Monday night I got to game with some old friends. I ran a Halloween oriented one shot. Nominally I ran Mini Quest: Rise of the Vampire by Survive RPG. The adventure is a nice little side quest for character's 1-3, that's available for free. I wanted to use some of the Dollar Tree terrain I picked up. I used 5th edition to run the adventure.
Because of other engagements I only had two players. Wirty played a dragonborn paladin of Bahamut (with the vengeance oath) and Stew played a half elf archer ranger (who had the entertainer background). Since there were only two of them I let them level to 3.
The adventure started as written. They are brought to Lord Greystone and tasked with putting his daughter to rest before she rises again. Other than the holy water, stake, mallet, and symbol, I didn't give them the fallen cleric's equipment. Carten Westsilver, the vampire's fiance', accompanied the party to the graveyard. From this point, my version is nothing like the original (until the party finds the vampire).
After scaling the gate the party were faced with five zombies rising from the earth. During the second round they heard crashing coming from another gate. On round 3 a zombie ogre crashed through one of the gates (had I had more players it would have been two).
My original plan was to have an encounter under each mausoleum. The encounters would have been as follows:
Tomb 1 - 5-10 zombies
Tomb 2 - 2 giant spiders
Tomb 3 - Teren Greystone (mad uncle mentioned in adventure, I turned him into a wight who also implied that he was a creepy molesting uncle)
Tomb 4 - 2 Ghouls and Castilla Greystone (vampire spawn)
After laying the dead to rest, the paladin used his detection abilities. He could sense the presence of evil undead and how strong the presence was. Because of this he bypassed the spider tomb (which he sensed no undead or evil from) and the zombie tomb (some evil undead). The other two tombs had strong evil.
The party first fought Teren Greystone. Apparently Castilla's fiance' didn't like the sexual creepiness of what Teren said because he crit him first swing. I'd hoped Teren would have killed Westsilver and brought him back as a zombie. This didn't happen. Also, despite hitting the paladin a few times, he couldn't life drain (the paladin kept making his saving throws).
Castilla was guarded by two ghouls. The party quickly dispatched them and figured out which tomb was Castilla's. The hopeless romantic bard told Westsilver that it must be he who lays his love to rest. He said he'd do what he had to do. The party removed the coffin lid and the vampire tried to charm the paladin. Her vampiric powers didn't work and he was unaffected. She pleaded for her unlife, but the party didn't care. Westsilver froze and was unable to stake her, so the paladin knocked him out with the flat of his blade.
Since the party was still quite strong I decided that they would have to fight Castilla. With a combination of colossus slayer and smite, they gave Castilla the true death.
The party returned to Lord Greystone (the unconscious Westsilver slung over the dragonborn's broad shoulders). The adventure ended as written... with the cleric's body missing!
The adventure was fun. The party flew through it, but it was campy and had a Hammer Horror feel to it.
One a related note, I found a few of the bone gazebos I wanted from the Dollar Tree last night. This is what they look like next to some of my skeletal minis.
Here's an addendum. This was one of the player's responses:
"I would like to point out a couple of things. Balasar knew that Westsilver would wuss out, and him and his ranger companion have had countless arguments about "true love." Balasar counts this incident as a point to his side of the argument.
Also, the final encounter was much more fun due to the circumstance in which it all happened, than Pun lets on. We were all laughing our asses off."