2019-09-14

DF Whiterock Session 64: Dawn

Date:

2019-09-13



Weather:

Warm, sunny



Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 352 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 418 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 415 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 406 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High Elf Wizard, 425 points


Significant NPCs:

Goblin wasp rider
Stagheart, human druid
Braxilant, skeletal chimera
Haele, centaur
Soras, centaur leader
Grisby, faerie dragon
Dalen Porrel, human boy
Giant scorpion
Ninia Porrel, human girl


We started on the other side of the mysterious portal, immediately after the PCs defeated four goblin wasp-riders and their huge wasps.  Three of the goblins were dead, but one survived, and Garreth convinced everyone to capture it alive for questioning.  The group recovered the goblins' bows and shortswords and arrows and leather armor, while Zaber checked out the portal from the other side, and the goblin gradually recovered from being knocked unconscious.

Zaber tied up the goblin, while Seépravir cast Possession on it, while gave it access to all the goblin's memories.  The goblin worked for Trag, a great bugbear leader, who was invading the Far Garden from another portal, which was guarded by a giant bug.  The goblins were at war with the woodland creatures native to the Far Garden, led by centaurs.  The goblin wasp-riders had been sent to investigate signs that this portal had been reassembled.

After they finished interrogating the goblin, Seépravir Charmed it, Elias Healed it, then they sent it through the portal with a note for Hugin.  (They believed that notes sent alone did not make it through, so thought maybe attaching a note to a goblin would work better.)  Polly then played with the moss-covered stone columns near the portal, to no effect.  Zaber looked around from the hill, and noticed a tent town to the northwest.  The group could easily fly that way magically, but they had a heavy wheelbarrow, and pushing it would work better on a trail than through heavy overgrowth.  The only trail led north, so the PCs went that way.

A few miles up the trail, Zaber noticed someone hanging upside-down from a tree.  It was a shirtless, barrel-chested, unconscious human male.  On closer investigation, the man was badly wounded, with a lot of bruises and some puncture wounds.  The group cut him down and laid him down gently on the trail.  Elias tried an Awaken spell, but the man did not wake up.  He followed up with Major Healing, which healed some of his wounds, then another Awaken, which still failed.   Garreth tried his chi-based Esoteric Medicine and rolled a critical success, which told him that the man was poisoned and how to dilute the poison with healing dirt.  Then man then woke up.  His name was Stagheart, he was a druid (and before that a cart-pusher), and he'd been out looking for some lost kids, when a goblin patrol caught him and beat him up.  Stagheart asked for food and water, then volunteered to push the wheelbarrow to the tent town, called Dawn-on-Stream.

However, before the group reached town, they heard crashing sounds coming through the trees, and saw small animals fleeing.  Through the trees burst a huge skeletal creature with three canine heads.  It looked evil enough that the party didn't bother with negotiation, and Polly just started shooting arrows at it.  It dodged two out of three, and the third left a small mark.  Zaber invisibly flew behind the creature.  Garreth used the pearly spear's Great Haste power.  Elias ran right in front of the monster, and it responded by trying to bite him with all three heads.  He blocked one, parried the second, and got bit by the third.  Fortunately his heavy armor prevented most of the damage.  Seépravir, not paying enough attention, cast a redundant Great Haste on Garreth.

Zaber backstabbed the creature in the foot, doing some damage but not crippling it.  Polly shot more arrows, which got dodged.  Garreth concentrated on Uninterrupted Flurry, then threw a spear (which was dodged), then fast-drew his katana.  Elias used his Heroic Grace and Might.  The chimera spun and tried to bite Zaber with all three heads.  He managed to dodge all of them, though it required using his Luck.  Seépravir cast Great Haste on Polly.  Zaber flew away, not wanting to deal with all those attacks again.

Polly fast-drew her rapier and started smashing the skeletal creature, knocking off a few small bones.  Garreth flew up and unleashed a ridiculous number of attacks, horribly wounding it.  Then Elias followed up with two very strong crushing attacks with his flail, and finished it off.  (The creature's bones seemed particularly brittle to crushing attacks.)  Garreth threw one of the skeletal heads into the wheelbarrow, but then Stagheart mentioned that there might be a reward for killing this thing, and they threw the other two heads in there too.

The trail continued north, then west, then as it approached the town, a patrol of centaurs appeared.  They spoke to Stagheart in Sylvan, then one centaur ran back to town to report, while the other centaurs continued their patrol to the east.

The group continued toward town.  As they walked and flew, Zaber spotted a house on a hill, a few miles to the southwest.  Nobody else could see it.  As they continued into town, a centaur named Haele greeted them in broken Common, and asked them to visit Soras in the big tent.  They complied, and inside the pavilion they saw an old centaur, a young human boy, and a tiny faerie dragon.   

Soras, the old centaur, thanked them for killing the goblins and the skeletal chimera.  Grisby, the faerie dragon, mentioned that Soras owed them a reward.  Then Dalen, the boy, started telling them about his missing sisters.  The group had already heard that story from Stagheart, so Seépravir short-cut the exposition and asked if he had any of his sisters's stuff, that could be used as a focus for the Seeker spell.  He led the PCs to a tent, where he pulled out a doll and a book.  Seépravir cast Seeker twice, seeing a vision of six-year-old Ninia in a burrow surrounded by huge badgers, and then twelve-year-old Jae tied up in a cave.  Neither spell gave an exact location, though, so some tracking was needed.  Seépravir asked if there were a ranger or scout around who could help with the lay of the land.  Dalen recommended talking to Grisby.  Grisby mentioned that caves are mostly found in hills, which are to the north-central, southwest, and southeast parts of the Forest.  He recommended checking the southwest first because it was closest.

The group, minus Elias who stayed in town, flew southwest to the house on the hill that Zaber had spotted.  The house was quiet and shut up, so Zaber flew in through the chimney.  (It was a tight fit but he has a good Escape skill.)  Inside was the body of a deceased elderly human male.  There was a locked door inside, which Zaber picked.  This led to a room with a bed and a chest.  When he approached the chest, a giant scorpion appeared.  Rather than fighting it, Zaber flew away, back up the chimney, back to the others.  They decided this didn't look like a place the girls would be, and would come back to it later.

They flew back to the trail where they met the druid, and started looking for giant badger tracks.  They eventually spotted some, heading into the woods off the side of the trail.  They followed the tracks to a small cave.  A huge badger jumped out and hissed at them.  Seépravir called out for Ninia, who yelled that she wasn't there.  At that point there was a long negotiation.  Seépravir fast-talked Ninia into coming along to help save her sister Jae, but the badgers weren't having it.  However, Zaber had Animal Handling (Mustelids) for wrangling Logan the Wolverine, and it came in handy, as he was able to establish dominance over the badgers and get them to let Ninia go.  Seépravir cast Flight on her.  There was then some debate on whether to go after Jae immediately or get Ninia safely back to Dawn-on-Stream first.  Garreth convinced the others that they really didn't want a six-year-old along on a dangerous mission, and they flew her back to Dawn-on-Stream.  They asked where she had last seen Jae, and she described a tower.

We stopped for the session at that point, though the PCs were going to grab Elias and head immediately out to find Jae, rather than waiting.

GM's Comments:

Great Haste is getting annoying in this game.  It's not just that it's very powerful, it's also that it makes player-turns take forever.  And then the players who have to wait too long for their turn to come around tend to get distracted, and the flow of the game suffers.  So I'm ruling that Uninterrupted Flurry is not cumulative with Great Haste since they do the same thing.  I will probably need further house rules to tone down the action abuse, though.  I'm considering a hard limit of three attack rolls per second for PCs, from any source.

2019-09-09

DF Whiterock Session 63: Through the Portal

Date:

2019-09-06



Weather:

Cool, overcast



Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 348 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 415 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 412 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 403 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High Elf Wizard, 422 points

Significant NPCs:

Master Naburu, Human Martial Artist
Ruben, Human Guard
Ashryn Yeldove, Half-Elf Student Enchanter
Hugen, Human Mercenary
Fjorjek, Stone Giant Wizard
5 more Stone Giants
Vulgaris, Minyad Druid
4 Goblin Wasp-Rider Archers
4 Giant Wasps


The group started in Cillamar, but wanted to take a trip to Galaron for Garreth's training.  Zaber heard one interesting rumor, that portals across dimensions sometimes have a heavy cost on the user.

