Barrowmaze Session 1- So It Begins…

This session started running- the group had made their characters earlier (3d6 in order- swap any two scores).  They told me what race and class they were interested in playing, so I had sent those head as well, including starting equipment for each.

For more information on the premise and house-rules of my campaign, go here.

The Party

  • John- Half-demon Paladin (follower of Sylvanus)- Occupation Healer (started with extra healing potion)
  • Omar- Human Paladin (follower of Sylvanus)- Occupation Falconer (started with pet falcon)
  • Liam- Elf Wizard- Occupation Alchemist (started with Cure Disease Potion- rolled on Erik Jensen’s awesome Potion Chart)
  • Chad- Halfling Thief- Occupation Trapper (started with pre-made snare trap)
  • Stan- Human Torch Boy (15 year old Hireling)
  • Fritzblart- Human thief, 1st level (Hireling)

Made Characters (but not present)

  • Nate- Human Warlock
  • Gene- Dwarf Warrior
  • Fletch- Gnome Druid

The Start

Barrowmaze Art
This is ironically exactly what happend…

I gave the group the option of starting topside and looting the burial mounds or going into the maze itself.  They opted to dive right in and explore.

The group stood at the entrance to Barrowmaze, staring at the wrought iron doors with intricate carvings of skulls and strange runes.  Liam was able to read the ancient language, “Tread carefully for the sleep of the dead is tenuous.”

Someone slapped the following words on the door, “Make no sound.  They will seek you out.”

The group made it through the front door and traveled down a hall to the door.  Fritzblart did not detect any traps, so John went inside and was instantly cut off from the rest of the party by a portcullis.  A door on the other side opened and three skeletons ushered through.

Aside: John got lucky here, because the dungeon states there are actually 7 skeletons, but I misread.  Oh well.

The fight took a few rounds.  The group fired arrows (suffering Disadvantage) through the portcullis.  Stan the Torch Boy critically failed and his dagger dug into the back of Fritzblart, who nearly died from the unexpected wound.

John took a beating, but wasn’t down for the count.  He summoned the powers of Sylvanus and flung a radiant axe at one of the skeletons, slaying it.  After a few more rounds all the skeletons were slain and Fritzblart was able to trip the mechanism allowing John to escape.  John then summoned the power of Sylvanus again and healed Fritzblart, but sadly he felt the ability to cast miracles leave him after this kind act.

The group looked throughout the room and, finding nothing of interest, decided to head past a few doors and down a left corridor.  They came across a locked door and Fritzblart tired his luck again.  The room was a quiet crypt that had clearly been emptied previously.  Painted on the walls were the words, “Pullo was here,” and a single gold coin from a foreign land in the center of the floor.  Liam took the coin.

The group looked down the hall and saw a bricked up wall.  Man that got their attention.  John took to smashing the bricks with his two-handed mace.  I rolled three random encounter checks, but no luck.

Eventually the group knocked the wall down and were able to step into a small alcove with a mosaic of a skull (it had fallen apart with age).  John and Omar succeeded their Intelligence checks and were able to recognize the skull as the symbol of the god of death, Negrul.  They then decided it would be a good idea to open the door.

In the room was a fresco of shining knights being slain by demons and a wizard with a skull mask.

Liam critically failed his perception roll and decided that he wanted to step in the room to look for more gold coins.

The group watched in horror as three Shadows emerged from the fresco (their tails still attached to piece of art).

Stan failed his morale check and fled down the hallway (I rolled a random encounter and he ran into zombies- so sad, by Stan).


The fight was brutal.  Shadows can only be harmed by magic and magic weapons of +1 or better.  They deal 1d4 damage and a successful Constitution save must be made or the target suffers 1d4 Constitution damage (heals 1 per day).

Liam got smacked by two of the three Shadows (one missed), taking 6 damage and losing 5 Constitution).  The group experimented the first round on what would hurt the Shadows, and none of their mundane weapons had any effect.  Oh and if you die, you rise up as a Shadow in 1d4 rounds.

Omar decided to summon forth the power of his deity and throw a radiant weapon at the fresco.  It chipped away at the painting and the Shadows stuttered and flickered like a bad television connection.

