An arcane spellcaster may prove helpful, but most of these new characters are replacing dead characters, so with an average of four or five PCs at each session, they prefer to have an abundance of fighter-types.
They do have a second Cleric now, though, as they got tired of not being able to heal between battles without returning to the Keep. They don't like being attacked by wandering monsters every time they try to take a break out in the wild.
Last edited by SirXaris on Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:05 am; edited 1 time in total
I understand. My point is . . . barricade = Burning Hands. Bar-b-qued Hobgoblin, or did anyone bring marshmallows?
Besides, as we both know, all 1st level Magic Users need to be protected. But if you don't start with a 1st level Magic User, how will you get a 20th level Invoker? Which would be far more deadly than 200 hobgoblins.
I understand. My point is . . . barricade = Burning Hands. Bar-b-qued Hobgoblin, or did anyone bring marshmallows?
Besides, as we both know, all 1st level Magic Users need to be protected. But if you don't start with a 1st level Magic User, how will you get a 20th level Invoker? Which would be far more deadly than 200 hobgoblins.
Must think of the future.
Says the magic using Mystic.
At any level a mage is only as good as his coverage. I had a player who's 14th level mage was slain by a 1/2 HD kobold.
Fire power is only useful, if you get a chance to use it.
One of the reasons a cleric is more valuable to a party then a wizard IMO.
With that said a wizard with fire power or summoning can be trouble for anyone put up against them.
These three worthies decided to have a go at another cave while the rest of the party rested at the Keep. They chose a cave midway up the northern slope of the ravine nearest to its eastern terminus. Finding no traps at the entrance, they snuck forward to a T intersection. It's far wall was covered with niches carved into it filled with skulls and decapitated heads of myriad human, demi-human, and humanoids in various stages of decay. As they peered around the corners listening to the orcish voices coming from both directions, Zeke noticed that one of the orc heads on the wall was replaced by a goblin head. Figuring that they had been spotted, they charged the guards in the eastern passage.
As this battle began, another guard room emptied and those orcs poured out to hit the party from behind. Trapped in that small room, the adventurers fought bravely and intelligently and dead orcish bodies began to pile up. More arrived from the common room, but as they also fell to the blades of the heroes, the orcish leaders halted the flow of reinforcements and had them form a barricade of tables in the banquet room. The adventurers watched the last of the defenders retreat back to the banquet area and stopped, catching their breath and taking stock of the situation.
They weren't about to try to assault another barricade, so they opted to try another trick. Thane advanced down the hallway under cover of his tower shield while Zeke and Ash traded missile fire with the orcs. When Thane reached the edge of the room, he traced divine marks in several spots on the floor. While doing this, he was amused at the fruitless attempts by the orcs to hit him crouched behind his wall. He wasn't even peeking his head over the top, though he felt the impact of several missiles. Completing his work, he withdrew back around a corner with his companions. There, they pointed out that several of those missiles were burning and that his tower shield was in danger of going up in flames.
While Thane broke the arrows off 300-style, Ash answered a challenge from the orc chieftain to meet him in single combat. Both were wary and Ash refused to meet in the center of the banquet area - in front of all the orcs and their bows. So, the orc chieftan suggested a meeting in a northern passage. This Ash accepted and met him for a fight. As the chieftain charged, Ash attempted to confuse him with ventriliquism, but the orc was not distracted. The clash was short and brutal. Ash dealt the evil creature a viscious cut to the gut with his magical, holy scimitar, but the orc returned the gift with a powerful two-handed chop to the shoulder from his greataxe. Knowing that he could not survive another such blow, Ash called for help from his friends. At this, the orc summoned his warriors and they poured over the barricade and came to his aid.
Once the orcs were bereft of their cover, the open battle turned against them. The prong of the assault sent to surround the heroes faltered as it ran afoul of the runes Thane had inscribed into the floor in that passageway. Several were felled by that deadly magic and the rest shied from the advance and chose to follow their brethren to the north. The chieftain had been hurt as badly as had Ash and withdrew behind his fellows to be healed by the tribe's shaman. Seeing that he was losing too many warriors, he called for a withdrawal. The orcs retreated past the barricade which they now lacked sufficient numbers to effectively man and up a sloping passageway. At the top, they manned their final defensive preparations. The party members caught up to the last two retreating orcs as they entered the sloping passageway, but could only watch as the orcs tipped two huge barrels of oil down it from the top. Ash and Zeke jumped back and to the sides as the oil cascaded down and formed a pool at the base of the slope, slowly spreading in the banquet room. Deducing that they would have a slow, difficult time making their way up the greased, sloped tunnel under fire from orcs around the corners, especially if they were to throw a lit torch on it, they considered their options. And, yes, they could see the flicker of torchlight down the hall to one side at the top of the slope.
Zeke pulled a firebrand from the hearth (which the orcs had used to light the arrows they shot into Thane's tower shield) and threw it into the oil. As the tunnel erupted into flame and filled with smoke, Ash took the opportunity to explore the common sleeping room to the west of the banquet area. Finding nothing of interest, the group advanced through the smoke when the flames died down. They heard a door slam to the west as they reached the T intersection at the top of the slope, but could only advance by blindly feeling their way along the wall because the entire hallway was filled with smoke.
They discovered two rooms they guessed were used by the shaman and the chief, respectively, but found no orcs. By quickly shutting the doors behind them upon entering those rooms, they were able to minimize the amount of smoke that billowed in with them. They quickly found a hidden closet behind a hanging tapestry, but didn't want to take too long examining their plunder. Their diligence in searching the room was rewarded when Zeke discovered a secret door. Behind this door, they found another room. Within, a table and two chairs stood in the center, two fine shields with evil-looking designs poorly painted on them hung on the south wall, a chest full of masterwork quality weapons sat in the northwest corner, and an overturned bucket perched upon a pile of coiled hemp rope in the southeast. Kicking over the bucket, Zeke disturbed a pair of sleeping giant centipedes which had to be killed when they tried to bite him.