After some fiddling with their gear to reduce encumbrance, Seépravir cast Flight and Haste and Invisibility on everyone.  The group flew northwest toward Galaron all day, then got tired and landed in the Ice Mire to sleep for the night.  Seépravir used Shape Earth to dig a sleeping hut, then closed it behind them to keep the non-digging wandering monsters away.

The next morning, Seépravir opened up the hole, re-cast the flying spells, and everyone flew the rest of the way to Galaron.  Outside the gate, everyone landed and became visible to avoid annoying the guards.  Unfortunately, the guard rolled a 3 on his reaction to Garreth, and it appeared His Kind was not welcome in town.  Garreth went outside to wait, while Zaber (who was allowed in) went to find trouble and Master Naburu.

Unfortunately, Zaber decided to slip on his Invisibility ring, which caused some Mage guard to scream "Invisible intruder!", and then cast Dispel Magic.  Zaber appeared, and several guards tried to tackle him, but he evaded and then outran them, and then turned Invisible again and slipped out the gate.

Zaber and Seépravir flew on to Mystenmere.  In Mystenmere, Seépravir found Ashryn at her apartment.  Her Wand of Smoke was ready.  She paid the balance and left.  Zaber offered Ashryn money for tuition but she decided he was creepy and closed the door.  Zaber then went looking for an instructor and offered to pay some of Ashryn's tuition.  The instructor gladly took his money.

Garreth trained with Master Nuburu, who told him that magical Drunkenness was no substitute for the real thing when fighting.

Polly found a job guarding a fishing boat from sea monsters, but sadly no sea monsters attacked it.

Elias visited the Temple of Elyr and looked for quests and artifacts.  They asked him to check out the Hidden Fane of Justicia under Castle Whiterock and see if the holy basin of healing there still worked.

Zaber and Seépravir flew back to Galaron.  Zaber walked through the gate -- and they dropped the portcullises at both ends and opened the murder holes.  They told him that he was guilty of resisting arrest and needed to pay his fine.  He eventually left $4000 on the ground, and they let him go.  At that point, the group decided to fly back to Cillamar before anyone got in any more trouble.

Polly found Hugin at the Inn of the Slumbering Drake, and asked if he wanted to guard the portal for them.  After much negotiation, they agreed to pay him $100 per day plus expenses, and to try to get a couple of the stone giants to help.  Once negotiations were concluded, the group bought some supplies, then went back to Castle Whiterock, with Hugin in tow.  They went down to the Immense Cavern to try to get some giants to help guard the portal.  Fjorjek asked if Seépravir knew the Drunkenness spell, and if she could teach it to him in exchange.  She did, and so Fjorjek assigned 2 giants to go with the group.

The group, with Hugin and two giants in tow, went up to the underground river level, and then south to Vulgaris's mushroom farm.  They introduced her to Hugin and the giants, and she showed them where the disassembled portal was.  It was basically a pile of cut stones, with writing (in an unknown language) on some of them.  Seépravir cast Gift of Letters to read the writing, which allowed putting the stones together in the right order, to make an arch.  But one stone was missing.  Seépravir cast Seeker to find it, and it was in the former Derro cave to the northwest.  Garreth went to fetch the stone, and a giant came along in case he needed help carrying it.  (It turned out to not be too heavy for Garreth to lift.)

With the final stone in place, the portal was ready to test.  Polly and Zaber went through first, with a note to pass back when they made it.  They went through, into a purple mist, and disappeared.  No note came back.  After about 5 minutes, Garreth and Seépravir and Elias followed.  They found Polly and Zaber on a hill, outdoors, next to a matching portal.  They had tried to send a note through, but it had never gotten there.  The portal was flanked by several moss-covered stone columns, which looked quite old and weathered.

As the group started exploring the hill, Zaber heard a buzzing sound to the north.  He warned the others, then looked that way, and saw some flying creatures approaching.  As they got closer it appeared that they were some kind of giant insects -- with riders on their backs.  There were four of them, and two started heading around the sides of the hill.  Polly decided that attempting to flank the PCs counted as hostile behavior, so it was time to start shooting arrows.  As the enemies got closer, it appeared that the insects were giant wasps, and the riders were goblins with bows.

Polly fired three arrows at a goblin.  Both the wasp and the goblin failed to dodge the first two, and it took heavy damage, enough to stun it.  Zaber Invisibly started flying up and forward toward the central goblins.  Garreth concentrated on Uninterrupted Flurry.

The three unstunned goblins flew in from all sides, to surround Seépravir and loose arrows at her.  Garreth parried one with his katana.  Seépravir dodged five.  One of the arrows then targeted Garreth, but he dodged it.  Elias flew up and tried to slam a wasp, but it won the contest and knocked him aside.  Seépravir turned herself Invisible to reduce the incoming fire.  Zaber jumped onto a wasp's back, behind the goblin rider.

Polly shot the wounded goblin again, this time in the skull, and killed it.  She then tried a couple of shots at a wasp, but missed one and had one dodged.  Garreth closed with a wasp.  The riderless wasp tried to sting Polly, but missed.  Another wasp tried to sting Garreth, and rolled a critical hit, but he averted it with Luck, then rolled a 17 on his dodge.  However, the wasp's damage wasn't enough to penetrate his armor.  The goblin on the wasp's back fired two arrows at Garreth at point-blank range, but he dodged both.  Another archer took a couple of shots at Elias's eye, but missed.  The final goblin shot two arrows at Polly, but she acrobatically dodged one and dodged the other.

Elias tried a highly deceptive flail attack at a goblin, and missed.  Seépravir Great Hasted herself.  Zaber "stepped" off the wasp's back to avoid the penalty for mounted fighting, then stabbed the goblin in front of him in the vitals, doing enough damage to stun it.  Polly fired some arrows at a goblin's skull until it died, then shot a wasp until it was knocked out and crashed.  Garreth All-Out Attacked the nearby goblin for two hits, the first one injuring it and the second killing it.  Then he used his leftover attack from a Rapid Strike to kill the wasp it had been riding.

There was one riderless wasp left, and it tried to escape.  The group decided that could not happen, so they pursued it.  Seépravir cast Great Haste on Polly, making her fast enough to catch the wasp, and she plinked it with arrows from behind until it crashed.  One goblin was unconscious but still alive, and Garreth made his Bloodlust roll and decided he wanted to keep it alive for questioning.  Polly also made her Bloodlust roll and reluctantly agreed not to kill it.

We stopped there, with the PCs standing on a hill on the opposite side of the portal, surrounded by dead goblins and giant wasps.  Next week, we'll find out if the goblin knows anything.

GM's Comments:

Half-orcs have Social Stigma (Savage), which keeps them out of town on a reaction roll of 6 or less, and that finally happened for the first time.  (I don't roll anymore in Cillamar, since the group rescued the slaves from the orcs and became known good guys there, but Galaron is another town.)  Garreth's strategy of hanging around outside until Master Naburu came to get him worked fine.  But Zaber couldn't keep from getting in trouble with the guards...

Many many weeks after its discovery, the trip through the portal finally happened.  Though the fact that they were immediately attacked by the wasp-riding goblin archers means that the group doesn't really know much about what's on the other side, yet.







2019-09-05

DF Whiterock Session 62: Riders of the Purple Worms

Date:

2019-08-30


Weather:

Warm, overcast


Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 344 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 412 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 409 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 400 points

Significant NPCs:

Vulgaris, Minyad Druid
13 Dire Bats
Purple Worm
Fjorjek, Stone Giant
Sard, Armadillo
Lowrek, Stone Giant
4 more Stone Giants
Pedunkle, Gnome Submariner


The group started in Cillamar, except for Seépravir, who was out of town.  The first order of business was finding beer for the giants.  After some shopping around, they decided to get 10 $150 kegs of Sylvan Gold.  Next they found clothing and musical instruments for Pedunkle, spending $2000 for high-quality items.  Zaber went looking for information on Lord Flitwick, but found nothing very interesting, just their own reflected propaganda.

