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(10/6/03 8:36 am)
Cat's claw campaign.
Ok, Here I go with my campaign log :)

CHAPTER 0 : Notes

This campaign is my first attempt at running an entire campaign for my players. I already have mastered some short campaigns in the past, mostly on IRC and using a "Storyteller System"-like engine for speeding up the game (more story, less fights). I never attempted something big like this, so please beare with me if I will be making mistakes ^__^;

The system we are using is the 3.0, with stuff allowed from the 3 core books, the main player-focused splatbooks [1], from the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and MaF.

My party is composed by the following characters:

Angela (Tiefling C/G 1/1/1 Rogue/Warrior/Wizard) (this is the character I lead)
Ayleen (Elf C/G 4 Sorcerer) (played by Terillian's player wife)
Devon (Human C/N 4 Warrior) (expert roleplayer... he is also a Hunter: The Reckoning storyteller, and our party healer/psionic in a rolemaster campaign we play on IRC)
Matrim (Half-Elf C/G 4 Rogue) (beginner roleplayer, but he is already a good player)
Terillian (Elf C/N 4 Cleric of Cornellion Larethian) (he DM'ed our first four levels quests, see below).

Matrim and Ayleen are the only characters who "survived" the first four levels. The rest of the players just wished to part away with their characters and create some brand new ones.

I swapped a Lawful Good cleric of Helm with this strange Dungeon-Scavenger Tiefling [2]. Devon's player parted from his "useless" bard [3]. Terillian instead came with this cool substitute to a rather unattractive monk.

Another character I must introduce is Steven (Human NPC N/G Trader and retired Cleric). Steven was the party's employer. He became our focal point after our party's first adventure (Sword and Sorcery The Serpent Amphora, rapidly adapted by me to Forgotten Realms setting). He was also used by Terillian's player as the hookup for the adventures, as he sent us around the Waterdeep area to do some jobs for him.

Ok, this is enough just for the introduction. :)

+ + + +

I mean stuff like Tome&Blood, Song&Silence... we have are using all of them excluded the Psionics Handbook stuff because - with the exception of one player - we, as a group don't like them or find em uninteresting :) . Also I find psionics to be too much outside the D&D paradigm. No one has been complaining yet.

Tieflings have impressive stats for this combination... the only thing is that Angela doesn't seem so impressive yet...

Devon's player found too difficult to run a Bard since the first adventures, taken all from the Wizard's website, were mostly hack and slash stuff :( ... We will all miss his song of courage giving us +1 to our attack roll for 5 rounds. :)

(10/6/03 12:32 pm)
Re: Cat's claw campaign.
CHAPTER 1 : Hommlet
Session 1 : Dangerous minds (Campaign Hookup)

Steven contacted Angela and Devon through some of his contacts in Verbobonc. He needed some muscle to cover his back while he celebrated an important rite just outside Hommlet.

Then he contacted Terillian. He needed a backup in the rite celebration so he taught him the eventual prayers and invocations to do.

At the same day he was going to celebrate the rite he met with Ayleen and Matrim, the only two characters who were still interested in doing ome missions for him. He told them what the job consisted in, offered them 3500 gold pieces (500 in advance) and then he activated his teleportation arch. He went inside, followed by the rest of the party.

There the party was united and everyone had the chance to introduce himself. Then Terjon entered the scene, even if a bit late. He came to oversee the cerimony [1].

Of course something HAD to happen to make things wrong. And it happened. An arcane archer from a tree with a poisonous arrow hit Steven. Fight started with Devon charging the Archer, Archer failing miserably to escape [2]. Terjon continued the rite while Terillian protected him from the ambushing hobgoblins.

After the fight Steven, just before dying, asked the party to protect the world from the rising darkness... then he passed

The party questioned Terjon. He, not having orders in contrary from Y'Dei[3], told them that the rite they celebrated was to renew a magic seal. He also told them that no one else should have knew of the time when the rite was going to be celebrated.

The party then strolled in the city to bring Steven to the Church of St. Cuthbert, where his body was taken in custody.

Y'Dey then told them that the rite was about sealing an artifact that dropped there during one of the battles of Hommlet against the forces of the Temple of Elemental Evil. She also added that of the village only her, Terjon, Elmo and Jaroo knew about the rite taking place that day.

Matrim (the rogue) went to ask something to the friendly townguards about the story of the ToEE (and they also told him about Nulb and its being a very very dangerous place). Later on Elmo told them that Jaroo might have told something to his apprentice. The party then used Zone of Truth (Matrim and Ayleen distracting Elmo while Terillian casted the spell) to find if Elmo was hiding something, but it turned out that Elmo was essentially telling the truth.

