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Author Topic: Arnon's Campaign (Players Out!)  (Read 23290 times)
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arnon
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« on: December 06, 2007, 10:19:27 AM »

Since I don't know if my players will have time to write a journal (one player is DMing the Ptolus campaign I had to leave, another player has taken over to writing the journal for said Ptolus campaign after I left, and the only thing the last player writes is his dissertation), I will be posting here a log of my campaign as it progress, my thoughts and ideas. And if anyone has any idea, improvement, question, etc. just ask away.

First off we are using Fantasy Grounds 2 for this campaign. See also this thread for my work on it).

Second we are using some house rules (which you will find attached) and most notably we will be using Torn Asunder: Critical Hits (thank for introducing me to that Harrowed).

The Cast:
Bozz Eldor, Erenlander Channeler (hermetic), Seer
Aralin Merrik, Elfling (Halfling raised) Rogue, Quickened
Fe'all, Erenlander Defender, Shadowed
Gardis, Erenlander Fighter/Barbarian, Painless

Dead Characters:
Guy, Snow Elf Wildlander, Windwalker(from the site)

Retired Character:
Ralgo, Sarcosan Rogue/Barbarian, Dragonblooded (The player decided to leave due to not having enough time.)

OK ALL MY PLAYERS… STOP READING NOW!


I MEAN IT!

* Arnon's Midnight House Rules v2.pdf (132.23 KB - downloaded 485 times.)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 08:50:45 AM by arnon » Logged
arnon
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2007, 11:05:58 AM »

Now that my player has posted his journal, i'll get into the more technical/story details of the game.

Although the player is familiar with Midnight and even read the first edition of the book, it was several years ago. I'm sure he remembers some stuff that as a player he shouldn't know, but he's a good role-player and will not let that interfere. And so, these three 2 hour sessions were sort of an introduction for him for Midnight (as well as a way for us to get acquainted with Fantasy Grounds).

So we have a guy who lost his wife and two sons (he's idea), and his parents. He learns that his father has hidden something that some legate(s) want very much, and that his father has some shady history. He also had a vision of being in a city and facing a dragon.

The Father: I actually don't have much idea about him. Obviously he's a channeler cause he crafted the Rune at the Well so as to keep people away and hide some of his stuff. I decided on him being an ex-legate only when I described to Bozz the dagger he found in the chest... and so he is of the Keepers of the Obsidian (and not to high a level). He fell in-love with a slave girl of a higher ranking legate, but when she bore a child and the legate wanted to sacrifice the boy he took her and the boy (not his, btw) and fled, taking with him, also some books and the Traj Rokan. After renouncing Izrador, he focused on another kind of magic...

Traj Rokan: Honestly, I still have absolutely no idea what this will be. What I do know is that it wasn't one of the three items found in the chest.

Luz: i did not plan originaly to use him as much more than prop. But i had an idea to have him become a mercenary in the service of the Shadow... i'll see about that.

The Book: It was obviously a Lore Book. As I told the player what he found in the chest, i started laughing (remember this is over the net, so he couldn't hear me) cause i knew that i'll be taking it from him pretty soon. It has clues as to where the Traj Rokan is, and I'll try to orchestrate him getting this book back after loosing his own book at some point (or something). But this is still far-off i believe.

The Wooden Pendant: At first i thought of making it some charm. But then i thought of maybe making it some form of "key" to finally reach the Traj Rokan.

The Legate: Ahh the recurring villain... He cast some spell on Bozz so that it'll be easier to track him, hoping that he'll lead him to where the Traj Rokan is.. the gambit payed off partially, now he has the book with him that if he figures the clues out, they'll lead him to it.

He's not the Bozz's father, but i am toying around with the idea that he is some older half-brother or something. But who is his Master? What side of the schism is he on?

Ahh, so many questions... so many things to think about. And it's just the beginning...
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arnon
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007, 09:37:12 AM »

I am on the last leg of the 1-on-1 Aralin, the Elfliung rogue (one more 2 hour session should be enough). I'm not as happy with how this one turned out, but that's in the past now.

In short, this is what happened:

Aralin and two other friends where out hunting for food when thet were caught by an orc patrol. The partrol took them to one of the ruined Road Forts, where they proceeded to eat one of the halfling. Only Aralina and Selya remained. In the early hours of the morning Aralin managed to open the lock around Selyas neck and she managed to run 30 fts. before being caught, and as she was about to get punished a Legate and his Oruk guard arrived.

They started to make their way to Erenhead, and Selya noticed that the Legate kept giving looks to Aralin (aralin constantly failed his spot checks). After about 5 days they make a stop at an abandoned barn, and at night, at Aralin yet again manages to open their lock (both of their with the shapr broken end of a bone) the barn is attacked by something. Aralin and Seyla use the battle distraction to escape only to find themselve surrounded by Fell wherever they turn. They try to manuever around them, but Selya takes a wound, and Aralin refuses to leave her there, He stands over her body and fends of 3 Fell with the borken bone (full defense, and 5 bad rolls, only 1 hit him for minimum damage) until the Legate comes and "rebukes" the ungral. The orc sergeant and the Legate reach a conclusion that these were too many undead and that the attack was too well planed...

After exchanging some words, the Legate tells Aralin that he'll take him with him, and Aralin trys to reach a deal where he will not try to escape if the Legate releases Selya. The legate refuses ("have to placet the orcs somehow).

We ended the session as they crest a small hill and see the Eren river bellow them and Erenhead ahead of them.

Next Session: The orcs take Selya and leave (but im planning on having her return and meet up with Aralin at some point), and the Legate takes Aralin with him. They'll stay at an inn till transporation to White Cliff is availlable (next day) and the Legate will meet with a "mystrious" woman.

One they cross the Pelluria (i'll hand wave most of that part, perhaps some "close encountes" or something), Aralin will have another chance of escape which will be successful... if he doesn't mess it up too much  ohwell


Whats going on here...

I honestly have no idea.

I only knew i wanted to start him as a slave, have him taken to the North (where the campaign starts), and on they way give him aquick tour of Eredane and Midnight (fell, slavery, dispair, conquered cities, etc.)... the rest was improvisation.

Legate: Don't even have a name yet... hmm, maybe Legate Jisam (i described him as short, dark and bald). At first I though of having him be some sort of "treasure hunter" for the Order, perhaps even a minor character. But the idea of him being a spy in the Order came to mind and I like it. He will treat Aralin as any other slave while in public, but will be more relaxed in private, answering question and explaining things he thinks are important, but never, of course, giving away too much. Aralin will probably not like him very much, and so will be much more surprised when he learns (again, much later) that this guy is actually one of the "good" guys.

Jisam's Oruk bodyguard, who is a bit larger than other oruks, is also quite dumb, and can barely formulate words, though he does understand commands and orders.

I still got enough time to figure out what Jisam is all about.
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arnon
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 10:01:27 AM »

Next week, we will probably start the campaign proper. The two players that have had flown solo will gain 1st level. The campaign doesn't start immediatly on the heels of the 1-on-1's, but some time afterward.. how much time, thats up to the players (and reasonable distance to cover).

They will all start in Merko's Band.

I have decided to have the band situated in the Redstone Hills area (the area just south of Steel Hill). It is large enough for a resistance band to get "lost" in and evade patrols; there'll be plenty of villages in the area (some occupied some not, depends on how close they are to the road leading south); It is close enough to Erethor so that the Snow Elf player will not be too far away from his land; the river is also in the area and could provide more encounters (gnome smugglers, etc.)...

Damn i wish Honor was already out Sad

I have to start thinking of first adventure... perhaps i'll run Well of the Rebellion from the back of M2e, with the players being sent to follow rumors... or perhapos they got a tip that some Legate might come to the village and just check what he wants (i need to look at the advetnure again).

After reading Wils' thread, i'm thinking of starting off in 'Episode mode' as well. And while at first there won't be an overarching plot, there will be crumbs and chips to be picked up (i'm visioning somethin in the style of Babylon 5. In which we could have episodes apparently disconnected from the series, and yet after several more episodes we will be reminded of something that was said or done in that episode that then seemed unimportant).
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 05:27:53 AM by arnon » Logged
arnon
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2007, 09:31:51 AM »

Done with the Aralin's (elfling rogue) 1-on-1. Of course, i needed more than one more session further proving that I have no sense as to "how much longer" anything i DM takes  ohwell

What happened:
They enter Erenhead and the groups seperates. The orcs take Selya and Aralin goes with the legate and oruk. While Aralin is constantly defiant, the Legate seems to take it lightly as he tries to teach the elfling his place in this world, the legate is stern, but not mean and cruel... something that flies compleltly over Aralins head.

They go to an inn run by some fat guy called Adan who can appaerntly arrange almost anything (he's actually a sort of a double agent. Anything to profit himself) and he arranges a ship for the legate to take him to Fallport. The legate leaves Aralin locked in the room as he goes about his bussines, and Aralin tries to open the Legates chest and get zapped and passes out (found the physical trap, but not the magical one). The legate returns and "wakes" him up, and before they go to sleep a knock comes on the door and a woman comes in which the legate is not happy to see ("too dangerous"). She refers to Aralin as Jisam's "newst prject" but when they start to talk seriously, the legate casts defness on Aralin... luck for Aralin he rolles a 20 on his spot to read the legates lips (the woman had her back to him). He managed to understan that Jisam is involved in something against someone called Surilia (sp?).

