Monday, January 30, 2012

Trying something new...

I suppose it is long past time when I should have been documenting the game here; in a fashion suitable for the players reference.  So here goes...

Starting with a reference pic for everyone's starting position:

Game clock resumes at 02/18/3200; 7:00:03am…everyone rolls initiative. 

I could give you a blow by blow description, but frankly it was nearly 18 rounds before they managed to dispatch 4 of the 5 goblins.  Fairly early on, Thingerlun cast charm person on one of them {18} and sent a moon beam of light straight into the goblins face… but it seems to work

There was a lot of missed attacks on both sides, and Milo swung at a goblin and landed flat on his back at one point.  Things didn’t start getting really interesting until near the end.  When there were only two goblins left, something odd happened.  The following conversation was taking place while Ffwylldyr, Milo, Dwight, Pat, and Tym were doing their best to kill the last goblin.

{here is a pic of the fight in room right after Milo fell and just before the conversation started up.}
Thingerlun {in flawless goblin speak and translating for the others}: “What is your name, and do you have any problem with killing other goblins?”

Grub: “Me am Grub, um, nope.  We taste good! Not eaten much in two days…”

Thingerlun: “Excellent, you are now my personal body guard, you kill anything that tries to kill or eat me.”

Grub: “Me get to eat what me kills?”

Thingerlun: “Sure.”

Hearn was suitably horrified, but Bob interjected with, “Hey, it gets to earn its keep and we don’t have to feed it.  Bonus!  Maybe we can make it walk out in front.”

Hearn: “Maybe it knows something about the mines?”

Thingerlun: “Good idea! Hey Grub, do you know anything about these tunnels?”

Grub: “Me born here.”

It was at about this point that Dwight and the rest join in while Milo tends to the dead.
Thingerlun: “Grub, go help Milo dispose of the dead before they get back up again.”

“Yes boss!” and Grub runs for the nearest corpse and starts to devour it with gusto.

Hearn: “Can we trust it?” as she was making the rounds healing folks.  Tym had gotten the brunt of the damage this time.

Ffwylldyr: “Probably not, but Thingerlun seems to have control over it for now.  Speaking of which, any idea how long it will last?”

Thingerlun: “At least three days, then we’ll need to start paying serious attention to him.  Hey Grub, what can you tell us about what’s over in that direction?”  Pointing roughly back towards the room with the silver ladder.

Looking up at them and absently chewing on some intestines, “Um, Down Sector.”

“And over there?”  Now pointing vaguely north-east-ish.

“Oh, dats Stinky Sector.” Surreptitiously slipping a piece of spleen into his mouth.

Now Thingerlun was pointing roughly south-east, “What’s that sector?”

Folding his ears back, and generally cowering, “scary…”

Dwight: “Ask him what’s on the other side of this door.”  Kicking the tiny door that the other goblins had bolted through.

Grub: “Snipy-murder-holes.”

Dwight: “We should get in there and take them out.”

Ffwylldyr: “You’d never fit in there, and if you’re not going, then I’m not going.”

Hearn: “Wait a minute, let’s get some sense of this,” pointing back down the way they had come from (back over the pit) “Which sector does that lead to?”

Belching wetly, “Uuuh, Down sector.”

She then points to the only other way left to them. “Dare I ask, but what is this way?”

Visibly losing his appetite, “Dat leeds to the scary sector.”

Ffwylldyr: “Aha! Certain Doom! Dun, dun, dunnnn…”
{incredulous looks from the table, and the one next to us}

Ffwylldyr: “What? Someone had to, and I’m the Bard… it’s my job.”

The heroes start off down the tunnel deeper into the mines, with Bob and Grub leading the way after Grub promised to help them find all the traps and snipy-murder-holes. With everyone else tagging along in a gaggle about 30ft behind them.  He warned them off of the goblin dug tunnel on the north side of the hall, as a dead end.  Then they held up while Pat examined the collapsed tunnel {21} she determines that the tunnel actually heads off to their right, and if they had a day to spare, they could excavate it and shore it up so it would be safe enough to pass.  They opt for the easier southerly tunnel that eventually twists its way back around to the west and a doorway in front of them while the tunnel heads off south again.

