(4/23/02 1:10 pm)
Aluvial’s Journeymen OR These Guys I Call Friends
In the true fashion of these boards, I've decided to include my own tale of heroics (and antics) of my group of players (and the stat monsters who they call their PC's). I will digress, but since no one is here to stop me from typing, it will do you no good. Just read on (and on) and hope for the best.
Feel free to comment on new strategies for me to use or add suggestions to the course my game that I should take as I wish to inflict as much pain and suffering on their collective dimwitted heads as I can. You may also feel free to move on at this point and save yourself from the tortures my group makes me suffer weekly (Wednesday Nights – 7 to 11) with all of their _______ ____!! (add your own two word expletives in the spaces provided)
I’ll discuss the players and their characters here and get to the story in the next post.
The Players (and these ARE my friends, I’ve just managed to find a new way to bust their balls in print, that’s all) and their PC’s are:
Opie, age 28: the rules lawyer (with icy lawyer blood in his veins. I’d add that he would have a lawyer heart, but we all know that is not possible. I believe his warped brain keeps his cold blood circulating). Anyway, I’ve already asked this bozo to tone down his arguing and the group has threatened a civil suit against him if he ever says “I’m just playing my character as a dick,” again.
He plays Admir “I Love to Argue” Synthek. Admir is a LN (CN) Elven, Male, Fighter 3rd – Wizard 1st. He as made a habit of taking all of the archery feats (Rapid Shot, Point Blank, etc.) that he can and has just finished crafting the beginning of a Masterwork Mighty Longbow +2 (he has the bow complete and is working on the masterwork component in his spare time). He wishes to follow the course of one of his family members and become an Arcane Archer some day. The reason for the second alignment is attributed to the fact that an alignment change occurred due to one nastily cursed helm. He is now LN but still treads all over the line of a chaotic character. Here is a little ditty I wrote for him if ever the need arises:
And then descended upon Admir's head a golden light, and those who tried to behold it looked away their eyes burning and their minds filled with the fertile light of Freya!
And from the void itself sprang a holy warrior glad in golden mail and riding a mighty lion and a voice rang from her as pure as the light itself.
She Proclaimed, "YOU HAVE OFFENDED THE NATURE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND RIGHT (not to mention my rules) AND YOU SHALL PERISH!"
And the light expanded to encompass all nearby and the swing of Freya's weapon whistled with the might of her Goddess, and the troublesome beast's head was shorn away.
A vicious roar was then heard and the minds' of his companions was filled with its' ringing and the Paladin and her fearsome stead were gone leaving the offender in the dirt and Freya's blessing (warning) amongst his former comrade's faces.
Here ends the tale of Admir.
You'll see why I wrote this later...
Doug, age 35: the combat junkie. He has been in my campaign for 10 years. He helped me push us into third edition with its faster combat and choices of action. I don’t count him as a hack-n’-slasher but it’s close. Overall a good role-player and the party treasure keeper. Smokes a lot.
He plays Eli Shadowspawn. Eli is a LN Halfling, Male, Thief 4th. He has taken the Dodge Feat and is very good at understanding flanking, tumbling and so on. Eli’s knack for battle has led him to create more damage than some of my fighter types have in an average battle! Eli likes to sneak about to scout out a situation but will gladly hang back if someone else steps on his toes to “(I) move ahead.” I’ve given him good opportunity to steal from the party, but he has not done so… yet. He is a bit of a joker and can take the small fry and half-man jokes pretty well. I believe he might be leaning towards the Shadowdancer PrC.
Carlos, age 37 (38?): a D&D fanatic. This guy has been crafting his own campaign for as long as I’ve known him but is never quite finished and ready to play it (we’ll see how he does DM-ing, ha, ha, ha). Carlos has a better game collection than anyone. I’ll bet the guys at WotC probably don’t have as complete of an archive. This guy has it ALL! (including RttToEE) I’m not kidding. This is the party’s (only) note keeper. He doesn’t have the best memory though and sometimes messes up the story. His interpretation of his own script is questionable, I’ll admit, but like I said, he’s all they’ve got. Carlos still has problems grasping all of the new rules (hell the old rules too) and has just figured out skill points. It’s not as if he’s mentally challenged (ha, ha), just gets a tad confused now and again. ;-)
He plays Randelar Fleetfoot: Randelar is a NG Elven, Male, (Monte Cook variant) Ranger 4th (Good job with that Monte! Oh, I like the adventure too). This character has a bad habit of separating himself from the rest of the group and going off “just a bit” to explore. This has almost cost him his life twice, but, as you will find out later, that will not deter him. Randelar is pretty brave and is a True Party Member, “Party comes first!” I like that about his character.
Scottie, age 39 (oh so very close to 40): the character man. Scottie develops his characters out to the fullest possibility. With a little electricity ***foreshadowing, ironic foreshadowing, foreshadowing…*** I swear that these guys could leap right off the page. They are very well thought out, interesting, fully developed characters. I have to give it to him for that. Now, the problem. His characters are SO well developed and SO thoughtful that he becomes VERY cautious with them. More on this with his current character later.
He plays Stoneheart Earthfather. Stoneheart is NG Dwarven, Male, Fighter 4th. He has taken a number of fighter related feats and is striving to become a Stonelord (PrC found in Dragon 278, also done by Monte). I’d fill you in on his character but it would be twice as long as this entire introduction. Needless to say, Stoneheart is gruff, just like a good dwarf should be. VERY cautious in a fight (as stated before). He has ties with Oerth already and will be perfect for the Stonelord prestige class. (I would have suggested a half-genasi for him but I was only allowing the PH races. I may have him “change” into one if he every gets his first level of PrC.)
Justin, age 22: the min-maxer. This guy takes advantage of every rule situation that is created (and some he just dreams up). With the advent of 3rd ed. he is able to work it to even greater gut-wrenching fruition. I’d lump him in with Opie as an arguer, but I only think that is because Opie sits next to him and whispers into his ear a lot. A couple of the guys think that he cheats. I will say that he is VERY, VERY, VERY, lucky. I keep my eye on him but haven’t caught him yet. Otherwise, he is an intelligent D&D player, role-plays well and gets into his characters and the story. He has the best memory for the events of the previous week’s sessions and tends to help Carlos get it straight.
He plays Talus Vanguard. Talus is a N Human, Male, Psi Fighter 3rd, Fighter 1st. Talus is geared towards combat and has taken all combat feats (Exotic Wpn, Weapon Focus, Quick Draw, etc.). Because of a house rule that allows characters to trade 4 skill points for a new exotic weapon after they have taken the Exotic Weapon Feat once, he has managed 3 Exotic Weapons so far. Along with psionic skills and feats that aid in combat (psi wpn) this guy is a powerhouse with a lot of HPs. A real nasty dude. (I will kill him!)
Almost finished… :-)
Jeff, age 37: the non-conformist and Justin’s older half-brother. Jeff has a love of D&D and to developing characters that could hardly be duplicated without copying them. He has played an intriguing mix, and has always got something up his sleeve. Jeff’s a very good role-player and has a great imagination about the game, when you can keep him focused. He sometimes goes off on tangents with Opie and Scottie about what’s on TV or what new movie came out. This happens quite a bit, so it is hard to keep him reeled in. Likes conspiracy theories.
He plays Vexander Sangreal. Vex is a NG Elven, Male, Sorcerer 1st, Wizard 1st, Cleric (Correllon-magic, protection) 2nd. (I imagine that he’ll pick up some bard levels next, ha ha.) This character has a love (obsession) with magic. He is striving to be a master in the art of spellcasting. With an owl familiar, he makes up the bulk of the party’s magical ability. He picked up his knowledge and desire for cleric levels from Zane (see below) and is the back up healer. With his low leveled but vast selection of spells he tends to hang back in a fight and get casting. The party came together due to a previous quest (S&S’s Wizard’s Amulet) involving him and stuck by him since. He is not a leader though and has developed some animosity with Admir.