Without Flight spells, the party had to walk to Castle Whiterock, pushing two heavy wheelbarrows full of beer.  Fortunately, they were not attacked on the way.  They dragged their burden across the top dungeon level, down the elevator, and over to Vulgaris's mushroom farm, where Polly placed a Minyad Deepwine order for Chauntessa.  Then they piled the wheelbarrows into a skiff, and Garreth rowed them across the underground river level, to the Immense Cavern.

A bit after they started hiking across the Immense Cavern, they were ambushed by a large group of Dire Bats.  However, Zaber saw them coming, and alerted the others before the bats achieved surprise.  Zaber Invisibly waited in ambush.  Polly fired three arrows, with one hitting a bat and two being dodged, then fast-drew her rapier.  Garreth readied his spear, and Elias kept pushing his wheelbarrow.

Four of the bats swooped in to bite Polly.  Three missed, and she parried the fourth, then swatted it in the head and knocked it out.  Garreth threw the pearly spear at one, but it dodged.  Six bats then swarmed Polly.  One bit her, but failed to penetrate her armor.  Another came in range of Zaber, who backstabbed it, not hard enough to knock it out.  One more tried to bite her, but she parried it.

Elias tried a shield slam, but the bat dodged.  Zaber stabbed the bat from behind again, and killed it.  Polly killed one.  Garreth threw a sai at a bat and critically hit it, but didn't knock it out.  One of the bats tried to bite Zaber, but he dodged.  Another one tried to get Garreth, but he parried.  Yet another went for Polly, but she parried too.  Two more went for Elias, but he just let them bite his heavy armor, and they failed to penetrate it, with one chipping a tooth.  Feeling invulnerable, Elias All-Out Attacked (Double), hitting a bat twice and stunning it.

Zaber stabbed a bat in the face, stunning it.  Polly stabbed two bats multiple times, killing one and knocking the other out.  Garreth swuing at a bat twice, missing once then knocking it out with the second blow.  At that point, the remaining bats realized they were overmatched, and started flying away.  Polly pulled out her bow and shot one of the retreating bats; the others escaped.

The bat bodies looked edible, so a couple were thrown in a wheelbarrow.  There was then some discussion on whether to visit the gnome or the giants first.  Zaber argued successfully for the giants, then led the group northwest toward them.  As they approached the giants' lair, the ground started rumbling, and a huge purple worm emerged with surprise.  It tried biting Zaber despite his Invisibility, and his Luck failed to make it miss, but his Bless saved him, converting the huge worm's bite into a miss.  While the PCs recovered from surprise, the worm prepared to make a second attack on Zaber, when suddenly a large rock smacked into its head.  And then another one.  The worm retreated back underground.  Looking west, the group saw two stone giants, holding more boulders.

One of the giants asked if the group brought the beer.  Seeing multiple kegs, they welcomed the PCs up the trail.  The smallest of the giants, named Fjorjek, asked where the wizard was.  When he found out she wasn't there, he asked who was in charge in her absence.  The anarchic collective eventually nominated Zaber as their spokesman.  Fjorjek said that to join their club, they needed to ride a worm.  And the first time they ride a worm, they had to bring beer.  And they could not tell the duergar about the club.  That was all the rules.

Polly noticed a small armored creature behind the giants.  It introduced itself to her as Sard, Fjorjek's familiar.  Nobody else heard anything.

After a bit of small talk and drinking, one of the giants walked to the bottom of the trail, then hammered on a spike in the wall for a while, causing loud booming noises.  The giant ran back up the trail.  A few minutes later, a worm emerged from underground.  A giant said that if you could stay on its back for 10 seconds, you win.

Garreth volunteered to try first.  He readied his spear, then waited for the worm to come near the ledge they were standing on, and jumped onto its back.  He stuck the spear into the worm's back to help hold on.  The worm didn't like that, and reared up to knock him off.  It was a lot stronger than Garreth, and knocked him off, even after he used his Luck to reroll.  Fortunately, Acrobatics let him land on his feet and reduced the falling damage he took, and he was able to run back up the trail before the worm bit him.

Zaber tried next.  He jumped onto the worm's back easily, then stabbed it with a spear.  Sadly, he didn't manage to hold on any longer than Garreth had.  Zaber went flying off, into the cavern's wall, taking damage from both the wall and the floor.  Fortunately he made his Acrobatics roll, landed on his feet, and got away.

Polly decided to grab a rope from the wheelbarrow.  She jumped onto the worm as it passed, and just barely managed to grab on.  She then tried to use the rope to attach herself to it, but, lacking Knot-Tying or Lasso skill, didn't really figure out how before the worm noticed her and reared up.  Once again, the worm was stronger than the rider, and Polly went flying off.  But she landed on her feet and managed to run for safety.

Elias went last, but he seemed to be playing a different game than the rest of the party.  He jumped on the worm's back, then started trying to smash it in the skull with his flail.  The worm didn't like that at all, and decided to dive underground, with Elias still on its back.  As it broke through the ground, Elias knocked the worm unconscious.  One of the giants yelled out "Dude, please stop pounding on the worm.  We need to worm to bring newbs into our club."  That was enough to persuade Elias to stop hitting the worm and climb up the trail to the others, where his companions were all asking for healing spells after sustaining falling damage.

Fjorjek proclaimed that all four had honorably (mostly) attempted worm riding, and were now free to share their beer and their clubhouse.  He also said that he should tell them the password to the duergar fire trap.  The password was "All Hail Thane Hrolad Vejik, and May His Beard Grow Long", in Dwarf.  Apparently Thane Hrolad Vejik was the duergar in charge of the Bleak Theater.  The PCs had a long discussion with the giants about the duergar, and drank a lot of beer.  Polly asked how much the giants would charge to help assemble and then guard a portal.  It appeared some kind of deal involving beer could be reached.

Then the PCs decided to go deliver supplies to Pedunkle the gnome.  They walked south, along the edge of the cavern avoiding the worm fields, then east until they found the passage south, then Polly hit the letter "O" in the sign to activate the teleporter.  Once again, as soon as they got there, the submarine was surfacing to greet them.  Pedunkle asked if they brought his stuff.  Polly said they had, so he jumped across to take a look at the clothing, lute, and mini-harp.  He went back into The Incomprehensible (Mark I) and got the bag of coins, and dropped it on the ground.  Zaber asked the gnome if he wanted a drink, but he said he didn't really drink anymore.  Polly asked if she could have a ride in the submarine, but the gnome said the Big Person Seat was full of stuff, and he needed to go tune his lute and harp, so not today, maybe another time.  He then jumped back in his submarine and drove away.

Polly mentioned that they had never looked down the left passage in the giant lair.  So the group went back to where they killed the dire bats to collect more corpses, then went back to the giants' cave with the bats.  After presenting their gift of food, they asked if they could explore the other caves.  The giants said they could visit the guest caves if they wanted, so the party went back, and found two more caves, each full of large bedrolls, but no more giants.  Polly tried a bedroll and found it reasonably comfortable.

Not wanting to challenge the duergar again without their wizard, the group headed back up.  Garreth skillfully rowed the skiff back to the other side of the underground river level, then the group went to warn Vulgaris that they might have some giants come by.  She told them that that was acceptable, if they could get her a nicer edged rapier.  Then the group went back to Cillamar.

GM's Comments:

The session was mostly fetch quests for NPCs.  Pedunkle got his supplies, and the PCs made a nice profit.  The giants got their beer, and the PCs got to drink some of it with them, and also get thrown off a purple worm.  Though the giants did probably save Zaber from getting swallowed whole by the worm, so it might have been a good deal.

Next time, we'll see if the PCs try assembling the portal or go back downstairs to meet the duergar.

