Showing posts sorted by relevance for query B2 Session. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query B2 Session. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, September 11, 2020

Summing It Up - B2 Session 4

The characters came out of session four in good order, but I am regretting a few things. So far the characters have a grand total of 2659 experience between combat, good tactics and treasure. 

In my campaigns, I generally only have silver and gold pieces. B2 assumes that all five coin types will be used which makes experience tabulation a nightmare. Annoying. 

Second, I gave the characters several hundred points of experience for good ideas and role play. The standout events were Solvo playing dead in the ogre's lair, the removal of the ogre's body to a fake campsite, the cleric praying for the ogre and the whole party using the secret door to ambush the orcs. 

In most of these cases, a single player or character came up with the idea and should have reaped the reward. The way I handle this under play conditions is to put a number on an index card and hand it to player. These points can be added to their experience immediately, unmodified by attribute bonuses OR if they wait to the end of the session, they can add in their experience modifier. This didn't happen because we've been playing outside with just the DM's Guide and Player's Handbook as a reference. 

This game isn't following my normal play style. The players are not really thinking about "leveling" or "experience" or gain more power. They are actively attempting to outsmart me by mere survival. I don't play to kill the characters, so I need to push the players into better stats because they don't care. Maybe they will after more success. 

I need to complete this campaign by October, as my son is going into the Air Force and won't be available to play. And I don't really want to play this one without him. 

Anyway, why don't you pick up either B2 Keep on the Borderlands or my character sheets on DriveThruRPG. 


Character Sheet for AD&D
Character Sheet
Character Sheet for AD&D

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

B2 Session - Standout Play during Keep on the Borderlands

I ran the kids through one session of Keep on the Borderlands. For fun, I let them use AD&D characters. They have a Cleric, a Thief (halfing), a Paladin, a Ranger, a Fighter-Magic User-Cleric (half elven) and a Magic User (elven). Each character is 2nd level, except the F-MU-C who is 1st level. 

They were less than impressed with the Keep itself and as soon as they got directions to the Caves of Chaos they set off. They also learned some gossip about the area, but disregarded much of it. They picked out a campsite to the east of the Caves and explored for the first day. They spent a lot of time checking the area to the west of the Cave complex, but finally mapped out the four cave entrances on the lowest level. Areas D, E, G and A, in that order. Since they didn't try to enter any of these areas, nothing happened. The thief tried to listen at each cave mouth, but heard nothing. Of course, everyone else tried to listen but didn't get that close. 

Out of an abundance of laziness, once they completed the circuit of the area, they went back to Cave Entrance A. All six of them entered the cave behind the thief who was prodding around for traps. He spotted the pit just as the 8 kobolds outside spot the characters.   

Everyone but the thief made a mad dash for the eastern mouth of the ravine, but pulled up short under the large tree. The kobolds don't have missile weapons, so they pursued on foot. At the tree, the MU wanted to get a spell ready while everyone except the Cleric got out missile weapons. In the meantime, the thief sprinted for the entrance to cave E. 

One volley of arrows sent the kobolds back to their cave. The party wanted to regroup and rethink their plan but this was disrupted by a horrible scream and thud from Cave E. The ogre clobbered the thief, who had one hit point left and played dead. The ogre saw the rest of the party and charged. Several flights of arrows and a magic missile routed him back to his cave.

The characters loosed 4 flights of arrows in two rounds as per AD&D rules, most missed but doubling up missile attacks makes AD&D missiles more deadly than D&D.  Out of a hail of 12 arrows, only 5 hit along with the magic missile but they knocked the ogre's hp to just 4. Strangely, the cleric didn't pull out a missile weapon for second time and stood off to one side with her mace.

In those 2 round of activity, the thief picked himself up and hid just inside the entrance to the cave. Shockingly, he backstabbed the ogre for a one shot kill. 

Impressive. 

Now here is where things went sideways. They moved into Cave E to camp for the night. The cleric threw out the idea of waiting until dark to move the ogre's body to their campsite to the east. They lit a nice fire for him and lay him out like a sleeping adventurer. The cleric prayed for the ogre out of respect for a fallen foe. 

Back at the cave, the characters mounted 3 watches. They are not simply guarding, they were watching for someone or something to investigate the body and the fire. 

That's a really nice plan and we ended on this high note. The next session will be a rare series of nighttime encounters. 

Experience awards were meager because the players don't know they are sitting on a pile treasure. They think the bag is a lumpy bed. They knocked 2 kobolds down to 0 hit, but their friends dragged them inside. I'm gonna count those as kills along with ogre. 

