Thursday 14 September 2023

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 38 (Machodor #17); Cave man and Law man

  

two types of patron

Introduction


The subject of session prep has been a point of contention recently in some circles. One thing I'll sometimes do is roll ahead for the next random encounter, and my mind will continue prepping by itself. A couple of days before this session I got a result of 'cavemen' and immediately connected that with a certain wandering former United Caveman Federation Patron (above left).

Timekeeping


This session took place on 31/08/2023,  and the PCs adventured for 1 day.

Player Characters Present


Giuseppe (Level 5 Paladin from Rome, Brovenloft)
Sever (Level 5 Pegasus Corps Ranger of Machodor)
Godleve (Level 5 Cleric of Machodor)
Slippery Pete (Level 4 Thief of unknown heritage)
Zabib (Level 1/1 Half Elf Fighter/Magic User - from the desert someplace)

Downtime 


Quite a few things going on:

  • A rumour circulated of a Black Knight appearing on the trading routes and challenging travellers to duels.
  • Sever investigated an Ice Pyramid just west of the Master of Winter's valley.
  • Sheamus was training with Connor McGregor at Castle Irish, and his player made clear that he needed the Rocket Cycle for this (the mind boggles). This meant a more ground based session for the rest of the party.
  • Word also reached the PCs that a delegation had showed up at Minas Mandalf purporting to be representatives of a lord from the Bandit Mountains. From the description, his valley was out there somewhere between the two volcanos.

Session Report

The party chose to attempt to move forward in their search for the location of the lair of Lord Inferno by going over land rather than the underground passage that pretty much required the use of the Rocket Cycle to access. Giuseppe loves getting a chance for a ride on his holy warhorse Bonecrusher, and the others dusted off mounts that hadn't been used in a while (apart from Sever, of course).

After half a day of exploring, greatly aided by Pegasus spotting from the air, they had no encounters, but did discover a split in a mountain that lead in the approximate direction they wanted. Eventually a side passage off this lead into a hidden valley. They decided to explore and after half a mile they heard incoherent shouting from up ahead. It sounded like human speech, but the only word they could understand was "Help!". Presently two scruffy caveman-like people approached. These, a man and a woman, both wore curious bandage like wrappings and their arms and head; once they felt they had communicated their problem to the PCs, they pleaded with them to follow.

At the western end of the valley was a cave and, once they struck up the courage to enter, the party found it opened into a large chamber featuring a pool in its center and a high ridge, with crude dwellings visible atop it, on the southwestern wall. Standing on the edge of the ridge was the former United Caveman Federation leader, Ringo, fighting a Dinosaur; yes, a tyrannosaurus rex!

Incredibly, the warrior seemed to be holding his own against the dinosaur, but neither did it look like he would win against the thing. Giuseppe and Sever, the heavy hitters of the party, charged in on their brave mounts and dealt terrible damage to the T-Rex.

Zabib bravely shot from a distance, which proved to be his m.o. throughout the session. Not a bad idea at first level it must be said! I think Slippery Pete also had a shot but missed.

The dinosaur's brain having faintly perceived the two lance hits from behind, the T-Rex turned and attacked the members of the party brave (or foolhardy enough) to face it. This brought the beast away from the ledge and so Ringo could no longer reach it.

I grabbed my combat wheel (don't DM without one), and mentioned that the T-Rex was actually off the scale (I like to be helpful in such things). It proceeded to hit Giuseppe with a claw and then I rolled consecutive 1's for the other claw and the bite. Oh, and about this time I noticed a little fact about the T-Rex they won't teach you in school text books.

 "This monster will pursue and eat nearly anything, engulfing man-sized creatures whole on a roll of 18 or better."

Anyway, like I said, I rolled a 1 for the bite this time. So the Ranger and Paladin, and their brave mounts, were doing a great job pounding away at the giant creature; but it was still standing and taking everything they had to throw at it (including some more ineffective missile fire from the rest of the party).

Next round initiative was a tie (a bit of a theme for the session) meaning, since the dinosaur, obviously, was not using weapons with a speed factor, attacks were simultaneous. The front line wiped out the remainder of the dumb creature's hit points, but, before it knew it was dead, it hit Sever for a full claw/claw/bite routine (including a natural 17 for the bite, so close!) I gathered five d8s plus two d6s and rolled see if Sever survived, making sure that the sound of my handful of dice was audible over discord. Anticlimactically, I rolled three or four 1s, totalling a measly 18 damage; less than the Ranger himself had scored with this sword. 

The creature collapsed and the PCs leapt out of the way as it fell. Ringo himself simply said "Thanks," turned around, and went into his cave. The party, expecting something more, were nonplussed. Immediately the two cave dwellers who had lead them there came up and thanked the party, while others charged down from the ledge with dinosaur skinning tools (utensils, equipment, rocks?) in hand. 

