Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Crabs, the Crabs!

The tomb continues to be frightening. But it is oh so enlightening. There are 3 skeletal champions still up, and the party is not in top shape. Luckily the totemist is a whirling frenzy of death, and pounces on a skeleton, missing all but one attack. Not the best start to a session. The rest of the party does alright though, the engineer and samurai doing decent damages against their respective skeletons. The fight is actually fairly easily won, and the loot that is had is good.

They gain one magical breastplate, and the warlock heavily considers a steel shield, though eventually decides against it. So they search around the room, and find a secret door, what a twist. The totemist manages a natural 20 to break it, and crumbles it into dust. The hallway they stumble upon is treated with immense distrust, and the warlock investigates the ceiling.

Unfortunately the trap contained the entire wall, up to and including the ceiling, and he is hit by several darts with dex poison. Even failing the two saves he still only loses two dex, so comes off fairly lucky. They now open the door at the end of the hallway, and find a priest of some kind praying at an alter to Nerull. They attempt some diplomacy, but it doesn't go too well. The warlock is hit by an inflict wounds spell, and falls from the ceiling at -8. The rest of the party rushes after him, and the totemist just about brings him down with a few attacks.

He then runs away,  but the party catches up and absolutely destroys him. The totemist smashes him into a wall several times, and the samurai cuts off his arm, leaving him far far from life. They then realize they are an enormous room with one to two hundred corpses, all filed away into coffins. The room is harrowing, and they all decide to not investigate, a move that was probably for their best.

They decide to camp out in the previous room with their bears guarding them from any nasties. Their sleep goes as well or better than expected, and they wake up fine. Then they leave and travel towards the beach. A few large eagles are waiting for them, and their flyby attacks prove to be quite troubling.

The eagles are dealt with through two occurrences, one the totemist with a worse grapple check successfully grappling and almost taking down one of them. And the other is a summoned wolf being tossed at the eagle by the engineer, dealing a large amount of damage. With those dealt with they yet again head to the beach. They arrive at it, and plan out their ambush of the magistrate.

The ambush is where the end of the session occurred, as just as it was being sprung, a giant crab scuttled its way out of the water.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And the City Shall Burn

The plan was a success. The retreat went exactly as well as expected, with the fog cloud providing the much needed escape. The next destination was obvious to the party, to go underground and meet "Dr. Satan". There was only one problem though, the woman whose house they normally went through had decided that enough was enough.

So the woman will not let them through. She claims that they have trounced through her house one too many times, and that they should probably leave. Of course, being the party that they are they decide to grapple her, and force their way through. This does not go as planned though, as they hear a rumbling sound coming from inside the house.

An ogre, a large, brutish infuriated ogre comes charging in from the house, and everyone prepares for the oncoming storm. The knight is busy wrestling with the woman, and rushes inside to allow his party members past. Unfortunately he had already blocked the skeleton and the dragon shaman from coming in, and now it was the ogre's turn.

He takes a mighty swing at the dragon, and misses. Truly exciting stuff. Now the druid has a brilliant plan, he will transform into an eagle. That is his plan. Then the rest of the party converges on the ogre, with the knight tossing the woman away, who then tries to escape. The druid then swoops in and takes a good swing at her.

This swing is extremely effective, quite literally cutting her head off with the critical hit table. Now the ogre wants revenge for this callous act, and proceeds to murder him. One hit and he is down, out, and splattered all over the wall. The rest of the party take down the ogre, but it was all for no avail, as their beloved comrade has dies. Oh wait, they don't care.

No they proceed to Dr. Satan's secret base, and deposit their corpses, proceeding back to the main city for more destruction. A brilliant plan is construed, to raise the cast offs of the cit into a frenzy, and to collapse the government to the best of their abilities. This goes swimmingly as their gather information checks lead them to the sewers, where they meet their guide to the underground, one bard named John. Q. Everyman. They returned to the surface to acquire weapons for their coup.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To Me My Bears!

The session had to be shortened for various reasons, so this may be brief. The party hexblade rolled up a new druid, as pertaining to his recent death. This took about way too long, so there's that.

But we begin in the druid camp, with everyone getting ready to leave, with their bears. After a few more hours spent training bears they are ready to depart, and decide to try to cut off the magistrate or king at the pass. They travel through the woods, with some difficulty, because of their bears. They now encounter some frogs, larger than expected.

These frogs are not too difficult, the big ones die in a couple hits, and the small ones die in one. The small ones are also poison, dealing a small amount of con damage to the totemist. The giant frogs though were able to eat both the dwarf samurai and the party warlock, dealing minimum damage excluding the psychological trauma.

The next encounter is with some skeletons in a tomb, just outside of a long forgotten town. This crypt houses 4 skeletal champions, who deal a good amount of damage to everyone in the party. The warlock is damaged by the engineer smacking him across the face with a slab of concrete due to a critical fail. The druids new lizard is also severely damaged, even brought to the brink of unconsciousness. This is where we had to end unfortunately, so this is where we end.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Murder, Arson, and Jaywalking

We wake up from last week's session to a rather fortunate situation. The two people recently dead, are no longer as much. This is due to a little help from a little friend. The party Tank now has regeneration, at the cost of having a little person living inside his chest, and the druid is made of dire badger parts, giving him more resilience. They are also now working under a new master besides chaos, giving a little bit of direction to a lot of unlawful deeds.

Their first task is simply to cause chaos, kill a few things, burn things, steal things. This is mostly business as usual, but now they have a reward for it. They first decide to find a tavern, and have a good old fashioned tavern brawl. So they arrive at the first inn they saw, called the Full Mug, and the party druid smacks the first person he can.

He misses, no one is surprised. However after the imitative rolls are over he gets a second attempt, and hits and brings down the barkeep's son, but that is all he does. Next the rest of the bar attacks the party, seeing as they violated the sacred pact between tavern owner and party. This doesn't end up too well for them, leaving three roasted, two sliced, and several more with bashed in heads.

The only one moderately successful in their venture is the bartender, who manages to punch and grapple the druid. The druid however has a brilliant plan, and moves his flaming sphere into his space, burning him and the keeper. This ends in what could be called a win, both unconscious at the same time, but the party to support him, with the bartender left on ice, or fire as the case may be.

There is quite a lot of fire too, given that the party knight decided to burn down the tavern, not their best plan as the guards have been brought in. These guards are summarily dealt with, by running away. Plan Alpha it was, use a fog cloud and then sprint away as fast as they could go. And so they did. I ruled that this did count as besting the encounter, and this was enough to push them over and level up. This ended the session, with everyone happy with their new levels, and prepared to fight for a new day.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lizards and Swandives Part 1: The Pyramid of Zombies

Last year I ran a campaign which stretched roughly from the beginning of March to the middle of January. This was mostly a weekly game, with about 3 two week breaks. This campaign began with 5 players, one dropped out, and another joined. The players were one Paladin of Freedom, one Paladin of Tyranny, one Sorcerer, one Rogue, and one Dread Necromancer later changed to a Warmage. It was an interesting party to say the least. We started at level 2, because at level one a brisk breeze will kill you.

We begin the tale exiting a city, setting off through a tunnel a few miles out of town looking for some heroes. This was sort of a throwback to an older game, where the goal was to look for heroes, though this was quite a bit more exhaustive. This cave had two interesting occurrences; the party rogue was mauled, and almost killed by a dire rat, and the party necromancer managed to roll three 20s and send a different rat off the plane of existence. So there was that, in an encounter which should really have been just an attack here, an attack there, showing that this would be a bit more than a normal game.
The tunnel opened up to a beautiful jungle vista, hinting there may be something more to this world. The party descended down a small cliff face, and began a journey through the jungle, no immediate end goal in mind, just hoping to find something. The first thing they find on this expedition is a small tribe of lizard folk, less than 100. These lizard folk are all green, and are at war with another tribe of blue lizard folk.

They decide they need a decent army, and challenge the chief and his top advisers to a battle. He accepts, and we have an interesting arena fight between the paladins and the rogue, and the three leaders. So after winning this fight the only one who spoke lizard folk was in fact the rogue, but the paladin of freedom had the most leadership potential. Fights were had because of this.

By now they had made no progress unto the main goal, and decided to wander around trying to find the missing heroes. They stumble upon an enormous structure, essentially a Mayan pyramid, and decide to investigate inside. Their first encounter, aside from the traps which the rogue easily disarmed, was with members of the blue tribe. The party rogue had a plan though, and led one of them away, using a little bit of sweet talk.

Now murder was his next goal, and by slaughtering the lizard every so carefully, he managed to construct a full body mask out of his skin. This was quite a surprise to the other lizards, as well as the party, when at an opportune moment he erupted out of the skin, sneak attacking a few lizards on the way. I believe the term used was erupting out of his ass. So these scouts easily dispatched they decided to adventure downstairs, where they believed the treasure to be. This was a slight mistake though, as they got more than they bargained for from a Shelob impersonator.
This proved an interesting encounter, as opposed to the fairly standard ones which we had had so far. The fact that it was crawling on the ceiling meant they could just barely reach it, and had to adapt to new tactics. Once the ferocious beast was down, they now had to contend with a dinosaur downstairs. This being a Megaraptor, it jumped all over the place making for another different fight. It’s hopping around was entertaining, given that they had to run after it whenever it moved, but in the end victory was had.

Then came the looting. There was actually a treasure vault hiding behind the monster, and much cheering was had after this discovery. This made the trip already a fruitful venture, but there had to be more. There was too, as they traveled back to a staircase leading up that they had missed before. I should point out too at this point, that they had captured a member of the blue reptilian race, and had been leading him along for a fair while.

The next encounter was an enormous statue which they were forced to climb, made especially difficult with the full plate wearing paladins. This was also difficult because of the steadily rising water level. The reward was worth it though, as they emerged to the top of the pyramid, bearing a large gold idol, which they then rolled down the pyramid. Their tactic to get down themselves was to used summon zombie to create a cushy cushion to land on. This worked as well as expected, and everyone left alive.

 The only thing they forgot was the lizard.

Epitaph for the Fallen

The party began the day in a forest with 5 members, and ended with 4. The loss was not a major one emotionally, but physically the tole was felt. Even still it was not a bad day, even if no loot was to be had. It began with everyone strolling through the forest not a care in the world, who eventually ran into the scouts for a contingent of armed men. With these men, the king who they had been searching for. Excellent cried the party, this is wonderful.

It was not so wonderful though, as they realized when they had found him, in that there was no real reward to be had, and they had no real plan. What they did offer though, was to attack a town taken over by druids for him, as part of there ever lasting quest for rupees. They also managed to convince him to spare some of his men for their surprise attack. A cunning ploy really, unfortunately they forgot that druids were fairly well attuned with the trees.

So they managed to successfully get to the other side of the town, and sneak, sneak, sneak there way in. Only problem was, a large wood figure stood in the way. This wood figure would eventually lead to their downfall, him and his splinters. This wood figure was immune to the warlock's petty magics, and did not take kindly to being shot by one. He proceeded to charge in, smash some people, and explode with splinters, doing massive damage to everyone, and leaving him unharmed. This is when everyone got a little bit worried.

Still, they outnumbered him 15 to 1, they had a good chance so they said, we can beat him so they said, that won't kill me so they said. Everyone has their turns, volleyed are shot, and golems are thrusted at, but all in a vain attempt. The golem then smashes down the hexblade, leaving him on the wrong side of consciousness. He also dealt significant damage to the samurai, and prepared for an explosive finale the next turn. Now the attempts were even more desperate, with even the warlock resorting to his crossbow to damage it, and again, it all was for naught. One more explosion sent a good portion of the line sprawling, leaving few alive to tell the tale.

Those who were alive and conscious included the totemist and the samurai, as well as the warlock. Not alive including the PC, the hexblade. A rather unfortunate turn of events. This is when the golem decided this was a great time to smack them both, just putting them at -1 health. Now it was up to the final line of NPCs to deal with him, him having only one HP left. And that was the exact number of damage they dealt to him, one damage, just enough to bring him down.

Health potions shared all around, and everyone got up. They then planned a variety of shenanigans, ultimately resulting in them selling out the king to the druids. This worked wonderfully, resulting in only the king and a few personal guards alive, and a huge battlefield full of death. Hip, Hip, Horrah.
                                                   Like this, but times 100, and in a forest.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Forest Full of Foul Fiends

Walking along paths is always fun, so we begin with that. The party marches on, and on and on, attempting to catch up with the "king" and his rupees. This plan goes alright, except for the little problems of the animals. As they continue going south they see more and more people traveling north, indicating perhaps that something is wrong. Turns out there are some crazy animals on the loose, and the destruction of everything they know has in fact driven them away.

The first  beast we encounter is an enormous boar, something like that there on the side. This thing attempts to impale one of them, but the zerg rush does enormous damage to him, and the pile is victorious. Unfortunately this is not very long lived, as four smaller boars slowly approach, not looking too happy This would actually not be too much of an issue if the party had any decent source of healing. So the boars all deal decent damage, about 30 or 40 to the party all round, but this is just a taster compared to what happens next. Soon they face what can only be described as the most fearsome creature in D&D.

But before we do that, we start with the carving of weapons, shoulder pads, and codpieces. A boar's tusk is nothing to be sneezed at, and  a weapon made out of that could be fairly deadly, so they begin with that. The warlock wants pauldrons made of the smaller boars skulls, unfortunately one botched craft check later and he has silly looking doodads sticking to his shoulders. The totemist then declares he needs a fierce codpiece made of one of the big boars tusk's, and one of the smaller's skulls. This is in fact a sucess, and it is given the affectionate name 'thrusty'. The other tusk is made into a decent sized club for the engineer.

The next fight was against the most terrifying beasts in all the land. Owlbears. Just two of them, but still a fairly difficult encounter with everyone already damaged. The fight didn't start off to well, with the totemist knocked out fairly early on, losing the primary source of damage. The warlock is again up a tree, firing eldritch blasts down, and missing a huge amount, a new feeling for him. Before any damage is dealt to the actual owlbears everyone but the engineer and the warlock are out, and the engineer is not doing too well. Surprisingly they do manage to win the battle, with only minimal assistance from a passing family. So with that encounter done everyone levels up and we end the session.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Machinations of the Mysterious Kind

After a long break we begin again with some troublesome combat. See the party, plus a rogue and a dwarf warrior begin by facing two huge monstrous centipedes, both dead. The dead can still fight on occasion, so we everyone rolls for initiative, and the game begins.

So the fight starts off with everyone charging, then realizing what a bad idea it is, given the relative strengths of these monsters. They do some minor damage, but take major hits as well, especially the party knight, who is knocked out twice and single hits manage to bring just about everyone below half health.

Luckily the tide turns for the better when they take down one, and zerg rush the other to a satisfactory conclusion, while healing everyone to full health before they journey on. Given the choice of two doors they choose the larger doors, which are locked, providing further evidence for their direction. Of course their handy rogue is able to pick the lock, and they can then charge in recklessly.

To the surprise of many they did not do just that, they actually planned a box formation, allowing only one in and the ability to gang up and destroy him. This would have went well if they had not underestimated the enemies they were facing. Upon opening the door the party druid, somehow taking the leader role, spots several caged mutants, a few just kind of standing around, and one mad scientist type dude.

So he quickly shuts the door, and sends an entangle that way too, because why not. Unfortunately the caged mutants had wings, and were released before he could really do anything. They begin flying, at quite a fast speed towards him, and unfortunately his hasty retreat does nothing to save him. The thing flying at him was essentially the thing at the side there, but with a grabbing tentacle and only 2 hands. This grabbing tentacle grasped him and tossed him over to the workbench by the scientist, at less than -10, but not yet dead. This will play a part later, in the machinations of the world. So they fight this thing, manage to actually kill it, only to be overwhelmed by a second one.

This was the final straw for the rogue who took his opportunity, and back stabbed the party ranger to an untimely unconsciousness. This was followed by the dwarf stabbing the dragon shaman draining his last bits of health, and the knight being smashed deep into the negatives. The party reaper was then grappled, and we ended it there, a fate uncertain.