Showing posts with label campaign report. Show all posts
Showing posts with label campaign report. Show all posts

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Session Update - Save Vs. Disease

My players, their children have all failed their saving throws vs. disease. Another session will buy it due to cold and flu season.

So this weekend I want to try something different. I want to do an inked action scene on 14"x17". I normally work on images no larger than 8x11. I started laying it out. Excuse the low quality phone images. This doesn't fit in the scanner.

I have 3 characters converging on a central character.

The lightly drawn figure on the right is an archer readying a shot. She is wearing a pallas, a sort of cloth garment worn over a toga.

The figure on the left has been blindslided with a bolt of energy. She is not quiet on the ground. She will be wearing a gown and doesn't appear to be a typical combatant.

The third foreground character is a man with a sword and buckler or target shield.

The woman in the middle is a magic user with some interesting magical items and powers. First, she has a custom spell called "Disruption". It is very much like a magic missile, except it does 1d4 per shot, shots can hit any living or non-living thing with a to hit roll. It never increases in power, but the number available increases every two levels instead of three. She does not wear any "protective" magic, per se. She wears a wolverine pelt, with an intact skull as a stole. It can be commanded to attack, making defense rather moot. I have only hinted this magic item with a snaking line through the middle of the sketch.

I'm not sure if this is the one I will be working with. I think I can find some images which will help me get the proportions correct. Something is very wrong with the bow right now and I should have drawn a horizon line first.

Not bad for a first shot at something I've never tried before.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Campaign Session 3 - The Party So Far

My embronic idea for the Peninsula of Plenty Map
Alright, I have reached out to all of my players and we decided to skip next week's session, too. Everyone has some sort of ick or children are down due to illness. For the time being, I am taking suggestions from the party by text and email. The whole party is convinced they need to hang out at the villa to get them back up and running again. 

Just to recap, the party arrived at a manor or villa just after a raid. They killed a small patrol of raiders in short order and have two raiders as prisoners. Gurwinder and Rona dislike captives, but have not killed these two fools because of the location. They figure enough law and order exist right now that they can leave them be. 

Our current map of the Peninsula of Plenty.
There have been many changes since first conceived.
I have been instructed that the party is attending to the needs of the villagers until help arrives. We are assuming one day passes for every week of game play at the moment. 

The whole party is good or lawful. Matilda is more neutral good and is a bit punchy. Gurwinder and Rona are grimly practical, despite being good. They hate raiders, with good reason. The entire party is rather cosmopolitan when it comes to race, displaying none of the typical attributes of average citizens of the Empire. In this campaign, the Empire is on the verge of war with the Elves and Dwarves. Halfling Tribes started appearing recently from over the northern mountains, flooding the area of like a barbarian horde. The Empire is actually terrified of the Little People. 

While I am honoring the timeline set out by the players via email and text, I have some rather rude surprises for them. 

Here is a list of the Player Characters: 

Matilda the Knife - Swashbuckler, Human, 1st level
Megen the Ruffian - Swashbuckler, Human, 2nd level
Jaime the Fearsome - Fighter, Human, 2nd Level
Gurwinder A’flumine - Fighter, Human, 2nd Level

In case you are wondering, the swashbuckler character class is one of my own creations. You can grab it at DriveThruRPG. They are Errol Flynn types and are aggressive combatants but bad at killing. 

The party also has a whole band of support characters in tow, whom are the subject of this post. Or is that who is the subject of this post? I don't know. 

Rona the wisewoman - Cleric, Human, 1st Level, NPC
Melvin the Wise - Magic User, Halfling, 1st level, NPCFelix  - Human, 1 level commoner NPC
Felice - Human, 1 level commoner NPC
Jim the Scout - Human, 1 level commoner NPC

I have another book about Uncommon Commoners, which is also available at DriveThruRPG. 

You can download the complete party rooster in PDF form here. This list of characters has not been updated with current equipment. It is only a taste of what is happening. 

I am trying to make the NPCs conform to something realistic. Rona and Melvin have classes, so they will engage in combat despite not being very good. Felix and Felice will NOT engage in combat, except to protect each other. They are horrible at combat. Felix and Felice have wandering into this traveling circus by accident and are hoping to make enough cash to retire and start a family. Jim the Scout is foolhardy and brave. The party has him on horseback, hoping the horse will protect him from his desire to get into a fight. He has 2 hp but is well on his way to becoming a fighter or perhaps a ranger.  

