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)?
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:
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
<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>
<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>
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Cinder – </strong>Black guard wolf with custom red leather barding<strong>.</strong></li> </ul> </li>
<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:
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).
<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
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li>War dog - Finn, Hunting dog - Scout</li> </ul> </li>
<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!
The other party is buying up land and building houses like crazy. Part of me loves it, part of me wants to tell them they'll need that cash when they start clearing hexes.
I got behind on my adventure logs for the Raiders because a lot happened in a short time (my son is home from college and we had a couple sessions in a short time). Lazarus, Dante, and Dante's henchman Barney came upon a hard to reach altar of law on level 2b of the dungeon, and they both converted to worship of the divine poower of law! Lazarus became a cleric of Law (switching his weapoons and spells) and Dante and Barney became paladins! (the players companion version). They also cleared out much of level 2b, recruited the hobgoblins on the level, paid the Crimson band to stop all other adventurers from coming into level 2b, found lakes of azoth, located a machine that converted raw azoth into magical compounds, and agreed to take the leader of the wererats out of the dungeon. I am still working on those adventure logs for the campaign website (https://dwimmermountthevillagepeople.obsidianportal.com)
In the meantime I did manage to keep up (kinda) with the adventure logs of the village people. They occurred after the missing adventure logs from the Raiders. (As E.G.G. always said (but I didn't fully appreciate until now) keeping accurate time records is vital to a campaign).
(Note there are two seperate sessions of the Raiders missing from the narrative)
Village People - Session 6
The Village people celebrated Yule in Adamas. By the next time the VP played, the campaign calendar had advanced three months. Each PC received their share of Isaacs’ Moon Pool operation and subtracted their monthly expenses. A lot of campaign activities occurred via the campaign forum. Each PC had something to do:
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li>Hired a shaman – snake healer,</li> <li>considered creating potions or scrolls but realized he didn’t have the requisite monster parts, and</li> <li>spent 60 days learning collegiate wizardry (which I have house ruled adds +1 to all spell research rolls, +2 at 7<sup>th</sup> level and +3 at 13<sup>th</sup> level).</li> </ul> </li>
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li>Hired a sage to investigate Altrusian (ancient lizardman) culture and to allow him to study the language. </li> <li>Satisfied with her work, he hired her on as a henchman (a 4<sup>th</sup> level sage), although with the understanding that she could take outside work if she was not working on anything for him,</li> <li>Purchased additional materials for his library to send to Tariq’s home in Muntburg, and</li> <li>spent 60 days learning the ancient Altrusian language. </li> </ul> </li>
When the Village People returned to Muntburg, Eduardo (AKA Keyser) met with Legate Verodart. The meeting began cordially. Eduardo put forth his plan to purchase about 96 acres (about 16 hexes on the map of the area immediately around Muntburg) for 50 gp per acre. The Legate needed to know more before he would allow him to purchase that much land within a mile of town. He wanted to know what ‘Keyser’ was planning. Keyser explained that he wanted a place for the businesses of Muntburg to expand, benefiting all. ‘Keyser’ would provide security, allow businesses to build there, and would be willing to collect taxes for the Legate. He would also aid with infrastructure costs. All in all, it was a reasonable offer, especially if ‘Keyser’ would be willing to pledge fealty to the Legate . . . . and then the PC rolled snake eyes on the reaction roll.
“I’ll let you build on the land for the same deal as before, an initial 20% fee for infrastructure, which I will match. Let’s see how that works out for a few months before I let you have that much land” said the Legate in a forced air of politeness. “I appreciate your offer for assistance, but I really do have to work”. As ‘Keyser’ left he thought he heard the Legate mumble something about ‘uppity adventurers not knowing their place . . .’ and ‘Phillipe was right’.
Returning to the Scroll and Flask to mourn his sorrows over his missed opportunity, Eduardo received a message that a dwarven merchant was looking for him. Intrigued, he agreed to meet with him. Eduardo recognized Thoric Brewmaster, the dwarven merchant with whom he had struck the deal to have sole franchise rights for his clans quality ale. With him was a grizzled and scarred Vaultguard he introduced as Azum Strongaxe. He stated by congratulating ‘Keyser’ on his recent financial successes as a result of his family’s ale. “Now, didn’t you wonder how you got that lucky, more than doubling your investment in less than 6 months? There is a reason I choose you. I know about your trips under the mountain. There is a favor I would ask of you so we can strengthen our bond.” ‘Keyser’ agreed to hear his request.
