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, October 28, 2015

Meet 97, Adv 5, 10/17/15

My game is a hybrid of 1st and 3.5 so I use the d20 resolution often. Typically I run DC10, 15, 20, 25 for difficulty and let the chips fall where they may. So when I put together the crafting piece of the homunculus in the game, I expected there to be some failure along the way and then some recrafting.

I think I fucked it up somehow.

In the Tower there is a room called the Workshop (level 6) where as long there is crafting going on there, the people in the room will get a +3 on their roll. Pretty much they had to describe what they were making and if it was well explained and used what tools were there (simplistic) it was a DC:10, otherwise I would run it at DC:15.

The party did such a good job and had such great rolls as well as working together that there were no failures in my 5 checks. Lowest roll ended up as a 12 (after modifiers).

So there you go, destined to get a Mage's Tower in the game. Not bad after almost 25 years of waiting for it to happen.

Write up follows:

We went back through the ritual of the Tower Master one last time and left Marcus to his studying the Tower Master’s spellbook for the required enchantments. There was no way he could do this in 1 sitting, so we would do most of the Homunculus crafting tonight, followed by a rest and the remainder tomorrow.

While this was going on, the party moved the golem/armor suit back to where we had found it and then spent a little time giving the bedrooms a final look over and cleanup. More required supplies were gotten, then a meal, and finally we all convened in the Workshop to meet with Marcus after he finished studying. The party had cobbled together a rough doll using no threads, limiting themselves to just the raw unprocessed goods that we were finding. It was fragile, but should hold up long enough for Marcus to stitch in place.

Sure enough, it worked. Prior to getting it sewn up, Marcus added his hair, nails, spit, and whatnot into the body of the golem he was making, sewing it in place before moving on to the stuffing and spell work. Four stitch spells adhered the arms and legs to the torso, leaving the head unfinished for now. We talked about the next day and the group went to sleep.

On Earthmonth the 24th the group woke up pretty stoked and Marcus studied more spells, while Flimflam stretched out our food stores with more goodberries. The party was cobbling together some of the dismantled items found in the basement – one was a crow’s cage (torture cage to hang a person in), the other was a rack. A look at the log books showed that Cornelius was also making money as an inquisitor for the Sheriff (and Baron at that time) – supplementing his income. Shudder.

We stitched the head in place and then colored the doll as needed. We know we had to be in the Observatory at 12 when the Searing Crystal would shine down, but there was no clock in the tower and we’ve been guessing on the time. Steiner offered to go up to the roof and let us know, but when the top was open, we saw rain and clouds – no way of knowing when noon was. Our priest of Apollo was going to meditate on the roof and would hope his god would give him a warning when noon was approaching. Meanwhile, Viridia and Geld walked with Marcus a few times making sure he could navigate the area and steps between the Workshop and the Observatory – since he would have to do so as he was concentrating on maintaining the simple illusion spell.

The clock ticked along and then Steiner called out that it was almost time. Marcus cast the simple illusion spell on the homunculus and allowed himself to be guided upstairs where we stood under the crystal, forcing the doll to appear like himself. And then the light blasted down and the illusion was seared into the doll. From there we all went to the Master Bedroom where the 1st words of the ritual were spoken and the doll placed into the proper place. The tower groaned slightly and there was a thrumming.

From there we propelled our way through the rest of the ritual. The charging of the Olympian Crystal took 12 hours and required Geld watching over her friend/employed and then Marcus cutting himself and placing the crystal into his own flesh. When the crystal was glowing he returned to the Master Bedroom, placed it on the shelf and intoned the 2nd words of the ritual – again the tower shook and groaned. Then we all fell asleep.

Awakening on Earthmonth the 25th and some more studying and prep work had Marcus run through the rest of the ritual, eventually anointing his hand with the blood of Cornelius taken days ago from the body in the kitchen. The spirit had been guided/coaxed here by Steiner and the party watched with baited breath as Marcus intoned the final words of the ritual.

“From Master to Student, Adult to Child, Teacher to Pupil, I take control of this Tower from this moment forth. No force in the world or from another can force me to relinquish this charge without my unfettered and uncharmed will. So I do swear from this day until I choose to end my duty. With this seal, let the tower and all who enter know that I am the Tower Master.”