And last, but not least…
Scott, age 36: the... the… hell, I don’t know. Scott is probably the best overall player that I have and has played with me as long as Doug has. He has always tried a new type of character and has a very good sense for role-playing. He is very patient with the others in the group but is leaning towards quitting! The party’s in fighting always has bothered him and there is a new girlfriend in the picture. I just might lose him! We’ll see, I think I’ve got him hooked into the story this time around…
He plays Zane Duskwalker. Zane is a LN Elven, Male, Cleric (Correllon-war, good) 3rd. (Zane has lost a level due to an earlier death but was revived by a very grateful town and their cleric due to his efforts.) Zane is soft-spoken (unlike Scott) and is always weighing the situation out. He is on a personal mission to weed out evils on the Oerth and so far, so good. I believe that he will be the glue that keeps the party on track for their upcoming trials and tribulations. Zane reveres his god well and has taken Extra Turning as a way to proclaim his god’s might. If a cleric could have a favorite enemy type, Zane’s would be undead (Prestige Class here???).
Well that’s it for the cast of characters. I included the personal info on my players because I believe I DM a group that has trouble leaving the real world behind and becoming their “characters.” We’ve been together as a group for over 6 years and the guys really feed off each other when it comes to the game. I think that if you pay attention closely, you just might see their personalities in their character's actions and that might help you realize why they do screwed up things at times. Oh well, I’m used to it by now, but I don’t have to like it! Death to the JOURNEYMEN!!!!
Edited by: Aluvial at: 4/23/02 2:09:22 pm
(4/23/02 1:16 pm)
The Beginning OR What Has Gone on Before Now|
I suppose that I really should be getting into the heart of the matter and start the story at Hommlet but that isn’t quite how it started for my group. A few things occurred before they ever reached that sleepy town and those minor events spill into this story and will have lasting repercussions. I promise to make it quick.
They began their careers from all over the Flanness and had all journeyed to the west for Verbobonc to find adventure in the wildlands of the hills and mountains of that frontier area. It was in the small town of Oakhurst that they met and followed Vexander on a quest to uncover some magical devices once owned by his master’s friend Feriblan the Mad. Little did they know that Feriblan’s evil apprentice Vortigern and devilish familiar also longed for the devices. In a race with Vortigern with many struggles, the party battled for the items and emerged victorious (with the help of a small halfling, Lannet). Vortigern was captured and held in the dungeon of the town guard of Fairhill (just west of the Iron Wood). He was to be tried and judged by the constable there but escaped with the help of his familiar the night before his sentencing. Their whereabouts today are unknown…
After the location of the magical staff and bracers, the party followed the whims of Freya’s (goddess of fertility) main cleric in Fairhill and sought out the pelt of a winter wolf for a cloak she was crafting. They journeyed south into the mountains and along the way came across a cursed helm. Admir (chaotically) tried the magical helm and was forever changed (to Lawful). The party succeeded in finding the lair of many winter wolves and in a tough battle managed to slay or incapacitate the evil beasts. To their surprise they discovered that the creatures were intelligent and could speak, yet were totally deprived. Zane Duskwalker was frozen to death by multiple blasts of the creature’s horrible chilling breath and was later brought back to be revived. The party also managed to capture and keep one of the pups. An animal they have with them today…
After a few minor events the party gathered themselves for a journey east to find information sought by Talus at a locale called the Temple of the Elements somewhere near the Gnarley. The party had no knowledge of the true history and thought that they would just humor their new friend’s whims. As the party members were about to depart, they were approached by a local bard of the town and asked to give their name so that they might be remembered for their daring feats. After some debate, they ended up with the Journeymen. Lannet decided to accompany them as he was also (quickly) leaving town and heading their way…
The Journeymen now numbered eight and made their way through the stirge and spider infested Iron Wood. After a (big) fire they attracted the attention of a powerful druid who sought to destroy them for defiling the land he protected. They drove him off in a fierce battle and limped their way to Verbobonc leaving a new enemy in their wake…
Once the great city of Verbobonc was reached Lannet made introductions for Eli to join the thieves’ guild and handled some business he hastily fled from Fairhill because of. Apparently a pair of assassins were after him because of a “minor mistake in Veluna, I swear!” The party decided that they could not get tangled into the affairs of the halfling and let him go his own way to deal with the murderous duo (a blond brother-sister team w/ Dual Strike from the Veluna guild). Also, there was a small disagreement with a group of men wearing ochre colored robes, drinking and acting crude in the tavern. Nothing became of the incident…
After learning of the general history of the area (including the Battle of Emridy Meadows, the loss of Prince Thrommel, the Sacking of the Temple of Elemental Evil, twice, the involvement of Furyondy and Iuz, and the name of the small village near the center of the conflict) the party headed south east towards Hommlet. They would arrive in town a few days later…
((My first session involving RttToEE comes next!))
(4/23/02 1:50 pm)
Re: The Beginning OR What Has Gone on Before Now|
Great stuff...keep it coming! I wish I could provide as good a description for either my players OR their characters.
"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"
(4/23/02 2:12 pm)
Boring Trip OR My gods What Have I Done?|
Well as the group slinked off from Verbobonc in the night (to avoid the assassins who had seen them with Lannet) they managed to trade their cart in for a wagon and two horses. This was done legally, although the stable hand probably will wonder what happened the next morning when he sobers up. From here they traveled the road and reached Etterboek, a relatively small hamlet between Verbobonc and their destination, Hommlet.
This is where the party decided that a little rest and a lot of relaxation would be appropriate. Hence, drinking commenced. Attracting the attention of one of the local girls (human, and I quote, “I’ve never been with an elf before.”) with booze, Vex manages a little romance off under the stars in a field of hay. Little does he realize that this girl is not so naïve and will be accompanying the party to Hommlet.
“I has family there!” she proclaimed as the party set off in the (late) morning. With the rest of the party coaxing her to come along (much to Vex’s chagrin) she hops on the wagon in huff, mad at her new man. It isn’t long before she has made up with her new beau, and is chatting away with everybody on board.
((Boy did they give him a hard time about his “girlfriend!” It went on most of the night!!))
At about the lunch hour, the group makes contact with a small caravan heading north led by Ashrem. The gnome and a small entourage of Burne’s Badgers are on their way to Verbobonc to deliver a shipment of earthenware. The party takes a meal with them only to start asking questions about Spugnoir!
((Now I was at a tad of a loss, but in an earlier haste to speed them along I dropped a hint about Spugnoir being and gem merchant of great renown in Hommlet. I had given this tidbit to Zane back in Fairhill at the start of their adventures their when he asked about getting a gem cut. Maybe he takes notes too!!))
Anyway, Ashrem starts to discuss Spugnoir and his daughter Renne. This is where Opie/Admir starts in with his crap, and insinuates that he might do foul things to the girl when he gets into town. Well, I wasn’t about to let it go so I had Ashrem get offended and send one of Burne’s men speeding back to town to warn Elmo of the sicko’s coming his way! Ashrem then hastily departed leaving the party bickering over Admir’s attitude.
I was thinking that I would have to talk to him then but it was when they got into town that things really hit the fan…
When the party arrived, Vex saw his new girl Adawil to her families’ home and the party slowly drove their wagon into town. They had heard about the Inn of the Welcome Wench from the barkeep in Etterboek and took note of shops and temples as they crossed the bridge in the center of town. I described Elmo to them then as he stood on the bridge and watched them pass as well as some of the other “townies.”
Elmo would speak to them very soon.
As they got to the Inn they made as nice as chat is possible with Maridosen about rooms, food, and stables for their two horses and mule. They met Redithidoor, Chatrillion, and Vesta. ((Xaod was passed out in the common room at this point.)) As they started to enjoy the very fine wares the Inn had to offer, Elmo approached.
((I must admit that I was pretty peeved at Opie/Admir at this point. He had almost gotten kicked out of the Inn when he started squabbling with Maridosen, and then with Vesta. So when Elmo approached from the doorway shadows where he had slipped in I played him as not to kind.))
