This is a play test of a campaign written for The Black Hack by Simon Forster. The Black Hack is a set of OSR rules by David Black. I have used The Black Hack to run my own fantasy campaign, The Chronicles Of The Latter Days Of Yarth and my group is familiar with the rules.
Because this is a play test document I will be including my thoughts on the adventure design as well as a narrative of play, this will necessarily involve SPOILERS. Please bear this in mind if you hope to play this adventure yourself.
Session 11: Necropolis
Our heroes left the Devil's office for the last time and found themselves in a valley filled with graves and mausoleums. Ahead of them, in the distance, a shaft of light rose into the sky. Felling drawn to this light our heroes struck out towards it.
Our heroes did their best to move quietly between the graves so as not to disturb the dead. All except Remuz, that is, who didn't seem too bothered.
Before long groups of shambling, stooped figures started to emerge from the shadows and converge on the wizard.
As they closed in apparently hungry for human flesh Remuz destroyed the first wave with a cloud kill spell and the rest withdrew to watch and wait.
Ghouls. Lots of them but they're only 3HD creatures so they didn't stand a chance.
Everyone except Remuz succeeded in the required DEX rolls to move silently through the graves so, unfortunately for the ghouls, he became their focus.
A little further on the Ghoul King emerged from a mausoleum and greeted the party politely.
He and Remuz came to an agreement. In return for the gift of a silver skull ring offered by Remuz the Ghoul King would allow our heroes safe passage through his realm.
Both he and Remuz knew this was a face-saving ploy to avoid the very real possibility that the Ghoul King could find himself with no subjects very quickly.
With the protocols observed the party moved on.
Nobody wanted to fight. Nobody wanted to hang around either. The players just wanted to get to the light and exit the necropolis.
There is a loot table provided for the contents of the countless tombs but my players didn't even consider the option.
There are also some other creatures that can bother the player characters but they're equally weak and uninteresting so, although I had them ready to go, we didn't bother.
There are some cultists, they were ignored and some gravediggers ready for a chat, who were ignored too.
Our heroes paused briefly in their march to look inside a cenotaph where they found their own names inscribed amongst a roll of the dead but this didn't interest them for long and they soon resumed their journey.
Eventually they reached the column of light without mishap and stepped into it, disappearing forever from this strange land and appearing...
Who know where?
Well, that was that. Not much interest or challenge for this final level. A real let down in fact. This was as uninteresting as the maze level with the added negative impact of a complete lack of originality in the occupants and encounters.
My players had zero interest in stopping to investigate anything on offer because all the encounters were so obvious in what they were going to contain.
Ghouls? That'll be a one-sided fight.
Ghoul King? That'll be a one-sided fight but at least he's intelligent so we can talk him out of committing suicide.
Cultists sacrificing someone? That'll be a one-sided fight and nobody wanted another follower.
Gravediggers? Whatever, moving on.
Tombs? Why bother?
I spent longer getting the miniatures and scenery ready for the game than we took to play through it.
Ending the campaign in the Devil's office would have been a better option I think.