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GM Nemo
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/5/04 9:15 pm)
SixFootGnome's Messageboard Campaign Log
(yes, this is the gnome of bygone years, posting from another account.)

As I am looking toward moving away from my DnD group, I am launching a RtToEE campaign on our group messageboard that should keep us online and playing for ages. Obviously, this means that this log will be just as slow to inch forward as a messageboard game, but I may still have some shining moments for you all to enjoy.

The initial characters are being given specific hooks to get them to Hommlet and into the campaign, each of which comes with a minor benefit.

I'm allowing my players to create their characters and dynamically enter Hommlet and link up as they wish. Thus far we have:

Oresius Heldeion: A human rogue from Verbobonc; his tongue is almost as nimble as his hands and feet. His older sister (I used Ganna, just to tie him into the illicit romance plot as well) has been writing him from Hommlet for some time, but she's recently mentioned that she dreads that something bad will happen soon in Hommlet. Concerned for her and between work otherwise, Oresius heads to Hommlet to check it out. Benefit: Free room and board with the woodcutter, should he avail himself of it, and a +2 circumtance bonus to Charisma checks with Hommlet NPCs who know of his relation to a local. (They're a little suspicious of adventurers, but the kid brother of someone who's been in town for a few years is alright.)

Namgo Heer: A halforc warrior who is making strides towards becoming civilized (Bbn1/Ftr2), he was hired to deliver a heavy box to, as he says it, "Spoonwar the wizzard." for a hefty payment due on delivery. He thus far has his map of the town turned ninety degrees off from the way it goes and hasn't even found the shop yet.

Sorion Lomamir: A wood elf forester (Rng2/Sor1) trained in Celene, he was contacted by an agent of the Queen and asked to look into the disappearance of a distance cousin of hers, Tenaris Glimmerdawn. (GM's note: I've decided that Tenaris, Vister, Festalon, and Erdso were an earlier adventuring company. The later-encountered ones' additional levels are explained by experience gathered in further adventuring after the earlier members were captured.) It was made clear to him that he would have the gratitude of the Queen's household if he uncovered information of her whereabouts.

...and that's it so far. I'm looking forward to insane hijinx as some of these get hurt badly on Will saves, as Sorion is the only one with a positive Will save modifier.

So far, Oresius is looking to buy healing potions from Renne and will likely be on hand when Namgu shows up and finds out that he may need to find Spugnior in order to get paid. Sorion has come into town with a sour taste in his mouth in anticipation of having to deal with humans (Favored Enemy) but since he knew Tanaris was travelling with two Pelor worshippers, is getting a relatively good treatment from the charismatic Yether.

Edited by: GM Nemo at: 2/18/04 4:32 pm
Brother of Venom
(2/6/04 6:25 am)
Re: SixFootGnome's Messageboard Campaign Log
Welcome, SFG! Sorion's favored enemy (humans) IMO will not allow him to work with Oresius. How does he explain the favored enemy and still allow him to be companions with one? By Queen, I assume you mean Queen of the Elves of some sort. Anyway, sounds interesting and I look forward to reading about their adventures!

Brother of Venom
(2/6/04 7:11 am)
Re: SixFootGnome's Messageboard Campaign Log
Favored Enemy is an overused stereotype. It does not represent an undying hatred (Elves vs Orcs)...necessarially. It *can* be that way, of course, but it's not inevitable. Favored "enemy" can also represent something that has been studied intensely by the ranger so that they know them inside-out.

For example, I've a Ranger who has taken Favored Enemy: Animals. Do I hate all animals? Of course not. But I'm an excellent hunter with max Kno: Nature, I've "studied" animals extremely well.

So does the character have a background driving hatred of humans, or are you reading too much into the "enemy" part of favored enemy?

