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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Meet 87, Adv 5, 7/11/15

I got into Warhammer miniature battles a bit later than the Golden age, more like the Silver - just when the prices were going through the roof but hadn't gotten there yet. Bretonians were my army of choice and I had many wonderful months/years painting my knights and archers as well as having them stand their ground and fight the forces of Chaos.

Long over now, I still remember the enjoyment of big armies clashing and set pieces - coupled with the sheer number of dice rolled. So I brought a bit of that back for this meeting but cut down on the dice. I gave the group the chance to set up a defense behind a wall - outfit it however they can with only their ingenuity to fuel it, and had them with 30 L1 commoners, 20 L2 commoners, and 10 L1 warriors at their fingertips to hold the gate. For multiple shots I rolled either 3 or 4 "attacks" into a single dice, but the party had a chance to do a clash of armies - even if it was only 60 vs 75.

From the sounds of it all, the party had a great time.

Write up follows:

We looked at our location that we had to defend – an opening 40’ wide flanked by two sets of two towers 30’ tall, and then a stone wall and parapet running in both directions. There is a smaller road that runs from the gates to the main road, 160’ away. The grasses are short (less than an inch) from constant cropping; the walls are 25’ tall. There is no actual gate. We are told that after 7 PM, we should get a number of wagons and carts after the Homesteads are cleared.

As for people, we had 10 actual militia men, 20 mustered militia men, and about 30 common volunteers. Bows we were not too great on, so we plundered the weapon stores at the Hall of Heroes and outfitted another 10 or so men with short bows and a small smattering of arrows. We also handed out whatever padded armors we had and then split the forces, setting half of them up on the left, and half on the right. We also positioned Tranis and Marcus on the forward towers with 5 of the best militia archers for just in case.

We then sent out word to the denizens of Tanner’s Way – for every armful of big rocks they bring, we are willing to pay a copper piece. Over 80 of them responded.

With rocks, foundation stones, and countless cobble stones from the road beds of Tanner’s Way, we bucket brigaded the stones to the parapet and got them ready. Barrels and buckets were filled with water and positioned all about the town.

Citizens from the Homesteads were filling in the town square and the place was filling up. Erd picked two families and sent them to his home/studio to stay in during the combat.

We then prepared two large bonfires and laced the spacing between them with bundled hay and thatch, using a few flasks of oil to stretch it out. The wagons came, along with a number of carts and 25 bales of hay. So we made three barriers before the gate after the fire line of spilled carts/wagons and hay – and then had a few members at the base with spears in case the goblins got that far.

Finally Avidius and some of the guys dug a few holes outside the wall and filled them with water – where the fighter would hide in them and wait for possible shaman or leader types to pass so he could take them quickly and from behind.

Just after night fall, Flimflam turned into an owl and winged north, looking for the goblin group. They were closing – and what was scary was a there was a floating gas bag with a platform below – and a shaman was riding on top (along with other bowmen). Flimflam suspected he was being noticed so he did a wingover and made some distance, swung around, spotted the rest of the goblins and their closing to the Homesteads, and then returned to the town.

He changed back and told us what he saw. The decision was that Tranis would be concentrating his fire at the floating gas bag (just aim above the line of fire in the sky) and do the best to take it down.

Finally it was after 9 and we heard the assault start on the Homestead as goblin voices were chanting. At our end, we watched the growing glows and glints as goblin forces gathered on the other side of the road. And then a 5 count of goblins came riding out, strafing the wall, mounted on huge goblin hyena-like dogs. Our guys were ready though and arrows flew from all directions, picking those off near the front, and then tossed rocks and cobbles rained down, hurting more, until only a three count of dogs managed to escape and only one lone goblin rider – just about all of them were wounded.

The goblins riled themselves up and then the floating gas bag made it appearance, carried towards the wall with an unnatural sustained gust of wind. Our guys in the tower shot at the balloon as it grew closer, Tranis leading the fusillade. We threw a torch to the oil soaked lines and lit the bon fires, igniting the last barrier. As the goblins grew closer we began shooting.

Three sets of 4 or 5 goblins each with a scaling ladder approached the walls and our guys there were ready. Arrows flew and tore through the goblins, and when they got close enough to set ladders, tossed stones and cobbles followed. A single archer was pegged by the goblin return fire and he fell off the wall to his death.

The scaling party was broken, one of them tried to run away but was slaughtered and then only goblins managed to escape the terrible defenders fire. The rest of the group could not mass strike the wall, hampered by the fires and the dumped over carts, hemmed in and then fired upon even more.

