I love how you've managed to really get the party embedded in the world around them - that's awesome! My own group has (sort of) two main parties, affectionately known as the A-team and the B-team (they're a creative lot). A-team was the first group chronologically, with the highest level characters as a result, and they've mostly been a wandering (often fleeing) band of deadly vagrants. Admittedly, they pissed off some pretty nasty people, which has required the ability to relocate on short notice, but I'm seeing the far newer B-team (which includes some new players) getting much more involved in the surrounding world, even going so far as trying to set up shop in a bandit stronghold they captured. There's something deeply satisfying about one's players buying in enough to put down roots, and your party appears to be doing so in spades...anyway, your campaign sounds great! Really enjoying the write-ups. Thanks for taking the time to post them.
Really enjoying the write-ups. Thanks for taking the time to post them.
Thanks. I was inspired by the other campaign write-ups here (yours included). It also helps to remember what happened if there is a gap between sessions (and in my attempts to weave all of the random stufff into some kind of narrative).
BTW are both your parties actually seperate groups of players, or the same core of players choosing to play a different group depending on who shows up that night?
More the latter, although until recently there were players who were really only in one or the other. Unfortunately, the group has experienced a real-world rupture for a variety of reasons, so for the recent past it has basically been the same players. On the plus side, it means I’m recruiting again.
Session 4 – Part 2
On their way out of town, Peiru Danthan of the watch told Eduardo that there was a white haired adventurer who came back from the mountain who had symptoms like Eduardo and Ukla had when they exited the dungeon. The party entered the dungeon with their animals, Ukla, Lenny, and Shemp. They entered the mountain through the front door and ran into the Crimson Band. When confronted, they showed them the order from the Despot of Adamas. They also offered to sell their map of the first level to the band once they got a chance to make a copy.
They made it to the elevator without issue. They used the key to lock the door after entereing, leaving the animals and Shemp to guard the door and went down the shaft. They finally figured out the teleportation traps. On the way to the hidden treasure room on the map they found a room filled with webs (avoided), a temple to death, and a room with a giant Terms statue. Right before they reached their destination, Tariq waited at a door to see what happened if they waited in a teleporting trap room. They were actually surprised when they were teleported to a strange room. By amazing luck, they were all teleported to the same room (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Not DM error, nope, just luck).
They heard battle to the west. They found minotaurs fighting a group of short sword wielding humans. They choose to aid the humans. During the fight, a summoned zombie struck a human figure, seemingly with no effect. Fearing they made the wrong decision, they helped finish off the minotaurs anyway.
After the fight, the party discovered that the leader of the group, Kriska, was willing to meet them and ask for assistance against the minotaurs. They also found out that they could see in the dark and had lived their entire life in the dungeon. A second group appeared, however they were ratmen! The party realized that the ‘humans’ were actually wererats. They told them they would meet later. They waited for the teleportation room reset and ended up in 3 groups all over the level. By tracking light sources, and yelling, they were able to meet. As they neared their goal, Ukla noticed a group approaching from a side hallway. (Despite raising chance of a random encounter to 3 in 6 and several rolls, the party eas lucky and had NO encounters during this perios).
There was a group of 2 armed men, a lightly armored woman in the back, and two men and a woman dressed in clothing in the middle (apparently mages). One of the fighters matched the description of the person Corpoal Danthan of the Muntburg Watch identified as the person struck dumb with terror. A red headed female mage was the apparent leader, who introduced the group as the Heralds of the Silver Dawn. With them was Shemp.
Seeing Shemp, the party knew that their animals were unlikely to have survived. The mage identified herself as Alina. After some initial parley, she goaded her party to attack, but Shemp begged her not to fight. As they settled down and agreed to go their separate ways, one of the mages suddenly cast a spell without making a sound! (silent casting) The party was surprised and several members, including some casters, went down (I had decided at the beginning of the campaign to allow saves vs. sleep (-1 per lvl of caster) when the party cast it against monsters, so I used the same rules here). Luckily Tariq made his save and managed to win initiative for the next round. He summoned undead berserkers which kept the fighters from slaying the sleeping party members.
The Heralds rolled incredibly badly (all in the open), and the party rolled well. The party managed to awaken before anyone was slain. Making things worse for the Heralds, Tariq was able to summon a ghostly spirit which possessed one of the mages (charm person spell). The fighters were slain, Shemp was wrestled down, and the remaining 3 heralds fled (in the middle of the battle).