I have to give credit where credit is due. The cleric's idea to dispose of the body plus use it as a lure for other monsters was great. That is worth at least 200 experience. The thief's idea to to play dead to set up a backstab was turning lemons into lemonade. 

On paper that is 533 experience points. I'll add another 77 to make it an even 600 divided by 6. 

Since they made Cave E their base camp they will be pleasantly surprised when they investigate further. I will award another round of experience the moment they discover the treasure. 

If you don't already have this module, check it out on DriveThruRPG. 


B2 The Keep on the Borderlands
B2 The Keep on the Borderlands

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Seige - B2 Session

This map is very useful for something I put together in 2 minutes.  


Our heroes are completely under siege. The combined orc tribes have been hitting them non-stop since they took the B caves from them. 

Let's look at it from the orcish side. They have 27 male orcish warriors plus the two leaders. Some of the women have taken up arms to defend their home. I figured about half of them are available, which gives the orcs a total of 40 warriors and two leaders. 

Unfortunately, weight of numbers is not helping them "win", it's helping them not lose. 

Initially, they caught the party in a pincer move by attacking both entrances. The secret door is no longer a secret. The two times this was attempted, the party was caught in room 16 and were able to foil attack with tricks and traps near the secret door. 

From that point forward, the party left a deadfall trap in room 13, which made the orcs abandon it. The party used this area to launch a surprise attack on room 12. The orcs managed to dislodge them by attacking the mouth of the C cave. As a result, room 13 is now a no man's land,  heavily trapped with oil, pits and spikes. 

The orcs have also tried to lure the dogs out to kill them but failed. 

There have been a total of 10 attacks on the cave's mouth all of which have failed. The orcs have lost 12 warriors in all of the combined attacks. They keep losing with bad morale rolls more than actual deaths. The party is shooting them in the back, from hidden positions. They are saving those +1 arrows for the orcish leaders. Thankfully they are out of magic arrows. 

The goblins and kobolds are proven themselves to be useless to either side. The goblins utterly fail to be be helpful to the party, only attacking when the orcs rout. The kobolds are equally opportunistic, attacking the goblins once they walk by. 

The party owns the battlefield and can escape almost at anytime. They did make one miscalculation. The cleric whipped out a sling and now the orcs are busying themselves copying it. Missile fire has been the deciding factor in combat. The orc leaders have been bearing the brunt of the these attacks. 

As expected, the party has leveled up to third level, with the exception of Aleric who is stuck at first level due to his 3 classes. They have also discovered the importance of healing characters. 

This is an unusually campaign as the heroes are bent on using tactics over killing. This one session covered about 13 days. They are frustrating their opponents. However, they are slowly becoming aware of the fact that they may end up fighting 3 successive battles with the orcs, the goblins and maybe even the kobolds, all in one day. They know they can't win that war, so they are thinking of fleeing the Caves of Chaos entirely.

We will see next week. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Chaotic Cave Combats - B2 Session 5

The party almost bit off more than they could chew, but got really lucky. 

I should talk about the horse swapping and gossip first. 

The goblins have been raiding the kobolds, trying to bottle them up in their cave. During one raid, Solvo the thief and Lauren the ranger tailed the goblins and got a good look at the entrance to the kobold's lair. There were some injured kobolds and goblins, but no deaths. 

As Solvo and Lauren made their way back they were followed by a half dozen goblins and all of the kobold warriors. The rest of the party fired a couple of arrows at the kobolds which routed them. No deaths, but it caused a meeting between the goblin warband leader, Brekan and the party. The goblins find their new neighbors to be useful for the moment. That and the leader, Brekan was impressed by the gift of a puppy the party bestowed on him. 

Next, I have named the leaders of the orc tribes. The orcs in B are lead by Ostro and the orcs in cave C are lead by Vis. Ostro's orcs were soundly beaten by the party when they raided the goblin caves. Vis and Ostro met. Ostro wanted to see if the two tribes could reach an agreement to combine forces against the party and the goblins. Vis suggested that all of the women folk come to his cave and Ostro should drop dead. Ostro attempted to press the negotiation, with a punch but Vis was unimpressed and became more hostile.  

The party delivered some instant Karma on Vis. The party is confused about where the orcs are coming from and believe that all of them are in cave C, Vis's tribal home. They are completely wrong, they fought off Ostro's orcs in the goblin caves. They don't realize there is another cave B of to the east. (Vis is the western leader and Ostro is the eastern leader, just like the Goths.) 

Anyway, the heroes gathered up their wargear and mounted an offensive on Vis's cave. They even brought the dogs. However, nothing went smoothly. 

