Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

The "bail out" is a nice touch smile "If the players want to have nothing to do with it... let them" wink

With kind regards
My blog

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 13

The players that said they would be there were Tanya, Rob, Rebecca and Jonathan.

I started them on Better than any Man.

Jonathan called me at the last minute to cancel and I told him I'd use his dwarf as an NPC.

When I talked with him we spoke a little about my plans for the session and that one PC might die right away at the beginning.

When the players gathered I told them that the PCs might be under-powered for the scenario so I gave them two choices:

1. We just play the adventure with the PCs at current levels.

2. We assume there was another scenario that happened in between the previous one and the one we are about to do. And, they got enough XP to go up one level...but one of the PCs currently at the table (thus including the dwarf) died during the adventure.

I had them do a secret ballot. One person voted for option 1 and two people voted for option 2. So, I made a random roll and the lucky stiff was...(drumroll)...Adam D'Vyne, elf extraordinaire. I had a thief pre-generated so we could start play right away. And, of course, Rob decided he would be a diseased degenerate known as Poxy Dick.

I'll give the actual account of the action when I get a chance.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 13 continued

Note: Just to keep things simple and easier for myself I photocopied page 4 and the top of page 5 of the module and gave it to the players to read before we started to play. 

The set up was that Simon Edgington had hired the group to take a well-sealed coffer to Vienna and deliver it to a colleague that lived there. On the way back they were taking a boat down the River Main with the intention to get to the Rhine River and travel to the North Sea so they could get back to England. The boat stopped in Karlstadt and the boat captain talked to some locals about the situation. He then informed the PCs he was going back upriver and would take them no further.

So, the group took a look at the refugee camp. They found a makeshift tavern someone had set up in a large tent, talked to folks about what was happening and eavesdropped on some conversations.

I took Rebecca aside and told her she overheard someone say they thought the Karlstadt witches were somehow connected to a village to the West that has an unaccountable shadow that falls over it as if there were a tower stretching into the sky. The person said there is a normal sized tower in the woods to the West.

I took Rob aside and told him he overheard a person speculating that the Karlstadt witches might have something to do with an old mound in a marsh South of the camp. The person said that the mound is supposed to be so old that it was there before any Christian missionary ever came to this part of the world.

I took Tanya aside and told her she overheard a man saying that the Karlstadt witches must surely be have something to do with Goblin Hill to the East. The man indicated that it has long been thought to be haunted.

I'll write more soon.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

session 13 continued

The three of them discussed the rumors that they had overheard a little bit but then they were interrupted by a man who came up to their table at the tent-tavern. He said he was looking for mercenaries to rescue his son. He explained the situation and showed the instructions he had found on his boys bedroll concerning the 1000 silver ransom. He offered 50 silver as that was all he had.

The group dickered over what they would do for a few minutes. Tanya made some comments about it being small reward for something that was not their problem and some comments about leaving the region to avoid the Swedes. But, after awhile the party decided to help the farmer.

Thus, they headed out to find the hideout of Gunther Mohl's gang. The arrived near the farmhouse at night and did some scouting. They observed from a distance but did not see anyone so they went back near the refugee camp and made their own camp half a mile north of it.

In the morning they went back to the farmhouse. While at some distance from it they travelled around to the back side so that they approached it from the woods in the back. Rebecca's fighter went to the barn while leading the mule owned by Poxy Dick. The mule was laden with bags of small stones since they had no intention of paying a ransom. She looked around the interior of the barn and tried to climb to the hay loft. When the two cadaverous fellows made their presence known, Rebecca panicked and dragged the mule back into the woods. Their were several more trips made by the fighter to the barn and to the well. The other PCs made scouting trips to the main house to peep through the shutters.

After messing around for awhile, the fighter went to the door nearest the well. Poxy Dick and Tanya's elf Ra'thel went to the door at the other side of the house. Dick picked the lock and stepped in only to find three ruffians; one with a spear, one with a short sword and one with a hand axe. A fight ensued and the fighter (Treasa) heard it so she busted in the door near the well. Two ruffians were killed and the last one surrendered. He was bound with rope. He got interrogated and spilled the beans. Tanya opened the trap door and pushed him in. I decided that he would not be killed but had his leg broken by the fall.

My assumption was that Gunther and the gang would be in room 7 but they would have the secret door open a little so they could see into room 6. When the bandit was dropped down the shaft I figured Mohl would come to the conclusion that he was dealing with hardcases and just flee. So, they closed the secret door, went to the barn and fled into the countryside. The PCS looked around for awhile and found the kid and the brass tubes. They searched and found the secret door to room 7. They went through it to the barn but Mohl's gang was long gone by that time.