Unable to find any more secret doors, they collected their various treasures, claimed the right ears of their vanquished foes, and made their way back to the keep for some recuperation. There, they were introduced to an extremely dark-skinned woman every bit as barbaric-looking as the two halflings she claimed to have mentored. It was her desire to join the group in its adventures. Her name was Clamidi'a, but she told them she preferred to be called Clami by her friends.
Last edited by SirXaris on Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:58 pm; edited 5 times in total
This group was ready to take on anything now that they were setting off to the Caves of Chaos with not just one, but two(!) Clerics. "Hi ho! Hi ho!" whistled Blump as he bounced along on the back of his massive riding dog. Ash's two war dogs ranged ahead with him as he scouted in advance of the others. He had been reluctant to bring them on the adventure considering the fatality rate of the others, but he was convinced by the rest of the group that that was exactly what the dogs were for - to die in place of party members.
Having no luck discovering how the orc leaders had evaded them, they opted to explore the next closest cave on the north side of the ravine. Approaching carefully, Zekiel nodded the 'all clear' - that no traps were set in the opening. Zeke moved into the cave mouth, noting that it diverged in a typical 'T' intersection only 20 or 30 feet in, while the rest of the group moved up to the entrance. Just then, they were assaulted by more than a dozen small javelins from the forested ravine above the mouth of the cave. Climbing the ravine at this point proved difficult, but Andoril and Ash made the effort on opposite sides of the entrance. Blump and Thane, however, had a daring idea for how to more quickly attain the heights. Blump was to jump from the back of his riding dog onto Thane's cupped hands. From there, Thane would lift Blump and aid his jump to the top of the cave mouth.
Epic fail. Blump slipped and landed on his back on the ground while Thane was kicked in the teeth. Taking hits from the irritating cloud of miniature javelins, Thane and Blump rolled into the cave mouth to be out of the line of fire, while Andoril and Ash continued their climb up the steep, rocky slope. Meanwhile, Zeke noted a crack in the floor just in time to avoid stepping on what he suspected was a covered pit trap. He also alerted a fistful of guards in an alcove across the pit. He had encountered kobolds once or twice before in the forest and recognized their puny, scaly hides and could even understand their high-pitched, yipping version of the draconic tongue. What he didn't appreciate was the fact that they pelted him with their javelins without coming within reach. Outside, Ash and Andoril engaged several kobolds that were on the ground, but others were up in the trees hefting handfuls of javelins and throwing them. Fortunately for the heroes, the little lizards did more damage to their fellows engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the adventurers than they did to their targets. They also proved to be quite inefficient in close combat, so the fight on the ground was going in the demi-humans' favor.
Not so tough, right?
Blump rode out to assist Ash with the majority of the ground-based kobolds and Andoril switched places to run inside to help Zeke. As Thane tried to help Zeke by charging the kobolds pelting him with missiles, Zeke called a warning that the portion of the floor in front of him was trapped (he'd picked up one of the javelins and thrown it at the floor where it stuck), but wasn't sure about the rest of it. Thane successfully detected the rest of the pit trap by stepping on it and plunging ten feet to the bottom. He suffered only minor damage, but was stuck. He thought he might jump ten feet successfully, but his armor and tower shield weighed him down too much for the effort. Instead, he backed into a corner opposite the javelin-throwing kobolds, crouched down, and pulled his tower shield up over himself.
Blump and Ash continued to battle the kobold ambushers outside until all those on the ground were vanquished. Blump, having only a sling to attack them with, headed back inside. Since the kobolds were only 15 feet up in the trees, Ash pulled out his halberd and began poking them as they tried to make a pincushion of him. After killing a couple, the others in reach tried to climb a bit higher. Some succeeded, some failed. One failed spectacularly and fell to his death - right onto the tip of Ash's polearm.
Back inside, Zeke acrobatically hurtled the pit and came up into the tips of several javelins, but the kobolds were not prepared for such an advance and weren't nearly as proficient with their weapons up close as they were from a distance. They backed off as quickly as possible and continued to pelt him with their darts, but he advanced just as quickly and cut most of them down with a few swings of his holy scimitar. One of the scaly little beasts proved unbelievably lucky, however, and Zeke spent several rounds fruitlessly hacking at him. During this time, a host of the creatures advanced from the eastern passageway and began throwing their javelins.
Andoril had noted most of what had gone before inside and chose to immulate Zeke by jumping around the corner of the pit into the west passage where he saw a horde of dire rats advancing. Perhaps he feared they would drop into the pit to eat Thane. If he is eaten himself, we may never know. However, with his back to the pit and his shoulder to the wall of the tunnel, he has managed to cut down a few of them while only taking minor damage from their weak bites. He is aware that he is risking disease or poison with each bite, however, as it burns a bit more than such a cut normally should. Blump raced in upon his mastiff and pulled a silken rope from his backpack. Tying it to the military saddle on the dog's back, he dismounted and tossed it to Thane. Working together, Blump and the dog pulled Thane out of the pit. At that point, Blump had to take a piss, so he headed back to the keep.
The javelins were doing enough damage (en masse) to warrant concern and Zeke was simply unable to finish off the last kobold guard he had cornered in the alcove. Instead, he moved to attack the mass that was throwing javelins at him, counting on the kobold's inability to hurt him, even from a flanking position. Thane decided to call on the magical aid his god (the Mad Archmage) had bestowed upon him that day. He cast Obscuring Mist upon the mass of kobolds, but its radius covered all the heroes as well. Zeke heard retreat called from the back of the mass and struck down several of the cowardly creatures as they tried to run right past him.
And, this is where we leave off, awaiting the next session. The kobolds, though individually weak, have a few surprises in store for intruders. Though Ash was brave enough to bring the war dogs, they remained just inside the mouth of the cave after taking serious amounts of damage from the initial ambush. They couldn't attack the kobolds in the trees, nor could they safely cross the pit trap and another hit on either may have killed them. So, it remains to be seen if they will contribute to the assault on the kobold caves at all.