2019-08-27

DF Whiterock Session 61: Duergar Guardroom

Date:

2019-08-23

Weather:

Warm, cloudy

Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 340 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 409 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 406 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 396 points
Seépravir (player not present), High-Elf Wizard, 422 points

Significant NPCs:

Pendunkle, Gnome Submariner
Zombie Sea Cats
6 Duergar Fighters
Duergar Wizard


We restarted in Pendunkle's pond, south of the Immense Cavern.  Seépravir's player was not present, but because we started in the dungeon, the wizard was there.  At the end of last session, Polly and Zaber had found a bag of coins in a rickety shack on an island, and Seépravir had cast Seek Magic and detected a magic item underwater near the south edge of the pond.  After Polly and Zaber didn't come back for a while, Seépravir asked Garreth to get their attention.  He meditated on Power Blow for a while, then threw a rock in their general direction.  They flew back.

Seépravir asked if they found any magic items in the bag.  They did not, just coins and shells and gems.  So she pointed to where she though there was magic.  Polly and Zaber flew over there, but didn't see it.  So the others flew over, and Seépravir cast Seek Magic again, to pinpoint the exact location of the magic item.  Zaber asked to borrow the Ring of Water Breathing before going under, but Seépravir chose to cast Water Breathing on him instead.  She also gave him a Warmth spell as requested, though in summertime the water wasn't dangerously cold.

Zaber dove under, and spotted a helmet made of bone.  He also saw several creatures swimming toward him.  They looked like some kind of zombie-cat-fish hybrid.  They were a few hexes away, so Zaber dove straight for the helmet, grabbed it as fast as he could, swam for the surface, then flew above it.  He was fast enough that the creatures didn't catch him, and once he was well above the water, he was safe.  Underwater combat averted.  Polly wanted to kill the zombie cats, but everyone else seemed to think it was a waste of time, so the group flew back near the entrance.  The helmet was magical, carved from the skull of some kind of giant cat, and had some pictures of orcs on it.  The group decided to wait until they got back to town to analyze it further.

Seépravir cast Seek Earth, looking for gold, silver, and orichalcum.  She thought the nearest gold and silver was far west and a bit down, and did not find any orichalcum.  She also cast Seek Magic again, and the nearest unknown magic appeared to be near Pendunkle's house.  That seemed off-limits, so the group prepared to leave.

But then the submarine surfaced and Pendunkle popped out.  He asked if they had any extra blankets.  After some conversation he revealed that he could also use some needles and thread, some clothing, and some stringed musical instruments.  He asked them to wait while he got his money.  He got back in his submarine, and drove it west.  A few minutes later, he returned.  When he got out of his submarine, he said that someone took his money, and looked accusingly at Zaber.  After some explaining that they didn't know it was his, the group struck a deal with Pendunkle: they would take half his money and go buy everything on his shopping list, then return and get the other half.  Garreth asked if Pendunkle was able to make more items that the group could sell for him to sustain an income, but the gnome wasn't interested.

The group went back through the teleporter to the Immense Cavern, then headed for the (formerly) fire trapped room to the southwest.  Garreth suggested having someone with Resist Fire go in first to make sure the trap was still disabled, right as Polly went in without Resist Fire.  Fortunately for her, the trap was still disabled.  The group went out the other exit from the trapped room and followed a long windy passage that eventually led to stairs down.  Polly (visible) and Zaber (Invisible) went down the stairs first, and saw a large room with columns in the corners, two sets of double doors, and seven duergar wearing scale armor, most of them holding axes and large shields.

Polly said "Hi."  One of the dwarves said "halt, elf!"  Then most of the duergar started advancing toward her, in ranks.  Two held back.  One said something to the other in Dwarf (Zaber speaks a bit of Dwarf and he recognized it as "hold for go fast"), then cast a spell on him.  A second later, the enchanted dwarf doubled in size.

That martial behavior was enough to convince Polly that they were hostile, and she yelled "Attack!"  Zaber, still Invisible, flew past most of the duergar to try to get in backstabbing position.  The duergar, unexpectedly fast, went next.  The huge one ran a long distance very quickly to get to Polly, then swung his axe at her and rolled a critical hit.  Polly used her Luck to make him reroll, and he missed.  Then he attacked a second time, deceptively, but Polly made her acrobatic retreating dodge straight up.  The huge dwarf yelled to his allies in Dwarf "the elf is fast; surround her."  Five other duergar charged up to surround Polly, but didn't attack yet.

Polly went next, and fired three bodkins at the eyes of the huge duergar.  He blocked the first, dodged the second, and dodged the third (but made his dodge by less than his shield DB, so it hit his shield).  Garreth used the pearly spear to Great Haste himself.  Elias used his Heroic Grace and Heroic Might abilities to become a holy badass, rolling +11 DX and +3 ST.  The final duergar, holding a staff rather than an axe, cast another spell on the warrior next to him.  Seépravir Great Hasted herself.

Zaber All-Out Defended (Dodge) while maneuvering into backstab position.  Most of the duergar attacked Polly.  She retreated and dodged the first axe blow.  Then the Enlarged, Great Hasted one ran around her for a rear attack, which missed, and a second attack, which she acrobatically dodged.  
A third one made a Determined Attack for the second step, and Polly failed to dodge.  He rolled 18 cutting damage, enough to ruin Polly's day, and Polly's Bless spell decided to avert that.  The hit was miraculously changed to a miss, but Polly no longer had +2 to everything.  A fourth duergar also swung his axe at Polly, but she managed to dodge.  One of the duergar in the back Enlarged to double size.  

Polly started flying around and lining up multiple targets so that any misses or dodged arrows could achieve second chance damage.  Her first arrow was blocked.  Her second arrow was dodged, but then targeted the duergar behind the target, who blocked it.  Her third arrow missed.  Garreth dropped the spear, fast-drew his katana, and went for an All-Out Attack (Double) for his first action.  His first attack targeted a duergar's shield arm, but was parried.  He tried again, with the same result.  For his second action, he attacked the same arm, but the dwarf dodged.

Elias, in super-DX mode, went for rapid strikes, one each on the two dwarves in front of him.  One parried.  The other failed to dodge and was hit for 24 points crushing.  That was enough to slow him and knock him back a hex, plus inflicted a knockout check, but he wasn't knocked out.  The duergar wizard in the back cast Invisibility on himself.  Sadly for him, Zaber had See Invisible up.  Seépravir cast Great Haste on Polly, because why fire three arrows per second when you can fire six?

Zaber snuck around the Invisible wizard to reach his unarmored face, rolled a critical success on his Stealth roll ensuring the wizard didn't hear him, and stabbed him in the eye with an All-Out Attack (Strong).  He rolled 11 points impaling damage, which destroyed the dwarf's eye then penetrated his brain, doing 44 points of injury, or three death checks' worth.  The wizard failed the third death check, but got out a scream on his way down.  Zaber's Invisibility spell went away, but he was behind all the other duergar.

One of the duergar rolled a critical hit on Elias, and did 14 points cutting to his torso, but that didn't penetrate his DR 15.  The duergar yelled something about having dibs on the armor after he finished killing the elf.  One of the Enlarged duergar rolled a critical hit on Garreth, but he used his Luck to turn it into a regular hit, which he parried, and he defended against the other blow too.  Polly flew into position and fired six arrows.  The first three were dodged or blocked.  The fourth hit a huge duergar in the skull for 15 points of damage, which failed to kill him, and a stun check at -10, which knocked him out.  She shot another one in the skull too, but somehow failed to knock that one out.

Garreth went after another shield arm, and this time managed to cripple it.  His next attack was a critical miss, resulting in a dropped katana.  It was on a lanyard, so he was able to take a Ready maneuver and roll a DX check to get it back, at the cost of a wasted action.  Elias, surrounded, flew over a couple of duergar next to Seépravir.  Seépravir Great Hasted him, then stepped back to a safer location.  Zaber put his Ring of Invisibility on.

One of the previously wounded duergar missed a consciousness check and fell over.  Another one attacked Garreth, who failed his dodge, and got tagged for 23 points of cutting damage.  That was enough to trigger his Bless spell, which decided to avert the damage, and went away.  Another duergar got an axe hit on Garreth, but only rolled 9 points of damage, not enough to penetrate his armor.  The one whose axe had previously failed to penetrate Elias's armor took the penalty to aim for a chink in his armor, and hit, but Elias blocked with his shield.

