|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 24 Nov 2015 : 12:13:45
We recently started a new campaign, and for the first time in several millennia, I actually get to be a player. For journaling purposes and general amusement, these are the Sundabar Chronicles.
Atticus Spleenbiter, Male ŻElf Barbarian/Rogue
Son of the legendary Barbarian Warchief Arnold Mightychest and an Elven serving wench named Gyda. Never really fit in with the tribe, and left for Luskan, where he hooked up with a newly formed adventuring party. Quiet and thoughtful for a Barbarian, and has real difficulties going berserk.
Pali Ababua, Male Aasimar Paladin of Tyr
Discovered unconscious and completely amnesic by Dwarven rangers in the tunnels beneath Citadel Adbar. A couple of kindly Clerics managed to divine that he was on some sort of holy quest and point him in the direction of Sundabar, where he eventually hooked up with the party for lack of any better alternatives.
Cyrus the Love Virus, Male Human Cleric of Sharess
Whatever kind of sensuous pleasure you prefer, therapeutic massages, aromatic candles with a side helping of face slashings, or soul wrenching renditions of "The Love Goat", Cyrus is your man. The original founder of the adventuring party, for reasons involving a fantasy about "doing it in a dungeon".
Salogel Moonchild, Female Elven Fighter
Comes from an isolated tribe where she was raised on tales of Elven heroics. She has devoted her life to learn how to walk on snow, shield-surf down castle stairs, do kill-counts based solely on the color of the rising sun, kill giant elephants with a single arrow, and determine what halflings are being taken to which Gard by whatever kidnappers at a distace of several miles. The second member to join the party, mainly because she didn't know enough about humans to know that Cyrus was bad news.
Nadhur Strongarm, Male Dwarven Paladin of Moradin
Young Paladin that has recently finished his training. Hooks up with the party as the campaign begins (last minute player addition). Hires the party to escort a grup of Dwarven miners and Merchants to the village of Deadsnow 5 days south of Sundabar.
Obviously we are off to a healthy start.
|10 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 13 Jun 2018 : 14:16:17
Completely forgot about this.
||Posted - 17 Mar 2016 : 11:28:29
Knights Below, The begining of the end
Two days later the inn where we are hiding out is set on fire.
It is in the middle of sleepcycle, so Salogel who is taking the watch awakens the rest of us. We quickly gather our stuff together and head for the exit, pausing only to allow the two paladins to hastily don their breastplates and helmets (yay, light armor).
Nadhuar insists on taking the lead, so the rest of us graciously allow him to run outside, where he gets shot with so many arrows that he looks like a small pin cushion, except only a bit leakier and using more swear words. While the assassins are busy reloading after thus having given their position away, the rest of us take the opportunity to run to the building they are occupying, where we are immediately engaged by a small horde of Grimlocks using twohanded axes, and a handful of snakeish looking abominations, who come pouring out the doors of several adjacent buildings.
Finally on an open battlefield where he can use his talents to maximum efficiency, Atticus takes the opportunity to at last outshine the tankier elements of the group. 40' movement combined with a reach weapon, Combat Reflexes, and Spring Attack, prove to be an excellent counter for a bunch of dimwitted opponents. Meanwhile Ruadhan and Pali engage the snake abominations and their leader, where Dwarven consitution and Paladin Charisma bonuses means they can shrug off a series of poison attacks. Salogel takes the opportunity to gain some distance and puts arrows in anything that moves, while Cyrus runs around like a maniac, casting spells and stabbing people in the back every time he can get a flanking attack. The combat finishes with only Ruadhan seriously wounded, and that only because he insisted on playing arrow decoy at the start of the battle.
