Monday 26 February 2024

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 57 (Machodor #29); Goblins and oil don't mix



This session took place on 01/02/2024, and the PCs adventured for 4 days. 

Player Characters Present

Lance Errant (Level 1 Paladin of Minas Mandalf, E)
Felangolol  (Level 2/2 Elf Magic-User/Thief , )
Larrinod "Larry" Blackmantle (Level 1 Magic User/Cleric, bastard son of an elf, E)
Comfort Rod (Level 1 Cleric, E ) 
Ignatius the Smiter (Level 1 Cleric of Minas Mandalf, E)
Elijah Blackwood (Level 1 Monk of TBA, E)

Session Report

Winter storms had cleared to a merely windy day when the party, augmented by some new members, set off by barge to the River Dungeon in the Bandit Mountains. They made it past Gnomesville without issue; but, as the river turned south the wind was in their faces, which slow the barge to a crawl. Late in the day something was sighted in the air approaching them, as they were still in an inhabited area this did not cause undue alarm, and soon enough the figures could recognised as a Pegasus Corps patrol. The magnificent creatures circled over head and then dropped a rock, steadied by a parachute, down onto the barge. A piece of paper was wrapped around the rock, and its message read, "Bears sighted moving north from the mountains."

Still being winter this was an unusual sighting, but as they were used to the idea of potentially dangerous wildlife in the area, the report had no impact on their plans. The first night and next day passed uneventfully; but, in the deep night that followed, Elijah, who was on watch, his first ever watch actually, saw something strange. Three huge bears crashed through the light woods to the west of the river, and rushed up to the water about 100 yards up stream from where they camped on the barge. He woke the rest of the party just as a pair of shrieking roars shattered the relative quiet and would have done the job for him. They peered about and could not yet see what made the noise, but what they could see was that the "bears" were transforming into humans and starting to swim across the river.

In pursuit of the bear-men were two White Dragons, large, but not yet grown to adult hood. As the party watched, one of the creatures breathed its icy breath over its quarry as the other, slightly younger, made to follow. The wounded were-creatures kept on swimming. As yet it appeared that neither hunter nor hunted had noticed the party, what to do?

In previous sessions there have been no dangerous encounters on the way to the River Dungeon, so I think this one caught the players off guard. If it had been their stronger characters they would have gone all in I'm sure; but, with mostly first levels, did they even have a chance against two white dragons? Who knowns, maybe? Ignatius was keen to do something, which prompted a discussion that led the question: are were-creatures all evil, or could some kinds be good?

But there was little time for philosophy and they soon decided to up anchor and row for their lives, which, although it was probably the percentage play, left Lance the Paladin with a sinking feeling in his alignment.

The next day, having started closer than usual thanks to moving in the night, they soon made it to the river dock and from there the sheer walls of the mountains closed about them and they reached their usual beach spot near the entrance to the River Dungeon.

River Dungeon Session #4

Because they had been here before they were able to quickly move about the dungeon at five times speed, in theory. In actuality, the first room had been restocked; with treasure! A huge chest stood before them in the far corner, and that wasn't something they were going to go past. As anyone who's read these River Dungeon sessions reports might expect, the treasure was trapped with contact poison; fortunately sniffed out by Felangolol. They carefully lifted the lid without touching the handle and then tipped out the contents; one thousand silver pieces. Having satisfied themselves that there were no hidden compartments or further traps, they refilled the chest and carried it out to their usual hiding place on the beach; then began again.

They continued west and into the familiar "Tapestry" room; but, what was this? The floor, wet at the best of times, was actually covered in oil! At the exact moment of this discovery ten goblins came charging and yelling down the corridor to western exit of the room. Half of these were holding torches, and half carrying oil flasks.

Dungeon floor, would you have spotted the oil?

The goblins in the dungeon have been working for weeks to counter the strong armour and divine protection of the adventurers who have been plaguing them, and this was their cunning plan. Unfortunately for them, their execution left a little bit to be desired.

Elijah elected to use his monkly speed to charge the goblins, Lance and Rowan the man-at-arms chose the same action (all be it more slowly) while the others sprang for parts of the room that were not covered by oil. 

It started well for the goblins when they won initiative. As the distance between the two groups was about 50' and the goblins were moving at 6" (not charging, they were "closing to engage" at 10' for throwing range), I placed them at G and E (see below), and allowed their missile attacks to go first:

a narrow channel of oil connected the area between the
goblins and the main room, simply waiting to be lit.

The goblins threw their oil and torches at Elijah who, having AC 10 (though I allowed that he was within Lance's Protection from Evil aura) was about to find out why rushing into combat as a level 1 monk might not be the best idea; except for this helpful class ability:

Monks make saving throws on the table used by thieves, but they gain certain advantages: Non-magical missiles (arrows, bolts, bullets, thrown daggers, thrown javelins, thrown spears, etc.) which would normally hit can be dodged or knocked aside if the monk is able to make his or her saving throw against petrification for each such potential hit. -- PHB p30

After rolling, Elijah was only hit by one flask and one torch and I ruled that the above rule applies to such things.  He was unable to avoid the flask, which broke and covered him with oil, but thanks to deflecting the torch the oil did no damage (yet). Now, all was not lost for the goblins, since direct hits with the oil wasn't really their plan, they wanted to catch the party with their splash damage. 

dmg p64

But here is where things really fell apart for the goblins; though some went long and would splash the party, the majority of flasks landed nearer to them. Torches landed all over and set every bit of loose oil alight; Lance and Elijah and Rowan were in the splash range, but Elijah dodged it all (fortunate, since otherwise the oil already on him would catch fire), and the other two received just a point of two of damage. The rest of the party were safety out of the oil covered area of the room.

The final cost of that round for the goblins' attacks were: nine of their own dead and one injured. All of this had happened in the missile fire part of the round and, since the PCs were charging with spears ready; I allowed Lance to skid to a stop and throw it rather than continue running into flaming oil, which he opted to do and then proceeded to impale the last goblin. So, a singularly ineffective tactic from the goblins, this time, but since none survived to report back, there is no reason the next lot may not try it again, right?

The party now regrouped and separated the fried goblins from their silver pieces. After checking the "Pallet" room and using the straw packaging to wipe off most of the oil from Elijah, they lit new torches and went south down the eastern most exit, which led to a long corridor only partially explored previously. After a time the way opened up to a 20' square alcove. Chained to a blindside corner of the alcove was a lone, but huge, Shrieker, which did its thing as soon as the the light of the party's torches fell on it.

The PCs set about trying to destroy the creature, but they heard the approach of many little feet from the southern exit, obviously attracted by the noise of the shrieker. Lance and Rowan took up position in the archway while the others dispatched the Shrieker, which thankfully had stopped shrieking even though it was still alive. Ahead appeared a dozen, foot long centipedes moving their way. Now, do centipedes charge? The little buggers are fast enough already, so I ruled that they moved at base speed to engage, given the party the round to prepare.

Unfortunately none of the spell casters could use this time profitably except for Ignatius, who got off a Bless spell before the front rank had engaged. At only 1 foot long, I allowed 10 of the centipedes to engage the front line (though in hindsight, since they are not nearly that wide, I could have let all 12 do so)  Half went for Lance and half Rowan, the former with his high AC was not damaged, but the man-at-arms was hit three times. The NPC made his saving throws vs poison, once I remembered to add the +4 bonus.

They are aggressive and rush forth to bite their prey, injecting poison into the wound, but in many cases this poison is weak and not fatal (add 4 to saving throw die roll). -- MM p. 14

I think the "weak and not fatal" description is fully covered by the +4 saving throw bonus, so watch out if you still fail it.