“So travelers, state your business here in Hommlet.”
Admir replies, “What do you care, OLD MAN!”
“I am Elmo, the Captain of the Militia! What happens in Hommlet IS My CARE!”
“Is that so, Captain? How about we settle this RIGHT NOW!”
Elmo draws his weapon. Rufus stands from the doorway of the private room after hearing the commotion with a spell ready…
Vex steps in and starts his own spell…
INITATIVE I call, cringing that all of my prep with this module will be ruined in one night…
Admir rolls a 5. Vex a 14. Elmo a 19.
Elmo sweeps in and grapples Vex’s arm and slams it to the table in a pin while pushing the blade of his battleaxe quickly to Admir’s throat.
The rest of the party remained quiet and Vex gave up his spell. Admir wisely held up his hands…
Elmo declared at this point, “You will surrender your arms and go peacefully from this place on the morrow.”
“I will have my eyes on you… tonight,” he said staring at Admir intently.
The end of the session had Randelar trying to make up for Admir’s nonsense and Elmo basically told him to shove off before he got really mad.
This was the end of the session and almost the end of Opie at my table, but like I said, we are friends so I talked to him about it. He promised to let it go and not to cause a disturbance again. This is when I wrote the little bit under his character description above. I hope that I will be able to edit that post…
Edited by: Aluvial at: 5/7/02 11:44:11 am
(4/23/02 3:01 pm)
My Big Army OR Deja Vu (I’ve seen this too)|
((This I lifted off of my old posts and edited, shifted, and so on to get the story correct.))
I had quite a bit of role-play in Hommlet at the start of the next game session. Apparently Opie/Admir had gotten a lecture from some of the group between sessions, and he came, and he sat, and he was quiet. I thought he was brooding at first but after a while he seemed to be having fun (with his mouth closed). Very interesting. We’ll see if it holds up.
Anyway, the group met almost the whole cast of (recruitable) characters (Chat, Questin, Xaod, Redith, Maridosen, Elmo, Burne, Vesta, Renne, etc.) In the end they were taking votes about who to take. They practically picked Xaod (who is having weird visions and mutterings) up from his table, even though I had him drink near 8 drinks!
"Here you go pal, let me get you another, we REALLY need your sword here, so are you ready to go, PLEASE!!!"
I had Maridosen keep him under the influence so to keep his wits dull. She had served him up drinks before he even sat down at the table. Despite her efforts, and the fact that they (slightly) challenged his dedication to Heironeous (almost a fight right there) he decided he would go and off he went (with a small cask and two bottles of elvish wine form Celene in his pack).
Some of the group also went by Spugnoir’s shop (He sells potions??!! Not gems??) and met Renee. She let them know that good ‘ol Dad is out again and should be back soon. He probably is at the moathouse on the outskirts of town if they really need him. They buy a few things from her and at the General Store and they head back to the Inn. On the bridge they have another encounter with Elmo who states that he might have been a bit hasty the previous evening. He had come in VERY early to wait for the party, only to be met by Vesta who put in a good word about the boys. He sends his apologies to Admir and wishes the group good travels (anywhere but here he thinks).
So the group starts to pack up and head off. By now it is mid morning. We figured that it would take 8 hours to get there. If they left now they would make it by nightfall. ((Oh goody!!)) Xaod throws up as the wagon passes the keep… and keeps on drinking…
As for them recruiting, who know what these jokers are up to? I guess some of the elves felt sorry for Redithidoor and just couldn't say no to him. Chatrillion was out right away though. The party decided that he looked just too polished.
So they had nine going to the moathouse, plus two familiars (Hummingbird for Admir and Owl for Xaod)
Let’s not forget the winter wolf pup in a cage in the back of the wagon. More on him later… Two horses hitched to the wagon and Vex’s mule (which he rides). You would thin that they were leaving Hommlet for good. And so they thought they would.
“We’ll just check out the moathouse on the way to this Temple of the Elements (they’re still calling it that) and were going to set off into the Gnarley.” ((OK sure.))
So far so good, they don’t know anything. ((That good, right?)) ;-)
So on the way they had a brief encounter with 3 dire badgers (mainly because the Hommlet encounters took two sessions with no combat) and they felt the pain. Especially Randelar who was in the lead (I’ll scout ahead! Chest out and head high) at the time. I had the badgers burrowed in near the road. Now the party was looking for ankhegs that they heard might be around but these things totally surprise them and start rending Randelar to bits.
Charging, rending, flanking, scent! Hoody Hoo!! Welcome to 3E boys!!!
When they finally got to this first encounter (random dire badgers), Xaod was really drunk so I had him draw his sword, stand up on the back of the wagon, proclaim some gibberish about his honor, and fall off!
Mostly arrow fire here from, about everybody. Randelar taking the heat and… BAM he’s down!
Vex manages a sleep, and just like that, one badger left making for the horses. Where are the other fighters you might ask? Well they’re holding back. Remember Scottie/Stoneheart the fighter dwarf? Well he very slowly, very cautiously approaches. By the time he gets ready to do anything the fight is over. Talus the Psi Fighter? He’s trying some psionic crud. That doesn’t work. He’ll decide to fight next time. Randelar? Oh, yeah, he’s on the ground bleeding to death.
I think it’s going to be a long campaign…
So Zane heals Randelar and they set off again. This time Randelar rides in the wagon.
Once they got there I was really geared up to spring the big U on them, not to mention the frog (I really like giant frogs) but they took one look and headed back towards town! 1/2 a mile later they decide to camp.
End of Session
All in all, Opie kept it down and the role-play at the beginning made it a VERY good game.
‘Ol Del is next!
Edited by: Aluvial at: 4/23/02 4:35:28 pm
(4/23/02 6:56 pm)
Big Army Takes a Dive or Giant Lizard Blues?|
Well the party has made camp and managed to hunt down...((rolling dice)) a deer. So a big fire is made up and the army of nine (well eight, Xaod has been sleeping it off since the badgers), plus five creatures, and don’t forget the wagon (I think they’re going to name the damn thing), has managed to scare everything and everybody off for about a mile.
Except for the two figures lurking in the dark just on opposite sides of the camp…
The first guy is really quiet and kind of glides when he moves. He approaches the camp very quietly and even makes note of the owl flying about. He is careful to be VERY still when it passes over head. Of course, he knows that he won’t be spotted but he might be heard moving through the grass towards the camp… what are they talking about? Staying just outside the ring of light that the fire sheds, the man lies in the grass and watches for a moment…
The second guy moves with a speed and a grace that is deceptive for his size. His cat like agility has kept him free from many a slashing claw (and dagger), and keeps him near silent. His skills at the hunt are his own little secret to keep. Not many look his way when he doesn’t want to be noticed. Yet when he wants to, he can charm even the most hostile of… wait… OK, an owl scouting around. I’ll just tuck myself into this niche and… yep, bird never saw me. Boy, these guys sure are loud…
So the party blissfully unaware that grave danger has followed them and that a little hint both lie right outside of their sight. Until one of them gets up, figuring these to be the friendly bunch he saw in town. I think I'll just invite myself to dinner…
“Who approaches our camp?! State your business here,” a cry comes from a man on the wagon. An elf by the look of him. A few other elves lurk about peering into the darkness trying to see who approaches. One of them has his bow drawn…
“Just me, Del the Trapper here, yep just me.”
“What do YOU want?” ((a little old 2nd Ed. paranoia kicking in here from Scottie/Stoneheart, the dwarven fighter.))
Del replies, “Just the warmth of your fire and a little bit of your company. It looks like you guys have company to spare.”
So Del comes into camp while the shadowy figure lies in wait. He at first guts some squirrels he’s caught and puts on a spit and throws them in the fire. The party has completely surrounded him at this point but mainly to hear what the old coot has to say. He goes on and on and on about creatures in the woods, ankhegs, dire badgers, deer, great cats in the Gnarley, lynxes, a panther he once caught, back to squirrels and rabbits, men in ochre colored robes, lions, tigers, and bears, oh my…
“Wait! Did you say men in ochre colored robes?”
