Topic: Play reports for 5+ modules




The players stay trapped in the house for three full sessions of roleplaying. About 12 hours of real world time. They couldn't find the solution until rigorously testing all of the elements, including smashing the harpsichord multiple times (they had a magic-user with Mending). All of the players got really frustrated.

Once they figured out the harpsichord trick, the first party member that they sent for help left with a stolen share of the treasure. Eventually they hired a musician to play the harpsichord while they walked out, leaving him to his doom.


Some players have the view that the harpsichord trick was not obvious enough. Considering that the only way that they figured it out was through doing every other conceivable action, I'm somewhat inclined to agree.

I liked this game because the players got really frustrated and felt trapped, as I believe their characters felt. The madness of the situation was palpable.


Characters come in from west side of the map, immediately get killed by a roving band of mercenaries. It's at this point that I introduce the "rule of time", meaning they can restart the adventure from the start if they wipe.

They wipe a few more times: some characters die to random encounters, others die because they get ganged up on by a bunch of NPCs. They never get inside Karlstadt.

During the last session Carl gets kidnapped by some Milzionaires who take him to their lair and torture him. The other characters embark on a rescue expedition which gets nowhere. Carl gets mad at me because he has to wait out the entire session-- I make fun of him over social media for this and now he and I "are no longer friends".


It's hard to run a game taking over a large couple-square mile area without knowing what countryside scenery is supposed to look like. My players got a sense for how lethal LOTFP was and how basically getting into any fight was a really bad idea. Carl is no longer my friend, and I probably should have let him play a NPC.


I run the dungeon of this for my twin brother and his girlfriend. They kill the squiggle and get trapped in the endless stairwell. They are unable to solve the puzzle, and both players get really mad at me because they can't escape. Both players are no longer friends with me for unrelated reasons.

I really like running the endless staircase as a logic puzzle for my friends. I did this around a campfire later and other people got mad at me.


I run this for Rob and Dave. They get down to the crypts, then take a break for "ice cream" (honey + snow). When they get back down all the ice skulls have melted and Rob's character gets possessed by a cleric which leads to a TPW.

I feel ambivalent about the effect of the ice skulls. I suspect the original edition just had all the dead revive when the skulls melted. Anyway I have no faith in my player's ability to defeat the giant goo monster.


Dave attempts to have False Chanterelle mass-copied by Joop in a forgery scheme. Ignores magical effects of painting that Joop shows him. Joop refuses to cooperate, Dave gets another artist who agrees, and to feed this starving artist Dave steals h'ordeuvres from a Joop party. Eventually Dave is caught burgling artist's supplies, and he goes to jail, and the game ends.

Joop van Ooms was surprisingly useful as an out-of-the-box character to drop in my game. A good personality with tricks up his sleeves. Unfortunately I was unable to remember the roles for his poetry so I couldn't bring those to the table.

OVERALL CONCLUSIONS: It may be impossible to play this game without making people mad. Harsh consequences + unfair situations turn off everyone.  Dave seemed bored at end; improv situation of "yes, and" broke down into "no, and you're gonna die if you don't do something else". Dave essentially thinks that he was being railroaded because his decisions didn't matter and he died anyway.

I really liked running this game and have spent a hundred and fifty dollars on a .pdfs and books. I enjoyed the stressful situations the players were trapped in. I liked how the player's stress mirrored the stress of their characters. This game may or may not be tenable depending on whether I can find other players to play with.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Haha, they sat in the house for three sessions? This is comedy gold...
When I played the adventure, our party got frustrated after one night (about 2 hours of roleplaying) and threw a coin between collective suicide and just trying to run for it.
Running won and we had enough meatshields for about half the party to get away alive.

I've never had a problem with players getting mad about LotFP adventures and I think it's due to how we play it. We've taken the Cthulhu approach so my players are eager to see how horribly their PC's get slaughtered.
Another method I've seen work is to play the part of a humble GM, when shit happens to the players, it helps when the Referee acts sullen and resigned. "I'm sorry, I'm as slave to the adventure as you guys."

All in all, I don't think the adventures have that many unfair situations as some claim (barring FFS and DFD, which are designed that way). When reaction rolls are used properly (and players don't act too hostile), it's quite easy to avoid combat: bandits can be bribed, beasts avoided, milizionaires joined... then you can stab them in the back.

