This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Meet 102, Adv 10, 6/5/10

We were down two, introduced a new character, and started a new adventure this night - as well as getting a late start. Not a good meeting for progressing forward - but any meeting was still worth it.

Summer is always hit and miss for attendance. I'm sure this summer won't be any different.

We haven't heard from the person who plays Detheron for a while now - and even emails and phone calls are not returned, not normally in character (pardon the pun) for this person. I anticipate giving him till the end of the summer and then if I don't hear from him around labor Day, I'll interview again for a replacement body.

Write up follows:

The party discussed some time whether we should go and trip into the swamp to find the possible dragon horde we suspect was sitting out there, or if we should do the right thing and keep our word. Brother Beren was long on the fact that we did agree to go and help Bendern Skelt and that our word was given. Plus, there was a holy week to Tyr coming up and the righting of the possible haunting would go towards fulfilling Brother Beren’s wants and needs for his temple.

It was later in the day that we had another visitor. A tall (well over 6’) adherent to Sif and member of the Melbourne monastery in Dragonhole had sought us out. His name was Bron and he had many good things about our group – most of the local and latest gossip about the dragons, lizardmen, and even the saving of the 4 girls from the gnolls. It turns out he was “brother” to one of the girls and on hearing of our efforts, wanted to come and physically thank us.

Arnog and Bron did not get along almost immediately, the young chaotic and naïve fighter clashed with the lawful and orderly monk. Some jibes were passed back and forth. Bron had heard of our misfortunes and was offering his services and possible desire to join the Sundered Chains. There was some discussion and eventually Arnog and Bron went outside for a circle spar.

Bron was masterful in his combat, hurling mind affecting jabs, stunning blows, and a staccato impact of his 8’ shod staff – actually disarming the fighter briefly. But this only served to infuriate Arnog who resorted to just his tremendous strength and stamina to work Bron back and eventually get the master to accept his loss in the duel.

We invited Bron to come with us as we were going to leave on the morrow to go to Broken Hills, filling in the monastic of what we were suspecting was ahead of us. He agreed and the group then made sure we were set for the two day trip. In the morning we met up with Bendern Skelt at the Sunken Boardwalk where the nobleman was anxious and excited to get started. He asked us about our mounts (we had none) and the group quickly decided that a cart and pair of horses would do the trick for us. He then attempted to pay us with a letter of credit which the party declined – saying they preferred hard coin. Master Skelt nodded, seemed concerned, and suggested that the group wait while he went to have the letter cashed and honored by the Baronet.

We procured the cart and the steeds and eventually Bendern did arrive with 150 crowns in hand and then we left Eider. The ride was hot, the heat of summer weighed on us and the miles passed by. It was a fairly uneventful trip, Bendern filling us in on some of the local interests around Broken Hills (known for its quarries, bronze mining, and strange landscape). Until we arrived at long last.

Broken Hills was situated along the slope of where two hills came together, a ragged cleft running east to west, closing, and then reopening past the town proper. An aqueduct of stone went further into the hills, bringing enough water for the city, there was a larger central defensible keep, and at least 6 fire towers scattered about the place (with pivotable ballistas on each). Bendern told us that occasionally wyverns would attack, carrying off sheep, small cows, or even what Halflings made it their home here.

We followed Bendern to a nice section of town near a northern park and to what was a impressively large, but run down, manor house. Our animals were taken by the stablehands and we followed Bendern in. Sklet Manor had seen better days, the rugs were thin, the larger tapestries missing, and there were too few servants about. At the dining hall we met the elder Skelt who initially berated his son for seeking us out and hiring us before grumbling that it had already been done so the group was welcome to stay for dinner and eventually thanked for coming.

The story of what happened was fleshed out more, and the party actually came to like the elder Skelt; his refreshing honesty and no-nonsense way of talking to the group and explaining the truth of things (and his own family’s shortcomings) showed that he was gruff but fair and truthful. The party had some ideas on what to do next: 1) visit the cemetery and see the family crypt, 2) speak to the priest of Thor and see if the visiting officient was still in town, 3) visit the Potterson family and investigate the crime scene first hand. But first, it was time to finish eating and drinking and our problem solving would happen tomorrow.


