Tuesday, 28 April 2009
22:00 – With a blizzard sweeping across the ledge outside, the group head into the Dundorin passage, and into the Deeps...
22:15 – [Sunrod 1 of 6 used] Group come to the bottom of the stairs. Small room with closed heavy doors. The doors bear an inscription that states that if they are closed, death stalks the halls beyond
- Group go through the doors, after spotting and disabling the swinging spike wall trap that guards them
- Corridor beyond continues a little way, and then is almost entirely blocked by rubble. Brundorson states this was a deliberate cave in, caused to try and seal the stronghold beyond
- A crawlway is found
22:35 – 23:00 – Group crawl through wretchedly tight and claustrophobic spaces between collapsed rubble and stone, eventually emerging into a large hall of shattered pillars and mouldering rock. Strong smell of rust, and a slight breeze.
23:10 – After initial searches suggest this is a dead end, another crawlway out is found. This crawlway is smeared with tarry, greyish slime
23:15 – Group emerge into large chamber, filled with crumbling pillars (supports for a now collapsed level), piles of rubble, and vast piles of sticky slime. In the distance, a rubble strewn wall marks where a section of dungeon collapsed, and would appear to be the way forwards (about 40' up). However...
23:16 – Rust Monsters (2 normal, and one that can spit its rusting enzymes) attack. A massive Green Slime, unseen by the group drops from above and envelops the Warforged.
Short battle. Durjani's armour is eaten by a Rust Monster, as is her non-magical longsword. Following the battle, with the artificers knowledge, they extract the magical essence of her lost armour from the belly of the monster, so it can be used to reforge her armour when they get back to civilization. Durjani is shocked that the artificer would help her in this way after the recent events, and is even more surprised when he brings out his old leather armour and gives it to her
23:25 – Group have a short rest, during which a curious Ormid uses his artifice to scale the rubble wall. In the darkness he can see numerous springs and gears, though he is unsure what they are tied to. His common sense stops him blundering into the low ceilinged chamber without adequate light.
23:30 – Rest of group join him – realise the room ahead is the underbelly of a room trap warding a chamber above. All realise that this is the only way forwards, but that crawling through the guts of a trap will be very dangerous...
23:50 – Group accidentally trigger the trap. All party members are torn up by the ripping mechanisms...group continue to try and disable / bypass the hairspring mechanism, and to try and enter the chamber above alive and in one piece.
26/11/49 – Group are Underground!
00:10 – Group manage to get the trap doors open, and to get past the trap without any further mishaps.
00:15 – Short rest
00:15 – 01:30 – Group move deeper and deeper into the mountain, encountering numerous simple traps and stone defences. At one point the group come across curious springs of cold water, which are somehow boiling. Brundorson suggests certain magical radiations might be producing the effect, and the group decide to leave the water be and to get out of the area at once
01:30 – Group come to a heavy metal portcullis. Loud sounds of crashing water can be heard from beyond, and a strong, fresh, chill breeze gusts through, full of the smells of clear water. Peering through, the group can see a flight of wet, icy steps heading through naked black rock towards the edge of a vast rift in the earth; 80' across, and gods knows how deep. Massive waterfalls free-fall from above, each gleaming with muted bluish light, as if carrying light from some unknown source above. Huge icy chains stretch across the rift – a defensive bridge according to Brundorson, that can be dropped in an instant if need be. Vast carvings of roaring Dundorin heads glare balefully from the cliffs across from the group, the chains leading to portcullises in their mouths – the stronghold proper apparently (all the previous chambers have been defensive halls)
01:35 – Durjani, Brundorson and the Warforged force the portcullis open. As they do this, they see dim purple light flicker across the ravine, apparently behind another portcullis.
With the way clear, the group head down to the chains.
01:35 – 02:00 Group move across the chains. Icicles from the chains above fall and strike several party members, but all keep their footing and are able to get across without any serious mishaps, though the Vyrleen suffers a wound
02:05 [Sunrod 2 of 6 is used] – The tingle of magic and the smell of burnt energy hangs in the air across the way, wafted on warm currents from beyond the portcullis.
02:10 – The portcullis is forced, and Ormid takes a moment to feel for magical energies. He senses a mixed bunch, many of which are fading, somewhere ahead and down, though without direct line of sight, he can tell no more.
02:12 – A deep booming, as of slamming stone, is heard from ahead, and a shockwave felt through the ground. On their way down, the group spot vandalised statues – recently vandalised statues...
02:15 – Group head further in, down more stairs, and come to a vast gateroom. Huge ornate stone doors stand closed, and two very recently dispatched Stone Guardians lie in shattered piles either side of the doorway. Smoke veils the air here, and the vibrations of recently cast magic hang heavy. Curious patches of shadow that reluctantly fade away are also seen around the smashed remains.
02:17 – The doors suddenly open, revealing a 100' long, 10' wide corridor, flanked by scowling floor to ceiling carvings of Dundorin heads. The group conclude whoever trashed the guardians must have gone that way, and triggered any traps...
02:18 - ...but they are wrong. Heavy stone walls slam down, trapping the group in the corridor, and the heads begins to blast the entire corridor with jets of flame. The group are seriously hurt by the trap over the course of several rounds, until it is disabled by Llewellyn and Ormid
02:25 – After a short rest, the group, despite their wounds and weariness, vote to carry on a bit further, if only to make use of the remaining light from their second Sunrod...
Monday, 27 April 2009
11/9/49 - BENEATH LAERTRAINES' RUINS (Heavy thundery rain and high winds all day)
13:20 – Trap triggered by activating War Forged. Cave in. Grey Philosophy arrive.
- Grey Philosophy Psychic Warrior is killed; Acolyte legs it and alerts allies.
13:35 – Nyrystal scouts ahead and sees G.P. Troops heading into Xixite ruins, being replaced by
Psionic Constructs (Brutes).
13:40 – Aelwyn returns. Group hatch plan to lead constructs away.
13:42 – Plan fails
13:44 – Defeat Hulking Constructs, but more enemies are approaching.
13:45 – Acolyte from first battle returns with a female psychic warrior (Seleria), and a load of
minor construct. Group battle them and are victorious ~ though it is not an easy fight.
13:46 – Group decide to head towards the ruin before any more trouble can find them. Begin to
move in, and hear distant sounds of battle from within. Notice strange decorations
within; most of which seem to incorporate the symbol of an insanely smiling mouth.
13:48 – Enter ruins proper; come to vast pit chamber, with rope ladder hanging from its centre.
Nystyral teleports to ladder, and warforged throws rope across.
Ormid falls. Party head down
13:50 Find gutted Grey Philosopher. Nyrystal kills him. Group moves towards next chamber
13:53 - Group decide to head up.
13:54 - Enter upper ruins
Omid hears Grey Philosopher's to the north
Decide to head back to camp
15:20 – Return to camp
Ormid drops off to sleep
Warforged tries to chat to scrap golems guarding camp. They are “stupid”
16:45 – Warforged encounters Zombies in forest whilst searching for wood.