The party has buried two other NPCs and has a strong desire not to do that again, so they are conforming to my idea of keeping the NPCs away from danger. Melvin is an avowed coward, but he has good ideas. He is also a halfling, which is a hated race in the Empire, so the party is keep him close for his own good. Rona is very old and dislikes travel by horseback. She views the PCs and their wagons as a godsend. Felix, Gurwinder and Jim all take turns cooking, since the death of the cook. Jim is best at it, while Gurwinder is a survival nut and wants the party well provisioned and fed at all times. 

It's a cool party dynamic. 

While the players are hanging out at the villa, I know they are thinking about taking on more NPC followers. The villa can't support that due to loses and I have planted the suggestion that they not make any attempts here. What would probably happen is, the whole pack of villagers will follow them to Nace then bail on the party in favor of safety. Nace is loaded with adventurer types and is a far better place to find skilled help.  

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Second Session Update - Who Knew What and When?

This session needs some picking apart because the players did the unexpected.


About a month ago, the Emperor's Council decided they needed to gain intelligence on the southern City of Tabletop. Tabletop should be a backwater town on the sea, but has evolved into a small yet vibrant cosmopolitan city which rivals the Capital itself. While intensely loyal to the Empire, the citizens of Tabletop like doing things their own way.

For example, they have their own unofficial legion, the 888th. It isn't a full sized legion, nor was it commissioned by the Empire. For logistical reasons, it numbers at exactly 888 men and women, human or otherwise. Eight hundred troops are about all the city can muster from it's 4-5000 residents.

Alarmingly, for the Empire at least, the town mustered it's legion and attacked several raiding forces brigands while defending against an Elven, Half-Orc and Dwarven incursion from the west. This unofficial legion, who does not swear fealty to the Emperor destroyed a series of brigand raids while cowing a significant Eastern force. Rag-tag auxiliary force, this is not. How did they muster so many people so fast?

It is disquieting to the Capital and the Emperor. More information is needed.

Two weeks ago, the call for spies went out. The Emperor's Council managed to block out all foreign spies and infiltrators from this very important work. The player's party was interviewed, hired and filled in on details of the operation.

Queue the reconcotion. The players were supposed to board a ship and proceed south. Instead they boarded wagons and set off east, before turning south. The players may go due south or hug the coast. Who knows?

This major hiccup made me rethink the scenario being played out. Time becomes important. The raiders and the Eastern forces of Elves, Dwarves and Half-Orcs are two different groups with no real connection other than stressing the Empire. Right now, the raiders are the more dangerous force, having had their attacks in the south blunted by the 888th Legion. That has pushed the raiders northwards, to the Capital.

The raiders had spies in the Capital and were planning on killing the party at sea. That didn't happen, so that force diverted to pillage small settlements on the coast. On the day before the party left the Capital, the raiders hit a settlement just outside of the Capital's control, north of the major city of Nace. They managed to capture or kill half the thorpe's population of 34.

At this moment, the raiders have a party of six heading south by land to check the status of Nace. Actually what happened was two raiders got drunk and are sitting in the thorpe while the other four rode south.

At the start of this session, the party encountered a pair of wild horses. They avoided the party, but then started following them. Clearly, these are domestic strays, not wild horses. Just outside the the thorpe, the party encountered a 3rd horse, saddled. This one they "captured". They can see the thorpe and are aware of the total lack of activity. Ambush time.

The players brought their wagons to the house outside the northern wall. Jaime, Jim, Megen and Gurwinder circled around to the south on horseback then abandoned the horses at the L shaped building. Rona, Melvin and Matilda, hid behind the north wall.

Comically drunken raiders.
Stephano and Trinculo from
The Tempest are the inspiration.
The raiders aren't too smart. As the party was sweeping the L shaped store house and barn, the two of them wandered out the villa with all kinds of food to greet their friends. The party captured them immediately. The raiders were expecting their patrol back at sunset, which comes and goes uneventfully. Everyone holds up in the barn, the wagons and animals inside waiting for the patrol.

The patrol arrives and death ensues. The patrol went back to the villa, where they left their drunken friends. The party decided to sneak up on them and ambush them with missile fire.

Instead, Matilda waltz up, party dress and all to start a sword fight. Let me mention that Matilda is a swashbuckler and her main skill is non-lethal combat with a pointy weapon. She can perform 3 non-lethal attacks per round, doing 1-2 points of damage each (weapon type doesn't matter). She can only do lethal damage on a 20, which allows her to disarm a person. If the other person doesn't flee or surrender, she can do a run through attack for double damage. She has more opportunities to score a 20 per round but never increases her number of attacks due to leveling. Alternatively, she can make one lethal full strength attack per round, but must roll on the thief or cleric attack table. 