By the time the battle is finished and the last straglers hunted down, the inn is a lost cause. It is a bit unnerving to see the undead serving personnel just standing around as the flames consume them, but we console ourselves with the fact that we gained a shiny new scimitar that radiates magic. We then busy ourselves looking for a new hideout, and manage to find a ruined building. Salogel assures everyone that she is an expert at setting up tripwires and other assorted alarms, so she is put in charge of security. Neverthelss, a few hours later our information broker comes waddling up the stairs without any hint of an alarm having been tripped. While Nadhuar is busy staring daggers at Salogel the rest of us engage im in meaningful conversation, and are finally awarded with something that should let us find the badguys we have been chasing almost since the beginning of the campaign.
This turns out to be magic ring that lets us pass a bunch of unspecified magical traps. Apparently our information broker knew where the BBEG was the entire time, he just took the opportunity to let us run some errands for him, rather than letting us figure out a way past the traps on our own. He directs us to a large stalagmite just outside town that is rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of a lost Drow House. People who enter certainly have a tendency to never leave again. Perking up at this excellent news, both Paladins forget all about taking a nasty revenge on the broker, while the rest of the party merely looks depressed. A rough location of the traps is written down, and everyone is told to stay as close as possible to the wearer of the ring. This immediately sparks off an argument between Pali who entertains thoughts about being a heroic centre of attention, Salogel who wants to be a "ring bearer" (whatever that is), and Cyrus who just wants to not be set on fire or disintegrated.
After a few minutes of bickering and our information broker looking confused, the party eventually agree to set off after a short rest and memorization of spells. By taking a detour through a series of little used back alleys and side streets unwanted attention is avoided, and the party makes it outside the city wall without incident. Eventually we make our way to the Stalagmite of BBEG Lairyness, where we immediately notice that the entrance is partially blocked and guarded by a handful of of Drow mercenaries. Nadhuar walks slowly forward to parley with his hands in plain empty hands held in sight, and the seemingly amused Drow immediately reciprocate by fireballing everyone.
We have a bit of a problem forcing our way inside, and the panicked and badly wounded Cyrus makes everything worse by casting darkness across the entrance. This is followed up with a Web spell by the Drow Wizard, and soon several of our fighter-types are both stuck and unable to see the scimitars that are hitting them. Pali gets knocked out for a change, and Nadhuar thoughtfully lights the web on fire to carry him outside, which brings Pali to -8 hitpoints. He just barely makes it out of the darkness before he rolls a natural 1 on a poison save and slips into a comfortable sleep, as the unconscious Pali bleeds his way to -9 hitpoints. At the last second Cyrus comes flying out of nowhere and pours a healing potion down his throat, while narrowly avoiding a flailing scimitar poking out from the darkness. At this point the Drow Wizard, who is annoyed at not having any visible targets, dispels the darkness which nets him a couple of arrows in the chest from Salogel who has wisely remained outside. He pulls back to reasess the situation, while the Drow fighter types take cover behind some rubble. Atticus uses his strenght to bull through the reains of the web and his Mobility feat to avoid most of the damage from several attacks of oppportunity, as he makes his way towards the Wizard. Meanwhile the villain has run out of room to retreat by a glowing green barrier that fairly screams "death" to anyone witin sight range. Salogel and Cyrus engage the fighter types while Atticus grapples the Wizard and attempts to heave him into the barrier. Unfortunately he fails rather badly at this, and by the time he is finally ready to dispatch the cretinous wizard, a couple of arrows from Salogel thwack into the spellcasters head, ruining both his day and Atticus' attempt to look heroic.
When the snoring Dwarf eventually awakens, it is to find the party closer to a TPK than ever before. Atticus and Cyrus are both at single digit hitpoints, Pali is still unconscious, and the Elf who performed several epic feats of archery during combat is as happy as a halfling who just emptied a pie shop. Deciding that healing up might be a good idea before attempting to tackle the glowing green barrier, the party settles down for yet another rest.
<To be continued>
||Posted - 03 Mar 2016 : 11:31:41
Atticus' treatise on Barbarian weapons (Heavily inspired by www.realultimatepower.net)
Barbarian Weapons and their use.
