Monday, July 12, 2010

Xavier the Spiritual

Player: DB

STR 13 INT 10
DEX 12 WIS 16
CON 14 CHA 10

Level: 1
HP: 6

Special Quality: Owed a Favor, Mind for Miscellany

Mace, Holy Water (2), Plate and Shield, Wineskins (3), Backpack with mirror, hammer and stakes, flint and steel, warding herbs, rations (5)
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

CotMA - Episode 1b

(continued from here)

The heroes continued down the hallway and discovered a secret door.  They opened it and found three skeletons inside waiting to pounce upon the party!

Jace the Devine attempted to turn the undead AND HE SUCCEEDED!  The three skeletons fled away from the party, back toward the dungeon entrance.

Inside the chamber of the skeleton was a prominent lever mounted to the wall.  The lever was in the up position.  JD's halfling, with very little preparation, threw the lever into the down position, "because that's how levers are supposed to be."

There was a loud racket.  Grinding noises.  Thumping and the floor trembled below their feet a bit.  Ultimately (as far as they could tell) nothing happened.

Behind them, a short corridor led up to a closed door.  RF's fighter forced the door and they entered a rectangular room with a single exit door.  In the center of the room was a smashed amphora that appeared to have once been filled with oil, due to the huge puddle it was sitting in.  Upon opening the only other door in the room, the heroes found three more similar amphoras (stoppered) and they assumed these too contained oil.  They moved the amphoras out into the hall and set them in the corner.  They assumed that they could use them for an emergency fall back position -- smashing the amphorae and setting the oil alight to aid their escape.

They continued down the hall...

Eventually they entered a room where they found a non-corporeal warrior type, crying over the mouldering remains of his body.  They entered the room and prepared to do battle!

The discovered that their weapons were of no real use to them in the fight (the apparition was only hit by magic) but application of fire and holy water to its corpse seemed to injure the undead horror.  JD's halfling actually succeeded in damaging the apparition by smashing what remained of its skull.

The heroes simultaneously evaded and attacked the monster while gaining entry to a room in the rear of his chamber.  They discovered, through trial and error, that the apparition couldn't leave the room.  He also couldn't enter the back chamber.

For awhile we had action on three fronts -- those who were doing hit-and-run tactics with the apparition, those that were guarding the entrance in the hall (and watching Bob the burro) and a few that were examining the three chests that were found in the back room.

First the back room -- JD's elf, RF's magic user and DB's Jace the Devine were all in the back room.

First up, Jace decided to smash the lid of a chest in with his mace.  While this would have foiled a poison needle trap, it turned out that the chest was Fire Trapped and the resulting gout of flame reduced his torso to a holy cinder.  Inside a sack of coins and a scroll tube of magic user spells was found.

Seeing what just happened, JD's elf pushed his chest over by the door.  He reached around from behind and triggered the chest -- opening it toward the apparition who was menacing at the doorway.  The resulting mystical acid blast sprayed forth from the front of the chest, damaging the non-corporeal apparition.  Inside a shiny sword was found with a scabbard embossed with birds and other flying creatures.

Lastly, RF's mage dragged her chest over by the door and triggered it in hopes of blasting the apparition with some magical effect.  Unfortunately, her chest was trapped with a poison needle.  It sunk deeply into her finger and she died on the spot.  Another sack of coins was found inside the chest.

Meanwhile, outside of the room DB's dwarf and RF's fighter -- both badly injured from previous combat -- were watching the battle and tending to Bob the burro.  While they waited, a gelatinous cube slid up on them from the unexplored corridor.  Both men (and their burro) broke into a run and headed back down the corridor as fast as their legs could carry them...  just barely faster than the gelatinous cube itself...

Back in the room, after JD's halfling fell to the claws of the apparition, JD's elf took hold of the newly discovered shiny sword and leapt to do battle with the creature.  This weapon seemed to have the ability to actually do damage to the foul creature.  They went toe-to-toe for a number of rounds, but eventually the elf fell under its preternatural blows.  Sensing that the battle was nearly over and leaping to the defense of the elf, LB's fighter took up his sword and slew the beast.  The heroes in the room were able to revive the halfling and the elf with a bit of wine and the tending of their wounds.

