Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bilkthistle Wanderthrust's Magical Funhouse

Seachdamh 8-15, 6638; next holiday, Guard's Day, 8/3!

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator

Finally, the party reunited. Rig, having spent some time hanging out around town, relayed that there was an interesting new dungeon discovered somewhere nearby; after some discussion, the party decided that they would take a look. As it turned out, the dungeon was... well, an interesting place. A funhouse, actually. Created by a mad Gnomish wizard.

Let that sink in a moment.

The rooms, it seems, were full of jump scares, puzzles, and various horrible tests. Two different tests included "basically doing nothing," in fact. One room sported a portion of a chess board; scraping the pieces across the board, the group managed to awaken a level 1 fighter by moving the pawn out of order, and a level 5 fighter, mounted, by moving the knight out of order. They didn't manage to awaken whatever was behind the queen and the bishop, much to my dismay, and their joy.

Not long afterwards, the party came across a room with a table full of potions; each person was to choose a potion, then drink it. Choosing from a rainbow of odd potions - none of which were anything the dwarf or gnome had run across - the party chose the following colors:

  • Rig choose green; upon drinking it, he turned a bright shade of purple.
  • Llarm chugged a solid black potion; his eyes lit up, projecting a 90' beam of light.
  • Faufe drank a smokey potion; his health suddenly fluxuated. His max health will change by 1d8-4 each day.
  • Caranthir drank a white potion; something happened, but he wasn't quite sure what.
  • Rhea drank one of the invisible potions, and gained a familiar - an undead snake! (As a giant python)
  • Elenora chugged the infrared potion, and was suddenly able to speak and understand Draconic and Nobiran... but forgot Common.
  • Gróin drank a shimmering potion; his beard began to grow - so quickly that he must shave twice a day, or suffer a -1 to his attack throw!
  • Laurita, finally, drank a purple potion; she realized that the taste of meat was unpalatable, and can now only eat fruit or vegetables.

Wandering through yet more puzzles, they party managed to gather some magical treasure! Though two items were damaged, they did gain a pair of Eagle Eyes, a potion of Restore Life and Limb, a wand of Lightning Bolt, and a wand of Fireball. Eventually, the party made its way to the exit, where Luce was waiting. Happily, they found a small trove of treasure - piles of mundane items, along with a Staff of Wizardry, a Wand of Fear, a Helm of Teleportation (with no teleportation spell active), a shiny helm they decided was likely a Helm of Change Alignment, and a Necklace of Adaptation!

  • Experience from treasure: none
  • Experience from encounters:
    • 1 knight (lvl 5 fighter: 200 XP)
    • 1 pawn (lvl 1 fighter 10 XP)
  • Total experience: 210 XP
  • XP per PC: 38
  • XP per henchman: 18

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Temple of Thul-Gaal

So, last week I had a dream. No, seriously, it was a real dream of GMing an RPG. The rules were a bit fast and light, and there weren't any dice rolls... more of an interactive cinematic sort of thing. But that's beside the point. I have, in the course of the last week or so, come up with the beginnings of a one-shot. Or some-shot. A short campaign.

When I first started writing it all down, I was pretty excited - this would fit into the current campaign, and be a lot of fun. For me. Because I would kill everyone. I realized that maybe, just maybe... that wouldn't be fun for everyone else. So, I took a step back, and decided that I would tweak a few things so it would become a one-shot, where people wouldn't care if their characters get absolutely slaughtered.

Now, I still have some tweaks left, and a few puzzles to work through, which is perfect, because you guys have some work to do, too. You need to make up some characters.

Your character must follow these guidelines:

  • Roll up character stats
    • Roll 3d6, five times, to make a column of stats; repeat to make 5 total columns
    • Choose a column; you may use the chosen stat column in any order
    • You may trade 2 points from a non-primary stat to add 1 to a primary stat
  • Choose a character - any character class from the original list
  • Your character starts with:
    • 620,000 XP
    • 815,000 gp
  • You may trade gold for:
    • Normal equipment, mounts, etc.
    • Any magical item, at its base price
    • A chance for random magical items
      • Trade 1,000gp for a 15% chance of two magic items of a random type.
      • Trade 3,000gp for a 25% chance for a weapon or armor, a 25% chance for a potion, and a 10% chance for a miscellaneous magic item.
      • Trade 10,000gp for a 50% chance for four randomly determined magic items, one random potion, and one random scroll.
      • Trade 30,000gp for 1d4 random potions, 1d4 random scrolls, and a 50% chance for six randomly determined magic items.
      • Trade 100,000gp for 2d4 random potions, 2d4 random scrolls, and a 75% chance for each of the following: 1d3 swords, 1d3 armor, 1d3 miscellaneous weapons, 1d3 wands/staffs/rods, 1d3 rings, and 1d3 miscellaneous magic items.
      • Note: You may trade a (random) scroll or potion for two (random) recipes.
      • If you have the core rulebook, you can roll up your own magical items; however, I have a spreadsheet that does it instantly, so if you want to trade for magic items, let me know and I can do it automatically. If you want to trade scrolls/potions for recipes, tell me before hand, so I can roll recipes instead.
    • As many henchmen as you'd like
      • Roll up each henchman as a character
      • Trade 1 gp for 1 XP (a henchman with 100,000 XP costs 100,000 gp)
      • While henchmen can have henchmen, you cannot exceed the number of henchman your character is allowed in total (4, plus Charisma bonus, plus any proficiency bonus)
    • Creating magical items, new spells, ritual spells, constructs, etc.
      • To create a magical item (etc.), you must:
        • Purchase a library
        • Spend the money for the item/scroll/potion
        • Make any rolls required for research, etc.
        • Note: failed rolls still use money!
  • Mages and other studious casters begin with 50% of their spell list generated randomly, and the rest chosen.
    • Researched spells (see above) count as a chosen spell
    • If you want to replace a randomly chosen spell, it costs 1,000 gp per spell level to replace; you may choose any spell you have as a scroll or recipe.
    • If you do not have the spell as a scroll, it costs an additional 500 gp per spell level to buy the spell. Only spells in the spell list may be purchased; spells not on the spell list must be researched (see above).
  • Wishes will be neutered for this one-shot. They are allowed to be cast as any spell, or the reverse of any spell, instantly; they also allow a character to be resurrected, returned from another dimension, or cured of an affliction (insanity, possessed hand, etc.), but they cannot be used as an open-ended "true wish".

