsword- Grimm is delighted.

There are no other exits however, that is until Ragnarr finds the secret door, but more of this next time.

700 XP Level 2 Encounter.
Zombie Hulk Level 8 Brute x2

Comment: That was a blinding first session of play, only three combat encounters but all of them were great in their own ways. Note this second group has decided on a less charge-first-worry-about-it-later approach, it seems they wish to stay alive. Goodman Games- just beautiful and nasty, I realise it's simple stuff but it just plays much better than WOTC, even dungeon hacks like this one.
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Let's Play #4 Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)

Session 2.

Encounter #4 Goblin Quarters (area 1-12)

[sblock=The Map]

The Goblin Quarters are through the secret door and in to area 1-12 on the map (see below).


Ragnarr can hear voices through the secret door- there are goblins on the other side. The rogue quickly discovers the opening mechanism; the other adventurers ready their attacks.

The adventurers burst through the secret door and in to a chaotic chamber, a flophouse of sorts, containing nine Goblins in various stages of not being ready to be attacked- mostly sprawled on piles of stinking skins and furs.

The dwarves have the surprise, they kick ass.

Bad Guys 749 XP Level 2 Encounter.
Goblin Sharpshooter Level 2 Artillery x5
Goblin Boltspitter Level 2 Artillery Minion x4

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Grimm and Koda charge in, furious and… they both fail to connect with the surprised and prone goblins, however the other three dwarves make their mark.

Tordek smashes one of the goblin sharpshooters clutching for its hand crossbow, it’s bloodied. Fenchurch unleashes his Staggering Note and a second goblin sharpshooter is pushed backwards and served up for Tordek- the dwarf fighter smashes his second offering, it too is bloodied.

Ragnarr steps in, kneels and cuts the first sharpshooter’s throat- dead.

The four remaining sharpshooters grab for their hand crossbows, scramble to their feet and fire- bolts ping and ricochet, all but one misses their intended targets- Ragnarr is unlucky, the rogue grimaces in pain.

Grimm swears his Oath and then with a Focussed Fury cuts the second sharpshooter dead.

Tordek lashes out but is off target. Koda is not- he steps in to the thick of things and kicks and punches with his Five Storms; a chop takes out one boltspitter, a kick a second.

The two remaining boltspitters manoeuvre and fire their hand crossbows; Grimm is grazed by a flying bolt.

Fenchurch manages to wrestle his way in to the action, the dwarf screams his Shout of Triumph, but again with minimal affect- two of the sharpshooters are very slightly wounded.

Ragnarr stabs another of the boltspitters in the back- dead.

The three sharpshooters left standing begin screaming in their foul tongue, all three fire their hand crossbows- Tordek is skewered by a bolt.

Grimm and Tordek close to attack, both dwarves contrive however to miss their targets- Koda manoeuvres again, and again the monk dives in to the thick of the action. He manages to chop, kick and punch all three of the remaining sharpshooters with his Five Storms- two of the three are left bloodied.

The last boltspitter heads for the way out- screaming down the corridor; it fires its hand crossbow at Koda but only manages to find the ceiling- way off target.

Ragnarr sends out a spinning dagger- a Deft Strike, and ends the goblin.

A sudden yowling, growling sound- a pack of thickset wolves, worgs in fact, come scampering and slavering down the corridor.

Unseen by the guys, moving up behind the worgs is the Goblin War Chief; apparently you don't get to its exalted status by heedlessly charging in to fights.

NEW Bad Guys 1599 XP Level 7 Encounter.
Goblin Sharpshooter Level 2 Artillery x5
Goblin Boltspitter Level 2 Artillery Minion x4
Lesser Worg Level 2 Skirmisher x4
Goblin War Chief Level 4 Elite Controller

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Oh dear, this just turned in to a Level 7 Encounter, as it turns out second encounters are pretty tough.