Next round two centipedes were killed while the shrieker was put out of its misery, freeing up the rest of the party to help. Then things turned chaotic as, realising that holding the entry was in effect reducing the number of friendlies who could attack while the enemy used their full force, the decision was made to pull back to let others have a go; but this resulted in one non-engaged centipede going right past everyone and attacking Felangolol.

The magic-user had Sleep & Burning Hands available, but didn't use the former when it could have taken out the whole centipede swarm. He did managed to use the latter to burn one down while the rest of the party bashed and slashed their way through more. Sadly, Rowan got bitten once more and this time failed his save version poison. Larry stepped up to fill the breach and Comfort Rod, who had spent two rounds retrieving an oil flask, now threw it right into melee, deliberated trying to target the centipedes with splash damage. This somewhat dubious tactic managed to get one of the enemy while Lance and Larry dodged any damage themselves (there were some words exchanged about this on the beach later while I was AFK) and the remaining beasties were slashed, bashed, and punched to death. 

Some centipede bodies were collected on a hunch that they may be able to work out if they were the source of the goblins' poison making.

In the end, due to random encounters and restocking rolls, only one new dungeon room was explored today before the party returned home somewhat worse for wear.

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 57 (Machodor #29)

Monetary Treasure

1093 sp

Treasure Total: 53GP 13 SP


10 (somewhat singed) goblin ears

Total:  10 GP


10 Goblins 160 XP
12 Giant Centipedes 396 XP
1 Shrieker 25 XP

Monsters Total: 581 XP

XP & GP Assignment 

Lance Errant (Level 1, E)   106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Felangolol  (Level 2/2, S)  106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Larrinod (Level 1/1 , E)    106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Comfort Rod (Level 1, S) 106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Ignatius the Smiter (Level 1, E) 106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Elijah Blackwood (Level 1, E) 106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP


Rowan the Rower (0 Level man-at-arms), poisoned by a giant centipede in the River Dungeon in session #57. Last words to Lance, "Kill some more goblins"

Jacques Ocular (Level 1 Magic User), a fat green worm burrowed into his head and turned him into a Son Of Kyuss in Brovenloft in Session #43

Pino (Dwarf Footman level 0), Killed by a Frost Giant axe in the head in session #39

Paro (Dwarf Fighter/Thief level 2/2) , Killed by Winter Wolves and frozen in session #39

Zabib (1/2 Elf Fighter/Magic User level 1/1), Killed by Frost Giant rocks in downtime prior to session #39

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28); Ogres in the morning, Catapults in the evening



This session took place on 26/01/2024, and the PCs adventured for 1 day (before continuing in downtime)

Player Characters Present

Giuseppe (Level 6 Paladin of Rome, Brovenloft, E) with two henchmen
Sever (Level 6 Pegasus Corps Ranger of Machodor, E)
Deltacron (Level Dwarf 1 Fighter/Thief, E ) 
Godleve (Level 5 Cleric of Machodor, E )
Sheamus (Level 6 Irish Fighter from Brovenloft, E ) 
Bumblebore (Level 3 Magic User, E ) 
Gurt (Level 1 Paladin of Machodor, E)
Slippery Pete (Level 4 Thief, E+)


This report is a bit delayed due to illness.


The harsh winter conditions saw two dozen griffins take to harassing the inhabitants around Castle Irish, including the evacuees from Gimmelwald; making aerial travel in particular hazardous. After Sever tried various methods of dealing with the creatures, they were finally scared off by some strange weather and lights in the night. Having dealt with the griffin is issue, Sever brought the orc battle wagons (captured in session #4) with supplies from Schloss Ragnar to Castle Irish. The leader of Gimmelwald floated the idea of using the wagons to help retake his town.

Sever then went to check on Gimmelwald and was surprised to find the place was now occupied by a large family of Fire Giants.

Sheamus worked around the clock constructing a tavern and gym near Castle Irish, while Slippery Pete went off the radar and was replaced by a certain Joe the Fighter.

Session Report

Having used the all important resource of session time to catch and interrogate a dragon cultist and wring from him the location of a nearby shrine, the guards that had been posted there in downtime had captured a travelling merchant leaving the area. After interrogating questioning this worthy, a man named Kenlin, he dropped some bits of information that may or may not have been relevant to the party's interests.

Would the PCs now finally take decisive steps against the Dragon Cult? Not at this time, instead they decided to clear the Fire Giants and try to retake Gimmelwald. When it was established that it would take a day to ready the troops and pack the civilians and supplies in the wagons, and then a further two days for this force to reach the town; the party decided to make use of its greater mobility and check the place over ahead of time.

There was just one problem with the plan, they could only take 6 on the Rocket Cycle with Sheamus, and with Sever on Convess someone would have to stay behind. In the end Godleve and Giuseppe's henchmen stayed to help with preparations and then travel with the caravan when it was ready. 

What should have been a journey of just few hours would turn out to be a bit more complicated.

While passing the mountains near the hidden passage that leads into the valley of Gimmelwald, Sever spied a group of large humanoids making their way up the steep incline. It looked like perhaps they were out hunting. Neither side were surprised, but the Ogres (you can't fool a ranger about this sort of thing) had no means of returning fire from the air, even if it was largely inaccurate fire, and they soon fled. However, their lair was only two rounds distance away, and they sped into a large hole in the mountain side.

Thrilled at the prospect of finding a lair and the loot that might be present, the party landed and immediately pursued their enemy inside; all except for Sheamus, who repeated his usual strategy of disabling the Rocket Cycle (it having nothing so convenient as a key) before following the others. 

As soon as Sever and Giuseppe went inside they saw two creatures even larger than Ogres, stepping out to meet them. The filthy creatures were carrying large rocks and were easily identified by the Ranger as Hill Giants; they unloaded their rocks and closed in.

The front lines clashed and Joe the Fighter (aka Slippery Pete) moved to get around the Giants; however he soon declared that instead of joining battle he should make sure the Ogres were not about to get away, so he followed them down a passage to the round cave that was their lair proper (and then, thief stuff happened). The largest Ogre, apparently the leader, was just getting them worked up to re-join the fight, so the thief hugged the wall and successfully avoided being spotted as they rushed back out.

By now Sheamus had taken his place in the line and along with Sever and Giuseppe they dealt great damage to the enemy while receiving significant blows in return, though most deflected off their superior armour.

Deltacron also kept a low profile and readied himself to sling darts at the enemy, while new player Gurt wisely took a position behind the front line and sought to disarm his opponents with his Spetum (or one of those other disarm type weapons).

The Ogres approached in four ranks of three, as they did so Bumblebore prepared himself to enter the fray. I was expecting a strafing run from his familiar O'Malfoy, instead he unfurled a scroll and cast Wall of Iron, targeting between the first and second ranks of Ogres. Now, as it happened, none of us were immediately sure how big such a wall would be; but, more importantly, we had to consult the rules for a level 3 magic user trying to use a level 5 scroll spell.

DMG p 128

This worked out as a 30% chance of failure; he was successful and the roughly 10' by 11' wall landed between the ranks of the Ogres. The second rank of Ogres ran right into the wall, knocking it forward onto the first rank, squashing two and nearly getting a third. This had some effect on morale since, having expected to join their bigger cousins, they were now not only fighting by themselves but had lost 25% of their number.