Thoric explained that his family had faithfully sending several dwarven warriors each generation to protect the secrets of Dwimmermount. After a period of 10 years they would return to the clan. However, several dwarves were overdue, including his cousin, Borin. If the Village People could find out what happened to him, and the other dwarves, he would be eternally grateful. He would also provide a contract providing exclusive rights to sell a delightful Brewmaster Clan brandy in the North. ‘Keyser’ accepted. Thoric pulled out a bottle of his family’s trademark brandy and they spent the rest of the night drinking to their bargain.
Eduardo woke up with a headache, a strange map, and a foot-long metallic rod, made from a strange metal. He dimly remembered that he was to follow the map, taking the rod to an area on the map, opening a doorway to the dwarven area of Dwimmermount. This was what dwarves from Vol Darul had been doing for centuries. When he found out what happened to x, he was to find and speak to Azum in Adamas.
Dave also had business to attend to in Muntburg. Dave cast fellowship and met with Julia, who noticed that he was different. All of Dave’s hair was now white, and when she met his eyes, she felt that he could see straight into her soul, baring all of her bad choices. (On her this added +1 to reaction rolls).
“Julia, you have done very well. Hera smiles upon our church. My recent brush with death has changed me and made me realize what is important. As you know Hera requires that her followers marry and raise a family. I have had this medallion of Hear made for you (500 gp). It pales in comparison to your beauty and devotion, but please take it as a sign of my feelings for you. I hope that you would consider getting to know me better. Maybe eventually becoming my wife”.
Julia sat in stunned silence (the result of the reaction roll, was uncertainty, even with +5 in bonuses (since it was marriage only a 12+ would be sufficient). She began to blush, replying “Brother-Disciple Dave, I don’t know what to say. I am honored, but . . . I never have considered you that way. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you. I have always been your humble student. I never considered I could be seen by you as anything but a servant. I will need some time to think on it.” Dave looked into her eyes and said “I understand. Please know that whatever you decide, I will respect it as Hera’s will.”
Note: This would only be sexual harassment to modern eyes. It did make me feel a little uncomfortable as we were playing it out. Thankfully he made sure not to put any pressure on her to comply. Now if she said no, and Dave retaliated, this could cause a problem with Hera. I did tell the player that Clerics/Priests of Hera needed to be married by 7th level (Mother or Father) so I guess he suspected he could get there soon.
Dave also went to the temple of Zeus in Muntburg to talk to Vicar Louys Herint to mend fences. Dave began diplomatically (and enhanced by fellowship) stating “My recent brush with death has made me see the world in a new light. I want to put any bad blood behind us and work together to strengthen the bonds of our churches and the faith of the people. Muntburg is growing rapidly and needs our guidance. Let’s work together”
Unfortunately, Dave’s new aura made Vicar Henrint feel shame for his actions in the past. Dave’s bad luck with reaction rolls didn’t help. “At last you recognize that the Temple of Zeus is supreme. If you are willing to act subservient to me, I will agree to recognize Hera’s role here in Muntburg. Just remember your place”
Dave seethed quietly for a heartbeat before responding. “Hera and Zeus are equals. Each has their role to play”. Herint was not so measured. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’ve done. Stealing money from the Temple of Zeus by taking money from Legate Verodart designated for me. You may have him fooled. You may have even fooled Bishop Saidon, but not me. I know those that you travel with. They play with foul arcane magics and chaotic forces.” He started to shake with rage as he spoke. “Where was Hera when the Termaxians befouled the minds of men and made slaves of us all? Hiding, that’s where. It was the Temple of Zeus that led us to freedom, and through Zeus that a new empire will rise!”
As Dave stormed out in anger, Herint screamed after him. “A reckoning is coming! The Inquisition will be here soon. Nothing is hidden from their eyes. They will root out the corruption that is the Village People. And then you will feel the full power of the Temple of Zeus!”
The Village People were almost happy to get back to the relative serenity of the dungeon. They decided to follow the dwarven map to find Borin.