At the same time, just down the hall, the dwarf and fighter had fallen back to the position of the three amphorae of oil.  Teaming up,  they swung one container through the air and crashed it on the floor some 40' distant.  As the gelatinous cube arrived, they hurled a torch down the hallway and set the creature alight.  They followed up hurling the other two amphorae at the beast, causing quite a conflagration.  The gelatinous cube had one chance to attack the men, swinging a flaming pseudopod at the dwarf, but missing.  It went down in a flaming jello heap.

(to be continued...)
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Oryx Flamebeard, Dwarf

Player: DB

STR 15 INT 14
DEX 14 WIS 12
CON 15 CHA 14

Level: 1
HP: 5

Special Quality: None

Platemail, 2-handed warhammer, backpack, wineskins, rations (5), large sacks (2)
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Cack Trueshield, Female Fighter

Player: LB

STR 13 INT 12
DEX 11 WIS 12
CON 13 CHA 9

Level: 1
HP: 7

Special Quality: Swims like a fish

Plate mail and shield, sword
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Vera Diamondtree, Female Elf

Player: LB

STR 15 INT 15
DEX 14 WIS 9
CON 14 CHA 11

Level: 1
HP: 5

Special Quality: Eye for horseflesh

Chainmail, bow and arrows
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Unnamed Female Magic User

Player: RF

STR 13 INT 18
DEX 15 WIS 14
CON 12 CHA 10

Level: 1
HP: 4

Special Quality: Resist Venom (see below)

Spells: Read magic, Read languages, Detect magic, Hold Portal (X), Sleep

Dagger, wolvesbane, belladonna, hammer and stakes, torches, waterskin, mirror, rations (4), Bob the Burro with saddlebags

Cause of Death: Poison needle on trapped chest.  (How ironic is that?)
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Jace the Devine

Player: DB

STR 12 INT 13
DEX 12 WIS 16
CON 13 CHA 12

Level: 1
HP: 6

Special Quality: Windfall

Mace, Holy Water (2), Plate and Shield, Wineskins (3), Backpack with mirror, hammer and stakes, flint and steel, warding herbs, rations (5)

Cause of Death: Was incinerated when opening a Fire Trapped chest.
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CotMA - Episode 1a

My friends, DB, LB, RF and JD all came over last night and we rolled up characters.  I let them use 4d6 drop the low and I also let them roll 7 times and drop the worst total.  Only one 18 was rolled, but the characters overall were pretty solid.

I used the Character Snowflakes table from the Society of the Torch, Pole and Rope and nearly each character got a little something to set them apart from the norm.  I also had some pre-gen NPCs ready from Meatshields!, but no one was interested.

Each player had two PCs to play.  I was anticipating some attrition.  I told the players that I was adhering to Gary's rule of "the first six levels ARE character background."

DB rolled up a cleric and a dwarf.  RF rolled up a fighter and a magic user.  JD rolled up an elf (the expensive kind) and a halfling.  LB rolled up an elf and a fighter.  I plan to gather the character sheets and create a page for each character at each level as they go along.

I shared my house rules (future post) and they purchased equipment.  Ryan bought a burro to haul their treasure out of the dungeon.

Then we were off to the dungeon!

I explained that the Castle of the Mad Archmage was a ruin, well known to adventurers as a place where one could find their fortune or a painful demise.  Many go in, but few come out.  I further explained that the ruins were three leagues from the town where they were staying.

They headed out in the morning.

I described the scene as they arrived upon a low hill.  I told them that they knew the castle itself was little more than a crumbling, overgrown structure at the surface, but that there was an entrance to a cellar (one of several entrances) near a large oak tree.  They had heard that this was a primary entrance to the dungeon levels.  They found the cellar and down they went...

