Sunday, January 29, 2012

This that Were and that Could Have Been

It was supposed to be the big D&D Experience weekend, but sickness and schedule conflicts kept us away.  Friday night gaming went well with only our bard missing.
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So the group enters the intriguing cave only to find a hoard of skull spiders.  These nasty little beasties are spiders that inhabit the skulls of their victims to give them that little bit extra.  The group started whacking away at them while some stragglers took a bit longer to enter the cave.  FInally the last little gnome sorceress popped in, only to have an executioner's hood fall onto her head and start suffocating her.

There was a moment where the half-elf druid/rogue Felix almost considered poking poor Ally in the head to get the thing off, but better thoughts prevailed and three of them tried to flip the thing off.  The paladin pounded away at spiders with the ranger, while the other three tugged, sending it tumbling to the ground.  The hood crawled the wall, injured, and then was spotted and taken out by the rogue's arrow.

Ally went running through the cave trying to beat the rogue to the spider's treasure hoard.  Too bad no one told her about the rather large pit trap that she feel into.  And the rogue stol away some extra gold from the hoard before he was spotted.

Two doors from the cavern were opened into a hall with a holding pen full of zombies.  The group attacked immediately, stirring the zombies and driving them to break through the fence holding them back.  An entangle spell from Ally ties them up, but makes progress difficult for the melee fighters.  The zombies are quickly picked off, all 10 of them.

The paladin runs into the next corridor of the cavern, finding it a dead-end in more ways than one.  A huge rhioncero-like creature with a giraffe like neck and a aardvark like snout charges her, using it snoot and hooves.  She backs off, the dwarf runs away after hearing that his magic armor might very well be food for the magica item eating disenchanter (cold country variety), and the ranger steps up.

There is much running, dropping of armor, and swapping of weapons, and somehow the dwarf and paladin end up with a crossbow and long bow, while the ranger holds the creature back in melee.  The gnome hides in the pit with the tiger.

The team backs out of the corridor, the zombie pen room, and clear back to the original cavern, trying to lure the creature into the pit.  It charges the gnome, but is finally killed by the dwarf who runs up on the creature.  They take its head to sell back in town as a magical ingredient.

The next room, found behind a secret door, has four elementals in the four corners of the room behind gates.  The four gates are attached to strong, magically-enforced chains, and to keys.  The fours sides of the pillar all have 4 keyholes each paired to the letters 'o' 'p' 'e' and 'n'.  If one were to insert a key, the chain pulls the gate, and the elemental escapes if the gate isn't close quickly enough.

The party, very fearful of the elementals, ponders the puzzle.  The gnome is the last to enter, and the doors snap shut, giving the tiger barely a second to jump in.  Now, with them locked in, they turn to the paladin who prays to helm to ask for an answer.  And to Rodar's suprise, a list of the elemental types is given to her ina specific order: earth, wind, water, and fire.

The group positions themselves to use the keys, but the dwarf can't reach his key.  The gnome climbs on his back, they insert keys, turn, the doors open, and the gates just barely clang back down before the elementals escape.

The doors open to the next room where 4 large shadows lurk until next time...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Deeper in the Woods

RL snow kept the players away this week.  Not surprising... after our session I got stuck for a mooment even trying to get out of the parking lot.
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The party starts back along their journey through the woods, following a bloody drag trail,  Corrail, Don the Magnificent, and Vaglar are all missing for this session, so a new player Ragor, a dwarven fighter, played by St joins the crew.  The group finds him wandering through the woods, following the same blood trail they have found.  After a brief introduction first by tiger and then by speaking to Felix, Ragor joins the crew, quick to take direction from the Paladin, Rodar.  Rodar has the dwarf keep close to him as they continue through the forest.

A few clearings away they come across a pair of pixies that Ragor quickly identifies.  The curious creatures check out the party and mull over knocking them out when the gnome, Ally, engages them.  Her speech of Sylvan delights them and her spritely charms sets well with them as they marvel at the Tiger.  They contemplate riding the tiger with a saddle and then using the Paladin's shield as a sled before Ragor drags the party back on their journey.  Satisfied with Ally's claim that they don't really know where they are, the male and female pixie allow the heroes to continue on their way.

Soon the group finds a hill with a cave interest with zombies about.  A few moves closer and they realize that the zombies are yellow musk zombies, the product of a plant.  Soon after they realize that the plants are vines near the cave entrance that can entrance the adventurers and suck their brains until they too are zombies.  The paladin charges in to attack the plants, avoiding the spore blast but being beaten back by zombies.  The rogue, sorcerer, and tiger take the zombies out at a distance away slowly.

Ally makes a slight miscalculation and puts the whole area under entangle, tripping up her teammates more than the zombies.  The dwarf get hit by the spore blast but recovers to get away before his brains get sucked out. The paladin goes down in a zombie attack, but the fighter drags him back and heals him back to health.  In a final surge, the fighter, paladin, and tiger take zombies and trees out in meelee while the rogue and sorceress battle away at zombies.  Soon two flowering vines lay in pieces while all the zombies lie as lumps of rotten flesh.

Next week, we'll see how their camping outdoors goes and maybe we'll find out what is in the cave.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday Night Pathfinder: The Trees are Trying to Kill Me

Last week:

Our misfit band of adventurers lead by Rodar the Paladin of Helm partakes heavily of Ale at the local Grey Goose tavern.  Rumors fly about the room of the commoner's tavern, and the group picks up on a lost caravan that needs investigating.

A quick stop by to visit the magistrate and they quickly are sent off to the store owner whose caravan it was.