17:00 return to camp
Warforged has remembered much about its part in the Guild Wars. Appears gutted about the final outcome.
12/9/49 – Continuing Heavy Rain and Thunder.
08:30 – Group awaken
Decide they need to head back north so that the Warforged can be properly researched. He seems annoyed by this.
Lorehaven representatives are stationed in Daryyd Keep some 15 miles away, in the mountains.
Decide in the end to explore the ruins some more.
10:00 – Head off – decide to take the shorter route
10:20 – Encounter Grey Philosopher's
Set up an ambush and kill pyrokineticist before they can strike.
Battle ensues with Psionic Constructs
More Grey Philosophy adherants begin to move to area – group flee.
11:20 – Arrive close to site of former space port. Spot smoke rising from small encampment at lip of the vast “crater” the building has fallen into. Nyrystal scouts ahead
11:35 – Nyrystal returns. Reports a battered looking group of Adventurers.
Group decide to meet with them
11:45 – Encounter the group
Silas Grey; Leader of “The Sixfold Company”
Silas gives the sob story, about a golem and warns the group about the environment.
11:50 – Silas invites group to stop for food with group
13:30 – Our group head off into ruins.
- Group opt to take the winding path that burrows along and through the craters' side
Group encounter dead Kydraxi
13:55 – Ochre Jelly Fight! Warforged and Nyrystal are badly wounded. Nyrystal is scarred by the acid
14:00 – After short rest, continue on
14:10 – See that the “mist” floating in a layer around the spaceport about 200' from the crater floor, realise it is mould spores, coming from fungi growing over the ruins (not on the crater walls)
15:00 – Reach bottom of crater – waterlogged, dismal, dark – alien rubble mixed in with the mundane stuff
Nyrystal insists group take extended rest.
20:49 – Strange lights in waterlogged ruins. Group decide to ignore.
22:00 group settle down to rest
13/9/49 – Pale sunlight and heavy fogs. Very still.
08:00 – Group awaken
09:00 – Head off, and enter ruins
- Nyrystal scouts ahead.
09:15 – Group encounter Lesser Golem Remnant. Quickly dispatch it, though only after it really
hurts Ormid (Ormid pisses self – ha ha ha)
09:25 – After Ormid finishes examining Golem's Physical Remains. Conversation with
Warforged about constructs having Souls.
Group turn their attention to the doors (20' high, 15' wide – collapsed)
09:30 - Nyrystal checks for traps – sees nothing
Group begin clearing rubble from door
10:10 – Enter outer area of sealed zone.
Discover signs warning people against entering the sealed area.
10:15 – Enter Trap Chamber
Group spot plentiful signs of trap activity
10:25 – Warforged drags big assed boulder into chamber, and throws.
Triggers trap, but group are outside of room. Unfortunately, Warforged was stood under doors, and takes a pounding
Nyrystal manages to pause the trap long enough for group to make it across.
10:30 – Group hear an icy voice whispering from the darkness ahead... “Intruderssss”
10:35 – After group have waited to see if anything comes up the stairs.
10:36 – Meet Gyllithed (Ghost of former resident)
Agree to hunt down “Ancient Horrors” within the hangar
10:51 – Group have put on gifts from the ghost; enter the chamber
10:55 – Enter the dust haunted emptiness of Hangar 12. Decide to head straight into the middle.
11:00 – Find huge gouge marks in the stone floor, and get their first glimpse of the Primary Witchlight Marauder.
11:05 – Enter the Primary. Ormid realises what this “ship” they are in is...
11:35 – Enter the Grim Spore Chamber; Use Alchemists Fire to burn it out
Use Ormids' Arcane Springboard to clear the rest
11:45 – Tertiary Marauder Fight!!!
11:47 – Victory! Heavy heartbeats heard from deeper within the Primary's body...
11:52 – Set off to explore source of increasingly powerful heartbeats
12:05 – Find awakening Secondary Marauder...
12:07 – Use Alchemists Fire to trash Secondary Marauder's before they fully awaken
Fires catch and spread madly through the monster
Succeed skill challenge, and escape the burning monster unhurt. See the Secondary emerge, writhing and wailing briefly from the top of the Primary top before it falls in and burns
Witness Gyllithed's "re-birth" (He fails to cross over due to local "dimensional pressures", and becomes trapped somewhere between unlife and true life - a "half-ghost"). Ormid gives him hot choccy, and he asks to join them. Identified Dave's character as a Warforged, “Early 2nd Age”.
12:10 – Leave the area. Find that alien plants have arrived in the ditch surrounding the space port; brought through by the dimensional disruption of Gyllithed's rebirth.
Head back towards the Lore Haven camp
12:40 – Arrive back at surface, after moving through the Kydraxi tunnels, and hear sounds of battle from Silas' camp
Silas' company are fighting an elemental!
12:41 Group rush in to help and are attacked by the adventurer's! Turns out the elemental is an illusion, and Silas' band are predators who attack other adventuring groups.
12:43 – Victory, though Silas escaped! Bugger! Warforged is vexed by their actions, and Nyrystal is badly wounded, but survives.
Warforged check that adventurer's are dead.
12:46 – Group search camp and find hidden box under camp fire site, detailing a number of locations where Silas' band hid their ill gotten gains.
Group Rest. Discuss next move...
13:00 – Head back to base camp.
14:00 – Arrive at base camp and rest.
Group will head to Daryyd Keep, and from there to Lore Haven. Then will return.
17:45 – Henry Valkhardin; Warrior and adventurer of Lore Haven returns to camp. Offers to accompany group to Daryyd.
Henry is objectionable, but warns of Gnarrak on the road to Daryyd.
14/9/49 – Heavy rain, thunderstorms
06:00 – Group awaken
08:00 – Group leave for Daryyd Keep.
20:30 – Arrive at theKeep without difficulties. Informed that the next ship is due on the 22nd
Ormid falls to sleep as soon as possible
15/9/49 – Drizzle and strong winds
11:00 – Ormid wakes. Has a bath, and then goes downstairs to get some food. Avoids Henry.
12:30 – Enters dining area, after talking to old Ezzek (Current Custodian of the Keep) about his
discoveries in the basement.
Ormid meets Estellenne (another adventurer at the keep), keeps her attention from a now sulky Henry.
12:50 – Ormid excuses self, and accompanied by the Warforged goes to find Old Ezzek in order to see his discoveries
12:55 – Meets Ezzek, and at his insistence follows him into the depths of the keep
13:10 – Arrive at a dark, deep chamber. Ezzek makes excuses about having to briefly return to the surface to greet new guests and leaves. Ormid hears him lock the door behind him.
13:11 – Venom Soul Kydraxi attack! Ormid and Warforged slay them all
13:15 – Gyllithed and Nyrystal arrive after searching for Ormid and Warforged and being told they had come down here.
Although he seemed to go back the way he came, neither saw Old Ezzek on their way here.
13:18 Group discover hidden stairwell leading deeper underground and decide to go down for a look.
13:20 Nyrystal spots a dart trap on stairs; group avoid.
13:23 Enter ancient chamber. Group discuss next move.
