HackMaster 2020/03/04, Sphinx, Statues, Hobgoblins, & Skeletons

Games on Wednesday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601. (We skipped the previous week due to fog.)

This time we had a salami pizza.

Disclaimer, I have decided to keep this a low information campaign. The party has no idea where they are or what world they are in.

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Today's game was a little bit more simple. They did basically four rooms (or 3 rooms and a hallway) with most of the time taken for debate on what to do next. My player's inability to make decisions or read clues is amazing.


Starting where they left off, the party sent off half the "teenagers" to guard the rescued Wimmenfolk and start walking back to the village. The were still in the room with the surrendered Goblins and the Sphinx statue with two broken glass eyes.

Getting the party to investigate the statue was a challenge. First of all, my gamers have gotten used to the idea that I'll simply tell them things just because they happen to be in the vicinity. After getting him to look up from his cell-phone, our "Detective" sub-class of Magic User DeBoDe, detected no traps and not magic. So I had to bring up to the plate the party's Thief, "Hey Needles, that's what you're here for. You have in front of you a statue of a Sphinx with two broken glass eyes. What are you going to do?" He decides to check it out with a cursory look, nothing. So finally saying again, "You have a statue of a Sphinx with two broken glass eyes (at this point I stomp my boot twice under the table), what are you going to do?"

He decides to check out the broken glass eyes.

So I tell him, they are big enough to insert a finger or a stick. (Fortunately, my player chooses a stick.) In one eye he finds a small poisonous scorpion which is easily disposed of. The other eye, turns a switch. (He turns the switch.)

The Sphinx rolls away and there is a stash of treasure behind it. (Whew!) A bunch of silver jewelry, nothing magical our Detective could detect. They decided to put it on the Barbarian's Pack Goat.


Next item on the agenda was to go down the stairs and check out the four other statues at the bottom. The statues were: A skull, A demon figure, A screaming figure, A frog creature.

They decided to check out statue and without bothering to check for magic, when touched it turned into a Berserk half-frog, half man. After defeating it (and yes it took a few rounds), the decided to check for magic and found only the demon figure had magical on it. Avoiding that, they turned their attention to statue of the screaming figure and found a switch inside its mouth.

Turning the switch, the stairs they had just come down lifted up, and they were faced with a squad of 10 Demons armed with maces and shields.

There was a long pause and my Players could not decide what to do. If it were any other D&D Party they would have been rushed by the Demons. I finally dropped a hint, "Try turning the switch the other way." "Thud!" the stairs were lowered, thus blocking the demons.

Actually the dungeon did not allow for a two-way switch on this, I had to give them an easy way out to rethink it.


The party decides to ask their "guide" (the captured Hobgoblin "leader"), what was the quickest way to the rest of his tribe?

His response was to take the secret door in former Kobold's barracks (which the party discovered last session after getting the Kobolds to surrender), and it will take you to the Hobgoblin barracks. They found it was a narrow corridor 80 feet long so they had to go single file.

Arriving at the far end they found 10 fully armed Hobgoblins with more captive village Wimmenfolk. Using the tactic with the Kobolds, the party asked for their surrender or "your leader gets it". Demanding proof, they have the captured leader "speak" and the party only got peals of laughter in return, including a shout. "Hey Schlomo, we get dibs on your stuff!"

Unfortunately, the party could only fight them one person at a time with open door frontage. Grog our Barbarian took damage so they pulled him back and one of our intrepid of "teenagers" with wings healed him from behind when he wasn't looking. (Our Cleric had run out of healing spells after the battles with the Goblins and the Frog Statue.)

Noticing this ability, our party utilized the "teenagers" like rotating troops putting them up front. As soon as a "teenager" got seriously wounded, another "teenager" behind him healed him.

During the battle, one of the 10 Hobgoblins casually left the barracks out the back way. Ostensibly to report the party's incursion.

Also during the battle, Torquemada confronted at swordpoint in the narrow passageway why the captive "leader" (now called "Schlomo") as to why he got no respect from his underlings? "I'm the Chief's body-double, he said, it always works on the Kobolds."

At this point the party closed the door on the battle and made a careful retreat. It was an about face in the narrow hallway they were in, not a coordinated event at all. The Hobgoblins did not follow, but they heard laughter.


Back in the old Kobold's barracks the party discussed it. Questioning Schlomo about how to go about attacking his tribe. He tells them they could either, take the long way around to the other side where he was captured, try again down the narrow corridor, or fight the "demons" under the stairs. He explained the the "Demons" are just Skeletons made out to look like Demons with a Phantasmal Force spell. His tribe knew about the Skeletons, but did not know about the switch in the statue as they thought the room was a dead end under the stairs closet. It is normally accessed from another room via another secret door.

There was another long pause getting the party to make a decision. So I finally dropped a hint saying: Going the back way is probably blocked by now since the tribe has been alerted. Going down single file again is a non-starter. But you can probably get more frontage fighting the skeletons, and get past them quicker and gain access from an area the tribe thinks is a dead end.

The party had another idea to go back topside and recruit the surrendered Kobolds (who had kept their agreement and left for other digs). So the Kobolds negotiated for a share of any treasure.

So getting in line for battle, the party fought the Skeletons, since the Kobolds were smaller they could fight two per every Skeleton. Our player for DeBoDe rolled the attack dice for the Kobolds periodically interrupting his cell-phone video game to roll the dice. (Not less than three times I had to mention, "Get off the phone and roll.") Eventually after defeating them the party found a red square in the center underneath the stairs. After some some more investigation they discovered by standing on it, the stairs would pivot up. Apparently this had never been discovered by the Hobgoblin tribe who had just let the Skeletons (disguised as Demons) stay in their room.


- A Barbarian named Grog.
- A Magic User Sole Practitioner (Detective Class) named De-Bo-De
- "Fred" the talking indestructible wooden fish amulet found in session one and taken possession by De-Bo-De.
- A Thief named Needles (who has a fear of needles)
- A Cleric named Torquemada, a Cleric who bought the Inquisitor package with his build points.
- Eleven "teenagers", who are apparently some sort of Sprite kin encountered two episodes back who want in on the "action".
- Rescued wimmenfolk from the village. One per each defeated member of the Hobgoblin tribe.


Tracy Johnson