I wish you luck finding new players.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


Dave and Rob read the message left by the wizard to "do not, whatever you do, push all three levers down." They assume it was sarcastic and push all three levers down.

Last edited by peterwebb (2016-08-10 05:33:09)

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Losing friends to a game is sort of a hint that something went wrong. Generally the unstated point of any game is to have something fun to do with your friends.

Games like this require pretty clear communication with your players. People don't all play RPGs the same way and there are two methods of handling that as a GM. You can ignore it and run things your way, in which case you'll burn through unhappy players. Eventually you may get lucky enough to stumble over people who randomly play in a style similar enough to yours that you mesh, but that can be a lengthy and frustrating way to go. The other option is to get a read on what type of game your players want, mix in the things you also have fun with and find a middle ground. Make forays outside of people's comfort zones sure, but you shouldn't be spending the entire game there. For example, you may enjoy seeing your players get frustrated but that's a sign they're not having fun anymore. A little frustration can make an eventual resolution feel that much better but a lot is just going to kill your game and drive off your players.

When PC death is going to be common in any game you need some buy-in from your players. They need to be aware that this will happen and be okay with it. Someone else here can probably explain how to do that better than I can. You also generally need to avoid volunteering your players to sit around the table with nothing to do for extended periods. Limiting that is one of your jobs as a GM.

For perspective on where I'm coming from, my personal style appears to be a bit less lethal than is standard for this game. I run the modules mostly as-is but when I add stuff in it tends to be either fairly normal stuff to draw a stark contrast with the weird bits or it's more toward the weird fantasy side of things and not necessarily overtly lethal. At one point as an in-between thing I had the PCs wander across a village where I mixed Stepford wives and Cthulhu-ish transformation so the guys were trading in the women in their lives to become very well-mannered squid-headed monsters. The guy would see "his" girl as attractive and enchanting and normal looking, while everyone else saw her as having a squid-head (but if he was "in the know", this wouldn't disturb him). If the PCs killed one (easily done) she'd come back the next day like nothing happened and I'd start describing things in a more paranoid fashion for that PC. Seeing them was just disturbing but thinking you'd killed one and having it come back would drive you batty eventually. Was fun for me and the players, although it also freaked them out a bit.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

You know, I honestly think they're warming up to it.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


They assault the church, but Father Bacon manages to convince them to instead explore under the church. Under the church, they flee from the God for a minute, but then they decide to stand and fight. They keep fighting to the last man and it's a TPW.

Conclusions:  I don't like "maze of twisty corridors, all alike" dungeons very much. Seems kind of repetitive to describe, there's a lot of uninteresting twists and turns. Plus the "random treasure" deposit were uninteresting to generate.

One of our players is pretty nihilistic and seems willing to lead others to their death. Whenever he is involved there is usually a TPW. I don't feel so bad about this one, since it seemed like the players were really sufficiently warned about this thing.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

There was a good moment during THE GOD THAT CRAWLS were I played some live recorded hymns when the villagers got the PCs down into the pit. I played this music:

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

They never thought to run away? Well, that encounter hopefully shook that notion out of them!

God that crawls is too well known in my circles that I actually coulnd't put it in my campaign. I've run it once as a one shot and I agree with you, it gets repetitive, especially when the players get lost.
We also play too much Call of Cthulhu and similar games, so running away was never an unfathomable option. And when you notice it's quite easy to evade the beast, the rest is just a maze with weird stuff in it.

Maybe Dungeon Crawl Classics style character funnel would suit your group? Some people need to burn through several characters before they learn how to survive.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

My eventual goal is to get Maze of the Blue Medusa involved. I think that's only really playable (in LOTFP) with some kind of hyper-aware dedicated playing group which my group has a shot at doing. Also Deep Carbon Observatory, which is really only fare for higher level characters, which for LOTFP, we'll have to see.

Next up is Tower of the Stargazer, I hope, and maybe we'll do Monolith after that. I find the character generator at is pretty good. Man, maybe I'll just do Tower--> Medusa. Who can say.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Main takeaway may be from mcing Apocalypse World: let your players know the stakes. IF they're fighting the giant slime monster and they have no hope to win you should let them know. Important answers happen after big questions.

I like LOTFP because the deadliness enforces important answers: you are likely to die so what are you gonna do to NOT die?

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

100% though there's a whole bunch of baggage from Dnd that people have to fight through. For instance people were talking about the Challenge Rating of The God That Crawls. They expected that they could defeat it just because every challenge is supposed to be defeatable by combat in Dnd.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Late-edition combat-as-sport-baggage certainly seems to be a major factor and the root of your group's issues.

