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.

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