There was a fair bit of talking and arguing here, both with the misfit cavemen and among the players themselves. Finally they went up to Ringo's cave to get his story. And it was quite a story, but possibly not that interesting for a session report. In short, having been displaced form his leadership position by un unwitting Macho Mandalf, he had since been wandering throughout the lands, was exposed to nuklear radiashun, and ended up here in the mountains where he had found this cave and its magical pool which was, he assumed, linked to somewhere in the jungles of the UCF, since every day or so a creature from there would just appear in it.

the holy text

Last year, some of his people had been resurrected by a certain plane hopping mummy, they wore bandage like wrappings on their arms and heads in his honour, and wished to learn of their saviour's wisdom if the party had any knowledge in this area. Godleve was sorry he asked, but said he would keep an eye out.

With a few hours left in the day, and little desire to take up Ringo's offer of accommodation, the party set out again, with the exception of Giuseppe who chose to remain behind and argue theology with the locals (something came up IRL). 

They returned to the narrow crack in the mountains that passed for the main route, and continued north east. In a short while further travel was blocked by the sheer rock of the mountains. Were'sbane piped up and pointed out a cunning secret moving wall, which, when opened, lead out into another typical mountain valley, albeit quite a large one.

Sever took to the air on Convess and surveyed the area. The valley ran roughly 4 miles north west to south east, and, 3 miles north east to south west, in a large rectangle of undulating ground. To the north west there was a wide gap in the tall mountains, which lead out of the valley. 

In the north east of was a large fortress complex, with some sort of haze in the air over it. Some distance away he also spied a group of about 30 figures, which appeared to have come out of the ground near one of the up thrusting rocky areas in the valley.

He returned to the group to fill them in, then went out to get a closer look at the 'figures'. Coming in out of the lowering sun to cover his approach, Sever easily identified the group as Firenewts, with about a dozen mounted on dangerous Giant Striders. He shadowed them for a some time, and it became clear that they were setting up to raid some farms not far from the fortress. 

He flew on to warn the inhabitants of the fortress, who were human. They received his message gratefully and soon opened their doors to let out a squadron of mounted archers. While this was happening, back with the Cavemen, a change came over Ringo, and, in some sort of trance, he enjoined Giuseppe that his party needed him.

Sever re-joined the party just as Giuseppe arrived on Bonecrusher, and they all rode quickly to catch up to the Firenewts, reaching them after the battle with the human cavalry had already started. 

The Firenewts were in a circular formation around their leaders, with the Giant Striders to the east exchanging fire (literally) with the humans. The unexpected assault from the west by the party did not actually result in surprise, but Sever dropping down on Convess and attacking the leaders did not help morale. 

Giuseppe and Godleve attacked at ground level while Slippery Pete and Zabib sniped from a distance. The enemy caster managed to land a spell on Sever, but these guys really have a pretty lame line up of spells and he was unfased by the Fairie Fire. There was some danger for Godleve when his horse was cut down and he landed underneath it, but the enemy, who had lost a few from both sides of their formation by this time, broke away, with their remaining leader reluctantly following them. 

Having got in some parting shorts, with the exception of Giuseppe who would not strike and enemy in the back, the party was largely ready to let them run; but Sever was having none of that and he went off with the human cavalry in pursuit. In a cool little vignette to the battle he caught up to the leader who, seeing escape was hopeless, halted his Giant Strider, dismounted, and challenged Sever to personal combat. The Ranger was only too happy to oblige and dismounted from Convess.

They walked up, saluted, and it was on! The first round was tied initiative and there was some confusion as I tried to remember if I'd said the Firenewt leader had had a longsword or and axe. I went with long sword and so he got two blows in on Sever before the latter could attack with his slower two handed sword. But when he did attack, it reminded me of an old commodore 64 game.


One last footnote: the Giant Strider of the Firenewt leader, a totally fearless creature, sat there and regarded Sever, who then impressed upon the creature that he was its new boss. After this the leader of the human cavalry, a ranger called Eagle Eyed Ed, thanked them all and welcomed them to stay at the fortress of his mysterious master: Lord Alexus Murpheus aka Robopriest.


Treasure and XP

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 38 (Machodor #17)

Monetary Treasure
100sp
40gp

Monsters
Tyrannosaurus 8800 XP
Firenewt Shaman 258
Firenewt Leader (Sever) 185
7 Firenewt Grunts 819
3 Giant Striders 273

Items
( some Firenewt gear no one at the fortress is interested in )

Monsters Total:  10,150XP
Treasure Total:   45XP

XP & GP Assignment 
Giuseppe (Level 5, E )  2030 XP & 9GP
Slippery Pete (Level 4, E ) 2030 XP & 9GP
Godleve (Level 5, E ) 2030 XP & 9GP
Sever (Level 5, E )  2215 XP & 9GP
Zabib (Level 1.5, E/P) 2030  XP & 9GP

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