Another round passed with the Ogres getting the worst of it. Finally it was too much for them and they fled, only to be finished off in their cave lair. The party took stock of the situation as Slippery Pete, all pretence at disguise over, came forward with sacks bulging with coins and some minor gems he had found and acquired for "safe keeping".

A thorough search revealed no further treasure; but, another there was hidden exit, which led to a passage that doubled back on itself and terminated not far from the main entrance. The scouts returned and the party made to leave; but, beyond the exit could be seen the Ogre women and children that must have earlier used the hidden passage to avoid the fighting, the latter jumping up and down on the Rocket Cycle trying to get it to move, while the former were dragging a number of human slaves with them.

The situation proved to be no moral dilemma at all for the PCs, and soon both the human slaves and the ogres were ready to be reunited with their loved ones; all be it in a rather different manner for the latter.

Keen to move on, but logistically unable to do so with their new passengers, the party quickly decided to send Sheamus back with them to Castle Irish, which would take two trips (making use of the cycle's booster for the return trips). In the meantime Sever would return to Gimmelwald to scout. He found the place much as before, with the Fire Giants having claimed the town square, but this time he found that they had leveraged catapults onto two of the four towers that formed the corners of the square (the remains of the original keep, the partially collapsed curtain walls of which ran from tower to tower). This development gave the Ranger pause, and so it became the subject of much discussion when he had returned to the Ogre lair and explained the situation.

Given the passage of time, it would still take three days before their little army would be in position, a strike on the catapults before nightfall seemed the best course of action for now. This they achieved with a combined surprise attack from Sever on Convess and O'Malfoy.

Second Battle of Grindlewald (resolved in downtime)

Good guy's forces

Here is what happened with the mass battle (played according to the method used previously here):

Spoilers: the giants were a random encounter that happened to be rolled up as a lair when Sever went to check on Gimmelwald, and I intuited from some further die rolling that their lair was Gimmelwald. But why, were they working with someone? I rolled up Pilgrims with, as it happened, a matching Lawful Evil alignment, and I was scratching my head as to why they might be working together when I read this in the Giants MM entry: "It is not unusual for giants to agree to share in an undertaking with a group of creatures of similar alignment to that of the giant, for these huge monsters are eager for treasure." So it actually made sense from that perspective.

After two days travel Krellard arrives and opts to attack under the cover of the approaching twilight and overcast conditions. He also opts to approach on one front only, passing through the west gate. The mounted troops pull ahead, with the foot troops following in their wake trying to catch up as fast as they can.

The horses reach bottom of the hill before the town without incident; given the conditions and the position of the Giants, it seems unlikely you have been detected. The light cavalry stop and Slippery Pete examines the invitingly open west gate, incidentally allowing time for the foot troops to catch up a little. 

"No traps guys!" he declares.

The medium cavalry take the lead and ride in. In the relatively narrow street they can ride 10 abreast, effectively in column formation. As you go you see the devastation visited upon the town by the Master of Winter and his army. More than this, strangely, there are sections of pulled up cobble stones and piles of dirt to be seen near some public buildings such as the church.

Again, Slippery Pete is called on to examine these for traps. "It's just dirt guys!"

The allies advance until the main square is in sight. The way widens here and through the gap in the ruined curtain wall, Giants can be seen casually throwing catapult missiles to each other; they don't seem to realise anyone is there. Krellard calls a halt to let the foot troops catch up. He wants the the archers and heavy foot in position at the front.

Sever's Ranger senses tingle, saving the army from being surprised when, suddenly, from out of the nearby buildings scores of strange figures, clad in red robes and bearing wicked looking daggers, along with a tremendous, fanatical fury, pour out and attack the army before the foot troops can deploy to the front.

It's on like Donkey Kong.

The battle starts with the allies in this formation:

Hvy Ft

Med Horse

Long Bow

Light Cav


Round 1

The enemy appears to number around 60, and they win initiative

Over the blood curdling shouts of the enemy you can hear the sounds of chanting, then you feel the negative effects of evil clerical magic blanketing the area. Those around Giuseppe feel some of his protection from evil.

Hold person spells rain down on the Heavy Foot, freezing one square in place, but it could have been worse as another somehow resists the effect!

Dagger wielding fanatics fall upon the held troops and find the gaps in their armour, taking out square 3 (Sheamus is in 2).

Another enemy square attacks the militia, hitting twice and destroying square 3 (Gurt and Deltacron are in other squares)

The longbowmen unit is hit for 3 hp, The Medium Horse unit is hit for 3hp, the Light Horse unit attacked but missed. Medium Horse are hit again for 1hp 

Return attacks: The broadswords of the heavy foot destroy the unit of fanatics facing them. The militia miss their enemy. Med horse kill three enemy squares, freeing up the longbowmen to use their bows next round.

The Light Horse injure one square. Longbow injure one square with the help of Bumblebore and O'Malfoy.

Round 2

The heavy foot and militia make their morale checks, while the enemy don't seem to care about their heavy losses.

Oh boy, tied initiative, the fanatics are using daggers and so go first and get bonus attacks against the militia and light horse. Ok, do horses go even before the daggers? I'm going to say yes and some of the horses stamp the enemy near them.

The dagger wielding enemy attack was not coordinated with the Fire Giants, and so it takes a round before they notice what is going on. Then they use what ever is to hand, in this case catapult ammo. These smash into the Heavy Foot and destroy two squares, both Stafolo and Sheamus take 16hp damage and they move into the last remaining square.

The Irish start up their battle hymn (equivalent effect as a Chant Spell):

Armed for the battle

Kneel we before Thee,

Bless Thou our banners,

God of the brave

Ireland is living!

Shout we triumphant,

Ireland is waking!

Hands grasp the sword.

Who fights for Ireland

God guides his blows home,

Who dies for Ireland

God give him peace.

Knowing our cause just

March we victorious

Giving our heart’s blood

Ireland to free.

The spirit of freedom

Floats in the ether;

Souls of our heroes

March by our side,

Connor is our battle cry,

McGregor inspires us,

Those who for freedom fall

Never shall die.

Robed Guys breaking

Shout we exultant

Robed Guys beaten,

Ireland is free.

Charge for the old cause,

Down with the old foe,

Living or dying

Ireland to free.

Daggers miss the light horse and return hits smash the enemy square there. Daggers plunge down on the militia, but somehow the 3 remaining squares are undamaged and they return the attacks with interest, destroying the last enemy square with help from Gurt and Deltacron.

More Hold Person spells rain down from enemy spell casters in buildings; trapping the last Hvy foot, including Sheamus.

In the resulting chaos the Longbowmen fire at the giants and miss while the Medium Horse charge the Giants for 24 damage. Sever and Giuseppe combine with their lances and do 64 HP (scaled down to 6.4) damage.

Round 3

Fire Giant unit wins initiative and swings at the medium horse unit and misses! (A hit could have destroyed the whole unit). Again, the longbow fail to hit the giants at all. Medium horse riders get one  hit in for low damage.

Now the Medium horse mounts and Bonecrusher and even the grounded Convess get their attacks and these are devastating; there's not a giant foot that hasn't been stamped on.

Giuseppe rolls 1

Sever rolls 19, switching from lance to 2hs he does a modest 14 damage but that finishes the score for the Fire giants (running them as a unit didn't do them any favours at all in the end).

The light horse dismount and together with the militia commence clearing the buildings, but these are protected by glyphs, causing further casualties.

Finally the last of the enemy clerics are killed, they proved to be as fanatical as the dagger wielders. It seems they were digging holes around the town searching for something. Maybe more investigation is warranted? 

In any case the battered alliance, having retaken Gimmelwald, achieved their objective.