That evening Angela and Devon went to sleep to an house they rented on the outskirt of Hommlet (Angela is uncomfortable to walk and sleep in the town, since her two little horns and pink eyes give out her Tiefling nature). Angela, Terillan and Matrim took each one room at the Welcome Wench. They asked the bossy barkeep about the environs, and she told them to ask Chatrillon Unosh one of the patrons.

The day after they went questioning Y'Dey... their plan to distract her and use Zone of Truth failed this time [4] and Y'Dey started to questioning Terillian.

Y'Dey "My Child what were you trying to do?"

Terillian "We were concerned because... because... because Elmo said you lied and..."
Matrim (whispering in Terillian's ear) "This was YOUR idea and now YOU find a way to take your ass out of this trouble!".
Terillian "and you told some of the townspeople that in truth shouldn't have known of the celebration!!!"

Y'Dey "My child, are you trying to find the culprit of this assassination?"

Terillian "Yes."

Y'Dey (smiling) "But my child, you really should take care on how you do research about this case." and then she lectured them about being a bit more discreet, and not to use spells coming from another deity in the office of the clerics. :D (Clerics who also have Detect Lies at hand and ready :D ).

The party then stated that if only she, Jaroo and Elmo knew about the celebration, then someone of them must have told the wrong person, and if it wasn't her and Elmo, then the story about Jaroo and Yundi could have been true.

The party, Elmo and Y'Dey then walked to the Druid's hut. Yundi was there tending the plants and told them that the master was at the mill. Terillian used one of his Detect Evil on Yundi. No evil appeared[5]. Then they found the druid on his way back home. Another Detect Evil revealed nothing [6]. Jaroo confirmed his suspicions about Yundi, then he went to the hut. At the hut Matrim hid himself (he took automatic success) and heard Jaroo scolding Yundi.

Yundi: "Master, when are you going to resume my lessons?"
Jaroo: "Go and clean the trees!"
Yundi: "But master, I have beeng doing it already!"
Jaroo: "You are not worthy of my lessons! You and your damn tongue are the cause of the death of a man!"
"If you want lessons go and fetch another teacher, if they give you lessons, you good-for-nothing-lazy-@#%$"


Yundi: "Master... where is your animal companion?"

Matrim went back. Party divided in three. Angela and Devon took Yundi in custody to avoid him being assassinated. (Yundi agreed, Jaroo yelling at him was the definite proof that either druid was insane, or that the druid wasn't himself anymore). Matrim instead kept an eye on the hut...

Ayleen and Terillian left Matrim alone in order to buy some lunch for all of them.

And then came the best part of the game.

Jaroo came out yelling at Matrim to come out (he knew that the party was suspicious so I think that he kept trying to find a live person around).

Jaroo: "You! Come out! What are you doing there?"
Matrim: "Uuuh, me?"
Jaroo: "Yes! You! What are you doing there?"
Matrim: "I am here... to PROTECT YOU! We suspect that there are people trying to silence one of you three."

The player said it so seriously that I just shake hand with him (everyone else was clapping).

Jaroo then faked to be satisfied by the answer.
Jaroo: "Ok, then... sorry but all this story made me too much diffident."

But while Matrim was getting back in the wood, Jaroo began to slam attack-him. Matrim ran away. He was getting beaten quite badly by Jaroo. Luckily for him his friend were getting back in very short time. When Matrim stopped anyway the truth came to the surface.

Big grey humanoid.
Long hands.

(Terillan's player "Nooo! Doppleganger!")

Yes. Jaroo is a doppleganger. Matrim was being beaten up quite heavily. Luckily with the backup of Ayleen and Terillan, Matrim saved himself. [7] Jaroo surrended and they subdued him and took him in custody, bringing him to the militia.

So the first session ended.
What surprises await our heroes?

[1] Y'Dey gave him the job to oversee and eventually to replace Steven if something went wrong, just as an extra precaution.

[2] The Archer was seen with a 20 spot roll. I ruled out that Devon saw him when he fired the arrow. I tought and hoped that the Archer was going to escape... next time I will put some backups like an hobgoblin or two with the old pull-the-rope trick.

[3] Y'Dey took for granted that Steven took only trusted people. Also, the important stuff was not the rite in itself, maybe it was already known that there was something sealed, but the exact time when it was going to be renewed.

