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.

2019-07-24

DF Whiterock Session 57: Escape from the Stalactite

Date:

2019-07-19


Weather:

Hot, sunny


Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 324 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 397 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 392 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 380 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 410 points


Significant NPCs:

5 Humongous Spiders
5 Drow Fighters
2 Phase Spiders


We resumed in the bottom level of the drow stalactite fortress, right after the PCs had defeated the drow priestess.  They immediately started looting.  Garreth touched the drow priestess's spider armor, and immediately took curse damage.  They decided not to touch that armor again, and instead Seépravir used Apportation to remove it and later to carry it.

There was a large black rock statue of a drow-spider hybrid in the corner, with blood dripping onto it from above.  They decided that was important, and spent a long time playing with it.  Garreth used Power Blow to boost his ST, then slammed the statue sideways into the corner.  Seépravir made Polly Invisible, then Polly flew back to the entrance they had tunneled to get the pickaxe.  Garreth used it to smash the hole in the ceiling where the blood was coming from, and made the hole a bit bigger, but this didn't find anything.

Polly asked Zaber to search the floor, and he found a secret compartment, containing a folded-up palinquin.  Zaber unfolded it, and found a hard bump in the pillow.  After some discussion, Garreth handed Seépravir (who has Surgery skill) a knife, and she slit along the seam of the pillow.  Inside the pillow were a bunch of huge feathers and a small box.  Seépravir used Apportation to remove the box.  Zaber checked for traps, then opened the box, which contained several gems.  Seépravir then cast Repair on the palinquin.

Polly and Zaber went upstairs to the torture chamber.  Zaber dumped some water into the channels in the floor.  They went back down, and saw that the dripping blood appeared diluted.  That seemed conclusive enough to make everyone stop playing with the plumbing.

Seépravir cast Seek Magic, and found that the nearest unknown magic was far down and west, which everyone assumed meant outside of the stalactite.  So the group started talking about leaving.  First Elias cast Stop Bleeding on Garreth to try to heal the curse damage.  Then the group headed upstairs a few levels to the entrance they had made, and left some of the heavy stuff (pickaxe, palinquin, cursed spider armor) there.  Not wanting to leave yet, they resumed exploring, and opened a door that Zaber was pretty sure they'd been through before.  It revealed a hallway with another door, which Zaber spotted a trap on.  He disabled the trap, which required Luck since his first IQ-based Traps roll was awful.  Behind the door were stairs up to the portcullis room.

Zaber and Polly flew up the stairs.  Polly was visible, and when her head passed the top of the stairs, a drow sentry yelled out.  The room contained several drow fighters and several humongous spiders, all alertly guarding the main entrance.   Nobody was surprised.

Zaber, wearing the Ring of Invisibility, flew around to the side of the enemies.  Polly fired a couple of arrows at a drow standing on a ledge holding a hand crossbow, but he dodged both of them.  Garreth flew up the stairs and threw the pearly spear at another drow on a closer ledge.  He put the spear right through the drow's evil heart, resulting in instant death and a loud splat! as the corpse fell off the ledge and hit the stone floor.  

Four humongous spiders all charged the visible PCs.  The three remaining drow all aimed their hand crossbows, knowing they would probably only get one shot.  Elias flew up the stairs and tried to shield rush a spider, but it critically dodged and he fell down.  (This is less of a problem with Flight.)  Seépravir Great Hasted herself, then tried Rapier Wit on a spider, but it was too dumb for that.  Zaber flew into position next to a drow, preparing to backstab.

Polly shot a spider in the skull, knocking it out.  Then she shot the drow on the ledge that had previously dodged two arrows.  This time she got a critical hit, so no dodge was possible, and killed the drow, who fell off the ledge and landed on a big box of dead rats.  Garreth fast-drew his katana and chopped up a spider, wounding it.

The wounded spider all-out attacked Garreth, trying to bite his face twice.  He dodged the first and critically dodged the second, causing the spider to fall down.  Another spider ran up to Polly and tried biting her, but missed.  The remaining spiders moved closer.  The drow next to Zaber, not seeing the Invisible threat, fired his crossbow at Polly and missed.  Another drow also tried to shoot Polly, but Garreth used Parry Missile Weapons to deflect the bolt.  The final drow fired at Elias, who failed to dodge (he was prone and his shield was facing the other way), but the quarrel didn't penetrate his heavy armor.

