ROWENA'S WEDDING: SESSION 12 RECAP OF MY BASIC D&D CAMPAIGN

Missing is the other dad player, who is
taking the photo. If only there were more snacks. 
A few months ago back in in November 2021, we held the 12th session of the Basic D&D campaign I'm DM'ing for my 12 year-old daughter and her friends. I'm using the old 1980 module B2: Keep on the Borderlands as the basis for the campaign so far, and sessions usually revolve around meeting with NPCs at the Keep who provide rumors and missions, and traveling to the nearby Caves of Chaos to retrieve magic items for the Witch or to hunt down brigands who have been attacking caravans of supplies headed to and from the Keep. 

Occasionally, other quests or missions come up unrelated to the module's structure, but I blend them in so it's all consistent. Such was the case with last session, a horror-themed adventure in honor of the Halloween time period during which we played the game. The following session, the subject of this recap, was another one that isn't part of the module but which fit in with things that had happened in the past. 

A page from my DM's notebook. This is
where I transfer my handwritten scribbled
notes to make it easier to run the session.
I've been asking the players, mostly 11 to 12 year-old girls (and one dad) to take turns writing the recaps in the voices of their characters, like a journal entry. Today's recap is by "Z" who plays a character named "Greta the Wanderer," a fighter PC I created for this girl when she decided to join our campaign. Greta is wanted for a murder she claims she didn't commit, and it's been a bane to her character's existence as she's had to dodge bounty hunters and hide her visage due to wanted posters of her posted all around the Keep. 

For more information on our previous adventures: 

  • Influences: Some of the Weird Fantasy Tropes I'll be using in this campaign 
  • Sessions 0 and 1: Leaving the Village, the Bone Road & Capture by Goblins
  • Session 3: Escape from the Goblin Caves
  • Session 4: The Goblin Cave Exit and the Return to the Keep
  • Session 5: The Keep and the Creeper Lair
  • Session 6: The Creeper Lair, Part 2
  • Session 7: Conversations at the Keep
  • Session 8: Return to the Caves of Chaos
  • Session 9: The Orc Lair 
  • Session 10: Return to the Goblin Caves! 
  • Session 11: Tower of the Time Thief
  • Thoughts on Playing D&D with TweensUp first is a very short recap by me, followed by a longer detailed recap as though written by Greta. 

Hand-written planning notes. This is based
on me asking the players at the end of the
previous session, "What do you want to
do next time?"
SESSION 12 SHORT RECAP (by Martin)
It's been 10 days since the Shadow Hunters killed the zombie Night Sister and her undead baby abomination and returned time to its proper course. At the Greased Goat Tavern, the Shadow Hunters learned that a rival adventurer's group, the Executioners, had been taking credit for their deeds. They also witnessed preparations for the Wedding Parade for Rowena, daughter of the Castellan, who has been betrothed to Leopold, son of Baron von Hammerstein of Lower Oldenstein. After the parade, her coach departed, and the Shadow Hunters headed off toward the Caves of Chaos to retrieve a lost pair of elven boots belonging to the Witch. 

On the way to the Caves, the Shadow Hunters came across Rowena's crashed coach and a few wounded guards who said they'd been attacked by bandits who kidnapped Rowena and her dowry and ran off into the forest. The guards begged the Shadow Hunters to track down and rescue Rowena and the dowry. 

The Shadow Hunters eventually found the bandit camp, but rescuing Rowena turned out to be a lot more difficult and mysterious than they imagined. 

I always take the recaps and
format them to look like an
antique journal
SESSION 12 FULL RECAP (by "Z" in the voice of Greta the Wanderer)

The Shadow Hunters and I were chatting with Vasilov who was training his bear for the new parade. I have heard around that this parade was for the Castellan's daughter, Rowena, and Leopold, the son of Baron von Hammerstein. The parade was happening tomorrow in celebration of Rowena’s and Leopold’s marriage. Curphew Murphy, a friend of Rowena’s, was having a talk with Augustus and mentioned that she was worried because Rowena was acting strange.  

Walking to the Greased Goat Tavern we heard many people cheering and yelling for an adventuring group called the Executioners. The Executioners have gotten all the glory for saving the town from the Purging. This got me mad. We had almost died saving the town from the Purging and they were getting all the glory.  

Looking around in the Tavern we saw one of our members, Gruumsh. I had never seen him cry and I would have never imagined him to. He was a tough dwarf with a huge axe. Later, the three elves were called to the witch’s tower where they were “employed” a few days ago. They spent a long time in there. We were waiting outside forever. I was about to fall asleep. None of the elves told us what happened or what they did in there. They came out of the tower with long and tired faces.  

We decided to stay for their parade, and they were offering cakes and pastries with the Castellan’s and Baron’s symbols on them. Commemorative kerchiefs and pennants were also provided. There were also musicians, singers, and acrobats. The parade was boring except for the acrobats doing flips and spins in the air. It was magical.  Rowena’s coach took off and we decided to head to the caves soon after. On the way there We saw a bandit attack on Rowena’s coach which was lying on its side. The bandits ran off at the sight of us and as we approached, we saw they had taken Rowena and the dowry, killing many guards.  

It was raining hard now. This made it hard to follow them. The gloomy sky and the rain spattering against the dirt was making me tired. In the pouring rain Cora led us to their camp. We were on the borders of the camp, hiding in the bushes. Their camp was beautiful. It looked like a magical forest with hanging vines and overgrown bushes and trees everywhere. We stalked a group in a bright lit room who were playing card games and were drinking hard. Augustus shot her crossbow and distracted them by laying holes in the walls. Me and the others were at the door and the elves had heard the secret knock to get in. They opened the door for us, and they were taken by surprise, and we Quickly knocked the guards out.  

Me, and the others signaled Augustus it was clear, and she hurried out at the sight of border guards.  

We made it across into a new part of the camp. We could hear bandits celebrating, drinking, gambling, and singing. We took the right side first. We opened the door and surprisingly it was the Lady’s maiden. We promised to take her when we were finished and got out. We burst through the door taking them by surprise. A huge fight broke out and as one of the bandits tried to hit us, he tripped and knocked a roasting rabbit off of the pit. The fire got onto furniture and then started burning. A huge fire burst into huge flames and barrels filled with unknown materials caught fire and started to explode. Then the bandit leader finally showed up. He started shooting cross bolts at the party. Both Cora and Claira decided to rush up there. We were having a hard time breathing at the bottom. With all of the smoke and barrels bursting it was getting hard to see. A barrel burst in front of me and then, I was unconscious.

[End]
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That's the end of Z's recap, as her character was knocked unconscious. What she didn't see was Rowena stabbing one of Greta's party members with a poisoned blade, then jumping out a window into the river below, along with the bandit leader, a name known as Angus the Black...

After this session, we didn't play again until February due to the holidays and the various schedules of all the families involved. 


Hanging: Home office (laptop)
Drinking: Tap water
Listening: "Take the L Train" by Brooklyn Funk Essentials, from the album "Cool and Steady and Easy"

Comments

  1. I like the little character details, like how Greta finds parades boring, but has a soft spot for acrobats. Little bits of personality that have nothing to do with the numbers on the sheet. In my opinion, this is Doing It Right. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Kelvin! I will tell the player! This is sadly written by one of the two sisters who recently moved, but I know she'll appreciate hearing the feedback anyway. Cheers!

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