The tower groaned and stuttered, and we felt a crystalizing in the air. Then a voice called for the Tower Master to come to the Observatory. It was here that we learned the tower had some simple sentience and was able to answer some questions that Marcus had. We decided NOT to announce to the other 4 wizard’s towers that this one was occupied (better safe than sorry) and Marcus gave permission for Geld to come in and out when and how often she wants. He also opted to keep the ward on the front door to make people sick and scared if they come too close (opting to remove that feeling for the rest of the party).

There were also some messages that had been sent here that Corenlius never got – all from someone called Wizard-Lord Erazmis of Castle Sterling, from someplace referred to as the Helmian Lands. Seems that Cornelius had ordered some enchanted material/armament from this Erazmis before he died and it has been waiting for him to get for the last 15 years. We were able to deduce that this Helmian Lands are 4 days upriver from Brewers Bridge and would take us almost 2 weeks to get to.

Cleaning ourselves up we all went down to the front door and walked out together to the thronging crowd. The tower no longer looked worn, instead new and clean. The metal trees up top were crackling with energy and the entire place was thrumming. We heard about the escaped goblin/demonic and feigned ignorance, stating that we had killed 3 of them already and this once must have run and escaped.

The party went to the Hall of Heroes, knowing that we had much to catch up on, the case against Kalt, Horace, Viridia, and Fermius and their involvement and maybe recruitment, Marcus taking stock of his tower and what’s responsible on his end of it, and about 2 dozen other smaller issues.

Erdan did have a talk with the owner of the 4 Rings Brothel who was concerned that his “dancing studio” was actually a front for another brothel – and she’s like to talk about putting him out of business. Erd agreed it was not necessary and was not going to open up as either a brothel OR a dancing studio for now.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Meet 96, Adv 5, 10/10/15


I know I might have mentioned this before but even in the earliest days of my playing, finding huge piles of loot and hauling them out in sack after kicking some goblin's asses never made much sense to me. Treasure isn't just neat piles of coins and swords +1 sitting on shelves. There are statues, and rings, and necklaces, and letters of credit, and titles, and favors, and books, and god knows what. Treasure isn't always easily defined but it is a reward and rewarding.

That's what's in Cornelius' Tower. Assuming the party is able to get it done: the list of "take me out as coin or magic" in the wizard's tower is: 8th level wizard's spell book, 2 cloaks of wind and chill resistance. That's it. Other "treasures" are possible to get and they are 11 Olypmian Crystals (useless except as quartz to 99.99% of the populace - invaluable to mages/clerics), a freeflowing dispel magic spellform (can be introduced to any rod/staff/wand or olympian crystal).

What the tower does offer though is almost 2,000 books, scrolls, and papers that cover a variety of subjects that anyone would want. It offers a place to scry gently the lands and environs around Shakun as well as short scrys to other places in the kingdom. It offers a title of Lord Wizard to anyone who becomes ensconced in the tower as well as a seat on the Baron's Council. It offers dozens of other smaller things that are bennies while in town and a sense of prestige to the new Tower Master.

There isn't piles of gems. There aren't gold to take out. And the cost of going in the tower and then emerging will tax the coffers of the party for sure - but the long term rewards are well worth it.

Write up follows:

We wrapped bandages and healing around Avidius, took care of Whosea, and then sat down to discuss what our next step was. We wanted to go up and take out the Para-Leech, but the zombies below needed to be resolved and we still needed to look at the furnace. Our first thoughts were though to make sure the Leech could not knock any more pictures off the wall again. So we braced a few chairs in front of the picture and then slid the table over, eventually deciding that we would also bring up the closet door from the 1st floor and block the pictures as well.

The rest of the part was attacking the wooden wall with axes, crowbars, and picks; making sure it was out of our way and would not impede our actions or movement up and down the stairs in anyway. From here we once more slid the grapple into the handle, drew back to get ready, and then pulled the door away again. Once more the two zombies came into the room where the party made short work of them. Clear now, we went to the basement and looked around.

