Passionate about Fantasy and Science-Fiction worlds. Starting a series on RPG gaming sessions.
Before starting with the storytelling, I would like to clarify that this session is based on a version of D&D called "Vieja Escuela", a Spanish title that has simplified the basics of D&D games in order to set up easy sessions for beginners to introduce them to the world of Dungeons and Dragons. This edition is extremely useful, as it includes all that is needed to quickly prepare an enjoyable game, without being overwhelmed with the vast number of possible worlds this format allows. The rules of this game are available online and can be printed in English from the following link:
In this file, the rules for the world setting, the classes and races are described, and you will also find a sheet to be filled with the stats of your character. The information needed to fill all the gaps is included in the handbook. I will probably include a future post explaining these rules in more detail, but for now, this post will only include a story based in this system that could be used for a beginners session.
Dungeon Master's Notes: The Backstory
Your characters are part of a group of adventurers with a dangerous mission: to infiltrate into the Ogre's Forest and finish him. They have been hired by a near village called Portshine that has been putting up with the attacks of this creature, which goes to the village to feed himself by pillaging Portshine. This Ogre is not the only danger that awaits at the village, as they can also find giant spiders and hungry wolves.
The game starts once they have accepted the mission and they are buying the equipment in a nearby shop. They can also obtain more information from the shopkeeper, Pistil. Roll a 10-sided die (1d10) and see what you get:
- 1-2. At the east of the village, there is an old stoned dock. It was used in the past for river trading, but when the ogre installed in the forest, the boats stopped coming and it was abandoned. It is said that at night the moans of a spirit can be heard (False, it is only the wind)
- 3-4. There are giant spiders in the forest, so if you find webs around the forest you should look for another way. Many hunters and woodcutters have infiltrated inside the forest never came back (True).
- 5-6. If you need it you can stay at the woodcutter's cabin that is located at the south-west of the forest. There is always wood and blankets there (True).
- 7-8. The lake is dangerous, the waters devour all that dives into them (True in part, there are carnivorous seaweeds that grow in the deep).
- 9-10. At the south-western part, there is a strange stone in a forest glade. It is an enchanted place that is best to avoid (True).
The Ogre's Forest
It is an old forest, full of vegetation. Only the south-west extreme has seen at some time the axe of the woodcutters. The rest of the forest is savage and is the hunting place for the dire wolves. It is possible to avoid the hunting zones with a Survival test of HD 12. On the contrary, they will start to follow the group to try to surprise them at any time. The wolves are starving, so using fire will not work. The pack will take the risk in any way possible, so if they find them, the combat will be inevitable.
Direwolf: Level 0 (1d4 HP) Def 12, STR 10
The Forest Glade
At a day journey from the village, a giant menhir is standing at the centre of the glade, with incomprehensible marks carved in its surface. It looks like a peaceful place, maybe too peaceful. The wolves of the forest avoid this place, as well as the birds and rodents. Even the grass seems to grow greener than in the rest of the forest.
Everyone that gets inside the glade, as he gets closer to the stone will hear voices and whispers that seem to come from the monolith. Even if they try to focus on what those voices say, they will not understand them, as they seem to be in an old and forgotten language, but they seem rather attractive. Only with an instinct roll (CHA 12) will be able to save the character from touching the stone. Everyone that touches the stone will face the Gods fate. Roll a die 1d12 to know it:
- 1: The character becomes weak (-1d6 to CON)
- 2-3: His legs are consumed (-1d6 to Mov)
- 4-5: The character hears voices day and night (disadvantage in hearing perception)
- 6-7: Touched by the Gods (sum +1/-1 to all characteristics)
- 8-9: The character becomes stronger (an advantage in brute force rolls)
- 10-11: Talent "night vision" is acquired (the character can see normally at complete darkness)
- 12: The character gains magic sensitivity (double your Power points)
After the touch, they will wake up outside the glade, without remembering anything that happened. The menhir will disappear and they won't be able to find it again.
The River and the Lake
The river of this forest is especially abundant. Trying to cross it by swimming will need a STR HD 14 in order not to be carried by the flow. It is possible to cross it with two successful rolls, but for every failure, Instincts (CON 14) must be rolled, or lose 1d6 points of life due to the stress. It is possible to find a bridge with Survival HD 14 but this leads to the Spider Forest.
They can also try to cross the lake, but there is a strange sign that reads: "it is not a good idea to disturb the water". This advice has some basis, as at the bottom of the lake, dangerous seaweed is awaiting for their preys.
Seaweed. Level 2 (1HP + Prey) STR. Each assault will need a WIS HD 11 in order to keep calm or otherwise be submerged, swallowing a lot of water (1d4).
Easily trackable when you are close, due to the sickening smell that impregnates the air. There are bones and animal remains all around the hill, and a giant cave with sufficient space to host an ogre. There are ogre footsteps all around the hill. With an Erudition roll CD 11, they can find out that despite the cave entrance looks like it, the appearance is only a mere façade. In reality, it is a camouflaged entrance. It may be related to the ruins that can be foreseen at the top of the hill, which are only 4 walls which in the past formed a tower. The upper levels had fallen and were at the south side of the hill. The interior of this structure is full of rubble, but with an Alert roll HD 12 you can find a trap door half-covered by the rocks. With a roll of STR HD 14 the rubble can be moved and the trap door can be accessed so as to slip through it with a DEX HD 11. Once inside, stone stairs can be found, going inside the darkness.
This creature lives in the cave of the hill and has not repaired the secret door that communicates with the basement of the tower, and therefore does not know the existence of those rooms and corridors, He has dug out the cave to enlarge it, which can be distinguished as a much more rough work. Inside the cave, he has a huge wooden club and a sack with 6d6 coins, as well as the same quantity of precious objects.
The ogre sleeps at night in the cave, profoundly snoring, although with light sleep. It is necessary a roll of Subterfuge HD 12 in order to move through the gravel and rocks without waking him up. During daylight, he wanders around the forest hunting, coming to the cave now and then. He will come back with a result of 18-20 in a d20 die rolled every half-hour. If he comes back and detects the intruders, he will not stop until he captures and devours them. If they finish him and take his head to Portshine they will be able to collect a substantial sum of money.
Ogre. Level 4 (1d8+1 HP) Def 14.