Last edited by SirXaris on Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:56 am; edited 3 times in total
They've learned to make very good use of the 'five foot step' in order to get the flanking bonus to attack and to avoid giving it to the enemy. They have also focused heavily on defensive armament, so most of them have AC's over 20. Third, they used the rest of their collected treasure to add the 'Holy' quality to Zeke's +1 magical scimitar, so it does an additional 2d6 points of damage vs. any evil target it hits. Thus, the party has begun to play more aggressively, though carefully, and keep wiping out the opposition.
I have, however, come up with a few plans for the upcoming opponents that will give the PCs more of a challenge. Look up Sting Chucks and Pilum for a sneak preview of what to expect.
Tonight, the guys came together ready to finish off the kobold lair. I warned them that I'd taken the time to update the little pests to their Pathfinder stats, but how tough can you make a kobold of any edition?
The party was split into several different small groups. Blump and Tratumal were racing up to the cave entrance from the outside. Andoril was to the west of the pit battling a swarm of dire rats. Zeke was carefully making his way back west through the Obscuring Mist in pursuit of the retreating kobolds. South of the pit with Andoril's war dogs, Ash worked to help Thane out of the pit.
As the battle began again, Andoril found himself actually swarmed by the dire rats and suffered several diseased bites as he hacked and slashed the creatures to bloody bits. Ash successfully pulled Thane from the pit, but Blump decided that Tratumal could handle the three kobolds remaining in the trees above the cave entrance and charged into the tunnel. Tratumal returned crossbow fire for the javelins the kobolds rained down upon him and slowly cut their numbers. Blump couldn't see far into the cave because of the misty spell, but could hear the battle, so charged fearlessly (recklessly) straight past Ash and Thane and into the pit. Blump and his riding dog took minor damage from the fall, but were not so lucky when Andoril joined them.
Andoril decided that the automatic damage he was suffering from the swarm of dire rats covering his body wasn't conducive to his own victory, so tried to step back around the corner, over the pit, to the relative safety of the southern entrance tunnel. Unfortunately, the pile of rats, the near blindness, and the battle were sufficient distractions to cause him to lose his footing and tumble into the pit on top of Blump. Andoril was knocked unconscious, bleeding to death, and the rats turned upon Blump and his dog. Ash safely jumped the pit to the eastern tunnel, but Thane failed and joined the party in the pit. Again.
Zeke opted to try to finish off the lone kobold that had been trapped in the guard alcove, but still couldn't beat its defenses. Ash gave him a hand, but together they couldn't beat the bugger. Thane, Blump and Blump's dog took a few rounds to finish off the rats in the pit and Blump healed Andoril to get him on his feat again. The remaining rats crossed the corner to attack Andoril's dog. Well, most of them crossed successfully. A couple fell into the pit to join that battle. Andoril threw a rope with a grappling hook attached up into the alcove hoping to attach it to something. After a couple of tries, he snagged something and began to climb. Unfortunately, the guard table wasn't securely attached to the floor and Andoril fell back into the pit. Ash helped Thane and Andoril out, but Blump didn't want to leave his dog at the bottom of the pit. While Andoril and his dogs battled the remaining rats and Zeke scouted down the eastern hall after the retreating kobolds, Tratumal gave up on killing the last kobold in the tree and ran in to help in the larger battle. Blump eventually wrapped the rope around his dog and held on while Andoril and Ash pulled them out. As Ash pulled the rope, he backed toward the cave entrance, where he was attacked by the lone kobold who had crept down the tree after Tratumal. Ash had to run out of the cave and chase him up the ravine, but caught him and cut off his head to bring back to show Tratumal. This, he threw into the pit where it bounced off of Blump's helmet to naught but irritating effect.
Suddenly, Tratumal and Blump realized that their favorite dancer was performing at the tavern this evening and excused themselves from the engagement. The kobolds seemed to be on the run, the rats were all dead, and the party seemed to have things well in hand.
Thane, Ash, and Andoril, cautiously crossed the pit and made their way down the eastern passageway to join Zekiel. Ash heard the noise of a door opening and closing as they passed the guard alcove and moved to investigate. The other two continued on. Thane cast a Light spell down the long hallway before them and noted an intersection that headed north and west. A mass of kobolds retreated a bit before the light, then turned and began pelting them with missiles. As the three charged, they were hit by more javelins from the northern passageway when they passed by it. They also noted a spellcaster among those to the north as a magical ray zipped past Thane's head. It was a simple task to avoid a javelin or two, but dozens of them at once was not so easy. Additionally, the kobolds had had time to break into their supply of special javelins; those with barbed heads that did slightly less damage, but stuck into the victim and caused more damage when ripped out. They were also covered with a mildly poisonous sap that caused the wound to burn for additional damage. They also tried throwing some spongestone bullets coated in oil and set on fire. The flaming missiles caused as much damage to the kobolds as it did to the invading PCs, so they were quickly abandoned. The sap-covered javelins, however, proved quite effective when delivered in bulk.
The group to the north included the kobold Chieftain, his sorcerer, and his bodyguards. Though the rest of the kobold tribe had mostly green scales, the scales of these exceptional members were mainly black. These black-scaled kobolds pelted the PCs with iron-tipped javelins that were drawn to their metal armor. This didn't bother Zeke any as he wore non-metallic armor, but it negated much of the extra protection worn by Thane. They also chucked some heads with the skulls emptied out and refilled with stinging, biting insects at the heroes. None of these hit their targets, but they exploded when they hit the ground around the PCs and bugs bit into their flesh. This didn't prove a major problem until Thane stood next to several swarms too long and they moved to attack him. Five swarms of these vicious pests infested his armor and spent two whole rounds biting and stinging him before he was able to rid himself of their spent carcasses.
