LotCS Field Report - week 3

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Our session report is here.

 

For anyone wondering how we dealt with the drinking competition we had Vipin and the dwarf make Constition (Poison) saves, starting with a DC of 15 and increasing by 1 each round. Failing 3 rounds would result in passing out drunk.

Tanis was using Guidance to give Vipin a bonus on his save and I had him make DC15 Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide his casting (which he annoyingly passed each time).

 

Next session while still under the effects of the alcohol Vipin will have a sense of being "invulnerable" while having disadvantage on any dextrous tasks until he can sleep it off.

 

Next week I'm going to have Stokely approach the "pub champion" with a request to investigate missing miners which will hopefully lead to a zombie infested dungeon crawl through dangerous dwarven mines.

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

Nice write up, I remember the good days when my party would seek out solutions that didn't involve combat. Hopefully we will get back to those at some point. I had a bar brawl in MiBG that the group really like. Always nice to see how they react in a situation such as that.

Another large table this week, and we had one person observing the entire time stating that he wants to play next week. There is no way I can handle a table of 10 and keep the quality of play up (I feel that the quality goes down if you have more than 6 players) so I came up with an idea of how to keep the role play all at one table and then split the parties up on different tasks that way the story is all 1 in case we are short some people during the holiday week and only have enough for 1 table. Of course, this will increase the prep time for me some but shouldn’t be too bad. Jason will be DMing the extra table when it is needed. He does an good job at running combat but he can be a little to hand holdy for the RP stuff, directing the story in the way he thinks it should go rather than letting the party influence it (also another reason why I want all/most RP at 1 table).

 

The players

  • Drea: Orcling Barbarian
  • Rico: Human Druid (utility caster)
  • Rob: Dwarven Fighter
  • Jason: Dwarven Cleric of War
  • Derek: High Elf Paladin
  • Trevor: High Elf Evocationist
  • Tom: Human Cleric of Light
  • Sean: Wood Elf Rogue
  • Katie: Half-orc Fighter Krug

 

The session started off with the group searching the recently cleared out hideout. While searching they found the note that was for Slim from Gant (wasn’t hard to find since the first thing they searched was the chest). Not wanting to go out into the open tundra at night the group thought it would be for the best to take a long rest at the hideout and then head back to Bryn Shander in the morning. The evening passed without issue.

 

Once back in town the thing the party wanted to do was to gather their members that stayed behind (the Druid, Barbarian & Krug who wanted to stay in town for an arm wrestling competition) and discuss the next steps of their party. After some discussion the party felt they should speak with Duvessa and discuss the note that they found. They were able to gain audience with the Speaker without issue.

 

They found that the Speaker was already having a discussion with Markhem and Gant and thought that there was no reason for either to leave and to have a group discussion regarding the new information. At first, the party held back from showing the note since they actually thought Duvessa was running some sort of ruse but in the end decided it was for the best it to the three in order to rile one of them up. As the note was being passed around between Duvessa and Markham Gant slide out of the room, which immediately threw suspicion on him. Just as the group was getting ready to go out charging for Gant he returned to the room with several cups of hot spiced cider for everyone since he felt this was going to turn into a lengthy discussion.

 

Accusations started flying Gant’s way, including one of him trying to poison them with the cider. After a minute of berating him Gant lashed out that he hasn’t even seen this note that bore his seal and demanded to exam it. While examining the note and to help prove his innocence he had one of the players hand him a cup from the tray because he was thirsty (let the players pick so that they couldn’t say he choose the one that wasn’t poisoned). With the cup being passed and Gant taking a long drink everyone felt better and all started drinking the cider. Gant did acknowledge that it was his seal at the bottom of the note but claimed it to be a forgery and there would be no way that he would seek to harm or remove Duvessa and they have been trying to get to the bottom of who has been doing this mudslinging for some time now. With some crafty use of words, minor bits of booze in the system and back story the party left feeling that none of the three in the room were responsible for the note. Not wanting to get further involved with politics the group rested for the night and the next morning grabbed their gear and got ready to guard Helda on her way to the Dwarven Valley.

 

Having a large group of 10 (9 players and Helda) I didn’t roll for random encounters, I explained it as the group was large enough that anything they did see kept their distance and they weren’t able to make out if it was friend or foe from the distance at which they were at. That and I was hoping to make it into the Dwarven Valley before the end of the session.