13:24 – Kydraxi fight! Victory (though a Warlock escapes to sound the alarm)
13:26 – Group enter large, pillared chamber, thickly misted on its lower levels.
13:27 – Nyrystal reports the fumes are irritant.
13:28 – Nyrystal realises that the fumes are toxic, group decides to back track
13:29 – Kydraxi have moved in behind the group by routes unknown! Huge battle begins. Ezzek arrives midway through and uses Dracusvir (Poten Greatbow made from Dracanai bones with potent acid based attacks) to put some acidic hurt on the group. He is taken down, and the Warforged claims Dracusvir as his own
13:31 – Rumbling roars sound from somewhere beneath the level where the group are. Group decide to head topside to warn the others, and mount a further exploration.
13:40 – Kydraxi Fight in lower tunnels. Tunnel into depth is discovered.
13:45 – Meet with Henry and other adventurer's on stairs back up. Accused of murdering Ezzek. Succeed in convincing them that they are innocent. Henry rushes to question Elsbeth (Cook - also identified as allied with the Venom Soul Kydraxi).
13:48 – Henry is scalded by Elsbeth (she throws a pan of boiling water in his face to distract him), and she escapes through secret tunnel in back of cooking fireplace
Adventurers close off the Keep, and organise watches. Search through keep to assess supplies.
18:30 – Group begin to rest
16/9/49 – Still and bright
03:30 – Everyone awakes to find the bar-room in shadow; distant sound of Estellene screaming coming from the cellar stairs. Warforged goes to wake the Dundorin who is sleeping nearby but has not stirred, but discovers he is dead. Attacked by Venom Soul Assassin hiding beneath his table.
Brief battle, in which the Assassin is grabbed by the Warforged, and then sent flying through the windows by a crit from Ormids artifice
03:31 – Sounds of grinding stone from the kitchen, and then rushing Kydraxi (they have come through fireplace doorway)
Very difficult battle!
03:32 – Group open and then sabotage the secret door in the kitchen fireplace, before building a fire in it and moving on.
03:37 – Henry joins group in taproom, and they move to assist in the hangar. Gyllithed stays behind with Estellene to defend tap room and cellars.
03:41 – Group get down to outer chamber of hangars, and encounter a group of Kydraxi carrying Elemental Fuel Cells. Battle begins in which Henry is knocked unconscious.
Group win battle with little effort, and hide Henry in barrels. Ormid examines Fuel Cells, and recalls their destructive potential if damaged. Group discuss how such a situation could be forged.
03:46 – Group move on to join battles on docks. See a Rage Drake trying to smash the Elemental Fuel Cells, and are swarmed by more Kydraxi
Quick but brutal fight. The Warforged uses Dracusvir to harry the Drake, and it dies shortly before it can engage the group in combat.
THE BATTLE FOR DARRYD'S KEEP IS OVER!!!
04:25 – Survivors meet up in bar and decide to search Ezzek's chamber
05:30 – Ezzek's journal is discovered. Characters decide what to do next. Rednor and Estellene will stay in the keep to defend it against any stragglers, whilst the others seek out and slay Tyranzalphanasus (Black Dracani identified in Ezzek's notes - it appears Ezzek is allied with an organisation calling itself the "Coiled Brotherhood"; a group of Dracanai cultists.
06:10 – The PC's get some rest...
19:30 – Group awaken
20:30 – Group head down into Venom Soul tunnels
20:45 arrive at refuse cavern
20:47 – After group slaughter non-combatant Venom Soul Kydraxi
Group decide to give a show of strength and to move through main inhabited area. This plan works well, and with the stench of Kydraxi terror strong around them, they march forwards.
21:00 – Arrive at the entrance to the Altar of Venom...
Battle erupts, in which Henry is taken down, and Nyrystal is killed (Venom altar makes Poison attacks more potent, and many toxic glyphs ward the area. Also the altar is guarded by Venom Soul Zombies; animated Kydraxi corpses pumped full of deadly contact poisons)
Group recover items from Nyrystal's corpse, and hide it before moving on. A Poison Vodus'Aeska is found in the Altar
21:05 – Group encounter Kydraxi Custodians and Spitting Drakes. Brief but brutal battle. Key is recovered and used to open door to Gate Chamber. [MILESTONE]
Group gather themselves, and then charge through
21:07 – Battle Tyranzalphanasus. The Dracani is quickly floored by Gyllithed's magic, but soon comes back and the battle is long and arduous. Towards the end, Coiled Brotherhood soldiers attack, bursting in through a side chamber. Despite this the group kill the Dracani, sabotage the door into the Coiled Brotherhood stronghold, and grab several arms of treasure.
21:10 – Group smash the portal linking the depths of Darryd Keep to the Dracani lair.
21:40 – Group return to Inn, and are warmly welcomed. Sadness over the death of Nyrystal.
18/9/49 – Thundery, Heavy Rain
11:00 – Nyrystal is laid to rest under a stone cairn close to Darryd Keep (his corpse had become too rotten and disgusting to keep it for the journey home)
22/9/49 – Bright and slightly misty in the South; Frosty and Foggy in north
09:00 – Sky Ship from Lorehaven arrives. Captain sends word to the city about the events there, and a recovery / reconstruction team is dispatched
19:00 – Arrive at Lorehaven
22/9/49 -9/10/49 – First Snows hit after first week, by third week, Lorehaven is snowbound
Ormid and Warforged spend time resting in his home. Ormid exchanged Xixite Diary for a blueprint book, and obtains blue prints for Guardian Construct (Eye of Alarm Ritual). Aelwyn come to find out about Nyrystal, and though they are upset both at his death and at his remains being interred so far away, they accept his passing.
29/10/49 – Heavy Snow in morning and afternoon, blizzard conditions at night.
18:30 – At the “Staff of Runes” Inn in meeting
Ormid is given a pile of books on Space Lore to study, as well as notes on the engines of the “Saint of Tempests” - a ship he and the others are going to have to recover
18:45 – On way back to Ormid's home; attacked by Bionoid Assassin
Very tough battle in which Henry is taken down, and several nearby homes are set on fire / damaged by the Bionoids Energy Blast
After battle Warforged picks up Bionoids Crystal Eye, and narrowly avoids becoming its next host
18:50 Gyllithed arrives with city guards. Identifies monster and warns about the eye and its properties. Also tells the party of the vulnerability of the monster should the eye be struck in combat.
19:15 – Group arrive at Ormid's home and begin to pack everything they need for the journey
19:30 – Reethon (first mate from The Wanderer) arrives with several city guards. Tells the group to come at once, and tells them that almost all the other experts gathered for this mission have been killed by Bionoids.
