Saturday, May 20, 2017

Play Report: Tomb of the Serpent Kings

I decided to do a one-shot of Skerples' (of Coins and Scrolls) trainer dungeon for a couple of friends. Both of them died, and both of them had a lot of fun. Neither had much experience with RPGs in general, much less OSR style play (and to be honest my familiarity with the latter has long been more academic than practical), so it was a learning experience for us all.
For ease of reference, the players were A (a witch, as from Phantom Seas), and J (a mutant, as from Ruination of the Dust Princess). The setup was nothing special. Witch and her horrible mutant assistant digging around in desert tombs for ancient loot and lore.
Some notes.
  • The 1d100 list of OSR classes I bundled together from across the blogosphere was a great idea.
  • By some good luck of the dice, both A and J managed to avoid the hammer-door trap.
  • Both of them were very wary about traps, even in the early rooms before said hammer-door trap. On the second level, they flat-out avoided rooms that they could potentially enter (and thus missed out on a lot of loot)
  • They did not put on the sorcerer's ring at all, and pawned it off in town.
  • Both of them fled from the dungeon immediately after waking the snake king. For this, I had the king wander into the town at night to feast upon the living. (Though they did not find this out by night two).
  • I used Ten Foot Polemic’s familiar rules, so when A died (one hit from one of the snake brides, ripped her throat out) her familiar imploded into a Summon spell, resulting in a horrible mushroom creature with beautiful lady arms and perfectly manicured nails. This was her character for the rest of the session.
  • We ended with ambushing the serpent king skeleton as it stumbled into town. J, weakened by providing most of the combat for the session, died. A tackled the fleeing skeleton to the ground and finished it off with her perfectly manicured nails.
  • We end with the horrible mushroom thing from between the stars shuffling off into the cold desert night, alone.
I’m definitely going to try running this again with different groups, to see how reactions match up, especially with more experienced players. My two neophytes were very cautious, but in the way that was more about avoiding the dangers entirely than coming up with ways to get around them. I'm sure the lessons will sink in with time (there was a wonderful spark upon realizing that crowbars are incredibly useful)
Definitely a good intro adventure for players, and a good brush-up for DMs.


  1. I've actually been considering running this with GLOG. After seeing your experience and reading Skerples' stuff, I think this is going to be the next thing I run.

    1. I'm going to be running through it again with a different group this weekend, so a second installment is on the way.