The sounds of the battle attracted the attention of many frog men in a nearby room, who immediately attacked, surprising some. The party handled those creatures relatively easily, as there were several elemental and undead berserkers remaining from the last fight. Although Lenny was hit with a fear spell, the party ended up wounded but victorious with two shaman frogman prisoners. (We ended the session there, but the next session immediately picked up the round after the frog-man fight).
Interesting that you added a saving throw for Sleep. What made you decide to do so (other than it being the "tactical nuke" of old-school play)?
My own players are utterly terrified (and rightly so!) of that spell.
Interesting that you added a saving throw for Sleep. What made you decide to do so (other than it being the "tactical nuke" of old-school play)?
I ran ACKs as a series of one-shots. There were 3 mages in the party. At first it was for a sense of balance netween spells. It was o.k. that 1st level spells had different strenths, but sleep was SO much more effective. (Spells based on templates or random rolls). I felt bad for the mages who DIDN'T have sleep, so I decided to give it a save mechanic - save vs. spell - caster level.
I figured that the most common foe that sleep was used on (1 hd creatures who save as fighters) had only a 10% chance of a save. The players, coming from 5e and Castles and Crusades, didn't know any better. Sleep still was a tactical nuke, but now maybe 1 foe would save. It was the spell of choice, until one of the players managed to learn summon beserkers . . .
Indeed! Kudos to Alex for coming up with a spell comparable to Sleep, i.e. Summon Berserkers (I actually think Charm Person is in the same ballpark).
I'm guessing making wererats immune to attacks in human form was to give the players an early tell that something was up?
I didn't remember exactly (I'm a little behind in my summaries) but I 'm pretty sure one of the mages intentionally had a berserker attack one of the 'humans' for one round, in case they decided to wipe everyone out.
As for weapon immunity in human form, that's just a house rule (all lycanthropes have weapon immunity in human form). The players assumed they were all undead until after the fight.
Session 5 – part 1
The session began with the party still in the dungeon. After a round spent talking, Illyrio, Jace, and Ukla tried to head off the Heralds before they made it out of the dungeon, Jace taking Tariq’s wand. They ran to the elevator, taking a different route than the path of the Herald’s retreat. While they were gone, Tariq spoke to the charmed mage. His name was Nantier, and he made it clear that there was no love lost between he and Alina, the leader of the Heralds that Illyrio was hunting.
Illyrio’s group made it to the elevator and could see 3 figures climbing up the rope; about 60 feet up. The lead climber, the thief, had a hooded lantern hanging from her waist. Alina was next and the remaining mage followed up the rear. Jace targeted Alina, she was struck, and she fell. (I used the climbing rules from Veins of the Earth). She also caused Betan (the mage beneath her) have to roll. He didn’t fall, but slid 10 feet down and was frozen in fear at 50 ft. up. After initiative was rolled, before the party could act, Betan suddenly fell as the rope was cut by the thief, who managed to climb to safety in the dark (after dousing her lantern). Rolling damage (1d6 x 1d10) for the fall for both mages resulted in vastly different results. Alina landed on her head, her brains splattering all over the floor (48 damage), while Betan’s fall was cushioned by landing on the corpse of Alina (6 damage). (this severly limited Illyrio’s plans to bring Alina back to life using the pool of life on the second level, only to repeatedly kill her for vengeance for his dead wolf). Betan immediately surrendered.
The party tied up the mage, searched him, and striped Alina’s body. They asked Betan what everything did, which matched Jace’s Magical Engineering rolls. The loot included a ring of protection, a cloak of protection, a magical demon headed dagger, and a potion of ESP. They made it back to the party.
Meanwhile Tariq and Eduardo found out from Shemp and the charmed mage (Nantier) more about the Heralds and their equipment:
- One of the fighters and the thief were just mercenaries, the other fighter was a true believer in the vision of Terms Termax.
- The merc fighter (Philippe) had a very strange broad sword without a point and a split in the middle. Per Nantier it was apparently a magical sword called ‘Swordbreaker’ (which Illyrio claimed).
- The fire in the church of Hera during the harvest festival was set by Alina.
- They used magic to open the door to the elevator, put the animals to sleep, and killing the dogs, wolf and hawks.
- Nantier was looking for his opportunity to get rid of Alina anyway.
- There were 2 magical shields (Dave got one), magical chain (Ukla), and Nantier’s scroll of Clairvoyance (which they let him keep).
The party went into the room where the frog men were, finding 4 pools of water. The water was potable but tasted bad.
*** Spoilers ahead *****
They opened the secret door marked on their map and found the remains of the treasures of the IXth Legion. There were various trinkets, some chests with gold silver and copper, several empty chests, and a smaller coffer containing a humanoid reptilian skull. When the box the opened, the skull turned in its velvet lined box to face Eduardo. He immediately closed it and gave it to Jace.