Elias flew back to his usual vertical orientation and smashed a spider with his flail, doing minor damage.  Seépravir cast Great Haste on both Garreth and Polly.  Zaber stabbed the nearby drow in the eye, crippling the eye and knocking him unconscious, then became visible.  Polly flew a bit to line up her attack on multiple enemies, then shot a spider.  It dodged, but then the drow right behind it was accidentally-on-purpose critically hit in the neck for a bit of damage.  He shot at the spider again, and it dodged again, and this time the arrow also missed the drow.  Polly tried again, shot the spider in the skull, and knocked it out.  Then she shot another spider and stunned it.

The spear flew back to Garreth, but he ignored it and used his katana on a nearby spider.  He hit it three times and killed it, then hit another spider and slowed it.  The slowed spider tried to bite Polly, but she dodged straight up.  Another spider tried to bite Elias, but he blocked with his shield.

At that point, the two phase spiders that had been stalking their victims from the ethereal plane finally decided to attack.  One bit Polly in the back, but didn't do enough damage to pierce her armor.  The other chomped on Zaber's back, and penetrated his armor.  He took a bit of damage, but resisted the poison followup.

A stunned drow managed to become unstunned.  Elias smacked a spider twice with his flail, stunning it.  Seépravir hid, first trying to make herself Invisible and failing (due to a high number of spells on), then flying up trying to get out of spider reach.  Zaber slammed the same drow, knocking him prone and re-stunning him as his head hit the ground.  Polly shot at a spider, which dodged.  She then shot the drow, who didn't dodge while stunned and prone and slowed, and knocked him out.

Garreth chopped up a spider.  Another survived to bite him, but he dodged.  The final surviving drow all-out attacked Polly, but she acrobatically dodged.  Elias whomped on a spider next to him with his flail, and killed it.  Polly shot the last drow in the eye, achieving a critical hit and knocking him out.  Then she shot the last remaining spider, knocking it out too.

The phase spider poison got a followup attempt to damage Zaber, but he resisted that too.  Garreth flew around the room making sure all the spiders and drow were dead.  Polly helped, using bodkins.  Garreth then started stripping drow bodies of valuable mail armor, hand crossbows, and rapiers.

Garreth hit the lever to open the portcullis ... and it was trapped!  A bright light temporarily blinded everyone in the room, and forced everyone to resist with Will.  Everyone made their resistance check, so they never found out what the effect was.  A few minutes later, they could see again.  Elias cast Stop Bleeding on Zaber, Seépravir cast Apportation on the cursed spider armor again, and everyone prepared to head home.  But then Garreth remembered they hadn't looted the behir lair.

Zaber and Polly flew out the portcullis to check out the stalactite where they had found the behir.  On a ledge there, Zaber found a dead humanoid body wearing leather armor, a pouch, and a necklace.  The necklace featured a picture of a hen bowing to a jester.  The pouch contained some green gems.  There was also a halberd nearby.  

The group headed back to Cillamar.  When they got there, Elias made an attempt to remove the curse on the spider armor.  He first stopped maintaining all four Bless spells on his companions.  Then he tried Remove Curse, but the curse was very powerful, beyond his ability to remove.  Giving up, he re-Blessed his allies, a slow process involving multiple recharges of his power item.

GM's Comments:

This session was just tidying up after the previous raids on the stalactite.  The PCs spent a long time looting the drow temple and playing with the statue and the blood plumbing, then killed all the drow guards who they had bypassed by making their own back entrance into the stalactite.  I was impressed that they remembered to loot the lair of the behir, who they killed weeks ago.

2019-07-16

DF Whiterock Session 56: Spider Temple

Date:

2019-07-12



Weather:

None, session entirely underground



Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 320 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 393 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 388 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 376 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 407 points

Significant NPCs:

Logan, summoned Wolverine
Drow Martial Artist / Torturer
Drow Warrior
2 Drow Rogues
2 Phase Spiders
Drow Priestess
3 Spider Swarms


We resumed in mid-battle, inside a hidden drow fortress in a giant stalactite, inside the Immense Cavern, under Castle Whiterock.

Zaber, still Invisible, flew silently behind a drow rogue, preparing to backstab.  The drow torturer, annoyed by Logan's attempts to bite her, punted him brutally.  She achieved a critical hit and knocked him back into a wall, but didn't knock him out.  Polly went for a flying rapid strike on the torturer, but she backflipped away from it.