Early next morning they board the Green Wave captained by Teev Greengol, bound to Fallport via Highwall. The gnomes do not react to much to Aralin at first, and only one gnome befriends him and reccomends to him to "play along" with the legate and wait for an opportune moment, that in the long run it'll be better that way. Aralin takes the advice to heart and starts to act meek and accepting of his slavery. Jisam gives him some more free time while on the long journey across the Pelluria, but still takes him for "talks" from time to time, placing information about the Shadow inside the elflings head without him even noticing it.

They disembark from the ship before Fallport at a small fishing village (on the stop at Highwall, the legate stayed within his quarters all day, not letting the elfling out either). While they depart, the gnome who befriended Aralin comes over with a sack of food for them, but "stumbles" and crushes into Aralin (aralin fails to notice the lock picks placed on him in that exchange). They ride for the remaining of the day and at sunset reach small fatm with 3 houses guarded by orcs. The legate is accepted by the master of the house and goes in, ordering the elfling to be taken to a basement for the night.

Aralin serachs the basement for anything to help him escape and only after some time finally notices the lock-picks planted on him. With this, he quickly removes his shackles and opens the small window to the outside, and rolls exceptionaly high on Hide and MS... and he's free at last.

End of 1-on-1

The campaign will start a couple of arcs later, and he'll also be in the resistance cell (see above post).

Aralin truely hate legate Jisam, and that made me smile all the way cause it'll be interesting to see (somewhere down the line) how he'll react to learning that Jisam isn't exactly what he appears to be.

There are several "dangling bits" all through these sessions which might (or not) come into play.

I'm not completly happy to start the campaign without an "overall plot"... but i'm hopeing that as well play and the characters interact with NPCs ideas will crop up. I'll be going through some of the adventures allready in place for Midnight, as well as the Midnight-ified adventures i have collected from the old site... (which reminds me...)
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arnon
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2008, 04:44:51 AM »

Forgot to write this...

We have had our first group session last week (next one tomorrow).

Nothing much happened actually, they got acquainted with the Hideout and the the Resistance cell they are a part of (see replay #3 on this thread). Some members of the band were getting ready for a raid, and the PCs were not a part of it.

Merko, the leader, asked them to do something else: check the silence he's been getting from another group of resistance fighters ("smugglers more than anything..") who operate west of Koln, a small town on a back road to the Veradeen. This leads them to the "Well of the Rebellion" from M2e.

Since they are only three i gave them a Dorn companion (a fighter in the resistance band) who knows the area and will lead them to Koln.

They haven't reached Koln yet...

One thing worth of mentioning is this: the only language the Erunsil and the Elfling have in common is Orcish. Smiley

Speak about the "enemy that brings us together" Wink
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 07:47:14 AM by arnon » Logged
arnon
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2008, 04:19:01 PM »

Saturdays session took the PCs to Koln.

They talked about ti and the Erunsil character decided to stay outside Koln and keep an eye... sound Midnight decision, but due to the slow nature of playing through the internet by the time he rejoined the party the session was over and he played only about half an hour out of a two hour session Sad  Sucks...

The Bozz and Garus (their NPC companion) and Aralin the elfling (disguised as a human boy) went into town, got the cold shoulder and suspicious looks, some i'll treatment, and as they met the Sheriff saw the whole thing with the legate and the mayor. After seeing the mayor crawl his way back to his home, they snuk around the house so as to avoid the orcs milling about, and as Bozz start to chat him up he cast a silent charm person , which of course, helped a lot. Getting the info they decided to split up: Bozz went to talk the Sheriff, Aralin went to call Guy (the Erunsil), and they sent Garus to chat up the trapper and see if he can get info about a shorter route (i rolled a 97% and decided that he managed to get the info but had to barter some of his stuff for it).

Bozz managed to convince the Sheriff to share information (rolling a 19, which made his Diplomacy 21... just enough), and got what he wanted... though neither the Sheriff nor the Mayor knew of any info about the missing rebels Merko sent them to find.

Finding the two horses the mayor manged to supply to them, the session ended.
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arnon
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2008, 06:10:55 AM »

Taking the high road, knowing that it is a more difficult path though not knowing how much more difficult it is, they left the horses behind.

They reached the 50 ft cliff and had a lot of trouble climbing it. None of the PCs are very strong or have invested in climb, and it took them quite a few attempts and some bruising to finally climb it.

Next they reached the chasm and decided to jump over it. Garus (the npc) jumped it easily (rulling a natural 20), Aralin the elfling came next and rolled a 14 (1 less than needed), I allowed him and Garus to make Reflex and Dexterity checks but both failed. And so, not wanting to loose a PC so early in the campaign, i made a secret bargain with Aralin's player: he will give me his two Fate Points and will owe me another one, and in return, he will have a chance to survive this. He agreed of course, and in my mind, this agreement was like him selling his soul to survive... muhahah.

Bozz, knowing that he will need all the help he can to cross the chasm (got a -1 on strenght), decided to spend a Fate Point to gain a automatic 20 on his roll. Guy the erunsil decided to try the jump... and rolled a 2! (i was sahking my head at the monitor and laughing sadly). I gave him an opportunity to catch himself but he failed his reflex save... and so I decided to allow him too, to bargain for his life, but i did it better this time:

Me - How much do you want to live?
Guy - A long time...
Me - What will you do to live?
Guy - Anything...
Me - I will remmeber you promise Guyalathan (or something, can't remember the whole name i wrote)
Guy - .... (i think i could here him gulp on the other side of the connection)

The mechanic was the same (-3 to Fate Points), but I have two players who "sold me" their souls  twisted... i have no idea when and how i'll use it, but i'll think of something.

Guy managed to jump and succeeded on this reflex to grab the endge of the chasm and was pulled up bu noth Garus and Bozz. And Aralin, crushing into the rockface, got his foot entangled in a protruding root; his companions found something to pull him up with.

Next they met the two travellers on the road: two snow elves, and Guy immediatly started talking with them (no one else knows high elven) asking them why they are here, and after they tld him their patrol was ambushed they asked him why THEY were here.

Bozz was getting bored, not understanding what Guy and the elves were saying, and when Guy translated it to the others, Bozz started to get angry asking "we don't owe them anything, they need to tell us why they are here", and "so what if their elves, why should we trust them". The other tried to calm him down trying to tell him that elves do not work for the Shadow, but Bozz said something along "i'm sure there are elves working for Izradur somewhere..."

The two travellers didn't understand all this conversation, but they understood 'Izradur' and and the jist of it, and the fact that they were ignored got them angrier, also, the fact that they were "hungy" (in the ungral fashion) didn't help. One of the elves started to assult Guy and the group with words, speaking in elven (so only Guy understood) at how dare they call on Izradur and say they cannot be trusted... they attacked.

The group managed to overcome the two undead and and that is how the session ended.

The combat wasn't really necesary, and having a snow elf in the party helped alot in that regard. But that's hwo things rolled out...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 06:15:33 AM by arnon » Logged
arnon
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2008, 02:27:25 AM »

Guy really wanted to bury the two snow elves, but as they have no equipment to do that they decided to burn them... of course, after looting whatever usefull thing they could from them. Guy said some prayers to the spirits and they were off again.

Since they took more time than they should have by now (becuase of time spent climbing the first cliff, and other stuff) they missed the interaction between the Legate and the orc captain at the place where the Low and High road come close to each other... i described this area for them in case they might want to use it for ambush later on since i already knew they'll reach the Tearfall cavern only after the Legate & Orcs.

Next they came upon the bridge over the bog, they figured the bog was a bit "off" and were fearful of crossing the bridge. After some arguing over it, they decided to cross the 500 ft. bridge one by one... Aralin (elfling( will go first cause he is lightest and then Bozz, Garus and Guy... they each desribed going over the birdge very carefully, checking each step. They all crossed safely of course, but they took their sweet time and I was almost of a mind to have the orc and legates heading back, but decided against it.

They debated about cuting the bridge so as to slow the legate and orcs, but didn't do it in the end.

Kowing that the Tearfall is nearby Aralin volunteered to scout ahead of the rest of the party, and so he was first to see the cave and the orcs in front of it. Informing the rest of the party about it they came up with a "brilliant" plan... Aralin will sneak forward and lure 2 of the orcs into an ambush they would prepare.... yhea brilliant... ohwell

They prepared and Aralin when ahead, he hid about 50 ft. from the orcs and used his Ghost Sound innate magic to attract the attention of the orcs.. but he could only manage to make the sound some 25 ft. from him... two orcs came to check out the "wolf growling" sound but found nothing in the area (Aralin was hiding, rolling a natual 20 and add to that +15 from his Hide... there was no chance the orcs would spot him). He tried again to lure them further but didn't manage... so he gave up and just jumped out, cursed the orcs, and run away.