But the gas bag was growing closer and all our shots were hitting it, but not stopping it. Tranis pulled out a precious drilling stone biter arrow, nocked it in place, and let fly – tearing through the gas bag – and then passing though to rip out the other side! The bag shuddered and began to list, but it was still approaching the wall too fast. Flimflam called out to Demeter and summoned a giant eagle! 20’+ wing span and it struck the gas bag, ripping the hole larger. Goblins were falling off and the platform was tilting. So Tranis shot his last stone biter arrow – and again tore two massive (entrance and exit!)holes in the dirigible.

Now it was falling. The platform with the fire put tilted over and spread fire up the side of the dirigible as it was angling down to the wall. We had our troops run for their lives, racing across the parapet to get out of the path and to safety. Meanwhile, the falling gas bag demoralized the goblins outside the walls and they broke, pulling back to run away.

The gas bag smashed into the wall, sending fire everywhere and setting the roof of the stables ablaze. The shaman survived the fall and was ignoring the fire (protection? Resistance?) and we were going to draw him into combat when there was an outrushing of air from the center of town and a blast of screaming energy tore straight up, 1,000 feet into the sky to piece the clouds – a column of yellow swirling white fiery light.

And every active spell in visible range ended, turning to smoke and swirling towards town square. The shaman, no longer immune was burned alive and other spells, (blesses, charms, buffs, detections, everything) ended. We ordered the militia and musterable men here to hold the wall and bucket brigade water to put out the fire – telling them to stay back as we dropped to the ground and drew up to run to town square. Avidius who was outside the wall climbed out of his mud hole and ran to the wall to climb up and rejoin the party – but he would be a few minutes behind.

As for the group, we arrived at town square and stopped – the column of fire was fading away and we saw it end with a guttering light – leaving Mary – the blond woman with grey eyes standing there. She had the entirety of town square knocked out around here – over 200 citizens. She gave a look around and started to walk to West Gate.

We closed to 40 feet and called to her to stop. She ignored us at first and then stopped to look back. She was disturbing and unbothered by us, ignoring our calls to stop – she approached us with hands out and reaching. As the distance closed to 20 feet, we attacked. Arrows and weapons shot, spells followed.

But the spells (including a turning from Steiner but she broke it and crushed his holy symbol in return) were absorbed by her, and then hurled back at us. And anything magical that hit her was rendered inert – including Flimflam’s two dogs (their contact to him broken).

And after a solid minute of taking shots and blows and hits, fire raced from her feet up through her head – and removed every sign of damage she had taken. Fuck.

So we plowed though her again, and this time she enervated some spell power from Steiner, refashioned it into a swirling axe spell, and hurled it at Kilvin – hitting him and knocking the barbarian unconscious.

And then she healed her damage again.

We redoubled our efforts, hitting shooting, striking. Avidius finally arrived and added his own bow shots from a distance, hitting her again. Poison was tried this time as well, and she was hurt and hurting.

But she healed her damage full again!

From here Steiner decided that fire and oil would work next. So after dousing her with a flask of oil, our priest of Apollo took a lit torch and at a distance of 8’ away, hurled the torch at Mary. Critically striking her in the face. He flattened her nose, dislocated her jaw, knocked out a few teeth, and fire raced across her face and hair, running down the oil soaked runnels across her body. Screaming and yelling, we struck hard and fast – and this time did enough damage that Mary fell to the ground where she broke into a million pieces of sand and glass.

And in the distance to the southwest, a blast of fire shot and raced from cloud to ground. And we assumed it was Mahr. We guessed that he knew of the passing of his minion but we were just happy to have the battle over.

So here it was, after 10 PM, the goblin attack broken and the raids on the Homesteads in retreat, 200+ people knocked out and Mary dispatched. But the walls of Shakun held and held well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Meet 86, Adv 5, 6/27/15

The group is split between the desire to improve their home/Shakun as the thing to do vs. acting like mercenaries and adventuring for more phat lewt. So this meeting was...difficult for half the table - at least that's how it looked from my side of the screen (YMMV).

The idea of "end game" and town politics typically doesn't take place until 9+ level and not all groups go there. But unless you send a swarm of Bulette's to attack your power group when they are meteor swarming a horde of giant spiders riding black dragons - at some point the idea of maintenance and roots and politics does take place.

I am testing the waters here with the middle part of this adventure (called the Gathering Dark) and the goblin raid. It's not the end all be all - 250 odd goblins against a town of 1,900 - and there is a 25' tall wall they can all hide behind. What it is though that SOME of the Homesteads will be pillaged (how many? we'll see!) and there is a floating surprise to hit the group.

We'll see how they perform during the raid and their subsequent views on town politics and building to help me guide adventure 6.