Garreth re-readied his katana (which he had dropped and his lanyard had caught) and then used Kiai on the drow warrior with the hammer.  The target used Luck to resist it, and called Garreth a "muddy surfacer" in Undercommon.  Then he tried to smash Seépravir with his hammer, but Garreth sacrificially parried it.

A phase spider tried to bite Elias, but Elias blocked it with his shield.  Then another, not yet seen, phase spider phased in and tried to bite Polly.  Luckily for Polly, it was a side not rear attack, so she saw it coming and got to dodge at -2, and her dodge succeeded.  The drow rogue tried to run up and stab Polly, but missed.

Elias activated his Heroic Grace and Heroic Strength, and glowed with the holy green of Elyr.  Seépravir tried Rapier Wit on the torturer, but she just ignored it, and asked if surface elves were using mental defectives as wizards now.  Seépravir then tried Great Hasting herself, but critically failed, causing a bad smell of brimstone and rotten eggs.

Logan overconfidently tried to bite the torturer on the backside.  The torturer parried the blow with her foot and sent Logan flying into the wall, knocking him out.  She then threw the potion that she'd been holding at Polly.  Polly parried the potion, but this just caused it to break on her katana, still inflicting the freezing grenade attack on Polly's hex.  Polly took some freezerburn damage, but not enough to slow her down or inflict a stun check.

Polly retaliated with rapid strikes against the torturer, despite the shock penalty.  The torturer, not realizing Zaber was at shoulder level in the hex behind her, tried a retreating dodge into that hex.  Because it's not legal to retreat into an opponent's hex, I gave Zaber the option of staying low and blocking her retreat, or staying high and letting her under him.  He stayed high and she dodged.  Polly followed up with two more attacks, but she dodged those too.

Garreth went after the hammer warrior with drunken deceptive overhead attacks.  He blocked the first one, but since he'd Committed Attacked he couldn't parry, so he could only dodge, and that failed.  Garreth smashed through his scale armor for a major wound.  Garreth then landed a second blow, badly injuring the drow.  Realzing he was doomed, the drow went for an All Out Attack (Double) on Garreth's face, but Garreth parried the first blow, and the second one missed.

One phase spider tried biting Elias again, but Elias blocked it.  The other spider tried biting Polly, but she parried.  The drow rogue tried to stab Seépravir, but she retreated and dodged the rapier.  Elias, with extra DX from Heroic Grace, tried to Rapid Strike flail a phase spider in the skull twice.  It Phased away from one blow, but failed to dodge the other, and took huge amounts of damage.  Somehow it didn't pass out.

Seépravir used Rapier Wit on the drow rogue, causing her to pause for a second and reflect on her life choices.  Then she Great Hasted herself.  Zaber, a bit upset that the torturer had punted his wolverine, Invisibly backstabbed her in the eye.  (Technically a frontstab, but Invisibility allowed the kind of total surprise needed to get backstabbing bonus damage.)  The knife did enough damage to destroy the eye and penetrate into the brain, and the torturer missed her stun check by enough to be knocked out.

Polly went after the stunned rogue with a skull hit, and knocked her out.  She then went after a phase spider with a skull hit, and knocked it out too.  Garreth went for eye stabs against the drow warrior who had foolishly All-Out Attacked him, managed to hit once, and knocked him out with a badly failed stun check.  He didn't let his opponent's unconscious status deter him from attacking again, and stabbed him in the other eye, rolling a critical hit.

The surviving phase spider tried to bite Elias again.  Elias rolled a critical block, causing the spider to stumble.  Elias then smashed the spider in the skull with his flail, and killed it.  Its body disappeared.

With the fight over, Zaber grabbed the wineskin of healing potions to revive Logan.  Elias cast Stop Bleeding on Seépravir and Polly, and followed up with Major Healing on Seépravir and another on Logan.  Logan, once revived, marked his territory on the body of the torturer than had punted him.  

Polly noticed the torturer's backpack was magic.  Seépravir cast Seek Magic and found something near but not quite in the backpack.  Zaber looked inside and found a potion, a lot of little knives, and some thumbscrews.  Seépravir noticed that the drow warrior's hammer was also magic.  Garreth tried throwing it, but it didn't do anything noticably special.