Thingerlun: “Grub, do you know what’s in this room?”

Grub: “Hmm, Me think it’s a guard room.”

Thingerlun: “ You don’t Know?”

Grub: “Not part of my section.”

Bob: “I’ll go check it out.” He snuck up to the door and listened, but after a few seconds he calls for Pat to come “check his work” between the two of them, they think they hear some mumbling and chanting.  They both step aside, and Bob gives a ‘thumbs-up’ signal and bows like a butler to let others pass.

Dwight volunteers to charge through the door and sets off running before anyone can really get organized.  He plows through the door but fails to hit anything.  He finds that the room is lit from within by the flickering light of a small dung fire in the center of the room. There are two rows of goblins squatting on the floor and facing something in the corner to his right and one goblin further into the room tending to the fire.  He also sees that there is a door in the center of the opposite wall of the rather long  and narrow room.  They have red colored arm bands and grim expressions as they stand in unison to fight.

{here's a pic showing the scene right after Dwight busted the door down.}
Tym, Milo, and Pat all file into the room, but they do little damage in the first round.  Hearn is the first one into the room who has a chance to see an altar to a monstrously powerful Goblin hulking in the corner, but it is the broken bodies of the slain human children that capture her attention.  She spends the rest of the combat tending to their bodies and ‘desecrating’ the altar.  Thingerlun decides to go through his spells as he and grub move closer to the action, while Ffwylldyr volunteers to keep watch on the tunnels with Bob.

The goblins on this level are tougher than the others, and by the end of the second round only a couple have fallen and Thingerlun casts enlarge on Grub and sends him in to fight.  Much to Dwight’s shame, the goblin was the star of the fight.  There were a lot of fumbles in this combat as well.  Most of the rolls were so poor, that this combat dragged on.  It was long enough that there were corpses that Hearn couldn’t get to rising up and re-joining the fight.  This is when the players discovered that taking an extra attack or two on the corpse after it is dead renders it incapable of rising.  {The idea being that tiny bits or mush won’t re-animate.}

One of the last two goblins panicked and headed for the door, which was barred.  This obstacle held it up long enough to allow Grub a chance to kill the goblin, but he had shrunk down to normal size by then and couldn’t do enough damage, so the goblin escaped out the door.  Though not fast enough to avoid Pats deadly blades.  The other goblin chose to fight on {and had nearly max HP} Nearly two minutes after the fight began, the last one fell (again). Everyone helped Hearn tend to the bodies of the fallen and to destroy the vile altar.  Then Pat went to check up on what was beyond the new door.  She discovered that it was an exceptionally long, north to south hallway with the southern end being somewhat shorter. {It’s amazing what happens when you roll a 22 on a listen check.}

Now they are stymied for the moment; having three different directions to choose from, so they took a few moments to think about where they needed to be versus where they would like to go…

Hearn: “Well we could keep going the way we were, to the ‘scary sector’ as Grub calls it.  Hey, just what exactly makes it scary?  What does a goblin think is scary anyway?”

Grub assumes the cowering position again and in a small voice says, “Gruftus the inquisitor. He loves to be making much pains on everyone.”

Thingerlun: “Anything else over that way?”

Grub: “Ummm, Me think dats where the jail is.”

Dwight: “Jail!  Who do they have to jail?”

Grub: “Fresh meat.” Drooling slightly he wipes his chin with the back of his hand.

Pat: “Do you think he means the townfolk?”

Hearn: “Oh dear!”

Dwight, turns to Milo, Can you divine for us, which of these tunnels will take us there directly?

Milo: {max roll of 26} “Sure, we go that way.” Pointing back through where they entered from, “ and then to the south.”