Whew! What a list! If you have any questions, let me know. I'll wait to run the one-shot until everyone has a character rolled up, spells and all. Also, if you want to roll up any number of backup characters, that would be awesome. I'll have some upper-level characters created, probably, so nobody is left out, but if you want to make your own backups, go for it.

Long ago, in a land far away, an ancient temple was built in the wastelands...

The temple belonged to an ancient race, the Thrassians, cruel, dark creatures, with scaly skin and terrible claws, with great leathery wings and horrible sharp teeth. These Thrassians ruled the land with iron fists, but like all terrible rulers, they were vanquished, and their ways were lost to history.

These days, the Thrassians of old are but legends; stories told by old soldiers to frighten the new recruits, and told by parents to get their children to bed or to eat their vegetables.

Nonetheless, the stories (at least most of them) are true. And, deep in the Desert of the Dead, our heroes gather to face the greatest threat these ancient monsters ever built: the Temple of Thul-Gaal. Undead - and worse - prowl its dark hallways, and magical traps pervert the very earth on which the temple stands. The tower is hidden behind a ridge of mountains; inside is an ancient volcanic desert, devoid of life. During the day, wind blows through the desert and shifts the sands, obscuring the path to the temple, but never burying the temple itself; that site juts out of the landscape like the hellish claw of an enormous demon...

Few have returned from the voyage; the dizzying heat, the blinding dust, and the unforgiving rocks have claimed countless lives. Only those who turn back from the temple's gates have survived, and even those have faced staggering casualties. No one who has entered the temple has returned to tell the tale.

Even so... stories persist of a treasure in the temple, unimaginable wealth. For ages, adventurers lost their lives in pursuit of that treasure; soldiers, mages, clerics, and thieves left and never returned. And yet, they must; as the adventurers stop coming, the undead grow restless. Like a cat sharpening its claws, if there are no adventurers to lay them to rest, the undead creep forth, raiding villages and destroying lives and livelihoods. It has come to the point that those nearest the temple feel they must step in and destroy the temple, or die in the attempt...

Friday, July 7, 2017

Zaharan Thieves and Grek Trieb

Siathamh 9 - Seachdamh 8, 6638; next holiday, Guard's Day, 8/3!

Special intro: Sorry for the late writeup - I've been very busy working and writing other blogs!

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator

The party elected to continue their journey by sea, without stopping to repair the ships. After avoiding two octopodes, they reached the southern port of Cehennem Limani. Selling the treasures they had pilfered from the pirates, they decided again to not keep their ships. They remained docked, but aboard the ships; the city seemed somewhat hostile...

It was a good decision. During the first watch, two dwarves and a human, all thieves, boarded the ship. They were successfully intimidated by the dragon, realized they "were on the wrong ship," and left the way they came.

During the second watch, a second group of thieves arrived; two elves, two humans, and a dwarf. The elves and humans were killed quickly, and the dwarf was pinned by Caranthir in dragon-form, and surrendered.

After a bit of discussion, Caranthir suggested the ships cast off immediately. The four pirate ships (manned by ex-slaves) were able to oar their way out quickly, but the sailing ship was a little slower to leave port. As it was creeping away, a voice called out of the darkness. A group of four men and women stood on the dock. The leader called, "No one escapes from Semih Iravani!", and the fight was on.

These men and women were much stronger than the others; as the leader walked out onto the water, another vanished, and a third took to the air on a broom! The fourth began fiddling with something in his hand. The nightblade on the broom flew over the ship and tossed a bottle of military oil onto the deck, then pulled out a bow. The leader stepped forward and flung a stone at the spellcasters, ending the priestess's spell before she could cast it. The man on the shore finished his ritual, summoning a djinni! Caranthir, in dragon form, took to the air, making it as far as the nightblade and loosing a breath of freezing air. On the deck, the priestess took an arrow from the shore, while Gróin took a slingstone to the helmet, losing his spell!

The party was beginning to get worried as the high-level thieves took them on. Suddenly, a figure appeared on the bow - the man who went invisible! With a grin, he swung his sword! The white mage fled for safety, injured by yet more sling stones, as the thief battled it out with Gróin. The djinni turned into a whirlwind, hurting Gróin and the others, but of course, Luce was unharmed by the magical wind. Caranthir managed to down the flying nightblade, and grabbed her broom as she fell; Gróin injured the thief on the boat, and he dived overboard. The leader took a Dispel Magic to the face, which turned off his water walking - he fell into the water with a splash.The djinni, meanwhile, was destroyed by Gróin's magical attack.

