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.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Meet 108, Adv 6, 3/12/16

The group had a long run into the spider's lair and went whole hog right for the McGuffin needed to get larger. I had run this adventure (or VERY similar to it) twice before over 20 years ago and one group never made it this far, and the other was TPK'ed in a spider choked room filled with over running fires that burned them all.

The party had some serious luck with a few Summon Nature's Ally spells which allowed them to clear the way to the McGuffin.

Write up follows:

The party hit the three Brown Recluse Spiders with a flurry or sword blows and strikes, dropping two of them and wounding the third but Nyssa took a nasty bite that had our shieldbearer taking a hefty dose of poison and had her reeling in pain. The thought of the party was that we had to get into the room and head towards whatever Marcus had detected earlier and we had to do it no and fast before more spiders came and overwhelmed us.  Avidius managed to cut his last limb free and was yelling at the group that there were more orb spiders coming into place.

Flimflam called out for his most powerful summon nature’s ally spell but as before, there was a stuttering in the spell as it reclassed itself for our new smaller impact and dimensions. The group was surging forward, passing under the archway, trying to make their way further in. A final produce flame was tossed into the webbing, setting another section ablaze.

The King of the Web called out to Arachne and the final Brown Recluse that the party was fighting surged, enlarging to a gargantuan monster 20’ in height as a Giant Vermin spell took effect. The group ran under the massive creature, avoiding its stomping eight legs, and moved enmass to the right. Marcus shot off another Dispel blast, burning a hole that the group turned and ran towards.

Flimflam’s Summon Spell enacted and a 40’ long iguana appears with an exploding blast of concussive air. He then pointed into the room and told it the charge in and tear up the webbing, which the iguana did, scattering spiders in all directions as we raced along. The King of the Web called out a loud benediction and from the hall we heard the yowling cry of the castle’s cat as it answered and began to climb up to our level. We had to go and go now. The Orb spiders that were over the arch attached webs and began rappelling down, and we ran through the scattered webs. The Giant Spider was able to give chase but the parameters of the room were preventing it from striking at us effectively.

Erd’s poor health and Avidius’ numerous painful wounds as well as his poisoned blood, had these two party members flagging as we ran along, spiders dropping from the webbing above our head and raining to the ground behind us. The Orb spiders were giving chase and we noted there were too many of them for us to effectively turn and fight. We had to find our way to the source and do it now.

The Iguana managed to come close enough for Flimflam to call out to and Marcus shot off another Dispel Magic blast which drove a line of red sparks through the room. And Flimflam ordered the Iguana to chase it. The Iguana blurred its way into the dark interior, scattering more webs and driving a path for us directly to the amber glowing source that had the group shrunk. Any spiders in the iguana’s way were smashed and devoured.

The Giant Spider was getting closer and Steiner hurled out a blast from his fear staff, striking the spider and turning it away where it skittered in terror. Avidius slipped back and was losing ground, falling and tripping as he tried to run. We now had almost 10 spiders chasing us, the Orb spiders plus the new ones that fell from above as we passed under them. Fermius and Steiner each draped and arm over their shoulders and hoisted Avidius up, carrying the wounded and weakened thief.

From the hall we heard the Cat had arrived, was looking around the room, and started to chase the group. Meanwhile we drew ever closer to the amber light – which was now revealed to be a ring almost 7’ in diameter floating on top of a 10’ column. The spiders were now closer to us and we started throwing caltrops, bags of sharpened rocks, even a few flasks of greasy water behind us.

And it worked.

The number of spiders right behind were rapidly reduced and the party ran on, out distancing most of them except for one determined Brown Recluse. Meanwhile the cat was closing in and it plowed over a number of the orb spiders that had been tripped up, smearing them as it yowled and leapt closer.

Horace and Geld, two of the best conditioned people in the party, were ahead of the group at this point, racing for the column. Flimflam called to Demeter to summon another massive natures ally, and we had to wait for the stuttering to pass before the spell enacted. And the party was now strung out with more and more of the party losing ground.

We tried to distract the cat with lights and glowing balls but it had no effect and it was now very close. Flimflam’s summon spell fired and we got a large huntsman spider – which Flimflam had appear over the rotating ring and attack the King of the Web who was trying to grab Geld in her attempt to get the ring (which she missed in her leap). The King was fighting another spider, the webs above were writhing with numerous spiders flailing about. The cat was too damned close when Steiner blasted it with a wave from his fear staff – and sent it running away!

We made it to the column, Erd was one of the next ones there, and he LEAPT up, finger just touching the ring – and suddenly he was full size and wearing it. He willed the ring to enlarge Flimflam and then Tranis – but time seemed to slow down as the ring was talking (telepathically in his mind) about a price and costs and Erd would have to pay – and he had magic powers, yes? Erd (a fighter) replied no and the ring was disturbed – which followed by a whizzing sound and Erd’s ring finger was severed, taking the ring with it.

The ring hit the ground and Tranis wore it next. Enlarging a few other party members while the party was stomping around (at full size) the vermin in the area. Tranis was also asked about a price and he HAD magical powers but he chose to remove it and the ring hated him but he was able to take it off. Steiner went next, enlarging even more members of our group and when the ring talked about a price, he was able to remove it without antagonizing the powers within.

That then led us to Marcus who went through the process of enlarging the party one at a time. When it was time to “pay the cost” he agreed to keep the ring and was given 4 more uses – but the cost would be either a spell slot (permanent) drain, a permanent hp loss, hp loss for Tranis, or another finger loss for Erd.