A scientific paper by Atticus Spleenbiter.
As has been firmly established on numeous prior occasions, the Barbarian was set on Torilian soil to be awesome and go berserk and break stuff. At an early stage it became clear for the Barbarian tribes that weapons would be necessary. The earliest weapons were primitive tools made of wood and stone, while more modern examples are primarily made of metal. Each weapon has it's advantages and disadvantages and the purpose of this paper is to make a short examination thereof.
Swords are nice. In fact they are so awesome that I sometimes become dizzy just thinking about them.
because of it's awesome shape, the sword can be used to go berserk in many different ways. you can use it to stab holes in your enemy, you can disembowel someone with them and you can even throw them if you feel like it. However the most insanely awesome use of the sword is decapitation. Many of you may think that it doesn't atter how your opponent dies as ong as he dies, but this is a fallacy. because it sends out a very specific and Barbarian-like message when you cut someones head off. It looks so cool that your enemiesmay soil their britches, and at the same time it is so awesome that your companions gani even more awesome barbarian power than they already had. I short, it's awesome! Another advantage to swords is that they can also be used to hone your skills while in peace time. For example if you are builing a shelter and you need to cut some rope, you can totally go berserk on it with your sword. Or if you aer cutting meat. All in all it is safe to say that the story of Toril would look very different if Barbarians didn't have swords.
It's a bit annoying to make a sword, and you have to hone the edges all the time. Nevertheless the word is totally awesome!
Another awesome weapon is the axe. It came before the sword, and has a sepcial place in any barbarians heart because it's old and mentioned alot in sagas and traditions and stuff.
Like the sword, the axe is useful for decapitations. Besides, if it is weighted properly itcan be used for throwing. It's awesome to throw an axe into someones shield and breaking it. The greatest advantage to the axe that besides being an awesome weapon, it is also a useful tool. It's pretty hard to build a boat or a village without wood, and axes aer much more useful than swords or clubs for cutting down trees.
None really, as long as noone sunders the shaft.
The hammer is a weapon that is a bit neglected. That is a shame, because it has great symbolic value, and it's pretty good for crushing skulls.
Good at crushing stuff, and useful for tent spikes on the frozen tundra. Also, you don't ever have to hone any edges.
In spite of it's usefulness and symbolic value, it is really difficult to decapitate smoeone with a hammer.
the club is probably the oldest and most primitive weapon in the world. It has been used by all cultures, and therefore it may be imlpied that the club is what makes us demi-human.
The club is so primitve that it looks like a beginners weapon. Barbarian children usually go berserk with clubs for a few years before graudating to swords or axes. Another factor is that the name is awesome. It's totally barbaric to scream "CLUUUUUB" before bashing someones head in. Besides being a grat sychological factor, the club can be used as a backup weapon if you can't be bothered to dent your primary weapon. Like if you are facing 40 Orcs with their fancy Falchions and metal armors, and you don't even bother pulling out your sword, then everyone knows wat's going to happen.
No decapitations. Also hard to clean if bits of skull and hair get lodged in the cracks.
The naked fist.
Of course the fist isn't a real weapon, but neverthelss many barbarians have had to fight using their bare fists.
Unless you've had both arms chopped off, you always have a fist handy. You don't have to remember to take them with you everywhere you go, and you don't have to sharpen them all the time. The greates advantage is if you want to take prisoners without handicapping them by lopping one or more of their limbs off.
Tend to hurt when fighting adversaries in full plate armor.
Some people don't think spears are awesome. Obviously they have never had to fight someone with reach weapons or have missed having a good throwing weapon nearby, so these people need to be decapitated.