“Uh, yeah, anyway there are giant lizards and snakes and dead men walking about and spiders and”
“WAIT! Did you say dead men walking and men in ochre robes?”
And ‘Ol Crazy Del starts rambling on about what he has seen. Dead men shambling about in the moathouse, and groups of men in ochre colored robes nearby too. The party listens with interest and someone mentions the clerics that they saw in Verbobonc. Hmmm… And they chat a tad bit longer before Del packs up to go.
“Well, thanks for the fire. I’ll be on my way. Got a shack in Hommlet and if I hurry I can get there by morning. Thanks for the company. Oh by the way did I mention the dragon I’ve seen flapping about? No, well you might want to watch out for that too. Haw, Haw, Haw!!” Del laughs with his two tooth smile.
And he leaves, and the party misses both the hint and the death stalking about…
So the rest of the night is uneventful, and the party wakes up and starts back for the moathouse. When they arrive they are pretty cavalier and again make TONS of noise. They tether the horses to the ground and Eli (Halfling thief) starts moving ahead, to search out the drawbridge. Meanwhile, in preparation for the expected undead, Zane (elf cleric of Correllon) casts an Invis to Undead spell on himself and two others (Stoneheart and Randelar I believe). Anyway, Eli the small halfling makes his way up the narrow path that leads to the drawbridge…
And Spot and Listen checks and…
Yes you see it in the water… No you can’t quite make it out.
INITIATIVE please and… WHOOOSH!!!
“EEEEEEeeeeeee,” Eli screams, and THUD, SSSLAPPP!!!
Eli is suddenly sucked towards rows of sharp giant FROG teeth!! BWUH-HA-HA!! (DM not frog)
And the game is on again but really not for long. The party manages to slay the beast before I can even attempt to swallow him. Stoneheart (the meek) actually takes a hack at it with his Dwarven Waraxe and slices the frog wide open. Eli manages a stab with a dagger and the others a few bow shots.
One Dead Frog. ((Randelar, inspired by ‘Ol Del wants to chop off its legs for a meal…))
The unseen shadow looks on…
The Journeymen now gather themselves and free Eli from the tongue. The stage as you know is set. The actors in this play very cautiously approach…
First Eli, who immediately signals the others about the rust spot in the middle of the courtyard and the line rust (splattered?) up the steps on the far side. Is that a curved dagger lying there?? Eli steps very slowly ahead.
Next come Zane and Stoneheart. They have the Invis to Undead still working and Zane is brandishing his Crescent Moon Holy Symbol. They head to the left and move up the west wall to rubble in the NW corner. Zane is leading.
Randelar is next and he moves to the right and checks out the large arrow slit on the angled southern wall. He finds himself to be in a good spot soon.
Next is Xaod. He stands just inside the doorway watching those steps…
Admir and Redithidoor are next. Admir tells Redithidoor to keep his bow ready and to stay close. They follow Zane’s and Stoneheart’s path, hugging the wall and moving to the tower door in the SW corner…
Talus (human Psi War) and Vexander (elf sorcerer/wizard/cleric) stand at the door on the moat side…
Eli realizes that the rust is blood. He calls out to everyone what is up…
Big U stirs… and peers out into the light of the courtyard. Hmmm… what’s this…?
Zane, then Stoneheart work their way down the North wall heading towards the stairs. They are almost there…
Eli has also approached but has hooked towards the East wall…
Xaod moves forward and up the middle almost to the stairs. Clang, clang, clang…
Talus steps just inside the doorway…
*Is that a blue lizard coming out of the doo..?* Zane almost finishes thinking and then,
ZZZZZZAAAAAPPPPPPP!!!!!!! Lightning over Zane and Stoneheart, lined up in a nice little row. Both save and yet take big damage.
INITATIVE I call, and it stacks up like this:
Eli moves and loads, he is hit by an AoO. 10 HP
Admir moves forward and shoots his bow, hits 2 HP
Stoneheart gets out two potions. (yet can’t drink either, yet)
Vex tries a spellcraft check to identify an illusion. Nope.
DRAGON starts to hover and makes a full attack on Xaod, Ouch!! Xaod has 4 HP left.
Redithidoor runs! In fact he runs for the whole battle and even tries to get away on the wagon!
Xaod counters and hits. 16 HP’s (not bad for a dead man walking)
Talus moves forward. He is very slow, switches weapons.
Randelar in the face of the dust ducks into the arrow slit.
Zane casts a spell and fails Concentration. No healing today!
Eli shoots and moves further back. Misses
Admir shoots twice and misses
Stoneheart gives potion to Zane (free action) drink a potion of healing and pull another.
Vex wants to use Magic Missile. Sorry can’t see. OK mage armor. Pulls back from door at the entrance.
DRAGON regains breath and uses it on Xaod and Talus. Both save. Xaod dies.
Talus moves forward to strike but misses in the dust.
Randelar readies his bow.
Zane drinks the potion and moves back.
Eli shoots and hits! 3 HP
Admir tries to run for the stairs and hits dragon’s tail. Makes a Dex DC 17 to stay up and makes the top of the stairs and yells in Draconic (no kidding) “have at you, foul beast!!” Dragon hits with AoO!
Stoneheart drinks a healing potion and pulls yet another… (Told you he was cautious)
Vex holds ends up yelling at Redithidoor who is now turning the wagon around.
DRAGON moves and lands on Admir pinning him to the ground. No damage. Dust will stop in one round. Utreshimon answers in Draconic, “Surrender your arms and you shall live!”
Talus manages to hit. LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY 13 HP
Randelar starts to approach but still has no target.
Zane tries another spell and again fails Concentration.
Eli loads and shoots his x-bow and hits for 8 HP
Admir is pinned. HA-HA-HA Tries opposed grapple. I repeat, HA-HA-HA
Stoneheart drinks final potion and draws his weapon.
Vexander casts ??? No effect on battle.
DRAGON holds actions and states in common, “SURRENDER YOUR ARMS AND I SHALL LET YOU LIVE!!” The dust cloud dies down.
Talus strikes and hits for 13 more HP
DRAGON Freaks. So I know that this wasn’t quite right but…
DRAGON rakes at Admir with back claws and hits.
DRAGON attacks very irritating man that keeps hitting (Talus) with Bite and Claws. One bite, one claw.
DRAGON uses wing buffet (you should see the claws my mini has on its wings) at Stoneheart and Randelar, both hit!
Zane casts Bless (+1 to hit)
Eli hits with x-bow. 2 HP
Admir scrambles away down the stairs
Stoneheart attacks and hits for 7 HP
Vexander casts Magic Missile and hits for 5 HP
DRAGON (slightly out of turn and with 33 HP’s left) Breathes lightning for the very last time. A cone effect on Randelar, Talus, and Stoneheart. Randelar and Stoneheart fail there saves and die! Talus passes somehow (LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY) and some how survives (AGAIN, LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY)
Talus powers up a psionic weapon strike and hit with a critical (LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY) and manages 31 HP of damage (LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY)
Admir spins and shoots two arrows. Both HIT!!! DRAGON GOES DOWN!!!!
Insert cheers of the crowd here…
This of course was the end of the session. They managed to get to call to Redithidoor to stop the wagon and we wrapped up there.
Next time: Dead Journeymen! Does Y’dey really care??? Moathouse exploration??? Who knows what they’ll do?? Nasty Death Stalking Cultist with a Polished Look??
(4/23/02 6:57 pm)
So... Any suggestions??|
Well I guess if yo made it this far, you must of liked it.
So the question is: What do I do with 3 dead characters?
I have Xaod, Randelar and Stoneheart.
I know that they will want to be revived. The penalty has been given to Zane once already, so they know it is steep.
Can they get this done in town? Will Y'dey really care to help them?
