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2012-05-30 Bottomless Pit

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Yesterday’s Labyrinth Lord game took place in the Barrowmaze. The party had tracked Nualia (from Rise of the Runelords vol. 1) to her father Kallic (a necromancer of Set in the Barrowmaze). They had tricked Daksin (the drunken mayor of Kerealia in the Sea of Five Winds region of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy) to get the various factions to fight each other. And since the party had thought of everything, it all turned to bloodshed in room 110, and in the end, they shot the surviving necromancer with some crossbow bolts. So far so good.

As they pursue Nualia, the cleric holding the Cup of Arden (a magic item adapted from the Coils of Set adventure) fell into a pit. Roll… a bottomless pit!

Hm. Quick thinking is required! Here’s what I knew:

  1. one of the other player characters is interested in the dead elven god Arden
  2. the elves are one of the campaign themes
  3. the dead god is obviously in the Astral Sea and his corpse has been settled by githyanki
  4. they are interested in new followers of the dead god, which is why they have been sending this player character dreams and visions (a typical example of how my campaigns are slowly influenced by the interests of player characters)

Ok, so I decide that the bottomless pit connects to the Astral Sea. In the Astral Sea, time passes differently. The body does not age, does not hunger, does not thirst. No problem. I just tell the player that his character is falling and keeps on falling. The other players make long faces. I tell them that the darkness in this pit is limitless. No light and no sound escapes it. Stunned silence. A player character gone because he rolled a 1 or 2 on a d6.

I think this is a cool idea to tie the interests of the character who is interested in Arden into the rescue of the character that has fallen into the Astral Sea.

But I wasn’t prepared for my players! The other player character—the one who is interested in Arden—sees the Cup of Arden disappear into the pit and decides that he wants to be thrown into the pit! He demands it! The hireling carrying him refuses, however. You must understand that this player character lost his shield arm, one of his legs (wearing an elven prosthetic leg instead) and he recently got his other leg broken. Truly, Death and Dismemberment. His hireling refuses to do the job, but this cripple rolls and crawls towards the pit and throws himself into it. He wants to recover the Cup of Arden!

I am stunned. Hilarity ensues. “I am going to found a new sect. We will call ourselves Throwers, throwing ourselves into every pit, ever!”

Ok, roll with it, I think to myself. I tell the first character that he can pray for a divine intervention of Freya. Based on his reputation with his god and his golden holy symbol there is a 3% chance of the goddess intervening. She does not. The other character has had to deal with a 0% chance because he had picked to follow a dead god. I announce that in the Astral Sea, there is a 10% chance of a divine intervention. The player is overjoyed. “I will never leave this place! I feel so close to Arden!” The players laugh so hard they have tears in their eyes. But Arden does not intervene.

The end of the session approaches. I announce that from now on, at the beginning of every session they could roll a single d6. If it came up with a 1, “something” would happen. Until then, the two characters would fly through an eternal darkness, separated by fifty meters of nothingness.

Happy faces all around. I think I really like how this campaign is going!

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