The party spoke to the frogmen shaman they had captured. They spoke rough common. They explained that the party had already met their leader. The party released them, telling them to return to their group and let them know they would agree to non-aggression. The larger shaman demanded some of the treasure in return. The party gave them some silver in a small chest and they agreed to leave (their luck continued as rolls went their way and the ranine didn’t come back in force to take it all).
Jace had to use up an elemental strength spell (ogre power) but the party managed to get the treasure to the elevator. They had to figure out how to get it up the elevator shaft. (Forgot to mention in the past summary, the PCs found a secret room near the elevator with instructions in a strange language. Unable to read them, they took some paper and charcoal to make a rubbing of the raised letters, planning to take it to Adamas for translation.)
*** End spoilers
Eduardo took his time and was able to climb back up without a problem. Luckily most of the rope was still there at the top (another lucky roll). One more spell later resulted in everyone getting up safely.
In Muntburg, the party went to the local lawyer to draft a non-compete/peace accord between the Village People and Rufus’s Raiders. They also met Richal, a member of the Seekers, one of the competing adventurer bands. They asked him to translate the rubbing from the elevator. He could not, but suggested that they take it to the Azure tower in Adamas, where they could find someone to cast read languages. Richal did ask about the dungeon and inquired about maps or other info. Dave also asked a young mage working as a scribe to make a couple of copies of their map of the first level (one to sell to the crimson band and one to sell to the seekers).
The end of the month resulted end of month expenses and income. They Village People each received their share of Isaac’s Moon Pool operation. Eduardo had a lot of bonuses to his roll and rolled well. The Dwarven ale contract with the paid off in a major way, as taverns and Inns on nearby towns of Gloris and Duros set up purchasing agreements for the basic dwarven ale, effectively doubling his investment value in the business.
Legate Verodart asked to meet with Dave. He offered his thanks for the miracles provided by the church of Hera for free. He also told of his appreciation for the Harvest festival. As a result, the Legate offered the church of Hera a 25% share of the tithe from his personal lands. Dave thanked the Legate for his generosity.
Eduardo asked Madam Selena Cooper to set up a meeting with Boss Drake Horner of the Dock Boys. One was set for Friday December 1st. The party delivered the maps for a fine fee. On Friday, Eduardo met with Boss Horner, agreeing that the Dock Boys would leave the inn alone in return for a valuable secret that Eduardo had learned in Adamas (one worth a fair amount of gold). He agreed to give the Dock Boys any info in the future for a share of the return. Boss Horner agreed.
Jace and Tariq identified the magic items (100 gp gem, identify spell, and a roll), finding out that the skull was an ancient lizard man descendant imbued with the spirit of an ancestor. It spoke an unknown tongue, but had knowledge of certain facts. It also could indicate directions to a certain location. The sword was “Swordbreaker”, a +2 sword that gave the user the sunder proficiency for free, and a bonus to break swords and daggers.
In Adamas, Illyrio interviewed Charles Waverman (aka Chucky Wave) a Venturer, but ended up hiring Leo Geotz, a merchant traveler Venturer instead. Jace purchased a black furred guard wolf with custom barding named ‘Cinder’ and Tariq purchased yet another hawk. Tariq took on Nantier as a henchman, and Tariq and Jace traded spells with him to obtain sleep (a gas) and knock (hands of force appear to force open check or door). Tariq agreed to pay for the cost for Nantier to change his repitoire to add choking grasp.
The party bought some horses and travelled to Adamas to resupply and sell their gains. They met with the Despot in a much more relaxed setting of an office in his palace. There they gave him the gifts of the IXth Legion they had recovered. He paid them the value and invited them to a state dinner on Sunday. The party attended, however Eduardo was unable to turn up any rumors.
The Village People made it back to Muntburg. The prepared for a trip back into the dungeon with the intent to get the elevator to work.
Session 5 Part 2 - Expedition 5
Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 4 Mage (Necromancer) – Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy (x2), Healing, Soothsaying – INT +3, CON -1, WIS +1, CHA +1. Extremely short necromancer wearing expensive black robes with skull on the shoulders (covered by a cloak in town) – has wand of magic missiles. New Spell – Sleep – (shoot gas into area). Wears Ring of Protection +1.
