The first session of DF Whiterock was April 27, 2018, so we're just over a year in. We've managed to play 47 times in 53 weeks, or about 89% of the time.
So far, 9 players and 10 player characters have entered the Castle. (One other player made a PC but didn't play.) We've only had one PC fatality, Holly the elf archer, who charged a bit too bravely into the teeth of multiple crossbow orcs while not wearing armor. She was replaced by her sister Polly, who has somehow managed to survive. We've had a stable group of 5 players and PCs for the last 26 sessions.
The original group of PCs started at 150 points, plus -25 points of disadvantages, -5 points of quirks, a bonus -5 point Sense of Duty: Adventuring Companions, and a free language at Accented. PCs who joined later have been given a few extra points; we've seen PCs start at 160, 170, and 180 points.
The current five PCs have 378, 361, 360, 344, and 298 character points. These correspond almost entirely to participation: the PCs that have survived the longest and participated the most have the most points. Of the five active PCs, two started in the first session, one started in the second session, one in the eighth, and one in the fourteenth.
The following PC races have entered the dungeon: three wood elves, two humans, two dwarves, one high elf, one half-orc, and one gnome.
The following levels and sub-levels of Castle Whiterock have been at least partially explored: the castle, the upper orcish mines, the lower orcish mines, the cloud giant tower, the upper troglodyte caves, the Clockwork Academy, the lower troglodyte caves, the ruined chapel, the lich's library, the underground river level, the hidden fane, the huge cave, and the black pyramid. There are probably some more levels that the PCs haven't found yet.
In addition, there have been many hikes and a few flights between Cillamar and Castle Whiterock, a trip to the capital Galaron, and a side trip to the elvish wizard town Mystenmere.
The most commonly encountered NPCs in the campaign so far have been the mysterious innkeeper and sorceress Lady Chauntessa and her shoulder dragon Ixnay; the aged alchemist Quintus and his apprentice Lyssa and her cat Dodger; the mercenary Hugin; the gnomish siblings Katanya and Findle Glimer; and the noble, artist, and clothes horse Lord Flitwick. All except Flitwick (with whom the party had a falling out over the ownership of some drawings they commissioned) are mostly friendly.
The most impressive enemies defeated so far are the orc chief Kaernga; the half cloud giant, half orc cleric Drugila; the half-dragon half-troglodyte priest Benthoc; the baby red dragon Cinderalis; the huge toadspawn mountain troglodyte Sossank; the elite ghast priest Most Bloated Muthren; the minyad druidess and fungus farmer Vulgaris (who was spared and turned into an ally); the aboleth wizard Acenthus; The Wight Lady; a huge clay golem; a sand devil; the mummy bard Nef'meruti; and the true mummy lord Anhkhotep. There were some other enemies that were intended to be impressive but went down way too easily, like a huge gelatinous cube. And some enemies that weren't intended to be that tough but were, like orc crossbowmen and gnomish lancers and random swarms.
The most terrifying non-enemy met so far is the lich librarian Lorus, who most of the party are quite committed to not messing with, but Elias really wants to kill.
The most interesting magic items found so far are a Ring of Water Breathing and Create Water, a pearly spear that returns to its thrower and can be activated for Great Haste, a reed flute that can be activated to Fascinate, Concuss, or Cause Sonic Pain, and a silver intelligent rapier named Charithmysis, The Bard Blade who thinks none of the PCs are worthy of wielding it or knowing its exact powers.
The current group of PCs mostly operates as a team and has a pretty solid division of labor. Seépravir the wizard casts buff spells (Dark Vision, Great Haste, Flight, Alertness, Lighten, Invisibility, etc.) on the others and occasionally Stuns enemies, but mostly keeps out of the way. Zaber the thief spots everything (enemies, traps, treasure, secret doors, etc.), disarms traps, picks locks, and occasionally tries to backstab something, with mixed results. Polly the archer shoots things in the eyes, unless they're Nature. Garreth the fighter wrecks things with a katana, moves large objects, and rows boats. Elias the cleric keeps Bless up on the other four party members to give them bonuses to everything and keep them from dying, casts Gift of Letters to read all the clues, uses his Wealth to pawn items for excessively good prices, and occasionally charges into battle and smacks things with a flail.
By far the most important advantage in this game has been Luck, which all five current PCs have. Through a combination of caution, good active defenses, Luck, and Bless, they have kept their fatality rate really low. But dungeons get deadlier as PCs get deeper, so there's always a chance...
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