Zeke and Thane, together, cut down a couple of the bodyguards with scimitar and warhammer, but the chieftain called for an ambush. Recognizing the words, the two warriors backed up and avoided being surrounded as a dozen kobolds poured out of a small secret door in the wall. Zeke cut down four of the lizards as they attempted to emerge and Thane smashed another, but the flood continued and ten were left standing. The secret door slammed shut from within and the black-scaled kobolds disappeared around a corner eastward at another T intersection.
As Zeke and Thane battled this new group, Andoril went back to see if Ash needed help. Ash had found a small secret door and tripped a couple of traps protecting it, but bravely crawled into the darkened tunnel anyway. As Andoril was about to re-enter the magical mist, another secret door opened and a group of kobolds emerged to assault him. While he was thus occupied, this group was followed by the black-scaled leaders who turned east to surround Zeke and Thane.
Zeke and Thane wisely turned to face the more dangerous group and advanced on them. These kobolds proved able to survive a hit by the heroes, so weren't so easily dropped. Never-the-less, two were laid low before the chieftain tripped Thane with his glass-encrusted whip - the same whip that had slashed Ash in the face the round before. The others continued to pester them with barbed, sap-covered javelins from behind, but they killed two more of the guards and Zeke managed to reach the sorcerer and kill him before he could escape to the east. The chieftain, however, did manage to run past the prone Thane. Zeke chased after him and caught the whip around a leg. Fortunately for him, his mass and momentum was too much for the chieftain to affect and he had the whip ripped from his hand. Zeke caught him, but the horde waiting at the edge of the light spell rushed to his defense. The chieftain escaped through the charging throng and into another secret door in the north wall of the passageway.
As Ash groped his way along the miniature secret passageway he had discovered, Andoril joined Zeke and Thane. Zeke, however, decided he'd had enough of the secret door ambushes and explored the one from which the kobold leaders had emerged. Though Zeke avoided traps similar to the ones Ash had failed to detect in his secret passage, neither of them could find the doors they knew must exist at the end. They were both feeling for them in the pitch black. Meanwhile, the kobolds kept withdrawing a few feet to throw their javelins while Thane and Andoril advanced to attack them each round. During this part of the battle, Thane channeled positive energy a couple of times to heal himself and his companions. (Unknown to them, he also healed several of the fallen, but not yet dead, black-scaled kobolds, who continued to lay motionless, since standing up next to the deadly tall folk would have proved disastrous.) Thane suffered a rash of hits by those javelins and so he and Andoril chose to retreat. Unfortunately, Thane was hit by another round of barbed missiles and fell nearly dead. Zeke emerged from his tunnel to see Andoril run past and Thane drop to the ground spilling his life's blood. Advancing kobolds were right on his heels, so Zeke joined Andoril and finally Ash. The three of them crossed the pit, called the dogs, and limped home to the Keep, praying that they encountered no hostiles on the way.
Fortunately for them, the kobolds halted at the edge of the mist long enough for them to escape free and clear. Thane was lost and Zeke was incensed that kobolds had proven so tough. Life just wasn't fair any more! Pathfinder is, obviously, a cheater DM's rule system of choice.
I tried to cheer him up by pointing out that they had managed to kill 40 regular kobolds, most of the leadership, and 18 dire rats, all for the price of a single PC, but that didn't seem to help.
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Bertha - human female Rogue;
Lord Andoril Shieldheart - human Ranger;
Sara Lyons - human female Paladin.
At the Keep, Andoril and Sara made the acquaintance of a rather attractive female rogue who was game to join them on an adventure. Bertha and her two new friends decided to explore the woods for a bit while they waited for more of their squad members to recuperate.
Wandering the woods north of the Keep with Andoril's two war dogs and Sara's warhorse, they battled giant spiders, gnolls, and bugbears. Andoril was able to use his skills as a Ranger to convince a pack of wolves not to attack their group. They spent a couple of nights resting with a family in their steading within the woods where they helped with chores in exchange for meals and a bed.
The main entertainment, however, came when they encountered a dryad named Duebidale who put Andoril to sleep, charmed the cute Bertha, and suggested she slip away with her.
Sara tried to tackle bertha to prevent her from going with the irresistable nymph, but was unsuccessful in her attempt. Unable to find her location, they bedded down for the night in the woods. Just as Sara was falling asleep, Andoril was addressed by an elven voice from the darkness. The elf proved to be the leader of a patrol from the wood elven kingdom from the south. They answered the party's questions about dryads and told them that the only way to get her to release their friend before she was tired of their daliance was to offer her something she considered of greater value. A magical bow or staff would likely do the trick as would items of magical protection other than armor and shields. Not having any such items to offer, they asked for more suggestions. The elf told them that jewelry or gems might be accepted, though a dryad was unlikely to be interested in coins.
The elves volunteered to help the party contact her in the morning, but couldn't stay beyond that. This they did and the conversation ended with the party agreeing to bring her a platinum necklace with emeralds. She would meet them when they returned to this part of the woods. Well, Sara and Andoril had no such item of jewelry, but remembered seeing such an item for sale in the bank at the Keep. So, they headed back to the Keep and managed to find such an item for sale, though the cheapest piece cost 640 gp. Their 5% guild membership discount reduced the cost somewhat, but it still seriously drained their cash reserves. It did serve its purpose, however, as the dryad was very happy with the platinum necklace with emeralds. Bertha was returned none the worse for wear with a whispered invitation to visit again at her earliest opportunity.
End of this short side trek.
Last edited by SirXaris on Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:44 am; edited 6 times in total
Bertha - human female Rogue;
Lord Andoril Shieldheart - human Ranger;
Sara Lyons - human female Paladin
Cray Zies Tever - elven Sorcerer (new player);
Tratumal - human Monk;
Magellan - human Barbarian.