 

As the small caravan approached the Dwarven Valley they approached a newly constructed check-point shelter (described as being blocking off passage of a small canyon and granting some shelter from the winds) set up by the dwarves. The caravan did not receive a warm welcome and was originally denied passage past the check-point. The party took it upon themselves to announce that they had Helda Silverstream with them and that made most of the dwarves pause and retreat into their shelter for a brief discussion. While the dwarves were discussing “letting the party through” the party started talking with the 2 dwarves that remained outside to watch over the group.

 

The conversation quickly turned to a discussion of Black Ice, only to prompt the dwarves on watch to proudly display their new Black Ice weapons. Jason, the Cleric of War got a chill from the weapons and felt he should consult his Mirror of Fantastic Outcomes1 to determine if the items were of evil origin or not. This being the first time he used the item thought I was going to tell him the answer, which is not the case. Since he wanted to see the items of being evil that is what he saw.

 

After the Black Ice discussion came to the end the dwarves agreed to let the caravan pass but must do so 2 at a time and spaced apart so that they can assure that no funny business will be going on and Helda must go first. At this point the party lined up in 2s and I placed them at points along the map. Jason & Helda were the furthest away; Krug & the Barbarian were next, just at the exit of the check point, the Paladin and the Evocationist next in line to pass the check point and the fighter, cleric of light, rogue and druid stayed back with the cart. Once the dwarves felt the group was spread out enough they tried to restrain the party and take them prisoner only to have it turn into a fight. The dwarves felt they should focus on Helda if they could reach her. As they were attacking I made several remarks about how they should have just stayed away and that they were to be taken prisoner (trying to convey multiple times that they were not trying to kill and it is possible that other solutions could be reached). The party did not want to be taken prisoner and put up a fight, eventually leading to a death of one of the dwarves (critted for max damage of 27 when he only had 3 HP left), which made the dwarves go into a frenzy, now fighting to avenge their fallen comrade.

 

Rico, the druid, attempted a maneuver that I thought was smart by casting Fog Cloud so the party can regroup and possibly run away. Sadly, most of the party didn’t like this (they were out to kill the dwarves not run away) and he dropped the Fog Cloud after he got into a safe position to rain arrows on anyone who attempted to harm his party (not seeking out dwarves who were near death or not slugging it out).

 

In the end, the party made it and did decide to do non-lethal damage on one of the dwarves. A search of the dead allowed the group to acquire several Black Ice weapons, including battle axes (1 handed), light hammers and a few daggers. The group eagerly picked them up, even Jason who saw the items as being evil. At this point, we were out of time and will have to continue from there.

 

Thoughts: I was surprised to see that the party opted to stay out of the political game in Bryn Shander; I figured they would have tried to convince Helda to stay in town for one more day. I guess they got enough of that in MiBG. Combat was a challenge for the group this time around, isolating the party into separate groups made for some interesting combat scenarios. I still have to think of how to approach the next session considering that the group just killed several dwarves and now must have a Black Ice item in one form or another. For a party of mostly good characters they are not acting that way.

 

1. Mirror Of Fantastic Outcomes: A small metal pocket mirror that will always show the user what they want. The longer the user possesses the mirror the more the user believes what they see in the mirror (and for Tordek it has been so long he cannot remember how he acquired it but he swears it was bestowed to him by Moradin). On top of the benefit of having the mirror display what the viewer wishes to see, once per day anyone who is looking into the mirror can psych themselves up to grant advantage on 1 non-combat related check.

 

 

Vobeskhan wrote:

Our session report is here.

 

For anyone wondering how we dealt with the drinking competition we had Vipin and the dwarf make Constition (Poison) saves, starting with a DC of 15 and increasing by 1 each round. Failing 3 rounds would result in passing out drunk.

 

 

Cool. I actually spent half the weekend working out a complicated Intoxication system using a Tolerance stat based on race, con and a few other factors and a chart with different effects based on level of intoxication. Then I found the Next rule on intoxication and thought 'What the hell am I doing?". I had been explaining the system to a friend/player in my group and he said "Screw all that, just do Con checks!".

Week 3

 With one player out of town through holidays, one player out for good, one player out sick, and one player just MIA we were actually down to a normal sized group this week.