The two orcs close to him noticed him then, alerting Korshk (orc commander) that a halfling was near... Korshk commanded to catch him. The orcs were eager for some exitment and didn't really care about leaving the legate in the cave and alone... so they run after Aralin, all 4 of them. Aralin managed to duck into a bush and hide, and all the others of the part were hiding in position, and the orcs rolled realy low on their spot checks... For some reason they party didn't use their ranged weapons (even though they got two longbows from the elves, javelins, and slings...)

the orcs approached to within 30-40 ft from the party (the party is spread out in a semi-circle), and since it was late, we decided to stop the session there... last thing i told them was:

You hear a -twang- as an arrow is released from a bow...

*************

There is a strong possibility that one or two (or more) of the party will die in this battle. They are not really prepared and have not thought this through completly, they are still a bit hurt from the fight with the ungral snow elves, their channeler has no offensive spells (i think only daze)....

... and as most players, i do not see them as surrending or running away. They know their situation isn't good also. Maybe they'll surpsise me, or maybe they'll have luck... i left the session with some aprehension.

And then I though that this could actually be a good thing... well, not good for the party but good in the general story sense. If things go as bad for the players as i fear they will, and some of the players drop down to minus hit points i'll see if they stabilize, if they do, then the orcs will decided to take them prisoners, interogate them later about rebels in the area, show them the destruction of Koln, take them for slavery to the mines at Steel Hill perhaps...

Maybe, after seeing one, two or three friends down, the last will surreneder... who knows...

So many delisious things that can happen... twisted
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arnon
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 04:52:44 AM »

The short of the fight with the orcs was: one orc down, one NPC down, one PC (wildlander) disabled at 0 hp and not really being able to move away from the fight. This left only the channeler and rogue… and then, in the 3rd round, the Legate comes from the direction of the caves…

Bozz and Aralin (channeler & rogue) perform a full retreat, the orcs swing a sword at Guy (widlander snow elf) and drop him to -10 (in my house rules, this gives him 4 round to stabilize, as you die at your negative CON score). The orcs, fully enjoying themselves, decide to try some target practice and instead of charging the fleeing couple, throw their javelins at them… but miss. This gives the two survivors a small head start, which they manage to keep (through a series of Dex and Con checks) till they cross the bridge over the bog, and cut it as the orcs start to cross it. The orcs fall into the bog and start to plod along towards their prey (easily fending of the effects of the bog).

Guy fails all his stabilizing checks. If he had managed to stabilize, the legate might have had some interest in him, but the legate would not waste his energy on a dieing elf… he can always try to speak with dead perhaps… find out where the rebel hideout is… First casualty of the campaign… sucks, of course, but that how it goes…

We ended the session just after the bridge.

****

Like I constantly say, things are slow using Fantasy Grounds, and I want to talk with my players about using some VoiP (skype, ventrilo, etc.) for all the OoC and combat… that’ll speed things up. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2008, 02:37:14 AM »

An update of the last two sessions.

I’ve gathered two other refugees from my last Midnight campaign… it was surprisingly easily to convince them to join (“We are playing Midn…” “Count me in!”), and now I have my ideal number for a group: 5 people.

The session before last introduced Fe’all (and Erenlander Defender, Shadowed, in place of the now dead snow elf Guy), and Ralgo (Sarcosan rogue, Dragonblooded).

Session events: (last week)

Aralin and Bozz just barely escaped, leaving to dead friends behind, then made it across the rope bridge of the bog and cut it while the orcs were trying to cross it. The two continued to run as the orcs continued to advance on them. As they put a short distance between them and the bog they make a sharp turn in the road and come face to face with two humans (cue in two new PCs).

Fe’all and Ralgo have come upon the last stand of a small band of human some days ago. And while they helped the last man standing to dispatch the orcs, he was clearly already dead… a fell in fact. He begged them to go to their hideout and clear it out (a member of his group was captured some days ago and sang), and make sure that no Shadow minion would find out about it because it might implicate Koln and bring doom upon that village.

Yes, you guessed it, the Tearfall caverns. So this is where they were headed…

Their suspicious stand off was cut short by the 2 orc approaching, Korsh decided that two orcs can deal with the two remaining “vermin” and reutnred with two other orcs back to the cave. It was night and while he doesn’t really like Durgan (the legate) he will not leave him completely unprotected… especially now that night is falling.

Aralin and Bozz (completely out of Spell Energy now) hid on one side of the road, and Ralgo on another. Fe’all remained standing in the middle of the road, waiting. The orcs appeared and failed to notice the ambush. The shouted for the human to come over and they advanced calmly to him. Fe’all “tried” to calm them saying something to the effect “No need to fight, brothers.” This, of course, pissed them of and one of the orcs threw a javelin at him, which hurt him but was not deadly.

Fe’all took a sidestep to the side of the road, and at that moment the other reacted. The javelin tossing orc was stroke by to stone from Ralgos’ and Aralins’ slings. Aralin, quick as he is, managed another sling shot at the orc and brought him down. The second orc charge, enraged, at Fe’all but m issed. Fe’all hit him with his fists as Ralgo flanked and sneak attacked, bringing the second orc down.

Cutting of the heads of the orcs, they tossed the bodies on one side of the road, and decided to recuperate for the night. Korshk, noticing that two of his orcs did not come back, decided to not split the group anymore and wait for the morrow. At night, the only thing that bothered the rest of the party were the hungry wolves feasting on orc meet.

Early next day they headed back to the bog. With no rope bridge and a bad feeling about the bog, they debated about how to proceed…

Events from last Session: (yesterday night)

The party was still debating on how best to cross the bog and just as they were about to step in, Bozz notices a lone human walking along the edge of the bog, longspear in hand.

The stand-off was longer this time, as neither sides volunteered much information, but when Gardis (Erelander fighter, Painless; a 40-ish years old ex-fisherman whose family was pointed out for execution due to the village not having enough “taxes” to pay to the orcs) heard that orcs are about he immediately expressed his wish to kill them, and the party seemed to accept that.

They crossed the bog and most of them failed the several Fortitude saves (DC 5!) needed all but Gardis suffered at lest one Strength drain (some failed twice). The decided to push on to the caves, and as Aralin was scouting about 50 ft. ahead of the rest, he came upon a man and an orc (Korshk and Durgan) standing and arguing about something. But the voices were loud enough to carry over, and the party overheard it also.

This snapped Gardis, and he immediately went towards the distinct orcish voice and the moment he saw Korsh he threw one of spears at him… he missed, and Korshk came at him, shouting that there is an attack going on. Korshk rushed at the Gardis and suffer an attack of opportunity from Gardiss’ longspear. Fe’all ran up to the legate, and the rest of the party closed in as well, but not into striking distance. Durgan (legate) took a step back and tried to Cause Fear, but Fe’all shook it off. Ralgo ran to a prepare to flank the legate with Fe’all, but as he reached his new position he cursed as he saw two more orcs coming to join the fight. Korshk attacked again but missed, and Gardis layed him down by taking a step back and sticking him with his longspear.

Fe’all struck at the legate with his fists causing massive damage and bruising the legate’s leg (critical hit, and a total of 20 non-lethal damage!!), the legate took another step back and cast Spiritual Weapon right behind Fe’all, the weapon missed the first strike… it will not miss a second time.

Ralgo came to flank the legate and while he hit him, it was minimal damage. Aralin also reached ganged up on the legate but he missed. The two orcs joined the fight, one threw a javelin at Fe’all but missed, and the other charged at Ralgo, dropping him to -1 hp and dieing. Bozz cast his signature Daze at the orc that just attacked Ralgo. Durgan stepped away from both his attackers as and cast a healing spell on himself, while his Spiritual Weapon slashed at Fe’all moving him to disabled condition, and forcing him to retreat and Gardis calmly walked towards the orcs but waited for a better opportunity to strike..

As one of the orcs approach Gardis, Gardis took advantage of his reach weapon and poked at the orc with his longspear. On his turn, Gardis killed the orc by taking a 5 ft. step back. Bozz Dazed the orc again and Durgan the legate took another step away from his attackers and cat Sound Burst inflicting minimal damage but stunning all but Fe’all… the only one who can’t really attack him this round (I only later noticed that while Stuned, one drops his weapons). Durgan took advantage of the break to catch wind by casting Shield of Faith.

As the next round started and the party recovered from the legates’ spell, Aralin steped up to the legate and stuck dealing minimal damage. Fe’all was still retreating, and Ralgo couldn’t stabilize. Gardis positioned himself correctly and struck first at the dazed orc, felling him with one strike, and cleaved at the legate who while had some cover from Aralin, couldn’t not avoid being struck by the longspear wielding fisherman.

This finally caused the legate to have more lethal damage than his non-lethal damage and he dropped to the ground. Bozz rushed to cast Cure Minor Wounds on Ralgo and Gardis stepped up to the bleeding legate and skewered him with his spear.

Thus ended the last session…


DM notes:

I’ve already decided that Durgan didn’t find the nexus in Tearfull (failed his Escape Artist checks), but did find the contraband… and so he already sent word to his boss (forgot the name now) about rebels in this area… this will not bode well with Koln in the near future.

The party, of course, knows nothing of this.
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2008, 02:55:42 AM »

With his new CLW spell, Bozz cured both Ralgo (who was stable but unconscious) and Fe’all who was disabled but conscious.  Of course, they searched the bodies and among the other possessions they found the following letter:

Quote
It opens by saying: “Another thing Legate Geodric, read the following under the light of our God…” The middle of the small page is empty, and at the bottom it says: “Legate Drugan Deem.”