Tratumal and two new friends, Cray, an elven Sorcerer, and Magellan, a human Barbarian, joined these three at this point and they decided to return to the Caves of Chaos. Against Andoril's advice, they chose to return to the kobold cave to exact revenge for their fallen comrade. They noted a pile of brush stacked above the cave mouth, but detected no trap or ambush, so sent one of Andoril's war dogs in to scout. The dog tripped a wire that sent a weighted net crashing down from the ceiling where it had been secured. Fortunately, the dog jumped clear without harm or entanglement. The party followed the dog in and came under fire from javelins at the T intersection just 30 feet from the entrance. Only Andoril had been part of the previous assault on this tunnel system and stopped before the newly covered pit trap. His warning went unheaded, however as Magellan charged. The Barbarian fell into the pit, but the others stopped. A short battle ensued before the others managed to jump the corner and chase the kobolds away down the dark eastern tunnel.
Andoril had ordered his two dogs back outside the cave with Sara's horse and Sara was the last into the tunnel. As the kobolds retreated, they pulled a rope that ran along the ceiling and dropped the brush pile above the entrance. It formed a gate of tightly interlocking branches and brambles that blocked the light, pitching the entire tunnel into darkness. Sara tried to lift it, but couldn't do so. Cray set it alight with a Spark cantrip and it began to burn. Andoril lit a torch and crossed the pit to explore the western passageway while Tratumal lit another torch and moved east. In the guard alcove, Tratumal moved past a low table with a couple benches (noting some 5 foot, 2x12 inch planks underneath) to check the back wall for the secret door he had been told was there. Unable to find it, he and Cray headed east after the retreating kobolds.
Outside, Sara hacked at the wooden grate with her sword, but found it a strong blockade. To the west, Andoril came upon a room half full of refuse teeming with a swarm of normal-sized rats. Seeing no exits and not willing to deal with either of those disgusting issues, he headed back to the intersection. Bertha tossed a rope to Magellan and helped him climb out of the pit, while Cray set Tratumal's crossbow bolt afire with another Spark cantrip and watched as it flew down the hallway, bounced off a wall, and landed at the feet of a sheild wall of kobolds near the next bend. He followed this with Shocking Shield upon himself and chased after the kobolds. Tratumal accompanied him into the fray, but the kobolds withdrew before them while continuing to hurl their barbed, sap-covered javelins.
At this point, I must appologize because I don't remember the exact sequence of events. Too much happened for me to recreate it all. There is too much. Let me sum up.
The party found itself isolated and surrounded, again. Kobolds were poping out of secret doors that led to tunnels only three feet wide by three feet tall, which required the PCs to crawl to traverse in pursuit. Every time the PCs would advance into melee range of the line of kobold javelineers, that line would step back and hurl another round of javelins. Though most of the kobolds had green scales tinged with a bit of black, some black kobolds appeared with tinges of green in their scales. These proved tougher nuts to crack as they wore razor tips on their tails and proved more efficient at using them in close combat than had their green-scaled brethren. Additionally, these black-scaled kobolds wielded iron-tipped javelins that did little damage, but seemed to be unnaturally attracted to heroes wearing metal armor, so the hits they suffered mounted. Most annoyingly, these black kobolds possessed the dreaded stingchucks - sewn up heads full of biting, stinging insects. These bombs proved particularly troublesome because the insects, once inside a PC's armor, automatically did their damage, but misses erupted where they hit and the swarm would move, slowly, toward the nearest warm body (which was difficult to avoid in the narrow hallways).
Even more threatening were the two kobold leaders: the chieftain and the Sorcerer. All of these black-scaled kobolds had draconic heritage (black, obviously), but these two had a bit more of it coursing their veins than did the others. The chieftain was an accomplished warrior, rivaling the PCs in skill. He wielded a glass-encrusted whip in one hand and a rapier in the other for close-in fighting. The Sorcerer was especially accomplished in the use of acidic spells. Both of them could breathe a stream of acid once per day. The chieftain would stand behind his line of bodyguards and trip PCs with his whip while the Sorcerer would likewise stand behind a hord of kobold javelineers and assault the PCs with spells. When the PCs decided enough was enough and made to retreat, everything fell apart.
Tratumal had forgotten about the planks he had noted in the guard alcove and had never mentioned their existance to anyone else. When they tried to cross the pit, Sara, the only PC with magical healing ability, was the first to fail the attempt and fall in. While under fire from two sides, the kobold chieftain, then the Sorcerer used their breath weapons for the first time. Two more PCs fell to the floor, but Sara was unable to get out of the pit to help them. Bertha didn't want to be pulled in herself, so instead, she carefully pushed and lowered each of the fallen (Cray and Magellan) into the pit for Sara to heal. Unfortunately, she was under fire from kobolds on the edge of the pit opposite Bertha. Some of the black-scaled kobolds on that western edge pulled out javelins with wide, flat, crescent-shaped heads and threw them at Bertha's and Andoril's legs. Both heroes were hit and tripped. Bertha managed to keep her feet, but Andoril went down next to the pit. Falling unconscious, he slipped over the edge and joined the other fish in the stoney barrel.
Bertha and Sara, being the only two adventurers left standing, were desperate. When Bertha fell with more javelins pincushioning her body, Sara dropped her weapon, threw her hands in the air, and surrendered. The kobold Sorcerer couldn't understand her words, but grabbed the hide armor being worn by one of his underlings, gave it a violent shake, and pointed down to Sara at the bottom of the pit. She got the hint and removed her armor. The kobolds lowered a rope, pulled her up until her arms and head rose above the lip of the pit, and tied her hands tightly. They proceeded to pull the rest of her body out of the pit and bind her almost mummy-like. Any others still breathing were coup-de-graced. Sara was tortured a bit and mocked for her failure until a Cleric of Iuz arrived, apparently summoned by the kobolds. He took her to another cave where she was subjected to even more torture and left, naked, in a cell with the promise that she would be sacrificed to the Old One soon.
The party had managed to kill four green-scaled kobolds and one black-scaled bodyguard on this assault.
Next up? Make up new characters, rinse, and repeat.
Last edited by SirXaris on Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:00 am; edited 4 times in total
Sir Andoroar Shieldheart - human Ranger (Andoril's younger brother - fifth, and last, heir to the ancestral Shieldheart lands in the Pomarj);
Jordan - human female Sorcerer;
Thoben - dwarven Barbarian;
Petras - dwarven Barbarian (Thoben's twin);
Mace - half-orc Barbarian;
Norlamin - human Ranger;
Lora - human female Cleric.