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Nantier</strong> – Lvl 3 mage – Quiet Magic, Collegiate Wizardry, Leadership – INT +1, CON +1, DEX +1. Former member of the Heralds looking for power and prestige. </li> <li><strong>Trained Hawk #3</strong></li> <li><strong>Lenny Davos </strong>– Lvl 2 Fighter – (Legionary) – FS (Weapon +Shield), Siege Engineering – STR+2, INT -1, WIS -1, DEX +1, CON +1, CHA +1 – Heavily muscled former soldier from Adamas, wears Plate + Shield, fighting w/ spear or a silver short sword. </li> </ul> </li>
Eduardo aka ‘Keyser Soze’ – Lvl 5 Thief (Cat Burglar) – Cat Burglary, Gambling, Precise Shooting, Lip Reading - DEX +2, CON -2, WIS +1, CHA +1 – Budding real estate tycoon and mastermind. Wears leather and armed with Imperial Legion X-Bow
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Ukla the Quick</strong> – Lvl 2 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.</li> </ul> </li>
- Dave ‘the Hermit’ Carrin – Lvl 5 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Naturalism, Command – STR +1, DEX -1, INT -1 CON+1, WIS +1, CHA -1. Wears custom made plate (with symbol of Hera) + large shield with Embossing of Hera on the front (+2 AC and enc.) Simple, uneducated, but intuitive.
Jace – Lvl 4 Mage (Elementalist) – Elementalism (fire), Naturalism, Alchemy, Magical Engineering – STR+1, DEX -1, INT +2. has wand of fear and wears flame red robes with a ruby tipped staff. Quiet pyromaniac.
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Cinder – </strong>Black guard wolf with custom red leather barding<strong>.</strong></li> </ul> </li>
Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 4 Assassin (Bravo) – Fighting Style (two weapons), Intimidation, Acrobatics – STR +2, DEX +1, CON +2, CHA +1 - Wears leather
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Leo Getz</strong> – Lvl 1 Venturer – Merchant Traveler – Animal Husbandry, Alertness, Riding. Budding tycoon looking for profit.</li> </ul> </li>
The Village People planned a quick trip into the mountain to get the elevator working. All of the other henchman and hirelings were left in town. (Shemp was busy with hijinks, Julia with performing miracles. Illyrio wanted to bring Leo into the dungeon to try to get him up to 2nd level ASAP).
The party made it to the elevator without a problem. They managed to use the translated rubbings from the metal plates near the elevator to make the elevator work. After some experimentation they managed to take the elevator platform back up to the 1st level. They decided to take it up from there. Using their elevator key to open the strange circular doors, they were hit with a wave of damp fetid air. The entire level was dimly lit from slowly blinking panels glowing with red light.
The party reached a door. Opening it, they found an oddly shaped room with patches of black moss. The patch of moss nearest the door formed a humanoid shaped and pointed toward Lenny. He suddenly charged into the room, drawing his weapon. Ukla was also affected, standing still, speaking gibberish. one of the mold patches formed a humanoid shape and cast a magic missile spell! As combat ensued, the party contemplated just closing the door, but Tariq did not want to leave Lenny behind, so Dave and Illyrio entered the room. Ukla, confused, also moved in to attack. The party found that the mold were easy to kill, but only made an effort to kill the patches near the door, fearful of being attacked and losing their mind.
That was a fatal error, as one of the patches formed a humanoid shape and cast a fireball, killing everyone except for Illyrio, Jace (who made his save), and Tariq (who rolled well on his mortal wounds chart and ended up with his genitals burned off, but with one HP). They slammed the door. Tariq and Jace summoned some berserkers who managed to go in, cleared out the room and collected the bodies. In order to get everyone back to the elevator, Jace cast Elemental Strength on himself and Tariq, and the standing members of the party took the fallen members back to the elevator (except for poor Leo who was incinerated). They took the time to use the elevator key to reseal the level as they left. Luckily they did not run into any wandering monsters on the way.
Getting back to the 1st floor, they managed to get help from the troops in the moon pool operation and managed to get back into Muntburg. They quickly healed up at the temple of Hera, got a wagon, and headed over the snowy roads to Adamas. There they headed to the temples for some quick restore life and limb spells. Unfortunately, there were only 4 spells available, and they choose to wait a week to raise Nantier. None of the risen party members were unscathed:
- Ukla found that his sword arm was possessed with an evil spirit.
- Eduardo needed a long recovery but awakened to find a small imp whispering dark secrets into his ear.
- Lenny also needed a long recovery, and other noticed him speaking to an invisible friend (a mischievous sprite familiar).
- Dave found that all of his hair (including body hair) turned stark white. Whenever Dave speaks to someone, he inspires a feeling of discomfort as sentient beings feel shame for their past wrongs, hence the -2 to reaction roles. As I ruled with Dante, there is also a corresponding +1 reaction roll in certain situations (dealing with those of pure heart (e.g. unicorns, virgins, true innocents, certain other members of the clergy, etc.)).