Have you read the Osr Primer? Might come in handy as a cheat sheet for intended play style to prospective players.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

One thing that I make clear to my players is that I'm pitting them against the module itself and that it's not me coming up with this stuff they have to deal with.  I make it clear that I'm on their side and want them to win and overcome these obstacles (at the same time, they also know I think it's hilarious when they die in crazy ways).

Sometimes when they have a choice that has serious consequences, I make sure they have all available info, then have them repeat what they're doing very carefully.  Then, in some cases, I can pick up the module and read directly, "If a character..." and it's exactly what they just did.  They can see that the module itself anticipated their poor choice and they're about to pay the cost.

Some of my players do complain a lot, but I've done some things to make them feel better about their chances, like beefing up their characters with unique abilities and I have a sort of hero point system (I call them "Raggi Points"); they gain 1 Raggi Point each time their character dies or they experience something from adventure 10.  They can use these points on a character to get random permanent bonuses, like a better save, more skill points, +1 attack, etc.

I have found that all these super powers and beefed up characters has slowed the deaths/TPKs only slightly, but has resulted in more player confidence and goodwill.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

I did some playtesting with Maze of the Blue Medusa with one of my friends. He played a 1st level magic user, it was just him. He did ok for a while, ended up decapitating Ashen Chanterelle and selling the head to Lady Crucem, but not before cutting out half the earbones to trade to Uriel. Uriel ended up killing him anyway.

Playtest 2: 1st level Fighter-guy manages to alert Chronia that (spoilers) the Medusa loves her, which sends the Crackbeast into a rage. In the confusion he steals the magic candle that Chronia has and is about to bring this to the Dead Wedding when he's flipped around the escher stairs after an "Oku" opens a door. He dies from the fall.

In both playtests the player had read the module beforehand and so was allowed to play with the knowledge they could remember. I figured it was fair since they were solo-first-level. CONCLUSIONS: I think this is a good way to "test" the module and get a good sense of the characters involved. Going to run this for my larger group tomorrow, see how it goes. I think I'll let them start 2nd level.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules



This time we had a long session out-of-the-maze with a freed Chanterelle. Lesbian subplot developed with single player (another solo game). Ultimately the single player (B.D.) goes into maze, trusting Ashen Chanterelle.

Inside the maze, B.D. makes some "Oku" friends, who are out to heist the magic candle from Chronia (sound familiar?). They navigate a couple rooms, including pulling the swords from Sanguilfluous. The "Oku" constantly stop to argue amongst themselves. Eventually B.D. has to go home, they go back to the entrance only to find that A. C. has betrayed them. This is a devastating blow to B.D.

CONCLUSIONS: B.D. had some great insights about the maze. The biggest one is that the very strangeness of the maze is handled by the (insane) actors in the maze itself. Everything is weird, it's like portal fiction, like The Wizard of Oz. The "Oku" very well are clumped together as a means to stay sane, as are the Cannibal Critics and etc. Did not anticipate that.

ADDITIONAL CONCLUSIONS: The "character voices" came out very easily for me,  I was able to produce many characters which were very funny. Chronia's halls are mostly full of not-so-threatening people. We stopped short of Chronia, would have loved to play her. QED the Maze is playing very well, seems very "tragic", "Oku" are great comic relief.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules



The PC's take Ashen Chanterelle with them to the Dead Wedding via Tyko; A.C. has agreed to "guide" them in the maze. In the Wedding Tyko takes them to Sophornia Wort who lies to them a bunch. They get distracted by Decadent Waste who lures them to Tyko's Wort, who catches the PC's by surprise and kills one (they thought it was just Tyko). Later they get chased by a bunch of Aurum Specters out of the maze and A.C. disappears in the confusion-- 3 PCs die to the Specters.

For this session I had a lot of premade characters from These were great b/c players could spring in even after character generation, and because they took away all the burden of figuring out stats for new players.

Really good things that happened: Decadent Waste worked perfect, Tyko worked perfect, Sophornia worked perfect. Each was a mixture of comic relief and genuine challenge/oddity. They were all easy for me to roleplay because they had easy distinctive traits: Tyko's silent, D.W. lures people and is a shiny bird made of rubies, Sophornia lies and is an old lich. D.W. especially provided a great deal of comic relief and danger.

