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, April 25, 2012

Meet 164, Adv 13, 4/14/12

This wasn't the plan nor the way that I or anyone at the table expected it to go, but we had a practical TPK and at the end of it, it spelled the end of the campaign.

The group's biggest problem and something I had to remind even the experienced players around the table was that they never think of fleeing as an option. Ever. One of the players was talking about how it wasn't balanced for the group and seemed over powered. And it was. They were surprised by the BBG and in the surprise round, got 4 characters knocked down or killed.

It's the first thing they should think about - do we stay or flee. Monsters with Int's of 7 make that call every encounter - why shouldn't the group?

On a brighter note, we all rolled up new 1st level characters and will be back to playing again 1st week of May.

Write up follows:

Roughly 100’ from the battle site with the giant worm and the carrion crawlers the party had holed themselves up and waited carefully while Detheron cut his way into the caterpillar like creatures and successfully extracted the paralytic glands. Once done, he then carefully filled three vials with the contact poison and the group divvied them up. From there he attempted to do some surgery on the worm but was interrupted by Mebali (who was on watch) comment that “he heard something.”

Norris shot off a bolt of light and it revealed a 9 count of Grylians. Angry Grylians. Of which 8 of them shot their elongated bows atus. Mebali went down, shot. Then Norris was hit, and then Aleron was shot – the ranger plugged in the skull and slain instantly. Draugmor was hit and the Grylians tore into the group with arrows.

Most of us quickly struggled to get bows back in line and we shuffled around, doing our best to protect the group that had been knocked down. Smokey and Jerrig made great gains in holding the line but it was Finrod and Detheron who saved the day by using a combination Ride the Wind and Gust of Wind spell – the combination sending the back 2/3rds of the Grylians flying away with clattering bashes and smashes against the wall.

From there it was only a few solid hits and the last of the Grylians were taken care of. We looked over the party and healing was dispensed. But for Aleron there was nothing we could do as the ranger had been slain. From here we were getting unsure of what to do next. We were getting deeper in the cave and there was no ready or easy way out. We divided up Aleron’s belongings and then set off once again.

After a short walk we came upon a larger junction with 4 possible ways to go. And in the middle was a large oversized, left boot. Justlying there. It was obviously giant sized but it was there all by itself. We detected magic and found none and then eventually decided to cross the chamber spread out and wary.

It was while we were crossing that Detheron happened to turn around and spotted a large concentration of magic at the extreme range of his spell. As he was trying to say what it was – it closed. Fast. Charging. Gullin.

Over 6000 lbs., 12’ tall, 15’ wide, 25’ long, it plowed into the back of the party with decimating effect. Mebali, Finrod, Norris, and Draugmor were all knocked down – kicked, crushed, and gored. Norris managed to back pedal away, the bard scrambling barely upright and out of the way. The razorback crushed Mebali to paste, killing him. Arrows and swords came out and they bounced off the beast’s hide for the most part. We were screaming orders and trying to make room as Gullin continued to ravage the group.

And then Norris was able to read off the disintegrate spell. And the razorback rolled “1” on its save.

It’s entire left leg up to and including the shoulder and part of its chest turned to dust and the razorback was screaming. Blood was fountaining everywhere. Guyus was horribly battered and his summoned war steed was badly hurt as well. Smokey went toe to toe with the razorback but it was obvious that the bear was not in the same class. The paladin’s horse was dismissed and we watched as Gullin staggered, his combat effectiveness hampered and his speed almost brought to naught.

A few of us ran around the beast back in the direction we had come from but Guyus was not to retreat. He continued to hold his ground and entice the razorback to follow him as he backed up. Only Gwyn stayed local, shooting poisoned bolts into Gullin at every chance. Shields were being splintered at every turn.

And then the paladin died as Gullin gored the paladin inthe chest. Smokey tried to end the fight but the mighty bear was eventually killed and Gullin was woozing horribly, almost dead and gallons of blood allover the floor. But it bent its head down and ATE Guyus’ magical sword. And the wound on his chest stopped bleeding. He did not regrow his leg, but he was no longer in any danger of dying from blood loss.

We called Draugmor and Gwyn closer and Detheron transformed himself into a horse, the dwarf climbing up. Meanwhile Gullin bent down and ate Guyus’ magical mace – and healed even more damage. And its red eyes bored into us and we knew it was time to run.

Jerrig and Detheron in horse form (with Gwyn on his back) were in the lead, followed by Norris, Finrod, and Draugmor. We had a lead on Gullin who was laboring to keep up the pace. But it was obvious that Detheron and Jerrig would be running in the dark shortly as they outpaced the rest of the group but Norris shot a blast of light at Detheron’s ass and illuminated it as they charged off.