The spear is awesomely diverse. If some stupid Orc comes running at you, you can set it to receive his charge, or simply throw it into his face. "Ok,that's true" you may think, "but I thought barbarians only fought in close combat?" That's almost always true, but sometimes there are so awesomely many enemies that you need to kill a few of them at a distance before it's time for close up action. I's also pretty awesome when you are fighting a knight, that you can stick it in his stupid horse. Also the horse makes for good eating afterwards. Besides, after a battle with lots of casualties you can save time by riding around the battlefield to stab anyone you suspect of playing possum, which is to say anyone who hasn't been decapitated. (Note to self: Don't eat horse first.) Even if your spear breaks, you can still use it as a dagger.
Can be difficult to find again when you hurl it too far.
||Posted - 03 Mar 2016 : 09:58:16
Knights Below, Intermission
Due to real life concerns, our DM has been offline for a while.
We ran a short session recently, just to keep the campaign fresh.
Back at the inn.
Rather than coughing up the agreed information, the information broker decides that the party should asssassinate a Drow priestess of a local noble house in order to find an item that can be used to locate the bad guys; A small golden rod inset with a blue crystal. For some reason both Paladins are fine with this, while the rest of the party are more hesistant to engage in murder for hire. However after some explanations about the nature of Lolth worship and a description of the torture chamber where the priestess spends most of her leisure time, they eventually agree that such evil must be eradicated. (And preferably relieved of valuables as well.)
The information broker reveals the existence of an underground passage connecting to a cavern underneath the local temple of the Spider Queen. A chute used for the disposal of sacrifical victims and other assorted waste leads from the lower levels of the temple into aforementioned cavern, and could be used by a band of brave adventurers (who are not too concerned about hygiene) to enter the temple. Being a stereotypical lot of adventurers, most of the party proceed to prepare spells and equipment to deal with poison, spell resistance, and climbing challenges, while Cyrus the Cleric prepares perfume and nose plugs. Then they wait until the sleepcycle begins before heading out.
Traversing a series of tunnels and fighting giant spiders along the way (surprise, surprise) the party eventually reaches the cavern in question. A mound of bodies and various refuse marks the location of the chute, and a couple of torches drives off most of the small scavengers infesting the pile. After some mucking around (literally) the party is able to secure a rope to the chute opening, and make their way up into the cellars of the temple.
Up in the teple, Nadhuar the Dwarven Paladin wanders off by himself before the rest of the party can follow, and manages to stumble into the very torture chamber where the Lolth priestess and a couple of minions are busy dissecting their latest victim. Going by the sounds of battle, the rest of the party quickly follow and are able to gain entrance just as one of the Drow casts a Web spell centered on the doorway. Having thus rendered immobile most of the party, they proceed to bombard them with an asortment of spells that seem suspiciously well chosen to deal with a party consisting mostly of fighter types. Luckily Salogel the Elf is able to use his bow to quickly neutralize one of the spell casters, and by chain spamming healing spells Cyrus is able to keep everyone on their feet during the first onslaught, even though Nadhuar is sorely wounded, and Pali and Atticus have both been struck by Rays of Enfeeblement. Atticus is as usual unable to go berserk and is pretty much reduced to holding off summoned spiders for the duration of the combat, while Pali attempts to engage a couple of guards in melee, and is struck unconscious. Salogel however shines in her role as archer supreme, and while Nadhuar holds of the melee types, she proceeds to perform a series of critical hits that would have any dice junkie giggling with glee.
Finally, her minions struck down, the priestess attempts to flee through a secret door, but Nadhuar and Salogel are able to tackle her before she can make her escape. Wielding a evil looking sacrifical dagger, the priestess is able to disable Nadhuar, but Atticus who has been stomping vermin, and Cyrus who has been busy studying the various torture devices after he ran out of spells, show up. As she attempts to cast one last evil spell, the priestess of Lolth is finally sent to meet her Goddess.
Taking a quick inventory of the torture chamber, the paladins release a couple of heavily traumatized Svirfneblin prisoners, while Cyrus draws a few schetches for inspiration, and the Elf and Barbarian busy themselves looting all the bodies. The golden rod, which was the object of the expedition, is found intact on the body of the priestess, no thanks to Pali who insisted on doing the stompy fandango on her remains.