Since I am a forgetful and crappy GM, I forgot to have Old Man Braasch grab the kid.

The PCs took the kid back to the parents. When they made the original deal with the parents Dick had added a provision that in addition to the 50 silver the father would have to go into Karlstadt and perform a task for the group. Dick set that up because he heard about the magically enforced no-weapon-policy. He wanted to be able to get something done in town without having to give up his weapons.

There were more details to this whole thing but that is the gist of it.

That was the end of the session. The players indicated they were interested in checking out those rumors about the three places. I think there is a very good chance they will all die next session.

Last edited by Solon (2017-04-09 04:56:51)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

I made a mistake with the last post. It was Rebecca's fighter Treasa that pushed the guy down the hole.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 14

Rob, Jonathan and Tanya were the players at this one. I had used Jonathan's dwarf as an NPC the previous session. The dwarf was there for Jonathan to run him in person this time. Rebecca was not there so her fighter became an NPC for the session.

After talking about the three mystery places they decided to go to the mound. Poxy Dick kept talking about hoping to see naked witches performing a ritual at the old mound so the others gave in to his prurient hopes.

They traveled South and made their way to the mound. They scouted all around for a long time then approached the door. After getting through the door they looked in and could just barely make out the steps and black liquid. They were not quiet about the door so Schwartz easily heard them. He approached down the corridor to see what was going on. I decided that Schwartz had kept himself well informed about all the events in the region.

When Schwartz saw that they intended to proceed further in, he called out to them and told them to stay where they were. He approached so they could see him and a long conversation ensued. The PCs learned that the Karlstadt witches were mere novices. They learned about the Insect God and that The Mother is now a devotee but the other witches don't know about that. Schwartz told them there was a way to stop the Incest God and he would search for someone to handle it. The PCs offered to try it but he said they were not powerful enough. They insisted they could do it so he gave them the details and the time travel scroll. Ra'thel the elf cast read magic on it.

The PCs went back to Karlstadt to spend the night but still not entering the city itself. In the morning they went to Goblin Hill. They naturally approached the hill from the South but did not choose to walk around the hill see other parts of it. They found a trail leading to the caves and made their way to the entrance. I did mention the increased population of normal insects. They moved down the tunnel until they could see it opening into a large chamber. They had left the fighter right outside the entrance to watch for anyone entering after them.

They each made use of a light source and decided to split the party. Rob's thief would move along the right wall. Jonathan's dwarf would move along the left wall. Tanya's elf would walk into the middle of the room. When the dwarf got to the beetle lair it charged out and attacked. After two successful bite attacks the dwarf was at -2 HP. Poxy Dick fired both of his pistols, did some damage and charged in for melee. Ra"Thel shot the bolt of her heavy crossbow, did some damage and then charged in for melee. A single bite took Poxy Dick down to 2 HP. His short sword attack merely glanced off the carapace (even though Rob got a total of 18 on the attack). Rob was taken aback and called for retreat. The thief and elf made a hasty exit while dragging the dwarf outside. The beetle did not follow.

They had no cleric or healing potions. Ra'Thel did have the purple lotus powder from Death Frost Doom that she had not yet used. She put some in the dwarfs nostrils thinking that the breathing process would draw it further in to take effect. I decided to let that work. I had Jonathan roll percentiles and he rolled 22. He rolled the 2d8 and got all his HP back but lost the little finger on his left hand. Rob decided not to try the powder since his PC was already missing a two fingers. Rob made some comments about needing lots of guns if they came back since the pistols worked much better that a sword.

That's where we stopped the session.

Last edited by Solon (2017-05-03 21:41:18)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 15

Still working on Better than any Man.

Andy R. was the new player to join the group with this session. He decided to make an elf (his name is Bergelon). Rob was the other player for this session. Tanya, Jonathan and Rebecca were unable to make it to this session so their characters became NPCs this time around.

We left off the previous session with the party just leaving the cave at Goblin Hill after having been savaged by a giant beetle. Bergelon had not met the group yet so it was just Rob making decisions. He decided to go to Wurzburg to find a place for his PC to heal up and maybe buy a petard. The group travelled South to get to the road that goes from Werneck to Thungen. As they moved out of the woods and onto the road they saw another person who was travelling the same direction. Ra'thel took one look and knew that he was an elf. She approached and began a conversation. She explained the mission to stop the Insect God and the new elf (Bergelon) decided to join them and help. The moved on to a village called Thungen. It turned out that a group of brigands and taken over the village and demanded the party give over all their valuables. The men were standing near to each other so Bergelon cast Stinking Cloud on their area. Being frightened by an obvious show of witchery, the bandits fled the village.