After resting a bit, Zaber and Polly and Logan went down the stairs on the south end of the room.  They spiraled around and ended in a landing with a door.  Zaber tried listening to the door, triggering a trap he had failed to detect.  A blindingly bright light came out of the door, followed by the magical essence of acid.  Fortunately all three managed to dive back and only took half damage.  Unfortunately half damage was still a lot.  It was enough to knock Logan unconscious and leave Zaber and Polly in bad shape, and all three still blind.  After some yelling, Garreth came down the stairs with the wineskin of healing potions, and started passing it around.  After awaking, Logan blindly attacked the nearest wall.  (Fortunately for him, it wasn't the trapped door.)

A few minutes and several healing potions later, Polly and Zaber got their vision back.  Everyone except Zaber went up to the top of the stairs, and Zaber disabled the trap on the door.  Then he opened the door.  Behind it was a large room featuring two female drow and something drow-sized wearing scary spider armor (including huge fangs) looking right at the door.  Behind them was a large statue of some kind of drow-spider hybrid.

Zaber put the Ring of Invisibility back on, flew back upstairs, and grabbed Logan and shoved him back in his magic bag.  A taunt came from below, in Undercommon, "Come back, cowards!"  Garreth, who spoke Undercommon, yelled something back.

Seépravir started handing out Great Haste spells.  First Zaber, then Garreth, then Polly.  There was a bit of confusion, then everyone started flying down the stairs to attack the drow.  Zaber was first, but he didn't want to charge in alone, so he Invisibly flew off to the side of the room while All-Out Defending just in case.  Polly flew into the room, and fired a bodkin at the nearest drow rogue's vitals.  She failed to dodge, took a major wound, rolled terribly on the stun check, and was knocked out.  The drow in spider armor said "Foolish weakling, learn to dodge!"

Polly fired another arrow at the other drow rogue, but this one had Reverse Missiles up!  Then arrow turned around and came back at Polly, who dodged it.  She fired another arrow at the one in spider armor.  That one came back too, but she dodged it as well.  Polly gave up on arrows and fast drew a long knife.

Garreth flew into the room, fast-drew his katana, and chose to All-Out Defend.  The drow with the rapier nearby also All-Out Defended.  Elias flew into the room, before Seépravir could Great Haste him, so she followed him into the room.

The drow in spider armor cast a spell at Invisible Zaber, at rather long range.  Somehow it worked despite the range penalty, and caused him to start glowing, rendering his Invisibility ineffective.  He took the ring off, as he flew forward.  Polly flew forward and swung at the spider armored drow's skull, but missed.  She then feinted, and followed up with a body blow, that was acrobatically dodged, then with another stab at the other drow, which was parried.

Garreth, abusing Great Haste, went for an All-Out Attack (Double) for his first maneuver, with one of the attacks being a Rapid Strike, then a regular Attack on his second maneuver so he could defend. This resulted in an unreasonable number of attacks on the spider-armored cleric.  The first was blocked, the second was parried, the third was dodged, and the fourth penetrated her heavy armor and drew blood.  The drow called him an insolent half-breed in Elvish (which he didn't speak), and instructed the rogue to kill him.  The rogue then tried to drab Garreth in the face, but he critically succeeded on a parry, causing her to drop her rapier.  But she had a lanyard, so it didn't go far.  

A phase spider appeared right behind Elias, and backbit him with surprise.  Unfortunately for the spider, its bite failed to penetrate his heavy armor.  A second phase spider appeared beside Elias, and tried to find chinks in his armor, but he blocked its fangs with his shield.  Elias responded with a couple of rapid flail strikes at the spider's torso.  He had to use Luck to avoid a critical miss, and achieved two hits.  It failed to phase, then failed to dodge, but avoided getting stunned.

Seépravir used Rapier Wit on the nearby rogue, in Undercommon, mocking her inability to hold onto her weapon.  She failed to resist and stood there with her mouth hanging open, trying to think of a good comeback.  The cleric cast a spell, and 3 spider swarms appeared.  Unfortunately for them, they were ground-based and not very tall, and all 5 PCs had Flight on, so they couldn't do much unless someone was dumb enough to land.  Zaber flew around the drow, landed on their statue, and tried to break it with a kick.  This failed to do anything, as it was heavy stone.

