The 4 adventurers pause in the tunnel entrance. "Are you sure they came this way?" asks Jozan, the party's Cleric. Lidda looks at him curiously. "You mean you can't smell goblin in this cave?" The party have tracked a goblin band from the town of Holbrook to this cave at the edge of a forest. They are trying to discover what had happened to the Sherrif of Holbrook, and maybe to find some treasure on the way.
Mialee the elven wizard mutters a short incantation, and a globe of light appears above her. The 4 adventurers see a door set in to a rough stone wall, with goblinoid tracks leading to it plainly visible in the filth on the floor. "I guess that solves that question", she says, and moves forward to examine the door. Lidda races in front of her to check the area for traps. Mialee's recklessness has gotten her into trouble before. The adventurers form up near the door, and ready their weapons and equipment. They know the goblins are in here somewhere.
Redgar pushes the door open abruptly and steps in to the room, hoping to surprise any occupants. He's big man, and his scale armour makes him look enormous to the startled goblin standing just inside the room. The goblin panics and swipes wildly with its club, catching Redgar on the shoulder and knocking him back into Mialee and Jozan. The heroes can't all get through the doorway to get a shot at the goblin, who quickly recovers from his surprise. Jozan and Mialee try to get past Redgar to get their missile weapons in to play, while Redgar's sword misses the dancing goblin by a hair. Lidda sneaks forward, her halfling size preventing the goblin from noticing, and stabs the foul creature in the back. While the wounded goblin tries to turn to see who's behind him, Mialee finally gets her bow into action, sending a feathered shaft streaking past the goblin's ear.
Overwhelmed, the goblin sentry tries to retreat to find some of his friends. As he's running Jozan's quarrel finds him, and he crashes to the floor dead. Redgar's heavy breathing is the only sound in the room. His armour is dented in at the shoulder, and he's lucky to have no broken bones. "Fortunately it's not my sword arm" he quips, and asks Lidda to check for traps in the rest of the room. The party rest while Lidda walks carefully through the room. "Over here, a door!" comes her voice and the party move towards a previously unnoticed door. Remembering what awaited them last time, they check their weapons then let Lidda open the door. Her small size will let everyone else push past her if they need to.
Lidda steps out into an empty room. Some ancient columns against one wall suggest that this was once more than a simple cave. Mialee's light pierces into the gloom, and Lidda starts checking for traps. She notices some chests along the left hand wall, and concentration broken she wanders off towards them. The rest of the party shrug, then follow her. Lidda finds a bark skin cloak in the first chest which she puts on immediately. She's about to snatch the greater restoration potion from the next chest as well when Jozan grabs it, and holds it out of her reach. "Don't be greedy, little one!" he chuckles, and throws it to Redgar, who tucks it into his back pack. Jozan completes his circuit of the walls, and points to the door to the next room. "I'm sure I heard something through there." he says. Lidda looks at him and sniffs. In the month she's known him, the cleric hasn't shown any aptitude at spotting, smelling or hearing danger. To prove him wrong, she opens the door and steps through.
Two goblins look up from their game of knucklebones in surprise. Redgar and Mialee charge through the door to try and rescue Lidda, and the goblins turn and run. They race down the long room, and duck behind a corner. Unfortunately there's only room for one to hide, and Mialee's magic missile takes the other in the ribs. Jozan feathers the wounded goblin with his crossbow, and Redgar charges forward.
The goblins decide to turn and fight, and rush out to meet Redgar. Before the wounded one can reach Redgar it is cut down by an arrow from Mialee's bow. Redgar moves to meet the other head on, and a furious melee begins. The other adventurers try and get around Redgar to shoot at the goblin as it savagely attacks him, managing to score a couple of nasty but not life threatening wounds on the brave fighter. Eventually the goblin succumbs to the adventurers attacks, and the party is free to look around the room. Lidda finds some treasure chests where the goblins attempted to hide, and carefully opens them to find a couple of potions, including a potion of Olidammara's Hindsight, which prevents traps from having an effect. "Very useful" she murmurs as she tucks them into her belt pouch.
