Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Failed Diplomacy

We began after the party had rested in the secure room at the top of the dungeon. When they wake up however they hear a bubbling noise, like some enormous beast is hungry. The Shugenja has now decided that he has had enough of pondering and charges out ahead to see what is going on. It turn out that the sand pit at the bottom has now become a rolling plane of fire. This illuminates the entire cavern and is obviously something that should not be touched nor messed with. He throws a rock down into it. Then the barbarian decides that pissing in it is a brilliant plan. Adventurers everyone, bastions of brilliant intelligence.

So with that done the hole erupts, and a giant lava plume comes out of it. Despite requests to the contrary this does not singe the barbarian's dick off, but merely creates a humanoid figure that is on fire, and in fact burns the very air around him, leaving air for some reason but burning any within the radius. Not understanding what is going on the party results to plan A, kill shit and ask questions later. Of course they are fairly inept at actually killing things, especially things that are immune to fire, their main source of damage. So what results is a comical chase around the circular cavern with Benny Hill music in the background.

With that craziness going on the Shugenja decides to simply step out, retreating into the sleeping rooms from before. From there he realizes he has a spell called silent image and wonders what it does. Given his skill in the illusory arts he decides that he will create images, a lot of them. He creates dozens of the barbarian, a few of the rogue, and a few fiery humanoids just to add to the confusion. Of course this doesn't help the party too much because they do not actually know that he is casting this. With that the rogue continues shooting arrows and doing no damage to the fiery being, the sorcerer starts freaking the fuck out, and the barbarian continues doing what he is doing, losing in a fight to the elemental.

The figures that were conjured eventually start exploding randomly, changing form, and in general screwing with anyone watching. Finally they form into one enormous fiery being and then explode into a bunch of humanoid figures that begin killing themselves and each other until there is nothing left. It was an incredibly entertaining display, but ultimately didn't accomplish too much, though it was a decent distraction. Then the Shugenja goes and heals the barbarian who collapsed at his feet with zero. With the barbarian up and under constant healer supervision they manage to kill it, and then get the fuck out because the ceiling is shaking.

Turns out the purple worm that opened up this place is back and he is pissed. Aside from that though as they retreat they steal a few more mender corpses. After running away they travel through the dessert awhile. Eventually they arrive back at the kobold town with little incident. There they go back to the Golrog wizard and he tells them a little bit about the stone they found. It turns out it is a variant of a weirdstone, a powerful artifact that prevents divination and teleportation. This one however is portable, something that was unknown previously. It could have huge impacts on warfare because of the threat that teleportation poses. Now this artifact is wanted by many, many people, primarily the goblin people who want to live in isolation but are having a bitch of a job.

This however is a less pertinent issue as it turns out a dwarven army has taken up residence outside of the city and is planning to take it back for the dwarven people, who have a slight dislike for kobolds. Not quite as much as gnomes, but still. The sorcerer wishes to parley and to avert violence, the rest of the party disagrees, though not quite violently. Despite this they both head to the camp and talk to the leader. First the sorcerer convinces the dwarves to stop in exchange for the mender's corpses, and the promise of more if he never attacks the kobolds. Of course then the Shugenja decides to go and ruin it all by telling him where to get more mender corpses, and declaring open war on the kobold.

Hearing this, and with a little whisper in his ear by a certain changeling assassin the sorcerer decides to go and warn the kobolds. He convinces them all to evacuate and then goes back to the dwarven camp to tell the leader about this. Unfortunately the leader is not happy, and decides that torturing him for the location of the kobolds is a decent plan. One of his bodyguards finds this plan delightful and begins it with glee. Luckily the Shugenja is there to keep him alive for more torture, and he is left in manacles as the army decides to check the nearby area after the sorcerer starts spouting out random locations.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Clockwork Ooze, Is It Tasty?