The whole maze has this mixture of humor/danger to it: what's comic relief is also genuinely problematic. Also there's some stuff that will just straight-up kill you like the Aurum Specters.

Combat slowed us down, at first, like trading hits with Tyko's Wight was pretty boring, even with the very real danger he presented. When the Specter's attacked it was a lot more along the lines of the "swarm of bees" example from this with everyone panicking, dragging dying people, crying in grief, leaving friends to die, etc.

CONCLUSIONS: Maze of the Blue Medusa is going swimmingly. I think the writing comes through so well- there's so many interesting ideas that pull the players in, and the moving parts-- Tyko and Decadent Waste-- were excellent.   There was a lot more table talk with like 6 people, and the Ashen Chanterelle bit took a while, but I feel like everything is well established, and we got a lot of play in. I even think the deadly, LOTFP combat was good because everyone learned a lesson, which was not hard to recover from due to the abundance of back up characters. Everyone had a great time, including some newbies. Go OSR!

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


So, we're starting to have a really large and diverse gaming group, due to the drop-in drop-out policy I'm having. Things start getting hairy early on when I let one player play a talking dog.

They go through the maze; the dog manages to grab (and kill) Decadent Waste and they sell the broken pieces to Lady Crucem Capelli; they make Gibba Gongata throw up the chess pieces by shoving soap in his mouth; Dave argues with Gibba for his scroll, eventually overexciting Gibba to the point where it flips off the side of the rope bridge and falls to its death :'(

At this point, the party splits. The dog and its owner go follow Torgos Zooth around, claiming that he is their new "dad". The other half of the party goes across the scary lines thing; some get in a fight with some lizardpeople, others talk to Chronia and get bitten by the crack-beast. Back with Zooth: Torgos releases his chem-stoat in a crowd of Cannibal Critics; there's a riot and the two adoptees flee.

Session ends with no one dead(!) but Dave is rendered unconscious by the Chameleon Women's strike. The other Cham-Women are soundly defeated with the help of hypno disks. Some people trapped by the sand-time-controlling thing in the Almery.


• Zooth situation with adoptees is getting out of hand. My bad for letting things get "wacky". 9 players a lot to DM for. Nonetheless Maze is handling it well.
• Chronia encounter went verrry well. Real good interaction between her and newbie. Promising sexual vibes.
• Chameleon women are pushovers! Sorta. They rolled bad. Glad most people survived.
• Gibba was fun and I'm sad he's dead.

Drinking while refereeing? Not so bad.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


6 people, all really cool, guy brought some nice sweet breads. Things looked up, but by the end of the session everyone was kinda down, worrying. I did not drink as much (maybe that's the issue?)

I talked to Patrick Stuart about this before I started, I asked if 1st Level LOTFP characters would survive the Maze. On reflection, I think that the actual level of the characters is semi-unimportant, b.c. the decisions the players made in the Maze (this time) were kinda independent of character level, but we'll see...

They go in the maze; immediately, one PC makes a ?wise? move to cut the return painting out of the frame and roll it up and take with her. This is crazy but it's OSR so I let it go; wild thinking the whole's biz. The Bondeye Repartee show up and freak out the PCs for a minute.

There's no real encounter 'til the Starlight room where they meet like 13 "Oku" trying to rob them. Things break down into combat and people start falling into each other's shadows as per the room (new readers: shadows create 10' pits in this room). After some lethal-ish combat the PCs willingly give up (most) of their gold and rations and everyone sets about rescuing each other from the pit.

From that point on, half the group grabs swords from the Throne room while the other half starts dealing with the Chess King two rooms over. The Chess King wants to be polished in exchange for safety "within his kingdom."* Meanwhile the "Oku" from earlier are crossing the rope bridge in between the Throne and the Chess room so two of the PCs, the ones with the swords, try cutting the bridge. Both get spiked by Oku arrows. One survives, and makes it back to the Chess King, where everyone camps out with his protection.

Two days of rest pass; another PC shows up out of the painting (they are carrying it with them). There's some encounters with Chameleon Woman and the Lion in Lapis Lazuli, neither of which can attack the PCs in the Chess King's "kingdom" due to the King's psychic powers. The PCs have fun yelling at the Lion and hurting its feelings.