Marcus willingly lost a permanent hp and enlarged more party members. He was able to deduce some of the artifact’s powers and when he used up the 4 uses, he was AGAIN asked for the price – and again he settled on another permanent hp loss. By now the group was almost entirely back to normal and he learned even more of the ring’s uses – getting the clue that the ring is normally made for Ogres and Orcs but for now was happy with Marcus.

And there were three members left to increase and AGAIN he had to pay the price – this time 2 hp, 1 from Tranis, or a finger from ERD – or he could once again sacrifice a permanent high level spell slot. He went for the 2 hp for himself (now having lost 4 permanent hps) and the ring gave him a relent by enlarging the last 3 in one swoop. Marcus also learned that if he waited too long before using the ring’s powers, he would get some debilitating headaches to remind him to use it.

So it was after 2 PM on Icemonth the 1st, everyone was together and we didn’t lose anyone (but some of us were pretty screwed up) but we were large again and standing in some upper hallway and gathering our wits on what to do next.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Meet 10, Adv B2, 2/21/16 - Youth Group

Their 3rd member came back for today’s game but the first part of it was a bit off since they had to resupply and were on an emotional high from the TPK and death of their friend from the prior meeting. And the 3rd person at the table did not have ANY of that angst – so the entire party was clunky and unfocused at the start.

However, once they were out of the Keep and back on the road they managed to reconnect with the adventure and gel again as a group.

Write up follows:

The three friends arrived back at the keep where they were brought to the Castellan’s office for a meeting, debriefing, and the find out what has gone to pass in the intervening 2+ months. Loq was going to make sure the Corg’s remains (read: head) went back to his family as well as whatever riches and coins had been squirreled here at the Keep before we had gone out (very little, but it was there).

While we were given some clothes, and a chance to wash up, a page had gone to the Pig and Whistle to find Proserpine (their elven companion from a prior trip) and invite her to the Castellan’s chambers. She agreed, noting the sorrowful state of her purse and her need to get back out there or admit this trip from the Greensward Forest was a failure and return home.

Prosperpine was thrilled to see William and Charlotte again and once the reintroductions wound down the Castellan was able to talk to the party. Long and short, he was willing to bankroll the party’s losses and re-equipping – but ONLY if they agreed to two caveats: 1) they willingly accept the title of Vassal to the Baron (meaning they are answerable to him and eligible to be called in times of war, need, and civil unrest) and 2) they donate half of any coinage treasure found until they have paid back the loans given (which have a 10% penalty on them). And even though Proserpine was not there at time of capture, she also had to agree to the terms because if anyone skipped out on their debt or vassalage, the other members of the party would be held responsible.

Everyone agreed.

So we hit the markets and purchased just about everything we thought we would need, and then turned in early on the assumption we would be heading off the next day early.

It was Airmonth the 4th and after loading our ration bags and our waterskins we were out the main gate by 8 that morning and on our way to the ravine and the Caves of Chaos. The road was quiet, the fog already burning off, and the air was cool and clear. We arrived at the ravine and crawled our way through the wreckage until we arrived the mouth. The trees were budding and we noted a vulture (the same one from so many months ago?) was winging lazily to another tree and croaking out at the late morning sun.

The group then spent some time discussing our options – returning to the goblin cave and kicking ass or trying another cave? Although we wanted our revenge – we knew that as of 2 months ago there were at least 30 goblins in 1 direction…and 13 hobgoblins (according to the gnomes) in the other. And we were still only 4. Nothing was materially different. So we opted to NOT go to the goblin cave for now, instead to try one of the caves on the opposite side of the ravine but still near the mouth where the dangers should be less.

There was one close by, some 30’ upslope but not too difficult for us to get to. So we crawled over to it, inched our way up the slope, and then had a chance to look into the cave. It went straight into the mountain at least 30’ and then seemed to “T” at the end. After discussing the matter amongst ourselves we decided to risk it.

With torches lit we made our way forward, the smell of the place reminding us of a cross between a locker room and burnt bacon. We heard some noises from ahead but couldn’t place where they were coming from. However, at the end of the “T” were a number of niches and alcoves, in which severed and rotting heads of various creatures were displayed.

It seemed macabre and we talked about what to do and where to go when we heard a “whish” and “Thump” coming from the right – and what seemed like a burger attached to a grappling hook was tossed to us. When we went to reach out and take it, arrows flew down the hall and we had to retreat.

Burger? On a hook? Trap, yes. But we still didn’t know what we were facing. So, with his shield held out like a wall, William darted out and hacked the rope just at the end of the grapple and cut the burger free. We then goosed the grapple and burger back and took a look. Ok, burger. Grapple was a bit rusty and old, and the sandwich was driven through one of the prongs. As we were feathering the burger off the grapple the voice from the right was calling out in accented common that it wanted the grapple back.

Proserpine assured us it was orcs talking to us and from the sounds, less than 5 of them. We discussed what we knew of orcs and determined they were about as tall as humans, but definitely wider and stronger on average, had some porcine features, but were sloppy and not disciplined. Emboldened by our exchange, we accepted that we could parlay and came out into the hall to talk.

The orcs were asking us odd questions that seemed to require the group to answer many of the questions when Charlotte heard a faint noise and whirled around to see…4 more orcs sneaking up on the group from the left corridor.

Trapped between two orcish fronts.

The party immediately lined up back to back – Loq and Proserpine (who was suffering from the effects of eating the burger – which was not only made of rat – but was laced with a cramping poison as well!) tackling the newer orcs, while Charlotte and William went toe to toe with the other orcs charging at us.

The combat was furious and without pause, both fronts whittling away at each other until the party managed to put down a few of the orcs with some really brutal blows and the remaining 3 (still in the far room) asked the party to parlay and discuss terms for surrender (or at least to stop hacking their hurt and dying friends to pieces).