Two of the characters can read Erenlander in which the letter was written, and were all completely bogged at the “under the light of our God” line, couldn’t figure it out and were “bothered” by it the whole session.

After taking only a few of the things from the bodies and looping of heads off (and hands, Ralgo insisted to cut of their hands as well as the legates tongue), Gardis asked them if they’ll let him join them, and they said sure, as long as he doesn’t rush off like this again, endangering all of them like that, and discussing actions with the party (never mind that it caught their enemies completely off guard). He promised to try and do so.

Reaching the Tearfall caverns finally they found the remains of a campfire with humanoid bones littered around it and one cracked skull, along with one bedroll, a sword, and a backpack…. They ignored it all and went into the cave.

They found the contraband room easily (they were told where it was), the trap was already disabled by Legate Drugan, and the place was completely ransacked and they found nothing of interest there. Then they went ahead and reached the end of the tunnel, and after some attempts, most managed to squeeze through to the pool cavern. The water elemental confronted them immediately, accusing them of being Shadow servants, but some quick responses (and a good diplomacy roll) calmed it down, and he told them what he knows (which wasn’t much, as he tried not to confront the legate), told them that he kill a “demon in disguise” some days ago, was saddened to hear of Assen death (the rebel leader that originally used the caverns), and finally when they offered to help him in any way, asked them to collapse the entrance to his cave… so it’ll be harder  for future servants of the Shadow to find him. But before doing this, they decided to go again over the whole system, and finally bringing in the backpack from outside the caverns.

In the bag they found among other things 3 cloaks and 3 sets boots (elevenkind stuff), as well as paper and ink, torches and black candles.  The discovered the cloaks and boots are magical and immediately put them on, and then started to test about reading the letter again “under the light of our God” using torches, black candles (in several arrays), complete darkness, the light from the Tearfall pool, and more and more… everything failed. Finally they decided to leave the caverns (after collapsing the entrance to the pool cave).

As they were leaving the cave, the noticed that in the buses, off to the side, there was a body of a dead young dorn…

DM notes:

Regarding the letter. They were so engrossed in trying to figure out the how to show up the blank space in the middle of the letter and what the “under the light of our God” means, that they completely missed what I really wanted them to see… the first two words of the letter: “Another thing…”, which means, that there was a previous letter, one they did not find.

The truth is, I’m not sure what “under the light of our God” means (heheh). Maybe some form of a spell cast during the midnight hours, or that the words appear only in the area of a darkness spell… not sure yet.
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2008, 02:26:15 AM »

I gave them a description the status of Garus’s body: rigid with a horrified look on his face, not the look he had on his face while fighting the orcs when he died. The party decided to burn the body and return to the village.

They crossed the bog again, and decided to take the High Road… again, although this time “we have a rope, it’ll be easier” (yhea, right).

They reached the chasm and tied one rope to the post on one side and the other to the Fe’all who would jump to the other side and tie it to the other post. It’s good that he tied the rope to himself because he missed his jump twice, falling into the chasm, and being flung against the rock face thanks to the rope he tied to himself and not being splattered on the ground. Third time was the charm. The part started crawling across the rope. Their each tied themselves to the rope with Ralgo’s great sling, and a good thing that they did cause they all almost fell to their death while crossing (I rolled d% with a greater penalty each time someone failed to see if the sling cracks), and the sling snapped as Ralgo was crossing, but he managed to grab a hold of the rope and make it the rest of the way. The last person tied the rope to himself and jumped across.

It was already dark when they reached a cliff they had to descend. They though of spending the night on the High Road, but Bozz had a bad feeling (Augray heroic path ability), and so they pressed on. Fe’all was the last person going down the rope (they tied it to a tree), they were all waiting at the base of the cliff when they suddenly heard a creepy howl in the night from the direction of Koln. Fe’all lost his nerve and fell down the remaining 20 feet.


DM Notes:

There was plenty of RPing among the group as they talked amongst each other and got to know each other better, though most of the session revolved around skill checks. I had one player complain that it wasn’t really necessary, but all the rest seemed to enjoy it (even though, and perhaps because, they had horrible rolls).

The Howl they heard was a Yeth Hound that came down from the Highborn and has just recently started stalking Koln (recently as in this is the second night it does so). The orcs that remain in Koln will do nothing to stop it or help the villagers of course, and the hound has already killed the two orcs that were guarding the Legate’s horse outside the village (but didn’t like their meat), and later (this night) snatched a girl-child as food (much tastier).

The players will be told about his at some point when they reach the village, and will have to decide if they want to help the villagers even though the orcs stationed there might notice, or… do something else.
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2008, 08:49:12 AM »

Returning from about a month long hiatus due to me relocating to a new city and starting a new job, we (meaning I) finally decided I was ready to re-launch the campaign.

The following is the recounting of two session (about 2 – 2.5 hours long each).

SESSOION 1
After a short debate of weather to go through the fields (slow but hidden) or the road (quick but exposed), the party decided to risk the road in order to reach the village and the howling sound they heard quicker.

As they got closer, Gardis heard the sound of voices singing. This perplexed the party and they proceeded at a slower pace. Once closer to the village, they recognized the language of the singers… orcish. At that moment as well, they noticed the bodies of 4 villagers, dead from stabbing, slashing, and bludgeoning weapons.

Gardis (hotheaded as ever) wanted to charge in and slay the orcs, but was stopped by the party as they wanted to scout first and check the situation out. Gardis agreed (reluctantly). Aralin, who has been to the village with the original group, asserted correctly that the orcish singing were coming from center of the village, perhaps near or at the mayor’s house.

Aralin volunteered to sneak ahead into the village and check things out. He reached the outer houses and as he was peeking in to a lit window (seeing a woman breastfeeding a baby, and two other children asleep by her side) he was suddenly turned around roughly.

“You’re back!” the voice stated and then Aralin recognized the Sheriff. Aralin begged him to come with him so they could talk, and the sheriff agreed. The reached the group, and the sheriff was surprised that only 2 of the original party that passed through the village only several days ago were present. They questioned him about the situation in the village, telling him what they have done (killing the legate and his orc guards), and telling him that they are going to kill the orcs in the village.

This got the sheriff angry as he did not wish to put his people in danger, trying to explain to the party of hotheads that killing these orcs will spell a doom on the village because surely their commanders now they are there, and who will protect the village once more orcs come looking for the legate and the remaining orcs? Will the party stay and kill all the orcs that come to the village?

The party told him that he should simply pack his people and take them away. The sheriff looked at them astonished… moving more that 100 people? who will protect the villagers on the move? What about food? Etc. etc.

The party got angry at his words, accusing him of being a coward, and calling him other names. The sheriff just looked at them and stated that he will do whatever he needs to to protect his people. (This was an excellent RP session and it took about half the session!!).

It was then that another howl was heard from the village and then the yelling of a woman. The sheriff immediately ran-off to the village cutting the conversation, the party after a short discussion of whether to help the village at all, decided to follow. Aralin took them to where he suspected the scream came from… the house with the woman. And indeed the sheriff was there, trying to cam a hysterical woman down, only to then realized that her baby was missing!

The party inquired and he told them that a day after the legate went some huge wolf started stalking the village, already killing at least one adult. After a short questioning the party went out to follow the tracks of the wolf, it was drizzling all day and the ground was soft, so they had no problem following the tracks.

Leaving the village and crossing a crops field, they came upon a small clearing, and at its center stood a large wolf, between its front legs was a small bundle of a crying baby…

SESSION 2
The party tried to circle the large wolf (actually a Gloom Hound for Minions), to draw it away from the baby. And as they attack the wolf, and it took some steps back, Bozz rushed in to the clearing and too the baby in his arms…

It was at that moment that another howl pierced the night and out of the field came running another Hound, this one larger that the first. The howl managed to shake Aralin and Ralgo (who became an NPC since his player decided not to continue), but almost all other spell-like effects to Gloom Hound tried to impart on the party failed (or rather Gardis aced his saving throws). The party killed the first wolf, and were engaging the newcomer, that has managed to trip and hurt Ralgo.

Bozz, in the mean time, checked the baby and noticed that his left arm was completely mangled and ruined, and even though he was out of spell energy, he cast a healing spell (draining CON) on the baby. The arm stopped bleeding and looked a bit better, though it will remain mangled. The baby will survive.

The new wolf jumped and bit the longspear wielding Gardis and managed to tear at his arm, wounding him badly (this was a critical hit, and since I’m using Torn Asunder it also crippled his right arm. Ouch!). Fe’all the defender got the Hounds attention then by striking at him, and the Hound turned his attention to Fe’all managing to freeze him in place with his ability. But this did not help it much, as it was soon killed by the rest of the party ganging up on it.

Breathing heavily the party looked around the bloody clearing, and then, heard the distinct sound of hands clapping….

They warily raised their weapons to face whatever it was and saw an 5 orcs step out of the field: “That was very nicely done,” said one of the orcs, almost smiling.

The party prepared themselves, and the orc laughed, telling them that how they looked (tired and wounded) he will not even brake a sweat killing them, and that they should just lay down their weapons. Gardis, ever the hothead, decided to rush the speaking orc, but due to the wound in his arm his spear slipped from his hands.