Before succombing to the ambuscade of the cunning kobolds, Lord Andoril Shieldheart had sent for his younger brother, Sir Andoroar Shieldheart to aid him and his companions in their efforts to eradicate the evil from the Caves of Chaos. Unfortunately, Sir Andoroar arrived at the keep on the very same evening that his brother's body was serving as the main ingredient of an adventurer stew concocted by the kobold cooking staff. Being informed of his brother's departure earlier that day, Sir Andoroar and the adventuring companions that had accompanied him decided to rest the night at the Keep and follow the Captain of the Watch's directions for finding the Caves in the morn in order to meet up with his sibling.
Arriving at the ravine harboring the Caves, they discovered all to be quiet. Having been informed which cave entrance the cleric Thane had perished in, they deduced that that was the cave that Sir Andoril would have first explored. Thus, they cautiously entered. In so doing, the brushy gate was dropped across the entrance sealing them into blackness, despite the late morning light outside. Following that, a weighted net dropped, though only Lora was trapped beneath it. This group wisely took to heart the advice given them by Zeke and Ash before departing and avoided triggering the pit trap at the T intersection, but traded missile fire with the kobold guards in the alcove. Thoben hopped the corner and charged the guards who spread out to avoid allowing him the opportunity to attack more than one with the wide swings of his greatsword. Mace hopped the pit westward and chased a single kobold down that had pulled the rope dropping the net on Lora. After dropping that kobold in turn, he saw nothing interesting in the room at the end (just refuse and rats), so, heeding the calls of his companions, headed back to the edge of the pit.
Norlamin helped Lora cut herself free of the heavy netting while the others joined Thoben on the east side of the pit. They killed a couple of the kobold guards, but the others retreated through the secret door or down the eastern tunnel before them. Pursuing those fleeing eastward, the party came to the infamous intersection with the connecting hallway running north. Suffering under a crossfire, they bulled through the hail of javelins and hit the eastern wall of javelineers hard. Sir Andoroar was first to assault the wall and beheaded the first kobold in line. As Mace and Norlamin backed him up, Andoroar hefted the severed head and charged the line again. This was too much for the depleted force of kobolds and they broke and ran through a secret door. At this time, Petras and Lora were surprised when a secret door opened beside them (just west of the infamous intersection) and a black-scaled kobold stuck its head out, opened its mouth, and breathed a stream of acid at them. Lora suffered serious damage from the acid, but Petras was hit right in the face and was nearly killed (rolled a 1 on his save, so suffered double damage). The kobold immediately disappeared back inside the secret door.
Mace chose to run over and open the secret door. Dropping to his hands and knees, he tried to stab the kobold within with his scizor. He was successful in blooding the beast, but elected not to follow it as it backed down the tunnel. It cast a spell at Mace, but he resisted its effects. It's giant centipede familiar tried to bite him from its hiding place at the juncture of the wall and floor, but the half-orc Barbarian was too canny to be caught unawares and avoided the bite that would have added the effects of one of its master's spells to the damage. As Mace watched the kobold disappear through another secret door at the end of the tunnel, he wisely chose to back out himself rather than crawl through in pursuit.
Instead, he ran through that infamous intersection turning north this time to assist Thoben against the javelineer wall therein. Most of the party had been hit by a barbed javelin or four, but Andoroar was being bitten and stung by the bugs released from a couple of the kobolds' vicious stingchucks. As Mace reached the line, so too did the kobold Sorcerer from another direction. Having used his spells up for the day, he relied now upon his Acid Splash cantrip. Unfortunately for the PCs, acid was this Sorcerer's speciality. The warriors managed to cut down all but a few of the kobolds between them and the Sorcerer, but those that had fled Andoroar's beheading wrath in the east, entered from another passageway to their Sorcerer's defense.
At the same time, the kobold chieftain and his two surviving bodyguards snuck down the passageway from the west and attacked Petras, Jordan, and Lora. Lora cast Murdering Command upon the Chieftain and successfully ordered him to attack his ally. This he did and dropped one of his bodyguards with a trip and stab from behind. Petras charged and attacked and was attacked in turn. Retreating before the two black-scaled kobolds, Lora tried to repeat her trick, but the canny kobold sneered and promised to deal with her, the only member of the party able to understand the kobold's tongue (due to her earlier casting of Comprehend Languages), and pressed the attack against Petras. Petras was felled by the chieftain, but Jordan felled the bodyguard with a casting of Sleep. Unfortunately, she also hit Norlamin with the spell and he succombed as well. Mace raced back to protect the two spellcasters and finished off the bodyguard with a coup de grace. He suffered a piercing stroke of the chieftain's rapier as payment for his bravado, then turned to face him directly. Trapped with his back to the wall between Mace and Lora, the chieftain stepped atop the unconscious Petras and, with a sneer at Mace, administered his own coup de grace to the helpless dwarf. Fortunately for Petras, the damage was as light as possible and he survived the stroke. Lora and Mace, however, were unsuccessful in their many attempts to cut the kobold chieftain down.
Meanwhile, Jordan cast Sleep again on the kobold javelineers down the hall with the kobold Socerer. They took a round to wake the three that had fallen, then advanced to pelt the adventurers with more barbed javelins. Andoroar had fallen, near death, from his many javelin wounds and the bites of the swarm of insects covering his body, Norlamin was magically asleep, and Petras and Thoben had also fallen unconscious and bleeding from a multitude of wounds. Jordan managed to wake Norlamin, but Mace chose to retreat. Trying to follow his lead, Lora was cut down by the chieftain. Norlamin passed Mace, but stopped to drop a plank across the pit to ease his escape. Jordan, seeing her companions flee or be cut down trying to pass by the chieftain, surrendered and was bound as securely as Sara had been the day before. Four of the kobolds stayed behind to bind Jordan and finish off the others with coup de graces, but the chieftain, Sorcerer, and three others chased after the fleeing Barbarian and Ranger.