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

GM Nemo
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/6/04 11:03 am)
Re: SixFootGnome's Messageboard Campaign Log
Anorax~ You're dead on the mark about how Favored Enemy works, IMC. This isn't second edition, and no, he doesn't have to have an undying hatred of humans. He's a little xenophobic and ignorant, as plenty of common elves from Celene can be. (Celene is the elven kingdom south of Verbobonc in Greyhawk; their Queen ordered them to seal the borders after the Greyhawk Wars, and so little contact with humanity is had. Instead (IMC) there is a festering obsession with the decline of elven fortunes in the world, some of which is legitimately at the hands of expanding humanity.) His background is that he trained as a ranger with some of the Queen's foresters, one of the prime duties of which is to keep outsiders (including especially humans) out of Celene.

Thus far, he has a little bit of a bad taste in his mouth about humans, but he doesn't hate them, and may well develop a more informed perspective as play continues. I expect him to be haughty, superior, or distance towards Oresius, but not irrationally hostile. It also helps that Oresius has stupidly good people skills and so should be hard to dislike.

After dealing quite pleasantly with Yether, he's now in for a dose of something different, as he's now at the wench and having to deal with Maridosen...

Edited by: GM Nemo at: 2/6/04 11:06 am
GM Nemo
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/6/04 11:07 pm)
Re: SixFootGnome's Messageboard Campaign Log
Well, the final party tally for present is in, and the verdict is that they'll be short on arcane. The sixth potential player that I planned for won't be materializing for while, and the makeup of the party will be:

Oresius, Namgo, and Sorion as previously mentioned.

Seriph, a Baklunish monk+ (I'm allowing him a little multiclass Psychic Warrior in order to do a little more crazy Matrix moves in place of the higher level Monk abilities) who is studying the history of the Battle of Emridy Meadows


Azman Khasun, the son of a local Flan family, and cleric of Pelor. Mighty healer and owner of a dexterity that competes with Namgo's Intelligence and Wisdom for lowest stats in the campaign.

Since the other likely option was for the cleric's player to make a sorcerer instead, I'm somewhat relieved that I'll be killing slightly fewer characters. I would probably have cringed at seeing them face Big U without a cleric at all.

Edited by: GM Nemo at: 2/18/04 4:34 pm
GM Nemo
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/17/04 5:52 pm)
Big U
So the party has all met up in Hommlet and merged their various purposes. The goals that they have prioritized, given the prevailing good alignments and the nonchalance of the neutral members, has been on finding the missing party of elven adventurers and locating Spugnoir, whom they discovered was missing when the Oresius decided to buy a few potions with his (self described) "Inane pile of coins" that he kept instead of fully purchasing starting equipment and had to be reminded had an encumbrance value, and Namgo showed up to deliver a box of supplies from Verbobonc. Oresius talked Renne into letting Namgo take a portion of his payment for the deliver in potions immediately rather than waiting for her missing father, in exchange for going out to look for them.

This was enough to send them to the moathouse right off the bat, regardless of Chat's bragging that he'd recently scouted the place and found nothing. They'd left the bar before deciding where or when to go, and left without returning to the Wench, and so Chat couldn't offer to join them. However, between their interactions with Chat and Maridosen, both have a pretty solid idea that the PCs will wind up going to the moathouse either before or after the Temple Ruins.

For whatever reasons, the party of mostly humans decided to travel to the moathouse in the late afternoon with full knowledge that they would get there after dark, and without going to the Wench. In any event, that none of them returned for the night will be enough to roust Chatrillon out, but he'll be several hours behind them getting to the moathouse.

They broke out the sunrods once it got dark and they were approaching the moathouse with a little reminder to the humans' players as to how much they were stumbling around in the dark. As they got close to the walls, they decided to hide the sunrod and send Seriph and Oresius forward to scout, followed at a short distance by the less stealthy Sorion, and at a greater distance by the completely un-stealthy Azman (net Hide and Move Silently modifiers of -10 each) and Namgo. Once the clanking tincan that is Azman of Pelor got within one hundred feet of Utreshimon, the Dragon knew that someone was coming, and so before Seriph and Oresius could enter the courtyard, Utreshimon was already out of the building and circling 100' overhead, waiting for his moment.