Even as the leader reactivated his water-walking (as it turned out, he had a ring), Caranthir flew down and blasted him with his freezing breath, killing him on the spot. He returned to the ship and reverted to human form, only to be chopped to within a single hit point by the invisible, back-stabbing thief! He turned and cut him down. Back on the shore, the lone survivor drank a potion of Gaseous form and fled, leaving his stuff behind.

As it turned out, the thieves were quite well-armed, with plenty of magical items; most of them were identified on the spot, with others being identified at Cliffport later.

Two days later, the party landed again in Pueblo de Puerto, then continued on. A day after leaving the port city, Caranthir and Rhea split off from the party to fly due east, towards the islands. They landed on Fuega, a tiny island with a tribal nation on it; the natives welcomed the visitors, especially when they learned that they wouldn't be stealing from them. The next day, Caranthir and Rhea circled Vulka, an inhospitable island littered with sharp rocks. Invisible, they swooped over the island... and found a dragon turtle! The creature lived on the island; it fired a cloud of steam at them, but they were too high to be touched. After spending a few more hours searching the opposite side of the island, the duo found a treasure, and carted it back to the ship.

Meanwhile, the ships encountered yet another two octopi, which fled, and four giant squid, which were quickly killed by well-aimed catapults. Finally, they landed in Cliffport, just in time for the Brightest Day celebrations (for those that weren't there, any light or healing-based spells were 3/4 the price, so a Healing potion was 187 gold instead of 250). Arnborg Anvilaxe, the dwarf Caranthir restrained, left the party here, to continue on her own way.

As the celebration ended, a skinny, dirty ogre walked up to Caranthir and handed him a letter! While somewhat difficult to read - the entire letter was written in what looked like a child's handwriting, and was also stained with something somewhat greasy - it turned out that the party was summoned to aid a tribe near the river, who were being harshly treated, accused of a crime they didn't commit. They were willing to give an artifact of some power in trade for assistance. So, Gróin, Caranthir, Rhea, and Laurita flew to their aid.

First, however, Caranthir wanted to make a wish; he found a wish, and did so, meeting 6 clerics along the way.

As luck would have it, they were off by a few miles, and happened to land near the home of none other than Lady Dracull! As long as they were in the neighborhood, they decided to drop in. The Lady was pleased to see them, and offered them a meal; interestingly, the Lady also seemed to be quite pregnant. Hmm...

After leaving the Lady with an offer of help, should she ever need it, they party once again journied toward the river, and the Grek, er, Trieb. As it turned out, the tribe was a tribe of ogres! They seemed friendly enough, though, and Caranthir was happy to help in trade for magical items. They went to visit the "bad guys"...

...Who turned out to be human. A cleric, a mage, a thief, and a fighter had banded together to drive the "evil" from the land. The cleric, Brother Dellus, is on the warpath to recover a holy relic of great significance for his order; it was stolen from their temple not long before, supposedly by a group of rampaging ogres. The fighter, Sir Tainly, was possibly even more obnoxiously full of his abilities than Caranthir; the two did not hit it off well. In fact, that evening, Caranthir sent Rhea to assassinate the knight in his sleep; she only managed to awaken the mage, a dour, gaunt man by the name of Graybeak, and learned that he was really, really powerful. As the four were leaving the camp, they met a rogue named Wag Lightfoot, presumably the leader of the thieves. The camp seemed to be about 75% fighters, a handful of mages and clerics, and the rest thieves. An odd lot, to be sure.

The next morning, Gróin and Laurita flew off to find the cleric's temple, while Caranthir and Rhea left to confront the knight. Caranthir demanded a trial by combat - if he won, the knight would leave; if the knight won, Caranthir would leave. The knight snubbed him into accepting a duel "to the death" (or close enough), and the fight began. As the two hacked at each other, the knight managed to land several blows, doing considerable damage; Caranthir, however, had the better armor, and eventually knocked out the knight. Clerics rushed in to save him, and Sir Tainly was able to recover after a night of bedrest. Brother Dellus, however, flew into a rage; his holy mission was to save the relic, the promise of a knight be damned! The mage, somewhat eager for a rematch, backed him up. Caranthir left the camp, irritated that the knight reneged on his word.

Meanwhile, Gróin was having much better luck. He found the temple - a tiny building with barely a path near it - and was invited in for bread and water. Brother Al explained the real story of the holy item:

Some time before, the old cleric had left on vacation, and had taken Brother Dellus with him. As the old cleric left, Brother Al and Brother Bodh made a bet. Brother Al said, "I bet you thirty silver that every time the old relic [meaning the head cleric] wobbles out the door, everybody freaks out, and nothing gets done until he gets back. Write that down, Brother Bodh!"

Brother Bodh, having the flowery language of someone with too much time and ink on his hands, wrote the following: "When the holy relic leaves its seat of power, chaos will grip this place, and all tasks will fail until the relic is returned."

When Dellus and the "old relic" returned, Bodh and Al were out drinking. Apparently, the old cleric went to town to pick up some supplies, just as Sir Tainly arrived, invited himself in, and asked if anything valuable had gone missing, as there were ogres in the area. Brother Dellus checked, and indeed, a sacred cup was missing! Dellus panicked. He tried to look up what the chalice was for, but only managed to find the pages Bodh had written, which drove him into an even worse panic as he put one and one together to make twenty five, and thought the missing chalice spelled the end of the world for heir monastery. Just as he was having a breakdown, Al and Bodh arrived. Seeing Dellus upset over the missing chalice, Al nudged Bodh and muttered, "Thirty silver."

While this remark was intended as a means of settling their bet, Dellus took it to mean that he was a traitor and had sold out his friends. Dellus swore not to return without the relic, and took off with the knight.