Upon making their way back out of the temple, the party discovers a set of fresh Duergar bodies near the corpse pile underneath the disposal chute. They are identified as members of the local assassins guild who likely succumbed to the local wildlife while attempting to set up an ambush for the party. In a rare moment of inspiration, the party drag the corpses back into the temple and give them a few whacks with some Drow scimitars, to to make it seem as if they were the ones behind the massacre. Not necessarily a great plan in a world with Divination spells, but better than nothing.
The journey back to the inn is uneventful, except for having to sneak in the back entrance to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
<To be continued>
||Posted - 02 Feb 2016 : 12:29:23
Knights Below, Part 2
Party composition update:
Atticus Spleenbiter, Ng Halfelf male Barbarian 2/Rogue 1/Fighter 2
Pali Ababwa, LG Aasimar male Paladin 4
Cyrus the Love Virus, CG Human male Cleric 4/Sorceror 1
Nadhuar Strongarm, LG Dwarf male Paladin 5
Salogel Moonshild, CG Elf female Fighter 5
Last session ended with the party arriving at an inn in the underdark city of Plinth.
Receiving yet another culture shock, the party is surprised to see that the inn is run by a number of intelligent undeads. After some Detect Evil attempts and some rather unsuccessfull diplomacy (resulting in the Cleric getting slapped by an undead waitress, which is a first even for him), the party is pointed to the information broker who turns out to be yet another undead.
After some railroading, which is almost as obvious as the party's Detect Evil attempts, the party agrees to perform a number of services for the information broker in return for some juicy information on the villains. First is the collection of a number of poisonous mushrooms from an island some distance uot in the Undersea.
However, first the party decides to spend the night at the tavern, which involves sampling the local fungus ale and terrorizing the locals with an old Barbarian drinking song complete with reindeer double entendres. Having thus unwound (and announced their presence to anyone who isn't both blind and deaf) the party has a good nights rest. In the morning they set off, whilst somewhat futilely still trying to keep a low profile. They manage to make it all the way to the docks with the intent to rent a boat, but instead end up being ambushed by a band of Duergar and repeatedly stabbed with a wide selction of pointy objects. Extremely unhappy with such an unconventional greeting, the party rallies from their hangovers and violently disassemble the Duergar for use as fish food, before selecting an appropriate vessel from a rather dismal collection of dinghies and rowboats.
On second thoughts the paladins agree that using the Duergar corpses as a diversion for any encountered monsters during the sailing trip might be slightly disagreeable to their deities, and eventually drop the plan. After tying up the aquaphobic Nadhuar Strongarm with lots of rope to keep him from panicking and upsetting the boat (and thoughtfully replacing his armor with inflated wine skins), the party is finally ready to set off. At this point it is noticed that Pali Ababwa, the other Paladin, refuses to undon the magical plate armor he recently found and becomes violently agitated when the matter is pressed. Being unfamiliar with magical curses and whatnot the rest of the party, while puzzled by his behaviour, decide that he is a grown Aasimar capable of making his own decisions. However, as luck has it the dice gods decide that wandering encounters are unneeded, and the party arrives safely at the offshore island where mushrooms, giant, poisonous, and otherwise, grow.
Scouring the island for mushrooms fitting the desciption given by the information broker, the party encounters a number of hazards, mostly involving slippery rocks and spontaneous asthma attacks. Finally at the center of the island a clearing is discovered containing a sufficient number of usable mushrooms. Unfortunately it also contains a couple of Phantom Fungi who almost make short work of the Cleric and one of the Paladins before being dispatched by the rest of the party. Regardless the mission is accomplished, and some neat loot is discovered among the bones of the Fungis former victims.