When last we left the heroes they had just assisted in burning down a town. Good for them I suppose, even if arson it not the solution to all of life's problems it was to this one. They then had no idea what to do, so decided to camp out in the mushroom fields, because hell they were tired and had nothing better to do. Nope, nothing better to do, no kobolds who might need help or anything. When they wake up in the morning they find that their plan actually went fine, the town has completely surrendered and a good portion of it lies burned, especially south of the river. In the middle of town there is a gathering of kobolds.

Now the kobold bard in the party decides he needs to go to the leader and discuss with him alone. He had lied about the payment the party would receive and knew they would be pissed if he came out with nothing, so decided that negotiating was far and away the best option. Of course his negotiation skills are the not the best, as he is cocky and believes himself invincible. He manages to convince the leader of the kobolds to talk to him alone in a separate tent, though the leader is not so stupid and brings along two guards. Once they arrive in the tent the bard recieves his payment, a portable trap, and they think business is done.

The bard however thinks otherwise and tries to stab the leader, maybe to take his place, maybe because he was just stupid. Either way he missed, and was in a terrible situation. He managed to live through it, but just barely, as he was thrown to the ground by grease and stabbed by a huge number of kobolds. Upon surrendering though the leader was generous. He realized that the kobold city would not be accepted and would be under constant assault, and they would need adventurers on their side to stay alive.

He offered the party a job, he knew of a recently excavated tavern out in the dessert which was said to have a decent amount of riches, and sent them after it, hoping that riches would be enough of a driving force to keep them coming back. The rogue on hearing this gets out very quickly and tries to find the place himself. The party shugenja however has other ideas and wants to get his dog trained by the kobolds. They do this for the period of a week actually, while the sorcerer learns a new spell from the wizard outside of town.

While this is going on the clueless rogue is slowly starving and dying of dehydration in the middle of the desert, knowing the coordinates of the tavern, but not how to actually get there. Luckily just before he dies he finds a source of food and water and manages to get to the tavern while not dying. Immediately upon entering he finds two orc corpses and is assaulted by a fearsome monster.

This monster is a little clockwork spider that can barely damage him. In the end they have an incredibly long fight with him not able to damage the creature at all, but it unable to deal more than scratches to the rogue. In the end he wrestles it into a barrel after lassoing it and tying it up. He is afraid what it might do however, and sits on top of the barrel for days to ensure that it doesn't escape. He has nothing really to eat though, and is forced to resort to eating one of the orc's arms. He is very careful not to mention this to the party when  they arrive.

Once the party arrives however the sorcerer wants to befriend the spider, and after a little while training it and a little bit of acid splashed all around he does manage to tame it. Now he has a pet, though it does not have a name yet. It can't do much, but the sorcerer greatly enjoys it, despite the rest of the party developing a small hatred for it, especially the rogue who spent minutes wrestling it under control. Undaunted the party continues into the rest of the tavern and finds three strange purple creatures on the ceiling. These are oozes, and they have acid which dissolves metal.

This terrifies the barbarian, who is scared of losing his sword. He fights with a plank of a barrel for the remainder of the dungeon. They deal with these three creatures with some speed, though they have a large amount of health for such a small creature and can deal some decent damage. Next they travel further into the tavern, discovering an enormous pit descending far into somewhere. Guarding this pit is two clockwork spiders, which are both dispatched in one hit due to the bard's fiery music.

Around the pit there is a doorway which the party knocks on, and discovers one remaining orc. He tells them how the rest of his company was killed by the spiders and oozes, and how he is the only one remaining because he hid in a room. They then immediately go to sleep in the room, though get distracted by a secret panel. In the panel is a safe, but upon opening the safe four of the oozes pop out, having devoured everything inside of it. What ensues is a chaotic battle where everyone grows close to dying, but just manages to hang on.

After a full rest the party sets out again and descends down the pit, though the shugenja stays at the top because his dog can't descend ladders and he doesn't want to leave him. The pit is lined with tunnels which look like they've been dug hastily then abandoned, as if they were looking for something. Descending more ladders and seeing more pits eventually the party comes upon a giant sand pit at the very bottom. They know this is a trap, but still go into it after some moments of discussion.

