Krampus Run Playtest

  • Adam's Warlock With No Name (level 1 human warlock)
  • Riya (level 1 ishim paladin)
  • Savita (level 1 vampire)

Session Highlights
En route to the city of Frostgate, the party stops for the night in a village that they'll find out later is known as Kaldsten. It's late and the inn is devoid of anyone but the owners, so they get their own rooms and hit the sack.

The party is woken a few hours later by a combination of screams and shouting. They grab weapons and head outside, to find a mob has gathered nearby. There's more screaming and shouting, and they soon figure out that a half-dozen children are missing: best as anyone can describe, a clawed hand grabbed them and pulled them into shadows.

Savita approaches the apparent leader--a man named Arnor--and tells him that they're new to town and just so happen to be adventurers. This draws an appropriate and expected amount of suspicion (new people show up and, hey, children go missing), but fortunately one of Savita's vampiric powers is a charming gaze.

He charms Arnor just in time for a villager to show up, and explain that they found footprints behind one of the houses; Arnor drags them along because surely being accomplished adventurers they'll sort this out right quick. The footprints start and stop abruptly. There aren't any signs that whatever made them could fly, and the snow on nearby rooftops is still completely intact. This leads Warlock-With-No-Name (WWNN) to suggest that it can move through shadows, all but confirming that whatever did it is a demon.

Riya looks about, but doesn't sense any evil, and Arnor tells them about a witch named Ulva that lives a few miles away. He doesn't think she actually did anything: she's helped them out quite a bit in the past, so maybe she can figure out what kidnapped the children and/or where it went. A priest arrives, carrying some holy water and mending potions: he'd heard about a supposed demon and came running, but since it's apparently not in the village Arnor gives Savita the holy water and potions, a lantern with several hours of oil, and sends them on their way.

Probably for the best, because Savita's charm only lasts for an hour, anyway.

The party makes it to Ulva's hut, a chaotic jumble of dirt and logs. Riya knocks on the door but doesn't get a response. They try to open the door, but it's stuck. Then they resort to shouting, and after awhile hear something moving about inside. Eventually a woman barely wrapped in a blanket, presumably Ulva, opens the door, and demands to know what they're doing at her hut in the middle of the night.

Savita explains what happened, to which Ulva replies that she knows exactly what they're dealing with, but she'll only help them for a price. Riya offers up her blood, and even though she's a very minor angelic being it's enough for Ulva. She has Riya spill some in a bucket, and then rummages through some shelves. Despite a complete lack of organization she quickly finds the book she's looking for, and with some effort manages to pry it loose.

Unfortunately, after flipping through some pages she discovers that a select few pages have been torn free, specifically those detailing a demon known as Krampus.

Without the pages she can't summon or banish it, so instead offers to perform a divination and tell them where he is: after gazing into a water-filled bowl, inspecting animal entrails, and staring into the blade of a sword seemingly made entirely from silver, she determines that he's hold up in a cave at the top of the Iskall Mountain.

The party thanks her, and Savita asks if she can help them out, to which she replies sure...for a price. This time Savita offers up his blood: Ulva's pretty excited to get vampire blood, and gives him a charm that will protect him from cold, but it'll only absorb so much before breaking (mechanics: cold resistance 5, but it breaks after absorbing 50 damage).

Heading up the mountain, after a few hours a snowstorm picks up, but despite their obstructed vision they happen across a blood-spattered rock. Savita's in wolf form, and he picks up a foul odor on the rock. They follow it until they blunder into a troll: apparently despite the wind it was able to smell Riya, and was making his way towards them anyway.

Luckily he'd already caught some food (a group of men that went looking for the children, only to be splattered by a huge rock): he just wanted to see what smelled so good. WWNN asks if he knows about a cave, and he points them in the right direction. Riya thanks him for the information, and also for not trying to eat her, and he says that he might "catch her later" before sauntering off.

The party keeps going. The lantern runs out of oil shortly before sunrise, and after what feels like a few more hours they think they can hear a woman wailing. They follow the sound until they come across a woman calmly walking and looking about, holding something to her chest. Riya calls out to her, and she begins sprinting towards them, shouting for someone to help her baby.

She registers as evil to Riya's senses, so obviously none of them offer to help, so she drops the baby (it crumbles into snow when it hits the ground) and starts wildly clawing at Riya. After a few stabs and blasts, Savita uppercuts her head off, causing her to explode into snow. The storm immediately calms, and they see that only a hundred or so feet away is a cave. The opening is surrounded by long blades of ice, giving it the appearance of a vicious maw.

Designer Notes
Nice to run people through Melissa's Krampus adventure that didn't know exactly how it's supposed to go (I've added and changed some of it, too). Also fun playing with Shane again after who knows how long. Of course he wanted to play a vampire, so I got to cobble that together (though while chatting realized that it would be awesome to give it a blood currency like The Vampire).

Unfortunately we didn't get into the dungeon proper, but at least the intro part of the adventure is working as intended (which was the part we were mostly concerned about). We only played this because the player of the dwarf fighter in the Sky Tomb campaign couldn't make it, so if he also can't make it next week we can keep things going.

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want!

After months of doing other things, we turned our attention to and released The Warden. It's based on the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons class of the same name, but judging by the responses we did an excellent job converting it over.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).


  1. I propose the warlock with no name be named Wynnd, inspired by this article. And wind like winding a clock since he is a warlock of a machine entity. A

    1. Pronounced like wind that blows through the trees


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