Polly flew behind the big duergar whose shield arm Garreth had crippled, and shot him in the skull.  He failed to dodge, and the arrow in his brain knocked him unconscious.  She tried shooting another one in the head, but he dodged, and then the arrow targeted Garreth, who also dodged.  Her third arrow hit another dwarf skull and knocked out another dwarf.  Her fourth and fifth arrows were dodged, but her sixth hit a duergar in the vitals and slowed him.

Garreth double-attacked a duergar, who blocked one and parried the other.  He then asked Garreth (in Undercommon) if the elves had him charmed and said he should switch sides, which didn't work.  He sweetened the offer by saying Garreth could eat one of the elves if he changed teams, but that also didn't work.

Elias did an All-Out Attack (Double) followed by a Rapid Strike for four total attacks on two duergar.  He hit the first one twice for 19 and 26 crushing damage to the skull, resulting in all kinds of fatal brain damage.  He hit the second one in the brain for 18 crushing, which was somehow not fatal but caused a knockout.  And then there was only one duergar left.  Seépravir gave tactical advice to Garreth: "Don't let him get away."

The last duergar accidentally ran into Zaber's hex, not knowing he was there.  Zaber evaded.  Polly fired multiple arrows into the dwarf's skull and knocked him out.  That was all the duergar, and Zaber immediately started looting while Garreth immediately started making sure they were dead.  Elias cast Major Healing on Garreth.  Zaber took some magic bracers, a magic staff, a key, and a pouch of money off the wizard.  The fighters all had scale armor, axes, and shields.  With the session almost over and two Bless spells gone, the party headed back to Cillamar with their loot.

GM's Comments:

Avoiding the battle with the Zombie Sea Cats probably made sense.  Underwater combat is no fun for land-based creatures, even if they have Swim and Breathe Water spells.  I was surprised Elias didn't insist, though, just because they were undead.

The group agreed to go shopping for Pendunkle in exchange for him overpaying for his supplies, which seemed like a win-win for everyone.  Of course they'd taken the money that he meant to use to pay them, but they worked it out.

The duergar guard post was pretty tough.  Six duergar fighters and a duergar wizard who knew Great Haste.   This was one of the few fights where the opponents had enough skill and strength and tactical sense that I actually thought they had a chance to kill a PC.  But Luck and Bless and Great Haste and high defenses and good armor saved the PCs yet again.

Seépravir probably won't be around next session, so the rest of the PCs will have to figure out what they can do without a wizard.

2019-08-13

DF Whiterock Session 60: Fire Trap

Date:

2019-08-09

Weather:

Warm, overcast

Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 336 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 406 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 403 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 392 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 419 points

Significant NPCs:

Lord Flitwick, Human Noble
Hugin, Human Mercenary
Lowrek, Giant
2 Giants
Vulgaris, Minyad Druid
Pendunkle, Gnome Submariner
Giant Diving Beetle


The group started in the town of Cillamar.  Zaber went looking for rumors, and heard stories about Hugin's prowess and Flitwick's depravity that he and Seépravir had originated.  Polly heard that King Stormwarden's visit to Cillamar was on again, and that summoning magic does not work near Castle Whiterock.  Polly went looking for the half-elven bard Brie to see if she had a lead on any elf cookies, but Brie wasn't around.

Seépravir researched the drow wizard's spellbook and found Acid Blood, Resist Acid, and Acid Jet, plus a bunch of more common spells.  She then busted out the Seeker spell and looked for the bastard sword Damarel (not found), Lord Flitwick (in a tent in a desert to the south, with a stupid-looking beard), his Wand of Smoke (locked in a chest in Mystenmere), and Brie (in a forest, hiding behind some trees, spying on a camp).

Zaber went looking for Hugin, but didn't find him.  Seépravir used Seeker and found that Hugin was waking beside a wagon, with a greatsword on his back, and his missing arm regrown.

At that point everyone was out of things to do in town, so Seépravir cast Flight on everyone, and they flew to Castle Whiterock.  She also cast Drunkenness on Garreth, and he had a hard time low-flying drunk while pushing a wheelbarrow, and smashed it into a tree.  The trip was otherwise uneventful, and the surface level of the castle was empty.  The group went down the elevator to the underground river level, where Garreth asked Seépravir to remove the Drunkenness so he didn't crash the skiff.  Then he successfully rowed the boat across the level, to the Immense Cavern.

Everyone flew west to the previously unexplored northwest corner of the cavern.  Zaber and Polly scouted ahead.  First they flew west until they found the west wall, then they went north along the wall.  Zaber spotted a trail running up the side of the wall, leading to a tunnel to the northwest.  They explored that way, and spotted some neat stacks of small boulders.  Then Zaber saw a large male humanoid with tattoos and piercings, holding a rock.  He didn't see Zaber (who was Invisible), and Zaber started flying away, but then he did spot Polly (who was not Invisible).

The giant was reasonably friendly, though he confused Polly for a human.  He asked some questions, then asked if she wanted to come up and have some beer.  That was enough to get Zaber's interest.  He became visible and then came around the corner, interested in the beer.  Another giant came up behind the first one.  They had a brief discussion.  Then he came back to Zaber and Polly, and asked if they had anything good to eat or drink.  The conclusion was that if they brought something good, Polly could come up and party with the giants, but not now because the giant leader was away.  But Zaber would have to prove himself first with Feats of Strength.  He was deemed to be too puny for rock throwing, so he could try worm riding instead.  Zaber asked the giant's name, and he said he was Lowrek.

Then Zaber and Polly flew away, continuing north along the cavern wall.  Eventually it started curving back to the east, so they were pretty sure they'd explored the northwest corner of the cavern.  When they thought they were far enough east along the north wall, they turned back south, and flew back to the others, and told them about the giants.

After some discussion, the group decided to go back to the probably-trapped room to the southwest.  When they got there, Zaber had premonitions of danger again.  He peeked into the room, which contained a dead monster with tentacles, and not much else.  Polly walked past him and started forward into the room, then heard a click.  A stone door that they hadn't seen started closing behind Polly, and another one started closing the other exit on the far side of the room.  Polly dove for the nearer door.  She made a critical success on her Acrobatics roll, then succeeded by enough on her Acrobatic Dodge to sail clear through the door before it shut.  Then the room started heating up, and a red glow was visible under the door.  It appeared something was on fire in there.

After a few minutes, the glow went away.  Zaber checked the door and found that it was only warm, not hot.  Polly covered the door with her bow, while Zaber found the hidden lock, then picked it open.  The door was quite heavy.  Polly walked over and started trying to shove it open, with difficulty.  Zaber found just the right place to help, and it flew open the rest of the way.  Inside the room, the monster corpse was blackened.

Zaber started carefully looking for the trap.  He thought he spotted a proximity trigger in the middle of the room, but was afraid that getting close enough to disarm it might set off the trap again.  Zaber threw a rock at it, and Polly shot an arrow at it, but nothing happened.  They decided to try again with a bigger rock.  Polly flew back to get one that she'd seen near the giants.  She gave it to Garreth to throw.  He focused on Power Blow, then threw the really heavy rock into the center of the room, with no effect beyond a loud thump.

Zaber decided the trap was probably triggered by the presence of life, rather than by weight.  Polly went and got another boulder, and put it in position to keep the stone door from closing completely.  Zaber adjusted the boulder a little.  Polly tied a safety rope to Zaber.  Then he moved into the room slowly until he heard a click, and flew for the door, while Polly pulled the rope.  He needed to use his Luck to reroll his dodge, but he got through the door before it mostly-closed.  A jet of flame came through the partial opening in the doorway, hitting Zaber, Garreth, and Elias.  Elias failed to completely dodge it, but had Resist Fire on, and suffered no damage.  Garreth and Zaber dodged.  Then Garreth kicked the rock into the room to let the door close.