He's looking for entertainment, and these mostly-unarmored morsels look like he could let them bleed for while. Oresius and Seriph slip into the courtyard and do some quick looking around, noting the arrow slits and quickly retreating in spite of the lack of immediate missile fire. After a short strategy session, the party moved back forward, though Utreshimon, still circling above with one eye on the party and another on the door of the moathouse for any escapees, has listened to their whole discussion of their relative strengths and weaknesses (!).

Seriph and Oresius move fully into the courtyard. Oresius tested the handed and found that it wouldn't turn. (it is rusted solid) Presuming it locked, he began to pick it while the rest of the party congregated just on the outside of the moat and drawbridge...

Adding more prisoners to his little deathtrap is an idea that has struck Utreshimon's fancy, and so he takes a wider circle and glides down towards tin can's (Azman's) back. A multitude of failed checks from the relatively unperceptive party later, only the extremely perceptive monk (+12 to spot and listen at 3rd level, thanks to Alertness and actually buying ranks in those skills, unlike the remainder of the party) and Azman (high wisdom) notice the dragon gliding in at Azman, and Azman only noticing this by sight when he turns around and sees the dragon appear out of the darkness at his moonlight-only visibility range of fifteen feet!

Azman and Seriph are lucky, and both win initiative. Seriph calls out a warning to the party, and Azman casts Pro. Evil on himself and takes full cover behind his tower shield. Surprise attack failed, Utreshimon goes to hover tactics, hoping that stirring up a blinding cloud will drive the party into the courtyard. He'll be going back there next round regardless, as he doesn't want to loose sight on the doors for more than a round or so.

It looks as if Big U will get his wish, as the party seems to be withdrawing into the courtyard and trying to take shelter in the tower. Meeting a young blue dragon as their first combat (I think) has put the fear of god into my players. Perhaps it was also my addition of a forum on our campaign webboard entitled, "The Roll of the Valorous Fallen"

Edited by: GM Nemo at: 2/17/04 5:52 pm
Brother of Venom
(2/18/04 7:23 am)
Re: Big U
Very cool! Looks like a lot of fun and I'll be looking forward to reading more about the Adventures of the Valorous Fallen. ;)

GM Nemo
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/18/04 2:07 pm)
The fight with Big U!
Round 1

While the bulk of the party felt their way blindly across the drawbridge for the relative cover of the courtyard, Oresius spent a round on picking the tower door before giving up on it as taking too long and called for Namgo to bash it open in case there was a tunnel inside. Seriph also headed toward the manor house doors, looking for refuge for the party. As Utreshimon flew to perch overlooking the courtyard, he looked over his shoulder and directed his breath weapon to damage the drawbridge, mostly collapsing it. Azman, who was still on the bridge, made an improbable reflex save to jump clear and join the rest of the party in the Courtyard.

Round 2:

Oresius ran across to join Seriph in the main house while Sorion fired a pair of blind shots at Utreshimon and scored a piddling hit. Azman readied himself to head into the tower if Namgo opened it, and Namgo bashed the door. Both he and Azman quickly realized that there was no refuge there. Seriph, having seen the arrow slits before, hoped to take advantage of them and, (master of spot that he is) noticed the shortbow over by the rogue's body, and ran to get it. Utreshimon, seeing Oresius slipping near him and lacking other interesting targets on their own, fly-bull rushes Oresius into the wall, toppling some debris onto the rogue and breaking one of his ribs! (He beat Oresius' strength check, after modifiers, by over 20, I did damage to Oresius against the wall as if he'd taken a 20' fall)

Round 3:

Oresius, in dire straights, managed all the same to tumble clear and seek safety in numbers with Azman, Sorion, and Namgo. Attempting to buy the rogue time to use some potions, Azman cast Divine Favor and clanked forward, challenging the beast. Meanwhile, Sorion used his powers to Enlarge the halforc, who raged and charged the Dragon, (only to within 20', thanks to spiked chain and 3.5 enlarged reach) missing narrowly even with his Power Attack! Seriph reached the arrow slit, shouting imprecations in Draconic, and readies the bow, firing a single shot and discovering that some magic in the bow guided his shot true! Utreshimon glares evilly at the protected Monk but dedicates his round to attacking the extemely low AC barbarian with a full power attack charge! The chain-wielding halforc takes his AoO and scores an unconfirmed threat, dealing over 20 points of damage after all modifiers. Utreshimon does likewise, hitting easily, he damages Namgo for enough to kill many in the party outright, knocking the halforc down to only half of his raging HP already!

Round 4:

Oresius gulps down healing potions desperately in the back while Sorion moves to within point-blank range and takes another shot, which bounces off of Utreshimon's scaly hide to no effect. Azman managed to close the distance to Namgo and lay a mighty 19-point CMW on the halforc to keep him propped up for another round, prompting the halforc simply to step back and take another swing. Another unconfirmed threat and another twenty points of damage and change. Utreshimon is really getting sick of this nasty-tasting orc and the tincan healing it, and notices that he can catch them and the squishy one he bashed around earlier with another breath weapon. Sidestepping into position, he lets loose from directly in Namgo's face, through Azman, and into Oresius. Namgo, per usual, is caught completely unprepared, weathering the attack solely by virtue of HP. Azman (miraculously) made another reflex save (needed a nat 20, got it), and Oresius, as expected, made his save and used evasion. End of round, both melee-ish characters in very low double digits.

Round 5:

Oresius, master of deceit that he is, decides at this point to come back forward and try a feint to get in a ranged sneak attack next round. Yelling "I've got a potion! I've got a potion!!!" while fumbling in his pockets, he is quickly dismissed by Utreshimon as little threat. Sorion and Seriph continue peppering U's hide with arrows, and U begins to decide that these archers are more of a threat than he initially gave them credit for. Azman quickly heals Namgo again and retreats to preserve his remaining 10hp, bringing Namgo back up into the double-digits. Namgo opens himself to an AoO in order to get away from a full attack, taking ten damage and making him oh-so-grateful to Azman for the healing only seconds before. Falling back, he lashes too quickly at Utreshimon and instead catches a pile of rubble, further collapsing part of the ruined west wall! Utreshimon is down into the last quarter of his hitpoints after another round of impressive archery, and so goes back into hover mode, planning to take up a perch atop the tower. 5'-step hover upward, Total Defense, all of the party save Seriph is blinded by the dust cloud.

Round 6:

Oresius decides to make his sneak attack attempt in spite of the blinding haze, but his attack goes astray. Improved AC from total defense by the dragon coupled with the miss chance likewise thwart the attacks from Sorion. Namgo drinks his CMW potion from Spugnoir's Shop, and Azman tries to use his last second level spell for healing Namgo, but blows his concentration check and coughs up dirt and dust while he still should have been chanting the incantation!


The party disengages, allowing Utreshimon to get airborne. Low on hitpoints as he is, and with the party continuing to buff up below, he does what any intelligent dragon does: he circles overhead that the maximum distance of his breath weapon, well out of their night-time vision range, and plans to blast them with his breath weapon every few rounds. Namgo readies to swat the dragon when it reappears, turning down assistance to maintain his concentration, while the more mobile party members scale walls in the hope of getting a better vantage. After a few rounds, the first breath weapon rains down, failing to kill Namgo by the margin of his being convinced to drink at least one healing potion.

Seriph gets the brilliant idea of launching his sunrod out of the shortbow to which he has become so attached in such a short time, while asking Azman to put a Light spell on one of Sorion's arrows and having the elf ready to put the pointy end of said arrow into the dragon using the brief illumination of the sunrod's flight. The plan works out better than could be hoped, for even with a hefty (-8!) penalty assessed, Seriph gets the Sunrod sufficiently lofted into the right area. Sorion let's fly, aiming true but hoping only to get the arrow stuck into the dragon. Instead, the beast, planning to perch on the tower, turns in midair defensively, but manages to receive the arrow in his eye, killing it. Down tumbles Utreshimon into the Tower, knocking debris flying everywhere, and putting the tower on the verge of collapse with the force of his fall from 100-odd feet!

