The party uses the newly discovered entrance and scouts the area. The characters find a deep pit trap and are attacked by a huge insectoid creature living in it. One of the party's rogues kills it with a poisonous arrow. Next, a party of masked strangers accompanied by two zombies appears. The mysterious strangers talk about their plans to attack the Acolytes of Orcus - and who the hell is that?? - deeper in the Barrowmaze. The two parties decide to join forces. Even though the characters are betrayed and attacked almost immediately they manage to dispatch the strangers easily.
- I had rolled up the thing in the pit several evenings ago and had been expecting a massacre ever since. However, the party never ventured down that particular corridor until this session. KT's gut instinct (and good memory perhaps - NPCs had described a man being dragged off into that corridor) and HM's poisonous arrow saved everyone's ass. KT has since pointed out that he was merely roleplaying: He wanted to portray his character's superstitiousness and chose a random corridor to fuss over (rather than holding up the game by doing this all the time). =) =) =)
- I like how the deadliness cuts both ways: Monsters have to save or die, too (or can be ripped apart by a lucky crit).
- I gave the players some glimpses about things going on behind-the-screen: I noted that the insectoid creature had been a dangerous monster but that I had rolled no treasure for it whatsoever. Sorry guys!
- I resisted the impulse to comment on the strangers' tactics despite my players' curiosity. The players judged the strangers' tactics ineffective and were wondering what was up with that.
- The party has begun to employ scouting tactics. To my surprise, HM seemed not at all concerned when his rogue sneaked up on two giant scorpions by himself. He was bent on how to kill them rather than afraid for his life.
In a nutshellA tense session, especially from my perspective.