Nothing new that we could see. Tending to the furnace showed that it was almost finished consuming the wood that was in there (3 days) and once we shook the ash free, we dumped it in the wood bin for now. We loaded the furnace with the rest of the greenwood from the wall of brambles and pumped the bellows until it was hot and running. Steiner loaded a small sack with a variety of raw goods from the crates knowing that according to the scroll we had found earlier that we would need them.

We left the basement and made sure to close the secret door so that the Para-Leech would be unable to enter it again. From here we made sure all was in place in the meeting room before continuing on our way up the steps to the kitchen and dining room. We gave it all a complete once over, making sure nothing was different or out of place before we continued on our way up to the 4th floor.

Here was where the Para-Leech had something prepared for us. The three doors in the hall were tied together with knotted and braided lengths of sheets that had been cut and tied in place – making a triangle of quivering cloth. The doors also had some pressure on them as if something on the inside was holding them and pulling on them. Try to open any one door, and all three would open. In addition, a quick scry revealed that the knotted braided rope was ensorcelled as well.

At this point we wanted to see what we were dealing with – so Marcus used his auger and slowly drilled a hole in the master bedroom door. A second hole was drilled closer to the door handle and then a light spell on a stone was pushed through and we looked in. A fat goblinoid looking zombie. Holding onto the door handle and pulling.

From here, a turn undead from Steiner had the zombie move away from the door and then Marcus used his chisel to make the hole larger. By the time the zombie returned he had widened the hole pretty far. And then he started shoving the spear through the hole in the door, plunging it into the zombie again and again and again. For 16 minutes.

Until like so much hamburger and perforated hundreds of times, the necromantic energy holding the zombie together finally failed and it slumped down and expired. But there were two other doors also with undead pulling on them – and even if we did the same thing with the holes and spears and whatnot, there would still be the ensorcelled rope binding the doors together and who knows what spell was going to happen.

During all of this, the thought returned to going upstairs past the suit of armor/golem. Once more we tested how close we could get until we verified the 6th stair was the limit for now before the golem moved. Flimflam wanted to use the snare spell again, but we could not coax the golem to step down into the loop and many times he would just kick it down the steps. Eventually we lucked out with a successful toss and then the spell was cast. The rope whipped up the steps and surrounded the suit of armor from ankle to shoulders. It started to struggle and bang around when Marcus and Erd (both elves) ran up to it with a soaking wet large sack and placed it over its head and shoulders. It was breathing out that sleeping gas and was slowly coating its chest with the greenish/yellow mixture. The two elves lifted the golem up by the arms and shoulders and carried it down to the 4th floor, down to the 3rd floor and into the kitchen where it was placed in the larder on its side. It feet were still moving back and forth and it was spewing much of that sleeping gas that appeared to be a dripping coating ring from under the sack.

The steps now clear, we went up the 5th floor (Library) and spent a few minutes while Tranis, Geld, and Kilven went into the armoire and looked back into the Master Bedroom. The zombie was indeed dead, and the Para-Leech had set up a 4’ diameter circle of sheets just in front of the armoire’s door. Snare of his own? We didn’t want to risk it so they shut the door and returned to the 5th floor.

The group took the steps up towards the 6th floor and peered in past the landing. Another full sized room larger chamber, it was a workroom of some sort. Lots of tools, stools, and benches – but pretty picked over, very little in raw materials here. There was also a water closet along the base of the steps that was gravity fed from a cistern above. We cleaned hands and moved on to the 7th and final floor.

The room was sizeable as well. A series of smaller pinkish crystals were hanging down from the 12’ high ceiling, ranging between 2 and 6’ in length each, scattered about the place. There was a larger crystal, some 18” in diameter and 2+ feet long in the center of the room, and it was showing sunlight through its surface. An iron bound chest was on the opposite side of the room, hasped and closed.

When we tried to enter the room, along the south wall at about 3’ in height, 2 metal bars 3’ apart began to emerge from the stone so we retreated. When we tried it again it happened again and they once more retreated. Eventually we waited long enough for them to fully emerge (15” or so) and then the ends flowered, spoked, and wheel grew in place – until we had 2 turning wheels sticking out of the wall.