Group head off for the Sky Docks
19:50 – Arrive at Sky docks; insane panic as multiple Bionoids arrive and try to reach them – luckily being slowed down by the Iron Golems working as heavy labour about the docks
Close call, but the Sky Ship pulls away and begins the journey to New Laertraine
30/10/49 – Clear and Warm in South
06:10 – Arrive at New Laertraine. Fly straight into Sky Docks and party dropped off directly on the Wanderer. Meet Captain Dorduin Dor'Thulin and get shown to their quarters.
over next couple of hours party speak with crew members (including Fiddler Joe), meet the two cats (Cyclops [fat, one-eyed ginger tom] and Shimmer [alien silver and black ringed cat with intelligent, glowing blue eyes]), and the other surviving delegates from the Contributor Cities. Learn that Spirit Warriors (more ancient Aelwyn biological weapons) were involved in those attacks
08:00 – Leave Arbel'Verdaniss and head into the void
1/11/49 – Space
16:00 – Gorgoth Ugg (Gorgoth = Orcs, Gugg = Warship) fires at the Wanderer, and closes in for battle
Arduous battle that sees many twists and turns, and which sees The Wanderer take several serious hits. However, with careful maneuvering, and with the direct help of the Warforged with Dracusvir and Ormid's artifice enhancing the power of the cannons, they are victorious
4 Crew Members slain
16:10 – Ormid saves the Captain's life after seeing him collapse with a large splinter embedded in his armpit. Captain expresses his eternal gratitude
Following the battle Ormid uses his skills as an Artificer to repair the damage to the ship, whilst the Warforged uses his great strength to help the crew tidy up / re-supply
22:00 – The Wanderer approaches the Wormhole, and spots the Gorgoth barricade / base blocking it.
22:10 – Group meet in Captain's quarters to discuss tactics. Ormid spots weak points in the barricade across the wormhole. Plan is developed to ship a small strike team to the base, and to blow the weak points, allowing the Wanderer to pass through at speed.
22:40 – Group leave the Wanderer on a small life boat and head out across the void to the Gorgoth Base.
23:15 – Arrive at the base after carefully navigating the treacherous open ways
23:25 – Come to rickety corridor. The Warforged's loud passing alerts Gorgoth in nearby rooms. Rest of the group begin to move across aided by Ormid's artifice.
23:26 – Gorgoth battle – Cannoneer and Reaver
23:27 – Battle ends, but sounds of more monsters approaching clearly heard. Group hide and prepare to ambush them.
23:32 – Group move on after a short rest
23:40 – Come to first (empty) cannon emplacement (chamber is cold and thin atmosphered; frost covers everything). Group decide to destroy the cannon
23:50 – FIRST CANNON DESTROYED – Group pick up 4 Gunpowder Kegs (each weighs 20 Lbs; if individual carrying it is hit by a fire attack, they must make a save or barrel explodes (limited high damage in 5 square burst) – Warforged carries one, Ormid carries two, Henry carries one, Gyllithed has one
2/11/49 – Space
00:05 – Gorgoth Cannon #2; Gorgoth Cannoneers
00:10 – Group rest
00:15 – SECOND CANNON DESTROYED
00:30 – Reach top Keystone
00:35 – Take right hand corridor
00:40 – Dimly litten corridor; Demonic evil hangs on the air. Group decide to turn around and find another corridor
00:45 – Group head down corridor that straddles
00:55 – Approach front edge of the top Keystone
00:58 – Warforged falls through floor, and tumbles into space, before slamming against Keystone (due to gravity plane). Ormid lowers rope, and he is able to pull himself up.
01:00 – Group carefully move into the corridor
01:05 – Find Cannon Emplacement
01:10 – THIRD CANNON DESTROYED
01:25 – Group become aware of Gorgoth ahead. Warforged runs to shaft ahead and sees a Gorgoth climbing it from a Cannon Emplacement lower down. Boots the beast in the face, making it fall. The fall smashes the supports and the entire emplacement falls off the front of the Keystone and into space. A 15' gap is now torn in the corridor. Group decide to rest. FOURTH CANNON DESTROYED
08:00 – Group move on. Ormid uses Arcane Springboard to help everyone over the gap in the corridor. HOWEVER...
Group spot the first of the supports. Ormid makes a timing device, and the Warforged Is picked to go out onto the strut and place the device and some gunpowder.
08:25 – Warforged successfully places charges – BOMBS EXPLODES AT 12:25
09:10 – Group come to transported structures
Engage with Gorgoth guards outside. Henry is taken down by an elemental infused warrior, and is Coup de Graced and killed
09:15 – Advance on the stronghold. The great front gates open, and a series of small battles run into one another. The group battle Reavers, a Mezzodaemon, and Gorgoth Concubines (in a trapped corridor they can activate by stepping on certain pressure pads). It is a long and deadly battle, but the group are victorious.
09:20 – Group enter whispering darkness of the birthing chambers beyond. Skothgorgus appears and the gathered females attack!
09:20 – 09:35– The battle with Shothgorgus and the females is a long and embittered one. The exhausted group fight him to a standstill, only to have him teleport into his shrine and heal. They then have to deal with the cyclone he conjures, before a truly desperate battle ensues up and around the ziggurat shrine to Gorgamorth. Eventually, with almost every power and trick at their disposal exhausted, the group manage to destroy the demon, triggering the collapse of the ziggurat. Before fleeing (a trial in and of itself) they free three sacrificial victims chained to the blasphemous statue of Gorgamorth that stands at the Ziggurat's peak (one of these is killed by the collapsing chamber), and scoop up some items left in sacrifice beneath the statue. They then flee, collapsing into a corridor exposed by the crumbling structures' death throes, and once clear, catch their breath...
Bone weary, the group advance towards the far Keystone, and clear out two unguarded cannons. They become aware that the atmosphere around the base is thinning, now the central structure has been destroyed.
09:45 – Group come to the final cannon and battle a small but powerful squad of Gorgoth; a Berserk, two cannoneers and an evoker. The battle is tough and painful, but the group are successful.
09:55 – Group begin to head back across the ruined base after setting a second timed explosive by the second support strut.
10:35 – Whilst clambering over ruins of the Ziggurat, group hear the lamentations of trapped Gorgoth within, and witness the departure of a black, cloudy, clearly unholy entity.
11:05 – Group return to the life boat they used to approach the base, and flee
12:25 – Both supports are destroyed by the explosives. Group have not yet reached the Wanderer and are nearly missed as it races towards the portal. Luckily, they are spotted by Fiddler Pete, and brought aboard. They retire to bed almost at once (after noticing three new crew members; fresh through the now active Teleport Circle from Lorehaven)
4/11/49 – Space
10:30 – Group gather on deck after a long sleep. Discover they are in nebulae rich region of distant space, headed for Astartis; a planet connected to the “Reality Pylons” used (supposedly) in the Belief Wars. Group introduced to new party member (Friar Richard'Oth Namaea'Isaala), and two officials from Lorehaven; Alanthia (Lorehaven Bard) Notary Ulnis (Lorehaven Official linked to Numinaris Project)
5/11/49 – Space (Heavy snow and high winds in Lorehaven)
08:20 – Group called into Dorduin's quarters, where the Lorehaven folk await. Ormid is told his home has been broken into and the guards who investigated slain. Ormid requests to be allowed to use the teleport circle to return to Lorehaven to check things out. This is allowed (by Alanthia, despite Ulnis' complaints about cost).