The orcs laughed. Gardis reached for one of his shortspears and tried to charge again, but the orcs were ready, and two javelins found their mark in his stomach before he took another step. He fell to the ground immediately. “Anyone else..?” asked the orc amused.

Next came a long RP of the orc, being rather amiable and in good humor, questioning the party: who they are, what they are doing, etc. etc. And then Bozz decided to cast charm and then bluff their way out of this by saying that they are working for Drugan, the legate they killed and that left these orcs in the village to wait for him. The combination of charm and a high bluff were helpful. The orc didn’t just roll over and continued to press for answers but was not so harsh about it. When the party told him that Drugan and the other orcs were doing just fine when they last saw them, some of them got the feeling that the orc was disappointed by the news…

They all joined in on the bluff and all succeed rather nicely. While some of the other orc soldiers grumbled and started to question their leader’s actions, the leading orc shouted them down, told the party that he better never see them again, and left them alone (Another very nice RP session).

The party decided to stay right there in the clearing to rest for the night. Gardis stabilized by himself and the party sat down for the night. Aralin took the baby to the woman, and she blessed him for it. When he came back to the camp, he noticed that all were sleeping, even the guard fell asleep, due to the extremely long day they had…
END OF SESSION

DM Notes:

These two sessions had great RP opportunity and my players did not disappoint me and took them head on; most of their reactions were spot on for the background of their characters… even the suicidal rush of Gardis at the orcs.

At first I though that they will not succeed against two Gloom Hounds (CR 4 each), since the party is only level 2. I was planning to have the orcs rush in if the party was too hard pressed, and lend a hand; have a tense moment, some RP, and then the orcs will leave. But the PCs managed to take the Gloom Hounds rather nicely, so the orcs came out after the battle.

I wanted to see if they would continue fighting, or try other ways to wriggle out of a situation in which they were clearly overmatched. They succeed to bluff the orcs because of good RP, good Bluff roles, and a successful Charm spell, not because that’s how I wanted it.

Next session on Tuesday, wish me (and them) luck. twisted
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 05:27:02 AM »

Long time since I last updated, but we had some more breaks in the play. 

Following are two sessions

Session 1
The party woke up early next morning, and seeing that Gardis was still alive (barely), Bozz decided (a bit reluctantly, since Gardis always rushes into combat without thinking) to heal him and get the hell out of the area. They were still very battered and tired (most had between 1-3 points of STR damage), they decided to strike north for a couple of hours, find a cave, and rest for another day.

After three hours they found a rock shelter with the remains of some bones and animal tracks, but decided to rest here anyway. The day passed on rather quietly; they did see a bear walking along a stream bellow them, looking at them, and then continuing his walk. They also noticed a hawk flying overhead, circling, landing on a rock some 200 feet from them, and observe them for a while. It flew shortly after.
The next day they headed east, trying to make it back to the rebel hideout (both Bozz and Aralin succeeded in INT checks to see if they remember the way), and walked for the entire day, near evening they noticed another hawk flying above them, and this one too, landed on a treetop and looked down at them (or so it seemed). Most wanted to ignore it, but Bozz had a bad feeling about it (using his HP Augry spell) and told them they should take it down. They had a short argument about that, and finally the hawk just flew away northward.

Less than an hour after that incident they reached a road (one they had crossed on the way from the hideout to Koln), and decided to walk north along its side (hidden in the trees). At some point some of them heard a “strange, wet” sound from up ahead. They crept ahead, and some still heard that noise, and yet others swore they saw something moving behind the trees on the road ahead.

They decided to hide.

After several minutes of hearing nothing, they go in the direction from which the noise came. They come to the road and about a dozen bodies of both human and orcs. Most died from slashing or piercing wounds, yet some bodies were cut open as if by some man-sized claw. Before they manage to investigate further they hear a shout from further up north along the road: “Watch it! There are more of them!”
-End Session-


Session 2
They rush north along the road. The sun has already set, though there is still some last light. Up ahead in the distance they see several silhouettes milling about, two of them on horseback. As they get closer, they can identify 3 humans, 2 orcs, and another long limbed humanoid figure. The effort is seemed to be placed on the long-limbed figure. One of the horses falls and its raider rolls to the ground.

As they are 50 ft. from the scene, the creature slashes with his claws at a man and an orc, and both fall to the ground. The creature is gray skinned, and has black shard all over its body.  All the people in the melee are wounded already. Gardis rushes to strike at the creature, but Fe’all rushes in and strikes at one of the orcs! The creature turns around and seeing the newcomers, scream in defiance and jumps up into the air and towards the trees. The man on the horse looks at the party and says: “They are rebels, kill them!”

The orc is felled rather quickly, leaving the two humans to fight the party. Bozz tries to daze the man on the horse (whom he identifies as a legate) but fails. The legate smiles coldly at him. The fight is a tough one, and right at the start, the party hears a shout from behind them (but in front of Bozz who stayed back) and they see a grayish figure jump from out of the tree, grab Ralgo, and take him up the tree… but they are too busy to worry about him.

Bozz is suddenly attacked by a hawk and seems much weaker after it claws him (asitrax). He manages to cast cause fear on the hawk to scare it away, while the party finishes off the bodyguard. Only the legate remains, and his spells don’t mange to affect the party (good will saves). Bozz, thinking that it’ll be hard to affect the legate with spells, casts cause fear again, this time on the horse. The horse balks, throwing the rider off, and run away south along the road, narrowly missing Bozz. Fe’all, Gardis, and Aralin try to circle the legate, but he is an excellent fighter, and they have a hard time hitting him, he wounds several of them pretty bad, and some of them only lightly. As this goes on, the hawk returns for another round at Bozz, draining him again.

Out of spell energy (and some CON), Bozz desperately slashes with his dagger, and manages to kill the possessed hawk (critical hit). He tries to regain his breath, as the party continues to slash at the legate, and he at them. Aralin retreats after being wounded severely and jus then a badgers runs out of the bushes, he too, attacking Bozz and draining him a little again. The badger is killed by Bozz and Aralin; and Bozz, even though severely depleted, heals Aralin, and with a successful sneak attack and good hit from Fe’all, the legate falls.

Inside an inner pocket, they find a bloody letter. It is hardly legible, speaking about something called a “Stone” that was moved yet again somewhere west of somewhere in the Redstone Hills; it also speaks of some promising girl apprentice to a legate whom some informant was supposed to meet but never came back (I’ll post this up later).

The party takes some loot while beheading the bodies. Gardis insists on searching for the taken Ralgo. It is already night and the rest of the party is sure Ralgo is dead and doesn’t want to face that creature. Gardis searches alone for about an hour but finds nothing. The party leaves the road and walks for several hours before striking camp.

During the night Gardis notices a wolf sitting and staring at them while he is on guard. He doesn’t wake anyone, but as they wake up and start walking again the next day, he asks Bozz about it. Bozz stops walking and sits on a small boulder, thinking. Finally he says “I’m not sure we should go to the hideout. If we are being tracked, then we’ll lead them to the others…”
-End Session-


DM Notes

The bodies they found on the road are two shadow factions that clashed. The survivors were the legate and his entourage. They are badly wounded, and the legate has used most of his spells already (but he is still a very tough fighter). The creature that attacked the legate was a razor, yet another shadow faction searching also for the Stone.

The Stone is the Fouling Stone, and it is the first hint the party get of this… “item”. I’m a bit sorry that I did not give them some more direct pointers as to the Stone…

We play tonight, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do for them yet. If they go to the hideout, do they find the people, or come back to and smoldering cave with bodies all around? If they forget the cave and strike out… somewhere, how do I hint them into the Stone direction.
This is the most open-ended, fluid game I’ve ever ran… it’s a constant challenge.
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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2008, 10:04:24 AM »

I forgot to post the letter they found on the legate...

The letter is smeared with the blood of the dead legate and you manage to read parts of it:

Master,
I was not able to……....... with legate ……………………. all over the area.  One of my aids was to meet with an apprentices of his, a promising girl I hear, but he was found dead two days later, and I have lost………..
It is appears though that the rumors…. ………….. Stone were true, it was moved again. I suspect it is somewhere in the region of the Red……………….. east of……………………………..
The bearer of this letter ………………….
Shadow’s blessings,
Your servant,
Legate Caroom
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2008, 10:08:14 AM »

Shouldn’t have worried about not giving them enough information to follow up on the Fouling Stone... They leveled up at the end of last session and the Seer character received a very useful heroic path power: Seee Sight.

The moment I realized that (thankfully several hours before the game), I started writing the “vision flashes” he’ll have.

Session Event…
The party was discussing whether they should continue to the hideout or strike out on their own and try to find out about the “Stone thing”. It was at this time that Bozz (the Seer heroic path character) used his seer sight power for the first time on the bloody letter they found on the legate. This is what he saw:

The legate is riding his horse on the road at night with 5 bodyguards, 3 humans and 2 orcs, one of the humans is also on horseback. They are all wounded and look tired and battered. Out of the trees a demonic, long-limbed creature jumps and the legate shouts: “Watch out! There are more of them!”