Edited by: GM Nemo at: 2/22/04 4:03 pm
GM Nemo
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/22/04 4:08 pm)
Re: The fight with Big U!
What lucky punks my players are. Counting the arrow that felled him, they got four natural twenties and two crits against Big blUe. Nonetheless terrorized, or perhaps realizing just how much of a danger the dragon was, they cleared the door back into the tower and risked the possibility of collapse to go in and make sure the dragon was dead. I described the last of the dragon's natural electricity arcing between the fletchings of the glowing arrow that killed it, the foul smell of the ichor soaking the ground, and the very unnatural angle at which the fall had turned Utreshimon's neck before they accepted that he was dead.

I'm secretly hoping that they'll leave before finishing with the moathouse and the cultists will get to animate Big U as a zombie to continue to fight off unwanted visitors. I'd love to see the looks on their faces when I describe the acrid smell of dragon ichor hitting their nostrils at the same time that a zombie dragon marches out to smack them around!

(3/3/04 11:55 pm)
And so after a brief inspection of the aboveground areas of the moathouse, sufficient only to assure themselves that the missing wizard was not present, the party headed belowground. Almost immediately upon stepping into the basement, they noted that the place was more dungeon than basement, and then the Baklunish monk (Seriph) simultaneously noticed that he was not alone in the room and felt an axe chop into his shoulder. Leaping into action before any more beastmen could attack him, he sidestepped to one side of the stairs and engaged the opponent who had already attacked him. The rest of the party still in the stairwell, the second gnoll disappeared from view for a time (going to get his shortbow)

By the time that some of the party had made it down the stairs, Seriph, Namgo, and finally Sorion had made short work for the first gnoll, just in time for Seriph to demonstrate his prowess by dismissively batting away the second gnoll's arrow. Seeing himself completely outmatched, the gnoll began to retreat, only to be intercepted by Sorion, who moved across the entry to the dungeon hall and peppered him with arrows.

The fighting momentarily done, Sorion, having killed every opponent thus far in the campaign, got out his dagger to make another few notches on it. Pride goeth before the fall, and before he could get anything done, a vile undead leaped out from behind a pillar and paralyzed him with a bite before the party could act! Seriph, who had been moving along the walls looking for further enemies, acted quickly to remove the paralyzed elf from harm's way, managing somehow to push the creature back in spite of the creature's horrible stench. Several more party members moved to engage and were left reeling by the foul vapors before Azman used Pelor's might to drive the creature away.

Already though, they heard more noises from the torturer's chamber down the dungeon hall in response to the ghast's wailing. Seriph dragged Sorion further from harm's way while Oresius took a defensive position to ensure that Azman would have the chance to turn the several oncoming assumed undead that he heard. Thanks to total defense and Tumbling synergy, he weathered a pair of undead attacks before Azman's turn at the end of the round reduced the newly arrived opponents to scattered ash.

While Azman stood guard over the still-paralyzed elf, the party pursued the first undead into the torturer's chamber. Arriving there, they found many implements of pain, but no undead creature, and tracked through the heavy dust covering most of the room before thinking to check it for tracks. By the time they had checked every dark corner and cleared all of the cobwebs, Sorion was recovered.

(Since the ghast is listed as controlling all of the ghouls in the moathouse and is an intelligent undead, I decided that it knew of the secret door and had it go down there, fully expecting the dust and all to give the PCs a fair lead to the secret door in trade for more alert and organized ghouls below. Now it seems likely that they'll know there's something funny in the room, but have to find the secret door the old-fashioned way. Low on healing, spells, and hp overall, I wouldn't be surprised to see them search the area and withdraw once they find Spugnoir.)

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