Last night we finally played a short session of S&W. It’s been over a month since I’ve DM’d - considering all the time I had, I was a little embarrassed at being unprepared. In the end, I pushed the game start back another half hour and rolled some dice on an index card, tracing where they fell as a quick dungeon layout. For this first level, I thought I’d make it very simple and not require a map. There really wasn’t much of a choice in terms of which way to go, but I hoped a couple of interactions I’d planned would distract from this and it could still be fun.
•A lone pugilistic goblin looking for a good bare knuckles fight. Ends up being charged by the entire party one of whom falls badly into a pit trap as the goblin flees. Classic.
•A large goblin cook stirring a pot. Pugilist goblin hides behind him, fists up. Pikmit (the only non-human PC) speaks kitchen goblin, and translates that the cook seems to think that they’re here for the games and that their soup will be ready in a moment. When he’s filled stone bowls for them, the party decides against trying it and leave. They head down a corridor where cheers and jeers have been coming from. The cook is livid and beside himself, and just as the blind PC (last in line) is exiting the chamber, he hurls a stone bowl with soup at him. This nearly brains the poor bastard but the party doesn’t care and continues on.
•They enter a large, clamshell-shaped chamber. There’s some kind of goblin baseball game going on, with six goblins in view ahead. Only one appears armed - with a large femur. A gruff voice in the darkness asks if they’re here to play or to die. The party attacks the hitter and catcher! Mayhem, the sides of the “field” erupt with more goblins appearing from the darkness and the defense comes running to the aid of their catcher who’s been quickly dropped. Even the female goblin cheerleaders join in as they see one of their boys killed. Fortunately for the party, the goblins were badly managed and the PCs did a fine job of dispatching most of their opponents before the rest ran away.
I’d really hoped to have the players put in a little time behind the bat, or femur as it were, before the game descended into chaos due to someone cheating or a bad call or something. No matter though, it was good fun. Wasn't there an article in a Dragon magazine or somewhere about baseball in the dungeon? It seems like one of those old school rites of passage.