- Nantier’s spirit did not respond to the call from the mortal plane. Tariq decided not to try again.
While they waited for Eduardo to heal, they received great news. The Ring of Protection +2 for sale in Adamas finally sold on December 24th, 4th months after being offered for sale! Most of the party leveled up and we ended the session there.
(I had initially ruled that Dave his ears covered with fine white hair (like a horse) and a long flowing mane (as a unicorn) resulting in a -2 to reaction rolls. I also offered the chance for him to gain feathers around his eye (as an owl) and a slightly beaklike mouth. He choose the horse option. As I was writing the summary I looked over the tampering with mortality chart and decided that the effect I originally ruled didn’t match the chart listing. I amended my ruling to match the chart and to ensure consistency between parties.)
Ouch! It can all go so very wrong so very quickly - as my group discovered last night. I love the Mortal Wounds results! Should be very interesting.
[quote="bobloblah"] Ouch! It can all go so very wrong so very quickly - as my group discovered last night. I love the Mortal Wounds results! Should be very interesting. [/quote]
After your last post I wasn't sure your party was going to get to a town to restore life and limb!
Almost every PC has contributed something to reserve XP, but I include every GP spent on getting drunk, charity, or just looking cool (custom armor or weapons) to add to reserve XP.
The worst part of the team wipe is that they had just started actually USING some magic items when I made them roll saves for hem after the fireball. Eduardo lost a cloak of protection +1 and Tariq lost a ring of protection +1. That was 50K XP gone right there.
They'd have been even worse off if they actually had gained any XP that delve, as my rule is that if you die in the dungeon you don't get XP from the delve unless you get back to town alive.
I think the ACKS Core rule is that you don't get XP for an adventure if you die.
As for that session I posted, that was from around two years ago! We're still playing, so more to come, obviously...
BRUTAL on the loss of those items.
BRUTAL on the loss of those items.
I had decided that the armor and weapons would not have to save (as they were made of metal that could stand high temps), but the cloak and the ring (made of cloth and gold/silver) would have to save vs. spells as a 9th lvl mage with +1 to the save, so they only needed a 9+. They rolled REAL bad. They made the saves for their wands.
Plus I rolled WAY above average on the fireball damage, rolling 28 on 6d6.
Got some catching up to do. Here goes:
We began the session describing the downtime activities the party was involved in from November 11th through December 24th (when the other party’s session ended).
- Rufus Hypnol– Lvl 4 Barbarian Death Dealer – Ambushing, Survival, Running, Armor Training, Profession – Gangster - STR +2, CHA -1, Switching to plate mail and armed with a two handed sword – Would be gangster
Dante – Lvl 5 Assassin (Assassin-For-Hire) – Precise Shooting, Bargaining, Fighting Style (two weapons), Weapon Finesse, Intimidation, Gambling – STR +1, INT +2 WIS -2, DEX +3, CON -1, wearing custom skull helmet, Plate mail, short sword, war hammer +1, unearthly appearance (corpselike skin, black and red eyes) – death worshipping assassin granted the divine ability to detect magic 1x daily.
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li>War dog - Finn, Hunting dog - Scout, Guard Wolf - Balto</li> <li><strong>Murphy aka Telemachus</strong> – 1st lvl freed slave fighter – Labor, (others TBD), STR +2, WIS -2, CON +1</li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Lazarus Deathbrood</strong> – Lvl 3 Cleric Exorcist – Sensing Evil, and Intimidation, INT -1, WIS +1, DEX +2, CON +1 CHA +1 Wears Banded Plate under a black cassock, armed with shield and sickle or a scythe, Budding Cleric of Death granted the daily ability to cast sanctuary 1x daily.</li>
The Raiders last adventure was in early November. The campaign calendar had advanced to December 24th (Yule eve). During that time, the Raiders were in Adamas. Dante was learning to gamble and Rufus continued his training with Boss Horner on how to become a gangster. At the end of November, Rufus and Dante got their share of Isaac’s Moon Pool business. Rufus also got a decent return from his investment in the Dock Boys gambling operations.
In December, Dante received a boost of gold and XP from the sale of a ring of protection +2 by the Village people. Dante decided to invest in the Dock Boys casino, and gave Rufus 5K gold to give to the Dock Boys to invest in their gambling operations.
Lazarus spoke to the Legate of Muntburg, who allowed him to build a temple to Death near the burial grounds outside the city. He hired an engineer to help with the construction.