10:30 – Group enter Lorehaven
10:55 – Group arrive at Ormid's home. Place is in disarray after killings; smashed furniture, snow has got inside after front door left off (boarded crudely up).
11:10 – After check of upper floor (porn mags are alright), Ormid activates secret door to labs
11:20 – Group enter labs – everything untouched.
11:35 – Sounds of wet footsteps running down corridor towards labs
Warforged Zombies (Woeforged) apparently controlled by a Warforged Artificer attack. All bear the symbol of an eye with a black iris. Hardware gains memories of “Old Ebon Eye”; formidable Warforged from Guild Wars who rebelled against his creator and tried to start a Warforged uprising.
Tough battle, but won in time. Hardware and artificer exchange heated comments.
11:40 – Group return to upstairs. Guards from front door dead. Artificer has escaped. Other guards on way summoned by horrified crowds...
13:00 – Ormid realises what the Warforged may have been after. Has uncovered notes on Warforged Components unearthed in the Streaked Mountains northern reaches 15 years ago...and hints of a creation forge. Group decide to explore the site these came from at a later date.
Ormid sets off to find out how to claim the Space Gate to Astartis as his own. Learns he must simply defend and hold it.
- Group are introduced to Llewellyn, a Vyrleen of...questionable...profession, apparently sent by Lore Haven as additional back up.
22:30 – Group return to Ship, though Ormid makes it clear he wishes to return to explore the region where he unearthed the Warforged Components as soon as he can
6/11/49 – SPACE
8/11/49 – SPACE
Ship arrives in outer reaches of Astartis system
12:40 – Arrive in upper atmosphere of Astartis
Ship has very rough entry; many crew members are lost, including Fiddler Joe. The ship eventually is brought to a relatively minor crash in a lagoon in the swamp.
14:00 – After repairs and stock take of ship completed. Essential coupling devices in Helm and Engine shot – hope is that spares can be salvaged from Saint of Tempests
15:30 – Group head into nearby jungle (first in boats, then on foot) to find area for Richard to consecrate, in which to bury dead from ship (most of the dead are missing, presumed dead, having been swept overboard during the ship's entry. However, half a dozen corpses remain on board to be buried).
15:50 – Su-Monster attack
16:15 – Find suitable site. Defend the cleric whilst he conducts the purification ritual
20:00 – Dead are lain to rest.
9/11/49 – ASTARTIS – Clear, Fresh, Sunny (Ormid, Richard, Llewellyn, Gyllithed, Reethon- All catch a fever)
Richard uses Heal skill – Gyllithed is cured, Reethon at initial, Ormid is healed, Richard is Healed, Llewellyn at initial
10:00 – Group wake up
12:00 – Group arrive at waterfall.
12:10 – Llewellyn, Gyllithed, Ormid and Richard eat Astartis Salmon (+1 Fortitude until 00:10, 10/11/49)
12:25 – Vyrleen swims across the river and secures a rope around a stump
Group move across; Reethon and Ormid have rough times (Ormid actually panics, and returns to the starting side). Ormid is so scared, that the Warforged has to bring him physically across. What a girls blouse.
14:55 – Group get through
15:25 – Group have a brief rest and continue. During this rest the Vyrleen lifts Ormid's scroll detailing the possible whereabouts of the Eastern Guild / Forge. When this is discovered, Ormid vomits, panics and begins scrabbling about for the lost scroll. The Vyrleen claims to have found them, but the Cleric detects his dishonesty...no one (after the Cleric's bad mouthing and stirring with regards to Gyllithed's “necromancy” ) believes him
16:00 – Group encounter mouldering remains of Oshu (Big alien humanoids) (Plasmoid boundary markers).
16:20 – 16:45 Group encounter Plasmoid Patrol. Although there are immediate moves towards battle, the Vyrleen and Artificer manage to forge a tentative psychic communication with them through their hive mind. They bargain with the entities (they are shown a Plasmoid “eye” view of the hive where it grows in and around the components of the Saint of Tempests they seek to remove) – the group will stop the “sharp thing” in the distance (a Reality Pylon who's residual physic energy hurts the Plasmoid hive mind), in return for the aliens allowing them to remove the components they need (which will wound the hive, and need healing).
Ormid is unwilling to destroy the Pylons, and it is made clear to the group that if they do not do what the Plasmoids want, they will not surrender the components the group wants without fighting to the death.
Group have been attuned to the psionic headache the Pylon puts out, which acts as a compass. They head out towards their unseen destination at once.
21:30 – Make Camp
DISEASE PROGRESS – Reethon (Initial)
06:30 – Break and Leave Camp
10:15 – Hear sounds of Oshu Village; decide to avoid
18:30 – Make camp (as pushed selves; Disease gets +2 bonus to “attack”)
19:30 – Group notice the spectral energy surrounding the Reality Pylon looms in the distance
DISEASE PROGRESS – Gyllithed (initial)
08:00 – 09:00 Group break camp – the cliff needs to be got down safely (150' drop)
Gyllithed falls from 120', and barely survives thanks to the cushioning canopy below. The rest of the group make it down safely, and the party head into the jungle. They soon realise that beneath the canopy, all is rot and decay; the trees are dead, there is no undergrowth, and only mist and fungi and foulness is found.
10:10 – Group ignore the distant lights of Will-O-Wisps
11:00 – Wraith Battle! The souls of those who fell in the Belief Wars here remain as undead, and some of these attack the group...
Immediately following the battle, ranks of spectral knights, clad in high-tech armour, appear and prepare to attack the group. They are stopped however by the commands of a more traditionally garbed spectre, bearing the old (pre 3rd-age) symbology of Solum. This shade is of the Solumite Knight Sir Kaeleth; a knight charged with destroying one of the Xorthia (imprisoned in the Reality Pylon).
11:20 – After Sir Kaeleth explains situation, and group agree to seek out the two halves of the Prayer of Mortals; Kaeleths ancient Flamberge, enchanted to destroy the Xorthia
11:30 – Group head off
11:45 – Group pass the spectral clerics and magi, eternally casting the rituals they believe hold the Xorthia Lord in the Pylon.
12:00 – Group come to the planar barrier around the base of the Pylon; a region of null reality created by the Xorthia to hold the shattered weapon that can harm it.
??:?? - Group enter null plane. Immediately see two monstrous, hound shaped fields of nothingness (Xorthian Hounds), each with a half of the Prayer within it.
??:?? - Group battle the Hounds (dealing with the planar riptides that constantly skim through the battle field, randomly teleporting those they touch)
??:?? - Moments, weeks, years later (????), the group manage the destroy the monsters. The Null Plane collapses...
12:01 - ...And the group appear by the Reality Pylon. Sir Kaelen takes and re-forges the Prayer, and enters the Pylon
12:01 – 12:10 – Nature rebels as horrific energies lash the Pylon and psychic turbulence wracks the party as the two mighty entities clash. Eventually all the group are knocked unconscious by the sheer horror and pressure of the battle
13:10 – Group awaken. The Spectral army has crossed over, it's duty finally done. Sir Kaelen gives group the Prayer of Humanity (+2 Abrogating Flamberge), as well as the location of his keep (wherein lies a secret vault of monies and items). He then crosses over to join his brethren in the afterlife.