Solvo had the net trap fall on him, but the dogs surged over the top of it. The party was surprised by crossbow fire because I decided there was an orc with a crossbow in each main room due to the heightened alert status of the tribe. The dogs and a few arrows made short work of the orcish crossbow men. What the party didn't know was the dogs only attacked active combatants, and many of the orcs hid or froze at the sight of the dogs. When the party passed, they ran from entrance C to entrance B. 

Vis and Ostro heard the commotion and jointly pushed the party back. The party got pinned between the guard in area 16 and the orcish leaders coming through the secret door. As the party took down the guard behind them, the orcish leaders sensed that the battle was going poorly and retreated. Aleric, Solvo and Helvani nearly died pursing them in Ostro's cave system (B). 

The goblins and the kobolds noticed all of the mayhem and attacked the entrance to cave B. They were easily driven off because the whole thing devolved into a 4 way battle between two different groups of orcs, the kobolds and the goblins. Again, no deaths. In case you haven't noticed, I don't roll dice for stuff the party isn't a part of. 


The party now controls all of the areas in green. They have seen areas marked in orange. Brekan and the goblins are glad to help the party move further from their home. Brekan would really like to drive out the kobolds, but believes he needs more dogs and crossbows to do it. 

The kobolds also have plans. Kregg, their leader has put his tribe to work mining out a small exit from his room. It's really close to the Orcs in area B, but he doesn't care. He plans to hoof it if they get hit again. They will probably escape into the wilds and return when things die down. 

Vis and Ostro have barricaded the eastern most secret door. 

The party engaged in healing, as per their usually lack of care. They healed the dogs first leaving everyone except Belaphon pretty banged up. They almost paid for it when Solvo investigated room 13 and found the money and the centipedes. Aleric and Vandohl heard the ruckas and saved him. 

A little while later, Vis and Ostro peeked in on the heroes and decided not to press their luck against the dogs, Vandohl and Belaphon. Being fearsome orc leaders, they sent in the cannon fodder. Belaphon popped them with a light spell and Vandohl gave out a war whoop that sent them running before the dogs could get in on the act. Those damned dogs... The orcs don't know how many there are because they've only seen them one at a time. They believe there is a pack of them and not just two. 

During the party's second night in cave C, the orcs attempted a second attack via the secret door. The party expected this. They has made a rather nasty hedgehog trap of sharp sticks in that hallway and they wove a stick door for the entrance to the cave system. The dogs roam the area freely. The orcs got nailed with a magic missile for their trouble and retreated. 

I have a score card for the orcs. 

In area B, there were 22 male orcs and 8 of them died in the attack on the goblins last session. There are also 18 females and 9 children. In area C, there were 16 male orcs and 5 were killed in the fighting with the party. The remainder escaped to area B with all 8 female orcs and the 3 children. One more died in the attack on the second night. 

The orcs collectively have suffered 35% causalities, or more. If something doesn't change, the party will annihilate them. 

That change? Some of those non-combatant females now have swords. They are going down with out a fight. 

I'll be doling out experience for the party as soon as they catalog their new findings. I expect several to level up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

#RPGADAY2020 25. Lever

#Lever

Not sure where to go with lever, except to give a session update. My kids are playing B2 = Keep on the Borderlands with me. All three of my kids are of the age where they make adult choices for themselves.

This tendency is playing out in the game. They took down the ogre in area E, moved into his cave and started playing house. Other than fix up the cave and spy on the other residents, they didn't want to do anything else.  

The characters are aware of the orcs and kobolds, but haven't discovered that there are two orc lairs. They know about the goblins, but don't know where they are coming from. They can hear their voices from the east and sometimes see them out and about but don't know their cave is connected to the goblin's home. 

Time for a lever. 

I had the orcs from area B attack the goblins. The goblins were overwhelmed and ran to the secret door yelling: " BREE-YARK!" The party was surprised when the door opened and bag of gold was thrown at them. After a moment or two, the party found how to open the secret door and unloaded a bunch of arrows into the orc's backs. The orcs charged them, but the party hid using the secret door and water barrel. When the orcs ran down the long hall, the party hit them again. 

The party retreated back through the secret door, leaving the goblins mystified. They have no idea the party is there and believe the ogre got his hands on a bow. 

The orcs lost 8 of 12 attackers and are thinking of pack it in and joining the second orc group. The characters were able to track them back to Area B and are thinking of attacking them. However, they are a little nervous with the goblins so close at hand. 

That was a nice lever for inaction.