The party decided not to stay there for the night. They proceeded on to Zellingen village. There they found that most houses had been abandoned. They did talk to one of the few remaining residents and Poxy Dick (We learned his real name but I can't remember) got tricked into forking over 3 silver pieces in order to sleep in a house not owned by the man who tricked him. the group slept in the house and got a good night's sleep. Poxy Dick had stolen a chicken so the party ate it.

I had decided that Bergelon should start with some magic items. I gave him a potion of healing, some other potion I can't remember and a magical Invisibility/sleep ring like the one in Forgive Us but this one is so powerful it works on elves. Bergelon decided to let Poxy Dick have the healing potion so that brought him up to full HP. In the morning they set off back to Goblin Hill.

I'll finish the account of session 15 sometime soon.

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Continuation of session 15 report

They left Zellingen in the morning and made their way back to Goblin Hill. They arrived at the tunnel and entered it. When they got to the "great intersection" they walked to the right and went all around the chamber to first map all the tunnels leading out. When they saw the mold they made sure not too get to close to the beetle tunnel and went back around the chamber. They decide to check out the tunnel leading to room 8. when they were still outside Ra'Thel had cast Continual Light on a small rock. when they got to room 8 she tossed it out into the chamber and thus they all saw the 50' diameter sphere of black liquid that was floating in the air. They worked their way all around the walls of the room to map it but would not get close to the sphere, at first. Once they had the layout of the room, Poxy Dick poked his 10' pole into the liquid. Nothing of interest happened so they left the room using the tunnel that lead directly to room 6.

The group went to room 6 and walked all around the perimeter to map it. Eventually, they noticed that the liquid was pooling around their feet in a weird way and left to go back to the intersection chamber. they then went down the tunnel to room seven. They found the cat-sized blob creatures each with an uncut gemstone in the middle. Poxy Dick wanted to get some gems but Bergelon commented that they could come back after dealing with the Insect God.

They went up back to the "intersection" then up the tunnel that leads to both the cesspool and the temple entrance. It was at this point that I realized that I had forgotten about wandering monsters. I did all the rolls I should have done previously. Only one of them created an encounter. I made the required roll and it came up 4 giant horseflys. The party killed two without trouble and the remaining two failed a morale check and fled down to the tunnel that leads to room 9.

They party then went up to the cesspool. There was 1 giant horsefly up near the roof. When it started to fly down they backed away from the chamber. That prevented the three giant maggots in the cesspool from getting to them. They moved back down the tunnel but the horsefly caught up to them and they killed it.

They then went down the tunnel to the Insect Temple. The module indicated the lights at the entrance should be as bright as daylight but I just had them as bright as torchlight. I didn't want to fool with that other crap.

They entered the Hall of Statues and moved down it see all the different kinds of insects. Before going further into the Temple, Poxy Dick decided to search the cockroach statue. I made the required roll and I rolled a "1". So, the cockroach started moving.

At that point, Rob suggested we end the session and so we did.

Next session has a good chance of having a brief skirmish followed by 30 minutes of character generation for everyone and starting on a whole new adventure.

Last edited by Solon (2017-05-25 01:23:09)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Solon wrote:

Next session has a good chance of having a brief skirmish followed by 30 minutes of character generation for everyone and starting on a whole new adventure.

Sounds like your troupe is a little "fed up" with this module wink. But tell me, did they still enjoyed the ride?

With kind regards
My blog

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Session 16

The characters (and associated players) currently in this scenario are as follows:

Urli Redhelm the dwarf   (jonathan L.)
Ra'Thel the elf                (Tanya W.)
Treasa the fighter            (Rebecca C.)
Bregelon the elf               (Andy R.)
Poxy Dick the thief           (Rob H.)

Only Andy and Tanya were at the session. The other characters got used as NPCs.

So, the giant cockroach had gotten surprise on the party. In the surprise round, the monster bit Poxy Dick for a little damage. In the first round, it bit again for a little damage. Treasa and Urli had short bows; they shot their arrows to no effect. Ra'Thel had a heavy crossbow and shot but missed. Bregelon cast Mirror Image. Poxy Dick used his action to run away from the thing.

NOTE: if you go back and look at post 32 in this thread you will see info about the magic ring Bregelon had in is possession.

In the second round, Bregelon closed the distance and wrestled with the giant insect. He successfully placed his magic ring on one of its appendages. It became invisible, fell asleep and fell to the ground. The fight was over.

Much to my surprise, they won the fight. It was a clever tactic on Andy's part that had not even occurred to me. Considering that the Stoneskin Cockroach had armor class 25 and 66 hit points, it could have easily been a TPK.

