So this last game my players had to clear out this place. The Temple of Unrelenting Despair. For some warrior women who live in the desert and are tough enough that the players, being men, have to prove themselves by killing tons of orcs and returning the kidnapped women therein.
It was a long game. A good game. But a long game.
The players killed some orcs, but those orcs were tough and they found themselves out of healing spells and so tried to hole up in a room to rest.
But then the orcs came. They killed them and tried again.
But then the orcs came again. This time the orcs broke Buxby the Dog's back and killed him. But the players still survived so they tried to rest again.
But the wandering monster rolls were cruel so this time some cultists came.
The PCs consist of (by order of how long they have managed to survive):
Locke the Human Ranger
Camilo the Human Assassin
Decanus the Halfling Druid
Boone the Human Thief
and Hector the Human Paladin.
At this point both of the major damage dealers, the Ranger and the Paladin, were unconscious.
So when a couple cultists came, Boone decided to pour lamp oil over the pile of bodies that had amassed before the door and light them when the cultists come.
But these are self-flagellating orc worshipers who claim to feel no pain and jump right through the fire, taking damage and one lights on fire.
The non-flaming cultist fights while his more combustible friend gives Decanus a nice warm bear hug. Decanus catches on fire but manages to hit the dying bastard in the crotch and throw him back into the flames. But Decanus is a Halfling, so with his dying act, the non-flaming cultist picks him up and throws him into the flames.
The PCs quickly dispatch the other cultist and pull Decanus out of the fire to smother the flame.
At this point Decanus has been on fire for about five rounds and has no healing spells. My personal rule is that magically healed wounds leave no mark, but those that heal naturally leave their marks.
Decanus now has serious burns, has lost half his inventory in the fire, and looks like a raisin.
The players decide its time to leave the dungeon.
So Boone picks up Hector, and Camilo picks up Locke, and Decanus, having lost all will to live, leads the exit.
"Just walk out?"
"In any particular way?"
"No, we just leave"
"Well, you're leaving. You come to this door."
"We go through it."
"Just like that? You're sure?"
"Yep, we just want to get out of here"
And they walk into the room beyond the entry hall. Twenty wide by fifteen feet long. Four cultists.
They win initiative and Boone bolts for the exit door, stopping there with it open for the others, who run at max speed far out the door, sharing Locke's weight.
Cultists' turn. Boone is down, dropping Hector unconscious from his shoulders.
Camilo asks "what should we do?" Decanus says "run" and grabs Locke's body.
Camilo says no and takes Locke's bow to shoot at the cultists.
Decanus grabs Locke's body and runs out of the dungeon.
Camilo has the advantage of range and manages to take down one cultist while backing up steadily. But the cultists catch up to him and he is down.
I take Boone, Hector, and Camilo into another room and do some math.
Turns out the cultists imprison 3 out of 7 prisoners in the Temple. Being generous, that's about 45%. So that's what I gave the players. Percentile roll. Boone succeeds, Camilo succeeds, Hector fails.
The orc leader comes by and says "take the big one for the sacrifice". Hector is killed.
The other two are thrown into the prison cell.
Decanus and Locke, not knowing the fate of the others, travel to see an old friend for help who is not home. The journey there and back will take them four days.
So Boone and Camilo are thrown into the room with the other male prisoners.
Day 1: The other prisoners are too terrified to even speak to the PCs.
Boone: "Well someone has to do something. I strangle a guy."
"Yes, I strangle someone."
"Well... he's too weak to really resist. You strangle him until he goes limp and dies."
"Okay, now I ask if anyone has something to start a fire."
"... You're all naked. Your stuff was taken. I told you that when you got here."
"... Do they have anything of value?"
"No. You just strangled a guy for no reason."
Boone's player went into fits of crazed laughter for about five minutes.
Day 2: There is a pounding on the door. All the prisoners cower against the back wall and try to shove each other forward. Camilo and Boone decide to hide.
An orc with two guards enters shouting "Which of you wants to be the sacrifice?" and grabs a famished prisoner and turns to see the players, who failed their hide checks.
"Well what have we here?" He tosses away the prisoner. "Now which one of you has volunteered himself?"
He pushes the two against opposite walls and takes one guard's spear.
Dropping it to the floor "Winner gets to live." Roll initiative.
Camilo wins initiative and grabs the spear. Boone shouts "don't kill me, man."
Camilo wins initiative again. "I don't want to kill you." "Don't kill me, man" Boone tries to grab the spear and fails.
Camilo wins again. "I don't want to kill you." Boone punches him in the face and knocks him out, since they were both at only 1 HP.
Camilo is sacrificed.
Day 3: When the knock comes this time, Boone is sure to press against the far wall and is not chosen.
Day 4: The other PCs come to rescue their friends and find only Boone remaining.
So now Hector's and Camilo's players play a half-orc (born of a captive from this very dungeon who escaped) and a human raised as brothers. A barbarian and assassin respectively. They came back for revenge on the Temple on the day I rolled randomly for them, which ended up being the same day that Decanus and Locke returned.
Then they killed lots of orcs and a tetzylwyrm to free the prisoners and lead the women out.
Where the Lillan warrior women were waiting for them and killed every rescued woman to save her from having to bear a half-orc abomination.
Two players dead, one horribly disfigured, and their dog killed.
In the end everyone agreed it was a great game.
Next up: the second Vessan Well
-Good luck and keep rolling.