Polly stabbed the stunned drow rogue in the skull, and she failed to dodge, then failed her stun roll by a lot and passed out.  She then feinted at the cleric, then stabbed her several times, penetrating her heavy armor twice.  Garreth smacked her a couple more times with his katana, drawing more blood.

The cleric started praying to Tororthun to smite all the unworthy surfacer invaders.  Her divine intervention attempt fell on deaf ears.  Seépravir tried Rapier Wit on the cleric but she just ignored it.  Zaber went for a flying tackle on the cleric, grabbed on, and then used a Judo takedown to knock her prone.  

Now the cleric was slowed by her wounds, prone, and grappled, for a total defense penalty of lots.  Polly threw a whole lot of attacks at her, causing a lot more blood, but somehow she stayed conscious.  Until the last one, which finally took her to -5 * HP, instant death.  The fight was over, but we were out of time, so the PCs stayed to loot the stalactite next week.

GM's Comments:


Some of the drow were pretty tough, but there weren't enough of them in one room, and 5 PCs with Great Haste were too much for them.  Reverse Missiles is a good trick, but the cleric only cast two of them, rather than three, for some reason.  And Polly is pretty good in melee now, so it doesn't completely stop her.  The phase spiders are pretty good at sneaking up behind people, but bad at penetrating heavy armor, so Elias was a poor target to pick.

Some of the enemies had Luck and Bless, using some of the the PCs' favorite defenses against them, but this only slowed down the outcome of the fight rather than changing it.

The nasty blinding acid trap fooled Zaber, but didn't manage to kill anyone, and the drow in the temple stayed in there rather than charging out to kill those affected, so it really only burned some healing potions.

2019-07-03

DF Whiterock Session 55: Drow Ambush

Date:

2019-06-28



Weather:

Hot, scattered thunderstorms


Player Characters:

Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 316 points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 389 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 384 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 372 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 404 points

Significant NPCs:

Hugin, Human Mercenary
Alrux, Dwarf Armorer
Quintus, Human Alchemist and Wizard
Logan, summoned Wolverine
2 Drow Spider Riders
2 Humongous Spiders
1 Drow Rogue
2 Drow Fighters
1 Drow Martial Artist
1 Phase Spider


The PCs started in Cillamar.  Zaber went looking for rumors about Lord Flitwick, and heard that he had left town after the death of his bodyguard Mord.  Zaber also heard that Hugin has lost an arm.  Garreth checked with Alrux to see if he could make armor out of giant turtle shell, and found out that Alrux had no experience with that.  Garreth went looking for teamsters to haul the giant turtle shell back to town, but didn't find anyone with a large enough team willing to do the job.

Seépravir cast Seeker on her wand-in-construction up in Mystenmere, and saw the wand looking finished.  Seépravir then cast Seeker to find Lord Flitwick, and saw him, dressed like a commoner, in an unknown inn somewhere.  Seépravir and Zaber then spread rumors that Flitwick was in hiding, disguised as a commoner.

Seépravir got Quintus to cast Staff on the giant beetle staff, so that she could use it to reduce spellcasting range.  She also researched the drow wizard's spellbook, and found a new spell called Acid Blood, and a few other spells related to blood.  The other books found in the drow wizard's room were in Draconic and Undercommon, which nobody in the party could read without magical help, so they saved them for later.

Zaber found out where Hugin lived, and the whole group went to visit him.  He had indeed lost one arm when guarding a merchant caravan that was attacked by druids.  He'd paid for a Regeneration spell at the Temple of Elyr, but the arm would take a month to regrow, so he was out of work for a while.  Polly brought him some hard carrot juice to cheer him up, and the group gave him some money.

Seépravir cast Flight on everyone, and Drunkenness on Garreth, and they all flew to Castle Whiterock, except Garreth who drunkenly pushed the wheelbarrow.  They reached the castle without incident, and then Seépravir critically failed casting See Secrets on Zaber, resulting in a horrible rotten stench that took time and a No-Smell spell to eliminate.  The group looked for additional signs of intruders in the upper levels of the dungeon, but didn't find any.  Then they went down the elevator to the underground river level.  Seépravir stopped maintainining Drunkenness so that Garreth could more effectively row a skiff, and he managed to avoid crashing while rowing the party and the wheelbarrow to the other side of the level.