When a 2nd person came in, a 3rd wheel emerged. But when Marcus entered, the crystal above flicked and the sunlight faded – until it relit and revealed – the area outside the meeting room on the 2nd floor below. Ahha – this is the observatory and that is how the Para-Leech was able to watch us and know about us. Turning the wheels changed the east/west, north/south, and vertical focus point of the observation. Turning them slow mean small fine adjustments; turning them fast had the adjustments seriously multiplied, shooting outside the wall of the tower and through the streets. We did note that we could not scry this room, nor could we scry the top of the tower (the vision was fuzzy).

We played with the observation for a while and a couple of us were looking at the other crystals on the ceiling. If touched or reached for, they would arc down from above until at eye level and looking it would show a fixed place in space at some location we did not recognize – each one was different and there were 40+ of them.

At 12 exactly, the central crystal grew very bright and a blast of searing light pulsed down for a minute until it ended. This also seemed to match the information we were given in the scroll of the Tower Master.

However, almost 30 minutes after Marcus began scrying, the effort was drawing and draining from his and he staggered away with a pounding headache and weariness (losing a blast of Int, Wis, and Cha). Ok, scrying is draining and should be limited to less than 30 minutes/day. Good to know!

The chest was looked over and there were no traps or surprises so it was opened carefully and inside were 11 fist sized clear faceted crystals. Olympian crystals – untouched and pure. The fare end of the room also had a set of iron rungs that went straight up to the ceiling, where a 3’ square trap door was in place and latched closed. We summoned a creature to try and open it but it could not move the latch. This had Tranis climb up, unlatch it, and climb back down. From here the summoned creature was able to push the door open and emerge. On top of Cornelius’ Tower. The metallic looking tree was up here taking up the central portion of the tower. There were also two Olympian crystals here – each on a small shrine (One to Poseidon, another to Artemis). But no Leech.

Until we noted smoke that had been on the ceiling ooze towards the opening and sieve through. Fucking scumbag – Para-Leech and escaping. We tried to run up the rungs to catch him but he materialized, and then stepped off the edge and fell 75’ to the ground below. A few of us watched horrified as he stood up, ran through the Town Square killing two people and injuring others, made it to Northgate where his killed again, shrugged of arrows and wounds, and then ran out and was free.

None of us announced ourselves to the people and we went back inside and shut the trap door. Crap. We were not going to tell anyone about what our part was in this and were instead talking about going back downstairs to the workroom and start working on the ritual. But our way was blocked – by the spectral smoky figure that we had dispelled with salt before. It was there and staring at Marcus who was the character in front. No animosity, no attacking, no flaring of magic – just staring at us.

We knew we had to get past it and destroy it before we could do the ritual, but our efforts to date had been without resolution. It was behaving differently, fixated on Marcus for some reason. He tested a few times getting closer and then backing away, reassured that it was looking and fixated only on him. Getting close enough it was almost eerily pointing at his waist. He tested numerous items until he arrived at his chain rod. It followed the end of it and as he drew it closer, a wind seemed to spring up behind the spectral figure blowing it towards the elf.

Finally, daring against all, he touched the tip of the chain rod into the ghostly figure. A moan of energy and roaring breeze swarmed all over the place as it flowed into the chain rod and was consumed entirely. A crystal on the rod’s base shimmered to light and now read “50” – fully charging the rod – but it was no longer a chainrod – the spellform absorbed was that of a dispel. Meaning Marcus had a rod of dispel magic in his possession.

Emboldened with our efforts to date we went to the Library and waited while Marcus studies a couple of summon monster spells, the group going through notes and books and whatnot. Eventually finished, we followed him to the 4th floor where he summoned a skeleton and commanded it to untie the braided sheet rope. We waited around the corner and when there was no explosion or fire, looked back to see it was done! Then he had it go into the Master Bedroom and walk towards the armoire, and when it emerged, it had the other sheet around its ankle – so we considered matter done and laughed noting it was 3:30ish on Earthmonth the 23rd.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Meet 95, Adv 5, 10/3/15

The last Leechling was always going to be the hardest for the party to overcome - mainly because it would be learning from each successive fight the party had with its brethren. So by the time the party was ready for this encounter - the Para-Leech was able to set up two "trap" areas depending on which direction the party went. His goal? To take out the groups magical items and then lure them to the top to get them to open the door. Not interested in killing the group off, no benefit from it - and he KNOWS he needs the party to help him escape.