Edited by: Aluvial at: 4/23/02 7:02:43 pm
(4/23/02 6:59 pm)
Taking Advantage of Double Post...|
Another question comes to mind about the experience penalty.
How bad does it effect the course of play?
I will be looking at 3--3rd level guys and 4--4th when I'm done.
I have thought of assessing only a penalty of half the experience between your last levels. That way if you were over half way to your current level you would not drop back a level at all. If you were not half way to the next level you would probably lose the level but not go all the way back to exactly half way. See what I'm driving at?
By the way, my game is Wednesday night. I could sure use a little help.
Edited by: Aluvial at: 4/23/02 7:08:51 pm
(4/23/02 9:04 pm)
Re: Taking Advantage of Double Post...|
Liked it??? Loved it!!!
I started my players with Wizard's Amulet and they're about to assault the keep in Freya's Crucible in the next session. They'll head for Homlet as soon as they are ready for RttToEE.
On the experience penalty, the 1/2 previous level experience penalty is how I am approaching it. It imposes a slight penalty, but doesn't make it too onerous. In a party so large, it really does not matter that much especially in a campaign as long as this one. They will catch up fairly quickly especially if the others have plenty of opportunity to die too.
On Y'dey, I'm sure at this point in the game, "in-character" she doesn't give a rat's ass... so what is a DM to do? Make the PC's pay ... discount it some if the party offers any useful info on what they've found.
BTW what, if any, plans do you have for Vortigern?
Edited by: Berova at: 4/23/02 9:11:23 pm
(4/24/02 8:20 pm)
Re: Taking Advantage of Double Post...|
Heh, IMC Xaod's down to 2nd level now. The poor guy was first felled by a Chat-attack immediately after big U was killed, and then killed again later by having the bad luck to be standing on a wooden platform next to the top of the obelisk when the supporting rope was cut by a madly cackling Festrath.
All those raise dead expenses are severely cutting into his beer cache.
(4/25/02 7:21 am)
Re: Taking Advantage of Double Post...|
"Breathes lightning for the very last time. A cone effect..."
How does a blue dragon breathe lightning in a cone? Normally they have a line of effect for a breath weapon.
Did you give him some kind of feat to reshape his breath?
(4/26/02 5:19 am)
Re: Taking Advantage of Double Post...|
I thought I read that dragon's breath weapon was either a line OR a cone. I might have gotten it wrong though. I'll look it up later...
And I have a new post for last Wednesday's session coming up.
(5/7/02 10:31 am)
Where’s the Treasure? OR A Lot of Death Lurking Around Here|
Lurking on top of the Moathouse Keep, Chatrillion the Assassin continues to stalk the party. He is extremely interested in their activities but can not help feel the good fortune of them confronting and killing the young blue dragon! Where did that foul creature come from? Better keep my eye on them, and warn the others below…
**We’ll now take a small trip back in time…**
**When the party moved into the courtyard, the invisible assassin assumed that the party would soon face the Clerics, and decided to cross the moat and climb the wall to take watch of their activities. Perhaps he would aid the priests if the party proved formidable. When he easily reached the wall’s summit, he was as shocked (ha-ha) as the party was when the blue unfolded his wings at the top of the steps and lightning erupted over the dwarf and elven cleric from its breath weapon. Chat then watched with even greater interest at the adventurer’s individual abilities when the combat ensued. This part of his training was ingrained in him. Looking for weaknesses and strike points that would come in handy later. When the dust began to kick up he repositioned himself into a better vantage point to view the dragon and the chaos that erupted below him in the courtyard. Chat new better than to get to close, less the dragon sense him and take him as part of the group attacking. When the dust started to settle a few moments later he found himself in a perilous position; the dragon just might win this battle! That would not bode well for the activities and personnel below. He might even have to help them slay the beast if they don’t fair better in the next few seconds… (ZZZZZAAAAAPPPPP!!!!!) Whoa! Three of them killed already, and that so-called bard Redithidoor running, he is a coward and is of no danger the dread reptile. I must act, he instantly deduced. Running nimbly over the top of the crumbling keep wall, Chatrillion quickly moved with intent on striking the dragon when he reached position over the top of the steps. By the time he got there though the battle was done. The dragon lay dead. That last blast of lightning must have been in desperation. Thanking the Unnamed One for his luck in not being heard or spotted, he froze in place and watched the rest of them gather their wits. I wonder how soon the clerics below will finish their activities. This has taken too long already…**
Meanwhile (and pack to the present) the party started to lick their wounds. This time they saw and felt death. Three of their comrades lay in the dust, terrible burns over their bodies. They did not realize how close death continued to lurk above them. The brave Paladin of Heironeous lay scorched in his armor at the foot of the steps. Blood leaked from the joints of his plate mail and the stench of burning hair and flesh lingered all around. Also slain, the gruff dwarf, Stoneheart Earthfather and the reckless elf, Randelar Fleetfoot. Both were killed in the last blast of dragon breath.
The remaining Journeymen gathered their dead and recovered Redithidoor and the wagon. After opening the Moathouse doors (removing one of them), the group brought in the wagon and loaded up the corpses. The remaining members then decided to search the “lair” of the dragon. They left Redithidoor to guard the wagon. ((Chat should have killed the bard right then and there, but I got too preoccupied and forgot when they finally came back out!)) They found the bodies and possessions of a human male and female, both partially eaten by the young blue. The male wore ochre colored robes and they quickly deduced that he was a cleric, probably of the same order that they had seen in Verbobonc and that Ol’ Del had mentioned. Vexander examined the strange holy symbol the man carried and very solemnly declared that the man followed the Elder Elemental Eye (very good Knowledge-Religion rolls). He then told the party all he knew of the god and what domains his clerics used. As far as Vexander could recall, the Elder Elemental Eye was one of the creation gods, but one that dealt with the destructive and chaotic nature of the elements and all of the elemental inner planes.
(DM Note: my EEE clerics will, like the module, use elemental domains from the big four elements. However, some will use some of the other para-elemental planes and will have small shrines located in the CRM. I will probably try to position these shrines in unused rooms and it proper position around the other temples. For example, a magma shrine between earth and fire. More on this IF and when they get there.)
After collecting the goodies of the dead cultists, the party searched the remainder of the upper level. The only made a cursory search of some of the rooms and found a few of the little odds and ends. They missed the grey ooze altogether (I might have it come around at some later point before they leave). So after mapping everything on the main level, they decide to head for the dungeon.
“There’s got to me more treasure around here SOMEWHERE,” Eli proclaims; and so the guys with dead characters just sit there. ((Carlos (Randelar) and Scotty (Stoneheart) are shooting death looks at the others. “You (guys) want to roll up new characters yet?” “NO!” they both pout back. “OK, suit yourselves.”))
So, Eli, the halfling thief, led the way down. I made sure to tell them that the steps were VERY steep (comes into play a little later). So the rest of the party hangs back at the landing and Eli carefully (but not too silently) made his way down the stairs. Now, what funny here is that this player suddenly, out of the blue has a vision of the green slime that dropped on your head from the original module. So he tells me that his character is paying particular attention to the ceiling of the stairwell. He gets all the way to the bottom and then…
POW!! WHAAACCCCKK (critical)!! He’s gnoll fodder (and at 2 hp). So I call INITIATIVE, but only for Eli. He wins and tumbles out of the way (but not up the VERY steep steps) and cries out for help. One of the gnolls follows his escape and misses with a wild swing, the other barks something behind him and pulls out his bow and takes cover up the steps. The other players roll initiative and its on!
Zane, elf Cleric 3 of Corellon comes around the corner and ZING, gets hit by the gnolls readied shot. Eli darts out of the way (tumbling again AND dodge) of the gnoll and gets out a potion (can’t drink it yet). Admir, the elf fighter 3/mage 1 (wannabe archer), comes around and shoots at the gnoll, and HITS… his COVER!! The gnoll at the bottom of the steps draws another arrow, shoots and hits Admir (ha-ha, take that archer-boy)! The other gnoll pursues Eli and… MISSES AGAIN! (damn-it) Next is Vexander, elf sorcerer 1/mage 1/cleric 2. He comes around and casts Mage Armor. ((“Hey what’s that stench?”)) Last, Talus, human Psi War 3/ Fighter 1, changes to a pole arm and moves behind the rest of the group.