Then the group started working on a plan.  What if they could magically dig a hole under the river to the stalactite, and undermine or erode the drow lair?  Seépravir started flying around trying to figure out where the river was relative to the stalactite, but the stalactite was pretty far west of the river, so it would take quite a bit of tunneling to get the water there.  She cast a Wizard Eye and sent it down the whirlpool to see where it went.  The Wizard Eye took 110 HP of crushing damage and went away.  She made another Wizard Eye, cast Ethereal Body on this one, and sent it down the whirlpool in the Ethereal Plane.  This time, it managed to survive going down hundreds of feet in the churning water, before hitting a no mana zone and winking out of existence.  Time for another plan.

Everyone flew (or pushed a wheelbarrow) to the Immense Cavern, then went south then west until they were under the giant stalactite where they'd met the drow.  Then Seépravir cast Invisibility on everyone, and they flew up.  Not wanting to go back into the portcullis on the southeast side of the stalactite, they flew around to the arrow slits on the west side.  Zaber peeked in, and didn't see anything.  Seépravir tried Shape Earth to enlarge an arrow slit into an entrance, but with so many spells maintained, she had a hard time casting it.  When she finally managed to cast it, the rock resisted: someone had some anti-tunneling enchantments on the stalactite.

Trying another tactic, Seépravir cast Hush on both Garreth and Polly so they could dig silently, then Garreth started smashing with a pickaxe.  On a good swing, he could do enough damage to nick the rock, even through the anti-tunneling magic.  After several minutes of chipping away, he managed to enlarge an arrow slit into a window.   Zaber and Polly slipped inside and started looking around.

They were in a room with two staircases up, and a door on the east wall.  This was where they had ambushed the singing drow and phase spiders on the previous delve.  The bodies had been cleaned up.  Polly walked toward the door, and yanked on the twine to tell Zaber where she was going.  Zaber listened at the door, heard nothing, tried opening the door, found it was locked, and picked the lock.  

Polly opened the door, and was face-to-face with a female drow with a rapier, who was looking at the door that had just swung open for no visible reason.  Zaber flew up to the ceiling.  Polly fired a bodkin (with Continual Light on it to signal the others) at the drow's eye.  With both Invisibility and Hush, the drow had no chance to dodge Polly's first arrow until it went through her eye into her brain, and then she was unconscious and unable to do much of anything.  However, as Polly stepped into the room she noticed two more drow to her south, riding humongous spiders and aiming hand crossbows at the door.  And, as her attack made her visible, they noticed her too and fired crossbow bolts at her.  The first shot was accurate, but Polly dodged it.  The second shot was a critical failure resulting in a dropped crossbow.  Resuming her turn that had been so rudely interrupted, Polly fired another arrow into a spider's skull, stunning it.

Garreth, Elias, and Seépravir flew toward the battle.  The unwounded spider, with a drow warrior on its back, charged at Polly and tried to bite her, but missed.  Its passenger fast-drew a rapier and slashed Polly, but she dodged.  The other spider fell unconscious, while its rider nimbly hopped off while drawing his rapier.

Zaber, still Invisible, waited for enemy to come closer.  Polly shot the other spider in the skull and stunned it.  She shot it in the skull again, but it (somehow!) dodged while stunned, and the arrow didn't hit the other targets behind the spider.  Garreth flew up more and threw his spear at a drow.  He missed the drow, missed its spider, then hit Polly, but she dodged it.  He fast-drew his katana.

The remaining spider remained stunned.  The drow within stabbing range of Garreth tried stabbing him in the face, but missed.  The other drow tried stabbing Polly, but she dodged.  This got him within range of Zaber, who went for a flying Invisible backstab from above, and inflicted a major (but not that major) wound.  The injured drow started yelling out details of the attackers in Undercommon for an unknown audience.

Elias flew up into close combat with a drow, still Invisible, and did not attack.  Seépravir used Rapier Wit to stun one of the drow.  Zaber tried stabbing him in the eye, but he managed to parry.  Polly shot the spider in the skull again, and this time knocked it out.  Then she put her second arrow into a drow's skull, and knocked him out too.  Garreth went after the last drow, not knowing Elias was in his hex.  The swing accidentally went for Elias first.  Elias blocked it with his shield.  Now knowing that Elias was there, Garreth held his remaining attacks.  