14/11/49 – Group are able to return to Lorehaven (Sunny but Snowy at night)
10:00 – Group return
14:00 – Group arrange passage to Darryd Keep
(Llewellyn learns there is a price on his head from the Northward Procurer's Guild – a disappointing 150gps, and Gyllithed catches a glimpse of a Paladin of Azrael)
07:30 – Skyship leaves for Darryd Keep
18:00 – Skyship arrives at Darryd Keep
19:00 – After meeting with Willem (Willem asks group to consider helping them explore the deep tunnels and ancient portals dscivered under the Keep, but the group refuse for now)
19:30 – After group set up in room
20:30 – Group seek out Ujan (Southern Merchant who was recently attacked by Gigorim and Gnarrak on road between Darry Keep and Jadasvere)
– Agree to price of 750 gps for returning the rosewood chest lost in the
Ormid realises that Durjani is bound to the house by a ritual, and may not be a free agent. He plans to find a way to free her.
16/11/49 – (Heavy rains and thunder in south) Engines in the Wanderer are replaced, and ship is ready to fly. Cranes are brought through from Lorehaven and extraction begins from the Plasmoid Hives (Components will be fully removed by 26/11/49).
04:30 – Ormid gets up to try and find someone at the keep who knows about Binding Rituals used to create bound warriors after seeing Ujan's bodyguard.
Meets a Wizard named Samuel who reveals that as far as he knows, rituals like these create a magical tattoo on the person, and that, theoretically, a disenchantment would remove it
06:00 – Meets with Willem, who can't help.
07:30 – Group leave Darryd Keep, and head south towards Jadasvere
Group make excellent progress for this day, and set up camp by the roadside.
17/11/49 (Bright and Breezy, turning Thundery and Wet by early evening)
07:00 – Group wake up
08:30 – Group continue on way to Jadasvere
11:40 – Ambushed! As happened with Urjan, Vulgol'Gigorim (Hill Giants) heft piles of rock into the road to block escape, whilst Gnarrak (Gnoll) archers and warriors swarm the group.
It is a fierce but short battle (Warforged has used all Daily Attacks, Gyllithed has used his Daily. Warforged has used Fire special power on Axe), which sees two of the Gnarrak archers fleeing for their lives.
12:00 – By this time, the bodies of the Vulgol'Gigorim have been searched (good treasures found), and a clear trail of blood discovered from the fleeing Gnarrak hunters.
The group head towards the monster's lair, following the blood trails...
12:15 – Group come to open area before the caverns where the monsters lair. HUGE BATTLE! Two waves of enemies, the second lead by Turzak; the Vulgol'Gigorim who's sons the group slaughtered on the road. Horribly tough battle...but the group win...just
12:20 – Vyrleen catches Blinding Sickness as he searches through the Gigorims remains for treasures.
12:25 – Group retreat to take an extended rest.
12:40 – Group set up camp near to road and wait until the next morning (Extended Rest)
18/11/49 –Heavy Fog until mid morning, then heavy rain
06:30 – After a surprisingly quiet rest, the group head back towards the caves. During their rest, Ormid and Durjani work with poultices and cure the Vyrleen's disease before it can deal any lasting harm (Vyrleen has -1 Healing Surge until next Extended Rest however).
07:00 – Group approach the entrance to the Gnarrak lair. The Vyrleen scouts ahead, and discovers evidence of the monsters they have already faced, but nothing more. Begins to head into caverns, but the deep darkness stops him going too far
07:10 – Whole group enter the reeking lair of the monsters.
07:15 – Group come to a three way split in the corridor; SE stinks of dog mess and ammonia, E smells of rotting meat and NE carries the taint of evil. Group head East.
07:17 – Group hear rustling ahead. The air stinks of rotted meat
07:18 – Tired of the group's reluctance to press on, Llewellyn runs into the dark chamber ahead. Discovers the floor is alive with maggots. Finds blood encrusted stairs at far end
07:20 – As rest of party move through maggots, the Vyrleen peeks up the stairs...and wishes he hasn't. Sees the Gnarrak's butchery room, but narrowly avoids being driven mad
07:21 – Having seen the Vyrleen's face, the group decide to backtrack.
07:26 – Back at intersection. Group decide to head NE
07:30 – Corridor splits; right heads down (sweaty smells, roasted meat, dog smell), left heads up (malevolence hangs there).
07:31 – Ormid detects conjuration magic up the left hand corridor
07:33 – Group are entering natural cavern with great stone pillars, horribly rotted by some alien force when they are ambushed by Chaggrins and a Leukodaemon
07:35 – Very tough fight. The Vyrleen has contracted Mummy Rot from one of the daemon's arrows. A distant howling is heard as the monsters are slain...
08:15 – Group search the chamber. Ormid locates a Glyph of Warding on one wall. Further examination by the Vyrleen reveals a hidden door.
08:20 – Llewellyn opens the door...and chaos ensues, for beyond is an Adathrainite chapel.
08:20 – 08:25 – Desperate battle! The group are almost overwhelmed, but battle through in the end.
The group knock the Gnarrak Priest out rather than kill him. As he falls Brudd (whos place of worship this once was) returns to purify the chamber. The group receive blessings from the Elemental Deity, and the treasures from the midden. Llewellyn's Mummy Rot is cured.
Group turn their attention to the chest. Durjani threatens the group when it looks like they may try and meddle with it. Warforged questions her regarding her bindings, and she simply tells them she is bound as a matter of honour, and not just hers.
Group decide to leave the chest with the elementals guarding the altar of Brudd, intending to pick it up on their way back.
The group decide to take the Gnarrak Priest (heavily bound) to the town of Northgrove.
Group meet with Gurran Heldensang (Dundorin monk of Gigam'Thorgoth) and are commended for their actions. Group get free lodgings at the Blushing Dryad...
22:30 – After Durjani goes to bed, the group discuss their next move
21:30 – Group arrive at Northgrove. They are enthusiastically greeted by the townsfolk (the group met with some guards, who have sent word ahead of their prisoner and victories)
19/11/49 – Persistent rain, easing off towards nightfall.
03:00 – Llewellyn does a quick circuit of the town, but fails in his inebriated state to find anything of use. He manages to avoid getting into trouble luckily too.
04:00 – Warforged visits Gurran to discuss Durjani's binding tattoos. Gurran knows a little about them, reiterating that they are a fairly common thing in the southern city states ruled by the Merchant Houses. He tells the Warforged that they are sometimes taken voluntarily, and other times are forced on their recipient. He advises speaking to the mages of the “Black Equinox” school in Jadasvere.
05:00 – Warforged returns to inn and meets with Brundorson, who informs him that he will be joining them on their quest. The Warforged agrees
07:00 – A hungover Vyrleen and Durjani get up
08:30 – Ormid is woken up and dragged down to taproom
09:30 – Group head out for Jadasvere
13:00 – Group have a short rest.