Village People Expedition:
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <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. <ul> <li><strong>Mysty</strong> – pixie familiar – Animal friendship, tracking.</li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Mycah Pyrus</strong> – Lvl 3 Shaman – (Snake Healer) – Divine Health, Laying on Hands, Healing – STR, DEX, CON -1, WIS +2 – Armed with a staff. <ul> <li><strong>Reggie</strong> – small python – HD 2</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li>
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Ukla the Quick</strong> – Lvl 3 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.</li> <li><strong>Onde Vrazic</strong> – Familiar imp – Mimicry x2, Arcane Dabbling, Alertness</li> <li><strong>Delwyn</strong> – Lvl 1 Village Witch – laying on hands, healing x2, familiar – Str -1 Int+1, WIS +1, DEX +@, CON -1, spell signatures based on potions, salves, balms, or foodstuffs. <ul> <li><strong>Bernard – </strong>Familiar – golden lab – laying on hands, soothsaying (sniffs butt), animal husbandry</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li>
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Angela of Hera</strong> – Lvl 3 Cleric (proselytizer) – Divine Health, Diplomacy, INT -1, WIS +1, DEX +1, CON -1, wears Plate and armed with a billhook (polearm). </li> </ul> </li>
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Nakai</strong> – Altrusian (ancient lizardman) Elder Skull – Labor(culinary)x3, Labor (butcher), Knowledge (Gems), Knowledge (Altrusian Culture)</li> </ul> </li>
<ul style="list-style-type:circle"> <li><strong>Tuccia Florio – </strong>Lvl 3 Explorer (pathfinder) – Tracking, Precise shot x2, DEX +2 – wears chain and armed with a crossbow and hand axe – sent to scout a path to the ruins of Lloreac. She has with her two hirelings (potentially henchmen): <ul> <li><strong>Shalla of Athena</strong> – Lvl 1 Bladedancer (Bringer of Mercy) – Laying on Hands, Healing, wears leather under robes, armed with curved swords and a x-bow.</li> <li><strong>Mala</strong> – Lvl 1 Barbarian (Death Dealer) – Ambushing, Climbing, Survival – DEX, CON +1, wears leather, armed with spear. </li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li>
(And a guest appearance from a member of the Raiders:)
The Party did load up on healing herbs (for a change[KC1] ). They entered through the dwarven door and travelled through Issacs’ moon pool operation. They followed the map to the stairs to level 2B. There they found a large number of Crimson Band mercenaries. They would not allow them to go downstairs. Illyrio confronted them, but they were told they had to talk to the Crimson Band to get permission.
Dante, who travelled with Isaac into the dungeon, heard the commotion and met the party. Illyrio, angered that the Crimson Band would ignore the despot’s orders, had to be talked out of fighting. The Chandler brothers, retrieved by a merc, showed up. The Village People and the Raiders agreed to sign a non-compete pact on the 1st level and level 2b (both of which had been relatively cleared). They travelled to the Crimson Band’s fortified portion of the 1st level to sign an agreement.
When they got to the front entry of the dungeon, a misty doorway magically appeared in a wall (which had never happened before). The party ignored it and signed the agreement. Dante agreed to join the party for their expedition (perhaps to make sure that he could make clear that the Azoth belonged to the Raiders).
On the way to the 3rd level, the village people stopped at a room with symbols on a series of pillars. By pressing the symbols in the right order, Tariq , Jace, and Dave were hit with a surge of divine energy. Jace (Remove Fear) and Tariq (Fellowship) were able to handle it and gained the ability to cast a divine spell. Dave tried multiple times (being drained of HP until next level) but eventually was successful (Detect Danger).
The party made it through to the 3rd level (the reservoir). They were amazed to see a working azoth fountain (although covered by a dome of clear material). They entered a room with a worn mosaic showing a partial map. The party followed the dwarven map to a room with a crack in the floor. Suddenly 8 giant ticks entered the room from the crack.
The party fought the ticks but found out that once they ticks bit someone, they became affixed to the victim. Attempts to hit the tick resulted in Angela being struck by a party member. Eventually Jace figured out that he could just grab one and pull it off (STR vs. STR roll), throwing it away from the victim. The victim was hurt as the tick was pulled off. They also figured out that they could strike any tick affixed on their own person very easy to hit. As they were recovering, a final tick, almost twice as large as the others, came from the crack. The party managed to kill the ‘tick king’.