The legate is riding his horse in between 2 more humans on horses. Walking alongside and behind them are 2 more humans and 6 orcs. As the turn a bend in the road they come upon a group of 9 well armed humans, some of horseback, some on foot. “Legate Remo, how nice to see you again… I need that letter.” “What letter?” “Don’t try to fool me Remo…” “That’s legate Remo, gnat! You will show respect.” “When we were kids…” “You were stronger, I remember. But not now… stand aside or die.” A bloody melee ensues.

Legate Remo is riding through the streets of some town; it is a grim town with gray stoned buildings, and a light fog. There are well armed dorns in red cloaks walking the streets; they are eyeing the orcs in open hostility, and the orc soldiers in the street return the hostile gaze, but no one attacks anyone. You can see black smoke rising over the roofs of building in the distance, and a faint clanging of hammers on metal, there is no pause between the clanging… it is constant as if from hundreds of hammers. He reaches a guarded gate and crosses a bridge, and is there joined by 4 more humans, and 6 orcs. He takes the road south.


He companions saw him sit very still, his head fall to his chest, and then rise back up, but his eyes were completely white. This shook them a bit, as they did not know what was going on, and after several moments, Gardis started shaking Bozz to see that he’s OK. This interrupted Bozz in the middle of his visions and made him angry with Gardis.

After explaining to the rest what he learned they decide to go to Steel Hill and try to get further information there; they also decide to do this by going east to the Be’neeya river and then try to reach Steel Hill, rather than go along the heavily patrolled roads.

On the next day, Bozz again tries to use Seer Sight to catch more glimpses of what he might have missed (due to Gardis interruption), and sees the following:

A gray haired man sits by a wooden desk in a small yet comfortable looking room. He has a bottle of wine and a glass at hand, several blank sheets of paper are pilled in the corner, and an ink vial with a feather in it. He speaks to a short dark skinned, long haired man standing on the other side of the table “… and he has not yet come back from his rendezvous with the girl…” “Moira, master.” “Yes, Teron’s student,” you hear disgust in his voice. “I’m not even sure they are involved with the Stone sir, just a gut feeling.” The legates take a deep breath and leans back “Your gut feelings are usually good Farzan,” he says and rubs his face tiredly, “we need to find that Stone, the Cabal cannot maintain it!” “But we do not even know what it does,” says Farzan. “No, we do not. But if the Cabal wants it and guard it so secretly, then we must take it away from them. For the Order.” “For the Order, sir,” the Sarcosan man repeats. The gray haired man pulls a paper from the pile and picks the feather, dipping it in the ink, “Call legate Remo in for me,” he says and starts writing:

“Master, I was not able to gather much information, what with legate Ladeem’s agents all over the area.  One of my aids was to meet with an apprentice of his, a promising girl I hear, but he was found dead two days later, and I have lost track of them again. It is appears though that the rumors regarding the Fouling Stone were true, it was moved again. I suspect it is somewhere in the region of the Red Cathedral, east of Steel Hill. The bearer of this letter is a young competent soldier legate named Selvio Remo, he can be as trusted legate Cylero was. Shadow’s blessings, Your servant, Legate Caroom.”


This makes them even more determined.

Near mid-day they come across a pack of humans being led by goblin slavers and decide to rescue the humans (or kill the goblins, I’m not sure). Bozz uses his new web spell to great effect, capturing several goblins and worgs and all the human in its radius. The party dispatches the slavers taking only minor damage. And as the last of the goblins fall Bozz tells the fearful humans: “Don’t worry, the web will go away in about half an hour…”
-End Session-

DM Notes:
I was glad to have the opportunity to impart information on the party via the See Sight… I’ll need to be ‘more’ prepared from now on, since I’m guessing he’ll use it more than once.

I later realized that I miscalculated the time-line, and that I should not have giving him the visions when he used his seer sight again. As a level 3 PC he can see only 3 days back, and those evens happened 4 days back… On the other hand, I already wrote it and didn’t want him to miss it. Oh well. It doesn’t change anything or their plan much, just gives them more information… they will still need to enter Steel Hill and recover some information from there, they’ll sound find that out.

This session was indeed an information overload.

Next session will be a “season finale” of sort. Since I started to DM a face-to-face game, I’ll take a break from DM Midnight on Fantasy Grounds (another DM will run a game, and I’ll play). We are going to take turns in running the Fantasy Grounds games (switch every several months), so I know that next “season” will be mostly in and around Steel Hill... and I’ve already got some ideas.

I’ll share them with you once I get them in writing.
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2008, 10:33:44 AM »

Session Events...
As the fight ended, several members of the party noticed a squirrel standing very still under a tree watching them, but before any can react an arrow kills it. Sal, Boy (see Merko’s band) and a dorn warrior come out of the bushes, and Sal says that one can never be sure which ones are possessed. He then goes on to ask Bozz and Aralin (members of the original party) where Garus (NPC) and Guy (PC that died) are; and after being given an answer he tells them that Merko started to get worried that they might have lost their way on the way back to the cave, so he sent some people in different direction to look for them.

The party explains that they think they are followed (Sal recognizes that they are wearing clocks and boots of elvenkind, and tells them about it) explaining to them that they might have been tracked by ‘sniffer demons’. They then ask him about a place called the “Red Cathedral”, but he knows nothing of it.

What followed was more than an hour of back and forth chatting/talking between the party and Sal (and to a lesser extent Boy), with them insisting to go look for the Cathedral place where there is something the legates want and are even killing each other over. Their plan was to just go east of Steel Hill and look and ask around and Sal tells them that it is a stupid idea (not in these words) and a good way to attract attention. They also discuss the possibility that it might be a codename for something (with Sal hinting that legates do not trust anyone, most of all their peers); Sal gives them a brief geography lesson; points them in the direction of a person called Ronal, a tanner living in Breantas (see here), who might help them get more information; and also warns Bozz that the closer they’ll get to Steel Hill, the harder it will be for him to cast magic, on account of something called the Mirror (to my surprise, they do not enquire more about the Mirror).

After some more talk, and giving some of their food to the hungry humans they have just saved from the goblin slavers the party strikes east and early the next morning they reach the Be’neeya River. They start to walk north along the western bank, but always keeping to the tree line.

Another uneventful day passes, and as they start to march on the next day, they spot a rive boat coming down (north to south), they stop and hide among the trees and wait for it to pass and see that it is manned by gnomes. They continue on their way and suddenly some of them notice that they are not alone…

Bozz quickly casts mage armor (already noticing that it drains more energy to cast), and the other person (I forgot who) warns the others. An arrow is shot at their feet “Stop right there!” “We’ve stopped…” “Empty your bags!” This got Aralin, Gardis and Fe’all ready to attack their unknown assailants (the party was at a disadvantage being lower, with trees and brush about 50 ft. between them and the humans… of which they never knew how many there were); Fe’all even whips out the symbol of Izrador he looted from the legate they killed and tries to threaten them with his wrath… only quick soothing words from Bozz don’t put 5 arrows into Fe’all a moment later.

Bozz got them to shut up, and started to try and convince the bandits to let them go, that they only want to fight the Shadow and help people like them. This gets the “bandits” pissed and they tell the party how a group of “helpers” killed some orcs close by to their village, so another fist of orcs came to their village, accused them of collaboration, and torched the place (after killing some of them). This softened some of the party’s hearts to the plight of the bandits; Gardis was ready to leave them all his ratios and Bozz was willing to negotiate. Aralin and Fe’all still wanted to kill them all.

After some intense and good role-playing and some good Diplomacy rolls by Bozz, they bandits are convinced that the party will leave them as many ratios as they can but nothing else (no weapons or armor); and with that, the part leaves them 4 ratios (leaving the party with 5 or so in total as well).
-End Session-

DM Notes:
This session was pure role playing, and some of the players loved it while others were a little bored (at least that’s how it felt to me). This saddens me a bit, because I think that both the players that did not participate much could have offered to the conversations. It also gave me a chance to fill the players in on some of the things that make up midnight (particularly Asitraxes and Mirrors) through Sal.

This is also the last session for a while. Since I started to recently DM a face-to-face campaign, one of my players (the DM’s I’m giving a break to from the face-to-face DMing) suggested that in the meantime he’ll run us through an adventure in Fantasy Grounds; so we agreed to do “Seasons” of each campaign…

So my Midnight campaign will come back in a Season which will (hopefully) be centered on Steel Hill and its surrounding.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 10:01:29 PM by arnon » Logged
arnon
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2009, 04:45:08 AM »

And we are back at it!

Yesterday we started Season 2 of our Midnight Campaign. We had one player have to leave due to too many family obligations and one new player step in (the new player was actually a part of my first Midnight campaign which I ran through Crown of Shadow, so he is well familiar with Midnight and totally crazy about the setting).

Since I knew some of the players will not remember all the details, I wrote a short “Previously on Midnight” e-mail and sent it their way (attached bellow).

Season 2 PCs:
Bozz Eldor – Erenlander, Hermetic channeler, Seer
Fe’all – Erenlander, Defender, Shaowed
Gardis – 50 years old Erelander, Fighter/Barbarian, Pianless
And introducing…
Tristo – Dorn, Wildlander, Warg
Leaving (will become an NPC)…
Aralin – Elfling, Rogue, Quickling

Session Events
The party (Bozz, Fe’all, Gardis, and Aralin) walk on after the leaving some of their rations with the “bandits”. Just as the sun is starting to set and it seems to get cold, Bozz falls to his knees as if the wind was knocked out of him.