Elias cast Resist Fire on Zaber, Polly, and Seépravir.  They tested the trap again, and proved that Resist Fire was adequate protection from it.  This gave Zaber the courage to go into the room and disarm the trap.  He set it off and was bathed in lethal doses of heat for about 15 seconds, but the spell saved him.  He then disarmed all the fire jets.  The magical life detection trigger was still in place, until Seépravir came in and cast Dispel Magic to remove it.  She critically succeeded, and realized that there had been two spells: an Alarm to trigger the trap whenever someone came in range, and a password to temporarily turn off the Alarm.

With the trap disabled, the group investigated the monster corpse.  It was thoroughly burned, but appeared to be large, cigar-shaped, and tentacled.  It was too big to fit in the wheelbarrow, and Seépravir wasn't sure what it was.

The group went out the southwestern exit of the formerly trapped room.  The tunnel continued for a while, then reached a set of well-made stone steps heading down.  They considered going downstairs, but it was too late in the session to start exploring a new level, so they decided to go talk to the halfling submariner instead.

At this point they needed elf cookies for the halfling, and beer for the giants.  Cillamar was pretty far, so they decided to see if Vulgaris had any mushroom-based snacks or booze that might suffice.  They flew back to the northeast corner of the Immense Cavern, then back to the skiff.  Garreth skillfully piloted it back to the southern end of the underground river level, where Vulgaris lived.

She greeted them by asking if the drow they killed had any nice rapiers that she could have.  Polly responded that, sadly, all the drow rapiers were lame.  After a break to touch her crystal rock formation, Vulgaris asked if they needed healing potions.  Polly indicated that they actually wanted cookies and beer.  Vulgaris said she did have some mushroom-based Deepwine, and some sweet nightcaps.  Garreth said that sounded good, and whether she wanted coins in exchange.  Vulgaris said she'd take coins if that's all they had, but she preferred a nicer rapier.

Zaber tried one of the nightcaps, and found that it gave him a mild buzz that made him happy.  Garreth and Polly tried them too, and also liked them.  They came to an agreement: $400 for a cask of Deepwine and $200 for a box of nightcaps.

With provisions gathered, everyone got back in the boat.  Garreth needed to use Luck to avoid a critical failure on a boating roll, but they made it back to the other dock intact, then flew across the Immense Cavern to the tunnel leading to the halfling's pond.  Polly touched all the letter O's on the door, and was teleported to the other side.  Seépravir followed suit (Invisibly), and they were standing on a ledge, while the water started bubbling and the gnomish submarine came to the surface.

The submarine's glowing claw waved at the PCs, then the hatch on the roof opened, and Pendunkle hopped out.  He asked where Polly's friends were.  Elias teleported across, then Garreth and (Invisible) Zaber.

Pendunkle asked if Polly had brought elf cookies.  She said that they had brought Minyad cookies instead.  He tried one, made a funny face, then turned to Zaber and asked what he put in the cookies.
"I assume it was you."  Then he said "Wow, now the invisible ones look purple!"  Zaber claimed that he hadn't spiked the cookies.  His girlfriend made them, and they grew that way.

Garreth asked if they could explore the cave for loot or secret doors.  Pendunkle said that was okay, but they needed to follow some rules.  First, don't hurt his friends the beetles.  Second, don't break his house, which was delicate and didn't have a lot of air for big people.  Third (looking at Zaber), no looting his house.

He then offered a tour of the Incomprehensible Mark I.  Zaber, Polly, and Seépravir were all interested in one, but Garreth was concerned he might not fit.  It turned out the submarine only had two seats, one for a tiny person and one for a human-sized person.  Pendunkle demonstrated Turmoil Mode, which made the three claws thrash around and froth up the water.  He then demonstrated Sonic Mode, which let him yell really loudly.  He said he could give one of them a ride, but not right now, as he needed to feed his pets.  Seépravir asked how he figured it all out, and he explained that he's a gnome, and very patient.  (The group had thought he was a halfling because of his tiny size.)  He then climbed back inside his vessel and drove it away to the north.

Not taking no for an answer, Seépravir flew above the submarine, then used Blink to pop inside.  She asked the gnome for an internship to learn about the submarine and other clockwork gadgets.  He declined, saying he didn't do well around other people for long periods.  He then asked if she teleported all the way from the ledge.  She admitted that she only had short-range Blink.  He asked her to leave, and started breathing funny.  She tried Mind Reading and saw that he was in some distress due to her presence and was trying not to freak out.  So she cast Breathe Water, and then Blinked out.

Seépravir then saw a giant beetle swimming toward her.  She stunned it with Death Vision.  While it thrashed around in terror, she flew back to the others.  Polly and Zaber were flying around, checking out the area around the ledge.  Zaber spotted a building on an island to the east, so they flew over there.  It was a falling down cabin, made of rocks, with a low ceiling.  There were some piles of rocks nearby, possibly rubble from the cabin.  Polly checked out the rocks, and found some twine sticking out.  Zaber took a look and decided the twine might be a trap.  There was a sack attached to the twine.  Zaber thought it was a trap desided to collapse the ceiling if someone pulled the sack, but he cut it, and then took the sack.  It was full of coins, plus a few shells.

Meanwhile, Seépravir cast Seek Magic, ignoring the group's own magic items and the submarine.  She spotted a strong magical source on the bottom of the pond, and pointed it out to Zaber.  But at that point we ran out of time, and paused there.  What's the magic?  We'll see next time.


GM's Comments:

This was a zero-combat sesssion, I think our first.  The PCs explored, talked to a giant and a minyad and a gnome, and disabled a big trap and a little trap.  The big trap was quite lethal and failed to kill them, so overall it was probably a successful session.

2019-08-06

DF Whiterock Session 59: A Submarine?

Date:

2019-08-02



Weather:

Warm, overcast



Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 332 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 403 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 400 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 388 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 416 points



Significant NPCs:

Wigric, Human Teamster
Lord Flitwick, Human Noble
Alrux, Dwarf Armorer
Quintus, Human Alchemist
Hugin, Human Mercenary
Login, Wolverine
Delver Bandit
Pendunkle, Halfling Submariner



The party started in Cillamar.  Garreth went looking for a teamster willing to transport a giant turtle shell, and found Wigric and his team of four large horses.  Garreth also went looking for Hugin, but failed to find him at home or at the Drunken Minotaur.  Seépravir used Seeker to check on the progress of his Wand of Smoke under construction in Mystenmere, and found that it appeared finished.  She also used it to spy on Lord Flitwick, and found that he was riding a camel, somewhere far to the south.  Seépravir and Zaber then spread rumors about Flitwick and camels.  Zaber took Logan out dancing.  This attracted negative attention from Cookie the bouncer, but Lady Chauntessa waved Cookie off.  Elias went looking for exploding crossbow bolts again, and once again found that nobody had heard of such a thing.

With town business concluded, the group met up with Wigric and headed toward Castle Whiterock, with most of them riding in his wagon but Polly flying overhead to scout.  The heavy wagon bogged down crossing a stream at a soggy ford, but Seépravir cast Shape Earth and Earth to Stone to improve the ford.  They reached the castle, and left Wigric and his team in the stable, while they went to get the turtle shell, down one level in the dungeon near the elevator.  A combination of Garreth's Power Blow and Seépravir's Lighten Burden was enough for Garreth and Polly to be able to slowly move the shell across the top dungeon level and then up the stairs to the ruined castle.  Then they asked Wigric to wait in the stable while they went exploring.

They went back down the elevator to the underground river, then Garreth rowed them across the level in a skiff.  Reaching the far dock, they walked through the passage to the Immense Cavern.  Seépravir cast Flight on everyone, but the wheelbarrow was a bit heavy for carrying through the air, so Garreth pushed it along the ground.  The group went back to the western end of the cave, and found the hole that the giant slug-creature with arms and stone-eating acid had dug.  

There was a discussion as to the safety of following a slug-creature into its tunnels.  They decided to send a Wizard Eye instead of a scout.  The eye went around a couple of turns, then found the slug creature.  Which detected the eye, and charged it.  Seépravir made the eye fly away, and then explored some other tunnels, descending until the eye hit a no mana zone (or something) and went away.