They talked of healing Dick somehow but the only option was the purple lotus powder and I told them that it was clear from previous sessions that he would not use it. So, they proceeded into the Temple.

I'll continue the account of session 16 soon.

Last edited by Solon (2017-06-18 22:36:04)

Re: [Campaign Log] The Underachievers

Continuation of session 16 report

After determining that there would be no valuables on the monster, they proceeded into the temple complex proper. They went into the wide corridors and right to room 2 (storage room). Finding nothing of interest, they went to room 3 (storage room). They saw a glint reflected from their lantern light and Ra'Thel went in to search. She found a skeleton with a glass eye. She put the eye in her belt pouch. They proceeded down the wide hall to room 7 (the sacrifice pens). They noted that there was a sheer drop of 15' to the floor of the vast room. They saw the cage structure in the room and that each cage held a giant earwig. They peered at the cage in the middle area in front of them and saw the skeleton and the gemstone. They peppered the giant earwig with arrows and bolts until it was dead. Then they lowered Urli to the cage floor to get the gem. Deciding that they had insufficient ammunition to kill all the possible earwigs, they left.

They went down the narrow long tunnel and wound up in front of room 8 (junior priest's quarters). They went in the room and found the small jade statue of the caterpillar. Poxy Dick put it in his coin pouch. It was many hours later that he found his coins gone, a hole in the pouch and no sign of the jade figurine.

At this point, they decided to have Ra'Thel cast the time travel spell but they went back to room 3 to do it. The spell was cast and they found themselves in a room full of storage shelves. Urli peaked out the door and saw two hobbits in strange robes walk down the hall. He saw that the whole area seemed to be well illuminated with oil lamps on the walls every ten feet so. The group walked out into the wide hall and looked down to room 7. They saw how big the cage room was and saw a hobblt walking on top of the cage structure and then out of sight to the right side of the room. He did not see them.

Poxy Dick then snuck down to the wide tunnel they had not yet been down. He looked around the corner and saw a huge "cathedral-like" room with huge pillars. He saw an altar at the other end but saw that there was no gemstone-idol on it. But, he did see a group of 30 hobbits gathered around a hobbit who was preaching to them.

He then snuck to the statue room/entrance hall and saw that there were no statues but just the pedestals they would one day occupy. He went back to the group.

The party again went down the narrow hallway towards room 8 and went in. They found no hobbits but only hobbit-sized beds. They skipped rooms 9 and 10 and proceeded to the intersection at the end of the hallway. They sent Poxy sneaking down the tunnel to the West where he found the back entrance to the cathedral. They then moved down the tunnel to the East then north and found the next intersection. They saw the long tunnel to the door and guessed correctly that it led to the cage room. So, they took the tunnel to the East and found there was an elaborate door to the East and a short tunnel and normal door to the North.

They heard the chanting of many hobbit voices from the north door so decided to look at the elaborate door. Treasa and Ra'Thel stayed at the intersection to keep an eye on the noisy North door. The others went to the East door and saw it was stone and had insect heads carved on it. They saw the mouths of the heads were holes big enough to put one's hand in. They saw the handles inside each mouth. They assumed the holes were trapped to chop the hand off if one put it in and decided not to mess with the door. Right at that time a hobbit came out of room 16 (the sacrifice pit).

NOTE: Previously I had told the players how the scroll spell worked. Ra'thel would know this from having read it. The spell would last for one hour then snap the people back to their own time. Or, when they had "achieved their goal" it would snap them back.
Whichever came first.

So, the hobbit opened the door. Because of the layout of the room, the hobbit priests could see out the door to the intruders. They panicked and threw the idol into the sand pit. Ra'Thel and Treasa saw the giant ant-lion surge up and drag the idol under the sand. At that point, the spell snapped them back to their own time.

They all went into the pit room. They made ready with range weapons and had Treasa throw one of her iron spikes in the pit to lure the thing up then everyone shot it. They spent time reloading (Poxy Dick had flintlock pistols and heavy cross bows were held by the two elves). Then, they repeated the process until it was dead. I had rolled up HP for it and only gotten 27.

Then, Bregelon went down in the pit to find the idol. I had decided it was only a few feet under the sand so he found it before too long. They broke the idol thus ending the threat of the Insect God.

They carefully avoided trouble and made the long journey back to England. They sold the gem fragments and each got 9020 silver.

At the beginning of the session I brought up the fact that Tanya had not been at the last session when we began this dungeoncrawl. So, I let her retcon and decide if she wanted to have drunk the potion of deep wisdom from The God That Crawls. She decided that she had done so. Thus, she got double XP award for the dungeon.

Last edited by Solon (2017-06-21 03:40:14)