The holy relic, however, was nothing more than a gilt-covered cup with fake gemstones on it. The holy words written on the bottom of the chalice, "In campis feram", meant nothing more than "Made in the Wild Plains", poorly translated into Nobiran.

Gróin and Laurita found the nearby village that sold the chalices, and bought six of them. The shopkeeper immediately shut and locked his doors, and fled out the back, holding more gold than he had ever seen in his life. Six pieces! They returned to the knight's camp, and Laurita discovered the true thief - one of the thieves under the employ of Mr. Lightfoot, in fact. They guided Brother Dellus to the room, and managed to catch the nimble (if quite smelly) thief moving it around a few times. It's hard to pocket a chalice when someone is watching its location, magically. Mr. Lightfoot persuaded the fellow to give it up, and Brother Dellus nearly broke down in tears. Ignoring the rest of the camp, he immediately fled home, to restore the, er, cheap knockoff trinket to its rightful place. Next to the magnet in the shape of Mejasta, the shot glass with a picture of the King on it, the spoon with a painting of Cliffport, and other trinkets collected by the old cleric on his journeys.

The ogres, meanwhile, were jubilant, and true to their word, they offered the party two magical items. The first was a helmet; the ogres let the children play with it. The children would climb a tree and leap off, floating to the ground like a feather. When Gróin tried it on, he was rewarded with a vision! He watched Elrik, the world's greatest explorer, climbing a cliff; he lost his footing, but somehow, he managed to land on the ground unharmed. His back to a howling wind, he dusted himself off and kept going. The helmet, it seems, not only allows the wearer to cast Feather Fall at will, but is also immune to all wind-based damage! Additionally, there is no penalty to attacks when levitating or "gyrating" in the air (Elrik, as you recall, is the owner of your magical map, and the world's most famous explorer).

However, that wasn't all. The ogres began chanting, something that sounded like "Ooga Chaka, Ooga chaka!", and the town elder slowly walked towards the group, holding a ring. As it turned out, the ogres were actually chanting "Ogre Chakrum", a heavy throwing blade. This chakrum was blessed by many shamans, resulting in a magical +1 bonus. The heavy blade can be used by anyone with strength +0 or better, and the ability to throw darts or knives. The blade is quite heavy, and thus deals 1d8 damage, but requires two hands to throw.

Whew! What an adventure!

  • Experience from selling stuff, from last time: 1504 for PCs, 752 for henchmen
  • Experience from encounters:
    • 2 octopi (escaped)
    • Level 3 Dwarven Delver, level 4 Dwarven Delver, level 1 thief (283 xp)
    • Level 6 Dwarven Delver, level 5 Nightblade, level 4 Nightblade, 1x level 1 thief (1523 xp)
    • Semih Iravani, lvl 10 thief (1550 xp)
    • Juan-Pablo Aguilar, lvl 9 thief (1300 xp)
    • Eluned Melruth, lvl 9 nightblade (1900 xp)
    • Brin Eveningfall, lvl 6 nightblade (820 xp) (fled)
    • 2 octopi (fled)
    • 6 roc, ignored
    • 4 giant squid (2280 xp)
    • 6 clerics (passed)
    • 3 werebears (avoided)
    • Sir Tainly, lvl 10 knight (2250 xp)
  • Experience from treasure: 6834 xp
    • Total experience (give or take): 18740
    • Experience per PC (Gróin and Caranthir): 4685
    • Experience per henchman (Luce, Rhea, Elenora, Laurita): 2342
    • Special experience:
      • Caranthir: 10000 (stealing gold!)
      • Rhea: 5000 (helping steal gold!)

    • Mundane weapons: 33 arrows, 19 bolts, 28 bullets, 1 Arbalest, 2 Battle Axe, 1 Bola, 1 Composite Bow, 1 Dagger, 3 Leather Armor, 3 Nets, 1 Sap, 1 Shortbow, 1 Sling, 2 Staffs, 2 Swords, 3 Whips
    • Mundane stuff: 2 pints Ale/Beer, 3 Backpacks, 1 lb Belladonna, 4 Blankets (wool, thick), 2 lb Candles (tallow), 1 lb Candles (wax), 1 lb Comfrey, 2 pairs Dice, 3 Flasks of Oil (common, 1 pint), 2 lbs Garlic, 2 lbs Goldenrod, 1 Grappling Hook, 1 Hammer(small), 1 Lantern, 1 Rations (Iron), 3 Sacks (large), 1 Sack (small), 3 Thieves’ Tools, 6 Torches, 1 Water/Wine Skin, 5 lb Wolfsbane
    • Magical stuff:
      • -2 Leather Armor (cursed)
      • Arrows +1 (quantity 24)
      • Broom of Flying
      • Elven Library scroll
      • Gauntlets of Ogre Power
      • 2 Holy Water(1 pint)
      • Horn of Blasting
      • Ring of Invisibility
      • Ring of Water Walking
      • 2 Shield +1
      • Shield +2
      • Spell Book (Burning Hands, Hold Portal; Continual Light, Alter Self)
      • Spell Book (Choking Grip, Floating Disc, Hold Portal, Magic Mouth, Protection from Evil; Continual Light, Deathless Minion, Detect Evil, Detect Good)
      • Spell Book (Darkness, Burning Hands)
      • Spell Book (Light, Magic Missile)
      • Sword +1 / +3 versus summoned creatures
      • Sword +1 / light 30' radius
      • Wand of Detecting Enemies (11)
      • War Hammer +2
      • Ogre Chakram (+1 throwing chakram; 1d8 damage)
      • Elrik's Air Helm: Immune to wind-based magic; additionally, wind does not affect the wearer, there is no penalty from levitation/gyration and the wearer may feather-fall at will.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Plains, Wagon Trains, and... Sailing Ships?