There was more discussion on whether to go into the tunnels to kill the monster, but the group decided it was better to lure the creature out into the open.  Zaber heard some rumbling in the ground to the north, but Technical Difficulties prevented going that way.  So the group decided to go south to a side tunnel they'd found last week instead.

Zaber and Polly started down the tunnel, which was only about 6' tall.  It ended in a stone door with a bronze sign on it, and a bronze knocker.  The sign said "It occurs once in a month, twice at noon, but never in a day. What is it?" in Common.  The knocker had a hen bowing before a jester on it.  And Zaber thought he detected a magical trap on the door.

The group thought the sign was a riddle and and answer was "o" or "n" or "no" or "on", but yelling various things didn't seem to do anything.  After a while, Polly got impatient and touched the knocker.  This triggered a trap, which teleported Polly into solid stone and then back, doing large but non-fatal amounts of damage to her.  Elias healed her, and then she drank some healing potion from the wineskin of many healing potions.

Seépravir tried using Blink Other to move Zaber to the other side of the door, but it failed, apparently because there was solid rock there.  Zaber then disabled the magical teleport trap.  Then he tried the knocker again.  This had no effect.

Since subtlety had failed, it was time for brute force.  Garreth pulled out the pickaxe and started smashing through the door.  Zaber flew back to the tunnel entrance to keep watch for anything the pounding might attract.  It did eventually attract a wandering monster, but one that made its own entrance tunnel rather than using the existing one.  It was the slug-mole-acid beast again.  It burst through the wall next to Garreth, and yelled in Undercommon to give it all their precious metals or be eaten.

Garreth translated, and the PCs started making excuses about leaving all their precious metals back in town.  The creature lost patience and slammed Elias, but he blocked it.  Polly put an arrow into it, while it dodged another arrow.  Garreth used Kiai and managed to stun the monster.  Elias, behind the creature, hit it in the back a couple of times with his flail.  Seépravir Great Hasted Garreth.

Polly put a couple more arrows into the slug beast and Elias smashed it in the back a couple more times with his flail.  Seépravir cast Lend Energy to make Garreth (who was pretty tired from digging before the fight started) less tired.  The monster recovered from stun, but Garreth used kiai again.  It resisted, but then Garreth tried again on his extra turn, and it was stunned again.

The monster started talking in Undercommon about how it was all a mistake and would stop eating precious metals and live a sober life, but the PCs had no mercy.  Polly shot it some more, and Elias smashed it some more, as Garreth started preparing a sling to help.  (He didn't want to put his katana anywhere near all that acid.)  This was finally enough to knock it unconscious.

As Zaber reached the others, he found Polly methodically firing arrows into the unconscious delver to make sure it was dead.  (She was using the ones from her Cornucopia quiver to avoid wasting real arrows that cost money on an arrow-burning acid beast.)  Elias noticed some acid on his flail dissolving it a little.  He shook it off, then used fire to burn off the remaining acid, and his flail survived.

Zaber and Polly explored the delver's new tunnel a bit, being careful to avoid touching the walls, which looked shiny with acid.  It eventually connected with the other tunnels, and they flew back.  The monster's corpse was leaking acid and making a little hole under it.  Garreth decided to make use of that.  He took off his armor (because he cared more about his armor than his skin), then used Power Blow for extra strength, then shoved the delver's corpse over by where he had been tunneling with the pickaxe.  This worked, but caused Garreth a bit of acid damage, which Elias healed.

The group sat down and rested a bit while the delver corpse's acid dug a hole for them.  Eventually, they heard a splash.  The corpse had tunneled about ten yards southeast and down, and broken through the rock into a water-filled cave, and now the acid was bubbling into the water below.  Polly fired a Continual Light arrow down the tunnel to light the area.

The group flew out to investigate, and saw a metal disc a few yards in diameter emerging from the water.  It had what looked like glass windows on top, and three large metal claws, one of them glowing brightly.  Then a voice boomed out of the disc in Common, saying "Was the giant stone blocking the tunnel too subtle?  Go!  Away!"

Of course the PCs did not go away.  The voice continued with "Ugh, you dug a hole in my wall?  What is wrong with you people?"  Zaber claimed that they didn't dig the hole, a monster did.  The disc dove underwater to investigate the delver corpse, then came back up.  The voice continued "oh, acid tunneling beast, maybe not your fault."  At that point a hatch on the surface of the disc opened, and a halfling stepped out.  Some less hostile conversation followed.  The disc was a gnomish magical device for exploring underwater, from the Clockwork Academy.  The halfling had found it, so it was his now.  The halfling's name was Pendunkle.

Pendunkle explained that he lived in this cave with his fishes and bugs, and he didn't like drow.  The group tried to barter with food, but they didn't have anything he wanted, just rations.  He seemed interested in the idea of elf cookies, though.  The halfling said something about being the last survivor of the Fellowship of the Humbled Hen.  Polly asked if he had a friend with a halberd, and Pendunkle said that, yes, his friend with the halbard got killed by a huge snake.  Then he asked them to go away so he could feed his beetles.  He told them they could come visit if they had elf cookies, and explained how to use the teleporting door.  (They had to push the "O" buttons in the sign.)  Then the PCs left.

There was one more tunnel to explore, so Zaber and Polly led the way.  Zaber saw the tunnel led to a circular chamber about 40' wide and 10' tall, containing a much-abused corpse of some kind of cigar-shaped monster with tentacles.  The room gave Zaber a very bad feeling, though he didn't actually see a trap.  Polly fired an arrow into the corpse in case it was faking, but it didn't move.

At that point the group decided that Zaber was probably right, and that it would be a good idea to go back to town.  So they went upstairs to find Wigric and his team, hitched up the turtle shell, and travelled back to Cillamar.  Once they got there, they had Wigric drag the shell to Alrux's shop to see if he could make armor out of it, but he could not.  Then they dragged it to Quintus's tower to see if he wanted it for potions.  He offered $100 for the shell just to hang it on his wall, but Seépravir said she's keep it at that price.  They then had Wigric's team drag the shell over to the Inn of the Slumbering Drake to see if Chauntessa wanted it, but she didn't think it would match her decor, but repeated her earlier offer to pay for books or scrolls or other historical information.  She did give the group permission to keep the shell behind the stable, as long as it was out of sight of customers.

GM's Comments:

The players solved the riddle door, but only thought to answer the riddle out loud, rather than pushing on letters.  So they had to resort to brute force tunneling.  And they forgot to use silence magic this time to avoid attracting wandering monsters, so they attracted the gold-seeking delver, and got to fight it again.

The delver was a tough monster, but there was one of it versus five PCs.  And it didn't have great Will.  So stun-locking it with kiai while shooting it in the back was a fine strategy.  Elias was pretty lucky not to lose his magic flail to its acid, though.  Using the delver corpse to help tunnel through rock was a good trick.

Pendunkle and his gnomish submarine provided some amusement.  The group managed to avoid attacking him, then left without exploring the water-filled cave.

The cave with the dead monster gave Zaber the creeps, so the group left rather than exploring it.  (He has Danger Sense so I guess they believe his vague feelings.)

The turtle shell ended up being not worth the effort to transport.  Not every monster corpse is valuable.

Overall, it was a negative-loot week, but the PCs did manage to explore a couple more areas.

We had a technical glitch with Roll20 maps that prevented exploring the northwest part of the Immense Cavern, so that's still there for later.

2019-07-28

DF Whiterock Session 58: Kobold on the Bridge

Date:

2019-07-26



Weather:

Hot, partly cloudy



Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 328 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 400 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 396 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 384 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 413 points



Significant NPCs:

Hugin, Human mercenary
Galdiera, Angel polymorphed into a kobold
Galdiera's Giant Rat mount
Gar and Nar, Ettin
Gar and Nar's Worg
Unknown huge tunneling rock slug with arms


The PCs started in the town of Cillamar, after finally leaving the drow stalactite.

Zaber heard a rumor that the recent heat wave might be caused by red dragons, possibly Benthosruthsa himself.  Garreth heard that unsavory types in town have started wearing drow-style black mail armor, possibly evidence that drow are up to something.