Treasure and XP

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28)


12 Ogres (and dependants) 

XP & GP Assignment N/A 

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28)
Giuseppe (Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP
Sheamus(Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP 
Sever (Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP 
Dundermoose (Level 3, E ) 589 XP & 177 GP
Deltacron (Level 1/2, E ) 500   XP & 88 GP
Gurt (Level 1, E ) 471  XP & 59 GP
Slippery Pete/Joe the Fighter (Level 5, E+ ) 707 XP & 295 GP 


Jacques Ocular (Level 1 Magic User), a fat green worm burrowed into his head and turned him into a Son Of Kyuss in Brovenloft in Session #43

Pino (Dwarf Footman level 0), Killed by a Frost Giant axe in the head in session #39

Paro (Dwarf Fighter/Thief level 2/2) , Killed by Winter Wolves and frozen in session #39

Zabib (1/2 Elf Fighter/Magic User level 1/1), Killed by Frost Giant rocks in downtime prior to session #39

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Solo Play Session 4: Orcs!


Proving Grounds Level 3


Sadly I've fallen behind with documenting my solo adventures with the Evil Elf Gang. After success in Session 3; the two new Assassins, Neldor & Zeno, were training along with the Fighter Magic User Fingar. Meanwhile, Voldar the Fighter reached level 2 not long after Beldroth, Morthil & Ilphar also reached this milestone, and they decided that the four of them were sufficient for another delve.


This session took place on 01/10/2023, and the Characters adventured for 5 days.

Characters Present

Beldroth (Level 2 Elf Magic User)
Ilphar  (Level 2 Elf Assassin)
Morthil  (Level 2 Elf Assassin)
Voldar (Level 2 Elf Fighter)


Beldroth worked her charms on the captured Celadyde (Fighter/Cleric/Magic User Level 1), trying to get him to join their cause. He eventually agreed to exorbitant terms (and will remain an NPC).

Session Report

The party arrived at the Proving Grounds of the Chaz Overlord dungeon without incident.

As they methodically explored and mapped level 3 they found the place to be fairly empty, the biggest threat being a pit trap that caught Morphil for 1 hit point. Finally a one-way door led into a room with 10 Piercers (A). Given the way this party is travelling silently in the dark and using infravision, I figure they would have a good chance to spot the piercers in a normal dungeon room; however, my rule of thumb in solo play is that they have to encounter a situation at least once before they can develop counter measures, so, in this case, they went forward until a piercer dropped towards Ilphar. It missed and now they could look up and find the others (which I had randomly allocated to each of the 4 squares in the 20' by 20' chamber).

Beldroth dropped Sleep on the ones between them and the nearest exit so they could move out and take up a position to wipe the slow creatures out. They expended quite a few arrows, but the party prevailed before the slowly moving monsters could reach them. 

A thorough search revealed a trunk hidden behind an illusion, with thousands of sp and cp inside. Too heavy for this crowd to bother collecting. A poisoned arrow trap in room (B) hit Voldar for 3 hit points, but he shrugged off the poison on it, and finally they found 3000 more copper pieces at room (C). So this level, with the exception what might be over the river (and there could be little beyond that feature given the configuration) seemed to be a bust after mapping just a quarter of the page.

Proving Grounds Level 1

They returned to level 1 and in room (A) run into group of 8 Orcs; disaster, the Orcs surprised the elves for 1 segment. It could have been worse; since Voldar and Morphil have high dexterity, they were not surprised (they were in front for precisely this reason). Since it was orcs vs elves I didn't roll for the monsters' reaction, they were in for a killing spree.

Now I had some thinking to do (this was probably the most interesting thing to happen this delve). Since two non-surprised characters held the entrance and were standing between the surprised characters and the orcs, I ruled that only missile weapon attacks to the surprised characters at the rear could happen during the surprise segment. Using the Monster Manual entry percentages I worked out that three orcs had crossbows; which now could fire 3 times each in the segment. So they could fire nine shots at Ilphar and Beldroth, really bad news for the magic user in particular. 

However, again, since the non surprised guys were in the way, I wanted to treat them as partial concealment, I could also treat them as cover; but then that would imply that misses would count as hits against them, which makes no sense since they cannot be targeted in the surprise segment. 

On the other hand, it also makes no sense that the non-surprised PCs can effectively block the surprised ones without the possibility of getting hit themselves. So, in the end I decided that the Orcs could only choose to aim at Ilphar and Beldroth, but who they actually targeted would be decided randomly as per DMG p.63. 

On the other hand, the two unsurprised elves could have just jumped clear and left the other two at the Orcs' mercy, but I didn't think of that at the time.

Ilphar had 50% cover so a +4 bonus to AC and Beldroth, behind him, had 90% cover, so a +10 bonus to AC. Note that these benefits do not help mitigate against the weapon vs ac modifier of light crossbows (+3 vs the two PC's AC types of 10 and 8 respectively). Beldroth was then hit once for 2 hit points and Ilphar hit twice for 5 hit points. Voldar and Morthil also caught a hit each for 3 & 4 hp respectively.

Maybe this could be interpreted as the Voldar and Morthil using their dexterity to try and deflect the orcs crossbow bolts?

The surprise segment over, Beldroth went for broke and began casting Sleep, the others were going to lead with Fingar and the assassins using bows. The party then won a crucial TPK preventing initiative, and the sleep spell effected all 8 Orcs, whew! The party killed and looted the Orcs then called it quits, making it back to Elf Town safely. They rested for 5 days and then returned for delve 5 on October 7th.

Treasure and XP

Monetary Treasure
60 EP

10 Piercers
8 Orcs


Monsters Total:  670XP
Treasure Total:  30XP

XP & GP Assignment 

Fingar (Level 2/2 Elf Fighter Magic User) 190 XP &  8GP
Neldor (Level 3 Elf Assassin) 190 XP & 8 GP
Voldar (Level 2 Elf Fighter)   127 XP & 6 GP
Zeno (Level 3 Elf Assassin)  190 XP & 8 GP


Empty so far

Thursday 11 January 2024

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 51 (Machodor #26); The Master of Winter, Attacks!



This session took place on 21/12/2023, and the PCs adventured for 5 days. 

Player Characters Present

Giuseppe (Level 6 Paladin of Rome, Brovenloft, E)
Sever (Level 6 Pegasus Corps Ranger of Machodor, E)
Deltacron (Level Dwarf 1 Fighter/Thief, E ) 
Godleve (Level 5 Cleric of Machodor, E )
Sheamus(Level 6 Irish Fighter from Brovenloft, E ) 


This was a really incredible session. A huge number of background things all came together at the one time and the players had absolute autonomy to choose what to do about them. The time flew by and I would have loved to have another four hours for the players to capitalise on everything they learned while it was fresh in their minds. 

This was also a session where I very much felt a paradigm shift into DM as Referee. I could have nudged or even tried to steer this session in any number of directions where the players were "supposed" to do various things, but instead I relayed information based on their position in the mountains and adjudicated their actions from there. Did that result in more fun for the players I wonder, or just for me? 


The Master of Winter, first encountered back in session #4, has been patiently building and preparing his forces for some time. Now, on the morning of the Winter Solstice, his army was in position to strike Gimmelwald in the south east part of the Bandit Mountains. Although he proved victorious, not everything went as planned, including being challenged to a duel by a fellow monk. It just so happened that the winter solstice was on a session day.

Two of the Dervish who joined the party and became Giuseppe's henchmen were taken to Minas Mandalf to be properly sworn in and equipped. Then the trio, along with Sever the ranger and his pegasus, travelled around the bandit mountains chasing various leads.