The group finds their way to the local General Store.  The rather plump human store owner and his pig greet the group.  Our half-elf rogue/druid Felix decides to buy the pig for a whopping 12gp, though it is a very large boar weighing around 300 lbs.  This becomes rations for his rather large tiger companion.

The store owner explains the predicament -- his cousin was bring back a load of iron tools and weapons from Van Guard when their boat sank.  He sent a messenger ahead  to tell the owner that the goods we be arriving late, as they were taking the wagon of goods through the Lurkwood.  The group is now overdue and the owner has offered to share half of his goods with those willing to investigate and bring his cousin and two dwarven guards back.

Felix decides the pay off isn't that great, and so the store owner directs him to the local magistrate since he has nothing more to offer.

Returning to the magistrate, they find her in meditation.  She tells them she will pay them 50 gold each and that the 300 gold will be waiting for them when they return.  She also gives the ranger directions through the forest by telling the types of tree groves to look for, with the journey looking to be about 1.5 days in.  She goes briefly into a trance and spouts off a couple of ill-defined warnings.

Leaving the magistrate, the group happens onto the Don the Magnificent, a human bard street magician (played by S) showing off his prestidigitation.  The Paladin is impressed with his illusions and pulls him in to accompany them.  (I am sure the Paladin is also hoping that this bard with either become their minstrel or perhaps lead to a story-writing bard to capture their exploits.).  The party is preparing to set out and Rodar decides to stop by the local temple.  There he finds an old cleric friend from Candlekeep has recently taken over the local temple.  They chat and finally the cleric introduces Vaglar.  Vaglar is a gruff dwarven cleric (Played by B) who happily joins the group to take on whatever dangers might befall them in the Lurkwood.

Against the better judgements of Felix and Corrail (Part-druid and ranger, respectively) they venture into the forest of Lurkwood.  Within a half of day of journey through the snow-covered deep woods, they find the scene of the crime.  A wagon torn in half, two dead dwarves, a large pit trap illustrate a bad end for the caravan.  Upon further investigation the group comes under surprise attack by a pair of Archer Bushes that hurl thorns at the party.  A little snap, crackly, and pop and the group does away with their foes.  They find the goods buried under one of the Archer bushes, too heavy and valueless to try to carry with them, especially after they find a blood trail wandering off into the forest.

The night grows cold and dark as they follow the trail so they stop to make camp.

This week:

(No cleric this week -- Player B is out sick)

The druid and ranger find an odd rivine with no snow to make camp.  Surrounded by trees, they make a small campfire and set up tents.  The groups starts nightly slumbers and meditations.  The ranger keeps watch while others snore away.  SLowly the cracking of the fire seems to reach out in stereo.  The ranger alerts the paladin and goes to investigate.  He forest knowledge gives him a quick answer -- they've set up camp next to a Dryad's tree and she is coming out to greet them.

There are brief kicks to the magicians tent to wake him.  He bumbles out, tripping onto the ground.  Luckily by then the rest of the group is already trying to put the fire out and negotiate with the Dryad.  The dryad is obviously enraged and the burning tree on their fire and the invasion of her territory.   Thanks to a little smooth talking, the group gets time to leave and they do so, escaping the wrath of the dryad.

Over the next hill the group attempts to set up camp again and is ambushed by a druid and a couple of wolves of unknown intentions.  The group tries to ascertain the druid's intent, but instead find themselves pummeled with attacks of trees and stones falling from the sky.  The magician knows the is probably the bad guy they want based on some reponses from the druid.  Unfortunately, the gnome sorceress Ally and Don the Magnificent are nearly killed and the Paladin, Ranger, Rogue and Tiger must take down the druid with nonlethal damage.  In the attacks, the rogue finds himself lit up with faerie fire and the paladin is splashed with glowly goo from a fire beetle.

There is much talk after healing of the party over what to do with the captured dwarf who lies unconscious in manacles.  The party eventually splits his goods, uncuffs him and sets up camp for the night.  Don the Magnificent dyes his hair with the still glowing bug juice.  Morning finds the group rested and ready to go for next week.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Approaching a Scene of Interest

It's a common scenario... a group wandering along through a wide-open forest, cavern, mountain, set of hills, etc, and they come across a scene of interest... the broken down wagon, a burnt down, house, a cave, a sinkhole, a camp of thieves.  How do you know how close your party is when they spot it?

First pick a DC for the thing you're trying to notice.  For example, a thieves camp might be a DC 5 at night.  Then apply modifiers for the scenario: -2 because there is moonlight.

Then have your party place their characters in a small grid assuming a travel direction.  Then have them roll perception.  The distance to detect is given by:

distance = perception -(DC to notice + modifiers) * 10 feet

Compare this across your characters and their relative positions to determine which character detects first.

For example, our thieves camp is detected by a ranger out front with a perception of 17.  He detects at range of 17-(5-2) = 140 feet.

Friday Night Pathfinder

So, with the help of my daughters, we have a Friday Night Pathfinder group now underway.  The first couple of  sessions we did at home for character building, but now we've moved to a local gaming shop.  The current part of 4 is a start and we're hoping to add a couple more players soon.

Our group so far:
  • Player C plays a Half-elf rogue named Felix
  • Player Ch plays a Gnome sorceress named Ally
  • Player R plays an Elf ranger named Corrail
  • Player V plays a Human Paladin named Rodar
The first couple of sessions brought the initial group of 4 together in northern Faerun in the Lurkwood forest, taking shelter in a hidden tomb.  On the way from their to the town of Wayford nearby, they fell into an old mine via a sudden sinkhole brought on by the storm.