Zane rushes the bottom of the steps to attack the gnoll and misses. Eli drinks his potion. Admir shoots again despite Zane’s proximity to his targeted gnoll and HITS, gnoll’s first damage. The gnoll at the bottom of the steps drops his bow, draws a weapon and attacks Zane, HIT! The other misses Eli for the third time! Vexander takes a few steps down and then casts a sleep spell, and gets BOTH gnolls! They drop! (Umm, roll saves for the wave of decay that has just run up to you. Zane fails, Vex saves. Others too far away.) “The emaciated undead strikes you Zane for 3 hp! Roll another save! YOU FAIL!! You’re PARALYZED!” “oh crap.”
“Talus rushes down the stairs and attacks, and HITS!!”
“Wait a sec bud, roll a save first.”
“But I hit…”
“Roll a save first.”
He rolls and FAILS… “Re-roll your attack!”
“BUT I HIT!!!”
“Sorry, you’ll have to roll again.”
“But I hit it before, why should I have to roll again.”
“Because you’re at new negatives. Because you’re sick to your stomach. That thing REALLY stinks!”
“But I would’ve hit him anyway, even with the negatives!”
“Well sorry, that’s too bad re-roll the attack or I going to skip you, this is taking too long.”
“But I WOULD”VE HIT IT!!”
“What did you roll before?” (A mistake, I realize now)
“Um, I got an 18.”
“I thought is was a 15.”
“I don’t remember.”
“Well, last chance, roll again right now, or I’m going to skip you!”
He rolls and hits.
“You see, I told you I hit!”
“gimme a break…”
((Sorry, I thought I should give you a FULL account of what my games are like!))
New Round: Zane is out. Eli uses a coup-de-grace to kill his sleeping gnoll. Admir has something funny happen to him at that moment. At the sight of the undead he suddenly finds a shimmering longsword in his hand instead of his bow! The sword shines with a pale blue-white light. It is Shandril’s sword given to Lauriel the Lieutenant of the town militia back in Fairhill! This is Freya’s (+1) weapon and he knows it. It urges him to rush forward and smite down the foul beast. He strides down the stairs and (roll a save for stench, he fails) attacks, MISSES! Vexander attempts to turn (“I try to turn them,” he says dejected) and… CAN’T! The creature (ghast) resists! The ghast returns the attempt by trying to claw/claw/bite him but MISS, MISS, MISS, can’t hit the elven Mage Armored Cleric! Three other undead come forward to attack! Vex, MISS! One hits the paralyzed Zane! (ha-ha) The other gets into position. Talus is next and he HITS the ghast again. It goes down!
Next Round: Zane is getting chewed on (“Boy, there sure is a lot of undead lurking around here...” “Be quiet! You can’t move!”) Eli, very injured, tries to hit the one attacking. Admir tries to hit with Freya’s sword again and strikes the ghoul gnawing on Zane. Vexander (this time shouts out) “I CALL ON THE MIGHT OF CORELLON! TURN AWAY THIS FOUL SPAWN AND LET US PASS!!!!” (rolls and turns two of them) The last ghoul turns and attacks Eli, CLAW AND MISS AND BITE!! (rolls and fails save!) PARALYZED!! Talus attacks and HITS… AGAIN!! (I don’t think he has missed once since we started, LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY) The ghoul goes down.
Admir sheathes the glowing longsword but it disappears from his hand…
Vexander proclaims that the other two undead will return shortly and the party grabs their paralyzed members (doesn’t search the bodies) and beats tail up the stairs and back to the courtyard. This is where they should’ve found Redithidoor’s corpse and the stolen wagon (with their comrade’s bodies on it). Whoops, oh well!
Instead of that, Redithidoor says, “Oh boy, more injuries, perhaps we should head back to town (Carlos and Scotty nodding enthusiastically at this).” So then they load up the paralyzed guys AND the dragon?! into the wagon (covered with a tarp) and head back to Homlett. When they finally arrive, it is evening (i.e., dark) and it has been a VERY long day. But before they get any rest, they head towards the Church of St. Cuthbert and try to gain an audience with Y’Dey.
Now I will admit that it is at the very end of our gaming session and Carlos and Scotty have sat there all night with nothing to do but help map and take notes. So, I felt bad for them. So, I let them have their audience and sold them three Raise Dead Scrolls at 1,000 gold each. They pooled every bit of money that they had (and believe me, it was ALL of their money), and purchased them.. I warned them that these were ALL of the scrolls that she had and they had better make good use of them. And despite that they brought Xaod back first. Zane, the elven Cleric 3, made his rolls to cast successfully from the high level scrolls, and managed to bring them all back to life (and one level lower).
So what can I say, I had a small beer buzz and was feeling generous.
Here ended the session.
Edited by: Aluvial at: 5/7/02 12:03:48 pm
(5/8/02 12:45 am)
Re: Where’s the Treasure? OR A Lot of Death Lurking Around H|
Y'Dey is a 10th lvl cleric, she would be able to raise the dead without scrolls. Or did you change her level or the availability of raise dead?
(5/8/02 6:19 am)
Y'Dey and Raise Dead Question|
No, I just played her as not wanting to take the time to cast Raise Dead every time one of these guys kicks it. I had her have scrolls so there was a limit to the number of times that they could get Raised. Basically, I have Y'Dey as a VERY gruff church leader with barely enough time to complete her normal tasks. Just getting an audience with her was tough. I only granted this audience because the party claimed to have killed this dragon in the moathouse, AND had the corpse with them. I figured this was just something that she would have to see for herself.
As for the whole EEE thing, the party never brought it up to her. I don't think they even trust each other at this point. Not my problem. Now, if the whole Big T and EEE thing comes to her attention, and the party shares their info with her, she'll probably ask them to continue their investigations. If one of them died at that point, she probably would change her tune and cast the spell personally.
I will have her produce two scrolls a week to a maximum of 3 scrolls per spell offered listed in the module. I added Raise Dead to that list. I'll keep making her (or her underlings) produce scrolls in a rotation. Essentially, the next Raise Dead scroll won't be produced for another couple of weeks. By that time the party should be in the CRM. If there is a death between now and then, the Player will either have to go to Verbobonc, make up a new character, or get over this all-consuming paranoia and trust the Town leaders with what they are finding. Basically, since I have seven PC's plus all of the NPC's they keep bringing along, if they have a massacre, so be it. They have to travel back to Verbobonc to get the spell cast. And I guarantee that it will be MUCH more expensive there.
(5/8/02 6:33 am)
Re: Y'Dey and Raise Dead Question|
Just to make things clear, I am giving my opinions and in no way am I telling what you should do
I doubt any cleric would make scrolls on any regular basis. Crafting items cost xp and temple-bound clerics will not get much xp. So IMC most temples have a small stock with low level scrolls and the more useful potions (and perhaps a wand or two depending on the amount of adventurers in the area) which they only sell to the worthy. Making scrolls for high level spells in advance is even less likely. Only rich adventurers could afford them (a raise dead scroll cost (9x5x25)+500=1625 gp market price (or 1062.5 gp & 45 xp for the creator*)) and since raise dead does not have to be cast immidiately it is much easier to just prepare it and let the cleric cast the spell. After all, the casting time of raise dead is not that long and 500 gp is easy earned.
Mind you, my PCs would not have gotten an audience with Y'Dey (or the version of her IMC) if they had not told the temple about the cultists. Chasing a simple dragon away would not be enough to receive such a powerful and sacred blessing especially from those who do not worship St. Cuthbert.