20:00 – Group set up camp. Llewellyn steals the Dundorin's journal and steals away from the camp, heading towards Jadasvere (this is all part of the plan to get the scroll convincingly deposited in Jadasvere, though neither Durjani or Brundorson know this)
20:20 – Brundorson discovers the missing journal and goes MENTAL!!!!! Insists the group head off after the Vyrleen at once. Warforged and Ormid play their parts well, “discovering” the scroll is “missing” and agreeing (against Durjani's advice) to hunt the Vyrleen down...
20:25 – Ormid “twists his foot”, and the pursuit is abandoned – much to Brundorson's utter disgust and fury.
21:00 – Llewellyn hears voices through the fog ahead and avoids them (this was a Dakoldite mercenary ambush)
22:30 – Llewellyn arrives at the northern edge of the “Rotting Fields” (Huge refuse dump on northern edge of Jadasvere), and moves on through
23:14 – Llewellyn enters Jadasvere and finds a room at a rough inn
20/11/49 – Bright and clear after a misty start
11:30 – Rest of the group enter Jadasvere after roughing up some of the wretched souls who live in the Rotting Fields for info about the “thieves” whreabouts.
Llewellyn spends the day trying to discreetly locate a buyer for the scroll. Unknown to him and the rest of the group, they come to the attention of the Plunderer's guild, and their attempts at subterfuge are blown.
12:30 – All but the Vyrleen find rooms at the Dreamer's Den; a local drug-house and Inn owned by the Dockers Union. They haggle the room price down in return for working the night as bouncers, and meet with Tethacis; a wizard of the Black Equinox.
22:00 – After a hard day trying to “locate” the “thief” the group return to the Den, and after some work, earn Tethacis' trust.
20/11/49 – Wanderer passes through former Gorgoth Base Portal
21/11/49 – Cloudy, then raining
Group set up a plan to re-meet with the Vyrleen, after the scroll is stolen
Group re-unite (the Dundorin is briefed, and his journal returned. The Vyrleen did read it a little, seeing runes of power, diagrams of a mighty axe, and mention in common of something only working for those of the right “bloodline”).
Group hastily leave Jadasvere and head out for Darryd Keep.
23/11/49 – Durjani has a run in with the group over her bindings, and her unwillingness to discuss them
24/11/49 – Windy, with heavy rain showers. Later windy with driving rain.
13:40 - Group back at Darryd Keep. Meet with Ujan, who pays them (after trying to pay them less than was agreed)
13:45 – The Vyrleen and Warforged begin to harass the merchant about Durjani's bindings. She defends the Merchant, and he explains that she is payment for a debt.
When the group continue to harass Ujan, calling him a coward and slaver, things degenerate and a fight breaks out between the group, the merchant, his guards and Dujani.
Ujan is killed by Llewellyn; a shattering blow to the head. The guards are slain, and Durjani is knocked unconscious.
13:55 – After a short inspection, the Vyrleen opens the Rosewood chest, and is almost killed by the Radiant Glyph that wards it. The group see the staked heart within (in a crystal chest), and are...vexed.
13:40 – Guards from the keep proper arrive and see the carnage. They accept (initially) the parties version of events, though by nightfall, they have received word from Lorehaven stating that an investigation will be carried out, at the request of House Shakem in Saltabar.
23:00 – Group are informed that they will be met on their return to Lorehaven the next day by law men from Lore Haven, and that until the matter around Ujan's death has been cleared up, they will be required to remain within the city. This will likely see them not being able to return to the Wanderer in time for it to enter the Segmentum Mortalis.
25/11/49 – Thunderstorms in the south, strong crosswinds and rain in the midlandic region; snow over high ground...
07:45 – Group leave Darryd Keep on board a Lorehavenian Sky Ship.
11:30 – High above the central Clouded Hills, the engine is destroyed by a Kydraxi ::REST DELETED SO AS NOT TO RUIN GAME FOR PLAYERS::
14:00 – Group have built shelter, searched the ship and area, and are ready to head off
14:10 – Group begin to try to climb down the northeast cliffs leading from the crash site. After some magical tinkering by Ormid, the ropes snap, and the group plummet, smashing into an icy ledge far below.
15:30 – After group fall from cliff – Frost Trull Fight
- Vicious fight, as the heroes are wounded by their fall, and unable
to stand on the treacherous ice sheet. Several times it looks as if
the group may be fighting their final battle. Eventually however,
sheer luck (and the potent power of the Warforged's fiery axe)
prevail, and the group are able to slay / drive off, the monsters
Brundorson is gutted that he was crap in a fight against Nargor.
15:40 – Group crawl into the Trull cave and have an extended rest. During this time, they discover a secret door at the back of the cave, which leads to a Dundorin passage (according to Brundorson).
22:00 – With a blizzard sweeping across the ledge outside, the group head into the Dundorin passage, and into the Deeps...
28/11/49 – Wanderer enters the Segmentum Mortalis
1/12/49 – Wanderer passes through Second Gate
So there you go! Hope you enjoyed this...I will update after each game (and will repeat for my other games too)
Sunday, 26 April 2009
Scarrport - City of Secrets
Level up #1
Creature Collection - A Compendium of 4th Edition Monstrous Foes
Anyway, I am hoping to discuss my sessions with you here, both from a "what happened" point of view, and as a GM discussing the game, and my thoughts about how things went.
ICE TRULLS AND SLIPPERY SURFACES
Okay, let me start with a bit of info from my campaign world. "Trull" is a Dundorin (Mountain Dwarf) word, for the monstrous Nargorim. It's a word used in its corrupted form (Troll) by many other races - a fact that really annoys the Dundorin and occasionally starts fist fights. So, you get that by "Trull" I mean "Troll" yeah?
Okay, so in my last regular game, the "heroes"* - a human artificer (using the play test class), a Warforged fighter, a Vyrleen (Halfling) rogue, a human Warlord (NPC), a Dundorin fighter (NPC), and a half-ghost controller type guy (NPC controlled by players) - had just...well, there's a whole load of stuff they had done, but for now, all you need to know is they had returned to a way station they had previously wrested control of from a cult of Dracanai (Dragon) worshippers and their Kydraxi (Kobold - you sick of this yet?) allies**. They were planning on getting a Sky Ship back to Lorehaven; their home city, ready to return to their adventures in space (seriously; full on Spelljamming - without spelljammer helms - in my games baby), however, whilst above a great mountain range halfway home their Sky Ship was sabotaged by a Kydraxi, and they crash landed on a remote snow field, high up the side of a mountain.
And that is where the last game session began; with a dazed group (one of whom - the warlord - is seriously pissed at the rest, as her NPC employer had been...well...killed...by the group the week before after a misunderstanding over a binding tattoo, a heart with a stake through it in a chest, and an ill advised command by said NPC employer for his bodyguards to kill the group - admittedly following some pretty major provocation), trying to work out how the hell they were going to get off a high snowfield surrounded by cliffs, whilst being exposed to intense cold and altitude sickness....nice eh?