Seépravir and Zaber decided to spread stories of Hugin's heroism around town.  Garreth tried visiting Hugin's house, then looked for him around town, but he wasn't around.  So Seépravir cast Seeker and found Hugin was at a farmhouse somewhere, eating dinner with some folks, and that his missing arm was back.

Seépravir researched armorers who could make dragonscale or orichalcum armor, and read that the best armorers in this part of the world are the dwarves of the Hall of the Mountain King, across the Ul Dominor mountains to the southeast.

The group flew to Castle Whiterock, except for Garreth, who hiked pushing a wheelbarrow.  Despite this slowing the pace, they didn't run into any hostile monsters on the way.  For once, Seépravir didn't cast Dark Vision on anyone, so they relied on Garreth's sai with Continual Light on it for illumination.  Everyone went down the elevator shaft to the underground stream, then boated to the entrance to the Immense Cavern. 

Before starting anything dangerous, Zaber took off the Ring of Invisibility and had Seépravir cast Invisibility on him.  Then he punched Polly to dispel the Invisibility, drawing a protest from Garreth who said that if party members needed to punch someone they should punch him instead.  Then he put the ring on and turned Invisible, proving something about how the two sources of invisibility interacted.

Polly was pretty sure there was an unexplored part of the drow stalactite that needed more exploration, so the group decided to revisit it.  They flew up to the stalactite, and saw the portcullis was still wide open.  Inside, there were still several drow and spider corpses where they'd left them.  They went down some stairs, down a ladder, through a secret door, then went south, where Zaber thought they hadn't explored before.  But there was nothing interesting there, so they left the stalactite.

Next, Zaber and Seépravir decided to steal Gar and Nar's magic bracelet-sized ring.  Last time they tried, Gar and Nar's worg had smelled Zaber.  This time, Seépravir cast both Hush and No-Smell to go with Zaber's Ring of Invisibility.  Zaber then flew over to the stalagmite forest where the ettin lived, flew past the sleeping worg, and pickpocketed the bracelet from the sleeping ettin.  He then flew back to Seépravir and tried to put the bracelet on her wrist, but it shrunk and instead ended up ring-sized on her finger.  They deferred identifying what the ring did (besides growing and shrinking to fit the wearer) until they were back in town.

With loose ends tied up, Polly suggested that they explore further to the west in the Immense Cavern.  The group flew that way until the fungus forest thinned out.  They saw a stream running north to south ahead of them, with a bridge crossing it, and a small humanoid standing on the bridge.  As it saw the visible members of the party approaching, it mounted a giant rat, drew a sword, and prepared to defend the bridge.

Zaber flew invisibly past the little bridge guard.  Elias flew visibly down to bridge level, and noticed some caltrops.  He stepped over the caltrops and walked across the bridge.  The little creature told him that if he wanted to cross the bridge he had to fight first.  Elias ignored it and kept walking, so the creature attacked him, but failed to penetrate his heavy armor.  It tried again, going for armor chinks, but still failed to penetrate.  It then switched to a slam attack, trying to knock Elias off the bridge, but bounced off his shield, as Elias started smashing the stone bridge with his flail, trying to break it.

Garreth finally agreed to duel the poor creature, and let it choose terms.  It chose biting only, since it had bigger, lizard-like teeth.  However, Garreth dodged the kobold's bite, then bit it, hard, penetrating its armor, stunning it, and winning the duel.  At that point the kobold jumped off the bridge into the river.  Zaber flew after it to make sure it was okay.  Polly flew after it to see if it had any loot, and thought its ring looked magical.  She yelled to Seépravir in Elvish that the kobold had a magic ring, and was surprised when the kobold said "I do not" in Elvish.

At this point the group tried interrogating the kobold.  It remembered that it had been guarding the bridge for a while, and that it had been punted off the bridge by trolls and giants.  It was wearing a holy symbol of Teleus, god of law.  Seépravir tried Mind-Reading spell, and read fear and confusion as to why the kobold couldn't win these fights.

Elias dropped all his spells on (which included Bless on the other four PCs, not a popular choice) and cast Remove Curse.  This caused the kobold to become more coherent, realizing she was the victim of a polymorph spell, from some wizard working for the red dragon Benthosruthsa.  She asked where her sword was, and for someone to dispel the shapeshifting.  Her sword was Damarel, the bastard sword that the group had found in the stirge lair.  Seépravir tried Dispel Magic but failed by a lot; she though the spell was too strong to dispel.

The kobold asked if Seépravir knew any more powerful wizards.  Seépravir suggested going back to the pyramid and exploiting the Low Mana zone.  So they all flew there, with Seépravir standing just outside the pyramid and the kobold just inside, to get a net +5 to dispel the polymorph.  After several attempts, this finally worked, and the kobold turned back into a female elvish-looking angel with bronze skin, golden wings, and a golden breastplate with Teleus's greatsword symbol on the front.  At that point she thanked the group for their assistance, and asked for her sword.  There was a bit of debate, but the group decided to return it.  She took it, and flew away.  After she was gone, Garreth grumbled that they worked hard for that sword and shouldn't have given it away to that angel, who was probably going to get killed anyway.

With no Bless spells, the risk-averse adventurers considered going back to town, but decided to do a bit more low-risk exploring first.  They flew back to the bridge, where the kobold's giant rat mount was still standing, hiding from Elias.  Zaber gave it some food.  Then he flew around looking for anything interesting in the river, but didn't find anything, except a little nook under the bridge where the kobold and rat had apparently lived.  It contained nothing valuable, so they continued exploring to the west.

Zaber flew along the south wall of the Immense Cavern, and spotted a tunnel going south into the rock.  With no Bless, he decided not to explore it.  He and Polly continued to the west, reaching the west wall of the cavern.  They found another tunnel there, and didn't explore that one either.  They then doubled back to the east, flying about 6 feet above the ground, when suddenly the group burst open and some huge tunneling monster emerged.  It yelled something in a language that neither of them knew.  When they did not respond, it tried to slam Polly.  She dodged.  Zaber flew away from it at high speed, pulling on the twine connecing him to Polly to encourage her to follow.

Polly could not resist putting an arrow into the monster as she flew away.  She rolled a critical hit, double shock on the critical table.  She hit the monster in an extremely painful location that she didn't even know it had, by luck.  She fired a second arrow, rolled a second critical, and achieved double shock again.  That was enough for the monster, who decided that Polly was entirely too painful an opponent and tunneled straight down into the rock.  Somehow she found the common sense to not follow it underground into its tunnels, and Zaber and Polly flew back to the rest of the group.

At that point, the heroic adventurers decided that further exploration without their Bless spells was way too scary, and headed back to town.  They had stolen a magic ring, but given away a magic sword.

GM's Comments:

Polly was the only one who remembered where she wanted to look in the drow stalactite, but her player was late to the session, so the rest of them just kind of blundered around for a while.  Fortunately Seépravir has a stupidly high IQ, so when they wanted to make IQ checks for things the characters might have remembered even if the players had forgotten, she usually made them.

Zaber had wanted to steal the ettin's ring for a long time, but had had to wait for Seépravir to learn the No-Smell spell to reduce the risk of getting caught.  That will teach that friendly ettin to have a magic item!

The kobold on the bridge was an interesting moral dilemma.  To their credit, the PCs tried to figure out what was going on, rather than just killing it.  Using the pyramid's Low Mana Zone for a net +5 to Dispel Magic was a nice idea.  Elias dropped all his Bless spells to improve his odds of success with Remove Curse was also a good idea, except that this group doesn't like doing anything without their Bless spells, and that pretty much meant they wouldn't do anything dangerous for the rest of the session, until they got back to town where Elias could cast 50-FP Bless +2 spells and then have his power item recharged.

Returning the angel's sword was another hard decision for the group.  They don't like giving up treasure, but they didn't really want to fight the angel either, so they gave in.  Easily in some cases, more reluctantly in others.

It was not a very profitable session, but it did lead to more exploration in the Immense Cavern, including finding tunnels to the south and west.

DF Whiterock Session 64: Dawn

Date: 2019-09-13 Weather: Warm, sunny Player Characters: Elias  (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 352 points Garreth  (Zuljita), Half...