A student in a mages' school who got sick of slow pace of learning. She wanted true power, not to start with controlling some light balls. So she left to pursue eldrich knowledge on her own. Unfortunately she was killed by a wild animal during her journey. But death is not the end, and now she is forsaken...
The Mini Manor: Faces Without Screams
(You can get this adventure from RPGNow for free. I'm a lucky SOB for owning a print copy of it! +Tim Shorts is one of my favorite adventure writer and I highly recommend his stuff!
DISCLAIMER: This post will include spoilers of aforementioned adventure! I made some minor changes during the play, though.
Shackled, naked, a big guy cutting up faces of other chained persons. Nameless removes a sharp bone from severed foot waiting for the big guy to get closer. Then she attacks. She only deals one point of damage, but wins initiative attacking again again and dealing 4 more points of damage (exploding dice). Big guy misses critically and slips on bloody floor missing his next round. Nameless stabs the guy on neck killing him and taking the key. Then unshackles herself and opens the door to a corridor...
Slowly proceeding she passes the first crossing pushing forward, until she finds a dead corpse wearing a leather armor and a short sword leaning against the wall (random encounter, actuall). The corpse is rotting and bloated and in his cut wounds awful maggots roam. Nameless is considering should she take the armor and the sword, as they are on corpse slime, but decides to cover her naked body with some kind of a protection...
She passes the next opening to the right but decides to check out the following to the right. Behind a corner there is a beastly man chained on the wall; he is covered with spikes, and he growls animalisticly and madly at Nameless. Luckily the shackle restrains the spiked man-beast from making contact to Nameless, who decides to withdraw back to the main corridor.
In the end of the main corridor there is a door, barred from this side. As Nameless approaches it, she feels how air gets chilly and she can see her breath. Lifting the boards, she hears whispers behind her but no one's there. Determined she enters the room...
A desk with two candles and a chair, nothing more. She goes to the desk ready to search it, finding a parchment on it. She reads it - "Welcome" - and the door shuts in before her. And a face appears and whispers get really loud. She ignores the face, saves versus the whispers few times (failing once and losing one point of Wisdom) and searched the room to find a new placing on the wall. She broke it with the pommer of her newly found short sword to discover a hidden Soul Dunjon. The soul dunjon is a vessel with prisoned souls. Mages use these kind of "batteries" for eldrich purposes. But undead and forsaken like Nameless could use it to power herself (edible soul experience). Away from the room and back to the corridor.
Nameless doesn't want to go back to where spiked man was so she decides to go to the corridor next to it. In the end she finds a door of hundreds of faces. As she touches it she feels pain, but bears it (save successful), and the faces start to move. Inside is an empty huge room where a corridor leads onwards.
This corridor has a metal veil preventing the spirits to venture any further. After the veil is a red carpet leading into a big room. In the middle of this big room there is a comely man wearing a dress (originally a female, but for a female player I switched gender). He invites Nameless to step further, but she dithers. Man shows off his gown made out of faces stitched together, all faces blink and open their mouths without a sound. Then man winks and hows Nameless' own face sewed on the gown! And Nameless touches her face, but there is only bone and muscles and soft tissue, not faces of her!
Man declares, that even though Nameless is interesting and all, it would not be fair to other victims of him if Nameless didn't also die. So he attacks. But Nameless initiative kick ass and she stabs her shortsword deep int the guts of the protagonist (great roll, great exploding damage worth of 15 points). In pain man blasts magic missile at Nameless, who jerks the sword deeper. Second magic missile doesn't stop her either! But neither Nameless can kill her opponent yet. Man casts hold person, keeps a speech and finally slays Nameless breaking her forsaken neck.
Next time it will be Pamphlet 1: Fields Of Forsaken (PWYW PDF and PRINT)! And maybe Nameless will get a name, too!
The rules worked extremely well! Swords & Wizardry combat action is so smooth (well damn, Dungeons & Dragons combat system) and fun and fast and quick. We used Lamentations Of The Flame Princess playtest document saves, which in spite of my doubts worked very well. Full success, half success and failure are actually very intuative using dicepool system: Wisdom for all saves and Charisma for magic saves, attribute score determines dicepool of d6s. Roll two sixes and you success, one for half success, zero for failed save. Quite nice!