Morale Check

RPG Miscellany

Group 1 session 4

(I wrote this session report before the one for session 3 so its in the old very long winded format, I won’t be writing session reports this way anymore, unless of course there is some huge public outcry about the change and I really don’t see that happening ;))

I continue trying new things (rules variations) to see what works and what doesn’t for this group. For combat I returned to spell casters having to declare if they are casting a spell, not which spell or targets, before the initiative dice are rolled.

We had a few deaths last session. This seems to be the norm, 1 or 2 deaths. I’m not sure if this has something to do with the players playing two characters a piece, I don’t think it does, I think its just a learning curve thing for the most part.

With the new characters added our roster is now: Benedictor (Cleric 1), Brann (Dwarf 2), Olish (Cleric 1), Spencer (Elf 1), Gutta (Cleric 1), Utta (Thief 2), Madge (Fighter 2), Danasi (Magic-User 1). Spencer and Danasi being the two new characters this session.

Spencer arrived as a traveller staying in the inn. Just another Elf out looking for adventure.

Danasi arrive looking for Lea the elf who died in the groups last adventure. Danasi and Lea studied magic under the same mentor and developed a relationship until Lea was subjected to a curse that sapped her beauty and being ashamed of her new looks ran away. Danasi had arrived seeking out Lea to inform her that the warlock that had placed the curse on her had been captured and if she returned with him the curse would be lifted. Crushed to find his love deceased Danasi joined the party with nothing else to live for.

In the months before the current adventure presented itself the Magic-Users of the group took to teaching each other spells and copying spells from some scrolls they had found. Spencer experimented with a wand given to him by members of the party and discovered that it appeared to be a fire extinguisher spraying white foam in a 15′ cone. Utta was contacted by the local thieves guild as he owed them money for bringing lost treasures back into their domain to the tune of 1% of the value of the recovered loot. Utta paid up and vowed to have as little as possible to do with the guild.

The adventure began when in the middle of the night a messenger arrive at the inn door where the party stays. Goodwife Jopa, the local healer, asked for “the dwarf”, Brann, to come to her hut. Being suspicious the entire party geared up and headed out. Arriving at the hut Brann was surprised to find his cousin Derri Bronzebeard, mortally wounded and on deaths door. Olish aided Jopa in patching him up as well as could be and Derri opened his eyes and spoke. Derri told a grave tale of an uprising of goblinoids and other beasts that surged forth from the underdark and destroyed the ancestral home of the Bronzebeards and all that dwelled there and that he (Derri) and Brann were the only two remaining. He went on to say that he managed to grab the pieces of the legendary axe of Arnauf Bronzebeard, along with a map, before he escaped. If Brann could use the map to find the forge where Arnauf’s axe was created the axe could be reforged into a weapon Brann could use to take back Bronzebeard hall.

Gathering supplies the party saddled up and rode out the next morning on the week long journey that would take them to Kor’Barrack, the once great dwarf city of the west, somewhere in which resided the great forge where Arnaufs axe was created.

The partys path took them overland through the Blackwald forest wherein they came across the ruins of a watchtower (this is the Blackwald Morlock Den adventure I previously posted). Investigating they found a clan of morlocks had taken up residence. Initial contact with the morlocks showed them to be willing to talk and Brann was able to roughly communicate. The morlocks told them how three goblins had moved in nearby and had been hurting and killing the morlocks and forcing them to hunt and do chores for them. So much of the morlocks time was spent doing what the goblins asked they were not able to take care of their own. When the party agreed to help the morlock chieftain showed them to a pool of water deeper in the ruins where the goblins would appear whenever they wanted something.

With some experimentation the party discovered that drinking the water would teleport them to an identical pool where the hobgoblins resided. The hobgoblins, knowing the powers of the pool, put up quite a fight by using it to their advantage. It made for an interesting and frustrating fight with hobgoblins and characters teleporting between rooms and running about. In the end the party triumphed with some new bumps and bruises but no real damage. The party managed to take possession of a magical short sword +1 that had been wielded by one of the hobgoblins (Dags’ short sword of the hills). While the main danger in the ruins, the hobgoblins, had been dealt with the party still walked out one member short when in a room, filled with various fungi and lichens, Spencer decided to take a drink from a small pool filled with dirty water and small white tadpoles (WHY? I wish I knew…), needless to say the water was poisonous and he failed his save vs. poison.

A day and a half later the party emerged from the Blackwald and could now see the mountain range to the south where they would find Kor’Barrack.

The following day as they climbed a hill they could hear sounds of battle from the other side. Cresting the hill they came upon a ten neanderthals waging a losing battle against two ogres. The party immediately went into action. Madge leapt from her horse while drawing her two-handed sword and began running towards the ogres while the rest of the party drew ranged weapons. The ranged weapons peppered one of the ogres while it tried to make its way towards them batting neanderthals from his path but Utta managed to drop it with a well placed shot between the eyes just before the ogre made it into melee range. In the meantime Madge joined the ranks of the remaining neanderthals and together they brought down the remaining ogre. In the aftermath of the fighting the remaining six neanderthals thanked the party profusely and invited them back to their homes for a feast in thanks. The party graciously accepted and spent the night comfortably among new friends.

The next day they reached the foot of the mountains the party had a run in with a giant Roc, being suitably scared and impressed  the party realized they are still the low men on the totem pole.

Entering Kor’Barrack the party was greeted by a statue of a crying elf woman. Tthey proceed down the entrance tunnel. Off an alcove to the south burst five fire bats, awash in flame. The party readied their weapons as the bats swoop low but Danasi, armed with the fire extinguisher wand (taken from Spencer when he died) speaks the command word and sprays white foam all over the party and the five bats, killing the bats. Coming to the end of the tunnel the party is struck by waves of heat coming of a lake of lava that stretches as far as the eye can see. The wearing of metal armor became unbearable at this point. Across the lake the party spotted what appeared to be a boat launch with a boat floating in the lava!