Write up follows:

As the group was going through the armoire to the 5th floor, the spellwraith appeared and the party proceeded to toss a wet blanket on it and beat on it until it fell through the floor to the bedroom – where Flimflam, Horace, Erd, and Kilven were set to meet it.

Once again its strange ability flared to life igniting most of the magical items in the room. We had divested ourselves of them as fast as possible, with Kilven and Horace closing to the wraith with axe and club swinging wildly. The two fighters actually waded into the smoky creature, scattering it about and keeping it uncoalesced. However, its ability flared out and hit Flimflam’s bracers – neutering them. Fuck.

Upstairs, the party gave the rest of the group a minute or two to come and join them when Avidius took a trip through the armoire and then returned, letting the party know that the spellwraith was down there and the group was fighting it. Viridia took her salt and was willing to go down to dispel it. Meanwhile, the ghostly figure consumed the magic from Flimflam’s cudgel next. And then Viridia arrived, tossed the salt, and the wraith-like figure faded away.

We gathered the salt as needed and then all got together to talk about our options and what was next. Flimflam was rather upset at his losses and seemed pissed off. The party wanted to check out the 4th floor a bit more – specifically the last and dusty bedroom – which we had not done anything in yet, only looked in and then stepped out.

Horace did a wonderful job at staking out the chamber and describing it to us. The footlocker (latched) was a prime target and we had Steiner try his damnedest to open it – with no luck. While discussing option, the cleric swept a little of the dust (which was behaving heavy and thick – not floating about) into the hall, picked it up, and ignited it – where it went up with a whoosh and a column of fire over a foot and a half tall.

Ok – no flame in the room.

But to open the chest? How? We had the idea to cast create water in the chamber, swamping the dusty floor and turning it muddy, making it unlikely to flare up. But then it was the ceiling – unlike other chambers this had a series of regular looking stones mortared together. A couple of arrows were shot into it – where they sort of went in a little bit…and then the ceiling rippled and the ripples met near the arrows – and ate the arrows.

We now suspected a Lurker was here but how to coax it down? Marcus cast a summon monster spell, having a Zombie appear. He had it walk into the room where the Lurker dropped and engulfed it to eat it. Rolled into a ball, the soft underside was visible, so we hacked at it and watery pink and yellow fluid leaked out all over the chamber, mixing with the muddy dust and just making the entire party sick from the stench.

Braving the odor, we opened the footlocker and took out a pair of mage’s robes (off yellow), two books, and a pair of thick almost gauntlet like leather gloves.

One book was identified as an ecology book about Lurkers, the other had runes on it. So Marcus opened the book and it exploded in his face – setting him on fire and burning him and his clothes and equipment. We managed to put it out and the elf then cast Read magic on it, was able to identify where to open the tome safely, and we noted a long list of new spells up to 4th level, many of them fire in nature.

Some healing was given out and then the party went up to the 5th floor to see about cleaning up the steps from all the demonic scat upon them. Fermius and Kilven did most of the dirty work with shovels and whatnot, using the ripped up bedsheets to keep the area clean…ish. As for the crap, it was shoveled one stinking pile and dollop at a time into the base of the broken lectern, piled in afterwards by the fouled torn bedsheets. We then worked it through the armoire and down to the dead Lurker bedroom where it was placed within and the door shut; Fermius using a bit of chalk to write on the door, “Do not enter.”

We went down to the 3rd floor and kitchen where we used the sink and water (from above, gravity fed we assumed) to clean our hands before ending up back on the 2nd floor and the meeting room. We ate and shared water, taking a total of our food stuffs and then splitting it up amongst the party. We then talked about what was next (we had 3 and a half days of real rations remaining, and Flimflam had a way to stretch that out to about double). Eventually the party went to sleep and we rested.