Session Report

With it being a few sessions since this particular group of characters had been together, and even longer since they were in Machodor proper, there were a number of loose threads and doings learned of in downtime. In fact there were hooks aplenty:

  • The Black Knight was roaming around challenging all comers, but was also maddeningly difficult to find. Similarly armoured figures were seen guarding the entrance to Castle Von Necro 
  • The fear gas in the Valley of Fear, below the Robopriest's fortress complex, had become inert following the PC's actions in Brovenloft. This allowed the Robopriest's men to find a route leading into the same lava tube the PCs had spent so much time exploring; was this a short cut to Lord Inferno's lair?
  • The Dragon Cultists; they certainly exist, but further evidence is hopelessly mixed with hearsay and the superstitions of the common folk 
  •  The Ice Pyramid, still sitting there unexplored by PCs since its discovery months ago 
  •  The Hawkmen of the crashed Sky City were still in need of help recovering power crystal gems. 

There was all this on offer and, as yet, they had no idea what was going on in Gimmelwald just that morning. However, by choosing to travel via Castle Irish to the the Valley of Fear, with a side trek into the area the Black Knight had been reported in, they were to going find out. 

It was a cold clear day and they made good time to Castle Irish without any encounters, and then continued on south west. On this route they eventually ran into the first of many refugees from Gimmelwald; led by Staadtman Krellard (who they had rescued from Castle Von Necro in session #2) a group of sixty or so riders were pushing hard in their direction. Recognising the flags and such these riders were carrying, the party hailed them and got a brief run down of the events of that morning: Gimmelwald had fallen. However, Krellard was more interested in debriefing behind the walls of Castle Irish, so the PCs returned with him.

Once in audience with the lord of the Castle, Sir Trolland the Paladin, Krellard detailed the morning's disaster.

The enemy's forces included: Scores of Ice Toads, two White Dragons, and dozens of Ice Trolls. These latter monsters were immune to non-magical weapons. There were also normal human troops numbering around two hundred. The enemy had simply rolled into the valley from the south east, destroyed the palisade and watch tower there, then moved in and enveloped the town. At this point the defenders were too busy to be concerned with the identity of their attackers; but, when the enemy had broken through the eastern gate and threatened to run amok, something incredible happened.  A monk, calling himself the Master of the East Wind, who had somehow being staying undetected in Gimmelwald, thwarted the breakthrough with the help of a Djinni; then bellowed a challenge to the Master of Winter. The Master of Winter, who up until then had stayed well out of the fray, accepted the challenge and flew into the town on his own White Dragon. While the enemy was distracted with this fight Krellard and a few supporters slipped out of the town and escaped.

Monk fight

not of lot of people know this

Later a younger member of Krellard's entourage, who had managed to witness the entire fight and still escape, gave a blow by blow account of the duel. 

"Hear tale of the battle like no other I witnessed,"

In summary:

  • The two masters exchanged opening blows without either one gaining an advantage. 
  • Then, on round 3 they tied initiative. They both had 3 attacks that round, evaluated simultaneously; the first missed, then the Master of Winter rolled 20, more than 5 better than his target to hit; meaning that the other monk was stunned for 1d6 rounds. The d6 came up with 5. Then the Master of the East Wind also rolled 20, also stunning his opponent; for SIX rounds! 
  • So they were both punch drunk for five rounds, then the MoEW had a full round with a bonus of +4 to his attack, meaning not only a better chance of hitting but a better chance of stunning (and perhaps killing). He did hit one time out of three for significant damage, but the MoW was still standing and had time to recover his senses. 
  • Next round the MoW won initiative, stunned the MoEW again, but this time rolled a 01 on the d100...

"Battered, lungs heaving for air, the Master of Winter thrusts himself up from the blood spattered snow.  Again the two masters leap across the town square and exchange a flurry of blows, but this time experience overcomes raw speed.  With the scream that echoes with the sound of a hurricane wind, the man in white lands a stunning palm to his challenger's sternum that leaves the younger man frozen in shocked silence.

A moment passes.  Confusion flickers across the visage of the Master of Winter, replaced instantly by one of concern.  Again, he rushes to the Master of East Wind's side, this time to catch him as he falls to the paving stones.  Words escape his lips, just a soft whisper at the light slips from his fallen foe's eyes.

The Master of Winter gently closes the dead man's eyes, rises, and bows deeply to a foe worthy of his skill.  He walks back past his general, "Did I not tell you the day of the solstice belongs to the Master of Winter?" He mounts his great white wyrm and departs through the clouds to the west."

Now, relating all this might be a big chunk of the session report, but it did not take up much time in session. If this other monk didn't happen to be at Gimmelwald, then probably no one would have known who was behind the attack. The party were soon set to scheming.

Having no love for the Master of Winter at the best of times, they set about their preparations to respond to his shameless attack on a peaceful town. Shaemus appealed to the leader of the Irish, Connor MacGregor (Patron Irish Fighter level 7) who was able to immediately call a hundred men to arms; a mixture of light cavalry and longbowmen. I started drawing up my squares for a mass battle, which was beginning to look like a possibility. With these troops and twenty riders from Gimmelwald, the party set out from the castle once again; first to help look for the expected evacuee column, and then more if they could. 

Sever mounted up and flew over to investigate Gimmelwald, and found it looted and abandoned. It was easy to see that the bulk of the population had been rounded up and marched out of the valley to the south east. He followed and caught up with them; managing to approach the white dragon and its rider, who was directing the movement of the throng from the air, without being noticed, resulting in 3 segments of surprise. The encounter distance was 150 yards, and the ranger had come in well above the dragon in altitude. After some calculations I determined that, if his pegasus dived, the pair could cover that distance in two segments and still attack, with one further segment afterwards. 

I was only egging him on a little (alright a lot), a bold strike certainly could have resulted in a significant loss for the enemy, but in the end Sever chose discretion and prioritised getting the information back to the rest of the party. By the time he returned they had intercepted the refugees and chosen to push on towards Castle Irish as evening fell.

With the information Sever brought with him, the party had plenty of options open to them. But they were also suspicious there might be dragon cultists within the group of refugees. This was great, since I had established already that this was the case and could simply adjudicate their efforts to find them.

As they trudged on towards the Castle, the party offered first aid to the evacuees and lined them up to receive it. Off to the side they had Giuseppe subtly employ his paladin detect evil ability. The idea was that eventually everyone would have been checked, but, just as the Paladin thought he was on to something, a wild scream of terror came from down the line; a group of Wights emerging from the darkness had decided to pick off some humans for their evening meal. 

The players weren't about to stand by and let that happened, they moved to intercept the monsters. We had to ToTM the relative positions of the party with Giuseppe, then it was on. The PCs won initiative, which was crucial, and they got between the monsters and the humans. Godleve then successfully turned 4 out of 7 of the Wights, which the undead never recovered from (even though the remainder lasted a few more rounds and had a some level draining chances).

After this skirmish, the PCs returned to their original plan, but this time tried a different tactic and had Giuseppe ride down the line of evacuees and stare menacingly at them. Finally, one man suddenly ran off away from the paladin. He was a huge farmer type, nearly seven feet tall. In the dark he only had to get out of sight and he would have a good chance to escape. Sever heard Giuseppe's yell and charged across on Convess to overbear the human. Even though it was a huge man, the Pegasus hit him hard enough to knock him unconscious. Finally, they had a prisoner! The man had apparently been heading towards a cave entrance in the nearby mountain side.