Jeremiah said...

Wow, I just spent all my free time the last 3 days reading every write-up and every bonus script you posted from the beginning. You are a tremendous DM and I hope someday I can either create or play in a game HALF as great as the one you've made. You have extremely lucky players and I hope they appreciate your work. Thank you sooo much for posting this, as a player and now preparing to be first time DM for two new players, I truly loved your write ups.

That being said, I have some questions for you regarding the changes throughout the story if you don't mind (or maybe can't answer, I dont know if your players read this haha)

The favorite part of your story for me was the beginning up through the dargan's folley second level. After that, I feel the group dynamics changed a lot, the party always getting themselves thrown or run out of towns. But most importantly for me in the change was this: Dargan's Folley, with so much time spent there, didn't seem to do much to lead the group on toward the Lycos Suns/Phantom Blades plot anymore (though I caught the reference to several symbols of theirs down there). Did you purposefully write this plot out or did the group miss something substantial down there in regards to that plot line? (I know Vanir just showed up but it doesn't seem the same to me for some reason) I was hoping they would find a huge clue or have a major confrontation down there and eventually return and defeat the lower portion of the tower outside Orihalcus and eventually make it their own and continue on to solve the Lycos Suns/Phantom Blades plot from there etc.

The other dynamic may be that Gwyn (correct me if I'm wrong) is the only original character of the Sundered Chains remaining, so that plot and those original towns and goals may have died or left with the majority of those other characters and these new ones are simply forging their own story now?

Oh, and one last thing haha. Personally, I don't care much for the whole Underdark setting, just a personal preference of mine. And normally, I don't like the idea of dinosaurs in my campaigns either as they don't seem to fit, even in a fantasy world. BUT, your use of a t-rex in a giant underground cavern, where the locals just refer to it as the alpha male lizard, that was just BRILLIANT and it seemed to fit so naturally, so bravo haha.

Sorry to post such a long comment, I just wanted to thank you again for posting these as I've spent so much time reading them all, the setting and plot of the first five or six adventures just had me absolutely HOOKED.

Vanadorn said...

Thanks Jeremiah! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

To answer your questions: Dargan's Folley was supposed to be different however the party dynamic was changing about halfway through it. Some of the group was getting tired of being underground while others were enjoying it immensely. I had the party leader (Karis) leave the group which threw everyone off and the party's 2nd (unoffical) in command, Zoltan, had died and the player that was playing him took a back seat/non playing role after that.

We were adrift without a rudder so to speak.

The overarching plot of the Lycos Suns/Vanir/Djohrgahd was dropped/minimized and the group was anxious to get out of the dungeon and back to the real world. I actually truncated 3 other mini-adventures which would have had the Phantom Blades a part of the party and forwarded the plot.

Two of the party did not want to follow the Lycos Suns plot anymore and as a DM I don't like railroads if I can help it - so if they didn't want ot follow the hooks - that's their call.

For about 10-15 sessions the group had a sandbox attitude (wander around, what's our options, where can we go) and I had also introduced 3 new players - 1 of which has some knowledge of Vanir - and I lost a 2nd player, Detheron, due to real life issues.

But this also allowed me to showcase not only how some times their actions have larger impacts, but also that having a cavalier attitude can and will get you in trouble (Detheron and Gwyn in Dragonhole, Norris and Coruth'tae in Eider).

The new group dynamic is gelling nicely and the desire to follow closer together and what clues/hooks are in front of them has been a better boon for the party.

The tower outside of Orihalcus is definiitely a part and will make a come back to the group new or old in the near future. And this will also give them the next hook for the Phantom Blades that I had originally figured to have happen in Dargan's Folley.

Yes, Gwyn is the only original member of the Sundered Chains left so some of the original plot lines have been lost - and the new group is working on their own new plots as well as going after some of the older ones. Vanir and his machinations will be visible in Broken Hills.

I am not a fan of the Underdark either, but when I was writing up the deep deep dungeon, I had some talk with the players and flat out told them - "Damn it, I'm going to figure out a way for you to fight a T-Rex one way or another!"

Thanks so much for comments and your words. I have mentally done a reset here at Adventure #10 and with the new and older players at the table - feel confident that there will more stories and adventures to come.