Mace was in a hurry to save his own hide, so didn't wait for Norlamin to move aside, but pushed past him to cross the plank first. This proved a disastrous decision as his balance failed him and he plunged into the pit head first - right on top of a swarm of insects that had been released by an earlier miss-thrown stingchuck that landed in the pit. Norlamin raced across the plank and kicked it down into the pit to foil pursuit. He, reluctantly, stopped to throw a rope down to Mace. Catching up, the kobold pursuers assaulted Norlamin with javelins and Acid Splash while the chieftain wrapped his whip around Mace's neck. The powerful Barbarian was able to keep his grip on the rope and pull himself up, however. The two ran to the entrance and began hacking at it with their weapons. The kobolds threw another plank (third of four) across the pit and followed their quarry.
The two heroes (bravely running away) managed to cut a hole big enough to crawl through, but Mace was brought down by the attacks of the kobolds before he could make the attempt. Norlamin just made it through the hole with the kobolds on his heal. He cut the chieftain as he crawled through, but couldn't stop him. He ran with five kobolds (including the chieftain and the Sorcerer) at his back. They threw one round of javelins and a spell at him, but he kept going. He was out-distancing the shorter humanoids and had only the trip back to the Keep to worry about when their final volley, at long range, brought him down (to exactly zero hit points).
As there was no longer a battle raging and Norlamin wasn't bleeding to death, the kobolds elected to bind him as they had done Jordan and prepare him for the ministrations of their masters, the Clerics of the Old One, Lord Iuz.
And, thus ends the tragic story of the family Shieldheart...
This round, the party scored 11 normal kobolds and two bodyguards killed - better than the 5 normal and 4 bodyguards killed last time. The kobold tribe has, so far, accounted for 10 PCs slain and 3 captured.
Am I living up to my obligatory reputation as a writer for TPKGames, or not?
Last edited by SirXaris on Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:08 pm; edited 5 times in total
No, they haven't tried to convince me to let them do anything that extreme yet, but they are doing everything they can to build super PCs. The newest PC came in with six ability scores ranging between 16 and 20 and two more feats than it was allowed. I am okay with them rolling (picking) their own ability scores (though I may have to begin nixing some of them) as I don't want to force them to play a character they aren't happy playing. Besides, that allows me to avoid feeling badly when I pull out all the stops and play their opponents to the hilt.
Are all the PCs dead now...or are you taking a brief rest due to carpal tunnel syndrome, SirXaris?
Awaiting the next installment
You're right, I have been procrastinating, but it's because I can't remember everything that happened. It has been a busy two weeks leading up to and including Homecoming Week at the university so my player base was unavailable. We have begun again, however, so I'll get the narration caught up.
Surprisingly, you will find that, though more PCs have been killed or captured, they were finally able to defeat the last of the kobold tribe and chase the few survivors out of their caverns.
Zeke - Elven Ranger;
Four or five of them. Will add when I can check with the players.
The kobolds were less deadly this time around as their numbers were seriously diminished. Despite that, the kobold chieftain (4th level Rogue), Sorcerer (3rd level), two surviving bodyguards (2nd level Fighters), and 16 surviving normal kobolds managed to kill two more of the PCs. Thus, at this point, the kobolds' current tally vs. the adventurers is 12 PCs killed and 3 captured. (The Iuzian Clerics will soon be getting quite a boon from their lord and master from such fine sacrifices. This calls for a special ceremony. )
The PCs did manage to kill the kobold Sorcerer, two bodyguards, and most of the normal kobolds. I remember Zeke chasing the sorcerer through some secret tunnels into the refuse room where he was assaulted by a swarm of normal rats summoned by the kobold Sorcerer. He beat them off ( ) with a burning torch, killed a couple of kobolds in his way, and chased the Sorcerer to the pit, which it fell into while trying to hurdle it. The live PC in the pit at the time killed it before it could regain its feet. Only the chieftain and a few of his lesser minions escaped. However, since the party was so cautious searching for the fleeing kobolds, afraid to run into traps or ambushes, the surviving kobolds had time to collect their treasures and escape the caverns with them. (Note that such caution did prevent the PCs from running afoul of some nasty traps.) Who knows where the kobold chieftain led his small band of survivors, or what devious plots he devises for revenge against those pesky kids!
Well, they are all 2nd level by now, except Blump, the gnomish Cleric, who is 3rd. Tonight, only three were available, so they did some wandering around and role-playing at the Keep.
Thordac - half-orc Ranger (replacement for Norlamin and the Shieldhearts - this player is going to stick with Rangers until one survives );
Tumak - dwarven Fighter;
Blump - gnome Cleric.
Blump and Tumak met at the tavern and there encountered the band of dwarves from clan Battle Royale. Krondall, the band's leader, was well disposed to his fellow dwarf and the gnome and they struck up a conversation. The party discovered that Krondall had met Tumak's brother a little while ago, but knew not his fate. They also learned that the dwarven band was still searching for the Caves of Chaos because that was where the Bone Breaker clan of orcs was believed to lair. They explained that their fellows had delivered the contracted weapons to the orcish clan, but had failed to return, with or without payment. Thus, it was assumed that the orcs had reneged on the agreement and Krondall's band was assigned the task of exacting vengence upon them. (Note: Clan Battle Royale is a LN clan from the Clatspurs specializing in weaponsmithing. They will contract with anyone, good, neutral, or evil. They always keep their contracted agreements and ruthlessly make examples of anyone who fails to keep their end of the bargain.)
Blump remembered the device rudely painted on one of the shields in the secret room in the orc caverns and recognized it as the Bone Breakers symbol, as described by Krondall. Thus, they contracted to lead the Battle Royale band to the Caves of Chaos and identify their cave. Krondall didn't want the PCs to join them, however, as he claimed it was a clan matter and the PCs weren't trained in proper battle techniques to join efficiently with them. So, they headed out as guides for the dozen members of the Battle Royale band.