*Looking at these prices you have been very generous
(5/8/02 7:41 am)
Raise Dead, XP Costs, and NPC Advancement|
Very good points Madfox and I agree with you on them. (I hope I don't ever come across as heavy-handed with other board posters.) Well (justification time ), like I said before, I was feeling a little generous towards the fellows that night; they really did just sit there quietly... Besides, I did get ALL of their money for those scrolls!
Another factor came into play too. If I didn't get these guys Raised, they probably would have gone off on some other little tangent, like back to Verbobonc. These guys are the embodiment the P(lot) C(orrupter) model. Besides their annoying tendencies to ruin everything I plan, I've wanted to run this module since I heard about it. My very first campaign years ago was the original ToEE module and since this was my first 3e campaign, it really fit for me. For those guys, who knows what fits?
Now for Y'Dey, it does make sense for her to cast the spell from her daily repertoire, but I really didn't want the party thinking they could just go back every time they died. So I came up with the scroll thing at the last moment. Right before they cast them they were saying things like, "well we only have three of these things and that's all were going to find here, so do you really want to do this?" That made me feel better about it.
On another note, I have been concerned about how NPC's (especially those guys who own the scroll and potion shops) never seem to gain any XP's. It just doesn't seem reasonable. I would think that you would double the cost for about everything in book for those reasons alone. All of those shops would be short-term operations. Open your business, make a lot of money and get out before you lose a level. IMC the XP cost for creation is 1/20th rather than the 1/25th. I just thought that that was too little when I first started. Nowadays, I can see the 1/25th cost as not much is "created" anyway, but still, much more is created now than I had made in my 1e and 2e campaigns.
This is why my NPC's gain a level per year IMC. I really strive for a persistent world, and if they ever go back to Fairhill, I want Shandril and the others that they have met in the campaign to do something with their lives. The same goes for NPC's in your current adventures. When the party is traipsing about in the Moathouse, Elmo is breaking up bar-fights and domestic disturbances. Maybe Y'Day helps deliver a baby (ha-ha, yeah, right) or fends off some ankhegs nearby threatning the town. They have to have lives outside of the immediate adventures. Spugnoir adventuring is a good example of this. When the adventure in Hommlet is long done, Spugnoir is going to go back to the moathouse. Maybe he'll find the altar in the Ghoul Caves...
(5/8/02 9:39 am)
Re: Raise Dead, XP Costs, and NPC Advancement|
This is why my NPC's gain a level per year IMC
There are two things that will not make this work well:
* Every elf in your world will be a 100+ lvl in no time
* The higher level a character becomes, the higher level the opposition should be to earn xp. An ankeg might give 4th lvl PCs some sweat, but a 10th lvl character can kill it in no time.
Remember that a NPC will not have to sell many potions or scrolls to earn a living. An untrained laberor earns 1 sp a day. So a profit margin of 25 gp, would be equal to 250 days working for a laberor. Most potion sellers most likely are also alchemists and herbalists to earn even more money. It would not surprise me if that is their main source of income. Commoners can at least afford those items. So on general I do not level domestic NPCs very quickly, especially not when they earn a living crafting items. I do let them leave town now and then, just as Spugnoir was doing when he got stuck in the Moathouse. With 100 xp you can make a LOT of potions.
(5/8/02 11:11 am)
Re: Raise Dead, XP Costs, and NPC Advancement|
First off, let me applaud you on this journal. Almost got myself in trouble here at work because I couldn’t peel myself away from it. Great amount of detail… you really bring the story to life! (copied/pasted into Word, it’s 23 pages, and you’re just breaching the moathouse dungeon!).
I have a comment on the NPC’s spending XP to create scrolls. I tend to think of it differently… and this is coming from someone who played a lot of Ultima Online, so that might bend my line of reasoning.
A PC that creates a scroll is doing it for a special purpose. It is a break from the normal routine, and it taxes his abilities. Therefore, it costs him XP.
IMC’s, an NPC that runs a scroll shop does this for a living. Practice makes perfect! A professional scribe that makes scrolls all day long can only get better at it. So, sure… strictly speaking in game terms, such an NPC will only drop in level as they spend their XP’s on scroll creating day after day. However, logically speaking (and with a little DM prerogative), I think it makes more sense to have these hard-working merchants GAIN skill for their efforts. I agree with you for raising NPC levels over time. It only makes sense.
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."
(5/8/02 11:24 am)
Re: Raise Dead, XP Costs, and NPC Advancement|
O, I agree that some NPCs will increase levels over time, but not all and certainly not after a set number of years.
(5/14/02 10:07 am)
Help in Hommlet? OR Ambush Time|
“Now remember to return in the morning, and give me a full report on what is happening at the moathouse.”
“No problem Y’dey, we won’t forget. Thanks again for your help. We’ll be back! Praise Cuthbert!”
So it comes to my attention that the corpse of the dragon belongs to Talus (human, Psi Warrior 3, Fighter 1). He has somehow acquired the “rights” to the body in negotiation with the rest of the party. I was very amused with this until I learned of his “plan”. Talus wants to make a helmet out of the dragon’s skull. In addition, the helmet will be a separate piece of armor that will trail spines over his back and spread out to a harness for a set of shoulder pads, all made form the dragon’s hide. He wanted to know how much this will cost and if he can even get it made in Hommlet. Now I should have said NO!! right then and there, but I had to give it to him for his design. He had brought a new portrait of his character WITH the new piece of dragon armor drawn in. I will have to admit that it was quite an impressive drawing. So he (and Admir) takes the corpse to the leatherworker in town. He decides that he might be able to work with the dragon, and begins to skin the proper pieces of hide. He does this part of the work for any of the remaining scales that he can collect off the creature’s hide. The leatherworker will later make a shield with these scales and hide and have the item for sale in his shop.
Well after consulting the relevant books I determined that this new piece of armor would give a +1 to his AC, weigh 35 lbs., give a –1 to Armor Penalty, add 10% to Spell Failure, and not have an effect on Max Dex. All for the low, low price of 185 gold (150 for masterwork, 35 for hide armor). As for the rest of the dragon, Talus decides to try the general store. Joman Dart buys the corpse for the meat. He pays ??? for the rest of the dragon corpse and takes it off of Talus’ hands. They lift it on a rack outside and spill its entrails. The whole town will soon hear the news about the dead dragon and the party who killed it. Vesta will come by and buy the bulk of it for recipes she has acquired for dragon flesh. Admir (elf, Fighter 3, Wizard 1) makes one point of contention in the sale and makes sure that Joman gives the best steak cut to Elmo before any other meat is sold (as a peace gesture). The two then head back to the Inn of the Welcome Wench to meet with the rest of the group.
When they arrive they find the party in deep discussion with Xaod and Redithidoor. It appears that both of them don’t care to travel with the group any longer, but for different reasons. Redithidoor claims that he has seen enough for a number of songs and tales, and reluctantly admits that the party’s skills are beyond his own. Xaod’s excuse has a little more decision to it. During the brief hours while he was dead in the Prime, his soul was not and reports of having a direct conversation with one of Heironeous’ emissaries. Apparently, an angel in the service of his god came to discuss matters with him about his return to the Prime Material Plane. Xaod claimed that he wished to remain with his god in His realm, having already felt the awe of his Power’s might. He was shocked when the angel approached him in the line of the recently fallen faithful and pulled him aside. The angel proclaimed that he was yet destined for more service on Oerth and would be returned and revived shortly. It was the will of Heironeous that he return to discover and deal with the forces of magic and fire that had lately corrupted his dreams. The angel further claimed that the source of this disturbance was directly linked to the Temple of Elemental Evil. This is where his destiny would lead him. Finally a lead, and one of divine inspiration! Xaod knew that the will of Heironeous was not his to question and immediately accepted. He was then brought to a beautiful garden where he would wait for his call to return. In the meantime he was treated to some luxuries and comforts that only a god could offer…
Xaod would not be able to accompany the party further unless they headed for the temple. On this point he was firm. The party thought about it and decided that they would go back to the moathouse instead. There was more to do there; they would have to find out about… more treasure! “The dragon’s lair (and treasures) has to be somewhere! Man, we’re broke!”