Còigeamh 23 - Siathamh 9, 6638; next holiday: Brightest Night, Siathamh 35 (the Summer Solstice; Lawful characters receive a +1 to all rolls!)

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Grogg, the White Mage

The journey from the elves back to civilization was fraught with peril - give or take. On the first day, they encountered either terrifying antelope, which Quetgar was unable to capture. Two days later, they shot down three giant flies, hovering over the decomposing corpse of an ox.

Two days after that, as the party was setting up camp, two figures entered - a witch named Quiet Heart, and her companion Serkan Soroush, a Zaharan Ruinguard. They camped with the party, and left before dawn.

Finally on the road, the party encountered four terrible beasts - gorgons! The battle was fierce, and Zarc was turned to stone, but eventually the creatures were slaughtered. The next evening, the gang encountered - or rather, was encountered by - a gang of desert ogres. The ogres, none too bright, couldn't figure out how to make their way around the stone camp, until Quetgar eventually managed to convince them to walk around. Even then, it took much experimentation before they believed him.

Summerset passed with little fanfare; out here in the wilds, few are around to celebrate such civilized holidays.

Not much later, they ran into a medium sized warband of orcs, headed north; the orcs, feeling generous, suggested a minor tax of 3,000 gp. Caranthir offered one of the gang leaders a +1 sword, worth 5,000 gp; the leader graciously accepted, then turned and told the other leaders that he had decided to let them pass with no tax at all. Orcs aren't super smart, but the other leaders guessed something was up; as the party strolled past, a rather uncivil war broke out between the various gangs. Hopefully that won't come back to bite them later.

Finally, they made it to Kanka Sehir, one of the twin cities of the Shining Sea, the only human cities apart from Mareten that survived the Age of the Beastmen. Though over a hundred miles away, they could still see the enormous mountains to the south, and the gap that leads between them. After un-stoning Zarc and purchasing a few useful items, including some things from a rather shady shopkeeper, they chartered a small sailing ship.

They set off in the morning with a brisk breeze at their back; they had hardly gone half a day's journey before they spotted the writhing tenticals of two octopi. Unwilling to fight such monsters, they avoided them handily. The next day, however, they had no such luck. They were spotted by four galleys - pirate ships!

As the lead galleys opened fire with their catapults, Zarc and Quetgar dove into the water, and Caranthir shifted into his dragon form. The sailing ship had but one catapult. As the boulders crashed into the ship, Quetgar began shredding the outer planking on one of the rear ships. While the ships traded catapult fire, Zarc and Quetgar punched holes into two of the ships, eventually gaining access to the ship! Caranthir, meanwhile, wiped out the entire above-board crew of one of the ships, then turned and wiped out half of another.

By the end of the battle, only one of the ships was undamaged - the one Caranthir had wiped out. The others were listing in the water, gaping holes letting in the ocean... Caranthir, meanwhile, after tossing the last of the pirates overboard, asked the slaves to stay on; the slaves responded affirmatively, pledging their lives to the creatures that rescued them from slavery. 216 slaves survived.

The pirate ships, meanwhile, contained quite the treasure haul; the party had plenty of time to count their treasure while the crew of the sailing ship and the ex-slaves from the galleys enacted repairs. A little over two hours later, the ships were ready to sail again. The ships are as follows:

  • Singing Maiden (chartered): 77 max shp, 71 current shp (max until repaired in drydock)
  • The Lusty Wench (captured): 76 max shp, 67 current shp (max until repaired in drydock)
  • Thunder Bucket (captured): 76 max shp, 64 current shp (max until repaired in drydock)
  • The Angry Strumpet (captured): 76 max shp
  • Sea Scourge (captured): 76 max shp, 70 current shp (max until repaired in drydock)
The ships need repairs, and there is enough treasure that it would be fairly dangerous to attempt the high seas... so, now what?

  • Experience from Encounters:
    • 8 antelope (escaped)
    • 3 Fly, Giant Carnivorous (60 xp)
    • Quiet Heart, level 11 Witch, and Serkan Soroush, level 9 Zaharan Ruinguard (avoided)
    • 4 gorgons (1600 XP)
    • 12 desert ogres (avoided?)
    • 57 Orcs, 11 leaders (bought off, fought each other: 790 xp)
    • 2 octopus (avoided)
    • Pirate Fleet: 4 Small Galleys with 40 sailors, 80 marines, and 240 slaves (2400 xp)
  • Treasure:
    • 2000 Electrum, 3000 Silver, 2000 Copper (820gp)
    • 1 Bone jewelry (9gp)
    • 1 shell jewelry (90gp)
    • 1 onyx (50gp)
    • 1 jade (100gp)
    • 1 jet (100gp)
    • 1 Aquamarine (500gp)
    • 1 diamond (1,000gp)
    • 106 animal horns (2120gp, 21.2 st)
    • 9 bags of loose tea (675gp, 45 st)
    • 7 barrels of fine spirits or liquor (1400gp, 112 st)
    • 24 bottles of fine wine (120gp, 4.8 st)
    • 20 bundles of fur pelts (300gp, 60 st)
    • 3 crates of armor and weapons (675gp, 90 st)
    • 6 crates of monster parts (1800gp, 30 st)
    • 5 crates of terra-cotta pottery (500gp, 125 st)
    • 5 gallons of lamp oil (10gp, 2.5 st)
    • 8 ingots of common metals (8gp, 4 st)
    • 1 jars of dyes and pigments (50gp, 5 st)
    • 12 jars of lamp oil (240gp, 72 st)
    • 1 rich fur cape (1800gp, 1 st)
    • 40 rolls of garishly dyed cloth (400gp, 160 st)
    • 5 rugs or tapestries (25gp, 24 st)
    • 3 sets of engraved teeth (210gp, 0.03 st)
    • 33 sticks of rare incense (588gp, 0.33 st)
    • 3 vials of rare perfume (225gp, 0.03 st)
    • Total weight: 756.89 stone
  • Total experience from treasure: 820 (now), 12995 (when items are sold)
  • Total experience: 5670 xp (plus 12995 xp when items are sold)
  • XP per PC: 667
  • XP per henchthing: 334 (all henchmen)
  • Treasure per PC: 205gp (plus 3248.75gp each when items are sold)

