Sounds like your players had a lot of fun with the dragon encounter, the first giant solo encounter of a campaign always has a lot of potential to propel the game forward and it certainly seems to have in this case. Your character sounds pretty interesting, a nice injection of history from a prior unknown area. Will you be continuing updates or will your transition to a PC kill that? Either way, thanks for keeping us updated, always interesting to see what happens in other people’s games.
Thanks, Andal. I think Frrauc's a really interesting character, and I'm beyond excited to start playing her. I've developed her backstory and personality a bit since that last post, and I've changed around the area she comes from as well (although the basic premise is the same). I'll probably end up posting her complete character, history and all, in the next few weeks.
As for posting in this thread, well, that's really up to everyone else. This thread's been pretty dead lately. I enjoy writing out my campaign journals, and sharing my ideas, but sometimes it takes me like an hour to write one up, you know? I like to hear what people think, what suggestions they have, answer questions, etc. When a week or two goes by and I see I'm still the last poster, I lose a little steam. I certainly can continue posting campaign journals after the transition (though they'll obviously be from a player's perspectve, rather than a DM's), but I'd have to know that people were interested.
Having said that, I do really enjoy writing everything up. Could be I'll end up writing it all out even if nobody ever posts but me, lol.
I have two more games to run until we officially transition DMs: Game 9 is this evening, and will see the players rest up after the Vhauglohrl attack, press their way through central Strasa (still inhabited by the Ferryman's undead guardians), and meet up with Captain Sterheart at the foot of Council Hill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but there's a few skill challenges, some RP, and plenty of fighting to be had. My last game will be in about 2 weeks from now, and it'll see the group pushing up Council Hill, facing Zessith and his personal guard, and breaking the siege of Strasa.
Akkarin's spoken to me about his plans for the story after that, and they're really good. I'll keep them under my hat for right now, though.
Last night's Game 9 was a lot of fun. I was kind of worried that it'd feel like a bit of a lull, since we fought Vhauglohrl in Game 8, and they'll be up against Zessith in Game 10, but I think everyone had a blast. My wife couldn't make it because she was feeling pretty under the weather due to the pregnancy, so Virgil played Victoria as well as his own character. I'm really coming into my own in terms of running combats and designing monsters, I think, so I'll want to sit down with Akkarin before he takes over as DM and tell him a bit about what I've learned. A lot of stuff is trial and error, so if I can tell him where I feel like I've failed from a design perspective, I think we'll all benefit in the long run.
I won't do a full write-up this morning, but one will be up soon, for sure.
Well personally im definately interested in seeing more, a player perspective would be cool as well. Very curious to see what direction the game takes. Even if only I and Ibaum post im fairly sure there are many more people viewing who just dont feel like they have a constructive comment to make but enjoy reading about it.
Hey guys, I didn't mean to leave you hanging for a game update, but the forum ate my post last week, and I haven't had the time, energy, or inclination to sit down and write up another until now. Let me just say, first of all, that Game 9 was a lot of fun. I didn't expect it to be, because it's sandwhiched between two big games (Game 8 was the showdown with Vhauglohrl, and Game 10 deals with breaking Zessith's siege), but I was really pleasantly surprised at how well it went.
I think I mentioned before that my wife, Victoria's player, couldn't make it. She's pregnant with our second child, and occasionally feels pretty ill. She's fine, but you know, pregnancy. I decided it would be best to play without her, because the game's nearing its end, and I don't want to leave the party hanging (plus, Virgil has to come from out of town to play, and it's not fair to cancel on him at the last minute). In the end, Virgil volunteered to play his character and Victoria, and it went really well. Turns out, when the party tank also controls its healer, it's a pretty good setup (for the tank, lol).
Game 9 marked a turning point for me as a DM, as well. See, I create a lot of my monsters from the ground up. Some of my monsters are re-skins, and some are just mathematically adjusted, but almost none are the way they're presented in the books. I try my very best to make sure my math's correct, and that I'm not making things overpowered. And actually, I feel like a lot of my monsters are actually underpowered, because I overcompensate for anything I feel may be too strong. At any rate, I decided to take off the kiddie wheels on Game 9: where I'd normally use the Low damage expressions for a monster, I used the Medium expressions instead, and sometimes I used the High stuff. Basically, I made combat a lot more challening, and they noticed it. In a good way, I think.
Game 9's outline is pretty simple: the party returns to the Temple of the Everlasting Storm, where they are greeted as heroes by the refugees for defeating Vhauglohrl. The fight is not over yet, though, of course. On Council Hill, Zessith and his men are preparing to lay siege to the Council Tower, and even though that place is built like a fortress, it's only a matter of time before he cracks its shell. The party rests up, and heads out to stop him first thing in the morning.
Since its on their way to the Hill, they decide to check in on the Brazen Foal. The find it locked down pretty tight. Being a tavern full of ex-adventurers, it's a fairly safe place to be in a time like this, and there are a large number of refugees holed up there looking for protection. Granger, the tavern owner (remember that guy?) tells the party to watch their backs, because he feels like this whole invasion happened just a little too smoothly -- he believes that Zessith had help from someone on the inside.