Jeeze, why do I bother with a plot at all?
So the next morning they began preparations for their return to the moathouse. Stoneheart and Randelar were healed of their wounds. They washed the back of the wagon to rid it of the blood, and bought new supplies with what little money they had remaining. They said goodbye to Xaod, Vesta, Maridosen (“I’ll be right back, I have to go get some… flour.”), and Redithidoor. They even made quick small talk with Elmo about their activities of late (“Hey, thanks for the steak!”). Then without further ado, they set off for the moathouse, passing some of Burne’s Badgers practicing in the field next to the keep. Waves were exchanged. “Don’t go killing all of the dragon’s out there! We need to defend the town from something!”
“Don’t worry, we’ll leave some wild squirrels for you!! Ha, Ha, Ha!”
“Are we forgetting anything? We won’t be back for a while.”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Well, let’s hit the road!”
Meanwhile back in a certain church…
“USELESS! CARELESS FOOLS! Tell me again when they left!”
So, they hit the road. This time out the party is, 7 adventurers, 2 familiars (Vex’s owl, Nightshade and Admir’s hummingbird, ???), Randelar’s winter wolf pup (who only says, “NO, NO, NO!”), two horses and Vex’s mule and the wagon. The party is in fine spirits despite the fact that there has been some levels lost. Randelar is now a Ranger 3 and Stoneheart a Fighter 3. Zane (elf, cleric of Corellon) however has finally made it to level 4. The remaining day’s ride is uneventful and the party is about to make it to the moathouse when…
they decide to camp. We better get new spells before we enter. I’m not quite prepared and so on. Ok, you camp, let’s move on please. Ok, it’s morning, let’s go already, and get your spells lists together. OK, were ready. LET’S GO!!!!
So they approach…
**wavy lines appear before you. The scene fades to black and then you realize… the Way Back Machine is in operation! The darkness is quickly replaced by…**
A figure slowly creeps along the wall of the keep watching the party load the wagon. You can hear him, barely, but he remains out of sight. *I’m not sure what happened, but I think they found some of the ghoul guards. They sure look wounded, but looks can be deceiving. I will wait and warn them below.* The invisible man watches as the party leaves the courtyard and heads back for the trail. He then quickly slips off the wall and enters the damaged moathouse. Knowing the way like the back of his hand, he quietly moves into the far tower and activates the mechanism in the floor that opens the secret door. He then slinks quietly down the stairs into the columned chamber where the artifacts should be being held awaiting transport. Cautiously he watches the female for a moment when he reaches the bottom of the steps. How pathetic she is… weak. He crosses the room to stand right behind her, envenomed dagger in hand.
“I need to speak with Master Thaque, NOW!”
“Who’s there, show yourself!”
“I will not, just know that your death is in my hands.”
Recognizing the catch-phrase of the deadly assassin, Gren quickly responds, “You should not be here, what news do you have?”
“My news is none of your concern my precious, bring me to Thaque now, I must inform him of… something interesting.”
“Well I’m afraid that I will have to disappoint you. Master Thaque has been killed by a fierce dragon that has trapped us from above, hey! How did you get in?”
“The dragon is slain, I have seen to that. What concerns you now is that I’ve lost my patience. Where is Festrath then?”
“Oh, Festrath, he has lingered too long in the presence of... His essence. He has gone completely mad! I’m afraid that the death of Master Thaque has left him under to many pressures. He will not leave the presence of the…”
“Enough of this banter! Who is in charge here now, certainly not you?”
“No, not me, Ysslansh now commands us. Be wary of that beast, he is as ruthless as Master Thaque!”
“You are all fools. Master Dunrat will not accept this failure. We have had news of the emissaries from the Temple. They are on the way for the artifacts. Failure will result in all of our deaths! Quickly, we have much to discuss with Ysslansh. I’m afraid that you will have some company before the emissaries arrive…”
**fade to black… then… the Journeymen, tethering the wagon outside of the moathouse and approaching, looking for frogs…**
Vex sends his owl to scout around. It sends him back a thought, *I see nothing, master. Wait, a man approaches!* *Where?* *From the trail, behind.* Vex spins and sees him as he runs towards the group. “It’s Xaod!” he declares. “What are you doing here?”
“I had a message, I must warn you, the danger, the fire… I seek it, it starts here… somewhere… Let me rest a moment, and I will accompany you!”
So Vex’s owl again reports that it is clear to proceed. As they enter the courtyard, everything appears as they left it. They approach cautiously though, and as they all enter (Xaod in the rear), a few things start to seem a little out of place. For instance, the main doors to the moathouse are closed, and PPPPHHHHIIIZZZZZTTTT!!! there are arrows flying at us!
“Take cover!” “OOOWW, I’m hit!” Admir proclaims.
INITATIVE, I call.
I’ll spare you the fine details of this combat, but sufficed to say, the ambush went pretty well… at first. First 6 gnolls (from area 28.) led by Garrik (gnoll, Ranger 3, Monte variant) held up behind the main doors and used what arrow slits they had to fire on the party. Then the two ghouls that were turned but not destroyed earlier (from the torture chamber) shambled out of the ruble in the northwest corner. From the tower in the southwest corner emerged 6 skeletons (area 25) commanded by Gren. So essentially, 16 on 8!
The rest of the moathouse forces remained below to finish the artifact recovery as quickly as they could. More on them later…
So the battle was fierce with damage spread out over both sides. Stoneheart (dwarf, Fighter 3) tried to break in the doors, but to no avail. Talus attempted an attack through an arrow slit, and lost his pole-arm to an opposed strength check with the archer behind (Garrik). The ghouls came on strong and caused some scrapes and scratches, but were unable to paralyze anyone. The skeletons also managed to spread out in the courtyard, attacking the spellcasters that were bringing up the rear. Gren managed a few spells but her greatest asset came with bolstering the undead. It was a Tuning battle with many attempts made on both sides. But eventually Randelar (elf, Ranger 3, Monte variant) killed Gren and the undead were routed. Zane (elf, Cleric 4) managed to destroy the skeletons outright. Meanwhile, Garrik (favored enemy, human) opened the doors and charged Talus ( human, Psi War 3, Fighter 1) and the battle was on. Stoneheart charged the remaining gnolls, who fired with readied shots, then got to attack before Stoneheart’s initiative came around again. Xaod (human, Paladin 3) also managed a few blows on the gnolls, before Vex (elf, Sorc 1, Wiz 1, Cleric 2) managed to sleep the lot of them. The ghouls were brought down by arrow fire (I HATE that rule). Garrik caused some NASTY damage to Talus, but Talus used his Psionic Weapon power (skill or feat?) to turn the battle to his favor. Garrik died at the end of Talus’ fierce blows (two rounds).
This great battle ended the session. Party 16, Cultists 0!
What of Chatrillion you may wonder. Well so did I. After informing the moathouse cultists, I had him stay in defense of the artifact recovery. He will come into play soon. How about Gren’s two gnoll friends from area 24? Instead of taking the order form Ysslansh to go to Hommlet and get help, she sent the two gnolls instead. I had her “lead” the ambush. It was her intent to come back victorious and save herself from Master Dunrat’s wrath. The gnolls will reach Hommlet just an hour after the party left it. Maridosen who has overheard a GREAT DEAL of info, has gone to Master Dunrat to tell him of the party, the dragon, and their involvement. She hasn’t seen Chatrillion in a few days. Dunrat? I’m not sure. I may have him realize that the moathouse is in trouble and send a few agents that way. I don’t think I will have him go because I still want to use the cultist encounters in Hommlet. Elmo will discover the bodies of the Millhouse worker and his wife soon enough. For the time being though, the party has remained VERY quiet about what they have started to uncover. They’re not going to get a lot of help from the leaders of town UNTIL they fess up what has been going on. And Y’Dey is a tad ticked off. But nothing new there....
Next time, the party delves deeper…
Edited by: Aluvial at: 5/14/02 10:08:36 am