They re-joined the evacuees and the group made it back to Castle Irish around 10pm, exhausted. The party focussed on their new prisoner and began working on a plan to interrogate him the next day while Sever went out to get an update on the Master of Winter's troops. However, the next morning a massive blizzard blanketed the area and made it impossible for the Pegasus to get airborne.

Unable to get much else done, there was a lot of interesting in character role playing from Godleve and the others with the locals. Players actually remembered some of the NPCs in this location, can you imagine? The next day the blizzard had faded to heavy rain, visibility was poor; but, Convess could fly, and so he and Sever went off in the direction of the Master of Winter's valley. Once there they found no sign of movement outdoors, and circled around trying to get an idea of the defences. Unfortunately for him, the main fortification, atop a mesa in the middle of the valley, was completely enclosed and so it was not possible to estimate how many defenders might actually be inside; certainly it looked big enough to hold up to 500 men. The nearby cave city was populated by around 2000 souls, many of whom could be seen through the large, glass like outer walls that were a feature of the place.

The Master of Winter's base

Continuing south, Sever found that the prisoners from Gimmelwald and the army column were only a few hours south of their destination; somehow the blizzard of the day before had not slowed their progress and, in their confidence they no longer employed the dragon air support. Alas, any chance to bring a force to engage them outside of the valley was lost. Narrowly avoiding a random encounter with a Hieracosphinx, Sever returned to Castle Irish to report his findings; just as the interrogation was getting warmed up.

The prisoner was not answering any questions, but they had confirmed he possessed a tattoo under his right eyelid; of a red dragon. This was a sure sign they were not simply dealing with an evil villager, but a member of the dragon cult. Godleve, using detect magic, found that the tattoo was indeed magical. After this a Dispel Magic was cast in the hope of removing any charm and the like that might be preventing him cooperating. This did have the effect of removing the tattoo, but otherwise the huge farmer was uncooperative and gave them nothing. 

Finally they called up the castle's magic user; Sarumin the Beast Master. He was known for his ability to use charm magic, and he was only too happy to oblige the party. The farmer, Baronik, was soon spilling his guts about everything he knew.

Contents of guts:

  • he was recruiting into the ranks of the cult by a certain Talman, recently arrived from Grindlewald
  • he joined because of the power he hoped to obtain, "Even the great Macho Mandalf fears to challenge Lord Inferno" (yeah right)
  • he tried to escape because his handler told him too (a ruse to divert the PC's attention?)
  • within the cave he was making for is a long natural passage leading to a chamber where the cult conducts various rites; there is a statue of a dragon in there, that, if a certain gem is placed in its claws (a topaz), allows access to a shrine area. (When it was pointed out he had no such gem, Baronik realised he had been betrayed)
The party added this information to what they had learned already, and, with the winter weather again closing in, made plans to spend the Christmas period at Castle Irish.

Treasure and XP

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 51 (Machodor #26)

Monetary Treasure



3 Wights 


Monsters Total: 2000 XP

XP & GP Assignment N/A 

Giuseppe (Level 6, E )  400 XP
Sheamus(Level 6, E )  400 XP 
Sever (Level 6, E )  400 XP 
Godleve (Level 5, E ) 400  XP 
Deltacron (Level 1, E )  400 XP


Jacques Ocular (Level 1 Magic User), a fat green worm burrowed into his head and turned him into a Son Of Kyuss in Brovenloft in Session #43

Pino (Dwarf Footman level 0), Killed by a Frost Giant axe in the head in session #39

Paro (Dwarf Fighter/Thief level 2/2) , Killed by Winter Wolves and frozen in session #39

Zabib (1/2 Elf Fighter/Magic User level 1/1), Killed by Frost Giant rocks in downtime prior to session #39

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 52 (Machodor #27); The Hidden Altar



This session took place on 29/12/2023, and the PCs adventured for 4 days. 

Player Characters Present

Lance Errant (Level 1 Paladin of Minas Mandalf, E)
Marty O'Tool (Level 1 Cleric of Dublin, Brovenloft, E)
Larrinod "Larry" Blackmantle (Level 1 Magic User/Cleric, bastard son of an elf, E)
Comfort Rod (Level 1 Cleric, E ) 


This was another really fun session to referee, with lots of interaction by the players with the environment in interesting ways, and it was also a big change of pace from last week's session (#26 which I'm still grappling with writing up as of this moment).

Session Report

Again travelling by river barge to their destination, the party reached the River Dungeon without incident.

River Dungeon Level Session 3 Delve 1

Since this is a heavily Appendix A driven session, I'm experimenting with showing the party's route on the map.

The party beached the barge at the same spot and tasked two of the bargemen to keep watch, as usual. There was some discussion about how bright the light was out here and whether it would be a problem for any goblins that came along; but it was established that with the shear walls the light was only bright enough to bother them for about three hours around noon. The bargemen would have be on alert.

The party went straight in directly west, back to the room with the well (A) that was the highlight of their previous visit. The well had been filled in; I had given this room some thought as part of my overall idea of restocking that might have happened since the previous time the PCs had visited. However, my restocking roll turned up more than this; upon checking, it was only a trick! The goblins had fashioned a rudimentary trap door at the top of the well. When Lance gave it a wrap with his spear the ready goblins threw it open and achieved two segment of surprise. At first I didn't realise this as nearly every session we've had a ranger available, but not this time!

Even with this advantage, the goblins felt the effects of the Lance's Protection from Evil. They reacted immediately (word must have got around about this adventuring party). "Pal'din Pal'din Pal'din!" they cried, and retreated back down into the well. Thinking this might be a trap; rather than pursue, Lance closed the makeshift trapdoor and the PCs used Comfort Rod's rope and other items to secure it in place so that the goblins could not push it open again to follow them.

This done, they went through the south door and into uncharted territory; and immediately they found two small chests just sitting there undefended. This was actually a chamber; but as it had a two doors and no archways, how would anyone know? I found this bit of Appendix A trivia interesting enough to mention; but it didn't draw a response, I guess the prospect of two treasure chests was more compelling.

Larrinod cast Detect Magic, but found nothing magical in the chests or in the area nearby. Marty borrowed a spear and leveraged open one chest, finding and amazing 100 platinum coins inside, then followed up with the same result in the other chest. The coinage was supported by a certain amount of worthless dross, the meaning of which I have since forgotten. They spilled the contents out without touching the chests themselves, and this caution turned out to be justified when Larry found small needle tips, embedded in the chests' handles, that would have injected poison into anyone foolish enough to try and pick them up. It was then decided that although this coinage was quite a score, it was not enough to consider calling it a day.

Further exploring led first into a square room (B) with empty packing crates in the corner, the symbol on their sides was of an oil lamp; then into an empty trapezoidal room with a single exit in the south, that went far off into the unknown. Instead of going further that way they back tracked to (B) and went east. This led to a winding corridor, which eventually spilled into a small chamber; here the entire eastern wall incorporated an altar below a fresco of giant creatures worshiping even larger beings.

This display of paganism incensed Lance and Marty, prompting the later to smash the ledge-like section of altar that protruded from the wall. The stone was not as thick nor as sturdy as it seemed and Marty's mace made short work of it; but, within the debris was a hollowed out area containing hundreds of electrum pieces, which now spilled out onto the floor, and, a mace.

Marty, seeing this as a good omen, reached down and grabbed up the weapon; while Larry bemoaned his use of detect magic already, and Lance began to detect evil. The paladin did detect evil, but not from the mace; it was coming out of the wall, accompanied by a ghostly, spectral figure towering fifteen feet tall. 