This is what I tell Bozz:

Quote
You seem to suddenly leave your body behind. You feel weightless and you can see your body kneeling on the road. But something is calling you… pulling at you. And almost against your will your vision flies into the woods at an angle away from the river bank. It passes trees and bushes and shrubs and then you’re out of the woods and in a small clearing. In the fading light of the day you see a worn and overgrown low wooden fence; behind it a small ruined and overgrown house… some sort of a farmhouse alone in the woods, away from civilization. Your vision flies into the house and you see a man there, a Dorn, there is a longsowrd on the floor next to him and he is cutting some meat with a knife, immediately eating whatever he cuts. You have never seen this man yet you feel you know him, a comradeship… the same that you feel towards your companions. There is something different about this man, the same as there is something different about you, and the same difference as in your comrades. Suddenly his head shoots up and he swiftly moves to the open doorway his sword is in his hand. Out of the woods walk several human… they walk strangely, almost shambling… some are barely clothed, one has not arm… several have a white-sheen on their body and as they quickly close on the house you realize it is exposed bone… A CRUSH!!! From the other side of the house… the man is surrounded… You vision is suddenly pulled again, receding quickly back the way it came; and with a gasp, you are back in your body.

Bozz stands up and says to the others to follow him quickly and prepare their weapons and he runs into the woods. The party follows him immediately. They reach a small clearing in the woods with a small, old, crumbling, and partly overgrown farmhouse. At the doorway to the farmhouse they see a young dorn with a sword fending of some humans that are clearly in a decomposing state (all Feangrel). The party rushed in to help the man. At first they see only 4 of the undead abominations and think it’ll go quick… then another rushes at the young Dorn from inside the house and several more from around the house rush at the party. Tristo (the young dorn) get injured pretty badly and tries to tumble away from the 3 undead attacking him but get injured but at least one. Bozz at first tries to command an undead to attack one of the other undead, but as it moves to do so, Gardis tries to attack it thus breaking the “enchantment” (and angering Bozz, who shouted to him not to attack that undead). With some healing from Bozz, the party manages to kill all the undead attacking them, and Bozz angry at Gardis casts cause fear on him.

This brings about a bout of role-playing from all characters, as Gardis character takes the “fear” effects as if memories of the death of his children flashback and once the effect is over, starts to speak about it haltingly; Bozz, still angry with Gardis, tells him to get a grip, that he is not the only one to lose kin, and that should he want to do good and revenge his family he can’t act all crazy and do things irrationally. Fe’all starts inquiring Gardis about his family and what is wrong, and Tristo tries to understand what the hell is going on with this strange group. It was a very good role-playing session.

They decide to sleep in the old farmhouse and leave the next morning, making their way back to the riverbank of the Be’neeya and walking north towards Steel Hill (Tristo, of course, joined them). As they make their way along the river they notice a river-boat sailing south to north. They hide in the woods as it passes them by and notice that at the front of the ship stand two man: : one is rather pale man with red curly hair and the other is rather short dark-skinned and completely bald. They seem to be in a heated discussion or argument.

Bozz and Aralin speak at the same time: “son of a…” and “mother…”

Are those legates? Asks someone

Bozz and Aralin speak at the same time, again: “the red haired one is, I don’t know the other…” says Bozz; “The sarcosan is, I don’t know the other” says Aralin.

Tristo wants to charge at the boat and start killing them, but Bozz say it is not possible at the moment… not now at any rate…
End Session


DM Notes:
This was a great session and a very good way to start the new Midnight season.

Everybody had fun and we had equal measure of combat & role-playing… which is just how we like it.

The two legates seen at the end of the session by the party are important to both Bozz and Aralin:

  • The one Bozz recognized is the one who killed his wife & children and parentsl Bozz knows the legate was looking for something but knows not what it is… Bozz also knows that the legate could have killed him on their first encounter but was ordered not to.
  • The one Aralin recognizes is the one that took him as his slave after he (Aralin) was captured along with his friend by some orcs. The legate took only Aralin with him, leaving the friend with the orcs. The legate was not all that mean or bad to Aralin, but was not very nice either… Aralin escaped of course.

Aralin will soon become an NPC. I’m going to have him leave the party upon reaching the Steel Hill vicinity, claiming he needs to find that legate and that he can manage better on his own. Aralin will be met again by the party, but I’m not sure at what capacity or when. In the Legate thread I mention that the legate that Aralin knows is actually a rebel sympathizer, so Aralin will either work with him again (the party will see it but will not know the truth) or Aralin will try to kill the legate, who will be at that point under the protection of the party who just extracted him from some prison…

* Previously on Midnight.doc (26 KB - downloaded 443 times.)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 04:47:51 AM by arnon » Logged
arnon
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2009, 08:52:23 AM »

About an Ogre Family…

Session Events:
The party continued north after the river boat with the legates sailed on. After sometime they see an orc and goblin patrol on the other side of the river, later in the afternoon they spot the river checkpoint. The checkpoint has a boat at the pier (the same one where the legates were), and there is a stone tower and another squat building there as well (the tower is Tol Tyre); they notice a lot of orcs, goblins, and oruks and the patrol they spotted earlier arriving.

Bozz stays to keep a watch on the checkpoint while the others hide a bit deeper in the woods (and Tristo goes to hunt since they have almost no food). After a while Bozz notices the sarcosan legate walk out of the tower, given a horse and then he and his oruk companion ride north along the Iron Road; and a short time after that the river boat continues its course north to Steel Hill (Bozz fails his Spot check to see the red-haired legate on the boat).

They press on north until night and then decide to cross the river. Gardis and  Tristo swim across, while Bozz, Aralin, and Fe’all decide to search for a log to float on. They find one after more than an hour of searching and cross. By then it is dark and cold and they are wet from the river crossing, so they decide to walk on until they dry… but after 2 hours of walking Gardis and Tristo become tired (fatigued from forced march) and they agree to find a shelter.

They find a cave and some of them hear the sound of crying from within. Aralin sneaks up to the cave but steps on a dry branch on the way and out of the cave charges an ogre at him. The ogre strike Aralin and reduced him to 0 HPs, and the battle starts. Aralin retreats while the rest of the party advances on the ogre and Bozz casts daze on it, but sadly only some of them score a hit. Another daze by Bozz gives the party another chance, but not very successful. They hear a howl from the woods behind them and into the clearing another ogre rushes. Fe’all tries to tumble towards the new ogre and hit him but gets whacked and falls to the ground. Bozz moves to cast cause fear on it, thus freeing the first ogre to strike down Gardis (critical hit) and the old spear-wielding man falls unconscious and bleeding to the ground. The second ogre runs away in fear and Bozz heals up Fe’all while Tristo strikes at the first ogre and Aralin tries to hit it with a sling unsuccessfully.

Finally the the first ogre falls but no before most of the people, other than Bozz, have 1-2 HPs left and Gardis is still unconscious (but managed to stabilize). Fe’all heads into the cave and finds a baby ogre in a bundle of rags, while Bozz & Aralin drag Gardis into the cave. They know the other ogre will probably be returning soon, so decide to place the baby ogre outside. Bozz stands at the ready at the cave entrance while Fe’all stands over the baby ogre. The daddy ogre returns and stops short as he sees the situation. The speaks to them in Black Tongue, but they do not know it (although Bozz and Fe’all recognize some words because they know orcish). They try to tell him in orcish that they will not harm the baby, and he steps slowly forward while they back away. All the while the ogre tries to communicate in Black Tounngue which sounds like grunts to them all… so Tristo (for some unknown reason) decides to run out of the cave with his swor din hand and take position…

This scare daddy ogre and he takes another step forward, causing Bozz (on Ready Action) to throw a javelin at the ogre. The ogre scoops up his baby, and whacks Bozz with his great club leaving him with 1 HP to spare. Bozz retreats inside the cave to heal himself (digging into CON cause he was out of SE by that time) while Aralin, and Fe’all try to hit the ogre and miss, but then the ogre retreats with his baby and disappears into the night.
End Session

DM Notes:

It was a tough fight and could have been tougher had daddy ogre succeed on his Will Save vs. the cause fear. By the end of the session Gardis was unconscious and at -5 HPs, and all the others were at 1-2 HPs.

Not much to say… god knows what cause Tristo’s player to rush out of the cave with his sword while Fe’all and Bozz “negotiated” with the ogre, He could clearly hear the to PCs speak in Erenlander that they are letting the ogre take his baby…

This lead to a post-game argument about how some players seem to disrupt the game with stupid acting and not trying to accommodate group tactics and other such stuff. I think it was dangerously close to breaking up the party, but I sent an email to all related, asking them to try harder (for the sake of the game and fun) and I hope things will be hammered out and settled for next game…
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2009, 11:32:16 AM »

Reaching Breantas

Session Events:
The party rested that night in the cave and the next morning Fe’all and Tristo went out to hunt while Bozz cast healing spells on Aralin, Gardis, and himself (for each of those I rolled a Survival check for a nearby astirax to track down, the last succeeded). The hunt took several hours but finally the hunters returned with enough food for all for three days at least.