The doomed and surrounded drow could do nothing but recover from mental stun.  Elias smashed him in the skull with his flail, knocking him out.  Garreth then made sure all the drow and spiders were dead, while Zaber searched them for treasure.  Zaber waited until his Ring of Invisibility was ready to make him Invisible again, then stuck his head down the ladder exiting the room.  There were no enemies visible below, so he went down, then drew Logan the Wolverine from his Bag of Wolverine, and let him go exploring.  Seépravir cast Invisibility on herself, Polly, and Logan.

There were two doors out of the hallway.  Zaber listened to both, then opened the one to the north, where they had previously killed the drow wizard.  There were no enemies there, and the bodies were gone.  He then opened the door to the south, which was a storeroom containing furniture, rope, training dummies, and some wooden training rapiers.  Zaber searched carefully, and found a fine large knife under a table.  Garreth added the knife to his collection.

Zaber's See Secrets let him see a secret door in the hallway, heading west.  He listened, then opened it.  Beyond was a dusty secret passage, full of cobwebs.  Zaber and Logan searched the passage.  Logan found a door, around a corner to the north.  Behind the door were stairs leading up and down.  Logan went down.  Zaber (with See Invisible) followed him.  At the bottom of the stairs was another door.

Zaber opened the door and found a circular room, featuring a naked and horribly wounded female drow hanging from the ceiling, and three other drow.  One with robes and a bloodstained hook, one with a warhammer, and one with a rapier.  When the door opened, the one with a hook dropped her hook and drew a potion.  Polly flew up and tried to shoot her at point-blank range (twice), but she parried the bow (twice).  Garreth used the spear's magic to Great Haste himself.  The other two drow ran toward Polly.  Seépravir used Rapier Wit to stun the drow with the hammer.  Logan tried biting the torturer, but she kicked him away.  

The robed drow tried to kick Polly in the face, but she dodged.  Polly fast-drew her rapier and went for a feint and attack, but the drow dodged.  Garreth flew up to the drow with the warhammer and tried to hit him with his katana, but the drow critically parried (despite stun) and caused Garreth to drop his katana.  (Fortunately he had a lanyard so it didn't fall that far.)  Garreth then fast-drew a sai and tried throwing it at the drow, but he parried it.  (Despite being stunned.)  The male drow then came out of stun.

Surprise!  A phase spider appeared behind Seépravir and bit her in the back.  It rolled a critical hit, so she used Luck to make it reroll, and it only got a regular hit.  The bite inflicted a major but not grievous wound.  Seépravir made her stun check and resisted the poison, but was slowed by her wounds.

The drow with the rapier went after Polly with a Move and Attack, and hit, but Polly parried it.  Elias went after the phase spider with his flail, but it dodged.  Logan tried to bite the drow in robes again, but missed.  And we paused there in mid-battle.

GM's Comments:

I found the PC scheme to flood the stalactite amusing.  The underground river's not actually anywhere near right above it, so it would have required a ridiculous number of Shape Earth spells to dig a long diagonal shaft, and various other kinds of rolls to perfectly direct the shaft, while avoiding drowning from working in a flooded shaft, and whatever wandering water monsters may have come along.  Not really workable in this case, but amusing.

Sending a Wizard Eye down the whirlpool was also a neat idea.  Of course it was crushed by all the water, but making it Ethereal worked great, until it hit a no mana zone.

The idea of digging into the back side of the stalactite worked better than I expected.  The stalactite was enchanted against Shape Earth spells (this is very common, as earth wizards are the bane of every castle wall), and Seépravir was casting at a huge penalty thanks to tons of spells on so had very little chance of winning the contest.  But its DR wasn't quite enough to stop Garreth's pickaxe.  (He has a lot of ST, and the Forced Entry skill for bonus damage.)  And the Hush spell means that the manual digging didn't make any noise, so Garreth basically had as much time as he needed, unless he broke his pickaxe before he finished.   And starting next to an arrow slit minimized the amount of digging that had to be done.  So, this plan actually worked.

Invisibility and Hush are pretty good.  You probably knew that.  In DFRPG, Invisibility only lasts until you attack, so it's merely good not great, but sometimes that first attack is a one-shot knockout.

The first few drow the PCs fought went down pretty easy, but the ones in the fight in progress seem a bit tougher.  We'll see how it ends, next time.

DF Whiterock Session 64: Dawn

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