The virtual presence of one of the players in our D&D session last night worked reasonably well. There were some performance issues at first, but these were mostly cleared up after trying separate video and audio connections with Windows Live Messenger instead of a combined video/audio connection. Before we tried the separate connection thing, however, the audio stuttered a lot and often took on a somewhat flanged sound. This had the humorous effect of turning our remote player into a Max Headroom of sorts.
Sadly, our party of five brave adventurers did not fare as well as I had hoped they would last night. The party — consisting of a rogue, a cleric, a monk, a wizard, and a barbarian — had been exploring a cave which turned out to be an ancient crypt. The players had been tasked with finding a widow’s young lad who had gone off to explore the cave a few days prior, but who had never returned. In the previous session, the players had discovered the corpse of the young man. He had apparently died of dehydration within the crypt after being captured by a small band of frog-like humanoids who had taken up residence in the old crypt.
The players continued exploring the crypt last night, continuing where they had left off. They soon came upon a large room which consisted of a rickety wooden bridge spanning the entire length. About eight feet below the bridge was a large pool of what appeared to be tar filling the room. Foolishly, the rogue decided to take the lead and carefully began crossing the bridge without checking for traps or having a safety rope tied around his waist should he fall…and fall he did when he triggered an old trap.
About halfway across the bridge, the wooden planks beneath the rogue’s feet swung away, dropping the hapless player into the tar. However, it soon became apparent that the black substance was not tar, but rather a large, gelatinous, ooze-like creature. The substance immediately began crushing the life out of the rogue as he stumbles to his feet, waste deep in black pudding.
The barbarian and the wizard hurried to the rogue’s aid, with the barbarian lowering the wizard down from the bridge in order to pull the rogue out. Unfortunately, the wizard’s strength gave out and he, too, fell into the pool of black death.
With the rogue’s clothes and equipment rapidly dissolving from his body and the wizard now doomed to the same fate, the cleric bravely cast upon himself a spell that momentarily protected him from the creature’s attacks and leapt into the pool. After hoisting the wizard — whose equipment and clothes had now been dissolved completely and who was near death himself — to safety, the cleric’s protective spell ended. Sadly, the attacks of the black pudding creature prevented the cleric from casting another such spell in order to save himself and the rogue, and he eventually succumbed to the creature’s crushing grasp.
Both the rogue and the cleric ultimately perished.