With three clerics in the party, the call went out to turn undead; but, Marty felt another urge, somehow coming from the mace itself. It wanted him to hit the Spectral being. Though he believed he could have ignored the urge, Marty decided to go with it. This was just as well as none of the three clerics had a chance of being successful at turning the monster. However, the party lost initiative and Marty would have to wait his turn.

The Spectre had his chance to draw first blood (and levels), but, given the room was so small, all the PCs were bunched up inside Lance's Protection from Evil 10' radius, so, given that the Spectre was both evil and summoned, it could not approach close enough to lay a hand on them. How this would have played out next round I leave as an exercise for the reader. Anyway, as it happened there was no next round; Marty stepped forward and laid into the Spectre with the mace (which at AC 2 was no easy feat)  and the creature simply disintegrated. There was much rejoicing.

They gathered up the loose coins (at some point having picked up the 200pp from the earlier chests) and kept exploring south, finding behind a door a small 10' square room filled with goblin excrement, which for some reason they chose not to search. East they found, confusingly to those who had mapped previously, a triangular room just south of one they had explored before. This one had copper coins spread more or less evenly across the floor, which they avoided, and a heavy stone doorway in the south east corner. This proved to be trapped to fall outwards, which it did with a crash; but was of no danger when opened from their side.

Finding themselves in a familiar area, near where previously goblins had dropped oil from a concealed murder hole, they were careful to skirt it and and continued on until they reached the beach, and from there looped back to the barge to stash their loot before going back in. The bargemen reported no encounters (in fact I didn't roll a single random encounter all day).

Delve 2, this time with shoes on.

This time the party's goal was corridor they had been to previously but not fully explored. They quickly moved past familiar rooms and into a room (A) more or less behind the "tapestry room".

There were no apparent exists, but there was a barred pit in the northwest section of the 30' square room. At the bottom of the 15' deep pit was the body of a large humanoid, perhaps an Ogre. The bars were set in a hinged frame, but this was locked down in place. While this was being examined, Larrinod's superior elf senses detected a secret door in the north west of the room; but, as it only went back into the tapestry room, this discovery was not greatly appreciated by his fellows. Further east in room (B) was another sign of the goblins mistreating their captives, in the corner was an Iron Maiden; but I made the players work hard to come to this realisation. 

Within was the body of a human adult, by his clothes perhaps a merchant; they decided to remove it and carry the remains back to the barge for safe keeping and future burial at Minas Mandalf.

Once again, though some hours of delving had passed and they were into the afternoon (carefully tracked with my spindown dice) no random encounters had arrived to disturb them. There was a quick discussion and they all agreed to check out "one more room".

Delve 3

They figured they had the resources for another combat, and Lance led them beyond the "tapestry room" and into the room with lots of empty crates and three south exits they had only partially explored. As they peered south down the middle passage their torch light just picked up that there were goblins entering the same passage from the west. Lance declared a charge and the others backed him up, Comfort Rod joined the front rank with Rowan, Marty stayed ready in the middle; and Larry stayed in the rear, casting Sanctuary. Although you can't go wrong with Cure Light Wounds, I really like it when clerics use utility spells. Would this one pay off?

I hastily had to work out what weapons the goblins had and their planned actions. Then the party won initiative and much of that was moot. Two goblins with spears would have set them against a charge but did not have time to, however weapon length might have still given them the advantage, if it wasn't for the fact that Lance and Rowen had spears of their own (human spears would be longer than goblin spears, right?). 

The two sides crashed into each other and Lance put a goblin down instantly, and another was wounded. Return attacks from the goblins were miserably ineffective. At the end of the round the rear rank of goblins ran off west shouting "Pal'din Pal'din!"; but was there a different tone than before?

Next round it was tied initiative; with the mix of weapons both sides had, the attacks came first mostly from the goblin side; but they again missed their marks. Meanwhile Larrinod had moved down the corridor to stay close to his fellows. One more goblin was down and another injured; but then Larry saw that the ones that had run off earlier had simply circled around and were now behind the party at the other end of the corridor, and they had flasks of oil!

All four goblins wanted to throw their oil at the closest enemy, which was Larrinod, but he was protected with Sanctuary. I ruled that they were not smart enough to consider a different target and instead had them roll versus spells (as per the spell description); none of them passed so none of them threw their oil that round (though they might next round). Given the close proximity to four flasks of oil, even had the goblins missed, each PC would have had to make up to four saves vs splash damage; so Larry's spell probably saved a death or two. You love to see it.

Next round the party adjusted to this new threat; but, thanks to winning initiative and getting another kill in, the goblins had to make a morale check before they could attack again. They failed and fled, in the end only three of them got away. Rowan counted the goblin ears; and the party, having spent about five hours in the dungeon, now went back outside, loaded their loot on the barge, and pushed off. They made it back home safely, with their only encounter being Pegasus borne magical light displays over Minas Mandalf to welcome the Year of our Lord 2024.

Treasure and XP

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 52 (Machodor #27)

Monetary Treasure

750 ep
200 pp
  80 sp (from goblins)

Treasure Total: 1379 GP/XP


Magical Mace, dubbed the Mace of Saint Patrick 1750 XP

8 Goblin ears (collected by Rowan the Man-at-arms and given to the merchant guild): 8 GP. 

Reward for returning the merchant's body (found in the Iron maiden): 100 GP

Rowan has an odd habit of calling out the number of Goblins getting killed in the language used by the Weeb Army.

Total: 1750XP 108 GP


8 Goblins 128XP
1 Spectre 2000XP

Monsters Total: 2128XP

XP & GP Assignment 5257 XP,  1375 GP

Lance Errant (Level 1, E)   1314XP & 365 GP 15 SP
Marty O'Tool (Level 1, E)  1314XP & 365 GP 15 SP
Larrinod (Level 1/1 , E )    1314 XP & 365 GP 15 SP
Comfort Rod (Level 1, E ) 1314 XP & 365 GP 15 SP


Jacques Ocular (Level 1 Magic User), a fat green worm burrowed into his head and turned him into a Son Of Kyuss in Brovenloft in Session #43

Pino (Dwarf Footman level 0), Killed by a Frost Giant axe in the head in session #39

Paro (Dwarf Fighter/Thief level 2/2) , Killed by Winter Wolves and frozen in session #39

Zabib (1/2 Elf Fighter/Magic User level 1/1), Killed by Frost Giant rocks in downtime prior to session #39

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 49 (Machodor #25); Return to the River Dungeon




This session took place on 30/11/2023, and the PCs adventured for 4 days. 

Player Characters Present

Lance Errant (Level 1 Paladin of Minas Mandalf, E)
Marty O'Tool (Level 1 Cleric of Dublin, Brovenloft, E)
Larrinod "Larry" Blackmantle (Level 1 Magic User/Cleric, bastard son of an elf, E)
Slapp Dashington (Level 1 Blue skinned Monk from outer space, E ) 


After the madness of Brovenloft the River dungeon has been a welcome change of pace. In this session I experienced how having a Special room (a result on 18 on Appendix A table V. F) ready can transform a session.

Session Report

Rowan the rower (as the party had renamed him) pointed out that using the sail would allow the barge to return to the River Dungeon twice as fast as last time, which met with nods of approval.  Apart from other water borne traffic the party had no encounters until sunset on the second day, when some wild cattle could be seen off to the west of the river (something to keep the lions fed I guess).