Upon their triumphant return, the party hands over the goods to the information broker, and wait for him to gather the information requested. In the meanwhile the party spends some time exploring the city, which involves physically restraining the Cleric from entering a Kuo-Toa house of pleasure, and finding out that Drow tend to try to kill people who don't get out of their way fast enough. It is also discovered that a fighter heavy party has little to fear from Drow Sleeping Poison, and that Drow tend to carry around lots of neat, valuable stuff.
The DM has also promised that next session we will discover what happens to people who kill Drow patrols, but that's a sorrow for another time.
Until next time.
||Posted - 19 Jan 2016 : 08:44:34
Knight Below, part 1
Well Paladins, plural, actually.
And an elven archer who is in serious danger of being arrested by the stereotype police. And a Barbarian who can't go berserk except by DM intervention. And a deranged priest who spends more time making sexual innuendo than doing adventurer stuff.
Regardless, the party finally comes to the agreement that Deadsnow will have to wait. After returning to the hommlet, they manage to arrange alternate security for Ivan, the surviving Dwarven Miner, on the remainder on his trip. Grateful for having been rescued, he pays the party the full reward anyway, and besides presents Nadhuar Strongarm (the Dwarven Paladin) with a battered set of plate armor, which he used to wear in his adventuring days.
The next few days are spent preparing for the Underdark expedition, sending word to the surrounding communities of troubles brewing, selling surplus equipment, etc. The party then heads back to the Dungeon complex, prepared to bash in the heads of anything that looks even remotely subterranean.
Back in the Forgotten Kings Tomb, the party descends into the crevace the villains previously used as an exit. Here they enconuter a mile long tunnel that splits and goes to the surface and deep underground. Following the latter path, an elemental node is eventually discovered which, which mysteriously imparts knowledge of how to use it as a gate to the nearest adventure clue, to Cyrus the love priest.
Lazy adventure design. First of all, the villains didn't really need two entrances into the tomb, except to provide an exit conveniently leading away from the party. Secondly, if they had the magical resources to dig a mile long tunnel in the short time covered by the adventure, it seems silly that a party of low level adventurers would pose much of a threat. Thirdly, the Elemental Node imparting it's operating instructions to the players is the kind of deus ex machina that I find immensely annoying.
Personally, I think I would have left some personal correspondance on the body of one of the villains, possibly written in undercommon, mentioning the name of their destination, and let the players do a bit of footwork to find out that it was a relatively well known underdark trade hub that connected to a nearby Dwarven trade route.
Anyway, after fighting some wandering monsters, the party is teleported a vast underdark cavern, where a passing Duergar merchant much to noones surprise mentions that someone matching the description of the villains recently passed by, heading for the city of Plinth, which happens to be a relatively well known underdark trade hub.
Engaging the Duergar in meaningful conversation (which involves both Paladins making several unsuccessful Detect Evil checks), several other relevant facts about the city and nearby environs are discovered, including the name and location of a local information broker. The meeting ends on a decidedly friendly note, with the bartering of lots of rare surface stuff (like wooden torches) and promises of future cooperation. Also, on a pure meta-gaming related note, the Duergar is named Buthwol, which is an alternate pronounciation for "Beowulf". No idea what relevance that has, if any. Maybe he has a horrible mother in law?
Traversing a number of obstacles, the party quickly covers the distance between the Elemental Node and the city of Plinth. The city used to be the abode of a number of Drow noble houses, but several disasters, magical and otherwise, have thinned their numbers considerably, to the point that they are a small minority huddling behind their walls. Meanwhile the rest of the city has turned into something resembling a wilder version of the wild west, with the usual state of affairs being something between anarchy and civil war between the various facions that have moved in.
The party has taken some minor precautions (hiding Holy Symbols, donning hoods over pointy ears, etc), but are able to pass through unguarded gates to walk on the deserted streets of the city. After a short walk, they come to an Inn overlooking a plaza, which is the demesne of the aforementioned information broker, right where Buthwol the Duergar said it would be.