The four worgs charge in to the chamber, the adventurers lash out as the creatures are forced to squeeze through the fracas, Koda is bitten twice as is Tordek- the pair are the closest to the exit. Both are wounded although neither is particularly hurt, Tordek even manages to catch one of the creatures with his battleaxe.

The three remaining sharpshooters scream and shout- all three of them draw short swords, spilling their hand crossbows- it’s an all-out melee now. The three focus their attacks on Koda, the dwarf monk is drawing heat- although only one of the foul humanoids lands a hit, nevertheless the monk is bloodied.

Grimm growls, the dwarf avenger swears his Oath at the nearest worg and lets fly with his Thunder & Echo (Daily power), the reverberating roar of the power leaves two of the worgs wounded and one of the sharpshooters bloodied.

The goblin chief stays out of sight, still back down the corridor watching the action- ready to pounce.

Tordek gets his Second Wind and then lashes out with his Weapon Master’s Strike, at the last moment the worg dodges… ah no, Grimm uses his Divine Guidance- Tordek’s attack runs true- the worg is sliced, left shaking and bleeding, bloodied and all but dead.

Koda too sucks up the hurt, gets his Second Wind, although this still leaves him bloodied, the dwarf monk is right in the thick of the action, time for a repeat of his Five Storms. Koda lashes out at the enemies surrounding him- all seven of them; a sharpshooter is punched and bloodied, a worg kicked, another stamped on, the last which Tordek left barely able to stand is smashed to the ground. Koda grins, and then does it all again (Action Point)- only five targets this time, a sharpshooter is elbowed in the face and killed, another receives a forearm check and is left staggering and bloodied, while one of the worgs is kicked and chopped, it too is bloodied; and with that Koda uses her Five Storms Move and tumbles behind Tordek.

The monk sticks out his tongue at the battered survivors of his onslaught.

Fenchurch’s Majestic Words revive the monk, the dwarf bard then attempts a Sprightly Rhythm- the affect is too much, the less than sonorous dwarf inflicts psionic damage with his mawkish cacophony. A sharpshooter clutches at its head- bleeds a while and then after a soft ‘pop’ sound collapses dead, a second follows suit, that’s the last of the goblins- save the hidden chief. Two of the three remaining worgs chase and snap and bite at their own tails or else yowl and butt their heads in to the walls of the chamber.

Ragnarr fails to impress with his Clever Strike- still the chamber is clearing nicely.

And the Level 7 encounter is decimated.

The three worgs still in the action bite and snarl, Fenchurch is nipped on the hand, none of the other dwarves suffer.

Tordek’s Tide of Iron slams one of the creatures in to the wall- it’s left woozy; staggering to stay upright- Fenchurch’s Staggering Note finishes the worg off.

Ragnarr’s Clever Strike is on target this time, and another is bloodied and left yowling.

The worgs however are not about to give up, the maddened mongrels are in a fury- and this time Ragnarr is their target, the dwarven rogue is bitten twice in quick succession, and left bloodied and bleeding.

Ragnarr backpedals, away from the slavering beasts- his back to the corridor, the exit of the chamber… the goblin chief strikes- slips his short sword in to the dwarf’s back- Ragnarr falls but the goblin chief grabs him.

Ragnarr’s down to -1 hit points, Ragnarr is dying.

“Come any clo…” The chief starts, propping the unconscious Ragnarr up before him; his speech is cut off by Tordek who dodges through the worgs- who snap and bite, to get to the chief.

Alas Tordek’s (Daily) Villian’s Menace is off target, the fighter follows up with a Weapon Master’s Strike (Action Point), slicing in to the goblin chief.

The goblin chief is still very healthy- it started with 110 hit points after all.

Koda smashes the closest worg down- dead, Fenchurch sings a Staggering Note and the last worg yaps turns tail and cowers before Tordek, the fighter’s battleaxe comes again and the creature is almost broken.

Fenchurch finishes by intoning Majestic Words- Ragnarr’s eyes flicker open, the rogue spins and stabs the goblin chief in the thigh- a Deft Strike.

