Sunday, 21 July 2019

Tomb of the Serpent Kings: Session 1

Finally got around to running a session using my in-development Yoon-Suin Lamentations of the Flame Princess hack. I decided on using Skerples' Tomb of the Serpent Kings as one of the players hadn't experienced OSR gameplay before and I thought I'd put its teaching-dungeon credentials to the test (note: it succeeded, excellently).

The PCs are as follows:
  • Juddah Squelch - a slug-man from an opium-trading oligopolist clan.
  • Pierrot - a magician from a warrior family.
  • Lugash Primiestki - a dwarf from an architectural artisan hold.
 Having gotten themselves into a fair amount of debt, and having run out of familial goodwill to look after them, the party found themselves following the rambling of a feverish beggar outside the tea house they frequented and ventured into Old Town. Deep beneath the foundations of a collapsed manse they found their target: a tunnel entrance engraved with serpents.

Not far inside lay several rooms containing wooden coffins. After carefully examining and opening one of them, Lugash threw caution to the wind and smashed the terracotta snake-soldier inside. The the room immediately filled with poison gas billowing from the hole in the terracotta figure, luckily only affecting Pierrot.

The party settled into a steady routine of carefully prising open sarcophagi and hurling stones from a safe distance until the outer tomb was free of poison gas. They collected a decent collection of shiny gold amulets for their trouble and Pierrot, still suffering from his previous poisoning, popped on a silver ring granting him a snake-bite like finger-dagger-thing, which he was thoroughly impressed with.

A barred stone door blocked the way further into the complex, and the party fortunately noticed the mechanism raising the door brackets as they lifted the bar. Further investigation revealed a false ceiling above the door. Lugash rigged a pulley with his block and tackle and the party hoisted the bar out of the way from a safe distance, as an enormous hammer swung down and smashed the stone door (and the block and tackle) to smithereens.

The next chamber held three ornate sarcophagi. A rock thrown from afar disturbed the skeletal inhabitants. Pierrot conjured some crystalline armour (retaining the spell) and after a few crossbow bolts and judicious use of the hammer trap (including a shotgun-like blast of bone fragments from one skeleton tearing another apart) the party continued onwards, finding a grotesque religious fane and an exposed hidden passage.

Mikhail Greuli

The passage led to a statue lined corridor. Noticing one of the statues was slightly askew, the party discovered a hidden passage leading to an old guardroom containing weapons and shiny loot. They continued from there to a large chamber with numerous side-rooms and a pit in the centre. A smell of licorice filled the air and a muffled thumping echoed from one of the side-chambers. Pierrot and Lugash took a look in the pit only to be attacked by a pair of crawling, mummified serpent hands that leapt from the filthy water within. Pierrot was mildly throttled but the party survived mostly unharmed, and more importantly disease-free, and took to exploring the side rooms.

Discoveries included: a room full of terracotta-army style snake warrior statues, which were duly smashed and a hidden passage found; a silver and emerald icon in a former-dormitory, along with some ancient scrolls in a strange tongue; an unfinished, partially collapsed room; and a set of trapped stairs leading downwards (again, judicious rock-throwing was the party's friend).

The final room that the party investigated held another wooden sarcophagus, only this one contained a foul black slime creature that the party easily outran and sealed inside. It attempted to worm under the door but was driven back, and the party assembled a pre-made bonfire in front of the door in case more fire was needed.

In need of a rest the party made camp in the hidden guardroom, and Pierrot successfully shook off the lingering effects of the poison gas. The party returned to the pit room, and carefully avoiding the source of the thumping and banging, examined another tomb with some sort of metal plate attached to the far wall.

Juddah, despite continuing the careful rock throwing of earlier, stepped onto a pressure plate and was blasted with a bolt of lightning which caused a serious injury and fried their brain, causing them to attack their companions in a wild fury. Pierrot and Lugash attempted to restrain the insane slug-man, but the slippery dilettante proved too much and crippled Pierrot's arm with a blow from their polearm. Lugash and Pierrot took the opportunity to flee with the only light source, leaving the maddened Juddah swinging wildly in the dark. The slug-man's incoherent screams were abruptly cut off as Pierrot and Lugash heard a distinct splashing sound.

Lorenzo Nuti

Lugash tore up some spare clothing for bandages and managed to stem Pierrot's bleeding before going back to the pit. Using his darkvision and a length of rope, the dwarf hauled Juddah's body out of the pit and stripped it of valuables before returning it with a swift kick.

Upon returning to the Yellow City Pierrot was easily able to afford the standard of living befitting one of his family. Lugash was able to bluff his way through and went on a spending spree of equipment, before depositing his remaining money with a consortium of moneylenders and undertaking some legwork in the city, whereby he beguiled a group of merchants with stories of snake-crafted treasure. Pierrot sought the services of a physician which put them only a few weeks away from recovering from their grievous wound. They also recruited a labourer, Bepo, to assist them on their next adventure. The magician also uncovered evidence of a slug-man merchant named Surya Sodi who was smuggling goods through the city - a juicy piece of blackmail material. Through unknown means they also acquired a crab-man slave named Mr Krabbs*.

*Sometimes I really hate my players.


  1. What great fun! Having run a version of this game several times (including last Saturday), I love hearing the experiences of other adventurers.

    1. It was a great session! There'll be more to come, either from TotSK or wherever else the party decides to venture next.

  2. Sounds like a good start! And I love the notion of a *torch* smuggler. You know a slugman has hit the bottom of the barrel if he's smuggling *torches*. But he probably knows adventurers, so he might be a good contact?


Tomb of the Serpent Kings: Session 1

Finally got around to running a session using my in-development Yoon-Suin Lamentations of the Flame Princess hack. I decided on using Skerpl...

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