Rufus completed his training with Boss Drake Horner (a total of 60 days), and learned a new proficiency – Profession – Gangster. He decided that he wanted to meet with the Don of the Dock Boys. He approached Boss Horner, who set up a meeting with his CAPO, Phillipe Verodart, who ran a bar in the Upper Docks. Rufus refused to tell anyone (DM and other players included) the purpose of the meeting. Phillipe agreed to set up a meeting with the Don, based mostly on the good word of Boss Horner and his reputation as a good earner. The next day, Rufus brought Dante to the meeting for backup.
They were taken to a back room and found Don LeFayd, a wild looking female warrior, CAPO Verodart, a dwarven assassin and Boss Horner. The woman was Magda ‘the fist’ Moreno, the Don’s personal enforcer. The dwarf, Ruthan Underforge, had the same role for CAPO Verodart. (Throughout the conversation I had the picture of the Don on the monitor/TV I use during play which included a list of his traits (Boundless, Honorable, Moralistic, Violent)). The conversation went something like this:
Don: Drake tells me you are a good earner for him. So what do you have for me today?
Rufus: Does Boss Horner have to be here? (Dante looks over at Rufus in amazement).
Verodart: Yeah he does, he’s the one who vouched for you.
Horner: This guy . . .
Rufus: Alright. So I think I should run Muntburg, not him.
(silence for a heartbeat)
Don: (quizzically) Are you KIDDIN’ me?
Rufus: I think it’s time for, whaddya call, some new blood.
Horner: Watch what you say next kid.
Rufus: I think I can do better.
Don: (loudly) This man vouched for you, stuck his neck out for you, taught you everything you know, and YOU STAB HIM IN THE BACK!!!!!!
Verodart: Don . . .
Rufus: (interrupting) well, I can fight him for it . . . (backhanded by Magda, leaving him with a bloodied lip).
Don: (angrily) What makes you think that I would even allow someone so disloyal even in the Dock Boys. The only reason you’re here is because of Drake. YOU’RE LUCKY I DON’T KILL YOU WHERE YOU F#&%ING STAND!!!
Horner: Boss, let me talk to him, he’s just a dumb savage.
Verodart: Don, give Drake a chance to talk to him.
Don: You got five minutes.
(Horner and Rufus leave the room to talk. Everyone stares quietly at Dante)
Dante: I’m just here to invest some money.
Don: (yelling) WAS ANYONE TALKING TO YOU?? WHO THE F*@% ARE YOU TO TALK TO ME??? GET THE F*@% OUT OF HERE!!!! (Magda moves forward and Ruthan raises his crossbow. Dante bows and leaves)
(Out in the hall – Rufus and Boss Horner talk).
Horner: (hurt) Kid, what are you doing? I brought you in, taught you the business, and now you try to steal from me? From ME? I treated you like family, like a son. Why didn’t you come to me first. C’mon, lets go in there and make it right.
Rufus: I’ll wrestle you for it. (Dante enters into the hall).
Horner: You broke my heart. I WAS going to have you start running the crews in Muntburg, but now . . . If you ever darken my door again, I swear I’ll kill you. Now get out of here before I change my mind and kill you where you stand.
(Rufus looks at Dante, for a minute considering making a stand here and now. Dante slowly shakes his head, “no way”, remembering where they are, in the home of CAPO Verodart, a place where everyone stops in silence in response to a single whistle. They hastily exit the tavern together).
At this point it was clear that Dante and Rufus were not going to get their 6300 gp investment back.
The Raiders made it back to Muntburg and entered the dungeon. They made it to the 2nd level without incident and began exploring. They found the signs of a recent battle, with several dead creatures believed to be hobgoblins. They encountered some wooden statues, 2 of which came to live and attacked. Despite their resistance to some of their weapons attacks, they were able to chop them up sufficiently.
The party managed to find a room with twin statues of Ares and Athena, both heads replaced with that of Terms Termax. There was a small magically locked coffer on a table between them. The party figured that that if they could cast the right divine spell it would open. Unfortunately they figured the right spell was bless and Lazarus wasn’t high enough level to cast it. They vowed to come back when he learned the spell.
*** end spoiler***
They found a room with several shelves and a white dagger, which Dante determined was magical. They also managed to fight some shadows, and luckily Lazarus was able to ‘magic up’ Rufus’ blade and the party defeated them. Unfortunately, Telemachus and Dante’s wolf were reduced to zero HP, and both were chopped up by Dante before either turned into a shadow.