As they were eating their lunch Aralin and Tristo noticed a boar sitting on its hunches about a 100 ft. from the cave opening regarding them. Tristo wanted to hunt it cause it would be a good ctach, and Aralin asked if it was normal for boars to just sit and watch people. Bozz deduced that it might be an astirax so Fe’all closed in on the boar and cast detect evil (heroic path) noticing that an evil aura surrounds the creature. “It’s an astirax. Let’s kill it!” he shouted to the others and they started to rush at the boar, but the boar turned and ran away from them and since he was faster they lost him after several minutes of chasing…

On their return Fe’all wanted to rest after the failed chase, but Tristo said they should move (Bozz explained asitraxes to Tristo and the others) and the rest of the party agreed.

The left the cave (half of them still wounded from the ogre fight) and Fe’all and Tristo did their best to cover their tracks. Near noon they come upon a pack of carrion birds pecking on something, so they shooed them away and found the body of a little girl. Noticing her footprints leading into the woods they followed them and found two dead bodies: an old man and a young man. Bozz noticed a pack hidden in the brush and found some rations there and some Steel Hill coins (Tristo recognized the iron coins since he grew in the area, and Bozz heard about it)… so they kept the coins with them. They left the bodies and again moved on while covering their tracks, but this time much more successfully (which was good for them, otherwise they would have been found).

They spend the night under a wide tree in the rain and it continued to rain in the morning. Just before evening they came to sighting distance from Breantas and Steel Hill. Fe’all and Tristo volunteered to stay in the woods with the gear and wait to see what the others find.

Bozz, Gardis, and Aralin went down to Breantas looking for a gathering place to ask for directions to Rolan. When a patrol of three bloodguards walked down the street, they all lowered their eyes and acted meekly. They found something resembling a pub with several people inside, and went in. Bozz did all the talking by first buying ale and bread and then trying to bluff his way by asking to find their cousin Ronal cause they need work. The pub owner didn’t buy it and wasn’t ready to give these strangers any help but Bozz noticed that the man next to the pub owner wanted to say something but was kicked under the bar (so he would keep quite). Bozz decide to take a risk and cast charm person (Still & Silent, and this close to the Steel Hill mirror it cost him almost all his spell energy), which succeed and the man next to the pub owner told him where to find Ronal. This got the pub owner angry and he shouted at them to get out before he calls the redcloaks.

They left…
End Session

DM Notes:

Finally they reached Steel Hill… I wonder what they’ll try to do now.

Pure role-playing session. Due to the slower nature of playing on Fantasy Grounds we get that every so often… I do try to add at least one encounter per session, but I will not force an encounter if it is not fitting. And since they managed to evade the asitrax led patrol…

Bozz’s player either doesn’t see the connection between the Asitraxes and his casting spells or decides to ignore them and take a chance. Casting the charm person cost him 6 spell energy, and was automatically noticed by several asitraxes. I plan on having them see the pub owner interrogated by a legate when they leave Brenatas to rejoin their friends, and the pub owner will describe Bozz and Gardis to the legate (they might also understand that he is describing them). The pub owner doesn’t want to endanger Ronal (who is a friend of his) so he will omit his name when the legate ask him about the recent strangers.
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2009, 09:25:59 AM »

Breantas – part II

Session Events
Gardis, Aralin, and Bozz made their way to Rolan’s tannery and stroke up a conversation with him. He was suspicious at first of course but decided to trust them since they mentioned a name he knows not many people know (and Bozz had two very good Diplomacy rolls, each +20). They asked him what he knows about the Red Cathedral and he said that a legate contact of his once mentioned that it is a place known only very high ranking legates, problem is he hasn’t heard from the contact (a temple legate in Arven) in quite some time. He also said that someone else might also be able to help them gain the information they seek: the Lord of Rags (which my players immediately distorted to Lords of the Rags, or LotR) who might be in the Winde.

When asked about how to get into Steel Hill he gave them several options: through one of the gates and passing scrutiny; through the sewers and whatever that held; or above the wall and into the Garden of Death. He also offered them to come and stay in a hideaway he dug under his tannery but they refused.

As they left the tannery they saw a commotion near the “pub” in which they got their information as to Rolan’s tannery. They saw the barkeep on his knees and bleeding talking to a legate and his three bodyguards and could understand that he was describing people with his hands… describing Gardis and Bozz. They sent Aralin (now an NPC) to warn Rolan and cut through the houses and quickly out of town back to Fe’all and Tristo.

Once united they explained the situation and decided to rest for a bit and go through the sewers after midnight. Aralin returned shortly after and told them that Rolan isn’t worried and that he trusts that the barkeep will keep his mouth shut about him, but that their description was given to the legate.

Before going to rest Bozz decided to heal Tristo who was still rather wounded. This got the attention of an asitrax and a legate. The legate sent the asitrax to investigate and himself went to get some orcs to come with him. The astirax found the party asleep (all but Tristo who was guarding) and decided he could take them on. The asitrax took possession of a Boar and rushed at the sleeping Bozz and gored him, injuring him deeply (critical hit, leaving Bozz with precious few HPs). Bozz immediately recognized the magic draining effect of the asitrax and the party managed to kill it. As the boar died a tendril of shadow manifested above it (horrid visage) and Tristo and Aralin ran away in fear, while Bozz stood on a boulder so as to be away from any coming animals… but it was an owl that attacked him next. The owl missed and Gardis killed him quickly… but then the party noticed some torches coming out of Breantas and the shouted commands in Norhtern and Orcish to sweep the area.

They decided to run!

They run east for almost an hour and then south; only when they started to head south did they take the time to counter-track (and failing). After another hour or so they decided they need to rest and found a rock outcropping were they want to make camp…
End Session


DM Notes:

I did not mean to chase them away from Steel Hill. I wanted them to go into the city, but then Bozz had to go and cast another spell right there on their front lawn.  shock

From the conversation the characters had during their flight from the orc fist, I know that from now on Bozz will be more careful about casting spells; I think they believe that they were tracked only due to their proximity to the Steel Hill Mirror… although they know enough about asitraxes to know that they can sense and track magic. I had someone call them “sniffer-demons” when talking about them.

They are planning to rest now in the outcropping, but they were very bad at hiding their tracks… and the orc scout with the legate that came after them succeeded in finding their first trail. We’ll see if he succeed to find the rest of it…
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2009, 10:29:02 AM »

Arnon,

   I've been meaning to comment on your write ups for a while, as I've really enjoyed them.  The player who keeps casting spells is a danger to everyone.  Better to rest up and heal naturally if you're that close to a city.  On getting into the city, I never gave much thought to sewers.  Another way to get in is to go over the wall near the Winde.  The walls aren't in good shape and I think that there are areas where the walls are lightly patrolled.

Kane
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2009, 02:44:57 PM »

Kane,

It's nice to know someone is reading these write-ups Smiley

Bozz's player called me up today and said: "so i wasn't acting very smart, was I?". I told him he wasn't. But he got the idea now, and i'm sure he'll be much more careful from now on.

Quote
On getting into the city, I never gave much thought to sewers.  Another way to get in is to go over the wall near the Winde.  The walls aren't in good shape and I think that there are areas where the walls are lightly patrolled.

The sewers are barely described in Forge, only mentions that there are some hatches that lead to the Winde where the Lords of Rags is supposed to be. I'll probably have them wonder around a bit... run into something (i'm thinking carrion crawler now, but not sure yet).

I gave them the "over the wall" option, but to me it seemed most logical that the place for that will be in the Garden of Death area, i did not think of the city wall of the Winde. To me it seems that because patrols don't usually go into the Winde, they might as well patrol it from above.

And thanks for commenting Smiley
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arnon
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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2009, 05:32:27 AM »

Rest and Return...

I've not updated for some time because the game was on hold, we are having a session tonight, but i'm going to write down and events of the session from about 2 months ago (so it'll be short and bland)

Session Events
During their rest the person on guard spots a large group in the distance coming towards them and quickly wakes all of them and they continue to move. They run hard for half an hour, and then slow down to cover their tracks (good call, as they were being followed by an orc tracker and several orc fighters).

They walk for several hours then before dawn find another place to rest, they sleep, rest, eat, etc. Near evening they are confronted by a group of 4 resistance fighters that first suspect they are mercenaries who roam these woods and have killed their friend. The party didn't like the attitude of the rebels and the rebels did not like the attitude of the party, and it almost turned out ugly, but in the end the rebels left and let the party be.

The party moves to another place and rests for another day, then heads back to Steel Hill, manage to cross the river and reach the entrance to the sewers...
End Session


DM Notes:
I wanted to party to meet another band of rebel fighters in the wilds; make some contacts, etc.. But it did not turn out well.  The players believed the rebels were rude and patronizing; and i thought the players acted as... well PCs!  shock Thinking that everybody answers to them... and that they can behave how they want.

At any rate, it did not go as i planned... but they will probably meet again, since they will have to return to that part of the woods after leaving Steel Hill and the Mines.

Tonight they go into the sewers. It'll be mostly mood-setting and perhaps an encounter with something (a Carrion Crawler and maybe some Fell), and then its up to the streets of Steel Hill...
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 05:38:20 AM by arnon » Logged
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