   Kor - Human Paladin

   Ko'Dal - Elf Bard

   Kayla - Elf Mage

   Klepto - Drow Rogue  (I spoke to the player about changing race and decided to just let it slide)

   ??? - Rock Gnome Mage (sorry I don't have my notes handy and I just can't remember this character's name, I simply refer to him as mage or gnome in game)

 

 This week was the highlight of my inexperience and unpreparedness as a DM.  The main goal for this week was to do the warehouse encounter with Marek and then try to feed the group some info and maybe get then solidly onto one path, perhaps even get a day or two passed. Due to various reasons,mostly me, we didn't even sit down til after 7:30 and it was 8:30 before the battle encounter began.

 I used dungeon tiles and minis this week for the warehouse setup. The party spent some time plotting out traps and strategic positioning inside the warehouse. Despite having planned to do this encounter for two weeks I hadn't realy thought out the details, like how the thieves would enter or what they would do once inside. Also I got hung up on the silvered weapons thing and making sure everyone was equipped with something they could use, one player seemed quite upset there was no silvered scimitar in the crate and he had to accept an ordinary sword, that I didn't even realise there were no wererats in this encounter.

 After pretty much everyone missing on one or two rounds and getting worried the fight would take forever, the group made fairly easy work of the villians. Including Marek who never even got a chance to use his escape plan. Once again I messed up by not clearly reading the details on the mobs tactics and totally missing that Marek was supposed to be having two attacks per round. But it was quite late by then and after the poor start I was looking at ways to drop baddies quickly.

 That was it, we finished the battle a little after 9:00 and did a quick "you find x gp on each thug blahblah". I was able to get a little more of the plot info out to them including the Elk tribe's request for help and Duvessa Shane's upcoming speach. But that's all.

 

 I'm really having a problem managing time and getting things going. After three play sessions my group has barely completed two days on the campaign event calender. I spoke with the group briefly about the upcoming holidays and most basically just said either they'd be out of town so it didn't matter or they were fine with just skipping a sesion or two. I'm going to bring up maybe trying to do two sessions a week after the holidays but I'm pretty sure most of the group won't be down with that.  I really don't see how I can get the adventure completed at this point.

      For unknown reasons, my group was weeks late in getting started, and could not make up any time over the holidays.  We may be a month back now. 

      Having been proclaimed heros for our efforts in the yeti attack, the party started helping with the clean-up effort [which consisted in skinning dead yeti for pelts and coats in two cases].  I was helping the dwarf mercant and was quite happy with her offer of escort duty, and rushed off to tell the others.  However, our druid had heard about the barbarian "criminal", talked to him and insisted he had to be innocent.  So we agreed to investigate.

      The sheriff admitted the evidence of guilt was rather slim, but the court had ruled and we would have to bring some solid evidence to the Speaker to make a change.  So off we went to interview the accused, and the accuser.  The merchant told a good story, but our ranger detected flaws [only one to roll good insight] and convinced the rest of us there was grounds to look closer.  Since she was a citizen of the town, presumably in good standing, we rejected the idea of intimidation for fear of ending in the stocks right next to the barbarian.  Having no other ideas, we waited until she closed up and left, and then broke in.  [At first we left half the party as look-outs, but their stealth rolls were horrible, making them beacons to attract attention, and so all entered].  The search was quite successful, finding the "stolen property" still in her possession, and a shrine of a presumably evil god [we blew our religion checks].

      Tho worried we would be arrested for breaking and entering, we decided the Speaker would listen to our story, and so told him.  He proved reasonable, and ordered the barbarian released.  However, he also ordered him to leave town, despite the barbarian mission to appeal for aid against the ice witch [which we presumed to be a servant of that evil god].  My drow paranoia suggested he has motives, but I was frankly more interested in the dwarf's pay, and the rest of the gang was eager to go help the barbarians, so we pack up and headed out [& I just gave a speech to the crowd about the icy threat.]

     Our trip to the barbarians was interrupted by an ambush by a bunch of goblins, who gave us fits by being able to hide in the snow.  Our vampire again almost got killed and several others were seriously wounded.  But our wizard and I had some area effects, and the goblins weren't that successful in hiding.  We did have to spend a couple of dailies, but victory was ours.  So next week we actually meet up with the barbarians.