The barbarian goes first and sinks to the bottom and is subsequently nommed on by an antlion, who he begins stabbing with his dagger, the only weapon he can use while grabbed. Luckily the bard's flaming music again allows the party to triumph, though not before the ladder up is knocked down and the barbarian falls to unconsciousness, and the sorcerer is left at the bottom of the pit with no way up. After much debate and attempted training of the spider the sorcerer creates a tree with a token gained before, and uses mage hand to lift a rope and secure it to the remaining ladder allowing the shugneja to come down and heal the barbarian.

The party then looks around for loot, finds some dead orcs and steals their stuff. They then decide they need to rest again given how low the sorcerer and shugneja are on spells, and settle in for a restless night.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Diplomacy and Arson: A Likely Couple

The three brave party members are off to see the kobolds after a few days of rest. The first plan of action is find out how many there are, then murder exactly that number. They know that the little bastards have been troubling the local mushroom farmers, so head over to the farms and see whats going on. It turns out that the kobolds have been stealing food, and that can't go on, otherwise the town would grow less fat and more healthy. So they look around for the location of the kobold hole, and eventually find it, though it is somewhat less opulent than a hobbit hole. The send their talking man out first of course, and the little kobold bard descends down the deep dark hole.

After walking for not too long he trips a wire and gets covered by a bunch of oil, though is luckily not set on fire. This doesn't perturb him too much though, and he continues until he hears a small squeaky voice, telling him that only one may continue. He walks for another couple minutes, and finds a single kobold leaning out of the wall. They have a fairly amiable discussion, and the bard decides that it's time to help the kobolds to attack the town, as they have been oppressed for far too long.He comes out and finds his party has left, to go and train the mage's dog. 

Wandering around town blindly surprisingly does not help with this, though asking around they do find someone who helps them to a dog trainer. This man is a new player, a rogue named Ean. Also while wandering around they bump into a sorcerer elf who recognizes the barbarian from the boat. While he is not actually an elf, but a changeling, he also decides to join up with this party, not knowing anything else to do. The group then wanders back to the whole and find the bard, who tells them what they have to do. Here they have a large discussion about the morality of both sides, and in the end the party is largely divided, but grudgingly agrees to help the kobolds.

Before they try to burn the town however they go to the leader of the town, a gruff dwarf, and try to convince him to let the kobolds live like regular people. This doesn't go over so well, as he unequivocally decides that it won't work, and goes out hunting because he doesn't really like governing the town too much. They also manage to let out that the kobolds will attack in two days, but decide that the the current night will actually be the perfect time to attack, as it will before they are actually expecting the attack.

In the preparations for the attack they gather oil, flint and steel, and the changeling tries to infiltrate the guards. This does not go well however, as he is arrested by the member of the guards he is impersonating, and taken to the captain of the guards. The captain reveals he knows that the wizard is a changeling, and casts a small enchantment to identify him as one from then on. This puts a little bit a damper on his plans, because in addition to this he almost told the captain that they were attacking that night. Woops.

Despite all this they meet up outside the town at dusk and decide to assault the town, deciding they have enough numbers that it should go smoothly. However they forgot one thing, the elf arms dealer. He comes upon their group with his two guards, and tells them how he knows all about their plans, and that he will refuse to allow the destruction of the town to happen. This is when one of the guards decides he has had enough, and slowly shifts to the form of the elf. In one smooth motion he stabs a dagger straight through the elf's heart, and brings his other fist into the second guards throat, utterly destroying it. He then says, "Burn it all down, I love a little anarchy." 

He then disappears, and the party is stunned. Not literally of course, as they subsequently run over to the body and begin looting. After the most important thing is done they all set out to the sides of the town, and prepare to start the fires. The rogue however has a different role, he sneaks through the town and infiltrates the leader of the town's tent as quietly as he can. Unfortunately the leader is not there, and it turns out he wasn't as quiet as he thought he was. A guard comes in, and without the element of surprise the rogue drops very quickly.