[4] even if Matrin had a whopping 20 on his bluff roll, I decided that the attempt was going to be caught nevertheless. Y'Dey should know if someone is casting something strange in her office or in her temple. At least I think she would have prepared with some sort of silent ward or something like that. I don't know if it's ok with the mechanics of D&D, but it made sense with my players :)

[5] The real Jaroo really trusted Yundi, and maybe he told Yundi about the story. In any case Yundi was not going to give away the date of the celebration.

[6] Now, for the MM Dopplegangers are neutral, Jaroo instead blatantly showed evil attitudes... but I didn't really want to give away the surprise. Could have been possible that Master Dunrat just cast Jaroo undetectable alignment daily? Maybe because Jaroo expected to talk with Y'Dey sooner or later about the accident?

Edited by: limacat at: 10/6/03 1:25 pm
(10/15/03 3:20 pm)
Re: Cat's claw campaign.
Chapter 2: The Moathouse
Session 2: Milling the fate.

My party played this session suprisingly well. Luckily I studied in advance the first three
chapters so I was prepared for everything they throwed at me :) . [1]

Anyway... after talking with Elmo, they made a beeline for the mill. There they found Karlun's
workers. The party bluffed about having been in touch with Karlun for buying some grain and flours
for their expedition, and they asked about the cost and looked around the mill. The worker gave them
good answers, but since they weren't too much convinced about a fully armed party being really interested
in buying flour and grains they never told the party about Dunrat and company having rented the mill basement. [2] Overall it was their master's affair if he rented the basement to Dunrat and his weird friends.

Later in the afternoon the party, waiting for the sunset to come so they could examine better the mill,
went to check what was all the stuff about the Moathouse. A group of hobgoblins sold them a loose map of the moathouse exteriors, and about a strange group of clerics checking the whereabouts of the place. [3] Some moments later Old Dell, (who was looking for mushrooms), added about Big U., and the gnolls. The party decided to return back home and convince Elmo about sending someone to check on the moathouse. Normally Elmo would have refused, but he was really impressed by the work of the party, and he also knew that Ingrith could have been interested in looking for some "strange stuff" around the moathouse.

The part about the mill was straightforward. High silent checks and the fighter feinting to run away (while almost everyone else was hid in the mill) took Dunrat and Toridan completely by surprise. From this the plan about recovering the items from the moathouse was exposed, even if some of their people is still around in the city. [4]

Dunrat's questioning was going to be absolutely uneventful until Elmo tipped them to treat Dunrat a bit appropriately for his status while he was in the other room[5]. This filled the party vision about the Temple of Total Destructions trying to recover the relics.

Side note: Dunrat's crazy man laugh received a big slapping from the cleric, another from the rogue, and in the end also from Elmo. I think the paladins are going to have a _lot_ of patience with the party :) ("The burning by the sword? He had it in combat! The dark eyes? Umm... he once felt down the stairs and for the other one he got an elbow in his face from the uncooperative half orc who was going to be handcuffed...")

The party decided then to go to the moathouse (encountering an uncorruptible ankheg). They slept all the day near Del's home and then out for the `house after a good dinner of mushroom and rabbit stew.

The session then ended with a very well played combat against Big U. Now I am waiting for saturday Afternoon. I know in advance the title of the next log! :) [6]

Time to post this on the boards, e-mail to my friends (removing the notes) and then off to bed!

[1] Unluckily I can't say this same thing for my combat tactics and "treasure opportunity". In fact I
wasted Dunrat's <<marble of force>> :( and had my party go away too easily with the nice Dunrat's golden ring...

[2] In my campaign Vacra convinced Themock and Nhygen that Karlun and his wife went buying a new mill in
Verbobonc to go reside there. The party is going to have a surprise about this... (call this "innuendo skill
at working").

[3] I think I am going to award the party full XPs for the encounters they walk out without fight as well.

[4] At least they cleverly decided to leave the Welcome Wench.

[5] Remember that Dunrat's minions killed his friend Jaroo... by the way "appropriately" meant also to leave
Dunrat entire enough for the paladins who were going to come from Verbobonc to question Dunrat and Jaroo...
you know... you don't want to be questioned from the paladins that are SUPPOSED to be on your side). On a
sidenote: I already envision a scene where some paladins of Tyr barge in from the Crater Ridge Mines
front door creating a massive battle scenario. This could get the party in trouble later as well...

[6] Only for you DMs like all the other notes... Here it comes: "Day of the Tentacle!"
I really really hope to play well the fight with the Grell.

Mwhahahahahaha! SBONK! <- me being mistaken for Dunrat and slapped by the guard...

(10/16/03 9:52 am)
Re: Cat's claw campaign.
And for your italian friends, Tharilian opened the campaign blog!!! ;)

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