It was obvious after a few minutes that although we were initially faster than Gullin we did not have the stamina to keep up the running for any extended length of time. It was Finrod who began falling back, the elf unable to keep up the head long charge for so long. In fact the gap between Finrod and Detheron was over 60’ and growing and we could hear Gullin getting closer and closer.

Jerrig, Detheron, and Gwyn blew through the Carrion crawler room so quickly that they did not know the party was even closing. The decision was made to run south, back towards the pit. Finrod, fearing he was not going to make it cried out a levitate spell and jumped, rising to the ceiling and pressing himself flat – just as Gullin ran under him and failed to see him there.

Norris hit the carrion crawler room and jumped over the one crawler that was there, clearing the tentacles by over a foot and a half. He too ran to the south head down and watching the distant bouncing glow of Detheron’s enchantedly lit horse’s ass. He tossed the bluish ice gem behind him as he ran, hoping it would slow Gullin down.

Draugmor not knowing what happened to Finrod and knowing he was the last in line now to Gullin, also jumped over the carrion crawlers as he hit them but instead dodged to the right down the corridor we did not go down, rolled himself down the slight incline and then buried himself to the left and stayed quiet in hopes that Gullin would miss him.

The razorback ran left – following the sound of hoofbeats and the smell of the party.

Detheron slowed down and the tiger did as well as they approached the pit. Gwyn ran towards the edge and used his last flask of oil to cover the ground. Meanwhile Norris finally ran up, exhausted. We had little time left. He took out Thurin’s spell book, thumbed to the page marked “Rope trick” and read it right from the book – burning the spell away but opening up an enchanted pocket 5’ in the air that needed to be climbed by the rope. The bard scrambled up and motioned for Detheron and Gwyn to hurry.

The druid looked at Jerrig; there was no way for the tiger to get in. He climbed up and they called for Gwyn to hurry. The dwarf ran back was able to grab the rope but Gullin was upon him. The razorback hit the dwarf so hard he was torn from the pocket dimension and sent back towards the pit. Gullin hit him again and sent him to the edge and then it was one last push and the dwarf fell down 90’ and hit the rocks below with a deafening slam.

Jerrig turned and ran back down the corridor and away.

Draugmor was waiting quietly and then was hit by something cold that robbed his strength. Shadows. He pulled out his luck blade and ran back down the corridor, forced away from his friends and down a slope. Eventually it opened up to an area where the floor was lit with some yellowish/orange glow. He pulled out his bow and fire silver arrows at the undead (3) stopping two of them but was unable to destroy the last one as his strength was drained and Draugmor died, doomed to rise as a shadow himself.

Finrod was going to levitate down but heard Jerrig and Gullin getting closer so he hugged the ceiling and crab walked himself closer. As Gullin ran past he dropped down and ran off towards the pit. Once there he did not see his friends and called softly. Norris and Detheron motioned him to come up and they lowered the rope for him. He climbed up and they waited.

Gullin limped back towards the ice crystal, ate it, and released a Fire Giant from within. They talked and came towards the pit where the friends were in the enchanted place. The giant was talking about the dwarf and Gullin and what had happened but they eventually went away to go to where the razorback had seen the group.

Terrified – down to just Detheron, Norris, and Finrod–they stayed in the rope trick until enough time had passed and then snuck out, crossed the pit, and carefully made their shattered way under Finrod’s direction towards Clan Gullin, the gnollish enclave, where they would hole up and come to some grim realities of their situation.

And that is the end. Campaign over, party shattered, no way home.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Meet 163, Adv 13, 3/24/12

Carrion Crawlers are those sort of monsters that it doesn't matter what level you are, if you get caught by the buggers you will be very unhappy. 8 attacks and poison to paralyze you. In this case the group had prepared as much as possible with Delay Poison and it helped.

Write up follows:

While the three friends were working in the pit below, our group was approached above by a 12 count of gnolls. Glaskar of Clan Gullin had come with a number of his people and one other in an effort to help us out. The last person was an elf named Finrod. He had come through a Tiger’s Eye gate many decades ago from somewhere near a town called Ferron. Once here his companions had been either killed or taken by the Grylians and he had been a mage slave for almost a century. During a raid on the Gullin caves his troupe had been killed and he had survived, barely, taken by Clan Gullin, nursed back to health, and folded in with the rest of the gnolls.