Additional treasure: Potion of Extra-Healing, 2x Potion of Speed, Scroll of Ward against Lycanthropes, Sword +1.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Return of the Elves

Còigeamh 10-22, 6638; next holiday: Summerset, Siathamh 1 (the celebration before the Summer Solstice on the 35th)

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Grogg, the White Mage

After finally making it to the city of the Elves, the party cautiously surveyed the scene. After escaping from 5 wooly rhinos, of course. They spent the first day walking around the city, and sending Flit over the wall. They found no signs of life; whatever dangers the city held, there were no indications as yet.

They set up camp, and were interrupted by a party of four individuals - though they didn't realize there were four of them. Caranthir was quickly pushed to one side by Rig; his method of diplomacy would likely get the party in trouble. After a tense standoff, the leader, Sinem Husseini, laughed them off, and headed towards the high wall. The party watched her and her friends group together and float up the side of the wall. Any attempts to scry on them were blocked - it seems they had a spell or a device to block it.

In the morning, the party set off to explore the city. The city itself was surrounded by a gently curving wall, tall and ivory. Inside, the buildings were tall and graceful; though it seemed the city was entirely abandoned, there was a distinct lack of decay. Apart from one or two buildings that had been pushed aside by trees, the entirety of the structure was oddly untouched by time. The front door of the central keep was unlocked; inside, the party found footprints, leading two directions.

Carefully, the party followed the prints, eventually finding a room where a campfire had been built. Still, nothing jumped out at them; it seemed the structure was entirely inert. They wandered the halls, eventually finding themselves going down a spiral staircase. In the darkness of the new area, the group lit a wand of light, and surveyed the area.

With no footprints to follow, the party struck out at random. The first corridor was traced with names; tens of thousands of names. What they meant, no one knew. Moving through the long corridors, the party was slightly confused by the odd layout. Long hallways, with the occasional cross-hallway; blank marble walls, and granite floors. Eventually, the light went out, and the party realized that the walls glowed with a dim blue light. Caranthir, tired of wandering around, heaved his sword at the wall, cracking it open. As he did so, there was a rush of wind. Inside the wall, suffused with blue light, he found a corpse - though, oddly, it was not decayed! He hauled it out. Whatever this creature was, it seemed to be in some kind of magical sleep. One quick Dispel Magic from Gróin, and the creature was sitting up, confused.

After some discussion (involving Llarm and a helmet of understanding languages, and a staff that could speak languages), the party learned a little of what had happened.

Long before the Age of the Beastmen, the True Elves that decided to stay in Mor-Thir learned of its coming, and decided that they would have to go into hibernation to avoid it. It was planned to last about 1,500 years; the cities were protected, enchanted to keep anything living or undead out, and the elves were placed in stasis. However, something must have gone wrong; the elves were not awoken at the end of the Age of the Beastmen, and have been sleeping for nearly twice what they should have!

The creature they rescued - a True Elf - was merely a gardener, and understood little of the stasis process, or of the Age of the Beastmen. He only knew of a coming disaster. Finally, the party decided it was to move on. They struck out in the direction they thought was the stairs... and missed. They did eventually reach the wall, but as they did, they saw the other tombs opening, and elves of all shapes and sizes climbing out! By the time they reached the stairs, a large number of rather angry looking elves had climbed out of their stasis pods and were holding some rather nasty looking weapons.

Caranthir, realizing that perhaps these elves may be a little out of their league, managed to keep things civil. He remained polite, answering questions and asking a few of his own. Finally, he agreed to visit the ruler of the city. Upstairs at the ruler's chamber, the lead guard knocked several times, before opening the door himself - and found the ruler with a knife in his chest! He was murdered! Though the party was initially suspected, one of the elven casters cast a field of truth on them, and soon proved their innocence.

They spoke with the caster, a motherly looking woman who was much less harsh than the guard. She explained more about how the stasis worked, and how troubling it was that it hadn't ended on its own. Caranthir told her about the other party they had encountered; she nodded. It seems that they had discovered at least some of the members of that party. Meanwhile, elves of all sorts were working on restoring the city; the others would be found soon.

The guards brought two members - a fellow in a robe, who previously had a hawk on his shoulder, and an elf woman - a nightblade. The woman wasn't struggling, but the robed man was alternating between crying and trying to cast spells. They had been caught trying to escape. Caranthir offered to assist in making them talk; he suggested a new invention, the "Decanter of Endless Waterboarding," but any offers of assistance were refused. The nightblade quickly gave up her friends, admitting that it was the warlock who killed the lord of the city. The warlock tried to cast another spell, then burst into tears again.

