Tuesday, September 1, 2020

RPGs with Kids, 3: Thumb-Wrestling with Lizardmen

After a hiatus of travel, a wedding, more travel, and then hiding under a blanket for two weeks of isolation, my son and I brought out the Into the Odd goodness yet again and got to work in the Intemperate Jungle and the ruined Caverns of Thracia below it. This ended up being a short session due to a certain uncoorperative infant who refused to nap in the interim, but it was a fun one all the same, and a great look into Ted's burgeoning storytelling and roleplaying self.

Anjo, Rock, and Roxley left town after a solid restock and wound their way back to the surface ruins and the several entrances to the dungeon below. The Encounter Die d6 rolled a 1, signalling a run-in with NPCs, so I let Anjo & Co know that they could hear squelching footsteps in the swampy grounds surrounding the overgrown ruins. Ted decided that Anjo and his buddies would head down the big stairs to slip out of notice, especially since he was curious about them when the party chose to rapel down into the deep black hole in the earth on the last visit. 

For the moment, the footsteps go away, and the party delves into a large chamber filled with rubble and flanked on the remaining sides with dark passages. Ted heads for the forward passage which is marked with old pillars on either side. I remark that it smells like musty poop down here, which both grosses him out and piques his interest. Rock holds up a torch and sees that the ceiling is moving... bats, and zounds of them! Pulling back from the bat-and-guano corridor, the footsteps come back into earshot, but this time they're moving down the stairs to the lower chambers!

After my best hissing and clicking sounds successfully spook Ted, I have a sibilant voice call out from the darkness. "What are you doing down here? Are you friends with the armored ones along the southern chambers?" Ted put two-and-two together and responded in the negative, saying that the bad dudes in armor (the cultists for Thanatos) are no friends of his. He introduces himself and his peers, and the encroaching figures step into the flickering torchlight. Two lizardmen, taller than anyone in the party, broader, stronger, and better equipped. Ted is a bit frightened, but puts on a brave face. "We are not your enemies. We're your friends." He says with confidence in his voice. He goes on to explain that he is just an explorer, that he and his friends are trying to find a name for themselves without harming anyone who could be a friend. 

Ted was really impressed by the lizardmen's chakram weapons.

The lizardmen introduce themselves as Sik'Garuk and Krask, and both seem more curious than aggressive (I rolled a 7 on the reaction 2d6). Ted was doing well in guiding the encounter to a helpful resolution. Sik'Garuk asked that they vow not to harm each other so long as they share a common enemy in the cult. Ted agreed. I reached out my hand to his at the table as Krask went to shake Anjo's hand, but Ted decided that as a show of cameraderie, Anjo would thumb-wrestle Krask rather than return the shake. I had both lizardmen appear confused, but Ted was adamant that it's something real friends would be comfortable doing, so I laughed and obliged. 

Both of the party's new friends told them all about the dangers and possible traps and pitfalls in this level of the complex, and warned them that some of their own kin had joined up with the nefarious dogmen and other foes lurking further below. Ted took a piece of candy from a bowl on the kitchen counter and handed it to me, expressing that he wanted Anjo to give it to Sik'Garuk as a token of his friendship. The pair graciously accepted, and exited back into the shadows with goodwill towards the three plucky adventurers.

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