Keeping that in mind, the 'Watch said goodbye to the Foal and headed up toward the Hill. They had several encounters with undead guardians from the Ferryman's Institute, both of which were pretty hectic. The first was with a group of re-skinned Blazing Skeletons (they did cold damage instead of fire). The skeletons appeared on both sides of the battlefield, so Virgil had to choose which side to lock down. Phaedra went first, though, and rushed off toward the nearest two, dealing Sneak Attack damage and hurting one of them pretty badly. These guys have damage auras though, which come into effect when someone starts their turn inside melee distance, so on their turns, they dished out as much ongoing cold damage as they could, and pressed in close to maximize aura damage. This means that Phaedra took a hit on their turn, and once her turn came up, she took 5 ongoing cold damage, and 10 aura damage (inside 2 auras). She was down to less than bloodied in the blink of an eye.
It didn't take long to mop up those skeletons, but they managed to really bring the hurt while they were around.
The second encounter was with some ghouls that climbed their way up out of the canals. Those guys move really fast, immobilize on a hit, and have the ability to stun immobilized targets. Frankly, I didn't get off many stuns (which is probably a good thing for the players' enjoyment), but the encounter was still really rough.
The final encounter happened once they reached Council Hill. They ran into a patrol group of Lizardmen, consisting of a Poisonscale Magus, two Poisonscale Collectors, and a Blackscale Bruiser (given threatening reach, and I changed his tail swipe from a standard to a minor, because I felt like he was really unimpressive). This fight was awesome. Phaedra ran up ahead and used her daily item power to toss a dagger at the bruiser, weakening him and delivering ongoing damage. That turned out to be a good move, because he was still weakened when he landed a critical hit on Virgil, and could only manage half damage from it. The Poisonscale Magus has a minor action attack that targets players taking ongoing poison damage; it slides them 3 squares and slows them. I used the hell out of that ability, to keep Phaedra and Virgil away from the thick of combat, allowing my monsters to move a bit more freely around the map to target Akarrin and Victoria.
Phaedra ended up dropping, but it was on the very last round of combat, so it didn't amount to much.
Anyway, Game 10 is scheduled for this Saturday night, and it's to be the last session I DM for a while. I've changed my character around a bit, and I'll post it up here when I get a chance for everyone to check out. I'm pretty excited about it.
I just want to throw this out there that I think you have a lot more readers than you think. Your summeries are amazing and I think I'm safe to say that everyone greatly anticipates your next post. I really hope you continue to post them after you become a player.
Hey guys! Well, our 10th Session has come to an end. It was a fun night, not only because it was my last session as a DM for a while, but because we actually got to play 10 games in a row. That hasn't happened since high school, lol. Actually, our group today is very much our group from back in the day; the only difference is that now we're all married to each other. Other than that, it's pretty much all the same. We split for a few years after school; I traveled the world and lived in Australia for a few years, while everyone else went to college here in the States. None of the games we tried to play in those years stuck: players flaked out, stories fizzled, etc. So getting 10 games in a row is noteworthy for us. My wife and I made a cake and ordered some pizzas to celebrate. Virgil brought us in some hot wings from this bar up by his place. So there was a lot going on. Even though the session was short, it drug out for longer than our regular games, to be honest.
There isn't a whole lot to say about that final session, because it was mostly just combat. The group met up with Captain Sternheart and the remainder of his holdout forces at the base of Council Hill. Together they made a strong push, through the thick of lizardman resistance, toward the tower where the Council of Strasa was being laid to siege by Zessith. After skirmishing with lizardmen through the streets (and losing some of Sternheart's holdouts who fell in battle), the 'Watch finally confronted the rebel warlord, Zessith, who seemed entirely too calm. He explained that his men could have cracked the tower's shell at any point in time, but they had been waiting for the 'Watch to arrive ... and fall into the trap they'd set.
Barrels exploded all around the battlefield, and poisonous gas filled the air. At the same time, the black altar to Zehir that Zessith had constructed began to pulse with otherworldly power. In game terms, the battlefield took on an effect for 2d4 rounds (ended up being 5); each player who begins its turn takes 5 poison damage. In and of itself, that's not a big deal, especially since Virgil and Victoria have equipment that grants resistance to poison, and Victoria still had her Moment of Glory daily that could grant everyone 5 damage resistance.
The group rushed in early, however, and got spread out, so she wasn't able to hit everyone with the daily.
Also, several magic circles appeared around the battlefield which amplified the powers of Zehir's faithful. Any lizardman standing in the circle gained a +5 bonus to damage rolls with attacks that have the poison keyword, and a +2 bonus to all attack rolls. Furthermore, any enemy of Zehir (the 'Watch) standing within the circles gains Vulnerability 5 to poison for as long as they're within the zone.