After Glaskar had come back and told of the Dritka he had met, Finrod had hoped to meet up with them and go with them on their trip eventually out of Freysteig wherever they would end up. We took him with us and Glaskar went on his way

We had some difficulty and comedy in our attempt to cross the pit. Finrod did have a floating disk spell which he used to ferry most of us across. And Detheron cast Jump on Jerrig to allow the cat to leap over the pit on its own, and Spider climb on Smokey to get the bear across. But the bear was very afraid of the unnatural traversing and Detheron was forced to hang on and push the bear from behind along the entire journey.

Once across we drew back into formation and Aleron held torch aloft, tracking as we went. Eventually our voices echoed back strangely and we came to a “T” intersection. The area was honeycombed with holes roughly 18” to 2’ in diameter, from the floor to maybe 3’ in height. There were almost 20 of them spaced about the widened area. We didn’t trust it. Detheron called to Frey to search for poison, discovering a burst of venomness inside the walls somewhere. Alright, we suspected it was something alive and inside the walls.

With great care Draugmor, Norris, and Guyus all crossed the room, protected by a Delay Poison spell. And then they came from the wall – almost a dozen carrion crawlers oozed out and approached the group. We took aim at a distance where able to and at other times marched right in with weapons swinging. We also got a chance to see Guyus’ new mace in action. It vibrated strangely in his grasp but when it connected – WOW! There was a blast of flame, a popping sound, and the target struck was sent crumpled across the chamber.

Aleron had a bad fumble where he pretty much shot Smokey in the gut. But it was shortly after the battle started that we had other issues. Two worms – each roughly 40’ long and pus-like in color came out and made to assault us. Their bite was acidic and they had a stinger on their back tail. Once again it was Guyus’s mace that made the day, sending worms flying about the chamber. Eventually the battle ended with one of the worms retreating and 3 of the carrion crawlers oozing back into the wall holes again.

We grabbed the back end of one worm and three of the crawlers and following Draugmor went down the hall another 100’ (taking the right fork) until we felt safe enough. It was here we dropped our quarry and turned to Detheron to see if our druid could harvest the paralytic poison from the monsters.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Meet 162, Adv 13, 3/17/12

All characters like to find artifacts. However I also know that most DM's don't like them in the game since they do tend to skew things crazily. Either the bad guy has them and the group kills him and takes it, or the bad guys wipes the party out because they are too stupid to run.

So here it is, artifact in the game and available for them if they want to keep it. The problem is that now that they have it, it's too dangerous to just leave it somewhere and letting the bad guys take it.

We'll see how it plays out for them going forward. Write up follows:

It was decided that we were pretty much shot, our reserves were non-existent, and as a group we needed to hole up somewhere and rest. Problem was there wasn’t any place we had passed so far to do that, and from what we had deduced by talking to the gnoll Glaskar, there wasn’t any such place near here.

So instead we decided that Roper was a fairly known and large threat – we would rest perhaps 50 paces from the monster’s corpse, relying on the fact that its presence would deter casual wanderers. This placed us sort of mid-way between the pool and the Roper and with luck, we could relax and get some sleep.

Detheron cast Log of Everburning on a pile of wood and we lit two torches – placing one 30’ up corridor and 30’ down corridor from where we were camping out. Mebali, Draugmor, Guyus, and Norris all took watches, the party opting on two at a time. Eventually we ate a dinner of cold rations and we drained some water from our skin. Just before sun”out” Detheron made to cast create water so we could refill our skins – but the spring disappeared almost immediately and we heard 3 or 4 distinct musical notes ring out from the direction of the pool – echoing towards us.

We froze and waited silently, it did not repeat. Norris said a water spirit or elemental might live in the pool and we should avoid any sort of water effects while down here. He then cast Invisibility sphere on the party (and animals!), we all took camp sites on the edges of the corridor (leaving the center open) and fell asleep. Norris took first watch, then Mebali, Aleron, and eventually Draugmor.

It was during this time that we had some visitors. Two cockatrices – one male, one female, came down the hall from the direction of the pool. They seemed puzzled by the torches and gave them a wide berth. Eventually the male used his serpentine tail to drag it away, down the hall, where eventually we heard a distant “hiss” of it extinguishing (most likely the pool). They came back and took the 2nd, making the corridor darker by that much more – leaving only one.

Daring, Draugmor lit another stick of wood and left it in the area of the former and when the cockatrices came back – they were hopping and hissing and disturbed. They stayed in the distance, just outside of light range, silent for 10 minutes before coming back to the torch. This time they took the new one, and the last one – plunging the hall into pitch blackness and Druagmor waited. They did come back and went onward in the direction of the piercers – where he was satisfied to hear the sounds of “dropping” stones and angry cockatrice hissings.

