|"No groaning in my store."|
If your group even remotely enjoys dungeon crawling, I can't recommend this adventure any more highly. At the very least you can cherry pick some rooms and traps for your own use.
When I got to the store today, the crazy guy came over to talk gibberish to me. I've talked about him before. He once tried to sell me "papercut insurance". He asked me if I could hook him up with someone who could make him a chainmail straightjacket. I humored him for a minute and then shooed him off. If I was a dad I wouldn't want this guy around my kids, and my whole group is full of teenagers.
After this, we had a guy in his 50's who wanted to watch us play. See, this fellow only plays Pathfinder. Chainmail Straightjacket Man apparently told him that there are "chefs from the culinary" who come to the store on Wednesdays looking to play Pathfinder. This is obviously something that only happens in Straightjacket Guy's mind, but Pathfinder Guy didn't know that. Pathfinder Guy was dismayed to find no chefs on the premises. Pathfinder Guy asked to watch us for a bit.
As my 5e D&D Encounters game got underway, I tried to explain the basics of 5e to the guy. He kept making this face - sneering at the rules (which he knew nothing about). He kind of scoffed at the game, arms folded, for about 15 minutes.
He tried to tell me about this old game he loves that I've never heard of called "Basic D&D" where you don't even use a poster map! I proceeded to puke up some stories of my D&D past from this very blog and I could see him begin to shrivel up. He seemed to be trying to play a game of one-upsmanship, saying things like "...there were boxed sets before the red box" as if I didn't know. I tried not to get into a pissing contest with this dude, but I did unleash the beast a bit.
I've played more than my fair share of D&D. Don't walk up to me and assume I'm ignorant because I am running a kiddie game in a store. By the time I told him I'd run the entire Skull and Shackles (GASP! PATHFINDER!) path and converted it to 5e, he mumbled something deflated through his mustache, and wandered off.
I include stories like this in my blog because I want to give an accurate portrayal of what running a game in a store is like. There's all these annoying little hurdles that conspire to drive you from the building. I'm used to it, but jeez, can we just play our game? I'm herding cats as it is, I don't need hecklers, too.
Room 18: This room was full of sleeping wizards, wights and warriors. It was a big battle. Our heroes prevailed, but then sat on a cursed throne that filled the room with bugs. Some of the players just kind of stood in the room taking damage. Luckily, the 13 year old girl has good instincts and knew to just get out of the room.
Room 19: There's a pig pen, a walkway ten feet up, and a magic platform/lift that can bring you up and down. What an epic fight this was. Magic missiles rained down on our heroes to devastating effect.
Shortly after, I declared to the players that the entrance to this room had a sign above the doorway. It read: "Wights Only".
I almost suffered the walk of a thousand four-siders for that one.
Hack and Slash Guy hacks and slashes, so that means he went up onto the platform to fight the wights and casters all alone. He was pulverized into death saves each and every round. Our cleric had to heal him to consciousness the entire time. He eventually fell into the pig pen, and the pigs began biting and trampling his unconscious body.
It was a brutal, drawn-out battle. When you look at a room and see a pig pen, you might have a tendency to just chuck it, but this ended up being one of the most fun and interesting rooms so far.