So standing in the circle is a really, really bad idea; the poisonous fumes in the air that normally do 5 damage per round now do 10, and the ongoing damage being passed around by the Magi also gets bumped up to 10. Some of it could be bypassed, but it was still really deadly.
In the end, however, Zessith and his forces were put to the sword.
I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but that took forever. It was well past 1am when we stopped, so I wrapped things up as soon as they knicked his head off. There's going to be a "time skip" in between my last game and Akarrin's first; something like 2-3 months of time will have passed in game, so I gave the players a brief rundown of the stuff that's happening in Strasa during that time. We also talked a little about what each of the characters might be doing.
The biggest change was that about half the Council had been killed in the attack, leaving a gap in the city's power structure. New Council members were quickly selected, however, from Strasa's thriving merchant class. These merchant-lords come to be little-loved by the people, however, and many begin to loudly complain of the way that Strasa is now being run. It is also whispered that the Thieves Guild was involved somehow in Zessith's surprise invasion ... the most common rumor is that these new merchant-lords are either members of the Guild themselves, or in their pocket, and that the plan all along was to have Zessith remove the current Council so that the Guild could replace the losses with their own people.
And the city itself lies in partial ruin. The poorer sections of the city, on the lower side of Cecil's Wall were devastated by Vhauglohrl and her Crow Eaters. The rest of the city held up well enough, but the bodies piled high in the streets took weeks to clear. Strasa is not without allies, however; folks from all over the area have come to help rebuild the city. Some work out of the goodness of their hearts, while many others demand coin and favors. The merchant-lords of the Council are quick to grant favors, but slow to grant coin, however. Even many of these workers have begun to grumble about the new Council, in fact, as the prospect of getting paid for their hard work and generosity seems to shrink in the distance.
I'll add more in a bit, especially in regards to my character who will be joining next time we play. But right now, I've got some work to do around the house.
In the north, beyond the furthest reaches of human civilization, lies Mjörgard; howling and frozen. It is a desolate and inhospitable land, called "home" by only one people - the Naurung. They had once been Men, the stories say, who laid with the giants in the Time-Beyond-Remembering. They are a hale and hearty people, half-again as large as men, and well-suited to the natural conditions of the north. Scholars speculate that the mingling of Giant and Mannish blood complicated their biology to a certain degree, as one in every ten Naurings are born sterile. Beyond even that, the Naurung are plagued by almost unsustainably low birth rates, and the torturous conditions of the north claim the weakest and youngest among them each year. Because of these issues, every birth is celebrated amongst the clans. Few civilizations can boast of communities with bonds as strong as the Naurung.
They are a fierce and independent people, however.
Mjörgard is a hard and frigid land, incapable of sustaining crop growth, so the Naurung are raiders by necessity. In the lands of the Reach, their clan banners are well-known and well-feared. Naurings rarely take more than their communities require, however, and almost never cut down those who stand aside from the conflict. In truth, most of the villages gave up resisting the attacks generations ago, and now simply pay tribute to the Naurung on every moon-turn.
The Naurung pay tributes of their own, however. In the highest Mjörgardian peaks, amongst the tall stone spires of Rassal, the abandoned City of Bells, lives an old white wyrm called Boreandr, who commands both respect and admiration ... and demands sacrifices of wealth and blood. The Naurung are not an especially intelligent people (though many are cunning); most cannot read or write, so the vast majority of their traditions and history are passed down through the generations by song and story. Boreandr, like most great wyrms, measures his vast lifetime in centuries, and has warped the stories of the Naurung over the course of many long generations -- many now believe that he is the avatar of Talos, the god of storms, destruction and savagery, and so happily pay tribute in return for his favor. In return, Boreandr (and his consort, the wicked she-dragon called Shiver) watch over the Naurung, and bring their terrifying wrath upon any who would dare strike back at them.
The Naurung are a nomadic people, with only one permanent settlement: Hollowhome. In the Time-Beyond-Remebering, scholars say that Hollowhome was a dwarven fortress-city, but the dwarves have long since fled; driven aback by the giants, most-like, through the deep roads their anscestors carved from stone and fire. Now it is home to the Naurung. The cavernous entrances to the city sprout up all around the base of Rassal, the fabled City of Bells that rises from the tallest and oldest peaks, and serves as Boreandr's roost and throne. The Naurung are forbidden to ascend the mountain, or step foot in Rassal, but when the wind howls (and it often howls), they can hear the massive, ancient bells ringing down in Hollowhome.
Prince Mögr is a Nauring warrior, descended in an unbroken line from Ymirius, the first Thane of Hollowhome. His devotion to his people and his Gods is unquestioned, and his battle spirit is unquenchable. When tales from the south reached Mjörgard -tales of the invasion of Strasa- Mögr and his people were infuriated; amongst the Naurung, Kord is considered to be a southron depiction of Talos (opposite side of the same coin), first amongst the Nauring Gods, and Strasa is a holy city. To prove his devotion and his skill, Prince Mögr sent off on a sacred pilgrimage toward the Raining City, leaving his people and his family behind, in hopes of securing Talos' favor by helping its people rebuild.