With Viking content - I DMed my "Vikings of Dvergrholm" campaign yesterday after a month long hiatus. The PCs (and 1 NPC) left the Dwarven village of Nordlund and headed out towards the ancient Dwarven fortress (mega-dungeon) that they are supposed to be liberating as the focus of this campaign. The entire thing almost got sidelined when they got a random encounter with a pack of wolves, that's a tough encounter for a first level party and there were nine wolves encountered. The wolves also won initiative and attacked on the first round, taking down two of the party's Fighters, although this is an almost entirely Fighter based party, so pretty much no matter who got hit it was likely to be a Fighter. Viking Campaign Sourcebook rules in effect limited choices and the only Magic-User in the party had already died in the first outing. Nobody else wanted to play a Magic-User because they were limited in their spell selection by school. They beat the encounter ultimately though and then had to turn back for town, empty handed, to heal up and try again later.
The second go was much easier. They had no random encounters on the way to the dungeon and didn't get lost or stumble across any planned encounters. When confronted with the choice of three identical entrances though, they chose the one on the left, because they didn't think to ask the Dwarves for anything more than directions and these Dwarves don't really volunteer a lot of information; so, of course, it was one of the two trapped entrances, but not the worst. In fact, you might not consider it a trap at all under different circumstances, but it did lock them in the dungeon with no way back out (they don't have a Thief to pick the locks, or any excavation tools), and the only way forward took them to the third level of the dungeon.
Once they got down to the third level they discovered that their entrance was in the back of a tiny room and it was a secret door on the dungeon side, so it's really more like a secret escape tunnel from the third level to the surface, but it unfortunately locks automatically when the doors close and the doors close when the next door is opened, if you haven't already manually closed them or made some provision to jam them open. Anyway, they left their tiny room and entered the dungeon proper and immediately got a random encounter with five Ogres, which you would think would have smeared a first level party, but in a 10'x10' corridor they could channelize the Ogre's approach and only one at a time could move to attack. The party easily used superior tactics to defeat the Ogres and the Ogres refused to fail morale checks, and thus kept coming on to the slaughter. All five were dead in three rounds of combat, but Mona's character Grimhild did crit the leader on round one for 23 points of damage, one-shotting him after he missed her. Two rounds later, she did the same thing again to the last one.
We wrapped up the session after that, we had started late and ended a little earlier than usual, but it was a pretty good time and we had a ton of awesome food to go with our game too. Maybe I should get a picture of the food Mona makes for the game sometime?
Anyway, in other Viking news, I hope to announce the winners of the OPD contest I ran last month tomorrow. I am waiting to hear the results from a couple of judges still, then I'll tally up the points and declare the winners. Good luck to everyone, and thanks to everyone who participated.
I also got this stuff on EBay, just to use as inspiration for my Viking campaign, I don't remember if I shared the pics with you all-
Now, something related to the Mongols just to keep my theme for the month. Did you all know that Genghis Khan invented the concept of diplomatic immunity? The Mongol Empire also strictly adhered to a practice of religious freedom and tolerance.