Outside, two more members of that party were actually making good their escape; fireballs exploded and plants surged upwards as the fighter and a mage reached the top of the wall. Laughing, the fighter leaped over the top of the wall - and was repulsed by a blast of energy! A faint sizzle of lightning raced around the top of the city. A huge forcefield! Angry, the fighter and mage were forced back-to-back. When the guards arrived, it was over quickly; the two were bound and brought back.

The two prisoners were lead to a small jail area; the elf was tossed into one cell, and the warlock the other. However, the warlock didn't seem to be able to be contained! The guard tossed him in, activated a force-field over the door, and the warlock dashed through like it wasn't even there. The guard tested it, but eventually just tied up the whimpering warlock. The party turned out his pockets, finding a silver dagger, 5 darts, a blank spell book, a small vial of plain water, a ring with no enchantments, a blank scroll, and most of a pound of wax candles. The nightblade's pockets held more value: along with her leather armor, bola, shortbow, 12 arrows, and 3 silver arrows confiscated by the guard, she held a spell book with Burning Hands, Alter Self, Charm Person, and Continual Light. She also had a Medallion of ESP, a scroll of Ward against Elementals, some candles, a crowbar, a pair of dice, an ounce of ink, manacles, a purse with platinum and gold, and 6 torches.

Conversation turned to the scales - the reason the party was there. The elven mage mentioned the scale they kept; usually, it was guarded by a group of a dozen White Elves, elves specially tasked with caring for the scale, but for whatever reason, they could not be placed in stasis; no one else existed that knew about the scale itself. She would, however, take them to see it.

The scale resembled a huge teardrop diamond. It glowed with a pure, white light, shining from the center of an enormous room. The room was a huge half-sphere, 120' in diameter. Caranthir nodded to Luce and handed her one of the party's many +1 swords. After removing her armor and magical items, she inched forward, and finally touched the sword to the diamond. There was a flash of light, nearly blinding; when it dimmed... nothing seemed different. She returned, and handed the sword to Caranthir with a shrug. He broke it over his knee; it seems the enchantment on it was gone! Though it seems that the enchantment on Luce's armor was gone, as well, which was strange since she wasn't wearing it. After some experimentation, it was discovered that Luce hadn't lost the enchantment on her armor - she simply couldn't use it! All magical items in her possession were inert. On the other hand, magical items didn't seem to work on her, either; enchanted swords acted like mundane swords, and spells seemed to ignore her completely. The scale, it seems, had made Luce absolutely immune to all magical effects.

The extent of the non-magical power Luce had been granted was tested over the next week. Meanwhile, Llarm took that time to ask a few questions of the outer plains; the first questions he asked came back, "Ask Again Later," but the second ("How can we destroy the diamond scale?") was answered, "1 2 3 4 5 6 7, do the rest to sent it to heaven!"

The party assumed that this meant that the other scales should be destroyed first; Laurita Gomez, who was very knowledgeable about the scales, agreed that interpretation was likely the most correct. Which meant that it was time to find the other scales...

  • Experience from Encounters:
    • 5 wooly rhinos (evaded)
    • 1 level 12 fighter, 1 level 10 elven enchanter, 1 level 10 warlock, 1 level 8 nightblade (avoided)
  • Experience from encounters: none
  • Treasure (from the other party, graciously given by the elves):
    • +1 leather armor, bola, shortbow, 12 arrows, 3 silver arrows
    • 2x Shield +1
    • Axe +1, Sword +2
    • Blank spell book
    • Spell book with Burning Hands, Alter Self, Charm Person, and Continual Light
    • Spell book with Burning Hands, Alter Self, Clairaudience, Conjure Ooze, Adaptation, Chameleon, Continual Light, Chimerical Force, Dimension Door, Cloudkill, Choking Grip, Deathless Minion, Fireball, Fear, Cone of Paralysis, Detect Magic, Detect Good, Fly, Giant Strength, Curse of Swine, Light, Detect Invisible, Gaseous Form, Growth of Plants, Enchanted Container, Magic Missile, Detect Secret Doors, and Growth
    • Amulet versus Crystal Balls and ESP
    • Medallion of ESP
    • Potion of Longevity
    • Scroll of Ward against Elementals
    • 1.5 pounds of wax candles, a crowbar, a pair of dice, an ounce of ink, manacles, a purse, 6 torches, 10' pole, 1 lb of garlick
    • 20,477 gp in an enchanted containers
    • 2x enchanted containers
  • Extra experience:
    • Reawakening the first city of the True Elves: 5,000 xp
    • Becoming Pristinely Ungifted (Luce): 1,000 xp
  • Total experience: 5,000 xp
  • XP per PC (Rig, Caranthir, Gróin): 1000
  • XP per Henchman (Llarm, Rhea, Luce, Laurita): 500
  • Additional XP for Luce: 1000

Additional notes: Luce, as a Pristinely Ungifted, is absolutely unaffected by any magic whatsoever. This includes magical armor and magical weapons, both for an against her; all weapons used by or against her are considered +0, regardless of bonus. All armor used by or against her is treated as mundane +0 armor. Targeted spells like Magic Missile cannot target her. Area effect spells like Fireball do not damage her. All potions except mundane poison are treated like normal water. Magical items in her possession revert to their mundane state until they leave her possession; intelligent magical items feel no time passing. Scry does not work on her; the caster will not even know she is protected, as with Nondetection. If a caster scrys on the area near her, the caster will not see her. True Seeing cannot detect her; to a caster using True Seeing, she will appear invisible. She is immune to non-mundane poisons and diseases (such as Mummy Rot or dragon's blood poison). Creatures hidden by the Inaudibility or Invisible spells will still be inaudible or invisible to her. Further, while she can attack/be attacked by enchanted or summoned creatures, constructs, and undead, no magical effects (such as a Chaos Beast's insanity or a banshee's scream) can affect her. She cannot interact with incorporeal creatures at all (nor they with her).