A door leads north from this room and the weary adventurers gather around. This time Lidda listens carefully, but no sound comse from the other side. She pushes the door open, and steps through, stopping abruptly as her eyes make out an irregular shape on the floor. "Trap!" she hisses to the rest of the party. Everyone freezes in place, and Lidda slowly venturers forward, checking for more hidden surprises. She finds 2 more uneven flagstones in the floor towards the middle of the room. The party hugs the walls as it makes its way to a door in the eastern wall. Lidda joins them at the door, again listening carefully. No noise come from the next room, so she pushes the door open.
The adventurers see 3 goblins waiting for them. Sounds of the last battle have alerted them to the intruders in their lair. Redgar yells a battle cry and steps forward to attack, blocking the doorway for the other adventurers. Mialee fires a magic missile past him, to no effect and squeezes into the room, where a goblin takes a swipe at her with its club. Jozan also pushes past Redgar as a goblin catches the burly fighter in the ribs with a lucky swing. Jozan finds himself too close to a goblin to get off a shot with his crossbow, but manages to parry the slimy creature's club. Redgar reels as the goblin he's facing hits him again, but his sword cuts deeply into the goblins arm, and Mialee dispatches him with a magic missile. Mialee's shimmering magic armour abruptly vanishes, and the remaining goblins try and attack her while Redgar attempts to distract them. Jozan stumbles into a chest hidden in the gloom and opens it, releasing a magic spell. The recently deceased goblin stands up and charges the amazed cleric.
Lidda flits past the battle into the middle of the room, drawn by the treasure she can see against the far wall. The goblins ignore her, intent on chasing the now unarmoured Mialee across the room. They catch her, and to Lidda's horror their swinging clubs bring down the graceful elven mage. Redgar is swaying now from blood loss, but manages to wound another goblin before a club catches him in the helmet, killing him. Jozan crouches by his side, praying for his friend and miraculously Redgar stirs. The cleric fires his crossbow at a woounded goblin, trying to keep them away from his fallen comrades, while Lidda raids the treasure chests, searching for a weapon to help her friends.
Redgar lurches to his feet and dispatches a goblin with his sword, then kneels next to Mialee and pours his greater restoration potion into Mialee's mouth. She coughs and splutters, then sits up. Jozan tries to get some distance between him and the 2 remaining goblins so he can use his crossbow. Lidda's hand closes on the hilt of a longsword, which she throws to Redgar, who swings and decapitates a goblin. The last goblin grimaces, and hacks at Mialee, wounding her. "You'll be sorry, boss will get you!" he snarls, before the cleric's crossbow ends his life.
Mialee's hands start to shake violently as the tension of the battle lifts. "I was... I was dead." she murmurs, staring at the blood on her hands. Jozan comforts her as best he can, knowing that the glimpse of her mortality will be a big shock for the normally laid back elf. Lidda finishes raiding the chests, distributing a mace to Jozan and a new bow to Mialee. "What I want to know is, where's the Sherrif, and what did that goblin mean by the boss?"
This was my first game, played over a lunch hour. It was quite enjoyable, a very easy game to pick up and play so I'm sure it will get more table time. We were learning tactics as we went along, and I quickly found out that my goblins could push up close to missile armed heroes, which forced them to move before they could attack me. With the rules of the game (no diagonal movement or melee attack) you can force the other player to move about a lot, which reduces the number of attacks they can make a turn from 2 to 1.
There's no range modifiers in the game - goblins should not try and run from missile armed opponents as they will pick you off at leisure! Try and get close enough to melee instead. Goblins have a good attack, you just need to get them close and use it. If you can get Mialee to use magic missile enough that her armour degrades she's an easy target - but repeated attacks will bring down any hero.
All in all, a pretty fun game! I'm looking forward to the second level 1 adventure.