They barred the door to the long hallway before they left the room.  Heading south for a few dozen yards or so, the tunnel swung eastward again.  Bob and Grub leading the way, but it was Bob who spotted the tripwire and pulled Grub to safety just before he triggered the trap.  A few minutes of searching reveals that the wire is attached to a spring loaded arm bristling with spikes just around the corner.  It is set to kill anyone traveling on the east side of the hall as they rounded the turn.  They decide it is safe enough to trigger the trap; with no one in the danger zone, the contraption shatters against the wall. They move on down the hall as it twists around until they find themselves once again facing a doorway as the hallway continues on, this time the hall is heading eastward and deeper into the mountain.

Bob: “Should we skip it or check it out, It doesn’t look like a jail door.”

Hearn: “We should at least listen.”

Bob thinks he hears some small commotion on the other side and gentle testing reveals that the door is neither trapped nor locked.  He stands aside, and again gives everyone the all clear signal.  This time it is Pat who leads the charge, managing to bash the door in and taking the occupants (a couple of goblins sitting at a table eating a grand meal) completely by surprise.  It’s too bad her attack missed, otherwise it was pretty impressive.  The players won the initiative again {just one of those nights I guess} and Milo is the next to charge into the room; crushing the life from the ware-rat even as it is shifting forms and rising to meet him.  Dwight pulled the same maneuver, but fumbled the attack.  Thankfully he had a magic weapon so it wasn’t shattered.  Tym was the next one into the room and he succeeded in attacking the large rat on the table, but did little real damage.

Then it was the rats turn; the one on the table transformed and took its attacks at Pat and did minor damage.  The other scored a bit of damage on Dwight; everyone else decided to wait in the hall to keep an eye on things.  Milo missed his next attack, while Dwight kills his opponent with much violence. Between Pat and Tym the last rat didn’t live to make its next attack.  Noticing for the first time that the room is full of loot from the various raids into the town, they take the time to look for anything useful.  Particularly ammunition for Tym and Bob, who were starting to get nervous about their dwindling supplies of arrows.  Nobody rolled high enough on their luck roll to find anything interesting, so they pressed onward.  

{here's a shot of the fight just before they killed the last wear-rat.}

 This time it was Bob that discovered the pressure plate which lay across the hallway, but he could find no evidence of what it triggered.  He called Milo up to shed more light into the hall beyond the trigger, but could see nothing obvious, so he went back down the bend in the hall and started searching.  That’s when he found the false wall and after a few moments remembered the rolling boulder trap they avoided earlier.  There is no way to disarm this trap, as it is too unstable to tinker with, so they all step nimbly over the plate and keep going. Eastward and deeper they go, but after a few dozen more yards the hall turns southward briefly before jogging back to the east… marching deeper into the mountain.  I was going to give everyone spot checks as they rounded the turn, but Pat had decided to take a turn scouting and was out in front with Bob trailing a bit behind her… {20}

{here's a pic of where they ended up, just before Thingerlun steps forward and reverts to a primitive.}

Pat: “Hey, what does this button do… (click)” with great crashing and rumbling, a section of stone wall drops into the floor to reveal a long forgotten vault of some kind.  It has a thick layer of dust covering everything.  The light Milo sheds reveals that there are 7-8 mounds on the floor, but what they are is obscured by all the dust.  Thingerlun takes a look and says, “I think I have a spell that might help here, but it’ll need to be a powerful casting for our needs.”  {casts cantrip: hoping to blow away some of the dust, but only rolled a 12.}

DM: “Thingerlun, two thing happen that will be of interest to you.  One, the closest the spell gets to what you want, is to produce the sound of a bilious fart from somewhere in the room.”

Thingerlun: “And the second?”

DM: “You undergo a primal reversion.  For X number of rounds you lose the ability to read, write, speak in anything other than a grunt.  You get the brow ridges and everything to go with it except all the muscles.

Player: “Well… that’ll teach me not to read a character sheet.  Note to self: NEVER CAST CANTRIP AGAIN!!!”

{with only 5 minutes left to play, we held it up there until the next session.  Game clock suspended at 02/18/3200; 11am.}

{Player progress map}