Continuing on they enter a room with a large central pillar, once covered in dwarf runes it has been defaced and made impossible to read. Danasi makes a note to memorize the Read Languages spell tomorrow so he can investigate further.

Next up the party entered a room filled with crumbling and collapsing support columns occupied by a group of seven gaunt yellow flaky skinned goblinoid looking creatures. Before the creatures can react Danasi catches them all in a Sleep spell and the party exterminates them while they sleep. The strange creatures (known as Yggril) have an altar at the back of the room. Upon inspection the altar is built upon an old chest. Opening the chest the party finds a box with a plain gold ring and a vial of smoky oily liquid.

As the party continued on they entered what was once a hall of heroes filled, the statues had all been toppled and smashed and rocks littered the area. As the party made their way through the room they were ambushed by a group of four fire beetles. The fighting was tense (the players rolling extremely poorly) and they were very close to losing Brann in the fighting but the party triumphed.

In the next room the party found a broken magic circle inscribed on the floor. Inside the circle were the remains of a few day old camp fire and some discarded rations. A fire beetle, unaware of the parties approach, was nibbling at the rations. Launching a surprise attack the party (continuing their streak of bad luck) missed with five ranged attacks! The enraged beetle went on to take a chunk out of Madge before being put down. On the floor in the next room they found the body of a gnome laying next to the body of a fire beetle. In the gnomes pack was a vague map of Kor’Barrack with two rooms marked; one, the room with the pillar covered in dwarf runes, and the other in a section of they had yet to explore.  Deciding it was time for a rest the party retreated to the where they slew the Yggril and camped for the night.

Returning to where they left off they had two options: a decrepit stone bridge leading over a lake of lava or a side passage. Not liking the look of the bridge they chose the side passage.

At the end of the passage was a stuck stone door which Madge was able to force open. With the door open Utta searched and found a trap in the room but could not determine how to disable it.Throwing the gnomes body in the room triggered the trap! Iron bars in an X shape fell from the ceiling splitting the room into four pieces, in each of the four sections a door opened. From the south a group of orcs poked their heads out, one threw a javelin and the party returned fire wounding him before he ducked back inside. Seconds later the blast of a horn sounded from the south room and shortly thereafter three giant lava geckos entered from the north room. The iron bars retreated into the ceiling and the orcs ran out and mounted the lizards. Madge tried to reclose the stuck door but failed and one pair of orc and lizard moved forward to engage. The lizard wreaked havoc on the party but Danasi came through with a sleep spell that knocked out the three orcs while the rest of the party managed to kill the closes lizard (again Danasi used the wand as a weapon on the fire lizards). With their orc masters asleep the two remaining lizards turned on them and began eating them. The party quickly pushed the dead lizard out of the way and Madge was able to slam the door closed.

Once again the party retreated the room where they slew the Yggril. This time they required two days of rest to recover. In the intermediate day Danasi cast Read Languages and spent a few hours studying the rune covered pillar where he was able to discover an incantation that would allow him entrance to some locked doors deeper in the dungeon.

After resting up the party decided to head in a different direction. Looping around the lake they found another room filled with Yggril. These ones, while they took notice of the party, ignored them and continued on with their work collecting and piling stones in piles of various sizes. The party descended a set of stairs which took them to the boat launch where the Yggrill had an assembly line going loading and piling stones in the boat. Curious the party watched. After thirty minutes of rock stacking the Yggril launched the boat and began navigating the lake of lava while dropping stones over the edge of the boat. Minutes later a huge red worm 20′ in diameter and hundreds of feet long rose from the lava. The worm made its way up and down the lake before disappearing below the surface once again. The party wasted no time in getting as far away from the lake of lava as possible.

Their exploration took them to a section of the dungeon that looked like what was referenced on the gnomes map. Finding a door locked and apparently barred Danasi speaks the incantation and the door opens! One of the rooms in this area has had a cave in and there is a gaping hole in the ceiling. Madge is curious and looks up into the hole (as I knew someone would :)) and is not surprised when a green slime falls out of the darkness onto her face. Danasi acts quickly and uses his fire extinguishing wand to douse Madge in foam and slays the green slime (who would have known this wand would turn out to be so useful?). Using the gnomes map the party is able to locate a secret door which leads to the great forge where Arnaufs axe can be reforged!

Having found the forge I asked the group what they wanted to do next session:

  • skip ahead a month to the axe being reforged and continue on the way to Bronzebear hall or
  • have Brann be occupied while he forges the axe and the remainder of the party can explore the rest of Kor’Barrack
They decided to explore the rest of Kor’Barrack while they wait for Brann. I am happy with that because it means the material I created won’t go to waste AND it means that they must have enjoyed what I created, so yay!

This session was very enjoyable. We played for about 4 and a half hours and I continue to be impressed and surprised by just how much gets done in that amount of time compared to 3.5 or 4th edition games. This was the first LL session I have run that used entirely my own material (not counting the maps I used which Dyson Logos created) and I think it went very well. Once again everyone is looking forward to the next session.

I need to work on my prep time versus play time. My time in to time out ratio is close to 1:1 meaning for every hour I spend preparing I get an hour of game time. To me this means I prepare to much. I have pages and pages of detailed room descriptions and its to much. I need to work on my improvisation so I can get my ratio closer to 1:2. I’d be happy with that.

I need to find a way to make these damn session reports shorter. What is peoples opinions, do you like this much detail (even though I am still leaving much out)? Who the hell is even going to read this?

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