I described the cellar and told them that there was enough natural light here to make out three stout doors on one side of the room.  A large spiral staircase down was visible through an archway on the other side of the room.  I told them that the cellar had indications of being well-travelled.

They tried all three doors.  The middle door was securely locked.  This gave them three choices for descent into the dungeon.  They chose the close door  (Door C) in preference to the near door and the spiral stair.  A staircase of flagstones wound downward, curving gently to the right...  it was very dark.

The decided who should carry a torch (RF's magic user) and they put the elves and dwarf near the front. RF's magic user was also leading "Bob the burro" by the reins at the rear of the party.  Bob wasn't too put off by the descent into the dungeon.  It was decided he probably had some experience in the local mines.

At the bottom of the stairs they found a room with two doors and a ceiling covered with thick webs.  There was much discussion about putting the torch to the webs and before they could do it, a huge spider (who didn't see that coming?) descended to the floor and attacked the party.  It got one chance to bite the dwarf before it was despatched by the fighters.  A desiccated halfling corpse turned up in the webs (once they burned them) and he had a pouch of 15 gp.

They had further discussion and they decided to open the door nearest the entrance stairs.  The halfling heard angry shouting from behind the door and they decided to seek it out.

Once the door was opened, they could see a hallway with several doors.  One door was open to the hall and weak illumination emanated from the room beyond.  JD's halfling decided to investigate further and snuck down the hall.  He peeked in to discover two humans throwing dice in the corner.  Their weapons were sitting on the floor in an opposite corner of the room.  Sensing an opportunity, the halfling snuck in and stole the weapons, taking them back to the party.  Suffice to say that the two men were quite surprised when they couldn't find their swords upon being attacked by the party.  They were quickly neutralized before they could alert reinforcements.  A quick search revealed clues that the two men were brigands, based upon their style of dress, the neckerchiefs they wore and their black spear tattoos.

The heroes then split up in the hallway and decided to burst through the next two doors simultaneously.  They bashed the doors in and one group comes upon three more brigands; the other group encounters two.  RF's magic user stays in the hall ready to cast her spell, "Hold Portal", should anyone try to come out of the next door.

The battle of the two rooms goes longer than one round and the brigands start yelling for help at the top of their lungs...

RF's mage sees the latch start to move and she Holds the door.

The last door in the hall bursts open and two more brigands jump into the fray.  Pounding can be heard from beyond the held door.  Loud shouts of "Let me out!" and "What's going on out there?" can also be heard.

The battle is short, but RF's fighter is badly injured.  Before entering the last room and confronting the voice behind the door, the heroes minister to RH's fighters wounds.  With some wine and the binding of his wounds he felt a bit better.

Preparing to confront "the voice" the heroes ready all their pointy weapons and then RF's magic user opens the door.  They find the brigand leader with a crossbow pointing back at them... it's a standoff...

He offers to give them the key to the treasure hoard if they'll just let him go.  One of the characters shouts that they can just take the treasure when he's dead.  He says, who wants to die first (he is pointing a crossbow at them...) and there's an awkward pause...

Then the dwarf charges the bandit leader... he shoots... misses and is shortly thereafter dead.

The heroes find the treasure (and his very impressive shiny dagger) and move on down the hall...

(more to come)
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bob the Burro

AAC 13, 9 HP #AT 1, 1d4 bite or 1d6 hooves

We started off using a cut piece of cardstock, but last night I mocked up an actual grey burro, thanks to the good folks at One Monk Miniatures.
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A Beginning...

Last night we played our first session of the excellent "Castle of the Mad Archmage" and I've decided to write recaps and notes about the adventures here.  A hearty thanks to Greyhawk Grognard for all his excellent work.  (Note: if you are one of my players, please don't download and read the module for yourself!  You will ruin all the great surprises!)

Spoiler Alert:  Secrets Shall Be Shared!

Don't read this blog if you ever plan on adventuring within those hallowed halls yourself!

You have been warned!
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