It’s been an awfully long time now since I mentioned my ongoing foray into Joseph Bloch’s Castle of the Mad Archmage (CotMA); in fact, there’s a new version of said dungeon out now. My friend Bob and I started out sometime before the Olympics and though we played 2 sessions in rapid succession, we’ve only managed one session since. What follows is my vague recollections of these sessions—bolstered a bit by some notes I took in a rare show of foresight on my part.
Whence last we ventured, the party was picking on some skeletons in a closet... and only right now do I finally get the joke. Oy veh. Anyway, suffice it to say that our boys polished them off and continued their quest for dungeon dominance.
As we continued, we met up with a statue of an ape whose secret I shall not reveal here and some olive slime and its offspring. I assume this must be a Monster Manual II critter cuz I can’t find it in any of the sources I’ve checked (AD&D Monster Manual, OSRIC, S&W Monster Compendium, Laby Lords, Castles & Crusades) and it's far too sensible sounding to be a Fiend Folio creation. And since I don’t feel even slightly compelled to purchase the MMII--or the Fiend Folio for that matter--it shall remain a mystery to me until some beneficent
Anyway, since our fearless party already blew off the troglodytes a few rooms back out of sheer ignorance (at the time of this session, we had only the S&W rules pdf on hand), we felt compelled to take action. We extrapolated a bit based on the info in the module and our knowledge of the more famous green slime and decided to torch the stuff and it’s offspring. More fudging was necessary a few rooms later when we were surprised by giant frogs. We surmised, given their hp totals, that they must have 3 or 4 hit dice and, based solely on ancient memories of the murderous frogs at the Moat House in T1 The Village of Hommlet, I gave them 1 attack for 1d6 plus, if they hit you, they grab you with their tongue and automatically do an additional 1d4 dmg/round thereafter.
This is a battle we barely survived intact. Because we were surprised, Borrance the MU took it for the team before he was able to cast the sleep spell that might have saved our asses. Sigurd the ranger, Glebberd the Halfling and Borrance all got knocked to 0 hp. Only with S&W’s optional wound-binding and Negative Hit Point rules did we manage to drag the entirety of our party back to the surface alive. First level clerics without Cure Light Wounds are not worth all the sanctimonious posturing.
Since it was now getting late in the real world, we decided to clear out of dodge rather than leave our party to sleep in the dungeons. On the way out we encountered our first wandering monster: a “Floating pearlescent bubble.” We had a moment of silence in memory of Patrick McGoohan and then loaded it full of arrows. Our first day of adventuring yielded us a massive total treasure haul of 15 silver pieces! Not too impressive, especially at the cost of 3 near-dead characters.