Here endeth the session.
||Posted - 05 Jan 2016 : 11:45:04
Deadsnow, part 3
Deep in the dungeon complex the valiant adventurers bump into a guard station manned by some rather demonic looking Hobgoblins. After fighting their way through, a sinkhole connecting to the surface and partly occupied by a waterfall, is discovered. It is guarded by a being named Ryld, who seems to be some sort of aquatic equivalent to a Dryad. The Paladins are able to convince him that the party is merely there to rescue kidnapped comrades, and cleanse the tomb of evil besides. Ryld then reveals that a party of evil beings with two captive dwarves in tow passed by his waterfall, but that they were too powerful for him to stop on his own. Beyond the waterfall an ancient foyer contains a rather nasty Tomb Spider along with a number of freshly spun web mummies. After defeating the monsters, the party discovers that using healing spells on a person poisoned by a Tomb Spider is a bad idea, and that the web mummies were created using several members of the previous party to pass through the area, including one of the lost Dwarven Merchants.
Having picked up the trail once more, the party is able to follow the kidnappers for a distance, until they encounter yet another labyrinthine section of Dungeon. As they navigate their way through, they see magical depictions of a fallen kingdom. A Knowledge History roll seems to indicate that it is a little known successor state of ancient Illefarn, that fell to treason from within and an Orc horde from without. Several more depictions are found, showing a positively Arthuresque story of the rise and fall of a King and how his own champion betrays him.
Finally emerging on the far side of the labyrinth, the party enters a great audience hall, where a noble king is seated on a golden throne. However, since none of the players were heavily sedated as they passed through, they are able to match the image of the seated king with the images of the traitor knight from the labyrinth slide show. (Players note: I don't know if it was the adventure that was too easy or if our DM was too lenient, but it wasn't exactly a puzzle.) The Dwarven Paladin goes bananas and initiates combat (the character being a history minded sort) and the traitor knight is happy to reply, summoning a couple of friends and an ability to make characters impulsively betray heir friends. After failing a couple of Will saves, Atticus the Barbarian is compelled to give his Aasimar Paladin friend a couple of good thwacks with his Glaive, nearly killing him. He then goes berserk for the first time ever and makes absolute mincemeat out of the traitor (two natural 20's in a row). Then he has a bit of a cry, not being used to the display of strong emotions in public.
While Atticus is busy blowing his nose and otherwise recomposing himself, the rest of the party discover a concealed passage leading to what appears to be the royal tomb. Here they discover a strange looking elf (meta knowledge: Some sort of Yuan Ti half breed) along with a couple of Hobgoblin guards, and one of the kidnapped Dwarves, trussed up like a Nesmian pork sausage. After yet again bloodying ther weapons (whatever happened to diplomacy?) the Dwarf is freed and the tomb saved from desecration, whatever little of it remains intact. The ghost of the king appears and thanks the party for their efforts, but says that some of the intruders went ahead of their friends with what they had managed to loot from the tomb. He then relates a dark prophecy of doom for the entire Silver Marches area, which luckily includes how to avert it. This involves a number of magical relics, including his own sword which the villains failed to loot. The swrod is handed to the Aasimar Paladin and the king departs for his final rest.
In the meanwhile the party debates whether they should pursue the villains into the Underdark or finish their escort mission first. The arguments are a signed contract and words of honor versus saving the world (damn lawful extremists...) And here endeth the session.
||Posted - 08 Dec 2015 : 13:55:30
Deadsnow, part 2
Descending into the depths, the party discovers that the ruins containing the shrine are merely an above ground section of a vast Dungeon complex. Progressing through a succession of dark chambers and caves, the party quickly come under attack from a variety of monsters attracted to the light from their torches. However with two well armored paladins in the van, and a polearm wielding barbarian covering the rear, the party are able to make reasonably swift progress.