They set out again. There's an encounter with the hypnodiscs and the nazca lines before some Orchidmen show up and everyone loses their nerve and jumps back through the painting. The painting is left lying on the ground next to the Ambush Scarab, to be dealt with by (someone, probably). Net loss for the PCs who lost everything they got (the swords, which fell into the pit beneath the rope bridge) and also got robbed and killed.

Everyone was emotionally down at the end b.c they got no treasure. Things seemed too hard. Then again, the risks they took-- fighting 13 "Oku", and trying to cut the rope bridge-- were pretty commiserate with the damage they took. Getting pwned and then trading sexual favors for safety with the Chess King... middling to bad.

RULES NOTES: I relaxed the "you don't get hp back inside of the dungeon" LOTFP bit. Seems hard not to do this, as I've done this before, with Legends of the Scarecrow. Maybe there's something I'm missing-- pleasures of hardcore gaming? Force PCs to leave, escape? Would like some clarification on this.

CONCLUSIONS: Describing each room was a challenge. MOTBM says not to read the description text but the players urged me to do that, with good results. I may start reading description text more, or at least referring to it more. I usually say something like "giant weird line painting" while the text says it more eloquently.

OTHER CONCLUSION: I'm too obsessed with this book for my own good. I feel like I'm bringing people into my obsession with too little practical thought for their own enjoyment. Everything is too hard, with too little reward. I fear that hardlining OSR-style play is driving people away from the game.

THIRD CONCLUSION: 1st level play, inside the MOTBM, isn't impossible, and there's many encounters which are deathtraps no matter if you're 1st or 5th. But the difference is that with 1st level you have 4hp so you're able to advance less far without taking a break. 4hp is a really frustrating amount to start with, but, again, maybe there's that OSR hardline carrot somewhere.

FOURTH, POSSIBLE CONCLUSION: Give everybody more hp?????? Any thoughts would appreciated if anyone's reading this.

*One of the PCs made this super sexual which is awesome.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

The room descriptions are the best part of the book, so it's only natural to recite the best parts for the players!

An easy way to deal with 1st level lethality is to start the players at the 2nd or even 3rd level. They get a little more hp, mages get some new toys, but everyone's still weak enough for it to be interesting. Tell them to roll a Dwarf or a Fighter, if they want to survive!
(And it's easy to forget LotFP has minimum hit points for first level. 4hp isn't much, but it's more than 1 hp you get in some systems!)

I don't remember, where it says that there's no HP regen in a dungeon. I've always run it that if they can eat and get a full night's sleep they recover hit points normally, no matter where they decide to camp.
Naturally it's harder to do in a dungeon than an inn, but not impossible.

A lot of MotBM's reward comes from discovering and interacting with the weird inside. Some players love that while others never will. You might have to find players who seek OSR experience or ease up a bit to make the game more suitable to your group.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Yeah, I, as a compromise, gave them all an extra HD worth of hp.  It made an encounter with 1st level chameleon women trivial so I think they're ready to take on the maze now.

Add'l play reports:
People go in and out of the maze; at this point, it's established that The False Chanterelle is local demi-homeless London gossip. Thus all the muddled semi-adventurers my players seem determined to play.

The Medusa-side painting got picked up by Oku and brought to their parlor. The PC's relationship to Aelfraded has become center to their crisis. At this point, I'm heavily reading up on LOTFP spells and considering how a paranoid witch would react to adventurers which has made me a little paranoid myself.

One PC manages to find his dead brother (former player's character) in the maze and retrieve his body. They raid the tomb of Rinaldi Dodo and get a magical shield which saves one of their life. They find Elatior, and Bofur the dwarf decides to stay there, and they have a run in with the Chamelon ladies on the island. They meet and kill Zaccheus the mechanical peacock.

People get mad at me because we haven't been keeping track of XP and there's eight people. I get emotionally frustrated after about three hours of play. I feel like the whole thing might be crashing and burning but I notice that week after week people come back. RPGs I think are just really fun regardless.

PLAY NOTES: I don't legislate the outside world. Generally I let them tell me what to do and how and so on when it comes to 1600's London. Because they actually made it out with treasure, I've come up with a Spidergoat Economy for purchasing magic items. I switched over wholly to the Gold Standard to avoid confusion, and because of the importance of Gold and specifically Gold in The Maze.

