*Note on the Session 1 adventure- this adventure will be part of the Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Kickstarter that is coming soon😊.
The group started as level zero characters in a funnel of sorts. Every player controlled four children who had been captured from their village and have been forced to toil away in the slave mines of Vindicus the Terrible. This adventure is meant to feel like a Saturday morning cartoon. The players need to sneak, use distractions, the events that are generated throughout play, etc. to get past the seemingly impossible challenges while hoping not to get snagged by Miner-bots or Robo-drones and put back in their cages. Instead of worrying about stats and how strong, smart, etc. the characters are, I called it Child’s Luck- want to attempt something? Just roll 1d20, if the result is 10 or less, success. If not, failure. If the character wanted to outright attack something, the roll is made with Disadvantage (they aren’t fighters yet, after all) and each character started with 4 hit points.
Aside: Inspiration for this, largely, was the slave mine scenes in Temple of Doom.
The session started with the group in their cells, the lights going off and then emergency back-ups springing to life. The group grabbed some tools and made their way out of their cages. As the group vacated the first room, Vindicus the Terrible appeared on a television suspended from the wall, “There are intruders in my fortress! They have come for the Battle Staff of Disruption! Robo-warriors to my compound! Defend your master! Robo-guardians defend the staff! Robo-drones, stay in the mines! Prevent the slaves from escaping!”
With the sounds of battle and cheers of freedom echoing throughout the mine, the group decided to flee. The group made their way through several rooms, with only a few getting recaptured by a Robo-drone and one got killed when a hovering Miner-bot fell on their head after being defeated. The group also discovered a weird mold-creature that attempted to snack on them, found a magical mushroom but were too afraid to take it, skirted past a room with a face-swapping alien, and found a few laser pistols and sticks of dynamite.
As the group explored, the Sorcerer kept appearing on the screens throughout the mines, looking more and more harried and filthy. At one point, Vindicus the Terrible appeared on the screen, “Robo-warriors! Double your efforts in the eastern compound! The western and southern compounds, including the Robo-dog kennel, have fallen!”
During the second half of the adventure, the group proceeded more cautiously as several of their number had gotten captured by this point. Eventually the group came across the Sorcerer’s loyal overseer, Glog who was whipping captured slaves. A few of the group decided to engage in combat with Glog as a distraction while the remainder messed with a vat of molten ore, causing it to spill on the fat slaver, melting his ass into goo.
Finally, only a rickety bridge and a chasm of death barred the characters from freedom. The group had to cross the bridge while dodging falling boulders that rained from the ceiling, caused by the explosions and battle occurring in the Sorcerer’s lair above.
Aside: I’m designing this section as a fun little mini-game. I need to fine-tune some of the mechanics, but the group had fun crawling and jumping on a bridge was being blasted apart by falling rocks.
As the group neared the exit, a screen near the door blared to life, filled with static and techo-color. Vindicus the Terrible appeared on the screen looking filthy and frazzled; anger and panic etched on his face. White lighting shot from his fingertips at something off screen, “Any remaining robo-guards and robo-warriors! Report to Vindicus the Terrible’s—”
Vindicus ducked as a robot flew over his head, the roar of a beastman is heard. Vindicus stood up, “Come to my inner sanctum! Come destroy these foo—”. An explosion rips somewhere off screen. “These fools who dare meddle with Vindiu—aaaahhhhhh!” the battle shout of a barbarian fills the characters ears, as a hulking figure slams into Vindicus, taking them both off-screen. The screen pixelates, goes to static, and then powers down.
We ended the adventure there.
Next session- The group rolls up their adventurers! The group has made their home in the village of Craterton for fifteen years since escaping one Sorcerer only to have their lives fucked up by another.