It wasn’t until after Guyus woke up that we had our next issue – out of the darkness came a chilling cold sensation that crawled across the party. Guyus hissed “undead!” and willed his connection to Odin to flare brightly – driving the shadow away. Lights were lit and we swung what we could to force the undead menaces away, their touch not only chilling but also draining our strength! At one point Gwyn even lit his underwear on fire and was swinging it wildly about, dropping burning embers everywhere before accidentally engulfing his own head. It was when the last shadows were being finally destroyed that our battle sounds recalled the 2 cockatrices and we gave the stone turning a short battle from the distance. Flare spells, arrows, crossbow bolts, and even Guyus daring to run up and intercept the charging cockatrices until the battle ended.

We hadn’t gotten enough sleep as a party and only a few of us were going to get spells back. Eventually we had Detheron’s sun”on” notification and we broke our fast, struck camp, and marched on.

As a group we came back to the “pond” room and decided to leave it alone – heading instead down the eastern corridor and onward. It meandered a bit and eventually opened to a large pit. It was 30’ across, the ceiling showed some damage, and the floor was crumbling at the end. Do we cross? How? The bottom was unseen. We dropped a rock and guessed at over 50 feet. It was decided that a light spell from the wand down the pit would work – and it was instead about 90’ deep – the floor was all broken rock and uneven. Gwyn let us know that the collapse of the floor was less than 10 years old and more than 1. From what we could tell – at the bottom of the pit was a 4’ metallic looking handle.

It was decided that we would go down – Draugmor, Norris, and Guyus being the people in question. One by one they went down the silk rope we had bound together and anchored with Smokey until they made the floor. Then it was careful navigation across the broken expanse until they arrived at the handle – it went down into the rubble and was well over 5” thick. While checking the area out carefully before daring to touch it, we did spot something faintly bluish and glittering under the broken stone.

We moved the pieces aside one at a time, the last three larger ones the most difficult to maneuver. It was taking so long that Detheron, from 90’ up, was constantly calling down for us to “forget about it and let’s go”. The group refused. Eventually they did reveal a crystal – 18” in diameter or so, and shaped like a 20 sided die. There was something inside, bluish and distorted through the facets. Norris told us that it would be something that a powerful minion/follower of Thrym might have used for imprisoning purposes. And it would be VERY difficult to open. We took it with us.

As for the handle – Guyus was the one to dare to take it. He reached out, gripped the handle, and pulled – and it broke free of the stone and was now a 4’ long footman’s mace that he held – and as he held it – it felt “good” in his hand. It was perfectly balanced, had 5 flanges, and swung with a serious practiced ease. When Draugmor tried to hold it though it fell immediately to the ground and he could not lift or budge it! Guyus took it again and it felt wonderful.

We took the mace and the crystal and called up to Detheron that we should work on getting the group across the pit to the other side. Almost 3 hours after sun “on”.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Meet 161, Adv 13, 3/10/12

Wandering Monsters have been the mainstay in Gullin Caves and the party has has some pretty unlucky rolls. Like the Roper. I had no idea it was there, I had the yellow mold in the mist on the floor, and the piercers are in the area - but they made so much noise that I rolled a wandering check and blammo - Roper. So the roper had "always" been there - moving slightly - it was Schroedigar's Roper - neither there nor not there until they ran into it.

From both sides of the screen - we are having a blast.

Write up follows:

As a group we decided to walk northward. Cautiously we traversed the misty chamber until our lead members trod on something soft that released a cloud of yellowish spores into the air. Gwyn, Aleron, and Guyus all ran forward, choking and coughing but relatively unharmed while Smokey and Jerrig fell over dead from the spores.

Detheron called to Guyus to help somehow and the paladin dared to go back into the spores, grab Smokey, and pull/roll/tug the massive ursine closer to the edge of the next corridor. A quick prayer by the paladin brought Smoky back to life which relieved the rest of the party. The group was very nervous about coming across the opening to help when the stalactites from the ceiling suddenly began to let go and fall amongst the three on the other side. Piercers!

One of them brained the barely conscious bear, killing him again and the others were raining on the paladin, dwarf, and ranger. Getting hurt and trying to avoid being killed, they ran ahead, shields overhead as they fled from the spores, the dead bear, and the falling piercers. They disappeared around a turn in the corridor and was gone from sight.

And they ran right into a roper.

9 feet tall, 7’ diameter at the base, 6 tentacles went flailing out and they slapped about the group – sucking strength from some of the party (Aleron and Gwyn) and wrapping around the ranger’s leg. Aleron fell over and was tugged closer to the monster’s gnashing teeth. The group tried to sever the limb and the ranger was brought to the roper’s mouth.