They ran into a magically locked door, which Rufus managed to chop down with his axe. The noise attracted a group of zombies, which were easily turned and dispatched. Unfortunately there were 2 wights behind the door. Lazarus was unable to turn them. Rufus’s blade was still enchanted by Lazaru’s spell. Using his last spell slot, Lazarus enchanted his scythe. Dante was struck by the cold claws of a wight and felt his lifeforce drain away (losing a level!). The party finished off the undead and found several chests of treasure.
Deciding to go back to town, they headed out of the dungeon. Going back through the room with the dead hobgoblins, they found a larger, savage looking hobgoblin checking out the remains. As it moved to attack, it shrugged off Dante’s slash, and slashed him back, paralyzing him! The party watched in fear as it’s wounds started to heal! They finished the creature off, waited for Dante to recover, and made it safely back to town.
After a quick trip to Adamas and the sale of the magical dagger, Lazarus leveled up. He went to the temple of death in Adamas and interviewed several young priestesses of death. He decided on a young noble woman who lost her parents to disease. Returning to Muntburg, Dante, Lazarus, and the young priestess went back into the dungeon. They ran into some hobgoblins in the same room they had dispateched the throgrin, which they quickly defeated. They returned to the room with Area and Athena , cast the appropriate spell, opened the box and discovered a small gem. They headed back to Muntburg without incident.
(The PC Lazarus was complaining on how his character seemed underpowered compared to the Assassin and Barbarian. WHen he talked about retireing him and starting over as a mage, they talked him into hiring a mage henchman instead. Rolling well he found a 2nd lvl mage. His ability to enchant weapons (a reskinning of sharpness only given to clerics of Death and Ares) was the only reason the party was able to defeat the shadows and the wights. By the time he came back and obtained the magial gem from the dungeon, he started to realize that clerics are o.k. after all).
Rufus’ Raiders - Expedition 2
- Rufus Hypnol– Lvl 4 Barbarian Death Dealer – Ambushing, Survival, Running, Armor Training, Profession – Gangster - STR +2, CHA -1, plate mail and armed with a two handed sword – former would be gangster
Dante – Lvl 5 Assassin (Assassin-For-Hire) – Precise Shooting, Bargaining, Fighting Style (two weapons), Weapon Finesse, Intimidation, Gambling – STR +1, INT +2 WIS -2, DEX +3, CON -1, wearing custom skull helmet, Plate mail, poison injecting short sword, war hammer +1, unearthly appearance (corpselike skin, black and red eyes) – death worshipping assassin.
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li>War dog - Finn, Hunting dog - Scout</li> </ul> </li>
Lazarus Deathbrood – Lvl 4 Cleric Exorcist – Sensing Evil, and Intimidation, INT -1, WIS +1, DEX +2, CON +1 CHA +1 Wears Plate under a black cassock, armed with shield and sickle or a scythe, bloodthirsty Cleric of Death.
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Tendo - </strong> Lvl 2 Mage Soothsayer – Soothsaying, Performance (Storytelling), Theology Has Magic Mouth, Protection From Evil, Sleep (pulls out dandelion, blows seeds to cover an area causing sleep). Young mage seeking adventure and knowledge. </li> </ul> </li>
The Raiders started in Adamas on January 15th. They had to pay two separate mages to identifiy the magical gem as a periapt of health (first attempt failed). It prevents the holder from contracting any disease and was worth 25K gp on the open market. They missed the roll for the book and the first roll for the gem. Murray would try again in February.
Lazarus had a special weapon made, a silver karisigama (chain sickle). During this time, Dante worked on his gambling. Once the weapon was completed, Dante worked on showing him how to use it (martial training proficiency). They waited until the end of the month in Adamas before heading to Muntburg. Isaac was able to double the number of moon pool water sales and Dante and Rufus got a good return on the first month of rentals from the townhouses they built in Muntburg (treated as a business investment roll).
They headed over the snowy roads to Muntburg. In Muntburg, they headed into the dungeon. Entering through the old dwarven stairs, they made it to the stairs down to the reliquary with only a short delay while Dante sliced up some giant centipedes eating the remains of a goblin corpse.
They engaged in brief exploration, including the discovery of a former undead creature (12 foot spinal column attached to a skull), and a plundered storage room. They found another storage room full of 5 man sized burlap bags, all tied at the top. Each were filled with a struggling mumbling figure. Dante opened one, only to find a zombie who tried to bite him. Dante managed to kill it and Lazarus turned the rest. AS they struggled to get away in their bags the party made short work of them.
As the party started to search the room, they heard something in the hallway beyond. Dante peered into the hall to see the edge of torch light. He hid against the wall while and waited for the other party to reach them. The rest of the party closed the door. They discussed the issue and decide to rid themselves of their dungeon rivals once and for all.