Lacking an expert tracker, the heroes eventually lose the trail, so instead they start a systematic search of the complex. In one section containing dozens upon dozens of Human and Dwarf sized sarcophagi, they encounter a Hobgoblin Cleric that is definetely not a local resident, along with his highly varied retinue of different types of Skeletons. After a hard fought battle, a magic fountain is discovered which cures various ailments of whomever drinks from it as well as restoring their spells. The area also contains what appears to be a base camp for a larger expedition, which the late Hobgoblin was obviously guarding.
After a short period of rest and reorganization, the party presses on. An ingress point, which was clearly used by a large number of humanoids, is found and the resident guards disposed of. In a private mausoleum the party are able to open a magical portal by answering a couple of facepalm inducing riddles (and having the right alignment). Beyond the portal is the burial crypt of a group of ancient heroes. The spirits of the heroes appear and confront the players, and while the Barbarian, Elf, and Cleric are busy wetting their pants, the Paladins engage them in polite conversation and swear a holy oath to cleanse the complex of a great evil that the spirits can sense. In return the party are rewarded with a couple of relics that by an extraordinary stroke of luck happen to coincide with the chosen weapons of the Paladins.
Having gained sufficient experience, the players are allowed to level up. All the players take skills and feats relevant to what they have been doing during the adventure, except for the Cleric. He can't decide if he should select Handle Animal or Rope Use to best serve Sharess, the Goddess of Hedonism and sensual fullfulment. (Luckily the Paladins don't get it.)
Thus fortified the valiant heroes once again prepare to set forth, to uphold justice, smite the unrighteous, and nick all their stuff.
<To be continued.>
||Posted - 30 Nov 2015 : 11:18:47
Sundabar has experienced an influx of humanoid raiders on it's lands, and travelling the southern roads now require armed escorts. The party are hired as guards for an expedition of five Dwarven miners and merchants who are making their way to the boomtown of Deadsnow, where gold has recently been discovered.
It is a journey of about a week, trudging through hills and mountains, but aside from the obligatory goblin ambush to reaquaint the players with the combat rules, the little caravan makes it safely the entire way. Almost.
On the last night of the journey, the party enter a village so small it has no name. Just a collection of houses and a stockade that have sprung up around a roadside inn. The player characters spend the night at the inn, while the Dwarves are invited to stay over at the house of an old aquaintance.
The next morning the players are awakened by a servant of the aforementioned aquaintance, babbling about giant talking wolves and murder most foul. The characters manage to calm him down enough to offer an explanation. Early that morning the members of the Dwarven expedition went to some local ruins to pay their respects at an old Shrine to Moradin. The servant went along as a guide, but at the Shrine they were attacked by wolves. Like any good Dwarves, the expedition members prepared to defend themselves, while the servant made a tactical withdrawal to the rear.
The characters quickly arm themselves and set off. The ruins are only a mile or so from the Inn, beneath a large rockface overlooking the nearby terrain, so they arrive shortly. Inside the ruins they are attacked by a pack of wolves led by a Dire Wolf.
[DM notes: While I'm a player rather than DM in this campaign, it obviously pays to make notes.]
Real wolves don't charge like a Napoleonic era infantry brigade. To make such encounters seem more realistic, a GM could make a couple of wolves attempt to distract, lure, and tempt, while the rest stay out of sight. Wolves are naturals at separating one or more individuals from the group and bushwacking them. In D&D terms, most pack predators also instinctually try to flank and assist. While the GM's objective isn't to kill the players, it's definetely a part of the job to put a scare into them every once in a while.
After dispatching the Wolf pack, the characters discover two of the Dwarves dead on the ground in front of the Shrine. Inside they find an open door and a set of stairs leading down into the earth. While such situations aren't technically covered by the contract, the consensus is to rescue first and negotiate later.
<to be continued>
||Posted - 24 Nov 2015 : 23:29:25
I am already entertained! Looking forward to this.