Write up follows:

We spent a minute taking stock of the situation and then had our cleric stabilize Scarene. Curufin was beyond our help. And now it was time to discuss what happened and how it would play out. Scarene was to be taken to the militia where who would be imprisoned and then questioned. We would send word via aviary to Curufin’s last recipient to let them know of the elf’s passing.

But most of all, we had to get the Baron and the council in on this and then send some riders north into the Shakunian Hills and get some eyes on the goblin forces. We estimated between 40 and 80 – but we wanted to know for sure.

We returned to the Hall of Heroes where we came upon a Pervian nomad by the name of Kilvin looking for us. From the same area of Perv that Flimflam and Ironboard were from, the human barbarian was following dreams, stories, and portents to come here at long last and meet up with Flimflam to help out.

We gave Senna and Avidius’ daughters what money was needed to support the home, made sure they knew where shields and spears were (should they be needed), and then filled all the jars and barrels in the house because we assumed there would be some goblin raid this night.

We returned to Town Hall just after 11 and shared our findings with the Baron and his council members (Zarik, Thragrial, Westwinter, Rhianent) and discuss plans to defend the town and the Homesteads. Most everyone assumed the Homestead defense was not going to happen – and we would have to ask the people there to come behind the walls and leave them to either be plundered or burned. Better to lose material than to lose people.

However, the Baron understood where the people were going to come from – and that was all their hard work was going to risk being destroyed in one fell goblinoid attack. Captain Thragrial and Marshall Westwynter were going to arrange to get the Homesteads evacuated and the goal was to have everyone ready to come in before the night runs out.

But we need for sure more information. So we Kilvin, Tranis, and Avidius were going to get horses from the Stablemaster with the Baron’s approval to ride north and check the goblins out. The rest of us were going to go to the prison and question Scarene in depth as for what’s going on.

By 12 we had our jobs and separated.

Through LOTs of questioning, investigation, riding, talking, scouting, and everything else – we learned the following information which we all shared by 3:30 that afternoon when we all reconvened together.

As per Scarene and a variety of questioning/spells/tactics:

  • She is a half goblin/half elf and granddaughter of a Goblin Warchief named Balistock the Crazed.
  • Balistock works with the “Blue One” (dragon) and uses his lair (for now) as a base of operations
  • Scarene has been coming in to town for weeks and introducing rats, fleas, and fungus to the granary.
  • The granary is over 40 tons full right now but from what we just learned, is most likely tainted and will sicken most of the people of Shakun over the winter.
  • Even if we trash all the grain in there and load up with whatever we can harvest in the last few weeks, we’ll only have maybe a 15 tons – not enough to support the town. Which means either import or hungry times for Shakun.
  • Long term goal is to weaken Shakun so Balistock the Crazed can launch a spring offensive and try to retake Shakun for at least a week.
  • If he does, the Lords of Duuk Tsarath will allow him the opportunity to use a Dwarven Sphere against the elves of Woodhelven.
  • Dwarven Spheres are a combination of older dwarven weaponry from the Kinslayer Wars and newer tech the gobbo’s got from “elsewhere” and lots of Hadesnium to make a big assed bomb.
  • Balistock the Crazed has only the most terrible and xenophobic prejudiced hatred for elves and all things elvish.

From our scouts we learned instead:

  • There weren’t 40 goblins. Or 80. But in excess of 200 of them.
  • There were also goblin dogs with them, at least 30.
  • There were travois and baggage – indicating they are expecting to take back LOTS of plunder or they are bringing something terrible to Shakun.
  • Fetish markings and standards are revealed perhaps 4 shaman with the goblins.
  • Based upon the distance and they fact they were resting in the day – we estimated they would be at the town by 9ish or later tonight.

Long and short of it, we felt outclassed. They were coming and nothing we could do would deter that.

We called the Baron and his people back together, shared all the news with them, and then let them do what they are doing best. The Homesteads would be cleared and everyone in behind the walls by 7PM – no exceptions. We would barricade all three gateways with fallen wagons, broken houses from Tanner’s Way, and other wreckage the town would scrounge up. All musterable men were to be called up and at conscripts were to report by 5:30 PM

As for defense, Sir Flimflam Waywocket and the Peacemakers were asked to stand and marshall the defenses at Northgate and we agreed.

We had a bad feeling  - what if the magic “weakening effect” was in place right now? The best way to test it was to have the group go to Cornelius’ Tower and see if the pain/fear affect was still on the door. Kilvin tested it – And sure as shit – it still was.

So here it was 4 PM on Earthmonth the 19th and there are a horde of goblins coming to loot the place and burn it down.