The Fist of Zeus opened the door, remaining in the hallway. Lazarus and Rufus spoke to them inwork together greeting. Jehanna (having been previously been turned female after having his legs restored in Adamas) happily greeted a fellow cleric (the clerics of death were quick to join followers of Zeus and Tyche against the Termaxians) and suggested that the parties work together. The Raiders happily agreed to lead the way. Dante continued to remain out of sight crouched against the wall.
As the Fist entered, Dante waited until the heavily armed front row passed and struck the mage Genevote. The Fist were not surprised, so initiative was rolled. Dante’s quick reflexes paid off and he managed to take down the mage with a quick strike. He was unable to wound the heavily armored cleric Jehanna of Zeus. Next to act was Tendo. He cast sleep, managing to put Dante’s hunting dog and Jehanna to sleep. Dante ordered his wardog to rip out Jehanna’s throat, killing her as she slept.
The fighter of the fists, Justinian Ondart, struck at Dante, missing. The remaining cleric of Zeus, Symon, cast hold person, freezing Dante in his tracks. Rufus swung at the Fist’s heavily armored dwarf, Yurain Suregrip, as did Lazarus. The dwarf missed in his attack.
Tendo was unengaged and managed to cast sleep in the second round. Dante’s wardog made his save, however the fighter Justinian did not and the wardog tore out his throat. Symon Cato, in his anger, moved to kill the paralyzed Dante, however Rufus moved past the dwarf, taking a slash from his axe, to engage Symon. Rufus struck him with a mighty blow. Symon Cato struck back. Lazarus ran away from the dwarf, shrugging of a glancing blow from the dwarf, to reach Dante.
Lazarus managed to win initiative and poured a health potion down Dante’s throat, freeing him from the paralysis. Rufus finished off the cleric. The wardog engaged the dwarf. Finding his compatriots all down, the dwarf tightened his resolve shouting curses at the treachery of the Raiders. He eventually fell to the combined might of the party.
The party revived the mage. She responded “Why? What did we do to inspire such violence”. Dante was all business, interrogating her on where their residence was in Muntburg. After the interrogation, Rufus slit her throat. Looking down at their carnage, Dante used his divinely given Detect Magic ability and they collected the magic items of the fallen. They ended up with 2 magical shields, a potion of healing, a clerical scroll, and a magical Warhammer. They put the bodies into the bloody bags formerly holding the zombies, tying up the ends and left them in the dungeon to rot. They managed to leave the dungeon without incident.
Returning to Muntburg, Dante snuck into the Fist’s rented townhouse, using a key recovered from their bodies. He found some gold and Genevote’s spell book, written in Ancient Thulian. Tendo, unable to read the language, took the book anyway. He began to spend all of his spare time trying to learn Antient Thulian. After a quick trip back and forth to Adamas to sell some magic items taken from the Fist, the party went back in to the dungeon.
Um, wow. How’d you adjudicate Horner’s reaction?
[quote="Hardrada"] Um, wow. How'd you adjudicate Horner's reaction? [/quote]
It was already established that Boss Drake Horner was judmental and outspoken, but wasn't a killer. The first lesson he taught Rufus was, "You can't collect anything from a dead man; if you take a man's life you take what he has, but if you take a man's will, you take what he earns, and that's a lot more". The Dock Boys are interested in income over violence. Previously he beat and tortured some thugs who tried to extort the church of Hera (a big no no as the Don is very pious), but kept them around.
Rufus had given Horner over 4K gp over 5 months in tribute previously, invested an additional 1800 gp, and brought an additional 5K gp in from Dante. I had already decided that Boss Horner was going to turn over the syndicate in Muntburg to Rufus, and his new proficiency would allow him to do it. Really all he did was ask the wrong person for the promotion; he didn't steal anything, didn't kill anyone, etc.
Maybe I was a little soft on Rufus (the other PCs watched in horror as he RPed the situation). But Boss Horner knew that if a fight was started it would be to the death and several thugs would die before the PCs were brought down. The Dock Boys were content to keep the over 6K the party had invested in Dock Boys businesses and called it a day.
Now the Don would killed him wthout hesitation. Probably even gotten his own hands dirty in the process, but NOBODY crosses the Don and lives.
As an aside, Boss Horner's decision paid off, sa a very successful mission (yet to be written up) resulted in Rufus giving 10K gp in order to get back in with the Dock Boys. With that much cash, Horner leveled up and is in line for a promotion to a CAPO.
Sounds likeit was awesome to play through, and your experience underlines why judges should exercise caution in building money sinks. Players can come up with some good ones on all their own!