She downs one of the raiders because no one takes her seriously. The other three DO take that seriously and draw swords.

The rest of the party swooped in and the 6 to 3 battle was over quickly. Before anyone can stop them, Rona and Gurwinder killed off the four raiders. The hungover raiders traded information with Rona to avoid joining their friends. They know some villagers escaped and suggest lighting a bonfire. Megen and Matilda correctly surmised that a bonfire is a signal for the ship to come back. They light the bonfire anyway and Megen, Melvin and Matilda take off for the coast 2 miles to the east. I have decided that these two drunks are named Stephano and Trinculo. They are tied up in the storehouse, awaiting justice.

Once the characters reach the coast, Megen dresses up as one of the raiders and they wait for the ship. When it arrived, it signaled with a lantern. Melvin cast his light spell. Matilda marches Megen in front of the light. Silhouetted, she pushes Megen to the ground and goes through the motion of cutting her throat. The lamp on the ship goes out and it put out to sea.

The rest of the session was spent counting up loot, as the villagers filed back into the thorpe.

The characters increase their haul. They have 6 bastard swords, 6 short bows, 6 suits of chain armor, a ton of iron rations and 60 more arrows. They really are playing Oregon Trail, they have an inventory sheet for each wagon. They also managed to do some horse swapping with the villagers and end up with a new pony for Melvin while the villagers accepted 6 daggers and the 9 horses for their losses.

Some details that the party missed. The lord of the villa would be pleased with 9 horses, except he's dead. No one searched the villa. Who killed him? No one knows, yet. Also, 9 horses is great, but there were only 6 raiders. Where did the other three come from? And no one looked at the odd saddle on the third, extra horse.

Next time, I'll upload the raider's characters sheets plus sheets for Felix, Felice and Jim, who are verging on becoming player characters. Normally, I would have players handle NPCs in combat, but they specifically excluded them, on account of the loss of the chef and laborer in the last session. I want to say my players are good, but they are more pragmatic than nice.

Friday, August 30, 2019

#RPGaDay2019 - Familiar/Obscure - Tonight's Recap

I have the good ol' pregame jitters tonight as I get ready for another D&D session. Feels familiar.

Let's recap what is happening. In the last recap, the players nearly wiped but recovered nicely. On the map below, they are at the blue crossed swords. They intend to run down the coastline to that small settlement. 

The party moves at 2 hexes a day, perhaps a bit faster on a road. You can review the party's state here.

Now for the obscure part of the post.

Last time I posted 5 numbers: 28, 53, 58, 52, and 10. They are from a particular random encounter table and 28 is Wild Horses. The first thing the party will encounter is two horses running by, followed by a third with a saddle and bridle.

This is where tonight's story starts. Check back tomorrow to see how it goes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Letting the Dice Tell the Story

Welcome to the land of Misfit Toys!
I wasn't expecting my party to go all Oregon Trail on me. I had a brigand warship waiting for them, but now that won't happen on the plains.

So what's next? Time to roll some dice. 28, 53, 58, 52, and 10. I should play those numbers. If I win the lottery, the mystery will never be solved, because we'll be in Disney before the next session.

(I wonder, does anyone play D&D in Disney World?)

Anyway, I am sort of dying for Friday night, because these five rolls told me what will happen next. I think the players will be pleasantly surprised. I was.

The First Game Session for Peninsula of Plenty - Beyond the Pale

Fits and starts. I planned this campaign in the spirit of X1 Isle of Dread. The players were gathered together, given the premise, then selected from a series of pre-generated characters (which are all available in the tab above). The goal was to travel from the Capital on the west coast, to a town on the south coast. The Emperor's Council needs intelligence, and sending a party down there was the best option. Simple.
Here is the party at the start:

Melvin the Wise - Magic User, Halfling, 1st level
Matilda the Knife - Swashbuckler, Human, 1st level
Megen the Ruffian - Swashbuckler, Human, 2nd level
Jaime the Fearsome - Fighter, Human, 2nd Level

Not a cleric to be seen. The party wasn't done provisioning themselves, they hired a cook, a hunter as a scout, and a laborer. Then we got to the part where they were to hire a ship. Or so I thought.