Ragnarr’s free, the goblin chief backs away a little.

The last remaining worg worries Koda but the monk has other more pressing concerns.

Tordek and Grimm step forward- the avenger sounds his Oath and then hits the goblin chief with his Radiant Vengeance. The chief cuts back and slashes Tordek, who struggles to pay the goblin back. Koda ignores the last worg and punches the goblin.

Fenchurch hits the last worg with another of his Staggering Notes, serves the beast up for Tordek once again- the fighter cuts the creature dead.

Just the goblin chief to go.

Ragnarr gets his Second Wind and then spins a dagger out at the goblin- another hit, the creature is nearly bloodied.

Moments later it is- Grimm’s Radiant Vengeance strikes again, and yet it’s Tordek that is made to pay- the goblin stabs the dwarven fighter in the chest, and then repeats the attack (Action Point). Tordek flops face first on to the filthy chamber floor.

Tordek is down to -2 hit points, he’s dying.

Koda’s Dancing Cobra is way off target, meanwhile Fenchurch kneels and gets to work on Tordek, alas the fighter is bleeding too much for the bard to staunch the flow.

Ragnarr manoeuvres and with a Clever Strike slashes the goblin chieftain again.

Grimm moves to help Fenchurch, and yet even with the avenger’s ministrations the dwarven fighter continues to bleed, in fact the dwarf is choking- coughing up great gouts of blood.

Tordek fails his first Death Save.

The goblin chief cuts again and Ragnarr staggers back, the rogue is close to collapse.

Koda fights back with his Five Storms followed by a Flurry of Blows- the goblin is left staggering.

Ragnarr steps in and delivers a Torturous Strike, the goblin is almost gutted, the foul miscreant spills his sword to clutch at his wounds- it flops to the floor and in its foul tongue pleads for mercy.

The fight is over.

1599 XP Level 7 Encounter.
Goblin Sharpshooter Level 2 Artillery x5
Goblin Boltspitter Level 2 Artillery Minion x4
Lesser Worg Level 2 Skirmisher x4
Goblin War Chief Level 4 Elite Controller

Koda is quickly across to Fenchurch and Grimm’s side- the trio work fast, moments later Tordek is stabilised, five minutes later the dwarf is back on his feet.

The goblin chief is tied up, treated badly, and then interrogated- a minor Skill Challenge, soon enough he's singing like a canary and the only question the adventurers have for now is- where are the other dwarves that were sent in to the Hold? The goblin is forthcoming; it gives directions to a central area within the hold, the home it states to a bunch of crazy dwarf zealots. The goblin actually prefers the phrase- ‘religious nutters.’

Satisfied with the chief’s answer the adventurers take a good half-an-hour to beat the creature unconscious, and to within an inch of his life. They then tie the goblin up, as tight as they can, and wedge it- gagged, in to a sack. Tordek will carry the scurvy knave.

A search of the goblin's quarters turns up all manner of goodies, including a bunch of gems and coins, and better still a +1 Dagger (which Ragnarr takes), and a +1 Vicious Battleaxe (which Tordek grabs)- Fenchurch identifies the pair.

The adventurers take the time to carefully search about the area they have liberated, they find a wedged shut door- waterlogged, they figure a good shove will get it open; and in a different direction a corridor which seems to end in a very suspicious looking solid stone wall.

[sblock=The Map]

The fight takes place in area 1-12, the goblin chief and the wargs ran through from area 1-13 on the map (see below).

The sodden door described above is shown on the map above, the suspicious stone wall is at the end of the southern passage.​


Ragnarr takes another good hard look around the chambers, eventually he spots it- a hidden lever mechanism, the suspicious stone wall slides aside to reveal yet another passage. This is the direction the adventurers need to go- it fits with the goblin chief’s instructions.

The dwarves move out, and on…

Comment: Another Goodman Games special, it’s just oh so easy to make one encounter in to two in these modules.
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