Well, after searching the ship (I put some level 10 Healing Potions in, which are the same as the normal ones, but heal 15 hit points instead of 10, as well as a Ritual Scroll - Detect Secret Doors - which could be useful later), building some passable shelter from the killing cold for the other survivors, and arguing with the warlord, they decided to set off down one of the cliff faces in search of a way off the mountain, and hopefully, to find help.
So, a nice skill challenge, with some fairly hard D.C.s. Now I'll be honest; I use the method given in the DMG for creating D.C's, as it usually comes up with a good D.C. when bonuses for race, items and other things are taken into account. I deliberately made the challenge level 8 and gave it a complexity of 4 (10 successes before 3 failures) - which meant it was a tough, but not impossible challenge for my level 7 group. It also meant that I was willing to allow my players to fish for bonuses through good ideas (a thing I am more willing to do in 4e than previous editions for some reason).
Alas, despite some good ideas, and great roleplaying (I am bemused by anyone that claims 4e somehow retards roleplaying), the challenge quickly ended, and the group fell...ah...
So, I wanted a fall from the mountain face to be really bad, but not an instant TPK (I am not a GM adverse to TPK's by the way, as long as the characters stood at least some chance, and the circumstances are cool enough that they feel like they had fun in spite of their character's deaths) and so had to come up with something that could potentially knock one or more players out, inflict some kind of longer term penalty, and would make it a moment the players would remember in years to come...
As well as damage (the group took 25 a piece when the dice I assigned were rolled), I had each player loose 2 healing surges (to represent serious sprains, dislocations, morale loss and general agony), and triggered a nasty level 8 encounter with a number of Frost Trulls that they would have otherwise been able to prepare for in advance.
Oh, and I included a level 7 version of the "Treacherous Ice Sheet" obstacle from the DMG, which in the end, made for one of the most amusing battles for quite some time.
So, the group are really hurt (a few characters were bloodied), and now they are being attacked by some big, nasty beasties...A level 8 elite Brute, three level 7 Soldiers and a level 8 Artillery with some strong Control elements...oh, and they can't stand up on the ice sheet...
What ensued was a fight that I must admit, I thought by round 2 was going to be a TPK - and not a good TPK as defined above.
I was seriously starting to wonder if I had gone too far to make the fall horrible, and was starting to think about how I could rescue the situation without blatantly helping or skewing the fight unnecessarily in the groups' favour.
In the end I dropped a hint about fire being good, and my players got the hint. These monsters have Vulnerability 10 to Fire, though they also had the following (Muwahahahahaha)
[Close] Steam Burst (Immediate Reaction when Ravenous Frost Nargor takes fire damage)◆ Fire;
A burst of scalding steam erupts from the monster, burning and blinding all in its area; Close Burst 2; +X Vs Reflex; 1D10 Fire and Untyped damage and target is Blind until the end of their next turn
It was a long fight, and one that saw the group pulling every trick they could out of the bag to survive. They ended up deciding to take the -2 penalty for fighting from prone, and the speed drop for crawling, rather than risk the painful (1D8+2 damage) falls from trying to stay standing on the ice, and in the end, they beat the monsters (well, one threw itself off the cliffs that surrounded the battlefield, trusting its ability to regenerate and fearing the crawling, fire wielding metal man).
I think I pushed things about as far as I could without straying into "blatantly stupidly unfair" territory. The risk of death was very, very, real, but the group managed to stay alive by using their brains and working well together. In the end, the group felt as if they had achieved something major, and were just glad that the monster's cave had enough fur and chewed bones in it, that they could start a fire, and avoid making Endurance checks against the cold for a bit (they were now too low to suffer from altitude sickness, damn them).
Oh, and they found a secret passage into the mountain inside the cave...marked by a Dundorin rune...what are the odds?
* My games are very much in the dark fantasy / horror fantasy vein with a HEAVY dose of Steampunk thrown in - what can I say, I loved Warhammer, H.P. Lovecraft and Spelljammer. I don't like the black and white outlook on good and evil, and did away with alignment in 3.5 and entirely in 4e. I like characters with flaws and complicated villains with proper motivations other than "yeah, let's break stuff and you know, wear black, and yeah, be dead evil an' shit. Woo", and it's VERY rare that my players are really god's honest heroes...mainly because such characters inevitably go mad and end up suckling at some blasphemous abominations vinegary teat...
** That was one of the longest and possibly worst sentences ever committed to the net. I am truly sorry.
...Total times playing 3.5 since the first game of 4e?
0. Zero. Not once.
As a whole, despite some initial pain getting ourselves into the 4e mindset, and making it fit into the very dark world we play in, we absolutely love it. We love the fact that fights are shifting, dancing things filled with interesting twists and turns. We love the way that no single class dominates, and that every player has something useful to do, and I love the fact that I once again enjoy planning a game, and no longer see it as a big piece of unasked for maths homework. I like being able to run games "on the fly" again, like in AD&D and AD&D 2nd edition, and love the fact that I can adapt pretty much anything to my games with very little effort, but comprehensive and polished end results.
So, do we have any gripes?
Well, we are still a bit pissed about having to wait for the Monk and psionic classes (I have done a 30 level psionic striker class - the Shadow Mind - for my other half, and might, if you are good, may post it here), but accept that these will come. Indeed, most of our gripes are not to do with the game itself, but with Wizards of the Coast, and some of their - frankly bemusing - decisions.
The main point of contention at the moment is their decision to stop the sale of .PDF files, in order to address the issue of piracy. This apparently kicked off after the Players Handbook II spread across the file sharing sites like a new form of Ebola, leading to record sales of the same title, and...wait...err...what?
Yeah, you heard me - the dead tree version sold very nicely thanks, and despite the pirated .PDF's all seems to have gone very well.
However, this has not stopped some....some...utter moron...at Wizards of the Coast (or I suspect, the looming doom corporation Hasbro), from deciding that stopping access to legitimate copies is the answer; somehow forgetting that pirates love a challenge and that with a dead tree copy, a scanner and some simple software, an unofficial .PDF copy can soon be whisked up.
I mean, honestly, how does denying access to legal .PDF's help prevent piracy? Won't this just force people who normally rely on such things (folks with eyesight problems, or who don't have access to dead tree versions for whatever reasons) to seek out illegal copies? Doesn't this just set a challenge to the pirates, ensuring that, if anything, the piracy of new books is assured, and doesn't this just punish those folks who rely on legal .PDF's to ensure they have the books when they come out (like me - Europe always seems to get their copies late, which is really f*cking annoying)?
Ah but wait, it's okay, because Wizards have declared that they are looking at a new way of digitally distributing their stuff...which will slow the pirates down for...how long? A week? Two weeks?
Don't get me wrong. DDI has been pretty cool (though I am finding Dragon Magazine deeply lacking), and the Character Builder is frikkin awesome. However, I can't help but worry, when a company that has shown a huge mass of naivety with regards to the digital world and those who use it, suddenly start to make bold, and on the surface, dumb, moves.
Having said that, maybe they will surprise us all, and deliver.
I don't know. I was wrong about 4e, Gods' willing, I'm wrong about this.