The sorcerer saw all this through his familiar, and since previous going through a very similar experience he decided he needed to journey into town to save him. This goes better than expected due to some well made bluff checks. And enough magic missiles to bring down a horse, or a large jailer. Letting his comrade out of jail and healing him they both flee the scene. Unfortunately before they can get back to the farm they are confronted by several armed guards. By this point the fires have already begun, and they are the obvious culprits. The rogue however slipped away into the darkness, and the wizard was left alone to deal with 4 guards.

He ran, as fast as he could, calling for any help he could. Luckily he did actually get it in the form of the kobolds arriving with fires all around. The rest of the party charging in to help with the combat didn't hurt either, though by the end the barbarian and rogue had gone down, and the shugenja was on his last legs. In the end the true savior of the party was the dog, with some fiery support from the bard. And thus the party stood, looting the captain's body, staring at their handiwork. Since they had arrived they had disturbed they had disturbed an eel's habitat and killed said eel, dealt with some merfolk who were tormenting the town, helped to end one man's semi-dominance of the town, and then burned it all down. An adventurous couple of days all things told.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A New Journey, Leads Immediately to Disaster.

Well I started a new campaign today, with new players, new environment, and new technology. It's quite a change. A laptop will now be my main tool in DMing because saving that paper is honestly going to be a huge benefit, especially when I'm paying for everything. That and it means I can look up all monster stats pretty much instantly, as well as obscure rulings and other things of that kind. So that's the new technology, and it's working pretty great, with notepad documents for all the little notes I need to make in play.

As for the new environment, because going backwards through lists is cool, I discovered our dining room table is small, tiny really, and it's quite a change from the enormous white folding table we used to play at. We have space for about 3 players, and that's it, and luckily that's all we have right now. So that's the other thing, a much smaller party. Right now it looks like it's a Kobold Bard, a Goblin Shugenja, and a Dwarf Barbarian. It took a couple of hours to get all these characters set up, but that's usual for first time players. It's such a contrast setting up 3.5 characters with people who simply don't know the game, I mean they didn't know what the basic stats where, it was just quite a contrast.

In terms of players I won't do names, but we have someone who has never played before who's fairly into roleplaying as the Bard, a semi-experienced player who is playing a Thog Smash Barbarian, very simple, and a moderately experienced player playing the Shugenja, somewhat the force of order for the party, especially the Bard who never knows when to back down. The game is D&D 3.5, with a few little modifications like using the Color system for alignment and a number of smaller changes, including a uniqueish homebrew world.

On to the story though, we start with the Barbarian and Shugenja arguing over how many elements there are, 4, 5, or 118. These characters have never met before, but are newcomers to the small fishing village. The Bard then steps in to mediate the argument, and immediately finds a companion in the Shugenja, though they both agree that staying away from the Barbarian is for the best, as he is quick to anger and not to be trusted. With that they head to the nearest tavern for adventure, because they don't have any other ideas.

After a small confrontation with some Elves, as well as some confusion about what role Goblins and Kobolds play in society, they go to the barkeep and ask about any local news. A note should be made here, there are no humans nor any human-offspring type races, with them all dying out many years ago. Anyway it turns out Merpeople had been attacking local fisherman and stealing their fish, and no one was sure why, given until a few weeks ago they had been at a comfortable peace.

So the brave duo set out to go murder some Merpeople, who are clearly evil and need to die. They do actually try diplomacy first, after some knowledge checks and research, and after the bard delivers a stunning monologue to the water a few Mermen pop out and tell about the terrible dire eel that had killed their leader and ravaged their people. Not in that way. This seemed like a job for brave adventurers, but first they need supplies, and some poor sap willing to tank for them.

While walking back they stumbled upon the Barbarian and decided here is a man who we can use to take hits and not complain about it. So with that found, they go to the local fishing store and buy a net, which they figure they will wrassle the eel with, and done will be done. So they go to sleep just outside of town. Unfortunately they wake up to the sound of footsteps, and they run outside to see what's going on. They find the elves from earlier, and confront them in a very direct and violent way.

They win the fight, because the elves were weak and they were strong, but unfortunately they have two bodies to dispose of. Maybe 3 given one of them was cleanly bisected. They decide to give them a shallow burial and take the heads for bait, then move onto the other side of town. The next day they prepare for the assault, and rush towards the location of the Merfok's village. After some initial surveillance, namely some failed spot checks they charge in haphazardly.

The Barbarian takes all the impact, with the eel latching onto his leg and continuously biting him almost killing him, if not for the healing of the Shugenja. The Bard provided inspiration from the shore, not wanting to get wet. This was also where the Shugenja's guard dog who he had bought came into play, assisting very little but providing motivational support. With that done and the eel fully looted, getting a trident and an eele eye they head back to town and the Merfolk to claim their rewards.

They gain some minor magical accoutrements from the Merfolk, and some praise from the townspeople, free inn stays and other perks like that. They then investigate around the town selling some things and buying some things, until they find out that there is a black market arms dealer who meets during the night, who can provide them with some sneaky weapons. After an extraordinary performance from the bard during the day earning some extra coin they decide to see what is available illegally.

They go to the prerequisite location and have a little talk with the dealer, do some basic diplomacy, and get an instrument blade for the Bard. The Bard however tries to stiff the man, saying he made the instrument out of tune, this does not go over well. Though it doesn't immediately resort to violence, it costs the Bard some extra cash, then everyone is prepared to go away happily, but not the Bard, no he makes a snap decision and casts a spell to make the dealer and his guards sleepy. Again, bad things happen, but this time it is immediate violence.

The dealer rushes in and stabs the bard, and his bodyguards immediately put down the Shugenja, with the might strength of orcs. A surrender is immediately negotiated, with the party becoming indentured servants to this arms dealer who may have connections all over town. This could get interesting.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Greatest Adventure

It has been quite some time since I've written a journal entry. Our party has stormed a castle and plundered its depths since then. We have also picked up some new and rather interesting allies. Now I believe we are truly invincible. We have established ourselves as a significant threat on the world scale, but with all enemies defeated I think we may truly conquer it all. Then maybe they'll understand why I did what I had to.

After resting for a time we decided to investigate the next room. Inside was an enormous and truly destructive creature, an Aboleth. Normally fiercely intelligent creatures this one in particular acted more like a pet, flailing with its tentacles instead of using its psychic abilities. The warrior with me and the other side of our party quickly demolished the beast, though its mucus had adverse effects on some members of our party, enabling them only to breathe water, and not air.

I had no problems of that sort. After dealing with the beast and a few of its, or maybe its master's underlings we proceeded onwards to the next chamber. Unfortunately we had to wade through sewage and mucus to get there, where we encountered yet another Aboleth. Again we were able to defeat it, though it was more difficult due to the water and our druid's crocodile turning feral.

Arriving at the next chamber we find one of the most impressive beasts in this citadel, an enormous three armed troll. Luckily I had magics to counter a foe of this kind, and using a few strength draining spells he was soon rendered utterly incompetent. After the combat we investigated around and determined it was a relatively safe place to rest, and prepared for the inevitable battle with the master of this place.

Upon setting out with full spells and health we were ready to take on whatever was ahead. Our foe turned out to be a mind flayer, though not a particularly nasty one. He had with him yet another three armed troll but that was all, and with the sheer numbers we had he could not take it and went down quickly, though he severely damaged the warrior part of our party.

Once his beast fell I was able to intimidate the mind flayer into surrendering and joining our crew. He would be given brains occasionally, and bring with him a vast amount of expertise as well as crew members. He brought a number of abominations, and one Aboleth who will soon man our submersible boat, giving us surprise and tactical advantages.

We also learned there is another realm, a Far Realm where the abominations dwell, perhaps an area of conquest once I have amassed a greater collection of knowledge about these creatures. Numbers will not outweigh the sheer strength of fear, not in the hands of a mster like me. Before too long they will all realise what should happen.

So I imprinted the new members of our crew, if necessary I will destroy one to show my power, then they will all fall in line. The Mind Flayer truly believes we are working in his best interests however so I believe he will follow along willingly, at least for awhile.