| It is now the 3rd wilderness exploration turn (a.k.a. day 3 since departure).
However, we will now switch from day-long wilderness exploration turns to ten-minute dungeon exploration turns. Although we're not in an underground dungeon yet, the dungeon exploration timescale is useful in and around towns and stongholds, and for exploring the upper works of dungeons too. I will annotate turn numbers as "3.x" where 3 denotes the current wilderness-exploration turn number, and x denotes the current dungeon-exploration turn number.
The company has an overall movement rate of 9" (90 yards per turn outdoors)--as does Master Potts individually--but the swampy terrain will reduce this by half. You are allowed two such moves per exploration turn, so your overall cautious movement rate is 9". |
The company sets off in the agreed upon marching order:
Potts is approximately 40 yards ahead and off to the right-hand side of the main column.
Then come Arcus and Magnus up front. Then,
Vergas and Biratlan.
| Note that with 40 yards between Potts and them, the main company are very likely to be beyond the 10-60 yard encounter distance should Potts be surprised. Unless a foe were to burst out of the ground or drop from the sky directly between them.
At the company's movement rate it will take three turns to reach the structure proper, and the referee will check for an encounter each dungeon exploration turn: for turn 3.1 1d6=3, for turn 3.2 1d6=5, for 3.3 1d6=6. Ah ha! |
The mire seems eerily quiet once the company are properly within it; the mist is hungry to swallow even the insistent squelching of their boots. Master Potts is ahead with his short sword bared, and his senses alert for any trouble; the others trail him at a respectful distance as a well armed column...
For some minutes they press on in this fashion with the camp site slowly receding behind them and the bulk of the mysterious structure drawing nearer before them; its shape becoming ever more distinct. Soon it becomes apparent that there are other, equally imposing shadows lying deeper in the mists, but what these might be remains unclear. For now.
It is not half an hour before the company draws close enough to the first structure to identify it as some kind of ziggurat of crumbling stone. It squats partially subsided in the mire and overgrown by moss and heath and other swamp-life. The near-face of it appears to have long since collapsed leaving a wide, daunting breach--and entry--to its dark interior...
| An outdoor encounter was indicated for turn 3.3 (the third dungeon-exploration turn), so the referee rolls on the wilderness encounter table for swamp areas, 1d20=4, which indicates there are dinosuars in the vicinity. There are six terrestrial types so the referee dices again, 1d6=3, to find there are 2-8 Stegosaurs grazing here! 2d4=4, so there are four of the great beasts.
Potts is alert and cautious, so there is only a 2 in 6 chance that he will be surprised, 1d6=6. So he is surprised! But Halflings are especially canny in the outdoors so the referee allows a 4 in 6 (rather than the standard 2 in 6) chance that the dinosaurs are surprised too. The ref rolls 1d6=3 for Potts, which is just enough to surprise them too.
The encounter distance for surprises is 10-60 yards; 1d6=1 so it's just 10 yards! |
...getting still nearer to the ziggurat Potts' senses are tingling; something's not quite right here, but what? Suddenly a dark patch of "heath" nearby moves! And a huge, reptilian head heaves itself out of the swampy vegetation with a mouthful of sopping thatch. It's beady little eyes meet his and bulge with surprise as the whole of the massive beast jerks reflexively back and it gives a sonorous bleat.
Three more of the beasts are likewise grazing in the swampy vegetation right in front of the breach and stagger back in alarm. They are four huge Stegasaurs!
| Potts and the stegosuars are surprised and neither can act in the surprise turn, but the rest of the company--50 yards distant--can respond to the disturbance. |
What do you want to do?
the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern
; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch