Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Player's Perspective

So for the first time in about 5 years I got to view a game from the perspective of a player. My friend was DMing and I got to play my homebrew class and had a lot of fun. We started with a fairly standard premise, the town is in danger and heroes have gone off into the local dungeon, go investigate what has happened.

This temple or dungeon was made from dwarves, and was very impressively big. My character can not speak, but delights in drawing so I drew the map both in character and outside the game. The first few rooms we investigated had nothing but corpses, some older and some newer, and we experienced no traps or combat of any kind.

Things grew a bit more exciting as we traveled along and encountered a fork. Down one path of the fork, there was a pit trap which seemed to be disabled by the roguish cleric, but in actuality it was not, and the big dumb fighter fell down it. We decided to go down a different fork then, after rescuing the fighter, but again this was trapped.

This time we disabled the pit, but there were rocks behind the door, which again crushed the fighter. Finally we went down a non-trapped path, and discovered more corpses. All this time I was listening very well, because of my race's bonus to listen, I had +24, resulting in a vast quantity of listening to nothing.

The only path ahead was over the pit, so we all hopped onto a phantom steed, and leaped across the path. Up ahead was the first combat in the game, which my keen senses detected ahead of time, but were not enough to avoid the rolling log trap. We met a cowardly lion goliath who had apparently been left behind by his brothers.

As is standard for a party of adventurers, we did eventually kill this man, though it was really his fault. We threatened him a bit, but didn't intend to actually murder him, but he would not submit to us leading him around. So we had a fairly uneventful combat, but I was almost critted multiple times, and hit despite my enormous AC.

We then traveled down, and encountered a few goliath mercenaries hiding in holes. The fighter smacked one, and the other had a boulder put over his hole, and thus could not get out. Eventually we did let him out, only to immediately knock him out and to interrogate him. We found out where to go and who was here, and charged off ready for a fight. A few corridors later and we had a large boss battle on our hands.

First we had to fight two rogues who sneak attacked us, and avoided our blows fairly deftly. Then we were fighting a big bad who dropped from the ceiling, the leader of the group who could almost not be hit. Luckily the wizard had been saving his big guns for the fight, and we entangled and distracted him so we could buff and heal. We did not actually finish him off, as the true BIG bad smashed him across the room before we could.

This guy looked tough, but our party made quick work of his first form. Unfortunately, he was made of acid, and proceeded to rip apart the fighter, tearing him in twain. With very little health left on his part, I smashed him with a face full of force, and he fell into the enormous lake behind him.

This was followed by me throwing a gem we had gotten at the beginning of the game into the lake, opening a portal to hell. Emerging from the lake was an enormous black dragon, and it was the only real option. Then I had a brilliant plan. As the portal to hell slowly grew, I knew what I needed to do. I spoke to my apprentice, telling him that I had taught him all I could, then me and the healer ran towards the portal.

My final act was to grab the two half of our friend, deploy the swan boat token that I had bought just before the game started, and ride it all the way to hell. What happened next was a tale for the ages, but also for another day.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kobolds, Kobolds, Everywhere, But Where is There to Sit and Drink?

We began this weeks adventure with the early stages of combat, as a large group of kobolds guards an even larger group from the interloping adventurers. Most of them go down with the ease that first level warriors should, one hit and they're down.

A few prove to be sticklers though, with one having blows just glance off of him, and another merely rolling with them. Luckily a kobold can not tank hits forever, and one goes down. Now the party had met a shapeshiter previously, who now had a perfect opportunity for an Eagle Strike! One roll and it's a twenty. Next roll also a twenty, excitement was building now. Then boom, only a 19, even still, quite a crit.

And what a crit it was, decapitating the opponent, as the eagle whisped by and whisked off his head. Now there were just a few kobolds with crossbows hiding in the corners, who were easily disposed of. Then came the Coup de Gracing, easy murdering of the sleeping kobolds. Now the party had a decision to do, once back at the fork, north, west, or south.

The west path lead to no good, though it was the first taken. The only result was a pit trap, followed by some enormous strength checks to pull up the dwarf enginner who had significant difficulty with his climb checks. Then the ceiling collapsed a little while later, due to a baboon triggering a trap, and they had to go back across the pit. Once again, the engineer fell in, as did the party rogue.

A little finangeling later and everyone was off down the south path, and after a short period they came upon the door. The rogue detected not one, not two, and not just quite three, but four separate traps. Some pokes here and prods there and there were no traps, or so the confidently striding rogue thought. CRUSH!

The rogue was crushed by an enormous spiked pillar, and slowly crawled his way as it crashed into the ground again. A resetting trap says the warlock, why I'll just stride right in to the door, what could really happen? One greataxe bisection later and his top half decided that it was not a good idea, and that was his last idea as he died.

The orc behind the greataxe satisfied with himself was subsequently destroyed by the remaining party members, with the totemist completely shredding him. The party rests here, and gets prepared for the final fork. No more traps but they discover an enormous egg being worshiped by a large group of kobolds. The party decides now is a good time to report back to the quest giver, and receive a bag of holding for a reward. How nice. There are some mutterings and we end the session with no clear idea what to do next.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One city down, one more to go

The first party begins in the end of a battle with their reserves fairly depleted but the tides of victory on the horizon. So the party manages to dispose of the big boss man and then has to decide what to do with the clerics. There are about twenty of them, and there are divided opinions on whether wanton murder or just an enormous amount of beatings is the appropriate course of action.

In the end though they talk to the clerics, insult their god, and attempt to use an illusion to convince the clerics to come with them. The illusion is of there god, walking around, and setting the roof on fire. It is not very convincing. So the party goes to plan A, and hightails it out of there.

Alas they run into some old friends, the guards from their previous town. These guards don't look too friendly either, carrying the corpse of their comrade, the rogue. The guards are finally getting their revenge for the slaughter of their friends by the party, way back at the keep.

A few sharp words are exchanged between the two parties, but in the end it always goes to combat; and quite a combat it was. The less experienced guards trade a few blows with the party, and the bard takes a potshot at the leader, and misses. That was when the real fun started.

The leader charges the minotaur knight, bringing him hugely into the negatives, but with regeneration he is only knocked unconscious. This leaves the bard alone with the leader, not a good situation to be in. Luckily the rest of the guards brigands are easily wiped up, with one taking a spear through the face and another being punched so hard he lost all his strength and constitution. Crit tables are fun.

The day could not all go good though, and as the party skeleton runs up to attack the boss he takes a huge amount of damage, and promptly runs straight back. The monk then goes in for a triumphant rescue of the bard, who is currently severely damaged. This does not end well. He is smashed by a great-axe for his troubles, then curb-stomped while on the ground, leaving quite a splattering on the ground.

The day is not quite lost though, and the bard and dragon shaman team up to murder the general, and in the end take him down, though not with great exuberance. The session ends there with a long debate about where to go from there.

A quick summary of the reaming party members:

lvl 6 Dragonborn Dragon Shaman (Original member)
lvl 5 Half  Minotaur Dwarf Knight
lvl 5 Tinker Gnome Bard (previously a druid)
lvl 5 Skeleton Melee guy (previously a bard)
lvl 5 Sorcerer, has not met the party (previously a monk)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Catching up

Too long. It has been far too long since I've wrote something, done something creative. So the galavanting heroes or at the very least protagonists continue on their perilous adventures. The first party now 6 strong decides to go and visit Dr. Satan, a nice friendly trip to the underground which was sure to result in victory.

One small problem is a couple of hundred rats swarming. These are no normal rats though, ghost rats from outer space they are, ready to gnaw and to gnash and to drain all the strength. A little help from some dead adventurers though provided the party with much needed ghost destroying weapons and a way to restore some of the strength that the nauseous rats gnawed down.

So a little worse for the wear but still on their feet they descend to the very welcoming arms of Dr. Satan, who's actual name is Ptolemy and henceforth I shall call him by that name. Ptolemy is flanked by two large armed guards bearing the likeness of guard dogs with enormous scimitars. They convinced by his facade decide to descend on an elevator, traveling past several enormous objects in an empty black room of cavernous proportions.

Only then does he reveal that he is not too happy with their activities, agreeing to work for the city and all that. But doublecrossers that they are they decide to doublecross the city, and agree to work for Ptolemy once he shows them his secret project. On an enormous platform revealed to be the still beating heart of the dog they find an ancient being sitting on a throne, threatening to wake and to bring the world to a new sort of order.

Ptolemy reveals his entire plan was to conduct a series of murders and catastrophes at the same time so all the blood can feed into his new god, and bring him back from the edge of extinction. He also reveals that every city is controlled by this one man, and that killing or destroying him may have dire consequences. Suddenly there is a huge quaking, as the city shakes from a collision with a nearby town, the one the party is planning to raid.

Now after a few hours spent with grafts the party is ready to face the clerics in the new environment, and gets prepared for a war. They ascend quickly to the surface, and digging, jumping, and flying there way down they meet the welcoming comity. Unfortunately the group's collective charisma is not of the diplomacy sort, so an armed conflict is inevitable.

Luckily they are better armed, equipped with their new arms and legs courtesy of Ptolemy. They easily dispatch the guards, and capture one who was presumed to lead them to the clerics. Again though, they are too trusting, and are led into an ambush, involving archers and a few footsoldiers. This combat lasts quite some time, great damage being done on both sides, with the dragon shamans healing just barely keeping the party up as the constant volleys seek to perpetually annoy them.

Again they seem close to their goal, and seek a warehouse containing a group of clerics. After some mighty deliberation and dispatching of more guards they come up with a cunning plan. They will forge a document to enter the warehouse, and then easily backstab the guards claiming their reward. This does not go well, as the party gnome is grappled as his paper thin disguise does little to help, and as the rest of the party busts in the session comes to an end, to resume next week.

As for the other party, they are doing fine with their resting and all that, and have a brilliant plan, find some quests, and go kill stuff, something which their record clearly shows they can do. Their immediate target is the mansion of Mathew, a dwarf crime boss who can not be eliminated legally, but since when have adventurers cared about legality?

Their attempts at reconnaissance and stealth do not go that well, so they buy some acid and begin melting the front gate. At this point the party warlock pops his head over, and promptly gets headshotted down to 0 health, and lies on the ground for the rest of the session. The rest of the party charges in and attempts to execute the gun wielding guards. A few misses later and the mission is not a success, but as always the party wins in the end, and they go streaming through the front door.

Here they find more guards, who are met with more difficulty due to the crime boss being armed with magical armerments, and peppering them with acid orbs and fireballs. The totemist gets all up in the face of the boss, and rips and tears his small guts into oblivion. The clean up is fairly routine after, with one of the rogues surrendering and joining up with the party. This is a new PC. The house is then set on fire by the totemist, and the rogue and engineer have to make a run for it with a heavy admantine safe while battling the remaining two guards, one of which gets a face full of safe, and the other manages to shoot himself.

One mansion burned to the ground and their job is complete, reward claimed, and ready for the next quest. This involves opening the safe. After many smashings, and a few more subtle attempts the rogue realizes he has several acid wands in his possession. Many failed UMD checks later and the safe is open, granting a large amount of money to the party, the first of this kind. The party dwarf now commits huri kuri, to be replaced by a shapeshipter a short while later.

Before this can happen they encounter a warblade that a few of them remember from before. He looks a little different, having been reincarnated as an orc, but is none the worse for wear, and puts up quite a fight as a druid casts entangle on the party, severely limiting their movement possibilities. The orc goes down, and up, and down, and up again, and finally the little rogue gets a few critical stabs in, and brings him down for good. That all wrapped up they can finally do what they had been meaning to and go investigate a disturbance in the sewers.

These sewers are different than the ones previously mentioned, and have some interesting new challenges awaiting them. They meet some kobolds on their way down, and that was where we left off, just a few kobolds hanging out with some trabs and some crossbows.