Liam opened up on the fresco with magic missile, destroying it.  One of the Shadows writhed for a moment and then faded into nothing.

Liam tried to back away then, but sadly the remaining Shadows ganged  up on him and Liam fell. John then said, “Liam died the way he lived; getting his ass kicked.”

Omar got lucky with two more radiant weapons and John used his half-demon ability to cast Flaming Hands.  Thankfully the remaining Shadows went down.

Aside: I had decided that the Shadows would be connected to the fresco when I read the room description.  The fresco had 10 HP and half of the damage dealt to the art would be done to the Shadows.   This allowed the group to kill one Shadow right off the bat and deal significant damage to the other two.

The group pulled themselves together and decided they would spend time looting the burial alcoves.  They can search 10 alcoves a minute and there are three people searching while Omar stands guard, facing the hallway.

Before First Minute Starts– Liam rises up as a Shadow.  Omar blasts him with a radiant weapon for max damage and sends Liam’s Shadow to Hell.

First Minute– No encounter- recover a shiny shield and nice leather armor and 300 gold pieces.

Second Minute– Stan returns as a zombie with six others- they Thriller danced at the group and a fight broke out over which version of Michael Jackson is the best.  The fight hurt- John got his face chewed on by a zombie.

Found 300 more gold.

Third Minute– the fighting and smell of blood attracts 5 skeletons.  Another fight breaks out.  Chad slides beneath the legs of the skeletons, attached to a rope- uses the rope the hit the legs of the skeletons, knocking two prone.   John gets REALLY hurt.  Chad gets knocked to 0 HP and is dropped.

After the fight John takes a potion to get some HP back and Chad succeeds his Luck roll to survive and rolls a 2 on the Out of Action Table (only knocked unconscious).

The group decides to do the last three minutes to clean out the whole room getting a whopping 1,800 gp.

We decided this was a good stopping point, so the group made it back to Helix.

They divided up the loot (and that taken from Stan’s and Liam’s corpses), identified the shield and leather armor found (100 gp each), and got 2,340 experience (base XP for monsters) and 1 per 1 for gold.  John, Chad, and Omar leveled up to 2nd level.  Liam will make a new character.

Leather Armor- Armor of the Thief +2 armor (2 ticks- more expensive to repair)

Shield- Righteous Shield of the Warrior- reduces number rolled on dice by one for defensive rolls.  Once per day gain a second attack.

Next session will start with the group getting a chance to carouse and go shopping before hopping into the dungeon.

The Graveyard


Liam- Elf Wizard (1st level)

Stan Human Torch Boy (Hireling)



Author: wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn.

7 thoughts

  1. I love Barrowmaze and the way you and yours are playing it sounds like loads of fun.

    “Liam died the way he lived; getting his ass kicked.” Brilliant.

    1. Thanks! Thus far it is!

      I’m looking forward to seeing how both groups change/interact with the dungeon and one another’s decisions.

      Not to mention once I open it up to Flailsnails and all the trouble/hijinx THAT’LL cause 😀

      1. I really should figure out what Flailsnails is one of these days. All I envision is a slimy slug whipping around like whacky wavy arms guy selling cars…

      2. Flailsnails is a playstyle that was made popular/possible because of G+. System-wise it’s a hodge podge of D&D. So a S&W character could play along side a 3.5 character. The GM can call/name handicaps for various character based on power creep.

        Basically the characters are transported to the realm of whatever game they play in, and what happens to them is permanent, etc. You have to be ready for gonzo stuff to happen.

        For example in one game I played in a character had procured a laser gun from a future world (and we were playing in dark ages style world) and another had x-ray specs.

  2. This is awesome. I am excited to see what happens as you add in the FLAILSNAIL stuff.

    I am about to start a Stonehell game with The Black Hack myself, but maybe I should do barrowmaze? I absolutely love your classes by the way, and so do my prospective players. Adds just enough to TBH to make them feel different, but also keeps things simple for new players.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate it! I haven’t read Stonehell, but hear it’s a great book. Barrowmaze is well done and really can be run on the fly without reading through the whole book (which I haven’t done).

      Thanks for the feedback for the classes. I wanted to add just a little bit, but not make them over-cumbersome.

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