I have changed my position as regards the LOTFP no-mapping rule: I have decided to do some visual diagrams for the players. Before, my position was a broad no-dm-mapping policy because I felt the player should make the maps as per LOTFP's rules. Now I'm going to draw rooms out for them because it's fucking hard to understand the Maze. I'll erase the rooms after I draw them though sometimes mayb.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

This session they captured an Oku and pulled it back through the painting. I got to LARP it for a half hour. Vetchling drew them a map and survived a poisoning attempt.

I'm getting exhausted quicker... need to sleep more.

Outside of that, they explored the galleries a little and killed an ape. That's when all the oku got involved-- they tried to trap them in the Ape's cage. Left the false chanterelle painting on the back of the apple sculpture, we'll see where the cannibals put it next week-- or will they leave it alone?

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Epic roleplaying session

Basically, most of the session is outside the Maze. In London/Vornheim, dealing with: stealing the painting again to reactivate it, and interrogating and seducing and !murdering! the "Oku" guy they captured.

The end result is two PC's holding down and strangling the "Oku" after it escaped and tried to grab the painting. There's a whole lot of seduction and interrogation. The PC's are also infighting, so when go back in the painting, they're overwhelmed by the Cannibal Critics and taken down (three Critics follow them back through the painting and kill them). The session ends depressingly with most of the known PCs killed.

CONCLUSIONS: 1most: the hidden potential I've seen in LOTFP is coming out. That is, the system as a vehicle for an existential meditation on violence and etc. is coming out. People get depressed when their characters die. It seems preventable.

I think the extent to which I didn't have to speak this session is telling. My rule is that, outside of the maze, the world is *mostly* under the control of the PC's. They get to say what kinda living situations they live in, where they go, what's around them. I sometimes direct the Players's questions to each other-- "What kind of house is this?" --"Ask {Player Name}, it's his house." This results in a lot of PC back-in-forth.

The other thing is that the PC's actual motivations are *surprise* kitty-corner to each others. So some wanna murder the others, steal things, hold grudges etc. It doesn't exactly add up to an adventuring group.

Those interpersonal tensions make for an interesting story though. And they may be setting the groundwork for an actual adventuring group. I'm kind of just letting the PC's have fun with all the pretenses of a normal adventuring group-- "you meet in a bar, you're all friends". I think the Maze is good for this specific goal of nonconformity to the standard expectations for Dnd.

This session I was able to take the best appropriate role for a Referee, I think. Not a dictator of events but an arbitrator of chance as well as a (brief) threat. Being outside of the maze saves me from describing a bunch I guess.

One player is still mad that things are really difficult but I can't help but feel the greatest challenge to the PCs is the players themselves. IDK exactly. The interaction with the "Oku" was great.

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules


everyone leveled up, by robbing the art gallery
they lured all the cannibals thru the painting to a 20ft drop and some spears
they survived an encounter with the ratleopard
they pried a giant purple wyrm head (like, room-size) off a wall and took it with them through the painting
the head destroyed their house coming thru

basically the painting/portal is becoming a huge problem
more or less because it enables the five minute adventuring day like mad

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

Haha, problem or not, I'm really enjoying how your guys use the painting! It reminds me of a Cthulhu campaign I played in which had a painting that transported people to hyborean era, in the middle of a lizard man sacrificial ritual. We used it whenever we broke into somewhere to get rid of witnesses...

From your posts it seems that the PC's have quite easy access to the painting? Perhaps it's time to throw a curveball? If the PC's carry it with them, it's good to remember that the painting is fragile and flammable, easily harmed during combat. And it's not very good painting, so the critics would surely take offense to anyone carrying it.
If they leave it somewhere, a monster could stumble upon it and either carry it away or, if its still open, venture into the real world to cause chaos. If this happens, while PC's are not in the maze, they could be in for a surprise, when they next enter!
If Aelfraded still has the painting, perhaps she'll become antsy of all people going back and forth and begins to demand tribute or servitude (or just various crazy tasks) of them before letting them back?

Just my two bits on how to make life with it interesting, I hope they are of some use to you. smile

Re: Play reports for 5+ modules

so here's how the painting thing's gone so far:

They left the painting near some Oku, the Oku took it back to their lair.
They left the painting in Aelfreded's trap, she kept it in her room and demanded some passive-aggressive things
They left the painting in the gallery, the Cannibals found it and installed it in their room (thus, the Cannibal Slaughter)
This time they jumped in the painting when some Chameleon Ladies showed up, so I'm thinking of putting it on one of the Library-Ships? In Elatior? That would be a real curveball.

Thanks for the advice as always!