Meanwhile Draugmor was picking his way through the chamber; feeling ahead to make sure that there was no other yellow mold on the floor, circling around to the far right of the clearing.

Guyus hacked at the limb, cutting it free from the ranger and swinging Aleron over to avoid getting bit. The roper gnawed at the paladin’s armor, crunching some of the steel plates. Meanwhile Gwyn’s strength was growing weaker as the roper kept whipping at him. They plied blows at the roper’s limbs, cutting another tentacle free.

Once across the chamber, Draugmor motioned for the rest of the group to join him, the druid anxious to get to the bear that was bleeding out on the other side of the chamber, the tiger Jerrig slain with piercers in his body.

Gwyn was able to slam some of the wyvern poison into the roper, the terrible stuff causing the monster to twitch and writhe and snarl as it coursed through its body. It bit at Gwyn’s scimitar, swallowing it whole. Gwyn suffered more strength drain, bringing him down to a 4 strength. Aleron plied dagger from a distance and Guyus went toe to toe with the beast, keeping it at bay as the poison finished it off.

Detheron called to Frey and halted Smokey’s death while Draugmor and Norris went ahead to the sound of the battle.

The Roper Gave one final tug and Gwyn was inside the beast’s mouth as it crunched down, killing the dwarf. Aleron hacked at its base with his dagger, his blows weak but still effective. Guyus was bathed in roper spittle and the excretions from its tentacles but the paladin refused to give up, sword slamming again and again. Finally with a gurgle it stopped moving, fell down to its base, and died.

We fished out the dwarf and healing was applied. Gwyn drew a gasping breath and was breath but still knocked out for some time. We grouped up again and doled out what healing we could. It was bad.

Inside the roper we grabbed Gwyn’s scimitar and under its first stomach was a handful of gemstones that we took. Norris took two of its tentacles to use as scourging whips and we were unsure of what to do next. Draugmor scouted ahead and let us know that that for the next 5 minutes down past the roper, the corridor was empty.

Norris opted to go back to where we had left both stretchers filled with wood and get our belongings. Picking his way past the piercers easily (those that had fallen, Mebali had stabbed their undersides until they stopped moving) and around where the yellow mold was – but did see that our cache of wood was now looked over by 9 crudely armed and armored gnolls! The hyena-like men barked to the bard in their own language – and Norris understood gnoll!

He spoke to them, they were from Clan Gullin and their leader was named Glaskar. They wanted the wood and Norris was trying to let them know it was our wood. They were friendly and referred to Norris as Dritka – so they traded out 100 lbs of wood and two stretchers for the bard’s broad sword. He gave it up to Glaskar and the gnolls were happy with the trade.

They then spent some time talking about the cave and we learned some things – there are two ropers, displacer beasts are aplenty, Gullin is what makes the gouges in the stone and is big, Clan Gullin lives off the main chamber and their lair is warded by yellow mold, there is a lair of ice toads, something lives in the darkness along the western corridor and the gnolls give it a large gulf, Gullin really dislikes Grylians, and before we get to Gullin there is an area of the ground that is lit from below and if you touch it it will burn you.

We thanked Glaskar and left with our wood and Norris told the party of what we had learned. As a group we were knackered and needed to rest, but to our estimation there was still at least 5-6 hours until sun”out”. Eventually Gwyn was awakened and between him (strength of 4 down 14 and suffering from a near death experience), Aleron (strength of 13 down 6), and Smokey (suffering from a near death experience) we were pretty messed up. The ranger and dwarf couldn’t handle their own gear it was too heavy for them and a lesser restoration was cast on Gwyn to return some of his strength (2-3 points).

With slow steps and great care we followed Draugmor’s lead down past the roper, following the winding corridor for 15 minutes until it opened into a grotto. Some stalactites and stalagmites, nothing really past 2-3 feet in length. In the center of the ceiling was a 7’ long stalactite, hanging straight down over a 6’ diameter round subterranean pool. Every minute a single drop fell from the tip and into the pool. There were two other ways out of the grotto, on the east and west.

The party debated the pool for a few minutes. Guyus assured us it wasn’t evil, and Detheron cast a spell to let us know the pool was magical. Alright…weird. Draugmor dared to get closer and looked down with the lantern – at the bottom of the pool was a skeletal hand sticking out of the rocks at the bottom, and it was holding a black cloth wrapped bundle maybe 3’ in length and cylindrical ay perhaps 10”. The pool was also over 5’ deep.

We talked about what to do next for a bit and decided we were NOT going to screw with the pool. Leave it and move on.