Next morning they continued on and soon reached the river lock. The men-at-arms/bargemen reminded them that the river worked its way right through the mountains via locks such as these; built by unknown parties in the distant past, they were largely automated, although occasionally the merchant guild sponsored craftsmen to maintain them.

Having gained about 50 feet in altitude, they continued on up river, following the path many long years of weathering had carved between the mighty walls of the mountains on either side.

They reached the place of openings in the cliff wall to their right; and picked the same spot as last time to beach their craft, then assigned two of the men at arms to guard the vessel.

River Dungeon Level 1

The corridor, carved out of the stone but long weathered to remove any but its most basic features, went west, branching off to the north west after 10', and continuing on 50' before opening into a 40' square chamber. They went north west and found the room there, which previously some fire beetles had taken refuge in, was now empty.

They went west out of this room and soon found another chamber with packing crates stacked up in the middle of it. As they examined these, oil spilled out from somewhere in the ceiling, followed by goblin laughter. A dropped cinder then set fire to Lance and to the crates as well; which continued to burn even after they had seen to Lance. 

The party continued on into a fresh corridor going west, at the end of which were a pair of skeletons in front of a door. I was very tempted to say "something has just come through the door" before I rolled what it was; I'm glad I didn't as the skeletons might have been guarding this spot for years as far as the PCs knew.

The first round was decisive, with one skeleton getting turned by Marty O'Tool and the other was smashed by Lance (although, as he used an edged weapon, the damage was half normal). Follow up attacks finished the wounded skeleton and then the other one, having pushed open the door behind it, was off running (I think it picked up a hit as it did so). It raced through the next room and continued west, down a short corridor, into another room, then south. 

Slapp Dashinton caught up to it here and gave it the coup de grace (see the x). As the corridor they were in continued south out of the range of their light, they decided to go back and examine the two rooms they had run through. In one were pallets of shipping material, apparently for tools; in the other was a large and dilapidated tapestry that ran all the way along a 30' wall. The image was faded; but appeared to show very large human looking creatures moving about these very same halls.

They pulled down the tapestry (which fell into rotten pieces) and searched the wall behind for secret doors, finding none. Having used up a fair bit of time here and having to light new torches (and a negative encounter check) they continued exploring down a southern exit, which lead to a long corridor. 

Click to Enlarge
Incidentally, I've been applying the dungeon time rules as strictly as possible, using spindown dice as a counter for rounds and turns. As I get better I will be even more accurate with tracking the passage of time. One effect of these rules is that mapping even a small room is likely to tick over to a turn divisible by 3 and trigger an random encounter check. For a large room it is practically guaranteed.

After bypassing a side passage and noting another, they chose to investigate the latter and came upon...goblins! This was the special room. Within the 30' by 40' area, and only 10' from where the party were standing, was to the top of a well. Six goblins, stripped of their armour but still armed, were sitting around the rim of the well; apparently they were getting ready to jump in. Just past them were six more goblins still in their disgusting, smelly but quite effective armour.

Neither side were surprised and the party chose to move up and attack (since they were within 10' of the enemy this can be done without needing to charge), focussing on the naked goblins, who in turn engaged them while they armoured fellows closed from around the well. It was a free for all, goblins and PCs slashing left and right. The party had the benefit of Lance's 10' Protection from Evil, but that wasn't enough save Slapp from getting hit with a morning star for 2 hp. 

One of the goblins fell in the well as he was killed, shortly followed by the sound of a splash and the disgruntled chatter of more goblins from below. As the enemy casualties hit 25% they narrowly failed their morale in the range of 1% to 15% "fall back, fighting". What does this actually mean? I ruled that they spent a round stepping back 10 feet to regroup, after which they could continue fighting.

The party advanced and re-engaged, as they passed the well they caught a glimpse of water and the movements and sounds of goblins down there. For two rounds they exchanged blows, with some minor damage taken on the party's side; though not minor for Slap who had only one hit point left and was hit by a 1d6 short sword, he again was hit for 1hp and lucky to be only knocked unconscious. 

Even with the monk down, the goblins had lost more of their number which this time triggered a rout. Out of that rout only one got away, racing down the passage to the east which linked up with the beach.

Lance wasn't going to let that one get away; but as he finished him off, and Marty O'Tool was force feeding Slapp some whiskey, the voice of one of the bargemen rang out with a warning that Goblins were attacking the barge, "They're coming up out of the water!"

This was the cue to withdraw, but as they left the room they spotted a tell-tale glint of coins in some open crates near the exit. There was no time to collect it!

Once the party got back to the barge they could see what the man at arms was referring too; about thirty goblins were treading water around the barge and jeering obscenities, working themselves up to attack. There must have been some connection between the well and underground access to the river that the little buggers were using to swim out; maybe this was their method of stealing things from passing traffic?

Now there was a stand off as the the Paladin's intimidation kept the goblins at bay, but the party were loathe push off and leave without the treasure. Larry volunteered to return and get it, relying on his speed and luck to get in and out. So he ran back to the "well room", noted the gold and platinum coins in the crate, and got out a large sack.  Now, as the only player this week that had not experienced my amazing "poisoned treasure" gambit from last session (and apparently not having poured over the session report where I went over it in detail) he then began scooping them into a bag, causing some disquiet among the other players whose characters couldn't do a thing about it.

Yes, just like last session, this treasure too was poisoned, with the same crude sticky contact stuff that had nearly done for Slapp; but, where as Slapp had noticed to poison, Larry missed his 80% change to detect it and so had to make a saving throw. To preserve the suspense I made these rolls for him and merely described was happened next over the 2-5 rounds onset time. 

While this was going on, some of the goblins had reached the shore, untied leather strips they were wearing around their waists, and began to collect stones from the shore; clearly something had to be done.

Lance and Rowan went down on to the beach and dealt with four goblins that were just fitting stones to their slings. The others were fast learners and stayed in the water where they were safe, but if reinforcements arrived they would be able to join in with them.

The moments stretched out. With the luck of the Elves in his blood, Larry survived the poison and made it back in time for his comrades to urge him to wash his hands post haste.

Then they pushed out into the river until they could move past the goblins and set off for home, making it back to Minas Mandalf without incident to fight another day.

Treasure and XP

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 49 (Machodor #25)

Monetary Treasure


Treasure Total: 750 GP/XP


8 Goblin ears (collected by Rowan the Man-at-arms and given to the merchant guild) and his testimony of 8 more: 16 GP. 

Rowan has an odd habit of calling out the number of Goblins getting killed in the language used by the Weeb Army.


16 Goblins 256XP
2 Skeletons 40XP

Monsters Total: 296 XP

XP & GP Assignment 1046 XP, 766 GP

Lance Errant (Level 1, E) 262 XP & 191.5 GP
Marty O'Tool (Level 1, E) 262 XP & 191.5 GP
Larry (Level 1/1 , E ) 262 XP & 191.5 GP
Slap Dashington (Level 1, E ) 262 XP & 191.5 GP


Jacques Ocular (Level 1 Magic User), a fat green worm burrowed into his head and turned him into a Son Of Kyuss in Brovenloft in Session #43

Pino (Dwarf Footman level 0), Killed by a Frost Giant axe in the head in session #39

Paro (Dwarf Fighter/Thief level 2/2) , Killed by Winter Wolves and frozen in session #39

Zabib (1/2 Elf Fighter/Magic User level 1/1), Killed by Frost Giant rocks in downtime prior to session #39

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 57 (Machodor #29); Goblins and oil don't mix

  Timekeeping This session took place on 01/02/2024, and the PCs adventured for 4 days.  Player Characters Present Lance Errant (Level 1 Pal...