After gathering the hung-over Thordac from his bed at the inn, the group traveled east from the Keep. Soon, they encountered a small band of mounted Tiger Nomads, fierce-looking Chakyik warriors. The single female in the group, though slight of build, seemed at least as threatening as the powerfully built males. Blump noted that they decorated their weapons and mounts with the pelts and other accoutrements of wolves. This, he deduced, indicated that they had successfully battled members of their cousin's clans, the Wolf Nomads, recently. As the dwarves didn't appear to be willing to step out of the way of the horses, these raiders circled warily just out of reach. A sly look back by the female was all the communication that passed between them.
Continuing along the road as it curved north, they spied a couple dozen mounted knights and men-at-arms approaching from that direction. As they drew nearer, they noted the banner of Sir Bluto ('Sans Pite' being added later), minor nobleman from Perrenland. They knew him only from his poor reputation, as offered by each and every inhabitant of the Keep that passed through the tavern, though Blump had encountered him once before. Such encounter had left Blump with an even more negative opinion of the haughty nobleman. The mounted group drew rein a dozen paces from the dwarves and the Ancient advanced to demand that the dwarves give up the road for his Lordship. Krondall, announced that he and his men were members of clan Battle Royale and servants of his Majesty, Stone Cold King Austin. Therefore, Sir Bluto must give way as Krondall's master outranked him. At this, the dwarves hefted shields and stepped shoulder-to-shoulder to block the road.
This caused Sir Bluto and his men to couch their lances and spread out in a double row blocking the road from their direction. Blump immediately attempted to persuade Krondall to give way as he knew the power of Sir Bluto and his men. He pointed out that Sir Bluto's group was mounted and outnumbered their own band by quite a few. Tumak supported Blump, but Krondall was unconvinced. Thordac watched from the trees to the north.
As the knights prepared to charge and the dwarves planted their feet to receive it, Blump and Tumak prepared to run. Blump made one last desparate attempt to calm the situation by pointing out to Krondall that battling Sir Bluto would not help him complete his assigned mission. This caused Krondall to reconsider and he offered to share the road by traveling single file. Sir Bluto accepted this with a sneer and a smirk and both parties moved past each other. It did not go smoothly, though, as the last half of the mounted men-at-arms suddenly jerked their horses' reins to the left and slammed their mounts' shoulders into the dwarves' shields, knocking several of them out of line and a few onto their arses.
Rord, the Battle Royale band's Cleric, laid his hand on Harn's arm as the second in command reached for his crossbow. Glaring daggers (or, rather, throwing axes) at the knights' backs, Harn and the others heeded Krondall's order to get back in line and continue the march as Rord noted the incident with Sir Bluto in his notebook.
They continued until they stood at the bottom of the ravine and pointed out the cave of the orc tribe that Blump and his previous companions had defeated. He explained that that tribe's shields had been decorated with a different design, but that a single shield on the wall of a secret room sported the design of the Bone Breakers clan. They explored that cave system, but found it deserted and the secret room cleaned out. They discovered that the cave next to this one also held orcs, so Krondall paid his guides their agreed upon price and told them to stay outside while he and his men went in to negotiate with what they suspected were the Bone Breakers. The PCs took up hidden positions north of the ravine where they had a good view of the visible caves. Krondall and his men entered and the PCs waited. After about half an hour, the sounds of battle erupted from within the cave Krondall's band had entered and before the PCs could rush down, the dwarves emerged carrying several of their members on their backs. Thordac noted that all 12 members of Krondall's band appeared to exit the cave. Several orcs emerged behind them, but stopped in the afternoon sunlight, content to hurl insults and rocks at the retreating dwarven backs.
The PCs watched the Battle Royale band retreat out of the ravine, then settled in to see what transpired in the waining sunlight of the late afternoon and evening. They saw ocassional gnoll hunters leave and return to one cave they had not yet explored. A few bugbears emerged from a thorny copse of trees, but they could not spy a cave through the dense thicket. From one cave issued nothing but rather large bats, but from the last cave came a human in evil-looking clerical vestments accompanied by six skeleton guards. This person entered all of the caves, one at a time, and emerged after about half an hour within each, including the bat cave. The group debated the wisdom of attacking him, but the fact that two of the three possessed no bludgeoning weapons decided the issue of battling a group of skeletons. Instead, they opted to return to the Keep and see if they could hire some mercenaries to buff their numbers.
Returning to the Keep via the road, Thordac kept to the edge of the forest. This was an unfortunate decision as it separated him from the others and made him an easy target for the four bugbears that ambushed him. Seeing their new companion cut down before they could react, Blump and his dwarven fellow, opted to run as fast as they could go to the safety of the Keep. Thordac, however, wasn't immediately killed. He chose to surrender without drawing a weapon. Surprised, the bugbears poked and prodded him attempting to get him to fight. They were terribly disappointed that their victim wasn't playing the game correctly. They knocked him down and he opted to play dead. At this, they trussed him up and carried him away to their lair. Perhaps he'd be more fun when he awoke.
Blump and the dwarf raced to the mercenary encampment within the walls of the Keep and, in the middle of the night, shouted for someone to employ. They offered to pay well, but needed brave souls to head out immediately to rescue their companion. After much ado, they managed to convince a band of a dozen men to come with them. The terms were steep when the PCs admitted that they intended to hunt bugbears in the darkness. Thus, the PCs agreed to pay 200 pieces of gold up front (as it was likely the mercenaries wouldn't survive such a quest) for a week, or until their companion was rescued, whichever came first. There was only enough money left for each of the two PCs to buy themselves a morningstar as insurance against skeletons.
They immediately returned to the Caves and prepared to assault the cave of the bugbears.
Aside: Does anyone know if Sir Bluto Sans Pite (White Plume Mountain) has an official coat of arms? Canon or fan-created, I'd appreciate not making up something completely random.
Last edited by SirXaris on Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:57 am; edited 11 times in total
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