The next day the party woke up, prayed, broke their fast, studies, prepped their weapons, and were on our way. We opted to go downstairs first – check out the basement, see the furnace (it’s been three days so far), and make sure the final Leechling (Para-Leech) did not go down there ahead of us. Once outside the chamber the smell of the rotting hellhounds was growing worse, gagging the group as we made our way to the main floor.

The remains of the original “leech” was gone now, only a very clean spot on the floor where it had once sat. However, as we went around the corner to go down to the basement, we were surprised to see the door had been picked up and leaned in front of the opening.

The party grew quiet and discussed possibilities before settling on what to do next. Steiner was able to detect the sensation of something foul beyond the broken door. What we settled on was a grapple placed through the handle and the length of rope around the corner to waiting hands to pull. Everyone else took up space around the chamber with bows and swords at the ready; Avidius was left on the steps, 1 step shy of the landing, hand on his sword hilt.

And we pulled the door open.

It fell into the room and three grotesque and fat  (250#) goblins sauntered into the chamber – their waxy skin, dead eyes, the reek of death let us know these were zombies of some sort. Steiner had everyone hold their actions as the undead trio drew closer, the cleric of Apollo calling on his god to turn these terrible blights away.

And the blast of blue and white energy billowed off from his holy symbol, driving the three back until they turned to run. Arrows fired and swords and spears laced out. But while all this was happening, Avidius heard a noise from the stairs above so he looked up and saw…the Para-Leech up there. He mumbled that he was glad to have caught at least one of the group and fired off a burst of energy at the scout. But is skittered past him to the left and caused a thick wall of wood and brambles to grow, blocking him off from the main room, his friends, and the light source.

At first the party was focused on the now retreating zombies – plying everything they had on the closest one – but at Avidus’ howl and the appearance of the wall, a few of them left the zombies alone and attacked the wall with axe, sword, and even hands.

As for Avidius, the Para-Leech flat out told him to give up the sword and he won’t get hurt. Of course Avidius ignored that crap and tried to run past the Para-Leech, dodging beyond the fat bastard’s grip and turning the corner in a mad dash to make it to the meeting room and the safety there.

But there were a number of books on the floor and the two pictures had been knocked off. As Avidius was struggling to hang the picture of the “keep” back on the wall, the Para-Leech had come back and had his foot across the barrier – preventing the picture from being hung.

They traded quips a bit, the Leechling threatening to burn Avidius if he didn’t back away. Meanwhile Flimflam had made it to the wall and was calling to Demeter to shape the wood – actually pulling a hole in the center of the wall with his bare hands large enough for the gnome to slither through. Whosea and Ringer were trying to get in next and Fermius and Kilven were ripping huge chunks of wood out of the way.

Avidius made to grab the picture that looked like a pile of cloth but the Leechling sent a ray of flame at it, burning it apart. And then the battle lines were drawn and Avidius was caught in a grapple with the demonic goblin; his arm in the infernal’s mouth and blood dripping to the floor. Drop the sword.

Avidius held on, refusing to do so.

And then Flimflam arrived and the two of them were struggling with the Para-Leech who was struggling to keep Avidius grappled. Whose was next and Flimflam was able to wrap a length of rope around the Leech’s leg – as Whosea was tearing into the Leech. So the Leechling lifted his foot and smashed 600#’s of claw toed fat assed demonic goblin on Whosea’s front side – tearing the war dog’s left front leg off halfway down the animal’s equivalent of the bicep – crippling him instantly.

Furious, Flimflam called out to Demeter and his Snare spell went off – wrapping 20’ of rope around the Leech and binding him in place – Avidius managing to step away. The Leechling was impressed – the binding was strong enough to hold a fucking giant in place, and said that he’d take this under advisement. As the rest of the group was mounting the stairs, he turned to smoke and oozed upward through the ceiling and was gone.

Flimflam lowered his gaze to his longest animal friend and companion and helped bind his wound, stopping the bleeding – but the missing leg was not going to come back. And somewhere above – the Para-Leech was up there and waiting for the party.