However, she can be affected by some effects. A dragon's breath attacks will work, as it is a physical effect, as will a hell-hound's breath attack. The magical bonus from an enchanted bow used against her will apply, but not the damage bonus. She is invisible to any magical vision (including wards or traps), but will still trigger physical traps (ie, a trapped door). She cannot teleport, nor can she be magically healed.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Luce In The Sky With Giants

Treas 27 - Còigeamh 10, 6638; next holiday: Summerset, Siathamh 1 (the celebration before the Summer Solstice on the 35th)

It took a while for me to come up with the title - or rather, to narrow it down. Other contenders were "All's Fae In Love And War" and "If You Can Dodge An Encounter, You Can Dodge A Fae Sword". I tried, and failed, to come up with a title-worthy pun on the fact that the storm giants could host them because their castle had mushroom.

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Grogg, the White Mage

After spending a day in Sao Agua - and running into Grogg, a which mage who had somehow become very lost - the party decided to strike off towards the far west, to investigate the crystal scale, and the lost home of the ancient elves.

The going wasn't easy; along the way, they came across a village of trolls, and were able to make the canny trade of two pieces of meat for 500 electrum pieces. Later, they came across a storm giant, who was pulling a thunderstorm behind him and obliterating random objects with lightning bolts. He had a pleasant chat with them, and went on his merry way. He mentioned that he had a brother out in the plains, and recommended visiting the magical mushroom forest, if the party had the chance.

The party edged around a village of orcs, and barely managed to flee from a large village of troglodytes. Several days into their journey, they came across another storm; this storm was much larger, and hidden in a thick fog. Suddenly, the fog cleared, revealing an enormous castle! The party moved forward cautiously, and soon ran into two huge figures - more storm giants! These giants, Choka and Hrooma, invited the tired travelers in for food, drink, and rest (and to meet their son, Chat). The party gratefully accepted. After a Mary-Poppins-esque accent via cloud-walking to the castle itself, the party settled in to trade stories with the giants. The main course was an entire elephant, cooked over a huge fire like a roast pig, complete with a trunk full of apples. Eventually, the party headed to bed.

In the morning, the party debated about using the giants to travel safely to their destination, but the giants declined; it was a family vacation, and they were planning on moving in a different direction.

It wasn't but a day later, however, that the party ran into an army - the remnants of a Winter Fae scouting party! Caranthir attempted to intimidate them, but the paltry force of the party was not enough to match the fair riders, at least in their captain's eye. Even Rig was unable to keep them out of combat. The sylphs fanned out, with a line of cavalry in front of a line of archers; the archers immediately fired on the mercenaries, and destroyed the entirety of Rig's archers. Gróin, meanwhile, charmed the commander; while he wouldn't attack his friends, and the lieutenants refused to stand down, he would not use his considerable magic to assist them. And then... Quetgar. First leaping in front of the second line, then vaulting over their heads, his claws and teeth - hastened by Gróin - tearing through them like blood-soaked tissue. In the blink of an eye, he had shredded half the squad.

After two rounds of combat, Rig's mercenaries were decimated, but still holding their own. The Fae forces were shattered; Quetgar chewed through three squads himself. The others slashed through the haughty faerie-folk, cutting them to ribbons, and receiving few wounds themselves. Two unharmed squads fled, high-tailing it back to Fae lands. The rest were slaughtered. In fact, Quetgar leaped away from the squad he was attacking, snapped the neck of the captain, then returned to bring down an entire squad. His actions terrified the Fae; those who fled will return will tales of horror... whether that is good or bad is yet to be seen.

The Fae dealt with, the party healed their few wounds and moved on...

  • Experience from Encounters:
    • 71 Trolls (avoided)
    • 174 Orcs (evaded)
    • 297 Troglodytes (evaded)
    • 4 Storm Giants (befriended)
    • 134 sylphs, 56 sargents, 9 lieutenants, 1 captain (6625 XP)
  • Experience from treasure: none
  • Total experience: 6625
  • Treasure:
    • 500 electrum (traded for 2 pieces of meat)
    • 1 set of silvered banded plate armor (150 gp)
    • 3 sets of silvered chain mail (360 gp)
    • 59 sets of silvered scale armor (5310 gp)
    • Silvered scrap (1455 gp)
    • 80 light horses
  • Total worth once sold: 7275
  • Total weight: 333 stone
  • XP per PC: 697
  • XP per Henchman: 349
  • The Metal Man refunded 349 in copper.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Why Are You Dragon, Dungeon Wanna Win?

Treas 1-26, 6638; next holiday: Dragonning, Treas 35 (the spring equinox)

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator

The party found themselves next to a clearing. The area was an odd, round shape, not as organic of a shape as one might expect. In fact, the trees at the edge of the clearing were bowed, the middles leaning away from the center. Even the grass and weeds grew more sparsely in the middle. From the center of the glen, a faint sound emanated, like wind blowing past a thin shard of glass, or a thin, sharp sword cutting through the air. As the party squinted at the center of the field, most found their gaze misdirected - sliding past to look at trees, or sinking to stare at the ground. Only Rig, Quetgar, and Elenora were able to pierce the veil of illusion.