It turns out, that in reflecting on the Council's directions to head south, no one mentioned a ship. Not me, not the characters. So the characters used all of their Council provided funds to buy two wagons, hired some NPCs and a bunch of horses. We've gone from Isle of Dread, to Oregon Trail.

Well, I am nothing but adaptable.

The characters decided to proceed south as quick as they could. I mentioned that an inn at the edge of town would be a great place to rest up, have a few drinks and maybe try to pick up a few more party members or NPCs.


Out the gate they went. 5 miles outside the palisades, they made camp. This is exactly what "beyond the pale" means.

The players are sort of wily. It turns out that the wagons have small stoves, tons of rope and wood,  bedrolls and a supply of fuel. They parked the wagons 30 feet from each other, drove in some posts and corralled the horses between them. Water bags and feed bags were hung off the side of wagons for the horses. And decided to sleep in the wagons. Efficient as heck.

Since they lost the opportunity to hire more people, I decided that two of the other candidates were making the same journey and would catch up shortly. In the morning, the party spotted them on the road, and decided to wait.

That when the evil random encounter started. Uninhabited/Wilderness Table, die roll of 02, brown bears. Two brown bears.

Game on.

Jaime and the scout were making their way back towards town to round up the stragglers, on horseback. Melvin, the cook and the laborer were in one wagon, while Matilda and Megen were harnessing the other horses to the wagons.

The bears bushedwacked the first two horses as Matilda leapt into Melvin's wagon and Megen hopped into the other wagon. Matilda stabbed one in the head. As the first bear mauled both horses to death, the second tried to get Matilda. She stabbed him again, while Melvin missed. The wizard got a good bite for his effort and collapsed, seeming dead. The cook went down, next.

Matilda and the laborer went for the other wagon as the bears milled around. For several rounds, the bears milled about deciding to eat the dead horses rather than chase the characters to the other wagon.
Jaime came thundering on his horse and began to accost the bears. Megen jumped on the other horse and joined him. Two rounds later, Jaime's horse was dead and he had taken a good hit. Jaime and Megen took refuge under Matilda's wagon. It was beginning to look like a total party kill was in the works.

Thankfully, Jaime's foresight saved the day. He sent the scout ahead to get the two trailing NPC's: Rona and Gurwinder. He dropped Gurwinder off some distance away and went back for Rona without provoking the bears.

Before Jim the Scout could get back with the cleric, Gurwinder and the rest of the party trapped the bears between long range missile fire and rear attacks. Since the party had the cover of the wagon, Gurwinder could shoot the bears in the back with little chance of hitting friendlies. The repeating flanking attacks melted the bears AC away and they were done in just three rounds. 

Click to enlarge. Blue crossed
swords indicate party position.  
At the end of the day, the party lost 1 laborer, 3 horses, Chef and Melvin. Melvin didn't die, he just wants to go home. His player now wants to play Gurwinder, instead.

Ok, fine by me.

Under Gurwinder's direction, the party took one wagon back to town, sold the bear and horse meat along with their pelts. They paid burial expenses for the cook and laborer. With the additional funds from the kills, they obtained two drovers to drive the wagons and care for the horses. They are a husband and wife team, Felix and Felice. They also bought 2 horses, one for Jaime and one Megen, and four oxen to pull the wagons. Matilda, Rona and Gurwinder don't ride (by choice), so Jim the Scout has the last horse.

The party has now agreed to head to the next town with the intention of picking up a healer or another cleric and missile weaponry for everyone. They also desire either a pair of ponies or smaller horses for the shorter characters (Gurwinder and Melvin), plus more oxen. The next settlement is 18-20 miles away, the next small town is a little more than 30 miles away.

Here is the party as of now:

Melvin the Wise - Magic User, Halfling, 1st level, NPC
Matilda the Knife - Swashbuckler, Human, 1st level
Megen the Ruffian - Swashbuckler, Human, 2nd level
Jaime the Fearsome - Fighter, Human, 2nd Level
Rona the wisewoman - Cleric, Human, 1st Level, NPC
Gurwinder A’flumine - Fighter, Human, 2nd Level
Jim the Scout - Human, 0 level NPC
Felix and Felice - Humans, 0 level NPC

Marching order is:

Jaime and Jim on horses, leading.
Wagon 1 with Felice driving and Melvin and Gurwinder riding.
Wagon 2 with Felix, Matilda and Rona.
Megen trailing Wagon 2.

More next week.