The party spent some time healing up before continuing to explore. A wandering monster check ended up with 8 more ticks, who came up behind the party. As battle ensued, 8 more ticks entered from the next room, attracted by the noise. By the time the party was finished they had killed 23 giant ticks in under an hour.
The party passed a statue of Vulcan (the god of craft, who appears as a dwarf) with his head replaced with Terms Termax. They also discovered a room with an unaltered 9 ft tall Vulcan statue, columns, and a curtain to the south. When they pulled back the curtain, revealing some stairs down, the statue animated. Thinking quickly, Eduardo pulled out the rod given to him by Thoric and the statue went back to it’s pedestal.
They next room held three doorways on a raised circular platform. When Eduardo approached the doorway marked on the dwarven map with the rod, a shimmering misty doorway appeared (like the misty door that appeared on level 1). The party entered the mist and found themselves in a small 20 by 20 foot room with the stone form of a dead dwarf.
SPOILER ALERT OVER
They entered into a large open area covered with grey black metal and alchemist resin on the floor. They saw a fight going on between two groups of dwarves, although one of the groups was outnumbered 6 to 3. The party yelled at the battling dwarves and asked if they knew Borin. One of the 3 outnumbered dwarves claimed HE was Borin. The party joined the combat to help out Borin’s group.
As they joined in the combat they got a closer look at the dwarves they were fighting. They were a little less stocky, with more angular faces and gray toned skin. They turned out to be tough opponents, as they were both hard to kill and heavily armored. The party turned the tide of battle, however one of the strange dwarves escaped, and one of them made it to a southern hallway, screaming for help before being killed.
His dying cries were answered by a rampaging earth elemental and the sound of armored dwarves charging. Jace started casting and a small portal opened to the elemental plane of fire, resulting in an explosion of flame that damaged the earth elemental (and killing several advancing evil dwarves). Before the party could investigate the room they came from, they heard arcane chanting and the elemental was all of a sudden caught in heavy webbing, blocking the hallway to the south.
Borin and his two dwarven allies thanked the party. They explained that the other dwarves were evil copies of dwarves created by a group of Termaxians. Borin refused to give details of what happened, but the Termaxians were a problem in Dwimmermount. When the party offered to help, that it was a dwarven problem. The party asked him to return home, as requested by his cousin Thoric. He refused to leave, saying his mission was not done, and that it was a manner of honor. He did ask the party to take a message back to Thoric to “send reinforcements. Tell him ‘Sparky’ sent you”.
They found a small jeweled box left by the Termaxian dwarves. They also briefly explored the level and found:
The party fought another wandering earth elemental. Tariq used his necromancy to fire a bone needle, which rotted away the legs of the creature, allowing the party to take it down. The party went back to the closet, activated the portal, and returned to level 3b.
Before returning to town, the party decided to check the other two mystic portals. One led right to the 1st room of the dungeon (where the party had seen it before). The other ended up in some caverns, which led to hallways carved from the stone. The carving lacked the precision of other areas. It led into hallways with statues of a being in strange armor.
The hallways encircled a large chamber with a spiraling stairway down a large pit. At the top were columns covered with a black vine material recognized as shadowstuff, full of negative energy. At the bottom of the pit was a larger statue of the armored figure holding aloft a glowing lantern. No one recognized him, but Dante drew Dwimmersmite. The sword recognized the statue as being of ‘The Iron God’. He was a champion of law who battled undead and became the leader of a small cult of followers. The sword reminded Dante “don’t trust those spellcasters” as he was put away.
Dante and Dave touched the glowing lantern and felt the divine power of law flowing through their body (healing Dave of his drained HP!). They also touched the statue and felt as if they were protected from undead.
When they came up from the pit, they decided to take the shadowvine (for Tariq). It was dangerous to touch, so they put on the suits (which they believed were protective suits). Although it wouldn’t cut with normal weapons, the party had magic weapons to cut it down and put it in some boxes they found in the level with the dwarves (level 6B). (Of course, by using two of the suits, they could no longer sell them for XP!).
Using the misty portals, they made it out of the dungeon without issue.